It Could Be Worse... Sooooo Much Worse

While living in Kansas City I held a wonderful aquatics position with a fabulous Parks and Recreation department. Our office consisted of seven people, whom I considered family. I absolutely loved what I did, and for the longest time I thought I'd never leave.

Life happens and things change... That being said, Scott and I ended up in Los Angeles, "We're not in Kansas anymore."

Since moving, almost a year ago, I've been persistent in my search for a full-time position.

Currently, I am employed. However, I do not hold a "desk job." I don't have an office number, or even an office. There are no longer co-workers whom I consider family. And, for the longest time, the thought of all the things I no longer had over shadowed what I do have.

Yesterday, while at work, I took a look around and realized things could be worse... soooo much worse.

This is currently my "office".

And, this is my "desk."

These are my "work tools."
Here's where I hold my daily "meetings."

And, I considered this a "perk."

(It eventually becomes less red, and more tan... And, I'll do my best to make sure each side receives equal amounts of exposure - with a little SPF 30, of course.)

At the end of my "work day" yesterday I realized just how lucky I am to even have a job. Not everyone gets to say their work is actually play. :)


You've got MAIL!

"Hi. My name is Desiree, and it's been two weeks and two days living Facebook-free." (In unison the crowd replies) "Hi, Desiree'." 

It almost seems as if there should be a support group for this. Week one wasn't too bad, but recently the urge to check Facebook has been rather overwhelming.

If you're like me, your primary email account receives notifications from FB when someone has posted, tagged, or "liked" on your profile. You even receive the friendly reminder from Facebook which of your friends is celebrating his or her birthdays each week. There are even a few friends who find it amusing to purposely post on my wall, knowing full well I get the email notifications but can't check the FB account. I have several friends who are expecting mothers, or new mothers, and I'm biting my nails at the thought of all the photos I could be browsing. Thankfully, a few friends have their own blogs, and I can check out photos there. But, being Facebook-free has been a bit more challenging than initially anticipated.

However, yesterday, in the mail I received the greatest thing! Amid the junk mail and medical bills there was an envelope that was clearly from someone who knew me personally. A REAL card had been sent to me via snail mail! There was actual handwriting and everything!
Not only was the exterior ADORABLE with the butterflies (which I'm officially obsessed with), and meaningful with the quote, the interior was just what I needed as a little pick-me-up. It's been awhile since I've spoken with, FB'd, or even text this particular friend, but this little gesture - which took her more time than an email or text, and was more thoughtful than the former mentioned - made my entire day.

Thanks to her little note of kind words, I took it upon myself to return the favor and send out a few cards myself. Hopefully my cards will bring smiles to the faces of the recipients, like my card did for me.

To the friend who sent the card: Thank you, you truly made my day.


Without Facebook

It was the day before Lent and I hadn't really given a thought to what I'd try and give up this year. As I was browsing Facebook, bouncing from wall to wall, it hit me. I'd give up Facebook. Being injured for the past four months Facebook had/has become quite a staple in my daily routine.
Wake up. Make coffee. Check email. Check Facebook. Eat breakfast. Check Facebook. Take the dog
out. Check Facebook. Hit up the grocery store. Put away groceries. Check Facebook. Eat lunch. Check Facebook... You get the idea.

So, buh-bye Facebook it was.

Day one was difficult. Facebook had/has become such an easy way to communicate with friends and family; a great way to post pictures; a great way to silently stalk people I haven't talked to, or seen in years... Ok, maybe not so much that last part.

It's been a week since I've tapped into the site, and so far it's been a little easier than anticipated. There has been the occasional symptom of withdraw -- shakes and violent headaches. But, for the most part, things are going pretty well. And, I've already found myself texting and calling friends and family much more. Perhaps spending a little time away from Facebook will be a good thing.

Remember when you opened your email inbox and were pleasantly surprised to find not junk mail - from a rich prince somewhere in the middle east who has billions of money in a bank he'd be more than willing to share with you, if you only provided him with $1000 and all your credit card info - but messages from your mom, best friend, brother or sister... Since Facebook, those emails don't happen as often. The last email my BFF sent me was to make sure I was ok, and wanted to know why I was "leaving" Facebook.

So, now that Facebook is out, texting has become more "in."

Perhaps next year I'll give up texting...


Chocolate Chip Baked Goods :)

Ok, most people call them chocolate chip *ahem* cookies. I however, cannot stand the "c" word. Don't ask the reason. I'll be the first to admit, it's a bit ridiculous, but that's just how the baked good crumbles.

This past week Scott has been training for work. His days were long and exhausting. And, I wanted to do something I knew Scott would appreciate when he gets home... Chocolate chip baked goods are a favorite with Scott. He consumes them at lightning speed.

So, I've baked at batch and thought I'd share the great recipe I've acquired from Scott's mom and sister. Since obtaining the recipe I've tweaked it some.

What you'll need:

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup (or 1 stick) Crisco, butter flavor (it MUST be butter flavor)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 tsp cinnamon (play around with the cinnamon until you find the desired taste; I use just under 1/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 bags MILK chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups flour

*Preheat oven to 375.
*In a bowl combine sugar, brown sugar and Crisco. (If you're using a hand mixer, make sure it's of decent quality. I've laid three mixers to rest because the dough gets to be a bit heavy.)
*Once the sugars and Crisco are creamed together, add baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and chocolate chips.
*Then add the flour in 1/2 cup increments. This allows you to make sure your dough doesn't become too dry.
*Drop approximately 1 Tbsp. dough onto baking sheet. I found the small ice cream scoops are a great way to maintain a consistent shape and size.
*Bake for 8-9 minutes.
*As soon as the edges begin to brown, remove baked goods from the oven.
*The baked goods may not appear to be fully baked. Allow them to stay on the sheet and continue baking (OUT of the oven) for 5-8 minutes.
*Batch yields 60-65 baked goods.

The end result is a fabulously soft, chewy, chocolatey baked good. :)