just like Visa--I'm everywhere you want to be!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I made it all by Mel-self!

For those of you who know me in real life, you know I'm hugely independent. And stubborn, but that's for another posting.

When there's a problem, my mind takes on this mental math equation:

Problem + creative thinking + challenge = Solution

So, the problem i kept facing was my office desk chair. The shocks were going out of the cylinder, so I'd be sitting there and randomly the chair would slowly drop to the floor. While highly comical, it can get super annoying. And I finally got tired of it.

Problem: slightly cool yet uncool gravity-defying chair.

And I had this awesome lightbulb idea.

Creative thinking: I can build a chair!

And then came the fun part--the challenge. And boy do I enjoy a challenge! I visited my local Target store and purchased the chair (bonus: it was on sale for $17!)

And then I came home and the fun got started.

Here's a photo journey of the awesome Sunday afternoon Solution:

1) The chair in the challenge corner!!

2) In the second corner, the reigning champ!

3) The kit, all spread out for the big game!

4) The finished product by the reigning champ! Tada!

5) Me in my victorious pose!

The feeling of accomplishment is so awesome! Happy to report its taken it's new spot at my desk and so far has been great!

One more for the independent woman!

Monday, May 28, 2012

No really. You're reading this?!

Hello there readers and cherished friends! I'd almost forgotten about this blog blip in my life until very recently. Blogs are supposed to be like Internet diaries, no? Except we don't keep them in our underwear drawer with a lock and key on them...because we want you to read what we think (otherwise we'd have a diary in the underwear drawer...we've been over that). Anyway, recently a few people have actually mentioned reading my blog and although I was unaware that people actually read this, I was shocked to find I actually kind of missed chronicling my life on here.

So, without looking at my last time stamp, I am going to guess its been over a year since my last post. And in that frame, I've been up, I've been down, and I've been so damned lost with you not around. And now I'm singing Train lyrics. I will interject randomly here and say that the new Train album is pretty awesome!

But what you really wanna know if you're still following me here, is what am I doing with my life?

Seasons change, and so do things in life. In January of 2011, my traveling job and I parted ways. Sometimes life can surprise you and change with the snap of a finger, and even if we don't understand or like it at the moment, it makes sense down the road.

I searched for jobs for awhile, and was struggling with either having too high of an education, or not enough real world experience. And it's a downer out there, when a great job that you're more than qualified for, gets passed on to someone else because they happen to be already working within the company. Let's not forget its about who you know and not what you know.

But, at a moment where I thought I couldn't get any lower, and my bank account was basically laughing at me, a light in the darkness appeared.

And when you least expect it, something amazing happens. And in that moment, I got a job. Sure, when I began the new journey, it was a simple assistant-like position. And to be honest, I find intense relief in just being able to pay my bills and be responsible. But then the job somehow changed me.

And now I'm using that hard-earned College degree! In a place where I enjoy going to work. In a place where I feel like my job matters. In a place where I feel like -I- matter.

I almost can't believe it. I've been there for over a year now, and in that time I've gotten to travel to Las Vegas, New York City, and Philadelphia. There is a whole world out there, and suddenly it doesn't seem so bad that one door closed. Because this one opened.

Not everything can be the best in life. And we aren't always going to like the answers or outcomes of events. But it's our job to make the best of each moment regardless. And that's what I'm trying to do.

On the eve of my next business trip to Las Vegas, I think back to my life two years ago. And then I think back five years. And even though I'm not where I thought I would be in either of those scenarios, I realize I am one thing: happy.

I get to wake up in the morning and breathe life. I have the use of my hands and feet. I don't have to worry about when my next meal will come or where I'll sleep that night.

And even if I didn't have a kick butt job like I do now, I like to think I'd still be happy. Because I'm alive.

You see we don't take enough time to appreciate that simple idea. And I'm more than guilty of that. I've spent time focusing on money, or relationships, or material things. And even though it's nice to have all of that...that isn't what makes me or defines me at the end of the day. At least, I hope it doesn't.

So to answer the question "where in the world is Mel!?" I'm here. And I'm happy.

I can't regret any moment in my life. Because it got me to where I am right now, and ultimately where I will be next. All that I know is I'm happy. And I hope you are, too.

Ten years ago I made a "life plan" on where I pictured myself and where I would be. And even though I haven't reach more than 20% of that plan, I'm making new plans as I go.

So that's where I am right now, friends. On the corner of happiness and greatness. Thanks for reading this, if you still are. I can't promise I'll be updating weekly, or monthly, but I do promise I will try, if you're willing to meet me here.

xs + os


Friday, December 10, 2010

Tis the Season to Be Blessed

Hello friends! I noticed that my last post here was October 30, 2010. Today's date is December 10, 2010. But I've been so so busy and I'm about to tell you all about it--I hope you can forgive me!

November 1, 2010, my boss and his wife gave birth to their second child (a boy, healthy and adorable!) and I became an Auntie (again!) It's a wonderful feeling! Then I was blessed with the opportunity to come to Florida and be able to see this little sweet Prince. And that's where I've been for over the last month.

Since my main job necessities are: computer, internet, fax machine, phone...I can virtually work from anywhere (in essence). So I've been able to stay in Florida and become what Katie (the lovely new mama) and I have termed "fransistant."

It's a combination of three jobs: friend + nanny + assistant. Each are very important! I've been friends with Katie and the bossman (Jordan) for over 5 years now. I met them in college and we've all been happily friended ever since! Although if I must say, they are more like family to me than friends. Being a nanny has been a whole new experience for me--I grew up as the youngest of two children, and don't remember much from my little Mel days. Jordan and Katie were the first of my friends to have children, and when their first was born I wasn't able to be around all the time because I lived in a different area.

So being able to be with the little guy all the time has been great! Babies are so much fun and he's really doing all the cute stuff like cooing and looking up at me when I talk...and it's also good practice for my future, too, when I one day aspire to be a mommy myself!

And then, the assistant part--I'm still doing some work for the company as well. :)

This year has been a true blessing for me--I went from a bunch of question marks in my life to really appreciating what I do have. I'm happy, healthy, and am surrounded by people who love me and inspire me.

Really, who could ask for anything more?

I hope this holiday season finds you surrounded by loved ones and with warm hearts. I will try to post again soon but if not, have a Happy New Year and I'll see you in 2011!

xs and os

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charlotte 101: Lesson One: A Very [Charlotte] Halloween!

Hey y'all! It's me, the intermittent blogger! (and today's English lesson teaches us that intermittent means alternately ceasing and beginning again).

So I've been shacked up in Charlotte for about a month now, and man what a place! You've seen the digs, so it's time for a little Charlotte 101 for your future travels in this town!

1. Sometimes it's okay to bust through and blatantly run a red light. Now, I know this might seem really weird, because it still is to me, but I've seen this done way too many times for it to be a coincidence. Don't worry, I am a rule-abiding driver and don't dare do this, not to mention it's highly dangerous and flat out stupid.

2. Pedestrians *do* have the right-of-way, and often enforce this rule to the brink of death. I've seen people run out in front of me a few times, and mind you I am in an F-150. Really, people??

3. I know I said this in my last post, but it needs reinforcing--people are friendly here. I've had more people talk to me after meeting eye contact. Or maybe I've just got a 'please talk to me' face, which could be true, too. But for now I'm going to assume it's a Charlotte thing.

4. Lunch time runs from 12-2, not a usual 12-1. When going out for lunch between the hours of 1 and 2, I have noticed a significant wait time or an abundance of people at the local haunts where I eat. Which reminds me, if you're in the area you HAVE to, HAVE TO eat at The Cookout. It's a fast food burger joint, but everything tastes like it came off the grill in your backyard. Thanks, Maggie and Meg, for the heads up on that awesome place!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and usually I celebrate it by going to a Halloween Party hosted by one of the best friends, but this year I am spending it here in town. I thought, "I'm not going to sit around and let Halloween go by without doing some sort of celebrating, even if I don't put on a costume!"

Of course, I had this revelation yesterday, approximately 2 days from the holiday. But of course, I take my go-get-em attitude and tell myself, "Self, you can do this!" And I took myself to Wal-Mart yesterday. Where I only bought candy. For reasons unknown to me, I forgot to get anything else. But hey, I was ready for kids to come knocking on my door.

This morning I wake up and think "I should carve a pumpkin! It's tradition!" And I take my new found excitement and put it off for a few hours. After getting some real work done (because that's the reason I'm here in the first place), I decide to make the trek to the big W.

I am telling you this right now--no matter what holiday it is, never wait until the day before or the day of to try to get anything holiday-concerned done. Just don't do it. And if you are going to take the chance and brave the stores, do not, for all that is Holy, get a big shopping buggy.

I made that mistake, and it was an absolute nightmare. First of all, everyone and their cousin was trying to shop in the same three aisles. Parents who waited till the last minute to get their child's costumes (shame on you, by the way, because they were not marked down yet) were crowding the aisles and when I tried to scoot by, I got the death glare. Apparently All Hallows Eve is the one time that Charlotte-folk turn off their friendly charm and let their inner devil's shine through.

Second of all, Wal-Mart was cleaned out. Of course there were costumes left and some stage make-up, and the occasional baking pan (because people are in a panic now and don't have time to make home-baked goodies), but the one thing that I wanted was non-existent: the pumpkin carving kits that have those cool little wheels and tiny knives for precision and intricate details.

See, I pride myself on being a serious pumpkin carver. Of course, I have a hard time doing it from scratch because my drawing abilities are good if you want a stick figure or a cloud. Beyond that I am not good. But I felt that with the use of those little tools I could be semi-decent. Plus, the stencils that come with it are pretty awesome.

Well, I got my pumpkin and waited in line for about half an hour in the SPEEDY check-out line to pay for a $3.00 vegetable. But I will give Wal-Mart credit because they still had an ample supply of good-looking pumpkins left.

Exhibit A: My super awesome $2.98 pumpkin

Not to be outdone by Wal-Mart, I trekked across town to my local Super Target because I thought "of course Target will have what I need! They'll never run out because they are smart and stock up on that stuff!"

Ladies and Gentlemen, I was proved wrong. Target was even scarier than Wal-Mart. Granted, Target had more kids' costumes left then the big W, but Target was marking certain Halloween items 50% off. So people flocked to those aisles like it was Black Friday. This time I was smart and did not take a cart, so I could navigate a bit easier. But seriously people, don't block the aisle with your large cart and your baby because your other child can't decide if he wants the pumpkin trick-or-treat bucket or a bag. Because it's irritating and rude.

Finally, after searching the aisles, I come across the box where the Pumpkin Carving Supplies are. I see a few things sitting in it and I rejoice inwardly. Until I realize that what's in the box are discarded garlands that fell off the hooks, and an empty Starbucks cup.

Gross. Cue letdown.

I only have one option at this point: do-it-myself. And since I'd already bought the pumpkin, I accepted the challenge. I grabbed a bowl to put the previously bought Halloween candy in and a few other items I needed for the house and head home to get to work.

I downloaded a free stencil online (that's a great resource, by the way. Let the Internet be your best friend!) and got to work. After an hour of tracing and slicing, and almost taking my finger off a few times, I finished!

I present to you, in color, my Halloween Pumpkin!

And one more, with my Halloween candy stash, just because I got really excited about it all!

If you can't figure it out by the photo, it's a goofy Frankenstein face :) I forgot to get a tea light to put inside him, so tomorrow I will brave the stores again in search of something to light him up with!

On a side note, it's official: Fall is here! This is my first time living in a state that has a real Fall, and not those silly Florida Falls. Right outside our house you can see all the leaves changing and it's so beautiful and magical and makes me happy.

And thus concludes this post. Thanks for hanging out with me for a bit and I wish you were here! :)

Until next time,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Really....Where in the world am I?!

I bet by now you've been dutifully checking this blog (at least that's what I hope) but you've been saddened to not find an update since Aug. 28th. Yeah, I could give you a ton of apologies and excuses, but would you really read that? No! (sorry, I answered for you)

Because you'd rather know where I am, right? Am I right? YES! (again, I'm very demanding on this blog)

Well, I have moved out of Albany, NY, and am now living in *drumroll please*....

CHARLOTTE, NC! A super beautiful and friendly place to live.

I'll give you an abbreviated timeline of the last month or so of my life.

September 1-15, I worked worked worked.

September 15-25ish, I had a small vacation in Florida, in which I packed up some stuff to bring to NC, and also got to spend time with family and friends :)

September 26-present day, I am busy getting settled in my new place, and also getting back to the working grind!

So, forgive me yet? I sure hope you do, because this blog would be pointless if you gave up on me now! I promise I'll try to be a better blogger for you!

And now that all that is out of the way, can I tell you how awesome North Carolina is? The sweet tea flows here like water (cool points for Charlotte) and there is tons of barbeque!

Keep your eyes peeled for Charlotte 101's in upcoming posts. That way if you're ever in the area you know what to eat and where to go!

Here's your first tip to navigating around Charlotte: Get a GPS. And then make sure you understand the difference between the Inner and Outer loops of the 485. Because Charlotte's a big old city, and you'll get lost and be way out of the way if you get on the wrong one!

Also, it;s okay to nod, smile, and wave at people! They love it here. So don't hesitate to brighten someones day (and yours) by being friendly.

Okay, I know you're anxiously awaiting the pictures I have for you. Here are a few snapshots from my new living quarters. We've got some serious decorating to do, so some rooms I have no included because they are simply empty and white walled with white floor. So I've taken it upon myself to pick out the best rooms to display here for you!

Ready for the tour? Here we go!

The walk-up to the house! So cute, right?

The view when you walk in the house. Straight through to the dining room/kitchen/temporary office

Right now our temporary office. Work in Progress, People!

A kinda stinky view of the kitchen. It's so bright in there with that window! But it's huge and lots of room for me to make yummy food!

The downstairs to the living room, which right now, is nothing much to look at

The living room has a faux fireplace! Well, I think it's fake. If not, I sure have no idea how to use it!

Then we travel upstairs, where the most exciting part of the tour takes place!

My bathroom, my very own bathroom that I don't have to share!

My closet--that I have been neatly organizing, because sometimes my OCD gets the best of me :)

My comfy, big girl bed :)

So the layout of the house goes as such:
-You walk in on the second floor.
-Basement downstairs has the living room and Roommate #1's bedroom.
-Second floor (main) has office, kitchen, dining room, and half bath.
-Third floor has my room, Roommate #2's bedroom, and each our own bathrooms.

:) It's lovely. And beautiful. I can't wait to get to decorating!

Until we meet again,
Have a good day y'all!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Albany 101: Lesson Four: Country Roads & Packing Up

Hello friends and readers! *waves*

It's been about a century since I've posted last, and I know that you are all chomping at the bit to know what's been going on, right? Well, we've been busy as ever in the company, which is a GREAT thing, because busy means we're in good shape, and being in good shape means I get to keep my job :)
A few weekends ago the weather started to cool off a bit in preparation for fall, and so the temperature has dropped slightly. Currently, today, at 3pm EST, the weather is 80 Degrees Farenheit, with winds at 9mph. That means it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Seriously, I would love to sit outside on a blanket and just enjoy this cooled off day--well, by cooled off, I mean, cooler than Florida, which I am sure is a sweltering temperature with high humidity. I don't miss it. I miss you all, but not the poofy hair and sweating in the car. I'd take NY hands down. At least on days like these. Maybe not in the dead of winter. Then, Florida might sound tempting, hehe.

Well, anway, since the weather's been so nice, I've taken to driving with the windows down and some soothing music on my radio (well, at least the most soothing I can find--I don't have a CD player in my truck, just a radio, so that's been interesting). I think it was two weekends ago that I was wondering, "what happens when you turn right out of our apartment complex?" because usually my GPS Wendy tells me to always take a left.

So I decided to be spontaneous and take a right. Boy was I ever glad I did that. It was GORGEOUS country roads and rolling hills. I felt so calm and relaxed and just in awe of everything. And, I'll go ahead and admit right now that this was not my best idea, but I took some pictures while I was driving. I don't recommend this at all. It's kinda dangerous. But since I was the only one on this road, I promise I drove real slow and carefully. That being said, please enjoy my art gallery of "Turning Right on New Scotland Road."

This is in front of a subdivision, so pretty.
just so you know, I wasn't going 45mph. It was more like 25-30. I was being safe :) And LOOK! A legitimate rolling hill!
The grass was SO rich and green. And the sky.....ugh so perfect.

This is a corn field! There was a huge corn farm! It was really cool!

Lots of trees give this a very "down home" feel, and the people at their houses even waved at me. I'm sure they thought I was crazy but who really cares?

Beautiful, huh? The sky was SO blue that day, and seriously, and I know this sounds lame, but I wanted to cry it was so beautiful. You just don't get scenery like that in Florida.

And since this is such a picture-filled posts, I wanted to educate you all on a little town that I frequent called Delmar. It's a tiny little town down the street from Slingerlands, and it has some restaurants, shops, and other little stores. But the best part is the antique feel this town has. It reminds me a lot of DeLand and of course I took some photos for you.

There she is, Slingerlands! Not far from Albany at all!

Ok this is really cool. This lady took a double-decker bus and turned it into a mobile cupcake store! I haven't been inside it yet, but from the looks of it, it's right up my alley!

Ah the little town of Delmar. So quaint. And on the left, I<3 NY Pizza? Yeah that place is so good. And it's true, I really do love New York Pizza.

Another look at the little town, more from the inside of my truck. It's just SO darn cute!
So, that's it for the photo updates, but I wanted to share all of the beauty with you so you can see why I don't mind it here too much :)

In other news, my time in NY is drawing to a close, and we are transitioning to a new area for work. That's right, it's time for me to fill those suitcases back up and move! Albany, you've been great, but now it's time to head to Charlotte, North Carolina! We are planning on being there in mid-September, so watch for Lessons on Charlotte 101. I'm really excited about this move--the Southern girl in me is craving more sweet tea and a potentially warmer winter. And not to mention, they have Sonny's BBQ in Charlotte *trust me, I already Googled that!*

Of course, this poses a new problem. I've already outgrown my suitcases! Having two weeks' worth of clothes was not at all what it was cracked up to be. And since we live literally 5 minutes away from the mall, AND they have a Gap (my weakness store), plus a JC Penney (my second fave) I have stocked up on the staples: jeans, tops, jacket, sweatshirt, skirts. Needless to say, I doubt I can live out of the two suitcases I previously started out with. But that should be alright--once we get to Charlotte, I am going to have a closet :) This makes me happy!

I hope to post again soon. Thanks to those of you who leave comments--I like seeing your thoughts on the postings! And to those of you who just read, thank you too! It means alot to me that you take time to check in on my life.

I'm so blessed to have you all in my life and I cannot say it enough. Thanks for the encouragements, prayers, and awesome care packages.

Care packages, I say? Why yes I did! Kendall and Hadley were so kind to send me a box filled with love! And by filled with love, I mean candy, Cheezits, Nail Polish, and some toys, like a miniature bowling set! I love you gals! Thank you!

Alright, I've rambled your ear off enough. Until we meet again!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Albany 101: Lesson three: Cliff Notes

You know what makes me feel good? Being pestered to update the blog. Yes, I am talking about you Katie and Kristina. Silly girls. Well you kept bugging and here it is!

So much has happened since the last time I updated. There are a few things I have learned that I want to share with you to help you survive if you are suddenly left in the Albany, NY area.

1. Make sure you go the speed limit. In Florida, 55 mph usually means its acceptable to go 70 mph on I-4. However, in Albany, people actually adhere to the limits. Weird. Also, when they say go 15mph on the exits, they MEAN it. Everything here is older than Florida and there are a lot more hills. So when you exit, you're usually doing some crazy wild turns. So, if you're ever in a huge truck,

2. Wave at people. They like it. I'm not saying everyone is friendlier here, but I have noticed that people are more willing to return a smile or a nod. It makes you feel happy, right? So make sure you let people know you've made eye contact!

3. Remember you are in the North. People do things different then they do in Florida. Okay that one is specifically for me but its a good one to take note of. That's the point of seeing other places right? To see how the world lives?

4. Have air conditioning. It's maybe maxed out here at 85 degrees but without air conditioning it feels unbearable. And sticky.

Overall, things are great! My hair doesn't poof (the humidity is not as bad) which automatically makes me feel more like a girl then a Chia Pet!

Im sorry this is a short post. I promise I have tons of pictures to post soon, but I just found out I have to be at a job site bright and early a la 7:45 am so I have to get some stuff done before I hit the haystacks!

I miss you all and love that I can keep in touch with you!