Goals for 2020

So we are six weeks into 2020, but I am still trying to figure out what my main goals for the year are. I am trying to have at least one for what I believe to be the important parts of my life. As soon as I share them, you guys can help hold me accountable. But, here are the couple I have so far:

My reading goal for the year is 50 books. That’s a little less than a book a week, and I think I can pull it off. Heck, I have 12 done already which will be good if I get into a reading slump later in the year.

Health goals are going to be non-scale based. I think that is part of the reason why I have such a hard time with it- numbers get into my head. I want to complete a 5k by the end of the year and move from power walking to jogging on the treads at my Orange Theory class. I just started jogging on the all outs without inclines, and man, that makes me super winded. Cardio is not my thing, y’all.

I want to finish writing my NaNoWriMo 2019 novel before NaNoWriMo 2020 starts. My plot decided to not follow my outline so I have been stuck with how to get things going again.

Make the most out of my annual passes. I am paying for Universal and SeaWorld, and I don’t want that money to be wasted. I don’t see it happening because I just love theme parks and roller coasters, but my life isn’t 24/7 Disney (it basically is, but we keep getting blocked out thanks to Star Wars).

Career wise I don’t have any specific goals yet. Last year was huge for my job, so I feel like this year will be honing my knowledge on skills I need for industry accounting. The change from public was a welcome one, but a lot of my every day smarts are not used here as they were tax related. It’s a different brain and I am enjoying it very much.

I plan on keeping you updated on these goals and more as they come up. I also plan on bragging about all the fun theme park stuff I get up to, so if you have any questions about Orlando theme parks, let me know and I will do my best to answer!

NaNoWriMo 2019 Planning Update

I finally have a title! Golden Soul

One of my main characters’ name means empty light and I think that is the coolest.

While filling out a character sheet on Scrivener:

That’s right. The devil’s occupation is…. DEVILLING.
I cracked myself up with this one.

Right now the story is going to be set in Victorian era with a steampunk feel, but I may make it set in the future just so my MC has to have a music off in Hell with Elton John (I love Elton. It’s just a thing in my story that all musicians and script writers are in hell. ESPECIALLY the anyone who creates a musical. My devil is super into theatre.)

Just over a week before NaNoWriMo starts! If you are also taking the challenge, add me as a buddy: Destinydalma.

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.

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.

Challenge Update

A few months ago I posted about a health challenge between myself and my husband. As we are two weeks from that challenge deadline, I thought I would give an update.

Reminder: the challenge is for each of us to lose ten pounds by September 15. If he wins, he gets a crap ton of books. If I win, I get a new one piece bathing suit for our cruise on October 1 (hence the September deadline. I need time to shop).

As of today, he is two pounds away from the goal, and I am four. Not where I wanted to be personally, but it’s still doable.

We signed up for LA Fitness this weekend after having two week guest passes from my coworker. I have seen a huge difference in the past few weeks just from going to the gym regularly. I only really use the elliptical, but I am averaging about 2.5 miles in 20 minutes with 2 miles completed in 22 minutes. Bonus: the machines at the facility hold my Kindle Paperwhite perfectly so I am able to read while working out, and I think that has helped a lot.

The plan for the next couple of weeks is to hunker down on the healthier eating and hitting the gym at least four times a week. I need to throw in some strength based workouts in there somewhere as well, but I am pretty confident that I will beat this challenge.

After that, I’ll just have to make sure I do not over-indulge on the unlimited rolls, sodas, and alcohol that are available on cruise ships. I am determined not to gain more than a couple pounds (because it’s almost guaranteed on vacation) on the cruise. Healthy choices now make healthy habits later, right?

The Ultimate Disney Broadway Top 20

Broadway is amazing. Disney is life. It’s only fitting that the Disney Broadway shows are nothing short of magical. While The Lion King will always be the number one soundtrack as a whole, I have made a top twenty list of the best Disney original cast renditions. Feel free to add your own or tell me why I’m wrong:

  1. Circle of Life- The Lion King (I mean, duh)
  2.  Friend Like Me- Aladdin (the whole section where the genie sings other Disney songs is just the best.)
  3. Step in Time- Mary Poppins 
  4. King of New York- Newsies 
  5. If I Can’t Love Her- Beauty and the Beast (Perfect song if you need a good cry.)
  6. Shadowland- The Lion King
  7. He Lives in You- The Lion King
  8. Beauty and the Beast- Beauty and the Beast
  9. Out There- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (This whole soundtrack is gorgeous.)
  10. She’s In Love- The Little Mermaid
  11. Two Worlds- Tarzan (I actually just discovered this one recently.)
  12. Be Our Guest- Beauty and the Beast
  13. Seize the Day- Newsies (Get pumped. We’re doing the thing.)
  14. Be Prepared- The Lion King (Iconic villainy)
  15. God Help the Outcasts- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Can any song be more beautiful?)
  16. Once and For All- Newsies
  17. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Mary Poppins
  18. I Want the Good Times Back- The Little Mermaid (It’s like Ursula met Mama from Chicago. I love it.)
  19. Monster- Frozen (They gave Elsa character depth!)
  20. Hellfire- The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now, I have not seen all of the shows on stage. The rankings are based off of the soundtracks alone. I know that seeing the choreography and context in person changes things, but I am on a strict “barely one touring show a year” budget when it comes to musicals as a whole.

There are rumors that Hercules is the next to get the Broadway treatment, so I expect this list will change because “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)” is one of my favorite songs ever. Also, I can only imagine how sassy a Hades song will be and I am so ready for that.

Health Goals for 2018

I won’t lie: working as an accountant has caused me to ignore my health for the past couple years. Between the long hours of busy season and sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day (not including the hours of traffic I sit in a week), I have not been as healthy as I should be. I snack a lot, and I do not move much during the week. As such, I have quite a few things to work on.

My main goal right now is to get into a work out routine and stick to it. I am averaging three to four thirty minute workouts a week at the moment, but I need to up the number of days and the amount of time. Five days a week with three cardio days is my target, and once I am able to consistently hit those days, I will up my workout time to forty-five minutes, then to an hour.

I am also moving towards healthier foods. More chicken and fish. More fruits and nuts. Less sugary snacks. Lesser portions at meals. That sort of thing. I already drink water (maybe one soda or alcoholic beverage on the weekend), so I am not worried about that side of it. I started making egg white breakfast muffins to take to work, but the other big meals are harder to plan on the healthy side. And bread is my weakness. It’s so good, you guys.

Overall, my goal is to lose 45 pounds over the next couple years. I understand that the hardest part will come when tax season starts up again- I usually make excuses not to work out because I am so tired after working 60+ hours a week. But, if I can make it a habit now, I am hoping that the spring will be easier.

Obligatory Ice Breaker

Thanks for joining me! My name is Karissa, and this is that awkward first post to introduce myself. Much like those annoying first day of school activities where the teacher makes you tell everyone what’s weird about you.

I am an accountant working in one of the major cities of the United States. I am in my mid-twenties, been at my current job for a three and a half years, and am on my fifth go on the C.P.A. exam. You will probably see a lot of posts complaining about the exam. I technically only have one section to pass, but I am waiting on my score for a section I had previously passed and lost the credit on. Yeah, the C.P.A. exam is timed and conditional. If you don’t pass all four four-hour sections within 18 months, you start losing your passing scores. And if that expiration falls within tax season, you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose that score. Studying and tax season do not mix well. At all.

Back when I had free time, which was when I was in college and not working, I loved to write. I mainly stuck to fantasy and fan-fiction, and I am a pro at failing NaNoWriMo. I did win in 2013, but I never finished that book. So, half victory there. I still write when I can, mostly one-shots of my various characters from role-plays that I have with my cousin. A lot of those characters have been with me for over a decade, so I tend to use them when I need to get some emotions out.

I read the same stuff I write: fantasy. Lately I’ve been in a Star Wars extended universe kick, but I do take breaks with other stuff. Harry Potter and Wheel of Time are my favorite series, and I love anything to do with mythology. I have dabbed in the Stephen King world with non-sleeping results, and classic novels like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are a couple of my go-to titles when I need an escape. Yes, I read Game of Thrones. Yes, I am mad that we still do not have Winds of Winter.

Nerd confessions: I wish I had time to cosplay. I have a sewing machine with no time to make anything. Video games bore me before I finish them. I have only completed the Batman: Arkham games and Dishonored. I want to re-try Kingdom Hearts before the third one is released, but I know I won’t. If it is Disney or Broadway related, odds are I know it. I used to work at Disney World as part of the Disney College Program, and I just really freaking love theater. I cannot sing or dance, but I will rap Hamilton like the white girl I am. Marvel movies are better than DC, but I am a Batman girl when it comes down to it. He has the best villains (I don’t care it’s cliche, the Joker is the best).

I have been married two years come October and have been with my husband for seven years this month. We have two adorable cats who are assholes, and we will probably get more cats when we finally move into a house. I am very type A whereas he is type B, but we love each other and he gives me plenty of heads up when plans change (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I wish). He’s teaching me about soccer and Warhammer, and I’m trying to teach him baseball and there’s more books than Warhammer in the world. I must preclude that last bit with the fact we started our relationship with him letting me borrow the Wheel of Time series. I like to tell people it was a con to keep me around. It’s a fourteen book long series. It took up the first three years of our relationship. Now, he’s just really picky when it comes to books because nothing lives up to WoT. I get it, but I don’t at the same time.

OH! I have two planners: one for daily life and one for fitness tracking. They are covered in stickers and I have spent way too much money on Etsy getting things to decorate them with. I also have three different sets of colored pens, but I need more. This kind of goes with the whole “I am type A” thing. Planning is one of the ways I relax. I love it. It soothes me.

Um, I guess that’s a good start for now. Let’s do this thing.