For me, a life beyond money is making choices so that you can live the best possible life, regardless of your income level. Obviously, you have to make a living, but there are many ways to improve your quality of life without increasing your income levels and correspondingly your expenses. This regular post will be some of the ways that we improve our quality of life beyond just trying to make more money.
Life has been a little crazy for a bit, so I'll be scaling back this post a little. I'll stick mainly to highlights in each category, rather than the journal-type entries I'd gotten in the habit of writing.
* I planted more goodies and have started harvesting bits of greens and peppers. It looks like it will be a good pepper year. The basil is going gang busters. I transplanted lots of plants into containers that I have growing all over the house. I foresee lots of pesto and caprese in our future, so life is good.
* A few times I made galettes using fresh fruit (either from the farm or Aldi), a basic cream cheese filling and my pie crust. I used half an egg as a wash over the crust. They turned out fantastic each time. They are sweet enough to count as a dessert for me, but not too sweet to make a lovely breakfast. I love how easy it is to pull together while still having some "wow" factor for entertaining.
* I hit the farm stand a few times. Mainly, I've been scoring little cukes and carrots. We love having fresh veggies on hand, chopped and ready for snacking.
* We took my parents out for my dad's birthday. He generally likes boring meat-and-potatoes type meals, but absolutely loves hibachi. The Japanese steakhouse near us is pretty pricey, but we bought a $60 Groupon for $30 which lowered the price enough. We all ate half of our meal and took half home for lunch the next day. Afterwards, we took them to a local garden park and laughed a lot as we walked around. We finished off the evening getting frozen yogurt at a local place. It was a really fun evening.
* We caught a blues concert at a coffee house near us. We used a BOGO coupon for our coffee, so it ended up being a pretty frugal date.
* Daisy came over once for crafting and she and hubby came over for dinner and movies another night.
* We went out with one of my coworkers and his family to the drive-in theatre. We brought snacks and drinks from home. He brought sports stuff so for a couple hours before the movie started, we played football or catch. When dusk came, I broke out some sparklers I bought at the grocer for $2 and the kids had a blast.
* We went hiking several times. The best one was a park about an hour away. It seems like just a normal little park, but hidden in the park is an osage orange tunnel. Farmers used to plant osage oranges as a living fence. It was a positively magical hike.
* I finally got the phone call. I got hired on for full time at my job. For the last six months I've been a temp. I interviewed 5 months ago. Sometimes people would wait several years for an interview and a couple years between interview and getting hired on, so I'm really happy with the timing. This job will pay significantly more, provide extensive benefits and will eventually give me 7 weeks of paid time off a year. They generally try to keep you in the same area you are currently working (which would be ideal), but could move me anywhere in the company, as needed. The main change will be switching from first shift to second shift. I am a little nervous about it, but I think I will adjust okay eventually. I will miss my current coworkers desperately, but am glad that we will become a lot more secure now. My dad has worked for the company for going on 35 years, and I believe it will provide a good life for my family as well.
* I can't remember if I included this in an earlier post or not. My dear friend's partner was gifted some items from his client's parent's estate. They couldn't use all of it, so they gave us two beautiful bar stools and a ridiculously gorgeous lamp. These are very high-end pieces that we would never, ever be able to afford. I am super excited because I've been passively looking for some bar stools for the island since we bought the house five years ago.
How was your week?