Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Look Who Showed Up Today

Well this is awkward. I've been away for so long that I don't know whether to open this with "I'm Sorry" or "You're Welcome". Let's try to string things together from where we left off over a month ago

You'll be relieved to know that WiFi is back in my world. No more strange invitations from Starbucks employees on their breaks. No more sifting through old DVD's in the value bin at the neighborhood Wal-Mart. Still playing board games, making up our own card games and succumbing to the necessary rounds of power-hour that make us, well, us. 

We aren't going to bed as early anymore, but that's mainly because work-life has taken a shift toward work. We get home later and we have a pool and a yard to look after. A pool that's had some chemical-related casualties and seen some heroic net-grabbing rescues. We've saved two frogs from the skimmers - it may have been the same frog twice - and a bullfrog the size of your head that was swimming gracefully up and back. I say 'we' saved them but that's not the truth. I'm always the one jumping around and shrieking about how 'yuck' it is that there's things other than us in the pool. I haven't been in it yet, why are amphibians taking a dip before me?!

We've also taken to our shows, finishing the Walking Dead, House of Cards Season 4 and soon completing Making a Murderer (no spoilers, please!). After that we have grand plans of geeking out over Breaking Bad again, a show that's so binge-worthy that I fear I'll fall behind on my Southern Spring base-tan. We were champions of Lent, even though what we gave up shifted around a few times. We landed on a full 40+ days of no Mexican food and then celebrated with an Easter Sunday of 100% Mexican food. Taco Bell at 1am wasn't the way it was supposed to go down, but it happened. You'd do it, too. 

What about the new things in my world? 

I've been running. I'm not logging the miles like I used to, but I'm making a point of hitting the pavement for some me-time at least once a week. Some thinking, some considering. Some processing. Being directionally challenged has its downside, but with a wrong turn last week I transformed a 3.5 route into a Tuesday 5-miler. A distance I haven't ran in over two years that I completed with a smile on my face.

I've been planning. It's getting closer to one year in Tennessee and I'm still finding my way. I'm still driving around with Oregon plates on my 2015 Prius and I still fumble around when I fill up the tank. It's a place I firmly planted my roots, but seeking more ways each day to find Portland again. In nature, in culture, in cuisine, in libations, in music. 

I've been preparing. I'm about to take the next step in my career and it's going to be the challenge I've been hungry for. The work excites me and the opportunity was made for me. In fact, a few opportunities were made for me and this is the path I chose without hesitation. 

What about you, what's new in your world?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When You Don't Have Wi-Fi

Do you realize what life might look like without access to the Internet at home? Do you know how bummed my guy is that we can't view the start of March Madness from our brand new couch and loveseat? Do you know how much money you'd spend at Starbucks, and the awkward moments that would follow, if you had to go there every time you needed to use more than just your mobile phone to get your mischief managed? 

This could easily be a rant about our experience with Comcast moving service from one home to another, but instead it's going to be a confession of the person you become without Wi-Fi or cable for 20 days and counting. 

You buy $3 movies from value bins and you watch them. Then you miss how funny movies used to be. We have bought/watched Dodgeball, Ferris Bueller's Day off, Coming to America, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and already owned some classics like Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 1, Best of SNL and Zoolander.

You 'hang out' at Starbucks but then the barista/local photographer wants to do some tasteful nude portraits with you to build their portfolio. It's awkward, and you realize you're spending way too much money for what Starbucks considers 'coffee'. You really just need their signal, and you may be better off just sitting on their patio and bringing your brew from home. 

You adult date with apartment neighbors you never got to know as you plan fun picnics at the park and watch the kids play with kites, bubbles and slides. And here you were worried they hated you as upstairs neighbors with your stompy footsteps the entire past year.

You cook more often, and you finally perfect your bacon-lattice meatloaf with your new convection oven. You learn what a warming drawer can do for your cooking game and you cherish the new freezer and its incredible storage.

You sit by your pool and dream about jumping into it when the weather heats up, but also talk about the weeds and the lawncare that home ownership is going to take. And start bargaining to do the indoor chores indefinitely to get you out of the weed pulling, because humidity.

You play board games and work on puzzles, and do projects around your new home together to continue making it yours. You sink your boyfriend's battleship and hate that he still knows Seinfeld trivia better than you. 

You go to bed earlier. You still wake up feeling groggy and sleepy-faced, but you find that all of a sudden it's not 'WHAT, it's 11pm?'. It's 'ha, can you believe it's only 8pm?'

You spend more time on each other. No explanation needed.

If it wasn't for March Madness and the Starbucks situation, I might like to keep having these Comcast issues for a while longer. It's reminded me of my life in Portland without a TV.

What would you start doing if you lost access to WiFi and cable temporarily?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

For All You Health Nuts

If your desk job is taking a toll on your health goals, this one's for you.

I've worked in the corporate world for 7 years and before that, I was a NCAA Division I athlete. Coming from a life of activity all day and transitioning to the dreaded wheel we all know as wake up tired, commute, sit at a desk, 2pm sugar or caffeine fix, commute, maybe gym/maybe cook/most likely Netflix, fall asleep too late... Repeat.

In collaboration with, today I'm sharing my favorite workplace health hacks to get the most out of your long hours in the office making that money. 

Work on your Feet

I've been shouting about the benefits standing at work for years. It helps with your posture, your flexibility, your core strength and your overall mobility. I don't mind that most introductions begin with a handshake and 'yeah, you're the girl who never sits down'. It's how I work happier and healthier. I don't stand all day and I'm not a sitting snob, but I am thankful that my office provides adjustable desks and encourages workplace ergonomics. 

Jam to a Feel-Good Playlist

I know that some of you don't have the opportunity to be tuned out with music all day, but bring your headphones to work and find the moments where you can sneak in some feel-good tunes. You know, to dance to while you're standing at your desk. I've recently been streaming my favorite Portland radio station to give me some lovely memories of home, even with the commercials included. If that's not your game, find me on Spotify then get started with your own curated playlist for a feel-good workday. 


Want an instant mood changer? Follow these very wild and extreme steps:

1. Smile.

Good, that's it! How do you feel? My guess is that you feel a little lighter, stress wiped away from your face and you just made the people around you feel your radiating good vibes as well. It's amazing that something this obvious could be considered a 'hack', but don't you agree that happy-you makes better choices for your health and happiness?

Stay Hydrated

One of my personal checklist items for every day is 120oz of water. If I don't meet my goal I owe $2 to our 'adventure fund' that's used for the fun things we do as a couple. Start with baby steps if this is out of your range, but my best advice to get more water into your body is to always have some by your side. If it takes a cute water bottle to get it done, do that. If it takes setting timers on your phone for benchmark goals, do that too.

What won't work? Saving it all for the end of the day. You'll feel terrible and you'll lose out on a lot of sleep with all the times nature will call in the middle of the night.

Take a Walk

An easy way to cure the office blues and quell the stress of your day is to get outside for a walk in the sunlight. With the weather about to turn, it's going to be a daily requirement to take a walk around the office and to get out into the fresh air to refresh my mind and gain some perspective. Try to schedule your next meeting as a "walk and talk" to see if you can find your walking buddies around the workplace. 

Keep Healthy Snacks Handy

I'm giving IIFYM a try and it's been essential for me to space out my day with smaller meals and protein packed snacks. This means having nutritious options that won't fail me when the hunger pangs hit, saving me from giving in at the vending machine or the sweets that co-workers bring into the office all year round. Have you checked out the Healthy Snacks for Work on Trail mixes, dried fruits and energy squares are the top picks from their registered dieticians. See if you can find something you like!

Take the Stairs

I work on the highest floor of my office, which is only the 2nd floor, but if I were on the 5th I'd be taking the stairs too. If you work in a place where the elevator is your go-to, try to get out a few floors earlier and opt for the stairs the rest of the way. You could always make friends with someone on another floor or just start to use the restrooms on other floors and pretend like you're the new girl (or guy) in the building.

Get your free printable checklist here and tell me how you make your own workplace a healthier environment!

*I was compensated with social media karma for this post, these healthy hacks and opinions are my own.