Meal Planning

The other day I joined e-mealz.com, which is essentially a meal planning service.  You sign up for a certain number of months and each week they will give you a PDF with 7 meals and the grocery list you need to make them all.  The recipes are easy, including "quick meals" and crockpot meals.  They have a portion control (Weight Watchers) menu, gluten free, and more.  On Cyber Monday they had a 30% off code, for 3 months it came to less than $15 so I took the plunge.  I have no idea how it will all go, but for $15, it's worth a shot.

I printed out the menu from last week (Thanksgiving, so it was a shorter menu) and this week and hit the grocery store today with Henry.  I'm not gonna lie, it was a little crazy.  But when is grocery shopping with a 4-year old NOT crazy?  Trying to find Minced Garlic while Henry is asking me to untangle his guy from the cart was not my finest moment.  I have NO clue how he got that thing wrapped around like he did.

I was a bit nervous about what the total was going to come to, as groceries in NYC are pricey, but was PLEASANTLY surprised.  I'll post more on what the total is after I pick up the rest of the meat from the butcher and a few other things from another store.  I'm really excited about this new endeavor.  We have the meal plan stuck to our tack board so Joe, Katie or I can easily cook.  No more of the "What's for dinner?" or blankly staring in the cabinet and ordering pizza!  Now we can look at the list and choose something knowing we have everything on hand.  YAY!

I'll post more about this as time goes on...I'm very curious to see how it will work for our family.


Cruise Money & Awesome Cyber Monday Deals

I just added $353 to our cruise fund!  Yay!

On top of that, I've been doing some Cyber Monday shopping today and have spend $11 and gotten 5 gifts for Henry, 1 for myself, 1 for my nephew and 1 for the toy drive at church.

Here is a run down of my deals:
DisneyStore.com: I had a $20 gift card that I received from Disney Movie Rewards (free) and a 10% off code for being a Vacation Club member (our timeshare) and they have free shipping today.  We got Henry Spiderman pajamas, a Spiderman action figure and an ornament for myself for a total of $4 after taxes.

Amazon.com: I had $25 from Swagbucks (free) and $60 from loose change we had saved that I cashed into an Amazon gift card.  3 gifts for Henry (1 was $44, ugh!), 1 for my nephew and 1 for the toy drive.  Free Amazon shipping because I was spending more than $25.  Grand total was $7 after taxes.

I also earned 5% back on my DisneyStore.com order using Mr. Rebates!

It's been a GOOD day! :)


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade & the American Museum of Natural History

On Wednesday afternoon I surprised Henry with something...

We were going to...


And instead we went and saw:

The giant Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons are blown up on 77th and 81st Streets in Manhattan, the streets that surround the American Museum of Natural History, so we went to the museum in the same trip!

The beautiful origami tree was up

We walked through the human science exhibits, which Henry took a strong interest in.  He was fascinated with the human bones.

After a few missed calls and lots of walking around, we eventually met up with Henry's buddy Jack to see the dinosaur bones.

Joe was also off work by this time and joined us.  We naturally found ourselves in the space exhibits, we all really enjoy this part of the museum!

The next day, of course, was Thanksgiving.  Joe went into Manhattan pretty early to try and snag us a decent spot for the parade and he succeeded!  We had a nice spot in Central Park where we could SIT (*key with a 4 year old!), see the balloons and much of the happenings on the ground as well.  And it wasn't too horribly packed!  All in all, it was a very good spot.  Here are a few highlights.

It was very neat to see these giants float down the street!  After the parade we made our way back to Queens, got lunch at a local restaurant and had an enjoyable lazy afternoon.  Dinner rolled around and we ate random leftovers and peanut butter sandwiches and scurried out the door to go see The Muppets in the movie theater...which was FANTASTIC!!

All in all, it was a non-traditional Thanksgiving.  Not one bit of turkey was had, but we were together, and we enjoyed it...and that is what matters most!


Black Friday

Black Friday is coming and everyone knows what that means....your belly will be full with all the goodness from Thanksgiving and SHOPPING DEALS!

I've been browsing the ads a bit, but nothing we particularly want (and can afford) is popping out, plus I don't want to exactly be in a crowd like the one above.  And living in NYC, that is COMPLETELY realistic! LOL  So I'll be shopping from my jammies in front of my computer. :)

On top of that I will be offering my own Black Friday deal!  Yes, it's true!  While I cannot offer discounts on the Disney Vacation Packages themselves, I can offer incentives in other ways.  So stay tuned and spread the word - if you send me a referral you will get a $25 gift card when the referral travels!