Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Busy Fall in Portland, Oregon

Been Busy...Exploiting Life!

Even while working my day job!

Where Did the Time Go?

The past couple of weeks have flown by! We've had some exceptional weather here in Portland and we're trying to take complete advantage of it.

Last weekend we went hiking in Forest Park - part of a new mini-goal of walking (see more below).

The weekend before my wife and I did some life and financial planning.  Dreaming of what the next few years will bring (hint - lots of trips).  Afterwards we met some friends at a great oyster bar.

Another night we cooked homemade chili - enjoying the warmth on a cool Fall evening.

Speaking of Fall - we also went on a 'Fall Day'. We went to a pizzeria and had their pumpkin ale, then headed out to a pumpkin patch - picking out two pumpkins! Afterwards we drove around town taking pictures of the amazing, colorful leaves. (The leaves in Portland are unlike any I've ever seen - from burnt red and orange, to neon purple and pink!)

More recently we (my wife and I) gave ourselves two new mini-goals.

Another Round of Mini-Goals

For the next week (we're already almost four days in), we plan to walk AT LEAST 15 minutes a day and ALSO drink 96 ounces of water!

The walking just makes sense - we currently don't exercise enough, plus the other day we watched a documentary on the affects of walking - a-ma-zing! (Do it, go out right now and walk - it matters.)

The water goal is from a list of mini-goals that we thought up a few weeks ago.

We know we need more water - I'm definitely dehydrated on a daily basis - so we thought we'd challenge ourselves to drinking the recommended amount.

The recommended amount of H2O was a little hard to define. Every website we reviewed had different amounts or various calculators to determine the right amount of water to drink daily.

After a bit of discussion, we picked one in the middle and made it both of our goal.

We also found a fun, free phone app to track our daily far so good!! (Though this is a LOT of water! We're always full by the end of the day.)

Socialize! But not too much...

On top of all this we've also managed to meet friends for dinner during the week, coffee and lunch with friends/future friends, and spent a lot of time together (with dog) which is always cherished.

I hope everyone finds new ways to exploit life!

Yours in exploiting life!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Surprise! It's Rockaway Beach!

I had an unexpected and amazing weekend!

My wife conspired to surprise me for my birthday.

She did such a good job of keeping the secret, and even lying to continue the surprise, that I'm now unsure I can believe anything she says!! (Kidding...sort of.)

The plan had been in the works for weeks.

Little did I know that during every shopping trip for the last two weeks, she was buying items for the weekend. This took a lot of planning on her part, as we only have one car, and I'm the one that takes it to work each day!

My beautiful wife found a place on Airbnb (three blocks from the beach!) in Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

She had researched the town and decided the meals for the two days - again, shopping without my knowledge.

When I got home from work on Friday night, she asked if we could get food out and just relax for the evening - she had already told me that the celery I needed for the planned home-cooked meal had gone bad (a lie!).

I agreed and then took the dog on a walk before leaving.

While I was out, she sneakily loaded up the car with the weekend supplies (food, drinks, clothes, cooler).

We grabbed some fast food (I still don't know how I easily agreed to this, since we've been recently eating healthier) and she told me to drive out of town.

Outside Beaverton, she had me pull over. She took over driving and drove the rest of the way to the coast (still not telling me where we were going).

Once in Rockaway, she pulled up next to a house and said this was our rental for the weekend. (A great house called the Retro Ranch.)

I was ecstatic! What an awesome surprise - I seriously didn't suspect a thing!

We toured the house, put our supplies away, and broke open a bottle of wine. Time to relax.

My wife casually mentions that the owner of the house likes to meet the renters, and that she would be stopping by in 30 minutes or so.

A little while later a car pulls up, the dog starts barking, and we open the door to say 'hi'.


It was our friends! They were joining us for the weekend. And he was as surprised as I was!!

Turns out, the wives had conspired together to surprise us both for our birthdays.

The weekend turned out to be a blast. Great weather, great beach time, great food, and great company! Birthday celebrations!

Now the guys will need to figure out how to get them back!

Did you have a great weekend exploiting life?

Yours in exploiting life!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Observe and Eliminate Time (Life) Wasters

I'm more conscience of the time wasters in my life lately.

I'm not sure if it started with this Unexploited Life blog, or from reading through Mr. Money Mustache's blog (and being a bit envious), but I've definitely become more observant.

I noticed the dishes piling up (one of my house tasks), the floors getting dirty (joys of a shedding dog! and another one of my house tasks), my to-do list growing, my belly expanding, and my t.v./movie intake increasing!!

Celebrate the small wins!

I woke up!!

I'm starting small but I'm breaking free from my t.v./movie addiction!!

I haven't watched my evening television shows (damn free Hulu and cheap Netflix!) for almost two weeks - and you know what, a huge difference!

I now have plenty of time to keep the dishes clean.  I now have plenty of time to sweep the floors. I have plenty of make my to-do list longer (OK, so I need to focus on my to-do list next). I have plenty of time to workout!

Continue observing!

I still see areas for improvement.

Since my wife wakes up at 4:55 a.m., I should have about two hours of 'at home working' time every morning (except Toastmaster Thursdays)!

So...I started focusing on this in the past few days.

Where do my mornings go?

After countless hours of study and research (ha!), I realized most of my morning time is going to sleeping in (at least laying in bed) and reading online news articles, articles which I again read during lunch and in the evening.

So I cut the news crap out!! (Most of it is B.S. or fear reporting my opinion.)

I haven't read any news articles in seven days - again, small wins!

I still check my Facebook and Twitter accounts - which give me all of the big updates, though I have to filter for my contacts that I have similar beliefs with, since most of the posts appear a little bias.

I still catch myself reaching for my phone or wanting to jump online during lunch - this will be a tough habit to break! I did jump on a weather station to see the forecast for this past weekend - not sure if I'm counting that as 'news' or not, but it was definitely needed as plans changed!

I'm still having a hard time getting out of bed.  Yesterday I got up and worked out - crazy!! But then today I lounged around...wasting this valuable time...

Keep the small wins coming!

I'm looking forward to being even more productive with my found time (after observing and eliminating my time wasters)! I'm laser focusing on that to-do list next!

What are your biggest time wasters? How did you (or are you trying to) break the habits?

Yours in exploiting life!