I loved today. I got my camp set up in our patio since it was beautiful day and got my work laid out for me. The biggest one of the two was going through all my old and new magazines (mostly Rachael Ray, Better Homes and Gardens and Domino) and cut out articles, pictures and recipes that I like, and throw the rest of the mag out for recycling. The plan is to organize them one day and have inspiration books and boards and so on. One day I'll get into it.
I think what made the day so nice was feeling loved and giving love. It's been one of those weeks where you just live together like roommates and both busy with your things. Today we reconnected and it felt extremely good. I got my best friend and partner back.
I might have mentioned before that the previous owners of our house were really into gardening and we got so many things growing in our yard and no idea what to do about them or how to take care of them. One thing I've grown to hate is the rose bushes. We got too many of them and the landscapers do not trim them, they only take care of all the other shrubs, but not these. So our rose bushes have overgrown a bit. Meaning a lot. I got sick of looking at them the other day, took out my gardening scissors and started pruning. Now I know why hair dressers always cut your hair too short. It's because once you get to the groove of cutting something, it's hard to stop. My skin and clothes got ripped and I got really mad at those damn shrubs. I cut that bush so skinny and short. No more bothering me, bitch.
Ok, moving on. Bracelets are an every day essential for me. I love to match them with my outifts and they are the "fun jewelry", you can go a little crazy with them. I like them big and I like them in multiple rows mixing and matching.
I've never been big on wearing rings, but now every fashionable lady I see at brunch or cocktail parties have these beautiful, bold cocktail rings that really make a statement. So far I got one. I bought it for Halloween for my Amy Winehouse impersonation. After Halloween I noticed I still liked it and started wearing it occasionally for special events.
Earrings...what can I say? Love them and never leave the house without them. I feel like a tomboy if I'm out in the streets and have no earrings. I used to wear the biggest earrings ever inspired by Beyonce, but since becoming a manager I toned it down a little. But now I guess I should get back to being big, bold and loud again. But seriously, I love pearls. I got tons of them in different colors. I think my favorites right now are these Erwin Pearl white pearls surrounded by tiny cubic zirconias. They're just so adult, but so chic.
My work schedule has changed again and I work now from 7am to 3pm. It is super nice to get out so early and have almost all day to do stuff and run errands, but it's quite hard for me to get up that early in the morning. I guess I'll get used to it within a few days. It also helps that it's summer (or whatever this is, quite cold) and the sun is up at 5am and the house is not freezing and dark.
I've been wanting to do a professional teeth whitening for a while, because those home kits really make my teeth very sensitive. I booked appointment with Brite Smile after receiving their email offer for 40 minute whitening for $199. I think that's great price. I think it's normally over $400. I got there at 10am, their place is one block over from my job, so I spent my early lunch hour there. I filled out few forms, the doc and assistant told me little bit about the procedure and then I brushed my teeth, got my headphones and remote to my personal tv and let them work their magic in my mouth. This is how it works: whitening gel is applied to your teeth and the BriteSmile blue-light will be positioned over your teeth to activate the gel.
They changed the gel 3 times, so there was three 20 minute sections, which makes it 1 hour. If you paid attention what I wrote earlier, I only paid for 40 minutes (I prepaid it at the time of booking). But I had this thing in my mouth that was holding my permanent smile and protecting my tongue, so I could not speak at all. So I got 20 minutes extra and saved another $100. My inability to speak also caused me to watch Jerry Springer trash for that hour I spent there because my remote was not working. Well, it worked only for that one button push that got me to that channel. That was embarrassing because I really don't watch that crap ever. :)
After I was done we went through the shade chart and I achieved the best result, going all the way down to the number one shade! I was only about 3 shades away from it to start with so I'm sure 40 minutes would've been enough. Anyways, my teeth started hurting like hell about 4 hours later and stayed way until I fell asleep at night. I even took some pain killers, but did not help at all. I was in so much pain. But when I woke up in the morning, the sensitivity was completely gone. Sometimes you gotta suffer for beauty, I guess.
By the way, that company was owned by the millionaire I worked for back in 2003. I was a butler in his Southampton mansion. Cool guy with a nice lifestyle (private jet, housekeepers, chef, butler, few houses around the world and such things) but he did not hold his tongue when upset. I got yelled few times in front of his guests over nothing. But he always apologized later on, indirectly. He would never say sorry, but would thank you for job well done.
The same day, after work, I went to get a facial at my usual spot (it's usual because I was tricked in to buying facial series long time ago during Spa Week, so now I have to go there until I'm done with it). I mean it is not bad, their estheticians and products are very good and the space is nice and Asian inspired. I'm normally very good saying no to any of those extras they try to sell you during the facial, but this time I did go for the microdermabrasion. Just because I haven't had it done for over a year and I absolutely love it. It was just $50. The treatment was wonderful and I love the massage they give your face as well as shoulders and arms. So relaxing. My esthetician Karen recommended this website where I can buy organic oils and make my own natural skin treatment. She recommended mixing lavender oil, clove oil with something else that I have forgotten now and applying it to my problem areas during the night. The website is Mountain Rose Herbs.
I'm totally over the demotion after this long nice weekend. We did lot of barbequing and I applied for about a million jobs online, so I'm confident I'll find something that makes me happy. I found some jobs that I never knew the title, but I always wanted to do, like the Quality Assurance Consultant. That sounds like a dream job to me. Go around hotel chain properties and check what's working and what's not. Like an inspector, but you will actually come up with a plan how to fix these things and make sure that when you leave the management has clear understanding what needs to be done. You will also train people, such as customer service agents, if they are not hospitable enough. Anyway, that was just one of the jobs I browsed through.
These are photos I took after outing with my lovely friend Keli. After our weekly AssKicker-class I followed her to her audition (she an aspiring actress) and observed the intensity that goes on between the casting director and the actress. It was pretty cool to see. The audition took place in the Village, so after it we walked around and found a cute little Italian restaurant to have dinner and a bottle of wine, and of course people watch, since we were seated right in front of the open windows to the street.
There's nothing better than end a busy difficult week with laughter, great food, fun stories and wine with your best girlfriends. It is just so relaxing and makes you feel alive again. Like you can do anything you want, get the job you want, be as fabulous as you want and no matter what happens, you'll always have someone who's gonna give you her realistic view of the situation, but at the same time encourage you and make you realize how good your life actually is and how lucky you are. Can't wait til its Friday again!
I love shopping for work clothing. The dresses, straight pants, button down shirts, shoes and accessories to go with everything. Nowadays, since I don't have to wear uniform anymore, every time I buy an item, I ask myself " Is this work appropriate?". I like my skirts and dresses to be knee length and I'm not willing to show cleavage, because having old men drool over me is not cool. I want to be as sexless as possible around these people. They are very quick to comment on you.
I wear black most of the time, because that is the uniform color of the front office staff and I don't want to stand out too much, but spring and warm weather inspires me to try colors. When Lipstick Jungle was still on (Damn you NBC!) I would turn to Nico Reilly for some fashion inspiration. Her character had the most amazing outfits ever. She never looked sleazy or cheap, but always proper and chic. Her dresses are gorgeous and accessories always match whatever she has going on that day. Her dress and skirt lengths are just right, everything is fitted nicely and her jewelry is to die for. She wears lots of pearls and I absolutely love pearls. One of my favorite earrings I found here.
I wish I had her life. That's something to inspire me to work hard. Minus the cheating husband.
It is just amazing how much you can get done around the house when you turn off the TV. I used to get stuck in front of it and not get any of the chores done I had planned to do during my day off. I give myself an hour or two a day to watch the idiot box and 3 hours for internet because I'm doing job search and answering work emails. Trying to stay away from Facebook and Twitter and useless window shopping on the internet. Otherwise before I even notice, half the day is gone and I feel guilty.Today the TV stayed turned off completely. Last night me and "him" kind of overdid it with the American Idol Encore video game and spent like 2 hours late night singing and playing. It was fun. I'm singing perfect "Imagine", "Since you been gone", "Eye of the Tiger" and "Crazy in Love" except the "oh oh oh oh oh o o nono" part is totally out of tune... I really get in to it and get up and dance while singing. That gives it more challenge.
I'm also not watching TV anymore right before going to bed. Although I love "Two and Half Men" that's coming at the right time, half an hour before bedtime, I've stopped watching it, because I don't think watching TV before bed is good. I prefer a good positive book.
Anyways, I spent lot of time outside today since the weather was really warm and sunny. I walked to our municipal building to pick up our building permit for some renovations that is going on in our house now and during the next few weeks/months (who knows). These are all photos from today along the way to the municipal building.
When "he" came from work we grilled some veggie kebabs and "he" had a steak as well. The kebabs had mozzarella, mini onions, red bell pepper and cherry tomatoes and I marinated them in my own special bbq sauce. So good. I'm so happy to have grill again. It woke the chef in me. Tomorrow I might have some dessert kebabs with pineapple, mango and marshmallows.
I finally had the opportunity to take the car and drive to our local Whole Foods ALONE, without anybody rushing me or questioning my product picks. It was fun. Since I'm trying to go more natural and organic with all my shopping choices, I picked up this Jason Healthy Mouth mouthwash Certified Organic Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera Gel help soothe and heal gums. Anti-bacterial Perilla Seed Extract helps block sugar acids. Mint, Tea Tree, Clove and Cinnamon keep your whole mouth healthy.Donna Sonkin had recommended it in one of her articles. We'll see if it does the trick. I recently ran out of facial wash too, so I picked up Alba's Pineapple enzyme cleanser. I've been using Alba's mango body butter for some time and it smells the best. For handwash I opted for Method. Most of our cleaning products are Method's and their hand soaps are pretty good as well. All these product mentioned here have 100% vegetarian ingredients, not tested on animals and they are paraben free.
Then of course I need to have some healthy snacks around the house. I finally got someGoji berries that David Wolfe and other nutritionist claim to be most probably the most nutrition-rich food in the world. Ok, I admit they don't taste like strawberries or blueberries, but you can get used to the taste and learn to like them. Just think how good they are for you.
And talking about berries, another berry considered superfood is Acai. Acai is a rich source of antioxidants, it boosts energy and immune system and promotes healthy skin. I've been drinking Acai juice from the supermarket few times and it tastes good. Today I discovered certified organic Acai powder that I can add to my smoothies, yogurt or mix it with my morning oj. I also got superfood trail mix that includes pistachios, raw cacao niblets and goji berries. I am so good to myself! I did buy some real food too, but these were the products I am most excited about. Not to forget Panda liqorice. Got to have something sweet for my sweet tooth.
Today wasn't so bad after all. The walks I did were not mad at all that we sent them to another hotel, since they got a free upgrade to suites at a better rated hotel. And I threw in free breakfast as well. So they were understanding. I did have some other guests that were complaining about everything between the sun and the moon, but I was able to keep my cool and make them happy. I had to be brave when facing the monster.
There is a technique that I use in difficult customer situations. This morning before I met the whining guest face to face (I spoke with them on the phone earlier on the day) I imagined myself in their position and felt compassion and love for them. This way when I meet them to discuss the issue I am calm and , and for some strange way, so are they. There's no other ending to this than a win-win situation. I felt accomplished to make these people happy and they were grateful that I had taken their problem seriously and given them a solution that they liked. Now if I had gone to this situation with frustration and anger I would have received anger and frustration from the guest. It's just the way the world works. It is the greater powers.
Besides work, there's nothing much going on. Well, we did get a grill today and had a little BBQ in our backyard. I just can't get over the amazing flavor grilling gives to anything you put in it. I guess from now and we'll be eating at home much more. This is wonderful because you know exactly what's in your food.
I'm going to enjoy the next three days without work and live a little! You do the same!
There's just so much cruelty in this world. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. But no matter how busy I am, I will do my part in order to help these innocent animals. I'm a member of PETAeventhough I don't agree with everything they spend their money and time on (like that Ben&Jerry's breastmilk campaign...I thought it was ridiculous). But I like to stay active and take action whenever I can. I found this awesome political groupNew York League of Humane Voters (NYLHV)who seem to be very active in networking and they have fun young events all around Manhattan. Scroll all the way down for their next event.
Candidates for Mayor of NYC & others talk animal protection... be part of this historic event!
On May 26, some of the top elected officials in NYC government will come together to talk about animal welfare - for the first time ever - at a groundbreaking candidates forum organized by the New York League of Humane Voters (NYLHV). Candidates for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller and Manhattan District Attorney will be joining us to answer *your* questions about animal protection issues. The forum will be moderated by NYLHV Executive Director John Phillips.
We've invited all the candidates and many have confirmed. Now we need you to attend and bring your friends! It's critically important that we have hundreds of people at this forum. Let's show the candidates & elected officials that New Yorkers care about animals... and we vote! Please tell everyone you know about this historic event!
What: NYLHV Candidate Night
When: Tuesday, May 26 - 7pm - 10pm
Where: LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th St., Rm. 301 (Manhattan)
When I came to the US for the first time in 2002, I was working in Southampton. The Hamptons are situated all along the East End of Long Island, a string of beach towns that represent a sort of New York version of the French Riviera. This is where the rich New Yorkers spend their summers in their magnificent beach mansions.I got hired to work as a front desk agent/waitress for private members-only tennis club/hotel just few steps away from the amazing beaches.
It was a dream job for any young person. I got free room&board, was able to play unlimited tennis on their prestigious grass courts, hang out at the beach before, after and between shifts, ride around the villages and go shopping, try different restaurants, party at the clubs and just enjoy socializing with the young, international crowd that worked there. On my days off I would take the train to NYC and go sightseeing.
I fell in love with the place and came back for two more summers. I spent most of my time at the beach and stayed up all night partying or just hanging out, getting just few hours of sleep at night. I don't think I'd be able to live like that anymore. Work itself was very easy and laidback, but we did work long hours during the weekends. For example, I would work at the front desk from 8am-4pm and then work the dinner as a waitress from 6pm-11pm.
The beaches are just gorgeous. They never get really crowded even during the midsummer peak-time. Other times it's just you and maybe one or two other people. So peaceful.
If I had a summer house here I would always pick my fresh veggies straight from the farmers and never visit the supermarket. You'll see these idyllic little vegetable stands along the Montauk Highway.
When it comes to working out we had bunch of options. Of course there's tennis and 18 meticulously maintained grass courts. Then there's the gym where I worked one or two times a week in customer service. When no guests were around we were allowed to use the exercise equipment. The Club provided us with bicycles that enabled long bike rides out to the Bridgehampton Commons for shopping or if you wanted to go just around the Southampton Village.
Southampton village is very cute with it's little stores and restaurants. Expensive, of course, but hey,what do you expect in town flooded with millionaires.
Other things about the Hamptons I disliked: The rich folks. The first week when I worked there I had nightmares about the women that frequented the Club. I've never seen so many faces that had work done and they just looked too scary to me. So unnatural and freakish. Somehow they found their way to my dreams. It also started to annoy me that all these rich people looked the same, dressed the same way, acted the same, spoke the same way and so did their kids. This is why I was always dying to get to NYC on my days off to see some diversity.
I still haven't had the chance to take "him" with me to the Hamptons. I'm thinking a weekend trip out there this summer. Wine tastings at the vineyards, beach front restaurants and maybe some surfing.
I love NYC for the quiet tree lined streets with historic brownstones.
I love NYC for discovering new beautiful areas in Central Park every time I visit it.
I love NYC because of the wide variety of options in everything. I love NYC because I feel like I'm living on top of the world.
I love NYC because our mayor works for free. Billionaire Bloomberg, who does not need the work, has done such an excellent job of managing the country’s biggest city, on a $1 yearly salary.
I love NYC because whatever it is I need, I can get it any time, even at 3am. I love NYC because of it's diversity. You can travel the world without leaving Manhattan. I love NYC because I can always discover something new.