Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Frugal Friday: Prepare to celebrate!


I’ve had a blog-break while I was waiting for my blog to migrate to another host. Back in April when I had a blog meet-up in Adelaide, I asked who people were getting to host their blogs, because Siteground was costing me a FORTUNE. The consensus was that Panthur, an Australian company, was great and far cheaper.

I’ve switched and it’s costing me a third of the price I was paying before.

omg. bargain.

Now I have more money to spend on things that I value – like champagne. (More on that later.) Like travel. Like Operation Beautify.

Last year on my Goodreads page I decided to try and read 70 books. I may have overshot slightly… I ended up reading 128 books instead. Oops.

I read some terrific books this year. I have a couple of friends on Facebook who used to be bloggers, back in the Golden Age of craft blogs, and they’re avid readers. I’ve been following their recommendations. I’m also following a few authors on Twitter. They get advance copies of people’s books, so when they tweet about something that sounds interesting, I’ve tracked it down.

Would you be interested in a post giving a recap of the best books? It’s be a shame if I didn’t use the Power of Time to Read for goodness, instead of evil. (That’s a ‘Get Smart’ quote, just slightly changed.)

Anyway, shoot me a comment and let me know. 🙂

But why the meme at the top of this post?

To kick the new year off, I’m sharing one of the best pieces of advice I ever received.

Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge. You never know when something will happen that you’ll want to celebrate.

It’s a tiny piece of joy, just waiting to happen. I always have a bottla bubbly ready and waiting. Sometimes it sits there for months, but that’s ok. As long as it’s unopened, it’s not going to go off.

But when someone arrives with good news or success to share, that bubbly GOES OFF!!!!

Then, in the next day or so, I quietly go to replenish the supply. It’s weirdly satisfying to be prepared to be spontaneous.

But who doesn’t want to be ready to be joyful?

Dad joke of the day:

What do Italian children like to play at parties?

Pasta parcel.


  1. Nicola

    A recap of the best books would be awesome. I’m always looking for new and interesting reads, and recommendations are so helpful if it’s a genre that I don’t naturally gravitate to.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’ll put one together over the next few days.

      • Nicola

        Boy, you didn’t muck around! I’ve just read it. Now I’m looking forward to hitting the library…

  2. Katie

    Hi. Happy new year. Always interested in book suggestions. I’ve enjoyed a few Jane Harper’s and now reading Chris Hammer’s books.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Love Jane Harper but never heard of Chris Hammer.

  3. Latestarterfire

    Your Dad joke made me laugh. Thank you. Much needed today. Yes, I love book recommendations so please recommend away! Pity I don’t drink alcohol or I’d drop by when I have something to celebrate ?Happy New Year!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I think you’re the first person to comment on the Dad jokes on this blog!

      • bookwyrm

        Hello from Canada (with relatives in Australia). Love your writing, and the numerous tips you give in your posts, and would love book recommendations as well.

        My son (14) and I enjoy your dad jokes. 🙂

        • FrogdancerJones

          He’s just the right age for them!

  4. Maureen

    I’d welcome reading suggestions as I’ve renewed my library habit and the dark, cold winter is upon us. Just an FYI – your self challenges and blog have inspired me to do the same. I’m amazed at how I can quickly head in my desired direction with these little mind tools. Thank you!

  5. Josie

    Definitely would love to hear book recommendations! I’ve added others you have recommended to my Retirement Reading List!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Clearly, judging by my effort, a retirement reading list is a must-have!

  6. freddy smidlap

    i surely agree with keeping a special bottle around just in case some great news falls from the sky. i hope you have a reason to uncork soon!

    • FrogdancerJones

      It’s come in handy quite a few times over the years.

  7. Jamie

    Definitely interested in a book post.

    This year I’m looking at Reading Down the House a la Dar at An Exacting Life. I have brought a few of the kids old shelves into my room and set up my TBRs on them. I might post about it soon on my Instagram BooksInAColdClimate.

    All this to say, I have so many books here calling my name but I’m always interested in finding more!

    • FrogdancerJones

      It’s a curse, isn’t it? So many books, so little time…

  8. Nic@fireforlife

    Happy New Year!
    I’d love a recap of the books you’ve read. I’m an avid reader too and always up for recommendations.
    Love the champagne ? idea (and Helen Mirren).

    • FrogdancerJones

      Can’t go wrong with Helen Mirren!

  9. Andy Todd

    A book post would be great, I’d certainly appreciate learning from your hard work and dedication. My suggestion for authors would be Claire North. “The first fifteen lives of Harry August” is the most thought provoking book I’ve read in years.

  10. Helen

    Yes! I would be happy to see your top reads — I’ve just retired and have too many books piled around me, but I am always happy for more recommendations. I enjoyed reading all of Martha Wells’ “MurderBot” books (starting with “All Systems Red”) this year.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Oo. Never heard of those. Must look them up!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Popping back to say that they sound interesting – I’ve reserved the first 4 at the library.

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