Being Grateful - Journey to Saving

Being Grateful: Thirty-First Edition

Hello everyone! Another week has come to an end. Somehow this one in particular flew by; I feel like I was just at my parents house, and now we’re going back again.

This month has been kind of hectic “travel” wise, as this will be our third trip. Thankfully, gas is still pretty cheap here. By my parents, it’s around $3.28, and my mom has Kroger points where she usually gets 20 cents off. Here, gas is around $3.54. Oh well! That’s why we fill up once we cross the state line =).

being grateful

So, why all the trips? Well, the first one wasn’t really planned, but we had nothing going on for the weekend so we decided to visit. Last weekend was for Father’s Day, and this weekend my aunt and uncle are coming down for vacation!! I know we’ve only been here for two months, but it still feels like forever since I’ve seen my family.

Speaking of, I’m definitely being grateful that my grandma seems to be on the mend. I had mentioned a few weeks ago that she hadn’t been feeling well, and then she went and landed herself in the hospital. I told her she wasn’t allowed to do that again =). Her sodium levels are still low, though, so she’s been going back and forth to the doctor.

Being grateful for…waffles?

Well, lets rewind to Father’s Day, as we did absolutely nothing! As my dad said, “Mom is happy when we take her out to eat, so that’s what we do for Mother’s Day. Dad is happy when he gets to relax and read.” (I had gotten him a book as a gift.)

wafflesMy dad has always been a fan of waffles, and still is. But his trusty old waffle maker had died two years ago. Sunday waffles were like a staple in our house, mostly because I share my dad’s fondness for them. To think that wouldn’t happen again because my dad couldn’t find the perfect waffle maker was unacceptable to me. He’s picky – the two replacements we tried, he didn’t like, and I got one as a result.

A quick look on Amazon, and I found his old Black & Decker waffle maker (affiliate). That didn’t take much effort! My parents were both excited, so I ordered it and had it delivered to their place.

They tried it out as soon as they could, and my dad was happy with the results. So of course I had waffles both days I was there =). Yum! They tasted as good as ever.

My dad doesn’t do a lot of cooking, so I know it might sound silly, but it was important for me to get this little tradition back. The only other dish I’ve seen him make is the fettuccine recipe I shared a while ago, and I know my mom likes not having to make breakfast!

Blogging odds and ends & goal update

I’m grateful for all the new bloggers out there that seem to be popping up! I know I got a few new visitors this week, and that was exciting. Even after a year of blogging, the best thing about it is responding to comments and “meeting” all of you. If anyone ever wants to reach out to me, feel free! Especially if you don’t see yourself on the blogroll – I can’t keep up with all the new sites out there!

I’ve been doing a lot of research on blogging lately, trying to figure out what I want to focus on with freelancing. I’ve pretty much determined that my site needs to be redesigned, mostly because the theme I am using seems to be clunky. I’m not a fan of my site loading slowly, and I noticed another blog that uses the same theme was having a similar issue.

I think I might go for more of a minimalist look anyway. Does anyone have any recommendations? I know the Genesis framework is extremely popular, but I’m not sure I want to pay so much if there are less expensive alternatives out there. But if Genesis is truly worth it, I’ll be looking into it. I’d be grateful for some advice!

being grateful
What I feel like doing most mornings

I’m no stranger to coding, but I also don’t want to spend hours being confused on options. For those that do use the Genesis framework, was it easy to set up? I don’t want to hire out for something I can do myself.

Not on a blogging note, but I’m sad to say I haven’t really made any headway in establishing a routine yet, and the month is almost over. Ugh! I’m not sure why, but I have still been waking up with awful headaches, and I’d rather bury myself in pillows than get up (see picture). I can’t imagine what I would do if I actually had to be somewhere. I’m not a fan of taking pills every day, so I’m just grateful when they finally subside…except they keep coming back. I am grateful they’re at least happening now, as I am lucky to not have crazy obligations.

The only day I’ve succeeded in waking up early was yesterday, mostly because R was late for work! Oops. I woke up around 4 and couldn’t get back to sleep, but when I finally checked my phone, I realized it was 6:40. Normally, R is at work by then. His iPod’s volume was silenced. So I got up to pack him lunch while he got ready. The day went by, I was tired a few times, but when it came to going to sleep? Wide awake. I think I’m starting to expect to be awake, and some internal force is fighting sleepiness =(. Oh and don’t worry, R’s place is really lax, so no one cared that he was late. He just stayed later to make up for the hour.

What are you grateful for this week? Have you ever missed your alarm for work? Any themes you can recommend?

Photo Credit: Syrupy Waffles by Learninglark

Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance writer and virtual assistant who loves talking about money and how to use it as a tool to get what you want out of life. When she's not obsessing over numbers or working (which is rare), she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cat, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, or any random combination of the above.

43 thoughts on “Being Grateful: Thirty-First Edition

  1. I definitely have been late to work from my alarm, but it hasn’t happened in quite some time. My theme needs to be changed as well. I spent months picking a designer, and even made an initial payment to them. I wasn’t blown away by the designs they sent me, though, so we went our separate ways. I don’t have time to code and create a theme, so I’m in a crappy spot. Anyway I’m thankful for my new job as well as my wife’s promotion (happened yesterday!).

    1. I am thinking it’s worth not relying on phone alarms after these episodes! Tinkering with a theme really does require a lot of time, but it’s something I enjoy doing, and I figure learning is a valuable experience.

      Ah that’s awesome your wife received a promotion on top of your job offer! Double congratulations!

  2. I am grateful that I have an intern who started working with me this week. I have so much “busy” work that has piled up over the last few months, and I love that I have another set of hands helping me. And I have slept through my alarm only twice and both times I was sick to my stomach because I HATE being late. And both times it was not an issue because I am never late. I still hated the feeling. Have a great weekend with your aunt and uncle!
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted: Top Ten Ways Google Found MeMy Profile

    1. That’s awesome you have someone helping you now! It stinks to be behind because of busy work. I completely know how you feel – my alarm failed to go off once and I was having a panic attack trying to get ready. I called my boss and thankfully he was understanding as I had never been late either. I triple check my alarms now!! Thanks, I hope you enjoy your weekend as well!

  3. I have no suggestions on theme/designs because honestly I know nothing about them nor about coding. As far as the alarm thing, it has happened to me, but only like once ever! I have blamed my alarm a couple other times though when I just didn’t want to get up to go to work… I know, that sounds horrible but I’m just not a morning person and not liking my job doesn’t help my motivation to get up.
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted: Budget Check 6/20/2014My Profile

    1. I know how you feel. At my old job, I literally felt like I was being sentenced to misery every day that I got up. It was awful. I don’t like looking bad, though, so I kicked myself out of bed. My bosses actually instituted a policy that everyone had to be at least five minutes early because they were sick of lateness, so I’m glad I never abused it!

        1. Oh that is really awesome! I’d love to have that option, especially for later appointments. A half hour makes a big difference sometimes. I remember when a new person at my old job asked if she could skip lunch in order to leave work early – she got a lot of weird looks, but I would go for that.

  4. Glad to hear your grandmother is on the mend. Gas up here in like $3.91 so it’s still a lot cheaper down where you guys are. I use my 5% cash back card which comes out to a savings of almost 20 cents a gallon. We’ve had times that we wake up late because the alarm didn’t go off…but it was rare. Now our son, who has a crib in our room is our alarm clock. He pretty much wakes up everyday around 6:30. And we don’t want to wake up until 7:00…but there’s no snooze button =)
    Andrew recently posted: If it’s too good to be true…My Profile

    1. I actually looked at the gas prices up there the other day out of curiosity. I think it was around $3.80 when we left. My card has 5% cash back next month which I’m excited about. Haha, I bet your son is a very effective alarm clock! At least it’s not any earlier; 6:30 is my cut off of when I’ll wake up.

  5. This week flew by for me too!

    Those waffles look really good. I’m glad you found the right waffle maker for your dad!

    I wish I could offer help on a blog theme, but to be honest, your current theme looks way better than mine already. Good luck!
    Daniel recently posted: Friday Roundup #2My Profile

    1. I think summer is going to be over with before we know it! Which I don’t really have an issue with, as I’d rather it be 70 degrees out than 90…

      Thanks! I am too, mostly because I get to eat them every time I visit them now =).

  6. Those waffles look yummy. Since I started freelancing I seem to wake up easier without an alarm. I think it’s the not having to be anywhere thing that does the trick. This week I’m grateful for the local stanely cup parade. :)

    1. I figured that’s what would happen to me, as I always dreaded waking up and going to work. If only these darn headaches would go away! I think it’s awesome your friend was able to rent a place where you guys could gather and watch. Sounds like a lot of fun! I did that once for a Memorial Day parade.

  7. Glad to hear your grandma is doing better! and whoa, you just gave me a waffle craving! we had some last weekend at the hotel we stayed at- love those continental breakfasts with make your own waffles! So good.

    Annnnnd hmmmm, for themes… when I switched, I just googled “free wordpress themes” and picked one that looked pretty! Very scientific process, obviously ;) I’m with you- I don’t want to pay anyone for theme stuff! Luckily everything I’ve wanted to do has been easy to google around and figure out. Hope you can find one you like!

    Have an awesome weekend!!!!
    Ashley recently posted: RandomnessMy Profile

    1. Thanks! Oh yeah, I always take advantage of the little waffle making stations they have. But nothing compares to my dads; they’re so light and fluffy.

      Haha, I have a feeling my website’s ranking and SEO are being negatively affected by my theme, so I just want to make sure I get one with decent code so that it loads faster.

      I hope your weekend is going well!

  8. My dad never cooked growing up and still doesn’t, so I always find it fascinating when I hear others say their dads like to do any cooking or baking. I’ve luckily never missed my alarm, but I’m someone who wakes up at 5:30 on the dot every morning. Still, the thought of over sleeping scares me every now and then.
    Rebecca recently posted: Take that student loan (a semi-mid June update)My Profile

    1. Well, as I said, he mostly only makes those two things, so they’re special treats =). I forgot, he also makes fudge around the holidays. My mom does 98% of the cooking and baking, though.

      I can’t imagine waking up that early, but that’s what my boyfriend’s alarm is set for. I had about three alarms on two different devices to make sure it didn’t happen to me again after the first time!

    1. Oops! Glad he wasn’t very late at least. I spent about three days customizing my blog when I first launched it. It is tedious, but it’s something I enjoy experimenting with!

    1. I think being productive right off the bat does set a better tone for the day. Feeling as though you’ve accomplished a decent amount early on is encouraging.

  9. I love me some waffles and packages so that pic you’ve posted has me salivating!
    Do you have an idea as to why you’re getting the frequent headaches?

    This week I am especially grateful for my DH. We both work very hard and put in a lot of hours but there are times that he works crazy hours in a day and I appreciate him very much.
    Kassandra recently posted: The S.O.L.O. YearMy Profile

    1. Haha, sorry about that! I’ve been so happy to get my little fix of waffles. I hadn’t had them in forever as I really don’t like the way most restaurants make them.

      I’m not really sure. Headaches have always been an on and off issue for me. I remember having them pretty badly in high school, and I couldn’t have been under much stress back then! I did think it was stress, but I made it a point to relax more last week, and they still came around. I know I unconsciously clench my jaw during the day, and that certainly doesn’t help when sleeping.

      Aw, sounds like R and I =). I am really grateful for his extreme work ethic. I can’t imagine working 10+ hours a day on top of waking up early, but somehow he does it.

    1. I know, right? I was asking myself the same thing. First, he really doesn’t like Belgian waffles. He likes square waffles that aren’t too “deep” (as far as the holes go). Many waffle makers out there are circular. Second, he has his certain recipe, and according to him, on the other two waffle makers, the recipe just didn’t turn out well. I think one of them had an issue where the waffles stuck easily and it was just a mess.

    1. Thanks Debs, I enjoyed catching up with my aunt and uncle! I still plan on keeping the same color theme as I like blue/teal too much =). Well, one way to find out is through the Alexa plugin. I use Chrome, so I simply click on the icon next to the URL bar, and in the lower-right it tells you how long it takes for the site to load, and how many sites are faster. The other way is just testing it out on various browsers. I’ve just noticed that it’s not as snappy as other blogs.

      Yours doesn’t seem to be slow – Alexa shows it as taking 2.339 seconds to load, with 69% of sites being faster. As a comparison, it takes mine 3 seconds, with 80% being faster.

  10. Grateful for my girls (repeating this like a mantra as it’s it’s been a hard few days, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything).

    I don’t have advice on framework but since you brought it up, your site doesn’t read easily on a mobile phone (or maybe just my IPhone?) I have to scroll over to finish every line and then scroll back to start the next line. I can’t resize it like I can do many sites. That might discourage some folks from staying around (and clicking links). Hope you find something that works for you (and is cheap)!
    Kirsten recently posted: Success Story SaturdayMy Profile

    1. Thanks for letting me know Kirsten. I do have a responsive theme, so I’m not sure why it’s not working properly. It looks fine on my Moto X; I can’t remember what it looked like on my iPhone, though I had a 4S, which is smaller. Strange! Hopefully that will be fixed with a new theme.

  11. Mmmm…waffles. That’s amazing that you’ve been able to spend so much time with your family. I’m going home again in August and I can’t wait to see everyone. I understand your desire to revamp the blog design, although I’m not there quite yet. I’m still a fairly new blogger, so I’m more focused on growing traffic.
    Addison @ Cashville Skyline recently posted: Are Home Warranties Worth It?My Profile

    1. It is pretty amazing; sometimes I still wonder if we’re just on a permanent vacation, as it doesn’t feel real that we’re now only 3.5 hours away from my parents as opposed to 12. That’s great that you’re going back home in August! I’m definitely looking forward to returning next month.

      That’s understandable. I’m just a little worried a slow-loading site is off-putting to newer readers, as I know I don’t have much patience when it comes to things like that =).

  12. I’m a new blogger and had the same question regarding themes. I splurged and got the Genesis Framework. Not knowing much about coding, I quickly realized that Genesis is NOT the most user-friendly to fresh-faced novices like me. However, it IS extremely powerful and elegant for designers and programmers to build upon. So while it’s true that you can do just about “anything” with Genesis, you can’t do it all without some knowledge of HTML or navigating the CSS underbelly of the child themes and WordPress. You’re not going to find all the built-in bells and whistles like you would in popular ThemeForest themes like Avada. The tradeoff (which matters) is that Genesis is more lean and so performs better while themes like Avada and others in ThemeForest which have more bloat and are more prone to bog down. Moreover, when it comes time to switch themes again, upgrading a Genesis child theme will be much easier than other themes. Anyway, just 2 cents from a fellow PF blogger! All the best! :-)
    Al | Saving The Crumbs recently posted: How to Eat for 90% Less Than Your Neighbor: What We BuyMy Profile

    1. Hi Al! Welcome to the world of blogging, and thanks for the input =). I am thinking the code on this theme is a bit bloated, which is leading to a slower site. I’m not too bad with CSS and HTML, and I don’t mind looking around for answers in forums and whatnot. I’ll have to look into it a bit more to see if it’s too advanced for me, though. I’d hate to spend all that money only to end up annoyed.

  13. mmmmmm….waffles. I love that you have a family tradition like that. I (Vanessa) have a fear of missing my alarm only the day before I start a new job. I set 3 different ones, and then don’t sleep well for fear that I’ll be late on the first day. No bueno!
    Cash Cow Couple recently posted: The Dollar Tree is AwesomeMy Profile

    1. I can’t imagine a Christmas without a waffle breakfast afterward! I’m the exact same way. On my first day of school/classes or a new job, I was always a nervous wreck and couldn’t sleep.

  14. For theme I recommend Weaver II by WP Weaver. It’s the one I use. It’s free and they have many options to customize the look of your site. If I was able to figure it out so can you.

    I’ll have to check out that waffle maker. I love waffles and usually buy the frozen ones. How do you make the batter?
    Raquel@Practical Cents recently posted: Tips to Avoid Spending TemptationsMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! My theme also came with a lot of options, which was nice, but I’m afraid the code is just too clunky, which is why my site is slow.

      I’d have to ask my dad! I’ve never actually bothered to learn, as sad as that is to say. Perhaps the recipe will make its way into a frugal meal post. It doesn’t take him very long to whip it up. I can say they’re much better than frozen waffles, though.

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