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.
Angie from Detroit wrote in with this little quandry:
Q: Dear Thriftfulness,
I am a crafty, thrifty, saves everything chica like yourself and like to give handmade gifts. But my boyfriend is a total minimalist. He doesn’t like accumulating “stuff” and pretty much considers everything but the clothes on his back and his iPhone clutter. The only thing he really collects is gadgets, but I can’t afford any of the stuff he likes. Boys have such expensive taste! Now his birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to get him. Help!
Dumbfounded in Detroit
Planes, trains, and automobiles. Hotels, fold-out couches, and old childhood bedrooms. The packing. The traffic. The forgetting of really really important things. And the preparation for questions about just what exactly it is you’re doing with your life. Home is where the heart is but getting back there is a pain in the ass. Did I just make that up? Well, color me Dorothy Parker!
Anyone who finds themselves muttering, “Six bucks and my right nut says we’re not landing in Chicago” or “We’d have more luck playing pick-up sticks with our butt cheeks than getting a flight out of here” knows the pain of holiday travel. That’s why this year, I’m going to make things a little easier on my loved ones far away by sending along homemade packing checklists and mixed CDs. It may not make the flight less expensive or the trucker that’s riding their ass less ass-riderly, but I’m hoping that after some stress free packing and holiday tune jamming, they’ll be a bit more jolly by the time they make it to me. I don’t put up with party poopers.
So, the CD player for my car is in the trunk which stinks because I don’t remember to put new music in and then I have to listen to same Beyonce mix or the same Dolly Parton song or the same “sad bastard” music I was in the mood to listen to last week but now find annoying.
Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, if I had someone to carry out this task for me? Wouldn’t it feel lovely to rush out of the house all flustered and tired and out of coffee and late and then to start my car and have “Rise and Shine” by the Cardigans playing? Or better yet, after work, even more tired and flustered and coffee-maxed and getting in and hearing “Obvious Child” by Paul Simon? This is what got me thinking that leaving a great song for someone to hear while they drive would be a stupendous way to show you care.
Hello Panda! Did you know it’s road trip season? June can have the weddings, graduation parties, and family reunions, July is for the open road. Whether you’re driving or flying, camping, or lounging by the hotel pool, a few days off to enjoy the summer sunshine does our aching, still-half- numb-from-the-six-month-Midwest-winter bodies good. I just got back from a wonderful one myself and will be dedicating the next few posts to travel gifts and goodies.
Raise your hand if you’re in a wedding this summer…there are a lot of you aren’t there? I thought so. If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you’ve probably got a lot of friends getting married and being asked to stand up in their wedding is an honor. But these days, with expensive bridesmaids dresses and tuxedos, multiple wedding showers, and destination bachelor/bachelorette parties in Vegas, your wallet is empty before you even glimpse at the registry.
If you can’t afford an expensive gift for the bride and groom, try to supplement by giving them something extra thoughtful to help them prepare for the big day. My favorite gift to give a bride is the To Do Before I Do notepad. Brides are off their rockers in those weeks before their big moment and often need to put all that chaos in some sort of order. This booklet is not only suuuper cute, but serves as a place she can keep all her to-do lists and is small enough to fit into her purse or wallet.
Sounds a little half-baked, I know. But there is a lot of STUFF out there. Hilarious videos, epic novels, and dirty jokes galore. Sometimes just listing them and letting someone know they exist is a gift in itself. Lists can be tailored to anyone in any situation: