2018: A Reflection

Gosh, what a year. I passed the CPA exam, swam with sea turtles, started with a personal trainer, and did a bunch of stuff in between. As for my 2018 goals, let’s review together:

  • Pass the CPA exam- check!
  • Lose 10 pounds and be healthier- I could have done better here. I got really close to the goal, but I got really lazy this month which put me at half my weight goal. I did lose an average of 1.5 inches all around, and people keep telling me muscle weights more so maybe I can blame some of the weight on that. But I mostly stuck to a workout routine and ate healthier overall so I count that as a mostly win.
  • Increase monthly savings- check! I now put money into 2 different savings account at each paycheck. One is for our future house and the other is for vacations.
  • Focus more on mental health and self care- This one was a hit and miss during the year. I did get back into reading which is relaxing for me, but I did not do things like face masks and I still need to work on telling people no and removing myself from stressful situations even if it is just a ten minute break. Balance is another struggle that will need more work in the coming year, both in my work and personal lives.
  • Improve back/ posture- honestly no idea on this one. I never got my scoliosis checked (it’s been almost 15 years since I’ve had to wear a back brace) but I did yoga and wear a lumbar brace sometimes. Soooo 50/50 check?

The good:

  • Went on 3 vacations this year, two beach trips and a cruise.
  • Had a fairly food handle on finances even if Christmas went a little crazy
  • No more studying!
  • Got more serious about health goals

The bad:

  • Some issues at work that have been discussed and won’t be said here
  • Passing of family members
  • Did not won 1.6 billion lotto

The ugly:

  • Had to get new mouthguard that insurance didn’t cover but it was very needed
  • Rent and other expenses increased
  • Tax season is always ugly

So 2018 could have been a little better goal wise, but it was still a great year. I know what I need to work on in 2019, and I really hope it does not involve too many intense, serious conversations (I know I can’t avoid it in some situations, but I really hate it).

Word of the Year

Hello lovelies. I know, I went quiet after passing the CPA exam. It’s been a hectic few weeks. My office moved locations (lots of packing and unpacking and trying to figure out computer cables) plus all the fun that Christmas and December birthdays bring. I baked at least 200 cookies over 2 weekends. I was tired.

But I gave myself this week off to chill before tax season starts next week. I have cleaned, read, shopped, and played video games with no regrets. I’m still tired, but mentally I feel good.

Anyway, I wanted to share my word of the year for 2019. In 2018 it was perseverance and I had a page in my planner dedicated to it:

And it worked!! I passed the exam and I felt motivated all year. Finding quotes was more difficult than I thought it would be, but I’m proud of the page.

This year the word is “renaissance.” The dictionary definition that does not involve the European era is a renewal of life, vigor, interest, etc; rebirth; revival. With the exam out of the way, I’m starting a new chapter of my life. We plan on buying a house this year and I hope to see a revival of old and new hobbies- I really want to learn quilting. 2019 is going to be a year of new beginnings.

Let’s just hope finding quotes is not impossible this time around.

Thankful

It is Thanksgiving morning, and I have been up since 5:30 thanks to my adorable kitties who decided 5:30 is the best time to demand cuddles. It has been quite a year, so I wanted to list a few things I am thankful for.

  • My husband who puts up with all my weird moods and antics. I’m 90% sure I annoy him most of the time, but we are now in our 3rd year of marriage and 8th year of togetherness. I love him bunches and wouldn’t know what to do without him.
  • My cats. They really are my fur babies. Life just isn’t worth it without cats.
  • My mom who is my best friend. I am lucky to have such a great relationship with her. She keeps me sane and out of jail, even now that I am 25.
  • My dad who is so much fun and has the best advice as I go through things in life that they don’t discuss in school (which they probably should).
  • My brother. He may be WAY more creative and artistic than me, but he is still awesome.
  • My family. They’re crazy, but I love them. And my closest friends are family, so they are included here too.
  • Disney. Always thankful for the happiness and the magic.
  • This is a weird one, but I am thankful that my current CPA exam section has a chapter on bankruptcy because whenever I get to that chapter all I can think of is Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy in that episode of the office.
  • Books. Especially ones like Harry Potter that never get old no matter how many times you read them.
  • All the men in Marvel movies. Beyond thankful for them if you know what I mean.
  • Fuzzy blankets and socks, because I am always cold.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. The parade starts in just a few hours, so let me know what your thankful for in the comments!

Happy birthday Mickey!

The Mouse turns 90 years old today. It’s weird to think that he’s been around for almost a century.  The magic has been real for ninety years, guys. That’s incredible. Mickey has been there throughout so much of modern history. A world war, civil rights movement, going to the moon… And the mouse hasn’t aged a day.

I don’t have a picture of my fondest memory of Mickey. And, as a former cast member, one may think this story silly, but being a cast member doesn’t kill the magic. And there is only one Mickey Mouse.

But in the beginning of January 2013, I went to Traditions. It was the official start of my Disney College Program. There was a group of us in a classroom, and we were going over the typical orientation stuff (I still have my books from Traditions. I don’t think I will ever get rid of them). And in the middle of everything, the door to the classroom opened, and Mickey Mouse, my new boss, walked in.

I cried. I’m crying now just thinking about it, to be honest.

Mickey said hi to us and helped the cast member running traditions for a while. I don’t really remember the exact details of why, but at some point Mickey gave me a little Minnie figurine. She sits on my desk at work now, but that had to be the most magical moment of my program. Before he left, Mickey brought the cast members running Traditions our name tags. He made us official cast members.

Mickey Mouse has been a huge part of my life. He never fails to inspire magic and happiness (and tears. I cry a lot when it comes to Mickey, though part of that is from watching Fantasmic on Youtube when I know I will cry from homesickness the entire time). He will be a huge part of my future, as well. Maybe one day he will be my boss again, but at a minimum, he will be part of my home.

Happy birthday, Mr. Mouse. I can’t await to see what your future holds.

Some imagination, huh?

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- 7

We’re a week away from my favorite holiday of the year, so I have decided to count it down by posting past costumes of mine. Not all of them 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.

The first one is from Halloween a couple of years ago, and I am choosing this one because today is my amazing mom’s birthday. She was dressed as Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6. My brother was Reptile from Mortal Kombat, and I was zombie Cinderella (live action movie). My brother did my and his makeup. He is extremely artistic and creative and I am a little jealous.


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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.

Planner Things

Quick disclaimer: I am listening to Josh Groban’s new album Bridges as I write this and it is so freaking beautiful. If this post seems random, it’s because I am distracted by his angelic vocals.

I am doing something I almost never do today: planning the next two weeks at once in my Plum Paper Planner. I usually do the upcoming week on the weekends as one of my relaxing routines, but since I am going on vacation the first week of October, I am breaking that habit and doing that week as well (and the October monthly pages).

I technically have three planners including the one LA Fitness gave me for my personal training. My main day to day one is a Plum Paper horizontal planner, and then I have the Happy Planner mini fitness to keep track of steps, exercise, meals, etc. They make up my life, and I really could not function without them.

And when I said decorate earlier, I meant it. My planners are full of stickers from Etsy shops. Checklists, boxes for events, savings trackers, non-functional decorating stickers… You name it, I have a sticker for it. It’s wonderful.

While it is mainly relaxing for me, I use planning to stay focused during the week. I can keep track of goals I have and what I still need to do at work and at home. Checking things off a list makes me feel like I’m on track, like I’m accomplishing something. It may sound weird, but that’s just who I am.

Anyone else a planner? What do you use?

I’m Taking A Step Towards Health, and My Wallet Hates It

As you know, I signed up for the gym at the very beginning of the month. Well, I have signed up for personal training sessions as well. I feel like I need the push a trainer will give me, plus some other added benefits.

I have scoliosis. My back is as curvy as a snake, and that causes me back pains as I don’t do what I should to take care of it. The personal trainer that I have been assigned also has physical therapy training, so he should be able to teach me how to strengthen my back so I don’t have as much pain during the day at the office.

My family history is riddled with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and everything else fun you can think of. By taking the steps to learn how to better take care of myself now, I can prevent my family history from catching up with me. I am hoping that this is the start of a lifestyle change that will follow me around, even without a personal trainer.

THEY GAVE ME A PLANNER TO TRACK WORK OUTS AND MEASUREMENTS. That’s not really important health wise, but it made me super excited. I love planners.

The downsize to all of this is the added cost. A gym membership is not bad by itself, but the cost of the membership and the personal training is pretty big. I’m not too worried about my budget, but my wallet really hates me this month. Next month will probably be a “no-spend” month outside of the cruise and other necessities.

Also, healthy food is stupid expensive. We already stick to chicken and turkey for a majority of our meals, but it’s more expensive to get stuff for salads for a week than it is for sandwiches. Then you have to hope the produce at the grocery store looks okay enough to buy (and, believe me, that is not a guarantee). Not to mention you barely have a few days to eat said produce before it goes bad, ESPECIALLY avocados and bananas. Don’t really know why bananas go bad so fast, but they do.

So, I’ve got to revamp our menu and grocery budget to include more fruits and veggies and less sugar and carbs (my heart hurts typing carbs. Carbs are my life.). If you have any tips, please let me know, and wish me luck with the personal training! I’m only slightly nervous that they are going to kill me.