I’m Back + Life Update!

Wow, I have not blogged since June! It wasn’t a break I planned, but it was a break I needed. Lots has been going on and it was definitely okay for me to put my blog down for a little bit to allow myself one less thing to worry about. Now, onto the updates…

Work

Okay, work is definitely the update I have most to say about. I’ve been working at Sephora and absolutely loving it. Sure, sometimes it sucks a little bit – but when I have a good day or do some great consultations and help women feel hope for their skin concerns, or teach them something new, or help a mom and 13-year-old pick out her very first mascara and lip gloss (oh, the nostalgia!), or even help a bride feel confident that she will be able to do her makeup well and feel that much more beautiful on her wedding day, I’m over the moon. I’m also still writing over at My Subscription Addiction, too, and that’s always a blast.

However, there’s some interesting uncertainties coming around, too. Thanks to some connections, a big marketing company contacted me about an account management position they have. The main issue is that it’s an hour south of where we live now, but it is in the area where we want to end up and settle down in. Initially, I said I couldn’t do it, but a few minutes later, I just thought I don’t have any information at all about this job – what if it pays crazy well and what if I’d like it?  So, I called them back and got more details. Turns out the salary range starts just below what my husband’s making now. Now, my husband’s been looking for months for a better job for him down in that area, with no luck so far. We’ve been waiting for that to move down to the city we want to be in, but we never considered the possibility of moving down there because of a job for me. Long story short, we have no idea what would happen if I got it (we could move halfway and split the commute to both our jobs, or we could move all the way down there and I could support us until L finds a job there, too…), but we’ve decided that I should go ahead with the interview process. Hey, maybe I won’t even get it. But maybe I do and maybe I love it. Who knows? (BTW – both the President and VP are women! Yes!) So, we’ll see, I guess.

I’m scared about having to leave Sephora because I love it and I’ve only been there a couple months so far, and I’m also scared that, if I get it, I’ll be less happy there. Terrified of making the wrong choices. All the other jobs I’ve had that I hate I can just quit with very little consequence because they’re like, restaurants and such. But this would be a big-girl, salary position. And if we end up moving halfway so that L and I split the commute, life would be so different with our income essentially doubled, and we’re so anxious to move into a bigger apartment anyway.

Coping post-graduation

This is the first Fall in basically all of my life that I haven’t been going back to school. I didn’t think it’d be weird but it is WAY WEIRD. In a way, I miss having the places to go, the different topics every week, seeing classmates regularly, being in choir, etc. Another thing I had no idea I was going to miss was my wardrobe. I have so many clothes, but all I wear anymore is yoga pants to lounge around the house or my work uniform. I never wear my nice outfits anymore. Part of me wants to just get rid of it all, but I know I want to get to a place where I wear it all again. However, I could really use the usual closet clean-out of clothes I haven’t worn in years, as always.

Also, I feel like life has definitely confirmed my theory that, at least for me, you can work anywhere you can sell yourself to work. I haven’t needed to find a job directly related to my major yet, and I’m okay with that. I have so many passions and so many skills and so much I want to learn that as long as I enjoy the work and atmosphere, and the pay works for us, I’m happy. 

Post-Wedding

I never knew my to-do lists could be so long outside of school! Aside from general, personal/home to-dos, post-wedding things are still lingering to be done, like finding a place for the cards and presents, and finishing up the wedding video edits, and making a photo album. All things I look forward to doing, but all things that tend to fall further down on my priority list than things for my jobs or housekeeping tasks, since both of those effect other people (employers + husband). Not saying that my wedding photos and video don’t effect my family or that they’re not anxiously waiting for them, but, for sure, nothing is riding on whether or not I get those done ASAP.

Well, there it is! Most of what’s been going on in my life. Speaking of to-do lists and work, I really have to go crack down on some of those things, but I’m glad to be back and hope to be posting regularly again! 

xoxo

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Currently…

happy

Loving… the simple things. An extra tasty sandwich. A positive email from an actual person. Fun things in the mail. Drawing. Hugs.

Hating… That I my last post was last week’s Currently list. I need to write more, but it’s so hard lately considering not much goes on. I always tell myself I’m going to turn into one of those people who does the “just write something, anything, every day.”

Playing… Gone Home. Well, I was playing Gone Home. It sounded like it had a good story and was on sale on Steam and, when I asked Luke about it, he said it’d be fine to get. Reviews even said it was non-violent and not scary. 40 minutes in, I have to close out of the game because I got freaked out. When Luke found out I got scared, he was like, “oh, THAT game? Yeah, that’s like, totally a horror game.” Way to look out for me. Whomp whomp. Fortunately, Steam has a family sharing option so he’ll get to play it, at least.

Hoping… for lots of things. Time out of the house, a new job I actually enjoy, to actually get everything I feel like I need to get done done, to make actual friends with some of my fellow blog ladies, etc…

Anticipating… a family picnic our family has planned this Saturday. I’m excited to get out of the house and be around people! Yay!

Yeah, there’s not much going on right now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to actually do more with my blog when I get things going on.

Currently…

Feel happy to be alive.

Loving… having fresh flowers on my table! I bought myself a pretty bouquet while grocery shopping and now I get to use the beautiful, etched-glass vase we had for our wedding as a floating candle votive for our unity candle. I bought it from Etsy and I love seeing it every day. I love having this keepsake.

Watching… Arrested Development. We finally caught up to the season that Netflix did! After this, I have no idea what else to watch. Suggestions?

Eating… Okios Greek Yogurt in their Cafe Latte flavor, loaded up with a ton of ground cinnamon. It tastes like tiramisu. And it’s healthy! Obsessed.

Learning… that not every opportunity I am able to take is one I should take. And, along those same lines, to really listen to my gut/inner compass.

Playing… Battlefield Hardline BETA. Well, technically, I haven’t played yet, but I got into the beta and now I’m waiting for L to finish playing around with something on his computer that “will only take 10 minutes” (he said, an hour ago).

Anticipating… more phone calls from more interviews. If you read this post, you know that I gave myself permission to go for jobs I’ll have fun at and enjoy right now instead of going after whatever un-fun jobs I am able to get that may make more money. And? I’m pretty excited. =]

Trying… to get on one of those regular cleaning schedules? You know, one of those Tuesday-is-laundry-day and Thursday-is-floors-day kind of things? I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of adulthood yet. Also sometimes you need to do laundry or counters before the dedicated day it’s supposed to be done on and then everything gets messed up. Whomp whomp.

Wanting… Too Faced’s a la Mode Eye Palette. Uhhhh I am dying over those colors. I recently got their Natural Eyes palette in a POPsugar Must Have box, and it’s my new go-to. Hopefully, my next job will be someplace where I can get a sweet discount on some lovely things like this! ;]

Loving… my inspiration board. Scrolling through all the colors, flowers, and summery things always cheers me up!

 

Why I Turned Down a Job Offer

All in the span of a couple weeks, I finished my undergrad classes! I graduated! I had my bridal shower! I got married! I flew to the Dominican Republic! Not gonna lie, life has been pretty awesome.

But… What’s next?

I blog because I feel a strong desire to open up to the great community of my readers and fellow bloggers, and I’ve gotta be super vulnerable with you guys right now. I knew this was coming, but I didn’t think about strategically planning for it: I’m coasting. I don’t have a full-time job; I finished school; I finished putting my new home together post-wedding. What now?

A month before the wedding, I made the big decision to quit a job I hated. I was waitressing, but it wore on me far too much to let the dread of my next shift weigh me down in the midst of so much joy and love and community in my life right before my wedding. It was a great decision and I definitely don’t regret it. And, to be honest, not having to worry about coming right back home to a job after the honeymoon allowed me to get everything unpacked and put away in our home, and easily readjust. L and I have known that the plan is for me to find work soon after getting settled – both for the monetary reasons and for the fact that I’m getting so bored sitting around the house all day! So when I found a great want ad for a marketing management opportunity, I was stoked.

I wrote a kick-butt cover letter, updated my resume, read their entire website, and psyched myself up for the idea of a new job (Yay! Something to do! Money to make! People to meet! Goals to reach!). I nailed the first interview, which was over the phone. Apparently this job was a bigger deal than I realized – from 140-200 interviewees, I was chosen as part of the top 10 to have a second, in-person interview. But that’s where the great stuff ends. Don’t get me wrong, I rocked the second interview, but seeing the job up close and getting the nitty-gritty details (L called this “talking turkey,” which makes me giggle) made me realize that this job isn’t something I wanted to wake up and do everyday. However, I was already on the spot, and uncertain, so I proceeded to nail the follow-up persuasion email, too. It was at this point where they may or may not call me to offer a third, phone interview to in order to finalize bringing me onto their team.

All weekend I knew there was a big chance this call was coming my way. But my intuition wasn’t happy about it. I even found myself telling my mom and my best friend that I hoped I wouldn’t get the third interview so I wouldn’t have to worry about making the call about whether or not this was something I wanted. At about 12:30 today, they did call me, and asked if it was a good time for the third interview or if they should call me back. I requested that they call back at 3 and then reached out to my husband.

I hadn’t been 100% open with him about how conflicted I was feeling. I had been so excited and pumped up over the opportunity that I wanted to be sure it was something I wasn’t excited about anymore before talking to him. I’ve been bored out of my mind and it’d be a huge help for me to contribute a full-time income to our funds, so I felt a lot of pressure to just go for it even if the pay wasn’t awesome and the job itself didn’t sound fun. My internal compass just wasn’t happy and I didn’t know what to do about it. He hugged me and reassured me that we’re not anywhere near a situation where we are “settled down” yet, and we’re hoping for him to get a different job in a town we like better by the fall anyway. He said that, for now, he thinks I should focus on finding something I enjoy. This encouragement meant the world to me, and between that and visualizing not having this job in my future, I felt relieved (not a feeling you should experience when visualizing not getting a job opportunity you’re meant to go for). I knew at this point I could stay true to myself with the most important person to me also being on my team (hey, it’s what he’s here for, too, isn’t it?).

When they called back at 3pm, I politely thanked them and declined. I’ve learned that not all opportunities I am able to take are opportunities I should take. I made a tough call to stay true to and honest with myself and to do what’s good for me. I feel like I’ve taken another step towards growing up. Although I’m left still kind of wondering what on Earth there is for me to do next, I’m happy knowing that I have given myself permission to make sure it’s something I enjoy and learn from instead of jumping for another job that feels like it drains my soul and energy.

Have you ever had to make a hard call to stay true to yourself? What did you do?

sometimes it ends up different #quotes #words #inspiration

Wednesday Things

Nelson Mandela

1. Tonight, I get to sing Carmina Burana with some amazing people at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. If you’re sitting there thinking you have no idea what Carmina Burana is, you actually do. It’s where this is from – it’s actually the first and last movement of Carmina Burana. You know that song. It’s not something I have to do, but I’ve been rehearsing with people all year and when am I ever going to get the chance to sing this like, ever again in my life?

2. Okay, okay, here’s the big news this week: I quit my job. I know, I know, I have three jobs, but the main source of my income has been from waitressing, which I absolutely hate. So I quit. The bottom line was that there is just too much wonderful in my life right now that I am being held back from enjoying or really immersing myself in because I had this dark cloud of work hanging over my head. Also, I wasn’t planning to work in April anyway, really; I knew I’d be crazy busy and basically unavailable for an actual work schedule anyway. This is only a good thing for me right now, and I’m really committed to making sure that my next job is a day job (so I can be on the same schedule as my soon-t0-be-husband), that’s not retail or waitressing and is somehow related to my degree (Wellness and Personal Development/Health and Wellness).  Besides, it’ll be so great to be able to come home to a fresh start after the honeymoon.

3. Don’t even make me get started on the dang snowfall in April. I don’t care if we did break our most-snow-ever winter record, I was not a happy girl about it. Get your stuff together, Mitten State.

4. Countdown update:  I walk for graduation is 10 days and the wedding is in 18! I’m officially in giddy freakout mode, which also consists of not caring one single bit about the remaining paper/exams I have for my classes.

5. Next week, I’m taking a road trip with my Momma to PA to spend a couple of my last single days with my best friend Sandra at my old school and also finally meet Liz from My Subscription Addiction, for whom I review/write. I’m really excited about both of those things, and it’ll be great to have some girl time before the wedding with a friend I never see, especially since I’m not able to really have a bachelorette party because all my girls are scattered in different states.

6. My new mantra is one that my new internet friend, Rachel, tweeted: “Life is too fabulous to be sad.” Seriously, I need that on a shirt or bracelet or something!

I know that’s short, but I now have to go get ready for the performance tonight/actually do my homework later!

Wednesday Things

a b

1. For the last week or two, I’ve been experimenting with different makeup products and looks with the intention of defining and practicing my wedding-day look. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck with landing the look that feels just right for me. Many of you know that lips are my beauty soft-spot. A bold and bright lip is my signature look and I’ve decided that I just need to give up on the expected “romantic smokey eye” or “natural makeup” and stay true to myself by staying true to that. Now the fun part is experimenting between all my lip products to see which stay in place best, have the right amount of pigmentation, and the perfect amount of glam. I mean, obviously, this is what I do anyway, but I just have to pay more attention to it now!

2. Saturday night was the last shift for me at the restaurant I’ve worked at for just under 2 years. Friday night was actually one of the better nights in a long time, followed by my last shift being one pretty lame and all-around disappointing shift. Part of me is glad for this because, were I to leave on an amazing night, I may have questioned my leaving or been sad about going. But, the other part of me wished I could have gone out on a high note. The next place for me is still waitressing but I got a job in a town that is much closer to everything else in my life. In fact, it’s right between where I live now and where Luke lives. This means I get to complete training and get somewhat settled in before the wedding, and then have someplace ready to come back to once I get moved in with Luke. It’s also even more fine dining than the last place I worked and is supposedly hard to get hired into; the manager said she hardly ever interviews because everyone stays there so long. To me, this indicates that they have good systems set in place as well as consistency in the management and cash flow. I’m trying to stay more positive than anxious.

3.  I mentioned in my Wife2Wife link-up post of Marriage Goals for 2014 that I was determined to get a real dining table into Luke’s apartment for us. I’m so happy to say that I finally accomplished this goal. My university has a Facebook page for people to use as a forum to seek or offer items for free or for sale. Fortunately, when I asked if anyone was selling a table and chairs, some one reached out to me with a great set for very little money. We were initially concerned because it’s a metal frame with a glass top, but once everything was put together, no amount of leaning or pushing can even make that glass table top budge! I even got a cute, coffee-themed tablecloth for it. We were ridiculous when we got it all together: no one has ever sat down at a table so excitedly. We beamed at each other and I said “wow… what do you want to do with it??” Luke responded with “I dunno! Do you want to, like, make dinner? And eat it? Here? At the table??” I know it’s silly, but eating food while sitting on a couch for months is a huge pain. The table isn’t going to be what lasts us for the next 30 years or anything, but it’s infinitely better than no table, much better than expected, and will hopefully last us for some time!

4. I was raised thinking that everybody just went to college. I thought it was just what everyone did. Only now, as I’m nearing the end of my undergrad education and have more opportunities to meet people outside of my university, am I realizing just how few people actually finish a bachelor’s degree. Luke and I were talking about it and he made me look up the statistics. According to the census bureau, only 30% of people aged 25 or older in the US have  bachelor’s degree. Only 40% have an associates, and 8% have a master’s degree (which just makes me want to get my masters even more). I feel very fortunate for this clever bit of strategy on my parents’ part to ensure I attend and complete college.

5. Okay, so I know I haven’t shared many details at all about the writing job I got – it’s the best thing ever. I’m the first writer (other than the founder) that My Subscription Addiction has brought on to write reviews of subscription boxes! If you’re unfamiliar with subscription boxes, they’re monthly (some are bi-monthly or quarterly) packages of goodies that get sent to your door. The kinds of boxes range from makeup to kids toys and products, to organic/natural home goods, to snacks, desserts, and recipe boxes (with all the ingredients inside!), to clothes and jewelry. Really, there’s something for just about anyone. There’s even boxes like Mantry and Birchbox Man that are for gentlemen! (There’s also a box dedicated to different kinds of meats each month!) My favorites are Birchbox, Ipsy, POPsugar Must Have, and Wantable (I love their intimates box – it’s something different than all the rest and it sends you lots of high-end tank tops, leggings, socks, under garments, tights, nightwear, etc!).  Basically, I get free stuff sent to me and I get to review it for My Subscription Addiction!

One of the coolest things about the site is it has a Swap Site where you can list the samples and products in your boxes that you don’t want and swap with other subscribers for the ones you want!  It adds a whole new layer to the fun.

6. I know the whole world has already finished talking about the Oscars, but I just have to say I’m so sad that Leo’s never won one. I’m perpetually rooting for him. He’s more than earned quite a few, in my book.

7.  I have to set my own bedtime. Seriously — I’ve been worse than ever at actually getting myself to put down everything, turn the lights out, and go to sleep. Aaaand I’m definitely paying for it. I’m so exhausted all the time.

8. All I’ve been eating this whole week is fish and seafood because I stocked up on takeout on my last shift. I’m now sick of seafood. Whomp whomp.

9. Speaking of which, my first day at my new job is tomorrow night. It’s Italian, and the menu is huuuuuge. As dumb as it sounds, if I can just have someone read me the names of everything once, just so I know how to say it, that would be a big help. I get to wear all black, and I don’t have to wear a tie. It’s already an improvement!

10.  I know I applied for the Master’s of Public Health at my university, but what I’d really love to study for my masters would be Positive Psychology. I suppose the next step is seeing where that masters program is even offered! I hope there’s one in Michigan, and even better near me.

That’s all I have for right now. I hope everyone’s doing well!

What’s something you’re excited about in your life right now??

Wednesday Things

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Hey, everyone! I feel like it’s been a while since I posted, but that’s just because I’ve been really busy (in a fun way!) (except school) (gross).

  1. I know we’re already more than 1/12 of the way in, but 2014 is going to be so seriously exciting and challenging and new and fun. My fiancee and I both have some really cool new opportunities and ideas that may help to bring in some more money and enjoying ourselves at the same time (who would have thought?). And then there’s that whole getting married thing, of course. That’s exciting, too (obviously)!
  2. Some of you may know that my dad lost his job a couple weeks ago. But, before he even finished editing his resume, he got a call from some one he used to work with who needs help with programs my dad designed years ago! Now, my dad gets to work for himself as an independent contractor AND work from home (his dream!). This is awesome. Especially with the added stress of planning a wedding, it gives us just that little bit of breathing room that does wonders for our sanity.
  3. I really miss my Grammy. She’d be so excited to hear about everything new going on and planning the wedding and everything. It’s still hard. But I’m really excited to have a reason to bring my family all together again for a happy celebration, since the last time we were all together was a funeral. It’ll be so great to dance and visit with my family and make those memories.
  4. Count-downs: 73 days until I walk for graduation! Oh my goodness. I just have to survive 73 more days. Basically 10 more weeks. I can do that. Counting down has never really done much for me in the past but when it comes to counting down my undergrad, it seems to make it feel like there’s actually a light at the end of the tunnel. Also, there’s exactly 80 days until I get married. Holy crap. This is the one countdown you probably don’t want to feel like it flies by because there’s so much to get done! Now that my dad has a job again and we have more options, I’m really trying to get back on track and as much done ahead of time as possible so that once finals and such come around, I can focus on finishing those strongly.
  5. Valentine’s Day! I’m celebrating tomorrow, on the 13th, because there’s no getting out of waitressing for Valentine’s Day. I’m really not looking forward to it (like that even needs to be said). It’s one of what we call “amateur holidays,” where people who don’t usually eat at expensive restaurants come out to eat. They often set a budget and then spend just under that, leaving only a small amount for a tip (which often ends up being 10% or less). Also, just about every reservation is a 2-person party, which means smaller check averages. Oh, well. Hopefully this will be my last-ever Valentine’s as a waitress.
  6. Speaking of which, please send some good vibes my way. As I eluded to above, I’m looking into new ways to bring in some good money and I’m really hoping I can quit the restaurant really soon. I die a little inside every time I have to deal with anything related to it.
  7. I was really struggling with some of those evil, self-critical demons this morning. Do you ever have times or days when you just hear those awfully negative voices in your head so much more strongly than usual? That was today. Fortunately, grabbing some coffee, having a sit-down lunch at the table with my Daddy and going on a walk with my parents later all helped me feel better. For now, at least. I always seem to struggle in January and February (Hello, Seasonal Affective Disorder), but being aware of this pattern for myself and having some lovely people supporting and surrounding me is more helpful than ever.
  8. The honeymoon is officially booked! We’re going to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Right before the travel agent put the first payment down, I had a moment of panic about how we could probably settle for some hotel somewhere close by for a week. But, I know that one tip for wedding budgeting that I keep reading is to cut money from the things that aren’t so important to you personally (flowers, alcohol, etc) and put the core cash towards the things that are. In this case, I know this trip will be amazing and once-in-a-lifetime. I know that paying for experiences rather than material things can be scary but oh so great. And now that it’s booked and set in stone, I have to be happy about it! It’s a win-win.
  9. Oh, I got my official wedding website set up! CLICK HERE to go see it!
  10. I have GOT to get myself a massage soon. My right shoulder + that side of my neck have been in constant pain for the last couple weeks and my right shoulder actually looks swollen because of how big the knot is in it. Friday’s payday – maybe I’ll finally get around to making an appointment then!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s, whether you celebrate or don’t, are single or not, go out somewhere fancy or stay home and eat Chinese. =]