Monday, October 31, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 It's catch up time, as we get back to real life around here. :-) 

  • Friday - I made Trader Joes orange chicken & fried rice. Very easy effort.
  • Saturday - dinner out with my parents, as a thank you for staying with the kids last week. 
  • Sunday - chicken dumplings
  • Monday - tacos
  • Tuesday - chicken & rice
  • Wednesday - I have a work dinner, so M & the boys will have leftovers
  • Thursday - the boys have soccer tryouts at school, so likely leftovers again
  • Friday - TBD
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Vacation daydreaming, & Sunday things

 I dropped my parents off at the airport this morning, and then took Sam for brunch. He is a lovely companion, and chatted with me about all manner of things. I love this age. Nick & M are in Las Vegas for a soccer tournament, so I'll be back to the airport this evening, to pick them up. Nick has been absolutely spoiled by M, who used a bunch of his comps to arrange fun meals for the two of them. They've been living it up. So happy they are having a great time.

Tomorrow is back to reality, and I'm having a hard time being motivated today. I have no energy, so I'm just sort of rolling with it. Tomorrow will come soon enough, regardless! I did wash the sheets, do a bunch of laundry & I have chicken & dumplings going in the crock pot. Yum.

I'm also dreaming of Hawaii... the hotel had these amazing covered pool chairs, which I appreciated every day. I don't like being directly in the sun, so these were perfect. M & I had the long conversations, talked about the future, and just laughed & enjoyed each other. Those moments are so rare during our normal lives, that they were really special.

Everyone has wild weeks next week. M has a friend in town, my manager is in town (which means lots of evenings & team dinners), the boys have club practice & school tryouts, & then Sam takes the SATs this weekend. And, weekend soccer, of course. :-) It's really back to real life!

Here's hoping you all get a few moments today, to relax & think about something lovely ahead. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Saturday Happenings

 We are back from vacation, and in fact, M is in Las Vegas with Nick, at a soccer tournament. I'm home with Sam, and my parents are here until tomorrow. Hawaii was absolutely amazing. Full of relaxing, lots of fun, & just time to catch up together. 

I need to get organized for the week ahead, and have plenty on the to do list today, although no soccer on my side. 

To Dos:

  • Workout class
  • Costco
  • Trader Joes
  • Work schedule for the week
  • Soccer schedule + carpool
  • Garden
  • Water plants
  • Menu plan
  • Complete a return
  • Laundry, although my mom is the queen of the laundry, so she is likely to help. 
  • Take my parents to dinner, as a thank you for their help during the week
View in the morning, while drinking coffee.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Frugal Friday

We added a teen driver to our car insurance this week, and that was the opposite of frugal in every way! 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used a $5 grocery store offer, and picked up a Friday Freebie (trail mix), that Sam will enjoy. 
  • Uploaded receipts to Fetch & iBotta, and picked up oat milk for $3, using an iBotta $2 rebate, bringing the price down to a very reasonable $1. Also used a $.10 iBotta offer. 

Earning money

  • I sold my running watch on eBay (I can use my every day watch, as it does a fine job on outside runs, although is not the best for indoor/treadmill runs). 

Avoiding spending

  • I was starving after a workout class, and thought about buying lunch out, but skipped it & went home & made myself a breakfast burrito. 
  • I filled out a few forms, to try & get a status match on our preferred airline. I have status on United, from work travel, but rarely fly them for personal travel. I was pretty surprised the match went through. This is great news, as we get additional bags for free (useful for taking our ski gear, etc), I'm automatically on the waiting list for upgrades to premium economy or first class, and there are a few other perks. I was able to move our seats for our Hawaii flight to premium economy, which means we can have free drinks, and potentially a snack. It's the small stuff. :-) 

Eating what we have

  • I saved a bagged salad, that had been pushed aside in the fridge, and made myself a chicken salad for lunch on the day above. 
  • Used up the last of coconut shrimp, I found buried in the freezer
  • I also took the opportunity to use a can of green beans, which Sam loves, but we rarely eat
  • Made dinner for Sam & M, using bacon wrapped chicken I found in the back of the freezer. Nick had the rest of the taco meat. I had some leftover chicken. Everyone got fed, and no food waste. I love a dinner like that!
  • Used rice noodles that had been sitting in our pantry for a long time! Made a beef stir fry, which had the bonus of also using up some very old carrots that needed to go. 
  • Made a double batch of banana bread, using overly ripe bananas from the counter & freezer. We will take one loaf to Hawaii (M loves muffins/bread in the am, and it's his only carb for the day.) I'll leave the other loaf for my parents. 
  • Defrosted the last of my prepped soup & the end of a loaf of bread, for a quick lunch this week. With the weather getting cooler, I'll have to make more soup for the freezer. I love it, but I'm the only one who really eats it, so I typically make a big batch, and freeze it for lunches.
  • Made chicken curry, using the rest of the elderly carrots. Made enough for two dinners (x3 diners), froze the other half, plus two lunch sized servings.
  • While we were having curry, Nick ate the remaining hot dogs from the freezer. He's not much of a curry fan. 

For others

  • The boys & I helped our neighbor with a leaky sprinkler. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Workout Wednesday


Workouts for the week:

  • Monday - Orange Theory
  • Tuesday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Wednesday - Orange Theory
  • Thursday - Spin class, plus a mile on the treadmill
  • Friday - Orange Theory
  • Saturday - 90 minutes on the elliptical, plus a mile walk
  • Sunday - Orange Theory
Eating - making mostly good choices. 

Lowlights - had an after dinner snack several times this week. The calories add up, and I prefer to brush my teeth after dinner, and start fasting until mid morning the next day. 

Highlights - lots of great workouts, and ate okay most days. 

Focus for the week ahead - we'll largely be on vacation for the week, so I'll be focused on making smart choices, working out, but also getting lots of sleep & just generally enjoying myself.

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

Monday, October 17, 2022

Menu Plan Monday


  • Friday - Nick ate at the football game. Sam & M had bacon wrapped chicken & green beans, and I had a taco salad
  • Saturday - stir fry beef noodles
  • Sunday - chicken curry & rice
  • Monday - leftover stir fry beef noodles
  • Tuesday - leftover chicken curry & rice
  • Wednesday - My parents are flying in, so M will grill for us. Burgers & potatoes
  • Thursday -  chicken fajitas, chips & guacamole
  • Friday - M & I are heading to Hawaii, so my parents will be feeding the boys.

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

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sunday things

Yesterday was a really nice day. It was also unusual, as we didn't have any soccer games to attend. I'd planned on taking Sam to his game, which is about a 3.5 hour commitment. But, due to the PSATs, and a variety of kids being unavailable, they switched up a few rosters, and Sam needed to be in the city for a game. I sent him with a friend (her son plays on the team Sam was subbing for), so I could pick Nick up at the PSATs. Nick didn't have a game, because of the PSATs.

Nick did manage to complete his tennis volunteering (he teaches tennis to young kids), & squeezed in a tennis game with a friend. Plus, completed his concussion protocol, which is required for him to try out for school soccer. That was on the list forever, so glad to mark that off. He reports that the math portion of the PSATs was "easy" for him, but the verbal section was quite difficult. He is my child who is not a reader, which I can't wrap my head around. Reading is my absolute favorite hobby, and I can't imagine my life without it. Sam, on the other hand, loves reading. We'll see how he did, once the scores come in.

On to today:

  • Wake Nick up for a reffing game. I think Sam will be able to drive him.
  • Go to a workout class. 
  • Make chicken curry for dinner
  • Pack everything but my "last minute" items for Hawaii. Since I don't typically wear the clothes I'll wear in Hawaii, most things can be packed early.
  • Do a homework check with both boys. They have tomorrow off from school, so it's always useful to understand what they should be working on, in advance.
  • Speaking of reading, clean up my Kindle, and download lots of new books for our trip. (I have Kindle Unlimited, which has proven to be a huge win for me. I'd normally recommend the library, but our local library has very few books - digital or otherwise, & I read 5ish books/week & just couldn't find enough content.)
  •  Laundry, clean up the raised bed, pick up the house, water the plants & all of the normal chores.
What about you? How are you spending your Sunday?

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Saturday Happenings

How is it already Saturday? All I know is that I'm dreaming about our vacation. M & I leave on Friday for Hawaii, and I'm *very* excited. We reviewed our plan last night, and made a few small tweaks. I'm really easy going on a vacation. I like to work out in the morning (bonus points, if it's a new work out I haven't tried before, or in a new location), chill by the pool/beach in the afternoon, and then have dinner. 

My parents arrive on Wednesday, so I need to get a few things prepped for that, as well.

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

  • Pick up Nick from the PSATs
  • Get Sam up, ready & breakfasted before my friend shows up to take him to a game in the city
  • Make two loaves of banana bread (one for Hawaii, one for my parents when they are here)
  • Go to Costco, the store & the produce stand. (M will likely cover Costco)
  • Work out
  • Start packing & work on my packing list
  • Make a menu for the week
  • Sort out our soccer carpool for the week
  • Sign everyone up for the turkey trot
  • Sort out rental car
  • Laundry (always)
  • Make dinner. I think I'm making stir fried beef noodles tonight. 
What about you? What are you up to today?

Friday, October 14, 2022

Frugal Friday

 The weekend was not terribly frugal, but was so, so much fun! I'm grateful for the unexpected family time. Here are a few frugal wins we managed. 

Saving on things we buy

  • I earned a few free classes, by taking advantage of a promotion at Orange Theory (workout studio)
  • I also submitted my volunteer hours for the boys soccer club, earning me $100 off of each of their registration fees.

Earning money

  • Listed a few things on eBay, and sold a skirt. 

Avoiding spending

  • Took advantage of a free flu shot at work, in addition to: workout classes, food/drinks, & electric car charging. 
  • Canceled Amazon prime
  • Sam passed his driver's test on the first try, which saves us money. (Taking it again costs money, but the first round is free/covered by the permit fees.) 

Eating what we have

  • I had leftover chicken for lunch one day, and finished off a bagged salad that was about to go bad. Chicken salad is one of my favorite quick lunch options.
  • M made rice to accompany dinner one night, and we pulled out chicken from the freezer, for a quick & easy option. 

For others

  • I submitted my volunteer hours for the soccer club to my employer. They donate money for each hour I volunteer, as a match. 
What about you? Any wins to share?

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Workout Wednesday

 I decided to do a last minute race with sister, friend & mom. My sister, BFF, & her daughter did a half marathon. My mom & I did the 10k. It was nice, as the first 4 miles or so of the run are together, so we ran that together, and then my mom & I split off for the 10k. Huge props to my mom, who we invited on Friday for a race on Sunday. She's a very consistent jogger, and finished with zero problems. The rest of our group also did really well, with my BFF's daughter finishing her first ever half. It was great to cheer her on. 

I'm inspired by Tamara, and her 60th birthday half last weekend, but I'm not sure if another half is in the cards. I love the mix of workouts I currently have going. 

Workouts for the week

  • Monday - 90 minutes on the elliptical
  • Tuesday - 1 mile walk + 45 minute spin class
  • Wednesday - 1 mile run + hour spin class
  • Thursday - 2 mile walk + body pump class + 30 minutes on the elliptical
  • Friday - Orange Theory class
  • Saturday -  an hour walk
  • Sunday - 10k race

Eating - my appetite was miraculously reduced, which made eating better easier. I wish it was this easy every week!

Lowlights - had an unsatisfying lunch one day, and followed it up with a handful of candy. Yeah, not the best option. 

Highlights - generally ate well, made good choices, & wasn't super hungry. 

Focus for the week ahead - continue tracking my calories, which works well for me. 

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

Monday, October 10, 2022

Menu Plan Monday


It's going to be another wild menu, as we have a lot of activities during the week, and I'm out of town on the weekend.

  • Friday - Everyone is pretty much on their own. Nick at the homecoming game, I had dinner with my family in Portland. Michael & Sam had a boys dinner.
  • Saturday - burgers
  • Sunday - grilled chicken & rice
  • Monday - leftover burgers
  • Tuesday - orange chicken & fried rice (Trader Joes). It's a wild day, with lots of driving & priorities. 
  • Wednesday - tacos
  • Thursday - grilled chicken & rice
  • Friday - TBD
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Friday, October 7, 2022

Frugal Friday

In decidedly unfrugal news, M surprised me, by arranging a flight, so I could join my sister & BFF this weekend, as they were together. They are doing a half marathon. I haven't trained *at all*, so I'm planning to do a 10k& hope for the best. We did have flight credits, but woohee, flights are super pricey. Our anniversary is in a few weeks, and he knows me well - experiences are definitely my preferred gift! 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used $4 in coupons for Safeway, off of 4 items. The app had the offer, and I've successfully used it before, but it didn't work this time. The cashier was very friendly & made it work. 
  • Picked up Panera after Nick's tennis tournament. Used the last of a few small gift cards, and an offer for a free loaf of bread. The boys love the Panera baguettes, and polished it off in no time. 

Earning money

  • Listed a few items on eBay & sold another of M's outgrown jackets. 
  • Drove Nick to reffing, so he could earn money. Or, rather, I sat in the car & supervised, while he drove, as he has his learner's permit. 

Avoiding spending

  • Rather than buying flavored sparkling water (the kids drink it really quickly), I've been using the bubly sparkling water drops in my water bottle. They are intended for a Soda Stream, but the teens don't use the Soda Stream much. This gives me a nice change from plain water, and is zero cost (we already have the flavors on hand, and a little goes a long way).

Eating what we have

  • I used leftover chicken from Nick's dinner to make a salad for lunch. It was quite good. As long as there is protein to put on top of a salad, I'm pretty happy. 
  • Made muffins out of things in the fridge that needed using up (two different yogurts, a splash of juice, oat milk, etc.) I picked up cranberries at the store, and turned that, plus pantry ingredients & the random fridge items into M's favorite muffins. Lots of substitutions, but they turned out great.
  • Similarly, I had a muffin & the remnants of a salad for lunch on Monday, when I was working from home. 

For others

  • Went through all of the Halloween costumes, and listed everything on Buy Nothing. Gave away all of it in no time. 
  • Helped a neighbor repair her mop. She was very frustrated, and didn't want to have to toss it. 
  • Gave away other random stuff on BN. It's homecoming time, so I went through & found a few things (black clutch, etc) that others can use. I've liked trying to be seasonal (e.g. Halloween costumes, etc). I also am giving away other random things I stumble across, but the seasonal items help draw attention to the rest. ;-) 
What about you? Any frugal wins to share?

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Workout Wednesday

Three days in a row of Orange Theory (an intense workout class that includes: treadmill, rowing & strength exercises) was quite hard! I'm happy I've built up to being able to do 5 days of hard workouts. 

Workouts for the week

  • Monday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Tuesday - spinning + 1.5 mile walk
  • Wednesday - spinning + 2 mile walk
  • Thursday - 90 minutes of elliptical
  • Friday - Orange Theory
  • Saturday - Orange Theory
  • Sunday - Orange Theory

Eating - I've been tracking my calories again & making some progress. It's work, but it definitely helps me be more aware of what I'm eating.

Lowlights - we went on a date (lovely!) & I had dessert after. It wasn't really needed, and M doesn't eat dessert, so I'm the only one what ate it. A few bites would have been more than enough, but... ate it all!

Highlights - lots of good workouts, generally good eating.

Focus for the week ahead - keep up the healthy eating & workout momentum. 

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

Monday, October 3, 2022

Menu Plan Monday

 I didn't end up making the chicken shawarma, or beef noodles last week, as our soccer schedule ended up being more involved than planned. 

Here's what's on the menu this week:

  • Friday - pasta & chicken
  • Saturday - date night/birthday party (date night for us, birthday party for the kids)
  • Sunday - steak & roasted potatoes
  • Monday - chicken shawarma
  • Tuesday - tacos
  • Wednesday - steak salad
  • Thursday - chicken shawarma
  • Friday - tacos

That's it for us. What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, October 2, 2022

October Goals

 I'm trying to get back to posting these at the *start* of the month, vs somewhere in the middle. ;-) 

Here are my goals for October.


  • Stick to our budget
  • Progress towards side hustle goals
  • Continue work on plan & budget for when I leave work
  • Go through eBay inventory. Donate, update listings, etc.
  • Stick to our budget while on vacation
  • One activity with the kids
  • Help Nick with learning to drive
  • Help Sam with driving practice, take him for test
  • Have two dates with M
  • Connect with M's family
  • Continue 2023 travel planning
  • Post weekly fitness summaries
  • Match September's calories burned
  • Close rings 25 days
  • Take advantage of workout classes
  • Meditate 5x
  • Lose 2 lbs


  • Do something social with friends
  • Continue volunteer roles
  • More thinking on "post career work" life/goals

What about you? Do you have any goals for October?

Saturday, October 1, 2022

September Goals

 September was really a month! But, I'm enjoying the transition to fall, the cooler weather, & the boys settling into the groove of school, sports, etc. 

Here's how I did with my September goals. 


  • Stick to our budget - overall, we did well this month
  • Progress towards side hustle goals - I made $103 in side hustle, & used a gift card that's been in my purse forever. I also did an inventory of my gift cards, discovering a bunch I'd "lost". 
  • Continue plan for when I leave work - yes, making progress
  • Continue to list items, go through all eBay inventory - I've done one pass, & need to do another. 
  • One activity with the kids - we've been doing college trivia at dinner, and lots of travel discussions & planning. 
  • Take Nick for permit test - took two tries, but he has it & is ready to learn!
  • Help Sam with driving practice - lots of driving happening
  • Have two dates with M - it was a busy month, so we took advantage of time when the kids were out of the house, and caught up with a glass of wine by the pool a few times. 
  • Connect with M's family - photos sent
  • Work on travel plans for end of year, and 2023. - I've done a lot of planning, & booked a hotel for a New Year's ski trip. 
  • Post weekly fitness summaries - yep
  • Beat August calorie burned (14,310) - crushed it, with 15,422 calories burned
  • Close rings 25 days - 23 days
  • Take advantage of workout classes - I'm averaging 2 free fitness classes/week
  • Meditate 5x - nope, still struggling to make this happen
  • Lose 2 lbs - Yes, I lost 2.1 lbs
  • Do something social with friends - went on a hike & to brunch
  • Start advisory role - attended my first meeting
  • More thinking on "post career work" life - this is in the background of my mind, a lot lately!

What about you? How did you do with your September goals?