I’m So Excited!

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Happy Wednesday!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day so far. My work day is just starting but hopefully it will go by quickly!

Just a quick update on life happenings right now- my family and I have finally gotten around to booking our September and October vacations to Disneyland. Halloween and Christmas are my favorite times to visit the parks so I am really looking forward to those trips. I have been actively studying for an exam that is quickly approaching on the 28th of July for my life and health insurance certification. In addition to all of that, I am happy to say that in all of the craziness and crashing of Amazon, Damiean and I were able to get an InstaPot! It will be here today so we have not gotten a chance to play with it yet. I have been hearing rave reviews from everyone at work so I am looking forward to experimenting. Damiean on the other hand is not yet convinced, so we will work on that!

The biggest piece of exciting news I have is that….I signed up for a half marathon!

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I have been in what you might call a running slump lately. It is extremely warm here and in addition I could not really get myself motivated to get on the treadmill. Now, I have a race to train for, so hopefully that will get my behind in gear. Luckily, Sydnee agreed to run with me so we are happy to be hitting the road together again.

This will be our first time ever participating in the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, so any tips would be greatly appreciated!

The last official race I participated in was the Superhero’s Half Marathon Weekend in November, so it has been a while since I have been actively training. However, during those races we were able to shave quite a bit of time off of our finish including 30 minutes off our half marathon time!

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The goal for this race is under 3:00 hours. I realize that to some that is not necessarily a fast half marathon but for someone that wasn’t even able to run a mile in high school and suffers from severe asthma, I am thrilled!

We are hoping to register for a half in October and another in December to act as our big miles for training. This works because we both love medals and recovery meals!

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What are you excited about?

 

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Dry Shampoo Comparison

Good Morning!

I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday so far!  Today, I am doing a comparison of Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo VS Equate Original Dry Shampoo. Just to pre-face this post, this is not an ad nor is it sponsored. This is simply my personal comparison of these two products!

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On most days I am 50% coffee and 50% dry shampoo. That means that I use a lot of dry shampoo! For the longest time I had used the Not Your Mother’s because it was the first one I had ever tried and I loved it. However, there is one aspect I did not love, the price! I was not a fan of paying $6.00 per bottle for something that did not last a super long amount of time

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Even though it was a bit pricey, I was always a big fan of the finished results.

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On a recent trip to Walmart, I found the Equate brand for under $3.00.

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I debated it but figured that since it was half the price I might as well give it a try. Once I got home I compared the size of the bottle, which is exactly the same at 7 OZ per bottle. The next day I decided to give the Equate a go and see how I liked the finished product.
2018-05-20 17.37.57I was pleasantly surprised by the results. One big thing for me regarding dry shampoo or any product I use on my hair is the smell. I am happy to say that the Equate brand smelled great and was extremely subtle. One of the differences I noticed between the two products was that the Equate took a little bit more brushing to work into my hair. The only other difference I noticed was that I was able to get a lot more volume from the Equate than I was the Not Your Mother’s.

2018-05-20 16.54.25After comparing the results between the two products as well as the cost and smell, I know for sure that I will be investing in more Equate brand dry shampoo in the future!

What kind of dry shampoo do you use?

 

California Recap- Disneyland

Hi There,

So this post is a bit delayed! I was hoping to have it finished before going on my next trip but that did not happen! I am going to get my weekend recap all up before the end of this week but will try to mix it up so it is not all vacation recap. As I said on Instagram, it is a catch-up week for me with posts.

So when we left off last, we had just left Malibu and were heading to the hotel to get checked-in. Once we were settled in, it was time to head to bed for an early morning.

We always try to get to the parks as early as possible since it seems to be a tiny bit less busy in the morning. Once we arrived at the gate, we were so excited to see the Pixarfest signs!

2018-06-10 11.55.42 (1)Once we were inside, we made our way down Main Street USA and headed toward Red Rose Tavern for breakfast. We are all big fans of the breakfast there and love that it is located in the quaint area of Fantasyland! Collectively, one of our favorite dishes there is the Buttermilk Pancake Platter, the pancakes are delicious and filling and the side of eggs and bacon make it the perfect portion to enjoy on your own or share if you are saving room for a snack a little while later. The decor is amazing here and since Sydnee is such a big fan of Beauty and the Beast, she loves taking pictures around the restaurant when it is not busy. Unfortunately, there seems to always be someone sitting right under the Gaston portrait, so that is a coveted picture of hers!

During breakfast we had booked our Fastpass selection through MaxPass, so we were ready to start our day once breakfast was finished.

Our first ride of the day was Pirates of the Caribbean and we were all excited to see the new changes they had made.

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One major change (that I do not personally agree with) is the redhead auction scene. While the animatronics are cool, it changes the vibe of the scene and takes away from what I felt was the classic Pirates experience. 2018-06-10 10.05.09There is another scene that has been changed that I do not want to spoil, but it takes place once you pass the room full of treasure. Be sure to look to the left!

Our next Fastpass was on Space Mountain! this ride is always awesome and it is definitely worth while to get a Fastpass so you are not stuck waiting in a long line.

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Once we finished our ride, we had a few free minutes between our Fastpasses so decided to pop into what used to be the Captain EO attraction and enjoy a preview of Ant-Man and The Wasp.

2018-06-10 10.55.26The preview was awesome and I know my dad and sister were very excited to see this movie in theaters (they have seen this movie in theaters and said it was great!).

Once our preview had ended, we decided to snack on my mom’s favorite treat, popcorn!

2018-06-10 11.14.22How fun are the attraction Coke bottles?! I do not actually drink soda but I feel I absolutely need the Haunted Mansion bottle the next time I visit.

After our popcorn, we took a quick trip through Frontierland, where I was extremely excited to pick up my Graduation ears! I had been looking forward to picking these up for awhile and was so excited they still had them in stock.

2018-06-10 10.27.05After a quick shopping trip it was time to park hop and head over to California Adventure!

2018-06-10 12.16.22-3One reason I absolutely love MaxPass is because you get all the pictures taken by the Disney photographers free via download on your app! It is awesome to have all 5 of us in pictures! One of my favorite photo spots currently is located at the Cars Land entrance! This local has a fun Toy Story collaboration going on and is a great spot to take a photo with the fam!

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Once we had gotten a few great shots, we headed down Route 66 to Radiator Springs Racers.

The rest of our day was spent running around the parks utilizing as many Fastpasses as we could and snacking! We were lucky enough to get on one of my favorites, the Haunted Mansion, twice that evening!

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Unfortunately, as always, time passes too quickly and the day was over. While we did have a full day on Sunday, we had to leave early on Monday morning. Luckily, we had another trip planned in less than a month, which makes leaving a tiny bit easier!

 

 

 

 

California Weekend Recap- Malibu

Happy Thursday!

I hope your week is going great so far!

Thank you so much for all of the views of my Manhattan Beach Recap, it is always fun to relive a vacation and share the details. If you missed that post, you can read it Here

Today, I am going to be recapping our time in Malibu and sharing some of the fun places we visited.

When we last spoke, we had just left Manhattan Beach after indulging in some shopping and a delicious lunch.  Originally, the plan was to head up to Santa Monica Pier and hang out there for a little while. I wish I had a picture to show you all of the people in Santa Monica! We should have known since we ran into an abundance of traffic as we got closer to town but we still pressed on thinking it might dissipate, it did not. We quickly decided to keep heading straight up to Malibu instead.

The drive up the coast is always beautiful and relaxing at some points when traffic isn’t bad. I spent a majority of the time in the car reading, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. (I actually just finished that book and will be doing a short recap at some point)

Previously, we had visited Paradise Cove in Malibu and we knew that was where we wanted to go again. Not only is the food awesome, there is also a private pier and beach you can wander until it is time to sit down for your meal.

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It was a little more crowded this time than the last time we went but then again the last time we were there it was cold.2018-06-09 17.37.27

When we checked in to the restaurant, Paradise Cove Beach Café, they let us know it would be about an hour. With our buzzer in hand, we ventured out on the beach to enjoy the cooler weather and possibly collect seashells.

If you have never been to this beach or this area of California, I highly recommend it. The views are beautiful and it feels like your own private Paradise!
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We spent about an hour exploring the beach and dodging waves as the tide rose. I will say that a few times it hit the sand a bit higher than we expected and we all got splashed pretty good. Luckily, this beach is more of a “come as you are” environment, so we did not feel out of place.

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After enjoying our time by the water, our buzzer finally went off and it was time to eat!

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Since we were by the water, we decided to split two orders of the fish and chips. It was more than enough food and absolutely delicious! There is certainly a lot to be said about atmosphere enhancing the food but the food was delicious all on its own!

Once we finished with our meal, we took one last look around Paradise Cove and appreciated how beautiful it was and said that we definitely need to come back soon.

Once back in the car, we had to decide where we wanted to go before heading to the hotel. My dad thoroughly believes that National Ice Cream day is a day that needs to be celebrated everyday, especially on vacation. For all of us, that meant we needed to head to Google and find a place nearby that served ice cream. While there were quite a few to choose from, we decided on Malibu Yogurt & Ice Cream. It was right in a strip mall so easy to miss if you are speeding down the street. There was a wide variety of choices but I finally settled on the coffee flavored ice cream because coffee is life! My sisters both enjoyed an ice cream sandwich that you were able to customize with a variety of cookies and ice cream. My dad staying true to his flavor pallet, decided on vanilla. All of the flavors were delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. Unfortunately, because the store was kind of crowded, I did not get many pictures of the interior but I will say that the inside is adorable. It is decorated with a variety of surfing memorabilia and is a quaint place to enjoy your frozen treats. ** For all my friends with animals of the K9 variety, they even had frozen treats for dogs! **

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Once we had finished every bite of our ice cream, we decided we should probably head to the hotel to unpack and get settled before heading to Disneyland and California Adventure the next day!

Next up is my recap of Disneyland and California Adventure!

 

 

 

California Weekend Recap- Manhattan Beach

Hey Guys!

I hope you are having a terrific Monday so far! So this weekend recap is a days late because I have been playing catch up since I got home!

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should!), you know I spent a great weekend in California. I believe what they say, the first 5 days after the weekend are always the hardest! Today, I am back to work but sporting a new Disney mug in my office. Be sure to check out Instagram to find out which one I decided on out of the 50-100 choices I had in front of me!

To give you a little vacation lead in, Thursday night was date-night. Damiean and I enjoyed some delicious Chicken Katsu at Ono Hawaiin BBQ. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it, especially if you like sauce that has a slight kick to it. After dinner, we checked out a few websites and finally decided on a Kayak that we both liked enough to purchase. Once that was done, I finally got a chance to check out the treadmill that is going to be living in the dining room for a little while. This thing is awesome! My personal treadmill is very basic and user friendly. This one is connected to the WI-FI and shows videos of different locations as you are running. At the time I was barefoot and already dressed for bed so I have not gotten a chance to run on it yet. We spent the rest of the night watching a TV show about murder, because love in a long term relationship= take out, comfy pants and shows about murder!

I worked on Friday and right around 4:00 in the afternoon it got crazy busy. Sometimes, that is nice- 4:00 on a Friday? Not so much! But I made it through and then it was officially time to switch to vacay mode. I has been packing all week so there was just a few pieces to add to my suitcase and I would be ready to go.

Before I knew it, it was 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and we were packing the car and ready to go. I always pack an “in the car bag” of things to do while we are on the road but I will be honest and tell you that a majority of the time is usually spend sleeping when we travel early in the morning. After we stopped in Cathedral City to stretch our legs, I finally dug into my bag and started a new book. I had a realization last week at Target (go figure) and started thinking about the last time I started and finished a book…it has been a long time! I cannot tell you how many half finished books are currently sitting on my shelf. So I did what anyone would do, I purchased 2 more books and promised myself that I would make a commitment to finish 4-5 books before the end of July. I feel that this is an extremely attainable goal and will be sure to let you know what books have made the cut. I will say that right now I am currently reading Sharp Objects. I saw an advertisement on Facebook for the HBO series and then found out it was actually an adaptation which made me interested out more. Sharp Objects was one of the two books I picked up at Target this past Friday night. It definitely has kept my interest so I am excited to keep reading.

After a few more hours, we finally made it to Manhattan Beach. Once there, our first stop was Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. This is a “hole in the wall” type place that has an ocean view and serves a huge variety of meals. The menu was huge and the fact that they served breakfast all day made it tough to decide. I chose to have breakfast for lunch and went with a ham and cheese omelet with sourdough toast. It was DELICIOUS! My mom, Sydnee and my dad went with the burgers, which were juicy, well seasoned and thick. My sister, Cierra, went with chocolate chip pancakes that were to die for. Needless to say, it doesn’t seem like you can make a bad choice at Uncle Bill’s. Fun Fact: One of the sides they offered to me in lieu of toast was a side of two pancakes.

After enjoying our delicious meal, we ventured out and about Manhattan Beach. The weather was beautiful and in the 70’s which meant people were out in droves. Luckily, we were able to avoid a majority of the beach traffic while we walked around the shops and picked up Starbucks. Once we had our coffee in hand, we took a walk down the pier.
2018-06-09 15.19.18Once we had taken in our fill of the beautiful view, we headed back to the car since our parking was due to expire soon. Once we were back to the parking lot, we waved goodbye to Manhattan Beach and headed up the coast to Malibu!

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Hi There!

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I hope you guys are having an amazing Tuesday. I am back at work today for a 4-day workweek. I don’t know about you guys but but sometimes the short weeks wind up feeling like the longest weeks in the world! I am hoping that this week goes by somewhat quickly.

My weekend started off a bit rocky when I had to leave work early on Friday feeling a bit sick. I spent a majority of that day laying on the couch watching movies and relaxing. By Saturday morning I felt 100% better but still spent the day relaxing and hanging out with my family. Saturdays are always crazy because they are filled with errands that need to be run for the upcoming week. One of the places I ended up was Old Navy. They wound up having a ton of stuff on sale and I found some great buys for pretty low prices. I wasn’t sure if you guys would like to see some of my purchases but I may post them later this week.

Sunday, Sydnee and I made some omelettes with some amazing fresh watermelon on the side.

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Then we spent some time baking delicious Patriotic Cookie Bar, you can find that recipe hereIMG956593

After that we turned on the new Beauty and the Beast and then spent some time in the pool.

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Monday, I started the day at breakfast with Damiean, his brother and niece.

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After that we headed to a few different stores to look for a kayak. It took some looking but we finally found on on Craigslist that we are pretty sure is the one! We are excited to hit the water but it might take a few weeks since our schedules are varied right now.

I would love to hear how your weekend was!

 

Patriotic Cookie Bars

Hi Guys!

I hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

I am lucky enough to have today off so I wanted to share with you one of my new favorite treats! My sisters and I all collaborated on making these and each one of us thoroughly enjoyed them. Be sure to visit their websites at here: Simply Sydnee Rose or Might Run For Cupcakes

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PATRIOTIC COOKIE BARS

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Ingredients:
 1 cup granulated sugar
 1 cup of brown sugar (firmly packed)
 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
 3 large eggs
 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
 3 cups of all-purpose flour
 3/4 teaspoon of salt
 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
 1 cup of chocolate chips (We used Toll House Semi-Sweet chocolate
chips)
 1 1/2 cups (+/-) of red and blue M&Ms
 Red, white, and blue sprinkles
 Nonstick cooking spray
On top of the ingredients you will also need:
 A medium to large bowl
 Rubber spatula or spoon
 9×13 pan or dish
 Aluminum foil
 Electric mixer (we used our hands because we’re the only ones who will
be eating them)
 Oven ( I feel like this is obvious but just in case)

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Directions:
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
 In the medium/large bowl, beat together the granulated sugar, butter,
and brown sugar
 Add the eggs and vanilla extract into the bowl and continue beating
 Now add the flour, baking soda, and salt then keep stirring
 Once the wet and dry ingredients are in a doughy consistency add the
chocolate chips and M&M’s
 Use the mixer or your hands to get the M&M’s and chocolate chips
distributed
 Get your 9×13 pan out and line it with foil (make sure to leave someextra foil on the outside so it will be easier to remove the bars from the
pan to cut)

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 Bake for 30-32 minutes then once done, let them cool for 10-15 minutes

 Spray the non-stick cooking spray on the foil and start adding the dough. Bake for 30-32 minutes then once done, let them cool for 10-15 minutes

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We removed ours at 32 minutes and they were a perfect golden brown on the edges and throughout. The consistency was perfect!

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Enjoy!

**Want to download the recipe? Find that link here- Patriotic Cookie Bars

Since I’ve Been Gone

Hi Guys and Gals,

I hope you are having a fantastic Thursday so far!

I wanted to take a minute to catch up with you and let you know that I promise you are on my mind everyday. Since I last talked to you, things have been going great.

I have been settling into my new job and learning more everyday. While it is still in the financial industry, there is always something new to learn.

So, just a simple update on a few things that have happened since we last spoke:

We celebrated my dad’s birthday, Avengers Style! My sister made this amazing half sheet of double chocolate chip cake. Since his birthday was technically on Tuesday, we celebrated this past Sunday with a dinner at Maggiano’s as well as cake and presents at home.

Dad's Birthday Cake!
My sister competed in a skating competition and took 1st place! This competition took place in Gilbert and we were so proud that she came in first and showed such great sportsmanship.

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My sisters and I attended the first night of Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour in Glendale, Arizona. This show was amazing! I think she performed about 26 songs from various albums.

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I’ve had to move my running indoors. While I would much rather be outside running, it has started to get hot here in Arizona. By now I should be used to it but when presented with the choice of running inside in the air conditioner or outside in the 90 degree heat after work, I choose A/C!

20180423_191743I purchased new Oofos! These shoes are …the best! I literally could not tell you enough good things about them. I have 4 pairs total right now and love each and every one of them. My newest pair was purchased to replace my original black pair that was purchased almost 5 years ago! I don’t know about you but my flip-flops and sandals do not typically last 5 years, let alone remain comfortable all the way through that time. These shoes have literally been worn almost everyday at some point or another and have been a wonderful recovery shoe after every half marathon I have run. If you run, bike, crossfit, etc.. You need a pair of these shoes!

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This guy tried Top Golf for the first time. We went on a group outing with Damiean’s brother, my sister and her boyfriend as well as Damiean’s niece. It was the first time for almost everyone and the first time my sister and I had been there at night. It was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time. If you are in the Scottsdale area and looking for something fun to do, I would highly recommend Top Golf. The great news for all the other locals is that Top Golf is coming to Glendale! I believe it will be later this summer that they will be opening their new location.
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What have you guys been up to?

 

 

Wrecked- Why I Quit My Job.

Happy Monday!

I hope that you all had a great weekend!

Mine was busy but great! Saturday morning was spent with my sister, Cierra, at the Farmers Market. This was the final market of the season and it was hot! My sister is the owner and operator of Cierra’s Bake Shoppe and makes the most delicious cookies and cakes. We were set up right across from Mama’s Cold Brew and kept seeing the adorable mason jar cups they were selling flying off the table. We had been eyeing them all day so we decided to finally bite the bullet and buy one. I chose the flamingos and my sister went with the floral design. Sunday I saw the Avengers Infinity War. IT WAS AMAZING! If you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should.

So now onto the story of why I quit my job.

If you have read my blog for a little while you know that I was working a job that was making me extremely unhappy. Well, unhappy is a bit of an understatement because my job was making me down right miserable. I worked there almost a year and a half and it got progressively worse the longer I stayed there. For one, my boss was horrendous. While there were some good days, they were few and far between. During my time at that job we lost about 6 people and even before I was there, the turnover was just as high. This job was in the financial industry and extremely high stress, made even more stressful by being continuously micromanaged and verbally abused. I won’t go into too much detail because if I did this post would be 15 pages long. Ultimately, in the last 3 months I worked there, I began not caring about myself at all. I was working late hours and bringing work home with me almost every night. My co-workers were excessively negative and I found myself shaking when I would sit in on meetings with my boss. In turn, this made my immune system go haywire and I wound up sick over and over again with a sinus infection. Still, I continued to believe that things might get better. They didn’t. I couldn’t believe it but it actually got worse. During the last week leading up to the end, I found myself crying at the drop of a hat. My emotions had gone haywire and I didn’t know how to fix it.

Then came my last two days.

It was Friday and we were having a speaking event in our office. We had people who flew in to speak so the day was hectic. One of my co-workers and I had put together the event and made sure we had taken care of all the details leading up to it as best we could. As soon as my boss arrived she began quickly picking apart everything we had done and expressing how dissatisfied she was with what we had put together. While this was nothing new, this time it just felt wrong, like a veil had been lifted and I was finally realizing that I did not deserve to be treated like this by someone who told me that they cared about me. By the end of Friday, I was spent. The day was long and stressful and my boss decided that speaking to my co-worker and I in private to express how unhappy she was with the set up, she would really lay into us in front of the people who spoke at the event. To say it was embarrassing was an understatement and I left work feeling dejected and miserable, as usual!

Usually, the weekends provided a bit of a break but by Sunday I was dreading work already. That feeling was enhanced by the fact that my boss felt it necessary to call and lecture me further about Friday. After hanging up I realized that my relationship with my boss was toxic. As that day wore on I realized that the feeling I had was simply wrecked. I found myself questioning how much longer I could possibly do this and why I would want to.  Sunday night after Damiean got off work we met up for dinner/dessert. You know those nights you remember forever, but for reasons that aren’t necessarily pleasant? This was one of those nights.  We were sitting on the patio of Chipotle talking about our days and that was when I finally had the breakdown that had been slowly building for quite some time. Damiean thoughtfully listened as I described my feelings of desperation to leave there and my frustrations about not successfully find a job yet that allowed me to leave. I cried and expressed how scared I was of what this job was doing to me and Damiean agreed that I had finally reached a point where he found it difficult to look at me because everything about my body language and demeanor seemed to be crying for help. The tears did not subside for awhile but I had to get home so I could get ready for work the next day.  I fell asleep quickly out of sheer emotional exhaustion and woke up Monday morning feeling no refreshment at all. I got dressed and headed to work as usual, unaware what the day would hold.

Once I arrived at work, I turned on my computer and checked my email. I always expect Mondays to be busy but this one took the cake. I had probably 10 emails, all from my boss containing nothing but negative statements and requests that I handle situations that she herself could easily handle. In that moment sitting at my desk, I finally realized that I could not do this anymore. I quickly typed of my letter of resignation and left.

Let me say this, during my time there,my family, boyfriend and friends all questioned why I would continue to work there. They noticed that as time wore on, I was becoming a shadow of the person I once was and it was not healthy. Like almost everyone in a situation like that, I denied their statements and told them it would get better and it was just for now. Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back now I should have quit a long time ago before I got to where I was.

I know I might get some negative comments or be judged for how I left this job, but trust me, it was the right decision. While my intention was always to give 2 weeks before leaving, I couldn’t wait that long.

After I left, I felt a rush of emotions. I was thrilled to finally be out of that environment and felt free. On the other side I felt afraid and scared of what might happen.

What happened next was nothing short of amazing! The next day, Damiean and I were out to lunch and I received a call letting me know that I had gotten a job! To say I was elated was an understatement. This new job is also in the financial industry but it is actually enjoyable to go to work everyday and I have wonderful co-workers who create a positive work environment that I leave at 5:00 on the dot everyday!

If you have read this far, you are a saint and I appreciate you!

Thank you for letting me share this story with you.