I Actually Would Like Some Cheese with this Whine

If you’re cranky and you know it… have a friend or loved one make you tea and bring it to you in  your most favorite sheep mug.

My crash is partially related to having overcome the flu and still being saddled with some lingering sniffles and a cough. As someone who eschews shots, it’s particularly frustrating that the one year I do get the flu shot I also got a flu. But that’s my luck, what else can you do about it? The other, more severe, crash factor was a rejection notice for a job I really wanted. I knew I was a long shot, especially since I was informed that there were a lot of applicants (I live in an area with a very high unemployment rate, so ‘a lot of applicants’ is par for the course). On top of that, my living paycheck to paycheck got a lot harder with cut hours. I’m still technically full-time, but as with many retail positions, you get hours based on sales, and grocery store bakery sales are pretty mellow after the holidays. We did have so defectors recently, which should help free up some hours, but I’m basically not making enough to live off of, and that’s hard. It’s also hard having such an insane schedule that I can’t commit any guaranteed hours to a second job, although I did pick up a small on-call position.

The point here is that when I crashed Saturday night at the thought of going to a friend’s party, I basically had a Leslie Knope-esque “I’m laughing because my dream is dead” moment. Despite the fact that I haven’t seen any of these friends in MONTHS (me busy with work, them with grad school, plus many not in town over the holidays) and the fact that there was tasty homebrewed beer, I could not bring myself to put on clothes (that don’t fit me well anymore because living off cheap boxed carbs causes you to gain weight) and socialize with a bunch of grad students talking classes and theory where I am working in a grocery store, unable to find a job where I can even pretend to use my Bachelor’s.

It invigorated my job search, but the area I’m in seems to have a massive dearth of opportunities for someone looking for a degree-relevant job. I could get retail positions ten times over, but the kinds of jobs I’m interested are few and far between, and getting snapped up fast.

It means that when Partner finishes his degree, it’s imperative that we leave this area, or else I’ll stagnate and die (hyperbole). Which is a shame, because despite some issues and frustrations, we don’t hate where we live, and we really like the state we’re in (though staying in it might not be feasible, again, jobs). It’s a strange position to be in because I’ve always left places either because I hate them (my hometown/state, the small Asian country I taught English in) or because some force has pushed me out (ie graduating from my beloved undergraduate university and being pushed out of that town). This is the first time I’ll be faced with the CHOICE to stay or go, and I of course have to get cerebral on it.

Being down on yourself takes so much effort, and it’s really hard to expend the effort to pull yourself out of that pit when you’re already drained.

There’s been some good in my life, and I’m going to end this with focusing on the good, because I need to do more of that:

– My little breakdown was not intended as a passive aggressive slam at my Partner’s employment status, but it did seem to add an extra bit of encouragement to him to find secondary employment so that he can contribute more equally to our budget

-Today we’re got bunnies! A moving friend needed to rehome them, and we decided that while not ready to let another guinea pig into our hearts, free rabbits were ok. They’ve settled in nicely, but are pretty tuckered out from 45 minutes of straight exploring

-Got some awesome dresses in ModCloth’s most recent sale. It was money I didn’t really have, but I got outfits I could wear to interviews and in professional settings. They say dress for the job you want, and since I’m required to wear a uniform, I’ll just have to settle for putting those kinds of clothes in my closet.

-I have two more job leads, and my goal today is to finish those applications… though the bunnies might be too much of a distraction!

New Years Resoluthings

I stopped doing true New Years Resolutions before I was even in 6th grade, when I realized just about nobody kept them. This year however, I have some general life goals I’d  like to work on or towards this year.

The first one is to eat better, which given how crap Partner and I have been eating, should be fairly achievable. We want to start cooking more from scratch instead of relying on things like hamburger helper. We want more fruits and veggies, more lean proteins, and less carbs (but not no carbs… we love carbs too much to set them free). I also want to use my crockpot more, because it makes delicious things, and I love being able to throw a bunch of ingredients into it, and then go about my day.

That leads into my second goal, which is to shop smarter. I am so bad in grocery stores, I hate them and they make me freeze up, then I just sort of buy whatever, and that doesn’t really work out so well in the long run. We’re going to start trying to plan all our meals for the upcoming week so that we can then map out the things we need to buy and the things we already have. We need to work out a smart prep plan to go with this, because most nights I get home from work and don’t feel like cooking, and Partner is often busy with school stuff. Either way, we’re both committed to the idea of eating healthier and agree that we’d save a lot of money by shopping smarter. I’ve been looking at recipes pinterest and in some of the cookbooks I have, and hopefully we’ll be able to start this week. Tonight’s dinner is slow cooker Chicken Parisienne and tomorrow night is slow cooker Beer Cheese Soup.

Related to money is my desire to find a real job. I really want to reach a point this year where I’m financially stable. I also want to get a job that makes me feel like my undergraduate education was worth it, and working at a grocery store fits neither of those bills… hell, it barely fits the bills I have to pay each month. I’ve applied for one (which I should hear about by the end of the month) and found another one that I’m beginning the application for. I’ll keep looking, even if those don’t pan out, because it’s really important to me that I get a job that A)Uses my skills, and B)Helps set me and my uh, family(?) up for a future where we aren’t living paycheck to paycheck.

I also want to keep up on my cleaning more, so it doesn’t end up all piled on top of me, and I set a Goodreads goal of 100 books read in 2013. So far I’ve read ten and am about halfway through #11 (NW by Zadie Smith).

It’s not much, but I’ll have a better chance of accomplishing things that way

Irreverent Reviews: Shiro Cosmetics Eyeshadow

Disclaimer: I was not paid or solicited for this review, I bought this stuff with my own money, and made the decision to review it myself. If ever anyone wants to send me free stuff and have me talk about it, I won’t turn you down, but that is not the case here.

After Thanksgiving, I posted my Irreverent Guide to Holiday Shopping, and mentioned supporting small, independent businesses. An example that I dropped was independent company Shiro Cosmetics. I was in love with Shiro from the moment I learned that they had a Color of the Month eye shadow inspired by Nic Cage raking leaves. This month (January) boasts the color “I Survived the Apocalypse and all I Got was this Awesome Eyeshadow.” January also marked the release of their absolutely exquisite looking “There and Back Again: A Hobbit Collection.” You can buy it all at a discount, which I’m debating, because those colors are so gorgeous.

Shiro is owned by Caitlin, who works with her friend Lauren to create vegan, cruelty free, high quality, cosmetics. They’re collection names are all some sort of wonderful pop-culture reference (December had a line of lip glosses that paid homage to A Christmas Story.

Also, they include free candy in every order. Free. Candy.

My purchase was made up of a bunch of little sample-sizes that I bought for one dollar each. Since I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis, the small sample pouches were the perfect size (and price) for me. All the eyeshadows had amazing sparkle, they are magically glittery. If you were to put these shadows into one of the bare minerals jars without telling me, I would not be able to tell the difference, that is how awesome the quality is. Some of the eyeshadow colors are lipsafe which is pretty awesome.

It did take a very long time for me to receive my order, but I’m willing to accept responsibility for that, as I placed it right in the middle of Christmas season. I tried photographing the colors I got, but I just don’t have a good enough camera or lighting, but here are the links to them:

Master Sword

Repel

Badger

Mushroom

Chimera

Little Brother

Farore’s Wind

Sweet Honey

Unforgettable

If you like quality, animal friendly, gorgeous make-up, and geeky references I can safely recommend Shiro Cosmetics. Now I think I’m going to go buy the Hobbit Collection, as a reward for finally finishing this post.