Monday, December 20, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
- My husband
- My family
- My beasts, no matter what they make me smile
- The funny random e-mails that I get from my dad and my father in law
- My friends
- Wacky messages on FB
- The ability to pay off bills each month and how I am starting to accumulate savings
- My fireplace
- Hot Chocolate
- Shoes, make up and girly things
- planning vacations
- Julia Child and how she stated cooking in her 30s,
- the down comforter that I get to curl up in each night
- The upcoming holiday in NY
- White wine
- sleeping in
- the last of the fall leaves
Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I am just glad that I am sick the week that Hubs is home. Because for the next 6-8 weeks, Hubs will be commuting back and forth from Chicago to Toronto. Meaning that he will leave for Canada on Sunday or Monday and be home on Friday. He has been working on a project for over a year and it is taking a direction that requires people on the team to work in Canada and he was chosen.
He suspected that this may happen and when it happened, I was not happy I am ok with business travel, hell I spent two weeks in NJ last year for a project (that never happened) but 6-8 weeks when it was suppose to be two weeks max. Then I realized that he may not be home for my birthday but, he assures me that he will because he has a sleep study the day before my birthday. Smart man.
So, I have been thinking of ideas on how to keep busy when he is in Canada*. here is my list so far
1-Clean the floors in all the rooms,
2-Clean the grout in the bathroom
4.Work with Rosie on her doggy manner class homework
I don't want to spend most of my time watching television, I want to be somewhat productive. I admit that there will be times when I will plop on the couch and turn on the tube but, I want to try to make that the exception rather than the norm.
What ideas do you have? Mind you, I can't do anything immediately after work because I have to come home and walk the dogs.
*We did talk about me coming up to visit him in Canada but I have to get my passport changed. Since I took his name my passport has my old one. Plus we are trying to watch our pennies.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
It sucks to watch this unfold, seeing HR call people one by one and seeing them come out in tears and packing up their desk and heading out in less than 10 minutes start to finish. I have seen it four times before and probably will see it over the life cycle of my career. It sucks, survivor guilt I suppose.
Then to top this all off, our senior management was shaken up and the results have wrecked morale and stirred up the rumor mill. And thus began the chain of events, after the all of the layoffs; a few people quit. Our office when from a lively place a few months ago to a very quiet one. We lost staff to the other office and the lay offs. I
So where do I stand, I am safe for now and probably will be for a few more months. I hold a unique position in the company and right now I am busier than ever. It is not to say when I am done with my projects, they won't show me the door. It does say that I have to get a few ducks in order so that I am prepared to do what needs to be done for me. It has given me time to reflect on my job(s) and what I want to be when I grow up.
But at the same time, the opportunities are endless.
Have you been through a lay off? How did it affect you?
Hubs is doing much better, he saw a top notch cardio last week who thinks that this was an isolated event give the fact that Hubs is healthy. However, he does want to rule out a few things so the Hubs will have to undergo a stress test, wear a heart monitor and have a sleep study over the next few weeks. Better safe than sorry!
Thanks for your kind words and thoughts!
Friday, August 06, 2010
We celebrated a day early with an indulgent dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We had wonderful wine, a great dinner and a luxe dessert We even got our neighbors to take our photo, prom style. It was a nice quiet evening that we just celebrated our marriage. Sunday was the actual day and we spent the morning in doggy school. Rosie has been signed up for intermediate doggy manners class to work out some behaviors. After class, we picked up my gift for Hubs. a replica wedding cake. For our wedding we had a small cake to cut and had cupcakes for our guests. So I had our cake replicated.
That evening we had cake and sparkling wine with one of my bridesmaids.
But, that evening started one of the scariest moments of my life.
Hubs went to bed complaining that his heart felt like it was racing. He did not sleep and when he got up in the morning he was not feeling better. He took the dogs out and came back all sweaty and exhausted for a simple walk. He did not want to go to the hospital or the doctor, he thought that it would pass. So we went to the store and after he made it past the front door red and sweaty, I made him call his doctor. So right in the paper good asile, the nurse told him to go to the ER
After a quick trip home for a shower, to pack a few things and grab a sandwich. We have both been to the ER before and knew the wait could be a while.
so we got to the hospital and they took us in right away. Within minutes, he was in a bed with electrodes on his chest an IV in his arm and a bunch of nurses and a doctor in his "room". His heart was in a fib. His heart was at 177-200 beat a minute! A normal heart is around 77-89. They started to rush around him adding meds to his IV and talking him through the process. We all stood by the monitor watching the numbers work their way down. At the same time, his blood pressure dropped. So they slowed down the med and he was made to lay down.
It seemed like an eternity before the numbers started to get into the normal range but, reality was only a few minutes. They had to give him a does a blood thinner to prevent clots due to his low BP. This gained him admission to the hospital. Once stabilized, he began to make jokes with the nurses and the doctors and tried to make me laugh.
I was so afraid, I could not believe what was happening. I got scared and began to get tears in my eyes. There was no way I could lose him, there was no way, we were just starting. He assured me that he was not going anywhere! He began to tease me how he always promised me adventure and I teased him that he had to stick around to kill bugs and reach the high shelves.
He got a room a few hours later and I went home to grab a few things for him. He stayed in the hospital for a few days for observation and got released on Wednesday evening. His brother and sister in law came by to visit, our neighbors took care of our dogs in the evenings so I could be with Hubs and our phone and facebook had messages of support from our friends and family.
He got released with orders to see the cardiologist. The doctors could not find a reason why this happened but we just have to make sure it does not happen again. So he is not allowed coffee or booze and is on some meds.
So our first week of our second year together began with a wild adventure. I told him that this is the worst that I will allow this year to be so only good things from now on. We made it through this together, he leaned on me, and I had to be brave. He always promised me an adventure, and together we will face it all.
Happy anniversary, babe. For better and worse, in sickness and in health. I love you always.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Yea, that is what has been going on with me lately. I am working on this huge high profile project at work and was doign well, until someone else dropped the ball and handed it to me and then went on vacation. I was dreading today, I had a restless sleep thinking about spreadsheets. But ya know, it was not all that bad. Once I organized the info, worked out a plan with my counterpart, and started to get responses to my email things started to move. And I was able to breath. I know that I can do this and do it well and I so so glad that the higher ups are noticing what I have been doing.
So while I am appearing calm, my brain is all over the place and I feel a bit loopy and out of it (sorry I have not caught up on some blogs!). At the end of the day, I am just glad to come home see three furry faces, have a nice glass of wine and veg out with the hubs.
Plus there are some exciting things that have popped up in the past few days that we will have to wait and see if they pan out but, I am not going to over think, if it happens it will happen....I just hope that it happens.
So what plates are you spinning?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sometimes it sucks to get a phone call telling your grandmother in another country passed away.
Sometimes it sucks when you can't speak to your mom because she is on a plane.
Sometimes it sucks when your stoic dad gets emotional on the phone.
Sometimes it sucks to realize that the last time you made a trip there was 14 years ago and that money and lack of vacation time prevented you from doing so.
Sometimes it sucks that you could not say good bye.
So yea, sometimes it sucks.
Monday, July 12, 2010
It was recently that i noticed personal history also repeats. A few weeks back I got contacted by a former friend of mine on FB. We were close growing up and then we went to the same school and things did not go well. She became part of a group that ignored me, teased me and were cruel to me. It was not an easy time for me and my self esteem took a hit.
As I debated whether to accept or not,I stopped and looked at my life now and realized that this incident has happened to me throughout various parts of my life. It was not an exact story but there have been a lot of common elements that exist even today.
The only thing that changed is my reaction to it. I get over it easier or at least faster. I don't dwell on it and try to move on with my life (it is not always easy) or I just remove myself from the situation. Self protection perhaps, but I can anticipate how the story will go.
I did accept her friend request, I am glad to see that she is doing well. Now I have to figure out how to break the story I am currently in.
What about you, do you see trends and history repeating in your life?
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Lately, work has been very busy. I am glad though because ti makes my days fly by the downside is that it is getting harder and harder to take some time off. I don't mind checking in ones or twice but, I don't like to be teathered to my laptop or phone when I am suppose to be out and about.
I do have a great boss who has granted me a half a day on Friday to make up for my hours "in the office" last week. So we are thinking about venturing into to the Taste of Chicago for lunch.
We also have a call with our financial planner, hopefully we can find a balance that will work for us.
I feel that I am making a lot of sacrifices and am still feeling a bit over my head. I question sometimes was the grad degree worth the costs? Of course it is but it takes a while to pay off both professionally and financially. I have seen some benefits and I am lucky to be in the position I am now because of that degree.
Lately, I am in a spendy mood, I want to buy a bedroom set, a screen door, tile our backsplash re-do our office and get a proper desk, replace some clothes that are old or too small (yea lets add go to the gym to that one) and go on vacation. We will probably get the door and figure out a back splash. The rest will wait...until we win the lotto!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
-Go to the doctor for a check up (Ugh it is all the way downtown, in the early morning because traffic is going to suck!)
-Go to the fabric store to pick up a button for a blouse, some thread for the dog toy triage center I have in my office (they tore up some of their favorite stuffed toys) and look at upholstery fabric for a super secret project that I will blog about soon
-Go to the dry cleaner to drop off clothes that have accumulated for months, yea not too proud of that one
-Go through the wedding photos and pick a few to frame
-Print said photos and actually frame them
-Start to create a wedding album
-go to my neighbors contemporary dance show
So that is a full day and I hope to cross many off of my to do list.
What is your to do list if you had tomorrow off?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I have this habit of putting things in (separate) piles and pretend that they are not there. Clothes, paper, shoes etc. It is getting to the point where the piles have piles! so I am planning on taking this Friday off. I have a doctors appointment then I am woman on a mission, going to the fabric store to get a button and look at some fabric for a project, the off to the dry cleaner and home by noon.
Having an extra off day makes my weekend feel more productive.
What would you do with an extra day off this week?
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
She seemed really relived and then leaned in from across the table and whispered "It is such a personal thing, that I just did not know if I can talk to anyone about it."
That statement sums up the way I have been feeling about my blog (yep one of those blogger talking about blogging posts).
In the past few months there have been some things going on that are personal. My husband reads my blog and I am okay with that because it is not things that he hasn't heard before. But since getting married there are some issues that we are in the midst of that affect both of us. By blogging about them, I am exposing part of his life too.
Yet, at the same time, these are the things I want to talk about, I want input on them but, I just can't. It has really eaten me up inside because I do want some different perspectives that comments provide.
So I am trying to find some sort of balance. Yet, it is leaving me feeling that I am writing about superficial things like random weekend events.
I am working on finding that balance, finding the zen between personal and public. How do you do it?
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
I get home so drained and tired. So this past weekend was a chance for me to rest and recoup. Except that Rosie does not have a snooze button and is awake every day at 5:45 which means we are all awake at 5:45 and I have been out on walks at 6. But we finally figured out a way to trigger her snooze button. Let Yukon sleep with her! She slept in yesterday to 8:30 but, we think that the long walk along the lake shore had something to do with it too.
Saturday we spent the day with my in laws. My sister in law and I went to a wine festival in Elgin to support a charity that her sister works at. We got to try about 12 wines and considereing that we swapped, it was about 24. There are an amzing amount of local wines (produced inIndiana, Michigan and Illinois ) most were fruit wines. There was this lovely rhubarb wine and an almond champagne.
After the festival we went back to their house for a nice BBQ where my brother in law served as the neurotic grill master. But to his credit, everything was wonderful!
The rest of the weekend was spent at home, cleaning sleeping, catching up on some movies, playing wtih the dogs and going for long walks.
We need more long weekends.
What was your highlight?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The frustrated, helpless and stressed feelings I can dive deeper into I know why I am feeling this way, I know the causes but unfortunatly there is no quick fix. It is a daily reminder of "Hi, here is your life now, here is the life you want and there is no way at this time to bridge the gap" My life is not that bad at all, I know that. I am quite fortunate in many respects but, there are things that I want (not necessary material goods although a Mac book with be nice) and I know that I can't get them. It is just beating me up.
Tired well that is due to the lack of a full nights sleep. I tend to wake up at least once during the night. The cat likes to scratch the door at the wee hours for attention or he decides to be sick at 3:14 am. Or the thunder wakes me up or I am too hot/too cold or I had a nightmare, or a siren goes off etc.
All of this makes me just want to hibernate and hide and try to figure my way out of this funk. I just don't know how.
Note: This is not a reflection of my marriage. I am very lucky to have my husband for so many reasons.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
We spent Saturday at the zoo and just strolled around the park. We had a good time and as my Hubs puts it, "the residents were lovely it was the visitors that were not". It was so true, some parents and kids were just out of control.
My dad took us out for Portuguese food that evening and it was so good. Hubs is determined to find a Portuguese restaurant in Chicago, any ideas?
Sunday we headed to Staten Island for the christening*. And on the way we went through all 5 bouroughs, one was not on purpose! We crossed 7 bridges round trip (two not on purpose). But ithe whole ceremony and party were worth it. Baby V was so well behaved she slept through most of it and at the part was passed around. She would just sit on you lap and look around. I tried but she would not fit in my purse. But she is going to come with her mom to visit us soon! WE were able to catch up with some friends and make news ones.
One of the people at our table is a filmmaker and my friends business partner. Their short file has been shown in 4 film festivals so far and has gotten some great reviews. He was very interesting to talk to! They are busy with four more films that they are hoping to work through this year.
Yesterday we came back to Chi town to tow very excited dogs and a pleased cat. It was good to be home and share a bed again. My parents ave kept my room and my brother's the same, with one twin bed so Hubs and I had our own room!
*I did wear my black dress but paired it up with my hot pink shoes and a hot pink flower pin. It looked great!
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Her daughter was born in February during the worst snow storm of the winter and I was one of the few people that they called an hour after the birth. I have been given the title of Aunt.
Needlessness to say, we can't wait to go.
I have a question though, is it appropriate to wear a black dress for a christening? I would wear it with pink heels.
So what are your thoughts?
Monday, May 03, 2010
We planted our tiny deck box. We decided on basil, strawberries and stevia. While we know the basil will grow, we are wondering how the rest of the two will do. It is an experiement. Last year we did not have a deck box garden because of the stress surrounding the wedding. So this year, I wanted to have one. I wish we had a little patch of soil to work on because I would love to grow tomatoes and cucumbers with a few more herbs. But we will make do with what we got.
There has been some passive aggressive behaviour that is affecting our condo and last night we were in the middle of it. As with most condos, noise is an issue especailly if you have back decks, a few friends, a few drinks and open windows. One neighbor sent out a snotty, insult filled request for parties to be done by 10. This said neighbor has been the author of a number of these types of emails, he has this huge sense of entitlement and has not made any effort to come to any condo meetings. So the emails and insults continue.
Last night, many neighbors decided to rebel against this tenent by holding an impromptu drink/ bbq session, under our bedroom window. Normally, we do not mnid but the smoke, noise and unleashed dogs were getting a bit out of hand. Thankfully a few neighbors approached us and told us to let them know when we need them to quiet down. I said as long as they wrap up at 10 we are good and they did.
Communication is key but, I suspect that this type of passive aggressiveness is going to be a shot across the bow and we expect a few more rounds in this battle. We want a house.
Monday, April 26, 2010
When we came back to work, things seemed to have exploded in our absence. It made us wonder, why didn't we stay? So all last week, we had a few late nights, working from home and plenty of meetings to get us back in the game. It was all worth it!
Our trip to Maui was just perfect. It was a great combo of activities and relaxing. When I am on vacation I can never really relax because there are things that Iw ant to do and see. This time we made it a point to do both!
Here are some highlights
- We got up early to watch the sun rise over Haleakala, a dormant volcano and by early I mean 1:30 in the morning. We did a tour and that was when our pick up time was. Our guide picked s up and I swear he was shooting espresso! I have never in my life met some one who was so up and at them for 8 hours. He was just pumped and excited. He has done this for 5 years and it was so refreshing in a way to see someone who loves their job.
- On our way up to the sun rise, we stopped at a rest stop and there were no lights and the stars were endless. We saw the milky way and it was beautiful.
- We spent the next day snorkeling. I found a company that only goes out with no more than 6 people rather than a huge group tour. Hubs and I had so much fun with our guide. she was patient and knowledgeable. It was so awesome to see her get excited when we saw a puffer fish.
- The most surreal moment was when we were swimming with sea turtles. We saw one and Hubs and I were so excited. then about 15 minutes later, we were surrounded by at least 8-10 of them, they were next to us, below us and above us. Since they are endangered we could not approach them but, it did not stop them from approaching us. They were so graceful and inquisitive. There was one who was swimming towards us and was just a few feet away before he swam away. I have a deep respect for those creatures now.
- We went hiking in one of the rainforrests. I though it would be more casual than it was. It was challenging, we were climbing up and down rock cliffs only holding on to hhibiscus roots. We saw a number of waterfalls but, were glad when it was over.
- Pineapples, so good, we could not stop eating them. Passion fruit gelatto was another yum. Apple bananas were delish.
- Seeing the Hubs get formally recognized by the executive team. I had the opportunity to meet his co-workers and some people in his company. Mostly everyone was really nice and we had a good time.
- Winning the coveted tiki trophy as part of the Hub's team building exercise. We won all our team events by the half and then killed in in the sand castle final. Our winning sand castle...sea turtles. but Hubs rocked the blow darts and I rocked the coconut toss.
- Sitting in by the pool overlooking the beach and seeing humpback whales play in the ocean. It was a mom and her calf having fun
- Seeing Jennifer Aniston jogging on the beach path at our hotel
- Meeting and getting our photo with Adam Sandler also at our hotel. He was so nice and genuine and called me "Short legs!"
Aloha Maui! Mahalo!
Monday, April 05, 2010
But this week, you would think we would have time but think again. We are busy from Wednesday onward with events, meetings and concerts.
So if any of you have been to Maui what are the must dos? We are planning to do the sunrise tour and a road to Hana tour. But what else, what do we have to try activity and food wise?
And just to show you how busy we were, try doing this:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
-Hub's uncle passed away after a short illness, my father in law was able to see him before he passed and was there for the funeral. As sad as this is, his uncle passed away on his terms and had all his wishes and requests followed. It also ended some family strife that has been haunting the Hubs and his siblings.
-The Hubs has been stressed out from his job which translate to being stressed at home.
-We've been having some dog issues, one of which I can't talk about. The other one is that they have been eating paper, not just any paper but bank statement, tax document, old MBA papers. We have no idea how Yukon has gotten into them. So after two years of being crate free, she has now been put back in her crate.
-Money, but then again who is not stressed out by money. We are beating ourselves up on past money mistakes and the lack of foresight in other matters. But hey, we do not have crystal balls to predict the future but have to deal with the present. Thank goodness for the huge tax refund we got but it will require us to continue to live frugally.
-My grandmother is quite ill, very ill that I had to call my mom in Egypt. Thankfully, she has had a slight improvement and my parents got back from the Middle East yesterday.
Thankfully, the two of us are stronger together than ever. We've been there to support each other as the pieces being to fall.
So in a few weeks, we will be in the middle of the Pacific together celebrating the Hub's accomplishments and each other and not a moment too soon!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Put on your old green bonnet
with your yellow ribbon on it,
and we'll drink 6 friars to the grave
We ain't got knowledge
But we are a DAMN good College
S I E N A
Note worthy events
-Jimmy Fallon picked Siena to go all the way
-Obama picked Siena to beat perdue in the rirst round
-NPR sport guy picked Siena as the one to watch out for
From a small college in the Capital District of NY to being in the national spotlight I am proud to be an alum in so many ways!
Monday, March 15, 2010
However, the hubs has been so wonderful. He made me dinner and dessert (lemon cake) after cleaning the apartment on Saturday. He did the grocery shopping so that I can rest yesterday and took the dogs out all weekend without me. I helped out by making chicken stock (the best smell when you are sick) and washing the floors. He was just wonderful.
Since I can't take any cold meds because they cause some negative reactions. I have been resorting to home remedies:
-Teaspoons of honey for my throat
-Lemon juice (a lemonade basically)
What are some non drug remedies that work for you
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
- The hubs and I have decided to de-clutter the condo. I would love to get a dumpster and just toss out things but that is not going to happen (for now). So we spent part of the weekend going through old paperwork, cleaning out the front closet and the cabinet under our bathroom sink.
- On a related note, we have enough body wash and soap to last at least 3 years...I wish I was joking
- We found our bug spray and sunscreen (not expired) for Hawaii, so no need to go shopping
- I have so many dresses from my pre-wedding "I need dresses for events" shopping last year that I do not have to go shopping for Hawaii. I am so happy about that!
- Because of our upcoming trip, I got motivated to go to the gym. I ran and took an abs class. I am not as sore as I expected to be. The abs class was kind of a bust, I may replace it with pilates again.
- My puppies have been so good lately! They have been really loving the warm weather and the new smells that they have been using their energy outside which makes inside time a lot less crazy. (Now watch, I put it out in the universe and for the next week they will be demons)
- My parents are going to Egypt next week on a tour. It is so cute to hear how excited they are. My dad was telling me that he is glad he does not wear contacts because of the sand and he read that in his guide....and he found in his guidebook a small shop he wants to check out that sells papyrus, oh and that he can't wait to see what souvenirs they sell at the Sphinx. Mom is more excited for all the shopping that she did! It is really cute
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Last week, Hubs was extremely frustrated and snappy. He could not relax or sleep with all the pressures of work on his shoulder. He (like many others) felt unappreciated and was dealing with a number of personalities with their own agenda that is making him do more work than necessary. It was not good.
On Monday, he grumbled into work. When he came home, his spirits were lifted. He asked if I had looked into any vacations this year (I have been on and off looking a places to go) and when I replied no, he said "That is good because we are going to Hawaii!"
*Insert my mouth hitting floor*
His hard work was recognized by the person who placed him on the project as well as the executive team. He was selected with a few others to join the companies excellence club and will be recognized in Hawaii.
And I get to go! All expenses paid (well except for my taxes).
I am so proud of him and all the blood, sweat and swearing that he has done for his company. I am so glad to be his support! He deserves this!
Of course, now it means I have to hit the gym....well for him, it is worth it!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
So picture this, early 2002 in NY a 20 something woman happily moving though life. It was like the stars aligned, I was in a happy relationship, I had just moved into my first apartment in Brooklyn with my best friend and work was decent despite a lot of turmoil.
Then it all fell apart, one by one. My boyfriend broke up with me via VM while I was away at a wedding in Scotland. (this was before the even classier move of breaking up via text). We were together for almost a year and a half and this came as quite a shock. I was devastated, I became a shell of my formers self. I just got up went to work, came home and went to bed. During that time I lost 15 lbs by not eating because I was not interested in food.
My best friend got seriously involved with her boyfriend and it just added salt to the wound to see how happy they were together while I was miserable. Then they got engaged on what would have been my anniversary. So I was a mess.
Then my job took an unexpected turn. The VP of my division decided he did not want to be bothered with managing my team so he turned us over to another VP who decided that we were of no use to the company in Manhattan so we had to move to the operations facility in Long Island or get laid off. Fun hun?
I am not a fan of Long Island and never wanted to commute to that office. It was, to put it nicely, a dump. Nor did I want to get laid off, I have a huge fear of not having a job even if I hated it, I am fearful of what would happen if I did not have one.
Prior to this news, I was realizing that I needed to make a change in my live, in my environment. My apt was filled with ghosts of memories and I was stuck in a rut that I knew if I remained there, it would really do more damage than it has already bestowed. During this time of reflection, I was sent out to California to visit a client of mine (known for their couch jumping celebrity spokesperson) and I got to stay in Santa Monica. I fell in love with the town, the idea that it was warm and that the Pacific ocean was different. I decided that I wanted to move to California.
Then my job situation became undone. So California was not a possibility now because I would not be able to move so quickly without money. But a new opportunity opened up for me. My company had an office just outside of Chicago and I asked if I could be transferred there. To my surprise, they were delighted and did everything possible to get me out here. I must say, I negotiated a very sweet deal.
So in August of 2003, I moved to Chicago. I had my own apartment, a new car and only one person who I knew. It was hard, very hard. There were a lot of days when I got home and just cried. I shook my life up for sure but, I was not sure if this was what I wanted or if this is where I wanted to be. But then I slowly made friends at work. I forced myself out of my apartment and took flamenco dance classes. I even joined a dating site to get myself out (whole other blog post).
And I began to blog.
Now the move that was only suppose to last a year has turned into almost 7. I met my husband here, I have met some great friends here and one of my good friends from college moved out here a year and half after I did.
It was a hard road to get where I am but, I had to challenge myself, I had to make it happen I had to survive...and I did.
What about you, what have you done to shake up your world?
Monday, February 15, 2010
But here are a few questions that I have been wondering about:
1-If you could compete in an Olympic winter sport, what would it be?
I always longed to be a figure skater, I used to take skating lessons yet, did not have the skills nor patience to even attempt to make it.
2-Do you think valentine's day is overrated?
In a way yes, I think that it is just another day. when I was single it would sometimes sting, especially when your co-workers would get flower boquets that were non stop. But as I have gotten older it is just another day with my loved ones.
3-What are you tired of hearing about (news wise)?
I am so tired of the health care debate. All this talk of us vs them really annoys me and then when they talk about bipartisanship while pointing fingers....well who is calling the kettle black?
4-What is your quick go to homemade dinner meal?
It is tacos! Although I never underestimate a good panni or grilled cheese sandwich.
5-What is the best piece of advise you were ever given?
People will never act (or react) in the way you want them to. But you are in charge of how you will respond.
Your turn...and are there any answers to questions that you want to know?
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
-Yesterday, the whole company got a spam email. I did not open it, it went straight to my trash box. However, a few did and then people started to "reply to all". We have about 12,000 employees around the world. Our email was clogged for 2 1/2 hours. The sad part, most of the reply to all and then the emails telling people not to reply to all, were written by managers. At last count it was up to 300 emails!
-Would you tell your co-workers that you are on an anti depressant? Would you tell you boss? Would you start crying at your desk (and some of your co-workers desks) complaining about menopause, your doctor and insurance? Yes, this was the same person!
-I am trying to wrap up a project. A project that was to be completed by the end of 2009. then was pushed back to the end of January and is now pushed back till March. Why the hold up? Well the team leader has decided to "check out" and is not being as active as she was in the beginning. So as the project leader I pick up the slack and all I hear are crickets. People don't get back to me, they do not get back to my boss. It is beyond frustrating. What kills me, is that this project has affected my 2009 performance review. Thankfully, my boss is very understanding and has supported me through out. Which is a good thing otherwise I would have flown out east to kick some ass.
-IT is overworked and not communicative. So they do not respond to my requests for info and updates.
-Our office is overdecorated for Valentine's day. I am a fan of a few things here and there, but it is over the top. Not as bad as Christmas, when Ms. Prozac wrapped all the pictures on the wall.
-I am over the passive aggressiveness.
I need a drink.
What is giving you headaches?
Monday, January 25, 2010
2 tablespoons of butter
4 Medium yellow onions thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper
1/2 cup sherry*
5 cups beef stock**
Heat your pot, when it is hot add the butter. Let it melt and then add the onions, let the onions saute for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally (Christina's note, our onions were huge so they filled the pot all the way to the top, do not worry as they cook, they reduce in size. I also added a pinch of salt at this step to heap the onions sweat)
Add the thyme, salt and pepper.
Add the sherry and use it to deglaze the bottom of your pot. Make sure you get all the yummy brown bits. Let the mixture simmer a bit until the sherry has evaporated.
Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat so to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning (Christina's note, if you are using a regular stock, you can reduce some of your salt. I also love extra thyme so I add more)
Get your oven proof bowls, cut the bread about 1/2 inches thick. Grate the cheese.
Ladle the soup into your bowls. Fill only 3/4 of the way, add the bread and then sprinkle the cheese. Set the bowls under your broiler for a couple of minutes (Christina's note watch the bowls as different ovens have different heat levels. It is a good idea to put them on a rimmed cookie sheet, because they are hot).
Remove, and add extra cheese if you wish (um yes!)
Let it cool for a moment and enjoy!
Serves about 6
*Use regular sherry not cooking sherry
**Vegetable stock can be substituted
-This is even better the next day, you can make the recipe up to adding the soup to the bowls.
-You can substitute thyme for herbs de Provence
If you make it, let me know your thoughts.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- Rosie has had two puppy training classes and has shown a lot of confidence and is food motivated so is quick to learn. The downside, is that she is food motivated and interrupts other puppies and their owners for a treat. It has been a fun class and we've learned a lot. This week's homework is the sit (leading to stay) command and a review of the "come" command.
- Ever since the burglary, it seems that all our neighbors are watching out for each other and for us. People have really stepped up and are checking in with each other and sharing notes. It is great to be a part of that.
- The downside of that is some entitlement issues and passive aggressive comments that have been going back and forth. We are all adults, if you want your upstairs neighbor to turn down his TV, knock on his door and ask him!
- spend a lot to get my car maintained, more than I planned, and we still have a few more issues to take care of. Well when you are almost at 30k miles, stuff happens.
- Bought a new blender for $0.38, thank you gift card.
- Making onion soup today....can we say yum.
- Can't believe that my best friend is having a baby in 6 weeks, I am an honorary aunt and can't wait to see them in the spring!
- My parents are going to Egypt for Spring break (they work in a college). they have been so funny about planning and researching. According to my dad, never buy alabaster in the streets, it is fake and there is one store in Cairo that sells papyrus as done my the ancient Egyptians and he may have to go check it out.
- I am so over the late night wars!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Before you donate money, make sure that it is a reputable organization. Sadly, as with most recent disasters people have been scammed and their contribution does not make it to the country in need. To check if your charity is a legitimate one please check out this website.
Check with the local offices to see if they are collecting food and clothes. The Red Cross in Chicago is requesting financial donations as it costs them time and money to sort and send clothes. Also, they like to stimulate the local economy by purchasing items there.
Check if your company is offering matching donations to maximise your donation.
Some other relief and charities organizations that are collecting are
Doctors without Boarders
Habitat for Humanity
Save the Children
World Food Program
Check to see what they are looking for (although most are seeking financial donations)
You can also text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the International Response Fund of the Red Cross.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Our neighbors were a victim of a day time home robbery over the weekend. It happened between 1-3 pm, most of the neighbors were out (including us) and did not see anything suspicious until about 3:45. They lost their laptops, a gaming system and some custom jewelry. They crate their dog so she was okay, shaken up but okay/
It got me thinking about some things that we all can do to protect our homes. The first thing it to add layers to make your home less appealing:
Here are some tips to keeping your home safe.
There are so many options available that can be suited to your house/condo (make sure they are reputable, do your homework). Many are offering discounts or free options that help to mitigate the cost. Put the alarm stickers on your doors and windows, it is a major deterrent (Plus, it reduces your homeowner’s insurance)
How strong are your doors, are they reinforced with steel or just a simple hollow wood door? Can you replace them? If not, the simple thing it so add a metal plate, like a book cover, they glide over your door and then you bolt your locks and handle in, it is hard to drill to open the lock. You can also consider some drill proof locks.
-Do you keep your shades open to show the world what you own? Invest in blinds, curtains and keep your windows locked when you are not home.
Time yourself give yourself 5-15 minutes, what is in plain eye sight and can easily be taken? Try different entry points. Secure those items to make it harder.
Keep a record of your serial numbers for your computers, gaming systems, TV, DVD players etc. Keep the record on an internet based system such as Google Docs. Print and keep a copy for yourself (perhaps in a book on your bookshelf or taped to the back of some artwork that is hanging in your home)
Do you want your sentimental jewelry taken? Place those special pieces away from your everyday pieces. Keep it somewhere unusual that would take a lot of time and effort to find but not hard for you to remember.
From homeowners to renters insurance make sure you have your items covered. Be honest, look at the value of your bit ticket items and get coverage. It is a small price to pay
Invest in a strong secure one, one that is too heavy for a person to carry comfortably. Keep your passports and important papers in here but keep a copy of your passport somewhere safe, Scan it to your email. A safe deposit box at a bank is another option.
Make sure you know who you are letting into your building or home. It is okay not to let people in that you do not know even if they say they are friends of your neighbors.
Know your neighbors
You need to keep each other informed of any suspicious activity. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Know your local police officers
Invite them to your association meetings; let them know your concerns. They have tips and suggestions to keep you safe and you develop a relationship with them.
Ensure that your pets have the electronic ID system. Make sure you keep those numbers handy. Call all shelters if they go missing
Know your surroundings, know the people who live in your neighborhood and report anything suspicious.
What are other tips?
Friday, January 08, 2010
We've been working from home for the past few days due to the snow storm and she has decided that she would rather spend all day on a lap rather then in her warm crate. She is not a fan of the cold weather and loves to wear her jacket. Her dad is looking at doggy boots since she is very sensitive to the salt.
Yukon has been such a good big sister. She tolerates having a playmate and has taken on this matronly aura. I am so proud of her.
We all start obedience school this weekend and I can't wait. We need to work on a few things but, we can't imagine our life without her.
Monday, January 04, 2010
The past two weeks have been lovely! It was great staying home doing little things to make our house neater and spending time catching up on movies and playing with the pets. I got most of my list done but not all of it. I have been procrastinating on finishing up cleaning the office and my bedroom closet though.
But with 2010 brings some things that I want to start to do. I don't like to call them resolutions because I feel so bad when they fail but, rather call them changes to work for. The top of my list is to get my body in motion. I have not exercised in ages and am feeling the effects so instead of wallowing about it, I need to get moving. Back to the gym for me and perhaps start running (perhaps). I also have to watch what I eat, the holidays wrecked me so now we have to go back to eating good things. Work has a program to help you get started so I signed up to keep me motivated and accountable. I was so good early last year but, stopped. Now, I have to get back on track.
I want to stay organized. I get so freaked out sometimes by not having a neat and tidy house. So I want to work to maintain and do little things that help keep it looking good. I have already started, I organized all the cleaning products by usage, accessibility and if it is dry vs. wet. I also take at least three things that don't belong in a certain room and put them back when I leave the room I am in. Finally, I conditioned our chopping block and it looks so pretty that nothing is allowed on it. I plan to clean for a few minutes each day so that the weekend is not a cleaning marathon.
Simple changes I suppose but I hope these work to make things a bit easier for me in the long run.
what are your "changes to work for"?