Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Pounds and a Blog Award

I've been a little absent from blogging over the last month but I promise it's been for very good reasons.  Last we knew, I was unemployed, a little lonely and getting very frustrated with my job search. While that's as good a place as any to pick up my story, I think I need to go back even farther.  To summer 2008. It was a big one.
You know how people always tell you that once you get your own life in order and stop looking for things, those things will inevitably find you.  Well, it's true; as evidenced by my experiences in late spring/summer of 2008.  I was happily working for a company I liked and had made some great friends there.  I had gone back to school at night and my work schedule allowed me to work full time, take night classes and still have a social life.  I had a great new apartment and I had just met a great new guy (one who I've come to share my life with today).  With all this happiness, stability and comfort in my life, it seemed like the stress pounds that had decided they wanted to be a part of my journey during the previous years were just melting off and by summer of 2008 I was at my goal weight and getting comments such as "holy skinny!" from good friends who hadn't seen me in a while.  Life was good and it only got better for the next 9 months.  Nights out for drinks, dinners and desserts with the new boy, who truly didn't mind a curvier version of me, had started to put on a few "happy pounds" here and there and I found myself back at "within 5 pounds of goal weight" and telling myself "eh, it's only 5 pounds and they're there for the best of reasons!". Then in early 2009, due to company cut backs, I lost my job and became veiled with a slight depression.  It was quickly replaced, however, with the realization that I now had even more time to spend with the boy - and, of course, most of that time was spent consuming yummy deliciousness of the liquid and solid variety.  The ups and downs continued for the next year and a half to 2 years, battling fruitless job searches, one truly horrific job that lasted only a short time, one truly horrific break up that lasted only a short time, one truly fantastic job that lasted only a short time and another unemployment that lasted much longer than it should have - which brings me to where I left off with my last posts.  

On a Friday in late April, I received a call from a recruiter in NYC wanting an interview to discuss my experience and what I was looking for.  We scheduled an interview for the following Monday.  I'd worked with this recruiting company before without much success so I was expecting the interview to go as such: "It was a pleasure meeting you. You have an impressive resume. I'll put my feelers out and we'll be in touch." then go weeks without hearing so much as a peep.  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I left my recruiter's office with an interview with his client scheduled for 3pm that same afternoon! By 4pm I had the feeling that I aced my first interview and my suspicions were confirmed before I had even exited the subway with a voicemail from my recruiter saying they loved me and wanted to schedule a second interview a.s.a.p.  We had it scheduled for Wednesday morning as I boarded the train home.  Doug and I celebrated my successful interview with dinner out and a bottle of wine that night.  Wednesday morning's interview came and went in a flash and I had that same feeling of success as I walked to the train station. I boarded an early afternoon train home and by 3pm I had an offer letter in hand.  I happily accepted and Doug and I celebrated with an impressive fondue dinner (and many drinks) at the Melting Pot.  I started my new job on Monday, May 2nd.  

Three days later Doug and I left for a week long vacation to Northern California.  It was a whirlwind trip  from San Francisco and Oakland to Reno, NV to Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley and back again.  The week was filled with many drinks, much wine and some of the best food I've ever eaten - and lots of it! And, as I'm sure you've gathered, a few more "happy pounds".  But, now I'm back to the grind.  Finding my days are much longer than ever before and the temptation to just grab something on the go greater than ever.  It's time to buckle down and do what I do best - cook healthy foods that are just as tasty as they are balanced and good for us - with the goal of losing a few pounds but keeping the happy!  
Which brings me to the second half of this post. My blog award - yay!  

This award is particularly special to me because I was hand selected by one of my blogging peers to receive this award because she really likes my blog.  How unbelievably flattering! So, first and foremost, I'd like to thank Sandie at Sandie's Bitchin' Kitchen for bestowing this Versatile Blogger Award upon me and my blog!  If you haven't already done so, please check out Sandie's blog!  It's truly bitchin' and with a name like that, how could you not love this lady and her yummy food?! 

As I accept this award, I must note the rules (this goes for all who receive this award as well).  You must thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post.  You must state 7 things about yourself (let's assume they should be interesting).  And, last but not least, you must pass this award down to 15 other new or newly discovered (by me) blogs.  

Here goes:

  1. I am a self admitted geek.  I love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, science, philosophy and (almost) all things "geeky".  
  2. I'm handy.  I own power tools and love the challenge of fixing something, building something or taking on a new project.  No matter where I've lived or who with, I've been the resident carpenter, spackler, picture hanger, bug killer, Ms. Fix-It and proud of it! 
  3. I'm a Broadway addict - plays and musical theater alike.  At times I've thought a drug habit might be cheaper to sustain, but nothing beats the high of a good Broadway show! 
  4. I have an irrational fear of sharks.  I know it's much more likely that I'll be killed by a toppled vending machine, however, I never go more than ankle (maybe mid-calf if I the water is crystal clear) deep in any ocean for fear of being shark bait! 
  5. I used to play classical piano - for 15 years to be exact - yet I can barely read music, preferring instead to play by ear.  It's been many years since I've played but I look forward to the day when I'll have the time to practice everyday; something I used to loathe as a child. 
  6. I love to travel.  I don't do nearly enough of it, but I plan on changing that.  Before this year, it had been almost 4 years since I'd been on anything longer than a weekend trip.  Going forward, I plan to take at least one true vacation a year. 
  7. Historically, people have believed in me much more than I've ever believed in myself.  This blog is just more proof of that.  The love and support that was the catalyst to me creating it has been returned ten-fold by my readers proving, once again, that I need to see what others see in me! 
Wow, that was harder than I anticipated! Now for the easy part.  The 15 fellow foodie bloggers I'd like to honor:

Dream of Cakes - Eftychia
Flour Dusted - BriarRose
Freida Loves Bread - Freida 
Christine's Pantry - Christine

Congrats to my new foodie friends and thank you for your inspiration, encouragement and support!  

As always, Bon Appetit!

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