Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Workout Wednesday

 Another week has barreled by! I feel like I've turned a mini positive corner, which feels good. 

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - I was *very* sore, so I did a 90 minute elliptical, vs the run I had planned
  • Tuesday - 1 mile walking + spin class
  • Wednesday - 1 mile treadmill walking + spin class + 90 minutes of walking meetings (slower, but still adding up on the steps)
  • Thursday - 75 minutes on the elliptical
  • Friday - Orange Theory class
  • Saturday - Orange Theory class
  • Sunday - 60 minutes on the elliptical, and then about an hour of walking during soccer warmups
Eating - I didn't really get a lunch one day at work, and just snacked randomly. I was hungry when I got home, & the snack fest continued before dinner. When I added up my calories, it was well above what I normally eat with meals, even though it didn't feel satisfying. 

Lowlights - my eating on Sunday was all over the place, as I really didn't think the kids would make the playoffs, and thought I'd be home for lunch. Nope. I made "okay" choices, but definitely could have done better. I also ended up having to give Sam my water, and I had a Gatorade, after being super dehydrated in the sun. More planning would have served me well. I need to start remembering to carry a cooler & multiple extra jugs of water on tournament days. 

Highlights - I'm finally starting to see a small drop on the scale. Woohoo for progress. 

Focus for the week ahead - Continuing to track my calories, & weigh in regularly. It works for me, so when I get into a groove of doing this consistently, my weight drops slowly but surely. 

What about you? How is everyone doing with their health?

Monday, September 26, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 Another busy week, but the menu plan helps us avoid unplanned takeout & meals out. We typically have: 6-8 practices/week, 4-6 games/week, plus volunteering, SAT prep, & reffing soccer games. Easy meals are a necessity!

  • Friday - gyozos and wings
  • Saturday - M was with Nick at a soccer tournament, Sam was at another soccer game with a friend, and I was volunteering at yet another location for the tournament. Everyone sorted their own dinner. 
  • Sunday - beef stir fry noodles
  • Monday - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Tuesday - beef stir fry leftovers
  • Wednesday - chicken shwarma 
  • Thursday - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Friday - chicken shwarma leftovers

What about you? What's on the menu for the week?

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Happenings

I was really productive yesterday, which made me feel great, as I have been in a bit of a rut. I made calls I'd been putting off, coordinated a few things, & tried to get organized. We had a cooler week, but it looks like we're back in the 90s today, which is not ideal for a soccer tournament.

What's happening today?

  • M to take the boys for hair cuts. Nick prefers his cut in a "broccoli" style (it's the current trend for young men, at least in our area), but the broccoli is most definitely overgrown at the moment
  • I'm heading to a morning workout class
  • Nick has volunteer tennis
  • Sam is meeting up with his friends for lunch & Magic
  • I'm volunteering at the club's soccer tournament
  • M is driving Nick to a tournament game
  • We have a carpool arranged for Sam's game, as it's in the opposite direction of Nick's club game, & I'll be volunteering
  • Menu planning
  • Costco
  • Maybe the produce stand
  • Laundry (those uniforms aren't going to wash themselves, ahead of tomorrow's tournament games)
  • M to talk to his mom about potential visit
As for dinner, this may be an evening where everyone fends for themselves, as our schedules don't overlap. 

What are you up to today?

Friday, September 23, 2022

Frugal Friday

This is an expensive season for us. Sam is doing test prep, the boys are sharing some math tutoring sessions (they are both taking calculus), & Sam is required to have driving lessons ahead of his test. These are all short term costs, but add up, for sure. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used an iBotta offer on grapes & $.10 off any receipt offer, when I picked up a few things at the store. Uploaded receipts to Fetch.
  • Not saving yet, but researching travel options for 2023, to take advantage of upgrades, miles & travel credits. 

Earning money

  • Drove Nick to reffing games 
  • Listed three items on eBay, after a long drought of not posting.
  • Sold a vintage ski hat. 

Avoiding spending

  • I wrote about this earlier in the week, but found $600 of travel gift cards. They should have never been lost, and I'm frustrated by that, but happy just the same to have found them. 
  • Went through & made detailed notes all of our travel credits, points, gift cards, etc. I spent several hours tracking everything, & I now feel like I have everything. I'm going to hold a much higher bar for these things moving forward, although some of the credits date back to COVID, & I wasn't expecting a pandemic when I booked travel. 

Eating what we have

  • Defrosted leftover chicken curry, and had that for dinner one night. The boys had leftover burgers, and the last two buns. I can't get them to eat burgers without the buns, whereas that's the preferred version for myself & M. 
  • Made myself a breakfast burrito as brunch one day, when I was starving and "someone" had eaten my planned lunch. Food is really at risk in the fridge, at my house. ;-) 
  • Brought home leftover brunch (treat from a friend), & Sam had that for part of a lunch.
  • I used a few random fridge items for cranberry muffins - oat milk instead of cow's milk, as I have a bunch of oat milk to use up. Remembered that Nick has juice for his smoothies, so used that in place of buying & squeezing an orange. Skipped the brown sugar, as we didn't have it, and M prefers his muffins a little on the less sweet side. (It called for both white & brown sugar, so I didn't leave it out entirely.)
  • Made another breakfast burrito as a lunch, using up a leftover slice of provolone. 
  • We were out of cheese for shredding, so I diced up a few slices for our taco night. 
  • Had leftover chicken fajitas for dinner.

For others

  • I'm on an advisory board for a university, and had our first kick off call this week. It was really nice to meet a diverse group of people, who all work in very different industries than me. 
  • Started a new mentoring program at work
What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Workout Roundup

It was a great workout week. My quads were very tight, on Sunday morning! 

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - 1 hour elliptical + yoga class
  • Tuesday - spin class
  • Wednesday - 1 mile walk + spin class
  • Thursday - 90 minutes of elliptical + 1 mile walk
  • Friday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Saturday - 1 hr, 40 minute hike with a friend. It was hilly & challenging!
  • Sunday - Orange Theory workout class

Eating: While it wasn't a perfect week, it was much better than previous weeks! On nights when we needed a very late dinner to accommodate sports, I ate ahead & then sat at the table with the boys, and chatted. It was much better than me snacking along the way, until I'd eaten more than enough calories, & then combining with dinner.

Lowlights: I finally got on the scale, and there's plenty of room for improvement, shall we say! I gained ~5 lbs over the summer. 

Highlights: Reduced snacking & made better eating choices overall.

Focus for the week ahead: Continue to track calories, increase produce intake & reduce snacks.

What about you? How are you doing with your health?

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

September goals

Even though we're trucking through September, I still wanted to set some goals for the month. 


  • Stick to our budget
  • Progress towards side hustle goals
  • Continue work on plan/budget for when I leave work
  • Continue to list items on eBay/FB, & go through all eBay inventory
  • Plan one activity with the kids
  • Take Nick for permit test
  • Help Sam with driving practice
  • Have two dates with M
  • Send pictures to M's family
  • Work on travel plan for end of year, & 2023, taking advantage of airline status
  • Post weekly workout summaries
  • Beat August's calorie burned goals
  • Close rings 25 days
  • Take advantage of workout classes
  • Meditate 5x
  • Lose 2lbs
  • Do something social with friends
  • Get involved in advisory role
  • More thinking on "post career work" life/goals

Monday, September 19, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 I was planning to be out of town over the weekend, but my plans fell apart due to bad air quality in Lake Tahoe. Here's our plan for the weekend. It's going to be easy/breezy. 

  • Friday - Chicken & quesadillas
  • Saturday - out for a fundraiser (Chipotle)
  • Sunday - kebabs & rice
  • Monday - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Tuesday - leftover kebabs & rice
  • Wednesday - chicken fajitas
  • Thursday - leftover spaghetti & meatballs
  • Friday - TBD, but likely wings & gyozas, or pizza
That's it on our side. No new recipes, but there are weeks when I have the bandwidth for that, and other weeks where we keep it simple. This is the latter, for sure! What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Lack of organization is expensive

I went through a long pre-COVID streak of buying gift cards on for future travel. Works well in theory, but when I was sitting on a ton of travel credit & not traveling, I realized it wasn't worth it. We still do buy gift cards - right in advance of a trip. As I'm about to book, I look for good options. Or, for our preferred airline (Alaska), I always take advantage of the Costco $500 gift cards for $450. I then immediately upload them into my Alaska "wallet", which is easy to pay with when you check out. No fuss, no keeping track of gift cards, etc. 

We are working out options for a travel tournament for Nick in a month or so, and I remembered buying a Delta gift card way back pre-COVID on Raise. I went down the rabbit hole this morning of trying to find that gift card, and check the balance. It turns out, that wasn't one gift card, it was a bunch of small gift cards. Which, added up to $600. I'm so irritated with myself. This was money we could have used on other travel (ironically, Delta dropped the flight route we would have used it on, post COVID). And, had I not thought of it this morning, I would have been out the money - erasing years of gift card savings. 

I normally track all gift card purchases by printing them out, and keeping them with my other gift cards. I've been using this method successfully for a while now. A few years ago, I kept them all in a spreadsheet, but the spreadsheet was corrupted in some way, and erased all of the gift card info. That's where these Delta gift cards were stored & then subsequently lost. What should I have done? Gone back into Raise, and find each gift card, checking the balance, and then tracking anything remaining. I've since done that this morning, and have a very clear picture of everything left, and also marked all zero gift cards as such, for future tracking. 

On the positive, I've discovered $600 of travel gift cards that I didn't know existed. On the down side, discovering them this morning was a fluke, and I should think twice about what the "breakage" rate is on all future gift card sales, and avoid them unless we have an immediate need. 

I'm off to go to a workout class, and then get people to soccer games & driving lessons, & all of the teen things. Any frugal fails to share? 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday Happenings

I was supposed to be hiking in Lake Tahoe with a friend this weekend, but fire smoke prohibited that. Maybe another time. In the end, it probably works out for the best, as M got home late from his trip last night, & there are just a lot of logistics involved. Instead, we're meeting for a hike & brunch this am, to catch up.

Here's what we're up to today:

  • Make a shopping list
  • Costco
  • Grocery store/produce stand
  • Meet a friend for a long hike
  • Brunch with friend, after hike
  • Take Nick to/from reffing game
  • Take Nick to/from tennis lessons (he's teaching)
  • Both boys have calculus tutoring tonight
  • Figure out the menu plan for the week
  • Work in the garden for a bit
  • Time permitting, make muffins
That's it on our side. What about you? What are you up to today? 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Frugal Friday


Saving on things we buy

  • I'm not sure how this will actually play out, but I was able to achieve the top airline status on my most recent work flight. It's estimated value is quite high, but since I don't plan to do any more business travel, I'd need to use this perk for personal trips. If nothing else, if we plan a ski trip, we will likely use this airline, as we get six free checked bags! That's a huge advantage for a ski trip. I also have a bunch of free international and domestic upgrades available, and need to figure out how to best use those. 

Earning money

  • Nick reffed soccer games. He has all kinds of ideas on how to make money, & I like that he doesn't mind hustling. Sam was content to work full time for five weeks in the summer (and, overtime hours), & then slowly use the money during the year. Different strokes/folks, I suppose. :-) 

Avoiding spending

  • We avoided a big grocery shop this week, as M was out of town for a few days & we kept things simple on the meal front. 

Eating what we have

  • We did a good job of eating through leftovers during the week, which always makes me happy.
  • I made a sandwich wrap out of a bunch of random fridge items: a garden tomato, a piece of provolone (leftover from a long ago meal), a tortilla from taco night, leftover grilled chicken, and a small container of a sauce from takeout Greek food. Winner, winner. 
  • I added eggs to leftover fried rice, and had a delicious & cost effective dinner. 
  • We finished off a bag of chicken from the freezer.
  • The boys ate some remaining pool party pizza (freezer). 

For others

  • We carpooled, helped others with some logistics, and I kicked off a new mentoring program at work. This program is intentionally designed to provide more support when someone just joins the company, so my departure date won't interfere. 
What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, September 15, 2022

August Goals Recap

 Once again, I'm late this month. I blame my Tokyo trip, as I feel like I missed the transition between months this time. Oh well, better late than never!

Here's how I did with my goals this month.


  • Stick to our budget - yes, we're mostly on track
  • Progress towards side hustle goals - yes, I've made a bit here & there, and also made progress towards using up my gift cards.
  • Work with M on some budget management stuff - we've had a few chats to align on what will happen after I quit. More to do here, but generally heading in the right direction
  • Inventory gift cards - yes, done!
  • Continue to list items on eBay/FB, & go through all eBay inventory - nope. Didn't get this done.
  • Plan one fun activity with the kids - we did a bunch of fun stuff in Bend, but things have been pretty crazy since we've been back home & started school
  • Sign Nick up for a permit appointment - done, it's coming up in a few weeks
  • Help Sam with driving practice, & sign him up for the test - done, coming up in October
  • Have two dates with M - I can't remember, which is a pretty sure sign that we didn't. However, we've been making the most of mini breaks at the house, when both boys are gone for a bit. 
  • Plan a call with M's family (or, pictures/videos) - lots of pictures were sent, and M has spoken to his parents quite a bit, as they were very sick with COVID (they are recovering now). 
  • Adjust to back to school + sports schedules - as much as we can, yes!
  • Post weekly workout summaries - I've had to combine a few, but done (and/or, scheduled & written!)
  • Stay healthy on international work trip - I give myself a B-. It's not as good as when I'm at home, due to inevitable lower energy. But, overall, I do what I can. 
  • Beat July's calorie burned goals - Yes, I was at 14,310 vs July's 12,516. 
  • Close rings 20 days - exactly 20 times
  • Take advantage of workout classes - I'm continuing to take classes at the work gym, when I'm in the office. 
  • Meditate 5x - No, & I need to get back to this
  • Lose 2 lbs - I maintained this month
  • Do something social with friends - lots of meeting up for workout classes
  • Start advisory role - yes, although it's a slower start than expected
  • More thinking on "post career work" life/goals - Yes, & I gave (a long) notice to my manager, as we were in Tokyo together. 

Overall, I'd call it a successful month, particularly with back to school, & a work trip added in. How about you? How did you do with your goals for the month?

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Workout Roundup

 I'm trying to get back into a regular routine. It always takes me a bit of time, after traveling.

Workouts for the week

  • Monday - 1 hour of elliptical
  • Tuesday -  50 minute elliptical, wedged between a bunch of other activities
  • Wednesday - 2 mile walk + spin class
  • Thursday - 1 mile run + spin class
  • Friday - 45 minutes of elliptical. I had early calls, & by the time I got to working out, it was HOT!
  • Saturday - 1 hour of elliptical + some walking at soccer
  • Sunday - Orange Theory class

Eating - my eating was definitely better this week. My snacking was more under control. Not being exhausted from lack of sleep/jet lag definitely helps me make better choices.

Lowlights - still having a little candy at work, after lunch. If I can eliminate this, it would really clean up my overall eating. 

Highlights - it's always really hard for me to get back into a routine, post travel. I did pretty well kicking myself into gear this time. 

Focus for the week ahead - I'd like to reduce my calories by about 100/day, in order to lose the few pounds I collected over the summer. I'm all about the slow & steady, mindful & sustainable changes.

What about you? How did you do with your health this week?

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A belated workout roundup

I didn't get this posted last week, as I was traveling. Here's what I've been up to!

I had to wear a mask in a non-air conditioned gym in Tokyo, which was quite challenging, & part of why you'll see such a string of elliptical workouts. I found that running on the treadmill with the mask on was just too much. 

Workouts for the week

  • Monday (8/22) - one hour of elliptical
  • Tuesday (8/23) - 1.25 mile walk + spin class
  • Wednesday (8/24) - 75 minutes of elliptical
  • Thursday (8/25) - one mile run + spin class
  • Friday (8/26) - one hour of elliptical, plus 1.5 mile walk
  • Saturday (8/27) - Orange Theory class
  • Sunday (8/28) - one hour of elliptical, before my flight
  • Monday (8/29) - one hour of elliptical
  • Tuesday (8/30) - one hour of elliptical, plus a mile walk to dinner
  • Wednesday (8/31) - one hour of elliptical, plus a mile walk to dinner
  • Thursday (9/1) - one hour of elliptical
  • Friday (9/2) - a long, but slow walk through Tokyo & a garden area
  • Saturday (9/3) - one hour of begrudging, jetlagged elliptical
  • Sunday (9/4) - a very hard Orange Theory class


  • Work has been a challenge, so I've snacked more than usual. I did pretty well on my work trip, making my meals most healthy. I did have a small piece of chocolate when I arrived at the hotel on Monday evening, as I had a terrible migraine from the flight, & wearing the mask for so long. Otherwise, I'd describe my eating as "fair". I did, however, have a cocktail most nights at the dinners, and the calories on those add up quickly. 


  • When I'm jetlagged, everything just sort of is harder. Workouts, getting up early, making smart eating choices, etc. When I'm really tired, caffeine & sugar is what I crave. 


  • Consistently working out, despite the jet lag, and making it happen at the gym in Tokyo, even though it was really hot, I needed an appointment every morning, & I had to wear a mask. It would have been easy to give up & say it was too much hassle (it really was), but I did it anyway. 

Focus for the week ahead

  • Continue to trim back the calories & unnecessary snacks

What about you? How have you been doing with your health?