100 Things To Keep Yourself Busy at Home

The COVID-19 quarantine has forced us all into our homes. It’s not uncommon to feel a little bored at home. Here are 100 things to keep yourself busy at home during the Coronavirus shutdown.

Coronavirus has turned all of our lives upside-down. We are spending lots of time at home right now and if you are like me you may be wondering how to stay busy at home. During the first couple of weeks of quarantine, it was actually a little nice. My husband was working from home. We were all together as a family and spending lots of quality time together watching movies and relaxing at home. But after the initial honeymoon, I began to feel really bored. I’m kind of a homebody, but I never realized how often I get out during the week with the kids.

There are lots of reasons why we feel bored. It could be that we may not feel intellectual stimulated or challenged. Sometimes boredom comes from not socializing enough or simply not doing things that bring enjoyment. If you are feeling bored, stop and evaluate exactly what is driving it. For me, it is all three.

Finding Focus and Projects

This is a perfect time to focus on projects. Maybe you’ve been wanting to landscape your backyard. Many nurseries are doing curbside shopping. Now is the perfect time to design your dream yardscape and work outdoors. Perhaps you’ve been wishing to learn a new hobby like knitting, drawing, hand lettering or woodworking. Now is a great time to learn how to do those things. Maybe you are like me. Over the six months, I have totally let the house get out of control. It’s time to do some serious reorganization and some deep cleaning. Since there are fewer distractions right now, it’s the perfect time to dig in and create organization projects.

If it is socialization that you miss, there are ways you can do it virtually. If you haven’t checked out the Zoom app, you don’t know what you are missing. The Zoom app was created for businesses for video conferencing. Zoom has a free package that allows you 40 minutes of conference time. Personally, I think it is better and more stable than FaceTime. They also have paid packages which allow for more time. Lots of people are utilizing the app to do group events virtually. I have some friends who have used it for a virtual girl’s night. One of my friends is hosting a virtual book club while another friend is meeting with other mamas in the mornings for coffee and chit chat. A dear friend of mine is utilizing it for group bible study. I used it to celebrate my son’s second birthday so he could see all of our family while we sang “Happy Birthday.” If it is socialization you are missing, consider harnessing the technology we have available to fill the void.

100 Things to Keep Yourself Busy At Home

  1. Play / learn an instrument
  2. Make a streaming binge watch list
  3. Clean out your junk drawer
  4. Try out a new recipe
  5. Write a short story.
  6. Write a haiku or poem
  7. Watch some funny fail videos on youtube
  8. Clean out your email inbox and unsubscribe to emails you don’t read
  9. Read some classic literature. Many are free to download.
  10. Window shop online
  11. Learn how to do hand-lettering or calligraphy
  12. Watch a Stand-up comedy show
  13. Start a blog
  14. Write product reviews
  15. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
  16. Doodle or draw.
  17. Watch Ted Talks
  18. Skype or Facetime someone
  19. Start a virtual book club
  20. Create a budget
  21. Clean out old contacts on your phone
  22. Listen to a new Podcast
  23. Mix up some cocktails
  24. Rearrange your furniture
  25. Run diagnostic, clean up or maintenance tasks on your computer
  26. Knit, sew or crochet
  27. Organize paperwork and bills
  28. Clean out your medicine cabinet
  29. Take an online course
  30. Play some board games
  31. Fix things around the house
  32. Catalog all your movies or books
  33. Update your resume
  34. Create a weekly meal plan
  35. Do a jigsaw puzzle (you can even download jigsaw puzzle apps for your mobile device)
  36. Clean out your fridge or pantry
  37. Exercise. You can stream lots of fitness videos on YouTube. Consider taking your workout outside.
  38. Write in a journal
  39. Make some music playlists
  40. Make a bucket list
  41. Back up your computer or files
  42. Sell things you don’t need on Ebay or other online consignment outlets
  43. Plant an herb garden
  44. Browse PINTEREST for ideas
  45. Clean up old photos on your phone
  46. Bake cookies
  47. Bible study
  48. Wash your windows (you’ll be shocked how much more natural light you get)
  49. Clean your house
  50. Decorate your porch
  51. Write a goals list
  52. Read inspiring quotes
  53. Photograph nature in your own back yard
  54. Create a vision board
  55. Picnic in your backyard
  56. Grill out and dine al fresco
  57. Start a bullet journal
  58. Study a new language
  59. Toss out expired products
  60. Write a letter to someone (you can order stamps at USPS online) or fill a care package up to send to someone (you can print shipping labels at USPS online and schedule a porch pickup).
  61. Take a nice long bath
  62. Give yourself a facial
  63. Take a walk
  64. Scrapbook photos / create a photo book online
  65. Start a YouTube channel
  66. Do a crossword puzzle
  67. Play online or mobile games with friends
  68. Listen to music and if you’re feeling it, dance!
  69. Clean out your car
  70. Wash your car
  71. Learn how to bake bread
  72. Clean out your fireplace
  73. Paint a picture
  74. Make your own “Starbucks” coffee with flavors in your pantry
  75. Learn how to solve a Rubix cube
  76. Enjoy some hot tea
  77. Play with your pet
  78. Pray / meditate
  79. Find some fun accounts on Instagram to follow
  80. Take an online cooking class
  81. Write an ebook
  82. Get outside and do yardwork
  83. Plan a future trip
  84. Learn origami
  85. Learn Magic tricks
  86. Explore apps on the App store
  87. Binge read the other posts on this blog (wink, wink)
  88. Take a virtual tour of museums, zoos or theme parks (See also this list of 300 museums with online tours.)
  89. Write your memoir.
  90. Plan a ZOOM party with friends ( Get creative: host a dinner party, girl’s night, coffee and brunch or game night)
  91. Create a time capsule
  92. Research a new subject you’ve always wanted to learn about (like an event in history or how something works)
  93. Learn an old-world skill (like candle making, bookbinding, canning, hide tanning, blacksmithing, breadmaking, soap making, etc.)
  94. Watch Best Picture Oscar-Winning movies
  95. Research your Ancestry
  96. Have a karaoke night with the family
  97. Create fun Tik Tok videos
  98. Have an Opera Night. (The Met Opera is streaming free ones)
  99. Do a Spring Cleaning Challenge
  100. Volunteer virtually

What Are You Doing

In the comments below, I would love to hear what you are doing to stay busy and productive at home. How are using your time during the COVID-19 quarantine? What have been the silver linings in your life during this downtime?

How to Make White Sandwich Bread

No bread at the store? No problem. Today I’m going to show you how to make white sandwich bread the easy way at home. No special tools required!

how to make white sandwich bread
This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you. I only link to things I personally love, own or want to own.

I’ve been baking up a storm during the COVID-19 outbreak. When all of this started, I bought tons of flour and a few pounds of yeast because I know that as long as you have those things, there are infinite kinds of bread that you can bake at home. Pizza dough, hamburger buns, dinner rolls hot dog buns. Later this month, I will show you how to make some unleavened bread (bread that doesn’t require yeast) like tortillas and pretzels. But today I’m going to share how to make white sandwich bread at home. Plain white sandwich bread is very versatile and you can conjure up lots of different lunches with some plain white bread. It’s a great recipe to try if you are new to bread baking. Once you get comfortable with simple white sandwich bread you’ll be excited to learn how to make other breads like bagels, ciabatta, baguettes, dinner rolls, buns, and pretzel bread.

Tools of the Trade

One question I get asked is, “do you need any special tools to make bread?” Not really. You certainly don’t need a bread machine. A bread machine just takes some of the elbow grease out of baking bread. You pop your dough in and it will knead and bake it for you and take a lot of guesswork out of baking bread. But let me tell you that baking bread isn’t as complicated as you might think. I was intimidated by it for years before I finally decided to learn. I was surprised at how simple it really is. You can make bread with just your bare hands and a loaf pan. After all, that is how people have made bread for centuries. However, if you would like to take out some of the work you can use a stand mixer with your dough hook attachment. That’s what I do. This recipe takes around three hours from start to finish, but nearly all of that time is rising and baking. The prep time is actually fairly quick.

dough hook
Dough hook attachment and bulk yeast

The only other thing you need is a work surface. A well-cleaned countertop is fine for that. Also, you will need a loaf pan. I have found that metal pans seem to bake bread more evenly than glass ones. I recommend using a small standard loaf pan because freshly baked bread doesn’t last very long. Unlike store-bought bread, it isn’t packed with preservatives to keep it from molding. So I keep the size small and eat it quickly.

I will however, introduce you to one of the best $30 finds on Amazon. This bread slicer was one of my best Amazon purchases! You slip your loaf inside the wooden guide and it allows you to cut perfectly sliced bread every time. I wasted a lot of bread because I wasn’t cutting it evenly or straight. This solved that problem! It even has a board underneath to catch crumbs. Incidentally, I save the breadcrumbs! Don’t buy bread crumbs from the store when you can make your own for making meatballs and breading meat.

(Click on the picture to purchase)

PRO-TIP: Always use a serrated knife to cut bread. Smooth knives will smash your bread rather than cut it.

Ingredients

So the first thing you need is yeast. Personally, I buy yeast at Sam’s Club because they sell it in two one-pound packages and it is way more cost-effective that way. Yeast is also sold in packets. If you use yeast packets you will need one full packet, plus 1/2 tsp more. I highly recommend refrigerating yeast once you open it. You can also store it in the freezer. If you have yeast in your pantry and you aren’t sure if it is still good, you can do a simple test. Pinch some dry yeast and put it in a cup. Add a pinch of sugar and a little warm water. If it bubbles after a few minutes, it is still good. If there is no or very little activity, it’s expired. The bubbling is called “blooming.”

After a few years of baking, I’ve learned that bread flour is superior to all-purpose flour when it comes to baking bread. I can definitely tell that it makes a stronger, denser, spongier bread. That is because bread flour has a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour. That said, I make this recipe with all-purpose flour all the time. There is no need to buy special flour for this recipe. Use your all-purpose flour if that is what you have. Someone asked me if they could use wheat flour for this recipe. In all honestly, I have not tried it. However, I will say that wheat flour is much denser than white flour and so you normally use less of it. Personally, I recommend finding a tried and tested wheat bread recipe instead of trying to alter this one.

When you are done baking your bread and while the bread is still hot, I recommend buttering the top. Bread tops can seem a little hard when they are baked. A simple brush of butter is all it needs to soften the top again and it makes it more like the sandwich bread you buy at the store.

dough

White Sandwich Bread

White sandwich bread is so easy to make and deliciously simple. You'll love being able to whip up soft, fluffy white sandwich bread in a few hours whenever you need it!
Prep Time 3 hrs
Course Breads

Equipment

  • Loaf pan
  • Stand mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 3/4 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1.5 Tsp Salt

Instructions
 

  • In a stand mixer, add hot water, sugar, and yeast. Water should be very warm, but not scalding hot. Let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom (bubble).
  • With your dough hook attachment on low, add vegetable oil and salt. Slowly add flour one cup at a time. Alternatively, you can mix ingredients by hand in a large bowl and knead by hand.
  • Turn up speed slightly and continue mixing by hand. The dough should cling to the dough hook, but not to the sides of the bowl after a few minutes. Mix for another 3-4 minutes until the dough is tacky.
  • Remove dough from the hook and place the dough in a large bowl and place it in a draft-free area of your kitchen. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. If you are worried about germs from the towel, spray some cling film with some baking spray. Cover the bowl loosely with it, then cover the cling film with the kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 1.5 hours or until it doubles in size.
  • Once risen, punch down in the center. Then shape the dough into a long oval. Tuck any excess dough underneath the bottom of the loaf.
  • Grease a loaf pan. Transfer the dough to a loaf pan and cover again and let rise a second time for about an hour.
  • When done rising, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While still warm, brush bread top lightly with butter before cutting and serving.
Keyword baked goods, bread, flour, sandwiches
how to make white sandwich bread

Storing Your Bread

I recommend storing your bread in a ziplock bag or an air tight container. If you bake often like I do, Amazon has some great bread bags that I use. I’ll drop the links below.

I’ve been asked before if you can freeze bread. In short, yes you can, but you will need to wrap it really well to prevent freezer burn. Also, make sure you freeze it before you it goes stale. Freezing won’t change staleness. If it was stale when you froze it, it will be stale when you thaw it out.

Alternatively, to save freezer space, you can also freeze dough that hasn’t risen. Make your dough and instead of letting it rise, freeze it. Once you are ready to bake, drop the frozen dough in a greased loaf pan. Get some cling film and lightly spray it with baking spray. Then cover the top of the loaf pan loosely with it. Layer a clean dish towel on top of the cling film. Let the dough thaw and rise for 7-8 hours. Then bake as normal at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make white sandwich bread. If you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments below and if I’ll try my best to answer them. Be sure to check out some of my other scratch recipes like Rich Fudgy Scratch Brownies.