Sunday, March 22, 2015

03.22.2015 Sunday

Got the shed painted this weekend. The boyfriend and I started talking about what the future will bring career-wise. More specifically where his career might take him. It's unlikely it will be where I currently am. This was making me stress out about the projects I want to do for the house. My good friend KW helped by telling me to live in the now. I'm not currently moving. I'm living here. Live in the now! I have a lot of trouble with this, but it's also clearly causing me a lot of un-needed stress. Who knows where the next 2-3 years will take us. Meanwhile, this is where I live. This is the house I own. I want to make it mine, tidy it up, make it mine.

That's what I need to remind myself. I am not currently faced with the proposition of moving. Currently, I live here, I work here. This is my house and my home. I'm going to do what I'm going to do.

Raised beds. Chickens. Fence. Landscaping. Fruit trees and or berry bushes. I do what I want.

I just saw this quote on Project Happiness, I think it applies.

"Don't let someone dim your light, simply because it's shining in their eyes."

I realize M may have his concerns about if I will leave to move to be with him but right now there isn't something for me to leave to, just an idea of what the future might hold. For now I will focus on me and that means, health, tests and also house and doing the improvements and projects that I want to do. It also gives me a chance to figure out what I want/like/am willing to do on my own without him around to help/hinder.

Friday, March 20, 2015

03.20.2015 Friday

TGIF. I'm ready for the weekend!

I heard a rumor that the office has restructured to be able to start taking on Associates. I don't think I'm quite there yet, but that makes me wonder what else I could do to get up to that role. I think CL will get it, she's brought in business. So perhaps what I need to do is network more. I loathe networking, it's so awkward. But I need to do it. I need to get comfortable with networking... and meet people who know people who are looking for architects!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

03.18.2015 - Wednesday

I just got home from a talk by Jerry Greenfield, one of the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's, and it has me all excited and pumped to start a chocolate company again! I want to take a different approach this time though and build it slowly. What I'm thinking is that I get my home kitchen all cleaned up, and always vacuum up the dog hair before hand, and then just make things at home for friends and family. It'll be the cost of ingredients and packaging (including shipping and handling) and maybe a flat fee for my time. This will give me a chance to perfect my recipes, figure out packaging and flavors. When people have birthday parties, they can have a pile of S'mOregon bars instead of a cake, or when friends and friends of friends get married, I can make caramels or Shorty bars to give as favors. I need to grow the business slowly and save up money to build my own commercial kitchen when the time is right. I think the trouble with Draft Chocolates was that I rushed into the process without knowing all the steps and without enough money to rent the kitchen space. What I really need to do is have my own kitchen, preferably in my back yard, and built it at a time when I can hire help. So for now, chocolates and confections will continue to be a hobby (way to the side as I work on getting licensed). But it will be a way for me to build a business, preferably one that I can keep to the side of architecting. I also think I need to change the name, I got some uncoliscited advice that the name "wasn't good" which I didn't really care about because I was just doing it for me, but if I want to build a business, eventually, that can actually grow and support itself, I need a name that lets people know what I do.

Also Jerry's talk of giving back to the community, mostly by choosing to buy from local farmers, Fair Trade businesses and local businesses that supported people and really building a business based on their own closely held values, got me thinking. The chocolate I was using is Fair Trade, so that's doable. You kind of need to have scale to really get the numbers to work financially. 

Anyway, starting a chocolate/confections business (2.0) is on my long term goals. I need to approach it in a more financially responsible way this time. Grow more slowly, I have proof of concept and the couple farmer's markets that I did, and the success of my Kickstarter. I'd be able to message those people when I start up again. Anyway, now it's 9:40pm, I need to study some more before I get to bed!

Also, I have a meeting tomorrow with the loud chip eating client. My brilliant solution: I put all the chips in the base cabinet so they won't be out when she is here!

I told Jerry that I had started a chocolate company using a Kickstarter but I had to shut it down because it was too expensive. He asked what was too expensive? I said "renting the kitchen". He asked "but did people like your chocolates? That's what's important!". To which I responded "they did! And I'm inspired to try again with a new approach from your talk!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

03.17.2015 - Happy St. Patrick's Day

Zumba, now having a quick tzatziki and whole wheat flat bread while I wait for the oven to warm up so I can cook some salmon. I feel like a chef! I actually wanted masking tape and a sharpie so I could put a date on my tzatziki! Which, is totally a good idea. I'm working on getting the kitchen cleaned up before my mom comes this weekend. When I came home at lunch I made cookie dough! Mmm. I'm going to roll the dough and freeze it (which also means I need to make some space in the freezer!). I'm trying to get my kitchen similar to when I lived in Italy. So right now I'm focused on: calories, using up food in the freezer, using up stuff in the pantry. I have a huge 2 pound bag of yeast from Costco that is still active, but it pretty old.

Baked Salmon - simple and delicious

I just signed up for my next exam. Site Planning & Design, for April 12th, 8am. Ugh 8am, but that was the only time slot available and I wanted to take it before I head to NYC! I guess I should have signed up earlier.

Now, I'm off to study before getting to bed at a decent hour! I'll roll my cookies tomorrow.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

03.15.2015 Sunday Productive Sunday

I love running errands on the weekend! Today was so productive I feel great. Here's what I did today:

  1. Made a list of all the items I was donating (for tax purposes)
  2. Walked Howland
  3. Took Howland to Petco for grooming
  4. Dropped off approx. 4 garbage bags worth of donations at Goodwill
  5. Stopped at Dutch Brothers for a morning beverage
  6. Dropped off dry cleaning
  7. Recycled huge bag of plastic shopping bags at Roth's
  8. Returned modem at Comcast
  9. Ordered new cell phone 
  10. Grocery shopping
  11. Picked up Howland from grooming appt. 
Then I came home and hung out for a bit before going to a wedding registry event with my friend KW. We stopped at Cafe Yumm (which looked closed but luckily was still open for a few more minutes!). They were so nice too! Because they were about to close (and there was no one else there) they gave us large Yumm bowls when we only ordered smalls! Which means I have lunch for tomorrow!

I'm planning to make some Jacques Torres cookies, but I also really want to stop eating sugar. But I want to bake! Agh! So I'm thinking, I will make the dough, and freeze the cookie dough (this is all assuming my eggs are still good). My fridge is pretty well cleaned out but I want to work on emptying my pantry. The times I ate the healthiest was when I went to the grocery store regularly and didn't have a stocked pantry. I ordered these meal planning sheets from knock knock I'm pretty excited about them! Apparently my bento boxes were delivered yesterday to the office, so hopefully they are on my desk when I arrive tomorrow. And the meal planning pad should arrive tomorrow as well. I want to get going on changing my diet! I think sugar free week will be my plan. And I'll make the cookie dough tomorrow because I want to make it, and then I'll make the balls and just freeze them. I need to be eating healthy food, which for now means upping the veggie intake, and cutting the sugar intake. Keeping track of what I'm eating too. I need to be in my calorie range. I'm not going to lose weight without tracking what I'm eating. I need to know what I'm putting into my body!

And today my boyfriend started a new job which sounds like it's going to be a much better/happier fit for him. He also told me he is going to come to NYC next month which means I'll finally get to see him after what will be 2 months of changed moods. It will be really nice to actually spend time together in person. I haven't seen him since Christmas. Things haven been so much better since mid-January when we started opening up more. We were on the verge of breaking up and we managed to swing a 180. That's all been talk though, without actually spending some time together, it's hard to know if this is really going to work. We both want it to and I think that's the biggest hurdle we've overcome. Now it's jut a matter of timing and making the distance suck less. And asking for what we both want. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

03.14.15 Saturday Part 2

Got the fridge mostly cleaned out, I don't have a lot of fresh food! I do still have a lot of stuff in the pantry and freezer though! It's all rainy and bleh outside, which makes me want to bake! I have this awesome glass cake pedestal with dome that I got for my birthday from my BFF several years ago, I want to figure out something I could make and keep in it, so it's all pretty. Food presentation! That'll be my creative outlet while I study. Cause then I kill 2 birds with one stone! Artsy creativity and healthy food, so I don't feel bad spending time on that when I need to be studying.

03.14.2015 Saturday - Getting rid of clothes that don't fit anymore

Wow, so many pairs of black pants, that don't even fit me anymore. I've held onto them because I was thinking I didn't want to have to buy new clothes when I lost weight. Well, that method hasn't been working! I think if I get rid of the skinny clothes, they won't haunt me anymore (with the exception of the pieces I *love*. Clothes are replaceable in that I could always go buy more clothes, but specific items, like the dress I bought in Spain and then carried with me around Europe for another month and a half? I'm holding on to that dress and I WILL fit into it again!

When I get my weight back down, my reward will be that I get to go shopping! I need to look at it as a positive! I love going shopping, and not fitting into my clothes anymore (because I'm too small) will be such a great reward. Trying on clothes when I've lost the weight will feel great. It's a good thing to get rid of clothes! I'm dropping the weight of expectations, living with clothes that fit me, and then I can reward myself by buying new clothes in updated fashions and cuts. And when I love weight my body might be different from what it was before.

I'm also going to make a list of all the things I'm donating because I'm a home owner now and I will be itemizing my tax deductions!

I'm not done with the clothes yet, I'm doing some laundry, still need to go through shoes, bags, towels and bedding. I'm going to move on to the kitchen next because I want to get ready for bento boxes! I want to cook food, I want my kitchen to be a happy place again, not a place of stress which is what it has been since the holidays. I will not be able to lose weight if I cannot enjoy making food in my kitchen.

It's feeling good to go through stuff, it's kind of gross out (Spring rain) which makes staying inside not too bad, but the process of getting all the clutter out of the house is less enticing with the rain.

I wanted to get Howland out of the house today, but waited too long to get him an appointment so he's going to get a bath tomorrow morning, while I go out and run errands (mostly returning and donating things). We walked to Dutch Brothers this morning, feeling on track with my fitbit steps. I would like to have a wireless base at home too, not just work, cause I like having all the data!

Friday, March 13, 2015

03.13.2015 - Friday

Is it just me or have there been a lot of Friday the 13th lately?

I just mowed the lawn for the first mow of the Spring! Omg that yard is so bumpy! I also realized now that it's starting to get a little nicer that if I want to have a garden this year, I need to do it right and right now! I was thinking of building multiple raised beds out front between the sidewalk and street but seeing as my one sad little bed last year didn't get much love (in part because I rushed it, and in part because blackberries started/continued to take over that spot). Perhaps that can be part of this weekends plan. Pull out my awesome book about growing in the PNW, which breaks things down month by month (which is exactly what I need! Spell it out for me!) I'm thinking squarefoot gardening is the way to go - it'll be a bit of an investment getting started, but I feel like it will be a good investment. So, likely a trip to the hardware store this weekend! And some planning while disposing. My mom is coming next weekend to help me caulk and paint my shed. I saw some of the nails are already getting a little rusty so I might want to hit them with some anti-rust primer or something. I haven't even picked a color yet! Agh!

My goal this weekend is to get my kitchen and fridge cleaned up. My bento boxes are slated to arrive on Monday and I want to be ready for them!

Today I was working on my Facebook addiction. It already seems to be helping, I've only been on twice today. My method was every time I wanted to go to Facebook I instead put on my calendar the time and why I wanted to look at Facebook. Mostly it was boredom or habit (while waiting for Revit to Sync). Then when I got home, I checked Facebook and it didn't really do much for me. Which is great! Then I mowed the lawn, and now I'm typing this up while watching Once Upon a Time, which is a pretty awesome show.

Tonight is a girls night, thanks to my fella who gave me some money so I could take out a couple friends. We are goning to check out the new sushi restaurant Crema, and then going to see The Hobbit at the second run theater which will be nice. I'm looking forward to a busy day tomorrow getting things done. I need to get back into studying on Monday so this weekend needs to be to get shit done!

K&L were not feeling great, so we just had dinner and then L left and K and I went to Borderlands to pick up my new game, Sushi Go. Then we played a game  of it, and I bought some card sleeves for my Dominion game. Now I'm home with puppy, I think it's movie time! Tomorrow is boxing class (probably) and then cleaning/decluttering. Starting with clothes. Hm, I'm kind of nervous about the idea of getting rid of my "skinny" clothes.  I think mostly concerns of financnes and not wanting to spend more. I might keep the skinny clothes that I *LOVE*. I can always go buy more slim skinny black work pants... I think I own like 5 pairs or something. And dresses are totally rare, so I'll keep dresses that I *love*. Keep  only things that bring joy! Remember!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

03.12.2015 - Daydream Thursday

My photos from Europe/Morocco in 2005.

At the ladies beach house weekend I was chatting with CL about how our photos end up not having people in them. Flipping through my photos makes me want to improve at photography. And travel again/more.

I feel like I want to do all the things but must remember that my motto is:

You can do anything, but you can't do everything.

Thinking about the tidying up book and the suggestion that "someday means never" when it comes to books you hope to read. I should do something about my fabric collection. Use it or lose it. Though I know that sewing is not a priority this year - I will allow it to stick around until next year and if it's not used by the end of 2016, it gets donated!

So I want to make a list of the things I will let myself explore after I finish my exams this year.

2015 priorities
Architecture Registration Exams (2 down, 5 to go!)
Front and back yard, small garden (don't spend a lot of money - labor)
Health & Fitness
Emergency Fund

2016 priorities
Project Management
Photography Class
Enlarge garden
Sewing (use it or lose it with all fabrics!)

Side projects (designy things)
Churches/ Chapels/ Monuments (develop a portfolio of studies)
Small houses
Build architectural models
Large Drawings
Nature art (like Andy Goldsworthy, take photographs, sculpture with sticks, leaves, stones, etc.)
Food photography/ food styling/ bento

Things I would like to do but apparently aren't a priority... if I stopped watching so much TV/movies and kept my place and supplies tidy though, I might do:
Make jewelry
Woodworking/ furniture making
Graphic design
Learn to cook all the things
Develop a personal style

What gets in the way of doing these things? Of spending time being crafty?
Uh, Facebook time suck.
Pintrest and looking at what other's are doing rather than using that time/energy to learn or create something of my own.
TV/Movies as a main focus
Laziness. General laziness. It's cold, I'm tired after a long day at work. What a wasted life to has seen all the TV shows, or caught up on my "news feed" but to not create be creating things or living my happy life. Living the life I want. I don't want to quick facebook because I do enjoy sharing things with people and interacting and I have done a pretty good job of unfollowing the people that I don't actually have interest in. The problem is that it is my default. So. What to do instead of checking Facebook and Reddit and imgur?

I could look at Pintrest. Lesser evil. I could look at my blogs, and read for inspiration. I could stand up an stretch. Go for a walk. Make a list of what I need to do for work. Write down what I would rather be doing if I wasn't at work (and then do those things on the weekend!)

I can think the thoughts and say inspirational thought provoking things but can I walk the walk? I'd like to be inspirational to others but I feel stuck on the speed bump of my own issues. Why don't you just do the things you say you want?

Fear. I am afraid that they won't be good. Afraid that I will waste things. Feeling inspired by the tidying book that if I test something and it is not successful, thank the materials for teaching me the lessons that I learn from them, discard and move on. I definitely need to figure out a way to be more active. It might require leaning on active friends to join me because even though I enjoy planning things, I don't really like to do nature on my own (Howland doesn't count, he's not very talkative).

I want this blog to be a chronicle of me walking the walk. I want to write about implementing ideas from books and articles and other blogs. I don't care if I have readers really, I just want to have a thing that I'm updating, a spot for me. It will develop over time into something, it's too soon to know what. Most successful blogs are successful after several months or years of posting. No worries, I will figure out what my niche it.

Goal A (I already have Goals 1-3!)
Limit time on Facebook to set times during the day, replace the habit of checking Facebook with something else. I think the first replacement will be writing down (or even just internally acknowledging) what I am feeling when the desire to check Facebook comes up. Observe the feeling, see how it sits with me, and let it pass. Watch it like a fish, but don't try to grab it and hold on. I am not my thoughts, I can just observe them as they come through my mind.

Right now I'm thinking that I want to check Facebook, because I posted a link on a friend's wall and I want to see if she has looked at it. But it's 11pm and I haven't been getting up early enough to get to work on time so what I'm going to do instead is brush my teeth and go to bed. I have a fun day tomorrow! It's Friday, it's Lara's last day so there will be a happy hour at Orupa, and then my boyfriend sent me some money so I could have a girls night out so I'm taking 2 friends to dinner at the new sushi place and to see The Hobbit at the second run theater (which I always forget to check but really should try to hit up  more often, $3 movies!? Holla!)

I think I need to go back weekly and re-read my blog posts too. The problem with journals in the past is that I only wrote in them when I was mad or sad, not when things were good or mundane, and then I didn't look at them again. They might have helped me sort out what I was feeling and get it out of my head but without reflection, how can we really learn from ourselves? If themes develop like wanting something, or feeling a certain way about someone, the only way to know if I should take action would be to reflect on the thoughts. This is the thing about mindfulness I don't quite get. If you are just  supposed to observe your thoughts, how do you know when to act? I'm guessing just by paying attention I will know (and trusting myself).

30 Day minimalism challenge

30-day minimalism challenge

This looks good, and kind of hard for some of it, especially the no-tech days. Putting this on my maybe-do list

03.11.2015 Wednesday - topics

I love that our workouts, personal trainer designed, only take like 20 minutes. I think I'm ready to step up the weight though, I'll mention that at our next session on Monday!

Some thoughts on potential blog posts:

  • The process of decluttering my house
  • The process of decorating my house
  • The ideal kitchen, what equipment is necessary/extra
  • Weekly post of links to read (links from other blogs that I like)
  • Money saving tips
  • Living your ideal life
  • Bento lunches and dinners (with calorie information and recipes)
    • Take beautiful photos!
  • Developing personal style
  • Money 
    • Savings tips
    • Growing your  money in my current situation

  • Inspiration images
  • Book reports
    • Infographic summaries
  • Being a doggie mommy
    • Dog treat recipes
    • Cute doggy pictures!
  • Recipes
    • Simple
    • Elaborate for special occasions
  • Relationships
    • Long distance
    • Communication
  • PNW, exploring
  • Life lessons
  • Food on a budget
  • Sticking to a budget
    • Financial
    • Dietary
  • Cutting sugar
  • Misophonia/4S
I'm not sure what specific niche I'll develop into, I will explore over time and see what fits!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Magic of tidying up

The life-changing magic of tidying up

I finished listening to the audiobook version today, and started listening one more time so I can take better notes. I like written books because the notes are already there, but listening to an audiobook and taking my own notes probably makes the information absorb more!

So part of the book, the life-changing magic of tidying up, is that before you get started with discarding things, is to figure out why you want to tidy. The task was to come up with the reasons you want to tidy and then ask why, 3 to 5 times for each of them. And this must be done before you start tidying!

Why do I want things to be tidy? (With the knowledge that they are supposed to end in

  • So I can focus on the big picture things I want to do rather than being stressed that my house is a mess
    • So I can focus on my exams, but also feel like I can have some time to do non-studying things
      • So I can move forward in my career without feeling like I'm trudging through mud, or flying past the things I need to do to move up in my career
        • So I can find happiness in my career
          • HAPPINESS
  • So I am comfortable having people over and also not feeling overwhelmed by needing to spend a lot of time cleaning up before and after
    • So I can be more social
      • Because it makes me happy to be social and host guests
        • HAPPINESS
  • So it's easy to cook my own food and eat healthy, my mind will be less occupied with a messy home and able to focus on doing things
    • So I can lose fat and gain muscle, and be more active with the puppy
      • So I can be healthier and go on more adventures
        • So I can live longer, and happier
          • HAPPINESS
  • So I can work on the creative projects that I really want to do, but can't seem to find the time to focus on
    • So I can practice my creativity and feel whole (left and right sides of brain, ACTIVATE!)
      • So I can feel at peace
        • HAPPINESS
It all boils down to wanting happiness! Tidiness = happiness!

Random Thoughts

Living with less clutter seems like it would allow encourage/allow me to live more intentionally.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

03.10.2015 Tuesday

I started listening to The life-changing magic of tidying up towards the end of work today. I'm pretty excited about it (and wish I brought my notes home!)

So far I've gotten as far as:
- Discard first, then think about where things will go
- Organize by category (ie: do all the clothes at once, or all the books, etc.)
- Declutter in the following order: Clothing, Books, Papers, Misc. then Mementos
- When deciding if you want to keep something, ask the question "does it bring me joy"?
- There was also a part of envisioning who you want to be. What is the goal of decluttering (who do you want to be that clutter is getting in the way of?) This is the part I want to explore more right now. She referred to one client who said she wanted to be more "feminine" but that was too vague. What did it mean to be more feminine? To her it meant being the kind of woman who took baths and drank tea at night.

So - what do I dream of being? What kind of life do I picture?

I picture feeling relaxed at home. Creating - making art, making food, making clothes, making gifts. I said a long time ago that my life's purpose is to make things. I still believe that, but have let junk get in my way. I almost wonder if I should get rid of the TV... but then I know myself, I know I would just end up in front of the computer instead. Ideally I would like to garden, but I also know I am lazy. I would like to be more active, out and about, hiking, exploring nature, doing things outside of the house. Now that it's warming up outside that should be easier. I'm still lazy though! How do I overcome that!?!

Monday, March 9, 2015

03.09.2015 - Misophonia Monday

Today was another long meeting day. We started at 9:15 and went til 2:30pm. Normally I'm able to manage these lunch meetings but today was just too much. The sounds of everyone eating chips, and another person tossing a lozenge around her mouth while talking pushed me over the limit of my "fight or flight" response to the sounds of people eating. I left work after the meetig to cool my jets. I picked up a hot chocolate and went  home to see the puppy. I've always been  able to manage the agitation until today. I was in tears which feels crazy because it's just from people making normal people noises but it drives me crazy. I recently started taking big deep breaths when I start getting agitated but it wasn't working today. I'm thinking an elimination diet might help me figure out any triggers. I also have the paper work to go get some fasting blood work done which I should do soon. For now I'm going to go to bed, I've been chatting about this on Facebook a bunch and I'm starting to get agitated again!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

03.08.2015 - Sunday

What a great weekend! Went to the coast for a ladies weekend with a new friend, an old friend, my sister-in-law and a couple neighbors-in-law. It was great to relax, wear out the dog on the beach, and have all the girl talk! Oh man, it had been a while!

I just got home from seeing The Duff which was a pretty entertaining movie. It was an enjoyable end to a normal length weekend that felt long even though it was technically an hour shorter! I'm excited for longer daylight hours, so I can take the puppy to the park after work!

I've been working on this path to self-acceptance and self-love. I've had periods where I have been very comfortable with myself, which is when I have met boyfriends. And much longer periods where I felt like I was just going through life not really sure who I was. High school was a lot of that which, I guess is normal. Matt ordered me some girly polka-dot rain boots and I totally love them. Putting them on made me feel cute and girly - a feeling I'm not accustomed to. This got me thinking about high school and how I was always pretty tom-boy-ish in my dress. I didn't like clothes that were bright or anything too unique (even though I liked to design clothes and sew, I didn't actually wear the things I made because I was too self conscious). I was uncomfortable if people were noticing me. I tended to just go with what other people wanted and not really be true to myself.

Now in a relationship where I started out true to myself but slowly slipped over time to compromising but not so far that the relationship had to end for me to find myself again (though it was close). I'm not focusing on being myself, being true to myself and taking care of myself. Speaking up for my wants and needs. This is taking some getting used to, it's been a couple months of, even though we are long distance right now, we are actually talking about wants and needs and trying to do what we can to meet each other's needs while also taking care of ourselves. I am excited to see where things go as I continue to struggle with the path of self discovery. I feel lucky to have developed some really good friends out here too that I can talk to about this stuff. I think that is how girls figure things out, is by talking about thoughts and feelings. I wish it was more normal and encouraged for people to get in touch with how they feel and talk about it.

If I was going to redesign K through 12, I would include mindfulness and meditation classes. Nutrition classes and Home Ec classes where you learned how to cook balanced meals (no brownies with a can of syrupy cherries that I refused to eat!). There would be classes on budgeting. There would be regular reminders of compounding interest. I would have all the high-schoolers read Your Money or Your Life before they started getting jobs. I would teach what liabilities and assets are, with examples of what true assets are and liabilities masked as assets (like this house I recently bought). I feel like I have learned a lot in the last few years especially about money, things I wish I'd not just been told, but been made to understand, earlier in life.

How do you get teenagers to learn about this stuff? Especially if money tends to burn a hole in their pocket? (One of my dad's favorite sayings about me a money, another thing he would always say when I wanted something was "save your money!")

Well the goal for this week is to get my place cleaned up. I took my exam, finished the video project by the deadline but my place is such a mess it's stressing me out. I do want to get some help with cleaning but I have also realized that my emergency fund goal is achievable by the end of this year but I need to tighten up the purse strings to get there. Which means thinking twice (or 3 times) about all purchases. The expenses of the exams and eating healthy are also priorities, so if I don't reach my savings goal because I'm paying for exams, that's worth it. If I'm not meeting my savings goals (there is a monthly amount I will need to save to reach said goal) because I'm spending on new kitchen toys I don't need, or buying new things that are not to replace something that I have worn out, there will be issues! Must meet savings goal (or get as close as I can!)

You can do anything, you can't do everything.
You can afford anything, you can't afford everything.

Remember your goals:
1. Health + Fitness, Workout, eat right, track calories, meet steps goal (yay Fitbit!)
2. Exams, 2 down, 5 to go!
3. Savings, Keep an eye on the budget

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Build Self-Esteem

The pillars are:
The practice of living consciously.
The practice of self-acceptance.
The practice of self-responsibility.
The practice of self-assertiveness.
The practice of living purposefully.
The practice of personal integrity.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

03.04.2015 Wednesday

Waking up with a light sensitive headache is not awesome. I was at the office until 8pm in a meeting yesterday. I didn't have to stay until 8, but the last hour was good learning talking about the specification and contract.

I ordered a Fitbit Charge, the wrist band that also tracks floors, calories and give the time and date. The small should have fit but it's just a little too tight. Luckily Amazon is amazing and they are refunding me and gave me a pre-paid label so I can return this one. And I have a month to return it which means I can get my refund, order a new larger size, and return the small one and not go without tracking data! Just ordered the large size, and I can use the box it comes in to return my too small one! Yay! Several of my coworkers are using the Charge so it'll be nice to compete with people I know (and like) and not just random strangers from the internet. Maybe we can have an in-office competition too for most steps. Everyone puts in 5 bucks, all people int he same office because some people who use the fitbit have more active jobs, like my frie-quaintance John is averaging 150k steps for the week! Crazy!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bento Boxes - why didn't I think of this before!?

I loved lunchables as a kid. One of my favorite adult meals is to stack a plate with some crackers, slices of cheese, slices of meat and slices of veggies (usually cucumber) and sometimes a little pile of mustard to dip in. So yesterday I stumbled across bento, more specifically bento as a way to lose weight (because the food is portioned out). And my own interest piqued in bento as a way to exercise my creativity! I started a list of ideas to fill bento boxes on an index card (which I always keep handy for list making).

Japanese bento guidelines:
3 parts grain
2 parts veggies
1 part lean protein (meat/fish)

Moroccan chicken
Zucchini boat
Cucumber boat
Paleo Pad Thai
Paleo maki rolls
Zucchini or potato latkes
Pasta salad
Salad rolls

Hardboiled egg
Sliced grilled/roasted/baked chicken
Rolled deli meat
Paleo chicken nuggets
String cheese
Grilled kebabs
Peanut butter/almond butter
Egg or tuna or chicken salad
Black beans
Chili (meat or bean)
Salmon (poached, baked or grilled)

Melba toast
Peas & Corn
Brown rice
Roasted squash
Sweet potato
Jicama homefries

Rolled slices of cucumber
Veggie puree
Roasted veggies
Baby carrots
Cherry tomatoes
Ratatouille (with goat cheese, pesto and baguette slices)
Zucchini noodles with pesto
Steamed broccoli

Celery with peanut butter and raisins
Cherrios/ raisins/ chocolate chips (post-swim practice snack from childhood!)
Homemade protein bars/snacks

Peanut sauce
Sunshine Sauce (from Well Fed)
Zucchini hummus

Square of Lindt dark chocolate hint of sea salt
Apple slice with honey and cinnamon
Mini york patties
Mini oreo cookies
Banana with peanut butter
Grilled pineapple

Gummy vitamins
Personal note: Include an inspirational note in every lunch. Write a bunch, fold them, put them in a container and grab one at random. It'll be like a fortune but I'll make sure they are all inspiring to me. Maybe I could get Le Boyfriend to send me some...

Plans for waste. From the super adorable cut out veggies and sandwiches, a clear concern is waste. What happens to the square of bread with a big hole in the middle from the adorable mini sandwich!? This blog post gives some ideas. My thought is I can freeze veggie scraps for soup. I could also use the scrap in smoothies! I totally want tiny cookie cutters so I can make super adorable bentos. I think for now I'll start with what I have which is circles, and knives to cut shapes! I also like the quesadilla option, or perhaps mixed in with eggs on the weekend using a weeks' worth of scraps. This is a chance for me to get creative, with some restriction (which we all know breed more creativity!)

If a bento box is the Japanese mother's way of showing that she loves her child, I want my bento boxes to be my way of showing that I love me! 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

02.28.2015 Saturday

Tummy not feeling great, #203.4, which is good! I'm down -5.6# since the beginning of the year. So I have that going for me, which is nice. 

This afternoon I'm going to the gym and then I'm getting my Valentine's massage and sugar scrub at La Lumiere! Woot! Still working on this video project which has a deadline Thursday and a long ways to go. 

I went to lunch with my coworker/friend K yesterday and I told her how I have been asking myself "What would K do?" because she is a healthy, slim, active, vibrant woman and I admire that! One of the things she told me is that when she feels like sitting around and watching TV or a movie, she'll go for a walk first. Then when she comes back she feels like it's ok to sit around because she did something active. She's been walking a lot lately as a way to deal with stress and said she used to like running but it's felt like she's 'running from her problems'. That makes some sense! Walking is time to clear your mind. 

Christal and I were talking after Zumba on Thursday about what it takes to be focused and in the moment when working out. We had missed 4 Zumba classes and in that time Janelle introduced some new songs. So it was almost like we were new. When I started to get frustrated because I didn't know the moves or couldn't comprehend what she was doing with her feet and arms at the same time, my mind would start to wander. When I know the moves a little better but don't have them mastered, I'm more focused on the moves because I almost have them down but not quite. I wonder if there is something I can do in that interim time between learning and knowing by following. 

I'm not sure what I was looking at last night, but it lead me to bento lunches. I am thinking that would be a great creative/healthy outlet for me. I could get creative with the layout of the food. The bento cookbook I was looking at had recipes for single servings which is awesome, though I'd probably want to take a day to pack my bentos for the next couple days. I'm going to do some more research while my video project is going on the side this weekend. I need to get my kitchen clean before I get into any new projects/dietary plans.

I have managed to succesfully get myself off soda. I don't even desire it anymore! It took about a full year. At first, my coworker W and I made a deal that for 6 months we wouldn't drink soda and if we did, we owed the other $200. This worked really well for the 6 months. It stopped me from having it, but didn't stop me from wanting it. All the triggers were still there (the sound of a can opening, working late, feeling stressed, mid afternoon slump) but I had to push them off  because, $200! Once the 6 months was over though, he and I both totally binged on soda. Had nearly one can per workday for the next 2 months! Because I had gone without and then added it back, I was starting to be aware of how it actually made me feel, and how it made my mouth and teeth feel. I decided in December '14 that I was going to stop drinking it, like forever, no more. I'd been thinking and reading about the health effects of soda. (All this was full sugar soda btw, I really dislike the taste of diet soda so I have never been one to drink it.) So about 3 weeks later I was wanting a soda. I was thinking about it a bunch over a couple days thinking I wanted one. I decided it was ok, I was thinking "everything in moderation", if I just had one soda but didn't start on the downward spiral of relying on it as a crutch for dealing with stress, it would be ok. I went to the fridge in the back of the office and grabbed a Dr. Pepper. I took it back to my desk, cracked it open and took a couple sips and set it down. My mouth started to feel gross and I drank some water. About 30-60 minutes later I'd only drank about 2 fingers of soda and I took the rest of the can and dumped it down the sink! I didn't want it anymore! SUCCESS!

Now what I'm wondering is, can I achieve this with other things that are bad for me that I like to eat too much of when I do get them. Like... cookies for example. The main step here is to abstain for a set period of time. To know that I can allow it back into my diet later, just not now. I've done it before, I was vegan for 2 months several years ago but I wasn't feeling any different so I let dairy back in. I have noticed a change in my eating habits from trying to compromise with a meat loving boyfriend that I am now accustomed to having meat at every meal. I didn't used to do that. When I lived in NYC I would sautee a whole zucchini and that would be dinner, and I would be satisfied. That's what I want to get back to. I decided to stop buying more meat (in part because I have a lot in my freezer that needs to be used or tossed). I'm thinking bento boxes for dinners as well would be great way to portion things out. 

My friend Kamielle has been reading a book French Kids Eat Everything, which sounds very similar to French Women Don't Get Fat. Some highlights that I remember from that are: no snacking, savor foods, find balance (when planning to have wine, forego the bread, or eat a light lunch when you are having a big dinner outing later).

I want to get to the point where my natural eating is healthy and balanced. I need to figure out what systems work for me. Here is a list of systems I can think of. Some will work for me, some I'll need to try to figure out if they will, and some I'm pretty sure won't work for me, at least, not right now.

  • Make lunches at home
  • Cook dinner at home
  • As long as you made it from scratch, you can eat it
  • Go to gym M-Th, take Howland to park at lunch on Fridays
  • Go for a walk around the block when stressed
  • Go for at least a 15 minute walk before sitting down at a computer/TV
  • Drive to work, walk home for lunch
  • Walk to work, bike home for lunch
  • Bike to work, bike home for lunch
  • Dinner at a restaurant
  • Trip to Portland
  • Abstain from alcohol except for pre-determined celebrations (someone else is paying is not a celebration)
  • Reward successes
  • Beach house weekend
  • Walk for 30 minutes daily minimum
  • When returning from grocery store, immediately separate things into single serving packages
  • Eat small meal every 3-4 hours to keep satiated 
  • No snacking eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert


(rewards for: passing an exam, accomplishing a short term or long term goal, reaching a weight loss goal)

    • Go to a movie
    • Go for a hike
    • Take Howland to the dog park
    • Buy new workout clothes
    • Buy new shoes
    • Buy new underwear
    • Buy new leggings
    • Buy new tank tops 
    • Trip to the outlet mall
    • Buy new Bento box/tools for making them cute
    • New tattoo
    • Massage (15 minute shoulder, or 60 minute full body)
    • New toy for Howland
    • Buy a new cookbook
    • Fresh flowers
    • Lazy Sunday
    • Manicure
    • Girls night out/in
    • Library
    • Book store
    • Buy a sassy workout tank/Tee
    • Hawaii! (This is Matt's and my plan for next year to celebrate achieving our goals)
If I rack my brain for times that I was feeling good, and eating well and maintaining or even losing weight, I can probably figure out what might work for me without feeling the need to try every single method.

Study 1. Italy

When I was in Rome and then traveling Europe, I ate when I was hungry, I walked all day every day. I think when I came back I had lost only 5 pounds, but I didn't have measurements, I was probably more muscular then as well. I went to the grocery store every 1-3 days. I was sharing a fridge with 5 other people, we didn't have a pantry and we cooked meals together some days and other days we all just fended for ourselves. I ate a lot of pizza, and indulged in gelato but not every day. I bought the food that I needed for the next couple days, there was no stocking up. Just a few staples like salt and olive oil. 

Study 2. New York, a blur

I went to the salad bar for lunch pretty much every day. I walked to the farmer's market every Saturday. Erin and I used to play tennis early in the morning before going to the market. When I lived in NYC I walked everywhere, and took public transportation. I had a bike for a period and would bike sometimes but it was never my favorite because while it was faster than walking, I always felt unsafe. When I worked at JHA, I went to the gym almost everyday. For a time I was going to the boxing class which I really enjoyed. Then there was the 5K I got Allie to sign up for with me and she and I went to the gym together. Our workouts weren't the same (I was also doing weight lifting) but having someone accountable for going made a huge difference. 

Study 3. Yestermorrow/Cornell

When I was at Cornell, I was living at the bottom of the hill and climbing the hill to school for classes. I was cooking meals at home and very rarely (really only with visitors) going out to eat. I'd made frequent trips to the grocery store (because Wegman's is the SHIT!). I made healthy choices for what I was going to make, I don't recall wasting a lot of food or keeping a big pantry. 

So between these two examples, common themes are:
  1. Having a buddy
    1. Christal is my gym buddy, check!
  2. Walking everywhere
    1. I need to make this happen. Even if it means my work days are a little longer to make up for walking home at lunch.
  3. Eating less meat
    1. In Italy, I didn't buy meat, I only ate it when I went out to eat. In NYC, in college sometimes I'd cook up chicken breast but a lot of the time I'd just eat some veggies with some cheese. 
  4. Empty pantry/fridge
    1. I think this one (and #3) could be the biggest impact changes for me. If I use up what's in my fridge/freezer and then plan to hit the grocery store 1-2 times a week. It will also help if I only buy food that I know I can eat in the next coming days. It will also be better to need to go to the store MORE rather than attempt to have a store in my kitchen. Things go bad, they get pushed to the back and forgotten. 
Just got back from a workout, I love how the weight lifting workouts only take about 20 minutes! The benefits of having a trainer design the workout :) And now I'm going to do some house cleaning before my Valentine's present massage from my love. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

02.26.2015 - Thursday


Five more tests to go! I feel excited to study and get them done. This year is all about me. Taking care of my health, my career, and building up skillz for the future. 

Christal and I went to Zumba tonight. We were going to do our upper body workout too but I'm feeling the pressure that I need to finish watching all the study videos before next Thursday, so I wanted to get home to keep watching them after hour long Zumba.

I started out Zumba thinking some really negative things but I was thinking about the first episode of the new podcast Invisibilia I listened to earlier today and about how


And I decided to change the way I was talking to myself. I started being nicer. At first I was thinking negative things, comparing myself to other people who were working out, thinking about how my belly is so big and just hanging off the front of me. Then I mixed it up. I said "you are here, you are doing this, there are people who can't even do this. You showed up." And it worked, I started feeling better, feeling good about working out. I still have a lot of work to do. A lot of weight to lose, but really the mental shift is the most important thing I need to work on. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2.25.2015 - Wednesday

Last night I went to see Alton Brown Live up in Portland. It was fun! It would have been nice to have a buddy go along with me, but I had my book, and cell phone. I was just sleepy/hungry on the drive home. The event got me thinking more about food. I really want to make changes, I NEED to make changes. I am so uncomfortable in my own skin, my large belly blocks seeing my toes. I thought I was fat before when I was 20 pounds over my goal weight. Now I'm 60 pounds over my goal weight and the goal seems like it's at the top of a distant mountain.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I need to make small changes, gradually. Doing it all at once is just asking for a fail. I managed to get myself off soda. I don't even desire it now. How did I do it? I took a 6 month break with my coworker with a deal that over 6 months if either of us had a soda, we owed the other $200. That did a good job but once the 6 months was over I went crazy and binged the next month. After 2 months I started realizing how awful I felt and decided I was going to stop drinking it for good. Three weeks later I felt like having a soda. I opened up a can of Dr. Pepper, drank about 1 ounce of it and realized it wasn't giving me the same feeling it used to so I dumped the rest out! The thing is, I don't crave the soda anymore. I don't want it. But I miss having something "special" to drink when I go out. Now I just drink a lot of water, and tea. I've also been having more hot chocolate and skim Chai tea lattes. That's getting a little expensive so I need to limit myself to maybe one per week.

Now that my test is off my plate, and I don't have my next one scheduled, I'm feeling more relaxed. I do still have a lot of prep work to do in the next week for study materials. I shifted my calendar for the exams I want to take. I did buy my ticket to NYC, which I'm excited for. I'm excited to see friends, I'm excited to revisit my old stomping grounds, and I'm excited to spend a few days walking around everywhere! I miss living a life where I walk and take public transportation (and living in a city with a good public transit system). Perhaps this weekend I can get my bike out and make sure it's in good shape. If I started to bike to work again, or just kept my bike at work and biked home for lunch, I'd be a little more active. The weather is starting to get nicer for doing that. Also I could just walk, which I feel I get a better workout from, even though it takes longer. I'd potentially be able to just stay a little later at work to make up for walking home for lunch taking a little extra time. We'll see. Changing my diet is the most important thing right now!

I need to get my kitchen cleaned up. That's the biggest thing right now getting in the way of cooking food. A messy kitchen is un-inviting. I am thinking about giving up alcohol. At least for a while. Beer makes me want to eat things, things I don't want. Wine I don't really care for and all the other boozy drinks are empty calories. I think I could get Bruce to whip me up a fresh fruit virgin-martini!

I have books piled in categories:
1. Studying
2. Self-help (Self-compassion, Tidying, Mindfulness)
3. Cookbooks
4. Food books
5. Audiobooks

My motto is:
You can do anything, you can't do everything

I think the thing I need to do is pick one book, read it, take notes, and then pick 1-3 concepts from the book to implement. Once I've implemented those ideas, I can read another book and work on implementing those new ideas. My goal this year is to take all my exams. I can focus on doing other things (craft projects, sewing, graphic designs, etc.) next year.

Also on my list, I want to watch all the episodes of Good Eats! Watching Master Chef Junior is also pretty inspiring. I want to learn to plate food like a chef. I want to learn to cook more things - and perhaps perfect a couple dishes and have a repertoire. Sauces! I still think learning some sauces would be good to learn. Additionally, while it would be great to learn more meats, I really think I need to focus on getting creative with veggies. I'll have to make a food dreams post another time, I have glimmers of visions in my mind of things that I'd *like* to do/cook. Someday. I do have all the things now, including my fancy black chef's coat that Matt got me for Christmas. As well as a couple more saucepans so I can actually cook multiple things at the same time! And I have that pizza stone! And grill pan! I am so excited to learn to cook with all these things! And it's nearly grilling season. I need to clean off the grill. All the things.

On a financial note, I need to focus on saving money. I also need to keep things simple. A meal plan would help with that. Knowing what I'm making and only buying food for what I need. I think my biggest weakness is unexpected shopping. And Amazon, oh Amazon. I enjoy shopping, even when I don't need stuff. Perhaps I can get enough of a shopping buzz by going grocery shopping once or twice a week. I dream of living a very D-I-Y life, but in reality, I don't DIY as much as I could. Again though, back to the motto.

You can do anything, but you can't do everything!

Monday, February 23, 2015

2.23.2015 Monday

#206, I need to pay attention to what I'm eating. I was logging for about a week. I really dislike the online systems for when I'm away from my desk but I think I just need to shut up and do it. I don't have to track forever, just long enough to get an idea of how much I'm eating, how many calories things are and how much food is.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2.22.2015 - Sunday

I took my PPP exam yesterday, unlike last time where I walked out certain I had failed, this time I feel pretty confident that I passed. The hardest part about these tests is having no idea how they are scored, what a passing rate is, and the fact that you have to wait a week or two to find out your results (which is faster than before when it was 3-4 weeks). I'm feeling pumped to keep going through them, so I'm going to continue to study daily, jumping into studying for SPD next. There's a lot of overlap with the test I just took so I won't really be switching gears, just building on what I've already been studying.

Christal and I went to the gym and did our lower body workout today at 2pm. I love how quick the workouts are, it makes it easy to go and do it because it's not a huge time commitment. I'm feeling more relaxed now that my test is done. I'm planning to take my next exam on March 28th, I'll sign up when I get my March paycheck.

I got an updated quote for a new fence but it's still pretty high so I think I will be putting off the fence building while I work on exams and saving money. I think when I sell this house, I don't want to buy again for a long time. Renting is the way to go, especially if you want to spend your money on travel. With the house, money that I save up will no most likely go to house projects rather than travel. I'm also thinking that with Howland, I will probably want to mostly keep travel close to home, so he can come along. I saw the movie Wild last month and just saw an album on imgur yesterday of a couple who hiked the Appalachian Trail and I really want to do some longer hikes. I don't really want to do it alone (ie just me and Howland) and the hard part there is I don't know when/if Matt will have the time to do it in the near future because of his work situation. For now I guess I should just plan a trip solo. Perhaps this summer amid studying since I have realized I won't really be able to take the road trip I was hoping for (I don't trust my car to make the trip) and I am trying to save money so there won't really be many other big trips. I'm hoping I might go visit Matt in Austin for a week in the Fall but at this point I have no idea what he'll be doing then as he isn't a full time employee yet, just in contract until June. So meanwhile the most difficult part of being long distance is having such an uncertain future. I try to remind myself that you never really can know what the future will bring and therefore I should try to focus on the present. I'm getting better at it incrementally but it is really hard.

Friday, February 20, 2015

2.20.2015 - Friday

Why am I so mean to myself? I'm doing a good job at work but this evil little voice in the back of my mind keeps suggesting otherwise. Thoughts about not working on the high profile project in the office, thoughts about being pushed off of the team that I've worked so hard to be a part of. I actually talked to my boss about that last one because I've been so frustrated and he was awesome and reassured me that they are not pushing me out but trying to build up the team and I will still get experience and still be the project manager. And they are hoping to get me to manage another project we anticipate starting soon because it's very similar to the last project I was on. I think the hardest part is that I don't have the experience running projects and even though I think I'm very capable, the client wants to see someone with lots of experience "running" things, even if I'm the man behind the curtain. Internally they know I'm doing the work and for now that's just going to have to be enough. I need to get my licensed so I really can run things. The title change from "intern" to "project manager" is a big one, at least from outside of the field I'll be seen as a valuable team member and not just some CAD monkey. I feel like I'm capable and I understand things and I'm organized. I need to prove it, in reality this is only my second project. Frustrating that in the 3 years I've been here this is only my second project that I'm actually involved in. They tried to get me involved in some other smaller projects but the good intentions didn't help when I wasn't actually included in emails and meetings. When I started here that's what I wanted, was to be involved in construction administration. The thing I was most excited about and had the least experience in and then just by happenstance the projects I was on ended up taking forever. On the plus side in that time I learned a lot about how to lay out an assisted living facility.

I feel like I have my head wrapped around that I need to study every day and I think I can keep this going, but I need to make sure to have time to take care of myself too. I can't let dishes pile up because then I don't want to cook. I want to eat healthy but I also want to not spend all my study time cooking. I also need to include time to relax at the end of the work day. Especially all day long meetings with our demanding client.

I think my motto needs to be: "It doesn't matter if you feel like doing it, just do it." for gym and studying and eating right/making food. Turn off the TV, turn up the music and do things. Get off the computer unless it's for studying or creating something!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


02.19.2015 Thursday

I'm finally feeling at about 80% instead of 20% Yay! Howland slept on the couch last night, my puppy is ditching me :( I wonder if I'm thrashing in my sleep or something.

I'm finding it helping to think "What would a skinny person do?" Like for lunch today, I was wanting curry (I guess I should edit that to think "What would a skinny broke person do?"), but I decided to just eat some of the things I had already and wait for dinner to get curry when I'll be focusing on studying. Zumba is on hold until next week as Christal has been sick and can't make it tonight. I should go but I'm stressed about my test so I think I'll prefer to study. Maybe I could go do leg day though on my own. Or just take Howland to the park and walk for a bit as well. I need to do something, that'd kill 2 birds with one stone so he'd leave me be to study.

I'm looking forward to Sunday so I can clean my kitchen and do dishes. I'm thinking I want to have an emptier fridge, and focus on having food that I eat, no extra. Think Italy, I didn't have a pantry, I went grocery shopping like every other day. I don't really mind that and it's on the way back from the gym. Also I need to clear out the freezers so I have room for smoothie packs and foods I'll actually eat, not Matt's leftover Costco box of premade chicken roll thingies. I'm not going to eat them and who knows when he'll be back here to eat them himself. Right now they are just taking up space and I think I want to sell my upright freezer.

My motto is now:
You can do/afford anything, but you can't do everything.

Also trying to remind myself that I already traveled, all around Europe for several months. I "front ended travel" as Matt put it. I think my big travel will have to wait until I build up savings and lose Howland. That'll be in like years. That gives me time to build up savings. I'm also thinking buying a house was not the best idea without savings and even when I do have savings, if you buy a house your extra money going into the house is money you aren't spending on travel or a car that isn't dying. Perhaps when I sell this house renting should be the long term plan. Finding a place that can take Howland will be the hardest part... and selling this house which is so tiny it seems a miracle that I'd find someone else to buy it. Perhaps it will just become a rental. And getting to the percentage where PMI comes off is a long ways away. I regret buying this house, I wish I could have been more patient, but that's never been a strength of mine. In fact, I would say lack of patience is my biggest weakness.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2.17.2015 - Tuesday

I've been sick for almost a week now. This obnoxious dry throat and cough. Mostly, the cough wakes me up around 3am. It's even bothering Howland who has taken to moving to the couch when my coughing gets too annoying. A dog needs his beauty sleep I guess.

My second take of the PPP exam is on Saturday. I feel more prepared than last time, but this test could have questions on anything, so as much as I prepare I don't know that I will ever feel 100% ready, for any of the test.

I've been finding it hard to keep my house clean since Matt took the job in Texas. Especially with trying to study, eat healthy, take care of myself and the dog all at the same time. I let the dirty dishes pile up too much and now I have a mountain to climb instead of what was a small mole hill. And for the moment, I'm too stressed to care! That pile is just going to have to wait until Sunday when I've taken the exam and can start fresh. I have grand plans for how I will make it work better next time. Get all the dishes done, then do a little bit every day.

Thankfully the days are starting to get longer, I can take Howland to the park after work and not feel like such a terrible dog-mom leaving the poor thing in his crate most of the day. I try to make it home at lunch (lucky work is so close, and lucky the dog park is so close to home too!) but it doesn't always happen. I'm trying to make it a priority though.

We almost broke up. There was a long stretch of unhappiness but there was still love. We have somehow managed to get back to the core of love and pulled away the unhappiness. There is hope. One of the things we agreed on is that we need to both take care of ourselves. I'm also realizing that I really need to make myself my number one priority. To listen to what I want and what I think and what I feel. It is so easy for me to get pulled down when I am surrounded my negative/depressed energy and that is not my normal. I am generally a pretty positive person, who is working on multiple projects. I let that fall by the wayside because he was un or under employed and unhappy in his career. My career has been moving forward, finally given the title Project Manager which has me really wanting to step up and BE one.

I'm currently focusing on 3 goals.

1. Eat right, exercise, be healthy, get fit

  • What this means: Get weight down to 145-150 pounds
  • How am I doing it: Personal Trainer once a week, Zumba twice a week, dietary change
  • What am I struggling with? The dietary change. Counting calories and tracking what I eat. Especially presently while my house is such a mess, my kitchen sink full, but limited time to choose between relaxing after work, studying, cleaning and preparing food.

2. Take all the ARE sections,

  1. CDs = passed
  2. PPP  = scheduled 2.21
  3. SPD = tentative 3.28
  4. SD = tentative 64.23
  5. SS = tentative 6.13
  6. BS = tentative 7.18
  7. BDCS = tentative 9.12

3. Save an emergency Fund

  • 3-6 months of spending, which is about $15,000. Which is a lot. I was hoping to do it in a year, but realized I wouldn't be able to do anything else or have much fun so decided that for now I'll focus on my exams which is building my earning potential, and I should restart my 401k since we are matched 6% and that's free money!
  • Try to reduce clutter and sell things I don't want/need/use