Sunday, February 11, 2018

Last Weeks Frugal Accomplishments and a Step Toward Financial Fitness (aka a credit card was paid off)

February 4 - 10

Most us stayed close to home for Super Bowl festivities.  Our family teams weren't represented in the Super Bowl so the party was more simple than it would be otherwise.  However, football food has to be prepared for this football-loving family.  I scored a great deal on brats so that became imperative to serve.  Then we made three different types of dips.  For a little something sweet I made football shaped chocolate sugar cookies.  This dough was found in the freezer clean out and made for a perfect Super Bowl sweet treat.  I also have a supply of football themed serving dishes and such so I pulled them out for an instant party.  Go Eagles!
Yay Eagles!

We ate leftovers today.  There were even extra brats.  The boys were happy!
For a sweet treat today, however, I heated up the homemade chocolate sauce that I made the other day.  I used it on the last of the ice cream.  The boys used it as fondue with some marshmallows we had on hand.  Yum!
I bought a couple of new clothing items to freshen up my wardrobe.  They were deeply discounted.  I hope they are all that they appear to be.
I have a pair of black patent doc martens that I bought a couple of years back.  I needed them to finish an ensemble for an event I was going to.  Well, I really wanted the regular finish but the store didn't have them and I needed a pair so I bought the patent pair.  I have found, however, that I don't like the shininess of them so I haven't worn them in over a year.  This evening I researched ways to paint those boots.  I am optimistic that I can create something that I will enjoy wearing.  I will keep you updated.

I had to go to the store for some milk and roses (for a gift and the smile on the recipients face was totally worth the cashola spent!).  While there I picked up some chicken at eighty-nine cents per pound, two packages of brats at $1.99 each, and ground beef that was discounted by $2.
Maceo's first college audition has been scheduled.  He is applying to schools in the UK so a trip is in our near future.  I began planning the trip and am trying to be responsible, trying to make good choices.  I am getting in the right mindset.

Although last weeks emphasis was on communication and some progress seemed to have been made, the struggle continues.  Today I noted that I struggle with differences in the way that my husband and I view our food resources.  He researched a marinara sauce that involves using ribs and chicken to add flavor to the sauce, not substance just flavor.  Although I had no doubt that this would be yummy and, of course, I let him cook as it is his hobby, I struggled with the notion that these were all going to be rolled into one dish instead of three separate dishes.  We did find a bit of a compromise.  All the meat was pulled out of the sauce and will be used.
This evening I used the chicken and sauce to make chicken cacciatore.  I served it with rice and kale chips.  Yum.
A bit of a fail (but only a bit because the company was stellar) I did spend money eating out for lunch.
I made an effort to try to organize my clothes a bit so as to be more resourceful with outfits.

We used the sauce that Herb made yesterday to have spaghetti for lunch.  I topped mine with leftover kale chips and it was absolutely wonderful!
Dinner was simple with hot dogs and Super Bowl leftovers - queso, cheesesteak dip, and veggies.
A relatively large check of back pay came in today.  We deposited using the banks mobile app then used it to pay off a credit card.  Outstanding debt is now the house, one vehicle and a student loan.  We are making progress!
On the "not intentionally frugal but turned out ok" front:  Maceo and I went to Kohl's to by him a tie to match the dress that is girlfriend will be wearing to a dance they will be going to together.  I thought I had a 20% off coupon but it wasn't effective yet.  Shrug, we went ahead and picked out a tie, went to the register and learned that these ties were buy one get one half off.  The lady at the register was so helpful and generous.  We were already at the the checkout and were hesitant to grab another tie because he didn't really need another one so she offered to mark this tie down by 25% which is what it would have cost individually if we had done the deal.  Isn't that sweet?

Herb made some great taco meat.  We actually had tacos for both lunch and dinner.
We received a check, a back payment, that allowed me to pay off our last credit card.  That's awesome.
A little less awesome is the difficulty that the hubby and had today conversing about finances.  On the surface it seemed to go well but things happened that confirmed that there is a disconnect.  So frustrating.  This transition is difficult.

I spent money today.
I had a LOT of photos developed.  I realized that I had to get moving on Maceo's Senior year scrapbook and Bishop's scouting scrapbooks.  Maceo graduates in June and Bishop, if he is going to rank up to Eagle, has to Eagle before January 5, 2019.  So, I decided that I needed to get focused.  As I said, I printed a LOT of photos.  Walgreens had a discount code that I used getting each photo printed at 10 cents instead of 29.  Then I spent the evening organizing Maceo's senior year photos and ephemera and got a little scrapbooked.  It will be slow going at first as it has been a long time since I have scrapbooked but it will pick up I am certain.  I did have to buy glue sticks, otherwise I am using what I have on hand.  I have plenty on hand.

52-Week Challenge:  The previous balance was $50.  To that I add $5 for a new total of $55.  (I have now done the 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 and 25).

Learning Jar O' Change:  Bishop donated $10.47 to the learning jar.  That donation is added to the previous total of $69.46 for a new total of $79.93.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Lifestyle of Learning 2018 Edition: Volume Three

January 28 - February 3

Maceo began the week with his final performance as Aaron in Titus Andronicus.  There was a  91 year old man in the audience who apparently was quite impressed with the young man who was playing Aaron, according to a friend.  He was particularly complimentary of Maceo's diction and flow.  He was a theatre and Shakespeare professor from Missouri State University who just got selected for their Hall of Fame.  He is quite accomplished and was John Goodman's and Kathleen Turner's instructor.  It was quite affirming.
Bishop attended scouts where he was selected to be the assistant patrol leader.  They made menus for the upcoming campout.
Bishop had his culinary internship.
Maceo attended Youthfest rehearsal and Youthfest.

It was quite an evening and I love watching him perform.
Bishop had the unique opportunity to work as an assistant instructor for his pottery instructor.
Maceo submitted two of his college applications!!!!!!!!!
Maceo attended ppt acting.
The boys played Magic together.
Bishop got in some kitchen time this week, making steaks and more.
Bishop worked on cleaning and reorganizing his room.
Maceo had rehearsal for two of his improv teams, Home Team and No Strings Attached.
I watched a production of West Side Story.
Maceo performed with Improvable Causes; I also got to watch this!
Maceo also performed improv with Home Team.
I took Bishop and a friend to watch a high school debate.  The topic of the debate was "The United State should abolish the capital gains tax."  It was an amazing experience and we spent hours discussing it afterwards.  So cool.  The city that we went to to watch the debate was not far from where some dear friends live so we were able to meet up with them for lunch.  It was a delightful way to end the week.
I look forward to seeing what this next week has to offer us!!!

A Wonderful Field Trip

The hottest new attraction in the United States opened up its doors to homeschoolers for a discounted rate.  Of course we took advantage of that dealio!
So, Maceo, Bishop and I spent a day at Wonders of Wildlife and such a good day it was.

This area of the aquarium was one of my favorite things.  Due to the decline in coral reef many people are creating artificial coral reefs by sinking ships.  Johnny Morris (the owner of WOW) did just that and this exhibit replicates what that ship looks like now, serving as a habitat for many ocean creatures.

Aren't his whiskers adorable?

There was a lot of discussion about the piranhas!

This fish is from the Amazon and that knot on its head gets bigger as it gets older.  So cool.

Of course the boys found books that they want to read!

Just. LOVE.

The boys were very excited about this exhibit.  They loved it.

Bad picture but the shark on the bottom left is smiling at you!

Really, they loved the whole thing and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to check this place out.  It might even be worth an annual family pass.   Hmmmm....