Fingers Are Crossed

Tomorrow I take REG! If (when) I pass I will be able to FINALLY apply for my CPA license.

I’m taking it easy tonight. Might look over a few notes, but I don’t want to cram and tire out my brain. The test isn’t until noon, so I will sleep in a little bit and go to the gym before hand. Afterwards my awesome husband is ordering Chinese food and I will enjoy the post test coma that comes with these things.

Test scores come out December 11th, so cross your fingers and wish me luck!

The Final Countdown

I take REG on Friday. My last section of the CPA exam. I won’t find out my score until Dec. 11, so I am really hoping Santa will grant my Christmas wish and make me a CPA. Mostly because I don’t want to study anymore, but also because those letters come with more opportunity and a pay raise. Not too shabby.

Wish me luck this week as I do my final reviews and such. This is it!

One Week In!

How’s your NaNoWriMo projects going? I am currently sitting at less than 3k words, but I have only had one day where I did not write anything. I also had my story idea change on Monday, so that has also had a factor in my word count. Actually, it almost feels like I’m writing this one backwards- starting at the end and going back through to see how the characters got there.

But, the main goal for me this year is just to write something. To have a habit of jotting anything story related down every day in between study sessions. I’m trending around 66% on my CPA exam with 3 weeks to go to get me to a 75%. It’s going to take some hard dedication, but I got this.

It’s not too late to start your project, even if you don’t want to get the 50K word goal like me. Just sign up at nanowrimo.org and start writing!

It’s Go Time

It’s November first, which means I have 29 days until my last CPA exam AND NaNoWriMo has started.

Because of said final exam, I am not expecting to hit the 50,000 word mark this year. I will be happy if I manage to write anything at all. If you want to join me, sign up at nanowrimo.org and add DestinyDalma as a writing buddy.

I’m going to double down on my study habits this month as much as possible. That means I will be studying while the turkey is frying in 3 weeks. I want to be done with this exam, especially before all the new tax laws become testable. To everyone thinking about taking the exam- take REG now. It’s only going to get harder next year.

I’m still going to try to post two times a week to keep y’all updated on what’s going on. They may be short posts, but I promise I won’t forget about you.

Countdown to Halloween- 4

Day four of the Halloween Costume Countdown!

A reminder: not all costumes will be Halloween costumes because I just love any excuse to dress up. On Halloween, I will post what I decided to wear for my annual work appropriate costume.

It’s Star Wars Saturday. Both outfits were worn to work on the release dates of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. I guess Rey’s buns were a lot more subtle than Leia’s as my coworkers really didn’t think I dressed up when they really should have known better.

Out of Vacation and Into the Fire

I got chosen as fire warden for the office, so that “into the fire” bit of the title made me laugh and I am not ashamed of that. I find myself to be hilarious.

The cruise was AMAZING. We were on Brilliance of the Seas sailing out of Tampa. The weather was beautiful, the food was to die for, and we got chased by what is now Hurricane Michael back to the states. We had an ocean balcony room, and I will probably never go to a non-ocean balcony ever again. It was so peaceful sitting out there watching the waves.

For Taylor’s birthday, I got him an excursion at Grand Cayman that took us to the city of Hell and to the turtle sanctuary on the island. My man loves him some turtles. He was so happy and excited. We got to touch the turtles, pick up the turtles, and even swim with the turtles. We also learned a fun fact about Grand Cayman: chickens and iguanas are EVERYWHERE. My mom would have hated every minute.

That night we also ate at Chops which is the specialty steakhouse on board. This may sound bad, but that steak was my favorite part of the cruise. I am still dreaming about that fillet, guys. Chops is forever a must do for us on cruises.

Cozumel we literally got off the ship, went to the duty free store, and bought some good liquor for half the price as it is at home. I estimate that the bottles will last us a few years as we barely drink, but worth it.

The shows and quizes were so much fun. I mainly watched them while Taylor gambled, but it was a fantastic time. I even finished four books in the one week we were gone! One was already half done before we boarded, but I’m still claiming four.

Of course, I came back to work a week before extended tax deadline, so I’m VERY busy now. The tax department is on fire trying to crank out returns. I do like being busy as it takes my mind off the fact that I am no longer on vacation, but I would be lying if I said I have not looked at our Alaskan cruise planner for our sailing next August.

Cruises are great. Best vacations ever (plus you get A LOT for your money). I must really try hard to stay out of the post vacation funk to survive this deadline.

Tips to Surviving Tax Season

Being in the thrall of extended deadline season aka “mini tax season” has gotten me thinking about the coming tax season. I know this is something no one wants to think about. But, I also know there are going to be a lot of new accountants out there where this is going to be a big adjustment. Most of us will be working 60+ hours a week, and you will need all the help you can get to survive January- April 15, especially with the new tax laws to learn and navigate. Let me give you a few tricks of the trade that I have learned in my four tax seasons as a public accountant:

  1. The crock pot is your best friend. Make a list of recipes you love and schedule them out so you can have leftovers on the days in between. It makes life a little easier and your home will smell really good at the end of the day. Some of my favorites are:
    1. Three ingredient tacos (chicken breasts, a jar of salsa, and fajita seasoning)
    2. Taco soup (I like it best with hot ground sausage)
    3. Chili
    4. Chicken Alfredo (I tend to do this one in steps, so it will be a “make it Sunday and eat it all week” thing)
    5. Gumbo (okay, I know most of these are turning out to be like soup, but soup is easy. Gumbo has a lot of parts and meat, so I tend to do this one only once during the season)
    6. Chicken tortilla soup or chicken enchilada soup (just chop all the peppers and onions ahead of time then throw everything in the pot before you head to the office)
    7. Pinterest has a lot of other good ones. Or just throw random things in there and see what happens.
  2. Get used to not sleeping. It’s just not going to happen, and when it does, you will dream about taxes. I’m sorry.
  3. If you’re like me, you have families that like to get together every weekend. I struggle with this, but it is okay to turn them down. You only get so much time for yourself. Be selfish. Take it.
  4. You won’t have time to clean the house. Which means you may be spending your one day off to clean for fifteen weeks straight. Just stick to the essentials. It will be fine.
  5. Stock up on snacks and caffeine. I like Crystal Light and teas when I don’t want coffee. Good snacks are nuts and fruits and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
  6. Stay organized, if you can. Keep track of what you are working on and for whom. It will make it easier when the partner is searching for a certain client you probably have somewhere in the mess that is your desk.
  7. Take breaks. Walk around the office or just look away from the computer for a few minutes. Your brain will thank you.
  8. Be prepared for everyone you ever knew to ask you tax related questions. Even if you are not a tax person (audit exists during tax season, and they are just as busy as we are), you will get asked if something is deductible.
  9. I meal prep. I make a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday and I make the egg white muffins I posted about a while ago. This makes rushing out in the morning easier.
  10. It’s fifteen weeks of hell. You can do it. Just breathe and apologize to your loved ones in advance. We are all suffering together.

Bonus: Have an awesome playlist to get you through the long days. I always do a complete listen through of Welcome to Night Vale, but I also throw in some boy bands and “Duel of the Fates” to keep me motivated.

Are you ready for tax season? Let me know your tips to survival as we dread the new year.

Nervous

FAR scores come out on Tuesday. While I feel like I did okay considering the events that were happening outside of my control, I really cannot say I am confident. This is the test that has kicked my butt every time- never scoring more than a 60 when a 75 is needed all three times.

And even if I don’t pass, I would feel good about it if I got a score at least close to 70. I am prepared to start studying immediately next week, whether it be for FAR again or for REG. Which makes this weekend my last study free one for the rest of the year.

It’s fun waiting for score releases. I will probably post a very brief announcement on my Facebook page before there is any word here, so if you want to follow along like it here:

https://www.facebook.com/AccountantDreams/

For all you accountants also waiting for scores: good luck! I hope the results are good.

Cruisin’ My Way to Vacation

Vacations are both amazing a necessary. Sometimes you just need a break from everything, especially when things get hectic. It’s all part of self care and mental health. And while I am a huge fan of the beach and theme parks (mainly Disney World), the best getaway is the open ocean.

I am 31 days from my anniversary/ husband’s birthday cruise and exactly one year away from our Alaskan cruise.

Cruises are amazing because you usually do not have cell phone reception or internet when you are on the ship. You can buy packages that give you access to these things, but I like the break from technology and social media. Therefore, no one back home can reach you and you can relax all you want.

You also get a lot of bang for your buck on cruises. The price of a room on a cruise ship includes 3 meals a day and beverages at these meals. You get access to shows and games and pools and casinos (not free, you have to gamble your own money). Some of the bigger ships have ice skating and bumper cars. You just have to get to the port and everything else is taken care of.

My husband and I are a fan of purchasing the extra beverage packages for soda, specialty coffees, and alcohol. These packages are not a one size fit all, so there is some guesswork on if the package is worth it, but we find that we get our money’s worth.

Excursions are fun, but not required. These are not included in the cruise fare, so we tend to choose one or two depending on the number of ports and if we have been there before. I am perfectly content with enjoying an almost empty ship on port days, and a lot of the amenities, like the spa, have discounts on those days.

I have only sailed on Royal Caribbean to the Caribbean so far. Alaska will be a major change for me, especially since I do not like cold. But the excursions there are so much different than the excursions in the caribbean- there is no snorkeling in Alaska. Their big thing is fishing and whales. Yay whales!

I will probably be a life long cruiser, and while I love RCCL, I do need to do a Disney cruise at least once. Maybe that will be in the near future (like 2020 at the soonest). If you have never been on a cruise, I recommend them. They have something for everyone, no matter the age (I have friends who have told me the kids’ programs are fantastic, and I remember having a blast when I went on a cruise when I was like 10). Just don’t forget to wash your hands.