My Husband’s-isms

I knew on the second date with my husband that he was a keeper. I don’t think I’ve ever told him that, but it was that evening that I realized he was different than other guys I had dated. He wasn’t a generic copy + paste version of the lame sameness that existed all around me. My husband definitely marches to the beat of his own drum which is a drum the rest of us don’t even hear. It’s difficult to explain what makes him quirky but here are a few examples that I think provide a good base when trying to paint this colorful picture for people.

Example # 1 – A few years ago, during Christmas, I learned that he doesn’t quite understand how the tradition of stuffing stockings works. I was so excited the first year we got our act together and hung up our stockings. When I went to place the small gifts I had carefully curated into his stocking I found there was no room left in his stocking, because it was already stuffed full of items he had purchased for himself, wrapped, and put in his own stocking!

Example #2 – I am going to be out of town on Valentine’s Day this year. Feeling a bit guilty about my impending absence I asked my husband what he was going to do on Valentine’s Day. I was expecting him to say  he was going to get some take out and watch a movie at home, but instead he announced that he had plans! He purchased a ticket to go see Chris Botti at our local performing arts center. I didn’t know who Chris Botti was until I met my husband. If you also don’t know who Chris Botti is, I would describe him as the cooler version of Kenny G but of the Trumpet world. I asked him if he felt it might be uncomfortable or awkward for him to be a solo concert goer on Valentine’s Day and he said no.

Example #3 – Last night I asked him if he’s given any thought about what he might want to do for his upcoming birthday and he said “Yes! I’m actually getting excited for my birthday plans! I’m working on a surprise for you!” A surprise for ME on HIS birthday? Are you confused? because I was confused. I think my expression indicated I needed more information because he told me he had a great idea and was going to send me an invitation and surprise me! Are you more confused? Because I’m more confused.

This my friends is my husband in a nutshell…there is never a dull moment!

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From our favorite Catana Comics (This is so us!)

 

 

 

 

Some Goals for 2020!

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Back in 2014, I started this blog as an e-journal for myself. I used one of the posts from the early days to document a mental “bucket list” I had been keeping to help track my progress. I have revisited that post often over the years to cross off the items which I have accomplished and remind myself of what I still want to do. In one case, I even decided I no longer wanted to do one of the items and replaced it with a new one.

I was reading a recent blog post from the Local Adventurer  titled “20 Goals for 2020” and really liked that every year they establish a “word of the year” and they hold themselves accountable for their unmet goals by seemingly pledging to donate $25 per unmet goal to charity. Done! I will be shamelessly copying them and setting goals some goals for myself for 2020 and I will pledge to donate $25 per unmet goal to charity as well. However I doubt I could come up with 20 goals so I’ll stick to 10.

I’d also like to set my intention for the year by identifying a “word of the year”. My word for the past few years has been “JOY”. A few years ago I went to church (something I don’t do very often) with my husband and my mother-in-law at their church and in the sermon the pastor spoke about Joy. His words really resonated with me and since then I’ve kept that word close to my heart. I strive to do things and hang out with people who bring me joy and avoid things and people who kill my joy. It’s been a few years and it has now become second nature to seek joy and avoid kill joys. For 2020 my word of the year is going to be “Improve” and here are the 20 goals that are going to help me do that.

  1. Read 50 Books – If you read my last post then you know I’m an avid reader and challenged myself last year to read (or listen to) a certain number of books. I’m upping the ante by just a few to see if I can get to 50 books in 2020.
  2. Get The Job – As noted in my post about the Six Year Itch in 2019 I decided to leave a lucrative dead end job to take on more responsibility and less pay in a total springboard position. In a matter of six months I have amassed more experience than I needed to ready myself for the next job that will pay me what I am worth.
  3. Be Outdoors –  I’m a homebody. Despite having a deep appreciation for nature and fresh air I prefer being indoors. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful front and back patio at home, yet I always opt to sit indoors. I live in the best climate on earth yet instead of walking outdoors I walk on a treadmill inside. I don’t catch sunsets as much as I used to either. In 2020 I want to find more opportunities to spend time outdoors by going for lunchtime walks, going biking, sitting outdoors etc
  4. Retain my Gains – I invested a lot of time and money into Invisalign to straighten my teeth. Since completing my treatment I haven’t been good about using my retainer to ensure my teeth don’t shift back so I will work on this.
  5. Reclaim My Roar– Prior to accepting this new job I was a very active member of a women’s club but I stepped down from my role as an officer because I needed to focus on my new job and a conference I was co-chairing. Now that I’m more comfortable with my duties at the job and the conference is behind me I’m ready to jump back in starting with participating in the Orange County Woman’s March again in January and attending our monthly club meetings. I will also be co-chairing a Women’s Leadership Summit this year as well!
  6. Celebrate My Marriage – I still can’t believe how lucky I was to find such a great man. He’s a caretaker who care of our dog, our home, our cars, and our finances. He’s thoughtful, kind, faithful, goes grocery shopping, cooks our meals, and most importantly he is mature. I never knew how important that last one would be to me, but I’m beyond grateful that my husband doesn’t spend hours playing video games, doesn’t get drunk or stoned, doesn’t spend money on lame hobbies that require expensive equipment, doesn’t get into physical altercations, and he has a good job. I’m so proud to have him as my partner that I want to do one special thing each month to Celebrate our Marriage and leverage our DINK lifestyle.
  7. Motion is Lotion – Hitting the age of 40 was no joke. Physically I feel my body is aging so I have been doing gentle stretches and exercises at home to keep my muscles and joints active. Movement is key! I have a sedentary job during the day so it is essential for me to improve my physical health through the self-care.
  8. Make CA Count – A friend and I asked ourselves if we really take full advantage of living in Southern California. We’ll be taking note of things we do in 2020 that we wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t live in Southern California. We’ll see if we truly take full advantage of living here, because if we aren’t benefiting from everything SoCal has to offer it may not be worth paying the premium price to live here.
  9. Conquer a Phobia – Everyone has phobias, but I’ve noticed mine are increasing over time. Going in the ocean was something that popped up in my 20’s and walking on the sand at the beach barefoot started in my 30’s after I took part in a beach cleanup and we found syringes laying in the sand (had we been barefoot we could have stepped on a needle). Last year, while visiting in New Mexico, I watched my girlfriends go up in a hot air balloon while I stayed grounded. I’d like to push and challenge myself to win over one of my phobias this year.
  10. Learn Something – There’s a small business in the town I live in that a cousin-in-law of mine introduced me to. This place offers various workshops and classes and we have been trying to find time to go together, but in 2020 I will make it happen so I can learn something new!

What are your goals for 2020?

 

 

 

My 2019 in books!

Six years ago, I bumped into a local book club and decided that as a gift to myself I would join that book club. There were many perks to being part of a book club. For starters, I ended up reading a bunch of books I wouldn’t have otherwise chosen for myself, I met a handful of amazing women from different backgrounds, and I truly enjoyed hearing the varying perspectives they brought to our discussions.

Late last year, we decided to dissolve the book club. Everyone’s lives had gotten super busy and less and less people were showing up for our dinners. While I was in the book club I could always say that I was reading about 12-20 books a year. Without the book club to keep me accountable I wanted to find a way to keep myself on track. As luck would have it, a friend told me about the Goodreads Reading Challenge which turned out to be the perfect solution. I set up the challenge and set a goal of reading 25 books in 2019. I am proud to report that as of today (December 24) I have read 46 books! Disclaimer: I actually read 31 and listened to 16, but since the 31 I read is still more than the total amount I had set out I still consider this a win. There is still a week left to this year and I could very well read or listen to another book or two, but it may straddle the year as well so we’ll end the count here.

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Here are a few fun stats from my 2019 Reading Challenge:

  • I read 12,383 pages
  • The longest book I read was 512 pages
  • The most popular book I read was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • The most highly rated book Goodreads book I read was Becoming – Michelle Obama

Here are some of my favorites from my 2019 reads:

  1. Becoming – Michelle Obama
  2. Where the Crawdad’s Sing – Delia Owens
  3. Sunbaked – Junie Coffey
  4. Beachbound – Junie Coffey
  5. Las Vegas Girl – Leslie Wolfe
  6. Casino Girl – Leslie Wolfe
  7. Las Vegas Crime – Leslie Wolfe
  8. ICE: A Memoir of Gangster Life & Redemption from South Central to Hollywood – Ice-T
  9. I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star – Judy Greer
  10. The Price of Paradise – Susana Lopez Rubio
  11. Next Year in Havana – Chanel Cleeton
  12. The Guest Room – Chris Bohjalian
  13. Look Alive Twenty Five – Janet Evanovich
  14. The Last Black Unicorn: Tiffany Hadish

Here are some books that I thought I was going to love but didn’t:

  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  2. Girl Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals – Rachel Hollis
  3. Man Fast: A Memoir – Natasha Scripture
  4. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls – Lauren Graham
  5. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer
  6. In Pieces – Sally Field
  7. Happier at Home – Gretchen Rubin

I think I’ll challenge myself to read 50 books in 2020! Do you use Goodreads or the Libby App?

Poorly Timed Travels in a Socially Discontent Country on the Brink of a Revolution

Could a place that I did not visit until I was 40 years old possibly be the land that built me? I’ve struggled with this conundrum my entire life and finally had the opportunity to travel to the mythical Middle East to explore this question for myself. I dislike being asked where I’m from because there is no simple or short answer to that question. I was born in Hollywood, but saying I was from L.A. never felt right because although I lived in L.A. County I never lived in Los Angeles. I’m of Armenian descent, but I’m not from Armenia per se since my parents weren’t born there so where does that leave me?

Well, the woman from another era who raised me and had the deepest impact on my life was born in Lebanon. Since she spent a majority of her life there all of the stories she told me and the photographs she showed me were of memories she had from the years she lived in Lebanon. My parents met each other as teenagers while living in Beirut where they also became high school sweethearts. All of the stories I’ve heard about my mother’s and father’s love story were set in the streets, movie theaters, and mountains of Lebanon. The majority of my aunts, uncles, friends and even my better half were born in Lebanon too! In my imagination I could see Lebanon… the land where ALL of my people spent some of fondest years of their lives, and where they all lived before they came to the United States.

Over Thanksgiving break this year, we decided to take at trip to Lebanon. My husband hadn’t been back in 28 years to visit the bulk of his family who still live there. About a month before our trip the Lebanese government announced a proposed tax on WhatsApp. Why is this relevant? Well, mobile service in Lebanon is expensive and the entire country relies on WhatsApp to send texts, voice texts, and phone calls for free. Considering the political leaders of the country have been unable to effectively address basic infrastructure needs like providing potable tap water or electricity and citizens have to pay for both public and private water and electricity the thought of having a tax levied on a free service outraged people. The now infamous proposal to place a tax on WhatsApp became the straw that broke the camel’s back! From Tyre to Tripoli people took to the streets and much like other parts of the world the people were looking to start a Revolution (or Sawra in Arabic).

Friends and family were concerned about the timing of our trip. We began hearing things like “it’s not a good time”, but after much thought and consideration we decided not to cancel our trip. Sure, the country was facing an economic crisis and revolution but when has there ever been a good time to visit Lebanon? It’s always been a politically and economically volatile and unstable country. Remember what happened in 2006 when Anthony Bourdain tried to film an episode of No Reservations in Beirut?  Sure, there were sporadic protests, road closures, and petroleum strikes while we were there, but it seemed like things calmed down while we were there and flared up again after we left so we got very lucky. We were able to go into Beirut and walk around the Souk’s and Martyr’s Square while things were peaceful.

I can say with 100 percent confidence that it was the most inconvenient time for us to be there as tourists. Gas stations were staging strikes every few days so fuel was scarce and banks were only allowing people to withdraw $100 a week. For a country where the majority of the people have a “live-for-the-day” mentality and like to enjoy the finer things in life, having to tighten their belts was not a welcome sentiment. The current economic situation was placing financial stress on the rich and poor alike. Everyone was worried about the Lira losing value. I found it difficult to empathize with the middle and upper-class because a lot of them employ domestic workers and drive Range Rovers, but I did feel for the lower-class and youth.

“Before a revolution happens, it is perceived as impossible; after it happens, it is seen as having been inevitable” -Rosa Luxemburg

If you’re familiar with Middle Eastern hospitality you can imagine how despite the poor timing of our visit our family insisted on taking us sightseeing.  We made efforts to only allow them to take us to local places like the Jeita grotto, Harissa, Byblos, Jounieh etc

We wanted us to see Sidon, Baalbek, Anjar and a handful of other places,  but on top of being in the country at the most inopportune time we also had the added challenge of only being there for 7 short days. Most of our time was spent visiting with family members. The highlight of the trip for me was getting to meet the members of my husband’s family whom I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting before. There was so much warmth and love. I couldn’t believe that despite the separation and distance he had remained so close to his cousins and family members. It helped me gain a better understanding of his upbringing and values. I now wear my last name with a different level of comfort and belonging.

As for how I connected with Lebanon there were two things that struck me while I was there. This is the one place where I can trace back all of the stories and memories near and dear to all my loved ones. Where I can hold up old family photos that mirror the exact locations where my grandparents and parents lived and loved. It’s also the only place I’ve ever visited where locals assumed I was raised there. The way I speak Armenian led my husband’s family members to assume I was born in Lebanon too. Being of Armenian decent and having visited Armenia many times I have never once had someone assume I was born in Armenia because the dialect of Armenian I speak is not the same as the one spoken in Armenia. In Armenia, as an Armenian,  I am a clear outsider and people know it the instant I speak, but in Lebanon when I spoke Armenian I fit right in. However I didn’t feel like I belonged there either because it’s not a historically Armenian land. It’s just where my people ended up settling after the Armenian Genocide.

I am so grateful we had this initial opportunity to visit Lebanon. I wish we had more time to explore and enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the Mediterranean sea. Luckily we caught quite a few beautiful sunsets like these and I’m sure that in the near future we will be back.

 

Sweater Weather & Hot Air Balloon Skies

 

State Map
States I have visited are marked in blue

One of my dearest friends on this planet lives in Indiana. To ensure we see each other at least once a year we take at least one trip together annually with one of our other girlfriends. This year, we decided to check out the International Hot Air Balloon Festival that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Upon arriving in Albuquerque we retrieved our rental car and headed out to check out various places we had noted on our itinerary. Stop #1 was the  Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. Right as we turned it I grabbed my phone because the driveway leading from the main road to the inn was the most charming tree lined drive flanked with a beautiful lavender field that was in full bloom and on the other side there were a handful of adorable llamas hanging out in a farm field. Once we parked and opened the car door I was overcome by the soothing scent of lavender. This grounds of Los Poblanos are very picturesque. There were small groups of visitors taking pictures in different areas and of course a handful of millennial or Gen Z gals (can’t really tell them apart) having their own private Instagram photo shoot. It sort of reminded me of the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas but smaller and without the crowds.

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Although there is a beautiful restaurant on the grounds of Los Poblanos we were looking for a light snack so we opted to order small containers of soup from their cafe which we enjoyed outside. Our next adventure led us down the road a couple miles to the Historic Old Town Albuquerque town square where we walked around meandering in and out of souvenir shops and the San Felipe de Neri Church constructed in 1793.

Our first evening we dined at Cocina Azul because it was very highly rated online. I ordered a Michelada. I am super picke about my Micheladas because they are very easy to mess up if the tomato juice concoction used isn’t tasty. My Michelada was perfect. We also ordered the Chile con Queso in a tortilla bowl. Let me tell ya, that menu did not lie it was addicting and delicious! After dinner we went back to our hotel and spent some quality time just catching up and we hit the sack pretty early because we had to get up at 5am the following morning in order to head over to the Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Waking up super early while on vacation  when it’s 30 degrees outside and pitch dark is not my idea of fun, but seeing the hot air balloons in the dark starting to fire up for dawn patrol I began getting excited. Then, at dawn along with the national anthem we were treated to a flyover while everyone flared. It was quite a site to see. I had never before seen so many hot air balloons, nor had I had the opportunity to be so up close to them while they all got ready to launch during the mass ascension. There were hundreds of balloons and seeing them all going up was literally uplifting (pun intended). You can’t help but smile and be in a good mood seeing this majestic site!

Our next stop after Albuquerque was Santa Fe were after some exploration of the area we checked into Sunrise Springs Spa & Resort. This was where we treated ourselves to some R & R. I went to yoga classes, took naps in a hammock, and read my book in a jacuzzi while my girlfriends soaked in hot springs and went on hikes.  As if all of this wasn’t heavenly enough the resort had silky chickens we could interact with and an onsite service animal training center where we were welcome to meet and play with the dogs.

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On our final night we checked into the Chocolate Turtle Bed and Breakfast this was the first time I ever stayed in a B & B. It was an interesting experience. The couple who ran the B & B were lovely and their home was clean. The breakfast we had at their home was the most delicious meal we had during the entire trip and they always had beverages and snacks available for us.

Prior to leaving New Mexico we stopped at Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant for lunch because it had so many great reviews. We found the place to be buzzing when we arrived and we enjoyed some pho prior to heading to the airport to return home.

Although New Mexico was never high on my list of places to visit, I can see returning because we were not able to ride the Sandia Peak Tramway, and we didn’t have enough time to go to the White Sands National Park.

Have you been to New Mexico? What do you recommend for future visits?

 

 

 

Laying Over in Frankfurt

In every job interview when I’m asked what my biggest weakness is I want to blurt out that I don’t excel at paying attention to details. This weakness of mine recently came into play about 24 hours before a major trip when I actually looked at our itinerary and realized we had an 8 hour layover at the Frankfurt airport. Twenty years ago this would not have been an issue. I’ve had 6-18 hour layovers in the past (when I was younger) and I never had any reservations about leaving the airport and exploring whatever City I was in. Nowadays, travel takes more of a toll on me so I wasn’t thrilled about having to leave the airport and neither was my  husband.

The day before our flight I woke up at 4am (another common occurrence I’ve noticed has come with age are these super early mornings). I began googling things to do in the Frankfurt airport because I hadn’t been to that airport since college en route to Greece. I couldn’t recall much about this airport besides it being clean and easy to navigate. I found an article about things to do in the airport that informed me that there is a casino in the airport which I decided I’d have to get excited about, but thankfully I kept reading  because that’s when I bumped into information about  My Cloud Transit Hotel! I couldn’t believe our good fortune! I immediately booked us a room!

Finding the hotel was easy. There were way finding signs everywhere in the airport providing directions to the hotel. The staff in the charming and clean lobby were welcoming and the process to check in simple. The rooms are outfitted with a private bathroom, a standing glass shower, a flatscreen television, a bed, and outlets for charging your electronic devices. There were two types of rooms one had a window and the other didn’t. Both were tiny so I sprung for the one with the window so we wouldn’t feel claustrophobic. We checked in about 2 hours after landing which allowed some time for us stretching our legs and enjoying a sit down meal. Once we got to our room, we set an alarm to ensure we wouldn’t oversleep and much to our surprise we both slept the entire 4 hours we had the room. The bed was comfortable so we both got great sleep. I had planned on showering and looking back I wish I had but the amount of sleep I got instead was a good trade off. We scheduled our check out for 2 hours before our flight which was also provided us with just enough time to walk over to our next terminal where we had a small bite and boarded our next flight. We ended up paying about $160 for our 4 hour stay which I felt was a very fair price for the convenience factor.

I don’t know how these accommodations would work for families since the rooms are so small but it was perfect for us as a married couple.

I’m grateful for my 4am Google session that led me to learning about the My Cloud hotel. It was a lifesaver!

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A Belated Post on Turning 40!

Ice Cream Party

Five weeks ago I turned 40. I feel like I should have spent a lot of time and money planning a fancy-schmancy extravaganza to mark this milestone birthday but I did not (we did that a couple years ago for my husband and it was fun but we don’t need to rinse and repeat) and things have been so crazy busy these last couple months I didn’t even have time to fret about turning 40 let alone how to celebrate it.

What I kept wondering is why 40 is considered a milestone when I have found it more excited thinking about how in 10 short years I get to celebrate being 50! Now that seems major and note worthy!

I did feel compelled to at least use this opportunity to take an introspective look at my life as I prepared to step into the 4th decade of my life. Am I where I thought I would be at this age? So here’s a little snippet of a Q & A session I conducted with myself (that’s a thing right?)

What’s been your most memorable milestone birthday? I vividly and fondly recall my 30th birthday. Is 30 considered a milestone? It sure felt like a milestone to me because for the first time I knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do and who I wanted there. I made reservations for 10 for tapas on the patio at Meditteraneo followed by some light bar hopping and dancing the night away with girlfriends who were low to no drama. It’s crazy to think about how many other birthday celebrations were ruined in years prior by “friends”  or “boys” who made the evening more about them than me. I recall the evening being so easy and fun. It’s also a sobering memory considering two of my girlfriends who were there to celebrate with me have departed from this earth since that evening. It’s quite infuriating actually, but a constant reminder to cherish the time we have with the quality people in our lives and I can’t say that I did that because I didn’t expect them to be gone so fast. I was in such a good place when I turned 30. I  felt quite proud of myself for everything I had achieved. I felt accomplished, successful, and like I had “made it”. I was so happy and content working where I was working, living where I was living and dating NOBODY! Yet…I felt the universe not allowing me to root myself into that time or that life. I was receiving signals that my life in the South Bay with my friends wasn’t my end all be all and I was ready to shift into a new phase of life. 

Is your life at 40 what you thought it would be? Well, I’m married, overweight, and living in suburbia with a dog so… yes, no, no, no and no. Oh, I also willingly took a gigantic pay-cut from my dream salary to take on a crazy job that’s probably going to give me my first grey hairs simply because I was so unchallenged and bored at my last job. I  do find the the pace and challenges at this job thrilling (there’s only a bit of sarcasm in my tone here)! So am I where I wanted to be? Let’s go with…Sure! Considering 10 years ago I couldn’t have imagined any of this I would say none of this is too shabby!

What are you looking forward to accomplishing in the next 10 years? They say you should have a dream and set goals to make that dream come true. Well, my dream  for 50 is to have a joint 50th birthday and early retirement party! I want to retire early not because I hate working but because I don’t want to spend my best years working. I actually want to spend my days reading, lunching with friends, going to yoga classes, meditating, volunteering, and traveling.

What advice do you have to offer to those under 40? I guess I’m somewhat qualified to impart some advice upon the younger now that I’m “over the hill” so here are 10 things I would throw out there…

  1. Eat whatever you want throughout your 20’s but be forewarned that right around your 30th birthday your metabolism will slow to a halt!
  2. Somewhere between your 30th birthday and 40th birthday any FOMO you may have had will have morphed into JOMO.
  3. Use sunscreen on the reg.
  4. Moisturizer is your friend & don’t overlook your neck! Moisturize that shit!
  5. You don’t have to do anything out of obligation.
  6. Keep your circle void of negative people who drain your batteries. Choose to surround yourself with people who recharge your batteries.
  7. Find the little things that bring you joy and make space in your life for those things/events/people.
  8. Spend time outside appreciating the beauty of nature.
  9. Go to bed early and wake up early.
  10. Minimalism! Subscribe Today! Material things don’t mean a damn thing!

~L

 

DIY Holiday Cards

Only 17 Fridays left until Christmas! Which means you have to start thinking about mailing out your 2019 Holiday Cards.

If you’ve been following my posts for a while you know I have a love/hate relationship with the whole holiday card thing so I do my utmost to have some fun with it. There was the year we did a photoshoot and sent out our cards super early wishing everyone a Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, and a Merry Christmas, there was also the year where we printed completely non-festive super plain photo cards at Costco and I misspelled our last name, and my ultimate favorite, the year I sent everyone “Greetings From The Beach” and included actual beach sand which apparently can be very messy.

The Holidays are stressful for me, so I try and do whatever I can to ease the pressure and reduce my anxiety as much as possible. Last year, I began receiving Holiday cards in the mail before I was ready for them. I had not yet gotten around to thinking about what cards we would be sending out so I decided to Stay Calm and Craft!

I had mentioned not too long ago that I’d jumped on the bandwagon of clearing out clutter and trying to use leftover craft supplies to make my own making greeting cards. Keeping with that theme I used leftover craft supplies to create super simple DIY Holiday cards too! Here’s what I used

  1. Blank Recycled Cards and Envelopes (Amazon)
  2. Green Felt
  3. Brown Sharpie Marker
  4. Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  5. Wooden Craft Sticks
  6. Two types of Ribbon from the Dollar Store

I also made some cards I had seen on Pinterest using random buttons.

I’ve started a new Pinterest Board with different inspirational posts to see if I can get my creative juices flowing for Christmas 2019! What are your Holiday Greeting Card plans?

 

 

Is There Such Thing As A Six Year Itch…?

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Something fresh… Something new… Something different. That’s what I was craving.

I started drafting this post over six months ago. I was trying to figure out what was going on and what my heart desired. I was struggling.

I tried chopping 4-5 inches off my hair to see if that would be enough of a change to quiet my raucous search for change. While I enjoyed my new shorter hair the desire for change remained.

One afternoon, while I was taking a lunchtime walk with my coworker who happens to be 2 decades wiser than me. I was telling her about my conundrum and she mentioned that usually when people feel this way it could be because things have become stagnant in their work or home life or they just need a vacation to reset.

Well, since a vacation is ALWAYS necessary I decided to take an introspective look at the other two categories. The part about things being stagnant at work immediately resonated with me as a highly likely possibility. I had been working for the same organization for over six years and had never thought to ask myself if I was happy working there because how could I not be? My office was close to home, my salary was quite generous, my boss was great, and the work was interesting. Once I really thought about it I realized that the work was a bit too easy and my efforts to ask for new projects had fallen on deaf ears. There was no room for advancement and the bottom line was that I wasn’t challenged. My colleague was absolutely right! I was bored! I decided to start paying attention to job postings to see if there were any opportunities that could provide me with more of an exciting daily work environment. The problem with this was that I’m not a big risk taker. As a working professional I literally spend more waking hours of my life at work than I do at home so rocking the boat and taking a gamble on the unknown could be a disaster, or on the flip side, it could be a win. With this in mind I began applying to new jobs.

Next I began thinking about my home life. Well, I live with my husband and dog and I still love and enjoy them both and don’t want anything new or different in that area so the next thing would be our actual dwelling. I really like our house and its location and truly enjoy coming home to our little abode. In fact, one of my favorite things is driving up to our house, while the sun is setting behind it, and admiring our newly renovated front yard. We came up with a vision for what we wanted the exterior of the house to look like and seeing the end result every time I pull up to our home is a great feeling. There are a few changes to the interior that I wouldn’t mind tackling, but every time we’ve looked at making those changes and seen the estimates and thought about the amount of work involved we’ve put it off. Maybe finally pulling the trigger on these projects would do the trick.

UPDATE: Well, here I am over six months later completing this blog post and I’m proud to report that after almost seven years I left my comfort zone and took a chance on a new job. Not only does the new gig come with a longer commute and way more responsibility it even included a hefty pay cut. Why did I accept something that’s farther, requires more work and less pay? Well, money isn’t everything but experience is. I have been learning so much at this new job and within a few years I’ll be able to use what I’ve done to move up and at that point the pay gap will be irrelevant. Also, every single day flys by at the new job because it’s so interesting and engaging! I actually look forward to going to work because I feel productive and get so much accomplished. Life is too short to stay in a position where I’m paid well but bored. I want to live each day to its fullest so that if it does end up being my last day I can say I did something worthwhile.

On the home front. We still haven’t pulled the trigger on the projects, but we have collected a few more estimates to compare prices and select vendors and contractors so there is movement! Also, on the need for a vacation to reset we booked a big trip for later this year to a location I have never been to so I’m really looking forward to that!

So? Is there such thing as a six year itch? I guess in my case there is so we’ll see how things are going in another six years!