Wednesday, August 24, 2016

List: Ten ways to get back into routine after a vacation.

**I posted this almost exactly a year ago, but it totally applies to now.  Please excuse the repeated post while I remind myself on how to catch myself up in life and work!**

The wedding ended and the honey moon came and gone.
The next week, I was summoned for jury duty and then I caught a viral infection from my Mushy.
Quickly after that, my aunt passed away so we traveled upstate, NY for the services.
If these things didn’t happen all at once, life would be boring.  Right?!

Needless to say, after a month of not being able to live a normal life, I’m all out of whack.
I’m so far behind in life that I’m not sure how to catch up and get back on schedule.
My bills aren’t meticulously budgeted and my chores are a month behind.
My cubicle at work has stacks and piles of time sensitive tasks left undone.
My blog’s log of posts is empty and my class for school is literally right around the corner.
I’m not even going to mention myself.  I need an emergency hair cut and mani-pedi NOW!

Ten ways to get your life back on track.

1.  Take a deep breath and calm down.
It’s easy to panic when you see mountains of unfinished work and chores laying around.
If you go into panic mode, you’ll make mistakes and take longer to finish.
Meditate for a minute or stop and get a glass of cold water.  Once you’re calm, do step #2.

2.  Evaluate the complete situation.
Before you can begin getting back on track, you need to determine where you’re at.
Brainstorm and make a list of everything that needs to get done in all aspects of your life.
This can be overwhelming.  Stop and calm down again if you need to.  I have anxiety so I get it!

3.  Prioritize the tasks on hand.
The floors may need a good scrubbing, but it’s high priority to deposit your check and pay bills.
Rewrite your list and put the tasks in priority order.  This is especially an important step at work!
This may feel like you’re wasting time, but trust me when I say being organized really helps.

4.  Take lots and lots of breaks.
Playing catch up can be very overwhelming.  Remember it took a month to build that pile of work.
You need to eat, sleep, and take mental breaks.  It’s impossible to do everything in a day, so don’t try.
This is where I always fail, especially at work.  I may have unanswered e-mails, but I still have to pee!

5.  Communicate with the people relying on you.
Maybe you need to cancel a beach day with the girls or reschedule a meeting with your boss.
As long as you communicate and explain the situation, people aren’t going to feel let down.
Remember that everyone had to play catch up at some point in their life.  They’ll totally understand!

6.  Don’t forget about the new tasks coming in.
Getting your life back on track isn’t an excuse to ignore the new tasks coming in.
If you do this, you’ll be right back at step one.  Try and balance your time between new and old tasks.
I have unapplied checks sitting here from a month ago, but I’m still submitting the new ones coming in.

7.  Ask for help and delegate what you can.
This doesn’t mean it’s ok to dump everything on someone else.  But, it is ok to ask for help.
Maybe your spouse can do some extra chores or a friend can entertain your baby for a few hours.
These little shouts for help will really make all the difference in how long this takes you!

8.  Eliminate unnecessary distractions.
Things like your cell phone or your TV set to BRAVO can prove to be an unnecessary distraction.
If you are too busy chatting on the phone or watching TV, you’re not being productive.
My husband hates when my brain gets distracted because it happens often.  Woops!

9.  Set a reasonable date as a target goal.
If I allow myself to think that I have an indefinite amount of time to do something, it doesn’t get done.
On the other hand, if I rush to get stuff done too quick then things aren’t done correctly or completely.
A goal is always a great thing to have for mental reasons.  It helps put everything in perspective!

10.  Live your life following your normal routine.
It’s important to get back into your normal routine as quickly as possible.
This will help you feel normal.  It also will help get things done because your routine probably worked.
It always feels great to settle back into your regular schedule after a long vacation.


How do you get back into your daily routine after a long vacation?

Monday, August 22, 2016

List: Ten things to do before applying for a new job.

I recently went on a fabulous dinner date with my baby cousin.
It turns out that my baby cousin is no longer a baby.
We were celebrating my birthday and the start of her career at a huge accounting firm.
Our dinner date was soon consumed with sparkling sake and adult conversation.
One big topic of talk was how she landed this awesome role straight out of college.
No worries, ladies and gentlemen!  I’ll share her tips to success with you!


Ten things to do before applying for a new job.

1.  Get yourself organized.
Keep your important documents and information in an expandable folder.
I fill mine with copies of my resume, certificates, recommendation letters, and diplomas.

2.  Invest in a portfolio book.
Keep a portfolio book handy and filled with pens, paper, resumes, and other necessities.
Walking into an interview with this leaves you looking prepared, responsible, and professional.

3.  Clean up your social media.
Browse through your social media feeds and delete any unprofessional pictures or posts.
I never believed employers actually looked until the time an interview began with listing our mutual friends!

4.  Google your name for a virtual clean up.
You'll be surprised what will pop up when you Google your name.  Delete all undesirable discoveries.
I recently did this and had a hard time deleting an ancient Twitter account.  I had to beg for it to go away!

5.  Invest in a blazer.
Whether it's a fun colored blazer or plain black one, it's a must for any interview.
I love my coral blazer because it helps me stand out but it still shows that I mean business!

6.  Create a professional e-mail address.
Sign up for a free gmail account and make your e-mail something professional.
Your name separated by a period at gmail.com will always do the trick!

7.  Prepare answers to typical interview questions.
There will be trade specific questions, but the favorites will always pop up.
Don't be afraid to ask family or friends to help role play a practice interview.

8.  Start networking.
Connections and possible opportunities await you when you simply tell people you're ready for a career
I once scored an interview on the elevator ride to another interview!  Always have extra resume copies.

9.  Create a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn has become a key tool for networking, recruiting, and researching applicants.  Utilize it!
Tip-Definitely upload a profile picture but keep it tasteful, professional, and a solo shot.

10.  Become confident in yourself.
In the words of my not so baby cousin, "be confident and prepare to sell yourself".
You need to prove to yourself that you're the perfect fit for a career before you can prove it to others!

What do you do to prepare for a job hunt?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

List: Ten health foods that aren't healthy.

A couple of months back, I re-started my healthy swap challenge to lose a stubborn 5 pounds.
I know.  You’re all really sick of hearing about my healthy swaps already.  I totally get it!
I already told you all about my squats and my new found love for tea.
What I didn’t tell you is that I cut back on carbohydrates, unhealthy snacks, and lazy nights in bed.
It’s been two months and I can’t confirm that I lost weight, but I really do feel better.
I don’t weigh myself.  When you have anxiety, you avoid the things that could trigger a meltdown.

Ten health foods that aren't so healthy.

1.  Smoothies
I’m a huge fan of Tropical Smoothie and I have been indulging to my heart’s content.
After checking out their nutrition facts, I learned that I’d be better off with a gallon of ice cream.
Not to mention, their smoothies only come in one size:  gigantic!  I’m cutting these out completely.

2.  Salad
I eat salad with fresh mozzarella 5 days a week for lunch, and I absolutely love it!
I did a healthy swap of fresh avocado instead of salad dressing, and it’s even more delicious.
Dressings are filled with calories and preservatives.  Opt for oil and vinegar or try my avocado swap!

3.  Oatmeal
My daily breakfast is a packet of apple cinnamon flavored Quaker instant oatmeal.
The sugar content is enough to make you eep!  I switched to oat bran with cinnamon and berries.
Please don’t tell, but I also put a little drop of syrup in my organic oat bran for my sweet tooth!

4.  Wraps
One popular healthy food trend is wraps filled with yummy different things.
Compare the nutrition facts of your wrap to your bread.  You’ll see that the wraps are worse!
I’ll be swapping wraps and breads for an open faced sandwich with only healthy fillers.

5.  Peanut Butter
I’ve been buying the reduced fat peanut butter thinking that I made a healthy swap.
A coworker told me that the fat they took out of the peanut butter was replaced with sugar.
I guess that my peanut butter and banana snack will now be a peanut and banana snack.

6.  Diet Drinks
These drinks may have less sugar, but the companies make up for it with chemicals.
Some diet sodas in particular have been linked to Multiple Sclerosis type symptoms.
Water and tea, people.  Just drink water and tea!!  And, maybe just one cup of coffee…

7.  Cold Cuts
It’s not uncommon for me to roll up a few slices of turkey and stick them on top of my salad.
Turns out that this deli meat is packed with preservatives, sodium, and fat.
When I was pregnant, the doctored banned me from eating any cold cuts.  Red flag much?

8.  Protein Bars
I've been told that despite my healthy diet, I can't lose the last few pounds because of protein.
I tried to up my protein intake by buying Cliff Protein bars.  They're yummy but full of sugar.
I went back to hard boiled eggs in the morning, but it still isn't the 20 grams from the bar!

9.  Sugar Substitutes
This is something that I used once, despised the after taste, and never used again.
Sugar substitutes are typically filled with chemicals that are known to cause medical issues.
This might be a myth for some brands, but the hypochondriac inside of me will not risk it!

10.  Yogurt
While yogurt has great things in it for digestive systems and women bits, I hate the taste of it.
Plain yogurt is a very healthy snack, but the flavored ones are full of sugar and preservatives.
Trix yogurt shouldn’t even be legal to serve to children!!  I serve Mushy the organic, plain kind.

What unhealthy health foods tricked you?

Monday, August 15, 2016

List: Ten signs that you're officially overwhelmed.

I've been so busy that I've been losing track of myself lately.
I knew I've been overbooked because I wasn't accomplishing all that I typically do.
Did anyone notice the mysteriously missing Wednesday post last week??  I did and I sighed.

Work and taking care of my family have officially consumed me.
When I finally have done the bare minimum that needs to be done, I'm out of energy.
As one would expect, this lack of daily duties has also led to some household arguments.
Which also wastes perfectly good productive time and motivation!

Last night I finally got the message the universe has been telling me.
"Jax, you're overwhelmed and need to slow down before you burn out!"
I completely forgot about a planned event and had to stop mid-task to make it.  That ain't like me!


Ten signs that you're officially overwhelmed.

1.  You're paycheck mysteriously doubled.
Companies don't just donate to your cause.  You earned that cash, but burning yourself out in overtime.
I'm still crossing my fingers on that huge promotion so I can say buh bye to that crazy OT!

2.  You're healthy home cooked meals have vanished.
Cooking a healthy meal from scratch is now a foreign idea replaced with hot dogs and chicken nuggets!
This is a huge one especially for someone who really enjoys those home cooked meals.

3.  You haven't called your grandmother in a week.
I make a point of calling nanny at least twice a week, but the past few weeks just disappeared!
Now that I think about it, she didn't call me either.  You think she's mad?!

4.  Your husband has to remind you to say "hello".
With limited time and too many things to do, little things like a kiss hello gets eliminated.
I got insulted when he first called me out, but now I'm smiling thinking about how he cared!

5.  You ignore the ant infestation in the bathroom.
I saw several teeny tiny ants crawling around the bathroom, and I just shut the door.
The entire world knows how much I hate bugs, but I just didn't have time for that!

6.  You live with only 6 painted nails.
The second one gel polish pops off I run to the nail salon to have a whole new set painted on.
Even my manager told me to slow down when he saw that half my nails were naked!

7.  You use your phone calendar and still forget events.
If it ain't in my calendar and my phone doesn't alarm me, I won't remember it.
My brain is so frazzled that this isn't even true anymore!

8.  Your hosting a gathering and don't even write a list.
A week before any event I write up a menu and a list of everything that needs to be done.
The day before, my hubby said "I don't know what to do without your list".  That totally made me swoon!

9.  You eat over the crumb stuck under the glass.
My OCD always makes me cringe when things are stuck between the glass and table.
Well, writing about that made me stop and finally get that crumb impostor out.  Problem solved!

10.  You're daughter tells you not to work anymore.
This one killed me.  I stopped everything I was doing to have some play time with my mushy!
She's growing up quicker than I could have ever imagined and I don't want to miss it.

What signs does the universe give you to slow down?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Life: Friday Ramblings


Feeling really REALLY good about...
...getting that killer job I told you guys about last week.  We're talking regional management, people!!
I applied for this position with no intention of even being considered and now I'm 1 of the final 2!

I'm feeling super strong because...
...I've been running!  Yes, I actually rock a sports bra and hit the track for 30 minutes daily.
At first it was torture, but now I look forward to it.  And, YES, I know how to run.  Smh!

I'm feeling nostalgic because...
...nanny stumbled across a box filled with things she saved for Brother and I from my late grandmother.
It was filled with my grandmother's crystal pieces wrapped in newspaper dated 1997.

I'm totally and completely baffled by...
...my baby girl's arm pit obsession!!  I can't even sit still without her begging to touch my arm pit.
I know that this sounds weird, but imagine how weird it is to have someone WANT to touch that.

I'm drinking lots of...
...Pinot Noir thanks to my hubby buying the best birthday gift!  He got me a case of my favorite wine.
I live for La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir and it's so difficult to find!

I'm cringing because...
...I pulled the muscle between my shoulder and neck.  It's been killing me for days!
Thank God for muscle relaxers otherwise I'm not sure I would have made it to work.

I'm praying hard for...
...my Zia Lucy who passed away last week.  God bless her soul and God bless her family.
She was my grandfather's youngest sibling.  She left behind a loving husband, children, and grandchildren.

What are your Friday ramblings?

Monday, August 8, 2016

List: Ten things every future homeowner should know before making a purchase.

We just passed our six month anniversary as homeowners.
We celebrated with a glass of wine and conversation about how far we've come.
Thank goodness for the wine because it helped us laugh at our mistakes!

We prepared the best we could, but it's nearly impossible to prepare for the real thing.
We took note of all the advice from every wise homeowner we knew.
We saved and built a little nest egg to use in the case of an emergency.
We even paid for classes to prepare us professionally!
Trust me when I say that no matter how well you prepare something unexpected will happen.


Ten things every future homeowner should know before making a purchase.

1.  Your nest egg and savings are two different things.
As things happen, you may take from your savings.  Your nest egg should always be full.
Your nest egg is for an emergency, not to replace the gutters.

2.  Invest in an area, not in a thing.
Things are too expensive to not wait until you have the funds to do things right.
Avoid the temptation to buy the pretty couch unless your doing the entire living room.

3.  There is no reason to do everything right away.
It may take 10, 20, or 30 years to get the entire house to your liking and that's totally OK!
We've been here 6 months and all we really re-did was our living room.

4.  Don't binge on trinkets to decorate your home.
Between gifts, picking up souvenirs on your travels, and window shopping, trinkets will come to you.
If you binge buy trinkets on moving day, you'll be living like a hoarder by year 5!

5.  You shouldn't be working just to live in a house you own.
Make sure you can afford to own a home and still enjoy your life with vacations and nights out.
Owning a home becomes old real fast when that's all you can afford to do!

6.  Wait 3 months until making any large purchases.
Take time to live in the home before deciding what's most important to you.
I wish I knew about the bug issue or the electrical problem before we invested in other things. 

7.  There is a such thing as ground bees.
Look up ground bees before getting stung by a swarm of insects ripping out weeds.
Luckily for me, our across the street neighbor learned this hard lesson for us!

8.  There will always be something to fix.
Every time you think that you covered everything, another problem to solve will pop up.
If it isn't the house, something will go wrong with the car.  Either way, be ready!

9.  Save everything until you know you won't use it.
Don't throw everything away before you move because you don't know what you'll need in the house.
I know it's tempting to throw away because it's less to move but don't do it!

10.  Invite guests despite the condition of your home.
Your house will never be perfect in your eyes.  Don't avoid house guests because of silly imperfections!
I didn't realize I was doing this until the 6 month marker hit and I still didn't extend invitations.

What did you learn after you became a homeowner?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

List: Ten tips to help you make the best decision.

Whenever something goes wrong in my little world, I obsess over it.
Whenever it’s just a possibility that something can go wrong, I obsess over it.
I really can’t help it!!  I won’t be able to sleep at night or concentrate during the day.
I understand that it’s a waste of time to worry about something you can’t control.
I also understand that obsessing over something will not change it.
Just because I understand something, doesn’t mean that I can just turn my brain off!

Ten tips to help you make the best decision.

1.  Decipher which parts are in your control.
As much as I hate to admit this, not everything is within an individual’s control.
We need to learn to let those things be, accept them, and then move on.

2.  Write a pros and cons list.
Make sure this list is detailed and honest and that you account for the worth of each argument.
As long as you didn’t force it to sway in a certain direction, be attentive to the outcome.

3.  Pick a non-negotiable.
Before considering your options, pick out one non-negotiable result.
This will help you eliminate the choices that will break your chosen rule.

4.  Narrow down your choices.
Use your non-negotiable factor and your pros/cons list to narrow down your list of choices to two.
The more choices you have to pick from, the harder it will be to decide.

5.  Don’t ask multiple people for advice.
Choose only one person that can relate to your experience to give you guidance.
Asking for advice from everyone would seem like a great idea, but advice overload is confusing.

6.  Ignore bias parties.
Don’t allow anyone to bully you.  This includes anyone influenced by the biased party.
People involved in the situation may try to sway you to make a decision in their favor.

7.  Do what is best for you.
It’s nice to consider all the people that will be affected, but, always be your own priority.
People that really care about you will understand that it’s your life that you have to live.

8.  Consider the unexpected.
Don’t ignore a new and better opportunity simply because it wasn’t there before.
Sometimes a simple A and B decision, becomes an A, B, and C decision.

9.  Prepare for the consequences of your decision.
The majority of the time we know the outcome of the choices we make.
As mentioned in #1, realize it’s out of your control, accept them, and then move on.

10.  Politely tell all the involved parties your decision.
Always make sure that you act in a way that you can be proud of in the end.
Make sure you are cordial, direct, and apologize if you feel the need to do so.

How do you make a difficult decision?

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