Friday Facts


I am in one of those phases again, where I want to do a gazillion things and don’t have time to do it all. (Who am I kidding, that’s the story of my life!) I know, people say that if you have limited time (and who doesn’t?), you need to prioritize, but I don’t want to. I want to knit and read a book and go for a run all at the same time while watching a movie and listening to music and taking care of the daily errands. Is this too much to ask? Honestly, people (with kids, pets, an active social life), I don’t know how you do it all.

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Have you started on your taxes yet? It looks like I finally have all our paperwork together (although I am not 100% sure since due to my employer switch last year and the acquisition of our house, it seems like I have some extra papers to deal with this time around). Do you do your own taxes or do you have a tax adviser? If yes, what prompted you to make that decision? (I am still thinking I should be able to figure this out myself, but maybe not?)

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I found (fresh) pork belly at a new local butcher shop a couple of weeks ago and I might be slightly addicted right now. If you never had fresh pork belly, you need to try and get your hands on some. I had the hardest time finding fresh pork belly in the past (because – as I was told – most pork belly is made into bacon and if we know one thing for sure is that Americans love their bacon), but it’s just as good – if not better – if you prepare the fresh variety. Trust me, throw it on the grill in the summer and you’ll never look back!

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Are you going to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend? J and I are mostly boycotters, because we don’t really appreciate the hiked up prices that surround the day and the “at the push of a button”-declarations of love. That doesn’t mean that we won’t enjoy our time together this weekend and do something fun. I even confess that I did buy a cute little card for J at Trader Joe’s (They seriously have the cutest cards sometimes!) and any day is a good day to give/send someone a cute card IMHO!


  1. I totally agree about Valentine’s Day and Q and I don’t do anything either. I may make us homemade cinnamon rolls but it’s more because it’s a 3 day weekend and going to be super cold in Massachusetts on Sunday. As far as taxes go, I’ve been doing them on my own for the past few years with Turbo Tax and they bring up all the various possible deductions with being a homeowner. There are a lot of things I didn’t think I’d be able to deduct, like programmable thermostats, but energy efficiency and some other home improvements count! It’s a few more steps with the house, but definitely worth it (especially being able to deduct the mortgage interest!)

    1. Thanks for your input. I’ve been using Turbo Tax in the past and have been pretty happy with it. Do you pay to file your return?

  2. It is hard to make time for all of a person’s hobbies. I find that I focus on different hobbies in different seasons since our weather varies so much. So right now I’m doing a lot of yoga, knitting and reading. When summer rolls around, I’ll do more running and other outdoor activities and more social activities. I have had to accept that I just can’t do it all and I wonder how I’ll do any of it when/if I have kids!

    I do my own taxes and it’s something I really enjoy. I think that the tax programs really make it easy for a person to do their own taxes, unless you have some sort of complicated situation. I did end up paying to have my taxes done when I was living in Charlotte because the 2 state return thing was very complicated and the online program I use was telling me I owed a penalty in both states for underpayment of state taxes and I just could not figure it out so I gave up and paid someone to do it.

    We don’t do much for V-day either. I always worked on V-Day when i was a waitress and I felt like the guests were so cranky because they had to wait longer and there was a limited menu, etc etc. So I’d rather avoid that and just stay in. This year we are laying low and I will make an Indian Stew for dinner. Oscar has been at Phil’s moms for the last 2 weeks as we dropped her off the Sunday before we left for vacation and he’s picking her up tomorrow so I think we are going to be soaking up time with her as we both really missed her!! (his mom doesn’t live very close to Phil, otherwise he would have picked her up much sooner!!!)

    1. Yes, focusing on different hobbies in different seasons is something I do too. It doesn’t work any other way ;)

      Hope you’re having a lovely Valentine’s Day – your plans sound perfect.

  3. Pork belly is quite tasty. We can find it here at any Asian supermarket (we have several around us) because they use it a lot in their food. It always reminds me of Korean BBQ because that’s where we usually have it. (Have you had Korean BBQ? SO GOOD.)

    Haven’t done our taxes yet. I usually don’t do them until March. I still need to download two more forms and then I can do them. I thought that when we bought a house that they would get more complicated, but they haven’t. Turbo Tax does a good job of walking you through everything. Of course do what makes you feel most comfortable.

    Matt and I have never celebrated valentine’s day and don’t think we ever will. I’ve always disliked it immensely and find it highly commercialized (if I had a small business though, I would be using it to try and sell my services/products). Besides, I’m taking yoga portrait photos this Sunday so no time to even think about it!

    1. Yes, I’ve had Korean BBQ – its so good!

      I’ve been using Turbo Tax in the past and think that I can still handle doing my own taxes… I just have some extra forms this year. Do you pay for an upgraded version?

      Hope your photo shooting went well today and you get to hang out with Matt tonight!

  4. I have done our taxes using Turbo Tax for the past few years except for last year when we contributed an insane amount of money into our retirement funds while we were deployed and Turbo Tax insisted that we needed to pay a fine for contributing too much. That’s why we chose an accountant who helped us figure out this issue. This year I will do them on my own again. A house really doesn’t add too much work to the paperwork unless you add house-related deductions like energy saving home improvements and such. In fact, owning a house never changed anything in regard to our tax return (or much rather lack there for, haha!).

    1. I think I will try and do my own taxes again. I have used Turbo Tax in the past and they do a good job of walking you through everything. I just want to make sure I don’t forget anything ;)

  5. I have the same issue with trying to squeeze in everything. When I’m at work, I think about all the fun things I could be doing. When I’m running, my mind is on other to-dos. But when I finally get my free time, all I want to do is snuggle up with my dogs on the couch and watch a documentary. The one hobby I’m consistent with is running and I’m good at sticking to my training plan. But that because I feel off if I don’t run. It’s like having a cup of coffee or brushing my teeth. It’s a must.

    As for taxes, I do my own because I’m an accountant. In fact, as far as finances go, I’m pretty crazy. I have a giant workbook where I keep a bunch of schedules, a cash flow projection, budget to actual analyses, etc. I’ve set up our withholding to either get a little back or pay a little. This is the first year we’ll be paying so I’m waiting until April 15th to file.

    1. Oh, that sounds so familiar… why does free time always fly by so fast?

      Good for you for doing your own taxes, too. But hey, you’re an accountant! ;)

  6. I’m dreading my taxes this year because last year we did not have a good exeperience! We owed so much money, I don’t want to happen again. I don’t think it will this year, but if it does, I might consider hiring someone to help us figure out if we’re doing somethign wrong.

    Have a good weekend with J! I also got Chris a little card and some candy. :)

    1. How come you owed so much money last year? Did you not have enough withheld on your W-4?

  7. Da haben wir ja genau das gleiche Problem, worüber wir uns immer ärgern. Habe nämlich in meinem letzten Post genau davon auch geschrieben.:) Ich bin aber irgendwie froh, dass ich nicht die einzige bin, der es so geht. Es ist genau so, wie du schreibst. Am liebsten stricken, bloggen, Sport und Kino gleichzeitig, denn alles macht so viel Spass. Und am Ende schafft man gerade mal die Hausarbeit… Aber im Big-Picture sind das ja ziemliche Luxusprobleme und wir können für viele andere Dinge wirklich dankbar sein.

    1. Da bin ich aber froh, dass es mir nicht alleine so geht… ;) Klar ist das ein Luxusproblem, aber ich ärgere mich trotzdem.

  8. I do my own taxes through TurboTax. It literally took me less than 10 minutes this year (and I got my return within a week – WAHOO!). But I only have to worry about one W-2 and some student loan interest so it’s easy-peasy for me. If I had other stuff, like a house, I might consider going to an accountant.

    Valentine’s Day is such a funny holiday. I love the idea of setting aside one day to profess your love, be it romantic or family or friendship, because it’s just really fun to do so. But I also don’t make a big deal out of it (no restaurants for me!) and I don’t think I would if I was in a relationship, either. Even still, I find it to be nice to have a day of love. :)

    1. I’ve always done my own taxes in Turbo Tax the last few years, but they were pretty straight-forward, so I didn’t worry about it too much. I just received so many extra forms this time around that I am a little wary, but I think I will try to attempt to do it myself again…

      Hope you have a lovely V-Day!

  9. We have been using Turbo Tax for years. We have our regular W-2’s from traditional employment, but I also have a small business (freelance/contractor work) so I need to fill out extra forms providing profit/loss info, etc. I use an upgraded version from Turbo Tax (Home and Business) that walks you through each step and comes with live online and phone support. It costs much less than paying someone else to prepare your taxes and I have had no issues with it at all. The upgraded versions of Turbo Tax are usually on sale this time of year and many banks and credit unions offer special discounts if you use their link to buy it. Costco typically has them on sale as well, but didn’t beat my bank’s discount this year.

  10. I so need to get started on our taxes, I’m sort of dreading it this year since Matt and I were both independent last year, oy. The upside, we also had a baby, ha.

    And I’m with you on Valentine’s Day shenanigans. Matt and I went to dinner and a movie on Saturday because my parents offered to take Riley and it was so lowkey and pretty much all I needed. Also, Trader Joe’s card selection is THE BEST. I love stocking up, especially since they’re so cheap!

  11. Re: taxes. We’ve done ours ourselves for a while, and I did mine by myself a lot. However, I think this year we may consider an advisor/tax preparer, and possibly next year. We are starting to get a lot more Adult Deductions, and I just want to make sure everything is accounted for properly and we are maximizing our deductions. I have never been one to shy away from the idea of using an accountant to help with taxes, just, up until now, mine have never been complicated enough to warrant it. For quite a while I could practically file my taxes in 10 minutes. But, Adulting leads to more need for more eyes on said documents, and I’d rather they were professionals.

    Also, I need like 10 more hours in my day. Every day.


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