Posted in Uncategorized

Crazy Christmas aftermath

Last minute Christmas shopping on Amazon has actually delivered without paying extra and I received it all before Christmas. Amazing! And I vowed to not spend more than $15 per kiddo. What?! That’s unheard of!

I do believe that had I actually planned out the shopping better, I could have managed to gift even adults, like my siblings and parents. But, I don’t often think that far ahead, unfortunately. So instead, they got a hug. Hey, it’s free!

Anyhow, after the last minute rush for buying gifts and paying for another season of soccer for the 5 year old, I was utterly broke. Luckily, I got paid the day after Christmas. Now I don’t feel so spent and can actually breathe. And here’s to not spending all my hard earned money on overdraft fees in 2015. I vowed that for 2014, but I spent a lot on fees this year. Better budgeting is definitely required here.

In the aftermath of the spending, I do need to rethink the spending habits. I’m deciding to check my bank account at lunch every day, to have a better clue of where I am at and what kinds of useless fees I’m paying, or avoiding. And to use cash for buying anything, including groceries. I need a better grip on my budget and I’m hearing raves for the cash spending. I will certainly focus on the not spending, but it will ultimately happen at some point, right?

Paying off the Christmas shopping bills is never a great way to start off the new year!

Posted in Uncategorized

Outback gift card

We decided to go to Outback Steakhouse with my parents for lunch. The sign outside says buy a $100 gift card and get a $20 gift card bonus.

So we eat our lunch and the bill comes out to $112. Would it be wrong to buy a $100 gift card and get the $20 gift card bonus and use that for lunch?

Posted in Christmas, Freebies

Christmas at the Kroc Center

Last Thursday evening I found an email from Honolulu Family that had a listing of Christmas activities around the island. It caught my attention especially since if like to take advantage of these activities for my 5 year old. I stopped to read the information about the free Christmas event at the Kroc Center in Kapolei, Hawaii because my son and I visited there last year.


We went to this event last year and had a blast! I shared the information with several friends and a couple decided to check it out with their kids. One of my sons friends was going to go with his mother, but she was already booked and asked if I could take her son. The two boys had so much fun!

At the event visitors can play in snow, take pictures with Santa, make their own gingerbread house or cookie, play a variety of games, build a race at or bracelet, stack Legos, balloon twisting, face painting, and so much more! It’s best to go early to be able to benefit from all the activities, but we arrived an hour or so late.

It took a while to find parking, but we were able to get a good spot near the entrance. After signing their waiver and attaching bands to our wrists, we noticed the super long lines for gingerbread houses. The boys did not want to wait, so we moved to the gingerbread cookie line. This line wasn’t even moving and the boys decided they wanted to go somewhere else. So we went to another building and got to build their own wooden race car, decorate it with markets and race it down the track.

They also decided they wanted to play with Legos and was told the kids could take whatever creation they built or take pieces they could fit into a plastic cup. While one child was busy grabbing Lego pieces to build at home, the other was actually building. There was an announcement that they were out of gingerbread houses and cookies and that the last showing of the Living Nativity was in 20 minutes. The boys collected the Legos they wanted then we headed for the Living Nativity.

Both boys are pretty young, so they really do not know much about the wise men or the little drummer boy, but they sat through the show quietly. Every now and then I whispered, “Who’s that?” or “The angel looked like she was going to fall off the roof!” I think it helped them to be more aware of all the people who were in the show, not just where the spot lights were.

The event ended shortly after the Living Nativity, so we left and decided to stop for a snack on the way home. The boys both played with their Legos and insisted on eating everything in sight. I’m sure they were both hungry. They did not want to go home, but both were yawning so I know they were tired.

On the way to dropping off my son’s friend, the boys said they want to build a gingerbread house. We are now planning a gingerbread house building play date. My son also wants to make his own gingerbread man, which they will decorate in his kindergarten class, but he wants to make his own from scratch. I guess that’s the plan for some Christmas presents, families of gingerbread people and pets! Sounds fun, but it also sounds like a ton of work!