Save. Spend. Splurge.

Week of Money: Where yes, your sunscreens are harming coral reefs


??:?? — I wake up still tired. I could have used another hour but Little Bun is bright eyed and bushy tailed.

7:09 a.m. — After we check on the basil (soil not dry yet!) I log in and start working.

7:59 a.m. — First calls of the day. I am booked solid until noon.

10:25 a.m. — Little Bun comes back from his outing with his father (I declined, I wanted to stay in and relax), and I ask him what he did, and he says: We went to the bottle store to buy bottles!!

Me: Of what, water? Milk?

Little Bun: *stumped*

Daddy: No it was beer. I’m trying it out instead of wine.

12:15 p.m. — The call went over. As usual. Now I head out for my appointment. I am giving up on new glasses completely, and I decide to just buy polarized sunglasses instead with the store credit. I don’t need another pair, but I am stuck with a $100+ credit and nothing else I want or could actually use.

1:10 p.m. — Back home, I log in and start working. Ever feel like some days, it’s a spaghetti train in your head? So many little things to remember and do, and yet it’s all TINY LITTLE THINGS you have to gather up and list, bit by bit so you don’t lose track of it all.

3:00 p.m. — Up from his nap. He surely did not nap, and probably lay there reading math books.

4:25 p.m. — I do laundry, dishes, and try to get this avatar that Little Bun wants in Two Dots. We have a mission and he wants us to succeed desperately.

7:17 p.m. — Time for bed after I decide to finally make a huge bag of “donate” and close my eyes and be done with it. We are going to move soon and I do not want to lug this stuff there only to lug it back out again.

Refund: $58.22 – But now I am getting sunglasses instead to use up the credit


??:?? — I wake up NOT rested. I make a cup of tea, and just lie on the floor for a bit, before drinking it.

6:22 a.m. — I log in to work, and Little Bun starts on his pages, but really.. he’s playing on the floor with his Stuffies, practicing piano, doing everything but his pages. I have to release control and just let him do what he wants, and he figures out if he is late for his workbook pages or not to be able to finish them before his nap. *takes a deep breath*

7:40 a.m. — I shush the two of them while on mute. They’re playing together so loudly on the side of me. ARRRGH. I cannot hear a thing.

9:46 a.m. — I message with my friend back and forth about sunscreens. Basically, ALL sunscreens are bad for the coral reefs. No matter if they are chemical or mineral. ALL OF THEM ARE BAD.

The only thing is that mineral sunscreens are LESS bad for the coral reef as they are not chemicals like oxybenzone, or any of the oxy- chemicals that bleach the reefs.

Also, even though here, we do not live near reefs or oceans, ALL BODIES OF WATER WASH INTO THE OCEAN. It means we are ALL indirectly contributing to the bleaching of coral reefs if we wear sunscreen and wash it down the drain.

Every single one of us.

Everything we wash down the drains in our homes, goes into the ocean.

I am committed to wearing a hat instead, I think. I will have sunscreen for days when I do not (hopefully not often), but I think it’s time to wear a hat rather than rely on sunscreen so heavily. My hair will suck, but I am willing to do this over feeling like I am contributing, as I wear sunscreen EVERY TIME I go out.

12:40 p.m. — I have lunch.

1:07 p.m. — Down for his nap.

3:56 p.m. — I am still working to get stuff done.

4:26 p.m. — This is so true. This is SO TRUE that we are pushing it as passive, and the women being the focus or the victims, when in fact, this is an AGGRESSIVE action on the part of men who are harassing women.

5:22 p.m. — I finally log off for the day.

7:55 p.m. — Time for bed.

Spent: $0


??:?? — Not rested again. I just close my eyes on the floor.

6:30 a.m. — I log in and start working. There is a lot of pressure to get all these documents done and checked. I am trying to delegate but these people I am working with are not as experienced, so it would be quicker for me to do it… to be frank. But I am desperate in trying to train them instead.

7:59 a.m. — Uh oh. My skin has reacted to the new serum I am using. I guess it is just too strong for what I am doing with my skin right now, and I have a slight chemical stripping on my cheek and neck. I don’t use or own moisturizer, so I google it, and apparently rosehip oil works great even for acne-prone skin like mine. I slather a few drops on.

8:00 a.m. — Call of the day. Lots of pressure as usual. I don’t know what to say. You want me to deliver in a short period of time, but you saddle me with inexperienced people.

9:38 p.m. — I am enamoured with this person’s home. Her greenhouse looks great, her outside fireplace… I am taking inspiration. We think we want to build a greenhouse, with raised garden beds, and this would be great.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Maria Lundvald (@livsnyderhaven)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Maria Lundvald (@livsnyderhaven)


12:28 p.m. — Time for lunch.

2:56 p.m. — Little Bun cuts out hearts for my personality (?) after my nap. He asks me to point to which heart I feel the most – the one with most good and a little bad, or a lot of bad with a little good, or half half.

5:56 p.m. — I finally log off for the day.

6:24 p.m. — Dishes, laundry, cleaning, cutlery, playing with Little Bun in the bedroom.

8:56 p.m. — Time for bed. It is creeping later and later!

Spent: $0


??:?? — Nope. Still tired. I “meditate” on the floor before getting up, while Little Bun drinks milk.

6:20 a.m. — I log in and start working.

8:08 a.m. — Little Bun starts naming out colours of the rainbow and says: Multicoloured ON THE GO! Or should I say indigo?

12:08 p.m. — Oh this loft looks cute. Compact, interesting. I like that the wall in the loft bedroom looks out onto the front of the loft space itself rather than being closed off. It makes it seem a lot more open and cool.

12:15 p.m. — Lunch, our meeting ran late. I have another in half an hour.

12:45 p.m. — I scarfed down my lunch and start working again.

1:00 p.m. — Down for his “nap” with Daddy.

3:10 p.m. — He bangs on the door hard, squealing “YAYYYYYYYYY” because nap time is over, or rather, QUIET TIME for the whole family, and I am in the middle of my call.

3:55 p.m. — He plays away on the piano, like a banshee with headphones on, but I can hear the keys being smashed. I try to concentrate on my call.

8:25 p.m. — Time for bed. We read a page, then we do this cute origami box activity where you fold a piece of paper and make.. a cube! The fun part was blowing into the hole to blow it up like a balloon. It was surprisingly easy to do and a lot of fun. We plan on making more of them. I even found a more complex looking one that is even cooler.

Spent: $0


??:?? — Still tired. I think I need a nap today.

6:00 a.m. — I log in and work. I want to stop early today.

8:11 a.m. — I am so tired. So many people talking to me, my brain isn’t working. I think we call this work from home fatigue.

11:08 a.m. — Little Bun is really into his scissors and what he calls “being crafty”, and creating arts and crafts, which are pictures like flowers that he cuts out for me and colours. He tells me: I can cut out shapes for you if you’d like? 

12:30 p.m. — Lunch! Probably my favourite time of the day. I get to eat, have a cup of tea, read a book and unwind.

3:05 p.m. — After his nap, I am still on calls.

5:01 p.m. — Danggit. I am still on calls.

5:30 p.m. — I beg Little Bun for a little nap. True to form, he wakes me up in half an hour, and I feel really good and refreshed. I can’t sleep too long or else I won’t sleep at night. I just need to take the edge off.

6:12 p.m. — Dishes, cutlery, laundry. Nothing special.

8:56 p.m. — Time for bed. He does a bedtime routine with Daddy, then it is my turn to read with him, turn off the lights and chit chat in bed about our day and things we find interesting.

Spent: $0


??:?? — I feel slightly better. Must have been that mini nap yesterday.

6:20 a.m. — I log in and start working I WILL LOG OFF EARLY TODAY.

7:59 a.m. — Meetings.

8:00 a.m. — OH GOOD they all got cancelled. I can do work on my documents now.

9:40 a.m. — We take a break to make a mug cake. Turned out pretty good if I do say so myself, and it was just a bit sweet with 2 tablespoons, but not SWEET. Just lightly sweet, and just the way I like it.

This is the recipe we found as inspiration for the mug cake, but we ran out of cinnamon (?) I need to buy some, and we do not keep the other ingredients like vanilla extract and so on, on hand.

The Inspo recipe versus our Actual Recipe

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3  2 tablespoons sugar (three is a lot!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (*we did not have this on hand)
  • 1/4 cup of yoghurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Note: I had no baking powder, so I used 1/4 cup of yoghurt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda as a substitute. You can substitute so much instead of baking powder, including using soda water, or buttermilk instead… we happened to have yoghurt on hand so I tried that.

Final Mug Cake Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate)
  • 1/4 cup of yoghurt (it was sweetened beforehand but next time I am going to use unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

Use a mug with tall, straight sides so it cooks evenly. Mix all the dry ingredients together first, then add in the wet, and mix it all. It took 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave to cook through fully. I did 30 second increments until the knife came out clean. You may need to put a plate underneath because it WILL rise.

Little Bun SCRAPED the mug clean. I think it’s about 300 calories for each mug cake as well. I may cut back slightly on the sugar (maybe 1.5 tablespoons) and the baking soda and tweak it a bit.

It tasted pretty good. Not too sweet at all. And I will get some cinnamon as a topping and that will taste sweet but have no sugar in it, which is perfect. Maybe sliced bananas? Or fruit?

12:20 p.m. — Lunch time!

2:28 p.m. — Done for the day, I go and read a book and wait for Little Bun to squeal: “YAYYYYYYY” after he knocks on the door to inform his father it is time to release him from Quiet Time. LOL….

4:07 p.m. — My partner has his second shot and is feeling it all in his joints (he had joint pain years ago), and he’s lying down and resting.

5:25 p.m. — Dinner, dishes. We harvest some basil to eat. Little Bun loves harvesting basil to eat with his meals. Even if they don’t seem to go together, he loves it anyway.

8:49 p.m. — Time for bed. He really wants to read more math pages but I cannot. I don’t know how real parents do this because working from home, homeschooling and handling him (I am his Chosen Parent To Love And Play With), it is a lot. He’s pretty good about going after his father to do things too these days, once I beg him for some Mommy Alone Time (he used to think “Mommy Alone Time” meant when we were alone together, having fun, not that Mommy was truly, and literally ALONE with a book and herself, with not even him), but he gets it now that Mommy needs ACTUAL alone time.

Spent: $0


6:00 a.m. — I wake up early, and lie down to try and nap a little as I am so tired.

8:05 a.m. — We head out for walk. It ends up being 6 km and for the last kilometre, Little Bun flags. He had been running on and off (challenging me to jogging races and running races) for the first 3 kilometres or so, so there was no surprise he wasn’t able to make it to the end. It looked pretty funny, carrying a child almost as tall as I am, and 50 pounds for sure. My partner couldn’t carry him as his foot was still healing, so I did it and was surprised I could. It was good exercise.

We passed a couple with 3-year old toddler walking, and they had a stroller. Apparently (I didn’t see it), my partner says they gave me a smug look and clearly were thinking: Why is she carrying a child who can walk!?!.… but I want to give them 5 years to take back that look because I used to think that when I saw parents carrying children as tall as they were, but things sometimes work out like this, and children can’t do it! We know now that he can do about 5km max, ideally 3-4km, with all the running and energy burning he is doing, but I am pretty proud he walked that far.

11:30 a.m. — At home finally, he had napped the entire way back (20 minutes), just totally tuckered out from exercising the whole morning haha.. poor baby. I get him out of the car, and when he’s home, he digs into lunch with gusto.

12:08 p.m. — We hang out the rest of the morning doing our own things until it is time for nap.

5:25 p.m. — After his nap, dinner, dishes, laundry. I lie down for a bit and read my book – All Fall Down by Weiner. Weiner is one of those amazing authors where EVERYTHING she writes is fantastic. I love her work.

7:00 p.m.  — SUPER SPECIAL DINNER FEAST TIME! (Little Bun’s words, not mine). We have grilled avocado, salad with balsamic vinegar (he could drink this stuff he loves it so much), homemade bread, and sausages.

8:16 p.m.  — I do all the dishes and he works on the cutlery.

8:50 p.m.  — All night, he tells me: That meal was SO GOOD. I had such a yummy meal. I love avocado, sausages and salad! OMG SO YUMMY. He goes to sleep rhapsodizing about the meal he had.

Spent: $0


Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.

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