Thursday, February 28, 2013

Leah's farewell party

Posted By: Leah
Before I left my previous position, my company had a farewell party in my honor. As you may or may not know, I am an event planner by trade as well as by nature. Also, I'm a bit of a control freak. So when I heard there was a committee planning my party and I wasn't on this committee, I *may* have sent them hundreds  MANY e-mails full of ideas.

I offered to help in any way that I could. I know it's supposed  to be a party in my honor, but that makes me even more involved (read: control freak).

The task of creating the invite was assigned to someone else. But knowing the control-freak nature of my ways, plus this person was on deadline, she let me create my own invite!!!
Here was my very 1st draft. I found to be perfectly appropriate and acceptable.
When I sent it over for review, it was a no-go.
I get it, maybe the tears were a little much. Not really in my mind.
But to anyone who is not me, I can see how this is a little  overboard.

My 2nd draft is what was the final. It was what was sent out inviting people to the party.
Totally epic, if you ask me.

BUT... I couldn't stop. Hello Kitty told me she wouldn't let my creative abilities end there.
So I made one final version. Hello Kitty must have tears!

Here are a few photos  from my party on my last day.

I love this punch. It's called Holiday Punch, but whatever. It's cranberry, pineapple, almond extract... just click here for the recipe. It's sooo amazing! So happy my coworker made it for me!

Not that I've had all that many jobs, but when I leave, I have a tradition where all the people I work with sign a mat with my business card and then someone I work with comes up with a photo for the middle. It's almost like having a yearbook. I love reading all the comments and in a frame it's so much nicer than just a card that may get thrown out. Here's the one I got for this position:

Something I forgot about, is that sometimes when you leave a job people give you going away gifts! I was super excited to get so much awesomeness. And yes, my work BFF Lauren gave me most of this... oh! and that's an ivy plant above the huge HK tote!

A couple gift cards, some good bye cards, champagne, AND Lauren printed and framed my favorite HK goodbye invite!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Old Cube. A ton of fun photos

Posted By: Leah
Yesterday I made the announcement that I had started a new job!

Today's post is from the twilight zone that became my life of packing up my cube at my old job. As I was packing it last week, things just started to feel weird. Like my cube walls went from bright and fun, to bland and drab.

Here are some photos of my old cube. I have spent almost 4 years in that cube, 9 hours a day. I sold my house from that cube, I got separated, then divorced, then started dating bf. All from that cube. That cube was a good one. In the corner, with high walls and no one could sneek up on me in there. Important cube characteristics.

The above cube-shots were from when I turned 31

These were from when I turned 32... noticing a theme?

I wrote this post prior to starting my new job with a new cube. I know the new cube will be a good one. it has floor to ceiling windows (I asked to see it when I was in for an interview). I'm sure it will be another fun cube. But I was really for real comfortable in my cube before. Change is scary you guys!

What if I don't have work besties to decorate my cube on my bday?
What if my cube is super boring and I never feel comfortable in it?

Ok, I'm sure it will all be okay. Plus my birthday is on a Sunday this year, so if my cube isn't decorated I'll be alright. Sigh.

I snapped just a few photos as I was packing everything up. These are some of my favorite parts of my cube so I can remember it forever. (and I may be emotional-eating a box of Girlscout cookies at I type this)

Gav's artwork. He went to the on-site daycare where I worked from age 2 1/2 - 5 when he started kindergarten. Those are truly the best years for preschool art. Now he draws monsters. Back then, he drew me pretty flowers with his tiny hand prints all the time and pastel finger painting.

The tissue paper flowers my work bestie Lauren made for last year's birthday & my little corner of cute photos of Gav and me. Also one of my going-away memory frames from my last job. People love me and never want me to leave!

This was from 2 years ago, my work bestie Lauren put this at the top of the stairs for me to find. Remember when I ate all healthy and ran 5 flights of stairs several times a day? This was from Valentine's day  back then.

The pink pig! Again, back when I was super healthy I led our office's biggest loser competition. I kept people accountable and sent motivational e-mails each week. People would self-report to me their weight loss or gain that week. The person who was doing the worst got the pink pig on their desk. After the competition he ended up with me. I gave him to Lauren. Ok, actually I hid him in her office.

Really cool magnets! Sooo I may be 'that girl' who eats food after the expiration date. or if other people are too scared to. I have no shame in that. Why waste perfectly good food? And... my other co-worker went to San Fran and got me a magnent from the Full House hill.

Birthday signs! It's sort of a tradition to make each other signs for our birthdays. Here are mine from the past couple of years. It's what I was into at the time. Love them!!!

HK cupcake toppers Lauren hand-cut out and a zillion starbucks drink stirrers.
Things I couldn't ever throw away (pretty sure this is how hoarding starts).
And yes, I did throw away the starbucks stirrers.
AND hid a HK cupcake topper in Lauren's plant in her office.

You thought I was kidding when I said I was emotional-eating GS cookies as I wrote this. Lies.

My desk from Valentine's day this year when BF brought me the prettiest purple tulips and HK goodness. Plus more of my random crap  stuff in the background.


Next up was clearing my computer. It just makes my heart sad. Like a mild freak-out of me thinking... what if I didn't save this to a flash drive and I need to remember it forever or someone asks me for it and I can't find it ? or I need work samples and deleted everything I've ever done my whole life? It's hard to get rid of things that you are emotionally attached to (ring ring hoarders? yeah this is Leah).

But somehow I did... I deleted everything on my desktop. I threw away (or took home) everything from my desk. There was nothing left.

And this is super super lame  but I sware to god this went through my head.... yes Semisonic.

So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits

I hope you have found a friend

Closing time

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

(but not the 'I know who I want to take me home' part. gross.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New job, yo!

Posted By: Leah
Some of you know, but probably most of you don't know that I started an exciting new job yesterday!  It really feels like a dream. I am still in shock about everything, it's super exciting and scary.

To say that this new job 'fell into my lap' would be an understatement. From the day that I sent in my resume to the day I received the offer letter was only 3 weeks. It was fast you guys. The way this job fell into my lap was someone I know had been sent the job posting and she thought it was right up my ally so she passed it on to me. I couldn't believe it. I'm not used to that type of awesome networking. 

I am great when it comes time for changes. But just because of my control-freak nature, I like to feel in charge. I applied without knowing anything about the company, where it was, or what they did. I just trusted that the person who sent me the posting wouldn't have sent it if it wasn't a great opportunity. Every now and then life will kick your booty to where it needs to be. Some people call it fate, some people call it success (when preparation meets opportunity)... all I know is it happens. It's happened to me before it and here it goes happening once again.

Something else awesome is that I left my job I previously had under really good circumstances, they were all very excited for this opportunity, it is nothing they ever could have offered me. Usually I end up leaving jobs when I have a real reason to make a move (like I'm moving to another state). I have agreed to be their go-to girl for advice at my old job until they can replace me. And as we all know, it is impossible to replace me, so I have agreed to offer them help until they hire someone else who is better at IDK, keeping a straight face in meetings. Have you seen my crazy expressions?

I have written this post prior to starting the new job, so that in case I am super tired or try to throw in those work cliches like 'It's like I'm drinking from a fire hose' I'll spare you, and can provide you with a level-headed post until I actually get my feet wet there. (see what I did with the cliche anyway?). I actually have scheduled several posts for this week. Because honestly, I'm not sure what will become of my blog. Yes, of course I'll keep writing it. How could I not? But there will be some changes.  Mostly good!

Here are the good blog changes:

New Design! I actually got this done while I was still in the interview process. Because my life will be changing, I wanted a different look to go along with that change.

Posts from different locations! Many of you know that I was a tourism major in college forever (like 10 yrs)  ago. I've always had a wanderlust and love of travel. Fast forward to me being married, having gav, and being a single mom. Not so much travel happening. Then BF came on the scene and I realized I actually have more help/support than I thought. I am free to travel! I learned that yes, Gav can survive hanging w/ people not just me. This position will give me the opportunity to travel once every couple months. How fab would it be to do a post like 'oh here I am in XYZ awesome big city in the US chilling with my ipad, drinking coffee and eating a pastry.' I think it sounds fun, right? I'm making no promises considering I could have zero downtime, but this is something I hope to have happen.

Here are the sadface blog changes:

Less frequent posts. I can't guarantee that I won't run home and blog for hours every night. But I may be using the old brain so much learning everything new, that blogging may be the last thing I want on my plate (again with the cliche!)

Less e-mail interaction from work. I have a few friends who I email back and forth with from work. You know, like if I got a comment on the post, I could immediately write back. I don't know if this will be possible in the new position. So your comments may go a while before being approved, and being posting to the blog.

To leave you on a happy note, more good changes!

Ok this has nothing to do with the blog, but personally... this position will allow me more time with Gav (when I'm not traveling) because the location is VERY close to our home/his school. I'll save on gas, and will even be able to go home at lunch, and spend longer getting ready in the mornings.

This is a growth opportunity for me career-wise. Basically it's sort-of what I was doing before and it's just the next level of that. Sort of a step-up, if you will.

I'm sure there will be more changes, but I like to keep you all in the loop with what I knew so far. And I feel like I owe it to you to let you know what's up. better than than 3 months down the road be like "oh yeah I've been gone." I'm a planner you guys, it's just how I am.

Here are the mimosas and chocolate covered strawberries floating in them that BF brought me  on Valentine's Day. That's the week that the job acceptance was official and formally announced. BF has been the #1 most supportive person. Although the job has me living in my same city, still about 2 hrs from him, he knows that career-wise it's not often that a job combining your two talents is dropped in your lap. (And if you are all nosy-pants, I have always had to choose between doing event planning and marketing. All of my previous positions have focused on one more than the other. My work career has gone back and forth. This position, even the title of the role is Marketing & Events. Pretty awesome, huh?)

What about Gav? He is sooo excited. Gav has always wanted me to have lunch with him at school, and now that can be a reality for us. He feels completely responsible because the first phone interview for the new job took place when he was at home with me on a snow day. He was perfectly silent and is so proud that he was such a good boy during that time. Gav is excited to stay with his dad and other family and friends when I am traveling. And I will never be gone all that long.

So that's it... if you're reading this, it means things went well the first day and it's already my 2nd day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ridiculous Fears

Posted By: Leah

I have real fears. Like of fire. Gav's daycare caught on fire when he was one and they had to cut a hole in the playground fence to get the kids out. They couldn't call all the parents fast enough and I found out about the fire only because someone I knew saw it on the news. My 9th grade math teacher died in a fire trying to save his family from a space heater fire. I am scared of fire.

I have a fear of guns. When I was 8 my friend was staying at our other friend's house and they found his dad's gun. My friend accidentally shot himself in the head and it was a tragic, awful death. I am scared of guns.

But this is not at all what you want to read about. You want to hear about my ridiculous fears. Like the stuff that is all in my head. Stuff people laugh at me about.

I have a fear of massages. Like... strangers touching me creeps me out. I don't enjoy it. I leave more tense than when I arrived. I keep getting them once a year or so just because everyone else in the world LOVES massages and says it's such a treat. No guys, it's awkward and uncomfortable. I like the massage chair at the nail salon. Heck, I'm okay with strangers rubbing on my feet. It's just the rest of me that is super not cool and freaks me out.

I have a fear of not wearing the right outfit. I am totally not a fashion girl. Actually, I think I have less fashion sense than most people. I never know what to wear. I am constantly over-dressing, and being extra formal when it's not necessary. We're going to dinner? I'll wear a strapless dress from Ann Taylor. It cost $200. We're going to eat tacos. I don't care. Or I can be too casual, when I should be more polished. Why am I in yoga pants when everyone else is in jeans and boots? Why don't I own enough jewelry or accessories? And this freaks me out. I feel like people judge me and think I'm weird. Oh and I don't have the right bag. Like purse-bag. I have a hello kitty bag (this is real) and one from etsy. Neither are ever appropriate for any situation.

I have a fear of not taking enough pictures. That life will pass me by and I won't have anything to show for it. That my computer wont get backed up or the websites I save photos on will crash and I'll have no more pictures. I got a new phone this year and the camera on it SUCKS. I am not an iphone girl, never have been. But I would gladly trade my lame Droid 4 just for iphone's camera. Any iphone. like the first one that looks like a brick. I don't care (and yes, duh I could just carry a camera, but no too much work). 

I have a fear of not having a not fancy enough living space. I have the same furniture I got after college when I had my first job... 10 years ago. I need to upgrade. Everything. But I keep thinking I'll move and then get new furniture or figure out a theme or design. And why should I buy new stuff when what I have is perfectly okay?

I have a fear of being the consolation prize in someone's life. Like they already have a best friend. They already know people way cooler than me. I'm just 2nd place.

I have a fear of letting myself down. Like I want stuff to be super awesome for myself. I am stubborn and want what I want. I am totally not high maintenance except for a few areas of my life. And then I can be the pickiest person ever. Pretty much if my name is on something or it reflects me personally, I want it to be super awesome.

You'd think as a mom, I'd have more fears directly related to Gav, my family, work, money, stuff like that. But I feel like I have all that under control. It's more stuff directly related to me and people judging me that I have ridiculous fears about.

What are your ridiculous fears? Link up with these awesome ladies!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gav's Vlog on The Dentist and Laughing Gas

Posted By: Leah

If you're looking for a video showing a 6 year old high on laughing gas, you've come to the wrong place. But, if you're looking for a cute video of my 6 year old Gav telling the story of his first laughing gas/cavity filling experience, then pull up a chair!

A few of my favorite lines:

"My teeth were sleeping and they did not wake up for an hour and forty half."

"The girl who did my teeth was so hungry, she packed some bread and she wanted to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich"

"It's like the face thing Nana has with the nose pipe." 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

Posted By: Leah
1- The Firefly festival lineup just came out. And I can't find the list to post the artists anywhere. But I took notes on their super long boring youtube video you can watch here. In Summary, the ppl who are playing who I'd be interested in seeing are the Lumineers, Matt & Kim, Alabama Shakes,Vampire Weekend, Edward Sharpe, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, Foster the People, Passion Pitt, Ellie Goulding, Public Enemy, Avetts, and I hate the Chili Peppers and Tom Petty, so although they are the headliners I say they can go back to the 80's/90's. It's like how I skipped Eminem at Bonnaroo. I don't even care. I don't know anyone who's been to Firefly, but I'm guessing it's a mini Bonnaroo, but in the woods in Deleware. So it might not be so crazy hot. Which wins it bonus pts.

BF and I at Bonnaroo 2011

2- The Bonnaroo line-up is coming out today at 1pm. I was sooo disappointed after last year's line-up (and clearly we didn't go), that I have very low expectations for this year. I sware if they don't have huge acts I'm not even considering it. Everybody's guessing the headliners will be Frank Ocean, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Mumford & Sons and Bjork. And once again, I will pass is this is true. I've seen Mumford at Bonnaroo 2 yrs ago. And could care less about the others. If Bonnaroo asked me, I would tell them I want to see Adele, Rihana, Jack White... plus everyone who's already said they'd be at Firefly. I feel like Bonnaroo can get BIG BIG name artists. And last year they flexed their big big artist muscles and got the Beach Boys. Sorry, but not into it :/ I also don't like how Firefly/Bonnaroo announce on the same day. I think Bonnaroo is more of an all-over draw. We camped by people from Texas, NC, SC, Florida etc. I'm guessing in Delaware Firefly gets more of the NY and above crowd.

3- You guys, I need shoes. Not in a TOMS one for one, I need someone to donate shoes. But it does have to do with TOMS. Here's the thing... for the past 2 maybe 3 years, I've worn TOMS to work. While this is fine and good for the winter, I'm kind of feeling something more feminine for summer. BUT... I have a couple requests (you know, before you all send me all your favorite shoe styles). 1) I really want flats. I am just a little old lady you guys, I can't handle heels anymore unless it's something REALLY special. Like a wedding or photo-shoot,  or you know, I'm sitting around not walking. So flats FTW. 2) I have tattoos. On the tops of my feet. While I love them and they are super adorable. I don't really like them all front and center at work.

4-  I really like how I didn't even have to scroll my blog, I just googled myself and boom got a foot pic. Ok actually a few
yay google, yay. 

5-  Ok wow... got super distracted with everything that came up for 'lovely life of leah star kitty foot tattoo.' 

Ok these aren't mine but for real... are these super random things not fabulous!? Google knows what I like! It's like a custom pinterest board called 'what's in Leah's head.' 

5- So I realized almost all of these above photos were from a blog called Little blog of horrors. All in one post! You guys, I just found this blog and I adore this girl. I have already forgotten about shoes or whatever I was talking about before. Ok so she's from Glasgow, Scotland which automatically makes her even more awesome. Let me go blog stalk her and I'll get to #6 on my list later.

6- Ok (30 minutes later) On TV (while I was typing this post) was the Adventure Time girl-version Fiona and Cake (instead of Finn and Jake).  It's soo adorable. I wish they would make a zillion more of these episodes.

7) Speaking of Adventure Time, Gav, BF and I did something really fun this past weekend. We went to Geeksboro, a local coffeeshop/cinema for Saturday morning cartoons!  Gav got a fruity pebbles muffin and bf and I got coffee and a bagle. We came in just in time for Adventure Time! If you live in Greensboro, Geeksboro does the cartoons on Saturday at 8am and 10am and loops them until noon. It's on the 1st floor in the cinema. They do movies there at night. And games in the coffee shop if that's your thing! Oh and it's all free (except for the food. obv.)

8)  Speaking of food (ok not really, but sort-of) February is Subway $5 footlong month. Like any footlong is $5, which is a good deal. So I got gav a turkey/ranch one and had it cut into 4ths. Thinking this would last him for several meals. WELLLL... I put the whole sub on the table and told him to have 1/4 and if he wanted more to get it. I went in the other room, came back and this child was 3/4 done with the sub! That's more than adults eat! He would have had the last piece, but I didn't want him to make himself sick. But daannnggg. I usually get him the kid's meal at subway which is like 1/4 and comes with a yogurt lol. I was kind of impressed he ate that much, kind of freaked out.

9) I hate the Bachelor. It's gotten to the point where I refuse to watch... and you know that's bad news. I think Sean is boring, lame, has some weird rescuer/enabeler issues. and that's all I can handle.

10)  Now that Valentine's Day is over, it's time to start thinking about St. Patrick's Day aka my work BFF Lauren's birthday!!! How fab are these cupcakes!? 

Link up your own Ten on Tuesday with Lin
UPDATE: Firefly posted the list (finally)
SN: Coachella posted their list and for once it actually isn't that great.
Moral of story, I hate the Chili Peppers. It's like middle school all over again.
Why do people still like them?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spreading the Love Again at Valentine's Day!

Posted By: Leah
Months ago, back at the holidays, I took part in a Christmas swap. This is where I first met Stephanie of Just A Little Bit Louder. You guys, she's my blog-land kindred spirit. I feel like she could be in my family, seriously I feel that close to her. Huge shout-out to  Lin because her pairing Stephanie and I was a perfect match!

Here's a flashback of what I sent Stephanie for Christmas... I had the most fun ever shopping for her. Basically because it was just like shopping for myself lol! All I knew was that she liked pink and sparkle!

Stephanie loved it all! She had so much fun shopping for me too that she suggested that we swap again for Valentine's Day. With so much pink and sparkle, what better time? And this was a guaranteed win-win swap!

Since first meeting Stephanie last December, I have learned so much more about her. Yes, the focus is still pink and sparkle, but I also learned her love of elephants.

This was the Valentine's Day package I sent her.

It is such a blessing to have found someone who not only loves swaps as much as I do, but that does a fabulous job of picking out the most thoughtful, wonderful gifts for me.

 I just love getting packages from other bloggers. That's why I participate in so many swaps. But there is always that risk... what if the person thinks ugly hand towels are a good gift? What if they never look at my blog and send me something I hate? With Stephanie, there's never a question. I hope that in the future we can swap again and again!

This is a flashback from Stephanie's amazing Christmas gifts she sent me. Seriously, Stephanie wins for awesomeness.

She's hilarious too. I just about died when she sent me a Granddaughter card. I mean... why not? Hahahha!

I miss my Hello Kitty tree sooo much. I wish I could have kept it up all year. Here are the sparkle cupcake ornaments and pink stars she sent me.

But, instead of focusing on Christmas of last year, it's time for Valentine's Day! Here's the adorable box from Stephanie she sent me for Vday last week!

Stephanie packaged up my gift in the cutest box! I love her use of glitter... always! 
I opened the package to find this awesome journal at the very bottom. Stephanie said that it reminder her of me. How fabulous is that??

This is everything... I just love it all sooo much Stephanie rocks at life. I am sooo fortuinate to know her.

Stephanie wrote the sweetest post about me! Here's the link to it on her blog from a week or so ago. XOXO

 OH! Since I'm totally feeling the love and in a sharing mood... these are the ADORABLE tiny skull and bow earrings my mom sent me for Vday. I love them!! I haven't taken them out all week!

And also... I took part in ANOTHER Valentine's Day swap! I know, I know it's impossible to have too much of a good thing.  I keep getting the best partners. I am such a lucky girl!!! 

I LOVED opening my super colorful and fun package from Jaci of jaclynne.jaci.jax
Is this cupcake card not the best ever!? 

The package itself was this awesome box Jaci made all cute and custom just for me!!!

Here is what was inside! I am such an avid Hello Kitty girl that you'd think I would get duplicates of everything. Honestly, I have never gotten a duplicate item... ever! It's amazing. I love the cute cupcake lipgloss. And the L on the candle... that's cupcake scented! 

Cupcakes + Hello Kitty make me the happiest and Jaci did perfect with her selection! I also reallly like the jewelry holder. I like it when I get non-HK stuff too, you know, to mix it up lol! ANd this is so cool, it reminds me of barbie! I have my ShopLeah Hair ties on it right now!

AND... this is what I sent Laura!  who was my swap partner. She's fron Texas, loves Penguins and Starbucks! Fun girl for sure!
I had to get on Ebay to find the Ranger's cups and Etsy for the custom magnets. Living in North Carolina, Texas stuff isn't really all that readily available LOL!

This photo of Laura cracks me up big time hahah!!!
PS do you see her Ranger's shirt? Her Texas Rangers love is for real XOXO

 Do you participate in swaps?
Are you super jealous of all the awesomeness I get/give in swaps? (I would totally get jealous reading this post and sign up for the next swap I saw, lol)
Do you wish I was your swap partner for life like I have with Stephanie?

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