I’m so full of steak

Life has been pretty busy lately since my friend gave me her bad news last week. She loved the flowers.

Things are going well over here. I am in week 5 of my Kayla workouts and I am seeing changes, which is great. When I did this routine last  year, I got to the end of week 7 before going to Bonnaroo and then Hawaii, which is around the time I fell off. That means I have 3 weeks to get myself to where I was last time we hit week 7, or even better.

So, to help things along, I am working out 5 days a week. I do Kayla 3x a week and cardio at least twice a week when not doing Kayla. I would like to workout 6x a week, but 5 is my goal for now. I am also, this week, eating mainly only protein. It’s a quick way to drop some bloating and get myself away from carbs. I did however eat too much last night… my steak for dinner was way too big and I’m like still full. I’m definitely not going to lose weight if I gorge myself on red meat.. but it was delicious.

Lastly, I am not drinking alcohol until Brendan’s birthday. That would be a 12 day hiatus, which will be the longest I’ve gone in awhile. I want to see how I physically change w/o booze. My face will thin further and I won’t be bloated. I think I’ll get to bed early and wake up earlier (I’m still waiting on that), and I’ll save money. But all of that is secondary to how it’ll help my progress.

Truly I wanted to be alcohol free for all of April, but I drank on Easter and last Friday because Mark came home and we went out. My friend was like, “Ché! What about BK’s birthday???” And she’s right – I want to go out that night. So we’ll stick to 12 days, break for Brendan, and then jump back on.

My plan is to also weigh myself on Brendan’s birthday and see where I’m at…. I have a goal in  mind and I also am horrified of weighing myself, so all of that fear and terror combined will hopefully keep me on track.

Also, I am not smoking. I really think I’m going to die of lung cancer. I smoked for soo long. I literally can not smoke anymore because I feel like I am choosing to die and I really don’t want to die! I am going to get a physical sometime this year and hopefully they will tell me if I’m dying or not.

So Britt and I are extending our lease through the end of June. We didn’t know we could do that, and as Mark put it, it’s a blessing.

1) Brittany and Eric want to move into a one-bedroom in our complex, but nothing is available until July 1st. With a May 31st move-out date, the two weren’t sure what to do. Britt desperately didn’t want to rent a storage unit, transport everything out of the apt, move into my Mom’s house and then move everything back a month later. What a hassle that would be.

2) Mark is working, and will be working until late May. His plan was to leave Hawaii the week we were moving, but that meant he would be running around like a crazy person trying to pack, help me pack and move everything in. We still need to get a couch and other furniture, and we haven’t even had an opportunity to walk through anywhere. Plus I’ve been searching for a while and haven’t found anything I love.

By moving our date back a month, Mark will be home and able to look at apartments with me, pick out furniture and pack everything up without also needing to run back and forth to work for weeks at a time. It’s just been too much to juggle. Britt can stay in the apartment for another month and then move everything two buildings over, which is a lot easier. It’s the perfect solution.

So I’ve stopped looking at apartments for now, which I’m grateful for! I’ll start again in May. Also, this means by the time we have our lease signed in June, I’ll know if I’m getting a raise and a bonus, so I’ll be able to better budget and plan for everything we need to buy.

We have a Bwood family reunion Memorial Day weekend in Maryland. Mark’s coming!! Hopefully, anyway. I’m excited. He really loves me and I love him. I am seriously on cloud 9 with him lately. I just don’t know how we got so lucky. Truly blessed by this person.

Also, his resume is made and the job search is on. I am so glad to hear he is happy to leave and ready to move on. This has been a long time coming. I had a mini melt down on Easter, and I told him everything I was feeling. He responded so amazingly well. Now, we are creating a plan and moving forward and I think there is a lot of good coming our way.

I have plans this weekend but I have already decided to cancel all of them.

Happy Wednesday


Like walking from the shallow side of the pool toward the end

Yesterday, I had dinner with two former colleagues. The things they told me really solidified my decision to leave that company. I mean, it was weird leaving and even scary, but I know more than ever that the decision was the right one. I know a lot of people who need to make similar decisions, and they just don’t realize yet how RIGHT those decisions are. I’m talking mgmt. promising things to employees with zero plans to ever make good on their word, simply to keep workers doing jobs they dislike. I’m talking promises of green cards that encourage new hires to leave long and successful careers, only to fire them once it comes time to start the paperwork. I’m talking not allowing employees in the US on work visas to go for promotions or other positions, simply because they know the employee can’t quit without risking deportation. Really terrible.

But even though all that is kind of extreme, I think anyone who is unhappy more than  happy at work needs to leave. I just can’t explain it enough how stupid and bad of a mistake it is not to find new work. Not to look. Not to realize you deserve a lot better, simply in regard to your happiness and self-respect. But, enough of that.

I am going to go for a walk on the boardwalk when I get home. I haven’t been to the beach in so incredibly long! I am having a hard time reconciling moving during the summer. But I hate my commute. But I’m scared of moving somewhere I won’t love. But fear is not a reason to stand still.

Mark- I am not going to do this forever. I told him yesterday, I can’t do this. He needs to make a change. Absolutely needs to. It’s just not feasible- if he doesn’t start really getting serious about changing careers, I can’t foresee moving in with him in June. And if we don’t move in together in June, it means we’re moving on. I love him to  death, it’s not him- and I could spend my life with him on the road this often- but I don’t want to. I don’t want to be alone this much. I don’t want to have a separate life completely from him. I just don’t want this. And if he isn’t going to stand up and make the right changes, regardless of his own fears, then we won’t work anyway. So that’s where I am. And I hope he doesn’t disappoint me.

A crass attempt at budgeting

I filed my taxes yesterday with my Aunty Chacha, who does my taxes every year. I’m getting $1,071 back. I feel like everyone I know is always getting thousandin returns. but they must have more withholdings during the year. I’m just happy to be getting a refund at all; for several years while waitressing and in the first years of my other job, I always owed money.

I should have $5,000 coming to me in the next week or so. Let’s do a budget breakdown for fun:

Monthly Costs

  • Car Payment: $200
  • Car Insurance: $110
  • Rent: $685
  • Electric: ~$100
  • Cable/Internet: ~$100
  • Cell: $60
  • Credit Cards: ~$300
  • Gas: ~$300 (much lower right now- nearly half-, but let’s estimate for when it goes back up)
  • Tolls: $88
  • Groceries: ~$400 (inflated for more expensive months)
  • Savings: $400

Total: $2,293

That leaves me with a surplus of just over $1,500 a month or so… I’m guessing on my weekly take home for now.

So this month, I should have an excess  of $2,707 (after I receive my refund and a paycheck for God’s sake). I don’t know what I’ll do with it- Put more into savings… perhaps a grand? Or put it toward credit cards to try and get those under control. Or just leave it in my checking to start saving there. Let’s look at upcoming expenses with the June move:

  • 1.5 month security deposit: $975
  • 1 month rent $650
    • Numbers are assuming our rent is $1,300, and factoring in the split with Mark.
    • Total by May: $1,625
  • New Mattress and Box Spring: $1,200
    • A quick search found me this pillow top mattress. I don’t plan on spending any more on it.
    • Total by June (split with Mark): $600
  • New Couch: $1,100?
    • I told Britt she and Eric could take the couch and Mark and I would buy a new one because, I’d like a better one. Between Mark and I, I think we can afford a couch and we should – it’ll be with us for a long time. A quick search on sectionals brought up this, which  I like.
    • Total by June (split with Mark): $550

TOTAL BY JUNE: $2, 775

I think we have enough stuff to get started outside of the couch and mattress, so we wouldn’t need to buy everything right away. Plus there’s plenty we can salvage and get for cheap, those are just two things we’ll need to get right away. My mattress sucks- it’s uncomfortable and squeaky- and his is awesome but only a full. We need a queen. He spoke about getting a king, but once he sees the price tag I’m sure he’ll be happy with the Q. Plus, I already have the bed frame.

Other expenses that are coming up in August:

Vegas Vacation: I would like to have, after airfare and hotel, $1,000. I doubt I’d spend all of that – it’s just a long weekend- but let’s make that the goal. Falling short is okay.

Estimated Flight: $600  (That’s an inflated estimate from the very cheap prices now, bc it’s so far away- hoping to buy early enough to be able to get a decent price)

Estimated Stay: $450 (Not planning on paying more than $150 a night and I think it’ll only be 3 nights and 4 days)

Total: $2,050

So my total savings for this summer that I would need, not counting if I go to Hawaii or not, is: $4,825

I think my vegas costs are very inflated, but let’s say I want  $5,000 of surplus money in my checking account come June in order to pay all my moving costs and a vacation without feeling the pain- then I should continue to live on my strict budget, continue putting money into my savings (and never touch it) and just let my checking account hold more and more.

That’s rough- I like to spend and when I have money I suddenly need so much stuffff.

But I think this is doable- I said I will have on average an excess of around $1,500 a month. So let’s count:

Jan + Feb + March + April + May = Excess of $7,500.

But that number will be smaller seeing as I will be going out to dinner, or movies, or just doing “Entertainment” as Mint.com would say. Regardless- that means I should be very capable of savign enough money to do everything I want this summer, if I am just smart. Plus groceries and gas aren’t that expensive. But maybe I miscalculated my weekly earnings after withholdings, 401k and benefits.

Well that was a fun waste of time. Back to work.

Laziness is

Not waking up early enough to dry my hair.

Ingenuity is positioning the heat vents in my car to dry it for me.

My dad just texted B and me saying, “Hi Girls, I sent you a NYT article on living with your boyfriends. Please read.”

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

I’ll read this, but I don’t want to. I still kind of hate that my dad disapproves of me and Mark moving in together! Yeah I’m an adult, but it just bothers me.

Other than his disapproval, the thing that is most annoying about the whole moving in conversation is the fact that it always turns right into the engagement conversation; when is it happening, what’s the hold up, it’s Mark holding this up isn’t it?

This is a touchy-ish subject for me because I do kind of want him to propose and it is him holding off.

He’s not in a rush, and neither am I. But I think after our 4 year anniversary in June, we’re no longer rushing. I don’t want to become obsessed with getting engaged, but the whole premise is really exciting to me. This excitement leads me to wonder if I only want to get engaged in order to relish in a new ring and all the attention.

I hate girls like that.

So I go on to think, marriage- it’ll come. And it’s permanent. So really, enjoy this time now.  But then I think- no we should get married and in a few years have kids and…

The entire debacle rests on the fact that I don’t trust Mark to make the right decision at the right time because he pushes things off- like changing jobs. But I think he pushes off the things he’s uncertain about, and he’s not uncertain about us. So I really have no reason to worry and freak out.

But I still don’t want to deal with my Dad and his disappointment in us living together.

Part of  living in the now, which I have been practicing and enjoying every single day, is dropping thoughts on distant dates and engagements and focusing instead on what we have going on for us right now, Tuesday at 12:34 PM.

Right Now

I just finished working on the editorial newsletter draft- it wasn’t difficult to put together.

I just met a new colleague who is senior to me, and she was really nice.

There is no-bean chicken and turkey chili at home in the crock pot.

Mark is in charge of tasting it every hour to see how the spice level is. His last report said it was not spicy at all. He is now adding more spice.

I just finished my lunch and I’m still kind of hungry, but I’ll wait to eat my Red Miso Soup,

I don’t know how to fill up the next 5 hours of my day, but I’ll start by watching a new compliance video.

This weekend, Brittany turns 27! Saturday we are going to Avanti with mom to get massages. That night we’re going to Medieval Times.

I have a 10 pack of hot yoga sessions to Younique Yoga in Belmar and Allenhurst. I went to the 9AM session with Dina and Britt on Saturday- I love yoga. So glad I have this 10 pack to get me back into it. (Thanks Britt for the xmas gift).

I should get my first paycheck on Jan 30th. It should be for 4 weeks. It’ll be interesting to see what I’m actually bringing home after my deductions. But if I don’t get paid on the 30th, and I have to wait until the NEXT pay cycle, I’m going to be really screwed and broke and borrowing money.


I’ve been getting up a lot earlier lately in an effort to get my body on a new routine. Where I was getting up between 8:30 and 9, I am now trying to be up by 7 and out of the house by 8. Eventually, I will work up to being up by 6 and out of the house by 7ish. Yesterday was the first day, and I was up at 7:10 and at work by 9:10. I had meetings all day, and a work dinner at 5:15. I was home by 8:30, and I was exhausted. I was exhausted all day in fact. I drank a lot of coffee and water, and tried to stay focused. I was in bed by 9.

Today, I didn’t get out of bed until 7:20. I left by 8:10, and was at work by 9:30.

It’s 12:12 right now and I can’t believe that it’s only 12:12 right now. I had meetings in the morning and then got a lot done, was eating lunch by 11:30 and now it’s 12:12 and I feel like it’s already been an entire day. I have 5 more hours to go?

It’s crazy how long a day really is when you get up at a respectable time. From arriving at work by 10:30, taking lunch at 12 and leaving by 5, the days flew. Getting here at 9 really does make such a difference.

I’m also not leaving early; trying to stick it out so that my body gets used to early mornings and long days.

I do like it actually. My eating schedule is so much better:

8:00 AM Breakfast: 3 Turkey sausage links, water, an apple and coffee.

Noonish Lunch: Something from home (protein and veggies) or a salad and soup from the cafeteria.

2:00 PM: Snack. I did bring yogurt but I much prefer a Coke zero and a snack sized bag of something crunchy. So sue me.

6:30 PM: Dinner (protein, veggie).

Because my day is longer and I’m busier- filling it with getting lots done- I don’t snack much, and when I do eat I’m trying to make better decisions. My weight isn’t really bad right now- I’ve lost a few pounds and feel and look fine, but I am trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle all together.

8 hours of sleep, waking early, working hard, eating right, and then I don’t know- reading a little and going to bed.

This is boring, but I’m focused on this right now. And I haven’t been drinking- I’ve decided to cut it from my diet all together. There’s just no need for it- I’m not funnier, smarter or more personable when I drink. I just get drunk. I like being sober and watching everyone else get stupid. Then I can remember the night and ensure I don’t make a jack ass out of myself. This is a big change too, but one that I feel is right.

Now it’s only 12:19. This day cannot go fast enough.

What Inadvertently Became My Thanksgiving Post

I’m not a drifter by any means. But I want both. Home and adventure. There’s all kinds of adventure out there.

I wrote that while in Arizona in 2009 on the big trip. It is still spot on. There is a lot of adventure out there, and “you don’t have to drive 8,000 miles in a circle to find it”… as I also wrote.

I am high lately. I’m happy. I can’t wait to get the ball rolling and make my big announcement, but until then (December 8th) I’m relishing in this moment. This absurd moment of calm before the madness of transition, and fat paychecks and long hours. Of meeting new people, making new impressions, and impressing important people. Before flying to Atlanta and meeting new connections, drinking with new grads and accounting folks, and looking to actually – maybe – finally – buy a new car! (Bye bye Scion, sorry for driving you into the ground- love ya).

I now have the freedom to focus on other things. Like, my life! And that’s cool, because my life is cool:

  • I love Mark- he really is the sweetest best thing. His little touches, and tickles, and support, and affection and love and everything. His political anger and taboo thoughts, his road rage, the really annoying way he says “Ché” when he’s mad at me and that stupid look he gives when he thinks I’m too upset over nothing. Watching wrestling on Monday nights, and going to St. Stephens for Nets games and playing Words with Friends and his face when I make a shitty dinner and dressing up to look sharp together and having a sugary snack at night…
  • Brittany- Brittany and Eric, and loving my sister’s boyfriend and eating their venison and planning for what’s next, Brittany and her job in Asbury helping horrible people keep their kids, sister days and running errands and watching TV on Tuesday Night and drinking a bit too much, and our ADORABLE apartment that I still love 2 years later.
  • Friends – Friends with babies who love me, friends with new jobs and new loves and weddings and exciting things, friends who you can be yourself with and laugh with, friends who are actually just family at this point- wonderful friends!

I love my life. And now I add:

  • Job- job that is exciting and growing and new, and pays a lot more than I ever have been paid, and that lets me love my life. My quiet, simple, comfortable, love filled life.

I guess that’s what I’m thankful for this year – all of the above.

27 and 1/2

  • Broke… really broke
  • Sad, weepy sad
  • Stressed, teeth grinding stressed
  • Alone, feeling super solitary

But I applied for three jobs in the last two days, cleaned my entire house, did three loads of laundry.

I’m at my wits end. I’m very disappointed by the fact that I feel like I will need to live another year w/ a roommate. This is ridiculous at this point. I just have no faith in you. I don’t trust you’ll do what’s right for “us”.

I am also frustrated with being broke. I am frustrated with my job. I want to make more money and I don’t want to hate going into work and countdown until I’m able to leave again.



  • I may have a connection at Pru who can help me find a job. I  may not though.
  • My resume and cover letter are looking pretty good (I think)
  • Even a Jr. or Assoc. position PM job will pay a lot more than what I’m currently bringing in, and I am experienced enough
  • I haven’t smoked any cigarettes or tried to drink my troubles away
  • I had my teeth cleaned today and she removed all the cigarette stains I had
  • He might surprise me and I might not be totally disappointed
  • Living with my sister for another year isn’t bad at all
  • I still love my apartment
  • I will get another job
  • It’s almost summer
  • I’ll be fine.
  • 27, looking for heaven
  • I’m smart
  • Also, I am going to be on the radio throughout the month of April and hopefully it doesn’t get me fired, but I’ll also be famous in my own mind, and I love the attention.