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Bring on the summer!

Most of you probably saw a post from me this morning, but then I took it down. It was written really late last night, and when I re-read it this morning, I thought it sounded overly happy. Kind of made me want to barf a little. So down it came, and this post is its replacement. Basically the same content, just without the mega dose of crazy I was on yesterday. :)

Upcoming travel plans
Now that I’m back from vacation, I’ve already planned and (have somewhat) booked my next 3 trips: Las Vegas (work-related in July), San Francisco (trip with the family in August), and of course Chicago in October for the Financial Blogger Conference. I want to connect with more bloggers when I’m away. Chicago will be loaded with PFers – but is anyone from San Francisco that might be interested in helping me organize a small blogger meet-up? I’m not sure exactly who’s in that specific area, but I know there are at least a few of you.

Oh, and it just so happens that the Blue Jays are playing Oakland while I’m in San Francisco. So, this blogger is going to at least 2 more ball games! :D

Work
There are so many awesome, cool, inspirational things happening at my FT job that make me happy. I feel extremely lucky to be working for such an amazing company and I can see myself staying here for a long time. However, I do really miss working in the industry that my ¬†previous job was in (real estate). There’s just something about real estate that is so appealing and interesting to me. I think it’s the numbers and analysis, combined with the energy and vibe I’ve always felt. And while I know that I don’t have what it takes to be a Realtor, I think I can utilize my current skill set and be part of that industry again with my side business. I’m still trying to work through my ideas and thoughts, but it goes alongside trying to ramp up my side business this year and into the future. We’ll see what I come up with!

I had a successful meeting with my editor at Moneyville when I was in Toronto. The last time I met him, I was feeling a bit down, but he was able to motivate and inspire me. And the same thing happened this time too. I’m coming away feeling excited about writing, and I think my articles have been improving over the past few weeks. Which has resulted in more positive feedback from readers, and much less hate mail.

Life & Miscellaneous
Yesterday evening I went to my very first lacrosse game and loved it! It was amazing to see such support by residents and businesses for this team, and even though I’ve only lived in the area for a few weeks, it was nice to see familiar faces – the guy from VanCity I signed my mortgage papers with, my Realtor, co-workers, and names from the community that I recognized. It’s such a tight-knit neighbourhood, and exactly the reason why I chose to moved here above all other areas of the Lower Mainland.

Field hockey tryouts are coming up at the end of this month. I’m still undecided as to whether I should try out for Division 1 or 2, or even switch teams altogether. Either way, I’m ramping up my training. And that starts with 5km runs every morning during the work week. I only have about 4 more drop-in passes at the gym across the street, so when those are over, I think I’ll just stick to running. For the summer, at least.

As for moving forward, I’m not really looking for anything new, but there are possibilities. I’m just happy right now being on my own and enjoying life. And that’s all I’ll say about that. :)

Anyway, that’s the non-financial update from here. I hope everyone has a fabulous Friday!

A quick NYC update

Well my friends and I have been in New York City for 2 full days now, and it’s an amazing city. Great restaurants, super friendly people, and so much to see and do! Oh, and the townhouse we rented? Chalk another win up for VRBO.com! I think this rental might trump the beachfront condo we rented in Maui. And.. I’m not sure if I’ll ever stay in a hotel again for vacation! Especially considering it’s cheaper to rent off of VRBO and you get much nicer accommodation.

As for my budget… well … I had anticipated $120/day for spending. And I’m on target for that – if you don’t count the clothing that I’ve bought. It’s not a lot by any standards, but I will most likely not be staying under budget for the entire trip.

Oh, for those that have been wondering, I finally got to meet Pat Hentgen at Tuesday’s baseball game. :D We got his autograph and a photo taken with him. AND near the end of batting practice, he tossed me a baseball. My 18 year mission to meet him is now complete.

On today’s agenda is: Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, and meeting up with Money Maus and 27&Frugal for dinner! :) I also want to find the Chelsea Hotel. Because, well, there’s a somewhat famous Ryan Adams song about it. And you know how I feel about Ryan Adams. In fact, it’s pretty cool to be in NYC and actually see the places he sings about in his songs. And it’s just a few blocks away from where we are staying. Tomorrow is a Mets/Phillies game, and Central Park. For those who’ve been to NYC… bus tour – yay or nay?

A MoRoCo update: Ginger called and spoke to the General Manager of the restaurant earlier this week about our dining experience, but so far, nothing has been done. We haven’t received even an apology. So disappointed.

Anyway, I am sincerely sorry for the lack up updates here at GMBMFB. Unfortunately I wasn’t organized enough to write any material to post while I’m away. In the meantime if you’re interested, you can check out my latest Moneyville articles that I’ve written while I’ve been away:

Don’t forget you only have until next Wednesday to get your application in to become Moneyville’s next blogger!

Friday Money Musings

  • I have gotten a couple of quotes for the minor renovations I want to do on my place. Looks like the entire project (including labour and materials) will probably cost around $3,500-$4,000. I feel like this is a very reasonable price for the work I want done, and will pursue this option late next week once I’m actually living in my place. This has all been budgeted for, and the money is sitting in my savings account, earmarked for this very purpose.
  • Yesterday I went into the bank to sign and finalize my mortgage details. My mortgage payments are $1,098/month. But by increasing my payments to $600 with the accelerated bi-weekly option, I will shave almost 4 years off of my mortgage. And that doesn’t even include the lump sum payment I plan on making every year on my mortgage anniversary date. So I’m feeling really confident with my financial situation, and can finally relax and enjoy the process of being a homeowner.
  • Someone commented on the phone yesterday that I sounded happy. Which I guess might have been surprising to him, since I was kind of mopey last week. And you know, I am happy. The last few days have been really good. I’ve been working extremely hard, and I’m finding the positives in everything.
  • I have found a desk that I want to buy for $179, less a 20% coupon code that I found online. Clean lines, minimalistic. Perfect. Once I’ve moved in, I will be purchasing it.
  • I’m headed back home again this weekend. It’s a somewhat unplanned trip, but since this is the last season for the hockey team in my hometown, and they’re in the conference finals for the first (and last) time in franchise history, I need to see them play. I worked for them for 5 years, so it means more to me than just being a fan. :) Oh, and I’m meeting up with Cupcakes and Cash, and the ex-blogger formerly known as Blonde on a Budget aka Dogs and Dollars aka Positive Pennies. :)
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