Saturday, November 30, 2019

Review of November Goals 2019 And How We Did

I tracked two large areas of our spending last month.  I confess it is not something I do on a regular basis.  Some months I did track, and many months I did not.  We would just wing it and kinda hope for the best.  If something major came up, we would charge it.  Old habits die hard.
Lovely palm tree in the neighborhood. 

In the back of my mind, I knew that every December, I would receive a RMD (required minimum disbursement) from my mom's estate and that would help a great deal in all things related to getting back on track financially. 

Since her death, I have been limping along emotionally, but each year get a little better.  Looking back, she had the foresight to show her love in her own way with the way she set up her estate.  The same could be said for my dad too. 

Here is how the spending played out in November...

Financial:
  • Keep dining out to $150 $285.11 Spent (We totally blew this goal.)
  • Track grocery spending this month    $642.85 Spent

Is this a lot for our family?  Many times during the month we are feeding more than just my husband and myself.  And this total includes pet food, and pet supplies such as pee pads and litter. 

November, we were tracking out grocery spending to see what we actually spent. We will do the same for December and hope to bring the spending down a bit.  


  • Continue to build my eBay business (Here are my 2019 goals)
  • Rebuild  short-term savings account to $1000 Hovering at $865 $1070.00 saved to date.  Debating on growing the savings to have at least one month's worth of bills saved.  

Family:


  • Weekly dinner with grandkids, daughter, and son in law Yep!
  • Have two date nights with my mister One date only 
  • Touch base with my sons with text and or phone calls. Done! Chatted with each a couple of times.

Fitness/health:

  • Walk at least 2 continuous miles 4-5 times a week. Started this last week about 2-3 times a week.
  • Lose 8 pounds  Ehh..... Not getting on the scale yet.  
  • Strength training at gym 2-3 times a week We have a gym membership through husbands' work but have not been for MONTHS!  Yes, I started back to the gym the last week in November.  

Work: 
  • eBay Slow and steady (emphasis on slow sales that is)

Personal/creative:
  • Spend time with a friend (time to use that Disney Pass) Accomplished a couple of times. 
  • Continue to research paternal side of the family I have not spent but a few minutes on it.  
  • Find a hobby that explores the creative side but does not break the bank :-)  Gardening, rock painting? Just not enough time in the day! 

The numbers were not a big surprise.  I was at the Grocery Store several times a week.  That has always been a thing, wanting to always have enough if not more on hand.  

My next post will chat about the goals for December 2019.  

Did you meet your budget expectations last month?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Planning and Zoning Meeting Today

This morning myself and several neighbors attended a planning and zoning meeting to speak about an issue that involves inserting a new neighborhood of 11 homes into a 4-acre space on our road.

  We live on a road in a rural setting with about 18 homes on the road and the homes are on an average of 1-2 acres.  There is an undeveloped 4-acre lot that a builder scooped up when the market crashed and now wants to cash in.

The majority of the current homeowners on our road, at least the ones that attended the meeting are against the change in zoning from rural to residential and the building of the 11 home development. We all stated our concerns to the board and after some debate, the board voted in our favor. 

No doubt there will be more meetings with the planning and zoning and the county commission as this developer does not give up.  But what developer does?

The rest of the day was a wash.  I was going to put up our 6 ft white Christmas tree, but when I opened the box, the tree was a lovely yellowish color.  I guess we shouldn't have stored it outside under the metal shelter.  The Florida heat pretty much did it in.  So now we will be using the 3 ft white tree and I will be putting that up tomorrow and let the kiddos decorate it.

Have you put up your Christmas decorations up?



Monday, November 25, 2019

Monday Stuff Done

I was up early this morning (5:30) with a full day of things to get done. I read my bible (trying to do
better with this) and then went to the gym.  How long has it been since I made time to go to the gym?  Oh... only since January of this year.  You know, New Year's Resolutions and all that stuff.

After the gym visit, I stopped by Target for coffee for the house.  I used my Fetch app and scored an extra 5000 points. You use the app to scan your grocery receipts for points.  Some items are special bonus items which give you more points.    You can use the points for Amazon gift cards, Entertainment gift cards,  and Home Goods cards. If you are interested, download the app on your phone and use my referral code WX8BV, you will receive 2000 points and so will I.

 I came home and fixed two pans of cornbread for my cornbread stuffing contribution for our Thanksgiving hosts on Thursday.  I also prepped boiled eggs for lunches for the rest of the week.

During this time working in the kitchen, my oldest called to chat.  It was a reflective conversation for both of us.  We both struggle with holidays and family get-togethers especially since my parents passed.   That was part of the conversation, how certain traditions or food items from the past sneak their way into the present and that triggers those emotions that are hiding deep but escape as warm tears down your face.  It just never gest any easier, does it?

My trigger has been Publix Holiday cookies. My mom would ALWAYS get these for our family at Christmas time. I will steer clear of the display in the store as even a glimpse of them will get me going.

Then it was off to Orlando to get my hair cut and hit up a Thrift Store.  My hairdresser has been cutting my hair for the last 30 years.  You can say I trust him with my hair and my secrets lol.  I would follow him just about anywhere. 

This evening I am going to watch The Crown on Netflix.  The third season has launched and I can't wait to get started.  Have you watched the series?  What do you think?  

There is stuff to do this week ranging from getting the Christmas tree put up, decorations and lights on the outside of the house, cards addressed, and then there is the usual stuff to do as well.  And, we will try to work in some fun stuff too. ;)

Are you going to work in some fun stuff into your busy week? 



  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It's Been a Nice Weekend!

It's been a very productive weekend!  Yesterday, I deep cleaned the living room, moved all the furniture, vacuumed and mopped the floor.  The side tables, TV stand, and curio cabinet were dusted
and the slider window was Windexed.

Today, after church I did two loads of clothes, washed, dried and put away.  That's pretty good for a Sunday, lol.    Dinner is taken care of by my son-in-law, we are having chili dogs and fries.  Always a good meal, easy and inexpensive.

Currently, the grandkids are outside playing on the trampoline with the neighbor kids.  It is such a satisfying feeling to watch the kiddos play and have fun.

When the hubs gets back from Lowes, he is going to get down our Christmas tree and I will put it up and let the kids decorate it later on this week.

What's on the agenda for next week?  I still have to bake cornbread for the cornbread with granny smith stuffing that I am taking to our in-laws for Thanksgiving.  Goodness, I still have to get a couple of more pies.  Another trip to the grocery store!

Monday, I am going to Orlando to get my haircut and on the way, there is a big thrift store that I am going to hit up. It's a bit late in the afternoon, so I can get a few things done around here.  Perhaps get the Christmas tree up.

The rest of the week, we are going to play it by ear.  The kiddos are on Thanksgiving break, and we will be keeping them busy with different activities. Anything is better than playing on their devices.

Last week, there were a few frugal things going on:

Saturday:  Took Hubs truck to Walmart For Free tire rotation on the truck tires.  We are hoping to extend the life of the tires on both vehicles.  I get mine rotated every oil change about 5ooo miles.


Tuesday: Used Store coupons and Ibotta on a Publix transaction.

 Wednesday: Called Amazon and canceled Amazon Prime music Unlimited @ 8.79 a month.  They refunded 3 months of the subscription.

Thursday:  Called to cancel a Home Warranty Contract on appliances that are in a house that we no longer own.  This has been the absolute hardest thing to accomplish.  I have tried several times with no success.   The goal is to get it resolved by the end of the year.

How was your weekend? 








Thursday, November 21, 2019

Grocery Shopping Update ( Gah!) and Menu Plans

Last Week's Menu
BOGO Pies for Thanksgiving 
  • Tuesday  Take out Pizza
  • Wednesday  Chili with Rice and Cornbread 
  • Thursday  Breakfast for dinner
  •  Friday  Drive Thru (daughter buys) Theme Park night
  • Saturday  Grilled pork chops mac and cheese broccoli   Fish and Tater Tots
  • Sunday  Chicken and dumplings     Pork chops Mac and cheese peas
  • Monday Mashed Potatoes Meatloaf
This Week's Menu


  • Tuesday   Grilled Chicken - Large Salad - Slices of French Bread
  • Wednesday Fish and Tater Tots
  • Thursday  Spaghetti Salad and Cuban Bread
  • Friday Maybe a Theme Park night so sandwiches?
  • Saturday  Grilled Chicken - Salad
  • Sunday  Grilled Salmon, Broccoli 
  • Monday  Breakfast for dinner

 A little more shopping, don't cha know!

11/19 Publix $21.42  Saved $14.81 with BOGO's ad Store Coupons. IBotta - saved $3.20 Progress

11/20 Aldi $85.95 What the heck?  I just noticed I was charged an extra time for Christmas cut out cookies, and I really need to STOP buying paper plates, and plastic cups.  We have a dishwasher...so that would save about $20 a month.

Grocery Shopping To Date:  589.71 (includes dog food, cat food, litter, pee pads)


Tracking the grocery spending for this month has been eye-opening... and the month is not yet over.  But, It has been MONTHS since I have tracked any of my household spending.  I would just wing it.  I think since I have been more diligent financially, I felt the pressure to "stock-up" on specials to try to save money. 

It's a re-learning experience for me, but I am embracing it.



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Conquering the Stack of Mail and DIY Cash Envelopes.

I had planned on whittling down my pile of mail yesterday, but that didn't happen until this morning. 

Well, I started on the pile and put things into smaller piles of what to throw away, needs immediate attention, save for later, and bills that need to be paid.  The bills are just the water bill and our yearly taxes. 

As I was going through the piles, it came to me that there is a desk drawer that has more envelopes unopened (statements mostly) that need a permanent place for storage.  

So, the mail pile project is ongoing today.  Find the rest of the statements, insurance EOB's for this year, and ORGANIZE them and find a new home for them.  

 For now, I will continue to track grocery shopping and pay with a cash reward card that I immediately transfer the cash from checking to the credit card when I get home. I will use this same card for gas at the pump too.  Let's hope that I can stay on budget and not let the credit card get away from me.  It shouldn't, as it is with our primary bank and I can easily see the amount I charged and then transfer the cash to the card. Fingers crossed. 

Yesterday I made a few cash envelopes to help track spending.   I came up with a few categories and funded them with cash that I pulled from the bank yesterday.  I am pretty sure I will be reworking the envelopes, adding categories, switching the money amounts around.  

I had a bundle of scrapbook paper that I picked up from the Goodwill for the grandkids to use.  That, a ruler, and packing tape and there you have it.  Homemade cash envelopes! 


  • Home Improvements $20
  • Pet Care/Vet  $20
  • Dry Cleaning $10
  • Med and Dental $20
  • Disney Pass $10 (also adding any birthday anniversary cash I may receive)
  • Travel $40 
  • Holiday/Bday $20
  • Clothes/Shoes $20
TOTAL $160

New envelopes I need to work in are 
  • Hair care/cuts
  • Exterminator contract
  • CAR Care (duh!!)
  • Tags for cars
Obviously, this is a BIG work in progress.  Lord, now to get the hubs on board.  He can be a bit spendy - think "Instant Gratification" and that will pretty much tell the story.  Although he has improved greatly over time.  We will see!



Time to get busy with the usual chores!  Have a great day!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Things to do Tuesday

It's late Monday night, we just got home from a late night at Hollywood Studios.  The weather is beautiful and it is a perfect time to go and enjoy the Christmas decorations and Christmas music.  I am definitely getting my money's worth out of our passes.

 I went with a friend from high school, my partner in crime when we need a little adult time. We enjoyed a Starbucks coffee courtesy of gift card I needed to use and she bought a tray of nachos for us to share later on in the evening. They were delish!

This morning, I packed up items that sold over the weekend for eBay and dropped them off at the post office. Walked the dogs, washed clothes, cleaned up the kitchen.... pretty much the usual stuff. No Thrifting or grocery shopping today. 


Tuesday List:

  • Go through the PILE of mail on the counter.  It just keeps growing! 
  • Hit up Publix for the BOGO pies - part of our Thanksgiving contribution at the in-laws
  • Start pulling out Christmas decorations -  But we are keeping it small. At least that is the plan.
  • Research a recipe or two for Kringla cookies - I don't know how to make Lefse (Norwegian Flat Bread) and I want to honor my Norwegian heritage this year with the cookies.  I hope my cousin is sending me a few rounds of her homemade lefse, it is always a special treat that reminds me of my mom. 
I am going to pass by the bank on Tuesday or Wednesday to pull out some cash for my money managing envelopes. I put together the envelopes yesterday, made them out of scrapbook printed paper.   How will that work out?  Time will tell and I will keep you posted on the progress.  

What's on your to-do list?  








Saturday, November 16, 2019

Saturday Stuff and Grocery Spending Accountibility

A busy day of getting stuff done around the house, or more
like in the garage.  The hubs and I worked
for about 4 hours cleaning, straightening, organizing the garage. He has tools galore on his side, and I have part of my eBay stuff on my side.

I pulled stuff off the top of the rolling racks, there were empty boxes, dryer vent hoses, and pictures that were not yet listed.  I barely remember buying them, so there ya go.   I also pulled all my shipping boxes and organized them, and restacked the eBay packing tape which I happen to love. You can see the before and after HERE


Earlier this morning, we took my husband's truck to Wal-
Mart for his free tire rotation.  That was a savings of $48 dollars. We are trying to be more diligent with tire rotation to extend the life of those expensive tires. Sheesh.   It was busy, so we left it there
One of the kiddos "driving" the Millenium Falcon.
and came back later to pick it up.

Let's see.... recapping from Thursday, well Thursday found me at the grocery store again.  I needed dog food which was on sale, so that saved me $5.00.  Is that all I bought?  Oh, come on.... No!!

There had cake mixes, brownie mix and frostings BOGO so I picked up a few of those.  There was also a rain check that I used for the Hormel Turkey Breast in gravy that I used.  BOGO @ $6.49 and I picked up a total of two deals.  Then there was bath tissue, sea salt, and Jiffy cornbread mix.  Sigh.
The good news, is I have not been in a grocery store since Thursday.   To Date Grocery $482.41


Overpriced bottle of Coca-Cola @ $6.00

Yesterday, Friday was spent cleaning out my side of the closet.  I pulled stuff that I don't wear or use and am taking it to Goodwill, or if it was necessary, I pitched it.  Did I find anything that I forgot I had?  Yes!  3 sets of Capri pants that I bought for work.  Well, I will have to wear them thrifting.

Last evening, we all went to Hollywood Studios at Disney.  The weather was perfect, and we had a great time.  Finally were able to ride the new Star Wars ride, which everyone n our party was thrilled with.   That area of the park was quite stunning in the evening with all the lighting.   We have about 4 weeks until we are blacked out during Christmas, so we are trying like heck to get to the parks as often as possible.  Travel time to the parks is about 40 minutes for us on the Turnpike.  It is an easy and quick drive but the tolls do add up.  Gotta watch that!

We are enjoying a pleasant change in temps, tonight it is 55 degrees. It is wonderful an refreshing, that is probably why we were so motivated to get the garage cleaned up.

Tomorrow/  church and maybe tackle the back she shed with more eBay inventory.  Or a nap.... :-)





Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Grocery Spending and What's on the Menu this Week

Newsflash:  Grocery shopping is ongoing.  Let's just say I am stocking up on BOGO's and sale items
whereas before I was buying whatever we needed, hoping it was on sale but buying it regardless.

Now there is a bit more planning with shopping lists, a coupon or two (digital and peelies) and some kind of menu planning.

I would like to think that grocery costs will be more reasonable in the future...or I will continue to feel the need to stock up with the BOGO's.  I don't know, but I am hopeful.

 Here are the numbers as of today.  Sheesh.
Next month I will have something to compare it with, that's keeping it positive, right?

Eat Out $93.00
To Date Grocery $424.67


Last Week's Menu 
  •  Tuesday: Grilled chicken and a large salad
  • Wednesday:  Tacoburgers and Taco salad.  Son in Law cooked dinner
  • Thurs: Grits and Eggs   Sandwiches and Soup
  • Friday: Chili dogs and Tater Tots 
  • Saturday:  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes  Son in Law is cooking
  • Sunday:  Ravioli Lasagne in Crockpot with salad and bread
  • Monday: Leftover Taco Meat - Tacoburgers and Taco 

This Week's Menu 

  • Tuesday  Take out Pizza
  • Wednesday  Chili with Rice and Cornbread 
  • Thursday  Breakfast for dinner
  •  Friday  Drive Thru (daughter buys) Theme Park night
  • Saturday  Grilled pork chops mac and cheese broccoli   Fish and Tater Tots
  • Sunday  Chicken and dumplings     Pork chops Mac and cheese peas
  • Monday Mashed Potatoes Meatloaf

That is about it from here.  I shop and I cook.  Truth be told, I am enjoying it.  


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What's Up For Today? 11/12/19

Meanwhile, I left the house with my shirt inside out
Happy Tuesday!  We enjoyed a nice three-day weekend and now its time to get back to the regularly scheduled week.

 The weekend was filled with the usual stuff.  Saturday, grocery shopping and errands.  Sunday, was church, a stop at Target ( yep, spent more money)and a nap.

Yesterday, I went to a Thrift Store in Orlando and afterwards I took the kiddos to the park to play.  They had a good time, they were able to make friends with a couple kids and play hard and get dirty.


 Dinner was leftover Taco Burgers and Taco Salad.  Amazingly, we ate dinner home for 7 nights in a row.  Yep, that is a pretty big deal around here. Meal planning has definitely helped.   Before, we or I would just wing it.  I didn't make time or I was too busy to plan out a week's worth of dinners.

I have several things to get done this week besides the usual list of housework.


  • call dog groomer for appt
  • pack and ship eBay sales
  • Go Ross and get sugar free coffee flavoring.  Tuesday, seniors save 10%
  • Look at dog beds while at Ross for Princess  I ended up getting Cricket out Papillion a new bed instead. 
  • Mow yard
  • Pay bills due this week. 
  • List items on eBay
It's a short list, don't want to overwhelm myself.

How is your day looking?  


Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Little More Grocery Shopping - I Need To SLOW It Down

Yeah, so when you track your grocery spending you realize just how much you are spending.

I am on a roll, scouring the ads, well just the Publix ad because it is close, looking at the BOGO's and adding them to my list.  Aldi is my go-to for produce.

PUBLIX $42.00

The first picture has BOGO's:

  • Oscar Mayer hot dogs Chili Dogs are a thing here
  • Lesueur Tiny Peas the hubs LOVES them, a single can is $1.99.  With the sale, each can is $0.86.  
  • Blue box Mac and cheese Yep, another favorite
  • Arnold Buns Chili dogs 











Family Dollar


  • Castleberry Hot Dog Chili Sauce is the best.  We stock up. 






ALDI $86.00













Aldi shop this morning and I took my list.

I picked up stuff we will use.  Salad fixings, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions.
Frozen chicken breasts, (two bags) a pack of burger with a save $2.00 sticker,  tater tots, bread, apples, bananas, butter, cheese, salami, sandwich meat.

Picked up tater tots, and they were not on the list.  Found out when I got home, I already had a bag.  Note to self, stick to the list.  The hamburger was not on the list either.  But it had a coupon!


TOTAL SPENT ON GROCERIES  for This Month

 (Includes Pet Food  $11.00 and Piddle Pads $11.50)

$257.59


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thursday's Adventures 9/7/19

No waiting for us, we had reservations!
Today was a busy day!  This morning there were eBay packages to pack up and a few listings to put up on eBay. 

About 10:00 today I took off for the post office to drop off my packages, and then I was off to Hollywood Studios to meet a former ultrasound student/ now good friend for lunch at the Brown Derby. 

We stay connected on FB since she moved about an hour away.  Before she moved, she lived near me and we would get up early and walk a couple of miles.   My friend also works part-time at Disney so we benefit from her 40% discount off of food and merch.

It was a good time to catch up on each other's lives and reconnect. Her momma was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer recently and I know just what she is going through.  My mom passed in 2013 from metastatic breast cancer and my friend was there for me when all that was going on.



The dining room in the Brown Derby


Her mom is currently undergoing chemo and radiation.  Not an easy thing for her mom or the family.

The Gondolas move along quickly










We enjoyed a great lunch, walked around the park to check out the Christmas decorations in the park.  Hollywood Studios is my absolute favorite park to visit.  I like to walk up and down the streets and look at the facades of the buildings, the landscaping, and do a little people watching. 

It is still hot here but luckily the humidity was only moderately high. After strolling through the park we decided to jump on the new Skyliner gondolas.

No lines, walk up and get in

 
We were a little nervous 
A few weeks ago, the gondolas had an operating error and guests were stranded in the gondolas for about three hours, 30 feet high, and it was night time.  We were iffy getting on, but we sucked it up and the ride was enjoyable!   The gondolas move along at a fast clip, which is helpful as there is no AC in the gondolas but they have windows up top that provides good ventilation. The seats are wood slat benches that are secured to the floor and the view is phenomenal.

When I got back to the house, I threw together soup and sandwiches for dinner, hung out with the grand kiddos out in the front yard. They were raking leaves because they thought it was fun. So I let them!!

I will work on a few more eBay listings this evening before I go to bed.  Tomorrow I am headed north about 30 mins away to check out a new thrift store and there will probably be a few garage sales along the way too.  After that, there are always chores around the house to do and a quick trip to Aldi's.

Too early for Christmas?  Not at Disney!


What are your plans for Friday?  



Weekly Menu Update Nov 7, 2019

 
We are lucky that the weather is pleasant enough to continue grilling.  When all else fails, I can always grill a frozen chicken breast or a frozen burger patty. 

We had take out pizza last week and once this week.  For us, that is pretty good.  We definitely could do some damage financially by eating out a couple times a week.  

But, since I resigned from my position at the school, we...well, me,( the hubs thinks we should spend it all now) ...I am better able to see where the money goes. 




Last week's menu
  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner Eggs, Grits Bacon and Pancakes
  • Wednesday: Large salad and grilled chicken
  • Thursday: Sloppy Joe's and Tater Tots (Son in Law is cooking)
  • Friday: Drive-Thru  Theme Park night  I drive and my daughter pays for dinner. 
  • Saturday:  Grilled Salmon, Broccoli Grilled Burgers, Chicken and Salad
  • Sunday:  Chicken and Fettuccine, Salad and Bread and Lemon Brownies 
  • Monday: Grilled salmon, brown rice and broccoli  Take Out Pizza


This week's menu
  •  Tuesday: Grilled chicken and a large salad
  • Wednesday:  Tacoburgers and Taco salad.  Son in Law cooked dinner
  • Thurs: Grits and Eggs   Sandwiches and Soup
  • Friday: Chili dogs and Tater Tots 
  • Saturday:  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes  Son in Law is cooking
  • Sunday:  Ravioli Lasagne in Crockpot with salad and bread
  • Monday: Leftover Taco Meat - Tacoburgers and Taco Salad 

Do you stick to your menu or does it change?  

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What I Have Spent at The Grocery Store So Far Nov 6, 2019

Publix had a few BOGO's that I wanted to pick up this week.  The first image is what I was able to get last Thursday.  There are a couple of more BOGO's that I still need, but the store was out. I need to get a few Prego Alfredo sauce, and there was cat food that was BOGO and Planter's peanuts, they were on sale as well.  The hubs takes peanuts in his lunch.

I will take care of that later today after an appointment in Orlando. Good news, I will be getting fitted for a new CPAP machine, I am so excited!  I think the new machine will make a huge difference. It has been a journey to get to this point, but I am glad we are finally there. 

We have been eating salads at more meals, so I will have to hit up Aldi's again to stock up on salad fixings.  That is not a bad thing, and we really like the produce at Aldi's.  




Publix Nov 1
BOGO Hershey's Syrup $2.75 x 2= $5.50
BOGO Prego Spaghetti Sauce $2.59 
TOTAL = $8.09



ALDI  Nov 1
Bacon $3.79
Artichoke Dip $3.69
Shredded Mozzarella $3.49
Potato Puffs $1.65
Goya Red Kidney Beans Bag $1.68
Butter Bread  $1.79 x 2
Romaine Hearts $2.39 x 2
Green Peppers $2.29
Canned Kidney Beans $0.69 x 6
1lb Box Spaghetti $1.39 x 2
Roma Tomatoes $0.99
Carrots $1.49
TOTAL $33.66 



Publix Nov 2
$20.65
The Hubs stopped for milk and chips




























We needed coffee,  soda, and french bread.  Well, that is what was on the list.  Then I picked up foil, cornbread mix, and brownie mix.  
 Target Nov 4  $29.29


Total to date $91.69


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tried a New Recipe, Lemon Heaven Bars or Lemon Brownies

The hubs needed a lemon so he bought a bag of lemons and I had to figure out a way to use up the rest of the lemons. I don't know if the store was not selling single lemons, but I like the challenge of trying to figure out what to do with the extra lemons.

  After googling things to make with fresh lemons I decided on this recipe.  Lemon Heaven Bars looked reasonably easy and delicious.

INGREDIENTS

For the lemon bars 

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh lemon zest from 2 large lemons
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pre vanilla 
For the lemon glaze
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • fresh lemon zest from 1 large lemon
INSTRUCTIONS

1. For the lemon bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper so that two opposite sides have an overhang.  I did not do this, but I did spray the pan with coconut Pam, which worked just fine. 

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add lemon zest and whisk again to separate and coat the little pieces of zest.  Set bowl aside.  

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. 

4.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack.

5.  For the lemon glaze:  In a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle glaze over top of cooled lemon bars and then use a spatula or back of a spoon to spread glaze evenly.  
Place pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Cut into squares.  The original poster suggests keeping the bars chilled and serve cool. 

My review of this recipe is that it is easy to put together after the initial work of zesting and squeezing the lemons.  The taste of the fresh lemon in the bars and in the glaze really is delicious.
We found that the bars were much better the next day and they did taste better cooled.  

If you have extra lemons lying around, I would suggest trying this recipe out on your family.  They will love it. 




Friday, November 1, 2019

November Monthly Goals 2019

Monthly goals are hit or miss for me.  I have good intentions at the beginning of the month then things sometimes go south.  My last Monthly goal post was in August How's that for consistency? 

Oh well, I still want to keep trying to do better and keep things on track. 

Financial:
  • Keep dining out to $150 
  • Track grocery spending this month 
  • Continue to build my eBay business (Here are my 2019 goals)
  • Rebuild  short-term savings account to $1000 Hovering at $865

Family:


  • Weekly dinner with grandkids, daughter, and son in law 
  • Have two date nights with my mister 
  • Touch base with my sons with text and or phone calls.

Fitness/health:

  • Walk at least 2 continuous miles 4-5 times a week. 
  • Lose 8 pounds  
  • Strength training at gym 2-3 times a week We have a gym membership through husbands' work but have not been for MONTHS!

Work: 
  • eBay 

Personal/creative:
  • Spend time with a friend (time to use that Disney Pass)
  • Continue to research paternal side of the family  
  • Find a hobby that explores the creative side but does not break the bank :-)  Gardening, rock painting?

Here is to staying on track with a manageable list of goals this month.  We did get our two-mile walk in this morning.  The weather has finally changed and it was in the 70's which made for a much more enjoyable walk.  

I am pretty sure I need to upgrade my walking shoes, after this morning's walk my knees were hurting.  I  am currently icing them down to reduce the pain and inflammation.  I had both knees replaced in 2016-2017 and I sure don't want to do that again.

Do you set monthly goals?  Are they helpful or do they stress you out?