New “Speaking Of” Videos!

Hi all, we hope you’re doing well in week 10,000 of the stay-at-home/pandemic world. Just kidding! In reality, it hasn’t been that bad. It’s certainly more enjoyable than being out and about and getting sick.

Since we can’t be in the same spot due to the stay-at-home orders, Dawn and I did our video this week via Zoom conferencing. We split the session into 2 parts. The first is us talking about the last week of the pandemic, and the second is us talking about a few TV shows we like. Check them out!

Here’s the first video talking about the pandemic.

Here’s the second video, TV Talk, chatting about some of our favorite shows.

Enoy, and have a great week!

Our First Video!

pic from Pixabay

Hi! Dawn and I recorded our first video on Sunday and are happy to share it. As mentioned previously, this is our first video and we’re not experts, so hang with us. 🙂

We figured what better topic for our first chat than… Coronavirus/COVID-19. We are not medical experts and aren’t talking about the virus itself, but rather living in a world where all of this is new! Somehow we end up talking about cooking at home too, haha!

We hope you enjoy!

PS – I’m Stephanie, on the left, and Dawn is on the right.

Working Forward

Image by Igor Link from Pixabay 

I always wanted to work for reasons that most people want to work, and that reason is MONEY! I started working when I was fifteen years old as a bus person at Norwin Diner where I learned to quickly clear and clean tables and bus dishes back to the singing dishwasher.

The work environment was great since most of the employees were either my age or these cranky but funny, older waitresses, who had a smoker’s cough and deep voice. I fondly look back and remember one of these older waitresses selling ‘made-to-order’ erotic Christmas cookies for co-workers – more specifically, naked snowmen with more than your standard snowman parts. What a gem this lady was! I honestly think that she made more money doing this than being a waitress.

After a little over a year, I abruptly quit ‘the diner’ when someone got sick all over a table, and it was my job to clean it up. My boss said to me, you gonna clean that up? And I replied, nope, I am going home. I realized in that moment that I would never make it as nurse and chalked it up to some good life experience.

After my busing days were over, I worked in various other fast food chains before finishing my college studies and then returning to college as an adult to pursue my accounting degree. As I gained my experience in accounting at various companies, it helped me to ‘check-the-box’ in what I really wanted from my career path. Sure, I probably made some poor decisions in leaving some companies too soon, but I always felt that if I evolved from the work, or the learning ended, that I needed to move forward. I love learning and working hard.

However, it all changed when I became a mom, because I wanted to stay home!!! All the other mothers in my neighborhood stayed home, so I felt all eyes on me when I would pack my baby up in the car to drive him to daycare. I also got the mom-guilt at work, because I worked with all men; they would say, why aren’t you at home with your baby? It was a rough scene somedays. I did this for four years until I could finally step down from a full-time job and start looking for a part time accounting position.

I made it my mission to consider everything that I wanted out of my next job leap. I like to compare and think of my frequent career changes as that old tv show, Quantum Leap, always jumping into my next adventure. Pay, hours, flexibility, distance, and limited customer service – a lot of accounting jobs are a glorified secretary role, especially when you are the only girl in the office. I was not going to lower my standards.

Fast forward to my current job as a remote, part-time accountant, all my expectations are met and my employer and client value my input. Now the other side of this equation is that I no longer have daycare support and there have been cases where some ‘people’ think that I have all this extra time – so not true!

My job demands an intense schedule, so work is constant. I also find myself missing the comradery of other employees, so I often advise my son’s soccer ball, Wilson, for final decisions, haha. But at the end of the day, working remotely has drastically changed my life for the better. I get to continue my profession, and my mombligations (I just made that word up, mom + obligations). In addition, I know longer have to get rush myself to get to work, and I am available at a moment’s notice if my kids need me. My point is that you don’t have to settle for a job, there are satisfying careers, but it will require work.

Dang it YouTube! (and an idea)

I got sucked in. I should’ve been writing a post for this page or doing something else productive. I don’t usually get lost in YouTube. It’s cool, and endless, but as the mom of a young kid, I DVR a few shows and watch them in the shadows of the night when the TV is actually available.

But, over the last few days, I’ve gotten sucked into a few things on YouTube. The first is James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. I could watch that for hours. Nearly every one of them is amazing. The one with One Direction cracks me up. I love when they’re impressed how well James can sing one of their songs. The choreographed song with jean jackets (James’ idea) is also hilarious.

I didn’t really realize how funny Harry Styles is (which inevitably led to me searching for other episodes of Carpool Karaoke with him).

The second thing was The Secret World of Jeffree Star. I like makeup, learning what drives people, business, and pink, so everything about that docu-series was right up my alley. The series is like 5-6 parts and I watched them all… then I realized that there were several follow up documentaries.

The one I started watching (but miraculously peeled myself away from) is called the Beautiful World of Jeffree Star, I think. It’s about the making of an eyeshadow palette. I will certainly return to this, but I need to wait for a holiday weekend or something, haha!

But, all of that YouTube watching inspired me and Dawn to start doing videos of our own.

We’ll certainly share them here. As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, I always wanted a talk show, but haven’t figured out how (or rather what topic) to do it around. While it was fun to post the other videos I’ve done in the past, I love the idea of having a friend with me – kind of like the relationship between Howard Stern and Robin Quivers. They have great chemistry. Anyway, it’s the conversation that fulfills me. I cannot get enough of a fun conversation.

So, she and I committed to writing 3 weeks of posts and then posting a video, ideally weekly. She and I both have families and day jobs, so it may take us a little bit to become consistent, but that’s our goal – keep writing (1x/week each) and do one video a week. We’ll talk about random stuff, maybe some reality shows, maybe high school days, maybe current (celebrity) events. Who knows!

I’m not looking to create videos that change the world (although that would be cool), I just want to make people laugh. I so value people who can make me laugh, and want to be that for other people too. So, stay tuned!

Cabin Fever Kids

Wintry, rainy, January, now February days can make for some serious cabin fever.  I am thankful that I have found some great activities to keep my busy boys occupied this winter aside from climbing the walls and jumping on their beds, smh, so I thought that I would share! 

The first activity that I take them to is a kid’s yoga class, called, “Kidding Around with Yoga with Miss Jennie”. I found out about this class through a flier that I picked up from a downtown Irwin store, Feathers, and I have attended two classes since with both of my boys, ages 4 and 6. 

I love that my kids are doing Yoga, because it doesn’t feel like a committed activity, like baseball, soccer, etc., and they both can participate at the same time.  Plus, all the kids are learning great techniques in relaxing, mediation, and exercise along with coping skills when they are having, a bad day to just relax and take a deep breath. I highly recommend it! 

My next activity that I practically auto-enroll them in are swimming classes at the Wilmerding Community Center, because both kids can take their class on the same night.  This place recently changed from YMCA to Wilmerding Community Center, so it is an older facility but still has a great pool!  Classes are reasonably priced and taught by excellent instructors who take their time with the kids when they need additional help or are scared of jumping in the pool.  They also have a family changing room for parents, like me, who don’t always have their spouse around to help change kids out of wet clothes. 

And finally, my last share on a winter activity is taking the kids out to the bowling alley.  My kids love this place, because they get to throw bowling balls, get to knockdown bowling pins, and play in the arcade. One other honorable mention of my kids’ love for this place are the vending machines that my kids hit me up for pop, bubble-gum, and useless toys.  The bowling alley is just a great way to get in some good quality time together while playing a very low-maintenance sport. 

Hopefully some of these ideas help to inspire you to get out of your hibernation mode.

2020 The Year of the ‘Perfect’ Vision

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Hi! You may have read entries from this blog, and thought weren’t two people writing this? There are two bloggers’ pictured and two bios but only one continues to post! Yes, you caught me, I never submitted. But here I am, finally, in my first, never-before-seen entry, late to the party but ready to write and share some of my thoughts with you.

First and foremost, let’s give it up for the new year! 2020 a year to me as noteworthy as any year out of the 80’s, and why do you ask? Well let’s see, I have seen several puns related to the year that reference vision, windows, and Barbara Walters. Not to mention, this year has two identical, even numbers, what’s not to love?

Plus, if you’re like me, you always view each new year as a fresh start or an opportunity to maybe do something different or better. Currently, I could not be further from my optimistic view since working from home has made some things too available for me, such as food, laziness, and tv-binge watching, feeling very Garfiled-esque. Thankfully though, I am making strides to better myself.

My first betterment this year was making a vision board inside a class setting in downtown Irwin. I am not an arts and crafts person, so I knew going in that it was not going to be Pinterest worthy.

Inside the class, we took part in cutting out from magazines are aspirations for the year and discussing with neighboring classmates. We then pasted them to a board to visually inspire these goals to become a reality. It was a great setting to be a part of and a much-needed day out for me. I don’t get a lot of free time unless…I am sleeping! Ha-ha, no joke.  

After class, everyone got to take their boards home, trust me, no one was asking me for mine, lol.

It was at home that I decided that if I just tucked my vision board away that maybe I would forget the importance of my visions, so I decided to hang my board in my bathroom as a daily reminder! Since then, all of my dreams have come true! Not! I am kidding, but seriously seeing all my visions for this year daily has inspired me to come up with ways to make these visions a reality.

I will keep you posted if any of them do come true. After taking this class, I realized that it’s never too late to visualize what you want for yourself and achieve it!

Songs That Take Me Back!

Have you ever listened to a song and (in your mind) been magically transported to somewhere from your past? That happens to me pretty regularly! It never ceases to amaze me. It also cracks me up because a) when I hear songs in daily life, I never know which ones are ultimately going to end up on the sound track of life, and b) some of the songs that do end up on the list are really weird!

I like music, and I tend to binge listen to a song when I love it. I’ll listen to the same song on repeat for a full day, but overall music is not something that’s very important to me. I’m more of a TV girl – especially when Teen Mom OG, The Royals, Jane the Virgin, King of Queens, or Vanderpump Rules is on… Anyway, even though I’m not someone who’s obsessed with music, some songs make permanent imprints on my life!

I thought it’d be fun to share some of the songs on the soundtrack of my life (so far). Here are the ones I thought of off the top of my head:

  • Old Man River & They Call the Wind Maria – my mom singing to me when I was little, or my mom having me sing those songs while I was in the bathtub.
  • You Are My Special Angel by Bobby Vinton – riding home with my mom on weekends.
  • Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino – riding in the car with my dad, usually to or from my Aunt Stella’s.
  • What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – Daddy and I danced to this at my wedding.
  • Turn the Page by Metallica – I love this, and it was the one song that Brian requested the DJ play at our wedding. I was so surprised he thought of it!
  • 5’Oclock World by the Vogues & the Smurf’s toothbrush song – playing records at my dad’s house.
  • Once Bitten Twice Shy by Great White & What it Takes by Aerosmith, the Color Me Badd tape – being in Diane’s basement, hanging out with Caleigh.
  • Unskinny Bop by Poison – being in Diane’s kitchen and seeing the video for the first time ever. Poison became one of my favorite bands.
  • Walk Like and Egyptian by the Bangles – calling the 909 phone number with Georgi to hear recorded phone calls with the members of the Bangles.
  • Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi – the talent show with Georgi.
  • Wild Side by Motley Crüe – the 3rd grade talent show where one of the kids played this song while trying to break boards using karate & also now it reminds me of my wedding – it was our entrance song (instrumental part only!).
  • I Touch Myself by the Divinyls – hanging out with my cousin, Laurie. We thought that song was so weird and hysterical.
  • Love Shack by the B52s – same as above!
  • The Barney theme song – watching the TV show a bajillion times with Caleigh.
  • The Wheels on the Bus – sitting on Caleigh’s front stoop singing this as the cars went by.
  • Into the Groove by Madonna – 8th grade talent show with LeeAnn.
  • Comedown by Bush – being on the bus on the way to school in 9th grade.
  • Push by Matchbox 20 – getting ready for school in 9th grade.
  • Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik/One Headlight by the Wallflowers – driving around with Laurie, talking about hoping to find boyfriends.
  • Rock Me Amadeus by Falco/ 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton/Mickey by Toni Basil – driving around in the car with Dawn. For 9-5, I remember Dawn “playing piano” on my dashboard, right where the airbag was located! I kept thinking it was going to pop out one day!
  • Shimmer by Fuel – Dawn and I loved this song and could listen to it repeatedly. I remember wanting this to be the only song played at the prom!
  • Talk Dirty to Me by Poison – one of my first dates with Brian. He’s also a Poison fan and this song came on and I was like, whoa, are you trying to send me some kind of message?!? He was horrified! 😀
  • I Hear a Symphony by the Supremes – working at the car wash with Rob.
  • Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer – Watching She’s All That with Brian. I think it was on some sort of anniversary or other special occasion.
  • Bye Bye Bye by N’Sync – being at the prom with a guy I worked with at the car wash.
  • Everywhere by Michelle Branch – spilling my drink on my dress pants on the way to my internship in college.
  • Any Britney song (but particularly the early ones) – driving around with Caleigh in the summertime. We were particularly inspired by Britney’s abs, so we had a laminated pic of her stomach that we kept in my car to reference when we were feeling weak and wanted to hit a fast food drive through! Hilarious!
  • Behind These Hazel Eyes by Kelly Clarkson – driving to work at the Venetian.
  • Crawling in the Dark by Hoobastank – feeling like I hadn’t found my place in life when I was working in news. I knew I wanted to do TV, but wasn’t loving news! It’s way too negative most of the time!
  • Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds – This was playing right when  I got in the car after my last day at the TV station. It just seemed ironic!
  • Cold by Crossfade – working at the Venetian – being in the back bar server’s area.
  • California Love by 2pac – being at the gym in Vegas
  • Lindsey Stirling songs – Ashley loves her, so I think of Ashley whenever I hear Lindsey’s songs.
  • Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band – working at the beach resort.
  • Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen – being obsessed with this song.
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine – Reminds me of my wedding – this was our first dance song. It now also reminds me of Kennedy.
  • Best Song Ever by One Direction – driving in my car by myself, not believing that I’m probably too “old” to like a boy band as much as I do!
  • Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and Fight Song by Rachel Platten – makes me think of Kennedy. I feel like Eye of the Tiger is her song. She’s the strongest, toughest girl I know! Similarly, Caleigh said that when she hears Fight Song she thinks of Kennedy, so now when I hear that song I think of Caleigh saying it’s a good fit for Kennedy.
  • Reba theme song – Kennedy loves this song and she’ll snap her head right around to watch/hear, it doesn’t matter what she was doing before that – when this song is on, her world belongs to that song.

I’m sure there are a million more, but I can’t think of them right now!