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Shoo-ee. It’s heating up here in Texas, but that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down. This weekend we celebrated a birthday and hubbin’s job success, as well as little things around our home.

See how we spent our two days of freedom in the pursuit of a frugal life. Add your wins in the comments!

Great news!

Mr. Picky Pincher got great news on Friday: he passed his certification test for work!

Y’all. He has been fighting for this since I first met him, six-odd years ago. This week all of his hard work came to fruition with this license. This will have an impact on his earning potential and even his PTO.

It’s very good news and we’re so proud of him!

We splurged a little and treated hubs to a steak dinner for Sunday lunch. But it was a steak that was well-deserved. 🙂

Blackberry lemon pound cake

I had a lot of eggs on my hands, so I made a blackberry lemon pound cake. I used this recipe. 

We happened to have blackberries in our freezer, so I used them for this recipe. I should have oiled my pans better because I had trouble getting the cakes out. Oops!

Anyway, the end result was a flaky, moist pound cake with a lemon drizzle. Delish!

Sure, the cake’s ugly on the outside, but it’s the inside that counts. And when you slice a pound cake into pieces, nobody will see that it’s a little scraggly.

Granola

I made a batch of homemade cranberry-orange granola. Mr. Picky Pincher loves eating this stuff with yogurt for breakfast.

Pots de creme

I took a chocolate class a few months ago where they taught us how to make pots de creme. It sounds fancy, but pots de creme are just chocolate pudding in a container.

I used a recipe from class, but here’s a similar recipe from Food Network. I topped mine with homemade Chantilly cream (whipped cream that’s whipped a little less) and chopped white and semisweet chocolate.

The best thing about this dessert is that you can store it in the fridge to eat later. I’m pretty sure it will freeze well, too, but I’m going to experiment to make sure.

Garden update

I’ve reaaaally been slacking with the garden this year. We didn’t bother to plant in our raised beds because we just didn’t have the time to mind them.

However! Our trees are producing tons of fruit right now.

The peach tree is almost ready to pick. If deer and bugs don’t get to them first, we should get about 20 peaches. Not bad for Year 2 on a new tree.

Our fig tree is producing an INSANE amount of figs. Seriously. I counted 40 figs and then gave up. In the coming weeks the figs will ripen. I like to freeze them in a giant Ziploc until the tree stops producing. Then I thaw the figs, cut them in half, and dehydrate them.

Dried figs are delicious in sweet breads and mincemeat. Mmmm.

Our blackberry vine is also producing, but we’ll only get >10 berries total. What’s interesting is that blackberry volunteers are cropping up in the same area.

After some literal digging, I realized the blackberry is building a network of roots across the yard for Blackberry Domination. We’ll have to curb its enthusiasm a bit by relocating the volunteers to the trellis. We’ll probably start cutting down further volunteers to keep the blackberry under control.

What I’m reading

I try to read a book or two every month. Here are some of my favorite books of the year so far; the top two are new additions to the list!

Alchemy is a great book if you happen to be in marketing!

Little things

  • Composting. I’ve been better about composting odds and ends of produce instead of tossing them in the trash.
  • Free eggs from my sister. We visited my sister for Memorial Day and she sent us home with a dozen duck and chicken eggs.
  • I rinsed out our trash cans. Sometimes trash cans get funky. I rinsed out ours with bleach to remove the funk.
  • We enjoyed free food samples at the farmer’s market. We went there to celebrate a family birthday and enjoyed artisanal cheese and chocolate. Mmmm.
  • Epsom salt. I always buy the mondo-huge bag of Epsom salt instead of the smaller bags. I fill a giant Mason jar with Epsom salt and keep it by the bath for use.

Zap’s Adventures

Zap loves napping on top of the warm, toasty router.

He also likes to park it on top of Mr. Picky Pincher’s work bag. “You can’t leave if I have your stuffs.”

Forgive the blurry photo, but I caught Zap on top of a box, mid-lick. He likes to sit on his throne and watch us peasants toil before him.

But, of course, he’s a snugglebug at heart. 🙂

We want to know: How did you save or spend money this week?



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