The last few months have been a cycle of getting to see blogger friends in person – either again or for the first time – likely because now is probably the best time of year to visit the Pacific Northwest, plus the kiddo and I made a visit down to Portland happen to celebrate Uriah’s birthday.
April was Moriah Joy and Seonwoo, two weeks ago was Michelle, and this post week was Sarah from Smile and Conquer. I think I’m getting used to out of town friends visiting, and I like it. Though I don’t have any future visits planned now, so perhaps I’ll have to go to FinCon after all.
My biggest regret post-Cents Positive last November was not spending enough time with Sarah, so I was thrilled when she let me know that she’d be down my way on a road trip. Once I knew she and her partner were going to be in Seattle, I offered (begged) that she stay at my house so we could spend some more time together while she was in the area.
They arrived Saturday night, so of course I had Purple and Felicity join us for dinner and a hike through the woods behind my house. We then tagged along when they bused into Seattle and went to Pike Place Market and up the Space Needle.
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My husband and I had never actually gone up to the top of the Space Needle before even though we were both born and raised in this area (a trip up as a toddler doesn’t count). I balked at the price though – $75 for the two of us and the kiddo was free – but decided we should perhaps do it once, and going with friends from out of town was a good time to do it. Plus the kiddo’s favorite stuffed animal when he was younger was Wheedle from Wheedle on the Needle.
And the weather was absolutely gorgeous. So we grabbed Wheedle and went up. And you know what? It was absolutely worth it. The weather was clear, the mountain was out, and the views were absolutely stunning. We were also up there during the Rock N Roll Marathon and could see the finish line and people running the end of the race, which was pretty neat (though it definitely had me itching to sign up for a race).
We then went home for nap time and met up with them for sushi dinner afterwards. They offered to pay since we were putting us up, and we in turn took them to one of our favorite local breweries afterward. Absolutely not a frugal day, but a very fun one. While we are definitely on the path to financial independence – and working on saving half our incomes – we splurge a bit now and again. And you know what? It’s absolutely worth it.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Saturday was definitely the more frugal day of the weekend, even though we cooked for everyone. We’re clearing out the last of the beef from our freezer in preparation for this year’s quarter cow that we purchase from a local farm, so my husband cooked a roast in the Dutch oven with some onions and it was absolutely delicious.
I cooked up some canned corn and black beans along with some garlic scapes out of the garden, and we snacked on some amazing spinach, artichoke, and jalapeño dip from Costco with some cut up veggies. Simple, but the dinner was great and didn’t cost too much to prepare.
We’re not as impressive as Loni with her full month pantry challenge, but I definitely think to the story she shared here as inspiration about getting a bit more creative with what we have on hand instead of always going to the grocery store.
2. Our older dog (yes, that one who has had a million visits to the vet since she got sick almost two years ago) chewed a pretty good hot spot on herself a couple weeks ago and we’ve had to put her in a cone to stop chewing that area. I felt we needed to take her in to make sure it wasn’t something more serious, so I lined it up so I was able to take both dogs in at the same time for their annual vaccines. Our dog had distemper and mange as a puppy that left her with a few lingering lifetime impacts, so I am very good about making sure they get their shots on time.
Since she’s already on antibiotics for her toe issues ahead of possible amputation, we didn’t have to pay for any additional antibiotics for the hot spot, and the vet said that those were likely why it was healing up so well already. Frugal win then, I suppose? I did have the realization while paying for the cost though that we could very possibly spend more money on the dogs then on childcare this year, which is a bit overwhelming.
3. It’s strawberry and garlic scapes season! Plus leeks, rhubarb, celery, herbs, and the tail end of lettuce. The blueberries and raspberries will be coming along very soon as well as a lot of other plants in the garden. This time of year has to be the most exciting when you grow some of your own food because things really take off and meals made mostly out of things in the yard become possible again. I love it.
4. Since we are working on clearing out the freezer like I mentioned above, my husband and son had a dinner with the last of the frozen salmon that they caught last fall. I didn’t eat any though because, although I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I don’t eat most seafood, and especially not salmon or crab. While I won’t eat it, I love that we can have meals of food we’ve caught or grown ourselves, and I especially love that my son is growing up with that as just a normal reality for him.
5. So I completely forgot to mention it last week, but I ticked off another month where I didn’t buy any clothes (included in that means no shoes, jewelry, or accessories). I suppose it’s pretty telling that this has just become my new normal, because I passed that month with no issue. I’m now at two and a quarter years with this ban and no current plans to end it.
This time of year definitely helps extend the life of the clothes I own because it’s warm and dry enough to have a laundry line strung up over our back deck most days. Hand me downs help too, and I get so much satisfaction from wearing new to me clothes and shoes. The money savings is also great, but the environmental savings is the best.
Friday was another quick ten minutes on the elliptical before leaving work. Saturday was a hike before our friend dinner, and included snacking on a bunch of wild berries, specifically salmonberries and Indian plums. It’s always fun to get people to try new native edibles, and the kiddo is a good helper as far as teaching goes (and it reminds me of my park ranger days).
Sunday was a bunch of walking in downtown Seattle before and after the Space Needle excursion. Monday was the trip to the vet with both dogs, so I didn’t expect to get any exercise that day. The kiddo hadn’t napped that day, though, so I ended up sneaking out for a twenty minute run through the woods at 8:30PM because it was still daylight.
Tuesday was a walk to work after dropping the kiddo off at preschool. After work, I considered taking the bus home and then going to the gym, but it was such a nice day that I decided to walk the six miles home instead. Of course, I’d calculated the time it would take me based on how long it used to take me to run to work, and it didn’t dawn on me until I was a mile in that walking is – unsurprisingly – a LOT slower.
Still, it was an enjoyable walk home and it meant that I logged a good nine miles on a work day, which felt pretty great. Wednesday was a run before work and then a walk afterward. I may not be tracking my hours outside this month, but I’m certain I’ll be spending at least as much time outdoors as last month.
Ps my sister is a filmmaker and one of her films (and the only full length movie I’ve seen in probably two years!) has their world premiere showing at Dances With Films next Friday in Los Angeles for anyone who’s local and wants to check it out. It’s pretty great (and so is she!)