Sunday, March 18, 2018

Get Your Irish Up

 A Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who celebrate.  We did not celebrate on the actual day, as we drove out to check on camp.  We do the Buffalo parade.  In our town, there are two to choose from.  The Old South Ward has their parade on Saturday the 17th.  The City of Buffalo always has a parade on the Sunday following the holiday (this year on the 18th).  I picked up all the green we need to wear.  I don't own much in the way of green clothing, because I am color-blind and green is a tough one for me.  The bow is for me, the big hat is for The Big Guy.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Getting Ready for Summer

I know, it's not even spring yet, so why am I thinking of summer?  Because I am cheap!  I found summer stuff on sale for 60% off at Joanne's and figured I might as well buy in advance.  We are going out to camp tomorrow for the day to check on the spot, so I guess I have summer on my mind.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Small Things

The best thing about my new part-time work life, is that I can get to the small tasks that just never got done.  Things like vacuuming the stairs.  Of course, now that I got to that, I realize I need to actually clean/shampoo the carpeting.  I did this task in ten minutes after work today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mop It Up

After having broken the floor attachment for my steamer, I decided to purchase a mop.  Being the TV shopping addict that I am, I bought one on-line.  I had purchased an "As Seen on TV" mop at Big Lots, which I promptly returned, and decided to try the real-thing it was trying to copy -- the Joy Mangano "Miracle Mop."  It was on sale and I got it for 13 bucks, along with an extra mop head.  I only purchased the mop, not the bucket. We don't have room for another bucket and I wasn't sure I wanted to spend on it in case I did not like the mop.  The Miracle Mop was cheaper than the "As Seen on TV" copy-cat version -- even with shipping and handling.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Older Dog Days

We had visitors at work today.  I am shopping benefits for our group in hopes of lining up better insurance options.  Two brokers who visited us were impressed with our "free range dogs."  We were actually down one dog today, since Maddie stayed home to have a "Daddy Day."  Our dog count was three.  People seem to really envy our dog-friendly atmosphere and it's nice for others to see that they add to the environment in such a positive way.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Carrot Crazy

I think of carrots as one of the best frugal food bargains.   They are cheap, healthy and versatile.  I use them in soups, stocks, salads, sauces and roast them as a side dish.  The LTSL refrigerator always has at least one carrot in the crisper drawer.  For 79 cents a pound, I am getting vitamins, fiber and a low calorie ingredient that tastes good.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Will Break for Bargains...

I am a crazy bargain hunter.  If I need something, unless it's absolutely critical, I will do without it unless I can find it on sale.  Then, there is the category of something I'd like to have but am not willing to buy unless I find it for really cheap.  Sometimes I purposely seek out an item -- I know it's on sale or clearance and I intentionally go out to  buy.  Then there's my (probably) psychotic habit of gleaning for bargains when I am out hunting and gathering for other purposes.  That's what I consider my "I Break for Bargains" shopping method.

Friday, March 9, 2018

My Salad Hack

We've been eating a lot more salad.  The problem is that making a salad can be time-intensive.  I admit that I use bagged/container mixes as my base.  When you want mixed greens, it doesn't seem worth it to try to hunt down individual heads of arugula, mescal, spinach leaves, etc.  I buy and organic mix in a plastic tub from Aldi.  As for topping, tomatoes are a no-go in winter -- plus I don't like them over greens.  I prefer a "toothier" and more fruit-like topping.  Last night, it was a mix of red and yellow peppers with strawberries, walnuts, mushrooms, and onions. I probably threw in a few dried cranberries.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Supermarket Dinner

Wegmans now sells pre-made entrees in a plastic bag that is safe to cook in.  This was developed as a team effort between the supermarket chain and the Rochester Institute of Technology and was a convenience food I wanted to sample -- it didn't hurt that they had a $4 coupon as enticement.  I was interested to see if this was something worth buying for camp.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Nutrition vs. Calorie Counting

I like my FitBit and am using it to track my activity, sleep, food intake, weight, etc.  However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with food tracking.  I haven't the vaguest idea of how to track my dinner: salmon with a side of small potatoes that were baked with green pepper and onion.  Our salad had greens, strawberries, mushroom, onion and pecans.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Financial Follow-Through

I met with my financial advisor today to start the roll-over process for my 401(k).  This has not been easy as the plan has a very difficult website that requires me to log into two separate portals, and one of them never works.  They have reset my pin probably ten times, they send the notice to my old work email address, etc.  The form I got in the mail was hard to understand and they pre-filled a few fields incorrectly.  We called for support and got a person with an accent so thick she was hard to understand.  But I think we are ready to move forward and having someone to handle the bulk of it was wonderful.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Teddy is Ten!

I cannot believe my little girl is ten.  We have been through a lot with her!  I documented her bad-girl puppy days on her blog -- which I truthfully have not updated in years.  She just isn't as naughty these days.  Yes, she still can be a jerk (mostly just to mom and dad), however she does a good job of making friends and is quite a popular dog.

Aside from the trauma of hot-spots and major orthopedic surgery, she's been low maintenance.  Although she requires a lot of exercise, the amount has diminished with her age.  That's OK, my capacity has diminished with age too!

She was born on March 6th, 2008 and was part of a small litter of four.  There was only one boy -- and Teddy was bigger than he was.  I believe there might be a cow in her line (or possibly a pig if you go by her appetite).  Teddy is one of the dumbest dogs I know, but she is also one of the sweetest.  What she lack in brains, she makes up for in enthusiasm.  If Teddy had a slogan, it would be "I demand impunity!"

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Girls Morning

This morning I had a nice "girls morning," with just me and Teddy.  TBG went snow-shoeing with his GF Melissa.  We were intentionally separate!  There is no way I could treck five-plus miles, over hill and dale.  Plenty of snow was to be found at Chestnut Ridge park and I want my guy to  be able to take advantage of that.  I also wanted to spend the morning taking pictures of some of my favorite things in North Tonawanda, where I am now working.  I've been dying to share Cats Like Us with my readers.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


 I end up saving a lot of money by shopping for clothes off season.  TBG was the recipient of my latest find.  He does not like cargo shorts.  His legs are a bit on the short side, so longer lengths do not work for him.  It was a pleasant surprise to find two pairs in his size while I was at Fallah's looking for 100% cotton crew neck sweatshirts.  Every few weeks I go looking for sweatshirts there for him.  He doesn't like blends and he doesn't like hoods.  That can be tough to accommodate, and it means I need to keep my eyes open.  Alas, I did not find any sweat shirts, but I did find these shorts.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Financial Friday

A good portion of my day off was spent addressing financial matters.  There is a fee disclosure form I need (the 404-A5) which must signed in order to roll my former 401(k) into my IRA.  I had asked for the form to be sent to me.  It didn't come.  I got a reset for my PIN and the login still doesn't work.  Blah, blah, blah.  I called the provider and they told me the 2018 form didn't become available until Tuesday.  Believe it or not, they would only email it to my email record on file -- which was my old work email address.  I was able to get them to fax it to TBG at his work.  I should have it on hand for my meeting with the financial adviser on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Baubles and Beer

I accepted a happy hour invitation for this evening.  A vendor invited the boss lady and she forward the invite to me.  Since she was going and is eager for me to make new work connections, I accepted.  My challenge was to find something to find conversation starters since I am in a new industry.  Because my work day is over at 2:30, we would also be arriving separately, so I would not be able to hide  behind her.  I am not as comfortable making conversation and walking into events alone as people might think (even if I do have a big mouth).  It might seem that I am outgoing, but that is just a behavior developed out of necessity.  My personality type has been categorized as an extroverted introvert.  One of my ploys is to wear an interesting piece of jewelry so that if I have no one to talk to and there are women around, a conversation will generally ensue.  I chose the necklace above.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the Evening...

In spite of my shorter work days, I still find myself busy in the evening.  Tonight I ran out to Aldi after dinner to pick up eggs and canola oil so I could make oatmeal raisin bars.  The recipe came from one of the cheap books I got at the dollar store last weekend.  I made these bars on Sunday and brought them to work on Monday.  A colleague who lives out of the area and visits periodically came in with two boxes of muffins from Tim Hortons.  I didn't think my oatmeal bars stood a chance.  There were quite a few left when I went home, so I figured I'd have one for breakfast the next day.  Nope.  They were gone.  The architects were gushing about them.  These are good -- they are not too sweet and they are very chewy.  In addition to the fiber from the oats, I use white whole wheat flour.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Doing Dinner

 I've been sticking to my goal of making a healthy and fresh dinner every night.  We are eating around 6PM and trying to include a salad with each meal.  This meal is very vegetable-heavy.  We love our pasta but are trying to cut back.  In the past, I would probably have added some bread to this meal, but as much as I like bread, it's not a good way to maintain a healthy waistline.  sigh.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Coffee Talk

 There is generally some left-over coffee on the weekend.  Today, I made the rest of it into iced coffee to bring to work.  Along with the coffee, I added a tablespoon of sugar, some Giradelli cocoa, and a couple of ounces of milk.  While I was at it, I crushed in a dairy digestive tablet.  I am generally fine with 2% milk, but sometimes I flirt with lactose intolerance.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday F**K-up

In keeping with my new Friday chore-day tradition, I managed to break something else while cleaning this week. It is embarrassing to admit, but when I stripped the big bed, I didn't notice TBG had his nook there.  So, I washed it.  It's dead.