Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just In Time!

Today officially rounds up the BEST month ever! You know that thing that I've been hinting at for a while--that super secretive information that I wasn't able to disclose before?? Well, good news came just in time for the end of August... This morning I got a FULL-TIME JOB OFFER!!! No longer will I have to work 2 jobs (but let's be real here, I'm still going to work a shift here and there at Loft), and I will actually get to enjoy my weekends! And I got the news right before the restaurant opened too, so (un)fortunately I let them know that I will no longer be a part of their opening team. It's definitely unfortunate that I just stepped into the sales lead position at Loft, and it was an emotional conversation with my manager(s) today, but they understand.

I really lucked out with this one--I wasn't even planning on looking for full-time jobs for several months since I knew that I had the sales lead job at Loft and I would be making good money downtown. I had actually applied for a part-time clerical position at this company a few months ago. Then during my restaurant training week, I received an email asking if I was interested in this full-time position and urging me to apply. 2 interviews and a sample assignment later, not only was I hooked, but apparently they were as well.

I am honestly just so ecstatic right now! I was a ball of nerves and kind of stressed out the past few days, what with the restaurant opening looming in the near future and a crazy busy week at Loft coming up next week too. Oh, silly me, I forgot to tell you what I'll be doing! I will officially be an environmental consultant when I sign the papers. I already verbally accepted the position this morning. And did I mention I get to travel too?? I'm seriously shaking right now! I've already contacted pretty much all my fam, and my brother wants to do a celebratory dinner now! Yay family time!

Alrighty, in the midst of all this excitement, I realized I am past due for a meal, yikes! But I just had to let you all in on my good news, and thanks for bearing with me while I kept it super hush-hush!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When One Door Closes...

I couldn't be happier that the weather is finally cooling down! I've had enough sweltering days in my apartment this summer to last me a while. It feels so nice to walk out of the gym in the morning to this:
Just gorgeous.
Skies like these remind me that fall is just around the corner. And even though I cannot make the most of seasonal items--pumpkin beer anyone??--that doesn't mean that I can't at least be festive. Charlottesville is the perfect place to be at the turn of the seasons--there are so many orchards, vineyards, and local breweries around that I rarely get bored. Granted, with my competition less than 12 weeks away, I can't actually indulge in any alcohol or eat any apples that I pick, but I can still go with friends/family. And that's all that matters.

Sissy & I went apple picking last year.
That reminds me, I really need to kidnap my sister and bring her up here soon... Although, I highly doubt she'll mind!

Around the Apartment

In light of the changing seasons (okay, I know fall is actually several weeks away), I went on a bit of a cleaning spree this morning. Or what I like to call Transitional Tuesday. I am still dying to change these pesky crimson walls--light, light green, please magically show up on my walls!! But I'm still going to wait a few weeks. In the meantime, I went through my closet, packing up all the super summery items and changed my comforter. I even made a small pile of things to consign and things to go to GoodWill or the SPCA Rummage.

Messy, messy closet!
Blah desk.
Cute comforter, but summery.
Um, LOVE my sea animal throw!
Phew, printer is GONE!
Much better!
Darker = better (for now).
Okay, so I will admit that those first pictures of my closet and desk were from right after I moved in here. I hadn't quite unpacked all the way, and I did change a little bit since then. But I feel SO much more organized right now! First of all, I really wanted to get that bulky printer off of my desk. I've actually been meaning to get a new desk, but that will have to wait. I didn't have much desktop left between the printer and my computer. Now it feels much more spacious (and did I mention I can't stand a cramped workspace?)! True fact: that printer didn't even have ink in it anymore...and I don't really have much to print since I'm no longer a student.

As for my bed, my mom bought me this new comforter a while back, right after I got the white and red one. I may have whined a bit because I literally had just bought the white/red one from Target a week earlier when I visited her, and when we went back with my sister, there were all these new cuter ones! I was sort of bummed because I had already put the white/red one on my bed, so I couldn't return it. And to top it off, since my sister needed stuff for her college apartment, my mom bought one for her...and surprised me with this one as well. Thank you mom, you're the best! And it's a little hard to tell, but it goes really well with the flower pictures above it!

The closet...oh geez, that took me pretty much all morning to go through! First, I pulled all the summery shirts and shorts. I do have a lot of things I will deem "transitional" so a good amount stayed. Then I pulled things that I have not worn/will not wear in a while. About half are going to consignment (they are hung on the left and in the 2 Loft bags in the picture), and half went into my apartment's communal GoodWill box. While I was at it, I took out my sweaters and coats(?!) from one of the blue tubs and organized all 4 of those bad boys--the tubs...I own more than 4 coats/sweaters. I think overall, it took me about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Does this count as cardio?? Um, no...

Around the Weight Room

It's official, I'm back in prep. I sort of saw it coming, but I was also thrown a bit off guard. The last I had talked to Pleasants, we talked about getting back in prep 8 weeks out. But I gained a bit more than I wanted, and I felt like I would probably need 10 weeks. Well, I finally met with him on Sunday, and I got thrown headfirst into Prep Round 2. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but pretty much he was like, "Tomorrow you are going to crash carbs. No carbs all week." And he continued to tweak macros for the following week--lower numbers. I may be grouchier this time around. Also, somehow my protein intake was overestimated last go-round--as in I was probably eating twice as much chicken as I needed to some days. Yeah, 8oz chicken does not equate to 22g protein...but yet I managed to lean out, to a point.

Today is Day 2 of my carb-less week, and I'm not feeling terrible yet. Coffee does wonders. As does proper sleep. I've also worked out a bit on my own this week too--I have to get used to it since Kevin is leaving me soon. Well more like leaving Charlottesville, but same thing. I managed to get through a decently heavy back/bi workout on Sunday, and this morning was legs. I was planning on doing box steps, but decided against it for fear of losing my balance and looking like a fool in front of all the AM regulars at the gym. Next time for sure! Other than that, I feel relatively confident working out alone, thanks to Jamie Eason's plan on I should rephrase that--I feel relatively confident working out alone in the mornings; in the evenings is a different story. I'm very aware of myself when working out in a crowded gym, and I feel like a lot of the younger guys are probably judgemental. That last part may or may not be true, but I do not want to be the butt of anyone's jokes at the gym when I spend a good chunk of my time there.

On that same note, I went to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law Sunday night (my last night of pseudo nutritional freedom). While we were eating, my brother mentioned that he's going to be getting back into lifting heavier this fall so he will workout with me when he can. He's really big into cycling, but he's lost a good amount of muscle mass from it, so he's looking to gain some back. Thank goodness for family that lives close-by and has similar interests (and goes to the same gym)!

But as far as Prep Round 2 is concerned, I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm excited to see how I progress this time compared to last time! Bring it on, prep gods!


Oh, and before I forget, let me introduce you to my new, AMAZING roommate, Mary Kate:
MK & me at her home away from home (away from home).
By far the best roommate I have ever had! Truth: we didn't know each other when we decided to live together, but I think we both agree that we are a great roomie match! It helps that we have a lot of friends/habits/things in common. And she always has the most entertaining stories, haha. In the above picture, we were "celebrating" my last night of nutritional freedom (aka goodbye alcohol, see ya in 12 weeks!) with some good ol' roomie bonding!

Well, still waiting on some hopefully good news, to which I alluded the other day. But until then, have a great week!

Are you getting ready for fall? If so, what have you done so far/do you have any fun festivities in your town??

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Keys Please!

Sorry folks, in lieu of the multitude of near-simultaneous events that is my life, I'm foregoing WILW this week. But I'm so glad to be back blogging! It's just been so hectic over here. Then add in an earthquake** and you've got an even crazier Liz! Let's see, over the past week...


Those crazy rain clouds I posted after last Sunday--yeah, they knocked out our internet at Loft. Not just for a day. Not just for two days. For an ENTIRE week! Numerous calls to store support did nothing for the first three days--all they could tell us is that they were "trying their best" to get someone out to us, but with the Verizon union workers on strike, they didn't know when that would be. If you've ever worked retail then you know that no internet means no phone lines and no debit transactions, credit card applications, gift card transactions/purchases. Yeah. By the end of the week our hold closet was full and our list of clients to call was a mile long. We couldn't even check our hourly/daily numbers to see how we were on our goals! Surprisingly, we had 3 really good days (the first 3 days). But following those were 3 bad days--I'm sure we were all just burnt out by then...and it didn't help that there was more rain and all the UVa kids were moving in--aka people don't go out to shop unless they desperately have to.

But in other news, as of today, my training period is officially over! I took my Key Test over the phone with the district manager this morning and it went swimmingly! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming! When I got off the phone, I went up to my assistant manager and jokingly asked, "So where are my keys??" I'm glad this whole long, drawn-out process is done and over with! Took long enough! I'd been offered this position months ago, had been hearing about it several weeks before that, and just now am I actually stepping into this role. Phew!

**Ironically, when the earthquake hit, my manager was showing me the location of the emergency kit/what it contains. Talk about perfect timing (not that we needed to use anything in it)!


I don't know if I previously mentioned this, but the opening to the Skybar (as I like to refer to it) has been pushed back 2 weeks. I wasn't quite as bummed about that as I thought I would be. That meant that I didn't have to work 2 jobs this week and freak out about whether or not I would have been able to go home for my dentist appointment on Monday (my teeth are now sparkly clean--though they were pretty darn white before! And I got a small cavity taken care of...yuck!) and whether or not I would be working on my birthday. The only setback is that because I figured I would be working at the Skybar on my birthday, I didn't bother to request off at Loft. And of course I do have to work...but there could be worse things! The only other set back(s) is that I don't have additional income the next week and a half (but my hours & pay increased at Loft at least!), and since the opening is now slated for Labor Day weekend, I may not be able to go visit Virginia Beach (aka home) with my friend Stacy, whose in-laws are renting a beach house there. I told her I would try my best! And there are also certain undisclosed events which would lead me to being able to join her!

Major Life Change??

This all started during training week for the Skybar when I checked my email on my phone. An opportunity presented itself and I had to at least try for it. I honestly cannot disclose much on this at the time, because I'm really nervous of the outcome and it has sort of tangled me in a web if all goes well. But let me just say that after some follow-ups and "meetings" both Sunday and this afternoon, things are looking really positive. I just have one "homework assignment" to do before Friday, then hopefully next week I will know where I stand. I'm really excited and yet really nervous at the same time. I'm not one to let people down, but in this instance, if things turn out as I hope, then I will have to unfortunately disappoint one party. Such is life, and this would be a really good thing for me.

Taking It Outdoors

I was really in the mood for some outdoor activity this past weekend. I'd been stuck inside (aka at work) for what seemed like forever during our 2011 Computer Crisis and just needed to be away from walls for a while. Megan had previously mentioned hearing about a nice hiking trail along the Appalachian called Spy Rock from a radio advertisement (of all things...) so we drove out the 45 minutes and took the next few hours to hike to the top, scramble up some rocks and enjoy the amazing view! Oh, and we dragged Dave, her coworker, along with us (though he was a willing participant and even drove. Thanks, Dave!). Here's some of the views, the mock-seriousness, and the silly antics from our adventure:
Hard to read, but at this point, we only had 0.5mi to the top!
So beautiful! It looked blue in real life.
Too bad it was really cloudy!
I officially fail at trying to keep a straight face.
Megan broke and smiled.
I thought this was flattering?
Jokingly flashing Dave my sports bra behind his back.
Yeah, I'm we're normal. Not. But it was a lot of fun, and afterward we stopped at a German restaurant that was along our driving route back to Charlottesville.

Puppies for My Birthday?!

I wish! I really wish I could have taken Archie back with me when I went home on Monday. But unfortunately (and especially) because of the uncertainty that I'm stuck in, it just isn't the best time. Maybe in a few weeks when I go home again for a doctor's appointment (I really have to switch all that stuff to up here in C'ville--I'm wasting so much gas!) and to visit a friend. Crossing my fingers on this one that it all works out--and of course it's all dependent on my undisclosed situation.

Even though I didn't get to take him back with me, I did enjoy a lot of time with my pup. I even convinced my mom to let him sleep with me, which is a no-no in general. Let's be real though--if I only get to see him for a few hours every time I go home, I better be able to sleep with my puppy! I think he really liked sleeping on the bed pillows. At one point in the middle of the night, I woke up to him nudging me and then he rolled onto his back on the pillows so I could give him a tummy rub. Wow, talk about me sounding like a kid right now... Of course I had to leave him the next day, but not without numerous pictures!
Spoiled much??
He's getting so big :(
AND I got to go to my favorite fro-yo place with my mom (I had to--they gave me free fro-yo as a birthday gift!)! Silly me, I failed to take a picture of my amazing concoction before I devoured it, but I did get a picture of the empty bowl. Don't worry, it was non-fat, no sugar added, lo carb fro-yo. How they manage that whopper of a nutritional combination, I have no idea, but I'll take it anyway!


The gym has been going well. Still haven't really gotten back to my 2 a days yet. I'm trying not to overdo cardio now so I won't have to do a lot more once I start back up in prep in a couple of weeks. So for now, that means I'm doing my AM cardio and only doing my PM cardio when I feel like I need it (or in some cases, when I feel like being on my feet for hours on end at Loft does not count as cardio--sometimes it does!). That was what Pleasants had suggested all along when I realized I couldn't do the July competition, but I'm an over-achiever, so most of the time I hit my 2 a days every day. It's a decent "break" though.

Training is about to get ROUGH though! I'm losing my trainer! Kevin is moving a couple of states away, so I'm on my own...kinda. I'm enlisting Megan (aka dragging her ass back to the gym!) as a workout partner. Many things I can do on my own, I'm sure. But when it comes to being able to push myself a little further to be able to lift just 5 or 10 or __ more pounds, I need a spotter. I have workouts outlined by Pleasants that I can do, and if that gets old, I'm kinda loving the workouts from Jamie Eason's plan on It's going to take a lot of adjustment. Kevin could be moving as early as the first week of September or as late as the 3rd week of September, but either way I'm a bit nervous about going at it completely alone. **Hint, hint** Megan!

Well I think this post has been lengthy enough for a non-WILW Wednesday. Enjoy the beautiful weather before another natural disaster strikes! That's right, earthquake yesterday and hurricane in the next few days. I knew I majored in envi sci for a reason!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Tribute to the 70s

It's that time of the week again--WILW! It may be because I've been working at Loft for the majority of the past 2 days (welcome to my new life!), or it may be because I had a lot of free time on my hands these past few months and managed to watch all 8 seasons (or 201 episodes, whichever you prefer) of That 70s Show in record time...but I have to admit I wish I got to experience the 70s. Not the whole I'm-high-all-the-time-and-getting-knocked-up-at-Woodstock experience, but the fashion! If I had to choose, I would definitely pick Jackie's wardrobe from the show...

Excuse me while I geek out for a moment about how the 70s styles are all making a comeback this fall and I'm in love with them. Which brings me to:

WILW: 70s Edition (Sorta)

  • Loft's new fall collection--Flares are back in! NEVER thought I would say that. OR be happy about it. But sorry folks, I can't hide the truth from you. I'm a bit obsessed fascinated. The store was a bit slow today so my manager and I decided it was a good time to try on all the new styles--you know, so we can be better adept at selling them... to ourselves. Yeah, let's just say my hold tag went from the 1 sweater I put on hold last night to:
    • The one sweater--large stripes of lavender and grey with button-sleeve detailing (Loft online doesn't have a pic yet, boo!)
    • A lace-detailed tee (also not online yet--my attempt to woo you with pictures isn't going too well)
    • Two pairs of flare pants--I should mention that it's not like bell-bottom middle-schooler flare. It's classic.

Sage green
And in gravel grey...
*I hate to say it because these girls are models, but I think that the pants looked better on my than they do in those pictures...but pictures don't do the pants justice. And the tops they put them with in these pictures are terrible.
    • A "two-fer" lace overlay sweater dress. In petite. Because I'm just short enough to classify as such sometimes.
    • A sweater vest with a faux fur-lined collar (again no picture). Before you think, "Oh dear lord, that sounds awful!" you would have to see it in person in order to give it justice. I have to admit, when we first got it in, I thought it was terrible. But we put it out on the sales floor the other day, and every time I walked by it, I kept thinking I should try it on. I finally did during my lunch break today with the aforementioned sweater and fell in love with it.
    • Another shirt, similar to this but darker in color:
I need to figure out what I actually want need though. As much as I would LOVE to buy all of it, I don't think I can. Oh well, back to the love list!
  • Megan DeJesus--I love people who let me do laundry at their houses! My apartment/apartment complex does not have laundry facilities. And laundromats scare me--okay that's a lie, I just don't want to wait in steamy rooms and have my clothes stolen and be hit on by creepy strangers. Maybe I wasn't lying... Yeah, they scare me. So thank you Megan for letting me do laundry at your place and use your wireless and chill with the bunny you're watching (Bun Bun and I bonded!), all while you are out to dinner with your bosses. Greatest. Friend. Ever.
  • Prime Outlets Williamsburg--So I'm hoping to coaxing my mom into meeting me at the Williamsburg outlets this weekend for some good old shopping. There's a few things on my fall wishlist--boots, please!--that I would love to get for as little money as possible. However, generally when I go to the outlets, my workout wardrobe drastically increases. It's either the outlets or all the Loft clothes I just mentioned (**hint, hint** Mom, if you are reading this...). Still not sure whether this trip will happen or not, but I'll find out tomorrow.
  • Clean eats, good workouts, and renewed motivation--That's where I stand right now. It's not so much that my motivation is "renewed," because it has been for quite a while, but I like to remind myself of that every now and then. And of course, I stocked my previously barren fridge with some nice veggies (and fruits until these next 3 1/2 weeks end) and massive amounts of protein. Still trucking along at the gym, though I really need to get on top of my running!
Well, gotta cut this short because: A. I'm tired and actually need to fold my clothes/head home for dinner with the roomie who just moved back in!, and B. my laptop does not have much life left while I'm lounging on Megan's couch. Oh, and C. I'm sure by now you're just bored with my post.

I'll be back tomorrow for some better/more-relevant-to-training post. Until then, I have a question for you: Pre-owned boots--would you buy them?? I found a pair of boots at a thrift store downtown on Sunday and I've been toying with the idea of getting them. They are real leather and only $40, which I'm sure they cost a lot more. Yes or no??

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back in Action!

Interestingly enough, I find the best times are the ones that go unplanned. I didn't have much in mind for the weekend, but when it came down to it, I had a great time. Especially yesterday!

Of course, no weekend is complete without a little work. I may not have had a chance to get to the gym yesterday (darn it!), but I did get a workout changing mannequins' clothes and climbing ladders to get the windows ready for our new store set. Yes, sometimes we actually have to do "physical labor" at Loft--but it's usually more fun than it is daunting.

I had tentatively had plans with my friend, Megan, the night before, but when it came around to it, I passed on the idea, out of exhaustion and crappy weather. I mean, normally I'd be all for drinking a bit of wine under the night sky at a local vineyard. But add rain into the mix and I'll definitely pass.

So when Sunday rolled around, Megan and I got together for the most unproductive day ever. Went downtown for a little browsing--a little more than window shopping but a little less than buying anything. It gave us a reason to go into Urban Outfitters, where I, of course, had to try on some dresses "in case I decide to do something for/around my birthday." I already told you that I use my birthday month as an excuse for everything, right?? Not so much this year though. I honestly just wanted to try on dresses!

In love with this dress!
Creepy smile, but the dress was pretty cool.
I hate to say it, but both of these dresses are so "Urban Outfitters." Not my normal style, but I liked that they were both interesting. I should have taken better pictures of the back of them--the first one especially. And of course it was the last of its kind, so if I decide to spend way too much money on a dress buy it, I'm sure it will no longer be there.

I'm actually pretty content looking at these pictures. Since I chose a new competition date, I've gained a few pounds not being as strict with my nutrition (per Pleasants' advice). Having been so strict for so long, I definitely have a few issues with the mirror and the scale, ha. But I know I'm at a better starting point than I previously was, and I'm extremely glad for that. We all know that I have a hard time being objective...

Anywho, after the fitting room fun at Urban, we decided to check out all the neat shit things they sell--mostly random, all for laughs. My favorite finds included:
Are you outdoorsy??
Truth. Especially with Megan around.
A tribute to Logan.
Love this. 
So I'm especially in love with the water bottle. Having gone to the preppiest university (according to some website that I'm not about to hunt down), I've encountered many a student with these Nalgene water bottles. I used to be a member of the Outdoors at UVa club--I know that the majority of those kids would never step foot in the woods, let alone camp out in a sleeping bag among nature. I won't even go into the terrible gym habits of most students. But let's just say that's why I continued to pay for my Gold's membership even though I had free access to the on-grounds gym(s).

So back to Sunday--Megan and I perused the downtown mall for a little bit longer, hitting up some vintage shops before sporadically deciding to watch Horrible Bosses at the movie theater. Amazingly funny movie! My favorite line is actually from one of the out-takes--"This place is awful! It's like Sharper Image took a sh*t in here!" I think it's especially funny to me because I know someone who could sort of fit into this category...

Walking out of the movies, we were greeted with gloomy skies.

These may be classified as a touch more than gloomy, if you ask me. We had just enough time to get to the car before it started torrentially pouring down rain. The winds picked up, and for a minute I was unsure if we would actually get home safe. Secretly, I was intrigued--I've always thought I could have a future as a storm-chaser (kidding...maybe)!

Home safe and sound, I got to meet another furry friend, this time one that Megan is watching for the week:
Say hello to Bun-Bun!
 While this girl was probably scared out of her mind (and without power) back at my apartment:
You can almost see that glimmer of crazy in her eyes!
Only 3 more days!
Megan was fortunate enough to actually have power, so we invited some friends over and made Sunday Dinner, Jersey Shore style (aka while watching Jersey Shore...After Aladdin ended of course!).
Watch out, she has a knife!
I was skeptical, but this actually turned into
a decent lettuce-less salad after more was added.
 I had pasta for the first time in probably a year last night. Can't say that I missed it. And now, I get to enjoy my day off, with newly restored power and a cup of this stuff:
Already hit up the gym once today--got in some leg work (kinda, sorta), abs, and some HIIT split between the stair mill and the treadmill. I'm excited to say that I'll be back in the gym for my two a days (I was dying without this last week!) with a workout with Kevin and then a CX30 class and/or a spin class with Megan!

How was your weekend? Anyone have any crazy weather stories?? I'll try to take some aftermath pictures if I can later today!

Have a great Monday!

P.S. Application and all accompanying materials submitted--wish me luck!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not A Fan of Weekends

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the weekend and all the laziness it stands for. But what I don't love is the gym crowd Saturdays and Sundays. It would be one thing if the gym opened at the same time over the weekend as it does during the week, but unfortunately, people have lives. Meaning they like to have a good time on Friday and Saturday night, and actually want to sleep in for 3 more hours. I'm not saying I'm not one of those people--I like to sleep in a couple hours later on the weekend too, but this means that everyone and their mom is at the gym by 8:30.

I tend to enjoy one of two things during cardio sessions: 1. zoning out, and 2. people watching. It's slightly easier to zone out during the weekdays, especially after you recognize most of the faces in the gym. Weekends, I have to admit, are good for people watching, but sometimes you get the creeper that gets on the stairmill/treadmill/etc next to you, and you're pretty much forced to face front. Or another of my favorites--the all-too-social gym-goer. The one that gets, once again, right next to you (really, of ALL the open equipment) and either chats on their phone or waves a friend over and starts up a half-hour conversation. I have to give them props or something--I can barely breathe when I'm doing cardio most of the time! And when I do manage to say hi to someone or talk for a few minutes, it's between very labored breaths (**slight exaggeration**).

All things aside, it's not like I'm going to skip out on the weekends, and I'm a very impatient person--I can't wait around for a "better" time to go to the gym on Saturdays and Sundays. But I much prefer my weekdays.

Forewarning: Silly metaphor ahead, but I promise there's a point!

When Life Gives you...

Apples? You thought I was going to say "lemons," right? Well, life has given me apples instead--most people like apples. There are many different varieties, so if you don't like one, you are sure to like another. This is kind of where I'm sitting with the whole Loft/Commonwealth thing--most people would not care to work two jobs, and many would not care to work retail or in a restaurant. Yet that's what I'm doing. I'm not 100% comfortable with it, since I now have a college degree and all, but it works for now. And hey, it's not like I'm back at Ruby Tuesday (as if I ever belonged there). And it's not like I'm still an associate at Loft.

But of course leave it to life (or fate?) to throw a curveball at me. Life has now given me strawberries and I sort of have an interesting situation in front of me. For all the people that like apples, there are a lot of people that like strawberries too. But the two just don't work well together (with the exception of strawberry-flavored applesauce--I think that's OK). During the first break from training on Monday, I was able to check my email via my phone and was surprised to see an email from a company I had applied to a couple months ago. Back then, I applied for a part-time position doing clerical work, but at an environmental company. Apparently, my information was passed on to the woman that contacted me for a full-time position that has opened up. Unfortunately, between all the training last week, I'm just now getting around to getting my stuff together (writing sample, cover letter, references, etc). And I'm actually really excited to even be considered to apply. Who knows what will happen--whether I'll get an interview, if I get the job, etc., but I'm sort of nervous because I'm essentially letting down my managers at Loft, and I'll have wasted a week of training for downtown.

Whatever happens, I'm sure it will work out, and I tend to be more "realistic" than optimistic (my realism is not very dependent on hopes haha). So yeah--apples or strawberries? I'm one cover letter away from seeing where this leads!

In Other News

I have a tiny kitten sleeping on me, trying to say hello to you guys by stepping on my keypad. I know I promised pictures, but you know what they say, "Let sleeping cats lie..."

Have a great night & a delightful Sunday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Fever!

Wow, it's been a while...and then some! Or so it feels--I've been going non-stop this entire week. My assistant manager at Loft asked when my last day off was a few days back, and I honestly didn't know off the top of my head. I had to look back to my iCal, only to find out that last Monday was my last day off! I knew I had a tough week ahead at the beginning of the week, but for some reason, I didn't realize just how LONG 8-hour training days actually are. And if you don't like sitting still, like me, then they just drag on a bit.


In an attempt to make this post less read-y and instead lighter, my restaurant training in bullets is as such:

  • Great ownership--I've worked in both chain restaurants and privately owned restaurants from high school through college, and I have a feeling this is going to be my best experience yet. The restaurant that I have the privilege of working for is called Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar--and for good reason! There's so much behind the name, and the owners and managers have taken this to the next level to create an ethos that will definitely stand out in Downtown C'ville.
  • Amazing food--Thank goodness I am not on prep right now! Otherwise I would not have been able to taste the Delicious food that was prepared for us every day. I don't think there was a single thing on the menu (aside from desserts--no desserts) that we didn't get to try! All of the dishes take advantage of our location by using local ingredients, whether it be produce, meat, etc. I will admit there are some things I never would have thought to try off the menu, but I didn't taste a single thing that I didn't like either--and that's saying something!
  • Fun coworkers--I definitely have a great group of people that I'm going to be working with, and it's such a relief knowing that we are all starting off from square one. It doesn't seem like anyone is judging anyone else, and we all know that there will be mistakes in the beginning, so it was nice knowing that we are all learning together.
  • Free booze--I drank more this past week (well, Tuesday - Thursday), than I have in...oh, months?? In the dining room of the restaurant, there's an extensive wine list with approximately 80 wines. On top of that, 8 tap beers and about 20 craft beers. Then about a 10 cocktails. I think we tried about a dozen wines Tuesday, 15 on Wednesday, and then about 10 beers & all but 2 cocktails on Thursday. During the day--a rare occasion for me as of late. Did I mention that we got paid to do this?! Once again, thank goodness for no prep!
  • Guilt--All that food and alcohol and no guilt? Ha, if only! I sort of went into this week thinking that I would be starving the entire time--I mean they said they would provide us with food, but they don't know how much I eat! Answer: a LOT (of protein)! So I was surprised when I realized the food was actually really filling, despite the small-ish portions. I guess that's what normal food does to you. I definitely would count this as a "cheat week" AND I didn't even get to hit my two-a-days at the gym any day (I could have Wednesday afternoon, but sitting around for 8 hours is more exhausting than you would think)!

I am officially in training mode! Doesn't feel much different. Just learning to run the day-to-day tasks of being part of the management team. So far it's mostly reading, then doing things I haven't done before, like counting registers and figuring out all the computer stuff. Boring exciting stuff. Just over a week left til I'm done with that training, then I have to take my Key Test, and BAM!!--it's official!


The combination of mental exhaustion and the unmet need for a nap every day has led to some pretty funny gym moments this week...whether it be Toni calling me her "daughter from another mother" (which, by the way Toni, I never told you I am honored to be considered!), or my insanely large ego excitement over touching the rack during heavy squats today! Did I mention that I was working out with Kevin & his other trainee, Bob? Yeah, suck it boys! Don't worry, I literally said that to them too. But in all fairness, I think Kevin was trying to give me a hard time or say how he was working sooo much harder or something. I wasn't trying to give Bob any flak though--he's a champ (and doesn't make fun of my inability to count...which is to be seen)! So aside from having to rush Monday thru Thursday mornings, aka crappy cardio and no 2nd round, I got in some good workouts.

Friday R&R

Today was all about the rest & relaxation, despite forgoing sleeping in an hour for a leg morning instead. Grocery shopping, tanning, cooking, other errands (that included a stop to Loft--just can't stay away from that store!)... Oh and did I mention I'm watching the most precious kitten ever for the next few days? Her name is Rooney and she is currently in cute kitten mode, napping all stretched out over the arm of the couch! Don't quite have any pictures yet, but I'll be sure to post some soon. Oh, and I didn't even mind waking up in the middle of the night to her using my sleeping body as a jungle gym. 

I apologize for the dragging post, but I'll be back at ya soon with something way more fun (as soon as I figure out what that is)!

Happy Friday!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Stand Corrected

It can get better than this, and it has! This is another one of those scenarios (completely different than the last) that I can't really say much about yet, but let's just say I'm pretty darn excited! I've been slightly scatterbrained this week, what with all the unofficial training at Loft and getting mentally prepared for the LONG week I have ahead of me next week. And yes, I may have gotten lost in my own mind a few times... But don't worry, I found my way out (and I promise I'm sane)!

The Gym

Workouts, though intense (as usual) have been a bit off this week. I've been training with Kevin in the mornings this week which I'm not really used to. Normally, I do my own thing in the morning for about an hour and a half, but I don't weight train til the afternoons. While there have been mornings here & there that I lift at 5:30am, it's not really an every day occurrence for me. On top of that, somebody (not me!) got a bad case of poison ivy and ran away from my training session yesterday morning! And I mean that literally--although it was more of a quick walk away. Anyhow, everyone is doing better now and I was back at it this morning. 35lb dumbbells on chest press today--hells yeah! I never really made note of what weights I started off with when I first started on this training journey, and now that I think about it, that would have been a smart idea. DUH, Liz!! Do you keep track of the weight #s you lift, or do you just know you're going heavier??

This week was also slightly different in that Kevin and I incorporated an ab day--just abs. It was good and a nice change from the ab rut routines I've been stuck in the past few weeks. I do have to admit though, cardio has been off. Well let me clarify--it's off from what my ideal picture of cardio is. When I met with Pleasants a few weeks back, he suggested cardio 4 days a week and as needed. But when I hear "as needed," I say to myself "Heck yes, I need that second round of cardio!" So although I have skipped missed out on a couple afternoon sessions this week, it really isn't the big detriment that I'm making it out to be.

And guess what! Missing a measly 20 minutes of cardio has done wonders for my non-existent social life! Okay, that's another exaggeration, but basically, I have an extra 1 1/2 - 2 hours free in the afternoons (factoring in travel time, cardio, shower time, and the few minutes I shoot the breeze at the gym).

The Pup

So now it's time for me to admit that this is getting a little out of hand. And by this, I mean my mom actively trying to steal Archie from me! At first I thought she was joking. I knew she wanted two pups, but I didn't think she was serious at all. Then, she kept offering to pay me for Archie--and she still is! Although, I'm a smart girl--I told her if she wants him, that he's worth more now, "The $150 I paid for him, plus an additional $100 for each additional month old he is." I played right into her greedy little puppy-grubbing hands! When she offered to watch him for me during the hot summer months, I agreed. That was Step 1. Now Archie and his brother, Murdoch, are inseparable. So Step 2 is obviously to make me feel guilty for wanting to separate the two of them. She even had the audacity to tell me "He can still be yours. But you can just get another dog when you have more time!"Ummm SAY WHAT, MOMMA K?! A. She didn't even know what mini schnauzers are until I got one! She thought they are yorkies! B. She thought the Craigslist post was a scam. C. She didn't even want one til she saw mine--true story! And D. I raised him! That's like asking a mother to give up their baby. No thank you, Mom--but I can give you the number to the SPCA so you can get another dog "when you have more time."

Any advice on how to get my lil Archie back?? My sister officially has more pictures together with my dog than I do! Excuse me while I go whine. Or better yet--I do have a house key to Momma K's house...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can It Get Any Better Than This??

Oh my word, I'm having the most AMAZING week in recent history. If not in all history. First let me just say:

August, I love you!

As a follow up to My Fave Month post, I have to admit that August is getting off to a great start! I don't know how it will be able to outdo these past 2 1/2 days, but I'm sure it will!

Live, Love, Loft

This is the motto of the store I work for, and now more than ever, I can say that I truly believe in this phrase. I've worked for Loft for over 2 1/2 years--I started in October 2008, and it's the first job that I've truly loved. The first place where I truly felt like my work was valued and I made a difference in people's days (and wardrobes). I remember some of the first girls I met--my first day was actually during the quarterly meeting for the store, and although I knew nothing at the time, everyone made me feel welcome. I've seen faces come and go, some that have been at the store as long as me, and some more seasonal associates that just work on their summer breaks or just for holiday purposes.

I've seen the store progress through 3 different managers and finally become the LOFT that I now know--a wonderful work environment where I'm in constant contact with some wonderful women. I've seen my assistant manager (love you, KT!) get married, welcome a son into the world, and now she is expecting #2 (fingers crossed that it's a little girl!)!! My general manager, CP,  is by far the best supervisor that I've ever worked for--she has a way of making the associates feel valued and is exceptional at what she does. Ever since she came along, our store has progressed and I know we are capable of GREAT things!

That brings me to the good news: I have officially been offered the promotion to Sales Lead! I know it was such a long, drawn-out process, but there were extenuating circumstances. The current sales lead whose position I am taking is about to start grad school, and while she had summer classes, she wanted to continue in her role until the fall semester starts. And our district was in the middle of a transition to a new district manager, whom I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday. Yesterday in itself was such a great day and really boosted my morale. With the visit of our new DM, and the start of our current promotional events going on (check out the Loft page and/or your local Loft for some great deals!), I was able to push myself that much more and I made a great first impression! Like seriously good.

I'm so excited for this new opportunity, and while this week serves as an unofficial training week, my official training starts next week. Speaking of which, I may not be able to post much next week because I'll simultaneously be training for the downtown gig. Downtown in the AM followed by Loft in the PM makes for one tired Liz! Well worth it!

And that's just one of the reasons August is already living up to it's designated "Fave Month" title!

WILW: August Edition!
Oh August...

  • My amazing job, coworkers, & everything else that comes with LOFT-- If it's not already obvious from the paragraphs I just wrote about my job, I love where I work! My promotion is a great opportunity while I slowly make my transition into real world-mode. My new district manager is by far the best we've had yet. My manager is the most personable boss I've ever had. I convinced clients to open opened 5 cards yesterday (which is no small feat, let me tell you!). I completely wowed my DM and even got to share with her a training tool I created for my fellow associates. Oh, and I had several clients tell me "Thank you SO much for your help. You were great!" and actually mean it. I love when clients are willing to step out of their fashion comfort zone and they end up pleasantly surprised with the suggestions they are given :) and then they buy everything!
  • Toni-- If you are friends with me on Facebook, you will know that my goal this week was to run to/from the gym every day (though in my mind, this really just meant run to...crawl back). Well, I've also been in the middle of that shoe experiment, which means that not only have I been running to the gym, but I haven't been doing so in my FiveFingers. How's it going?? Eh... My shins have been been aching, and my legs have felt heavy (though granted, I normally run on the treadmill at 0% incline and Cville is all hills). So yesterday, I was NOT feeling the run back, and my amazing bodybuilding friend Toni offered to give me a ride home, even though she was heading right back to the gym for more training! Get it girl! Well, we had some interesting girl talk, which should make for some amusing times at the gym over the next several days (hehe). Toni, if you're reading this, Thanks for the ride and I will see you in the morning!!
  • "Pre-lated" Birthday Gifts-- That should probably read "pre-dated" birthday gifts, but my dad coined the term when he ordered me my new VITAMIX!!! Which came in the mail today! What a coincidence, something I love being shipped to me on a WILW! SCORE!! Yes, I've already taken numerous photos, at every stage of opening the package it came in, and am more than ready to use that sucker. **Insert grocery store trip here** <---Yeah, I need some (ba)naners! And of course, the recipe book that came with it knows the old me--the first page I opened to was of course Fruit Margaritas & Strawberry Daiquiris. Is this a sign?? Feel free to judge me based on the following pictures (in an effort to show you my excitement and my childlike behavior, I have included all):
Hmm, what's in it????
Inspiration included!
The real deal (aka alcohol not optional)!
The Majestic Beast (of a blender)
I will use you! (It's bigger than my head!)
Note: More excitement than meets the eye
I gots the goods ;)
Don't make me use the tamper on you!
(I warned you I was acting childish!)
Thanks dad!
  • My week's choice of outfits--of which I have no pictures. But trust me. I actually put in some decent effort this week (not that I normally don't). My wardrobe = another reason I love Loft. When I consign things (which I did today & received $22 from previous things I consigned that have sold in the past week!!) I feel slightly silly because it's all Loft...
  • Recent (free) accumulations-- Presents! ...For being awesome at opening cards at work and for having friends as amazing as Stacy that go to Cancun and bring me back gifts ;)
Marbleized bangle bracelet (from work).
It's cuter in person...can't tell from the pic
Cutest change purse & magnet ever, C/O Stacy!
  • Mood lighting just for the heck of it--

Sometimes it's just nice to enjoy an evening by candle light (or in my case an entire day--I needed to burn those suckers down to get rid of em!). But seriously, I enjoy candles (and not in a pyromaniac way)!

That's all folks! Check back next week (if I have time) to see what made the WILW Love List!

Question: Should I sell my prom dress?? I have no occasion to wear it again and I think I could make a decent return on it. Betsey Johnson from the outlet 4 years ago, cost me my dad & his mom $220 (originally ~$400). Any idea on how much I should ask?? I can't find an exact style online anywhere...
Ooooh, sequins! Pardon my oh-so-young face!