Frugal Friday

All the bills are done for the month so that’s frugal or at least budget conscious.

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I have most of next month budget done except for a few things like planning the deck for the studio. That may end up going in 2 parts as it will be pricey.

Yesterday at Costco did add up but I won’t need some of the things I bought for at least 6 months( a 2 pack of Grey Poupon mustard), Cholula ( large size 2 bottles, a case of black olives, and a case of bar soap. The bar soap will last a few years actually.  When I was on Revlimid I  had terrible cramping in my calves and Irish Spring under my bed sheet was a miracle worker. These cramps were extremely painful and would freeze up my entire calf muscle. The other remedy is pickle juice.

I was tempted to buy the Vitamix Costco has on sale and it is a great price. but I decided to wait on it. I’d like a Vitamix down the road for drinks, soups, nut butter etc, but I have to weigh out how much I will use it. Right now I use my new Cuisinart processor and my stand mixer.  So I guess I saved $300 on that for now.

I’m going to do a few errands after the gym today including dropping off a box at the Cancer Thrift store. I have some Fiesta ware that I just don’t use( a butter holder) and a pitcher and I don’t want to drop that off at Goodwill. ( More Stuff gone)

Then I have a big stack of towels to drop off at the SPCA and maybe if someones there I can check on the barn cats.(more stuff out of my car)

It’s a much cooler morning and nice. We’ll see how later is.

It’s Friday night pizza but I’m not sure I’m making one. We decided to change it to Pizza or Pasta night so I may go with pasta and some of that leftover pesto. We’ll see …I just may order out.

 

Friday Five

  • Yesterday my daughter and I took a huge load to Goodwill that was mostly my son’s stuff. Hurray!!!! Maybe the decluttering is sinking in for him. ( Probably not, but it was a good start).  Plus it was two Kirkland dog beds that the border collies just don’t use. The books I saved out of the drop to take to the pet bookstore as I’d rather support them.
  • Did the budget with B’s check and we’re on track to finish the credit card that we put Z’s spring tuition on by July.  Also, I finally paid the last of my Invisalign costs. So that was exciting. After the CC is done, I’m determined to finish the Santa Fe. It’s 2014 so, that’s 4 years of payments and I want it gone. If I did that by the end of the year I’d be happy.  I don’t see us getting another car for B’s work. Even though the company does do a stipend it would mean another car loan and right now, I don’t want that.
  • Retirement is looming for B so we need to be as debt free except the mortgage as possible.
  • My daughter and I went to the gym and then after the thrift store drop headed over for some tostadas. Yummy.
  • For dinner, I made baked tofu and then made a really yummy coconut curry vegetable stew. It was delicious. Plus I made a peanut sriracha sauce for the tofu.

Today it’s hot. So I might just hang out at home and read. My son lent me another graphic novel, TheWatchman, so I’m curious about it. He said it is the # 1 graphic novel of all time.

I might wash the outside windows with the Windex outdoor product. It actually works very well and you don’t need to wipe them when done although it does help.

Tonight is pizza night.

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.

 

 

 

Five on Friday

Let’s see, my labs came in but I had to call the nurse to get the results. My doctor is on call for other doctors this week so he is slammed. My CBC is all the same and normal, Kappa light chains went up to 15.0, Lambda was the same at 11.1, the ratio went up just slightly to 1.30 ( from 1.27).  So not bad but I’d rather the ratio be a little lower. But still all in the normal range.  June marks 2 years of being off all chemo.  What a lovely time it has been and I am grateful every day.

We zipped down to Costco at 9am to get a few things. Mostly coffee. Last week I had to go buy a pound at Starbucks and that was a rude awakening. So off we went. We filled up the Santa Fe, and then got thru Costco fairly quickly. I didn’t need a whole lot so it went quick. We also paid our membership which was due June 1st.

Tonight is a pizza night and I gave my son cash to get a Round Table. I had a coupon for a speciality pizza for $19.99 and we love their gourmet veggie. So a good deal.

We were going to go to the nursery and get some pots for me to re-pot some of my house plant friends but it’s raining so we nixed that. I guess we saved money by not going but I’ll still need to get some at Home Depot in the next week or so.

Yesterday I went out to the barn and declutter more magazines, some kitchen things I had put in a box for my son when he was going to live at SFSU( which he didn’t do), and other misc. It’s the start of a small thrift store run.

I worked on the budget and June looks okay. Still working on finishing the CC that we put Z’s tuition on. I’m okay with that. I’d like to target end of July to have it done.

I think that’s all I can think of.

We did feel bad for all the campers heading up to Tahoe for Memorial day weekend. It was pouring down rain and I’m sure it’s worse up there.

 

 

 

Simple Sunday​

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It is a lovely day. Sunny and pleasant. Not really warm but that’s okay.

This morning I made almond butter in my new Cuisinart. The first batch didn’t work too well as the almonds were stale, I think. I picked up another pound and then toasted them first then put them in the food processor. Viola!!! almond butter.  It does take a while to get to the final stage but I will do it again because it’s nice to just make a mall amount. We never get thru a whole jar so that’s kinda neat.

Then I made polenta. Some for dinner I’ll grill and then some for later in the week. I have brown rice cooking with some added wild rice.  Then I think I’ll just grill some tofu on the side.

I went to the gym and did an okay workout. I’m not feeling too inspired but I imagine it will pass.

This week is the Kitchen zone in Flylady so I’ll do that tomorrow morning.  Some stuff I already did ( wiped all the stainless steel appliances) but I’ll probably have to do it again.

Next week we’re heading to New Brighton State beach to camp. The weather looks ok. there is supposed to be some showers Sunday but the rest of the week looks nice.  Our favorite bakery ‘Gayles’ is there so that’s a win-win. Plus I’m looking forward to Lodge cooking again.

We are already into April and this year I’ve had almost nothing to drop off at Goodwill. I guess my balance with minimalism is darn good at this point. I just bought a new gooseneck electric teapot and the old one will go to Goodwill but really there’s not much left to declutter.  Perhaps down the road with different needs or criteria, it will change.

Things do change and each season in life brings new things.

 

 

why​ minimalize

We all have different thresholds of clutter and for things that are around us. When I look around my small house, I can see where a die-hard minimalist may say, ‘Gee, you have a lot of Easton Press books, or that I still have my Fiesta Ware.’ Even though I have gotten rid of probably 75 % of what we did have ( grand piano and 2 couches and a futon) plus more, there is still a comfortable amount of stuff that I like.

I love my Needles and Pine Tepco dishes that are in the Heywood Wakefield. Even though I use White dishes daily, I do use the Tepco and I use the Fiesta Ware. But I have them where I can appreciate them visually and they fit on the shelves they are on.

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That’s a big minimalist thing and I do use that concept of how much ‘real estate’ or space do I have for those items. If they were boxed away, I would get rid of them. But they are out on my shelves and fit the space. If you need to start your minimalist journey, I’d recommend the container concept. There’s only so much room on a shelf or in a drawer for items. So that is your parameter. You can only put what fits and that doesn’t mean cramming things in sideways.

So why bother decluttering and minimizing your stuff. From my own personal experience, my house stays cleaner as there is less stuff to dust and overall less stuff to deal. My stress levels are quite low( mostly) when things are tidy and uncluttered. I read a great article on some blog about when we’re stressed we want to declutter and I can say that is what I did.  I found the more I released the less stressed I was. My home felt better to be in. As an introvert, I spend a lot of my time home especially since I no longer work at the library. So

  • cleaner house
  • less stuff to deal with
  • lower stress levels
  • more time for other things like reading, cooking, walking etc

 

There’s less noise in my head when I have more white space around me both literally and figuratively. I think there’s even more, I can declutter down the road but for now, it is a nice balance.

 

 

Minimalism, Creating routines

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Thoreau says it all in this quote, I think.

We need to think about what we buy, what we consume and what we do with it all after we no longer need it. Plus, how many hours did you work to get that new whatever. It’s certainly food for thought.

But today in my minimalism series, I want to address routines. So you’ve decluttered, purged, donated, thrown away, and organized whats left. Now comes keeping it going by creating routines. Daily, weekly, monthly.

When I started my minimalism journey it was Flylady that helped me get going. I was starting a new chemotherapy after remission of 4 years. The chemo was fairly easy to tolerate 21 days on 7 days off. But the steroids were tough, so I found FlyLady and started implementing the 15-minute rule and followed her weekly zones.

There are 5 zones and every 5 weeks you go thru your whole house. Since decluttering and purging, tidying and housework are a breeze. My biggest zone, and by that I mean the most time consuming, is the kitchen.  I can do all the other rooms in about 10 minutes.  I also do the weekly home blessing which includes washing mirrors and dusting.

She also has an evening and morning routine.  I do the morning one based on what I need. For instance, I do 1X of laundry a day, I swish and swipe the bathroom in the morning, I make sure the counters are clean and the sink as well. Of course, I make the bed daily. I think the evening one would be especially important if you have kids going to school and need to plan lunches etc.

I think it’s important to create your own routine based on what your life looks like. If I had young children, I’m sure it would be different, working professionals will look different too. Start with the basics

  • make your bed
  • tidy the living room or any room that needs picking up
  • 1X laundry a day, done from start to finish
  • clean sink
  • wipe bathroom down
  • empty dishwasher
  • plan dinner

I plan dinner with a weekly rotation but I plan specifically in the morning what I ‘m doing for dinner.

Keep at it. It took a while to get my routine down and it will you too.  Do the most important things first and then schedule 15 minutes for the rest and see how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes.

There are tons of Pinterest ideas for routines to check as well.

 

 

 

Minimalism, create white space

9a1fb140b9232e6ec8deba592897d9cb.jpgAhhh, to have the things out of the house. It’s very freeing and leaves open lots of possibilities.

It’s best to follow, though, the one in one out rule once you’ve done a good purge. So, if you buy a new T-shirt and the old one goes out. Same with everything, although, one caveat might be if you are buying something you need and don’t have one like it to discard. In that event, just find another item not related to donate.  Of course, I don’t follow this to the letter at all. For Christmas, we all received(from Santa) 2 Easton Press books. Since I’ve decluttered almost all my other books, I didn’t feel the need to reduce the books.  They are beautiful classics that are leather bound and gold gilded. I bought a lot on eBay before Christmas for an amazing price of 80.00 for 7 books.  Very sweet deal.

Creating white space is leaving some spaces unfilled. Perhaps a shelf only with a few items. I try and keep one open shelf or at least 1/2 of a shelf open. It’s much easier on the eyes not for it to be packed.img_0363

Also, creating white space allows you to open up to new possibilities and ideas. Rearrange your furniture or think of a creative solution to small space living(or medium, or large) but something new.   The possibilities are endless really when we have decluttered down to the essential, purged all the unnecessary things that we hold on to, white space let’s us be creative.

Plus, it’s really fun!!

Try to empty a shelf, a cabinet shelf, or a drawer.  Let it be a  space for light to come in.