Its December again….

Hello to my followers and hello to myself.  As life is and goes so does the life we live.  Always wanting to blog for myself and other new single dads on a budget…   I was absorbed  like a sponge that is life…

You know that being on top of things only creates, more things to be on top of.  And that only leads to in most cases, urgency of top priorities and so on…

My attempt to re start this blog is very important, because when I searched how to manage my life as a single Male parent…  Only resulted in attorney web ads or female to female info.    So my purpose to maybe hook up other recent single dads with some info and inside info or funny stories at least, was ideal.

FYI.  I now have my daughters 50% of the time thru the court with legal papers.  I used to have them on the weekends and whenever my ex wife wanted to grant them time with me.  Although I was not looking forward to Family Court and ask a judge to c in my favor.  Because of all the free bad advice I was given by other divorcees, I filed court papers with a fee waiver granted…  Boom, I had the same amount of power as the birth loving mother of my kids.   Keep in mind the person advocate given to our case, was a woman.  And she was looking out for me?  Probably because in my interview I was genuine about my love and need for time with my girls.

As opposed to some ridiculous amount of money imposed by child support accounting.

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ages now 14, 12 and 10

Well as I said its December again.  I will start by letting you know that I purchased a legit Christmas tree at Family Dollar Value store for $5.00

A star topper for $1 and two 6 packs of tree ornaments for $1 each.

Wow, the fun we had decorating and deciding where to place the tree in my humble home, was so much fun and memorial.  For my girls as they probably won’t realize it until much later in life, than I instantly observed and reminded myself how fun it was to do it at that age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY

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YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY

Sometimes my loving parents and brother’s and my sister’s help out my budget, by treating us to special events, attractions, dinners and movies. If your children are well behaved and get good grades it happens more often. I remind my kids to send thank you notes (heck texts n emails work too) for gifts and to say thank you as often as possible. Getting good grades and awards at school also get very nice donations :), that we never expect or ask for.

Last summer 2012 my brother suggested we all go to Universal Studios & Venice Beach for a couple a days. I said “OK, will split it”. We went and had a blast, 2 nights & 3 days of fun. Upon return I asked my brother what was my share of the cost, he said “Nothing $0” brother, “your kids behaved so well, its my treat”. Lets do it again next summer.

Update, my brother reminded me that our summer trip was coming up and we were going to CA. Adventure Park this year. 2013 We cant wait!

My parents and my other siblings do allot of nice things as well. And I always remind my girls of how proud I am, of how well the behave and say “thank you” and send notes for gifts.

Signs of appreciation go a long way!

Lunchables Homemade

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IMG_0565Lunchables Homemade

My girls have always liked Lunchables. So now I make them at home that I believe to be fresher and more nutritious. Any time a kid can stack food and eat with their fingers is fun. I vary the type of cracker I use (Saltines regular or wheat, Triscuts, any cracker type, round or square, etc…) I vary the meat and cheese. For this one I used, Saltines, Bologna and Mozzarella part skim cheese. Also I added some strawberries for a sweet n tart kick. Crackers cost me $1.49, Cheese cost me $1.89 and the Bologna was $1.00. Strawberries cost $2.50 a lb. Total cost $6.88, I get about 8-12 servings out of the combined items. So each meal/snack cost about .57 cents each. Lunchables cost about 1.50 to 2.50 a pop. Savings galore…. P.S. Don’t forget the “Napkin”

My youngest the “picky eater” Made a cracker, cheese, meat and strawberry, cracker stack.
I did not see that coming.
And it looked appealing and tasted very good,
as a sweet n tart fusion combo!!

Fedora Hats….. $4.99 birthday presents

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Awesome buy, awesome hat.   We even bought one for Sage’s friend whom she had an innovation to a b-day party.  We bought her a cool Panda picture t-shirt 80’s color green n grey stripe shirt $4.99  at “Fallas” one of my go to stores mentioned in my previous blog.

I call ahead and ask the mom what there kid is into.  Then I can purchase the appropriate gift.   Then I ask if I can bring my other daughters and myself to the party.  Once I have the details I look for ways to budget the trip, I do it.

Cost $5.99 – $10.99, depending on the gift.

This is always a win win, free food, free drink and free invitations to other b-day parties.  Hopefully they will show up to my girls b-day parties, the more guest’s………. the more the presents !!

Children’s Clothing on a Budget

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The picture is of my youngest (Sage is her name), she wanted a new dress (as they all do every year) for Easter Sunday.  Now keep in mind I have 3 girls so everything I buy is done X times 3.  And since the like to copy each other everything is X’s 3, tech toys, jewelry  iPod,  dsi, dolls, kids meals, movie tickets and you name it.  That is the main reason I’m always looking was to save $$$

So I take them to one of my 3 spots for Deep Discounts on clothes from socks and panties, to school uniforms and fancy dresses.  I go to “Fallas, Factory 2-U” or “Susie’s Deals” or “Toda Moda”.   Well my youngest found a velvety dress normally $24.99 on sale for $11.99.  And my middle on found an outfit (she wanted casual) pants and top for $9.99.  Yeah!!   My oldest was bought a nice dress from her mom my ex.   Yeah, I did not have to actually buy a third dress but I still paid for it I think.  As she gets child support from me and does not work at a paying job.

This week I got a call from my ex, “Can you buy the middle child a dress for her upcoming graduation?”  “She needs it now for pictures”  OK I said no prob.  I pick up my middle girl (Venice is her name) and say, “Hey V lets go to “Fallas” and get a dress”  To my surprise she said, ” No, I want to go to the mall daddy, please”   I imagined $$$ flying out of my pocket.  I said OK

After all the fancy stores and kids boutiques she found the ONE!  And of all places it was Sears in the mall.  Normally $54.99 it was on clearance for $27.49 !!  yeah!!!     So it goes to show there are deals at allot of places, you just have to look around and compare.

Sushi & Edamame, my kids love finger food

One day I decided I would make sushi at home.  How hard can it be.  Well after my third try, I consider myself pretty good at it.  I watched some videos on YouTube for cooking the right type of rice and how to.   I bought a wooden roller and some seaweed paper at my local Asian market it was cheaper than eBay.

My oldest girl and my middle one like California rolls and cooked shrimp rolls.  My youngest girl likes rice with soy sauce, well they all do.   And my fave part is they all LOVE edamame!  Sprinkle a little sea salt over them after heating up in the microwave or steamer, and presto fun food.

You can get edamame at Trader Joe or any grocery store for like $2 in the frozen section for a pound.  I always wish I bought more after the grub it all up in a furry.

I make my own rolls for me and we all have a Happy happy time.  Its always cheaper than going to our fave Sushi place and I now save those trips for Birthdays or special occasions.

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Chicken Nuggets, Please….

There are many types and brands of Chicken Nuggets available at the grocery store or Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Only store.

Easy to make and great for picky eaters.  Serve with Ketchup or BBQ or Ranch sauce.   Great finger food as well.  Quick side dish and presto  Lunch or Dinner served.  Side dish ideas can be mac n cheese, steamed broccoli,  apples, grapes, celery w peanut butter, etc…

I put mine in the oven a little bit longer than recommended …………………………to get that crunchy feel.

P.S.  Don’t forget the Napkin!CAM00111