Gift idea: A year full of goals

Oh, what a challenge it is to buy a gift for my husband. He buys himself whatever he needs pretty much as soon as he decides he needs it. He’s a really hard guy to shop for: he doesn’t wear ties, his alcohol selection is limited, he has all the outdoor gear and tools he needs, and he’s not into sports or golf or any of the typical “guy gift” things. What he needs most – and what we need – is more time together.

One of my friends shared a neat idea. The gift giver had planned out 12 dates for the year and put each one in an envelope. Cool, huh. (I saw a bunch of variations on this theme on ye olde Pinterest, like this one.)

On December 24 at 10 p.m., I decided to tweak the idea a bit. I printed out an 8×10 family photo and stuck it in a dollar store frame I had stashed away from a failed previous project.



Then I took my trusty square punch (see my “Display holiday cards year round” post for another excessive abuse of my ever-faithful square punch) and grabbed three pieces of coordinating scrapbook paper. I punched out a bunch of 1 1/2″ squares – enough to cover the photo with some extra squares in case of errors.

I then affixed a scrapbook adhesive square to the back of each tile of scrapbook paper, and then affixed each square to the outside of the glass photo frame. I decided to do a pattern, but I bet it would look neat randomly placed too.

Once all the paper tiles were placed, I added on my goals for the year using a couple green pens to keep the monochromatic look – it’s legible up close, but from a distance it doesn’t look like a to-do list. I started with 12 date night squares. I’d like to aim for one date night each month. Then I chose some fun family outings that I’ve been wanting to do, like visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum. I then added some projects that have been lingering and are mostly on my shoulders to complete, such as the finish kids’ bathroom, get new lights for the kitchen, and create a family “control center” in our hallway.


The idea is that as each item is completed, we will remove the square to reveal a little more of the photo underneath. (Unless hubby is reading the blog, he doesn’t know what it is.) I intend to display the goals in a prominent area of our entry so that I’ll see it every day and be subtly reminded that I’ve chosen to focus on these items this year as a gift to my husband and our family. Since I’m all about to-do lists, I think this will be effective for us, and I’m really looking forward to removing my first “date night” square in a couple weeks.2014-goalsgift-02

The project only cost a few dollars (to make, anyway), only took about 15 minutes to throw together, and was a big hit with the hubby. Please let me know if you try it!