On Popsicle Stick Solutions…

Today I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday post about Wildflowers… literally.  After my metaphorical wildflower post it seemed apropos to do a literal translation.  I don’t like any of the wildflower pictures I already have, so I considered the idea of stopping on my way home from work to take pictures but didn’t want to stop.  The irony is not lost on me.

Instead, I was having a conversation last night… well I had a couple of conversations last night… (you would think I would run out of things to say but there are always more words) but through the course of the conversation, I brought up something I saw on Pinterest.

You might be addicted to social media if you start sentences with “I saw this thing on Facebook…” or “I saw this thing on Pinterest..” or “I saw this thing on Reddit…” or.. well, you get the idea.
Hi.  My name is Shelley and I’m a Social Media Addict.
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So this thing… I saw on Pinterest… You’ve probably seen somewhere before as well because it’s brilliant. It’s the Date Night in a Jar idea.

The premise is simple. You and your sweetheart, significant other, spouse, partner in crime, whatever – come up with a slew of ideas for date night {which could be a date night idea in and of itself} and then write these on Popsicle sticks or whatever and color code.  In the post detailing out the Date Night in a jar, there’s a color for expensive dates that require planning {Weekend getaway, fancy restaurant, etc.}, a color for “at home dates” {Popcorn and a chick flick, game night} and another color for going out but less expensive type dates {Coffee date, Window Shopping, etc.}.

Popsicle Stick Solutions | Slightly Off KilterSo I loved this idea… but last night I got to talking and realized that the Popsicle Stick Solution could be used for all KINDS of those decisions that indecisive people struggle with.  It could even be used to make less fun things seem more so. Here are 7 Ways to use the Popsicle Stick Solution beyond the traditional Date night. Why 7? Because 7 is an awesome number.

(1) Remote “Control”

Do you and your fella like movies and always run into the “I don’t care… what do you want to watch” routine?  Do you struggle with the remote control power struggle?  Easy Breezy – write movies on Popsicle sticks and put them in a jar.  Color code could be pink for her movies, blue for his movies, green for movies you agree on.  Then when movie date night happens, pull a stick and decisions are made!  You could also color code by genre if that makes sense – Pink for Romance, Blue for Action, Red for gore/horror… you get the idea.

(2) Where to eat

This one seems to always rear it’s head.  You are hungry.  So hungry it really honestly does not freaking matter where you eat you just want food.  And then the “I don’t care… what do you want” game ensues.  Here’s the thing about me – and I tend to assume everyone is like me…. big mistake … I know – If I say “I don’t care” it TRULY means I. Don’t. Care. So, the idea here is you and your flame list out restaurants and whatnot to add to the jar.  Again, the organization ideas are endless.  Colors for your favorite restaurants, for his, for places you each want to try… or color by cuisine.

(3) Chores

Ok so stepping away from Date Night for a moment, if you have kids, you may wrestle with the belief that kids should do chores and have responsibility and help around the house….. but sometimes it’s just freakin easier to do it yourself.  You could use the Popsicle Stick Solution to make things more fun.  I see this in two ways – if you do a weekly house cleaning, write all the chores down and color code by difficulty.  Everyone picks a hard chore and an easy chore and then there’s no “But it’s no fair I always have to clean the toilets” type whining to which your kids look at you with blanks stares because they realize you are way better at whining than they are… everyone has a chore that kinda sucks.  It could also be used to divvy up weekly responsibilities – empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, whatever.

(4) Girls Night

I don’t care if you are in a new “is this a relationship” or been married for 80 years.  Let me be PERFECTLY CLEAR – Girl’s Nights Are Important!!! If I’ve learned anything it’s that my circles of friends keeps me sane…. well, relatively speaking. But what to do.  Step one – grab a bottle of wine and get together at someone’s house or a coffee shop or park or whatever.  Step two – Everyone throw out ideas for fun shit to do.  You can probably figure out the rest of the steps.  Making the list would be fun.  Fulfilling the list will be fun.  The moments of “I don’t care… what do you want to do” which are decidedly less fun, well those might just end as well.

(5) Meal planning

I suck at meal planning.  I want to cook by jazz and rarely follow recipes.  A common staple in my house is “Mommy Surprise” and it’s as much a surprise to me as it is to anyone else.  But what if you wrote out dinner ideas and color coded in some way that made sense – protein source, new vs. tried and true and then could pick sticks to fill out your menu plan before going grocery shopping for the week.

(6) Home Improvement

Do you have things that you really want to accomplish or tackle but never seem to find the time?  Make a list and pop them in a jar.  Then when a weekend comes up and you know you will have some time, pick a project!  It could be a home improvement or a deep cleaning task you do once a year.  Maybe you’ve always wanted shelves in the kitchen or have been dreading cleaning out the closets.  Popsicle Stick Solution to the rescue!

(7) Pamper You

I can’t be the only one around who struggles to take care of me at times. It’s easier to focus on the needs of our kids or work or chores or the needs of our other half. And sometimes, there’s a moment when you have free time and are at a loss for ideas on how to fill that. Sometimes it’s not difficult – grab a book or work at cleaning… off your DVR. Grab a coffee or get a pedicure. Sometimes though, maybe you are at a loss. Make a list of things that refuel your own love tank and when you have the time, take advantage of it. Color code by time commitment and pick an idea from the jar. You are really only limited by your own imagination here. Bonus? If you are married and your spouse is at a loss for a gift giving opportunity, they could sneak a peak at your Pamper jar and surprise you with the trip to the spa or shooting range that you have listed. No guessing means no assumptions and everyone wins.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few opportunities for Popsicle stick decision making… I’d love to hear your ideas!



  1. I am so freaking in love with this idea! I want to do it for dates, family adventures, and chores! Thanks for sharing!

    • Traci, I’m envisioning so many jars. Nearly lined up in a row. I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants this in my world.

  2. Love the popsicle stick ideas! Using it for movie night is genius. We often have a long list of movies we want to watch, but then we can’t remember them when we actually have time to watch one.

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