Friday Reading

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While I love rap, I’m also a sucker for parodies or funny plays on rap songs [like rap represented in mathematical charts and graphs]. I feel like “Is Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems’ Legally Accurate? A Law Professor Explains in Line-by-Line Reading” is up the same alley!

I love the DIY coffee scrub posted on Deliciously Organized. Homemade hand scrubs make great gifts!

I’m also loving Nutritonella’s DIY tank top organization system!

I make coffee cubes to put in iced coffee but never thought of doing vanilla flavored coffee cubes– yum!

This week in recipes I want to try: Speedy Summer Hemp Power Salad, Asian Turkey Burgers, and Rice & Sesame Pancakes {P.S. Do you capitalize the titles of recipes or not?}.

In more serious topics, did anyone hear about Daniel Tosh’s rape comment or the consequent response from Miss Representation? Thoughts?

I read a quote on Say What You Need to Say that I really relate to: “It’s funny how when life gets crazy busy, we complain that all we want is to be bored, but then when we actually have time to do nothing, we complain that we’re bored.” How many times have I felt that way?!

I also related to Lauren’s philosophy on {not} setting goals. Once I realized I’m generally a productive person who will always strive to accomplish things, setting goals seemed superflous and distracting {like I would be too busy checking things off a list to enjoy them}.

Have a great last productive weekday and a fun weekend! I’ll be off celebrating my birthday 🙂 

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My One Year Anniversary, Part II

July marks my one year anniversary of being in Raleigh, so I’ve decided it’s a perfect time to review the past year. For Part I, click here!

February

  • Took the most amazing cruise to the Bahamas I could possibly have imagined. Four of us spent five days in a lounging by the pool; bonding in our tiny interior room; getting on-stage in front of 200+ people; exploring the Bahamas; and drinking from our secret alcohol stash. What I never would have imagined was that the best part of it all would be coming away with amazing new friends
  • Had an article published on SourceCon, a well-known recruiting resource
  • Organized a wine class and tasting with the blog girls

March

  • Celebrated the six month anniversary of The Raleigh Forum with a happy hour
  • Kicked off my Cristina Chats interview series with an interview with myself!
  • Took another trip to DC and spent two days at the LivingSocial office. It was the first time I met my coworkers in the recruiting department face-to-face
  • Began the process of finding a roommate. Ended up with a few friends and an awesome roommate!
  • Began packing up my first Raleigh apartment
  • Discovered the Wednesday night fajita, margarita, and comedy show special at Goodnights

April

May

June

And then there’s all the things I didn’t write about on the blog because they were private; seemed unimportant at the time; or weren’t measurable in one instance. I didn’t blog about meeting Linnie or Sara D when I met both of them because I didn’t realize we would become good friends. I didn’t blog about all the knowledge I’ve gained in the recruiting field. Or some of the crazy fun times that aren’t suited for a public blog {before you go getting any ideas, I never do anything too bad!}. Or some of the stresses that come with running a business, especially at age 22.

Having a blog is like having an online scrapbook of my life that I can refer to to reminisce, remind myself of what I’ve learned; and look over inspirational mementos. Although it’s certainly not an all-encompassing representation of my life, it’s a piece of my everyday life that I love having!

Peach & Tomato Summer Salad

Remember when I mentioned that the July section of my Cooking Light cookbook focuses heavily on peaches? After reading that, I stumbled across flats of peaches at Trader Joe’s for $5.99 and decided to pick one up. Mine has 13 peaches in it, so it equals out to about $.46 per peach- not bad!

Now that I’m a wild child who makes sweet and savory salads {like watermelon & feta!}, I decided to try a peach & tomato summer salad from MyRecipes.com. It turned out so well and I would absolutely make it again. It would be the best salad to take to a July potluck!

For exact measurements, see the recipe or just follow my haphazard winging it approach (serves 1).

  • Chopped red onion
  • 1/2 ripe peach, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 large tomato or a handful or cherry tomatoes
  • A dash of red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil
  • A very small spoonful of honey
  • A dash each of sea salt and ground pepper
  • A small handful of crumbled feta cheese
  • A sprinkling of torn basil leaves
Combine all ingredients and let marinate anywhere just a few minutes or overnight.

Next on my peach agenda? Peach salsa!

My One Year Anniversary, Part I

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I randomly thought about my Tuscan zucchini pasta casserole and realized I came up with the recipe almost a year ago. It got me thinking about how we measure time. Do we measure our time in recipes, memories, and friendships? Maybe lifestyle changes {like going gluten-free}, blogiversaries, relationship anniversaries, or moving dates.

I think we measure time in all of the these ways, but maybe some hold more significance for each of us than others do.

This July is my one year anniversary of moving to Raleigh. I graduated from George Washington in May of 2011 and stuck around DC for two months, living up my last days as a college student and DC resident. After an amazing trip to Norway to visit family, I hauled all my earthly belongings out of storage and moved into a one bedroom apartment near downtown Raleigh. This literal and symbolic move marked the beginning of a new chapter of my life {pardon the cheesiness} and one of the craziest, most intense years of my life.

Like the new year, one year anniversaries are the perfect time to reflect on what has happened in the past year and think about what the next year holds.

No words will do justice to the past year and no blog post can completely encompass all the emotions, but here are some highlights {thank goodness I have a blog to document all these memories!}:

July

  • Celebrating my first birthday as a college graduate with best friends in Raleigh {they can’t make it this year unfortunately}
  • Buying Pearl, the first car I’ve ever owned by myself {she’s doing well}
  • Forming Roman Co, LLC, the company my sister and I co-own and realizing that the dream of a coworking space was becoming real!
  • Switching over from research to recruiting at LivingSocial
  • Getting a once-a-week babysitting job with two cute kids {I still babysit them!}
  • Joining the YMCA {a year later I still go regularly!}
  • Attending my first official Change the Triangle event at the Food Bank {I’m now the head of the Membership Committee}

August

September

October

November

December

  • Recorded a rap music video, called #TRFLovesIt for The Raleigh Forum 
  • Flew to NYC for Christmas
January
  • Went “skiing” {aka sitting in a ski lodge} with our stepdad and had the best time
  • Hosted a killer new years party
  • Held A Night in Raleighwood {co-sponsored by Yelp!} at our office
To be continued…

A Day in Lafayette Village

My family from Norway is in town for a few days, which meant I had to buckle down and do work on Saturday. Though I’m a Starbucks fiend, I decided to check out Jubala Village Coffee in Lafayette Village, which is a cute European style village in North Raleigh. I don’t remember the first time I found out about the village, but I know it was online.

Jubala was so cute! I loved the atmosphere and the warm but chic decor. It was pretty quiet most of the afternoon, but around 4pm, it got a bit busier. The girls next to me were chatting about weddings and the people across the way were playing board games. All in all, a fun vibe but quiet enough that one can be productive.

The service was fine but didn’t blow me away. I ordered an iced latte with vanilla and almond flavoring, but it was a bit too sweet for me, even though I asked for light syrup.

I would definitely go back. It’s a bit of a hike for me, so I would only go back to work for several hours. I plan to order a plain iced coffee next time!

After I finished my work, I stepped outside for a quick tour of the rest of the village. Unfortunately, most of the stores closed at 5pm on Sunday and I finished right at 5!

I realized I had heard of a few of the merchants but didn’t connect all the dots until I spent an afternoon wandering around!

  • Vinos Finos: They tweeted me awhile back; still need to check out their free wine tastings on Tuesdays and Saturdays!
  • Savory Spice Shop: I also found out about them on Twitter and added it to my “To Try” list on Foursquare! I didn’t get a chance to go in but I will next time.
  • Mavalios: I hadn’t heard of this tea cafe and gift shop, but I peeked through the window and it looks so cute!
  • Henry’s Gelato: Gelato. Enough said.

I encourage you to spend an afternoon at Lafayette Village {let me know if you need a buddy!}. Follow them on Twitter and check out their event calendar.

I also fortuantely/unfortunately discovered that there is a TJ Maxx nearby. I’m a little Maxxinista so I was in budget heaven 🙂

Birthday Freebies

On our birthdays, society rewards us for basically accomplishing nothing except making it to another year. One such benefit is companies giving us free things and I plan to milk it for all its worth this year. Here’s what I plan to enjoy on and around my birthday:

  • Free coffee from Starbucks [must have the Gold Card]
  • Free ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s [must be a member of Chunk Spelunker club]
  • Free Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity breakfast from IHOP [must be part of the Pancake Revolution club]
  • Free smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe [must sign up for TropiDeals]
  • Free medium coffee from Dunkin Donuts [must sign up for DD Perks Rewards. And let’s be real, I’ll need two coffees on my birthday!]
  • Free dessert fondue for two at Melting Pot [must sign up for Club Fondue]
  • Free car wash from Carolina Auto Spa [sign up here]
  • Free bottle of wine from Irregardless Cafe [sign up here]
  • A surprise from Red Hot & Blue [must join the RHB Club]
  • Free shots from anyone I can convince to buy them…
  • [Added] 2 free tickets to Goodnights Comedy Club [once you join the mailing list]
  • [Added] Free entree from Rocky Top Hospitality [includes Draft on Glenwood; sign up here]

For more free birthday stuff, check out Active Rain, here, Frugal Living, and FreeBirthdayMeals.org.

Where else can you get free stuff on your birthday?! Anyone else as “opportunistic” [read: cheap] as I am?

P.S. For an interesting discussion at “for all its worth” vs “for all it’s worth,” check out Grammar Girl. Clearly I use the term “interesting” loosely 🙂

Source: sweetapolita.com via Melissa on Pinterest

Weekend Reading

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For the recruiting readers: Top 15 Common Talent Sourcing Mistakes and Snag Influence with “Sticky” Recruitment Marketing.

And for employees: Don’t Wait for Layoffs or a Job Search to Update Your Resume. The idea is that during those periods, you’re feeling negative and may forget key accomplishments and skills. Updating your resume periodically ensures that you remember your accomplishments and can highlight them in a beneficial way.

I am definitely guilty of The Busy Trap; how about you? I think it’s partly a by-product of being a Human Services major in college– the program attracted all the students who wanted to save the world!

Here are some inspirational words for your week {or weekend, as the case may be}.

I have become convinced that the writers over at Tiny Buddha send thought waves or probes into my brain every week and then base their blog posts on my thoughts. Here’s what they wrote for me this week {joke!}: When Friends Fear We May Judge Them and Treat People How They Want to be Treated {the new golden rule}.

On Feeling Afraid and Not Doing It

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I recently read a post on Yes and Yes entitled On Feeling Afraid And Doing It Anyway. The title is a pretty accurate summary of the blog post, but another quote jumped out at me “I do not let the fears determine my behavior.”

I get that. I really do. There are times when I’ve been afraid or nervous or fearful of something, but I did it anyway. It was empowering, uplifting, and reassuring. I’ve confronted people I needed to stand up to; I started a business; and I joined a kickball team. Respectively, that got me the opportunity to build stronger relationships and to end unhealthy ones; a chance to build a community hub in Raleigh; and several new friends and an athletic outlet. The payoffs of my actions have far outweighed the fear or nervousness I harbored.

But there are other times when I wonder if it’s okay to be afraid and not do it. The idea of skydiving makes me nauseous; the idea of holding a snake scares the living daylights out of me; and I really have no desire to ride an upside-down roller coaster.

Am I hiding behind fear? You could argue that. But I think I’ve just weighed the benefits against the stress and anxiety and decided it’s not worth it.* The feeling of skydiving might be unparalleled; holding a snake may make me fine seeing them on hikes; and riding a roller coaster might be liberating. But I’m willing to take the risk of not finding out because it just doesn’t feel worth it.

So before you feel peer pressured into doing something you’re scared of, ask yourself: What’s the payoff? Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? Does this action have long-term benefits in your life or is it a one-time experience?

And learn to say “No thanks, I’m good.”

What do you think? Do you think it’s okay to be scared and chose to not act? Any examples? 

*Don’t hold me to this. I may do any of the above one day 🙂

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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Hope your day is filled with fun, friends, fireworks, grilling, and maybe a few adult beverages 🙂 Here are a few ideas of things to do if you haven’t decided yet:

P.S. Fourth of July means ten days until my birthday!

On the Menu for the Week

It’s the beginning of July, which means I can crack my Cooking Light: Annual Recipes cookbook open to a new month! I picked this cookbook up for $2-$3 at the thrift store and it was the best find. It catalogues every single recipe from a year’s worth of Cooking Light magazine into one hardback book. Though it’s from 2004, it doesn’t really matter because food is timeless 🙂 The July section features recipes based around tomatoes, peaches and dinner at dusk, which will undoubtedly make appearances in my On the Menu posts for July!
Traditional & buffalo chicken gluten-free pizza bites {recipe to come}

Cool as a cucumber salad

Tuna and white bean salad {update: not blown away; will post recipe if I can adapt it!}

Salad with Asian ginger dressing

Potato salad

Rice noodles with peanut lime chicken

Chicken salad

And something with my big flat of peaches!

What are you cooking this week? Any great tomato or peach recipes?