Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Workout Wednesday

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

Workouts for the week:

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 26, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

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

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

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

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Happenings

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

What's happening today?

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

What are you up to today?

Friday, September 23, 2022

Frugal Friday

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

Saving on things we buy

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

Earning money

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

Avoiding spending

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

Eating what we have

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

For others

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Workout Roundup

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

Workouts for the week:

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

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

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

Highlights: Reduced snacking & made better eating choices overall.

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

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

September goals

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


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

Monday, September 19, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

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

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

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Lack of organization is expensive

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday Happenings

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

Here's what we're up to today:

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

Friday, September 16, 2022

Frugal Friday


Saving on things we buy

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

Earning money

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

Avoiding spending

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

Eating what we have

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

For others

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

Thursday, September 15, 2022

August Goals Recap

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

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


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

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Workout Roundup

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

Workouts for the week

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A belated workout roundup

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

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

Workouts for the week

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


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


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


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

Focus for the week ahead

  • Continue to trim back the calories & unnecessary snacks

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

Monday, September 12, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 September feels like it's flying by at record pace. A menu plan always helps me stay on track, and feel like I at least have a semblance of a plan.

  • Friday - a collection of leftovers (grilled chicken + salads, pizza)
  • Saturday - Trader Joes orange chicken & fried rice
  • Sunday - grilled burgers
  • Monday - we have a wild night, with many moving parts. Chicken patty sandwiches
  • Tuesday - enchiladas
  • Wednesday - leftover burgers
  • Thursday - baked chicken + curry
  • Friday - I'm going to Lake Tahoe with a friend, so M & the boys are on their own. I'm guessing they will have spaghetti & meatballs (M's easy night go to)
What about you? What's on your menu for the week?

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday things

The weekend is whizzing by. I'm trying to find that balance of relaxing & enjoying myself, while still being productive. 

Yesterday was good - lots of driving & soccer, but that's the season we are in. ;-) Sam helped me by doing a bunch of driving (I'm still required, to supervise). All three soccer games were a win yesterday, which is always a treat. I reflected on the fact that neither of my kids has ever really been injured in a game, and given how much soccer has been played, how lucky we've gotten. Sam had a minor knee injury yesterday, but was able to walk it off, and play again. Most of their friends have missed numerous games at some point over the course of soccer, so we feel lucky that they've stayed so healthy.

It was cooler yesterday (high 80s), but the smoke is getting worse from nearby fires. Here's hoping it 1) gets put out safely 2) stays away from our area. The heat/smoke combo is my least favorite part of fall, and has really made the season unbearable in many ways.

As for today:

  • I was waitlisted for my favorite workout class. I opted to move to the early class (despite not wanting to set an alarm), & sure enough, got into the 8:15 class for today.
  • Nick has a reffing game
  • I'll be taking Nick to an afternoon soccer game
  • Sam has driving lessons
  • M is grilling burgers
  • I received a sample copy of the hotel activities for our upcoming anniversary trip in Hawaii, so I want to review that with M, and talk about what we might want to include in our activities budget.
  • Laundry. Ever so much laundry. 
  • A bunch of our plants didn't survive last week's heat wave, so I need to get those cleaned up & removed
  • Tasks for Nick's upcoming permit test: fill out application, gather residency requirements, & remind lazy teen to take the practice tests.
  • We've been doing "college trivia" each night at dinner, which really just means that I research a college, and a few interesting tidbits about it (most popular majors, admission rates, fun facts, etc) & share with the kids. It's been interesting, & led to a lot of really fun discussions about different schools. 
What about you? What's on your agenda for today?

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Happenings

I'm so happy that it's cooled off a bit. It's still supposed to be 85 or so today, but such an improvement over the 108+ we've been having. 

I got up this morning & squeezed in a workout, but it was shorter than I'd hoped, as I slept in. Definitely still adjusting to jet lag, and getting up at 6 during the work week meant I was operating with a bit of a sleep deficit. It was such a treat not to set the alarm this morning. 

Sam drove Nick (I supervised, from the passenger side) to a reffing game, then we picked him up, & dropped him off at a tennis match. Nick is at the age where he is just never home. Sam & I stopped & got Subway for an early lunch, as neither of us had eaten. I used a gift card, so no out of pocket spending, at least.

Other things for today:

  • Pick tomatillos
  • Pick up Sam's friend, take them both to a soccer game
  • Attend two back to back soccer games (total of 5 hours, with warmups & all)
  • M is taking Nick to & from the volunteer tennis lessons he teaches
  • Nick has his own evening tennis game, but M will drive back & forth, as I'll come home & make dinner
  • Dinner will be easy, due to all of the soccer. I'm going to make Trader Joes orange chicken & fried rice. Sometimes, you just need an easy win.
What are you up to today? Hope everyone is doing well, and staying cool!

Friday, September 9, 2022

A few weeks of Frugal Friday

I'm combining weeks, as I was in Tokyo last week. I spent a small amount of my own money to visit a local attraction, but otherwise, the trip was free (to me), and I earned miles & points on the airline & hotel. 

Saving on things we buy:

  • Uploaded a receipt to iBotta, finally seeing four offers that worked for us. This is rare, as I typically don't see anything we buy, and stick to the general "$.10 off any receipt" offers. This time, I bought: any hamburger buns, a juice Nick wanted for smoothies, and two containers of oat milk. 
  • Used a pizza coupon for many pizzas for the boys swim parties. We picked up, which is cheaper than delivery. Dominos was so much cheaper than our local pizza place, and it was a hit with the hungry teens. 
  • Adjusted my parents flights for an upcoming visit, saving $60
  • Decided to just have M go with Nick to a soccer tournament in October. The tournament is Halloween weekend in Las Vegas (which, frankly, seems like a really crazy time to have a teenage soccer tournament), so the flights were outrageous. Used gift cards & left over credits from other trips to cover the flights for M & Nick. I'll stay home, see my parents that weekend, and save the money for my flight. 

Earning money:

  • Nick did another job helping his tennis coach move some furniture, and earned $20 + pizza, as well as helped him coach a tennis lesson
  • Nick signed up to ref a bunch of soccer games
  • I sold an outgrown ski fleece on eBay

Avoiding spending:

  • Used a coupon for free bananas at the grocery store

Eating what we have:

  • Ate leftover burgers from the freezer. As long as the boys have buns to go with the burgers, they are happy. 
  • Had leftover paella for as a side with the burgers
  • Ate curry (freezer) for lunch
  • Made the boys lunch, finishing off chicken from the freezer

For others:

  • Discovered some late breaking Japan travel requirements, and knew my friend was on vacation. Tracked her down, and walked her through all of what she needed to do, including helping her with some print outs, so she could be ready for our flight. 
  • Shared garden goodies with a neighbor
That's it from our side. What about you? Any wins to share?

Monday, September 5, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 I'm not overly enthusiastic for cooking, with the jet lag & all, so our menu for the week will involve both a lot of M cooking, as well as some easy choice. 

  • Friday - we got takeout Greek food
  • Saturday - barbecued chicken & roasted potatoes
  • Sunday - hot dogs & potato salad
  • Monday - tacos
  • Tuesday - homemade pizzas
  • Wednesday - leftover chicken & potatoes
  • Thursday - leftover hot dogs & potato salad
  • Friday - taco quesadillas
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Sunday Happenings

I was up from 11-1 am, and couldn't sleep last night, so I'm not really feeling this morning. But, here we are. ;-) 

Here's the to do list for today:

  • Go to a workout class with a friend. Honestly, this will be a struggle, as I'm so tired. I'm trying to get back into a groove! The work trip combined with work stress the past month or so means that I've eaten more than usual, and been out of my workout routine. I need to get back on track. 
  • Pick up potato salad for dinner. I tried to get just a small container at Trader Joes (Nick & M don't like it, so there's no point in buying/making a large batch), but they were sold out. I'll go to the fancier grocery store, and see if I can track any down.
  • Prep for pool party. Inflate pool floaties, sweep outside, wash the table, load the beverage holder. 
  • Laundry. I've washed all of the laundry, & unpacked from the trip, but a few random items still need to be put away
  • Pickup the house. 
  • Plan schedule for the week
  • Arrange soccer carpool 
  • Call my sister for her birthday
That's it on my side. What about you? Hope you are enjoying the day. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Jet lagged Saturday

I got home yesterday morning, took a short nap (unheard of for me, but oh, that jet lag) & then stayed awake until around 7:30 pm. I slept until 8:30 this morning. 

The trip was really hard, as expected. But, it's done, and I advised my manager that I'm finished with my role. My role is hard to fill, so I'd committed to giving plenty of lead time, when I was close to being wrapped up. Check. 

I'd promised myself that I would make an effort to see at least one tourist location in Japan, and I'm pleased to report that I did. I'm hoping this will be my last work trip, and it's unlikely I'll get back to Japan on my own, so I wanted to make the most of it. 

We went to the Meiji Shrine, which was lovely. What struck me the most was how quiet & peaceful it was, right around the corner from the rest of the city. We walked from our office building. The weather for the trip was not great (there was a typhoon nearby, which brought lots & lots of rain, but still very warm weather).

It was absolutely lovely, & I'm so happy we went. Despite the weather!

As for today, I'm hoping to get a few things done:
  • Prep for a pool party Nick's having tomorrow. We've been begging the kids to use the pool all summer, and Nick's finally decided to have friends over, although it's a bigger group than expected. I need to get a bunch of food, and we need to get all of the floats filled up, sweep, etc.
  • Get some exercise, preferably in the sunshine
  • Laundry. I got a start on this yesterday, but have more to do
  • Finish unpacking. Mostly done, but a few odds & ends need to be put away
  • Pick up the Too Good To Go order at a bagel shop. We're out of bagels, and we've been wanting to try this shop
  • Menu plan
  • Costco
  • Grocery store
What about you? What are you up to today?

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Travel day schedule

 Ah, the time has come for my trip to Japan. What does my schedule look like? Thought I'd share for those who are curious.

  • Up at 5:30, so I have time for coffee, before I squeeze in a quick workout
  • 6-7, workout. This is mostly because I'll be sitting for the rest of the day, and it helps with jet lag
  • 7-8, shower, finish last minute packing
  • 8-9, Uber to the airport. SFO is not my preferred airport, but the only realistic option for international flights
  • 9-11, time at the airport. Because my trip requires a specialized visa, United requires me to arrive early & show them the visa, before I can even check in for my flight
The flight is then 11 hours. Once I arrive in Tokyo:

  • Clear customs (on a good, non-COVID day, this is ~1 hr process). I have no idea what to expect, with all of the new COVID requirements. I've done the "Fast Track" COVID process, but still planning for complications
  • Share a cab with a coworker to the hotel
  • I'll be arriving at the hotel around 4, local time
  • Check in, & go to the gym. Again, the gym is the least appealing option ever, when you're jet lagged. However, it helps kill time, & reduce the chances of falling asleep in your room, and really does help reset your body clock. Keep in mind, didn't sleep on the flight
  • Finish at the gym, shower, order room service
  • Typically try to be asleep by 8 pm, local time. 
  • Usually get about ~6 hours of sleep (jet lag) the first night. Up early for a full day at the office
It promises to be a LONG day! I will take a comp day, as my flight requires giving up an entire weekend day. Hope you all have a lovely day!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Saturday Happenings

I was originally supposed to leave for Monterey at 7 this morning, to take Nick to a soccer game, but M & I worked out a different plan last night. He's taking Nick to Monterey, and another friend is awesome, & driving Sam to Watsonville later this afternoon. Both of these places are an hour+ from our house. How we ended up with the two longest away games on the same day is a mystery. 

My work week ended up worse than I expected. My Monday meeting was awful, my Thursday meeting was a huge improvement, and better than I'd hoped. Then, I got some really terrible news about the team, and I have to deal with it next week in Tokyo. I'll also have a proactive conversation with my manager, because.... this is not sustainable, and to say I'm not enjoying work would be an understatement. My work stress really leveled off in the past few years, but now it feels like I'm making up for lost time. 

I was up late last night, trying to get the last of my COVID requirements approved. Finally, six hours after submitted, Japan accepted my COVID test. My coworkers all went through in a few minutes, so not sure why mine took so long, but it definitely made me worry. United has also accepted all of my documents, so I'm cleared for check in there. As much as I don't want to go on the trip, I've been through a tremendous amount of effort, so want to see it through. Add in the team stuff I have to deal with, and it's a must do at this point.

Since I'm not heading to Monterey, I added myself to the wait list of a workout class for this morning, and got in. I could use a hard workout. I snacked all evening long last night, while we waited for Nick to get back from tennis. It was not great. I need to be much more vigilant of not snacking before/after dinner.

On to today. Here's what's on the plan:

  • Workout class
  • Finish packing
  • Check in for flight
  • Sort out headphones that aren't working
  • Laundry/wash Nick's uniform, as he has a second game tomorrow
  • Help Nick with ref game signups (correlated to the family calendar)
  • Finalize list for M, while I'm gone
  • Make caprese salad
  • Work a bit in the garden
  • Download books for the flight
  • Research tennis options with Nick (he's graduated from his current lessons)
What about you? What are you up to today? 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Frugal Friday

Work was once again.... intense in a really emotional way. I'm so grateful we're seeing the end of this week. I have just one day of "weekend" this week, as I fly to Tokyo & need to be out the door at 8 am on Sunday. But, it's awfully hard to spend personal money on a business trip, so there's that?  

Saving on things we buy

  • I helped assemble & disassemble soccer goals (at 7:30 am on a Saturday, for the assembly), as the field we play at doesn't have goals. Volunteer hours earn me $100 off of our soccer registration. I need three total hours, to get $200 across both kids. I'm 1/2 way there. 
  • I used a $15 grocery store reward to pick up a few things we needed, and picked up the Friday Freebie, which was a cranberry/watermelon juice. We will use the juice for smoothies, which is one of the only consistent item the kids eat on days with many activities. No one wants a full stomach before a soccer game, or tennis match.
  • Treated the boys to "Too Good to Go" boba. I've been waiting to try it for weeks, and finally got an offer from the boba shop before they sold out. 

Earning money

  • Made $16.70 through Rakuten, and my quarterly "earnings" were transferred to Paypal
  • Sold a few things on eBay:
    • Makeup sample
    • Wallet
    • Pair of shorts
  • I'm getting a significant chunk of money back from my employer, due to a pay discrepancy. This is all I can share, and I'm frustrated with the overall system that led us to this place, but very happy to be getting some of the money. 

Avoiding spending

  • Avoided takeout on two different nights when I *really* wanted to throw in the towel. 

Eating what we have

  • Nick doesn't like takeout Chinese (?!), so I used the last scraps of our taco dinner to make him a taco quesadilla, which he loves. I love that it got rid of the last of the meat, shredded cheese, & quesadillas. 
  • In garden updates:
    • Picked the last of the lettuce
    • Made a triple batch of pickled jalapenos
    • Roasted all of the squash, pureed it, and froze it
    • Shredded & froze the zucchini that was lingering in the fridge
  • Made cranberry muffins, using the last of a bag of cranberries from the freezer. The recipe also called for a little orange juice. I didn't have any, so used some juice from my Friday Freebie (above) instead. 
  • Had Chinese food leftovers for 3 lunches
  • Defrosted a lunch sized chicken curry for an unexpected Wednesday at home meal (I'm usually in the office)
  • Pulled a container of tomato basil chicken out of the freezer for another dinner

For others

  • Helped a friend with rides, & caught up with one of my mentees
What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Workout Roundup


Work has been unpleasant. Luckily, I'm back to doing some challenging workouts, which helps to keep me a bit more balanced. However, my eating has been less than great. Too much sugar snacking, to offset the stress. 

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Tuesday - 1 mile on the treadmill + spin class
  • Wednesday - 20 minutes on the treadmill + spin class + lots of walking meetings
  • Thursday - 60 minutes on the elliptical
  • Friday - Orange Theory
  • Saturday - walked, & helped move soccer goals for an hour or so
  • Sunday - Orange Theory
Eating - too much sugar, when work is stressful.

Lowlights - I need to cut back on the snacking, & not turn to sweets when I'm irritated about work.

Highlights - I got in four hard workouts or the week, which I'm happy with. 

Focus for the week ahead - clean up my eating, reduce stress, & come up with a plan to stay on track while I'm traveling next week. 

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

Monday, August 22, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

Things have been wild, so I desperately need a menu plan, to bring some order into my life. Here's what we will be eating this week!

  • Friday - takeout Chinese (Sam's request)
  • Saturday - Philly Cheesesteaks (trying this recipe)
  • Sunday - grilled chicken & rice
  • Monday - bacon wrapped chicken & tomato paella (freezer)
  • Tuesday - leftover Philly Cheesesteaks
  • Wednesday - grilled chicken & rice
  • Thursday - any remaining leftovers, or chicken curry (freezer)
  • Friday - TBD
What about you? What's on your menu for the week?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sunday things

I'm not ready for it to be Sunday, because that means the weekend is half over! I'm absolutely dreading tomorrow, & the work week ahead. But, c'est la vie, the calendar isn't going to change its course for me. 

I was productive yesterday, and did lots of teen driving, and soccer game spectating. It was Nick's first soccer game in six months, and his first game with a new club. It also kicked off our 9th year of club soccer. Sam also had a game, and I had to help set up and dismantle the goals at both games, which involved a lot of lifting & moving, and took quite a chunk of time. I'm a little sore this morning. 

I also finally made progress with our garden items! 

  • Shredded and froze the giant zucchini sitting in the fridge
  • Picked and roasted all of the squash, pureed it & froze it for a future soup
  • Made a 4x batch of pickled jalapenos
This freed up a bunch of fridge space, and made me feel good, as I know I'm not letting things go to waste. I did toss a few jalapenos that were beyond saving, but otherwise, I was just in time.

M made cheesesteaks for dinner last night, as they are one of Nick's favorites. I'd never tried them before, but they were super delicious. Yum! They are very rich, and meat is pricey, so they will be on the special menu list, not daily list. But, we will make them again!

Now, for today:
  • Workout class with a friend this morning
  • Driving lesson for Sam
  • Hair cut for Nick
  • Wash all sheets
  • Laundry
  • Call my parents
  • Sort out schedule for the week
  • Finalize soccer carpool
  • Make a salad
  • Work in the garden
  • Make Japan packing list
What about you? What are you up to today?

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Saturday Happenings

It's been a real few weeks. Work has been terrible, and I haven't been sleeping. Anxiety dreams, grinding my teeth, and just laying in bed, thinking of work stuff. Gross. I need to be meditating before bed these days. 

I have a particularly hard week ahead (two meetings with senior leadership that promise to be terrible) & then I head to Tokyo on Sunday. Fingers crossed that all of the work I've put in (hours, and hours up on hours) to get the travel visa, and get all of the forms & apps required to travel to Japan actually work. Now that I've invested so much time, I just want to get it done.

I'm trying to remind myself to enjoy the weekend, despite the stress of the upcoming work week. Fingers crossed that I manage a bit of respite.

Here's what we're up to today:

  • Take Nick to an extremely early soccer game. His first game with the new club
  • Make a shopping list & menu plan
  • Grocery store
  • Take Sam to a late afternoon soccer game. Help put goals away after.
  • Work on Tokyo packing list, set up two remaining apps, & fill out various forms
  • Pickle jalapenos
  • Shred zucchini for the freezer
  • Work in the garden
  • Water plants
  • M is making cheesesteaks, I'll make salad to go with them
  • Take Sam driving. He needs to work on parking skills
  • Laundry
  • Produce stand
  • Work out
That's it from our side. What about you? What are you up to today? 

And, driving home last night, and a wild turkey just roaming across the road. ;-) 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Frugal Friday

It was an incredibly busy & stressful work week, but we had a few wins. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used a couple of store coupons for crackers (Nick's requested snacks) & Italian ices. The boys were thrilled ;-) 
  • Had to mail a package to my parents, and found a discounted shipping label option, which saved me $6. Postage is $$!

Earning money

  • Nick earned money working for his tennis coach, and also helping someone move. The boy is a hustler, and is always on the lookout for money making opportunities. 
  • Sold a makeup item & a pair of pants on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • Continued my quest to use up gift cards, and bought Sam lunch at Subway on a gift card, and used bonus rewards as well. 
  • Took advantage of: free workout classes, meals & car charging at the office

Eating what we have

  • We made a spaghetti & meatball dish, using lots of pantry & freezer items. It's always a hit, although I don't prefer it on warm days. The boys love it, so it was a winner.
  • M finished off the last of salmon, which is expensive, and doesn't last long. Glad none went to waste.
  • We continued to use garden items (peppers, tomatoes, etc)
  • A neighbor gave us a beautiful bag of Japanese eggplant, which we enjoyed

For others

  • Kept in touch with my mentee, who was relocated from Afghanistan. She was approved for her nursing class, which she is very excited about. It was quite a process, and not her initial plan (she was on track to be a doctor, but isn't able to, given the relocation). I'm thrilled for her that she's "unstuck" from the bureaucracy that she's been in for months. 
  • Helped a friend with a lot of driving, while her husband was traveling. 
What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Workout Roundup

It's taken a while to get over COVID, but I'm feeling like I'm mostly back on track. Here's how the week went.  

Workouts for the week

  • Monday - 90 minutes on the elliptical
  • Tuesday - 80 minutes on the elliptical
  • Wednesday - 20 minute walk + 60 minute spin class
  • Thursday - 70 minutes of elliptical + short walk
  • Friday - 60 minute Orange Theory class
  • Saturday - 70 minutes of elliptical
  • Sunday - 2 hours of elliptical

Eating - I was certainly more buttoned up than on my vacation, but there is more work to do to eliminate snacking. 

Lowlights - my workouts were less varied than usual, for two reasons. 1) my knee is bothering me a bit more and 2) it was an absolutely crazy wild week at work & with kid driving, so I took the easy options where possible. 

Highlights - still consistently working out & getting back from COVID, with my first spin & Orange Theory classes. 

Focus for the upcoming week - diversify more workouts more, and work on eliminate snacking. 

What about you? How was your week? 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Menu Plan Monday


  • Friday - we went out to eat, as shockingly we had a free Friday night. We tried a new Italian place in town
  • Saturday - M's grilled chicken + caprese salad
  • Sunday - tacos
  • Monday - tomato basil chicken (freezer) over pasta or spaghetti squash
  • Tuesday - leftover chicken & caprese salad
  • Wednesday - tacos
  • Thursday - leftover tomato basil chicken
  • Friday - TBD
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Frugal Friday - double edition

 I didn't post last week, as we were on vacation, & I'm late today, but here goes!

Saving on things we buy

  • Used two $.10 iBotta offers, with various receipts, & saved $2 off of oat milk (I use in my coffee) via iBotta. 

Earning money

  • I paused my eBay sales while I was gone, but Nick earned a bit of money working for his tennis coach. 

Avoiding spending

  • Talked my mom into a lunch at the house (vs going out) one of the days in Bend. We had a lovely lunch outside on the patio, & all agreed it was much more fun than going out. 
  • Packed snacks for the flight home
  • I got upgraded to 1st class (it's a short flight, so not many perks, although more leg room!) & had a free drink
  • We packed all of our stuff in carryons, and avoided any baggage charges. We stayed at a house with a washer & dryer, which was a huge help. 
  • Considered takeout on Saturday night, as we flew home & didn't really have much in the fridge. M went to Costco, and I made dinner out of a couple of frozen Trader Joes meals we'd put away for just such a day. I made a salad (mostly from Costco stuff, but also a few garden items) & we had dinner on the table pretty quickly, all things considered. 
  • Went to a free class at the work gym, and ate breakfast & lunch several times at the office

Eating what we have

  • I brought a giant shoe box full of garden tomatoes on our flight last week, and we used those for multiple meals. 
  • Made two dozen banana muffins, out of over ripe bananas in the freezer. 
  • Used many fresh tomatoes in a delicious paella dish
  • Used up garden jalapenos, basil & cilantro in a curry dish

For others

  • Continue to give away lots & lots of tomatoes to friends, family & neighbors
  • Took my nephew, sister & her BF out to dinner to celebrate my nephew's 20th birthday. I'm rarely in town on the big day, so it was nice to have a chance to celebrate in person. 
What about you? Any wins to share?

August Goals

 I'm late to the party, but here we go! Setting goals always gives me a bit more focus, than just assuming I'll remember what I'm hoping to accomplish for the month. ;-) 


  • Stick to our budget
  • Progress towards side hustle goals
  • Work with M on some budget management stuff we'd like to try out
  • Inventory gift cards
  • Continue to list items on eBay/FB, and go through all eBay inventory
  • Plan one fun activity with the kids
  • Sign Nick up for a permit appointment (two kids learning to drive at one time!)
  • Help Sam with driving practice, & sign him up for drivers test
  • Have two dates with M
  • Plan a call with M's family (or, send videos)
  • Adjust to back to school + sports schedule
  • Post weekly workout summaries
  • Stay healthy on international work trip
  • Beat July's calorie burned goals
  • Close rings 20 days
  • Take advantage of workout classes
  • Meditate 5x
  • Lose 2 lbs
  • Do something social with friends
  • Start advisory role
  • More thinking on "post career work" life/goals

Let's hope August is a better month than July! What about you? Are you setting goals for the month? 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

July Goals Recap

 July was the month of COVID, where not much played out as expected. Here's how I did with my goals & progress.


  • Stick to our budget - we were way over on eating out (meals out on vacation), but came in under our grocery bill, so modest wins. 
  • Progress towards side hustle goals - I've been good about using up our gift cards (used up a Panera, Subway & part of a Target gift card), & I sold a few things on eBay & made $136. 
  • List all of M's outgrown clothes on eBay. Go through & donate non-selling eBay items. - 90% of the way there. 


  • Plan one activity with the kids - lots of fun stuff: boba outings, rafting, biking, etc. 
  • Finalize plans for Bend - yes, and we had a great time!
  • Have two dates with M - we enjoyed our kid free long weekend & went on two dates
  • Plan a call with M's family (or, send videos) - sent videos. (M talks to his parents each week, but I'm typically the one who sends kid photos/videos). 
  • Start posting weekly workout/fitness summaries, to keep myself on track - Done! I'm enjoying the summaries. 
  • Beat June's calorie burned goals - definitely no. COVID did not serve me well, in the fitness department. I went from 17,127 to 12,516. 
  • Close rings daily - I broke my 249 day streak when I had COVID, sadly. 
  • Take advantage of workout classes - I missed most of July, due to various family members having COVID
  • Meditate 5x - I meditated 2x. 
  • Do something social with friends - I went on a hike with a friend, and spent lots of time with my sister, and also saw another friend at a party. 
  • Finish work volunteer commitment - done!
  • Complete half of training for advisory role - while I was stuck in bed with COVID, I actually finished this!
  • Read Biased for book club - not quite. 
That's it for me. July was "okay", given all of the health factors. Being sick really slows you down. What about you? How did you do in July? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Workout Roundup - double edition

Covering two weeks, as a I missed a post during my vacation 

Week 1 Workouts

  • Monday - 90 minute elliptical
  • Tuesday -  70 minute elliptical + short walk
  • Wednesday - 20 minute treadmill walk + 60 minute spin class 
  • Thursday - 1 hour walk/run
  • Friday - 45 minutes on the elliptical, before I was interrupted by a kid who needed a ride
  • Saturday - setting up a birthday party, prepping all of the food, etc. No workout
  • Sunday - clean up of the above, helping my mom. No workout.

Week 2 (vacation mode) Workouts

  • Monday - 2.5 mile walk + 90 minutes of kayaking
  • Tuesday -  90 minutes of walking, split into several chunks
  • Wednesday - 50 minute walk + 30 minute evening walk
  • Thursday - 45 minute walk
  • Friday - 30 minute walk
  • Saturday -  40 minute walk
  • Sunday - 60 minute Orange Theory class

Eating - my eating was all over the place, but well over my calorie goals while on vacation!

Lowlights - plenty of snacking, and general junky food/treats, while on vacation. 

Highlights - still reasonably consistent with workouts.

Focus for the week ahead - getting back on a healthy eating & working out trajectory. 

What about you? How are you doing with your workouts, or healthy eating?

Monday, August 8, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 We're back from vacation, and attempting to get back into the groove. The kids are full on in activities, and club sports, so there will be plenty of driving again.

  • Friday - we had a taco/nacho bar in Bend
  • Saturday - a quickly thrown together dinner, after getting back from the aiport
  • Sunday - grilled burgers + fresh tomato paella
  • Monday - coconut chicken curry 
  • Tuesday - leftover burgers
  • Wednesday - paella + grilled chicken
  • Thursday - leftover chicken curry
  • Friday - TBD, but potentially wings & gyozas
What about you? What's on your menu for the week?

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday Things

 We are back from a lovely family vacation. The boys & I flew to Portland on Friday night, after Sam completed his last day of work. He wrapped up earlier than expected, so we were able to change our flights & avoid being on the last flight out. That was a win! 

We celebrated my nephew's 20th birthday on Saturday, and I got to see my BFF & her daughters, as well as a bunch of other family members - many of whom I haven't seen in a few years, due to COVID. The party was a hit, despite the excessive heat (100+, which is beyond unusual for the area). 

My sister & I then spent a few days together, while my parents had the boys. She & I kayaked, went to lunch together, went on runs, and shopped/planned for our family vacation in Bend.

On Wednesday, we drove with my parents to Bend, to the house we rented. My nephew picked M up at the local airport, and we kicked off our annual summer vacation. The house was great! I feel like VRBO/AirBnB can be quite deceptive in the pictures, but this time, the house was really quite great, and super spacious.

Bend was cooler than my parents house, although still hot. There was also smoke a couple of days, from local wildfires. My dad & Nick did a ton of mountain biking. The other boys biked one day, and kayaked another day. We drove people around, went for walks, & had a lot of laughs. I really enjoy that part of the country & the warm summer days, & cool evenings. 

We flew home yesterday afternoon, and I cobbled together a dinner out of freezer items, while M ran to the store. I have quite a bit to do today, after being gone for just over a week. I also feel like I've gained 10 lbs, so I need to get the eating back into "normal" mode, and out of "vacation" mode.

Here's what's on the agenda today:

  • Meeting a friend for a workout class
  • Working in the garden
  • Pickling jalapenos
  • Making muffins
  • Planning my work schedule
  • Arranging soccer carpool
  • Sorting out the overall schedule, which incorporates work, soccer, Nick's camp logistics, M's schedule, etc
  • Catch up on bills & receipts
  • Make fresh tomato paella
  • Finish menu plan
  • Laundry
There's probably more, but those are the "must dos" for today. What about you? What are you up to today?

Friday, July 29, 2022

Frugal Friday

Nothing feels particularly frugal these days, but here are a few wins we've had lately.  

Saving on things we buy

  • This is more under a fun experiment bucket, but we tried the "Too Good to Go" food waste app, and picked up a mystery box at our local bakery. It was a full grocery shopping bag filled, for $5.99. Inside were a dozen+ doughnut holes, and three enormous loaves of bread. The loaves were probably double, or 2.5 as big as what you'd buy at the store. 
  • Picked up deli meat & cheese, to go with our bread & make sandwiches for lunch. We don't keep bread at the house regularly, so we don't keep sandwich fixings on hand. Used an iBotta rebate to earn $.10 back, and uploaded the receipts to Fetch. Used a gift card to pay for the out of pocket spending. 
  • M & I did some planning ahead to minimize travel costs for the to/from airport for our upcoming trip. It was quite a matrix of details, as we are leaving on different days & out of different airports, but we've got it worked out & will save quite a bit. 

Earning money

  • Sam worked over time 2x (after camp child care) to earn extra money, and Nick helped his tennis coach, earning money as well. 
  • I sold a few beauty products on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • Arranged carpools, and drove our electric car for our portion of the carpool. 

Eating what we have

  • Turned the giant loaf of bread (noted above) into a variety of sandwiches
  • Using up as many tomatoes as humanly possible, & we still have SO many! Too many tomatoes is a good problem to have, I suppose.
  • We finished the enormous loaf of bread, and Sam took sandwiches for lunch at work all week. 
  • Used old carrots in a curry, and had that for multiple dinners.
  • Kept on top of leftovers.

For others:

  • Gave a giant loaf of wheat bread to a friend, and another huge loaf of rye bread away via Buy Nothing. Both from the Too Good to Go app 
  • Helped a lost hiker, while on a run. She was heading in circles, so I'm glad she found me. 
  • Picked up some cloth napkins on Buy Nothing, that nicely supplemented our napkins. I asked the giver, and she was excited to receive garden tomatoes. Yeah for the sharing economy!
  • Traded another neighbor zucchini for lemons. We do have lemons, but never quite enough for our usage (M uses it as a salad dressing, and has salad 1-2x/day). This was a great trade, as we won't eat the zucchini before we head to Bend. 
That's it for us. What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Workout Roundup

I'm still working on getting my energy back, so my workouts were much more mellow than usual (dialed back time & intensity).  

Workouts for the week

  • Monday - 1 hour elliptical
  • Tuesday - 1 hour elliptical + short walk
  • Wednesday - 1 hour elliptical + 2.5 mile walk
  • Thursday - 1 hour elliptical + short walk
  • Friday - 1 hour elliptical + short walk
  • Saturday - 4.5 mile walk. I tried to run a bit, but it was mostly a walk
  • Sunday - 90 minute elliptical + short walk


My eating has really been quite so so. It's a common challenge for me. When I'm not feeling well, I crave easy carbs (bread, sugar, & the like). 


Definitely not having my energy back entirely.


I'm feeling much better this week than last week, which feels like a step in the right direction!

Things I want to focus on this week

Mix up my workouts a bit, and continue to improve my eating. Get plenty of rest. 

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

Monday, July 25, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 Another week, another menu plan! I'm in a bit of a cooking rut, so let's see if I can force my way out of it. ;) 

  • Friday - gyozos & wings
  • Saturday - adults out to dinner, kids = pizza 
  • Sunday - chicken curry & rice
  • Monday - chicken fajitas
  • Tuesday - leftover curry & rice
  • Wednesday - leftover fajitas
  • Thursday - clean out the fridge, or enchiladas
  • Friday - traveling 
What about you? What's on your menu this week? 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Saturday Happenings

 It's pretty quiet today, and I'm enjoying the leisurely morning. I slept in past 7, which is just about unheard of for me! Sam worked a couple of after care shifts at camp this week, so he's been tired & also enjoying sleeping in.

M & I are planning on a date this afternoon, which I'm looking forward to. 

Here's what I'm up to today:

  • Laundry
  • Work out
  • Sort out a doctor's appointment for Nick (he's got some ongoing back pain, triggered by tennis & scoliosis). 
  • Date with M
  • Menu for the week
  • Costco
  • Pick up Too Good to Go order from a bakery (first time trying it)
What about you? What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, July 22, 2022

Frugal Friday

It was a pretty quiet week, as I was recovering from being sick for part of the time. M & the boys helped me out with some of these. 

Saving on things we buy

  • M had a great grocery store stop (copious instructions were provided!) It was double points day, as well as Freebie Friday. The freebie was my favorite (expensive) protein bar. I also had two coupons for free items (avocado & a dozen eggs) if you spent $10 in a transaction. I needed oat milk for my coffee, and I've been going through it more regularly, as Nick now likes it in smoothies. We also picked up two packages of Tillamook cheese, which were on sale. He used a gift card for the remaining out of pocket, & I uploaded the receipt to Fetch when he got home.

Earning money

  • Continued to list a few things on eBay, and sold a jacket & a makeup product.
  • Not for me, but Nick has finally paid off his very expensive mountain bike! We made a deal last summer, that if he left his bike at my parents (where he does the majority of his biking), he would need to earn enough to pay for a bike here at our house. It's taken just under a year, but he's done it. He's earned the money through a few side jobs (reffing in the fall & spring + helping his tennis coach out), as well as applying all of his birthday & Christmas money to it. It's nice to have him understand the value of hard work. And, now I can erase the long tracker, showing him how much he still owes me. ;-) 

Avoiding spending

  • Serendipitously, a neighbor posted free, new teen shorts on Buy Nothing. I'd just bought some of the same kind for Sam, so I was able to return those, and instead the free ones fit him perfectly. What a lovely gift from a neighbor!
  • Additionally, I've been looking for a solution for Nick's closet organization, and a neighbor offered up furniture that was pretty much an exact match to our existing furniture. We haven't figured out how to reshuffle the furniture across the boys room, but really excited to have some additional pieces to leverage. 

Eating what we have

  • Used garden strawberries & an overripe banana in a smoothie 
  • Ate leftover Chinese takeout for several lunches & a dinner. I added some leftover rice to egg drop soup, to give it some more heft, and it was delicious. The soup was the gift that kept giving, as it sounded good, even when nothing else did. 
  • Continued to use up lots of garden items: cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, lemons, etc.
  • Used the rest of the lettuce (from lettuce wraps, as part of the Chinese takeout) in a salad
  • I'd made tomato sauce out of a giant bag of tomatoes picked up for $1 at the produce stand, & stuck it in the freezer. Took that out for an easy dinner this week, and added meatballs & pasta/soy pasta.
  • Ate a chicken curry dish (leftover from a dinner one night, that I then froze) for lunch one day. 
  • Made tacos for dinner last night, using up taco meat from the freezer 

For others

  • Finished my leadership course! Having COVID was no fun, but it did actually force me to rest & be in bed/on the sofa, which gave me a lot of free time to finish my class. I can now 1) apply for reimbursement for the course, and 2) start serving as an advisor for the university
  • Gave away a bunch on Buy Nothing
What about you? Any wins to share for the week?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Workout Roundup

This is the week that I got COVID, so things look a little different, to say the least. 

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - 95 minute elliptical workout
  • Tuesday - I had a high fever, so I didn't work out, breaking my 249 day streak! I was pretty sad about it, but always best to listen to your body. 
  • Wednesday - same at Tuesday, but add in a cough
  • Thursday - went for an incredibly slow 25 minute walk to the mailbox. 
  • Friday - 20 minute elliptical, at a very low pace, which I regretted
  • Saturday - walk around the block
  • Sunday - 3.5 mile slow walk

My eating was all over the place, and under my goal calories. I had lots of popsicles & Gatorade. Smoothies, soup, etc. The first day I started the Paxlovid, it bothered my stomach, so I ate a lot of crackers throughout the day. Altogether, eating was a wash & I'm not worried about it. 

The obvious - getting COVID & being sick.

I feel lucky that I'm still healthy, and so far *fingers crossed*, COVID hasn't triggered a lupus flare. I'm also feeling like I've turned the corner & am getting better, which I'm very grateful for. 

Things I want to focus on this week:
Getting my energy back, plenty of rest, etc. 

How about you? How are you doing with your fitness goals?

Monday, July 18, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 I'm trying to keep things easy this week, as my energy level is pretty low. Here's what's on the menu for the week. 

  • Friday - takeout leftovers
  • Saturday - burgers & caprese salad
  • Sunday -  beef skewers & grilled zucchini
  • Monday - burgers & Greek salad
  • Tuesday - tacos
  • Wednesday - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Thursday - tacos
  • Friday - TBD, or wings & gyozos
What's on your menu this week? Any recipes to share? 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Saturday Happenings

I'm now on Paxlovid, to try & keep my symptoms from progressing, so fingers crossed that works. It will be a quiet weekend for me, for obvious reasons. Any errands noted below will be run by others. ;-) 

  1. Menu plan
  2. Shopping list for Costco/produce stand
  3. Garden
  4. Finish LAST module of leadership course. The bright side of taking time off of work & laying around all week is that I made a ton of progress on my leadership course, and I'm on the last unit. Once I've completed it, I can begin my role as an advisor for the university program.
  5. Stretch. I'm tight from all of that time resting - my body is quite confused.
  6. Find an option to organize Nick's closet. I've posted on Buy Nothing, but if I come up empty there, may look online for something at Target or Amazon.
  7. Work on plan for Bend trip
  8. Review schedule for the week
  9. Read by the pool
What are you up to this weekend? Hopefully you are having a more exciting time than me! 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Frugal Friday

Now, I have COVID, so I'm staying home & trying to rest. Some of these things were done before I was sick. 

Saving on things we buy

  • I used some rewards to offset the cost of an item for Sam, and added in an inexpensive shirt, to qualify for free shipping. The shirt itself was "free" vs paying for shipping. 
  • Converted $37 of loose change into an Amazon gift card. Change was found while cleaning out the boys room. They both owed me a bit of money, so this offset that, much to their delight, since I did most of the work ;-) 
  • Used an iBotta offer for popsicles, when I wasn't feeling well
  • Used a grocery store gift card to pick up a few things we needed here & there

Earning money

  • Continued listing things on eBay, & sold two makeup sample bags & one of M's shirts
  • Finally had enough points in Fetch to redeem for a $10 Amazon gift card, so now have that added to my account

Avoiding spending

  • Picked up the Friday Freebie (a 1.5 liter of sparkling water) at the grocery store
  • Used flight credit to buy flights for my parents in October (they are coming to watch the kids while we are on a trip for our anniversary)
  • Used a gift card to have lunch delivered on Tuesday, when I had a high fever. It was a splurge that I very much appreciated. The soup totally hit the spot.
  • Also used a gift card for M to pick up dinner one night, when I couldn't cook. It's a double win, because I'm also trying to work through the gift card stash, & we have lots of leftovers.   

Eating what we have

  • Ate leftovers for lunch (the chicken curry rice dish was so fabulous as leftovers)
  • Made grilled zucchini out of garden zucchini
  • Used applesauce (from the freezer, since last fall) to replace a missing ingredient in muffins. That muffin recipe also used up 1/2 a bag of frozen cranberries.
  • Ate a burger that had been in the freezer for quite some time. 
  • Lots of garden items, still being used: lemons, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, basil, mint, etc. 
For others

  • Invested a lot of time in my leadership course. Once that's complete, I can serve on a non-profit advisory board for a university. On the positive side, I was able to use some of my sick days to listen to some of the content, and I made really good progress. 
  • Gave away a bunch of stuff on Buy Nothing (8 bags of things on the porch!)
What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Workout Roundup

 It's been useful for me to have a place to reflect on my fitness, so I'll keep this going for the time being. 

Workouts for the week

  • Monday - 2 hour hike with M
  • Tuesday - 2 hour hike, while the power was out. I tried a new trail, and it was hilly!
  • Wednesday - 20 minute walk on the treadmill + hour spin class
  • Thursday - 100 minutes of elliptical
  • Friday - 1.5 mile run, 45 minute walk, 1 hour of yoga
  • Saturday - 60 minute Orange Theory class (treadmill, rower, & strength combo)
  • Sunday - 95 minute elliptical (while I listened to TED talks required for leadership course. Multitasking!)
My eating is never "perfect", nor is it my goal to make it so, but overall it went pretty well. I've definitely cut out the evening snacking, which is my biggest problem. I can trim up a bit more here & there, but progress was made, & my eating is both healthier & I'm keeping my calories in check. It helped to have the baked oatmeal option available, as by the time I'd finished working out most days, I was starving. 

Nothing really stands out, which I suppose is a good sign. 

Last week, my focus was to run more, & get back to balanced eating. I did a pretty good job of both of those. 

Things I want to focus on next week:
Continue to work on balanced workouts (more stretching) & intuitive eating. I can still do a better job with getting in enough fruit & vegetables.

How about you? How are you doing with your fitness goals? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Zucchini recipe

For those of you with an abundance of zucchini, I highly recommend this recipe for grilled zucchini. It was delicious & easy. 

Any other zucchini recipes you'd recommend?

Monday, July 11, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

We're largely back in action, with Nick at a sleepaway camp & the rest of us back in the swing of things & all working, with Sam starting up club soccer again. As a result, the menu reflects our schedule(s).

  • Friday - grilled chicken sausages + grilled zucchini
  • Saturday - grilled chicken, with watermelon/feta/blueberry salad
  • Sunday - burgers + caprese salad
  • Monday - orange chicken + rice
  • Tuesday - leftover grilled chicken + caprese
  • Wednesday - burgers + grilled zucchini
  • Thursday - leftover orange chicken + rice
  • Friday - TBD. Maybe pizza, or whatever Nick requests, as we're picking him up at camp. 
What about you? What's on your menu for the week? Any good recipes to share? I included links in other posts, but I've tried a few recipes I really liked lately:

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Sunday things

I accomplished almost everything on my to do list yesterday, so I'll consider that a win. Sam is thrilled to be out of quarantine, and we went to boba last night to celebrate. I don't mind taking the boys for an occasional boba splurge, because it's not remotely tempting to me, and it means I'm not indulging in treats. ;-) 

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

  • Work out. I'm thinking of using the elliptical, while watching some of the lessons from the training I'm taking. Multitasking at its finest.
  • Garden
  • Help Nick with last minute packing
  • Take Nick to camp drop off
  • Read book club book
  • Laundry
  • List a few things on eBay
  • Find some more items for Buy Nothing. I'm on a decluttering roll
  • Get out a ladder, and drag out one of my family members (all of them are taller them me by 3+ inches) to pick some lemons at the top of the tree. 
  • Sit by the pool (in the shade) with my book. It's going to be 88 today. 
Decide what to do with all of the spearmint. We have a ton of mint, and I've been drying that, for a recipe M uses a lot. I may use it to make iced tea, which sounds delicious. 

What about you? What are you up to today? 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Saturday Happenings

Here's what's happening in our house today. It looks like it's going to be about 80, which is the perfect temperature for reading by the pool (in the shade) & potentially enjoying a cocktail. :-) 

Other items needing doing:

  • M to cut the boys hair
  • Make a menu plan & shopping list
  • Potentially go to the produce stand. I'm a sucker for their $1 bags, which means I often come home with unexpectedly large quantities of things.
  • Costco
  • Go to a workout class this morning
  • Laundry
  • Finish helping Nick pack for camp
  • Make muffins
  • Pick & dry more herbs
  • Work in the garden
  • Read more of my book club book
That's it from my side. What about you? What are you up to today? 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Frugal Friday

It was a week! It doesn't feel particularly frugal, as M drove to pick up Sam when he had COVID, & gas prices are $$$. The rest of the week was all about the garden, & using things up. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Did another grocery store offer, buying a travel gift card, & earning a $60 grocery store gift card
  • Bought a $1 bag of tomatoes from the produce stand. It weighed just over 5 lbs. We have quite a few tomatoes, but I wanted to make a triple batch of pico de gallo
  • I booked M a night in Medford, so he could stop & sleep during the drive to pick up Sam. I was able to use some reward points to cut off about 1/2 of the stay. 
  • Took advantage of a 1/2 off drink coupon at Starbucks, and indulged in an iced tea/lemonade combo. We had no power, & I was trying to avoid being in the fridge. This was a nice treat. 

Earning money

  • Sold three of M's outgrown shirts on eBay, as well as a hat
  • Listed a few new items on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • Returned a few things we bought, that didn't work out
  • Discovered I had everything on hand to make the watermelon, blueberry, feta salad for the 4th of July. 
  • Picked up a few groceries from a neighbor who is moving, and can't bring the items with her
  • Used a gift card to pick up Subway for Sam (his choice) when we had no power on Tuesday. He was thrilled. The foot long came with a free 6" sandwich, so that was also my lunch. 
  • Picked up a free container of hummus through a Fetch offer
  • Took advantage of a free spinning class through work

Eating what we have

  • We were able to use up lots of garden items this week:
    • Juiced lemons, which we will use in salad dressing
    • Used parsley & oregano to make a chimichurri sauce
    • Fresh tomatoes & basil for a caprese salad
    • Lettuce, peppers & tomatoes for salads
    • Made a giant batch of pico de gallo, using up cilanatro, tomatoes & jalapenos
    • Strawberries on the 4th of July cake
    • Mint in the watermelon salad
    • Peppers in the macaroni salad
    • Jalapeno, cilantro & basil into a coconut curry dish, which is one of my favorite easy dinners I've made in years! Highly recommend
  • Used up some really old celery in my macaroni salad
  • Turned the tomatoes (above) into a triple batch of pico de gallo, as well as two batches of tomato sauce
  • Used leftover jams from the 4th of July cake in baked oatmeal, to have on hand for easy breakfasts. This baked oatmeal recipe was fantastic. 

For others

  • Gave away a bunch of additional items on Buy Nothing. It always makes me happy to get stuff out of our house, and into the hands of people who want them! Bags & bags on my porch, for others to pick up & enjoy!
  • Continuing to work on a leadership course, which will then enable me to serve in a non-profit advisory role for a university. 
What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Goals for July

 This will be a month of Sam working, and Nick attending summer camps! Hoping to enjoy this lovely summer month, while still being productive. I'm streamlining a bit this month, to hopefully knock a few more of these off of the list. 


  • Stick to our budget
  • Progress towards side hustle goals
  • List all of M's outgrown clothes on eBay. Go through & donate non-selling eBay items
  • Plan one activity with the kids
  • Finalize plans for Bend
  • Have two dates with M
  • Plan a call with M's family (or, send videos)
  • Start posting weekly workout/fitness summaries, to keep myself on track
  • Beat June's calorie burned goals
  • Close rings daily
  • Take advantage of workout classes
  • Meditate 5x


  • Do something social with friends
  • Finish work volunteer commitment
  • Complete half of training for advisory role
  • Read Biased for book club
What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish in July?

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Workout Roundup

 I'm experimenting with a new type of post, that's more fitness related. Mostly for my own purposes, but maybe it will be helpful for others as well. I'll probably tweak the format here & there, but here goes. I get into a real rut with my workouts, so this helps

Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Tuesday - 90 minutes of elliptical + 60 minute yoga class
  • Wednesday - 20 minutes on the treadmill + 60 minute spin class
  • Thursday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Friday - 5 mile run. My first run in a long time. The consistency of my other workouts must be paying off, because it was a really great run, and much longer than I'd normally be able to go, on a first run out. 
  • Saturday - 60 minute Orange Theory class (combination of strength, rowing & running)
  • Sunday - 100 minutes of elliptical 


I don't do well coming back from vacation. I'm usually in a bit of a funk, & eat like I'm still on vacation for at least 1-2 days. I used to also not work out, but I've broken that bad habit. I did, however, eat ice cream & had some brownies & other junk. My body doesn't appreciate it, and my clothes feel tight, particularly after a week of vacation eating.


  • Snacking in the evening
  • Not as many vegetables/fruit as I would like


  • My 5 mile run
  • A decent mix of workouts, throughout the week
  • Hitting my workout goals (cardio minutes, calories burned, & standing) all week

Things I want to focus on next week

I want to run more, and get back to balanced eating. 

And, for my June summary, I had 62 workouts (some are just short walks), for a total of 56 hours of working out, burning 17,127 calories. 

What about you? Any health or fitness goals you want to share, or are working on?

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

June Goals Recap

 June flew by, with a lot of fun. My sister & I took my mom to Hawaii for an early 70th birthday celebration, & M & I did two mini trips. Nick & Sam wrapped up school, Sam started his job, and Nick enjoyed tennis camp. Then the kids headed to my parents for "Papa camp" + Disneyland, and more fun was had. It's been quiet at our house, & we've missed them!

Here's how I did with our goals for the month.


  • Stick to our budget - we're well over in some categories, such as "Boys", and food. For the boys category, we weren't expecting to need many summer camps this year, but Nick requested to attend tennis camps. The ones geared for his age group are pretty expensive. Food, well, it's expensive. 
  • Have a great time in Hawaii, while sticking to a reasonable budget - we did well here. It was a great trip, and we made smart tradeoffs on where to spend our money. 
  • Finalize long term budget/FIRE plan - My plan is to basically save as much money as possible by March of 2023, & see where that gets me. The biggest factor is our stock price, which is a huge part of my overall compensation. 
  • Progress toward $1500 side hustle goal, gift card & Fetch/iBotta goals - I didn't make any progress on my side hustle goals this month. 
  • List or donate remaining eBay inventory - actually, I added a few things, but need to go through & pull everything that doesn't appear like it will sell, and donate it. 

  • Plan one fun activity with the kids - we went out for boba a couple times, as well as did a family dinner & a bowling day
  • Manager summer schedule - there were a lot of moving parts, but we made it happen!
  • Have two dates with M - we crushed this one, with two weekend getaways, and a bunch of impromptu dates while the kids were gone
  • Have a call with M's family - we filled in with videos instead. 


  • Decide on some updates to my eating habits. Move away from calorie counting, and go with something easier to manage. Focus on eating well, and dropping a few pounds. - I struggled with balancing my eating in June, & have more work to do here. 
  • Close rings daily - yes
  • Lose 4 lbs - definitely no
  • Sign up for new fitness classes - yes, and I'm enjoying the mix of workouts!
  • 4 strength & 4 stretching workouts - I got in 56 hours of working out in June, & burned 17,127 calories! I'm feeling excited by the tracking, & want to push myself in July. 
  • Meditate 5x - No, & I'd like to get back into this


  • Do something social with friends - I worked out a few times with friends
  • Finish volunteer commitment for girls in tech org - done
  • Continue working on post work plan & options - I agreed to serve on a college advisory board, and am taking an executive leadership class as part of that. Looking forward to trying that out!
  • Some sort of personal writing - I'm not feeling this right now, and will likely drop it, moving forward. Maybe I'll be re-motivated at another point? 
That's it from my side. How did you all do on your June goals? Any progress to share?