Enduring All Things

Friday, June 24, 2016

StitchFix Number 3 - Business Professional for my New Job

If you haven't already heard, I accepted a position at a different company and quit my job last week. This new job that I will be starting on July 5th has a dress code of business professional. I am used to a dress code of pajamas and sweats as I've been working from home for the past 4 years. So when I found out that I got that job and decided to accept the position, I scheduled a Stitch Fix (affiliate link).

If you haven't heard of Stitch Fix, it's a clothing subscription box. You pay a $20 styling fee and you get a personal stylist who looks at your Stitch Fix style profile as well as your Pinterest fashion boards to help when they pick out 5 items to send in your box.

When you get the box, you have 3 days to try everything on and decide what to keep and what to send back. If you keep anything, the $20 styling fee comes out of your purchase. If you don't keep anything, you lose that $20. If you keep all 5 items, you get a 25% discount.

I have ordered a Stitch Fix box a couple times before but I didn't continue it every month because the clothes were a little too expensive for me to be purchasing every month, and I didn't need them. Especially since I worked from home and wore pajamas most days.

But I decided to get one this week and to request mostly business professional attire. My stylist, Kristina, was amazing! She congratulated me on my new job and found me some adorable items! Now I just need your help deciding what I should keep and what I should send back by Monday. So here we go...

Item 1: Papermoon Bristol Dress, $68

I love this dress! It is stretchy and oh so comfortable. Yet it still looks very dressy and classy. The neckline is perfectly flattering. I love the little opening in the back. The only thing I don't love is the price. But I'll probably keep it anyway. What do you think?

Item 2: Pixley Tamarindo Blazer, $68

I thought this blazer was really cute! But, the sleeves are really tight. I was thinking about keeping it anyway but I really can't move in it. I'm a little bummed. Part of me wants to keep it and use it as motivation to tone my arms. But that's not very responsible. What do you think?

Item 3: Market & Spruce Fitzgerald Crochet Detail Top, $54

I'm sorry but this top just didn't do anything for me. I love the color, but I have several clothing items this color. And it just wasn't anything special. What do you think?

Item 4: Brixon Ivy Jarred Lace Detail Cap-Sleeve Blouse, $68

I think this top is really cute! But as far as wearing it to the office, I only have black professional bottoms. I have black pants and a couple black skirts. Would that be too much black? Maybe I could find a fun colorful or white skirt to wear with it. Is it worth it? What do you think?

Item 5: Papermoon Portee Tie Neck Blouse, $48

Originally, I wasn't crazy about this top when I saw it sitting in the box. Or even when I pulled it out. But when I tried it on with a skirt and blazer, I kinda loved it! What do you think?

Okay so what should I keep and what should I send back? I really want your opinion? Even if you really like an item I've said I didn't like, defend it! I wanna hear why you like it. Thanks!

If you would like to schedule your own fix, sign up here (aff). I love how my personal stylist takes everything from my style profile into account as well as my specific requests for each box. It's pretty expensive but when you think about what you're paying for in a personal stylist and the convenience of having your clothes delivered to your house, it's really not so bad.

Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Let's Talk About Goals

The other day, Pearson and I watched a free webinar from The Dating Divas called 10 Ways to Divorce Proof Your Marriage which was to introduce their Reclaim Your Marriage Program. In that webinar, Tara spent a lot of time talking about goals. She talked about the importance of setting specific and attainable goals. And she especially talked about the importance of setting those goals for your marriage.

She asked us to write down what our perfect marriage looks like. I was a little taken aback by this because my perfect marriage looks like the marriage I have. I mean maybe I would change some things if I could, but then again, maybe I wouldn't. She's not asking us to write down "My marriage would be perfect if I were married to Hugh Jackman." right? Also, I didn't want to write anything unrealistic either like "My marriage would be perfect if Pearson brought home dinner every night and spent the evening rubbing my feet as I watched Gilmore Girls on Netflix." Needless to say I had a little trouble with this assignment.

But then I talked to the ever trusty Amberly of A Prioritized Marriage. She said that she puts at goals in her marriage in two different categories. There are marriage goals and there are life goals that you set as a couple. And I completely agree.

Marriage goals might be something like scheduling a date night for every weekend this entire month. Or keeping our cellphones out of the bedroom. Or having a TV free weekend. Or having weekly couple check-ins.

And life goals you might make with your spouse could be buying a house. Or moving. Or starting a family. Or volunteering. Or becoming church leaders. Or traveling.

And then there are individual life goals that you and your spouse have and you help each other accomplish those goals. These would be things like graduating from grad school. Or getting a work promotion. Or starting your own business. Or quitting your job.

But there is one thing that these goals all should have in common. And this one thing is something that Tara emphasized in the webinar. That is that the goals are specific and that we are taking tangible steps to meet them. We don't just write down the goal and forget about it.

Oops. If you haven't noticed, for the past several months my monthly goals blog posts always have a lot of failure to report. Basically, I write them down in a blog post at the beginning of every month in the hopes that you readers will be a form of accountability. And then I promptly forget about them and don't do anything on my list. It's been really bad lately.

Yes these monthly goals are simple, short term, personal goals that probably don't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. But if I am not serious about making an effort to accomplish those goals, how am I supposed to be serious about making an effort to accomplish bigger goals.

Take my job, for example. I had no career goals in my old job. That was part of the problem. I felt stuck and wasn't going anywhere. Yes that was because I was remote and isolated, but I think if I made more of an effort to set and attain goals, it might have been different. Even though I don't plan on working forever and we don't know what we're doing when Pearson is finished with school, I'm changing my attitude toward my job. I'm setting goals from the beginning in this new opportunity.

As far as other life goals as a couple and individuals go, I feel like we are in a place where it's hard to make tangible life goals. We are waiting for Pearson to graduate. We don't know exactly when that will be and we have no idea where we'll be going after that. I feel like everything I want to do in life is just put on hold right now. Things like starting a family and buying a house. But you know what? I think I've just been using that as an excuse. We can still set these goals. It's totally okay if the goals have to be adjusted later!

So, from now on, I'm changing my attitude toward goals. I'm going to start making big-picture S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals and smaller tangible goals to get there.

Do you set S.M.A.R.T. goals? Or are you usually more relaxed with your goals like I've been? What's a big life goal you've accomplished lately or one you hope to accomplish soon?
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Support Your Spouse Through a Life Changing Decision

First of all, I'd like to apologize to anybody who might have thought that I was pregnant from yesterday's post's title. However, I have to thank you all for all the love and support. I was overwhelmed by the response to that post both on the blog and on social media where I shared it (especially Facebook). I feel so loved and I had no idea so many people cared! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should probably go read that post before reading this one).

But there's someone whose love and support I crave most of all and he gave it to me through this entire process. That's Pearson. Y'all, I have the best husband in the world. Hands down.
Pearson supported my decision. He knew I was unhappy and he really wanted me to look elsewhere long before I started. He cares more about my happiness than money. He cares more about my happiness than any of the perks we had from my current job.

He also displayed such confidence in me through the whole process. When I would get discouraged because I didn't get an interview or I didn't get an offer and I would think that I would never find a job, he never wavered. He knew the right position would come along. He assured me that any company would be lucky to have me and that I would be an asset.

He always wanted to know everything going on in the job hunt world. He asked how every interview went and wanted to know all the details. He asked me every day what recruiters I talked to and what the new job opportunities of the day looked like. And he usually couldn't even wait till he got home. He'd want me to give him all the details over IM during the day or at the very least over the phone on his way home.

He went shopping with me for interview attire. And he's totally supportive of all the shopping I've done since accepting the new position. He even helped me pick out my perfect interview outfit and told me I look hot.

He agreed not to tell his parents or anyone until I got another job. Maybe this is a fault of mine, but I didn't want to tell our parents until I found a job and officially quit my other. I didn't want them to talk me out of it or to ask every day how things went and worry about it. Pearson is the type of person who tells everyone everything so this was quite a sacrifice for him.

He might be more excited than I am. Okay that's probably not true. If you couldn't tell from yesterday's post, I'm pretty freaking excited. But so is he! He's mostly excited that I am happy. In reference to my last point, as soon as I had word that I was the "best candidate" for the job I wanted and that they were "working on paper work," Pearson wanted to tell everyone the good news. I made him wait till it was official.

So yeah... I have the best husband in the world. These are the things he did to support me through all this and they are certainly things you can do to support your spouse through something similar. I think marriage was invented so that we could have someone to do life with and love unconditionally. I'm so glad I found Pearson to be that person to me (and for me to be that person to him, of course).
Has your spouse ever supported you through something like this? Or vice versa? What did that look like?
Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Big Changes are Happening in My Life

Well guys, I've been keeping a secret for a while. It's really not that big of a deal to you readers (though it will affect you somewhat as it will most likely affect how much time I will be able to spend on this blog). But it's a HUGE deal for me.

I quit my day job.
Yep, on Wednesday, I gave my two weeks' notice. My last day as a Jr Web Developer working remote 100% is June 30th.

But you should know, I found another job before I quit mine. That's what I've kept a secret for so long. I started job hunting about a month ago. And I'm happy to announce that starting on July 5th I will be working as a Jr. Data Quality Analyst for a company here in Columbus. I will be waking up much earlier than I'm used to. I will be commuting to an office (albeit a very reasonable 20 minute commute). I will be wearing "business professional" attire (who ever heard of that in the IT world?).
New dress clothes.
I will no longer roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and sit down to work for the day in my pajamas. I will no longer sit by the pool on my lunch break. I will no longer work out and shower on my lunch break. I will no longer put a load of laundry in the wash in the middle of the day whenever it occurs to me. I will no longer throw dinner in the crock pot when I think about it in the middle of the morning. I will no longer cook myself lunch on the stove, even if it's just macaroni and cheese. I will no longer take blog and Instagram pictures in wonderful natural light on my patio on my lunch break. I will no longer do the previous night's dishes on my lunch break.

I will be going to bed earlier because I will have to wake up quite a bit earlier to account for getting ready and commuting. I will lose precious blogging time as I commute home and start dinner, laundry and other chores when I get home. I will be wearing makeup a lot more often. In the winter, I will actually have to leave my apartment when it's freezing and snowing.

None of this sounds very appealing. So why did I do this you ask?
This picture has nothing to do with this post. I just like it.
Because I wasn't happy. Basically that's what it all boils down to. For the last few months, I have been miserable in many aspects of my life and I think most of it stems from my work situation. Why was I unhappy? I think most of that stems from the fact that I was working remote 100% of the time. I never saw anybody. Pearson worked 70+ hours. I never left the house. Also because I was remote, I wasn't getting opportunities to grow at work. I wasn't connecting with coworkers and I felt stuck.

Nothing seemed to bring me joy. I was sleeping all the time and I had no energy or motivation to do anything. Our apartment became a pig-sty and I still had home decor up from fall and winter.

But in the last week, since I accepted this new job and quit my current one, all of that has turned around! Really it started last Monday when my recruiter told me I was the best candidate for the job that I really wanted, but they had to draw up paperwork and it would be a couple days before I had an official offer.

I am happy again! I'm blogging again. And writing comes easily again. And I'm loving it again. Seriously, I just sat down to write this post and it's just flowing from my fingertips. That used to happen quite often but it hasn't in a long time!

I'm decorating again. That is something that used to bring me such joy. This weekend I put away all my fake pine cones and burlap and got out some bright flowers and new fresh smelling candles. I am itching to get to Trader Joe's and buy some beautiful fresh flowers!

I'm cleaning again. Now, the act of cleaning my apartment never gave me joy. Just to be clear. But having a clean apartment did. And that was always motivation enough to do it. But not lately. As I said, our apartment had turned into a pig sty because Pearson didn't have time to clean and I didn't have the energy or motivation. But now I do!

I'm reading again. Another thing that used to bring me so much joy! If you've been keeping up with my monthly goals, then you know that I've been reading The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers since the middle of March. I kid you not. And I've actually probably read as much in the last couple weeks as I did in the two months before that combined. I just haven't been motivated to read until recently.

And y'all. I am so excited for this job! I'm excited to interact with people on a daily basis. I am an introvert and I thought I would love working from home. And I did at first. But then I changed departments and started working with people that I had never really interacted with in person. And then winter  happened when I never leave my apartment for anything. And a couple of my good friends had babies so I started hanging out with them even less. And I felt isolated. But not anymore! I'm going to have coworkers again!

Also, this workplace environment seems very ideal. They say that they are very adamant about only working 40 hours per week. Everybody goes home at 5:00. Also, they play cards and strategy games in the break room at lunch and get together every week to discuss The Walking Dead.

I'm excited for possible opportunities to grow and move up in the company which is another thing the manager emphasized in my interview.

I'm excited to get out of my pajamas and dress professionally. I am so tired of being grungy and I'm excited to explore my sense of fashion in a big, fun, and different way. And I've enjoyed buying new clothes over the last week.
New purse and planner I bought for the job
I'm excited for the location. It's not in a big office building downtown where I'll have to navigate the streets and traffic and park in a garage. It's just down the road and it's near a Bibibop which I'm really excited about and I pass an Aldi on the way there! I see lots of grocery stops on the way home in my future!

I'm excited to have more structure in my life again. I was on a 8-5 schedule with my job, of course, but once I quit working for the day, I didn't go home. Nothing changed. Often I sat at the same desk and blogged or continued working for a while longer. I'm excited to get up and go to work and then leave work at work and come home to my haven.

I'm even excited about having to be more intentional about my time at home. As I said at the beginning of this post, I'm not going to be able to wash clothes and dishes whenever I think about it or on my lunch break. I'm glad again for the structure and how it will force me not to be lazy.

Anyway, I'm sorry this post turned out to be so long. I guess I just had a lot I wanted to say. If you're still with me, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a loyal reader and friend! I love you guys!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Praying for the 2016 Election

Prayer can sometimes be a very confusing phenomenon, you know? Like, if God is all knowing and all powerful, what good are my prayers? If he already knows what's going to happen and already has his mind made up, then why should I even pray?

But you know what. Jesus prayed. Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself in the flesh, the perfect sacrifice, our savior... prayed. He prayed so fervently for The Father to take away his burden that "His sweat became like great drops of blood." (Luke 22:44 ESV). Since we should be like Christ, I'm going to pray. I don't know if I can change God's mind. But Jesus prayed in that hope. But you also have to remember that Jesus ultimately answered to God's will even when it was something He didn't want to do.

Oh, not to mention that Jesus commanded us to pray and even gave us a model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4).

So why am I talking about prayer? Well, the presidential primaries are over. It looks like we have our presidential nominees. And I am praying.
I am praying for many reasons. The first being that we are told to pray for our leaders in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. I am also praying because I believe God has a plan and I believe he hasn't abandoned our country.

So I pray that His choice of candidate will become our president. I pray that He grants us with a leader better than we deserve. I also pray that once that candidate becomes president, he or she will listen to God's voice and follow His guidance (Psalm 16:1-7, Proverbs 1:5-6, Philippians 4:13).

I pray that those of us who trust in the lord will not be shaken no matter the outcome of the election (Psalm 125). I pray we will all treat each other with respect and civility no matter our stance on issues.

I pray that we believers understand that the president is not the only authority that we answer to and that the US Government is not equal to God in any way. They can't save us. They can't accomplish final justice. Only God can.

I pray that us Christians will vote (or not vote) for what we truly believe is right. Not for the "lesser of two evils."

And lastly, I pray that God will protect the candidates and their families. I pray for their physical protection but also their emotional and physical protection. Running for president is hard. And holding the office is even harder. (I have House of Cards to thank for my knowledge on that!)

If you think God has abandoned us, remember the prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 15:16). Even if you don't think God has abandoned us, remember the prayer of a righteous man avails much. Our prayers have power.
Thanks for reading.
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