Friday, February 28, 2014

Looking on the Bright Side

            Well today I got laid off from the first full time job I had after graduation. I have to say, I knew it was coming. I've been there for just over a year and a half. Since starting there I have learned and grown a lot. When I graduated college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do, but I needed money, a job and experience. I was lucky enough that once I started looking and getting calls from recruiters, I had a job in less than 2 weeks and that was pretty good, considering the economy. I took the first job I was offered. I thought about it when I was offered it, like should I take it just because it is the first job. I knew that I needed experience and they were willing to train me in the tasks I'd be doing. Little did I know, I would just be emailing and calling people for things I didn't understand and still have a lot of down time. However, just a couple weeks into that job and a position in the accounting department (where I wanted to work) opened up. I applied and had the quickest interview ever and got the job!
         I started in the accounting department answering phones, sorting mail, pretty much non stop, but I loved it!

           I loved learning something new everyday from the questions people had when they called in. I loved being busy and I always found happiness in the little things like Disney stamps on the mail that came in.
          Our company was growing at a rapid rate at that time and in January 2013 I was given the opportunity to move over to do more accounting related tasks, such as reconciling and writing journal entries. I was excited to be learning even more! The first few days with my new position were a bit overwhelming with all the stuff I didn't know, but over time, I got better at the tasks.
          The best part about my work though, was my co workers! I felt so lucky to have the most amazing co workers and the best manager. I will definitely miss them the most.
           However, as I said in the beginning, I knew this was coming. We haven't had that much to do in a while and things were really slowing down. So for the past couple months I have been actually getting ahead by searching for jobs and also apartments.
           As I was driving home this morning after just 2 hours of work, I was thinking about what I would do with my time. I have really wanted to develop my blog more and get my own domain name and design it. Now I have the opportunity to spend time doing so. I mention I plan on getting an apartment and well there is a lot of stuff that I don't need sitting in my current room, so it is time to clean that up. I haven't mentioned on my blog, but I would really like to get my yoga teaching certification. Once I move, I hope to find a studio that I like and do this. I have been itching to travel and get out of town and now I don't have to worry about if I have time off to do so. I know I will worry about money, so I will try to find people to stay with, but I do hope I can get away for a bit and also spend time with my best friend who just told me she was induced today to have her baby! I can't wait to meet her baby girl!
          So I'm taking this time as an opportunity to go out and find another job that I love, learn some more and work on some dreams of mine! As they say when one door closes, another one opens. I'm excited to have this time to explore some possibilities for myself and my future. From the name of my blog, it's just another bridge to cross in life as I also continue to work on these bridges!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day off and Treat Yourself Tuesday #2

Well it's a Tuesday, but feels like a Monday since I didn't have work yesterday. Luckily I didn't, because this happened....

    What started as a 1-3 inches of snow prediction on Sunday night, turned into a 4-8 inches of snow on Monday morning. Luckily most of this came in the afternoon after I ran some errands and then I spent the afternoon inside eating, watching some of the Olympics that we recorded and preparing some food for the week. After all that I finally went outside to shovel and also had some fun.

    Yep I did a bridge in the snow, which is really hard with a winter jacket on. Also I was in the street doing this, as you may see the tire tracks. Hopefully my street will be plowed by the time you read this, but my street is kind of a last priority seeing as we are a dead end street.

      I also took a lovely photo with my sister. We are so cute together!!

       Anyway I also wanted to link up with Becky, even though she is on vacation this week and I'm so jealous she gets to lay on the beach and I'm stuck here in snow...can this endless winter/snow please end soon?!?
       Even though it was a snowy weekend, I did treat myself to a few things.

    Firstly, I order a new workout tank. I ordered it online so it's on it's way. I got this tank top in blue last month and honestly it's so comfy, ever time I have it on, I don't want to take it off. So I figured I'd get the other color as well so that I have two and it was still on sale and free shipping!!
Under Armour Women's StudioLux Textured Tank Top - Dick's Sporting Goods
     I also went to a new class this weekend, which I mentioned yesterday, Aerial yoga. I do consider that a treat since I do not belong to the gym where it is held and therefore costs me extra money. I probably will not go every week, but I am planning to go next week.

       Since I had the day off yesterday, I treated myself to a hair cut. I think the last time I got a hair cut was last May. I typically get a hair cut once a year now after I've been staring at my split ends for a while. So I got three inches off and now my hair looks nice and healthy. I also always have my hair dresser straighten my hair. When it curls up it will be a bit shorter, which always takes some getting used to, but I love seeing the ends of my hair straight again!

         That ends my few treats from the last week. Enjoy your day and drive safe if you have a lot of snow where you live.


Monday, February 17, 2014

AutoShow Weekend MIMM #5

   Happy Monday everyone!! This was a great weekend and still going today, because I have the day off for President's Day!! Thanks to all the presidents for this day off and my work for deciding to give the day off, seeing as it is an optional holiday. My weekend was not too eventful but it was a good one, so I'm linking up with Katie for another Marvelous in my Monday.

 Friday, I went out to lunch with my co workers. I usually tend to avoid going out to eat since it is more money but we ran out stuff for salad and I didn't feel like going to the store on Thursday night. Lunch out with my co workers was fun though and perfect for Valentine's right? I love my co workers! I also brought cookies to work for the holiday. 
    After work I went straight to babysitting so some parents could go out for Valentine's day. Some time with kids and getting paid for it, both are marvelous to me!

     Saturday, I went to the Chicago Auto Show with my dad and sister. It is the Nation's largest auto show! I had never been before even though I've lived in Chicago all my life (except for college years), so it was cool to go this year and see all the cars. It was also my sister's first time and we both enjoyed it. Rather than writing about it, I will show you through photos instead. 
Thanks to Dodge for taking this lovely photo of me which also entered me into a contest to win this car, but I'm sure my chances are pretty slim. I love the photo though. 

my sister and I at the zombie apocalypse cars

race car that came right from the race so it hadn't been cleaned before the auto show
non car related but a pic with 2 of the girls part of the ice crew for the Chicago Blackhawks. Since I just saw my first Blackhawks game last month, I thought this was cool. 

Lots of woman talking about the cars
race suits

sitting in a race car, I'm definitely not a race car driver

   So many cars, so many people and just a HUGE place! My feet were pretty tired of walking by the end of the day. My fitbit told me I got my 10,000 steps for the day after all that walking though, so that was marvelous as well. I love it when I meet my goal! 
      Once we finally made it back to the car and drove home from the auto show, I made a salad for dinner and went on my computer, which then turned into a not so marvelous night when I learned that my disk drive went bad on my new computer. Luckily I've only had it for 3 weeks so there wasn't too much new stuff and my boyfriend's friend who built it was able to recover my new stuff. The disk drive is under warranty and hopefully I'll get a new one soon. 

        Sunday was a day to cross off some "to-do list" items, such as a run to Target. While driving to Target I witnessed an act of kindness, as I was approaching a traffic light and noticed a car in the middle of the intersection. My first thought was "what are they doing?" but then when I stopped at the red light, I saw a guy run over to the lady in the car in the middle of the intersection and realized the person's car broke down there. He talked to her, telling her what to do and pushed her car out of the intersection as his wife and child waited in their car on a side street. It put a smile on my face to see this act of kindness today and know that there are some great people out there. Being a busy intersection I would have worried about her being hit by another car, so I am glad that one guy was able to help out and at least get her out of the intersection.
          Once I got home from running errands, I started some easy crockpot chicken for the week, since I like to have quick meals ready to eat when I get home during the week. When I plan ahead and cook some things on Sunday, I definitely eat better during the week instead of grabbing the bag of pretzels to munch on. 
        Later in the afternoon, I went to my first Aerial yoga class at a local boxing/crossfit gym. It's a small gym and I have to say being that it is generally a boxing gym, it just smelled like sweat as you walked in. Besides that though, the aerial class was just me and 2 other girls. Seems like the class is always fairly small, which is nice because then the teacher can assist you. It was pretty fun and the time passed by quickly. It was interesting how you were doing yoga, such as warrior 1 and 2 poses, but the bent leg was hanging on the silks. Sometimes it was tough to balance. We also used the silks to do some jumps which worked our arms and abs. Then for the last few minutes, usually called shavasana in yoga, where you lie on your back, close your eyes and relax, we laid in the silks, like a hammock or cocoon and just let it hold us. It is really relaxing. I wish I had one in my room to just sit and read in LOL. I plan to go again next week. 
   That's all for my weekend. Not too eventful but was perfect for me. Since I'm off work today, I made a haircut appointment (way overdue for one) and a routine dentist appointment. Then I will be enjoying the house to myself. My sister was supposed to be off school today, but it's a make up snowday for her. 

Hope you have a great day whether you are working or off today. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Day in My Life...

      I thought I'd share with you a day in my life. I've seen these posts popping up lately and I know I enjoy reading what people do, so why not share what I do, even if some of it is pretty boring.

5:20 - Alarm goes off and I lay in bed for a few minutes before finally getting up

5:35 - start making breakfast and finish packing my lunch for the day

5:45 - eat breakfast while watching one of my recorded shows on tivo (it can take me between 2 and 3 days to finish a 1 hour show because this is the only time besides the weekend that I have access to tivo)

6:10 - wash my dishes from breakfast (I don't like to come home to dishes everywhere, though it happens anyway from my parents and sister, but then I can say that I washed MY dishes so they can't blame me)

6:20 - get dressed and ready for work

6:30 - check my email and Facebook before work, sometimes I'll do some foam rolling if I'm really sore from my previous day's workout

6:40 - drive to work

7:15 - arrive at work and listen to the radio for a few more minutes before getting out of my car

7:30 - 12: work, pull reports, read blogs on my phone while waiting for reports to pull (the computers are soooo slow)

12 - 12:30: chat with co workers for a bit, nice break from staring at the computer screen

12:30-1:30: eat lunch, read blogs, browse the internet on my phone

1:30 - 4: work, work, work (getting antsy from sitting all day) and chat with co workers

4:40 - arrive at the gym for my workout (finally no more sitting!!)

5:20 - eat a Larabar while walking to my car and leave the gym

5:30 - arrive at the grocery store to pick up a few things

6 - swerve into the snowy driveway (my car and this snow do not go well together) at home

6:05 - start putting together some dinner, sometimes after workouts I feel like having snack style plates. I throw random things together. Tonight peanut butter sounded good with apples and cucumber and just threw a bit of ham in there since I just bought it.

6:20 - bring dinner upstairs to my room and find something to watch on Netflix since my mom claims the TV at night

6:45 - read blogs, chat with my bf online, check email and log workout on Fitocracy (woohoo over 500 points today)

7 - drink some tea while watching Netflix still

8:10 - realize I should probably make my lunch for tomorrow, but get distracted going through my mail from the past few days. I got a surprise in the mail today

I pre ordered and read this book a couple months ago. I had sent in my order confirmation through a Facebook post and I actually got her signature! So cool! Also recommend the book if you are a "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" Fan or ever watched her first TV show "Clarissa Explains it All" on Nickelodeon. I love Melissa Joan Hart! 

8:30 - finally make my salad for lunch tomorrow

8:50 - decide that I should probably get out of my workout clothes I've been wearing since the gym and shower

9:15 - lay in bed, reading for a bit before going to sleep

9:30 - time to go to sleep

Well that was my Monday, mostly typical, other than the grocery shopping which I try not to do too often on weekdays and I don't get a surprise in the mail everyday, though I would love to. I hope I didn't bore you too much. Maybe I will do this post again some time on a more interesting day, though that will probably be a day when I don't have work, because when you are sitting at a desk for over 8 hours, days can be pretty boring. Anyway I will stop rambling. Have a good week!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fun and Snowy Weekend MIMM #4

      Happy Monday!! It's time for another MIMM post! Thanks Katie for hosting!!
My weekend started out by running errands. I am not sure why, but I was excited to go shopping at Target. Maybe this was because I had so many coupons I had planned on using. I am not an extreme couponer (if you have seen that tv show), but I do like it when I need things and have coupons for them so that I can save some money. Saving money is certainly marvelous! We had coupons for at least 50% of the items on our list today and I was so excited about that! I also purchased these.
      I heard these were being released on Feb 3 and finally purchased them. However, I must say, not as good as they sound. The filling just tastes too artificial for my liking. I will just have to buy some regular oreos and make some cookie dough. That will probably taste better. 
        After running errands, I headed to a marvelous yoga class at One2One for their grand opening. Also I loved how their sign was sitting on a mound of snow! There are so many snow piles around here and it's currently snowing as I write this. 

    After yoga, we enjoyed veggies, fruit and some cake to celebrate a birthday of one of their staff. I talked with a few people I had met in the class and also a person who was in my high school class. I didn't know her much in high school, but she actually recognized me and once she said what her name was, I recognized her and we were chatting about what we are currently doing in life and everything. It was really fun. 
     Then there were raffles, which I didn't win, but we all got some little goodie bags which was filled with some pretzel chips, a sports bar and brownies from Rose's bakery that is located below their studio. I still haven't been to the bakery, but sometime I plan to stop in. 
      Once I got home, I got to work on making some marvelous muffins. Thanks to Amanda for the delicious recipe! Check out her page for better pictures, but here are what mine looked like when they came out of the oven. 
     Once they were cooled, I tried them and they were so good! It was hard not to eat all of them. I then made my sister and parents try them. My family approved, even after commenting on how they were made and the ingredients. They didn't know how they would turn out, but I am glad they liked them. I, of course, had to make a second batch in order to bring some to work today for my manager's birthday. 
       Later in the afternoon, this happened...

  That would be my cat Skittles on my dad's lap, which has NEVER happened. This is why I needed picture proof of this. Skittles has been enjoying sitting on people's laps under blankets recently so when my dad offered her a blanket and my mom wasn't sitting down, she actually got on his lap. Usually the cats are afraid of my dad. This could be because he used to trim their claws when they were little or because he isn't usually the one to feed them. Saturday though, she was desperate for some attention so she got some petting by my dad. 
   To end my Saturday....Marvelous is cleaning my desk. I knew my desk was big, but seriously look at the space I have now! You really couldn't see much of it before. I can actually work at my desk now! (Also love the background of my computer, my one leg bridge pose in the Bahamas)

Sunday was also pretty marvelous. To start off the day, the sun was out!! It may be snowy outside still, but to see the sun out and glistening on the sun was marvelous. Chicago has some pretty grey winters, so I feel like it's a rare occasion to see the sun shining, especially with all the snow this year. I also finally got a chance to take some pictures of the snow and the beauty of winter. 

tree in my front yard

street before they plowed

backyard tree

the park nearby
   My favorite picture is the one of my backyard tree. It's just so beautiful in the sunlight!! 

      Anyway onto the rest of my day, I went to a Pure Barre: Breaking Down The Barre class so that I could learn the proper posture for the moves. Hopefully now when I attend a class I won't be all confused as to weather I am doing it correctly. 
      Later in the afternoon, marvelous was getting the house to myself and making another batch of muffins followed by some chocolate chip granola bars and individually wrapping them so they are ready for the week. 

     After all that I was pretty tired, so finally it was time to sit down, relax and watch some of the Olympics and enjoy the rest of the evening. 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snow, Babyshower and More Snow

   This weekend, I was absolutely crazy and drove 3 hours in snow to go see my friend and rub her baby belly. The good news was it wasn't consistently snowing for the whole drive, but the roads were absolutely terrible from the snow overnight. As long as I had tire tracks to follow on the interstate and kept my speed around 40 mph, I was good. OK I was nervous the entire time!! But I kept my focus on the road in front of me. There weren't too many cars around me, as most people were smart to stay off the roads in the morning. It was scary and good at the same time. I didn't like how there weren't many cars on the road in case I did get in an accident (luckily I didn't), but it was also good because when the "lane" I was driving in would get too snowy, I would just move slowly over to the next lane that was slightly better. I say "lane" because obviously it was kind of hard to tell where the actually lane lines were and I was totally OK with driving in the middle of two lanes if it meant I could control my car better.
    After three hours (on a normal day, it'd be two hours) I finally arrived, stepping hard on the gas pedal to get into the parking lot of the church where the baby shower was being held. I was so happy when I arrived safely there and couldn't wait to just get out of my car for a bit and stand and stretch my legs. Then to see my friend and her baby belly. She is due in about 5 weeks!! OMG how time flies! (Sorry for the blurry pic, my phone camera is really not that good or my hand isn't steady enough)

I was also starving when I arrived since I ate breakfast early and left later than planned, but had to wait for the baby shower to officially start. We had some little sandwiches, fruit, pasta salad, cheese and crackers. It was delicious and as you can see, I started eating before actually taking a picture.

  Aren't those wooden forks so cool?!?! Everyone at the shower was thinking maybe we should wash these and save them because they are so cool. 
   We then played a couple games, which were new to me (I've only been to 2 baby showers and we played different games at those ones). The first game, we had to close our eyes and draw what the baby might look like in 30 seconds. I forgot to take a pic of mine, but one of my legs was definitely not attached to the body of the baby...
    Then we played a game which included phrases about pregnancy and after and we had to name a candy bar that went with it. We weren't given any sort of candy bar list though so it was really tough. Ex: hospital bill = 100 Grand candy. That was the only one that most people got right. I think the highest score was 2 correct out of one was good at that game. I'm not a big candy person and some of the candies mentioned, I had never heard of.
    Then it was time for cupcakes and presents. I made her a diaper cake with "cupcakes" made from onesies and baby socks. I had so much fun putting it together.

diaper cake

onesie and sock cupcake

finished product

   She got so many cute clothes and baby necessities. Then we cleaned up and I stayed the night at her place because there was no way I was going back in the same day with all the snow. My friend's buried mailbox and all the snow piled high.

    At least I had a buddy at her house. Simon loved me :)

     The good news is, after staying the night, the roads were much clearer in the morning (once I made it out of the side streets...barely, I was scared my car was going to break with how much I had to slam on the gas and wiggle/zig zag down the street until I reached a semi plowed part). I made it home in the usual 2 hours and they were just plowing my street when I got home.
     Also it's February 2, I believe the groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter and there is already snow in the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday this coming week. Because of all this weather and the holidays, I realized I've only worked a full work week once in the past 5 weeks. It's pretty crazy and I'm getting too used to the delayed starts and less than 40 hours a week, going back to full work weeks is going to be tough LOL.
     Hope everyone enjoys the Superbowl. I'm not into sports, but I think I'll watch some of the puppy bowl tonight.