September Goals

After that whirlwind summer, I’m desperate to get back on track. While I did, arguably, complete my biggest goals of the year in getting a new job and moving out of Virginia, many other things that are important to me flew way to the wayside.

  • Be active every day, even if it’s just a walk around my complex or the golf course
  • Pay off my credit cards (I utilized them often during my move. Oops.)
  • Go to 3 networking events
  • Eat at least 5 fruits and veggies per day
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day (I used to be very good at this, but I fell off the rails as soon as I left my last job.)
  • Bring lunch to work 3x a week
  • Go to the gym 4x a week
  • Post 2x a week
  • Read 2 books
  • Get better organized

Through all of the moving frustration (the Ikea fail – actually, all the furniture fails, since there are more I didn’t blog about) the thing I have been most disappointed in myself for is that I’ve put my health to the wayside. I can’t remember the last time I went for a run. I eat more sugar that I need to. Actually, I eat more than I need to in general, so I’ve gained some weight back. It’s also hard to work in a restaurant where I get 50% off, so the delicious food is less than fast food… but I’m not sure how “good” for me it is. (The chefs have already caught on to me, though, and offer me a sweet potato every day.) As soon as my budget will allow it this month, I’m going to do a juice cleanse to get all the crap out of my system and really reboot everything.

I am a really big fan of specific goals, which is why mine typically include a number. But it’s hard to quantify how you “get better organized” – so I’m trying to work on a plan that involves maintaining meeting notes (I now sit in meetings for over ten hours a week), and on top of that, I have so many other things going on that I’m really starting to outgrow my Moleskine. Managing work events, networking, personal life, goals and fitness, I’m exploring all kinds of printers and planners and ways to make everything work.

The nice thing about my new job is that we have GREAT coffee, so I’m very rarely tempted to stop for Starbucks on my way in. We also get free pop or juice, and we just installed an espresso bar. The only thing I’ll need to go see the Siren for now is my sweet PSL.

In addition to my day job, I’ve also landed a side hustle in the city that I’m really excited about. So even as down as I still am a lot of the time, I’m trying to keep my head up. Good things are happening and I just need to keep believing that!

When you’ve “gone off the rails,” whether it’s with food, spending, or whatever else, how do you reel yourself in?

Make-Up & Hair Ritual

daily face ritual/make-up applicationphoto via death to stock photo

As soon as I got in my apartment I knew I would have to install at least one shelf in my bathroom to get my makeup products out of the sink – the original apartment they showed me featured a huge counter in the bathroom, which was one of my selling points on picking this place. but naturally, as with every other part of this move, that wasn’t to be in my actual apartment (when you see me whining about how everything has gone wrong with this move on social media – I’m not just being a drama queen, it’s really turning out to be true!) So, inspired by my pretty new shelf, I thought I’d cover the products I slather on my face and through my hair every day.

I start in the shower with my face wash. I don’t really have a specific product, I just kind of use whatever is around or on sale. Right now I’m using the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub which I picked up on sale at Ulta this summer and paired it with an additional coupon and rewards points, so I got two bottles for $2. I try to do a deep clean twice a month with Boots Botanics Ionic Shine Away, but sometimes I forget. Oops.

This summer I was in the market for a new primer, and right now I’m using Urban Decay Naked Beauty Balm for its added SPF benefits. It’s not really a true primer so it doesn’t seem to hold makeup as well as Hourglass or Laura Mercier.

After months of trying to make do with a foundation I hated, I picked up the Naked Foundation from Urban Decay as well. It’s smooth, natural, and buildable and I apply it with a stippling brush from elf.

For my cheeks, I’m a long-time Nars Orgasm devotee. On my Ulta haul earlier this summer I was really into contouring, so I picked up a Cargo Swimmables bronzer.

Mascara is one of my favorite makeup items, and right now I use Tarte Lights Camera Lashes from the Sephora Lash Stash right now but I don’t love it. I find it a little sticky.  I don’t really wear a lot of eye shadow anymore, but I do have the Naked Basics palette from Urban Decay that I occasionally use for daytime. At night, I like using the Orgasm blush for some color. To set my face I spray on Urban Decay All Nighter – apparently I’m something of an Urban Decay loyalist now (blame all the Hard Candy nail polish I lusted after as a youth?)

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain has been my favorite go-to lip product forever, but Revlon has forsaken me and discontinued it this summer. I also like their lip butters a lot.

That’s my “everyday” face. When I’m feeling really lazy, I will just throw on some Garnier BB cream (SPF!) and call it good.

makeup shelf

At night I use whatever face wipes are on hand to scrub off the day. Right now I’m using Simple, but I also use Neutrogena and the Yes To line a lot. I really like Yes To Grapefruit – has a great smell.

My hair is kind of my baby – I use whatever shampoo is cheap, but I’m devoted to Suave’s Professionals line for conditioner. Deep conditioning once a week with their Morrocan oil-infused coniditoner makes your hair so soft (and it’s always pretty cheap too.) When I moved, my sad, broken, sucks-your-hair-in-the-motor hair dryer did not come with me, and I upgraded to a Hot Tools hair dryer, which came with a pik I’m newly obsessed with. On really humid days, I use Aveda Smooth Infusion Style Prep to try to tame the mane a little more. Apparently the cheap hair products work too, because last time I got my hair cut (at Aveda) they assumed that I used the full Smooth Infusions line because my hair is so healthy and strong. Who knew.

What’s your favorite beauty product? I’m in the market for new concealer so make some suggestions!

Ikea: Where’s My Stuff?

ikea

Have you ever been so angry, you were actually calm? I had never felt that way before. Admittedly, I have a quick temper.

I have always gotten my house stuff from Ikea. Beds, couches, futons, whatever, since 2007 when the Canton, Michigan, location opened. Now my car isn’t big enough to feasibly transport a bed and mattress, and the nearest location is 3-4 hours away. But even with the $99 delivery charge, I figured it would still be a cheaper option than anything else. I called them to ask how long delivery took, and the rep and I figured out that if I ordered that day (July 29) that the order of a mattress, bed frame, bed slats, and desk would arrive on August 1, the day I moved in. Perfect, right?

No one called from a shipping company, so on move in day, my friend and I basically just stayed in my house waiting to see if it would show up. By then it was impossible to get in touch of Ikea (I sat on hold for over an hour, only to finally be disconnected.) August 1 came and went and finally at 7pm I got an auto phone call saying that someone would be in touch with me to schedule delivery. Fine, but it was Friday, so they basically had one day to deliver it before I went on vacation.

Monday morning I blew up the shipping company’s phones, and no one could give me a delivery estimate. I kept saying that I was going to be away for a week and that nothing should be scheduled for that time. Both people I spoke with said they would note that in my paperwork… but of course on Wednesday as I drove to Gatlinburg, they called to schedule a delivery for that Friday. When I said no and asked what the next available date was, she said she didn’t know, but that they would call again when they were scheduling it. At this point I was really starting to get suspect and wanted to cancel and return the entire order, but I ignored that instinct.

Finally, they scheduled delivery for August 15 from 6-8pm. I’m an early sleeper, so I knew if it came at 8, I would still be sleeping on the air mattress. And as I sat at home all night last Friday, I started to get suspect that they were even going to come. The delivery guys called me at 7:57 to say they were 15 minutes away (of course) and when they showed up, this is what they were carrying.

ikea order

I’m not kidding, you guys. They brought me a mattress, and four desk legs.

Are you freakin’ kidding me?

I did actually manage to keep my cool with the delivery guys, who seemed as incredulous as I felt.

After a week of talking to the Aftersales team who agreed to refund my entire order and three failed FedEx pickups, this stuff is at least out of my living room, but until the refund is processed, I’m still sleeping on an air mattress.

Have you ever struggled with online shopping this badly before? I’ve had the worst services and CS luck with this move!

#GuiltyTotalSocial: Some of My Guilty Pleasures!

#TotalSocial / #GuiltyTotalSocial

See, here’s the thing. None of my pleasures are really “guilty” – I own all of them without shame or irony. This could be a list, though, of things I should be embarrassed of… I just haven’t found the ability to care!

Ohio State. I am a diehard Michigander. I love everything about my state… except that stupid blue and yellow school. I’m a Michigan State girl at heart, but Ohio State is a close second. Thanksgiving is always a fun time in our house – it’s me and my cousin, an Ohio native, vs. the rest of our family. Guess who usually ends up on top… (Ann Arbor is still a whore.)

the ohio state university

Relatedly, Snuggies. You might think they are a joke, but my friend, they are not a joke. They have solved all of my body heat regulation problems. When I sleep, my upper body freezes, while my legs are always roasting, without fail. The Snuggie allows me to keep my top toasty and gives my legs room to breathe. Plus I can finally sit on the couch, get snugged up, and get work done. Problem solving at its finest! (I have six. They have been known to live in my car, at Sixx’s, and at my workplaces.) And if you are judging me, you have never tried one.

snuggie

YA Books: I don’t care what anyone says, I love YA books. They are quick reads, usually very interesting, and for the most part (the ones I read, anyway,) are not parts of series. I’m starting to branch out more into New Adult novels as well, but I like the idea that I can sit down and have a book finished in two days. Or, if it’s any John Green novel except Katherines, I can have it done in one night. (Paper Towns and The Fault In Our Stars both caused me to be very exhausted at work the following day.) I really liked this Tumblr post on why we should not feel guilty about liking YA.

books

Dog the Bounty Hunter. I love Dog and Beth and after their A&E series was cancelled, I was so happy that CMT picked them up. (And even happier now that I have cable and can actually, you know, watch it.) The first thing I did when my cable was finally hooked up was set a series recording for their shows. I can’t explain why I love them, I just do. Also, I think I’d make a great bounty hunter. #HireMeDog.

dog

What are your guilty pleasures?

Tips for Nailing Your Next Job Search

In case you missed the (very brief, easy to miss) announcement, I recently landed a new gig! It’s going to be a real challenge for me, but I’m excited to take it on and move to Nashville, TN (funny that the girl who has so deeply rejected the south is now moving even further down the country!) After months and months of looking for a new position and a job search that felt like it would never end, I landed a gig after making lots of adjustments to my search.

Read, read, read. I love The Muse, Levo League, The Prepary and Mashable for articles on how to prepare for interviews, hints for how to get into a recruiter’s head, and sometimes they’ll even post job openings. (These websites are real click bait for me – in opening them only for the sole purpose of linking out, I have seven articles bookmarked for later!) Many of these sites (particularly Prepary and Levo) offer worksheets that walk you step by step through perfect interview answers and offer suggestions on how to answer tricky interview questions honestly and personally.

Find mentors. If you can’t find mentors, find inspiration. Sometimes it can feel like you don’t know how to take the next step in where you want your career to go, and having a mentor (or several!) can help with that. You’ll be able to pick their brains about how she got to where she is, if a job switch is in your best interest, and she might pass leads on to you when something is sent her way. Levo League now has a mentor program where you can interact with industry leaders and ask questions in a Twiter-style Q&A format or attend virtual “office hours.” If you can’t find a mentor, there’s plenty of inspiration to be had out there! I love Marie Forlero’s outlook and inspiration and the way she leaves me feeling empowered after every post.

As far as the actual process of the hunt itself, my best tip is to look every single day. Look in places you don’t think the competition hangs out in (there are lots of Twitter feeds that post openings in certain industries or cities, and many people don’t see craigslist as a reputable source), look on the obvious websites (LinkedIn, Indeed, company websites), and read the paper local to the city you want to move. I found my new gig on – of all places – craigslist, at a point where I was feeling very discouraged and getting no calls back. It was advertised at a much lower hourly rate than I could have accepted and called for job duties I have experience in, but don’t think all fit into one position, so I was clear throughout the interview process with what I expected of the job and what sort of package I needed. And if there’s a particular company you want desperately to work in, become and expert on them, read all the interviews and articles on them you can, and try to find a friend on the inside – that way, you’ll hear about upcoming openings before the rest of the job hunters.

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