Grocery Freezer Challenge

So I’m starting a new challenge for the month of May – the Grocery Freezer Challenge! This is where I attempt to avoid the grocery store all month long in order to save money and clear out my food supply from my freezer and pantry instead.

I want to do this for several reasons:

1. I hate going to the grocery store. Makes me so angry every time because they are out of something I wanted, what I want is spoiled or not in a condition I would buy, and it’s crowded and people there are annoying. Did I miss anything?

2. I want to save money this month. I’ve been keeping track since the beginning of the year and my average spend is around $700/month at the grocery store. I’m not sure if that is low or high compared to others but it’s for a household of 3 people and we do eat out at restaurants maybe 30% of the time.

3. I want to be less wasteful. I’ve lost track of what’s in there over time and so I usually just go and buy whatever I think I need from the grocery, without realizing that I already have it at home. I do believe I waste so much time and money doing that. And when I do eventually find it at home, I’ve forgotten about it for so long that it’s probably too late to use and I end up throwing it away.

4. I want to clear out my freezer and pantry so that I can start over stocking it. I want to be more purposeful with what I buy. With some strategy and planning ahead, I feel like I can be more efficient with my grocery shopping.

So, I started this challenge for the month of May and I will let you know how it works out! I hope I don’t stink at it! I’ll probably have to go to the grocery store for a few items here and there but it should be a significant drop decrease overall. We shall see…

Below are pics of my garage freezer so you have a visual of my challenge for the month…. I literally have no clue what’s sitting in the bottom few layers.

I am back online…

Hola everyone! I have missed you all and I have a lot of catching up to do! I want to know everything I’ve missed! I’ll be working my way backwards through most of your blogs to get an idea, and you can also comment below here what’s been going on with you all the last several months. I’m kinda excited to get back online.

I had a bit of a blogging midlife/identity crisis as I didn’t know what I wanted to blog about anymore.

I did know that didn’t want my posts to be negative and bring everyone down all the time, and I was in a dark place mentally so that’s what my content would’ve been, so that’s the primary reason why I stayed away.

I also knew that I wanted to inform people about stuff. But about what? What am I an expert in?

So I’ve decided that I am an expert on my working-mom lifestyle and I can share my info on how I survive it. Not that I’m surviving it any better than anyone else, but I’m surviving it.

I have very strong opinions on the following topics and they’ll most likely be my new material going forward, so I hope it keeps your interest:

1. The Corporate America world and how employees need to advocate for themselves to prevent being taken advantage of. For example, having to work on vacation days or being triple-booked for meetings because people don’t respect time blocked-off on schedules anymore.

2. The health care system in the U.S. and how to find medical help outside the status quo. We’ve found that insurance companies will not cover the ONLY treatments that help my daughter but they will gladly cover all the pharmaceutical treatments that do NOT help her, that KEEP her feeling sick, and/or make her feel worse! It seems like a scam. (My daughter isn’t 100% yet, but she’s made a ton of progress once we switched to doctors that don’t take health insurance and stopped prescribing her medications.)

3. Ideas on how to live frugally while your spouse is a spender. I have always been obsessed with decluttering and not being wasteful, but I’ve recently also become obsessed with growing my own garden at home because the produce at the grocery store is usually not great quality anymore – not fresh and always out or almost spoiled AND ridiculously expensive.

4. Self-care and how to make time and spend money on YOURSELF! And on the things you enjoy. I enjoy traveling so I plan to start doing more of that going forward.

Anyhow, I think that’s a good summary of what my blog topics will probably be like as I come back from my blogging retirement. I hope you all have been doing well. I’ve missed you and I’ve missed being here!

$1000 Declutter Challenge for 2023

Declutter Challenge

So I posted about this declutter challenge last year too if this sounds familiar: $1000 Declutter Challenge for 2022. Basically, the goal of this challenge is to acquire at least $1000 by the end of the year, with only items you’ve decluttered from your home.

And I did pretty well with this challenge last year (at first), but then some life issues happened and completely distracted me from it. All in all, I collected $275 last year from decluttering, and I did all that by April. So I think I was on-track towards meeting the $1000 goal before I quit. Not too bad, right?

BUT, I love the idea of this declutter challenge and I totally want to try it again this year. It accomplishes two things that I love: 1) extra motivation to declutter, and 2) extra money! I’m planning to use the additional money I make on this challenge towards paying for my SiteGround/Wordpress subscription when it’s time to renew. Because that is NOT a fun bill to pay.

So what do you think? You all want to try the declutter challenge with me? We can race to see who gets to the $1000 goal first. If you’re like me, a good competition gives me extra edge.

I also have an update on that ridiculous treadmill that I’m still trying to get rid of. I first posted about this treadmill – and listed all my legitimate reasons why it needs to go away – in my original Declutter Challenge post from last year. But my family won’t cooperate, DESPITE not even using it. And for the record, it doesn’t even WORK anymore so they couldn’t use it if they tried.

I want to get rid of it so badly, that I won’t even try to sell it. I’d put it on the side of the street or even pay someone to come get it. That’s how much I want it gone.

Here it is from 1 year ago…

Declutter Challenge
Declutter Challenge

And here it is today…

Declutter Challenge
Declutter Challenge

Unfortunately, not much has changed except for the addition of even MORE CLUTTER. The existence of this treadmill in my home is making me crazy.

And to make matters even worse! My family brought home a friend for this treadmill a few months ago too. They also do not use this friend. I believe that its sole purpose in the home is to annoy me. It has succeeded…

Declutter Challenge
Declutter Challenge

Apparently, a neighbor was decluttering THEIR home last year and wanted to give away this exercise bike, pictured above. My husband accepted it, and brought it into our home. We don’t really have a decent place for it in the home, so yes, it is sitting in front of a doorway. And now the husband is attached to it, claiming that he MIGHT want to use it someday. But I know that he won’t. The likelihood of him using this exercise bike is about the same as the likelihood of him using the treadmill that doesn’t work.

Stuff like this is why I’m a looney-bird.

Anyhow, wish me luck everyone! I need all the help I can get to finally rid my home of this treadmill and it’s friend. And as you all can see in my photos above… there is alot of decluttering opportunity in my home. I can definitely use any extra $$$ I get from working on this declutter challenge.

Good luck to all of you trying this with me!

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Happy New Year!

Hi everyone, I wish you all a happy New Year!

I don’t really do resolutions, since I always stink at keeping them. But I do want to maintain some of the focus areas that I’ve already started. And they all revolve around keeping my mood and my headspace positive so I don’t wallow in despair like I tend to do if I don’t actively avoid it. It’s a process that requires my attention and participation.

Some of my focus areas that I want to maintain:

  1. Keep my social media positive. I definitely started to notice last year, that my social media was progressively getting darker and darker, and those rabbit-holes were affecting my mood too. So I purposefully started unfollowing content that was negative – mostly political accounts. I want my social media to be an escape for me. A place that makes me feel better. So I have to make it that way, and maintain it.
  2. Stay organized. My mood is also heavily-dependent on how organized I am. When I am scrambling with no clear direction, my mood takes a nose-dive. This isn’t just my material “stuff” like clothes and kitchen gadgets and junk drawers… but also mental to-do lists like “What needs to be done TODAY.” And lists have become my best-friend!
  3. De-clutter. This is my biggest struggle. Mostly because the rest of my immediate family are hoarders (nowhere near as bad as those on tv, but still…) and will NOT willingly get rid of anything, nor put away anything properly. But a cluttered space really causes me anxiety and a feeling of lack of control, and it is not good for my headspace. I really don’t know how to resolve this one without the cooperation of the family – which I do not have. 🙁
  4. Be Engaged! I definitely withdraw and isolate myself when I am in a funk or feeling stressed and overwhelmed. But I’m also aware enough to know that withdrawing makes me feel even worse. So I do want to make sure I keep myself engaged with others, ESPECIALLY when I am feeling stressed out. I’m better off doing so.

Anyhow, those are definitely the areas that help me to stay positive and prevent me from spiralling into a funk. Wish me luck with these in 2023!

What are you all going to be focused on for 2023?

205 Days

Hi everyone, I’ve missed you all and I hope everyone is doing well!

I haven’t posted a lot because I haven’t had much good news to share and I try to limit gloomy content bc that’s not the kind of energy I want to put out into the world.

But I finally have good news.

This Tuesday, we found something that reduced my daughter’s dizziness and made her feel better.

She’s been dizzy nonstop 24/7 since March 28 2022, with no relief. On a scale of 1 – 10, she’s been rating the intensity as 6 – 8. It’s never dropped below a 6 in all this time.

She powers through it enough to go to school but she’s been very uncomfortable and she hasn’t played any sports at all. Her grades have been suffering. She’s been telling me that everything she does “is a struggle”. I’ve been worried about her becoming depressed because her personality has been changing and she is increasingly withdrawn.

We’ve been mostly focused recently on treating her eyes and her neck because we’ve been able to eliminate almost everything else as a cause of her dizziness.

On Monday, she had her first appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor. He x-rayed her neck. He found that the top of her neck is straight where it is supposed to be curved.

On Tuesday, she had her first neck alignment session with that chiropractor. Before she even got up from the table, she said she felt her dizziness drop to a 3!

For 205 days, she had no relief from this. On Tuesday, that all changed.

She had more neck alignment sessions on Wednesday and Thursday and she currently rates her dizziness as a 2.

We are so excited by this new development. We were starting to lose all hope. And now we have our hope back.

First Time Back to the Office

So it’s finally my time…

This week, work mentioned that they *might* be scheduling in-person meetings for everyone at the office next month. Maximum, it will be the whole week so I will need to be there for 5 days before returning back to my normal WFH lifestyle.

Oh gosh. If this happens, it will be my first time back in the office since Covid happened. Was it really like, 2 and a half years ago?! Really that long?! I can’t wrap my head around that.

In the meantime, NONE of my office clothes even fit me anymore as I’ve gained 20lbs since then.

I’m not going to lie. I’m stressed about this.

In only a month, I have to buy new proper outfits that will fit me. I have to get my haircut. I have to lose 20lbs.

And I have to mentally prepare myself to be around coworkers in-person again. So weird.

Girls and How to Handle School Dance Requests

So my daughter is in 6th grade and she has a school dance coming up next Friday.

My school never had dances until high school so this seems really young to me, but all her friends are going and I don’t want to be the reason she has to miss out. But still… isn’t 6th grade too young?

Anyhow, my husband was advising my daughter that if a boy asks her to dance then she needs to say “yes” because it took the boy a lot of courage to do that and she doesn’t need to hurt his feelings.

And shocker! Of course I disagreed with my husband!

I was raised this exact same way as a little girl – to always be polite, to always avoid hurting other people’s feelings, to always be pleasing, to always be agreeable, to always suppress my feelings, and to always say “yes” to other people, etc.

And honestly, I ended up as an adult that was terribly taken advantage of in EVERY single relationship I’ve ever been in. I never learned what my healthy boundaries are. I never learned how to set them properly at the beginning of relationships. And I never learned how to put MY own feelings and myself first.

I don’t want my daughter having this same fate as an adult.

Now, I do want her to have empathy for others and to not hurt anybody’s feelings. But I believe she can do that AND put herself first. Am I crazy for believing this?

So if a boy asks her to dance and if she doesn’t want to… then it is NOT ok for her to say “yes” in that scenario.

And if she doesn’t learn this now, then when? When she’s older and older men who haven’t learned how to handle “no” approaches her with more matured tricks up their sleeves to persuade women otherwise? I’ve run into these men, and my daughter needs to be VERY well-equipped to handle them.

She needs to learn this sooner rather than later too. And who else will teach her this if not me? Because everywhere else seems to be teaching her to say “yes” instead in this scenario. There are even some news reports I’ve read where it is considered “bullying” now for a girl to say “no” to a boy at a school dance.

Of course I don’t want her to to be hurtful to anyone else, so I offered her other options like saying “No thank you, and I think you’re very nice for asking” or “I don’t want to, but do you want to hang out with me and my friends for a little while instead?” or any other response that is still respectful to the other person and within the scope of what she is comfortable with.

I don’t know. What do you all think would be other respectful responses?

So that’s the situation at home right now. What are your thoughts? If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear your point of view too.