Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other concerns) by Mindy Kaling


Finished this book with in a few days and enjoyed it from beginning to end. The night I got it and started reading it... the husband was already asleep and I struggled to keep still and quiet because I laughing so much.

The childhood pictures she shares? HILARIOUS. It made me feel a little more better of the fact that my mother put hair in two pig tails on a daily basis through the years of Kindergarden to Second Grade. Or whenever I started doing my own hair. I know it started young because I detested those pig tails. But after seeing the bowl cut Mindy was sporting at that age, I have a better appreciation, now, of those pig tails. 

Can I just say, I had no idea how much Mindy and I had in common? Seriously. My good friend recommended this book to me saying that it was basically our childhood and probably even current life to some extent. She wasn't kidding. I can definitely share in that awkward outcast stigma that I had during my elementary, middle, and high school years. Well, still to this day I should add.

Needless to say, thoroughly enjoyed this book. One can always use a little more laughter in one's life. If your in the market for a light and fun read, I recommend this one.

XO

Monday, August 12, 2013

Traveling 101: Carry On Tote Essentials

Friday, I will be boarding a plane to fly to Ohio. I have not been on an airplane since my honeymoon over two years ago. Gonna be honest, not too excited about having to fly. Especially since I will be flying solo and with the some recent events.

When I was in high school, I used to fly up to Ohio to visit my dad at least twice a year. Flying was a breeze for me. I typically got settled in and would fall asleep.  But then 9/11 happened and my dad moved to FL and I didn't fly as often. Now, I am a jitterbug the whole flight through until all tires of the plane are safely on the group.

So, I am starting to mentally prepare myself now and think of things to take on the airplane to entertainment myself and make the flight as pleasant as possible.

 

Vera Bradley Mail Bag (in Ribbons) - I got this bag last year especially for traveling and going on vacations. Enough space to carry my necessities and guide maps, if needed.

iPad Mini - I can download movies and books for entertainment while on the plane.

Coach Waverly Wallet - Purchased this wallet like two years ago at the outlets. After all the discounts, I ended up getting it for half the price. Love it and still in great condition.

Chapstick Cake Batter - I am a chapstick girl. I rotate between my chapsticks and EOS balms. This is a must for me where I go.

Pink Neck Rest - I believe I bought this like four years ago at Target for my flight to Italy. Obviously since I don't flight much, it's like brand new.

Gum - Help with the ear poppin'. I am a spearmint fan.

Ear Phones - I have the regular ear phones you get when you purchase an iPhone. Not my favorite but I don't need them very often, so it will do.

Water - This will have to be purchased once past security. I try not to drink a lot water because I loathe using the restroom on the plane. Once I'm down and buckled in I stay there until we have landed. However, still something good to have in hand.

iPhone 5 - Well this is just a given.

Also, not pictured above... a pair of socks. I stick to flip flops when traveling in the airport because of security check in. Whatever to make the process easier and less stressful right? I like to carry socks to keep my feet warm on the plane.

I think that pretty much covers it. Am I missing anything? What are your travel essentials?

XO

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Amazon book haul

This week I put in an order from Amazon for a few books and I am so anxious for them to get here! I am in the middle of reading "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" by Mindy Kaling and will probably be done in a couple days. So that order needs to arrive pronto.

These are the books I ordered...


Eek! Super excited for these to get here!

In addition to my books, I ordered screen protectors the iPad mini and some books for the husband. What books did he want, you ask? 


Yes, my husband is 30 something going on 12. I still love him. 

Have you read anything good lately?

XO

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

If I were to describe this book in two words, those two words would have to be: Girl Power.

I felt so encouraged and proud to be female. (I may have wanted to pop in my SPICE girls CD after reading this book. Actually it was already in my car. Don't judge.) Not that I have ever felt belittled or held back in my career for being a female. Perhaps I am not at that level in my career to really face those types of issues. I think more it has reassured me that because, one day, I plan on may be having children (still undecided) I don't have to hold back in my career.

The husband and I have been married for a little over two years and, of course, the topic of starting a family of our own has come up. We both would find it beneficial if one of us stayed home/ worked part time while the child is a baby. I think there has always been an assumption that it would be me that would be the one to stay at home. But this book has gotten me thinking a little differently. If I had a job that I absolutely loved and wanted to keep working, and say my husband be the one to stay home, that would be okay. I shouldn't feel any less of a "mom" because I choose to continue working. I am pretty sure if I asked my husband if he wanted to be the SAHD and maybe work part time, he would be OKAY with that. Haha. I know he would be great at it as well! But the truth is, we are not there yet. Yes, we have talked about it but are certainly not trying yet. In the meantime, I can still push forward until that time comes. She talks about this in the chapter, Don't Leave Before You Leave.

Some of my take aways from the book:

Sit at the Table - Being the introvert I am and sometimes lacking in confidence, I am notorious for not "sitting at the table". I try to get in an area where I won't be called on for thoughts or questions. But I shouldn't be intimidated and I should sit at the table.

It's a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder - Looking at my career as climbing jungle gym where there are different way to climb up versus the ladder which allows for only one path. This is something that my job encourages, being flexible to move into new groups, positions and acquiring new skills and knowledge. Sometimes easier said than done, of course.

Working Together Toward Equality - She comments that a lot of times, the biggest challenge/barrier/criticism women face in the work force come from other women! Folks, this stuff doesn't just happen in middle school/high school but it happens in the work environment as well. Then she adds the oh so often friction between SAHMs and ideal workers, which honestly in this economy I really didn't think would exist as much. I mean I feel like for most families, it's a necessity to have a two income family. That was until I started attending the church I go to now and realized how many SAHMs there are that home school their children. I've also experienced the unsaid tension between the two. So important to respect the decisions that every one makes with relation to this and understand that every one is different.

I am fortunate enough to work for a company that is a huge supporter of Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In movement. Our CEO recently hosted a webcast interviewing her and did an amazing job. He made a great point in his intro to their discussion stating that this is not just a gender issue but can be applied to all groups of diversity. Heck, even Sheryl herself asked if she could have a copy of that intro to listen to again because it was and is so true! It was a great discussion and increased my girl crush admiration of her, times one hundred!

So, yes, loved the book. There are so many great talking points throughout the book that if I tried to discuss, this blog post would have been entirely too long. All I have to say is, read it. Whether female or male, this book is encouraging and enlightening for everyone. Part of the reason I began this blog was because of this book. I want to Lean In as much as I can! Great read.

Oh, plus, there is a website full of more resources. It doesn't need stop at the end of the book!

XO

"You will find something you love doing and you will do it with gusto. Find the right career for you and go all the way to the top." - Sheryl Sandberg

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's Official... I'm an iPad Mini Owner!

This past weekend, I took advantage of the tax free break and made a couple purchases. Some of which were spontaneous, such as my new iPad Mini!


I had been talking to the husband about wanting to buy an eReader lately. I was originally thinking between the Nook and the Kindle but he thought, why not the iPad? Good point. Didn't think about it. The biggest reason I hadn't considered the iPad was due to the price ($499). I am not a huge technology buff in which I need to have the latest tech gadgets they come out with (which seems to be every six months). I don't buy in to the hype. I think when I finally purchased an iphone, it had already been out for four or five years. I usually wait for the right timing for me... contract ending, good deals, money saved, etc. Not sure I was that serious to drop $500 plus for a new gadget. This conversation probably happened like a week ago.

Well this morning, I happened to look at the Target weekly ad and saw that they were giving away gift cards for their iPads/minis. That caught my eye, along with the Tax Free advertisement.

Gift Card + Tax Free? Things just got serious.

I immediately began my research. Looking up articles, reviews, comparisons on the iPad vs Mini and texting friends who were iPad owners to get their thoughts. As I somewhat alluded above, I didn't need anything too fancy as my main purpose for getting this is for reading, some movies, games, and a little web browsing. A lot of the feedback I was getting during my research wass that the mini suited my needs perfectly. It does pretty much the same as the iPad but more than $100 cheaper and more compact (can easily carry in my purse).

Another added bonus, I had a couple gift cards saved from previous job recognitions that cut $130 off the price ($329). I ended up paying $199 exactly, out of pocket. Score!

Then with the $25 gift card I received with the purchase, I bought this pink case.

But of course, I already have my eye on another case I want to buy for it (or if lucky, Santa Claus will have it under the christmas tree for me. Which ever comes first.)

The Petula Stripe Mini iPad Folio by Kate Spade.


So sleek and professional looking. Absolutely love it!

XO

Friday, August 2, 2013

Style: Banana Republic Love

Yesterday, I went with a friend to a near by mall for lunch and she needed to stop by Banana Republic to make a return. While waiting for her, I perused the store and was honestly surprised at all the cute items I was finding. (Okay, the last time I step foot in Banana Republic was probably 6,7,8 years ago? Back then, I found their clothes and accessories to be boring and overpriced.) I loved how much color and print I was seeing. Definitely a huge improvement from what it used to be... style wise. The price tags still remain the same,  but at least I would feel like I am getting my monies worth.

Here are some of the items that caught my eye:

Eliza Pleated Halter Dress - This would be great to use for a summer wedding.

(here)
Leaf Print Shirred Blouse - Pattern/Color. Love.

(here)
Multi-Stripe Patio Dress - How comfortable does this dress look? The older I get, the more important comfortable clothing/shoes is to me.This would be perfect for BBQ with family and friends. 

(here)
Tie Front Short - I love the bow front on these shorts. Totally scream girly to me. Also appreciate the length of these shorts.

(here)
And we can't forget about the accessories... 

Calypso Necklace - The jewel tones on this necklace are drool worthy. Great statement necklace!
(here)
Summer State Earring - In love with this color combo Turquoise & Coral. 
(here)
Clementine Scarf - Perfect for Fall! 
(here)
Bettina Satchel 
(here)
Totally swooning over those items and more.

XO