Saturday, October 26, 2019

Menu planning & other boring things

Sam is largely recovered from the accident. I'm still. . . struggling. We have heard from the witnesses how close it was, and I'm having a hard time moving on & have been super emotional. I went to bed at 7:30 last night & slept until 6, so I also have needed more rest & recovery. My plan is to take it easy this weekend, & hope to be feeling better next week.

Doing mundane things like planning the menu, cleaning the fridge & taking the boys to soccer is useful. It's distracting, but not stressful. Nick's team had a good game this morning, with a 4-2 win. The field was wet, so there was a lot of slipping & sliding.

We had some food waste while I was out of town (drat, I try to ensure everything is ready for the freezer), but nothing big. I really need to prep & cook some meals for the week, and make a Costco list, so here goes:

Friday - M & I had a cauliflower riced "Stuffing" from Trader Joes that was really good, but needed some doctoring to spice it up. We served that with grilled chicken (freezer). The  kids had leftover pizza. I couldn't handle meal prep on Thursday, and Sam got to choose the meal. Deliver pizza is not cheap, but the kids are enjoying the leftovers.
Saturday -tomato soup & breaded chicken w/caprese salad
Sunday - salmon & grilled chicken sausages, w/brussels sprouts
Monday - carnitas (freezer)
Tuesday - leftover salmon & grilled chicken sausages
Wednesday - leftover carnitas
Thursday - eat up remaining leftovers, or backup meal of spaghetti & meatballs/zoodles
Friday -  homemade pizza

That's it on our side. What are you making for dinner this week? Looking for inspiration!

Friday, October 25, 2019

So very grateful

I was at Yosemite yesterday at a work event when I got a text from M that Sam had been hit by a car on his way to school. A driver ran a red light & hit him in the crosswalk, while he was on his bike. Luckily, the driver hit on the front of his bike, & he fell & has bumps & scrapes. It was inches/seconds away from him being under the truck.

I have a lot of other feelings/emotions, particularly about how the driver behaved (attempted to leave the scene, repeatedly screamed at Sam, called him (and the other witnesses) a liar, tried to get Sam to talk to her insurance company to admit fault, etc), but instead I will focus on the witness who spent 90 minutes of his morning with Sam, shielding him from this person, getting a hold of my husband, calling the police, and being Sam's advocate. He also followed up yesterday to check on him. Super, super grateful that we had someone to help us out.

All of the feelings. So incredibly grateful that Sam is okay. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It definitely feels like fall

It's much chillier during the day, and in the evening, and you actually need a jacket to be out in the evenings. Although I love the spring & slightly warmer weather, this is nice too.

What are we up to this weekend? Well, quite a bit on the list, as usual. We had contractors in our house working on a door installation, so there's a lot of cleaning up to do, after that.

  1. Take the boys to two soccer games
  2. Vacuum
  3. Dust
  4. Clean bathrooms
  5. Clean kitchen
  6. Make menu
  7. Plan for next week - work
  8. Plan for next week - nanny
  9. Carpools for next week
  10. Pack for work trip
  11. Pick up the house (boys)
  12. Pay property taxes
  13. Pay insurance
  14. Work on audit (a story for another day, but the IRS changed the tax law on mortgage deduction limits after we filed our taxes, and while we filled out the correct information with Turbo Tax, the software wasn't updated yet with the correct info. We found out when the IRS notified us. We need to refile both state & federal taxes, as well as pay $$$$$. It was a very special treat when we found out about this "surprise."
  15. Decide on dinner. Nick will likely be at a sleepover, & is a very picky eater. I will likely either make something fun with Sam (chicken pad thai), or order takeout, depending on the rest of the day. Sam & I had a very rough day (story for another time) yesterday, so this would be fun.
It's going to be a super full day. What about you? What's happening this weekend?

Friday, October 18, 2019

Frugal Friday

It was a relatively quiet & standard frugal week. No major wins on our side.

Saving on things we buy

  • Used a $1 rebate at the grocery store
  • Used Rite Aid rewards to pick up some personal care items we needed - saved about $9. I also earned another $2 in rewards for the purchase.
  • Bought $100 Netflix gift card, which generated a $20 Rite Aid reward. Netflix is definitely a splurge, but we don't have cable & it's our streaming option. We decided to keep this for the year, and will apply the gift card to our account, thus avoiding getting billed. So, saving 20% off the subscription cost.
  • Made my own coleslaw mix, using two large cabbages I bought at the produce stand for $5
  • Chased Lowe's for compensation/discount on our ongoing door fiasco. I'm in touch with a supervisor, so we'll see where we end up. 

Earning money

  • Earned a final $3 on my online consumer focus group.

Avoiding spending

  • I cooked two big meals on Sunday, to give us this option in order to reduce desire to eat out. Because we had a few crazy/late nights, this helped a lot. 

How did you do? Any big wins to share?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Menu plan Monday

It's Monday, and that means planning our menu so we don't end up eating out, eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (okay, maybe just me), or getting takeout. Here's what we have planned this week:

Friday - boys had pizza, we had burgers (freezer) & coleslaw
Saturday - date night!
Sunday  - egg roll in a bowl
Monday - chicken curry (make ahead on Sunday) over cauliflower rice
Tuesday - leftover egg roll in a bowl
Wednesday - leftover curry
Thursday - Finish off the leftovers, or zoodles & meatballs if we run out
Friday - TBD, but something easy as we have an appointment for the boys after school

That's it for us. What's your plan this week? Anyone trying new recipes? I'm updating my curry recipe to try & make it more low carb friendly - swapping potatoes for cauliflower. I'll report back.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

And, it's Saturday

I was supposed to be on a girls trip this weekend, but due to a variety of work dramas, that just didn't happen. I'm very disappointed, because spending time with my sister & friend is always awesome. But, I'm determined to make the most of the weekend anyway.

Here's what's on the agenda:

  • Work. I actually have some work to do this weekend, & got a bunch of it done this morning, which is a relief. 
  • Work out. My plan is to go for a walk at soccer warm ups.
  • Soccer. We have three games. They are back to back, with Sam playing in the 1st & 3rd & Nick playing in the 1st & 2nd. They are both playing for their own teams, plus one age group up. I need to sort out a lunch plan, because we will be at the field from 10 am to 3:30 or so. 
  • Date night! M & I are actually have a date. It serendipitously worked out so well, and we definitely need the time together. I'm really looking forward to it.
  • Menu plan
  • Grocery shopping. M will likely do this while I am at soccer
  • House cleaning. Split between today & tomorrow.
I think that's it for us. What about you? What do you hope to get done today? 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Frugal Friday

It was a tiring week, with the jet lag. But, there were a few frugal wins along the way. Here's what we've been up to this week.

Saving on things we buy

  • I bought $300 of Uber credit at our local grocery store, earning $60 in store credits. I use Uber for mostly work trips to the airport (each trip is around $50/per segment) & get reimbursed for work.
  • Emailed the grocery store (above) because $30 of the credits didn't correctly apply. Got that fixed & applied back to my card. Honestly, you have to be so on top of these things. I did provide feedback that a 50% success rate on the promotion wasn't exactly inspiring, and they apologized. Hopefully they'll fix whatever is broken for future promos.

Earning money

  • Sold an item on eBay
  • Completed another task in my consumer focus group. I can cash out every $15. I have earned a total of $45 (cashed out) & another $3 towards the next cash out.

Avoiding purchasing/spending

  • We got home from soccer at 8 pm on Saturday night & were very tempted to stop at In & Out. Luckily, I'd done all of the dinner prep ahead, so we came home & quickly got food on the table for everyone 
  • Nick & I walked to the produce stand to get groceries vs driving, saving on wear & tear on the car or gas purchase
  • Ate all planned meals at home, no dining out. 
In frugal fails, I did have to toss some pizza of unknown origin from the fridge, as my husband tends to forget to use all of the leftovers when I'm traveling. I hate food waste, but I'm sure we'll all survive just fine.

What about you? What frugal wins did you have this week? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

October Goals

I'm late to getting these set up, and also had a business trip in October, and a work trip to Yosemite for "team bonding", so plenty going on.

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish in October.

1) Financial

  • Stick to the budget
  • Come up with a new way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis
  • Make $100 in side hustle
  • Sell five items
  • Use up 5 freezer items
  • Use up 5 pantry items
  • Build plan for moving to part time role. 
2) Family - spend more time together
  • One fun activity/month with the kids
  • Off the computer by 7:45 each evening
  • Two date nights with M
  • Continue with Sam's plan, meet with school. Various appointments.
  • Deep clean the entire house.
  • Finish door project, budget/plan for trim.
3) Fitness/health. Lose 4 lbs.
  • Run six times.
  • Track calories (1400/day) & 5 servings of fruit & veggies
  • Work out 30 times
  • Meditate 10 times. 
4) Personal/creative
  • Do two social things
  • Volunteer
  • Journal 15 times
  • Read one non-fiction book
What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish in October? 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Menu plan Monday

I'm still getting back in the swing of things, post jet lag. Everything is harder without sleep. I've been trying to catch up, but my body is not completely on board with the changes in sleeping times.

Menu planning at least ensures that we have dinners to eat during the week, without eating out. Here's what's on the menu for the week ahead:

Friday - we had lasagna from the freezer. Not exactly gourmet, but my flight landed at 1 pm, and I was in bed just after 7 pm. It worked.

Saturday - taco salads/tacos, with homemade pico de gallo

Sunday - carnitas salads, and more pico de gallo

Monday - leftover lasagna

Tuesday - taco salads/tacos

Wednesday - carnitas salads

Thursday - spaghetti & meatballs/zoodles & meatballs

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

Sunday, October 6, 2019

September Goals Check In

September was a bit of a whirlwind, with going back to work, a trip to Boulder, the start of a trip to Tokyo, and we had guests, a soccer tournament & plenty of other fun stuff.

Here's how I did on my goals for the month.

1) Financial:

  • Stick to the budget. - Lots of irregular expenses, but we did okay outside of that. I'm going with green, as I also worked an extra week, which helped. 
  • Come up with a new way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis - Our refi! It will definitely save us a ton of monthly on an ongoing basis. 
  • Make $500 in side hustle. - I made $64. It was more, but I deducted the eBay fees from last month. I also stopped listing items on eBay as I was getting busy with work. 
  • Sell ten items. - I sold five items. 
  • Use up 10 freezer items from our house - I used up 5 items
  • Use up 5 irregular pantry items - I used stale macadamia nuts to mix with peanut butter in homemade protein balls. 
  • Get back to work & in the swing of two working parents - We survived? 
  • Complete on business trip - yes
  • Build plan for moving to part time role - not yet
  • Finish our refi - yes!
  • Move refi money back to higher yield account - yes!

2) Family - spend more time together as a family

  • Do one fun activity/month with the kids - does a weekend of soccer tournaments count? 
  • Off the computer by 7:45 each evening - mostly
  • Have two dates with M - had dinner & drinks one night at the house while the boys were at a tournament
  • Continue with Sam's plan, meet with the school, kick of next round of tutoring. - have been making progress. M is currently the tutor, and we have an appointment at school in mid October. 
  • Deep clean the entire house. - on hold until doors are installed. 
  • Finish remaining projects at the beach house (fridge repair, fire pit, Costco compensation) - all are complete!
  • Finalize house projects & budget/schedule for work. Drapes, second round of doors, budget & plan for trim. - We finished the drapes, and have a date for door install. We haven't started the trim plan. 
3) Fitness/health
  • Run 12 times - running wasn't in the cards this month. I ran 2x. 
  • Track calories at 1400/day & 5 servings of fruit & veggies - I was at 1578/day, but did hit my fruit & veggie target. 
  • Work out 30 times - I worked out 33 times.
  • Meditate 10 times.  - I meditated 5 times. 

4) Personal/creative

  • Do two social things - Went to a friend's party & had family/friends over for dinner
  • Volunteer a minimum of 1x - I found a good way to donate to a cause that I couldn't volunteer for, so considering it a win.
  • Journal 15 times. - 15 times exactly.
  • Read one non-fiction book. - Nope

What about you? How did you do with you September goals? Any big wins for the month? 

Friday, October 4, 2019

Frugal Friday

I'm not sure how frugal the week was, as I was traveling. It appears that the boys ate out a couple of times, but everything was reasonably inexpensive. I spent zero dollars out of pocket myself.

There were only three frugal wins that I can think of:

1) Used my Citi visa for my hotel stay, and will earn travel rewards. I will get my expense report filed quickly, once the credit card clears my account. I need the exact conversion amount between JPYs and dollars.
2) I called Costco about our fridge repair & the ongoing saga of our leaky fridge. The fridge appears to be fixed, although it took three months to get it solved. Costco originally offered me $100. I immediately asked for a supervisor, and we agreed on $400, plus a separate claim for the wall damage.
3) I sold a book on Ebay

I'm so happy that dealing with it's over!

I have a ton to get done this weekend (house cleaning, soccer, meal prep, etc), so hoping the jet lag isn't too bad. I landed this afternoon, after a pleasant business class return flight home. It really does make such a difference to be able to stretch out a bit on the return flight.

What about you? Any frugal wins for the week?