Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sending Thank-You's

I have been thinking about this post for a while, but have been hesitatant to post it. I didn’t want anyone to think it was directed towards them or like I was calling them out. PLEASE HEAR ME, I AM NOT DIRECTING THIS TOWARD ANYONE SPECIFIC, just pondering some questions. And please do not think I am asking for thank you’s or a pat on the back – FAR FROM IT – I am just interested in the consensus of folks.

What are your thoughts on Thank You’s?

I want to start off by saying I LOVE sending notes and cards. I feel like I send out mail at least once a week. I send notes for big things (like thank you’s for a wedding gift or a Christmas gift), I send notes for little things (like thank you’s for inviting us to a Super Bowl party or for allowing us to carpool with folks), I send notes for non-things (like thank you’s for just being you and who you are in my life). I know I am on the FAR end of the spectrum – sending out notes and thank you’s possibly too frequently :). So please understand that I realize not everyone (or even a very small portion) is going to be like me.

I looked up the etiquette for writing thank you’s just for the fun of it.

It’s never wrong to send a written thank-you and people always appreciate getting “thanks” in writing.
Why? Handwritten notes are warmer and more special than other forms of thank-yous. The rule of thumb is that you should send a written note any time you receive a gift (even a ‘thank you’ gift) and the giver wasn’t there to thank in person. But notes are not always necessary. If, for example, the gift is from a close friend or relative (and it’s not a wedding gift) you can email or call instead if you prefer. Below are some other note-writing guidelines:
Shower gifts.
Even though the gift giver attended the shower in your honor and you had a chance to say thanks for her gift, you should still send a written note.
Wedding gifts.
Each wedding gift should be acknowledged with a written note within three months of receipt of the gift. It’s best to write the notes as soon as possible after gifts arrive, however. Write a note even if you have thanked the giver in person.
Congratulatory gifts or cards.
Anyone who sends a present, or a card with a personally written message, should receive a note in return.
Gifts received when sick.
Thank-you notes should be written as soon as the patient feels well enough—or a friend or relative can write the notes. It’s okay to call close friends rather than write.
Condolence notes or gifts.
Everyone who has sent a personal note, flowers or a donation should get a written thank-you. A close friend or relative can write the notes on the recipient’s behalf.

Do you send thank you’s? If so, what type of occasion, in your opinion, warrants one? If you don’t send any, why not? (Please don’t think I am saying that you HAVE to, I am just wondering the thought process behind it – i.e. ‘they already know how much I appreciate them/ it’}

In the techie-world that we live in today, it is easy to send thank you’s in different forms – text message, email, Facebook post, etc. If you are in the thank-you sending camp, is this the format that you normally send your thank you’s through?  Or do you prefer another method?

Obviously we no longer live in the world where Emily Post’s etiquette guidelines are running our lives (for better or worse, you can decide), but I wonder if our manners have also gone along the wayside. Like I said, I know I probably am on one side of the spectrum, but it seems like it is more few and far between than the norm [and hey, maybe I am not doing things that warrant thank you’s]. Sometimes I wonder if we are so wrapped up in our things that we don’t look around and recognize all those that play a roll in our lives. And please hear, but I am NOT saying that you should do things for the thank you’s – in fact I believe you should do things and expect ABSOLUTELY nothing in return!

Of course people know you are grateful and appreciative, don’t they??

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dating ABCs: X

I have to be honest, I think this one was the one I was most worried about. There aren't too many activities that start with the letter X, other than X-rays or xylophone. Thankfully, near Ryan's office, there is a frozen yogurt shop called Xrtreme Frozen Yogurt, which worked perfectly for our date this week.

Saturday afternoon, before heading over to church, we went and had our date. Yup, we are our dessert before dinner!

Truthfully, there was nothing too special about this yogurt shop - and definitely nothing that made it Xtreme... But oh well, it served its purpose for us ;)

Ryan got peanut butter FroYo and topped it with goodies like Reese's cups, chocolate chips, marshmallow goo, and chocolate sauce. You know, all that "good" stuff.

I, on the other hand, love the fruity, so went with a sherbet called Mango Tango. I topped it with kiwi, blackberries, and strawberries. Scrum-didily-umptious!

And as we were enjoying our FroYo a funny pup walked by with her Easter ears on (we were next door to Unleashed, which is an offshoot of Petco). We joked about how Walt would shake the ears like he was breaking the neck of a real bunny (oops, sorry that was a little too graphic... Our dog is a badger-hound, it's just in his nature).

What would you have done for an X Date?

Just in case you have missed some of the recent Dating ABC Posts, make sure to check them out:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Painting WITH Eggs

While most people this past weekend were painting eggs, Ryan and I did something a little different. We decided that we would paint WITH eggs. No, we didn't use the eggs as our paint, but I guess you could say we used the egg shells as our paint brushes.

A few weeks ago I had seen a project on Pinterest that looked fun. While I was at the grocery store on Saturday I saw the cartons of eggs were on sale (I would assume because it was Easter weekend and most people had already started coloring their eggs so the store needed to get rid of their surplus). I knew it would be the perfect time to do the project.


See, you use empty egg shells, fill them with paint, and then throw them at a canvas. The splatter that is left is your art piece. We decided to take it a step further and put vinyl letters down, that way when we were done you could remove the letters and see the phrase on the piece.

So Saturday I "blew" the eggs - meaning I poked holes in the two ends of the egg, one a bit larger than the other, and blew the insides out of the shells. (I didn't really look at anything other than the picture on Pinterest, but if I were to do it again I would probably only puncture a hole in one end, but make it large enough to pour the insides out. Once we filled the shells with paint, some of it leaked out of the bottom hole, so only having one hole would prevent this.) After the insides were out, I rinsed the shells with cold water and let them dry for the evening.

These were the "large" holes I poked, the bottoms had a pin sized hole

On our way home from church Saturday night we stopped by Michael's to picked up some paints and the vinyl letters. (Thankfully Ryan already had a blank canvas in the garage that would work perfectly for this project.)

After some Easter events (like hiding plastic eggs for our friends' kids to find, watching the Red Wings lose, and hanging out with great people), it was time to get down to business. We decided on a phrase, "Loved", and got it on the canvas (we weren't sure how much splatter the eggs would have, so didn't want to do too long of a phrase and have it be illegible if there wasn't enough paint).

We took our tools (paint, empty egg shells, canvas, and garbage bag to contain the mess) up to a local park to let the creating commence.

A baseball backstop worked perfectly as a workstation. We filled up the eggs with the different paints we had purchased the day before and were ready to go. (PS We probably filled the eggs between a 1/4 and a 1/3 of the way with paint.)

Filling the eggs

Ryan and I each got six eggs to throw - I went first and he finished it off. We were surprised how much they splattered. It was a ton of fun and the painting turned out great as well.

Throwing of the first egg... 



He was pretty pumped to get throwing!

Love you can see some of the paint flying out of the egg on its way to the canvas!

Once we got the canvas home, we realized that there were bits of egg shell in some of the splatter so we used tweezers to pick the big chunks out. We let the paint start to dry a bit before we pealed off the vinyl stickers underneath (some of the areas had a lot of paint and we didn't want it to run into the void spots of the stickers, so gave it a little time to set before pulling them off - but not too much time so that they pulled paint off the canvas. I'd say we probably gave it about 45-60 minutes before taking the stickers off (again with the tweezers).).

We are beyond thrilled with how it turned out! For about $7 ($1.50 for the eggs, $2.50 for the paints, and $4 for the vinyl letters) we had a blast and got a cool piece of art from it.

I'd say it was an EGGCELLENT time!