Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Another Beautiful Day ~ Wednesday 2/1/17

OOPS, I did it again... I scheduled this post to be published at 10:30 a.m. instead of 10:30 p.m. so if you visited my blog earlier in the day or received an early version of it... it was a draft copy. Sorry!

I don't know what I'm doing this morning!  This is my regular shopping day but I just told Greg that I'd probably go shopping tomorrow, on my way back from my BFF's.  But now part of me just wants to get it over with. Arrgh. No, I think it makes more sense to go tomorrow... I have dishes to do since I didn't do them last week and there's nothing that we need today.  I might run to Publix this morning, though, and try to score 2 more free cans of soup.  I should have brought my coupons along when I dropped off my son at school but I forgot!

So... February, already.  I posted my February goals this morning and a lot of them are the same as last year as they are recurring tasks that I just need to make sure I perform every month.  I'd love to have my taxes done and sent by the end of the month, but I think we might need to wait longer for those tax forms, I need to look at all the schedules.  Ugh.

After my son comes back from school this afternoon, we're going to rush to the Bass Conservation Center to see if we can get a picture of a live, wild fish. It's a 30 minute drive one-way but I don't know where else I could go.  Perhaps we'll stop by the small boat dock on the lake near our house first, sometimes tiny fishes hang out there, and maybe I can get a picture with Youngest Son and not have to drive so far?!

  • Redo kitchen family calendar for February DONE
  • Mop or fake mop the kitchen
  • Put the laundry away
  • Do the dishes DONE
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
  • Update Net Worth document DONE
  • Download all January pictures from my phone and camera to external drive
  • Back up external drive to its own external drive!
  • Order Swagbucks gift card DONE
  • Start a list of the electric outlets that I want to get replaced
  • Do my foot exercises  DONE
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike Took a 33 minute walk, close enough
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Find USB drive (NOT an SD card!) and clear it so Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
  • Read e-library book in progress
  • Make sure Greg assigns specific funds to his IRA account 
  • Move missing Music files from External Drive to my Laptop 
  • Move/reinstall missing software on new laptop in progress, moved all the files to the External Drive
  • Trying syncing my phone on new laptop
  • Clean litter box upstairs DONE
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Finish ironing Greg's clothes
  • Take RaceTrac surveys
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • Pick the oranges
  • Zest the oranges and freeze
  • Move fonts from external drive and reinstall on new laptop
  • Read the 2 library travel books
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Start French blog for my mom and sister?
  • Inventory what I need to make new self-watering bins - I just need soil!
  • Look into transplanting hyacinths in garden
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
  • Mend at least one item from mending basket (Youngest Son's bag)
  • Open savings account with Discover Bank or other online bank
  • Figure out how many other tax forms I'm waiting on and when they'll be coming in
  • Finalize list of goals for February DONE
  • Give Princess her medicine (twice) 1X
  • Try to hit my 1st Daily Goal on Swagbucks DONE
  • Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
  • Send my feedback to all my elected officials (city, county, state, Congress) in progress
  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work (fried chicken breast, a little bit of potato salad).

  • I turned off the heat at 6:30 a.m. I noticed that I had forgotten to turn it on for the kitchen side of the house last night (oops!), but this morning the temperature there was 66F instead of 67F so it was fine, I'm sure. Our high today will be 74F/23C.

  • School drop off continues to go well. We're now listening to the Rossini Overtures on the way there in the morning. That was the first record of classical music that my dad introduced us to, 40 years ago, and it brings back a lot of bittersweet memories.

  • I'm working on Swagbucks.  There was a blog post late last night about automatic nCraves no longer being available because they want to ensure that we watch the videos. Snort. What?!  Who watches those videos?! My 1st goal is 80 SB.  I was able to get a 14 SB Search Award so that helped.

  • I downloaded a free e-book from the KindleFirst program. This month, I chose the "suspense" selection.

  • I perused the new online ads for Aldi and Save A Lot. I don't see a lot of sales that I'm interested in at Aldi, but Save A Lot has a $5 off $25 coupon in their ad AND a few things that I'm interested in. I'll still go to Aldi but I'm considering buying the bulk of my purchases at SAL to use the coupon... provided that it's still a better deal than shopping at Aldi so it's a delicate balance.  Maybe I'll find meat on clearance.

  • I redeemed 2,200 SB for a $25 Walmart gift card. I still have over 2,000 SB so I should be able to order another one pretty shortly, woohoo!  I had received the gift card by the end of the day, too!

  • Since I ordered a gift card, my last Team Challenge Swag-Up Award was credited to my account :)

  • I plugged in the new numbers into my Net Worth spreadsheet and we have grown by 1.2% since January 12 (the last time I had calculated it). It's not much, especially since we contributed to the 401(k) since then, but with today's state of the market, at least it's a positive number.  I added a lot of detail to the document so I can track all the funds that we own in it too.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits (no more daily 10 pt bonus for using Edge!).

  • I entered my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned another 20 BR points. I should be able to earn points for exercise again starting today so I need to make sure I exercise tonight!

  • I unlocked new offers in MobiSave, Ibotta, and SavingStar.

  • I printed new coupons via Swagbucks and unlocked new digital coupons on my Publix app.

  • Lowe's sent me a $10 off $50 coupon that's only good through Friday and Greg doesn't need anything and it's not valid for gift cards.  I think I need to inventory what I need for my bins and place an online order to be picked up in-store... but, actually, now that I think about it, I'm just replacing the outside of the bins with bins I bought last year, and I can reuse everything else.  I might need some soil, though.

  • I drove to Publix to get a couple of things with the sale that expires today. I lucked out with coupons again and you'll see why.
    • First, I stopped by RaceTrac and got a free apple crumb muffin for my son's after-school snack with a survey reward code.

    • At Publix, they were still out of the TabaƱero hot sauce, but I got:
      • 2 boxes of Rice Krispies on BOGO at $4.19 and I redeemed the free item coupon that Kellogg's had mailed me so FREE :)
      • 2 cans of Campbell's Yes to Well soup, on BOGO @ $2.69 and I redeemed a BOGO coupon for FREE
      • 1 pint of Driscoll's raspberries, on sale @ $3.00 and I redeemed a $1.00/1 coupon from Driscoll's Consumer Advisory Panel so $2.00 but...
      • 1 bottle of Truvia Nectar, on sale @ $2.99 and I redeemed a $1.50/1 printable coupon. Just like the last one, it beeped and the cashier scrutinized it but it's a good coupon and she entered it manually.  I always input my home phone number in their keypad at the end of my shopping trip, so if I have any qualifying digital coupons that would apply, they get deducted then (if I do it before the cashier deducts my physical coupons, the register would apply a lower value digital coupon first and then reject my physical coupon. I prefer physical coupons but I always upload the digital ones just in case).  I didn't upload a new Truvia coupon this morning, but apparently there was still one in my account and it got deducted (since the cashier entered the physical coupon manually, the computer didn't link that coupon to the product, hence leaving the digital coupon available for use).   I truly didn't expect this since I didn't even know I had another Truvia coupon in my digital wallet (I used one last week, same situation).  The cashier was bent out of shape like I had done it on purpose but, damn it, I didn't.  Ugh.  So the overage went to pay for part of my raspberries.
      • My OOP ended up being $2.33 and I paid with my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • Back home, I was submitted my receipt for a new $2.00 rebate from from Ibotta on the Truvia Nectar, so in the end, my shopping trip cost me 33 cents. Woohoo!  I'm glad I got the raspberries!  I almost didn't get them because I thought that $2.00 was still too expensive, but I love raspberries so I gave in to a craving!

      • I also submitted my receipt to Kellogg's Family Rewards to earn KFR points on my Rice Krispies purchase.

  • I forgot to mention that last night I had found a crushed Coke product cap in the Publix parking lot :)

  • Ibotta credited me with the $2 rebate right away.

  • Lunch was leftover fried chicken and potato salad. I know, not healthy but delicious!

  • I was able to take a 65 SB Peanut Lab survey and met my 1st Daily Goal in Swagbucks :)

  • My daughter texted me after her class to invite me to go walking with her but I had to decline since I'm about to take my son to the Bass Conservation Center. But if we come back in time, my daughter and I might still go walking together :)

  • I entered the Coke bottle cap in MyCokeRewards and earned 3 MCR points :)

  • My son and I were able to take pictures of tiny fish at the lakeshore near our house so he'll just submit that, along with a picture of himself by the lakeshore for his project and we don't have to drive the hour round-trip!

  • So my daughter and I drove the Focus to Lake Hiawatha Preserve and walked by the lake for a spell. We needed to be back home by 3:30 p.m. so I could take my son and all his materials to the library for his Teen Video Project meeting, so we only walked for 30 minutes. It was a beautiful day again but there wasn't as much to see as on Sunday.

  • She asked me to buy her a hot dog at RaceTrac but I told her she either had to pay for it herself or she could eat the food we have at home. She decided to eat at home :)

  • Middle Son texted me to ask me to participate in a school assignment so I did that for him.

  • For dinner, I just breaded the pork chops that I had defrosted several days ago and pan-fried them, and cooked white rice to go with it. I steamed the rest of the zucchini with some herbs.

  • Greg and I caught a couple of episodes of "Bob's Burgers" on Netflix after dinner.

  • Wawa released a new freebie for their Rewards members. I really like their hoagies but I'm going to have to pass on this one.


  • Gas:
    • to drive my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • for my daughter to drive to a college event she has to attend
    • for my daughter and I to drive to Lake Hiawatha preserve and back
    • to drive my son to the library
    • for my daughter to go pick up my son from the library

  • I tried again to order a free Firecracker Chicken order from Panda Express with the coupon code shared my CouponPro yesterday but it's telling me the coupon doesn't exist so it must have been a regional thing. 

  • So I was able to play nCrave videos but they weren't automatic, I had to rate each of them. I played many.  At the end, I got a "bad request" error message and no credit for the 3 SB that I was due.  So I filed a complaint with Swagbucks.

  • Publix: $2.33 (groceries) but I got $2.00 back :)
  • A suspense e-book from Amazon's KindleFirst program
  • A $25 Walmart gift card from Swagbucks
  • An apple crumb muffin from RaceTrac, with survey reward code
  • Most of my Publix groceries were free after coupons and rebate (2 boxes Rice Krispies, 2 cans soup, 1 pint raspberries, 1 bottle Truvia Nectar sweetener), I only paid $0.33.
  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Took the recycling bins down to the curb for collection
  • Drove my son to school
  • Downloaded a free e-book
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Gave Princess her medicine
  • Ordered a Walmart GC
  • Redid the family wall calendar for February
  • Recalculated our Net Worth and made improvements to the spreadsheet
  • Worked on rewards programs
  • Unlocked new rebates and digital coupons
  • Printed coupons
  • Helped my son with pictures he needed for his project
  • Went on a walk with my daughter
  • Drove my son to the library
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Helped Middle Son with a school assignment
  • Cooked dinner
  • Cuddled with a kitten
  • Sleep was not good but my app thinks it was. Go figure! My right calf was hurting me and I woke up several times because of it and couldn't get comfortable. It wasn't a cramp. It's just... weird.
  • Breakfast was a cup of Rice Krispies with 1/2 cup of ~2% milk, 3 strawberries and some dehydrated apple pieces.
  • Mid-morning snack was a piece of string cheese.
  • Lunch was fried chicken and potato salad.
  • Afternoon snack was chips and salsa and 2 pieces of bread. Ugh.
  • Dinner was steamed zucchini and half a cup of white rice.
  • Water consumption was not good. Not good at all.
  • Exercise was a 33 minute walk.
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • For a tiny increase in our Net Worth
  • For an easy school drop-off without any problems
  • For being able to order a gift card from Swagbucks that will help keep my grocery budget on course
  • For another beautiful day and a walk with my darling daughter
  • For my son's gratitude for my help with his project

At the lake near our house...
A bunch of tiny fishes in shallow water

A flock of white ibises had just been walking on the small beach

They were looking for clams.

A few gulls enjoying a swim on a beautiful day

The clams that the birds ate and discarded on the shore

A huge snail shell, maybe from an invasive species

Lily pads

The white ibises taking a nap in the shade of a tree, up on one leg, like flamingos. I had never actually seen a white ibis in that position.

This picture makes me laugh,. The sandhill crane on the right looks like it's saying "And hurry UP!!" to the one on the left!

At Lake Minneola Trail

It's almost Spring here... the trees are budding and the birds are building nests :)

Narrowleaf Blue-Eyed Grass

Gulls over Lake Minneola

The lake water looks red in the sunshine from all the tannin leaching from the trees.

Great egret looking for a meal

This might be Hairy Indigo, but I'm not sure.


  1. One benefit of not feeling like going shopping is you spend less money. For me anyway, I always come out of the store with something I don't really need.

    1. So sorry about this comment being published a month too late! I don't know what happened, I never received notification of it and only saw it in the "pending comments" section tonight when I went to look for another comment that another poster said she had left. Blogger hiccups, I guess.

      Going back to your thought, I think that for me, at least recently, not feeling like going shopping means that I cut stores off my list for the day! I'm not sure if it helps me spend less, but I sure am in a bigger hurry to get home!

  2. Oh, I want to live near a lake with water birds and lily pads and little fishes! It looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Sounds like you had a good day and a lovely start to the month!

    1. Our little lake isn't much to look at, unless you really look! I love driving by it in the morning on my way back from dropping off my son, it's so peaceful. It's actually a block farther than I have to go, but it's worth it :)

  3. Gorgeous pictures, Nathalie! I love that photo of the cranes. :)


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