I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. last night because I was so tired and, for once, Princess settled on the bed right away and slept with me all night (usually she comes up with me, eats a little snack, and goes back downstairs for a few hours).
I had an usually long and detailed dream about moving to Brazil with Greg, some kids, and his mother, because he'd been transferred there, and for once I remembered everything about my dream so I was able to tell him about it. We were laughing because it was all so ridiculous.
When the alarm rang, I felt exhausted! I stayed in bed until I heard Greg get into the shower, Princess liking my forehead and chewing my hair in the meantime. I let her, I had no energy to wave her off! Then Explorer came to cuddle a bit too.
This morning didn't start according to my grand plans of following my routine as I didn't get into the shower but instead came down still in my PJs. Is it still a routine if I don't follow it for a few days? Probably not. I have dishes to do that I should do ASAP so I don't stress about it, but right now? I don't feel like dealing with it. I just want to sit on my futon, watch the Law and Order marathon (although by now they've replayed the same episodes a number of times so I mostly don't pay attention) and continue reading my book about becoming wealthier.
You might be wondering why I titled my post "Kittens!"... well, I noticed two of my kittens looking intently behind a fogged up window and I thought there were birds at the feeder so I went to investigate and I saw... two little kittens on my patio! They are undoubtedly their siblings and two of the kittens that I had found in the tree a few weeks ago (and left there). Arrrgh! They are so cute! Arrgh! My heart melted. Again. I called Greg and he was laughing at me while telling me we didn't need anymore cats but I went on the patio regardless to try to befriend them and they ran off as soon as I opened the door. Well, that's settled then, they're definitely not the kind who will come out crawling from the bushes, meowing for our attention! But it means 2 more feral cats out there, of course. They're so small still that predators will probably get them... I'm going to need to come clean to Youngest Son about the whole story since he's bound to see them at some point. I've confessed to it to my daughter during the trip. It's going to be even harder to resist trying to befriend them (and adopt them!) if the kids see them because we all love cats so very much. So I guess we need to steel ourselves. Arrgh. I didn't get a picture of them since they ran off so fast. But, a bit later on I saw one of them in the road with his mom so I was able to snap two pictures through my window (we have screens on the windows so that doesn't help the quality of the picture, though...).
|Peanut and Explorer look just like their mom, Tabby Kitten looks a lot like this little one here, his stepbrother or sister.|
I think they're taking the BFF's car, so I should be able to take Youngest Son practice his "stick shift" driving. I told my daughter I'd pay for their parking ($20). They each have the Busch Gardens season pass so they don't have to pay for admission. Meals are on them, though.
Plan my food intake for the dayDONE
- Do the dishes
- Post trip pictures on French blog
- Write and mail postcards to my mom and great aunt
- Back up all pictures to my external drive
- Figure out where I was in the process of backing up my external drive!
Clip cats' clawsDONE
- Pull weeds
- Make hummingbird nectar
- Find two books to donate to The Little Library when I go to the eye doctor
- Check to see if I need to purchase more Prevident toothpaste
- Balance the checkbook
Track Greg's latest paycheck in my Tax WorksheetDONE Confirm the after tax amount of his raise and transfer the money to New Car SavingsDONE
- Wash Youngest Son's bedding with mine
- Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags
- Iron Greg's business clothes
- Vacuum the downstairs
- Mop kitchen
- Find a bed for me (IKEA?)
Clean upstairs litterboxDONE
- Bake banana bread
- Figure out what to do with other egg yolks
- Water the plants on the front porch
- Water plants on patio?
- Mend some items from the mending basket
- Draft an email reply re: daughter's FL Prepaid/Scholarship ongoing saga
Take Wawa surveyDONE
- Make more salt-free garlic herb seasoning
Take Youngest Son drivingDONE
SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
- I saw two young kittens in the backyard but they ran away. Not sure to count this as a success or a failure, lol.
- I'm running SB videos to try and reach my first goal of 50 SB. I've already earned the MS Rewards on my laptop and I'll do the mobile part on my phone while I'm biking later on.
- I've been thinking about bloggers who haven't blogged in a while, like Laura from All That Junk in my Trunk, Dawn from Blessed Beyond Measure, Jess from Rebuilding Life, Daisy from Dirt Road Daisy and Tara from Daily Delight. If any of you are reading this, I hope you're OK. I did "talk" to Tara briefly a few days ago via comments on MFP but we just said hi and supported each other in getting healthier.
- A comment by Nan about lilacs and scented candles got me excited about lighting up my lilac-scented candle... but I guess I had already burned it. Rats. And I can't buy any more because... well, because... oh, just look:
- The Neufchatel cheese that I bought a couple of weeks ago at Aldi and that has a September 2017 sell-by date was spoiled when I opened it last night. It's the 3rd time that it's happened with Neufchatel cheese from Aldi so I need to remember not to get it from there again. If I were going to Aldi, I'd bring it back to use their satisfaction guarantee, but I have no plans to be in the vicinity of Aldi this week. If I still have it by Wednesday, I'll bring it back then.
- I planned my food intake for the day in my homemade Diabetic Exchange Journal. When I was time to figure out the exchanges for a pita bread, I use the calculations that I found in a forum comment from a dietician, somewhere:
- Step one: begin by looking at the total grams of carb, protein and fat in one serving of the food you are eating.
- Step two: divide the total grams of carbs, protein and fat by the number of grams per exchange per serving (carb is 15 grams per exchange, protein is 7 grams per exchange, fat is 5 grams per exchange)
- To determine whether the carb exchanges come from fruits, vegetables, milk or starches, you will need to make an estimate based on the ingredients
- So in the case of my pita, one pita as 37 gr of carbs, 6 gr of protein and 0.5 grams of fat.
- Carbs: 37/15 = 2 (so 2 starches since it's bread)
- Protein: 6/7 = 0.85 (so 1 meat if you round up)
- Fat: 0.5/5 = 0.1 (so no fat, basically)
- I printed Greg's new paystub, tracked it in my Tax Worksheet. After figuring out the net dollar amount of his 2017 raise, I transferred money corresponding to his 2016+2017 raise+amount that used to be deducted for FICA to our "New Car Savings" account, and also scheduled an automatic transfer for each pay period through the end of the year. I like to avoid "lifestyle creep" and automatize our savings so there's less temptation to just spend it all.
- Princess got really comfy on my hand while I was trying to type, LOL. I need to go cook my breakfast, though.
- McDonald's has a new offer for free medium fries with any purchase in their app. I might treat Youngest Son to a cheeseburger and fries... we'll see. Oh wait, he has spaghetti leftovers to eat so never mind!
- I was awarded 21 SB for a search, so that put me over my 1st goal. After that, nCrave automatic videos were available so I'll be playing them until they run out or the day ends, whichever comes first! I'm at 1,953 SB as of 11 a.m.
- I forgot that I had the free coffee from Wawa in the fridge (both the 24 oz and the sample size) and I brewed a new pot of coffee! I guess I'll be drinking coffee all day?
- I'm almost out of Mrs Dash salt-free garlic and herbs seasoning but I found a recipe that I had saved in a notebook so I'll be making some of this instead of buying it. as I have all the ingredients on hand.
- So my daughter's BFF waited until the last possible minute to try to earn the volunteer hours she needs to qualify for Bright Futures. In her defense, she's had a lot of serious health problems during high school. Anyhoo, in the past couple of weeks she's been volunteering at the local animal league shelter and at a local library too. One of the ways she can earn additional volunteer hours at the animal shelter is by bringing donations of food, cleaning products, etc. She doesn't have a lot of money so my daughter asked me for suggestions on how she could minimize her cost to make donations. I told her about the PETCO Pals Rewards coupons and also to print pet coupons and wait for BOGO sales at Publix, especially if there was a BOGO coupon because then you get the food for free (or tax only, I think). Well, this morning there is a BOGO coupon for a brand of dog food and a corresponding BOGO sale going on at Publix at the same time! So I emailed the details to my daughter and explained how it works and rain checks (if Publix runs out of the food). My daughter and I are conflicted about the fact that you can buy your volunteer hours (my daughter actually volunteered more than 100 hours herself and Youngest Son volunteers at the library every week) but the shelter does need the food and of course we want the best for her BFF...
- And then I printed 2 of the BOGO coupons for the BFF and some coupons for me since they had reset since Sunday.
- I checked the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens next week and updated my shopping list. I'll be getting some candy at Walgreens because I'll get Register Rewards for them, making them essentially "free". I'll redeem the RR the following week for some groceries. The candy will be given to Youngest Son.
- After taking a shower, I took Youngest Son on a driving lesson with the Ford Focus (stick shift). This time I had him drive all the way to the Van Fleet Trail where Greg and I go walking. I knew he wouldn't want to go walking and it was hot anyway so then I had him drive home.The road doesn't have a lot of traffic but has a lot of curves and is narrow with lots of pot holes to avoid. The speed limit is also 55 MPH for half of it so it was good practice for a lot of things. However, today he was having trouble with the car stalling when he tried to drive in 1st gear (like at a stop sign) or stalling when he got to a stop sign because he forgot to put it in neutral. So he needs to practice this more before I feel comfortable taking him on a busier highway and I had him drive home. So he got about 40 minutes of driving done today. We talked about practicing the same route at night and also in the rain, so we might go out again tonight. We'll see.
- Then I drove us to RaceTrac to get our free Sodapalooza refills. I redeemed a survey reward code for a free Monterey Chicken hot grill roller item for his lunch. So glad we didn't go to McDonald's!
- It was already 1:30 p.m. when we got home, so I made my lunch and got back to my Law & Order marathon on ION TV :) I had to throw away about 2 oz of chicken because I had cooked the breast last week and the bottom part of it had become slimy and smelled a little. The top was fine so that's what I used for my lunch.
- While I was gone, nCrave automatic videos allowed me to reach my 2nd Daily Goal. Yes! I'm now at 2, 010 SB so I should be able to get a new gift card soon. I'm thinking about getting something else than a Walmart gift card this time, though. Maybe Amazon, we'll see.
- PBS sent me a reminder that they're airing a new (well, the 4th) season of The Great British Baking Show right now. I emailed Greg to warn him that we'll watch it tonight, on the PBS app of our Roku. We love that show!
- Brighthouse is/was our cable internet provider but it got bought by Spectrum a few months back, who has now taken to calling my cell phone every day, probably to upsell me, so I blocked them on my cell phone. I've heard that they don't do contracts and were cheaper so I was wondering if I would pay less for our internet if I contacted them. However, I just found a site with the following information that was updated last week and I'll stick with what we have right now. Our speed isn't as good but it's good enough and we pay less than the regular price will be after the 1 year promo. I hate those deals with small print, they're all so scammy. So we'll stick with our regular plan which hopefully will keep on being offered. We're not under contract either and we don't need nor want home phone or cable TV.
- I clipped all of the cats' nails. I had some trouble with a couple of them (Princess hates anyone holding her or even thinking of holding her and fights it with her all might!) so Youngest Son stepped in to help and distract them. I only did the front paws for the kittens, all four paws for the more sedate older cats. It helps that I caught most of them while they had been napping!
- To reward the kittens, I gave them each a Greenies treat from the bag I got at a steep discount yesterday (tuna flavor, I'm not sure how that's supposed to help their breath!) and got their favorite toy out: the long bendy stick that has a small bell and multicolored feathers at the end. They go c-r-a-z-y for it so I let them jump and run and pounce after and on it for a while before putting it away in its hiding place again. I think Princess will soon forget about the ignominy of getting her front nails clipped and may return to cuddle before bedtime :) (update: it's 9:34 p.m. and she hasn't returned yet...)
- It doesn't look like I'll be exercising today so I went ahead and earned the mobile MS Rewards. I'm 4 credits away from being able to order a $5 Amazon gift card.
- Tabby Kitty just brought down his 2nd sock of the day. I was hoping that he was over that since I hadn't noticed any new socks downstairs in a couple of day, but nope. At least he 's playing with it instead of just dropping it there and never touching it again (until I bring it back upstairs because he brings it back downstairs!). It's like he's feathering a nest with socks but his nest is my whole downstairs...
- Explorer is the mellowest cat but also very high strung. Is that possible? Like here, he's relaxing near me while I'm scratching his chin and decides to start cleaning his back paw... he's completely relaxed. And then Tabby Kitty makes a little noise down on the ground and Explorer shoots out like an arrow (scratching my arm in the process) goes to hide! He did that this morning too when we were cuddling in bed. Each time he scares the poop out of me because I'm pretty high strung myself, hahaha.
- The flowers on the back patio really need to be watered because it hasn't rained in over 24 hours and it's been quite hot. But I'm hoping it'll rain overnight so I don't have to go out there and do it myself, lol.
- I was reading something online and was reminded, again, that paying for stuff on Amazon with Amazon Rewards when you have an Amazon Visa card that pays 5% back in Rewards makes no financial sense. And yet that's what I do because I love seeing those "$0 due" when I place my orders! But I should apply the points to my credit card balance and earn 5% back on ALL my orders instead. Arrgh, I really need to do this, it's so stupid to focus on the "freebies" when it's actually costing me money in form of rewards that I'm NOT earning.
- For dinner I made Mock Zuppa Toscana Soup. I used the turkey andouille sausage from Aldi (4 links only, I froze the remaining 2 it was $2.49 for 6 links), white wine from Aldi ($2.99 a bottle), collard greens bought on 50% off clearance at Save A Lot ($1.25 a 32 oz bag), Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium (I got it for free at Publix with a gift card I had won), minced garlic from Dollar Tree, 4 Yukon potatoes that had been in my pantry for several weeks. Instead of cream, I used the 4 little pots of half and half I got with my free coffee at Wawa yesterday. To accompany the soup, I used 2 pitas from Aldi that I had bought several weeks ago on clearance and frozen. I cut them in halves. The soup was very spicy, I think the next time I use that type of sausage, I will omit the red pepper flakes!
- After dinner, Greg and I watched the 1st episode of the 4th season of The Great British Baking Show. They made Jaffa cakes! I looooove Jaffa cakes! Now I want to make some! Oooh, and I guess we're late to the party because episodes 2 and 3 have already aired so now we have dates for tomorrow night and Sunday nights (because I can't binge-watch this show while I'm on a diet, there's so much salivating I can do in one night without succumbing to temptation.)
|You can also find those in the imported foods section of some supermarkets, they're called "Pims" and are made by Nabisco. They come in Orange or Raspberry flavor. They're my very favorite cookies. Publix usually carries them.|
- My daughter's BFF drove to Busch Gardens so I didn't have to pay for the gas (or wear and tear on the Focus)
- A survey reward code from Wawa for a free drink
- I told daughter about the BOGO sale on dog food coupled with the available BOGO coupon that will result in dog food freebies for her BFF to redeem at the shelter for volunteer hours toward a college scholarship
- Two free Sodapalooza refills for my son and myself
- I always forget to mention this but Greg gets 4 free Sodapalooza refills for himself every day now that he has my daughter's cup too and that there's a RaceTrac station near our home AND his office!
- A free Monterey Chicken hot grill roller item from RaceTrac, with a survey reward code
- I lost weight again, woohoo!
- Breakfast was my usual egg white omelet with onion, zucchini, and spinach, and a cup of papaya.
- I had my morning snack with lunch, my usual strawberry shake.
- Lunch was a chicken wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla, 2 oz of grilled chicken breast, light mayo and spinach. I also had a side salad of Romaine lettuce and cucumber with some light balsamic vinaigrette, and a cup of papaya.
- Afternoon snack was a slice of homemade whole wheat bread, toasted, with some Earth Balance with Olive Oil spread melted on top and 8 Thin Wheat crackers from Aldi.
- Dinner was a full bowl of Mock Zuppa Toscana and half a pita. Later on, I had a Fit & Active yogurt.
How do you handle lifestyle creep? Do you send your raise amount to savings, increase your debt repayment accordingly, or do you just leave it in your checking account and spend it on everyday stuff?