How I kicked My Soda Addiction

IMG_7624-001

At the age of 16 in preparation for the prom, I decided to give up soda (a.k.a pop) and drink only water.  I was young,committed, and determined so I was very successful in my task and, in the process,I lost weight which had my dress showing a little side boob, but that is another story.  I ended up sticking with it post prom and never drank soda again until my lovely husband’s obsession with Diet Coke creeped it’s way first into my refrigerator, then into my taste buds.

My knowledge of the unhealthy aspects of this delicious drink could not compete with the incessant cravings.  In the back of my head, I was always yelling “stop stop!!” so I would have fluctuating moments of stopping for some time and then starting up again. Well fast forward to present day and I have finally found something to quench my thirst (for soda) without making me feel I am sacrificing my craving and, not to mention, keeping extra money in my pocket.  My cure, sparkling water!  Sorry, no miracle elixir here if that is what you were expecting.  I realized part of the draw to soda is that deliciously crisp bite I get from the carbonated beverage. With the carbonated water, I still can get that bite without the guilt.  Now, I am not referring to the artificially sweetened waters, just plain carbonated water with the natural flavoring (where it is more of a scent than a flavor).  I don’t have a preference, I just choose whichever brand is the cheapest that day I go into the store.  They are not all created equal so you will have to find which brand best tickles your fancy.  So there you have it, instead of soda, grab yourself an nice cold bubbly glass of water.

Advertisements

A Conventional Use for an Unconventional Item

In trying to be a Frugalista, I have learned a few things and one of them is company’s always try to gouge you when it comes to specialty items.  I actually first noticed this during my wedding planning.  If they think you are going to use  their venue for a wedding versus a random party, they will hike up the price like nobody’s business.  If there is a particular item used for a specific task (e.g. a broom for sweeping), they will drive up the price knowing you have to use it.   Well I have a little secret, you don’t have to use what they tell you to use.  You can tell that venue you are having a little party instead of a wedding  and you can find a cool, bargain item and repurpose it.

IMG_0985

This is exactly what my mother in-law did in purchasing this hands free disposal container from Goodwill.  I am not sure if that was her goal, but it certiainly impressed the hell out of me.

IMG_0993

We use this container as a recycling bin and based on the imprint, I am pretty sure it was some sort of laboratory container.  It’s kind of modern-ecclectic meets utility?  It’s super cool, convenient and hands free.

IMG_0975

Happy Mother’s Day

Inspired by the beautiful lemon tree in my aunt’s backyard, I decided to have a simple Mother’s Day luncheon with a lemony twist.

IMG_1384-001

 

I didn’t stretch my imagination too far on this one since, on very rare occasions, I do sometimes like to keep things simple….well my kind of simple.

IMG_1376

 

This time my budget was tighter than ever and let me just say it…I just didn’t want to spend money.  I made a very light lunch and a few desserts (yes, there are four different types but I just love dessert).  And, of course, when life presents you with lemons, you make lemonade.

IMG_1375

 

IMG_1371-001

 

I wanted to keep with the outdoor environment and make things fresh so I made thyme lemonade and, for the water, I added cucumbers.

IMG_1396-001

IMG_1397-001

IMG_1403-001

 

 

IMG_1425-002

Here are the Deets:

For the Table

Tulips – $3.99 for a bunch purchased at Trader Joe’s

Vases – $0.99 each

Napkins – Cut from $0.99 pillow case

Place Card Frames/Event Favor – $1.70 each (with 15% off coupon at Michael’s)

Food

Crab Salad Sandwiches – ( had crab on hand from a 50% off sale–Bonus!!!)

Deviled Eggs

Hand Salad – (just take a leaf of your choice of lettuce, add veggies, and roll it up)

Cupcakes

Pecan Tart

Strawberry Cream Tart

 

IMG_1404

 

The back drop (click here for the DIY tutorial) for the food and dessert table was one of my favorites and a labor of love.  It took a lot of time but for the $2.00 price tag, it was totally worth it!  The weather was so perfect like it was designed perfect to match our event, fresh and warm.  We had such a wonderful and relaxing day as it was meant to be.  Happy Mother’s Day!

$2 Backdrop

For this simple back drop you will need the following:

IMG_13062 Plastic Tablecloths (you can use as many different colors as you want)

Scissors

Template (I printed a capitol letter U using Gill Sans Ultra Bold on MS Word 2010)

Cardboard

A steady hand

1.  First I printed the letter and cut it out

2. Trace the printed ‘U’ onto the cardboard for a steadier template

IMG_1444-002 IMG_1443-001 IMG_1365-002 IMG_1361-001

3.  Use the template to draw onto the plastic tablecloth

IMG_1365-002

4.  Cut the traced U’s

IMG_1443-001

 

5. Hang Your Backdrop

IMG_1444-002

The 5 things I’ve Learned From Moving In With The In-Laws…..So Far

My husband and I decided to sell our home and temporarily move our family in with his parents.   Being a fairly level headed individual, I knew there would be a multitude of sacrifices especially with a 7 month old and 3 year old in tow.  But I have to admit there were several aspects that I just didn’t comprehend until I was already in motion which brings me to the five things that I have learned:

1.  Downsizing is a must

O.k., go into your closet and take out a few pairs of clothing that you know you should throw out or donate.  Now do that about 10 more times and then  you might just have an idea of amount of clothing you should take with you.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to give it all away, some of that can go into storage for when you obtain  you own dream walk-in closet, but not even half can go with you.   Seriously!

2.  Prepare to have to visit your storage facility a few times

A friend warned me of this one, but of course I didn’t listen.  This goes along with item one.  Since you can’t bring all of your clothes and other things you may need at some point,  be sure to pack them in the front of your storage facility so you don’t find yourself clawing through boxes for hours desperately looking for the warm weather clothing you packed away.

IMG_0958

3.  Fold Like A Salesperson

Yes, more on clothes, because I had some major delusions on what I was going to be able to fit into our new surroundings.  If you don’t have as much space to hang items, learn how to fold in a manner that will maximize use of space.  A perfect example is the perfectly folded sweaters on those tables in a clothing store.

IMG_0957

3.  Get used to creative storage

I preemptively planned for this one.  We sold nearly all of our furniture along with our house and I mean come on, we could not bring any dressers with us anyway so where would all of our stuff go.  For my sons, I brought the toy storage rack and now, instead of holding toys, it has cute little t-shirts, shorts, and undies.  The night stands in our room have become a cabinet and a dress all in one.  There is no separation of items either.  The drawer that holds my notebook for any late night ideas I want to jot down also holds my jewelry and nail polish.

4.  Learn the grocery clerks name.

I go to the grocery store so often now, they started giving me free stuff (bonus!).  I haven’t learned their names yet, but I am sure that is next.  Since we share a fridge,  bulk shopping is a thing of the past.  The bonus is that if you forget something, it’s not as big of a deal since you know you’ll be back in a day or two.

5.  Be thankful for all of the inconveniences

Though I catch myself rolling my eyes every once in a while for the inconveniences I have to experience not having my own home, I have to remind myself how fortunate we are to have been given the opportunity to sell our own and not live on the street.