Sunday, February 5, 2023

Wild Weather Sunday

The weather has been really erratic today - high wind & rain, followed by blue skies, then rinse & repeat. M's been attempting an outside chore, and every time he gathers what he needs & heads out, it rains again. ;-) 

I took Nick & a couple of friends to a soccer team event, then hit the grocery store for a few sale items (18 chocolate chip cookies for $.49 from the bakery - I can't make them for that price). The boys were very excited to see them, of course.

I've also cleaned the house, worked out, washed all of the sheets & done the laundry. I need to motivate myself to keep going, but my book is calling to me. I have a few doctors appointments next week, and I know it's going to be a busy, busy week. 

M is going to make smash burgers on our griddle tonight (due to the weather) & I'll add some roasted potatoes & a salad, to health up the dinner a bit. 

What about you? What are you up to today? Hope you are all having a lovely & productive day. 


Saturday, February 4, 2023

February Goals

 It's the shortest month of the year! Let's get going & get a few things done, shall we?

Financial:

  • Stick to our budget
  • Target 5 "hard to use" freezer or pantry items
  • Make $200 in side hustle
  • Save $500 in boys college accounts
  • Save $2,000
Family:
  • Plan one fun activity with the boys
  • Finalize summer plans
  • Help boys with job applications
  • Have two dates with M
  • Pictures for M's family

Fitness/Health

  • Lose 3 lbs
  • Track calories, & average below 1500/day
  • Work out 24 days
  • Sort out my knee injury
Personal 
  • Do something social with friends
  • Invest time in my volunteer roles
  • Practice French with Duolingo
  • Lock in dates for girls trip to France
What about you? Have you set any goals for February?


Friday, February 3, 2023

Frugal Friday

 We had some good frugal wins this week, which was nice. We also came in under budget for our groceries in January, which was a nice surprise. 

Saving on things we buy

  • I saw that I had a $10 Safeway offer (off of a $10 purchase), which made it worth it to make a stop. I bought treats we don't normally buy - four boxes of cereal, chocolate milk, dairy free mint chip ice cream, & two bags of coleslaw mix (not a treat). Out of pocket was $9.20, with another $2.50 in iBotta rewards. All in all, it was a good deal. 
  • Took the boys to dinner for a "mom/boys" night out on Friday, and used a gift card for the majority of the purchase. 
  • I used a 10% off coupon to buy Nick's birthday gifts (a ski helmet & goggles). He's grown a lot since we bought the last set. 
  • The boys are mostly getting cash & college money for their birthday, so I picked up some candy at CVS to wrap. I used a $4 CVS reward, and also earned another $.50 via Fetch. 
  • Used a $20 grocery store reward (earned by buying gift cards) to pick up a few things we needed, and some "wants" from the teens. 
  • Called our auto insurance & sent Sam's transcript, to earn $166/year via the good student discount. Insuring teen boys is crazy expensive, so every bit helps. 
  • Picked up a few clothing items the boys needed (we are keeping our heat lower, so everyone is asking for slippers). Found a really great sale, combined with a birthday offer, free shipping, and two rewards. I had to add a couple of tshirts to quality for the free shipping, but they were the boys preferred brand, and $3.50/each, so a deal. 

Earning money

  • Sold a ref jersey on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • Sam asked for a pull up bar for Christmas, and we got one that didn't work. We returned it, but hadn't gotten around to replacing it. Someone was giving away a like new one on Buy Nothing, so we are all set now. He's thrilled. 

Eating what we have

  • I had the leftovers from our "Mom/Boys Dinner" for lunch one day
  • I've also been eating soup that I made and froze when the boys were out of town a few weekends ago. 
  • Finished off the rice, kebabs & yogurt sauce on Saturday, ensuring we had no waste from our previous dinner. 
  • Made up a big batch of taco meat, prepping enough for two meals this week, and three more for the freezer. 
  • Had fajitas from the freezer, as well as pulled pork (freezer) another night. I made coleslaw to go with the pulled pork, using everything on hand for the dressing, and the shredded veggies I picked up in the $10 Safeway offer stop. 

For others

  • I was able to fulfill two "ISO - In Search Of" requests on Buy Nothing, for a fabric shaver, and a moving plastic wrap roll. I'd forgotten that we had both, so it was nice to get them out of our house & match them up with someone who would have otherwise had to purchase them.
  • I also gave away a bunch of other stuff on Buy Nothing. Sam allowed me to do a quick pass on his room, which netted five items (three books, two wallets) that he didn't need.
  • One of my pet peeves are carts strewn about the parking lot at the grocery store, particularly when they block spots. Whenever I see them, I try to take at least one, or two if I'm feeling it, back to the corrals. It's a little thing, but frees up more parking, & makes it easier for shoppers to get a cart.
That's it from my side. What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, February 2, 2023

January Goals Recap

 January was both slow & fast, at various times, but regardless, February is here! Let's see how I did with my goals for the month:

Financial:

  • Stick to our budget - we ended up moving to a more expensive hotel on January 1st (due to a huge snowstorm). We've also had some other large expenses, but had some income wins as well that offset this. 
  • Use up 5 freezer items - we've definitely used up 5 freezer items, as I stocked the freezer again. I need to be more specific with my goals, and target individual "hard to use" items, for my next month's challenge.
  • Save $500 for college - we were able to save much more than expected, through my bonus & a settlement I received. Total saved in January was $13,000
  • Earn $200 in side hustle money - I made a mistake in a listing, & had to do a return, so my earnings in January were abysmal. All told, I made $26
  • Apply for status match on preferred airline - I've submitted the form, & am awaiting approval. 
Family:
  • Plan one fun activity with the kids - we had a mom/boys dinner last week
  • Plan out college visits - I've planned out a trip to Colorado in June
  • Help Nick with driving - lots & lots of driving, dealt with insurance, and booked his behind the wheel test
  • Have two dates with M - we went out for dinner one evening
  • Pictures for M's family - pictures sent
  • Finalize ski week plans - plans are booked & finalized
Fitness/Health:
  • Lose 5 lbs - I lost 2 lbs (carryover holiday weight)
  • Track calories - I tracked almost every day, and was able to fill in the gaps for the rest of the month
  • Close rings 30 days - definitely not, thanks to my knee
  • Make the most of fitness options - not really, with my knee. I did well before that.
  • Make a doctor's appointment - done
Personal/creative:
  • Do something social with friends - met three friends for walks, went to lunch with another friend, & had a virtual happy hour with my sister/BFF
  • Invest time in my volunteer roles - it's been quiet in January, but I've continued
  • Practice French on Duolingo - slowly but surely!
What about you? Did you have any goals for January? How did you do?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Workout Wednesday

 It's not been a great week for my health & fitness, as I've been having knee problems. I have an MRI next week, and will likely begin PT (depending on what the MRI uncovers) at the end of the month. Getting medical appointments is quite difficult - there are very few providers these days, and long waits!

The lack of intense workouts impacts my mood & stress levels, and also makes it harder for me to maintain my weight. So, I need to find other low intensity ways to capture those same effects, and reduce my calorie intake. It's a work in progress!

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - Orange Theory + a walk
  • Tuesday - 80 minutes on the elliptical
  • Wednesday - 5 mile hike with a friend
  • Thursday - 3 mile walk
  • Friday - 1.5 mile walk
  • Saturday - one hour elliptical
  • Sunday - 80 minutes on the elliptical
Highlights:
  • I'm working on tracking my calories regularly, which helps me stay focused.
Lowlights:
  • Everything else - the knee, my own mood as it relates to being injured, etc. 
What about you? How are you doing with your health & fitness?

Monday, January 30, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

It was lovely to have the time with the boys on Friday - the days are going by too fast, and getting time alone with them is rare!

  • Friday - Mom & boys night out dinner
  • Saturday - kebabs, rice & yogurt/cucumber sauce
  • Sunday - tacos
  • Monday - pulled pork & coleslaw
  • Tuesdaygarlic noodles with beef & broccoli (carried over AGAIN, because I forgot to buy ground beef)
  • Wednesday - leftover garlic noodles
  • Thursday - any remaining leftovers
  • Friday - baked chicken and pasta
What about you? What's on the menu this week?

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday things

 I was moderately productive yesterday, but somehow left the house cleaning for today. That's a common theme. If there is one thing I put off doing, it's definitely house cleaning! 

I did give a bunch of stuff away via Buy Nothing, list a few things we're not using on Facebook Marketplace, made protein balls, etc which wasn't on my list. I love decluttering. 

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

  • Make dinner. We ended up with leftovers last night, so tonight I need to prep the beef/broccoli dish, and freeze the rest of the ground beef
  • Call my parents
  • Schedule for next week
  • Boys - calculus tutor + pay tutor
  • Work out
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Pick up Buy Nothing item
I think that's it for me. What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish today?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Saturday Happenings

Unfortunately, there will be no workout classes for me today (or likely, for awhile) as my knee has been bothering me something fierce. I saw a doctor on Thursday, and need to go to PT, and get an MRI. Until the MRI, I need to take it easy. I can walk & do yoga, etc. I'm missing my harder workouts for sure! Those intense workouts are so good for my stress level, & I love the endorphins. I'm going to have to find other solutions.

It's a pretty quiet weekend (woohoo), so here's what we're up to today:

  • Costco
  • Take Nick to find a couple of birthday gifts (ski items)
  • Laundry
  • Clean the fridge
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Start gathering tax documentation
  • Take Nick to tennis volunteering
  • Some sort of workout
  • Make dinner (finally the beef & broccoli/noodle dish!)
  • Go to CVS to use a reward before it expires
  • Duolingo
  • Plan for the week
  • Menu plan
What about you? What are you up to today?



Friday, January 27, 2023

Frugal Friday

In non-frugal news, I had to bail on a scheduled workout at my gym due to a last minute true work emergency, which cost me $15. Work does reimburse me slightly for my gym membership, so I'm considering it a wash. 

Here's what we've been up to this week: 

Saving on things we buy

  • Tracked down missing stay credit, for our ski trip over New Years. The points are quite valuable, so I didn't want to miss out. It took two emails & a live chat session, but got it resolved.
  • We have been trying to eat more from the freezer, and are also adjusting our meal planning to have less waste (the teens are rarely both home for all dinners in a week). As a result, we were able to limit our grocery shopping to about 1/3 of our normal expense this week. 
  • Used a gift card & a small reward at Panera to take Nick to lunch. I'm trying to do more one on one time with the boys, which is hard to come by these days!
  • Combined a Rite Aid sale, rewards & an iBotta offer to earn $6 off a few things we needed. 
  • I also went through & inventoried our gift cards again, as we've been trying to use them up. It's a good reminder of what we have & ensuring we using all of our resources. 

Earning money

  • Listed a few unneeded items on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • Picked up the Friday Freebie at the store, which was dairy free milk. I'm not super picky about what I put in my coffee, so it was nice to have a free option. Bonus, iBotta had an offer for the milk, so I earned $1.35 from iBotta, making this a money maker. 
  • Found a handful of tomatoes & strawberries, still growing in our garden. Pretty crazy, given we've had cold temps, lots of rain & minimal sun. 


Eating what we have

  • I've made Nick a few smoothies, using up ingredients from the fridge, pantry & freezer. Smoothies are great for hiding leftover items (chopped up apples that were about to go bad, for example)
  • I froze leftover fajitas, before they were wasted. 
  • Brought home leftovers from date night, and had them for brunch on Sunday.
  • Sam has a friend who works at a bakery, and often brings home treats. We've been enjoying them!
  • We used leftover naan bread, toasted with butter, as a side for spaghetti & meatballs. Non-traditional, but the teens weren't super picky.
  • I forgot to pick up ground beef for one of the recipes this week, so I improvised by adding additional meatballs & sauce to the leftovers (replacing one dinner) & because I'd planned for leftovers of the missing recipe, I also subbed in gyozos & wings another night.
  • Used up an acorn squash that I bought ages okay, and kept forgetting about.
  • Made M a "football watching" appetizer tray, using things from around the fridge.

For others

  • Gave away bags of things on Buy Nothing, and to a neighbor who runs an outreach for a local shelter. 
That's it from my side. What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Workout Wednesday

It was a mixed week for workouts, and I finally have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to talk about my knee. Something is not right. 

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - Orange Theory workout class
  • Tuesday - no workout, as my knee has continued to bother me
  • Wednesday - Orange Theory workout class
  • Thursday - 50 minutes on the elliptical
  • Friday - no workout, due to very last minute all day work drama
  • Saturday - Orange Theory workout class
  • Sunday - Orange Theory workout class
Highlights - The workouts I did get were high quality

Lowlights - my knee, missed workouts, & overall more snacking. M brought me a box of delicious Belgian chocolates, and I ate a couple at a time until they were gone. 

That's it from my side. How are you doing with your health & fitness?

Monday, January 23, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

 Here's what's on the menu at our house this week.

  • Friday - spaghetti & meatballs + garlic bread
  • Saturday - date night. Pizza for the kids
  • Sunday - grilled chicken & rice
  • Monday - garlic noodles with beef & broccoli (didn't get made last week)
  • Tuesday - leftover spaghetti & meatballs
  • Wednesday - leftover grilled chicken & rice
  • Thursday - leftover garlic noodles with beef & broccoli
  • Friday - I'm taking the boys out for a "mom/boys" dinner. Assuming they are both don't have plans, which is quite a risk. ;-) 
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sending love & good thoughts

There are several bloggers (& readers) struggling right now, with tragedy. Sending you all lots of love & good thoughts, as you process everything. No words are enough, but thinking of you all. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday Happenings

Yesterday was a long & not great work day, that involved a lot of drama. I didn't get a chance to work out, which always negatively impacts my stress level. I should have found time to at least meditate, but I didn't. 

I've not felt great this week (mild fever, and some stomach issues), but I feel like I'm finally starting to turn the corner. There's been a lot of sleeping!

Last night was a gorgeous night on the soccer field. Nick's team tied their opponent, and it was a fun game to watch. It was also incredibly chilly!


As for today, I feel really behind on life after my week. Here's what's on the to do list:
  • Workout class
  • Boys have calculus tutoring
  • Laundry
  • Wash sheets
  • Plan for the week
  • Shopping list
  • Menu plan
  • Costco
  • Trader Joes & produce stand
  • Date night with M (definitely the highlight of the weekend)
That's it for me. What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish this weekend?