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!

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

Quick Catch Up!

Hi Guys,

I promise I did not forget about you!! This last month has been insane and I had every intention of blogging but things kept getting busier and busier!

So let’s use this time to do a full catch up on everything going on:

Running:

I have been running pretty consistently since I finally have time after work. It is getting pretty hot already so I have been slowly transitioning to the treadmill and watching Criminal Minds. I am not currently in training for any “big” races but might sign up for the Summer Shorts Incredibles Virtual Races. Any recommendations on other virtual’s or races in Arizona?

Work:

So work has been…interesting! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I quit my job about a month ago and got hired elsewhere the next day. That threw my whole world into a whirlwind but I am a lot happier. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow that gives you an idea of how all of that came to be and what is going on now.

Love:

Damiean and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary on the 20th of April. Since our anniversary fell on a Friday, which is a day we both work, we went on an adventure up to Sedona on the Wednesday before and had a relaxing and wonderful time.

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Family:

My family and I last visited California at the beginning of March and are scheduled to go back to celebrate a variety of different occasions in May. We are also extremely excited to be there for Pixar Fest! Also, we added a new member to our family! Lilly Belle joined our family about 2 weeks ago.

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What have you guys been up to?!

 

 

Let’s Get Excited!

Hi There,

I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start.

Today, I am really trying to focus on the positive things happening in my life and find the motivation to make it through the rest of this very long week! Tomorrow and Friday I have some work events taking place that are causing a bit of chaos and Saturday, I have my life and health insurance exam! To counter this and focus on the good, I am looking forward to getting done with my test so that I can binge watch the Santa Clarita Diet Season 2, yay!! I don’t know if you guys have watched Season 1 yet but I highly recommend it. I watched it once on my own and then Damiean and I got about 3 episodes in before he decided he was not a fan. It is kind of a rom-com drama so it hits all the good points I think a series should.

Another thing I am excited about is that I am in negotiations for a new job! I am crossing my fingers for this to come to fruition and will keep you guys updated!

The biggest and most exciting thing is that Easter weekend is going to be spent in California! I am so excited to get away for 2 days and just enjoy a little break from real life. We will be heading to Huntington Beach and Sunset Beach on Saturday and then venturing over to Disneyland/ California Adventure on Easter Sunday. Speaking of Disneyland and California Adventure, did you guys hear the news about Marvel taking over what is currently a Bug’s Land??

Lots of changes taking place in the park lately but I am excited to see what they have in store.

 

What are you most excited about today?

Any big upcoming plans?

Frustration!

Happy Tuesday.

Well, we survived Monday! How was yours?

If you follow me on Instagram, I mentioned that a meeting I had lasted A LOT longer than usual which left me feeling a bit like the tightrope walker from the Haunted Mansion!

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I am going to be, maybe a bit too honest in this post. Lately, I have found myself feeling excessively sad and frustrated. I am generally a very happy person so it is different for me and a bit off putting to the people around me because I don’t know how to properly express this feeling. Happy usually equals goofy, Mad usually equals sarcasm.. there just seems to be no appropriate counter part to the sadness and frustration.

There has been a lot going on over the past few weeks. As I said, we lost a furry family member and things are extremely difficult at my job. Not to go into too much detail but some changes seem to have taken place and suddenly I find myself anxious to get out of there as soon as possible. Match that anxiety of getting out to a lack of job offers in this area and that is majorly contributing to the sadness and frustration.

I know that I need to be patient and that when the timing is right, the right opportunity will present itself. Right now I am just caught in this that I can’t seem to shake off.

However, instead of just sitting here letting it consume me, I am trying hard to focus on the good things to come.Tomorrow night is date night with Damiean (yes, you finally can know his name!) I am taking my Life and Health Insurance exam this weekend, which might help with the job search. Easter weekend we are heading to Disneyland for some much needed R&R. Hopefully there will be a few more nibbles on the resume soon.

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If you made it this far, I appreciate you sticking around and letting me vent. Sometimes it helps to put the words out into the universe instead of storing them in my head!

What do you do to stay motivated when you’re frustrated?

 

 

Weekend Recap 3/15- 3/18

Happy Monday!

I hope that your morning has been amazing and that you have a great day ahead of you.

This weekend was very busy and full of running and coffee!

Friday night after work, Sydnee and I headed to the Tanger Outlet Mall to participate in the Kilt Run. If you have been reading for a little bit, you know that this is the race that Sydnee and I signed up for at the last minute this past week. Once we got there we picked up our race bibs, kilts and shirts.

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This race was super short and packet pick up was a bit of a mess but it was a lot of fun and the medal was amazing! After the race,we headed home to prep our stuff for the next day. I honestly think that local races are harder than out of state races because I feel a lot less organized!

After prepping everything we headed to bed for our 5:00 a.m. wake-up call.

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The next day, St. Patrick’s Day, we ventured out to Westgate to participate in part 2 of the Kiss Me Challenge, which for us, was the 4K. That was a new distance for both Sydnee and I so we were excited to see what we thought. For both races, I will be doing a full recap in case you are interested in participating!

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Once we finished the race, which seemed really short, we collected our 4K medal as well as our challenge medal. The medals for this race were huge! I was somewhat shocked at exactly how big they were!

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After collecting our medals, we picked up some Starbucks and headed up. We made sure to pick up a Puppacino for Indiana Bones as well.

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Once we had breakfast, Sydnee and I pretty much laid around and watched a movie. The movie was one I had never seen before, Thor Ragnorak. If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend that you watch it! I thought it was awesome and definitely lived up to the hype.

At 4:45 we headed to the Hockey Arena to watch the Coyotes VS. Minnesota. Let me tell you, there must be no one left in Minnesota because this arena was packed with Wild fans. Unfortunately, we lost 3-2. However, it is always fun to get out there and support our coyotes.

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My family is big on “small” gifts for most holidays so we exchanged the small gifts that we bought.

I lucked out and received a Starbucks Gift Card, Coffee Socks, Washi tape for my day planner and Skittles.

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Sunday’s are always full of errands and this one was no different. After breakfast, Cierra (my middle sister) and I ventured out to Charming Charlies to check out their Disney collection. Unfortunately, they had 4 things in stock and it was not anything that we were interested in purchasing so we left empty handed. Next, we headed to Ulta so I could pick up a new hair straightener. When I had my hair colored, my wonderful stylist used a Chi hair straightener and I loved the way it turned out so I decided to invest! I decided on the 1″ straightener and I am in love! I will be sure to post a picture to show you how it turned out!

After Ulta, we headed home. The rest of the day was spent prepping for the week and dreaming of the weekend to come.  I also did a little D.I.Y with a jewelry holder I picked up from Wal-Mart. I had been on the hunt for a little while for something just like this but hated the color! Anyone who knows me, will definitely tell you that I am not a fan of doing it myself! Luckily, there is spray paint! I love the way it turned out and it works perfectly.

 

This week is busy, with a job interview on Monday (yay!), date night on Tuesday and two work events taking place on Thursday and Friday! I am exhausted just thinking about it!

What is on your agenda for this week?