kcaleece

Member
  • Content Count

    437
  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About kcaleece

  • Rank
    Revolter
  • Birthday 09/11/1986

Class

  • Class
    ranger

Recent Profile Visitors

586 profile views
  1. kcaleece

    Atrytone Rolls into Another Wheel Challenge

    The cash method definitely was a big help when we were getting our feet under ourselves! We had a budget but it was getting blown on silly things like extra groceries bought just because "I dunno, it sounded good" or my personal frequent favorite, "I'm stressed, let's go online shopping. It's only $10-$20 (plus shipping)!" Once you get settled into the new normal, though, it becomes much easier to stay on cards/digital. And all our savings are online-only high interest savings accounts, so it's minimum 3 days to transfer anything needed, which helps convince us do more of what we've called "mixed payments" (partly from that month's budget and partly from savings). You can totally do the same thing! No shame in being at a turning point in a journey
  2. kcaleece

    KCAleece Flees the Country

    Alright, day one (yesterday) is in the books! Not a lot of progress, admittedly, but there's a little bit to report. Quest 1: Busy Book I started on page 5 yesterday, which is a jungle scene with a bunch of animals in it. The monkey I actually finished last challenge, but I cut the background, the tree leaves he'll be swinging through, and two teeny tiny branches. I have yet to sew any of it though. Quest 5: Other Prep By a little bit of luck, we got the dog squared away for our entire trip! It's such a long trip, no one wants to house him the entire time, but I got my parents to agree to the first 6 days and my husband's youngest sister (thankfully!) agreed to watch him the rest of the time. She originally only wanted him for a week, but changed her mind out of the blue like an hour after our original call. Maybe she felt bad we'd have to find a third person? I don't know, I just know I'm thankful he's sorted! Now we just need someone to take care of the animals/plants that will stay at our house (cat, snapping turtle, and garden)...
  3. kcaleece

    Ranger Tavern, Inn and de facto Guild Hall [General Chat]

    That's awful! I once had to convince a stranger to help me steal my own bike because I forgot the combination to my lock and I'm still a little bit amazed they believed me about it really being my own bike. Hopefully someone saw something (destroying metal shelving couldn't have been too fast or unobtrusive...) and you might get it back later? Maybe? One can hope?
  4. kcaleece

    Emerald Eagle prepares for a parasite - Part 1

    Yeah, people are definitely right when they say there is no truly being "ready" for a baby. This would be our second, which helps, but I'm still nervous about balancing the needs of a newborn with our toddler's simultaneously. I was just talking about this last night with my brother - their first is due mid-July! - and I think the biggest key is to realize no one really knows what they're doing, every baby is different, and your best laid plans may or may not end up being things; adaptability is the name of the game. For all kinds of various reasons, we completely ended up changing our stance on: where the baby would sleep, sleep training in general, pacifiers, when to start what solid food, when to wean, and how we're teaching language (and even which languages to teach, since we're a trilingual family). I'm sure baby #2 will change things up even more Your rewards system sounds great though! Personally, I like gradual systems like that because I like to see my tracker change more frequently. What games have you been getting into? I'm starting to get into D&D with my friend group, but we're absolutely terrible at scheduling time to get together and play hahaha. Our last session was nearly 2 months ago at this point...
  5. kcaleece

    Atrytone Rolls into Another Wheel Challenge

    Kinda? We set monthly budgets for everything and then we either know what the budget per time shopping (like we have about $75 for groceries every week, so we just know if we're a little over or under each time we go) or it's a one time deal which can either be a. a single or very small purchase (like a birthday gift where we know we have $40, the end) or b. a personal expense, usually that repeats (like we each get a "personal budget" of $80/month that we can spend on whatever we want or save up, completely separate and free from the rest of the family) and we trust each other that we're keeping proper track on our own. For a while we took most of the money out in cash, which helped us get used to it (much easier to track than cards!) but it's a pain in the butt to go get the cash every month, obnoxiously inflexible - no just stopping off at the store on the way home if you don't have the envelope with you, and you can earn things like travel miles with your card you're not getting when you use cash. Cash also slows down rollover between months - if we have extra, it just goes into the next month's budget, which doesn't have to be specifically accounted for if it never actually went anywhere. So we (mostly) stopped and run primarily digitally/on cards now. Savings, retirement, and other such things are included in the monthly budget, and I always leave a "buffer" of about $100-$200 for whatever things pop up we couldn't or just didn't predict at the start of the month. There are even...without looking it up I'm going to guess 8? different savings accounts because it's easier to visualize and know where each "fund" is that way compared to having it all smashed together into one account. So we have a savings account for car expenses, another one for house expenses, one for travel, one for the toddler's future expenses, etc. I don't know where every single penny goes, but I do know where every dollar is at least supposed to go...and they largely make it there
  6. kcaleece

    Atrytone Rolls into Another Wheel Challenge

    Of course! I...kinda like financial stuff, hahaha. I actually do enjoy making spreadsheets and graphs and watching the numbers change. But both my husband and I only get paid once a month, so it's like a single evening's work and then I twiddle my thumbs for the next 30 days. That makes it hard to set goals since there's nothing else for me to really do but wait for the next month to start. I've thought about maybe trying to find some kind of variable side job or something? But that feels like it could be a lot more work than it's worth, hahaha.
  7. kcaleece

    Atrytone Rolls into Another Wheel Challenge

    Awesome challenge! Financial goals are really hard for me too for the same reason; they just progress so slowly, you know? Following along again - I got really quiet last time, sorry, but I was reading along I promise!
  8. kcaleece

    Ranger Tavern, Inn and de facto Guild Hall [General Chat]

    In honor of our upcoming trip to Mexico, I'll take a pomegranate margarita please!
  9. kcaleece

    KCAleece Flees the Country

    Well okay so I'm not technically counting yesterday, but that might be a good thing because nothing got done. Like, seriously, nothing. The toddler was upset and screaming (he has a really runny nose we've been blaming on allergies, but I'm mostly hoping it's not anything worse than that), dinner took much longer to cook than expected, and I was exhausted after a long and stupid meeting which mostly boiled down to "all of our failures are your fault". (my department's, not mine particularly) Even though that's not true, but who really wants to get into a nasty argument with your boss' boss when there's only one more week in the school year? I did pull the Spanish book I bought out from the bag (it's labeled as being for readers from 7-10 years old, so I was pretty spot on with a 3rd/4th grade reading level) and it's 106 pages, giving me a total page goal of 27 pages (rounded up). I read the first page out loud to my son yesterday before he lost interest but got so caught up in saying the words correctly I wasn't spending enough time processing what they meant, so I'm going to re-read it anyway. Aaaaand...that's literally all I got done last night. No harm no foul though, right? Focusing on making some forward progress today!
  10. kcaleece

    Emerald Eagle prepares for a parasite - Part 1

    Nice job on day one! My husband and I just started trying for a baby this month; it's so exciting and scary all at the same time. Following along!
  11. kcaleece

    KCAleece Flees the Country

    After much thought, here are my quests! "Official" counts for things like fitness, dessert-less days, etc. will begin tomorrow but hopefully progress will still be made today (for example, I still plan on working on the busy book). BT Quests Quest 1: Busy Book As many of you know, I am working on a busy book to help entertain my son on the flights/travel days. He'll be 19 months old on this trip, so a plan is dearly needed! I have 3.5 pages already done and want to get to at least 6 (preferably 8 but I'm trying to be realistic), plus I still need to bind them together. Grading: 6+ pages done = A 5 pages done = B 4 pages done = D No C option because I'm already practically to 4, if I can't get that much done I've just sat on my butt and not done anything at all worthy of earning "points". Quest 2: Walking/Fitness There will be a lot of walking on the trip, including much of it done with a stroller. There are also bags and a very heavy toddler (he's already 30 pounds!) to carry, and many ruins to navigate/climb/not fall off of. I'm going to try for some form of workout at least 14 out of the 21 days in this phase, with emphasis in that same vague order (walking, lifting/carrying, agility). Grading: 14+ workouts = A 12-13 workouts = B 10-11 workouts = C 8-9 workouts = D 7 or fewer workouts = F Quest 3: Food I still need to get on top of my sugar issues and also just eat healthier in general. Cooking will also help keep budget lower before we go and also use up some of the pantry so less goes bad while we're gone. I'm going to try for 4 days without dessert in this phase as well as 2 days cooking. Grading: 4+ days no dessert AND 2+ days cooking = A 3+ days no dessert OR 2+ days cooking = B 2+ days no dessert OR 1 day cooking = C 1 day no dessert OR 1 day cooking = D Quest 4: Spanish Prep I severely failed at my Spanish goal last challenge. This time, I'm going to back off a bit to give myself a better chance without throwing myself in Mexico with zero warmup. Goals will include: read at least 1/4 of my book (I recently bought a chapter book in Spanish, guessing around 3rd grade difficulty, to practice more easily), listen to at least 2 podcasts OR YouTube videos, write at least 300 words, and speak at least 30 minutes (one tutor session or informally with my husband). Grading: All 4 met = A 3 met = B 2 met = C 1 met = D Quest 5: Other Prep There's a lot left to do to prep for the trip! Off the top of my head: 1. find someone to take care of the pets (dog, cat, snapping turtle) and garden 2. buy remaining necessary supplies, especially for the toddler (umbrella stroller for travel, swim diapers, sunscreen, etc.) 3. figure out if toddler gets his own suitcase on the flight; if so, find suitcase 4. convert some cash and figure out documentation needed (everyone has passports, but we've heard some rumors we might need to bring the toddler's birth certificate too) 5. triple checking wardrobes and buying anything needed, such as flats for me 6. get/set up journal for Quest 2 below... More will likely be added as we get closer! Grading: All done = A All house stuff done, purchasing and converting $ to be done there = B One thing left undone, someone found to help cover it = C More than one thing left undone = F Quest 6: Grad School (kinda) So my grad school paper that my professor wants me to submit for publication needs to be to the journal (Working Papers in Second Language Acquisition) before July. It will be best if I can find some time to do this before we even leave. Grading: Paper done and submitted = A Paper revised, but not submitted yet = B Progress made, but revisions incomplete = C No progress made = F OT Quests Quest 1: Food So this will obviously be much more difficult to manage while traveling, but I also don't want to go crazy. I'm going to say 2 days without dessert (out of the 14 in this phase) but I'm also going to forgive up to 1 day as long as on that day 1. I've only eaten one dessert and 2. that dessert is something specific to Mexico that can't be found in the States (at least at a reasonable difficulty level of "can't be found"). I'm not sure if 2 days will be super easy or super hard without having any prior experience in Mexico, so I'm going to keep it low just in case. (Multiple past travel experiences in Western Europe has shown to it often be a combination of local culture, general meal options/types, cost, and personal comfort levels.) Grading: 2+ days = A 1 day = C Quest 2: Spanish Obviously I will have lots and lots of opportunity to work on my Spanish on this trip!! I'm going to shoot for a conversation (of any length at all) with a native speaker at least 10 out of 14 days (that should be super easy, but you never know), purchasing at least 3 books either for myself or my son/future classes, and writing at least 500 words journal-style, including a focus on how my language progress is going. Grading: all 3 met = A progress on all 3 but short of frequency numbers given = B progress only made on 2 = C progress only made on 1 = D Quest 3: Pictures/Social I am going to end up taking a TON of pictures, some for us and some in hopes of using them in class in the future. I want to post one picture online at least 12/14 days, regardless of which purpose it is for. This might be on Instagram (probably the most often), Facebook, or somewhere else I'm not thinking of right now. I will link them here for proof when I can! Grading: 12+ pictures posted = A 10-11 pictures posted = B 8-9 pictures posted = C 6-7 pictures posted = D 5 or fewer posted = F Quest 4: Culture and History This is a little redundant with the Spanish quest above, but I want to make sure I am also focusing on cultural and historical knowledge, not just language. I'm going to visit/take pictures and notes/otherwise experience and learn about at least 5 cultural/historical sites or experiences - this could be hard to measure, but it's one of those things you know when you see/do it. Grading: 5 sites/experiences = A 4 sites/experiences = B 3 sites/experiences = C 2 sites/experiences = D 1 or 0 sites/experiences = F I'm kinda cheating here because we already have 1 such excursion planned, but I think it still counts Quest 5: Grad School (kinda) So my next grad class won't start until after this challenge on July 1 (we will still be in Mexico, but it will not be in this challenge). I am, however, going to keep on eye on my grad school e-mail and course websites in order to catch either 1. information about my journal submission or 2. class information for my July/August course. This should be the easiest A I've ever earned on a challenge, but it's still an important task! Grading: websites checked 10+ days = A websites checked 8+ days = B websites checked 6+ days = C websites checked 4+ days = D websites checked 3 times or less = F
  12. kcaleece

    KCAleece Flees the Country

    Two challenges ago I was preparing to flee the country...this challenge, that will actually happen! By the time this challenge ends, we (my husband, young toddler son, and myself) will be south of the US border in Puebla, Mexico (with a week-long stop in Mexico City before we get there). We leave on June 11th, which is 3 weeks from today and technically 2 weeks into the challenge, though I do love me some week zero action - I'll lose all momentum and fall apart if I took an entire week off. So with that in mind, I'm creating a two-pronged plan for this challenge: phase one is before the trip (BT) which will run from tomorrow to June 10th, exactly 3 weeks, and phase two will be on the trip (OT) which will be June 11th to the 23rd (with a finish in the next challenge, since we're not back home until the beginning of July). Quests will run in one phase or both, but phase two as a general rule will be much more flexible and prone to change either in posting, doing, or both. ***Quests to be posted later today!!***
  13. kcaleece

    KCAleece Gets Fabulous!

    Okay, challenge summary! Whew, I'm glad to be done with this one... Quest 1: Combine shelving in 2nd bedroom Done! ...well, okay, the bookshelf is still in said room, but it's completely cleaned off and ready to move, which is all I technically set out to do. Grade: A Quest 2: Keep coffee table clean This was completed approximately 28 out of 32 days, for a completion percentage of 87.5%. In true teacher fashion, 80% = mastery. (If you're not a teacher, just know that 80% is almost always the number chosen to prove "mastery" on a topic, test, or special education documentation). Grade: A Quest 3: Decide on next big project Done, though the projects themselves weren't (but the decisions themselves were!) We'll be replacing the back door, putting up the dining room curtains (which we started too but then realized our curtain rod is too short anyway...d'oh!), and fixing some small plumbing issues we don't want to get any larger. We have 4 identified plumbing issues, and 2.5 are fixed as of right now (did 2 by ourselves yesterday, the other 0.5 isn't technically fixed but if we don't run the garbage disposal, it doesn't cause any problems so it'll sit for a while.) Grade: A Quest 4: Defeat the sugar demon! My dessert-free days goal was 7 and I only made 4. Boo! That's a completion percentage of 57%, which is technically an F, but I feel like I made progress that doesn't deserve a full F and 80% is earning an A, so let's go with a C? Grade: C Quest 5: Cook at least 3x this challenge Done! I also made baked potatoes on Saturday. Easy? Oh yes. Kinda cheating? A little tiny bit. Am I still counting it? Also yes. Grade: A Quest 6: Cook at least one vegetarian dish I'm counting my baked potatoes. This is really stretching it because I also made bacon as an optional topping for folks who wanted it, but it was an optional topping and I feel like I could really use some positivity, so I'm counting it. Grade: A Quest 7: Personal care task This was completed approximately 23 out of 32 days, for a completion percentage of 72%. Grade: B Quest 8: Do my 5 manicures I did more than 5 manicures, technically, but none of them were smoosh manicures like I wanted. I really feel like I've gotten a bit lazy with these lately, because all I've been doing is picking polishes that have interest already in them (like flakes, glitter, etc.) and doing a simple "paint it on and call it good" instead of doing the cool art like I was. I want to get back to that! Grade: B Quest 9: Clear out box in the master bedroom Mostly cleared, but there's still one more layer of stuff in the bottom of the box to sort. Grade: B Quest 10: (Find and) dye the Portugal dress I found the dress, but haven't dyed it. The instructions for the dye were funkier than expected, the fabric blends used are split in terms of type of dye to use, and I got a little overwhelmed with other tasks. Grade: D Quest 11: Summer shoes I did at least get two new pairs of summer shoes! I'm actually going to need one more, because my closed toe flats died big time yesterday (a big strip of the inside part that actually goes around my foot came off, and the sole also started separating from the heel). But that'll be for the next challenge! Grade: A Quest 12: Spanish I didn't do well here. No listening, minimal speaking, and slightly over halfway on reading and writing. Sigh. Not good. Not good at all. Grade: D Quest 13: Maintain job applications This got funky and it's still not settled because my admin is a bunch of...very disorganized people, is the nicest way I can think of to put it, but I think I can stick to my statement of "I did the best job that I could to find a better option for me and my family". Grade: B+ Quest 14: Family trip prep I got 2 pages done in the busy book - I actually almost finished the ladybug pocket over the weekend too, I just need to make a couple ribbon flowers to fill in some background space! - and I have almost all of 2018 backed up. I have through December on my personal laptop but only through November on the external hard drive, whoops. Grade: A Quest 15: Get myself going Wow I did poorly at this one. I got my 15 miles in with a final total of 16.7 miles. But I got no other workouts at all. Grade: D Final report card: As: 7 Bs: 4 Cs: 1 Ds: 3 Fs: 0 Final GPA: 3.0 exactly, which is better than I thought it would be honestly! Next time I really need to focus a bit more - while I still do have all this going on in my life as a whole, I spread myself a bit too thin to be successful at everything - and also go back to my previous way of counting workouts (total days rather than workouts) because I was way more successful with that system. Off to start contemplating my next challenge! That'll be a particularly interesting one since we'll be in Mexico before it ends...
  14. kcaleece

    KCAleece Gets Fabulous!

    Aww, thanks! I can't take all the credit - most of the base ideas came from the Internet, from various crafty blogs and the like, but I've changed each one at least a little bit to either better fit what I wanted, give it another feature to interact with, etc. I won't have time to make as many pages as a lot of these other examples have, so I figure I have to pack as much into each page as I can! 4 hours on a plane is a long time to fill and that's not even counting layovers yet (it's 2 different 2 hour flights...) On a completely unrelated note, today a coworker told me I'm "basically Diane from Cheers through and through, sorry!" I've never seen Cheers...is that an insult? Hahaha, I tried to google it and Wikipedia said things like overly intellectual, insecure, and "yuppie" which could totally make sense - this particular coworker is from a very different background than I am and I would not be at all surprised if he thought I was an overly Ivory Tower, nose in the air type. Plus I totally admit to being pretentious and bougie, which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing but it completely doesn't fit in at my current workplace. Official countdowns: 5 school days left25 days left until we go to Mexico Quest 2: Keep coffee table clean (25/29 days)Done! Quest 7: Personal care task (22/29 days) Failed at this one yesterday, blast it all. Quest 14: Family trip prepDump truck page DONE! I got it completely finished off last night which was a great feeling! I've been putting them all together to prepare for binding later on and it was so nice to see all 3 finished pages hanging out there. I also started working on the ladybug pocket to hold all the loose pieces last night - got the background cut and the "base" for the ladybug sewed down. My goal today will be to sew down the head, since that's pretty straight forward, and start working on the wings (which are the actual zippered pocket part).
  15. kcaleece

    KCAleece Gets Fabulous!

    Official countdowns: 6 school days left26 days left until we go to Mexico My gods, at this point I'm just waiting for the school year/challenge to end so I can start over. Sigh. Quest 2: Keep coffee table clean (24/28 days)Done! Quest 7: Personal care task (22/28 days) Also done. Quest 14: Family trip prepMore busy book work late last night - didn't end up getting anything done at work, but I did make decent progress on the dump truck last night. Got the dirt pile 100% complete, the snap to hold the right side of the dump truck bed in place, and one side of the little rope ribbon thing down to the background (it'll connect to the dump truck bed to make sure it can't spin 360 degrees around the button pivot). Just need to attach the other side of the rope, attach the similar rope thing from the dirt pile to the dump truck bed (so the dirt pile doesn't get lost while dumping it out) and install the actual button pivot point and then both pages from this challenge will be done!