Tuesday, December 29, 2009
What’s the best change you made to the place you live? Painting!
When did you get your best rush of the year? When my niece was born!
Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves? My Bose earbuds came in a pretty sweet case!
Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What’s yours? I don’t drink tea – makes me want to vomit!
Project. What did you start this year that you’re proud of? My weight loss journey
What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Tried a bunch of new foods
Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have no idea what they were! I’m sure I’ll make more that I will have no memory of in late 2010!
Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister
Did anyone close to you die? You know…not that I can think of.
What countries did you visit? Unfortunately the US only L
What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Cash…cash $$!
What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? October 23rd - my niece was born!
What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting a promotion
What was your biggest failure? Not finishing up my masters
Did you suffer illness or injury? Thank goodness no!
What was the best thing you bought? My iPhone
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Depressed – no one’s behavior depresses me! Appalled – well there have been a few “friends” who have appalled me, but I just had to shake it off…kinda like Mariah!
Where did most of your money go? Bills, bills, bills...oh and shopping!
What did you get really, really, really excited about? Hmm…I was excited about quite a few things!
What song will always remind you of 2009? Bad Romance!
Compared to this time last year, you are:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? thinner
Richer or poorer? Bout the same
What do you wish you’d done more of? Running!
What do you wish you’d done less of? Drinking lol
How will you be spending Christmas / Hanukkah? I’ve already spent it!
What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2009? I don’t get embarrassed!
Did you fall in love in 2009? Nah!
How many one-night stands? HA! I’ll never tell
What was your favorite TV program? The Good Wife & GLEE!
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nah, I don’t hate anyone at all
What was the best book you read? Suze Orman's - The Money Book For The Young, Broke & Fabulous
What was your greatest musical discovery? Leona Lewis
What did you want and get? Lots of job interviews
What did you want and not get? More money!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Anyways! Today I must vent....and it may be a long vent, but this needs to come out! I went to dinner with a friend of mine tonight - he's such a lifesaver! He always listens to my craziness & I think now he understands why I get so pissed with people. A few days ago, my aunt, who is 50+ years old, not disabled by any means, called me to ask if I had some money to pay their electric bill, cause it was going to get cut off the next day. I wanted to hang up the phone when she called because the thought of her having to call her niece and ask for money is just ridiculous - I'm 26, she's 50+ something is just wrong about that! I told her that I didn't have the money (I did, but she damn sure wasn't getting it) and I would have to call her back later because she called during work.
When I hung up the phone, I called my mom & said look, your sister in law just called asking for money to pay their electric bill because it's going to get cut off tomorrow. She said I hope you said no. I said you're damn right I said no, I'm not paying their bills - I don't even live there.
Let me tell you why I said no.....and here goes my rant (you must excuse the vulgarities):
I am 26 years old & while I may have some high paying what everyone thinks is a glorious job, I have BILLS. Right, I have a mortgage payment, car payment, car insurance, cable bill, electric bill, water bill, cell phone bill, student loans, credit cards...I HAVE BILLS! I don't get paid and get to blow all of my money on ridiculous shit, like paying YOUR electric bill. Hell I have my own electric bill!
You KNEW your electric bill was going to be cut off MORE than a day before, so why the hell are you just calling now? You are a able bodied adult, why don't you get off of your lazy ass and find a job? I work, so why the hell can't you - the world doesn't owe you shit! And to top that off, you must not be hurting too damn bad, you sent me an email so that tells me your internet is on. When I talked to you on the phone (you know - when you were asking for money) you said you were watching tv, which means your cable hasn't been shut off, and you picked up the damn phone to give me some sad sob crying ass story about how you needed money to pay the electric bill, so your phone wasn't cut off.
There are these things called PRIORITIES and these things called NECESSITIES! Let's talk about how you need to get your priorities together, stop living beyond your means & have only the shit you need to get by!
Maybe I should explained to you what exactly a necessity is.....Webster says necessity is "the condition of being essential or indispensable."
LIGHTS, WATER, FOOD, and TISSUE - those are necessities. If you don't have shit else, you better have those 4 things!
Now - what's not a necessity - INTERNET, CABLE, THE MEAL YOU ATE AT RED LOBSTER, WENDYS, SUBWAY, CAPTAIN D'S, THE NEW SHOES YOU BOUGHT, THE 5 WII GAMES YOU BOUGHT FOR YOUR CHILD, THE NEW POLO (YES, POLO RALPH LAUREN) SWEATER THAT YOU BOUGHT FOR YOUR CHILD, THE MONEY YOU WASTED ON CIGARETTES <- I do not see a damn necessity in that list!!
If your ass ain't working & doesn't have a steady source of income, I suggest you take a look at your expenses and cut the fuck back......maybe then you won't need to call me & ask to borrow money. Or how about you just get off your ass and get a job....that wouldn't be so bad huh?
And my vent is totally over with...I think I'm going to bed early because this same aunt that I'm bitchin about in my post has asked me to come pick her & my cousin up tomorrow because they don't want to spend Christmas alone & they don't have the means to get to my parents house. I'm only doing this for my cousin - I don't believe that any child should be forced to spend Christmas without their family. I know how happy my parents made my (many) Christmases as a kid, I want her to have the same happy family memories. I'm a softy for kids - can't you tell?
Monday, December 14, 2009
And Monday it is - MUUUUUUUUUUSIC Monday! I figure I'll share with you what I'm listening to & I suggest you go get it or at least download it!
See...I'm all about sharing! Sharing is caring! ;)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
What is google wave you ask?
It’s a personal communication & collaborating tool introduced by Google. It’s kinda a way to merge email, IM, and social networking into 1 area.
So here’s what I think of it……
Have you ever wanted to ask a question to 1 or more people? Yeah we can do that on our blog, but we can’t collaborate in real time. So let’s say I wanted to know if a blog topic was a good idea, or I wanted to know how everyone felt about a career change, an outfit, just an idea in general…well Google wave will let all of us collaborate & answer each other’s questions. And that means 5 or 6 people can comment on one subject/topic/quote/picture at one time & see each other’s comments. Just seems like a super cool way to collaborate if you ask me!
Come get your google wave invites – here here! LOL
Really though, email me and I’ll send you an invite! :) Happpppppppy waaaaaaaaaaaaving!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I know I’ve talked about work & I know I’ve talked about being satisfied with my job (sometimes) & I love networking, I’m totally outgoing, crazy, fun, I like to make money, I like career progression.
Something weird has happened….I’m not sure what the hell to make of it & I’m not even sure what to do – your advice is greatly appreciated!
I applied at several companies months ago when I felt like my career with my current employer was going nowhere. At times I still feel the exact same about my career at times I don’t. After talking to those in upper management – I was offered to transition into the sales force (which I blogged about here).
Now my dilemma – one of the companies that I applied at was Accenture. Accenture is one of the “big 4” consulting companies & in a way I’m dying to work for them. Having the name Accenture on my resume would be a huge plus for me, hopefully a great way to progress my career and working for Accenture would have HUGE travel opportunities seeing as it is an international company. I love consulting; I love working on projects & learning the ins & outs of businesses. My specialty is insurance – property & casualty, w/c, disability, etc, but I’d LOVE to learn something new & I think Accenture would offer that opportunity. I'm torn though because someone who has had a lot of faith in me & been my biggest supporter at my current company has made it possible for me to transition into sales as I've been wanting to do forever.
I have a phone interview scheduled with them for next week; I’m going to go through the interview process just to see how strenuous it is, plus I love interviews & networking with people.
I hope this all works out for the best, I hope that somehow there’s a sign that will tell me the right thing to do!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Here's the award:
Soooooo....without further ado! 10 things that make me happy:
- Waking up - Knowing that God gave me the opportunity take another breath, the make a difference, to annoy some innocent person - that makes me happy! LOL
- Babysitting my niece - She's the BEST form of birth control ever! Yes, I want kids, but at 26 years old I know for sure I'm not ready!
- Seeing my family - They may be totally silly, but I lurve them!
- Text messaging - What did we do before text messaging? I seriously can't live without it lol!
- My house - It's mine...well mine and Bank of America's.
- Security - Knowing that I don't have to wonder about where my next meal will come from, how I'm going to bathe myself, or where I'm going to sleep.
- My job - As much as I sometimes complain about my annoying coworkers, they're absolutely hilarious. They talked to me this morning as my niece threw a temper tantrum throughout our entire conference call.
- My bloggy friends - Lately my bloggy friends have been emailing me & I LOVE LOVE LOVE that! It makes me feel like I'm really not worlds away from people my age!
- My IRL friends - Tried & true yes they are! I love my IRL friends & hope that one day some of my bloggy friends will become my IRL friends! :)
- Blogging - Blogging has become my release! I can let it out here & I'm rarely criticized.
- So Scared Of Getting Older, I'm Only Good At Being Young
- American Girl In Australia
- Oh Hai
- Dreams Do Come True
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
So next week – because it’s my last week of travel, I’m being a total minimalist! And here’s how I plan to accomplish it:
- Decide on a color for the week & work around that “color scheme.” Next week’s color scheme will be black (so that means I need only 1 pair of high heels & that’s a black pair of pumps). When I leave for the airport on Monday, I’ll be wearing a pair of Jessica Simpson flats that I got from Macy's – ultra comfy, ultra cute, and compactable if I have to throw them in my suitcase! I also pack my gym shoes inside of my purse which is also packed in my small carry-on.
- Two pair of pants for the week (I travel Mon – Thurs); so a black pair worn Monday & Wednesday then a gray pair worn on Tuesday & Thursday. I’ll pack 3 shirts/blouses & a scarf or two to dress up the outfits.
- I have a very small jewelry organizer that holds interchangeable jewelry for the week.
- I ROLL ALL OF MY CLOTHES! A trick that I learned early on in the game! Rolling your clothes makes life a ton easier & you can always buy the Downy Wrinkle Releaser travel bottles to de-wrinkle your clothes if you don’t have time to iron!
- I also pack an outfit to workout in, an outfit to sleep in, socks, long johns (cause it’s gonna be cold), panties, & an extra bra.
- I put all of my 3 oz or less liquids into my 1 qt plastic bag! Check out this website for tons of travel sized goodies: http://www.minimus.biz/default.aspx I get extremely pissed when people attempt to go through security & argue because they don’t want to throw away their liquids! Check your bag & shut up, or throw that mess away! There are people in line behind you! LOL
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
My sister's boyfriend called me in a panic tonight because their 6 week old baby (my adorable little niece) wouldn't stop crying. My sister had gone out with a friend of hers, he was at home by himself with the baby. So when he called he said hey do you have the thermometer at your house? I said huh, no, why is the baby crying & he said I don't know, she feels warm and has been crying for the last 30 minutes, your sister is gone with her friend & doesn't have her cell phone! I immediately dropped everything & rushed to the rescue! My niece is the cutest thing ever (so I think)! By the time I got there she wasn't screaming like she had been on the phone, but she was still a little fussy. I notice that she was fussy this morning too when I kept her. I called my mom to tell her that the baby was okay & that I was going to bring her over to see her. So I took the little munchkin over to my parents house so she could see her grandma and paw paw (we're so country LOL)!
I was forced to be the meany and take her temperature. My parents, although they took our temperature rectally when we were kids, refuse to take her temperature with a rectal thermometer. She didn't have a temp, she was just fussy. I think she has a bit of gas, but that's all! I'm such a good aunt! LOL
Monday, December 7, 2009
I purchased a new laptop several months ago & the laptop purchase came with a free Windows 7 upgrade. I received the upgrade disc in the mail last week, but have not installed Windows 7 yet. I'm currently using Window's Vista which I hate, but I'm scared that I may completely screw up my PC by installing Windows 7. Are you, any of my fellow bloggers, using Windows 7? Do you love it? Hate it? Did you install it yourself and was it hard or easy? I have yet to decide what I'm going to do, but I think I should go for you....what do you think?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Then I organized my Christmas presents, just to be sure that I have everyone covered! I don’t! So I still have a bit more shopping to do for “the kids,” not my kids, but the kids in the family! THEN! The big thing that I did today was painted the trim in my kitchen & hallway. I’ve got a bit to go, but at least I got started!
Now I’m sitting on my butt watching tv & thinking I still need to clean up this mess I made in the living room! Might oughtta do that now because I’m going to be gone tonight!
Hope everyone had a super productive Sunday…kinda like I did!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Let me just say I'm only on chapter 2 & I think that every 20 something broke or note should read this book. I have been struggling with a dilemma for quite some time now & I hope that Suze Orman's advice is right; I hope she knows what she's talking about because if so - she's just solved a big problem for me!
In this post I talk about receiving an offer of employment from one of my current employers competitors. I also mentioned that my current employer offered to move me to the position that I've been wanting for a while in sales/marketing. When I was advised of the promotion to sales/marketing, we talked a bit about compensation and the compensation structure when new deals were won, but no numbers were set in stone; I suspect that may be up for discussion come January.
Well Chapter 2 - Career Moves in Suze Orman's book has the following problem:
Problem: I'm being given more responsibility but not more money. (I don't know yet if that's really my case, I don't believe it will be, but we'll see)
Her solution: That's actually a very good thing, if you know how to play it right.
What she says in this section is that if you're doing what you're passionate about, you put in extra hours, you show that you're willing to go above & beyond the call of duty, then you will be recognized and rewarded for all of your hard work. She says take in as much information & take on as many responsibilities as you can, even if that means longer hours in the office because the only person who benefits from this in the end is you!
I think there's some truth in that! When I first came to my company, I was a work-a-holic, literally spending 14 - 16 hours working because I knew that I was at a disadvantage; there were other consultants in the company that knew the products & I didn't because I was new. When I went to work overseas with our internal team, I got the competitive edge that I needed, I was on the leading edge team & the only consultant from the US that got to work side by side with our internal team for 8+ months. I established the right relationships so that I can now call on the people I need when I need to & they have yet to fail me & me yet to fail them. For that, I was rewarded. When I returned home from overseas, I was seen internally & externally as the only product expert in the US for our company. Although there was no monetary compensation, I gained job security knowing that I had a skill/knowledge/expertise that many of our other consultants lacked.
So Suze Orman - I'm going to trust that what you're saying is right! I'll be sure to keep yall posted on my promotion & how it goes! I'm so ready for this new season in my life it's ridiculous! Anyone else looking forward to a change?
Friday, December 4, 2009
Did you know that more single women are buying home than ever before? Yep! Record numbers of single women are buying homes.
Here are some stats:
- More than 1 in 5 home buyers is a single woman.
- Twice as many unmarried women are buying homes than single men.
- Single women make up more than 1/3 of the growth in real estate ownership since '94.
Here's how I made it happen.....
I was working at an insurance company in a pretty sweet job, I made good money, and had saved quite a bit of cash "for a rainy day," but didn't know when that rainy day was really coming. I was living in an apartment with my boyfriend (at the time) & my lease was coming up for renewal. There was a letter on my door that showed that my rent was going to be increased by approximately $100 a month when I renewed my lease. I thought WHAT?! $100 extra a month - I'm not getting any more space, I'm not getting a nicer apartment, I'm getting this same apartment for $100 more...how about no - there's absolutely no benefit in me renewing my lease. So I started talking around, talking to the girls that I worked with who, BTW, were all homeowners & they suggested just looking around at homes on the market. Initially I thought OMG, I can't imagine buying a house, surely I can't even afford a house! Little did I know, I could, and the whole process was totally easy.
I had 3 months left in my lease, so I started looking around. I knew my criteria - I wanted a condo with at least 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. I didn't want anything that I was going to have to initially throw money into, I wanted a place with a small yard & a place that had been well maintained. I wanted a place that was 1000 - 1500 sq feet, in a nice neighborhood in the middle of our "city." I knew exactly what I wanted - I wanted a nice property that was going to be low maintenance. My parents and I looked around for about 2 weeks before we lucked up on the condo that I now own. We called the realtor, who also happened to be the owner, and she pointed me in the absolute right direction. She first showed me the house, told me that if I truly intended to buy it, she would cover everything because she was so proud that a young woman like myself was going to take such a huge step & make such a responsible purchase. I remember walking into my condo, laying in the middle of the living room & saying this is it, this is mine! People always says if you speak it, it will come true. From then on things seemed to move so fast! The realtor set me up with a local mortgage lender, who pre-qualified me for a loan of waaaay more than I felt I could afford - some ridiculous amount of like $290K. The qualification was done the same day that I looked at the condo. That next week I had a home inspection - ALWAYS HAVE A HOME INSPECTION PRIOR TO PURCHASE EVEN IF THE HOME IS NEW! The home passed the inspection with flying colors! Then came closing - seriously, this whole process took about 10 days. At my closing I was hit with a bit of a surprise and a very good surprise. The owner of the condo, also the realtor, had placed a warranty on the condo for 2 years - so if anything went wrong in 2 years the home warranty would cover it. She also gave me a $2500 Lowe's gift card. Closing took all of 20 minutes - I was expecting much much longer - but I walked in, talked with the lawyers about the paperwork, signed my name on several papers that said if you don't pay us we're going to come get you lol. After my hand was about to fall off from signing my name, I was handed my house keys & sent on my merry way!
How can you do it? The same way I did!!
- Save yourself some $$ - even if it's $5K, $5K is better than $0!
- Pay down/off your debt
- Get pre-qualified for a loan & make sure you explore all of your options. If you're a first time home buyer, make sure to ask about special loan programs for first time home owners. Sometimes if you can show that you have enough money in savings a lot of lenders will waive PMI, finance you at 100%, or offer other incentives.
- DO NOT overextend yourself in debt - be realistic about the mortgage payment you can afford. There is no purposes in purchasing a home that has a payment so big you can barely afford to furnish it, or barely afford to pay for the utilities.
- When you start looking for a home & when you find one you like look at it during the day & at night. My mom has always said a neighborhood may look great in the day time, it make look safe during the day time, but ride by on a Friday or Saturday night; you can tell a lot about the area on a Friday or Saturday night.
- Don't be afraid to make the purchase - home ownership is a great thing, any home, unless you totally trash it, will increase in value over the years. The more work you put into it, the more $$ you will get out of it if you intend to sell it years down the road!
Now...go out and buy yourself a house dangit! ;)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I ♥ the hotel that we stay at during the week, I love the hotel manager, she's an absolute doll! I love that when I arrive on Monday evenings, everyone and I seriously mean everyone welcomes me back to my home away from home with a smile. I love that when I leave on Thursday mornings everyone says have a good weekend, we'll see you next week. I love that once a few weeks ago I called room service to see if they had any cheesecake & was told no, cheesecake wasn't on their dessert menu, yet 20 minutes later a piece of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake was delivered to my room. I love that I can walk into the hotel bar, sit down to chat with my coworkers, and minutes later have a chocolate martini in hand because all of the bar tenders know that's my drink of choice & that 1 perfectly prepared chocolate martini is enough to make me happy. I love that the hotel staff has dealt with me on my good days & bad days, but continue to treat me like I'm the most important guest they have.
I text the picture above to some friends of mine & got a reply that said you're excited about that? You've literally stayed there every week this year & you're excited because you got a pillow with a monogrammed pillow case?
I'm excited because it made me feel special, important, like I am the only guest who matters. It's totally the thought that counts & tonight I want to say thank you to all of the Marriott staff!! I know that the NaBloPoMo theme "mitzvah" encourages us to do something nice for others, but I could not resist telling the world about the nice thing that was done for me!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
When I was younger my mom would make a separate meal for me if she made something for the family that I didn't like. I got used to not being forced to try new foods - veggies excluded, always had to eat veggies, like it or not!
My coworkers often made fun of the "Princess" as they call me because I was so picky! I used to stick by a list of things that I REFUSE to eat/drink like cheese, scrambeled eggs, milk, collard greens, ahi tuna, sushi, lamb, and hot dogs - just to name a few. (The list could probably go on) HOWEVER, in the 2 1/2 years that I've been in the consulting industry I've tried & enjoyed tons of foods that I once said I would never eat like ahi tuna, sushi, lamb, collard greens, crab cakes, fried calamari, just to name a few. The saying never say never is sooooooooooo true! I'm living proof!
Last night 2 of my coworkers wanted to eat at a Somolian restaurant. Initially, I wasn't really enthused...my mindset was going back to I don't like that (even tho I've never tried it) but I went anyway! I didn't want to be the 1 person who ruined the chance to try a new food for everyone. I had chicken kalankal and it was freakin yum!! I was not disappointed & I was (again) very proud of myself.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I am participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. I must write at least 1 post a day for the entire month of December. Now we all know that I’m a busy ass person, but I’m gonna try this out & see how it works.
The NaBloPoMo theme for this month is Mitzvah. Mitzvah means to express an act of human kindness.
My bloggie friend Soph! asked me how I started running & if I had any tips/tricks to this workout/diet thing. So today’s post is just for Soph! – sharing my experience so she (and others) can benefit is my act of human kindness for today! :)
So here goes….I’m going to lay it all on the line…well on the blog! ;)
How I started:
I went to the OB/GYM to talk with him about my birth control pills & the problems I was having with spotting. At my visit he told me that he would switch my pills, but also was a bit concerned that my blood pressure had been consistently high in my last 3 visits, not alarmingly high at like stroke level or anything, but high for a fairly healthy 26 year old. He told me a nice, doctor-ish, round about way that from the blood workup that he’d done in a previous visit, he didn’t see any factors that were contributing to my elevated blood pressure other than my weight, which then turned into a conversation about the foods that I ate. Love my OB/GYN BTW, he’s the best! I told him that I had a family history of high BP & diabetes & asked what I could do to decrease my weight & ensure that my BP was at a normal level. He first suggested that I limit my daily caloric intake to 1500 calories a day, get at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, and STOP DRINKING SODA. He also gave me an appetite suppressant to help with the first part (daily caloric intake) cause I probably would have eaten myself out of house & home if I didn’t take the diet pills.
Let me just say before I go into details about my “numbers” & my “plan” – I travel for a living, so finding something healthy to eat on the road EVERYDAY is a bit hard (hence the reason why I gained so much weight). ANYWAY!!
My starting numbers (5/09):
I’m totally not ashamed of my starting numbers so I’ll share them with you..
- Age: 26
- Height: 5 feet 11 inches
- Weight: 180 pounds
- MY Goal Weight: 150
- Doctors Goal Weight: 157-160
My meal plan:
- No more soda, no diet soda, no X-zero (you name it sprite, coke, etc) soda…NO SODA!
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
- Eat a healthy breakfast. My usual breakfast consists of a cantaloupe bowl from Publix, Yoplait yogurt, and 1/4 cup of bear naked granola & a bottle of water with Crystal Light strawberry & lemonade mix ins.
- Subway for lunch – usually a 6 inch ham on honey oat, no cheese, toasted, with onions, regular mustard, light oil & light vinegar, a bag of baked lays chips, and a bottle of water with crystal light strawberry & lemonade mix ins.
- Snacks – 100 calorie cookies, chips, trail mix, etc – you get the picture!
- Dinner – I eat whatever I want, but I don’t go overboard!
My Workout Plan:
So this is the part that people really want to know about – how did you go from not working out to running like a maniac?! I armed myself with a few handy gadgets.
- I already had an iPhone 3GS so I could mark that off of the list.
- I ordered myself some NikeID shoes that were also Nike+ compatible. (FYI there is no need to order any NikeID shoes – they’re too damn expensive so skip that step, just buy some shoes that are Nike+ compatible)
- Purchased the Nike+ sensor to put in my shoes
- Registered at the NikeRunning website & joined several challenges that they have on their website – nothing like motivation of other members on your “virtual” team.
- Purchased a handy dandy sports case for my iPhone from the apple store…Marware Sportshell Convertible for iPhone 3GS
- Turned on the Nike+ iPod application on my iPhone & performed the calibration for both running & walking.
- I made a playlist of songs to listen to (If you want the list let me know and I’ll hook you up) & I told myself the following: “I will run to the chorus of each song & walk through the verses.”
I went on for about 2 months of running to the chorus only & walking through the verses, each session my workout time was getting better & better – totally proven by the workout history on my Nike+ iPod app! I ran more on days that I was super stressed out because somehow running became an effective way for me to get in my 30 minutes of cardio, but a way for me to release the stress of life & work.
Each run I pushed myself to run a little longer than the chorus, to see if I could make it through the chorus & the verse, then walk & try it over again & that’s how I made it to 3 miles in about 35 minutes.
I also downloaded an app from the iTunes app store called C25K – Couch to 5K which helps you train for a 5K run. The app is pretty sweet & can be found in the iTunes app store.
My best mile to date is 10 minutes 12 seconds & my best 5K is 31 minutes 53 seconds. My longest distance is 5.30 miles which I did in 1 hour 1 minute & 34 seconds.
My current numbers (12/09):
- Age: 26
- Height: 5 feet 11 inches
- Weight: 152 pounds
Some days my scale says I weigh 154 pounds – some days I say my scale is a POS and can’t make up it’s f*cking mind how much I weigh! ;)
Yesterday I got back on track – I ran 4.21 miles in 45 minutes 58 seconds with a pace of 10 minutes 54 seconds per mile. Not too bad considering I had just finished eating dinner & was running on a full stomach.
I’m well on my way to being a much happier & healthier me! When I go back to my OB/GYN for my annual visit, I’m sure he’ll be happy to see that I’ve lost the weight and am keeping it off.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I'm going to commit to running 3 miles Monday - Wednesday, because I can definitely do that!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I went shopping over the weekend (who didn't?!) & ventured to the Coach Outlet store. I found this beautiful jacket, the jacket was on sale & I mean massively marked down. Regular priced $448, on sale for $180 + tax.
I walked away from the jacket because I really don't need it. I've bought 3 jackets already during the fall. This particular jacket is just a want right now, plus I would have had to put it on a credit card (didn't really have the extra $200 - I had already shopped) & I don't want to overextend myself in credit card debt!
Yes - I'm trying to cut back on my shopping because I do a hell of a lot of that! I have clothes in my closet that I haven't worn in years & clothes that I bought over 2 years ago with tags still on them.
Someone please tell me I made the right decision. BLA!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Well it's Thanksgiving morning & before I head out to be with family & friends, I wanted to first with everyone a very happy Thanksgiving & reflect on the many reason I have to be thankful!
I'm thankful for...........
- My job, because in this tough economic time, there are a lot of people who are jobless.
- The fact that I woke up to sunshine this morning - it's going to be a great day!
- And last but not least BLACK FRIDAY!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
So anyways, I pulled up to the gas pump, got my debit card out, slid my card and started pumping my gas. I was in my own world actually, Lady Gaga's Bad Romance was on XM, I was singing lowly & dancing at the pump when I looked up and first saw her get out of the car to go pay for their gas. That didn't stop me from singing and dancing to myself though! Then the ex gets out of the car, looks over and says, damn you ride like that now? I looked at him & said in the most sarcastic bitch voice ever yes I do, this is what success looks like. Do you know what his response was? OMG I wanted to punch him when he said this..."the wife is pregnant again." I just looked at him....amazed. I said oh that's great, now more of my tax dollars will go towards taking care of your 5 kids, but I'd rather it be my tax dollars than my whole pay check. He didn't say a word because by that time, "the wife" was walking back to the car scowling at me. I finished pumping my gas, looked at him & said now watch success as it drives away. To that I got no response, I got in my car, turned up my music and drove off.
He text me about 10 minutes ago to ask why I can't just be cordial with him. Why should I be cordial? We have no ties to each other, damn sure don't have any kids together, our families aren't close, we aren't close, as far as I'm concerned he doesn't exist, so why should we be cordial? Clearly he's an idiot! I'm not going to be his chick on the side - he has his "catch" and trust me she's definitely not a catch. She's 27, unemployed, uneducated, and pregnant again. Coming from her mouth - she doesn't have to work or go to school because her man makes sure she has everything she needs, plus going to school, working, and being a mom is just too much work.
Did I mention that she was a catch? ;)
Monday, November 23, 2009
At 20 something years old, I am learning a very valuable lesson about friendship!
One of the most important "ingredients" in a friendship is respect. Respect, as far as I'm concerned, is a mutual thing. You have to give respect in order to receive respect; you have to respect yourself in order for others to respect you.
Today I found out that a "friend" made some pretty nasty comments about me, of course, not to my face, but to a mutual "friend." After listening to some of the things she said, I really have to question the amount of respect I have for her and the amount of respect (obviously none) that she has for me. She made comments about my promotion and why she thought I received the promotion, about how she thinks he is paying my bills which is why I can afford to drive a "luxury" car, there were tons of other things, but I don't care to rehash.
I considered the person who made these comments a really good friend! We've known each other since we were in middle school & to find out that she said those things about me is flat out brutal. Our friendship hasn't been the same for a while, I felt like we were growing apart, but now I know our friendship will never be the same. I know that as we grow up, change careers, relocate, etc we often grow apart from old friends and make new friends, but I was not expecting this...not from her. I'd like to call her up and ask her why, but it's totally not worth my time huh?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Live in a foreign country Sightsee in London Sightsee in Paris Conquer my fear of flying Conquer my fear of heights
- Try one new food a day
- Swim with the dolphins
- Go parasailing
- Skydive with my BFF
- Maintain my sexy <- always a work in progress
- Move up the corporate ladder
- Become an official member of the 'Mile High' club (LOL)
- Run a marathon
- Learn to speak French
- Learn to speak Hindi
- Take dance lessons
- Go on a helicopter ride
- Drive a race car
See the Northern Lights
- Go to Oktober Fest in Germany
- See cherry blossoms in DC in full bloom
Visit Big Ben Visit Buckingham Palace See the Northern Lights
- Go to rock climbing
- Learn to say hello in 50 different languages
Join a blowing league
- Realize that some friends are only around for a reason, some for a season, others for a lifetime
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I had a conversation with some of my superiors regarding the offer that received from a competitor, advised that I was considering taking the offer because I felt like the opportunity for advancement was inexistent, but wanted to know if they felt there were other opportunities for me with the company. There was some initial discussion of the fact that I had signed an agreement called a non-compete which prohibits me from working for a competitor, but I know those are loosely enforced! Honestly, I didn’t want to leave, I didn’t want to start all over – my job is pretty lax, everyone is easy going & I am so scared that the next consulting firm might not be the same. 1 week later there was another discussion surrounding moving me to another area of the business, something I had asked for previously, but was told no.
Needless to say, I think my current employer realizes the value of some, maybe not all employees, and has made me an offer that I cannot resist! I’ve been looking to move into the sales & marketing side of the business for a while & I’m finally getting the opportunity. This time it’s real! There was talk of this a few months ago, but now it’s real. I’m excited! There will be a ton of work I’m sure, some that I will probably love & some that I will hate, but I’m ready to embrace it with open arms. I like the sales/marketing side of things. I like meeting new people, finding out how business run & how our products can help companies improve their processes and performance, & I like doing product demos. I have a lot to learn though, I’ve done a few demos, but never seen a sales cycle from beginning to end. I’m unseasoned, untrained, totally new, but I’m like a sponge, ready & willing to soak up every bit of information that I can! I’m ready for the challenge, it starts in 2010! 2010 will be a great year! I look forward to blogging about that journey!
Oh! And on a side note!!! I caught up with an old fling over the weekend. We ran into each other at the bank. Now when I say an old fling, I mean like freshman year (2001) of college old fling! We’re going to get together next weekend…I hope he’s still as cool as he used to be!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
In my last post I talked about my job search & job interview. The interview went well on 10/09/09, I met two great people, was exposed to a great opportunity, but now I’m hesitant about accepting the job offer that I received.
Here goes – I work in the software consulting industry as an analyst. I have a great paying job at the age of 26. My current salary is $65K & yes I am thankful that I have a job, I know that there are people out there who would kill to make that kind of money, but I have worked hard as hell to get where I am. My “high paying” job doesn’t come WITHOUT stress nor does it come WITHOUT personal sacrifice! I am a hard worker, a quick learner, I’ll go above and beyond to get my work done, I will help anyone who is willing to help themselves.
Did I mention that my interview with Software Company #1 went well? The job would require me to initially travel to Ireland for a period of about a week or two this year & then travel to Ireland for 4-6 weeks in January. After the training I would be assigned to a project & work with a team to implement the product.
The position is very similar to what I currently do, but I would hope to take on additional responsibilities, to learn more, do more, and advance in my career. I received a call from the HR manager yesterday, she explained that they wanted to extend a job offer to me with a base salary of $75K. Granted I didn’t give her a salary range that I wanted & that’s my mistake, but I was definitely thinking they would make me an offer in the mid to upper $80’s.
Do I think I’m worth that?! Yeah! I have researched my “title,” my experience, my education and all that other good stuff & the median salary is $80K, $5K MORE than their offer & that’s just the median. So I guess it’s now time to negotiate a higher salary. I don’t want to just take their offer, they’ll think I’m a pushover, but I also don’t want to appear greedy.
I’m not getting ready to dish all of my business here on my blog, but $75K isn’t enticing enough to make me leave my current job, a job that I know and do well, a product that I know well, and people that I know well. Monday morning, although I’m traveling, starts salary negotiation! If they are willing to increase the offer to at least $82,500, I am willing to make the move; if not, I’ll stick to what I’m doing & pray that I make it through the next couple of weeks, pray that something better is out there!
In the mean time – anyone got any tips/tricks on negotiating a higher salary?
Monday, October 5, 2009
That’s right – I have a job interview on 10/09/09! Without going into too much detail, I realize that while I love my career, I don’t think my current employer is the long term place for me. I don’t see myself exploring or even realizing my full potential where I am. I haven’t been actively seeking another position, but I’ve placed my resume on several employment recruiting websites. Lucky for me, I received an email about 2 weeks ago with a request for a phone interview. Initially, I was feeling extremely guilty about even doing the phone interview. I felt like I was betraying my current employer by toying with the thoughts of leaving for a better opportunity. I had to overcome that feeling though. After talking to former colleagues of mine who have been in the industry more years than I’ve been alive, they made me realize that companies are no longer loyal to people, just as people are no longer loyal to companies. I need to do what’s best for me & my career. So with tons of words of encouragement, I had my first phone interview in 2 years with an international consulting firm.
Initially I had butterflies in my stomach, but I had to tell myself to stay calm throughout the interview, no need to be nervous because it was just a phone interview. The interview went well, the position offers the same type of benefits that I currently have – 80% travel, great healthcare benefits, a nice 401K program, plus the opportunity to travel internationally! International travel is what gets me giddy LOL! I LOOOOOOOOOOVE to see how the “rest of the world” lives! Anyways, interview went well! Of course, I followed up my interview with a very kind thank you email & within 10 minutes of sending out my thank you email, I received a response from the HR manager requesting a face to face interview! Seriously guys, you have no idea how happy I was.
So here’s the scoop on my interview:
10/09/09 I’m flying to Boston for an interview with an international consulting firm. The interview is scheduled to start at 11:30 AM, I’ll have 2 separate interviews, lunch with my potential employer, and then I’m flying back to Atlanta. I received all of the details of my itinerary last Friday, the company has a great financial rating, the opportunity is absolutely fabulous – now I just gotta ace the interview! I haven’t decided what to wear yet, I’m debating about wearing the Evan Picone dress that I purchased last weekend and if not that a black suit from J. Crew….
Wish me luck!!!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Most of the time I shop at places like NY&CO, J. Crew, Banana Republic, GAP, and Macy's. Since I've lost 32 pounds, I've been trying to find items that compliment my slimmer figure & found the perfect dress in Macy's. It was a red sweater dress with a black belt around the waist. I wanted it soooooooooooooooooooo freakin bad, but the dress was $89 & I thought that was a bit much for a sweater dress. My mother, lovely lady she is, suggested that we check TJ Maxx and Ross just to see what they have & I'll be damned if her idea wasn't just freakin fantastic!
I ended up purchasing 4 dresses for $100, compared to $89 + tax for 1 dress at Macy's!
So here they are!!
Dress #1 - It's simple, but unfortunately not fitted. So I've decided to find a cute belt to go around the waist & then wear with either knee high boots or heels.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Apple iPhone & Bose earbuds - 2 items I’d be lost without!!
My iPhone holds all of my contacts, emails, travel plans, music, notes, voice memos, pictures, videos; I’d be lost without it. I’ve talked a couple of times about my iPhone, but I wanted to mention some apps that make my travel life much easier as well.
Tripit – tripit is a service that aggregates all of your travel itineraries. Simply make your reservations & forward the email to email@example.com & they organize everything for you in one spot!
Lose it! – Lose it helps me keep track of my diet and exercise while I’m on the road. I find that it’s pretty hard to eat healthy when you’re traveling 3-4 days a week, so I use lose it to track calories & exercise!
TweetDeck – Yep, for iPhone so you can listen to me rant!
Nike+ iPod – Cause I’m a running gal!
Twisty Lite – Because I’m always bored on the plane, Twisty Lite is a great game to play
Bottled Water, Crystal Light, & Benefiber
1 Quart Bag With 3oz Liquids
Cause TSA says I have to & I freakin hate it! So inside of my little baggie I have a couple of things. I don’t wear makeup, so this is a bit easier for me. Inside of my 1 quart bag I have a ton of stuff, stuff that I need for everyday use: deodorant, mini VS body spray, mini VS lotion, mini Vaseline, mini colgate, mini VS perfume, mini dove hairspray, dove face moisturizer, hydrocortisone (because I break out from EVERYTHING) & finally mascara!
Colgate Wisp & Gum
Every business traveler has a laptop bag. Some people have shoulder bags, some have backpacks, and others have rolling laptop bags like I have. I prefer rolling laptop bags, I can latch it to the stop of my carry on bag & keep it moving! I don’t like backpacks cause they wrinkle my clothes. I do have a Coach laptop bag; it’s actually a Coach baby bag that I use as a laptop bag, but it doesn’t hold enough stuff, so I stopped carrying it! My Swiss laptop bag is perfect, it has several compartments for notebooks, my handy dandy planner, 2 magazines, my laptop & all of my PC accessories, PLUS an overnight compartment for a change of clothes.
I pack light, extremely light! I pick one color for the week: black or brown & stick with that color. That means one color heels, one color flip flops, one color purse, and always my running shoes. NEVER ANY MORE, never any less! Since my travel days are Monday & Thursday, I wear a comfy, neutral color dress pant on Monday & a cute shirt & wear those same pants on Thursday (with a different shirt of course!). Tuesday is usually a skirt & cute shirt, Wednesday a pair of pants & a cute shirt. I also bring a 2 pairs of shorts & 2 t-shirts. One set for working out in & one set for sleeping in. All of this I shove into a 19” roller board suitcase & carry on the plane! So here are some of my outfits from last week!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Work – I’m thinking about my career of choice again! I previously blogged about my career frustrations right. Well it’s on my mind again, but this time in a different sense. I’m happy to be a part of the consulting industry, I’m happy to have the industry knowledge & consulting experience that I do have, but I’m not satisfied. I’ve always been a person that wants to take on more because keeping myself busy & pushing myself to the limit is such an exhilarating challenge for me. I am starting to recognize what I want; now I need to create a plan to achieve it! I want to own something, a product, preferably a software product. I want to be the person responsible for researching the needs of the industry in order to document, design, and market the product. I want to work with a group of both business and technical individuals focused on the development & implementation of the product. I’d like to be responsible for setting up the product roadmap & ensuring that product milestones are reached. In essence, I want to be a product manager. How I get to that position, I don’t know yet. I have a job (that I love BTW), but see no potential for advancement. (A while ago I did, I felt like something good was in the works, however; someone put a stop to that quickly & that someone will forever be a roadblock.)
Apartment Living – For the record, I will be so damn happy when I move out of this apartment & back into my house! #1 – I’ll be saving a shed load of money because my mortgage is much lower than my rent! #2 – I’ll finally be back in a place that was once home & that I can call my own! #3 – I can avoid most nosy neighbor prying questions because my neighbors at my house already know me! #4 – I can do all of the painting, decorating, renovating that I want to & no one can say a thing about it! #5 – Overall my bills will be much less! The apartment & house thing is a long story; I’ll save that for never. Just know that when I move back into my house, I will be a much happier person!
Friends – They come & go right? Some people are in our lives for a reason. They are there to help us through difficult times, provide guidance & support mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically. They may seem like a godsend & most of the time, they are. Others come into our lives for a season. They may only be there for a short period of time based on their premeditated agendas; sometimes they have motives that we wouldn’t necessarily condone. I’m starting to realize that I have some seasonal friends & it’s time to get rid of them because the season is changing for me! I don’t need friends who are around only when they need something, or friends who only want to talk to you when they have a problem, yet your problems are too miniscule for them to be bothered with, or friends who only want to be your friend when they can’t find a man to sleep with! I can honestly say that in my late 20s it’s been really hard for me to connect with other women my age. I find that lots of women my age aren’t women, they’re still girls – trying to “find themselves” in the club every weekend, making poor financial decisions, making poor decisions period. It’s honestly sad because I’d love to meet new people, but I’ve been tainted by some pretty unstable folks! Some of my “old friends” say I’ve become stuck up and snotty. I tend to disagree with them! I think I’ve matured, I’ve moved on past the games that they’re still playing. I have a career, not a job, a career & I’m partially in love with it. I’m no snot, I’m just growing up – isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing? I hope I don’t have it all wrong!
Now that I’ve shared, I’ll ask – what’s on your mind?
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I had to travel last week for work – Monday of last week was I swear the longest day of my life! Although I slept on my flights, my sleep wasn’t peaceful, so by the time I got to the office on Monday I was beat! Then Thursday was just as bad coming home! Anyways – we’re off to the start of a brand new week & that’s semi exciting for me!
My bad date from over the weekend called me to see if we could get together again. I think he’s lost his damn mind. I was pretty clear that there would be no more get togethers.
I went out on a second date with a guy who seems really nice – we’ll call him E, but boy is he clingy & I don’t like clingy guys. We had been talking on the phone during the week & finally met on Saturday night, now he’s been calling & texting me a million times a day. He needs to AT LEAST act like he has a life! I’m starting to think that I should stop looking – it’s pointless right now! I’m a very busy person, besides traveling for work & working 10-12 hours a day, I’m in the process of doing some renovations on the condo that I own, in the process of packing up the apartment that I live in so I can move back into the condo after the renovations are done, and I also like to save a bit of free time for myself. I’m so easily annoyed by things as well, like terrible grammar. I realize that I’m not perfect & I’m willing to accept that others are not perfect, but please please please proofread your text messages and/or emails before you send them to me.
E is very sweet, but he has TERRIBLE grammar in texts, on the phone, and in person. THAT DRIVES ME INSANE, absolutely insane! I can’t stand it. I know that sometimes when we text, tweet, email or WHATEVER, we abbreviate, but abbreviations are no excuse for poor grammar.
Here are some examples – just a FYI guys – these are a NO NO!
“I want say nothing about it again”
English:“I WON’T say anything about it again OR I WON’T say anything else about it.”
“Okay call me when settle”
English: I have no idea so I won’t even try to translate that!
And as I’m blogging I just got a text from E that says “R u every (possible text mistake) going to stop traveling so much for work cause I won’t never (you have got to be kidding me?!) get to see you.”
I just put my phone down. I’ve decided it is best not to respond to his text message. My likely response wouldn’t be nice, so saying nothing at all is much better right?! (I need a job mofo – I doubt I’ll stop traveling any time soon, my job is fun, challenging, interesting, and it pays well. Until I went the lotto or marry a filthy rich man I’ll continue to travel!)
Yes…it’s best for me to remain single until I find someone who understands my career & my desire to grow professionally.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tonight’s date was a disaster. My friend thought this guy was cute & I thought he was FUUUUUUGLY! Not only was he note cute, he was rude, had bad body language, poor grammar, and horrible dining manners lol. Who the hell rates guys on all this stuff? No one other than me! We met up at a local restaurant, restaurant of my choice actually. When I arrived his first comment was wow you really are smokin. I just smiled, but wanted to punch him in the eye. Thanks for the compliment, but could you say it with a little more class? We didn’t really have anything in common (and I was annoyed by his “compliment”) so when we finally got our table, there was like an awkward silence. When our waiter came to the table, dude didn’t even wait for the waiter to ask what we wanted to drink, instead he says um can you hurry up & bring me a coke. FAILURE! The entire date! I matter of factly (soooo not a real word the alcohol made me type it) advised him that we wouldn’t be seeing each other again because of his rude behavior. Then I called up my friend & asked her what the hell she was thinking along with a few other cuss words! I hope date 2 goes better than date 1!
Date 2 has potential, he went to a great college where he played football. He has a career doing what he loves, he sounds intelligent, from pictures he’s pretty good looking, & our conversations have been interesting. No true dull moments yet with date #2 over the phone – so maybe he won’t be so bad!
Anyways! I’ll blog more tomorrow – got some other stuff on my mind, but I’m too tired to post more, MUST GET SLEEP & GO RUNNING IN THE MORNING!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
HOWEVER, I’m willing to admit that I’ve made some mistakes, I’m not perfect, and I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes in the future.
I wish that I would have made more responsible decisions in my past, but that's all behind me. I can be more responsible in the future though…
Here’s my list of things I wish I knew then:
- Being successful is great, but along with that success sometimes comes loneliness.
- Money does not define who you are, only you can define who you are!
- People will befriend you because they think they can benefit from what you have & not from who you are on the inside!
- TRUE friends will be there through thick & thin, no matter how much you argue and/or fight, they’ll always have your back.
- Student loan debt is a MF, be responsible & only take out the amount you need for school, not the amount you need for school & the amount you need to “have fun” while at school. Paying the loans back SUCKS ASS! I HATE STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS!
- Just because it’s shiny, it sparkles, and it’s new that doesn’t mean you can’t live without it!
- Love will find you, there’s no point in looking for love.
- Having an affair with a married man will only leave you with loads & loads of heartache, it’s not worth it. Just say no – kinda like what you should say to (illegal) drugs!
- Your parents generally know what the hell they’re talking about.
- Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer!
- If a man is not willing to accept you for who & what you are, walk away because he doesn’t deserve you!
- If a man has multiple children by multiple women, he’s probably a dog!
- If a man has children & doesn’t pay child support, he’s not worth your time! If he isn’t taking care of his kids, why the hell would he take care of you?
- If a man tells you he doesn’t want a relationship, then HE DOESN’T WANT A RELATIONSHIP! Don’t be foolish & try to convince him that he does!
- When you can’t figure out what to do, turn on some music & dance your problems away.
- Partying & drinking all night the day before a flight & then rushing through one of world’s craziest airports in a foreign country is a very dumb thing to do.
- Partying & drinking all night the day before an 8 hour flight is even more insane, hungover motion sickness on a plane is terrible especially when crossing the Atlantic or Pacific ocean!
- Breaking the heel on your favorite Nine West shoes because you ran through the airport to make your connection is totally worth it, being stuck overnight in a great city, but a roach motel is NOT worth it!
- You’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar!
- Don’t worry about what your “friends” are doing, worry about what you are doing & what you plan to do – only you can determine your destiny!
So that’s my list of “I wish I knew then what I know now.” The last few years I’ve gone through so many ups & downs, bad relationships, bad friendships, good friendships, good fun, good times, & good memories. I don’t want to look back & say I wish I would have, I want to look back & say this is what I did, this is what I learned, and this is how I grew!
What do you wish you knew then?