A New Career, with New Opportunities

I've been at my new job now for almost four months now, and to say that I've learned a lot would be the understatement of the year. I went from working a job that required absolutely no brain power - just repetition all day every day - and standing on my feet all day, to a job that requires all my brain power and sitting all day. The first month was honestly the hardest. The first week I was working, I came home and went to bed by 8:30-9pm each night. I was so exhausted just from the sheer amount of information that I was learning. 

The job I applied for, and then was hired for, has honestly nothing to do with what I've ever done before. I have IT experience (8 years, four through high school and four in college), and customer service experience - literally every job I've ever held. So the technical aspects of the job, they could teach me. I feel like I'm still learning, almost four months later. 

I'm so thankful for the opportunity, and the patience my new team has shown me. I feel immensely happier working here than I do working at Disney, and it's probably one of the better decisions I've made. The environment is always happy, and they're always encouraging. There have been luncheons (the best - and ironically the only picture I have from my new work place is of a luncheon we had for Cinco de Mayo), and meetings, and lessons, and training sessions. I've always felt welcome, and I'm so happy to be learning again.  
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Is Audible Worth It?

Is Audible worth it? That's a question I asked myself over and over as I struggled with subscribing to the service. You hear all these reviews of how much people love it, and then at the end of the post/video you inevitably see that it's sponsored. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, I love that they've gotten their name out because it means the possibility of a larger selection of audiobooks to come, however in today's day and age for some bloggers/youtubers it's hard to know if they're being genuine.

So far, I have four books on AudibleThe Girl in the Spider's Web, The Cuckoo's Calling, The Casual Vacancy, and Me Before You. I've listened to two completely through: The Girl in the Spider's Web and The Cuckoo's Calling. I'm partially through Me Before You, and I haven't yet started The Casual Vacancy. Personally, I try only to listen to the audiobooks while I'm driving. I hate listening to the radio because they play the same four songs over and over and over again, and while there are tons of podcasts to listen to, sometimes they just get boring.

The first book that I listened to on it was The Girl in the Spiders Web. At first, I found it incredibly hard to listen to because I found the narrator's voice distracting. However, once I got over the fact that this book, much like the other three, is a little slower and you have to give it some time, it was fine. I liked the book, probably not as much as the original trilogy, but what can you do. 

The second book I listened to changed everything for me. I started The Cuckoo's Calling, and it became addictive listening to it. I tried to listen as much as I could during the day, while at work/driving, etc. I got through this book pretty quickly and honestly wished I would have had another book on the ready (The Silkworm, perhaps). 

I finally started Me Before You as my third book, because I really want to see the movie, but I want to finish the book before the movie comes out. I have this deal with myself, that I'll try and read as many books as I can before I see their movie version (even if it means seeing the movie later than I would really like). Y'all this book is absolutely amazing. I can kind of guess how this book is going to end though since the next book is entitled After You

Reading has always been an important part of my life and when I was younger, I would devour books a week at a time. My moms house was close enough to the library that she would let us ride our bikes there whenever we wanted (as long as there would be enough light out) to get books during the summer. Growing up, I think I spent more time in libraries or in my room reading than I did doing anything else.

As I grew older and began commuting, sometimes up to an hour each way, to work I found myself reading less and less. It's not because I enjoy it less, but because other things have gotten in the way (cough studying for the GRE cough). By listening to Audible, I've found that I am still able to 'read' books. I've decided that if I love the book enough, I'll buy it. My mom and I send books back and forth to each other. Right now, I'll have The Girl in the Spider's Web, and The Cuckoo's Calling in my basket to buy and ship to my mom. I'll probably have to get Me Before You as well because it's only been about a week, and I'm already obsessed. 

If you have the chance, I say join Audible at least for one month just to try it out because if you're anything like me, you'll become addicted really quickly. 

Ps: no I'm not sponsored by them, but if they ever wanted to it would definitely be a company I align with. 

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Dark Places // A Review

Dark Places is the second novel that Gillian Flynn wrote, however it's the third Gillian Flynn novel that I picked up. To be honest, I'm glad that I picked this up last because if I would have picked it up first, I don't know if I would have picked up any of her other novels. It took me a couple of days to get through this book, which is odd because I can usually read her books in a day or so. For me, this novel tended to move more slowly than her other books. I would give this book a 3/5 stars because it seemed to move very, very slowly. 

Dark Places is about a woman named Libby Day who survived her families murder when she was very young. Supposedly, her mother and two sisters were killed by her older brother one night. The story flashes back and forth between present day and the past, leading up to the murder. Much like Gone Girl, there are three different narrators. You get to see the murders/aspects leading up to the murders from Libby, her mother Patty, and her brother Ben. 

As you go through all three perspectives, you attempt to find out who did it, and why. Like her other books, each time you read from someone else's perspective it changes the story just a little bit more. Personally, while I find the concept to be very intriguing, I found the story to drag on in places. In her other novels, even the minor characters have deep backstory and are very intriguing, however I didn't find that this time in this novel. 

This novel, like Gone Girl, was made into a movie back in 2015 (like it was so long ago...). However, unlike Gone Girl, I haven't actually seen the movie so I can't tell you how well they adapted the novel. All in all, it was a good story. Probably not something that I would pick up to reread, but if you are looking for something to read and not something that takes a ton of time I would definitely say to check it out. Or if you're like me, and really love sticking with an author, definitely pick it up!
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Less Mess: Under the Bed Storage

One of my biggest problem areas in my room would be my under the bed storage. I have the Brimnes Bed with the headboard in white, and while I love it the amount of storage that it has is insane. I can fit so much stuff under the bed, which is dangerous because I have a tendency to push as much as I can in there without even really looking at it. 

The storage under my bed was the last place I decided to clean because it was a lot of pants, which I hate trying on. There were some that I knew I wasn't going to use any time soon because it had been so long since I had them, and some that I wasn't going to wear because they weren't my style anymore. There were a ton of athletic shorts that I gave away, that I kept because "YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU'LL NEED A PAIR TO PAINT OR CUT THE GRASS." Neither of which I do living in an apartment in Florida. 

In all reality, I didn't actually get rid of much from my under the bed storage. I think in total I got rid of 3 cardigans, 1 sweater, 7 shirts, 9 shorts, and 7 pairs of athletic shorts. I know it seems like a decent amount to get rid of, but considering the fact that I have a ton more shorts it's not really all that much. By getting rid of everything that I did, I cleared up space in one drawer completely. 

Funny side story: when I was cleaning out my sweater drawer, Binx (my curious kitten) got a little too curious and decided to jump in. While I saw her jump in, I thought I had seen her jump out too. I filled the drawer back up with everything I wasn't going to hang/keeping and then shut the door. Turns out, she hadn't actually jumped out of the drawer, but gone behind it. A good five minutes later I hear her poor kitten cries and I opened the drawer to find my pretty kitty hidden in it still. She's okay, and with lots of cuddles and apologizing from me, she's happy now. 
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Which Do You Prefer: Spring Training or Season Baseball?

The first major league baseball game that I attended this season was actually a spring training game at Disney's Wide World of Sports. I'm really glad that I got to attend this game because it was awesome to see the Atlanta Braves train at a facility that they had been playing at. Word is that they're leaving after this season, and hopefully another team will come in.

While the game itself was incredibly slow, and not the best (the Braves lost), it was still a great time. My friend Katy and I had gotten there just as the first inning started, and stayed the entire time (the only way to do it, if you ask me). The facility itself is absolutely massive, and considering the sheer amount of events that take place at ESPN's WWOS (wide world of sports) it should be. While we were going in for the baseball game, there was a cheerleading competition and a baseball tournament as well.

We had really great seats, and while we may have gotten a little sunburnt (#palegirlproblems) even with the massive amounts of sunscreen we put on, I wouldn't have traded it for the world. Katy is one of the people who feeds into my baseball obsession (ever since my boyfriend introduced his love to me, I can't get enough). She's always down for a road trip to a game, or a night in with sunflower seeds, diet coke, and baseball (as long as her beloved basketball team The City isn't on). 

If you have a chance, I would definitely say to go to a training game if you have the chance. Because the facilities are a lot smaller than normal stadiums, it has more of an intimate feel to it. The players seem to be more relaxed, probably because they know it's just for training, and the people seem to be incredibly supportive. While I'm sad that the Braves probably won't be with ESPN WWOS next year, I'm excited to see if they get a new team (and who it may be). 

Have you ever been to a spring training game? 
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#ReverseYourRoutine with TRESemme

I'm a member of Influenster, which is a site where you can go and review products, and they also will sometimes offer products to you to review. Recently, they sent me the TRESemme hair care products and challenged me to Reverse My Routine by using conditioner first, and shampoo afterward. I was extremely skeptical at first because I'm so used to washing my hair with shampoo and then conditioner, so I was unsure of how this would work. I have really fine and thin hair - and not a lot of it - so I have to be very careful not to weigh my hair down.

After using these products for about a week, I would say that I like them a lot. They smell really good, and I've found that they actually do help give my hair a bit of volume. I feel like they help a lot because by using the shampoo after the conditioner, it doesn't weigh your hair down as much. The only negative thing that I can come up with that I didn't like is that the conditioner bottle is a pump bottle, while the shampoo bottle is a squeeze bottle. I prefer pump bottles because then I don't have to pull them down from my shower caddy very often.

I received these products for testing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 
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Why I Quit Working For Disney

I quit working for Disney in March 2016 after working for the company for about a year and a half, and if I'm being honest it's the best decision I could have ever made for myself. While I wouldn't take anything I did back, it was amazing to leave. 

My senior year of college, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life so I applied for the Disney College Program. I loved my friends that I made on the program, but wasn't really in love with the position. I worked in Attractions at the Sum of All Thrills in Epcot. I helped to open the enlarged Fast Pass Plus area for Illuminations, and loved every minute of it. My living situation was rough, much like everyone else on the DCP, but thankfully I found two best friends who I'm still in contact with today. 

As my program began to come to a close, I still didn't know what I really wanted to do, so I applied for both an extension and a transfer. Well, I got both. I could either stay at Walt Disney World and continue on into any attraction, or I could transfer to Disneyland and work attractions there. I decided to transfer to Disneyland to work at Autopia with some of the best people I could have ever met. It was there I met my boyfriend, and some of my best friends. 

Halfway through my DLRCP, I flew back to Orlando to look for an apartment with my best friend and one of my other roommates. We didn't really find a place that trip, but later signed a lease. My fate was sealed - I had to move back to Orlando when my program ended. If I were to do it again, I don't think I would have signed a lease even though it was probably the best thing I could have done. 

August came and I had to leave California, my best friends, and my boyfriend. It was the hardest decision, but I had applied to Disney World and gotten a position at the Starbucks in Epcot. This is where things started to go downhill fast. I wasn't thrilled with the position, or how things were handled for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney and I think it's a great company however in any company things can be mishandled. 

After quitting at Disney, I feel like my mental state soared through the roof. My roommate, her boyfriend, my boyfriend, my friends and family all saw a massive improvement from me. I wasn't unhappy every day. I didn't feel like I was getting run over by a truck every day. I didn't dread waking up to go into work. I didn't understand how things could be so different, just working at a different location in the same company but things were not the same. 

I am thankful for everything that Disney had to offer for me, and that I was given as many opportunities as I was. However, the best thing for me was to leave. Disney provided me with a chance to see what I enjoyed doing, and what I didn't. To see that I really wanted to go back to school and work more in the department of History, doing something that I actually love.

I bought an annual pass, so you'll still see me around. 

If you ever get a chance to work for Disney, and you are unsure if you should take it or not, I would say go for it. You never know until you try. 

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Less Mess: Cleaning Out My Closet

"I'm cleaning out my closet." - Eminem 

But really...I cleaned out my closet and it was quite the event. I had a ton of stuff to go through, because much like everything else in my room I held onto everything in the event that "WHAT IF I WANT IT." Seriously, as I've gotten older I like to think I've gotten "wiser." Granted, I don't know how true that is, but I've definitely let go of more and more as I've gotten older. 

The strategy that I used for this was take everything out: color by color, put it in the bathroom and try it on, piece by piece. I wouldn't say that it was the quickest way to get things done, but it's the most effective. By doing this I really had to look at what I owned, and how it fit. If I wasn't happy with how it fit now, did I think that was really going to change in the next month/six months? If the answer was no, it got put on the bed to be given away. 

By hanging all the clothes on my shower rod, I got to see how everything looked and I could see clearly what I had. There were some pieces that I knew right away that I hadn't worn in forever, and that I wasn't going to wear. Those got the boot first. As I went through my clothes, I half watched the Angels vs Yankees game, half watched the kittens roam around. 

All in all, it took about two hours, and I ended up getting rid of 4 sweaters, 8 skirts, 4 dresses, and 26 shirts. So, while it's not a crazy amount of clothes it definitely cleaned up a decent amount of space in my closet, which is what I was aiming for. 
While I was cleaning, my curious kitten Binx (who adores the closet) decided she would hide in the very back behind my winter jackets, little to my knowledge. After I finally finished, I swept the ground quickly to see if there was any little ones. Granted, I didn't see any kitties so I closed the door. Probably about five minutes later, I see little paws coming out from under the closet door. After a lot of cuddles and apologizes (quite the theme here), she couldn't have cared any less and went on doing her own thing.
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Gone Girl // A Review

Gone Girl was the first book that I picked up written by Gillian Flynn and I was instantly hooked. Once I got this book, I couldn't put it down. I read it on the bus, in the break room, and whenever I had free time. Any show I was "religiously" watching on Netflix was pushed aside. Then, once I finished the book I immediately found the movie online and watched it. While I wasn't completely thrilled with the movie adaptation of the book, I was okay with it. I loved the book so much, I kind of wasn't ready for what the movie was. I would give the book a 5/5 and seriously recommend it to anyone who is looking for something thrilling. 

This novel starts out on the anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne. Every year for their anniversary, Amy creates an almost impossible scavenger hunt for Nick. Something that he's supposed to think back on his relationship, think deeply about Amy, to figure out. This year, he's even more aloof than usual because he doesn't really care for his wife anymore.  Then, on the morning of their anniversary Amy goes missing. 

Gone Girl follows the investigation done by the police, as well as the reports that the media puts on. Much like her other novels, you see this book through two different narrators - Amy, and Nick. Throughout the course of the novel, you meet different characters who have just an interesting back story as Nick and Amy do. Nick's sister plays a very large part, as does Amy's parents. There are more twists and turns that happen in this story than I ever thought would be possible. At each turn, there are new shocking details that come up and that seem unbelievable. 

If you haven't already picked up this novel, I would say run to the nearest bookstore and pick one up. This is most definitely a psychological thriller, that is extremely well written. This was the novel that made me want to read more of Gillian Flynn's work, and I would say that if you haven't read any of her other books yet, you should pick this one up first.
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Healthy Eating Can Be Easy

Since leaving Disney, I'm not as active as I once was. I left a job where I would have to walk around 10 miles a day, and started a job where I sit all day. It's been an adjustment, to say the least but I'm getting used to not being as active. 

Because I'm not as active, I'm finding it hard to not gain a ton of weight. One of the easier ways for me to stay at the same weight would be to eat healthier. I've tried to drink a ton of water, and while I do okay at that, I realize that the first thing that I need to change is my diet. 

My boyfriend got me a cookbook for Christmas (probably my favorite gift) that makes meals for two. This is perfect because usually I'm making food for a family of four or five, and who honestly wants to eat the same thing every single day. Not me. 

I've found that what works best for me is meal planning. It's not easy, but I find that I'm not as rushed and I don't eat as much junk food if I meal plan on the weekends. I'll take out my cook book and my recipes from my mom  and find what I want to cook for the week. Then I'll make a list of everything I need at the grocery store and go shopping on a Saturday. 

Sunday's I'll actually do all my meal prepping and cooking. If I bought any fruits or vegetables, I'll clean them and pack them in serving sides. If I don't do this, I find that I tend to ignore them in the fridge. I know, I'm literally the laziest. It's fine, I'm working on it. 

By doing all this, it ensures that I eat three meals a day and that they're relatively healthy. I'm getting better at planning and packing, and actually eating three meals. 

Do you have any favorite healthier recipes?  

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Less Mess: Organization at It's Finest

One of the biggest things that I feel like I need to do before we move is a clean out of all my stuff. When I was moving back to Florida, my dad imparted me with the wisdom that I didn't need to take everything that I owned to with me. Me, being the wonderful and stubborn person that I am, disagreed and took pretty much everything I could. There were a ton of things that had been accumulating since 8th grade, and I wish I could say I was kidding. 

With another move coming up pretty soon, I decided it was high time to at least look through what I own. So far, I've gone through my hats, Mickey ears, closet clothes, nail polish, and the clothes from my under bed storage. It's crazy to think how much stuff I actually owned, and how much I'm getting rid of. Granted, I did go through all of my clothes when I went home back in November. My sister and I donated a LITERAL trunk full of clothes to the Salvation Army by our house. Even so, I still had more to go through. 

I'm one of those people who has a tendency to hold onto things because I "might" need them. Granted, I know I won't but it's the thought that maybe just maybe I might want it. I'd be lying if I said that the move to a new apartment would be the only motivating factor behind my need to get everything I don't use away. The two other motivating factors?  The possibility of my boyfriend maybe moving, and the fact that I'm applying to a graduate school and I may have to move if I get in. 

So essentially, this long post is to say that I'm starting a new series. I'm going to clean out my closet, donate some clothes, and blog about it here. Maybe it'll inspire you, or maybe it'll intrigue you. I love seeing other people's cleansing out process, so why not share mine.
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Eleanor & Park // A Book Review

I had heard about Eleanor and Park when the book came out back in early 2012, but I hadn't actually read/seen any reviews for it. All I knew about the book going into it was that it was a young adult book that everyone was talking about. After reading the book, the only way that I can think about explaining it is that it is a modern day Romeo and Juliet. All of all, I would probably give the book a 3/5 stars. 

Since I hadn't really read any of the reviews or heard too much about it before picking up the book, I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved this book but found myself frustrated with it at times and although I understand why it ended how it ended, that doesn't meant that's how I wanted it to end. I was really hoping for a happy ending, but that's not necessarily what I got. The end leaves it open to reader interpretation, and I thought it went well. 

The book tries to talk about a lot of different situations all at once -- poverty, alcoholism, bullying, love, and abuse are all at the forefront of this novel. While I'm aware that all of this can happen at once, it felt as if they were trying to tackle a lot of issues all at once. I like that the characters both face different challenges, and how they attempt to overcome them as well. 

It's a story of young love, one that was doomed from the start. We all have those loves, or maybe it's just me. It brought me back to a love that was great, but we met at the wrong time. A few years later, it could have worked, Maybe. This story is powerful and moving, it deals with issues that were current in the '80s and that are still current today. While I amy not have been in love with it, I'll definitely read more from Rainbow Rowell. 
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Baseball Games with Best Friends: The Joys of the MLB At Bat App

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Prior to dating my boyfriend, I didn't really know much about baseball. When I say I didn't know much, I honestly really only knew about the general things like positions, what a foul ball and a grand slam are. Growing up, we watched a lot of football but hardly any baseball. The most exposure that I had to baseball was in college. My roommate was obsessed with the Cardinals, so she watched a lot of the games and would keep me in the loop a little bit. Otherwise, I would go to the LSU baseball games, just because they were free for students to get into and why would you not go?

My first MLB game was in April of 2015 for my boyfriends birthday. It was an Angels game, but I honestly couldn't remember who they were playing. The entire time, I sat there asking him questions, he was really great about helping me learn. It was at this game that I was stunned to realize that in the seventh inning stretch, they actually sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game. 

Whenever we go to the games now, I always have to have either a beer/dip-n-dots, and nachos. Then we sit back and watch the game. I'm that person that's usually really into what's going on (unless its an incredibly slow game), not really paying attention to much else. 

One of the great ways for me to learn, was by signing up for the MLB at bat app/MLB Network. This allows me to watch baseball games with my boyfriend/friends here so that I can still keep learning, and it's a great way to spend time together. Another reason why I like the At Bat app is because you can set your home team, or multiple teams that you like watching. It's relatively easy to use, with the scores at the bottom that will bring you to each game, news that's relevant, and the current standings. 

One of the harder things that I had to get used to was being on the East Coast. Since I live in Florida, the great thing is that I can watch any game that I usually want since I'm a Padres fan. The awful thing is that the games are usually a lot later. Over a year later, I still have a ton of questions but my boyfriend and his friends are really good about answering them and taking their time. 

What Do You Mean, It's Time To Start Again?

It's been a while since I've written anything, and to be honest I really needed the break from basically everything. A lot has happened in the last almost six months, and there's a lot that's going to happen in the next six months. In the past six months I've: visited California, had my boyfriend visit me (twice), went home, stood in one wedding, attended another wedding, had my family come out to visit me in Florida, attended countless baseball games, took a trip to Atlanta, adopted two kittens (who each bring their own set of adventures), and decided I'm going to go to graduate school. 

In the next six months, I will be applying to graduate schools, taking the GRE, heading to upstate Florida for vacation with my family, possibly moving my boyfriend across country, maybe visiting California in September, and moving into a new apartment. While I can only see what I have planned, and hopefully will plan I'm so excited (and nervous) for the months ahead. 

Coming up on my blog, you'll see pictures from the past six months along with up to date posts about my life. One of the main reasons why I really wanted to start writing again was because I felt like I'm in a better place, now that I don't work for Disney (did I mention that I quit?). I've got a lot coming up on my plate, especially with the big move, and taking the GRE. While I understand it's been a while, I hope that you're up for the new journey that I'm about to embark on. I'd love it if you came along. 

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