Jul 172013
 

Today, I went to get a pack of M&M’s from the candy drawer and this is what I opened up to:

Mice

I am SO sad. All of my Hershey with Almond down the trash bag… and the Hershey kisses and the tootsie rolls. WHAT A WORLD!!

I sent the pic to our amazing exterminator, Jeff at Superior Pest [281-753-2677], and he has verified that the teeth marks are from mice and not Anole lizards as I wished, haha.

I know it has happened within the last week because my Sweet C went to the drawer just last Friday for some gum to chew without any eyebrows raised.

This is what Dak think’s about the whole situation after I’ve texted B and C the pictures incriminating the mice who encroached our glorious candy space. This is exactly why C and I have been polling for a cat for the past year, no mouse would have gotten away with this with a cat in the house!

dak

So… If you find some great deals on candy… Let me know!

 Posted by at 4:59 pm
Jul 262012
 

Oh. My. Gosh.

Have you ever been sick of spending money? [Stupid, right?] I am there now. I don’t want to go to the grocery store. I don’t want to finish Sweet C’s room. I don’t want to have our master [finally] painted. I’m just over it.

My root cause mind wants to know how I got here. Here is a little jot of what I think may have happened…

  1. New coupons are rolling out and they are low value, like $.75/2 or $1.00/3. Don’t get me wrong, these coupons are great if you can stand to have three boxes of the same cereal and eat them all before they expire… or you have a family of 3+ who actually can take care of the stock quickly. We can’t, wasted money.
  2. We just purchased 40 pounds of delicious 93/7 ground beef from Zaycon… beef isn’t free, you know?
  3. Refinancing a home to a lower interest rate takes a lot of mullah up front, so our savings looks pretty weak right now. [PS, if you are at 6% or higher, now is the time to think about re-financing, especially since the PMI rate was currently reduced] That’s frugal news, you’re welcome. We used Cornerstone Mortgage, they are awesome, email me for their contact info!
  4. My Sweet C’s room is still a disaster. We have made progress – there is a bed, desk and mirror – but there is still so much to do and I prefer for her to come home to a calm area and not a construction zone. She is my delicate flower. One thing at a time, I know, but I want it done now. I’m so silly, I told her I would make her this ruffle throw, I haven’t even purchased the sheets to make it and she will be home on Aug 1. GUH!
  5. Christmas is just around the corner and I have already started shopping, there are TONS of great deals right now on items that I know will be utilized for gift giving. Today, I received an email for $20 off $75 to Vera Bradley, all the rage with the teens and tweens right now. There was a fantastic deal on Groupon over the weekend that I hit up for my brother and B, I’d tell you, but then they would know… what’s the fun of Christmas if you know your gifts?
  6. I have the slight sense that my beautiful, amazing, most wonderful car in the world might be kicking the bucket soon. It hurts my heart. Maybe from all the above, this is the one that gets to me the most. I bought her as a wee baby, just barely old enough to cruise the open roads. We have had a lot of ups and downs and, knock on wood, not one accident; I can’t stand the thought of losing her. It. Is. A. Car. But I paid for her, by myself [my awesome Dad co-signed], I fed her gas, I took her shopping… and to the shop. ::tear::
  7. Finally, my babe. My husband is the bomb. He works so hard for our family. He has provided the income to be able to take fun trips and enjoy the little “luxuries” like dates to Chocolate Bar, volleyball camps, massages, and much more. I feel like I [and Sweet C] have indulged in many luxuries while my husband has been working his tail off; he would argue that this is exactly WHY he works, for us to enjoy ourselves. I love that guy and I tell him I appreciate him every chance I get, but rewards are nice too. Love Languages.

So, you ask, how do I work on these items? Stop Spending. Pray thanks for our abundance. And then sell/donate something… or a lot of somethings.

I am on Facebook, did you know? My personal page is linked to about 7 different Beg, Buy, Barter and Sell groups in my general area. Have you heard of them? No? Well, imagine Craigslist, but extremely local, and people are more willing to meet up instead of making you come to their house [sometimes creepy]. Right now I am trying to sell this awesome Desk and Delta Shower Set; I have them posted on Craigslist and BBBS and have had quite a few hits but not the right buyer yet. Wah! These will help finish up my Sweet C’s room, so I am hoping they are sold quick.. August 1 is fast approaching. Oh, I also have a pair of roller hockey skates for sale, awesome right?

This past weekend I went out with my mom and sister [bro's gf] and purchased a few new t-shirts to upcycle into scarfs/necklaces and let me tell you, I found the most scrumptious XXXL blue t-shirt, check out SweetgumWay soon for new postings! 

Also, I have a few designs on Zazzle that are worth taking a look! I love them all, but I guess any mother would love her own creations, especially my Eat. Pray. Run. repeat gear! :)

You can see, I am in a pickle. Don’t be surprised when you see a lot of homemade posts popping up within the next week or two. Remember the sweet string art I made for My Sweet C? Well, she changed her room color to pink and black, so you’ll for sure be sing another string art, because she LOVED IT… but in pink, maybe. GUH!

What about you? Have you been in this type of “I’m sick of spending money” situation before? What has helped you out and what did you sell/make to get a little extra cash in the bank?

 Posted by at 10:20 am
May 312012
 

My Sweet C, Grandma and I were cruising though the furniture store one day when C saw it, her room’s inspiration…

Swanky BedMy, oh my, does she have serious taste.

What to do about a 13 year old who’s eyes dazzle at a $2,800 bed… besides the obvious, “Ummm, no”? Recommend finding a much less expensive tufted headboard and bedazzle it ourselves, of course!

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:02 pm
Apr 092012
 

Easter 2012Happy Easter from the H Family!

We had a wonderful 3 day weekend… B + C had the three day weekend, I had to work, but I am not complaining because they slept almost all day anyways.

On Friday we celebrated with the [non]resurrection of the Houston Astros home opener. Our fam was there, take a look at these pretty girls!

Astros Opener 2012

On Saturday, C and I helped Grandma pick out a new couch. Exciting, right? I think my mom is still in shock from the quote at Gallery Furniture… $3500 for a couch and love seat don’t fly with this frugal family! We went to Ashley and found a VERY comparable set for less than half… and FOR REAL the throw pillows were the EXACT match. GF is just plain crazy on some of their prices.

C and I volunteered at our church’s Saturday Easter 4pm service, watching the babies and we had so much fun. It was so beautiful watching C hold Parker and Ryan, Ryan especially, and enjoy bouncing them around and engaging them in infant activities… she is just the most amazing [step]daughter ever. After our shift was over we took a walk around the church building, looking at the students ministry building and sand volleyball court, and discussed future volunteering opportunities with the infants. She has a heart for caring, my sweet baby girl. When your [almost] teen child shows interest in something… anything, do you fully engage like I do?

On Sunday we slept in then enjoyed lunch at my parent’s house, it was a delightful, easy weekend indeed.

Praise the Lord, He is risen!

 Posted by at 9:17 pm
Jan 312012
 

You know how life just happens and you don’t make it to the grocery store to pick up bread, your office is tore up from the floor up for over a week because painting is REALLY stupid, and the dog smells like she rolled over two dead snakes? That’s my life right now.

I know the days are starting to get longer, but geez, where does the time go when you’re just so busy?

Last week we moved everything out of our home office to put down new flooring and paint. That was last Wednesday… It doesn’t look too promising to be finished by tomorrow. The ceiling still needs painted and I think I have talked B into making our new desks to match the new feeling [Dale is moving in!] I guess we need to get a move on, C can’t really sleep on top of shelving and blinds, which are neatly placed on her never made bed. Which brings me to an observation – is it just my kid or what is up with not putting the flat sheet back on the bed after it’s been washed? I’ve made my own bed a few times before and know it isn’t too difficult, what gives?

Freedom Sticker

The TV in our bedroom is disconnected from the cable to make room for our household computer [from the home office], so I have had time to play around in various websites that I don’t usually have the time to before crashing for the night. I went to Zazzle and made this bumper sticker and button, I leveraged it from one of the radio shows that B listens to so often. I have been saying a lot of prayers lately for our Nation, it is so conflicted and so far from what it was created to be by our founding fathers. It’s nerve racking and makes me anxious just thinking about what could be if certain things do and do not happen in the future. Ugh, I don’t like politics.

Don’t even get me started about my grocery list, it is so long and I think bread and diet coke may be on there about three or four times each; PB & J don’t make themselves. We have been eating out more than normal during lunch, our poor bank account is hating life right now… and fast food. OH, B and I went with our cousins to Benihana for my cousin and my birthday dinner last week. It was so much fun and SO yummy. The best thing from the night? Our tab was $13 and we had a spider roll, teriyaki chicken, chicken fried rice and two beers. WHAT A DEAL – you have to go here and sign up for their birthday club, they send you a $30 voucher to be used during your birthday month!

This past Sunday, B, rode in his first organized bicycle ride - I was so excited the whole week long I could hardly contain myself! One, because it wasn’t on account of one of my races we were getting up before the rooster and two, I finally got to see my muffin, although she was REALLY tired and quiet, it was nice to hang out and share fruit snacks with her when we weren’t driving the 32 mile race course.

Oh, and yes, D did roll on a dead snake or two. It rained today so I told her to go out and take a shower… She listens as well at a flat sheet makes it onto a twin bed. Just sayin’.

Have a wonderful day and please let me know how I can pray for you!

 Posted by at 2:38 pm
Aug 312011
 

It has been a minute since we went to Chicago and I thought it would [finally] be fun to post some of our pictures and some stories about the trip!

FridayWe arrived in Chicago around lunch time and Brent’s buddy, Johnny, took us to eat at Revolution Brewing Company in Oak Park. They had the BEST sandwiches and the BESSSST pretzel bread known to man, seriously. I learned something new, anytime a menu says “crunchy” or “crispy”, they mean it has uncooked cabbage slaw on top, Yum. C ordered a caesar side salad with her “crunchy” pulled pork sandwich and it came with a full out anchovy on top… needless to say, she did not eat the salad. I even tried it… Umm yea, not a fan of that either! I ordered the Hombre Burger, I’m from Texas, what can I say? It consisted of smoked poblano pepper,  avocado, Chihuahua cheese, red pepper crema & tortilla strips – aka. Heaven on a Heavenly Pretzel Roll bun. Once we arrived at our final destination – Congress Plaza Hotel [who has still not sent me a like to review their room/service{which is probably better for them because the "suite" was pretty much unacceptable (email me for details)}] we… I decided we should take a little walk to Navy Pier. I wonder why nobody stopped me, it was like 10,000 miles away from our hotel and we were pretty grumpy by the time we all got there. HAha!

B and Mike went out with the Chicago friends while C and I hit the streets to find dinner. C and I went down Michigan Avenue to hear the free concerts and look at Cloud Gate and the Crown Fountains. C has a radar for super fun, cool things, and this night was no different. We made our way to the Magnificent Mile Macy’s and Chicago Theater where there just happened to be a CLo concert and Glamorama fashion show taking place. C and I got to walk on the fashionistas red carpet and take in all of the glittlery and amazing fashion choices of the actual attendees. It was amazing! We caught some people making glances at us, like, “I can’t believe they wore that”, we were sporting the all fashionable shorts, t-shirt and Tom’s. We finally headed to dinner at about 11 pm; C chose, what we thought was, a quaint little place in downtown Chicago called Mercat a la planxa. Wow! Once again, we were totally under dressed and a little out of the diners target market, but we have money to pay for a delicious meal, so who cares about the target market. The meal was a total debacle and out waiter was really pretty poo-pooey on us, but we enjoyed ourselves and our meal. C decided to try the pintxos muranos Colorado Lamb Brochettes wrapped in Bacon and Lamb Jus and I had the Conill Amb castanyes Braised Rabbit Agnolotti, Roasted Chestnut Purée, Brandied Cherries and Rosemary Brown Butter. Our meals were divine and the experience will last a lifetime!

Chicago Theater

Saturday Was our chill day, we pretty much spent the day walking, relaxing and eating. I got to meet on of my co-workers, at my big girl job, who lives just a couple minutes from the hotel. My company is big on the virtual/global environment – nobody on my team lives within 6oo miles of Houston, it is pretty amazing when you think about how connected we are, but are so far apart. We took a cab ride to the Expo to pick up our race packets [there was no way the guys were going to go for another walk with me]. We ate lunch around our hotel and on our way to pick up bananas and water for the mornings race, the rain came down, BIG time. We were still about 3 blocks from the hotel. After we watched all of the Segway tours rush into their homes, which we were huddled close to, we decided to book it to the next available awning and make a game plan. We were like frogs who didn’t like the wet – hopping from one awning to the next between pours of rain. We just kind of chilled the rest of the day, watching bad hotel tv and C’s outstanding fashion show [she was still feeling the vibe from last night] with the hotel’s bedding; have I told you, lately, how amazing she is? Well… she is! By the way, this is how we dry wet Tom’s:

C's Shoe Dryer

Sunday There was a little race, you can read about it here. Our friends took us to another amazing eatery, Big Star, before we headed out to the airport.  They had delicious pork and fish tacos and their salsa was pretty much spectacular because it was not chilled. C happened upon the lovely bacon wrapped hot dog below – the Sonoran Hot Dog crispy, bacon wrapped, all beef hot dog, pinto beans, lime mayo, mustard, onions, hot sauce, on a bolillo roll = Amazing! We had to wipe off the sauces because the hot sauce was just WAY hot for her, but she went to town, she said it was pretty delicious and recommend it, most definitely.

C's giant Bacon-wrapped hot Dog

We hit up the train to take us to our destination before our final destination – it was pretty fun, except for when the guy sitting in front of us decided to get up and pry open the doors with this bare hands and jump out on the landing dock while the train was still moving… Not Smart dude, not smart. My face was stuck in the “OMG! Did that REALLY just happen” fashion for a minute or three. We made it to the airport in the nick of time… to see that our flight would be delayed for 5 hours. [Shameless Plug ~~>]It’s really too bad that we don’t have a smarty phone that received emails to tell us we were delayed; we could have totally stayed at the taco place for another 4 hours, which would have been fine by me!

Leaving Chicago on a Train

 Goodbye Chicago… until Next time!

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Aug 012011
 

Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!

We are free free free from the lender.

Our #1, the gigantor truck, is PAID OFF!

Paid OFF #1

We set a goal and a limited spending budget and we made it! We paid off a little more than $15,000 in a year and some. Holla at your girl! It is CELEBRATION time!

The kicker? Our income decreased right after we set our goal, only by the Grace of God did we manage to keep our commitment to our FREEDOM.

YaY Us!  Congrats Mr. H, we ROCK!

PS – Are you on the road to a Great Recovery? Let us know!

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jul 182011
 

B and I had a wonderful weekend, outside of missing our girl on vacation in Colorado and dealing with a rat. Ok, not really a rat, but our sweetest girl needed a baby sitter for her guinea pig during vacation, and this mom will do anything for her girl… pretty much.

It was exhausting, but we did exactly what we had intended to do, like:

Relax after a long hard week [it needs documenting that we actually got out of the house, LoL]

 B

Listen to good music [Thanks, Buck Yeager!]

Buck Yeager

Even D had a great weekend, can’t you tell?

Dak

 Here’s to great weekends!

PS. Buck Yeager Band [and the H fam] will be at Lone Star Ice House [10801 Spring Cypress Rd] on Friday, July 22. Be there, or be square ;)

 Posted by at 5:43 pm
Jul 152011
 

So, I’ve been posting about my frugal shopping weeks for a while now and it has been fun… but I do not think it will be as fun as my next feature. I want to see your FRUGAL FINDS as well!

I just love seeing the amazing deals people get; it never ceases to amaze me how coupon-smart people rock the sales.

This week I trucked it to Randall’s, Walgreens, PetSmart and CVS and spent $37.15 [only $14.07 from my pocket, however].

Randall’s

See, what had happened was… I went shopping on Sunday after beating the crowds away at Pier 1, Old Navy, Home Goods and Bath and Body Works – by the time I got to the grocery store, I was pooped. So, when I got home I flattened out on the couch and my awesome B helped with the unloading unloaded everything, therefore there is no fancy picture to share.

Eggs $1.99

Ruffles $3.18 – $1.30 in Ad = $1.88

4 Almond Joy @ $1.19 = $4.76 – B2G2 Sale = $2.38 or $0.59 each

2 JIF Peanut Butter @ $2.12 = $4.24 – $.26 in Ad = $3.98 or $1.99 each

2 Lucerne Cheese @ $2.19 = $4.38 – $.40 in Ad = $3.98 or $1.99 each

New York Toast $3.39 – 50% clearance = $1.69

Mrs. Baird’s Powdered Donuts $1.99 [I needed the energy, don't judge! ;)]

Natures Own Bread $2.00

2 Marzetti Dressings @ $3.99 = $7.98 – B1G1 – $1.00/1 = $2.99 or $1.49 each

Total Spent $23.08

Total Saved $14.89 or 39%

I received a $25 gift card to Randall’s prior to this run, so it was actually FREE! I should have bought more donuts…

CVS

July 13 CVS

3 Skintimate Shave Cream and Gel @ $1.99 = $5.97 – $1.00/1 – [2] $0.55/1 = $3.87 or $1.29 each

Balance Bar $1.69 [Earn $1.69 ECB WYB 1, limit 1]

Total $6.02

Total Spent $0.06 [Used $5.50 ECB from previous trip]

Total Saved $13.30 or close enough to 100% + $1.69 ECB for future use

PetSmart

July 13 PetSmart

Nutro Max Dog Food $8.99 – $5.00/1 – $3.00 Survey = $0.99

Total Spent $1.06

Total Saved $8.00 or 89% + $3.00 Survey!

Walgreens

July 13 Walgreens

 2 Dove Men’s Body Wash@ $4.49 = $8.98 - B1G1 = $4.49 or $2.24 each

Dove Body Wash $4.49 – $1.00/1 = $3.49

Garnier Shampoo $3.99 – $1.00/1 = $2.99

2 Spoons @ $0.49 = $0.99

Total Spent $12.95

Total Saved $10.48 or 45%

July 13 Trip

To wrap it up, my totals for this week’s trips were:

Total Spent: $37.15 [$14.07 out of pocket]

Total Saved: $46.67 or 55%

Total Earned for future use: $1.69

Now, it is time for you to share all of your amazing trips from this past week!



 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jun 282011
 

We had an amazing time on our vacation last week to the beach. It took a long 12 hours to get to our destination, two trucks full of stuff and 7 people: my parents, my baby brother + home skillet and yours truly, H family.

I thought it might be nice to share some pictures with you all, since I pretty much left you hanging last week. Rude.

A+B PCB11

My man and Me, lookin’ good… catching rays…

Sea Screamer - The Family

We went on a Dolphin Watch and Snorkel trip on the Sea Screamer; we learned how to use fins and breathe though the little snorkels [it's really challenging the first time], caught sand dollars, watched crabs and flizards [it's a made up word for a fish that looks like a lizard] and sea urchins float with the tide. Unfortunately, a “storm” was brewing and the gulf side of the bay was really choppy, we would have been able to swim with the dolphins after they surfed behind the Sea Screamer.

Hello Dolphin

Can’t you just hear this little guy, “Come on! Let’s swim!” We also saw a Mama and baby dolphin surfing the boats waves. They were so precious.

Dad and Me

Here is my Dad and Me on the boat, he’s a super trooper.

Wave Surfing

B and C enjoying the fast and crazy ride back to the marina. Where am I?

HOLD ON!

Holding on, HAHA.

Just Kidding! It wasn’t bad at all, this picture is after I had sprayed my feet for the 10th time with sun block… ever had burnt feet? It’s the worst!

Peek A Boo

HERE I AM!

We liked snorkeling so much, we went the next day to the state park and rented gear. We caught a few little shells, watched schools of fish swimming in the rocks, inspected snails and other shelled creatures… saw more flizards. B made a friend with a short, fat fish who swam under his chin and neck area when he was under and around his waist when he was standing. It was like seeing a whale with the little fish all around, super cute!

B in a Chair

This is what most of our days looked like, nice and lazy with a side of reading and soaking up the sun.

Wonder Works

We took a break from the sun one day and headed to Wonder Works. HOW COOL IS THIS BUILDING!? It looks like it is floating in the clouds the way I took the picture and everything inside is upside down too. If you see it from the front, it clearly fell from the sky… SO cool!

Pitching

B showing Craig Biggio how it’s done, even on vacation we cannot get away from sport.

Bed of Nails

C on a bed of nails, not as comfortable at the good ‘ol posturepedic.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and miss the cool beach breeze already, but it sure is nice to sleep in your own bed and take a shower in your own shower. You know what I mean?

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 Posted by at 2:45 pm