May 2018

May 2018

Friday, August 26, 2016


In case you haven't heard about this bargain site, you might want to check it out. I just finished 95% of my holiday shopping!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Disappearance

Last winter I was so eager to see the newest season of Doc Martin I did a 30-day free trial with Acorn.TV. I was then able to see all the episodes of Doc Martin's seventh season well before the US release on PBS and with no annoying fundraising.

After watching Doc Martin, I took a closer look at what else Acorn.TV had to offer. Fast-forward nine months and Acorn.TV is now my first choice when looking for a new series to watch.

Last night I finished one of Acorn.TV's newest releases, The Disappearance. It's a French television series with English subtitles, but well worth the inconvenience. Since I never just watch television, always multitasking instead, a show with subtitles is impossible to enjoy on our big screen. But since I mainly enjoy Acorn.TV while lying in bed with my iPad, watching The Disappearance wasn't a problem.

If you have Acorn.TV, or are looking for a new entertainment source, I highly recommend The Disappearance. As the series progressed, I was more and more impressed with the acting, especially the mother's performance. And I really enjoyed the two main detectives.

I'm not sure there will be a second season of The Disappearance. But if there is I'll be binge watching for sure. In the meantime, there's much more for me to discover on Acorn.TV.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I'm a Thrifter!

I used to hate going to thrift shops for anything. I was mainly turned off by the smell. But after watching hours of thrifters on YouTube, and seeing the bargains my son and DIL scored at Savers when they first moved here, I just had to give it another try. And a few weeks ago was the ideal time to "test the waters."

During Tax Free weekend, Savers ran a Summer Special. All purchases were half off in addition to not being taxed. I ended up with a pair of black crop pants, a basic tee, and two flyaway cardigans for just $20. And all pieces were name brands from either a department store or boutique. It's been too warm for me to enjoy the cardigans, but the crop pants have quickly become a favorite. Needless to say, it was a successful experiment and I'm no longer anti-thrifting.

On Tuesdays Savers gives a 30% discount to seniors (55 and over). Since today's the first day of school, I knew it wouldn't be crowded, so decided to thrift. I just returned with a Gap loose-fit pullover and Hanes long-sleeve stripe t-shirt, all for a whooping $8.

I know I won't be able to get my entire fall wardrobe from thrift stores. But I'm now convinced I'll definitely be able to save big on several items. And that means my fall-wardrobe budget has just been cut in half!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Museum of Science + Industry Chicago

I'm happy, and relieved, to say hubby and I survived our two-night trip to Chicago with both grandsons. We drove up on Wednesday, stopping in Springfield, IL for lunch and Normal, IL for ice cream. Then, after arriving at the Hampton Inn and Suites Bolingbrook around 5:00 PM, the boys swam before dinner.

I had previously decided we would hit a grocery store for dinner, bringing food back to the hotel for a relaxed meal. I knew it would be cheaper and I could insist each boy pick out some vegetables and fruits. Well, as luck would have it, there was an Aldi less than a five-minute drive from the hotel. And the boys actually had fun picking out what they wanted. We had a smorgasbord of deli turkey, American cheese, summer sausage, baby carrots, blueberries, strawberries, and apple sauce. Success!

The next morning, after the included breakfast at the hotel, we headed to the Museum of Science + Industry where the boys had a blast. In addition to enjoying several of the regular hands-on exhibits, we did two of the special experiences, Brick by Brick and 3D Printing.

After seven hours at the museum, we were ready to relax and decided on another in-room dinner. We stopped at Burger King for burgers and Aldi for more fruit and vegetables.

So the first two days of our trip were a complete success. It was on day three, during the drive home, that things fell apart.

I swear Jonah is Jekyll and Hyde. When he's good he's so much fun to be around, sweet and so smart. Then, for no acceptable reason, he becomes rude, disrespectful, mean, and disobedient. And that's the Jonah we got going home. It got so bad at one point that hubby pulled off the highway and I physically pulled Jonah from the car for a timeout. Of course, by the time we got home, I was exhausted from being so annoyed and Jonah acted as if nothing had happened.

But, since being home, we've had a lot of Reya time. And, that quickly, all's right with my world again :)

MSI is filled with exhibits
that encourage close-up
In the transportation area, there's a model
train display showing the trip from
Chicago to Seattle.
Learning about tornados.
Part of Brick by Brick was
the opportunity to create your
own design.
The American Eagle roller coaster
at Six Flags Gurnee, IL made
of Lego bricks.
Elliott's brick design.
Jonah watching the creature
he designed using CAD software
being 3D printed.
My creature :)
Almost as cool as 3D printing
was designing a top and then
watching it being imprinted,
assembled, and packaged
in the Toymaker 3000 exhibit. 
Jonah loved the mirror maze
in the Numbers in Nature exhibit.
Just 4-weeks old, our sweet
and beautiful Reya can
now do this!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

End of Month Surplus

Putting myself on a spending diet for the month of July worked out well. I managed to save $400 by not spending more than $5.00 for unnecessary items, and doing more home cooking on the weekends.

That $400 will come in handy for a short trip we have planned this month. Hubby and I are taking our grandsons to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. We've been there twice and know the boys will love it. We'll drive up one day, visit the museum the next day, and drive home the third day.

The trip will take place when my daughter, a teacher, returns to work before classes begin. Those three days are always a challenge as far as finding people to watch the boys. I, for one, will not watch both boys without help. Fortunately, this year hubby was able to take the days off work.

The next challenge is finding things to do that appeal to two boys four years apart in age. And they've already hit all the tourist spots in St. Louis with one or both parents this summer. In my mind all that's left is a short road trip, preferably to some place with good AC.

But it's our first time traveling with the boys without their parents, and I'm a little anxious. I'm not worried about the 10-year-old. It's the sometimes moody six-year-old who could cause problems. At least I won't be outnumbered!