Monday, November 30, 2020

November Goals Recap

 November wasn't the most spectacular month, but things got done! I lost some of my mojo, particularly on the fitness front, after an epic October. I also got caught up in a week of stress & constant news reading, and then my parents were here for a visit. It wasn't my most productive month, but I had a few wins.

Here's how we did:

1) Financial

  • Stick to the budget, commit to a lower grocery budget in November - yeah, no. My parents were with us for five days, and that really increased the grocery budget. And, M was in a "throw everything into the cart" mood a few times. I appreciate his shopping, particularly during the pandemic, so these are things I try to largely let slide. 
  • Pay down our mortgage to the next milestone - yes
  • No clothing/shoes purchase for me - no. I bought myself a fabulous pair of warm & supportive slippers to wear in the house (no regrets) & I added in a few items that were on my "look for at a good price" list, to get to free shipping when I had to order Sam a couple of items. He's outgrown all of his pants. I needed a black long sleeve & short sleeve tshirt, & found both at a great price on Black Friday. 
  • Make $750 in side hustle - eBay sales were slow, and I made $583 in total in side hustle
  • Work through freezer/pantry clean out - I donated a bunch of items we may not use (all unexpired, of course) & also used up a few things, but our freezer remains an area that needs focus. 
  • Finalize wills/trust - yes, done!
2) Family
  • Have fun family time with the boys - we've been watching a show together, worked on a puzzle, and Nick & I are learning to crochet/loom 
  • Off the computer by 7:30 each evening - yes, mostly accomplished
  • Schedule a weekly call with M's family - we sent photos, but no calls
  • Two hours of practicing Spanish or Farsi - yes
  • Compliment M every day - yes
  • Complete on project/day (taking advantage of WFH) - we got a lot done in our garage, and continue to work on small organizational projects here & there

3) Fitness/Health

  • Lose 1 lb - sadly, no. I've gained two lbs, but most of that is due to the last few days of Thanksgiving festivities. 
  • Work out & track calories every day - yes to the working out, but I really fell apart on the calorie tracking. I need to make this a priority
  • Complete 1400 minutes of cardio, 10 strength & 5 stretching workouts - 1615, about 20 small strength workouts (so let's call it 10 full workouts) & 3 stretching workouts
  • Meditate 20 times - 8
  • Run 15 times - again, it was not a great month for running. I really struggled to motivate this month, & ran 7 times

4) Personal/creative

  • Do something social at least 2x/month - yes, I've been doing virtual happy hours, and met friends 5x for a socially distanced walk
  • Volunteer - yes, I accepted a part-time (volunteer) job at a non-profit, & I'm really excited about it. It's about 5-10 hours/week, but flexible on timing & dependent upon my work schedule. It's a great fit with my current skill set, and in a space I'm very interested in (education)
  • Journal 25 times - I journaled 16 times this month
  • Improve myself (judge less, listen more often, reduce/eliminate swearing, one kind deed/day) - I'd say I try to keep this top of mind. I'm nowhere close to where I'd like to be (progress, not perfection though), & make an effort at this, particularly on the kind deeds. 
  • Read one non-fiction book - no progress here

What about you? How did you do with your November goals? Any wins to report?

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Saturday happenings

 I'm not feeling very motivated today, so we'll see what I actually accomplish. Last night I made a chicken enchilada rice skillet, which was delicious & helped to use up some of the sour cream, guacamole & chips we have on hand from entertaining my parents. Tonight I'm planning to make a new recipe - stuffed acorn squash. 

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

  • A strength workout
  • A walk around the neighborhood - the weather is beautiful
  • Work on my scarf (crocheting)
  • List an item on eBay
  • Read my book (I'm hooked & it's so good! Can't wait to read the end)
  • Make a menu
  • Clean the fridge
  • Have everyone try on skis/boots & gear to see if we need anything
  • Have Sam work on a few ideas for Christmas gifts
  • Go to the store (M will go to Costco)
  • Laundry (always)
And with that, I'll toss out the menu for the week:

Monday - keto chili (will make ahead on Sunday) with chips, sour cream & guac
Wednesday - leftover stuffed acorn squash
Thursday - leftover butter chicken & asparagus
Friday -  Chili, or chicken meatballs & ravioli

That's it from my side? What about you? What are you up to this weekend? Any good recipe ideas to share? 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Frugal Friday

 It was a busy week, with my parents in town & the holiday, but here's what we've been up to this week:

Saving on things we buy:

  • I redeemed the last of my grocery store rewards for various items we needed while my parents were in town
  • I was able to earn $30 in new rewards by picking up Home Depot gift cards that we need & use throughout the year

Earning money

  • Continuing to upload receipts to Fetch. It's small, but minimal work required
  • I sold a few things on eBay:
    • Two crystal glasses (they were purchased on Thanksgiving - maybe due to someone breaking a couple of their own?)
    • An ugly holiday sweater
    • A pair of soccer cleats
    • And, a wand for a magic game

Avoiding spending:

  • I'm not sure I have a lot here, as I've started holiday shopping & feel like I'm enticed a lot at this time of the year to buy things

For others:

  • I'm now working part-time as a volunteer at a non-profit, and enjoying it very much. More on this in a follow up post, as it's worth more detail.
  • My son learned to loom & is making hats for the homeless. He's having such a good time.
  • As a thank you to our neighbor for teaching my son to loom, he made a batch of homemade croissants (not a small time investment) & brought some to her
  • I ordered a large amount off of an Amazon wish list as a donation to a local high school fundraiser for those students who are homeless in their district. There were a lot of practical items on the list: razors, deodorant, & the like
  • I gave away a new puzzle (we'd just finished it that day) & passed it along to another family to enjoy via Buy Nothing
  • I helped my parents book their flights to Hawaii for next fall. They aren't great at understanding how to use their companion fares, & didn't know they also had stored credit from a cancelled flight. All told, they got their desired flights for $50 out of pocket & they were thrilled
  • M & I also helped my parents with a bunch of technical challenges that they bring to us when they come, and we were able to pass down a laptop that Nick no longer needs. It will help my dad with a work project he has going at the moment
  • I sent two books for a neighbor of my parents (their library doesn't have digital services - very small town, & during COVID hasn't been able to re-open)
  • I sponsored a 5k turkey trot through my work, and this was the week for donations & the actual event

That's it! I hope you are having a wonderful & quiet/peaceful week. What frugal things have you been up to, or things for others? Inspire us! 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

We started the day with a traditional family turkey trot (this year, on our own given COVID) & ran a 5k. I've prepped most of the food, and M is working on his part of the menu. Nick is busy crocheting hats for the homeless (a neighbor taught him to loom, & he's in love with it & on hat number six). Sam is reading, and relaxing - enjoying no school today!

Here's what's on our menu:

Happy hour:

  • Pomegranate martinis & sparkling cider
  • Goat cheese crostini (some with thinly sliced cucumber, others with pomegranate seeds)
Main course:
  • Kale, squash, pomegranate & goat cheese salad (mostly based on this recipe)
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • Green beans with slivered almonds & parmesan cheese
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Steak
  • Pumpkin pie with whipping cream or ice cream

What about you? What's your favorite Thanksgiving food (for those in the US)? What's on your menu this year? We're doing a video call with the family soon - looking forward to "seeing" everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Frugal Friday

 I'm late to get this up, but Happy Saturday everyone. Hope you have a lovely (and safe) weekend. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used grocery store rewards to save a bit on our purchase (the rest towards a donation)
  • Price matched an item we needed for our gutter installation, & saved $50 on the purchase
  • Used a coupon code & loyalty points to get a couple of Christmas gifts for 60% off. 

Earning money

  • eBay sales continue to be really slow, but I did sell a few things:
    • A PBK wall decoration that I found in the garage at our vacation house this summer. It took a while, but it's gone now!
    • A book
    • A biking jacket
    • A pair of outgrown soccer shorts (I think this is the last of a set of five I listed)
  • Continued uploading receipts to Fetch
  • I'm working on a Swagbucks offer, but it's pretty time consuming. I'm about 1/3 of the way done & probably wouldn't have invested the time had I know what it would take. If/when I finish, will report with a recap of how to do it & what I earned
  • Bought a gift card we needed via Swagbucks. Couldn't find it cheaper elsewhere, so at least I got a nominal amount in "Swagbucks".

Avoiding spending

  • The usual, boring stuff. Wore warm clothes in the house to keep the heat low. Line dried (most of) our clothes in the house. Ate leftovers. Meal planned. Wednesday night was definitely a "use it all up, clean out the fridge" meal. It wasn't super glamorous, and the kids griped at having the same thing again, but everyone was fed!
  • I use a facial brush (Clarisonic) to wash my face several times a week. I like it, but need to replace the brush head. It's no longer made anymore, but found a replacement on Amazon. After ordering it, I remembered that the brush originally came with a second head, so I was able to cancel my order. $30 saved!

For others

  • Found a pair of great condition Nike shoes that Sam has outgrown. Washed them up & gave them away on Buy Nothing  to another mom of a quickly growing teen
  • Made a donation to a food bank & used my grocery rewards to get a bunch of great items to support the cause
  • Continued volunteer work

Monday, November 16, 2020

Back on the wagon Monday

 For the past few weeks, my eating has not been great. I think a combination of factors have contributed. I worked out like a crazy person in October, thanks to my work fitness challenge. Once November rolled around, my body was tired, so while I've still been working out, I've definitely turned it down a notch. I also have been in a bit of mental "reward" mindset. That was fine for a few days, but we're several weeks past that. And, finally, the weather is colder here, and my mind/body has a bit of a "stock up for winter" mood and I've been eating mostly anything that sounds good. 

I feel much better when I don't eat too much. I go to bed feeling comfortable, my clothes fit better, and of course, it helps me with my plans to lose a bit of weight. 

So, my goal is to get back to regularly tracking my meals, which helps tremendously. My timing will be interesting, as my parents are arriving on Thursday. Having guests typically means more indulgence all around. I'll have to keep that in mind & budget accordingly.

I have a terrible habit of losing weight for the first 6-8 months of the year, and then gain in all back in the last few months. I'm determined not to do that in 2020! 

How are you doing with your health this year? Any tips to recommend? 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

That time I roasted a chicken & failed

 Yesterday started off strong, with a lovely roasted chicken recipe. Unfortunately, I'm still getting used to our new oven & stove. It's gas, and cooks so differently from previous ovens. The recipe I was using called for an initial higher heat to crisp everything, then you lower & cook for longer. I made two rookie mistakes. The drippings at the bottom burned on the initial higher heat, and then I used a probe (came with the oven) to measure the internal temperature & trusted it. When we went to cut the chicken... it was not done. This was especially annoying, as I'd made roasted potatoes & brussel sprouts, & the chicken could have easily kept cooking. I was over it, after hours in the kitchen, and whipped up a few other options to go with the potatoes & sprouts (both of which, luckily, turned out beautifully) & kept the chicken in the oven. M sliced it & cleaned up while I showered & cursed the chicken, so not all was lost. But, I hate a kitchen fail, particularly one that takes so much time. 

Let's hope today's kitchen adventures are more successful. Here's what's on the to do list today:

  • Make cranberry muffins
  • Make taco meat for Thursday's dinner (freeze)
  • Have the boys call my parents
  • Make a video for M's parents
  • Mail & package a couple of eBay sales
  • Figure out house organization ahead of my parents visit
  • Clean garage with M
  • Check on vegetable garden (it's been really cold) & see if I need to pick all of the green tomatoes
  • Go for a run
  • Clean the tiered tray 
  • Review calendar
  • Make plan for the week
  • Make workout schedule for the week
  • Laundry (always)
That's it for me. What about you? Any recent kitchen fails? What are you up to today?

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Goal accomplished & other things

 We finally completed all of the paperwork for our wills, guardianship & family trust! I signed up for our legal plan at work, and have been paying a small amount each month for the coverage, so it was a must do by the end of the year. I've seen this goal carry over month over month, but it's now done! Woohoo. So happy & relieved to have this off our list. All of our involved family members know & understand our plan, and we will soon have copies of everything. So much adulting involved. :-) 

It's a damp Saturday today, but I'm going to try to meet a friend for a socially distanced (masked) hike this morning for some exercise. I didn't get any yesterday, and my body doesn't like that!

Assuming I can get my chicken to thaw, I'm going to roast a chicken with potatoes & carrots, & have M sautee brussel sprouts. What else is on the list for today?

  • Make a menu & grocery list
  • Grocery shop
  • Kids to soccer
  • Have Nick finish birthday card for my mom
  • Prep dinner
  • List an item on eBay
  • Contact another eBay buyer
  • Package and mail an item
  • Work on schedule for the week
  • Figure out how to accommodate my parents next week (guest room is currently in action as an office) & rearrange as needed
  • Meet up with neighbor for outdoor (masked) crochet lesson
  • Defrost ground beef for taco meat prep 
As for the menu, here's what I'm thinking:
  • Saturday - roasted chicken & veggies
  • Sunday - kebabs & rice
  • Monday - turn chicken & veggies into something new
  • Tuesday - leftover kebabs & rice
  • Wednesday - any remaining leftovers, or something from the freezer
  • Thursday (w/parents) - tacos, chips & guac 
  • Friday (w/parents) - Nick is cooking, and I'll have a cheese tray to go with it
  • Saturday (w/parents) - Nick is cooking, and I'll think of an appetizer to go with
  • Sunday (w/parents) -  I'm making one pan Mexican chicken rice, with chips & guac
  • Monday (w/parents) - Nick is cooking, & we'll do some sort of appetizer
  • Tuesday - I'm planning to make a stuffed acorn squash recipe

That's it for us. What about you? Are you looking at your 2020 goals & figuring out what you still need to accomplish? What are you up to today?


Friday, November 13, 2020

Frugal Friday

It's been a good week - moving fast but with pockets of time here & there to get things done. I'm very aware lately of how close we are to the end of the year. I can't believe it! 

Here are the frugal things we've been up to lately. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used grocery store rewards to save $19 on some items to mix up our day to day lunches at home (sparkling water, fixings for grilled cheese sandwiches (kids) & bagged salads (Sam) 
  • I am planning a future vacation with my parents (hoping for the summer, but will adjust as needed due to COVID) & used travel credits & frequent flier miles to buy six tickets to Hawaii for $224 (total). It was a pretty huge win, but accounts for the fact that we had to cancel so many trips in 2020. It's unclear if Hawaii is in the cards this year, but if it is, we will definitely have minimized the flight costs. 
  • I made protein bars for Sam, as he is often looking for a quick snack between classes. If I have protein bars ready to go, he prefers those. If not, he eats packaged snacks, which are much more expensive. 
  • Nick would like to cook for my parents when they are here, so I took advantage of a $30 promo on the meal delivery service we used & signed up for a few meals. 
  • I was able to pick up 3 containers of honey for $9 at Costco, which was a great deal. (I use honey in the protein bars mentioned above)
  • I also found chicken broth at Costco for 1/2 of the price of our grocery store. I like to make my own, but don't often have bones on hand, so this will last a while (they sell by the case). I'm glad to have this in my pantry. 
  • Found a coupon code for an item I was purchasing & wanted to try. Waited for it to go on sale, and stacked coupon codes. 

Earning money

  • I sold nothing on eBay this week, but I did keep listing items, in hopes of future sales

Avoiding spending

  • I have been in a very spendy mood. I have no explanation for this, but several times I've gone to various web sites, shopped, put items in a cart, and luckily cancelled before I pulled the trigger. Hopefully this mood will pass. 
  • I picked up a Friday Freebie at the grocery store
  • Our air popper popcorn maker died (we've only had it for a couple of years, so that's really disappointing) & I showed the kids how to make "microwave popcorn" using a brown bag & kernels. 
  • I had hotel points expiring, and not enough to convert them into a gift card or anything transferable to another program. Instead, I ordered a cooking magazine for Nick for Christmas, and a fitness magazine for myself. No cost out of pocket, and converted expiring miles into a small gift. 

For others:

  • I'm working on my volunteer role this week, and getting set up to help. It's taken a few hours of investment, so hopefully by next week, I'll be ready to go.
  • I'm mentoring someone at work (not on my team) to provide additional support, particularly during these times of remote onboarding. 
  • We offered to help our neighbor with a non-profit she runs, collecting & delivering goods to a homeless shelter. 
  • Made a variety of end of year donations (a couple for schools, one for a local food bank & another for a broader child safety initiative)

That's it for us. What have you been up to (frugally or otherwise) this week?

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Thoughts on Unity

Regardless of political affiliation, I hope we can all agree that a turn towards unity in the country and all of us working together to solve hard problems will benefit us. A president who can bring groups of people together will serve us well. A president who will govern all with respect & compassion, even those are different from him, or didn't vote for/support him. I'm looking forward to a change of rhetoric, both from the president and others. A focus on kindness, compassion, empathy & unification. I will continue to strive to learn from others who have different beliefs from me, and to be open to their perspective. There are hard problems ahead, with COVID & climate change & bringing a divided country back together. I will endeavor to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

And with that, it's Sunday. What a week. I got significantly less done than usual, but I'm okay with that. Sometimes you just "get through" a week, and this week was one of those. The weather has changed here, and it's very cool. We used the heat for the first time today, when the house dropped to 61 degrees. I have my own threshold, and we were under it! :-) 

For the rest of the day, what do we have going on?

  • A work out. I walked yesterday, and (from a distance) saw neighbors & enjoyed the beautiful weather
  • Vacuum
  • Clean the very messy kitchen. Nick cooked yesterday ;-) 
  • Laundry. So much laundry!
  • I'm trying a new recipe
  • I'll work on my holiday crocheting project. I'm a newbie crocheter, so I'm hoping to practice on this particular project, and then move on to something "real" for the holidays
  • Due some organization around the house. Things have gotten messy lately, as they do when we're all working & schooling from home!
What about you? What are you up to today?

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Saturday things

The temperature has dropped here about 25 degrees, and we've had a bit of rain! Very exciting, given the long drought. I'm thrilled it's the weekend, and would like today to be a combination of productive & relaxing. Let's see if we can make that happen.

Here's what's on the list:

  • Menu plan
  • Grocery shopping
  • Work out
  • Laundry
  • Boys soccer
  • Check out winery (we have a reservation for a COVID friendly, outdoor option). Now that the weather is supposed to be chilly, this could be a bit more of a challenge. But, we will bundle up.
  • Practice crocheting for my holiday craft

And, for the menu plan this week, I'm thinking of:
  • Friday - Nick made a sausage, pepper pasta dish
  • SaturdayBig Mac sloppy joes (no buns)
  • Sunday - Harvest chicken skillet
  • Monday - Nick is making beef sesame tacos 
  • Tuesday - leftover sloppy joes
  • Wednesday - leftover chicken skillet
  • Thursday - any leftovers, or ravioli & chicken
  • Friday - TBD

After my really big workout week last week, I've been eating plenty & the election chaos drove me to a bit of comfort eating as well. So, I also need to clean up my eating & calorie consumption.  Oh, & if you are looking for an amazing pumpkin chocolate chip bread, this is over the top crazy good. 

What about you? What are you up to today? What's on your menu for the week?

Friday, November 6, 2020

Frugal Friday

WHAT a week! I think I can speak for many people in the US (regardless of political affiliation) that it's been a week with a lot of drama & anxiety. Looking forward to closing the chapter on this election. Here's what we've been up to this week: 

Saving on things we buy

  • I bought more ground beef on discount
  • I uploaded all of our shopping receipts to Fetch
  • Used Amazon credits (from selecting slower shipping) to rent a movie for the kids for Halloween
  • Used an expiring Rite Aid reward to reduce the cost of a very $$ prescription. We get reimbursed by our HSA, but this saves us money in the long run

Earning money

  • Found a quarter & a dime on the ground in my neighborhood, big money style
  • Returned our leased car a day early (due to scheduling, more than anything else) & called our insurance to notify them of the earlier drop off. Received a whopping $1.39 refund check
  • I've continued to list & sell things on eBay, and am hopeful that things will pick up as we approach the end of the year. Sales this week:
    • A set of Lands End gloves, hat & scarf that I found at our vacation house over the summer, and brought back to sell. 
    • A book Nick finished reading
    • A set of magnets
    • A suit that no longer fits M 
    • A kids tshirt I found left behind at our vacation house (it was previously one of the boys) that they've outgrown

Avoiding spending

  • Pureed pumpkin (Sam painted one, so it wasn't carved) & froze for future pumpkin muffins/bread. Kept out one batch & made 18 muffins & a loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread, which filled the need for comfort baking/eating this week. :-) 

For others

  • Went through our garage & emptied some things to loan our neighbors a few crates. They are remodeling their kitchen, & were looking for boxes. The crates are easier, (free) & more environmentally friendly. They will return them when done. For a few minutes of my time, I can save them time & money. 
  • Returned a lost dog to another neighbor
  • Made a pumpkin chocolate chip bread for a neighbor 
  • Volunteered at a non-profit (more on this to come, as I'm really excited about it)
  • Gave away a ton of herbs (basil, mint & parsley), jalapenos & persimmons to friends & neighbors

I mentioned that I started doing the "for others/kind deed" stuff as my goal to bring more kindness into the world in the 100 days leading up to the election. Regardless of the outcome, I've both loved doing this, and just adding it as a reminder in my weekly recap makes me think of new & creative things to do for others, so I'm definitely going to keep going. 

Please continue to share your ideas (frugal or for others) as we can always be inspired by each other. Any wins for the week? 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

November Goals

(I wrote this post over the weekend, & scheduled it for this morning. I don't have much to say about the election right now and likely won't on this blog, but hence my regular topic posting.) 

These goals will probably look a lot like my October goals, because they worked well & are largely a carryover from the prior month. 

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish in November:


  • Stick to the budget. Figure out a realistic WFH grocery budget for 2021 & the rest of the year
  • Pay down our mortgage to the next mini milestone
  • No clothing/shoes purchases for me (essential running gear excluded)
  • Make $500 in side hustle
  • Work through pantry/freezer clean out (10 random items out)
  • Have will/guardianship appointment

  • Go for walks, make dinner together, enjoy this time of closeness
  • Off the computer by 7:30 each evening (not counting reading)
  • Have a weekly half hour alone with M, schedule one creative "date"
  • Schedule a call with M's family, or at a minimum, record a few videos for them
  • Two hours of practicing Spanish or Farsi
  • Compliment M every day
  • Complete one project every day

  • Lose 2 lbs
  • Work out & track calories every day
  • Complete 1400 minutes of cardio, 5 strength & 5 stretching workouts
  • Meditate 10 times
  • Journal 30 times


  • Do something social at least 2x
  • Volunteer
  • Journal 30 times
  • Improve myself
    • Judge less
    • Listen more often
    • Reduce/eliminate swearing
    • One kind deed a day
  • Read one non fiction book

What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish in November? 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

October Goals Recap

 Another month in 2020 is gone, and we are now into November! I'm looking forward to seeing family & seeing the tail end of this year. A steps/walking/running competition was a driving force for me this month, reminding me to get outside & continue with my working out, even with all of the competing demands on my time. That's reflected in my personal best results for cardio in a month.

Here's how I did with my October goals:


  • Stick to the budget & commit to a lower grocery budget (10% less) in October. - Yes! We have struggled with our grocery bill since COVID hit, but we were much closer to normal. In fact, we were over 30% lower! 
  • Pay down our mortgage to the next milestone - yes, achieved!
  • No clothing/shoes purchases for me - done
  • Make $750 in side hustle - I made $393, due to really slow eBay sales
  • Work through freezer/pantry clean out (10 random items out) - I used up the last of the mozzarella sticks (from the Super Bowl!) & lasagna noodles. I don't know that I made a bunch of progress beyond that.
  • Have will/guardianship appointments - yes, and now we just need to get the draft wills reviewed & signed
  • Make time for socially distanced activities with the kids - we did lots of walks, watched movies, & drove around to see the lights/Halloween decorations
  • Off the computer by 7:30 each evening - mostly, yes
  • Have a weekly half hour alone with M, two creative dates - yes! We went to a socially distanced inner & lunch out
  • Schedule a call with M's family - no
  • Two hours of practicing a language - I practiced most days, so giving this a pass
  • Compliment M every day - yes, work in progress
  • Complete one project/day (taking advantage of WFH) - yes


  • Lose 2 lbs - I lost 1 lb, but my legs are very, very toned at the moment!
  • Work out every day - I ended the month with 47 workouts, thanks to plenty of days with double work outs
  • Complete 1400 minutes of cardio, 10 strength & 5 stretching workouts - 2,175 cardio minutes (personal best), & quite a few "mini" strength & stretching workouts, due to some daily challenges I'm doing with others
  • Meditate 20 times - 16 times
  • Run 15 times - 8, due to lots & lots of walking. I was also sore/tired/blistered for the last week, which interfered with the running
  • Do something social at least 2x/month - yes, virtual happy hours & socially distanced walks/hikes with friends
  • Volunteer - yes, I've done two projects helping kids with reading
  • Journal 25 times - yes
  • Improve myself (judge less, listen more often, reduce/eliminate swearing, one kind deed/day) - good progress across all of these, and giving up the news/social media the last few weeks has helped tremendously with my overall stress level, and the swearing ;-)
  • Read one non-fiction book - 1/2 way through one, although I did plenty of reading this month & went more for mystery/thriller vs romance

So, that's how I will wrap up October! What about you? How did you do with your monthly goals? Any wins to celebrate?

Monday, November 2, 2020

Menu Plan Monday

 We have a somewhat flexible menu plan each week, but I always know I have ingredients at least for the items on the menu plan, and this gives me a good reminder of what to defrost each week.

  • Friday - Nick made a 2 serving spicy pork, rice & beans dish. It was delicious, but the 2 serving size is always a challenge. (He prefers to cook the 2 person sizes, as it's easy for him while he's learning to cook. Ironically, he rarely eats what he makes.) Since I'm the last one to the table, Sam & M got the fancy dinner, and I ate random things out of the fridge - half a bun, tomato soup & some leftover carnitas sprinkled with cheese.
  • Saturday - we had delivery pizza (rare treat for us) & wings (made at home), along with salad & cupcakes for Halloween
  • Sunday - I'm not fooled again by the 2 serving dinner plans, so Nick made chicken poblano fajitas, and I made a large batch of chicken curry with rice
  • Monday - Nick's making a chicken pasta dish, I'll likely have curry & rice
  • Tuesday - leftover curry & rice
  • Wednesday - probably grilled chicken (freezer) over salads, with roasted broccoli
  • Thursday - grilled spicy chicken over salads
  • Friday - probably burgers & wings 
What about you? What's on your menu plan for the week? Any recipes to share?

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Pandemic Halloween

What a day! The kids were pretty bummed about Halloween (mostly because it's on a Saturday & they'd typically get to hang out with their friends & wander the neighborhood & eat copious amounts of candy.) But, we ended up having a lovely day. My BFF suggested a virtual costume contest (zoom call) with a few people & our kids, and we could only make costumes out of things from around the house. The creativity was fabulous, and I loved seeing my 18 year old nephew, and my god daughters (plus sister, etc) all dressed up in homemade costumes. It was fabulous. 

We ate pizza & wings, and then drove around to see the lights, decorations & trick or treaters. We left candy on our porch, but we live at the top of a big hill, so not sure anyone really ventured up. The kids picked up a bag of candy from a lovely neighbor (safely, individually wrapped in baggies, and on a table, so very socially distanced) & it was nice to see light festivities happening. People really do adapt.

Yesterday was also the last day of a step competition at my work, and I was in second place with some fierce competition from a teammate in London. I started the day with a seven mile walk/run, then did about two hours on the elliptical, plus a few walks around the block. It was interesting to see how far I could go in one day (short story, just over 21.5 miles). I'm exhausted today & happy that the month is over!

What are we up to today:

  • Making muffins
  • I'll also make chicken curry for the week ahead
  • Nick is making a Hello Fresh meal
  • Meeting a friend for a masked up/socially distanced hike this morning
  • Cleaning the house
  • Chatting with my parents
  • Planning for the week ahead
  • Helping Sam with some homework (a scheduling system, not homework itself. This is a struggle for him, given the ADHD & remote learning)
  • Nick has (virtual) math tutoring
  • I need to package & mail one eBay item, and take measurements for a second item & reply to the buyer
That will be more than enough for today. What about you? How was your Halloween? What are you up to today?