Friday, January 31, 2014

A coffee date with Finland's MasterChef

Remember how I mentioned that I do ridesharing with UberX? Well back in December, I picked up a girl that just so happens to live in my same neighborhood! We got to talking and she mentioned that she was new to San Francisco, having just moved here from Finland with her husband. So me, being the ever-so gracious person (ha, jk) said that we should get together sometime! We exchanged numbers, the holidays came and went, and so today we finally found the time to meet up.

To be honest, I was a little nervous. It was just a coffee date and well, when there's no alcohol involved, there's no buffer, which means straight up sober talk has to happen. And sometimes that makes me feel all anxious. But it all turned out to be really great, actually.


We met at this little French cafe on Chestnut Street called Le Marais Bakery, which to be honest, I never even knew existed. But I'm glad I do now, because as we sat out front with our cappuccinos and pastries, feeling the sun on my back, I just felt so relaxed and....European. The only thing better in that situation would have been to swap the cappuccino for some red wine. But ya know, what're you gonna do? Not be a complete alcoholic in front of new friends, I suppose.

Anyway. Anyway! To the actually exciting news of it all!

Turns out, Miss Kira Akerstrom is Finland's latest winner of MasterChef! As in.....she was on the MasterChef show and won the whole thing and also writes a food blog and she's only 27, oh and she's publishing her very own cookbook and she also does amazing food photography too.


(wide-eyed silence)

Want to know what I responded after almost choking on my cappuccino?

"....I have a blog, too." 

To which I immediately regretted saying. I was having coffee with a Finnish celebrity for crying out loud! Why did I have to even mention my pittance of a blog?! I tried to quickly change subjects after that. And have I mentioned that I kind of hate telling people the name of my blog?

Moving on.

Once I got home, I immediately Googled her and found this lovely YouTube video, to which I understand approximately zero words. But it sounds cool and oh, hey, I know her now!


Btw... Does anyone else always think of Confessions of a Shopaholic whenever you hear anything regarding Finland? 


Anyway. 

Kira, if you're reading this, I had a grand time meeting with you yesterday. You'll soon learn that I love when random happenings take place in my life, it's what I live for. You'll also soon learn that when said random happenings happen, I tend to immediately blog about them. So thank you for oh-so graciously being the subject of today's wonderful story. And uh, when are you going to cook me dinner? K, thanks. ;)

So yeah, that was my day: Cappuccinos with a Finnish MasterChef. Noooo big deal. ;)


********

But wait! Before you click that little 'x' in the corner, I have to introduce you to another wonderful European.
Let's just call it European Friday, no? Yes.

Meet Kate. Kate is British. Complete with a British accent.

Kate blogs at Diaries of an Essex Girl.


Doesn't she just look like so much fun?
Well that's because she is.

Kate and her newly betrothed man (I told you I was feeling very European and isn't 'betrothed' a very European sounding word?) are off exploring this world and frankly, I'm jealous.

They've been gone from England for two years now and if you're wondering how the eff does she do it?! Well, good news, she wrote about how to quit your job to travel the world.
Just reading it is making me all tempted to get out there again (though, let's be honest, it really doesn't take much for me to want to pick up and travel again).

Kate is currently writing to you from Germany and I hope you take a moment to check out her blog. She's got great tips, great photos, and she's not afraid to cuss.
Basically a win-win-win in my book.



********

Have a great weekend, friends!
It's Super Bowl Sunday and I plan to enjoy lots o' beer and lots o' commercials.
(Because you should know football and I aren't exactly close.)


P.S. Last day to enjoy 25% Off ALL ad spots! Use Promo Code: NEWYEAR14


xoxo

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nostalgia runs deep


When you live in a studio apartment you learn how to get creative with storing your stuff. Like, for example, when I was looking for more deodorant this morning, I remembered that we stored it in The Dizzle's suitcase in the closet. Yes, deodorant in a suitcase. We had gotten a huge Costco pack of them awhile back and well, that just seemed to make the most sense on where to keep them, of course.

When I opened the suitcase, which I haven't done in months and months, I was hit with a huge wave of nostalgia. In it was not only my deodorant, but also several things we LIVED for while in Thailand last year. We would have bought that OFF! spray by the gallon if we could, we went through it so quickly.


^^^Me icing my battle wounds, aka 20+ mosquito bites in Koh Samui^^^

It's funny what random things can trigger memories. I couldn't help but smile when I saw those mosquito repellants. I'm not quite sure what that little vial of clear stuff is, maybe hydrogen peroxide for when I got those jellyfish stings? But anyway. We still think about our Thailand days more than we'd like to admit. We just loved it, what can I say? The other week we were even looking at how much it'd cost to buy a beach condo there. Cheap, I tell you. Dirt cheap. One day...ooooh, one day.

I'm so thankful for our time we had abroad. Clearly it's something that made a huge impact on my life and an experience I will always cherish and remember. But there's something about travel that sticks with you. Once you get out there, that itch never really goes away. In fact, it just gets stronger and stronger.

I can't wait for our trip to Mexico this summer. We'll finally get to scratch another country off our Urban Outfitters "scratch off" map! But what I really can't wait for is when we get to see Thailand again, mosquitos and all. There's just this deep, deep love for it that I can't quite explain, but I'm counting down the days (and saving my pennies) until we can be reunited again. Until then, I guess I'll just have to close my eyes, take a few whiffs of that bug spray, and pretend I'm there. ;)

xoxo



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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beyonce's behind has inspired me.

I don't know about you, but when I saw Beyonce's performance at the Grammy's,
I could NOT stop staring at her butt.
I've watched this performance more times than I can count.
I even sat The Dizzle down and said, "You must watch this! Look at her butt!"
I'm sure he had no complaints.


Anyway, yesterday I saw this "30 Day Squat Challenge,"
and well, I have decided I shall be partaking in hopes of Beyoncifying my ass.

Who's with me?


Operation Beyonce Booty: Ready, set, go!

xoxo


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

History of my (lack of) career up to yesterday's interview

Well, I did it. Just like I said I would. I waited, I thought, I lived, I pondered, I let something come to me naturally, instead of forcing it upon me because I had to. And yesterday, I began the steps to making it a reality.

Remember long ago (of course you don't) when I went to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with Lauren Conrad? Okay, so I didn't actually see her, but we were attending school at the same time. Anyway, after I graduated High School, I moved to L.A. in hopes of learning how to own my own boutique one day. I never wanted to be a part of the design aspect, just the business, customer interaction side. I wanted a cute little high-end boutique where I could run it myself, interact with all of the customers, and go to all of the L.A. marts to buy the next beautiful designs for my store.

But then life took me down a different path. Or, I guess, I took me down a different path.

Instead, I worked in the fashion corporate world because it just seemed "easier to do" and to be honest, I was too chicken shit to ever have my own business anyway. What if it failed? What if I had to close it down within a year? How would I get a loan to pay for it? Where do I even begin? Hey, let's just get a job at corporate with a steady paycheck instead!

So I became a Merchandise Analyst for Tilly's. But then, a year and half later, I realized something was missing. But at 20 years old, I just didn't know what.

So I went back to school.

Then I became a personal banker at Wells Fargo.

Personal banker turned back into a corporate job in San Diego working in their E-commerce department. (Though, is it really called a department when there were only two of us?)

After a few years there, staring at the computer day in and day out, I realized again, something was missing. At 25 years old, I think I was sort of  starting to figure it out.

So I sold everything I owned and gallivanted around the world for 6 months with my boyfriend. Partly for fun, partly to try and figure out what my life calling was.

After those 6 months, we moved to San Francisco and yet again, I found myself at a corporate office, working at a desk, staring at a computer. This time, I only lasted about 3 months before I was like, oh hell no, get me the eff out of here. I refuse. I refuse!

I had a few fleeting moments of possibly becoming a flight attendant, but as we know, that didn't work out. And at the time, I was very confused and angry with the Universe because why would I even get that job if I was only going to be let go a few weeks later?! But as time went on, I began to have some clarity. I accepted that the lifestyle of a waitress in the sky was not the lifestyle best fit for me. Not when I enjoy having my nights at home with my love and having my clothes in my closet as opposed to a suitcase every week. Though the perks would have been great, the actual job itself began to lose its appeal.

I've had a lot of time to think over these last few months, being unemployed and all, and well, I had to think way back to the beginning. What have I always been interested in doing? What was the common theme with all of those corporate jobs? What are my strengths? Where do I thrive?

PEOPLE! HUMAN interaction! NOT staring at a computer all day with no one to talk to!

And ah yes, that boutique thing! Throughout the years, I've always thought about it. But, just like I was back at 18 years old, I was still too chicken shit to do anything about it.

But THEN I thought, Michelle! For godsakes if you can sell everything you own and go travel to new countries with no agenda, then I THINK you can at least look into this whole boutique thing!

So I stripped it down to the basics.

If I'm ever going to OWN a boutique, then I should probably start by WORKING in a boutique, right? I'll never know if it's even a right fit or not unless I actually get out there, in that environment, and see for myself!

So.

There is this cute little boutique called Heritage Row only 2 blocks from my little San Francisco studio, on Chestnut Street. Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with the owner to talk about a part-time position there.

And I was very honest with her.

I said I wanted to learn everything I could. I wanted to be in the boutique environment, interact with the customers, learn the ins and outs. (Plus a nice discount wouldn't hurt either).

It would only be about 2 days a week, which, to be honest with you, is sort of all I'm looking for right now. They have an online store, plus a BLOG. My eyes lit up at that, especially when she basically said I could "have at it" as she was NOT a blogger.

Anyway, this Friday, I'm going to go in for about an hour to do a working interview and see how I like being there and so she can see that I'm not a psycho around customers I suppose.

We'll see what happens! I am not attached to any outcome. If it works out, great! If not, great! But I am very open to learning more and seeing if this is something that could be a great fit for me.

So there you have it friends. If you've read this entire post, I'm impressed.

I'm all about making 2014 just as interesting and fulfilling as my 2013 was, if not more! I will not be tied down by a job that doesn't make me happy. I am excited to fill this year with amazing memories. Between my half marathon training, my new book club, two Vegas trips plus a week trip in Cabo planned, I think I'm on to something. And if not, at least I'll have a lot of fun trying. :)

xoxo

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Casting Call

The Dizz and I just got back from an...interesting experience, if you will.

A casting call for a, wait for it, "Real People Photo Shoot."

The other day I was bored and perusing around Craigslist, looking at a few jobs to apply for, and then getting sidetracked in the "Gigs - Talent" section. Let me tell you something, if you're ever bored and need a little entertainment, just head on over to Craigslist.

After filtering through the Naked Maid position and the Asian Escort jobs, I found the ad looking for "Real People Models" to be a part of a new tech company launch showing who their future customers will look like.

So I thought, well, we're real people, and well, they'll pay $800 EACH for just a few hours of shooting, so why not?!

I sent over a few pictures of me and The Dizz, then in a few hours, we got an email back to come down to their casting call.

This place was in Ghettoville, San Francisco, folks.

At one point, I asked The Dizz, "What if we're on our way to get shot today? Like for real, shot?"

He simply replied, "Well, that'd suck."

And of course, the potential dangers of Craigslist didn't stop us.

So we parked the car and entered this WAREHOUSE. Literally, it was this warehouse in the middle of nowhere. I just kept thinking: Good thing I'm not alone...

Inside, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it looked somewhat legit and professional. There was a table with about 4 laptops, a station for photos, and a station for video.

Also, there were several other candidates there, so we knew we weren't going to get shot.......yet.

After standing around awkwardly for a few minutes, assessing the situation, they had us get our photo taken while holding up a mini whiteboard that said our name, age, and height. The guy took a few pictures, then sent me over to take a little "Hi, my name is Michelle..." video. After that, we headed over to the laptops and filled out a profile: name, age, ethnicity, shoe size, dress size, etc.

And that was it!


We were the youngest ones there. Everyone else was at least 50-70 years old, so I was a tad confused as to why we were even there in the first place.

There was this one man named Danny F. Oooh, something about him just irked me. He was wearing a turtleneck and blazer. And he had REALLY white, big teeth. Danny F. wanted everyone to know he existed. When he told them his age (55), he then looked at me and said, "Yeah! 55! I know!" As if, what? I wouldn't believe it? No, no, Danny, I believe it. In fact, I thought you were a little older.


It was pretty hilarious. And random. And slightly awkward.

A big thank you to The Dizzle for letting me drag him to this. He sure is a great sport, wouldn't you agree? Plus, he's a tall, sexy half-Black guy, so I think he's got good chances to be picked. ;)

Anyway! I have an interview in a few hours at this cute little boutique down the street! Wish me luck. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

Mishi, out.

xoxo


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Let's Get It On

3 weeks.

That's it.

3 weeks until what? Valentine's Day, yo.

I can't believe it's here again already. It's all I can do to hold myself back from buying bucket loads of heart-shaped chocolate every time I go into the grocery store! I swear, starting with Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's, then Valentine's Day, then St. Patty's Day, how the heck are we ever supposed to hit our goal weight when there's just too much goodness to eat?

Anyway, enough food talk at 8 in the morning.

Have any special plans for the day? Nice dinner out? Burn photos of ex-lovers? You know me, I'm a planner, but when I tried to bring up V-Day plans to The Dizz, he said, "Hey now, let me handle it. This is 'the man's' job." Oh, well, I wasn't aware. I shall shut up now and let you take over then.

But what he can't stop me from doing is buying mushy iloveyou things!

Remember Heidi from Row House 14 who is so effing talented and witty with her card making that I wish I had the talent too so I could never get another job and just spend my days making cards on Etsy? Well. Dear friends. She has released her new line for Love Day and I've been cracking up over them!


......and I could share a million more that I love. Seriously, I don't know how she thinks of all these! I just love them and want them all, but alas, I am not a polygamist and I only have one lover.

You can head over to her Etsy shop and see more of her awesome cards here.

ALSO - because I love you, and because Heidi does too, make sure to use the promo code: MYVALENTINE15 to get 15% off your order! Shazam!

Peace and love. Peace and love.

xoxo


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Course and Other Running Shenans.



^^^Rock and Roll Half Marathon Course - April 6, 2014^^^


My friend Mo said, "Whatever you do, DON'T watch the course video." And well, usually when someone tells me not to do something, I have a strong urge to do just that. 

And so I did.

And now I know what she's talking about.

Even though it's "just" 13.1 miles, it seems like the longest 13.1 miles EVER.

BUT - there are a couple of cool things about this course:

1) We get to run over the Golden Gate Bridge, and I'm pretty dang excited to be able to do that. When the Dizz and I took a little adventure to that bridge when we first moved here, we only went to the halfway point. So NOW - I will get to do the whole shebang.

2) At about the 3:11 mark in the video, you can see my neighborhood street! And at the 3:23 point, we pass my grocery store! I run that area almost everyday now, so it'll either a) be nice to run familiar territory or b) make it extremely tempting to just quit and walk home.

3) That's it. I have no more things to say about the course because I'm still wide-eyed and stunned that I really signed up for this beast.

***

This time around, I'm trying to do things a little different, a little better, if you will. When The Dizzle and I were training for the marathon, we didn't really pay much attention to our diet. And it was amazing. We would run 16 miles then get In N Out for lunch, followed by Pizza Hut for dinner. And no, we did not share a pizza, we would each get our own. Like I said, glorious. But I really am trying to do this half marathon in a healthier way. I'm trying to eat more protein and "better" carbs for the long runs. I think I'll just feel better, overall.

I'm also looking into getting a few things to help my run.

I need a water belt. When I trained before, Verner would always wear the camel pack for the both of us. I tried one time to run with a backpack, and I hated it. It was extremely uncomfortable for me. BUT, I'm going to need something so I don't die of dehydration, especially when I'm getting to my 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 mile training runs. So, I was thinking I could get something like this:

Nathan Hydration Belt

Have you ever run with something like this before? I'm hoping it's comfortable enough and doesn't bother da hips.

I also want to get a heart rate/calorie counter, kind of like this one:
Pyle Sports

It wraps around just under your lady lumps and also on your wrist. I don't need anything fancy, just something simple and accurate.

Other than that, I don't think I need much else. I usually use Map My Run on my phone to keep track of my distance because it helps hearing as each mile completes, knowing that I'm one step closer to the finish! Plus it'll tell me the pace of each mile too, so I can know if I need to speed up or not (which usually I do, need to speed up that is, but then usually I don't. so there's that.).

I have officially 11 more weeks until race day! Seems like a long time, but I'm sure, like everything else, it'll be here before I know it.


^^^From my run over the weekend. Those hills are no joke, man.^^^

Happy Tuesday, yo. Off to run. Again.

xoxo


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Monday, January 20, 2014

egg-sauce-ted

In case you didn't catch that word, it's "exhausted." As in me, I am that. Why, you may ask? Well, dear friends, it is because I have spent the past 48 hours with a 3 1/2 year old and a 6 month old. And let me just say two things:

A) KUDOS to all of you mom's out there. No seriously. Kudos. Verner AND his mom were here as we all watched these kiddos and I'm still so tired from the lack of sleep and constant go-go-go.

2) I will officially stop telling The Dizzle that we should have a baby. Though I was mostly joking when I made such comments, I have now learned that this is no. joking. matter.

Babies + Me = SOoooooOOOOooooo not ready.


I mean, seriously, it's been TWO days. TWO. And though I woke up no less than 8 times each night to the hungry cries of Jolene or the stirring of Max, it's not like I had to actually stay up and feed the babe. I give many thanks to The Dizzle's Mama for that one. But isn't it kind of pitiful that I'm complaining after TWO days about my lack of sleep and exhaustion?

I can't imagine. I really can't.

There was a point last night where I was holding Jolene and bouncing her on my hip because it seemed to be the only thing to keep her satisfied, and I looked over at The Dizzle, just sitting on the couch all content like, watching TV, and I actually had a MOMENT OF FRUSTRATION because he wasn't recognizing my situation and jumping in to help!

But then, well, before I could even say anything, he said, "Want me to take her?"

And then I think I fell in love with him just a little more.

But POINT IS....It was a small moment where my future flashed before my eyes and I thought to myself, oh lordy no I am not ready for these little ones full time.


They're so cute. They're so funny. They're so cuddly. Yes, yes I agree.

But then that cuteness and funniness and cuddlyness only goes so far before you're like, k wait, no one else is around to take care of them because it's ALL MY RESPONSIBILITY. I can't pass them off. They're here. Just me and them. Now what? This is an exaggeration because technically, I haven't really ever been alone with the two of them, but I'm just imagining what it'd be like if I was their mom and it was just me all day.

Again. Kudos.

I really wonder when I'll ever be ready.

It's always been this far off thought and plan, like, yeah of course I want kids. But later, like when I'm 25. And then 25 came and I laughed hysterically. So then I said oh, I don't know, how about 30? But now I'm 27 and a half and I'm starting to get all clammy hands just thinking about it. So maybe we could push it off until, oh say, 45?

I know people say, "It's different when it's your own kids."

But is it? IS IT? Because I don't think so. They're still these little humans that need constant attention or else THEY'LL DIE and it's all in your hands and isn't that just so scary and exhausting?

Hold on, the baby is crying and Max just jumped on me and is trying to play on the computer.

...

Now I've got the baby in one arm and I'm typing this with my right hand.

Is this how you Mommy bloggers do it? Is this why Mommy's stop blogging?

I wish there was some sort of sign the universe could give me to let me know when I would really be ready for a life with kids. Is it just something you leap into with blind faith that you're ready? Do you just do it because all your friends are? Do you wake up one day with this epiphany like a-ha! NOW is the time. I have been infused with this newfound wisdom in my sleep last night and now I am ready.

All right. End rant. I have no point to this post, but these were the thoughts running through my head in the middle of the night as I heard the baby cry in the other room with her Oma, and I had to write them down in hopes someone out there has some answers! But I must go now, Max just ran away to hide from the monsters on TV, so I'm going to go "save him".

xoxo

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