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Q&A | Bath mats, Weight-Lifting, Tightwad Gazette, and Furniture Flipping

Time for a mid-week Q&A, mostly from my inbox! Speaking of which, if YOU have a question you’d like me to answer, you can always send me an email. 🙂

A bath mat recommendation

Someone was asking me recently what bath mat I like, and I have two to recommend.

bathroom with sun shining in the window.

I hate bath mats that have rubber backing on them; I appreciate the grippiness of those, but I dislike that the rubber starts peeling off over time and that it makes the mats super hard to put in the washing machine.

Also, I hate things that wear out; I want my stuff to last and last and last. 😉

So, I prefer mats that are all cotton.

Amazon bath mat

Two I’ve owned and loved:

1. Amazon Basics banded bath mat

This mat is really thick 100% cotton, and it’s usually around $16. It comes in multiple colors, including lots of different neutrals, so you shouldn’t have a problem matching your bathroom color scheme.

2. Target Threshold Signature bath mat

This is also 100% cotton, it’s machine-washable, it comes in multiple colors, and it’s $22.

What weight-lifting exercises are you currently doing?

(Here’s a 2019 post I wrote about why I started lifting weights.)

bumper plates

Someone wrote an email asking me about my current weights routine and ahahahaha, that’s funny timing.

So…once I left my house in January, I basically did not pick up a weight for about six months.


Well, I was in a state of pretty bad distress.

Plus, I got Covid just a few days after I left my house.

Also, I didn’t have my weights with me.

And I really just did not have the mental or physical space to worry about weight-lifting at all. I walked and walked and walked and walked…but I didn’t do any weight training.

A trail through the woods in the summer.

As a result, I lost a whole lot of the muscle gains I worked so hard to get. I obviously do not have a body type that naturally holds a lot of muscle because as soon as I stopped lifting weights, my muscles fell right off.

And now a bunch of my clothes do not fit me right.


I know that maintaining muscle mass is important as I get older, and that weight-bearing exercise is also necessary for me (both of my parents have bone-density issues, so the cards are stacked against me!)


So, in the last month or so, I have picked up my weights again. I’m starting back over again with pretty light weights, but the word on the street is that I might gain my muscle back faster this time than I did the first time I started lifting.

So hopefully I will be able to move to heavier weights quickly.

Mostly I’m doing exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, such as kettlebell swings, kettlebell squats, and barbell deadlifts.

I’m also doing v-ups, reverse dumbbell flys (flies?), and dumbbell chest presses at home, plus negative pull-ups and hanging leg raises on the bars where I walk.

chinup bars.

I have a “progress, not perfection” attitude about my weights right now; I’m taking it slowly and doing something like three sets of 2-3 exercises in each session.

Is this going to get me into super strong shape quickly? Nope.

But I figure something is better than nothing, and I need to make this easy enough for me to be consistent with it.

Which Tightwad Gazette book should you buy?

Melissa wrote:

I’ve never read The Tightwad Gazette! I was just born as a frugalista. But I’d like to read it, and I’m wondering what one you recommend, or if you recommend all three of them. It looks like there are three books based on the Amazon page.

I own the copy that is The Complete Tightwad Gazette…it’s all the volumes in one! So, that’s what I’d recommend.

Obviously, since this book is from the 1990s, some of the advice is hilariously outdated. But if you enjoy reading frugal material, you probably will still have fun browsing through the book.

What about a furniture-flipping business?

before and after

Also from Melissa:

I love seeing before and after photos of your furniture, making beauty from ashes. I’ve had this thought every time you post a picture of rehabbed furniture, and I’m sure it’s not a new thought, but just want to throw it out there… could totally have a side hustle of rehabbing and selling furniture!

I could probably do this, but my main hesitation is that I might end up spending so much time on the pieces, it would work out to a bad hourly rate. I’d have to do some calculating to figure it out.

Philco table before and after painting.

Right now, I have plenty of furniture that I need to rehab for myself! So any furniture-redoing time I have at the moment needs to be focused there.

Also: school is keeping me very, very busy right now. I have SO MUCH HOMEWORK.

Bassett mission dresser painted white

I’m off from school in the spring semester, though, so maybe I will have some free time on my hands then. And if I do pursue furniture flipping, I will be sure to take you all along for the ride.

(Because that is what bloggers do: take you along for the ride!)


That’s it for today’s Q&A edition; if you have thoughts on any of these topics, do share in the comments. 🙂

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Wednesday 28th of September 2022

My husband does kettlebell sport. It's basically a competition to see how many regulation lifts of one type or another you can do in a certain amount of time. Because he is in his mid-60's there's not much competition in the senior classes and he win's golds which help him feel really accomplished. The number of women who compete is pretty small, so if you're interested you could have a lot of fun meeting other kettlebellers.


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Oh man, people do kettlebells for fun?? I do it purely for the health benefits!


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

progress over perfection! love it for all of life!! thanks!

Rebekah in SoCal

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

I am starting a weight lifting journey. This is in part because there are not great walking areas near our new house and because I've been having weird dizzy spells that make me reluctant to walk by myself in the heat. So I'm joining my husband in the garage to lift weights 3Xs a week . . . and I'm making satisfying progress. I broke my humerus 10 years ago and never quite got full range of motion back but I am starting to push the edges of my limits which I didn't think would happen.


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

About 15 years ago, I checked out the Tightwad Gazette volumes from my library. I just checked, and my current library has the book that includes all three volumes. So to the person looking for them, check your library!


Wednesday 28th of September 2022

I hate the short life of rubber backed rugs too, but I've also known way too many people who have fallen on slippery rugs. I use a small rubber backed rug that I shake but rarely wash and put my cotton washable mat on top.


Thursday 29th of September 2022

@Bobi, that's a great idea. I wouldn't even think of not having a rubber backed rug. He is 80 and goes down too easily.

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