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!

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Wednesday Things

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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. =]

Holiday Catch-Up

I’ve been a busy, busy girl lately. Because it’s the holiday season, and particularly this week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, my work knows no schools are in session so they just decided to schedule me just about every day until school does start again. I’m not happy with a lot of my work situation currently, for many reasons. Because my fiancee lives so far away from the restaurant I work at, I know I’ll have to leave once I get married; I thought that knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel would help make frustrations at work more bearable but, in actuality, it does the opposite. With only a couple months to go, I find myself thinking “what am I putting up with this for? Why don’t I just quit early?” Honestly, though, I have friends here. I’m looking forward to my last day to go get married and have people go out with me after work to say goodbye and such. One of my coworkers I was venting to suggests that I just leave now, and find someplace like Applebees to just fling burgers out for cash for a month or two until I get married. This is a perfectly valid plan, but I’m still torn because I love the people where I’m at. I’ll leave the settling for someplace like Applebees until after the wedding until I can find myself a big girl job that actually utilizes my degree or something.

Wedding planning feels a bit like working out right now. I took a break for a couple days from the routine I had been doing, which was just doing something productive and wedding-related everyday. Now that I took the break, it’s hard for me to get back into my routine. Especially because I have the big, fun parts done with and now it’s all details, specific schedules, and guest lists. It’s also hard for me to get time with my mom to sit and power through these things because she’s traveling to see family while I stay home and work, and when she’s home it feels like she and are only ever home at opposite times. Once school starts up and we get settled into routine again, I’m looking forward to having a mom date.

I know very well that I have a lot on my plate this semester. Besides work and wedding planning, I have 17 credits this next semester, and grad school applications to tackle. I’m trying to remind myself everyday not to get angry with myself over little things, and that my attitude is my choice and choosing to be happy makes all the difference. The time I have up until the wedding is going to teach me a lot and challenge me in lots of different ways. Time for my stress management training to actually come in handy!

Right now I’m just trying to catch up on basic tasks and write an essay for my grad school app, and pirating with my man in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag until I have to go to work.