January 2024 Highlights

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January was a slow work month, which I appreciated as it enabled me to start implementing new routines for the year and focus on my health journey.

The year started off with one heck of an amazing surprise at my very nearby Walmart: they put in an ATM for my bank. 😲 There was an ATM for my bank near old Pilates and my actual bank branch is near new Pilates, but both are still a good 40-minute roundtrip walk. It’s amazing to get to a BBVA ATM and back in under 15 minutes. In a pinch, I could always take out a couple thousand pesos at the till using my debit card, but they didn’t always have that much to give in withdrawals, plus I had to buy something. This is much more convenient!

That Walmart pass service is also incredibly convenient! I can order from other Walmarts that carry products the one in Campestre doesn’t have, plus I get all my heavy things delivered. And the odd day that I’m missing a few things and don’t have time to run out, only having to tip for delivery is pretty great!

I got a bad toothache at the start of January and was once again grateful for the amazing dental care I have access to. I knew from having had similar pain on the other side of my mouth last year that the issue was my retainer rubbing my gum, exposing the nerve root. My retainer adjustment appointment was in a week or so and knowing that I wasn’t in a dental emergency as well as exactly what to do felt like a miracle. I just picked up a tube of this magic toothpaste at a pharmacy, didn’t use my retainer for a few nights, and problem solved. This toothpaste is a miracle. It doesn’t just numb teeth (think Sensodyne); it actually builds up a protective layer around thin enamel.

I’ve had to very slightly change the way I eat, so I’m getting a bit better about meal planning. This menu made me realise I was overdue for a trip to Asianmart, so I headed out there one afternoon to stock up.

Here is just a tiny bit of my haul. I would very quickly come to realise that I was smart in buying the economy-sized tubs of red curry paste and miso!

I cannot believe I’ve never made miso soup at home. It’s one of my comfort foods! It had to jump to $80 a tiny bowl from a restaurant for me to wise up!

One of the many red curry paste bowls of deliciousness I’ve made since my Asianmart trip:

My clients were very generous over the holiday season. I was able to finally pick up a stainless steel skillet with one of the Amazon gift cards I received. It’s my new favourite pan to cook on!

With the balance of the card, I picked up sandals to match a new dress I got myself for my Puerto Morelos trip. 🙂

I bought this puzzle in 2022 and it wasn’t until January 2024 that I was finally able to put it together! The puzzle table went in the guest room so I could keep it safe from the girls! This was a really fun puzzle as it has a surprise at the end, one that actually surprised me.

Speaking of the girls, they love me and are getting along!

I spent most of a Sunday at Mérida’s well-hidden gem, the Parque Arque-ecologico del poniente. It’s becoming increasingly accessible as the bus service improves. I’ll have to remember to blog about that in a few months as more life-changing routes become available.

An amusing find on my walk was the Mérida igloo!

Working here must be a party!

I couldn’t get an Uber back from the park, so I walked all the way to Soriana Canek. I don’t shop much at Soriana here, but I knew they were having a sale on a beer I like, so I figured I should stock up since I’d have a ride home. I also found some beautiful fresh leeks. It had been a bit of a chilly, drizzly morning, so some fresh leek soup with garlicky naan was the perfect lunch after my long walk!

Finally, I did some pretty major cosmetic work in the kitchen in January. I may eventually post a video tour. One big improvement was baseboards!

I was unhappy with how the counters were chipping. After speaking with a few contractors, I decided that since I’m doing a full gut reno of the kitchen within the next five years, I wasn’t going to fix them properly. Enter contact paper. It was such an inexpensive and easy solution that even if I have to redo it one or two times before I redo the kitchen, it’ll still be less wasteful and expensive than my other options, like tiling or doing epoxy. I also added some peel-and-stick tile behind the stove. What an improvement! I love the floor and am thrilled that the counters almost match!

I again switched up the layout a bit and now do all my prep on the metal table.

Finally having a kitchen that I’m almost happy in for the first time since moving in is really helping motivate me to meal plan and cook. I finished off the year with this beautiful meal of failed shrimp tacos. I finished work early and decided that was what I was in the mood for, so I headed over to Walmart Express to get in my walk for the day and pick up everything I needed.

I came home and threw together a gorgeous salsa bandera with mango (I now make it with one whole jalapeño and one whole serrano pepper), a creamy coleslaw (with another serrano pepper), then cooked shrimp and sliced up an avocado. I have had to switch to low-carb tortillas at home, so that’s why you see a wheat one there — I still prefer corn!

I decided to pile everything onto the single tortilla, so I had to eat my meal with a knife and fork. #tacofail🤦‍♀️

January was the perfect lazy start to the year and really reset my batteries.