Thursday, December 23, 2010

Off to Jamaica!

My family and I are spending 10 glorious days in Jamaica for Christmas and New Year's! We haven't been on a family vacation in years due to differing schedules. After all the crazy car troubles I've had over the past few weeks, the phone interviews for potential New York jobs and the ridiculous rain, I am ready to just RELAX! Oh, and have some delicious, fruity drinks...YUM!

I'm taking some books and my knitting. I can't wait to just hang out, lay on the beach, read, eat awesome Jamaican food, explore and have a great time with my family! I'm also excited about the fact that I'll basically be cut off from the real world for a cell phone or laptop for me on this trip.

Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and an AMAZING (safe) New Year's!
See you in

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekend Miscellaneous

I'm ALMOST done with my Christmas shopping! So far, I've spent $355.84. The last (and most important) gift on my list is my Dad. He likes running, travel, golf and Anthony Bourdain. Last year I got him an awesome Anthony Bourdain shirt (since my Dad already has ALL his books!) that he goes running in so I hit on two of those topics. I'm completely stuck this year on what to get him, and I want it to be great because he's helped me out tremendously in 2010. I have enough left in my Gift Fund to spend around $100. Any last-minute suggestions?

My fender bender is now behind me. The woman got a few estimates and the lowest was $450 which was below my $500 insurance deductible so I just paid her outright. We met up today, I wrote her a check and had her sign a note stating that the matter is hereby settled. Still glad that no one was injured, I know that accidents happen and I'll just be extra careful in the future!

In an unexpected turn of events, I heard back from my dream job! They want to schedule a second phone interview because the hiring manager did not feel like they had enough time to talk to me during the initial one, which was only 30 minutes between two people. The dynamics of hiring have always intrigued me and I know companies will set ideal dates...but that there really are no hard and fast rules at the end of the day. I'm excited and I know I'll be less nervous for this round! (Now if only I could find my dream boy...and have him stay, heh!)

Then I can go on vacation to Jamaica with my family and de-stress for the remainder of 2010 after all this craziness. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dream Job & 2011

Since September, I've been seriously thinking about my career. Some of it has to do with the fact that I know I'm severely underpaid. Even though there's the potential for a "small raise" come April per recent a recent discussion with my boss... I've become restless at my current position. I feel a bit stagnant and while I'm constantly asking for more work and trying to always be a sponge, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. What I do is somewhat specialized in the investment industry, and I wasn't sure if it was a career path I truly wanted but it has definitely been interesting. So I started casually job hunting just to see if there were any similar positions at all out there.

A few weeks ago, while I was home for Thanksgiving... I stumbled upon my dream job. In my dream city: New York!

I applied, figuring I'd never hear back as with most job applications. Lo-and-behold, FOUR days later, I received a call for an interview! An initial phone interview was scheduled and in my mind, I had already started moved myself to New York City...

But it's unfortunately been radio silence for over a week now. They had sounded very interested, asked if I'd be available in the near future for an in-person interview and said they would contact me. The only issue seemed to be the start date which was MUCH sooner than I could have anticipated. There was unfortunately no way I would be able to make that date work with my upcoming travel schedule plus obviously having to do a huge, cross-country relocation.


Regardless, that interview gave me the push I needed. My casual job hunt has turned into a full-blown, time-consuming endeavor with one goal in mind:

In 2011, I want to move to New York.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Healthy Eating

I've always eaten healthy. I was lucky in that when I was growing up, my parents could afford to buy good food and we sat down for dinner every single night to a healthy, home-cooked meal. I couldn't be more thankful that they rubbed off on me!

I'm very petite and have always had a fast metabolism. Instead of eating three large meals a day, I've always had three small/medium-sized meals plus a few snacks, as I find that I get hungry every few hours. I am currently trying to gain a few pounds and since I am now lifting weights, I know I need to eat more as I'm burning more calories and gaining muscle. As I type this, I've had an exceptionally healthy day even by my standards and thought I would share what I ate.

1 Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 T Ground Flax Seed (I buy it in bulk at Costco)
Drink: Green Tea

Snack #1

1 slice 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Cottage Cheese
Seasoning Salt
1 piece Leftover Homemade Pizza (whole wheat crust, zucchini, roasted garlic, mozzarella cheese)
Drink: Water

Snack #2 (Oatmeal Pudding, made in blender)
1/4 cup Cottage Cheese
1/4 cup Raw Oats
1/2 cup Water
1 T Creamy Peanut Butter
1 t Honey

Green Lentils
1 Egg
Lite Soy Sauce
Drink: Green Tea

Are you a healthy eater? Where did you get your habits from? What are your favorite splurges?
Mine are Haagen Dazs ice cream and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. :)

[image via]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Small Holiday Bonus

Unexpectedly, my work gave out small holiday bonuses this year! I netted exactly $300. What a nice surprise, especially around the holidays when extra money is always appreciated and needed!

Here's how I plan to spend it:

  • $50 Travel Fund
  • $100 Self (not sure what yet...)
  • $150 Gift Fund (because in addition to Christmas gifts, I have two wedding presents and a Bachelorette gift to buy!)

75K Car Maintenance

My car needed a little bit of TLC. It hadn't had an oil change in over 5,000 miles and had recently passed the 75K mark. It's 8 years old and also had not had an sort of maintenance in... well, a long time! I'm honestly not the best at taking care of my car.

After going through some Yelp reviews, I called around. Per my owner's manual, I was under the impression that my timing belt/water pump/spark plugs needed to be replaced, as it stated at either 110K miles OR 7 years, whichever came first. One of the repair shops I called told me that I was definitely okay on waiting for that until I hit 105K miles since I don't drive in extreme conditions and have a very reliable car. What an honest, trustworthy mechanic to discuss that with me! The other places all just gave me quotes of $800+ without batting an eye!

I got the 75K mileage service which came with all the necessities and then, at the recommendation of one of the mechanics after they had checked out my car, I also got the brake fluid/transmission fluid/cabin filters flushed/fixed. I don't think any of that had ever been done!

I got a discount for providing my own air filter (which had been sitting in my trunk for over a year!) and a 10% discount for being a AAA member. Total cost came to $403.17. Pricey? Sure, but it would have been at least $200 more at the dealership plus I didn't do any "unnecessary" repairs! And now my car is happy...even if it still needs to washed and vacuumed. (They don't have an on-site detailer.) Glad I have enough in my car maintenance fund to cover the costs!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Goodbye, New Boy

I knew it was coming, but it still hurts. After realizing that new boy was making excuses all this week and that he was definitely holding back, things ended today. We had a phone conversation and he basically said he wasn't having the feelings for me he should be having, and that he didn't want to drag it out any longer to try to see if something changed. (I've been on both sides of this situation before, so I know that it really sucks to admit it when you really don't want to hurt someone.)

I thanked him for at least having the balls to discuss it with me, even if it wasn't in person. Because we all know the disappearing act sucks. Why do I feel like this year is a repeat of last year dating-wise? But then again, I haven't even had a single relationship at all in 2010! Sigh.

Back to the eHarmony drawing board...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fender Bender

I got in my first accident on Tuesday night, while driving to the gym in traffic. :( The person in front of me starting moving then stopped so abruptly that I plowed into her! Completely my fault and I take all responsibility. We are both okay though (thank goodness!) and we exchanged all the appropriate information. It was just a fender bender and my bumper looks way worse than hers, which is a good thing. I have about a 1-inch crack in mine and some scratching/scuffing but it's completely drivable.

She was really nice about the situation as she could tell I was rather upset. Then she offered to let me pay her outright if the damage is less than $500 instead of go through our insurances, so she's supposed to call me this weekend with a quote. Luckily, her car is a few years old and not high-end so I would be really surprised if the estimate is more than that! That was really nice of her, because I'd prefer it if my car insurance didn't go up, especially since I'm on the cusp of being 25 and haven't had an accident in my nine years of driving. I'm just glad it's not a full-flown accident or anything so I just have to wait and see what the outcome is. And I'm also glad I have over $800 in my car fund and a full emergency fund in case anything really bad had happened.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Black Friday Weekend Shopping

I did some Black Friday and weekend shopping on my lovely trip home. I might have gone a tiny bit overboard... but hey, I decided to spend some of the ~$600 in my 25th Birthday Fund a little early, and also decided to buy multiple (nice!) things instead of just one pair of overpriced but fabulous heels. (Don't worry, I'm slightly disappointed in myself too, but I know I'll buy some Christian Louboutins when the time is just right!) :)

I ended up with two pairs of shoes, both bought online and both hopefully arriving by the end of the week, plus a kick ass new pair of sunglasses, just in time for my family's Jamaica trip at the end of the month!

Stuart Weitzman Neudaisy Pumps in Gunmetal, $170.63

Aldo Laurance Boots, $45.66

Ray Ban Sunglasses, $120

I am SO excited about all my purchases! I desperately needed new sunglasses, as my first designer pair of Coach ones were 5+ years old and definitely had some scratches on them. I've been searching for a pair of aviators that fit my small face for almost two years and these are awesome and stylish! The boots are mostly for fun but I'd been eyeing them for a while and they were on sale, so how could I say no? And the pumps... I love my pumps! My old BCBGirls Kosty pumps in black patent have seen better days, though they have held up over the last 5 years very decently and are incredibly comfortable. I wear them almost every day to work and need a replacement pair, so I figured I would try a bit of a higher-end pump... and again, they were on sale! Oh, and my Mom bought me two new bras as a pre-Christmas present. The right fit truly makes a difference!

What did you buy this weekend? Did you splurge or buy necessities?

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