Wednesday, July 16, 2014

We’re Going To Hawaii…

I told my brother we weren’t going to Hawaii.  It was too expensive and there’s no way I could survive a plane ride with two little ones.

Then he called to say he could get us half off the Disney Resort Aulani. 

We’re going to Hawaii. 

The sad part?  Even at the discount, we’re still staring at just over $200 a night which means we can only afford to stay a short while.  But I can’t stand the thought of jumping on a plane for 12 hours round trip and staying 4 days.  I had to find a cheap hotel for a few extra nights - but decent enough that I could stay with two small kids and not feel the need to sleep with a knife under the pillow (been there, done that, just not with kids.  I have no standards if it saves me money).

Challenge accepted.

I obsessively researched hotels in the area.  Turtle Bay.  Old school hotel on North Shore built in the ‘70s by Del Webb was intended to be a luxury resort - and it was… in the 70’s and 80’s.  Time was not kind and the hotel changed hands a lot.  It finally landed in the hands of an investment group who decided to renovate the hotel to bring it to its old glory.  The problem?  No one likes construction.  It led to months of bad reviews on the travel websites…which led to me asking the resort what they could do for me. 

That’s how you get a $429 room for less than $200.

The best part (because it gets better), construction finished in June.  The reviews have been glowing since then and if you call today, you’ll pay $429.

Oh but the flight!! Ugh!  $504 a person.  How will we get there at that rate?

When you log on every day to check the rates to monitor the best days to purchase through that airline, they e-mail you deals (maybe to give a break to their server??).

Three tickets to Oahu… $250 each. 

If I were a rapper, I’d drop the microphone and say ‘Boom’. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saving Money..


Chris and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans.  We were able to pay off our debt thanks to that plan but weren't able to use it permanently because of the cash based system.  Grocery shopping was a hassle if I had the cash and Chris was going to the store.  My brother recommended 'You Need A Budget' and WOW, this is the Dave Ramsey plan with technology.  Chris can pull up the app on his phone at any time and see what we have left in our virtual envelopes - and use his debit card.  They also have lots of free webinars to help navigate you through the software.  It's a one time fee of $54 for the software (with the discount link below) but it's already shaved $600 off our budget so we're calling it a win.  You can try it for 35 days for free. 

 

Chris and I are laser focused on saving enough money so one of us can stay home with the kiddos in the next 12 - 18 months.  This is helping us leaps and bounds. 

 

http://ynab.refr.cc/WC67X7C 

 

*Full Disclosure:  We get $6 for everyone who purchases using the link but I'd still refer them even if they didn't give me $6.  Plus, it's the only way for you to get $6 off.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My 3 year old...

My husband and I were starting to plan a romantic weekend away to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary this fall.  We have two free airline tickets and have been saving for a getaway.  I had decided a weekend in Boston with a stop in Martha's Vineyard  would be oh sooo romantic (Chris was only interested in Fenway Park but I'll still count it).

My brother proposed we join them in Hawaii instead.  He was getting a killer deal at the Aulani Disney resort and thought we should cancel our romantic weekend alone and take the kids with us on a family trip to Hawaii.

I imagined our sweet family of 4 running across the beaches in slow motion, our children squealing with glee as they swam in the children's pool, shaking Mickey's hands.  Cue cheesy Hallmark music.

But a 5+ hour flight with a 3 year old and a 1 year old? Um. Gulp.  I'd rather have a root canal.

Maybe my child would magically turn into a sweetheart after his third birthday? 

I've been struggling for a few weeks now, giving my brother a non-committal 'Uh, still thinking about it' reply whenever he asks until I spoke with my co-worker today whose son is three...

We were both making a cup of tea in the break room when she said, "I read this hilarious article called 'My three year old is an asshole', you've got to read it.  It's on the Huffington Post today. It's so true.  Three year olds are really...really...really hard. You should prepare yourself."

I ran to my desk, pulling up the Huffington Post website but was unable to find the article.  I typed, "my 3 year old is..."

Google finished for me...

...Mean
...A Brat
...Driving me crazy

My hallmark dreams faded into a horror film.


Helloooooooo Martha's Vinyard.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why is it available?

I was able to switch my Alaskan training to a far more friendly climate in Washington.  I love, love, love Washington.  I'm just a rainy dreary sort of girl.

The training was absolutely fascinating, by far one of my favorites - very helpful.  The feds put on the class and since they like to recruit from their current staff pool, they shared two investigative positions available. The trainer spent nearly 30 minutes talking about the positions and I was sold.  One of them had my name all over it.  My absolute dream job.  Finally.  Completely within my grasp.

I went back to the hotel and talked to Chris about it.  He was open to me applying for the position if I felt so strongly about it.

"That's weird" he said, "That two positions became available in the same area at the same time.  Two old dudes retire?"

"Uhhhh. Not exactly..." I stammered.

"Quit?!!  You want to move and jump into a job someone QUIT?!?!?" he said.

"Um. No. They didn't quit... they were sort of... murdered.  Their investigation led them to a not so nice group of folks...uh...who had them murdered."

Chris stares at me... then walks out.

I guess that means no.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Packing a Parka...

I'm on a rotating schedule for work travel.  When my turn comes up, I can go, or decline and hope the next city is better.  We get a limited number of declines on each rotation so it's a gamble.

I declined Indiana because... it's Indiana.

The new cycle was just announced...

Anckorage Alaska

In January


I  might die.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Awesome Filth...

My mom has always stressed the importance of spending a little more money to buy quality items.  She'd rather spend $80 on a nice skirt than have eight $10 ones that fall apart quickly.

I drive a Kia and 90% of my wardrobe is from Target.

I'm not a good listener.

Naturally, my decision when purchasing a vacuum was no exception.  I started off the right place.  I asked her for advice on where to buy a fancy machine but as soon as I saw the $600 price tag, I reverted to my old cheap ways.

She also said, "Under NO circumstances should you buy a bagless vacuum.  They're terrible!!"

I brought home a $140 bagless vacuum.

My mom would be so proud.

I pulled my plastic sensation out of the box and started vacuuming, fully expecting the thing to start smoking.  Off it went, working my carpet into a tizzy, filling the clear plastic bin with dirt... and filling... and filling.. and filling.  Geez!  How filthy are my floors!?!?

I finally finished, the dirt and hair well above the 'MAX FILL LINE', and opened the container to put it into the trash. There was so much dirt packed in the container, I had to pull it out with my hands.  This was....

AWESOME!

Bagless versions are the Biore Pore Strips of vacuum cleaners.

Being Obsessive Compusive, I haven't felt this satisfied after vacuuming since I figured out how to make checkerboard patterns on the carpet like an MLB groundskeeper.

Well mom, I'm sorry, but you're wrong.  I can support your $200 purses but you've got vacuum cleaners all wrong.  I've got quite the love affair with my $140 vacuum...

even if I have to replace it 4 times in the next six months.

Friday, November 1, 2013

I've made the switch...

There's a time in all our lives when we move from dressing like the cool hip young adults we were to...dressing like uncool moms.  Sure, there are exceptions like my sisters (ugh. I hate them) but most of us?  Yeah.  We make the switch.

It doesn't happen overnight.  It takes years.  But you realize it's happening the moment you walk into the Juniors department at Macy's (or the rich folks who shop in Brass Plum at Nordy's) and think most of the clothes are ugly.  Then, trying to force yourself into being cool, you try on the clothes anyway and can't get them to fit because 'mom' shaped bodies can't squish into those skinny jeans.

And to all those stupid pictures on Facebook of half dressed moms with the byline, "I've had 8 kids and I'm a size 2!", I'd like to actually meet those women...

so I could punch them in the face.

Yes, I too weigh exactly what I did before my boys were born but you don't see me posting those photos.  Mostly because I can't get my flap of saggy stomach skin or my boobs, now located at my waist, to smile for the camera.

Chris and I wanted to have professional photos done for our Christmas cards this year and I was desperate to find an outfit.  This was made difficult because a) I have a disease called 'mom body' and b) I have $16 in my checking account.

I figured I'd find something in Forever 21 because a) from what I recall from shopping there prior to baby no. 1, they have cute clothes and b) because they have shirts for less than $16.

There is nothing cute in Forever 21.

I am so uncool.

I nearly went to the checkout, begged for mercy, and asked them to dress me.  I had two choices: a) ask an 18 year old with piercings to dress me or b)  spend 5 bucks at Rubio's on a burrito, breathing in the precious few child free minutes, and digging a 10 year old dress out of my closet.

The burrito was delicious.

I've totally turned into my mom.

Screw it.  I'm pulling out a glittered, puffy painted christmas sweater and calling it a day.