Monday, January 2, 2017

Mini, Very Mini, Domestic Monday ~ 1/2/17

Mini Domestic Monday :)

Another lousy night... I went to bed with the laptop to finish catching up on blogs and the kittens were being very naughty. Eventually I turned the laptop off and usually when I turn off the light, they settle down. Not last night! It was past midnight and the twins were just chewing on everything, jumping on things, it was horrible.  Eventually I yelled at Explorer and plopped him on the bed and told him to "go night night!" and you know what? He's a good boy and he stayed there!  But Princess... ooooh.... I love her so much but I had had enough so I kicked him out of my bedroom and closed the door. She tried scratching at the door a little but then either she stopped or I fell asleep. I had a lighter comforter on and the fan on so I was pretty comfortable and thought I'd get a good night's sleep, but when the kittens woke me up at 7 a.m. (I had reopened the door in the middle of the night), I felt really tired.  Maybe it's because I didn't consume as many calories as I've had in the past few months, yesterday?

Today the weather is all cloudy and overcast and I guess humid?  I opened the windows nonetheless. It's still cool but it's supposed to get to 82F/27.7C later on.

I need to clean the house so badly but with everyone here, I can't get myself to go much. It's a mental block that I have!  I need everyone out to be able to do what I want without someone making a mess all over again in a matter of minutes. So I'll probably do a minimum of cleaning today.

What I really need to do is draft a list of goals for January and then a reasonable To-Do List for today.  And also sort my coupons because I didn't do that last night after all.

Did anyone watch the 1st episode of the new season of Sherlock?  What did you think of it?  Don't spoil anything, though!  My daughter and I were so disappointed. We hated it. Not because of the outcome of the plot (I'm actually quite happy about it) but because the camera work, the dialogues and the plot itself were... bleh. My daughter is quite unhappy about the whole thing and declared she's not watching the rest of the season. I've found the show to be uneven in the past so I'll keep on watching it on the off-chance that it gets better, but I'm thinking maybe it's time to retire it.  I loved the 1st season, the others, not so much.

The sun came out in the afternoon and then it was very nice, if hot.  The arctic cold wave that's supposed to bathe most of the USA later on this week will bring temps in the 70s and 60s for us, really nice :) But on the mornings when it's in the 40s, I think I'll drive my son to school so he doesn't have to stand waiting for the bus too long in the cold.  I remember freezing my toosh in France during our 2-hour lunch break because we had to stay in the snowy courtyard and my mom couldn't afford very warm winter gear for us and I promised myself that when I grew up, I'd never be cold again (or ride a bike, for that matter).  So I think I'll plan to drive him on those mornings.  Yes, I know, people, I don't live in the northern states or Canada. Listen, we have thin blood here. Not me because I'm from good old Polish peasant stock. But Greg and our boy?  Yeah, I still don't understand how Greg grew up in Michigan. I think he's lying to me.

  • My 1st SB goal today is 60 SB. I started running the NGage videos again that gave me 4 SB for every 2 videos for a while.  No nCrave automatic videos it seems today :( But at 9:34 a.m. I'm already at 46 SB so I hope I'll reach my 1st goal today. I finally earned a Collector's Bill, I didn't even get one yesterday!

  • I drank 2 cups of water first thing after I got up, before I even drank my coffee. I think it was Susan who told me about this "trick". I need to remember to do this every morning!

  • We were running low on bread so when Greg and I drove to the garage to drop off his truck, we ducked into Save A Lot to buy a loaf of bread ($0.99).  I went around the perimeter of the store to see if there were any good clearances on produce, meat, or dairy, but there were none :(   I paid cash for the bread, which floored Greg because I always charge everything, lol.

  • I resisted the 50% off all Christmas chocolates and gingerbread house kits!

  • I used up another brown banana in my morning cereal this morning.

  • Last night CouponPro posted a KFR code worth 100 points (ISNTUPLOADINGFUN) so I entered it in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account this morning.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits. It looks like I'll be able to redeem my points for a $5 Amazon gift card tomorrow!

  • I met my 1st SB Daily Goal and since the nCrave automatic videos showed up in my line-up, I'm playing them the rest of the day!

  • I put together my January Goals post. Wow, that seems like a lot but with some discipline, I think it's manageable. I hope to make lots of progress!

  • I downloaded one of the free January KindleFirst selections (the thriller).

  • It's past noon and I still haven't done any domestic tasks! Well I swept part of the kitchen but it's because I broke a glass.  My lunch was a bowl of the leftover black eyed pea soup. It's really delicious!  There is one bowl left.  And I made another sandwich with a FlatOut flatbread and the rest of the chipotle chicken salad. (this reminds me that I want to defrost a container of the cranberry almond chicken salad so I'm going to do that now, brb). I capped my lunch with 2 clementines.

  • I remembered, by re-reading yesterday's post, to put the rest of the clementines in the fridge so they don't spoil before I can finish them.

  • My son finished a box of cereal and put away the inner bag for me to clean. I might, however throw it away as I have a large stash of those already and the underside of my kitchen sink is messy. I need to reorganize it!  I clipped the Boxtop4Education label and put it with the others. At some point this year I'll mail them to our former elementary school.

  • I don't know why I didn't mention it before but back in December my daughter started telling me that she wanted to get into making Memory Books so I unearthed all my memory book supplies (I had a whole case of them!) and she very happily accepted them.  It saved her tons of money, decluttered my own space a little and I'm happy that someone who is artistic will use them.  She got one of those polaroid-type of cameras for Christmas so I think she'll try her hand at it with those photos first.

  • I also didn't mention that yesterday Greg cleaned out his rat's nest, ahem the corner near his lounging chair, while remarking that our house looked like hoarders live here (excuse me?! I resemble this remark!). He was about to throw away a pile of magazines but I stopped him, removed the address labels, and added them to my pile of donations for the library.  I'm glad I did this too because in the middle of the pile, I found a manual that he meant to keep.

  • The garagist couldn't find anything wrong with the truck because it seems it only leaks when it's cold and nothing was leaking today because it's over 80F!  He did suggest that there might be a problem with the "O" ring but since they don't work on the actual transmissions at that garage, he referred us to another garage that's 45 minutes away, in Leesburg, should the problem reoccur.  We think we'd probably just take it to the local Ford dealership instead, as it would be way more convenient for us.  There was no charge for today, yippee!

  • When we got home, I harvested a bunch of Romaine lettuce leaves for dinner tonight. 

  • Greg logged in to our investment account and checked out whether he had stock options he could exercise in order for us to fund our IRAs for 2016 and for 2017.  I've decided not to go through the whole headache of trying to figure out if we qualify for Roth IRAs this year (either partially or fully) so we'll just put everything into traditional IRAs.  I was reading, yesterday, that there is a back way to always be able to put money in a Roth IRA by putting it into a regular IRA and then converting it to a Roth (apparently there isn't an income limit in that case) but the author of the article I read said that you would need to only have 1 IRA account and we each have more than one. So at some point I need to look into that but right now it's too much for me to wrap my head around. I checked the rules for capital gains tax again and we made sure that Greg exercised the options that had vested more than a year ago.  So in a couple of days we should have received the money and then he will fully fund our IRAs for 2016 and also for 2017. Crossing my fingers that everything goes right with that.  

  • I looked into my fridge and made notes of what we have so I can draft a menu for the rest of the week.  It's not as bad as I feared although we have lots of cheeses that I should avoid and also that Greg won't eat.  I wonder if I can freeze goat cheese? Off to research...  Update: yes you can!  I'm going to freeze the 2 logs of blueberry vanilla goat cheese that I still have (I think it's two, it might be just one, I forgot to write down the quantity).  Oh and you can freeze the Stilton cheese too and since I had opened the package but never eaten the cheese, I will go ahead and do that too.

  • I used up the last of the rotting oak leaves from the large trash bin where Greg had deposited them for me in 2015/2016 by pouring them into my composting bin that had lots of fruit flies in it.  I asked Greg to make sure to refill the trashcan for me next time he rakes leaves. We have a lot of leaves in the front yard right now.  He was happy to hear this because that means another can for him to fill :)

  • I made a dinner menu for the week, yay! I'm especially excited that I'll be able to use up quite a few things from my fridge that really need to be used up. Also one of my goals for the month was to use as least one item from the side-by-side freezer and I'll be using 3 items from there!

  • At 3 p.m. I suddenly realized that I still hadn't exercised today... how quickly we forget our good intentions, eh?  So I went to change into my exercise clothes and brought down my hamper at the same time .  I threw all the clothes in the washer in one super load on cold/cold (I never ever separate whites from colors or any other separation) and remembered to use the lingerie bag for my bras to protect them and my other clothes from their hooks!  Later on, however, I did splurge on using the dryer instead of drying them outside because I was tired after exercising and I took the easy way out. 

  • I exercised for free in the comfort of my own home, on my recumbent bike. It'd been 2 months since I had gotten on it, oh dear.  I put on 2 episodes of Frasier on Netflix (I've seen the show so many times, I just like having it on for background noise) and used my Kindle Fire to catch up on blogs.  Explorer was being a real pest by insisting on being near me and I was afraid he would get hurt so I had to yell at him several times and then Greg came to take him away repeatedly but he was stubborn and kept on coming back. Finally Greg started playing with him so that distracted him and then he fell asleep. Then Tabby Kitty came and wanted to bug me too but he was rebuffed by my "No!", good boy.  Finally all three settled down for their afternoon nap near Greg and I was able to bike away.  I might have to lock them up in my bedroom tomorrow, if I can even get them up there.  Our house's layout is odd in the sense that only bedrooms and bathrooms have doors that separate them from the rest of the house.  But until recently, they were able to slip under the bedroom doors because there is a big gap, and I didn't want them in the bathrooms because it's too dangerous for them.
Excuse the mess... he's sitting on top of my mending pile basket.
  • When I was done, I switched the laundry to the dryer and then I took (2) Driscoll's Consumer Advisory surveys on berries I had bought in 2016. I received 2 printable coupons for $0.50/1.  I'll need to take 3 more surveys to reach the silver level and get $0.75/1 coupon and I think 16 surveys total to get to Gold level, where you get a $1.00/1 coupon for each survey completed.  I aim to reach Gold level this month since I have kept all my empty containers and notes from when I bought the berries but I didn't need anymore coupons at the time.

  • I've exceeded my 2nd SB Daily Goal and continuing to play videos in the background to earn a little more. I've been lucky, between nCrave and and nGage player that seems to be playing videos on its own, that I really haven't had to click on anything too much!

  • My vet's office called to reschedule New Kitty's appointment because they haven't received their vaccines so that frees me tomorrow to do a Domestic Tuesday.  I'm kind of relieved, I have a lot to do to get the new year started on the right foot.

  • Greg completed his Microsoft Rewards activities as well. He still hasn't downloaded the Bing Rewards app yet, though, so he's not earning as much as he should.

  • I cooked dinner and we ate at the dinner table. I wasn't sure if my daughter had packed a dinner to take to work so I saved her a tuna patty and there is pasta leftover.  I also set some pasta leftovers in the Pyrex container that had the leftover taco meat from Saturday, and Greg will have that for lunch at work tomorrow.

  • I reloaded the dishwasher after dinner but there were only a few dishes so I didn't start it. I'll wait until it's fuller tomorrow.

  • I'm going to wait to use up my $5 in Kohl's cash until the next discount is in effect. A helpful Slickdealer posted the new 30% code that will be valid starting on January 12. They'll update the post later on with the free shipping code for MVP members as well.  Still hoping that Discover Deals will give us another $10 off $30 personal code ;)

  • Gas to drive to the garage and back, twice.

  • I still haven't taken down the Christmas or fish lights so I turned them back on today :)

  • I used the dryer for my laundry. However, I used the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.

  • Gas for my daughter to go to work and back.

  • I broke one of my fall-themed glasses that somehow hadn't gotten put away before I put up the Christmas dishes :(

  • In passing the local RaceTrac station, I noticed that gas has shot up to $2.39/gallon!  We were paying $1.99/gallon at Thanksgiving!  Greg and I have very large gas tanks so the fill-ups are about to get much more expensive. The more the reason for me to try and stick to just 1 day of errands and maybe not make so many stops?  We'll see.

  • I cleared some room in my fridge by getting rid of several food items that had spoiled. Arrgh.  Full report on Food Waste Friday later on this week... Yep, I'm (unfortunately) bringing Food Waste Friday posts back!

  • Loaf of bread: $0.99 (Save A Lot)
  • Gas for the family car: $21.59 (RaceTrac)
  • An e-book thriller from KindleFirst
  • A discount coupon for Driscoll's berries from their Consumer Advisory Panel

  • Fed the cats
  • Drank 2 cups of water!
  • Decided on dinner menu
  • Drove to the garage with Greg
  • Picked up a loaf of bread at the grocery store
  • Defined my January goals and already prepped recap post for 1/31!
  • Greg exercised some stock options
  • Gathered several of the Christmas decorations throughout the house to put them away later on this week
  • Went to pick up the truck with Greg
  • Harvested lettuce
  • Inventoried the fridge
  • Designed a dinner menu for the week
  • Exercised
  • Did the laundry
  • Took consumer satisfaction surveys
  • Input my food intake into MyFitnessPal and planned the use of the rest of my calories for the night
  • Baked up all my November and December photos to my external drive and freed up space on my phone
  • Cooked dinner
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher
  • Delegated gathering the trash throughout the house to Greg
  • Took the large trash bin down the curb for collection tomorrow
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Cuddled with kittens (finally!)
  • Took a shower
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box

  • I drank 2 cups of water before I even drank my coffee this morning, yay me!
  • Breakfast was 1 cup of generic crispy rice, 1/2 cup of ~2% milk and a brown banana, and flavored coffee of course!
  • Did my heel stretches at 11:40 a.m.
  • Lunch was a bowl of black-eyed pea soup with a chipotle chicken salad sandwich and 2 clementines
  • Afternoon snacks were a Light Activia yogurt and 1/8 cup of all natural unsalted almonds
  • Dinner was one tuna patty, half a serving of Garden Rotini pasta with just salt and pepper on it, a side salad with a little bit of homemade dressing.
  • Evening snack will be an apple and a light yogurt.
  • Total water intake as of 8:30 p.m. 5 cups of water and 2 cups of coffee and I'm still drinking...

  • For not having to pay anything at the garage
  • For Greg helping me with the kittens, unbidden, when I was trying to exercise
  • For everyone's kind comments and encouragement in the comments!
  • For being able to exercise. Many people can't.
  • For being able to harvest lettuce from my garden when all I did was sow some seeds several weeks ago and refill the self-watering bins maybe twice only!
  • For my daughter to have surprised Greg and Youngest Son with some doughnuts from Donut King tonight! And for her to NOT have bought me any because she knew I was on a diet. Yay!

NATURE: Around the Garden Today

A strawberry and some tomatoes are ripening... tiny crops but I'll take them!

That darn eggplant is flowering again!

My verbenas have already lost a lot of blooms since Sunday :(  I'll keep on watering them and hope they survive!

How was your Monday?  Did you meet your goals?


  1. I try to drink a glass or two of water every morning, too. Somehow it helps me want water all through the day. Good job on getting on the bike -- I know what you mean when you talk about the cats' interest. Every time I lay out my yoga mat, I have to fight with cats for the space!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Sandie!

  3. I laughed where you said you don't believe Greg grew up in Michigan. Living in Florida has softened him for sure :). As a child, we lived in (then West) Germany(my father was in the army) and I remember how light winter was(I imaging Fracne was similar?). I could totally handle that kind of winter. It is the -35 degrees Celsius that sucks! Today it is pouring rain which is turning our mounds of snow to slush and making driving a nightmare. If not for Trump being elected president I would consider immigrating south ;).

    1. I would expect French winters to be much like Germany's, but even though it didn't go down to -35C (oh my!), I can assure you that it was COLD!

      You should become a snow bird and come spend the winters here, lots of Canadians do. Oh wait, that guy has a compound right in our state so on further thought... maybe not. I want to be a snow bird in reverse and go spend my summers up with you guys!

  4. Hi Nathalie,
    Sorry to keep bugging you ( : I just wondered if you have capability to receive faxes? I can send but not receive. I wanted to share with you a sheet for Diabetic exchanges I got 7 years ago when my climbing weight made me pre diabetic. It is really a lot like weigh watchers. The great thing about it is that you can choose your calorie intake for the day and then eat accordingly. What I really like about it is that if you really want a little treat you allot for it. It has really helped me lose weight when I stick to it. I know everyone is different in what works for weight loss.. but wanted to at least share it. The number of carbs is the big thing! Boohoo the best treats ever Lol Let me know if you would like me to fax it to you! Your dieting Pal, Bonnie
    We'll keep plugging...... Bonnie

    1. That's so sweet of you! I'd love to look at it since it worked for you. My dad (and his dad before him) has diabetes so I really should be aware that I'm at risk for it (if I don't have it already).

      I don't have capability to receive a fax, unfortunately. Do you have any way to scan it and email it to me? Or if there's a title maybe I can find it online? Thanks, Bonnie! How did you do today? I'm very far behind so, at past 9 p.m., I'm about to get on the bike and input my food intake while I'm biking. So needless to say, I haven't a clue of what I did as far as nutrients are concerned... we shall see!

      Have a great evening!

  5. Yesterday was officially a holiday (because the New Year was on a Sunday), so technically, you had the day off from having to do any domestic chores! At least, that was my excuse for not doing the dishes, yesterday! :D

  6. No, it wasn't me who told you to drink two glasses of water before coffee. That is something I wouldn't do, but glad it works for you.

    I agree with Bless. Yesterday was officially a housework allowed.

    January is starting out very well for you. Kudos.

    1. It goes without saying that in a perfect world, if you're sick, you shouldn't be doing any housework at all. But the world isn't perfect so sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

      I almost forgot to drink my 2 glasses before coffee this morning and it was a little harder this time! Room temperature water seems to work better for me at that time of day so I need to make sure I leave 2 cups of filtered water on the table overnight.


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