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Archive for the ‘Cheap Cheap’ Category

I am as blind as a bat.

I am also somewhat cheap.

Each year I need to have the prescription updated in my glasses or I face the wrath of constant headaches and nausea. The problem with this is the outright expense and the fact that I get sick of my glasses after a year and want new frames. Usually this costs me $400 – $500 a shot with all the scratch and UV coatings added in. I do not necessarily purchase designer frames nor do I go to a ridiculous ’boutique’ optical store – so really my cost is quite normal.

Now that we have The Dictator and The Deuce is fast approaching I have come to realize that children are very hard on my glasses. They are always dirty from sticky little hands and more then once I have outright thrown an old pair out because someone broke them. I have also always wanted prescription sunglasses (because I break the clip-on or lose them almost immediately) but the cost of such an item has been prohibitive.

I have been looking online for a while at glasses, and one day Googled Cheap Prescription Eyeglasses and was taken to at least 6 different sites offering wicked deals on glasses. After doing some research online and reading reviews I decided to go with Zenni Optical for my first foray into the cheap eyeglasses world.

Zenni Optical is a company that is registered in the USA, but your glasses will come from Hong Kong. This made me a little nervous at first but the overall reviews were favorable so I decided to go for it and order 3 pairs of glasses.

I have always wanted a completely rimless frame but with my high prescription I needed to upgrade to such a high index lens that they just were not a financially viable option (considering I may hate them). At Zenni Optical you can pick the color of the metal and the actual lens shape and size, the ones below are the exact ones I purchased. They showed up with beautifully polished lenses and my prescription was bang-on. Maybe even better then what I got for $500 here in Hickville City. I like them, but I am pleased I never paid $800 here for them, because they really are not worth it.

Rimless Frames with Upgraded Super High Index Lens/UVA and UVB coatings/ Anti Scratch $40.95

Next I picked something a little more sassy then I would normally choose, since they have almost a full frame on them I decided to go for the regular lenses. I am very very pleased with these glasses.

Burgundy fashion frame with regular lenses with UVA and UVB coatings/ Anti Scratch $34.95

Finally I picked a funky frame to turn into sunglasses (upgrading to sunglasses lenses is under $8 extra, unlike other places who want to charge a $150 for tinting on top of the prescription). These are great and I love them, but next time I will choose a larger frame for sunglasses to get more coverage.

Prescription Sunglasses with regular lenses and with 80% Grey tint and scratch coating $35.85

In every pair my prescription was bang on and the quality of the lenses seemed perfectly fine to me. The lenses were all nicely polished on the outside edges (note my last pair of $500 glasses did not polish the lens edge leaving them looking dull and cheap – a big deal if you have coke bottle lenses like me). They were well assembled and all fit pretty well right out of the box with minimal tinkering.

A few tips if you do go this route:

  • Get a copy of your prescription from the eye doctor. By law they have to give it to you. Maybe go for a whole new eye exam and start fresh.
  • Make them also measure your pupillary distance and give you those values. Often they will try to tell you whoever sells you your glasses will do it for you but I told them I needed them to order custom made goggles through work.
  • Have some patience. It took a week to get my glasses made and then another 1.5 weeks to get to Canada. I have heard of much longer time-lines, but at under $40 a pair I was OK with waiting.
  • Take a good look at your glasses. Measure the width, lens height, temple arm length and bridge so you get an idea of what will fit similar online. I also took into account that I am usually drawn to rectangular glasses with the hinges close to the top and not in the middle. These things all come into play when choosing a frame online.
  • Don’t be too set on the color that appears on your monitor; it will likely be a bit different when you get them since not all computer display colors the same.
  • If you are squeemish depending on online glasses initially, remember they are cheap online and maybe try ordering your “backup” pair or get some sunglasses to see how it all goes.
  • They have children’s frames too, and you know how expensive those can be and how often they need replacing.

Also keep in mind: Total invoice including shipping, eyeglasses cases and nice microfibre cleaning cloths for each pair: $118.65 (American funds). For. Three. Pairs. Of. Glasses

Totally worth it.

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It has been ages since I won anything. Seriously. The last time I won something it was a pair of jeans from a McDonalds Playland birthday party when I was 6 or 7 years old. They featured Ketchup and Mustard stitching. They were SO HOT I can’t even find a photo of them online.

Imagine my surprise when I found out from Haley-O that I won an award winning Clek Olli car booster seat from her Cheaty Goodies give-away site. This handy little item will be much appreciated when The Dictator hits 40 pounds and we need the other car seat for The Deuce, or to use as a second seat for the Grandma’s vehicles. Check them out they come in a ton of fun colors (leopard? zebra? I thought they only existed in my shoe wardrobe – now I can have them for my car too!) and interchangeable seat covers for easy cleaning.

Now for the loser part.

The Dictator didn’t go for a nap until 2:15pm today – and by 3:30pm he was up asking for milk. He doesn’t usually drink milk – odd I think. So I gave him 2 cups (YES 500 mL! or a half litre! and he drank it ALL!) of moo-juice and somehow convinced him to go back to bed. I am watching him roll around in bed with his monkey – so I think I am going to be the biggest loser on the nap front today. Which sucks because The Deuce in Utero is totally tiring me out and making me nauseous today

Dammit he just opened his door. I guess he is up for good.

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A few weeks ago, on a peaceful quiet Saturday night I had some time to myself. My Mom (Danielle) had The Dictator for the night under the assumption that I was going to an adult birthday party, which I fully intended to go to until a massive freak spring snowstorm hit. No way was I driving to a different town on those roads so I ended up staying home in an empty house until midnight when Stewart came home from work.

What did I do with the 7 hours alone? Pedicure, bubble bath or do my hair? Watch a chick flick? Read? Nope. I caught up on all that stuff that never gets done all at once around the house. I cleaned bathrooms, washed floors, vacuumed (even though that is Stewart’s job), prepped a nice dinner for the night, emptied the dishwasher, ironed all the laundry, washed and put away 3 loads of clothing and bathed the dog. It was a productive night for me, and usually things never get done in bulk like that around the house. Like any mom I get what I can done during The Dictator’s nap and sneak 45 minutes to myself – but that means there is always a list to tackle and that I never feel finished.

The best part of getting all this stuff done is that for almost a full week I felt caught up. I lost that clusterfucked feeling that I tend to get when I see a full dishwasher and the dryer is buzzing at the end of the cycle. I had the mental capacity to prepare decent meals every night that week because I wasn’t running around during nap time trying to make the house presentable; naptime was a chance for me to prep a great dinner and start some of the cooking. I played with The Dictator more because I wasn’t trying to sneak 5 minutes to fold laundry and empty the dishwasher. These little things really changed how I felt about my day and how my day would inevitably go.

This last week the clusterfucked feeling has returned. I have no desire to cook and I feel like I am not caught up again. That brought me to thinking that if I had help one morning a week (not relying on the Grandparents for this one – they help me so I can work 2 days a week when Stewart can’t be at home) I would feel more in control and caught up around the house. I thought of hiring a maid service – but really that could run us $500 a month and to me I would rather put that money into our mortgage payments.
Enter Bonnie

Bonnie is a 14 year old darling girl who adores The Dictator and loves to babysit. She lives by us and has siblings that are much younger then her, so she is great with little kids. Bonnie even stops over some evenings to play with Emmett after dinner, and she wears him out chasing him around the yard. I watch her pick him up when he falls, hug him when he is upset and steer him away from danger (which is his middle name). I adore her and her family – they are really great.

I really have no need for a babysitter and quite honestly I don’t like leaving The Dictator with anyone other then the grandparents. BUT, I sure could use a Mother’s Helper one morning a week from 9am to 1pm while I get all that stuff done around the house and get a dinner started. So this week I am going to see if Bonnie is interested in helping out with The Dictator one morning a week (during the summer break -and maybe a weekend day in the winter) while I am at home getting caught up around the house.

This could be my sanity saver and make me a better mom too.

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I must confess. I have an addiction (and no Dad! not just to gin, tequila, Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars and all thing fattening and unhealthy). I like to shop sales and stock up closets for the next few seasons, especially when it comes to Rito’s wardrobe.

We are lucky enough to have a The Children’s Place Outlet (yes Outlet, not just the regular store or the online shopping – I think even Swistle would be jealous) in our city, now sometimes the deals still suck but this weekend I scored, and I scored big. It was like the Game 7 Play-Off hat-trick in regulation overtime of shopping scores (I am from hockey country give me a break). 
Yesterday (when LoudGranny had Rito so I could get my haircut) I popped into the store since it is beside my salon and saw racks and racks of kids clothing for prices like $9.99 and then another 30% off. I thought to myself $6.99? Not a bad price for pants I should check it out. Not being the smartest girl in the world I failed to notice the 30 people in line to pay for stuff, and no $6.99 sale generates that kind of craziness. 
I moved to the back of the store and that when I saw it. Five (5!) large racks of clothing in the little boys area for 0.99. Yeah 99 cents…. not joking, and it wasn’t the crap stuff either. Since I was going to be late for my haircut and the lines were stupid, I decided to be back at the store for opening the next day (this morning) to beat the crowds. 
So today, LoudGranny and I hit Hell-Mart for cheap laundry detergent and then went to The Palace (what my little cousin calls it, as in “You know that Palace store? They gots good stuff there you know” what a funny guy…) for door opening. We bought Rito a stack of stuff in larger sizes, one of my little girl cousins a few things for her birthday next summer and a whole ton of stuff for a 21 year old cousin who is a single Mom expecting her second boy in a few weeks. 
For Rito
3 Pique Polo shirts (red, orange and yellow) 99 cents each 
4 t-shirts (love these so soft! grey,navy, orange and yellow) 99 cents each
4 pairs of flip-flops for next summer (2 green, 2 navy) 2 pairs for a $1.00 
4 pairs of sunglasses (3 navy, one green) 2 for a $1.00
1 pair track pants (camo) $6.99
1 long sleeve layered looking t-shirt (beige with brown stripes) $6.99
4 baseball caps (in two different size ranges navy, green, beige and yellow) 2 for a $1.00
Basics in two size ranges (18 and 24 months) that can be layered with long sleeve onesies for inter yet my kid looks like a little Izod Lacoste ad (25$ including the two “expensive” items) – priceless.
For My Cousins Girl:

2 Tank tops (white and purple) 99 cents each
1 T- shirt (white with a pink layered one under it) 99 cents
1 Fancy tank top (white)  – 99 cents
1 Shrug (purple) 99 cents 
2 pairs of shorts (purple and blue) 99 cents each 
Birthday gift that all coordinates and looks so cute and like I spent a ton ($7 so far) – priceless
For My Cousins new Baby Boy: 

4 Pique Polos (blue, white, orange and yellow) 99 cents each
3 pairs shorts (camo, beige and khaki) 99 cents each
2 t-shirts (cute little graphic ones) 99 cents each
1 t-shirt (grey) 99 cents 
1 matching pair cotton shorts (grey) 99 cents 
2 hats – 2 for a $1.00 
2 pairs of sunglasses – 2 for a $1.00 
Rocking baby gift that looks like I spent a ton ( 13$ total) -priceless. 
Photos of my steals (kinda; it was all this stuff in different colors and some others that are not online)






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 Like any yoga uniform wearing mom out there I am obsessed with  Lululemon pants  (honey you read this, wanna buy me a present or many presents?) but realize that the visible panty-line was becoming an issue. When you buy pants specifically designed to make your sagging derriere look nice you shouldn’t be putting a big old panty-line picture frame around it. So now comes my issue, and remarkably a solution. 


I hate thong underwear. I hate things shoved up my ass. I hate visible panty-lines. Dilemma much? 

I have tried “seamless” boy cut underwear from many sources  and have never found a truly invisible pair, seamless my arse. Last month I went to laSenza and bought a stack of these hoping that maybe finally I would have a solution to my problem. 

Wonder of wonders, no more visible panty-lines, and nothing shoved up my ass. At the time they were on a super special of 5 for 25$ and I bought 2 thongs in the same material as a last ditch effort to hide the lines. Although a thong up my ass looks much like a 747 landing in the Grand Canyon, I admit this material is comfortable and seems to make Dad! happy. And yes the regular cut underwear is virtually invisible under my pants too.

For us humble Canadians they ship for free with orders over 69$ (who comes up with that number, 69$ free shipping at a lingerie store? dirty buggers), so you don’t have to dig through the mess of piles in the store (you all know what I am talking about).

Now if they could just make a bra that fits a woman (not a jiggle-boobed teenager)  I would be set.
EDIT: 

I went to the website, where there is a crazy ass sale and then googled some coupon codes. So if you want stuff you get free shipping if the total is over 69$ BUT if you add VISA2007B as a coupon code you get an ADDITIONAL 15% off. It adds up fast since I bought more underwear (5 pairs), a lightweight robe, a pair of Yoga pants, a pair of cargo pants and a nice t-shirt (total with free shipping and coupon code used 89$) BARGAIN!!!!!

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Moroccan Meatball Stew
Originally uploaded by SleepyNita

I thought I would start a new feature on my blog for us busy Moms and everyone else I know. Every Friday I am going to (try to) post a recipie that I like to make for my little family. Sometimes it will be plain old good food, other times it will be something you can cook in bulk and freeze for those crazier days, sometimes they are one pan meals (seriously who needs to drown in dishes too?); and once in a while it will be something that is super good that you can make on the cheap-cheap (gawd I love a bargin, even in the kitchen)!!!!!!! Or today, it fits all the categories! I will tag it under Friday feast for now, that way you can always hit that tag and see all the related posts.

Todays Recipie is something you can batch cook the main ingredient (which I totally suggest because any other way is a pain for this) and can be turned into two different meals for the family!

Basic Recipie – Moroccan Meatballs

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp crushed dried chillies
2 lbs lean ground beef
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup currants (little raisins)
1 large egg
2/3 cup fine bread crumbs
salt and pepper to tast.

Combine all ingredients, (and I actually prebake the meatbals in the oven so it cuts down on cooking times later on) make meatballs and freeze. For 2 of us I freeze 16 – 18 meatballs in each ziploc bag and this makes a decent batch of food leaving enough for leftovers for ManToy to take to work.

Make some Tomato, Meatball and Rice Stew

Thaw a portion of the meatballs and cook (or warm up in a pan of you precook like I do)

1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cup beef broth
1 28 ounce time of diced tomatoes – use juice and all!
1/2 cup long grain rice (no instant Uncle Bens crap here girls!)
1 Tbsp liquid honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Optional but tastey: 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Saute onion in small amount of oil until it is soft. Add beef broth and tomatoes (with all the juice in the can) to the onions and bring to a boil. Add rice, honey salt and pepper. Cook , covered for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Add the meatballs back ito the pan, add lemon juice (and optional mint) and stir well. Cook for 3 minutes until evenly hot. Serve.

Make some Moroccan Meatball Pitas or Wraps

I like to put the meatballis into a wrap with some sauteed peppers and onion, topped off with a little plain yoghurt. Makes a tastey lunch or a fast dinner!

The Nitty Gritty
I managed to score 10 lbs of lean ground beef for 10$ at a local grocery store on a super good special. With a bargin like this dinner worked out to about 4$ a night (including the rice, tomatoes, lemons and currants needed) and I could make about 16 dinners worth of meatballs for the freezer fom that 10$ of beef. Each batch I made fed the two adults and the baby (take the currants out for the little ones teeth) and leftovers for someone to take to work the next day.

P.S. Don’t mind the photo, my presentation sucks since my 22 pound Sous Chef (LittleMan) was hanging off my leg the whole time.

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