Today is December 17th. If you celebrate Christmas you are probably running around today picking up this and that from here and there. Making sure you have all of the special things you and your family need to make the holidays just perfect. If you celebrate Hannukah or other holidays around this time of year you are probably doing the same. I have been thinking of what my Homeowner’s New Year’s Resolutions should be for this year, I was pretty general last year so it is difficult to come up with new “must do’s”.
How’d you do with 2017 Resolutions?
I can start listing excuses here about why I maybe wasn’t as “on top” of the resolutions I told YOU to follow…but really my daughter went away to college this year!!! It has been anything but an easy year! One thing I did well? I updated my one thing. This year I did my second bathroom. After much deliberation I left the tub, pulled out the cultured marble walls in the shower and replaced with subway tile, retiled the floor, got a new dual flush toilet (that is SOOO quiet I wish I had done years ago), replaced the builder standard mirror with two framed mirrors, new light fixtures, and a new cultured marble counter top with square sinks and new faucets. I also raised the showed head for my 6’2″ son. Yes, I kind of cheaped out in a few ways, but I don’t regret anything. Why cultured marble on the countertop? I wanted it to be white to match the subway tile. Why didn’t I replace the tub or the cabinets? Money. I thought it was too much for the value the update would bring to my home…can’t leave the real estate out of my choices. I can’t get a great photo because the space is so small and has no natural light….but I will keep trying.
What did I NOT do that I REALLY thought I would? Clean stuff out. Why? I have been gathering my give away pile in my garage now for a couple of YEARS. It is huge. I have tons of stuff to get rid of. I keep waffling about whether I should try to sell some of it….I have friends that sell EVERYTHING and do great with online markets. I tried to sell a firepit on Facebook. I got 4792 responses, 32 people said they would come by to buy it the next day, 2983 wanted to pay $30 instead of the $50 I was asking, and ONE person showed up and actually bought it. ONE. What a pain in the you know what. The guy that bought it was delightful, but the time I spent responding to the inquiries and making sure I was home and dressed was not worth it. But here is where I am still struggling….what do I do the bicycles? I have two very nice very expensive bicycles that have flat tires and need cleaning and tune ups. I would love to give those to foster kids or any kid that really would appreciate them, but I don’t have a truck to bring them to a shop and I don’t really want to spend the money without having a place or a kid in mind. So….I do NOTHING. Does this happen to anyone else? The paralysis of good intentions….
Less junk leads to less garage piles
Even though I haven’t been perfect with cleaning things out and getting rid of stuff, I DID consciously try to not buy as much stuff. I think retail therapy is very real thing that many of us use for a quick emotional pick up when things are difficult. When I visit my parent’s house I love the things in their home that I remember from childhood. Granted things used to last longer and were meant to last, but my mom hasn’t started replacing everything with the shiny new junk, and that makes her house my HOME still. So I just don’t go to Pier 1 , Target, Home Goods, Kirkland, and all of the other places that I love to drop money. This may have been especially easy because as I mentioned earlier, COLLEGE. In Washington state, which adds a whole new wardrobe on top of tuition and plane tickets. Did you guys know rain boots aren’t just on cartoons and in children’s books? People really wear them. I had no idea. So I saved money, and have less junk…both wins.
Less junk more EXPERIENCES this holiday season?
So instead of resolutions this year, maybe we can give our loved ones and our friends the gift of experiences instead. Now I know it is late, but I am hoping there are several of you just like me….not anywhere near done shopping yet. This way we won’t be filling landfills and future donation trucks, and instead are getting our loved one out of the house and experiencing this wonderful place we live! Here are some ideas:
Have you been lately? It is truly gorgeous. They have different shows and bring in some of the most gorgeous art work. I went with my daughter and we had the BEST day. You can buy an annual membership, or even just tickets for a day. One day ticket is $24.95 for adults, and $12.95 for youth. Or you can buy all different levels for an annual membership if you want to help support the gardens and will go more often.
If you haven’t experienced this gem, you are really missing something wonderful. I brought my kids to a show or two every year of their lives, until we transitioned to Gammage theater when they were older. Tickets range from $12-$30 and they have so many wonderful shows. This season they have Go,Dog, Go!, A Christmas Carol, and A Snowy Day and more! You can buy season ticket, flex tickets which include a tour backstage, or tickets for an individual show. My kids and I would make a day of it. The theater is located by Tempe Town Lake so we would walk around Mill Ave and have lunch and the show. Great memories of great shows we saw here.
If you haven’t experienced this gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright designed theater, you really don’t know what you are missing. Not only is it stunning architecturally, it also holds wonderful shows that could not be performed more beautifully. We saw Wicked there one year and my son got to go back stage and see how they did lots of their magic…truly a remarkable experience for all of us. I brought my kids to one show a year, we had a fancy dinner out, got dressed up, and saw whatever show they chose for the year. Try it. This year they have Hamilton, Cinderella, The King and I, Les Miserables, and so much more.
If you haven’t been here, or been here recently, you are really missing out. It isn’t just for kids, believe me. I saw the human body show, and WOW! It was crazy awesome.
I haven’t done this, but I hear so many wonderful things about it. If this sounds like fun,maybe a way to bring the romance back!! 4 flights shared by two people is $139.95
This has to be my favorite restaurant in all of Arizona. You need reservations. It is best in the perfect weather winter months. It is such an adorable place with food that is to die for. Mature trees with lights strung , it feels like you are are in your neighbor’s backyard, but way better. Try it.
Have you driven out here and experienced a little of what Arizona used to be like? Not only do you see the citrus tree fields on your way out and see how Arizona’s economy used to be about agriculture far more than it seems be these days, but you get to experience farm to table food and a gorgeous atmosphere. Kids can run around and play and they have a little shop with treasures, but remember, no junk!
So many have lived here for years but not driven to Tucson for this experience. It is fun. It is worth the trip.
My son and I did one cave about a year ago. I thought at 16 he would be bored, but I made him go. I was wrong. He loved it. It is truly amazing. a natural wonder right in our backyard. As amazing as the grand canyon in my opinion, and something you can do in the summer months without dying of heat! Be sure to buy tickets online first!! I’d suggest both caves in the same day…you have to plan this one, buy months in advance!
Get out there and experience all that living in Arizona has to offer you. I promise it will mean more for the people you give the gift of an experience to than something they will just add to all of their “stuff”. Enjoy your people, enjoy your life! If you have any other ideas please leave them in the comments!