Shop Around the Web

relaxation, house design, staycation

Shop Around the Web: Staycation

July 25, 2008
by Rachel Balik
It’s always fun to shop for those little extras in life—the stuff you may not need but definitely want. In “Shop Around the Web,” we show you sites that will help you perk up your purchases. This week, we’ll help you shop for your at-home vacation, or “staycation.” More and more people are remaining at home instead of traveling during their time off, and we’ve got some suggestions to make your staycation both restful and engaging.

Entertainment

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A staycation might remind you of the summer months when you were a child: long, lazy days and total freedom to blindly pursue all things fun. Of course, when you’re a kid, the most fun thing to do is play games. All the games sold by 1st in Games are vintage, but many are so vintage, you might not even have heard of them. Kick back and discover something new (to you) in the selection of old-school board and video games.
Some people relax by lying out in the backyard and absorbing some sun. Others want to be active, engaged and challenged. If you feel pulled in both directions, Lowe’s can help you be busy and productive and then get some R&R by literally sitting in the result of your handiwork. With the Adirondack Chair Project, you can make a high-quality lawn chair that might not be finished by the end of this staycation, but will eventually serve you for many weekends to come. It’s an intermediate project; if you’re more of a beginner, check the Lowe’s How-To Library and explore Do-it-Yourself projects in all areas of interest and levels of difficulty.
Maybe you don’t have a backyard, and want to catch some rays at the local park. Find out how Slate rates portable lawn and beach chairs.
No matter how much you love to veg out, you’re eventually going to long for something to stimulate your intellect. Have the best of both worlds and find yourself a good book and get those synapses firing while still kicking back. Of course, you’re on vacation, so while you’d like to be interested in what you read, you’re not looking to tackle Proust. Instead, peruse the Contra Costa Times list of recommended beach reads from a slew of beach town bookstores. Even if you’re staying at home, you can tap into the coastal mentality.
Ever get that feeling on vacation where you know you should be reading, but you really just want to be watching TV? The two-pronged solution to your quandary is the book “501 Must-See Movies.” You can read about the most epic movies of our time, then choose a few to watch for yourself.

Atmosphere

Sure, it’s a staycation, but if you could make your surroundings resemble someplace far away, it couldn’t hurt, right? Shop at Pearl River Mart, and you can add a touch, or a whole lot, of Asian flair to your home. Start with some fun lanterns or strings of mini-lamps to decorate the inside or outside of your house. Or pick up a few small home furnishings, such as wall fans, pillows, floor mats or decorative garlands. Then treat yourself to a meal served in ceramic dishes. Finish the job by adding some feng shui touches to your home.
Nothing adds to the mood of a room like a little candlelight, and at Pier 1 Imports, you’ve got a lot of choices. Browse through the selection of candles, candleholders and diffusers or visit the Pier 1 Studio to get some advice about decorating with candles and using them safely.

Total Indulgence

Bigelow Apothecaries boasts a variety of high-quality, decadent cosmetic and healing items. Indulge in Bigelow’s famous salves, rich moisturizing creams or top-notch products for the hands and feet, and soon you’ll feel rested, nurtured and rejuvenated.
Burt’s Bees may be one of the more expensive product lines sold at your drug store, but it also offers wonderful care for the hands and feet. Whether you’re wearing heels that hurt to the office or have hands calloused from working construction, everyone can use a little self-nurturing. Plus, Burt’s Bees has the Natural Seal, so you know that everything you’re using is made from the purest ingredients.
Short of illegal drugs, there’s only one thing guaranteed to release all your tension and rejuvenate your spirits: a massage. You could probably get one if you were at a resort, but you can also have one, and another and another, in your own home. A Brookstone handheld massagers can turn your bedroom or living room into a spa. Even if you’ve got to shell out $200 for one, it’s still more bang for your buck than a professional massage.
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