Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why Your Teenager Should See Dunkirk

Last week I took my teenager to see Dunkirk. My husband and I wanted to see it and I asked if he wanted to join. He agreed.

"It's non-fiction, right?" he asked. "World War 2?"

I nodded.

"Lots of people died," Tommy continued matter-of-factly.

I nodded again. My throat squeezed. My Grandpa fought in World War 2. I think of him whenever I see World War 2 movies. I think of all my family members who selflessly fought in the war so we could have freedom today.

Tommy typed something into his laptop. "Did you know that the director of Dunkirk also directed the Batman films?"

Tommy has autism, so his subject matter changes quickly.

When we got to the movie theater, Tommy whispered to me, "Did you know the director of Dunkirk also directed the Batman films?"

"Yes," I answered.

He repeats stuff often.

The movie is well-made. I hate to say it was fantastic, because, well, it's based on a true story and many people lost their lives. I can't really spoil anything because if you Google Dunkirk, you'll see what happened. But you'll leave the theater feeling satisfied and appreciative. I think it is important that teenagers see this movie. And here's why.

1. They'll learn history. So many don't know much about it. Or they'll roll their eyes and claim history is boring. Well, history is what made our country what it is today, so everyone should appreciate it. I'm glad my kids love history and enjoy learning what happened "back in the day."

2. It gets them away from the electronics. My son probably spends too much time on his video games. So anytime I can pull him away is a good thing.

3. It's quality family time! Instead of watching some fluff movie, your teenager will watch an educational movie.

4. There isn't a lot of blood. I know some parents are wary letting their kids see a movie with lots of blood, even though that's war, unfortunately. But this movie was made in a tasteful way. It's not like Saving Private Ryan. I still have haunting images of that movie. But I'm not one of those parents who won't let my kids see violent films. If they can stomach it, they're welcome to watch.

5. It'll help them appreciate our soldiers.
My kids already do because their Daddy is in the Air Force. Their grandfathers were in the military as well. But sometimes people view soldiers as killing machines with no heart. They aren't. They fight for their country. They'll give their LIVES for their country. They work long hours for little pay. They go towards danger while others run away from it.

My teenager said the movie was "good" and he was proud of the soldiers. "I'm not sure if I could do it," he admitted.

Not a lot of people could.

Even if you don't have a teenager, I still recommend this film.

Have you seen Dunkirk yet? Have you watched other war films? I've seen most of them because of my husband. Naturally.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hey, It's Okay

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude.

Hey, It's Okay.... have thought the race between Michael Phelps and the shark was cheesy. I kept hearing about it so I caught it on repeat and I was like !!!??. finally have checked out Schlitterbaun, which is this giant water park nearby. Tom's Great Uncle visited us from Houston, and he works at Schlitterbaun Galveston, so we got in free. It reminded me why I generally don't go to theme parks with my husband anymore though. He's too impatient for me. have really liked the movie Dunkirk. I highly recommend it! be really annoyed with how Big Brother is going. I'm close to giving it up. I cannot stand Cody and Jessica. have picked this birthday cake funnel cake at Schlitterbaun for my lunch. It filled me up, that's for sure! There was a funnel cake, birthday cake flavored ice cream, and whipped cream. Yum.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

How I'm (Mostly) Debt Free

I hate being in debt. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It's the worst feeling for me. At the moment, I don't have any car payments. I don't have any credit card debt.

I DO have a mortgage though, so currently that is my only debt.

Here are ways I was mostly able to be debt free.

1. Pay more on your car payments.  I always paid over. Sometimes $100 over. Sometimes only $50. But something. I wanted it to be paid off as soon as possible. Plus, before you buy a car try to have money set aside for a decent down payment. The more you can pay in the beginning, the lower your payments.

2. Live below your means. There are times when I COULD go out and do stuff. But I opt not to. This is not to say that I don't have any fun: I do. I've gone to Disney World multiple times. I love to eat out because I hate to cook. But I watch the spending. Yes, sometimes we're known as the cheapskates, but hey, we're the cheapskates with hardly any debt, so...

3. Sell your old stuff to buy new stuff. It's no secret that I love to buy clothes for my kids. In order to do this, I sell their old stuff. I usually sell it on eBay or Once Upon A Child. With the money I receive, I turn around and get new things.

4. Don't buy all the new stuff. I recently upgraded the 32 inch TV that was in the living room because hey, it still worked, so why did we need a new one? For the longest time I had a flip phone while everyone else was running out to buy smartphones. You don't need ALL the new gadgets. If you can't afford a drone, don't get one. Yeah they might seem cool, but they crash easily.

5. Adopt, don't shop. Both of our cats are from the shelter. When we got them, the money we paid went to the shelter so they could help other animals in need. Granted, I am a bit of a hypocrite here, because if there was a way I could buy my own Grumpy Cat, I would.

6. Coupon! I am NOT an extreme couponer. I don't do the double coupon thing or get 100 of one item. But I do use them. is a fantastic site. Also, before buying anything online, I ALWAYS check to see if there is a code to use. More often than not, there is!

7. I use ebates! Before I purchase something online, I also check eBates to see if the website is listed. If it is, I'll get cash back. It's so easy. All you do is click on the store link on the eBates site, and that's it! You'll get money back! If you do sign up for this, please use my referral link here.

8. I don't smoke. I would imagine smoking or vaping would add up in cost. I also don't drink much, so I'm not running out buying booze every week.

9. My kids aren't in every sport out there. I'm not one of those people who feel the need to put my kids in everything. Unless they have a passion for something, I won't bother. My son was never interested in sports. My daughter has done gymnastics for years. She was actually offered a spot on the team, but we declined because she didn't seem to care one way or the other. I wasn't about to shell out a ton of money for a kid who'd whine about doing meets and going to extra practices. At the moment my daughter has decided to NOT do any sports, and I won't push her.

10. I try not to put a ton on a credit card. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When Tom and I were first married, we didn't have a lot of money so we relied on credit cards. When I saw the interest fees, I freaked. I vowed that we would try never to put more than we could pay off the following month on the cards again. But life can have surprises so there were times when we had to do it. These days, however, we pay off the cards every month. Credit cards aren't always completely evil--they will build your credit, at least. The cards I like are ones from USAA and the Amazon Reward Card, because I shop there weekly. (Another thing I have to put limits on at times.)

11. Do not lend money to family and friends. It only causes issues. If you're going to give money, have it be a gift. Trust me, it's easier that way. Otherwise you might have to deal with people not paying you back, which can lead to resentment. I know we've declined giving money to family because we have two kids to send to college. It's okay to say no.

12. Put money aside each month in savings. Sometimes you might not always have a lot to put back. But $1 is better than nothing. I like to always have something to fall back on in case something breaks. Vehicles aren't cheap when something is wrong. And now that we're homeowners, you never know what can happen.

13. My husband and I don't care about fashion. I basically live in my jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers all year long. Tom lives in his khakis, t-shirts, and sneakers all year long. Plus his military uniform. We don't give a hoot about name brand stuff. I'm missing the girl gene that makes me gaga over shoes. I carry a purse found in a clearance bin. I'd rather buy books. Or clothes for my kids. But even they aren't walking around in Coach and Tom Ford stuff. Tom Ford is a clothing brand, right? Or no? That shows how much I know about's okay if you DO care about fashion, but don't go overboard. The people in your life should like you no matter what you have on and if they don't, maybe they aren't the people you need in your life.

I might not always be mostly debt free. There might come a time when I have to buy another vehicle. But for now, I'm busy setting money aside just in case something comes up.

How do you save money?

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