Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 7

So, so, so much has happened since my last "Adventures..." post!  Here is a brief update:
  • The house we originally put an offer in on didn't end up working out.  After the inspection, we found out there were some major structural problems with the house.  The money it would have cost to update the house would have put us way out of our price range.
  • We then found another house we loved, and looked at it the day after it went on the market.  We were all ready to put an offer in on it, but then found out that it had in fact sold that first day on the market.  We were very disappointed, but there wasn't anything we could do.
  • We have now found the house that really seems like it will be the one.  It is (or was) for sale by owner, which means we are able to eliminate all of the costs of the realtor.  It is being sold for way less that our original price range, which is always good!  The house sits on approximately 2 acres, and is very secluded (just what we wanted!).  The paperwork is being started today, and our inspection will hopefully be next week.  We know the owner of the house already, from prior circumstances, and he has been very helpful and easy to work with.  He is ready to move out ASAP, and says we can move in as soon as we are ready!
  • I have been stocking up on supplies for the house, such as laundry soap, paper towels, bathroom cleaner, sponges, etc.  Buying all of this at once is expensive!  But, its stuff we are going to need regardless of where or when we move, so I figured I might as well get a head start on it!
Well, that's it for now!  I will post more when I know more!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Things I Learned In My Kitchen

Yesterday, I spent the better part of the afternoon/evening in my kitchen, cooking and baking up a storm. Here is a brief list of the things I learned:
  • If your main dish, plus both side dishes, contain garlic, you might just have a garlic addiction.
  • Not everyone in the world shares my garlic addiction.
  • Every kitchen really should come with double ovens.
  • Doing dishes, after cooking, takes some of the fun out of cooking.
  • Baked Alaska is a pain to make, and really isn't all that tasty.
  • Angel food cake = amazing.
  • A really good steak really isn't that hard to cook, and making my own marinade for said steak can yield great results! 
  • Steel cut oatmeal is oh so yummy, and healthy too!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Last week I was put into a very difficult position regarding work.  Actually, I put myself into that situation.  Let me elaborate.

I have been at my current job for a little over 5 years.  I started in October of my junior year of high school, working part time in our front office.  My boss's son and I have gone to school together since 7th grade, and have been friends ever since.  That's how I originally got the job.  I then developed a love for physical therapy, and decided I wanted to pursue physical therapy as a career.  I was able to work here all through high school and college.  My boss was always willing to work around whatever my schedule was. Her son and I even went to college together!

I have grown to think of my boss and her husband (who does our insurance billing) as my second family.  If you count the hours, I actually spend more time with them than with my own family!  We have a relaxed atmosphere here at work, and are always joking around with each other.

My job duties and responsibilities have broadened as my experience as grown.  I now work on patients for most of my day, and love every minute of it.  I get to develop a real connection with most of them; I learn about their families, their history, their day-to-day life.  I still do the majority of our office work as well.  And laundry.  Loads and loads of laundry.

The only problem with my job is the financial situation it puts me in.  I do not have health insurance through work, I work most holidays (such as President's Day, MLK Day, etc., because those are our busiest days!), and I don't get paid much per hour. 

Now that I am out of college, repaying my student loans, and preparing to move out, I began looking at other jobs.  Mostly for the State of Washington.  I still want to go back to school in the fall, so I will really only be able to work a full time job during the week until September.

Last week, I interviewed for and was offered a job.  Making slightly more than I make now, but with benefits, and vacation and sick leave, and holidays off, etc.  But I knew in my heart I wouldn't be happy at the job.  Not like I am when I am with my patients.  I struggled all week with my choices.  More money but less happiness?  Less money but the rewards of helping people daily?  I was so torn.  I was stressed, depressed, upset, worried.  Everyone gave me conflicting advice; although deep down I knew the choice really had to be made by myself.

In the end, I chose to stay where I am.  I couldn't bear giving this up.  I love my patients, my boss, my clinic.  As soon as I made my decision and officially turned down the other job, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted.  I was happy.  I have yet to regret my decision.

I made the right choice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be Bold

This past weekend, I attended an informational meeting for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event.  I can honestly say that I am even more excited now than I was before the meeting!

This event is bold.  The amount of money raised each year by walks like these is phenomenal.  In addition, just the experience of being a part of something this big makes it all worth while.  All the miles of training I will put in.  All the hours spent fundraising to reach my goal.  All the blisters I will undoubtedly suffer from.  All because everyone deserves a lifetime.

If you would like to donate, please check out my personal fundraising page.  Or, you can simply click on the black Susan G. Komen button on the right sidebar of my blog!  Also, I will be blogging here throughout the training/fundraising process, as well as liveblogging during the walk itself!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I feel like I am turning a corner in my cooking. And boy, do I like it!

I have NEVER been someone to use spices, unless the recipe I am using specifically calls for it.  I was scared of spices.  Am I using too much?   Too little?  Do you flavors even go together?

Lately, however, I branched out.  I am trying to use spices more often, in my normal, day-to-day cooking.  Garlic is definitely my favorite thing to throw into dishes.  I feel like its an easy way for me to break the proverbial ice.  I'm learning how and when to spice things up, and which flavors go with what. 

I have my eye on a new book, The Flavor Bible, and hope to purchase it soon.  I think this will really help me to develop my confidence in my cooking.  My other dream is to learn to cook more with ratios, with the help of this book.  Not needing to rely on a recipe for every single thing I cook is a big goal of mine.

I feel like this year is going to be a big one for me, in many different ways.  Stay tuned!