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Pits and Peaks This Week

I’m the worst! I’m a day late on this week’s Pits and Peaks post! Please forgive me!

As you might imagine from the tardiness of this post, this week was a busy one. We had an out of town visitor for two nights (this seems to be a theme), Anna’s birthday, and some projects as well.


I bought ski goggles, guys. As I mentioned last week, I had a day trip up to Big Bear planned for skiing on Sunday with a friend. I managed to fit into my high school ski pants, which I’m still lowkey proud of, and was able to borrow gloves from my lovely mother. So the only cost for me was ski rental and a lift ticket, which we got a discount on by buying early.

But when we got up there, I realized I had no eye protection. And it was sunny and hot. People were skiing in t-shirts and shorts!

So, I weighed the pros and cons of buying goggles, and decided to buy the cheapest pair available. I go skiing occasionally, and every time I’ve ever gone I’ve wished I had goggles. Well, now I have some, and I never have to get my eyeballs burnt or borrow ugly sunglasses again.

With some better planning, though, I could have avoided that expense.

Another pit this week was the usual one: we went out to eat with Anna’s friend who was in town visiting for a couple of days. We always do this. Next time we have a visitor, I think what we need is a concrete meal plan of what we are going to make for them, instead of a vague, “We should cook at home.” When we’re vague, we always end up going out.


Though I fell into the pit of buying goggles on the ski trip, neither I nor my friend bought any food or drink on the mountain – a notoriously expensive proposition at most ski resorts. Instead, we planned ahead and brought our own snacks. My friend even brought a few beers that we enjoyed at the top of the mountain! Food and drink-wise, the ski trip was a frugal win.

A very happy birthday.

Another win came with my idea to DIY a birthday surprise for Anna instead of buying it like I did last year. Last year, I had a box of chocolate dipped strawberries delivered to her office. If you’ve ever used one of those gift delivery services for flowers or food, you know how the price can really add up. Delivery alone can be as much as $15!

This year, with a little prior planning I was able to surprise her with her favorite dessert again at a fraction of the cost. I bought strawberries and chocolate and woke up at 5 AM on her birthday to dip them myself. After leaving them in the refrigerator while I took a run, they were perfectly crunchy and ready to go. I surprised her with them right when she woke up, and she was delighted. Success!

Even though a good chunk of money was spent, I want to include Anna’s other birthday in the Peaks section because 1) she is wonderful and 2) she really enjoyed it. We balled out a little bit and went to a steakhouse in Pasadena. Living frugally in most areas of our life gives us the ability to spend strategically when we want to and when it’s worth it. This time it was definitely worth it – it was a birthday very well spent.



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