Monday, January 31, 2011

Hitting the Road

Today I left Wisconsin with my team (Map Team 1) and Map Team 2 & headed toward the northeast! We drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana & Ohio which is where we currently find ourselves. We stopped in a very small town where our hotel is literally built on a cornfield (I even asked the receptionist...I think I offended her too, but I redeemed myself by saying my high school & parents home was also built on a cornfield, lol). So, the drive was good...actually much better than I thought it would be considering the weather reports! Overnight & tomorrow a lot of the U.S. is supposed to be hit with some winter stormage. Now, being from Michigan I can totally handle the's the ice & driving with a 15-foot trailer behind me that is scary! So prayers for safe travels for all of our map teams (1-4) would be appreciated!

This week was intense...basically 7 straight days of training & lots of new information, but I am SO excited about this tour! I can't wait to have more confirmed locations so I can share with y'all what I'll be up to...I bet the suspense is killing you! For now, looks like Team 1 (my team) is heading to NYC, Team 2 to Delaware, Team 3 to Dallas for the SUPER BOWL and Team 4 to L.A., fun stuff right there! I hope all the teams have fun & are successful in their first launch! I know they all will be because we had an awesome group training & a great group of trainers!!

While on the road I'm determined to try & stay healthy/ tomorrow morning I'm going to get up early & jump into the gym for a little bit before we head out. I checked it out & all they have is a treadmill, stationary bike & eliptical...but at least it's something. I'm also going to avoid the cinnamon rolls & pastries (as best I can!) I also plan to hit up a Weight Watchers meeting once in New York...hoping maybe I can find one of Trixie's locations in Manhattan! :) I know being on the road this much and trying to stay healthy is going to be a major challenge, but I totally want to do it. Plus, it'll be like an extra accomplishment in the end, right? So, for now it's hotel gym's & sensible continental breakfasts!

Speaking of hotels! Many of the road "veterans" encouraged us to sign up for Priority Club membership while traveling! It's such a great idea & I can wait to collect all my points throughout the year, I've heard of so many people getting flights paid for, Amazon gift cards...Apple products! I can't wait! Only 15 nights to achieve "Gold Status" ...and that's like 2 weeks for me! I'm going to be platinum in no time! Hopefully I can use my points to take a vacation abroad! Ahh, just thinking about all this traveling I'll be doing makes me SO happy!

Alright, for's time for bed. I'm hearing not so great things about the weather, so hopefully we don't get snowed in!! I'll be up bright & early to head to the "gym". I miss everyone!!! Muah!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Woah. Dream Big.

Well hello from Wisconsin! I think it's so funny that we passed a "Cheese Castle" on our way in & not only is that funny in itself, but it immediately made me ask the question, "I wonder how many times Marisa has been here?" (Marisa is one of my best friends...and the biggest GB Pack fan I know) She has officially confirmed she HAS been there...more than once! :) Speaking of the Packers, I bought a "2010 NFC Champions" shirt today to wear when we stay overnight in Pittsburgh on our way to our launch event! Not that I'm a huge Pack fan or anything, but I'm NOT a Steelers fan...and I think I'm allowed to be a casual fan since I'm a supporter of any WMU alumni, aka Greg Jennings.

So, did you catch the hint on my last post of where the launch event will be?? Well, if you didn't, it has pretty much been confirmed that I will be heading to NEW YORK CITY! WOAH, right? I've never been to the "Big Apple" and my first thought was, I HAVE TO SEE YANKEE STADIUM! Too bad it's not baseball season, however I'm still excited to see it! I'm also VERY excited to try & meet up with my Weight Watchers friends while in town!

And, although all the traveling is awesome I still have a job to do! And today we got the first experience of the new set up! It is AWESOME! I probably had the most successful & exhausting day all in one today where I learned how to back up our vehicle to a trailer, hitch & unhitch the trailer! Then after lunch we spent the next four hours setting up and tearing down our event site twice! It's a sweet 10 x 20 tent with five different display stations, etc. Then we have an amazing 15-foot trailer & get to drive a 2011 Toyota 4-Runner! And while I'm kind of "against" foreign cars, we are really lucky to have such a cool bunch of things to work with...and if I were allowed to post pics I SO would. When I get a chance I'll try to "modify" some photos & post them so you can see just how cool all this is!

Although today was tough, I feel good about everything! I'm really excited about my crew, the set up, the products, the travel & everything else! I'm a little sad that I'm bonding with some of the other group members though & after this weekend we'll all go our separate ways! The more I hang out with these people, the more I get to know them & love them all! <3 I do have to say, after a good meal at the local Applebees & a hot shower, I feel like a new person! I am still exhausted though & plan to pass out as soon as I post this!

Tomorrow is our driving day...I hear it's pretty intense! I'll be learning how to drive our vehicle with our 15-foot Wisconsin & the snow! We are heading to NYC though which I hear just got dumped on, so it'll be good practice! ::yawn:: Alright, it's time for bed! Hopefully I can update one more day before we hit the road...SEE YA LATER!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Progress Report!

Oi from Chicago! Sorry I haven't been able to update...and probably kept so many of you in suspense these past few days! (Haha) I've been incredibly busy with all my training, meeting my crew members & making friends with the whole group of trainees. There are twelve of us total, 4 groups of 3...all about to head out on an adventure of a lifetime! :)

Everyone is great so far, I especially love my two travel partners! After spilling my life story to Michelle when I first arrived from the airport, we quickly bonded over being Christians & praying on the plane for a Christian travel partner! Thank the Lord, prayers answered for both of us! She's originally from Brazil & will be teaching me Portuguese along the way (hint hint - Oi (said "oye") means hello! She is a very cool, very sweet girl & I'm excited to learn more about her & travel the U.S. with her!! My other travel partner is Kevin, he is great! He's done a tour before & is going to be an awesome resource on the products & event sites, I can't wait to learn from him!

Since I've been here it's pretty much been team building & learning A LOT of new information!! However, I couldn't be more happy so far. The company is amazing & I'd love to eventually come back & work in the office once I'm done with this (and possibly another tour depending on HOW much I love this!) I really enjoy Chicago too, it's such a fun much to see, so much to do. When we arrive the Bears were losing to the Packers (which we got updates throughout our flight from Atlanta to Chicago which was cool)...but it was still a fun atmosphere! (And if you didn't catch it from before, I was happy with the Bears losing!) :)

I've eaten a lot of "Chicago" traditions...and I now feel like a cow! I did get a response from Weight Watchers though & I will be able to visit almost any location for a meeting each week, no matter where I sign up as long as I have the monthly pass! I'm really excited...hoping to sign up officially in my next city! Which brings me to my itinerary for the next couple months! But, guess what...I'm going to keep it a secret for now, since nothing is really finalized. Let's just say my first destination will hopefully keep me healthy..."an APPLE a day keeps the doctor away" after all! That's all I'm saying, but from what I've heard, I won't be in the midwest very much in the beginning of the tour, I'll be all over, but I don't know many of the details & NOTHING is set in stone, so I'm going to just go day by day.

Tomorrow we leave for Wisconsin where we'll be doing our "on the job" type training. We'll be outside for part of it & it's going to be COLD! Some of the people in training are from California, New Orleans, Florida, Georgia, etc...they're all freezing! Haha. Well, until later...tchau! (Which is "good-bye" in Portuguese, pronounced like chow). Muah!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

45 Weeks in a Suitcase

The day is getting closer! Tomorrow I leave Charlotte and head to Chicago (which I would like to point out has a 28 degree high temperature difference for the day! Brrr!) In preparation for my departure I've been spending the last couple days running back and forth to Target, the mall and Bed Bath and Beyond, trying to ensure I am the most organized I can be for my 45 weeks on the road!

As of last night I had my 29" suitcase packed & ready to go and surprisingly enough, it only weighed about 52 lbs! I forgot to add my tennis shoes & Starbucks coffee when I weighed it, so it might be slightly higher, but I really hope it isn't enough to get charged at the airport! I took everyone's advice and rolled my clothes, which seemed to work out quite well. It obviously didn't change the weight, but made a considerable different in the amount of room I have left in my suitcase! I picked up a couple new items to help keep me organized, but one of my favorite items is a small "organizer" if you will, it's about 14" x 10" or so and has a mesh top, basically it is to keep your things organized. I used it to put all my "intimates" in (bras, undies, socks) so I don't have to go digging for them as they might slide around while I'm hauling my luggage from place to place! If I hadn't already been to Target about six times in the last four days, I'd probably go pick up another one for my tanks & t's!

So, for 45 weeks on the road, this is a rough estimate of what I packed:
- Fitness equipment (Yak Trax, armband, swim gear)
- Healthy supply of "intimates" (Something I learned at my former employer - 3 bras: 1 to wash, 1 to wear & one to spare!)
- 1 pair: dress flats, Chucks, flip flops, running shoes & I decided to wear my Minnetonka (like Ugg) boots since I have the Midwest Region!
- A roll-up bag FULL of everything for the bathroom (I am picky with hair/skin care)
- Accessories: wrap/scarf, winter scarf, 2 winter hats (including my cupcake hat of course!), gloves, small clutch, belt
- Curling iron & blow dryer (some of you probably think the dryer is unnecessary because they usually have them in rooms now, but my hair takes FOREVER to dry & this particular model works well on my hair & it's travel-sized!)
- Sleep mask
- 4 long sleeve tops
- 4 "casual" t-shirts (like plain v-necks with small pocket)
- 6 tank tops (I usually wear them under everything)
- 1 pair: Lounge shorts, yoga pants, leggings
- 2 pair of shorts
- Long sleeve black "sweater"
- Fitness outfit: tank, tshirt, l/s dry-fit, jacket, pants, shorts
- Dress clothes: Top, black pants, khakis, dress
- 2 pair of jeans
- 3 regular tshirts (Representing WMU, Tigers & Red Wings)
- 2 sweatshirts: 1 zip up & one pullover (pullover is Tigers of course!)

That pretty much sums it up as far as my suitcase goes, there are some other random things like my travel coffee mug (that was a going away gift from one of my BFFs, Marisa) and some Starbucks coffee (because we all know I love me some Starbs) and I also have a backpack that will hold my computer, a couple books, most of my "technology" items, etc.

Now that everything is packed, I'm going to be spending the morning filling out paperwork for the job, making copies of important documents and trying to pack away all my things so it's out of my sister's way (I feel HORRIBLE that I have to leave everything here!) Hopefully I can be focused & productive, because I want to leave plenty of time to hang out with the fam! My sister & I are going to get pedicures later & then we're all going to head to Mellow Mushroom for pizza! (My exbf said it was the best pizza he's ever had & he's been to Italy! So I've been wanting to go since there is one fairly close, I can't wait!)

So, unless I get inspired to write tomorrow, this will be my last post from "home"! If training isn't too hectic I will be sure to post from Chicago & Wisconsin! I can't wait to land in Chicago sporting my GREEN hoodie, I wonder if I'll get nasty comments from "Da Bears" fans! Until next time...See ya later! <3

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quarter Century

Today is my 25th birthday! Happy birthday to me! Twenty-five years, wow.

This morning I woke up at 6:00am and couldn't fall back asleep even though I tried! It wasn't only because today was my quarter-century birthday, but also because yesterday I received the BEST early gift I could have asked for. I FINALLY GOT A MARKETING JOB! This job is with a company that has a phone company as a client, I will be traveling the U.S. in an SUV, pulling a trailer with two other team members promoting this phone company! Events may include retail/store events, sporting events (please, please, PLEASE let me experience something AWESOME like the Super Bowl or World Series!) and concerts (again, awesomeness would be appreciated!) The only trick to this great opportunity is I get flown out to Chicago, on SUNDAY! Woah. Sidenote: Yes, Sunday is the Bears vs. Packers playoff game, I'll be proudly sporting my new GREEN sweatshirt with a Detroit Tigers t-shirt underneath shouting the words "GO PACK GO" when necessary!

While I'm VERY excited for this opportunity, I can't help but be a bit stressed. I mean starting Sunday I have to be packed in a suitcase & carry-on for 45 weeks on the road, in all types of weather! BUT, I am PRAISING GOD that I have been given this opportunity!! It will all be fine! I went and scoped out a few different suitcase models and although I think it would be sweet to get a hard shell model to stick my stickers I plan to collect at each place I visit, I really didn't think it was the best for my travels. Plus, my sister has a coupon for Kohl's & on top of their great deals I'll be getting a steal for my purchase!

So, back to my birthday! Like I said earlier, I woke up a bit early & couldn't fall back asleep, so I got up to hang out with my sister & niece (which I will miss terribly when I leave!) and my sweet sister had bought me my favorite Starbucks coffee and chocolate donuts! YUM! We hung out at the house for a bit and I took Gabby for a walk (which is another thing I will miss!) and even though it wasn't sunny and warm, it was still nicer outside than in Michigan! Once back at the house, the doorbell rang & there was a package for me! Two of my great friends, Shannon & Kari had sent me such a sweet & thoughtful gift of an Edible Arrangement! The three of us have lost weight on Weight Watchers...and for a while were corresponding back & forth regularly on our progress. Currently Shannon is the only one officially on Weight Watchers as Kari was blessed with pregnancy and I...well, I just can't afford it! After stuffing my face with fresh fruit, my sister, niece & I got ready to head to Nona's Sweets, which is a bakery in the University area of Charlotte with some of the BEST tasting cupcakes! I chose a chocolate with vanilla frosting and chocolate sprinkles...SO GOOD! Gotta have balance, right? After cupcakes we headed to Kohl's to look at luggage & ultimately went home on account of my boo boo being tired. I ended up going to the large mall to check out a luggage store to get some ideas on what I really thought would be best for me in my upcoming travels!

I stopped and got Panera for my sister & I for dinner and enjoyed a tasty panini and piece of french baguette upon my arrival home! At 7:00PM the Red Wings were playing the Penguins and sadly, they lost...but my brother in law and I enjoyed a couple new stout beers during the game!

Overall, I had a wonderfully "successful" birthday! Between the few cards I received (yesterday was a holiday & I think SOME of them are late! lol), the time spent with my family, the delivery of the fruit bouquet, the overwhelming Facebook posts, the texts, phone calls and emails...I can easily say I'm incredibly blessed to have so many loving friends & family!

And as my Facebook status said this morning...I can honestly say, each day of my twenty-five year old life has been a blessing, sometimes a blessing in disguise, but none the less...ALWAYS a blessing, a gift from God!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Big Move South

So when I lived in Michigan, all I ever wanted to do was get the heck out of Michigan! I hated the snow & gray winter weather more than ANYTHING and having to scrape off my car was seriously the thing that drove me over the edge every year. So, it was always my goal to move south...Tennessee, Carolina, Georgia, just somewhere WARMER! It took a lot of back and forth and some huge decisions on my part, but in July-ish I decided that I was going to make an "escape plan" for myself to finally make the big move. I created a spreadsheet of dates and activities that ultimately lead me to moving in with my sister, brother in law and baby niece at the end of October.

At the time I made this decision I was working as an administrative assistant for a GREAT hospital, but had been doing so for two and a half years with a couple opportunities to advance but ultimately didn't have "enough experience" and I felt stuck in a position I did not see myself growing professionally or personally in, so what better opportunity to start fresh, right? I also was single, most of my friends were in long-term relationships, married or getting married and I thought to myself, if I wait any longer I'll never be able to get away from this city I "hate" so much, let alone get out of state! I ended up meeting a fantastic guy which made my decision to pursue this adventure even more difficult but I went with it anyway, hoping that God would lead me. The story about my boyfriend is a WHOLE other chapter, so for sake of not making this blog post the LONGEST you'll ever read I'll just tell you it didn't end up working out and I'm currently single again.

So, I finally made the move down south and ended up just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina with my oldest sister, her husband and my sweet baby niece who at the time was just turning five months old. It was a tough transition, mainly because I had quit my full-time with benefits job and (thankfully) picked up a part-time holiday retail job making literally less than half of what I was before. The first month I had my boyfriend to talk to and he was always very sweet, telling me everything would be okay, but after our break up I didn't have that lifeline...and I was going through a devastating break up! I have a wonderful support system between my sister and brother in law here (and my sister's awesome friends) and all my friends and family back home...aaaand the ones scattered throughout the U.S.! :) But, there is something about having a best friend to sit, chat with and BAWL your eyes out with.

This leads me to how my Christmas vacation went, haha. My retail employer was kind enough to give me December 22 - December 28 off of work and we made the voyage in the sweet mini van back to Michigan (and I'm not being sarcastic...have you been in a mini van lately? It's not like it used to be kids! ha) Once back home I had a dinner with three of my dear friends from high school which lead them to ask what happened with my relationship with the "man of my dreams" (as I had often referred to him as) ...and after a couple minutes I lost it, I felt like a total boob just blubbering through dinner, but MAN it felt good to cry it out with my girlfriends. The next day was drinks with one of my very best friends and the waterworks happened again with both of us reliving some of the challenges we had endured in the last couple months. I had a couple more "break downs" if you will...and Christmas was a roller coaster of emotions but with my family and friends I was able to look past it all and appreciate what was at hand.

Once returning home I had a bit of a dramatic experience that could have set me over the edge but instead, I took the positive route and got my thoughts together and leaned on the one thing that could help me in times like this...and that was God.

So, there are a few things I've learned since moving snows here, frost gets on my windshield (although a LOT less often), but ultimately weather happens pretty much everywhere. I actually like Michigan (and miss it at times), I've become extremely sentimental about anything/everything Michigan. I mean I've always been a Detroit sports fan & wear my colors proudly, but now the sight of the old English D on another person's hat or car I get an overwhelming sense of excitement and pride! Eminem or Kid Rock come on the out, I turn it up and jam out! And lastly, "country boys" aren't all they're cracked up to be, they may have more manners saying, "yes ma'am" and holding doors, but deep down, they're just like all other guys. But, overall I'm not saying I hate it here and I HAVE to move back, because I don't feel I've given NC a fair chance (no income + no friends = little to no fun or excitement.) So, the full-time job search continues both here in NC and in MI...and elsewhere.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Twittered Pink

So, I pretty much love my iPhone, I use it for basically everything & if you know me, you know this already. My phone serves as 'sound machine' to help get me to sleep (ocean waves), it's my alarm clock, my calendar, camera, video camera, task list, iPod, running partner, weather man, connection to friends & family through Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter...oh yeah and my email & phone (with FaceTime!).

What I'd like to focus on right now is not the fact that I may or may not be addicted to my smart phone, but the fact that it is a very useful "1-stop shop" for my life! I no longer need a purse full of gadgets & gizmos as I used to, but simply need my iPhone (you would think this would have also caused a downsize in my purse...hmm). Upon getting an iPhone I contacted all my Apple-friendly friends to see what the best apps were, then did some exploring on my own & eventually have ended up with a multitude of applications that I use at least once a week. Okay, maybe I don't use ALL of them...and perhaps I should do some "spring cleaning" to free up some space. Either way, I have my favorites, my regulars & my "when I'm boreds". (In case you are curious, some of my favorites include: Words with Friends, Facebook, Pandora, The Weather Channel, PingChat, ESPN Score Center, Foursquare, Twitter, Nike+ GPS)

This brings me to Twitter. I never thought I would be a tweeter, I didn't see the purpose in giving "status updates" so often, I mean who listens...and who do I care about enough to listen to theirs? HOWEVER, once I started...I LOVE IT! I love that I can "follow" friends as well as celebrities, athletes & people who I don't even know...but share interests with! One thing I love most about Twitter is the awesome event that rarely happens...but when it does, leaves me "twittered pink!" What I'm referring to is when a celeb/athlete/important person reTweets or responds to one of my tweets to them! My first experience with celeb tweets was while I was training for my triathlon, I was having a heck of a time getting my swimming down so I reached out to Olympian swimmer Dara Torres & asked for her advice and SHE RESPONDED VIA DIRECT MESSAGE! And in her case more than once, her wonderfulness responded to three different tweets of mine on separate occasions! Next was Stu Holden (soccer player), he responded to a tweet of mine regarding my love for the numbers 22 & 7...I was soooo excited! Then I went through a bit of a lull in celeb tweets...until lately!

Just this past week I've had quite a few star striking Twitter encounters! First, I follow pitcher Brad Penny, and earlier this week he tweeted about wanting to play "Words with Friends" with some people & posted his user name. Well, I jumped all over that & started up a game with the MLB player (I mean c'mon, I'd never pass up that...even if it was with a White Sox player, well...maybe)., he & I started playing a game and the NEXT DAY he became a member of the Detroit Tigers! I could have died when I heard the news! So, we're still currently in the's really close, but he's ahead by about 30 points as we speak. Next, I've had a few comments back & forth with Tiger's blogger Jason Beck! Now, he may not be considered "celeb status" to most of you...but he is to me, so whatevs, we've been chatting about some of the recent Tigers moves! THEN Mario Impemba (Detroit Tigers announcer) joined the Twitter world & I tweeted about how much I missed him, Rod & the Tigers in general...and he RESPONDED! Ahh! :)

Now, this last one just happened and is by far my favorite tweet! Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner had been tweeting back & forth about playing other sports and Larry commented that Kurt should come back as an MLB pitcher & he would play outfield, ending with, "what do you think?" Well, I felt like being a bit sarcastic and tweeted to the both of them, "I think y'alls team would suck. Lol...just kidding, kind of. :)" and KURT WARNER responded! He said: "Our team, I never said I could play, now that's a different story! LOL" OH MY GOODNESS! KURT WARNER! I've been a fan of #13 for a LONG time...I even had his jersey as a Ram! Needless to say, I was pretty stinkin' excited! :)

So now I wonder...who will be my next celeb encounter on Twitter? I think for my upcoming birthday I'll be one of those annoying people who tweets a bunch of celebs asking for a bday reTweet! ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Second Chances

Welcome to my new blog! I'm excited to start this thing & actually stick to it this time (if you've followed my blogs in the know what I'm talking about!) ;)

So, to hold myself accountable I'm telling you I will plan to update my blog at least every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And also so you know, this is one of my "new years resolutions!"

Speaking of new 2011 started out a little rough. Without getting into too much detail I dealt with some pretty serious drama, but it's better now, I'm safe & okay and so are all the parties involved. However, that leaves me thinking about the start of my year, we always want a good start to the's our "fresh start" after all, right? But, what if you mess up the first day of the year, then WHAT? Well, I'm a firm believer in second chances, so I'm giving myself a second chance to 2011. Also, isn't there a saying, "in like a lion, out like a lamb?" Well, let's hope that's how this year goes for me.

So, in excitement of my second chance start to my is what I will be setting out to do in this lovely year!

1. Run a full marathon

Crazy, right? Last year I (barely) completed a half marathon (13.1 miles) but I didn't train properly for it & it left me with extreme hip pain - no bueno. I also completed a sprint triathlon in under 2 hours which was my goal. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of my accomplishments, and I need to top those! So, I vow to train properly for a full marathon in 2011...26.2 miles!

2. Study the Bible and other publications regarding the Bible and Christianity

I went through a tough breakup this year which centered around a difference in beliefs and although I truly love this person, the differences were too much for a successful future in my opinion. I regularly attend church and have a great relationship with God, but I feel like I need to do more research on my religion to grow in my faith. I also think it's important to be able to have "ammo" when I'm questioned about ANYTHING regarding my faith!

3. Get to GOAL

That is my weigh-loss goal...which leaves me needing to lose 30lbs. In the last two years I have lost approximately 40 lbs and only have 30 more to go! I think training for the marathon will help with this goal!

4. Get a job in my field

I graduated with my marketing degree in June of 2008 and I have yet to find a marketing job! I LOVE marketing and I really believe I would be amazing in any marketing position, but I would particularly like to work in event marketing or advertising! So, I will be plugging away & trying to make every connection possible to check this goal off my list in 2011!

5. Become more financially responsible

In October 2010 I took a chance, quit my full-time job & moved out of state from Michigan to North Carolina. Thankfully, when I got here I was able to find a part-time holiday/retail job. I'm currently still employed, but I'm not sure how long they will keep me on their payroll. From going to making "X" amount to making half that...and only working half the hours, I've really had to cut back on my expenses. It has taught me a lot, especially the fact that I can survive on my current income and I also think of things in prospective of: "If I buy this, it will cost me three hours of my pay" rather than thoughtless purchases. My goal is to set a budget and be strict with it so I can save money for things like a house, new car, VACATION!

Okay, that's my post for the I need your help to keep me on track, so feel free to comment and ask about my progress from time to time. :) Many blessings to you all!