Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Trying to bring a little order back

Moving is one of those things that you block out (like child birth), because it's so stressful! :-) When we moved from Seattle to San Francisco, our relocation covered full packing & moving, so we definitely had less to do. For this move, other than the big pieces of furniture, we handled everything ourselves.

In addition to the logistics of the move, I'm a person who loves organization & order. Let's just say that the house is several months away from that state, and it's causing me a bit of stress. ;-) So, focusing on what I can/need to accomplish today is more helpful than spinning my wheels & not getting anything accomplished. So with that, here's my to do list for today after work:

  1. Finish filling out all Boy Scouts paperwork for Sam
  2. Call to see if I can order a night stand for our bedroom. We had to shuffle around our furniture quite a bit, & we both like having night stands. We had a dresser serving as a night stand in our other house, but this bedroom isn't big enough to accommodate.
  3. Call power company to transfer service to our landlord.
  4. Call water company to transfer service
  5. Update our budget
  6. Call about an egift card that I tried to use & wouldn't work.
  7. Call about our property taxes. I understand they are due on 4/1, but we haven't received a bill
  8. Set up a physical for Sam
  9. Return a call to my doctor about an eye appointment
  10. Bring Sam to Boy Scouts
  11. For dinner - probably leftover PF Changes from move day
  12. Fill out mandatory Boy Scouts training

If I get this done in the evening, I will be grateful for the progress & not worry about the state of my house tonight.  You can't do everything, every day! What about you? What is one thing you are hoping to accomplish today?

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Moving Day + a house picture

When we moved to California (way back in August of 2013), we moved into a rental property. It served us extremely well, and we've been lucky to have such a long lease in such a fabulous neighborhood. We had a great landlord (next door), who was the perfect blend of available, but not nosy. Loved their family. We will miss our little cul de sac, and are looking forward to new adventures in our own place!

I can't believe it, but moving day has arrived! Michael & I moved pretty much everything but the heavy furniture over the weekend. The new house is in chaos (stuff everywhere), and movers are coming bright & early this morning to start the final process of moving the furniture.

I'm super excited to get everything sorted out, put away, organized & cleaned in the new house. It will be at least a month before I can convincingly say that we are "officially" moved in, but if nothing else, every belonging will be somewhere in the new house by the end of today. Now, we may not be able to find it, but everything will be there!

Also, I feel compelled to add that the pool is the star feature of this house. I'll add lots more pictures over the upcoming weeks, because this picture may give you the wrong impression about the overall state of the rest of the house. So, like every good social media picture, keep in mind that this one is the house "at its best". ;-) But, by far the best part of the house! Maybe one day, we will have enough time to sit outside & relax & enjoy.

Got to run & get breakfast for the kiddos before the movers arrive!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Frugal Friday + an update

Thanks so much for all of your feedback & support on my last post.

To answer some of the questions:

  • M has an extended period of time to find a new role within the company. 
  • He's still currently working in his old role. It's performance management time at work, so he's working through that process, as well as helping his team with resume reviews, mock interviews, and sourcing roles.
  • He's had multiple interviews, both internally & externally. He's kind of leaning towards an external job, but doesn't yet have a formal offer. If/when the time comes, it will be a big decision, as he has a great deal of equity in our existing company.
  • We still need a nanny due to the above. He's never been busier, between the house projects (many of which he's completing himself, working, & interviewing).

And, on the frugality side, we've been too busy to spend any money, with the exception of house/moving stuff. I haven't done a good job of keeping track this week, but here goes:

  • Made the most of freezer meals all week, given I hadn't been home in two weekends to prepare meals.
  • We did eat out yesterday (late, late day), and today is a planned day out (Nick's birthday!)
  • I'm cleaning our new house today after work (lots of dust, dirt & grime after all of the construction), rather than using a service.
  • I filed my expense reports from my Tokyo/London trip promptly, to get back some of the charges that were on my own dime. 
  • Kept Nick's birthday low key. He's invited to two big parties this weekend, but once we're moved in, he will have a sleepover at the new house, with friends. He also received gifts today: a gift certificate for an art class, a used telescope, and a new book from his brother. He was thrilled. I will also bring cupcakes to his soccer game tomorrow, and we will go out to dinner tonight to celebrate.

And, that's it from our side! 10 years ago today, I was at the hospital, getting ready to have my baby. What an exciting moment in life! And, how quickly it's gone. :-) What about you? What frugal things have you done this week? 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Menu plan for the week, & utter chaos

It's a little hard to articulate exactly why the past few months have felt so challenging, but when I look back. . .there's been A LOT going on.

  • We decided to move back to Washington, & I was going to leave my job
  • We changed our minds, & bought a house
  • The house caused a LOT of stress on the financing side
  • I decided I had to stay at my job, at least for the next year.
  • We've had a terrible, unreliable nanny
  • My job has been in the process of a giant reorg, in addition to the normal stress 
  • M got laid off. The week after we bought the house
  • We have been doing a ton of work in the house, before we move in. M is at the house every waking moment.
  • The flooring in the new house was a disaster, & we've had to postpone the move, plus add in another $8K to get it fixed
  • We've had to fit showings for the house into our schedule, and keep it clean
  • Packing/moving (official move now rescheduled for next week)
  • I'm in the process of finding a new job. Interviewed & didn't get the first one. Still TBD as whether I will stay on my team.
  • I had an 8 day business trip in between all of this
It's been just a lot. I can tell that I'm always at the end of my rope, and don't have enough time to see M. He's literally always at the other house, working. I'm so happy that, in another week or so, we will be moved in & I will be seeing him regularly again. And, that we can finally stop having our belongings half packed. Because, that's getting old too.

In good news, I found another nanny! HE (yes, a he! Came highly recommended from a friend) starts next Monday. So, I only have to get through this last week without a nanny. Hallelujah. 

Menu planning has been chaos, so here goes for the week ahead. It's the random assortment of freezer meals week ahead, given my traveling & the move. 

Menu plan

  • Sunday - kebabs & lubia polo (freezer) + greek yogurt sauce
  • Monday - chicken (freezer) + leftover alfredo (adults) & pasta (kids)
  • Tuesday - potato soup & homemade rolls (adults) + pasta/chicken (kids)
  • Wednesday - chicken (freezer) + cheese tortellini
  • Thursday - A variety of stuff from the freezer: gyozas, samosas, and grilled chicken
  • Friday - Nick's birthday - we will go out to Greek food
  • Saturday - homemade pizza
  • Sunday - Something cobbled together from the freezer, because we are moving on Monday!

In an effort to hold onto my sanity, I went to the gym early this morning & got on the treadmill. It really helped. Now, to find time to carve out like that more regularly. Fingers crossed for a positive remainder of the week! What about you? Tell me one thing that's stressing you out this week!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jet lag & daylight savings do not go together

I flew back from London yesterday, after a very tiring trip. Particularly tiring because, midweek, I had another 20 hour travel day where I flew from Tokyo to London. So, trip looked like this: Saturday, San Francisco to Tokyo. Wednesday, Tokyo to Frankfurt, to London. Saturday, London to San Francisco. Each of those travel days is around a 20 hour door to door trip, plus three different time zones (Tokyo is 16 hours ahead, London is 8) in that week. Not sure it was my best plan, but my options were limited. I could either do two separate trips, or one combined. Because of our move, this felt like the best bet when planning. Ha. ;-) I did manage to score a last minute upgrade to business on my way home. It was the best part of the trip, for sure. Flying business, while not totally enjoyable, is a totally different experience than flying economy. Particularly after a super long week.

Anyway, I'm back & struggling to stay awake. It was a cruel twist of fate that today is day light savings - I needed every hour today to get things ready for our move on Tuesday. In addition, the boys have two soccer scrimmages (one each), two flag football practices, and two flag football games. So, I'll obviously be super productive while chauffeuring the kids around.

Here's what's on the super compact list for today:

  1. Set up nanny interviews
  2. Set up soccer carpool
  3. Figure out schedule for the week
  4. Pay bills
  5. Clean toilets
  6. Drop off check & key for our cleaning lady at the new house. We're going to have it cleaned tomorrow, to get rid of all of the construction debris/dust before we move in.
  7. Set up an interview with a hiring manager (work)
  8. Make a menu plan. Last night I felt heroic heating up a fettuccine alfredo from Costco & putting together a salad. Must get a real menu plan together. 
  9. Get in some sort of physical exercise. This is the longest I've gone without a consistent exercise routine, probably since the kids were born. And, let me just say that I can tell. My clothes can also tell. The jiggliness is not cool.
  10. Take the kids to various practices & games.

Those are *must dos* today. I'm going to ignore everything that's not an absolute must. What about you? Are you enjoying daylight savings? :-) 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February Goals Wrap Up - how did we do?

February was a madhouse, with the house purchase, the financing debacles, and the many, many, many projects! I'm not sure we nailed everything, but here's a quick look.

1) Financial - Figure out our housing situation, and get it all resolved (i.e. moved, job changes as needed) before school starts. 
  • Set a move date. - yes, 3/18, barring any issues with the flooring installation. 
  • Get our San Francisco house rented (we are limited on what we can do, other than keeping the house clean & ready, and making it available for showings.) - We did have someone who signed a contract, and then their project fell through & they backed out. Unclear how that impacts our liability, but still working on this. Our realtor has a solid lead, so we've introduced him to our land lord. 
  • Build a brand new budget for our lives, with our new costs & expenses - eh, we've done most of this, but I'd like to finalize a few areas. As a result, I've carried over to next month.
  • Find one alternative cost cutting option  - not only did I use newspapers & other items around the house (think, spare towels, etc) to pack, but I also used boxes from our neighbors! Plus, I ran several errands & lots of trips to the new house either on foot or biking. I'm hoping to replace a car errand trip at least 2x/month in the future. 
  • Determine if we're doing any work in the house, and sources of funding - done. I'll do a full update on this, but we ended up doing a lot. The house is looking pretty good!
  • Build new cash flow model - Ditto above - we've done most of this, but I'd like to finalize a few areas. As a result, I've carried over to next month
  • Sell another $100 of items on the Facebook swap site. - Crushed this goal. I made $749.03 by selling things. The majority of this came from two necklaces. But, I also sold two yoga blocks, a scarf, & 20 kids books. 
  • Continue to declutter so we can pack less! - I continually review everything we have, whenever I'm packing. I'd estimate I've donated another 100 or so items as part of the packing process. That doesn't include the huge amount of things I've recycled or shredded. 
  • Pack - I committed to having pretty much everything (that we wouldn't need over the next few weeks) packed before I left for my business trip. I did really well, and am in good shape. I also tried to keep the house still looking okay, for future showings. So, I'd say I achieved this at 90%.
2) Family - Spend more time together as a family!

  • Do a minimum of one fun activity/month with the kids. This can be family puzzle night, cooking dinner together, board games, going out somewhere, etc.  - We haven't done much/if any of this in February. We have spent a lot of time together as a family, but I don't think any of us would describe it as "super fun". ;-) It's involved loading a trailer for the landfill, picking up carpet staples, etc. The family that works together . . . ;-) 
  • Be more present with the kids & M - play games, minimize computer time, exercise together, etc. - We've definitely exercised together a lot - trips to & from the new house. We've minimized computer time, so I'm giving us a pass. 
  • Have two dates with M per month (one lunch, one evening) - Yes! We went to lunch for my birthday, and had a quick dinner at home for Valentine's Day. Both sans sitters. 
  • Figure out adjusted travel plans for 2017 - I roughed something out, but haven't made any progress, due to the move & timing of our other house sale. 

    3) Fitness/health - Lose 20 pounds, bringing my weight to 133. This may sound familiar, as it's also a carryover goal from last year!
    • Run 12 miles in February - I've run 4 miles. I injured my soleus (not running, but hiking) & wasn't able to run for a week or so. Also, general business. 
    • Eat five servings of fruit & vegetables (combined) per day - I'm closing out the month with just over 3. This is not awesome & I need to work on this. I am doing a much better job of cutting back on sweets. I had a bad spell there for a few weeks, but have cleaned things up. 
    • Complete 800 minutes of cardio - lots of construction work & a long hike got me to 825!
    • Complete 6 strength workouts. - 4 official strength workouts, but lots of time with a hammer, screwdriver, mallet, etc. 
    • Complete 6 stretching workouts. - I had 3, and one was a super long studio yoga class. I need a lot more of this!

    4) Work/career - Improve my work life balance.
    • Keep better perspective at work/reduce stress - I've managed this by looking for a new job. It's a new perspective, for sure, but comes with its own stress of course. 
    • Work from home 2x this month. - yes! I've also been using a few comp days to get things done around the house. 

      5) Personal/creative - Spend more time on myself/creative pursuits.
      • Bake bread, and try a new recipe. - I tried a couple of new soup recipes, a delicious baked spaghetti, & also made yeast rolls a regular part of our menu. Yum!
      • Do something social at least once per month. - I went on a long hike with a friend. 
      • Volunteer a minimum of 1x/month. - Yes, I volunteered at the boys school on my day off - my birthday. 

      All in all, I'm super excited with my progress this month. There were certainly areas that could have gone better, but we accomplished a lot as a family. Woohoo! What about you? How was your February? Any big wins to call out? 

      Wednesday, March 1, 2017

      March Goals - the month of moving!

      I'm looking forward to getting the move all wrapped up! Here's what's on the list for March. 

      1) Financial - 
      • Declutter, pack & move!
      • Get our San Francisco house rented (we are limited on what we can do, other than keeping the house clean & ready, and making it available for showings.)
      • Build a brand new budget for our lives, with our new costs & expenses
      • Find one alternative cost cutting option (so far, in January I started using newspapers to clean mirrors, in February I utilized my bike to run errands, so let's see what March will hold!)
      • Sell another $100 of items on either eBay or my local Facebook swap site. 
      • Unpack & organize the new house
      2) Family - Spend more time together as a family!

      • Do a minimum of one fun activity/month with the kids. This can be family puzzle night, cooking dinner together, board games, going out somewhere, etc. 
      • Be more present with the kids & M - play games, minimize computer time, exercise together, etc.
      • Have two dates with M per month (one lunch, one evening) 
      • Figure out adjusted travel plans for 2017

        3) Fitness/health - Lose 3 pounds in March
        • Run 12 miles in March
        • Eat five servings of fruit & vegetables (combined) per day
        • Complete 1000 minutes of cardio
        • Complete 6 strength workouts.
        • Complete 6 stretching workouts. 
        • Work out at least once on my business trip

        4) Work/career - Improve my work life balance.
        • Keep better perspective at work/reduce stress 
        • Work from home 2x this month.
        • Find a new job

          5) Personal/creative - Spend more time on myself/creative pursuits.
          • Try a new recipe
          • Do something social at least once per month.
          • Volunteer a minimum of 1x/month.

          March is going to be a big month for us, with the move, a business trip, & hopefully me finding a new job. What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish in March? 

          Tuesday, February 28, 2017

          Efficiency Hack - part 1, morning routine

          I try to optimize much of my life, and love hearing from you about ways you save time & money. At the end of each year, I try to identify a few areas that I'd like to change or modify, and focus on those areas for improvement in the year ahead. I've broken up my tips into a few groups, as apparently, I have a lot to say on this topic. ;-)

          I find that a well oiled morning routine makes my life so much earlier. M & I do a bit of schedule shifting, to reduce our need for childcare, as well as spend more time with the kids. I go to work early, and he manages breakfast (and most of the lunches) for the kids & gets them to school. As a result, I can leave work earlier, and handle the late afternoon at home, & dinner prep while he works later. Here are some of the tips or just general plans that make our morning routine easier. You are probably doing most or all of these already, so take what is useful & share your own best tips!

          1. I get up at the same time each day. I go to bed at the same time every night during the work week. And, it's early. :-) I need about 9 hours/sleep a day to stay healthy with lupus, so this is a big priority. Waking up rested is a huge gift you can give yourself. 
          2. We have an espresso machine at home. No need for a coffee shop (I do get free coffee at work about 1x/month). We've had the same espresso machine for about 10 years, and have had it repaired once. It's lovely to have a cup (or, let's be honest -  2) in the morning. 
          3. As soon as I have my coffee, I make my to do list for the day. Once I have all of that written down, it frees my brain up from having to track all of those random items. It also ensures I'm as productive as possible. My first hour at work is typically my most productive, so it's important to have all of my tasks written down to keep me focused.
          4. We make one breakfast for the kids. It involves an egg, toast, & lots of fruit. Although we sometimes vary it on weekends, keeping our routine the same during weekdays helps M quickly get breakfast on the table, and reduces the time it takes in the grocery store, as I always know what we need to buy.
          5. I only wash my hair 2x/week. And, only once during the work week. It makes the getting out of the house routine extremely fast. I could shower at night to save even more time, but find that the morning shower wakes me up.
          6. I invested in a high powered blow dryer a few years ago. It can get my just past shoulder length hair dry in about five minutes. The difference between this & a regular blow dryer is pretty remarkable. I use regular blow dryers in hotels when traveling, as well as when visiting my family, etc. I'd say I save about 10 minutes of active blow drying time. 
          7. I have a streamlined makeup routine. As soon as I get out of the shower, I lay out my makeup. I wear the following every day: sunblock (particularly important as the medicine I take makes me even more sensitive to the sun, and I'm already quite fair), mascara, eyeliner, chap stick, deodorant. I also leave out my toothpaste & mouthwash, and put each item away as I use it. This ensures I remember to complete all of the routine, even when I'm tired. It's amazing what you can forget before you are fully awake. I'm experimenting with cutting out the eyeliner. I don't want to look overly "made up". I also have very, very small eyes, and as I age, my lids have been dropping, making my eyes look even smaller. So, we'll see if I change this up.
          8. I wear a straight forward "uniform" to work. In the summer, dresses, sweaters, and a statement necklace. In the winter, it's jeans with a cardigan & again, a statement necklace. I wear flats or boots. I experimented with packing about 2/3s of my wardrobe a few weeks ago, and have been making do with a capsule like wardrobe. I'm liking it so far. I didn't get the choices exactly right this go round, but I can imagine pairing my wardrobe back much further when I do unpack in March. It takes me about one minute to decide what to wear to work, no fuss when your wardrobe is straightforward.
          9. We tag team lunch prep. While M is making breakfast for the kids, I get out their lunch snacks, round up the lunch bags, and then he makes sandwiches. I add the fruit & veggies, and they are good to go. Again, the lunches vary little. This helps us know what to buy each week. The kids do experience some lunch "fatigue", so they are allowed to buy hot lunch once a month, and I occasionally put leftovers in their thermos. 
          10. I also make the bed & empty the dishwasher between other tasks, so we don't leave the house with a sink full of dishes, or come home to an unmade bed. Yuck. If I've done laundry the night before, I round it up from the drying rack, and have the kids put away their stuff before school. 
          11. The kids also have their own chores. They make their beds, put away their laundry, bring their dirty clothes to the washing machine, and brush their teeth. 
          12. When possible, the kids wear their soccer practice uniforms to school. This makes getting ready much easier in the afternoon. They can add shinguards & cleats & be ready to go. 
          13. I keep my stuff in the same place, every day. My laptop is charging next to my phone, along with my "to do list" notebook. I have my work ID in my laptop bag, and scoop up the laptop, phone, & to do list on my way through the kitchen to the car. No more searching for lost items as I run around the house. 

          I'm typically in the office by 7:30, depending on my meeting schedule, so optimizing my early morning routine is priceless. I'd LOVE to find a way to get in a workout in the morning, but short of getting less sleep, I've come up empty on options. What about you? Any tips or tricks to share? What's your best morning routine hack you can share?

          Monday, February 27, 2017

          Weekly spending roundup (2/20-2/26/17)

          Another week, more house purchases! I track my spending because it helps me feel more connected to our budget, find trends, and typically keeps tighter control over what we actually spend. Not every week, however. ;-)

          • Monday:
            • $111 - landfill (construction debris)
            • $155.83 - paint, Home Depot
            • $315 - summer camp that was almost filled. I paid for the other child using an award I bought through our school auction 
            • $10.56 - produce stand
          • Tuesday - No spend day
          • Wednesday - No spend day
          • Thursday - No spend day
          • Friday:
            • $11.93 - lights at Home Depot
            • $62.47 - paint 
            • -$29.81 - returned something at Home Depot
            • $6000 - drywall/painters
          • Saturday:
            • $13.99 - shoes for me at Costco. I really like them, but they are too big, so I will likely return unless I can find a smaller size.
            • $97.50 - landfill
            • $174 - landfill
            • $226.86 - Costco - trees, dirt, & planters
            • $132 - groceries at Costco
            • $46.53 - wine
          • Sunday:
            • -$188 - sold a necklace on eBay
            • -$511 - another necklace! Shocked by the big price.
            • -$10 - sold 20 of the kids books on a local Facebook swap
          Total spent for the week = $6618.86. The sales really helped offset the house spending, which is fabulous news. What about you? Did you track your spending for the week? How did you do? 

          Sunday, February 26, 2017

          Sunday tasks

          I accomplished a lot yesterday (yay!) & finally feel like I'm seeing progress with the move packing.

          I need to tackle more chores today to get ready for the week ahead. I also didn't pack for my work trip. Two problems. 1) I'm down to a very small "capsule" wardrobe that remains unpacked for the big move. So, if I pack it for the work trip, I won't have much to wear to work this week. :-) 2) I just couldn't go there, emotionally. Really not looking forward to this trip, in the midst of everything else on my plate. But, that's life, kids! Time to suck it up, buttercup.

          I spent quite a bit of time yesterday de-cluttering, and we all know what that means - less things to pack, move, & then unpack! Woohoo! I also sold a necklace for $188 on eBay. Wow - super happy with the price. The money will go straight towards the *numerous* moving expenses.

          Here's what's on my list for today:

          1. Sort out my work schedule
          2. Schedule for nanny, including the days when I'm traveling
          3. Go for a run
          4. Yoga, if time
          5. Bike or walk with the kids to the produce stand
          6. Wash the sheets on all beds
          7. Laundry
          8. Make more dinner rolls for the freezer
          9. Round up M's tax documents
          10. Help M pull out carpeting & staples
          11. Pack for my work trip
          12. Make dinner - homemade pizzas on naan bread & a foccacia that's been lingering in the freezer
          13. Take the kids to football practice/games. 
          14. Read for at least 20 minutes, preferrably in a hot bath.
          That's it! If I accomplish all of that, today will be a huge success! What about you? How are you planning to spend your day?

          Saturday, February 25, 2017

          Yoga, packing & cooking

          Happy Saturday! I was up bright & early to take advantage of a free "happy birthday" offer from a local yoga studio. I went another time through a freebie at work, so this was my second class. SO GOOD! And, so very hard. I was really sweating. :-) Now it's time to get to work. I'm drinking my coffee (delayed) & my orange/spinach smoothie to kick start the day.

          Yesterday, I spent 3 hours & dug out the planter box at the new house. It was over 3 feet deep, and contains crumbling concrete at the bottom. My back is killing me. For next steps, it looks like we will need to fill it with gravel, then concrete, then tile over it. I'll get some more "in progress" pictures, as well as the rest of the house.

          For today, I need to accomplish the following:

          1. Make rolls to go with dinner
          2. Menu plan
          3. Make a Costco list
          4. Clean the fridge
          5. Buy groceries (Costco & produce stand)
          6. Pack. Ahhh, the ongoing saga contines ;-) 
          7. Move the garbage & recycling to the new house (we transitioned service locations)
          8. Clean out both freezers, and use any older items in our menu for the week. I don't want to move old stuff.
          9. Go through some paperwork, and figure out what I can shred.
          10. Do some yard work at the new house.
          That's it for me! I'm going to kick start with the menu plan for the next two weeks. I need to prep some food for the crew, as I leave a week from today for Tokyo, then London. :-( 

          • Saturday - ham & potato soup with homemade rolls. I'll sub chicken for the ham, as we prefer it, and I have it on hand. 
          • Sunday - naan and flatbread pizzas, using up a variety of freezer options
          • Monday - lubia polo (freezer) + yogurt sauce
          • Tuesday - leftover soup, rolls, & spinach salad
          • Wednesday - leftover pizzas
          • Thursday - fiesta chicken (freezer) 
          • Friday - I have meetings in the city until 5 or so, which means I won't be home until late. Leftovers (if there are any), or potstickers & chicken.
          • Saturday - boys on their own. Will pick up a pizza for the freezer
          • Sunday - boys on their own. Spaghetti & meatballs
          • Monday - boys on their own. Pasta & grilled chicken.
          • Tuesday - boys on their own. Tacos (need to brown taco meat for this). 
          • Wednesday - boys on their own - leftovers
          • Thursday - boys on their own - leftovers
          • Friday - boys on their own - my assumption is that they will do pizza or go out. 
          • Saturday - I arrive in SFO around lunch time, so I'll sort something out.

          What about you? What's on the menu for the week? And, do you go to yoga classes, or prefer it at home? 

          Friday, February 24, 2017

          Frugal Friday

          I took today off using one of my comp days (woohoo!), and I'm pretty excited about it. I'm in the home stretch & time is running out for packing. I have a long to do list, but first, the frugal activities for the week!

          • Got home late on Sunday after various kid activities, & debated ordering takeout. Sounded particularly appealing, as our picky eater wasn't home. Stood strong & made dinner instead.
          • Biked to the new house 2x for various chores/errands
          • M continues to do a significant amount of work at the house. Many of these projects are pre-arranged with the painters, flooring guy, etc to save money. For example, M is ripping up the carpet himself, making trips to the dump, doing some patching, etc. This allows the contractors to focus on the projects that only they can do (well, technically M could, but not to the same level of quality in almost any case) & still saves money. 
          • Made smoothies from our oranges in the yard.
          • Got home late again on Tuesday, due to a last minute switch up in the soccer carpool because of a field change & excessive rain. Really didn't want to cook. Did it anyway. :-)
          • Noticed my preferred airline was having a sale, and used all of my confirmation numbers to validate pricing & request matches to the lowest fare. This saved a total of $76, that is now credited to my account for future purchases. I've earned back $112 over the last month or so by doing this, and will use these credits towards our summer travel. 
          • Found free moving boxes (more!) on our neighborhood alias, and used our local newspaper (free) + flyers to wrap our glass serving ware. 
          • Made rolls on Sunday, in an ongoing attempt to reduce our purchased bread. 
          • Used my day off to rip down the "awesome" plexiglass structure at the new house. 
          • Remember the prospective tenant that I showed around a few weekends ago for our landlord? He & his family our going to rent the house - taking over the lease effective on 3/15! This is great news from a budget perspective. Less so from a timing perspective, as I have a business trip right before that. Details on my move plan to come. Unfortunately, just found out this am from our landlord that the tenant's project was cancelled, and he's backing out of the lease. :-(
          • Used ALL of the leftovers in the fridge this week. As far as I know, this has never happened, well. . . ever. When I open the fridge, there are things to make meals with, but not a scrap of leftovers for me to utilize. In fact, I thought I had enough for dinner cobbled together yesterday, but the boys have been attending a six hour basketball camp, and M had been ripping out carpet. Everyone was starving. I had to get really creative to find a second & third round of options for people.
          With that, I'm off to tackle my day! A few glimpses of what I'm hoping to accomplish - dig out the "planter", go for a run, pack, & maybe make banana bread! Can't wait. I love bonus days off.

          What about you? What frugal things have you accomplished this week?

          Thursday, February 23, 2017

          Weekly spending roundup - the house projects edition (2/13-2/19/17)

          House projects are really, really expensive. ;-) We bought a house that was built in the 1950s, and while overall in good shape, had some very dated design decisions. We've been addressing as many issues as possible before moving in.

          Rather than listing out all of the many expenses separately, I'll try to aggregate them, for my sanity.

          • Monday 2/13 - no spend day
          • Tuesday 2/14 - no spend day
          • Wednesday 2/15 - no spend day
          • Thursday 2/16 - $37.79 - dinner out for Sam's birthday
          • Friday 2/17:
            • $3.99 - movie rental for Sam at his sleepover
            • $33.13 - gas
          • Saturday 2/18:
            • Landfill (taking old supplies from the house) - $546
            • $36 - light fixtures
            • $792 - paint. I feel like this can't possibly be right. Maybe M bought duplicates & will return leftovers? I'm not even sure. 
            • $5.41 - Sam conned me into the beef brisket sandwich at Costco. He's 11 & skinny, and while I do feed him, he is clearly going through a growth spurt & gets famished within 10 minutes. In positive news, it lasted for a lunch & a snack. 
            • $100.45 - Costco, for the weekly groceries. Included bonus splurges of spinach & beets, because I'm trying to up my veggie intake. 
          • Sunday 2/19 - 
            • Sam's college ($100 was a birthday gift from my parents) - $115
            • $315 - registration for summer camp
          Total spent = $1884.77 

          We start to pay the contractors (painters, drywall person, & flooring) in the next week or so. . . *shivers*. What about you? Do you track your spending? How was your week?