TMinus Seven

It’s tminus seven until Jake, and my brother and his wife head to Scandinavia for an epic adventure.  Jake and I spent our morning picking up a few last-minute items from Kohl’s. It’s going to be in the 40s-50s, so a light jacket should suffice.  Since we live in Florida our fall wardrobe for Scandinavian weather isn’t quite up to par.

After Kohl’s we headed to Barnes and Noble.  I’ve been reading book after book as I work my way through the top 500 fiction and non-fiction books.  I’m currently reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, but should finish it in the coming days.  It’s delightful this far, quite the departures from Tolstoy’s Resurrection.  I’d highly recommend both novels.  For the trip, I bought Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Since paperbacks were 3 for $30, I was seriously tempted to by several books.  I behaved and walked out with only two.

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In addition to Larsson’s novel, I picked up a book on Swedish grammar.  I love DuoLingo, but I needed to read through the grammatical rules.  Every night I try to spend at least 30 minutes practicing Swedish before reading for the last hour before bed.  I don’t expect to be fluent, but I hope to at least be able to communicate in Swedish while in Stockholm.  As an aside, there isn’t DuoLingo for Finnish or Finnish grammar books at our Barnes and Noble.    Please see video below for what I imagine I’ll sound like.

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I am super excited, not just for the trip, but for November’s Purple Stride.  This year I’m unable to run due to my left ankle, so I’m taking on a different role.  For this year’s event, I’m happy to announce that I am the Team Chair.  I’ll be in charge to driving team results and recruitment.  Those of you on the fence of joining team Deb Force Five – now it the time to join.   If you’re not in Florida that’s okay!  You can join us as a virtual strider.   Join by clicking here.  I’ll leave you with one of Freddy Mercury’s iconic live performances.  I, for one, cannot wait to see the Queen movie coming out next week.

 

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Obsessed With Shipt

Confession time, I’m completely obsessed with Shipt. For the uninitiated, Shipt is the grocery delivery service owned by Target Corporation. When you sign up, you can shop at stores close to your work or home and have the groceries delivered.

The first time I used the service was the day we returned home from the Bahamas. I desperately needed to grocery shopping, but I had no energy to desire to make that Target run. Consequently, I placed an order through Shipt for a Publix run.

It was amazing. My shopper communicated with me whenever necessary. She wasn’t a faceless being on the other side of the app. In the case that an item was out of stock, she did a great job providing replacement options. The entire process was completely seamless.

Naturally, as I got into a rhythm with my housework, my desire to make a Target waned. Frankly, I can’t cope with the snowbirds. Consequently, I sent two separate orders one to Target and one to Publix. While the Shipt App may be slightly more expensive, it does prevent you from buying everything you see at Target. In the end, we got all of our groceries and never left the house. Moreover, I spent less money than I would had I actually gone to the store.

If you’d like to check it out, click here. I can’t recommend the service highly enough. For the hockey mom, busy family on the go, working people, Shipt is the perfect way to save time and get things done without missing a beat.

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Grocery Shopping

Since yesterday was a crazy day, I did grocery shopping today.  Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s a Super Target right by our house.  Today I was pretty disciplined in my shopping.  Consequently, we’ll say it’s fortunate we’re so close to Target.  Before I left for the store, I had my list ready, Cartwheel and my Ibotta ready to go.

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If you’re grocery shopping in S. Florida during snowbird season, you’re really taking your life and your heels into your own hands.  I can’t tell how many times they’ve run into the back of my cart.  Nor could I tell you how many times they’ve held up the line arguing over an expired coupon or a coupon for another store.  Thank God for earbuds!

Despite the list and the well intentioned planning, I inevitably forget 2-3 items on my list on the regular.  This week it seems that I got my entire list, but last week was an entirely different story.  Last week, I forgot bananas, sandwich bags and jelly.  Fortunately, we live close, so I returned Monday to get those items.  Well, except for the bananas because I forgot them again.  Perhaps I should try a mnemonic device instead since the grocery list strategy isn’t bullet proof.  On second thought, that probably won’t work either.

This week’s list was quite light  as the Mayor and Hubby are still in Georgia for hockey while Goalielocks and I will head to Boston Thursday.  Of course, I tried to buy enough stuff so the Hubby wouldn’t have to grocery shop in my absence.  After all, the last time he grocery shopped, we ended up with Spam sandwiches.  P.S.  Spam sandwiches are awful.  You may as well put a salt lick between pieces of bread.  P.S.S. the mnemonic device pictured below is a lie!

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It’s back to work tomorrow!  I know you’re as excited as I am about the return of Monday.  Believe it or not, I’m actually excited for tomorrow.  I cannot wait to see my Mayor and the Hubby.  It sounds like they’ve had an amazing trip.  The Mayor will be sure to share all his stories with me upon his return home and that will be incredible!

Tonight’s song performed by Goldfinger is “99 Red Balloons.”  Sorry – JS I couldn’t find a good English video of the original!

 

 

 

It’s That Time Again

I can’t believe it’s that time again. Time to get new clothes, new backpacks and copious amounts of school supplies. The only people in more shock, devastation really, at how fast the summer went is my boys.

This year we’re only shopping for two as Jake. Jake starts college next month, so his shopping will be a bit different.

When I’m 64 – Happy Birthday Grandpa Tom!

Today we left Stavanger to head back to Oslo on Grandpa Tom’s 64th birthday!  This trip has been an unbelievably incredible opportunity to connect as a family and connect to our Norwegian heritage.  One thing my dad loves more than anything is his family especially his grandkids.  Of course, the kids love their Grandpa Tom to the moon and back.

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The picture above is of my parents at the BorgundStave Church, which connects to Husom via the Vindehellavegan part of the Kongevegan (King’s Road) that connected Oslo and Bergen.  My family and I made the hike, while my dad and brothers’ took the scenic drive to Husom.   It was marvelous to see my dad’s reaction to walking through his ancestral home.

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Aside from my Norwegian good looks and razor sharp wit, I got my love of music from my dad.  If you’re at their house ever, you know my dad loves his music and loves it super loud.   He’s a huge Beatles fan and truly was the only thing missing from our Paul McCartney concert experience.  His musical tastes run the gamut, but the Beatles are one of his absolute favorites and who can blame him.  Nobody could harmonize or envision the combination of chords to form the harmonies like Lennon and McCartney.    IMG_1701

In honor of my dad’s birthday, sing along to these fantastic hits from the Beatles.  Two are from the concert we attended and one is quick snipped from Youtube in honor of Grandpa Tom’s 64th birthday.

“When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.

If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four”

Birthday performed by Paul McCartney:

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The Trouble With Travel

The trouble with travel is hockey is trying to maintain healthy eating habits when the majority of your weeknights are spent at the rink and your weekends are spent driving across the state to other rinks.  Hockey season doesn’t have to be a diet killer if you’re well prepared.  Just like you would take the time to prep our meals for the work week, you have to take the time to prep your snacks  and meals for the road.

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After hundreds of miles on the road, the ease and quickness of fast food is alluring.  If, however, you’ve planned ahead and prepped your snacks and meals for the road, it is easy to drive by or skip out on the fast food.  Removing the temptation and not wanting to waste food will go a long way to keeping you on the diet wagon.

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Here are some great ideas for healthy snacks and easy meals for the road.

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Stringed Cheese
  • Apples or apple slices
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Oranges – clementine’s are perfect for road trips as they are very easy to peel
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Popcorn
  • Baby carrots
  • Protein Shakes
  • Protein bars
  • Granola bars
  • Yogurt
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Celery sticks

If you carpool with other families, be sure your snacks align with any food allergies that may be present in your carpool group.

These snacks are easy, convenient, healthy and relatively inexpensive especially when compared to the cost of eating at a restaurant every trip.  For tips on how to indulge in an adult beverage or two without calling your waistline, see my tasty, but light on calories recommendations here.

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Ice Cream, Taxes and Kids

This summer for the first time in eight years, my kids are spending the summer at home in Florida.  One of the things, I’ve tasked them with is creating a product and a business.   The purpose of the exercise is to keep their reading, math and critical thinking skills sharp, while also getting them to think creatively about their future.   For the older two kids, this also includes the personal finance modules on Khan Academy.

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As kids leave high school and college, few are well prepared for the real world.  They don’t teach personal finance in high school or college.  In fact, I remember tables and tables of credit card offers during my time at the University of Minnesota.  A bunch of high interest credit cards is exactly what college kids don’t need as they accrue student loan debt.

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Jake starts college this August and he needs to be ready to navigate his finances on his own.  Since it wasn’t addressed in school, we had to create our own curriculum to teach our kids about money.  One thing we did is give them a monthly budget to buy drinks and snacks for their lunch.  If they ate or drink their goodies before the month was over, they were out of luck and they couldn’t borrow money.  It only happened once and Jake quickly learned to live within his budget.

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Fortunately, my younger two are very aggressive about saving money.  As we’ve tightened the belt to afford our dream vacation, they have really sacrificed.  They’ve finally stopped asking for a new boat, which is amazing.  Now instead of a boat, they’d like a Cessna (small plane) they can keep in the garage.  Seems pretty reasonable, right!  Clearly, they need some more financial education.   I’m sure once we get back from Norway, they’ll be asking for a yacht.

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Savings Alert!

This morning I finally had a chance to sit down and put together some on the weekend’s best sales.  The goal is to make this post weekly. Here are a few of my favorites:

Kohls:

  • Take $10 off of $25 with code: Take10
  • Save 15% off of $100 with code: EBATES15
  • 6% cash back on all purchases made through Ebates
  • Get $5 Kohl’s cash for every $25 spent

Macys:

  • Get $5 Macy’s money for every $25 spent
  • Save 20% (15% on some departments) with code: SUNNY
  • 6% cash back on all purchases made through Ebates

Petco:

  • 8% cash back on all purchases made through Ebates online and in store with linked card.
  • Save up to 50% site wide

BCBG:

  • Take extra 50% off of all factory items
  • Take 40% off of all purchases
  • 12% cash back on all purchases made through Ebates.

Lancome:

  • 20% off during Friends and family sale with code: friends
  • 4% cash back on all purchases made through Ebates online.

Finish Line:

  • $15 off of any order of $150+ with code: 15SEASONSALE150
  • Running shoes up to 50% off
  • 6% cash back on all purchases made through Ebates online.