Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking the annual bus shopping trip to one of those outlet malls. It is always a blast, but I mainly go to hang out with friends, have a decadent lunch, and not have to drive. After so many hours, you take your cache to the bus, seal it in your labeled garbage bag and go back to empty your bank account. However, this time, the bus was not where it was supposed to be. I found the bus but it was blocked in by some self-promoted rapper named Nap-Boy. Our bus driver is upset, our people are upset and I’m thinking, what is the big deal? I sent a tweet to the address on the side of the van, and then I called the number. Here is the beauty of it all, I went back inside the shopping center, took a seat with my Dipping Dots treat, and watched the people pass by. There were a ridiculous number of people wearing T-shirts with stupid sayings on them. Ironically, the rapper that was boxing in our bus, also had a stupid shirt, and he walked right up to me. He, of course, wanted to sell me one of his CD’s. I made a contribution on the condition that he moves his van.
I know I took the long way around on this one, but here’s the point. Out of thousands of people in the shopping outlet in Charlotte, I was able to find one person. Why, because he was wearing a stupid shirt; luckily his shirt matched his van.
He wasn’t the only adult wearing one of those silly shirts. As I sat there, I saw a beer bellied fella pass by in this gem.
I was really tempted to ask what his daughter looked like, to see if it was actually a concern. His daughter showed up. Sadly, Daddy, you can put the gun away. She will be home with you on prom night. I know it’s mean, but I started to chuckle.
Our next wonderful shirt was worn by a Goth kid with green hair. He was also wearing piercings in is eyebrows, his nose, his lip, his jaw, and those big tribal ear circles in his lobes. I laughed when I saw the shirt. The irony, people probably beat the crap out of him his whole life; especially looking as he did. He probably became a Goth when his parents stopped paying for his self-defense classes.
This t-shirt was worn by a young black man who was sporting this shirt in green. He also had on green shoes, a plaid green outer shirt and some green underpants. I saw the underpants because his pants were well below his butt. The young lady at his side walked along with pride that this gem wearing fashion risk was her man. Question, was she one of the wayward ho’s?
The more I sat there, the more people I saw wearing tees with sometimes inappropriate if not downright offensive imprints.
After about a half hour, I had to get up and move, because people were starting to wonder why I was laughing. I could not snap photos, but I did find most of the shirts on a website. I became more tickled as my friend joined me and she saw one that made her laugh even harder. It was a T shirt of the Ass Family and each of the family members also had on the same shirt. Who was the Smart Ass who came up with the idea to wear these out in public?
The irony of it all was wasted on the wearers. Individuals who wear these shirts are probably doing so to get noticed or get some attention. The attention you are getting is not for the funny sayings on your shirt, it is because the reader is processing the whole thought. The thought adorning your boobies, beer belly and bird chest is only the beginning.
One lady stopped and asked why we were laughing. I told her honestly, if you only knew what I was just thinking…..
This holiday season, you save yourself a few dollars by making some Christmas gifts. I know, I know who has the time? That is the wrong question. The right question is who has the money to buy that many gifts? This nice wreath is made out of Coffee filters. The total cost for this project is about $10.
There are many simple projects that you can do that can either upcycle items already in your home or those items that need to leave your home. However, before we get to upcycling, let’s get back to those talents that you have that you can use to give or make gifts. Get your mind out of the gutter, you may be good at that but you can’t give it to your Nana!
Are you good at making cakes? You can make cake pops delivered in a nice basket from the Dollar Store. Are you good at making brownies, jams, cookies? All of these items make fabulous Holiday gifts. My neighbor makes a tin of cookies for us each year. The whole cul-de-sac knows when she is baking and we sit around like children awaiting our deliveries. I have another neighbor that makes fudge. I am not a fudge eater but am always glad for a gift that someone took the time to craft for me.
There are many projects and creative ideas available to you for free if you know where to look. I receive a free magazine from Lowe’s Home Improvement called Creative Ideas. It was choked full of so many great ideas that it inspired me to write. I am hoping to inspire you to try something different this year to save money and truly live better. This month’s issue takes you through easy steps to make wonderful holiday wreaths, headboards and upcycling home items. Upcycling takes recycling to a whole new level by recovering or repurposing items you already have in your home. Take that hideous chair that your Mom sent over to your new place. You don’t want it, but you can’t hurt her feelings. Give it a coat of paint, and add some studs and viola, you have upcylced items that you were going to throw away. You have reduced your carbon footprint, reduce landfill input and given that piece of furniture a reason to feel useful again.
I think the most exciting thing about the holidays is the decorations. Each year, we look for that special ornament to add to our tree. Have you thought about making ornaments out of every day simple items or really putting the décor into decorating? I went to visit my favorite crafter’s website, Martha Stewart. I have always considered her to be the McGyver of crafting. I saw where you can take mini picture frames and turn them into cute ornaments for the mantle or the tree.
Many of the websites have free newsletters, Blogs and magazines that you can have sent right to your home. It doesn’t matter what your skillset, there is something you can do that someone else admires. You can make a box of custom greeting cards. You can lay out a few pages in a scrapbook for a family member. You can buy a set of stencils and create a personalized box for a night stand. You just have to try.
Here is your starting point. Here are some Thanksgiving place cards along with the template courtesy of Ms. Stewart.