Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Change of Plans ~ Thursday 7/27/17


  • Last night my daughter came to say goodnight and I told her I was about to go do the dishes (yes, at 10 p.m.!) and she begged me not to because her bedroom is right above the kitchen and she said I made too much noise. Fair enough but when I told her that I'd do them this morning instead, she also protested because she didn't plan on getting up early. Arrgh.  In the end, she asked me if we could just reschedule the museum trip because she wanted to study math some more before retaking the placement test. You know, that worked better for me too, giving me a chance to sleep in and then do some cleaning without having to rush too much so we'll go to Ocala next week instead.

  •  All three kittens slept with me last night, which made for an uncomfortable night (and to be fair, all the cherries I ate didn't help either!). Tabby Kitty, in particular, likes to take up as much room as he can and right in the middle of the bed.  I woke up at 4 a.m. to use the bathroom and then got really anxious about something and couldn't go back to sleep so I read some news on my phone and then still couldn't sleep so got my Kindle Fire and put on Forensic Files again and that did the trick. It always does!  I woke up at 9:30 a.m.

  • I fed the cats, had Very Berry Cheerios with real strawberries for breakfast with my coffee, and by the time I settled down, Law & Order Criminal Intent was starting on ION TV (it's a conspiracy to keep me away from the chores!  But it's only 1 episode today so soon I'll be free to wash all the dishes, yaaayyyyyyyyyy. Can you feel the excitement?!).

  • I had a message on Instagram from my sister to wish me a happy St Nathalie's Day (in France, a traditionally Catholic country, almost every day is celebrated as a Saint's day and 7/27 is St. Nathalie's Day), and an email from my French BFF replying to my email from May 9! She and her family will be in NYC in August.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits and redeemed 5,250 credits for a $5 Amazon gift card, which I received right away. Woohoo!

  • As for SB, my 1st goal is 40 SB again and I received a 26 SB Search award first thing this morning so this plus my running automatic nCraves means I should have no trouble reaching at least my 1st daily goal.
  • Well, the TV show just ended so I guess I have ran out of excuses not to do the freaking dishes and here I go...

  • So I did the dishes while watching a couple of episodes of "Forensic Files" on my Kindle.  The bottle of liquid dishwashing detergent was almost empty so I added a little water to it and was able to wash all my dishes with just that, woohoo!

  • While I was doing the dishes, I cooked some brown rice in the microwave.  At first I thought I'd freeze it in smaller portions for myself, but now I'm thinking I'll just serve it for dinner with the salmon that I ended up buying.

  • I kept the automatic videos running while I did the dishes and then I went grocery shopping, so at 2:45 p.m. I am just 1 SB away from meeting my 2nd daily goal, woohoo!
Met it!
  • Yep, grocery shopping. When I was done with the dishes, I didn't feel like vacuuming and my daughter hadn't started studying her math yet so I offered to take her out to lunch if she came to Aldi with me and she accepted :)

  • We got our Sodapalooza cups and got ourselves free refills at RaceTrac.

  • She placed our Panera order on my app and paid with my gift card. I had a $5.55 OOP that was charged to my Discover and I will earn 5% back in Rewards too.  The order allowed me to earn a free pastry reward, which I then sneakily donated to her since you can do that. She was thrilled :)

  • We stopped by Save A Lot first and I got the last 3 packages of chicken breasts at $0.88/lb, a papaya, a small onion and a dozen of eggs.  I should have waited until Aldi for the eggs because they ended up being half price there!  I paid with 2 gift cards that I had bought from Youngest Son last year so no money OOP for me today there and I'll then count those as "freebies" since the money was already accounted for in my budget last year.

  • We got our Rapid Order from Panera's (good thing we ordered in advance because there was a long line) and sat outside on the patio in the shade (we were the only ones there) with our Sodapalooza cups.  I had ordered a steak and cheese panini and half a strawberry salad with chicken, and she got a turkey apple sandwich and a small broccoli cheese soup.  My food was good and the salad was refreshing since it was so hot. 

  • I had meant to stop at CVS afterwards to get my milk there for free with my gift card, but I completely forgot (we were too busy chatting!) and we ended up at Aldi, where even more of the parking lot has disappeared because of the construction zone. It wasn't very busy (thankfully!) but I was super disappointed to realize that that grape jelly that's on sale this week?  Yeah, they didn't have ANY.  Arrgh.  I got what I needed plus some extras and, with the  18 rolls of toilet paper and 2 jugs of cat litter, my OOP came to just a little above $75. I paid with Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
I did stock up on some lunchmeat.
  • My last stop was Wawa, where I redeemed one of my survey reward coupons for a free 24 oz French Vanilla coffee, along with 4 packets of sweetener and 4 cups of half and half.

  • Back home, my daughter helped me unload everything and then I took pictures for the blog :)

  • I had found a newspaper sleeve in my driveway before we left.  As I unpacked it, it was several sales flyers but also coupon inserts as well as McDonald's coupons and more coupons for Great Clips.    Everything was also doubled!  Woohoo!  Coupon freebies are almost always my favorite freebies :)

  • The McDonald's sheets of coupons include a coupon for a free small fries or hash browns, no purchase necessary!

  • Greg called at about 2:20 p.m. to say that they would be home in a couple of hours, hooray!  Youngest Son wanted to go to the library to play games with his friends but we had cancelled the session today since he was supposed to be camping still, so he's going to text them to see if they want to meet anyway.  I guess he missed his friends more than the cats!  For someone who claims he doesn't have any friends...

  • So now I'm looking at my living room and thinking that I'll just vacuum tomorrow :)  I lit a scented candle in the living room and put a lavender-scented Renuzit cone at the entrance of the house so they get the illusion that the house is cleaner than it looks, hahaha.  Plus, when you come back to an old house like ours, it always smells very musty at first.

  • I met my 2nd Swagbucks goal for today and will keep on running the videos too!

  • Gold'n Plump sent me a $1.50 off coupon for any chicken product so I printed it, even though I used to redeem those at Target and I don't shop there anymore.

  • Funny story.  So yesterday, there was an online article about Florida getting new driver's licenses with pictures of the new driver's licenses, and I forwarded it to Greg, Daughter and Middle Son.  Middle Son replied "for a second, that big red "F" looked like a swastika and I got scared!".  I couldn't see a red F anywhere on the pictures of the dummy licenses so I said "The F in Florida?" and he said "yes the big red F".  So I looked again and didn't see a big red "F", looked at my own license and told him "I don't have a red F on my license, but it's one of the old ones" and he said "no, on the pictures that you sent me!".  So then he sends me this picture:
 And to me it looks like he just did that in Paint or something so I replied "Haha, it's not nice to make fun of your mom" because that's just his sense of humor...

But then he sends me this (and I can just picture him smacking his forehead as he reads my messages! LOL!). Love the note next to the picture too!

HAHAH. No, I had totally NOT seen this!  Well, for the record, my daughter didn't notice a big red F either until I showed her the picture with the F traced on it.  I'm not very observant. I'd make the worst witness ever.

  •  I input all my receipts into my spreadsheets. Since I shopped at Aldi and Save A Lot, there weren't any rebates to redeem :(

  • I checked the mail and found a mailer from CVS with a $3 ECB in it. Woohoo! Oh and also some health coupons that I won't be using.

  • I started clipping the coupons and then Greg and Youngest Son came home (hooray!) and I drove Youngest Son to the library so he could go play board games with his friends.  It is very good to have them back!

  • Greg and I chatted for a bit about what happened on their trip and here. I'm super tired due to not sleeping well last night.  I don't think I'll stay up late tonight!

  • He brought back several food stuffs from his camping bin, including some eggs, turkey, bread, cheese, jelly, PB, chocolate pudding cups. So I put all of those away.

  • It's very hot again today. I had hoped it would rain mid-afternoon but it didn't so tomorrow morning I'll need to go water the garden.

  • I was super tired so I whined and Greg agreed that we could order dinner from Domino's. I redeemed my free pizza reward (medium 2-topping pizza) for the kids, Greg wanted wings and I got myself a sandwich. Very unhealthy but I'm too tired to care. Also, we're celebrating my men being home :)

  • Greg and I went to pick up our son from the library. Our son was given a gigantic box (90-ct!) of fruit snacks by the Teen Librarian to celebrate the fact that he had volunteered for 90 hours this past year!  He also received 2 bags of chips :)

  • Then we went to pick up our Domino's order and then stopped by RaceTrac as we had brought our Sodapalooza cups.  We got everyone free refills.

  • Greg and I enjoyed watching last weekend's episode of "The Great British Baking Show" while we ate our dinner. He was very annoyed to find that his 8-piece wing order only had 6 of them in it and they were very tiny so he's now forsaken Domino's (again).

  • Greg and Youngest Son brought us back presents!  I got the most hilarious sign (they brought me back a sign last year too, this picture has last year's sign on the top and the new one on the bottom), and a S'mores-scented candle that's going to create a lot of cravings for me!

  • It rained for a short while after we came back from picking up dinner. Not very long, but it was something :)

  • Chili's emailed me an offer for free queso with the purchase of one adult entrĂ©e. However, I think their queso is disgusting. My daughter loves it so I'd usually send it to her but since her BFF is gone for 10 days, she probably won't be going to Chili's.

  • A $5 gift card from Amazon
  • 7 Sodapalooza refills from RaceTrac
  • A free pastry reward from Panera (donated to my daughter)
  • A free 24 oz cup of coffee with sweetener and creamer from Wawa, with survey reward coupon
  • Several coupon inserts, left in my driveway!
  • We redeemed the reward for a free Domino's pizza tonight
  • Free garden watering from Mother Nature :)

To Do List
  • Plan today's food intake 
  • Exercise 
  • Record today's food intake into MFP 
  • Make crepes or pancakes with sour milk I ENDED UP THROWING THE MILK AWAY
  • Empty dishwasher  DONE
  • Do the dishes DONE
  • Make vet appointment for 2 oldest cats' check-up
  • Explore Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services webpage and get started on process 
  • Create Greg's online Social Security Account (with him) and update my documents
  • Post trip pictures on French blog
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Trim bushes in front of the house 
  • Transplant ferns from bin into front yard 
  • Transplant all basil seedlings from berm and patio to the empty garden beds 
  • Pull weeds from planter near house/hose
  • Pull weeds from berm 
  • Pull weeds from garden area 
  • Pull weeds from rose planter 
  • Lay down more cardboard on top of mulch
  • Mulch the berm again
  • Mow the lawn
  • Edge the berm
  • Make more self watering bins
  • Plant tomatoes and lettuce (when it's cooler)
  • Clean upstairs litter box
  • Feed all cats in the morning DONE
  • Feed all cats in the evening DONE
  • Dust Cat Room and Living Room
  • Vacuum living room
  • Sweep and mop kitchen 
  • Sweep Greg's bedroom 
  • Sweep daughter's staircase 
  • Mend some items from the mending basket
  • Take Youngest Son driving (on hold until he comes back)
  • Vacuum fridge's coils
  • Explore Will and Power of Attorney forms on LegalZoom and discuss with Greg
  • Find a good picture of our cats and order bag from Shutterfly for Daughter with freebie code
  • Check to see if received answer from UF Admissions re: filling out SSAR/Application in 10th grade
  • Inventory what batteries we need for hurricane season
  • Finish the 2014 Powerpoint document for Daughter
  • Add clip art to all 2012, 2013 and 2014 pages that I created and print them
  • Tape the Strength Training videos and put on dedicated SD card (once the large TV is reconnected)
  • Put bleach in furnace drain line for maintenance
  • Pour Drano down kitchen sink for maintenance
  • Scrub the WHOLE shower (including ceiling)
  • Clean exercise room vent
  • Vacuum kitchen vents
  • Fix kitchen sliding drawer
  • Wash bathroom and hall ceiling, door jamb  (wear old clothes)
  • Write letter to Target CEO (once refund has been issued)
  • File paperwork
  • Do the shredding
  • Call SunTrust and Chase re: bonds
  • Reconcile FSA records to make sure we're not missing money in the account
  • Add Osmocote plant food to hibiscus and roses
  • Check on beans and papaya seeds (daily) and water as needed  
  • Order rain barrel from Home Depot
  • Declutter the old coffee table ONGOING
I hope you all had a good Thursday!


  1. Sigh. You had to post the picture of the Panera bread, didn't you? I had gone to the French bakery stall at the farmers market, this morning, hoping to buy one of their small baguettes, but they didn't have any baguettes, today. Glad you and daughter got to go out to lunch, even if you couldn't go to the museum. Glad that Greg and Youngest Son came home safely. Love the sign they brought you!

    1. Their bread is very good, isn't it? Hmm, I wish I had some right now :) I hope you had a good day, today, Bless.

  2. I'm glad your son and Greg are home safely. Enjoy. :)

    1. Thank you, it's great to have them back!

  3. Nice you and your daughter are spending time together! All is well here. I pretty much have emptied my kitchen refrigerator in hopes of ordering a new one. My sis tells me the statue of limitations is running out and I need to get one soon since she is paying. I made some cold coffee concentrate from a Pioneer Woman recipe and the iced coffee was GOOD!I just added a little stevia and a little 1/2 and 1/2 and lots of ice. I might stop at Aldi's later but I have enough food in the freezer to last a few days (second old fridge in the garage). I have to laugh at your dislike of doing dishes. I'm a fixer by nature (first born) and I wonder why you don't just use a good dishwasher? My kids all had the job of emptying mine out and putting the dishes away. I think you have one but maybe just use it for storage?? BTW the school hired a new band director (someone from a middle school with no experience in marching band) and they cancelled a week of practice but will meet next week. GS is actually happy- he doesn't like a lot of downtime. I bought him a backpack for school- he picked it out and I paid (Hershel he ordered from amazon) and both boys are ready for school- August 10th here. Younger GS said his old one was fine. I'm going to try to have a really frugal August since July was a total spend fest- trees, NYC and daughter's visit. I bought GD some clothes, 2 meals out, a big lasagna dinner here, and gave $100 to Dd for her Uber home from SF. I really need to spend nothing in August except $100 for soninlaw's birthday. I quit buying any gifts a few years ago.

    1. How sweet of your sister to be buying you a new fridge! I'm also a first-born :) Our dishwasher is not working. However, replacing it would pretty much lead to major renovations for several reasons and we have other things to get fixed that take precedence over a dishwasher so I'll just keep on doing the dishes by hand for the foreseeable future. I actually had the kids do the dishes when they needed to earn the money for their share of the car insurance, but my daughter elected to pay me in cash out of the allowance that her dad gave her and this summer I've just been giving the kids a break. Youngest Son will start doing the dishes once he gets his driver's license.

      I'm glad you grandson's high school hired a music teacher, but I wonder how they'll manage if the teacher has no experience in marching band?! Hopefully there are assistants that can step in. One of our local high schools just lost their music director too... he was arrested (and is now out on bail) for having a sustained relationship with a student! So I don't know what they'll do either since band camp is ongoing right now. I almost suggested to Oldest Son that he applies for that job but since he's already slotted to work at the elementary school where he was hired, I didn't bother. Have a good weekend!

    2. Sis has lived with me on 2 different occasions and since she came into a 'windfall' she wanted to treat me LOL. Her former boss (he sold the company in March) gave her $10,000 in cash and $50,000 as a bonus. Nice! Mom had a portable dishwasher in later years- it actually worked quite well. When we were kids, I washed and brother dried. I know about the band director- GS said the freshmen will be lost. Ironically, another HS close by (Nease) had the same thing happen with their director- he had a relationship with a student and was fired but they were able to replace him early in the summer. I'm off to visit my last client this AM and then I might stop by the library. Nothing exciting planned for me this weekend either. Have fun yourself!

  4. Your Teen Librarian is very nice! And kudos to your son for accumulating so many volunteer hours.

    The sign they brought back for you really made me laugh. I feel like that most days. ;)

    The new licenses are ugly, I think. But I don't suppose there is really an attractive drivers license...

    I hope you got some good sleep last night and are feeling well rested today!

    1. Our Teen librarian is really awesome. I constantly fear that she'll go on to bigger things at another library, which she deserves, but it would be a huge loss for us. Youngest Son really likes her and she's been a great support to all the kids. She is also the one who organized the flower arranging classes for the adults.

      Have a great weekend, Laura! Enjoy your new chairs and your company.

  5. Glad the men are home and love the sign gift.

    1. Thanks, Sandie! I told Greg and you and your husband were in Gettysburg on the same day he and Youngest Son were and showed him those old pictures you had taken, he really liked them and said we should do the same. Well, yes, but first, he'd have to agree to go on vacation with me, wouldn't he? Ha.

  6. I was reading the Florida license thing and I was thinking that it would be hard to read the information with the big F in the way and it is a little weird....until I figured out that he drew it in. It is still a strange look but I guess Florida is the one that gets copied the most so they need to mix it up and make it hard. Ours have holograms and weird seals in them so I guess each is it own weird!!! Love that you didn't see it either.

    Nice to have family back!! That is a lot of fruit snacks. Was he expecting a prize for getting to 90 hours? I know that they were required to do service hours here for graduation but they took them away because I think that they couldn't track them. I did a ton when I was in high school and I would like to do it again but there are so many strings attached in this area that I really haven't found anywhere that I would be invested to do it. I guess I should work on that this school year :)

    1. No, no prize was expected for anything! Youngest Son is volunteering in order to qualify for the Florida Bright Futures college scholarship (part of the requirements is having to volunteer at least 100 hours while in high school) and it was just our awesome Teen Librarian's way of thanking him for continuing to lead the Dungeons & Dragons/whatever board game group every week this past year. Each volunteer has to have the organization for which they volunteer (which has to be preapproved by the high school) sign off on their hours on a special log sheet that they turn in to Guidance at the end of their Senior Year.

  7. A pastry reward at Panera? I'd have a really hard time donating that to someone else, LOL. I'd feel like I "earned it" so it's all mine.

    Love the signs you got as presents this year and last year!

    1. I already ate too many of the "free bagels a day" that I got there this month, for my own good! As much as I love bready stuff and freebies, it's actually a relief that today is the last day of August and I won't "have to" eat free bagels in September, LOL.


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