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.

Two women smiling at the camera
One of said favorites (Gwen!)

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.

Tupperware of fresh picked vegetables
Love my garden so much

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.

Bowls of fresh picked berries
Alllll the berries! (Appx every day/every other day harvest)

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.

Week 19 pin

Exercise Update

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?

21 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 19)

  1. I was going to tell you that Budget Bytes has a bunch of vegetarian/vegan meal ideas that I’ve used. Lots of good ones! Found her when we first got married and were too poor to buy meat haha. But even though we’re in a much better financial place now, we got used to not eating much meat and I love it 🙂 And we spent the 4th socially distancing on a mountain! The nice thing about Utah is that there are enough trails to find less-trafficked ones if your’e willing to drive 10 minutes farther than everyone else lol.

    1. I love Budget Bytes too! She has a lot of great recipes. The Blue Zones website also has a lot of great plant-based recipes, though they can sometimes include hard-to-find ingredients. They’re worth checking out though. I’m sure Angela can make something awesome with all her garden produce.

      Your 4th sounds fun! 🙂

    2. I really should start looking up more recipes intentionally. And we have to drive farther than that here to find less populated places for sure 🙂

  2. Congrats on 3 years of blogging and return to a part-time work schedule. Your 4th of July sounds like a wonderful way to spend a holiday weekend!

  3. Congratulations on your three-year anniversary of blogging! This is one of my favorite corners of the internet, so thank you!

    We had a fun Fourth with kiddos swimming in the inflatable pool and a drive to see fireworks at night. It was so fun seeing the whole landscape lit up since so many families set off their own fireworks!

    I love your berry haul; we have raspberries here but think they are a couple of years from being good to eat. Raspberries remind me of childhood when I would pick them from the bushes down the road and sell them to neighbors for a quarter a bag🙂 (so cheap)!

    Being a “sober vegan” on weekdays sounds like a good plan. Better to stick with that kind of plan than try to go cold turkey forever and then give up.

    1. It makes me so happy to hear you say this is one of your favorite corners of the internet. Seriously, you make my heart sing 🥰

  4. we tried eating our scapes and i didn’t care for them. maybe they didn’t belong on the grill. we took a one nighter to see family for the 4th and then back home. it’s so darned hot here all of july (high 90’s) the weather service issued a heat warning for the whole week. might as well live in new orleans where it doesn’t snow and is fun if you gotta tolerate new orleans summer weather in the north.

    1. Hmmm yeah I’ve never tried grilling them. Give them another go! They are seriously the best.

  5. We hiked 38 miles in 3 days. That is how we celebrate America’s independence in Montana! Or at least, that is what this avid nature-nerd couple does. We were delighted to explore an alpine lake, we drank in the mountaintop vistas, and oohhed and ahhed over the flower’s colorful explosions. This is the second year we have done a long 4th of July trek in the backcountry. Its a great way to be patriotic and social distance.

    1. That sounds amazing! Montana’s been on my list for years. Hopefully I’ll visit in the next few years. Even though I had a great holiday, I’m still jealous of yours! All that hiking sounds wonderful. 🙂

    2. Nature-nerd couple. That is definitely us too, and the kiddo as well 🙂

  6. Nice post, thanks. After being persuaded by my vegan 20yo I read Safran Froers book and now am vegan for breakfast and lunch or dinner. So 2 meals from 3. It’s a great compromise for our planet and I really appreciate it.

    1. I’ve been doing mostly vegetarian/vegan meals outside of dinner lately, so this is a bit of a twist on that 🙂

  7. Congrats on 3 years and on the productive garden! Those fruit and veg pictures look amazing. Agree 100% that baking with kids is harder (and I have an 18-year old though I’ll always think of her as my baby). We made brownies last night so a lot less healthy than maple bars:)

    1. Well, I don’t know that brownies are less healthy than maple bars – have you seen the amount of powdered sugar that goes into the glaze? 😉

  8. Happy third blog anniversary, that’s incredible! Love the peeks at your garden haul. Great veggies and fruits make going vegan easier, I’ll bet!

    1. Thank you! Was just thinking about you the other day, friend. Hope all continues to be well.

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