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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura

 

 

Frugal Dates

Have you been going on your weekly date with your significant other? Think it is too expensive. Well, it doesn't have to be. Here are some frugal dating ideas for you. Have fun!

  • From a reader, "Parking Lot Picnic: Bring everything that you would need for a regular picnic (include candles, blanket, flowers, etc..) drive to one of your favorite parks or such and take up two parking spots. Lay out all of your picnic and enjoy! Part of the fun is to watch people's reactions (either from wanting the parking spot or wishing that their significant other would do that for them :o) Paula Brown,
    Infamous Parking Lot Picnicker
  • Have an indoor picnic with a blanket, food and wine. Turn on your nature CD and imagine a sunset.
  • Paint together or tour a local art gallery.
  • Go for a walk along the beach at sunset.
  • Go on a "tour" of your city. Explore all the hidden parts of your town you miss just living there.
  • Borrow a rowboat and go on an evening ride.
  • Do an all-nighter, Rent some romantic movies like "Legends of the Fall" and "Last of the Mohicans." Snuggle close. Go for a walk under the stars. Dance to the radio. Then sleep in the next day.
  • Have a long pillow fight.
  • Fly a kite together.
  • Candlelight dinner at home.
  • Go visit some expensive model homes and pretend you can actually afford to buy them. "I don't know if the bathroom is big enough. Do you think it could fit the spa and the sauna?"
  • Go on a hike with your honey. Take pictures of the wildlife. Cuddle when you get to your destination.
  • Visit the tallest building nearby, like the Sears Tower. Absolutely breathtaking at night watching the lights.
  • Lay a blanket out in the backyard and go star-gazing. Get a constellation book from the library and see how many you can find.
  • Meet in a hotel lobby and pretend you are meeting for the first time as strangers.
  • Visit a free zoo together. Discover each other's favorite animals.
  • Take a bubble bath for two. Enjoy some soft music, candles and lots of bubbles!
  • Visit a museum together on no admission day. In many places that is Tuesday. Call your local museum and see when the cheapest days are.
  • Browse a bookstore together at one that includes a coffeehouse. Sip coffee and read to each other.
  • Plan a dream vacation. Get brochures and have fun dreaming.
  • Go to the two dollar movie theater.
  • Go out for ice cream cones.
  • Visit a pet store and play with the kittens.
  • Listen to a concert in the park. Many have no cost at all.
  • Go shopping at 2AM at an all night store. No need to buy anything. Hold hands the whole time.
  • Test drive a Caddilac.
  • Dress up and go to McDonald's.
  • Go for an evening stroll.
  • Share a chocolate shake together with two straws.
  • Exchange backrubs with some fragrant oil.
  • Take funny and romantic pictures of each other. Then spend another night looking at them together.
  • Or go through past photos of you together.
  • Go to the airport and watch the planes take off. Imagine where they might be going.
  • Go dancing.
  • Play poker or another game with some fun stakes.
  • Trade houses with a friend for the weekend.
  • Have your spouse teach you how to play pool. Get nice and close.
  • See a play at the local high school or college.
  • Go to the carnival when it is in town, on the ride all the rides for $13 all night.
  • Go garage saling or rummaging for antiques.
  • Take a long drive and talk.
  • Have a heated game of one on one basketball at the park while kids are at school.
  • Go for a bicycle ride. Follow the tour signs, go on back roads, make discoveries.
  • Work out at the gym together. Spot each other.
  • Go bowling.
  • Take a pup tent to a campground for the night. A peaceful night all to yourselves.
  • Compete in computer games.
  • Go roller-blading across town together.
  • Go cross-country skiing, if you already own the equipment.
  • Cook a meal together.

Here are two from a reader:

  • Take a blanket out in the backyard (or a nearby hill), have an elaborate picnic or just PB&J, then lie back and look at the clouds and describe what you see in them.
  • Sneak out into the garage and "use" the back seat of the car...even more fun is to go parking somewhere else--a "known" lovers lane, or your friend's driveway when they are on vacation (this works better out away from town!!!) (DH & I never got "caught" before we were married, but we did once when we were "legal": a cop found us, LOL) The element of risk is fun in and of itself once in awhile.

Do you have anymore inexpensive dates? Please e-mail me at

How well do your really know your partner? Ask these 1,000 questions and you might be surprised. click here.

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Beth Dargis helps the overwhelmed to create saner, simpler lives. For free monthly Simple Self Care Calendar and Weekly Simplicity Tips visit: http://www.encouragingcoach.com. This article is Copyright 2005 by Beth Dargis, Zeeland MI. To send feedback or request reprint permission (usually granted free of charge), please contact .

 

 

 

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