2019 May Goals – Accountability, Check in, and New Goals

I have been collecting all my junk mail for the past 4 weeks and spent time this month attempting to stop this junk mail. I have been doing this since the beginning of the year. Here is a pile of all the junk mail I’ve accumulated in just four weeks! Urgh!

I tried regrowing some romaine lettuce. Check out the progress!

I’ve also planted some seeds and transplanted them into a small garden plot outside in the backyard. I’m hoping even with all the tree coverage that the plot will get enough sun to grow the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and carrots that I planted. We’ll see…

I bought Eco Nuts to use as laundry detergent and will give them a try this June to see how I like them/if they work well.

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: I signed up to participate in one of my favorite Youtuber’s fitness challenges for June: Blogilates! I did Cassie’s 100 abs challenge earlier this year and she’s back with her 28 Day Summer Sculpt Program.

I also have been biking more and nabbed myself a new helmet since I lost mine in my last move.


Turkish language progress:

I’ve updated my monthly goals again. I’ve added in an assignment for charting the verbs I have learned. I have 85 verbs that I’ve learned/will learn through June and I want to chart them all. The charts will look like this so far because I want to get more familiar with all the verb forms:

Gitmek – To go https://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?&D1=31&T1=gitmek

Present Tense

Negative

Interrogative

Negative Interrogative

Ben gidiyorm

Sen gidiyorsun

O gidiyor

Biz gidiyoruz

Siz gidiorsunuz

Onlar gidiyorlar

Gitmiyorum

Gitmiyorsun

Gitmiyor

Gitmiyoruz

Gitmiyorsunuz

gitmiyorlar

Gidiyor muyum?

Gidiyor musun?

Gidiyor mu?

Gidiyor muyuz?

Gidiyor musunuz?

Gidiyarlar mı?

Gitmiyor muyum?

Gitmiyor musun?

Gitmiyor mu?

Gitmiyor muyuz?

Gitmiyor musunuz?

Gitmiyourlar mı?

Past Tense

Negative

Interrogative

Negative Interrogative

Ben gittim

Sen gittin

O gitti

Biz gittik

Siz gittiniz

Onlar gittiler

Gitmedim

Gitmedin

Gitmedi

Gitmedik

Gitmediniz

gitmediler

Gittim mi?

Gittin mi?

Gitti mi?

Gittik mi?

Gittiniz mi?

Gittiler mi?

Gitmedim mi?

Gitmedin mi?

Gitmedi mi?

Gitmedik mi?

Gitmediniz mi?

Gitmediler mi?

Eventually I will also add in the future tense.

Rosetta Stone Unit 6 is about past and future tenses! I’m probably going to finish up Unit 6 in early June. I’ve had a little trouble with the app not letting me go back to a lesson and fix mistakes I made before without restarting the entire lesson.

I would also like to start going through more grammar lessons. Perhaps weekly?

I now have 942 Anki cards. I’ve done 3,432 reviews. I have spent 3:55:20 reviewing with an average of 56 reviews per day. My grade is 64% D.

June 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 7, Anki cards Unit 7, word of the day, all top 625 in Anki cards, 85 verb declension charts
July 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 8, Anki cards Unit 8, word of the day, top 800 words in Turkish in Anki cards, Vocab cards for first half of the grammar book, purchase a monolingual dictionary
August 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 9, Anki cards Unit 9, word of the day, top 1000 words in Turkish in Anki cards
September 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 10, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cardss, read 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
October 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 11, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, finish 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
November 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 12, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, take a placement test? Take a vocabulary test?


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet:

 

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr 19-May
Take home pay *** *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same same
Phone 45 same same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under under
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05 99.42
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies) 25.84
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113 110.45
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books) 0
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32 10
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33 61.46
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0 133
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL) 536.77 (family is in town)
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL) 226.03
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60 348.50
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47% 55%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over Over

 


I started a new goal for this year: writing!

I want to re-write my children’s picture book, find publishers to send it out to, send out my queries, and source an illustrator if none of the publisher’s want the book.

I want to send out my middle grade fantasy book to agents and if I don’t get any interest I want to have a plan to self-publish this book in 2020. I think I want to work with a genealogist to put more geneology aspects into it as well.

I want to plan out and start working on (writing again) my contemporary new adult romance series. I want to work with other authors to push myself to work on this series and publish the books. I’ll let you all know in a month how this new goal is progressing.


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!


We have family visiting from out of state and we are taking her to all our favorite places this month!

Cinco de Mayo Redmond Park

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Downtown

Portland Weekend Trip – Kachka

Portland Weekend Trip Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai

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2019 April Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Falling Behind…

I knew April would be busy, since I scheduled a family vacation and two book selling events (one happening over the course of an entire weekend). Being so busy has made me realize even more how much I value having free time to get all the little tasks of the day done. I like having a clean and organized house. I like being able to work in the backyard clearing out the weeds. I like starting and finishing little household projects (like my future project of re-growing lettuce). I like relaxing in bed for 30 minutes during the day, reading a book or working on my Rosetta Stone.

April has pushed me behind on a few of my projects and I hope to catch up in May!

I have also realized that traveling makes zero-waste endeavors very difficult and points out how inconvenient they can be. I was able to visit the Recology Store and gather a few wanted zero-waste supplies last month and I put them to good use in April. I found a handy Kishu charcoal water bottle filter that I took with my empty 32oz Camelbak water bottle to my trip to Florida. I filled it up at the airport and while I was walking around all day in Florida. I will be taking both on my upcoming trip to Colorado. I really liked having the 32oz water bottle (at home I use a 24oz).

The recology store also had a child’s kit of to-go bamboo silverware that I couldn’t say no to as it is the perfect size for me and I have it in my purse bag. I love this set!

My ongoing and future projects:

  1. Make my own laundry detergent or source a better alternative
  2. Line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer (when we have sun again)
  3. Stop my junk mail
  4. Get/Make/Source reusable cloth napkins and store in a usable location for both upstairs and downstairs
  5. Source facial lotion
  6. Source a toothpaste tablets/powder I like? I might table this one as I really like my toothpaste and am unsure this swap would be worth it

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: Nothing to report…


Turkish language progress:

I am on top of the Anki cards – both creating them and studying 50 cards per day (I missed two days so far). I’ve created the first 250 vocabulary words as well as my word-a-day words and words from the Rosetta Stone Units. As far as Rosetta Stone, I’m only on lesson 24/39 for Unit 5 and will work to catch up and move to Unit 6 this first week in May.

April 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 5, Anki cards Unit 5, word of the day, first 250 of the top 625 in Anki cards, create 25 vocabulary cards
May 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 6, Anki cards Unit 6, word of the day, first 500 of the top 625 in Anki cards, create 25 vocabulary cards
June 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 7, Anki cards Unit 7, word of the day, all top 625 in Anki cards, create 25 vocabulary cards
July 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 8, Anki cards Unit 8, word of the day, top 800 words in Turkish in Anki cards, Vocab cards for first half of the grammar book, purchase a monolingual dictionary
August 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 9, Anki cards Unit 9, word of the day, top 1000 words in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards,
September 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 10, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards, read 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
October 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 11, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards, finish 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
November 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 12, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards, take a placement test? Take a vocabulary test?


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet and a brief breakdown for how March went.

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr
Take home pay *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same
Phone 45 same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies)
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books)
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL)
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL)
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over

I was traveling with family this month and spent a lot more on food than normal and was also not able to make as much side income, but I still did really well as no unexpected emergencies came up.

What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

2019 March Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Language Learning!

Spring is here! March is in the air… March is here and spring is in the air!

Two of my ongoing zero waste projects required some maintenance! My compost bin filled up and I had to decide what to do. I dug a hole and buried my green-brown compost in the corner of the yard. I ran out of upcycled t-shirt tissues (I made 78 of them) and needed to wash them, which I finally did.

I spent time trying to halt my physical junk mail by collecting it from the mailbox and every few days looking up ways to stop that specific mailing. I didn’t realize that when I sign up for things online, the companies will sometimes just decide to send me things in the mail! I’ve also been unsubscribing to unwanted emails for the past few months and am hoping that eventually I’ll be receiving less spam.

I tried out my reusable pads and my silk floss this month. I ran out of my plastic floss which I am dearly comfortable with and though I’m not thrilled with the silk floss but am committed to using my entire supply and hopefully will get used to it over time. I love my reusable pads (and my Thinx – thanks sis!). They work so well and are easy to hand wash and then chuck into the laundry. Since it’s still so cold in the house, I place them over the air vents and they dry in no time at all! I also soaked some of my orange peels (from my recent favorite fruit) in vinegar (which I traded someone on my Buy Nothing Group for some unwanted clothes and foodstuffs) and water. I use this cleaning mixture mostly for dusty surfaces or to wipe down the kitchen counters.

I organized my growing glass jar collection by lip size and it makes me so happy to open my two drawers and see them all nestled in there!

I’ve collected quite a few sticks from my yard cleanup project for future fires and stacked it next to the house. I’m determined to clean out the backyard in our rental.

I cut my hair the shortest it’s ever been and donated it to Locks of Love. I’ve now donated my hair 7 times! That’s more hair in inches than my full body height (I’m only 5’2″).

My ongoing and future projects:

  1. Make my own laundry detergent or source a better alternative
  2. Line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer (when we have sun again)
  3. Stop my junk mail (I’m working on it)
  4. Get/Make/Source reusable cloth napkins and store in a usable location for both upstairs and downstairs
  5. Source facial lotion
  6. Source a toothpaste tablets/powder I like? I might table this one as I really like my toothpaste and am unsure this swap would be worth it
  7. Visit the zero-waste stores in my area (they are on my list when I’m driving close to them)

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: After doing the February 100 abs challenge from Blogilates, I’ve continued to do an ab workout ~3/week in March. I also was able to get a complimentary composition analysis and compared it to the one I did in early January. I’m within 1 lb. of the same weight, but the body fat percentage is nearly 5% different. Did my body composition really change that much or do the two types of scanners differ that much?


I’ve added on another overarching and long-term goal for the year: learning Turkish! I have been using the Rosetta Stone Turkish since November, but I’ve added on to my steps to fluency after reading the exceptionally helpful book Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner.

September 2018: Duolingo practice, basic words and greetings
November 2018: Word of the day in Turkish, learn basic greetings and phrases
December 2018: Rosetta Stone Unit 1, Word of the day
January 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 2, word of the day
February 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 3, word of the day, vocabulary book
March 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 4, word of the day, read Fluent Forever, Create Anki cards for RS Unit 4 and review, create 25 vocabulary cards
April 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 5, Anki cards Unit 5, word of the day, first 250 of the top 625 in Anki cards, create 25 vocabulary cards
May 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 6, Anki cards Unit 6, word of the day, first 500 of the top 625 in Anki cards, create 25 vocabulary cards
June 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 7, Anki cards Unit 7, word of the day, all top 625 in Anki cards, create 25 vocabulary cards
July 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 8, Anki cards Unit 8, word of the day, top 800 words in Turkish in Anki cards, Vocab cards for first half of the grammar book, purchase a monolingual dictionary
August 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 9, Anki cards Unit 9, word of the day, top 1000 words in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards,
September 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 10, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards, read 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
October 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 11, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards, finish 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
November 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 12, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, 25 vocab cards, take a placement test? Take a vocabulary test?

I lost my voice for two weeks in March and didn’t finish Unit 4’s final test/review yet, but I plan on completing it this week. I’m on track according to this above plan. I love the Anki app and spaced repetition and feel like it’s spring boarding my vocabulary in Turkish. According to my list, I’ve learned more than 250 words, which seems so minuscule compared to my English vocabulary of over 25,000 words.


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet and a brief breakdown for how March went.

Categories

$$ to spend

Jan-19

Feb-19

March-19

Take home pay

***

***

***

Earnings for the month

***

***

***

Total Earnings for the month

 

***

***

***

Rent

700

same

 same

same

Phone

45

same

same

same

Car: Maintenance, legal fees, parking, gas, insurance

300

Over

Over

Under

Travel

100

Under

 0

0

Housing supplies, furniture, consumables

25

0

 Over

Under

Health: Vitamins, lab testing, FDN service, massages, hair

60

0

Over

Under

Writing – Author Events, website, organizations

25

Over

Over

0

Charity

25

Over

 15

Under

Entertainment (AMC A-List)

70

Over

 20.95

Over

Pole workshops, classes

75

Over

 0

30

Food – eating out

100

179.98

 96.00

185.03

Food – groceries

400

575.47

324.88

444

Misc. (background check, presents, Rosetta stone, clothing)

50

47.92

 92.03

660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category)

Total Spent for the Month

 <50%

55%

42%

48%

Total Savings for the Month

2080

Over

Over

Over

I made extra side income this month and even with my extra payment for my tax preparation and giving cash to my SO to spend in Mexico on chocolate and tacos, I was able to meet my overall goal of spending less than 50% of my incoming money.

What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

2019 February Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Unexpected Surprises!

It’s already March!

I spent February working like mad to sell off/give away/get rid of without trashing a lot of my belongings that no longer serve a purpose for me. I sold furniture that has been sitting around, clothing I never wear and won’t realistically ever wear or want to wear, and some other random stuff that I thought other people might value. I gave away opened items or low-value items I didn’t think were worth my time trying to sell. I still have a small pile of things I am giving away or selling. I have also up-cycled some of the plastic packaging and containers we’ve taken into the house – like the plastic container that we got our Costco cherry tomatoes in I use to hold my cotton up-cycled shirt hankies. The #10 can from one of my prepper foods that we used up is now the receptacle for the used hankies in the bathroom. Our ‘trashcan’ in the bathroom is only used for compostables.

On a related note… We lost power for 3 nights and 2 days this month and had to work with our old-fashioned yet reliable fireplace for heat. Thank goodness our stove top is gas powered! I was able to burn a lot of the paper that’s been sitting around the house from junk mail and records that needed shredding. Huzzah! I was also able to cook/pack in coolers and ice/take to a hotel and put in their fridge to conserve all the food from the fridge/freezer that was mine. Thankfully, I don’t stockpile frozen food.

I also tried out the Imperfect Produce with mixed results at first. I did a cost analysis of all the produce I chose in the first box and looked at pricing from our local Safeway store here in WA state and found that the prices were usually 30% less with Imperfect Produce! A win for my budget. I also was able to use a discount code for my first box! I really like how naked the produce from Imperfect is and how customizable each box is. I can buy organic or regular produce at a discount. I also scheduled weekly boxes so I can reduce my trips to the grocery store, thereby reducing impulse buys. I highly recommend you try out Imperfect Produce too! You can use this link to get $10 off your first box!

I have been saving up Amazon gift cards until I had enough to purchase some silk floss, Ethique shampoo bar sampler, reusable pads and loofah sponges. I have mixed feelings about the floss – but I think over time I can get used to it. It came in the cutest cardboard packaging and I re-used their cardboard mailer. I haven’t tried the Ethique shampoo bars or reusable pads yet. The loofah sponges were smaller than I realized but I put one in the shower to use on my face/body and will use another in the kitchen when my old sponge is used up. Those did come in plastic packaging.

I still am looking to source a Zero-Waste toothpaste and facial moisturizer alternative in the near future, but still have at least 30% of each bottle left that will last me a good few months.

Next month’s goals: to test out my zero waste shampoo/conditioner, cutting (and donating) 12″ or so of my hair, trying out my reusable pads, and learning to wash my up-cycled shirt tissues and pads.

My ongoing and future projects:

  1. Make my own laundry detergent or source a better alternative
  2. Line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer (when we have sun again)
  3. Stop my junk mail (or parts of it?)
  4. Get/Make/Source reusable cloth napkins and store in a usable location for both upstairs and downstairs
  5. Source facial lotion
  6. Source a toothpaste tablets/powder I like?
  7. Visit the zero-waste stores in my area

I’ve been reading Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson and think it’s a very useful guide!

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: I’m able to find my balance point in crow and can hold it for several seconds without teeter tottering out of it immediately! I continue to work on strengthening my wrists, lifting weights, and walking every day. Eventually, I may find it valuable to work one-on-one with a knowledgeable hand stand instructor.


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet and a brief breakdown for how February went.

Even with my unexpected car expenses, I was still able to spend under 50% of my earnings! Woot woot!

What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

2019 January Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Bragging!

January may be over, but I still have goals on the horizon…

My journey to less waste began in late 2018, but I’ve been looking closer at the trash my purchases make and I resolved to make even more changes this year.

As I use up my personal items, I’ve decided to source a more local, more environmentally friendly, higher quality, zero-waste alternative. The first item I used up is my natural deodorant. I switched to the Crystal Body Deodorant, Rock, 5 Ounce back in December and have used it since then with great results. I really like the rock, but it did come in a plastic sleeve – in a plastic and cardboard packaged container. I kept the plastic sleeve to put it in when I travel but tossed the packaging.

The second item I’ve nearly used up is floss. I’m still sourcing an alternative, but am thinking about getting dental lace. I want to check out what the Bothell Recology store has for floss, if any and take a quick peek at my local PCC for alternatives as well. I have a little bit of time before the last bit of my Costco Oral-B Glide floss runs out. I also don’t want to check out the local stores when I’m near them and not go out of my way to visit them.

A third personal item that I didn’t necessarily use up, but am already making changes for is for my menstrual health. I got the Lunette Reusable Menstrual Cup – Blue – Model 1 for Light Flow – Your Vagina’s New Best Friend in December and tried it out for 2 days. Then I read some comments in some of my Zero-Waste groups on Facebook that the device, since it uses suction, can cause a prolapse. Scary. So I haven’t tried it since. I did receive two very lovely pairs of Thinx period panties on my birthday. Thanks, Sis! I still have quite the supply of pads left and am looking forward to trying out the Thinx on the lighter days.

Other changes I have made are as follows:

  1. Composting in a bin in the backyard
  2. Keeping veggie scraps and making them into stock for soup
  3. Refusing whenever I can (envelopes at the bank, straws at restaurants, bags at the grocery store)
  4. Using my produce bags and reusable bags at the grocery store
  5. Using handmade hankies for blowing my nose instead of toilet paper or tissues
  6. I stopped using q-tips
  7. Taking the trash can out of the bathroom and leaving a ‘compost’ bin instead
  8. Using my Buy Nothing and other friendly online groups to recycle items I don’t want and don’t use
  9. Re-using any packaging materials I receive for work/personal
  10. I didn’t buy anything new that wasn’t consumable in January!
  11. Making my own rags for cleaning out of old clothes that were too worn out to donate
  12. Resolving to plan meals at home every day of the month and only eating out when cooking doesn’t work out or when I’m traveling
  13. Planning my meals around what food needs to be eaten (I’m looking at you leftovers!)

My future projects:

  1. Consider a family cloth and figure out the logistics
  2. Make my own Poo-Pourri
  3. Make my own laundry detergent or source a better alternative
  4. Line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer
  5. Stop my junk mail
  6. Source an alternative to my current shampoo/conditioner bottles
  7. Get/Make/Source reusable cloth napkins and store in a usable location for both upstairs and downstairs
  8. Source packaging free fruits and vegetables that aren’t inconvenient to purchase
  9. Source facial lotion

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


I completed a fitness goal in January as well – I successfully completed the Blogilates 100 abs challenge. Though many days I did the easier version of the ab-challenge move and some days I didn’t complete the challenge in one day, I did all 100 ab moves in the 30 days. Blogilates is one of my favorite fitness guides on Youtube. I feel stronger and more able to complete ab-related workouts now. I also feel that I do have more ab muscles.

Early in January, my partner and I both got a BodySpec scan and it was fascinating to see the measurements. According to the scan I’m very healthy. It’s always reassuring to have the numbers. It was also quite reassuring to have the 15-minute phone consultation after the scan and for them to tell me that having such a high fat content in the gynoid region (35%) isn’t bad and doesn’t indicate a higher risk for something like diabetes. The gynoid region is where you want to store your fat! Huzzah! My partner and I have both been going to the gym for strength training this month, which I have never really done before. I actually enjoy it (almost anything is more exciting and easier than cardio).

I have dog walking midday all month and have enjoyed the extra movement. Moving forward I want to continue to work on strength training, ab-exercises, and movement during the day. I also want to continue to take my pole classes and the acro-yoga classes I’ve been going to weekly/biweekly. Eventually when my wrist (specifically my left wrist) feels like it has a greater range of motion, I want to work more diligently on handstand training.


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. I put the maximum allotment for 2018 into my IRA account and I am trying out some short-term CD investments. I am also looking for creative ways to earn money. So far I have tried filling out surveys (it’s hard to get chosen for the ones that pay real money), Rover (I love getting paid to exercise and I get to watch cats sometimes), selling unwanted items on Facebook selling unwanted items on Ebay, and selling the remaining book inventory (which means seeking out events where I can sell my books). By the way, if you’re local – come meet me! Cough cough buy my books cough cough.

I am also closely watching all my money. I created a yearly budget and broke it down by month and track every single expense categorically. My monthly goal is to save half of all my incoming money. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet and a brief breakdown for how January went.

I did spend 55% of my income for January. Mostly because I prepaid my car insurance, legal fees, and 6-month maintenance this month.

Upcoming Local Event: Neverending Bookshop Author Signing in Edmonds, WA 2/3/19

 

The Neverending Bookshop is pleased to welcome back local author Rachel Barnard with her book “Donuts In An Empty Field”! She’ll do a reading, talk about her books, answer questions, and sign copies of her work. Stop by and join us!

To celebrate Rachel breaking even on her first ever book project, she is offering her first For the Love of Donuts book (Donuts in an Empty Field) at a discounted price at this event.

RSVP to the event on Facebook HERE

 

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30052109-donuts-in-an-empty-field

 

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Author Thursdays: Review of Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island from bizarre Eraserhead Press

Gaston Glew is a pickle and Fanny W. Fod is a pancake. From the very beginning, the reader can tell this book will be bizarre. This story was everything I have and have not imagined about pickles and pancakes. The writing style was curt and to the point and the author spared no details when it came to sticky subjects such as suicide, death, murder, and sex but he did provide a strange perspective: that of a pickle. This pickle was not just any pickle. It was a sad pickle. Did the author choose a phallic vegetable on purpose? Pickles do come with their own associations and prejudices.

As I read the story, I felt like I could smell and taste the sickly sweetness of the maple syrup and the briny sourness of the pickled pancakes and it totally grossed me out! Cameron Pierce effectively captured all my senses in relation to pickles and pancakes, unusual subjects. Pierce has imagined every nook and cranny of these two subjects and then mashed them together in an uncommon storyline that is so bizarre I don’t know what to think. Pierce was able to capture a different perspective with his edible characters, translating death, sadness, and happiness into tangible shaped concepts.

The plot was straightforward, to find Happiness (as a pickle) but the plot seemed wandering and mildly purposeless. I thought the story got a little chatty with the author’s own musings on the subjects of happiness and sadness with too much emphasis placed on the characters’ thoughts and feelings. However, Pierce wrote a wonderfully imaginative story about what could and would happen if pickles and pancakes were alive in a world where unequivocal certainties are not complete realities on Pancake Island.

Pierce’s writing style reminded me of the curiosity of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry mixed with the emotional wanderings of The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein.

 

Would I recommend this book?

This book is different. If you are not willing to read something bizarre, then I would not recommend this book. Also, the detailed sex scene might be overwhelming for certain readers (even when it’s between two made-up characters: a pickle and a pancake). I enjoyed the book, it gave me some ideas for my own unusual fiction. Also, the author is highly imaginative and I appreciated reading the book just for the odd tidbits of imagination.