Saturday, November 26, 2022

Bits & Bobs

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was very low key. I did not even bother to change out of my sweats like I normally do. I hung out with DS afterwards. Then I binge watched one of my favorite shows, then to bed. I had 5 days to sleep late, but guess who woke up at the crack of dawn every day. By Monday morning my body will ask 'is it really time to get up already' when that alarm goes off. 

I did very very little BF shopping. Only at Kohls. I didn't even set foot inside any of the drugstores. I normally purchase the gcs that earns Bonus Cash or EBs. Then roll the rewards into purchasing BF freebies. I just wasn't feeling it. I even debated with myself about just hitting RA on Thanksgiving morning, but my gut said no. 

The next morning I received a message from SIL that my aunt had passed away on Thanksgiving. I knew that they waited to tell me, because they knew that it's Thanksgiving and didn't want to ruin the day for me. The downside is that I end up getting bad news first thing in the morning, thanks to the time difference (they're 7 hours ahead during fall/winter). This is why I never check my phone in the middle of the night. I know that I won't get any more sleep if I get bad news in the middle of the night. It happened when my mom passed away. So most of the morning was spent dealing with my family. 

I would like to say that whatever I'm writing next, is in no way meant to bash or speak ill of America or it's traditions. I am a proud American! I'm merely trying to explain things (to give my readers a bit more insight so you understand things better), because many of my experiences in SA are vastly different from my experiences here. 

I now understand why I didn't feel like BF shopping. It's because an unexpected expense was coming up (I'm Not physic). In my family, many of us will contribute towards funeral expenses. Funerals are a big deal in South Africa and my family don't believe in cremation. I come from a well respected church family. Cremation is a big No No for us. I never talk about who or what we are, because none of us (my family) let it define who we are as people. We also don't consider ourselves to be in a different category than others. We are just simple middle class folks. I, personally, hated growing up in the public eye. I still do. Please don't get me wrong. I love my family and I'm proud and thankful that we are blessed enough to be able to do God's work here on earth. However, I do not like all the judging we have to endure. People have judged our every word and/or move since before I even started school. They still do, despite me living on a totally different continent. They hold us to a far higher standard, just because of our positions in the church (I'm not gonna lie. There's some perks to being well known though...lol). These are the same people who commit far worse sins, but they will gladly talk about the simplest things that we say or do. I hate it, because I don't go around judging others. This is one of the main reasons why I'm so very private. Besides, we were raised to be private. My family's very proper. We're not boring or prudish though. We are just well mannered and know how to mind our Ps and Qs....lol

Back to the funeral. I always contribute towards my family's funerals. This is not the time for them to have to worry about money, because they need to grieve. We don't have funeral homes in SA and we don't do wakes (more on the wakes later). There will be a memorial service (either at church or at home, depending on how many people are expected). If you don't belong to a church, you have to know someone who will convince their church to bury your loved one. Like I said before, funerals are a big deal. People show up from near & far. People will take the day off work to attend a funeral. My parents had 500+ people (respectively) attend their funerals. That is because of who we are. I know the amount, because I know the church's capacity. We also had full mass complete with communion (communion isn't always served at funerals) and they always count the number of communicants. Then everyone goes to the cemetery. Buses are hired to transport those who don't have cars. After the coffin is lowered into the ground, the attendees will take turns shoveling earth into the hole. Most women will pour a handful of earth into the hole, while the choir sings. It's a very personal experience. We don't have front loaders or backhoes at the cemetery.  The Ex was impressed and had it implemented at his aunt's funeral a few years later. Every funeral he attends, he explains the process to the funeral directors and insist on covering the hole with his family and/or friends.

After the cemetery, everyone goes back to the church hall to eat. The family provides food for everyone. We don't go to a restaurant afterwards. I explained to the Ex that the whole food thing is because funerals are a half day event (like ours) and everyone's hungry after going through the whole process. So besides the expense of the funeral & transportation, you have to feed everyone too. This is why we help each other financially. It's expensive! I would not feel right, knowing that I haven't done my duty. They know that I would give them the shirt off my back. My motto has always been 'Family First'. My mother instilled that value into us. It doesn't matter what our circumstances are. If a family member needs help, we'll be there for them. That's what we were taught. My family have very stubborn pride though. They will never just ask any family member for money. So we all (those who contribute) just offer whatever amount we see fit. I'll have to ask my family if the funeral will be live streamed (most churches started doing that when covid started), so I can watch the funeral online. I'm gonna have to get up in the middle of the night for the service. 

A wake is one thing I don't understand here. Maybe it's just my experience, but I've been to my friend's father's wake too (besides the Ex's family) and it all just seemed like a social gathering to me. I asked him why people were hanging out. Why isn't anyone grieving? I would be crying my little heart out. That's what we do. I was such a mess at my father's memorial service, that I didn't even know who was talking to me half the time. At the funeral, I couldn't even walk down the aisle when the service started. My oldest brother & aunt had to hold me up, because I was hurting so bad. The service itself was a blur to me. I don't understand why people just pay their respects at a wake and not attend the funeral itself. Isn't the funeral the most important part?

Also, when the Ex's uncle died. We went to the funeral home for the service and then straight to a restaurant. This was the first funeral I attended here, so I asked him 'what about the cemetery'. He said his cousin went with the funeral director to cemetery to bury his uncle. This was all very strange to me. I did attend his friend's funeral years ago. It was a full Catholic mass and I felt right at home. I don't know if it's because I'm so familiar with this type of service (our church practices are very similar to Catholics) or because it wasn't held in a funeral home. So maybe different folks have different experiences.

Once again, no real meal plan. There's still too much food that needs to get eaten. We've been eating down the Thanksgiving leftovers. We haven't had ravioli in ages, so I went to Meijer for a bag of frozen ravioli. I will make meat sauce to go with it and we can have salad with that. I'll make more lemon cranberry muffins. I went to Aldi yesterday for bread and carrots and came home with Mocha Mint coffee and cranberries too. Oy vey. The cranberries were 99c and the coffee is actually good. I haven't bought flavored coffee in forever. I've just been adding spices to my coffee for the past few years. I also stopped by Kroger for their sale milk, grapes and oranges. Then I went to the produce market, because I needed kiwi, beets and peppers. I spent under $30 at the produce market (I bought a few other things too). A rare occurrence for me, but we didn't need much. The kiwi was 3/$1 and they were big. I love this stuff. I've just been cherry picking the good sale items at the grocery stores, because we don't need much. 

I only bought bras for myself and an electric razor for DS at Kohls BF sale. The bra low price happens once a year, so I always stock up. I'll have to write a shopping post later this week. 

Speaking of shopping. I hate bloody Amazon!!!! They still haven't shipped all my items. I especially paid shipping (I qualified for free shipping) and almost 2 weeks later they haven't shipped my full order. Last weekend we had high winds and light snow. Something told me to check the front porch on Saturday night (not that I was expecting anything, because I usually get notifications of deliveries). The frigging Amazon driver left 2 lightweight envelopes at the edge of the porch. One ended up in the snow. We have a big porch. They could've placed the envelopes at the front door or in the corner near the door. It's just 2 steps up to the porch, but they were too lazy to do a decent job. Had I not checked, the other envelope could've blown away. 

Then I received the next package earlier this week. It was packing supplies for my Christmas project. The envelope wasn't completely sealed, the inside packaging was  half open and the items reeked of smoke.Ugh! How the heck am I supposed to gift something that reeks of smoke? I do smoke myself (very rarely. As in a pack of smokes can last me over a year. That's how often {j/k} I smoke). However, I do not smoke in the house and never around anything that I sell. So, since I haven't received all the items, I cannot gift this project. Upset, doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. The recipient was supposed to have the items by the end of the month, otherwise the gift doesn't make sense. Now I have to wait for another occasion to gift this. Not cool Amazon. Not cool at all!! Okay, I do have another event in mind. Ugh! I hate when things don't work out. This is why I plan and prep well in advance. So that if there's a hiccup, I still have time to get things fixed or changed. 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone. Stay safe & warm!


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Thanksgiving

 


Hi everyone

I have no meal plan for this week, because we have way too much food/leftovers. I just made roti & curry for dinner on Sunday and some lemon cranberry muffins. None of us care for cranberry sauce (I love cranberries though), so I started making cranberry muffins last year. This is now my Thanksgiving tradition, because the muffins are always a hit. We're eating leftovers for lunch & dinner every day until it's gone. I haven't even done much grocery shopping lately, because I don't really need anything. I stocked up on blueberries at Meijer last week & bought potatoes too. The russet potatoes were $0.99/5 lb bag. I haven't seen potatoes that cheap in forever, so I bought 2 bags. 

I also bought 2 pumpkin pies at Sams last week (We eat non-traditional food, but I must have green bean casserole & pumpkin pie). One woman asked me if I freeze the pies & I said yes and explained that there's no difference in the taste. I didn't tell her that one pie is for me alone though....lol. I love all kinds of pies, but pumpkin is the only kind I don't bake. I tried once & it didn't turn out well. So I indulge over the holidays. No shame in  my game. I actually sliced both pies when I got home & placed 4-5 slices per gallon freezer bag and froze it. Okay, I did eat some of the pie...lol. I froze the rest so that we're not stuck eating a whole pie in no time. This way I can just pull a bag from the freezer whenever DS or I crave pie. Easy peasy. I swear a freezer is at the top of my shopping list when I move. There's so many good sales lately, but I have nowhere to store food. (I didn't even buy butter for baking this year. gasp). Besides, I'm trying to eat down the fridge/freezer. 

I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I'll be back to my regular scheduled programming next week. 

Stay safe & warm peeps!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Early Frugal Friday

Hi everyone

It's been a crazy busy week running errands. I decided to just stay home today so I can try to get some things done. It's gotten cold here fast. Last week we had 70s temps and now it's below freezing first thing in the morning. Crazy. I just want to bake cookies, take a hot bubble bath, drink hot chocolate, read a good book, relax in front of the fireplace & get lot of snuggles. A girl can dream...lol. We all know that reality is a totally different story. 

I've decided to post a few frugal things, since it seems like I'm just a spendthrift 😊 Contrary to popular belief, I do know how to be frugal & implement it on a regular basis.

  • As mentioned before, I was able to replace DS's backpack, hat & gloves last weekend. I did manage to salvage his old backpack, so he can still use it again in future. 
  • The zipper on my inner jacket (I wear a systems jacket, which is a 3 in 1 coat) didn't just break, that zipper pull poof, magically disappeared in the wash. This has been happening a lot the past few years. The zippers always break. I don't know where manufacturers source their crappy zippers from. Or maybe they use junk, so we have to keep replacing items. $$$ Who knows. So, I've been saving all our coats since the pandemic started. This way, when a zipper breaks, I can just mix & match the inner & outer ones that do still have working zippers & build a new coat. Easy peasy. Except, my latest coat is a different brand (got it for $12 in early 2020 - pre pandemic), so the zippers don't match those of the other coats. The good news is that I can still wear the outer coat. Plan B is to figure out how to replace the zippers, because the coats are all still in a great condition. I still have a ski jacket that I bought in Cape Town about 22 years ago. That jacket is still in excellent condition, so if push comes to shove, I still have a warm jacket to wear. I do have wool coats too, but they don't' work for all occasions.
  • Just before DS left for school on Monday, his coat zipper got stuck too. Lots of cussing from me, but I finally got that thing fixed...lol. Yay me!
  • Used my $10 Eddie Bauer reward to purchase a free t-shirt and earned $0.10 through Rakuten. MM! Ka-ching.
  • Chico's sent me another $5 reward. I'll wait until BF to see if there's anything good. 
  • I found 5 lb onion bags at the produce market for $2.49 each. So I bought one yellow & one red. Came home, peeled washed & diced the onions & into the freezer they went. Onions range from 99c -$1.29/lb here, so this was a big savings.
  • When I applied for a new CC, one of my banks offered a $200 bonus WYS $500 within 3 months (Actually both my banks had that offer, but I opted for a backup CC from the company we've used for years & that turned out to be a huge cluster). Ha! Easy for me to spend $500, especially if I put Sams purchases on the card. So I received my $200 bonus as rewards points. Then I saw that they have select GCs at 10% off. Say no more! I ordered $200 Home Depot gcs for $180 worth of points. That's a $20 savings on my free money. But I'm not stopping there. HD keeps sending 10% off Qs in the mail, so I'm saving those for when I move. Then I'll use my free discounted gcs to pay for whatever appliance I need. 
  • So, we've used the same CC company for years. We had separate cards for business purposes (it's easier that way, since we were both self employed). So when I decided to get a new card through them again, they had all the personal info pre-filled with the Ex's info (since he was the primary cardholder, even though I mainly used the card) and I couldn't change some of the info to my own. So I logged out of our account and decided to just sign up as a new user. Big mistake. They approved me within seconds with $500 credit. WTH am I supposed to do with $500?! So I explained it to the ex and asked him to get this adjusted, since the old account was still in his name. They could easily see the info. Except, you can't get a regular person on the phone. So they said they'll review my account and make a decision within 10 days. Last I checked, there was no change. I actually need to check again, cause it's been a long time. So, if they don't raise my credit, I'm going to get a card through my other bank. Besides, they're offering me a $200 bonus. However, I'm going to wait a while, since my credit score is affected by opening new cards. I keep a spare card, because I've had my card declined twice while Christmas shopping. I was at Meijer getting the new ipads years ago, but I split my transactions so I could use their coupons twice to get a bigger discount. My card got declined with the 2nd transaction, cause the CC company flagged the purchase as fraudulent. I was so embarrassed. I never use a debit card (except to get cash from ATM), but was forced to use it on such a big purchase.  I use a CC, because it's easier to dispute a charge. Besides, if your debit card gets compromised, it's easy for someone to drain your bank account. 
In other news. I was reading an article about iron recently, when someone commented that they eat a beef & broccoli stir fry for breakfast after their workout. That sounded perfect to me, cause I prefer to work out in the morning. The recipe called for sesame oil, but there was none to be found at Walmart (despite showing stock at that store). So when I was at Target, I decided to just get stir fry sauce, cause we're making stir fry. Duh!...lol. I did search for the sesame oil at first and then I spotted the Target Good & Gather (store brand) stir fry sauce. Korean BBQ. That sounds yummy, even though I've never had Korean BBQ. Let me tell ya, I love this stuff!!! I'm a food snob  (I have high standards about everything. I'm not easily impressed and I don't just sing someone or something's praises just because), so when I rave about something, you'd best believe that it's awesome!!! This is the BEST stir fry sauce that I've ever had!!! I'm going back to Target to stock up. I also bought the Sesame Teriyaki one, but we haven't tried it yet. I've always been a Kikkoman girl, but Target & I are now BFFs...lol. 

I will say that I've felt a lot better since eating the beef stir fry. No more afternoon slump and I actually wake up bright eyed & bushy tailed - even when I wake up too early. It's amazing what a dose of iron can do for you. 

Some of my Operation Christmas Project items have started arriving & I found new ideas to add to it. Now lets just hope it all turns out the way I visualized it. Fingers crossed. 

I just noticed that the white stuff have started (lightly) falling. I know that most people hate it, but I love the snow. There's nothing prettier than snow covered pine trees. I have to see if I can find pine cones in the backyard, so I can work on another Christmas project. 

Back to the grindstone for me. Stay safe & warm everyone!

Free Shipping at Eddie Bauer - Today Only!

Now is the time to shop, if you have any Eddie Bauer rewards or coupons. FREE SHIPPING. TODAY ONLY!!! Don't forget to use Rakuten. I always earn cash back on my free products, so this usually turns into a moneymaker. You can't beat that!

I got my free t-shirt in my favorite color.  My favorite way to shop 💖 I wanted to get something for DS instead, but they had nothing free in his size. I'll be back with a full post later. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

What's for dinner this week & more

Hi everyone

I was up extra early again yesterday - 5 am. My body's still not used to the time change & I have a lot on my mind. So my mind's going 100 miles a minute from around 4 am. Not good. I need my beauty sleep. Then today I woke up at 4 am. Ughhh. Just as I started dozing off, the alarm went off and it was time to get up.

I've decided to not cook too much this week. We have way too much food, so I'm in 'eating down the fridge/freezer' mode. I still have a whole quiche left from last week (will eat some and freeze the rest) and the freezers are practically full, mainly because I bought frozen fruit for smoothies and I've been freezing produce items like peppers, onions etc, when I find a good sale. For the most part, I'm done with grocery shopping for the month. I'll just fill in some fresh produce & dairy gaps. I also need to buy a pumpkin pie and yogurt for DS at Sams this week. I do not like to set foot in the stores during a holiday week. Been there, done that. It's just too crowded for my liking. I've considered getting roast beef at Costco. I love the 2 smaller roasts they sell. It's 2 small roast in a package for around $25. I'm still struggling to increase my red meat intake for my anemia, so roast beef it is. I know that I haven't been getting enough iron lately. The supplements don't help much, so I need to eat iron rich food. The problem is that most processed foods (which I don't care for) contain iron. So my best option is red meat. Here's what I made for this week. 

Monday : Pesto spinach chicken bake, baked potatoes, veggies

Tuesday : Meatloaf, garlic parsley mashed potato, veggies

Wednesday : Same as Monday

Thursday : Same as Tuesday

Friday : DS gets carry out and I'll eat whatever leftover tickles my fancy

I don't cook weekends. We used to dine out before the pandemic. Now we just get out for to go

Veggie choices : Roasted brussel sprouts, carrots & peas, broccoli & beetroot salad

Breakfasts : Bran apple muffins, omelets, cereal, lemon blueberry waffles, fruit of choice (there's lots to choose from)

I also baked some BBQ chicken breasts (I do this every time I buy chicken). It's so nice to have on hand when we want an easy meal or I'm too busy to cook. I just freeze it all and pull some when we need a meal. I can add veggies or salad or make wraps with it. Life simplified.

In other news. I had a major catastrophe yesterday, resulting in me having to replace DS's backpack, hat & gloves. I went into the spare closet & just pulled out all those items. See how my stockpiling pays off. I mean, who on earth stockpiles backpacks?...lol (I bought them on sale many years ago - mainly for him to use as a carry on when travelling). I know, I know. I do some really weird things sometimes, but guess what. I didn't have to run out and pay full price for any of those items. $0 Spent! Ms Goose Frugalista Extraodinaire. I love not having to spend any money, because of a silly mistake (partly mine). This also resulted in me not being upset about it for too long, because everything was handled & replaced in no time. As I like to say 'There's method to my madness'...lol. Kohls also sent me a 40% off coupon yesterday, so I went ahead & ordered 2 extra pairs of gloves for DS. We wear a select brand that has been hard to find the past 3 years. This way there's an extra pair of gloves for me too. I can't find the women's ski gloves in this brand. I only have one pair, but since I have big hands, I can easily use DS's gloves when needed.

I got most of the items for my Christmas gifts projects ordered. I'm kinda excited about it 😊 I like seeing my ideas come to life. I'm not an arts & crafts person, but I can think up some really neat things (even if I do say so myself...lol). Now I'm just hoping that everything arrives in time (I even paid shipping, so it can be delivered earlier), because the gifts are time sensitive. I actually forgot one item, because Amazon empties your cart after a certain period of time. Grrr! So I forgot to add it when I added new items to my cart. I must be the only person who doesn't like shopping on Amazon, because I know that they're overpriced. I need to see if I can find this item elsewhere, because I don't need another $25 or is it $35 worth of stuff just to get free shipping. It's super cute though, so I might just bite the bullet. I don't care too much about the money spent, if it really makes the recipient happy. You can't put a price tag on that. 

I needed a check to go with some legal documents. Me wondering who on earth still writes checks, because checks have been archaic in South Africa for over 2 decades (way before I moved here). In fact, store registers used to print all the details on your checks way back at the turn of the century. All you had to do was sign the check. However, very few people used checks back then, because we did most things electronically. I had to ask the ex for a check, because I don't even have a valid check book anymore. Oy vey. I need to order a check book soon. I also need to order more stamps, before the price increase. I only have 1 stamp left. 

I apologise for adding miscellaneous things to my dinner posts, but I have so much to do that I don't know how often I'll get a chance to blog. I have many posts written in my head though. If only those thoughts could automatically be turned into text.

Have a wonderful day peeps!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Laptop Love

 


No, I'm not getting lucky tonight...lol. This song popped into my head after what happened this morning. Let me explain.

Remember my laptop I bought recently? After writing my previous blog post, I immediately went to  purchase one for DS too. Except, it was OOS!! I wanted to cry, because I knew that I could've purchased it earlier that day. I then figured that DS could just continue using what he currently has, until I can find another good laptop deal. 

When I checked the site (Walmart) the next morning, I saw that the laptop was back in stock (weird). So I immediately went ahead and purchased it. A few hours later, it was sold out again. Then the next day I received an email that said "sorry, your order is being delayed". No way! I don't care how long that item is delayed, I just want it shipped. I don't want an OOS email. So I added another one (it was back in stock again) to my cart just to see how much inventory they have, in case they cancelled my order (they already cancelled an item for DS's Christmas project. Thankfully, Target has the item too). Last night I received notification that the item has shipped. Phew! Another huge sigh of relief. 

Then this morning, I received an email saying that the item in my cart has a huge price drop. No frigging way!!!!! I immediately contacted CS (gotta love Live Chat) and explained the price drop email and asked if I could get a price adjustment on the laptops. 'Of course Ms Goose. Let me work on it for you'. Ten minutes later, I received a $171 price adjustment!!! Whoo hoo!! Happy dance!! I felt like doing cartwheels. What a great way to start my day! 50% off my new laptops! Heck yeah, I'll take it!!

Never ever would I have thought that I'd get the laptops at such a low price.  Had I purchased a new laptop when my old one broke, I would've paid full price. Instead I now have 2 laptops for the price of one. Do you all now see why I trust my gut instincts and how those stumbling blocks turn into blessings? I wouldn't have added another laptop to my cart, had I not received notification of a delay. That means I wouldn't have received an email about the price drop either, cause my cart would've been empty. Now you know why I am so excited & I just can't hide it!!!

In other news. Stores just keep sending me rewards. WHBM keeps sending me $5 rewards for being a certain level shopper. Too weird. Eddie Bauer sent me another $10 reward - just because. The more I don't need anything, the more stores keep sending me rewards. So what's a girl to do. Spend it!...lol (I haven't spent it yet. Waiting for BF deals)

I bought 2 more pairs of shoes (please don't judge...lol) There's a very good reason why I'm replacing some of my shoes. I sold quite a bit of my shoes last year. Over summer, I listed more shoes for sale  and donated a huge pile. What I failed to mention in my last post, is that I sold 4 pairs recently that netted me a whopping $231.13. That covers the cost of my 4 new pairs of shoes. Plus I earned a $10 reward for spending over $60 on my latest shoes. So here's my latest shoes. I got it in both black and nude. Two colors you should always have in your closet. This is my preferred shoe brand. I wear 4" heels and the Calvin Klein ones are always comfortable enough to wear all day. I've been wearing this brand for years. 

I also bought new furniture. Now I know what you all are thinking. How can I buy furniture if I don't have a house yet? I'm not buying big ticket items yet. I've been looking at new furniture and bookmarking things for when I get a house. I even have coupons for some of those stores. I'm a planner. I don't want to wait until the last minute and then have to scramble to find things and pay ridiculous prices. By shopping around now, I can look for the best prices and/or discounts. I like to have my life simplified. I've been looking for nightstands for months. So when I saw these, I knew I had to buy them. I love the simplicity of it. It's simple, but the the handles give it a more modern look. This is totally my style. Simple, but still makes a statement. Some of you might think it's pricey, but my dad taught us that "The cheap sometimes turns out expensive". So I'd rather spend more money on quality items that will last a long time. This was my first time shopping at Wayfair. Has anyone shopped with them before? Did you have a good experience?

So DS is getting these, because it matches his furniture. If I find that I like it, then I will order another set for myself. I already have my headboard and vanity picked out, but I have to wait until I move. You already know what color my decor is gonna be, right?...lol Blue of course 😊 What compliments blue better than white furniture. 

I've been running errands all day. This is how my week is going. Errands every single day. I'll be glad when I can just take a day to stay home and get things done. Went to the DMV and they had to schedule an appointment for later in the day. Not good, because I needed to be home in time for DS. Then I told the Ex that there's another DMV not far from home that we can try. So we did and the place was jam  packed. We would've waited more than an hour. So I said I'll just schedule an appointment online. Now I've got to squeeze the DMV into my already packed schedule. Oy vey.

Well, the day wasn't a total bust. I mean it started off great, so I'm not letting the DMV or anything else get me down. I'm just gonna give thanks for all my blessings.

Praying for favor and blessings for everyone else too. Enjoy the rest of the week peeps. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

What's for dinner?

Boy, I sure wish that someone would end Jet lag savings time for good. This turning the clocks forward & back wrecks havoc on my body. I was bright eyed & bushy tailed at 5 am! This normally lasts a week no matter which way we turn the clocks. So, I decided to be productive instead. 

I cooked all our meals for the week - I do this every Sunday anyway & washed all the bedding. I still need to fold & pack everything away. By 2pm I was ready for a nap. So that's exactly what I did. I did it a little later, but I got my nap. The problem with me napping though, is that I always feel exhausted after I get up. It takes me a few hours to get back on track and then I'm wide awake by the time bedtime rolls around. This is why I rarely take naps. 

Here's our menu plan for the week: 

Monday : Chicken alfredo & big salad

Tuesday : Spinach, feta & artichoke quiche, salad & veggies of choice. I added artichokes, cause I love it. I was out of roasted red peppers, so I just used some fresh diced orange peppers. Let's hope it tastes good. There's also leftover BBQ chicken breasts if we want to add more protein. 

Wednesday : Chicken burritos, mexican rice, pico (I forgot to get avo for guac). I'm pulling some fajita chicken from the freezer. I'll cook some beans in the instant pot. Add cheese & southwest corn and make our burritos. The rice is compliments of Knorr...lol

Thursday : Leftovers buffet

Friday : DS will have takeout and I'll eat whatever leftovers are available. I usually cook too much 

Veggie sides : Carrots & peas, broccoli, butternut

Breakfasts : Carrot ginger muffins, breakfast burritos, omelets, bagels. The muffins I made today were huge. I was too lazy to get out another muffin pan (I only have 2 large muffin pans and then 3 regular ones. The large ones were both filled) to make regular muffins. So I filled every cup to the brim and the muffins are humongous!...lol. They turned out great though. Fluffy & moist. I don't always feel like baking, but DS prefers muffins over the Aldi cinnamon raisin bagels. So I just bake different flavored muffins every week. 

Fruit : Bananas, blueberries, kiwi, oranges, grapes, apples

Kroger had the 18ct eggs for $1.99 this week, so I bought the max limit of 5. I stocked up on Kraft cheese at the Meijer sale 2 weeks ago, so the logical thing to do was make quiche. I already had all the ingredients, so that was easy. 

I was going to buy the El Monterey frozen burritos at Target last week. I had it in my cart, then put it right back. I reminded myself that it's just junk & that I already had fajita chicken in the freezer and all the fixings to make my own burritos. Which will taste far better anyway. Convenience food is so tempting sometimes, but I know that I don't enjoy it most times. I don't know why I buy the burritos, because I don't even eat the whole thing. I mainly eat the filling, then dump the tortilla, cause it tastes horrible. 

I just realised that there's no potatoes on the menu, so I might make my own hashbrowns. I can stir in some onions and peppers.

I've been feeling a little down lately. Everyone's been talking about Thanksgiving & Christmas plans and I don't even know what we're gonna do or where we're gonna be. I'm still house hunting. I found an almost perfect house - it checked most of my boxes. The price was a little higher than my budget. I would've paid the price, except it didn't have a front porch. I need a porch (nothing big) so I have somewhere to place my outgoing mail (online sales orders) for the mail carrier. I can't have that sitting out in the snow & rain. Otherwise, I'd have to drive to the Post office every day to drop off mail. That's a waste of time & gas for me. The other thing was that I absolutely hate having the kitchen sink in an island. Who the heck puts a kitchen sink in the middle of the room? That pushes my blood pressure through the roof because, (from a design point of view) it doesn't make sense. That's worse than no front porch. As much as I liked the house, my gut was screaming Noooooooooooo! For some reason, I just didn't have peace about this house (it sold yesterday). The house was perfect otherwise, so I don't understand why my instincts were in overdrive. However, years of experience has taught me to always trust my gut. The house is a big purchase for me, so I want to make sure I find the perfect home. 

So yeah, I don't know whether we'll be in our new home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or not. I don't even know what we're gonna do the holidays or my birthday. This is hard for me, because I'm a planner. I normally have everything ready (including Christmas gifts) by this time every year. Heck, I might have to buy my own birthday gift this year. My family said that we should just come visit for 3 weeks and enjoy some R&R with them. That will be really awesome, cause who doesn't love sun, sea, dining, concerts in the park, jazz clubs and tons of family time. It's summer there now & everyone's on vacation. Sounds like the perfect plan. Right? I figured that if DS & I are alone for Christmas, then it would make sense to visit my family. Then I looked at plane tickets & I'm like "No way!!! Not gonna happen!!" Ticket prices are really high now. I don't know why I'm surprised. It's the holiday season & Cape Town is a big tourist destination, so tickets are pricey this time of year. I checked tickets for February & it costs half of what it does now (not that I'm planning a visit in February. I was merely comparing prices). So a CT vacation is definitely out of the question, especially since I have to pay for a house & fully furnish it too! Vacation is going to go to the farthest corner of the back burner. I already feel like I've been bleeding money for months. 

I went to the dentist for a cleaning on Monday and they told me I need 2 fillings. Are you kidding me. They just gave me a crap filling a few months ago (that's another long story). Crap, cause I had so much pain (some from stress and some from the filling) that I couldn't even sleep at night. The filling will cost me another $485!! Hold on while I go pluck some cash from my money tree. We've used this dentist for years, but every time I go there, it's some sales pitch. This has been happening since he added new partners. They have a huge staff turnover (which speaks volumes) and partner turnover. So every frigging new partner wants to convince you to have more work done. Except, the narrative changes every time. There's always something different wrong...smh.

Over summer, my laptop bit the dust. I've had this laptop for around 6-7 years, so I didn't feel too bad about it. I searched for a new one, but never got around to purchasing it. I still have a desktop (which I need to replace too), so my laptop is a backup for work. Then last week, I saw that the price was reduced by $116. Perfect! So I bought the laptop. When DS saw my laptop, he wanted to use it. I can't blame him. When the pandemic started, we had to get him a laptop for online school, because his desktop didn't have a camera. As you all know, electronics were in high demand then. We finally found a laptop on Dell's website. We paid around $300 for it. A few short months later, we had trouble getting that thing to turn on. So I had to let DS use my laptop. His laptop would work sometimes and not turn on at all at other times. I watched youtube videos to try and fix it, but that meant I had to take the whole thing apart. So I bought him a new HP last year (that's my preferred brand). The new laptop was so small and one day I noticed that it doesn't even have a numeric keyboard. What on earth?! So he's been using that laptop. My new laptop is 14" (slightly smaller than my old one). It's bright red, but I'm just happy to have a nice new laptop that works great again. So I've decided to just buy DS one for Christmas too (before it sells out) and sell or donate his small HP one. As for the Dell. I have no words. We might keep that as a backup - just in case he ever has laptop problems. Or we should probably donate the Dell and keep the other HP. I haven't decided yet. I'm just waiting on a sale for the other 2 things he wants, then his Christmas shopping is done.

I also asked DH to wait until my birthday before transferring my vehicles to my name. I didn't know if I'd have to pay for new tags twice this year, if he did it earlier. So I had to get new car insurance and plates. 

That's just a few small examples of me having to spend money. However, I'm determined to make Christmas special for DS. Feeling sorry for myself is not going to help. I'm already working on a special Christmas project for him. He's gonna love it!! I'm also working on a Christmas project for my friend, but I don't know if she'll like it. I'm not even sure if I should do it. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I like to make it special for everyone. I usually get some 'bright' ideas for gifts/spoiling (I think outside the box & go all out) then I start worrying  (after I've already sent their gifts) about whether the recipients will like their gifts or not. So I don't even know if this is a good idea. It's the thought that counts, right? DS & my family are easy to shop for. I know them inside out & they always say I buy the best gifts, so hopefully my friend will like hers too. 

I need to go see my lawyer this week too. I need to get my finances sorted out. I'm getting things done. Right now, the biggest things to still deal with are the house & trust. I'm a git r done girl, so I know I'll get this handled in due time. If only more houses will go on sale in our town. I'm ideally looking to stay in the same city. We live in a nice city. I like it here, because everything is right on our doorstep. I have a select few neighboring cities that I'm willing to move to. This is one reason why house hunting is taking so long. I'm picky. I want to get this right. 

This 'menu' post has gotten way too long. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Dollar Tree Finds




Hi everyone!

As promised, here are some of my favorite finds at Dollar Tree this summer. I bought the Palmolive dish spray as an experiment. I figured I'd try to see if it will foam like the foaming hand soap bottles. Let me first say that I did not care for the original spray at all. While it worked great, I didn't like the fragrance. Once the bottle was empty, I filled it with water and a tablespoon dish soap. This thing worked exactly as expected. Foaming dish soap y'all! Dawn isn't going to make me spend $$$ with their high priced Platinum foam. I'll just add my regular Dawn to this bottle & Voila! You only need to spray a dish once or twice. No more wasting lots of dish soap. I've always diluted mine with water, but the foam is an even better money saver. 

I then went back to buy another bottle to experiment with Lysol and Eureka! It worked again!! This product is hit and miss. I went to 2 Dollar Trees within 2 miles of each other and only one store had the item. This is a Canadian product, so Jackie & Theresa might be able to find it at their regular grocery stores. 

Prego is our preferred pasta sauce blend. I rarely buy food at Dollar Tree and when I do, it has to be a name brand item (You already know that I'm a food snob...lol). I check the labels to see where it was manufactured. Yep, I'm bad like that...lol. Anyhoo, I was so happy to see Prego, cause it costs twice as much at the grocery stores. The only difference is that the cans aren't flavored. No problemo! I prefer to add my own flavors anyway. The can is the exact same size as the jar for half the price. 

I also found Kind ice cream pints over summer. I went to Dollar Tree for a birthday card, but I always browse to see what's new. Checked the freezer and spotted Kind ice cream. I've never tried this brand, but I'm aware of it. So I bought the 3 pints that was available (who doesn't like ice cream) and checked the price online. $6.99!! WTH?! So I went to my other local store and they were fully stocked. Grabbed 8 more pints and we were all happy. The peanut butter is my favorite, not to mention the cherry. One day as I got the ice cream out, I noticed the lid says "Plant based". Me : WTbleep Plant Based?! So I checked the ingredients and it is a vegan product. So I'm upset that it didn't contain dairy...lol. This girl wants real milk ice cream. I have to admit that I couldn't taste the difference. 

The other item I found are the clamps above (found in the crafting section). There's 6-8 clamps per package (I can't remember). I bought these for my sewing project. Then one day I had another lightbulb moment (I'm having lots of these lately...lol). I had opened a bag of chips. I normally place an open bag inside a gallon ziploc bag to retain it's freshness. This time I decided to use one of my clamps and they work great as a chip clip! They're much better too, because it's all metal, instead of these plastic clips that wear out over time. It can probably be used to hang things on a clothes line too. 



Not a Dollar Tree item. Months ago I purchased Dollar Tree mesh bags to wash my bras in (I'm late to the mesh bag party). Well, this was clearly a case of 'you get what you pay for'. Those bags broke after just 2 washes. So I checked Walmart online and they had mesh bags. I added it to my shopping list and while I was searching for those Mainstays mesh bags in store, I saw these on an end cap. This bag is fully lined, so I decided to give it a try. Let me tell ya, I'm totally, madly in love with these bags!!! They were a total game changer for me. The packaging states One Bra per bag, but I decided to try 2 and 3 respectively and it all fits and washes well. I decided to stick with 2, because I don't want to overfill the bags and not get a good clean. Then I had....wait for it....yet another lightbulb moment...lol I started washing my delicate blouses/shirts/tops in these bags (I have lots of delicate blouses & tops). I only add one blouse/shirt per bag and it works great. I've even washed my trouser socks (short pantyhose that I need to wear with some of my boots) in it. No more hand washing for me! So I went back to Walmart and bought another one. Then I thought, girl just buy 2 more cause you don't know if they'll still have these in future. So that's exactly what I did.  The price rang up $1 higher than before (now $3.99), but it's totally worth the money spent. I now use 2 bags and have 2 in my stockpile. These bags are my absolute favorite! I can't imagine my life without it!! Maybe someone else has discovered this before, but this is all new to me. I'm one very happy girl! 

So that's my favorite finds. I hope that it can help someone else save some time & money too.

Stockpiling items of the week & Wags tripping

Hi everyone I've decided to add some items to my stockpile every week to help combat the never ending price increases. Kroger usually ha...