2021 Q1 Giveaway, Goals, and Progress

2021 Book Giveaway*

Print Books available
1. At One’s Beast (YA)
2. Vanessa’s Book of Awesome Things (Misc Lists)
3. Book of poetry
4. Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1)

*mailed anywhere in the USA
*books to be mailed in upcycled packaging
*20 copies available
*1 lucky and random recipient will receive a $20 bookmark

2021 Goals Progress Update:

Goals for 2021

Time frame/deadline

Q1 Progress

New time frame/deadline

Take a bookkeeping class


Not currently interested in pursuing this goal


Finish outlining Two for Tiny


Worked on outline at Emberville class circle

Chapter by chapter outline not fully fleshed out


Take floorwork intermediate series


Signed up for classes May 12 – June 16

Advanced series 8/18 – 9/22 signup if I can later this year after moving/not moving


Get to 12 pullups of any kind in a row


Have to build up my strength first – currently can do 5 in a row


Build a seed library and/or trellis


Not currently interested in pursuing this goal


Sell/Give all physical book inventory


12 books gone in Q1, 66 remaining

Inventory at FVP – donated


First draft for Two for Tiny


Outline not ready. Started chapter one to get the tone/feel and have 1500 words so far

Would like to write 1000+ words/week on Sundays as I continue to flesh out my outline, characters, and settings




Haven’t worked on, need to build back up my strength and balance

Would like to sign up for a 4-6 week dedicated course like the Fit & Bendy offering online


Pass intermediate inversions into advanced inversions at Divine!


Have to build up my strength first – not even close to ready


Get to 1000 miles on my ebike


390 miles in 2020

63 miles in Q1, 547 miles remaining


Take 500 lifetime pole classes


458/500 – 42 remaining 39 weeks left in the year at 1 class/week to make this goal


Go to conference/workshop for writing


Conferences are online so far this year – not sure of the value

Emerald City Writer’s Conference 10/15-10/17

PNWA 9/15 – 9/19


Save up 6 months of emergency savings


Met this goal!


Grow loofah


Not currently interested in pursuing this goal


Take a doughnut making class


No classes on schedule yet https://www.raiseddoughnuts.com/classes


Take goat/bunny yoga class


No classes on schedule yet


Take a mochi making class


No classes on schedule yet


emergency/disaster/community preparedness


No classes on schedule yet


Tiny house show


No dates yet


Pole Expo/Convention


Not ready to travel yet


Corgi Con


Not currently scheduled for 2021, not ready to travel yet anyway


IMG_1342 (1)
St Patrick’s Day fun with leftover cake food coloring
Pokemon Go level milestone!
Corgi butt sweet bread with chocolate center
Mochi donut from Mochinut!

What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

February Book Special! $5 Print Book Sale.

At cost book special for the rest of the month! At One’s Beast is only $5 – includes sales tax and shipping! Just send me a message (rachel.author.barnard@gmail.com) and I’ll send you an invoice via Paypal. This special runs until the end of the month or until I run out of copies.

Every month I’ve planned a print book surprise sale/giveaway. I’m planning to move at the end of the summer and want to finish off the rest of my physical inventory. I’m moving away from book writing/selling and more towards cat sitting and personal development.

Baking a Birthday Cake – By the Numbers

Kim Joy’s Lemon cake recipe from her book
The Spruce Eats Fluffy Homemade Vanilla Cake recipe

Ingredients for both cakes, Italian buttercream frosting (Kim Joy recipe), ruby chocolate ganache drips, and pink fondant donut topping: $63.75
– 13 sticks of Unsalted butter ($9.75)
– 1 box of caster baking sugar ($5.79)
– Self-Rising Flour ($4.49)
– All-Purpose White Flour ($2.49)
– Cream of tartar from our spice cabinet
– Baking Powder from our spice cabinet
– 15 large eggs ($3.49)
– 6 lemons ($4.99)
– 2 cartons of fresh raspberries ($10.98)
– Heavy cream from our fridge supplies
– Vanilla extract from our spice cabinet
– 4.4oz Pink fondant ($3.19)
– Gel-Based food color 12-count pack ($13)
– Almost 2 bars of ruby chocolate ($5.58)

Baking Supplies (not consumable) bought specially for this cake project: $29.47
– 7″ ring mold pan from Fat Daddio’s ($13.49)
– 7″ Round cheesecake pan from Fat Daddio’s ($11.99)
-11 Piece round cookie cutter set doughnut cutters ($3.99)

New Techniques that I’ve never done before/Lessons learned:

  1. Making my own cake board using cardboard and tin foil
  2. Making buttercream that isn’t just powdered sugar icing
  3. Fixing the buttercream when it isn’t the correct texture
  4. Using a Kitchen-Aid mixer
  5. Weighing and Coloring the batter for even layers
  6. Putting parchment paper in the baking pan after greasing the pan (and cutting out the circle to fit the pan)
  7. Baking each layer separately because I only had one 9″ pan
  8. Making a chocolate ganache
  9. Using Ruby Chocolate
  10. Creating ganache drips using a spoon and ganache at the correct temperature
  11. Stacking the layers in a cake
  12. Crumb coating a cake
  13. Frosting a cake with a spatula and my grandparent’s turntable
  14. Putting a second tier on top of a 5-layer cake bottom tier
  15. Working with fondant
  16. Cutting a cake that is 9.5″ tall and not dropping the top tier onto the floor when plating the slice

The evolution of my first cake-from-scratch:

2021 Net Worth and Monthly Spending Update

Here are some charts I made to compare my monthly spending over 2020, 2019, and 2018. I didn’t include taxes or my monthly HSA withholdings from my paycheck. But you can see where I spend the most of my money. This pie chart only accounts for 42% of my gross income. The rest of it goes towards taxes, HSA paycheck withholdings, investing, and savings. The purpose of these charts is to show changes in spending over time (across different categories).

Here are a few more fun numbers:

  1. I decreased my spending by 28% from 2018 to 2019 while increasing my income 16%
  2. I increased my spending 4% from 2019 to 2020 while increasing my income 3%
  3. I increased my total net worth by 73% from 2019 to 2020
  4. 40% of my spending was in “health” in 2018, 28% in “housing” in 2019, and 26% in “housing” in 2020 as my largest spend categories
  5. Eating comprises my highest spend category after housing in general. 22% in 2020, 30% in 2019, and 16% in 2018. As a non-fixed cost, this is quite high and if I were to cut back on spending this would be the ‘easiest’ category to cut back in. Even though I meal plan and have almost no food waste, I don’t budget this category and it’s my most indulgent spending throughout the year.
  6. My credit score took a dive in January of 2020 (I think because they changed how they calculate) by 7% and recovered 3% throughout the year.

Here is another way of looking at my spending categories over time. Note that I broke out my ‘writing’ category in 2020 and it’s now captured not as personal spending/income but in my business expenses so you don’t see it here in 2020.

The next two pie charts show my net worth split categories:

2020 Reading Challenge Books in Review and Recommended Reads

I spent $26.33 on kindle books this year

My favorite books I read this year:

  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
  • I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
  • Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1) by Holly Jackson
  • Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis
  • Parachutes by Kelly Yang
  • Slay by Brittney Morris
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein
  • Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey
  • The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte
  • Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus
  • This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
  • Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang

My favorite Indie books that I read this year:

  1. The Alien in the Backseat by Phillip Knight Scott
  2. Destination Azurah by Victoria Bastedo
  3. Exile (Forbidden Things #2) by Nikki McCormack
  4. Apostate (Forbidden Things #3) by Nikki McCormack
  5. Drawing Breath (Drawing Breath #1-3) by Laurie Boris
  6. The Anti-Virginity Pact (The Pact #1) by Katie Wismer
  7. Flight of the Spark: Book 1 of the Outlawed Myth Fantasy Series (The Outlawed Myth #1) by Evelyn Puerto


Out of the 65 books that I read:

11 Indie Books

8 Nonfiction Books


The books I read this year:

I think I will make my challenge for next year 100 books!

2019 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2018 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2017 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2016 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2015 Reading Challenge Blog Post

Goals and Accomplishments from 2020 and Future Goals for 2021

Goals list of 2014
Goals list of 2015
Goals list of 2016
Goals list of 2017
Goals list of 2018
Goals list of 2019

2021 Goals!!!

  • 2021 Describe yourself in 3 words:
    • 2021 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Vacation, Attentive, Patience
    • Theme for 2021: Plan
  • 2020 Describe yourself in 3 words: Anxious, Quick, Analytic
    • 2020 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Patience, Deliberate, Calm
    • Theme for 202: Hygge
  • 2019 Describe yourself in 3 words: Driven, Efficient, Restless
    • 2019 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Calm, Accomplished, Considerate
    • Theme for 2019: Minimize


Fitness goals 2020:

I want to try out some small lifestyle change style challenges. I wanted to spend each month focusing on a different aspect of health and fitness. Here are my ideas so far: stretching every morning, increasing my water intake, cooking all my own food, reading more self-growth books, eating more veggies, biking/running, reducing my sugar intake. I very much enjoy the Blogilates challenges and may continue to use those challenges and/or the monthly calendar. 2020 Fitness Actual: I didn’t go forward with this 12-month style challenge and meandered a lot throughout the year with my fitness. I joined a 4-week lifestyle and fitness group challenge and then completed the P-90X fitness course. I completed the Divine 12 days of fitness challenge (taking 12 online classes within 17 days). I tried out an advent style fitness challenge that I abandoned 15 days in because it was too much for my body.

Fitness goals 2021:

  • Freestanding handstand
  • Take floorwork intermediate series
  • Pass intermediate inversions into advanced inversions at Divine Movement Dance
  • Get to 12 pullups of any kind in a row
  • Bike 1000 total on my ebike (already 390 from 2020)


Finances Goals 2020:

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions
    1. Nailed it! Maxed out all three of these investment accounts
  2. Build up my emergency savings to 6 months
    1. I think I’ve accomplished this goal. If I were to rely on my emergency savings, I wouldn’t spend as much as I do currently monthly so what I have saved would actually last 6 months. If I were to calculate 6 month’s spending then I’m I’m $2300 short of a complete 6 month’s emergency savings. In another 8 months I would have that amount in my emergency savings with my automatic savings plan.
  3. Save 50% of my income.
    1. I spent 40% of my gross income
    2. I spent 53% of my net income
  4. Reach 6-figure net worth
    1. Mid-December I hit this goal!

Finances Goals 2021:

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions
  2. Save 50% of my income


Writing Goals 2020:

  • Deplete my physical book inventory
    • Sold/gave away 42 print books this year!
  • Break even on Ataxia and At One’s Beast
    • With my marketing push, I was able to meet this goal in January!
  • Revamp my website
    • Pushed this off
  • Write 4 short stories
  • Send out 4 newsletters
    • Technically I already met this goal with my early December promotional newsletter, but I have one more to send out for my end of year recap.
  • Publish a new coloring book
    • Did not pursue this new project

Writing Goals 2021

  • Deplete my physical book inventory
  • Go to a conference/workshop for writing
  • Revamp website
  • Finish outlining Two for Tiny
  • Finish first draft of Two for Tiny


Personal Goals 2021

  1. Take a bookkeeping class
  2. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
  3. Build a seed library and/or trellis
  4. Grow loofah
  5. Take a doughnut making class
  6. Take goat/bunny yoga class
  7. Face time with friends/family every month


For Q1 here are my specific goals:

  • Financial: Update my death binder and review finances on my birthday 1/22
  • Fitness: Personal session for handstands, 2 stretch classes, no sweets and treats until my birthday (1/22)
  • Writing: Book giveaway for my birthday, newsletter, Review two Indie Books (Canopy by D.M. Darroch and Flintelf by Victoria Bastedo), quote and plan for website revamp
  • Personal: Face time with Rich, Face Time with Chris, Face Time with Danelle; Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification exam in February

2020 Physical Activity – Dance, Health, and Fitness

How do you work out?

Pole Dancing Highlights for 2020
2. I took 35 classes total
3. I spent $225 total (I have credit as an ambassador that I use towards classes)
4. I spent 55.75 hours in class
5. I worked with 7 different instructors

Lifetime money spent (just for pole classes): $7139.95
2014 – $90
2015 – $422.21
2016 – $1777
2017 – $2594
2018 – $1465.74
2019 – $566
2020 – $225

Lifetime total pole classes: 445
2014 – 6
2015 – 19
2016 – 109
2017 – 139
2018 – 92
2019 – 37
2020 – 35

Total time spent poling: 703.25 hours (29.3 days)
2014 – 10.5 hours
2015 – 37.5 hours
2016 – 173.5 hours
2017 – 226 hours
2018 – 144.5 hours
2019 – 55.5 hours
2020 – 55.75 hours

Class Breakdown at different studios for 2020
Divine – 20/35 = 57%
Spinderella – 14/35 = 40%
Habitat Pole and Fitness – 1/35 = 3%


In other fitness accomplishments:

  • I biked 446.5 miles (390 miles on my new ebike)
  • I took 16 stretch and flexibility classes
  • I took 3 booty dance classes
  • I took 1 yoga class
  • I took 3 inversions conditioning classes
  • I took 3 handstands classes
  • I took 4 Pilates classes
  • I played soccer one time (and practiced several times)
  • I completed P90X along with some other Beach Body classes
  • I lost 3% body fat over the summer
  • I was able to do 9 chin-ups in a row
  • 7/17/2020 ran a 10:03 mile (after a 13:50 mile and then 11:02 mile with exercise-induced asthma)

My favorite fitness photos: Running up a small pyramid in Teotihuacán, Mexico; biking home across the 520 bridge over Lake Washington on my new ebike; camel pose success during Divine flexibility class

2019 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2018 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2017 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2016 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2015 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2020: AMC A-List – Watched and Recommended Movies for the Year

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2020 in theatres and VOD: $112.7… total value for movies watched =$327.34 + VOD ; Favorite movie of the year: Soul

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2019 in theatres: $278.15… total value for movies watched = $1,281.67

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2018 in theatres: $297.42… total value for movies watched = $839.45

“*” indicates a movie I particularly enjoyed and would recommend.


January: $96.43 value… paid $23.05

  • *Spies in Disguise ($12.99)
  • *Queen & Slim ($12.99)
  • *Star Wars the Rise of Skywalker in Laser Imax ($18.49)
  • Uncut Gems ($12.99)
  • *1917 ($12.99)
  • Bad Boys for Life ($19.49)
  • The Turning ($12.99)
  • The Gentlemen ($12.99)

February: $77.95 value… paid $23.05

  • Gretel and Hansel ($12.99)
  • *Birds of Prey ($19.49)
  • Sonic ($19.49)
  • Fantasy Island ($12.99)
  • Brahms: the Boy II ($12.99)

March: $74.01 value… paid $33.60

  • *Onward ($19.49)
  • The Way Back ($12.99)
  • Bloodshot ($17.99)
  • *The Hunt ($12.99)
  • *Invisible Man ($10.55 in pesos at our trip in Mexico)


  • Trolls World Tour (VOD)


  • Scoob! (VOD)


  • Artemis Fowl (VOD)
  • *Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (VOD)
  • *My Spy (VOD)


  • Hamilton (VOD)
  • The Old Guard (VOD)


  • The One and Only Ivan (VOD)


  • Mulan (VOD)
  • The Social Dilemma (VOD)
  • *Enola Holmes (VOD)

October: $46.97 value… paid $16.50 for HBO Max

  • New Mutants ($13.49)
  • Tenet ($19.99)
  • Unhinged ($13.49)
  • Hubie Halloween (VOD)
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (VOD)
  • The Witches (VOD)
  • *Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (VOD)

November: $31.98 value… paid $16.50 for HBO Max

  • War with Grandpa ($13.49)
  • *Freaky ($18.49)

December:  $?? value… paid $0

  • Songbird (Advanced Screening home viewing)
  • Greenland (Advanced Screening home viewing)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (VOD)
  • *Soul (VOD)

2020 Best and Worst Purchases of the Year, Favorite Restaurants, Favorite Activities

Top Purchases for the year:

Getting my hair professionally cut and highlighted – I was starting to get a weird bowl cut looking vibe and as soon as it was highlighted, I feel like my look was completely transformed and I loved my hair again.

Amy Cohen’s masks bundles for myself, boyfriend, grandparents, and parents – Not only was I supporting someone I knew (mother of a friend), but these masks were adorable and after months of wear they still hold up!

Lush shampoo bar – I have loved every sample and bar that I’ve tried from Lush. They are super sudsy and very long-lasting. They travel very well – no leaking!

Native deodorant – I really like the natural scents and it’s one of the best natural deodorants that I’ve tried over the past few years.

ebike – I bought a secondhand Raleigh Sprite iE 45cm 2017 from someone who had used it as a commuter bike in Seattle (a gamble!) and I absolutely love this bike. I’m really happy that it works and I only spent $1000. I’ve already put over 300 miles on this bike and it makes biking where hills are involved pleasurable.

Low cost DIY pallet garden – I was able to build and plant my garden for just over $200 because I spent time and effort sourcing free materials and was gifted several tomato starts and the time and help of my friends and family.

Garage fridge – After cleaning out the mini fridge I got for free several years ago, I left it to defrost outside and it never turned back on so I invested in a $200 compact but full-sized fridge for the garage that we put all our hard cider and fridge overflow into. This was a great investment since there are three of us sharing our small full-sized kitchen fridge.

Orgain Keto chocolate (especially on sale at Costco) – I love this tuff! I can make a mousse when I mix it with milk. I can make hot chocolate when I mix it with hot milk. I put it into my granola bowls to make them taste like dessert.

Rock paint markers – I got really into rock painting as a new hobby in the summer and have been hiding and gifting the painted rocks all over town. This set works so well though I have accidentally squished down the top of the white too much. They don’t have a fine tip, which is mostly okay and I can make adequately detailed rocks.

Pecan pie from Grocery Outlet – Who knew my favorite pie was pecan? Thanks to my partner for picking pecan, now I know that it’s my favorite! Grocery Outlet’s $5 pecan pie was the best pie we’ve found this season.

Fiskars Micro-Tip Blades – I went all out for my DIY garden this year and love the clean and sharp pruning scissors I got to help me harvest my greens.

Soccer shoes – Though we only got to play one time with other people before lockdown, my boyfriend and I enjoyed multiple nights of practice play and these shoes made so much of a difference!

Top Gifts for the year:

Summer veggie box

The perfect sized cup in my Edible Arrangements birthday gift from my mother – I love this cup so much that I will wash it after each use so I can re-use it again. I eat my granola out of this cup because it also makes the perfect deep-bowl.


Worst Purchases for the year:

$238.51 Indiegogo masks reusable N-99 silicone masks from ModPPE and $60 for additional filters – After backing this project in April of this year, I finally received my product in December. They have had a full production company since late summer, yet they didn’t cancel my order when asked and didn’t bother shipping from their US warehouse either. Worst customer service I’ve ever experienced from a company selling a product. And check out the sorry state the box arrived in! The product doesn’t fit either so I paid quite a bit of money for useless trash that took 9 months to arrive. You want one? I’ve still got most of them sitting in my closet.

Mixed seeds from Amazon – Never again. Not only did they just dump unidentifiable seeds in the packet, there weren’t 100 and they didn’t grow at all!

The AMC refillable bucket – Haha 2020. You got me!

The Lobster Shop – Most disappointing restaurant of the year. Overpriced. Too salty. Quality was meh.

AirBnB gift card – I thought I could use this gift card to pay for the second half of my reservation (should have read the fine print). Now I still have that gift card just sitting in my account when it could have gone to something more useful.

Pistachio oil and Pistachio extract – The pistachio oil didn’t have enough pistachio flavor and I didn’t really know what to put it in other than my salads. The extract was terrible and tasted very artificial!


Favorite Restaurants:

Pagliacci – I really have taken a liking to their pizza. I like the crust. I like the cheese. I absolutely loved their fig seasonal pizza. I like how they have new seasonals every few weeks.

Where Ya Matt – Local food truck with phenomenal New Orleans soul food. Worth breaking your diet for those beignets…

The Slip – New favorite non-traditional burger place. The Slip has fun burgers that are delicious! My favorites were the Thai PB&J and the Burgadilla

Jeff’s Texas Style BBQ – we keep coming back for this BBQ.


Favorite Activities:

Horseback riding at Mone Farms – what activities can you do that are naturally socially distanced? How long is a horse you ask?

Trusted Housesitters – I love looking for new listings weekly on Trusted Housesitters and though we were only able to fit one sit in before lockdown, I still peruse their site every few weeks. It was such fun sitting this little guy. You can use this link to get 25% off a membership at Trusted Housesitters: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

UFC family watch nights – Good food and good company, though I didn’t care too much about the UFC…

Mexico Vacation prior to the pandemic – Best vacation all year… I truly took a vacation (no sneaking in emails like I do during staycations).

Surprising my grandparents – chalk message, hidden painted rocks, and traditional Christmas breakfast

Building raised garden beds and a railing bed with my housemate (especially using her power drill) – I loved building the pallet garden beds instead of buying them. Saving money and learning a new skill!

Staying the weekend in a Tiny House in Tacoma (staycation) – I have become mildly obsessed with tiny houses and it was such fun to try one out for the weekend.

Pokemon Go – Another steadfast quarantine hobby has become Pokemon Go. We played so much that I was able to level up this year after playing almost every day.

Beatsaber, Sock Boy, Heads Up, and other games with my partner – Though I almost always lost, I still had lots of fun playing games and laughing with my boyfriend.

Painted Rock Hobby – Hiding Painted Rocks

Rock painting… I saw some of my friends doing it on social media and I thought to try it out. I reached out to my BuyNothing group on FB and found a starter set with simple paints, one brush, and 4 dark river rocks. I googled rock painting and found some fun images! I tried out a minion and a ladybug for my first two and then picked a chicken and a pennyfarthing to paint for my grandparents. I really liked painting the rocks! Because the surface is uneven and the pictures are often rudimentary, my simple skills were sufficient. All I needed were more rocks…

I bought this set of paint pens and painted more rocks! What fun.

Now I started hiding them. I hid my first set of four the facility where my Grandparents live. I hid rocks near the little free libraries. I hid them with other rocks. Can you spot all the places I hid my rocks?


Finally, I started sending rocks to friends and family and leaving them when I did my cat sitting gigs. 🙂

Eventually I even received a rock response!