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Another November, Another Huge Board Gamer Party!!! Woot for #BGGCON16!

We attended our first Board Game Geek (BGG) Convention in 2012 and have returned every year since then. I loved the overall feel so much, I joined Team Geek in 2014 and volunteer 20+ hours every year in exchange for free tickets.  We still pay for gas, food, and to stay in the convention hotel (which we split with friends).  Overall, it ends up being a 5 day vacation every November the week before Thanksgiving for $500-$750. Team Geek 2016 Since this was my third year on Team Geek, I was finally able to sign up for the primo volunteer shifts!  “Primo” for me meant that I was able to count the setup and tear down shifts as actual time towards my required 16 hours (I usually do those shifts anyway for free just to help).  The team this year was even more efficient together and just as friendly as always…they make me feel like part of something important and bigger than myself.  I know that sounds weird when talking about convention staffing, but it really does feel like an annual family reunion. My only tiny complaint was that I didn’t end up in the amazing BGG library for my … Read more…

How to Make a Yard Spider – Our Newest Halloween Addition

This is a super fun but still cheap Halloween decoration. We're going to have the best DIY haunted house on the block this year thanks to tutorials like this one. Decorating for the holidays is so much fun, but can be hard on my budget. Frugal hacks ftw!

Two years ago, I grabbed some stuff from Home Depot and created this new addition to our Halloween decoration family… My Giant Yard Spider – Elspira Meet Elspira (Elvira but a spider…get it?  Hehehe) – she makes me smile. Here is how you can make a giant yard spider of your own. Things to Gather Here are the items I bought from Home Depot (you can use my affiliate link to see their specials and get free shipping on most orders over $45) and their cost in 2014: Six 6′ foam pipe covers (enough to make sixteen 2 foot parts) – $10 Eight 1/2 inch elbow socket pipe parts – $1.75 Black electrical tape – $3 Two Black plastic bags (already had them from Costco) – $1 Filler (we used old newspaper and a spare brick for the body) – $N/A Foam plate (or something to make the eyes and extras) – $N/A Two wire coat hangers (or something to make spikes) – $N/A Total Cost = $15.75 Steps to Making a Yard Spider Cut the foam into sixteen, 2 foot sections. Join two sections of the foam together using an elbow socket pipe part and black electrical tape. Repeat 7 times. Fill one plastic bag to … Read more…

Keeping Our Cable Bill Tolerable Instead of OH HELLS NO

If you’ve been reading for years, you know that we are cable-cutting flip-floppers. In 2014, we cut cable to save $100 a month. I usually could call annually and get them to keep our bill reasonable, but in 2014, they decided to call my supposed bluff. I decided not to bluff. Restarted Cable in 2015 BUT in April 2015, 8 months later, our roommate and my close friend, Mandy, called “Uncle”. She wanted DVR again and was willing to chip in $50 a month. Mr. BFS also missed some of his live sports. So, I took AT&T up on a deal and we signed back up again. Our bill went back from $65 a month with fees and taxes to $125 for a few months and then finally to the $150 a month, where it settled. But our 1 year deal ended this past month and the bill jumped up yet again to $195. Maybe Cancelling Again I didn’t want to cover an unbudgeted $45 a month for a service that I really don’t use very much. I mean, Mr. BFS and I enjoy using the DVR’d shows a couple of times a week. But we both stopped watching as … Read more…

Online Gambling For the Win

I sometimes prefer online gambling to playing games live at a casino. There’s something unappealing about going to a smoky casino and having other players watching your every move. Instead, online gambling allows you the chance to win money while cozy at home. Casinos Casinos have a reputation for being terrible places to hang out. Aside from the smell of smoke that permeates every casino in the world, some of the gamblers who are attracted to casinos are the hardcore gamblers or addicts – neither group of which are pleasant to be around. And since I live in Texas, going to a casino requires driving to Louisiana. That is about 3-4 hours of driving just one way in order to gamble. That means a quick trip to play a little video poker means giving up an entire day or two. It seems odd to me to either need a hotel or a major coffee spree to pull off a few hours of entertainment. Online Gambling is the Future On the other side of the coin, we’ve got online gambling. Online gambling arguably offers more chances and more entertaining way to win. From a purely comfort stand point, playing games in … Read more…

Nerds Are Nuts!

Remember me mentioning the Board Game Geek (BGG) Convention? It’s a 2500-3000 person nerd fest for board gamers the week before Thanksgiving every year in Dallas, Texas. Mr. BFS and I have attended since 2012. Board Game Geek Con is a Big Deal In the board gamer world, BGG is HUGE. It’s like Comicon for sci-fi geeks. BUT, it never sold out in like an hour before…well, before today. Today it took 1.25 hours to sell out all 2900 tickets. And the hotel was booked solid within an hour too. And the main overflow hotels were booked up within an hour after that. And we NERDS WENT NUTS! Forum Posts The BGG forums are just flooded with dozens and dozens of ticked off or sad postings because very few people expected it to sell out so quickly. The general guess was about 3-4 days. Not less than 2 hours… Here were some of the most memorable forum postings: “As one of those who couldn’t get to a computer to get my tickets, I’m ready to burn down the freaking world right now.” “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m an ‘Every Timer’ and I don’t have tickets for this year!!! Not fair. My house gets … Read more…

Attention Carnival Cruise Line – You Are Slipping!!!

I have also been cruising for years and love it. This is a negative review of Carnival Cruise Lines that you should read before you travel, to see what a less-than-awesome experience looks like. I'm still going to go on a cruise vacation but I'll be wary of these things.

WARNING: This post is about first world problems. I know. But I wanted to warn any regular cruisers about the decline of Carnival Cruise Lines. We just got back from yet another week long float on a boat.  This was our 7th cruise, all with Carnival, and we’ve been on the water for 45 days.  It was relaxing and very needed after 60+ hour weeks of pet sitting, but definitely was not Carnival Cruise Line’s best cruise ever. In fact, we had a good time despite a few things that made us feel less than appreciated. Food Our favorite part of cruising is dinner in the formal dining rooms. It’s an included part of the ticket and it always feels like dining in style every night. EXCEPT on this cruise. Our table mates were awesome but our service was subpar for the first time ever. We frequently had to ask for more tea and water because we were left unattended for quite a while every night. That has never happened before. We also had to keep asking for the sides like bread and one of our courses on the second night were completely forgotten. It’s not like we’d starve since there … Read more…

Fit in a Fun Friday – Girls Night

My close friends and I come together one evening a week for Girls Night. We started this a while ago and only miss weeks that are horrendously busy for us. I’d highly suggest a weekly friend’s night to anyone. Here are some things we’ve done. Good Food, Good Drink, Good Venting We were eating out once a week and our budgets (and our waists) were feeling it, so we switched over to taking turns cooking. Every week one of us is in charge of feeding the group. Most of the time, this means home cooked awesomeness. Once in a while, it means pizza, lol. It always means venting and chatting and catching up while we stuff our faces. On the nights we have to behave ourselves, we stick with non-alcoholic beverages…the rest of the nights include yummy moscato wines or tasty girly drinks…or both. Movie Night at Home I had never seen Fried Green Tomatoes until my friends gave me a crazy look and plugged it into the DVD player. We also enjoy scary movies and stupid movies and take turns choosing ones that the other ladies will enjoy. For Halloween, we enjoyed “The Craft” since we all remembered it … Read more…