Monday, March 9, 2015

Bye February Funk

In my head, I've been busy lately, and the words seem to disappear every time I try to write them down.

I say I've only been busy in my head, because if I try to recall what has actually been filling up my calendar... I'm coming up rather empty.

I interviewed for a job last week, and it went well.  I felt like for once I actually asked the right questions - but then after the interview, I was able to actually think of more that I should have asked or been more firm about.  It was weird - the lady interviewing me, who would have become my boss, really seemed quite content to let me do the majority of the talking - so I can't figure out if my questions clued her in to the fact that I knew what I was talking about... or if she was just generally.... I dunno, not inclined to ask more?

I was feeling 50/50 - I felt like I actually did a good job of digging around, but she didn't really quiz me or ask me much that I felt like I needed to answer... so that was weird.  The interview ended with her telling me she would have an offer on Friday.  And she did call on Thursday afternoon, as soon as she had an offer prepared.

I know, rationally, that I probably need to get a move on.  I've outgrown my job, and the only options for moving up are basically taking me in a direction I don't want to go.  So - an offer on the table should make my decision easy, right?

HAH.  I had been contemplating it all week.  Was there a magical number that would make the decision for me - yes and no.  Was there a part of me that wanted to get out of my current job just to prove I could - yes.  Did I make myself crazy worrying - duh. 

In the end, after I really reviewed what we had talked about in the interview - I was able to make up my mind in a second.  The work-life balance the new company was offering was SO poor compared to my current job.  As in - working the entire week of Thanksgiving.  As in, 7 days.  Even in the crappy game of retail - that is some real BS, folks.  My store can function just fine and doesn't require my physical presence to do business.  Thankgod.

The interviewer also talked significantly about "work-life balance", which is a fun little phrase that I think can cover all kinds of poor management strategies.  She even said that she personally really valued work-life balance - but also that she was available "24/7" to her team and her family was grown so she was all work, all the time.  RED FLAGS DANGER WILL ROBINSON.

(Side note:  who is Will Robinson?  I feel better now that I know that.)

So.  I obviously turned down the job cold.  She told me that she was really pleased with my offer (it was a definite low-ball, 100%), and I said I just felt like there was a lot of lip service to a company practice that was probably not totally on board with the concept.

It felt good to know that I can make a move when the right job comes along, and it also really felt good to say no to something that was just going to end up  being a huge mistake.

I'm fairly certain this is not what I was planning to blog about today.  Like - not by a long shot.  But all through February I had this weight on my chest and felt like I needed to make a move, make some decisions, and nothing paralyzes me more than a life-altering decision.  Blah.

Onward and upward, March!  Don't let me down!

Side note:  If you too have a bad habit of eating your feelings, don't marry my husband because he is an enabler.  We had planned a little midweek date with the TV and in the midst of my stressing, he brought me something from the Taco Bell drive through... and it was literally disgusting and delicious at the same time.

Cinnabon Delights.  Seriously, don't even try them.  It's like an elephant ear had a baby with cream cheese frosting.  Warm, melty cream cheese frosting.  I don't remember loving them while I was eating but omg I've having bad dreams about them now.

Certainly that helps with the end of February funk, right?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Long-Term DIY Projects

Back in October, I wrote a post about a craft project I was starting.  The thing is - I started it in FEBRUARY.  Of 2014.  Now, it's February of 2015.  (This is scintillating stuff, here.)

I have no ripped the buttons off at least twice, and then I sat and stared at it for approximately 3 months. 

Then I fixed the buttons and became paralyzed with trying to "finish" it with some text.

And after staring at it for hours, and many freak-outs with a fine-tipped paint brush... it's all finished.

Found the perfect spot for it, and I definitely don't notice the imperfections once it's hanging next to my favorite canvas.

One long-term DIY project to down.  Maybe I should consider tightening my timeframe down to the six-month mark instead of a YEAR next time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No-Key Valentine's Day

This year, I made Mr. RH swear that we would have a low-key Valentine's Day.  As it turned out, we were working opposite shifts on the day itself... but as I was getting ready to leave work, Mr. RH told me there was a surprise for me - which turned out to be him.

That sentence was potentially a grammar sin, but the point is:  Mr. RH switched his work shifts, thus resulting in me not spending my night alone eating Ramen noodles and clearing out my DVR.  Which, I'm not gonna lie, I was actually really looking forward to.

Instead, I got a night of Grey's Anatomy episodes and a chicken quesadilla.  WITH guac.  Ahh, romance.

In a move surprising both of us, we actually ended up only exchanging cards this V-day, no gifts or sweets of any kind.  Although... SOMEONE in the house bought a bunch of clothes that they didn't need and someone ELSE bought themselves a Wii.  Although it was sort of a delayed "wedding" gift, so technically that someone else actually got a "media tower" which is man-speak for an ugly shelf to put the 85 electronic gadgets we don't need to own on...

Bitter, party of wife none.

Actually, I can say that we each did ONE romantic thing during the month of love:  we both, on the same day, bought each other TWO boxes of Red Velvet oreos.

Which means my thighs are 4x as big as they should be and he hasn't gained an ounce.  As per usual.

All in all, I would say it was a successful Valentine's Day.  I got a card on a greeting card holiday, and all is right with the world.

Friday, January 30, 2015

December in a Nutshell

So you blog about how you're getting back to blogging and then you let 21 days go between blog posts.  AHEM.

I want to blog, and I've been mentally composing blog posts for weeks... but I feel awkward about that big blog pause from November to... now.  I feel like I need to explain the days away, ya know??

Anyway, things hit the fan somewhere around the 2nd week of November.  My boss and I were working on the Big Black Friday schedule (approximately a billion hours of work, for those of you not in retail), and then she mentioned (on my day off) that I should probably stop by the store.  No big thing, so I stopped by in my sweats and she dropped a big bomb on me: she was leaving the following week for a temporary assignment in the Mall of America.

So along with losing a huge chunk of ground on a massive schedule... I also become the sole authoritiy within our four walls, which meant that I don't think I spent more than 3-4 hours at a time between November and the last week of December away from actually working or calling and texting the team in my store.  It was fun, it was a TON of work, and I can't say that I was sad to see December end. 

That being said... I think I've been feeling a little blue because Mr. RH and I "missed'" Christmas.  We never watched It's a Wonderful Life, we didn't drive around and look at Christmas lights, I baked only a few cookies when I really felt like I had to...  so yeah, I've got a little post-Christmas hangover.

Luckily, the time I spent away from this blog allowed me to carve out a little time to do some fun things, and even though I barely got my camera out all through Christmas... I managed to capture just enough photos so I've got a few memories to look back on.

Mr. RH and I went with his family to see the lights the week after Thanksgiving.  I'm glad we took the time then, cause we didn't end up with any better opportunities closer to Christmas.

We got one decent-ish photo of the two of us....

And I re-created a favorite photo of Mr. RH from way back in 2012

(I can barely click the link to that old photo.  Where did that long hair and baby face go?!)

We made it to Christmas mass with my dad, and he managed to get probably the only good photo of the two of us during Christmas.  I think if 2015 had a resolution, it would be MORE PHOTOS!!!

Right after Christmas I was able to make some time for my BFFs, and I got to snuggle #BFFbaby in her cozy PJs.  I don't like that she's growing up, but I love that she let me snuggle me long enough for her mom to snap a picture.

And we managed to get a so-so picture of the BFFs.  I was having camera issues.  

And then I took another afternoon and managed to get a couple pics of Miss Maeven in rare, sassy form.  This girl does not like to have a photo taken and she is a sass for my camera.  Love it!

Although if she smiled once in a while on command I wouldn't cry either.

So... it was a good Christmas.  A busy, chaotic Christmas that went by in the blink of any eye... but apparently I also had fun in between all of the craziness.  The proof is in the pictures!

Now... back to 2015!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Classy Bookshelf: 2014 in Review

2014 was a pretty good year in books, I'm not going to lie.  I felt like I read some really excellent books, some really overly hyped books (looking at you, The Goldfinch)... it was just a solid year.

Let's look back, shall we?

In 2010, I read 65 books and didn't document them particularly well on the blog.
In 2011 (the year I met Mr. RH and fell head over heels), I read only 39 books!
In 2012, I got engaged and read 78 books! Those were the days.
In 2013, I read 63 books.  Not my best work!

And this past year, 2014, I read.... 71 books, out of my goal of 73 books.  In my defense, I was positive I nailed 73 books with a few days to go, so I got lazy.

Come to find out, as I'm reviewing my list on Goodreads - I had TWO books listed twice.  FAIL FAIL FAIL.  Stinking goodreads... isn't there a way to make sure I don't do that?!  Ugh, broke my damn heart.

I set my goal at 75 for 2015... I'm really not sure about that AT ALL.  I think 73 was hard (and come to find it was only 71!!)... so who knows.  In retrospect... I do not like to fail at anything... but oh well.  I guess I'm going to have to carve out some reading time!

I'm using the following color-coding system for my recommendations: 

MUST READS (Bold and green!)
Excellent Reads (Blue!)
Hated the Plot Reads (Red)
And the ones in black...meh.  Clearly they didn't make an impact.

  1. A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
  2. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
  3. Legend by Marie Lu
  4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  6. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  7. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
  8. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  9. Partials by Dan Wells
  10. Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell
  11. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  12. Easy by Tammara Webber
  13. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
  14. Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
  15. The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
  16. The Elite by Kiera Cass
  17. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  18. Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
  19. The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
  20. Prodigy by Marie Lu
  21. Champion by Marie Lu
  22. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  23. Waiting for You by Shey Stahl
  24. The Wager by Rachel van Dyken
  25. The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley
  26. The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
  27. The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
  28. The Prince by Kiera Cass
  29. Single by Saturday by Catherine Bybee
  30. Mint Juleps & Justice by Nancy Naigle
  31. Wait for You by J. Lynn
  32. Innocence by Dean Koontz
  33. The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani
  34. The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  35. A Not So Model Home by David James
  36. Angelfall by Susan Ee
  37. The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
  38. World After by Susan Ee
  39. Unravel Me by Taherah Mafi
  40. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  41. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
  42. The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger
  43. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
  44. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  45. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
  46. The Matchmaker by Erin Hilderbrand
  47. Shades of the Earth by Beth Revis
  48. Son by Lois Lowry
  49. Messenger by Lois Lowry
  50. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
  51. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  52. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  53. The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  54. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  55. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  56. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
  57. The World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  58. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
  59. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  60. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  61. The One by Kiera Cass
  62. The Storied Life of A. J. Firkey by Gabrielle Zevin
  63. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  64. Isolation by Dan Wells
  65. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
  66. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
  67. Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
  68. The Ladies Room by Carolyn Brown
  69. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
  70. People I Want to Punch in The Throat by Jen Mann
  71. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
By the numbers:
  • 2011:  16,801 pages
  • 2012:  25,706 pages
  • 2013:  20,638 pages
  • 2014:  23,971 pages
A 16% increase in one year... not too shabby!  I don't have such high aspirations for this year... maybe just break even?

If you need a a less-intense list of book recommendations, I would suggest:  The Selection series by Kiera Cass, anything by Rainbow Rowell but especially Attachments, anything by Liane Moriarty but especially What Alice Forgot, The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen (will be reading more of her in 2015!), Across the Universe series by Beth Revis, The Legend series by Marie Lu, Innocence by Dean Koontz (out of my normal genre but excellent), and The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry.  All excellent and well worth the read!

If you have a list of book suggestions or a year-in-review post - I would love to read it!  Leave me a comment and I'll be exploring it!!

Happy Reading!!

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