Archive | July, 2011

I made it

29 Jul

I made it through the work week! It gets a little easier everyday, and my tension headaches are not as severe as they were on day one and two (I wish I were kidding…I stress myself out way too much).

I’m leaving for Michigan bright and early in the morning for my cousin’s baby shower (!), but I’ll be back later this weekend to catch up :).

Until then, I’ll leave you with this:

Source

I’m really not a fan of people reciting bible verses to me, thinking that their words or faith will make me feel better. Yes, I believe in God and feel that I am a spiritual person, but no, I don’t always want to hear biblical advice when I’ve had a rough week. So keeping that in mind, this verse really isn’t for any of you (unless, of course, it speaks to you). It’s actually a nice reminder for me. I stumbled across it when I was browsing Pinterest , and it made me feel better about all of the change I have been going through lately. Growing up can be confusing, but I feel better when I remember that I’m not in control of everything- nothing is going to fall apart if I just let go every once in awhile.

Speaking of relaxing, it is time for me to go to sleep. Have a great weekend, blog friends :). I’ll see ya on Sunday.

What are your weekend plans?

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A trip to Whole Foods

28 Jul

Oh hello blogging, I’ve missed you so :). Seriously guys, I’ve missed you. I just haven’t been in the mood to come home and stare at a computer for a couple more hours after staring at one for eight hours at work. I’m skipping the gym tonight to catch up on blogging. Don’t worry, I went last night- it’s all about balance :).

Where should I begin? Well, things have still been sort of rocky since my first day at work. I’ve been having major laptop issues at work (but I think they are finally fixed now!), my shoulder has been bothering me, and it’s been difficult to get into a routine. But, I think I’m finally beginning to figure out what works for me. On my first day, I went in at 9 and left at 5. Leaving at 5 meant sitting in rush hour traffic- and therefore, a one hour commute. Since my company is flexible, I’ve been going in at 8:15 in the mornings now, meaning I can beat rush hour on the way home, and have more time to get things done.

Source

Trying to fit everything in is the hard part. I’ve been going to the gym in the evenings, but by the time I get home it’s almost 8:00. This means I don’t finish dinner until after 9:00, and then it’s time for bed at 10. It might take me awhile to get used to this schedule!

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On another note, have I mentioned that Whole Foods is literally just a few feet away from my work? Literally, I could step out the door, walk a few steps, and touch the Whole Foods building (not that I would try that or anything, that would be weird). Or that I have never been inside a Whole Foods until today? Both of the above are true. And since I have been bringing my lunch to work everyday, I decided to walk over to Whole Foods and try out the salad bar today. I got a a salad to go, and brought it back so I could work while I ate.

Filled with lots of fruits and veggies (I love fruit in my salads!). As I was going through the checkout I spotted some Zevia, so I grabbed a can of that too. I’ve never tried Zevia before, and I have to say, I really wasn’t that thrilled. It’s made with Stevia, and even though I know Stevia isn’t considered to be artificial, it just doesn’t taste the same as real sugar to me.

Well, tonight I am going to eat some sushi and take a walk with Jordan. I hope that everyone is having a great week!

Have you tried the Whole Foods salad bar?

What are your plans for tonight?

My first day

25 Jul

This is what one looks like after the first day on the job, after having over two months at home without a routine.

I am tired. I walked in the door at 6pm, and by approximately 6:25pm, I had traded my dress for cheer shorts and t-shirt, washed my face (I’m not used to wearing eye make-up all day long!), and thrown my hair into a messy bun. I feel like myself again ;).

Besides coming home exhausted, I had a good first day. I met a few of my co-workers, I spoke with my supervisor several times throughout the day (she seems very nice!) and I attended my first meeting. I also got my company laptop set up and published my first story for the web! I would be lying if I said it weren’t a little overwhelming. I am learning the back end of the website that I am writing for, as well as the different social media sites that the company uses. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it after a few days. The cool thing is, I’m actually getting paid to write full-time :)!

The thing is…I’m not exactly sure how I am going to fit blogging and workouts into my schedule yet. I skipped tonight’s workout because my shoulder has been bothering me all afternoon, and I’m going to try to make this blog post quick since it’s now 7:20pm and I haven’t eaten dinner yet. I don’t know how some of you work full-time, have a family, and keep up with blogging two or three times a day! I give you credit, because I don’t think I could balance all of it! I’m sure I’ll work out my schedule quirks in time. I have about a 40 minute commute, an hour in traffic, so that’s the frustrating thing at the moment. If only I could blog and drive… (just kidding!)

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When I got home tonight, there was a package waiting for me on the counter. I was very excited, as I treated myself to a birthday present last week and ordered something I had been eying on Pinterest, then Etsy.

(Please ignore my chubby fingers…even though I’m 23, I still have “baby hands”)

The owner of the Etsy shop describes the ring as the true love ring- sterling silver and stamped with your initials. I first saw the ring on one of Lisa’s Pinterest boards, where the caption read “Am I too old for this?” I had to wonder the same thing. Would I look silly wearing a ring with the initials of Jordan and I?

After thinking about it for about…five minutes…I decided that I am not too old. I think it’s cute, I think it’s kind of romantic, and therefore, I am going to wear it  :).

So there you have it. My day was filled with work, and a cute little package. Plus some other things, but I still haven’t eaten dinner and “The Bachelorette” will be on soon. Obviously I must get going since I have pressing things to do ;)!

Enjoy your evening!

How do you balance work, blogging and workouts?

 

Birthday recap

24 Jul

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes! It seems like it’s been days since my actual birthday on Friday. I have been busy busy busy celebrating with my family and Jordan. Even though I told them not to, I feel like they spoiled me this year :).

Friday

I began my morning with How Sweet’s whole wheat brown sugar banana bread pancakes. I divided the recipe by three, making a single serving for myself. Now, normally I am not a huge fan of bananas, but these pancakes were the best I’ve had in a very long time.

I don’t need a special occasion to make these again in the future. I’m thinking they could become a weekend tradition now that I will be working :).

After breakfast and some doctor’s appointments for my shoulder, I headed to the mall to meet my sisters. I knew that they were planning to take me out to lunch, but I wasn’t sure of all of the details.

We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory, which is conveniently connected to the mall. Since I was still a little full from my pancake breakfast, I didn’t want to get anything too heavy. My sisters and I all decided to order from the small plates section of the menu, where we could try a couple of dishes, all with reasonable portions and prices.

I ordered the wild mushroom pizzette and an arugula salad. We ate until we could eat no more, and then we headed into the mall for a little shopping. We didn’t order any cheesecake, because we had other plans in mind ;).

A fro-yo place was conveniently located on our way home, so we stopped in and helped ourselves to the yummy self-serve. I went with a combo of vanilla, chocolate and coconut fro-yo, topped with chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut, and cookie dough. It was the perfect afternoon birthday treat.

Before we knew it, the afternoon had passed us by, and I had to get home to get ready for my date with Jordan. He surprised me with a steak dinner, downtown at St.Elmo’s.

After we finished our entrees, the waiter told me I could choose anything I wanted from the dessert menu since it was my birthday. I was stuffed from the day’s eats, but could never turn down a free dessert, and knew that Jordan would be more than happy to share.

I chose the cheesecake, and it was delicious. There were no embarrassing birthday tunes involved, but I did get to make a wish on a pretty pink candle :).

Saturday

The festivities continued on Saturday, when I celebrated with my family at home. My mom made one my favorites, kabobs with lots of veggies, chicken and steak, along with homemade side dishes. My dad was kind enough to barbecue the food outside in the 100-something degree heat, and since it was my birthday, everyone put on a fake smile when I said that I wanted to eat outside (we had a fan and everyone survived the heat, although my hair did not).

We ended the night with cake and ice cream (inside).

Sunday

After nearly a month long drought, it finally rained today! This altered my plans to go swimming, but allowed Jordan and I to spend some time together, relaxing and watching movies after church.

As far as tomorrow goes, well, it’s a big day for me…the first day on the job! My nerves are kicking in… I feel like a kid anticipating the first day of school! Everyone keeps telling me that it’s normal to be nervous, and they’d be more worried if I wasn’t. Wanting to be prepared, my water bottles are filled and being chilled, I have my lunch items picked out, and an idea of what I will wear. I’m not really sure how I’m going to handle this whole getting back into a routine thing- we shall see how this week goes!

No more staying up late for me, I’ve got to be up for work in the morning. Good night!

23 years

22 Jul

23 years ago, a 7lb. 6oz. baby girl was born into this world. She had fair skin, blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and quite a loud cry (or so I’ve heard) . Can you guess who that little girl was ;)?

In 23 years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had my ups, I’ve had my downs. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, I’ve lied (I just wanted to make that rhyme).

I’m grateful to be celebrating another birthday, but before this morning’s festivities begin (aka before I make my way to my PT appointment), I thought I would share with you…

23 things I’ve learned in 23 years

1.  It’s better to be yourself than to look like a fool trying to be someone else.

2. Dating a football player in real life is not like dating a football player in the movies.

3. If you want an honest opinion, ask your 11-year-old neighbor.

4. The guy honking at you from the semi-truck isn’t trying to ask for directions.

5. “High school drama” doesn’t only occur in high school.

6. Quality > Quantity.

7. It’s okay to say “no.”

8. Hair can be a girl’s best accessory. Or her worst.

9. Don’t forget to thank Mom and Dad. Thank them often.

11. You’ll still get a tan if you use the SPF 30. Use it.

12. If you go on a date with a guy who refers to himself in the third person, just walk away. No… run.

13. The bond between sisters is unbreakable. No matter how often you argue, tease or fight.

14. I was not meant to play team sports. Never was, never will be.

15. Sometimes it’s nice to have a good cry. For no reason, or for any reason at all.

16. Crimped hair was never very fashionable. Same goes for curled bangs.

17. Once you try a memory foam mattress topper, you’ll never want to go back.

18. Friends will come and go. Let them.

19. If your boyfriend is the type of guy who lends you his sleeve when you can’t find any Kleenex, keep him. Forever.

20. Just because you go away to college doesn’t mean it’s okay to leave your morals at home. Do take them.

21. A little bit of positivity can go a long way.

22. Despite what professors say, cramming the night before an exam does work (most of the time).

23.  Don’t follow the crowd. Surprise people. Make them think. Being different does not have to be a bad thing.

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Alright, it’s time for me to get going.  Enjoy your Friday and stay cool in this heat!

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

21 Jul

On Tuesday, I announced to the blog world that I have accepted a position. I received a few questions on how I went about finding a job. Because I know that each industry is a little different when it comes to landing a job, what worked for me might not work for someone else, but there several things that I believe that any recent grad (or someone switching jobs or fields) can benefit from.

1. Start early. Although I graduated in the middle of May, I began my job search months before. I used my extra time over Christmas break (December 2010) to start sending out my resume. Although I didn’t really hear from anyone during the winter months, it was good practice, and gave me time to refine my resume and cover letters. I had my first interview in March, over spring break.

2. Attach a cover letter. Many times the job description will say “Cover letter- optional.” You should just pretend it says “cover letter- required.” The cover letter gives you a chance to describe your strengths, skill set and experiences, intriguing the employer so they’ll contact you for an interview. I wrote a different cover letter for each job that I applied to. Yes, it takes a long time to write multiple cover letters, but it might help you land a job in the end. Careerbuilder.com has helpful tools for building cover letters.

3. Network, network, network. I don’t think I could stress this enough. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Ask them if you can give them your resume, in case something were to pop up at their company. Create a LinkedIn account, and use it daily. Keep in contact with old professors and past employers. You never know who may be able to help you. When I went in for my final interview, I found out that I used to go to college with one of their employees. My former classmate told his supervisors that he knew me, and that was a great conversation starter for my interview. I have no idea if this helped me land the job or not, but I strongly believe that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

3. Don’t limit yourself to large job search engines. Yes, CareerBuilder and Monster may be convenient, but in my experience, they weren’t always the most effective. I signed up with Indeed, a job search engine that compiles job postings from all over the internet. Indeed.com sent me notifications of new job postings everyday, and I applied to any that were of my interest. However, I had the best results when I applied to smaller, more personal websites. Most companies have their own job listings on their websites. Going through their company website and saving a profile for their HR department might help your resume get a better review.

However, I had the best results when using the job search website of my university. Students and alumni can use the website for free, and the companies that I applied to received a referral directly from my university, with my resume and cover letter attached. I landed my previous internship this way, as well as the job I just accepted. Staying in touch with the career center, or professors from your college or university can have great benefits- they will most likely be more than willing to help you (and after spending all of that money on classes and books, you should be more than willing to take their free help!).

At my previous internship

4. Treat it like a full time job. Yes, I have had my fair share of relaxation this summer, but I have also sent out resumes and cover letters like crazy. I have a specific folder where I save all of my application materials, so I can keep track of where I have applied to, and when. This makes it easier for following up with companies I may not have heard back from right away. Sometimes a follow-up call or an email to show your interest can make all of the difference.

My outdoor job search station

5. Don’t be too picky, but don’t settle either. Yes, it would be nice to find a dream job right out of college, but everyone has to start somewhere. At the beginning of my job search, I turned down a second interview because I didn’t feel like the company and I were a good fit. I am not sorry I did this, because I would never want to feel uncomfortable in place where I would be spending the majority of my day. However, as I continued my search, I didn’t limit myself. I applied for administrative and HR positions, even though that’s not what I went to school for. I also didn’t get discouraged by salary and benefit packages. It’s very rare that a recent grad (especially one who studied Communication Studies, like me) will start out making a dream salary, with an abundance of vacation days, a 401K and excellent health insurance. Of course those things are desirable, but they can also come with time. For me, the opportunity to gain experience was more important than pay.

Okay, so I know that is a lot of information. I am no expert on the job search process, but I just wanted to share a little insight on how I went about finding a job, in hopes that it might benefit some of you!

Unemployment can be frustrating, but one of the most important things to remember is that things will eventually look up :).

Do you have any job searching advice?

How long did it take you to find your first job?

Bye bye clutter

20 Jul

Instead of laying out in the sun today, I opted for clearing out some clutter. Literally and figuratively. First, I tackled my closet. I found some pretty interesting things in there.

Like my high school letter jacket,

my homecoming dress…from sophomore year of high school,

and four of Jordan’s hoodies.

Call me crazy, but I still can’t bear to part with the first two items. I feel like I earned my letter jacket (plus I feel bad that my parents paid a ridiculous amount for some purple leather), and I like the combo of pink and polka dots too much to let go of the dress.  As far as Jordan’s hoodies go, well, guy’s clothes take up a lot of space in a closet, and he might want those back come winter. I didn’t realize I had so many of them!

Besides that, I was able to get rid of a decent amount of clothing.

How long have jean jackets been out of style? And why did I have so many homecoming dresses in my closet? (see red tulle above). Who knows, but everything is packed up and on its way to AMVETS as we speak I type.

I’m convinced that I need a bigger closet, because it still looks pretty crowded in there, despite giving away a full garbage bag of clothes.

Oh well, I’ll put a walk-in on my wish list when I move out ;).

I was on a clutter clearing roll after spending over an hour on my closet, so I decided to go through my Facebook friends and delete the people I have not talked to in months. When I was done, nearly 100 people were no longer my “friend.” I must say, it feels pretty darn good. Why was I “friends” with people I haven’t spoken to since middle school? Why was I friends with my ex-boyfriend’s sister, and my guy friend’s ex-girlfriend? Yeah, I don’t really know either.

What I do know, is that my mind feels much less cluttered now. With an organized closet, and an organized Facebook, everything’s good :).

How often do you clean out your closet?

How often do you “spruce up” your list of Facebook friends?