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This post is just a quick notice, to inform you of some changes in case you want to keep following this blog. The custom domain ( is set to expire this summer and... I just don't want to pay for it again. Technically, it's not even allowed under my no spend rules! And I don't feel like it's worth the price to keep it up. So I'm letting it go. But this blog will still be available at 

Right now, the blog is redirected from my very first blog name, so (wow, so many iterations since then!) I'm going to change it later this month, but that means if you follow via some sort of RSS reader, like Feedly, you're going to have to find the new domain. It won't automatically update anymore.

I hope that makes sense? Basically, if you don't see a post in 2 weeks about my April goals, try going directly to and it will be there!

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Monday, March 14, 2022

February was really good progress for me on certain fronts, not so much on others. Maybe it was the shorter month? You wouldn't think 2-3 days would make much of a difference, but when you only have so much time for those monthly tasks, maybe that does makes a difference. Anyway, onwards to March and more goal progress. But first, as always, the recap.

February Recap

1. Get Married - We actually accomplished a lot on this front this month. We met with the jeweler and got the whole ring thing situated at the beginning of the month. So now that part is moved over to John's task list because he wants to pay for it and then surprise me with it at some point, but we get to pick it up this coming week. He's still undecided on what ring he wants or if he wants a tattoo, but whenever he decides, I'll make sure to add that to my task list and pay for that. I also talked to Julie first thing and it was, as expected, pure drama. Even though we told her last September this was happening, she assumed we'd hold off until next year since she got engaged to her boyfriend of 9 months in December. Because, apparently, 'this is the year of Julie.' I wish I could make this up, but she honestly has always been that delusional and toxic so we didn't expect much different. And for a few other reasons, based solely on his mom's and sister's actions, John has joined me on my scorched earth policy (a story for another time to cover all their disrespectful behavior), which I love. So we settled on a June date to have a little dinner/paper signing event, and his mom and sister won't be in attendance. I actually found a good option for an officiant that can come take care of the paperwork part, so I can book that easily this month. And I reached out to my old co-worker (and friend I've known since grade school!) to get the pre-nup drawn up and get new estate planning paperwork done (wills and powers of attorney), and he'll have those done any day now and we'll be able to review and sign them this month.

2. Happy House, Happy Spouse - Hosted for the Super Bowl, check. John loves doing that, and hosting these events stress-free is part of my happy house goal. So I kept it simple, got a cleaning service the day before, made easy foods (you'll see below), let other people bring stuff, let John get the booze. Delegation is key. As far as my weekly items, I just missed the clean home reset the first week, but otherwise got the cleaning routine down each Monday and also meal planned and prepped the whole month.

3. Get My Concealed Carry License - This goal ended up on the back burner this month with all the other stuff we had going on. I did e-mail the guy, a fellow Chicago firefighter, who runs the course to see what 2022 dates he was planning, but he never got back to me. John will follow up at some point but otherwise we'll find another class. John needs to renew his FOID card though, so we just submitted that info. Probably best to have that before the class (though it's not a requirement.) And I didn't make it to the shooting range, since I ended up making plans with both Ida and Megan, and that plus the Super Bowl put me over my limit of 'socializing' and 'attending things outside of the house.' There's one range a bit outside Chicago that's free on Sundays, but you have to go right at sunrise really before the crowd, and that just wasn't happening with all the other events.

4. No Spend Year - I did a great job shopping the sales each week. Not that there were too many (damn inflation), but I did what I could and at least checked all the flyers before shopping. I was also able to at least roughly plan out the 2022 gifts. Christmas is still a general sketch, but enough to be able to check it off the list. On to the daily spending - here's my February breakdown:
  • $673.07 on bills.
    • $33.27 security system
    • $114 electric
    • $124 gas 
    • $229.12 TV/wifi ($50 higher this month, I forgot to call and renew the discount, but it's back on for the next bill)
    • $72.68 city utilities (water and trash, charged every other month)
    • $100 house cleaning (the best money I spend all month, I tell you! We skipped it in January, it was so necessary before the Super Bowl.)
  • $41.47 on gas for my car. Almost made it to March without having to fill up yet this year, but John has been using my car more because the heating core (whatever the hell that is) is broken in his truck, so he has no heat until he finds a mechanic to fix it. He still drives it to his job, but for other errands he takes mine.
  • $285.99 on pets. (Plus $158.73 on a gift card)
    • $35.27 on duck jerky treats
    • $145.25 on grooming for both dogs
    • $53.88 on Hawkeye's dog food (the bag is monstrous, it'll be interesting to see how long this lasts, even when Joey and Eric's dog Levi eat it all the time.)
    • $2.42 on wet food
    • $49.17 for potty pads for Hawkeye (again, it'll be good to know how long these last.)
    • (+$159.73 for cat food, used Amazon gift card. So not counted in that total number but noting it anyway.)
  • $517.67 on groceries.
    • $25.56 at Aldi
      • $6.69 for myself. A cucumber, two avocados, two zucchini, and a container of hummus.
      • $18.87 for Super Bowl. We have John's immediate family over to watch each year and they bring food (see below), and John supplies drinks. I got a cheese tray, triscuits, two frozen apps (pigs in a blanket and stuffed jalapeƱo poppers), and meal prep containers. Not a no spend fail, because limited spending on hosting is one of my allowances under my personal rules. And the containers were necessary - I sent all tempting leftovers home with the guests!
    • $108.91 at Marianos 
      • $12.97 for myself. More Super Bowl supplies. But I knew I needed to make things that fit my current diet or I'd be too tempted. So I got a veggie tray to go with the Aldi hummus and Snyder's pretzel rods, which are the only ones without sugar FYI. There are a lot of great vegan party foods I could make but I knew I'd be the only one eating them so it wasn't worth the effort or the leftovers.
      • $24 for Super Bowl. Other things I got for the party that I didn't eat: bakery cookies, salsa, Fritos, supplies for John to make chili
      • $71.94 for John: cherry ice cream (barf), frozen fruit and veggies, a cucumber, potatoes, eggs, a box of stuffing, plus supplies to make tacos, pasta and meatballs, and stir fry.
    • $44.62 at Aldi. Black beans, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, frozen veggies, avocados, mushrooms, onions, a cucumber, and mini guac cups. The supplies for more burrito bowls, to use up the quinoa I had on hand from January's Costco trip (and Aldi was significantly cheaper for the same shit, I tracked it). If it ain't broke, don't fix it - I eat the same thing for months until I get sick of it, then switch. The rest of the month I used up what I had which included smoothies, frozen black bean burgers, and lentil fritters, so I'll have to switch it up for March and get all new groceries and make new recipes.
    • $65.77 at Costco. This was a future stock, I didn't actually need anything. But Megan really wanted to go and since I have the membership, I took her. In exchange, she took me to Orange Theory Fitness for the first time (for free) and I almost died so I don't know if that was a good exchange. That workout is no joke, good lord. Anyway, she paid for her own groceries of course but no sense trekking there and not getting anything, so I got:
      • $18.38 two big bags of frozen veggies for myself (groceries)
      • $47.38 paper towels for my mom's house, toilet paper for us (household)
    • $55.81 at Marianos
      • $8.48 for myself. Frozen spinach, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, salad greens, and yellow bell pepper.
      • $47.33 for John. Frozen pizza, frozen stir fry veggies, triscuits, deli ham slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion.
    • $217 at Mariacos. Right at the wire! Which is why grocery total is so high this month and will be so low next month. We just went and did a stock up to last a couple weeks.
      • $19.36 for myself. Beans, Amy's soup, cucumbers, broccoli, apples, and ingredients for vegan chili (which I did half on John's tally, he'll have at least half.)
      • 197.64 for John. Frozen pizza, ice cream, breadsticks, eggs, lots of meat and a marinade, almond milk, yogurt, Chex mix, peanut butter pretzels, stuffing, pasta, pasta sauce, pickles, potatoes, bell peppers, and salsa.
  • $5.75 on spending fails. The first of the year, and the first amount I'll have to match to donate to a charity of Steph's choice at the end of the year! John and I went downtown to pick out my ring. Parking was validated and he kindly covered lunch at Flat Top (if I had paid for that, it would not have been a fail, it would have been goal or entertainment excepted) but I paid for coffee. This is a clear rule on my no spend year plans, and for a reason. I spent too much on coffee out last year and there's no point. I only drink it black and I make it much cheaper at home. Sure, this was an outing and special circumstance, but my rules were clear - no coffee unless it's a gift card, and I picked a coffee shop I did not have a gift card for. No wiggle room on this, it's not even an exception under 'if I earn 'free' money.' 
  • Things I acquired for free: two books (Sweet Poison and one on Norse and Germanic folklore), silver and gold jewelry cleaners, and this fucking fabulous Nicolas Cage pillow cover, all Valentine's Day gifts from John. And a coffee from Starbucks the day I got my booster, which I covered with a gift card leftover from Christmas, which is why it's not a fail like the other one.
  • Things I almost bought but didn't: black liquid eyeliner, a pill organizer, yoga pants with pockets, the Macabre tarot deck, Dixi rings, and unsurprisingly, this book on toxic in laws which thankfully they have at the library, I placed a hold on it and I should have it in hand by the time this post is live!

5. No Sugar Year - I kicked ass in the face of temptations this month. Like I mentioned, we ate out at Flat Top Grill, and I was diligent about checking the various sauces for sugar. Thankfully, they have a detailed allergens list on their website, and sugar is included. We also hosted the Super Bowl and even though I made things that I had eat (including vegan brownies), John's family always brings tons of food to events. I think it's a German thing, "feed all the people." And not much of it was vegan or sugar free. Think taco dip (dairy), artichoke dip and ritz crackers (dairy and sugar), cookies (sugar), pizza, cheese and crackers, chili, chicken wings, and more. All things I would have eaten in the past, minus the meat, but I stuck to my plans! Very proud of that. And John was very good about not getting me chocolates for Valentine's Day, he knows I'm serious about this. Second half of the month was a lot smoother, but events will only ramp up when we head into the warmer months so I'll need to make more strategies for myself. Relying on willpower alone is a recipe for sugar disaster. I did read the book I listed, plus I'm currently reading Sweet Poison since John got it for me.

6. How Not to Die Year (Vegan Year) - I'm honestly quite impressed with myself for doing two months fully vegan. When I was just vegetarian (my entire life before this year), cheese could have been considered a food group all it's own in my pyramid. And somewhere near the base. Pizza of course, cheese added to veggie burgers and burrito bowls, nachos were life, the list goes on. I never ate meat or enjoyed eggs much, so no big change there, and vegan butter is an easy substitute, it's so close to the dairy kind. But the cheese is a big change for me. I feel better for it! Feeling more confident as time goes on about not having any, and about double checking for milk, butter, or eggs in any prepared foods I have. Which is few, naturally. I also kept up with the 75 Hard challenge (easier this time around because I'm ignoring the requirement of one of the workouts needing to be outside. Not in Chicago in February, pal.), checked in weekly with the weigh ins, and only missed three days of taking my vitamins.

7. Kate Middleton Energy - Yeah... I gotta tell say, this is the goal that's most likely to get changed when I do the quarterly refresh at the end of this month. I love Kate on the fronts of general style and poise in the media but at the end of the day, I'm just not a Kate all the time. I'm a Meghan - when you realize your husband's family is toxic AF, you move your family to a different damn continent. I'm so on board with that attitude, especially this month. I actually do feel like I've mastered a lot of these things, but the ones I haven't (being known for my patience and kindness comes to mind) aren't something I'm interested in working on.

I did enforce time boundaries, which was nice, but daily serenity? Not so much. Between John's mother/sister and the contractor/permit issues, I got way too worked up. But then I realized I feel best and most myself when I'm in bitch mode. I get shit done when I'm pissed off. So I definitely need to think on this goal going forward.

8. Build a Successful Business - Held steady this month. Got all my tasks done off my list, got the February boxes listed, checked in on Discord every week, and enforce my morning office hours every day. I wouldn't say it was a growth month, but steady is good! I do feel like, even though I got the tasks done, I didn't work as much this month, so I need to step that up this month.

March Tending List

1. Get Married - For monthly items, we need to settle the estate planning, the date (it's 99% set), and book the officiant. Those are the main things, none of which are too difficult. Slow and steady progress.

2. Happy House, Happy Spouse - Weekly meal plan and prep makes the list again this month. I like having the reminder to sit down once a week and actually make the plan.

3. Get My Concealed Carry License - Course options is back on the list this month. John says he knows a few other guys who teach it, so he's planning on reaching out. This is just a note for me to remind him about it, really.

4. No Spend Year - The usual suspect on the dailies - no spending. For a monthly goal, I'm spending March doing a pantry challenge. Plus fridge and freezer. I stocked up quite a bit over the last two months, including that last minute grocery run to Marianos. I think I have like 2 weeks of dinners of just lentil fritters alone in the freezer! Plus I still have canned beans, tomatoes, lentils, oats, soups, frozen vegetables, smoothie cups and more. Yes, these staples last a long time, but not forever. So it's a use up the stockpile month. I'm also going to work on earning 'fun money' this month. I have some events planned in April that would otherwise violate my no spend year rules. But I gave myself the allowance that if I earned 'fun money', that would be okay. So that means Swagbucks and other ways of earning that are outside of my podcast business. Thankfully, I think my DietBet pays out this month, or at least early April!

5. No Sugar Year - No sugar on the dailies of course, need somewhere to track it. I also want to finish reading Sweet Poison.

6. How Not to Die Year (Vegan Year) - All the same dailies. Vegan diet, vitamins, and also still 75 hard because Megan and I are going until the end of the month. Actually until we have girls night out mid April, go us! And I'm still not at the place where I'd remember to take my vitamins without the checklist. I don't have it tied to any other activity (like always taking them after lunch or before I brush my teeth), so I only take them when I look at the PowerSheets and think 'oh yeah, let me go take those now and get my check mark.' Which is fine, that's what the page is for, but I do need to figure out how to function without it at some point. I also want to focus more on weight loss this month, rather than maintaining. Shooting for 5 lbs off. Oh and my weekly item is based around drinking more tea. I have a few types and a bunch have 5 servings left. I really need to clear out the stash, so I can reorder only my favorites, so the goal is to finish off a type each week.

7. Kate Middleton Energy - The only thing on the dailies is to wear my Invisalign. Which I suck at. I've had the trays for like 6 years and I've only let my front crooked tooth get worse. And yes, some of the 'Kate Middleton' things on my list are entirely superficial, and straight teeth is one. My parents paid for it all those years ago, I really should use them! In the weekly section, I want to spend time each week reading my library books. Which don't seem to fit the goal on the surface, but the books are 'Toxic In Laws' and 'Emotional Blackmail' so yeah, they fit. Hopefully I'll learn useful strategies for dealing with toxic people and keeping my composure. In line with that, I want to focus on my longer self care routine each week as well, which is really just a hair and face mask. But it makes me feel better.

8. Build a Successful Business - Need to list and ship the March boxes. Listing is happening today, so shipping starts tomorrow. Should have this crossed off by mid month. For my weekly items, I absolutely need to start working ahead on my future tasks for April and beyond. Getting into the time of year when my schedule is busier, so I have to stop putting it off and work on something every week. I also pretty much ignored Instagram in February since it wasn't on my PowerSheets like it was in January, so it's back on the daily list this month. And hopefully that will help me remember to promote patreon and get one new subscriber each week (or a total of 5 for the month, at any point, would count too.)

I also have noted on the monthly section the 'PowerSheets Date' because the planner offers a quarterly check in and reset. So you run through a quick questionnaire and generally note how each goal is going, so you can adjust and make any changes before going into the next quarter. I'll take some time to do this exercise towards the end of this month.

What do you have planned for March? How did your goals progress during the last two months?

March Goals (Powersheets Tending List)

Tuesday, March 1, 2022