I haven’t blogged in months. I think it’s just because I’m bad a blogging when I’m going through a big transition. Blogging is something I crave when I’m cozy and perhaps a little bored (maybe settled is a better word). The last few months have been anything but settled, and thus my posts came to a screeching halt. Since my last post in May I’ve sold my house, moved into a modern apartment downtown, graduated college, started my summer internship, and secured a full-time position that I’m really excited about. 
Moving:
Moving is always an exhausting ordeal and our move was no different. I will say that paying movers to haul your heavy furniture up two flights of stairs is the way to go! After two months, I love love LOVE my new apartment. My husband and I weren’t ready to be in the hum-drum suburbs and living downtown is definitely something I didn’t want to miss out on as a young couple. I no longer dream of being able to step outside my door and walk to restaurants, bars and shops – I’m living it! There’s always something to explore.

Graduation:

I didn’t go to graduation because 1) been there, done that and 2) it was like 100 degrees outside. But I’m so excited to FINALLY be done with school. After 2 years of dedicating myself to actually learning the material and giving it my full effort, my nerves are shot. A 4.0 doesn’t come easy. Actually, I started experiencing some pretty scary anxiety symptoms towards the end of the semester and I knew it was time to start a new chapter in my life.

Career Searching:

I wanted to keep my career options open so I interviewed with some firms in Savannah and kept applying for graduate assistant positions while I was interning. I even went on a business dinner interview, which was a learning experience (do you order alcohol or not??- Answer: let the others order drinks first and follow their lead. FYI-yes they did= a more relaxed me!). I was filled with uncertainty at the beginning of the summer. Yes, I liked my internship, but did I want to be stuck in an office cube for the rest of my life? I had an offer from an accounting firm, but I’ve heard horror stories about the 70-80 hour work weeks with no paid overtime. I also had my back-up plan of starting grad school in the fall despite my anxiety, and I was selected as a graduate assistant for the school year in the finance department. This means (almost) free tuition + a small stipend. I was overwhelmed by my options, which is a complete 180 from my exactly zero options before going back to school.

The 9 to 5:

I GOT A JOB at the company I’m interning with. It still seems completely nonsensical, but I have a 9-5 (make that 7:30 to 5:00 Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 11:30 on Friday). Management put me through four rigorous interviews that would have totally overwhelmed younger, more insecure me, but I rocked it. Managers and directors in fancy suits don’t scare me anymore and I’ve learned that you just have to be yourself. After all these years of being unable to break into the corporate job scene, it’s completely validating to be succeeding at such a great company. The work is challenging and sometimes the hours are long, but I think my career could really blossom here. I’m so motivated to have a great career and I have no doubts about my intelligence or worth ethic now. My coworkers are the best part of my job. I fit in here and everyone is so relaxed and helpful. It’s also nice being around other like-minded career women. Also, doubling the family income ain’t half bad.

Travel & Life:

My love of travel and a full-time job with only 2 weeks of vacation, 8 paid holidays, and 3 floating holidays don’t really mesh. But, I’ve come to accept that most people don’t have months off to gallivant around the world, and I’m embracing small, but memorable trips. Also, I keep telling myself that extra income means more money to travel and I really am lucky to have half days on Friday. I already have multiple trips planned for the rest of the year: Asheville, Kansas City, Cancun, Chattanooga, California, and Washington DC. I spend time every day in my cube daydreaming about all the trips I want to take.

*************************************************************************************

Now that I’m settled I want to get back in to blogging. I’ll focus on what I’ve been cooking, places to eat, and sharing my travel experiences.

A

Advertisements

City Dreaming

Packing, organizing and moving have taken center-stage in my life. It’s insane how much clutter I’ve accumulated over the years and stuffed in the back of closets. We’ve donated thousands of dollars worth of household goods and sold what I considered junk on Craigslist (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, I suppose). My home is jam-packed with boxes in preparation for our move-out day later this month.

And, we have a new place to call home! Real estate leasing is a cut-throat market in downtown Savannah. We lost the race to sign the dotted line on 3 incredible apartments before finally finding our future home. I saw the posting for the modern, loft-stlye condo early one morning and called to set up a viewing later that afternoon. Instantly we fell in love with the high ceilings, loft windows, concrete floors, and ultra-modern atmosphere. Knowing we had to be aggressive to find a home in downtown Savannah, we made the immediate decision to sign the lease and put down a deposit. We are beyond thrilled to start our new life as young professionals experiencing downtown living.

Home

Home2

Home3

We will have all of Savannah at our fingertips.

IMG_6450

-A.

April Update

Oh look at that, one month since my last post! Maybe it was my internship keeping me busy, or school work piling up, or the fact that we sold our house, but I just didn’t feel like blogging.

First:
Tax season was insane. I’m just the intern, but these people who work in tax work over 60 hours a week. I learned so much working with them and gained some invaluable working experience.

Second:
School. I’m still on the fence. Should I enroll in graduate school? My brain tells me yes, but my wallet says no. I’ve been mulling over the idea of working a simple nine-to-five and spending free weekends and evenings with my husband, friends, and family. And regarding graduate school, as one of my eccentric professors says, “do you like pieces of paper that make you feel good?”

Third:
That magnificant husband of mine, who has been slaving away on weekend shift to bring home the bacon for over 2 years, has finally secured a spot on a regular shift. No more 13 hour days Friday through Sunday; no more being on completely opposite schedules; no more weekends without my special guy. He will be working Monday through Friday, like the rest of us. I see weekend trips on the horizon.

Fourth:
l208e2b45-m0r_FotorWe sold our little house. The home where our love grew and where memories were made, will be tucked away in an album somewhere to be reminisced about later. It’s bittersweet. We love our little house and (with lots of my help) it has transformed from bachelor pad to cozy family home. But, over time, the neighborhood is going downhill and we don’t feel like part of the community here. Not to mention soaring crime rates and feeling constricted- I can’t see our family growing here. So we enlisted an esteemed agent, donated boxes and boxes to Goodwill, touched up the paint, took advice from a stager, and put the house on the market. Just one day later we got an offer. Two days after that we got a full-price offer. We really did not see this coming and apartment hunting has gone into overdrive. We’re on the list for the PERFECT apartment downtown. It’s within walking distance from cafes and restaurants and parks and has a cute private courtyard. Fingers crossed! IMG_6249

Fifth:
I’m still eagerly awaiting my summer internship. My official start date is May 11th. I’m slowly building my professional wardrobe and can’t wait to make a real paycheck!   -a.

Spring Break in St. Augustine, Florida

Considering the recent upsets in our lives (food poisoning, a torn ligament, and an unexpected trip to California), our Spring Break plans fell apart. I had to work my regular hours at work, but decided to work 3 full days instead of my usual 5 half days to give me a couple of days off. I finished work on Tuesday when the little travel bug started biting. But, I knew it was already late and I had to work again on Friday, so I decided a couple of quiet days at home might be relaxing. The next morning, over delicious coffee downtown, I decided that staycations aren’t really my style. We had to head somewhere close, dog-friendly, and new; we decided St. Augustine would be the perfect spot for our spontaneous adventure. A quick Google search and suggestion from Bringfido.com later, we had a cute room at a historic downtown bed and breakfast booked. The impromptu trip was planned in under 5 minutes, bags were packed hastily and we were headed south on I-95, Florida-bound. IMG_6040 I’d never been to St. Augustine before (not counting stopping through quickly when I was a child), but I had always avoided visiting because my parents don’t like it. My husband and I are both so glad we gave it a chance, because we ended up loving it!IMG_5991 First of all, the St. Francis Inn was perfect. I’d never stayed at a B&B before so I didn’t know what to expect. The owner and staff made us feel right at home and offered us everything from free breakfast, dessert, beverages and wine to bikes and lots of great advice for seeing the city. Plus, our room was so cozy and the grounds were gorgeous. We checked in at 4 pm on Wednesday and headed into the city with the ladies (Bella and Lexi). IMG_6003 IMG_6015 There was a lovely walkway along the water at the edge of the city and lots of small cobblestone alleys and restaurant-lined streets not open to cars to explore. It was a very walkable city, St. Augustine isn’t huge, and we stopped in at pubs and shops along the way. Most of them were very open to dogs and offered them lots of love, treats and water. The historic spanish influence separates St. Augustine from Savannah, Charleston and New Orleans. I found St. Augustine to be a less showy and more laid back version of Savannah and a Charleston without the flashy wealth. St. Augustine is quaint and romantic; the perfect weekend getaway. IMG_6023 IMG_6046 IMG_6093 We got back to the B&B just in time for social hour. We grabbed a (a couple) of free glasses of wine, chatted with our fellow guests and left the girls in the room for a nap while we went out for a night on the town. It was a beautiful evening and St. Augustine was so romantic. This little city is decorated with lots of stringed lighting and was so fun. We ended up at a small cigar bar, sitting around a bonfire and swapping stories with other travelers. Time got away from us and we ended up having a late dinner at Scarlett O’Haras. IMG_6138 The next morning we woke up early and walked along the riverfront to the Castillo De San Marcos, a monument and historic symbol of St. Augustine. We also checked out the Oldest House and Lightner Museum. Coffee from Crucial Coffee was another high point of the trip and a must-see in my opinion. The trip was over in the blink of an eye, but I’m thankful for the peace and cleared mind I get from traveling. We will definitely be going back! Also, I’m so impressed with my doggies, they were so well behaved! IMG_6111 IMG_6143 IMG_6146 IMG_6115 IMG_6113IMG_6125 -A

Delayed

I promise I’m still alive out here even though you wouldn’t know by my blog and social media. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been busy keeping up as life has thrown yet another curveball. Last week my hub and I had to catch a flight to attend his grandmothers funeral across the country in sunny SoCal. We dealt with 4 (4!) cancelled flights and rerouted flights and delayed flights and last minute one-way ticket purchases to be there (let’s all blame Dallas for the freak snow storms). Travel was exhausting, but it was so nice to be there with family. I met so many family members that I’d never met and saw a side of my husbands family I’d never seen. There was such an outpouring of love and support in the family. The funeral was very emotional and Eric gave a lovely eulogy; it was such a beautiful celebration of her life. The funeral was Hawaiian themed, instead of the usual dreary black-suit funeral because she loved Hawaii and bright colors. It’s a morbid thought, but I would want my funeral to be a collection of funny memories and happy stories from my loved ones, much like hers. We love and miss you grandma M!IMG_5900

With out internal clocks still set to eastern time, we woke up at 5 or 6 a.m. in California every morning. I didn’t really mind, because I’m becoming such a morning person. One early morning we travelled the winding roads up the San Bernardino mountains to the cozy little town of Lake Arrowhead. Lake Arrowhead, known as the Alps of Southern California, is where Eric proposed to me almost 3 years ago and is absolutely beautiful. I love the nostalgia and romance that this one small place gives us. We ate breakfast at a Belgian waffle cafe and watched the snow fall over the lake. We managed to be back before anyone else even woke up.

IMG_5880

IMG_5894

We said goodbye to family after 4 days in California and boarded a plane (3 actually) back to Savannah. The return trip was a blur of smelly airports and more delayed flights, but I got lots of reading done! Reality hit hard after missing class and work for so long. I had a test the day after getting back and a slew of assignments due. I’m really ready for Spring Break next week! I’ve really got nothing planned at this point from all the last minute traveling last week, but a small weekend getaway might be in the planning stages.

Goodnight.

-AIMG_5922

 

HIRED

I GOT THE JOB! I will be a summer intern in the cost accounting department at an awesome company. It’s going to be full-time, pays really well and could lead to a real job! I am beyond excited! 2 internships in one year!

The funny thing is that I was almost sure I didn’t get this job. There were 4 intern spots in the various accounting departments, and I know another girl at school who also interviewed for the job. I overheard her telling her friend early this morning that she got the internship today. Immediately I assumed that I mustn’t have gotten the job because I would have gotten a phone call. I was in a weird mood at work for the rest of the afternoon and checked my phone nonstop hoping for the phone to ring, but it didn’t.

I walked out of work, tired and disappointed, and as I got in my car my phone started to ring. “It’s too late for a job offer,” I thought. But it was the manager of the cost department offering me the internship! I accepted (obviously) and will start this May.

The job is welcomed news in a time of sadness for my family.

-A

Wake Up Call

The other day my sister and I were lazing at my house, just chatting (reality TV on in the background), when she said something that really struck me. She said: “you know, you define every event in your life by the weight that you were.”

And it’s so true. I know my lowest high school weight (108), my high school graduation weight (117), my weight when I met my husband (135), my weight when I graduated college (140), my wedding weight (145), and my highest weight (xxx). I can probably even tell you my weight just by looking at an old photo. I know that I haven’t had the healthiest relationship with the scale and my body, but it just seems so dumb that through all these memories, all these celebrations and life changing moments that I remember something as stupid as a three digits number on a scale. The number has nothing to do with how much I excelled or enjoyed myself or how much others loved me or were proud of me. It’s just a number.

And that’s why I need to change. Confidence begins from within no matter what weight or size. So I’m working on my mind and my happiness rather than the number. When I treat myself right, I feel even better at this weight than I did at my lowest weight.

-A.

The D Word

Diet. I hate to say that word because of all the scariness and failure it entails, but I’ve been really pushing to be healthy recently. My life is a lot more structured now since getting my job and starting classes, which makes staying on track easier. I’ve also been using MyFitnessPal. I’m trying not to get too obsessed with numbers, as long as I aim for healthy and eat when I’m hungry. I’ve been logging for almost a month now and my intense cravings for greasy food have (mostly) subsided. Our challenge to not eat out is also making it easier to stay on track. I’ve cut out drinking for the most part, as well as fried food and junk food in general, but nothing is off limits. I left calories for one beer last night and I’ve been cooking homemade pizzas to recreate a healthier version of one of my favorite foods. I decided to weigh myself on the 1st and 15th of each month and keep the scale out of sight.

I’m not doing any special crazy diet. No low-carb, no sugar free or fat free, no paleo,  vegan or juicing and no obsession with everything being “clean”. Just simple portion control and self control. I lost 4 pounds in the first 2 weeks and and I’m hoping for a couple of more on March 1!

-A

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower crust pizza has been on my list since it started making it’s rounds in the Pinterest world. It’s even on my cooking bucket list I made last year. Since I got a food processor for my birthday last year, I finally have the tools required! Last night I cooked this delicious, low carb crust and it was better than I even imagined!

I used this recipe from a Pin, but tweaked it slightly. So here it is:

IMG_5853

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 medium head of cauliflower
2 eggs
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 TBS almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat the over and a round baking pan to 450. Start by washing and drying the head of cauliflower. Chop off the stem so you’re just left with florets. Add the florets to the food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds until it reduces to a powdery, light “grain”. I had about 4 cups of cauliflower grain. Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a paper-towl; nuke for 5 minutes. Carefully dump the hot cauliflower onto a dish towel or cheese cloth and let cool. Twist and squeeze the cloth to drain the water out of the cauliflower. I got just over a cup of water out of my cauliflower. Add the cauliflower “flour” to a bowl, along with the eggs, mozzarella, parmesan, almond flour, salt, basil, oregano and some fresh cracked pepper. Mix together into a dough. Spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick oil and press your cauliflower dough into a pizza crust, making sure there are no holes. Mine was about a 10-12 inch pizza. Remove your preheated pan from the oven and slide the parchment paper with the crust onto the pan. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from over and top with your favorite toppings! I used sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and olives! Place back in oven for 5-7 minutes until cooked. Enjoy!

IMG_5829

IMG_5834

IMG_5835

IMG_5838

IMG_5843

IMG_5847

IMG_5854

yum.    -a

So Excited!

I tried Starbuck’s new coconut milk today in a caffe latte and it was delicious! It was creamy and foamy and perfect! Of course, coconut milk isn’t a low fat alternative, but I’m always a fan of a good dairy substitute.

In other (much more exciting) news, I have an interview today for a summer intern position at a BIG company in the area. I’m excited that I even got chosen to interview. I feel like I have a pretty strong resume now and have a lot to offer, but I’m still nervous! It’s full time over the summer, pays well, and would give me the opportunity to see the private industry side of accounting. So here I am, sitting and waiting for a whole other hour until I get the call.

I also talked to my graduate advisor today and got my schedule sorted out for the rest of the year. I should graduate with my masters degree summer 2016! I can’t wait! And I’ve applied for about 6 scholarships to help prepare.

Wish me luck!

-a