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Small Accomplishments So far ... :)

February 15th, 2016 at 09:21 pm


I don't quite know what's gotten under my skin, but maybe taking Saturday "off" really helped give me a second wind.

I made out my invitations and even attempted to print them out ... No can do. My printer just would NOT accept the invitation paper no matter what.

So ... I wrote them all out by hand. 15 of them. (Some are going to people who I know won't come, but will feel hurt not getting one.) I have pretty decent handwriting (actually get complimented on it fairly often when not in a hurry) so they look fairly decent.

While I was doing that, I had the quinoa and veggies cooking on the stove.

Then after they had time to cool off, I got out the freezer dinner trays I'd bought from Amazon months and months ago ... 20 of them to be exact.

Funnily enough, I didn't plan it this way, but I had just enough food for the 20 trays! My freezer is stuffed (13 trays) and the 7 remaining ones are in my fridge. More than enough for lunch and dinner the next two weeks + (because there'll be a few nights I'll want soup or maybe cereal ...)

Here's some pictures:

Quinoa, baked tofu, steamed veggies, spaghetti squash

Steamed veggies, Veggie egg roll, quinoa, butternut squash

Frozen veggies, Veggie egg roll, quinoa, sweet potato

Stack of dinner trays.

My freezer with 13 trays, plus other things rearranged.

Hopefully having all these meals ready to go will make me a whole lot less likely to give in to fast food or other temptations the next few weeks. Smile

Do Unto Others, And Possibly a Narrow Escape (2 of 2)

January 9th, 2016 at 11:27 pm

So today just so happened to be communion day at church. I usually enjoy communion - the whole process and service.

In my faith (SDA) we do it 4 times a year, or once a quarter. It involves foot washing, eating of unleavened crackers, and drinking grape juice.

The foot washing part is always the little bit dicey one for me. I've actually kind of avoided going to church here on communion service days ... because I wasn't sure I'd have anyone to partner with (to wash each others feet.) I really didn't want to end up standing around looking hopefully at the other women ...

So ... I didn't check the bulletin last night and got surprised.

Thankfully one of the married, yet goes to church by herself, ladies who has somewhat befriended me, was there and we sat next to each other. When it came time for foot washing, we agreed to be partners.

As I went to get the basin and towel, I noticed another young single mom who attends our Sabbath School class kind of just standing there near the end of the line looking lost. She told me she was waiting to find a partner.

When I got back to where my partner was, I asked her if she'd mind us inviting the young mom to be a part of our group. She was happy to agree, and the young mom was relieved to be included.

It made me happy too - being able to do something for someone else that I would hope someone might do for me.

After church got out I had a narrow escape. As I was backing out of my parking space, I thought I heard a crunch! I looked out my driver's side window and saw I was parallel to another car! (I'd been looking out the back window/rear window) I pulled forward and stopped. Then got out and went to look to see if there was any damage. There was no damage to my car and none to the other car. As far as I could figure, I must have pulled perfectly alongside the other car ... I guess the crunch I heard was ice?? Or maybe I imagined it?? There were other people in the parking lot and it didn't seem like any of them had heard anything - nobody looking my way or anything. Just weird.

That other car was parked really weirdly - I think it was actually in a non-parking parking space (with the diagonal lines.) I'd seen it and was aware of it, but hadn't realized it was SO close.

Anyway .. whew!

It is SO cold here! The forecast says it will get to 1 degree tonight. I feel bad for NE out delivering pizzas in the cold. If you order food in on bad weather/cold/rainy nights, be nice to your delivery person (tip!) Smile They're out there when you don't want to be.

I had been planning on doing my grocery shopping tonight, but probably won't. Due to the cold and possibly icy roads.

Question - This morning when I went out to my car, my outside windows had some snow on them, but my driver's side window and the rear driver's side window both had frost on the INSIDE! It was so weird scraping frost on the inside!

Then after church the same thing happened ... I had to scrape frost off - even after sitting and warming up / defrosting for 5 minutes.

What would cause that? I checked to make sure the windows were rolled up all the way. All my other windows were clear.

Mini-Goals for Year 40 (Not a Mini-Post :D )

December 17th, 2015 at 01:35 am

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. Smile

It was a pretty low-key birthday ovearall. Tomorrow night NE and I will be going out to a fancy restaurant here (still working on the gift certificate problem ..)

NE stopped by between deliveries to tell me happy birthday in person. Smile

So ... what are my mini-goals for year 40?

I've been thinking about a lot of the different goals I've had, and how I've managed to do some .. for awhile, and others not really at all. I think maybe part of it was that some of the goals were too big / too much all at once.

So .. I decided that I'm going to try doing mini-goals. I'm going to choose one or two things to focus on for 30 days (or so) and not worry about the rest. Then if those goals are doing well, I'll add something new.

I'm hoping that by doing it this way, the mini-goals will become deeply ingrained habits.

So ... here are some of the mini-goals I'm thinking about:

MG1: Do something for 15 minutes (or more) every day that helps improve my environment. (Cleaning, decluttering, putting up pictures, etc.)

MG2: Say "Oh Well." When someone does something that gets you flustered or upset, or you're thinking that you'd really like something (junkfood) but know you aren't going to have it ... say "Oh Well." That's their problem / I'd rather be healthy / I'd rather have the money for ....

MG3: Do something active for at least 15 minutes everyday intentionally.

MG4: Do something for your spiritual health at least 15 minutes a day (read the Bible, pray, memorize verses, etc.)

MG5: Do something for your personal growth at least 15 minutes a day (play the piano, use Duolingo to practice Spanish, etc.)

MG6: Do something for others at least 2x a week (work on church library, volunteer, etc.)

MG7: Connect with others at least 2x a week (email/letter/phone call) Have at least 1x a week be someone different than the week before.

MG8: Turn off computer/phone by 10 p.m.

MG9 - Floss every day before going to bed.

MG10 - Give yourself a manicure or pedicure once a week.

Others may be added as I think of them. Smile

Financial Goals:

Main Financial Goal - Make spending decisions based on category balances only.

I have 3 main savings goals for this coming year -

High Priority - House Downpayment. This is where my regular savings, 90% of Windfalls (bonuses, tax refunds, SBs paypal earnings, survey earnings, etc.) will go. I'm hoping to hit $4k by September, and then probably sell up to ten shares of stock to add to the amount. (Goal of house purchase in September. Starting the process in August.)

Medium Priority Car Replacement - This will be getting a set amount of $50/month til #1 isn't needed.

Low Priority Remote Car starter - Leftover amounts in groceries, gas and utilities will be funneled here. (Would like to have $350 by September/October.)

Other Goals/Decisions:

I am no longer going to be purchasing ready made treats/sweets for consumption at home or at work. I can purchase the *ingredients* to MAKE treats for myself (such as chocolate chips to go into cookies) but not store-bought cookies.

Eating out / Fast Food is only going to be something that happens WITH another person.

Soda is an OH WELL item.

Today I started with MG1 and 2. (My focus for the next 30 days.) When I got home from work, as soon as I changed into something warm, I spent about 45 minutes picking up, putting away, throwing away. The place already looks much better. (It will need several more days of 15 minute sessions to be looking "good.")

I'm hoping I can develop the attitude (in my mind at least) of Oh Well at work in dealing with some of the people that whine and complain. That way maybe I can deal with it for 15 more years.

The Oh Well is also going to be replacing my habit of Coke and Chocolate on stressful days. Oh Well - the day stunk like donkey balls - I'll live another day. (Thankfully there are quite a few short weeks in this coming 30 day period which hopefully will help make this habit easier to form! Big Grin )

Last Day of Year 39

December 15th, 2015 at 01:09 am

So ... I had lots of ideas and plans for year 39. Those plans and ideas worked about as well as most New Year's resolutions. Smile

Nevertheless, a new decade of life means maybe plans and ideas and goals can be a bit better off than just another set of resolutions. We'll see I guess.

Financially I did okay. As of now I have quite a few LTP (long term planning) funds fully funded and have started on the Car and House funds.

Health/weight wise ... um ... If I remember what I started at last December ... Well ... I pretty much maintained I guess. I pretty much haven't been to the gym in at least 3 months (although I have been exercising - just not at the gym.)

Friendship wise ... While I still don't have anyone here I "hang out" with outside of church activities, I am a little more involved. Maybe eventually that will lead to something. Someday.

Relationship wise .... Mostly good, with some frustrations that rear themselves at times overly much. But that generally tends to happen when I'm way overtired.

Job wise - Most days/most of the time it's ok. I have a great boss, and a couple co-workers I also like. The co-workers who were causing drama before have pretty much completely laid off. So ... it's tolerable.

It's definitely helping being able to take time off now and then to get away. Like today - I took off to have a long weekend as my birthday present to myself. Although I might have taken today off anyway because Sunday I did something to my back, plus feeling miserable cold/allergies. (My back is feeling better tonight, as are my cold/allergies.)

Yesterday NE and I went to the local urgent care place because NE had a finger infection. (Most likely from him biting off a hang nail ... When I asked him if he was going to stop doing that - Why? 1st problem in 49 years? - Ohhhhkaaayyy.)

While we were waiting for his prescription to get filled, we went over to SuperTarget. I had $2 coupons for cat litter (Scoop Away 25lb) plus the Savings Catcher had 25% off it. I unfortunately forgot my Red Card though - asked at the front desk and was told to bring my receipt the next time and they'd make an adjustment.

Of course ... I wasn't used to having NE along on a shopping trip, so I also spaced using the coupons (but not the savings catcher!)

I went back to Target today and was able to get both the 5% adjustment and the $4 in coupons! (I also bought a 3rd box with a coupon. Kari is SET for litter for a long time!)

While I was out today I also stopped at Walmart - mainly to pick up a few iBotta items - definitely things I'll use, but didn't need right now. I also was really wanting to find a Terry's Chocolate Orange .... no luck. Stopped at a few other places too. All sold out. Frown

I cashed out for $20 from iBotta today, and also for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks.

I got a postcard from my doctor letting me know that I need to schedule a baseline mammogram .... Oh the joys of my new decade. Smile I was going to do it today, but then realized that I don't know what my bosses schedule is like ... so need to get that info first.

My aunt (who Thrifty Ray has met) has really gotten into knitting since retiring. While I was in CA over Thanksgiving she made me slippers, and had me pick out the yarn for an afghan. She texted me today to let me know that it was finished! I might have it here by Friday. So cool! (Or should I say, so warm!)

Now that we can post pics again, I'll post a picture of it when I get it. Smile

If I'm on the upward mend of this cold on top of allergies thing, then hopefully within the next few days I'll have the energy to get my apartment back into shape. I'd really hate for the property manager to come in right now ... (not dirty, just really, really cluttered/messy)

Oh! I almost forgot. I logged in to restaurant . com today to buy the gift certificate for the fancy place NE and I will be going to on Thursday night. Only to find out that my $200 credit seemed to have completely disappeared!! I checked on Living Social to make sure they hadn't reversed the offer I'd purchased or something ...

I wrote customer service and got a form reply telling me how to redeem an offer. Ugh! I replied ... nothing back yet.

SO VEry Aggravating. (I bought a $200 r.com gift certificate for $35 from Living Social. I hadn't used any of it yet!)


December 13th, 2015 at 12:50 am

Well it seems like I have developed a cold on top of my allergies. Ugh. So having Allegra D (24 hr) and Flonase in my system daily, and STILL sneezing, sniffling and coughing ... not much else to do but tough it out.

I've been incredibly tired and having a hard time getting myself to do anything I don't absolutely have to do. So ... the robe that I was asked to mend near the end of November ... which was needed by today ... guess when I actually started on it? This morning about 5 a.m. I finished it about 8:30 a.m. (Reattaching braiding on edges in places the cloth had pulled away, and sewing armholes together to a less huge gap.)

I took it with me to church today and gave it to the lady in charge of costumes (it's for a drive through Nativity tonight.)

Church was awesome - it was the spoken/musical Christmas story week. Smile I think this year's story was based on a TransSiberian Orchestra musical? (One of the songs was Music Box Blues, the rest were normal Christmas sonts - i.e. Silent Night, etc.) I wish I'd been a little more with it/not so sleepy - but still very much enjoyed it.

I did not go to the Friday night concert. I realized by Wednesday that I just would NOT be up to it -plus I had that darn robe to do! Part of it also was that I didn't have any money set aside in a concert category - my fun money had pretty much been spent between the Groupon pizza deal and the Living Social Restaurant.com deal. I need to make a separate category for concerts which is NOT to be whacked from for other things. Even if I just put a few dollars in it each month ... Smile

I was looking on Amazon for a purse (mine is getting really shabby.) While on there I looked at my gift card balance. Ouch! I've been buying ebooks $.99 and $1.99 here and there ... and it's really cut into my balance! So ... back to my old rule of only "buying" the freebies!

I did find a purse that I think will work, but I'm going to wait until I have something else to order with it - free shipping. (The purse is $14)

Year 40 is quickly approaching. (Like ... Tuesday quickly. Yikes.) I'm thinking about some changes I'd like to make. Some health wise, some financial, one other possible major change ...

I found a house which would be so perfect ... $55k! Has a one-car garage, enclosed front porch, backyard, fence, basement (990 sq ft, 2 br, 1.5 bath)... If there's one out there now, then maybe in August when I can seriously start looking, there's bound to be another one - maybe even more perfect. Smile

I got my $25 Walmart card from SBs on Friday. So ... I printed it out and went shopping. Smile I had been thinking of getting an Ampore Pedicure device (had a $5 coupon plus a $5 rebate) but just couldn't do $20+ after coupon/rebate. Especially when I found something similar for $10. Smile

After coupons I spent $44.xx total. Minus the giftcard, it was about $19.xx. I got $4.75 in rebates from iBotta, $.60 rebate from MobiSave, $.20 from Snap, $.25 from Checkout 51, and $1 from SavingStar. (None of which I've actually cashed out on yet though.)

I'm $.30 away from cashout on iBotta. I would have been over the cashout limit, but didn't realize one of the items required 2 purchases. Ugh.

I cashed out for another $25 AGC from Perk today. Will get that on Monday.

I did some more messing with my YNAB budget this weekend. I realized that my health insurance OOP is $2000, but through my FSA I have about $800. So ... I reduced that category to $1200 and spread the $800 into other categories.

I also eliminated another LTP category, which added $65 into the budget.

What this all means is that I'll now focus my LTP savings on 3 goals - House Downpayment, Car Replacement, and the Remote Starter.

Speaking of the Remote Starter - On Groupon there was a deal to get it done for $170 in O town. Less than half of the price I was quoted here. Unfortunately, there was only $23 in that category. Smile Maybe that deal will come around again when I have the money ready for it.

Oh! If you remember me talking about the vegge hot pockets I made last Sunday? Well I had a good amount of veggie filling leftover.

Finally on Thursday night I managed to do something with the leftovers! I added a couple eggs, some more flavorings, and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix. Then I formed "patties" and baked them for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

They are YUMMY! Even NE liked them (he wasn't too sure about my adding the Jiffy mix to the batter - but turns out it worked out just right!)

I really need to get the remaining hot pockets and patties frozen though ...

I almost forgot a funny from my grocery shopping ... two of the rebates were for loose carrots. It didn't specify a quantity. So ... I bought ONE loose bulk carrot. It cost $.10. 1 rebate was for $.50, and the other was for $.20. So ... I made $.60 profit. Smile

This & That

December 9th, 2015 at 02:13 am

NE and I went out for pizza Sunday night. I found a Groupon deal for $9 for $20 worth of food. The waitress was a little bit ... not with it. She wasn't very attentive to us, but when I got the check and was looking it over, I noticed a handwritten $1.75 on the bottom. Not even loudly, I said, "What's this $1.75?"

From across the room, waitress shouts out that it was the drink (NE's.) I figured that out almost as soon as I said it - but it being handwritten had thrown me.
(She'd forgotten to include it on our ticket at first because she thought we were getting the special which included a drink.)

I also bought a deal from Living Social which I think will be really good. It was $35 for a $200 Restaurant.com gift card. I already used $10 of it to buy a $25 gift certificate for a local fancy restaurant we're going to for my birthday. (It will be pretty easy to spend $50 there.)

There's a Steven Curtis Chapman concert here this week. I was really, really tempted to buy a ticket. $25. But ... I really didn't want to go by myself. Plus I just haven't seemed to pick up any energy - in fact I went home early from work yesterday. Frown

I've decided to not go.

I did some shopping on Sunday - made back around $7 between ibotta and MobiSave. Spent about $35 grocery money and $20 cat money.

I also did some cooking. I've been buying single carrots and red peppers, etc., because there've been iBotta rebates on them - so wanted to use them. Smile

I chopped up the zucchini, carrots, onion, broccoli, (actually put in the food processor ... Big Grin )and then took two cans of Pilsbury's Grands and a can of Pillsubry Croissants (coupon/rebate deal) and made veggie hot pockets! Yummy!

Of course ... I still haven't gotten started on fixing the robe for the Nativity drive through that is happening on the 12th. It really shouldn't take too long to do, just have to DO it! Smile

Other than Sunday, I haven't spent any money this week.

Hard to believe there is only one week left of my 30's. If what happened at work yesterday is any indication - my 40's won't find me being any less klutzy. (Dropped one of those big calculators and broke it completely. Offered to pay for a replacement - my boss told me not to worry about it.)

How many of you actually wear robes? I keep being given robes as gifts ... and well, I've never seen the point of them really. So ... they end up hanging around somewhere in my house for years, and then get given away. My mom is sending a robe for NE ... he isn't a robe person either.

Maybe if I was someone more into fixing up my face, etc. before getting dressed or something? Or if I had other people (other than partner) living with me?

Really, what is the purpose of a robe? Just curious really if I'm the oddball out on this one or not. Smile