Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bright Sunshiny Day

We live in this wonderful state where you can pretty much be outdoors all year round and as of late, I am feeling extremely inspired to plan some more interesting weekend adventures. As you can see from my previous post, Don and I, Katy and Jeremy, Matt and Camille, and Rian and Anne Marie all made it out to the Grove for lunch at the Farmers Market today. I love being able to sit in an outdoor market in march in flip flops and sunglasses, jeans and a t-shirt and enjoy the company of wonderful friends. Poor Anne Marie was lamenting about the snow in Portland they were about to return to. How lucky I am! So instead of letting the weekends pass me by with Don sleeping until 1:00 p.m. because he has nothing better to do, I am hoping to start planning some exciting things to do on the weekends with which to update my blog. Particular events I hope to be able to post about soon include hiking trips, trips to the beach, Sherman Oaks festival coming up, afternoons at the dog park, evening barbecues, trying new restaurants, and maybe a japanese garden. I better keep my camera battery charged! In the mean time, here are a few more pics from our afternoon at the Grove.

Where we at.

The view from our table.
Jeremy's plate of things that crawl around in the ocean

Matt and Camille

Don and me in front of Huntington Meats - the best meat market in town

Katy (next to Matt) wearing her new SLS Voice Instructor T-Shirt.
Congratulations on your certification!

Shhhhhh! Don and Jeremy are eating Hush Puppies. Apparently they are supposed to go well with the Alligator that Don ordered. Yes, I said Alligator.

Camille sporting her new "I need a haircut hat" from her recent trip to Catalina Island.
Watch her blog for details on the fun filled family weekend.

Farewell and Godspeed

We had a bittersweet weekend as we had a lovely send off for our friend Rian who is relocating to Portland where his girlfriend lives. Her name is Anne Marie and we finally got to meet for the first time this weekend. It can definitely be said that they are a great match for each other. We whole heartedly approve! So, though it is sad to see him leave it could not be for a better reason and we are all very excited for him. Rian, best of luck and we hope things go great for you and Anne Marie in Portland. Come back and see us soon!

Don and Rian packing up a few items from the Early storage warehouse

Cordy and Seumas try to hitch a free ride to Oregon

Lunch at the Farmers Market in the Grove before Rian and Anne Marie hit the road

Rian enjoying his awesometastic french dip sandwich.

The Happy Couple - Best wishes you two!

Like the rest of us, Seumas was so depressed after Rian left he could barely move.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Well, as you can see from my lack of posting, life has become a bit fuller and busier since I've joined the working world. Not as much time to sit and reminisce about my day as I am busy with the doing. Work is still going very well. It is so exciting to take a process that I am already familiar with and apply it in a new way. It feels great to be learning new things and be challenged again. My days go by quickly as I am constantly busy and always have something to do.

I also love being back on the work week schedule. I love routine and it feels good to have evening and weekends again. My social life has been pretty full too with gaming nights, dinner at Camille's, a weeknight screener, and last night Don's graduation from his Dale Carnegie Sales Class in which he took home the Sales Champion Award -- Congratulations honey! Later on this week we will be attending a Rock Opera at the House of Blues. I do miss the pups though. However, we get lots of snuggle time on the weekends.

And finally, with being back on a new routine, it has made it easier to incorporate more healthy eating choices and exercise back into my life. I am actually down two whole pounds! Yay me!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Speaking of Poker...

Don is on his way to Vegas right now with Jeremy for a huge trade show dealing with his main industry now that he supplies to - the movie special effects industry. It should be an awesome opportunity to make some strong new contacts, pull in some new business, and learn more about the industry. I'm sure he will have a wonderful time.

It's been a while since I've had a couple of overnights in the house to myself and I'm starting to think about what I want to accomplish with my time so I don't end up playing online poker all weekend. So here is my to do list.

1. Get the house picked up.
2. Make a meal plan for this week and pick up groceries.
3. Make an exercise plan for the week that includes walking the dogs.
4. Get the office into shape so that Don will give me my dining room table back!!!!

Wish me luck!

Week 1

Well, I've finished my first full week of work and I'm still happy to be there! I can tell it's going to be a place where I can both succeed and be challenged. I already have learned a few new things this week. Some parts of the training process are a little bit frustrating as training processes can be. I know a lot and I'm eager to run but of course they have me crawling to begin with. So for the moment I am being way underutilized and have to deal with some periods of boredom throughout my day. But I have a great team and it will only get better from here. They understand the process and can get things done. From an operations standpoint things seem a little disorganized and a bit chaotic. I'm sure there is a method to the madness but just not easy to pick up on for someone new coming in. Still, type A person that I am, I'd like to see about things becoming a little more streamlined and systematic down the road. I think that is part of the vision also for the company as people transition into their new roles. Things should become a lot more defined and it will be much clearer whose responsibility is what. Also, hopefully there will be more checks and balances which will help again with the quality and consistency of the work being produced.

In exciting news, I got my first paycheck yesterday! It feels soooo good to be earning an income again. Though I was thankful for my unemployment insurance while I needed it, it is very nice to not need it anymore. We celebrated my first paycheck together by picking up the tab at Mexicali's for a night out on the town with Jeremy and Katy, and Rian B who showed up unannounced in the area last night for an unknown length of time. He is on call for a possible show they are doing this week in the Valley. They ended up being cheap dates anyway as we got a very good deal on our food and drinks. Then I got them back by coming home and playing poker where I won all of their fake money and cleaned Rian, Don, Jeremy, and Katy out of all of their chips tournament style. It may have helped that I was the only one not drinking excessively. Although I do have to mention that Katy (who was the most inebriated) and I were the last ones standing at the table. Who says poker is a man's game?

Also, we finally paid off Cordy's $1000 vet bill from when she got Pancreatitus last year right before we moved. So stay tuned to hear updates on the dogs' health. They usually like to get violently ill or poison themselves for a trip to the Animal ER whenever our balance actually gets down to zero.

Monday, March 10, 2008

First Day Part 2

It was great! I do like my coworkers! It is a very nice office and I have a nice desk - corner space with a window. Everybody is pretty relaxed and flexible. The office equipment is all very good quality and up to date - huge flat screen monitors, wireless mouse, and very comfortable desk chairs, etc. It is nice to be working with people again in a team environment as opposed to all by myself at my previous job. We all went out to lunch today to a nice Chinese place in Burbank. The commute is not bad at all - about 15 - 20 minutes with no freeways. Sounds like I can leave the house closer to 8 am since I don't really need to be there until closer to 8:30. Which means maybe we can sleep in a little later or walk the dogs a little longer. Ideally I'd like to walk the dogs in the morning and again first thing in the evening when I get home. I think they are having a hard time adjusting to Mommy being back at work. They missed me today and are sticking to me like magnets. I was starving when I got home from work today and glad we had some leftover pizza that I could just heat up instead of having to take the time to cook anything. I need to readjust to the 40 hour work week and a fixed eating schedule, and also bring in some snack bars or something to keep at work. I also had a chance to check out the HUGE Ralph's grocery store on the corner this morning since I arrived early to work. It is a very nice facility and will probably be the place I get the majority of my groceries especially for quick weeknight meals. All in all I'm quite happy!

First Day

I'm getting ready to head off for my first day of work. Don got up with me this morning at 6 am and we walked the dogs together which was a great way to start the day. It feels really good to be in professional clothes again with hair and makeup done. It's been a while! Now I'm sipping coffee with my husband and working on our laptops until I leave the house. I'm sure this nostalgia and excitement about getting up early and going to work will wear off soon. But right now I'm enjoying every minute of it.

I hope it goes well today....
I hope I like my coworkers and they like me...
I hope I have a nice desk/workspace...
I hope I get to have instant messenger at work...
I hope they have a cool breakroom or at least an adequate kitchen space for bringing my lunch and/or preparing food...

I'll let you know how it goes tonight. Have a good day everyone. :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I Caved

Everybody check out Don's blog for pics of his new Mini Cooper S.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Well, it's only 38 days late (long story) but Don's end of year bonus check FINALLY arrived. It was a more than respectable amount considering he only put in 6 months last year - way to go honey! - though not quite enough to fulfill all of the financial priorities that we set before Don gets into his Mini. That would have been too easy. We still have a bit more work to do. After playing with the numbers, calculating, budgeting, and strategizing how to make it stretch the furthest, we were able to kill the Big Credit Card, pay our 2008 taxes, along with a good chunk of this months' bills. We still have a little ways to go on our Less Big Credit Card but with both of us back up to our full time salaries we should be able to kill that one too in the next couple of months. After the last three months of being unemployed, I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be back on top of our finances again. And the one and only nice thing about Don's bonus being late is that at least his next quarterly bonus is not far behind.

In other news, Don woke up this morning and told me he had bad dreams again last night. When I asked him what they were about he said that he had lost Seumas in a poker bet. A nightmare indeed! Far worse than the one the previous night where he had Great-Dane-Sized Tarantulas chasing him!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

5 Things That Have Made Me Happy Today

1. My dogs' wagging tails and affectionate tongues when I woke them up this morning.
2. A gorgeous sunny sky and a crisp cool breeze during Don's and my new morning routine of walking the dogs together. I love starting the day this way and hope we stick too it.
3. No doggie business to pick up after on our entire walk -- they actually took care of business in our own yard before we left.
4. Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer for my coffee.
5. Fancy weekday breakfast of Applewood Smoked Bacon and Scrambled Omelet with swiss cheese, fresh basil, and fresh tomato salsa.

And it's not even 8:00 a.m. yet. It's the little things in life that count. Sometimes happiness can pass you by if you forget to pay attention to it. What gave you happiness today?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bed Time Stories

What an exciting day. My first ever trip to Ikea. What a cool place! My mission to get new bedding today was mostly successful except for the most crucial element. The down comforter that I wanted (the awesome version that was really cheap) was out of stock. However, they have ordered more and it is in transit so I will have to go back and pick it up in a day or two. I did however pick out my awesome new duvet cover (also from Ikea and super cheap) and after two trips to Linens and Things decided to make a significant investment in all of the crucial elements of bedding...

1. A new Mattress pad/liner to protect the mattress and replace ours that is very old and practically shredded.
2. A new extra blanket to go in between the sheets and the Comforter - today we learned these are called coverlets. The one we have been using for the last five years, while it is homemade, super comfortable, and has great sentimental value, unfortunately over the years it has become too stretched out and hangs way over the edges of the bed. So it will be graduating to the spare bed and now we have a nice cream colored one to go on our new bed.
3. A new dust ruffle bedskirt - cream colored to match the coverlet - since our old bedskirt no longer matches our new bedding.
4. A set of new 18" deep fitted sheets to fit our HUGE pillowtop mattress. The color is called Seaglass, a very light seafoam green. 650 threadcount - I think I am in heaven.
5. And finally a gorgeous duvet. Very simple design - deep dark rich purple color. Soft cottony texture but with a satiny sheen that shimmers in the light.

It is torture that I have all of this exciting new bedding and I still have to wait a few days to pick up the comforter. This time I went 100% for comfort buying the softest fabrics I could find and easiest to wash. I can't wait to get everything and put it all together and see how much the room changes with the contrast in colors. Needless to say the maroon and gold we had before didn't exactly mesh with the periwinkle blue wall paper - wall paper which I should stress came with the house, we did not pick it out.

So given how much needed to be updated on the bedding it was a little more spendy than I had planned despite getting an awesome deal on the comforter and duvet. So it looks like that will be it for now. We'll have to save new dish shopping until after the paychecks start actually coming in.

Celebrate Good Times

Well, we are still on a bit of a high here at our household. Today I'm celebrating the new job and a bit of a belated anniversary gift (4 years two weeks ago) by going out and buying some new bedding for our bed. I have never been fond of the comforter set we picked out for our wedding registry. It was pretty but the material is scratchy and not even comfortable. Still Don really wanted it and that was one of my first concessions during the early stages of learning how to compromise in a marriage. Four years later I am still sick of it and it is now in bad enough shape that we can justify throwing it out and getting a new set. So I'm picking up Katy in a bit and we are going to hit the big bedding stores - Linens and Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Ikea too for a cheap synthetic down comforter if I decide to go the duvet route. Also on the list of possible splurge items today are a new dog bed for the pups and a set of new dishes since many of our original wedding set have broken and so now we have a missmatch of plastic and ceramic and it's about time to start over. Just like I didn't like the bedding that Don picked out he has never been fond of the dishes that I picked out. So we should both make out quite well on this year's anniversary splurges. I can't wait to get my new household items back to the house. Then I can play housewife for the my last week and get this place sparkling and beautiful with my fun new accents. It's like playing the Simms only real life!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Employed! Gainfully!

I landed an awesome job today with a top rated leasing company in Burbank. Awesome team. Very down to earth owners. I think we are really going to get a long. I don't know my official title yet but I will basically be a senior processor and a team leader for their credit department. It's a fantastic opportunity with a lot of responsibility and unlimited growth potential. Salary is great and benefits are sufficient. I'm so excited! I start on Monday. Now we just need Don's bonus check to get here so we can go down to the mini dealership and order his new car.