I woke up this morning to a sad, sad sight:


Bella my beta fish died last night.  :(  I had a good cry in the kitchen, which was kind of unexpected.  I know she’s ‘just a fish,’ but I would talk to her and play tag with her (through the bowl… she liked it). 


Remember when I got her?  I rescued her from Wal-Mart.


She was a good fish.  :(  Very pretty and fun.  Bella liked to eat a LOT of food, too.  I loved her enthusiasm for kibble.


Rest in the watery toilet grave, Bella.  XOXO.  I’m going to buy another beta fish when we get back from England (Bella was our third in this apartment).


Memorial oatmeal:


Just regular banana oatmeal:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup vanilla rice milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Toppings: unsweet coconut, flax, and brown sugar


Responsible Spending Challenge Tip


In the last month, I have managed to reduce our electricity/water bill by 1/4!  I’m really proud of myself because normally I’m “bad” about turning off the lights. 


I think what made the biggest difference in our bill was turning off the air conditioning during the day.  I would open the windows and let the cool air in.  Obviously, you aren’t totally turn the heat off up North because pipes will freeze, but it’s amazing what a slight adjustment of your thermostat will do!



  • Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life December 18, 2009, 9:09 am

    Sorry about Bella. I love Beta fish-they rock! My husband and I bought a programmable thermostat, and that helped a little bit with our electricity bill.

  • Madeline @ GreensAndJeans December 18, 2009, 9:09 am

    Rest in Peace Bella! I think she would have been very proud of you for reducing your electric bill! That’s awesome!

  • Christy December 18, 2009, 9:13 am

    Aww poor bella! I feel your pain, my beta fish, Caesar, just died… I named him that ’cause I put him in a 3 gallon tank instead of the tiny bowls. He was like a king 😉

  • skinnyrunner December 18, 2009, 9:28 am

    RIP Bella! My fish used to always die when I had them. so then i moved on to dogs… so far, so good!

  • Courtney December 18, 2009, 9:32 am

    Sorry Bella! RIP!
    I leave our thermostat at 65 in the winter. My hubby complains sometimes but I tell him to put on a sweatshirt and a blanket! BAHAHAH!! We also usually each have a dog snuggled on our laps while relaxing, and they are like space heaters!!
    adventures in tri-ing

  • Amandamoo December 18, 2009, 9:35 am

    Check this out!


    London is most vegetarian friendly city according to PETA! Read this and thought of you!

  • Britt - Runnerbelle December 18, 2009, 9:41 am

    RIP Bella.

    We have our thermostat set to go down at night and during the day while we are at work. Although last night I didn’t let it dip too low (got down to around 4 degrees), as we have had pipes freeze before and it wasn’t pretty….. water all over our poor kitchen. Despite our best efforts to better insulate our old house, certain areas are just cold pockets.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 18, 2009, 9:43 am

    I’ve been turning the heat off in the day when we aren’t home and it’s working!! RIP Bella.

  • haya December 18, 2009, 9:43 am

    poor fishy.

    i flushed 3 of my fishies that died, but the one i had the longest got a little burial in the backyard of the house i was living at at that time.

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) December 18, 2009, 9:44 am

    Aww, poor Bella.

    We’re planning to experiment this weekend with just turning our heat waaay down and piling on an extra sweatshirt. We’ll see how it goes!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 18, 2009, 9:45 am

    i’m sorry about pretty bella. 🙁 i know she had a good life and is probably playing lots of fishy tag wherever she is now. 🙂

  • Sarah W. December 18, 2009, 9:50 am

    i’m in VA – we keep our M-F thermotstat set to a specific program – I think 62 degrees sleeping/not home and 68 degrees when we are home. I’m sure i’m going to need to bump that up to 65 and 70 soon……. I think it helps keep our bill down 🙂 i’m also looking forward to my heated blanket!!!!!!!!!!

  • megan December 18, 2009, 9:53 am

    poor fish! That’s why I’ll never have a fish…I can’t stand the thought of seeing it floating on the top of the water!

    Great spending tip…I’ve been trying to do the same with the lights recently. plus I’ve been going to the gym in the morning before work, so I’m hoping that decreases our water bill!

  • Natalie December 18, 2009, 9:53 am

    Sorry about your fishy. 🙁

    We have a Beta too and boyfriend did tons of research as soon as we brought her home. It turns out the “Betas like tiny bowls” thing is really a horrible myth…they need at least a gallon or two and preferably a small heater (they’re subtropical fish) to keep the water temp around 80 degrees or so (don’t quote me on the temp though). Some people even keep them in small filtered tanks too.

    Of course that very well may have nothing to do with Bella dying :(, but it might not hurt for the next one…I just think their little bodies get more stressed than we realize by different things, even when we’re well meaning (I knew none of this stuff when we got ours…I figured just stick her in a bowl of tap water w/ a little water conditioner). Yay for saving Betas at the pet store/Wal-Mart!

    Ps….ours “plays” too…I’ve never had fish before, it’s amazing how much they actually do react to/interact with you! 🙂

  • Megan December 18, 2009, 9:53 am

    Hmmm…our heat is electric in my apartment so we def are saving money due to the whole “it doesnt work” thing. I would be happier if it didn’t mean it is way too cold to ever work out in the morning b/c my room is FREEEEZING. My roommate and I were watching TV in winter coats, hats, and scarves yesterday. And I was still kind of cold.

  • amanda @ fake ginger December 18, 2009, 9:54 am

    RIP Bella. 🙁

    We’re bad about leaving stuff on too. I started leaving the air off until my husband got home from work (he works outside) and it made a HUGE difference in our bill.

  • Meghan@traveleatlove December 18, 2009, 9:56 am

    We keep our heat as low as possible, around 60. Our house is cold, but we get used to it!

  • Kayla December 18, 2009, 10:04 am

    I cried when my beta fish Brando died. RIP Bella!

    And nice work with that bill!

  • Tiffany December 18, 2009, 10:05 am

    Awww Catlin I am sorry about Bella I do remember when you got her. I understand the good cry I was very sad when my Beta died. I am also looking to get another. Is that a mirror attached to her bowl?

    • caitlin December 18, 2009, 10:07 am

      yup! i always have a mirror on the side of the bowl so the fishys can look at themselves and fight their reflection 🙂

      • Tiffany December 18, 2009, 11:00 am

        I am going to have to do this when I get my next Beta! We have two cats so my last Beta spent much of his time thinking he was big and strong and trying to fight our cats through his covered bowl, but it would also be fun to watch them try to fight themselves!

  • Tiffany December 18, 2009, 10:05 am

    Awww Catlin I am sorry about Bella I do remember when you got her. I understand the good cry I was very sad when my Beta died. I am also looking to get another. Is that a mirror attached to her bowl?

  • VeggieGirl December 18, 2009, 10:05 am

    Sorry about Bella! 🙁

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels December 18, 2009, 10:08 am


    now I want a fish too . . .

  • Carolyn December 18, 2009, 10:09 am

    RIP Bella!!

  • Rosey Rebecca December 18, 2009, 10:14 am

    Sorry about Bella!

  • Sara December 18, 2009, 10:15 am

    So sorry about your fish. 🙁 And good for you about the bill — it’s a tough challenge. Especially when it’s so cold and heat is sooo expensive! >:O

  • Christie @ Honoring Health December 18, 2009, 10:16 am

    Aw, sorry about your fish 🙁

  • stina December 18, 2009, 10:19 am

    Sorry to hear about Bella. I’ve cried over fish too so you are not alone!

    I’m glad you were able to get your electric bill down. I think heating and cooling costs is a big oversight for a lot of people. I’ve been really good about not running the heat any more than necessary. I’ve only had it on maybe a week and a half total this winter. I basically turn it on when we hit single digits.

    It helps that I hate to be hot though. I’d much rather keep my house chilly and coozy up in a hoodie under some blankets.

  • chandra h December 18, 2009, 10:21 am

    rest in peace, Bella! you gave her a good life while she was on this earth 🙂

    btw, sooo excited to read about your adventures in england next week! 😀

  • Janna (Just Flourishing) December 18, 2009, 10:24 am

    I’m sorry about Bella 🙁

    Your oatmeal looks like it was delicious, if thats any consolation.

  • Evan Thomas December 18, 2009, 10:31 am

    Sorry about Bella 🙁 I still remember being a 4 year oldie and losing Goldie #2(clearly I was creative with names) and having to go to preschool still

  • Lauren December 18, 2009, 10:38 am

    Okay, so that bowl is really beautiful.

  • JavaChick December 18, 2009, 10:44 am

    Aw! Sorry about Bella. I would have cried too.

  • Katie December 18, 2009, 10:47 am

    Sorry about your fishy!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 18, 2009, 10:54 am

    🙁 poor thing!

    I hope you find an equally delightful fish to replace her with.

  • Melissa S. December 18, 2009, 10:56 am

    ah, sorry about bella. i’m sure the next fish you save will be happy!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing December 18, 2009, 10:57 am

    Sorry about your fishie! It’s sweet you were so attached :O)

  • Loretta December 18, 2009, 11:27 am

    I’m sorry for your loss! RIP Bella!!

  • Graze With Me December 18, 2009, 11:33 am

    I once had a beta and a goldfish in the same tank. The goldfish actually picked on the beta (Bully!) and when the beta finally died, it was all grey and fin-less. It was nasty.

  • Lisa December 18, 2009, 11:36 am

    Sorry about Bella! I died when some of my goldfish died when I was younger!

    If you unplug appliances after you use them, you will save some electricity as well!

  • Nicci@NiftyEats December 18, 2009, 11:38 am

    Rest In Peace ”Belle Beta”, I can never keep a beta alive more than a couple months. Great job on the responisble spending!

  • Amandamoo December 18, 2009, 11:48 am

    Wouldn’t having a mirror constantly on the side of the tank cause the fish emotional stress? Constantly thinking that he (I think all “pretty” beta fish are male, right?) was being attacked by another fish would have the poor fish in fight or flight mode at all times… I can’t help it, I’m a counselor, I’m always thinking of the emotional state of, well, everything!

    • caitlin December 18, 2009, 1:01 pm

      naw… i think its in their nature to fight. she liked it. 🙂

  • Angela December 18, 2009, 11:49 am

    Yup, had a beta that passed…our first pet! I was so upset. We lived in an apartment on a lake at that time, so my husband gave her a watery grave. Poor lil’ fish!

  • Mama Pea December 18, 2009, 11:54 am

    That’s why I don’t want to buy my girls a fish for Christmas. Gigi asked me what “dead” meant the other day, and I told her it was what I was before I had my coffee.

  • blueeyedheart December 18, 2009, 12:04 pm

    Aww I’m sorry… I have a sick fish at the moment. I think it’s going to go to fishy heaven too. 🙁

    <3 <3

  • Stacey December 18, 2009, 12:11 pm

    RIP Bella 🙁 Once I had a beta fish named Charlie that stayed in my room, and one night a huge winter storm hit and we lost our power. I forgot to change his water and in the morning when I woke up he was frozen in the water 🙁 I never got a beta fish after that!

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) December 18, 2009, 12:16 pm

    RIP Little Bella Beta. Losing any pet is sad 🙁

  • Claire December 18, 2009, 12:18 pm

    I’m so sorry about Bella.It’s hard to not get attached to pets when you are a heartfelt person…nothing wrong with a good cry.cc

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion December 18, 2009, 12:20 pm

    Oh RIP Bella!!! How sad! At least your oatmeal looks great, right? Oh and you saved money!!! Yay, you!

  • Karla December 18, 2009, 12:20 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about Bella! I’m sure she’s in fishy heaven having a great time!

  • Foy @ Foy Update December 18, 2009, 12:24 pm

    I put the heat down to 62 when I’m the only one home. Then I drink lots of tea and snuggle under blankets with the laptop to keep me warm. I’ve also closed off a spare bedroom. No need to heat unused space. My big energy waister is my computer. I try and be good about it. I found some useful tips here:

    How to Make a Laptop’s Battery Last Longer – 10 steps


  • Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen December 18, 2009, 12:43 pm

    That’s still so sad about Bella! No matter what a pet is a pet. At least you cut the bill by 1/4 though! Great looking oats!

  • Tiffani December 18, 2009, 12:44 pm

    I have killed 3 beta fish(Lucy, Desi, and Ricky) in a 3 month time span! I have the hardest time keeping them alive.

  • susan December 18, 2009, 12:45 pm

    RIP cute bella! i love betas too… i like to buy a really neat vase and put marbles in the bottom, and then the beta. they are beautiful fish and the vase/marble/beta combo is really pretty in the house =)

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 18, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Awww…rest in peace, Bella! I love fish, but I hate how easily they can die 🙁

  • Deirdre December 18, 2009, 12:54 pm

    Sorry to hear about Bella! All pets mean something. I once cried over a fish I had for only 3 months.

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write December 18, 2009, 1:20 pm

    awww I’m really sorry about your beta. Rest in piece Bella!

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write December 18, 2009, 1:21 pm

    Oh No. I mean peace. Ugh….

  • Wendy December 18, 2009, 1:34 pm

    Awww, so sorry about Bella. 🙁 I cried several times at the Princess & the Frog movie this morning, if that makes you feel better. Losing a pet, even a fish, is probably more deserving of tears. 🙂

    I don’t have a programmable thermostat, but I’m constantly turning the heat up or down depending on whether or not we’re home…62 when we’re gone/asleep, 67 when we’re home. I’m slowly working on my tolerance for cooler temps. I haven’t been keeping careful track, but I’m pretty sure it’s helped…I actually thought the guage was broken on my propane tank b/c it didn’t seem to be moving downward fast enough. 🙂

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot) December 18, 2009, 1:38 pm

    R.I.P. Bella… My condolences.

    Congrats on the bill reductions, though!

  • Erin December 18, 2009, 1:41 pm

    Little changes definitely add up to big results!

  • John December 18, 2009, 1:41 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your fish. I told Cherie’, she mentioned about the W Street, how exciting. I thought of you guys the other night, I saw a special about the “U”. Those guys are awesome.
    Love you both.

  • Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather December 18, 2009, 2:19 pm

    Nice work on saving some money! Every little bit helps.

  • Rosa December 18, 2009, 3:43 pm

    Sorry for your loss. One recommendation, a bigger tank that has a filter for circulating water. It is misconception that the Beta can live in a small bowl with a live plant. There is a small (1.5 gallon) tank that has kept our Beta alive for over a year. And he has grown into a large beautiful fishy. Safe travels.

  • Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run December 18, 2009, 9:11 pm

    My friend has a beta named Bella. Sorry to hear about your loss. Your oats look especially tasty today. I have yet to try coconut on mine. Gotta get some!

  • Jenny December 18, 2009, 9:47 pm

    haha love the mirror on the side of the tank especially for the fighting fish 🙂 except I’ve heard that they like to fight their own reflection and sometimes die by smacking into the fish tank – just fyi …

  • Stella @ EcoStella December 18, 2009, 10:37 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss 🙁 I remember when my fish died, my cat was devastated. No joke, she used to drink out of the fish bowl and lick the top of the fishes head. When the fish died, Bailey slept next to the empty bowl for days…it was so sad.

    • caitlin December 19, 2009, 7:38 am

      aww that’s so sad!!!

  • Kris December 19, 2009, 7:52 am

    I’m sorry your fish died.

    I don’t think it’t a good idea to have a mirror attached to he bowl though since they are fighter fish, but that’s just my own personal opinion.

  • Allison December 19, 2009, 9:13 am

    Sorry about the fish. 🙁

    Good job on the electric bills! Ours seriously went down by $60 in November because we didn’t use the AC at all. I love winter in Florida. 🙂

  • Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty December 19, 2009, 11:52 am

    Awwh.. poor fishy. I cried when my beta died too… There is just something fun about having a little fishy!!

    That’s awesome about your bills.. I try so hard to keep them down, but my significant other isn’t so good at it!! haha 🙂

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