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Archive for August, 2015

Snowflake!

August 28th, 2015 at 11:15 am

Got a random snowflake in the mail today. Aren't those the best?!

$100 City refund for some tree fee they charged the developer 15 years ago.

Random!

I will throw it at the stock market while it's down a bit. Is where our snowflakes go anyway, but gives me a little extra motivation.

Mind Blown

August 23rd, 2015 at 08:51 am

Having a lazy weekend here. Enjoying the peace and quiet.

I thought maybe I should start booking Hawaii stuff. I have the flights, hotel, and rental car arranged. If that's all we get worked out I am sure we would have an amazing trip. I thought at the least though I should maybe book a luau. But everything I looked at today (luau, surf lessons, zip line) was not booked up in advance and so that makes me happy. We will probably just take a laptop along and see how we feel day to day.

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I watched the most amazing documentary on Netflix: Tig

IT is about a comedian who gets sick out of nowhere, barely survives, and then loses her mom suddenly and is diagnosed with breast cancer, all in like the course of a month. She also hits a professional peak and becomes famous in the middle of all that.

Amazing!

So yeah, my mind is blown. Still trying to wrap my brain around how something can be so deep and funny all at once. I highly recommend.

Back to School

August 21st, 2015 at 12:44 pm

I took last week off work. I really didn't do much of anything. It's probably been a while since I have had such a relaxing vacation. Aaaaaahhhhhh... & we leave for San Diego soon and then Hawaii not long after that!

One thing I did was work through some recipes. I've been wanting to try baking a wider variety of vegetables. That was when I stumbled upon the most amazing cauliflower recipe (see last post).

I also found another website that was very much my style. I salivate just looking at the blog. Definitely will be trying many of this site's recipes. Anyway, it all *looked* good, but we tried the first recipe last night. It was simple and delicious.

Balsamic Chicken:

http://damndelicious.net/2015/08/14/slow-cooker-balsamic-chi...

This weekend I am going to make Teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream sauce, also from the same website. (Dh doesn't eat fish, so why I frequently make salmon. Dh cooks most the rest).

I will probably also make the cauliflower again (the most of it is the smoky paprika to spice it up). It was one of those recipes we have everything on hand usually.

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Back to school. A big change up in schedule this year since both kids will be together at other campus and no more walking to school. I am sure dh is delighting in being able to sleep in every day, for the first time since having kids. !! The only big change is for LM, who has to leave an hour early (with BM and I). We are early birds so it's not been a big deal. Our calm mornings remain calm. I think a lot of it is honestly that we don't use alarm clocks. I was never a morning person in the slightest before we ditched the alarm clocks. (Admittedly, I was never a night owl either).

Dh and I have been working on getting walks in the evening, since dh is losing his 2 miles a day or whatever of walking. We haven't been consistent, but walk once in a while. It will be easier when it gets a little cooler. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. It cooled off before we went outside, and we saw a breathtaking sunset.

BM has been a challenge on the lunch side of things this year. He is not generally picky, but has gotten awfully picky about his lunch. Firstly, he refuses to buy lunch any more. Thankfully LM seems to like the food at this campus and he's just been buying more to offset BM. As school starts, BM will only eat a PBJ sandwich. That is it. ??? I decided he should just pack a snack on Wednesdays because they get out of school super early. Then he can eat a full meal when he gets home. Then Dh bought him a thermos so he could take hot leftovers. I can't tell you how genius that is. Dh is always good for solutions like that. Between the two of us I think we figured it out.

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So with all the school stuff going on our little "end of summer" celebration was mostly postponed. We had decided to go to the big pool (inflatable obstacle courses) on the first day of school since they got out of school before they opened. But then I saw that was the first day they closed the inflatables for week days. (Or maybe the day before they had closed it down). UGH! So we planned to go on the weekend and were resigned to more crowds.

On Sunday, dh mentions to me that it was supposed to be 105F degrees. OMG. We both would have preferred to postpone, but the kids were pretty set on going and I couldn't push it off any more. (In any other situation it would have been an INDOOR day). In the end, I am glad we went. The facility was really nice and the kids had a blast. We got there early enough to secure a comfortable shady spot. & there was even a breeze so it wasn't half as bad as I imagined. The water was also really cool, which helps. (Could have been cold simply because the air was so hot).

I told the kids we could go again this weekend. It should be much more pleasant. Unfortunately, it is about 30 miles away, as these places always are. It will be the last time for this year.

P.S. I'd share pictures if they worked!

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Oh, and we had the most amazing dinner the other night.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce

http://joythebaker.com/2014/12/whole-roasted-cauliflower-che...

O.M.G. So Good!

Date Night & BTS

August 8th, 2015 at 06:24 am

**Well, the kids were off with Grandma for a few days. Dh and I went out to the movies and to dinner. The weird thing is I don't remember the last time we went to the movies without the kids. ??? So that was a nice treat! I guess we have been so focused on lunch dates in recent years (easy and far more frugal), that we just haven't done much else.

As to where we are at now? The kids are past "babysitter" age and so maybe more evening dates in our future. Though we've probably come to prefer our lunch dates for most of the time.

BM has/had a bunch of tests at the school, Friday and Monday. Still sorting out the red tape. Is cutting into what little fun time the kids might have this summer. We couldn't do anything Monday/Tuesday after all since they have to be at school on both days. They start school next week (Wednesday).

As to "Back to School" I've got nothing to do on that front. The school is very much my style in that the provide all supplies and just ask for a donation in return. Sounds good to me! No shopping on my list for this month.

I am trying to talk the kids into haircuts. I suppose that is my BTS chore. I also need to fund LM's lunch for 1/2 year but will wait and see if he likes the school lunch at this campus. BM is on strike from the school lunch. (5th grade was okay, but 6th grade became inedible. Not sure what happened and if 5th grade is still better than 6th). In the meantime, I might not have to fund for a while since I transferred BM's school lunch balance to LM. One less thing I have to worry about right now.

The school lunches were a great deal and so it's too bad. I am disappointed they aren't buying as much.

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LM had his acting performance Monday night and was absolutely on Cloud 9. I think he was still kind of ho hum on the whole thing (trying to hate it while loving it) but the performance night pushed him over the edge. He LOVED it. I think he's hooked now.

The kids' piano teacher also just retired. The timing is good because LM will have some freed up time to pursue more theater activities. Musically, I think he will be a casualty of the lack of music in the schools. Frown I just can't get him interested in learning another instrument. (I am sure he would absolutely LOVE to play in a band, and his biggest complaint about piano lessons is doing it on his own time, versus being able to do it on school time). But he is open to taking voice lessons now. I honestly don't know that he would have open to much of anything 2-3 weeks ago. Talk about timing! Or, we may just leave his time open for other theater classes and opportunities. Will see. I mentioned vocal lessons as a musical compliment to theater, and he does seem interested. (He has a good voice and loves to sing).

{BM will quit piano lessons. I just wanted them to have a music foundation for if they ever want to learn in the future. I taught piano for many years and it's pretty much impossible to learn as an adult, without any music foundation. IT's definitely not the same! I think BM has been there for a while, but we knew LM would revolt if we let him quit. We've kind of struggled with what to do with that, but this is an easy out for both kids. They've got some foundation and I will probably work with them a bit more, maybe through the end of the year}.

Speaking of acting... Dh has had some interesting developments with one of his scrips. It's slow going with endless letdowns, so not exactly holding our breath. But he has some opportunities on the horizon and the LA meeting he has this month is starting to look more promising than we expected. It's hard not to get a little excited. & as dh says, he feels like he isn't completely wasting his time. Which is maybe what he needs more than anything at this stage in the game. Motivation to keep at it...

July Savings

August 3rd, 2015 at 05:57 am

Received $38 bank interest for the month of July.

Snowflakes to investments:

Redeemed $50 credit card rewards (cash back) from our gas/grocery card.

Redeemed $50 cash back on Citi card.

Redeemed $2 cash back on Visa/dining card.

Other snowflakes to investments:
--$ 30 Ting credits (no cell bill this month)

Savings (From paycheck):

+$200 to investments
+$300 to cash
+$900 to IRAs

But... Took out $800 for medical bills.

Short-Term Savings (for non-monthly expenses within the year):

+$1,300 to cash
-$2,000 Hawaii airfare