Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sandwich Press: Where Have you been all my Life??

February 20, 2013

LIFESTYLE

Just got this on our doorstep last night!  Amazon Prime is incredible!  The UPS guy dropped it by at 8:30 p.m.  Pretty late, huh?  I was inspired by my friend, Elle to get a sandwich press.  I am not really a sandwich person but B  eats one every day (made by me).  I do enjoy a toasted sandwich/panini every once in a while though.  I purchased the Cuisinart  GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press on Amazon Prime for $47.09.  It had great reviews!  The quality is fantastic.  It heats quickly and the results were DELICIOUS!!  I like making things myself so I can control the ingredients.  You really don’t even need olive oil brushed on your bread to make it really yummy!

Seattle Salmon Melt

1 can of salmon from Trader Joe’s

2 tblsp (or less) of mayonnaise

dash of salt & garlic grinder from Trader Joe’s

3 tomato slices

1 slice of sharp cheddar cheese

2 slices of sourdough bread

Toast the insides of the sandwich (see TIP OF THE DAY below) Mix the salmon and mayo.  Then season with the salt & garlic grinder.  Take the grilled bread out of the press machine and assemble as such: salmon mixture, sharp chedder cheese, tomato slices.  Now place the top slice of bread on and grill the completed sandwich for a few minutes watching not to burn it!

TIP OF THE DAY:

Cook the INSIDE of your panini!  Place the two slices of bread on top of eachother and place in the press.  Heat until they have grill marks.  Then use the cooked sides for the INSIDE of your sandwich as you build it and you will have an extra crunchy sandwich!

Thank You Card Solid Gold

HAPPINESS

IMG_2011There are some traditions that will be around forever and one of those is the Thank You Card (TYC).  TYCs are a powerful tool in increasing happiness, strengthening relationships and reciprocating love.

Increase Your Happy Factor:

1. TYCs express gratitude-studies show that happy people take time to give gratitude often.

2. TYCs are a vehicle to reliveing a time you received help or a gift.  Positive nostalgia is powerful in increasing the chemical factors in your body that make you happy.

3. They give someone else recognition and appreciation which=happy karma.  You will both be more inclined to do more good!

4. Thank you cards strengthen the bond between you and the recipient.

Yes, some people will get your thank you card and say, “oh that’s nice,” and tear it in half to use it as a straightedge for their scrapbook journaling lines or your card may become the centerpiece of their refrigerator collage for the next 15 years.  In any event, a thank you card never goes unnoticed.

Closure:

On another note, thank you cards can be used as a vehicle to tie up any lose ends.  Is there something you wanted to clarify?  Was there something awkward you wanted to address?  Any directions you forgot to put in the gift?  A recipe for the flour-less chocolate cake you left on someone’s doorstep?

Get Organized:

Thank you cards make people look and feel successful and well-put-together.  Remember to:

1. Make list for those you need to write.

2. Be timely!  The quicker you can get that thing sent off, the more effective it can be.  At the same time, it is NEVER too late to send a thank you card.

3. Make another list of the cards you have already written.

4. Have a lot of card options to choose from.  Whenever I’m in Marshals or T.J. Maxx, I do a drive by in the stationary section and see if there is a design I really like.  They go for about $5 a box.  My recipients can get a totally different card each time!  You can get really crazy and note which card pattern they recieved in the “cards you have written” list!

Get Creative:

1. Get crafty and make cards at home!  You can even send “thank you” gifts.  Flowers?  Chocolates? Something very individual to the recipient to really show your appreciation.

2.  Get online and make a card online with a personal photo or a variety of designs!  I used Card Store a few days ago and they mail it directly to the recipient!  It took me about 15 minutes to learn how the site worked and now it takes me approximately 10 minutes max to get a card created and mailed out by them!  The best part is that if you want to use this for future occasions, you can set a date for it to be sent in the future!!  It only cost around $2.50 and fast.  Often there is some sort of coupon.  This extra step makes people feel even more appreciated.  My recipients LOVED them.

Not everyone is expecting a thank you card from you but when they get one, they remember it!  Make yourself stand out.  I have heard many people say that, “thank you cards are so old fashioned,” or, “I don’t want to look like a suck up.”  Trust me, a Thank You card is ALWAYS right.  A Thank You gift is even better!

My Car didn’t Start Today so I Cried

February 19, 2013

TMI

DSC02649I am deathly afraid of not having enough money.  I had a date to meet my friend at Bakery Noveau this morning.  I went out to my car and tried to start it like 4 times.  It wouldn’t start.  I had about 7 minutes until my 9:30 appointment so I promptly got out of the car and started walking.  At the moment, I was concerned about getting to the bakery on time to meet my friend but after the very fun morning of pastries, quiche and big girl talk, I cried.  Car trouble has been a symbol of poverty and family burden to me.  When I was 8, my dad started his first job out of dental school.  The struggling times of living on loans had finally started to subside.  They bought a BRAND NEW Ford Escort station wagon.  My mom was worried about driving it, so when she was backing out of our garage in Beaufort, South Carolina, she asked me to get out of the car to direct her backing out.  I got out and left my door open.  She backed out and the car door was destroyed.  I cried.

When I was sixteen, living in Maryland, I got into a car accident with my dad’s used Ford Escort (a different one).  My dad was back in school to become a specialist and again, times where tough.  They had recently put $800 worth of work into it, $800 lost when I totalled the car.  I was fine but I felt like I had put a huge financial burden on my family.  I cried.

So today, my husband gave notice at his job.  He has just accepted an offer for a new job.  I could not help fearing that I would be without a car because of the burden that would ensue.  One of the reasons I applied for the Navy scholarship in college was so that I could guarantee at age 18 that I would be gainfully employed the day I graduated, I would be loan free and my parents wouldn’t be burdened.  I worked ever since.  Until now.  I have worked to change my relationship with car trouble by always having enough in my checking account “emergency fund,” to cover any unexpected troubles.  Now that fund is gone and I am afraid that I will not have a car.  It is very different having to depend on someone else for things that I am afraid to trust someone else to.  I believe people live up to the expectation you set for them.  I’m working on trust.

Update:  The car just needed a quick jump and all is well.  Ah, the trust is working.  🙂

How to Figure out the Right Type of Partner for You

February 18, 2013

ROMANCE

DSC02638This is the first article in a series that will discuss things to consider when choosing your mate.  We will start broad and get more detailed as the series continues.  OK, so you’ve decided that you are ready to share your lifestyle with someone.  That could mean dating or marriage.  In dating, you could be looking for a litmus test partner or a potential long term mate.  These are initial ponderings to consider way before the fights, you meeting their parents and setting the date.

The online dating sites are very good at distilling the important compatability matrices.  I highly suggest you explore these sites to see who is out there looking for a mate and how do people choose to describe what they are looking for.  I’ve tried it myself and learned so much about myself.

Here are 11 basic categories to ponder in terms of compatibility:

1. Lifestyle: What is your day to day life like?  Do you work a 9-5? Are you a freelancer?  Are you unemployed? Are you an artist who is developing a portfolio?  Basically, how much time and what times of the 24 hour day are available to developing the relationship?  Are you a workaholic?  How much “alone” time do you need?

2. Fun:  What do you do in your free time to recharge?  Do you want a partner to share in these recharge activities? What vices do you have?  Does your partner need to share them or would similar vices ruin you?  A borderline alcoholic need not have a partner in crime.

3. Direction: Are you where you’re going to be in life for a while?  Is this a transition period?  Do you see life as a constant growth and change exercise?  A student is in a very different position than someone who’s been working at the same company for 10 years and is waiting to make pension status.

4. Location: Where do you want to live?  Ocean, mountains, desert? Urban, country?

5. Social Behavior:  Are you a scene stealer or would throwing a birthday party for yourself be your worst nightmare?

6. Moral Code:  Are you religious?  Does he or she need to be?  What is your moral compass?  The preacher’s daughter sometimes works with the bad boy…but that’s probably because they share enough other commonalities.

7. Children:  Yes or No?  Ok if they have some?  Do you have some?  Are you ok with having ex parents in YOUR life together?

8. Culture:  Is race or ethnicity important to you?  Do you want diversity or familiarity?

9. Age:  Similar ages or does it matter?

10.  Appearance:  Pick a few things that you want to wake up next to every morning.  My husband said he loves my eyes and my smile because no matter how old I am, those will always be the same.  Awwww.

11. Finances:  What amount of money do you need to be comfortable?  Are you a spender or a saver? Do you want to work and make tons of money or do you want to stretch out that modest inheritance you got from your great grandfather?  I wanted to find someone who would encourage me to “live a little!”

The most important thing you can do here is to be honest with yourself.  YOU are going to live with your own choices.   Make them authentic.

What are some other things you consider in finding a compatible mate?  What is most important to you?

 

Decent Exposure: The Korean SPA

February 17, 2013

Beauty / Favorites / Korean / LIFESTYLE

DSC02643There is a mysterious place known as the Korean SPA.  I’m going to de-mystify the legend so that you can prepare yourself to indulge!  This is typically a day spa, run by Korean people, that offers saunas, massages, body scrubs and hot tubs.  I’ve been to several in America and they range from a large one-room setting where all the stations are visible to one another to a multi-level building with separate floor for each delicious relaxation chamber.  Prices vary but these are places of VALUE.  Whatever you pay, you will get MUCH more for your money than at any other kind of spa.  In Korea, these types of spas are frequented weekly so the cost has to be appropriate! This all sounds fantastic but it is not for the modestly inclined.  It is different from an American spa in that you walk around COMPLETELY NUDE, save your little issued locker key bracelet.

The experience begins at the check in desk where you pay your entry fee and receive said-locker key bracelet.  You can add on services like body scrubs and massages.  Again, all are experienced completely nude.  Once you have paid, you are led to the locker room.  There are separate areas for men and women.  Here, remove your shoes, walk to your assigned locker and place ALL of your belongings inside.  WELCOME TO THE KOREAN SPA!!!  Congratulations, you are naked! Try not to make too much eye contact or bump into other bodies around you.  Look confident as if you’ve done this before.  I must mention that there will be a wide variety of body hair choices, so whatever you choose, it’s perfect.  Now to the showers.

There will be multiple shower locations with all the soaps and shampoo you’ll need.  Here you will wash off prior to entering one of the hot tubs.  It is necessary to soak for 15 minutes so your skin gets very soft so it is primed for the sloughing of the scrub.  I HIGHLY recommend you indulge in the scrub and massage if you can!  A person of the same sex will call your locker key number when it is your turn for your treatment.  The person will be dressed in a bathing suit.

For the scrub, you will be taken to a massage table that is covered in plastic.  You will lie on the table while the professional scrubs your ENTIRE body with an exfoliating rag.  The process will take about 30-45 minutes.  You will be instructed when to lift your arms, spread your legs, flip over etc.  Your southern private parts will not be scrubbed but expect an entire chest and inner leg exfoliation!  You will see lots of dead skin in the form of little grey pills all over the place.  You will have water poured over you occasionally to rinse this off.  It is amazing how much comes off!  Your hair and face will also be washed for you.  Some places will even do a mini facial with cucumbers over your eyelids.  My favorite extra is when they pour milk and honey all over you at the end.  Often you will be covered with a moisturizing oil.  Ta-da!  You’ll be smoother than a baby’s bottom.

Now if you opted for the massage, prepare yourself for very deep tissue/acupressure type of work.  Now it is a good time to take another quick shower and hit the saunas.  There may be one sauna or there may be theme saunas with jade, salt, aromatherapy or other treats infused into the room.  Now some of the bigger spas may have a co-ed restaurant area where can eat while clothed in one of the spa’s robes.  Remember, you will be clothed in any co-ed areas!

I am proud of you!  This takes some guts and the reward for the brave can’t be compared to any other type of treatment.  Tell me how it went!

What can a Headhunter do for Me?

February 16, 2013

MONEY

IMG_0272

As I was getting out of the Navy, I enlisted the help of a headhunter agency who specifically helped Officers get jobs with Fortune 500 companies.  I had no clue as to what was going on outside of the big grey war ship I was working on.  What is a headhunter?  Headhunter firms approach companies offering to prescreen potential candidates for jobs prior to interviews at the actual companies.  Services range from simply marketing your resume to specific companies to holding your hand through the entire process.  I’m going to talk about the full-service kind.

The headhunting process is a lot like Patty Stranger’s Millionaire Matchmaker process.  A headhunter will start by marketing to potential candidates.  They offer wonderful services such as resume writing, interview preparation and even interview wardrobe guidance.  They actually know the types of questions you are going to be asked by their client companies and they will coach you.

The headhunter will interview you to find your interests, strengths, experience, location preferences, salary requirements etc.  They are really good at picking up on marketable qualities that you yourself may not even be aware of.  Once you’ve been type-casteded, you will be presented with some job options.  You will select the ones you like and then its time for grooming.

The headhunter will provide presentations either with or on the behalf of the companies’ hiring staff. They will give you a feeling of work culture and job responsibilities.  These presentations are made to make your mouth water.  Then comes time for the specific training for each of your interviews.  I remember in the pharmaceutical industry job interviews it was common to be presented with, “I want to buy a pen.  Sell me this pen.”  The untrained responce would include something like, “oh, this pen writes smoothly and activates easily with a click!”  The interviewer is looking for someone who responds, “well, what kind of pen are you looking for?”  The interviewer then gives parameters of their ideal pen and the candidate presents the pen in that fashion requested.  Trust me, I had no idea how to properly pass that test.  The headhunter is going to get you to the level of sophistication required.

Then come the actual interviews with your selected companies.  After each interview the headhunter will talk to you and the potential employer to see how it went.  The company will most likely contact you directly with any follow-on information such as a second interview or to turn you down.  Once the job offer is in place, you have officially been accepted by the company to be hired.  This is when negotiation can and should take place.  I will talk about that in a later post.  Headhunters can even assist you in getting the most out of your negotiations.  They can even talk to a company to encourage more compensation if the company wants you and you are on the fence.  Now that you have an offer that you love, you accept the offer.  Congratulations!

So, how does a headhunter make money?  The headhunter is compensated when the company hires you.  The compensation is usually a percentage of your salary and is not paid out until 3 months or so of consistent employment.

Why should I use a Headhunter and why they are awesome :

1. Their services are FREE: resume writing, interview coaching, negotiation wardrobe prepping.

2. They have a foot in the door with companies.  Use that connection!

3. They act as a middle man to get you a job-they do a lot of work for you. Its in his or her best interest to get you hired!

4. You want to try a new job genre where you have ZERO direct experience.  Headhunters will be able to get you in front of these employers based on selling your applicable experience and putting their name on the line.

Some things to consider:

1. You are limited to the companies they can offer and the ones THE HEADHUNTER thinks you will fill.  Yes, they are incentivized to get you hired.  No, they are not incentivized to make your dream job come true.  There could be jobs they have that are not offered to you based on the headhunter’s needs to fill.

2. These are jobs are out in the market, not ones you get through “who you know.” (discussed in an upcoming article) There may be something else out there that they just don’t work with.

So, after multiple screenings by my headhunter firm, they offered me a job as a headhunter.  What?!   Well, thank goodness, because I was beginning to wonder why they had been screening me for so long and really withholding potential job positions!!  I had started in the direction of working with other headhunting firms!  I took the job and learned the secret world of jobs that I will be sharing with you.

Have you used a headhunter?  What were their strengths/weaknesses? What specific opportunities were you given?