Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A glimpse into the life of. . .

                      AARON MUNNS
Well, last week completely got away from me, but I am back with a new glimpse for you—someone who would probably scold me a little for that first statement since, in reality, I let the week get away and didn't put in the time or effort to make it happen. He stands firmly in the belief that if you want something to happen, you must put in the required work to make it happen.

I met Aaron when I first started working at the gym. He was a manager there, and when he learned more about why I was there and the doubt I was feeling about the situation I had put myself in, he was very straightforward in telling me to set a goal and figure out what I was going to do to get there. He even loaned me an inspirational book that had helped him through some challenging times. 

I don't get to work with him anymore, but it is so great to meet people who are able to maintain a positive outlook on life when it is so easy to let life's disappointments weigh you down. 

Aaron currently works at Loring Pasta Bar, bartending during the day and working security at night. He's worked in security for eight years. I can't even imagine the crazy things people in this line of work have to deal with, so I was curious to learn more about someone who's been able to handle it for that long already, and I hope you are too!

Current job: Bartender and security at The Loring Pasta Bar.

First job ever: Taco Bell at MOA.

First job after graduating/first "grown up" job: Customer service rep at United Healthcare.

Dream job: Personal trainer.

How did you get started in security? A friend asked me to fill in one night and I enjoyed it.

What is the best part about your job? Meeting people from different countries every week.

What is the most annoying behavior we concert/event-goers should stop doing immediately? Waiting for autographs from artists without a formal meet and greet.

What event has been your favorite to work so far? Imagine Dragons, twice. They're some nice guys.

What advice do you have for someone pursuing a similar career? Have patience for drunk people.

What is your secret to maintaining a life balance with two careers? I make time to see the people I love and for my personal interests.

When you are 50, what do you want to be able to say when you look back at this moment in your life? How amazing it was to be a part of a historic venue, interact with so many creative people, and see amazing artists.

Three words to describe where you're at in life right now: Enjoying priceless moments.
How do you define success? Living my life to the fullest and giving it my all no matter what it is I'm doing in a way that inspires others.
Who has been your biggest influence, personally or professionally, and why? My late friend/brother, Omari. He pushed me to accomplish my goals; he always gave tough and honest love.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time? Reading, working out, taking walks, watching documentaries, salsa dancing, and spending time with my loved ones.

What is number one on your bucket list? Visit Tokyo.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate chip cookie dough.

Thank you, Aaron! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Favorites

Let's face it: 98 percent of these posts list at least one food, so I decided to make them all food-related today. 

1. Brookside chocolates.  

Oh, these are just SO GOOD! They're a little bit on the spendy side, so I don't buy them regularly, but I knew it was meant to be when I saw a deal on Target Cartwheel. All I will say is I made them last as long as I could.

2. Snapea Crisps.

I have had a ridiculous amount of debates in my head about buying these for months since I pass by them every time I'm buying groceries. I finally tried them; the only regret I have is not trying them sooner, and there are plenty of other flavors for me to get busy trying!

3. Pumpkin noosa.

I don't know if it's a good or bad thing to already be seeing pumpkin flavors, but this is so good I don't care. If you've never tried noosa yogurt, go get some now. My favorite flavor is blueberry, but this definitely comes in second.

4. SO Delicious frozen non-dairy dessert.

 Not too sweet, but it has a rich enough flavor to satisfy you after a few bites. Nothing is ever as good as real ice cream, but this comes very close!

5. Powerade.

OK, so there's nothing too exciting about Powerade, but sometimes water just doesn't cut it, and after a run one night this week I probably told Jared at least five times how badly I wanted some. The next day, there were two waiting for me in the fridge:) It really is the little things.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cry a little

The "glimpse" I had planned for tonight didn't work out, but unlucky for you, I've had a little something on my mind lately. This is in complete contrast with a recent post of mine, but that shouldn't surprise you since I'm pretty much a walking, talking (only if I have to) contradiction.

Anyway, I've been dealing with some difficult issues lately, and if there is anything I am the absolute best at, it is worrying (thanks, Dad). I win at taking something unpleasant or unfortunate and tornadoeing it into a never-ending headache that consumes me. I eat, breathe and sleep anxiety. 

If finding an immediate solution is not an option, there are several healthy ways to relieve apprehension: chocolate, running, prayer, acts of service (focusing on someone besides myself for once), etc. But there is always another temporary yet oddly satisfying option: A big, long, ugly cry.


Maybe it sounds a little sad, a little pathetic, a little pity-party-ish, but sometimes a good, deep cry that brings you to pure exhaustion is just the reboot you need. A quick search on the Google (how old am I?) tells me I am not alone in this. While there are studies and opinions arguing for both sides of the matter, the majority seem to give it the go-ahead. Why? Here are a few reasons I came across:

  • It's a cathartic release.
  • It can lower stress and blood pressure and elevate mood by releasing chemicals and toxins that build up in your body from stress.
  • Tears kill bacteria and help us see.

Some articles also mentioned that crying with someone can be more healing than crying alone. For me, I think it depends on the situation. Sometimes I do need to cling onto someone (or to feel supported during my minutes or hours of blubbering. Sometimes I feel better alone with an emotional song playing in the background to really set the mood.

Oh, One Tree Hill, you never disappoint.

While its probably not something to make a habit of, crying does not deserve all the negative connotations it's associated with. So next time you're frustrated, angry, scared, upset and just in need of a release, don't think twice about cranking up the saddest or sappiest movie or song you can think of and having yourself a little (or big) cry. Just let those tears flow because you deserve it. In the meantime, I'll be watching The Vow. . .

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Favorites

It's Friday again! Am I the only one who feels like the days drag on, but the weeks fly by!? Here are five things I'm loving this week.

1. I received my Jamberry Nail Wraps! 

My cousin recently introduced me to these through a virtual Jamberry party (go to her website to check them out). They're basically stickers you press on using heat and then trim to fit your nails. They are made in the USA, not tested on animals, do not damage natural nails, do not use any harmful chemcials and last up to two weeks on fingers and six weeks on toes. I was skeptical at first, but I was able to try a sample, and they actually stay on and look awesome! I am so excited about the two styles I got and can't wait to try more! 

2. New hummus.

Jared and I visited a new-to-us sub shop in the area, and though the sandwiches were impressive, the hummus was unreal! It's made in-house and is the best I've ever had, so of course I asked them if I could buy a giant container of it.

3. Pandora. The only thing keeping me sane at work lately.

Specifically, two stations: Christina Perri and The Piano Guys (my mom's obsession rubbed off a little).

4. Homemade peach salsa.

Made with love by three of my favorite people (my grandpa, his wife and their beautiful daughter), it is so delicious! My favorite way to eat it is on a wheat tortilla with spinach and melted cheese. Mmmm!

5. Colbie Caillat.

She had my heart at "Bubbly," but with her fabulous "Try" video all over the Internet and a lot of her songs popping up on the Christina Perri station, specifically "If You Love Me Let Me Go," I am in awe all over again.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You are not a number

I step on a scale once a year—when I am forced to during my annual summer visit to the doctor. I never pay much attention, but this year was different. This year I saw a number I don't think I've ever seen—at least not for a long time. And it was not a number I was happy to see.

I got pretty down about it for the next few days. Think about it. This is America, where your weight pretty much defines you. But then I reminded myself why I don't weigh myself on a regular basis—because it, alone, is not a determinant of your overall health, and it is definitely not a determining factor of your self worth.

Why, then, do we place such an emphasis on it? I feel like this has been addressed more than enough times to the media by doctors, nutritionists, medical experts, etc., yet while working at the gym I am surrounded by people constantly stepping on the scale, only to step off with the new weight of a completely unnecessary load of disappointment.

While it is obviously important to maintain a healthy weight, it is also important (but apparently less obvious?) to remember that whatever weight range is healthy for you is probably not going to be the same for your friend or any of the other people in your yoga class or out on your favorite running trail. Weight is based on so many factors, from stress to ovulation to sleep to water retention. Trying to keep it at the same number day in and day out is going to drive you crazy.

Unfortunately, the obsession with that one number easily leads to an obsession with others numbers: body fat percentage, calories consumed, calories burned, miles run, the pace at which we ran those miles, the number of pounds we can lift, the number of reps we can do with those weights, heart rate, pants size. . . you get it.

While all of these are crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, putting so much focus on each and every one sort of takes you away from actually living your life. How about focusing on how you feel after an awesome workout? The muscle tone you're seeing in your hamstrings or shoulders? The looser feel of your favorite jeans? The increased energy from healthier foods and a good night's sleep?

It's not about reaching that one number and then doing whatever you have to in order to stay there. It's about finding about a five-pound weight range and learning what foods and activities help you stay within that range while still enjoying life and taking care of yourself. Say it with me: balance.

You are so much more than a number on a stupid scale. While seeing something a little out of your range should give you a kick in your probably-too-tight pants to get yourself together, it's not something to cry over (note to self), stress or freak out about, or become completely absorbed by. 

Find your happy weight, and remind yourself of the things that truly define you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

Today I'm sharing five "news" items from the week that put a little smile on my face. Hopefully they do the same for you!

1. A Minneapolis woman who is taking a stand against catcallers.

2. Taylor Swift offering a fan some pretty insightful love advice.

3. "Selfies" from 'This Is Me: Self Identity Project.'

 4. A list of 20 delicious items from Trader Joe's, recommended by a dietitian.

5. A happy ending for two best (dog) friends.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A glimpse into the life of. . .

                KATELYN KRAMER

I met Katelyn a few years ago when I was working in a hotel's event department and she bounced in and joined us as an event manager.

The first thing that stood out to me was her sense of adventure. I have never met someone so enthusiastic and literally up for anything! The second thing was her creativity and obvious skill and passion for the job.

I wasn't the only one who noticed, because it wasn't too long before she got her current job as a "task force" event manager, which basically means Katelyn is so awesome at managing events she travels to different company hotels across the country when they are in need of extra help, whether it's because they're in the process of filling an open position or opening a new hotel
or anything in between.
Each assignment length varies, but usually lasts six to eight weeks.

Though we were sad to see her go, I couldn't think of a better position for someone with such an outgoing personality and optimistic outlook on life.

Current job: Event manager Americas.

First job ever: Six Flags concession attendant.

First job after graduating/first "grown up" job: Investors bank and trust fund accountant.

Dream job: I'm doing it!

What drew you to the hospitality/event industry? Making people smile and sharing knowledge toward a goal.

What is the best part about your job? Sharing with a new hire how fabulous the job can be.

What is the most challenging part? Working with people who are not change-embracers (like me)!

What has been your favorite event to work on so far? Ronald McDonald House charity gala. Anything for a cause is usually my favorite.

What has been your favorite place to travel to so far? Northern Californiaanything around the bay area is fabulous! Wine, water and waves.

Since you probably can't bring very much with you every time you go to a new location, what advice do you have for packing light for a somewhat lengthy stay somewhere? Two bags: one large for clothes and shoes, one carry-on size for toiletries. Purse and laptop roller for the plane. Oh, and don't forger your neck pillow!

What advice do you have for someone pursuing a similar career? Always be true to you. You have to have a passion for the job, willingness to grow, ability to compromise and love of new adventures!

When you are 50, what do you want to want to be able to say when you look back at this moment in your life? Dang, I had a fabulous life...and still do!

How do you define success? Being surrounded by people you not only call friends, but call family, who can make you smile at the simplest gestures.

Who has been your biggest influence, personally or professionally, and why? My mother. Having a passion for this job is in my blood. Her confidence and natural ability to handle any situation is admirable and why I am who I am today. My father for showing me what it means to be a hard worker and how to laugh and appreciate the finer things in life.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time? Food and beverage (huge foodie), adventure activities ( hiking, zip line, biking) being on the water, seeing my friends and family.

What is number one on your bucket list? Sky dive again, but in New Zealand.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Banana chocolate chip from Honey Hut.

Thank you, Katelyn!