Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Did you forget Valentine’s Day?

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I know. It happens to the best of us sometimes. You really didn’t “forget” Valentine’s Day. You really planned on getting something amazing. And you started looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift a month ago. Couldn’t find anything. So you decided to wait and keep looking.

And now it’s the day before Valentine’s Day and you never found that perfect gift. So you’re kind of stuck. The great but not quite great enough gifts that you saw in the stores last month are all gone. And the rest of the gifts at your local store are all picked over, leaving you a choice between a cheesy gift and a corny one.

Believe me. I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there. While I’ve always had grand plans for Valentine’s Day, and think I’m planning ahead, I’ve found myself stuck in this exact position on a few occasions. Maybe you’re like me. You have some great ideas but you’re lacking in the execution department.

If that’s you, have no fear. I have some last-minute ideas that should help rescue your Valentine’s Day this year. You could start off with some love notes. Not sure what to say? No worries. Here are some suggestions.

I also put together a few suggestions for some sweet, simple gifts for Sweetest Day. You could easily adapt them for Valentine’s Day. And these items won’t be picked over because you won’t find them in the Valentine’s Day section of your local store.

I get it, though. That might not be enough. You want to do the chocolates and the flowers and the whole shebang. But you definitely don’t have time to hit the stores today and shopping on Valentine’s Day is out of the question. Fortunately, the answer is right at your fingertips.

Here are some last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts you can order right now.

Roses from flowersfast.com

FlowersFast.com offers flowers delivered the very next day! This is a great resource to have for many occasions, but it’s especially great when it’s the day before Valentine’s Day and you don’t have any flowers in hand.  This beautiful My Heart to Yours bouquet  includes between 7 and 14 roses, depending on the size you choose.

According to the page, “Same-day florist delivery is available for this item, for orders placed before Noon in the recipient’s timezone.” Just be sure to check out their delivery policy first.

Shari’s Berries Chocolate Dipped Be Still My Heart Valentines Strawberries via flowersfast.com

Chocolate dipped strawberries and Valentine’s Day go together like…well, they go together like strawberries and chocolate. Am I right?

Of course I am. That’s why Shari’s Berries are so popular this time of year. And there’s still time to order them today.

You can’t wait, though. Same day delivery is not available. But why would you want to wait, anyway? Go ahead and order these.

You’ll thank me later.

Footed PJs from PajamaMania.com

Baby, it’s still cold outside!

Footed PJs are a fun gift that will help keep her warm during the cold nights that are still bound to come our way.

Of course, if footed PJs aren’t her thing, they have plenty of other styles available.

You have to hurry, though. I think next-day shipment has to be ordered by 1 p.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I hope you have a memorable day celebrating this crazy little thing called love.

Sweetest Day is almost here!

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Sweetest Day #SweetestDay

What? You’ve never heard of Sweetest Day?

That’s OK. I’d never heard of Sweetest Day until a friend of mine from Chicago mentioned it while we were at Milligan.  I wondered.

Well…

Yeah. It is. It’s a made up holiday. Its roots have something to do with candy makers wanting to “bring happiness to those who were forgotten,” like the poor, old folks, and orphans. Since the first Sweetest Day in the early 1920s, the day has evolved into a day to spread goodness and cheer to everyone – especially your significant other, and especially if you decide to give away sweets. Because that’s what makes it sweet, right?

So, it might be true that Sweetest Day really is nothing more than a made up holiday in a thinly-veiled attempt to get us to buy more chocolate on the third Saturday of October, even though we’re already stocking up for Halloween. It’s still a good opportunity to make sure that Special Someone knows you’re thinking about him or her. Right? I mean, who doesn’t like being told that they’re on someone’s mind?

Go Big or Go Home?

You could choose to go all-out and do something like plan a romantic getaway with BedandBreakfast.com. Since Sweetest Day is always the third weekend in October, you might want to check out south central Indiana. It’s beautiful this time of year!

eCreamery $10 Off Banner AdOr there’s ice cream. There’s always ice cream. What’s sweeter than ice cream? That’s the perfect gift for Sweetest Day, do’t you think?

And what makes ice cream an even better treat for Sweetest Day? Personalized ice cream!

We like to say that there’s always room for ice cream, even if you’re full beyond full. That’s because ice cream oozes through the cracks. It’s proven.* Because science.

Of course, if you haven’t done it yet, you could always try your hand at writing a love note.

Or, there are a few other small gifts you could give for Sweetest Day. They’re simple. They’re corny. And they’re sweet. For Sweetest Day. Get it? And you can find many of these items at Dollar Tree (you can order them online with FREE In-Store Pickup. [Restrictions may apply]). So it’s a pretty good deal!

Socks

Sweetest Day gift

Who says you have to give food for Sweetest Day? You could give a pair of socks with a note attached that says something like “You knock my socks off!” They could be serious socks. They could be silly socks. It’s really up to you!

Corny? Yes. Absolutely. But wait. There’s more!

Donuts

Donut you know I love you? #SweetestDay Sweetest Day

Or you could always surprise that Special Someone with donuts (or some other type of snack cake) with a silly note like “Donut you know I love you hole lot?” Or something like that.

It’s goofy. I know. You might even call it punny. But it’s a simple way to celebrate Sweetest Day, don’t you think?

I know there are other simple, punny Sweetest Day gifts you can give. Share your ideas in the comments below!

I hope you have a fun day, sharing sweetness with your friends and family!

 

 

*No. It isn’t proven. This is just a joke. But it sounds good. Doesn’t it? That’s why we use it as an excuse to eat ice cream.

Father’s Day ideas for an Indiana fan

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In 49 states, it’s just basketball. But this is Indiana. We take basketball (and other sports) pretty seriously. And if your dad is a fan of Indiana like I am, you might be wondering what to get for him this Father’s Day.

I’m sure he’s going to love one of these suggestions.


Here are 16 Father’s Day ideas for the Indiana fan in your life:

Title Fathers Day Gift Guide - Indiana

Continue reading Father’s Day ideas for an Indiana fan

Thank you, Slingshot SEO

Yesterday was Employee Appreciation Day at my place of employment. Because I’m home with Christy while she recovers from her surgery, I missed out on the free massages, smoothies, Qdoba lunch, cupcakes, and who knows what else. It was pretty cool to reading all the tweets about it from my coworkers throughout the day. I had a nice play-by-play account of what was happening. It was almost like I was there.

Except I wasn’t.

And I was OK with that. I had something (or someone) more important to worry about.

So imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang this afternoon and I was greeted with a box addressed to me. The attached card said this:

Wish you were here to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day and we can’t wait to see you back in the office. We hope you and your family are doing well and your wife is recovering quickly.

Slingshot SEO

Pretty classy, right? I don’t mean Bruce Weber classy. I mean classy classy. In all seriousness classy. I can safely say that I’ve never had an employer send me a bucket of gourmet cookies. That was totally unexpected. And extremely appreciated.

It’s little things like this that remind me that I’m surrounded by some pretty remarkable people at Slingshot. It’s little things like this that remind me why they’ve been named one of the best places to work in Indiana. Again.

Faking it on Christmas?

Last week, a UPS carrier delivered a package. It was addressed to Christy but she wasn’t there to receive it. So I had to take the package. I knew that it was a present. I knew it was my present. So I did what some of you might think was pretty insane.

I didn’t look at it. At all.

I took the box, walked directly to our bedroom closet, and left it there. Once I walked away, I didn’t think anything else about it. I did make a mental note to let Christy know it arrived. But that was it. No peeking. No shaking of the box. No searching my wife’s web history to figure out what she had bought for me. I just ignored it.

I’m pretty sure Christy thinks I’m crazy. Maybe you think I’m crazy too. I’m OK with that. It’s not the first time I’ve been called crazy. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last, either. But there’s a reason I refuse to discover my gifts ahead of time.

Let’s turn back the clock to a time that one would think would have been much simpler, a time when the world was my oyster and I was ready to take life by the horns as I surged into adulthood. Yes. This story begins some 18 years ago when I turned 18…

My senior picture
My senior portrait. Note the Milligan t-shirt.

A month or two before my 18th birthday, my then-girlfriend and I were walking through the Mall. As we left some store that sold videos and movie memorabilia, she turned to me and said, “I know what I’m going to do for your birthday. I’m going to get your friends to chip in and we’re going to buy you that Star Wars letterbox collector’s set.”

Star Wars Trilogy: VHS Letterbox Box Set

Okay. Whatever. You’re dreaming. 

That’s what I thought. I mean…the whole idea sounded really cool. But I wasn’t holding my breath. Those suckers were pretty expensive. I didn’t really think anything of it.

Until my birthday started getting closer. All of my friends told me they were going together to buy me something. My then-girlfriend also talked about how they were combining their efforts to get me something that I’ll really love. It was so obvious to me what they were doing that I just assumed they knew I knew what they were doing – you know? After all, she’d already told me she was going to do this.

Apparently, I should not assume anything.

On the night of my birthday, my parents took all of us out to eat at Elliot’s Steakhouse. While we were there, my friends presented me with my gift. And while I was deeply appreciative of the gift, I was hardly surprised when I tore open the paper and saw the blue box with the Star Wars hologram. I thanked everyone profusely and probably said something like “This is really cool,” or something similar.

I did not, however, react like Nintendo 64 Boy (see above).

I found out later that the fact that I didn’t run around with my head about to explode really disappointed some of my friends. They expected a more surprised reaction. Mom was even a little frustrated with my stoic reaction. It’s quite clear that they didn’t get the memo that I already knew they were giving me the present. Don’t get me wrong. It was an amazing gift. We watched all three of them after the after-graduation party that year. I threatened my suitemates’ lives over that collection while I was in college. It’s just that I’m not a very good actor. I couldn’t pretend to be surprised, even if I had been smart enough to think that I should have pretended. I guess I could have reacted like Iago.

After that debacle, I resolved that it’s really better not to know what gifts I’m receiving. There’s a whole lot less pressure on everyone. They can keep it a secret. I can be genuinely excited when I receive the gift. Everyone’s happy. I think Christy thinks I’m nuts. But that’s OK. I’m kind of used to her thinking I’m nuts. After all she’s lived with me for 14+ years. So I’ll keep taking packages that are delivered from UPS/FedEx/USPS and putting them away without giving them a second thought. No one has to worry.

Because I’m pretty bad at faking anything. Especially on Christmas.

How about you?