STUDIO CITY ( — Avoid expensive vacations and enjoy your summer break at home! House Smart Expert Christa Hudson visited KCAL9 Tuesday to share some tips on how to have the ultimate staycation.

Get the chores out of the way

• With a little prep and planning you and your loved ones can maximize your time out from the everyday life.
• Clean your place ahead of time so you aren’t tempted to turn your relaxing and fun stay-cation into chore and fix-it time.
• Do your laundry, grocery shopping and errands beforehand so you don’t end up spending all your time off doing work.
• Don’t use this time to set doctor appointments, oil changes and other to-do’s. Give yourself a total break from the usual task list.

Pamper yourself

• Plan a soundtrack for your relaxing time at home. Playing some steel drum tunes can make your porch or balcony seem like a quick escape to the Caribbean.
• Stock the house with your favorite foods and reading materials. You can finally get around to reading that great book you’ve been meaning to pick up.
• Start your staycation off with an at home spa treatment. Light candles in the bathroom and use scented bath oils to create a decadent bath experience. Don’t forget the fluffy towels and your favorite drink to complete your pampering.

Think outside of the box

– When making your itinerary break away from the “usual” hang-out spots and the same old plans.
– Make a list of some attractions and restaurants in your town you’d like to check out. Take a bike tour or indulge in a local cooking or painting class.
– Often times Museums and Art galleries have middle of the week deals. Staycations are the perfect time to take advantage of them.

Splash out

• Cool off at the local water park or pool for some fun in the sun.
• Instead of water balloon fights, get creative and invent your own games with homemade sponge bombs. Simply cut up sponges and tie together with a rubber band.
• Doused in water, your spongebombs will provide hours of soaking wet fun.

Taste of summer

• Spice up your staycation by cooking out with fun summer recipes. Grilling up fruit like watermelon gives an ordinary barbeque a gourmet touch.
• Cut watermelon into 1 ½-2 inch wedges
• Brush both sides with olive oil
• Grill 2 minutes per side or until grill marks appear
• Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with honey to taste

Staycation Spritzers

• What better way to beat the heat than with fruity cocktails. Sparkling fruit cocktails can be both delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day.
• Mix 1 part chilled white grape juice with 1 part chilled orange juice
• Then, add 2 parts chilled champagne or ginger ale just before serving
• Top it off with a fruit or umbrella garnish to give it a tropical flair

Invite friends over for an ice cream social

• Setting up an ice cream float and sandwich station is easy to prepare and sure to be a party pleaser.
• Pre-scoop vanilla ice cream and place into an insulated container for serving. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
• Provide 2 or 3 flavors of soda for the floats. Blueberry and pomegranate soda can be unique options for those varying from the classic root beer float.
• Prepping for the ice cream sandwiches is all about the cookie choices. Provide 3 to 5 cookie varieties including fudge stripes, peanut butter and chocolate chip. Packaged cookies are perfectly fine to use for this.
• Make sure to have a spoon handy for grabbing the pre-scooped ice cream.
• Keep a soda opener handy for opening soda bottles
• Use chalkboard signs to label everything


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