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February Goals {2016}

Being Suki

Before discussing my February goals, here’s how I did in January:

Code for 10-15 minutes. {FAIL}
When I had most of my Javascript modules of FreeCodeCamp to complete, it wasn’t difficult to work on this daily. Towards the end of the month, I switched to prepping for Bali by reviewing HTML/CSS. Unfortunately, it wasn’t consistent, and I slacked a bit towards the end of the month.

InstagramDraw daily. {SUCCESS}
For 31 days, I participated in Lisa Congdon’s 31 Things to Draw daily challenge on Creative Bug. Check out the results on Instagram!

Get 600+ Misfit points. {SUCCESS}
Ironically, I lost my Misfit tracker yesterday, so I won’t be tracking my activity this month. In January, I made efforts to be more active, and it worked.

Bed by midnight. {SUCCESS}
Some days I would be in bed even before 11. Other days, I’d run into the room at 11:57. Regardless of the time, I was in the bed by midnight.

No buying booze when out and about. {SUCCESS}
This was actually not difficult at all and an easy way to save money. Even though I am not setting it as an official goal for February and there’s a bottomless brunch on the horizon, I’m going to try to keep this to a minimum and work through some of the beer and wine we have at home.


Looking up, then down during a revisit to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in January

February Goals

Wake up by 7am.
The snooze button and I are BFFs, but hopefully not for much longer! This is on the flip side of the bedtime goal. Now that I’m more accustomed to hitting the hay by midnight, I should be able to get up when my alarm rings. I didn’t even pick a more ambitious time because I want to ease into this.

Daily 3 praises.
In her keynote {link to video} at the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Sheryl Sandberg talks about the importance of reflection, especially reflection upon one’s own accomplishments regardless of the size. She challenged attendees to spend some time each day thinking about the three things they did well that day, so I am doing that in February.

Read 10-15 minutes daily.
10 to 15 minutes is not very much of reading each day, but setting a minimum really does encourage me to do just a little. If the bar is set too high, it becomes intimidating and easier to just skip it altogether.

Work out at least 3x a week.
It’s good to stay active, even if I no longer use a fitness tracker.

I’m tracking these four goals with my Commit30 planner. Even though I find that I’m not using the rest of the planner, I still use the monthly goal tracking page.

What are your goals for February?

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Meals in Costa Rica #1

Hungry Suki, Travel

The original post of our meals in Costa Rica (posted February 2012) did not include captions of each of our meals, so I have gone back with detailed descriptions. Back in 2012, many of these spots didn’t have websites, so it’s pretty neat to find them on the internet today. It’s especially interesting to see how they’ve grown/changed.

Meals in Costa Rica: Hilton Garden Inn at Liberia Airport (Liberia)

These would be the first of many delicious meals in Costa Rica! Even though we were not staying at the hotel, we took our chances and hopped onto the hotel’s airport shuttle. Since we had time before our shuttle bus for Monteverde showed up, we “paid” for our airport shuttle ride by dining in the hotel’s restaurant.

Meals in Costa Rica - Hilton Garden Inn - Liberia
Casado con Pescado

Meals in Costa Rica - Hilton Garden Inn - Liberia
Arroz con Pollo

Meals in Costa Rica: Soda La Amistad (Monteverde)

This spot for comida tipica was a stroll up the hill from our accommodations at Cabinas El Pueblo. After the bumpy ride to Monteverde, we were ready to settle our stomachs with a nice and carby meal. Ryan said the beer batter on the fish was toast-like, and this was his favorite meal of the entire trip.

Meals in Costa Rica - Soda La Amistad - Monteverde
Casado con Pescado en Cerveza

Meals in Costa Rica - Soda La Amistad - Monteverde
Casado con Carne en Salsa

Seriously felt like we were eating out of someone’s kitchen.

Meals in Costa Rica: Soda Sabor Tico (Monteverde)

After a morning in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, we hopped off the shuttle from the park back into town a little early to eat at Soda Sabor Tico. It was on my list of places to try after doing some preliminary research on TripAdvisor. It appears that they expanded into a restaurant – good for them!

Meals in Costa Rica - Soda Sabor Tico - Monteverde
Ceviche

Meals in Costa Rica - Soda Sabor Tico - Monteverde
Casado con Gallina

Meals in Costa Rica: Morphos Restaurant (Monteverde)

Since I’m working with captions for photos from a trip several years back, I couldn’t give a better description of the “Special of the Day.” It wasn’t our favorite spot to eat during our few days in the area, but the food was fine. I think it was the facade of the restaurant that really drew me in the first place.

Morphos Restaurant - Monteverde
Pescado al Ajillo

Meals in Costa Rica - Morphos Restaurant - MonteverdeSpecial of the Day

Meals in Costa Rica: Soda La Amistad (Monteverde)

We loved this place so much, we came back for another meal. This time, a quick lunch before our ride over to Arenal!

Meals in Costa Rica - Soda La Amistad - Monteverde
Pescado al Ajillo

Meals in Costa Rica - Soda La Amistad - Monteverde
Casado con Chuleta

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2015 Edition: Where Does Our Money Go?

Being Suki, Money Matters

With the obsession I have over checking my spending and accounts, it’s a surprise I don’t talk about money more often. Where does our money go? Seeing the recent posts from San and Lisa regarding their spending in 2015 has encouraged me to take a look and find out. Showing spending by percentages doesn’t quite give an accurate picture in terms of dollar amounts since it’s all relative. However, it shows what the priorities were in terms of where dollars went in 2015.

where does our money go

Home/Bills/Utilities – This would be the largest area of spending. It includes mortgage, taxes, insurance, all house-related expenses, and bills. For the most part, these are fixed costs. That means if we do a good job of not spending so much in other areas this year, this percentage should actually go up relative to everything else.

Food/Dining/Alcohol – This is one of the categories that is a really high $ amount, but percentage-wise, it’s not really so much. A bulk of our food costs are related to eating out and also buying alcohol. Our groceries don’t usually cost very much, even when we’re buying organic and sustainable food. Even if we maintained the same percentage for this category, I’d like to see an internal shift from spending more eating in than out. Even though we didn’t set a specific goal in January for eating in more, we’re already doing it by ordering more produce from our various farm boxes.

Shopping – I’ve lumped gifts, clothing rentals and Ryan’s electronics and software purchases into this one, so it’s a larger percentage than I would like to be spending on THINGS. It also includes the various Kickstarters that I’ve backed because Hey, that sounds like a brilliant idea!

Education – These are those unavoidable student loans that have to be paid off. The goal is to increase the percentage in this category because it means we’re paying off more of the loans!

Travel – Some might be a little surprised at how little we spend on travel. We stretch our dollars for our trips, flying on SW points if we can (like our trip to Mexico City), and staying in relatively inexpensive accommodations when possible. The numbers are a little skewed since we often buy our tickets a half year in advance, so last year’s trip to Belgium was paid for in 2014. The 2015 number does include my upcoming Bali trip, so it balances out in the end.

Pets – Having furry members of your family is not a large expense. The largest chunk of the costs in this category is pet insurance. After that, anytime we leave town and don’t bring Fresca along, it’s doggie daycare expenses. We could almost lump the doggie daycare expenses into our Travel category.

Having the visual of the pie chart really does help put all of our spending in perspective. There were categories that I was certain I was spending more on, but it turned out that I was wrong. If you’ve tracked your spending for the year, what are some areas of spending that surprised you?

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See SF : SF Zoo

Life in SF

Ryan and I kicked off the new year with a visit to the SF Zoo. The 100 acres in the southwestern corner of the city is home to over 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species. I bought a membership last year, thinking we would visit a few times during the year. It expires at the end of the month, and I’ve only gone once in the year.

SF Zoo
Giraffes are a favorite, even when they make faces like these…

SF Zoo
This little guy was making a similar face at me through the fence.

SF Zoo
Go home, lemur. You’re drunk!

SF Zoo
Flamingos always look better than they smell. >_<

SF Zoo
The most stylish at the zoo!

SF Zoo
Fresca sleeps like this bobcat sometimes.

In celebration of Penguin Awareness Day (January 20), here are some photos of the Magellanic penguins at the SF Zoo. It boasts the largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins in captivity!

SF Zoo
SF Zoo
SF Zoo

Visit the SF Zoo

Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway
San Francisco, CA. 94132
415.753.7080
More info: website

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January Goals {2016}

Being Suki

Happy 2016! This year, in place of “Currently” posts, I have “Goals” posts. I know we’re already almost in the middle of the month, but here are my goals for January:

Code for 10-15 minutes.
The trip to Bali for Institute of Code is coming up next month, and I don’t feel ready for it at all. I don’t have a trip sponsor yet, and my requests to see prior session portfolios have been unanswered. In an effort to get my brain in coding mode, I am committing to completing FreeCodeCamp modules at least six of the seven days of the week in January.

January Goals - 31 Things to DrawDraw daily.
Right before the new year, I learned of Lisa Congdon’s 31 Things to Draw daily challenge on Creative Bug. Some of the things we’ve tackled in the first week and half: roses, cats, brooms, leaves, trees, birds. I’m posting them on Instagram!

Get 600+ Misfit points.
Towards the end of 2015, I started using the Misfit fitness tracker. 600 points represents a life of low activity. I’ve been reaching my goal by playing Just Dance 2015 since I spend most of my day at a desk in front of a computer.

Bed by midnight.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. I’d love to get in bed by midnight. I’ve always been a night owl, but I’d like to make my mornings more productive, so the first step is getting to bed earlier.

I’ve been tracking these four goals with my Commit30 planner. There’s an additional goal/limitation I’ve placed on both Ryan and myself:

No buying booze when out and about.
Saving money is high up there on my list for 2016. One of the areas I found that we spend quite a bit on is alcohol. It adds up, especially if we are grabbing dinner or drinks with friends. This month, when we’re out and about, we are sticking to only paying for non-alcoholic beverages. We also have plenty of beer and wine at home that we can work on instead.

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