I had a fantastic weekend. Friday night was our blogger meetup. We went to Gravitas. They were really accommodating and we had a great area set aside just for us with a fabulous bartender. With that said, if I’m going to give it a TRUE review, I have to tell you that it was a bit pricey. They had this amazing drink made with strawberry and vanilla infused vodka. It was incredible! Although it was also $9 and that hurts me a bit.
Saturday I dropped Rookie off at her grandparents’ house because I love free child care and headed up to visit Lauren (from Texas). Stephen was out of town on a bachelor party camping trip so she invited me to spend Halloween with her and her family. God blessed us with a BEAUTIFUL day so we spent the entire afternoon and evening outside. I got to meet her family and eat her dad’s red beans and rice. By this point in our blog relationship, you should know that I don’t eat any sort of tubed meats. To clarify, it’s not that I absolutely will not eat it, it means that I don’t really enjoy it. However, these red beans and rice had sausage in it and they were shockingly delicious. The flavor of the beans was out of this world. I had a great time hanging out with them and think her mom must have really wanted me to like her because she let me sit in front of a campfire and make s’mores. It worked.
I stayed the night at Lauren’s on Saturday night. On Sunday we sat in the kitchen reading cookbooks and working on our weekly meal plans while her husband watched football with their dogs. I realized that it’s fun to do meal plans with someone else. You get to try new recipes and get new ideas. If you’ve never done it, do it. Find someone with a similar cooking style. Oh and also, with the same food budget.
This is huge. Lauren and I both keep our families on strict budgets. We buy sale items and do happy dances when we find bargains. If you can’t relate, then it will make no sense to you when I say that I get a high when I think about saving money.
Stephen and I are pretty anti-debt. Not entirely, but for the most part. We know that there are a few areas of life that often require debt. Houses, cars, and college. But beyond that, no debt. So when we need something, we have to budget. My mom recently bought us a beautiful dining room table that she found at a resale shop. It is brand new table but the furniture store took it to the resale shop because there weren’t any chairs. It was only $100 and it is gorgeous. So we need to buy 8 pub height chairs and those are not cheap. The going rate for chairs is about $129-$169 for a set of two. Do the math. We aren’t talking pocket change here. So we’re saving. We probably won’t be getting them until the new year since this is such an expensive time of year. And we are okay with that, as long as we plan for it.
Stephen also has a desire to bike. He’d like to get a road bike and take this up as a hobby. He’s been casually saying this for a couple years and he’s finally decided he’s serious. We talked about it and decided we’d start budgeting to get him a bike. I don’t even want to tell you the price of bikes because if I type it, it might make it real. Little by little we are setting money aside for this. So every penny matters.
I have a couple ideas for Stephen’s Christmas present. His birthday is in January so I have to buy two gifts each year. I really think we should start celebrating his birthday on his half birthday so we can spread it out a bit. But whatever, nobody asked me. I was flippng though an ad on Saturday and saw that one of the items I was thinking about was on sale. I figured now was as good a time as any to go get it. (Sorry I can’t tell you what it is, he reads this. Check back on December 26. I’m sure the anticipation is killing you.) Not only was this item on sale, but there was a mail-in rebate as well. So I went to the store on the way home from Lauren’s on Sunday. I found my item and didn’t see the rebate form next to it. I went to check out and asked the lady if the form would print out. She seemed very unclear about what I was talking about.
This annoys me. I tried to stay calm but it really bothers me when people have NO clue what they are talking about when it is their job to help. So I explain… “This ______ is regularly $___ but it’s on sale for $____ and there is an additional $___ mail-in rebate. I need the form for the mail-in rebate. Do you have any idea where I get that? They are normally located by the product but it wasn’t over there. Did it print out when you finished my transaction?” Crickets. Ugh. She stared at me and said, “I think it’s in the box.” Umm, no. I told her that’s not how rebates work and I was 99.9% sure the form was not in the box. “I think it is. With that paper that tells you that it will work for a certain amount of time.” Oh dear. “The warranty? No. The warranty comes in the box, the mail-in rebate does not. Can you please tell me who to talk to so I can get this figured out because I don’t want it without the form.” FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER after she’s checked out 3 other people and talked to 2 people on her walkie talkie (“This lady needs her warranty-” “No, rebate.” “–Oh, her rebate.”) she tells me to walk back over to the product to find the form and Evelyn who is supposed to be helping me. I walked back over there… still no form. And I assume there was no Evelyn, although I wouldn’t know because I have no clue who Evelyn even is. I made my way back to my lovely cashier and she asked me if I found Evelyn. “Well, I actually don’t know Evelyn so can you just return this. This is getting ridiculous. I’ll go to another store.” And then Evelyn showed up with my form.
It may be important to know that the rebate was for $10. I told you, every penny matters. I will do anything to save a few bucks. Our budget doesn’t have much wiggle room so I think it’s important to do what we can to protect our precious budget. However, you can be as careful as you want but sometimes things come up. Sometimes something comes around and smashes your budget… and your husband’s nose. (Please don’t look at these photos if you have an issue with blood.)
The guys were riding ATVs over the weekend and Stephen hit a branch or a bump or a crater and hit his nose on the handlebar. The ATV didn’t care about our budget. Neither did the doctors.
Luckily the helmet took most of the blow. They said that if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet, he would have smashed his face in. Apparently he tore a lot of tissue in there. He has 8 stitches outside and “a lot” inside. Say a little prayer for him today, he’s in quite a bit of pain.
It may not be necessary to say this but we definitely won’t ever be fitting an ATV into our budget.
If you are participating in Ten on Tuesday tomorrow, you can find the questions by clicking the “Ten on Tuesday” button on the right. Please don’t post them until tomorrow morning. I’m going to ATTEMPT a Mr. Linky so we can get all of your links in one spot so it’s easier for everyone to visit each other. Bear with me, I’m not good at this blogging thing.