Defining expenses


This was Friday’s outfit. It was a bit warm and this polyester shirt works really well for that in-between weather temperature range. I need a jacket for going outside, but inside I’m fine with just this. It’s another reminder that not all of my fast-fashion buys are bad things as long as I keep using them and this shirt has stood the test of time. I’ve had it for round 7 years I think.

I looked at the purchases I’ve made thus far this month and the amount is shocking. I’m nearly at $300, which is the limit I set for myself per month of discretionary shopping. What have I bought?

  • 1 gift for a friend
  • 3 items from Sephora (replenishment hair pomade, replenishment blush, new eye brow brush/razor – all of these were things I needed to replace/replenish because I use them regularly)
  • 1 affogato
  • another affogato and bag of coffee so I can make some at home
  • 1 Nintendo amiibo (another gift – for Z – not necessary but fun) to use for playing Zelda
  • 2 bags of hot chocolate (these were expensive, but so worth it – it’s like drinking molten dark chocolate bars)
  • haircut
  • Saturday brunch with Z

So here is where I’m starting to get fuzzy with what I need to consider an “expense”.

Do I count the haircut, the gift for my friend, and the Sephora items as discretionary spending? If not, then I’m still well within my range. However, it is extra spending I hadn’t anticipated because it happens infrequently and isn’t budgeted into my monthly expenses. Does that mean I need to up my monthly expenses by another $100 or so to include all these “oh yeah, I forgot I need to get that” sort of spending. It’s stuff I need and use, but not all the time. With beauty products, it’s a total crap shoot because I only buy that sort of stuff maybe every 3 or 6 months (or longer), depending on the item.

I suppose looking at that list and seeing that it all only cost $300 really isn’t that bad, but again adding up all those little things made me realize how quickly I can spend money without thinking about it.

How do you treat those random-but-necessary purchases in your spending? Chalk it up to extra spending that month? Be conscious of that spending so you spend less discretionary? Throw it into your budget and that gives you more of a buffer each month you don’t buy those items? Take the total cost of what you need (roughly) and then divide it out by 12 so you have that amount “counted for” in your monthly budgeting (or however you do it)?

I also got my raise this month, so my budget needs to be re-assessed for figuring out how much more I can save each month.


These were my Valentine Day flowers I found on my desk when I got home. I don’t like red roses so Z has always gotten me ones in the colors I like for roses: orange, lavender or some mix of orange-yellow or pink-white.

I’ve been lusting over these two pairs of pants. Both are expensive. The first is navy wool pants from La Garconne. I don’t need another pair of wool navy pants, but these look so nice and casual-ish. The second pair is linen by Pas de Calais (sold at La Garconne) and they are twice as much as the first pair. I want the linen pair more. I feel like they would be a great alternative (dependent upon weather) to jeans for a regular pair of pants to wear. I’m still kinda considering the ES Clyde work pant as well.

Since the very end of December I’ve been doing much better with keeping my workout routine. I’ve not been perfect, but definitely a lot better. As a result, I’ve started to see quite a bit of muscle development in areas I had no idea I could have such strong muscles. Due to the boot, I’m restricted to mostly upper body and core strength. My arms feel…. meaty now. They are much more muscular than they used to be. Even my forearms are stronger.

As of January 1st I could do 8 chin ups and 3 pull ups. As of Friday, February 16th, I am up to 5 pull ups and 13 chin ups. My bench press weight has gone up by 20 lbs (was 30, now at 50 and stalling bad there) and my overhead press has gone up 10 lbs (stalling badly there too). I can’t seem to get many more in than 4 on overhead press and 5 on bench press, but I can do a few more reps at that amount than I used to. I still hate body rows and haven’t made much improvement there. My push ups have gotten a lot better as well.

It’s very strange for me to have so much upper body strength now. My legs were always the strongest part of my body due to running and strength training. I feel slightly unbalanced now because my legs are so weak and my arms so strong.



Everlane sweater, Rachel Comey Lure pant, gifted scarf (I think it’s from Gap).

The first half of the day I was cold and wore my enormous scarf around my neck. After lunch I finally took it off. I also have on a tee underneath the sweater for added warmth.


Here is the tee I was wearing along with my Girlfriend Collective workout leggings. The tee is from Grand Teton National Park. It’s of a hiking bear that’s waving.

Today was one of those “ugh, I have to work out” days, so I took the camera with me to take photos. Behind the basement door is the only full-length (sort of) mirror we have. I have it hung there so I can check my posture when doing weights.

weight room

This room is always a mess and we have weights thrown about everywhere. Z and I both are too lazy to put them away because we use this room every other day. There’s a treadmill on the left with a barbell (minus weights on it) on the floor in front of it. I think we have 3 barbells, but only use 2 of them. The one on the floor is shorter and we use it for deadlifts. The one on the weight bench is longer and little heavier. I also have a rowing machine in the other room.

Today was quite boring at work. It’s nice to have a relaxing day at the end of the week, but then it makes the day crawl by so painfully slow. I did a lot of screen shopping for shoes. I cannot wait to wear different shoes!!

Anyone have any fun plans this weekend? I think we are going to see Phantom Thread at some point and Z is going to change the oil in my car. So exciting….

Simple and fit


J Crew sweater, Grana jeans.

I’m not sure what the dark smudge is in the upper right part of the photo. I hope it’s not something wrong with the camera.

Today was one of those throw-on-whatever kinds of days. A simple outfit, sweater and jeans.

A coworker stopped me today and after complimenting my sweater said, “You look fit!” This was coming from a teeny tiny woman who is 3 inches shorter than me and weighs as much as I did in middle school. We then swapped weight training stories and I found out she used to have a solid six pack and played 5 sports. Her weight has yo-yo’d over time and she said seeing me motivated her to get back to it. Considering I’ve felt like I’ve been a bit off for the past couple months, this was refreshing to hear. Other than last Friday’s monsoon and coming home really late, I’ve been working out every Mon, Wed, Fri starting just after Christmas. Not being able to run still drives me nuts, but weight training has kept the Crazy under control. I have noticed I’ve gotten a little more fat in some areas I hoped to never see it on again because I’ve works so hard already to lose it, but there’s not much I can do about it now. I’ll have to wait it out with the boot and tendon rehab.

Tonight Z and I are going to watch Mary and the Witch’s Flower, which is the premiere film from the newly formed Studio Ponoc. It’s an animation studio and several animators there used to work at the world famous Studio Ghibli. Ghibli is where the two grandfathers of anime (Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata) work so animators splitting off from the main company and building their own little empire is really exciting in the animation world right now. The director for Mary also did The Secret World of Arrietty and based on the trailer, it looks and generally feels very much like a Ghibli film. I’m really excited to see it though because unlike Ghibli films, this one seems much more action centered. I love Ghibli films and own almost everything by Miyazaki-san, but they can be a bit heavy with the feels. That is part of what makes these films so good, but sometimes an action-packed ride is just as good and easier to take in on one viewing. There are two showings tonight and I’ve opted for the Japanese sub at the earlier time. The English dub has Cate Winslet and Jim Broadbent as part of the cast, so in time I’ll definitely watch the dub as well. I think the movie is only showing for a short run at limited theaters. I know that after tonight, only the dub version will be airing.


Snow day

The alarm went off and instead of snoozing I knew I’d either have to scrape a little snow off my car (might as well get up now so I have time to do it) or I’d get to go back to sleep. I walked downstairs to get a street view. Nope. Not happening. It was so dark out with so much snow blowing it looked like it was still 3 am out there. I crawled back into bed with my phone and no sooner than I pulled up my boss’s contact info, I got a text from him not to bother coming in today. Back to sleep for another two hours. Bliss.

Got up again. Z was already awake and fed the cats. He’s working from home today and able to catch up on a lot of work. He said today would be a good day to play Zelda, but he’s better off doing what work he can at home. His new job inundates him every single day and he needs help getting it all done. Peace and quiet at home for him to get things organized will greatly help. I make a hot breakfast and play Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.

snow day

Candles lit, heat blasting, mugs of hot tea, my wool blanket and video games. That is the extent of today’s agenda. I’ve heard the plows go by 5 times already. The wind is so strong now it blows all the snow back onto the the street in minutes. We were only supposed to get 4 or 5 inches of snow max, but it seems like we may get more. Note to self: double layer clothing tomorrow – it’ll be annoyingly cold.


Tuesday: Everlane black long sleeve, Limi Feu sweater (gift from Z for xmas), Yohji pants. I put up different curtains before the holidays and while they’ve given the living room a nice color lift, they’re not doing my outfit photos any favors. I may have to find a different area of the house to do them until the daylight savings changes and I get more natural light again. wednesday

Wednesday: Banana Republic button down and grey cashmere sweater (gift from mom for xmas), Rachel Comey Lure Pant.

The Limi Feu sweater, BR sweater and RC pants are all new and (aside from one item currently on it’s way) the last items I bought in 2017. I don’t plan on buying any clothes for quite a while. I don’t really plan on buying much of anything for a long time.

I was shocked when I got the Limi Feu sweater, considering how expensive it was. I have some used designer clothes on my Amazon wishlist – I found through Japanese discounters – they aren’t on Amazon. I put them there for my reference more than anything else. The sweater is wool and linen and kept me quite warm on Tuesday when I was back in a freezing cold office. The heat was off over the holidays. The BR sweater is also very warm, but the V on it is so low my neck and chest were getting cold! The RC Lure Pant was a gift to myself. They went on sale, twice, and I jumped at the second time the price lowered. They are very high waisted (almost at my bra when I sit down) and low crotched and baggy and extremely comfortable. They look like worker pants in a way and I want to pair them now with my 45rpm clothes. They are very long as well, but I prefer the dorky look of cuffing them up high versus getting them hemmed. I’ll be wearing them a lot this winter along with the Sacai pants.

Upping my workout routine and tracking my reps again with what few exercises I can do while in the boot. My pull-ups are atrocious so I’m focusing on doing more of those. Started on December 30th and when January 1st rolled around my arms were cursing me, but I forced myself to work out. Now my core muscles are cranky with me. I need to look up some more stretching exercises to do post work out.


Weights and tears

When I started this blog, I was wearing a boot on my left foot for Achilles Tendinitis. It was the second time this year I’d worn the boot.

Last summer I was running a lot and then noticed – I don’t remember exactly when – a pain in my ankle. Like all stubborn runners I thought: I’ll just run through it and take it easy tomorrow. I did this for the following 3 months, realizing that no matter how much “down time” I gave myself  my ankle wasn’t getting better. Some days I could run just fine and not have any issues. Some days it would start out hurting, but then I’d push through it and be fine at the end of my run. Some days I’d have an excellent pain-free start of the run only to have to stop short due to the pain deciding to stab my leg and threaten to cripple me. So I stopped running around Thanksgiving. I “took it easy” and only did my usual weight training every other day.

In January of this year I went on a couple long walks to test the water with my ankle. I’d looked it up and thought: yep, I have tendinitis, but I’m mostly ok. I don’t hurt too much and if I don’t walk much it’s no biggie. Plus, I don’t get too much pain at all with weight training. I could tell after one walk my ankle still wasn’t happy. I finally went to a specialist around March and he said: yep, you have tendinitis, but it’s actually healing since you’ve been off it a bit. He gave me a script for steroids to help with the inflammation (there was a noticeable, small bump on the back of my ankle) and then another script for the boot. He said to wear it for three weeks, wean off it on 4th and I’d be totally fine. Why, he himself had had the exact same thing happen to him! I had a total of 3 visits to him over the course of treatment and the last one he said I was ok. Only walk 1 mile for a bit and no weights for another couple weeks.

One month later I attempted to run, which I was allowed to do – on a flat surface – and only managed a half mile before my ankle fell apart again. Bump back, ALL the pain back.

I didn’t put the boot back on until June after a trip to Scotland. I didn’t want to be hobbling about doing touristy stuff. I didn’t go back to the doctor because I thought he was full of shit, but also maybe I did something wrong with the rehab as well. I wore the boot for 6 solid weeks and very slowly weaned off it this time.  It felt great. There was no bump. I started taking little walks in the neighborhood. Nothing long and not at a fast pace. No pain. I was so incredibly happy and hopeful. I missed talking my long walks, but what I longed for the most was my runs. I’d gotten up to 7 miles before stopping last Thanksgiving.

Then this past Saturday I went to a friend’s house for a BBQ and we all walked into town for a car show. We walked very slowly among the crowds, but it was a lot of walking. Sunday morning I felt fine, but then crossing my legs while sitting at the dining room table I felt a stab of pain. By midday I had a bump again on my ankle. I iced my leg twice that day, but the bump didn’t go away. It was still there Monday and all the old pains started coming back. I’d read enough about Achilles Tendinitis to know that in some cases, it can turn into a chronic condition. I may not have a tear bad enough for surgery, but the usual lighter treatments like what I’d been doing may not ever entirely work. There is the option of surgery in case there’s lots of scar tissue or if bursitis sets in….. I did the worst thing possible by reading so much about it online and collapsed into a blob of angry tears on Monday.

I love running. I ran cross-country in high school as a means of getting out of the house when I was younger. I took it for granted then. Years later I picked it up again and realized it was the only “sport” of sorts that I like  – competing against myself and trying to get better. I love having runner highs. It’s addicting, but in a good way. Running also helps me sleep and regulates my mood swings by relieving stress. I zone out when I run – sometimes to the extent of not even remembering the run itself when I’m done. It’s my way of meditating. It also helped me lose 20 pounds when I made more of an effort to get into shape. I weight lift also, which has greatly helped me and I love feeling stronger and don’t mind the sort of muscle pains one feels when lifting. They’re growing pains – growing to be stronger. But no matter how much I lift, I always look forward to my runs.

Now, due to my own stubborn stupidity I may not be able to run again. I might’ve given myself this chronic condition due to how long I refused to accept it for what it was last autumn and should’ve stopped much sooner. That realization made me so utterly miserable I couldn’t do much of anything other than hold back tears all day Monday until I got home. My husband let me cry on him and said I should take it easy and not despair just yet. We did a lot of walking on Saturday so maybe my ankle was being cranky about it and I just needed to rest again. I was comforted by his kindness in being optimistic for me, but part of me knew I may need to face the reality of not being able to run again – let alone taking my long 4-5 mile walks in the neighborhood, or hikes in my favorite parks.

The bump went down a lot on Tuesday and Wednesday and today it’s sorta back, but that might be due to the shoes I’m wearing, which are new and the heel is digging a bit into my ankle, but it’s looking like that on both ankles. My calf has felt tight, so I did some stretching yesterday and did some light weight training (body weight mostly) because I can’t give up all exercise. Even when I had the boot on I was still doing exercising – mostly upper body and core – but hardly doing anything at all for legs.

I’ll hold my breath for now about it and give it some time. I don’t want to call it a chronic condition just yet. More like – I’m afraid to accept it right now.

Reflection in mirror hanging on the back of the basement door to the workout room. I use to to check my posture for dead lifts and squats.
weights (1)
Husband had a shit winter/spring too health-wise and he’s gradually getting his weights back up. 
Rusty old dumbbell set from the in-laws. 
We have two barbells, a few dumbbells, a weight bench, a rowing machine, a treadmill, and lots of mismatched weights from relatives and Craigslist finds.