Monday, July 30, 2012


Prepare yourself for a ridiculously long entry with lots of food pictures.  My weekend included the following: Olympics, fire, farmers market, risotto, beignets, Batman, and cheese.
Olympics opening ceremony: love.  I will admit a couple elements did not translate amazingly well to the television, but over all I really enjoyed it. I refuse to tell you what we ate Friday night, it was shamefully unhealthy yet satisfying.
Saturday morning we woke up and headed to the farmers market. I will always love Saturday mornings at the farmers market.

Evan and boyfriend went to go see Batman, no I didn't go.  Super intense movies I really need to watch in the comfort of my own home.  Sometimes I need to pause it, so what?  Well, they both loved it and were both very happy to come home to me cooking a mushroom risotto.  We bought some strange mushrooms at the farmers market that morning and mixed in some crimini mushrooms, so we had some high hopes for this risotto.  And it was a bit disappointing.  There are so few ingredients in risotto, that each one has to be full of flavor.  I did not have great chicken stock (it's really best to make your own), the mushrooms we bought were okay, and lastly I did not have the truffle oil, which I have come to find essential in a good mushroom risotto.  Don't get me wrong it was good, but I think it had the potential to be GREAT.  Here is a link to the recipe if you want to give it a shot.
So we finished dinner and started to catch ourselves up on the olympics when the fire alarm started to go off.  Initially I thought it was an oopsie daisy, and asked boyfriend to check the hall to see if anyone was going anywhere.  He said no we need to put on real pants, (not pjs) get the cats in their crates, and then look to see if the fire alarm is for real.  So I walk into my closet to get the crates and WOAH I can smell smoke in my closet.  It's for real something is on fire below us.  We sped up the process quiet a bit after I smelled that.  Cats, keys, and phones in hand we marched outside at 1030 pm.  Five fire trucks show up and one of them proceeded to block the garage.  I was super annoyed with this because I wanted my car! The cats kind of know my car and it's pretty chilly outside, so I kept sending Alberto over to the garage to see if they had moved the truck yet.  Only to find out 40 minutes later a car was on fire in the garage.  Eventually we were allowed to go back inside the building, and we go to bed. Next morning we come to find the car on fire was actually sitting RIGHT NEXT TO MINE! My car is fine, some black soot on the tires, but no serious damage.  Lucky me.  On a side note, our garage now smells absolutely horrible. 
The car was fine to drive, so we went along with our Sunday plans, Brenda's in San Francisco for brunch.  A little place in the tenderloin with at least an hour wait no matter what time you show up Saturday or Sunday morning.  The trick is to come and write your name on the chalkboard, go do something else for an hour or so, then come back to hear your name within 15 minutes of waiting. Everything at Brenda's was fantastic and so worth the hour wait. Here we had the beignet flight (one of each of the following: plain, crawfish, chocolate, and apple), the hangtown fry, gumbo, mimosas, and the special, which was crispy pork belly, cheddar grits, a poached egg, and a biscuit with a side of gravy.  The hangtown fry involved oysters, so I did no touch that one. But the potato hash that came with was delicious.  Can someone please explain to me why I grew up in Texas, yet I find the best biscuit and gravy in San Francisco?? That biscuit and gravy could be my last meal, it was so good.  Pork belly and grits were my second favorite, but the biscuit and gravy was completely out of this world.  I also think I could eat one of their plain beignets and apple beignets every morning of my life.  

Then we attempted to walk off the absurd amount of calories we just consumed in Hayes Valley. We did eventually have some tea, and got some cheeses for dinner at a fancy cheese shop. And after a long day bopping around and eating we finally headed home.

We did eventually get hungry for dinner around 8, and threw this little fruit and cheese spread together.  

Overall, my weekend was fabulous, and I thanked boyfriend for bringing me to California.  For a short weekend I forgot all about Texas being home.  
Here are a couple other pictures we took throughout the day.  



Friday, July 27, 2012

friday's letters

Dear Gillian,
Don't get discouraged. You will find a job, not just a job, but a job you love.

p.s. You are so not timid.  Nor are you afraid of technology!

Dear Companies I want to work for,
I know I don't have experience in the recruiting field, but most of the positions you are posting are "entry level" positions, right?  How else do I gain experience? I have worked a front line position for some time now.  I was always informative along with professional and gracious in high stress situations.  I am organized, detail oriented, an amazing multi-tasker, and most importantly beyond ready to learn.  And the thing is, if I am applying to your company, I have done my research, I believe in your mission, I am attracted to your company culture, and I want to be a part of what your company does. Please consider me, and in the mean time I will do my best to find you at career fairs. Thanks, hope to hear from you soon!

Dear Wok,
I adore you and how you cook my veggies.
Dear Boyfriend, 
Thank you, and I love you. 

Dear Parents, 
I am ok, struggling, but ok.  I am also still pretty happy. 

Dear California drivers, 
You are, in fact, worse than Texas drivers.  Who would have thought that was possible? It's like you have no end goal, and many of you are truly confused on the subject of yielding.  I will work on my patience, if you promise to do better. Oh yea, and EVERYONE knows that lane ends, quit acting confused. I literally moved here a hot minute ago and I know the lane ends.

Dear Etta and Tonks,
Thank you for the endless cuddle sessions while I am working on my computer.  You two are a lovely distraction at times.  Not to mention excellent listeners when I practice my spanish.
Dear Summer Olympics, 
I am so excited you are here.  I trust you will provide me with endless amounts of entertainment, well for the next couple weeks at least.  

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

link up?

Today I learned something new about blogging! It's day three and I am already doing a link up.  I feel so cool.  Erin of Living in Yellow started this little gem.  You take your age and list something you want to do within the year for every year of your life.  This shouldn't be too hard, I am new to California and currently unemployed.
1.   Find my dream job. Honestly, I have found a couple that could be my dream job and I am patiently
      waiting out the appropriate week or two weeks before I call for a status check.  
2.   Be able to hold a 5 minute conversation with boyfriend in Spanish.
3.   Start consistently climbing 3 times a week, so my back/arms can once again look like this...

4.   Climb a 5.9.
5.   Run a 5k with boyfriend.  We just started running again, so this should happen in 6 weeks or so!
6.   Succeed at toilet training my cats. They are doing so well, that I might post a video soon!
7.   Hike in Muir Woods.
8.   Learn all the different neighborhoods of San Francisco and pick a favorite.  Challenge being to pick a favorite.
9.   Go to LA
10. Attempt to wrap my arms around a redwood tree.
11. Find the best tacos in the bay area.
12. Learn to control my anxiety.
13. Make my first California friend.
14. Wine tasting in Sonoma, yum wine. :)
15. Shop at my local farmers market every Saturday.
16. Cook something new at least once a week.
17. Go to the San Diego Zoo.
18. Take a CIS class.
19. See how many outfits I can make out of the clothes in my closet, take a picture of each one, and
      save it for my uncreative days.
20. Buy a crappy and gross piece of furniture off craigslist, fix it up and sell it for a profit.
21. Grow my hair out another 6 inches, and eventually half way down my back.
22. Learn to love all the bad.
23. Learn to sew.
24. Pay off one of my student loans.
25. Go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

Well, that was fun.  Now as promised, COOKIES.  I made these with whole wheat white flour because it was all I had in my house.  I did not use as much white sugar and I added a wee bit of honey.  They are delish!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

always learning

I bought and started reading a book yesterday called, "I Got My Dream Job, and So Can You." This is my first ever self help purchase. Within the first two chapters I realized I am going about my job search entirely the wrong way.  Did you know that 70% of people hired are hired because of networking? Yea, that leaves me a 30% chance of getting hired the way I am doing it.  Which is just sending out resumes and cover letters. Not to say this is a bad way, but quite possibly not the most effective. I am of course changing my cover letters and resumes to showcase the skills I need for the specific job and the high level of interest I have in the company itself, but still not the most effective job search.  I also learned that when I go in for a job interview and they ask what I have been doing in my spare time, taking classes at a community college looks good along with volunteering.  So as of this morning I have officially been “accepted” to a community college. YAHOO! Because I want to go into the technical recruiting, I will hopefully be taking intro to CIS along with some sort of communications course. (I haven't gone through the communications classes yet.) I can sign up for classes tomorrow.  I also called a company I am incredibly interested in working for to ask if they would be at any upcoming career fairs in the bay area, so I could go, meet, and hopefully learn more about the company. The phone call was not a total fail, in fact I think it ended on a high note, and someone should be in contact with me this week or next.  I strongly feel that I started today on an excellent foot, and I am officially heading in the right direction.

I know I promised pictures of the turkey meatloaf I made for dinner last night, and I did take some, but meatloaf just isn't pretty.  I read about 10 different meatloaf recipes and then proceeded to make this one up.  It's about 60% meat and 40% other stuff.  The other stuff is onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, a wee bit of panko, one egg, chicken stock, and a dabble of Worcestershire.  Naturally there is a tomato sauce on top as well.  Over all I just want to change up the seasonings...because I didn't add any! I realized halfway through the operation I did not have one fresh herb in my house.  Thyme and tarragon will be involved on the next round.  Todays assignment is chocolate chip cookies. I am way more excited about the cookies and you WILL have pictures of those tomorrow.  :) 
Today’s list includes the following: 
  1. Call guy to fix sink (ya, I know that was on yesterdays list, sometimes we just don’t  get to everything we intend to.)
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. One hour of HTML videos
  4. Run
  5. Spanish for one hour
  6. Call company I love and ask about career fair appearances
  7. Community College stuff
Over all today was a much better day as far as attitude goes.  I am slowly starting to believe in myself and my previous successes.  I will find myself here in California.  The picture below is how I am feeling today. I hope I can keep this attitude up! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

love/hate relationships

After a couple weeks of convincing from my networking friend Stacy, I have started to blog. Not really, it was more like one or two text messages and she had me convinced.  
So here it is, a Texas Girl in California.  For about an hour I was set on A Texas Girl Lost in California, but I am hoping at some point I will find my way and I don’t really want to have to change the title of my blog.  Anyway, for those of you who don’t know I have moved from Dallas, Texas, my home for 22 years to California.  Left my family, friends, and entire life in Texas for a boy in California.  Now, he’s not just any boy, he has been boyfriend for over three years and to be quite honest (warning cheesy moment coming) I can’t see my life without him.  So we moved to California with our two cat children, Etta and Tonks, who on a side note LOVE this place.  Or they just love the view from our apartment.
This is in fact one of the things I love about CA, our view.  And just so you know as nice as it looks outside is exactly how nice it feels.  It’s about 75 degrees with a light breeze, and that’s a decently normal day here. I love our local farmers market, it’s indescribable.  Being the food obsessed girl that I am, Saturday morning farmers market trips are something I look forward to all week.  You can taste almost everything before you buy it.  And they have everything from strawberries and blackberries to bok choy and mushrooms, fresh eggs, fish, bread, jams, and the most amazing jalapeno fudge I have ever tasted. I know, it sounds awful, but believe me it's mind blowing.  And the thing is, if I ever get tired of my own farmers market I can go to at least 3 or 4 others all within 25 miles.  This Saturday I will take some pictures of the amazing food.  I love how easy it is to get around, there is a bus and BART station ridiculously close to us, and San Francisco is a swift 30 minute BART ride away.  I love San Francisco. Everything about it, food, people, events, FOOD, seriously, everything. And there is literally something fun and free to do every weekend.  Key word there is FREE. 
Evan and I at SF Museum of Modern Art

Food Truck Extravaganza

Brewery in the Mission
I love my apartment.  At first I wasn’t so sure. I did some pretty extreme painting, and nothing really matches, but I love it. And most importantly, it feels like home to me. Please ignore the gray swatch next to the mirror, I was testing some neutral colors before I went with the red. 

Alright, now I have done all the I loves, I can do the I hates...which is really just one thing that snowballs into a couple.  I hate that I don’t have a job. Which snowballs into I don't have a ton of my own money to spend willy nilly, nothing to do all day (except HGTV), and I don't even have girlfriends here I can meet up with so I can vicariously live through them. It really makes me feel as though I lack a bit of purpose. Clearly, after living in the same area for 22 years, change was not something I was going to adjust to very quickly.  I met with what I had hoped to be a friend a couple weeks ago (ps big fail) but she did give me one excellent piece of advice.  Make a list of things to do tomorrow so you have a reason to get up, shower, and get ready as if you are on a working schedule.  Not everything on the list has to be important or even job search related, no one can job hunt for 8 hours a day.  Luckily, we are not in a situation where I am in dire need of a job, so I can take my time to do research on each company I am applying to.  Each day I will be doing Spanish lessons for an hour and a half, (boyfriend is mexican, so it’s really something I want/need to learn), cooking something, and researching a company I am interested in working for. Todays list includes the following: 

  1. Make turkey meatloaf (pictures tomorrow)
  2. 1 1/2 hours of Spanish
  3. Salesforce videos and research
  4. Groceries
  5. Call apartment complex to fix our leak
  6. Cover letter for Salesforce 
  7. Website stuff for my parents
  8. Blog
I know one day I will never want to leave this place, and I will wonder what the hell took me so long to fall completely in love with the Bay Area. I just hope that day comes sooner rather than later, I don’t waste anymore days feeling frustrated. I am so incredibly lucky, why am I fighting it?