Monday, June 26, 2017

Last Domestic Monday of June! ~ Monday 6/26/17

It was a month ago already that Daughter and I were about to go on our road trip... time really does fly!

Greg and I watched an episode of the Great British Baking Show last night and then I started reading through a library book that I decided not to keep and then got my Kindle to read something else.  By then Princess had settled herself on the pillows next to me on the futon but I really wanted to lie down to read my book!  I spoil my kittens so I went to lie down at the other end of the futon, pulled a blanket over myself... and fell asleep! It was only about 9:30 p.m.

My bladder woke me up an hour later and I must have been in a deep state of sleep because I was really confused when I woke up, thinking that I was my mother. Huh?! It took a few seconds for the fog to lift, it was so weird. Then I went to bed and I slept well. Explorer came to bed with me right away and slept there the whole night, by my head, as he likes to do.  Princess didn't show up until it was about time for my phone alarm to ring at 6:30 a.m.

I had promised myself that I would do the darn dishes first thing in the morning, so after I took a shower, I got to it. WMMO now plays mostly music that I like in the mornings (as long as they don't play any Rush, I hate Rush!) so I listened to that while I did most of the dishes. I really wanted my coffee so I didn't do the pots and pans. I'll try to do them later on today.

As I mentioned on my Day Book post, I really have no plans for the week, save for attending that Floral Arrangement class this afternoon and then grocery shopping on Wednesday, as usual.  I haven't looked a my To Do List since Friday so it's time to review it.

  • Plan my food intake for the day   DONE
  • Exercise DONE
  • Make dinner menu for the week DONE
  • Attend Floral Arrangement class at the library DONE
  • Record yesterday's and today's food intake into MFP DONE
  • Check the donation pile for any coupon inserts DONE
  • Return library book I won't be reading DONE
  • Do the dishes IN PROGRESS
  • 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!
  • Water the garden DONE
  • Water the plants on the front porch DONE
  • Pull weeds  IN PROGRESS
  • 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
  • Clip coupons DONE
  • Put coupons away in the coupon organizer
  • Do the laundry DONE
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Wash Youngest Son's bedding ASKED HIM TO WASH IT TOMORROW MORNING
  • Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags
  • Iron Greg's business clothes for his trip next week
  • Vacuum the downstairs
  • Sweep and mop kitchen
  • Clean upstairs litterbox DONE
  • Bake banana bread
  • Mend some items from the mending basket
  • Draft an email reply re: daughter's FL Prepaid/Scholarship ongoing saga
  • Make more salt-free garlic herb seasoning
  • Take Youngest Son driving CAN'T TODAY, DAUGHTER HAS THE CAR
  • Well my weight is up again.  Ugh, gotta get back on the bike!

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • For my first pot of morning coffee, I once again used a free sample K-Cup from Starbucks (Pike Roast).

  • I was going to throw away the 99% full jar of decaf instant coffee from Aldi since it's really terrible but then I decided to keep it for those very few recipes that contains "powdered coffee".  I hate wasting food!

  • I'm back on the routine that works for me, did the dishes (well, most of them) first thing in the morning and then went straight to plan my food intake for the day without first opening the laptop!  

  • I decided that tonight will be leftover nights.  I'll finish the chili, I'll make a burger for Greg with the last of the ground beef, and my son will have another chicken sandwich. Since I still have 2 ears of corn in the fridge, the men will eat that too.

  • I started earning Swagbucks with the nGage and JunGroup videos and then I switch to the automatic nCraves so hopefully I can reach my 1st Daily Goal of 96 SB without too much effort.

  • I'm about to start earning the Microsoft Rewards on the laptop before going to exercise on my recumbent bike.  I'll earn the mobile credits while I bike.

  • Greg sent me a picture that he saw on Bing Pictures, suggesting that we re-use all of his empty whiskey bottles to make... hummingbird feeders.  

  • I hopped on the bike and pedaled... a lot!  I got busy inputting my food intake into MFP, earning mobile MS Rewards, catching up on news and blogs, making a dinner menu for the week, and then I updated a few apps.  Upon seeing the changes, I also left some not very good feedback for a couple of them (CVS, Target Cartwheel)... I got so busy doing that that I ended up biking for over an hour!

  • I was excited to see that the Target Cartwheel app was offering me a 5% discount on various kinds of berries on the main page after I signed in, and I uploaded those offers to my Cartwheel. But then, when I filtered the offers by categories, they didn't appear in the "produce" section at all. So I'm back to not trusting their poorly designed and buggy app and probably won't resume shopping there for my groceries. I guess it simplifies my life, although I really liked combining those discounts, my Driscoll's coupons and the 5% RedCard discount as well!

  • As I was updating apps, I came across these footnotes from the developers of Transit, the app that I had downloaded in order to be able to use the bike share program in Chattanooga.  I think it's hysterical! 

  • After I hopped off the bike, I decided that instead of watching 3/4 of an episode of L&O: CI, I'd drive to RaceTrac to get my and Youngest Son's Sodapalooza refills. I also offered to get him a free Monterey Chicken hot grill roller for his lunch and he accepted.  So off I went. Got my refills, presented my survey reward code for the free Monterey Chicken, and the cashier told me "Oh, you can't get the Monterey Chicken because your receipt says "free donut".  So I told her that, months ago, the managers of both this station and the one in Clermont had told me that the codes were good for either a bakery item, or a roller grill item, or a medium beverage.  At this point, the store manager came and said that we could no longer get freebies anymore with the codes, you need to buy something and you get something else for free! That was news to me so I asked when that change occurred because I'd not been aware of it. He said 2 weeks. Hmm, I've redeemed codes in the past 2 weeks and no one ever said anything. He said they'd keep on honoring the old receipts (and good because I have a shitload of them!) but that the new ones right now said "buy a roller grill item and get free chips". So I did get the Monterey Chicken free today but now I'm always going to wonder if the clerk will be like the first clerk and reject my old receipts!  Grrr.

  • Upon thinking on this some more, I decided that from now on, I will be gassing up my Expedition at Wawa.  Greg and daughter can keep on gassing up at RaceTrac.  Wawa is in Clermont so it's not as convenient for Greg and daughter could go to either but the Wawa survey reward codes are only good for drinks and you have to take the survey within 5 days, print a coupon and then it's only good for 7 days.  I only go to Clermont once a week, usually. So I will gas up at Wawa (same prices at RaceTrac over there since RaceTrac matches their prices, they're a block away from one another), get my free coffee coupon for the following week with my survey and that's that.  The end of an era for me, for sure, LOL!  I'm going to have to make peace with the music they're blaring at the gas pumps though, and that's going to be hard.  And then I'll have to resist their delicious food. I just updated their app too and now you can order the food online so it's ready when you get there. DANGER ZONE for me!

  • Back home, I made my usual breakfast and brewed a pot of decaf coffee.  Shoot, I forgot I had brought back a couple of decaf K-cups from our hotel stays!  I'll have to use those moving forward so it declutters my coffee counter a little.

  • I forgot to mention it this weekend and IHeartPublix reminded me today that there is a digital coupon available in the Publix app for a free cup of LaLiberté yogurt.  That is very good, expensive and VERY UNHEALTHY yogurt. It has a ton of trans fat! I'm on the fence on whether or not I'll redeem it. If I do, I won't eat it, I'll probably give it to Greg.  I feel a little evil saying that, though.

  • I completely forgot to start the laundry this morning. It would have dried outside by now if I had remembered, now I'm going to want to use the dryer so I don't run the risk that the afternoon showers do materialize.  Well, I'd better get off my duff and get that going... 

  • Speaking of using free stuff to declutter your counters, I'd been forgetting to use that free sample of Persil laundry detergent that I received several months ago but I finally remembered to use it today!  I'm doing two super loads of laundry on cold/cold, one with this sample (I held the envelope under the running water to make sure I was getting all of the free soap!) and the other with my Purex that I bought.  I'll see if I can dry anything outside. It's quite humid so maybe I'll just use the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.

  • I reused an empty bread bag to hold the odorous contents of the upstairs litter box. 

  • I printed a few coupons that Kellogg's had emailed me.

  • I went outside to water the plants. Oh my, they needed it so badly!  When I first went out, it wasn't that hot so I got busy pulling weeds from in between the patio pavers. But then the clouds went away and I started baking so I gave that up. I'll have to remember going outside in the morning when the patio is still in the shade!   Some of the weeds were humongous!

  • My rain barrel was full to the top.  I first tried to use an old hose to water the plants from the water barrel, but the hose kept on kinking and it didn't seem to get much water in it anyway so I discarded the hose, something that I should have done a long time ago but I was waiting for Greg to try to wrench the watering nozzle/handle off of it. He couldn't so he cut off the end of the hose and is soaking it in WD-40 to see if he can loosen it.   Then I just used an empty cat litter jug to water all the potted plants on the berm and patio and front porch. I've lost a few plants (2 verbenas, the cone flowers, probably the impatiens and most of the marigolds).

  • When the rain barrel was empty, I used the good hose to refill my self-watering bins.  I also paused to pull as many weeds as I could from a couple of those. Youngest Son, in the meantime, had started mowing the backyard and was almost done, when I looked up and saw this:

So I had him stop mowing and we went back inside.  Now it's raining, of course. I just watered!!!!  Maybe my rain barrel will be refilled though!

  • I made my lunch, same as yesterday. I used the last whole wheat tortilla that I had gotten for a very good price at Save A Lot (I hope they get those back on the shelf!) so tomorrow I'll try the Aldi multigrain and flax seed flatbreads that I bought last week.

  • Aargh, it's still pouring outside and I have to leave to go to the library's Floral Arrangement Class in just 15 minutes!  I don't have a garage and my umbrella... is in my SUV.

  • I entered my weight into WGBRHC for the past 3 days and earned 60 BR points.

  • It stopped pouring just a few seconds before my alarm rang to alert me that it was time to go to the library, phew!

  • At the library, I grabbed some coupon inserts from the donation box, and also checked out the book that had been waiting for me for almost a week!  I thought they would have sent it back by now but since they hadn't, I might as well try to read it. I hope it's good!

  • The class went very well!  All the participants were very nice. There were about 10 of us, only because our library is tiny so there's not a lot of space.  The person doing the class works at our local flower shop. The class was sponsored by Duke Energy so it was free to participants!  I think the arrangement we made is very cute and it'll brighten up the living room. I'm putting it on the mantle so the kittens don't even realize it's there...
my creation!
  • After the class, I stopped by McDonald's to get a treat for my son. I had another "free McFlurry with any purchase" coupon in my app so I was going to get him fries and the McFlurry but after I waited at the drive thru, I was informed that their ice cream machine had broken down (again!  It happens all the time!) so I told them to cancel my order :(

  • I had texted my friend to ask if she could recommend a CPA and she replied that hers has a 3-year waiting list. Well, poop.

  • I ventured into the garden to check on the rain barrel: it's filled to the rim again!  Wow, a lot more rain fell than I thought!  I even had to drain a couple of pots.

  • More freebies!  I have little basil volunteer plants growing all over the berm, along with little vinca volunteer plants as well!  It'll look messy but hey, free plants!
Some of my baby basil plants that are growing in the mulch!

Baby vincas growing in the mulch as well!

I hope those are baby milkweeds in the pot where I had transplanted my milkweed plants!

  • In the mail, I received some coupons from CVS that I probably won't use but there was also a $1 in ECB coupon. Woohoo!

  • My son finished a box of Cocoa Krispies this morning and before I recycled it, I was looking at the promotion on it that stated I could get $8 for a movie ticket on Fandango if I uploaded some receipts with specific Kellogg's products on them. So this afternoon I checked my receipts for the appropriate period and sure enough, I had bought 8 boxes of Cocoa Krispies (I needed 6 boxes), so I submitted my receipts. I hope I can transfer the voucher to Middle Son or Daughter since they go to the movies while Greg, Youngest Son and I don't enjoy going :)

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched a couple of episodes of "Peep Show" on Amazon Instant Prime Video.
  • Two Sodapalooza refills from RaceTrac (free refills through 7/31 with Sodapalooza cup purchase)
  • A Monterey Chicken roll from RaceTrac with (old) survey reward code
  • A free Floral Arrangement class, at my library
  • And I got to take the arrangement home for free!
  • A few coupon inserts from the library's donation box
  • The latest Dennis Lehane thriller, borrowed from my library system :)
  • Free basil and vinca plants since they reseeded themselves! Oh and sweet potato vines too!
  • $1.00 in ECB from CVS just "because".

  • Arrgh, I gained 0.2 lbs since yesterday :(
  • Breakfast was my usual.  I ran out of onion so tomorrow will be different :)
  • I exercised on my recumbent bike for 67 minutes and biked over 12 miles!
  • Lunch was the same as yesterday. I like eating the same things for breakfast, snacks and lunch every day, it makes my life easier!
  • Snack was a whole wheat hamburger bun with some Earth Balance spread on it.
  • Dinner was the rest of the chili with some reduced-fat cheddar on top and a whole wheat hamburger bun.  Later on, I had a yogurt.


  1. Ooh! Look at that flower arrangement you created! That is so pretty! Very patriotic, too, just in time for 4th of July!

    Lucky you to get rain! Of course it had to rain just after you waited and watered the garden! LOL.

    Love all the little volunteer seedlings! You are going to have quite a few volunteer plants when they grow.

    1. If I don't step all over them first! They're growing everywhere in between my flower pots, on the berm. I wanted to add more mulch to it but now I don't know what to do, lol!

  2. Our family likes Alid's flatbread a lot. I will be interested to see what you think. Aldi's also has good wheat tortillas that are not quite as healthy as the flatbread, but still good.

    1. I liked it! I did buy them because they're healthier than the WW tortillas, even though they're more expensive (6 for $2.29 while the tortillas are 10 for $1.99 at Aldi. I had found the WW tortillas for $1.49 at Save A Lot but apparently they don't stock that brand all the time).

  3. Look at you....all creative and stuff. Beautiful flower arrangement for the Fourth of July. What a lovely deep blue colour. Are those Delphiniums?

    Your blog is full of news today. Too bad about Racetrac changing their Freebie policy. Perhaps it is just for the summer since they are already running their Sodapalooza campaign. You will have to drag out all those older receipts and start doing surveys. You don't want to miss out on the Freebies you are entitled to.

    I can't imagine being so busy that I wouldn't notice how much bike pedaling I was doing. If only all your days were like that. Speaking of bike pedalling, someone at the Bike Share office has an absolutely wonderful sense of humour. I loved that message.

    Another great day for Freebies today. And you reminded ME that I also received a free Persil laundry detergent sample. I had better go and hunt it down so I can use it next time I do laundry.

    1. Interestingly enough, the lady giving the class didn't know the name of the blue flowers (but some other attendees guessed delphiniums so I guess that's what they are) or the name of the filler that she gave us. She also didn't know if any of the flowers were toxic to cats. No, I'm not the one who asked, I didn't even think about it, but I'm glad someone did ask because it reminded me not to leave the arrangement anywhere where the cats would find it easy to chew on it!

      I can't imagine that the end of the 100% freebie promo had to do with Sodapalooza. YOu do have to buy the Sodapalooza cups ($11.99 per cup unless you're part of their Rewards program and then you get a $2 discount. I guess they just want more people to buy their foodstuff.

  4. Jealous of those volunteer basil plants and the vinca, too. The cosmos and marigolds that I planted bit the dust early on, when May was such a dry scorcher. But the vinca I've planted has gone crazy. I'm hopeful that it will reseed and eventually I'll get some volunteers, too. I think they are a cheerful flower. :)

    1. I have vincas that grew in between the pavers of the patio. I never pulled them out but I might have to! I also found a sweet potato vine growing at the far end of my veggie garden, a good 30 feet away from where all the other vines had grown, I'm not sure how it got there?!

  5. Ha - I like your trick of eating the same things for breakfast, snacks, and lunch - I do the same thing. I've eaten oatmeal every single day (except Sunday) for breakfast for years, but now that I've found a few things for snacks and lunches that are good, filling, and low in calories I find myself eating the same things over and over. Why mess with a good thing - and like you said, it makes life so much easier.

    1. I think that trying to keep it simple is key to success for me, otherwise it gets very overwhelming. Right now I KNOW how many exchanges I can have every day and even if I don't have my journal with me when I go out to dinner unexpectedly (like tonight), I can think back on what I ate (same as most days) until then and quickly figure out in my head what exchanges I can still have. Then it's a matter of trying to limit portion sizes and approximate the exchanges if I don't know exactly what they are for a dish. I'm sure I went over my calories today, but I was pretty careful with my portion size at Olive Garden, choosing to put most of my pasta in a box to take home instead of eating it. So in the end, what could have been a disaster... wasn't. And it wasn't even that hard to resist the bread sticks, croutons, etc. because I knew that I had eaten all my starch exchanges after having about a cup and a third of linguine. (I avoided the dessert menu by putting it face down on the table and putting stuff over it to hide it!).


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