Tag Archives: writing

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,


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:


 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.


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”).


 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.


 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.


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!!!



Thriftfulness Turns 2!!!

14 Apr

Happy birthday again blog! Thriftfulness turns two today! By this age, my blog should have a longer attention span, begin learning new words rapidly, and start hiding behind the couch when it poops.

To celebrate, I’m going to eat macaroni and cheese and apply for jobs, but as a special birthday gift for YOU, dear reader, I’m posting a little book excerpt from the would-be-a-book-if-I-could-manage-to-not-get-rejected version of Thriftfulness. Not interested? Scroll down to the bottom of the post anyway for a list of what’s to come in year 3 of the blog. Will she have a thrifty wedding? Find new treasures in the Free Box? Finally make that damn diorama? Learn to jump rope?

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Special Delivery! Book Excerpt: Thrifty Gifting

27 Feb

Eesh. What a couple of weeks it’s been. Been drivin’, baby showerin’, workin’, writin’ and doin’ just about everything else besides updating this blog. Have I made awesome crafts? Yes, but I also lost my camera charger and haven’t been able to take pictures of any of the awesomeness. Wah waaaaah.

After about a week of procrastinating or, as I’ve taken to calling it, brewin’, I decided to give my readers (AKA: Mom and Boyfriend) a preview of a chapter that I plan to put in the Thriftfulness book, should I ever talk one of those publishing folks into putting out such a thing.

So here it is, an excerpt from my word processing file, behold the rules of Thrifty Gifting (Shifty Gifting to be Revealed at a later date)!!! Hope you enjoy!

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And the card attached would say…Thank You for Letting Me Scrub the Potatos: Thanksgiving Box

21 Nov

In my family, everyone contributes something to the Thanksgiving table. Momma makes the meal and the pies but we’re all grown-ups now, so everyone else is in charge of the appetizers, side dishes, drinks, condiments, and table settings…everyone else except me.

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Man Gift Series: Jack Arnold’s Journal

9 Nov

For Man ThoughtsHalf the time I’m asked advice about gift giving (and by half I mean 1 of the 2 times I was asked advice about gift giving before I decided I was an expert on it and started a blog) the question is, What can I give to the men in my life? There just aren’t as many ideas out there for the fellas: Ties? Dress socks? BBQ equipment? And making a craft to give to a man only makes things more difficult: Bedazzled tie clip? Fuzzy knitted dress socks? Beaded BBQ tong charms?

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From the Tip of Your Tongue to at Your Fingertips: Keeping a Gift Journal

29 Sep

Scenario: It’s Grandma’s birthday again and you haven’t purchased a gift yet. Scratch that, you haven’t even thought about what to your going to give her. Scratch that, you’re not even aware that it is Grandma’s birthday because when your mom called to remind you, you wrote it down on a paper napkin from the taco place you were at and then got distracted by the guacamole and ended up leaving it on the table where the bus-boy picked it up and thought it was a note to him and, because he reads a lot of sci-fi and believes you’ve led him to some sort of code, is still trying to figure out what “gma SEP 9” means. So now you’ve got two people to get presents for (Grandma and the bus-boy because you left a crappy tip and cryptic note).

Save Grandma and yourself from the silent treatment she’s going to give you by keeping a gift journal: a little notebook or stapled pile of scrap paper or a space in the back of your dayplanner where you keep all notes gift-related.

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I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends: Back to School Notebook

15 Sep

Back to school. Funny shaped erasers from the quarter machine. New backpack smell. New magazines to make a collage for your locker. These are few of the new-schooly things.

I’m not in school anymore. I could go out and buy a new backpack anyway… but I can’t afford one because of my student loan payments. Oh well, I can live relive the memories of my days before major debt by making a Back to School Notebook for my lovely niecy-poo, who started seventh grade last week.

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Goodbye Summer Love Stationary

31 Aug

summer stationary

With just a few days of summer left on the calendar, now is the time of year when the air is thick with promises made in parked cars and on deserted beaches, in (and watch out cause I’m really showing my hickness off here) the empty beds of pickup trucks and under the glow of your parents’ motion censor porch lights. These are the promises of summer lovers and they are, sadly but most assuredly, of the empty variety.

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The Gift of…Lists

26 Apr

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:

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