Not much happened here at all, which was very nice, actually! I decided not to blog every day because, quite honestly, I did nothing. Errr, that is to say that I did even less than usual, lol.
So I figured that just a recap post would be enough.
What did I do? Well, I:
- Earned SB (reached my 2nd goal each day) and Microsoft Rewards every day
- Had the TV on most of the days... Law & Order (Friday), L&O:SVU (Saturday), L&O: Criminal Intent (today). But I mostly had it on for background noise and didn't really pay attention. But I also watched a lot of other shows. TV was my best friend this week :)
- Read through a lot of blogs that I hadn't read in a long time
- Cooked dinner
- Cuddled with cats
Hmm, and that's about it. Seriously. Greg did a whole bunch of stuff last Friday, with Youngest Son's help at times, but then he read and played a whole bunch of video games. Youngest Son slept a lot and played video games. My daughter studied math for 2 days and last night she retook her UF Math Placement Test last week.
It's the end of the summer vacation for most of us (Greg went back to work on Monday) so I think we all wanted to just veg.
Here is a small summary of each day, more in detail. It's going to be boring to read because I barely took any pictures at all... and I really didn't do anything interesting!
Well Greg and I surely paid for that Domino's meal last night. Both he and I, although we ate different things, had major digestive issues last night. I always get a stomache when I eat there and yet I always tend to forget about it... until the next time! It's nothing like food poisoning but I think our systems just don't agree with their food. So we need to cross Domino's off the list of local eateries.
New Kitty threw up her food last night so this morning she was crying behind Youngest Son's door at 8 a.m. for her breakfast, something she hadn't done in 2 weeks and boy, did I not miss that! He is oblivious, as all teens are, so I finally got up and fed all the cats.
Greg got up to and is going to mow the lawn before it gets too hot. As for me... well, I warned him that Friday was "Law & Order Marathon Day" (again... I wonder if this will continue past the summer!) so not to expect me to do anything, lol.
I have a ton of receipts from his trip to input in my spreadsheets, so in reality I'll probably do that. We're going to have to cover his trip expenses from our savings account, which I expected. Actually, I had expected to transfer money from the savings account for several months as we have been cash flowing several expensive things (my trip, all the vehicle's maintenance) so now it's time to pay the piper.
I told Greg he could use my Sodapalooza cup to get himself a 2nd free refill of Diet Dr. Pepper since I probably shouldn't be drinking soda today. Plus, Sodapalooza ends in 3 short days so it's time to start weaning myself and for him to increase his consumption, ha.
I'm drinking reheated French vanilla coffee from Wawa, that free coffee I got yesterday.
I earned another 26 SB for a Search this morning and my 1st daily goal is 40 SB. Gotta love those big incentives at the end of the month. I expect that soon I'll return to the 4 SB Search awards, ha. I'm a little over 1,000 SB so I'm hoping to be able to score a $25 in a couple of weeks if nCraves keeps on running. I'm running them today, of course.
Still no reply from my brother from Marseille so I texted him. I'm not on Facebook and I've stopped using messaging apps and I never think to just straight out text my French family, probably a remnant of how much a phone call overseas used to cost. If he doesn't answer the text, it's either that they're at their mountain home (no cell service, no internet) or something happened... or maybe he's mad at me and doesn't feel like talking, lol. It's hard for a worrier not to worry. But I checked the French news headlines and the fires seem to have died, I guess, as they're not really talking about them. So they're probably at their vacation house. Update: he texted me back that they're at their mountain house and everything is OK. Phew!
I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards, it's always so easy to do.
Since it rained a little last night (well, it rained a lot but only for a short time), I won't water the garden today, but I probably need to go and check on some plants.
Greg used my electric trimmer to edge the berm (he has a gas-powered one but it's been giving him trouble) so I went outside to show him how to use it (it can be temperamental) and while he did that, I pulled some weeds and checked on the garden.
Then I went back indoors because it was darn hot while Greg continued to clean his camping equipment and mowing the lawn. He's a trooper! I feel exhausted just watching him, hahaha.
I made my lunch early today because Cheerios don't keep me full even if I do eat blueberries (which supposedly have fiber) with them. I finally cut up my homegrown pineapple and it is sooo sweet and delicious! I made a spinach salad with blueberries, strawberries, grapes and pineapple. I was going to use some light balsamic vinaigrette but then I decided not to use any dressing at all. I also made a chicken sandwich (roasted chicken breast from earlier in the week, light mayo, whole wheat bun) and I'm drinking water.
I rooted the pineapple top in a jar of water that I'm leaving outside since the kittens can't be trusted with plants indoors.
On a mini Food Waste Friday rant, I had to compost several strawberries from one of the containers and I don't know if it's one of the ones I bought yesterday or the last one that was in my fridge from last week. I need to start writing the purchase dates on those too!
Greg and Youngest Son went to get more Sodapalooza refills at RaceTrac but I told Greg he could use my cup
I'm not completely being healthy today. My BFF emailed me that she felt a little low today because she's realizing her son is going to college in 2 weeks and that all she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and eat chocolate. I replied (and it was true!) that I read her message as I was curled up in a ball on my couch, eating trail mix because it's also dawning on me that school is starting in 2 weeks for our younger kids and our older kids are moving away right after that. I wanted to do some reading today so I'll probably snack on trail mix while doing that.
I finally reached my 2nd SB goal at about 2 p.m. and then I stopped the videos because my laptop was starting to behave slightly weirdly. I probably need to reboot it.
I looked at the ad preview for CVS for next week and made a note to get my milk there.
Dinner was Coriander Crusted Salmon and Brown Rice, with Herbed Green Beans. I had an orange for dessert.
I received the latest newsletter from Youngest Son's high school and it mentioned some supplies that he'll need. We have most of those at home but I didn't feel like going to hunt for a specific notebook all over the place, so I just ordered it from Amazon. I applied my $5 gift card from Microsoft Rewards so my OOP was only $2.79, charged to my Amazon Visa for 5% back in Rewards. I turned down the $1 digital credit for No Rush Shipping as I wanted to make sure that we did receive it before school starts.
I ended up watching Law & Order all night until 1 a.m., although for the last couple of hours I was mostly asleep, lying down on the couch with Princess nestled near my head and I was holding her paws while she slept as well. We were so comfy!
I slept until 10 a.m. and so did Greg and Youngest Son.
After a nice shower, I went to brew my coffee. I finally finished the package of espresso coffee so I opened a large can of Walmart-branded coffee that I had bought a long time ago, as I am on a "pantry challenge" where coffee is concerned. I just need to get rid of the coffee I had piled up in there, when Greg was still drinking it. The can that I opened today has a "best by" date of.... 2008! It's huge so it's going to take me forever to finish it. And then I have several large Maxwell House cans too so I probably don't need to buy any coffee (save for decaf) for a whole year or more!
I started earning Swagbucks with the automatic nCrave videos. My first goal today is only 30 SB. I earned all of the Microsoft Rewards credits for the day.
Later on today we'll finally catch up on Game of Thrones, so I reactivated our monthly HBONow subscription via our Roku. I was supposed to get an email that would allow me to get a password so I can watch HBONow on other devices as well, but I never got it so I had to email them to troubleshoot that. They replied almost right away so now I'm all squared away. Yay! I wanted to be able to do this because my daughter will be away at college for the last 3 episodes and I told her that she could use our account to watch those 3 episodes.
However, I sent the email from a joint email address that Greg and I have, the receipt was addressed only to me, I gave my name in the email and signed the email with my name only. The HBO account is registered in my name... and the HBO rep keeps on calling me Greg. I'm very annoyed. I know it's piddly, but there you have it. Greg is laughing at me so I told him I'd log in to all his gaming accounts and change them so he's greeted as "Nathalie" every time he logs in. We'll see how he likes it!
Greg gave me a heads-up that there were a couple of sandhill cranes in our front yard so I went outside to take some pictures. A couple of the kittens watched from the window.
It was super humid when I went out and I started hearing thunder. 5 minutes after I had gone back inside, it started pouring! Yay! It didn't last long but it was a boatload of water so I don't need to worry about watering the garden today.
Ooh, a student has created a hack to hook up your exercise bike to your TV so you have to maintain a certain speed to keep watching the show you want to watch! I need this so badly, LOL. (Note: the writer used "peddling" instead of "pedaling" on several occasions in her post, which really really ANNOYS me. But I don't want to create an account on that site to leave a comment. I know I've made mistakes on this blog as well - more recently using "to" instead of "too", which also annoys me!). And yes, I'm cranky today.
I had a low grade headache all day and I think it's because of my sinuses. I took a Tylenol but it didn't help.
I met my 2nd SB daily goal in the early afternoon and then shut down the videos as they were slowing down my laptop.
I spent wayyy too much time trying to find a blog I used to read, but I can't remember the blogger's name or the name of the blog so it's like finding a needle in a huge haystack and I never did find it. Oh well.
I did, though, see several recommendations for the book "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich and my library system has the large print edition so I put it on hold.
My daughter retook her math placement test for UF this afternoon. She scored a 98! Also, her tuition bill has already hit her account and the Florida Prepaid Fund was disbursed for $700 more than we expected so we're not really sure why. I asked her to send me a screenshot of it and I'll try to figure it out next week. Since we're not the owners of the Prepaid Fund, we can't log into it to see exactly how many credit hours they deducted from the account (which is a 2+2 tuition only plan). The good news is that she will get more money back in cash from Bright Futures, but the bad news is that the Prepaid Plan will be depleted faster than we had figured out.
For dinner, I made veggie spaghetti with turkey smoked sausage (meatballs for my daughter) and broccoli for the kids and myself (it doesn't agree with Greg at all).
Greg, my daughter and I ate dinner while watching the first two episodes of Season 7 of Games of Thrones. I was super disappointed, afterwards, to find out that HBO cancelled the "After the Thrones" TV show that recapped the episodes and analyzed them because I had really loved it last season, so instead I read the articles that the show participants wrote on their blog. Not the same, but it kept me entertained for a while.
I wasn't sleepy after Greg went to bed, but I headed to bed with my Kindle. Instead of watching a show, though, I turned on my library e-book and read, joined by Explorer at some point, until 2 a.m. when I gave up on the book because it just wasn't very good.
I woke up at 9:30 a.m.! Greg had said he might go fishing but it was raining when I got up and he was still asleep.
I made waffles and heated up breakfast sausages for everyone's breakfast, yum! I also had to feed all the cats since Youngest Son was still asleep.
Today is "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" marathon day, woohoo! At 11:18 a.m.. it still raining. Youngest Son finally got up :) I think we're all trying to enjoy being lazy on our last days of summer vacation.
My 1st daily goal for Swagbucks shot up to 70 SB today and I'm running the automatic nCraves. I did get a Search award but it was only 6 SB so everything is back to normal, lol.
I unlocked and uploaded digital offers to my CVS and Publix wallets. A quick look at the Swagbucks coupons site didn't reveal anything super interesting so I think I'll skip printing coupons today. But then I looked at the list of printable coupons on Smartsource and saw that they had coupons for my favorite pens "Pentel G2" so I printed them because I'll probably stock up if I see a good sale.
Youngest Son came to inform us that he had found all three kittens on the kitchen table, happily chomping down on the waffles that Greg had suggested we should cover but neglected to do, lol. Those kittens loooove their baked goods :)
For lunch, I made myself a turkey spinach wrap and then a spinach salad with blueberries, strawberries and the 2nd half of the tiny pineapple that I had harvested last week. No dressing necessary, it was all very delicious!
I told Greg that moving forward I should just plant all the pineapples in pots so I could continue harvesting tiny pineapples (since I'm the only one who eats pineapple here!) and he said I should just grow them already canned too, ha.
In the early afternoon Greg decided to get Sodapalooza refills at RaceTrac so I grabbed the kids' cups and went with him. He got himself 2 Diet Dr. Pepper refills with my and his cups, and I got the kids refills with theirs. Then I redeemed one of my app coupons (that expired today) for a medium Caffeine Free Diet Coke for myself.
At 1:00 p.m. it's still drizzling but the sky is lighter than it was earlier, so maybe it won't rain all day. I'm thankful that it did rain, though, because it means free watering for the garden and less work for me, of course!
I was going to defrost some meat for dinner but then I realized that I have 3 defrosted tuna steaks in the fridge, along with a fully roasted chicken breast so I'll make do with that. I need to decide what side to cook though. We've had rice and pasta over the last couple of days so maybe I'll cook potatoes tonight. I really don't feel inspired to cook.
1:20 p.m. well it got very dark again and now it's pouring, LOL. It remained dark all afternoon, even though the rain eventually stopped.
Greg went back to get his Sodapalooza refills. Nobody else wanted anything. I spent the afternoon reading through blogs and cuddling with Princess, who was napping next to me.
I met my 2nd Swagbucks Daily Goal and the Microsoft Rewards credits. Greg redeemed some of his points for a Microsoft Store/Xbox store gift card since he's saving them to buy himself "Destiny 2" when it comes out.
My daughter is working on setting up a spreadsheet for her budget. She's asked me for a few food prices and calculated that she thinks she can spend $30 a week on food, put $10 aside for eating out, and saving the extra $20 that her dad will be giving her.
Tonight, we will watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones on HBONow. I need to try to watch other shows on there while we pay for the subscription to make it worth it. I don't think I'm interested in "Westworld", but I heard that "The Leftovers" was pretty good.
My daughter's apartment is actually way closer to Winn Dixie than Aldi so I suggested that she makes herself a price book with the prices at Winn Dixie too, that way she can figure out if it makes sense to take a bus to Aldi (further away) all the time, or just go to Winn Dixie and save time even though it might cost her a couple more bucks for what she wants. I did tell her to sign up for a Winn Dixie Rewards card too. So she and Youngest Son drove to Winn Dixie tonight so she can get started on her price book.
For dinner, Greg and I shared the chicken breast and the kids had the tuna steaks (I ended up having only two of them in the fridge instead of three). I mixed a can of no salt added corn with a can of low sodium organic black beans and used a little bit of salt and my salt-free garlic herb seasoning to give it some taste. It was pretty good and super easy to make.
I ended up staying up the whole night watching the first season of "The Leftovers". It's not that I love the show, I just wanted to see where it was going. I took the Kindle Fire to bed with me and didn't fall asleep until the end of the last episode at 6 a.m.!
|Princess made herself comfortable on top of my daughter's hair while we were watching Game of Thrones, hahaha!|
So needless to say I didn't get up with Greg when he went back to work. If he had gotten up at 6 a.m. I might have stayed up a little longer, but I couldn't get up just an hour later. I had warned him that I might do that so he might need to buy lunch (since my plan was just to pack him a sandwich) so he did.
I woke up at 11 a.m. Youngest Son had been up for a couple of hours already. Nice change :)
I threw a load of laundry in the washing machine, brewed my coffee and sat down at my laptop with my bowl of Cheerios (mixed with a brown banana) and started reading the news. The first site I visit is the Lake Sentinel, to get the headlines from my county... and there was a red banner stating that Tropical Storm Emily was hitting us in the afternoon and that our governor had declared a state of emergency! It was still nice outside but I started seeing the gray clouds moving in after I texted Greg to warn him that his commute home might not be great... he replied that he would try to leave early. The path of the storm was predicted to have it come straight over us and I had a kitchen full of dirty dishes (as usual!) so that really lit a fire under my butt to get them done before any potential power failure.
I texted Middle Son to let him know about the weather problems since he also has a long commute and he replied that he had planned on going skydiving that evening. WHAT?!?! I really didn't need to have that to worry about on top of a storm, etc! So I was a little cranky because of that.
"The Leftovers" kept me company on the Kindle while I did the dishes by hand. Meanwhile, the first load of laundry was done so I put it in the dryer. In doing so, I noticed that.... yep, we have mice! They found the bags of bird seeds that I keep on top of the dryer (because I don't have room anywhere else for it, I have 50 lbs of bird seeds!), chewed a hole through one of them and now I had bird seed all over the dryer, etc. Arrgh.
I got a empty bin from my daughter who hadn't filled it up with her stuff yet, put all the bird seed in there, and had Youngest Son lodge it under the bin containing the cat food, in the kitchen. Then I cleaned my laundry room, and I went to finish the dishes.
Meanwhile the first load tumbled in the dryer for about an hour... and when I went to check on it... it was still as wet as when I put it in there! WHAT?!?!! (Yes, again!). You've got to be kidding me! By then, it was pouring outside so I had no choice but to hang it to dry in the Cat Room. Sigh. I went to the small shed to get the laundry racks and set them up in the Cat Room, all the while thinking that I really didn't want to have to buy a new dryer so maybe Greg could see if he could replace the heating element (I think he had already done it once before?). And then I decided to try running it while it was empty, just to make sure that indeed it wasn't working... well, lo and behold, after 5 minutes of running on empty the drum was actually hot... hmmm, so I just put half the load in there and ran it and it dried fine. I'd love to say that it didn't work because it was overloaded, but it was actually a smaller load than the loads I usually put in, and it did tumble. I wonder if a mouse chewed through some wires or something. Anyhoo, I ended up being able to dry all my laundry without any problems after all.
After that I watched some more of "The Leftovers". In the early afternoon, I suddenly remembered that I needed to return my DVD set of "Psych" since it was due that day. I really didn't feel like driving since I hadn't slept much and also it was pouring so I went online to see if I could renew it but apparently they had never checked it out to me, as it still showed as waiting for me at the library! So I called them to see if they could change the status to "picked up" and when they did that, it automatically assigned a due date of 8/7. Phew. I love my friendly and helpful library staff!
Since we still had power, I decided to vacuum. My vacuum sounded very loud when I turned it on, much louder than it usually is. I thought that maybe it sounded so loud to me because I hadn't used it in a long time, but the more I used it, the louder it got. And then I as frustrated because it just wasn't picking up the dirt from the wood floors. I remember having been so impressed with that vacuum cleaner when I first bought it (last year?) and now I was frustrated because it wasn't picking up anything. There is a little display that it green when the bag isn't full and that slowly moves over to red as the bag fills up, and then stays fully red when the bag needs to be replaced. Every time I looked at the display, it was green. I still decided to open up the compartment to check on the bag... oh my! It's a good thing that I did that because the bag was so full, it looked like it was about to explode! Of course that explained the very loud noise and the fact that it was sucking up anything (it had sucked up stuff from the carpet, or so I thought, maybe it just sent it flying around!)... after I got the bag changed, it worked like a charm! Apparently the "bag fullness status" just goes back to full green (i.e. empty) when I turn off the vacuum cleaner and I must have only looked at it when it was turned off so it didn't occur to me that the bag was actually full, since we all know that I won't vacuum all that often anyway!
So I vacuumed the living room, exercise room. hallways, bathroom, breezeway and Cat Room. I also dusted with a reusable duster and threw that in the wash as well. Then I swept the stairs to my Daughter's room, put away the July 4th decorations that were still lying around on a counter, and dealt with the spare computer that Greg had put in the kitchen TWO years ago and that needed to go back to the "attic", along with assorted peripherals. I also put away the two cat carpets (the ones with the tunnels that I got for the kittens when they were little) because they really don't use them anymore (only to nap on them!) and they just make the room that much messier. For now, they're just rolled up in a closet.
Mid-afternoon, my daughter found out that Middle Son had been joking about skydiving. Phew!
I had warned Youngest Son that I didn't want him to go volunteering at the library in the afternoon since I expected a huge storm, so he didn't go.
And then the storm ended up being a non-event for us, although we had lots of rain, but no winds and no damage whatsoever. Phew! See? Maybe my theory that if I worry about something enough, it won't happen, does work :)
I folded the laundry while watching my show.
Wawa sent me an email warning about a freebie this week, woohoo!
Greg did leave work about an hour early. When he got home, I went to check on my garden and harvested 6 pineapples! They smell delicious and I have 5 more in the garden, not quite yet ready to be harvested.
|It was so humid my pictures are hazy.|
|The milkweeds are coming back!|
|Pole bean flowers!|
|The sweet potato vine is getting very presumptuous and trying to take over one of our patio chairs!|
|3 baby pineapple plants are growing from the bottom of this plant that I just harvested! I wonder if I'll get a 3-headed pineapple in a couple of years!|
In the mail, I received a sample of Dove shampoo and also the refund check from our escrow account with the mortgage company. Woohoo!
For dinner I made burgers and baked beans. I had a turkey wrap and a fruit salad . Greg and I ate while watching the latest episode of Season 3 of The Great British Baking Show on our PBS app, and then I watched more of Season 2 of "The Leftovers". Greg watched with me for a little bit and then went to bed.
The kids drove to Clermont because my daughter needed to go buy a pair of shoes of the size that the buyer wanted so she could start painting them.
Once again, I took my Kindle to bed with me and watched more of the show. However, I was tired so I turned it off... at 3 a.m.!
Once again, I was a bad wife and didn't get up with Greg to see him off. I had, however, packed him a burger so he took that to work.
Yesterday was the last day for Sodapalooza so no more free refills for any of us. The kids and I don't really care but 8/1 is never a good day for Greg, LOL.
I woke up at 9:30 a.m. and I really wanted to stay in bed, but since I needed up put the trash bins down by the curb for pick-up, I made myself get up. Only once up, I realized that Greg had taken them down for me. Awww. I texted him to thank him. And then realized that the trashcans in the house hadn't been emptied so I did that and took the bag down to the curb as well.
|Beautiful day so far...|
I picked a free e-book from the KindleFirst offerings for August.
|He's supposedly the "most read French author" these days and I've never heard of him...|
I wish we had the option to read it in the original version.
I took a few pictures of the garden. Today was a beautiful and sunny day, but I spent it all indoors, watching the end of Season 2 of "The Leftovers" and getting started on Season 3, which is the final season. Yep, this month's of the HBONow subscription will have been worth it, hahaha.
For lunch, I made my favorite salad, Minty Pineapple and Cucumber Salad, with a pineapple, mint and green onion grown in my own garden. The pineapple was delicious but alas the cucumber was too seedy and removing the seeds would have meant having barely any cucumber so I left them in and it made my salad taste a little bitter. I also made fruit salad and I had a couple of fried egg sandwiches. Next week, I'm going back on my program.
|Saved this pineapple top too!|
|Harvested some mint for my salad|
|Mint is part of the same plant family as catnip. The kittens liked it!|
My daughter drove to her dad's to spend the night there.
For dinner, I made tacos and yellow rice. I made sure to pack the leftovers for Greg tomorrow. There's stuff going on at work and he might not be able to fly to OH to help his mom around surgery time, we're not sure yet.
I fnished watching the rest of "The Leftovers" and went to sleep at 2:30 a.m. I can't decide whether I liked it or hated it. It was depressing, which I probably didn't need this week!
The Shopping Day that wasn't. I woke up at 9:30 a.m. and decided that I really didn't need to go shopping that day so I didn't. Greg took leftovers to work.
I did check the new ads for Aldi and Save A Lot and decided that this week I'd skip SAL since there's nothing interesting on sale.
He went to Panera's twice but didn't know to use my MyPanera card so I could earn the credits for the visits (towards a reward), so I used my app to input the reference number from one of the receipts to earn the credit. Panera only lets you input one receipt a day so I made a note on my Google Calendar to input the 2nd receipt tomorrow.
Also he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express hotel but didn't use my IHG Rewards number to make a reservation so I didn't earn any points for the stay. I have to wait 7 business days before I can ask them to credit me with the stay so I made another reminder in my Google Calendar to do that at a later date.
Lastly, he had made purchases at Walgreens on one occasion and told me that he tried giving them our home phone number so I could get the credit on my Balance Rewards card, but that the cashier had been unable to find our phone number in their system. So I entered the receipt on the Balance Rewards page and was credited for 260 BR points, which resulted in my getting a $5 Balance Rewards credit. woohoo! I'll use it the next time there is something interesting to purchase there. So, all of this to say: I'm glad he kept all the receipts and gave them to me!
Later on, I was able to request a free sample of Purina One True Instinct cat food, which I will donate to my BFF. I also sent her an email with the link to the sample request so she can request her own.
Lowe's sent me an email with a coupon for a free pack of Rayovac batteries. This is a coupon that is reserved for military/veteran members of MyLowe's.
In the mail, I found more coupons for Bulk Nation, which opens this weekend. I'll wait until next week to go.
I didn't do much else than work on the laptop, I have to say. It rained again and Youngest Son needed to get to the library as he planned on hanging out with his friends so he asked me if he could drive there (with me, of course). I was surprised but happy that he asked to drive as it was raining! He did a good job driving there and even parked very well between 2 cars! We had planned on my picking him up a couple of hours later, but he ended up walking home since it wasn't raining anymore. Also, he brought me back two coupon inserts from the donation box (woohoo!) and returned the DVD set of Psych for me since I wasn't going to be watching it.
This weekend is Florida's tax-free weekend for school supplies and clothing. Kohl's sent me this friendly reminder.
My daughter came back from her dad's house and tried to sign up for her classes. Unfortunately, even though she rushed to do it as soon as enrollment was open, she was unable to get into the Chemistry class and lab that she needs. So since she has to have a full schedule, she signed up for the Chemistry class pre-requisite that she's already taken (and earned a credit for). I advised her to contact her advisor to get some guidance as to what to do because why would she waste money on a class that she's already passed, and is this going to create problems since she's already taken it? But, you know, she's a teen so she knows everything so she told me that she "didn't know if he could do anything" so I pointed out that it was true, she DIDN'T KNOW so she should ask! But she refused so I told her I washed my hands of the whole thing. Still, I'm worried that this is going to create problems for her, especially with her Bright Futures Scholarship. In the meantime, she hopes that maybe a spot will open up during the drop/add period.
For dinner, I made tuna patties and macaroni and cheese. After dinner, Greg and I started watching "Silicon Valley" on HBONow. I was distracted by an article in the Orlando Sentinel that talked about weekly direct flights to Paris starting at Orlando International Airport this month with Norwegian Air! I was just bitching about the lack of such flights just a couple of weeks ago because I had looked at their website and not found Orlando in their list of destinations... but it's because it's listed as "Florida - Orlando Airport" or something retarded like this (no other airport is listed under the state's name first, that I know of!). However, Norwegian Air is a no-thrills airline so if you book the cheapest fare, it doesn't allow you to check in any bags at all. I'm not sure that the next category up is necessarily cheaper than flying non-direct on another airline, I'll have to check. I would love for my mom to come over, but I'm not sure that she'd be willing, even though her main objection in the past was that she didn't want to fly through another city because she doesn't speak English.
Anyhoo, I didn't laugh too much at "Silicon Valley" but Greg laughed quite a bit since it's pretty much about the type of co-workers that he has.
Then we watched a short and older stand up show with Flight of the Conchords. We're heard their songs many many times but we always laugh so much and last night was no exception. I really wish he had gone to the concert with me last year.
He went to play video games and I checked out a stand-up show by Tig Notaro. I love her series on Amazon, "One Mississippi", but that stand-up act was tedious so I turned it off and looked for something else to watch. We might watch "Westworld", I'm not sure. There's really nothing else that interests us on HBONow.
So I checked Amazon Prime Instant and, oh dear. The next season of "One Mississippi" is coming out in September. YAY! They now have "Forensic Files", which you all know I've been watching on Netflix. Netflix has 9 seasons of it, which is almost 400 episodes. Since I slept through most of the episodes (it's my favorite series to fall asleep to!) I had started watching the whole thing again... Well, Amazon has TWENTY ONE seasons of it! WOOHOO!
So I went to bed with my Kindle at about 11:30 p.m., put on Season 10 of Forensic Files and started watching it. Explorer came to cuddle and I fell asleep watching the series and holding his little paw in my hand :)
I heard Greg come upstairs and thought "he didn't go to work?!" because to me it felt like it was 10 a..m. or later, but it was only 7:28 a.m.! The kittens had gone down with him as they have started doing now, so I've been waking up kittenless. I don't like it.
I lounged in bed for 15 minutes and then decided to get up since I needed to go shopping today. Once again, I didn't feel like going to Clermont and fighting the construction at Aldi so I told myself that I'd just go to Publix (5 minutes away from my house) and get milk and bread and maybe some fruit. However, as I perused the weekly brochure, I was reminded of how expensive Publix is, so I changed my mind and decided to go to Clermont anyway, especially when I realized that I had $6 in CVS ExtraCare Bucks that would have expired before next Wednesday.
So I had a cup of coffee and an English muffin with sugar free strawberry spread and earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits for the day and . I earned a few Swagbucks as well, and then redeemed my July bonus. I'm annoyed that once again I didn't get the 80 SB promised for printing coupons in July. They only gave me 8 SB. I need to email them.
I used my Panera app to enter the 2nd receipt from Greg's trip and earned another credit for it.
When I left to run my errands, the kids were still in bed.
Here is what I did:
- I placed a Rapid Pick-up order on my Panera app for a chocolate chip bagel and I used my "Free Bagel A Day" reward to get it for free. Later on, I gave it to Youngest Son.
- I drove to Lowe's so I could redeem the coupon for the free Rayovac batteries. I had miscalculated the time to pick up my bagel from Panera so I had 15 minutes to kill so I ventured into the Garden Center and remembered that I had seen a post on the Birds & Blooms blog, Help Migrating Monarchs with Fall Nectar Flowers. I pulled up the article on my phone and quickly found some of the plants that they were talking about and ended up buying 2 Apricot Sunrise Lantanas, 2 Brazilian Purple Salvias and 2 pots of another plant that I just thought was pretty, Belleza Compact Light Pink Gaura . I received 10% off my purchase with Greg's Veteran discount via MyLowe's and also redeemed the coupon that they had emailed me for a free 8-pack of Rayovac AAA batteries. My OOP was $53.80 and I saved $10.57 total. I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
- Then I drove to Panera's to pick up my free bagel. Even though I was there on time, it wasn't on the Rapid Pick-up shelf but there was no line so the cashier grabbed my bagel for me and I was on my way.
- My next stop was CVS. I only needed milk but I had $6 in ECBs to redeem this week before they expired. The Welch's grape jelly was on sale at $1.99 a jar and they only had 2 left on the shelf so I grabbed both, and then I got a package of cookies for the kids, that was on sale for $2.49. After the ECBs, my OOP was $3.46 but it was all free to me since I paid with a CVS gift card that I had earned via our American Express Rewards program.
- From there, I drove to Aldi. It was a little bit busy, made worse because of the construction.
- I was once again disappointed that they still didn't have any grape jelly at all, despite it still being on sale in their weekly ad. They also still didn't have any reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese and, this week, they had NO sugar free French Vanilla creamer at all. I sure hope it doesn't mean that they no longer carry it because it's $5.49 at Publix (vs. $1.59 at Aldi!). The cherries that were supposed to be on sale this week at $1.19 were nowhere to be seen :(
- However, they did have Greg's protein bars this week (they hadn't had any for several weeks!) so I got 4 boxes of those. Also, the whole wheat buns that I like were 50% off at $0.65 and the Kaiser rolls were marked down to just $0.50! Also the dozen of eggs was $0.65 so I bought one dozen.
- Non food items that I bought include a waffle maker for my daughter to take to college ($12.99), two binders ($1.49 each) in case Youngest Son needed them for school, a couple of reusable bags for her too ($1.99 each), a mini baking sheet for my toaster oven since mine is old ($2.99) and a set of furniture felt pads ($1.99) since I was out of them and I find them useful. I spent $26.68 on non food items.
- Groceries were $49.31
- I charged the $75.99 OOP to my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
- After I bagged my groceries in my trunk, I was about to return my cart when a young mother asked if she could use my cart. I gave it to her and she asked her young son to give me his quarter so the young boy started digging in his pocket... so I told him to keep the quarter and buy something with it (while acknowledging to his mother that he probably wouldn't be able to buy anything for 25 cents!). She thanked me profusely while the little kid put the quarter back in his pocket.
- My next stop was Wawa.
- I got some gas for my SUV ($2.189/gallon, 9 cents cheaper than in my neck of the woods) and charged the $17.70 OOP to my Amex for 2% back in Rewards. I also got a receipt which will earn me a free drink once I take the survey.
- Then I redeemed my app coupon for a free hoagie shorti. I kept it for my lunch. After I redeemed my coupon, I asked the cashier for a receipt so I will earn a 2nd free drink with it.
- Today they had the sample-size coffee cups out so I treated myself to a free sample-size French Vanilla coffee :)
- I almost forgot to go to Winn Dixie but remembered to stop there at the last minute. I needed to replenish Greg's stash of whiskey (ugh, I wish he'd stop drinking it, I don't like spending money on that, lol). I got the usual 4 bottles so I could get 10% off. I earned 27 Plenti points and charged the $57.74 OOP to my Amex for (hopefully since Winn Dixie is a grocery store) 3% back in Amex Rewards.
- My last stop was Publix.
- I found a penny as soon as I got out of my car. Yay!
- I first checked my lottery ticket and guess what? I won another $5!! WOOHOO!
- Sorry, Pixel, I completely missed out of the BOGO sale for the Oikos yogurt that you had told me about since it ended yesterday. I did take a picture of the nutritional panel on one of the smaller cups because I need to calculate the exchanges for it. Fiber doesn't count for my calculations so it might be more advantageous for me to keep using the Aldi Fit & Active yogurt instead.
- There was a dispenser of $0.75/1 blinkies for Better Than Bouillon with tons of coupons already pulled out from it so I grabbed a whole bunch to use at Walmart with my Swagbucks gift cards since BTB is cheaper there.
- I bought 2 reusable cooler bags @ $2.49 each, one for my daughter and one to replace the one that the kittens destroyed.
- I also got a bottle of OxiClean stain remover since I'm almost out. I thought I had a big stash of stain remover so I didn't stock up when there were great deals on Shout recently, but I didn't have a stash at all! Grrr. I did redeem a digital coupon for it.
- As I looked for my digital coupons, I realized that there were a lot of new Publix store coupons available to upload, so I did that as I walked around the store.
- I stocked up on whole wheat pasta since the Muellers brand was on BOGO. I also bought more brown rice and a small bag of Badia thyme.
- I redeemed the coupon for a free canister of Pillsbury Grands! biscuits that I had received several months ago.
- I thought the Smucker's sugar free fruit spread was included in the BOGO sale since it wasn't excluded, but I had neglected to make sure the size was included. It wasn't :( I'm glad I realized that I was being charged the full price for each jar ($3.69 each!) before I left the store! It really pisses me off, after the fact, that it wasn't included in the sale, since the jars were smaller than the jars on sale, they did say "fruit spread" on them, and the price was within the range allowed for the sale! But there was an assistant store manager helping the cashier and she didn't offer to sell them to me on BOGO when I asked her to void them so I left them there.
- I did splurge on a package of Jif To Go cups for my daughter to take to college. Aldi is supposed to have them next week for $2.19 and they were $2.49 at Publix, but I can't trust that Aldi will actually have them. If they do, I'll stock up and send them to my daughter in a care package.
- I donated $5 towards school supplies for a local child and received a free reusable shopping bag in exchange.
- My OOP was $23.93 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
- Back home, my daughter helped me unload the SUV. I put the flower pots that I had bought on the patio for now. There were several butterflies fluttering about but they kept on going to the "old" flowers on the berm and not the new ones! Oh well, I probably just need to give them time. Youngest Son got up and noticed the butterflies and despaired that I bought more plants for them since he dislikes butterflies (they freak him out!) and he's the one who has to mow the lawn these days, lol. I told him to try to use the excuse that he's afraid of butterflies to see if Greg will let him off the hook. Hint: Greg won't. Also, Youngest Son isn't seriously afraid of them, he just doesn't like them.
|The hibiscus and roses are thriving right now!|
|New lantana. It doesn't look like much for the butterflies loved it at Lowe's.|
|Gaura. Argh, my picture turned out blurry because of the humidity. It's very pretty and a perennial.|
|Another sweet potato vine that is expanding its territory thanks to all the rain...|
|The butterflies loved my "old" plants but didn't even go near the new ones that I specifically bought for them, LOL.|
- The kittens chewed on the loaf of bread that I bought before I even got a chance to take pictures. Arrrgh! I yelled at them and kicked them out of the kitchen. Repeatedly.
- I gave the stuff that I had bought for my daughter to her. She liked the Publix reusable bag better than the Aldi bags since those have a design with wine bottles on them, so I kept the Aldi bags for myself (I might return them because I have plenty of bags already) and gave her the Publix bag and one of the cooler bags.
- I also gave her 6 boxes of Special K Red Berries cereal bars from the stash that I kept for her. She stopped eating them several months ago but said she'd take them to college if I wasn't going to be eating them. I want to get back on my diet so I gave them to her.
- I made a big fruit salad for my lunch (strawberries, blueberries and half a small pineapple that I had harvested) and also had the free sandwich from Wawa.
- I put the pineapple top in a recycled jar of water and left it outside, with the other two. This will be the next generation of my pineapple empire and I plan on planting those in pots or plant them in the front of the house.
- As I was looking at my receipts for this post, I noticed that there was a coupon for a BOGO waffle cone from Bruster's on the back of my Winn Dixie receipt. So I showed it to the kids, who decided to drive into Clermont to redeem it. I told my daughter to charge the cone to my Discover card (5% back in Rewards).
- I also gave them two of the coupons for free small fries from McDonald's (no purchase required) that I had received last week.
- My daughter wanted to go to Staples to get some school supplies but I told her that Staples is expensive, so she agreed to go to Walmart instead. I was about to give her a Swagbucks gift card when we realized that Youngest Son has his Dungeons & Dragons club this afternoon and that she didn't have time to go to Walmart today. I suggested she goes tomorrow so I can also order her a free bagel from Panera with my monthly reward. She liked the idea and off they went.
- It started raining at 2:50 p.m. but didn't last long. However, the sky is heavy with clouds so I think we'll get some more rain soon.
- I submitted my Aldi receipt to Checkout 51 for a $0.25 rebate off bread. They credited my account right away.
- I unlocked new SavingStar and Ibotta offers. I submitted my Publix receipt for a $0.25 rebate off any item. They also credited my account right away.
- The kids came home. They decided not to redeem the McDonald's coupons so my daughter kept them. The receipt from Bruster's said "Congratulations, you've earned $5 off your next purchase" so I left her keep the receipt so she can redeem her coupon the next time she visits. I'm kicking myself for forgetting to give her my punch reward card though :(
- I entered bonus code SUMMERSENSATIONS into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account and earned 100 KFR points.
- It started raining again at about 4:15 p.m. My daughter volunteered to drive Youngest Son to the library :) These two are going to miss each other! This time, it's pouring. In fact, at about 4:30 p.m., we received a severe thunderstorm warning just for our immediate area, telling us to expect winds of up to 65 mph and 1/4 inch size hail. Right now it's pouring but there's no wind or hail... the warning expires at 5 p.m. but I looked at the radar picture on my weather app and there are a lot of storms all around us so I think it'll be raining all night. I hope my new (and old!) plants survive!
- When I went to check the mail, there was a flyer on the ground that had been there for a couple of days so I picked it up to throw it away. There was a $10 off $10 Staples coupon on it! It was soaked so I put it aside to dry and my daughter and I will swing by Staples tomorrow to use it.
- I tracked all my receipts into my various spreadsheets. That took a little while, but it's worth it.
- Carrabba's sent an email stating that there'll be another promotion in August whereby you can get a free spaghetti and meatballs to go. I think Date Night is going to happen this month :)
- For dinner, I made Chicken Calypso (with chicken thighs I had bought on 50% off clearance at Save A Lot several weeks ago and I also harvested green onion tops from my garden) and Caribbean Rice from a Zatarain mix I had picked up at Publix.
- I was able to meet my 2nd Daily Goal for Swagbucks!
- After dinner, Greg and I watched 3 more episodes of "Silicon Valley" on HBO Now.
- I went to bed at midnight and tried watching some "Forensic Files" on my Kindle Fire. Explorer came to watch with me and we cuddled. It's kind of stressful that I have to make sure that no part of my headphone cord is showing so he doesn't chew it, but he loves watching the show cuddled against me. So much so that after a while, he was completely blocking the screen so I just closed my eyes and listened to the narration, hahaha.
- Despite my best intentions, I once again didn't get up with Greg (ugh, next week is gonna be so hard!). Explorer did come to cry for food in my room at 8 a.m. and should not shut up, which started making me think that maybe he was telling me the house was on fire or something! He was just hungry, I guess, even though he didn't run to his food bowl once I gave him food. Hmmm.
- It's all cloudy and wet outside. Today is Law & Order Marathon Day! I had told my daughter that I'd go with her shopping for school supplies, but today is the first day of the Florida Tax Free Weekend on school supplies so it might be crowded and now I don't feel like going. So I'll probably have her go on her own, which she might prefer.
- For dinner tonight I defrosted a marinated pork shoulder roast that I had bought on clearance at Aldi several months ago. I'll cook it in the crockpot and will probably steam some potatoes to go with it.
- I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits and I'm earning some SB with videos. I got a 26 SB Search Award! My 1st goal is 100 SB though :(
- My mom had sent me a long email yesterday so I called her back this morning to chat as she sounded lonely. She didn't pick up but she called me back and we talked for 50 minutes before she had to leave and we could have easily talked for a couple more hours because I keep on thinking about all the things we didn't talk about, lol. I did tell her about the non-stop flights between Paris and Orlando and she said she hadn't heard about it. Since she called me back, I don't think that I'll be charged for the call.
- Petco sent me an email with a coupon for a free bag of cat treats to celebrate Princess' birthday. They won't send any additional coupons for the other 2 kittens though, they only send 1 coupon per month (Mean Cat and Male Cat have the same birthday month too, although not the same year, and I only ever get 1 coupon between the two of them). And you can't change their birthday either. Oh well. I'll donate the treats to my BFF.
- I composed my weekly grocery shopping post and realized that I had lowered my grocery budget starting in September since my daughter will be away at college and her dad will be giving her an allowance for groceries. I hope that I'll be able to stick to a $75/wk budget!
- I took the survey on my 2nd Wawa receipt from yesterday and earned a coupon for a another free drink.
- I washed all 4 litter boxes. My son is still in charge of cleaning them every day but I wash them every couple of weeks and replace all the litter. Today I used up 3 jugs of litter, which I saved and refilled with rainwater from the rain barrel to save for the dry season.
- I scheduled a credit card payment online and made sure all charges were legit. Then I balanced our checkbook. Instead of putting non-escrow portion of our former mortgage payment away in our "New Car Savings" to refund that account for the amount I withdrew from it to pay off the mortgage last month, I decided to just leave it in the checking account as I was going to transfer money from our savings account anyway to cover the cost of Greg's truck tune-up and his vacation.
- I gave my daughter some postage stamps to take to college in case she needs them and she shopped my stash of school supplies first and made a list of what she still needs.
- I gave her one of my $25 Walmart gift cards and the $10 off $10 Staples coupon for her to get the rest.
- I also gave her my Wawa coupon and asked her to pick up my free coffee :)
- I tracked Greg's new paystub in my Tax Worksheet to make sure I knew what all the deductions were.
- I unlocked an in-store $5 off $25 coupon for Books A Million from Discover Deals and gave it to my daughter since there is one not too far from her apartment complex.
- I uploaded the August Petco Pals Rewards offers to my account, "just in case".
- I did all the shredding.
- I placed a Rapid Order for a plain bagel from Panera for my daughter, using my "Free Bagel a Day" reward.
- For lunch, I made a fruit salad with half a small homegrown pineapple, some strawberries and some blueberries. I also had a ham spinach wrap.
- I checked the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens and updated my shopping list for next week. Walgreens will have a couple of "freebies", after Register Rewards.
- I checked the bus schedule for my son's high school and pre-filled the transportation form for the school year since he'll be riding the bus home until he gets his driver's license.
- I keep reading blog posts from around the country that mention that their local Goodwill thrift stores run 50% off everything promotions monthly and I've never seen that advertised at our Goodwill thrift store (which is already the most expensive thrift store around here!) so I checked the website for the Goodwill of Central Florida and found this blurb under the FAQs that confirms that we don't have such "50% off everything" promotions :(
- And her school supplies. I had asked her to pick me up some index cards too so I added those to my stash. She spent $1.00 OOP at Staples after the $10 coupon and charged $9.58 to my Swagbucks gift card at Walmart :)
- However, some school supplies items at Walmart were still taxed! I guess glue sticks and notebooks aren't considered to be school supplies? Arrgh.
- I submitted the Walmart receipt to the Savings Catcher website. I probably won't get anything back, I never do.
- Staples gave her another coupon for $10 off school supplies and it expires on 8/26 so I'll need to look at the exclusions and see what I could get for my stash.
- I received an email coupon for 15% off the check at our favorite breakfast restaurant this weekend so I texted Greg. I think we might have a breakfast date :)
- I noticed that, as an AT&T customer, I was eligible for 1 year of free streaming via the FullScreen app. However, the fine print mentioned a $25 activation fee and stated that we would have to pay all applicable taxes so I stopped short of signing up for it. I asked a question about it on Slickdeals instead since there are a bunch of people who have already signed up for it.
- My daughter got into the Chem class that she needed! It's not with an instructor who is highly rated so she might sign up for an online tutoring program to help. Also she still hasn't been able to sign up for the accompanying lab but other students have told her she'd be able to take it in Spring or Summer next year and it was OK not to do both at once? It sounds odd, but maybe a spot will open up between now and August 21.
- We agreed that if she can't get into a better class, I'll pay for the online tutoring for her birthday present.
- I checked the mail and found a CVS coupon for 25% off my purchase (as usual sale items not included!) along with more BOGO coupons for local eateries such as Bruster's, and Gator's Dockside.
- For dinner, I served pulled pork sandwiches using some of the shoulder roast that I cooked in the crockpot and Kaiser buns, and I made a side salad. We have lots of meat leftovers for tomorrow's dinner.
- I printed some coupons via Swagbucks. Tonight, I need to clean up my coupon organizer since it still has all the July expired coupons.
- After dinner, Greg and I watched more episodes of "Silicon Valley" on HBONow.
- The Swagbucks videos stopped working for me so I tried surveys and I finally qualified for a 50 SB survey that propelled me beyond my 2nd Daily Goal, woohoo!
- Greg introduced me to the world of Bitmoji, an app that lets you create an emoji of yourself and then inserts it in a bunch of pre-drawn situations. I tried to create my own emoji but I looked terrible when I did it so I asked Greg to make it for me, and I think it looks cute. So then I texted him 200 emojis of myself. Why? Because I needed to do that in order to be able to then save them to my phone and then save them to my laptop because I really want to use them as illustrations for my blog, lol. So after I did all that, I deleted all the files from our message streams and from my phone's memory, deleted the app (because there's a warning that they key everything you type when you use their keyboard and I didn't want to run the risk that they'd be keying my passwords and other sensitive information!) and in the process deleted a bunch of apps and files from my phone to free up some space since I was down to just 200 MB of space on it. Yikes!
|Haha that looks just like him too!|
And that's how my week went.