7 Fun, Cheap Activities to Give Your Netflix Account a Break this Weekend that are Sneakily Productive
When I moved to Dallas, my life changed a lot. Living in a sorority house provided me 24/7 friends and distraction. It was easy to piggyback on others' plans pretty constantly. When I started working and living in the city, I wanted to find a few new hobbies that could help enhance my free time.
So if you're ready to give up Netflix for an afternoon or spend your time doing something other than overpaying for alcohol at bars with people you barely know, check out some of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday and Sunday.
1. Listen to a Podcast.
I have a few tried and true favorites, as well as some I’ve been delving into lately: If you’ve never listened to S-Town or Serial, do yourself a favor: exit this browser, pick up your phone, and download them right now. These really grab your attention and suck you in, so if you’ve got an annoying task (like cleaning your entire apartment, or running mundane errands), start Episode 1 and feel your time fly by.
If you’re in the mood to get inspired or learn something new (always, right?), I recommend How I Built This, Startup, and Ted Radio Hour. They’re all incredibly enlightening. I can’t even tell you how my perspective has changed since I started regularly listening to these podcasts. Just the least cliché, most fascinating topics and outlooks you’ve ever heard.
And for my ladies—lately I’ve been enjoying The Skinny Confidential podcast hosted by blogger Lauryn Evarts and her entrepreneur husband, Michael Bosstick. They talk a lot about business, relationships, and their dynamic as a couple, which is hilarious. She also injects a lot of beauty talk, which the skincare junkie in me loves.
2. Go rollerblading or ride one of those tech-y app bikes around your city.
I feel moderately hypocritical suggesting this since I still haven’t bought my own rollerblades (they’re on my Christmas list, don’t worry), but every time I see people rollerblading down the Katy Trail I get super jealous (probably because I’m usually dying on a long run). If you live in a city with those eBikes (Dallas is littered with them, and now there are several different brands to choose from), go pay a $1 and ride one around.
It’s actually super fun—a few weeks ago, Jake went on a 5-mile run and I biked beside him like the sadist I am. It was a nice way to get outside but without committing to a full-on workout. I realize some of you may be reading in cold climates where this isn’t a realistic suggestion, so if so, move to Texas.
3. See how far you can run.
Typing that felt satirical, but I mean it. This weekend I’ll be running the BMW Dallas Half Marathon (prayers accepted, please). But I have to admit, training for this event has been shockingly fun and exciting for me. It’s cool to challenge yourself and see how far you can push yourself before you faint on the side of the road. (Only half-kidding.)
It requires a good bit of self-discipline, too (fun, right?), which sounds lame as actual sh*t, but has served a gratifying role in my life over the past 6 weeks. It’s weird how committing to something and then actually forcing yourself to follow through gives you a sense of confidence and individuality. There were days where I knew I’d have to run 6 miles before or after work, so I’d wake up at 5:15 a.m. to run 6 miles on the treadmill before work so I didn’t have to run it in the dark after working a long day. So yeah, go for a run.
4. Make your own boozy brunch.
If you’re like me, spending $25 on Sunday’s noon brunch is a necessary evil of your boujee lifestyle. But you know what’s better? Rounding up your pal(s), heading to the store, buying your own cheap champagne, OJ, ingredients, and making the brunch yourself in your kitchen. Bonus: you don’t have to dress up or wait for a server or kitchen staff. #bonding
Plus, it’s just so much cheaper. Like, unbelievably so.
Tangent: Did y’all know brunch restaurants have the highest margins? The ingredients are so stupid cheap and the markups are so high. Anyone want to start a brunch restaurant with me?
Here's a quick brunch grocery list for you that costs no more than $25 total to feed at least three people:
...and whatever else you want to use to get creative. You can buy tortillas and make breakfast tacos if you're a Nazi who doesn't like crescent rolls!
5. Go to Trader Joe’s, the farmer’s market, or Home Depot and get plants or flowers.
Am I the only one who makes excuses to go to trendy grocers and buy flowers? I seriously love it. You can usually get some dope foliage for under $10 and then you can arrange and plan them yourselves. Granted, most of mine are dead within 48 hours, but it’s still an enjoyable, creative experience.
I've been on the lookout for some quality succulents to start building my own succulent garden, so if you're an experienced succulent connoisseur, hit me with your recommendations.
6. Explore a new coffee shop.
This is my go-to day-off activity. I’m #blessed to live in a caffeine-obsessed city that has a zillion different coffee shops with different vibes and specialties, so I like to Google “coffee near me” and then go on mini adventures to each coffee shop. Bonus points: hit up Half Price Books first, get a new (used) book, and post up in a new coffee shop and get some solid reading in.
Dallas friends, my favorites are Magnolia’s Sous Le Pont, Ascension (the location in the Crescent Hotel in Uptown), and Oaklawn Coffee.
7. Do a closet cleanse.
This is probably just for the #gurliez, but I was getting SUPER sick of my fall wardrobe a few weeks ago. I felt like I was just throwing a jacket on over my summer clothes and calling it a day. I didn’t feel #flirty or #fun. So I purchased a couple new pieces (leather leggings, a leather skirt, a wool, plaid skirt, a long-sleeve white turtleneck, a long-sleeved gray dress, and a new pair of black over-the-knee boots—ok, I guess it was a lot of new pieces), and then pulled all the sh*t out of my closet and “built” out a bunch of new outfits. By the way, I dropped all this ca$h at Lulus because I honestly feel like their stuff is SUPER affordable and trendy.
Because my closet was color-coordinated before, the seasons were all jumbled. I basically took an hour to spend some time with my clothes and devote some time to putting together some new, cuter outfits with old and new pieces so I didn’t want to rip my hair out the next time I’m getting ready to go out.
And if you have any of your own suggestions, please let me know!
I’m always looking for fun new ways to spend my time out of work and new hobbies to start investing time in. While I do feel my job is super gratifying since I get to see my work on southwest.com every day (shameless plug), there’s just something special about hobbies like these that keep you interested and interesting in things that you aren't required to do every day from 8-5.