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?