Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Confessions

Hey all! As you;re reading this, hopefully I'm on the beach. My SIL and her family came to visit and we took off for a little overnight beach trip. Have I mentioned that I LOVE living 2.5 hours from the beach?

It's time for a Weds Confession and a Link-Up with Vodka and Soda and Fitness Blondie. Yes, I do a lot of Link-ups. This blog is a baby blog, gotta spread the Cookies Cardio and Clothes love any way I can, right?

Vodka and Soda
The Hump Day Blog Hop
1. I apparently have a love of making lists. I noticed that 80% of my blog posts are lists of some sort. It's like I'm a mini Buzzfeed.
Maybe next week I'll figure out what kind of potato I am.
2. I was taking some compliance classes at work yesterday and could not stop laughing at the harassment section. It was so ridiculously fantastic.
I had the choose the inappropriate comments. The highlighted one says, "If any one can help a man last an hour, it's Diane." There was a section that asked me what I learned and the only thing I could come up with is that Diane is extremely skilled in what she does.
3. When I get up in the middle of the night to pee, I don't flush the toilet. I'm not trying to save water or anything like that. When you flush, the cat hears and thinks you're up for the day. Then she meows at the door and WON'T STOP. I have to get up and lock her in the spare bathroom to get back to sleep. Yes, I tip toe around the house so I don't disturb the cat.

4. In the theme of disgusting confessions, the only time I replace my shower poof is when I accidentally leave it in a hotel bathroom. I'm sure those things should be replaced every 6 months or something and that just doesn't ever happen. I figure that it gets soap and water on it, it's gotta be clean.

5. I went to get my eyebrows threaded on Sunday and when I sat down, the lady looked at me and said, "Oh, it's been a while since you've been here." Look lady, I'm aware that I look like Wilford Brimley right now. Let's just take care of them without the side comments, mkay?

6. I can't for the life of me remember what I wore last week but I can recite words for word some random song from an obscure hair band that I haven't heard in 20 years.


How often do you change your shower poof?
Do you have to hid from your animals?
Monday, July 28, 2014

Job Search 101

Today is the start of week 4 at my new job. I honestly can't even put into words how happy I am that I made the switch. For the last 4 years I've been a sales trainer. New hire training, on boarding all that fun stuff. It was a great experience, I learned a lot, but it wasn't me. I was out of my element and just unhappy. Prior to my time in training, I'd always been in management and honestly, that's my esweet spot. You see, I'm a terrible soldier. I need to lead the troops, lead the department, be in charge and responsible for the the direction of the group. When I realized that just wasn't going to happen at my last job, I knew it was time to go.
Side note: My new boss lets me do whatever I want, change all the policies, re-organize the process flow, re-structure everything as I please You name it, I can do it. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

So, you might think, whoopie do, who cares. You wanted a new job, found one and there you are.

This last job search was really successful. Far more successful than any ones I've done in the past. At the beginning of May I started sending out resumes with a loose goal of being in a new position by July. Almost immediately I started receiving calls. All in all, I sent about 25 resumes, I had interviews (phone and in person) with 7 different companies, received 2 offers and withdrew my interest on 2 (at least one of the 2, I'm fairly confident I would have received an offer.) Here's the kicker, I was technically changing positions. I was only applying for Sales Manager jobs and I hadn't managed people in 5 years. By all accounts, I should have struggled to find something.

By no means am I an expert in the job search but there were a few things that I think made all the difference this time around.

1. Resume - Do whatever you need to do to create a good resume. Show it to your friends, family, church people, whoever you know who has ever seen a resume before, and ask for feedback. Some of those services that charge you to do your resume are pretty good and the rest are scams. Do your research before forking over your money.
  - Don't regurgitate your job description in your resume. I'm interested in your personal accomplishments, not that you're "skilled in MS Word"
 - Don't go crazy with your resume. Keep it simple. Keep the formatting simple, don't use crazy fonts. One of the big things I did this time was to use my standard resume, even though my management experience didn't show up until page 2. I'd used functional resumes in the past and didn't have any luck.

2. LinkedIn - If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, make one. Make one and connect with everyone you've ever worked with. LinkedIn generally has additional job postings that you won't find on Indeed or Career Builder. In addition, LinkedIn often runs specials on their Premium Service. It's $39 a month and you can usually get a code for a free month.

When you sign up for the Premium service, use an old Visa gift card for the credit card number. I have a few Visa gift cards that have $1.37 left on them. I never remember to use them at the store but they're perfect for when you need to enter a credit card for a trial membership. You get your membership and when they try to charge it, nothing happens. That way you aren't surprised by the bill. (This is why I now have a subscription to Amazon Prime.)

The Premium Service will bump your profile to the top of lists of recruiters searching for candidates, tells you how many people have applied and gives you a salary range (super helpful!)

3. Monster and Career Builder are better for entry level positions. Avoid them if you have 5 or more years of experience. Whenever I update my resume on either of those sites, I immediately get inundated with e-mails from insurance agencies and call centers. I've actually scolded recruiters who've called me to be a call center representative. I've trained and managed in call centers, I'm not interested in being on the phones. Sometimes I ask if they've actually read my resume.

4. Network - If you're unemployed or about to be unemployed, tell EVERYONE YOU KNOW. There's no shame in not having a job, but if you don't tell people, they won't be able to help. There are a ton of jobs that never get posted. Your friends can help you find those opportunities and a lot of companies have referral forms for current employees to refer you. You have a better chance of getting to the hiring manager if you have an advocate in the company.

Go to networking events. They're fun, there's usually wine. You meet oodles of people and it's generally a good time. If you're not an extrovert, these can be really difficult but they can also be a lot of fun.

5. Apply for jobs outside your comfort zone - You NEVER know what traits a hiring manager is looking for. I applied for what seemed like 100s of Sales Manager jobs a year ago and got 0 replies. This time the companies who were interested in me were looking for a sales manager with a strong training background. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

6. Be Honest - When you get a call from the recruiter, or a face to face interview, be honest. I really think being completely candid gave me an advantage this time around. When they asked why I was looking to leave training my response was: "Being a trainer for the last 4 years has been a great experience but I want my own team again. I'm tired of training people to have them go off and make money for other people." I told that to the CEO of a company and he said, "Good, if you had any other answer, this interview would have been over."

7. Follow-up - Do your due diligence. Thank the manager you met with, thank the recruiter, all of these people will give you their card. Thank them for their time and don't forget to let them know why you are the best person for the job. If you can, send a hand written thank you note. Since writing notes has fallen out of favor, it really helps you to stand out from the crowd of other applicants.


Most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP! There are jobs out there to be had, you just have to keep looking! Even if you need to take a week or 2 off, don't stop, there will be something out there that's a perfect fit for you!

If you're looking for a job or to change positions, hopefully some of these tips are helpful! Happy searching!

BTW -  I was thinking of offering some resume revision services. If anyone is interested, e-mail me at larabadanes at gmail dot com.

Linking up!
still being molly
Mingle 240

When was the last time you searched for a new job?

Linked In, love it or hate it?
Friday, July 25, 2014

We're "Those" Relatives

I'm sure everyone has a similar story. You're a kid and your parents drag you off to a relative's house, either to visit or for family vacation. You get there and of course you're hungry. Relatives say there's plenty to eat, go look in the cupboards or pantry and eat what ever you want. You get all excited for the food free for all, because it's vacation and you can eat what you want. Your mom won't tell you to stop eating the Twizzlers. Visions of Oreos and Pringles dance in your head, excitedly you rush to the kitchen, open the doors and what do you find???? Some stale Lorna Doones and a a bag of those gel spearmint leaves.

(They still look like disappointment)
Maybe there's a drink, how about some Hi-C or Kool-aid? Nope, drink some water. Sullenly up stumble back into the room they're in and make a face. Your mom tells you to stop making that face and dad says we'll leave soon and get some real food.
As much as we hated that as kids, Kev and I have become those people. We don't have any kids yet and don't keep much snack food. My sister-in-law and her family are coming to visit next week and as I was looking through the pantry, I kept seeing all the things that were bound to disappoint my niece and nephew. But here's the thing, I think every kid should be disappointed by the food choices when they visit relatives so I'm not planning on changing anything. I mean we'll go shopping after they get here, but I want to see their faces when I tell them we have snack food and they see what it actually is. It's really a rite of passage as a child.
Here are the ways I'm planning on disapointing them:
SURE! We have cookies, go see what we have!

I've got some gluten-free, Paleo cookies. Free of GMOs and trans-fats!

I have these low-carb Biscotti too. They're definitely a little stale. I was going to pitch them, but I'm going to leave them in there for sadness instead. 

Beverages -  I don't like drinking my calories. (well, except for booze) I love food too much. That means we don't have any sweetened drinks. No Gatorade, Lemonade, juice, nada. I also stopped drinking artificial sweeteners a few months ago. So what do we have?


A nice refreshing sparkling water. I've never liked milk either and a few years ago I got Kev to switch to Almond milk. Even if you want milk or cereal, we have a nice cold glass of Almonds. And some un-sweet tea.

I love chips as much as the next person but they're my weakness. I don't keep them. But I did find these at Whole Foods and they aren't bad. I'm going to tell the kids we have Doritos and when they get this bag, tell them it's the same thing. "They taste the same, just try one!"  Hahahahaha

Candy -
Not gonna lie, I have some Skittles at my desk at work. But at home, not so much. I don't do well with soy which means no chocolate. But I do have this!

It really is the small things that amuse me. I can't wait for them to get here!
Linking Up!
What are some of the foods you had to eat when visiting relatives?
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Confessions

Seriously, how is it Wednesday already? Let me tell you, new job is keeping me super busy, which is a good thing. There's so much to do and organize. I mean the person I replaced saved copies of newsletters from 2008! 2008! No one cares that Sally brought meatballs to the potluck 6 years ago. That she kept but I can't find a single soft copy of any procedural manual. So much paper....

Enough about that, it's time for Wednesday link-up with Vodka and Soda and the Hump Day Blog Hop with Fitness Blondie! Head on over and say hi!
The Hump Day Blog Hop        Vodka and Soda

Confession time!

 - Sometimes I forget that things exist, like exist in the world. Last winter I was wearing flats and was sad because my feet were cold. Socks would ruin the look but dang my feet were cold. If only there was an alternative. Trouser socks. I completely forgot about trouser socks. Heck, I even have a few pairs. A few years ago Kev forgot about juice. Like forgot that juice existed and was something you could have. 

 - I am SOOOOOO excited for August 23rd!

It's time for the new Doctor!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH.... I'm not a sci-fi geek at all but I LOVE me some Doctor Who. We got Netflix last year and I decided to see what all the hype was about and I was hooked. It's been a long few months waiting for the new episodes and I can't wait!

 - Sometimes when I drop something on the floor, I don't bend over and pick it up. I just call Cleo over to eat it.

- I have a "problem" with stripes. I love them too much. When I look in my closet about 50%  of the tops and dresses are striped. Annnnnd I'm wearing stripes today.
(Yea, you can see the problem)

 - I have a Chapstick addiction. Like a full blown addition. I have Chapstick in my purse, on the coffee table, 3 at work, 2 in my car, 1 in Kev's car, one on my night table. They're everywhere. There's nothing worse than dry lips.
 - The only reason I don't work out at home is because I don't know how to work the DVR. In my defense, we don't have a DVR, its a PS3 that apparently doubles as a Blue-Ray player. I've never used it and I've never seen a remote for it. Kev says we have one but I only ever see him use a controller to operate the dang thing. For a while he was using a Guitar Hero guitar. I can't live like that.

Those are my confessions, don't forget to head over to the Link - Up!

Have you ever forgotten that something existed?

Chapstick, yay or nay?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scenes from the Weekend

Hey all! How was your weekend? Mine was filled with cleaning and a little rock and roll.

My sister in law and her family are coming to visit next week so we have to scrub off the 2 months of dirt that have accumulated since my parents came to visit. I'm happy to say that our bedroom, 2 spare rooms and 1700 loads of laundry are finished. Not folded or put away, but definitely washed, or on the floor in front of the washing machine.  
On Friday my car was making a funny noise and I wasn't comfortable driving it this weekend, that meant 1 car family and I had to wait for Kev to come back from work Sunday morning before I could head to the gym.
I made it in time for the new RMP release. I have to say, I really liked #63. It was a great burn and a good class. Seriously, EVERY bike was taken, that never happens. Ever.
I generally burn about 100 calories per 10 minutes in spin class, so this was a little over my average, so not bad. If I want a big calorie burn I have to go for a run, I've built up enough cardio strength that the classes don't bring the calorie results like they used to.

Get home, shower, walk Cleo and it's off to the Kiss / Def Leppard concert! Confession time, I LOVE some hair metal. Love, love, love, and I'm not the least bit ashamed. I've seen Kiss twice before and they're one of Kev's favorite bands. First time Def Leppard for both of us.

I was doing really well with my IIFYM for the day until this happened.

It was delicious and I have no regrets. I also don't regret the hot pretzel and half cup of other beer. CONSUME ALL THE CARBS!
Kev's Kiss tribute face. I was excited that I finally had another reason to wear the Kiss t-shirt I bought ironically several years ago. Kev was also threatening to get a pair of jorts for the concert, because that's what you should wear to a Kiss show. Thankfully he never made it to Sears and I was spared.
Thoughts on the show, Def Leppard tried really, really hard and that was nice for them. Not everyone made it through the 90s with their voices intact. During one of the songs they pointed the microphone out to the audience for us to sing the next line and NO ONE RESPONDED. I felt so bad for them. Hopefully the people up front sang something because the lawn (where we were) was completely silent.
Kiss did everything you wanted Kiss to do. There was fire, Gene Simmons spit blood, they flew on wires, there were fireworks, it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Just a few observations, when Gene Simmons does his tongue thing, it's not sexy anymore. (was it ever?) But really, enough with the sexual innuendos, it's just gross now. Like how Neil Diamond can't sing "Girl You'll be a Woman Soon" anymore. Because that's just really creepy.
All in all we Rock and Rolled not quite all night, only until about 11pm, because we had to work in the morning.  
What was the last concert you saw?
Who else likes Hair Bands?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Spotlight - Blueberry Muffins

For today's Sunday Spotlight, Blueberry Muffins! See, it's not always going to be about Essential Oils, Spotlight Sunday is for all things awesome.

My Blueberry Muffin Recipe is just that, pretty damn awesome. You see, it came from a pretty awesome lady. This is Auntie Nell, she was a friend of the family that my grandma had knows for years and years. She lived in Massachusetts where they apparently amazing muffin recipes are born.

You know what else is awesome? My bowl haircut. Thanks Dorothy Hamill for a hair cut that inspired thousands of mothers to inflict it on their innocent children.

Blueberry Muffins:
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup milk (I used almond)
pinch salt
1 cup blueberries (I used the ones that Kev picked off our blueberry bushes yesterday)

Dump everything but the blueberries in the bowl and mix it up. Then fold in the berries. Spoon into a muffin pan and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Makes 12.

Slap some butter on them, put one on a tiny plate and you're good to go! But you really can't eat just one. I've also made these in an 8x8 pan and baked them at 350 until they were done.

Nutritional Info:

Do yourself a favor and whip up a batch today!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Northern vs. Southern Food

Yes. I know I think a lot about food. I can't help myself. This afternoon I was thinking about Skittles. Thinking really really hard. I wanted something sweet so badly and I broke down, dug out some change and headed to the vending machine. Every last dang piece of candy was chocolate. I can't eat soy, I can't eat chocolate. Yes, it's terribly sad. Believe me, I'd love some chocolate, I just don't need the stomach ache.

I was actually much sadder when I developed an allergy to aspartame. I LOVED me some Diet Coke. I cried when I found out. Seriously cried. Now I reminisce about Diet Coke like a former smoker thinks about having another cigarette. Oh lord, that first sip of Diet Coke right after you crack open the can. Ahhhhh or a McDonald's Diet Coke?? Come on, you know McDonald's has the best fountain soda.

Ok, enough about Diet Coke. Let's talk about Southern Food. I didn't grow up in the south but I've lived in NC for almost 9 years. Before moving here I knew a little about southern food but had no idea what to expect.

- Tater Tots are an acceptable breakfast side dish. I was at the cafeteria at work the other morning and 3 of the 4 people in line got tots with their breakfasts. I don't get it. Tots are a lunch or dinner side, generally with a hot dog, like in elementary school.

(Eyes on food is always funny)

- Mayo on your breakfast sandwich. I might have vomited a little in my mouth the first time it was offered to me. Bacon egg and cheese, yes please. Do you want mayo on that? NO! That's disgusting. Hot mayo on a greasy egg, fatty bacon and glistening cheese. No no no no no.

(Revel in my MS Paint skills)

- Sweet Tea, that's a given. People in the south like sweet tea, northern sweet tea comes in an Arizona or Lipton can.

- Banana pudding. People lose their minds over some banana pudding. Don't get me wrong, I love Nila wafers, bananas and pudding as much as the next person but why do southerners lose their minds over it?
- Carolina BBQ. Ok, Carolina BBQ is amazing. I never liked sweet sauced BBQ meat and the vinegar base is delicious. Kudos.

Northern Foods we NEED in the South

- OK South, let's be honest, your pizza is bad. Yes, each and every town has their local pizza shop and you all think it's good. I get it. But it's not good. It just isn't. Every pizza in the south is a 6 or lower. There's no delicious sauce and doughy crust. Yes you all can argue with me but I'm right on this one. Head up north, get a piece of pizza and give me a call.

(DiCarlo's is the pizza of choice in my home town)

- Butter cookies! Those small Italian butter cookies. OMG, so good they bring a tear to you eye. Northern bakeries are amazing. Sadly, the best bakery in town here is Whole Foods. Yes you can get a nice cupcake here and there but for a full service bakery, I have to go to Whole Foods. Bring me ONE bakery with a butter cookie and a nut horn and I'll cry happy tears.

(Moio's in Monroeville. OMG this is my happy place. I don't see my favorite fancy macaroons in the pix but go there and eat them all. I got my wedding cake and plates of cookies here.)

- Fries on food. We do this in Pittsburgh and it's really fantastic. Fries on salad, fries on sandwiches, fries make everything better. Trust me on this one.


- Subs!! Northern toasty subs are the BEST!!! Long skinny roll, toasty bread, some sort of meat, cheese and delicious spices. Damn they're good...

(Uncle Sam's Subs in Pittsburgh. It's been too long since I've had one of these babies. We ate a lot of these in college. I still think about them.)

- Diners, there aren't any diners in the south. Where the heck do you eat at 2 am when you're in college?? Cook Out isn't the same and Waffle House is nasty. It's just nasty and they don't have butter cookies.

Alright, now to convince Kevin that it's time for a trip up north! 

What foods do you miss?

Ever had fries on your salad or sandwich?