Today marks three full years since I started writing this blog. I hope/plan to have a post dedicated to it soon, but just in case (since I’ve slowed down on Monday posts for now), I wanted to acknowledge it here on a Friday as well.
I started this blog for the accountability, but it’s grown into so much more than that. Above all, it’s the community that I finally dove headfirst into after reading from the sidelines for years. Some of my very favorite people are now those I’ve met through blogging, and it’s hard to now imagine my life without this community.*(though I won’t be attending FinCon this year, this post talks about my love of these people, not the event itself – read the first of these Wednesday posts if you want to know why) Hands down, starting this blog is on my list of top decisions I’ve made in my life.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We definitely did not go to a big unmasked party on the 4th of July. We did, however, have Purple and her partner over for the weekend and they camped in our backyard. Thanks to the kiddo’s insistence, we did too. Not quite camping out in the middle of nowhere, but we were still camping in the trees and waking up to sunshine and birdsong.
We grilled out back, wore our masks, and watched Hamilton from the computer hooked up to speakers while sitting in folding chairs on the back deck. The next morning, Purple hung out in the sunshine in the front yard while the kiddo and I messed around in the garden. It was a lovely holiday, and maybe one of my very favorite ones.
2. After doing a very strict vegan/no grains/alcohol free meal plan for five days a couple weeks ago, I ruminated on it a bit because I really enjoyed eating so many more fruits and vegetables than normal. It’s definitely healthier, cheaper, and lighter on the planet.
And so I’ve decided for the time being, I will be a sober vegan on weekdays, letting up on the weekends. While I don’t know if I’ll ever go 100% that way, sticking to it during the week seems like a really good (healthy) challenge for now.
3. The garden is definitely in full swing this time of year. We’re (gratefully) up to our ears in raspberries, though they are starting to slow down. The strawberries are mostly done for now, but the blueberries are starting to ramp up. As we have eight bushes ranging from seven to nine years in age, they produce quite a bit.
We’ve been making jam, pickling garlic scapes, drinking fruit smoothies, and baking a ton of greens sauteed in oil and salt and pepper. While we don’t nearly grow enough produce to cover all of our needs throughout the year, I feel like we’re getting closer to there during peak season, which we still have a ways off yet in terms of squash, tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables.
4. I’m back to working 80% time! I stepped up to full time back in April due to COVID and other needs, and while I was happy to do it to take care of what was needed at work, I’m very happy to be back to fewer hours again.
Instead of working five shorter days like I used to, I’ve switched to four day weeks, taking each Thursday off. Due to childcare challenges, this will work best for our family, and this week saw a wonderful focused day with the kiddo. I don’t know what school will look like this fall, but for now, I’m going to enjoy our days together.
5. To celebrate that first weekday together, the kiddo and I made homemade maple bars, and they were totally awesome. While not technically vegan (the recipe calls for three egg yolks), I caved when the kiddo begged me to eat one with him. And to be honest, it was totally worth it (photo of the awesome doughnuts on Instagram if you want to see the beauties).
Baking and cooking (and gardening and cleaning etc) take a lot more time and effort when a young child is involved, but I’m impressed by how much he can do at just five years old. Science, math, home ec, and quality time with Mama. Plus, doughnuts.
Like I shared last week, I’ve taken a bit of a break from my daily yoga practice. I plan to get back to it later this summer, but for now, the mental load of making sure it happen had negated the positive benefits. Slowly but surely, I’m doing a better job of saying no when it makes sense.
I went for a run by myself on Friday, and then with the kiddo on Monday. Friday was an observed holiday, so we started the morning down the hill and got breakfast at a coffee shop and then went for a long nature walk. We also went for a hike with Purple and her partner on Saturday through the trails behind our house. Otherwise, my days included daily walks and a bit of stretching, but not so much official yoga.
How did you spend the 4th of July this year?