I Don't Answer My Phone After 10pm

Remember when we were kids and our parents wouldn't let us use the phone after like 8pm? They considered it either disrespectful for someone to call so "late" or insisted that it was no longer time to be social but to be in bed reading. At the time I thought my mother was a kill joy and I resented her for stifling my social butterfly from emerging. She wasn't in middle school so obviously she had no idea how important it was for me to be able to answer that call.

Now, as a post grad a year out from graduation, I don't answer my phone after 10pm. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule in certain circumstances.
  1. If I am expecting your call/text I will answer.
  2. If I happen to still be out at dinner or other such social occasion, I will answer.
  3. If a call/text comes through more than three times I will likely come to the conclusion it is important and answer.
  4. If it's any of my sisters they have a special exception and I will answer.

Other than that I see no need to answer my phone after 10pm on a weeknight. This is when I would like to be in my bed. Relaxing. In sweats. With Tea. This is ME time and should not be interrupted. Don't take it personally.

"Get On The School Bus!"

This is what a teacher screamed at me as I walked past the baseball stadium near my job. I was walking on my lunch break, and it just so happened that an afternoon baseball game had just ended. Hoards of middle school aged children were rushing towards me, so I picked up my pace to get out of their way. That's when the teacher stepped in front of me and scolded me. I told her that I wasn't a student and her face turned bright red as she apologized, saying "you just blended in with all the kids".

Growing up I was always told that I looked older than my age. I was always on the taller side and seemed to have mature features. This stopped when I entered college. In fact, it seems like the aging process stopped completely for me during those four years. When I emerged with my degree, I no longer had people guessing I was four or five years older than my actual age. Instead, I've been asked multiple times if I'm high school student (and now a middle school student??).

I know anyone over the age of 40 reading this blog is probably thinking I'm a brat for complaining about this, but I'm actually curious to how I can start to look more my age.

Should I start dressing more professionally? I actually wore a work appropriate skirt and top today, but I was still lumped in with a bunch of young teenagers. My office is very informal, so pantsuits and blazers are out of the question.

Are any of you ever mistaken for high school students? If you work in a job where dressing in stereotypical professional attires is not the norm, how do you take steps (appearance wise) to show that you're actually a college grad?


Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I am noticing a trend lately with the books I read. This one also takes place in a post-apocalyptic USA, just like the last. Scientists found a way to make humans live long and healthy lives after curing cancer, but, oops, it only lasted for 1 generation. Now females die at age 20 and males at 25.

Think about that. We (or half of us I guess) would be dead right now. Our life span would end before we could finish college. Quarter life crisis would happen at 5. Oh and most of us would be orphans by the age of 5 as well.

This is the world that Rhine lives in. And it has created a new black market, for young brides. The wealthy males want heirs before their premature deaths, and who better to birth them than orphans and other young girls who have nothing else going for them?

This first book in the Chemical Garden series, however, is not all dark and morbid. There are scientists looking for a cure, and not all of the wealthy males are so sinister. It's just that Rhine doesn't take well to captivity.

If you like scientific fantasy in the way of post apocalyptic scenarios like I do then this book is definitely for you. And there are two more in the series that haven't even been released yet.

Rating 3.75/5 stars

Partying, Partying, Yeah!

Sorry guys, I couldn't stop my fingers from typing a Rebecca Black reference in the title. I hope you'll keep reading!

Last week I had a few friends over to my new apartment. We had wine and dessert and it was a fun and relaxing time, until we realized we had lost track of time. It was nearly 10:15! Everyone gasped and within 10 minutes or so the girls had left and I was getting ready for bed.

I ask all of you post grads to now think back to what 10pm means in college time. At my school, 10pm on a weekend was the time BEFORE the actual party started. On a weeknight, 10pm meant that you were just getting done meeting about a group project, you were about to start your homework, or you were watching t.v. and listening to music without a care in the world because your first class didn't start until noon the next day.

One of the things I had the hardest time adjusting to after graduation was the schedule shift. I accomplished a lot in college between internships, working on the magazine, school work, and part time jobs, yet I still managed to have so much free time during the day! After graduating, I was forced to deal with the fact that the majority of my day would be spent at work.

I've got to admit, one year later and I'm still adjusting to the new "working girl" schedule. Here are a few tips I've come across along the way.

1. If you belong to a gym, do not go home in between work and working out time. Maybe some post grads have the motivation to pry themselves away from their comfy apartments and go burn a couple hundred calories, but I am not one of them.

2. Make your breaks count. I get a half hour break for work, and unless it is snowing or pouring outside, I make sure to get out of the office. Just going for a half hour walk makes my break feel completely rejuvenating and when I get back inside, I'm ready to work.

3. Give yourself a bed time! 10pm, 11pm, find a time that works for you and stick to it!

4. Make lunches ahead of time. This is something I just started doing, and it frees up about a half hour of my evenings by getting the weeks worth of lunches together on Sunday.

How do you all deal with fitting everything you want into the confines of a 9-5 work week schedule?

Post Grad Flashback: One Tree Hill

I've been pet sitting this past week and had the privilege of accessing a huge television and cable. Mixed in with waking up early to walk the dog, I also rediscovered the teen dramas I used to adore. Apparently Soap Net has something called "Breakfast in Bed" on weekend mornings that broadcasts all the old shows: The O.C., Gilmore Girls, and One Tree Hill.

They were playing the One Tree Hill episodes of the middle seasons, the 5 years later episodes. The gang had already graduated high school and were now in their mid 20s. They were our age. And watching the 3 back to back episodes this morning I realized that they were no where near normal people like the show wanted you to believe.

Lucas had a book published and a movie being made out of it.

Peyton had her own music production business and managed an up an coming star.

Brooke had her own fashion line.

Nathan was playing basketball for the Chiefs.

And Haley had a record out and was helping to manage the up and coming star.

Only Haley and Nathan had attended college.

Oh and Haley and Nathan are married with a 4 year old, Peyton is pregnant with Lucas's baby and they are engaged, and Brooke is trying to adopt. Have I mentioned that these people are OUR AGE?

I used to love this show. The characters, the drama and the adventures they went on were a great escape from my everyday life. And a great reason to get a bunch of girls in the same room with a bottle of wine. But when I watch this show now all I see are unrealistic portrayals of real life. Every character has their dream job, a promising relationship and all the money in the world. And here I am, post grad and single at a job that is far from my dream and in a mountain of student loan debt.

This show that I used to love so much had depressed me before 10am. I have come to the conclusion that the shows i used to love, should stay in the past.

The Seemingly Harmless Question You Should Stop Asking Single People

As a single post grad I have several friends who ALWAYS ask this question after I go on a date. Always. And it most definitely ruins how you previously felt about it. I don't want to have to answer this every time I tell a friend who is in a relationship about a guy. Just let me have my moment.

The Seemingly Harmless Question You Should Stop Asking Single People

What is Happening to Me??

Allison and I had a realization yesterday. It was unnerving. We realized that we have been craving domesticity. My OCD has evolved so much that I enjoy cleaning. Yes, you read that right, I enjoy cleaning. Allison admitted to liking laundry. And we both agree that grocery shopping, cooking and decorating are just plain fun.

All of this is new. It has happened in the last couple of months. I used to hate cleaning with a passion. Ask my old roommate over at Yerbe Mate & Spanish Speaking Steak. My idea of cleaning the kitchen used to be putting all the dishes in the dishwasher. That was all. No wiping of the counters, no throwing out old food in the frig. I seriously believed that if all the dirty dishes were in the dishwasher then the kitchen was clean. Now I not only load the dishwasher but have an obsessive compulsion about HOW it is loaded. I seriously will take out all the dishes and re-stack the dishwasher if it isn't stacked efficiently enough.

This change in behavior might be attributed to the post grad jobs we took. While we appreciate employment and do not plan on quitting to become housewives any time soon, jobs are also a source of unrest. For a control freak like myself there is way too much going on at my job that I can't control for my liking. This is common in most jobs, unless you work for yourself, and if you do I am jealous. I think I need to channel my controlling habits other places, and it seems to have settled in domesticity.

Don't get me wrong, Allison and I very much like being independent, working women and post grads. However the hypothetical idea of being housewives has crept into our thoughts. Allison just got me obsessed with Mormon blogs that describe the lives, families and wardrobes of young Mormon women. For the life of us we couldn't figure out why we liked this reading so much. Then Allison found this article. It explains so much. They make life seem so simple.

Mormon blog I am currently obsessed with: The Daybook.

On that note, I need to go to work and concede my control to others for the next 9 hours. Don't worry, though, I have every intention of cleaning the kitchen when I return.

Apartment: After

Here are a few "after" photos of my new studio apartment! I have to say, I absolutely love living alone so far. I was worried I would find it lonely, but it's actually nice to have your own place to come home to after a long day at work/gym/errands. I'm still making a few finishing touches and the walls are definitely pretty bare, but this is the perfect place for my second post grad apartment!

I Am Now A Resident of Virginia

My lease in DC officially ended today. And I am now officially a resident of Virginia. I built my new dresser (from Walmart instead of Ikea for the first time) that seems sturdy. And I have started to unpack. I apologize for not having pictures sooner, but I could not find the batteries in all my stuff to load in my camera.

The following pictures are the semi-before pictures. The dresser is put together but nothing is unpacked yet. And the living room photos are very preliminary seeing as my 3rd roommate has not even moved in yet.

To the left is my bedroom from the doorway. To the right is my bedroom from the window. Unpacking all of that seems really daunting. I've been working on it for about 2 hours now. It looks a little better but I still have an obscene amount of crap to unpack.

Below, from left to right, is my new kitchen, living room, and balcony. The kitchen is pretty basic. The living room, as mentioned is preliminary and since taking this picture I have already moved the love seat against a different wall. I also moved the marble end table to the end of the couch. There is no TV yet, though, so I'm not sure how everything will be situated once there is a focal point. The balcony is really nice and overlooks some woods behind the apartment.

Not pictured is the bathroom (who really wants to see my new bathroom?) and the dining room. The dining room is currently just empty so I saw no reason to take a picture of it just yet. If you'd like some perspective, though, I was standing in the dining room to take both the living room and kitchen pictures.

I hope you all like my new place as much as I do. I will post more pictures after I have unpacked and it looks livable.

1 year

This coming weekend marks one year since I graduated! Like Shikole, I've decided to write a list of a few things that I want to accomplish before I hit the two year post grad mark.

1. Write and publish an e-book (a little hint for you guys.. it may have a little something to do with this blog!)

2. Finally learn how to play my guitar. I've had it since I graduated high school and can play a few Bob Marley songs and random chords. This will change over the course of the year!

3. Buy or lease a new vehicle.

4. Experiment more in the kitchen. I seem to have no problem trying out new baked things, but cooking more complex dinner foods actually make me nervous! Since I now have my own kitchen I want to experiment much more!

I'm sure there are many more goals that will pop up, but for now I think these are a good start! What about you readers, do you have a #1 goal for the next year?

Things You Forget You Need

I am 2/3 moved into my new place! While this is a great accomplishment and I am SO close to being done with this horrible process, I have realized that I have forgotten to bring/buy some of the things I use most often. Most of this is kitchen stuff previously shared between 5 people that I only realized I didn't own after leaving. Other things are mine but I didn't think to bring them at first.

  1. Wine Opener. I was so upset last night when I realized the one I had wasn't mine and there was none at the new place either.
  2. Bathroom trash can. Seems important now that I think about it.
  3. Lamp. I had only seen the new place in the daylight, until I moved in. And it was dark.
  4. And I had a bed to put together. And realized there was no ceiling light.
  5. Pot holders. So small. So simple. So forgettable until you try to drain your pasta.
I have learned my lesson. And will be going to Target tonight to get all of these things.

Let's Try New Things!

I was reading another awesome blog, Yes and Yes, and saw that Sarah Von wants to do 32 new things before her 32nd birthday. We wish her the very best of luck and thank her for the idea! I've been cooking new things, but there are so many areas of life that I need to explore other than just the kitchen.

As I've mentioned previously, today is the one year anniversary of my college graduation. There are several things I want to do before the 2 year anniversary. My list is below:

  1. Go to a water park. Not that I haven't been before, but I was much younger and it wasn't a park dedicated to water fun.
  2. Get a matching tattoo with my sisters in our Dad's honor.
  3. Take some kind of writing class/workshop.
  4. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  5. Read Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  6. Go bungee jumping or sky diving
  7. Write at least 2 full chapters of a book
  8. Learn to make a tart
  9. Make my own piece of art, whether it be an amateur painting or a piece of pottery.
  10. Be able to do 200 sit ups. That's right people, this is a historic day. I have created a goal related to physical activity.
  11. Eat heart. doesn't matter from what kind of animal. Andrew Zimmern is my inspiration on this one.
  12. Own a plant. And not kill it.
That is all on my list for the next year. I will keep you all updated on when any of the above is completed.

Moving Weekend

As is my usual style, it is moving weekend and I haven't packed yet. I'm beginning to get really sad about moving. I have been living at Fessenden for 3 years. That's right, 3 years. I never had to deal with the moving drama because we found an amazing house our first time around and just didn't leave. This is very atypical for college students and post grads. I have been in a little bubble of comfort for 3 years.

And now I'm being pushed out of it. And I need to somehow pack three years worth of crap. So far I am failing.

Last night was the last night I will sleep at Fessenden. My bed goes to the new place today. I have thrown my sheets in the washer and took apart the frame.

While I've been in my bubble of comfort I have also forgotten how much work it is to move. The packing, the washing, the cleaning, the disassembling, the reassembling, all of it is very exhausting.

I will update you all during the next break I have in this process. Have a happy Sunday!

What Moving Has Taught Me About Independence

Throughout college and since graduating, I have been proud of my independent spirit. In college I figured out ways to intern, convinced professors to let me into the classes I wanted to take, and kept up my GPA all on my own. After graduation I found my first apartment, landed a full time job, managed my own health insurance, will soon be buying a new car, and most recently found a new apartment and completed the subleasing process.

Especially since graduation, I've wanted to provide as much for myself as possible without relying on others. It's been working so far (and as so many of you out there know, it's not easy), but moving into this new apartment has really thrown me for a loop. It's made being independent feel sort of of lonely.

I definitely understand why the majority of the closest people in my life couldn't be there to help me move last weekend. My parents live five hours away, my boyfriend was interning 9 hours away, many of my close friends are scattered across the country, and my Rochester friends have busy lives as well. But the stress from this move has left me feeling like there is this child inside of me just waiting to escape.

I almost burst in tears when my desk chair broke three times while carrying it into the building, fell down an entire flight of stairs, and almost smashed into a poor girl carrying her laundry. I held it together. I wanted to kick the smug looking 20 something guy in the shins who watched me carrying my heavy desk up the steps and then let the door close and lock behind him instead of holding it open. I resisted.

I'm so thankful for my friend that did take time out of his Saturday to help me move my heaviest items into the apartment. Feeling like I could lean on someone a little bit really did help to quiet the increasingly cranky child inside of me. I don't know what I would have done if I literally had to move every piece of furniture alone...

Actually, yes I do. I would have hired movers or rented a small van. I would have dragged the mattress down the street myself if need be. I would have figured something out because I had to. I am completely capable of being independent, and I know I would've made it work on my own. But I've realized something, although I am proud of my independence and how far I've come in the past year, it still doesn't mean that I don't appreciate help.

A lot of girls my age (including myself, obviously) have this independence complex. We think we that we don't need a significant other around to be happy, we'll be fine if we don't see our parents for months, we're completely okay living our lives alone and our own terms. I definitely agree with this! I don't need these things. But it doesn't mean I have to feel weak if I decide I want them or wish I had them.

From this day forward I want to allow myself to swallow my independent pride just a little bit. I still want to provide for myself as much as possible, but maybe I'll stop turning down some of the help I'm offered. Just as it seems to be with every other aspect of post grad life, finding independence seems to be another balancing act.

How about you readers? Have you struggled with the amount of independence you have at this point in your life?

New Apartment: Before

My life is consumed with duvet covers, assembling furniture, and unpacking at the moment, but here is a sneak peak of my studio apartment before I had most of my furniture moved in. Can't wait to show you all the finished product!

Housing Search Etiquette

The entire process of finding a new place to live is difficult and stressful. A new home has several requirements before you can even consider moving in.

1. Location. Is it close enough to where you need to be.
2. Price. Can you afford it?
3. Roommates. Who will they be? Do you like them?
4. Timing. When would the lease start and end?
5. Utilities. Included? Extra? How does affect the price?

Most people include these details in their craigslist post. If they don't, you can ask about it. Those searching for roommates or a house are typically familiar with the process and are very accommodating to needs and questions. But what about those people who blow off meeting you after they already set up an interest appointment?
Sadly something like this occurred to me and my soon-to-be roommate during a search for a third. There was a girl who went to my high school that expressed interest in the last room available in the apartment. She was emailed an application and had told us she was coming into town to see the place in person. This might seem sketchy if it is a random stranger, but I went to high school with this girl so we thought it was legit.

That is until the day she was supposed to arrive. She had texted about when she was coming, and then all of a sudden, nothing. Soon-to-be roommate and I both called, texted and emailed in the days following asking if her travel plans had fallen through and to make sure she wasn't in a ditch somewhere. But we received no response.

If you don't show up to your appointment, you don't get the apartment. Just a word of advice to all those looking.