Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekly Menu Plan

I'm on a mission to clean out our upstairs freezer, the one attached to our fridge.  I don't think we've eaten it completely down for over a year.  I hate old food in the freezer so I need to menu plan to use it all.

Monday--spaghetti with garlic bread
Tuesday--chicken and veggie stir fry with rice
Wednesday--chicken fingers with pasta salad and veggies
Thursday--beef stroganoff
Friday--homemade pizza

We are having a little get together on Friday night to light off fireworks so I will make something for the kiddos to snack on.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Busy Summer

We are having a great summer so far.  Last weekend we went on a camping/kayak trip.  Y's best friend and his family came with us.  We tented it in a remote camp site.  The bathroom was an outhouse and we forgot toilet paper.  Thank goodness for baby wipes!  We dropped the kayaks and one canoe upstream about 7 miles and kayaked back to camp.  It took us about 4 hours on the river.  Our kids loved it and it was the prefect day for it.  We roasted smores that night and stayed up late around the fire.  I've decided that my kids don't have a bedtime when we camp anymore.  They sleep when they're tired.  That way I don't have to deal with crying kids.  The next day we kayaked down river for about an hour and Y picked us up.  Some of my friends told me that I'm crazy to go on a kayak camping trip with little kids but that seems to be easier than taking them to the grocery store.

My garden is coming in like crazy.  The veggies are growing and so are the weeds.  So far I've eaten spinach, green onions and radishes.  Lots more coming up!!

Money is fine.  Not great but not terrible.  Overall, I'm just kind is sick of money.  I want to focus on other things this summer than money.  I'm sure that I will visit my monetary goals at the end of this month but I needed a bit of a break.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

5 Years Ago

I started my current job 5 years ago today.  I was so excited to start it but I was most excited to be leaving my previous job behind.  I hated it so much that I was depressed.  I hated my manager and hated the actual job.  My manager wanted me to meet with him daily about my sales goals and progress.  The office culture was one of backstabbing and petty meanness.  One time I made the coffee wrong and the result was an all office email complaining about the lack of competency about whomever made the coffee wrong.  I had a long commute for the last six months of working there and I often dreaded the entire day the entire way to work.  Sometimes I would leave work at lunch and drive around and cry.  It drained me and bled into my entire life.

I needed a fresh beginning desperately and I was thrilled to be given the chance at my current job.  With the exception of the one annoying coworker that I wrote about, the culture where I work is very positive.  We are encouraged to volunteer up to 40 hours a year and get paid for our volunteer hours.  I've left work many times to volunteer at a community function and it is encouraged.  My current position also afforded us many financial advantages.  I made six figures my first full year.  We were able to save and build our house.  When I took maternity leave with Lil G, I took off 11 weeks.  I only received one phone call to renew my license if I was coming back.  I was never called about anything work related because they wanted me to focus on my baby.  When I brought him into work, my coworkers were so excited and showered us with gifts and heartfelt good wishes.

The con about my current job is that it is very challenging and can be stressful.  I've come to realize that I need the challenge.  I don't like the stress but I recognize that it comes with the territory.  This past year has actually been the east stressful so I'm hoping it continues this way.

5 years later I'm grateful for my current job but I still vividly remember the frustration of job hunting and the depression caused by hating my job.  If my current job ever gets like that, I would quit in a heartbeat.  Life is too short to be depressed over work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Professional Advice Needed

I need advice on dealing with a coworker.  Let me preface:  I like 98-99% of the people I meet.  There is always something I find that I like in people.  I do not like this coworker.  He tries to pretend like he's my boss or at least above me.  He's condescending and likes others to know that he's above them.  He looks down on blue collar workers, a fact that I tend to take personally.  He tries to set up meetings with me because he wants me to know that he's in control.

Not only is he not my boss, he doesn't even work in the same department that I do.  We do work at the same location and are expected to work together periodically on different things.  I am very good at my job and he is not but could be in the future.  I don't have respect for how he works because he wants everyone else to do the hard work and he wants to step in to take credit.

I don't expect that I will ever like him.  However, I can work well with people that I don't like if I respect them.  I tend to respect others that are good at their jobs and try their best.  If they're not good at their jobs, I at least expect a friendly attitude in the workplace.

How does one deal with this type of personality?  I look at this with an attitude that I need personal growth to deal with him.  But how?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Daycare for the Summer

Lil Punk will be going back to daycare for the summer.  Our monthly daycare bill will go from to $850 to $1100.  I'm not looking forward to the increase but it's still our best option.  My neighbor has 3 kids and she hires another neighbor high schooler to watch her kids.  She talked to me about having my kids watched by the same girl.  I opted not to pursue that as I would rather have my kids in a daycare.  It might be cheaper but not by much.  Their daycare brings her to T-ball and swimming.  They also go to the zoo, movies, and park regularly.

I'm debating about having Punk in gymnastics this summer.  It's twice a week for 75 minutes for June and/or July.  Each monthly session is $92.  She just advanced to the intermediate class and I'm worried about her losing her skills over the summer.  I am looking forward to a break from activities though.

I love summer and am so happy that it's right around the corner!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


This spring we planted six sweet cherry bushes.  So far, they're doing well.  They are quite small so I'm hoping they have good growth this year.  I also planted goji berries in pots.  With planting those, I checked off a goal for this year to plant two berry plants.  I also planted a new apple tree to replace the one the deer killed.  They love the sweet little leaves on the apple trees.  We have at least one deer living in our yard/woods.  We've seen it here since it was a yearling.

I have about half my garden planted.  I'm planning on going to the local greenhouse this weekend.  This is what's on my list:  regular sweet peppers, mini sweet cherry peppers, ground cherries, cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, some sort of beefsteak tomatoes, kohlrabi, cabbage, celery, basil, leeks, and several types of hot peppers.  I might have missed some items.  I realized a few years back that I must have a detailed list prior to going to the greenhouse.

We actually went last weekend to get strawberry plants.  I planted 25 plants last year in a raised bed and only 2 of them survived the winter.  I ordered those online last year so I'm hoping the new local ones fare better.  My kids picked out a few flowers, too.  I always let them buy flowers because my grandma always had flowers for us kids.

I've also contemplated planting either a pear or plum tree.  We have wild plum trews here and they do phenomenally well here.  I would like a plum tree with larger plums.  I will have to research what will donwell here.  Lil Punk loves pears so a pear tree would be perfect for her.

Does anybody else have planting fever?

Friday, May 13, 2016


Today is Friday and both our paydays!  It's not a good month for my income but I haven't changed our automatic savings so things are tight.  It is looking like the next few months should be better so I increased my 401k contributions up to 22%.  I want to max out my 401k sooner than later.  Y has also been getting a bit of overtime which helps out.

We will save $900 this month.  $500 to our stock account and $400 for a new to me car.  I don't plan to buy the car soon but I will need to at some point.  With this paycheck, I will have $4000 in that account.  Another goal that I need to focus on is increasing the annual dividends from our retail stocks.  My goal was to have $2000 and I'm quite a bit below that now.

Other than the money, things are good here.  I planted about half my garden last weekend.  Lil Punk and I completed her first ever 5k.  We did a walk/run combo and we came in 6th place.  It was a fundraiser for MDA and I think everybody there was there to raise money and not to run.  I'm proud of her her for doing that.  She's only 6.  Lil G ran about half of it with Y and tuckered out.

Happy Friday!