A Mother’s Day List

Guest post from Victoria of Snail Pace Transformations

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and as it gets closer and closer, the ads on TV are pushing purchases of jewelery, fine chocolates and store bought cards. And Pinterest is full of cute ideas of decorated flower pots and homemade cards.

Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate (and I have yet to receive a homemade gift from my children that I did not love) but I think that sometimes we forget it’s the simple things that make the most memorable gifts.

I don’t remember the exact Mother’s day. I don’t remember even why I picked that Mother’s day to give this gift, but I have been forever touched by it’s impact.

That year I grabbed a dollar store card, and in it, I place a simple list written on plain paper. Little did I realize how much my mother would cherish that list. Perhaps if I did, I would have chosen nicer paper. Perhaps I would have used my best handwriting, but then again, I doubt that would have changed the cord it struck in my mother’s heart.

On the list, written with the ink of a inexpensive dollar store pen, were 10 things my mom held dear.

What were those 10 things? What was that list? Why did it touch my mother’s heart so?

The title read “10 Reasons Why I am Glad You Are My Mother”.

Each point I thought about, some were simple “I love your habit of backwards dinners” some were more deep “thanks for providing the best you could for me with what you had”.

My mom and me

Never was a thank you said, never was the list even mentioned until one year when my mom knew her time on earth was coming to an end. She said, “honey, the best Mother’s day gift you ever gave me was that list. In fact, I still have it an read it often”.

Words (not things) have lasting power.

This year, why don’t you include your own list of reasons why you love your mother with your gift or card ?

Victoria writes at Snail Pace Transformations with the mission of helping moms find the time and money they need to pursue their passions while still maintaing harmony in their homes. This Mother’s day you will find her eating ice-cream before dinner in memory of her mother.

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Simple Ways to Celebrate Your Valentine on the Cheap

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So, I have a confession to make. Are you ready for this?

I’m just not a big fan of what my husband and I call “Hallmark holidays”. Sure, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, but making a big to-do for Valentine’s Day just isn’t my thing.

This isn’t because I don’t love to show my husband and family how much they mean to me. Truth be told, it’s the exact opposite: I think it’s silly to only reserve roses and hearts and love notes for one day of the year. Instead, I think we should be celebrating Valentine’s Day every day of the year because every day is a day to show love to the wonderful people in our lives.

With this in mind, instead of sharing fun and cute ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share four frugal but very meaningful ways to celebrate your Valentine — either actually on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year! If you’re not married or in a relationship, you can tweak these ideas to apply to your children, a friend, or another relative.

1. Write a Love Note

When was the last time you wrote a note to your Valentine telling them how much you appreciate, admire, and love them? It might be one of the most simplistic ideas in the book, but writing a love note can also be one of the most long-lasting and appreciated.

The note doesn’t have to be long — and it doesn’t even have to be hand written! You can send a text, type up the note, write an email, or use a dry erase marker to write on your bathroom mirror. Your method of writing it doesn’t matter as much as the fact that it comes from your heart. To make things a little more fun, consider hiding a note somewhere fun or leaving a trail of little love notes around the house.

2. Express Words of Gratitude

We all need to hear how much we are appreciated more often. Can I encourage you to be looking every day for something to thank your Valentine for?

Whether it’s that they ran an errand for you, picked up their socks, helped you with a project, or just have faithfully stood by your side through thick and thin. You never know how much a word of thanks can make someone’s day.

Want to take this a step further? Praise character that you appreciate instead of just saying thank you for actions done. Tell your Valentine how much you admire their patience, their hard work, or their amazing ability.

Don’t flatter and don’t lie, but you can come up with something to praise in just about everyone. Look for it and then let them know. It will likely mean the world to them!

3. Make a Love-Themed Meal

Celebrate your Valentine by coming up with creative Valentine-themed twists on their favorite foods. For instance, cut the strawberries in a fruit salad into hearts, shape the pepperoni on the homemade pizza into hearts (or make heart-shaped pizza), make heart-shaped pancakes or cinnamon rolls, or even Valentine’s-themed bacon.

4. Speak Their Love Language

While I don’t like to box people into specific categories, every person has a unique love language. This is the way that they feel loved most.

If you’re unfamiliar with the five love languages, they are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. In many cases, you’ll be a mix of a few of these, but you’ll almost always have one that is dominant. If you’re not sure what you love language is, you can take this quiz here (and be sure to have your Valentine take it, too!)

Once you know what someone else’s love language is, it really helps you to be able to demonstrate love to them in a manner that means the most. For instance, my dominant love language is Words of Affirmation. It means the world to me when Jesse tells me how much he appreciates me and how proud he is of me. This speaks love to me much more than buying something for me does.

Jesse’s love language is quality time. It’s very important to him that we spend time together and just be together — without me acting rushed or like I’m busy. As a Type A person who does not have the love language of quality time, it’s been a learning experience for me to figure out that just being with him is extremely meaningful to him.

So if I want to bless Jesse, I express my desire to just spend time with him with no agenda in mind. And then I follow through with it. This means more to him than any gifts or acts of service ever could mean.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate your Valentine on the cheap?

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