9/15/12

Cheap Tricks

As promised, just a few days late, my top ten tricks for saving that kizzo for a rainy day (or a Nordstrom's Sale...). Love the One You're With: Check out your current accounts that may be hemoraging under your watch. #1) Examine that monthly trash bill. Do you really need the big trash can? In my town, the green waste and recycle bins are free-no matter how big. So the price is based on the size of your trash bin. We have the tiniest bin for a family of four and it dropped our cost to less than $10/month! RECYCLE MORE. #2) KILL YOUR CABLE I mean really, unplug yourself from mainstream America and think outside the box (the cable box, that is). With Netflix and Amazon Prime (free online streaming of zillions of tv shows and movies AND free 2 day shipping) all you really need is a Blu-Ray player for a little tv fix. The other benefit is that all that time wasted in front of the tv can be spent elsewhere-like on the lawn playing ball with your kiddos. #3) Cancel junk mail and catalogs, because every time I flip through those pages, I covet more stuff I need to spend money on. Sure, it's a little disheartening to stare into the gaping darkness of an empty mailbox, but think of all those trees you're saving! Go to https://www.catalogchoice.org/ and https://www.dmachoice.org/dma/member/regist.action to stop junk mail. #4) Make 30 of these burritos (Thanks Holly!) and freeze them for peace of mind, nutrition and a quick hearty meal whenever you need one. Kid friendly, too! INGRDIENTS: Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sauteed Veggie (like onion, zuchini, or red bell pepper), Black Beans, Shredded Cheese (lots), Giant Burrito Sized Tortillas. Directions: Set up an assembly line of the Ingredients, make a pile in the center of the tortilla and wrap into a burrito. Then seer each burrito in a little olive oil and butter on a hot pan, melting the cheese and crisping the tortilla. Then, wrap the tortilla in a sheet of tin foil. Pop into a freezer bag and stash in the freezer for future sanity. You'll thank me (and Holly) later. Feel free to substitute items like chicken or hot sauce or whatever else works for you. #4) Avoid Target and TJ Maxx. Just don't go in. Don't do it! #5) Buy 4 at a time. If you can store it, just get 3 or 4 of the following household staples-it will save you in driving trips to the store, fuel, time, and scattered craziness. Dish detergent, Toilet Paper, laundry detergents, Soaps, Tampons, Sunscreen, etc. You get the idea. Give yourself the green light on buying the hell out of this stuff. And you'll be sufficiently prepared for Armageddon. #6) If your car still runs, drive it. No new car will save you money-it just makes you look cooler (yeah, that IS jealousy in my voice). If you have to look at new cars, calculate the payment you will make plus the insurance....$500? $700? a month??? And start putting that amount in your savings account every month you drive your beater. #7) Reorganize your closet. Clean out the old shit you hate, iron the stuff that's wrinkly, color coordinate it, fold it, stack it and make it pretty. That old wardrobe will look so much more appealing when you sell it to yourself like a department store display.

#8) Avoid coffee shops-those $4 coffees will make you go broke. Instead, get yourself a cute mug that matches your purse and rock that homemade brew everywhere you go. Like froth and steamed milk but don't have the doohicky to make it? We bought a $19 frother we use for microwaved milk and ADORE every hoome cup of coffee! YUMMMY! #9) Buy used....craigslist, ebay, garage sales, and thrift shops. If you want it, it's out there. #10) Just say no. To your kids, to yourself. If all else fails, just buy it, hide it in the back of your closet and practice saying, "What THIS OLD THING?!? I've had this for Aaaggges!"

9/10/12

Six Degrees or less

A local surfer in our little town passed away yesterday. He was the father of 4 and had suffered the loss of their mother in a tragic car accident years ago. I wouldn't call myself a friend, just an acquaintance if that. But just the same, I feel heavy with this news because it's just....sad. Any parent with young kids has to find something about this that resonates with them. It got me thinking about the school where his children go and all the families who share their daily life on the campus, in the carpool, and in the classroom. All of which will share this heavy burden of grief with his kids' today and in their future. I never realized just how interwoven we become as parents at a school just by doing the daily carpool and volunteering in the classrooms. I've realized that I know a lot about the kids my children go to school with, and I've learned a lot about the story of their families over the years. I learned about Mailie's new baby sister who's been in the NICU for 5 weeks waiting to grow big enough to come home. I celebrated the final chemo treatment of a kindergarten classmate (why do these things have to happen to kids???). I've had the pleasure of meeting grandparents and big brothers, stepmoms and neighbors who run carpool. These are all people who are shaping the environment my daughters learn and live in every day by the way they choose to parent and interact with their own kids. It's amazing how small the world gets when you begin to think this way. When you put your child in a social situation where they interact, play and learn together with other people's kids....wait, it's almost like-REAL LIFE! It's like the way we choose to treat eachother actually matters.... Hm, I'm going to chew on that one for a little while. Back to my point about DRay.. I hope, as members of a community, and humans, that we can comfort his kids with open arms, plates of food, and plenty of help, happiness and encouragement along their path of life. R.I.P Dustin Ray