Goals, Goals, and More Goals

I’ve been really busy lately. Like really busy. My whole life seems to be: work, gym, school, work, gym, school, work, gym, school, military, work, and sometimes I eat.

This year is going by so quickly that I didn’t notice it was already May until I received my monthly email that my AdoreMe showroom was ready. Lorenzo and I have a lot of plans this year. We are already booked through August. Some are military events, some family, and others are business related. We even purchased a few finance books from a pop up book store and Amazon on finance and investing in order to brush up our skills and figure out ways to make more money.

Books
Some books about money

 

One of the things I love the most about being married to Lorenzo is that he is a very goal oriented person. Every year we have new plans for things we want to accomplish in the upcoming years. Last year, it was getting a married, going on our honeymoon and getting a raise at work. We did all three. This year we want to save more money, help remodel Lorenzo’s mothers house, start looking for our own home, get business certifications (Six Sigma and PMP) and try to find time for a vacation.

The primary goal is to save $100,000 (this was Lorenzo’s ambitious number that he came up with). When he first presented the idea to me, the first thing I wanted to say was, “impossible”, but I checked myself. Why can’t we do it? We are both pretty smart, business minded people and we’ve managed to do everything else we wanted to do last year so why can’t we? We did the math and if we are willing to make some changes (like move into a less expensive apartment until we are ready to buy a home), we can probably do it in a little over a year. It may take some sacrifice, but wouldn’t it be worth it in the end?

It will involve  combination of cutting costs and seeking more money producing opportunities. I read somewhere online that millionaires always have more than one source of income (3 was the magic number). So we are looking to get other sources of income. I want to say I read that on Business Insider but I could be wrong.

Anyway, our 2015 goal was: Make more and now our 2016 goal is: Save more (while still having fun)

I think this will be interesting.

feature photo credit: Crossfit Wappoo 

Valentine’s Day, Statistics, and I

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but math is not one of my favorite subjects. Never has been, never will be…probably. I hardly got by in high school and I thought I was going to rip my hair out in college. The only things that have ever really stuck with me is how to calculate percentage on a discount or when I’m leaving a tip. So, it’s needless to say that I was not happy about having to take more math classes in grad school. Now I’m not sure if you’ll recall all the crying I did during my Economics class a little over a year ago that led me to take a leave of absence from school (I passed the class but, man was it rough). Now I’m back in school and taking Statistics, and then I have accounting to look forward to for the spring semester (yipee!).

This class has been taking up almost all of my spare time, hence me not being able to write as much as I want to. I am putting all of my effort into this because I really want to do well. I don’t want it to be like high school where I was praying for C’s, and in college, where I did just enough to get a C. So far, it’s been pretty manageable, but now that we are halfway through the term, I think the Excel formulas and standard deviation stuff is going to start making an appearance…oh joy.

Even though school has been consuming almost all of my spare time I have been able to make time for other things, like family. In January (yes I have to go that far back), my sisters Morgan and Val, came down with Jordin (Morgan’s daughter), and my brother Kevin and they stayed with Lorenzo and I for 4 days. My brother Keith currently lives here and he came to stay with us as well. We tried to show them as much of Atlanta as we could. We took them to Pappadeaux, the planetarium, a club, Main Event, a gun range, and the Aquarium. They said they all had a good time and are already thinking about when they can come back.

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Jordin and River (my cousin) at the Georgia Aquarium

Lorenzo and also made time to spend with some of his friends from college that he hasn’t seen almost all of last year. We all went to Top Golf in Alpharetta. There is one located within Atlanta, but it was so crowded that we went to Alpharetta instead. Just a tip: there is always going to be a wait there, so it’s best to have dinner while you wait for a table to become available. Another FYI: I am horrible at golf. I have potential to do better, but for now and the foreseeable future, I’m pretty bad at it.

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Lorenzo and I getting photobombed at Top Golf

This upcoming Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Lorenzo and I have plans to hang out with friends (after I finish my homework of course) for most of Saturday, but I think Sunday is pretty open. I not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day anymore. I used to feel all sad about it because I never had a Valentine, and when I did have a boyfriend it just wasn’t a big deal. The best memory I have of the holiday is when Lorenzo and I were dating and he sent a dozen red roses to my job. I wasn’t expecting it so it was a very nice surprise and I really appreciated it. Now that we are married and living together, I’m totally okay with not doing anything. Most of the places we like to go to are completely booked and overpriced anyway. V-day is not one of those holidays I need to celebrate. Birthdays on the other hand are a totally different category… 🙂  But I will do my best to (promptly) report any new attractions we venture off to this weekend. I love discovering new places and things to do here. I didn’t even know Atlanta had a planetarium until my brother mentioned it- goes to show you how much I know…. I need to do better.

Book Review: Gone Girl

Warning: This post will have spoilers from the movie and the book Gone Girl. It will also have some use of the word “bitch” and I know this can seem offensive. If you’re easily or even slightly offended by that word, you should just skip this post altogether. 

While I was on my military training last month one of the Captain’s that was sharing a suite with me was reading the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Now, I’d already saw the movie a few months ago with Lorenzo when we were hanging out with some friends in Snellville. I’d never heard of the book (or the movie) at that point so the only reaction to Amy’s behavior is “bitches be crazy”. Seriously.

I usually like to read the book before I watch a movie so that I could have a full understanding of what is going on and I’m able to fill in the blanks when I have questions that the movie can’t answer. Since I had some downtime while I was away I decided to give the book a try. I needed to get in Amy’s head.

The book started off a little slow, it took a while for the book to include Amy’s fake journal and then even longer for the real Amy to surface. Now, while I wanted to punch Nick in the head throughout the entire movie for being so stupid, the book made me hate him even more. Nick wasn’t my concern though it was really Amy. She took so much time and effort and planning to set Nick up for her murder, just to turn around and go back to him in the end. It all just seemed like a whole lot of effort just to get Nick to…wait…I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to get out of him. To love her? See the error of his ways? All because you didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of getting a divorce- that would be too easy for him. Okay then, I guess.

When Nick started gathering some background info on his wife, they show a scene in the movie where an ex of Amy’s was telling him how she accused him of rape after they had consensual sex. He explained how she’d completely set him up and ruined his life. What the movie doesn’t mention is how after Amy called the police on the guy she sent him a creepy note stating something along the lines of “Next time you’ll know”. What was the guy’s crime? He started dating someone else.

There was a story of another girl that Amy went to school with when she was younger. According to Amy’s parents the girl (Hannah?? My memory is crappy) became obsessed with Amy and told Amy’s mother that she was going to kill Amy and replace her. When Nick went to finally speak with adult Hannah she told the real story of how she was new to the boarding school, Amy befriended her, and when Hannah started to become more popular than Amy, she became weird. Amy offered to dye Hannah’s hair the same color as hers and told her to play a joke on her mom by saying that she would replace Amy. Then Amy threw herself down a flight of stairs and blamed Hannah for it. When Hanna moved back home because of the embarrassment (and restraining order) she also got a note from Amy with the same creepy message that she sent the guy. Crazy bitch.

Amy liked to teach people a lesson, apparently. There was a short period of time when I wanted to feel sorry for her. She expressed her disdain for her husband by talking about women having to play the role of the “Cool Girl” in order to please a guy. While I could agree with her to an extent she turned around and started acting crazy again so I went back to hating her. While Amy was a very intelligent woman, she was very manipulative, conniving, and vengeful. She made people love her and then used them like she was a puppet master. I kind of felt that she and Nick deserved each other.

Anyway, while I think the book and the movie were definitely entertaining they are not items I would put on my top 10 list. I was just happy to be able to make time to read an actual paper book. Amy’s still a bitch though. I’m just saying.

So We Got Married…

Or just filed for the marriage licence according to Lorenzo.

Whatever…we’re married.

We went on Wednesday afternoon, because there was a short time frame that the judge was available to perform the ceremonies. I wanted to get there as early as I could because when Lorenzo went to check it out a few months ago the line to get married was very long.

He had to work that morning so he was already dressed, and I actually put on a skirt and makeup. When we arrived in the area where you had to turn in the paperwork, I found it extremely ironic that you could file for a marriage license and a pistol license in the same place. I was tempted to do both.

After we filled out the paperwork (again), we paid for the licence and went to see the judge. There was no line, just a gentleman sitting on a bench outside the office talking about how he had to go to Upstate New York for his job later on that week. We spoke with him for a few minutes before the judge came out. He seemed to be in a rush, but explained our options for exchanging our vows.

When Lorenzo told him we just wanted to make it quick, he told us to face each other (yes, right there in the hallway) and asked Lorenzo if he wanted me to be his wife. He said yes, and I was asked the same question. After Lorenzo kissed me, I heard applause from people behind us that I didn’t even know were sitting there. The judge disappeared and Lorenzo and I left and went to McCormick and Schmick’s for lunch.

After lunch we went to Northside Hospital to visit our friends who’d just had their second baby the day before. We ended up staying with them for about 3 hours before going home and watching another episode of House of Cards.

bgr.com
bgr.com

Pretty uneventful, right?

We are definitely looking forward to the Honeymoon.

August can’t get here soon enough.

What I Love about Atlanta

My Blog is officially 2 years old!

Wow,  May of 2013 seems so long ago. When I first started this blog I only thought that I would have it for about a year before I got distracted and starting doing something else, but I’m happy that I stuck with my guns and chose to keep going with it. Just think about it, when I started this I was nervous about moving in with my fiance, Lorenzo, and now we are getting married next week! Wow.

2nd birthday

So with my blog being 2 years old that means that next month will be my 2 year anniversary of actually living in Atlanta. I still feel really “new” here because there is still so much I don’t know. For example, I’ve learned that people give directions by street names as opposed to exit numbers, like we do in Jersey. You want to go to Six Flags? Take Exit 7A off the Turnpike- that’s how we give directions. Here in Atlanta, they may tell you to the the Mableton Exit…or something to that effect. So I have to learn exit names instead of just exit numbers, and no I don’t know the name of the exit where I live.

I’ve enjoyed my time here. Even though I think Lorenzo and I would be able to make the best out of most situations, I really like living here, and here’s why:

It’s very quiet. Working in NY you always hear sirens, honking horns, bullhorns, and just the hustle and bustle of the always crowed Times Square. New Jersey was quieter than New York, but still not a huge improvement.

It’s Clean. Well, most places are. Where I live and work its very clean and well kept. Its rare to see trash on the ground or piled up on the sidewalk.

The food is amazing. While NY/NJ has an outstanding selection of dining experiences, I just think the food here tastes better. I’ve put on 20 lbs. since I’ve moved here, something I’ve never been able to do up north. I also have to take into account that I don’t walk as much as I used to because you have to drive everywhere, but that’s besides the point. I love the food.

Winter is not that bad. And Spring seems to come early. Yay. I’m definitely a summer person, so I love, love, LOVE warmer weather. I know that I teased about the whole, declaring a state of emergency over 2 inches of snow, but I see why they have to do that now. I love that it doesn’t snow that much here. Dealing with 20-something inch blizzards is a nightmare.

There’s still a lot I haven’t done yet. I know that Atlanta is not as big as New Jersey and New York, but let’s be honest, when I was living there I never really took advantage of everything they had to offer. I’d only been to Six Flags once, I’ve been to Atlantic City a few times, and I haven’t gone to see the Statue of Liberty until I was 27. Most New Yorkers have never been there, ever. I’ve done a fair share of touristy things since moving here, but I know there’s still a lot more to do.

I’m not quite done with Atlanta yet. There is still so much more to experience.

On Deciding to Change my Name

Its already May, and that means that Lorenzo and I are getting married soon.

Officially. *squeal*

Lorenzo and I are going to get our marriage license after Memorial Day. We set this date 6 months ago and I can’t believe the time is finally coming. I know that a trip to the courthouse is going to be uneventful, but I guess for me its knowing that we will finally be married, I can stop saying “fiance” (such and annoying word), we won’t be “shacking up” anymore, and I can finally change my last name (hallelujah).

Yes, after we are married I’m going to change my last name, as soon as I possibly can, and no I’m not hyphenating. This is something I’ve been looking forward to for years…even before Lorenzo and I met. For a long time, I’ve wanted to change my last name and I used to pray to God that He didn’t send me husband with jacked up last name. Even though I like the way my name sounds, and Lorenzo has a great last name also, they just don’t sound right when they are hyphenated. Kind of reminds me of poop. No, really.

The main reason I want to change it is because I have an extremely common surname; so common that it is one of the top 10 most common last names in the United States. I thought my first name made me unique and would help me stand out, that is until I became an adult and realized there are probably thousands of other women with the same exact name as me and about 50 of them joined the Army around the same time I did- so I get their emails…and I have been…since 2004! Even with my new job here in Atlanta, I get emails and phone calls for other women who have the same exact name as I do. Lorenzo agreed that it sounded annoying.

In every unit I’ve been with in the Army I’ve been 1 of either 2, or 3, and on one occasion 4 people with the same last name. Lorenzo’s last name is somewhere in the upper 700’s on that list so I shouldn’t have to worry about the same issues I have now. Our last names are sort of similar, so I won’t have to change my signature too much and it doesn’t sound weird with my first name. I don’t have to worry about my name going anywhere because I have plenty of males in my family to keep it going (not that they need to) and I don’t own a business or have a “brand” to protect so, trust me, I won’t miss it. Plus, I’ve already ordered my new name tapes for my uniforms.

I spoke to Lorenzo about this and while he said he would be fine with it if I kept my last name, he would also wonder why I would want to (being fully aware of the reasons I’ve listed above). While Lorenzo is very much a modern man, there are some things that he tends to be very traditional about, so me not changing my name to his never crossed his mind until I brought it up. Well, this is one thing he doesn’t have to worry about because I want to change it. When we were going to all those bridal shows last year, I received a gift card for a website called MissnowMrs.com that helps you change almost all of your documents all in one shot, so I plan on taking full advantage of that. I know its going to be a pain…but its a nuisance that I’m actually looking forward to.

What Annoys You?

I remember a guy whom I’ve dated briefly tell me that marriage is just finding someone who’s BS you can tolerate for the rest of your life. While I didn’t agree with his cynicism in its entirety, I could agree that with every person you keep in your life you are subjecting yourself to having to put up with their…quirks for as long as you are together- just like they have to put up with yours.

Lorenzo’s has discovered some things about me that he tends to get annoyed with. No, he doesn’t mind telling me about it. I know the number one thing is that I get super paranoid…about everything. For example:

  • My check engine light came on, and even though he had it checked out and was told I could still drive the car, I told him how the car was going to break down and leave me stranded- or I’d get in an accident.
  • I was driving his car and some smoke came out of the muffler, but it looked like it was coming from under the hood of the car. He told me it was just from the muffler and I came up with this story about not wanting the engine to catch on fire with me still in the car.
  • He suggested that we swim with sharks on our honeymoon and I looked at him suspiciously and asked if he was trying to get rid of me for the insurance money.
  • Anytime he wants me to try a new food, I tell him to eat it first. Not because I think he wants to poison me, but I just want to make sure it’s going to taste good….okay…and maybe the poison thing too. This REALLY annoys him 🙂

I know that it also annoys him that I don’t check the fridge and the pantry very often. I guess because I don’t memorize every single item that is in there it gets under his skin when I make repeat purchases or if he asks for something and I don’t know what we have. I guess I’m the kind of person who only opens the fridge for the thing that I NEED at the time and don’t pay attention to anything else. Oh well.

What annoys you about your spouse or significant other? What do you do that annoys them? How do you deal with your differences?