Posted in Finance, Relationships

Money, Finances, and Retirement

These 3 items often give people an upset stomach when talking about the future and planning.

My parents were budgeters… not bc they enjoyed it, but because they didn’t have the means to be extravagant.  I grew up in two parent working household and that was to make ends meet.  I was extremely fortunate that my parents valued my future, and it was evidenced in how they spent and saved their money.  Home cooked meals were the norm — until I started in activities that kept me at lessons or practice from the time school recessed until the late evening.  I never dove into the sacrifices they made nor the financial understanding of what they were doing.  I’ve learned a lot from how they spent their money, and it’s something I want to pass on to my kid(s).

When I look around at people and their spending habits, I’m appalled at what they purchase.  Eating meals out every night…. buying tons of clothes/makeup/shoes…. these are just some of the things that just seem to be wasteful to me.  Do I do it?  Yes, but minimally.  Do I think about it every time and wonder if it’s worth it?  Absolutely.  But, it’s never too late to start a plan or get on track to be financially savvy or responsible.

Helpful links to tackle:

x-books-about-money

Advertisements
Posted in Family, Life, Relationships, Review, travel, Wedding

2017 in Review

A brief year in review…

January 2017 was a stressful month for us as we were getting ready for our February wedding.  I remember the calls, appointments, dress try-ons, tastings, dance lessons, etc… there was always something to do or plan.

Our wedding on February 4, 2017 went off without a hitch.  It was such a wonderful day and it seemed to be a fun time had by all!  We had a mini-moon to Santa Barbara right after our wedding for a couple of days.

We celebrated Ross’ bday in Mammoth with a group of friends.  It had been years since both of us had snowboarded, but it was a great time for all and no one broke anything!  Such a fun time and group of people!!

Ross and I dabbled in skateboarding and ukulele.  We got some awesome Carver skateboards that’s supposed to simulate surfing on land — Ross is a natural and has enjoyed skateboarding with me while I take a walk around the neighborhood.  The ukulele has been a musical love of mine for a while and I finally pulled the trigger to get more into it.  My piano and violin background have helped in picking it up… the uke is such a happy and portable instrument!

We took our main honeymoon at the end of April to South Africa and the Maldives. Check out our itinerary here!

After we got back from our honeymoon, both Ross and I were extremely drained.  We weren’t sure if it was from the jet lag or work (this had not happened to us before and we had made multiple international flights before!).  Little did we know that time of conception may have been somewhere around mid-May 2017!

And the biggest news of 2017 — our pregnancy!

We had a fun trip to Seattle in July (The Mini was 8 weeks!) to wine taste (this trip was booked before we found out about the pregnancy), watch a concert (Train and some others), stay in a yurt, and SUP the waterways of Washington!

Our last big trip of the year –> the Azores!  We traveled when I was 16 and 17 weeks pregnant, which was a good time!  It was the last time I would surf for this pregnancy as my belly was starting to get in the way of laying on my stomach for a paddle.

We started looking at a small house remodel by adding an accessory dwelling unit to our first floor with a separate entrance.  We made plans with the architect and interior decorator, however, once we got our permits submitted to the city…. we discovered they wanted a lofty fee for an accessory dwelling unit that wasn’t mandated by state law.  We’re hoping this fee gets amended or better yet dropped as we have our permits for a year.  So time will tell!

NYE was a busy day!  I worked from 7a-5:30p and then went out to a nice 7p dinner with my bear at our first date spot Cucina Enoteca.  We got home around 9ish and tried to stay up but we passed out on the couch from then until midnight!  Thank goodness for DVR bc we could rewind the NY ball drop and watch it and celebrate!  We opted for a new year tradition: planting one tree/plant (indoor or outdoor) each year!  This year we planted three indoor palms (chamaedorea costaricana, howea forsteriana, chambeyronia macro) and one outdoor palm (from our wedding: the blue green palm — butia capitata blue).

Happy New Year!!

Posted in Gadgets, Review, technology

Android vs. iPhone

I’ve had an iPhone since it first came out in 2007.  I loved it….. but now there’s so many memory things to update/upgrade… the cost of the iPhone…. it’s a lot!  But most of my friends and family are iPhone users.  Does that mean I should stay on iPhone?  No…. and if you know me…. you’ll know that I research the crap outta everything I do or think about doing.

iPhone vs Android

LifeWire: iPhone vs Android – Nov 2017

Tom’s Guide: 10 reasons android beats iphone – Sep 2017

Tom’s Guide: Why apple beats google – Oct 2017

CNET: Personal take on switch from android to iphone – Jan 2016

Tech Advisor UK: Android vs iPHone – Aug 2017

CNN TECH: iPhone vs Android

Gotta be mobile: 14 Reasons Android is Better

Time: 5 features iphone needs to beat android – Sep 2017

Digital Trends: Android v iOS – Oct 2017

ComputerWorld: iPhone v Android – July 2017

Macworld: iPHone X vs Android’s best – Nov 2017

Business Insider: 5 ways iPhone X is catching up with Android phones – Sep 2017

The Verge: how the iPhone X compares to the best Android phones – Sep 2017

ZDNet: Why i’m now using Android and may skip iPHone 8 – Sep 2017

Techlicious: iphone v android – May 2017

Independent: iphone still playing catch up – Sep 2017

Wired: Pixel 2 v iphone 8 v samsung s8 – Oct 2017

Newsweek: Which is better, iphone or android? – Sep 2017

WCCF Tech: iPhone vs Android – Sep 2017

Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone

Time review – Dec 2017

Popular Science review – Oct 2017

The Guardian UK review – Oct 2017

CNN Review – Oct 2017

Business Insider – 1 week with GP2 – Nov 2017

Business Insider review – Oct 2017

Business insider review – Nov 2017

Washington Post review – Oct 2017

Esquire review – Oct 2017

MacWorld UK review – Oct 2017

PC World review – Oct 2017

BGR review – Oct 2017

**The Verge review – Oct 2017**

The Verge price review – Oct 2017

ComputerWorld review – Oct 2017 — Podcast

CNBC Review – Oct 2017

NYT Review – Oct 2017

ABC news Australia review – Oct 2017

iMore review – Oct 2017

The Outline Review – Oct 2017

 

Issues with the Google Pixel 2

Android Central Forum – messaging issues

Engadget – Oct 2017 – display and speaker/noise issues

Android Central – Common Pixel 2 problems

Android Authority: Pixel 2 XL issues

Digital Trends: Issues and solutions for Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

BGR: Software update for Google Pixel 2

Forbes: 5 things wrong with Google pixel 2

TechRadar: issues

 

Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL

Forbes compares the 2

Android Central comparison

Trusted Reviews comparison

Tom’s Guide comparison

Android Authority comparison

TechRadar comparison

 

Verdict:

If I did get an android, it would have to be a Google flagship phone that automatically sends out updates like the iPhone.  Right now, I think the Google Pixel 2 or Google pixel 2 XL would potentially be a great buy for me.  Here’s my pick: Google Pixel 2 XL.

Instead of Facetime: Google Duo

Instead of iMessage: WhatsApp

Instead of iCloud Photos: Google Photos

Instead of iCloud library/books: Google Drive, DropBox

Cell phone option instead of AT&T: Google Project Fi

 

Troubleshooting and Tricks for Android (helpful if prior iPhone user):

Pocket-Lint

Reddit

 

Posted in Family, Finance, Gadgets, Review, technology

Wireless phone carriers

Ever since Apple came out with the new iOS for iPhone, it’s made my phone extremely slow and drains the battery life.  Thanks Apple.  This led me to consider doing a phone upgrade, but my phone isn’t that old and it works fine (I have an iPhone 6).  Currently, I’m on AT&T bc it gives me the best cell signal at work.  But, the more I’ve been researching…. the more I’m leaning towards T-mobile or Google Project Fi.

The Data:

My Conclusion:

We would definitely have more opportunities and data options on T-Mobile.  Question is whether it gets good signal in the places where we want to be.  If T-Mobile does get a good signal, it’s a no-brainer for us to switch to T-Mobile.  Google Fi is a strong contender, but I don’t know much about it and there aren’t many reviews on it… and I don’t know where the coverage will be the best for us.  There’s a lot of great perks, but I think at this point we need to go with longevity and data and good customer service that’s known.  Google Fi is only available for android phones so we’d have to switch from iPhone to Android.  Whereas with T-mobile, we could take our existing iPhones to make the switch.

Winner = T-Mobile or Google Project Fi (uses T-mobile, Sprint cell networks)

Posted in Cars, Family, Life, surfing, travel

Sprinter van conversions

I’ve been thinking of traveling the US via van for several years now.  I thought it would be awesome to get one for my 40th bday.  Well, that’s almost 2 years from now.  Then, I thought it would be a great idea to pull the trigger and purchase a van when we have our little one.  Well, that time is quickly approaching as I’m in the 2nd trimester of the pregnancy.  So, like with everything else I do…. there’s a ton of research!

 

Which size to get?

 

Who to go with?

 

My YouTube channel on Sprinter Vans

Awesome YouTuber for getting onboard with the van life: Hobo Ahle

Here’s what I’m leaning towards right now:

Sportsmobile seems to have an awesome option of the pop up top that could be an additional sleep area when we grow our family.  That’s really the huge reason why we’re leaning towards Sportsmobile.  We actually went to check out and do a factory tour of Outside Van and they were incredible!!  If I hadn’t have found out about the popup top on the Sportsmobile, OSV would’ve definitely been our top pick.

 

Posted in Family, Kids, Life, pregnancy

Pregnancy, epidurals, and birth plans

Monday, Aug 21, 2017:

This is a great thread! A little background info… I’m an anesthesiologist for a fairly busy practice. That means we get called when you need an epidural or c-section. I am currently in my first pregnancy (so I haven’t experienced my own birth process), however I’ve seen and managed thousands of epidurals for delivery. One of the most important things moms can do for their pregnancies… Eat right (clean, get plenty of veggies and fruits) and exercise. This is the best prep work you can do! Secondly, have an open mind when selecting your birth plan. You are not in control of what will happen. What happens with your baby is what will dictate what you will need and what will be best for your baby. Many mothers have opted for a “natural” delivery and have been successful. Some mothers have been in a fully equipped medical center and have had bad outcomes unrelated to interventions for their baby. Your goal as a mom is to guide and give direction to your delivery team of your wishes — but this is a process that changes throughout your labor so flexibility is key. Epidurals are NOT harmful for your baby. There are multiple studies that’re well backed with huge sample sizes that prove this. Epidurals can slow certain stages of labor, but it’s NOT harmful to you or your baby. There’s a lot of misconceptions about epidurals. Whether it’s patient experience, epidural effectiveness (and this can be patient controlled), or fear of the unknown… epidurals have been given a bad reputation and sometimes these traumatic experiences are passed down without rhyme or reason (similar to the anti-vaccine movement which is dangerous!).

So, pick a birth plan… be flexible with it. Do what you can to optimize your health (and birthing experience) via diet and exercise. Lastly, no one loses when they’re comfortable. Comfort leads to a good experience and overall a happy mom, baby, and family.

Here’s my plan (which isn’t for everyone):

1) more plant-based diet w some fish

2) exercise via walks, hikes, and pilates/yoga/barre

3) birth plan: vaginal delivery with minimal pain (epidural immediately: I don’t want to feel a thing)… but anything to get the baby out safely.

4) breastfeed like crazy if possible

5) go back to work after 3 months

6) breast milk for at least 6 months (but will try for a year)

My plan isn’t for everyone… it’s for me. Good luck!!

https://krissymd06.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/ob-anesthesia/

https://aggiegrlworkout.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/birth-plan-vaginal-delivery-vs-elective-c-section/

My pregnancy