Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The best things in life are free

Today I turn 39. Whenever I hear that age, I think of the movie To Gillian on her 39th Birthday, which I've never seen but which pops into my head frequently. Titles of books, movies, and songs that I have never personally experienced tend to stick with me if I like the way the title itself flows. When I googled that movie to see what year it came out (1996), I found out the title is actually To Gillian on her 37th Birthday. So my intro about being 19 when that came out, being 39 now like the title of the movie, and how that 20 years passed in the blink of an eye is a loud fart of a failure and I'm two years late to the Gillian birthday game.

Anyway. Good morning. Welcome to my birthday. That's what today is known as throughout the land, right? Right.

To celebrate, I thought I'd talk about what I love that doesn't cost me anything. Of course some of these require things I've already paid for or utilities, but, I mean...stop being a ruiner and let me live. While I am a huge proponent of celebrating my birthday all month and live by the treat yo'self motto in general, some of the things I love the most are free, like

Watching the sunrise on the beach

Going to the library

Talking about future travel destinations with MFD

Planning things. Anything.

Seeing my people succeed or overcome 

Being ridiculous with my friends

Organizing things. Anything.

Reading a book


Drinking coffee outside on the weekends

Sleeping in fresh, clean sheets

Having the windows open at home

Popping in to see my niece

Driving with the music loud and the sun roof open

People watching


Exploring a city or town on foot

Snapping photos

Walking in the woods with the dogs at Lori's


Looking through pre-digital photos

Freshly painted nails using my too big nail polish collection

Sitting out back in my gravity free chair

Talking to my dogs

Perusing Amazon and making wishlists

Celebrate with me! Share your favorite free things in the comments. While you're at it, leave your email in the raffle copter below. I'll donate $25 to the charity of the winner's choice and send you a surprise box of fun as well. As Peters always says, sharing is caring, you guys.

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  1. Happiest of birthdays to you! May every birthday just keep getting better and better. May your day be filled with love, laughter, puppy kisses, and cake!

  2. Happy Birthday! xoxoxo

  3. Happy Birthday!!!! :-)

  4. Happy, happy, happy birthday to you!!! I hope you have a fabulous day. I love warm hugs ;)! And sunshine days, long walks at night with my husband, cooking, playing sports and just spending time with those I love.

  5. Happy birthday girl!! Wishing you another year filled with all things in life that are wonderful!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  6. Happy Birthday to the fairest girl in all the land!! I love all the things on your list! It doesn't cost a thing to cuss like a sailor and read books all day waiting for the sun to rise/set! A few of my favorite free things would be listening to my nieces and nephews giggle. They have the best laughs in the world! Seeing a stranger smile at your random compliment. The spring sun shining down on my skin...before it becomes hot as balls. And looking at the stars at night. I could lay out on my drive way for hours and get lost in them!! One of the perks living in the middle of no where, they are so bright out here!

    I hope you have an amazing birthday!!!!!!!

  7. Hope you have an amazing birthday! You deserve to spend this day doing whatever you want! My favorite free thing is being in nature, hearing the birds chirp, the leaves rustling in the wind, and the smell of fresh air. I am always up for a good book too. Enjoy today!

  8. Happy Birthday!!! Some of my favorite free things are: fostering senior dogs, sitting on the beach, reading your blog and hanging out with my daughter.

  9. Happy, Happy Birthday my friend! Coffee on the deck, sunsets, people watching, talking with my kids, each of them one on one... love that. Hope you have a fabulous day!

  10. Happy Happy Happy Birthday!! I love your list, cursing is by far one of my favorite free things to do! :) I really hope you have an amazing day and 39th year. You deserve the best!

  11. Steph, Happy Birthday! I know we've never met in person, but I feel like I know you. I will always read your blog and love when you recant stories, share lists, and show your unfiltered, yet brilliant opinion. Happy happy birthday :)

  12. I hope your day is filled with the best things, both free and paid (because treat yo'self, naturally)! I would have to add kitty snuggles and good naps and finding people who just get me to the list. And maybe take off cooking, if we're getting specific :) Happy happy birthday and here's to the rest of the month being just as celebratory!

  13. Fun memory--I remember around your 21st, when you and Behney left the rest of us in the apartment to go the Balloon and when you came back, we were filled with all the jealousy and made you give us all the details.

    I love your list and love that cursing is on it because cursing is amazing. And books, of course. And travel planning and dogs and freshly painted nails and sunsets (I'm more of a sunset than sunrise gal). Also on my list of free things I love--that magical time of year when all the bugs are dead or hiding and I don't have to deal with their shit.

    Happy, happy birthday!!

  14. Happy Birthday! I love this! My list,
    - Dog kisses
    - Cuddles with my son
    - Laughing with my best friend
    - Quiet time
    - The sound of crickets late at night
    and finishing it off with cursing!!!

  15. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day! It's true the best things in life are free. I was just discussing that with someone this weekend. I'd rather spend good quality time with someone over going out and spending a ton of money any day!

    - Shelter dogs
    - Stores and banks that leave things for dogs, like treats and bowls of water
    - Voting
    - Decluttering. Organizing.
    - Blogging
    - The library
    - Naps
    - Snow. And the smell of snow/ice
    - Finding people who love the same weird things you do, like organizing a basement
    - Giveaways (which I can't get to load, but I'll be back!)

  17. Happy Happy Birthday! Jason is a year behind you and couldn't remember how old he was turning the other day. Hope your day (MONTH!) is full of all these lovely free things. I love a good sunset, myself <3

  18. Yep, everything dog related came to mind for me. Dog walks, dog snuggles, dog frisbee games...
    I'm all about going to a park with a book. Good reading spots & always good people watching too :)
    Happy Birthday to you lady!!! Hope you have a FANTASTIC DAY!!!!

  19. Happy Birthday, I hope you have a great day!

    My favorite free things are beach time, playdates with K and my friends with kids, and spring flowers growing at random.

  20. hahaha i laughed so much at the first paragraph. 20 years does go by fast though.

    planning travel makes me happy.. reading, cat cuddles, feet in the sand or ocean, big hugs, big smiles, uncontrolled laughter... lots of blankets always makes me happy. like when i have so many blankets loaded on me that i have trouble moving. it's a good feeling :)

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! hope it's the best one yet.

  21. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love this list. In a world where it's almost impossible to leave the house without spending money, it's nice to sit back and appreciate that truly the best things in life ARE free. Time with my friends and family (and especially my little niece) and YES- my beach are truly what make me happiest. Have the best day!

  22. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day to the fullest!
    Best free things - a hot shower - a long talk with an old friend - a sexy text from your husband in the middle of a stressful day - the changing of the leaves - a good warm thunderstorm - impromptu hugs from your 12-year old - kitchen dance parties - singing at the top of your lungs to ridiculous 80s music with all the windows down in the car - binge watching your favorite shows over and over (90210, Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights) ... i could go on forever!

  23. Oooohhhh I love Amazon wish lists! Also, I like to see how much air fare is to random places I hear about and aren't planning a trip there. Just in case I might need to know how much a flight to Bora Bora is.

    And happy birthday!! I love your yellow bike on IG!

    1. Happy birthday!!! May you have an awesome filled day!

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Hmmm, Let's see. My favorite FREE things: time with family, music, friends, prayers, my dog's kisses... I think I could have come up with more and now I need to go really concentrate on this. Oh wait, I can read your blog for FREE! Win win.

    ♪♫♪♫ Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫♪♫

    totally agree with this list. my fav free things: hugs and kisses from loved ones, library books! relaxing and enjoying the peace after a long, busy week.

  27. Wishing you a happy birthday for the second time today--that's how much I want you to have a wonderful one! I lol'ed at cursing...I've been known to partake in some free cursing from time to time for sure :) Hope your day is awesome!

  28. Happy BIRTHDAY Steph!! Hope you are having an awesome day filled with all of your favourite things!! Some of my favourite free things are hugs, sunrises, library books, hearing your favourite song on the radio, and trees :)

  29. Happy Birthday, friend! What a great post to celebrate another awesome year of life! Talking future travel plans with Jared is definitely one of my favorite things to do... it's free until you start booking things, haha!! ;)

  30. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you have an amazing day and birthday month filled with all things treat yourself! Nothing is better than discussing travel plans, and you and MFD sure know how to see the world :-D

  31. Happy Birthday! I turned 40 last year and it feels like 25 was just yesterday. Some of my favorite free things are listening to the ocean waves (I need to do this more often), snuggling with my cat and listening to his purr, reading and more reading and laughing with friends loud enough to earn annoyed stares from those around us. Hope your b-day is amazing and filled with all the things you love, free or not!

    1. Time really flies, doesn't it Tanya?

      I love your list, all good stuff!

  32. Happy birthday! I love your list of things that make you happy that don't cost money! You seriously can't beat a beautiful sunset or sunrise, especially at the beach, and I can't imagine you not being happy if a book was involved. I hope you're having an amazing day!

  33. Having spur of the moment lunch with you today while you got a Lola visit in! I love when the universe lets things fall perfectly into place like getting a $25 voucher for snapfish right when I am ready to place an order! I like to send the lights and Angels and love. Breathing, bending, lifting, walking, standing easily. I don't take any of that for granted being almost 60! Enjoy the rest of your birthday month. Love. Your. Momma.

  34. I hope you get smothered in puppy kisses. :-) Happy birthday love!! xox

  35. Happy happy birthday!! I hope today has been treating you well so far! I love this list of things. LOL @ cursing. I'm sure we all did it more than we know.

  36. Happy birthday! One of my favourite things that's free is having no plans for the day. You can just do whatever you want, whenever you want. Such luxury!

  37. Happy birthday! :-)

    I loved your introduction. Haha.

    So many of the things on your list are some of my favorites as well. I was trying to think of other free favorite things that didn't make it onto your list, and this is what I came up with:

    - Random free days (though this probably goes along with "reading a book" on your list, because my free days are usually spent with my nose in a book)
    - Rediscovering an old favorite (this could be music, a movie, a TV show, a book, an item of clothing, etc.)
    - Skype dates with long distance friends
    - Spending time with the people I love
    - Singing

  38. First, of course, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    fresh nails, good puppies and planning are all top of my list. I love that you had planning on there since I feel like I'm the only person I know who LIKES planning rather than feeling like it's an obligation!

  39. Happy 39th to you! Hope you had a wonderful day! Some things that I love that don't cost my anything include: crisp, cool autumn mornings, the sound of rain on a metal roof, the sound of spring peepers, enthusiastic greetings from my dog, cloud watching, and star gazing in a rural area.

  40. Happy birthday friend!! Here's hoping you found a gas water heater expert. And that you enjoyed another beautiful sunrise and sunset...

  41. Happy happy birthday! I hope you had a great day of celebrating you and doing things you love :)

  42. Happiest of birthday wishes to you! I hope your day was blessed and you partied like the rock star you are! Things I love that are free . . . great post, btw . . . being able to call my mom anytime to catch up or ask her opinion, having a clean kitchen, weather in the 70's on a warm, sunny day, having my dogs choose to sit with me, smelling my kids hair after they shower, warm hugs from my husband . . . wow, this list could go on and on . . . but I'll stop!

  43. Happy, happy birthday, Steph! 🎂🍷🌷 I hope this is a wonderful year for you & yours.

  44. Happy birthday! Sorry I am late!

    My favorites are reading, singing with Kyra, and confessing to my dogs. All free, all very important to my life!

  45. This is so awesome, Steph! I was too busy to be on blogland yesterday so when I saw it was your birthday on Instagram, I knew that when I did get online- it would be to read something good. You did not disappoint :) The best things in life are definitely free. And I agree with every little thing you said (though I'd probably only be able to catch the sunset at the beach vs the sunrise due to my sleeping habits... though I love the idea of a sunrise!). 39 is a milestone birthday in its own right, no doubt you will soak it up. Happy Birthday!!

  46. I know I'm late, but Happy Birthday! Laughter and making others smile is one of the best free things in life in my opinion. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  47. Hope your day was FABULOUS! I'm totally with you on being a lover of planning vacations and discussing where I'd like to go. I spend entirely too much time on various travel sites during the day.

  48. Hope you had an amazing birthday Steph!! :)

  49. I love this list! Hope you had the happiest birthday. I love sunrises, cooking something that tastes good (it happens less than it should), writing on paper and playing with dogs.

  50. The best things in life really ARE free, I agree! How about sleeping on fresh sheets WITH the window open? DOUBLE WHAMMY! Glad to see talking to dogs made the cut here, too! lol


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