Friday, April 24, 2009

Frugal Friday

Who doesn't want to save money? Of course for some, like me, that is not the easist task. I am not super spendy but I could stand to save more.

So with that being said every Friday, I'm going to try to come up with a way to be more frugal. Eventually, I will run out of ideas, but I'm going to see how long I can keep them coming.

Friday has always been our eating out day (and a lot of times Saturday and Sunday too and occasionally often times throughout the week.. yeah, we're bad). This week we have done good about not eating out. It's so hard because I LOVE food. However a lot of the things I love can be recreated at home.

One place I LOVE to go is IHOP. I crave their Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity pancakes. (Isn't that a great name?) MMMM... they are delish!

Okay I could show you pictures of pancakes all day long, trust me I could (LOL), but to save everyone's keyboard from the unavoidable drool I won't do that.

My first idea to be more frugal is to replace our eating out night with something else. So Friday nights are now deemed Fruity Breakfast for Dinner at the Turner house.

Breakfast is cheap and good, so it's a win-win situation!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1,200 miles later and we are HOME!

This past week we took a vacation. We had to go to Missouri for Holden's appointment. We decided why not go an extra 7 hours and visit Chicago. Yeah, I know we are crazy!

We were only in Chicago for 3 nights, 2 days but we tried to pack as much sight seeing as possible during that time. Our vacation turned out to be a little National Lapoon-ish (like my made up adjective?). But we still had a great time!

On the way to Missouri, I met up with a friend. I've been part of a message board since I was pregnant with Holden. It is a parenting message board. It started off as a birth club for January 2005 but has branched out to include other Mamas. Four years later we are still an active group. I had never met anyone in person. So we stopped off in Oklahoma and met Megan and her 2 girls: Dacey and Aliza. It was a lot of fun and a nice break from our drive.

After Holdie's appointment we headed to Chicago. On the way I looked up restaurants and we decided to eat at a burrito joint to compare their Mexican food with ours. It was called Jaimico's Burritos. It was a pretty cool place. There was a bar that lined a big window where you could look out onto the city. It was pretty cool to sit and watch all the activity going on outside.

The burritos were pretty good. I don't know if they quite compare with Texas' but that's a hard thing to do! Unfortunately though the burritos were little time bombs waiting to explode in your stomach. Okay that sounds a little gross, but seriously Matt and me both had killer stomach aches that night from those little time bombs.

Oh no, Matt, don't eat it! Don't!

The next day we got up early and were rearing to go... Here is Holden decked out in his baseball attire for the Cub's game we were going to later that day.

We headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo and since we got there a little before they opened we stopped off at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

I took lots of pictures at the Zoo but I will spare you those since I'm sure you've all seen lions, tigers, and bears... Oh my! <-- That never gets old. Here is Holden riding the Endangered Species Carousel at the Zoo.

Now to the Cub's game. This is where the trip was a little diasppointing. We were SO excited about the game. We got there about 10 minutes til the game started- we tried to get there earlier but when you have to walk it takes a little while. We didn't think it would be a problem since the seats are assigned, or so we thought. We get there and there are NO seats left. Apparently the outfield seating is first come, first serve. Booo!!! Also it was freezing that day. So after a while of sitting on the stairs, freezing out butts off, and having beer drip on us as drunk people walked by we left. It was the 6th inning and the Cubs were losing. That was $95 down the drain...

Holden was happy and excited when we first got there.

It was neat to see the historic Wrigley field..

We only stayed at the hotel in the city the first night. It was pretty pricey, so the remaining 2 nights we had reserved a hotel in a suburb. We drove to where the hotel was and when I went to check in, it turned out we didn't have a reservation there. Matt looked it up on his phone and apparently it was in a different suburb. It was weird though because we are SURE he made it for the first suburb. Never use or any of those type sites (we also had issues with Expedia). The traffic was pretty bad so it ended up taking us an hour to get to the first place then another hour to go to the other suburb. Ugh!! We finally arrived to our hotel and found out the reservation was for only ONE double bed. Double Ugh!! Apparently that's what we had reserved but once again we are SURE that we reserved a room with 2 double beds. Anyway, after that dilemma we ordered a Chicago-style pizza. My sister-in-law's friend, who is from Chicago, recommended Giordano's. It was delicious! I think Matt thought so too.. LOL!

The next morning we all woke up so sore. I guess it was all the walking. We probably walked over 5 miles. We took the train back to Chicago for moe sight seeing.

We saw Sear's Tower.

Okay this has turned into a REALLY long post, so I'll end it here... later I'll talk about the rest of our vacation.:-)