Friday, September 3, 2010

Room Redesign!

I was tired of my old bad mattress, my small bed, my kiddie furniture, and the CLUTTER! So I decided it was time for a complete overhaul. After approximately 2 months and around $1500 (yes, ONLY $1500) I have a completely new room! Before and after pictures are posted below. GET EXCITED!

BEFORE | This was the view from my doorway. A cramped twin size bed, junk in front of the chest of drawers, etc.

BEFORE | This is the view from standing in front of the window. This wall actually wasn't terrible, but that vanity was literally falling apart. Though I think I did a pretty good job of making it LOOK like it was holding up, lol.

BEFORE | Close-up of the vanity area. Shoes, box-o-papers, and a guitar amp. Yeah, real organized, haha.

BEFORE | This was my "file box."

BEFORE | This wall had way too much going on. Notice how the microwave is actually hanging off the end of the hope chest. The hope chest was also useless as a hope chest because you couldn't open it, lol.

BEFORE | Cheval mirror shoved in a corner. The closet door wouldn't open all the way because of that thing.

BEFORE | Random shelf-o-stuff hidden behind the mirror.

BEFORE | No words necessary. It had to go, lol.

BEFORE | Bed that was too small and crammed in a corner.

BEFORE | Mattress that was sagging beyond reasonable use. They tend to do that after TWENTY YEARS.

BEFORE | Hodge podge of unmatching decorations. They were collected over the years, hung at various times, and never taken down.

BEFORE | My purple plastic "side table."

BEFORE | The curtain rod was coming out of the wall. You'd think it'd be fairly easy to find a wall stud to hang the curtains on near the window. You'd be wrong.

BEFORE | This was my dirty laundry hamper. In the window. In the middle of the floor. Need I say more? I now have a legitimate hamper which is in my closet where it belongs, lol.

BEFORE | Rock Band, a mini stationary bike, and a space heater making opening the drawers in this caty-cornered chest of drawers pretty much impossible. I have since gotten rid of Rock Band. By the way, does anyone want Rock Band for the Wii?

BEFORE | That's OK though, because I was basically using the chest of drawers as a glorified TV stand.

BEFORE | View of the wall where my desk was. Clutter floor to ceiling.

BEFORE | That's a guitar back there, lol. I'm still not sure how I managed to squeeze an acoustic guitar - inside a soft case - into that tiny spot.

BEFORE | This "printer stand" was actually an extra side table from my mom's room. I have since given it back, lol.

AFTER | View from the doorway. I love the new window treatment! I plan on putting some vinyl wall clings or some sort of framed art above the headboard to add some height.

AFTER | View from the corner by the closet door. The dresser is my favorite piece!

AFTER | View from the corner by the mini fridge. Check out my cute green clock! $4 from Target!

I had missed having an analog clock in my room. It's probably some weird psychological thing, but the ticking of a clock is calming for me and I always like to have a ticking clock in my room. I could be having a panic attack and a grandfather clock's chimes would calm me down, lol. Fun fact: I have always wanted to own a grandfather clock. I actually looked into buying a smaller, cheaper one to put in my room while I was redesigning it. Maybe for Christmas? Hmm...

AFTER | View from the corner by the TV stand. One of the cheapest improvements I made was replacing the cheval mirror with a sleek and thin over-the-door full length mirror. It was all of $10.

AFTER | MY NEW QUEEN SIZE BED!!! I bought a queen size wooden platform bed, a queen size mattress, and a queen size upholstered headboard. I was originally going to make my own upholstered headboard from scratch, but that was the last step and by this point I was exhausted and I just wanted it to be finished, lol. I got everything from Walmart and Target. It was all on sale because I bought it all during the "stock the dorm" rush sales, so I saved a ton!

AFTER | A close-up of one of my side tables. The side tables are adorable, they took like 45 minutes each to assemble, and they were $32 each! No kidding! The lamps and frames are from Target. The fact that those two Bibles have matching patterns on the cover is a complete coincidence, by the way. One of them was a gift, the other I bought. One is an NIV New Testament, one is an NLT One Year Bible. Go figure, haha.

AFTER | My cute little couldn't-be-more-perfectly-sized green rug from Target. I think I spent like $15 on it. It's all soft and fuzzy on my feet, lol. You may notice a glimpse of the old purple plastic "side table" in the bottom left corner. It is now serving as a sort of file cabinet, which eliminated the "box-o-files."

AFTER | It's me waving in the mirror! The dresser-mirror combo has to be my favorite. I've never had a dresser before, just a chest of drawers. So even though it took me a week and half WITH help from Matt to put it together, it's definitely worth it. I splurged on the mirror. It was not remotely on sale, haha. I'm pretty sure that it cost more than my headboard, lol. It was proportionately the most expensive purchase I made, but totally worth it.

AFTER | A TV STAND! An actual TV stand! Not only meant for TVs, but meant to go in the corner! I love it. I was only like $64 from Walmart, but it is amazing. It raises the TV to the PERFECT height for watching from my bed, the shelves are just the right size, and there are more shelves on the sides to store things that you're not exactly displaying at the moment.

AFTER | My new window treatment! You can't see the curtain rod in this picture, I'll have to upload a picture of it. I'm pretty proud of it. Because the wall was not holding the heavy (room-darkening) black curtains well and had started to tear, I decided to use two tension rods for this new setup: one plain one for the green curtain (since it's not able to be seen behind the black curtain anyway) and one really awesome one for the black curtain. The awesome one is a tension rod that has the tension clip thingies set INWARD about an inch or so on either side so that a decorative part of the curtain rod sticks out of the window frame and it doesn't look like your curtains are inset into the window frame like a regular tension rod would do. It's also really thick so that the curtains won't sag.

If you're wondering why I have two sets of curtains, one of which are room-darkening, it's because there are TWO major streetlights outside which shine right into my window. So without plenty of window coverage, my room is brighter at 11 p.m. than it is at 11 a.m. And I need dark to sleep, lol.

AFTER | My acoustic has a home now! It now graces the corner between my mini fridge table and my side table. It is actually less cramped there than this angle makes it look like it is.

AFTER | My new desk! Please disregard the can of Barq's on the mousepad, haha. I like the fact that the back of the desk has a raised shelf for putting things up out of the way. I also like being able to display my books (bottom right corner) without having them right in my face everytime I get on the computer, lol. A lot of the clutter that was on my old desk has now been moved over to my purple plastic "file cabinet."

In addition to all of the obvious changes pictured above, I also cleaned out my closet. I got rid of a bunch of old clothes and reorganized everything. That's the second time in one year that I've done that, which means I'm getting better at cleaning! Yay! But it also means that my wardrobe is now pitifully scant, lol. Hopefully I will get plenty of money and gift cards for Christmas so that I can go clothes shopping. Heck, maybe I'll just get clothes for Christmas, lol.

All of the clothes and furniture that I got rid of were donated to Goodwill, with the exception of the bed and hope chest which are going to a family member who wants them. So I can feel pretty good about that. My Rock Band for the Wii set is stationed at Matt's house, and we're trying to sell it if at all possible.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Overdue Update

So, here's what's been going on in my life since my last post. It was only four months ago, but it feels more like four years! A lot of what's been going on has happened in the past month, so that will be the busy part. But get comfy and grab a snack because this is gonna be a looooooooong post.

OK. After my last post (right around my birthday actually), I did get a job offer from a company with whom I had interviewed as a last resort/plan B kind of thing. I was not psyched about that job at all. It was exactly what I DIDN'T want to do with my degree/career/life. They offered me a job. They asked if I wanted it - and as I really had no other choice - I gladly accepted. Then they told me how much I would be making...and it was $10,000/year LESS than I expected. It was $5,000/year LESS than I would need to carry out all of my life plans for the next few years. So yeah, way less psyched at that point, but I accepted anyway and said I would start after graduation. Job problem solved, now on to school.

My last couple of weeks of college were SUPER STRESSFUL OMG. I'm not sure when/if I slept. Did I eat those two or three weeks? I must have been drinking water or I would have died, lol. I actually had to plan out on paper everything I needed to do (study for multiple exams, write papers and reports, finish TWO senior projects, prepare THREE presentations, etc.) down to fifteen minute increments. When your day plan includes "bathroom break" and "eat," you know you've got a bit too much going on.

Meanwhile, I told my OB/GYN at my routine yearly check-up in April that I was super tired and that despite a diet and excercise program for four months I had GAINED five pounds. So he ran some tests, and discovered that my testosterone was waaaaay too low even for a menopausal 75-year-old. (Thank you, six years of birth control!) I laughed that he used that example, then he suggested a testosterone shot. I agreed. In hindsight, I should not have done that. I was angry for a month, my acne erupted back to puberty levels (just in time for graduation pics!), I was still falling asleep standing up, and I GAINED TWO POUNDS. So I went back to see my doctor (who is actually super awesome by the way, we're pretty much buds, lol) and told him that those were not the droids I was looking for. Now, this is where it gets interesting. My doctor takes "tired" and "fat" and comes up with "SPEED!" So he put me on Phentermine. Hell yes. More on that later. I'm trying to be as chronological as possible here.

I graduated on May 8, 2010. WOOHOO! Post-graduation I was supposed to meet up with a bunch of friends, but everything went all wrong. Rather than rewrite the story, I'll just post here what I told my friend Nathan on Facebook. He tagged a picture of himself and our friend Callie in their cap and gowns, and tagged a blank spot where (quote) "Amanda SHOULD HAVE BEEN. :P" My response is below.

Don't even get me started. My parents were supposed to meet me and Matt and his nephew at a certain portal, where they were then going to walk over to where you guys were. I was originally supposed to go meet you guys first while my famil...y and Matt came to me outside.

After I went outside, I called my mom and she was like "yeah I got your text to meet Matt at portal X but we decided to go to portal Y instead." I was like um, what?! I asked where she was, and she was on the COMPLETE OPPOSITE SIDE of the Mitchell Center and wanted ME to come to HER. I was like, um, so my plans are crap now? So I called Matt, met up with him, and walked over to where they randomly decided to hang out. Mind you, it took about 15 minutes to get to them because we had to go AGAINST the crowd. I was thinking "OMG mom what logic made you decide to pick THAT spot?!" as I fought through crowds of people standing stupidly in the middle of the walkways.

ALL THE WHILE I was getting calls and texts from you, Callie, Lisa, my mom wanting to know WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG, some random guy wanting to know what to do with his cap and gown, and probably someone else, I can't remember. I was fairly annoyed at that point, and actually started ignoring my phone. When Matt and I found my family, my mom wanted to take 7.9 million pictures. That is probably the point in time where the above picture of you and Callie was taken.

When that finished, my mom declared she was tired and was leaving, which is when you or Callie or the man in the moon or someone called to say you had already taken pictures. I was tired, annoyed, starving, and thought I had already missed you guys. So I said screw it, returned my cap and gown, and started walking with Matt to his car. When I unexpectedly ran into you guys, I got ridiculed for not having my cap and gown on.

OMG! I already wanted to punch someone, and you guys were like "no, we can't take pictures now, you don't have your gown on! :-P"

So tagging this, and making fun of me AGAIN, sucks.

So that was crap. But after that, myself, my family, and Matt went to a party at Matt's sister Hope's house that she held in my honor. That was a TON of fun and super awesome and Hope is pretty much the best future sister-in-law ever. She totally and completely treats me as if I'm already a family member and the whole walking-down-the-aisle thing is just a formality.


I started my new job and - as expected - HATED IT! I was actually getting physically sick when I was going to work. I'm sure the first day or so was side effects from Phentermine (which luckily wore off very quickly and never came back), but it sucked. I quit due to health reasons (not a lie) on my third day on the job. So yeah, that went over like a lead balloon. As I was preparing myself to quit, I e-mailed my boss at my old student job at Web Services and asked if I could come back and work out the rest of my student eligibility (until August 13 - you can only work as a student at USA for one semester after you graduate). She e-mailed me back pretty darn quick and said I could start back that same afternoon if I wanted! So the next day, I went back to work there.

In the meantime, I was having monthly check-ups while on Phentermine. The first month I lost the 5 pounds that I had gained mysteriously while dieting and exercising. The next month I lost the 2 pounds that I had gained from the testosterone. So I successfully made it back to my January weight in about June. After that, my body decided that it really liked that weight, and that Phentermine was just glorified caffeine. (By the way, nothing gets you going all day like 37.5 mg of SPEED in the morning, lol.) But after a couple months of no results and the prescription (which is not covered by insurance because weight loss is "nonessential") getting expensive, I told my doctor I was ready to stop. That was about 3 weeks ago. I have gained about 2 pounds, but I'm holding steady. I think I need to learn to accept this weight. Other than the Holocaust diet, I'm not sure how else to lose weight. Maybe if I get a second job now I can afford liposuction in time for my wedding...just kidding!

Anyway, back to the job situation. My boss was able to help me get a Temp position at the University Health System. It's pretty much amazing. I love my job and the pay is great. The only downside is that I have no benefits, and could really lose my job at any time. I think my assignment is set to end some time in October. I am about 95% certain that they want to keep me on board as a Temp for longer than that (probably at least until the first of the year), but I don't know about their plans to keep me permanently. I wish there wasn't a hiring freeze so they could just keep me forever. That would rock.

The same day that I got that job with the Health System, Matt got hired as a Domino's delivery guy. He makes surprisingly good money, but he has to work some crappy hours sometimes. Like right now. He's closing the store. And it's 1:39 a.m. But he likes his job, so I'm not complaining...too much. :-P

Also, Matt and I are seriously considering moving up our wedding date to November 19, 2011. But nothing is set in stone just yet.

So yeah, there's that. :D

Friday, April 9, 2010

Job Hunting Sucks

I am less than one month away from my college graduation. Part of me is excited, but part of me is worried about getting a job. I'm actually having a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I'm starting to wonder if I'm unemployable, or if I really learned the things that my degree is gonna say I learned, or if I'm destined to be a secretary making $30K/year. It's a very demoralizing process. I'll try to outline my last 6 months of searching to the best of my ability to remember it all.

  • Almost got hired once, then the company entered a hiring freeze

  • Approximately 5-7 applications never received a call-back

  • Three phone interviews never went farther than that

  • One face-to-face interview went great, then I bombed the technical evaluation (still waiting to hear back about that) - sadly this one is my best shot

  • One face-to-face interview went great, but then they said that if they could hire me at all it would be part time (WHY INTERVIEW IF YOU'RE NOT HIRING?!) then they never called me back

  • About 4 or 5 unsolicited resumes went out, none of which hit paydirt

  • My current boss wanted to CREATE a position for me to hire me full-time, but her boss said no

  • Today I sent out about 4 more applications that were all basically desperate attempts - I'm not qualified for any of them and/or they are far away

So yeah, my life kinda sucks right now. Actually, everything except finding a job is going great. But finding a job is such a big deal that it puts a damper on everything else.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I got engaged!

I got engaged! It was the coolest proposal ever. We went to the Mystics of Time Mardi Gras ball on Saturday night (the 13th). At midnight (making it officially Valentine's Day), Matt took me over to where his family had gathered and a bunch of people just happened to be standing around. He gave me a huge bouquet with a card that he had written a poem on. He asked me to read the poem out loud. It said:

In life I have a few tasks
Pertaining to you and me
One is I get to bask
In the beauty in you I see (turned over to the back at this point)
To go one step
further I have
to ask...

Then he got down on one knee and said "Will you marry me?"

Of course I said yes, lol. I have to say that getting engaged at a Mardi Gras ball was pretty unique. We were both of course dressed to the nines, and we were surrounded by people we didn't know, haha. One of them took a picture of it and another (probably drunk) girl yelled "Do it again! I missed it!" Matt's sister Hope took a video of it and in the video we even had a Masker walk through the shot, haha. Not just any Masker either, but a Marshal. (You have to be fairly familiar with Mardi Gras societies at this point to know what I'm talking about.)

So here are some pictures:

A terrible picture of us right after, lol.

My awesome flowers!

A close-up of the ring on my hand!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Job Hunt Continues Part 4

So this past Monday I got pretty tired of waiting to hear back about scheduling my interview. Maryanne (my hiring manager) and I had talked back and forth via e-mail earlier this month about setting up a time. She said that she would be in Mobile for South's career fair on February 9, so send her some times that week that I would be available to meet with her. I did, but she never replied. So after a couple weeks of waiting, I called her myself. She apologized for the lack of response, but said that she had been traveling and was planning on contacting me a little closer to the time of the actual interview. While on the phone, we set my interview for Thursday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m. Two weeks from today! Wish me luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Here are my resolutions for 2010! I have been looking forward to this year for a long time. Hopefully alot of big things will happen for me this year. I graduate from college in May, and hopefully I will get a full time job (career?) started this year. This is the year I enter the real world, lol. So here's what I hope to accomplish this year:

1. Get closer to God
2. Lose weight (I tried this last year, but maintained the same weight all year)
3. Get more organized; clean up some clutter
4. Get a job :D