Archive for live for the story

2014: The Year That Was…

I realize we are officially one week into 2015, but I never actually shared a review of 2014. I think that was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t wholly impressed with 2014. Yes, lots of great things happened (like my new job!), but I didn’t feel like I had moved forward a lot. I realize now that’s simply untrue. I just didn’t move at the pace I wanted, which made me eager to start 2015 and my 2015 goals (as you already know!).

But, I should never wish away time. So here’s a very quick look back at 2014.

WordPress had this to say about my 2014. Looks like everyone was super keen to learn about my Grumpy Cat painted pumpkin. In fairness, it was pretty rad.

Wordpress 2014 Review

WordPress 2014 Review

I did knock a lot of my 2014 goals, such as:

  • Completing year 2 of The Happiness Project
  • Improving my career (yay!)
  • Repairing my right knee…again
  • Traveling to 3 international destinations!
  • And knocking out the remaining items on my DC bucket list

But there were also a few things that either didn’t happen or just fell short:

  • Running that elusive 10-miler
  • Saying yes to everything (because I learned that saying NO, is just as important)
  • And I only made it to 17 books, not the full 25 I had hoped.

Truthfully, I’m not disappointed at all. Mainly because I’m still actively working on being a better version of myself. I’ll always have goals in motion. Plus, I did manage to read some really amazing books – both for my book club, but also for myself and my career. Here’s a little visual display from Goodreads.

Read in 2014

Read in 2014

If you get a chance to pick up a spare book, here are my top 3 of 2014:

3. Walkable City
2. The Night Circus OR What Alice Forgot
1. Who Moved My Cheese?

Ok, so that’s technically 4, but you know what…it’s my blog 🙂 Anyways, I’m really excited to keep on reading. Mostly because I’m really driven this year to read industry books as well as fiction/non-fiction. My work has a great little library going and I’m currently working my way through an entire stack. Plus, I’m always creepin’ Cranky’s Goodreads; so if you have any must-read suggestions, leave me a comment!

There were definitely times this past year where I was just over it. 100%, without a doubt, done. And I just couldn’t wait to move past where I was. In fact, I was giddy with excitement for 2015, but I saw this the other week as everyone made their resolutions to make 2015 better than the last and when I read it – I felt thankful. Truly, for where I’m at. I’ll get to where I’m going, one day. Happy 2015!

2014 in a nutshell

2014 in a nutshell

Weekend Review: Christmas 2014

I know I’m a little late on this one, but I wanted to share my Christmas adventures with everyone. Long story short, we decided to do a mini-getaway with the family. While I’d been to Charleston – who am I to say no to fun and travel?

My sister, her kids, and my mom went for the entire week, but I went down Christmas Eve and stayed through the weekend. My sister is notorious for planning every possible second of every day, so I got to see lots of fun things!

On our first day, we visited Magnolia Plantation. I carried Gabe around like he was mine. My ovaries were shouting, GIMME GIMME! But also – isn’t he adorable?

photo 3(9)

Auntie M & Gabe

Magnolia Plantation is basically a old Civil War Plantation that has been converted into gardens and a tourist mecca. In fairness, it is beautiful. Below – parts of the garden and the plantation house.

Famed white bridge over the lake/swamp

Famed white bridge over the lake/swamp

Magnolia Plantation House

Magnolia Plantation House

The second day I was there, we spent the day walking around Charleston and finding fun items at the markets. My mom loved those sweet grass baskets. I found an awesome vintage tin for my gallery wall in my apartment. But here’s a cute pic of my 2 nephews:

From L to R: Gabe, Auntie M, and Matthew

From L to R: Gabe, Auntie M, and Matthew

On my last day there, we went to a tea plantation and then to the Angel Oak Tree. The tea plantation was clearly my idea, I picked up their peach infused loose leaf tea 🙂

Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation

And then we stopped in at the Angel Oak Tree which wasn’t very far away. It is estimated to be about 400 years old and it’s actually 4 trees that have grown together.

Angel Oak Tree

Angel Oak Tree

I desperately wanted to climb it, but you can’t even sit on it. That’s me fake leaning, by the way!

10420312_10100466689956563_2274814011342764258_n

M & the Angel Oak

 

All in all – it was a great Christmas break. The kids tried my patience (and truth be told, so did my sister), but it was great to be with family. The older I get, the more important I realize how much I crave time with my family and these special moments together.

Weekend Review: Beer, beer, and more beer

Ok, so it’s Friday and I’m only now finding time to tell you about last weekend. My bad.

Anyways – here we go. Last Saturday, I organized a brewery tour for my work peeps. We were meant to go on a wine tour, but not everyone bought their ticket in time…so, the alternative was beer. We started at Bluejacket which is down at Navy Yard. We started with some early morning tasters, food, and then a tour (which went a little longer than any of us anticipated).

photo 1(7)

The whole team (minus 1) at the start of the tour.

The tour was really great and informative. If you’re a hardcore beer lover, get to Bluejacket and take the tour. If you just like to drink beer, then get to Bluejacket and skip the tour. After we finished up there, we headed to our next destination, Chocolate City Brewery. And like any good transit loving people, we hopped in a Lyft (not an Uber, because of all the recent controversy). We even won fun sunnies from the driver, he was awesome!

photo 1(5)

Sweet Lyft sunnies

Going from Bluejacket to Chocolate City was a complete 180. We went from high-end beer works, to something that resembled a garage. However, the building was cool looking…

photo 2(5)

Chocolate City Brewery

And there was some awesome street art nearby that we all took advantage of. This is officially, my favorite work photo evar!

photo 2(7)

We’ll call this one “Movement”

Things got a little blurry after Chocolate City. We went to Atlas Brew Works and then ended up out on H Street for quite awhile. There was some epic jukeboxing happening as well as some serious Donkey Kong competition. In the end, there were 3 left standing and I’m honestly surprised we looked this good. ps. That’s totes my boss on the left, how awesome is she??

photo 3(5)

Last Women Standing!

Sunday was very much a day of rest and recovery, but not before I had some ME time and got my hair did. It’s been awhile since I’ve had color put in and while I wasn’t really interested in going back to blue or purple, I did think it would be fun to get a little honey/ombre going. Here’s me on Tuesday, with a little curl. The cut is still the same and the rest of my hair is still start, just the long side is now blonde/honey. I’ll be sure to let you know if blondes have more fun.

photo 4(3)

Do blondes have more fun?

And last but not least from this week, was Mesha’s surprise birthday party. It wasn’t technically the weekend, but who cares, it was fun. I’ve known Mesha for about 5 years now and we first met when we played gaelic football. We were carpool buddies and pretty much always lost. Since her birthday is always around Thanksgiving, she’s never had a real birthday party. So her awesome wife, Sam, planned one for her and she was genuinely surprised as there were about 15-20 people there! The funny part is that Mesha thought she was coming out to meet me just to hang. Sam told her I was having ‘man troubles’ (never far from the truth) and just needed some quality friend time. She joked when she got there that she almost came out in sweatpants! Ha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Mesha doesn’t like cake, so she got a “beer cake” instead. Pretty sweet, right?

photo 1(6)

Mesha’s beer cake

So yeah, that was my weekend. The days after Tuesday have sort of been a blur of emotions. Some happy, some meh, some lonely, some missing family. I didn’t really have a proper Thanksgiving as I decided to stay and just make a little extra cash on the side with pet sitting, but part of me wishes I had gone home. Though I know if I went home, I would have wished I had stayed. Anyways, that’s a story for another time; but, I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with your loved ones. Now, on to Christmas!

Weekend review: Labor Day (plus a rewind!)

This past weekend flew by and while I had intentions of at least one other blog post…alas, it is Monday night. Already. Sadsies.

I did a lot of work over my holiday weekend, but I did manage at least one, fun awesome day of wine tasting with my sis and a few friends. It’s kind of turned into a tradition that my sis and I go wine tasting and after a few really fun trips with a couple of people…we’ve sort of, accidentally on purpose, turned into a wine group.

Yesterday, we checked out Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville, VA. And yes, the tasting room is actually in a wine cave!

photo 2
While the winery itself has that “small business” feel to it, there are over 200 acres of land/vineyards. All of us really loved that Maggie herself, was behind the counter, pouring her guests tastings and interacting with everyone. Of course, we got a photo!

photo 4

And here’s the view!

photo 3
They had a live jazz band there as well. Here’s Belle enjoying the music (and yes, we only pick wineries that are pup friendly so Belle can join the fun!).

photo 1
It was a great day with the wine group and we’re already planning our next winery adventure. It’s pretty fun to just pick a spot, meet up, eat and drink for a few hours, and walk away with some great memories.

And since I’m here, I thought I’d do a quick recap of the past few weeks since I haven’t quite found my blogging groove again. I’m working on figuring out a schedule that works for me, but for now…here we go. Here are 4 great pics that sum up my past couple weekends.

1. Brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon: Had brunch with a long-time friend and her hubby a few weekends back. They were visiting for a conference and we met up for bottomless mimosas at Beuchert’s Saloon. We kept the party going and had a few more bevvies. I don’t know what we’re all laughing at here, but this picture is priceless in my book. I do love the friends I’ve made along the way and even though we don’t talk every day, we’ve managed to stay in touch.

photo 1(1)
2.
Road trip to Richmond: I visited Richmond, VA last weekend to catch up with an old college friend. In truth, we were really only acquaintances at best, but life has a way of bringing people together when you need them most and now she’s definitely a friend. Here’s her adorable pup, Annabelle. You know I was in love!

photo 3(1)
3. Puppy sitting
I’ve been puppy sitting again to boost my travel fund. Sometimes I forget how fun it can be, especially when you get to hang out in rich people’s houses and enjoy their fancy hammocks. Man, I love a good hammock.

photo 2(1)
4. New job!
And last, but not least…my new job! I’m in love, people. In love! My coworkers are fab and I love all the events and adventures I get to go on. It’s not all conferences in SF, but just getting to be a part of something greater has put new spirit and excitement in my blood. They look to me as a marketing guru and when I voice an opinion, I”m heard! I’m also doing TONS of reading which feels good and I feel like my writing has been elevated. There is a big hill to climb, in terms of getting our site/blog/feed really out there…but it’s good to be a part of a team again. Here I am in Crystal City, checking out an art installation called #crystalwings. We saw it coming back from an event. Fun, right?!

photo 4(1)And that’s a wrap. Back to your regularly scheduled Monday program!

Goals: NEW Career

It’s been awhile since my last post and since then the universe has made way for some exciting new opportunities. For awhile, my life was very much submitting job applications and going on interviews and then my luck changed and I landed a new gig.

I am now a Marketing Manager for a Transportation Demand Management company based out of Arlington, VA. I don’t know much about TDM, but I do know about marketing and I’m very excited to work for a company that focuses on change in my local area.

I’ve been with the company for a whopping 2 weeks and am already out on a business trip in San Fran at a conference. Fun! Here’s a pic of me on my 3rd day of work with a new colleague who had also recently started:

20140803-150324-54204276.jpg

It’s a welcome change and now that things have settled down a bit, I hope to get back to blogging a lot more regularly. I hate that I’ve been absent, but a lot of that came down to me being ashamed of not having my life together. But no more…yay!

Now I just need a furry friend and find a decent human being that likes the same stuff I do and we can call it a day….

Family: The Wee-Yins Part 2

In 2012, I shared a few pictures of my nieces and nephews, taking absolute pride and joy that I was indeed an auntie. I also loved that I got to see each  munchkin right as they had been born. A year later, there was a new addition to the family but because the family lives in England, I wasn’t able to cuddle this cutie until now. Meet Georgina!

photo 1(14)

Number 4 (of 5) is also my god-daughter. I’ve never been a god-parent and I can’t honestly say I really know what that entails, but I plan on snuggling and spoiling her rotten (as I do with ALL the kiddos). She is so much the spit-image of my sister it cracks me up. I want a mini-me! Haha.

And then nearly 2 weeks ago, we welcomed yet another cuddle bug to the family. This is Gabriel and the youngest brother to Matthew and Maddie. I can’t believe how tiny he is. So wee, so fragile, so perfect.

photo 2(14)

I’d be willing to bet my mama-clock is on overdrive and I have a little bit of baby fever (how could you not around these cuties?), but I love these kids to the moon and back. I can’t wait to watch them grow into tiny little humans. Aren’t they just the sweetest? Clearly, not biased at all!

Life: An overdue update

Well, it’s been about 3 weeks since my last update and if you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that’s a bit unlike me. But there is a good reason and it’s filled with all sorts of awkward and cringe-worthy moments. I have been keeping busy and doing fun things (as is evidenced by my Instagram), but it’s the in-between moments that cause a great sigh.

Without further ado, I’m practically unemployed (practically = 1 day a week on the payroll). For a few days, I was really embarrassed and sad, hence no blogging. And then after I called my mom and cried a bit, I decided that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed and picked up those good old boot straps and got to work (again, no time for blogging). Namely, I started applying for jobs like crazy. Not that I haven’t been doing that since January (SINCE JANUARY?!?!), but I just increased the volume probably 3-fold.

In case you have a cushy job and your financial future is not in jeopardy, let me just tell you…it’s hard out there. CRAZY FUCKING HARD. But, I’m nothing but a bubble of positivity and I know that all of the good faith efforts I’m putting out there will come back to me in some form or fashion. In fact, I have a few interviews lined up already. So if you wouldn’t mind, cross your fingers, your toes, your legs, whatever…and send some good vibes my way?

So the second half of this story comes down that giant bubble of positivity. It’s probably no surprise that I was struggling a little at the start of the year and I felt lost a lot of the time. I had a hard time getting the momentum going, until about 3 weeks ago. What did I do 3 weeks ago? Oh ya know…I started my own business. I know you’re confused since I just told you I was unemployed, but I have been dedicating a quarter of my time to Mary Kay. Yep, you heard me and not too much of a shocker here, but I love it. I don’t love it because it’s make-up and skin care. I love it because it has pushed me in ways I didn’t think possible.

I sell things now. That requires courage to a certain extent.
I cold call people and handle rejection like a pro.
I attend success meetings filled with positive women who encourage me every week.
I’m following a business model (A BUSINESS MODEL…say what?) and learning how to manage profit.
I’m building my network, little by little.
I’m starting a business from the ground up. That’s hard. REALLY HARD!

But these are all good things and if there’s been anything I’ve noticed in the past 3 weeks since I was reduced to 1 day a week, pinching every penny, and finding ways to source extra cash…it’s that my stress level has been reduced and that I can actually sleep through the night. I know my network is currently small and I’m at a slight disadvantage compared to most other consultants in terms of kick-starting their business, but you know what I’ve got…determination, because my back is against the wall.

Yes, I still plan to go into a full-time marketing/content development position, but I definitely want to keep Mary Kay up and running. It’s given me confidence that I knew I was lacking and it’s given me an amazing outlook.

So yes, the future is a little nerve-racking and I don’t currently participate in anything unless it’s free…but I know that the good I put into the world will come back to me.

So now that I’ve shared my awkward news, you can probably expect my regular posts to return. Weekend reviews, apartment updates, maybe even a few DIYs that I’ve had on my list for awhile. So yeah, happy Friday…here’s to the weekend and better things in the future!

tinlizzieridesagain

Adventures in Bikeable Fashion

RAISING A RESCUE DOG

Because rescuing a dog is a commitment not a trend!

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

LilyPetal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

Joy Victory

Words are my weapons.

CAT IN WATER

Art. Design. Nature. Inspiration

Life of Roya

musings of Roya Ghorbani-Elizeh

Lauri's Blerg

Just another Vox refugee

the food matters project

you are what you eat

emily cawood

designer - builder - artist

Ross' WordPress Portal

Just another WordPress.com site

nest design studio { blog }

our everyday life as designers

Simple Savvy

Slow living, simply done

Going Dutch

and loving it

Lauowolf's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: