Sunday, March 3, 2013

No Excuses :(

I have no excuses, so I'll just start off by saying that I feel just as bad as the dog in the video below for not writing since August.

How cute is he?! Poor Denver :(

Now, a lot has happened since I was last on here, way too much to catch up on so I'll just get into what's going on now.

This is Lady Bella's new sleeping spot, on the floor in front of my night table on a nice fluffy blanket that she's taken over. What a life..

Chester of course, sleeps on the bed with us cuddling up next to me. He wouldn't have it any other way, even though it means that I have to sleep in all sorts of weird positions.

..and when they're both on the bed, it kinda feel like this, lol.

In keeping with the cat theme, its a little hard to see because of the glare but, on my way to work on Friday I was behind this person.

If you look closely, her passenger side head rest it looks like a cats head! Okay, okay, it might be a stretch but it was the first thing I thought of.

Aside from not blogging for a while, I've also neglected exercising my craft muscles so yesterday Mike and I decided it would be a lazy, do nothing kind of Saturday.  While he played some PS3 I took some time to get crafty!

At work they have this Healthy Living program where if you take a health survey they give you a $75 AmEx gift card.  I think 15 minutes is worth $75, and that extra $75 meant that I can go to Michael's and have a little fun!

I had 3 crafts lined up but only finished 2 because the last project has been a work in progress for a while now, I'll post the finished project later on.

Project #1 was this cute little gnome I found in the ceramic section of Michael's and I love gnomes (I'll post a pic of my small collection later on too).  

I was going to paint him with the typical red hat, blue shirt, white beard but I set myself to spend only $20 because I had originally planned to use the gift card to get a haircut. So I decided not to spend $6 of my $20 on all the different colors I would need and I went with just blue.  The example piece they had on display was painted in this pretty teal blue and it was so shiny like a finished ceramic piece.  I bought the ceramic paint and slapped two coats on this lil guy and in 24 more hours, in the oven he goes and hopefully he'll come out looking shiny and glossy like the display.

Project #2 was one that I had seen on Pinterest a while back and finally just got around to.

I bought two 12x12 canvases painted them charcoal grey, which took two coats to get that dark and I had only bought a tiny little bottle of paint not even thinking about having to paint two coats. It actually worked out well, and I still have some paint left over.

I found some state outlines online, printed them out and traced them on to scrapbook paper and cut them out carefully with an x-acto knife. I used a small heart paper punch, cut the hearts out and stuck them on where Monroe and Winston Salem are <3. Once the canvases dried I stuck them on there and that was that! Overall it was pretty simple just took a while for the paint to dry.

 (I don't know why the colors are so off, I took the pics at the same time.) 

The third project, Chester tried getting creative with lol! The paint is non-toxic so I wasn't too concerned with that, but more concerned with him leaving his paw prints all over the apartment lol.

I have to say he did give me an idea tho, if I had pink and blue non-toxic paint I could have taken his and Bella's prints and made something cute with them :)

So other than that, it was just a quiet Saturday afternoon spent crafting and watching House Hunters and Island Hunters. Actually, I can't say that I did absolutely nothing because around 9 o'clock I got a surge of energy and decided to clean out underneath the sink.

Here's the before and after:

What a mess!

Woah! Who knew I had all that extra space!

I was replacing the hand soap and I was going to take the price sticker off and I thought that I should share this little gem just in case you hadn't known about it.

Its a bit hard to see in the pic, but you have your typical Target clearance tag, on the top right I circled the tiny little number in yellow.

That little number is the percentage off that you are getting. This was 15% off, so it really wasn't that great of a deal, but it was a lot cheaper than the other name brand soaps.

So the next time you go to Target and you see a clearance tag take a look at the top right corner to see how good of a deal you're getting. Some clearance items can go up to 80% off!

While I was cleaning, I found my Cameo stainless steel cleaner in the back of the cabinet.  I only point this out because after reading online about how great of a cleaner baking soda is I decided to give it a try.

Baking soda is amazing! Not only does it scrub off burnt food and oil but it leaves it looking so shiny!  Also with the baking soda, you don't have to worry about what dangerous chemicals you're putting on your eating surfaces. 

I'll save the Cameo for the bottom of the stainless pots in case baking soda can't get it done.

I also found 6 packs of sponges!  The story behind this was that Walmart had mis-priced one of the SKU's and it was ringing up at $0.50, meanwhile the others were ringing at the regular $3.48.

Guess who stocked up! Thanks Walmart!

And lastly, today I got up at 9am, dragged the Mister out of bed about 45 minutes later because he kept saying "5 more minutes, just 5.." lol

We went food shopping at Walmart, picked up some rolls at Food Lion, chicken and cold cuts that were on sale at Lowes and I had planned on getting my produce there too since it is fresher and better quality.

But we decided to hit up our new produce spot instead, Trader Joe's!  Last weekend we went to check it out and it was a little more pricey than your normal supermarket but the quality is a lot better.

Whole foods is another good spot for produce, they also have a really big selection of cheeses, artisan breads a really nice meat department with grass fed beef, wild caught seafood, actually they have just about anything you can imagine that's organic. They even have fresh sushi, a hot buffet area, a cafe and really good desserts.

If I had to choose though, Whole Foods would be my choice, sorry Trader Joe's. 

The rest of today after food shopping was just spent cleaning, doing laundry and watching Breaking Bad with Mike.  Not too bad of a weekend if you ask me, and the days are getting longer too so that just makes me happier overall. Soon enough it'll be light out when I get out of work at 7!

That's it for tonite, sorry for the long post.


<3  J

Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm Back!

So, I slacked off a bit..ok I was M.I.A for four months. I'll try not to disappear for that long again :) Now, there is too much that happened since April to do a full recap, but here are the cliff notes of it:

April: Mom moved to NC :) yay!!

May: Mike, Chester and I got a year older.

Happy 2nd Birthday!!
June: We took a crazy quick weekend trip to NY to see family, throw Amanda and Kevin a bridal shower and say goodbye to our childhood home because it was finally sold.

1992 - 2012 :(

July: Mike and I celebrated our two year anniversary <3

And as we celebrated our two years, a week later we traveled to Cancun to celebrate Amanda and Kevin's wedding!

Also, in all of our 9 years and 11 months of being together, Mike and I have never flown together. So this was a first for us.  It was a bit nerve-wracking getting on the initial flight (since we had a layover in Miami) but after that, it wasn't too bad..for me at least. Mike had five mini vodkas (on the plane), a Jack and Coke (at MIA with breakfast) a Xanax (before we left RDU) and two Dramamine (before the flight from Miami to Cancun).  Needless to say he was feelin' GOOD when we got to Cancun International Airport. 

We were there for five days and stayed at The Moon Palace Resort, which was really nice and Mike was loving it because I was speaking Spanish all week whenever we interacted with the resort staff.

Moon Palace Resort - Nizuc
I could live here forever, well maybe not Mexico..but in this type of climate, definitely. A week after we got back from Cancun, Mike went to NY for a little over a week to hang out with the family and to go to a friends wedding. Mom kept me company that week of course :), and also that week she sealed the deal on her brand spankin new apartment in the new section of our complex here.

 That is all I have for now. Hopefully over the next few weeks the blog will take on a new look including a food/recipe section, so keep an eye out for that :)

Until then,

<3  J

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baking, Cats and Work...story of my life.

Weekly post time! Okay, so it's been a little over a week but its been an exciting week, so that makes up for it, right?  Let's get into it! Last weekend we went to Amanda and Kevin's to hang out and while the boys did their thing (games) Amanda and I got to cooking/baking.  She was going to a BBQ on Sunday so we made deviled eggs for the first time ever, and it was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. Boiling and peeling a dozen plus eggs on the other hand turned out to be a lot more complicated than I expected.  Peeling hard boiled eggs as a kid was always so much fun, I guess it still kind of is but after three eggs the novelty wears off real quick lol.

So while I was peeling the eggs and de-yolking them, Amanda was making some red velvet cuppy cakes (yum!).  Its weird because the last and only time I baked at their place we baked red velvet cup cakes too, this time Amanda did them all on her own! I didn't get to see the completely finished product, but I heard they were yummy!

We couldn't saran wrap the eggs without them getting squashed so here was my "genius" idea. Toothpicks! Oh, and earlier that day Amanda and I were on a hunt for those plates that have the little egg shapes in them so that you can just put the eggs on there and they're displayed all nice nice.  Yup, could not find them anywhere! Actually, that's a lie, we were in Walmart and we had already been to all the dollar stores in the area and we had lost all hope on finding the egg plates when I looked down the ravaged Easter aisle and what did I see? One egg plate! I literally shouted OMG! I embarrassed Amanda and the two people in the aisle stopped and turned to look at me as I made a bee line to the last egg plate.  To my disappointment, it was cracked :( so we settled for these oval plastic plates that came in a four pack for $1.

 I don't like deviled eggs, but I've always thought that they were so pretty and I might have gone a little overboard with the
Here's my little protege :)

And here are her unfrosted cupcakes! Made 100% from scratch, and she also made the cream cheese frosting that she put on the next day. Awesome job! Oh and I almost forgot, she also made Easter cake pops! Look at those little cuties (yes, Amanda, I stole this pic from your Facebook) hehe!

So this week was my last week of classroom training at work.  My time on the phone was coming and I was getting more and more nervous as the days passed. In between freaking out about getting on the phone and studying for my evaluations in class I still managed to be a good wifey and make dinner.  You know, I never really enjoyed cooking, but the more and more that I do it and the more I experiment with different recipes it's pretty fun. Here are two of the dishes I made this week, and I had some help, which is always nice!

 My sous chef <3

 BBQ pork chops on my IKEA grill pan.

 Taa daa! BBQ pork chops, mac and cheese and peas and carrots! it was absolutely deelish!

 Later on that week I made one of my favorite weeknight meals, teriyaki salmon.  It's just so quick and easy, and again peas and carrots...yup again, quick and easy so we eat those veggies a lot lol.

Thursday night I randomly got the urge to organize my cabinet over the stove/microwave, actually, it wasn't that random of an urge.  I think I was just annoyed with the fact that stuff was just thrown in there.  So you have the before, and then the after.  It's amazing how I am improperly utilizing the space I have here.

 Before I knew it, Friday came rolling along..We had planned a potluck for our last day of classroom training so naturally I was bringing the dessert.  Crumb cake and cake pops were on the menu, and I had never made cake pops before so I knew that this was going to be interesting.

 Prepping the yummy crumb topping.

I whipped up the batter pretty quickly, added the topping, and it was good bye for an hour.

It filled two tupperware containers, and I came back home with five small pieces.

Here is step one of the cake pops.  I couldn't show you the next couple steps just because it consists of me crumbling the cake to bits with my hands, mixing it with frosting, and rolling it up into little round cake balls.  

Here are some of the cake pops with and without the chocolate coating.

 I used this foam ring to dry the pops, it was actually in the fridge which obviously made the chocolate set a lot faster, so that was good.

And finally, the finished cake pops! They really only took me about three hours to make, but because of course I'm crazy crafty I decided to print out these little Pepsi logos and twist tie them on there.

 I think it goes without saying that Chester helped me with this part.

To my surprise, the cake pops were a huge hit! I don't think anyone in the class had actually had them before so it was cool, I always like introducing new stuff to people. They also got a kick out of the Pepsi logos and couldn't believe that I had done this. 

I don't like cake pops, its too much sweets for me, but Mike told me " You don't eat anything you bake" which is a lie, I am selective with what I eat! I ate my crumb cake!

So the last thing we did for the day at work was move into our new little "baby cubes" it's not even a cubicle, it's more of a desk with side panels lol. So here is my home away from home for the next ten weeks..this was going to be interesting.
This pic was before I put all my papers up and what not, so it's not that plain looking.  I just hope these ten weeks go by fast because I cannot wait to have my own real cubicle. They told us that we are allowed to decorate it how ever we would like.  The people here at Pepsi get pretty serious about the decorating, some go as far as putting curtains and little string lights. So I'm really excited!

Monday was our first day on the phones, I was the first out of fifteen to come in, my schedule started at 10am. I got there around 9:40, which they told us to do so we could get all situated and at 10am I made my first phone call!  I had help from my trainer, I was so nervous but I made it through and then it was all downhill from there.  I feel like a pro now...well, at least until I get a customer that's got an issue lol. My day ended at 6:30pm which came in a flash, being on the phone all day long really makes the day go by super fast. My first day was over.

I came into work today, and my trainer sat with me for my "side by side" which basically meant that she listened into my call and made sure that I was hitting all the correct points.  She was on two calls with me and she was jotting a few things down, but after the second call she was like "well, I have no feedback for you, those calls were 100% calls, keep up the great work." Then she told me what she wrote down which was basically that I met all the requirements for the specific customers accounts that called in.

The next couple people come in at 10:30am and the one person sits across from me, so later on that morning she comes to me, and says "Jessica, it looks like it's going to be you and me, I knew you were going to be my competition" it was friendly, she's really nice and it's weird because the whole time we were in the classroom I had a feeling that it would be me and her as the top performers in the class.  Sure enough, I checked the sales report and I was in first place for Monday, and she was in a close second! I made just about 130 phone calls, which sounds really weird to say considering at AJW I would struggle to make ten..the first thing I thought of when I saw the report was AJW can kiss my bum!  I just wish they could see how good I had done, I don't even know why I care AJW is in the past. Now I can't wait to go in tomorrow to see my results...stay tuned!

Oh and I should probably mention that the top performers across all the teams in my department win an award called "Best of Pepsi Direct" and if you win as an individual, you get a special parking spot up close to the building for a month, lunch with management and a couple other things. So I'm all over it.

I'll end this weeks post with a couple of random cat pics, enjoy!

 My little sleepy head :) he usually sleeps at the foot of the bed, actually most of the time he sleeps on my side of the bed which causes me to sleep in really awkward positions because he likes to hog my space.

And this is just a normal weeknight at the Alongi house....yup.

Mike had put his toy on the door way trim, and so Chester jumped on his back to get to his toy. lol...they're my special little boys  <3

Lastly, but definitely not least, here's my smelly Belly, who's not really smelly but it rhymed haha.  This is where she likes to hang out while I'm brushing my teeth or doing my hair.  <3

See "y'all" next week!

<3 J

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week of 3/30 - 4/6

So posting everyday kinda went out the window as soon as I started work.  I forgot how crazy everything was when I was working, so I'm going to update once a week instead of daily because it's just too much for me during the week.  I have one more week of 8am-5pm classroom training and then my schedule changes to 10am-6:30pm. I would say that I could post an entry before work, but anyone who knows me knows that I like my sleep and that I'll probably be waking up 20 minutes before I have to leave the house! So without further ado, here's what went on this past week:

3/30 - 4/6

We finally got our tax return which meant that we could now get our new bed!! Off to IKEA we went, and since my car needed brakes we took Mike's car.  It's a good thing we did since I don't think that the V-Dub could have fit everything.

It's going to be a fun hour and a half ride back home!

Don't I look thrilled? Maybe it was because my seat was dangerously close to the airbag because it was the only way our bed would fit in there.

IKEA does offer shipping, but it's really not as "reasonable" as they say it is.
On the way home we stopped at one of the FOUR mattress stores in the area and got a mattress!  It was quick, easy and the sales guy wasn't pushy at all.  It didn't get delivered until Sunday night, but that was alright, because it gave us time to set up the bed and it's a good thing we had that time, because this bed was no where near as simple as my last IKEA bed.

So we started moving stuff around, and right away quality control was on the jobsite, checking everything out.

After the guest room was given the thumbs up, Chester found the perfect spot to supervise from.

                                                            Let the construction begin!

The frame is done!.....That's what they want you to think...
"You should be helping instead of taking pictures"

I think he's sleeping on the job, Chester that is..

"Ok, this looks good!"

And now the fun begins..Each and every one of those little sticks had to be put together by hand slipped into little rubber caps, threaded into that nylon strap that goes across the center. I lost count as to how many there were, but my hands were killing me by the time I was done putting this thing together.  Mike was taking a break and I said I would do this since he had done everything else.  It might have taken me a little longer than it should have since I was watching Pulp Fiction while I was doing this..haha.

Right before we put the slats down.

Taa daa! If you actually felt the sticks, they are kind of thin, but strength in number I guess LOL.

Checking out the new surroundings.

These are the night stands that are made for the bed, and they are actually fastened to the bed (I put these together too :)

How cute is that little face ^_^

Professor cat! (Yes, I know it's blurry)

Yup, ouch.. he did not appreciate that, lol.

So Sunday, I was lazy and didn't feel like cooking so we got some Chili's to go, and we watched "Drive" with Ryan Gosling, I thought it was alright (it was Mike's pick).

For dessert I made a strawberry trifle..yum!

The delivery for our mattress was scheduled for 7-10pm, which I thought was pretty late for a Sunday, but around 8:30 they showed up as promised!

Right before we picked up dinner, Mike and I had stopped at Target to get new sheets, so finally our mattress was here and I could set it all up. Except for one little problem, the packaging said "Queen" but when I couldn't get the fitted sheet on, I got mad and sure enough the tag on the actual sheet said "Full" :(

So while Mike was watching Game of Thrones I ran to Target to exchange the sheets. As I was waiting at the light to turn into the shopping center I was like, "What if they're already is Sunday" (it was after 9pm).  Well that would have just ruined everything, but because Target is so fabulous they were open until 11! So I got the correct sheets and I was finally able to finish the bedding!

Unfortunately we weren't the first ones to sleep in it....

So after all the hard work we did, it was finally time to go to bed, needless to say I did not want to wake up on Monday morning.

Back to the grind...

This makes my second week of classroom training which means one more week to go before they throw me out on to the phones! Ahh! So last week was all about product knowledge, this week we got into the ordering program now a lot of what Mike talks about makes sense to me so that's good.

This week Mike was helping out with training some of our field reps that flew in from all over the country.  This is the training he normally does every year and ends up taking the train down here, but this year he was already here! Since they were training and Mike's co-workers love him so much, I got to eat lunch with them and free lunch is always good no matter what it is.  We had taco salad on Tuesday and fried chicken with broccoli, mashed potatoes and fried okra on Wednesday.  I love when stuff like this happens because its such a good chance to try new foods and not feel bad since I don't have to pay for it.

Thursday and Friday I was on my own for lunch since they had thrown a pizza party to wrap up training for Mike, and Friday he works from home.  It was alright though because I ended up eating lunch with a couple of the people from my class...look at me, making friends lol.  Although Mike wasn't at work on Friday, that's ok because it was my first pay day! Now since this was my first paycheck, it wasn't direct deposited so after work I had to run to the bank and it closed at 6:00.

Our trainer had told us earlier in the week that since some of us were getting actual checks she would let us out a little early so that we would have enough time to make it to the bank after work. Yup, that didn't happen, oh and I also had my car at the dealer getting new brakes and an oil change.  They had already called me twice to let me know my car was ready so at around 4:00 I had lost all concentration, I was sure she was going to let us out early.  The bank closes at 6:00, the dealership closes at 5:30, and I was about 15-20 minutes away from each, and that's without traffic. Wonderful.  She ended letting us out at 4:55, I guess five minutes early is better than five minutes late.  Luckily since everyone in the South is super religious they either didn't go to work, got let out early, or just didn't leave the house since it was Good Friday.  It just worked out perfectly so there was no traffic, I made it from work, to the dealer, the bank and back home by 5:25. I'm awesome, and so was my car now that it has new brakes :)

That pretty much sums up the week, I was so happy the weekend was here because I'm still not feeling this waking up at 6:45am thing.  At least I only have one more week of this then my new shift starts at 10:00am, yay!

Good night!

<3  J