Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Out of debt!! (Sort of)

Prior to my getting let go from work, I was working hard to pay off my credit card. I was getting close, but it seemed like it was never gonna happen. I was able to pay of my car about a month before I was laid off, so I had that off my shoulders.

Then I was laid off, which is still the biggest blessing that could have happened to me. I can't help but be so happy lately. Anyway with the severance I received, I was able to fully pay off my credit card!!! And put a good chunk into savings!

Whooo hoooo!!!

It feels great to be out of debt like this. Granted I'm not out of the hole though. I still have my student loans which I'll be paying off for a while still, but at least that's "good" credit and I won't have to pay them while I'm back at school in September.

It's a great weight that's been lifted off my shoulders. Things are moving forward in the right direction and I can't wait for it to keep moving forward. I'm like a kid, who cannot wait for school to start soon! I never ever thought I would say that after college, but it's the truth!

For now I'm just enjoying my summer and soaking up the sun!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Funny How things work out

A week ago today I was laid off from my job. Normally this would be a bad this to happen to someone. However this was the best thing to ever happen to me!!

Since I was planning on quitting in August to go back to school, they actually did me a huge favor. I was dying having to work there, knowing I would be leaving soon. It's not a fun place to work anymore and it was just making me miserable. When I was laid off they gave me severance that brings me to when I would have quit anyway. It was a sign.

Best part, is I will be able to collect unemployment while I am at school. That is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! Knowing that I will have some money come in while I am at school makes me feel better. I don't have to worry about paying for my bills and now I can even save up some money.

Now I can enjoy the rest of my summer and do whatever I want before reality sets back in again for me. Ever since I started this journey to find my passion and what I want to do for the rest of my life, I have been overwhelmed by signs and basically being pushed into this direction. For the first time in my life, I feel like I know what I'm doing and I'm happy with my choices.

I never thought I would find that thing, that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It seems though I've finally found it and I couldn't be happier. Now that's not to say things won't change in the future. I may want to become something totally different again, but what I know now is, that's okay. I will be okay, no matter what happens. Even something as terrible as being laid off, happens to be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I am so excited to go back to school and learn new things! I cannot wait for this adventure to begin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My last year in my 20s!

Friday is my 29th Birthday!! While I am so so happy to say good riddance to 28, it has been a shitty year, I am nervous about being 29. Only because I'm making so many changes in my life that I sometimes wish I was younger than I am. Going back to school at 29, for something completely new is terrifying.

It's also something I know without a doubt the right move for me right now. And I know that I would have never been able to pursue baking and culinary without having gone through what I've been through in the past. I find it ironic that I took me losing over a 100 pounds to discover my passion in cooking, but it's true.

When I was heavy I couldn't imagine standing up for long periods of time. Hell I wouldn't even go out to bars when I was overweight for fear of not being able to find a seat. Me losing weight has opened up an entire new world for me. And oddly I'm not even a little bit worried that I'll gain this weight back by becoming a baker. I know better now, I know how to enjoy myself and find balance with my eating.

Growing up, I never pictured myself with a desk job. I wanted to be a makeup artist, a photographer, a chef, anything that was non-traditional. My mom and my fears forced me to study something more realistic when choosing a major in college. It was fear that made me stay stagnant for many years. Fear of the unknown. Fear of actually succeeding and not knowing what to do next. Fear of being happy for once in my life.

I had a lot of growing up to do, and learning to love and accept myself in order to go after what I want in life. That took roughly 28 years to get here, and that was the way it had to happen. I'm still scared of what's to come, but I know to trust myself now and to go forward. I know that even in failure, I'll be able to pick myself back up again and move on. I know how strong I can be and that is worth everything.

As a gift to myself for 29, I'm taking my birthday and all of next week off from work!! WHOOO HOOO! I cannot wait to relax and hopefully enjoy a lot of beach time! Happy 4th of July if I don't check back in while I'm gone.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Making plans and catching up

This past weekend I spent down in Virginia visiting my brother and his family. It was a long weekend but a lot of fun. It was for my niece’s birthday. She is now three! I can't believe it. I took a bunch of pictures but haven't had a chance yet to put them on my computer.

I am glad I made the trip down. I really didn't want to make that drive down in the summer. Going south in the summer around here is like the kiss of death. Horrible traffic. I forced my mother to wake up at 5am on Saturday so we could get a head start. It paid off because we made awesome time and got to spend that much more time with my family.

It was a really nice day. Got caught up with everyone and then had a little BBQ for Abby's birthday. It had started off crummy in the morning but was beautiful by the afternoon which worked out nicely. I was so tired by the time everyone left though. My brother, SIL and I were going to go out for some drinks afterwards but we all were just too spent.

Sunday we got up early again (although I barely slept at all anyway) and then met up with them for breakfast before hitting the road. It was a quick weekend and a whole lot of driving, but worth it. I'm also really excited because in July we will be taking my niece for the week. I cannot wait! I know it'll be a ton of work, but I don't get to see her that often so I'll take what I can.

I'm just trying to fill my days and weekends with fun activities in order to make the time go by a little faster. It really feels like time is standing still at work, so I am making plans so I have something to look forward to.

I am running a race this weekend and going to a BBQ on Sunday. And I actually joined a Softball league that starts next Tuesday. I am so excited!! I played when I was younger but haven't played in years. It's a laid back league though so I'm not worried about being a superstar. But it's something to help break up my week and something new and different!

There's also things on my bucket list that I always do in the summer. It's a must! Going to the boardwalk for dippin dots and all sorts of good food. Going to hurricane harbor or Six Flags for the day and being a kid. To name a few. What are some things that you feel isn't summer until you do them?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting Game

There is a date in the future, when (not to be dramatic or anything) my entire life will change. Knowing it's there and still a little ways away give me conflicting feelings on a day to day basis.

That day will be my last day of a 9-5 desk job. When I step into the complete unknown and go back to school to start an entirely new path of my life. It's terrifying but so exciting all at the same time. I'm still not 100 percent sure I'm making the right decision, but the excitement I get when I think about it, tells me I'm definitely on the right track.

However waiting for my last day, which is still 3 months away, it's excruciatingly painful. Knowing I have to be here until then is really rough. The days feel endless and like August will never get here. Despite that I've been trying to enjoy my coworkers while I can. I will miss them terribly. They are a big reason why I've been here as long as I have. Having true friends that you work with and you can confide in are really hard to come by. I know this all too well so I want to enjoy them for as long as I can.

Right now I'm not that scared or nervous about what I'm doing. It's still a good distance away for me to not really notice. I know that when those last days are fast approaching, I will get that anxiety and second guess myself. I am so so thankful that my mother has been so supportive of me. If it wasn't for her telling me that no matter what it's going to be okay, I'm not sure I would have had the strength to go through with this. My family and friends who know that it's coming have all been equally supportive for the most part (minus my supposed best friend).

I'm just so excited to get started!!!! I hate waiting; I'm a very impatient person. haha. Never in my life have I wanted to fast forward through summer before, but I just can't wait to start this new chapter in my life!! Although I fully plan on taking advantage of this summer and make it one of the best ever!

Monday, May 6, 2013

My first half marathon!

I did it!!!

I ran my very first half marathon!

yay!!!! I am still in shock that I actually did it!

I can't even tell you how nervous I was for this race!! I was a wreck all weekend. Barely sleeping and feeling sick. I knew I can do it, but I wanted to run at a decent time and this is something I've been working toward for so long. I almost couldn't believe it was finally here.

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early (4:30am) to head on over to the race. The half started at 6:45am and because it's such a big race we had to get there early to beat the traffic. I didn't mind the early time though, I couldn't sleep very much anyway that night. That early it was COLD. I knew it was going to warm up though so I wore shorts and a tank. Blue to support Boston. It was a little scary at the race because security was amped up big time, but it also helped you feel safe.

Here I am with my friends waiting inside.

After hanging out inside in the warm heat it was time to get ready for the race to start. It is unreal the amount of people running the half. I'm not sure I've ever ran such a huge race before. It took a good 5 minutes waiting in our corral before we began. I had planned on staying with my friend the whole race. Unfortunately her knee was killing her, by mile 3 she ended up dropping out of the race.

I was all alone. For 13.1 miles. Which I was surprisingly okay with. I had a good pace going for almost the whole race. Seeing all the spectators with signs cheering us on is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I even had a friend who lived along the course, make me a sign! Which was so fun to see. I was doing really well til about mile 9. Then I started to slow down. Not too much but I was starting to hurt.

At mile 11 I started to get weepy. I couldn't believe I was so close and that I was actually doing this. Everything hurt but I was crying tears of joy.

The last mile is right along the beach. So beautiful and the perfect way for this Jersey girl to end a race.

I finished in 2 hours and 22 minutes!! I had wanted to finish in 2:30, so I am over the moon about that time!

Here I am minutes after finishing!

I can honestly say I have no need to ever try and run a marathon, but I will absolutely run another half marathon!! It was a great day and even though I'm still sore, I'm smiling from ear to ear.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Back from Mexico! Pics!

I am back to reality from my awesome trip to Mexico. It was a vacation that I really needed and one that I won't soon forget. It was only 5 days long but it was awesome from beginning to end, and now I'm back to rainy NJ.

I went away with 4 other girls to an all inclusive near Cancun. We got an insane deal for the whole thing, rooms, flight, all inclusive. It was just way too good to pass up! The resort we stayed out was awesome. I highly recommend it. The food was delicious, the drinks even better. There was a huge pool with a slide and a cliff jump and it was right on the beach, where they had boating and kayaks available to use. So much fun!

The view from my hotel! So pretty

Out to dinner with my three favorite girls

I have always had a bucket list of things I want to do. This trip gave me the ability to conquer two of them! When I was overweight and away once, everyone I went with did ziplining. I couldn't go though because there was a weight limit. It killed me to not be able to go and I knew that one day I would do it. This trip allowed me to finally go ziplining!!! One of the best things ever! I want to do it again and again now!

Me getting ready to zip line for the first time.

On my way down!

I even got to go upside down on them. Which was terrifying at first but really fun once you stopped feeling like you were gonna die. haha

I look like a pro here. :)

After ziplining we went out on ATVs. I was not the best driver, but still a really cool experience. 

Finally here I am conquering another item on my bucket list. You can see I'm screaming haha. Going down a zip line into water. I'm not scared of heights per se, but I am scared of jumping. The last obstacle race I did, there was a cliff jump that I didn't do. I got to the top and froze. I couldn't make the jump. I was so embarrassed that I vowed to myself to get over this fear and finally do it! I also jumped down from that ledge as well. Now I am ready for the next Tough Mudder!

Splashing down.

The rest of the trip was spent just relaxing and getting some sun. I feel so much better than I have in months. This trip has really taught me to let go. To face my fears head on and experience the world and everything in it. Now I am on to the rest of my bucket list. Which includes running my first half marathon on Sunday! EEK!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Putting things into Perspective

So I disappeared for a couple of weeks. My life was turned upside down and I'm still coming to gripes with everything that's happened.

Long story short (because I can't really talk about it all yet), my dad's sister and one of her daughters died very suddenly. They were killed in a house fire. Which is really and truly beyond horrifying for me to even imagine still. It shocked me to my core. Not only am I extremely upset at this loss, it brought up a whole bunch of other issues I wasn't quite ready to deal with.

I have mentioned in the past on here, that I do not have a relationship with my father. Before this I haven't seen him in over 8 years. As hard as it is to explain; the lack of relationship isn't really a bad thing to me anymore. It is what it is. He and my mom divorced when I was 12. I didn't speak with him for a long long time because of everything that happened after. When I was in college I reached out to him. Despite my best efforts it just wasn't working out. He wasn't being a dad for me still. I had finally realized that having him in my life was making me sad and depressed, and it was just time for me to let it go. I haven't really looked back since. Don't get me wrong, I still think of him from time to time. And I miss the fact that I never really had a dad in my life or will in the future.

It's also definitely messed with me in terms of having a serious relationship in my life. I am terrified of getting hurt by a man I love. So I keep them at a distance. This is something I have been working on but I'm a work in progress for sure.

Since my parents divorce I've rarely seen anyone on my dad's side of the family. I think in part it was because they really didn't know how to maintain a relationship with us. Especially considering none of us spoke with my dad. The last time I saw most of them was well over 10 years. The thought of seeing all of them (there are a lot of them) at a wake, was just almost too much for me to handle. Then add the fact that I would be seeing my dad. I was a wreck. And despite not having seen my aunt or cousin in years, I was/am really sad about them passing. No one should die that young. My cousin was only 27.

I was afraid of what my dad or my family would say to me. If they would be mean toward me or what. Thankfully my brother came with me and we faced it head on. My whole family was welcoming and touched that we came to pay our respects. My dad was a shock to see. He has aged greatly since the last time I saw him and does not look like he's in good health. It was extremely awkward at first being with him. But I feel like in the end it was almost like closure. I've finally realized that he is in my past. He'll always be my dad and I will always love him because he's my father, but other than that. I am truly okay that he's not apart of my life. And I now know I can face seeing him without falling to pieces.

Having this tragic event happen has put everything I've been struggling with lately into perspective. Life is so short and so precious that I cannot waste anymore time with it. Dealing with the deteriotion of my friendship with my best friend, and realizing that I will be just fine if she's no longer in my life. Not taking offence to the fact that she basically planned her entire wedding in a week and didn't tell me a word about it. I now realize we are just two very different people in very different parts of our lives. And she is just selfish and isn't being malicious toward me when she doesn't tell me anything. That's just her now.

With regards to my career, I have to just go for it. I'll deeply regret not trying at the very least becoming a baker. Again life is too damn short for me to not be living every second of it. I have officially applied to the college to become a student come this fall. I'll keep you posted on that!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Update on my baking!

So the baking has been going good so far! I've been taking it slowly. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. Step by step I'm taking this thing. People seem to be really responding to my goodies though! Everyone's who have tried it so far has really really enjoyed them!

A friend of mine went and bought some and posted a picture on facebook. And a friend of hers really wants to try them out, so I've contacted her and told her I can make her a batch just for herself! Hopefully that'll work out. This gluten free/vegan thing is a great thing for me to hitch onto. A lot of people are being more health conscious but they still want to enjoy treats as well.

Here are pictures of what I've made so far.

Above are the Sunflower Honey Oat Bars

And these are the Vegan Chocolate Truffles. I could not tell the difference between these and regular truffles. They are so yummy!

Also in less than 2 weeks I'll be taking a tour of the culinary school near here to find out more information. I'm finding it really hard to be going against the grain right now though. So many people are so supportive of me, but there are just as many who are afraid for me. They are all about me going after another desk job that'll pay me tons of money. They just don't understand that I want to do something that will make me happy. I don't care about the money right now. I just want to make a living at something I can be proud of.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Wonderful Opportunity

Something amazing has happened. A friend of a friend reached out to me last week, saying that she had heard about my interest in becoming a baker. She owns a juice bar and offered me a chance to make healthy treats to sell to their customers. She's said she has tried it in the past but just doesn't have the time herself to make any and whenever they do have something available her clients go crazy for them.

So over the weekend I tested out two recipes and brought them over to her. I had made Vegan Chocolate Truffles and Honey Nut Oat Bars (vegan and gluten free). She loved them!! And she told me that her customers really enjoyed them too! Which means we are going to try this out and I'm going to start making her goodies to sell!!

I am over the moon excited.

If this isn't a sign, then I don't know what is!! I don't always believe in signs, but this one is smacking me in the face! It's the push I needed to actually move forward with this new career of mine. I've even made an appointment to tour the culinary school near me in the next few weeks!

I feel like things are finally starting to come together. The skies are clearing up and my life is getting a little less foggy then they've been. I've even started to slowly lose weight again! It's still scary and terrifying for me, but almost in a good way now. I'm just going to try and enjoy this ride I'm on and see how it plays out.

I know that this new opportunity may not work out, and I'm surprisingly okay with it. I'm just so excited to have a reason to bake something and make it for others to enjoy!

When I met her she asked me what I'll call myself. At first it was going to be my last name Confections. But I didn't love it. Now I'm thinking Carolyn's Confections; CC's for short. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I thought google reader was going away in July?? What happened to the tap to get to it?? I can't read my blogs!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

WTF? How am I gonna read my blogs now!?

So Google  Reader is going away in July?!?! How the hell am I going to keep up with everything I read?? Anyone have a good tip? I'm so disappointed! :(

Even though I don't blog a lot anymore, I do still read blogs daily.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Forgiving myself so I can move forward

For months I have been in a deep dark hole. Call it depression, call it the winter blues, a funk, whatever fits the bill. Either way I haven't been myself and I didn't know how to pull myself out of this hole I was in. I was mortified that I had gained close to 20 pounds since October. The fact that what was once a loose fitting pair of jeans no longer fit was horrifying to me.

But I wasn't doing anything about it. I was wearing leggings and dresses and cardigans to hid the bulge of my stomach. I was eating whatever I wanted. While I was keeping up with my workouts, it was clear I couldn't run at my normal pace and keep up the way I used to. This extra weight was/is pulling my down literally and mentally.

Then I took a deep look at myself. I've lost over close to 120 pounds, and while I've gained about 20 of those pounds back, I know without a shadow of a doubt I will never let myself become 300 pounds again. Seeing me close to 200 pounds was enough for me to take notice and start to do something about it.

Then I realized that I need to give myself a break. Everyone slips. This is the first time in the 2plus years I've been on this lifestyle that I've slipped up. There are articles upon articles about how common it is for people to gain their weight back. Even the people on that shows the biggest loser gain some weight back, or more sometimes.

It doesn't mean we've failed. It shows that we are all human. Life throws curveballs at us all the time. This is a journey that I will be on for the rest of my life. And that journey will have it's ups and downs. And while I can try to prevent it, sometimes it's just too hard.

Which is why I'm going to forgive myself for gaining this weight.

I need to realize this was a blip on my journey. And it does not take away from the fact that I've still lost a hundred pounds. I DID that. All on my own, I can absolutely handle getting these pesky 20 pounds back off.

So starting today is the next phase of my journey. Where I acknowledge that I'm human and vulnerable. That it's okay that I gained this weight. That in the end it's just going to make me a stronger person. It's teaching me a much needed lesson that I never ever want to go back to the person I was. I am miserable with this extra weight, I could not imagine how I would feel weighing 300 pounds again.

I am strong, I am beautiful, and I know I can do this again and again if I have too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Step Forward Two Steps back

The good stuff first. I had my first therapy session yesterday and it went pretty well. It was mostly intake and talking about what I would like to get out of therapy in the long run. I felt comfortable with her and I am hoping good stuff comes out of it. Already she's had two great ideas for me to explore that I never thought of.

First with the job stuff, she told me I should look into shadowing a bakery and maybe working part time there to see if it's something I would really want to do in the long run. Instead of even jumping head first into going back to school, test the waters so to speak. Which is something I really feel like I should have thought of myself. haha. I've already reached out to a few places and will hopefully hear back from them soon.

Next is my weight. I was telling her about how much day to day my weight can change. It's crazy sometimes and I've always felt like it can't be normal. I mean take for example, on Friday I weighed myself and then on Monday morning when I weighed myself I was NINE pounds heavier. That's not even remotely possible to have truly gained that much weight. The amount of calories I would have had to consume to gain that isn't possible for me. So she mentioned I may want to look into having my hormones checked. That when people lose a lot of weight, their hormones can become unbalanced. That actually would make a lot of sense for me. I'm going to make an appointment soon with my doctor to start having that checked out.

With the good comes the bad though. My car alarm has been going off randomly for months. For no reason. It was becoming more and more frequent to the point where I stopped locking my car. I had to get my oil changed so I figured I would have that looked at. $800 dollars later, not only did I need oil, I needed new tires, alignment, and something with my transmission. UGH!! Not to mention, they had NO idea what is wrong with the alarm and I ended up having to take it to a dealership today. Which is going to be another $200. It wouldn't be so bad normally, but a few days before I just booked a trip to Mexico with my friend in April. So in less than a week I've essentially just added $2,000 worth of debt to my credit card. AKA my plan to pay off my credit card in May, is going to take a little longer now.

It's just annoying when these unexpected costs pop up like this. It's a source of frustration and anxiety about paying off my debt. I was doing so good too. I do have some savings that I might dip into a little bit to take some of this weight off my shoulders. But I hate touching it because I want to for when I buy a house or something big. But I think if I take $1,000 from there and hopefully with my tax check in April, I can get back to where I was and back on track.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taking Steps to make changes

Little by little I'm starting to realize what I want to be when I grow up.... but it's terrifying. And the steps I need to do it, are also overwhelming. It would mean going back to school for one thing.Which would mean quiting this job and finding (hopefully) a part time job to support myself while I go back.

Here's the thing. I love to cook, bake more specifically. And people have told me time and time again how amazing I am. People actually tell me I should open a bakery. However I have no training in cooking whatsoever. But I think this is something that could truly fulfill me. I know I would absolutely have to take some classes. I'm not dumb enough to just jump off a cliff without a parachute. But fear plagues me.

What if I actually end up hating it? Or I fail miserably? I won't be able to have health insurance at least for a while. Do I really want to work for myself? Anyway I've decided to at least test the waters.

The community college near me actually has a wonderful and well known culinary school. I'm going to meet with someone in admissions to just gather as much information as I can get. Find out the costs, when classes are usually held, how long it would take. All of that. I know I'll hate myself forever if I don't at least check it out.

I also made an appointment to see a therapist. Just to talk things out. I struggle a lot with my body image and I know I have severe body dismorphia. I thought I would just eventually learn to accept the new me, but it's taking a lot longer. I've been also gaining weight recently and I think it's a combination of stress and sabotaging myself. Hopefully this goes well.

Now that I look at this blog, I'm taking a lot of steps to a newer better me. And hopefully will continue to progress as time goes on!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Making Resolutions (and sticking to them!)

I've never been big on making resolutions. I'm one of those people that doesn't believe in waiting for the "right" time to make changes. If you want to make a change, today is the day to start! Not next week or anything like that. However I'm going to change my tune this year. 2012 wasn't a particularly great year and I'm determined to change that and make 2013 wonderful!!

So here are my resolutions (some of them have already been in the works, but now I MUST accomplish them). This is why I like blogs, it holds me accountable.

* Get a new job. I've been kinda sorta looking, but now it's time to turn it up. It's time for a new challenge for me.

* Pay off my credit card. After getting money from my generous family for Christmas I was able to officially pay off one of my credit cards. (Under no circumstance am I allowed to use it from now on). Now it's on to the next one. I plan on paying it off in the next three months. By May 1 2013, I will have no more credit card debt!

* Once my credit cards have been paid off, my plan is to save $800 dollars a month out of my paycheck. So it all goes to plan I will save over $6,000 this year.

* Hit my goal weight! I've come so so far in my weight loss. I am not even close to the person I used to be, but I've gotten a little too comfortable lately and I'm up about 10 pounds right now. Now that's not even close to what I've lost, but I'm not happy. Everything is just way too tight right now. I want to lose these stubborn last 25 pounds already. They WILL be gone this year!

* Run my very first half marathon. Scheduled for the first weekend in May!! CAN"T WAIT!!! It's been on my bucket list forever.

* Run 1,000 miles (running, bike, elliptical, anything). Last year I attempted to run 1,000 miles and ended up falling short over 300 miles. Hopefully I'll hit 1,000 but being able to count all my other cardio!

I love my resolutions and I am confident I'll be able to accomplish all of them!! Here's to a better year for me and for everyone!