Jun 3, 2023

I'm back! Updates, Favorites, and a new Freebie!

 Well, hello there! If you've been a long time CFO follower, thank you for still being here. It's been over a year since I last wrote, but would you believe this little old blog is now 18 years old??? It all started back in 2005, when I was on maternity leave with my oldest. He's graduating from high school in just a few days and will be attending college in the fall. Where has the time gone?!

That brings to mind my favorite quote by Gretchen Rubin, "The days are long but the years are short." Those words have always resonated with me as a parent, and no more than now, when life is about to change so much!

In the last year, I've walked with my son though the college application process (actually, he mostly ignored me until the very end, at which point it was nice to be needed). I watched as he and his peers got their acceptances, rejections, and in-betweens (aka the waitlist). We went to one accepted student day and were blown away. That is where he will be attending, and we're all quite thrilled, which is a wonderful place to be. The school is going to be a fantastic experience for my son and affordable for our family, so deposits have been paid, email is being monitored (so important and not something high school seniors are used to doing), hotel reservations for parents weekend have been made, etc.

Unfortunately, there are students who didn't get into any schools that satisfy them. Or their families can't afford the school they got into and want to attend. This upsets me so much that I will be getting certified as a college counselor by the end of the year. I still have to figure what life will look like beyond that. Do I want to be an independent counselor (aka, an IEC or independent college counselor) - working alone or for an already-established company? Do I want to work at a school? I can't work at a local public (LAUSD) school because they require all counselors to have a teaching credential (though not any counseling experience, which makes me want to bang my head against a wall), but I could work at a private or charter school. There are also some nonprofits that hire college counselors, or I could simply volunteer to help students somewhere. I have some time, but I do think college counseling is in my future in some way.

Where does that leave CFO? I'm not sure, but I've missed this. I've missed you, our shared conversations and especially the helpful tips that go back and forth.

So I plan on resurrecting CFO, although I won't commit to a posting schedule. And a lot of the upcoming content is going to center around our kitchen remodel. As soon as my son heads off to college, we're going to start a full remodel of our galley kitchen. We're talking new floors, new cabinets, new appliances. I'm even switching from a gas stove to induction. It's going to cost a lot because we are not DIYers. I'm already stressed about it and I haven't even officially hired a contractor yet! I'm open to any and all tips you want to share with me.

As for my younger son, he's wrapping up his sophomore year and I am focusing on his college application readiness. I'm hoping to be able to take him to look at some colleges this summer, but we'll just have to see how things shake out.

In the meantime, let me share some of my favorite things lately:

  • Fresh Hawaiian lychee from Hula Brothers - this was my Mother's Day gift from my husband and sooo much better than flowers! A 10-pound box of just-picked lychee from the Big Island, which took me only three days to eat (I shared some with my son, who's the only one who likes lychee besides me, but I ate most of it and I could easily have eaten more!). It's not cheap, but this is what I want for Mother's Day every year. 😂
  • Cozy mysteries by Rita Mae Brown - I started with the Mrs. Murphy series, and am now reading the Sister Jane series (all of these links are Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I get a small percentage of the sale price at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase using them - thank you!). I barely knew the term foxhunting before reading these books, and now I'm actually looking up riding lessons near me and hunts in California to see if there's any within driving distance that would let me join their hill toppers (the slower group geared toward beginners). I'm also getting more desperate for a dog, which I was already thinking about for when my kid(s) head off to college.
  • Formula 1 racing - Netflix's Drive to Survive docuseries about F1 racing was something my husband and I both enjoyed watching. They seem to have changed the format this last season so we didn't get through more than a couple of episodes, but our love for the sport itself continues and we watch it every weekend there's a race. It's one of the reasons we maintain our ESPN+ subscription (others being University of Hawaii sports, tennis, and European soccer).
  • Gymnast Ian Gunther's TikTok - I've laughed so hard at so many of these videos, which is crazy because they're doing extremely difficult things. But they make it look so funny and they seem to have a good time doing it.
  • Gotham Greens Green Goddess Dressing (also an Amazon Affiliate link, because I buy it at Whole Foods) - I've been eating a lot more salad, and my younger son actually eats them too. This is by far our favorite dressing. I've tried other brands, and I've tried making my own, and nothing's good as this. It's quite natural, which means it expires quickly, which isn't a problem if you just keep eating salad. (It would also make a good dip for crudite.)
Finally, I want to offer up a freebie: the 2020 edition of my book, LAUSD Magnets Handbook: A Guide to Getting Your Child into an LAUSD Magnet School. I know it's not relevant to everyone, but I've never offered this for free before and it's a project that's near and dear to my heart because I had to work hard to gather all of the information in it. 2020 was the last time I updated this book, which until now has only been available at Amazon (another affiliate link). I plan to update the book for fall 2023, but in the meantime, the information in the 2020 edition remains fundamentally sound (most especially the strategies for getting your child into the magnet school of your choice). To download the book (via Google Drive), click here.

Thank you again for still being here, and let me know how you're doing!

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