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Pits and Peaks This Week

Welcome back to Pits and Peaks, the weekly installment documenting how we’re doing on our quest to save up for an epic van trip in our van, Cecilia, sometime in the near(ish) future.

The waterfall at the arboretum.

This week was bittersweet in that the weekend involved several goodbye gatherings. Two friends are moving away soon, so we took the chance to spend time with them while they’re still here in California. On Saturday we had a lovely picnic and the LA Arboretum (if you’re in the area, highly recommend) and enjoyed the warm and sunny January weather. Then we headed downtown to a monthly free comedy show/drinking game. The only costs involved with this are for the pupusas from the pupusa lady down the street, at $2 each (and you only need one or two). All this was very cheap!

Sunday we had a birthday party at a (dun dun dunnn) restaurant, so a bit of spending was done there. During the week we have once again eaten our meals at home, with a single slip up due to poor communication on a friend’s part. She said there would be food, there was not, something had to be purchased from the cold case at the grocery store to appease the hunger pangs.

These posts always devolve into food, don’t they?

Anyway, here we go:


The birthday at the restaurant was really the only big money pit we had this week – but those things are worth it to celebrate with our friends. My friend who is moving also had a little gathering at a wine bar, where I had some wine. Both of these outings added up to probably what me and Anna could have easily spent on a single evening eating out.

I’ve been thinking, now that we’re getting pretty solid on our not eating out game, that we will soon need to streamline our grocery list. It’s not that we don’t think about the prices of things when we’re at the store at all, but I have the feeling that our grocery bills could be smaller. It’s something to think about, and I’ll probably be referring back to some of my favorite Frugalwoods posts for guidance.

Ah! Another expense this week that I almost forgot about. You see we are in the midst of a little crisis with our cats, which is, they won’t let us sleep. Or wouldn’t, until we made this purchase. So these guys are hyper all night long, I get it, they’re cats, that’s how they are. Fine. I don’t care. What I do care about is all the thumping, slamming of little bodies against doors, and little guys (Roosevelt, I’m looking at you) meowing at top volume in our faces multiple times a night. By Sunday morning, we were truly at the end of our rope. We went to Target and did what anyone would do: purchased a box fan, the loudest one we could find. We now sleep peacefully with the box fan at top power right in front of our closed door, and the cats thump and skitter around all night to their heart’s content.

The greenhouse at the Arboretum.


We’ve nearly done it again and cooked (almost) all home meals this week. There was the grocery cold case incident of course. Besides that we’re sitting pretty, and honestly I’m feeling like it’s already getting easier and becoming a habit. It helps a lot that I work from home, and so have time to get the food and do some prep work, or cook the whole meal, before Anna gets home. She really likes cooking though, and is good at it, so often she does the actual cooking.

We received a beautiful Indian cookbook from a dear friend recently, so I’m looking forward to trying out some of the recipes from that. It’s not just any cookbook, it goes through the entire year in terms of festivals and holidays, and details how to cook traditional dishes for those festival times.

Another peak was our very frugal and fun Saturday! We had a picnic at the Arboretum as I mentioned, and then went to a totally free comedy show. The only costs were food for the picnic, entry to the Arboretum (a small price to pay to help upkeep such a nice place!) and some pupusas at the show, as I mentioned. There is an amazing pupusa place down the street from where that show is and they’re dirt cheap and I won’t be stopped. I need my pupusas.

I’ve also been doing more mending of various clothing items that have been needing the attention for ages, following the guide of The Mender’s Companion by The Farwoods. This week I darned a sock and patched some more pants. Honestly, this mending this is really revolutionary for our jeans collection – I already have two pairs of jeans come back out of retirement, and Anna has a few as well. A couple more jeans await my needle and patchwork, as do a few more socks. It’s really satisfying to repair your clothes, I highly recommend it.

This week we’re looking forward to the second annual Women’s March tomorrow, another birthday party, and hopefully some time to rest in there somewhere?

Roosevelt has no trouble finding time to rest.


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  1. Victoria Victoria

    Well done! You should be really proud of the mending especially as it’s such a fiddly thing it can feel insurmountable.

    We have a very posh department store in London called Fortnum & Mason. They’re famous for their food hampers with F&M stencilled on them. I’ve got one full of clothes I call my fix and mend basket 😀

    Does the mending book cover mending the crotch/inner thigh area of jeans or trousers? Mine wear there so I think I probably need some combination of patch and seam mending.

    • Flo Flo

      Aw that’s cute! I just have a haphazard pile of clothes that need mending in the corner of the closet. It’s nice to have, either the haphazard pile or the cute basket, because then when you’ve got a few minutes you can just real pull something out and fix it up.

      The book I’m using doesn’t cover seam mending in particular, but almost all of the jeans mending I’m doing is in the very area you describe…the dreaded Chub Rub. The techniques covered in the book work just fine for that area, as long as you’re willing to sometimes use a little force to get the needle through the seamed parts.

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