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Feb 11, 2011

Friday Follow, yet again!! 02/11/2011

I can't believe it's Friday, yet again!  The days are going by so quickly.  It seems like New Year has just happened and it's already almost the middle of February.  That's insane!  In just a few months my daughter will be out of pre-k and heading into Kindergarden.  She will be nearing her 6th birthday! (Although that is months away.)  I'm going to be 26 soon...almost exactly a month away.  That's so crazy to think about too!

I write a little bit about me every week for Friday Follow and I know my followers are probably frustrated, but the "newbies" probably want to know more about me.  Let's make this short but sweet.

My name is Kristin and I am 25 (almost 26).  I am a mom of two little girls ages 3 and 5.  They are my life and so important to me.  I work two jobs, being a CSP at H&R Block as well as a personal shopper and customer service agent for a high end online boutique.  I actually love my jobs and I love that I can work my second job from home and can spend some time with my kids.  That's the best part.  You can read more about me by clicking in the right sidebar.  I give a lot more detail there!

Happy Friday!

Feb 6, 2011

Why blogging sometimes seems like a chore.

I absolutely love blogging, don't get me wrong.  Though, this morning on Twitter I saw a tweet and blog post that I could really relate to a lot.  This kind of goes back into my blog post/article about "What Makes a Popular Mommy Blogger" because it has a lot in common with what I wrote there.

There are some smaller known bloggers (who still have a following) that are great at writing but don't get the recognition others do.  This happens no matter how hard they try or no matter what they do to bring up their readership.  Some people just can't win and I do see the discouragement in some blogs about this when I read them.  It's not like we are picky, but we just want to know why some blogs are singled out.  Is it because they make money and have tons of sponsors?  Is it because they blog multiple times a day?  It is because they tell all in their lives, even the obscene moments? (I have none, so I can't write about that. LOL)  It is discouraging and frustrating a lot of the time.  Yet we still blog.

I can tell you right now, I don't blog for the money or recognition. [As much as my complaining sounds like that!] I blog because I absolutely love to blog and because writing really makes me feel better.  Even though, sometimes I wish more people would read what I have to say; doesn't every blogger wish that?  It's the reason why we continue to improve and tweak our blogs.  This is why it feels like a chore.

Occasionally you write a post, read it over, and feel it's inadequate.  Even though it's our own feelings, our posts and writing style seems completely inadequate and not up to par with other bloggers.  We shouldn't feel like this, but the entire "blogosphere" is competitive.  It's hard to feel comfortable about our posts when we read others that get comments up the freakin' wazoo and ours get 1-6 per post.  Rewriting our posts and trying to add lines in there to make things funnier and more interesting, it's hard.  It's exhausting, it's frustrating and defintiely feels like a chore and an effort when it should be fun.  I believe this is why a lot of mommy bloggers, and bloggers in general, quit.  They feel like they've been beat and just stop trying to succeed.  That will not happen with me because I love my blog too much, but I can understand why some feel like that. 

Any thoughts?  Popular and less known bloggers welcome to form their own opinions!

Feb 5, 2011

Is the middle class less knowledgeable about fashion?

Pissy Customer: "Do you own a pair of Louboutins? If not, maybe you shouldn't be giving fashion advice..."

Really?  Are you serious and so closed minded to think that unless I own a pair of Louboutins or other high end fashion purses/shoes/clothes I can't give fashion advice?  

As a personal shopper and sales associate, I have to be professional and calm all of the time.  It isn't a problem, however some customers can be very rude and out of line.  This one today was the definition of rude.  

It got me thinking that maybe there are people out there who think the same.  I'm sure a lot of customers assume just because I'm working for a high end fashion website that I own a number of the items that cost exorbitant amounts.  That's a natural assumption, however it is untrue.  The people I work with are so nice and down to earth.  They're the same middle class people that I am and most of us do not own any of the high end items that we sell.  Does that mean we're not knowledgeable?  Absolutely not.  We are very knowledgeable about what we carry.  If we weren't, we wouldn't have been hired to be personal shoppers.  

My job is awesome.  I love it.  It combines my sales experience with my love for fashion and there is hardly ever a dull moment.  The only time I want to jump out of an airplane is when I get closed minded customers like the one mentioned above.  The customers who have thousands of dollars to spend on designer merchandise, but belittle those who do not have them.  The ones who think they are better than everyone else.  I only wish I could afford a Gucci purse or a pair of Prada shoes.  That is a dream for me that I know will not happen.  (Well, not if I win the mega millions. lol)

I have absolutely no shame about admitting that we live from paycheck to paycheck.  I work hard to support my kids and myself and I do everything that I can to give them the best.  Does that mean I don't splurge once in a while?  No, I definitely do.  Once a year I do something special for myself.  This year it was my Coach purse that I purchased around Christmas.  It was a $200 purchase that I regretted like hell, but I knew I deserved something and I fell in love with the purse.

I know, I know, Coach does not even come close to Prada or Gucci, but it is what I can afford once in a while.  

There will always be snooty people in the world and when I come across them at work I kill em with kindness.  However, it still frustrates me because they should be counting their lucky stars that they were blessed with the wealth they have.  I am not saying they shouldn't spend money on those luxury items, but they should not look down on those working their asses off and those who cannot afford what they can.

Feb 4, 2011

Friday Follow & The Exploding Egg

Wow, it seems like FOREVER since I have participated in Friday Follow, Follow Me Friday, Social Parade or ANY of the Friday link-ups! Well, actually, it has been!  I have been so busy with my two jobs, the Holidays, life and planning a trip that I am going on in two weeks; things have been so hectic! Well, today I am back in the swing of things and I am so happy to be participating in Friday Follow again! (And all the other 'blog hops'.

Just a quick bit about me -- I am a 25 (and 3\4) year old single mom from New Jersey (Near New York) and I have been blogging since 1999, more or less.  Blogging is definitely an outlet for me and something I just love to do! I used to want to write and wanted people to hear me, so this is a great way for that to happen.  I love to talk and always have a lot to say!  My girls are 3 and 5 (Alayna and Olivia respectively) and they're my life.  I am a personal shopper for a high end fashion website as well as a Client Service Professional at H&R Block.  (Woo hoo, tax season!)  I work way too much and try to work full time at both jobs.  On the side, I am also a freelance writer for a website as well. (Side income!)  Below this post is the "100 Random Things About Me" and you can definitely check that out to get more of a feel of who I am!  Clicking through the website and reading older posts can as well give you a little insight!

Right now I want to tell you all about a little lesson that I learned from attempting to re-heat a hard boiled egg in a microwave. (I know, that sounds like a bad idea just saying it out loud.) 

I am not a cook by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I do attempt to cook for myself and my family at times.  I used to be the textbook hard working mom when I would just pop TV dinners into the microwave and give those to my kids...Oh the horror!  That's something that most moms would probably want to smack me for!  Well, I am currently watching what I eat, since I am upset over the fact that I gained back the 40lbs I lost, and cooking my own food is definitely something that I feel better doing.  It's so much easier to know what goes into my food and that I can control it myself.  I usually hard boil eggs in the morning for salad and to grab quickly when I am running to work in the morning, but because of a storm and having to leave earlier I had hardboiled a bunch one morning and refrigerated them.

Since I absolutely hate eating cold hard boiled eggs, I took them out of the refrigerator and went to heat it up.  (Bad idea!)  I shelled the eggs and put them on a plate.  Stuck them in the microwave for 20 seconds and went to make the girls' breakfasts.  15 seconds later I heard a huge BOOM!  I nearly thought the house was falling apart, thought a plane smashed into my house or thought someone hit my car.  No, no other disasters... I had no idea what it was until I went to take my eggs out of the microwave...  Only one survived...  RIP hard boiled egg...  Not only did it explode, but there was egg EVERYWHERE!  (Thank God it was already boiled!) 

At least the one that did survive was good, but it was sad that one egg didn't make it.  At least I learned a good lesson:  Don't heat hard boiled eggs in the microwave. The outcome is never pretty.

Feb 3, 2011

100 Random Things About Me

I actually saw this on a few other blogs and it looked fun!  It's great to get to know the person behind the blog and the computer, so this is a good idea.  However, it was hard as hell to really think of 100 random things that people really don't know about me.  I hope I did a good job!  This is a great challenge!  I challenge other bloggers to do the same!
  1. I was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey at a hospital that no longer exists.
  2. At one month old (April 19th, 1985) I was adopted by my mom.
  3. Age 18 was when I wanted to find my biological family, so I contacted the adoption agency.
  4. June of 2003, I met my biological family. 
  5. I had a sister who was adopted in 1984, her name is also Kristin. (Adopted name)
  6. I have two older sisters, an older brother, and two nieces.
  7. My first car was a 1987 Plymouth Reliant...the drivers door wouldnt open.
  8. I have my certification in tax preparation.
  9. Alayna was due on Halloween and Olivia was due on Christmas.
  10. I went to Moore College of Art in Philadelphia PA on a full scholarship.
  11. My natural hair color is dark brown, almost black.
  12. in 1987, my father died of cancer.  I was 2 1\2.
  13. I have lived in the same house all my life.  Just switched floors.
  14. I was a figure skater for 16 years.  Solo & synchronized with Statue of Liberty skating club.
  15. I battled post partum depression.
  16. I have been blogging since 1999
  17. My dream car is a Cadillac Escalade. (Or mustang, but that is too small for my kids)
  18. French Fries and White Pizza are my weakness
  19. Ruby Tuesday is my favorite restaurant
  20. I love Juniors Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cheesecake
  21. I live 20 minutes from Manhattan and find myself there often
  22. Most of my friends, I have met online.
  23. I am obsessed with Starbucks and go their daily. Even though I have a coffee maker.
  24. I used to be a freelance mural artist
  25. I sold some of my art work at charity auctions and art sales
  26. When I was 15-19, I had my own webdesign company and had some good paying clients
  27. I am also a jewelry designer
  28. Bright colors are my favorite.  Especially pink, purple and turquoise.
  29. When I was younger I wanted to live downtown in NYC in a very artsy neighborhood
  30. Coach purses are my favorite. I buy one a year. (I save up!)
  31. Ebay is an obsession of mine. I love getting things for cheap prices!
  32. I bought my first pair of Uggs in December...and wondered why I waited so long!
  33. I work from home for VIPdesk, but technically work for BlueFly through them.
  34. Everyone around here calls me the "Coupon Queen..." even the cashiers at the stores.
  35. Driving aimlessly for no reason is something that I love to do.
  36. I had bad credit for years due to my own irresponsibilty.  I finally paid off most of my debt enough to get credit again. Now I pay my credit cards in advance of the due date.
  37. I tried to play vollyball on a team...didnt last.  I'm not into sports.
  38. My uncle had season tickets to the NY Giants for years.  I only went to the games for the hot dogs.
  39. I love to go on road trips with my friends.  Usually once a year we go.
  40. Buying cases for my phone is something that I feel is fun. I love my phone to have personality.
  41. I do freelance writing on the side for extra money.
  42. Texting is something I do way too often.  Most months I use 10,000+ text messages.
  43. I have a Macbook, that's my baby.  I am in love with everything Apple.
  44. As of yet, I have not gotten an iPad, but that is on my list of things to save for.
  45. I have been only in two serious relationships in my entire life. (Even though I have had boyfriends)
  46. My ex fiance was introduced to me through my sister and brother.
  47. He cheated on me numerous times in our relationship and I found out through my birthmother.
  48. I have no tolerance for liars, cheaters or guys who want to play games.
  49. Most music I like is popular/Top 40.  However I love some artists that no one else likes.
  50. I saw Spamalot on Broadway 155 times and Next to Normal on Broadway 120 times.
  51. Rent is another one of my favorite shows.  I saw that on Broadway 13 times, and I am happy it's coming back!
  52. Panda Express, in my opinion, is the best chinese place there is out there.
  53. I have a Chevy Equinox, which I love.  I bought it July 2010
  54. Before that, I had a blue Subaru Forester for 4.5 years.  I had so many issues with it.
  55. I find myself fighting with Verizon Wireless every month.  It frustrates me.
  56. When I write with a pen, the pen needs to have a cap and needs to be very dark ink. I cant write with a pen that is dying.
  57. I hate writing with pencils.  It hurts my finger.  Though, I can draw with pencils.
  58. I have been yo-yo dieting all my life. 
  59. This time, I am determined to change my life.
  60. When I work at H&R Block, I love to talk to the clients. I think it lightens the atmosphere.
  61. I used to have so many CDs in my car, now I have everything on my iPod/iPhone.
  62. I admit that I have an app obsession!!
  63. I dye my hair more than I change my clothes. (Ok, not really, but close to it.)
  64. My hair used to be naturally straight until I was in 7th grade.  Then it got naturally curly. (weird)
  65. I hate how thick my hair is, but everyone else is jealous of my hair.
  66. I have glasses, but I had contacts for the longest time.
  67. I hate driving in the snow
  68. Honestly, I have more clothes and purses than my closet can fit.
  69. I spoil my girls.
  70. I've wanted to try out for American Idol for a few years now.  I would just never have the nerve to.
  71. This list of 100 Random Things about me is annoying me. lol
  72. I want at least one more baby in the future.  Two more at the most. (I really want a boy!)
  73. My daughter was one of the 20 pre schoolers out of 2000 accepted to a very prestegious school in Staten Island, NY. We couldn't afford it, but she wanted to try!
  74. Olivia's dad is one of the most responsible and loving fathers in the world.  He treats both girls like his own and I appreciate that. I would get back together with him in a heartbeat.
  75. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I love the Imagination Movers just as much as my daughter does. I take her to their concerts because it's fun for the both of us.
  76. I find myself singing kids songs at random parts of the day.
  77. My favorite band of all time is Hanson, and I am not ashamed to admit that. Been a fan for 14 years and counting.
  78. I love to cook when I have time. 
  79. Makeup is another one of my obsessions.  I have a huge makeup box full of tons of different kinds!
  80. I don't have time to watch TV that much, but when I do I watch random crap I find on TV.
  81. One day I hope to get married. 
  82. Shoes are another one of my obsessions.
  83. I love to dress up, but I never like how I look in certain dresses.
  84. I never liked my name Kristin, so some of my friends call me Jess.
  85. My girls are like my best friends.  Alayna and I hang out a lot and do a lot of girly stuff.  I can't wait until Olivia gets older so she can join us.
  86. My room is bright pink and black.
  87. My home office is in my room.
  88. I love to blast any kind of music when I am getting ready in the morning.
  89. When I have to wake up, I always hit the snooze button at least once!
  90. I never drive the speed limit.  (But I don't speed either)
  91. A lot of my friends live out of New Jersey.
  92. As a child, I always wanted a Power Wheels, but my mom wouldn't get me one.
  93. I get bored easily.
  94. I want to move out of New Jersey someday.
  95. I don't like Jersey Shore becuause I think they portray NJ in a bad way. We're not like that.
  96. I love Jerseylicious...we're not like that, but those girls are awesome.
  97. When I am at work, I can't stand those who are lazy and depend on me for everything.
  98. Sleep is one of my favorite past-times.
  99. I'm glad this 100 list is almost over.
  100. My cell phone never leaves my pocket. It is attached to me. lol

Feb 2, 2011

Do you overreact to the storms?

I've been posting  a lot of rants lately and this is a rant/humorous post. (Or so I am going to try to make it a humorous post...even though I am actually typing this at 1 am.  So most of my humor has gone down the drain.)

As everyone knows, the east coast has been getting hit hard with storms.  Especially the New York metro area.  We have had 3 huge snowfalls to date and some smaller ones in between.  Very unusual for this area during this season.  We may usually see one large storm or even absolutely none.  We haven't had a Winter full of storms like this since 1995/1996.  They have been hyping this storm up for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday up for days now and everyone did their ritualistic mad rush to the grocery store in order to get the essentials.  (Including us! lol)  So today comes and I wake up expecting this huge snowfall.  There wasn't even an inch on the ground.  Sure, the ice wasn't too fun this morning, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.  In fact, when I got to work, a lot of people were breathing a sigh of relief because there was no snow.  

The ice was bad enough that people could not walk on unsalted sidewalks and we did see some people slide right in front of work.  When I was driving home I had terrible ice on my side view mirrors and really had to drive home with caution since I couldn't see out of them.  (They really need defrosters on those, by the way!)  

I got home and started working my second job, the girls are playing on my bed, and my mom comes barging in.

"We need to get batteries for the flashlights..."  

Um...ok mom.  There isn't a huge storm, it seems like it passed us, why do we?

"The news is saying that there is going to be a huge ice storm tonight into tomorrow and they're expecting a lot of outages."

Ok we ever lose power during storms?  

At this point, my mom has begun to scare my girls. They're looking at her like the men in the white jackets should come and take her away.  I'm serious, the girls thought she was crazy.  Alayna even asked if Grandma was ok!

"We need to get ready in case we have a long term outage and need to go to one of the safe areas."

What the hell? Really mom?  So right about then, the girls were freaking about because my mom said they might have to leave here for a few days.  Alayna was running around screaming that she couldn't find her favorite stuffed dog, Olivia ran for her Hide and Seek Jo Jo and I'm sitting here in the midst of this madness shaking my head and trying to find out why my mom is overreacting like this.

Of course, the news hypes this up, as they always do.  Maybe I'm always the 'doubting thomas' until something actually happens, but I read so many conflicting weather reports that I don't know what to believe.  I'm the optimistic one...the eternal optimist.  I never want to believe something until it happens.  I was the one who didn't believe we were getting a blizzard (a few days after Christmas) until I woke up and couldn't open my front door because of the 34 inches of snow outside.   So even in this situation, I'm not going to believe we are having a huge storm with ice and snow tomorrow until I wake  up and see it in the morning.

As a matter of fact, I went to the store right after work tonight to get some things that we needed and some breakfast for myself tomorrow to take to work. (Even though my mom swears up and down that I am not going to go to work tomorrow... Whatever floats her boat!)  

So, in closing, (I know, you're all breathing a sigh of relief that I am almost done)  if it does end up being a huge storm tomorrow I will eat my words.  I will admit that I am still the eternal optimist and I will apologize to my mom for doubting her.  Hell, I'll even call up ABC and apologize for cursing them out while watching my TV.  :D HAHA!!  I just don't feel, with the weather the way it is right this second, that we're going to have that huge storm.