Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to me, Penniless Dad and Penniless Niece

Yes, we all share a birthday.
My husband turns 24 today, I turn 22, and my lovely niece by marriage turns 8 (I think).
Well, that's one frugal thing- save money on birthday parties by sharing a birthday. That is what we usually do, but this year there are other plans because of my dad's recent (as in yesterday) move to my country, so we're having a birthday bash cum welcome party today with my immediate family. My niece will be celebrating how 8 year olds enjoy best- with their friends and with grandmas visit. Sorry, Penniless Niece. Next year we'll have another combined celebration.

My husband and I aren't giving each other gifts this year. We've come to the conclusion that our money should be spent on other things. We don't have enough spare cash to be buying nice gifts, and junk gifts are not worth the few cents even. We don't need to buy something to show the other person that we love them.
I would have made a birthday gift for my husband, but I'll admit, I used up all my creativity this past holiday season when I made my husband a work apron (for gardening and tinkering) out of scraps of fabric we had in the house. Yes, its a touch feminine, but my husband doesn't mind. He's masculine enough to get away with it. (Kind of like how those macho guys can wear pink shirts, ya know?) And with a hammer and cable ties and a bunch of other stuff in it, it looks a lot more masculine.

That picture on it on the green? A picture of chickens. He appreciated that touch, especially since he'd love to live on a farm.

This year, my gift for my husband is of a completely different sort. I spend way too much time online and (ok, I'll admit it, but just grudgingly) consequently, my house can look like a tornado hit it... on average of 3 times an hour. I let a mess pile up until I get so overwhelmed by the sheer workload that I beg my husband to help me climb out of this rut.
My birthday gift to my husband is that I will (*fingers crossed*) not be turning on the computer the whole of February 18th. (This post is actually being written 11 minutes till midnight on February 17th to keep good with my word.) During this time, I will be doing productive things, like cleaning my house, preparing for my father's welcome party, and just doing general wifey things.
I also prepared him a cute little surprise for when he wakes up on his birthday. Pics on Friday, hopefully.

My mom has been very thoughtful and has arranged a lovely birthday gift for us. My husband and I (ok, its mostly me... but he plays along) like to go out on two dates a year- once for our anniversary and once for our birthday. We didn't have money for a date night this past year, so ended up having a picnic in a park when I was nine months pregnant- in August- as a really belated birthday date, slightly early wedding anniversary date (because my anniversary was one week after my due date for Spike and I knew I wouldn't be up to gallivanting around town to celebrate). This picnic was so sweet and romantic, and even though I made fancy foods, it ended up costing a fraction of what a decent restaurant would cost. Picnics are really great frugal dates.
Unfortunately, even that type of date is not so easy for us right now, as we'd need to pay for a babysitter and that is a little beyond our budget at the moment.
My lovely mom decided to treat us for our birthday for free babysitting (for both the kids) and to pay for us to go out to a nice restaurant. Thank you so much Mom, I love you!
I can't wait!

My dad has given me a great gift as well. While it was not the most expensive gift, my father has brought with him from the USA many things that I cannot buy here easily, or at least not cheaply. Among them, my father brought me a hunk of cheddar cheese, my favorite type of cheese that is hard to find and insanely outrageously overpriced here. I'm really psyched about this as well.

The world wide web also decided to give me a nice little birthday gift. I'd read about this little (ok massive!) thing called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This basically means that there are certain techniques (and usually pay SEO professionals to do this for your website) to ensure that your website becomes a little more Google friendly, to make it more likely that your website will show up on Google searches. Looking at my stats of how people ended up on my site, I found that many came through Google. I checked into it more and discovered that my website is on the first page and often one of the first few links in many Google searches. Way too cool. I've optimized my site for search engines without even realizing it and without even knowing how. This feels like a birthday gift to me from Google.
Did any of you readers find your way here through Google?

And as a last point before the clock strikes midnight-
I'm making a cake for our birthday. A vanilla cake with colored frosting. I need to stay away from food coloring now because it makes me sick, so this frosting will be colored with beet juice. Yay! I can't wait to show you a picture on Friday how it came out.

Hope you have a great day, and wish me luck in sticking to my guns and not turning on the computer for the whole of February 18th!

How do you celebrate birthdays on a tight budget?

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