Dear 100 Hour Board,
I am trying to buy my way to happiness. What purchase have you made in the past year (or ever! I'll take ever) that you have been pleased with?
-my head is humming and it won't go
Dear Humming Head,
Season tickets to the musicals at the Pantages Theatre in LA. In the next 14 months, I'll see Hamilton, Aladdin, Love Never Dies, School of Rock, The Color Purple, On Your Feet, and Waitress.
I'm giddy just typing this.
Dear Bustling Hedgerow*,
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy concert tickets, which are almost the same thing. In the past year, Yayfulgirl and I have seen Dennis DeYoung (former frontman of Styx), Boston (who put on THE LITERAL MOST AMAZING CONCERT I HAVE EVER SEEN), the Doobie Brothers (holy crap I love those guys), Journey (for the second time), and, fittingly enough, a cover band called Led Zepagain in a tiny dive bar in central California.
We've got tickets to see Muse next summer. I am excited.
*The Bustling Hedgerows? Passable band name.
Dear can't buy me love,
- An encyclopedia of the animal kingdom with huge, glossy pictures
- A stuffed animal called 'Rainbow pom pom bird'
- A well-fitting sports bra
- A punny t-shirt with a cat sitting on a computer that says "I work on computers"
In the last year I've randomly been extremely pleased with some top-notch Hyperikon LED light bulbs. It's amazing how much good lighting (bright, sunny, good color reproduction, etc.) improves a room.
A kindle, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, and a reasonably good set of speakers are on the all-time best bang-for-the-buck list.
Betrayal at House on the Hill. And a T.V.
TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL! Ever since I went to China in 2014, I've set a goal to travel to 10 different countries by 2020. After this summer, I will have been to 7. I cannot recommend Scott's Cheap Flights enough. It's going to be the death of my wallet, but so worth it.
Money can't buy happiness. I know from personal experience because I keep an Amazon wishlist and almost everything that has been on it I at one point thought, "If I could buy this, then I would be happy" and I have bought several of those things and am still not happy. Although Breath of the Wild got closest.
Although, now that I think about it, maybe the problem is that I don't have enough money. I mean there are still things on my Amazon wishlist! Does anyone want to send me say... $30k? For science.
I paid a very large sum of money to get silver hair and it was probably my most satisfying purchase ever.
I can't seem to get my phone to un-rotate this ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Dear my head,
A Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Also, I just ordered Mariokart 8 and I can't wait to see my 4-year-old try racing.
Dear my ~
A plane ticket to Nicaragua was the best purchase I've made this year, by far. So much happiness! In fact, I'm hoping to repeat the happiness in January.
~ Dragon Lady
My graduate school graduation present to myself was to become a real-life grown up and get a smart phone. I wanted something that takes good pictures and got a used iPhone 6 and *eyes turn into shiny heart emojis* I love it so much.
- Rating Pending (whose wife got a starter level Android that isn't garbage, per se, but is garbage adjacent. He is secretly saving up money to buy her a better phone, not because it'll make her life better, but because it'll improve his life.)
Apparently I really like buying things. Case in point: I spent about $150 in gift cards on presents for myself to help me have something to look forward to. Spoiler alert: it helped.
Anyways. Things I've bought that I can remember that made me happy, ranging from the mundane to the expensive.
- A decent razor
- Glass art from Park City
- A grill
- Christmas decorations
- So many tabletop games
- A new phone
- A KitchenAid
- Spectre's wedding ring
- A water bottle
- A couch
- I wish I could say tickets to Hamilton
- An ottoman
- A reading chair
- A TV
- Motivational temporary tattoos
- A desk
- Tickets to Finland
- So many books
Plane tickets. So many plane tickets.
The Soulful Ginger
1. My compound miter saw. I bought it for myself at the end of an eight-month babysitting gig and I love it more than words can say.
2. A Roomba. Is there anything better than putting your feet up and eating beans while a robot vacuums your house? (I also own their gutter-cleaning robot, but it requires much more supervision than the Roomba and I use it much less frequently, so I kind of regret that one. I'm tempted to rent it out to people I know to recoup my losses.)
3. A new mattress. Sooooo worth it to not wake up sore anymore. (I went with a Purple.)
4. Our house. I'm so glad I sat down, crunched the numbers, and realized we were going to go broke if we kept renting. That was three years ago, and we've saved so much money in that time—money that I can use to buy more power tools and robots.
A decent king sized mattress. My husband and I love each other and love cuddling, but we also enjoy sleeping undisturbed by the other. Over sixty combined years of sleeping alone will do that.
Also, a cast iron grill pan.
Dear My Head Is Humming And It Won't Go,
About two years ago my husband and I embarked on an epic journey to basically flip our house. It's not a super old house (at least, around here it's not considered old at 35 years- one of my good friends has a house where the core of it was built in the early 1700's) but it was completely outdated and well-worn. We've done almost everything ourselves and while it was still on the pricier side it's made me extremely happy, especially considering it's the house I grew up in and I've loved seeing new life breathed into it. If I had to choose one area to showcase, it's definitely the kitchen. Behold:
Not pictured: my husband preparing to make savory salmon crepes with creamy dill sauce for our ten year anniversary (hence the lovely flowers).
I'm super sad I don't have a clear (i.e., sans people) shot of the kitchen before, but, trust me, it was hideous 80's-- white, stained, warped laminate everywhere (counters! Ugh!), scratched stainless steel sink, hideous orange tile backsplash and flooring, old light fixtures, outdated appliances, etc. You know, going over that list, I'm actually glad I don't have a before picture now because I'm not sure I could've handled it.
I wish my editing skills were better because I would totally pull a McMansion Hell right now and put labels and arrows all over the above picture (except of good things not horrible things). We replaced all of the appliances, installed our own wood countertops, refaced and repainted the cabinets and installed new hinges and hardware, ripped out the ugly tile backsplash and repaired and painted it, had awesome new flooring installed (pretty much the only thing we didn't do ourselves), installed a farmhouse sink with new fixtures, moved the cabinets and installed the incredibly convenient drying rack above the sink, built a corner pantry, installed spice shelving (which I still need to paint the same color as the island) along said corner pantry, installed a pot rack for (some of) our cast iron above the island, completely rebuilt the center island ourselves (with my own custom shelving- it's so perfect for my baking sheets and cooling racks now) and replaced the light fixtures (with some electrical wiring help from my stepdad).
I would also like to point out the canopy outside on our patio. In the last month we've completely redone our outside area around our pool (refinished the deck, realigned the stone patio, painted, bought all new patio furniture plus Adirondack chairs for around the fire pit). We just put the canopy up last weekend and bought an outdoor sofa for it. This was also all a bit pricey but it's made me so happy, I confess. Summer can't come soon enough.
Also, please note my baby avocado tree next to my spice jar shelving (sort of hidden behind the island chair)- it also makes me very happy.
Bonus: we also purchased a GoPro last summer- totally worth it! It's amazing and it even makes me feel like a good photographer by snapping pictures like this:
Priceless: living two miles from your mom and stepdad, whose backyard is literally a dock. From their dock it's only about a ten-minute ride via wave runner to the ocean.
-Sky Bones (who welcomes visitors to her house, but only during the summer when it's fun)
I read a great paper once about how money can buy happiness if you spend it right; they had several principles of how to spend money to maximize happiness, but all I remember is 1. experiences, not things, and 2. spend money on other people. Given how much of my leisure income I spend on travel with my husband, I think I'm doing all right. Since I'm stingy, my husband sometimes pushes me to spend more money than I'm comfortable with while traveling, and he's almost always right. Some of the purchases that always make me happy when I remember them are:
- guide and permits to hike to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda (experiences!)
- a large backpack that actually fits and comfortable boots for our many hiking trips (things, but things that facilitate experiences)
- plane and train tickets for my younger brother to join us on a trip to Vietnam (experiences! other people!)
- plane tickets for a surprise visit to my parents for Christmas (experiences! other people!)
- pretty and colorful fabric to feed my quilting habit (experiences, plus other people since I give the quilts away)
Like Maven, I picked up the Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. One of the best games I've played in a long, long time.
I honestly can't think of the last time I spent money on a present for myself. At best it was sometime last year but I couldn't tell you what it was.
~Dr. Occam who is REALLY bad at spending money on himself