My sister and brother in law invited us over for high tea at their house on Sunday afternoon. They’d gone to a tea shop in Seattle and had a great time, so they decided to set up something similar at their house. We headed over, along with my husband’s parents and his godfather, and we all sat down for cucumber sandwiches, salmon and cracker appetizers, all kinds of pastries, and of course, plenty of tea.
We had an absolutely fabulous time, and then we went for a walk around the public park near their house to end the afternoon. We had such a good time that the kiddo is now asking to set up a high tea party at our house one of these days, and I’m apt to agree with him. Though it won’t look nearly as pretty as theirs unless I can borrow a nice tea set, because we definitely don’t have one of those.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. There’s a large new development being completed in downtown Kirkland, and so they’re having free events on the weekends for the next month or so to celebrate the opening of a bunch of new businesses.
This past Saturday, they had a Día de los Muertos celebration, complete with music, snacks, sugar skull face painting, and crafts (the kiddo now has new artwork to hang in his room). He didn’t want his face painted, but asked if I would do mine, and I relented. It felt so weird to have paint on my face, but it turned out really well, and it was fun for the day.
2. We’ve done really well lately with eating leftovers (especially stretching them for future meals), as well as creating meals mostly or entirely from ingredients already in our kitchen. While we may not be doing a full on pantry challenge, we’re doing a really good job eating up what we already have on hand.
With that in place, I’m hopeful that November can be another month where our total food and drink budget comes in under a thousand dollars for the month. While this may seem like a lot to many of you, it’s a long way from the $2,500+ we used to spend.
3. Thanks to the time change back to Standard Time, it’s back to being light enough in the mornings for me to be able to walk to work after dropping the kiddo off at preschool. While I can’t do this every day (he isn’t even at preschool every day), I love the days I do get that option.
The weather has been cold – but dry – so this walk is quite pleasant. We shall see how I feel next week once the rain returns. It does save me $2.75 each time I make the walk though, and I’m guaranteed to hit my step count on those days as well. I also get a chance to see more Now Hiring signs for Jobspotter, and earned $6.18 in just one day.
4. I cashed out another month of Jobspotter credit to the tune of $31.93. While this is short of the $40 I redeemed last month, it still feels pretty decent for “extra” money, and looking for hiring signs feels a bit like a fun scavenger hunt. This money is paid out in Amazon gift cards, which I upload to our account for when we make our next normal purchase there, so it doesn’t go to buying anything extra we could convince ourselves we “needed” with the cash.
I have to admit, though, I’m a bit torn about Amazon credit. If I could receive the money some other way, I would take that choice. We do still spend some of our money there, and at least at this point in our lives, I don’t see that changing. I don’t love their business practices though, and their ever increasing market share is troubling. I clearly don’t have an answer here, even for my individual family, but wanted to share my struggles with our continued use of the giant that is Amazon.
5. While I have some waterproof hiking boots, they’re worn to the point where I’m not sure how waterproof they are. Otherwise, I have two pairs of slightly dressier black boots that I wear to work, neither of which are great for slushy snow or super long walks in wet weather. In preparing to go to Iceland, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for footwear for the trip, as I really don’t want to break my clothes buying ban just for that purpose.
I mentioned the dilemma to my mom, saying that perhaps I’d get lucky with the Women’s Personal Finance clothing swap that’s happening later this month, or that maybe I could find a friend who had boots I could borrow. I wear a small size 6-7 though, so finding friends with my shoe size isn’t always the easiest. My mom does wear my shoe size though, and it turns out she has a great pair of winter snow boots.
She lent them to me this past week, and after wearing them, I have to say that they are ridiculously warm and just as comfortable. I’ll be taking them with me to Iceland, and then handing them back to her when we return. This was really the very best option, as I don’t need a pair for everyday use, and this way we can share the one pair she owns. Thanks mom, I really do love that we wear the same clothes and shoes. It’s the best. Especially since you buy cute stuff.
Saturday was a long walk and chat with friend (bringing my coffee instead of buying it out). Sunday was an hour hike with the dogs, and then the afternoon walk with my husband’s family.
Monday was ten minutes on the elliptical at the end of work, as that’s all I expected to have time for. I ended up then also getting in a twenty minute run right before sunset, which felt like an awesome bonus. Tuesday was the walk to work, and then home via bus, which always means more walking as the bus stop isn’t right by us. Wednesday was a run in the woods in the afternoon because it was simply to lovely out to go to the gym.
A quick note: I also don’t include short walks with the dogs or to the grocery store, just longer or more intentional workouts here.
Do you use public transportation very often? Why or why not?