Tag Archives: seasonal

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.

No Crafts, Just Talky Talky

30 Dec

This year, I made good on 5 out of 8 of my New Year’s Resolutions, which is pretty damn good considering two of them (“write every morning for an hour” and “make a diorama”) are on there every year and I never complete them so they don’t even count. That’s baaaasically 100% victory. Note below that weight loss and not eating tacos weren’t goals; thus, my success.

2011 New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Write every day for at least an hour (2012 Me: Psssshhhh)
  • Send novel manuscript out again (2012 Me: DID IT! Rejected 5 times! New Record!)
  • Finish Thriftfulness book proposal (2012 Me: DID IT! Rejected twice, but once they took awhile so I’m operating under the assumption that they stole my idea and am preparing my “suing” papers)
  • Make a diorama (2012 Me: You spent half the year unemployed and you didn’t make a frickin’ diorama? What were you doing???)
  • Pack lunch more (2012 Me: SUCCESS! Being unemployed half the year helped)
  • Spend more time outside (2012 Me: What did 2011 Me mean by “more”? Does deck drinkin’ count?)
  • Continue to garden (2012 Me: ACCOMPLISHED! And I’ve got the pesto breath to prove it)
  • Get good sleep (2012 Me: Did I subconsciously know I was about to get laid off?)

Coming off of that kind of success, I feel like I can do anything!!! I’m going to start 2012 off with a silent bang. It will be a bang because I’m going to get a s*&% ton of stuff done. It will be silent because, get ready, I will not be using the Internet.

One of my 2012 Resolutions, beside “wear less burnt orange”, is to go “screen free” for January. That means no Facebook, no Twitter, no TV, no smartphone (I don’t have a smartphone. I like to throw myself bones). Probably, I will become so enlightened that when you check back in with me in February, I’ll have a long grey beard and wear a muumuu with metallic threaded moons and flowers on it and I’ll have decided that something I previously found essential to life is actually useless, like shoes or tacos or Cheers reruns. I might have purchased some kind of moped to drive around on and I’ll start bringing exquisite blades of grass to people who invite me to dinner instead of bottles of wine.You’ll probably be jealous. I just want to prepare you.

So I’ll be somewhere on a park bench reading Walden to the geese all through January. If you miss me you can reflect on some of my older awesome posts and look forward to all that is to come for Thriftfulness in 2012. Liiiike:

  • I’m going to make crackers.
  • More party themes including a special Valentines Day Party Ideas post.
  • My ass is going to Hawaii so look forward to some coconut shell crafts and mai-tai drunken tweets.
  • Find out how I learned how babies were made.
  • More gifts for kids!
  • A Thriftfulness Etsy shop. Could it be? Yes. It could. If your coordination skills could possibly be more off than mine (not likely), than you might not be able to make the crafts I make, so you could buy them instead. If you have more money than me (likely), you could buy them just to be nice.

If you don’t like any of those things, you don’t have to be such a drag about it. Here, I will give you two whole lines  from a book that I read this year that I really liked and think about when I think about the new year because these particular quotes are about love and being a spaz and being hopeful. I made a computer picture to illustrate:

From Binnie Kirshenbaum’s An Almost Perfect Moment:There. Now I’m leaving. Enjoy the Internet SUCKAS!!!

Love,

Annie

Merry Kiss Moose, Loner

23 Dec

Here’s a special Christmas treat! If you are a dullard, a grinch, a scrooge, or a violent felon, you may have been left off of the holiday greeting card list. Everyone’s holiday greeting card list. You sad sack of potatoes! Don’t fear! I’ve made some holiday cards for you to enjoy and use to pretend you have friends. Have a looksy!:

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Care Enough to Give the Very Cheapest: DIY Gift Tags

22 Dec

I hope by this day you’ve got all your gifts made or bought because if you have a JoAnn’s Fabrics trip to make yet, Lord help you. You don’t want to see the coupon hoarding and dented ornament grabbing that’s going on there. JoAnn would not be be pleased.

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Adventures of Robot & Bird:Holiday Ornaments Part 2

14 Dec

Turn around. Every now and then I get a little bit awesome at creating orname-eh-eh-ehnts. Turn around. Every now and then I get a little bit awesome at maaaking kickass glitter roBOTS! Turn around! Every now and then I go on k-razy binges and do nothing but make cool ornaments! TURN AROUND! Every now and I make a stuffed bird from felt and then I see the joy in my neice’s eyes!

Turn around, Santa.

EVERY NOW AND THEN I AM THE BEST!

Turn around, Martha.

EVERY NOW AND THEN I AM THE BEST!

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We’ll Hot Glue Your Bulbs, Together!: Holiday Ornaments Part 1

7 Dec

Guys, I found my hot glue gun! Annie got her gun. Maaaa ha.

I had a sneaking suspicion it was in our storage room, but to get there, I have to go outside and down creepy steps and into a musty dark room that may or may not be a huge cardboard condominium space for mice, and I just wasn’t in the mood, thankyouverymuch, to venture down there. But after some time (it was a full week) of trying to use inferior glue for my projects, I mustered up the courage and charged on over, making sure to bring a thwapping stick to ward off any potential critters. I came back with my gun PLUS a folder of old collages I made. I am excellent at making collages. But never mind that. On with the show!

The return of my old pal Glue Gun inspired me to make some awesome holiday ornaments for my fam and friends. Tree ornaments make excellent gifts for the following reasons:

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Candy Season: The Authier Family’s Tricky Treats

29 Oct

It’s FREE candy season, a celebration I still FREEly take part in, even as an adult because I cannot turn down free treats. Doesn’t matter if I’m not hungry or if I already have a bellyache from the free treats I consumed moments earlier. If there’s a bowl of Sweet Tarts or a popcorn ball or even those gross black and orange wrapped half-taffy/half-regurgitated peanut things, I’m going to eat them all because somewhere in the back of my mind there’s a 7-year-old dressed up like a cat for the third year in a row screaming, “TAKE THE CANDY! FREE CANDY! HOARD IT AND PULL OUT THE NAME-BRAND PIECES AT LUNCH TO IMPRESS PEOPLE!”

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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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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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