Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apartment Hunting Again--Out on My Own.

It's been a wild weekend. My lease is up in a few weeks and I'm looking to move somewhere more centrally located.

I've also decided to move out by on my own. That's right. No roommate. It's a big expense but I feel good about it.

Unfortunately, finding an apartment on your own is harder than it sounds. Some of these places were tiny! And they wanted so much money! I thought I left New York prices behind but apparently they exist.

Luckily, I found a place that is perfect! A little pricey but it's gorgeous, well maintained and the land lady is a sweetheart. Plus it is large enough that if I ever lost my job or had to take a pay cut, I could split it and rent a second room.

But in the meantime, I'm reading all these apartment blogs and living like it's my first place. Because it's my OWN place.

Check these blogs out

MapThatPad Blog

My New Place


My First Apartment

Ikea Hacker

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Just Feng-Shui'd Your Hair

Sometimes, there is nothing more refreshing than a brand new haircut. I have hit a wall lately. I've been training for a 10K and hit 5 miles this week. I've never felt better.

But the career and apartment prospects have not been looking so great. Money is tight and I'm getting to that post-graduate place of sadness.

So when my new hairstylist (a friend of a friend of a friend's boyfriend) pointed to the seven inches of curly brown hair on the floor and said "That's your old life on floor," I knew that this little change would change my outlook on my life.

I have a little more pep in my step this Monday morning. I feel more put together and the assistant in the office next door to me (coworkers but not direct coworkers) says I look brighter.

I do feel as though he feng-shui'd my hair.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Football

The Emmys were last night and I was so stoked to see Jason Katims and Kyle Chandler go home with the statues in their categories. Friday Night Lights was an excellent and inspirational show. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

In other football news, Clemson beat Auburn this weekend. I went to a school without a football team but my brother is a Clemson alum so I was rooting for them Saturday morning. It was awesome!

They pulled off a stunning victory and Head Coach Dabo Swinney gave away the secret to life on Sportscenter when commenting on the victory.

We got greatness in us, so I told em 'You got greatness in you but you gotta make a decision to be great.' They made a decision to be great today."

I only found out about this because my brother posted this on his wall and said " I hope people realize this doesn't just apply to football."

So true. It doesn't just apply to football. We have to choose to achieve our goals and go after our dreams. Thank you Dabo for reminding me of that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One is Silver and The Other is Gold

It's shaping up to be a busy fall for me. I'm working full-time and have just stepped into three leadership roles in Los Angeles organizations.

Well not really LA organizations.

I was asked to join to Alumni Committees for my university and have stepped in as Chairman of my sororitie's local alumnae club. I'm also a Reunion Chair for my high school reunion this fall. I'm so excited to go back to that tiny bubble town!

How do I get myself involved in all these things?

That's what my mom always asks me. She tells me I'm putting myself last. But I don't see it that way. These committees help me meet new people and make new friends.

But they are also a good way to bring together my new friends and my old NYC friends who have just arrived in LA. We all end meeting each other at mixers or alumni events and it makes it easier for me to balance the two.

How do you keep in touch with your old friends? Introduce them to new ones? Do the two groups blend seamlessly or not at all?

Friday, August 19, 2011

All Roads Lead To Rome: Navitagating Post Grad Life

I popped in to visit a few friends after work last night. We're all about a year out of college and it's interesting to see where are paths have taken us.

One of us is working something close to her dream job but works such crazy hours that it's a miracle to hear from her more than once a week.

Myself and another friend work steady jobs with fluctuating hours. I think hers is closer to something she wants to do long term than mine but overall, we're pretty happy.

Another friend just dropped down to part-time at her sales job to make time to break into another industry.

We complained about a lot of things--our hours, our bosses, our salaries, our coworkers. But then my one friend piped up and said that "All roads lead to Rome."

I've always said "What's meant to happen, will happen." But I realize this is a passive outlook on life and our career. I like my friend's phrase better because it tells you that you can't just wait for the "right" job to fall into your lap. You have to walk down the road.

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Post Grad Edu-Ma-Cation

Just over a year ago I was back in New York City getting my diploma from NYU. I sat in the rain in Yankee Stadium and looked back on the good times. The good classes. Flashforward to today when I realized I don't learn much anymore.

I barely read. I barely watch the news. 90% of my twitter is personal finance related (@emptypocketgrad) or pop-culture related (@nameyouwillnotknow).

In other words---I'm getting dumb.

And watching this SavvySugar slideshow made me realize it. Though I've learned some life lessons, overall I've stopped educating myself.

But what can I do? I don't have the time or patience for a night class. I also don't have the money now that I'm pursuing personal training.

I've tried signing up for ITunesU courses but there is one fatal flaw---I can't put them on my Ipod. What good is it if I can't listen to a Yale philosophy class on life and death at the gym or on the drive to work?

So now, I'm onto podcasts. I have downloaded a couple--now I just need to turn off Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly in the morning and listen to them.

Here's what I have so far

1) WritingExcuses. A 15-20 minute podcast hosted by 4 novelist/comic book writers talking about genre, craft, and the profession of writing. They're funny and they always end with a writing prompt (Fact: recently went and wrote all the prompts into a WordDoc to be completed later)

2) CoffeeBreak Spanish/CoffeeBreak French. I do have this goal to learn Spanish one day. But for now, I'm just going to brush up on ma francais.

3) Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. I am a huge fan of this news quiz comedy show and have even been to two tapings in NYC and CT. Unfortunately, this show also highlights my newfound dumbness.

4) NPR's Talk of The Nation. I haven't actually listened to this guy yet but it seems fascinating. Must hit play. Tomorrow.

I used to also listen to KCRW's The Business but it was too job related but if you want to learn about showbiz...they have great interviews.

But that's what I've got for now. Any other suggestions for podcasts? Any other tips you recommend keeping my brain sharp? Please don't suggest sudoku or crosswords--I struggle.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today I Tried Something New

This summer has definitely been adventures. I have met new people in LA, tried new things I have always wanted to do (hiking! UCB!), and now I've made a lifestyle choice.

I have hired a personal trainer. I had my first appointment today and boy was it tough. My trainer bases most of her workouts in boot camp style training. I have always been afraid of bootcamps because they seem uncompromising. And they are!

But I'm glad I went this route. At one point I know I got a little short with her because she was super chatty. I love it byt when I'm doing lunges for a minute per leg...I get a little snippy. Especially if it's my left leg. Sorry!

Overall, I feel better than ever. I had a good time and I came out feeling like I had a great workout and a calendar for the next week. It looks like:

Monday: Rest + Stretch, watch Another Earth!

Tuesday: 30-40 Minutes of Cardio, Burn 400-500 calories

Wednesday: Pushups/Situps + Softball Game

Thursday: Training

Friday: 30 Minutes of Incline Walking, Core 7 minutes

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Strength Training

Sounds fun no? I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Migraine: Tension Headaches and TMJ

This weekend was not as relaxing as I would hope. Though I wasn't exactly running around like crazy--I was plagued by the worst headaches. Though I did sneak in a long gym session and got my bike maintenancedI spent most of my time on the couch. Figuring some Advil, water and good movies would help but no. One movie in and I felt worse. By Sunday night I ended up in bed at 10pm and slept til 8pm because my head hurt so much. I'm 90% sure that the headaches are caused by TMJ--the nuisance in my life. But I still wish I had a way to get rid of them. Do any of you have crippling migraines? How do you treat and prevent them?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Post Grad (re)Connections

It's a rainy cold day in Los Angeles and while perusing Twitter, I found this great USA Today Education blog, "15 Things I've learned as a Post-Grad" by Charlsie Niemiec.

All fifteen points are very well thought out and I've come to many of the same conclusions in the last year.

But Number Seven is my favorite.

7. Reconnecting with friends you lost contact with isn’t such a bad idea.
After graduation, everyone goes his or her own way, so you never know who might
surprise you in hopes of reconnecting.

Best point ever. Not only does this apply to real friends---but missed connections. Acquaintances and classmates you only know through email and facebook.

You know back in your sophomore year when you took that class about Ancient Chinese Art and you had the presentation partner who was actually a cool kid? But then you never kept in touch.

That happened a lot to me. Especially at NYU. In a school of 35,000 undergraduates it is expected. But as an LA transplant, the NYU in LA kids really seek each other out.

I met up for lunch with an old classmatefrom a sophomore year who I have not seen for literally three and half years. But I noticed that he moved to LA (thanks Facebook) and we met up.

It was great! Such a good idea because I feel like had I gone to smaller school--we would have been friends.

I encourage you, readers, not only to have a LinkedIn and a Facebook but to also be brave and reach out to people you haven't talked to in a long time. After college, everyone loses their footing and has to start over again--worst case they ignore you.

Good luck!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Re-evaulating My Time and Making a Habit

I'm very lucky that I was able to be employed right out of college. I work for a great company in a great department. But in the end--it's still a 9-6 job and I graduated with BFA. I need something creative goshdarnit.

Unfortunately as most students, recent graduates and not so recent graduates know--it's not 6-11 creative stuff after I come home from work at 7.

First of all, when I come home from I generally get distracted by other things. Like how I think I'm going to get up and go to the gym at 5:30am. And making meals for the next few days. Paying bills.

Not terribly exciting right?

Then there are worldly distractions such as Netflix and Hulu. Do I want to watch a Bones and Booth solve their latest DC murder with the squints? Or catch up on Nikita? Or watch this DVD of Exit Through the Gift Shop that has been laying on my desk for the last month.

While these options are more exciting and are furthering my knowledge of my industry, still not what I'm talking about.

Then what about writing articles for web publications, this blog, tweeting. Or look--xyz.com is looking for contributing writers.

Better but not quite.

As you can see, my mind is really distracted lately. I have so many options and not enough time to cover all of them. So what is the best way to maintain focus?

Unfortunately, creativity isn't necessarily and on and off switch. But I think the most important thing is that I put my butt in my chair, stay off the internet, and write. I might write pure crap.

But at least I'm putting in the hours and forming a good habit.

Reader Question:
What's your advice for forming a hobby keeping habit?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Read 3.4.2011

This week's weekend read relates to all things spring, new and fresh. This includes discovering places, things and twitter handles

  1. Top Five Twitter Handles to Follow 2011 [Fit Bottomed Girls]
  2. Are Business Cards Passe? [The Financialite]
  3. Five Great Ways to Spring Clean Your Resume [Business Insider]
  4. Where to Go Now: Getting Most of Your Dollar [LearnVest]
Though these were all super exciting articles--LearnVest's shout to Buenos Aires made me ecstatic! I want to go back to BA!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Flailing Thru February

I feel like the past 30 or so days I have just been stumbling through each week. Looking at my calendar, I'm so happy that tomorrow I get to write February off as a disaster and turn over a new leaf.

How did I get to this point?

In late January I went on my first company trip. Company trips--especially one of this nature. We went somewhere freezing cold and it was a high stress week. I work from 6am-3am almost everyday and was surprised I stayed afloat.

Of course, when I came back we launched into February and I crashed. I got sick. I stopped blogging. I barely exercised. I became freaking miserable.

I even failed to acknowledge the AWESOME smoothie recipe, The FinancialLite left me in the comments section.

So tomorrow, I'm jumpstarting my goals again. Bringing in more energy to life and work. Spring Cleaning has to start in my head I guess.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Are You There Blender? It's Me ...

One of my new year's resolutions is to overall treat my body better. Workout consistently. Eat better. Get More Sleep. All together have more energy!

I've noticed over the past few months I've been kind of...blegh. For lack of a better sound. I've had this problem before: low energy, constant sniffles, sleeping for hours thenwaking up tired. What it all comes down to is that I'm not taking care of myself.

Though there are many contributing factors, I've realized the one I can control right now is my diet. Like most Americans--I don't eat enough vegetables and fruits. I don't particularly like eating raw vegetables. Actually I do but it aggravates my TMJ-stricken jaw. And I have never been creative about cooking them in interesting, flavorful way.

So while I'm figuring that cooking part, I've decided to dust off my favorite kitchen device.

The Blender.

If I wasn't a poor recent graduate I'd have a juicer but the blender will have to do. One handful of spinach, mango, mixed berries and beets at a time, I plan to drink to my health.

So far so good. I just finished a mixed greens and mango smoothie.

The question for you dear readers is:

Well-seasoned adults and Gen Y'ers alike, how do you meet your vegetable & fruit quota each day? Any recipes you want to share?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekend Read 1.6.2011

The first weekend read of 2011 focuses on the future...

1. What Does Temp Hiring Say about the Drop In Unemployment? [Time]
2. Where To Get Income These Days [FreeMoneyFinance]
3. College Isn't About The Boys: Why Women's Colleges Still Matter [USA Today College]
4. Best Money Tips: Part-time Jobs With Benefits [Wisebread]
5. Ponytail Height and Intelligence: What Our Hair Says About Us [HerCampus]
6. Lady Tears are Total Boner-Killers [Jezebel]

Number Three is a blog all its own. I went to an all-girl's high school and this article is spot on. Number Six just got lots of talk with my friends on Twitter.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bringgg! 5am Wake Up Call

Bring Bring! That is my alarm this morning telling me to get up at 5am and get my butt out of bed. Out the door and having a near encounter with a homeless man in my carport, I drove to the gym.

No one was there! Me and the front desk person for the first 30 minutes. More people arrived around 6 but I loved being in a near empty gym. No lines for equipment and plenty of space for my new work out.

I did 20 minutes on the elliptical at a moderate pace before jumping into circuits. I had to re order it a bit for convenience sake but basically it was

Circuit 1 (15 reps of each, complete 2 times)

Bicep Curls with 8 lbs hand weights
Lunges with 8 lbs hand weights
Squats with Shoulder Press with 8 lbs handweights

Kettlebell Swings with a 15 lbs bell
Front Raise with Body Bar (9 lbs)
Upright Row with Body Bar (15 lbs)

5 minutes on the StairMaster

Circuit 2 (15 reps, 2 sets)
Resistance band walks (shuffling side to side with resistance band around ankles)
Pectoral Flys (5 lbs weights, hold bridge on stability ball)
Chest Press (5 lbs weights, hold bridge on stability ball)
Tricep Overhead Press (5 lbs weights)

Planks (two times for 45 seconds)
Leg Raises
Single Leg Stretch


The END!

The hardest part of this workout was definitely the triceps. I have to really focus maintain good form and not let my shoulders do the work. I also didn't get to do the resistance band walks because I couldn't find it! Put equipment back where it belongs people.

The rest of the day was relatively uneventful. I am reevaluating my finances this week etc.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, Fresh Start

I'm back! After a 10 day vacation, I'm back at the desk and ready to rumble in sunny (but cold) LA. I have yet to write up my New Year's resolutions post but most are pretty typical. How have I been doing thus far?

I have somehow managed to fight off jetlag thus far and return to the USA with energy. As a result, my first goal to get up early to work out has started off on the right foot.

I set my alarm for 6:30 but woke up naturally around 5:55am for a run. But I had to wait to go because it was still dark out. What?

In my spare 30 minutes I sorted through the two months of bills laying on top of my filing box. Yes I paid all of them on time, they just needed to be filed. All done in 20 minutes! Then I headed out for my run. It was little cold and I started too fast but I made it through 2 miles.

My other goal is to pack more lunches again--I prepped a salad with beets, corn and chicken the night before so I just grabbed that and was ready to go. Unfortunately, I still snuck over to the cafeteria for 99 cent curly fries. BAD me!

Halfway through the day and I'm doing okay! Tomorrow I'm hoping to make it to the gym at 5:30am and hoping to hear good news from my landlord (might be adopting a dog, still number crunching).

Nothing Better Than A Home Cooked Meal

My roomie made Turkey Bolognese after I went to sleep Tuesday night (jetlag is sneaking up). I opened the fridge and there was a ton left over so emailed her to ask if I could have some for dinner.

Roomie should win an award. It was the best day to end a Wednesday