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 paprika...lol
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 closed...it 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