Monday, September 29, 2014

Country Bumpkin Alert

Working in DC can be kind of scary. Is that just totally uncool to say that? Small town bumpkin alert everyone! But yeah, it is kind of scary.

Like, someone got their purse stolen right outside my office last week and there's this homeless lady who sleeps on the stoop of the store next door to my office door every morning and I almost stepped on a dead rat on my walk to work and the streets change name halfway through, but don't tell you and there are ALWAYS people yelling on the sidewalk outside my window, I can never see them, but I can always hear them, and why are they so mad? (No joke, someone started yelling right after I typed that. Well done, DC) I feel bad because I'm not scared of homeless people. Homeless people make me sad. I'm scared of crazy homeless people. The ones walking around talking to themselves all the time. I just feel like they could do something nuts at any moment and I don't like that feeling. And it's just kind of overwhelming sometimes, right? Or is it just me?

But aside from all the other things I love about this city, there are little moments where that remind me that not everyone here is intimidating and scary. Like the garbage man that stopped me from stepping on that rat, or the bell man at the hotel I walk by every day who told me this morning that I have a beautiful smile, or the girl who opened the door at starbucks for me just now because I was too stupid to get out of there with a coffee in each hand, or the guy who held my office door open for me on my way back in (although, you probably shouldn't have let me in dude, I didn't put my security code in yet, I could be a murderer)

Hopefully the intimidation and fear goes away a little more each month I work here and all these little moments definitely can't hurt. (Also, maybe I'll just eventually grow a pair)

My view from work. You may be scary, but you sure are pretty.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Phase 1 of the Move: Put All Our Favorite Shit Into Storage

Yesterday, we completed phase 1 of our most recent move (we move a lot) by moving all of our favorite things, pretty much all of our things, into a storage place near to my dad and step-mom's house.

I had to carry things, you guys. Like heavy boxes.

And drive a car by myself. Which should not be a big deal, but it's me so it is and that bridge is terrifying and I've never driven the Sonata on a freeway and there were a bunch of accidents on the freeway and Gizmo barfed in Mike's car and whew. It was a deal.

After that though, me and the pups were safely at my dad and step-mom's house while my dad and Mike unloaded all our crap into the storage unit. Lucky ducks. I got to sit and eate cheese in an air conditioned house while they lug heavy shit around. Not fair? Maybe. I'm okay with it though.

I'm kind of sick of moving. And this move is only the first step to another move so it's just layer one of my stress cake (food and stress all in one metaphor, so me!). The dogs always hate it and barf all over the car, I am just horrendous at helping to move heavy things (t-rex arms), and it's always so hot on moving days, have you noticed that? It never fails. But at least I have a former moving guy as a husband and my dad is super good at carrying heavy things and there's cheese this time, cheese helps.

And here are some photos.

I miss my stuff already.

Who knew we owned two ladders? Also, that one on the left is deceptively heavy.

My unfinished clothes for storage pile. I'm going to regret some of these decisions, I just know it. Handy though that I just gained enough weight to where half this shit no longer fits. Maybe it will by the time we move again? (probably not)

Commence 15 minute discussion on whether we should bring these chairs or not. Tough decisions, people.

Obligatory and, might I say, amazingly flattering moving self portrait.

Our guests that are coming next week should feel so comfy and homey in our guest room. Urp.

Tuffy has made himself quite at home.

Texts on the drive there. Oh, Virginia traffic...

Drugged Gizmo on the way home. Poor guy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Things Driving Me Crazy Right Now

Because not every blog post can be positive, right? And because sometimes it just helps to type it out.

And also, because I'm a whiner.

Things Driving Me Crazy Right Now:

The fact that our vet tech tried to convince us that the dogs both needed a shot we were convinced they weren't due for and did no additional research (aka putting down the file and looking in the computer) to confirm that they were right and we were wrong. So my anal retentive self sent Mike out to the car to get the dog vaccination lists from the vet that I keep in our glove box at all times (because why not) proving that they had the shot quite recently.  Booyah.

That I came home after being away for four days to find that my beloved computer wouldn't turn on. Mike so rarely uses the internet that he didn't notice the whole time I was gone. So now we wait for parts to come in and I think of all the fun internet things I COULD be doing at all times. (I should probably not have a computer)

That I planned ahead and put in our address change to begin October 13th, the day we actually move in and the Post Office started it super early and we haven't gotten any mail at either address now for over a week. Because someone was just too lazy to read a date, I had to go into the Post Office, cancel the address change, and then redo it closer to the date and hope it gets done properly this time. In the meantime, if our commuter passes get lost in the shuffle, I may punch someone.

That I just don't have time to put the effort needed into my styling clients right now with my new job and commute. I'm just too damn tired by the end of the day and right now, our weekend are filled with tasks for the move (or having two beers at lunch and napping the rest of the day, whoops).

That I have to drive to my dad's next weekend. This is a crazy stupid thing to be irritated about, but I rarely drive any more and still don't feel completely comfortable driving the Sonata, especially over THIS bridge.  Urrrrrppppp.

That I have stood in line behind someone asking for triple sour cream and cheese at Chipotle and a caramel machiatto with double caramel and whip at Starbucks. This should not drive me crazy because it's not my business, but STOP IT! 

That's it, I'll stop now. 

Everyone go be happy!

Or whine a bit, whatever.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Comfy Casual

When wandering into my closet during my latest bout of unemployment, I would always joke with Mike and say, "What if I end up at a job that's super casual? What will I do with all these work dresses?!" And guess what? I got a great job....but it's at a super casual office. And I mean casual, like shorts and flip flops casual.

Well, balls.

Most people would probably really like the opportunity to be super casual at work. But not this guy. I just really really hate wearing pants and shorts. Like a lot. Maybe it's because I'm too fat for pants. MAYBE. But that's a whole different blog post...

I'm trying to embrace my new work environment and figure out how to still feel cute and like myself when not wearing heels and a dressier dress or skirt. Also, I wore pants THREE times this week. (And I was miserable my entire commute, thank you) (hashtag stop poking my fat roll, pants) So here is some outfit inspiration for how to keep cute and stylish in my new casual life.


Shop my recreation of the look here

horse sweater, skinny jeans, and cute boots

Shop my recreation of the look here

Red white and blue

Shop my recreation of the look here

Syvende. via Pink Peonies

Shop my recreation of the look here

so lovely and  springy

Shop my recreation of the look here

casual work attire

Shop my recreation of the look here

How do you do casual for work?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Things I Learned at My First Work Conference

Things I learned at my first work conference:

Vegas becomes more about coffee with extra shots than cocktails with shots.

I am 100% too old for this shit and since when do these stamps just not effing come off?!
Going to the welcome reception at the club was required, but I only made it for an hour and a half. It was loud in there, man. And I'm aware of how old that makes me sound.

Name tags do not go with cocktail dresses. Nope.

3,000 people is a lot of people. A lot. When we would leave the conference center, it was like a sea of really slow moving people spilling into the hotel.

Get there early because it's going to take an hour and a half just to check into your room. 

It is freezing in the conference rooms regardless of how effing deathly hot it is in Vegas.

You will not need free time clothes, you will have no free time.

It can be really lonely when you're new even when surrounded by 3,000 other people.

Once I hit my 18th hour of being awake and on my feet, if I can't find my room, I may tear up like a giant, useless sap.

Conference swag is always exciting, even when it's super random. Swag!

When done really well, conferences can be crazy inspiring. 

I'm an old fuddy duddy and will eye roll you wearing leggings and flip flops to the conference even if it's casual.

Also, day drinking is not cute when you're technically at work, kids!

I do not care if my room has 800 mirrors and a giant shower, I wants a coffee maker. (It was basically a sex party room)

When I wear glasses, people are much nicer to me. No joke, I wore glasses on the plane there and back since my days were going to be so long and tiring and I got a bunch of compliments, an offer to ride in one of the airport cars instead of walking, and an offer of a free cocktail on the plane. Am I more likable the more of my face I cover up?!

I will tear up at inspirational videos and my coworkers winning awards. Such. A. Sap.

This sounds mostly whiny, but it really was great and I can't wait to go back as someone that actually knows people and has a group to hang out with. Love my company though, they put on a legit conference.

Friday, September 19, 2014

10 Happy Things

I was going to write a whole post whining about how hard and long my week was and bitching about work conferences like a giant whiny turd. But instead, I'll steal Betsy's blog post idea and write about 10 things that are making me happy right now.

Here it goes!

1.  It's Friday!  That's a given, but seriously, it WAS a long week and Friday means beers and tv with my boys and getting to sleep in tomorrow. So so happy.

2.  It's Fall! I promise not to become one of those bloggers that waxes poetic about Fall and pumpkins, but it was a crazy hot and humid summer and I'm pretty excited about layers and hot drinks and the holidays. And this Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest beer in my hand doesn't hurt either.

3.  That we have visitors coming soon! And most of our trip is planned around food and beer!

4.  Christmas in Disney World! That is forever away, but not really and I seriously cannot wait.

5.  Lunch with my husband today. Working in the same city again is really nice and being able to meet up for some free food provided by my employer is even nicer. Bonus that it's crazy delicious.

6.  My daily dog walker photos. I can't help it, they make me laugh so hard and definitely make me happy.

7.  That I have my work laptop to use since I came home from my trip to find that my desktop won't turn on anymore. I cannot go all weekend without computer access!

8.  That I work for a company who puts a lot of money back into their company and their employees and who put on a pretty damn sweet conference and awards dinner.

George Lopez hosted our awards dinner and he was pretty friggin' awesome.

9.  Arrested Development on Netflix. Yep, we're the last people to watch it.

10.  Signing into Facebook and seeing that my friend E was cast in an opera, go E!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daydreams on the Drive

The route that our morning bus driver takes on our commute to work winds through the back roads of Maryland and up into DC. We spend about an hour passing farm house after farm house, open fields, and horses who've just woken and stepped out of the barns. I find myself every morning lusting after these homes and daydreaming about a life in one of them.

There is one tiny white clapboard house in some small town whose name I don't know that sits right next to a rundown grocery store. Usually I would probably look at something like that and think how dirty it was it how scared I would be to live somewhere so remote, next to unsavory looking businesses, but during our morning drive, that little house looks cute and quaint and I can picture settling there and walking over to the dusty grocery in the morning for some eggs or milk.

Maybe one day we'll brave the daily commute on those back roads (the bus doesn't stop there so we'd have to drive every day) and leave the city for some land and a chicken coop with room for our dogs to run and hypothetical kids to play.

(But in reality, one must ask, how close is the nearest Target?)

See what I mean? Dreamy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Things I'm Thankful For

This week has been my first real week of full time commuting which includes an about 15 minute walk from where my bus drops me off to my office. I've found myself during my walk feeling so elated and happy and most of all thankful. Which is a nice way to feel first thing in the morning, especially after waking up at 4:45am and wanting nothing more than to just go back to sleep.

I think a big part of it is me trying to focus on the fact that I'm here, I'm doing this. I've dreamed of moving to and working in DC since I was a teenager. Mike and I have spent so many days wandering the city hand in hand talking endlessly about how we would love to move here, if that were ever possible. And look, we're here. I walk to work with all the other commuters; zigzagging around the lost tourists and cutting in front of cars before the light changes. I sit at my desk and look out at gorgeous rowhouses and my dream neighborhood.

So in that vein, here are some things I am currently thankful for that popped in my head this morning on my walk:

 - Family to support us. Our families support us in so many ways, it could be its whole own daily blog. Most recently, my dad and step-mom (who side note JUST found my blog and all my facetious mentions of her on here as step-monster...) offered to let Mike and I move in with them when our lease is up in October to save money and give us time to really find the right place in DC. And my retired dad will be watching the pups all day so double bonus.

 - The commuter bus. Maryland has an amazing system in place for commuters to DC. The buses are convenient, clean, the drivers are super friendly and awesome, they know every back way into DC you could possibly think of in order to avoid traffic, and everyone on the buses are courteous and nice. And they have bathrooms (I kind of wish there was a video of my trying to pee in there this morning while the bus entered the freeway, that was not easy, guys). A two hour commute isn't so bad when you're comfortably sitting on a heated bus, reading your book, being driven by someone you trust.

 - Being part of a great team. When I started commuting with Mike instead of me being home all day, it really rocked our routine. I'm so glad that Mike and I are able to work so well as a team, just falling into a new routine, no matter how tiring it may be. I love the moment after dinner when we, without words, go into the kitchen and clean and prepare each other's lunches for the next day together.

 - Our amazing dog walker. I cannot praise this woman enough. I'm actually sad we're moving away just because we have to say goodbye to her. I am a giant stress case when it comes to our dogs and having her taking care of them once a day has made me feel so much better. She texts me a photo of them every day on their walk and then leaves us these adorable notes to find when we get home always telling us who "went #2" and how much she loves them. It makes my day. Check her out here!

 - Loose dresses. No seriously, I'm so fat right now I would be screwed without my tent dresses. Hashtag go on a diet already you whiner.

 - Time to read. The best thing about the commute is that it gives me about 3 hours a day just to read. As you've seen from my unemployment posts, I knew I needed to be reading more instead of messing about on the internet or watching tv, but I'm so bad about doing it when I'm home alone. I've found myself looking forward to the time on the bus to catch up on some much needed reading.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oh Hey

I'm alive.

In case you were wondering.

A 4 hour daily commute that results in 14 hour days away from home is pretty damn grueling.

We come home, walk the dogs, make dinner, feed the dogs, eat dinner, and then have time to pretty much shower, make lunch for the next day, and go to bed.

It's not ideal.

But it's also not permanent, so huzzah.

I've been totally slacking on my styling and blogging and working out and just honing my general awesomeness.

This weekend, I get ready to leave for a conference in Vegas (VEGAS!) which includes me having to leave the house at 3:00am and a return flight that lands me home at 1:00am on a work day. Whomp whomp.

Then we need to start packing.

Then we drive 2 hours to put a bunch of our things in storage the next weekend.

Then we have company coming to visit.

Then we move.


Typing that made me tired and stressed out.

But all this stressful, tiring, grueling stuff is for positive reasons so I shall focus on that.

And then go to bed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On Starting a New Job

When you've been unemployed for a while and are starting to feel hopeless and useless and worried about money, you would give anything for a job. Just a job, hopefully a good one, but it doesn't have to be THAT exciting. Something that pays the bills and doesn't make you hate yourself, thanks.

Then you get a job. And you get that YES FINALLY euphoria. You're not a loser! You're not going to be homeless! You're not invisible! Maybe, just maybe, your student loans were not for naught!

And then you start the job.

You always forget this part when you're ass deep in unemployment depression or flying in the clouds on a new job high. It's not just the matter of getting the job, you actually have to start that job and work at that job. It's a job.

Inevitably it's a mess the first couple of weeks. No one is prepared to train you and the person you are replacing is never still there to help guide you. You spend days following people around being introduced to coworkers you'll never see again and trying not to look too sheepish or stupid. Your upcoming weeks are never planned ahead of time so you spend far too much energy sending "hopefully not too bitchy" emails prodding people to give you a solid answer on when you need to be at work and when you can leave. You feel dumb. Dumber than dumb. You get lost on your walk to work. You stress out far too much about missing your new bus. You have no idea what your day-to-day tasking is and feel like begging people to just train you on it already. And your commute causes a whole extra bag of worms because you HAVE to leave by a certain time, it's not a suggestion, if you don't, you miss your bus and are stranded two hours from home. So you have to be that guy who packs up and leaves in the middle of a meeting. And you don't have kids (which I imagine is way harder) but you do have two dogs who you don't leave alone for more than 8 hours at a time so you kind of have to know your schedule a head of time to plan for that which makes you that bitchy employee emailing people and telling them you WILL be leaving your shift at 5 because, well you will. Great impressions you're leaving here.

And you inevitably have that gut feeling of oh shit did I do the wrong thing is this the right place for me what the hell am I doing with my life. Why didn't I just get a nice, boring government job like everyone else?!

And maybe you got a job with a major food chain and part of training means working in the restaurant for two days and you've never worked in food service and know you're going to look like a total jack ass for two days straight and this happens tomorrow and you are beyond dreading it.

BUT you remind yourself that in a few months (hopefully) time, you will know your daily routine. You will have done the commute enough times to not be terrified of missing your bus because you're not sure where they pick you up as opposed to dropping you off. You will not feel so g-damn sad every time your alarm goes off at 4:45am. Your dogs will be used to the new 14 hour day schedule. You will not feel like a completely useless idiot shuffling around the office with no purpose or brains.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Life Lately

Life lately has been tiring and stressful and great. I spent the last week on travel training for my new job and missing my boys. Mike is getting used to his commute and helping me prepare for mine. I gained about 10 pounds while on travel (working for a major food chain is a perk and a disadvantage). I learned the hard way that you don't read a bunch of articles about a brutal and senseless rape and murder right before going to sleep alone in a hotel. The dogs have gotten a new best friend aka their daily dog walker who is amazing and makes my life so much easier. We've been wrestling with where we're going to live when our lease is up 6 weeks. And it's hot as all hell balls here.

Here are some photos.

Our dog walker is okay with my intense crazy and agreed to text me every day her first week with the dogs. She included photos because she's awesome and these texts made my days while on travel. I think the dogs like her, what do you think?!

My favorite picture ever. This guy.

Mike has taken to buying metro roses every Friday and it makes my week. Thanks metro man and thanks Mike!

Off to the airport! I look so calm and collected, but really I'm a mess until I get to my gate.

The wine bar in Dulles is just as good as I dreamed. Cheese plate and two glasses of wine for dinner pre-flight? Yes please!

My walk to work every morning in Denver was pretty dang cute.

I can't help myself.

Texts from Mike of my babies were much needed. These guys...

My boys. Mostly this picture is about pug bits...


Not hating your new haircut AND being able to style it like your inspiration photo a week later? Priceless.