Refunds and Sunshine


Can you believe that it’s tax day?  April 15th is normally the big day, but for all the procrastinators, you actually have until April 18 this year to file.  I filed months ago and actually got a tiny refund check last week.

As I said before, I’d rather not get a big refund, nor do I want to owe.  Breaking even or a small refund is better because that means I had access to my money all year and was not waiting for my money to be refunded.  But everyone has a different take on this.

This week I have been so busy with work, life, Target errands, grocery shopping, and little DIY projects like making lightbounces.  Given everything I’ve been up to, I actually cooked a few things, too.

Like some Vegan Sloppy “Bean & Lentil” Joes

I find buns and gluten to be over-rated so I skip the bread and eat my sloppy joes sans buns, and with a fork.


And I made some Cinnamon Sugar & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks

And the sun has been shining and the flowers are blooming, which makes me happy!

Thankfully, spring is in the air!  It makes me happy to see blue skies and palm trees gently blowing in the wind.

The flowers are blooming and the crickets are chirping.  Chirp, chirp.  All night long.

From my last post, Overnight Growth, it was interesting hearing whether you have memories to recount of childhood growth sports.

And I liked hearing the last things you purchased at Target.  We all concur that Target can be a money pit, that’s for sure.

Breakfast/Dessert/Snack: Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cake

If you have a microwave and 5 minutes you can make these.  Vegan and GF as a bonus, too.


1. Did you file your taxes?  Did you have to pay in or are you getting a refund?

2. How’s the weather where you are?

It’s supposed to be sunny, and in the high 70s/low 80s Friday and Saturday.  I can’t wait!  It was really nice here a few weeks ago but winter came back so I am looking forward to spring and summery weather!

However, San Diego is notorious for May Gray and June Gloom.  Meaning, it’s cloudy, overcast, chilly, windy, and nastier in June than in can be in February often times, so not really looking forward to that, at all.

3. What’s the last thing you made that was oh-so-good?

I made a tofu dish that was great.  Recipe to be posted in a couple days after I get all the pictures uploaded.  In the meantime, the rest of my Tofu Recipes are here.


  1. Hey pretty lady :) Busy week! Me too. I am so glad its Friday. The sloppy bean & lentils looks yummy. I usually go sans bun too and just throw them on top of a salad or veggies. So good. We did file our taxes. We got a smallllll state tax refund and paid federal. bah! What can ya do I guess :) Weather in Charleston is very pleasant. Its supposed to storm a bit this weekend-but nothing too crazy. Last yummy thing I made? I made a few delicious meals this week including enchiladas and oatmeal cookies :)

  2. We totally haven’t filed our taxes yet. Haven’t even started. UGH UGH UGH. I don’t like to procrastinate about these things, but the taxes are my husband’s responsibility. So, he procrastinates and I stress about it.

  3. Taxes are my wife’s responsability, since she’s an accountant. But you know he saying: “the shoemacker’s son goes barefoot”… :P
    Still, I can’t believe we are already at april 15! my my, did someone just robbed me of a few weeks in my calendar?

  4. What gorgeous flowers! Your spring looks like my mid-summer. I’m getting a tax refund this year. I like getting a tax refund…it’s like found money. My tax refund is always a result of buying RRSPs, giving to charity and (sometimes, but not this year) paying tuition. So it doesn’t bother me that I haven’t had access to it during the year.

  5. Yum! Those sloppy joes look so satisfying!

    I got my refund a month ago and was SO happy about it. Although I didn’t have access to that money all year, it certainly is nice to have it back!

    The weather here in Maine is finally warming up! It was :gasp!: almost 60 yesterday! Definitely time to start planting some flowers!

  6. I haven’t filed my taxes yet, I’m a horrible procrastinator. I expect to get a small refund, so I really should kick my own butt and do it.
    Winter also returned around here last week, with 30°F at night and 40-50°F during the day, with rain and chilly wind. Ugly! But it’s supposed to get better over the weekend.
    The best thing I’ve made lately is Mama Pea’s Mmmm Sauce. It was really amazing!

  7. Like your tax philosophy! We owed this year–my husband is in a higher bracket so in the end, I owe up to his bracket’s worth from my salary. So don’t appreciate giving the government more money!!

  8. I tried out our mini food processor to make Gena’s banana soft-serve, it was utterly divine! I also melted some pb on top to add some more flavor. :) The weather is definitely getting better here outside of Philly, we had an 85 degree day 2 days ago that lifted everyone’s spirits!! Spring break all next week as well :D

  9. My mom and aunt both have accounting backgrounds, so my mom does my taxes and talks to my aunt (a certified accountant) if she has any questions. It’s a HUGE relief for me to not have to worry about that! This was my first year actually doing taxes, and as a yoga teacher it was quite an experience. I had no idea W9’s meant I had to pay about 15% of my paycheck! Luckily, I was able to write off my teacher training this year and therefore broke even and didn’t owe anything, but it was quite a wake-up call for this next year when I won’t have such a big expense to write off!

    Enjoy that gorgeous weather Averie!!! :)

  10. Your spirng is my niceset day of the year. Only 50 degrees here. At least the sun decided to come out today!

  11. we always end up getting a sizable refund because we fit into a low tax bracket! :P

    aahh youth!

  12. I’m with you on the small refund! I consider it a huge success if my refund stays under $200 and I didn’t have to pay extra…I like the whole access thing too. I also really like the eFile and direct deposit! My refunds the last 2 years were in the bank 8-10 days after I filed, it’s amazing.

  13. You’re absolutely right! Never give money to the government interest-free!! Paying as-you-go along throughout the year is the smartest way to go.

    We’re an S Corp, so we have an accountant handle everything. I want to live in an income-tax free state like Texas or Florida, LOL.

  14. You are so right about taxes Averie — sure a big refund is nice, but breaking even is the best since that means you’ve had your money all year long! My dad explained that to me years ago and I didn’t get it at first, but now I do!

    We did our taxes in early Feb — as soon as we got all of our W2s and bank forms we got them done!

    The weather is kind of chilly again, but I swear sunshine and warm weather are right around the corner (I hope!)

  15. Its finally starting to feel like spring here in San Francisco too!

  16. I am soooo addicted to your microwave blueberry banana oat cake!! I have had one daily for a week (when I find something that I really like, I tend to go all out). I’ve used blueberries and strawberries..both delicious! Thank you so much for your posts, love your site!

  17. I filed my taxes awhile back but the darn guy did it wrong. At first I got back $400+ than we realized he filed me as indp. (so my dad can’t even file yet because we haven’t received my check to pay BACK the IRS). Pretty much I owe $300+ all because this idiot.

  18. We got our refund a couple of months ago, which we always use to pay for a chunk of our yearly car insurance bill; makes it a bit less painful.

    Weather is on-again/off-again sprinkles and sunshine. Should be wonderful tomorrow for all of the out-door festivities. I’ll be walking downtown to an Earth Day Festival. They’re having some “swap” activities I’m interested in, such as swapping tote bags and books. (Bring one, take one.)

  19. I did my taxes a couple months ago, knowing I would be busy at this time of year. Same as you, I got a small refund, which was nice.

    The weather is supposed to be unseasonably warm this weekend, so i’ll be studying outside and heading downtown to the Earth Day celebration. It was pretty cool last year, so I am excited for it!

  20. I filed my fiance’s taxes months ago… and somehow totally forgot about mine! Now I’m frantically trying to gather up all my info :(

    I would give anything to see a palm tree right about now!!

  21. It’s funny that the worst months in San Diego are some of the best months in Utah! It’s sunny right now and tomorrow’s supposed to be nice, but I think Sunday and Monday are going to be yucky. Which is no bueno because on Monday I’m supposed to pick people up from the airport in their car and I’m a little nervous about driving through Parley’s canyon in potentially nasty weather :/
    We’ve had our taxes done professionally for the last 2 years and he’s paid for himself each time by finding breaks and stuff we never would have thought of, so we’ve gotten a hefty return both years! Last year, Sam got himself a fancy computer and this year it helped us with the move.
    I made chocolate chip cookies last night because I was craving them, but then I had a spoonful of dough, realized that my body didn’t feel so hot with the butter and sugar and didn’t actually have any cookies, so I gave them to Sam to give to his coworkers. I’m proud of myself for recognizing my body’s signals and following them in the face of my all-time favorite food, but it was so easy to do!

  22. I made a vegan Nicoise salad riff last night that was awesome! And, the night before, vegan bahn mi sandwiches!

    I kind of think I’m on a roll. :)

  23. we got a refund this year which made us happy!, the weather here has been really nice and sunny the past week, but it looks like we may be coming into a colder front for the week-end :( and the last yummy thing that i made was another batch of my chicken soup with rice!! i’ve got to get around to doing a little baking. . .

  24. I agree on the tax refund…pay close attention to your deductions so you can keep your money through the year and only get a small refund. Weather here in Iowa is about 45 degrees, gray and raining…..please bring on more blue sky, sunshine and beautiful flower photos…I can’t get enough!!!! :) BTW – I love love your banana oat cakes – they are my #1 favorite recipe!

  25. I actually filed my taxes already. I’m a huge procrastinator because I do our own taxes and I hate math. I majorly struggle with it, and even though taxes are easy I still put it off. But this year I got it done. Up here in Canada we have till the end of the month. I don’t work so I got nothing but my husband got a fairly decent return because he works a second job occasionally whenever he has time and they take the maximum off his check.
    The weather is great! I need to get all my house stuff done quick so we can get outside. It’s so sunny and nice. Not very warm yet – but still nice.
    I made some 100% whole wheat bread yesterday that I’m super excited about. Very basic ingredients and yet it’s nice and fluffy(which is weird for 100% whole wheat) and made with 100% local wheat. I know gluten isn’t your thing though, haha :D

  26. Averie your blueberry banana oat cake is fabulous, I am in love with it! I’ve been making it for 2 days straight and I can’t get enough. I even put it on my post for today, hopefully more bloggers will start making this :D

  27. ALL your meals look SUPER good! wow. I need to get cooking!
    I made some amazing pasta/spaghatti squash combo dish last night with homemade sauce and some amazing stir-fry to go along. :)

    Tax day. = :(

    love your sunny outdoor pics! it is looking good here in Santa Monica this weekend too. :)


  28. It snowed more than 2 feet yesterday :|
    I made an oat cake WITH oats yesterday for snack and it was delicious! I just love those so much. I just got my taxes back today and got a pretty big refund, yay! I like the big refunds, helps me stay on my feet throughout the year.

  29. I am not happy with the tax man right now. This is the first year I’ve had to pay.
    As with many of the comments above, I’m addicted to your oat cakes. So good!

  30. 1) Taxes are done. WOO HOO

    2) It’s supposed to be 80* here today :D and I am pretty excited to enjoy it. I hope we can get out to a patio this afternoon for a cocktail!

    3) The last tasty thing I made was
    It turned out so yummy! I’m thinking the home grown (& sweet – as in I can eat it whole – so weird!) lemons I used had something to do with it.

  31. My family just keeps on growing. Three new cousins in just six weeks. Soon we are going to be able to fill a small

  32. I’m sending out my taxes today, I’m awful.
    That blueberry bake looks phenomenal! The best thing I’ve made this week was lentil chili. SO good!

  33. Just did them a couple of days ago. I always put it off because we always owe! My husband’s industry has been hit hard and for the last few years he’s been laid off and then rehired. While he’s on unemployment we make it so we get as much money as possible, which means we owe once taxes come. Hopefully that will change soon!

    The weather has been really cold and rainy lately. Living in Oregon tends to be rainy season, less rainy season, and rainier season ;)

  34. She is really tall! Wow! She’s lucky. It sucks being the short kid. Haha.

    I want to live where you live. So pretty!

    I think I need I try those potato sticks. They look amazing!

  35. I filed my taxes in February… I own a rental property so normally get a decent refund. That is why I am so eager to file them!
    The weather in the beginning of the week was great! Sunny and warm – warmer than usual for April in WI. This weekend is supposed to be cold and windy. Yuck.
    I made a tofu and kale dish with veggies and put that into a ezekiel wrap with salsa and hot sauce and it was heaven – in a wrap :)

  36. Hurray for tax refunds – big or small :)

    Filed mine, but haven’t heard back yet. They aren’t due in Canada until the end of the month.

    Weather: cold but sunny today.

    Oh-so-good: home made sweet potato fries. Always a winner

  37. haha- I came over from another blogger to see this blueberry cake recipe (I needed a variation on my oatmeal + fiber cereal mash combo today!) and was disappointed that I couldn’t comment on that recipe to tell you, maybe I DO have a ‘extra large banana’. But now I’ve commented it on this post and you know that I’m the most immature 26 year old on the planet).

    Anyway, my comment about your sloppy joe recipe is… perhaps you could call them, “neat joes,” since they aren’t so sloppy when you eat them with a fork! I agree about the buns, also. overrated.


  38. Oh. My. Gosh. I just made the banana oat cake yesterday for breakfast, and ended up having a giant one for dinner. SOOOOOO good!

    The weather has been horrible here….we got a huge line of tornadic storms yesterday and it was pretty scary (why did we move the central plains again??). We are okay though. I’m looking forward to the sunshine and farmer’s markets this weekend!

    Hope you have a good one, and thanks again for the banana oat cake recipe!

  39. breaking almost even? YES! way to go on the money management, averie!
    honestly, today, you would think we were back in february. i was totally underdressed this a.m. when i was out! nice and sunny, yes, but bbbbrrrrr! bring back spring, please!
    have a great weekend – hope you have time to play with some photography stuff!

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  41. Oh I have to disagree with you on the taxes. lol. We’ve always had as much money taken out as possible because we love getting the big check every year. I know it’s money we could have had thru the year, but the big amounts allow us to make huge payments on our debts and get caught up for a couple of months on our regular bills. And yes, we already filed and got a fantastic refund (thanks to school credits!)
    As for the weather – we had one 80+ degree day, and it’ s been in the 30s -50s since. It’s Michigan, this isn’t abnormal.
    Last good thing I made was super basic – just some spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner last night. But it’s the first time I’ve had it in years, so it still counts right? :)

  42. I started my taxes a couple days ago, but haven’t finished. It’s my first official time after having a “big girl job” LOL, so I’m kinda nervous! Especially because I run 2 businesses via contract labor & self-employment taxes seem more daunting! I have no idea what I’m doing besides a lot of googling and filling out forms, but I guess no taxes are easy easy *sigh* it’ll all be over soon :).

    Your sloppy joes look a lot like the way I make mine too. So yummy. My brother actually thought they had meat in them, since they’re still so hearty. Gotta love that.

  43. I did my taxes by myself for the first time this year!! I thought I was getting 1100 dollars back, but my mother-in-law looked them over and found that I missed something and I really got 2300 back!!!!!!!

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  48. I just ate some turkey and goat cheese collard wraps that were definitely oh so good! Happy Sunday, Averie! xo

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