Adults Should Get More Free Stuff

 

One of the best things about being a kid was that you always seemed to get a free surprise-especially when it came to food. Fast food restaurants would often, if not always provide a free toy with the kids’ meal. Over the years I collected a lot of toys from McDonald’s. Too bad I didn’t keep any of them. They’re probably collectibles now and worth a lot on eBay.

I enjoyed going to the seafood restaurants Red Lobster as a kid (and still do!) because after you finished your meal, the waiter/waitress brought out a treasure chest filled with toys for you to pick out one.

Cracker Jack and kids’ cereals have toys buried in the bottom of the box. I’m pretty sure I must have dug into the box at one point, trying to get that toy.  Don’t forget the chocolate egg with the toy inside, known as the Kinder Surprise. The extra surprise is that you have to put the toy together, which is a good way for kids to use their fine motor skills. I personally was never really into building stuff, but for some reason, it was fun to put a Kinder Surprise toy together.

Do you miss the abundance of free stuff you got as a kid? Have your say over at Suburban Finance

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Here A Tip, There A Tip

Hey friends,

Check out my most recent post at SF regarding tipping:

“I myself have never been a server, but I know the importance of tipping. If I receive decent service, I’ll tip 15%. My definition of decent service is being friendly, delivering the food in a timely manner, asking if I need anything else, you know, the usual stuff. I’ve rarely received amazing service, but the odd times I have, I will tip almost 20%. Mind you, the server would have to go above and beyond what they normally do.

Everyone knows that with certain professions you are expected to tip. Some of these include restaurants, bars, hair dressers, spa services, taxi drivers and food delivery people.

I have no problem with giving them a tip because they are providing a service. Obviously the tip percentage varies, depending on the type of service. For example, I would tip a pizza delivery person way less than what I would tip my hairdresser.”

Isn’t it funny how some smaller fast food places have the tip prompt when you pay debit/credit? Why would I give an extra 10-15% if you’re only doing the bare minimum?

Do You Need An Engagment Ring to Be Engaged?

I’m not really sure if I just asked a loaded question there.

Since my younger sister got married before me, naturally friends and family have asked when my turn would be. I have scoffed at this question several times and replied, “Why would I want to spend that much money on ONE day? Everything is so overpriced when it comes to weddings.”  I have told my mom time and time again that I would prefer to have a civil wedding and possibly a reception at a small restaurant. I had even pondered the idea of eloping in Santorini.  We would be married and not have to deal with all the drama and stress that comes along with planning a wedding. Sure, my parents and sister would probably be real upset with me at first but they would have gotten over it. Eventually.

I’m not exactly sure how this happened, why this happened or what caused me to change my mind but……..

I WANT TO GET MARRIED. TRADITIONAL STYLE.

WTF?!?!? Is probably what  my close friends and my coworkers would say when I tell them. I have been repeating over and over again, it’s the same sh*t with weddings.

 

I can already picture them saying things such as “I knew it.”  “I told you so.” “Hypocrite.”

 

I think I was a closet bride all along, but have been trying so hard to be all nonchalant with it. I really HATE talking about my feelings and things such as getting married. I wanted to make it seem like I didn’t care and didn’t want to put any pressure on him. I guess the pressure just built up and then exploded.  Then we started talking about rings and things and how I didn’t need a ring. I didn’t want a ring. You don’t need a ring to be engaged. Why are guys dumb enough to spend 1-2 months salary on a ring? Engagement rings are just a gimmick pushed by DeBeers.

Check out the following video on engagement rings and how they’re considered a scam: (WARNING: contains inappropriate language and mature themes)


And yet I somehow became part of the masses in wanting a ring. Heck, I even automatically ask the bride to be to see the engagement ring.  I couldn’t get the proposal because we had already had several discussions about marriage and agreed we were going to get married, but weren’t sure when. I sort of proposed as a joke via BBM and it went something like this, “Hey want to get married on [insert 1st choice date] or [insert 2nd choice date].” Good news is he said YES!

I told my partner that I would tell people that I didn’t need a ring to get engaged. I would tell people that they were a waste of money and that the wedding bands were more meaningful. Neither of us are conventional or romantic, so I don’t need a ring.

He didn’t need to “PUT A RING ON IT”.

THEN I thought: 

Would that make him look bad? Or look like he couldn’t afford one/was too cheap/a douchebag?

Us telling people we’ve decided to get married, therefore we are engaged, yet we have nothing to show as solid proof?

Would I get sick of telling people that I don’t need or want a ring when deep down I do?

I could only joke about wear a Ring Pop or onion ring (Simpsons Reference) or Ringolo for so long

How come in this day and age, the guy doesn’t get a proposal? I’m sure he would like a nice watch or a wallet.

We have started searching for rings. I think my eyeballs grew to the size of golf balls when I saw the prices on some of these rocks. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but it seems like they’re a guy and his wallet’s worse nightmare. Silly as this may seem, but I even offered to pay for part of the ring. He flat out said NO and said he would be willing to spend several grand on it for a decent quality one.

Yikes. That’s like a down payment on a car.

I’m looking into a sapphire engagement ring for several reasons:

  • It’s my birthstone
  • My favourite colour is blue
  • It takes care of “something blue” part to wear on your wedding day
  • I could say it’s like a more budget friendly version of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring
  • Might as well try to keep some of my unconventional style by not having a diamond
  • Sapphires are considered to be rarer AND cheaper (woohoo!) than diamonds.

I suppose engagement rings are some sort of solid proof, if your word doesn’t seem enough. And I’m not going to lie, they were very pretty and I did enjoy trying them on. Guess I’m more girly than I thought. This whole process would be so much easier if I had gotten married in 1930.

And so the madness begins..sort of…

How do you feel about engagement rings? Yay or nay?

Gift Cards Can Also Be An Inconvenience

The gift card. A practical, but not so impersonal gift. It’s like saying, I want to give you cash, but I’m going to give it in the form a card, so you can spend this cash at a certain store or restaurant or mall.

 

gift card

Image Courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 “If I were to rank actual gifts, cash and gift cards, cash would be first (obviously), then gift cards and actual gifts would come dead last. The only gifts I really enjoy receiving are handmade ones.

A lot of people don’t like giving cash as gifts if they’re not relatives of the recipient or if it’s not a very special occasion such as a wedding or a baptism. Others think that giving cash is too impersonal. I would personally rather get cash because I find it offers more flexibility than a gift card.”

As much as I’m not a fan of greeting cards, it’s always fun seeing a gift card or cash inside. Read the post and then share your thoughts on whether or not you’d want to receive a gift card as a present.  Just an aside: How come they’re not called present cards?

Going Greek : Trip Highlights Part III- Athens

Welcome to the final installment of my trip. The last part of the trip was spent in Athens where we took in a couple of museums, checked out the Acropolis, made a day trip out to the sacred site of Delphi and ate a ton of souvlaki on our last night.

Although we went to Greece the end of May, I found it still quite hot. I’d say the average temperature was about 25 °C. Our tour guide in Delphi said that in July and August, the average is 38 °C. Yikes. That’s like having a fever! There were quite a few tourists, but apparently not as many during the high season. The thought of an even bigger crowd makes me claustrophobic.

Some Sites we checked out:

National Archaeological Museum – easily accessible via Metro and worth checking out. It is considered one of the world’s most important museums and has a vast collection of artifacts from Greek History.

Acropolis Museum- a smaller museum with surviving artifacts from the Acropolis. You can breeze through the museum in a couple of hours. I found I enjoyed the National Archaeological Museum more.

National Gardens- This attraction was not originally on my list. We had stumbled upon by accident on our way to the stadium of the modern Olympics. It’s free to get in and a great place to seek refuge from the blistering heat.  This place is huge and perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Acropolis- A must see. It is deemed as the most important ancient site in Western civilization and is where the Parthenon sits. I highly recommend buying the Acropolis pass, which not only gives you access to the Acropolis, but access to other sites such as the Ancient Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Library.

Monastiraki Flea Market-A shopper’s and haggler’s paradise. There are ton of stores selling tacky souvenirs as well as more authentic souvenirs such as olive oil, baklava (mmmmmm…..) and Greek leather goods.

I had originally planned to book several tours back to back to get the most out of my trip, but in the end I decided to play it more by ear. I’m glad I did because I wanted to give myself some time to relax. The heat and long days exploring the city took a lot out of me. Booking several tours also meant a lot of money. Prior to leaving, I had purchased a Lonely Planet Guidebook to Greece. All I can say is, best $30 spent. The guidebook was basically our tour guide in Santorini and Athens.  It also provided several eating options.

My biggest regret? Not getting it sooner to help me plan my trip.  It mentioned quite a few sites that I had never thought to go visit. I thought we could make a day trip out of it, but turns out, it’s best to give yourself at least a couple of days to visit Northern Greece.

Would I go back again? Definitely. I would probably skip Athens and explore more of the islands and Northern Greece.

 

Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre of Dionysus- God of Wine, Theatre and Fertility.

 

Another theatre- The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Another theatre- The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

 

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

I felt like this dog as the end of the day

I felt like this dog as the end of the day

The Ancient Site of Delphi

The Ancient Site of Delphi

Where we had our last and biggest meal

Where we had our last and biggest meal