Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DINK Update


Back in November I wrote about how even though Keith and I are DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids), we still need to have a budget. I shared the places we (mostly I) struggle and asked for help, and WHOA. You guys are amazing! I read through so many tips and tricks and it has made this whole journey so much easier and more fun! The strategies I've implemented are:
-Big grocery haul once a week for the necessities. I try to buy smart, meaning things I can make last for a week or two. Most recently I've made 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts feed us for two weeks! I shredded the chicken and used it in burritos and salads and even added some to soup for a little extra protein. I found a great deal on blackberries so I bought 4 packs of blackberries and I've been using like, 6 a day so I don't run out too quickly. I started using only half a banana in oatmeal. Just little things like that.
....oh, and I buy the boxed wine because it is SO cost effective!

-iBotta. iBotta is an app you can download that will tell you all the things at a certain grocery store you can get a rebate on. I usually get a quarter for buying milk, a quarter for eggs, a quarter for carrots, etc etc. The biggest rebate I got was when I bought beer and fruit... they gave me $4 back! Of course, had I not bought those things I would have saved $11 but that's beside the point.  I have a link if you want to try iBotta using my referral code: it's cosflah. Just go to ibotta and enter it in somewhere and I think we both get stuff. Yay! (I haven't gotten anything back yet but I attribute this to the fact that I just don't shop very much.)

-I try very hard to use my reusable bags. In our state if you want a bag it's 10 cents a bag. That adds up! I'm really trying to bring my own bags so I don't run into that issue.
-All of the water. All of the tea. For a while I was drinking 2-3 cans of Diet Coke a day. A DAY. I was also buying expensive coffee creamer to put in my 5 daily cups of coffee. This was making my body fat and my wallet skinny. So I just said no to all of it. I drink green tea instead of coffee in the morning, and I drink plain old iced water during the rest of the day. This has saved me money and I've noticed a physical difference, but that's a post for another time.
-Opinion Outpost. Some random YouTube video I was watching suggested Opinion Outpost as an easy way to make some cash, and so far it seems pretty legit. I've been doing these surveys here and there for about two weeks and I've ALMOST gotten $10! I kind of want to laugh at that, but $10 is $10! I have a referral code for this, as well. Here you go.
-I started making all of our food at home. Now for breakfast Keith gets overnight oats and I get either a pack of cranberry flaxseed oatmeal with blueberries or banana (although tomorrow I'm trying cottage cheese instead of oatmeal), I make us each a big filling salad for lunch, and then for dinner it's either another salad, a sandwich, some eggs, a chicken and veggie meal, or burritos. So far we've only eaten out twice, and that was after church both times. Hey, we'd made it to church, we deserved a reward! But eating at home is a huge saver. I like that it kind of forces me to come up with things that will work for a meal. And I know that pretty much whatever I make I will eat, and if Keith doesn't like it he will find something else.

-I became a quitter. I quit hulu. I quit my bank because they charged me a monthly service fee of $12 and I thought that was bogus. I quit paying for the karaoke app that I NEVER EVEN USE. I'm just trying to quit things all over the place.
-I've been seeking out new ways to monetize my blog, but that's hard since most of my family doesn't know it exists. I'm too afraid to post about it on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. It's just my silly blog that I've had for 3 years and I don't really want them reading it. I will literally tell strangers on the internet everything about me but I don't want my family to know that I tell strangers on the internet things about me. Or that these "strangers" and I visit each other and have multiple times. Anyway, all of that was to say that I'm keeping an eye out for sponsorships, collaborations, pretty much anything. So throw it at me!
-Staring at my savings account. When I look at my savings and see the number go up slightly every month I get really excited and I don't want to spend any of it. Plus, Keith and I are in the very beginning stages of planning a trip to Italy and the surrounding areas this fall and I want to save allllll my pennies for gelato and wine!!

-Winning the lottery. This isn't so much a strategy that I've actually implemented, but it like, really sounds like it would be helpful.

What do you think? Would you adjust anything? Can you add anything?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

101


Last Friday my Grandma turned 101 years old. (I wrote about her 100th birthday here and her 98th birthday here.) If you've read those posts then you know my Grandma and I have always been especially close. When I was little I called her on the phone every day just to talk, and on Sundays after church she would drive me back to her house and I'd listen to her stories from years ago; stories about her childhood, my dad, my aunt, and other family members that I never got a chance to know. We used to play piano and clarinet duets for fun, and she would take me outside with her to water her flowers, feed and water the birds, and pick wild blackberries. I remember sitting in her chair with her while she read me books about the little girl who stayed inside because of the rain and the old lady who had to save her pet bird from being eaten by a policeman. She always had a pack of Bubbleicious bubble gum in her purse and when my sister and I spent the night at her house she let us stay up as late as we could and eat whatever we wanted.

That is the Grandma I want to remember. She never seemed "old" to me, she was just my Grandma. But now, when she can't hear me on the phone, she forgets my name, and she's adamant that she's only 100 and not 101, her age is impossible to deny. I vividly remember one day when she was driving me to her house after church and I giggled and said, "Grandma, one day I'll be able to drive and I'll be driving you home from church!" When I said that, I never thought that day would actually come, and then it did. Suddenly I was the one helping her into the car and telling her stories about people she didn't know.

She doesn't go out to water the flowers anymore, or feed the birds, or read me books. But even though she can't do all of the things she used to do, she's still my Grandma. The days are hard but they are so treasured. And Grandma, I love you more.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year, New ME (hopefully)

It's a brand new year and everybody is trying to be healthy, right? This is the best time of year to search for weight loss/healthy lifestyle tips and to find inspiration pretty much everywhere you look. I've jumped on the bandwagon and I'm trying to lose a few pounds and just be healthier in general. Here are a few things I'm doing:

- Drink tea instead of coffee. Since January 2nd, I've only had coffee once and that was only because a coworker bought everybody in my office iced coffee. Other than that, I've been guzzling green tea during the day and chamomile tea in the evenings.

- Cut the yolk. I don't know all the science behind this decision, but I decided to just eat egg whites and not the yolks. I think it has to do with cholesterol? IDK.

- Leafy greens. Also salad. I decided Keith and I were going to eat more salads and more spinach, so for the last week and a half we have each had a salad at lunch and the base of the salad has been leafy greens/spinach. My favorite kind of salad is: spring mix, spinach, cucumber, cherry tomato, chicken, blueberries, dried cranberry, and light balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I was using feta cheese on everything and then I realized I don't actually like feta cheese + it's expensive so I quit that.

- Sort of weight watchers. A few years ago I had signed up for Weight Watchers Plus and pretty much all I ate was Progresso light soup and Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners. I buy lots of Progresso light soups because they're hearty and easy and "light." I know they're packed with sodium but they're so easy!

-Cheaters workouts. I call these cheaters workouts because it's NOT REALLY working out. I wear 5 lb ankle weights every day. Sometimes I strap them to my wrists. Usually not because when I do I have a barage of patients asking if I have carpal tunnel syndrome and I feel back just saying,.... "no, it's just so my biceps will look more defined."  I get looks of judgment and confusion so I usually just strap them to my ankles.

- Drink lots of actual water. I drink bottles and bottles of water during a normal work day. It's kind of insane the amount of time I spend at the cooler and at the bathroom. Fun facts, right?

- Ten second workouts. I believe that if you can complete a short workout before bed, you're set. I like to do lunges, squats, push ups, and planks before I get in the tub and then go to sleep. Ideally I'll also do those back kicks where I still have my weights on, but sometimes I don't because today I couldn't really walk very well due to those.I think these are killer. The more you do, the more you'll want to do.

 That's really it. Do you have suggestion? tips? advice for curbing those late night curbings? Please and thank you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

I'm not trying to be dramatic but

This evening I had just finished making our Tuesday lunches and getting everything cleaned before a night full of college championship football and The Bachelor, when out of nowhere I had the most intense abdominal cramping of my entire life. You have to understand that I'm known in my family for being slightly dramatic. I always think a new rash or itch or painful joint is "the big one" and I'm about to be diagnosed with some mystery disease like on Grey's Anatomy. I work for a doctor, and one time my finger was hurting so I had it x-rayed, and he looked at the xray and said, "Hmmm..." and I slightly freaked out thinking OMG THIS IS REALLY IS. He told me, "Yep, that's what I thought. You have hypochondriasis."

That was fun.

So, tonight when my belly button started feeling like it was being squeezed from the inside, my abdomen below my belly button started burning and tightening and sort of swelling, I couldn't stand up straight, and I was crying, this is what went through my head:

-This is probably appendicitis.

*googles "appendicitis"*

-Ok, it's probably not appendicitis.

*Googles "abdominal pain"*

-Ohhh maybe it's a kidney stone.

-Hahaha, "kidney stoooooones."


-Okay OW, it hurts to laugh.

*Googles "abdominal pain when I laugh"*

-Really, this could just be bad gas?

-I can't walk. There's no way this is just really violent gas.

-Maybe it's a hernia.

-Maybe my stomach is ACTUALLY exploding.

-Maybe it's my gall bladder.

*Googles "where is your gall bladder located"*

-Ok so it's not my gall bladder.

-I wonder if this is like that scene in Alien where the alien explodes out of the person's stomach.

-I wonder if Alien is a good movie.

-I wonder if something is actually coming out of me right now.

-OMG what if I'm actually giving birth right now.

-There is no way I could do an unmedicated birth.

-How do people give birth without being drugged.

-I'm probably not ACTUALLY giving birth right now.

*Googles "how do I know if I'm giving birth"*

-I can totally be on "I didn't know I was pregnant."

-Maybe Keith should boil some water.

-NONE OF MY TOWELS ARE CLEAN!

-Ok I'm probably not giving birth unless you give birth out of your butt.

-If Keith has to take me to the hospital in the middle of the college championship he's never going to forgive me.

-Maybe I should pack a go bag.

-My phone is nowhere near charged enough for me to spend the night in the hospital.

*Googles "Can a fart kill you"*

And then, after an hour of literal gut wrenching abdomen pain, 30 ml of Pepto Bismol, and some tears, the pain began to subside and I think I'm going to live and I also decided I was not in surprise labor. Seriously though, this is what I get after I cut out soda and coffee and replaced it with water and green tea???

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What you'll see at every Golden Globes

Since the Golden Globes aired last night, I took it upon myself to make a short list of everything you'll see at every Golden Globes award show. This is a small list. If you have others to add to the Golden Globes or to award shows in genera... let me know. Award season is young and I could write these posts all day and all night.

Political jokes



Celebs getting wasted.


Really bad fashion being presented as "haute couture."


Famous people giving awards to famous people for being really famous.


People pretending to be surprised.


People pretending to graciously lose.


Boobs.

Monday, January 2, 2017

It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day

Happy New Year to all and to all a good night! That's not right, is it? 


Oh well. While today is the technical holiday (meaning the banks and post office are closed), I am going to be hard at work because instead of taking Monday off, my office took Friday off so we could have a four-day holiday (we are always closed on Thursdays). So, while you're enjoying the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, think of me hard at work and please pray that nobody gets seriously ill because I'm not trying to be selfish but I really don't want to be at work for a long time.
ALL OF THAT TO SAY, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Keith and I celebrated with a crazy night in at his parents' house with a few other family members. There was chili, football, card games, the smallest amount of vodka that you've ever heard of, and lots of cookies.

I've never been a huge fan of New Year's. I get really nostalgic so usually instead of getting excited for the coming year and making resolutions and plans, I get sad about everything is over and how we'll never get to go back to the past year. Sometimes I think about how nice it would be if I made some resolutions or decided on a word of the year or something, but then all of a sudden it's January 1st and OOPS I FORGOT TO PLAN, AGAIN!

 So instead, let's just take a look back at this year.
1. My Grandma turned 100 years old. She's still with us and on January 13th she'll turn 101. Every time I see her I see her deteriorate a little ore. Her short term memory is a little worse, she's a little more unsteady, her hearing has gotten worse, she can't remember who certain people are or why we're all together... it's hard to watch somebody you love turn into somebody you don't recognize, and to watch that for quite a while. I'll be writing a "101" post when she makes it to her birthday.
2. My second niece, Kynlee Elizabeth, was born in March. She's currently 9 1/2 months old and weighing 22 pounds. She has a tooth and can almost toddle. She rocks the most amazing mullet I have ever seen on anybody, including Billy Ray Cyrus.
2.a Speaking of Kynlee, her sister Katelynne turned 3 in September! Katelynne is the sassiest most adorable 3 year old I've ever met. We facetime her a lot and she's hilarious all of the time. She has her own IG account, @therealbabykatehttps://www.instagram.com/therealbabykate/
Together, Kate and Kyn make up two adorable members of our family.



3. In April, we expanded our family by four paws when Keith brought home little General Patton. Patton has quickly become my cat; he sleeps with me at night, cuddles with me during the day, and stays attached to my side if I ever forget to feed him wet food. He meows like a banshee and I can never figure out what he wants. He plays fetch. He plays with the dogs. I love him to pieces.



4. In June, we celebrated the birth of a nephew, Joel. Keith's brother and his wife Jackie had this beautiful baby boy and we finally got to meet him over Thanksgiving. It was great! He's just precious. They live in Tahoe so either we're going to have to find lots of reasons to go to Tahoe or we'll have to start some facetiming with them, too.

5. We went to the Midwest. I wrote about it here and here. I got a back sunburn, we watched sports, and it was fun and beautiful and amazing.

6. We surprised my dad in Santa Barbara for his 70th birthday. For this you get to watch A VIDEO.



7. I also got to go to Canada to visit Faith! We rapped Eminem, at pancakes the size of car tires, tried poutine, and just generally got into a lot of shenanigans.



8. Then we all went to Texas for our Triplet adventure. We went to the stockyards, a piano bar, and Faith and I made friends with Lindsay's dumpster cats.


9. I traveled all across the country to see Faith and Justin finally get married. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL and I don't have any videos. But I'm going back to Halifax one day. It's amazing.


10. The last thing I'm going to put down is the saddest thing. It's what makes my heart break. In October we had to say goodye to my third niece, Hannah Joy. We never got to meet her. It breaks my heart into so many pieces knowing that I could have held her, kissed her, and memorized her before it was time to go. If I could go back to 2016, I would go back to that weekend and I would change that. Dear Hannah Joy, I pray you know how loved you are. I think of you every day.

My goals for 2017 aren't vast or extreme. Save more money, lost the 40 pounds I've gained in the year and 3 months since our wedding! Journal more, pray more, clean more, declutter. Drink more water.

I think that's going to become a list in itself.

I'm so thankful for this blog where I can document all of the adventures and everything that happens in life, but good and bad. I'm thankful for you, all four of you readers. Truly thankful for you.

Be back soon.