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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Changes.

Changes.

That's something that always occurs when the new year is right on the horizon.

Fortunately for me, there will be some new changes right as we embark onto the new year.  Some of these changes I look forward to, some I have some hesitation about...but we all know that some kind of change can be good.

The biggest change right now for me is with work...my job...the one that consumes most of my time.

I just hired...ahem...my district manager, has hired 2 new people. For my location.  One of them I did orchestrate to get hired on - the other one is a wild card.  The one that I did help get hired on, he used to work for the company and he is with another premium retailer and is very good with customer service, sales and everything - I don't even have to train him!  I am SO looking forward to having him start on Friday.  (I wish he could have started sooner!) I don't mind having new employees - I'm just really burned out on training new people.  This is something I have been doing in Dallas since March.

My District Manger (in Dallas) let Andrew go to Austin immediately....I had to stay behind for almost a month to train new employees in Dallas before I could return to Austin.  I love that my DM up there had so much confidence in me and felt like he needed me so much to keep me for an extra month.  I just feel like I have been training new people nonstop since March & it gets old sometimes.

Anyways, 

The Wild Card.

The wild card was currently employed with electronics and phone sales for Target - I do have to do some training with him.  He started on Monday.  He's going to catch on quick.  One of my strongest employees that I have right now will be transferred to another store - a store that will be much closer to home for him.  I'm excited for him...but I will miss his help greatly.  He's my bilingual employee - that will kind of hurt to lose him but fortunately, I have Jean - she's my main bilingual employee and the one that is teaching me how to speak Spanish more frequently.  (Remember, my store is 50% spanish-only speaking customers).  

It's so funny - I can't speak the language that well but I can tell what my employees are saying (in spanish) when they are speaking with their customers and at the end of the conversation, they introduce themselves and let them know that they are here to help and I always chime in with a 'y llama es Megan' so that they know that I'm Megan & that I will try to help them to fullest of my knowledge of Spanish on communication with them.

Change.

I'm thinking about enrolling in a spanish class in January with the community college so that I can communicate better with my customers.  I've always loved the Hispanic culture and I do love hearing Spanish being spoken in my store.  It intrigues me.

I understand now why some people are intrigued by sign language.

I do have a couple of hard of hearing/deaf customers that come into my store and I'm glad that I'm able to communicate with them - they are always so surprised and delighted when they encounter me because it makes communication so much easier for them.  They can express to me exactly why they are there, what they want, what they are looking for and together, we can reach a solution.

My employees are always intrigued and always ask me to show them a few signs.  It's a great trade-off between us --- we are learning to be tri-lingual.  :o)  I don't know if that's even a word but that's exactly what it is.

The Wild Card.

I don't think I'm at liberty to say much about him right now - all I know is that he has a seizure disorder and his eyes flutter alot every 30 seconds when he's speaking to customers.  At first, I didn't think he was up front about it but after working a few days with him, he tells his customers that he has a rare form of epilepsy and jokes about it - He says that he's just 'geeking out' over the products we have and the customers laugh and respond well to it.

It's a new change.

A positive change.

He's going to teach me alot.  He's going to teach my co-workers alot.  He's going to teach my customers alot.  

I've never really been fully 100% accepting of the fact that I'm hard of hearing.  I feel like people focus on it too much and ask me too many questions than I care for.  This is something that I've been working on for the past year - learning how to be up front with people of it.  When people ask me where I'm from (yes, they all think I have either a British or an Australian accent) - I now am able to tell them that I'm not from another country, I'm just simply hard of hearing and that it has affected my speech in a way- the way that it sounds like an accent.  

It puts everyone at ease much quicker.

My new employee is going to teach me and everyone to not only be accepting of others -ALSO to be accepting of their flaws....

but mostly to be accepting of ourselves and our flaws.

Ending 2014 and starting 2015 on that note is going to be positive and embracing.

Accept yourself first...

and the rest will fall into place.

(If other people don't accept it, shrug it off - they're the ones with a problem - not you)

XoXo,

Meg

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Entering the Black-Out Period

It seems like I have "disappeared" for awhile...

"Disappeared" as in not being on social media anywhere as much, or if I am, it's only just for a few minutes to glance at the newsfeed..."Disappeared" as in not responding to texts or if I do respond, I'm hours behind on the timing of the response,  "Disappeared" as in being extremely behind on mail and e-mail - my inbox is full of messages that have yet to be checked - My work email is alot better than my personal one but that's because I'm required to be on top of my work email (I mean, they PAY me to do my job and part of my duties is reading my email or typing them out all day long),  my "actual" mail is in several piles on a table off to the side in my apartment - pretty much all unopened.  

Disappeared.

Disappeared...to a certain time of the year. I have officially entered the "Black-Out" Period of the Retail World.

What's a Blackout Period?  It's the time that the retail world decides that ANY and ALL of its employees will be required to be dedicated to work November 15th to January 5th with absolutely no vacation, no PTO's, no holiday travel or holiday time. (You see, when you accept a job in the retail world, you sign a paper stating that you will work holidays and weekends and nights - those are the hours.)  It's also a period where you will work longer hours, you will work overtime and you will have more deadlines to meet.  It will not be a choice, it will not be an option, you will have to just work the longer hours irregardless of what you want or what you think you deserve.

That is why I haven't been around as much.

I have been working longer hours...I have been doing overtime.  Everything gets put on the back burner and honestly, this year....it feels like

Work has consumed my life.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow being the last day of November  All of my deadlines will be met and I'm glad to say that I'm exactly where I need to be...even though the stakes are higher, the bar has been set HIGH for success.  And I completed it - tomorrow is just 'breathing room' at work but dang, it feels good to know that my store has broken the record for the highest sales for the month of November at that location...and we just beat it yesterday.

Although work consumes my life as of lately - I also have the attitude of gratitude.  I am back in the city that I love,  I have wonderful family and I miss them very much but cherish them & maintain a close relationship with them all, I have amazing friends, I have the sweetest boyfriend and I have a job that I enjoy very much.

  I have more than enough.

Yes, the hours are long and I don't like not having my holidays - but I am grateful.  My holidays are anywhere from Januart 6th to November 14th.  :)

So if it seems I have disappeared.... that the texts are few and far between, just know that I'm super busy with work, thinking of y'all and wish y'all a wonderful holiday and I miss you!

I hope y'all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving.


XoXo,

Meg

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cats...or should I say, "The Cat".

Cats.

Feline creatures.

Smaller version of lions, tigers (definitely not bears).

Cats.  

For those that know me, I truly despise cats.  I can't stand their nature or their attitude - if you ask me, I think they're actually rather obnoxious creatures.  It doesn't help that I have an allergy to cats.

When I'm around them - my eyes get watery, itchy & red.  I can't breathe that good.  My air supply feels like my lungs are being suffocated & I find myself sniffling and sneezing.

Pure Misery.

That only adds more fuel to the fire- the simple fact that I hate cats.

That is....until...

FELIX.

Yes, Felix as in Felix the Cat and no, not of the cartoon variety this time.

When I moved back to Austin from Dallas - I couch surfed with friends....couldn't afford to pay rent in two different cities since I moved back to Austin before my lease in Dallas was up...a good 2 months before the lease was up.

Finally - when I got my apartment here in Austin, no more couch surfing & FINALLY free from Dallas.  Everything was great.  A few weeks after living here in my permanent 512 lease (at least for a year because that's what I signed) - I started noticing a 'stray black cat' hanging around.  Actually...my boyfriend noticed him first.  

You see....my boyfriend is a cat lover.  Yes, that's right.  Imagine that.  Me, a cat hater....dating a cat lover.  Andrew is pretty lovable so I can overlook that easily.

Whenever we would see this stray black cat- he literally acted like a dog.  He would run up to Andrew and literally run up Andrew's legs into his arms.  It was like the cat climbed up him - but because his legs were moving so fast,  it was more like he was walking up Andrew's legs to his arms.  At first, I was like, 'That's strange...but kind of cute."  I would try to ignore him most of the time...it didn't work.   He would walk with me to my car and back.  He would also walk me to my apartment door all the way up on the 2nd floor whenever I would return home from work.

I liked that he was more like a dog than a cat.  He didn't rub up on my leg like an annoying cat or meow constantly.  He would just walk up to you and simply just walk with you.  That showed loyalty.   That's probably why I started petting him.  (I should have known that contact with this particular cat will lead to establishing a relationship/developing a rapport with this cat).

Andrew & I ended up being convinced that he was a stray.  Andrew started calling him Felix.  It fit him perfectly.  He's all black & is quite a magnificent looking cat.

Extremely attractive (for a cat!), all sleek, and an extremely cool personality to roll with it.

After taking him in, (mind you, I waited almost 2 months) it appeared that he was house-broken.  He knew how to use the litter box and he didn't try to claw at the furniture   (I have a beautiful black leather sectional so this was a huge worry for me!)

Took him to the vet to get him checked out and officially (Believe it or not) make him mine.  Turned out he belonged to someone.  That someone lived in my complex.

I was saddened...I had grown an attachment to this particular cat. The cat that had grabbed my interest...and captivated me.

Then I grew a little angry - why was he always running around?  Why is he always super skinny and super hungry when I feed him?  Why does he not wear a collar?  This cat is neglected.  This isn't fair.

Anyways - I went home later that afternoon and when I was walking up, I noticed my neighbors put up this mesh net on their first floor balcony...as if it was to keep an animal from escaping the balcony.  I instantly wondered if that was Felix's owners.  After awhile, I went down there to knock on the door - A man in his early 30s answered and I just told him that I was one that had found the cat - also, that I loved the cat.  He said 'thank you so much for saving Pixels.'  

His name is Pixels. 

Long story short - He's a bombay cat.  (that's his breed).  Bombay cats are typically all black - with green or yellow eyes.  They're super friendly and act more like dogs than a cat.  People with allergies to cats don't suffer as much with the bombay breed.

Felix's....I mean, Pixel's owners told me that they adopted Felix...Pixels from an organization named Texas Bombay Cat Rescue.  They moved up to North Austin from South Austin and brought Pixels along with them.  They also have another cat and a dog.  Pixels loves to sleep with the dog.  

They said they let him outside once in awhile but he kept getting braver and braver and would step off the balcony...and then would venture out to the sidewalk and then got to the point where he wanders all around.

After this - I would try to avoid looking at their balcony because I felt like Felix Pixels should have been mine.  We had an instant connection.  I hate cats and he was the cat that made me give felines a chance.  I liked this cat alot.

Anyways after a few weeks of keeping Pixels indoors- they let him out  & he did it again. He wouldn't stop following me or walking with me.  He would walk me all the way to my apartment door and let himself into the apartment and just hang out with me.  I would try to shoo him out and tell him to go back home....but eventually, I let him hang around.  He's super attached to Andrew as well so we kinda joke that the cat is our 'sometimes pet'. 

 We still call him Felix and he responds to Felix.

When I walk out to my car in the morning for work, Felix will try to follow me all the way to my car.  I have had to pick him up a few times and walk him over to the neighbor's balcony and hand him over to them.  His parents usually sit on balcony every morning with a cup of coffee and just relax looking out the balcony. 

They know that their cat, Pixels, hangs out with me. They see Pixels follow me everywhere - to my car  - to my apartment.  They laugh and wave at me as I walk by with Pixels right alongside me.  They even joke that we have joint custody of Felix/Pixels.




Felix hung out with me last night -  It was almost as if he was waiting on me to get home from work.  As soon as I parked and hurried up the sidewalk, he tried to pounce on me from hiding in the bush and walked me to my apartment.  He's a little gentleman.

I let him come in and hang out.  He got some dinner and water and snuggle time.  

Then I let him out to go back home.



I think that cat was put on this earth to change the world. 

--- or at least, to change a cat hater's feelings on cats.

I know he changed mine.  He gave me a new perspective on a few things...and he has influenced me to love all creatures great and small.

I'm not by any means a cat lover now -  I probably won't like your cat but I'll like 'mine'.



video



XoXo,

Meg




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween!

Costume Party.

Wasn't sure if Andrew & I'd be going to one this year- no one we hung out with seemed to be planning one this year.

Then Andrew and I got invited to a costume party that someone decided to throw together at the last minute. We did get about six days of notice.  It took me almost 3 days to figure what I wanted my costume to be...

Andrew laughed at my costume idea. 

 He thought it was silly.  

Imagine how much sillier he thought it was whenever I told him he could do it with me - do the costume with me.  

He decided he'd go as a rock star!

Anyways, we had the day off together on Wednesday  - we went out on a lunch date and ran a few errands - after that, I told Andrew I wanted to stop at Target to pick up a few supplies to make my costume with.  He said that was fine and said he'd help me put it together.

We go into the aluminum foil/baking aisle at Target  I'm looking for the aluminum foil tray that people cook turkey in - As soon as we spot them,

Andrew decided he wanted to be a NINJA TURTLE with me!!!

We got 2 of those trays - an oval shape for me and a rectangle shape for him.  We grab mini spray paint cans in green and white - 2 green cotton tee shirts, a little green yarn, & some yellow fabric paint. We also got some red and purple fabric.  Then we headed home...

As soon as I set everything up- Andrew took over and started participating in the craft with me.  We painted our 'turtle shells' and whjpped the yellow fabric paint out and dipped a sponge into the paint to create our little '6-packs' onto the shirts.  - Andrew ended up making 2 manly pecs onto his shirt- it turned out quite well!







I'm pretty sure Andrew may have had just a little more fun than I did because he did most of the painting of our turtle shells!  Ha ha ha!  Looks like I might be able to get him to do an arts and crafts night with me once in awhile!

Here's the aftermath- I didn't get as many pictures as I thought I did!  :o(




That's all that I have!  :o(

I will have to ask a few friends and see if there's anymore and hopefully I can post them up soon!

Ah - here's one more!!!


(Yes, I am wearing a tutu!!!)

Don't we look like we can kick some booty!!!!  

I loved that I got to 'create' Andrew & I's costume - I also love it even more that he jumped onto the train with me and wanted to make the costumes with me and wear one!

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

XoXo,

Meg







Monday, October 27, 2014

In this Apartment

My absolute favorite room in this apartment would have to be

The KITCHEN!

I think it's the prettiest room in this apartment - I must confess that not only is this apartment one of the fanciest I've ever lived in... the kitchen is the fanciest one I've ever had.  I love the state-of-the-art furnishings and granite countertops & stainless steel!





Surprisingly - you'd think my next sentence would say that I love to cook and that I cook all the time.  I actually do like to cook from time to time but rarely do I get to cook...let me emphasize on rarely - I maybe get to cook ONCE, maybe TWICE a month if I'm lucky.

My favorite thing that I love even more about this kitchen is that my boyfriend is the one in this kitchen cooking.  He cooks for me about 5 to 6 evenings a week.  He LOVES to cook! Ladies, I definitely recommend finding yourself a man that loves to cook - it's definitely a real treat!  :o)

The nice thing about having a boyfriend that loves to cook - I only have to do the dishes.  Nothing too crazy, right?  Well, most of the time, it's not bad but sometimes- if Andrew gets a little overzealous & a little too passionate - the kitchen can actually turn into a disaster!  The delicious meals he creates sure do make up for it and hit the spot just right for me.

When I first met Andrew - we worked for the same company (we still work for the same company) - it took a little while to get to know him but after an extended period of time (he was pretty shy around me), I ended up stopping by his apartment one evening to pick up something and he was in the kitchen cooking- he made these chicken tacos and insisted that I try one.  One bite of that and I was drawn in & completely impressed. (I'm pretty sure I had 2 & had to refrain myself from helping myself to a third taco!)  I have a lot of guy friends but even they didn't possess the culinary skills & passion for food that this bachelor did!

Sure enough, after being friends for awhile, we started dating.  I must say that he has now turned me into a complete foodie!  I love food - I love trying new things and man, do I like GOOD food!

The only downside to all of this...

It has ruined my restaurant experience!

I'm so used to his cooking and how well he cooks - he impresses all our friends with his stellar cooking that I don't really like dining out that much.  Whenever I do dine out, once I take a bite or two of their food, all I can think is that I wasted my money and that we could have had something better to eat at home.  

When I do dine out or when Andrew & I go out on a dinner date - it's typically sushi or an asian restaurant and some good ole Texan BBQ!  There are a handful of local Austin restaurants that we adore going out to eat and we still check out many new places to try - but Andrew's cooking is my absolute favorite.

I feel bad for our future kids - they are not gonna like eating at their friends' houses because they will like their Daddy's food better!  That's a way from now so maybe our future kids' friends' parents can try to step their game up in the meantime?  Ha ha ha!

Andrew's dream is to have his own restaurant and one of the things he wants to do is to open up a food truck as a stepping stone to having his own restaurant someday.  He already has an idea and a delicious menu set up for a food truck.  We have a wonderful friend in Dallas that said that he would help Andrew out and invest in this opportunity.  Andrew's dream may turn into a possibility and I hope we can turn that into a reality someday soon.  I feel that is something he will seriously look into after the holidays and I'll be right there with him!

Mmmmmm!  Andrew is cooking my dinner right now for the two of us and a few friends.  I'm off to go enjoy myself a delicious meal!

Happy Dining!

XoXo,

Meg


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Decorated my place for Fall 2 weeks ago - Here are the results!

Summer is actually my favorite season.

I love the blazing hot sun, the warmth on my skin and all the activities I throw myself into the outdoors and the water.

Autumn seems like such a rude ending to summer.  School is back in session, the holiday season in the retail world keeps me extremely busy - longer hours, trainings for promotions and new phones coming out within weeks between each launch.

It's nice to come home and relax with a pumpkin ale and sit on the balcony in the evening's gentle breeze.  Fortunately, Austin has nice weather all year round and I don't have to dread the winter like many others that live further up north do.

So I am content with the warm fall weather in this fair city splat in the middle of Texas.

When it comes to decorating- I do love FALL!

Last year in Dallas - I went crazy with the pumpkins - I had decorated my apartment with mini pumpkins - white pumpkins, orange pumpkins, squash and I discovered the fairy tale pumpkins!  I must confess I splurged a little too much on those pumpkins.

This year, I told myself to have a little more self-control.

The fact that I could barely find any fairy tale pumpkins at HEB and Walmart - they were scarce and the few I did find, they were moldy or just not like cute in my eyes.

Which brings me to the point of this blog - I decided this year I would be "creative" and actually make my own decorations.  I love looking on pinterest for ideas & always wanted to be 'crafty' like some amazing artsy people I know - my mother and my cousin, Danielle are so extremely talented and I wish I was alot more crafty like them - but I realize that I could be crafty if I just take a chance and put some time into it.  

I ventured out to Hobby Lobby and Michaels (the craft store) for ideas and inspiration - and for the first time, I didn't feel overwhelmed in the aisles of the crafts trying to wonder what I could do with this and that.  I felt inspired and excited.

As much as I love pumpkins, I decided my theme for this year would be...

Candy Corn!!!

That's right, I decided to do something a little different and boy did I have a blast with it!




I made this.  Styrofoam cones with yarn wrapped around it!  So easy & so fun to make!





I made this candy corn tree - I enjoyed this craft the most - All I needed was a colored jar, a tree branch that I found laying on the ground outside my apartment - some hot glue and bags of candy corn galore!



So much you can do with candy corn - I put it in this cute little vase and put a candle in it and just filled it with candy corn.  :o)  I think it turned out pretty cute!




Other small decorations around the house!!!


The next picture I'm going to post is a wreath that I made for my front door.  I made the whole thing from scratch.  I had purchased a styrofoam wreath last year in the hopes of wanting to make a cute wreath for Christmas but I felt so overwhelmed in the crafts aisle and my mind was having an artist's blank.  I couldn't picture anything.  So when I pulled it out of a craft box a few weeks ago, I thought I'd just do something more Halloween with it - One trip to Hobby Lobby and I just grabbed random pieces and wrapped it with a beautiful sheer glittery fabric and then added stuff to it.  I am happy with how it turned out and even more proud that I didn't have to steal an idea from Pinterest.  It's an original.  :o)



I feel like the wreath looks way cooler in person but the pictures will have to do for now.

I'm going to enjoy this all until November 1st - I will take the Halloween things down and replace it with some more pumpkins - maybe I'll make a turkey (not the turkey in the oven kind!)

I think Andrew is proud of me for the little budding talent within me but pretty impressed that I did all this stuff for less than $15!

More money for Christmas shopping!


Hope y'all enjoy!

XoXo,

Meg

Monday, October 13, 2014

Let me Introduce myself

My name is Megan.

Everyone calls me Meg.

I currently reside in Austin, Texas - truthfully, I have been calling this city my home since January of 2009 and I couldn't imagine ever living in another city.

Although, I did live in Dallas from June 2013 till May of 2014.  Dallas was NOT my cup of tea and I was so excited to move back to Austin.  :)

My friends all live here - they have become my family.

My amazing family resides in Kansas and in the Washington D.C. area - which brings me to the point of creating this blogspot.  I decided to create this blogspot so that family and friends from all over can have a daily peek into my life and what all is going on.  My cousin Danielle has one and I enjoy reading hers so much and following up on her life and how her kids are doing -  I knew that my parents and my boyfriends' family would enjoy having a daily look into our lives.  :)

I know that I have facebook but I feel like it's not quite so personal and that this blogspot will be more enjoyable for others.  

I plan to post a little bit of everything - places that I've visited, food that I've eaten/a recipe that Andrew and I tried out and absolutely loved, DIY crafts, social gatherings with friends, music shows or outdoor activities --- just a little of everything on here & I know y'all will enjoy it.

xoso,

Meg