Friday, October 31, 2014

Kauai-Part I


If you ever have a chance to go to Kauai, I would definitely recommend it. We had the vacation of our dreams in Kauai and I already can't wait to plan another trip there in the future. Kauai has the perfect mix of relaxing beaches to soak up the sun and read a good book with the fun, adventurous activities. I think aside from the island being absolutely beautiful one of the best things about the island is how many free and fun activities there are to do! We didn't have to spend a ton of money on excursions because with a guide book and a rental car, we found our own adventure and enjoyed every minute of it.

We had a really long day of travel on our way to the island and came within of two minutes of missing our flight. Luckily we made it just in time but by the time we got to Hawaii we were EXHAUSTED and ready to sleep for days. Surprisingly though we were up by 5:30 AM the next morning because of the time change and after enjoying the gorgeous sunset from our room we went exploring and found a local coffee stand with incredible coffee and then found somewhere to eat breakfast near the ocean.




On our first day, we explored some of the local beaches including Shipwreck Beach which has some really cool cliffs that are easy to hike to the top of. There is even one point where there were people jumping off the cliff into the ocean. I am too much of a chicken to even consider that, but it was fun to watch the brave souls jumping from that high up. We relaxed, went to the grocery store, and ate at an amazing little hole in the wall place called Da Crack with incredibly huge burritos. 




The scenery driving around the island is just gorgeous. Kauai is called the Garden Island and it is stunning. You are surrounded by lush green plants, flowers, palm trees and gorgeous mountains everywhere. I just stared in amazement sometimes because of how beautiful it was. 

On our second day in Hawaii we decided to be adventurous and hike the first two miles of the Napali Coast. The trail is actually eleven miles each way, so a twenty-two mile round trip hike but we decided four was plenty for our first go. The hike was really intense, it was either steep uphill or steep downhill, and it was all very natural meaning there were rocks to climb, tree branches to hop over, streams to cross, etc. It was quite the workout but so worth it because the views were STUNNING.



The hike led to a secluded beach, and the surf was so high this day that the waves were crazy high. We thought about continuing another two miles to the waterfall, but we didn't pack a lunch so we decided we better turn back. The entire trip took us about three hours to hike to the beach and back and it is something that I definitely want to do again if we go back.


After our hike we discovered a local bakery that made amazing pizza, sandwiches and INCREDIBLE pastries. We had lunch and a delicious coconut cookie bar creation that I still think about fondly to this day. We visited the Kileau Light House and then headed back to the South Shore of the island where our hotel was.

I am breaking up the Hawaii recap and pictures into a few posts because A. recapping vacations is a lot of work and B. I don't want to overload you with a million pictures at once. Check back next week to see Part II of Hawaii pictures!

PS: Happy Halloween!!! Make sure to check in on Instagram later today to see my TWO costumes-my work costume and my party costume. My friends Karissa and Stacey (and our hubbies) are throwing a costume party tonight and it should be a blast!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Community Brew | Letting Go



The world has always been a pretty scary place for me. I can hardly stand to watch the news because I am always confronted with sad and tragic news. Everywhere we turn whether the news, social media, or overheard in the morning office there are car accidents and random acts of violence, there are mothers miscarrying the babies they prayed for and there are children kidnapped and things like Ebola and ISIS, there are lay off's and foreclosures and I could go on and on but I won't because I am not trying to depress anyone this early.

Maybe you're like me, and these type of stories and reports are not only scary to you, but they can send you into a tailspin of "What if that happens to me? What if MY husband gets in a car accident on the way home? What if I lost my job" For many years I have walked around with a heavy blanket of anxiety, worrying about the what ifs and the could happens. It is an unhealthy way to live, but I felt like that was just how my mind worked, and I couldn't rewire my brain.

I started my new job on Monday, but before I accepted the offer, I was terrified of the change. I was terrified of having to start all over, to go on a probationary period again, terrified of having a new boss and new coworkers and doubted my ability to learn and excel at something new. Through some great counsel from my husband, mom and girlfriend, I didn't let that fear hold me back, and now just three days into the new job, I am glad I let go of that anxiety and made the leap anyway.

The past few weeks, I have felt a greater sense of peace than I have felt for as long as I can remember. I've let go of the things I can't control, I've given myself permission to enjoy each moment instead of fearing what is coming next. I've practiced thanking God for the little blessings in each day, and praying for His will to be done when I feel anxious or afraid. It helps me tremendously to go back through old prayer journals and look at all the ways God has answered my prayers and provided for our family. I rest easier knowing that although there are still countless things that could go wrong in my life, my family's life, this country and world, I know that God is still good. He is still God and he takes care of His children.

Worrying about them, stressing, keeping ourselves up at night over the what ifs is really saying to God that we don't trust Him to take care of us. And lately, when I have moments of fear or anxiety, I whisper to God "I trust you." Tragedy and sadness are everywhere in this broken world, but I know that God can redeem any situation, any heartbreak, any tragedy for His glory. That is worth trusting in to me.

Linking up with Rachel and Maddison for Community Brew one of my most favorite monthly linkups. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

1st Anniversary



A little late is better than never, right? Ronnie and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Sunday, October 5th and it was such a fun, relaxing day with my hubby. We didn't do anything extravagant or exchange gifts because we had our big Hawaii trip coming up just three days later, but we did enjoy our day together and reflect on how fast the year went, but how much we had experienced together in just one year! 

I woke up to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a Starbucks delivery in bed Sunday morning. I didn't take a picture of my gorgeous flowers but they sat on my vanity and were enjoyed until we left for Hawaii. We went to our favorite breakfast place, Big City Coffee and even met a lovely older couple who took our picture and asked if it was our dating anniversary. Bless them. 

After breakfast and coffee, we did some shopping and came back home and cut into our cake. We opted out of the tradition of freezing the cake and instead we had a brand new cake from our bakery that replicated our top layer and enjoyed fresh cake. I wanted to drink wine from our toasting glasses from the wedding but of course, I dropped one and it shattered. I wasn't TOO attached to them but I was a little disappointed. It really was the perfect, relaxing day with my husband, and then just three days later we hopped on a plane and celebrated in Hawaii for a whole week!


I seriously could not have married someone more perfect for me. Ronnie is the calm to my anxious, the funny to my serious, the outgoing to my introverted nature, the spontaneous to my planning. He is selfless and giving to a fault, and is the most generous person I've ever met. He knows exactly what I need on hard days, whether that is a heated blanket and cup of tea when I get home from a fifteen hour day or a Netflix binge on Saturday mornings. I love him more than I did on the day I married him even though I was sure on that day I could never love him any more than I did without my heart bursting. 




Here's to many more years of love, happiness and memories! 



Monday, October 20, 2014

Real Life Is Hard

This is no longer my view when I wake up and that is devastating 

Monday mornings are always a little harder than other mornings, but lets be honest, this particular morning, I am really struggling. Its the first Monday we're back to work after a week and a half vacation in Hawaii and I probably am going to be crying about it for the next week or two. Not only is the time difference a total killer because our bodies believe its four hours earlier than it actually is in Idaho, but now we have actual responsibilities and alarm clocks and have to make our own food. Wah way wah.

As for our weekend, although it was nice to have a weekend before returning to work, we stayed REALLY busy. We took the red-eye flight home Thursday night and arrived in Boise around 9:30 on Friday morning and went almost immediately to our beds and slept for most of the day. We met up with our wedding photographer and her husband that evening for a fall anniversary photo session and then went out to dinner with them which was a total blast. We absolutely adore them and love when we get to spend time with them. Our lovely photographer posted a sneak peak at our pictures that we are already in LOVE with. Fall is seriously the BEST.




Saturday morning we slept in til almost ten which is unheard of for us, but the time change was just killing me! It just so happens that our family pictures were scheduled for Saturday afternoon, so after lounging around feeling bad for ourselves that we were preparing our own food and wearing sweaters instead of swimsuits, we met up with my mom's side of the family and had even more pictures taken.

As soon as those were over, I headed to my gorgeous friend Karissa's pageant. Her mom and I are kindred spirits and got to the event an hour and a half early so we could be first in line and were Mrs. Meridian Villages biggest fans. Karissa did AMAZING and placed in the Top 15 AND she won Mrs. Photogenic because, duh, have you seen her? To celebrate we indulged in pizza and wine at her parents house after and it was seriously SUCH a fun night. I am so proud of her and if you want more details you should keep your eye out for a blog post from here in the near future.


Sunday was hard because it was full of adult, real life responsibilities like grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry. We have a busy week coming up, Ronnie is starting his second quarter of school, I am babysitting, and I am running the Arthritis Foundation Run on Saturday. Its my last week of work in my current office which is SO bittersweet but I am looking forward to this new challenge. Stay tuned for more Hawaii stories soon, friends. Its SO good to be back.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Silky, Soft, Shiny Hair by Dove




I just spent eight days at the beach and for the first time ever, loved my hair the whole time! I have long and thick hair that is prone to tangles and knots so I am very picky about the hair products I use. While we were in Hawaii, I packed my Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products knowing that my hair would need some extra love because I'd be spending my days in the sun, salt water and the chlorine filled pools.  




I wanted to be able to transition easily from beach hair to pretty and stylish date night hair, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how easily my hair styled after using the delicious smelling shampoo and conditioner. This stuff left my hair smelling like angel dust all day and feeling softer than ever. After just one wash my hair felt silkier and was tangle free. I can't wait to try out some of the fall hairstyles I keep seeing. Lately I've loved the gorgeous braids and the side ponytails I've been seeing on my Pinterest boards!

The dry oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil and the combination of the two gives it an incredible smell. I loved how quickly it absorbed into my hair, leaving it shiny and smooth without looking greasy.




My biggest complaint with most shampoos and conditioners is that they leave my hair feeling weighted down with residue but the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products left my hair silky and smooth without weighing it down.  This product line would be perfect for all hair types and I dare you to give it a try yourself and fall in love with the touch and feel of your hair or your money back!

Dove will refund your money if you're not completely satisfied.* I LOVE a company that stands behind their product. If you do give it a try, make sure to share your silky results at #silkyhairdare, and if you want a chance to win up to 20,000 in prizes** use the hashtag #silkyhairdaresweeps for a chance to win. Just visit Dove.com for more information.


*If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit hairmoneyback.com for details 

 **No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Dove Silky Hair Dare Sweepstakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 9/25/14 and ends 12:00 p.m. ET on 11/20/14. For Official Rules, visit http://www.dove.us/Products/Hair/Advanced-Hair-Series/rules.aspx


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Things I Wish I Didn't Love | Two Martinis

Happy Thursday friends. Today one of my blogging besties is taking over this space and keeping you all very entertained I am sure because she's hilarious. Lisa is the author of Two Martinis and our friendship grew over eight hours of g-chat a day that then turned into a few more hours of texts after we'd left the office and we even met in person this past summer when I visited Chicago. She is a real treat and her blog is the most real blog I've ever read that never fails to make me laugh out loud!



I really wish I didn't love Hawaii so I wouldn't be insanely jealous of Brittany being there while I'm here in Chicago, slowly losing feeling in my extremities from the cold... but alas, I do love Hawaii and I'm sure Brittany is having a blast and enjoying many a tropical beverage (hopefully the kinds that come with mini-umbrellas!) Anyway, Hawaii isn't the only thing I wish I didn't love, my list also includes:

- Reality TV. I really wish I didn't (at all) support such families as the Kardashians or the Real Housewives or any of the families on '16 and Pregnant' and TV shows like that, but I simply can't look away! As soon as I start watching these series I get hooked and there's simply nothing I can do about it at that point. I mean, I love reading, but I find myself reaching for the remote more often than I reach for a novel. It's a shame, really.

- Fall. I love fall - it's the typical 'white girl' in me. There is nothing wrong with the season of fall except for the fact that I anticipate fall and then it quickly becomes winter and I really do not love winter. I mean, I love it initially, but not all 8 months of it.

- Doughnuts (and cupcakes, Oreos, poptarts, etc.). I have a sweet tooth and there's nothing I can do about it. I can eat healthy foods but then I always need a dessert, obviously. And the gourmet doughnut shops in Chicago? I love them and I hate that I love them because I will travel great distances for a uniquely flavored doughnut. I wish I preferred oatmeal, but really, it's not even a competition.

Flowers. I love fresh flowers in my kitchen, but I'm always so disappointed when they die, so of course I have to go out and buy more fresh flowers to replace them... It's a vicious cycle, really.

- Exercise classes. I love to exercise, and that's a good thing. However, over the years I've participated in such classes as: boxing, yoga, barre, running groups, Crossfit, and random classes at the gym. There is nothing wrong with loving to sweat, but the money I've paid to sweat in these classes over the years is unbelievable! I wish I loved just running or biking by myself, but alas, I'm a social exerciser.

- French Fries. French fries are what keep me from ordering a small salad as a side (at a restaurant) every.single.time.

- Chicago. There are other cities that would be great to live in, I'm sure. There are places with better weather, lower crime rates, better schools, lower rental rates etc etc etc. However, the fact remains that I absolutely love the city of Chicago and therefore I'm still faithfully living here five years after I first moved downtown. I wish I loved small towns, where I could live like a queen for what we pay to live in a big city, but alas, I thrive on the energy and bustle of Chicago.

- Chicago sports teams. I shouldn't even need to explain this, but I will. I'm a Cubs fan. The Cubs haven't won since 1908. I'm also a Bears fan, and we all know how that season is going (if you don't know, it's going badly). I wish I didn't love these teams so I could stop torturing myself, but alas, I'm loyal to these lovable losers.

That's enough from me! Tell me...

What do you love but wish you didn't?!


** Oh, in case you didn't know (of course you didn't know, how could you?!), I'm Lisa from Two Martinis and I'm writing this post because Brittany is away on an adventure and I'm sitting on my couch realizing that I have the heat on and the windows open and that's probably really ineffective so I should shut the windows. I write about marriage and my days spent as a clueless new-mom and everything else I find to be relevant. Come on over and say hello!



(You can also say 'hi' to me on Bloglovin'Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest...)**


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5 Affordable Wines | Sage

Have you guys been loving the guest posters as much as I have this week? They are amazing and today, Cassie from Sage is discussing one of my favorite topics: WINE. I love wine and I love affordable wine even more. Cassie is a newlywed and was one of my first blog friends so everyone give her a warm welcome! 

 

Hi there! I'm Cassie and I blog over at Sage. I've been known to ramble a lot about faith, my life as a newlywed, and my love for wine. I grew up in wine country, so I like to think I'm a seasoned professional (sarcasm friends). But seriously what fun is wine if you (a) don't know what wine to buy and (b) if it burns a hole in your pocket?! Thankfully, today I am here to share five AFFORDABLE wines I love.


1. Apothic Red



I can usually find this red blend for around $8 a bottle. It's a very drinkable wine that boasts dark fruit flavors and jam-like red fruit notes. It is to die for.

2. Casillero de Diablo



The best way to describe this Chilean wine, in my opinion, is sweet and peppery. I know that sounds strange but the combination of blackberry, mineral, and oak flavors in this wine is unique and SO TASTY. Especially considering it is under $10.

3. Cupcake


I love ALL Cupcake wines but my all time favorite is Red Velvet. I pretty much love everything with the words "Red Velvet" in it so I figured this wouldn't be an exception. My prediction was accurate. It's very smooth and easy to drink. It has hints of cocoa, black cheery, and blackberry. I also think it's pretty creamy. A lovely wine all around.

4. Line 39



Their Sauvignon Blanc is to DIE for. The citrus hints remind me of grapefruit and lemon, with a little bit of grass aroma. I know that sounds strange but this wine is CRISP and easy to drink. It's a must try if you are a white drinker.

5. Les Fontanelles


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my favorite types of wine. Les Fontanelles does not disappoint. This wine has more a of a chocolate edge. It's smooth and medium-bodied, the perfect Friday night glass of wine to share with a friend!


What's your go to affordable wine?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Be That Couple | Life With Amberly & Joe

Happy Tuesday! As you can imagine, Hawaii is amazing. Okay, well, lets be honest I am not in Hawaii as I write this but I WILL be in Hawaii when you read it. Never the less, I know it WILL be amazing so lets go with that. The lovely blogger I have here today is Amberly from Life With Amberly and Joe who I actually got to meet at a blog conference last week. I LOVE her marriage advice and wisdom, and she has more to share with you today!

Whenever I am out in public, I watch people. At restaurants, in the mall, on campus, at the store and around town. I'm entertained by first dates and public family outings, but I especially love to observe couples in love. I'm sure everyone will agree with me when I say that there's nothing better than an older couple who still holds hands in public, it's the one thing that I always hear people comment on. But I love to see couples of all ages in love and proud to show it! It makes me sad when I see two people who are obviously married or in a relationship but don't seem interested in each other or all that excited to be together. And although they may have a strong relationship, the way they act toward each other doesn't really shout, "We're in love!! We're in love!! And we don't care who knows it!"
My weird goal is to be the couple that everyone looks at and thinks, 'Man, they look like they have a lot of fun together and are really in love.' Whether people pay attention us when we're out in public or not, I never want to give anyone the impression that I am unhappy in my marriage, because that's never going to be the truth. We don't have a perfect relationship, it has its ups and downs, but do random strangers on the street need to be privy to the struggles we're having? No, most definitely not! Because the goal of my blog is to inspire other wives to have awesome marriages, I figure that the attitude I have about my online presence should carry over into real life as well. And if the way I interact with my husband inspires someone else to love their marriage more, that's even better!
Don't Be Afraid of a Little PDA Obviously nobody wants to see you make out and if you're too touchy, you'll make your friends and family sick, but that doesn't mean that you can't show each other some love. Holding hands, a quick leg squeeze, hugging and sometimes even a quick kiss are all fairly socially acceptable forms of touch in my opinion. Remember how everyone admires the little old couple who's still holding hands? You don't have to be old for hand holding in public to be something that people envy. Don't Criticize Each Other in Public Fights are going to happen and you're not always going to agree with what your spouse does or has to say, but letting them know how you feel in a public setting is awkward for everyone involved. Not only does it make those around you feel extremely uncomfortable, but it is also the opposite of letting everyone know how much you love your spouse. Save your disagreements for home and don't make your spouse look foolish. Don't Be Afraid of Having Fun Being an adult comes with responsibilities, but it doesn't mean that you have to stop having fun. I run into a lot of people my age who I don't think ever laugh or smile anymore, they take life so seriously maybe because they feel like they need to be really mature at their age or stage of life. Have fun with your spouse in public, do something silly and let loose a little. But obviously, still be respectful of others and think before you do something irresponsible. Don't Ignore Each Other for Your Phones I love to sit in a restaurant and look around at everyone eating dinner to see how many people have their phones out and are totally ignoring each other. It's something that my husband and I have been guilty of, but are trying to be better about. When you go out to spend time together, make it quality time. Don't treat your spouse like they're the least important thing on your mind, give them the attention that they deserve. Even if you're both mutually on your phone, it looks really silly to those around you and I PROMISE, people notice.
What do you do to ensure your love for your spouse is obvious when you're around other people?
Amberly


Monday, October 13, 2014

Unrequited Love | The Fairy Princess Diaries

This week, while I am in Hawaii I have some AMAZING bloggers lined up to keep you all company. Today, I have Jordyn from The Fairy Princess Diaries and I just have to tell you I LOVE her and her blog so much. I know we'd be instant BFFs because of our mutual love for Taylor Swift, Tutus and would have love-gone-wrong stories to share well into the wee hours of the morning during our bestie sleepovers. 

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Unrequited love is a romanticized way of articulating the experience of falling for someone who isn’t exactly falling for you. I’ve had my fair share of unfulfilling love stories from Tinder dates that end with my date’s girlfriend showing up (which was just as awkward as it sounds) to professing my undying love and affection to a boy in the sticky hallowed halls of a frat house to solely receive a quick pat on the head and a mumbled “you’re cute”. Unrequited love isn’t all Shakespeare makes it out to be, in fact it really sort of sucks.

Aw, a classic case of unrequited love. Left: Me, Right: The guy I proceeded to stalk and obsess over for 2 years before finally admitting defeat. Aw, a classic case of unrequited love. Left: Me, Right: The guy I proceeded to stalk and obsess over for 2 years before finally admitting defeat.

As we funnel time, energy and worst of all, emotion, into the object of our affection we find other areas of our lives drained, empty…and utterly exhausted! If I wanted the sort of love that required giving and giving (and giving) with little chance of reciprocation I would have adopted a cat rather than entering the dating scene. In the end your unloving cat doesn’t require a monthly bikini wax and probably won’t judge you for spending Friday night in bed with a block of cheese and some Ben & Jerry’s (a winning combo if you’re looking for a quick meal prep solution). That being said affection filters us from reality and leaves us just as jaded as confused as the “Kelvin” filter on Instagram (but seriously does life ever look that orange?). So as someone who has been there and done that, or should I say “been there, loved that (guy who didn’t love me)”, I thought I should share a few signs your true love doesn’t feel the same way.
  1. Your Prince Charming has very little time for taking you on real dates and daytime activities but has PLENTY of time for World of War Craft, spontaneous trips to Thailand and beers with the guys. He has time for his priorities, you're just not one of them.
  2. When you ever so romantically leave love song lyrics on his Facebook wall he just so happens to never respond. In theory serenading your man with Taylor Swift is a good idea; in practice it’s actually sort of creepy.
  3. If you’re looking for clues as if you’re Blue (the dog) chances are he doesn’t like you. You shouldn’t have to decipher one word text messages, you shouldn’t have to wonder whether or not an instagram like indicates hidden affection. If he likes you you won’t have to play Nancy Drew!
  4. No one enjoys drunken confessions of love at midnight via slurred speech and tear stained eyes. Cinderella had the good sense to head to bed at midnight and occasionally I think we should too! If your knight in shining armor pats you on the head and says “You’re cute” after a confession of your love chances are he’s not actually feeling it, shocker.
  5. If you just so happen to stumble upon him making out with another girl at a party…this is NOT a sign he’s hoping to make you jealous, and you should NOT (extra emphasis on the NOT) be make out with his friend in front of him. I speak from personal experience when I say these crazy mind games are a very unwise idea and never pan out with the happily ever after you'd hoped for.
  6. The love of your life won’t take another girl to a fancy dress up ball he knows you want to go to. Therefore if you find your man friend engaging in such behavior it’s probably best you don’t show up and proceed to stalk him (and sabotage her) the entire night.
  7. Desperate pleas for attention are a sign you are not meant to be. If you find yourself “accidentally” snapping your man pictures of you in your bikini in the middle of October, it’s time to take a look in the mirror and say to yourself “Sure I’m rocking this bikini but at what cost?”. I think you’ll find yourself realizing October is awfully cold for a two piece.
readingmeaning

I’m no relationship expert but in my 22 years of life I’ve discovered a lot of ways to scare guys off, and have come to realize the stages of rejection (I’ve also watched a lot of episodes of Sex & The City). In the end we all deserve true love, and while true love isn’t perfect, I am confident that true love means never having to bash the object of your affection over the head with a two by four in order to coerce him into liking you. If vying for the love of your crush leaves you feeling underappreciated, unloved and generally inadequate chances are he’s not the one for you. Falling in love should make you feel like glittery fairy dust, you are so not generic (even if you’re as “basic” as me). Don’t let your love story be ordinary and blasé either!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I'm The Kind Of Traveler Who...


They say you can learn a lot about someone by traveling with them. If you were traveling with me on this vacation, you'd learn that I am the kind of traveler who...


Has never been accused of being a light packer. I may have packed a small carry-on suitcase (in addition to my large suitcase, laptop tote bag, and camera bag) and asked my husband to use it as his second carry on.

Hopes and prays and crosses my fingers that my bag is under the 50 pound weight limit.

...And when its not, I am seen furiously unloading things out of my suitcase on the floor of the airport and moving it to my carry-on.

Packs my cat slippers in my tote bag so my feet are warm and comfy during the plane ride.

Envys those girls with "airport style" while rocking my Lulumeon black leggings, a target hoodie and flip flops.

Full on sprints to my gate when my delayed flight causes me to come within two minutes of missing my connecting flight.

Priortizes finding and trying local coffee shops above all else.

Would choose a hole in the wall, shanty looking restaurant with amazing food before a fancy chain restaurant.

Watches with wonder as braver people than I jump off cliffs into the ocean but would NEVER do it myself.

Writes a blog post over from her balcony over looking the ocean because I finally feel inspired again. Something about that fresh salty air and the waves crashing.

Next week I have a handful of amazing bloggers coming to keep you company. Be sure to check back because they are all incredibly talented bloggers and writers and they have some amazing content to keep you entertained. I'll be back with stories and pictures from Hawaii before you know it.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Before You Accept: Consider This!





I have big news-I recently accepted a new position as an HR Specialist Senior and at the end of the month, I am starting my new job! This is a really great move for me professionally and I am so excited about the opportunity to broaden my HR skills.  Before I accept any job though, there is more to consider than just my monthly salary. One of the most important things to consider in my opinion is the benefits package. Luckily for me, when I accepted the position I was just moving from one state agency to another one, meaning my benefit policy doesn’t change. Although it isn’t always the first thing millenials think about when they get that job offer, benefits are extremely important to me, and should be to you too!

Up until two years ago, I was the picture of health. I was an active runner and hardly ever caught the office colds and flu bugs that run rampage in the winter, I rarely went to the doctor, and I’ve never had a major surgery or hospital stay.


But then in 2012, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and all of that changed instantly. I was put on medicaitoin that without insurance costed thousands of dollars a month. I was going to doctor’s offices constantly and was having countless tests ran. When I received those bills, I was so relieved to see that my insurance covered the majority of the costs.

Its important that when you are considering switching jobs, you consider things other than just your monthly salary. Compare your vacation time off, how the company handles sick leave, retirement options, and of course, benefits. Not only should you compare benefit premium costs, but dig deeper into what is covered, what your deductible is, and if you have the option to use a flexible spending account which is great for those regular medical expenses or monthly prespcriptions. I have turned down two jobs in my career because of a lack of benefit options, and as someone with a chronic lifelong disease, benefits really matter to me.

They should matter to you too though-not to be grim, but you want to be prepared in the case of an emergency. Whether you’re diagnosed with a serious disease, have to have a major surgery or are in a car accident, having good coverage can save you in more ways than one! You are Only One Emergency Away From Financial Disaster, but the good news is even if your job doesn’t offer the best insurance options, Aflac offers additional insurance options to supplement your primary insurance. Aflac offers accident, dental, life, vision, cancer, hospital intensive care and more voluntary insurance policies. These voluntary policies pay policy holders directly for unexpected costs associated with a covered serious illness, injury or loss. In addition, the cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses a worker may have.

Take a few minutes over the next week and review your benefits and consider adding an additional supplemental policy if you think it might be beneficial to you. Theres never such a thing of being too prepared, especially when it comes to our finances and health! Benefits matter - and I am not just saying that because I work in HR!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.