There is something totally odd about holidays that fall on a Wednesday when you don’t take any time off to make it a long weekend on either end, but as we returned from our two week vacation just over a month ago, we really couldn’t take any more time off right now. Work is a bit odd this week because of it because so many people are on vacation, but it also means that my not so bad commute turned into a very not bad commute, so there are upsides to be sure.

Our son was particularly thrown off this week because Wednesday’s are usually Nana days (my mom) and so he kept asking and talking about going to Nana’s house on Thursday because he didn’t realize we’d skipped over a day. The good news is he loves going over there so much that he requests to go all the time.

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. We had a car free day on Wednesday for the 4th of July. The morning was spent at home having breakfast and then doing a quick clean up before having friends over later in the day, and then my friend and her kids joined us for the bus ride down to the Kirkland 4th of July parade. It was really heartening to see the bus completely full on a non work day. The downtown was extremely busy, but most people have chosen to drive in the past, so it was good to see that at least some people were making new routines for the holiday. My only comment would be that it would be nice to have a few MORE bus runs on holidays mid day rather than fewer in order to encourage more people to leave their cars at home.

We had a bit of time after the parade before the next bus arrived, so we spent a good half hour at the park just up from the transit center letting the kids run off a little bit more energy. We ran into one of my son’s preschool classmates, which is always fun when it happens.

Watching the parade with Daddy

2. The parade itself lasted a good hour, plus the short “Kid’s Parade” before that. We decided to skip the bike decorating and walking in the parade this year because our son is still a little bit young and it would be a long bike ride on his balance bike, which he adores, but isn’t so fast on it yet. That turned out to be a really good choice because it was absolutely packed solid with kids and their parents and he wouldn’t have had a lot of fun, though he did have fun watching the kids go by.

We ended up getting a couple of Chick-fil-A coupons and a bottle of bubbles that were being handed out to the crowd, though thankfully we didn’t end up with a ton of candy, which was also being handed out, because we were farther back from the parade during the first half. As people eventually got too hot and wandered away, we moved forward to the front, which is how we got the coupons and bubbles.

3. After we got home from the parade, we had a number of friends over for a BBQ pot luck, complete with a bonfire in our backyard. Our friends brought a bunch of snacks and drinks to supplement the steaks and sausages that we grilled over the fire, and my husband cooked up some ears of corn in the smoker. Honestly one of my very favorite ways to spend an afternoon is hanging with a group of people at a house or a campground, and the 4th of July definitely qualified. Laid back, frugal, and way easier to hear everyone than at a crowded restaurant or bar, plus a place for the kids to run where they aren’t likely to get into too much trouble.

4. One friend brought a veggie tray with ranch dip and hummus. The vegetables started to run out way faster than the dip, so we went out to the front yard and picked a bowl of fresh sugar snap peas out of the garden – the first of the season – to supplement the original vegetables. While we were out there, we picked a bowl of raspberries to share as well. There is absolutely nothing better than getting to pick food right out of your yard, and my friend’s daughter did an admirable job filling her belly with a good quantity of both. There’s something about fresh fruits and vegetables that gets even a 4 year old excited about healthy food.

They didn’t last long

5. We didn’t spend any money on fireworks. While this may not be seen as a frugal “win” by some, our older dog is extremely scared of them and is the reason why we stay home every 4th of July to begin with. Our town doesn’t technically allow private fireworks, but there are plenty of people who obviously don’t listen to that law. My husband enjoys setting them off, but I think he had just as much fun hanging with his friends in our backyard, especially since he had to get up at his normal 5AM the next morning to go to work (and it wasn’t dark until close to 10PM anyway). I’m amazed at just how much money fireworks cost to set them off yourself, so they’ve never been a big draw for me anyway, and I can think of a much better use of the hundreds of dollars spent for a few minutes of entertainment.

Running Update

Since we went camping again over the weekend, I didn’t do any running, but we did do some decent walking on both days as is normal for any non-work day for me. I ran for an hour on Monday, though completely wiped out 45 minutes in, and ended up being a little stiff and sore for a few days afterward. There’s a good reason I have my phone in a Lifeproof case, because while the backside is pretty beat up now, the phone still works fine. I’d blame the toddler, but no, that’s all me. Even with the fall on Monday, I did manage to squeeze in another 35 minute run on Tuesday, though the first few minutes were a little slow as my knee warmed up to the movement. I meant to run again after work on Thursday, but forgot a change of clothes so didn’t end up getting to go.

I did squeak by the 500,000 step June Challenge by The Smart FI and ended up with 506,541 steps for the month! This was a MUCH more difficult challenge than I’d expected when I agreed to it, but now I’m hooked. Anyone want to join us in July? 

30 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (4th Of July Edition)

  1. 506541 steps for the month! I don’t think I even met my 10,000 steps a day goal:(
    Sounds like your 4th of July was a win as far as relaxing and enjoying your friends. So neat you can get fruits and vegetables in your own garden.

    1. I’ve been tracking steps for a number of years now, but this challenge is what really bumped up my daily miles! Helps I’m a bit of a competitive person 😉

  2. we made hummus for a steaming hot party we attended. move of the day was leaving the homemade blueberry pie at home. we already showed up with sausages and hot dogs and the big hummus platter and wine. nobody knows except us and now the internet. did you take a header on a trail or just momentarily clumsy?

    3 years ago we did a real wilderness hike, maybe 4-5 miles up and back down a mountain. mrs. smidlap isn’t all that athletic but near the end when we could see the trailhead she took off streaking to victory with arms raised and tripped over a root and went down face first like a ton of bricks. i had to hold back laughing until i knew she wasn’t injured.

    1. More blueberry pie for you then! And it was on a flat sidewalk. Not sure I’d call it “momentarily clumsy” if it’s a regular occurrence. And I feel for your wife. God knows I’ve tripped over more than my fair share of rocks and roots lol.

    1. Ha yes, the run was a really fabulous and easy one so I guess I needed to be reminded that it was actually work 😉

    1. Take up running, you’ll get a lot more 😉 I do have to seriously work at it to get those numbers though!

  3. I am so thankful for the lack of traffic since I’ve been driving to work this week thanks to petsitting. It’s thankfully not that far of a drive since the other times I’ve petsat it hasn’t been a holiday week but I cannot imagine how people sit in traffic day in and day out.

    And thank goodness I don’t have to add traffic to the list of things to deal with this week because apparently a mid-week holiday means fireworks every. single. night. for a week. I desperately need some sleep (or to petsit for people who don’t allow their dog on their bed…).

    1. The odd day I’m on the freeway at rush hour makes me seriously wonder how people do it every single day. No nice house/not needing roommates/having a car/basically anything short of being homeless is worth that kind of commute. But I am also REALLY allergic to commuting.

    1. So very true! And we’ve been in this home long enough that some of the berry bushes are getting relatively mature (and producing like crazy).

  4. Your raspberries look amazing! Very impressed. Gardening isn’t on my radar atm, as I live in an apartment & my secretary has to water MY CACTUS in my office to keep it alive, but one day, maybe? 🙂

    1. They are so freaking good! My garden is one of my very favorite parts of our home.

  5. I’m jealous of your raspberries! Our raspberry just started producing this year and we got a whopping TWO raspberries. 🙂 Sounds like a nice ‘n’ frugal Fourth! We also didn’t have PTO, but thoroughly enjoyed the four-day week. It was kind of nice having work days split up like that; it was like we got a day to recover lol.

    This week:

    1. It’s rained a LOT over the last few days. I’m perfectly cool with that, though, because it means my trees and garden are watered for free.

    2. If the weather cooperates, we want to go to a free Indian festival this weekend. There’ll be music, dancing, and even a free dinner!

    3. I’m planning to make a fruit tart using figs that grew in our garden. I’m SO happy to finally have figs! Those suckers are expensive.

    4. I did laundry with my homemade laundry soap.

    5. Today I worked on freelance articles, even though I wanted to be lazy. The extra income is always nice, and I’ll thank myself later. 🙂

    1. Our raspberries have been producing for a good 4 years now, and they get more insane with every year. I bet next year will be better 🙂 My MIL used to have a fig tree until she got sick of rats eating all the figs right as they got ripe…

  6. omg those peas and berries look AWESOME. I wish raspberries grew well here. or that I had blue/blackberries left… sigh. We also had 2 2day work weeks, which was actually kind of nice. quieter roads, as you noted. we got a TON done around the house which felt very adult and satisfying.

    1. You have a much longer growing season in general though, so I won’t feel too bad for you 😉

  7. Sorry about your running wipeout! I hate it when that happens!

    The 4th was pretty frugal for us, too. We went to a friend’s house for a potluck/BBQ, which was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Our town didn’t have fireworks due to fire restrictions, so we just stayed home and enjoyed a quiet, inexpensive evening.

    1. Our town (actually our whole county) has fireworks restrictions but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to most people, to the detriment of our poor puppy.

  8. Sounds like a wonderful 4th! We, too, have a firework-fearing dog. Poor guy just shakes the whole time people set them off. Thunderstorms cause similar reactions. And like you said, fireworks are SO expensive for such a short experience. I’ve also read that they can trigger PTSD reactions in veterans. All in all, I avoid them as well. I hope you’re feeling better after the running. I’m looking forward to starting back running…I just need some psychological inertia to get going again. Ha.

    1. Yeah, she isn’t a fan of thunderstorms either. It took a few more days than I expected, but no more stiffness from that fall now thankfully.

  9. My doggy client is usually the most mellow furball in the world so it was a huge surprise that he was so terrified of fireworks. The entire evening he had to GLUE himself into me to feel safe.

    On the other hand, my own dog who is fear of EVERYTHING from paper bags to candy wrappers to newborns didn’t care or noticed the exploding noises. It’s like they switched! I can’t even explain how perplexing that was! Doggos! They’re all so quirky.

    1. That’s actually kind of true with our dogs too – the super anxious one in general is total fine, but our big lovable marshmallow is TERRIFIED of fireworks and thunderstorms. Oh and water 😂

  10. Those raspberries look sooo good! Nice work keeping up on your steps. I’m still trying to keep up the discipline with the pull-ups. Before I tap any keys, I have to make a b-line into the laundry room to hoist up my tired a$$ a few times…

    1. That’s a good idea to stick it in your way to make sure they happen. Easier with a few pull ups than a quick run to be sure 😉

  11. Yeah, having a holiday mid-week totally threw me off.

    Nice job on the steps in June! Sorry to hear about your fall but I am impressed that you still ran the next day.

    I lost my Fitbit last month but if I get another one, I might be up for joining a challenge…

    1. Ha yeah falling is nothing new for me unfortunately. Make sure to let me know if you get another Fitbit!

  12. I look forward to your Friday’s Frugal Five post each week! 🙂 the sugar snap peas and raspberries from your garden look absolutely delicious!

    1. Aww thank you! And some of those snap peas made it in my dinner tonight – SO GOOD.

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