Counting down the items in the cupboards...Whittling down food, supplies and toiletries on hand...Six days and counting...

This pretty gazebo is located on a private ranch.
Each time we leave a location we make an attempt to use what we have on hand down to the last item. Leaving considerable numbers of items behind defeats our efforts to be financially sensible only adding to our total expenses.

Speaking of final costs, this upcoming Saturday prior to leaving for the airport we'll be posting our total costs for the over four months we've spent in Kauai.  I can already see we're over budget on the cost of groceries all of which figures we'll share in the post including average monthly and daily totals.

A few weeks ago we carefully reviewed the contents of the cupboards and the refrigerator and freezer shopping only for odds and ends to fill in meals and snacks.  This is always a fun challenge for us for which we often find ourselves proudly clucking like hens over our accurate assessments.

We had no idea how magnificent the Running J Farms estate actually is until we checked it out online at this site.  Wow!
Early on in our arrival to Kauai, we made a huge Costco run.  Now, all we're left with from that lofty run is a few boxes of bags and 11 cans of wild caught tuna.  With two packs of pork chops, one steak, one packet of mixed wild caught fish for me in the freezer, and individual single serving bags with various low carb grain free muffins I've baked in the past week, we have little left to consume.

For Tom's breakfasts I'd baked an ample supply of his favorite item; bacon, egg and cheese muffins which we keep in the freezer, removing a three day batch to thaw in the refrigerator every few days which he pops in microwave each morning for a delicious fast meal.  There are exactly the correct amount of these left in the freezer to get us through the upcoming week.

As a result of frequently baking various low carb items, we leave behind baking soda, baking powder, unsweetened chocolate (never used it here), spices and various extracts.  As for my trusty pink Himalayan salt grinder (Costco), that's going in the luggage.  There's no way we're leaving that behind.  Who knows if we'll be able to find it in Australia?

This scarecrow at the Running J Farms, a private vacation rental estate, is dressed in rain gear holding a sign that say, "No bad days!"
We don't use a lot of body products and toiletries in an attempt to save on weight in the bags and the necessity of finding a means of replacing them.  Years ago, I used lotions, creams, potions, essential oils and a wide variety of cosmetic apparatus. In this life, we both wash with quality bar soaps and use organic deodorant.  I gave up using lotions a few years ago, using coconut oil as needed for dry skin. 

Beside packing a small bottle of coconut oil, we include one bottle of shampoo and conditioner, one hair gel, toothbrushes, a tube of whitening toothpaste (plus baking soda and hydrogen peroxide), contact lens solution, razors and my small black bag of cosmetics. Tom doesn't use any face or body products.  He now shaves with his newer electric razor.  Neither of us uses any scented products, perfumes or shaving creams. 

Over these past months, we've been mindful of using up any big bottles of toiletries in order to take smaller (not trial sizes) sized items on the upcoming cruise which serves us well with minimal storage space in ship bathrooms.

A exquisite home was located beyond these iron gates in Kilauea.  Check out their view!
Of course, tonight's dinner will consist of cheesy tuna melts on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce.  The tuna salad is made with onions, celery, hard boiled eggs, spices and homemade mayonnaise. 

With dinner, we'll also have fresh steamed green beans and homemade low carb coconut blueberry muffins all topped with organic butter.  I made this new muffin recipe yesterday in an attempt to use some of the remaining ingredients we had on hand.

(I don't eat fruit due to the high sugar content.  However, each muffin has about five blueberries which is one gram of carbs.  Of all the fruits, berries are the lowest in sugar.  One cup of fresh blueberries has 21 grams of carbs, 15 grams of sugar which is equivalent to 3 1/2 tsps. of table sugar, more carbs than I'm allowed to eat in one day.  Its hard to eat only a few at a time so I avoid them entirely.  For the toxicity of sugar including sugar in fruit, please click here).

Another extraordinary home was located beyond this decorative gate.
Yesterday afternoon, after the Preakness horse race, we headed to Kilauea in search for photos ops. It had been raining off and on all day but, feeling better, I really wanted to get out after being ill for 11 days. Today, I've turned the corner and am gratefully on the mend. Thanks to all of our reader friends who sent thoughtful email, prayers and comments. 

No more than a minute after we walked out the door, there was a downpour. In Kauai, it can rain one minute and be sunny the next. That's exactly what transpired during our outing.

In every direction it takes only moments to find an ocean view.
After the trip to Kilauea we stopped at Foodland for a few items for the cruise including antibacterial wipes for cleaning the TV remote, the door handles and all surfaces in our cabin which we'll do immediately upon entering.  We were surprised to find small packets of wipes that will easily fit into Tom's pockets.  We'll use these everywhere we go on the ship although, typically we don't touch handrails and door handles.

Today, I'll start organizing our third suitcase which contains all of our supplies.  With one large box of Ziplock freezer bags left from the Costco trip, I'll replace all of the worn bags that contain a wide array of items.  Keeping items categorized in these bags prevent leakage and provides a level of organization that simplifies our lives.

Mature palm trees always present an appealing landscape on private property.
We love simplification.  Sure, from time to time, I miss a few kitchen gadgets, a few "girlie" type accoutrements and my former wide array of clothing.  Each day while dressing, its a simple as choosing which tee shirt goes with which pair of shorts.  No longer do I change multiple times for social occasions in an attempt to decide on the "perfect outfit." 

No longer do I put on an outfit and ask Tom, "Does this make me look fat?'  His answer would be irrelevant.  If it makes me look fat, there aren't other options.  Besides, men always lie anyway when asked this question.

Happy Sunday!

Photo from one year ago today, May 17, 2014:

One year ago today, we were moved in and settled into our new home in Madeira, Portugal, an island off the northwest coast of Africa.  We couldn't have been more thrilled with the house, Gina, the local manager and its modern décor and conveniences.  For more photos of the house, please click here.


Anonymous said...

Hi, since you mentioned cosmetics I've been wondering how that has changed for you since embarking on your adventure? Do you use less, or purchase in the location you are staying in? If so, do you find the same thing or higher prices? Did your regime change? You said you stopped using lotion what about other makeup or hair colouring products? Nail polish? Or did you feel the need to let these things go? I'm not sure I could live without some of them or I'd be afraid I'd buy the wrong hair color in a strange country!

Jessica said...

Hello, Anonymous! As a woman who always preferred not to appear as if I just got out of bed, I've continued to use many of the products I used in the past including hair, nails and a few cosmetics. A few times a year we receive a shipment with my preferred products, enough to last through the next six to 12 months or more. This has worked out well. I do my own hair, nails and pedicures which I learned to do long before we left for our journey. As for makeup I no longer use Lancôme mascara or pencils. Instead, I buy Maybelline, Revlon or whatever brand is available at the grocery store or local pharmacy.

After giving up my sense of style, up-to-date clothing, shoes and purses, shopping, lunches with girlfriends, and more, I wasn't willing to forego getting up in the morning, showering, fixing my hair, putting on some makeup and being presentable (for me) for the day. Not everyone would bother with this. But, for me, its a part of who I am and one can only give up so much. This life isn't jail. Its paradise and I love being able to be myself.

Hope this answers your question. if not, feel free to comment again or send me an email.

Warmest regards,

Elizabeth Banks said...

You are one of the most elegant ladies I have ever meet Jess! My Granny would say that a confident attitude would go further than a lot of 'war paint'. But saying that I believe in the World Wars lipstick sold well, as it continues to do so in more challenging economic times. It's those little treats that keep the morale up.
As to your amazing organisation and 'housekeeping' I salute you. I think I would have to get my husband to do the number crunching for ingredients in such quantities. my head hurts thinking about it.

Jessica said...

Liz, you are so right about the lipstick and thanks for the sweet compliment. I'd read how important it was to the women in the world wars and I truly understand that, as you do as well.

As for my organizational skills, you flatter me. I guess I've always been this way and take it for granted assuming most people are detail orientated. Without organization by both of us (he's as conscientious as me in many ways) our lives could be a real mess. Its only the fear of the mess that drives us on.

You made us both laugh with the comment about your head hurting just thinking out it. Your manner of speaking and writing is adorable to us. Its the charming British way we love so much.

Lots of love,
Jess & Tom

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