Great New Year's idea: Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. Good way to keep things in perspective.
Use old towels to make this huge beach blanket. Add a vinyl tablecloth to the back: blocks sand, doubles as tablecloth. Road trip must-have. To be able to machine wash the blanket, I would use Velcro to attach the tablecloth to the towel/blanket.