Friday Free-For-All – 04/19/19

Friday Free-For-All

Woohoo, spring break! Ben’s break begins today, and we couldn’t be happier about it. The last few weeks have been a bit of a slog for both of us, and we’re ready to have some family time. Also, ALL OF THE PROJECTS. We need to get our garden prep going and take care of some stuff around the house that we’ve been neglecting.

Sleep training, round two. We’re also planning to use this break as an opportunity to try to give up overnight feeds with Vera. At her age, it’s not at all necessary, but it’s become a habit that is messing with our sleep and driving me a bit crazy. I haven’t had a night of uninterrupted sleep for almost 10 months and it’s wearing on me. I’m not at all looking forward to the process, but I’m looking forward to the results.

My husband is a cookie gobbler. I bake a lot, because homemade treats are cheaper and generally better tasting than store bought. Recently, I had to start dividing up cookies into “mine” and “yours” batches, because otherwise Ben ended up eating twice as many cookie as I did, and I was not happy about it. Seriously. That man can eat four enormous cookies in one go, whereas I like to make mine last a bit longer. So now we have separate containers.

My race is three weeks away. I’m getting very excited to race again. Unfortunately, fundraising is going a bit slower this year than in years past. A large portion of donations used to come from my work colleagues, and now that I’m not working anymore, well, those donations aren’t happening. I still have time, and I still have some family who are planning to contribute, but I don’t think I’m going to hit $1000 this year. If by chance you feel moved to contribute, the link to my fundraising page is here.

Do you have a spouse who eats a disproportionate amount of treats?

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Friday Free-For-All – 04/12/19

Friday Free-For-All

SPRING! It’s finally here! My daylillies are coming up, my rhubarb is coming up, and all I want is to be outside. It’s supposed to be gorgeous tomorrow, and of course, that’s the one day this week I have indoor plans. Whomp whomp. I’m hoping for more warm, sunny days next week so I can attack our long list of yard work during Vera’s nap.

My first sourdough came out… ok. It’s got a lovely, crusty outside, and a nice, springy inside, but it really doesn’t taste like sourdough. It’s odd. I don’t think it’s an issue with my starter; the dough rose just fine. I’m not sure. All I can do is keep practicing, I guess. And over time, my starter will get stronger, so the flavor might get better. I’m also excited to try other recipes–sourdough pancakes, anyone? English muffins? Mmmmmm.

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Two of the audiobooks I had on hold through my library came in at once. That’s a whole lot of listening. And audiobook rentals only last for seven days each, so I’ve gotta push through them both quickly. Thank goodness for my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones!

Do you like audiobooks? When/where do you listen to them?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 04/05/19

Friday Free-For-All

Well, the decision of whether or not to renew my blog domain registration was taken out of my hands. I was literally sitting down at my computer to cancel auto-renew when I got an email from WordPress thanking me for my payment. Crap! For some reason, I thought the renewal date was much later this month. That’s kind of crippling the rest of my month spending-wise, but I’m taking it as a sign from the universe that I’m not quite done with my little blog just yet.

We have a very full weekend ahead. “Oysterfest” with my in-laws tonight, TWO birthday parties tomorrow, and then my folks are coming to visit Sunday. Bring it on! I’ve been feeling pretty isolated lately (being a stay at home mom who lives in the boonies will do that to you), so I’m excited for some social events.

The weather around here has been downright bipolar lately. One minute sunny and blue skies, the next, blowing winds and sleet. It was 60 degrees on Wednesday and 35 on Thursday. COME ON SPRING, LET’S GO ALREADY!

A friend of mine is looking for someone to split the Vermont City Marathon with and I SO WISH I could do it. After the crapfest that was VCM 2016, it would be so nice to have a positive experience with the race, but I simply can’t afford the registration fee. That and I’m definitely not in shape to run a half marathon at the end of May. I mean, maybe I could do a super short training cycle and get there, but it wouldn’t be pretty. Boo to being fiscally responsible.

Have you ever had to turn down a race because you couldn’t afford registration?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 03/29/19

Friday Free-For-All

We’re finally all healthy after last week’s illness. I was the first to go down, and I honestly thought Ben and Vera might be spared. But then Ben and V both woke up sick on Saturday morning, and there went that theory. This week involved lots of cleaning and lots of laundry to banish germs, but I think we’re in the clear. Now hopefully that’s the last round of illness for a while! Come on, spring!

I’ve been slacking with blog stuff lately. I have two product review posts that I just can’t seem to find the energy to finish. Once again, I’m feeling very “meh” about the whole blog situation. My domain renewal is coming up and I honestly can’t decide whether or not to renew. We’re on a really strict budget right now and while $26 doesn’t seem like a lot, that’s a quarter of my discretionary spending for the month of April. It feels like maybe not the right choice, especially when I haven’t exactly been churning out blog posts.

I’m attempting a sourdough starter. Sourdough is my favorite kind of bread, but it’s kind of fiddly. You have to make or acquire a “starter,” which is basically a colony of wild yeast, and use that in your recipes. It’s a living thing that you have to “feed” and take care of, which is a lot of pressure, haha. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and since I’ve been baking a lot of yeast breads lately, I figured, why not? I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Have you ever made sourdough bread?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/22/19


Friday Free-For-All

I’ve got a cold. I haven’t gotten dressed or worked out or really even left the house since Monday. It’s no fun. Last week was such a great week running and workout wise, and I’m sad not to be able to continue the momentum. Not to mention the fact that momming while sick is exponentially more difficult. I’m tired and cranky and low on patience, but doing the best I can.

I thought spring was coming, but it’s snowing this morning. Ugh. We’ve been in winter mode with snow on the ground since mid-November, so this winter has felt extra long. I don’t even care if it gets warm, I just want the snow and ice to go away so I can run on the rail trail and escape the treadmill.

We did our taxes this week. Thanks to the child tax credit, buying a house, and a significant drop in our income, we will be getting a pretty sizable return. Which, thank goodness, because due to several issues, we will need every dime of that and then some to make it through the summer while Ben isn’t getting paid. We’ve been crunching numbers and running scenarios all week, and we think we can make it through without either of us having to work this summer, but it will be tight.

I’ve been on a reading kick lately. I’m currently in the middle of two regular books, plus one audiobook that I listen to while running or knitting. If I had to hazard I guess, I’d say I’ve already read/listened to at least 20 books this year. Thanks to the Kindle app on my phone, and the Libby app through my library, I have access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks. I can just pull up my book on my phone while nursing Vera, while waiting for appointments, or while eating lunch. Looking at the tiny, glowing screen hurts my eyes a bit sometimes, so I should probably start using my regular Kindle. But yay reading!

I got my first Ebates check this week. With money so tight, I’m constantly looking for ways to make a few extra bucks. With Ebates, you get cash back for online purchases you were going to make anyway. Just start your shopping trip through Ebates, buy as usual, and you accumulate cash back. There’s also a browser plugin that will automatically alert you to cash back deals when you navigate to a participating retailer. I assume they are somehow buying or selling info about my shopping habits, but free money is free money. If you’d like to join Ebates and start earning cash back, you can use my referral code. If you spend $25 or more on your first Ebates shopping trip, we both earn a bonus!

What’s the last book you read? Do you like audiobooks?

Friday Free-For-All – 03/15/19

Friday Free-For-All

Our Friday is off to a rough start. First, Vera woke up at 4:20 and was fussing. I was trying to let her settle herself back to sleep, but than an ENORMOUS crack of thunder scared the poor babe half to death. Upon visiting her in her room, I realized she had a very dirty diaper, hence the crying. So I changed her and fed her and did something we haven’t done in months: I brought her back to bed with me. And get this: we slept in until 8:30! That never happens! So now our schedule for the day is totally out of whack.

Anybody else feeling pretty gobsmacked by Daylight Saving Time? I’m loving having more daylight hours, but losing that hour of sleep sucked. Thankfully, Vera’s schedule hasn’t been too disrupted. We actually used DST to our advantage. For a while we’ve been meaning to shift Vera’s bedtime a bit later so it didn’t interfere with our dinner time. So basically, DST accomplished that for us. We put her to bed at what would have been her normal time, but what is now an hour later. Woot!

Our run of bad car luck continues. Ben caught a rock to the windshield of his truck the other day, and now it has a nice big crack. OK, Universe, we’ve had enough car trouble lately, can you PLEASE lay off?!

If you are looking for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe, I have one. The “Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookie, Revisited” from Smitten Kitchen is hands down the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever made. Big, dense, crispy outside and moist inside. Yum, yum, YUM! I’ve made the recipe once a week for the last three weeks because the cookies just keep disappearing somehow, I don’t understand it…

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Do you bake regularly? What’s your favorite recipe?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 02/22/19

Friday Free-For-All

Our electric bill was $0 this month. How can this be, you ask? Well, we get our electricity through a co-op. Last year when we joined, we paid a buy-in fee. I’d completely forgotten that after our first year of membership, the buy-in amount is applied back to our account. We actually currently have a small credit on our account, which is cool. Yes, technically, we already paid, but it’s nice to have a little extra cushion in this month’s budget.

Ben is on break next week. Yaaaaay! We’re both feeling pretty overtired and stressed out, so it will be nice to have some family time. While we had hoped to take a little trip, we don’t have the money to do it. We’re aiming for maybe take a little day trip instead, and also work on projects around the house. Oh, and LOTS of naps and Vera snuggles.

Car troubles continue. We got a new tired for the Civic at a great price, thanks to a good relationship with our auto mechanic. He got a used wheel (with an extra TPMS sensor!), and a new tire at cost, and the labor to get it on the car was a whopping $13. But then the day after we got the Civic back, it appears the starter motor has given up the ghost. So we are still operating with only one baby-friendly car. When it rains, it pours, right?

I think Vera is about to cut her first tooth! We’ve been waiting for a while, and although she’s been drooling and chewing on her hands for months, I think I’m just now finally seeing a little white rectangle about to bust through on the bottom right. So exciting!

How many cars does your family have? Have you had any car trouble lately?