Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fix 'er up!

I decided this week that I am never going to love this shabby 900 square foot house if I don't put any of my heart in it to love! My idea is to fall in love with my home, project-by-project, and my first project was transforming these stained, mismatched pillows into whimsical, fun ones that my family loves!

Today, I am headed to the store and my mission is to buy sanding supplies and paint for my mismatched (but very functional) kitchen chairs. I'm inspired by Monica's kitchen chairs on "Friends".
I think the kids and I can do all
four chairs today and I'll buy a table cloth for the poor table. Pictures surely will follow our hard work!

And after this project is completed, I have so many more ideas to pursue! Starting with making "curtains" for our lower cabinets (which are
slowly falling apart before our eyes) and my inspiration is birthed from photos like these...

I also want to paint the kids' rooms (something I've wanted to do since we moved here 3 years ago!), repaint the kitchen (to match my "new" table, chairs, and cupboards) and somehow decorate my mudroom/laundry room/catch-all area. There has to be a inexpensive way to make the area as pretty as it is functional.

Ideas? Thoughts? Am I on the right track?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Back to school, back to school!

I'm pretty stoked about this year! I have a good feeling that the kids are going to have a fun and very productive 1st and 3rd grade.

I look at this picture and I'm in awe. Do you see what I see? Do you see that over 4' tall young man standing there with his sling-backpack and Avatar teeshirt? What about that little darling with the long, golden hair and the prettiest little smile you ever did see? You see that too? Oh man, am I ever going to have trouble with these two in a few years...
Speaking of that, this young
man is officially over 1/2 way through elementary school! In under 3 years, he will be a 6th grader/middle-schooler/pre-teen and all that those terms entail.
Don't I get a say in this?!

And what about this angel? She is no longer a frightened Kindergardener crying for Mommy on her first day of school. Today she lept from the vehicle and skipped her way down the sidewalk, shouting to all her friends (a.k.a. every child within a 2 block radius). She is vibrant and lovely and working on becoming the best 1st grader Boyd Elementary has ever had!

These two kids came home this afternoon with stories about friends with names like Imogen and De'Shawn and shared horror stories about homework assignments awaiting them in their backpacks. They giggled over jokes told by their new teachers and debated over who had recess first. Josh and I were held as a captive audience while these precious children grew up right before our eyes. How can it be that these children who can read and write, who have so many friends and are able to spend a whole day on their own facing spelling tests and gym class are the same children we held in our arms moments ago?

Time has taught me something valuable...don't take it for granted.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Internet Job Hunting For Dummies

I'm not going to pretend that I'm a job-hunting guru, but I have been a bit obsessed with finding the right job lately. Now that it appears I have the job(s) that I need/want, I would hate to think that my new-found internet-job-searching-agility would just go to waste! So here are some of my hints, tips and tricks for job hunting in the new millenium.

#1 Pump it up! (oh yes, you read that 80's reference alright) You think it's just a piece of paper, but it's really a florescent-lit marquee that displays, "Jane Doe, the next best thing for your company!" or screams, "delete this email and call that girl that emailed the pumped-up resume!"

#2 Surf the web. Don't stress about finding the perfect job right away, just take some time to familiarize yourself with the way that employers search for employees. Look up examples of good resumes, cover letters, and emails. Use this time to get a good handle on the job-hunting situation where you live and in your career field.

#3 Pick your top 3 websites. Or top 4. Just have a few that you are a comfortable using. Figure out how to make the best of all the tools the site(s) provide (including posting your resume, filling out education/skills forms, and setting up your email for job alerts). You will learn how to search using many different criteria (or maybe none at all) which can help you find that perfect job that you never knew you always wanted. Once familiarized with these top sites, you will be more confident and relaxed while job hunting. It will become a part of your daily life that you might even miss once you find your dream job...or not.

#4 Don't apply for everything. I know all the books and articles tell you to apply for it all because it takes 1,329,839 applications to get an interview...blah, blah, blah. Although I agree that it takes hundreds of applications to get a few interviews, I advocate NOT applying for everything. Even jobs that have the right pay and job description might be a no-no until you research them further. This is the world wide web, and with that comes an all-access pass to your personal information. When you are on a job-finder site, click on "All Jobs" or "All Postings" and scan through the listings. Do you see XYZ Company listed 456 times in a row for different jobs, everything from ChildCare to CEO? That's a scam, or at the very least, a bad idea. Make sure the company you are applying for is legit.

That being said, many legit companies don't post information for the same reason we don't want to send it my next piece of advice is the most important of all...

#5 Trust your instinct. You're not a dummy (I know, because you are reading my blog), so use those God-given nudges for good.

So those are my top five pieces of advice for job searching 2010. If you have some tid-bits of wisdom, please share it so we can all benefit! I will post my favorite job hunting sites below in case you are interested.

Job finding sites: