Decorating for Halloween Made Easy


Citrouille d'intérieur pour Halloween

Image via Wikipedia

Growing up, my other two siblings and I always wanted to decorate our entire house for holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and any other holiday we could get away with. While we did great, around half way through our creative genius we would get tired. Even worse was having to clean up the wonderful decorations we had put up. This happened especially during Christmas, since we have the most decorations for Christmas.

As we have grown, my parents decorating has simplified to a point of pure simplicity. Now they simply put out two large inflatable spiders, one strung onto a homemade nylon web. Best part? It took us twenty minutes to put the spider and web together. Unfortunately, the other spider that moved has since died. I guess he had a hole in him. Alas, we could not find a replacement this year. My mom simply had a cookie jar that held candy. A jack-o-lantern that holds a candle and a vase that held autumn colored pumpkins. The best yet? The vase and pumpkins can last from September through November! By the way, the best tip of all is to buy a cute yet inexpensive wreath that you can add onto. They are tasteful and easy!

This year really taught me that I don’t need to go all out for decorating, but to make it simple. The family is happier, because everything goes wrong when people are tired, stressed out, hungry, and being forced to be in the holiday spirit. Plus I am told the kids love the spiders every year. So I am now looking to build my holiday collection this year that is simple yet cheap, which means I am hitting up the sales the next day for all the holiday decorations I wanted! Who doesn’t love a great deal?

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iPhone Apps


The App Store

Image by GlenBledsoe via Flickr

Recently I was bored and was looking online for some iPhone Apps. They create more everyday and now some of the magazines that I read even include the best apps right now. Some of my favorites include: Living Social, Groupon, Shopkick (if I can eventually figure out how to use it, but it’s supposed to be one of the best apps out there), my bank and loan apps in case I am in a pinch and need to know my balances, Facebook, Key Ring ( It lets me scan all my cards onto my phone so I don’t have to have them on me. Yes, it does work we tried it to make sure first.), WordPress, Coupons, Urbanspoon, Cheap Gas!, and I have a new one called Trip Advisor, but I don’t think I am using it to its full advantage yet.

By the way, most of the Apps I actually download are free. I am cheap and until I have money to throw at Apps that won’t absolutely make my life better, I am not buying them. Taylor did buy AngryBirds, but that was about it.

I would recommend trying some of these out. Cheap Gas! has been a huge help in finding cheap gas in the area. Urbanspoon has helped us find different restaurants in the area as well as when traveling and need to know how other people rate it. Trip Advisor includes things such as Restaurants, Hotels, Flights, and more. I am not really sure how to use it completely, but when I looked up my area it had ranked places to visit in my area. I will probably have to do more research on how to use it.

Shopkick is supposed to be this great App that gives you kicks that add up to gift cards to your favorite stores, simply by walking into a store. The idea is that the more foot traffic the store has, the more people spend. I think it’s a cool idea to almost get rewarded to step foot in the places I generally shop in anyways. Feel free to look it up online, I know there is more information on it.

I love my Living Social and Groupon Apps. Especially because I have multiple regions selected in case I would want to do something fun in a city an hour away one day. Also, the different cities sometimes have different online deals, which is even easier if you wanted to do something online and have it shipped to you.

I use a lot of my Apps on a daily basis. I would recommend looking around online if there is something in particular you may want in an App. You can also go to your App store and search for the top free Apps. Many of the Apps have ratings, which I read in case it isn’t worth downloading. I like using a lot of my Apps on my phone, so check some of the ones I mentioned out or you can even try looking at some of the ones that cost money that other people like if you are interested.

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Job Hunting in Ohio


updated map of US unemployment rate

Image via Wikipedia

This morning I started to realize that Taylor and I are really stressed to the point that we are breaking out slightly. I rarely break out. I honestly hate breaking out. I admit that I was blessed with not having many acne issues, so when I get any it just makes me mad. Anyways, the stress has been caused by our constant search for a fulltime job for Taylor.

We have been searching online night and day for a full-time job that wants someone with a Bachelors in Business Management or Business. I thought that his search would be much easier than mine, because mine was like throwing a shot in the dark and seeing if something would come back. When I was looking for jobs, they wanted everything that I was not. To make matters worse, most of the companies simply did not want English degrees. It didn’t help that the jobs that wanted English degrees were few and far between. I am happy to say that I love my current job.

Yet, Taylor is almost at the four-month mark (that was the point that I got a job) and we are still struggling to find anything. I am a worrier. We are making a back up plan in case he doesn’t find a job by the time his loans come due, because otherwise I will have been the person that didn’t make a backup plan and got screwed due to it. I like lists and I like plans.

I find it odd that most of the jobs we are looking for want an Associates or a Bachelors, they don’t seem to care which, but they want anywhere from 2-15 years of experience. They also consider entry-level to be 2-5 years in some companies. Entry level to me means right out of college only because when I was looking for jobs I found out that entry-level did not mean right out of high school. In his situation there are a multitude of different plans to come up with, but it’s a life decision and there is no right answer. Should he go ahead and get his masters? Should he move up in the food industry even though that means he will probably never be able to get out of it since all of his professional work will be in food? Should he take a low-paying job for his type of degree?

Don’t get me wrong, I get it. I understand jobs are scarce, that anyone that currently has a job is lucky right now. I just never would have thought that someone with a Business degree would have issues finding a job for as long as an English degree. I also get that he graduated with the larger classes, in the spring, so he is competing against more people for similar jobs (I graduated in the fall. Not a popular graduation time). I know that something could happen today, or tomorrow, or next week, or next month. I just can’t fight the feeling that we have a large sum of money coming due and may not have a way to pay for it. If he goes to get his masters, it puts our budget off for at least another year. Even then will he be able to find a job?

Jobs are hard to find. In college we were never warned that jobs would be hard to find and to get a degree that would mean a job instead of going for what we wanted to do. Also, everyone wants experience but isn’t willing to give any. And when did a masters become the new bachelors? It is amazing how quickly things change.

I have my fingers crossed that we can find Taylor a good job here soon in the next month, because we already are aware that once we get into Thanksgiving most people won’t be hiring again until January. Life decisions are hard. I only hope that something comes up soon.

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Facebook


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

While getting on to write another post, I briefly read the titles on freshly pressed and came across this blog post: http://burkpkrohe.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/5-facebook-fopas-that-im-guilty-of/. I have to admit I was intrigued, but quickly found that I don’t do any of these. By the way, I will admit that I scanned rather than read the post. If it’s interesting but not research, I generally quick-scan to get the gist of the article/post. I am sure it is a good thing that I don’t seem to have the problems listed, but I sometimes enjoy reading the lyrics of artists on someone’s post though I rarely do so myself.

I always want to know if someone can cook or not, because I will know ahead of time if I need to eat before hanging out with you or not. I think that I do sometimes overpost, but for me that means like twice in one day. I am sure others post five or more times a day, but if it’s interesting who cares? I try not to passive aggressively correct other people’s posts, yet I make sure all of mine are correct. I didn’t graduate with a bachelors in English for nothing. I will admit that on occasion I will correct what other people say, but that’s when it comes secondhand or I simply can’t get past it. I was going to be a High School English teacher, so you can say it’s been ingrained in me to help others with their English even though I don’t think that I necessarily have the right to correct anyone. I can admit I occasionally say things wrong and sometimes even spell them incorrectly.

And last but not least, the drunken pictures. Unfortunately, when in college before I was student teaching, we were told to rid of any pictures that may look like we were drinking, swimming, or doing anything that the school may not approve of. We had to make sure we were unsearchable by students and to erase most of our profiles. While I agree that our Facebook profiles are reflections of us at least to a certain point, I also think that professionalism is important.

The sad part is that I had to pitch a lot of great pictures, simply because we used red plastic cups with whatever beverage such as pop or water just in case it might look like we were drinking alcohol in a picture.  So here is my question: if you are an adult why is it such a horrible thing to have a picture with a drink in your hand? It’s legal. I know that students can be easily persuaded to drinking, but many pictures are taking at adult social gatherings, which sometimes includes a cocktail or beer. We don’t allow the underage to drink.

Then again, I do know many people who have kept their drunken pictures on Facebook and that’s their choice. My only advice is if you are absolutely going to drink to the point of doing something stupid, I would not bring a camera or take pictures to document the event. Especially when other people can tag you online. There is nothing worse than an employer not hiring you because of something that happened years ago in a picture, yet can easily prove that you may have issues representing work when you are off work. So try to keep it clean, especially because pictures can always be found and don’t help your case with your kids if you got to do something and they are not allowed because you said so.

 

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All She Does Is Work, Work, Work All Day Long


A Westclox Big Ben Clock

Image via Wikipedia

I hope you liked my last post, I began thinking about it tonight when getting home around 1:40 from work. I work four days a week from 1 p.m. from anywhere to 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. depending on what all I have to get done at my full-time job. I work at my part-time job one day a week for five or six hours. I guess my fault would be once again saying no.

For instance, on Sunday night my boss from my part-time job asked if I could work an extra part day to help out. Work a six-day week I thought? Sure. It was a long week. Even worse, I always end up staying and getting the job done if help is still needed. It drives me completely bonkers to have something half done. I am an all or nothing person and will put in the extra time just to get it done.

What’s funny is people ask if I have told Taylor that I am staying over at work. As I always tell them, you don’t date a workaholic for almost five years and not know. I do give him credit, if I am running an hour or so over he generally texts or calls me if he isn’t working to see at least when I will be home. 

It’s very hard to say no for me. I don’t like to let anyone down. I am also very strong in my commitment to promises, which is probably why I never call off even if I have the flu. I guess I was taught that a job is something you commit to and show up everyday. In my family you have to almost be on your death-bed to call off of work. I have to say though, thanks mom and dad. Thanks for making me a good person and employee.

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You Know You Are a Workaholic if. . .


workaholic

In the middle of the night you start talking about the latest project in your sleep.

You dream about actually doing your job rather than something weird that could never possibly happen. (Who really wants to dream about working at work!? At least it should be something hilarious. . .about someone else of course.)

You lay awake at night crunching numbers in your head.

You can’t remember the last time you went outside.

You see your spouse and ask when their hair got long/they grew a full-blown beard.

Your eye twitches at the thought of going out with friends.

You are a year behind on your children’s age.

You forget what your home bathroom looks like, because for some reason you can only remember the beige/white wallpaper or multiple stalls.

Your closet contains nothing except work clothes.

Your dog growls at you thinking you are a stranger.

The dog sniffs you and continues to think you are a stranger.

If you have any of these symptoms, I suggest eating lots of chocolate, drinking lots of coffee, try to eventually take a vacation, laugh a little more, and god speed. Oh, and working out might actually really help. Or so TV says so.

By the way, I am not a doctor and have no medical opinion whatsoever.

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Officially Fall


Fall

Image via Wikipedia

Looking for some inspiration to write, I was looking at freshly pressed and saw a cool post that had some beautiful pictures on it. Plus, I am always for reading other people’s blogs because people are interesting. Here is the great post and pictures, http://marienaglephotography.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/the-final-days-of-summer/.

Anyways, looking at the pictures made me realize that summer is over and fall is in season! I absolutely love fall, even though I am allergic to it. I love Halloween, especially Thanksgiving! I love the colors, being able to wear the spectrum from both my summery and wintery wardrobes. I just love the feeling. Today while driving to work I saw that the leaves started to change. The fresh yellows, the bright oranges, the sultry reds. There is nothing like fall.

Funny this is, I am not a fan of winter. I don’t mind some winter, but here in Ohio we have really cold, really windy, and really icy winters. I am okay with some nice fluffy snow in small doses. Hot chocolate never tastes better than coming home on a cool day and wanting to warm up. I also like Christmas.

I hate to say it, but I can’t believe summer is already over. It sure isn’t like it used to be. Summer used to mean being around my friends 24/7 in High School. Now it just means working in hot weather and looking out the window at the nice day. I didn’t get to do everything I wanted this summer, but I did have fun. We even took a trip over to see some family in Virginia. I epically failed at attempting to water ski. I even managed to smack myself in the head while landing face first in the water with one of my skis. I have learned my lesson. I just am amazed how fast time has gone by. Amazing.

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