Happy Monday!

Did you all have a good weekend? I did! Here are some fun, cheap, or free things we did this weekend AND throughout the Holiday break:

  • Caught myself a chubby little reindeer

Went to Arizona to spend time with family for New Years where we:

  • We went to my hubby's 10 yr high school reunion. 
It was a blast! They had it at a reception center and had a nice sit-down dinner. The tickets were EXPENSIVE which I absolutely hated. It killed me! I could think of a million and one ways to make it cheaper (cheaper catering – not such a fancy dinner, free venue {like the high school gym}, do a cash bar rather than an open bar, etc.), but I really enjoyed the night. They had fun music, raffles, cash prizes, and had fun activities (gave prizes for certain questions: who has been married the longest, who traveled the farthest to get there, etc.). It was a great night.
  • Celebrated New Years with the fam.
We did our family gift exchange. To cut costs we all draw names – each adult draws another adult, and each kid draws a kid. It's the ONLY way to go if you have a large family, in my opinion!
For dinner we all brought different appetizers. It was a fun and cheap way to serve lots of people! We had a veggie tray, cheese ball and crackers, stuffed mushrooms, rolls/meat/cheese platter, meatballs, wings, water chestnuts wrapped in bacon (so good!), and chips/salsa. We each only had to provide one or two things and it was a TON of food.
My nephew's birthday is on New Year's eve so his mom (my SIL) made an adorable Lego birthday cake for him. She made a simple cake mix, cut it into rectangles, covered it in frosting, then added frosting-covered marshmallows on top. So clever!
We put the kiddos to bed and laughed the night away playing hilarious games. This is a game called “Hieroglyphics”. 
How you play is: 
If you have 5 people, each person gets 7 index cards. On one card you write any sentence at all (the sky is blue. I like pizza. 2+2 is 4 and so on). The next 6 cards you number in the bottom corner so you can keep track of your card order. You shuffle up the sentence cards then each person gets one. When you say GO, you have one minute to draw what the sentence card you got says on your card numbered 1. When the minute is over you pass your drawing to the person to your left. Each time you get a new card you put it in the back of your stack.Once you get a new drawing card, you write a sentence of what you think the drawing is of on your card numbered 2, then pass your #2 card (now with a sentence on it) to your left. You now have a new sentence card. Then you have one minute and on your card numbered 3 you draw what your new sentence card says. You repeat this until your cards are done. You pass to your left one last time.  The stack you have should now be the “telephone” chain from that one starting sentence card. It's hilarious to read through the stack and see how far off people were. Such a fun game!
We bought our tickets to Arizona through Southwest.com using DING, their ticket deal app. You can get some AMAZING deals on flights. The great parts about Southwest are that 2 bags fly free (plus they never charge us for our two car seats, strollers, etc.). Also, you can cancel or change your flight at any time – without charge! They hold it as credit to apply toward another flight, and it doesn't expire for an entire year.
After buying my flights from Southwest I keep checking their deals. If the same flights come up as cheaper (if they are running a sale or something) I “change” my original flights and basically re-schedule it for the exact same, but now cheaper, flights. The difference you end up saving they save as credit for your next flight!

We were pretty exhausted after our fun vacation. On the drive home from the airport I wish I had had our blowup neck pillow with us!

  • After Christmas I took advantage of some awesome xmas deals. 
This was actually a pre-Christmas deal. I was buying myself some stocking stuffers (I have no shame!) and came across these cute makeup palettes from E.L.F. They always have deals online but you have to pay an arm and a leg in shipping, so I've never bought their stuff. BUT…it was on clearance at Target and thought I'd give it a try!
The regular price was $15, but I saw some on sale for $12.75. BUT…then I noticed one of the palettes was marked as $8.50. Bingo!

It was the exact same thing, there was just a sticker error! I took it to the counter, corrected the lady when it rang up for $12 rather than $8, and got the $15 palette for 1/2 price. Boo ya.

P.S…I love the eyeshadow, it's super fun. You just need an eye primer first or else the colors don't stick very well.

I also got these babies from Walmart this weekend:

 That's right, an entire LOAD of ornaments and Christmas decor. They discount their Christmas stuff to 50%, then a few weeks later to 75%. If you're patient, you can get great deals on the stuff that is left!
These boxes of ornaments are regularly $15. I got them for…
are you ready?
Are you sure?
Drumroll please…
$1.24 per box! Regularly $15!
That's what I'm talking about people. SCORE.
 These are the ornaments I use at my house. They are shatter-proof, affordable, and look really great in person. The glitter stays on pretty well too.
 I got this stocking for $1.66
 And a bunch of large velvet and sparkly bows for $0.49 and $0.79 ea.
I also got tissue paper for wrapping and tissue pomander balls for $0.36/pack.

**Just for the record, I scored pretty big at Michaels' and Joann's too, but the prices weren't as good as Walmart.

Oh, and don't forget about the boxes of chocolates I got for $0.75 the other day

Now I just need to find me a BIG artifical Christmas tree. We have 30ft ceilings in our house so our 6ft tree is getting swallowed up. I'm going to look online to try to find me a huge clearanced one for next year. Any tips?

As for this weekend…
We've still been working on decorating and re-doing our new house (more to come), had friends over for dinner (such a fun recipe to share!), and watched lots of $1 movie rentals in our new theater room. Cheap date night 🙂

Wheew! So those are a few of the great things we did. I actually have lots more to share, but I'll have to share them with you another time. Hope you had a great weekend and great Holiday break too!