DIY Garden 2020 – Partial Shade PNW Zone 8b/9a – 1 Month Progress Report

It is now exactly one month out from my original garden post which you can view here.

Front yard – my ‘orchard’ – I keep reorganizing the front orchard to better utilize the sun, plant potatoes, keep the landscaping company from destroying anything, and to create tomato supports. This is my final design for the season. I lined up the six buckets each with one tomato plant and rigged my own support out of the plastic international shipping box twine that holds your box together. I also received some t-posts from my BuyNothing group and utilized them here. By clicking on the image you can see in the larger zoom that I have 0 tomatoes fruiting… Did I not prune enough or correctly? Did I not plant soon enough? Am I not getting enough sun or water? Is there too much water and not enough drainage? The stalks are also more spindly than others I’ve seen at my local Pea Patch.

6/2/2020

The side yard – my ‘berries’ – None of my berry bushes (huckleberry, salmonberry, blueberry) have changed since I planted them. The blueberry was full of unripe blueberries and none of them have ripened. I also planted some cilantro and parsley in this box and they’ve sprouted nicely above ground.

6/2/2020

The backyard – ‘greenhouse’ – I’ve already harvested some of the spicy Mesclun lettuce mix and will attempt to eat my way through these two rows this month so that the three squash starts I planted between the rows will have room to grow. The zucchini in the back are doing nicely but I don’t see any zucchinis yet. These plants seem to be larger than the ones I planted in the other planter box without the greenhouse tarp. The best crop by far is the mint you can see in the large pot behind the stump. I wish I liked mint more and am not sure what to do with such a large crop… The chocolate mint is delicious to eat plain though and I highly recommend planting this variety!

6/2/2020

6/2/2020

The backyard raised bed garden – the big ‘project’ – three raised garden beds with potato planted in front and thimbleberry bush start and a raspberry bush start off to the side. These beds are growing nicely but haven’t produced anything yet… The corn in the back appears to be leaning towards the neighbor’s fence and I’m not sure they’re getting enough sun in the back there.

6/2/2020

6/2/2020

The beds have the following planted in them:

Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet

Spinach
Spinach
Chard
Chard
6 cucumber mounds

4 rows of corn
6 zucchini starter mounds
1 row of mounds of cauliflower seeds

My future projects include the following:

  1. Build a trellis and grow loofah!
  2. Build a seed library and place it near my Pea Patch if I get permission
  3. Plan for a winter crop
  4. Finish using the free pallet wood and build a long planter box and small square raised garden boxes
  5. Giveaway the rest of the project wood pieces

2020 Q2 Goals – Accountability, Check in, and an Uneventful Spring

Financial Independence Goals for 2020 Q2 snapshot

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions = monthly deductions mean this happens automatically!
  2. Build up my emergency savings to 6 months/~$18,000 = $10,200 in current emergency savings and $5800 in savings for car/computer/travel/phone
  3. Save 50% of my income =
  4. Don’t renew housing lease end of July (no rent spending 8/1 onwards = change of plans. We have renewed our rent with our current house as travel and house sitting is not a good option right now. I will continue to use house sitting as an option for potential low-cost travel. I love looking for new listings weekly on Trusted Housesitters. You can use this link to get 25% off a membership at Trusted Housesitters: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

Here is an updated snapshot of my budgeting goals and how I’m meeting them. Red indicates going over the monthly budgeted amount and green indicates staying under.

Notable spending:

  1. I bought a used ebike for personal and business use! $1000
  2. I supported an IndieGoGo campaign for a few hundred dollars
  3. I tricked out my garden DIY style ~$200
  4. I bought a garage fridge for $220
  5. I bought a pull-up freestanding bar and under-desk elliptical and inversion bench used for $195 total
  6. I spent $75 on a 4-week nutrition and health program

Fitness

Here are my fitness stats for Q2 of 2020:

  1. Biking: 36.5 miles
  2. Pole classes: 1
  3. Stretch classes: 7
  4. Other classes: 4 Pilates classes, 3 handstand conditioning classes, 1 Alexander Technique class
  5. Other activities: Gardening, Beach Body Workouts!

Health goals 2020
1. Full P90X for 90 days!
2. Lose 3% body fat (I went from 26% to 29% using the BodyScan measurement 01/19 to 06/20)
3. 5+ pull-ups any format (I purchased a secondhand pull-up freestanding bar) and can currently do 4 chin ups, 3 pull-ups, 1 wide grip pull-up, 3 narrow pull-ups


Writing Goals for 2020:

  1. Deplete my physical book inventory = I sold and gave away several books in January and February but still have significant numbers of print books left. I will perhaps run more giveaways or do something creative like sell a book along with a free ARC reading or x amount of words edited.
  2. Break even on Ataxia and At One’s Beast = I met this goal in Q1!
  3. Revamp my website = I haven’t made any substantial changes to my website yet
  4. Write 4 short stories = I wrote 2 short stories thus far for two separate anthologies
  5. Send out 4 newsletters = 1 sent out 1 newsletter and am working on my Q2 newsletter this week
  6. Publish a new coloring book = Haven’t made any progress on this goal yet. I’m still deciding on the subject material.

Here is a list of my accomplishments for Q2:

  1. Run a giveaway
  2. Sell more print books (half of what I currently have in inventory)
  3. Give out review copies of books
  4. Redo all interior files for Seize the Donut, At One’s Beast, Ataxia and push to all marketplaces
  5. Create another niche coloring book
  6. Read 25 books
  7. Write 6 book reviews on my blog
  8. Create a promotion and marketing plan for the rest of 2020
  9. Write 1 short story
  10. Send out 1 newsletter

The view from 520 Bridge as I bike home from Seattle on my new e-bike!

My first forage in the PNW! Juneberries, Huckleberries, and Salmonberries

My favorite new breakfast! Grilled Portobello mushroom with egg and cheese on a bed of spinach surrounded by strawberries

 


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

Online Courses Review: Yale’s Science of Well-Being, TESOL, Budgeting Boot Camp and Productivity Boot Camp by FunCheapOrFree

I love trying out new things. I found the Science of Well-Being course offered by Yale free through Coursera and decided to give it a go. I took the course simultaneously with thousands of others. The course is 10 weeks long and the instruction portion is not overly tedious in length. I found that most of the content was familiar to me as I had taken many psychology classes in college (my area of concentration was psychology) and though none of the psychology classes I’ve taken centered on happiness, much of the science behind well-being is backed by psychological concepts and studies I am familiar with. It was nice to get the refresher, though, and to learn a few new tidbits. For the layman and those who didn’t study psychology, this course is an excellent survey of psychology centered on personal growth. This is especially true if you are taken with the concept of self-care that has been so very popular recently. I would highly recommend this structured take on scientifically understanding happiness and how to incorporate more aspects of well-being into your life. Some of the takeaways are not so obvious! And you will have homework to do! I highly recommend this particular course and really enjoyed the lecture style of Laurie Santos – the Yale professor. The homework was reasonable to accomplish and relevant. There were quite a number of recommended books to supplement the short to-the-point lectures if you want even more subject matter knowledge.

I now have my TESOL certificate – Teaching English as a Second Language. Why? Because I might want to teach English as a second language… I love languages, the study of languages, the nuance of learning a new language, etc. TESOL is one possibility for remote work as you can do it simply with a computer and high-speed internet connection. I took a simple TESOL certificate course online through International Open Academy that was recommended by one of the Youtubers (Katie Wismer) I watch. She has taught English as a second language with Qkids for over a year. I thought the course was fast and easy but not useful other than getting the certificate upon completion.

One of my other favorite Youtubers FunCheapOrFree offered her Budgeting Boot Camp and Productivity Boot Camp for free and I had to check them out. I love her channel. She is creative in her budgeting and productivity and I enjoy her well-edited videos. I did not, however, not either of her courses. It felt like she (and her husband) were reading a book in front of a camera. The two courses are divided into sections with videos that are around 10-15 minutes each. I liked all the stories where she related the information and instructions to her own life, but felt like I would rather just read the book version of these courses than sit through the videos in the course. I didn’t think this course was improved by telling the information in video format versus an audiobook or podcast for example. I also felt like the information wasn’t novel, especially to me with my current knowledge and since I’ve already watched many of the videos on Youtube already. I would not recommend paying for either course unless you’re completely new to budgeting or productivity and you prefer to watch videos in sequence than reading a book or simply subscribing to her channel. I would highly recommend instead to read the book “I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works” by Ramit Sethi as a step-to-step guide to crush debt and build wealth.

Book Review: The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer

The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer

A YA Coming of Age Novel published by Ahimsa Press (06/17/20)

Summary:

‘Once people have decided you’re a “quiet one,” they never let it go.’ Location 391

Meredith has lived 18 years as the preacher’s dutiful daughter. They’ve never had to give her a curfew because she’s never been out late. She’s never had a boyfriend. Even thinking about being the center of attention makes her anxious. In her last year of high school Mare drunkenly signs an ‘anti-virginity pact’ with her best friend Johanna and promptly forgets about it. Until it resurfaces as copies spread all over school. Pushed into the spotlight, Mare doesn’t know what to do, but she wishes she was still invisible. All the attention – most of it negative – threatens her reputation, her standing with her family, and even her new romantic relationship.

Keywords:

Coming of Age, Teenagers, High School, Senior Year, Seniors, Party, Alcohol, Introverted, Anxiety, Bullying, Preacher’s Daughter, Atheist, Friendship, Dating

My Review:

I absolutely love an emotional coming-of-age story and this book did not disappoint. The strongest emotion I felt while reading was anxiety. I consider myself an ambivert and experience shyness and anxiety when I’m at the center of attention sometimes, but Meredith takes this to an entirely different level. Wismer so specifically describes all aspects of anxiety so well that not only could I empathize with Mare, but I could sympathize. I think anyone reading this novel could understand what anxiety actually feels and looks like if it’s unfamiliar to them.

This book unpacks so many teenage dramas and it packs quite a punch. The bullying felt real. The anxiety felt real. The home and church life of a preacher’s daughter felt real. The religious abuse felt real. The homophobia felt real. The nastiness of the in-crowd felt real. The only over-the-top drama subplot that didn’t feel as real was the animal abuse.

I absolutely loved how this book tied romance and a romantic relationship with a strong friendship angle and the relationship between siblings. I loved the story of Meredith and her relationship with Johanna, her relationship with Sam, and especially her relationship with her sister.

This novel was published by Ahimsa Press 06/17/20 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Katie Wismer’s Website

Goodreads

Happy National Donut Day

HAPPY NATIONAL DONUT DAY!!!

Donuts in an Empty Field is turning 4 and I’m celebrating with a book sale!

Purchase Donuts in an Empty Field from Amazon HERE, the ebook that is normally $4.99 has been temporarily reduced to just $0.99

SALE: Always wanted a signed copy? Just $8 and I’ll ship you a signed copy (includes sales tax and shipping within the US). BONUS: I’ll send an extra copy free anywhere within the US. Send me your addresses to rachel.author.barnard@gmail.com. If you want to include both books in this duology, you can get them both for just $15. *While supplies last*

Letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.

Vanessa hasn’t been the same since her father’s death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner’s son from a burning building. Nessa blames the boy, but her best friend Nichole thinks it’s time to let go of the past. In a last ditch effort to break Nessa’s obsession, Nichole hopes signing up for the local food challenge will bust her out of her shell. A single choice defines the road ahead for Nessa. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but living with the consequences of doing nothing might be worse.

Purchase Seize the Donut from Amazon HERE

Friendships should never be taken for granted.

The ups and downs of high school forged an unbreakable bond between Vanessa and Nichole. Summer’s over and Vanessa is preparing for life at the local liberal arts college. Without her best friend by her side, Vanessa starts to chart her own path. Navigating new friendships and relationships proves easier said than done.

Nichole got kicked out of her mother’s house, lives with strangers in a sketchy neighborhood and commutes across town for her job in retail. She doesn’t always make the right choices and she has only herself to blame when things go wrong.

Something’s gotta give. Who will make the first move – or will fate intervene to remind each of them of the importance of their bond.

 

SALE on the Donuts (and corgis) themed coloring book:

Now half off through the weekend: Normally $10, now only $5.25

 

Where to get a FREE DONUT!!!

Krispy Kreme

 

Bonus SALE:

This weekend only get At One’s Beast by Rachel Barnard, a fairy tale retelling for free as an ebook HERE

 

 

Book Review: The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy #1) by Kahlen Aymes

The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy #1) by Kahlen Aymes

An Romance Novel published by Telemachus Press, LLC (04/19/12)

Summary:

Julia and Ryan have been friends for years. Secretly each is interested in more of a romantic relationship, but neither will bring up their feelings. Neither wants to risk their strong friendship, until they’re about to move to opposite sides of the country. After revealing their true feelings, they start their long distance relationship.

Keywords:

Medicine, Doctor, Romance, Friendship, Long Distance Relationship, Unhealthy Relationship, Jealousy, Sex Scenes

 

My Review: SPOILER ALERT

It takes about a sentence to summarize what this book is about because this book lacked a plot. There was no real problem to solve, only the idea of navigating a long distance and jealousy. If you like reading lengthy passages about the cutesy love between couples, the frustration at being apart for weeks and months from your loved one, jealousy over interaction with the opposite gender, and sex scenes then you may enjoy this book. For me, it was a meandering overly worded romance full of too many sex scenes and too much “I love you,” and “I love you more” fluff. The only real action was the hard-to-read unhealthy jealousy Ryan felt for Julia’s interactions and relationships with her male coworkers. This is portrayed as normal but it is an unhealthy amount and expression of jealousy! I should have put this book down but felt compelled to finish and find out if anything was going to happen in the end. Where could this book actually go?

To create this series, the author finally launches into a tight sequence of action in the last few chapters and then ends abruptly in the middle of a scene to promote a cliff-hanger and get you to read on to the second book. The pacing throughout this novel was terrible. I will not be reading any more books by this author. I was especially turned off by the usage of a surprise pregnancy to push along the action. I’m quite fed up with romance novels using pregnancy, especially a surprise pregnancy, as a source of conflict. This book even uses the pregnancy to tear the main female character away from a promising career move (which the main male protagonist was against because everything is about him and what he wants). The ending was a disappointment.

Halfway through I started to consistently skim through all the mushy dialogue back and forth between Julia and Ryan because nothing new was being said and it felt like it was just filler dialogue. I also skimmed through the sex scenes because after the buildup to the first one, the rest were just not that interesting.

The one thing the author did that kept me reading at all, was the excellent buildup of expectation prior to the initial sex scene. The longing that Julia and Ryan felt for each other was palpable and felt very real.

This novel was published by Telemachus Press, LLC on 04/19/2012 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 2.50

Links for more information:

Kahlen Aymes’ Website

Goodreads

Adventures in Veganism/Vegetarianism – One Week Vegetarian

Look ma, no meat!

I did it again… but this time instead of eliminating animal products I prioritized fruits and vegetables. What does it mean to eat vegan or vegetarian? Privilege. I can find, purchase, prepare, and consume hearty vegetables and supplement my diet with vitamins. I didn’t eat rice and beans for a week. I spent my time, effort, and money to micromanage my diet for 6 days – two of which were vegan days.

I did not plan to eat ‘vegan’ per se, because my partner wanted to try out the ‘fruit diet’ for a week. Fruits happen to be vegan! I decided that I wanted to balance my diet and prioritize vegetables instead of fruit. Because veggies! Because why not! Because macros and balance!

Here are a few of my takeaways from this round of vegan/vegetarian eating (see my previous challenge here: http://rachelbarnardvegan.blogspot.com/)

  • Planning became essential
    • Going out and picking the fruits and vegetables was essential
    • Food prep took quite a bit of time measuring, chopping, etc. Weighing foods takes so much time!
    • I created a spreadsheet with all the veggies, nuts, and fruit I bought with 1oz serving sizes and then puzzled out how to attain a good balance of fat, sugar, carb, and protein from there
    • Basic google research told me that I should be eating around 1,367 calories per day of which 40% would be protein (137g), 30% would be carbohydrates (103g), and 30% would be fats (46g). No mention of sugar… hm. I attempted to cap my sugar intake at 25g (hahaha that didn’t happen. Did you know that fruits have quite a bit of sugar? Did you know that vegetables have carbs?
  • Fresh foods take up a lot of space in the fridge (yeah, I know canned and frozen foods exist, but again privilege)
  • You can stock certain products to add balance and protein to your diet.
    • Hemp seeds/hearts are high in protein and fat and very low in sugar
    • Chia seeds have no sugar
    • Chlorella is gross and will overpower your smoothie but it is pure protein
    • Flax milk seems to be the highest of the non-dairy milks in protein with very little carbs and no sugar that I could find at our local Safeway. I don’t recommend drinking it plain but it makes a great addition to smoothies and coffee. It even tastes creamy
    • Nutritional yeast is a great protein additive for topping salads, mixing into smoothies, and hiding in a stir fry but it will also start to overpower the flavor of your food and to me it doesn’t taste at all like cheese
    • Coconut milk is a great fat and delicious for making chia pudding
  • You can eat a great volume of vegetables without consuming that many calories (not true for all vegetables). Sometimes my salads were too big for my appetite and they were less than 400 calories.
  • You don’t need to eat as many nuts as you think… if you eat them intentionally they will satisfy you and I quite like the taste of all the nuts I got (the order of my favorites that I ate would be cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • When I cut out processed foods and sugars I didn’t experience my daily crazy hungry/bored eating/food fascination that seems to occur daily between 2pm-5pm
  • I felt more satisfied and full from my snacks/meals even though I was consuming less calories overall
  • My bowel movements changed, becoming less frequent (only once daily) and more dense and very green! The same green as if I’d consumed that black cherry Icee at the movies
  • After two days I came to the conclusion that a vegetarian is simply a vegan who eats cheese. Cheese is delicious.
  • Did I miss meat? No, I was too busy enjoying delicious fruits and veggies.

Here is my calorie consumption chart for the week (I didn’t weigh my food for Saturday)

Budget  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Calories 1300 903 928.3 1279 1313.9 1108.8
Protein 137 40.4 36.94 57.2 48.7 38.51
Carbs 103 142 118.95 160.69 132.15 145.66
Sugar 25 42.3 30.58 34.37 58.2 99.92
Fats 46 41.82 41.25 63.74 129.24 55.92

Pictured below are a few meals I ate:

Left: Portabello mushroom with cheese and egg on a bed of spinach surrounded by strawberries

Middle: Watermelon salad with feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon next to lemon sauteed asparagus (can you still call it a saute if you saute in water?)

Right: a picnic we brought to the park -to eat in our car- apples, watermelon, plums, Oreo, feta, mixed nuts, dried and salted beans

More detailed breakdown of consumption for days 1-5:

Day 1:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 212 17.2 42.9 15.3 13.4
Snacks (1 fruit and nuts) 369 4.4 7.38 1.62 14.75
Lunch 213.8 8.54 20.22 5.11 12.9
Dinner 133.5 6.8 48.45 8.55 0.2

Day 2:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 212 17.2 42.9 15.3 13.4
Snacks (1 fruit and nuts) 320 6.2 43.2 28.3 15.02
Lunch 236 9.5 54.6 7.6 0.7
Dinner 213.8 8.54 20.22 5.11 12.9

Day 3:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 190 14.91 27.15 10.91 3.54
Snacks 540 12.7 66.2 14.8 30.84
Lunch 413.4 14.09 37.215 6.03 28.63
Dinner 136 15.5 30.12 2.63 0.73
1279 57.2 160.69 34.37 63.74

Day 4:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Breakfast: watermelon and feta 100.5 3.4 14.6 14.6 3
Breakfast: Nuts 211 5.6 7.1 1.5 22.44
Lunch salad: 567.4 36.3 53.4 11.8 86.7
Snack: watermelon rind salad 320 2.35 28.25 2 17
Snack: 1/2 plum 15 .25 4 3.5 .1
Snack: Candied watermelon 100 0.8 24.8 24.8 0
1313.9 48.7 132.15 58.2 129.24

Day 5:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Breakfast Smoothie 190 14.91 27.15 10.91 3.54
Snack: candied watermelon 200 1.6 49.6 49.6 0
Lunch watermelon salad 133 5.68 14.65 11.87 6.16
Snack: nuts 211 5.6 7.1 1.5 22.44
Lunch: Asparagus 99 4.9 9.0 3.9 7.2
Snack: 1/2 apple 78 .4 21 15 .3
Dinner: Salad 179.8 5.02 12.86 4.5 14.48
Dessert: Strawberry 18 .4 4.3 2.64 1.8
1108.8 38.51 145.66 99.92 55.92

 

2020 Q1 Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Future Uncertainty

I’ve decided to move from monthly updates to quarterly updates… Here is quarter one 2020 update that encompasses January – February – March.

Financial Independence Goals for 2020

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions = My HSA contribution is deducted automatically from my paycheck every month and my Roth IRA is automatically transferred at $500/month
  2. Build up my emergency savings to 6 months = I have just under 6 months emergency savings currently if I were to only spend $2500/month. I want to build this up to $18,000 by the end of the year
  3. Save 50% of my income = Due to travel in February and the yearly car maintenance in March I have spent 79% of my income, however; I moved all my business/secondary income outside of these calculations and if I were to add that back in I have spent 70% of my total income from all sources. Subtract again my HSA (part of my savings plan) and the amount spent is closer to 66%. Q2 should be even closer to 50% as I won’t be doing any leisure traveling or have extra car expenses.
  4. Don’t renew housing lease end of July (no rent spending 8/1 onwards = this is a new goal that I’ve already started preparing for by gathering a list of friends and family who are willing to host myself and my partner starting August. I will also be working on a combined post-housing budget and look at our finances together. We have already joined TrustedHousesitters and had our first house sit and are now verified. Closer to the summer I will start applying to house sits starting August and planning out our travel and where and who we will be staying with.
    You can use this link to get 25% off a membership at Trusted Housesitters: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

Here is an updated snapshot of my budgeting goals and how I’m meeting them. Red indicates going over the monthly budgeted amount and green indicates staying under. I have also shifted the budgeted amount going forward from previous Q1 spending over/under amounts.

Notable spending:

  1. AAA membership $138 for myself and my partner but we share 1 car so now that I think about it, it doesn’t make sense for both of us to each have an account and perhaps I can transfer to another family member or cancel one of ours and get some of the extra cost back.
  2. Health category has ballooned as I have increased the amount of supplements I’m taking and storing as a precaution. My recommendation is to have a 3-month’s supply of all supplements, prescriptions, and medications where possible.
  3. My grocery/eating out spending was significantly low in March due to categorizing all ‘eating’ expenses while in Mexico under ‘travel’
  4. My gifts category is high because I sent money to my family
  5. My partner and I spent $1041 on car maintenance (he got us a discount and I got them to take off some labor costs for several hundred in savings from the dealer – always check the invoice!)

My business earnings have significantly decreased due to the COVID-19 and has since reinforced my determination to find more passive income sources and work-from-home earning potentials. Some of my mystery shops and usability studies are available online but most of my income came from cat sitting and dog walking. When I have the mental motivation I will check out editing/ARC/reviews as a secondary source of active income.


Fitness

Here are my fitness stats for Q1 of 2020:

  1. Biking: 16 miles
  2. Pole classes: 8
  3. Stretch classes: 2
  4. Other classes: 1 Booty class, 1 boot camp class, 1 Boudoir class
  5. Other activities: 1 soccer game and several soccer practice sessions

What are my fitness goals for 2020? A new fitness/health goal each month… Sigh. I made a general goal that isn’t very useful and I’m going to scrap it.

Fitness goals 2020
1. Stretch class 1x/week and stretching 10-15 minutes at least 4x/week
2. Ab exercise 4x/week
3. Cardio exercise/class 1x/week

Potential weekly fitness schedule:

Monday 4/6

Tuesday 4/7

Wednesday 4/8

Thursday 4/9

Friday 4/10

Saturday 4/11

Sunday 4/12

Handstands exercises and conditioning 15 minutes

Abs 5 minutes

Cardio (biking, boot camp, etc) 15+ minutes

Pilates 60 minutes

6pm-Divine Stretch class 60 minutes

Abs 5 minutes

Lower abs 7 minutes with 1 minute timed ARAP sit ups: Lower abs workout for strong and clean pole inverts (8min follow along)

Cardio (Boot camp, biking, etc) 15+ minutes

Pilates 60 minutes

Weights

Abs 5 minutes

1pm-Divine Stretch 60 minutes

Cardio (biking, boot camp, etc) 15+ minutes

 


Writing Goals for 2020:

  1. Deplete my physical book inventory = I sold and gave away several books in January and February but still have significant numbers of print books left. I will perhaps run more giveaways or do something creative like sell a book along with a free ARC reading or x amount of words edited.
  2. Break even on Ataxia and At One’s Beast = I met this goal!
  3. Revamp my website = I haven’t made any substantial changes to my website yet
  4. Write 4 short stories = I wrote 1 short story so I’m on track for this goal
  5. Send out 4 newsletters = 1 sent out 1 newsletter and am working on my Q1 newsletter this week
  6. Publish a new coloring book = Haven’t made any progress on this goal yet

Here is a list of my accomplishments for Q1:

  1. Ran a birthday giveaway
  2. Sold several print books
  3. Had 1 author tea date
  4. Sent beginning of year newsletter
  5. Wrote a short story for the WCPNW anthology
  6. Redid my interior files to fix a typo and editing issue from For the Love of Donuts Book 1
  7. Wrote 6 book reviews on my blog
  8. Read 12 books

Here are my goals for Q2:

  1. Run a giveaway
  2. Sell more print books (half of what I currently have in inventory)
  3. Give out review copies of books
  4. Redo all interior files for Seize the Donut, At One’s Beast, Ataxia and push to all marketplaces
  5. Create another niche coloring book
  6. Read 25 books
  7. Write 6 book reviews on my blog
  8. Create a promotion and marketing plan for the rest of 2020
  9. Write 1 short story
  10. Send out 1 newsletter

Enter my Q2 giveaway HERE:


Green GF pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

GF homemade pizzas with a mix from my favorite section in the grocery story (the squished can section)


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

Book Review: Lies & Legacy (Project Gene Assist Book 3) by Allie Potts

Lies & Legacy (Project Gene Assist Book 3) by Allie Potts

A Science Fiction/Cyberpunk/Dystopian Novel published by Axil Hammer Publishing (03/26/20)

Summary:

Juliane wakes out of her cryogenic sleep to a devastated world where her legacy, her tech, is not being used the way she intended. What’s left of humanity is on the brink of war as those with the opportunity have stepped up to seize control. Can Juliane stop them? Stephen is convinced that Juliane can stop the drain, the key to halting the power-hungry new world leaders. All he has to do is find her before it’s too late.

Keywords:

Genetic Engineering, Science and Technology, Rivals, Technology,  Future, Dystopian, Survival, Dark Ages, War, New Government, Towers, Grit, Magic, Evolution, Economic Collapse, New Order, Salvation, Friendship, Romance

My Review:

It was difficult to pick up this third book after so much time between finishing book two. I couldn’t remember who the characters were, their relationships to each other, or what they wanted and how they got there. The third book starts off where book two ends without a lot of re-explanation of what happened before and it took a few chapters to get back into the swing of the plot and hooked into the current dilemmas. If I hadn’t immediately skipped to chapter one, I would have seen the handy recap of characters at the end of the book listed in the table of contents that would have helped me sort out who is who. If you’re also not reading each book right after the other I would highly recommend browsing the contents at the end of the book as a great refresher into the many characters.

I couldn’t wait to see how the isolated characters finally met up in the end. I did enjoy reading their separate journeys as they traveled through the post-apocalyptic landscape. I also enjoyed the growing romances between several of the characters and felt it added more depth to this novel.

Every time Juliane used her abilities for something small, like lighting up a dark space with her own body and technology, I was fascinated. The small details in the world building were well done and very intriguing. Juliane, as a strong female main character from the previous novels, continues to be a leader in this third novel of the series.

This novel was published by Axil Hammer Publishing on 03/26/2020 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Allie Potts’ Website

Goodreads

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