Hello, My Name is…

I started this blog about a year and a half ago as an anonymous blog.  I purposely had things left vague… and didn’t really disclose too much about myself…

But that’s all about to change.  Okay, not totally, but I’ve decided it is time for me to at least have a name (I’m sick of being an acronym – ARBM).  And since I’m lazy, and don’t want to come up with a nickname for myself, or try to learn a new name, I decided that I would just use my own name.  That’s right, I am becoming slightly less anonymous!

So, without further ado… Continue reading

Biggest Loser Results

Oh my goodness.  Life has just been crazy lately and I am scrambling to keep up… (and, to be honest, I’m not really being successful at it…)  I could blame some of it on the new puppy, but there has also just been a lot going on the last little while.  You’d think that being super busy would mean that my bullet journal would be a huge help, but I’ve been pretty bad at keeping up with it as well.  But, I feel like I am turning a corner, so hopefully this will be where things start feeling a bit more in control.

Yesterday was our one year anniversary.  The year has just flown by.  It doesn’t feel like a year ago that we spent the week up in Tofino for our wedding.  We went out for a nice dinner, but that was pretty much the extent of our celebration.  No gifts.  We don’t need gifts to celebrate.  But one of us got the $200 prize for our extended biggest loser competition

And the winner is… for real this time…

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And… We Have a Puppy!

So, last week I hinted that I had a bit of an announcement to make on the blog this week that we had spent a fair chunk of money on… and the surprise is:

We got a puppy!

On Friday last week, my husband, his daughter and I piled all in to the car and took a day trip to the breeder to pick up our baby Bernese Mountain Dog.  Needless to say, we were all very, very excited to pick him up, and the process of getting him home was actually pretty smooth.  I was worried he’d pee all over the car, but we made a couple stops and were able to walk him around enough that we escaped that potential mess.

So, without any further ado, here is Bentley (aka Little Big Dog):

Bentley_1

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August 2016 Financial Update

The beginning of a new month always sneaks up on me.  How does time go by so quickly?!?

Anyway, here we are at the beginning of August, so it is time once again to go over where we stand financially and check in with my financial goals for 2016.

July Spending

Can I just skip this section of the post?  I don’t really want to admit how much we spent this month… I thought that last month was bad… And we beat that one by a fair margin…

Okay, if I can’t skip this portion of the post, I best just get on with it.  The goal that I made at the beginning of the year was to keep our monthly spending below the average of last year, which was $7700 per month.  This includes our mortgage, utilities and normal monthly costs, but didn’t count special spending that we saved up for (planned spending as I call it).  This month we came in at $8500.

July 2016 Spending

So, what did we spend all that money on?  Well, a variety of things that we had been putting off were purchased this month… We stocked up on some stuff that we only buy every few months… And there were a few birthdays this month (mine included), so there was quite a bit spent on gifts.  Oh, and a decent chunk was spent on something that I will be announcing here on the blog next week.  So, nothing was really too crazy, and I don’t feel bad about any one category or anything, it was just a spendy month.

It was even spendy compared to July 2015.  The total for July 2015 was $8100.  So we even beat that one out with this July.  All we can do now is work on spending less for August and the rest of the year.

And now for a quick recap of my finance-related goals for 2016: Continue reading

Baking Success… Blogging Fail…

On Sunday, when I was trying to get organized for the week, I pulled out a can of chickpeas and my food processor and decided I was going to make some healthy muffins for easy grab-and-go breakfasts or snacks.  The recipe I was going to follow was for these delicious peanut butter and banana muffins that I have made before.  I knew I didn’t have any bananas, but figured I could replace them with applesauce… Which it turns out that I didn’t have either… At this point I had already started putting them together, so I had to figure out how to get my blended chickpeas, oats and peanut butter to turn into muffins.

So, I’ve done my fair share of internet reading on alternative baking (gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan… you name it… I’ve read it…), so I understood that the banana in the muffin recipe was probably acting as a binder, an oil substitute, a source of moisture and maybe a sweetener for the recipe… Now to figure out how to replace those with what I had… For a binder, I decided to use some ground flax seed with some soy milk, because I know that can be used as an egg replacement in some recipes.  For oil, I decided to just use more peanut butter.  For the moisture, I added a bit more soy milk.  And finally, for the sweetness, I added a touch more maple syrup.  Then, because it didn’t really have a flavour other than peanut butter… I decided to add some cocoa so that they would be chocolate muffins.

In the oven they went.  I was sort of expecting my concoction to totally fail, but it didn’t.  In fact, they are really really delicious.  Baking experiment success!

And now for the blogging fail… If I had thought about it beforehand, I could have totally taken photos of the process and had an interesting photo filled post for today about healthy (or not so healthy) alternatives that I’m experimenting with… But no, total blogging fail, I only have a picture of the muffin that I ate for breakfast this morning.

If you blog, do you just constantly photograph everything, in case it ends up being blog post worthy?   How do people do this all the time?

GTD at Work

GTD at Work

When I started this blog, one of my first goals was to be more productive at work.  I didn’t really know how to go about doing that, so I put together a bit of a plan to achieve that goal, but it turns out that I wasn’t very good at following my plan… In the end, I gave myself a pass because the goal wasn’t super clear, and this year I didn’t even make any professional goals here on the blog.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was reading the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, and I promised that I would keep you appraised of my progress with the method of organizing and being productive… Well, I am still waiting to get the book back from the library, but have done quite a bit of online research and reading, and so have started implementing bits and pieces of it already.  (I’m sure I will change everything once I have actually read the whole book, but I figure starting something is better than procrastinating any further…)

Anyway, I’m still looking to increase my productivity at work, so I actually started implement the GTD process at work first, because I keep that separate from my personal stuff and it isn’t quite as overwhelming.  And if you read back to my plan for productivity that I made last January, it has some parallels to the GTD system, so I already was heading that direction before, I just didn’t quite make it all the way.  (GTD is the short form for “Getting Things Done”.)

I don’t really talk about the details of my work, only that I travel a lot.  I’m not going to change that; this blog is currently anonymous and I don’t want to accidentally say something about a project or a client that I shouldn’t.  So, no details for you, sorry, but I did want to share what I started for my GTD process, in case it might inspire someone, or maybe someone will have some pointers to share with me…

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Garden Update – Strawberries & Radishes!

I think I am getting better at this gardening thing… finally!  You saw my strawberries in a post a couple weeks ago on my financial update.  (I have since replaced that photo with the proper graph, so I’ll show them to you again here.)  Those are still going strong.  I pick a bowl like this every couple days.

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Then, a few days ago when I was trying to make my lunch before work with no food in the fridge, I decided to go check on my garden (yes, I finally planted things in my new raised bed) to see what was growing, and low and behold, vegetables! Continue reading