Friday, December 31, 2021

Holiday Recap

Sorry it's been so quiet from my side - it's been a wild few weeks.  

Like a lot of the year, the holidays were not without some ups & downs. Our original plan was to fly to Portland, spend a few days at my parents celebrating Christmas with the family, and then head to Bend to ski. My parents, & sister/nephews would also join for a few days for skiing & general celebrations. 

We all tested for COVID ahead of the trip, and M tested positive, but was asymptomatic. The kids had gone to my parents after finals, and were already in Portland. M quarantined in the house for a week (away from me, wearing a mask, staying to one room, not leaving the house). I tested negative multiple times over the week, and opted to go ahead & go to my parents, so at least one of us could spend the holidays with the boys. It was really hard for all of us not to have M.

The logistics were also really challenging. M is the driver in snow, the main skier, the gear transporter, and getting all of the kids ski stuff to Portland was an adventure with seven bags (skis, boots, helmets, gear, etc). My parents got 10 inches of snow the day we were supposed to leave for Bend. We shoveled their 1/2 mile driveway for hours & hours. It's a good workout. ;-) 

My nephews were supposed to join us on the 26th, but due to weather difficulties, couldn't get home until the 30th. Which means we didn't get to see them (the cousins were all very disappointed - they are quite close in age, and planned to ski/board together). My sister was also incredibly sad to not see her kids during that time. (They were with their dad for the actual holidays.)

The earlier plan had called for M to drive my parents to Bend, so they could avoid driving in the snow. That plan fell apart, so my dad drove 1/2 of the people, and my brother in law drove the rest. The conditions getting to Bend were *super* dicey. Mt. Bachelor also had very, very cold conditions (7 degrees, high winds & lots of snow). Check out the powder!

It was not the holiday season we would have wanted, and we so missed the rest of the family. But, we made the best of it, enjoyed the time together & really did what we could to make it fun. My brother in law took the kids skiing, we did some tubing, we played games, we had lots of laughs, we managed to get the driveway shoveled between fits of giggling, we puzzled... we made the most of a situation that was really reflective of 2021 itself. I'm also SO grateful that M was asymptomatic (he's fully vaccinated & boosted) & healthy. That is the most important thing. Holidays come & go, but he's healthy & we are all lucky to have each other. 

Here's hoping to a better 2022! Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year's and a healthy & happy 2022!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2022 Goals

 The goals, like me, are a work in progress. I always try to set goals that will steer me in the right direction, for things I want to prioritize, things that are challenging for me, and know that progress is the goal. Perfection is probably not an option. If I'm achieving all of the goals each month & year, I'm not pushing myself hard enough, or maybe the goal isn't a match for what I actually want to accomplish. 

Here's what I'm thinking about for 2022 goals.


  • Stick to our budget
  • Come up with 5-10 year budget
  • Finalize our one income budget
  • Determine travel priorities & bucket list items
  • Start a donor advised fund, for charitable contributions
  • Plan one fun activity/month
  • Have two dates with M
  • Schedule quarterly calls with M's family, & send pictures & videos regularly


  • Lose 10 lbs
  • Run 100 times
  • Track calories & eat a balanced diet
  • Complete 17,500 minutes of cardio, 100 strength & 50 stretching workouts
  • Meditate 100 times
  • Fast 100 times
  • Close workout rings 330 days (90% success rate)
  • Do something social with friends, 2x/month
  • Invest time in volunteer roles
  • Determine my next phase (post current career). Give thoughtful consideration to this, and test/practice which of these things I can do while still working
  • Continue to make kind deeds a regular part of my life, and do research on happiness & the relationship between helping others & happiness
  • Consider coaching class

That's it from my side. What about you? What goals are you setting for the year ahead?  

Monday, December 13, 2021

Menu Plan Monday

 Home stretch before the holidays, complete with all of the typical business & additional commitments. Here's what we're having this week:

  • Friday - we had spaghetti & meatballs, using a bolognese sauce that I'd prepped & put in the freezer. Once again, the freezer inventory & organization made life easier!
  • Saturday - hamburgers (made with Beyond Meat) & roasted potatoes
  • Sunday - fesenjan (tried a Persian recipe, which is chicken stew with walnut & pomegranate sauce), served over rice
  • Monday - baked chicken & rice
  • Tuesday - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Wednesday - fesenjan & rice
  • Thursday - something from the freezer, or any remaining leftovers
  • Friday - Out to dinner
What about you? What are you making for dinner this week?

Friday, December 10, 2021

Frugal Friday

 We are just cruising towards the end of the year! The weeks are flying by. It was a busy week, with plenty of school soccer, an office visit, a few late work nights, etc. 

Here are our frugal wins for the week:

Saving on things we buy

  • Bought Home Depot gift cards at the grocery store, earning $30 in rewards. 
  • I had some Rite Aid rewards to use up (from Black Friday), so I went in to see if I could find any deals that matched with iBotta or Fetch. Not much there, but I did use a $10 off of a $50 purchase coupon, & picked up a bunch of stuff we were running low on. I also restocked a few makeup items (mascara, for my gym bag & eyeliner, which I wear rarely, but I'm out of). Total was $16.50, after my rewards. I was able to get $6 off from iBotta for the mascara & eyeliner, bringing the total to $10.50 out of pocket. I then earned another $8 back. I didn't notice that I earned a discount on one of my items, so I'm also $2 away from a $5 bonus reward. 
  • Went back for the second round of Rite Aid (to spend the $2 for the $5 reward) & spent $8.26, earned $6 in bonus bucks, & another $1.00 via iBotta. I bought: shaving cream, four boxes of tea, & 2 mini chocolate Santas for the kids. 

Earning money

  • M & I received our comp updates for the year, with our salary increases, annual bonus & stock awards. We also received a one time bonus (not part of our standard comp), which was super awesome & unexpected. 
  • Redeemed Fetch points for a $10 Amazon gift card
  • Cashed out $25.55 of iBotta rewards via Paypal, added it back to the grocery budget
  • Made $90 on Facebook Marketplace, selling outgrown skis & poles
  • eBay....oh my. I'm very frustrated by some of their crazy policies. I'll leave it there for now, but wow. They make it hard to be a seller.  
  • I did sell an ugly holiday sweater on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • I used Rite Aid rewards to cover the out of pocket cost of a prescription. 

Eating what we have

  • Ate restaurant leftovers for lunch 2x, and made the kids leftovers for lunch 2x. Teens are lazy, and if I prep it, they will eat it. ;-) 
  • Had a really busy night, and defrosted a freezer meal (taco cauliflower rice). Shredded cheese, sliced tomatoes & got the guac all ready to go. As soon as my calls were over, I heated up the dinner & we were good to go. Bonus points that it moved a large container out of the freezer. 
  • Nick had a taco quesadilla on another night, using up a bit more of the leftover taco meat. 
  • I had a taco salad for lunch, using up the tiny amount of taco meat & taco rice. 
  • We had leftovers several times for dinner this week

For others

  • Call with mentee
  • Helped a charitable organization get set up through our work system, so I can log volunteer hours (as can others) & have donations matched
  • Volunteered (2x) for a sports tournament for the kids
  • Optimized my time to volunteer as much as possible, as I'm attempting to log plenty of volunteer hours before the end of the year. (My company makes a donation to the charity for each hour I volunteer.) 
How about you? Any frugal wins to share? 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Menu Plan Monday

 We're in the home stretch before the holidays! Here's our menu plan for the week:

  • Friday - wings, spring rolls & gyozas
  • Saturday - we went out for a family dinner & tried a new place. Nick is pretty picky, but this place was a success. I've been wanting to try it with the kids for awhile now, and everything came together for a dinner out. Hurrah!
  • Sunday - Persian kebabs & rice
  • Monday - Dragon noodles & coconut shrimp
  • Tuesday - Persian kebabs & rice
  • Wednesday - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Thursday - taco cauliflower rice (freezer)
  • Friday - TBD, but potentially homemade pizza
What about you? What's on your menu this week? 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Saturday Happenings

 We have a full schedule today, as the teens have plenty on their plates. Nick is reffing two soccer games, & both boys have a school soccer tournament. Sam & I are both volunteering at the tournament, ahead of the game.

M & I were planning to have a date night, but that got scrapped, as the boys game schedule shifted around. Instead, we decided to do a family dinner out. It should be a lot of fun, but different than an adult date night. :-) 

Here's what I need to get done today:

  • Get the boys game gear packed (boys)
  • Drop off Nick for his first ref game
  • Pick up Nick from second game (M)
  • Drop Nick off at the tournament (M)
  • Costco
  • Produce stand
  • Work out
  • Laundry
  • Take Sam to the volunteering, volunteer myself
  • Get Sam to finish his permit test
  • Homework check (we're just a few weeks from finals)
  • Menu plan
Being the parent of teenagers means there's always a lot of driving! :-) 

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Frugal Friday

 This week felt particularly long, after Thanksgiving. But, we're in the home stretch before the holidays!

Saving on things we buy

  • Uploaded my receipts to Fetch to earn a $5 promo via Unilever. I noticed I was $4 short, and picked up some soup mixes to have on hand (an easy option when someone isn't feeling well), which generated the $5 reward. 
  • Bought gift cards at the grocery store, earning a $60 store gift card
  • Picked up the Friday Freebie at the store (egg bites), & used $3 of store rewards to pick up tortillas for tacos this week

Earning money

  • Found a penny on the ground at the store, and a dime while walking in the neighborhood

Avoiding spending

  • Used a gift card to buy lunch for the kids at Subway, and also redeemed a $2 Subway reward that was expiring soon.
  • Used a gift card to a climbing gym to take the kids out for a fun activity, while I went to a yoga class at the same gym. I wasn't sure what to expect from the yoga class, but it was quite hard! I'm so happy this gym survived COVID, as the gift cards are from Christmas 2019. It was a great way to spend a no school/work day. 

Eating what we have

  • We ate Thanksgiving leftovers, but that's really no challenge for me, as the sides are my favorites!
  • We picked the last of the pomegranates. We feel blessed that we got so many this year. M may feel less blessed, as he's the official de-seeder of the fruit. ;-) 
  • Used up three bags of shredded zucchini (freezer) for zucchini muffins
  • Made up 6 lbs of taco meat (1.5 lbs for this week's dinners, and the rest for the freezer). Future me will be thankful for the quick meal option

For others

  • Dropped off another bag of toiletries for a donation to the local shelter. There are some amazing prices on in demand items for the homeless, so it feels really great to help out
  • Continued mentoring
  • Donated money to the boys school
  • Volunteered a few times for a sports tournament at the school
What about you? Any wins to report this month? 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

December Goals

 It's the last month of the year, filled with fun, celebrations, a lot of deviation from the standard schedule, & some travel. It's also the last month to accomplish the goals for the year!


  • Research work financial planning benefits
  • Review & revise categories, & 2022 budget
  • Make $100 in side hustle
  • Use up three "hard to use" items
  • Finalize ski trip budget/plans
  • Determine 2022 travel plans & budget
  • Plan one family activity
  • Off the computer (minus reading & working out) by 7:30 each evening
  • Have two dates with M
  • Schedule a call with M's family 


  • Lose 2 lbs
  • Run 20 miles
  • Track calories daily
  • Complete 2,000 minutes of cardio
  • Fast until lunch 15 times
  • Meditate 10 times


  • Max out my volunteer hours at work
  • Practice Spanish 4x
  • Do something social with friends, x2
  • Journal 6x
  • Find 20 items to give away, donate, or toss

That's it from my side. What are you hoping to accomplish in this last month of the year? Let us know so we can cheer you on!


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

November Goals Check In

November flew by, but the month is officially over! Here's how I did with the goals for the month:


  • Lock in accountant for 2021 taxes, & research work financial planning benefits. - We have an accountant, but I still need to research the work benefit. 
  • Review & revise categories for 2022 budget - nope
  • Make $300 in side hustle - I listed one item for the month, so unsurprisingly, didn't make much in side hustle. I closed the month with $67
  • Inventory freezer, use up 3 "hard to use" items - yes to both! I used up 2 bags of grilled tomatoes, pizza rolls, & pureed pumpkin.
  • Budget for Christmas & ski trip. Finish majority of purchases. - I'm pretty much done with Christmas, but we're still finalizing our ski trip plans. 
  • Determine 2022 travel plans & budget - mostly there 


  • Have two dates with M - we went to lunch, & to a winery 
  • Have a family adventure - we ran a 5k together, & then made a feast for Thanksgiving. We also decorated for the holidays. 
  • Fast until lunch 20 days - 13/20 days
  • Lose 2 lbs - I'm coming off of a few days of Thanksgiving indulgence, so I'm up 1/2 a lb. Not good!
  • 1300 minutes of cardio - However, I crushed the cardio, with 2,450 minutes
  • Run 20 miles - I ran just over 11 miles
  • 10 strength workouts - almost, 9/10
  • Meditate 12 times - I meditated 7 times
  • Get at least one massage for back pain - I got two massages, and it's helping my back so much to get back into regular help


  • Find 30 items to donate, give away, or toss - Yes! I gave away a bunch, cleaned out a paper drawer, & then tossed things that no one wanted. It was nice to make some progress, after a few slow months on the decluttering front. 
  • Try two new recipes - I tried a new dessert recipe, & a new muffin recipe. Neither were worth trying again, but were okay. 
  • Write for 30 minutes - I didn't write at all. I'm trying to get my groove back, with reading more & watching less shows. I go through spurts, where I won't watch a show for months, & then I binge for weeks. My library app has been really error prone lately, which has led to frustration & show watching. I'm trying to resolve that, and download a bunch of books when it's working, so I have plenty of content. 
  • Get together with friends 2x - I had dinner & drinks with coworkers (one who is a good friend) & met another friend for a hike

Plenty of room for improvement there, but setting goals monthly helps me stay on track & focus on my priorities. How did you do with your goals for the month? 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Menu Plan Monday

 We've finished off the majority of our Thanksgiving leftovers, but there are always a few things lingering, are there not? Maybe we will finish off the pie & whipping cream today! 

  • Friday - leftover lasagna + garlic bread (I burned the garlic bread, in a moment of distraction. Oops)
  • Saturday - We had more steak, and Thanksgiving leftovers (mashed potatoes, squash & green beans) 
  • Sunday - tacos, & guacamole to go with 
  • Monday -  spaghetti & meatballs
  • Tuesday - leftover tacos & guacamole
  • Wednesday - the last of the steak, likely with roasted acorn squash
  • Thursday - cauliflower rice taco bake (although, we may be "taco'd out" by then. Otherwise, something from the freezer
  • Friday - baked chicken & samosas
What about you? What's on your post-Thanksgiving menu this week? 

Friday, November 26, 2021

A relaxing Friday

Thanksgiving was so nice yesterday. We are all a bit under the weather (no COVID, luckily, as we have tests from work we can use that allow us to make sure), but otherwise, it was a great day. 

We ran a 5k in the morning (Sam, with an 18:50 finish, to make the rest of us look bad). I beat my goal, which was still reasonably slow, but all I felt up to with a runny nose & all. We bumped into friends at the race, and enjoyed the sunshine.

After the run, we started cooking, and prepped our dinner. I ran to Rite Aid to pick up a few Black Friday offers (they were sold out of most things already) & then Sam met up with friends for a game in the park. We all had dinner, chatted about what we were thankful for, and then went to bed early. Sam & I were in bed at 8, thanks to our colds. 

I slept in a bit today, we made muffins, & then I took the kids to a climbing gym to use up a gift card. I went to a yoga class in the same gym, which was a great way to kill two birds with one stone. It's not cheap, but was a great way for everyone to get in some active time, & I was afraid this place would go out of business during COVID. It's great to see that they made it. 

We picked up lunch at Subway (free, with a gift card) & then tried to find Sam a referee uniform at the local soccer store. No such luck. They only have size Men's XXL, and Sam is, at best, a Men's Small. I prefer to shop at the local stores when possible, but it will have to be Amazon for this purchase. 

We also put up our tree & decorations (not the outdoor lights yet, though), so it was a very full day. 

I came home & washed all of the sheets & we will all have fresh beds for tonight. I love that feeling! 

I'll heat up leftover lasagna, and make some garlic bread out of leftover hamburger buns. It should be all good. I hope everyone had a relaxing & productive day today!

Frugal Friday

 I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving (if you are in the US) & got to spend time with family. As always, I'm so thankful for my friends & family & feel truly lucky. Thanksgiving is a small holiday for us (just the four of us), but no less special due to size. 

Saving on things we buy

  • I've been saving my grocery store points for November, knowing our Thanksgiving feast would push us a bit over our standard spending. I used $27 of grocery store rewards to offset a purchase
  • I also picked up the Friday Freebie (cookie dough) at the store, and uploaded my receipts to Fetch & iBotta. No major savings, but a bit here & there. I haven't been buying anything on iBotta lately, but I did take advantage of a couple of small "any item" receipt offers. 
  • Earned a free package of Klondike bars via Fetch
  • Took advantage of $20 of Fetch gift card rewards
  • On the same Fetch transaction, earned a $10 Target gift card on a double dip. I was unaware that Target had their own promotion on the gift cards, so I was doubly excited. ;-) 
  • I made a few gift card purchases at Rite Aid, and three of them failed. The manager was super nice, and called their customer service & patiently dealt with an extremely long hold time, in order to get my rewards credited to my account. 
  • Took advantage of a few Rite Aid Black Friday deals to pick up snacks & frozen pizza & the like. I used the Rite Aid rewards from the gift card transactions (above), to pay $5 for $55 worth of items. (Food & toiletries for donations)

Earning money

  • I haven't been listing things on eBay, but have driven Nick to reffing games, so he can earn money. That's my current "side hustle", so to speak. ;-) 
  • I also sold one older item, earning $40 or so (have to ship it out)
  • Redeemed Fetch rewards (above) for a $25 Amazon gift card. I'm close to having another $10, which is great for the holidays. 

Avoiding spending

  • I've been trying to get creative with meal planning, to ensure we're using what we have & minimizing our grocery spending. That seems like a really good idea, with the current costs!

Eating what we have

  • I've been working my way through the single serving freezer items for lunch, & had a chicken fiesta rice dish with a bit of guacamole for lunch one day. Delicious, easy, & one more item out of the freezer. 
  • Nick finished off the last of a bag of pizza rolls, which had been in the freezer for quite some time
  • Defrosted a Costco lasagna, and had that for dinner one night.
  • I continue to bring in our tomatoes to ripen, and I'm still picking a few strawberries per week. We use them in smoothies. We are also still getting a few green peppers, and lots of jalapenos. 
  • The boys finished off the leftover takeout pizza, but that was no hardship for them ;-) 
  • I had a beef stew for lunch one day (from the freezer) along with a leftover piece of garlic bread. 

For others

  • Uploaded my receipts to Box Top, as I was picking up cereal & stuffing, both of which were eligible for Box Tops. There was also a Thanksgiving promo that increased the donation by another $1. 
  • Donated ski clothes via Buy Nothing, as well as some jeans that M & Sam didn't need. Also gave away a few shirts. 
  • Had a couple of calls for my non-profit, & with my mentee
  • Made a donation to the boys school athletic department, to help with new uniforms. Submitted all of my recent donations for company matches. 
  • Entered my time volunteering, and my company will match my time with a cash donation
  • Helped a friend sponsor a family for the holidays
  • Picked up a bunch of inexpensive toiletries & cleaning products for donation to the local shelter
What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all of you in the US, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with family & fun. We are planning to run a 5k together, & then will relax & enjoy the day. There will be some cooking, some movie watching, & hopefully a lovely day. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Menu Plan Monday


I'm excited for a quieter week (no meetings this week, ahead of Thanksgiving), and all of the fun of Thanksgiving food prep! Oh, and leftovers! Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. :-) 

  • Friday - takeout
  • Saturday - burgers & roasted potatoes
  • Sunday - lasagna
  • Monday - burgers & caprese salad
  • Tuesday - lasagna
  • Wednesday - pizza or something easy ahead of Thanksgiving
  • Thursday - Thanksgiving! We will be having steak, stuffing, green beans, squash/kale salad, & Basque cheesecake for dessert. There will also be pomegranate martinis + goat cheese crostini for appetizers!
  • Friday - chicken + Thanksgiving leftovers
And, a caprese salad from last week, made from tomatoes & basil from the garden.

What are you making this week?

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday Happenings

Yesterday was a full day of Nick's soccer game, and reffing two other games. M went to Costco (it was wild ahead of Thanksgiving). I wrapped all of the Christmas gifts that will go under our tree here (vs getting packed to bring to my parents.) M made burgers, I did an endless amount of laundry. 

I also had the boys try on their ski gear, M got Sam's feet measured for new ski boots (his current pair are too small). The ski gear is almost all too small, & I'm giving it away on Buy Nothing this morning. Glad to make other people happy, save them money & keep clothes out of the landfill. The ski bib that Sam has outgrown was originally a hand me down from my nephew, so I'm thrilled it's still in circulation. Ski clothes are  not cheap.

Here's what we are up to today:

  • Take Nick to his last game this year. 
  • Run during Nick's warm ups
  • Drop Nick off at his ref game, with his bike (he'll bike home)
  • M & I are going to a winery, to pick up our wine shipment & have a wine tasting
  • Bag & put out the Buy Nothing items
  • Decide on dinner: lasagna, or pigs in a blanket
  • Laundry :-) 
  • Call my parents
Hope you all have a fabulous day!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Back on the field together + all the laundry

Last summer, Sam made the decision to switch soccer clubs, so he & Nick are playing on different teams, & I no longer get to see them play together. This has also increased logistics, but both are happy with their decisions. (Mom sometimes has a different view, but these are the types of choices that teens are allowed to make - whether they be right or wrong, they are opportunities to learn.) :-) 

Both boys made the school JV soccer team. Tryouts lasted 14 days, & they whittled the roster from 100+ kids to 20 something, so we are thrilled that both kids will get a chance to play for their school, & play together again. There have already been hilarious dramas on the field & I'm very excited to see them together on a team.

What does this have to do with laundry? Oh, well, M & I both work out at least one time per day. I often get in a second workout, time permitting (walking at soccer practice, & the like). I wish I was one of those people who just "glowed" vs sweat, but alas, I am not. Neither is M, or either of our kids. If you know anything about teenage boys, you'll know that they really do need showers & constant fresh laundry. At this stage, we've got the end of club soccer (with, uniforms), school soccer, P.E. uniforms, "regular" clothes (non soccer uniforms), Nick is reffing games on weekends (which has an entirely different uniform), M & I each have our daily workout clothes, & our "regular" clothes. Plus dinner napkins, towels, sheets, etc. It's an absolutely insane amount of laundry. No matter how on top of it I am, it builds. Laundry is my constant companion in these teenage years. Whenever I get irritated by the non-stop washing, line drying, folding, etc, I remind myself that I'm so incredibly lucky to have an active family, kids who push themselves & get away from screen time for healthy workouts, & that M & I are healthy enough to work out daily. It often gets me past the "what in the world am I doing folding laundry again" moments. :-) 

SO much laundry, but I'm very excited to see the boys play together again. It's been awhile, so I will do the laundry, make smoothies for soccer pickups, spend a non insignificant amount of time awaiting the arrival of the boys after practice, remind people to pack their cleats, & just enjoy this phase of life. It's so fleeting, and I feel really blessed. #allthelaundry

Throwback photo of Nick, back in his goalie phase (note the gloves)

Frugal Friday

This week absolutely flew by, thanks to a very busy work schedule, & a completely full weekend, as club soccer games all have to be wrapped up by this weekend. Lots of reffing, school soccer & club soccer! We used our freezer meals more than ever, & they were much appreciated this week.  

Saving on things we buy

  • Used a coupon for free chips & queso at Chipotle
  • We are planning a trip to Park City in February, for Sam's birthday. The best flight option is Southwest, so I started with Rakuten, clicked through to Raise, used a promotional offer, & bought the largest Southwest card available. I've learned that you can only use a limited number of gift cards per transaction on Southwest, which has previously left me with a number of smaller value gift cards that are harder to use. Since I was purchasing tickets for four people, the entire gift card was used up. The Raise promo offer was $20 off, plus the standard Raise discount. We saved 8% there, and then Rakuten offers another 1% off the total Raise purchase price. 
  • For our trip to Park City, I shopped around for a place that was conveniently located, but also had a washer & dryer, & kitchen, which will save us money on food & allow us to not have to pack as much ski gear (we can wash between days.) 

Earning money

  • I still haven't been listing anything on eBay, so no money there.
  • Nick, however, has been reffing a lot of soccer games, which is awesome for him. Club soccer is trying to wrap up all of their games before the season ends, so this is the perfect time to get in a lot of reffing. 

Avoiding spending

  • We are still growing our own tomatoes, even in November. It's so nice not to have to buy them at the store, for now. 
  • My sister is joining me for a few days in London, and we will take advantage of my work hotel. I was able to use a credit for her flight, so both the hotel & flight will be free for her/our weekend. Woohoo! I still have a bit of credit, but United extended the expiration date until end of 2022. It was previously April, so the change was super helpful.

Eating what we have

  • I made a taco quesadilla for Nick & Sam for dinner one night, using up the last of the taco meat that wasn't quite enough for a traditional taco. 
  • Made a caprese salad for dinner one night, using up garden tomatoes & basil, & the last of fresh mozzarella before it went bad. Served it with the balsamic chicken (frozen) that we didn't enjoy as much on the first round. It was much better served over pasta, and with the caprese to really bring out all of the flavor. In bonus points, I was also able to use up some pasta from the fridge. It truly was a "use it up" meal.
  • Had beef stew (freezer, and happily easy to find, due to my freezer inventory) for lunch one day. 
  • We ate multiple pomegranates from the garden.
  • Ate the last of the chicken curry for lunch this week. 
  • I found a package of bacon wrapped chicken in the way back of the freezer, and pulled that out for a quick dinner. I also found some ice cream cones & one lingering breakfast sandwich, & moved those to the front. They will disappear quickly. ;-) 

For others

  • Picked up trash at the soccer field, two times while walking. I can't bring myself to pick up the many discarded masks, but I do pick up all of the water bottles, and put them in the recycling bins.
  • Stayed late at two games to help put away field equipment
  • Volunteered with my non-profit
  • Helped with an ESL event at our school
  • Treated my sister to a trip to London (in February). She's never been to Europe, & she's thrilled!

That's it from our side. How about you? Any wins for the week?

Monday, November 15, 2021

Menu Plan Monday

Another week is complete. Can't believe it's Monday already! Here's what we will be eating this week:

  • Friday - steak & salad
  • Saturday - Sam & I had a late lunch after soccer, Nick had a taco quesadilla, & Michael had salmon
  • Sunday - chicken curry & rice
  • Monday -  balsamic chicken over pasta
  • Tuesday - chicken curry
  • Wednesday - balsamic chicken over pasta
  • Thursday -  maybe spaghetti & meatballs
  • Friday - samosas & chicken
That's it at our house. I'm hoping to work down some of our freezer items. The curry I made yesterday was the best I've made. Wish I could figure out what I did differently - I followed the same recipe, but it was more delicious than usual!

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

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Saturday Happenings

The boys had both Thursday & Friday off of school, so things have been pretty loud around here. ;-) Working with them around is...not without its challenges. 

Garden things:

I picked a couple of carrots from the garden yesterday, & they were so delicious. I also picked a few more pomegranate & they are amazing. I'm sad they are seasonal, because they are my favorite treat.

Holiday prep:

I've been doing the majority of my Christmas shopping, I tried on a few things I need to fill in wardrobe gaps, & now know exactly what I'd like to order during the Black Friday sales. I picked up a few gift cards at a discount, for the store that has the clothing items. Now I just need some good prices as it gets closer to Christmas.

Travel plans:

We booked a ski trip for February. It will be Sam's 16th birthday, which is very difficult to believe! We are planning to go to Park City, Utah. M has been, but the rest of us haven't. I was able to find a nice condo that is ski in/out, and has a kitchen. 

I'm also planning work travel. So much work travel. I'm trying to add some personal travel around it, which helps make the work travel much more palatable. If things work out, I'll be in London in February, and my sister will join me over my birthday. M was hoping to go, but my parents aren't able to watch the kids at that time, so my sister will happily step in. I'll have a free hotel room (work), and pick up her ticket with miles. It should be lovely, if it works out. Despite having been to London at least ten times, I've never seen a single sight, or spent even a day doing tourist stuff. All of my trips have needed to be rush in/out, and consist of: the airport, the hotel, the office, the airport. Not the most fun. I'm trying this new approach to work travel, and hope it reminds me of the great opportunity to get to see part of the world.

What else am I up to today?

  • I need to pull out the zucchini plants
  • Take Nick to his reffing game
  • Take Sam to two soccer games
  • Make balsamic chicken
  • Laundry
  • Make the menu
  • Produce stand
  • Grocery store
  • Work on my Christmas spreadsheet
  • Track our recent expenses
  • Work out
That will do it. What about you? What are you up to today? 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Frugal Friday


Saving on things we buy

  • We purchased our preferred local airline gift cards at 10% off, for upcoming travel
  • Used grocery store rewards to save a bit on a few things we needed
  • Uploaded receipts to iBotta & Fetch to save a little here & there

Earning money
  • I sold a very expensive item on eBay, they paid, & then requested a refund without explanation. I refunded them, because those kind of buyers create problems, even if you require them to honor their transaction. It looks like eBay charged me $12? I'm unimpressed. 

Avoiding spending
  • Picked up a free soup (Panera rewards) while I was getting lunch. M had that for his lunch, avoiding the need for another meal
  • Used a Starbucks reward to treat a few teens to breakfast after a soccer game
  • Picked up two freebies at the grocery store: a yogurt & cookies

Eating what we have
  • Inventoried our freezer, so I could see what we had available, & make it easier to find prepped meals. 
  • Had tacos (from the freezer) this week
  • Ate (dinner out leftovers) for lunch

For others
  • One of the boys friends was really sad about a soccer interaction, so I invited him to an impromptu brunch with us. I was already driving Sam & another player home, and he was glad to be included, & cheered up
  • Helped another parent with a ride, x2
  • I assisted an elderly woman with her shopping, & she was so appreciative & friendly. It really put a smile on my face. 
  • Got a chance to chat with my new mentee, which was exciting
That's it from my side. What about you? Any wins to share? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Freezer inventory & organization

 We have two freezers (both combos with fridges). I try to keep one freezer for: muffins, prepped meals, & muffin ingredients (applesauce, bananas, zucchinis) & the like. The other freezer is for meat & things like gyozas, samosas, spring rolls, etc. 

I went through one of the freezers & inventoried everything, separated a few random items that were in the wrong spot, & had to toss a few things that were freezer burned. Or, in the case of the oat milk bars, just so unappealing that I don't even want.

Here's what I had in the freezer:

  • Bagels - 1.5 packages (tossed, as they were freezer burned)

  • Bananas - 11

  • ½ package of cranberries

  • Ziplock of jalapenos

  • 1 ½ bags of frozen fruit

  • 1 bag of spinach

  • ½ bag of corn

  • 1 Costco sized bag of pepperoni

  • 5 bags of muffins

  • Unopened container of goat cheese

  • ½ a bag of pizza rolls

  • Butter

  • A few small containers of wing sauce

  • 5 containers (maybe 15 cups) of shredded zucchini

  • 1 small container of enchilada sauce

  • 1.5 cups of tomato sauce

  • ½ a box of samosas

  • 1 dinner sized container of bolognese sauce

  • Large container of pumpkin puree

  • 1 large & 2 small container of applesauce

  • Dinner sized container of taco meat

  • 2.5 containers of taquitos

  • 3 oat milk ice cream bars (tossed)

  • 4 Klondike bars

  • ¾ full chicken patties (moved to the “meat” freezer)

  • 6 chicken breasts (moved to the “meat” freezer)

  • ½ bag of chicken nuggets

  • ½ bag of baked chicken

  • 6 single servings of beef stew

  • 1 container of pot roast

  • 1 dinner sized container of taco cauliflower rice

  • 1 dinner sized container of balsamic chicken

  • 1.5 lunch sizes of eggroll in a bowl

  • 2 individual servings of chicken fiesta rice

  • 3 servings of chicken & dumplings

  • 1 package of chicken meatballs

  • Small package of kebabs

  • 2 cheeseburgers

I've now re-organized everything, & have the items grouped together:
  • Prepped meals - all grouped & labeled, organized so I can quickly find what we have. There was a lot more in the freezer than expected, which is awesome
  • Muffins & muffin ingredients. Likewise, all grouped together. I thought I was done with the pumpkin puree & cranberries, so will need to use these up soon.
  • The rest of the items on the other size of the freezer, but with the harder to use items at the top, to serve as a reminder.
I still have to inventory the meat freezer, but the one I cleaned was the freezer inside the kitchen, & our primary go to. It feels really nice to have it all organized!

And, a picture of the progress (only captures about 1/2 of the items - couldn't get the rest into the picture).

What about you? Have you inventoried your freezer lately? Do you have any "use it up" items?

Monday, November 8, 2021

Menu Plan Monday

 It's a bit of a strange week, with two work dinners for me. But, we will plan for the meals & ensure everyone gets fed!

  • Friday - chicken wings & gyozas
  • Saturday - Out, after a late soccer game
  • Sunday - tacos
  • Monday - steak & roasted butternut squash
  • Tuesday - I have a work dinner, M & the boys will have leftover tacos
  • Wednesday - I again have a work dinner (I've had none since January of 2020, but now two in a week), & M will make pizza with the kids
  • Thursday - balsamic chicken over pasta
  • Friday - TBD, but perhaps samosas & chicken? We typically keep things very easy on Fridays
What about you? What's on your menu for the week?

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The "Fun Mom" Weekend

While I spend lots of time with the kids, and drive them/their friends around often, it's unusual for us to have a day where we 1) eat out and 2) treat others to meals out, because of #1. Yesterday was such a randomly fun day. I'll have to remember this. 

We started off by taking the boys to an early morning soccer game. M took Nick, & I took Sam. Nick's game was very close, but ended in a 1-2 loss. Sam's game was a tie. There was almost a fight on the sidelines between parents. I truly don't understand people. This was what I would describe your typical, run of the mill, Saturday morning soccer game. Your normal amount of fouls, your normal amount of missed calls, just a regular game. 

After the game, I decided to invite one of Sam & Nick's shared friend to go to Starbucks with us. This friend had a rough day on Friday & was feeling pretty bummed, so I thought he could use the time out with friends. I was already taking another bonus kid home (helping out their parents). The boys were all teasing each other, talking about school & soccer tryouts. By the end of our stop, everyone was laughing. I used Starbucks rewards, so it was even a frugal stop, although not the intention. 

We all had lunch, and then I sent M away (unexpectedly) for some surprise friend time. He was so, so very excited. I feel lucky that we are at a point in our lives that extra kid time is fun, vs a lot of juggling and effort. Weekends when the kids were babies were really challenging. It sounds like M is having a fabulous time, so I'm really glad it worked out.

We headed to another soccer game for Sam in the late afternoon. Sam & a buddy made a huge play in the final 30 seconds of the game, and tied it up right before the whistle. It was a very enjoyable game to watch. It was, however, freezing outside! I had tossed my emergency car blanket into the trunk, and Nick, ignoring my suggestion that he wear pants, was grateful for it. ;-) The game didn't end until 7 pm, so we hustled to a restaurant that a friend recommended. I was helping out a different friend, & also had her son, who used to be Sam's BFF, but they've grown apart since elementary school & have rarely spent time together.

The dinner out was one of the most enjoyable I've had in SO long. It was a combination of things. Very happy & animated teenagers. No one even interested in checking their phones. So much laughing. Great food, lots of storytelling, & giggling boys. You have to just embrace these moments, because they are so very rare. The food was delicious, & teenage boys can truly consume *all* of the food. What a wonderful way to close out the evening.

As for today, I'll be taking Nick to another game, and tennis lessons, & then making tacos. Other things on the list:

  • Laundry
  • Wash sheets
  • Make beds
  • Plan the menu for the week
  • Prep for the week ahead
  • Have the boys work on homework/soccer ref scheduling/drivers tests
Hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Frugal Friday

Most of my wins feel like they happened in the kitchen this week. The motto for my week could be using up food waste, & mentoring. It's not a very catchy slogan, though. ;-) It's funny how things tend to group up in certain weeks. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used a gift card (that earned grocery store rewards) to offset about half the cost of a flight for a planned girls trip next spring. 

Earning money

  • I still haven't been adding new things to eBay, but I sold a workout tank top from the beach house.

Avoiding spending

  • I received a free 60 minute massage from work. I combined that with meeting a friend for lunch (food at lunch is still free, but I'm rarely there) & charged the electric car for free as well. Triple win! I did tip the masseuse out of pocket, but all in all, it was a very frugal afternoon. 
  • Fetch had an offer on Klondike ice cream bars (100% free), so I picked some up at the grocery store. They are a fun treat for the kids. It was also triple points day at the grocery store, so I earned a small amount of extra rewards from the freebie. 
  • Nick made a loaf of homemade bread, to go with our beef stew for dinner. 

Eating what we have

  • We (well, mostly me) valiantly ate through the bits & bobs in the fridge, after having guests. Garlic bread, manicotti, bagged salad, a tiny portion of pasta, chicken tenders, frozen lasagna, etc. It makes me happy when we minimize waste. 
  • We ate the first round of four delicious pomegranates from the garden
  • I made a bunch of meals, using veggies that were getting close to needing to be tossed: beef stew, chicken & dumplings, & a bolognese sauce
  • I used leftover pot roast (freezer) for the beef stew meat. We weren't a fan of it in its original form, but loved it in the stew. 
  • I used abundant garden tomatoes in both the beef stew & the bolognese
  • I defrosted pumpkin puree to use in a batch of pumpkin muffins. Now it's time to again roast & process our Halloween pumpkins. 
  • I used grilled tomatoes (then frozen) leftover from kebab nights to stretch out the leftover bolognese sauce into a second meal. Also added three fresh tomatoes that needed to be used, and tossed in some meatballs. I froze the tomatoes because I didn't want to waste them, but had no good ideas at the time I froze them. Glad they were used, & out of the freezer. 

For others

  • Helped my non-profit with a project
  • Attended a kick off for my mentorship with an Afghani woman who is relocating
  • Started mentoring someone at work
That's it from my side. What about you? What wins did you have for the week?

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

November Goals

 We're in the home stretch of 2021! I can't believe it's November, but here we are. Last chance to tackle some of those yearly goals, and think ahead to 2022 planning.

And with that, here are my goals for the month.


  • Lock in accountant for 2021 taxes, & research work financial planning benefits
  • Review (and, as needed) revise categories for 2022 budget
  • Make $300 in side hustle
  • Inventory fridge/freezer/pantry. Use up 3 "hard to use" items.
  • Budget for Christmas & Thanksgiving. Finish majority of spending.
  • Determine 2022 travel plans/budget
  • Have two dates with M
  • Plan for Thanksgiving & Christmas
  • Have a family adventure
  • Fast until noon 20 days
  • Lose 2 lbs
  • 1300 minutes of cardio
  • Run 20 miles
  • 10 strength workouts
  • Meditate 12 times
  • Get at least one massage for my back pain
  • Find 30 items to donate/give away or toss
  • Try two new recipes
  • Write for 30 minutes
  • Get together with friends, 2x
That's it from my side. What about you? What goals are you setting for the month? 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

October Goals Recap

October was the month of cardio fitness. I had more than double my previous high number of cardio minutes, & my highest mileage month ever, thanks to my work walking/step challenge. Other than that, it was our anniversary, we took a trip to Scottsdale, & my parents came to visit. Overall, it was a great month. 


  • Find account & financial planner - got a bunch of referrals for both, & I think we've found an accountant. I'm waiting to hear back on the cost estimate. I also found a financial planner, but discovered that we get some free services at work. I need to research that & decide if a fee based financial planner is still necessary. 
  • Track & categorize all grocery expenses - I tracked them as usual, but didn't categorize. October was not a helpful month, as we fed more people for a week, we were out of town, & my parent did the cooking while they were here. I'll keep an eye on this for the rest of the year.
  • Make $150 in side hustle - I only made $46 this month. A combo of not listing much on eBay, & pausing my listing while I was out of town. 
  • Have two dates with M - we did multiple walks, went to lunch one day & went out of town for a long weekend.
  • Set up permit appointment for Sam - he hasn't completed the "test", which I though was a few hour commitment, but is actually a 30+ hour course module
  • Decide on anniversary itinerary - yes, and we had a great time
  • Have a family adventure - M was out of town last weekend, so the boys & I did puzzles, made dinner together & had some laughs. 
  • Fast until noon 20 days - No, because I had so much cardio. I fasted 8 times.
  • Lose 2 lbs - 1.8lbs, but who's counting/ I also defintiely feel more toned, given all of the working out.
  • 1300 minutes of cardio - 3145 minutes, more than double my previous record
  • Run 25 miles - I ran 6 times, and had 300+ miles for the month, but mostly walking vs running
  • 10 strength workouts - I had 7 strength workouts
  • Meditate 12 times - I meditated 8 times
  • Continue doctors stuff for lupus & back - my back was greatly helped by the additional walking (fun discovery) & I got two massages


  • Find 30 items to give away/donate/toss - I cleaned out some paperwork, took a bunch of stuff to the shredder, gave away a few items, & sold a few things
  • Try two new recipes - I made a beef stew & a Korean beef recipe. I also tried a balsamic chicken recipe, but wasn't a fan. 
  • Write for 30 minutes - nope
  • Put out at least one Halloween decorations - we bought pumpkins, so I will count those ;-) 

That's my recap for October. Overall, I'm pleased with my progress. What about you? Did you set goals for the month? Any wins to share, or areas you will carry over to next month? 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Menu Plan Monday


Menu plans always help me feel more in control of the week ahead, particularly when we have crazy schedules (as expected this week!)

  • Friday - just me & the boys for dinner, so we had a bit of this & that
  • Saturday - beef with barley soup (using leftover pot roast, from the freezer) & homemade bread
  • Sunday - chicken & dumplings
  • Monday - spaghetti bolognese (over soy noodles for M, pasta for the rest of us)
  • Tuesday - various leftover soup
  • Wednesday - tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Thursday - balsamic chicken (failed skillet recipe, leftovers from the freezer) over pasta
  • Friday - Remaining leftovers. If not, wings & samosas (freezer food)
What about you? What are you making this week?

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween Happenings

I miss the days of small boys in Halloween costumes. But, we are in another phase for sure. :-) Nick is heading over to a friend's house to play poker, & eat pizza. Sam is likely not going anywhere, so we will eat chicken & dumplings, hand out candy, & watch a scary movie. Tomorrow is soccer tryouts, so no one will stay out very late. I hope to see at least a few kiddos in cute costumes.

I had a productive but enjoyable day yesterday. I'm done with almost everything on the list, but still haven't made it to the produce stand. Maybe after dropping off Nick, or perhaps it will need to be done midweek. We shall see. 

We went to a soccer game this morning, I walked during warmups. Then we went to Costco, which was my foolish mistake, as both boys were super hungry. I feel like we bought everything. In reality, we were out of a bunch of basics (flour, sugar, vitamins, etc), which always adds up.

I went for my final walk of the month (step challenge is done today) & I clocked in over 300 miles for October, more than doubling my highest ever cardio month. I had 3,145 minutes of cardio in October, which is crazy. Woohoo! I'll be glad to be getting back to a more diverse set of workouts in November. ;-) 

I came back from my walk & tidied up the house, put chicken in the crockpot for chicken & dumplings, & now I'm onto the laundry. 

Throwback Halloween...

Wishing everyone a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday Happenings

 The last few days have been filled with driving & teen activities. I'm so happy their lives have returned to some sort of COVID normalcy. 

Nick went to the last school football game last night, Sam had soccer practice. I was up late, waiting for Nick to get home from the game. Blissfully, I slept in about an hour past my normal wake up time.

As for today, we somehow don't have any soccer on the agenda! Hurrah. Very excited, and planning to use the extra time to be productive in the kitchen.

  1. Pick more pomegranates
  2. Clean up the garden
  3. Pick the last of the tomatillos & roast them.
  4. Make muffins
  5. Make a fresh tomato sauce for the freezer, out of our abundance of tomatoes
  6. Pick up a few items at the store
  7. Make a Costco list
  8. Costco
  9. Run to the produce stand
  10. Get in a long workout
  11. Make a beef vegetable soup
  12. Have Nick make two loaves of bread
  13. Do a (virtual) happy hour with my sister & friend
  14. List at least one item on eBay
And, a few pictures from the last week or so...

Pomegranates from the tree. So delicious!

A couple of photos from our vacation:

That's it for me. What are you planning to do today?

Friday, October 29, 2021

Frugal Friday

It was a lovely weekend away, but we are now back to our regularly scheduled life. Here are a few wins we've had, in the frugal department.

Saving money on things we buy

  • I noticed that the hotel didn't apply the $50/night food credit that was supposed to be included, so asked about it at check out. It was applied to the bill as one total, which worked out perfectly, as we had spend just less than $50 on one of the days. 

Earning money

  • On the work front, I received another high score for the last six months of work, which will translate into a higher bonus, salary & stock. More than exceeds all of my other frugal wins for the year, but not as fun as the daily wins. ;-) 
  • I paused my eBay sales while I was traveling, but sold a hoodie

Avoiding spending

  • Tried to mostly eat at home, despite our guests. We did pretty well, and I had leftovers for lunch a few days. 
  • Took my parents to the airport, & used the electric car, saving fuel costs. 
  • Picked tomatoes & jalapenos from our garden.

Eating what we have

  • We didn't end up having the one pan chicken rice on Wednesday, so I made it on Sunday. It used more of the long peppers, as well as two bags of chicken from the freezer. I was also able to substitute garden jalapenos for the recipe indicated canned chiles. 
  • We also had the two bags of Korean beef I prepped & froze a couple of weekends ago, and had that with rice for dinner one night
  • We also picked our first pomegranate from our tree! We all love them, so we're excited to try them. We have A LOT of pomegranates. 
  • We continue to pick tomatoes (bringing them inside to ripen) off of our plants.
  • Nick made a loaf of French bread to share with our neighbor, and for our dinner on Sunday

For others

  • Our neighbor lost power, so we brought her several meals, called the power department for her, got a hold of her daughter (our neighbor is elderly), charged her small electronics, loaned her our charging unit, and checked in on her throughout the days.
  • Donated to a fundraiser, as my coworker lost her infant baby
  • Bought a meal service for another coworker going through a challenging time
  • Gave away three pair of jeans that Nick outgrew. 
  • Dropped off a bottle of champagne to a coworker who was promoted (I volunteered to do this on behalf of our mutual manager, who doesn't live in the area)
  • Took my parents to lunch as a thank you for all of their help this week.
  • Checked in with my volunteer/non-profit role
That's it for me. What about you? Any wins to share? 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Monday (Tuesday) Menu Plan

My parents are in town for a few more days, and spending time with us before they head home. As a result, we are feeding 6-7. Our neighbor's power is out, so we've also been feeding her dinner. 

  • Friday - M & I were in Scottsdale, and went out for Mexican food, at the hotel we were staying at. We had fajitas. Yum.
  • Saturday - M & I were still in Scottsdale, and had steak. Yum.
  • Sunday - We were back home, & I made a fiesta chicken rice skillet, that we served with garden tomatoes, sour cream, chips & guacamole.
  • Monday - My dad made a delicious stuffed shells dinner, with Caesar salad & garlic bread
  • Tuesday - M is making rice, and we will serve that with the Korean beef dish I made & froze last week. We will be driving to multiple soccer practices
  • Wednesday - My dad is making one of Nick's favorites - homemade baked chicken tenders
  • Thursday - Everyone is flying out, and I'll be juggling various soccer practices, so leftovers
  • Friday - Nick & Sam both have activities, so likely frozen pizza & salad
What about you? What are you eating this week? Any good recipes to share? 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Frugal Friday

There are going to definitely be some splurges ahead, as we're out of town for a few days, and my parents are with the boys. Making good choices the majority of the time allows us to also have fun when the opportunities arise. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Scanned all of our receipts to Fetch
  • M & I were both pretty sick on Monday, so I picked up soup at Panera, using a gift card. I paid a small amount out of pocket for a tip (curbside delivery), but the rest was free.

Earning money

  • It was a quiet week, but I earned a $1 doing a survey via iBotta
  • I paused my eBay sales, so nothing happening there

Avoiding spending

  • Found a free, excellent shape cooler on the street (with a free sign). Used it for transporting a few things to the office for an event, and will either keep or pass on to others. 
  • We have an at home COVID test kit provided by our employer, and were able to test multiple times (for free) to ensure what we have is a regular, although yucky, cold. Not COVID. 

Eating what we have

  • Made more applesauce out of apples from a friend, & a sad looking lemon in the produce drawer. I'm obsessed with applesauce muffins, so the applesauce is a great addition to the freezer
  • Made zucchini bread to have on hand for guests, using the last of the garden zucchini
  • Made chocolate brownie cookies  for guests, and put some in the freezer for easy desserts as needed

For others

  • Made applesauce for a neighbor
  • Helped a friend with a ride for her kiddo, when she had an urgent work situation

What about you? Any wins to share?