Sunday, June 27, 2010

$10 - Week 2

I did better this week with my money.  I actually know where it went. 
When I went to the bank to get my $10 I had to get money in multiples of $20.  I didn't want $20, but I did want $10 so I took the $20.  I was afraid that I would spend more if I had it, but it turned out have a larger bill made me not spend much at all.

I didn't spend any money until Thursday when I took Annabelle to McDonald's for lunch. 

$4 - McDonalds
Annabelle got chicken nuggets and french fries and I got one of those frozen strawberry lemonades.  I really wanted to try one so I treated myself.  I wouldn't get it again and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.  It sort of tastes like it comes from a powder.

$1 - Dollar Tree
I bought Annabelle a fairy at the Dollar Tree in Grandville.  If you haven't been in that one you really should.  It is quite lovely.  I love the Dollar Tree in Holland (by Walmart), but this one is just wonderful. 
Anyway, Annabelle loves little figurines and I love her so I let her pick one out.  It was a hard choice for her - she was between the fairy and the ballerina girl.

Total Spent

Total Saved

I'm getting better at this and really thinking about what I want to buy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Yummy Treat

The girls and I made this yummy treat!  It was really refreshing to eat it out on the deck on a hot evening.

The first one we made with blackberries.
You need
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blackberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk

Blend together the blackberries and sugar
Put it through a strainer to get the seeds out
Make sure to do this step.  I didn't read the directions and missed it.  I did it later but still had some seeds, which didn't work out for Annabelle.
Put it back in the blender and blend with the buttermilk
The little thing of buttermilk comes with 2 cups so you can double the recipe and use the whole thing or save it and make another batch another day.
Put it in a dish in the freezer
After an hour stir it up

Just before you are ready to eat it (2 or more hours later) put it back in the blender to smooth it up

Now you have a yummy blackberry sherbet.  It makes a really nice purple color.

We also did the same thing with strawberries.  I didn't put this one through the strainer because I didn't think there would be that many seeds.  Annabelle said it was too seedy.  Ariel didn't care.  I thought it was fine too. 

This is a yummy easy treat that you can make with your favorite fruit. 

Annabelle wants to try it with apples.  I'm not sure how that would turn out, but we will try it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Money Savings!

My Better Homes and Garden magazine cam yesterday!  
I found a few minutes to quickly skim through it!
I found an article on saving money!
This lady has a blog called so I went to it.
She has this coupon code for saving 80% on!
So you go to the website and you can get gift certificates to specific restaurants, join the Diners Club or buy a general Gift Certificate.  
I bought the gift certificate because for a $100 you pay $40 and then with the 80% off code it costs only $8.  I think I might get another.

Make sure you check out the restaurants that you can use it at.  There is a list of participating restaurants in your area.  Some of them say you have to spend a certain amount in order to use the coupon.  Just make sure you read the small print.
The code expires on June 24, 2010. 

I know you want the code so you can get in on the savings.  It's really going to be cheaper to go out with the gift certificate than to buy groceries.

Actually I'm thinking this would make a really good present for Christmas.  I didn't see an expiration date so this could be a great gift option.   

The code to use at is



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gymnastics - Week 1

Annabelle is doing Tumbling Tots for two weeks.  The first day was really rough.  She didn't want to do anything even though she has been so excited for a month.  We had leotards and Grandpa Pete made her a balance beam. 

When it was time to do the class she did not want to participate and she didn't want to come back to gymnastics.  I told her that if she did the activities that her teachers wanted her to do then she could get a sucker.  

The second day she did some things, but not everything so she did not get the candy.  The next two days she did great!  She just had to get used to being in a class.  


Monday, June 21, 2010

Problem Solved!!!

I figured out my missing money!

I actually saved $4 this week!!!

And the other dollar I spent was on a box of candy to bribe Annabelle to participate in her gymnastics class.  I'm okay with bribing because we paid for the class and I didn't want to waste that money.

I'm planning on doing better this week with remembering where my money went.

I'm saving for some Bare MInerals blush.  I really need some, but it is like $18.  Totally worth it though! 

$10 - Week 1

This week I was lucky and started out with $13.  
Here is what I spent my money on:
$1 - Frosty
$2 - Baggies at the Dollar Tree (not sure this should count towards my $10 because we do need them - I"ll let it slide this time)
$2 - Trays at the Dollar Tree
$3 - I got my eyebrows waxed (I had a $10 dollar coupon to Ponopoulos so I just had to pay the difference plus a tip)
$ - spent some money on something

Total Spent:  $10

I have $3 left over, but I can't seem to remember what I spent the other $2 on.  I think this is the point I am trying to make to myself.  I buy things and they are probably pointless if I can't even remember what I bought.

It was hard to save that $3.  I really wanted to buy some pink eyeshadow to go with a shirt I was wearing.  But then when I was looking at it and thinking that I wouldn't have any money to save I decided against it!  Plus after a few hours of wearing pink eyeshadow my eyelids don't look pink, but more red and tired.  

Friday, June 18, 2010


School is out for the summer!

This is exciting because I get to be with my girlies!
This is a bummer because I do not get paid.

I have given myself a $10 allowance each week.
This will be a challenge because I am always able to find something I don't need something to spend money on. 

Every Saturday I am going to let you know how I did.  I am hoping that I do a few things this summer:
1.  Buy less stuff
2. Think about what I am buying and whether or not I really       need it.
3. Save some money 

It will be a bummer if I run out of money and need/want something.  I guess I will have to wait until the next week.

Wish me luck. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Love It

New Blog

In case you haven't noticed I have done an Extreme Blog Makeover.  

When I started my blog I couldn't come up with a good title.  
A friend of mine calls her blog :tuned in 
Another friend lives in Grand Haven and calls her blog A Truly Grand Haven.
So I had called my blog McRae Family.  I don't think I could get any more boring with another title.  I kept trying to think of something that was catchy or a play on words, but I just wasn't coming up with it.
Then one day it hit me.  Annabelle is always calling us King Daddy and Queen Mommy and her and Ariel are the princesses.  I figured what a fun theme to go with the king, queen, princess thing.   
So the JJ is James and Jessica and the Princess Girls are Annabelle and Ariel.

I have also been looking for a fun new background.  I really liked mine, but have been mocked a bit because of the owl.  I thought it was cute, but apparently some sisters (who will remain nameless) think it is funny to call me and
Hoot when I answer the phone.  So good bye owl.
Well I was blog stalking and found this blog that had a great background - so I decided to use it.  
I'm still trying to figure out the header thing, but I'm pretty okay with what I have going now.  Maybe I can get better at it sometime.  I'm really liking how I put the tiara on the word girls.  

I think my favorite thing about my blog is my counter.  I keep checking my own blog to see how many people have visited it.  So I'm guess that about 50% of that number is actually me.

Be sure to check out the very bottom of the blog.  I posted my current favorite song.  Our God by Christ Tomlin.

I hope you continue to follow us as we strive to live for and teach our princesses about our Heavenly King. 

 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 10:12

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Annabelle Rose

What a precious gift we have been given.

Date Night

James has been working 12 hour days and Annabelle has really been missing him.  When he got home from work on Wednesday he changed his clothes and took Annabelle to get ice cream at Captain Sundae.  It was a fun time for them to spend some time together.  If you dont' know, Annabelle is probably the biggest daddy's girl ever. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Try This Out

I made this super good salad the other night.  You should try it out.  What's nice is you can individualize the salad so everybody is happy.
James and I love the Grill Mates marinades. 
I used this one (Meijers $1) on chicken.
Then I just cut up lettuce.
I added tomatoes, black beans, crushed up tortilla chips.
I have cable now so I watch the Food Network all the time and I've been learning some fun things.  Well, with the remaining marinade you can boil it (so it is free of raw meat germs).  Ok, so I boiled it and then I added it to my ranch dressing.  It turned out really good and I had a nice spicy dressing. 
If you do it with just ranch dressing or whatever kind you like it is not as spicy, but the little bit mixed in with the ranch really just Kicks It Up A Notch.

Just buy this and keep it in your cupboard for when you don't know what to make.  It is nice becuase it is made with things that are usually on hand. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I'm So Proud

The past five years James has been working 2nd shift at MPS (previously SVH).  Before that he also worked there part time during high school and when he was home from college.  So for about 10 years he has worked for the same company.  That's pretty impressive all by itself, I think.

Anyway,   a few months ago they asked James to train for a customer service position.  He went in earlier during the week and then for a little bit on Friday mornings.

Then there was a customer service job opening.  James applied and we thought he had it.  wouldn't you think so to if you were asked to come train for this exact position?  Well, they gave the job to somebody else.  

So we were wondering if James was doing the training for no reason or if there would be another position in the future.  Some people told James to hang in there because there was a position for him.  They didn't know when - it could be the next 3 weeks, 3 months, or 6 months.  Well, we are pretty used to waiting, so what else could we do?

On Thursday, I was talking to James on the phone and he said he had another call he had to take.  I'm mid-story, but I guess a work phone call is a little more important than what kind of yogurt we got at Wal-Mart.

It was a really really long time until he called me back.  Finally he did and told me he got a 

plus a raise

James will be doing his current job for a few weeks until they find someone to replace him as well as doing the customer service job.  So his hours will be 8am-8/9pm until July 1.

I'm so proud of my husband.  He has been so patient with working 2nd shift and waiting for an opening for days.  I have often had a hard time being alone at night, but I think I can make it a few more weeks.

I am really looking forward to making dinner during the week.  No more chocolate chip pancakes for us!

 I really don't have that many pictures of just the two of us.  Our lives revolve around our little princesses.  This is from the night we got engaged.  
I am really excited for the next phase of our lives.  

You can be praying that I get a teaching job this year.  I have only been trying for 4 years.

Thank you for praying for James while he was trying to get this job.