Monday, November 23, 2009


(A bit late but meh, you get it now.) Mike and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on the 8th of this month. Fabulous! So with that little milestone I thought a little history would be proper.

1. Where/how did you meet: We were both freshmen in highschool. Since we had mutual friends we saw each other but never talked. One day he got the balls to introduce himself and got hit in those said balls with a hackey sack on the way over to me. I helped him off the ground.

2. How long have you known each other: 9 years.

3. How long after you met did you start dating: About a week later.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged: Couple years.

5. How long was your engagement: Officially 3ish months but we had been talking about it for about a year before.

6. How long have you been married: 6 years. :)

7. What is your anniversary: November 8th 2003

8. How many people came to your wedding reception: Um, around 15 including family.

9. What kind of cake did you serve: I made a heart shaped cake vanilla cake FROM SCRATCH! I put a bit of strawberry flavor in the icing. Awesome sauce.

10. Where was your wedding: A double wide trailer out in the boonies. There was even chickens and a mean turkey roaming around outside. Seriously.

11. What did you serve for your meal:We didn't serve food beyond the cake and some snacks. But a handful of us went to the local Chinese restaurant and I think scared the bejeebies out of the staff. We seriously looked Mafia. Ha!

12. How many people were there in your bridal party: 1. Mike's friend Ashley was my MOH. Mike had two of his friends as groomsmen.

13. Are you still friends with them all: Yeah, although we've lost touch with one of the groomsmen because he joined the Army.

14. Did you or your spouse cry during the ceremony: We both got a bit teary eyed. I'm surprised I didn't full out bawl.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day: Seeing him at the end of the "aisle" and knowing that we had forever, starting now.

16. Any funny moments: I was having a CRAP morning. I needed to finish the cake but the icing was melting a bit because it was taking so long to get right so it kept going back into the fridge and I was frustrated. Mike used all the hot water so I took a cold shower. I burnt my breakfast, the only toaster strudel left. Mike almost wrecked my car. Gah! Funny now though. Ha!

17. Any big disasters: Nope.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon: Didn't. Some day though it will happen.

19. How long were you gone: N/A

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change: I think it was perfect in all it's redneckery. (Yes that is a word because I said so).

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on: Left.

22. What size is your bed: Queen

23. Greatest strength as a couple: We always come back together, no matter what.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple: PMS. (HA!)

25. Who literally pays the bills: Me

26. What is your song: We could never decide.

27. What did you dance your first dance to: We didn't dance at our wedding. We do dance a lot though, waltzing in the kitchen.

28. Describe your wedding dress: A white prom dress with light blue velvet flowers. Tight across the chest and stomach then it flowed out. The dress I wore to prom later was the same style just different color. Ha!

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding:We had these HUGE red roses on the cake and in vases but I carried a fake bouquet. I can't even remember the reason why now.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Nope, when we get replacements we talked about having them engraved. Maybe in a few years.

I'll be blogging about our $10 date in the next couple of days so keep an eye out!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Checklist

Hello readers!

Don't mind the shift; I've just decided to make this profile my primary one.

Recently, I've been inspired to make a summer checklist of the things I wanted to do while the weather was still warm.

Why not sit down with your sweetie and crank out a colorful checklist of your own?

Here is mine, for inspiration:

Sorry for the poor quality; it turns out my markers need replacing! Plus, I only had this large piece of white cardboard to work with. Next time I will definitely use not-white. Maybe green like the original!

My list only has 16, not like the original 20, because it's already almost August anyway and did I mention my markers died? So sad. But I have space at the bottom (and sharpies, which I'm going to use the next time I make this!) in case I think of anything else.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stay in Dates

My husband and I just bought our first house (YAY!) which explains my recent absence. Moving and settling is so time consuming. But the dust has settled and I'm back in action.

Now that we're here, we never want to leave. We are homebodies anyway, this just made it worse. The good thing is our "dates" are cheap. 

Netflix date 

My husband and I are huge fans of Netflix. For less than $10 a month, we get unlimited DVDs (one at a time) plus unlimited online streaming. If you have your Xbox hooked up, you can even stream it to your TV. 

We have weekly "date nights". After the kids are in bed, we pop in that week's DVD and just chill. We like to rent movies we haven't seen before and pretend a bit that we are in a theater. No babysitter required.

Margarita nights

This is for those already living together or at least in the "sleep over" stage. No driving tonight! 

The cost of this date depends on how stocked up you are. It can run you from $0 up to $80. Not really $10 date but there is a bit of an investment. A blender will last years as well the glasses. A bottle of mix can see you through at least 2 nights, depending on how plastered you want to get. 

A bottle of good tequila is $20-$40 (I recommend Azul, great tasting and inexpensive. We just bought a new bottle for $21) but if you are like us and have the makings of a bar, all you need is a bottle of margarita mix which usually runs about $6 at the grocery store. (This is the under $10 part) If you want to buy the actual margarita glasses they are about $10 for a set of 4. Buy or borrow a blender if you don't have one. After your initial investment, future margarita nights will be much cheaper, just mix and occasionally a new bottle of tequila. 

This is the fun part. Mix up some drinks and enjoy. Play board games or talk. Be silly but be responsible. No one wants to be cleaning up the mess after you went past your limit. After you set your glasses down for the night, go cuddle in bed. 

Camp Out

This is the perfect time of year to go camping... in your backyard. You can even do this on a weeknight and go to work the next morning. Now I don't recommend you do this without a tent (mosquito bites do not equal sexy) so if you have one, invite over your sweetie and go old school. Bonus points if you have a fire pit in your back yard for roasting marshmellows for smores.

Do you have any stay in date ideas?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

$5 Dinners

A simple $10 date? Make a $5 dinner!

5 Dollar Dinners is by Erin Chase, who shares all her frugal, motherly wisdom of making healthy and tasty meals for $5 or less every single time.

You can use the leftover $5 to fancy up the setting with candles and flowers. =)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make Lemonade

When life gets tough or throws you some curve balls or gives you lemons, make lemonade! Don't get bummed out to the point where you push your partner away. Let them be there for you by looking at the bright side or silver lining of any bad situation.

Keep it simple! Here are some suggestions for things you can do for your partner or that you can do for each other:

  • Draw a nice bath. If you've got it, toss in some bubble bath and bath salts. Light a few candles and just relax for a while.
    (Just as a note, candles don't have to be pricey -- you can get a pack of 100 tea light candles from Target or Ikea for less than $5.)
  • Give a massage. Physical contact can do wonders for stress.
  • Buy or make a comfort food. It could be his/her favorite dessert, like homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • Write or say 10 Things You Love about the other person. Alternate sharing and soon you'll find your spirits lifted!
  • Go for a walk together. This is especially relaxing in the evenings if you have a park or beach around.
What do you do to de-stress?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Very Definitely Not Dinner & A Movie

Some highlights from an article over at iCiNG by Gala, called "Very Definitely Not Dinner & A Movie," featuring 50 offbeat date ideas. These are my favorites off the list:

The Case Of The Mystery Band
Grab a copy of your local newspaper or magazine, close your eyes, run your finger over the “live music” section & choose a band neither of you have ever heard of to go & see. It could be amazing; it could be completely hellish — you won’t know until you go! But even if it’s shocking, it’s definitely a bonding experience, & maybe even something to tell the children, eh?

Ye olde photobooth hunt
Trawl your city for old-school photobooths & take as many strips as you can. Take props, maybe a silly wig or two, & see how bizarre you can make them. P.S. is your go-to source for major photobooth info!

A drive-in movie
I admit, this one seems ultra-cool to me just because I’ve never done it & I am in love with Danny Zucco from here until eternity. Just don’t try to take your ring off by wiping it through your greasy hair & hit your girlfriend in the boob. “Oh Sandy baby, some day, when hiiiiiiiigh school is done!”

“My old neighbourhood” date
Walk around the area you used to live, & tell your date about where you used to ride your bike, what happened on that one lawn, which house was best to hit up on hallowe’en & who the really creepy neighbours were.

The really long one-way walk
No rules except that you just have to walk for a really long time in one direction & not turn around. When you’re really exhausted or hit the ocean, it’s time to go back. Catch a taxi or a bus or something to ease the pain.

“First date” night
This one works best if it’s not your actual first date. Like, for example, you’ve been together for 3 years & live in the same house. Get dressed separately, meet somewhere strange & a bit awkward, & pretend you don’t know one another. Start from scratch. Ask all those banal questions you’re supposed to ask (“So, what do you do?”). Then at the end of the night, rejoice that you’re in a relationship & not dating any more!

The silent date
In a loud, noisy, overstimulating world, it can be nice to unplug & escape. But it can be nice to do that with your new favourite person, too. Hold hands & read books on a wharf & occasionally look adoringly at one another. Cool.

Check out the rest of the list:

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Banana Split Sundays

If you and your sweetie are the sweet tooth type, try putting together a make-your-own-sundae bar! Go to the store together and pick out two or three of your favorite flavors, along with the corresponding favorite toppings, and a bunch of bananas. Give each other instructions on how to make the perfect sundae for you and learn more about each other's tastes!

Particularly with summer just around the corner, consider making this a regular activity. You can even spring for the bigger tubs of ice cream and therefore cut down the cost of each sundae.

And if you really want to make this a true DIY, try out this recipe for 5 minute homemade ice cream using frozen fruit!

Tips and advice:
  • Look for ice cream and toppings that are on sale or go for a generic or store brand. You get more bang for your buck in bulk and the brand difference is barely noticeable in most cases.
  • Don't buy any toppings or extra things that you know you won't use up. They are just going to sit around and clutter your kitchen. If you just want a dollop of something, consider skipping it altogether.
  • Buy very fresh bananas, since they will last longer and you can use the rest later for more sundaes, other recipes, or just eating them. Personally, I love using them in smoothies and this amazing banana bread recipe. You will know they are fresh when they are a bright shade of yellow with no brown-ish spots. If they have a little green, they are slightly under-ripe.
  • Add other fruits to the mix! Strawberries are in season now, which also go great with sundaes and smoothies.
  • Pick up a 2-liter of root beer for root beer floats with the leftover ice cream!
Enjoy this sweet and cold treat!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spice Things Up

There are days when you really don't want to go out. Cooking at home can be fun and it is cheaper per plate than going to a restaurant. Even if you are a less then skilled chef you can still whip up something delicious with your sweetie by your side, whether you just started dating or have lived together for a while.
  • Pick your recipe. You can make favorites, look for new recipes to try on websites like allrecipes or recipezaar or even pick up America's Test Kitchen's Cooking for Two, great recipes that are already proportioned for two people.
  • Check your cabinets. You don't want to be stuck half way through a recipe and realize you are short something. Make a grocery run if you need something.
  • Assign tasks and give each other elbow room if possible. One chopping veggies on one end of the counter and one at the stove keeps you from bumping into each other over and over again. Unlike you like the bumping that gives you the opportunity to steal kisses, of course. Or take it outside and fire up the grill.
  • Get out the fancy plates! Whether you actually have fancy plates or not (we don't), ditch the paper plates (wasteful anyway) for grown up flatware i.e the glass/ceramic ones.
  • Serve it up pretty. Picture pretty. Don't just slap it hodge podge on the plate.
  • Light the candles. You will be surprised how fancy it can be even with a few mix matched candles.
  • Eat. Talk. Laugh. Enjoy.
Have you ever done a stay in date night? What did you cook?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hot Hollywood Dates

See, even Hollywood is hip to the cheap summer date! Lauren Bradshaw at Glamour Magazine passes on suggestions from the male stars of the new CW series 91210, Melrose Place, and Vampire Diaries while on the red carpet Thursday night.

The interview results, in the words of Lauren:

1. The beach at night

Ryan Eggold—he plays sexy teacher, Ryan Matthews, on 90210—told me that the "at night" part was crucial. (Romantic!) What he'd do with his lady? "Eat, hangout. Cheese and wine is good; I'd even take some sushi. Some wine and's nice!"

2. A baseball game

Colin Egglesfield from the new Melrose Place insisted that it's pretty much the best. Why: "You're in the middle of the summertime, under the sun—and it's a great excuse to drink beer and eat hotdogs. Basically, it's a big, backyard beer party!" (Fyi, Colin plays a chef on the show, so he told me he also recently took up cooking. Seriously, watch out for this one this fall. He's hunky.)

3. A museum

I didn't think guys were all that into museums, but 90210's Dixon Wilson, a.k.a. Tristan Wilds, loves to hit them up. "I'm a very artsy kind of guy, so just go to a museum," he said. "It opens up your mind, you get to learn something—and it's a cheap date [on discount nights]!"

4. Whitewater rafting

"Nothing too crazy—you don't want her falling out and hitting a rock!" says Paul Wesley, star of the upcoming Vampire Diaries. (You're gonna love him if you're a Twilight fan.) "But whitewater rafting and then camping on the side of the river and making a fire. It's all about being in nature. Who wants to be in a resort?"

To put a face to these up-and-coming CW stars, check out the interview at Glamour!

Thanks, Lauren!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Simple Ways to Save

With today's economy, everyone except Oprah, The Donald and possibly Gates, is trying to save some moolah. But having little money doesn't have to mean little fun as well.  Here's a handy little list of ways to save money and still be able to go out. 

Be Early
There are rewards for thinking outside of the proverbial box that dates must be at night on a weekend. Matinee showings at the theater are often $2+ cheaper. Lunch specials are usually always less expensive than the exact same thing at dinner. And you won't be fighting 50 other couples for a seat in the secluded corner. Early bird gets the worm as they say. 

Plan Ahead
The internet is a great tool. Use it. Look for coupons, deals and special price days. If you live in a city that has parking meters/garages, look for the closest free parking to where you are going. See if it's close enough to walk or possibly on a free public transport route. 

If possible, bring your own food and drinks. I carry my big water bottle with me everywhere and turn my nose up at $2 a bottle vending machines. I pack (healthy) snacks if we are going to be out for a while (being vegan seriously limits your fast food options...). You have pockets, use them.

Stay Simple
You don't have to be extravagant to have a good time. No one wants to be on a date with a calculator tallying up how much it's all going to cost. Keep things low key, low stress. It's about the time, not the money, you spend.

Do you have any tips to saving money on dates? 

10 Dollar Date is born!

My name is Shanna and I'm also known as Ms. Shanna, over where I write about the Eventures of my journey into the events industry and all my hopes and dreams about becoming part of the world of weddings.

Also 23 years old, my sister-in-arms for 10 Dollar Date and I have been friends since the 2nd grade, if you can believe that! Part of the inspiration for this blog is that Tammi is a fantastic writer and I have been wanting to co-author a blog with her for some time now. With the combination of the economic downturn and my graduation from college (and my consequent "promotion" to unemployment), I have been paying more attention to the way I live my life and particularly the way I spend money. So, the wheels started turning...

I came to San Diego to attend college and met my love, Clement, through mutual friends in my major - Psychology. (He actually doubled in psych and management science but I didn't have that kind of dedication. =P) After graduation, we moved in together and stuck around San Diego hoping that the poor economy -- pun intended -- was just a temporary slump. Since it's where we met and fell in love as starving college students, what better place to continue building our relationship?

So, 10 Dollar Date was born -- based entirely around the concept that love is not represented by how much you spend on each other but how you spend your time together. Like Tammi said, $10 is just a target, more like guidelines. Obviously, it's pretty silly to include things like 1/25 of a tank of gas, so we at 10 Dollar Date are not responsible if your date turns out costing $11.

Keep checking back for great ideas about romance on a shoestring and making dates without breaking the bank!

And the blog begins

Hey y'all. My name is Tammi also known as Tornado Chaser. And yes I chase tornadoes, they also have names: Hunter, Tristin and Ethan. At least with our pets, the males and females in our home are about equal or I would have been drowned in the testosterone, even if it couldn't save me from legos, rockets and robots that I tend to have scattered around my house.

I am 23 years old. I am vegan. I am incredibly laid back. I grew up in southern California, where I met the lovely Ms Shanna way back when. But I picked up the hick accent after my mom and I moved to Oklahoma when I was 13. That is where I met the goofy boy that would be come my husband. Mike and I have been married 5 1/2 years now. Do the math, yes we were 17... and pregnant! 

We know all about having more month than money. Love may make the world go 'round but it definitely doesn't pay the bills. Our dates, when we had the chance, revolved around what we could get for free or very cheap, like employee discounts at the restaurant Mike worked at before he joined the Army. 

After 7 moves in 5 years, we have settled in Austin, Texas. Mike is now a police officer while I get to hang out at home with my hilariously crazy boys. The lack of income that I could be bringing in does make things a little tight but I do everything I can to save money whenever possible, including our dates. I am great at finding the deals. 

So that's me but what am I doing here? Oh yeah, Shanna asked me to co author this neat little (and hopefully later big) blog with her! 

$10 dates is our goal but not necessarily our cap. We want you to enjoy inexpensive dates so you can worry less about your bank account and more about spending time with your sweetie. 

Be aware of variants in what we say and what you may encounter. Prices of things may also differ area to area so it's best to check ahead and plan accordingly. A little research may even save you money! 

For Mike and myself, before we even head out the door we are down $15 an hour because of a babysitter for three kids. And we also have to consider that some areas of the city have parking garages or meters to deal with. We prepare ahead of time to know exactly how much parking may cost so we have the cash on hand and aren't stuck having to walk 3 miles from the closest free parking area. 

But the main idea is to get out, have a good time and maybe keep what little spending money you have in your pocket. :)