Category Archives: Weekly Pain & Gain

Weekly Pain & Gain: Food at Home

I am off enjoying a vacation at my in laws and visiting with a bunch of family. But last week before the trip these were my thoughts.

Pain

You would think that I have all the time in the world now a days to just put my head down and be super productive. However, I’ve realized that since I stopped working I have really gotten behind on my consumption of financial articles. And podcasts.

I’ve taken note that it’s easier to ” interact ” on twitter because it just takes a few minutes. Much less time than actually writing up a blog post or reading one and leaving a meaningful comment. Continue reading Weekly Pain & Gain: Food at Home

Weekly Pain & Gain: The Free Tree

The weekly pain & gain series has been a nice addition this year that has really spurned me to post more frequently. So I am going to try and finish the year off strong by not missing any posts for the rest of the year.

and the rest of the year sounds a lot like this…..

” for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home”

ah its the Holiday season and the radio has been playing music it seems like non stop. We are hustling and bustling but mostly with unpacking tasks and not necessarily with gobs and gobs of shopping. Which segues nicely to this weeks pain.

Pain

We have since moved all our belonging to the new apt. However, this doesn’t mean we are all done. No we have still many, many boxes to unpack and sort through. This week I decided to tackle the task of sorting through a few of these boxes.

First I tackled some relatively easy ones that housed clothing for the kids but then I decided it was about time that I start sorting through the paper bins.

Now this year I have really associated myself with minimalism. I think I have had many of the general practices for all my life but this year I was starting to ask myself some tougher questions. Yet one practice, I am constantly reading about, that I haven’t been able to do. Is just tossing out boxes that you haven’t looked at in month or even years.

Yup, I just can’t muster up the courage to just throw those items straight into the dump. I am scared to throw out something important along with the trash. After all it isn’t unreasonable to believe that many a people have lost important things in the rubble of unimportant clutter.

One of my paper bins. So sooo time consuming to purge.
One of my paper bins. So sooo time consuming to purge.

I know when I was younger I didn’t have a very good organizing system and so I am compelled to review everything before it is tossed. Searching for things I know I have missed placed. ( Like the 2nd copy of my son’s birth certificate.)

And reviewing paperwork sucks!

And its so soooo time consuming.

In 2 hrs I barely made it through 1/10th if that of a bin. Of course when you review old paperwork you also get lost in reminiscing. An article here and some pictures of that there.

I completely understand why you shouldn’t even open those Pandora boxes. But I still persist.

So my goal is to consolidate all my memory and paper items and in so doing hopefully assure myself that nothing important (valuable) is mixed in.

And I am trying to be extra vigilant to purge things at the door. Keeping things from entering the house is the first step.

😛 though this week I didn’t do very good on that.

Gain

This past week was full of activities and lots of fun pictures to go with it.

And we finally really got into the holiday spirit thanks to someones cast offs.

You see we are traveling for Christmas and we just moved…. So decorating wasn’t really high on my list… I mean we aren’t even really going to be here.

The free tree
The free tree

But I am actually really glad someone decided to give us their old artificial Christmas tree. When we finally decided to set it up it was like a light switch went on. Finally I was starting to get excited about the Holidays.

I’m not going to lie the stuff I’ve read this year has really zapped a lot of my carefree spirit. Now I see everything and I can’t help but think about the waste, excess and selfishness of it all. Specially in respect to resource consumption and Christmas was not free of this judgement. In fact Christmas seemed to be the epitome of the madness.

But putting up the Christmas tree made me realize I can celebrate with out being sucked into all the consumerism. After all what can be better then putting thing into practice. By accepting someones old tree we are reusing and saving it from the dump. It is also keeping us from buying a new one and hopefully somewhere down the line its also keeping one from being manufactured. Sure all the lights don’t work but to me it is serving its purpose. It has brought some cheer into the house and we are enjoying ourselves admiring it.

Oh, that's why they got rid of it. Minnie Roamer doesn't seem to care. She is still dazzled by the lights.
Oh, that’s why they got rid of it. Minnie Roamer doesn’t seem to care. She is still dazzled by the lights.

I also receive some early gifts by accepting some more hand me down clothes from a friend. Now my son is all set for shorts for next year and Minnie also received some more items.

We got to continue building on the holiday spirit by attending a Santa breakfast event that a friend invited us to attend.

All in all we did a very good job of keeping costs down by saying yes to some cast offs and yes to invitations from friends.

How are your days going? How is holiday prep going?

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

Weekly Pain & Gain: One bad thing on top of another

Man the start of November was one for the books. Maybe I’m over sharing, maybe I’m under sharing, maybe I just want to say the word sharing a bunch of times in a paragraph. But either way sheesh. Nov has been a roller coaster.

Pain

The 1st Monday  of the month I got big news! Serious news. But I’m just not ready to share. It wasn’t good news, or was it?

But, it is what it is, right?

Well the week progressed and then on Wednesday the unexpected happened someone stole a load of our laundry. It was mostly Jr’s stuff but since it was a small load I threw in some of Minnie’s and my stuff as well.

I was so shocked. Who does that?!

It was the cherry on top of a bad news Sunday.

You know what, I’m going to rant for a little bit here.

This laundry incident really upset me. More then Mondays news surprisingly. Because it was 100% unexpected at the time, and we have no back up plan for something like this. ( By that I mean Jr. doesn’t own an overflowing amount of clothing because we try not to subscribe to kids need everything mentality.)

Most people would be upset but then resolve the problem quickly by throwing money at it. In fact that’s how most people solve most problems. But with our imminent move we didn’t want to go out and add more stuff to the pile.

In all honesty I thought it was an accident and so I was fully expecting the items to turn up again in the laundry room. It was just carelessness on someone’s part no ill intent. But the more and more I thought about it the more irritated I got.

What really bothered me about the situation is that I put a sign in the laundry room about what happened and that if they could please just bring it back that would be great. But after 2 days the more I thought about it the more I realized that people instead of being embarrassed or caught were more likely to just toss out the problem.

Just throw out the clothes

…and that my friends is  what really bugged me the most. What a waste.

So we are just making do missing almost all of Jr’s polo shirts. So far it seems like he’ll be fine until after the move.  It really is just a minor thing but it still so irritating and something extra and unwelcome on an already busy month. I’m really trying to get over the fact that the load had Jr’s new pants I bought for his Halloween costume. ( So much for buying things you could use more then once. Ugh.)

Gain

Well we are in full swing of packing and purging and this week we got rid of quite a few things. Recycled a few, donated some others for the 2nd week in a row.

During this process I had been trying to get a hold of a friend to pick up baby clothes and she finally passed by on Friday.
It turned into a visit where we stayed up late and talked. Mostly I think it was me ranting but it was nice.

Talking with friends does a body good.

I had always been one of the guys and hung out with boys, but after having kids and getting married I have discovered a new found need for female friends. Specially ones who are in similar life stages.

So there you have it November is only half way through and already had been a wild ride. The 2nd half wont be any calmer as we execute the move.

If you’ve made it this far and are wondering well what am I suppose to have gotten out of this.   I’d say it’s, to fix when you make a mistake even if you look dumb. (Do better then those people who never returned our items).  Recycle and donate your unneeded items ( someone could be in real need of them) and make time to talk to friends.

How has November been going for you?

The Roamer traveling wallet

Weekly Pain & Gain: Halloween and Dancing

This month is really one of my favorites. I really have lots of fun during Halloween.

Pain

October has had some un welcome surprises in the automotive department. Like I mentioned we are in the process of getting ready for a move and things have gotten a little harder thanks to car issues. Currently we are down to one vehicle and because of our imminent move this has caused a lot of issues.

This automotive issue is being felt with time limitations and later will be felt with our wallet.  However, the dollars are less of an inconvenience then the time constraints. Right now we are in serious need of flexibility but instead we are now more constrained. UGH! the timing couldn’t be more off.

It is frustrating and truly a pain.

Gain

Of course on the bright side this weekend has had lots of fun.This weekend we got to start celebrating Halloween fun and donned our costumes to go dancing. It has started to become a tradition for Mr. Roamer and I to attend contradancing* for Oct as our date. It is held every 4th sat of the month which was this past sat.

Mr. Roamer and I ready to steal the ninja treasure! ;) Actually, ready to dance.
Mr. Roamer and I ready to steal the ninja treasure! 😉 Actually… ready to dance.

Even though it was a family affair it is still a date for me because Mr. Roamer is taking me dancing. Its also a pretty affordable date $8 per adult. So we spent $16 total. Not bad as date costs go. Now the reason this has become tradition is that in Oct it is a costume contradance and I really love dressing up, and Dancing! So if Mr. is being pushed to go dancing, at least in Oct we get to kill 2 birds with one stone. #WIN!

For me Halloween is a time of creativity and that for me equals fun. But I also know Halloween is  another of those times when having a good time is normally equated to spending money.

Halloween fun ≠ Big $$$ spent

Here is how my family lowers the cost of Halloween.

Tips for Keeping Halloween costs down.

  • Use the internet for ideas. The internet is a great source for ideas on how to re-purpose items for a costume. For us this meant discovering how to make a t-shirt into a ninja mask.
  • Use what you have. After hunting for ideas you might find that all you need to do is think outside the box. Once you do that you might discover you have everything you need to make a fun costume. See t shirt= ninja mask. Also saved paper towel tubes for nunchucks.
  • Plan ahead. Granted this should be the first thing and one week before Halloween is not planning ahead. But if you start thinking about your costume in advance you can make decisions to save. One year I found a cute Chinese outfit at a thrift store in June for $5. Yup that’s right June. And this year I held on to 4 t shirts, that we were going to donate, for some ninja accessories.
  • Remember made at home = unique. Buying stuff for Halloween means you’ll most likely end up looking like someone else. ( I am not a fan.) The little quirky additions to your ensemble that happen from making it at home will mean no one will be your exact copy. YAY!
  • Purchase real clothes instead. If you are going to buy something make it something that can be used for more than the costume. It will be cheaper and versatile. For my son’s ninja costume we bought some blue sweat pants and a blue t shirt for a total of $10.78. A quick search led me to a blue Ninjago costume that cost only $14 but was really $25 after adding shipping and handling. So I saved and the clothes I bought will actually serve him for the fall and winter season. Which if you want to get all mathematical means the the cost per use is going to drop way down. As appose to a one trick pony pre-made costume.
  • Made at home = family time. Another reason to in-source the costumes is that making them becomes a fun way to spend time with your family and builds no cost traditions. Instead of feeling like you need to go out and watch the latest scary movie you can cut, glue, sow and paint up your costumes.
  • Find out whats happening in your community. If you aren’t scared of standing in long lines with a bunch of kids you might be able to score some free stuff. One year we went to the malls Halloween celebration and receive 2 free full sized carving pumpkins to decorate with stickers. Sweet. Tip: most event are held the weekend before Halloween.
Sparing or dancing? I don't know but I do know smiling is going on under our ninja masks
Sparing or dancing? I don’t know but I do know smiling is going on under our ninja masks.

So there you have it, having fun for Halloween doesn’t mean spending loads of $$. We have honestly only spent the $10 listed above and I don’t foresee anymore spending.

How do you save on Halloween? Tell me in the comments below.

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

*click if you want to see a contradancing example.

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Weekly Pain & Gain : Move on the Horizon

If you’ve read about my travel this past 7 years you know I’ve moved around alot. And yes moving can be a hassle but it also has lots of advantages. Anyways I like the idea of moving around. I’ll blame it on my upbringing. 😉

Anyways we’ve been pretty stable lately and have lived in the same city for almost 5 years. I think we are ready to give this whole live closer to work thing a try, like MMM and Go Curry Cracker did.

Pain

The pain of moving around is the research is time consuming. It’s also not super kid friendly if your trying to see a bunch of properties in one day.

Schedules were interrupted and Minnie Roamer missed her naps both Sat and Sun leaving us with a very unhappy child. It’s pretty much torturous to kids to have to walk around jump in and out of the car, miss naps, see cool stuff and not be able to touch. (every apt space is a new area to explore, but some of them were models which means they came full of furniture and stuff which I was more nervous about them touching.) All compounded with the fact that the weather increased up to 99° so it was very draining.

Apt hunting is definitely not enjoyable when you are on a limited time window. I actually think if we had all the time in the world to make the move the experience would have been much different as we could see less locations every day. No rush no fuss right.

The time constraint comes from the fact that I want to continue Jr Roamer in a Dual Immersion program but their is only one space available at his new school. And we need to move quickly. Within the month. Language is super important to me and the program has been amazing at his current school.

Finally the last pain is the cost increase. We work in an expensive area and currently live 16 miles away. The drive isn’t horrible but we are trying to become less car dependent and get within a 5 mile radius of both school and work. That means we would be moving to a more expensive area and our rent costs will increase. Which  is not something I want to do.

I am really bummed about this cost.

Gain

Okay okay so this search process so far I don’t see any gains but if we end up closer to work we would see gains. We could start biking to work and to school more often. Woking in exercise info our daily routine.

Also just the process of moving means we will have to go through a purge which is one of the reasons I enjoy moving.

It’s a time that forces you to take every single items out and handle it. That is a perfect time to ask why you own any item.

Plus I just enjoy exploring new places even if its just a new city around the corner. You’d be surprised the diversity possible just a stones throw away. 🙂

What do you think is cutting 10-12 miles from your commute worth paying $400-$500 more a month? I can tell you we don’t spend that much on gas.

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

 

Weekly Pain & Gain: FinCon +

Pain

So I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry I’ve fallen off my consistent posting schedule. agh! I was doing so good too. Lately I missed a lot of posts, which sucks because it was my goal to have 1 post a week . It’s my fault I fell off the horse.

But below is the reason why.

Excuses, Excuses , Excuses

I recently attended FinCon  ( financial bloggers conference) for the first time and what can I say I needed some time to recoup and make up for all the family time I missed.

Also I needed to make time to process all the info that I got at the conference. It was awesome but also very overwhelming. I have to make a game plan because when I attend next year I want there to be big change.

Which leads me to…

What’s on the Horizon

I have been thinking about doing a slight pivot on the blog. ( Foolishly I totally forgot to get some opinions from all the clever people at the conference) but I have lots of work to do to spiff up the blog.

Why change?

Well its really suppose to be to improve the reader experience. So that means its for you. And any future readers.

The layout of the blog will be changing but that won’t happen for a while .

Also it appears I need to clarify what it is we do here. I’ll be honest it’s about my journey and what I value and is important to me.

Which naturally means topics could morph as I grow and my families situation changes. But the main topics will be family/ parenting, travel, and finance.

And with that it’s time to put my nose to the grindstone. I’ve been slacking, I have to admit it. I have to fight for my dreams, they aren’t going to fall in my lap. I wish it were all about numbers and money. For some reason that comes easy to me.

But finding how to communicate and identify a value that people really actually need … That’s something else.

Gain

Talking about FinCon, it wasn’t all overload. Actually when it comes to the check book it was pretty darn good.

When I first did my math, I was pretty dissatisfied with how much this whole thing was going to cost. I mean when you compare it to an 8 day 4 person family vacation and come out at the same cost its hard not to be disappointed.

I had the total cost at $1404.82 for 1 person for FinCon . And that wasn’t including transportation  or food for the 4 days.

Fortunately the total cost of the trip currently clocks in at  $1202.76 which will drop further to $1078 once the last roomie payment clears.

So how did I drop the initial cost ?

Well I hustled and found 1 roommate (cha-ching $$) who help find another 2 ($$). So that $515 for 3 nights was sliced by having 3 other amazing ladies stay in the same room. Each of us only payed a quarter of the price. It was win win and it was so much fun.

Another way I cut costs was I used the bus.

I’ve never been shy around public transportation because I grew up in LA and we used it regularly. But after going away to college in a city were  everything was dangerous it had been a while since I had ridden a bus, specially alone. Thankfully the positive bus experience I had with Mr. Roamer last year set me up to courageously try out the transit in Charlotte.

The bus cost a meer $2.20 each way and that was all the transportation needs I had. After that I simply walked.

I had an amazing time at FinCon and I’m happy I came back with a small gain through lowering my initial costs.

Another gain that happened this week specifically was having an eye opening conversation. A conversation that was educational and enlightening in dismantling misconceptions.

I had an amazing conversation with a Persian coworker. Did you know that most Persians would now be called Iranians? I sure didn’t.

I had never thought of that, and as soon as I made the connection I felt the twinge of something. Deep down, Danger? Distrust? Negative feelings for sure. I recognized it right away but he and I were still talking so I noted it but moved on quickly.

We continued talking.

He talked about his country and all the great stuff about it. He jumped on Google and showed me pictures, I asked about the weather, does it snow? He said yes, there are mountains and pulled up a picture.

I was amazed as I noted a quick passage of another thought. Deserts this doesn’t look like just deserts. Then he brought it up. “I don’t know why everyone thinks its all just deserts and camels.”

And I said yes!!! ( wish you could see my face) that is exactly what I was thinking.  And then we talked about the media and its part in painting a whole country as one very narrow thing. It was an amazing conversation. and I left it excited to add Persia / Iran to my want to go places.

The conversation did get a bit emotional as he spoke of the government and its poor performance ( to put it lightly). The country and people as a whole he was all gush!

It’s amazing how one conversation can break down barriers. All those negative thoughts that popped in my head, they have been challenged and now I can see another perspective. People are always talking about moving out of your comfort zone. This is great way to do that. Go TALK to someone about where they’re from….

Ha-ha honestly can’t remember how conversation started… Oh no wait now I do… He kept saying Persia and I kept thinking I don’t think Persia is a country anymore… Finally I just asked.

What Pains and Gains have you experienced lately? If you went to FinCon how was it?

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

 

Weekly Pain & Gain: Kids and Money

Kids can’t live with them can’t live without them.

Seriously this week wasn’t so bad but this weekend. Sheesh. I was an emotional wreck.

Pain

You know as the week progresses I like to make notes about what would be my gain and pain… So that I have some ideas to work with.

My pain this week was going to be all financial. See I messed up and miss calculated my IRA numbers, which negates last weeks gain 🙁 . I really thought I was going to be able to max it out… But I accidentally had one extra space, I was counting contributions for January as well… Hmm.

So anyways that was going to be my pain for the week but then Sunday happen.

We, (I?) Had a big Baby scare.

Minnie Roamer rocked my world Sunday by frightening me. She is 2 and was taking too long on the potty, I was getting impatient and finally just picked her up. Then I saw it and something wasn’t right. So I set her down and told Mr Roamer to watch her. Then I went to check her poopy diaper… The poop didn’t seem to be too hard…

How could this happen….

I rushed back and told Mr. Roamer that I thought something was wrong. So I picked her up and told him to look, no that is not poop hanging from her.

I lost it. I did not keep it together. Oddly Minnie didn’t appear to be in any pain just discomfort, trying to shake the “poop” loose.

We waited a bit to see if things would go back to normal but…. I just wanted to take her in. I’m so glad the  hospital is almost literally right around the corner.

Note to all parents and future parents: as you freak out or remain calm about some child injury or emergency. Take a picture!

By the time we were seen at the emergency room everything was back to normal downstairs.  Diagnosis… They really didn’t give us one .. But it might have been rectal prolapse.

After we realized that everything was okay. We started to joke around… Man there are better things we could have done with those $100 and 30 min.  Another of those times you have to laugh to keep from crying… Though I did plenty of crying earlier.

Seriously though I am so happy we can just head over to a hospital… Even if the doctor says this wasn’t an emergency. I’m glad we don’t have to weigh whether something makes financial sense before we consider getting a professional opinion.

Though in the end it was almost a waste… The doctor didn’t do anything really since the problem wasn’t there anymore. I’d rather try to joke about the unnecessary expense after then to wait.

Still I’d rather do without the emotional rollercoaster to begin with but as a parent… These things are bound to happen …

Which lead me to…

Gain

I am soooo lucky to have Mr. Roamer, I myself was not feeling well Sunday morning which I think contributed to my maybe overly emotional reaction to Minnie.

But before all that happened Mr. Was doing what he could to pamper me and make me comfortable. Then all hell broke loose… Well at least I lost it. But he kept it together. I could see he was also greatly concerned but he stayed level. I love him so much. I’m so happy to have him around.

🙂

And before Sunday we also had a nice day at the beach. There was an event going on so there were booths and as we walked to our usual spot we scored some free snacks.

Beach free snacks… Big waves. (Thumbs up)

Free snacks scored at the beach, and 2 frisbees.
Free snacks scored at the beach, and 2 frisbees.

Actually we scored more then what is pictures above because as we left we also each snagged some more snacks. Yup we are those people taking full advantage of good freebies.

Capsule Update

So another complain is revolving around my capsule.  The weather is hot… Capsule for fall so far is all wrong thanks to the weather. Heats not dropping. I have too many cold weather items and not enough warm weather… Plus I went over board with the color..  I’m feeling like this capsule is going to be a big challenge.

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

 

Weekly Pain & Gain: Capsule Wardrobe Madness

Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope you all get to celebrate how you see fit. Make sure though you keep and eye on the dollar. I read a post that said most people spend more then what they are getting paid to have the day off. Say what?!

So yeah have fun but make sure your asking yourself what the value proposition is? Don’t just follow the crowd… if you think it has valued then go right ahead. Just taking the time to ask yourself the question and making sure your actions are in line with your values is where its at.

Okay now for this past weeks update.

Pain

This past week I’d been anxiously awaiting the weekend so I could get to work on switching out my capsule. If your new, in June I decided to try a capsule wardrobe and I used project 333 as my starting point .  Well I knew it was going to be a lot of work but sheesh. So much effort and work revolving around this capsule wardrobe challenge. I am seriously exhausted between all the work of switching stuff around and packing the rest of it up.

My piles of clothing. From round one on the capsule wardrobe challenge
My piles of clothing. From round one on the capsule wardrobe challenge

The real work however was prepping everything for Friday’s post. Taking pictures, editing the images, putting it all together and I haven’t even started writing it yet. (insert home alone scream*) Some posts are hard work. I have to say though I was happy with the outcome. Is it still a pain if all the hard work pays off?

*you have seen Home Alone right?I’m talking about the one he does in the bathroom after the after shave.

So yeah owning a lot of stuff….ugh….I am more and more getting enthralled with the idea of minimalism.

It could have been worse had I not already started to pare down my belongings.

The worst thing?

I didn’t follow my gut. It told me I had enough with the sorting of clothes. I didn’t listen. Instead I fished  out the 3 bins full of kids clothes. The weather was starting to get cooler so I figured I should fish out Minnie Roamer’s warm clothes.

Big Mistake!

Mr. Roamer just told me its suppose to be 100 this week…. So yeah I should have just not taken out the kids clothes. Full confession. They are still sprawled out across the extra bed in Jr’s room.

I just couldn’t take it anymore. Should have listened to that still quite voice inside saying I’d had enough. I’d had enough of separating and sorting and…. well you get the idea. Oh well.

Deep breath maybe I’ll work on it during the week.

How about you? Do you ever start cleaning stuff out finish feeling accomplished enough to start round 2 only to say. “What the hell was I thinking?”

Ha-ha you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Anyways lets move it along to the good stuff.

Gain

3 day weekend! hello! Nothing is more wonderful then having an extra day off! Fantasy is this what retirement will feel like?

Nuff said.

Also I might be double dipping but last week I was also really happy about calculating the traveling wallet family’s progress so far financially. You know this is a finance focused blog but for all my progress for some reason the financial articles are the hardest to spit out onto the paper.

Sigh.

401k Status
401k Status

But these numbers at least show you I’m not messing around. Even though I might have trouble articulating what we do exactly it is definitely something I give lots of thought to and that we are making great progress in.

Maybe you can just ask me some specific questions in the comments? Answering them might be easier then me guessing about what you want to know financially.

So like I was saying we are doing well in the financial department so much so that I decided to add the goal of maxing out our IRAs as well. I’ll be honest its a soft goal. First and foremost is meeting all the other preset goals.

Would you like to know our monthly expenses? How is a family of 4 in California saving so much?

Let me know I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing a monthly expenditure review.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment with your financial questions? Do you think I should do a monthly expense report? And have you ever walked away in the middle of organizing?

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

 

Weekly Pain & Gain: A little bit of everything

Pain

Lots of waste this week. We didn’t really follow our food menu and we ended up with lots of spoiled food. I know this is something most American households struggle with and I guess we aren’t the exception.

It’s really disappointing to me. I know some weeks we do really well and other are so bad. It’s something I am trying to improve by buying less food.

We are still learning but its still chafes me to throw food out. Some people say its better to be safe then sorry and I agree but the question shouldn’t be well what’s more costly a doctors appointment or a head of lettuce. It just shouldn’t get to that point period.

Gain

This past week we hosted my mother in-law at our place.  This was a win win situation for both of us. She didn’t have to worry about renting a car or a room, and because she was right here she generously watched the kids ( who are early risers ) so that we could get extra rest. 🙂

It’s really great to be able to offer our visitors somewhere to stay because they usually offer us the same thing when we visit family in Michigan. But don’t miss understand me, I don’t have a very big place, actually we live in a 900+ sq ft, 2 bedroom apartment and like I have said before we are a family of 4. Still it’s no trouble to host someone for a week 3-4 times a year. It’s very doable.

Speaking about Michigan we have purchased our plane ticket and so its official that we will be taking a nice vacation out there for the winter holidays. It’s not the cheapest time to fly but family there have standing tradition of all gathering together. Which means we would miss seeing a lot of people if we traveled at a different time. We highly value this family time so its not really an issue about spending dollars there. Still we try to optimize on the cost so we will be traveling on specific days which are cheaper. But that is another post for another time.

Another great thing about having my mother in law stay with us was that I was able to get one volunteer day in. Last year it was a real struggle to go out and help since I have Minnie Roamer. I want to help, not distract the kids with my little girl. So my mother in law watched Minnie and I was able to go help in Jr’s class. Parents want to give their kids the best chance of success and they buy all these things but I believe volunteering and being an active parent will go much farther.

Lots of good things. I could name a few more but I’ll call it good.

Capsule Completion

Its the last week of the 3 month capsule wardrobe challenge. Well I made it the 3 months and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything really.

I did have some clothes I hadn’t worn so I’m sure I could work with less. I finally did ware most of it before the 3 months were over.

So here are the last looks.

Outfit #17

Outfit #19

My outfit to help out at school
My outfit to help out at school

Outfit #21

Why so many outfits this week. Well like I said earlier I had company. So I couldn’t be in my lounge ware all day every day.

How was last week? Do you also struggle with food waste?

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