Friday, October 21, 2011

Eat, drink and be scary

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to make a Halloween Guide.

This guide will give you tips and tricks to make your Halloween as simple and as cost effective as you can!

***Carving a Pumpkin: 1.) Pick out a pumpkin;

Cost effective route: Purchase your pumpkin from a grocery store
Not on a budget: Go to your local pumpkin patch. 
2.) Pick a design- The biggest problem I come across every year trying to track down the PERFECT pumpkin carving stencil that I want to use.
I have gone from taking photobucket images and enlarging them on the copy machine, to searching every website until I can finally find what I am looking for--FOR FREE. Lets get real, who wants to pay to subscribe to pumpkin carving stencils???-not me!

Today, I finally found what I needed!  This is a free service, all you have to do is create a FREE account with them. If you are interested in printing out free carving stencils, please sign up on the following site:
They have a ton of different stencils from cats to dogs - to ghosts and vampires. For a free service, they had a pretty wide range.

Here is an example of one of there products:
OF COURSE I had to use a pug. I think I am going to be creating my own pug pumpkin this year.
3.) Start Carving- You can use a knife from home, or purchase a carving kit. You can usually purchase a carving kit from the pumpkin patch or your local Cvs Store. The carving kit is typically under $5.00, and is extremely useful when carving your pumpkin. Trust me, you do want to purchase this!
***Costumes: When I hear the word costume, the first thing that pops into my mind is money. Unfortunately, we may not all have the luxury of spending a ton of money on our halloween costume this year. If you are on a tight budget, here are some suggestions for you:
1.) Burrow a costume from a friend- lets get real, YOU never wore it, so its not like your wearing the same costume twice
2.) Make your own costume out the items in your closet. Pull out a black tube top dress, some fish net stockings, and purchase a pair of cat ears--with the right make up--you are a CAT! Or a "Cat Bandet" as per below-I pulled all of those items out of my closet last year. That costume did not cost me a penny!

3.) Go shopping right after halloween for next years costume. There are SO many good deals and sales right after halloween. Pick up a few pieces for your outfit for the following year. Even if you don't wear the outfit for halloween, there may even be a themed or dress up party that you could wear the outfit to.
***Crafts:What fun is Halloween with out any crafts? I know one of my favorite things to do for Halloween is decorate! All the pumpkins, spiders, and witches are SO FUN!
Here are some fun ideas that I came across that can be used with household items:

Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.
- - - Shakespeare "Macbeth"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baller on a BUDGET!

You will come to find out, that I am barley ever in town. I am usually on some type of adventure that will steer me away from my local city; Corona. But then again-who really wants to hang out there anyways?

I am not totally knockin' on Corona [or am I], but the local dive bar and karokee gets old from time to time. So then you ask, what can I do and for a REASONABLE price.

Lets recap the places I have been in 2011
Las Vegas [x5]
Lake Havasu [x4]
New York
Santa Barbra
San Simeon County
San Diego [x3]

and numerous amounts of Newport, Huntington Beach, and Apple Valley trips [yes, I said apple valley-don't hate unless you have been to The Cadillac Ranch]

---thats almost a sold 4 months of STRAIGHT weekend vacationing. You then ask yourself, how the HELL can anyone afford to be on vacation so often; you have to purchase hotels, flights, food, drinks, etc, etc etc!

Here are some TIPS if you are wanting to go on a vacation:

1.) Do you have a friend in the area that you can stay with?
This is a pretty simple money saving strategy. If you have a friend in the area-ask them if you can crash. If you are staying somewhere for a few days, that could help you save over $300 on hotel bills! Just make sure that you take care of your fellow friend with a fun gift or a thank you card--let them know that you appreciate their hospitality!

2.) Consider a lower star option!
How often are you REALLY going to be in the hotel anyways? I am not recommending you to stay at the Motel 6 [done that one before-and do not recommend it!], but something that may be a 3 star instead of a 5 star.

If you are REALLY concerned if the hotel is going to be a dump, feel free to use reviews from multiple websites [ex/expedia, travelocity]. Then you can see what the consumer really thinks about the hotel-do keep in mind that some people just really like to complain; don't take the comments too literal!

This is my favorite option to use. I don't decide on exactly where I am going to be staying or going, I let the coupon decide for me! Some of my most trusted sites that I use for great deals are: Travelzoo [my all time favorite], Bloomspot [more upscale places for a reasonable pirce], Groupon [the daily deal; however, groupon has been disappointing me lately], and [they usually have decent deals on hotels for that particular week].

Here is an example of a Travelzoo deal that we did:

(2) Night stay at Keating Hotel
(1) Bottle of wine on arrival
(1) 3 course dinner meal for 2 at on site restaurant
(2) Daily breakfasts hand delivered to your meal every morning
(2) Turn down services

$350.00 for ALL of this. Now lets get real-the hotel is $300 a night--and we got the ENTIRE package for $350--now THATS a steal.

Say you really want to go out of town, and none of these other brilliant recommendations work at the time of your vacation--INVITE MORE PEOPLE! Like I said earlier, its JUST a hotel room, you are only going to be sleeping there. Bring a few extra blankets and pillows and split the cost of the room. You'll be happy that you did--your wallet will thank you, and then you get to know your friends on a more personal level then EVER before!

5.) REDUCE the amount that you need to spend:
Bring your own snacks, drinks, and food to keep you a happy camper for the entire weekend. You are already having to spend enough money on your vacation, why not save some dough and bring the necessities!

Peace, love and start VACATIONING!