Being Sick in the Real World vs. Being Sick in the Fake World Before Grown Up Life

The sick days before being a grown up were spectacular…well that might be an exaggeration since being sick is never good but they were easier. Your mom made you chicken noodle soup, you laid in bed all day, if you were in college you skipped class, you could put the A/C or heat up as high or low as you wanted because you aren’t paying for it – the list can go on and on.

I sadly am sick. With what I am not sure. Using my insurance freaks me out so I have avoided the doctor so far. Whether it be a simple cold or diabetes I have no clue what is infesting my body. Which brings me to my point – being sick in the real world sucks.

So here’s my advice and my complaints about this plague I so desperately would love to shake.

  • Get the expensive health plan. Or at least the second expensive. Don’t go for the cheap one to save money because in the end if you get sick or lose a limb you are going to have to pay more. My company has a really great health insurance program so even with the most expensive health insurance it only costs me $30 extra a month. Whoop whoop.
  • Go to the doctor. Don’t be like me. I have an irrational fear of needles and therefore have been on my dying bed before paying ol’ Doctor Reliable a visit. That being said if you are new to the city find a good doctor. Best place to start is with people from around the office. They have the same health insurance as you do and were in your shoes at one point in time. Next use your health insurance provider list. But I really would start with your coworkers. Don’t want you to get stuck with scary clown doctor whose breath smells like hot dogs (based on a true story).

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  • Wash your dang hands. I know you learned this in kindergarten and every year on but so many people don’t do it. Wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom. Clean your work station at least once a week. And don’t share drinks. It might seem like common sense but everyone is dumb including myself.
  • Take a multivitamin. My favorite is the Flintstones vitamins with immune support. They aren’t expensive and taste delicious.
  • Rest! Don’t run around trying to pretend like you aren’t sick. You are, just deal with it. There is always more happy hours and more days in the week to make plans. Go to gosh darn sleep.
  • But don’t take sick days unless you have to. You’ve only got a few. Don’t waste them all. It’s not college. Your job doesn’t wait around for you.

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  • Take medicine. You make money now, beer doesn’t actually solve colds.

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Overall being sick sucks. Going to work and being sick sucks worse. But at least you’re getting paid.

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How to Be On Time – From a Lateaholic

We all have that friend. The one who makes you sit around. The one that starts getting ready when you’re suppose to be leaving. I’m not that bad but I have the most awesome college roommate who was the queen of late. However I can say I’m pretty close to being the princess of it.

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Being late is bad. You should never be late, like ever. It makes you look like a total jerkwad and is very unprofessional. Its hard though. Bed is awesome, pants are not. But we are trying to be grown ups remember so let’s make a pack to get to places on time.

Here’s some advice:

  • Add 10 minutes on. If you think it will take 30 minutes to get ready, give yourself 10 extra minutes. Things always come up. Interesting news, elevator takes too long, traffic gets in the way.
  • Pack your stuff the night before. Whether its your lunch, breakfast or heating pad make sure you’re stuff is ready to go in the morning. It can cut five to ten minutes.
  • Take a shower at night. Especially for girls it takes longer to get ready. Cut off your time anyway possible.
  • Find the fastest transportation. Whether its the trolley, walking, biking, busing or in a car find the way that costs the least and takes the shortest amount of time.
  • Have your morning stuff all together. I have a basket with my makeup, hair stuff and lotion. All my stuff is in one spot and I don’t have to look for it.
  • Clean, do your stuff beforehand. Pick up the night before. Anything that is going to distract you in the morning get it done!

For now, buenos noche. I need to do the above mentioned things so I won’t be late and turn into a jerkwad.

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Things to Invest In For Your Own Sake (#1)

I have a lot of things, keyword being things. Things that might seem pointless or that I just have to have but there’s a need for everything. Sometimes you wouldn’t even think you need a certain thing or might not have even known it existed but that’s what you have me for.

So the first thing to invest in for your own sake is…A BREAD MAKER!

Now you’re probably thinking what the heck would I ever need with a bread maker. And I personally thought the same thing. My mom gave me her old bread maker. My first thoughts were that I had no room or no need for this hunk of machinery.

But then I made my first loaf. It was magnificence. My first and third and millionth loaf was beer bread (follow that link for deliciousness).

Reasons why a bread maker is awesome:

  1. Saves you money. I find myself throwing away almost full loaves of bread and then having to buy more. With my beautiful bread maker I can make a bread for no cost because I already have the ingredients and if I don’t eat it there’s no extra cost.
  2. When You’re Low on Bread. Instead of running to the store for hamburger buns I can just make some!
  3. It tastes 100% better and its better for you. 

A bread maker will make you happier. Trust me!

It Feels Like my Debit Card is Filled with Endless Money…

But it’s not. I’m a spendaholic. I got it from my mama…and my dad…and my grandma, and about every other person in my family. I’m not proud but the enormous shoe closet cannot lie (and I can’t even put my body in front of it to cover it all. Thanks JustFab). I didn’t save money in college. I spent it all on pizza and wine. As much fun as I had in college I was not prepared for the real world of spending at all.

So when I went apartment shopping I clearly wanted the more expensive apartment with granite countertops. In my mind it was life or death. But then my dad sat me down and told me “Child here’s an expense sheet. You cannot afford all you want.” So I looked at it and I argued with him and I was seriously wrong. So I got the cheaper but still beautiful apartment that I’m much more grateful for anyways because the closet is huge (hence the need for more shoes!)

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I make decent money for a recent college grad and I definitely have some extra spending money but there’s also a lot that needs to be paid…EVERY MONTH. Yes its true, you have to pay bills every month.

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So here’s my advice on buckaroos.

  • Bills come first. No matter what you want or think you need, you won’t have any place to put those things if you don’t pay your rent. I have two checking accounts. I send a certain amount of my paycheck into one so at the end of the month I can pay my bills and have a little money to spare. I really advise you to do this. It helps me to make sure I have enough every month and my savings account is now getting plentiful. Also get Mint to help you better track!
  • Pay your bills ahead of time. If you have the money and you don’t have a dire emergency pay your smaller bills. I usually pay my cable and parking halfway through the month.
  • Do you really need it? Cable and internet are not cheap. You’ll need internet because most Americans do but if you don’t watch television a lot or have a Netflix subscription then maybe lose the cable.
  • Chose what you want. Some people like video games, some like books, I like clothes. Budget your money around what you know will make you happy. You might find yourself spending money on things you don’t really need (see below). Also sometimes saving money for a vacation is a better idea. My man and I are going ziplining over a wildlife safari next Spring. I think I’ll remember that a lot more than the purse I tried to buy the other day.
  • Don’t spend it all on eating out. This might seem liker common sense but you’ll find yourself eating out at lunch or getting nachos during happy hour. It adds up. Here’s some good brown bag ideas.

I could go on for days…and I will in a later blog post. In the mean time, what’s your best spending habits?

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Chicken Soup for the Long Distance Soul – Part 1

I am a lucky lady. I have an amazing boyfriend who makes every day of my life perfect. He never criticizes my shoe obsession and lets me hit him with sticks when my ADD kicks in. Only problem is he lives 3.5 hours away (or $60 in gas round trip).

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Fortunately we don’t usually go two weeks without seeing each other. But it doesn’t make it any easier. It sucks when I’m sick or just tired and want to cuddle up with him. I can’t share my favorite meals with him or just day to day activities like cleaning. However, there is no one else I would rather have by my side (or in my heart).

I can’t say I’m the picture perfect girlfriend or that I have long distance down to a science but I have some tips that can help whether you’re starting your freshman year of college or just moving far away.

  1. Pick and chose your battles. When you are together all the time its common to fight more because you’re able to make up fast. When I’m mad at my boo I have to make a phone call and we might not see each other for weeks in between. So sometimes little things aren’t important to complain about. Unless it makes me very upset or is something important to address I usually leave it out. We don’t get to talk as much as we’d both like because life gets in the way so its nice not to waste that time fighting.
  2. Take up each other’s interests. I get about twenty ESPN notifications a day for my beautiful boyfriend’s favorite teams. He loves his sport teams so I want to as well. Now I can talk to him about the games and actually understand what’s happening!
  3. Find something you can together even though you’re apart. We watch CommunityFirst of all, its hilarious and you should watch it. Secondly it gives us something to talk about. We start them at the same time and then talk about them afterwards. It is one of my favorite days of the week.
  4. Become friends with each other’s friends. My new friends love him and I love his friends. You need to be part of each other’s daily lives when you’re together. This should be a simple one. It also brings more trust into the relationship because you’ll know what the people they are with are like.

I have a lot more advice and it will come during Part 2. But I need to go watch some Community with my man. Toodles.

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F is for Friends and Fun

Growing up has its ups and downs and tonight was an up. A few friends from work and school created a book club and had our first meeting tonight! Ahh how exciting.

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Its hard making new friends in a new city. I moved here with no one but my stuffed animal and a cell phone full of phone numbers for people far away. Now two months later I have weekday and weekend plans every week.

So here’s my advice on how to at least meet people:

  • Once you make one friend the rest will come naturally.
  • Start at work. You are stuck with those people 40 hours a week, might as well like them as well. I started with my orientation/training group. We were the newest hires so we might as well banded together. If your company has a messenger system try messaging at least one new person a day. That’s how I met my two closest Cleveland friends (who are also in my book club).
  • Next advice is if you know anyone that lives where you do reach out to them. You might not know them too well but they might be all you have for awhile. Dinner, lunch or drinks once a week won’t kill you.
  • Interrupt people’s conversations. If you’re on the elevator and here someone talking about your favorite band butt in. They might hate you but at least you tried. That’s how I made friends with a guy from work that also happens to live in my building. He was talking about his awesome apartment one day with someone else and I overheard it was where I lived as well. We now are walk home buddies.
  • Compliment people, smile, be friendly. Its corny but it works.
  • Ask people to lunch all the time! People love to eat. Don’t be crazy.

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 Here’s a few pieces of advice once you got them:

  • Text them.
  • Invite them out – to lunch and on the weekends
  • Form a group – like a book club (Oprah has great advice, follow the link)
  • Go to all the events – 20 of us are going to the Indians game this weekend

Now I get to tell you about my book club. There’s going to be eight of us but only six could come today. We met at my place for the first meeting. I made amazing mini crescent dogs and a cheese tray. Also all the wine in the world was bought, all of it. We picked a book and gossiped and it was the most fun ever.

If you are still having trouble at least try this book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

If worse comes to worse Netflix is always a good friend.

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To Roommate or Not to Roommate? There is no right answer.

Last night as I watched mindruining television (aka Catfish) I kept thinking that I really wished I could complain to someone. So I text my boyfriend and he had no clue what I was talking about and my college roommate/best friend was an episode behind and didn’t want me to spoil it.

I live alone in a big apartment and I love it and hate it every other day. There’s a million pros and cons that I could list but I do eventually need to go to bed so I’ll keep it down to three of both.

Pros:

  1. You can leave as little…or as much stuff around as you want. I am a clean freak and I lived with 6 girls in college that were definitely dirty as boys. I miss them dearly but I can live without their mess. In your own place you can decorate the way you want and you won’t have the awkwardness when you move out and can’t remember whose stuff is whose. Look how pretty my place is 🙂 Image
  2. No drama. Living with 6 girls you would think has made me immune to drama. No, never, not now, not tomorrow. I hate drama, I hate gossip, I hate girls. Needless to say one of those girls was not my favorite and she caused more drama than necessary. When you have a roommate you can’t ever get away from them which is even worse if you are mad at them! My one friend lives with her best friend, carpools to and from work, and works with her. End verdict – they hate each other.
  3. Nakedness is acceptable when you’re alone. Need I say more.

Cons:

  1. Scary, scary, scary. Maybe this just applies to me or maybe it has something to do with my boyfriend making me see The Conjuring and Insidious both in the same day but sometimes I find myself running from dark rooms and sleeping with the lights on. Any noise that comes from your apartment that isn’t from you is either a burglar, a ghoul, or that pesky ice maker and they all sound pretty similar.
  2. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes it makes it very lonely. As I mentioned with my Catfish story boredom is more often than not. I catch myself talking out loud just to hear myself talk. Phone calls to my parents, friends and boyfriend are more frequent on those days when I only have contact with people at work. I also find myself online shopping at my favorite boutique, Merchant 31, on those days too.
  3. Bills are the worst. And they take all your money and leave you with an unfurnished apartment, cable that hardly works, and A/C that is too cold or too hot. Just kidding, that was an exaggeration but it is really expensive. With roommates you split those bills right down the middle (or 3/4, 1/3, you get the point). Which gives you money to maybe upgrade to HBO so you can watch a little Game of Thrones

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After all that its clear that there is no right answer to this question. Words of wisdom though: its hard to live with people and can ruin or make a relationship. Make the choice you want to make, if its the wrong one your lease will probably only be a year anyways.