Great dates that are easy on the pocket book

Top 10 Date Suggestions from our Rich Chicks

beach walkThese are great ideas for new or long-time partners to try!

1) Aerobic Chicks dig a guy that is sweet and sweats. Dating doesn’t have to be fattening. Enjoy the great outdoors, go for a walk, a bike ride, or roller blade the lakes. Pack a refreshing drink for two like ice water with lemon, and a sweet brownie. Other notables are swimming, tree climbing in pine trees (anyone can get to the top), hot tubs, billiards, bowling, air hockey, and racquetball.

2) Multiple players are fun!. Have a movie party with friends and split the cost of renting movies. You can rent the entire series of something and have a whole Sunday as a date. Two or more couples, popcorn, snacks, beverages. We found some great movies for free at the local library.  Other notables: board games, chess at a coffee shop, and city tours.

3) Nothing can compare to some mouthwatering fare! Cooking together is a great date. Chicken wings, blue cheese dressing, oil to cook them in, a stalk of celery, and the buffalo sauce is very inexpensive and it’s, oh, so easy to prepare. Watch the grocery store ads and find a main course that’s on sale. Our grocery store recently had salmon on sale. We made a great dinner for two with asparagus and dill sauce.

4) Bauble shopping?  Be fun and creative because it’s a blast, not because your pockets are empty. Thrift store, second hand stores, and estate sales are too fun!  We got a Rockstar pin for a jean jacket, silly string, and some odd trinket party junk for a buck.

5)  Although this is not technically a date, it’s still notable. Go out of your way to do quirky and nice things. Bring a single flower, or a chocolate truffle in a pretty box.  Picnic in the park, download a favorite song to his/her cell phone so they hear it every time you call, vacuum their car, or tape a hand-written note somewhere they will see it.

6) Artsy Fartsy. Cruise local museums; most have free or reduced-price days and some have film series or live entertainment at night. Attend art gallery openings; get on their mailing lists and you’ll be invited to openings, which usually feature interesting art as well as free wine and cheese. In most cities, galleries will stay open one night a month. Be an usher at a theater and get to see the show for free.

7) Smartsy Wartsy. Look out for lectures on stuff you have no idea what it is.  Panel discussions, CD releases, and political parties all have some good people watching. Church groups have loads of free stuff to do and they always have cookies.

8) Tuneful Tendencies. Put together a really cool mix that has the perfect combo for both of you. DJ at a party together; go to local community band performance and see some great horn. Universities have everything from movie revivals to music recitals. Check out the campus website for listings.

9) Technical and industrious makes for a surprisingly fun time together. Learn a new computer program together, go pretend shopping for your mansion, see how a nuclear submarine works, or go to a book store and browse the technical section. Build a kit or model of something. Buy a used appliance at the Salvation Army, take it apart, and see if you two can put it back together again and have it work.

10) Crazy funny is on the money. Laughter is so sexy and releases more endorphins than pure morphine. Get drunk with laughter, check out a local comedy club, check out every fifth grade joke book from the library and review them; the library will also have comedians on audio/video. Our Chicks also found some great old magazines that held their laughter for weeks, or have a funniest story contest and make one up.


Electric Hair

electricOkay, so I’m taking the Inspired Design Blog Challenge, which means I’m going to write 20 blog posts during the month of February. I’m already two days behind. “Write about something you are passionate about”, says Michele Bergh, organizer of this challenge and Ms Inspired Design herself. Okay then, this is a little weird, but I just have to tell, no I have a moral obligation, to tell all of you women out there who have fine, straight hair that there is help. You know what I’m talking about. Hair that, in the winter if you could find a way to capture all the electricity in your hair you would save a lot of $$$ on your utility bill. Hair that stands on end even when you aren’t scared. 

At first I thought it was my natural brain power leaking out, but no—it’s extreme cold that makes fine hair misbehave. Oh, sure, there are lots of remedies out there—believe me, I’ve tried them all only to have hair flattened by gels, cream rinses and hairspray and still have crackling static. I think my hair even interferes with my TV reception sometimes. Oh, wait I take it back. Liberal application of hairspray does help, but having hair that can withstand a 25 mph wind without disturbing even one hair isn’t what I’m looking for either.

 Okay, enough babbling. What I really, really wanted to tell you is what my extraordinary stylist, Alex (Rocco Altobelli, Edina) suggested. “Try this,” she said. “I know—leave-on conditioner sounds counterintuitive, but you might be surprised at how well it works—just use a little bit. If it doesn’t help, bring it back.”  So I bought a tube of Botanical Solutions Leave In Conditioner  by  Alto Bella. And it works. No fly-away, no pasted-down look. I can take my hat off without all my hair following it. This isn’t an ad, just the absolute joy of finding something that works on my hair! It feels good. 

smooth copySee you later! Karen  

Do You Just Love Your Cash?

 by Karen Karsten
money handsWhen you are out shopping and go to pay for your items, do you immediately pay cash or pay with a credit card? This may seem like a silly question, but there is psychological evidence that suggests many individuals become emotionally attached to their cash. One study has even shown that just touching money relieves pain. and feelings of social alienation. Interesting, right?
   According to Live Science, “A four-part study found what many financial planners already knew: People spend more money when using credit cards compared to cash purchases. People also spend less when they look at their expenses in detail, the researchers found.”
Before we pass on the actual results of a study that was performed by New York University and was written in the Journal of Experimental Psychology’s September issue, let’s explore for a moment the psychology of money.
   Here is an example: a woman told about using cash versus credit cards. “After my doctor’s appointment, I took my prescriptions to my pharmacist. Instead of waiting there, I decided to buy some birthday cards at a nearby card store. The total cost of cards and gifts came to around $57.00. I did have the cash, but instead I decided to pay with a credit card. I could say that I was holding onto the cash to pay for the prescriptions, but when I went to pick them up – I used my credit card again.”
According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, “Consumers simply feel the pain of paying more when they part with cash.” The following studies are anecdotal evidence of this cash versus credit card phenomenon:
   In one study, 114 participants estimated how much they would spend using cash versus using credit for a well-described restaurant meal. “People are willing to spend (or pay) more when they use a credit card than when using cash,” the authors wrote.
Then 28 participants were given a detailed shopping list to work with. In a questionnaire format, they spent more when they used a $50 gift certificate instead of $50 cash.
   Finally, 130 participants were given $1 cash or a $1 gift certificate to buy candy. At first, they were more willing to spend the gift certificate than the cash. But after holding the gift certificate in their wallets for an hour, they became less likely to spend it, indicating that the certificates came to seem more like real money.
   These studies suggest that “less transparent payment forms (like as credit cards) tend to be treated like (play) money and are hence more easily spent (or parted with),” the researchers argue.
This fascinating study suggests that we are more emotionally attached to our cash when given the choice of paying with cash or with a credit card. Perhaps it is the burden of not knowing what will happen with the economy.
  So where do you fit in here? Do you love your cash too much to spend it and instead slap down the credit card, keeping your greenbacks safe in your pocket or purse? Some Chicks have tried the “money diet.” After the bills are paid, the cash that’s left is what they live on for the month. Could you do that?  Do tell!

Your Inner Animal Makes Choices, too

I read a very interesting article in the paper the other day about human behavior. Think you are rational when it comes to spending? A recent study by Vladas Griskevicius, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, researched why people make choices and decisions that are not always the smartest thing they could have done.

Oh, ya, we’d all like to think that we choose things because they are useful, make us happy or make us money. Not so much, this research says. It’s evolutionary biology that might be driving some of our choices. What? You are kidding, right? Read on

Griskevicius’ most recent work shows that when women are in the minority in a community, guys are more impulsive about spending, don’t save as much and run up more debt. Women who thought that women were a minority didn’t change their spending and saving habits, but they did expect more to be spent on them.

Did you know that women buy and wear sexier clothes when they are ovulating? Particularly when they notice there are other hotties around.

“In the animal world we call that mating effort,” Griskevicius says of these situations.

We might like to think that we are beyond evolution-the laws of natural selection just don’t apply anymore. We’re way too smart for that, right? This research might make you stop and think. “It doesn’t make sense that natural selection would apply to every other species except humans,” according to Griskevicius.