Working for “The Man”

I signed up for Mary Kay not once or twice but four times. Yes, four. In my defense I’m pretty okay at it without putting in much effort. I’ve signed up for Avon once. And after I realized you could make money blogging I briefly thought that I could make that into a full-time career. But here’s the thing…I actually like working for “The Man”.

It’s almost embarrassing to admit. I’m not a doctor or a lawyer. Nor do I have some sort of social services position where I’m out helping the world. I’m an Executive Assistant. And truth be told, I’m totally okay with you calling me a secretary. Heck, I even call myself that sometimes. And even though I work in a business casual environment, I still sometimes go in totally rocking the sexy secretary look. If Joan would sell me her entire wardrobe (and if she wasn’t a character on a TV show), I would buy the whole thing. I’ve got the boobs for it.

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I enjoy the benefits and the fact that I don’t have to manage them or work extra hard for three months so that I can enjoy two weeks off later. I still get to work my regular 40 hours. And get all my time off. Sick time too. Which seems like something I’ve been needing a lot of lately.

I enjoy leaving my house, getting dressed up, and not seeing my family for a while. Sorry. I love them dearly but sometimes I just need a freakin’ break. And I bore easily. Despite all the pain I was in last week, I was bored. Out of my mind. Sure, I could have used the time to grow my blog but then that feels like work and it totally would suck the fun out of it. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy my day job because I do. I enjoy it because it’s not in my house. To me a house is for fun and family and enjoyment. Not for work.

Having my boss tell me I did a good job brings me joy that I’m sure is bizarre to many. I like getting compliments. And I can say thank you (most of the time) and move on. Having coworkers and customers compliment me on my nail color brings me glee and I might even tell them that I got it from Julep if they seem interested (I’m on pins and needles now waiting for my Specked for Spring 100% Mystery Box. Totally lost my train of thought thinking about it). And I can feel good about the conversation because I haven’t shoved a business card in their face and asked for their phone number. Although I may need to rethink the business card thing. If I did not have a job to go to, I honestly wouldn’t leave the house. And I’d be stuck here talking to my husband and the cat. They don’t compliment me that much. And when they do it’s not the same, they have to tell me nice things. Either because they love me or because they want me to shut up. And, yes, Jeffrey the Cat talks. Seriously, people.

I like having people rely on me. It’s gotten worse since the kids are grown. Yes, Jason and Jeffrey rely on me but see all of the above statements. I just like knowing that I’m bringing value to something/someone.

There are other reasons, and I can go on and on about this but it’s getting late and I have some mangos to eat. Anyway, with the emphasis on self-employment as of late, and the many benefits of it (because I truly agree that there are many), I thought I’d share. Perhaps there is one more person out there like me who happens to just like having a regular job. On the middle rung. Just kinda hangin’ out.

  • Self-employed or working for someone else?
  • If you’re self-employed or working on being self-employed how do you keep work and home separate?
  • What are your career goals?

Weight Loss Interview: Kasandra

Today I welcome Kasandra to Real Into. She enjoys running and taking bootcamp style classes at her gym. She’s been in a magazine and on Shape.com. If you know anything about me you know I love magazines everything about them. Color me jealous. Of course, I’m sure being on Real Into is a game changer for Kasandra. LOL Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kasandra! 

Weight Loss Interview Kasandra #weightloss #beforeandafter #motivation #inspiration

 What got you motivated to move to a healthy lifestyle?

It pretty much began in the spring of 2010. I was 25, extremely overweight (let’s be real, obese) and I had difficulty even going up a flight of stairs without being short of breath. I worked for a law firm that helped people get disability benefits and I would read tons of medical records where people had a plethora of health issues due to being overweight and needing to file disability and it terrified me. I couldn’t let that happen to myself. So I got a nutritionist and a gym membership.

What types of positive changes have you seen as a result of living a healthy lifestyle?

I am much happier and confident. I used to have really low self-esteem and a lot of shame. I was really depressed (clinically, probably, looking back at it) and unhappy. Seeing what my body has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time is very powerful.

What was the biggest struggle when you started on this journey?

Food! It still is. Temptation lies around every corner and sometimes it was a struggle not to pass on the office donut. Food is hard because you need food to live. It’s just a matter of picking the right foods – and that’s not to say you can’t ever have a donut. Sometimes you got to ask yourself if you’re that hungry? Do you need it? Is this going to make me feel bad after? Chances are it’s not worth it.

Also maintenance – it’s not as easy as I imagined it would be.

Who has inspired you most on your healthy living journey?

Tara Costa from the Biggest Loser really inspired me with her dedication. I resonated a lot with her. Also other bloggers out there – some kick butt and take names while dealing with other issues, like cancer or MS. If they can do it, so can I.

What is your healthy living philosophy?

Treat your body the way you want to be treated. Be kind, be forgiving. Choose things that will make you feel good both inside and out. Take care (of yourself).

Weight Loss Interview Kasandra #weightloss #beforeandafter #motivation #inspiration

What has been your greatest accomplishment as related to fitness?

Running a marathon. I ran the Long Island marathon as my first marathon to prove to myself that I could after so many years of being unhealthy and being at a heavier weight. I then ran six months later, the NYC Marathon. Growing up, I lived along the course and when I was 5, I told myself, I want to do that one day. 24 years later, I did. It was hard and it took forever, but I did it.

What are you upcoming fitness goals?

To get back to my wedding weight, give or take 5lbs. Also to run a 5 hour marathon.

How has your food choices played a role in your lifestyle?

I used to think to be healthy, food had to be bland and gross. Not true at all. When I was a kid, I ate vegetables and fruit but then as I got older, I turned away. So when I started this journey, I rediscovered fruits and vegetables along with other foods I would have never considered before. I no longer crave junk food as much as I used to (I still have a sweet tooth though!).

Can you provide an example of what your meals might look like?

I go through meal phases… which will last for a bit and then change to something else. I get bored. Currently:

Breakfast: Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grains with almond milk and blueberries OR an Ezekiel tortilla with almond butter and a banana. And a cup of coffee with skim milk (or if it’s iced, then I take it black).

Snack: a Lara bar or a Gnu bar.** sometimes I don’t have a snack mid-day

Lunch: Quinoa with dried cranberries, grape tomatoes, feta, some spinach and an avocado.

Dinner: I have to cook for both my husband and myself, so I try to make things we both would be happy with. For example, if we make chicken parm, I will make regular pasta for him and I will have spaghetti squash in place. Or if I make a more traditional Puerto Rican dish, like rice and beans, he will have rice and I will have quinoa.

What does a typical day look like for you?

No day is typical, especially since my schedule is super crazy busy. But I’ll go to work, go to the gym at lunch for an hour, and go back to work. If I am training, like now I am, I’ll wake up early, go for a run, go to work, still hit the gym for another workout, and then go back to work.

Weight Loss Interview Kasandra #weightloss #beforeandafter #motivation #inspiration

Kasandra before

What do you want to pass onto your children about living a healthy lifestyle?

Ignore social media and its brainwashing tendencies. A lot of children are now stating that they’re so fat, and they’re 8 and 9 year olds. They shouldn’t be preoccupied with being fat or skinny; they’re children. Also exercise does not have to be “boring” or a “chore.” Running, playing outdoors, swimming, it’s all exercise.

What are your three top tips for living a healthy life?

1. Do not go to the grocery store hungry – and shop the perimeter of the store for food.

2. Do not let the number on the scale dictate your day. I used to be so hung up on the number and let it ruin my day. It’s not worth it.

3. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Prep your meals for the week ahead so you’re less tempted to make poor food or meal choices. Want to work out in the morning but hate waking up early? Lay your clothes out the night before, so it’s right there first thing. Look at menus ahead before going out and make your choices then rather than getting to the restaurant and feeling super overwhelmed.

Weight Loss Interview Kasandra #weightloss #beforeandafter #motivation #inspiration

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  • Now that the weather is finally getting nicer, will you      be doing outdoor workouts?
  • What is motivating you this Monday?
  • Please leave comments, questions, and encouragement for Kasandra

Green, Purple, & Fabulously Fresh {Purex Crystals #Giveaway}

@Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh Giveaway

I would love to be one of those creative girls. You know, the ones with the blogs and their beautiful homes that they spent years perfecting. That is not nearly as condescending as it sounds. I’m in awe of how they hone that creativity, how they keep from getting distracted by the new and the fresh and all the bright and shiny ideas out there. I’m working on getting there. On getting out the noise and just staying focused on what is ahead and what is me. What is really me. No one else.

I mentioned in February that I was reading the latest issue of BHG and was really inspired by the green and blue house. Green has always been a constant in my decorating but I hadn’t really liked blue. As I think about it, it’s just not me. But there are other constants in my life, things that bring about inspiration, and as silly as it may seem one of them is Purex Crystals. They have a new Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh and it’s in this awesomely wonderful green and purple packaging. Umm…what is another color constant in my life? Yes, that would be purple. You can flip through my IG feed and see that. Constants are good and when you have a new and fresh perspective on them they can be better.

I love that something that others might think is as simple as Purex Crystals would bring me such an epiphany, especially when it comes to decorating my home but I don’t know what to tell you. You’ve seen the pictures of my laundry room pantry full of Purex and this latest addition brings with it some bright, bold color on the bottle that actually deserves to be sitting out and not hidden behind a door.  

I also just love the scent and how it makes my house smell fresh, clean, and just lovely. I have an ottoman in the living room and it’s full of slankets (yes, at least one purple one). We tend to wash all of them all on the same day and then use the Purex Crystals. This time the Fabulously Fresh. When you open up the ottoman to get out a slanket the smell just floats out and wraps around you. Much like the slanket. I’m going to be working on getting that feeling throughout my entire house. That fresh, clean, lovely feeling that makes you feel calmed and cared for.  

Stuff for you…

Are you also in the midst of doing some self or home improvement projects? Then I highly recommend that you enter for a chance to WIN a $1,000 shopping spree plus a year’s supply of Limited Edition Purex Crystals Fabulously Fresh by clicking here.

Want to try out the Limited Edition Purex Crystals Fabulously Fresh and get inspired? Oh, good, I knew you would. Use the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll randomly select three winners to receive a coupon for a full-sized bottle of their own. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Five on Friday! Bloggy Boot Camp

Hey there, snickerdoodles! I hope that you are having a fine and wonderful week. Me? I’m pretty much in constant pain but I have drugs for that. Today, I wanted to talk to you about Bloggy Boot Camp. Now before you non-bloggers go away, it’s not one of those kinds of posts. I’m not going to give out the five best things I learned or anything like that. Sorry! I paid for that wicked awesome stuff and I think you should too (if you’re a blogger).

 [1]

Real Into Business Cards

I sat on my duff and didn’t order business cards for BBC until the last-minute. I received my box from the UPS Printing Store the Friday before. When I opened them up I was so surprised to see how they turned out. Since they were for a real estate person in Florida. Now I have 700 cards that are really mine. Send me your address, I’ll mail you one. But really it’s okay because….

[2]

I’m horrible at networking. So, so horrible. Of course, I get points added on for being in pain but it doesn’t matter, I am just bad at the entire small talk thing. No lies, between the end of the conference and the beginning of the happy hour I went to the home show that was next door. I called my husband and he talked me into going back.. But not before I snapped a couple of pics of some back splash ideas for the kitchen. Oh, and some knobs for the cabinets. Once I got to the happy hour, I did not do well and only stayed for half hour then headed out. I can speak in front of a group, I can talk on the phone, and I’m okay on paper but I totally suck at the one on one thing. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

[3]

Bloggy Boot Camp St. Louis

Danielle Smith mentioned that she goes to 5-7 blogging conferences a year. I need to do the same just so I can learn to network. And get rid of some of these business cards.

 [4]

Holly from Where We Can Live Like Jack & Sally is hysterical. Not the kind of “oh, she gives me a good chuckle” funny but roll on the floor, tears streaming down my face funny. I will now run to her blog with each new post and read every word with a sense of urgency that can only come from getting to “meet” someone in person.

 [5]

Piece of advice: order the vegetarian meal. Or you could wind up with chicken fried steak. Gross.

5onFridayLogo-Final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068

  • Are you good at small talk? Tips?
  • Chicken fried steak….yeah or nay?
  • Do you attend conferences for work or blogging? If so, how many per year.

I’m Afraid of Dying

I’m afraid of dying. Not the normal afraid of dying but the anxiety provoking, gripped in fear type of dying. Yes, I am religious. No, I don’t see a psychiatrist or psychologist for this (any more). No matter what I do this irrational fear doesn’t go away. Because to me, it’s not irrational. I want to live to be 100. I mention it all the time. But every time I turn around there is a road block, something getting in my way, something saying screw you. Because, you see, it’s not the car accidents or random murder that scares me the most it’s my body that scares me the most. It’s messed up.

Afraid of Dying

When the anesthesiologist came in to check me yesterday before the surgery, I knew something was up. She was having me take deep breaths and then deep breaths and hold it way more often than normal. Sadly, I know what normal is for an anesthesiologist as I’ve had to have one more than 40 times for different surgeries and procedures. My body is totally screwed up. Anyway on the deep breath and hold she was hearing a heart murmur. She then explained to me what her “gut feeling” was telling her about it and that it most likely isn’t serious but I should talk to my primary about it. Not to worry. Too effing late. She doesn’t have to live in this body and unfortunately she doesn’t know that I’m scared, screwed up, and have genetically drawn the short stick.

Putting on a brave face after surgery

I wonder what I can do. Should I only eat organic? Should I be vegetarian? Vegan? A raw vegan? Everyone thinks they have the right answer. But only one thing can be right for me. How do I figure it out? Will I know if I can get rid of my high blood pressure, of the murmur? What about the genetic thing? My grandma was taking nitroglycerin at 55. Can I beat the genetic wildcard?

Then there is this crazy addiction. To food. The wrong foods. Food that, no matter what philosophy you go by, are the wrong foods. I fully admit to eating a carton of chocolate covered marshmallow eggs. To having ramen noodles. All the time. The entire time I’m eating these foods I sit and think how I know that they are doing exactly the opposite of what I need. These are not healing foods, they are hurting foods. I. Can’t. Stop. Eating. Them. I know some of you will say “oh, yes you can” but I know in my heart of hearts that there are some of you out there who know exactly what I’m talking about. I want to stop. I know I should. It’s playing against my fears and problems and I’m thinking about it the entire time I’m eating. Quite frankly, for me it’s not even enjoyable, nor does I make my body feel good. But I still eat it. MAKE ME STOP! (No,, I can’t just do the don’t buy it trick, I have an 18 and 22 yo and if I don’t buy it they will. I have a strict no food in the bedroom rule. It causes bugs. They are boys. I think you follow).

 Of course, I’ve woken up with new resolve and feelings of changing my diet and this time will be THE time. I wake up with those feelings every other day. But when will be the last time? When will the changes be permanent? When I hit rock bottom? Am I there yet? Today I’m feeling so. Screw you heart murmur.  

  • Do you have irrational fears?
  • How do you deal with them?
  • Are you totally eating chocolate covered marshmallows now? So. Jealous.