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Viewing the 'Healthy Living' Category

A Christmas Miracle!

December 20th, 2015 at 03:28 pm

Okay, that is a very strong statement. But I had to share that I was finally successful at cooking dried black beans! It feels like a Christmas miracle. I've tried a couple times before with no success. The beans were still unedible after hours of soaking and cooking.

I know someone here mentioned that using old beans could be part of the issue. And knowing that I have neglected bags of beans before cooking, I decided I needed to try again.

And yes, fresh beans worked out just like the direction stated! So tonight we had brown rice, black beans (which were seasoned with cumin, onions and garlic), salsa and sour cream. Yummy!! And pretty cheap.

I have at least 5 cups of beans left. I have put 2 containers of 2 cups of beans in the freezer. The rest were mixed in with the leftover rice, so someone will have some lunch this week. Probably me!

Dinner Planning

October 26th, 2015 at 09:50 am

Last November, as a way to reduce holiday stress, I made a dinner meal plan for two weeks, and even went so far in December to meal plan for the entire month! It has made a big difference for our family. Primarily we have more variety in meals. If I plan moments before leaving for the grocery store, I simply think of the basic meals we like. And this is fine, except it gets boring and probably isn't as healthy as it could be.

Today I'm working on a November meal plan. I generally know what activities we have going on, so I can plan ahead for those nights where there is little time to cook. I will also skip planning for days I know we will be out of town. I've also found in the winter months, I can double up a soup at the beginning of the month, freeze the extra and have it again in the second half. Of course, there are many other dishes that can be doubled and frozen besides soups. Those are just the ones I tend to do.

Here is our plan for this week:
Baked chicken, stuffed mushrooms, side salad
Greek Quinoa Salad
Spaghetti, asparagus
Mushroom Risotto, side salad
Chicken Tortilla soup (from the freezer)
Chili (making a double batch and will freeze)

My husband has been dieting the last three weeks. He is eating less food, so I actually expect we will have leftovers of a few of those dishes. It may mean putting off the chili making a day or two until we eat all the leftovers.

I generally still grocery shop every 7-10 days. I've like having the meal plan ready to go when I make my grocery list. I can then consult the list to make my list of needed ingredients. Of course, I make sure to check the pantry, fridge and freezer for things we might have on hand or are about to run out of.

How far ahead do you do your meal planning?

Paid More Debt

August 18th, 2015 at 07:41 pm

We use our credit cards all the time and then pay balances off in full if on a interest bearing card. We have been rolling some over lately on a 0% card. I made some more payments and feeling much more current than I did last week.

Last week our balance was over $4K. Tonight after more payments were made we are down to $2,942.25. So progress! Found $14.11 in snowflakes to apply to debt in the process.

I have cash set aside to pay another $1,383 on the credit cards, but I'm waiting for a couple statements to close. There may be rewards I can apply, so I'm waiting for now. It does seem the revolving balance I don't seem to get paid off is about $1600! Ugh. Of course, I won't let them charge me a penny of interest. I will have to pay it in full by the end of October. Or the statement due date right after. I need to look back at my notes on that one.

In other news, I've lost about 6 pounds in the last two weeks. I'm watching my calories as best I can, cut back on diet soda (only one or none). I did a ton of campus walking this weekend in addition to all that walking while we were in Orlando earlier in the month. I still need to get into some sort of fitness routine. We are actually considering a treadmill...but I need this debt paid off first.

Do you own an exercise machine? Do you use it?


November 9th, 2014 at 04:36 pm

I feel a bit better today than yesterday energy wise. I still have a lot of sinus pressure, but warm drinks do help!

I had enough energy to get to the grocery store. I spent $130 for the week. I do have to make a small run to another store tomorrow for a few things on sale.

I helped my daughter box up some of her artwork that she is donating to an organization that will use the art as a perk for donating. In the process, I came across a piece of art that I know one of our nephews was very interested in back in June. He's now getting that for Christmas! It's perfect. My daughter is happy about it too.

I also decided we would give two of our snow toys (block form and snowball thrower) to our nieces and nephew who are getting the state park permit. The gift will cost me nothing, but they would probably get use out of them. I will check with their mom first. If she doesn't think they want them, I have another person I think would.

I listed two items on eBay. Hope for quick sales!!

I hope you are all healthy! Wash your hands and cover your mouth when you sneeze. Smile

I Have a Cold

November 8th, 2014 at 08:25 am

My girls had colds earlier this week. I did my best to keep hands washed and avoided picking up any used tissues. Unfortunately, I got the cold. I did sleep in the morning, and have had two cups of warm tea. I don't feel to run down, but just annoyed with the symptoms.

We have to make a run to the music store today to return the flute we borrowed. There is an issue they may need to fix or see if there is another one before we go ahead on the purchase.

I may make one stop at Target for some sale items. I can't remember what they are, so maybe it doesn't even matter!

The rest of they day will consist of fluids and rest, which sounds much better than going on into the cold, windy weather we are having!

Do you have a go to treatment for colds? I tend to go for a decongestant, but this cold isn't like that, more of the scratchy throat variety.

Purchased Used Flute Plus More

October 9th, 2014 at 06:34 am

We purchased a used flute on eBay yesterday. It wasn't really that used though, might have been a demonstration model. It actually looks pretty new. We figured we saved over $400 by buying this one rather than new from our local music store.

This flute will be for our youngest daughter and it is the same model as her sister's, which we did buy new. It has been a great flute for her, thus why we wanted the same one and as close to new as we could get.

Our daughter will pay 10% of the cost. We don't really NEED the money from her, but we did make her sister pay the same amount when we upgraded the flute. I think it is gives them a little ownership and knowledge about the cost of things. And sure, I don't mind paying a little less on my end! Smile

I completed two Pinecone surveys in the last 24 hours. I have two items with bids on eBay. I claimed some Bing rewards for Swagbucks, which will help me redeem for two Amazon gift cards on Swagbucks when the code arrives. Little snowflakes on their way!

I'm getting ready for guests AGAIN. More food will need to be purchased. My parents will take me for lunch tomorrow, so that is one less meal I need to purchase. Smile I also have all that soup, chili and bread from our party a couple weeks ago that I will be using up.

I've been trying to do better with workouts and food. I skipped two days of working out, but I'm determined to go today (right after I post this). Did really great tracking food up until last Saturday when we were watching football and my husband kept getting out more snacks! At the days following have been better, but not under my goal. Keep trying, right?

Groceries, Gas, Apps and Herbs...Oh my!!

August 24th, 2014 at 04:40 pm

The only money spent today at our house was for groceries and gas. Husband just went to fill up his truck, so I'll say around $60 to fill it up. The groceries were from Target. I had three physical coupons, used Target's cartwheel app for other discounts, and redeemed two $5 gift cards I obtained a few days ago. The charge to my Target Red card was $113.05.

I started using the Ibotta app for additional rebates on things I buy. I earned a little cash for buying ground beef and bread today. The other day I earned a rebate for buying Kleenex tissues. I'm up to a whole $2! It will add up over time though.

I also started using Two Grand app for tracking food. It is all based on pictures, rather than counting calories. I need something new to keep my interest so I'm going to give it a try. Eating too much food is my problem right now. If I eat I'm getting some exercise, although I need more. I've had more water today because of the app, so that is a plus.

I also harvested some herbs today. Specifically, oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary. My mom purchased and planted them, but then sent them with me when they were out of town for nearly two weeks. I tried to send them back last time I visited, but she said they weren't doing as well as they were here. So I was to keep them. I used them fresh only once or twice. Today, I set most of them up to dry in bags and the basil to freeze. I will find out if she wants them now. If not, I got free herbs!

How was your spending this weekend? Have you started any new apps that you like? Do you use herbs in your cooking or baking? Do you have a favorite?

Darn Auto Correct

June 11th, 2014 at 10:20 am

I am under the weather. It started Monday night with a scratchy throat, and now lots of congestion and just plain out of energy. Even after sleeping 12 hours. I think my daughter had the same thing last week. She is still coughing.

Last night I texted my husband (on my new smart phone) to get 'pkts of vitamin c' at the store after he worked out. Darn auto correct changed 'pkts' to 'lots'. Instead of one box he came home with two. The two boxes both had smaller boxes of 10 pkts attached. The smart phone that is suppose to save me money just cost me money! We will use them all at some point, but I didn't need that many right now!

I sold a book on Ebay last night. I officially have zero items listed right now. If I get my energy back by Sunday I hope to get some more things listed!

That is all for now...I will check back in when I'm completely recovered. Right now it is time for an afternoon nap.

Wells Fargo Amex Arrived

May 13th, 2014 at 07:10 am

Our new Wells Fargo American Express card arrived in the mail yesterday. It was shipped from the next state over thus the prompt receipt. We have already used it!

Our gym membership was expiring. We paid $750 a year and half ago and our last day for the membership was yesterday. We finally got a sales person to assist us last night. I say finally because it seemed every time we inquired in the last month, no one was there to help. We had been mailed a renewal offer of $750 for 12 months, rather than 18 months like our original deal. The sales guy tried to offer us two years for $998. Sure that sounds like a better deal, but it is MORE money and the odds are very slim we will still be in this town for another 2 years let alone 15 months. After much discussion and indicating we would go work out and talk about it, the tune suddenly changed to adding 6 months to our current offer. So same deal we had the first time we signed up. Honestly, I was hoping for LESS than $750. I really tried with the guy and I think I did get us what is right for us. I won't need to pay any more money before we move...unless we don't move (but I think the odds of that are slim). At any rate, we charged our gym membership to the new Wells Fargo card. Well on our way to $3000 in spending, with something we needed to purchase anyway.

I do have an email in to Wells Fargo to confirm that previous Amex reward offers won't exclude us from this one. The card is in my husband's name, thus the email rather than a call. I could have him call, but he would just be confused about the whole reason I'm having him call! We decided to use the card even if we are exempt from the rewards. My gut says we will get the rewards since this is technically a Wells Fargo program, rather than an Amex program.

Do you prepay your gym membership? Or do you pay monthly?

Cash Flowing In!!

April 18th, 2014 at 06:24 am

Cash is flowing in!

I did sell that couch and love seat mentioned yesterday for a nice $150. The man was excited and said it was for his wife. Now I have more room in my garage. If you want a peek at my garage and how cluttered it is, minus the couches, head over to [url=http://yourorganizedfriend.blogspot.com/2014/04/one-of-our-cluttered-spaces.html]Your Organized Friend[/url] and see some of my before pictures. I will be getting the garage in shape before our garage sale next month.

I sold a CD on Ebay that I need to get in the mail. I probably only made about $2. But less clutter and more cash makes me happy!

I also referred someone to [url=http://www3.ooma.com/refer-a-friend/?referral_code=FUD3038]Ooma[/url], so I have a $20 referral credit. That effectively will cover 5 months of service, which is really just the Federal taxes of about $3.75 a month. I won't get the cash for six weeks or more, but it will be mine then!

We are prepped for painting and will be getting started shortly. I'm thrilled my husband took some time off so we can work together on this beautiful spring day.

In other good news, I lost 1.8 pounds! I'm very happy about this since last week I didn't show any weight loss on the scale. I watched the food intake even closer this week and it made a difference. Gee, kind of like watching the spending. Who would have thought?! Smile

Are you sprucing up your living space (indoors or outdoors) this weekend? Do you have any extra cash or snowflakes flowing in this weekend?