Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Confessions

What's up my peeps? Its Friday, almost the weekend.
Its time to fess up, and admit all the bad, heinous things we did this week.

Here are my weekly confessions:

1. I walked really close to a house, through the yard, so that I could see inside. I know *technically* this makes me a peeping tom, or something, but whatever. This house is so cute, and I have wanted to go in forever. It recently sold, and I didn't get a chance to go to the open house, but I really wanted to see inside.

2. This past weekend, I spent way too much time on Pinterest, and wanted to get my creative on. The goal was to make a wreath. I drug P to Hobby Lobby with me. I wondered into the wreath isle, got overwhelmed, by all the craps, and walked straight to another section. We ended up buying a sign to hang over the laundry room.

3. I accused P of not loving me because he put a pillow in between us one night during so I would not touch him. I noticed at some point in the night, and I even had dreams about how mad I was at him. Yes, we have a king size bed, but at some point in the night, I navigate over to his side in search of warmth. I woke up mad, and when I told him he just laughed.

Fess up peeps. What did you do wrong this week??

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I don't get it.

Sometimes, as a runner, I just want to say “What the hell.” Seriously.  You other runners out there, please tell me you know what I mean.
I don’t understand how Saturday morning, I set out to do some speed work, with 5 miles on the docket. I was aiming to hit 8:15’s and under, that didn’t happen. I was hitting 9:00, and it felt like I was running through mud. It was one of those runs where you have run ½ a mile, but it feels like you have already been out there for 3 miles. I was miserable. I kept telling myself to just get through it. Just push. This is whats called a character building run.
I finished, it was not pretty, and I wanted to kick character in the trash. Saturday’s run was one of those that really hurt your confidence, and make you doubt what you are doing. I went through the whole process after wards of questioning my ability and desire to run.
Sunday I did a long slow recovery run. Although, given Saturday’s disaster, I am not sure what I was recovering from. But, I went out did about 7 gloriously slow miles. I was out really early and had plenty of bikers and runners on the road to keep me company.
Then, Monday’s run. I didn’t run Monday morning, so I had to hit the road Monday afternoon. I grabbed some water, did my I have to pee 26 thousand times before I started running,  and then I stepped outside at 5:30 and it was HOT. Triple digits hot. Stuipd hot. High humidity hot. I walked a quarter mile for a warm up, and was drenched. I did not have high hopes for this run. Because I am trying to PR in the 5K distance this summer, I only had 3 miles on tap. I told myself just get through the miles because they are going to be hot, and really hard.
Before I knew it, I breezed through the 1st mile, and I managed to bang it out in 7:30. That 7:30 felt like I was running a 9:00 minute mile. I felt comfortable and in control, I didn’t feel as if I was exerting myself too hard. It felt comfortable. Of course, I saw this, smiled for a second, freaked, and forced myself to slow down, because I’m all mental like that. For some reason, I fear the 7:00’s.
I need to stop running by my watch all the time, and judge my runs by how my body feels, and my exertion levels.
And this is where the “WHAT THE HELL??????” comes into play? How is it that one run can be so hard, and mentally destructive, and the next run is gloriously fun? Running is an evil seductress who toys with our hearts and emotions.  She is horrible to us, treats us badly, and right when we turn away and are willing to throw in the towel, she offers us a treat, a taste of goodness, and we fall right back into her trap.
Of course, now I am psyched to do some speed work this afternoon. 2 miles warm up, 9-200’s, 2 mile cool down.
How have your run’s been lately? Good, bad, blah? How do you over come mental battles?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rental Property Dreamin'


Something dangerous happens when P and I watch House Hunters, we start fantasizing and dreaming about homes. We spend hours discussing what we would do to our home, how we want to remodel it, change it, and we have even gotten into arguments about the remodel. It looks a little something like this:

P: I think we should replace all the appliances with stainless steel

Me: I hate stainless steel

P: They look good, and will help with resale value, why do you hate them?

Me: Because they get dirty and show smudges

P: That’s it? That’s not a big deal

Me: It’s a big deal when you are the one cleaning it.

Then we realize we are arguing about a remodel of our home that is not currently happening, nor do we have any plans to remodel our house in the next few years, and decide to stop fighting about a fantasy!

Lately however, our focus has shifted a bit, and we are now thinking about rental properties. We save money each month, invest in the stock market, but we really want to diversify, and we know that nothing offers a return like real estate. We both work in commercial real estate, but have little knowledge of residential real estate. Even though they are both real estate, they are vastly different beasts, and there is very little carry over from one to the other.

Our goal right now is to dream, and acquire knowledge. I am actually getting my real estate license this year, and my company is paying for it, so that will be a great place to start gathering knowledge. We have been bouncing back as to whether we would like to buy a home in our area as a rental, or if we would look to buying and renting a vacation condo somewhere that is within driving distance. I really like the idea of buying a condo on the beach, so that it could serve two purposes. First, it would be a great vacation destination for us, and secondly, it would bring in additional income. We want something that is within driving distance 4-5 hours away so that if needed, we could drive there and back in a weekend. We also want do have it within driving distance because we know we would be more likely to visit more often. Our ideal condo would have 2 bedrooms, but we could do a 1 bedroom, with a sleeper sofa, and a nook for bunk beds, so that we could sleep 6, with 2 baths.

I have done some analysis, and in our state condo rentals on the coast rent from between 125.00-300.00 per night, depending upon the season. While the Texas beaches are not the most beautiful in the world, they are still beaches. Plus, the area we have been talking about has world renowned fishing year round. The other attraction to the area we are looking at is the fact that we have family located within 20 minutes, and we know they would be willing to help with the condo in a pinch.

Expected expenses for a vacation condo:


Cleaning Fee

Maintenance Fee(a contingency for repairs and replacement of items)



Condo Attractions:

Onsite management

Onsite cleaning services



Play areas

Advertising—the condo building has its own advertising website, which we could pay a fee to be listed

Management- for a fee, we could pay a condo management to do full service management, and they would get a percentage of the earnings.

Anyone out there have rental property? What are we overlooking? What are we forgetting about? I know that a rental property is hard work, but right now, it is looking like an exciting and attractive option. What do you guys think?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Confessions

Good morning everyone. I hope you are are gearing up to have a wonderful weekend!!

Without further delay, lets get on with it shall we? Here are my weekly confessions:

1.I watched the show "America gets bastardized by the Kardashians." That may not really be the name of the show, but I did indeed watch it, and I felt dirty and dumb. I went to the gym to get some cross training done, and it was on one of the T.V.'s and I watched. As I watched, I felt slimy, dirty, and embarrassed, even though no one in the gym can tell what I am watching. I just could not force my finger to push the button on the remote. I immediately went home and grabbed a James Joyce novel and tried to erase that idiocy from my mind. No thats a lie, I did not in fact get a James Joyce book, I do not own a James Joyce book, and the only reason I read a James Joyce book was when I had to in college. And that is another lie because I read the cliff's notes, not the real book.

2. I have seen every episode of The Office on Netflix. When I finished it, I started it all over from the beginning again. For some reason, I have the ability to laugh at the same sitcom show, over and over again and never grow tired of it. I have probably seen some episodes of The Big Bang Theory 10 times, and they are still funny to me every single time.

3. I drank 3 bottles of grape juice at the office in less than an hour. We keep a bunch of cokes and juice in the office fridge for everyone. One day, I grabbed a grape juice to "sip" on. I opened it, sat at my desk, drank it in less than 5 minutes, walked back to the fridge, grabbed another, chugged it while standing there, and finally grabbed one more to "sip" on back at my desk.

4. I went out to do a temp run. I came back after 1 mile.

Fess up peeps!!! What did y'all do wrong this week? Tell me, tell me tell me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Here in Dallas, are the streets paved with Gold?

I work in an industry that is inextricably linked to the economy. I work in commercial real estate, and we are an industry that see's growth right away, and an industry that feels the pinch right away as businesses both expand and contract.

My company is huge, and is a major player in the market, and we keep a close eye on the economic health of the small markets and nation as a whole. We have offices all over the country, as well as the globe. Recently,  at a conference I was seated near a gentleman that is on officer in one the professional organizations I belong to. His name was Stan, and one night during dinner, Stan and I had a really interesting chat. Stan travels the globe as a consultant, advisor, and industry advocate. This conference was filled with Commercial Real Estate Professionals from around the globe, and he had a chance to visit with many of them.

During our conversation, Stan said, "I have been to Dallas many times in the past few years, and I have to tell you, down there, the streets are paved with gold." I looked at him for a moment, and realized, in some ways he was correct. In general, Texas has weathered the recent recession well, particularly Dallas and Houston. As many cities across America were struggling, most cities in Texas were growing in both population and industry.

I say this in light of the recovering economy because we have not felt the effects of the recession down here. In many places, foreclosures were running rampant, people were looking for work, but here, nothing really changed. Most companies tightened their belts, and are doing more with fewer people, but we have come through the worst of it unscathed.

There are more than 300 families moving to the Dallas area every week. The housing market is HOT right now, and homes are being snatched up quickly. (Home prices rose 12% in one year) The rental market has a low inventory because of the influx of population, and those prices are starting to rise. There are new developments going up all over the city. I would say that on any given day, I meet at least 1 person who has lived in the area for less than 2 years, myself included.

I hate that I work in an industry that can grow and contract over night based upon policies of men and women in Washington. I have been thinking about it for a while, but I really want to pursue some side hustle work, and freelancing so that I can "write my own ticket." I want to ensure that in the next recession, no matter where I live, I can survive, and thrive.

I write this not to boast about my state, but to pose the question of, how is your city, county, or state doing? How are you faring now that the economy is starting to improve and show signs of life?  Given the recent recession, have you done anything to improve your personal economy? Have you had to tap into your emergency fund, or been able to save and increase it?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Confessions

Good morning lovelies. Here are my Friday Confessions:

1.We spent $200.56 on eating out, in 9 days. DANG. To say we totally blew our food budget is an understatement. I looked at our account today and added up all we spent in the first few days of the month. I am ashamed and embarrassed by this number.

2.I stopped in the middle of a speed workout to pick up a penny.  I don't know why, but if I see a coin on the ground, I simply have to pick it up, and do my "dividends" dance.

3. I watched The Office, while at my office.  I finished eating lunch at my desk, and rather than turn it off, I left it on while I worked for a while.

4. I didn't shower after taking a body pump class during lunch. I was sweaty and nasty, but didn't have time to shower, so I toweled off, and sprayed myself with too much perfume, and went back to work.

5. One day I left work early to go run errands. I actually came home and ran a few miles instead.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Challenge Extended, Challenge Accepted; Money Wise.

P and I have fallen into a bad habit these past few months. We have been eating out WAY too often.  We have indeed gone over budget Every. Single. Month. We have been on the envelope system these past few years, and eating out is one of our cash categories. At the end of our money, not month,rather than suck it up, and cook at home, we have gotten out the debit card, paid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and went on our merry way without considering the consequences.
Dave Ramsey says it all the time “You work way to hard, and make too much money, to feel this broke.” We have not spent ourselves into financial ruin, but we have noticed that we have become a bit lazy, and rely on eating out much more than we should. We also never go for one big fancy meal out, we tend to nickel and dime ourselves. We go to Subway, Chick Fil A, or Chipotle all the time. It’s the 10-15 dollar range where we really do the damage to our budget. 
I think part of the problem is that P and I never really “go out.” We don’t hit up the clubs, or go to bars, so eating out becomes our entertainment. When we hang out with friends, we usually go out to eat at a local casual restaurant. Our lifestyle is so laid back, that we don’t feel we need or even want to go to fancy or pricey restaurants.
The other problem with eat out so much is the amount of food wasted, and its been a lot lately. We don’t eat out because there is no food in the house, we eat out because we have to cook the food in the house. We cleaned up our diet back in January, and we don’t have many processed foods in the house very often.  Eating cleanly is helpful, but its also time consuming. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like cooking. P has been really great because he makes us breakfast nearly every morning, but it’s the lunch and dinner that are the hardest. We are trying to eat according to Paleo, so we don’t keep breads and pastas in the house, so its hard to find a “quick” meal.
I am frustrated with myself, because I KNOW what to do, I just DON’T do it! We really have no one to blame but ourselves. ARG! I need to get back on the meal planning bandwagon, as well as the shopping list.
This weekend, P and I decided that we are not going to eat out for the rest of this month. We just need to quit, reign our spending on food in, and be disciplined.

How are you doing? How's your food budget this month? Where do you go over budget?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Thoughts from my morning run

Normally, I run the same route every morning. I run on the street around my neighborhood, and rarely venture off course. This morning, as the sun began to rise at 5:45 and I was doing my warm up, I decided to run around the local park. Normally, stay away from the park in the mornings because its dark, and I have told myself that criminals hide out in the park in the dark. Today, it was pretty sunny, and I figured all the boogie men went home to rest, so I felt I would be safe.

Here are my thoughts in no particular order:

My foot hurts.

Wow, that woman is in her 60's at least, and she is running faster than I do.

I really hope that I don't have to use my phone to call P, my mom, and 911 if someone attacks me.

I guess I should call 911 if someone attacks me 1st, then call P.

If a man attacks me, I will kick him in the groin.

What do I do if a woman attacks me?

Why am I breathing so heavily already?

This sucks, I can't do it.

Just stop.

Don't stop.

I wanna stop.

If you stop now, you will bring shame to yourself, and your entire family.

Wow, Al, that was kind of an intense thought.

Get to the next light post, and then you can stop.

I want pancakes.

I should have worn my compression socks, they make me look cool.

Why is that lady staring at me?

Finally stopped, and chugged water. Lap 1, done.

Ok, this lap, I will do the lower loop, not the upper loop.

Do the upper loop, its longer.

I am just going to do the lower loop, its shorter.

If I don't do the upper loop, does that make me a roody-poo candy ass?


Just turned right, doing the lower loop.

I'm such a loser.

Just one more of the speed miles to go. I only have to run on this exact spot one more time.

If I cut through the grass on the corners, it will be shorter.

Why did I cut through the grass, now my shoes are wet.

Pain is temporary, pride is forever, right?

At this point, I would just lose the pain, screw pride.

Then I stopped midway through my second speed lap of the park. I walked back to my water bottle, took a swig, and walked home.

This mornings run was not a success, it was pretty much a failure. I'm ok with it thought, because there is always tomorrow.

What do you think about on your runs? Do you have mental battles?