Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hawaii is my favorite place

We are having an AMAZING time in Hawaii. We leave on Friday, so we're soaking up all of the fun.

This is what a Maui vacation looks like for us:

  • We've spent a minimum of 6+ hours a day at the pool (the boys are pool obsessed), minus our two excursion days
  • A trip to Haleakala to see the crater/volcano
  • A snorkel cruise (Sam got super seasick, so that wasn't as fun as we'd hoped)
  • Snorkeled off of the beach
  • A trip for epic shave ice
  • Played hotel bingo
  • More rainbows than you can imagine
  • Yoga by the beach (me :-))
  • Total relaxing family time. 

I feel SO relaxed. My favorite part? All of that time without a schedule, without work or any work requirements. I do have a phone interview tomorrow, but I haven't done any work at all. It's been glorious! :-)

Here are a few photos of the fun:


This vacation has been far from inexpensive, but we've done what we could to keep the expenses in check. We've made all of our own meals, with a couple of exceptions - a breakfast buffet (free for everyone in our group except one), the epic shave ice, and a basket of fries by the pool. We'll also do Thanksgiving dinner out (I'm not cooking! :-)). We stocked up on groceries at Costco on our first day, and have been trying to keep the poolside drinks to a minimum.

I'm going to soak up all of the fun! I hope you are all having a great week!

What's your favorite vacation destination?



Sunday, November 16, 2014

A lazy Sunday

Well, not really, but it's 8:30 and I haven't gotten much done yet. So, pretty lazy in my book. It's been glorious so far. :-)

M & I went to Napa for a couple of nights last weekend, & it was fabulous. It was so much fun to chat without worrying about the kids overhearing, reconnecting over a glass of wine, & just remembering why we're married. The lack of responsibility also helped! My parents were with the boys & had a great time as well. It was a very successful weekend all around.

A few shots from our favorite vineyards. It was also 80+ all weekend, and absolutely perfect weather for lazing around.





Nick has his last soccer game today, and a pizza party following. Should be fun. Other than that, I need to work out, and get ready for our trip to Hawaii on Wednesday! I'm *very* excited for some extended time off of work - I need the break mentally very much.

That's it for us! Hope you are having a great & lazy Sunday today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October goals recap (hint: not very successful)

October was a very challenging month for me. As my workload increases in Q4, my stress level goes up, my personal time basically disappears, I stop working out & I start eating like crap. All in all, it's not healthy.

So, enough with the excuses. Here's how I did!

  1. Fitness-related:
    1. Lose 2 pounds - bringing my weight to 143. We're going to Hawaii in November, & I want to be feeling great! - Nope. I stayed exactly the same. Yellow (instead of red), as I didn't gain. ;-) 
    2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal - Yes! 
    3. Complete 1000 minutes of cardio - No, definitely not. It was a very light workout month. I completed 695 minutes. 
    4. Complete 8 strength workouts - I completed 5 strength workouts. The most since July, but still not at my goal. 
    5. Complete 6 stretch workouts. This is critical. I'm really sore after spending all day at the office. - No, and this is critical. My lack of flexibility makes everything harder, & I'm not prioritizing this, and NEED TO! One piddly stretching workout.
    6. Find & register for a 10K. Start training. - No. 
  2. Finance-related:
    1. Finish reworking our budget to take into account yearly categories (vs solely focusing on monthly numbers) - No, I'm about 80% of the way there, but have yet to finish.
    2. Stick to our budget! - Definitely not. We overspent on a few categories, & came in $1K over our budget.
    3. File all paperwork. - Nope! They are now in the filing cabinet, but unfiled. ;-) So, closer to their ultimate destination, but not organized.
  3. Personal
    1. Plan a getaway with M for the next few months. We need time alone together! - YES! We're going to Napa this weekend. Cannot wait!
    2. Plan one social event with friends. - Yes! I did a hike with another mom a last weekend - a workout & social time! :-) 
    3. At least one date night with M. - Yes! We went to dinner & had a fantastic evening. 
    4. Continue to rework my work schedule to better accommodate evening meetings (consolidate them all into one evening to minimize disruption to my life). - This is very much a work in progress. Some weeks are better than others. 
    5. Bake something fun with pumpkins! Even though it doesn't feel like fall here, I still want to bake something "fall-ish". - Yes! I made pumpkin muffins. 
    6. Read 5 books. - Definitely! I've been reading a lot, especially now that the kids are avid readers. We like snuggling up together to read. 
    7. Get my hair cut! It's been a full year, if you can believe it, since I got the awful mullet. My hair is now grown out, and needs to be trimmed. - Yes! It's pretty cute. Nothing too wild.
    8. Every Sunday, review week ahead and do the following (this is critical to "during the work week" sanity!) - Yes! I've been doing this, & it's been tremendously helpful. :-) 
      1. Menu plan
      2. Organize pickup/drop off schedule
      3. Coordinate after hours meeting
      4. Consolidate meetings, etc. 
      5. Organize any carpools
Okay, that's it for me. How did your October go? Any big wins, or goals you're still trying to wrap up? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

November Goals!

I'm very excited about this month. We're going on *two* vacations! M & I are doing an adult weekend/wedding celebration in Napa while my parents spend time with the boys, and we're also doing a family vacation in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. I really, really need the time off. I do not plan to work at all in Hawaii! :-)

  1. Fitness-related:
    1. Lose 2 pounds - bringing my weight to 143. I stayed exactly the same in October. My calories were decent, but I really didn't get enough exercise. I think I can do this, even with the traveling. I tend to exercise more on vacation (more free time!)
    2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal
    3. Complete 1000 minutes of cardio
    4. Complete 8 strength workouts
    5. Complete 6 stretch workouts. This is critical. I'm really sore after spending all day at the office
    6. Find a family race (likely a Turkey Trot). The boys loved their 5K in September. 
  2. Finance-related:
    1. Finish reworking our budget to take into account yearly categories (vs solely focusing on monthly numbers)
    2. Stick to our budget!
    3. File all paperwork.
    4. Plan menus & shopping lists for Hawaii.
    5. Talk to accountant about how to handle our stock vesting.
    6. Finish all Christmas shopping!
  3. Personal
    1. Plan one social event with friends.
    2. At least one date night with M.
    3. Continue to rework my work schedule to better accommodate evening meetings (consolidate them all into one evening to minimize disruption to my life).
    4. Read 8 books (should be easy, with the vacation!)
    5. Every Sunday, review week ahead and do the following (this is critical to "during the work week" sanity!)
      1. Menu plan
      2. Organize pickup/drop off schedule
      3. Coordinate after hours meeting
      4. Consolidate meetings, etc. 
      5. Organize any carpools
That should do it! What do you have planned for November goals? 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October budget numbers, plus net worth

October is finally over, and I just wrapped up our monthly budget.

Our budget was $17,098 & we spent $18,149. Big outliers/overspend categories this month included:

  • Clothing & activities for the boys. Over by $1,000. Everything came due at the same time, including $500 of indoor soccer, $400 for basketball, & new shoes all around, plus new indoor soccer cleats.
  • Gifts. I bought M a GoPro for our anniversary, and paid for my parents flights to come visit next weekend. Over by $940
  • Clothing for me. I bought: new jeans, a jacket, & a pair of black flats. All very needed, but semi-unplanned. I have a small monthly budget & haven't bought much lately, so it likely averages out. Over by $200

November is going to be insanely expensive (we're going to Napa for a long weekend) & to Hawaii over Thanksgiving. Some of our November expenses will be smaller (childcare, cleaning lady, regular groceries), which I'll use to offset our travel budget. 

I also need to figure out how I did with my goals this month (not well, I'm afraid!) & get some November goals up & posted. 

I feel like life is moving out warp speed! I'm looking forward to Nick's last soccer game this afternoon, and enjoying M's kebabs for dinner tonight. Yum. :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A peek into our weekend

This was our first weekend without soccer in . . .forever. So, we took advantage & have had such a relaxing few days. The boys had practice on Friday, but no games.

Yesterday I went for a short run, and got my hair cut. It's been just over a year (remember the mullet?), so I've been too scared to get a trim. I'm happy to report that I got a perfectly normal hair cut. I went to an expensive salon, and it was $100. Much more than I'd regularly spend, but I needed to ease back into hair cuts, after the last disaster. Plus, I've clearly saved way more than $100 by not getting my hair cut over the last year. ;-)

It's been a very expensive month. Here's a look at some of our expenses in October. . . much of this is pre-booking, for things like winter activities for the kids, Christmas, etc.

  • Tickets for my parents to come visit in November. We are celebrating our anniversary, and offered to buy my dad a ticket to come up & watch the boys. The price of his ticket will be roughly offset by not using our nanny over the long weekend (had we not opted to go out of town). We ended up buying my mom a ticket as well, as the ticket prices were the lowest I've ever seen - $150/each from Portland to San Jose. Total (with tax) - $312.
  • Anniversary trip. We decided to go for it. We have to go out of town this weekend for a wedding anyway, and desperately needed a little time away. We will leave on Saturday, come back on Monday. We're going to Napa. :-) SO excited! Total deposit for the hotel - $478.
  • Boys indoor soccer league - $500 ($250/each)
  • Boys indoor soccer shoes - $75 (for both)
  • Boys basketball sign ups - $460 ($230/each)
  • Christmas gifts for the kids (almost done with our shopping) - $370

Phew. A crazy month of expenses. And, we're heading to Napa in two weeks, and Hawaii in four weeks. Just a little bit spoiled over the next few months. The Hawaii trip will be amazing, but won't have any time alone, so I'm looking for a little adult time with M. :-)

I crunched all of the October budget numbers, have been watching lots of magic tricks (my youngest has finally opened a magic set that friend got him a few months back), we used gift cards for pizza last night, and for lunch today. I went for a hike with a friend, and S went to a sleepover, so is currently very tired today. I think they stayed up late - maybe 11:00 or so? He's definitely feeling the effect.

On the work side, I'm still working 70+ hours/week, which is no good. I'm hoping for a large bonus in December, but we shall see. I have some rough ideas of what we might do with it, but nothing planned until it's actually real & in our accounts. We'll most likely apply it to our HELOC on our Seattle house. Paying off that loan is a big stretch goal of ours.

And now I need to plan our menu for the week. I have a late work dinner tomorrow, but here's what I'm thinking:

  • Sunday - Chicken taquitos
  • Monday - leftover pizza, for everyone but me
  • Tuesday - Italian suasage hoagies
  • Wednesday - home late from a work Halloween party, so leftover pasta
  • Thursday - Leftover hoagies
  • Friday - chicken risotto
  • Saturday - soccer games, so something easy. Maybe leftovers
  • Sunday - I'd love to roast a chicken. I've never done it before, but maybe I should look up some recipes. 

With that, I'm off. I hope you are all having a fantastic October! I've been in survival mode over the last few months, thanks to work. I'm trying hard to break out & get a bit of enjoyment out of each day, no matter what the schedule says. 

Today it's beautiful & 70 outside. What's the weather like where you are?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October goals - here they come!

I love goal-setting time! I feel like I'm a bit behind (already!) in October, as I missed the beginning of the month due to work travels, jet lag & being ill. That said, it's now or never! Here's what I have planned for the month. These looks remarkably similar to my September goals, but this time I'll need to actually achieve them. ;-)

  1. Fitness-related:
    1. Lose 2 pounds - bringing my weight to 143. We're going to Hawaii in November, & I want to be feeling great!
    2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal
    3. Complete 1000 minutes of cardio
    4. Complete 8 strength workouts
    5. Complete 6 stretch workouts. This is critical. I'm really sore after spending all day at the office
    6. Find & register for a 10K. Start training.
  2. Finance-related:
    1. Finish reworking our budget to take into account yearly categories (vs solely focusing on monthly numbers)
    2. Stick to our budget!
    3. File all paperwork.
  3. Personal
    1. Plan a getaway with M for the next few months. We need time alone together!
    2. Plan one social event with friends.
    3. At least one date night with M.
    4. Continue to rework my work schedule to better accommodate evening meetings (consolidate them all into one evening to minimize disruption to my life).
    5. Bake something fun with pumpkins! Even though it doesn't feel like fall here, I still want to bake something "fall-ish". 
    6. Read 5 books.
    7. Get my hair cut! It's been a full year, if you can believe it, since I got the awful mullet. My hair is now grown out, and needs to be trimmed. 
    8. Every Sunday, review week ahead and do the following (this is critical to "during the work week" sanity!)
      1. Menu plan
      2. Organize pickup/drop off schedule
      3. Coordinate after hours meeting
      4. Consolidate meetings, etc. 
      5. Organize any carpools