Gifts for the Manliest of Men On Valentine’s Day

by Tiffany in Green Holidays

Gifts for the Manliest of Men On Valentine’s Day

I recently read an article about a new term for some men called Lumbersexual. I got a real kick out of it because it fits my husband to a tee. The definition is something along the lines of a metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based rugged-ness, and a finely trimmed beard. My husband often looks as though he just stepped out of an L.L. Bean catalog. He rocks the flannels, boots, and the beard. He is a real manly man…my Grizzly Adams, who looks a little less Grizzly and a bit more Adam Levine. I adore every manly inch of him.

I wouldn’t be caught dead giving him a stuffed teddy bear on valentine’s day though. A mushy card maybe because he loves to hear how much I love and adore him but silly v-day gifts you often see on the market…are just that, silly. If you really want to wow your Valentine this year, give him something he can really use. Here are some ideas for your manly man.

1. Food – The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Your mother was right! Prepare something special just for him or take him to a place that serves something a little different. Think…duck, rabbit, quail, pheasant, or other wild game….locally sourced of course.

2. A fun and manly experience – Check out Groupon and other local businesses for activities such as time at a gun range or archery range, a survivalism class, a hunting excursion, a camping trip, etc. This can be something you can do together or something he can do with his buddies, either way he will love it!

3. Technology – A solar cell phone charger, a subscription to Beats Audio, wireless earbuds…anything techy that shows your special guy that you also love his geeky side.

4. Games – Video games are to a gamer what chocolate is to a woman. He can’t go out and wrestle with lions or get into caveman brawls right? He is a modern man and he works out his manly aggressions online via video games. Surprise your guy with that video game he has been wanting.

5. Auto accessories – Men often take pride in their wheels. Custom-car floor mats, new parts for a more tricked out ride, there are many accessories to choose from to accessorize your honey’s wheels. If you are unsure what he wants than a gift card also works well. Often times men are hesitant to spend on themselves and this way he knows you want him to splurge on himself.

6. Books – How-to and DIY books are often a good gift. Try books about home construction, boat building, sheds and outbuildings, aquaponics, homesteading projects, and brewing beer.

7. An emergency kit – Fill a backpack with things your fellow could use when camping, or if he spends a lot of time driving. Things to add might include a heat sheet, a fire starter tool, waterproof-proof matches, a knife, first-aid kit, a wool blanket, a weather-ready LED crank radio/flash light combo and a micro tent. Think small, lightweight, protective, informative, and functional. He will be moved that you care about his safety.

8. Beer – If your Valentine is a beer geek, give him an assortment of gift cards for local breweries. That way you both gets regular nights out and he gets to try all sorts of new, local beers.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for something unique and ultra-masculine this Valentine’s Day for your own Grizzly Adams.


Proposing Without a Diamond

by Tiffany in Tidbits

Proposing Without a DiamondIt has been said that diamonds are one of the biggest marketing scams in history and I would have to agree. It is a modern tradition that men are supposed to present a woman with a diamond when they pop the question. The bigger the diamond, the more love there must be. Personally I am not sure why women have even allowed such a thing to become tradition (in this age of feminism) as it smacks of being “purchased” or bribed.

Even worse is the fact that the practice of buying a diamond was all instigated by a clever marketing campaign in the 1930s by De Beers, a diamond jeweler. A clever campaign turned into societal expectation and yet most people seem content to keep the scam going. Why??? Why have we allowed ourselves to be psychologically conditioned by companies out to take our money. As a society we have been tricked into coveting sparkling pieces of carbon and that trickery is long running, almost a century. Perhaps it is time to put an end to all the nonsense.

It isn’t just the fact that we have been duped that should get your ire up. There is also the fact that the diamond industry is pretty terrible. Diamonds are way overpriced and they lose their value after sale. The mining process is dirty, nasty, environmentally destructive, and it infringes upon the rights and lives of others. Slave labor is often used to bring diamonds to us…many times child slave labor and they are used to fund civil wars and conflicts in which many people die. The diamond trade has also be linked to arms deals and the sex slave trade. The term blood diamond does seem to be a fitting moniker and it is the last thing that should be seen as a traditional symbol of love.

The use of a diamond in an engagement is nothing but a sign that you have been brainwashed by a corrupt corporate entity. Couple that with the atrocities that occur in order to bring diamonds to a jeweler near you, and everyone should be asking…

Why in the blue blazes are we still buying diamonds???

But it is not that cut and dry right? Well, I think it should be but awhile back I brought this topic up with some friends and some of them were not too keen on discussing why a diamond might be “wrong”. I heard comments about it being traditional (even though it’s actually not), how it is romantic, and how it may be the one and only nice jewelry piece they may own. Some also said it would be humiliating to tell others about their engagement without the rock. People would look at their hand and wonder why they were marrying a loser who couldn’t buy them a ring. It seems that many women may not be ready to let go of the diamonds.

That got me thinking what a couple might do to honor each other and the lives they want to to build together OTHER than spending money on diamonds. I like ideas that include something for both parties instead of just the woman. Guys are getting the shaft. They have to buy a shiny bauble to show their devotion for us but what do we do for them?? Show up?

I have a few ideas below…

6 months of premarital counseling – Nothing says romance like therapy right??? Okay, maybe not. It does however, make good sense. So many people today get married without any real clue who their partner is. OR they overlook things thinking “that can be changed”.  Well instead of spending money on marriage counselors after the marriage is broken, spend the money up front and really learn about your partner before you exchange vows.

A pre-scheduled vacation – Pay for a grand vacation and schedule it for your first anniversary. I think any woman with good sense would rather have the promise of two weeks at a bed and breakfast in Italy or Greece instead of a diamond ring. Plan something fantastic together and put that money to some use in creating memories.

A down payment on a home – The money that you would have spent on a diamond can be saved and set aside as a down payment on a home together or if you are ready you can use it immediately for that purpose.

A round the world airfare ticket for two – This is another spin on the vacation idea. If the two of you love to travel you can’t go wrong here.

A big ticket item – A big something that both of you would enjoy and use…a used car, a piano, a four poster bed, new furniture, etc.

A year of date nights – Either get creative and pre-plan/pre-pay or simply set the money aside for this purpose. For a year after marriage you can have a grand date night or date weekend, once a month. Check into a local B&B or hotel, get the his and hers massage package, eat at restaurant you have always wanted to try, and splurge.

An alternative ring idea – Use the money on two wedding rings that are sustainable, ethical, and affordable (skip the engagement ring). You can buy simple wedding bands that are made from recycled precious metals or you can buy used. There are also rings made of wood. I absolutely love the way they look, just take a gander at this Etsy store. Amazing!

Where do you weigh in on this? Ready to buck tradition and let love be enough or do you NEED the diamond?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

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World Changing Dreamers (IF WE Challenge)

by Tiffany in Environment

Love this video. Apparently there was a world changing dreams contest called the IF WE CHALLENGE and contributions were collected globally. This video illustrates three of the dreams collected…one from India, one from the US, and one from Canada.

The third one was a bit out there…kinda made me think of Wall-e. The first two though, I was wondering why in fact we don’t already have something like this in place. Great ideas. What do you think?

IF WE can ask the right questions, we can change the world.


Do You Follow The Frog?

by Tiffany in Environment

Today kicks off Follow the Frog Week. What exactly is that you ask? Well, basically this initiative comes to us from the Rainforest Alliance and it is a week-long campaign that encourages individuals and businesses to celebrate sustainability by taking even one small step toward a greener lifestyle. There is actually a little green frog on numerous products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, flowers, paper and wood products that signify these are better choices for the planet.

Have you seen the frog? Is he hoppin at your home?

follow the frog week sm

Why should we care?? Just because you don’t see the consequences of your actions, doesn’t mean there aren’t any. In fact, we’re losing forests at a rate of 32 million acres per year — that’s equivalent to one football field every 78 seconds. Helping to protect forests and support communities worldwide can be as simple as looking for the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal and the Rainforest Alliance Verified™ mark.

I love this video that was just released illustrating what happens when dad does the grocery shopping and doesn’t Follow the Frog. Every purchase has an impact and if we actually saw the consequences in our own neck of the woods we might be just a little more vigilant. What do you think?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

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Homemaking eBook Bundle and Printables

by Tiffany in Book Reviews


The bundle of the week for this week is all about homemaking. This is actually one of my favorite topics and not because I just love homemaking that much (because I don’t) but because it is one of those parts of life that are a given. I need to take care of my home and the more mundane aspects of family care and doing everything as efficiently as I can just means more time carved out for the stuff I do love. I am all for tips, advice, and printables that help me keep the home ship sailing smooth and make tasks like cooking, laundry, and cleaning easier and more efficient.

In this bundle you get:

Planner Perfect – Helps you become a master manager and play to your strengths and weakness to find ways to stay organized.

Plan a Fabulous Party – Step by step preparation.

10 Steps to Organized Paper – Boy do I need this one right about now. I am spending less time at home this summer and that means the mail and papers I need to act on or organize in some way are getting away from me. Looking forward to reading up on how create a system I can easily keep up with.

Homestead Simplicity – How to cook from scratch, use homemade cleaners, and use more homesteading skills without sacrificing family time or sanity.

Life Your Way Printable Packs – Over 300 home management printables, cheat sheets, holiday planners and more, plus free monthly updates with new printables. Some great stuff here!