Friday Free-For-All – 03/02/18

Friday Free-For-All

Hellooooo, March! I know I’m not alone in thinking that February is one of the toughest months. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s dreary. But it’s also mercifully short. Once March hits, it feels like spring is just around the corner. Especially once Daylight Savings Time kicks in. Woo!

I’ve probably said this before, but cold-brewed iced coffee is the best. I got a new French Press for Christmas, and I’ve been using it to make cold-brewed decaf iced coffee this week. Basically you just soak coffee grounds in cold water overnight, and it makes the smoothest, most delicious coffee you will ever taste. I used decaf so that I can drink more than one serving each morning because I love it so much (now that I’m pregnant I try really hard to only have one serving or less of caffeine per day). Having that smooth cup of joe every morning has made this week a lot better.

Adventures in home ownership have already begun. There were a few items left unfinished at closing, so some money was put into escrow for us to deal with them. One of which was that the well was open to the elements and had tested positive for coliform bacteria. Thus, we’ve been drinking bottled or boiled water since we moved in. We had our well company come by this week to seal up the well and inspect the system, and were told that our pressure tank is “shot.” So we’ll need to replace that, and we’re waiting on a quote to see how much that will cost. And we still have to submit a water sample to see whether or not our well water is potable after a bleach shock treatment.  Fun fun! Oh, and we still need to have our oil tank setup inspected, but the company who has been servicing our address is being weirdly cagey about setting up an appointment. So we may have to switch oil companies. Oy!

Homeowners out there–how quickly did you have to start replacing/repairing stuff after moving in?

Friday Free-For-All – 01/12/18

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Long weekend, baby! I’m one of the lucky few who gets MLK day off and I’m pretty pleased about it. Unfortunately, Ben does NOT get the day off, but what can you do? I’m planning to get caught up on some cleaning/household stuff and also maybe play some video games 🙂

Ben and I are house sitting once again. This time for our buddy Erik. He’s got a big fluffy husky mix named Shadow, and a pretty sweet house that’s still somewhat under construction. The driveway is also long and twisty and snowy, so that’s been challenging this week. But the good news is, it pretty much halves my morning commute, which is quite nice. And as always, it’s nice to have a house to ourselves for a bit.

I’m currently on a Dunkin Donuts coffee spree. I’ve already gone twice this week, which for me, is highly unusual. I generally just drink coffee at home, or the free stuff at work. But since we’re house sitting, we don’t have our normal coffee setup, and I drive right by a DD on my way to work, so it’s been happening more than it should. If you are a Dunkin fan, try the Toasted Almond flavoring sometime. It’s unsweetened, so you’re not adding sugar or calories to your drink, but it is SUPER tasty.

Do you have MLK Day off?


Friday Free-For-All – 09/15/17

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

My company’s annual United Way campaign kicks off next week. I’m on the planning committee, which means that this week is usually a ton of work and stress. I’m already dreading it. I know it’s all for a good cause, but this is my fourth year on the committee and I think I’m just burned out. I really hope that next year I can excuse myself and get some fresh blood in there.

We had our Client Appreciation event on Wednesday night. This is another annual event that I have to help plan, and that is usually very stressful. Thankfully, it went off without a hitch, everyone was happy with the venue and the food, and it’s done and over with for another year.

I’ve been cutting back on caffeine lately. My trick is to drink two cups of half caff instead of two cups of full caff. So far, it’s going well. I haven’t felt too tired or like I’m feeling any withdrawal symptoms. I’m not particularly sensitive to caffeine, but I love the taste of it, and the feeling of comfort it brings. I doubt I’ll ever completely give it up, but a bit less most days is a good idea.

Ben and I are looking at a house tonight! This will be our first time actually going to see a house, versus just looking at stuff online. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but depending on what kind of shape it’s in, we definitely have the know-how to fix it up ourselves. It’s a bit further afield than we’d like, and the lot is quite a bit smaller than we envisioned, but based on our future plans, the price is right to at least make it worth looking at as a “starter home.” I really hate the concept of the starter home, but it’s a thing for a reason. It’s a way to become homeowners in the short term, and maybe sell it to get our “dream house” later. We’ll see. I’m probably getting way ahead of myself here. It’s just exciting to finally be LOOKING at stuff.

Happy Friday!

Friday Free-For-All (Two)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  Sometimes, it even makes sense!

My baller new birthday mug.  This thing is fantastic.  It keeps drinks hot for 6 hours, and cold for 12.  Seriously.  For real.  I brought iced coffee to work at 7am the other day, and at 5pm there were still ice cubes in there.  Not fragments–full on ice cubes.  Plus, it’s pink and fabulous.Photo May 16, 9 14 04 AM

Shaw’s salad bar is amaze-balls.  Seriously, I go there at least once a week.  They’ve got a huge selection of greens, veggies, toppings, fruit, pasta and cheese.  And it’s only $6.99/pound, so I can get a huge, protein- and flavor-packed lunch on the cheap.  Yum!

Photo May 12, 12 35 55 PM

Peanut Butter & Co rocks my world.  I scored two jars at Christmas Tree Shops for $3.69 each, which is a significant discount on the retail price.  I got Mighty Maple and Dark Chocolate Dreams.  Holy delicious!  The maple is pretty subtle, and I think it would be fantastic in overnight oats.  The chocolate is sinfully good–it’s like a dark chocolate Reese’s cup that’s been goo-ified.  I’ve been eating it straight out of the jar!

I paid a chunk of my student loans off.  I’m trying to aggressively pay off my loans.  While I’m better off than a lot of people I know, I still have a decent chunk of debt, and it sucks.  A lot.  So my goal is to have them paid off within the next 5 years.  Every time I have an extra chunk of money lying around, I put it towards my loans.  It’s a good feeling, and I just dropped below a threshold I wasn’t sure I was ever going to see!  Sweet!

Click for source

Click for source

We are super stressed out right now.  Ben works as a para-educator, which means he doesn’t make a whole lot.  It’s fine, because he really likes it and is very good at it.  He’s also planning to do an 8 month program starting this fall that will get him his teaching license and (hopefully) a higher paying job.  The problem is, it’s a full-time program, which means he won’t really be able to have a full-time job while doing it.  Which means that finances are going to be VERY tight for a while.  He’s worried about not being able to help support us, and about going into debt (lucky stiff made it out of college with zero student loan debt), and everything else that goes along with a major life decision like this.  And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried too.  But I’m so happy to support him in doing what he really wants to do with his life.  I still haven’t found my passion or career path or whatever you want to call it–I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.  So I’m ready and willing to help Ben make his way toward his goals so that, when I finally figure my stuff out, he’ll support me.  Cause that’s how we roll.

So that’s that–my weekly brain dump.  Also, last night was the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge, so I’ll be doing a recap on that soon; maybe this afternoon, maybe Monday.  We’ll see.  Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Have you tried any PB & Co peanut butters?  Which one is your favorite?

Any advice for a young couple living on a single income?