On a scale of Marie Kondo to Fyre Festival, how prepared are you for Valentine's Day?
Maybe you're like me and still shaking off the glitter from this past holiday season. Sometimes it can seem like the holidays and gift-giving occasions start getting closer and closer together. It can be a lot of pressure to prepare for, when we should be focusing on enjoying the moment.
These days, the stress of having to make sure you have 25 perfectly packed, culturally-appropriate, vegan/peanut free, magic-filled treats for your kid's Valentines, AND also remembering to not only book a babysitter, but also MAKE the reservations for you and your love...oh and then of course you don’t want to leave out your bestie “Galentine”...all of it can make our minds busy, and pocket book sore.
So how can you spread the love thick, with a thin pocket book?
Focus on creating mindful gifts, while being mindful of your spending. Being thrifty is a great practice that can benefit everyone (and the environment!) in a positive way. Usually, whenever I hear someone talk about starting to budget or how to plan for expenses, I hear the old advice “give up your coffee money”.
Ummm, what? I don’t think so.
But really, if you think about it, like literally think about it, being mindful of spending and thinking about your purchasing, that coffee money is not going to make a huge impact. It’s about practicing that mindful spending everyday.
Today, I’m making 4 quick, easy, budget-friendly, handmade gifts for your Galentines. Each are under $10 and packed with handmade-gift love!
- Window Planter
“To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow.” - Audrey Hepburn
I feel so fortunate to have an amazing sister, and tonight she's coming over to watch my kids so my husband and I can have a romantic dinner out for Valentine's Day. She LOVES cooking, so for this planter I chose to do Garlic and Chives. You can easily substitute with any flowers/herbs your best Gal loves!
This time of year especially, I like to start some easy plants from kitchen scraps. They start well in the house and then I can move them to outdoor planters in the spring. I didn't get to use all of this store-bought garlic in time, so instead of throwing it out, I placed the cloves in a cup of water in the window sill for just a couple of days. (If you don’t have a couple days to spare, grab a pack of seeds or bulbs from the store!)
Separate each clove of garlic. Carefully plant your bulbs, leaving enough space in between each plant. Give them enough water so the soil is damp, and set by window until you are ready to give to you Gal-Pal.
You can decorate the planter to your liking! Wrap with a bow, add a cute herb marker, or adorn with a chalkboard sticker - and add your favorite quote!
- Coffee Scrub
You don’t want no scrubs...except this one.
First step, you’ll want to gather your supplies. Also, put on a big pot of coffee if you haven’t been saving your coffee grounds. (You’ll need about 12-15 tablespoons of grounds per jar of scrub.)
I chose Crooks and Coffee’s Fearless French Toast, because that hint of maple still lingering in the used grounds gives that rich, delicious smell anyone would be happy to wake up to. Dreamy Chocolate Donut is another favorite flavor for scrubs.
All items were purchased from my local grocery store - 4ct pack of jars $5, Coconut Oil $6, raw cane sugar $4. If you’re making all 4 jars, you’ll use 1 whole 8oz bag of coffee, $10.
That’s about $6/each for a huge container of body scrub. I love to leave mine in the kitchen, next to the sink to remove unwanted kitchen odors from my hands after cooking. It's also amazing in the shower, to help get rid of that winter dry skin!
Combine about 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 12 tablespoons of grounds. My grounds were still warm, so they melted the oil just fine for mixing. If need be, pop the open glass jar in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften the coconut oil, and continue mixing until combined.
Mixture will resemble a wet, sloppy concrete-like consistency. The next step is to let your oil + coffee ground mixture come to room temp. If you’re impatient like me, you can place in the freezer for a few minutes. If you over-do it, just leave it out again until mixable.
You want to be sure your mixture is cool enough so that the sugar will not melt when it is added. Fill remaining room in the jar with the raw cane sugar, and mix together the ingredients. Adjust the consistency to you liking by adding more or less grounds/sugar to your scrub.
Put on the lid, add a little decoration if you’d like, and present this lavish scrub to your bestie!
- Watercolor Sign (or card!)
You really can’t mess this up.
For this one, I grabbed up some heart-shaped doilies $1, a frame $1 and some Freezer Paper $4 (You can use whatever paper you would like, we use freezer paper for many painting/crafts in our house so it’s what I had on hand.) and created this fun watercolor masterpiece! To be honest, this started as a card, but they were out of the smaller doilies at the time I was at the store, so I decided to make it a BIG card/framed art piece.
Be careful to not use too much water around the area with the cut-outs, so it does not bleed under the doily stencil.
Continue around the piece until you have created the look you like, blending as you go, and remembering to “stamp” through the cut-outs.
If you do decide to frame it, I recommend using a hot iron (another reason I use Freezer Paper!) to smooth out some of the areas and corners that will wrinkle after drying. Place a light, clean towel or cheese cloth over the painting before applying the hot, dry iron.
- Printable Memories
A collection of her favorite places, or places you’ve been together.
The last gift is one that really speaks to the heart! Grab a few small frames (I got these from Ikea for $1/each) and a book with pictures or drawings of areas in your town. I purchased this book from an estate sale a while back, but your local library will have some for you as well. I like the idea of older photos of the town, maybe missing the modern-day elements but overflowing with historical charm.
I hope these ideas help you celebrate all the special Galentine’s in your life, while helping you stay mindfully thrifty, so you don’t have to “give up the coffee money”.