Ladies and Gentlemen, get your wallets ready – Memorial Day sales are coming in hot, and we’ve got them all:
Happy (Memorial Day) shopping!
If you haven’t made any plans for Memorial Day weekend, don’t panic or suffer in defeat at home just yet. Actually, by waiting, you seem to be the adventurous kind who shuns pre-planned, scheduled packaged vacation deals, and hankers for a little more spontaneity and variety in life. Don’t confuse this with master-level procrastination or being put-off by the exorbitant fees for most popular holiday attractions (though who’d ever blame you for thinking that). Instead, as a hard-wired cultural rebel who’s turned off by cookie-cutter vacation formulas, think of it as an opportunity to enrich your well-earned three-day weekend with these unconventional, last-minutes ideas. Ready? Read away.
Theme 1: Follow wild-life migration paths or visit animal sanctuaries
Ever considered incorporating wild-life migration paths or visits to an animal sanctuary as part of your long weekend? Craft a weekend dedicated to learning about not-so-cuddly wildlife and great local conservation efforts mixed with sampling local cuisines or cultural history at some of these smaller cities. The large coastal areas up and down Monterey Bay in California are a hot bed of activity for marine life and cute ocean towns, where you can catch a swath of humpback whales, and blue whales, dolphins, and even red pelagic crabs from ashore in May.
Theme 2: Burnish locavore credentials with tours and tastings galore
Curious about how your favorite food or beverage is produced? Take a page from Portlandia’s tongue-in-cheek skit and create a weekend around discovering local food production through factory and farm tours, visiting tasting rooms, or joining cooking classes. Gain an encyclopaedic knowledge about obscure (but awesome) food facts that’ll burnish your locavore cred, and take home dreams of suddenly building a backyard chicken coup. My personal favorite is to visit local markets to sample everything down the aisle, while the most bizarre was taking a seaweed foraging class.
Theme 3: Go film-spotting to your favorite shoot locations
If you’re a self-professed culture buff who can’t stop impressing on others with your bottomless wellspring of TV and film trivia, this is a no brainer for you. Relive cult classics and recreate favorite TV and movie moments by visiting iconic filming locations around the country, and appreciate the cinematographer’s skills on how epic (or not) the actual landscape was that forever etched those scenes into your mind. Here are some places and films shot in those areas that you can plan your road trip around:
Theme 4: Get a glimpse of living history with historical reenactments and walking tours
Are there any history buffs in the house who’ve absorbed every piece of historical literature or documentary on the trials and tribulations of how the country came to be? Those who collect old maps and rusty coins with maniacal glee and find theatrical glory in American colonial and antebellum reenactments? Commemorate Memorial Day and excite your inner nerd by retracing the path of historical movements of yesteryear. Walk through historical towns, exhibits, or on battlegrounds associated with pivotal eras outside of Washington DC.
Once you decide on a theme to follow, always check on Hipmunk, HotelTonight or Airbnb for lodging options and travel deals on the cheap. Now go forth and enjoy the three days of glory – Happy Memorial Day to everyone!
Ahh May… ’tis the time of graduations, tender goodbyes and new discoveries. A time when parents can’t wait to bust out the expensive champagne, or busy to-be graduates finally realize through the heavy haze of finals that they’re at the brink of emerging from the figurative cocoon.
Jokes aside, as your favorite graduate transitions toward imminent adulthood, we’re here to give you a boost in the creativity department so your gifts don’t end up collecting dust; forgotten and feeling sad at the back of the drawer. Whether the new grad leans toward more pragmatic or adventurous, share your best wishes in their taking a big step towards full independence with some of our creative gift picks.
1. Meal Subscription Services
One thing you never learn to appreciate in full until making it out on your own is to cook for yourself. Finding time to cook a well-balanced and healthy meal is – well, let’s be honest now – never really a high priority after slogging through a long day of work, and this is without exception for all new grads moving beyond the cozy school ecosystem. While cookbooks are classic gifts, ease your worries by gifting a meal subscription to improve their culinary welfare – these meals-in-a-box services do everything from meal planning to grocery shopping, needing only time to cook up a delicious meal. Help expand their culinary repertoire as well as appreciation for healthy eating – plus every package delivery feels like Christmas!
2. International Travel Adapters
The lure of global travel is a hard call to resist, and many new grads will choose to satisfy their wanderlust before they take the full, hard plunge into adult life. Lend your wisdom and savvy by reminding them that overseas travel is not quite the family trip you all last took to Disneyland, but to pack and prepare wisely, starting with an international travel adapter. These are super indispensable items that are often overlooked by first-time travelers, resulting in a last-ditch purchases at three times the normal price in an airport which leaves for less beer money, oops. Give the gift of better preparedness and make the new grad that much wiser as they venture out to the unknown.
TruShield Universal WorldWide International Adapter: $30 at Amazon
Apple World Travel Adapter Kit: $29
3. Digital Media Streaming Devices
Let’s be honest now – TV is so 1990s. This is the digital age, and as media content moves online, so does viewing options. Gone are the days when students raced to download illegal media and saved them onto CDs (say what?) or tuned into MTV to catch their favorite music videos. As millennials continue to consume information through multichannel sources, surprise the new grad with a TV streaming device that expands their media output options for their favorite entertainment found on the Internet. The most versatile options with the greatest bang-for-the-buck are the Google Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick, but plenty of other options are available for every need imaginable.
4. Household Tool Kits
Yes, Lifehacking and DIY projects are the new sexy. Whether it be piecing together the latest find in hipster furniture, putting up picture frames or fixing up broken things that will inevitably be found around their new digs, indulge the new grad to embrace their inner builder. A basic household toolkit is an essential possession toward responsible adulthood, and a reliable toolkit will be a gift that will last beyond its years. Protip: Rather than getting the cheapest made-in-China plastic kit filled with a plethora of tools, invest a few extra bucks for a durable set made by a reputable company like Craftsman for the best quality kit available on the market.
Whether the new grad in your life is an eternal dreamer, outdoor adventurer or backyard beer and BBQ kinda grad, who’d dare say no to a comfy hammock? Share the secrets to good rest and relaxation that can be brought along to their fun adventures in the great outdoors, strung up in the balcony accompanied by a good book, or simply used as an extra bed when guests show up at 2am. Get the new grad excited with a solid starter hammock that’s light and compact enough to take it along anywhere, but robust enough to hold up a person or two, since we can all agree that a hammock would be a pretty awesome thing that we all want to try. And what’s not to love with all the pretty colors at ENO hammocks?
ENO Doublenest Hammock: $70 at REI
6. Indoor Griddle
Move over George Foreman, because the indoor grill is versatile and totally aH-MA-zing! This is the one portable kitchen appliance that can be used at the dinner table when your new grad is entertaining guests and friends alike, who surely won’t hesitate to jump in and help with the cooking thus doubling the fun. Even when the outside weather isn’t cooperating, the new grad can showoff new cooking chops and throw virtually anything on this indoor teppan that would make Oprah so proud – BBQ, grilled fish and veggies, pancakes, you got it. Give the gift of foodie goodness with a solid electric griddle from Delonghi, which also comes with an oil tray and glass lid that makes for a splatter-free cleanup.
Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill: $57 at Amazon
7. Beauty & Body Care Subscriptions
Is your stylish grad looking to make an impression in the workplace? Or heavily in need of a grooming regimen with some TLC? Then look no further than gifting a beauty care subscription, which packs a monthly supply of beauty, body care, or grooming essentials, straight to their door. When looking like a grizzled yeti who’s emerged from slumber in sweatpants and flipflops is no longer considered acceptable, fast-track their outward transformation to adulthood by increasing their exposure and access to great products in the market, and cut down the hassle for a trip to the store. The long-popular Birchbox is out with a men’s grooming kit service, while other services pack fun products fit for any need.
Go and get these gift items, grab some tissues, and be proud of your new grad as they officially strut into adulthood!
As things go, I’m pretty good when it comes to body image. At this point in my life, I’ve pretty much figured out what to wear – and what not to wear – to make me feel good. That being said, there is nothing I hate more than shopping for swimsuits. Every time I venture to find a piece, that little voice pops out from the depths of my brain, telling me I need to either stop eating or save up for some lipo. Not a good scene.
I’m going away in a couple weeks, and the dread of bikini shopping is starting to get the best of me. This time, I’m trying something new, though: I am doing my research and figuring out the most flattering bathing suits for my body. While I’m at it, I’ll find the best ones for you, too.
What it means: smaller on top, curvy at the thighs and hips
What to look for: skirted bottom, plunging neckline
What to avoid: boy-shorts or thick bottoms
The perfect suit: Nasty Gal Alina Mix & Match Cutout
Extra options: Oprah has you covered
What it means: you’re chesty and need coverage
What to look for: underwire or molded cups, higher backs
What to avoid: ruffles or embellishments
The perfect suit: Triangl Poppy Flamingo Fling
Extra options: This Refinery29 list is EVERYTHING
What it means: smaller on top, with A or B cup
What to look for: embellished details, patterns
What to avoid: nothing. Sky’s the limit!
The perfect suit: Aerie Halter
Extra options: Look no further than Women’s Health
What it means: straight up-and-down, less curves
What to look for: cut-outs, less coverage
What to avoid: ruffles, thick straps
The perfect suit: Revolve Mott Cutout
Extra options: With a site name like She Knows, you’re safe
What it means: carry weight mostly in your middle
What to look for: gathered fabric, high waists
What to avoid: thin straps, cut-outs
The perfect suit: Magicsuit Fringed Ruched One-Piece
Extra options: Look Fabulous will DEF make you… look fabulous?
What it means: full bust, hips, thighs… curvy everywhere
What to look for: asymmetrical, retro
What to avoid: string bikinis
The perfect suit: Asos Mesh Panel Cupped Swimsuit
Extra options: Swimspot is THE spot (get it?)
*We all know Mother’s Day as the day of getting flowers and picture frames and macaroni-encrusted jewelry boxes and other assorted tchotchkes to show your love for the woman that gave birth to you. Now, don’t get me wrong, these gifts are well thought-out and sentimental the first few times we give them to Mom, but after a while they become rote gifts that somehow fulfill the “requirement” of getting Mom a token of our love on this eponymous day. I say “to hell with that”. Sorry, Mom.
I’ll concede that it is an awesome idea to have one day marked for the celebration of our mothers (don’t worry dads, we’ll be getting to you soon enough), but why do we feel the need to spend money on gifts that we think she wants? Everyone loves getting flowers, that’s obvious; but does it hold the same meaning if you know that on the second Sunday of May, every year, that flowers will be delivered to your doorstep?
Let’s stop with the charade of giving mom flowers, or other such gifts on Mother’s Day and celebrate her properly, every day (ok, maybe not every day, but some days)….
Hanging on to every word? Finish reading here.
Happy Mother’s Day!