UPDATE:  Um, for all you bloggers out there, you have to push “publish” for people to actually see what you wrote!

I love hearing peoples stories.  Everyone has stories to tell.  When Tony was in the hospital, two nights before he left he got a roommate that he actually clicked with – his roommate had been diagnosed with lymphoma, was about to start chemo, and they two of them connected in a way that reassured them both – Tony described his colon cancer scare, surgery and recovery earlier in the year, which I think helped his roommate realize that the word “cancer” doesn’t necessarily equal “death.”

Tony is still slowly coming around – I feel bad because I either do too much or too little and I can’t seem to find a happy medium to help him. 😦   Today is my last day at work so I’ll be home for the next four days – hopefully his appetite will come back too – he’s only had bread, bananas and applesauce the last week!

We had my office Christmas luncheon yesterday, but it didn’t start until 2:00.  For breakfast I had another hash – 4 ounce potato, egg, this time chicken sausage (60 calories for the whole link!) and baby spinach with a super juicy orange from my PIL.  I ate half the orange with breakfast and other half around noon.

I was kind of in charge of our holiday party – I had a budget, my boss and I selected the apps and menu, and I thought it went really well.  Here are two ways to save money at a holiday party at the restaurant:

1.   See if they have a corking fee.  We wanted to offer wine and beer.  The least expensive wine they offered started at $32 a bottle.  I called and found out that they had a $10 cork fee – so I could bring in wine at a significant discount.  If you are a member at World Market you already get a 10% discount right off the top on all their wines, and if you buy more than 4 bottles, you get an additional 10% off.

I was able to buy 3 bottles of Cupcake Chardonnay for $6.99 a bottle, and 3 bottles of Cupcake Merlot for $7.99 a bottle, even with the corking fee we were still saving rougly 50% over the restaurant wine bottle prices. 😀

They also wanted to charge $8 per person for dessert.  I ended up buying these cute holiday Chinese boxes and I made the cookies myself – between the cost of the boxes (only .99 cents at Michaels!), and the cost of the ingredients for the cookies I made, I got dessert covered for $3 per person.  I just handed them out at the end of our meal.

I hadn’t planned on eating any appetizers, but I was really hungry by 2:30 in the afternoon.  I had four fried dill pickles (holy yum!) and a slice of pear, goat cheese flat bread which was really good.

And because it was nearly 3:45 by the time we ate, I knew this would be my lunch and dinner, so splurged on their signature Monk Burger – rare burger (love that they do rare burgers!) with Tillamook cheddar cheese and hand cut fries.  I ate 3/4 of the burger and maybe 10 fries.

Their burgers are so flavorful and juicy – worth the splurge!  I ended up snacking on a bit of Chex mix later in the night, so all in all it wasn’t too bad of a food day.  Maybe just lacking some veggies and fruit!

Does everyone have a four day weekend?  I assume everyone has the Friday and Monday off for Christmas, that is unless you work retail!  I will have a five day weekend – hoping to be a better nurse for Tony during my time off!

Make it a great day!





19 thoughts on “Stories

  1. I hope Tony filled his roommate with hope! AND I hope Tony starts getting his appetite back so he can eat your delicious food. Great job on the party. Your office totally owes you for saving them all the $$

  2. That burger looks amazing!
    I only have to work today, tomorrow, and Thursday of next week. That’s it until 2012!

  3. What an awesome job with the office party, Biz! The money you saved them should totally come back as a bonus to you though! 🙂

    There used to be a place that served fried pickles around here, but they took it off the menu! *sob* They were so good!

  4. I’ve never had a fried pickle but think I would like it! I’m with you on the rare burgers. I’ll take my chances!!

    Wines are the biggest markups in restaurants. We have had some good wines and then found them to be at least 50% and more cheaper at retail.

    Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and that Tony will feel up to eating some Christmas goose–or whatever you prepare.


  5. Nice! You were so smart with all your cost saving techniques. There are generally such huge markups on wine at the restaurant that I agree that even with the corking fee, the savings were still huge. And those cookie boxes are absolutely adorable. I’m also thinking I might need to make some pizza with goat cheese after eyeing your flatbread.

  6. Roz@weightingfor50

    Love the cost saving get together tips!!!! And yay for the long weekend. I’m actually off all week next week…looking forward to it. Glad Tony was there to talk to his roomie, I’m sure it helps to talk to someone who has gone through the fear and uncertainty that the cancer diagnosis brings. Take care of yourself Vat!!!

  7. I’ve done that sort of questioning for baby/bridal showers held at banquet rooms or restaurants too – you’re right it save a lot of money!

    I have to work until 4:30 on Friday. The type of business I work for operates 24/7 365 days a year so the administrative staff is lucky that we get Monday off!

    Hope Tony is on the upswing and you find your balance.

  8. I’m sure you are doing a great job taking care of Tony!

    I have work on Friday – and I basically work for the government! Annoying. At least I have Monday off.

  9. Looks like you did an awesome job on the party, Biz! I love Cupcake Vineyard wines, if you haven’t tried the Red Velvet, please do!

    Also, as I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to have for lunch, I’m drooling over that burger 🙂

  10. Ha, I do daycare so I just have a 3 day weekend! I just have the next two Monday’s off. If anything, I’m busier this Friday as the kids all have off of school so I have 4 extra kids. Hope you and Tony are able to relax more than I am!

    Great job budgeting for the holiday party, sounds like you saved a bunch! I’ve never had fried pickles either but it sounds good!

  11. I’ m pretty sure Tony is enjoying all the tender love and care you are giving him. A person can never get enough of those two things. Hope you have a Merry Christmas, and Tony has some of his appetite back by then.

  12. You can cater a party for me anyday! I hope Tony continues to feel better and with your expert care, I’m sure he will. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday, Biz.

  13. Smart ideas on the corking fee and the dessert boxes – super cute and much more personal! I’m glad to hear tony is coming around and hope he gets his appetite back soon!

    I’m off until 12/28 – then i’m in for 3 days then back off for a ski trip. I feel like i’m just working from home but oh well, it beats going in!

  14. Sounds like a great office party! I can’t believe you made all the cookies….wanna work with me? =)

    ((((((HUGS FOR TONY))))))))

  15. The kids are home until January and Pooldad has an 11 holiday break starting tomorrow at 2:00 I am so excited. Company for a whole week plus! WOOT.

    I am sure Tony’s appetite will come back soon – the good thing is he IS eating. It may not seem like enough to you, but as long as he is satisfied, then that is good.

    Enjoy your time off. You sure deserve it.

  16. That is a great story about Tony and his new roommate. He gave that man some hope – what an awesome gift!

    You are such a great party planner and so frugal – I love that. I learned some good ideas from you that I am tucking away in case I need them.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  17. You are so smart to save money with the wine and dessert! Your apps and burger look so incredible, I’m drooling and I’ve already had dinner!

  18. That pizza looks so good – I can tell my appetite is coming back because it’s breakfast time here and I want pizza, lol!

    Enjoy your time off, and if I don’t get another chance to say it, Merry Christmas!!!

  19. I love Cupcake wines particularly the Riesling. You are so savvy. Those are some great tips.

    Unfortunately I don’t get any time off over the holidays. In fact I am working lots of overtime this coming week. Since I work 11pm to 7am I don’t have to miss a thing. My son just has to wait until about 7:15 to open Christmas presents. I host a Christmas brunch and then later in the afternoon my son and husband go to my Mom’s for dessert while I sleep before work. I actually don’t mind.

    Enjoy your long holiday weekend. I’m hoping Tony feels better soon.

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