Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Easter funnies from my Office & Thoughtful Colleagues

There is an incredible Administrative Assistant who works in the office I do, her name is MJ. She decorates for all the holidays and shares comics in her weekly reminder emails. She orders lunch out for folks weekly, and pulls some of the longest hours of anyone in the office. Overall, she is just a great lady and really a shepherd for all of the "sheep" in the office. She takes care of us.                          

Yesterday she over heard me say that all of her Easter comics made me really want a Chocolate Easter Bunny like when I was a kid. So guess what was on my desk this morning? A Chocolate Easter Bunny. I love people like MJ. She is a great example to me of selfless service and of being in tune with people's needs. This is not the first time she identified a need I had and filled it, even if it was something silly or simple like a chocolate easter bunny.  She once worked adamantly to get me a huge monitor, keyboard and mouse, even though those things are typically not given to consultants but she saw that my laptop was small and hard to use for large files. The point is she thought of me enough to go out and get me a bunny. How inspiring! I hope that I can be that kind of person.

Anyway, wanted to share with you some of the joy of MJ. Here are some of the comics she hung up in our office bulletin board that made me literally laugh out loud.

And in case you are wondering, I already ate the chocolate bunny. It was delicious. Thanks MJ!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blog Tag: A Peek into the Life of Kristin...

I was tagged recently by my friend Shalay to participate in this fun Q&A. This kind of reminds me of Slam Books. I don't remember calling it that - but google and pinterest tell me that is what they are called. Essentially it was way back in elementary/middle school and people would write questions on different pages, and you would pass them around and each write your answer on each page. All I remember about this was that everyone got to use their own cute stickers.... and for some reason I remember hello kitty being involved...

Anyway! Collaboration sure has changed, and here is my go at "Blog Tag". 

1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
5. Tag 11 people

11 Random Things About Me
me and john swing dancing
1. I love dancing. It is probably my favorite form of exercise. Lately I have been taking a tap dancing class again, it is a blast. But I also love ballet, swing, salsa. Pretty much any type of dancing.
2. I work in IT. Maybe this isn't random, but it kind of is to me. I never imagined myself as an IT Geek. My dad grew up working in IT... somehow you never think you will do what your parents did.
3. I am currently following 88 blogs. Did I mention it is an addiction?
4. I LOVE board games, could probably play one every day. (In fact I do, thanks to Ticket to Ride Pocket Edition for the iPhone!)
5. I was the only kid in my 2nd grade class who didn't have a crush on this one boy. I have always prided myself on being independent (or stubborn, non-conformist, interpret how you may).
6. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints four years ago. I am grateful everyday for my faith and how it changes my perspective.
7. I am the shortest person in my immediate family! And I am 5'9 and have all sisters!
8. One of my current goals is to become a morning person. I have been doing some research on this... but think I may be beyond help. Any advice?
Me with my tall family in Cancun.
I look taller than Lauren here. I'm not.
9. I secretly identify as a hippie. I told this once to a friend and they laughed at me. However, in my mind I am a free thinker, who is fairly liberal, wears cool hipstery I don't care how I look clothes (and can pull them off) and wants to join the Peace Corp and save the whales.  In reality I am a moderate who primarily wears pencil skirts and dress slacks, who feels "green" by receiving paperless statements for their Corporate AMEX and donates to charities often but documents it thoroughly to write off in taxes. Discrepancies in self perception and reality? Perhaps.
10. I made baked kale chips yesterday inspired by my friend Jamie's recipe. (Hey, it said random!)
11. I secretly want to own a farm. I am working on convincing John to share this dream with me. I have been really inspired by my friend Alison's recent quest into country living, and think it would be a really fulfilling lifestyle.

Shalay's Questions for me: 
1.  What is your favorite vegetable? Broccoli. Steamed, not too soggy and not too crunchy. Caramelized Balsamic Asparagus is a close second.
2.  What do you like to do when you have alone time? I love love love to read. Preferably something with romance and historical fiction. 
3.  What TV show/movie do you watch by yourself because no one wants to watch it with you? Glee. And New Girl. These are my guilty pleasures.
4.  What is your biggest dream in life? To make a difference in the world.
5.  What was the scariest nightmare you've ever had? I used to have this nightmare recurring when I was a kid that my dad was shot by some native americans in ohio. (For some reason, the Ohio in my dreams was very rural and had no school, just native americans who were trying to kill my dad). When I finally slept long enough to finish the dream, it turns out my dad was shot but only in the leg and he was fine. 
6.  What pet have you always wanted but never had? Um... a kitty but I just got my dear Myao Ming.
Probably my favorite picture of me and John.
From the summer we fell in love.
7.  What is your guilty pleasure? Cheesy Love stories. Funny Sitcoms. Thin Mint Cookies straight out of the freezer.
8.  Are you a Daddy's girl or Mommy's girl? Probably a daddy's girl. I have many warm memories taking bike rides with my dad. However, my mom and I are really close too, maybe through our mutual love of crafting.
9.  What is something you just can't stand? Full Disclosure: Mushroom tops when people's jeans don't fit. Just get the right size jeans!
10.  What is your least favorite word? (Swear words don't count) Hate. It is just an ugly word with the ugliest meaning.
11.  What is your favorite blog? OOh! That is a good one. Probably Rockstar Diaries. Naomi is a modern momma who is super positive. I always enjoy reading her blog, a favorite recent post can be found here. I also have quite a few friends blogs that I absolutely love reading and can't wait until there are new posts.

My Questions: 
1.  Describe your morning ritual. What do you do when you wake up?
2.  What is your least favorite food? (if applicable)
3.  What was the last book you read?
4.  What is your biggest dream in life?
5.  What disney character do you most closely identify with?
6.  If you were on a deserted island, what one item would you take with you? (essentials provided)
7.  What is your guilty pleasure?
8.  What is one of the earliest things in your life you remember?
9.  What is something you just can't stand?
10.  What is your least favorite word? (Swear words don't count)
11.  If you have kids (or want to have them), what is the one thing you hope above all else you teach them?

I tag:

And anyone else who is willing to participate :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recent Projects: As told by my iPhone

Here are some of the projects I have finished lately: 

Cute bows. I churned these guys out while watching Downton Abbey.
Multi-tasking at it's best! A theme of this post might be baby gifts.
 More baby gifts I have made here.
Bows finished with headband stretchy thingys.
Technical terminology for crafting!
Quilt made for a good friend. This was my first time applique'ing (sp?) on the back of a quilt.
We actually made two of these in a weekend. John helped a ton!! 

Polly the Pig. Made to match a cute friend's nursery.
This was a fun and quick project. I am addicted to Softies.
Me cooking freezer meals with some friends. Yes, it is blurry.
Yes that is a garbage bag that I used to mix the entrees -- there wasn't a bowl big enough!!
We used recipes from Fix, Freeze, Feast and have been eating off of them for weeks.
Lately I have been reading a lot. Some non fiction, some fiction.
Some serious. Mostly not.
I keep track of what I am reading here.
This is Myao Ming's successful attempt at distracting me. He is adorable though....
What have you been up to lately??

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Finally Thursday

One week of documenting your life in this much detail is a little exhausting. Definitely a fun exercise though. Here is an account of Thursday (albeit a day late):

6:30-8:30 - Daily struggle to get out of bed. Shouldn't have stayed up so late!
8:30-9:00 - Meet briefly with my boss. Discuss a few things I am working on and a few other items.
9:00-9:30 - Realize my calendar for the day has done a complete 180. Meeting at 3:00 is at 9:00 now. Run to meeting to discuss some feedback I have for folks on a project's requirements. Meeting goes well. Also, have to send a few notes to people about the shifts in my calendar as it affects a few other meetings.
Lamb Chops. I feel like this is the forgotten tv show of the 90s.
10-12 - Catch up on email, follow up on some items. Item I was worried about last night has resolved, I really have some incredible colleagues. Review a document for a meeting later in the day. Meet with someone fairly impromptu to discuss their requirements (can you tell my focus is on providing feedback on requirements at work? This is a definition to help you understand what I mean by requirement).
12-1 - Take an awesome break with John and eat at Madras Masala. Eat some yummy Indian food, my favorite is the lamb curry. A few years I don't think I would have ever imagined myself eating, let a lone loving something with lamb in it. All I would have been able to think about was Lamb Chops. I also ate a big portion of Mango Lassi, the yummiest most delicious Indian dessert. I REALLY want to go up to the buffet for a second round, but I exercise some control (mostly because John is with me... thank heavens for him).

1-3 - Drive up north in AA for a meeting in a different location than my usual office. Meet with someone again (you guessed it! To review requirements!) Meeting goes well. I am becoming a Requirement SME (Subject Matter Expert) to be sure.

3-5:45 Stay up north because it is close to home and I don't feel like driving back to normal office. Spend some time "synthesizing" and summarizing all of the feedback I have given to projects to provide an overview to some leadership. At some point I also run up to visit a colleague and pay them back some $ I owed them. They let me borrow their badge a few weeks back when I didn't have mine to get in a building and of course I lost it and they were charged a not so nice replacement fee :(

6:00 - 6:30 Run to the store on my way home from work. Missionaries from Church are coming in 30 min for dinner and we don't know what to make them! John and I consider ordering pizza, or taking them out to applebee's, but decide last minute we can do our quick homemade pizzas. I grab a few toppings we are missing and head home. John is frantically cleaning our apartment (it is not so clean... notice I have not done chores the past few days) and I get dinner ready.

6:30- 8  Missionaries arrive and help us finish up the pizzas (we use pita bread for the crust and the pizzas cook in 5 min!) Toppings are pepperonis, mozzarella, feta, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onion... delicious!) We also serve a salad. We enjoy dinner together and the missionaries share a nice lesson on Sustaining Church Leaders. I love when they come over, they bring such a good spirit into our home.

8-11 After the missionaries leave, I take a quick shower and then we get stuff ready to head over to a friends house. I am quilting with a friend tonight while John is practicing a musical number with some guys. My friend and I have a blast hanging out and working on our quilts. We talk about all kinds of things, and listen to some Justin Bieber. She commits to watching "Never Say Never" with me. It will convert anyone. Guys get back and play a bit of mario, then we head home.

11:15 - ? I read very briefly and then fall asleep. It was a very good day.

Slacker of a Wednesday

Slacker because I didn't post my daily memoir! Here it is after the fact:
6:15 -8:30 - The usual! Me struggling to get out of bed. Cat hears the alarm clock and thinks it is his invitation to be my person wake up kitty (did I mention he is a smart kitty and usually around the same time each morning after my alarm he decides to cuddle and jump all over me?) Take shower, get dressed... rush to work.
8:30 - 12 I spend the AM at work wrapping up a few items. I send off updated drafts of a few documents I have been working on, as well as work on some items for International Women's Day, which I am helping to plan an event for at Work.
12-1 Weekly Working Lunch. Plan for a meeting later this afternoon that we needed to do some final prep for.
1-3:30 Spend some more time reviewing requirements docs. Send a handful of emails.
3:30-5:00 - Attend a Project Managers Meeting. We review status, discuss dependencies, and talk about risks and issues. Does that sound thrilling to you?
5:00-6:00 Hang around at work for a little while, need to chat with someone post meeting. Finally chat with her, discussion is a lot more tense than I would like to be and I spend the next few hours pondering how to fix/alleviate the situation.
6:15- 8:30  Run home to get John the car. He has to go to Scouts and needs the car for the evening. I put Chicken Broccoli Bake in the oven (one of my many freezer meals), and do some reading. Then I cut some fabric for a friend's quilt I am working on while watching a "Sabah", a movie on Netflix. This movie is really good...
8:30-11:15 John comes home, snarfs down some food and we head over to some friends house for dessert and to play, you guessed it, Agricola. Our friends know about our healthy goals, so instead of a rich chocolate-y dessert they serve berries and this delicious fruit dip. It is majorly delish. We have a great time playing the game, I am ahead the WHOLE game and thinking it is a clean sweep, until our one friend swoops in at the end and beats me by 1 point. I re-calculate just to make sure. Alas, I am defeated.

11:15- ? I love the movie and decide to finish it. John watches a soccer game while I finish the movie. The movie ends before the soccer game, so I head to bed and read until I fall asleep. I wake once or twice to John screaming out loud due a goal or some bad call in the soccer game. Needless to say, he gets into the games a lot!! I guess the US beat Italy for the first time ever... sort of a big deal.

So that was Wednesday... Phew! One more day to write up... this surely has been an interesting exercise.

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