Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hey It's Wednesday and I Don't Have to Go Shopping! (6/14/17)

Actually, I didn't go anywhere today, not even to RaceTrac!

Is it possible to get jet lag if you didn't even move ONE time zone during your trip?  I feel jet lagged.  I didn't feel tired when I woke up the whole time I was traveling but now that I'm home, I'm exhausted when I wake up.  It's so weird.

I did get up quite a few times last night, and also went to bed later than I should have (11:45 p.m.) and then my back and shoulders hurt and, despite loving my new mattress, I was really missing the super comfy beds from Holiday Inn Express!

So my alarm rang at 6:30 a.m. and... I turned it off and went back to sleep. I heard Greg go downstairs to shower at 6:45 a.m. and thought "I should get up and go pack his lunch..." and then fell back asleep.  Then I heard him come back up to get dressed, so I finally got up. But wow, I felt groggy!

The good news is that I lost some more weight since yesterday (I really sweated when I was vacuuming, hence why I'm so sore!) and I'm now down to 218 lbs. Woohoo!

I threw on my exercise clothes (didn't work yesterday as I didn't formally exercise but they're comfy and I'm more likely to exercise if I'm already dressed for it) and went to feed all the cats and pack Greg's lunch.  It was gray outside and it's still gray at 11:30 a.m.  We have more rain in the forecast for this afternoon, but I'd like the sun to come out. It doesn't feel as humid as yesterday, though, as I found out when I took the recycling down to the curb.

Despite my best intentions, I took one look at the pile of dirty dishes and told myself I'd just do them later.  I have to do them today, though, as we've ran out of plates :)

I brewed my coffee and went to sit on the couch to check the news on my laptop... I turned on the TV so I could get some music playing on Pandora, but the channel was set to a channel that was showing an episode of Mork and Mindy. I've never watched that show and I mostly don't care for Robin Williams, but I got sucked in to the show for a few minutes since my daughter and I had been listening to the Aladdin soundtrack during our trip and had discussed Robin Williams. So instead of reading the news, I went to read the Wikipedia entries for Pam Dawber and Robin Williams and by the time I was done reading the article about him, I was crying.  Damn middle-aged hormones!  Needless to say, that wasn't conducive to feeling very motivated to start on chores.

So I piddled around on the laptop for a while: realized that there's a Swagbucks Team Challenge going on this week and joined up (however the videos are making my laptop freeze even after rebooting it, so I gave up and I'm just running nCrave All You Can Eat automatic videos. It's very slow earning but I don't have to click on anything) and earned the MS Rewards.  Then I caught up on the news and emails.

You're NOT helping, Swagbucks!

My brother and his fiancรฉe closed on their house, woohoo!  We now have another mountain retreat to use as a free home base when we go back to France! My daughter is ready to go right now, ha.  My brother is now talking about finally getting married. It's mostly to settle inheritance issues should something happen to one of them, they don't particularly want to get married but there's a definite inheritance tax advantage for them.  Whatever, I'm happy that he's happy and settled, in his late 40's.

I replied to a couple of blog comments and Nan's exhortation "not to work too hard" pushed me to turn off the TV and the laptop and get on my recumbent bike. Well, I turned that TV back on to put on a couple of "Forensic Files" episodes while I biked. I don't really watch them but it helps make the time go faster. I biked for 43 minutes and 8 miles.  Meanwhile, I caught up on blogs on my phone, activated new Plenti offers in my app, replied to my brother's email, and texted my 2 friends to set up coffee dates.

I'll be having coffee with my BFF on Friday morning and my other friend and I will go for a walk together next week. Yes!

The kids finally got up.  I informed Youngest Son that Greg would rather go for brunch than breakfast on Saturday (early Father's Day celebration) because he wants to go fishing first thing in the morning. He got himself a new fishing rod last weekend (and didn't use the $10 coupon I had and didn't keep the UPC code for the $10 rebate that printed on his receipt, major GRRRRRR!) so he wants to try it out.  Of course, the restaurant where we'll be going emailed me a $5 coupon this morning, but it's only good through Friday and Greg can't take Friday off because he has to conduct interviews that day. Oh well.  It occurred to me tonight that Father's Day will probably be a hard day for Greg as he lost his dad last Fall, so it's probably better if we go out on Saturday anyway and leave him alone on Sunday.

Then I finally cooked my breakfast.  The usual thing although I didn't use string cheese in my egg white omelet this morning as we'll be having frittata for dinner tonight so I needed to keep as many meat exchanges for dinner as possible (cheese is not dairy for my diet, it's meat).  It was very yummy, as usual. I had bought generic Cheerios at Aldi to give me another healthy breakfast choice, but I'm enjoying my egg whites/onion/zucchini omelets very much and I have several dozen eggs in the fridge, so I'll be having that every morning for the time being.

I am not a food designer :)
I watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent while eating and then I turned off the TV before remembering that there is a Law & Order marathon on Wednesdays so I turned it back on.  Yeah, the dishes won't get done this morning, ha.

I've been thinking that I started this blog as a frugality blog but that particular practice seems to have escaped from me.  I had food waste earlier this week (several apples that Youngest Son didn't eat while I was gone, leftovers from before my trip.  I've been throwing away cereal bags because I have plenty in stock, I don't need to save so much water since it's been raining a lot... I feel like a total spendthrift!  Especially in light of not having been frugal at all during my vacation but vacations is when I usually let my hair down so to speak. I did pick hotels based on price (usually picking the cheaper of the Holiday Inns within a specific area, as long as they weren't undergoing renovations and using my IHG Rewards membership to secure the best price) but I didn't use any coupons.  Also, I didn't go through Swagbucks to book the rooms, even though I could have earned 1% back through them.  Honestly, I didn't even think to do that. Meanwhile, Greg completely disregarded my cheat-sheet for charging things to the proper credit cards and managed to avoid getting 5% back in Rewards on the construction materials he bought for repairing our wall (explanations in a future post), 3% back on the groceries that he bought, etc. I was irritated :) Anyhoo, I feel that I have to refocus and recommit to being frugal, especially avoiding eating out. However, I also need to spend more on groceries to support my new healthy diet so it's going to be challenging as I'm an all-or-nothing type of girl.

Anyhoo, in the spirit of recommitting to being frugal, I started entering my weight and exercise into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices again. I hadn't done it in a couple of months. In the meantime they changed their website a little and I think the limit on points for each category has also changed. Anyhoo, I could only enter data for the past week.  Currently I could redeem enough BR points for a $3 credit, but I'll wait until I have $5 or more.

I also entered a Kellogg's Family Rewards bonus code into my account and earned 25 KFR points (HOTHOTHOTPTS4YOU).  While I was on the site, I also printed some Kellogg's cereal coupons. My coupon stash is dangerously low!

Even though I'm not going shopping today (it feels weird that it's Wednesday and I'm not at Aldi but I shopped on Monday and I might stop by again on Friday morning after my coffee date with my BFF, to get more produce), I looked at the new Aldi and Save A Lot ads to see if anything was worth getting before next Wednesday. I think I'll get more strawberries as I love my lunchtime strawberries milkshakes and Greg and the kids have been eating strawberries as well.  I'd love to stock up on chicken breasts and pork roast at Save A Lot, but my freezer is a little too full :(

Aldi produce sale this week in my neck of the woods

Save a Lot produce offers that sounds good to me for this week

And what I'd buy at their 3-day sale if I had room in the freezer!
SavingStar credited my account for the $1.00 General Mills cereal rebate, woo.

Well, I'm off to fold the laundry now...

A few hours later... well, I folded the laundry and most of it had been put away. I also cleaned the downstairs bathroom, vacuumed some litter that some very inconsiderate cat(s) left all over the exercise room floor less than 24 hour after I spent a back-breaking hour vacuuming the downstairs, and made and ate my lunch.  I think that, with 6 now pretty much fully grown cats in the house, I'm going to need to vacuum every day.  That's one downside to all those lovely kitties.

Youngest Son went to spend a few hours at the library where he met friends and chatted away. Amazing how he chats with friends but has absolutely nothing to say to us at home... teens!

I input my food intake into MyFitnessPal and will come within 2 calories of my goal for the day, woohoo! I'm still not eating my exercise calories.

Today's lunch. I cheated a little and didn't take the little bit of Alfredo sauce that was coating the whole wheat penne because I had no idea of how to account for it and I was too lazy to look it up :) I'm doing very well on my diet otherwise so I'm giving a pass on this one misstep.

Then I figured I should get serious about the SB Team Challenge and try to qualify for the Swag-up award since my team is in the lead so I tried taking several surveys. I know. Why do I even bother?  I was disqualified several times, then took a 15 minute survey and of course it didn't credit and just awarded me a 1 SB disqualification award. You know what?  I'm so sick of it that I didn't even contact Customer Service to demand the credit.  I did meet the minimum of 400 team points to qualify for the award and also surpassed my 1st daily goal before the nCrave automatic videos dried up.

I knew I should be doing the dishes but I really didn't feel like doing them (where is the Dish Fairy when you need it?!) so I avoided doing them for a couple more hours by downloading the pictures from my phone to my laptop, editing some pictures for my first trip recap post and editing same post before publishing it.

Still procrastinating, I signed up for 2 floral arrangement classes at my local library this month and next. Truthfully, I have no interest in floral arrangement, but it'll help our library justify their funding (I had to miss the last one because I was sick), it's free to me and I think I'll get to keep whatever "arrangement" I come up with.

And then I ordered 2 used books on Amazon that I had seen at Barnes and Noble back in Georgia on the first day of our trip. I used my Amazon Rewards to get them for free.

Youngest Son came back from the library right as the sky was getting pretty dark. It's 4:41 p.m. and I expect we'll get some rain soon. Oh, I didn't see that it's already raining. Not very hard so far, though.  I guess I'll wait until this episode of Law & Order (that I have been very loosely following) is over and then I'll go to the darn dishes. Tomorrow, I need to get back into my routine of doing them first thing in the morning so it's not stressing me all day like this :)

Boy, aren't you glad I'm back blogging every day?  Could a post possibly be any more boring?  Ha. At least I'm sparing you my epicly long To Do List, right?  So that's a plus.

So I finally went to do the dishes at 5 p.m. and I was done by 6 p.m. (I also emptied out the countertop composting bin into the large one outside, looked for a frittata recipe for tonight's dinner, and harvested some green onions from the backyard for the frittata).

I sat down to take a break... and Greg called right away to say he was on his way home! So I'll be dirtying the kitchen again in about 30 minutes. Sigh. This is why I need to be a grown-up and just do the freaking dishes first thing in the morning, no excuses.

On the non-frugal side of things tonight, I have 2 things:

  • I elected to compost 5 bananas because they were very black and leaking.  I usually make banana bread with very very black bananas but the leaking kind of grossed me out.
  • Greg told me that Tabby Kitten had pierced holes in the fitted sheet on his bed. Upon closer inspection, I think they're just tears caused normally because the sheet is old. I'll be looking for a new one at a thrift store, but it would have been nicer if the sheet hadn't torn. I did buy it probably 10 years ago, though.

For dinner, I knew I wanted to make a frittata because I had 2.5 dozens eggs past their prime in the fridge (and 4 egg yolks from my breakfast omelets this week!) but I didn't have a specific recipe in mind so I opened up my "Egg Recipes" binder and found a recipe for Corn, Ham and Scallion Frittata that I had clipped from a magazine.  It's actually the exact same recipe as the one I'm linking to. It was super easy to make and delicious.  I skipped the salt since cheese is usually already salty, used a can of No Salt Added corn instead of frozen corn, dried thyme from my garden instead of fresh thyme, reduced-fat shredded cheddar from Aldi instead of the fattier regular kind, and 4 egg yolks + 4 full eggs since I had 4 egg yolks to use up.  For milk, I have whole milk that's going sour so that's what I used.  The ham I used were slices of Black Forest Ham lunchmeat from Aldi (about 1/3 of a pack), cut in pieces.  The scallions were green onion tops that I harvested from my garden (the same green onions that have been regrowing for something like 4 years now! I had gotten them for free to start with).  I served a side salad of Romaine and cucumber slices with it. Greg and the kids really enjoyed it and so did I.

I did take a few minutes to rinse the dishes after dinner so they'll be easier to wash in the morning.  Meanwhile, Daughter and Youngest Son drove to Great Clips to get haircuts. I gave them one of the prepaid cards that I had bought last year and $4 in cash for tips.  The haircuts were priced at $9.99 each, which were deducted from the prepaid card. I still have 2 haircuts on that card, and another card for 10 haircuts, plus Greg still has some haircuts on the card he carries in his wallet. Prepaying for the haircuts saves us $5 per haircut so it's definitely worth it.

I earned some more Swagbucks tonight by running more videos and taking DailyBreak quizzes via an offer in my inbox so I surpassed my 2nd daily goal. Yippee :)

Then I relaxed for a bit by reading the AMA that FrugalWoods (a frugality/homesteading/financial independence blog, the one on which I found the recommendation for my mattress) did on Reddit a couple of weeks ago.  From that, I got a recommendation for a website through which to get wills and powers of attorney done (something that Greg and I finally agreed upon doing) and a book recommendation re: building wealth. I checked my library system but they don't have it so I filled out an online purchase recommendation form and I'll need to keep checking the catalog to see if they purchased it because, unfortunately, their system isn't set up to let you know if your purchase suggestion was approved or not. However, all except one of my previous suggestions were approved so I just need patience. Seeing that it's a non-fiction book and that, despite my best intentions, I'm rarely motivated to actually read the non-fiction books that I think sound great, I think it's completely reasonable to have plenty of patience in this instance :)

I took a short break from reading the AMA to take a picture of the sunset tonight from our front stoop.  It probably was even more gorgeous seen from the other side of the street, looking towards the lake, but I was already in my PJs and I'm no sexy 20-something, so that's all you're getting :)

Typing is becoming hard because Princess has to touch me while she sleeps and she decided to fall asleep with her head on my left forearm so I think I'll end this already overlong post here for tonight.

Princess this morning. She likes to lick me and then chew on my fingers right before falling asleep and then she has to touch me, somehow. But only when she naps. At night, she sleeps by my feet but doesn't lick or bite or touch me at all. So weird.

Princess tonight. Her head is bopping up and down as I type but she doesn't seem to mind it.  And now Explorer showed up on the other side to tell me to get off the laptop already so I am. See ya.


  1. Ugh! I'm on the pie team, last place!

    1. Well I only have 887 SB anyway so my award is going to go to waste if it's a Swag-up deal again... I'm not sure that it is though, it does say "bonus" NOT "Swag-up bonus". So I'm hoping...

  2. I am enjoying your daily blog posts, even though I miss your to do lists! :D I don't know about jet lag, but I am sure all that driving and traveling is tiring and your body needs to rest. Sounds like you've been busy ever since you got back home, though. Give yourself some time to relax! Those are some great grocery prices!

    1. You're too funny and probably the ONLY one who misses my To Do Lists! I do need to start an official one again, though, as I'm always more productive when the list is staring at me in the face. I do have a mini list going on right now, I just don't post it. I noticed that when I was re-reading all my old posts, I skipped right past it :)

  3. I've noticed over time that Princess is certainly the princess of photos. She always looks cute. Not to say the others don't, but you know, she's a princess. :)

    1. I love them all but certainly she's my girl and Explorer is my boyfriend :) He used to cuddle with me much more but nowadays he's content with just sleeping with me by my head for part of the night, while she's next to me on the couch several times a day and is very affectionate (as long as I don't try to pick her up, she HATES that!) right before she settles down. She's my princess, alright. The baby talk I still use with the 3 kittens is ridiculous. I don't care. Also, I need to stop calling them "kittens" since they're what? 10 months old and pretty much adult-size now. I don't know what else to call them, though. They are such a different group than the older 3, still. I guess I'll stick with "kittens".

  4. Yes, I am very glad you are back to blogging. I love to hear about your days and how mundane they are. (Because they never are) Even when you complain about not accomplishing anything or not having moved into your routine yet, you get SO much done every day. And yes, I totally understand what you mean about not "feeling" tired while on vacation until after you get home. There is so much going on every day while on your trip to new surroundings, you are receptive to everything. Once you make it home to familiarity , you can let yourself relax. That is when all that activity and stimulation finally hits you. It always takes me a few days to recuperate.

    The frittata looks scrumptious, BTW.

    1. You offer so much insight, always. Your comment made me realize why I've been feeling so run down even though our trip really wasn't all that taxing! In fact, I was pretty relaxed for most of the time away. Now I feel like a truck hit me. But again I haven't been sleeping well since I've been back despite my great mattress and the kittens pretty much leaving me alone at night. You should be a therapist or something...

  5. Do you ever make quiche? I have an amazing recipe I acquired years ago from a friend. It has spinach (I've also used Kale), green onions, swiss cheese, and I add mushrooms if I have them fresh. If you're family eats that kinda stuff, let me know and I will dig out the recipe. I just kinda eyeball everything now when I make it. :)

    1. Hey Joy, nice to hear from you again :) Yes, I sometimes make quiche, thanks for reminding me of this. As a matter of fact, "quiche Lorraine" is from the area of France where I was born!

  6. I'm with you on anything that helps make the time go faster when you exercise! For some reason, I can't watch something while I'm on the treadmill (my husband usually watches something that he's seen before on his Kindle). So it's music for me, whenever I'm walking or running or on the elliptical. I've cleverly arranged my playlist so that Bruce Springsteen comes on right about the time when I want to quit...he usually makes me go on for a while longer. LOL.

    I'm still not eating my exercise calories <-- My hat's off to you...I'm eating ALL my exercise calories. As a matter of fact, I've been exercising almost every single day now, just so that I can eat enough not to feel too deprived. One of my friends on Runkeeper recently commented about that (you get notified when your contacts complete an exercise) and wondered if I was slightly obsessed. Ha!

    1. Good for you to exercise so much! But then that's never been your problem I think, you're always killing it with your daily walks and your gym regimen! Greg is arguing with me that I should be eating the exercise calories but my point is that I'm not hungry and if I'm going to eat them it'll be on things that are bad for me and that's a slippery slope. I did indulge a little during my vacation though.

      I'm finding that the way I've changed my eating (whole grains, not much sugar, almost no cheese, and only eating at specific time plus all the liquids I'm drinking whether it is water or coffee/diet soda) is really helping me not get hungry or deprived. I'm able to have baked goods at home (right now we have cookies, peach pie, and vanilla brioche!) without feeling too tempted to eat it. It would taste good but I like seeing that drop in my weight so it's easier to resist. I'm a little worried that I will go back to eating a whole pack of cookies when I'm on maintenance but maybe by then I'll have lost the taste for it? The real test will come when Aldi starts stocking those German chocolate-covered gingerbread cookies at Christmas time again. Oh, that's going to be haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard!

      How many calories is MyFitnessPal telling you to eat (without exercise)?

  7. Oh yeah...those soft, chocolate-covered gingerbread cookies definitely will be the test!!!

    MyFitnessPal tells me (female, 58 years old, sedentary job, goal: lose 2 lbs/per month) that I should eat 1320 calories per day (without exercise). I have a feeling that my metabolism is maybe a little higher than MyFitnessPal calculates for that profile, because I've lost about 8 pounds since I started this diet on May 15.

    We were on vacation for a long weekend over Memorial Day, and I "suspended" my diet, but just ate reasonably well. I figured I wouldn't drive myself crazy over not knowing the calorie counts of all the meals we ate out. I still lost about half a pound during that time.

    1. Congratulations on losing 8 pounds! That's amazing!

      They tell me 1,400 (49 year old female, activity level of "not very active", 5ft8, weekly goal of losing 1.5 lb per week and overall goal of getting down to 160 lbs with a fitness goal of 7 workouts of 30 minutes each a week) and I just don't input my exercise (I track it under "exercise notes" so it doesn't add calories to my daily total. But I started at a much higher weight than you, I think so it's normal that I'm losing more. I was at an all-time high of 230 lbs when I started!

      I usually am very close to 1,400 calories, rarely over. Sometimes I'm short 200 calories so I have an extra snack even though it's making me go "over" my diabetic exchanges. I calculate the exchanges first and then input the food into MFP. That's really working well for me and since I mostly eat the same breakfast, morning snack and lunch, it allows me to be more loosy goosy with my dinner (I plan the dinner first and then adjust my lunch and afternoon snack accordingly, but lunch is usually about the same thing. The only change might be how much protein I still have to eat at lunchtime, depending on what I cook for dinner).

      You did great during your vacation: you weren't deprived and still lost weight! Way to go!


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