Sunday, June 30, 2019

Thankful and Thrifty, First Maine Post

We have been home in Maine for 2 weeks already. To be honest, it feels like not much frugality has happened, but only because the first few weeks back there are always lots of things to do that cost money. We pay our vehicle and home insurance and pay ahead on some other annual bills. We do budget all year for this, but it's still a little shocking! This year, our pipes froze during Christmas break, so we had to have the appliance repairman come, along with the plumber. But, we now have a working washing machine, dishwasher and shower. And our vehicles all passed inspection. Yeah!

Our son had been working on a new deck for us, and he and his dad finished it up in the first few days. This was way overdue, so I'm really excited.

We were given some trout from a friend, and Will and Mike caught a couple also. 

We've already had numerous guests, which is great. I love that family can just drop in and that I run into my brother at the grocery store. Our son, Aaron came up for a week with 3 of his college buddies. Great to have them here!

I love summer in Maine, and I'm trying to savor every moment. Here's a few pictures for you. So much to be thankful for!

I also spent a week as camp nurse at Living Waters, but I think that deserves its own post!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Thankful and Thrifty this Week.

Hey there, friends! Only 5 more days in this school year, and we head to Maine for the summer. I'm happy to report that I have been checking items off my to do list left and right. It's such a good feeling, isn't it? I saw a quote this week that really struck me. 
"What if it were easy?"
That was it, but the story behind it was that we often convince ourselves not to do something because we are afraid it will be hard, and often, when we finally start, we realize it wasn't so hard after all. So, what if it were easy? Would we do it?

We had what I call a "mattress run" this week. This is staying at a hotel simply to accrue stays to attain or keep status, or in this case, using up a free night before it expires. The above pictures are at the Hyatt Regency here in Hong Kong. We've stayed several times now, and always find it very relaxing. Bonus that we always get upgraded to a harbor view room. 

This photo was taken by a coworker, Justin, and it shows our side of Hong Kong. One of my favorite things about the city is that it has so much green space...and the mountains are amazing!

This is the view out our bedroom window. 

Some frugal happenings this week: I cut my husband's hair today. I dropped off 2 pairs of shoes to be re-heeled, which is definitely cheaper than new shoes. I picked up a bed sheet, some perfume, a large bottle of shampoo and several children's books from the free table at work. I bought very few groceries this weekend because we are trying to eat up all the food in the house before we leave for summer. I emailed our landlord because our AC unit started leaking. He had someone here the next day and the problem is fixed. Three cheers for great landlords and not having to pay for repairs. Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray!! Hip, hip hooray!!!

We were gifted a Starbucks gift card, Haggen Daaz gift cards, and two umbrellas this week. We really do have generous parents and employers. So thankful!

See the crack in the bottom shelf? It was at a point where I could hardly use the shelf anymore. I had been dreading calling the Toshiba Parts line because of the language barrier, but I got a Cantonese friend to call for me, and the new shelf was delivered that same day for $25 USD, cash on delivery! Now I wish I had not put it off for so long. ("What if it were easy?" applies here!)

I also got a notice that one of my credit cards, the Citi Prestige, has a new benefit--cell phone protection if you use the card for your monthly payments. I read all the fine print, and it looks like they cover theft or replacement if the phone breaks. I made the switch for payments. Here's hoping I never have to use it. 

So what frugal things did you do this week? What are you thankful for?

Sunday, June 2, 2019

BENIGN, Noshing at the Consulate, Birthdays and Free Stuff.

So much to be thankful for this week, as always!

First up, I had to have a biopsy of what was long thought to be a breast cyst, but which looked "different" as of late. Turns out, it was a tumor, but of the Fibroadenoma variety-- BENIGN.  PTL!

I also had the opportunity to have evening tapas as the US Consul General's residence up on The Peak as a thank you for volunteer work at Ronald McDonald House through the American Women's Association. Honestly, I'm not one to like to go to these types of events, but I decided to get out of my comfort zone and go for it. (And here's one thing that struck me....most people are awkward when hanging out with strangers.) It ended up being a fun evening....even though we were fogged in, The food was delicious!

The kindergarten parents gave us a lovely little Thyme plant with 6 coupons to be used for things like cookies and coffee. How sweet is that?

It was my husband and my son's birthday on May 30th. So, so thankful for another trip around the sun for both of them. 

I found some reading glasses, a shelf for my kitchen cabinet, baby clothes for my grandson and some books and dvds on the free table this week.

I also got $4 back using ebates and I sold a couple of items on our school share site.

We only have 2 weeks of school left before summer break, so this is the time of year that I try really hard to clean out all the food in the refrigerator and freezer. I also spend time cleaning the apartment and getting rid of accumulated "stuff." I'm taking a bag full to the free table tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week, my friends. Look for all the blessings in your life. Sometimes they are not where we expect to find them.