What Black Friday Critics Miss

missOne Facebook friend shopped for eight hours on Black Friday. Another took three friends and filled one shopping cart a piece. I looked at photo after photo as they flooded social media. There were a lot–and I mean A LOT–of shopping hashtags and not a single #OptOutside. The Black Friday critics on Twitter weren’t shy to call this out. And now I’d like to do the same. Continue reading “What Black Friday Critics Miss”

What Black Friday Critics Miss

Pennies and Dollars: Best Money Spent

Best Money Spent Pennies and DollarsSince I started this series last month, we’ve celebrated everything from chocolate and hockey to concerts and backpacking. Today, Pennies and Dollars is here to share with us what he considers his best money spent this month year. For him, it’s not just about spending well once. It’s about stretching dollars to get the most bang for your buck.  Continue reading “Pennies and Dollars: Best Money Spent”

Pennies and Dollars: Best Money Spent

Millennial Money Chatter: Money Sense for Us

moneychatter_450x375-01You know FOMO and YOLO and adulting. You’re probably familiar with regifting. But what about degifting and frugle and debth? It turns out, that as we sort through our money, millennials are creating new language right along side of it.

Why the need for the new vocabulary? Our generation is looking at money differently. Sometimes we’re confronting new issues. Other times, we’re confronting age-old issues in new ways. And when an entire generation is faced with unprecedented money obstacles, it’s going to take some new words to sort through the numbers and the emotions behind them. Because when it comes to millennial money, some of it is good, some of it’s bad, and some even gets a little ugly. Continue reading “Millennial Money Chatter: Money Sense for Us”

Millennial Money Chatter: Money Sense for Us

Reframing the Question About Celebrations

ReframingOver the past week, there’s been a lot of celebrating going on in my world: a milestone birthday followed by Mother’s Day celebrations with my mom and again with my mother-in-law. There have been laughter and sweets, photos and games. And yes, there have even been gifts.

One thing I’ve noticed post-celebration–even more than the tightness of my pants*–is the way we, as a society, tend to talk about celebrations. What’s become especially interesting to me is the way we seem to want to measure their success. “What did you get?” If I didn’t field that question twenty different ways in the day following my thirtieth birthday, I’d be shocked. I tried to talk about the surprise party my husband threw. I tried to mention how friends from high school, college, and work all went in on the surprise. But all anyone really seemed to care about is what I unwrapped. Continue reading “Reframing the Question About Celebrations”

Reframing the Question About Celebrations

Three Overlooked Donation Options for Food Pantries

Food PantryWhen it comes to making a donation to a food pantry or a food bank, I used to think it was a no brainer. My mind mapped out a Venn diagram of sorts that considered what my dietary staples included, what I knew to be non-perishable items, and then I tried to scoop up whatever overlapped. Rice, peanut butter, canned vegetables, canned fruit, noodles, pasta sauces, soups, sugar, flour, salt, in addition to other baby and personal care items*.

Still, I realize that a big part of what food banks and food pantries do besides keep people fed is to also provide dignity. With that in mind, I’ve tried to expand my donations. If you’re looking to push your giving beyond the basics, here are a few of my favorite items to donate.  Continue reading “Three Overlooked Donation Options for Food Pantries”

Three Overlooked Donation Options for Food Pantries

To Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts

Teacher Gifts (1) To The Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts,

I spent the day before winter break writing your children thank you notes that I am fairly confident you will never see. In fact, they’ve probably already been relinquished to the deep recesses of binders next to permission slips, school calendars, and progress reports or banished to the bottoms of lockers atop moldy sandwiches, gym shirts, and library books. Some cards won’t even make it that far. Some are tossed in the trash, which I later dutifully recycle. Others are discarded underneath desks. Even if you did see my note, the letter I wrote your child is different than what I’d like to say to you.  Continue reading “To Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts”

To Families Who Gave Teachers Gifts

The Burden of Gifts

null (1)“You haven’t given me a gift. You’ve given me an obligation.” Of all the witticisms, one-liners, and pearls of wisdom that Sheldon Cooper* has uttered, that gem about gift giving is one of my favorites. He spoke those words in regards to the implied reciprocity of gifting. Granted it may be taxing to some people to determine an equally exciting gift of commensurate value to give to the gifter. For me, though, the real headache lies in determining what to do with a gift. More specifically, are we obligated to keep the gifts we receive not because they offer utility or add fulfillment to ours lives, but simply because they have been given to us by someone else?  Continue reading “The Burden of Gifts”

The Burden of Gifts