Just a quick note that I’m just on vacation. Please don’t worry if you don’t see posts regularly for the next week or so.
Hope you all are having a great July too!!!
Happy Fourth of July to my American readers and
Happy Random Friday to everybody!!!
My husband and I actually like Valentine’s Day. Yeah, it may be a “Hallmark holiday”, but we like the reminder to just spend some time spoiling each other. And you aren’t forced to make it Hallmarky…
Our Free Valentine’s Day
Since Valentine’s this year is landing on a Friday, we are not even leaving the house. Too nutballs out there. We’ve decided to go cheap and stress-free.
First, we’ll be going to a sit-down restaurant on Thursday instead of Friday, and we’ll use the gift cards we still have leftover from Christmas. So we’ll be going to Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, or Papadeaux. We have enough on the gift cards to cover the entire meal. We usually end up catching each other up on how we’re feeling and joking around at restaurants, so that seems like a good goal. :-)
Then we’ll head home and throw in the next two DVD’s of Downton Abbey that we’ll have from Netflix. We’re using a one-month free subscription to their 2-at-a-time DVD plan for all of February. Even though we used to have their DVD plan before it separated from the streaming-only plan, they are still letting us take advantage of trying it for free again. Check it out!
As for our selection of show, neither of us had seen Downton Abbey before…it never sounded that great to us. BUT, we started it last week and are both hooked. He likes the politics of it all and I’m rooting for my favorite staff in the house to be happy. Who would have known that a fake, British, wealthy family in the 1900′s could be so interesting? :-)
We’re going to end the evening by trading off massages before bed. Yep, can’t go wrong with absolutely free time together just connecting.
Other Cheap or Free Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
If you don’t have gift cards or Netflix, here are some other cheap or free Valentine’s Day ideas:
- Picnics (indoor picnic away from the kitchen if the weather sucks)
- Board Games or card games
- Video Games with two controllers
- Movie night at home. Either snack on what you already have or splurge $4 on some popcorn at the grocery store.
- Walk in free parks. We have a free botanical garden 10 minutes away.
- Enjoy an activity. We like Disc Golf and already have discs and there are free courses all over the place. But you may each enjoy something else like hiking, bike riding, bird watching, star gazing, etc. Heck, hug your inner child and see if hide-and-seek, freeze tag, or even dodge ball with your friends still seems as amazingly fun as it was before…
- Make s’mores over a fire
- Take advantage of your jet tub together (or your hot tub). Not everyone has one, but people who do sometimes forget to enjoy them…
- Go to a local karaoke night
Honestly, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to celebrate a relationship. If you aren’t in a romantic relationship, do some of this stuff with other friends in the same position. A single’s party for Valentine’s can kick butt if everyone is in the mood for fun. The overall point is to simply have a great time. This can be for Valentine’s Day or ANY day. Just have fun!
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day or just for fun?
Happy New Year!!!
HAHAHA!!! Just substitute that line with anything that you judge harshly and this is hilarious…
I hope everyone had a great 2013 and will have a fantastic 2014 too!
Yep, that’s me as the Elf Cow last Christmas. :-)
It seems like everyone is disappearing for the holidays, even me, so I’ll just say
I’ll return to the regular posting schedule January 2, 2014.
Okay, so my husband and I didn’t make many friends until about 3-4 years ago. That’s when we met (sort of re-met) Ivy and Isabelle. Then a year or two later, our group started growing. It’s been great to build up a support network of people who can all depend on each other. But that also means that we all like each other, so our Christmas gifts list has become a small issue for all of us.
White Elephant Gift Exchange
In an effort to keep this cheap for our group as a whole, we decided that our next potluck will have a White Elephant gift exchange. Anybody who brings a $15 or less package to the party can participate, and we’ll run it classically. First we’ll draw numbers to see what order we will go in. A person will choose a gift. Then the next person can choose to “steal” a previous gift or open a new one. If your gift is stolen, you choose again. No one gift can be stolen more than three times.
Personal Christmas Gifts
This is great for the group as a whole and will make a fun side event for our next potluck, BUT there are some people who are closer to each other than others. They will be exchanging personal gifts on their own time. Most of the group has made it clear that I am on their list. And they are on mine. So despite the excellent White Elephant idea, I still have a pretty long Christmas list. Including grandparents, close family, and close friends, there are 25-30 people…
General Gift Options
When I want to spread holiday cheer, these are my general options:
- DIY- Do something craftsy.
- Cooking – Bake little care packages.
- Gifts – Buy individual gifts.
- Activities – Do something with each of them.
This year, I am extremely lazy. Sometimes I will get the baking bug and just take care of mostly everyone, but that has not hit me. The only activity will be the potluck with the White Elephant exchange. I am also doing photo gifts for the grandparents and close family, so that’ll cover my “craftsy”. They’ll also be getting printed copies of both of my online books, with personalized messages in each one. So that’s the extent of my “DIY”.
But I’m buying something for everyone else. My husband’s list is a little shorter, but he is planning on buying stuff too. I’m generally done, and my gifts range from $8-$18 per person depending on what screamed their name. It seems my overall Christmas spending will be around $300 including the photo gifts and book printing. My husband will probably spend around $200.
Overall, we can totally afford this $500, so I’m not worrying over it all. I’ve been in a funk lately anyway, so I really just want to take some deep breaths and use the holidays to be thankful for our friends and family. I refuse to go nuts over a Christmas budget. We won’t spend ourselves broke, and that’s good enough for me.
As for the funk, I am trying to figure out if it’s because of ongoing allergies or what…I just feel “blah”. Boogers.
I just hope our more broke friends stick with something cheaper like baking. Crystal loves her some Christmas cookies…
How are your holiday gift giving plans going?
We’re hosting a Friend’s Thanksgiving today, driving to a family Thanksgiving tomorrow, and may have yet another Thanksgiving event to go to Friday. Soooo…
Happy Thanksgiving for the next few days!!!
If you are celebrating, have a blast!
If this is just a random week for you, hope it’s great!
A Thanksgiving Poem
Twas the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn’t sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned, the dark meat and white.
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door
And gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round
‘Til all of a sudden…I rose off the ground.
I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
But, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees…
“Happy Eating To All..Pass The Cranberries, Please.”
May your stuffing be tasty, your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes n’ gravy have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious.. may your pies take the prize.
MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS!