The Holidays Are Coming

It’s almost Thanksgiving! Where has the year gone?

Anyways, I’ve been working from for about a month now and it’s a lot cooler than I thought it was going to be. I don’t get too bored and there is not a lot of free time so I’m usually pretty busy for almost the whole day. I get to go for runs on my lunch (sometimes) and it gives me more time to plan out my dinners.

Lorenzo and I are still on the vegetarian experiment until Thanksgiving, even though we totally cheated on Saturday and went to The Melting Pot and had filet mignon and chicken with dinner. It was so worth it. I also made my own cheese dip using the fondue maker Lorenzo’s sister gave us for Christmas last year. I made with with beer using a recipe I saw on Facebook for macaroni and cheese. It turned out pretty good, even though I think I used too much beer. Lorenzo and I don’t drink beer as our normal alcoholic beverage of choice so the funniest thing about that night was going to buy the beer. We had no idea which to use; we were staring at all the options like we were actually making a really important decision. We ended up getting this huge can of Bud Light from the gas station and I didn’t even use it all. (side note: how long can you leave an open can of beer in the fridge? A day? Two?)

Maybe I’ll try it again (with a better beer) and see how it turns out. But for now I’ll stick to just the cheese. This is going to be a short week because Thanksgiving coming up and Lorenzo and I are heading out to Myrtle Beach again this year to spend time with his family (I wanted to go back to New Jersey for Christmas but was too lazy to book a flight). Plus I wanted to see if I could save some money this month. I let my credit cards bills get a little out of control, plus Christmas is coming up so I didn’t want to make any unnecessary purchases. AND, two of my sisters and my brother are coming to visit in January and I want to make sure to show them a good time. Plus it’s probably cold as hell in NJ, and I really don’t want to deal with it.

Lorenzo and I may do some Black Friday shopping because we need a few things for the house, but I’m not going to be out there early in the morning fighting a crowd. If we have time we’ll go later on in the day after the crazies have long gone home and see what’s available. This should be fun…yay… (I know it’s hard to tell what my tone is because I’m writing, but that last sentence was complete sarcasm).


Happy Birthday USMC!

Today marks the United States Marine Corps’ 240th Birthday. And I’m not sure if you know any Marines, but if you do, you already know that today is a BIG deal.

Every year- every company (I’m not sure if they call them units, companies or what, but for the sake of my sanity that’s what I’m going to call them today) will have a Ball to celebrate. This year Lorenzo’s company had there’s in Cobb Galleria this past Saturday. There were 2 companies there celebrating the event. It’s really nice to see everyone looking sharp in their Dress Blues. I’ve always been a fan of their uniform- I definitely prefer it to the Army’s. I don’t know if it’s the hat or the sword or what- but they always look great.

This was my second time going to the Ball with Lorenzo. I opted out last year because the year before that I had no one to talk to while Lorenzo was part of the ceremony. This year there were some familiar faces, and now I’m looking forward to going next year because one of our friends said that they will come next time. Here are some of the pictures:


Happy 240th USMC!

Getting Myself Together

I am such a slacker.

I’m going to tell you why I’m such a slacker: I’ve been working from home for almost 3 weeks and I haven’t written a single post. That is terrible. I spend the day working but when I’m done Lorenzo and I will go to the gym for a few hours before we have dinner. We’ve also been helping Lorenzo’s sister create her own exercise and meal plan to help her lose weight and get in shape.

Lorenzo and I also decided to give up meat (with the exception of seafood) until Thanksgiving. I wanted to do it for a full month but I forgot we are traveling to see his family for Thanksgiving and I doubt that not eating meat would fly too well. We are only 5 days in and so far so good. I even went out on a limb and had a Quinoa burger with marinated beets for lunch yesterday. It wasn’t bad but it took me a long time afterwards to determine if I was still hungry or not. I honestly wasn’t sure. I think my stomach was trying to psych me out and make me think that I wasn’t so I would try to get some beef instead.

Putting limits on the stuff I’m used to is going to force me to branch out and try other things and I’m completely open to that. Growing up, Lorenzo and I were very limited as to what we ate. Lorenzo had never been to a restaurant until he was 16 or 17. My mom never branched out with anything beyond what she knew and the only thing she knew was mostly traditional southern food. I swear we ate chicken and rice so much I thought I was going to grow feathers.

So it’s safe to say Lorenzo and I are pretty open minded when it comes to food. I was kind of surprised he went for the vegetarian thing. But this is good, because it’ll force me to cook more and make sure we are getting plenty of vegetables in our diet.

Oh! And speaking of cooking- we went to a cooking class the other day. It was at Sur la Table and it was actually pretty cool. It helps that both Lorenzo and I already know how to cook, it was just nice to learn something new. I had brussel sprouts! My mom never used to make them growing up and then the perception that you have of them from television is that they are gross so I was never eager to try them. I have come to learn that is not necessarily true. They are actually quite good.

Cooking Class

One day I might get fancy and try to make them myself.

Anyway I need to make sure I don’t neglect my writing. I’ll have to get focused and get myself together to make sure I don’t stop writing. No excuses.

Off To A Good Start

So I started working my new job this week (which is really just my old job revisited) and so far things are off to a good start. I remember more than I thought I did and it’s really not that hard to be retrained remotely. I honestly thought that would be a little more complicated than it is.

I do get a little lonely because I am at home by myself, but I try to fill the small amounts of downtime with some household chores. This will also give me an opportunity to cook more because Lorenzo and I go out A LOT. I don’t even want to know how much money we spend on food.

I think in the past 2 weeks alone we’ve been to at least 3 high end restaurants and then a few more local restaurants…well let me just put it like this: I only remember cooking dinner at home maybe 3 times in the past few weeks. Just in the past few days we’ve been to Ruth’s ChrisThe Palm, and the Cheesecake Factory only because I didn’t feel like cooking. To be fair, I think I can con Lorenzo into going to The Palm anytime I want because he LOVES that place. But this week I want to try Ted’s Montana Grill because I have never been there before. Lorenzo has, plenty of times (surprise! surprise!) but this will be a first go round for me.

And speaking of food- because if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that about 1/3 of my posts are about food- I found this website on Instagram called Try The World- where for $39 every 2 months you’ll receive a box full of goodies from another country. Because there was a sale I got 2 boxes, one from Spain and the other from France. I’ll be sure to review the products and take photos as I go. Some of the items in the boxes included: tea bags, Dijon mustard, cookies, a fig jam, hot paprika, an orange marmalade, and a chestnut spread- which I have no idea what to do with buy the way. But I’ll figure it out and keep you guys posted.

In other news we also joined a gym (it’s actually the local YMCA but they have more equipment than any of the other gyms in this area and a pool- you can’t beat access to an indoor pool all year around) and Lorenzo gets to play basketball more often so he’s happy about that. Now I have no excuse not to get my lazy butt back in the gym.

New food to cook and new workout plan. This should be interesting.

5 Ways To Get Yourself Kicked Off My Zombie Apocalypse Team

Guess what is happening tonight? The Walking Dead returns! (whoohooo)

Lorenzo introduced me to this show a few years ago and I thought I was going to hate it…but boy was I wrong. I love the show and there are times when I am at work when dealing with a ridiculous customer that I wish that the apocalypse would just start right then and there.

Lorenzo and I have this running joke where almost everything we do revolves around preparing for the apocalypse. When we are in the car or walking around and we see someone doing something…well…stupid, we always talk about how they would never be able to be a part of our survival team. Sometimes our workouts are catered to preparing for it (hint: there’s usually a lot of cardio involved).

Here are a few things that would get you kicked off of our team:

  1. You’re stupid. This is a big deal. Please don’t be “that guy”. You know, the one making all the bad decisions?
  2. You are scared to kill a zombie. Kill or be zombie food.
  3. You’re useless. Don’t be a Eugene. Have some sort of skill that can be used for the good of the group.
  4. You’re reckless. Sometimes you might have to take a risk, but don’t get other people killed because you have thrill issues.
  5. You can’t hack it. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Have your nervous breakdown / panic attack in your room at night, not when it’s time to fight off a herd.

This list is obviously a work in progress. People never cease to amaze us with the crazy things they do so I’m sure there will be an updated list later on.

What are your apocalypse pet peeves?

When Opportunity Knocks

A few of Lorenzo’s friends from college still live here in Atlanta. They all have the same degree (something fancy with computers, art, design, and programming) and only a few of them are actually working in their field today. When a few positions opened up in Albuquerque where Lorenzo used to work, he told 2 of his friends about it. One was working in retail and the other at a tattoo shop. They would have had to move to New Mexico, obviously, and Lorenzo offered to help with the transition since they haven’t been practicing in the field for a while. They both declined.

One of the major things that I’ve learned about life from Lorenzo is that he is a huge advocate of following the money. He was never a person to waste an opportunity to advance his career even if it meant that he had to pack up his bags and move more than halfway across the country (which he’s done, twice).

Just this year he made another major career move by leaving a (huge) well known organization for a smaller one that gave him more leadership responsibilities and better pay. I was opposed to this idea but I trusted his decision. He doesn’t make these types of decisions all willy nilly. There is a list- pros, cons, consequences, action plan, and contingency plan. His ability to make these types decisions and his follow through are some of  things that attracted me to him early on in our relationship. I’m not even going to get into all the people I knew who had no plan. They were content where they were with no defined goals and or plans for the future. A man with a plan is hot. ;)

I guess I said all that to say this: my old employer called me and asked me if I wanted to come back and work for the company. At first I thought they were kidding, but when I spoke to the HR rep and negotiated a salary I knew they were serious. The benefits for me is that I will get to work from home, I’ll have the same schedule as Lorenzo, I’ll have more time to focus on school and my certifications, and I’ll be making more money. An opportunity presented itself and now I that I’m in a slightly better position, I can make time to put all my other plans into place.

I don’t believe that opportunity only knocks once. I think people are presented with multiple opportunities throughout their lives, it’s just a matter of choosing to take advantage or not. There could be a multitude of things that could stop people from taking advantage of something, fear is usually at the top of that list. In the case of Lorenzo’s friends, they didn’t want to leave Atlanta, even though they would have been a part of an excellent company, working in their field, making more money, and ultimately could have transferred back to Atlanta after a year or so.

Maybe next time….I guess.

Why I Like Being in my 30’s More Than I Enjoyed Being in my 20’s

Having recently just celebrated another birthday, I started thinking about where I am in in life as opposed to where I used to be, say 5-10 years ago.

Am I happier? Yes.

Am I financially stable? Yes, but this could always improve.

Am I surrounded by good people? Yes.

Am I doing a better job of keeping negativity out of my life? Most definitely.

While 5 of my siblings are in their 20’s now (I have one sister in her 30’s, and my youngest sister just turned 20 a few days ago) I can’t help but think about how much happier I am now than I was when I was their age. I know what you’re thinking, but Lorenzo only has something to do with it; it’s not entirely about him.

Here are the 2 things that stood out to me the most:

I’m more confident and comfortable with who I am-this includes my flaws. I read in a magazine once that some actress said she was more confident in her 30’s than she was in her 20’s and my immediate reaction was “What a bunch of crap”. Now I totally see where she was coming from.

When I was in my 20’s I was very introverted and I put ALL of my energy into my friendships and relationships, putting everyone else’s needs and emotions above my own. I let people that claimed to love me tear me down on a regular basis while I tried to comfort them. I’d convinced myself that they were just insecure and needed my help, meanwhile their (unprovoked) negativity towards me wore down my self esteem. I let them walk all over me. Once those people were out of my life, I realized that I wasn’t so bad after all and made friends who actually used to return a compliment once in awhile. It was nice.

I’m no longer afraid of the future. My circumstances were different than most people’s. Right after I’d turned 21, my mother passed away and my 19 year old sister and I took on the major responsibility of being the primary care-takers of 3 of my teenaged siblings. We didn’t want to be separated, so my Dad and grandmother did everything they could to make sure we were okay. I’d just started my senior year of college and then was mobilized to go to Iraq a few months later. I was always terrified. Constantly in fear of what was going to happen to my family, then having to worry about if I was going to die in war. I ended up not going to Iraq, but came home and always worried about paying rent, having a place to live, if my siblings were going to run off and do something crazy like get pregnant or end up in jail. I was very hard on them, and I was even harder on myself. Always in a constant fear of all these crazy things that never happened. I was literally making myself sick. When I actually did end up going to Iraq in 2009, I made a promise to put a stop to all of that- and I’ve been 10x happier ever since.

Here are few more tidbits:

I no longer feel bad about not hanging out if I really don’t want to go out.  

I don’t make excuses for being myself. If people think I’m weird then that’s their issue, not mine. 

I’m no longer afraid to let people go. Every relationship doesn’t last forever and I’m okay with that now. 

The food is better in your 30’s. Or I’ve just learned to eat better…either way. 

Pointless drama bores me. If it’s not going to make me money or progress my career then I don’t care. Save it for reality TV.

Moral of this story is: 30-something year old me would go back in time and tell 20 something year old me to get a grip.

I’ve learned my lesson about letting people treat me badly and keeping them in my life – no more of that. I don’t do “frienemies” any more, or crappy boyfriends. And now I just plan for the future, instead of fearing it. It just makes things soooo much easier.