Coffee Shop Hop and Week 4 Recap: No Spend Challenge

Week 4 has come and gone and I cannot believe that an entire month has gone by in our no-spend challenge!  11 more months to go, right?

I can't wait for this year to be over, not because I am writing down all of the things that I am going to run out and buy but because this takes some serious effort. Legit. This week I had some bad moments.  Let me tell you about them:

Coffee Shop Work Sessions are wreaking havoc on my no-spend challenge.  What do you order to save money?

Monday I met a friend for coffee to work on a project together.  She was super sweet and had asked if she could come over to our house.  But for real our house looked like Stonehenge with Christmas bins stacked everywhere so I declined and we went to a coffee shop. 

It wasn't until I was driving to the coffee shop that I had one of those lightbulb moments, thinking "huh, I guess I'm going to have to actually purchase something."  You know how shop keepers frown upon you just sitting there and not actually getting something. 

I purchased my coffee and got a small one but I did get one of those frou-frou drinks and it all being said it was $5.  I kind of did a walk of shame to the table with my coffee and felt bad for spending so much. 

Coffee Shop Work Sessions are wreaking havoc on my no-spend challenge.  What do you order to save money?

The next night, Emma had scouts which is in across the state line and takes me over a half an hour to get her to.  Driving home during scouts results in me constantly driving so I decided by golly, I was going to find somewhere and get some blogging done!  It would be great!  I found a cute, quirky coffee shop, and again, decided it would be best to buy something. 

This time I was prepared.  I ordered just a small cup of coffee.  That should be harmless enough, right?  Except the darn thing was $3.  Again I had to do the shame walk with my cup of coffee.

I've started feeling like an old man that complains constantly about the cost of a cup of coffee.  Martin. I've become Martin from Frasier. 

The rest of the week went fairly smoothly.  The only other thing we spent money on was dinner Friday night.  We were supposed to go out with our neighbors last year and we could never make it work.  Finally we were all available and we didn't want to let our no-spend challenge get in our way. 

So we all decided to go to a restaurant that was participating in "Restaurant Week"  an event near us where certain restaurants offer reduced pricing on their meals.  Nick and I were able to get appetizer, dessert, and entrees for the 2 of us for $33!  It was a really good meal!  We ate at the Lasalle Kitchen and Tavern.  If you are ever in South Bend you should drive over and check it out...really good food and a really fun atmosphere with live music at the bar. 

Saturday we had fun going to visit Nick's grandma and then we drove onto a chili-cookoff for Emma's scout troop.  We had a wonderful (and cheap!) day visiting with friends and family. 

All in all it was a great week although I totally messed up with the coffee shop purchases. 

However I have used those as some jumping off points to change my behavior. 

After all, if my house had been clean and tidy I would have had no problem having my friend over to talk and I wouldn't have spent anything at all. 

So as a result of that I moved some things around so we could skip school for this week and I am deep cleaning our house.  Together as a family we are purging so we have less stuff to put away and maintain.  By the end of the week I am hopeful we will have a place for everything and everything in its place. 

I've also learned that I need to have a go-to drink to order when I go to a coffee shop.  I would love your suggestions!!!  I love coffee, tea, anything.  It just needs to be inexpensive so I feel at least a little bit better about buying a want item.  I do have to visit coffee shops as I am on a lot of committee's and part of groups that meet at coffee shops. 

Please help me with what do order!  Comment with your suggestions!  I'd love for you to help me out!

Coffee Shop Work Sessions are wreaking havoc on my no-spend challenge.  What do you order to save money?



Fernwood from A Child's Viewpoint

I spoke last week about how changing my perspective on our things that are cluttering our home is helping me to keep things tidier around here.  You can read more about that here.  

Well apparently I'm on some kind of "rose colored glasses" or "the eye of the beholder" kick because I am really trying to look at things from others' perspectives.  Neat how God works on your heart and it kind of takes over all aspects of your life, right?  

Anyway, we went to Fernwood (are you surprised? My kids BEG to go there) with my Mother-in-Law.  Anyway, I should have taken my phone for pictures but it was dead.  Dead, doorknob territory, dead.  And my camera battery had crawled in the same cemetary plot with the phone and they both were dead. 

I should have been really mad and frustrated with myself because that's what I do, but I wasn't.  I sought out the genius of it all and came up with having the kids take their point and shoots that their Grandma gave them for Christmas.  They LOVE taking pictures so it was fun to have them taking pictures around Fernwood of what they see and what they think is neat.  

So without further adieu here is a view of Fernwood and our day from about 48 inches up...

A Kids Eye View of Fernwood at Super Busy at Home

You've got to always love goofy looking selfies, right?  

Oh geesh, kids these days and their selfies.  

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

One of the reasons I love seeing kid pictures is because they see things from a perspective that is so ofter overlooked.  For example, this plant you walk under when you leave the main building.  I don't think I've ever paid much attention to it but it was a focal point for Emma.  Kids are pretty fascinating, aren't they? 

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

I think with the kids being city kids they would be content just looking in the wetlands section to find bugs or frogs and then leaving.  Seriously, I cannot be the only mom whose kids love to spend time in this part can I?  

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

Sisters are the only ones who catch their brothers being "eaten" by elephants, right?  So silly! 

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

I have to tell you that my goofy, fashion plate of a daughter got down in a photographer pose and started clicking her point-and-shoot away saying "this piece is really speaking to me".  She cracks me up.  Love her and this photo! 

Kids Eye View at Super Busy at Home

I'll end you with this piece because it kind of spoke to me on a mothering level.  

Emma took this when we went on the river trail and then were headed back towards the nature center.  At least what we hoped was towards that way.  No one ever said I would win any awards when it came to following a map.  

I thought the little waterfalls were neat but in her tween way she seemed like "how lame mom" so we moved on.  But this photo of one of the mini waterfalls tells me that she was listening and watching too.  And she thought it was neat too.  

Ha!  So I guess the point is that even if they act like they're too cool for school and they don't want to be out in nature, they really do and they are seeing and noticing and getting it.  Everything works out the way it's supposed to, right? 

I hope you enjoyed this little perspective (ha! get it because she's short!?) of fernwood.  It's so fun seeing things from your kiddos angle and viewpoints.  

And if you are looking for a Christmas gift for a kiddos might I suggest a Fernwood Membership?  Or maybe a camera?  Or maybe both!