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Okay, Now Let’s Make a Decision (and enter to win a prize)

22 Aug

Back in May I let you all know that I was going to switch it up here at Pocketful of Joules and go from a 3x a week blogging schedule to a 2x a week schedule for the summer. With my new job starting and life in general, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and decided to cut down my posting to take some tasks off my list.

For June, July and August, I mostly stuck with posting content two days a week (with an occasional third day thrown in there).

Now that it’s almost September, it’s time for me to decide whether to bump it back up to three days a week. But before I just assumed that you all want to hear from me 3x a week again, I thought I’d ask you!

So, give me a little click right here with your preference:

AND to make it interesting, leave me a comment with your favorite type of stuff to read here at Pocketful of Joules. Do you like the fashion posts with dressing room photos, product reviews or style box reviews? Do you enjoy family posts or maybe traveling posts (with or without the fam)? Do you love my book/movie/tv show recommendations? Do you like it when I just randomly rant? Or maybe you miss the old days of talking about Wild Horse Sex?

Leave me a comment below with your favorite types of posts to read from me and I’ll randomly pick a comment and send you a fun prize for your time!

Oh, the promise of a fun prize isn’t enough to get you to leave your comment? Well, what if that prize rhymed with ‘hen holler carbucks smift guard’?

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2019 Goals: a Half-Way(ish) Update

23 Jul

Can you believe it is more than half-way through 2019?! This year has just FLOWN by, which you can tell because my goals update didn’t end up happening in June…

At the beginning of 2019, I gave myself a “word” of the year as well as a bunch of specific goals to focus on. When I wrote and published my goals post I had no idea that my work life was about to blow up. Just a week or so later my awesome boss was gone and my whole department went through a reorganization. A job that I had planned to be at for a decade or more suddenly turned into something that made me miserable.

Which brings us to our first goal update… my word of the year: Thrive.

At the time I said, “so many times I feel like I’m just going through the motions to get everything done, but this year I want to focus on THRIVING!” When my work life hit the pooper, the idea of thriving kept coming back to my mind. I decided to use the reorganization as an opportunity and ended up finding a new job that was a much better fit. I still have a way to go before I feel fully comfortable in my new position, but I’m continuing to remind myself that sometimes it’s a bit uncomfortable to get to the point that you are actually thriving.

Now, let’s check in on my other goals. I made them super specific again this year and divided them into two categories, health and happiness.

2019 Health Goals: Status

Health Goal 1: Go to the gym 9x a month and mix it up with new gym classes.

I can’t really say I’ve fully accomplished this goal because I haven’t gone to the gym consistently 9x a month since January. However, I have had some successes! This spring I signed up for a 6-week boot camp and I kicked butt through the entire 6 weeks (read about it here) I loved the boot camp and I fully intended to sign up for another 6-weeks, but then I had my Hawaii trip and the craziness  of starting my new job. I’m still getting to the gym for a workout a couple times a week, but I’d love to be able to sign up for another 6-weeks of boot camp. I’m crossing my fingers that I can make it work in the fall!

Health Goal 2: Run more 5k and/or 10k races and have Jack (and maybe Travis) run a fun run too!

YES, I’ve accomplished this goal! I’ve run two 10k’s this year, the Sole of the City 10k in April and the Wayfarers Annapolis 10k in June. Jack (and Travis) also ran the kid’s fun run at the Frederick Running Festival in May and Jack really enjoyed getting his medal at the end. It’s a bit sweltering hot right now to sign up for more races, but I’m hoping to find some in the fall to add to my list.

Health Goal 3 and 4: My Soda Fast and Packing my Lunch

I got a little crazy with drinking soda for a bit, so I went back to a soda fast where I’d only have the occasional soda as a treat rather than ordering it all the time. I’ve done pretty well with this one and even have a huge water cup at work to help encourage me to sip on ice water all day long.

When I made my packing my lunch goal, I was working from home 2 days a week and at an office the other 3 days. I wanted to pack lunch at least one day a week. Well, since June I’ve been working in an office 5 days a week and I certainly have room for improvement on this goal. There are SO MANY yummy places to eat within walking distance of my new office, so I’ve only been packing my lunch about one day a week (yes, I know that was my initial goal). I feel like I need to change this goal to packing my lunch at least THREE days a week for the rest of the year.

2019 Happiness Goals: Status

Happiness Goal 1: Travel More

YES, I have crushed this goal! As a family we went to Great Wolf Lodge in February, Harrisonburg for my sister’s wedding in May, and Ocean City a couple times so far this summer. Travis and I also had our super romantic trip to Kauai in May, which was absolutely amazing. On my own, I’ve done a couple weekends at my besties house in Annapolis and I’m hoping to plan a trip to NYC in the fall to see Moulin Rouge on Broadway for my birthday. I’m planning to finish out the year with a couple more fun/inexpensive weekend trips!

Happiness Goal 2: Have more dates with my husband

Well, we did have an entire week of dates in Hawaii, so that totally counts! As for other dates, we haven’t really done much of that. Which totally reminds me that I need to ask my brother to hang out and play video games with Jack in a couple weeks when the new Hobbs and Shaw movie comes out. I’d also like to plan an overnight B&B for us in the fall for my birthday/our anniversary.

Happiness Goal 3: Learn something new

In my goal post I said I wanted to pick up any book that interests me at the library, and sign up for classes like glassblowing, indoor skydiving, or an outdoor obstacle course. I’ve done pretty great with the library books part and I’ve been reading a ton on my daily metro rides. Jack and I also joined my family for a session of making pottery on the wheel and will soon be glazing our finished piece. Oh, and I also did that boot camp, which was totally outside my comfort zone. I need to step it up a bit for the rest of the year though!

Happiness Goal 4: Spend time with my friends.

I wanted to be sure to make more friend dates, happy hours and sleepover party plans this year and I’ve been doing okay so far. I’ve actually reached out to plan more happy hour and dinner dates, but everyone is so busy it’s like pulling teeth to get something on the calendar. I’m hoping to get a group together in September to go to a local wine festival for my birthday, so finger’s crossed that it works out!

All in all, I’ve done pretty well with my goals but I’m happy I did a half-way check in. Now I know what I need to be sure to add to my schedule for the rest of the year!

How about you… did you set goals or resolutions for yourself for New Years? How are you doing on them?

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What I’ve Been Reading

15 Jul

One of the perks of my new job is that I ride the Metro for about 25 minutes each way in the morning and afternoon. While many of you wouldn’t consider the Metro a PERK – as there are lots of terrible smells and generally odd people interactions – I’m pretty happy to bury my head in a book and enjoy 25 minutes of (mostly) uninterrupted reading!

I linked to each book on Amazon so you can click through and read the full description if you’d like. However, I always recommend trying your library first, because FREE BOOKS!

99 Percent Mine: A Novel by Sally Thorne

Find it here:

The book centers around Darcy Barrett, who has had a life-long crush on childhood friend Tom Valeska. To complicate things (of course), she has a boy twin, Jamie who “saw him first” and is his best friend. Now as an adult, she is thrown into a situation where they are both single at the same time and stuck in close quarters with each other. You now, as it goes.

I thought this book was fun and I liked the lighthearted banter. However, I didn’t really love Darcy. She describes herself as a dirtbag and honestly she’s pretty selfish and unlikeable for much of the book. I get that she loves Tom, but really… it seems like he can do so much better. Of course, everything is a happily after at the end which is my thing. So all in all I’m going to stick with this book was fun, but I won’t bother searching out the other book by the author.

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper

Find it here:

This one is another childhood best friends fall in love book. I’m not sure why I ended up with two books in the same specific genre… but I did. And I don’t even HAVE any childhood male best friends in my life! I basically picked up this book because it had a yummy cake on the front of it. Anyways, this story is about Lucy Brewer, a young widow that returns to her childhood town. She reignites a friendship with her childhood BFF, which soon turns to loooooove. There are complications, of course, but this one is as sweet as can be. Everyone in the book is pretty darn likeable and this was the perfect ‘beach read’ or ‘metro read’ if you’re me.

Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession Into My Dream Gig by Scott Bradlee

Find it here:

Like most people, I’ve come across Postmodern Jukebox performances on Facebook and YouTube and never really gave it much thought. I randomly picked up this book at the library and it was incredibly interesting to see how Scott built up this little idea of giving modern songs a vintage spin and turned it into a traveling “rotating supergroup” of performers. I found this book super interesting and highly recommend it if you are interested in how he made a little YouTube sensation into a full time gig.

Runnin’ With the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Noel E. Monk

Find it here:

I’m not a super Van Halen fan or anything, but I do enjoy my Classic Rock. So when I saw this book as I walked by I basically was like ‘hmmm… cool’ and threw it in my cart. This book was written by Van Halen’s manager who worked with the group their first 7 years. It was pretty darn interesting! To hear about the behind the scenes drama during the rise (and fall) of the David Lee Roth years. The band did Monk pretty darn dirty at the end of it and there is certainly some palatable bitterness, but WOW was it entertaining. If you like behind the music type stuff or have even enjoyed Van Halen a little bit, this book is a good one!

When you find out the world is against you: and other funny memories about awful moments by Kelly Oxford

Find it here: (this book is currently a free read on Kindle Unlimited)

I don’t know Kelly Oxford at all. I’m not sure if she’s a comedian or an author or writes for television. It’s pretty unclear. She certainly has a way with words and tells very cringy/embarrassing/funny stories throughout her book. It kind of threw me though when it went from being a silly little book about cringy stuff from her childhood and being a mom, to talking about sexual abuse. I get the importance of the chapters at the end, but it just felt like whiplash to get from point a to point b. All in all, it was a fine Metro reading book because about 20 minutes at a time was plenty to read it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. It was okay.

Do you have a book recommendation for me?

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My Emotional Roller Coaster

27 Jun

Starting a new job is scary. And hard.

First, there’s the “HOLY CRAP I know nothing” feeling going into it. Sure, I know marketing and I’ve been working in the industry for 20 years… but I haven’t worked for a law firm. And I haven’t worked for THIS law firm. Everyone is different. Expectations are different.

Coming into a situation basically blind is daunting.

Then there’s the people. You (obviously) want people to like you. But there are also A LOT of new people. Day in and day out… people, people, people. Little conversations here and there and you hope you can remember the details later. Names. SO MANY NAMES.

Oh and it’s EXHAUSTING.

Learning new things is exhausting. Talking to new people every single day is exhausting. Frankly, working in an office five days a week is exhausting. I’ve been working from home 2 days a week for the last 6+ years… so just getting dressed and out of the house wears on you by the end of the week.

For the entire first week in my new job I was a tangle of nerves. I felt like I was in over my head. There were so many things to keep straight. In my gut I kept telling myself “I’ve got this”, but in my head I would add the caveat, “once I figure out what THIS is!”

Like my roller coaster analogy, the second week was ups and downs. I’d feel confident and on top of things for a minute. And then, I’d meet with someone else and feel like I was a kid playing at being an adult.

I’m in my third week now… and I’m okay. I don’t know it all and thankfully nobody expects me to know it all yet. But I’m starting to finally feel like I fit. I have something to bring to the party and the people I work with recognize that. I like my co-workers a lot. People are friendly and welcoming. I’m confident that I made the right choice by jumping out of my previous position into this new opportunity.

I keep telling myself that 6 months from now, it will be so much easier. I’ll know all those little things that I don’t know now. I’ll have a routine. I’ll be settled in and comfortable.

But at week three, it’s still a little scary. And that’s okay.

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