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The Giving Calendar

The Giving Calendar

Looking for a unique and personalized gift every Mother on the planet would appreciate? Give her the gift of time. Sound cheesy? Well, with this personalized approach it is easy for you to get it just right for the special Mom’s in your life. Whether your Mom is sappy & sentimental, humorous & witty, or all of that plus everything in between, The Giving Calendar will definitely be her favorite gift of all time. And the best part, it fits into every budget!

Warning, this may become so popular that people request traditions or ask you to teach them more often!  In my family we call it THE calendar and it started one year when I was finishing my Masters Degree and had an extremely tight budget.  I knew in about 6 months that should change, as I’d already landed a better paying job and would be able to dedicate the hours I put into school back in to work.  Being from a family full of crafty women, I am all for homemade gifts.  However, my time was tight and I have a whole folder of Pinterest fails so I didn’t want to end up rushing out for a last minute gift, on top of the cost of the glue and glitter used to create homemade.  So, THE calendar was born.

It is simply a promise, written on paper, for spending time together.  It takes the guess work out of what to do and creates excitement to last all year!

So, go buy, or make, a calendar and keep reading to spark ideas about what unique twist your schedule will take!

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Spa Day

If your budget is larger, go ahead and schedule a day.  Most spas have group packages.  From scalp massage and facials to manicures and pedicures, everyone loves to be pampered.  For a smaller budget, if you don’t have product around  your home to use, there are a multitude or do-it-yourself sugar scrubs, coconut oils skin masks, avacoda hair treatments and you name it available with a quick google search.  Many fruits, veggies and oils are multi-purpose and can be transformed into spa worthy potions.  You can ask people to bring their own favorite supplies or provide a special pair of slippers for each guest.  Diffuse some soothing oils, provide mimosas or fruit infused water, some healthy snacks and you have yourself a spa.

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    TV Series Night

    Plan to rent or DVR a favorite series and watch it as a group.  Sometimes gift giving can feel high pressure, but instead of the theme being stress let it be something simple that everyone wants to do anyway, then plan to do it together!

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      Baking Event

      Many culinary classes are offered at colleges, wineries or local restaurants.  Check out living social or group on for deals near you or if baking is something you like, share your talent and recipes with others.  If you have a larger group you could set up a bake-off.  Kids love the chance to judge the adults in their life, so if you have kids, get them involved by letting them judge the dishes on taste and presentation.  Make score cards and tally the results to award the best baker (or team).  This could be the theme of the whole calendar, giving people a fun motivation, as they research new ideas prior to the scheduled rematch!  Award a ‘golden’ spatula to the winning team, to be passed around as the winner changes hands.  If this is a popular pick for your family, you could mix it up by letting opposing teams pick the ingredients the other teams have to work with.  Every dish may not come out perfect, but the time spent together will be priceless

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        Stokpic Ed Gregory

        Pallet Project

        Pallets are free, or close to, from many businesses.  There are thousands of ideas out there on-line about how to re-purpose your pallets into everything from wall art to bed frames to outdoor pathways.  There are chic to rustic ways to express your personality with pallets!  Grab the person with the most power tools and reuse old paint laying around, or buy sample can for $2.50 from Home Depot, and you are set to have a creative day together

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          Local Event

          You can find tons of local events your friends/family may not have heard or thought of.  Sometimes it seems as if everyone knows what’s going on, or that you have no new and unique ideas, but remember we all can’t be everywhere.  And having the idea is way different than actually taking the time to plan it out.  Whatever comes up in your day-to-day travels that draws your eye and provokes your interest is a good bet for sharing with those close to you.  Local home and garden tours, plant exchanges, open mic nights at local coffee houses, apple picking, community concerts, local author book readings, are typically low and no costs options offered by many communities.  If you have a friend or family who would want to participate, sign up your group and try a new way to put yourself out there!

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            Not So Local Event

            Painting parties, glass blowing classes, wine tastings and mystery dinners are just a few of the events that are typically offered near you and you can locate by checking out sites such as group on or living social.  You can also do knock-offs of such things at home with smaller investments.  If you have any talent you have spent your time developing, those close to you will be interested to have you share it.

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              Gardening Day

              Schedule to have your group learn about your interest as an amateur farmer.  You could purchase or use recycled glass bottles to force tulip bulbs but adding bulbs (rocks if desired) and water.  Or if it is the right time of year to start some container gardens, how fun would that be to do with friends.  Use recycled items, such as popsicle sticks for marking seeds, old plastic jugs or egg cartons to start seedling and create a greenhouse effect.

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                Book Club

                You could give a book with your calendar, and plot a day when it will be completed and discussed.  Your group can come in costume of their favorite character or just come in something comfortable.  Themes always help your event feel special and unique and give guests something to plan for and show their personalities off.

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                  Whatever you choose to include in your calendar, or however many times a year you plan to meet, getting it on paper and giving the gift of time will be remembered long after the perfect gift is forgotten.  There is an event for everything and everyone, and with a little thought you will find great ways to spend time with those close to you!

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                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                  30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

                  30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

                  Summertime can be a real strain on your wallet. The sun is out, there are people to see, places to be; it’s no wonder you might be short of funds during these sunny months. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg.

                  Take some time to go through this list of 20 cheap summer activities and make some realistic goals to complete as many as you can.

                  Video Summary

                  1. Visit a strawberry festival

                  Summer is prime time for tasting strawberries. More often than not, an area that grows strawberries will have a strawberry festival. Indulge yourself in strawberry pies, jams, cakes and more!

                  2. Have a picnic

                  Take your partner or your family to the local park and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Designate each person to bring one food item of their choice to add to the fun.

                  3. Camp in your back yard

                    The summer heat can sometimes make it hard to sleep. Why not enjoy the heat outside in the yard? Pitch a tent or gaze into the night sky.

                    4. Take long walks

                    Discover something new where you live. Take the afternoon off from your chores and go for a long walk. You may be surprised by what you discover.

                    5. Break a world record

                    Breaking a world record doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You could even break one on your lunch hour. Give it a go!

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                    6. Go on a bike ride

                    The number of bike paths on roads in big cities has increased dramatically over the years. Take advantage, and enjoy the summer breeze.

                    7. Join a gym class

                      The gym is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but why not go with a friend a join a class? Spinning, yoga and step classes are always more fun with friends, and a lot of gyms allow you to pay-as-you-go.

                      8. Find a new hobby

                      The summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Serotonin (our body’s natural “happy” hormone) is produced by the sunshine and will be at a yearly high, which is great for when we want to tackle something new.

                      9. Join a sports team

                      Not all sports teams are competitive and require huge amounts of your time. Join in the fun with like-minded people, get fit, stay healthy and make some friends along the way.

                      10. Make a slip ‘n slide

                        Gather your friends, some plastic sheeting, a hose, washing up liquid if desired, and make a huge slip ‘n slide just like these guys. Granted, yours won’t be as big, but you get the idea… it’s fun!

                        11. Make a treasure hunt for your kids

                        Today’s digital world sees our children more often than not playing inside than outside. Why not create a sense of adventure by making a treasure hunt? Only rule? It has to be outside.

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                        12. Visit a free festival

                        Towns and cities are awash with free festivals, with themes from film to science. Scout your local area and discover something new.

                        13. Visit the zoo

                          Let’s face it: we love animals. While browsing news websites and social media networks you’re bound to come across a few pictures of cats. Take a trip to your local zoo for a better experience.

                          14. Take a road trip

                          Enjoy the open road with a few friends and take a road trip somewhere–anywhere. Just go out and enjoy the sunshine!

                          15. Play ultimate frisbee in the park

                            Frisbee is always great fun down the park, but why not turn it into more of a competitive sport by playing ultimate frisbee?

                            16. Make your own ice cream

                            Ice cream is a very versatile dessert. Make a sandwich, enjoy a cone, or simply just enjoy a bowl full. Better yet, making your own ice cream allows you to create any flavor you want.

                            17. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ

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                              When was the last time you invited your neighbors over? Do you even know them? Now’s your chance. Just ask each person to bring a food item so costs don’t mount up for you.

                              18. Get a summer job

                              For many students, summer is the time for relaxation and fun. But who said earning money and being productive isn’t fun? You only get out what you put into a situation.

                              19. Attend a charity event

                              Attending a charity event is a great way to raise funds and awareness for a cause, meet new people, and generally have a good time. Search for your local charity event today.

                              20. Visit a national park

                              National parks are a great way to explore nature and learn something new. You could even volunteer and make a difference in helping restore natural habitats.

                              21. Visit your local comedy club

                                Local comedy clubs are extremely underrated. They are cheap to attend and no doubt you’ll have a barrel of laughs.

                                22. Make your own hammock

                                  Hammocks are very relaxing, are perfect for summer afternoons and are surprisingly easy to make.

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                                  23. Read in your new hammock

                                  Now you have your very own hammock, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Grab your favorite book and read to your heart’s content.

                                  24. Watch a movie outside

                                  Movies are great. Relaxing outside in the evening is great. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect combination. In D.C, Maryland and Virginia this summer, for example, you can enjoy a huge number of movies outside.

                                  25. Take a hike

                                    Hikes are a great way to keep fit and see more of Mother Nature. There are countless trails available for you to explore. Why not try some this summer?

                                    26. Learn how to fly a kite

                                    As a child, you probably had a kite and haven’t touched it since. Why not dust it off and attempt to fly it? It’s tricky, but well worth the challenge.

                                    27. Work out at the park

                                    American cities are full of parks with ample space for a work out session. No doubt you’ll be happier to work out in the sun rather than a crowded gym.

                                    28. Take your dog to the beach

                                      One of the many joys of owning a dog is taking him or her for long walks during the summertime. This joy is enhanced when visiting the beach, for both you and your dog.

                                      29. Make a summer smoothie

                                      Healthy, delicious and perfect for the summer. Not only that, there are countless recipes ready for you to try.

                                      30. Attend a free yoga session at the beach

                                      No experience needed and all skill levels are welcome. Take yourself and a buddy down to the beach and try some yoga. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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