ShabbyBlogs - Must be Maddie

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A new blog discovery

I discovered a new blog I absolutely had to share: A Blog for Andy. It is a guy who is writing dating tips for his friend Andy. It is quite funny, and right on point! For whatever reason, each post makes me laugh in some form or another.

"...don't kill the rabbit!"

"Just be cool, not a cocky ass, but cool."

"Cash allows you to appear prepared, and women love prepared. It's a fact."

One of my favorite posts so far is about women's shoes. "...Do not attempt to come between her and her shoes or it will end badly for you...Don't try to understand this, accept it as a fact of life."

Ladies, definitely check him out and send the link to any guy friends who are in need of some dating tips.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Changes, part IV

It was decided. I was going with Option B, the one that was super close to home and a wonderful opportunity to gain new skills. I'm not sure I can accurately describe the feelings I felt when I finally made my decision. It was a delicious mix of hope, joy, relief, pride, happiness. I was able to let go of the stress, uncertainty, anger, frustration, bitterness that had been building and hanging over my head for over a year. I felt like I lost 5 lbs. Like my hair would stop turning gray prematurely. Like the disorienting, hazy film of negativity was finally wiped away.

The weekend I made my decision was full of relaxation. As a reward, Husband and I walked to the Burger Joint and for some hamburgers with cheese and bacon, onion rings, and sweet potato fries. We spent the evening celebrating with friends, playing as$hole, and living in the moment. We watched movies and snuggled, relaxed and re-energized.

Monday I sent my resignation letter/email to my manager. I never realized you could get an anxious tummy of butterflies over an email. Again a wave of relief and hope washed over me. I didn't have to do this any more. It was time to move on.

My manager handled it exactly as I expected: detached, unemotional, nonchalant, as if my duties were not substantial enough to worry him. His response was a stark contrast compared to how my customers handled the notice. Everyone was surprised and remarkably sad to see me leave, but happy to see me progressing and advancing. The feedback has been wonderful and confirmed for me that I had done a good job.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Curried tomato soup

the other week I was looking to use up some tomatoes and found a great Curried Tomato Soup recipe from it was incredibly easy to make and quick too.


before i got started with the onions, i sliced my tomatoes and drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and some italian seasoning. i threw them in the oven (325-350) for 10 min or so.

on to the super easy directions:


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the can of tomatoes (with their juices), here is where I chopped my roasted tomatoes and thew them in, and ½ cup water and bring to a boil.
  3. In a blender, puree until smooth. Top with the yogurt and cilantro.
i thought this was absolutely delicious. i feel like it could be used several ways...

-add veggies & pasta - easy weekday dinner
-soup with grilled cheese
-add veggies & orzo or cous cous for a heartier soup
-cold gazpacho with veggies
-pizza sauce

i highly suggest trying it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Changes, part III

I had a couple opportunities I was seriously considering. Each with their pros and cons and being an indecisive person, this was tough.

Current Job
-Location: Falls Church, about 30-60+ min away depending on traffic
-Type of work: budget (which I am not at all trained in), secretariat to a large working group, "operations support" aka secretary for a division chief & his division
-Salary: waaaaay under paid (in my opinion) in, I could go to the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission and let them know I'm getting paid less than half what other people with my title get paid
-Company: lets just say it is time to leave...I'm not advancing and I feel like I'm being taken advantage of

Option A
-Verbally expressed on more than one occasion their excitement and high expectations for me in their company
-Location: on base (which, from what I am hearing is becoming a pain in the neck to get on and off in the morning & evenings) & Tysons. So my commute would be comprable to what I'm doing right now, which ranges from 30-60+min depending on traffic
-Type of work: similar to what I'm currently doing...some budget, general assistance to the customer, sounded like I'd be working some long hours and possible weekends
-Salary: I would be hired by the recruiter for 6 months where I would be hourly, and then I would convert to the Company - not ideal, but money would be very good that it was a bit intimidating and made me feel pressured (and I hadn't even started!) and in over my head
-Company: Small, like 30 people. But that meant I could be a big part of the vision and help decide how the company grew

Option B
-Location: 10-15 min away to both the Company's headquarters and to the customer site - this could be totally awesome and would mean no more stress of interstate 395/495 driving, no more getting up at o'dark-thirty, and I would be on the same schedule as Husband!
-Type of work: totally different from what I'm currently doing. Learning a completely new skill set - conceptualizing and developing electronic tool interfaces for a new customer (could open up a whole new world of doors for me in the future). Telework is available too!
-Salary: More than what I currently make but less than Option A, but still a great salary that would really help me pay off some bills and start saving some serious dinero
-Company: big, like 400 people. They promote from within before advertising and looking for outside people. Good benefits. Sounds like a fair and decent company with owners that care about their employees.


I slept on it and talked it over with Husband. I finally decided that Option B was the best fit for me, for where I currently am in life and for what I'm looking for in a new job. I think it would be a smart career move. I felt such relief and excitement about this new opportunity. It was time for a life change, and I think this is it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Changes, part II

After 8 or 9 hrs in front of the computer at work, when I get home in the evening I'm more interested in being w/ Husband (than being on the computer). But if I wanted some changes in my life, I needed to put in some serious effort. So I threw myself into job searching. I headed to my parents' house for some resume re-working and applying to some new jobs. I immersed myself in job websites, tweaking my resume, and uploading it everywhere I could.

Little by little, I started to see progress. I got some phone calls, and some emails! People were ME! For so long I felt hopeless and stuck, but with each interested recruiter my confidence and hope began to grow.


The research I did senior year of college told me I needed to be healthy with all this stress and worry. It's so so so easy for me to turn to food when I'm stressed out. But this time I would go the other way. I exercised. I ran around the block a few times. I grabbed a banana instead of two bags of kettle corn. I felt better after some cardio. It gave me some time to myself. Some time to be honest and real. Some time to run out my anger and frustration. It was a much healthier way to deal with things and I could tell my body and mind appreciated it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Changes, part I

This time I really was at my wits end. I was at the end of my rope and didn't even feel like I had enough to tie a knot to hold on to. Part of me was starting to wonder how everything would work out, while the other part reassured me that God would take care of me. I swung by the church. As I walked up the brick walkway, like so many times before, I could feel the tears welling up inside my eyes. I opened the door to the narthex and was greeted by a woman who works in the office. I asked her, "would you mind if I went into the sanctuary?" She said of course and went on with her work.

It looked different with just the sunlight shining through the windows. It felt so open without the congregation and without the colored fabrics hanging from the pulpit alters. It was comfortable and familiar. I sat and prayed.


After that, (as I mentioned before) I started to feel pulled to church. And for once, I listened. I got up and headed to church, preparing and praying for a sermon that would speak to me. My prayers were answered. I was reassured that everything would work out. To have patience. To pray more. I was reminded to be a better person. It was just what I needed. Instead of going home feeling sleepy, I felt re-energized with renewed hope.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Lately I've been needing more God in my life. Life has a way of sweeping me off my feet, getting me carried away with to-do lists, what's for dinner, and all sorts of other things. I have been busy trying to answer some difficult questions in my life, like what do I really want, what kind of career should I pursue, where do I want to go, am I the person I want to be? Trying to answer all of these questions has been really tough on my own, aka: I've made little progress.

The last few Sundays I've felt very compelled to attend church. And I'm glad that I went because during those services, I felt like the sermon was directed right at me. I had a feeling God was trying to talk to me, guide me, help me and listening to that little voice telling me, "just get up, you can take a nap later" really helped. I have also started reading Our Daily Bread online. When I was younger, my dad always urged me to read daily devotionals but I wasn't ready...until now.

For the last few weeks, ODB has been right on with what I've needed. Reading stories and scripture about the things I'm dealing with, made my decisions and behaviors much clearer and easier for me. One that really spoke to me was Psalm 37. (Does anyone have any favorite devotional sites?)

It can be tough listening to that inner voice. It is so easily covered up by the daily noise of life things. But it is amazing that if we stop and really listen, we can actually find/hear/see/feel God (or whoever/whatever it is you believe in).

I hope everyone is having a happy start to the week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

It's been quite a busy day, and my brain is tired of thinking. I'm ready to celebrate the Irish holiday with a cold beer (or anything with alcohol in it). I hope everyone had a great day!

Happy Birthday to MamaH and Aunt Pat!
I hope you lovely ladies had a fantastic birthday! I am looking forward to coming over for dinner to celebrate.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't be afraid, I've done this before...

Hello lovelies! I had one of those wonderful, let your hair down, re-energize yourself weekends.

Friday I took the day off and worked with MamaH on my taxes in the morning. Later in the day I went to the gym for a couple hours and then picked up chicken sandwiches from BBQ World. It was a reward after a hard working week and when I pulled in to the parking lot I was so happy to see some familiar faces: BMore, Big Mike, and Kathy!! I knew the boys were coming over but I was pleasantly surprised to see Ktown! =) We just hung out and played a rousing game of asshole and later Kathy and I had a dance party to Lady Gaga (love her). It was just what I needed...hanging out, joking around, drinking, laughing, eating. Happy.

Saturday, Husband and I went to Salisbury to see my brother, Bubba, play lacrosse. It's his senior year and we wanted to go and support him. They played against Maryland Univ and won, 7-5, woot woot!! Goodness was it windy. And I don't know about you, but the wind certainly takes it out of me. After the game we headed to a near by restaurant for crab cakes! They were DELISH! It was so good to spend some time with my favorite boys.

I'm so happy and proud of Bubba. He's doing well in school, still playing lacrosse which he loves, and he's got a good vision for his future. He has an idea of what he wants to do. He's a "green" guy and is interested in agriculture and alternative energy. I think it's something he could really excel in. Like I said, it just makes me so happy to see him doing well. But I am glad he's coming home soon too; I miss him.

Sunday was a great day too. Got up early for church and started the day feeling spiritually fed. It was one of those services where you feel like the pastor is talking straight to you. I came home and did Yoga-X (P90X's version of yoga), which kicked my butt. Whooo was I tired and sweaty after that but boy does it feel good. The rest of the day was spent doing laundry and in general getting ready for the rest of the week.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends too.


A little while back I got a Stylish Blogger Award from the wonderful Dating is My Hobby. My heart is so happy to get a little award!

Here's the deal:
1. Link to the blogger who gave the award
2. Share 7 facts about yourself
3. Pass the award onto 15 lovely ladies

On to some (I hope) interesting facts about myself.

1. Husband and I met in middle school (8th grade) art class. I was sitting at a 4 person table with a tubby brunette boy who was obsessed with hard metal music, a tiny blonde girl with more energy than the sun, and a cute Blue-Eyed Boy with a shaved head. I sat across from the Blue-Eyed Boy not realizing the impact he would make on my life.

As the class progressed so did our friendship. He gave me the random nickname, "Billi" because I didn't look like a Fill-in-my-real-name. Whenever I was at my locker, the Blue-Eyed Boy would tug my pony tail and wait for me to look around. I would turn around and when my eyes met his, he would smile coyly and keep walking. We got to know each other in art class, and when we were more comfortable around each other, he would hug me from behind when I put my art bin away. Those from-behind-hugs were one of my favorite things when I was 15 years old (they still are).

I can't resist telling you...he drew my portrait. It was one of our art assignments and he picked me as his subject. He put so much time and energy into that drawing; it's burned into my brain. And it is one of the sweetest, most romantic things anyone has ever done for me.

The Blue-Eyed Boy was winning me over. Our story continues after middle school...but that will be another post for another day.

2. Husband gave me the nickname Peaches. When he was a little boy, his mom would call him a "peach" when he was being sweet. One of our favorite songs is Joker by Steve Miller Band (we danced to it at our wedding). There's a part after the chorus that influenced the creation of my nickname:

"...You're the cutest thing That I ever did see I really love your peaches Wanna shake your tree..."

Together with Husband's childhood affinity toward "peach" and our favorite song, he dubbed me "Peaches" and it's one of my favorite nicknames.

3. I'm a coffee and tea drinker and every morning I have one of the two. I like a warm beverage in the morning, it makes the beginning of the day a little bit easier to handle. One of my favorite things is a sprinkling of cinnamon in my coffee or tea (if the bag is right). The cinnamon dusts the inside of my mug and swirls around with the coffee and creamer. It gives the coffee a little extra pizazz and it's tasty. I suggest giving it a whirl sometime.

4. I have a Family dimple. On my dad's side, all of the female, blood relatives have one dimple in their right cheek. So when female relatives are in one place, you can look around the room at all the smiles and notice we all have the same dimple on the same side. Just recently with my cousin's death, I met all kinds of cousins I didn't know I had. I learned that even my extended female relatives have the Family dimple. It makes me feel special.

5. I consider myself a morning person. (I like the morning time but make no mistake, I do not enjoy getting up before the crack of dawn for work.) There is something about the newness of the morning. It is a fresh start and the beginning of a brand new day. What I really love is that not everyone is awake, which makes it a peaceful time of the day. And I am quite productive in the morning, whether I am at work or at home. I love sleeping in as much as the next person, but waking up at noon makes me feel like I've wasted a precious part of the day. Waking up at 10:30am on the weekends is the perfect time in my mind. I can sleep in but still have some of my beloved morning.{via}

6. I love grocery shopping. It's a fun place...with all the produce, freshly baked breads, delicious cheese variety, spices, bacon. I like making lists so grocery shopping is right up my aisle (haha pun!). And grocery shopping with Husband is fun because we flirt with each other...pinching bottoms when no one is looking, sneaking smooches, etc. Eventually we get separated from each other (mainly because I get distracted by the Threads for Thought shirts at Whole Foods); it happens every time we go to the store.

7. I played rugby in college. For one semester. A friend wanted to try it so I did it with her. As a small-statured person, I was placed in the scrum-half position. I was the position that took the ball from the defense and gave it to the offense to proceed forward. The team of girls was great, although a little rough around the edges. By the end of the semester I was in great shape...but I was also a little bruised up. At the end of the semester I decided it wasn't for me, but rugby will always have a spot in my heart.

And now I get to pass this Stylish award to some other lovely ladies.

Janet and the Pink Crayon
I am Style-ish
IHeart Organizing
Tiny Bit of Sparkle
Tiptoe Butterfly
I Heart this Blog
Brown Eyed Belle
A Darling Little Life
Pink of Perfection

Thank you Dating is My Hobby!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bad blogger

I admit it: I have been a bad blogger. I have let life things get in the way of blogging and blog reading and I am sorry. Pretty please, forgive me! I want to get back to posting (more) regularly because I miss it. And I miss you all!!