I still get a thrill writing 2019 on the cover photos for these. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been a blogger forever, and other times I can hardly wrap my brain around how long it’s actually been. It still has not been crazy long in the grand scheme of things, but the third calendar year makes me feel like a “real” official blogger – perhaps I should finally add my logo* to this website somewhere, too.
This past weekends we headed out to stay the weekend in Forks, and I officially visited the Hoh Rain Forest for the first time ever. It’s as gorgeous there as I expected, and so I’ve been spamming Instagram with photos. We actually got a dry half a day on Saturday, so we got to do quite a bit of exploring without getting soggy. Olympic National Park was closed to vehicle traffic due to the government shutdown, so we walked two miles in to Rialto Beach, which actually worked out because we got to see a few otters along the way (and I got in a decent number of steps that day).
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. The aforementioned weekend was a birthday/Christmas gift from my in-laws (they also went with us), so they covered the cost of lodging. We also ate in all but two meals from Friday afternoon on, so it was an extremely frugal trip. We did provide some of the groceries for the meals, but not all, and the meals were pretty low key to begin with. Ultimately, the weekend was about being out in nature and letting the kiddo get some more grandma and grandpa time, which was great.
Before the kiddo was born, we had a tradition of going out of town for the weekend with both sides of the family, and this past weekend had me thinking that it’s past time to start that up again. It was lovely to be away with them and to just enjoy a low key weekend.
2. I made goulash for dinner one night and instead of bringing it or lunches to work, there was enough to eat again as leftovers for dinner the following night. Cheap, easy, tasty meal, and one I think I’ll repeat again in the near future (even if it’s not the husband’s all time favorite meal).
We are not so great at meal prepping or meal planning beyond general ideas for the week, but I think I’m going to attempt to do more cook once / eat twice types of meals, because it’s not a lot more work to just cook a double batch of the same meal. I do it from time to time, but it’s never a regular deal, though it certainly helps us avoid picking up dinner on weeknights when I do.
3. This one may be a frugal choice, but it certainly wasn’t a sustainable one. I was feeling like I wanted a bit of variety with my workday lunches, I haven’t been doing a good job of prepping lunches in particular, so instead of doing that, I ended up buying two single serve meals for the week.
Of course, the meals are only a couple of dollars each, they’re tasty enough (or at least, gave me some variety to my lunches of late), and stopped me from picking up lunch instead, but they do create a significant amount of trash. I try and be transparent here though, so I’m including it as one of my “Frugal Five,” with a reminder to myself that frugality is not always sustainability, but also to not beat myself up about it because no one is perfect.
4. I got a birthday gift in the mail from the friend we stayed with during our East Coast road trip this past spring. We hadn’t seen each other in eight years before that trip, but the small gifts we’ve mailed each other over the years have done quite a lot to keep that friendship alive and close enough to spend a week together after not seeing each other face to face in close to a decade.
Even better, the gift was a pair of earrings. For someone who is almost two years into a clothes buying ban that has included shoes, accessories, AND jewelry, it was so exciting to get a new pair of earrings. I wore them to work the very next day and got compliments on them as well, though I don’t think it’s that noticeable that I’ve been wearing the same jewelry for two years now (I do have a decent number of earrings anyway).
5. A friend I met at Cents Positive back in November was headed to the airport and more or less driving by my work, so she stopped by for a chat and a walk outside as the rain stopped just before she arrived. She brought with her a full box and a couple of bags of hand me downs for the kiddo, which I gladly accepted. I’m no longer ahead on next size up clothing and had been planning to get to the thrift store again soon, so I was thrilled to have this option instead.
The kiddo looked through the clothes with me and was super excited for new stuff as well, especially the new rain boots as he recently outgrew his. He has a nice pair of snow boots, but he especially loves rain boots because they’re so easy to get off and on. They’re a bit big for him still, but he’s been stomping around regardless. Thanks friend, I really appreciate it (and you).
On top of the four mile round trip walk down to the ocean on Saturday, we did a bit of wandering around the campground/resort as well, so I ended up with just under 20,000 steps for the day. The kiddo asked for daddy to pick him up from preschool on Monday even though it would be later in the day, so I got to go to the gym for a full run/lift/stretching workout. Apparently it’s time to up the weights again because I hardly felt it the next day.
Tuesday was back to a quick twenty minutes on the elliptical on the work gym, and then Wednesday was a 45 minute walk and later a twenty minute run on the treadmill. Not all weeks are able to be so active, especially in the winter, but I enjoyed it quite a lot.
I’m also back to tracking 100% of my food and exercise as of Monday via Myfitnesspal. I’d like to lose a bit of weight as well as just force myself back into eating more healthily because I’ve definitely let my diet choices slide in the past year. I know I can’t do it all, but my health isn’t a good one to drop.
In true form, I thought about getting back on the food tracking wagon for months before I did, but now that I’ve decided to go for it, I’m all in. I don’t know what changed, but I can tell when my mindset switched and I’m ready to fully commit to something. And no matter what, it never seems to be on January 1.
I’ve also decided to track my physical visits to the gym on a monthly basis here (the one I pay for) to see what my average cost per visit is, and perhaps it will nudge me into finding a few more trips to squeeze in there as a result. So far, total count for January: 1 (plus one trip to the work gym).
*My logo, for those who haven’t seen it yet (since it isn’t on this site yet, whoops). Designed by Bethany McCamish: