My mom has this knack for keeping birthdays and other celebrations simple but meaningful. She manages to choose cute things, without going over the top. We were never the kids to receive oodles of presents, but we always appreciated the ones that we got. I really appreciate that quality about her, as I see friends' birthdays being overrun with designer bags, jewelry, and other items that just don't seem all that important.
I received two books, one of which I am reading right now. It is called To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us by Sasha Cagen. It is a really cool concept, and it reminds me of one of my favorite web sites that also gives us a peak into other people's lives, Post Secret. Com.
I also got a Ralph Lauren Romance Body Wash - something I was a little surprised by, until I found out that it was marked "free." Apparently I am the only one who had not heard that the major department stores were required to give away millions of dollars in cosmetics. My mom, who is not usually one for free stuff, happened to be in Macy's at the time, and scored a free gift. I think the story behind it makes it a much cooler gift.
I did receive some birthday money, and decided to treat myself to a watch that I'd been eyeing for some time. Although it was more than I would typically spend on a watch, I felt like it was still a fairly practical gift. I'd like to be able to keep time on my wrist, versus checking the time on my cell phone while in meetings. I think it is a good gift to myself, and one that I was able to check off my list of things that I want (when I actually have the money to pay for them). Next on the list: Electronic Monopoly (yes I'm a board game dork).
My actual birthday is still a week away. I'm not one who really likes to celebrate birthdays. I try to keep them simple and/or avoid them all together. No need for a big fuss.
On a side note...I have done really well packing my meals lately. Over the past two weeks I have consistently eaten what I brought for lunch (either frozen dinners or leftovers). I've also done fairly well eating breakfast at home, although I have been buying plenty of coffees lately. Dinners have been hit or miss, but I'm definitely working to cut back on the money spent on food.