Thursday, July 21, 2011

Attempts at Domestication

I think the title of this post is appropriate for this next segment... I have hardly any skills in the good housewife department. I don't know how to cook and I don't like to clean, but of course, I cook sometimes and I have to clean. Since we want to save money for the future (and because I want to learn useful skills), I've taken up some activities to help with saving money. These activities are obviously leading me onto the domestication path. Whether I can follow this path and actually succeed is another question. Here are a list of my attempts. Look out for updates in the future.

Attempt #1 - I went to a couponing class. There, I said it. I have decided to start couponing. If Extreme Couponing on TLC pops into mind, I don't blame you. That show has given a bad reputation to couponers all over. Personally, I would like to call myself an informed couponer. Yes, I get the Sunday paper now. Yes, I have a couponing binder. I subscribe to the Savvy Shopper Deals newsletter to stay up to date on deals and I also use their "Shopping Wizard" to help me in finding where the best deals are. If you're interested in couponing, let me know. I'd be happy to help or at least refer you to someone who knows what they're talking about. It's been an interested adventure so far. I do enjoy it, although it can be a pain at times, but I can't really complain when I can get things I'd use for free rather effortlessly.

Attempt #2 - We've started doing Bountiful Baskets. If you aren't familiar with BB, check out their site. It's basically a co-op where you can participate to get locally grown produce and fruit. It's cheaper and fresher because they eliminate the middle man (grocery stores) in the process. You sign up each week. Conventional boxes are $15. Organic boxes are $25. You can also add-on the other things available, like breads and fruits. The boxes are 50% vegetables and 50% fruit, but they're different each week and you aren't guaranteed anything, which means you're up for a surprise of produce each week. That can be a fun thing or that can be a pain trying to figure out what to do with something foreign. We've done it for 3 weeks already and it's been pretty good for us. I've been able to expand my very limited cooking skills with the motivation to use all the food before it goes bad. I've been able to make fresh strawberry lemonade, salsa, kale chips, beet salad, cilantro lime butter on corn, and I've even practiced my knife skills by slicing all that fruit each week.

Hopefully, my efforts will pay off in the future. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seattle 2011

Not long after our trip to Disney World, we packed up our things again to head to Seattle for my sister's graduation. This time, instead of packing for the heat and humidity of Florida, we packed for the rain and mild weather of Washington. Andrew had driven through Washington before. He went to Seattle for a day with his friends back in high school, but I had never been there before. We knew to expect rain and temperatures in the high 60s/ low 70s, however, we lucked out and the weather was absolutely perfect for the majority of our stay. It was sunny and warm for most of the time, except the last full day we were there which happened to be the day of graduation and of course it poured throughout the ceremony.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disney World 2011: Day 7 and our goodbyes...

Our time in Disney World was amazing. We stayed there a whole week which in most places would be overkill, but it actually was just perfect for us to take in everything Disney World had to offer. We actually could have stayed a bit longer too since there really was more stuff we were never able to do.

On our last day there, we decided to take it easy so we packed up our stuff and checked them with the hotel while we went out to the park one last time. We went to Epcot yet again. It was so conveniently close and we wanted to go through it one last time. We got some more food from the food cart in China and went through the Japanese store to get more goodies before we had to leave to catch our bus to the airport.

One good thing about staying at a Disney hotel is that we get to use the Magical Express to/from the airport and they check in our bags at the hotel. All we had to do was make sure we caught our bus and that was it. We said goodbye to Disney World and made our way home in a much quicker manner than when we first arrived. (i.e. we weren't stuck in security for an hour and then get delayed even more while we waited for others stuck in security to make it to the plane.) Isabelle didn't fare as well on the flight home though and she cried for the last 20 minutes or so. She kept signing and saying "All Done!" and Andrew had to finally pretend that he was going to get up to change her diaper in order for her to stop crying.

Getting home was kind of a bummer. I remember how sad it was to leave Disney World the first time I was there in high school. It was like returning to reality then and it was kind of like that now. Jadon kept telling me weeks afterward that he missed Disney World and how he wished we could go back there. All I could think was, "Me too." Disney World was an amazing trip for all of us and we're definitely going to go back there many more times in the future, but first, we want to visit several other places before we head back there.

This ends our Disney World trip series finally. Thanks for reading if you were able to get through all the details. Now, we'll be moving on to more recent events and I'll update more often.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Disney World 2011: Day 6

(Yes, I'm still writing about Disney World. Yes, I do realize that I'm VERY far behind...)

On the second to last day in Disney World, we planned to head back to the Magic Kingdom as early as we could so that we could beat the heat and the crowds. Since the first day in Disney World was a massive disaster at the Magic Kingdom, Andrew was not very happy to head back there but I pretty much demanded that we wake up early enough to at least do half a day there. We have kids after all. They have to ride something in the Magic Kingdom.

We arrived pretty soon after the park opened and it was a completely opposite experience than the one we had the first time around. It was practically blissful there. The weather was amazing and we walked onto pretty much everything we wanted to ride and were able to enjoy a nice lunch without too much of a wait or crowd.

We started out at the it's a small world ride which was Jadon and Isabelle's favorite in Disneyland. Jadon was surprised that things outside were completely different, but that everything inside was pretty much the exact same as Disneyland. After that we went to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. This was my first time ever riding on this ride and it just seemed like a pirates themed small world ride, since we rode them back to back. Jadon was terrified for the first part and closed his eyes, but he opened them for the end of it. He enjoyed looking through all the stuff in the gift shop and ended up picking out a telescope. When we got off the ride, we saw the last part of the Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator. It was hilarious and such an amazing impersonation. It would've been fun to see the whole show. Jadon even joined in when they were looking through their telescopes to spot something.