Disneyland the “Happiest Place on Earth.” It’s also one of the most expensive places to take your family. As parents we’ve all been there, planning the big vaca and then bam…those big black ears slap you in the face. From tickets, to park food to the overpriced souvenirs. It’s impossible for the family of four to get out of the park for two days under a thousand dollars. That’s not including lodging or other necessities needed, so to help ease the pain I’ve scoured the internet for you and gathered ways to help you save on tickets, food, and souvenirs for your big vacation to Disney!…
With Halloween around the corner, it’s hard not to get in the mood and drown your house in orange and black. Myself preferring more of a harvest theme, but it seems like every year I eventually give up to the kids pleading and end up going with witches and ghosts as centerpieces. But with these cute spooktacular Halloween finds, maybe there will be some compromising this year!
All of these adorable and spooky finds are budget friendly of course! From costumes to tees, to cute home decor Jane.com has a little something for everyone! I picked a few “boo-tiful” home goods and accessories that will get you in the mood to celebrate with your favorite trick o’ treaters.
Ps. The Personalized Trick or Treat Bags are my favorite, what is your fav?
I wasn’t always married to a bodybuilder, it just kind of happened. He fell in love with a hobby and a lifestyle developed. Now once or twice a year I share him with a gym, trainers, more trainers, and a world that I will never quite understand.
To be fair, he does come to me every time he wants to compete to discuss whether we can handle another physique competition, specifically our marriage. After this last competition, I told him I would divorce him if he did another show. That was my visceral reaction after enduring another emotional roller coaster ride of competition season. Was I serious?. At the time yes. Now nine months since the last one, nope. He is eating like a human again and his horns have been filed back down. So we will stay married and our marriage will survive to see another year.
This article is not meant to be taken this the wrong way. I am so very proud of my husband and the amount of discipline and dedication it takes to get your body down to 3% body fat. My elbow fat doesn’t even get that low. I’m at a cool 35% right now and I’m pretty content if I can reach into my closet and my “skinny jeans” fit. The purpose of this post is to shed some light of what the other half of the equation- the spouses go thru when married to an ultra-disciplined, boiled chicken eating, 3% fat kind of person.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The Grocery Game
Expect to Purchase HUGE, as in astronomical amounts of chicken breast, tuna, spinach, and eggs for your spouse’s diet. People will look at you sideways at the store when you throw 5 bags of chicken and frozen spinach in your cart. Thank the lord self-checkout is now a thing. Shake n’bake will cease to exist along with any other “normal” way to prepare chicken. Now the only way you can prepare chicken is to boil and dry grill until it’s depleted of all flavor and deliciousness. PS. Salt also becomes a bad word in your house, deserving of the death glare at times.
Seeing your Spouse in a New Light
Unfortunately, at some point, you WILL walk in on your spouse ( husband in my case) shaving parts of his body you didn’t know needed shaving. And yes, he will ask you to “get that spot he missed.” You will walk away feeling conflicted and questioning if you will ever be able to look at your husband with the same longing ever again. In addition, you will also wonder if you’re going to end up being one of those women whose husband had a lifestyle choice change halfway thru their marriage.
Posing- When you walk into your closet and find your hubby in a banana hammock doing his best Vogue impression and smiling like a serial killer. Please resist the urge to laugh. Trust me…lesson learned
Your competitor will be the biggest a**hole in the world then turn on a dime. They will have moments where they realize they have been devils and kiss the ground you walk on, just to flip again ten minutes later. The moods will eventually have you questioning your own sanity. When you ask what’s wrong, expect the usual growl of “FINE!” The moodiness really isn’t their fault, Their bodies are basically eating themselves for fuel.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?
The spouse will basically live at the gym, which is OK at this point because as we discussed earlier, we really don’t want them around at this point anymore anyway. Which leads me to my next subject SEX. Their Testosterone levels are on overdrive, either because of supplementation or other reasons. Therefore in addition to being moody little buggars, they are moody, hungry and randy. You can either go with the flow and enjoy the ride (pun intended) or fight the good fight for the six months leading up to the big show.
Invest in Dark Linens
I so lovingly named my husband George Hamilton (see pic) By the time they get to show, they will eventually give “Tanning Mom” a run for her money! Invest in a pair of dark sheets, you’ll thank me later. After the show and after all of the tanning applications, it takes days to wash off!
Is it Worth it?
YES…despite all of the above reasons, it is worth it. When it is all said and done and your spouse is on stage happily beaming with their overly white teeth you know it was all worth it. Crying tears of joy and pride because that is your overly tanned loveyup there and they will be eating cheeseburgers and donuts with you shortly.
It is now September 30th, 2018 and my hubby is now training again for the Arnold 2019 in Ohio. Just this week I bought my first haul of spinach, eggs, and chicken…Such is the life of the wife of a bodybuilder! I will once again, be in the audience in March cheering him on!
Homecoming season is upon us, and it seems like every time I turn around I’m being told something needs to be purchased, rented or ordered for “Hoco” as it’s referred to now. Homecoming these days can easily skyrocket into the hundred’s of dollars if you let it. I know this after experiencing the money drain twice now, once with a son and one with my daughter. After learning some valuable lessons, I have come up with 13 creative but cool ways to save some money on homecoming!
How To Save Money on Homecoming
Save on Hair and Make-up
Glam Expenses can pile up! Here are a few ways to save some money on those hefty charges
DIY your hair and make-up, by hosting your own in home Spa Day. Last year I hosted 6 goofing and giggling girls who had a blast getting ready together. They did each other’s hair and make-up and spent the entire afternoon together making memories. Be “extra” and head to your local Marshalls or Tjmaxx and find some luxury face masks for all of the girls to indulge in for pennies on the dollar!
Make-up- Video Tutorials! Teen girls these days spend vast amounts of time watching these things. I at times have found myself mesmerized by these time-lapsed addictive clips. Just go onto youtube or pinterest and search homecoming or prom make-up and find a look you like and voila, easy peasy! EXTRA HINT- Invest in some false eyelashes, like Ardell (my personal favorite) they will immediately glam up any look in seconds.
Clothing-Look Smashing without Breaking the Bank
Here are three ways to look amazing on your special night without having to eat bologna sandwiches for a month!
Scour the internet for dress for deals ( no-brainer) This year I found not one but TWO dresses for my daughter online at Dillards in their clearance department. Beware though there is a “no returns” policy on final clearance, but the deal was too good to pass up. We now have her homecoming and her graduation dress both for $75 shipped. They would have normally been over $300!
If you don’t feel like taking the plunge or know that you’re daughter will never have the occasion to wear a formal dress again, try renting a dress. There are several options out there for you. “Rent the Runway” is just one of the many online shops to do so. (Honest Engine disclaimer-I have never ordered from Rent the Runway so I cannot speak for their quality)
Take your own Photos- You don’t have to be Annie Leibovitz or have a fancy camera to take good pics these days. Many of today’s newer phones have just as many mp’s (megapixels) as the professional cameras. Here are three tips for taking great tips of your teen!
The Great Outdoors- Go outside and avoid shadows. Overcast lighting is ideal, but Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor. When outdoors always have the sun behind the photographer.
If you have a newer phone, put that baby in portrait mode, tap to put the focus on the subjects face, and ALWAYS use the flash even if you think you don’t need it. That will help fill the shadows, that you don’t see now, but will show up later in the pics.
Have an assistant help you to tell jokes, distract the subjects. Anything that will make the photos look natural, candid and not posed. The photos that are of your kiddos goosing and giggling are infinitely better than those where your kiddos is posed and bent into ridiculously unnatural stances. P.S Use Burst to catch every second, you will find gems in that camera roll, I promise!
For the Guys
Those Tux’s can get expensive, I know my son’s tux rental price tag was ridiculous. He’s still recovering from the embarrassing situation when I almost spit out my drink when the store employee informed me of the forthcoming tux rental total. But, when I was there I saw teen after teen come in with a voucher for $$$ off their tux. I inquired a little too late, lesson learned. Here are the deets on this awesome money saving program from The Mens Wearhouse, so you can save;
Make your own Homecoming Mum!~Get the scissors and glue gun out and get crafty to save some money! Here in Texas the mum game can get a little insane “Go big or go home,” being the anthem heard around campus’. So it’s no surprise that mums can go into the hundred of dollar range. But all you have to do is google “homecoming mum diy” or check out pinterest HERE and you will hit the jackpot of mum instructional videos.
Another great resource for mums and do good at the same time is to purchase your mum at your school. Our high school’s Parent Teacher Association makes and sells them. The mum’s are a fraction of what you would pay at a mum retailer and proceeds go towards making your school a better learning environment, It’s a win-win!
Why stress out over the driving situation, and why spend the extra bucks on a limo or a party bus, when you can easily get a lyft? Which btw, Party busses are now banned at some schools, for obvious reasons. A lyft is a safe alternative to your teen having to navigate a tenuous night as it is. This is one less decision, they have to make. And one less thing you have to stress out about. You know that your teen not depending on another teen for a ride, or having to drive home after possibly having a drink (let’s keep it real folks.)
Host a “Fancy Potluck” dinner- if your teen is going with a group of other teens. Have each parent be responsible for a dish and pull out your best china. The kids will love it, and how hard is it really to throw together a Ceasar salad or Buy Roasted Chicken’s from Sam’s Club and toss them on a serving tray (no one needs to know- think smarter not harder)
Parents are usually the one’s in charge of making the reservations, at least in our group another mom and I have, so make them early. When they have happy hour specials and take advantage of them.
No matter how much money you do or don’t end up spending at homecoming, remember your kiddos only get to do this a couple of times in their lives. This stage in their life is fleeting, and pretty soon their lives will be encumbered with adult responsibilities, bills and other not fun stuff. Try not to penny pinch the fun out of it 😉
Good Monday Morning Everyone! My Monday Mood as of right now=Slightly motivated from a half cup of coffee, how about you?
We had a ton of yard work to get done, so I got to play in the dirt all weekend. Something I love to do. Ironic, I know. My life is a bundle of little things like that. I am beauty obsessed but I can drive a John Deere, I compulsively clean but the work on my desk can pile up like a stockbroker with A.D.H.D, my life complicated like that, is yours? Ps..That’s how I came up with the name Simply Complicated in case you were wondering.
I don’t know about you but fall has me in the baking mood, yes I said it! I actually baked last week. (I’m posting the awesome cookie recipe I baked this week fyi) in the meantime this is the recipe I stumbled upon that’s next on deck for snickerdoodles!
Every now and again I find myself spinning. It doesn’t happen often, but often enough to bother me and upset my very ordinary life. I’ve not hidden the fact that I am one of the 40 million people in the US battling anxiety and depression. If you have read my story you know now that now have it under control. But every now and again something will trigger it (usually stress) and cause me to start restlessly climbing the walls, not being able to quiet my mind or sleep.
My family is none the wiser, they just assume I am “moody.” Which is the scary part of anxiety and depression, why so many go undiagnosed. I am highly functioning, usually the manic mood working in my favor, like so many others dealing with anxiety and depression. The reality of the illness comes in many shades and is not like on TV. I don’t sit around sulking until it gets really bad. I have fits of mania where I can’t sit still, while having horrible dark self-destructive self dialogue. Depression also hurts, mine almost always brings with it migraines that last for days.
The point of bringing all of this depressing stuff up (pun not intended) is to remind everyone to take care of themselves. More often than not I found myself sitting in front of my computer obsessing about my blog statistics, finances, family stuff and things that I really couldn’t do anything about even if I wanted to. I stopped being the organized person I usually am so the work piled up and the spiraling began. I ignored the safeguards I put in place, working out, meds, hormones my need for organization and I need to be more vigilant about that. I’m starting to feel better now, more like myself. Life’s stresses can’t be ignored that’s not realistic, but for now I’m just going to …
Who hasn’t jumped on the paleo and zoodle band wagon? Here’s a pretty cool lookin’ recipe for a Burrito Zoodle Dish by Delish! Let me know if anyone tries it!
Monday Motivation…woot woot, I wish! …I wish I could be that person, positive and encouraging, chipper. The ladies that cold insta call me at least thrice a month promising ” a new life, boundless energy, and an insane body. ” Settle down there ladies. Yes, you look amazing and you should be proud of your hard work. But If you see more food and make-up in my feed than anything else, I’m probably not gonna drink the sugar-free kool-aid your serving.
I’ve never been the motivating type. Forcefully sarcastic sounds a little more appropriate when trying to encourage my friend “S” when walking with me. The diet is going “eh.” I’m down seven pounds which is good…I guess. It only took me so long I lost count of the days. Gone are the days when I could skip a meal and drop three pounds. If I were to eat a snickers bar, I might explode like a puffer fish defending it’s territory.
I have no less earned that seven pound loss. Blood sweat and very dull food have gone into each and every one of those seven pounds. Now finding a routine with my workouts, walking a mile every day at the very least. Sometimes even feeling a little nuts and jogging, I know crazy right? I’m feeling the workout boredom creep in like it usually does about this time. Also the need to up the workout ante now. I’m possibly pondering walking into a gym…UGH. Stay tuned!
It all began weeks ago, I had been watching the local news when they had announced that our fire department was offering free fire alarms. They had me at “free.” I immediately dialed the number and left a message. After about a week of playing phone tag (because yes I am one of those people who never answers their phone) we nailed down a FREE fire inspection for my home and installation of fire alarms.
Fast forward to my appointment with Fire Inspector Steve showing up at my home. He quickly and so politely educated my ignorance to my homes weak spots and where we should place the fire alarm(s).
Fire Factoid #1– Fire Alarms should be at the entrance to every bedroom! …Yikes, I had no idea!
Fire Factoid #2 – Keeping bedroom doors closed at night keeps a fire out of the bedrooms for 15-20 minutes which can save lives!… Guess what we now close our doors
Inspector Steve ended up installing THREE FREE fire alarms yesterday, pointing out all of my homes fire risks and educating me about fire safety and escape routes.
I asked Inspector Steve how this program came about and if It was local or national. He informed me that the National Red Cross funds this program. In El Paso, you can call 311 for information.
In other parts of the country, you can call your local Fire Department or your Local Red Cross to find out if it is available in your neck of the woods. I did some research for you and in most states this program is available. You just might have to do some digging. I posted the Red Cross search engine for you below to get you started.