Hidden Fees

It has been a very long while since I have made a post, wondering if I should just abandon the blog all together and keep on keeping on with the craziness that is surrounding my spirit.

HIDDEN FEES the subject at hand. This is the hot topic because my husband and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary and we took a long weekend trip to Miami. A great place to have fun, drink, eat, relax, people watch…. and spend more money than ever intended AKA raped.

I searched and searched for the greatest hotel, price matching and comparing and reading fine print and reviews. I googled, and I price lined, and I checked my travel mags and zagat mags. Because, i was going to find the best value for my buck. I was going to stay on budget, I was going to have a frugal vacation…. Yeah right.

First, we arrive at our amazingly beautiful hotel. (Hotel Urbano) Well, as soon as I pull the car up to check in a very fast and courteous man greets my husband and I, quick to help with baggage and produces a valet tag and a quick, that will be $29.00 a day for valet parking, thank you and vroom vroom, off he goes… uh wha.. wait…

Speaking to the front desk clerk, we ask her about the fee and if we could park somewhere else, for that would have been an extra $100 dollars we were not prepared to spend on just parking.  well… you could park on the street.. but don’t park here, here, or there because they will tow you. Or you could try to find parking over here… but just make sure that you read the signs very carefully.

Yeah okay.

Every restaurant already adds a surcharge of 18% tip and you have to carefully read your ticket or you wont see it and then give them another 18% or so again. That really isn’t the bad thing, the thing is the service in Miami sucks. They serve you like it is an inconvenience for them to be doing their job, so I am paying 18% if I like it or not for crappy service. Which is fine, to some degree, when I’m on vacation just trying to have a good time, drunk and hung over, but there are times when it is just unacceptable.

taxi cab rides… there is the normal fare.. but then once you get to your destination there is an extra dollar surcharge.

Miami is the one the city that you really do not get what you pay for… you pay for whatever they want to give you…

Besides hidden fees and horrible service though Miami is a unique and entertaining experience. An experience you must have at least once in your life. Just be prepared to understand how their city operates and don’t expect much for hospitality and you will have an amazing time.. especially shopping.


New and Old Projects

So, the weekend is approaching and I have a list of projects that I hope to start and even accomplish this weekend. Which may be a little difficult because Most of Sunday is Dedicated to football. haha! Well I am trying to get my house together as I have said my husband and I got married 5 months ago and moved into a bigger home so I am trying to make it homie-ish. We both didn’t have a bunch a stuff to start with so as any first time home owner knows it takes a little time.

We have all the major items like furniture, Now for the hard part… filling in the spaces. So I have been on a man-hunt to find things like curtains and pictures and vases.. you know the crap that is needed to make the house feel welcoming.

My first instict was to make curtains, but after stopping by Jo-annes picking out fabric and having them cut the fabric.. I realized that making curtains really wasn’t the economical way to go. I found great Linen curtains on clearance at Marshalls for way less then what I was going to pay at Joannes even with my 50% coupon… and buying them was just the start, I would still have to make them… Which I do love a good project, this time though the cost didn’t out way the benefit and I have a bunch of stuff to do to get my house ready for Emily Shower in a month, not to mention plan the shower.

So, I have made of list of what I am buying for my house this weekend to make it fabulous on a budget… When I put up the pics on Sunday or Monday you will be amazed! (I hope) At what I found and what I spent!

Also, I have have have to finish making the invitations that I started. I am half way there so that is a good thing.

I would like to take the fabric off that chair I want to re-upholster and I have a few ideas for art in the bathroom that I want to make.


1. Curtains buy and then put them up.

I bought the curtains I had my eye on…. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that they look good in my living room.

2. Finish shower invites

Invitations are done and in the mail.

3. Guest bathroom wall art.

This one is really at a stand still… But I have a feeling a new inspiration will replace my original thoughts on this “wall art”

4. Take off the fabric from old chair.. and try and find new fabric.

I think that will fill up most of my time.. I also must make time for the beach I’m starting to look like a northerner… I need my vitamin D or I go insane.

So, Like I like to say.. because I am a dork. Don’t B Plastic B green! Have a great weekend and lets all cheer for the Bears and hope that they KICK THE CRAP OUT OF THE GIANTS ON SUNDAY!!!!!

Here is a pic of my GOOD LUCK CHARM! Eli my new football buddy!


"good luck charm"

Go BEARS!!!!


To follow Eli updates check out his Mom’s Blog… http://emilylhopkins.com/blog/

9/24/10 Weekly menu ideas

I have been very much slacking on my blog. I also have been slacking at home in keeping to my routine. When I do make a menu and list it really pushes me to stay on track with my life and my budget.

I think tonight. (Friday) will be a eating out night. But for the rest of the week:

Saturday – Roasted chicken and veggies

yum yum

Sunday – Chilli

Monday – T-bones and chopped grilled red potato’s with onions and green peppers

Tuesday – Pork chops w/ rice pilaf and steamed brocolli.

Wednesday – grilled talapia w/ lemon herb and zuchinni

Thursday – Stuffed green peppers and mashed cauliflower…mmmm. haven’t made that in awhile.

9/16/10 weekly menu

So I haven’t posted a menu in longer than a week. I have been running in circles like a crazy person off their meds… which means that I have been going to Publix like everyday which I HATE! And gets expensive. So I have to plan my menu to gain some of my sanity back!

Thursday – Roasted Chicken, mac n cheese, broccoli

We are going camping this weekend so Wahoo!

Friday – Hotdogs of course baked beans corn on da cob

Saturday – Burgers and pasta salad

Sunday (FOOTBALL SUNDAY) – I’m getting an itch for chilli

Monday – (MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL) – homemade pizza and Italian salad

Tuesday – Steak or Chicken Fajitas blk beans and rice

Wednesday  – Grilled talapia w/ zucchini and wild rice

8/27/10 weekly menu plan

I do love to cook which helps when needing to budget on food. Eating out with a family of three can get pricey. So I think I will start posting my menu’s for the week: This will help me to plan them because at times I do get lazy and then will also help me to follow through:

8/27/10 –

  • Oven roasted chicken and veggies – Saturday 8/28/10

(8/28/10) – I cooked this on Saturday and invited over all the family. I tried something different that I wanted to pass on. I took Philly cream cheese and mixed with fresh rosemary, Thyme and Parsley. I put this between the skin and meat of the chicken. I then put a little olive oil on chicken and salt and pepper. I poured chicken broth and OJ in roasting pan and cooked. Basting as it cooked.  (There was not a piece of anything left)

I made stock the next day and will be using it for the White bean Southwestern  soup! – Can’t wait

  • Southwestern style white bean soup and (maybe quesadillas)
  • Spaghetti & meatballs w/ salad & Texas Toast – Tuesday (8/31/10)

This never seems to be cheap because I put so much into it like, HOT Italian sausage and meatballs, then I have to get the bread. But I make enough to always have left overs for lunch and a night when I probably won’t feel like cooking. So that makes up for it.

  • Steaks (grilled) w/ green beans – Friday (8/27/10)
  • Southern style Pork Steaks w/ mash pat. or acorn squash –  Monday (8/30/10)

This is another family favorite and cheap and so easy to make.

4 – Pork steaks            2 cans cream of mushroom soup                    1 can of water

onion – chopped         2 jars of sliced mushrooms            garlic         salt & pepper

Pkg of French onion soup mix

  1. Preheat oven to 350 f
  2. Season and Brown pork chops both sides.
  3. Saute onions and garlic in same pan.
  4. In a bowl mix the cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix, water til smooth.
  5. Put chops in a backing dish, sprinkle sliced mushrooms on top of chops, pour in cream of soup mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 90 minutes.
  6. Get your grub on!

    I usually only plan 5 meals a week. We treat ourselves to one night of dining out and I often make enough for a night of left overs and lunches.

    When I have more time I will start posting pic and recipes of menu meals. Should anyone be interested.

    Slash spending on food

    Hello. Since it is Friday and Payday for some… which usually means grocery shopping. I found this article on MSN today. So,  maybe these tips can help those trying to make every dollar stretch as far as possible.  Also, if you haven’t noticed most stores are now offering a .05 cent discount on every plastic bag you DON’T use. So whenever possible please remember Don’t B plastic B Green!

    Fab for less?

    So, I am always on the look out for a good deal. But, I have needs and I will sacrafice many but there are some things that I just can not give up. I was fulfilling my daily CNN obsession and I came across this great article. It has some great ideas and even though being frugal is always number one… you still have to buy things.

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