Happy September!!!

I can’t tell you how happy I am that the summer months are OVER!  I know in Florida that this absolutely does NOT mean that summer weather is over (we probably have another 6 weeks or so of that), but at least it means I can very nicely request that my husband dig into our “Harry Potter closet” (that’s what we call the closet that goes under our stairwell) this weekend to retrieve the bins of fall and Halloween decor.  I’m not sure if I will really start decorating this weekend or next, but it’s coming…SOON!

It also means that Tadd and I officially made it through our No-Spend August challenge!

We officially met our goal of 18 days in August without spending any money.  It wasn’t always fun, but I can’t tell you how much it helped me realize how much spending a little here and there, without planning, can add up quickly!  It was so nice to see a good sized extra buffer in our checking account, and it made planning our budget SO much easier because there were very very few random, spur-of-the-moment expenses (Starbucks, lunches out, etc).  We planned ahead, spent based on our plans, and anytime we THOUGHT we “needed” something we would challenge ourselves to really think about if it was a need, want, or something we could put off for another day.  I think the biggest tip I took away is cutting out the random little trips to the grocery store!  I always end up spending more than planned if I run into Publix for “just a couple of things”.  We only went grocery shopping 3 times during the month, and all three trips were heavily planned out and meant to last until the next planned grocery trip.  All in all, Tadd and I really value what we gained from the challenge and think we may do another one after the holidays.

I celebrated making it through the challenge by going to Hobby Lobby after work!  Yes, after learning my lesson about unplanned spending, I rewarded myself by doing some unplanned spending…I know…  But, I got a few items that I plan to use on that tiny Dollar Tree wooden tray I got last week, which I spray painted black and plan to turn into a Halloween decoration this weekend.

I also got a large piece of framed wall art for the kitchen that I will show you later.  It goes with the French Bistro look I have going on.  And everything I got was on sale!  I think I spent about $30 total (and the wall art was originally $50 by itself).  So not too shabby.

Tadd and I also treated ourselves to a much-needed date night last night!  We decided to go to Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant on Park Ave in Winter Park.  Once we decided when and where to go, I went on Restaurant.com (which is the site I mentioned previously in this post) and scored a $25 off $45 certificate for $3, using their current 80% off promo code TASTY!  We got there around 7:30 and to our amazement, the weather was comfortable enough for us to sit outside and enjoy the charming atmosphere of Park Avenue.  We each had one adult beverge, shared an appetizer (the cheese triangles…mmmm), salads, bread, and 2 entrees (I had chicken piccata, which was delicious…Tadd had the lobster ravioli), and our bill including tip came to about $50.  Not bad for a nice evening out.  I really, truly love Restaurants.com!

Cheese triangles!

Greek Salad

Chicken Piccata

What is your favorite way to spend a date night?

TGIF and Happy Labor Day!!!  Let’s get this long weekend started!

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