Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Show & Tell (What I got Mike for free or just a few $)

Hey friends! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! 

We had a great time with my dad's side of the family, affectionately referred to as the Rew Crew (seen below). 

We always have a great time & it's always filled with lots of laughter! Speaking of laughter...

This was my kitchen disaster making Christmas dinner. I've never used a meat thermometer before...I know...shocking. Apparently, you're supposed to only stick this in the meat to check it...not during the entire time you cook it. But the meat was AWESOME, besides the pieces of melted plastic we had to eat around. 

The second funny part about this meal is that you would be ASHAMED of me. The meal went against everything "Parties for Pennies" stands for. I found a recipe that looked great in GoodHouseKeeping - beef tenderloin with white wine sauce. After I got the butcher to cut it & tie it for me (he even alluded to the fact he was saving me money)...I about fell over in Publix at the price. I wanted to hand it back & say....we'll just take one of those rotesserie chickens from the deli, but I felt so bad he had gone to all the trouble. Wanna know how much it was? It was 4 1/2 lbs (after the butcher trimmed it) & it totaled $68!  Needless to say, Mike & I will be eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches the rest of the pay period. ;p 

Now let's talk about saving some $ instead of spending too much on meat! ;p 

I wanted to show you the cheap/free ideas that I gave to Mike for Christmas. 

The first one was a couple of coupons for a day free of "to-do" lists. I always have a million things I'm working on. I work full-time at a radio station (which includes a lot of Saturdays that I work), have a voiceover business (, am on with a talent agency so I have the occasional audition for commercials/hosting/etc, am in the middle of kinda renovating our 1960s home, in the process of shooting a pilot for a bed & breakfast travel show & besides the usual home/cooking/wife duties, I do this blog. My husband is a great balance to me. He's super talented but he also is good at taking time to relax & not worry about "getting things done." I knew one of the best gifts I could give him is to let him know that HE comes before my to-do lists. He loved them. 

This was the second gift that was completely free. Mike & I LOVE music. Mike especially associates memories with songs. I decided for our first Christmas as a married couple, I'd start a tradition. I made him a mix-tape or soundtrack for the year. Beside each song, I wrote why this song was so special to us this year. For instant...he sang "Hey Soul Sister" (Train) to me at my surprise bday party last January & proposed to me that night. He loved this one even more & I definitely think it's going to become a Christmas tradition. 

This present did cost me a little bit but not much. I got the frame from Michaels, when it was on sale for 50% off, plus I had a coupon. The picture is Mike & his/our dog Guinness. I promise I didn't cut off Mike's head. :p The photographer was being artistic & I love it. Mike loves his dog. They're buddies. There's something about a man & his dog. 

This was another gift that only cost about $0.49. I used Picnik to write the lyrics from a favorite song of ours onto one of our wedding pictures. Some of the lyrics are cut off here but it's from Mumford & Sons "Sigh No More." 

"Love, it will never betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free..." 

Here's the final thrifty gift I got Mike. It cost a little over $10 but it's for the door to his voiceover studio we added to the house. Mike also has a voiceover business but is much better than me. (Hence why this sign says "Mike Stoudt Productions") 

Some of the best presents aren't always the most expensive. 

Sorry...I couldn't share these with you until after I gave them to Mike. But hopefully I'll be back to give you some good New Years party ideas. My issue this week is that I've been sick since last weekend. Mike was sick, then I got whatever he had. As long as I'm on the mend, I'll be back to post more this week. 

Hope you & your family are well! Any good/thrifty gifts you got this year? I'd love to hear about them. Thanks so much for stopping by! 


  1. Wow, you are a busy lady!! Hope you and Mike had a fantastic Christmas! :)

  2. Thank you for the awesome ideas!! Love the lyrics on the picture!!

  3. Sarah...Sorry I'm just getting around to replying to your comment. Thanks so much! I hope you guys had a great Christmas as well! I bet it's truly magical being able to experience it with kids!

    Thanks Jwdonnelly! :-) I really appreciate it. What great lyrics, huh? The guys in that group are truly wonderful songwriters. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. WOW, the saying on your Weding picture is a stunning gift! Love that saying, had to write it down......WONDERFUL. Have stalked your blog for about 1/2 now, some great tips and such fun.
    And.......our daughter's name is Heidi!


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