Tag Archives: food

Ask Thriftfulness: Show Me Love

9 Feb

Q: Dear Annie, what’s a sentimental crafty little gift I can give my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day?

Smitten in the Mitten,

Jordan

A: Hiya Jordan. Ain’t love grand? You’re probably so twitterpated you can’t stop staring into Mr. Wonderful’s eyes (aka: SOUL) long enough to get out to the store and buy tokens of affection. This is a good thing for two reasons: 1. You shouldn’t drive and stare at your lover at the same time, it’s dangerous. 2. Who needs storebought crappy pap like M&Ms with pictures of your face on them (creepy) and pink bubble bath (that in the words of my sister, “will make your butt itch”) when you’ve got ME to come up with swell homespun ideas for you?

So here’s some gift advice for all you lovers out there:

1.

 A cute n’easy way to say “I love you” or “I really like you” or “You’re ok” is to personalize a children’s book that is about love or Valentine’s Day– just a short little cute one that relates to you guys as a couple. Purchase it (this step is important because you’re going to vandalize it) and then write personal notes on some of the pages. I’ve done this with several boyfriends, and only most of them ended up dumping me. And almost none of them hated the gift because it revealed them to be illiterate.

2. Another take on this is to make a  Have You Seen My Heart Valentine. Take a kid’s/coloring/sticker book (preferably one that is Valentine’s themed) and “hide” heart stickers in different places on the pages: like under a table, in a tree, etc. Throughout the book, you can write “Have you seen my heart?” “Is it inside the stove?” “Is it…” and on the last page, “Oh! YOU have my heart!”  It’s cheesy, but, c’mon, it’s Valentines Day. And it’s a great way to let someone in a new relationship know you’ve fallen for them without actually working up the nerve to tell them you’ve fallen for them.

3.

What about DIY scratch-off lottery tickets? You can make them with silver paint and dish soap (I’ve never done it but I want to) and write little love notes that your lovah can scratch off. Dollar Store Crafts has a great tutorial. Make the notes he/she/he-she reveals sweet (“You’ve won 5 million KISSES Schmoopy!”) or saucy (“I’m wearing scratch off underwear too”) or political (“Stop buying lottery tickets, it’s a ploy by the government to get you to believe in false hopes, ask Kanye”).

4.

 If you want to go more on the naughty side of Valentine’s Day, you could make a Do Not Disturb doorknob sign…You could even set your house up like a hotel and make your sweetheart leave money on the dresser. Just for kicks.

5.

 Chocolates have “been done” on Valentine’s Day, but I found a post on Nifty Thrifty Things for how to make your own Baileys, which would be delicious! Find a roaring fireplace or television that’s warm from being on so long and cuddle up with your homemade brew and your sweetheart. Sounds delightful.

Well, Jordan, I wish you and yours a lovely V-day. Let me know what you end up doing, unless it’s dirty.

Here’s a video for those of you who read the title of this post and got excited about seeing the “Show Me Love” video by Robyn and just scrolled to the end. I don’t dissappoint.

Get Gushy: Love Parties

3 Feb

Just to be clear, this post is about Valentines Day and thus, love. I’ma get gushy. You’ll find no anti-VDay, black armband, burn-all-the-relics-from-the-shrine-you-created-for-the-man-you’re-stalking suggestions here. The only thing I find more annoying then people that treat Valentines Day like a serious holiday is people that get pissy about it and spread their doom and gloom around like peanut butter on hot toast (unless you’re a teenager, then you’re excused because you have to put up with competing for how many carnations you have sent to you, an evil popularity plot, probably set into motion by that cheerleading coach from Glee).

So if it’s a pity party you’re looking for,  you’ll find more solace in the hot deli at your local grocery store. But if it’s lovey dovey-ness you crave, well you’re in the right spot! Here are some excellent Valentines Day party themes for the ol’ 14th of Feb.:

1. Past Their Prime (Time): TV Couples Costume Party

Famous movie star couples have been done so why not have shindig dedicated to the great loves of boob tube past? Have guests dress as their favorite twosomes. For example:

  • Sam and Diane from Cheers (I get dibs on that if you invite me)
  • Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years
  • Sandra and Elvin from The Cosby Show
  • Blanche from Golden Girls and every male senior citizen from Miami (group costume)
  • Charles in Charge and the sisters because you know that’s what he was in it for
  • The Nanny and Mr. Sheffield
  • Burt and Ernie

I could go on all day, but everyone has a favorite so let them decide.

Invites and Decoration: If you want to get fancy and make invitations, style them after a TV Guide. You know, like 6:30-7: Live in the Kitchen with Appetizers!; 7-7:30: So You Think You Can Drink, so on. Decoration and atmosphere can be low key. Check out some classic TV theme song CDs from the library for background music and also find a recording of canned laughter and play it every time someone makes a lame joke. Create a makeshift photo area with props and a TV screen cut out from cardboard that guests can stand behind. Constantly interrupt your guests for commercial breaks. Make sure and do product placement all around your house. For example, make little cards in your bathroom that say “Your bathroom break is sponsored by Charmin Toilet Paper and a box of matches!”.

Food and Drink: Serve “Let’s go out to the kitchen” snacks on TV trays throughout the room. Choose foods that you would eat while watching the telly: popcorn, candy, whisky straight from the bottle, etc.

Extras: Make a trophy by gluing an old thrift store remote to some sort of platform and give it to best costume or do a TV trivia quiz for a grand prize.

2. Why Must I Be A Teenager in Love?: School Dance Party

Invites and Decoration: Style this party like a 1950s dance held in the high school gym. Send invitations made out of notebook paper and folded up as a note you would pass in class. Guests can check yes or no for their RSVP. Encourage people to dress up in old fashioned prom outfits: chiffon dresses, ducktails, pockmarks. Hang tissue paper streamers and a big paper heart that guests can tape their senior pictures up to for everyone to laugh at. Play doo-wop records for the dance floor and make sure there’s lots of slow dancing. Keep the lights low. Make your old friends be chaperones.

Food and Drink: Spiked punch, obviously. Other than that you can go two ways with the menu. Either serve 1950s cookbook style items: Jell-O Molds, entrees with two kinds of meat in one dish, roll #$%@ up in ham, use fancy toothpicks. OR, theme your dishes after 1950s pop songs. For example: “And They Called it Puppy Chow”, “Johnny Angel-Food Cake”, “Leader of the Pack-et Taco Seasoning”. That kind of thing.

Extras: Station someone in the bathroom to hide out and offer people cigarettes or give them swirlies. Call everyone’s parents to pick them up.

3. Love Potion #9 Party

It’s possible that your guests don’t really feel like dressing up. In which case, a Love Potion #9 party is the one for you. You can go as simple as a punch bowl with a Post-It that reads “Hey guys this is love potion”, or really get into it and throw a Mad Scientist /Gypsy blowout.

Invites and Decoration: Just call your friends and invite them. Haven’t I thought of enough ideas for you? Decorate your home like a bordello: scarves draped over stuff, lots of lamps, incense burning, and some sort of glass globe (magic ball) or tarot cards strewn about. Designate someone Madame Ruth (you know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth?) to pass out random future readings to people. Definitely designate a makeout room with trippy music playing in case your guests start “kissin’ everything in sight”.

Food and Drink: This seems to me mostly a drinking party. Mix up several different punches of all different colors (use food dye to make them really distinct). If you want to stay true to the song, mix one punch up “right here in the sink”. Place cards in front of each punch that says what type of “potion” it is: Love Potion, Unrequited Love Elixir, Stalker’s Brew, Tonic for Commitment-phobes. Include little snacks to soak up somma that potion so no one get’s pulled over by “a cop down at Thirty Fourth and Vine” on the way home.

Extras: Do NOT actually drug people.

That’s all for now! I won’t invite myself if you throw one of these, but I will hold it against you forever if you don’t let me come.

Harvest This!: Five Fall Party Themes

22 Oct

Great reasons to have a Fall House Party at your place:

  • To convince people you’re not anti-social…without having to go outside.
  • Pass off your sub-par cleaning skills as Halloween decoration (Keep the cobwebs. Clean your toilet.)
  • Good way to get the person you’re stalking to come over and check out that new shrine you’ve been working on.
  • Built-in group to pitch your new pyramid scheme to.
  • Because I have some great fall party themes and I’m going to tell you about them right nnnnnnnnn…

Now.

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That’s MRS. Procrastinator to you.

27 Sep

I have some really good excuses for not posting to this blog, mkay. Here’s some things I did:

1. Got married. To a looker.

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How to Pack a Perfect Picnic

19 May

Picnic-ing is one of my favorite things and an event I think everyone should have on their spring and summer to-do list. Whether it’s a romantic plan with your lovah,  an impromptu lunch break with your girlfriends, or you just made sandwiches for your messy kids and don’t want them to spill mustard on the carpet, a picnic is a great idea. It’s getting outside, it’s putting down your iPhone, it’s enjoying food without any distractions so you actually taste the food. It’s a picking blades of grass, having someone braid your hair, staring at the sky, deep conversation kind of time. And you should do it. You should go have a picnic right now.

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Back to the November: Thanksgiving Recap

9 Dec

I know it’s jeeeeest about getting to panic time for the holiday season, at least for us craftsters who planned on hand-whittling the  state birds for each second cousin this year. But if you could all take a moment to think back in time, to those days before you swore off the shopping mall after getting in a fist fight with your sister over Tickle Me Mickey or whatever that thing is; before you stopped speaking with your in-laws over holiday schedule disputes; before you got too drunk at the office Winter Festival party and embarassed yourself again. Way back to a day called Thanksgiving. Ah, weren’t things easier then?

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You Wanna Be My Second?: Trusty Food Substitutions

9 Oct

Danny Zuko was Kenickie’s backup driver at Thunder Road and won. John Kimble was the sub in Kindergarten Cop and look how much ass he kicked. And Sister Mary Clarence showed us that you don’t even have to be a real nun to fill Lauryn Hill with the light of day (check the rhyyyyyme!) in Sister Act II. Substitutes are doin’ it for themselves.

In my opinion, the same goes for food substitutions. Many times, my tastebuds are bigger than my wallet and I find that the recipes I clipped from various cookbooks and television shows don’t really fit my budget. Or I’d have to buy an ingredient that I’ll only use 2 tablespoons of and then have to waste the rest because I won’t bother to find another recipe to use it in. Or I’m super hungry and I don’t want to run to the store to get one little old ingredient. Broke. Careless. Impatient. What’s new?

It’s at this moment that my eyes light up…because I’ve opened the fridge…and found a round of substitutes that I can recruit to round out my meal/dessert. Bring in the alternates!, I holler. Boyfriend and possibly the neighbors downstairs shake their heads. She’s at it again.

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Paper Bag Writer: TV Lunches

16 Sep

When I was wee, I usually spent my early autumn evenings getting kicked out of the various rooms in my home for various annoying-little-sister atrocities like singing, whining, “I’m telling”, etc. I’d be exiled from both bedrooms where my three older sisters were practicing their marching band instruments, talking on the phone, or dying each other’s hair. Banned from the back porch where my brother constructed intricate Lego metropolises. And shooed out of the dining room so that my father could pay bills without being serenaded with a Patti LaBelle medley or a scene from Gypsy (because it’s weird to have your daughter sing to you in the voice of a vaudeville stripper).

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I Still Know What You Made This Summer: Dandelion Wine Part 2

6 Jul

Ann-ie. Back again. Check  it to wreck it. Let’s begin.

When we last left our tub of hissing raisins and yeast it was just one more smelly bucket sittin’ on a table. But this was The Little Bucket That Could. Ferment, that is. And ferment it did. Leaving me and my beau with some engorged raisins, some muck, and, hopefully, some booze.

Here’s what we did in the second stage of Wine’n, not to be confused with regular Whinin’, which is what we did after we read that we couldn’t drink it for six months.

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I Wasn’t in Rehab: What I’ve Been Doing

22 Jun

Ok, I’ve been gone awhile. Just for your peace of mind, I wasn’t hospitalized or taken in on suspicious drug charges. I moved. Actually, I moved twice. And switched jobs, and had panic attacks, and made $200 from a garage sale!, and painted…and painted…and painted the new place. But no excuses here. I know I haven’t written, I haven’t called, but I promise I’ve been thinking about you. So grab a cup of whatever it is you’re drinking these days and let’s have a one-sided convo about just what I’ve been up to these past weeks.

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