Monthly Archives: July 2015

I watched the dash cam video of Sandra Bland’s traffic stop and arrest. I wish I hadn’t.

It is so upsetting. What could have been a simple warning and both parties going about their business after 10 minutes ended up with days in jail and a death. Both of them, grown-ass adults, let their tempers and pride run wild. It was a childish battle of wills.

She had to cop an attitude and keep pushing his buttons because of her pride.

Instead of acting like the person of authority he is and living his duty to protect and serve, he had to show her who’s boss and try and make her respect him because of his pride.

We can’t control other people. All we can control is our reaction to others. All we can do is act decent to each other and hope that sets the tone for the other person. All we are supposed to do is love others as ourselves.

Thrifty Thursday: How to see first run movies in the theater on the cheap

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I was in the thrift store last week, marveling at all the wonderful things you can get there, and had an idea: I should right a blog post about this! Lots of people know that you can get clothes on the cheap at the thrift store, but there are so many other things you can get there, too, to save you lots of money. Then I thought about how I am always looking for ways to save the most money or make my money stretch further, so I could share my ideas in a regular feature. So, I have declared the third Thursday of every month to be THRIFTY THURSDAY (DAY, DAY, day…). hehehe

I was going to start with my thirst store post, however I decided to do movies instead for 2 reasons:

  1. We still have half of Summer left and parents are always looking for something fun and cheap to do as a family, and
  2. No matter how many times I’ve shared this great way to see movies on the cheap on my Facebook page, I still have friends who don’t know about it. So I’m spreading the word!

My favorite movie theaters to go to are Regal Theaters. They have locations in 36 of the 50 United States and 1 US territory and they have a loyalty program called the Regal Crown Club (RCC). Having the RCC card is just like the tag on your keychain for the local grocery store: you show it when purchasing tickets and items at the concession stand and you can even type it in when buying tickets online from Fandango. You earn points for ever purchase and these points get you free small popcorns, free small drinks and free tickets. You can “upsize” the small popcorn & drink to medium or large for a little money; so much better than full price! But wait; it gets better!

*Participating Regal theaters have Value Days and sell tickets at a discounted rate. Days and prices vary by theater. For example, theaters in my area sell tickets for **$6 on Tuesdays, the Regal Jack London in California sells tickets for $6 every Sunday & Tuesday and the UA Wekiva Riverwalk in Florida sells tickets for $5.69 every Sunday. See what Value Day special is going on at a Regal Theater near you, here. But wait; it get’s better still!

We only see movies on Value Day at a participating theater and instead of paying the Value price of $6 a ticket in our area, we only pay $5 a ticket by showing our RCC card at the box office. Every Tuesday at Regal Theaters, RCC cardholders get small popcorns for $2 each and you can upsize them to a medium ($1 in my area) or a large ($2 in my area). Seeing a movie with a large family or group of friends? Than paying $4 for a large tub of popcorn on a Tuesday is a great deal, because you can get a free refill on that tub of popcorn. And not just on Tuesdays! No matter what the day, you get a free refill on large popcorns and large drinks! You can even get free, small disposable containers from the concession stand so everyone gets their own popcorn container instead of passing the large bucket of popcorn around. We actually bring our own plastic containers with lids to share popcorn. That way, no one spills their own popcorn, everyone can add the exact amount of butter or seasoning they want, put the lid on and shake it up for even distribution. :o)

Recently, B and I saw 2 movies back-to-back on a Tuesday, with popcorn and drink, for $25. The full-price tickets alone would have cost us $39! We had earned a free movie ticket with our RCC card so I used that for my ticket to the first movie. We paid $5 for each of the remaining tickets ($15 for tickets total). Since it was $2 small popcorn day, we upsized it to a large ($4) and bought a large drink ($6). After the first movie, we dumped what was left of our popcorn, got a fresh refill on it and the drink and then headed into the second movie. The remaining popcorn we took home to the hubs because popcorn is his afterwork snack of choice, and movie popcorn tastes better than microwave. :o) B & I didn’t eat lunch, and only needed a snack instead of dinner because of all that popcorn!

Now, that was a special treat for us. Usually, we just buy our $5 tickets for 1 movie and the $2 popcorn for B and then drink water from the water fountain. But if it weren’t for Regal Theaters Value Day and their Royal Crown Club, going to a movie theater would only be a once or twice a year occurrence; we’d get most movies out of the Redox, instead. And we only have a family of 3! Some of my friends with large families haven’t seen a movie in years because of the cost, but sharing this $5 ticket & $2 popcorn deal allows them the luxury to see a movie in the theater occasionally. I hope you live in an area with a Regal Theater near by, but if you don’t, ask at your local theater if they have a loyalty program.

Disclosure: Regal Theaters did not ask me to blog about them, nor are they even ware that I chose to do so. They have not provided me with any free nor discounted stuff for blogging about them. 

*The closest Regal Theater to me that has those nice recliner seats does not participate in this special, but the regular seat theaters do.

**Additional fees for 3D, RPX and IMAX but we don’t see movies with those added features.

Movies on the Cheap

Cooking Rice in the Microwave

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The Hubs wanted rice with dinner tonight. No biggie, except I was already using the pan that I needed for cooking rice. So, I decided to search the Google-sphere for a way to cook rice in the microwave without requiring a special container.

It took me about 15 minutes to find one, but I did and it turned out great! I used this fabulous recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

I cooked the rice in my large, glass bowl from Pampered Chef and just sat the lid on top. I used a scoonch too much water (my fault, I didn’t follow the 1 inch rule in the recipe) so some boiled over onto the rotating plate in my microwave, but it easily wiped up.

My rice cooked in half the time of doing it on the stove, so I am sticking with this way from now on!

Grace & Frankie

With so many shows on hiatus for the Summer, I’m glad networks have gotten smarter the last few years and are giving us new shows or new seasons of shows right now. Even though there are fewer shows and fewer episodes of Summer shows. I don’t have pay movie channels and can’t watch zombie shows because they will give me nightmares. I tried watching Orang Is the New Black on Netflix, but couldn’t get through more than 15 minutes of the first episode. Scandal is so hard-core, I keep threatening to stop watching, but I still hang on. For that reason, I haven’t watched House of Cards because I’ve heard it’s even more evil than Scandal.

Yesterday, however, I started watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix. And by “watch” I mean binge-watched. I watched 6 episodes yesterday and 3 more this morning! I love it because it is so grey, like real life. Our expectations, and the media’s portrayal, of life being just black and white is not only unrealistic, but impossible to obtain! Why? Because we are humans! Brutiful, fallible humans with good and bad in all of us, the ability to wound each other and be hurt by others. We all have the capacity to use our talents, smarts and tongue to build each other up and tear each other down. No one human is all evil, all good, all worthless, all valuable. There is something to like, love, hate and pity in all of us. And Grace & Frankie remind us of that.

Here’s the plot of the show: two 70 year old married men (played by Sam Waterston & Martin Sheen) have been business partners for as long as they’ve been married, 40 years. 20 years ago, they fell in love with each other and started an affair. The show opens with the husbands finally telling their wives (played by Lilly Tomlin & Jane Fonda) they are leaving them for each other.

Sounds pretty cut & dry, doesn’t it? The men, are obviously the “bad guys”, the ones to dislike in this show. They not only cheated on their wives but also lied about who they are for 20 years! They stayed with their wives while the women raised the children, took care of the house and, now, are leaving their wives all alone at the end of their lives? And to top it all off, they chose to tell their wives in a restaurant, hoping there would be no outburst or scenes made. However, I have sympathy and empathy for all 4 main characters. The writers and the actors get kudos for achieving that!

Because you learn that one marriage wasn’t happy and may have never been. One wife was going through the motions and hadn’t paid attention to (literal) signs that had been in her house for years. Would it have been better for both to continue on that way or for one of them to marry the man of his dreams and the other to be free to find her own? One spouse lost her best friend and had her heart broken so that her husband could be free to be himself and marry the man he loves. It’s hard not to be happy for two 70 year old men, finally free to be who they are, excited and proud to tell the world that they love each other! And come on, who doesn’t love a big, gay wedding?! There is pain, anger and regret felt and dealt by all of them, but there are also the possibilities and joy that can be gained by new beginnings.

But that’s not all! There are also the adult children, who have all grown up together, and the huge family adjustments. Your parents are divorcing, you have more houses to visit now,  and the man who was your “uncle” is now becoming your “stepmother”?! Dealing with that along with their own children, marital problems, the dating scene, their own careers and addiction adds more layers to the show.

Wow, I think I’ve managed to paint a very bleak picture of this show but it’s not! I laugh hard during each episode, as well. Because life is messy and complicated and grey. Grace & Frankie show all of that while making us laugh, cry and embrace all that we brutiful humans are!

If you’re are or have watched it, let’s chat! If you decide to start watching it, tell me what you think!

I earned my coffee this morning!

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I’m not a big coffee drinker. In fact, I just had my first cup less than 2 years ago. But this morning was one of those days I needed a cup of coffee. I have my period, so I’m not just the usual I’ve-been-a-mom-for-12-years-I’m-in-my-40s-I-stay-up-way-too-late-at-night-because-it’s-the-only-time-I-can-be-alone tired, I’m also bloated-can’t-sleep-from-the-pain-irritated-already-don’t-push-my-buttons-finally-fell-asleep-right-before-dawn-then-the-hubs-rudely-woke-me-up-and-I-have-a-ton-to-do tired. Needless to say, I wanted a cuppa.

The hubs likes dark roasted coffee, but it’s too much for me. However, since I rarely drink it, I refuse to buy K-cups for myself. So, we learned this lovely money-saving tip from my ILs last year and have been doing it ever since: we use each K-cup twice. He makes himself a cup of coffee before heading off to work and leaves the K-cup in the machine. Should I want a cup of coffee, or if B’s asthma is flaring up or he is sick, I’ll use that K-cup to make a 2nd cup of coffee and then discard it. If the K-cup is still in the coffee maker the next morning, the hubs knows it’s only been used once, makes himself a cup with that same K-cup and then tosses it. I’m OK if you think that’s gross. However, by the 2nd cup, the grounds are weaker, so it’s not bitter to me and I don’t get heartburn. Plus, I am now paying 50% less than you for K-cups by using them twice. BOOM! Anywho, back to me and my all-that kinda tired from paragraph one…

Make the cuppa, got a spoon and then grabbed the bottle of French Vanilla creamer that the hubs had left next to the coffee maker. It. Was. EMPTY. *deep breath* I’ll just go get another one from the fridge in the garage. The hubs always lets me know when he opens the last bottle of creamer so I’ll get more. He will go into withdrawal if there is no creamer in the house, I tell myself to keep calm. Hunt down house & garage keys and some outdoor shoes (I was wearing my indoor shoes and they cannot be worn outside), unlock the back door, walk through yard to detached garage, unlock garage door walk over to fridge and open it up. NO. CREAMER. *deep breath #2*  Stay calm, stay, calm, I tell myself. We’ll just use some sugar and milk. It’ll be fine! Yes, I talk to myself in the plural sense. It takes a village to keep this lady a calm, productive member of society on the outside.

Lock up the garage, walk through the backyard to the back door, enter the house, lock the back door, take off outdoor shoes, slip indoor shoes back on, walk into kitchen and open fridge. *deep breath #3, this time through clenched teeth* The deep breath didn’t work. I yelled, to no one in particular, “YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! THERE’S NO FUCKING MILK IN THE HOUSE?! I WAS JUST IN THE GARAGE AND THERE ARE TWO GALLONS OUT THERE!” I had hoped that tirade happened in my head but, no, the immediate pausing of Phineas & Ferb on the TV and B running into the kitchen confirmed that came out of my mouth. *deep breath of shame #1* B offered to go out and get the milk since he was the one who used it all up and did not replace it, as he should have, but I rewarded him for paying attention to my tirade but sending him back to Phineas & Ferb and went back out to get the milk myself.

Hunt down house & garage keys (I had actually left them in the back door for convenience’s sake, but didn’t remember doing that) and thankfully my outdoor shoes were by the back door as well, unlock the back door, walk through yard to detached garage, unlock garage door walk over to fridge and grab a gallon of milk. Start leaving the garage and then decided to check the expiration date of the milk before going any further. *phew, we’re good* Lock up the garage, walk through the backyard to the back door, enter the house, lock the back door, take off outdoor shoes, slip indoor shoes back on, walk into kitchen and over to my coffee cup. Add 2 spoonfuls of sugar (no judging), some milk, stir and take a sip.

This was the second best cup of coffee I’d had in my life (the first being my very first)! Fresh, smooth, clean, without any chemical aftertaste. *Ahhhhhh*

I have drunk this cup while typing all tis out for y’all. Now I can tackle the things I have to do today that warranted the coffee. Enjoy your weekend!

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