Saturday, April 5, 2014

305

Every year since I was 18, I told myself that I would save enough money to go to Miami for Ultra (or at least during Ultra week).  7 years later, I find myself despising festivals due to their ever growing popularity.  I liked EDM before it was considered "cool."  I remember seeing artists who played in small rooms with big sounds... and I still love the old school beats over the new school songs. Nowadays, it's just all about massive crowds, drug induced partying, sold out shows, mainstream hits, and questioning DJs who use MacBooks (do you even DJ bro?) instead of real turntables.

Anyway, it took me 7 years to finally visit Miami (excluding the airport) for the first time.  And I went during Ultra week!  After 96 hours of almost straight partying, I am finally 100% recovered.  I found myself comparing the city a lot to other party scenes (Vegas, NYC, LA) but it was definitely different (Vegas is still my #1 favorite place to party).  I've never seen so many beautiful people in one place in my life!  And I've never seen so many DJs in one place...  I can finally understand why Miami is their "scene."

I'll definitely go to Miami again... but maybe I'll cut it down to 72 hours next time around.

Alesso at LIV


Partied out,
- A

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Job and Another Year Older

As referenced in my last post, I was clearly going through cabin fever.

Life works in funny ways... because two weeks after that post -- I interviewed, received, and accepted a new job offer.  I'll have to admit that it was pretty sneaky maneuvering my current schedule to attend interviews, but I managed to do it.  Although I was actively looking, I didn't really put too much effort into it at first until someone told me that my resume looked boring and since they were a manager, they would pass it over if they saw it.  So that night, I spent a good 3 hours editing and formatting it and resubmitting it.  The calls and emails began to flood.  I had phone screenings, phone interviews, and in-person interview offers.

I was afraid to submit my two weeks at my current job, but like a bandaid -- I just pulled it off.  I'm sad to leave because I enjoy being around the people I work with and I have major flexibility, but I'm ready to move onto my next challenge.  It's also a benefit that the perks for the new job are 1,000x better!

In addition to a new job, I also turned another year older (yay?).  I definitely feel a year older, but everything has been great so far.  I'm thankful for all of those who have celebrated with me and those who have contributed towards my birthmonth.  I'm really lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.


Another year older,
- A

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quarter Life Crisis

In the midst of #Snowmageddon2014, my cabin fever has struck and my current quarter-life crisis has been hitting me pretty hard these past few hours.  Although I've been feeling this way for the past few weeks, I came to the realization that I don't have an idea of what I want to do in my career.
  • Yes, I was accepted into the Virginia Tech MBA program... but I'm already $40,000+ in debt from undergrad, and after reading about the average salary of an MBA graduate, it really isn't much of a difference than someone else in the business field without a bachelor's degree plus certifications on top of it.  Plus, I don't get any tuition reimbursement from my job whatsoever due to the certain parameters of my position at my company -- so what's the point in putting myself in more debt?  
  • Yes, I'm supposed to retake my Series 7... but honestly, I do not have much interest in the finance field -- and I never did before.  No matter how much I read about stocks and mutual funds.  It bores me to death and I can't imagine a career in it for the rest of my life.  I'll admit that watching the movie "Wolf of Wall Street" hyped me up for a little bit, but for obvious reasons (if you've watched the movie), that lifestyle won't happen to me.  
I know you're thinking that I must sound like a pessimist, but I don't really enjoy what I do as a job anymore.  I was offered a full-time position when I graduated, and being the desperate college student I was, I took the offer and ignored any other potential careers.

It's time for a change now... I need to figure out my niche... and I'm ready to move onto the next chapter of my life.

/rant

Wish me luck,
- A

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Social Media Pet Peeves

Most social media platforms are blocked and I have crappy cell reception at work (1-2 bars max) so I don't really check as often as others during the day nor do I update as much as other people.  I can use the work WiFi on my iPad Mini and occasionally I'll go through my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds whenever I have a free moment... but during my free time outside of work, I would rather do other things instead of sit in front of my computer trolling through people's business.

To each their own and everybody can post however they want, but here are a few of my thoughts during the times that I go through my social media platforms:
  1. If you're in a relationship but you act like you're single, stay single.  It's better for everybody involved.
  2. Liking your own post or comment is like high-fiving yourself in public.
  3. Mirror selfies of your #ootd (outfit of the day) look pretty tacky. (Maybe I'm just used to browsing through fashion blogs and seeing nicer #ootd posts)
  4. If you're constantly preaching about a healthy lifestyle and eating clean, then you should look like you actually follow your own advice.
  5. Same goes for checking in at the gym -- then you should look like you go to there often.
  6. When taking a picture of your food, you should ask yourself if it's artsy enough to be on Instagram.  If not, just stop and consume.  No one wants to see your half eaten burrito.
  7. It's not #tbt/#throwbackthursday if it happened less than 6 months ago.
  8. Curate your photos and pick the best photos to post.  This isn't a camera roll.
  9. Stop ranting about everything that's wrong in your life and do something about it.
  10. The 140 character rule (Twitter rule): Nothing clever or witty happens over 140 characters.

Just my thoughts,
- A

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fitness Motivation

Happy New Year!

My yoga class tonight was full of what I like to call "resolutioners."  On any other week, the classes are only 1/2 to 3/4 packed at the most.  Today, the class was packed from wall to wall.  Although I'm somewhat of a resolutioner myself (because I'm planning to workout at least 5 times a week), I've always had an affinity for hot yoga.  I've been practicing it on and off for almost 7 years now, and every class continues to be challenging for me.  I also took my first "before" progress picture tonight, and will post it when I reach my goal with an "after" picture... hopefully in a few months.  I'm motivated to stick with my goals because I'm looking towards a positive lifestyle change which will result in a healthier, fitter, and happier me.

These are my personal fitness goals for 2014:

1. Complete and hold a handstand in yoga

Image courtesy of extendyoga.com.

2. Thigh gap

Image courtesy of health.allwomenstalk.com.

3. Gain arm strength


Image courtsey of nzwrestler.com.

4.  Flat stomach

Image courtesy of women.thenest.com.

5. Perfect the dancer pose in yoga

 Image courtesy of ellelush.com.

Here's to a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

Cheers,
- A

Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 New Year's Resolutions

I read an article on Huffington Post the other day about how New Year's resolutions should be three things: 1) Realistic, 2) Measurable, and 3) Challenging.  I know I'm not that only person that's made resolutions every year and only kept up with them for half of the year... a few months into the year... a few weeks into the year... and sometimes only a few days in the year before I decide to give up, put it on hold, or forget about it.  At least I have this blog as a reminder to keep up with my resolutions and to remember to stop saying it and just do it.

  1. Contribute more into my savings accounts.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and punch my 18-year-old self in the face (and maybe at every age up until 23) for blowing whatever money I made, maxing out my credit cards, and contributing little to nothing into my savings and then withdrawing from my savings whenever I was short on my expenses.  I opened my first Roth IRA this past June and contribute a set amount of money each month and began investing in mutual funds 2 months ago.  My boyfriend and I also opened a joint savings account together for our travel fund, which we both contribute a set amount per paycheck.  After realizing how easy it was to transfer from my savings to my checking account with my regular bank account, I finally opened my own separate savings account at a different bank a few months ago.  Although I haven't contributed that much, it's definitely more beneficial to me because it has a higher savings yield, and it takes approximately 3 days to transfer to and from banks and I can cancel the transfer within 1-2 days if I have buyers remorse.  For 2014, I'm going to contribute at least 5-10% per paycheck into my savings account.  Even though it may not seem like much, a little goes a long way. 
  2. Pay off my credit cards.  Unfortunately, I still have a good amount of credit card debt.  A lot of it was from paying my own private university tuition and dumb spending decisions.  Interest rates are annoying.  After reading several articles on how to pay off credit card debt quickly, I'm going to try the "snowball" method.  I'll see how my experience goes and I'll write about it in a future blog post.
  3. Learn how to budget.  I used to blow a lot of my hard earned money on going out every weekend, traveling, and designer purses and shoes.  I've cut back on going out except for special occasions because I prefer happy hours or dinners with close friends than going out to the club.  As for traveling, I don't want to cut it back on it too much because there's so many more places that I want to see and experience -- but I have my own personal savings account as well as my joint account with my boyfriend to save for traveling expenses.  I've definitely cut down on the designer items and even ended up selling some items because I didn't like it anymore.  I still window shop here and there, but I'm going to cut back on wants vs. needs.  I've started moderate couponing and keep an eye out for good deals.
  4. Retake my Series 7 and take my Series 66. (see last blog post about my Series 7)  After I pass the 7, I'm going to study for my 66 certification.  I need to gain more experience before my final two certifications (the 24 and 27), so that will come in the next few years or so.
  5. Make more time to exercise.  I go to the gym about twice a week, and yoga once or twice a week  I would like to spend at least 5 out of 7 days at the gym next year (unless I'm sick or on vacation) because I want to: 1) Get my money's worth for the amount I pay for my monthly gym membership, 2) Become close to perfect in my yoga poses, and 3) Making it a part of my lifestyle to in order to become a healthier, happier me.

See you next year,
 - A

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Unfortunately, I didn't pass my certification exam.  I took the Series 7, a financial certification that is the foundation for the other certifications I need to take to be where I would like to be in the future of my career.  Even though the certification isn't required for my current job, I want to have a higher position in my field and that means more certifications on top of gaining additional experience.

I was feeling nervous and unprepared throughout the test, and literally felt my heart sink when I received my results.  After leaving the testing center and sitting in my car in complete silence for 15 minutes, I realized that the mistakes I made were:

1) Second guessing myself.  I selected answers with "Mark to Review" and eventually changed answers that I believed were incorrect.  I should just trust my intuition with the first answer I believe is true.
2) Studying on and off.  I would study for an hour or two here and there, and then take a break for two or three days, plus I studied during the holidays so there were a lot of distractions.  This time around, I'm not going to take a break for more than a day.
3) Cramming the on-demand lecture in a week and becoming distracted while on the computer (Facebook, Gchat, texting, surfing the net, window shopping, etc.).  I need to work on avoiding distractions and focus.

It also sucks that it was a 6-hour, 260 question exam (250 count towards the final score), so I'll have wait 30 days to re-register and then sit in for another 6 hours.  Positive things that came out of it is that they tell you what you scored in each section, so I know what I should work on.  In addition, I understand how the format is and what I should expect next time around.  And I'm lucky that this doesn't affect my job because it's not required.

I'm going to re-read and focus on the portions that I need to work on, re-register for the exam, and try again.  Just because you fail once, it doesn't mean that you should give up altogether.  Even though it was definitely a confidence shaker, I won't let it affect my goals for the future.


Till next time,
- A