Goals Update – June

Financial

$20k $26k target by 22 DecOn target to reach it by 21/11!
May: $16,413.13
Jun: $17,938.69 (+$1525.56)

12 in 2 adventures fund

May: $574.32
June: $898.81

Generosity target
Slower month this month, but annualised, I think I’m still doing fine.  Maybe I’ll report on my hours volunteering?

Health

Cook at home twice a weekEasily met, especially with the BF’s cooking mixed in

week 1 –
Dad’s graduation dinner (Sat)
Ceasear salad at BF’s (Sun)
Red Rooster (Mon)
Spag Bol with zuchini (Tue)
Garlic cheese pizza (Wed)
Chicken Ceaser Salad (Thu)
Satay pork pies, Zucchini slice & Pumpkin Pie (Fri)
Malaysian at Mamak and N2 gelato (Sat) <- my go to for out of town visitors!
Curry and Rice at parents (Sun)

week 2 –
nothing… Ice cream at vivid festival (Mon)
Oven roasted cheery tomato gnocchi (Tue) <- can I just say, I didn’t think something so easy could be so tasty! I even skip on the basil and it’s awesome
Chicken with Bombay potatos (Wed)
Zuchini slice? (Thu)
Pepperoni pizza (Fri)
Mamak again, different location and different people (Sat)
Nachoes by BF at my place (Sun)

week 3 –
Ceaser salad at BF’s (Mon)
Gnochhi with slow roasted tomatos(Tue)
McDonalds (I had a freebie) (Wed)
Gnocchi (from ricotta) (Thu)
Salt and pepper squid at the pub (Fri)
Onion tart (Sat)
Pad Se Ew (sp?) at BF’s (Sun)

week 4 –
Onion tart (Mon)
Onion tart (Tue)
Food at Coop Fundraiser (Wed)
Dominos pizza (Thu)
Nothing (some cake?) (Fri)
Gnocchi with oven dried tomatoes at BF’s (Sat) yes again!
Stew at a friends (Sun)

Sugar: Back on a good thing, but only 1 week this month

After a shock on Monday week ago (seeing my whole reflection in the mirror!), I have decided to cut sugar at least til the end of July.  My loop holes are that if I bake it at home, it’s ok (like a great gluten free pear and walnut bread mmmm).  Natural sugars are ok (milk, fruit).  And I won’t be a Nazi – I did nibble a tiny bit of a snack Mars Bar and the BF ate the rest.  Or the super good organic chocolate at the coop that someone kept offering me – with coconut sugar I think.

Train for polo:

Taking the season off.  I am pleased I got a continuous 4km run in on Wednesday and it felt a-ok.  It was relatively flat, and I only walked about 30m at a time before I started running again, so law of averages says I ran!

Cultural

2 films a month: Happily yes!

Definitely! There was the silly This is the end (which we saw with free tickets… which is the only way I’d ever suggest anyone sees this – unless you are a man who likes toilet humour); we also went and saw The Great Gatsby and The Internship which I enjoyed more than I might have expected.  Technically, World War Z also came in during this month too!

2 books a month: Also a yes!

I read The World Without Us and Perfume, click the links if you missed my reviews

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend : Achieved, gold star here

A friend from Victoria visited, so she made all the effort 😉 And is now a reader – yay!  And at the beginning of June I went to the Gold Coast and caught up with a school friend.  So two good activities with two out of town friends! Win!

Career

Certification: Bah, not so much progress :s

I’ve got my mentor to read three of the woeful 16, and updated two of them.  The third one, all about ‘evaluation’ – he said what I wrote doesn’t really prove that I have this skill.  He is, of course, right, but I just don’t know how to fix it!  Maybe start again :s

Looking for next role: Moving along nicely

Interestingly, one has found me.  I spoke to my boss a week or two ago, looking for some growth/learning areas he thought might be useful.  At the same time, i told him about my career goal.  A week later he called me into his office and suggested a lateral move, with the view that it will enhance my skills, and may give me some management ‘practice’.  So, I think it’s a no brainer that i take it!

So the month that was June.  All round, pretty good.  On track with savings (and a HUGE backpay/OT/on call pay supplement this week too!).  Killing it on my cultural goals, and ok on the career and social fronts.  Maybe I should add ‘running’ into the health part – and keep myself a little more accountable, as I had a huge hiatus after this post.

Goals Update – May

Financial

$20k  $26k target by 22 DecOn target (increase of $1,829.61 this month)

Apr 2013: $14,522.79

May 2013: $16,352.40

Generosity target of at least $100 per week:  ahead of annual target

I have decided to just list whether I’ve achieved this for the month, and whether I’m behind or ahead of my annual budgetted ‘generosity’.

Health

Cook at home twice a weekachieved as much as I can remember (week 1 was hazy!)

I’ve started making a soup about weekly, to use leftovers for lunches at work.  This has settled my angst about vegetable intact and means I can be happier eating less balanced dinners which might be the preference of those I dine with 😉  Bolded items were cooked at home

week 1 –

(Mon)
(Tue)
(Wed)
Cheesy Garlic pizza (Thu)
GF pasta in Brisbane (Fri)
Steak out in Brisbane (Sat)
Nachos at Brisbane airport(Sun)

week 2 –
Rice crackers and brownies? (Mon)
Pumpkin & Lentil soup (Tue)
Pizza (Wed)
Leftovers? (Thu)
Spaghetti Carbonara (Fri)
Nachoes and Sliders out (Sat)
Quiche, waldorf salad & spaghetti marinana at parent’s house (Sun)

week 3 –
Vegetable soup (Mon)
Steak and chips – met the BF’s MUM!! (Tue)
Udon Noodles with miso (Wed)
Prawn & scallop pie out (Thu)
Stuffed peppers (Fri)
Ceaser Salad at BF’s (Sat)
Eurovision party (Sun)

week 4 –
Pumpkin Soup (Mon)
Dominos Pizzas (Tue)
Tuna bake (Wed)
Satay chicken and rice at BF’s (Thu)
(Fri)
Italian birthday dinner out (Sat)
Nachos at BF’s (Sun)

Weel 5-
Sweet Potato and Suede soup (Mon)
Chicken with rice noodles (Tue)
Miso with Udon noodles (Wed)

Limit Sugar – totally off this bandwagon

Train for polo – not playing the winter season

Cultural

– 2 films a month: achieved

I saw two DVDs as well as going out to the movies.  I really wanted to see Warm Bodies and so the BF obliged and took me.  I loved it, I loved the subtle humour.  Really pleased I went and saw it.  Whilst it seems a little like a chick flick, I think it’s got enough going for it that others can tolerate it.

I also saw two movies at home, Unthinkable wasn’t something I heard about, when it came out, or since.  It was an American who plants three nuclear bombs in the US.  Probably a little bit of a sensitive issue for Americans, but I enjoyed the film.  It was pretty graphic – they use all the torture methods that are and are not approved.  It certainly makes you ask questions of torture, but also the motivations of the tortured – perhaps they’ve resigned to their fate, and therefore no end of torture will cause them to reveal the information you’re seeking?  The second film was The Hunger Games which I haven’t read, but was interested to see nonetheless.  I think I was actually surprised how into it I got, and I really did want to see ‘what happened in the end’.

Saw Iron Man 3 at the movies, and I’ve not seen the first two, but I still followed what was going on and enjoyed it immensely – obviously enhanced by the La Premiere session, which involved food and alcohol service to your couples chairs, separated from the general public.

– 2 books a month: achieved

First up was Winter Garden which was a great balance between modern day USA and fairytale time (which becomes wartime Russia).  Really well told story, with lots of characters going on a little personal discovery.

Gosh it seems like it’s been a long month, and somehow I managed to get The Paradox of Choice read, though it took forever.  I wrote a very brief review too.

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend – achieved
In May, I took a weekend back in my former home town, Brisbane, and had a great dinner with a school friend. The other night, I met up with a friend who I met at an overseas conference, who does a similar role to me for a company in Brisbane. I always have the best time catching up with her – we’re so in sync as nerds!

I also spoke to a friend originally from Perth but now in Melbourne – both for her B’day and again she rang me a week later to sort out coming to visit! The coincidence in all this was that I knew it was her birthday and whilst i was listening to a national radio program they read a text message she sent in! She lived in a pretty small town in Western Australia and when they mentioned that, and her name, well it couldn’t have been a bigger coincidence – I pulled over then and there to ring her for her birthday and exclaim her nationwide ‘fame’!

Career

– Certification – 60% done well, 40% still to improve

Of the 16 career episode reports, I’ve written something for every one. There are five that are too short (one, woefully so).  But I’m starting to see that I’m chipping away at this, and it will get done!  I’ve set an ‘end of the year’ target to complete this.  I also need to send three to my non work mentor to review.  I did consider sending the ‘worse’ ones, but then I don’t want to make a bad impression – but it’s best to get help where I most need it!

– Looking for next role – I’m working on it!

Whilst I’ve not actively sort a new role, in the last month I’ve met with my non-work mentor.  We talked about a career plan and he gave me some helpful tips. Mainly, he talked and I took a lot of notes (oh, of course I talked too… don’t worry).  As a result of that chat, I’ve sought out an internal mentor.  Someone in senior management, but not part of my direct reporting structure, which I think it helpful.  He’s also been overseas with our company sending him to NYC, which would be a dream come true for me.  So after going out on a limb with a ‘will you be my mentor’ email, not a day later I have a willing mentor and a date to meet in early June!  Yay!

Goals Update – April

Financial

My backpay came through this week, which now means I’m on a higher salary.  It also means all my savings targets got a generous boost! 😀

$20k target by 22 DecOn target to achieve

Mar 13: $13,003.17 (adjusted from March goals post to include interest of $53.11)

Apr 13: $14,522.79

12 in 2 Adventures: Ahead of target

Start of month $229.76

End of month: $797.56 + $89 paid for knife skills course

Generosity target of at least $100 per week not quite there

(weeks Mon thu Sun – and based on when things were withdrawn from my accounts):
week 1 – $45 + $70 (dad) + 12hrs volunteering (babysitting, flowers, Sunday school)
week 2 – $20 + $80 to the cause spoken about here
week 3 – $20 + 2 hrs volunteering (babysitting/cleaning)
week 4 – $35 + $50 for a swim-a-thon of a colleague

I don’t want to share too much of my 12 in 2 goal to read the bible, but let’s just say I’ve started, and in a year, I should have the whole thing licked.  Why am I bringing it up here?  Well I read about giving, but silently, so only God knows.  Made me question publishing it on the blog.  But then I realised, the blog is helping me do it – in the sense that it reminds me to give to those less fortunate.  What are your thoughts?  Should I just retire this segment from my goals update?  It does feel a little… show-off-ish

Health

Cook at home twice a week: achieved

Bold means I made it myself!  March was a roaring success – and April on average wasn’t too bad.  I had one week where I didn’t hit my target, but given I’d been sick in the stomach and then super busy, I’m not 100% worried.  I’ve seen an increase in eating at home of late, so that’s a bonus.  Most of my meals out seem to be homecooked too – either at a friend’s or my parents.  I still buy lunch 2 days a week – Mondays and on the weekend at least once usually.

Chicken and Leek terrine, thanks to coles.com.au

Chicken and Leek terrine, thanks to coles.com.au

Udon noodles (Thu)
Leek & Chicken Terrain and focaccia (Fri)
Leek & Potato bake (Sat)
Vietnamese noodles with prawns (Sun)

*can you imagine me coming home with EIGHT leeks – it was comical*
week 1 –

Chicken & Leek terrain with leek and potato bake leftovers (Mon)
Rocket salad with beef (Tue)
Apple sauce (sick!) (Wed)
Chicken soup – leftovers (Thu)
Ginger and Lemongrass stir fry (Fri)
Snack food at water polo presentation night (Sat)
Nothing 😦 still sick from WED! (Sun)

week 2 – let’s not talk about some of the nutritional decisions I made this week, shall we?
?? (Mon)
Chocolate cake (Tue)
Pizzas (Wed)
Garlic pizza – inhaled pre concert (Thu)
Sushi – nearly made me sick (Fri)
Wedding (Sat)
Roast chicken at friend’s place (Sun)

week 3 –

Dosa with curried root veges – I used mustard when I couldn’t buy mustard seeds, it works (Mon)
Vegie pasta bake at a friend’s (Tue)
GF pizza(Wed)
Lasange at my parent’s (Thu)
Italian out (Fri)
Coconut buns and chicken dim sum (Sat)
Leftover GF pizza (Sun)

week 4 –

Chickpea Salad (Mon)
Pizza (Tue)
Nachos at BF’s (Wed)
Curry at parents (Thu)
Sushi (Fri)
Roast lamb and potatos at BF’s (Sat)
Chicken Ceaser Salad at BF’s(Sun)

Sugar – out the window!

Train for polo – off season

Cultural

– 2 films a month: achieved

Sunday night in week 1, my darling took me to Identity Thief I felt pretty rotten, which can be evidenced by the fact that the only Malteasers I consumed were those brought to my mouth! That’s unheard of! Funny funny film – even though BF is convinced I don’t like comedy.  I  also Die Hard – Die Another Day.  Gosh I’m good to my bf! Next up, Warm Bodies I think.

–  2 books a monthachieved

Grotesque sort of straddled the months, but definitely in this month was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which I thoroughly enjoyed – you can read my review.  I tried to get into Blown with limited success (had it on the go for two weeks).  I think picked up The Winter Garden by Laura Hillenbrand, and I’m really enjoying it!

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend – not achieved

Not going great with this – I did send some messages but really not enough.

Career

– Certificationon target

Seems I missed two of the sixteen competencies when I was writing out the framework, so whilst i said LAST month I only had three to go, I really had five! So now I’ve done two more, I have three to go.  Only four are at the proper length though, so more work is needed

– Looking for next role: making progress

After some scheduling difficulties, I’m had an information interview with a company this week.  I’m not sure I’ll make the change, given it’d mean longer hours and a lower salary, and the only real carrot for me is that I could move to France (or somewhere else, but France is where I’d like to go, and their ‘home’).  Nonetheless, I’ll make sure to look at their job ads monthly just in case.

I also now have a professional mentor, outside my company, thanks to the professional body that I’m doing my certification through.  We meet in early May at an event, so it shall be interesting to see what I learn and how I grow.

Film Review: Identity Thief

**Firstly, thank you to all those new readers out there. I’m not sure how or where you came from, but you’re most welcome! Tuesdays are review day – usually books, but today a film**

Somehow, reviewing a film is far less academic that reviewing a book.  And then I picked a comedy… sigh.  Apologies – I just haven’t been getting into the latest book on my reading pile Unbroken by Laura Killenbrand (who also wrote Seabiscuit). I did get a little more read on Sunday night, but there’s no hope for a Tuesday review!

Sunday week ago, the BF and I went and saw Identity Thief.  I’m not widely known as a comedy movie fan, but for some reason, the premise of a female stealing a male’s identity just seemed, quirky!  And given the BF LOVES comedy, well I figured I should offer up the films I was willing to see before I became a negative Nelly, always nixing films that I absolutely positively would not see!

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) receives an innocuous sales call offering credit card fraud insurance from absolutely free.  Naive as he is, he hands over his identifying details to Melissa McCarthy, who then becomes none other than Sandy Patterson!  From here on in, I’ll use the actor’s names, otherwise, this will get totally confusing!  Jason only suspects something when a beauty salon in Florida calls to confirm his appointment.  Next, the police arrive at work… It just snowballs as one would expect.

Jason is unable to escape the ‘crimes’ of his double and is told that the laws (being across states etc) make it difficult and lengthy to resolve identity thefts.  However, if Jason was to bring Melissa back to Colorado  then everything could be tidied up, including Jason getting his job back.

Whilst this movie is a comedy with so many great lines and laugh out loud moments, it brushes past some interesting issues.  Melissa uses the money to buy friends, and happiness, however fleeting.  She had multiples of the SAME appliance (at least her taste stayed the same?)!  Consumerism, to her, seemed to be the solution. However, in true Hollywood style, Melissa finds a friend in Jason, and his family.  Everyone say ‘awww’ in unison now!  Sometimes, a little light hearted comedy is just what you need.

Interestingly, my aunt was a victim of identity theft a few years ago.  It seemed to me that the bank tried very hard to discourage her and her hopes of recovering the funds taken.  However, as my father is in banking he assured her that the bank had insurance for these events and she would not (in the end) be out of pocket, which proved to be correct.  The thieves were incredibly crafty – setting up Paypal accounts in my aunts name, selling non existent products on Ebay.  My aunt got some very interesting calls from buyers who never got their paid for products.  As a result, my aunt had to change and pay to un-list her number.  She also had to change her work email address, given it had been publicly listed and the disgruntled customers were able to find it and contact her.  I’m not sure how the theft occurred – but given my aunt lives in a high density building and area, it could have been as simple as mail being stolen from her letterbox.  It certainly makes you wonder…

Any film recommendations? I know I’d like to see Warm Bodies, and Trance.  Even Zero Dark Thirty (but perhaps not in a cinema, somewhere I can pause!) Perhaps Anna Karenina, but I feel I should read it first, but that might never happen. In any case, I think the BF might sit that one out! Or any brushes with identity theft?