Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who is 'Amanda' as a waitress? a loan officer? a lawyer?

I recently started a new job that I am SUPER excited about! To begin this new chapter in my life, I had to leave an old, comfortable chapter filled with great friends and fun experiences. It was a tough decision, but I am confident it was the right one.

Not long after starting the new job, I began to realize that I wasn't the same 'Amanda' that I was in my previous job. I have been reassured that this is all part of the process of starting a new job, feeling unsure about when to speak up, etc. Blah, blah, blah... I am still adjusting and learning about the new company...blah blah. Can this new experience cause me to behave unlike ME? I've noticed changes in myself that are uncharacteristic of my normal behavior. I discovered that I wasn't communicating with people in the way that I did before - being overly nice (puke, I really hate it when people are insincere) and that I was almost holeing up at my desk with little interaction with others whatsoever. I could feel the goofiness and wit bubbling up within me, about ready to explode if I didn't find an outlet. Still, I couldn't express myself in this new environment.

This made me think. At my last job, I turned 30, developed lifelong friends and really 'came into myself' or so I thought. Was 'who I was' at the last job just a version of 'Amanda', cultivated by the atmostphere and people at the last company? Or, if that was the true 'Amanda', why was she so different at the new job?

I've heard of and known women who reinvent themselves based upon the men that they date. Is this a similar situation? Am I subconciously changing things about myself to suit my new 'relationship'? If you've ever seen 'Runaway Bride' (not endorsing this movie at all), Julia Roberts' character discovers that she doesn't even know how she likes her eggs cooked because she would always adopt her fiancees' preferences. Will I take it to these lengths? Will I claim that I LOVE meetings when I really dispise them!?

Will I still be able to be 'Crazy Amanda' who says what she thinks, loves to tell racy jokes, provokes impromptu Conga lines in her office, etc.? Unlikely.

I almost feel as if I have a bit of an identity crisis right now. Who will 'Amanda' be in this new role in this new company? I understand that a certain amount of professionalism and decorum is necessary in this new corporate environment and that this will be a bit of a departure for me in my new position(not that I wasn't professional with clients in the past). Will 'Amanda' be able to be the straight-shooter she was before or should she adopt a 'company girl' attitude? Should she suggest that everyone take a break to stage a silly photoshoot? Will she stay up working until midnight with another colleague, stopping only to dance like a hoodrat to provide comedic relief?

I realize that some won't understand why this is an issue for me. Some people are able to go to work, sit at their computer, complete their tasks, check off their 'to-dos' and never really connect with the people they work with or feel passion for their work. I am obviously not one of these people. I demand more of my professional life, myself. I want to feel engaged and motivated by my work and for goodness sake, I want to have fun doing it! To me, fun means lots of laughter, hard work and the ability to be myself.

To be honest, the verdict is still out on this one. I'm still acclamating myself to the new work culture and I don't know all of my new coworkers well enough yet to know how much 'Amanda' they can handle.

I do hope they get to see the 'real her' because I think she's pretty amazing.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A fabulous hat!

We had a great time on the 4th of July! We spent the day at Canyon Lake with two of my favorite people in the world - Katrina and Brian! I was a little stressed about the outfit since it was a holiday (Fab Tip:MUST always look great on holidays!), but luckily, I was able to find a fab hat! Aren't hats fun? They can completely transform your look, your mood and your attitude!

When I put on a hat, I immediately feel more fabulous. When did hats stop being an essential part of a woman's outfit? Think of the 1800's when women wore them daily. Think of that beautiful green hat with the flirty emerald plume Rhett gave Scarlet in Gone With the Wind! What about the magnificent creations for the Kentucky Derby? Shoud such amazing hats only be donned once a year!?

Today it seems that women can only wear hats when golfing or while out in the extremities. I would love to see the return of the hat as a daily accessory. Sometimes accessories are the only things that can get you through a tough day! The hat I wore on July 4th made me feel like one of those too-cool celebrties that I could never be. You know the types - Cameron Diaz, Kate Moss or even Lauren Conrad. Best of all, It made me feel more confident in my swim suit - mission accomplished!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

We had the BEST time in Vegas! We stayed at the Bellagio this time and what a hotel! The level of service they provide is just amazing given the fact that they are running such a large operation. We had a great room with a view of the fountains. We must have watched the show 15 times over the course of our stay!

On our first day, I discovered a pair of incredible Chanel sunglasses that I just couldn't forget them whole time we were there. I decided that if I was still lusting on our last day, I'd buy them. Shopping in Vegas has got to be one of my favorite ways to enjoy the city! So many designers are right at your fingertips and as my friend put it, "money in Vegas is a lot cheaper than back at home"! She's right. In Vegas, you don't think much about dropping $500 on something you love! In the end...I bought the sunnies!

We went to see Cirque du Soliel's performance of LOVE (the Beatles tribute show) and it was unbelieveable! I have never been a Beatles' fan, but seeing the music interpreted through dance and acrobatics created a new found love in me for their songs. After the show, I immediately insisted on buying a CD. My favorite song in the show was 'Yesterday'. If you are unfamiliar, check it out - what a beautiful song that lends a sense of nostalgia.

We ate at some of the most amazing restaurants in LV! If you ever go to Vegas, give me a buzz because I know all the best places to eat, party and shop! We ate at a great restaurant in the Bellagio called Michael Mina (a world-class chef). We ordered the tasting menu and this was the single most luxurious experience I've ever had in a restaurant. Each course was more incredible than the last. Just one of the courses included 'Lobster Pot Pie'. So delicious! James and I had a great time tasting the different wines with each course and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle for about 2 hours!

I love that about Vegas. You can exeperience so many new things in such small area of the world. I realize that I'm not exactly studying Stone Hinge there, but it there is still a lot to experience! We played Three Card Poker and the gambling gods were not smiling on me! I successfuly lost all of my gambling money and decided to STOP! James, however, did pretty well. We tried this game called 'Chuck a Luck' while in the Paris Hotel. Very different game for Vegas, but it was easy, had a cheap ante and we played for several hours without losing a bunch of money! That's a win in my book!

I noticed that the Bellagio's casino was not very busy while we were there. We soon discovered where all the gamblers were - across the street at the older casinos! O'Shea's was lots of fun after dark - a live band playing fun music, cheap antes and what else? Beer Pong!

Lots of fun, lots of smiles, lots of LOVE on this trip!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mi casa, ma maison, mein haus!

Guess what? After months of agonizing over where to live, buy or build, etc., we're building a house! It will be in a subdivision, however, not on acres of land as yet. the suburbs! What's next!? Please don't say it or even think it - I refuse to buy the suburban!

James and I went to the design center and made a million decisions regarding the house. Phew! I'm so glad that is over because, while fun, it was stressing me out a bit. It's hard to determine how you want to style your home from scratch. Most of us make do with what is currently in the home or make changes throughout the years, but just think if you had limitless choices, but a limited bank roll and how that can drive you a little nutty!

Overall, we had the best time choosing all of the little details for our first house. It was a surreal, giddy and frightening feeling! I realized how ridiculous the whole thing can get when the designer exclaimed, "Time to pick out grout!" with far too much enthusiasm! True story.

Oh, I forgot to tell you one of the most amazing qualities of the new house (insert sound effect here) - the master bedroom has TWO walk-in closets! TWO closets! I can't believe that I am going to have my own, fabulous closet!

Talk about obsessing over this house situation, I'm barely sleeping lately thinking about the decor, the parties and the memories we'll make at this new house. The house is scheduled to be completed in November, which means that we'll get to light the fireplace and enjoy our first Christmas in our first house this year. James has promised to put up Christmas lights and I've literally researched outdoor Christmas decorations on the internet. Am I a weirdo or an eccentric? Not sure, but would really like to figure this out! I can't believe I have six months of tourture left!

I think I've convinced James that a swimming pool is a basic need of mine, so I look forward to inviting everyone over for a nice dip in our pool as well as some fruity cocktails!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The House Hunt

Anyone who has ever searched for a home can tell you that it is unbelievably exciting and frustrating at the same time. Add the fact that sometimes I can be obsessive about certain things and we've got a full-on dramatic series going on in my house right now!

There are so many fun things to dream about, my mind can NOT stop! I've fallen in love with a particular house right, but unfortunately it doesn't fit all of our criteria. The house is absolutely perfect, but it is in a new neighborhood that has very narrow streets and no sidewalks. C'est la vie, no? So, the hunt continues, but I literally can't sleep at night thinking about the house and how I would decorate it and the fun recipes I would try in the new kitchen. I've already hosted an imaginary party there, complete with a Spanish theme. Bienvenido mis amigos, would you like some paella? I've also called dibs on the walk-in closet that is to die for! I've never had fabulous closet, don't we all think it's time? Needless to say, I am going nuts, driving my husband nuts and probably driving the puppies nuts with my antics: constantly searching MLS for new listings, watching 24 straight hours of HGTV and tearing out pages of Domino. Occasionally I will cry out, "We'll never find the perfect house!" like a spoiled child. Help! I've already picked out the majority of the furniture for the house - very Hollywood Glam. It will be perfect for cocktail parties. I'll make sure to serve my special Flirtini recipe in my crystal stemware while everyone admires the incredible art I picked up while shopping in Austin. I wonder if I can fit all of my family at the dining room table for Christmas.... I think so! I'll have the perfect kitchen to get it all prepared! I've never cooked a turkey before, but mine will taste so good in the new house! Right...

Oh yes, I almost forgot that I have become obsessed with the notion that we will desperately need a swimming pool at the new house. This is Texas, how can one enjoy life here without one? Plus, I swear I will swim laps and play with the dogs in the pool everyday, if James will take care of the chemical chores.

Am I setting myself up for disappointment or am I just dreaming big? It's not like I'm asking for a big slide on the swimming pool - but that would be cool! Don't you all want to hang with me at my imaginary dream home? If you end up staying the night, I'll cook you a delicious breakfast in my new oven!
Disclaimer - Photo listed on this post is not the home I can afford, but the home I would love to live to own someday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

La Vie en Rose

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony"
Mahatma Gandhi

I came across this quote this week and I actually paused for a moment to grasp the concept. This quote sums up exactly what I am striving for in my life - to be true to my thoughts. For instance, I constantly think about getting in shape, but my thoughts and my actions are not in harmony, so it creates a number of problems: I feel badly about myself, I reprimand myself, etc. I tend to 'head the other way' when an uncomfortable situation presents itself, but I still constantly think about it. I know that I'm just creating a mental traffic jam by doing this and I want to stop. My ambition is to become a got-it-together-girl who says, "I need to..." and actually DOES it.

I think that's why Gandhi's quote struck me. There are so many ways to apply the concept in your life. The idea of aligning what I think, say and do makes a lot of sense to me. Sometimes I don't verbalize my thoughts because I know they'll be met with negativity, disregard or worse - apathy. Another problem - I will say what I'm going to do, but then I won't do it. This may seem to be the same as thinking you are going to do something and not doing it, but it is different.

My last blog proclaimed that I am trying to adopt a French way of life and in some ways I am doing that. I haven't been doing so well with the food part, I'm not shopping at the farmer's market every couple of days... However, I think I am learning more ways to enjoy life like a French girl. I know this may sound silly, but I'm trying to take a bubble bath, complete with sparkling water and candles at least once during my work week. I'm also trying to wear pretty underthings instead of utilitarian ones. Apparently French girls do not skimp on undies the way we American girls do! It does make you feel sexier when you have a little lace on underneath! Another positive trait that I'm working on is to adopt the average French woman's confidence rather than the American self-loathing that I am so great at! So far it has been a lot of fun to learn about women of another culture and it inspires me to live La Vie en Rose!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Je ne sais pas!

I am on a French kick lately. I bought a few books on the French way of life, including 'French Women Don't Get Fat!' and am going to try to adopt a new way of life. I've decided that I don't stop to enjoy many parts of my life because I'm a.) immune b.) ignorant c.) in a hurry d.) an American that has to have more, more, more! Believe me, this is no new realization, I've known for a while (six years...) that I need to stop and 'smell the roses' instead of 'inhaling the weeds'. I don't even think I saw the roses...! Part of embracing this new way of life is learning how to actually enjoy good, quality food. Not the pre-processed junk, not necessarily organic food, but good, wholesome food - with portion control. I want to be able to appreciate fresh vegetables, dark chocolate and bread without feeling as if I am depriving myself. It seems like all the diets out there try to convince you that you won't be hungry, feel deprived, have to live your life in a hole to escape the temptation. If I could just flip my perception of what tastes good, satisfies me and/or feels like a treat - I think I could finally manage my weight. Can I do this? The verdict is still out. It is going to take a lot of work to change what my mind has repeated over and over again for 30 years. I guess the true test will be going to La Madeleine? Stay posted for French fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fiesta Fun!

Another article I wrote for the Fiesta event my company is coordinating here in San Antonio. It's fun to see your work published...even if I didn't get cited here! Working on this event has forced me to start writing again and I really love that. It does create a little anxiety, but once I get started, I'm really happy to be writing. I remember in the 3rd grade, we were given these profile cut-outs of a woman (well, I got a woman because I was a girl!) and we were told to dress/decorate the cut-out to resemble what we wanted to be when we grew up. I had decided that I wanted to be an 'Author' and dressed up my 'woman' with a pink skirt, yellow top, high heels (of course!) and she held a book in one hand and a pencil in the other! I wouldn't exactly say that I'm an author (unless you count the book I wrote in the 2nd grade...), but I'm definitely glad to be writing again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm a writer!

Guess who was officially published? That's right - me! I wrote an article for a local paper here in San Antonio and it just came out - I'm super excited! Unfortunately, they spelled my last name wrong :(
Can I claim it as my pen name?


I spoke with a good friend the other day about my new blog, (I think I've almost equated it to the publishing of my first novel) and I expressed my concern that most of the people I know who write blogs are parents writing about their kids. Why would any one want to read my blog? I have no photos of children to show or stories to tell about how they took five steps in a row today... Am I being truly narcissistic? My friend suggested that I spoof everyone and write about my doggies! You know what, I LOVE that idea! Today's blog is dedicated to my little white malte-poo Taylor!

Taylor is the most adorable creature! Everyday, she wakes up with incredible energy second only to the wonderful feeling I experience inside Cartier. Can you imagine waking up with that feeling each day!? This morning she was especially playful, even though her brothers weren't in the mood.
I always giggle a little bit when I take her for a walk - if any one saw us, they would certainly find the scene comical. Me in my colorful, Danskin workout wear and my fluffy white malte-poo, accessorized in a pink diamond collar, power walking - in a cow pasture! Does it make me feel slightly less glamorous?...maybe, however we look so adorable that I think we make the cow pasture look as picturesque as Central Park!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Fab Spot

Welcome to The Fab Spot, where I try to make everything in my life sound completely fabulous - even though it may not be! Funny, because that's what I envisioned when I first came up with the idea that starting a blog would be one of the 30 new things I would accomplish in my 30th year. The idea wasn't to sound pretentious or impossibly chic, as you might assume. The concept came after reading a magazine article about a woman living in NYC (where else?) who led an enviable life - stimulating career, designer clothes, two children wearing trendy clothes, unbelieveable vacations and stylish friends. It's easy to turn to your own life (especially in our celebrity-obessed culture) and declare it the most unfabulous, uninteresting, hum drum existence. After all, you can't watch E News, pick up a magazine or watch a reality show without feeling like you are missing out on a glamorous life. My days don't consist of Vinyasa Yoga at dawn, a meeting with the CEO of IBM, lunch at The Ivy, sealing a multi-million dollar deal, a quick suit fitting with Muiccia Prada, an emergency phone call with a life coach, a quick wardrobe change for cocktails with my closest friend (the Editor-in-Chief of In Style Magazine), and a limo ride to Charlie Trotter's to entertain clients. With the absence of the aforementioned schedule, sometimes I begin to feel like I may be leading a less than stellar or less than notable life. After giving the subject (my life) some thought, however, I decided that there are at least a few parts that are pretty exciting or dare I say it, fabulous. For instance, I love to walk my dogs on the 200 acres of ranchland my family owns. It's not a lesson by a yogi, but it's my version of soul-enhancing exercise. My career is another source of fulfillment, pride and fabulosity for me. I love that every day brings a new challenge, a new outlet for creativity and a new opportunity to work on projects that I feel passionate about. Many people say that a person has the ability to choose her attitude. You can choose to be happy, sad, angry, etc. and that's how your day will be. I've decided that you can also choose how to percieve your life. You can view your life as boring, unstimulating or average (eeww- the very thought!) OR you can choose to focus on the amazing parts of your life and proclaim your existence to be uber-chic, wonderfully dramatic and ultimately fabulous! I am committed to changing the way I view my life - to focus on the blessings, the amazing people, the wonderful relationships, the unique experiences - all of the things that make for a fabulous life. Because I've discovered that it's not enough to have these things, the most important thing is to acknowledge and celebrate them!