'09 was a rough year, but we can see a light on the horizon: The economy is slowly but surely picking itself up off the floor and dusting itself off, people are tentatively tiptoeing into stores again, and no one seems to be buying Chris "Beat-Her-Down" Brown's new album. We're curious as to what the big 1-0 will bring, but hope to see some of the following trends...
1) Frugality: We're weary of people acting like it's the 1940's and we're on War Rations, but nevertheless feel that this upswing in DIY and saving money is a good thing. People are realizing that they don't need to buy everything new, or eat every meal in restaurants. We're loving the handy economizing tips we found in Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks From Japan ($10) in particular. (Urawaza are Japanese folk wisdom tricks for economizing and cleaning, like using a piece of bread to help clean up broken glass - the small shards get caught in the air holes in the bread.) Check out TipNut.com for more great how-to's.
2) Community Service: Stop complaining that the government never does X, Y, or Z. Do it yourself! Donate clothes to a thrift store. Mentor an at-risk youth. Plant trees and walk to the store instead of driving there. Babysit kids at a domestic violence shelter. Give any spare change you've got to charities. Just do it!
3) No more Photoshop: We love shading away those extra 5 pounds from photos as much as the next girl, but 2009 presented us with some seriously egregious photoshoppery: the DVD cover of My One and Only, where Renee Zellwegger's already tiny head looks pin-sized compared to her giant slapped-on torso; the November '09 cover of Vogue, where a group shot of Nicole, Penelope, Kate, and Marion looks like they were each shot in different rooms on different continents; and the now-infamous Ralph Lauren shot of Filippa Hamilton, wherein she appears to have shrunk to about 50 pounds. Put down the computer mouse and step away from Adobe!
4) Friends and Family: It's not about seeing and being seen at all the hottest places anymore, but rather about the personal connections that matter most. The resurgence in at-home supper clubs, knitting nights, book groups and Sunday family dinners is something we hope sticks around for a long, long time. Because, be honest: what do you remember more fondly - that time you got, like, soooo drunk at the club and puked on your $300 shoes, or the time your best friend brought you homemade soup when you were sick with the Swine Flu?
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