Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Born to Play the Part

My job puts me in some interesting situations from time to time.  Like the time I co-hosted a call-in radio show with a plastic surgeon for six months and had to field phone calls about penis enlargement (yes, that actually happened). Or the time I shared a greenroom with Carl Bernstein before a Good Morning Texas segment (very strange shaking the hand of someone you literally read about in your high school history books).

Don't get me wrong- there is still a certain amount of monotony day-to-day, but I'm lucky that's not always the case. One of my favorite parts of my job is commercial production. I handle production for the majority of our radio commercials and usually assist (in some form or fashion) on our television commercials as well. Typically my job with television production involves writing scripts, creating shot lists, and fetching bottled water for everyone else.

We did a tv shoot for one of our clients a few weeks ago and had everything ready to go, but I failed to remember that we would need an additional person to play the "unhappy homeowner." Guess what happens when you forget things like this?

You end up running around the block in jeans and a long sleeve shirt on a 90 degree day in attempt to get sweaty enough to play the part of the homeowner whose AC unit is out.

On that note, I give you my stellar commercial performance playing the "sweaty homeowner".... a part, I must say, I was born to play due to the fact that I "glow" as much (and as often) as a NFL linebacker:

Granted the jogging around the block wasn't really necessary since the shot was from so far away, but that fact was not obvious at the time. And I take my craft very seriously.

The second spot we produced also features a face you might find familiar:

Yep, that would be my mom! She was a great sport, but has since turned into a bit of a diva. I wish I was only kidding when I say that I've been asked "has my Oscar arrived yet?" on multiple occasions since. I may have to sit her down and have a chat with her about not letting the fame go to her head since I have experience with this. After all this was my second commercial (for my first and slightly more embarrassing debut, click here). I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal.*

So there ya go- if you live in Dallas you can catch us on KTVT (Channel 11) throughout the summer.

*Obviously I'm kidding. However, if you didn't recognize the movie quote- shut your computer down immediately and go rent Anchorman.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Random Wednesday Musings

I know you all love these bulleted cop-out posts, but this is about the best I can do for the time being.
  • I did yoga yoga for the first time in awhile last night. I am always shocked at the random places that are sore the next day when I actually take the time to do it right. I'm a big fan of the 15 minute sessions at night and/or in the morning- which let's face it- don't do a whole lot. I also discovered the yoga pandora station which is SO much better than the background music choices on my Yoga HD app. (Also good for relaxing baths and/or at-home spa days!)
  • My mom flew home yesterday from a trip that took her through San Antonio and she surprised me with two tacos from my favorite place in high school, Las Palapas. I'm sure it's at least 80% nostalgia that makes them taste so delicious, but I don't care- I scarfed them down. She is a flight attendant which is extremely handy from time to time. 
  • Did any of y'all see the Rhianna performance on SNL the weekend before last? I was horrified. I just heard that song in my car and had flashbacks to her shamelessly slutty performance. Although I have a hard time even referring to that train wreck as a performance. She just wiggled around provocatively and called attention to her lady bits for five minutes. I'm getting old, obviously, but is that really necessary? When that's ALL there is to your routine, maybe you should refrain from "dancing" and just stand there and sing instead- it would be less distracting.
  • I just got home from the CBS Upfront media event and it made me want to move to New York. I get the urge about once a year so this is not unusual. The event in Dallas was at Winspear Opera House and they had the live feed from Carnegie Hall in NYC piped in for us locally. How much cooler would it have been to have been actually sitting in Carnegie Hall for the event? I have such a love/hate relationship with Dallas sometimes.
  • My parents are going to the south of France in August and I am SO jealous. It's been almost a year and I've got the itch, bad. I have been listening to Coffee Break French podcasts in my car and it is not helping matters. I have a feeling I'm going to be stalking the airline websites for the next few weeks.
I hope everyone is having a good week. For some reason this has felt like the longest week ever, so I'm extremely excited that the end is in sight. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Watch Your Back, Warren Buffett

So quick update on this post. I met with the financial advisor last week and now officially have a retirement account! I am dorkily excited about this. I realize I'm 30 and should have done this long before now, but better late than never.

I decided on a Roth IRA that I will roll an old 401k over into and then a taxable investment account that I can use for a more short-term investment solution when I have extra money to set aside.

It's still overwhelming to me, but I've learned a lot in the last week. I am by no means an expert, but I am a step above clueless- which is a lot more than I could have said two weeks ago!

I think I found a mutual fund that I am going to go with, but I wanted my first ever stock purchase to be something fun and a company that I am a fan of and believe in. Probably not the best way to approach investing, but I've always been the type to "think" more with my heart than my head. So I'm allowing myself a tiny "emotional buy" as my first one and then I'll put the rest in a fund that's highly rated by the pros moving forward.

So I'm now the proud owner of five shares of Lululemon*! I figure if nothing else, it will help me rationalize spending $80 on yoga pants...

"Yes, these Wunder Unders are a little overpriced, BUT they're worth it because they make my ass look great AND I'm helping my stock value!" 

Yeah, on second thought maybe I should hand control of this account over to someone that doesn't like to shop. But seriously, how could you not love a company that prints this on water bottles?

May Birchbox

May's Birchbox arrived last week and had a Gossip Girl theme. I am absolutely fascinated by this company. Not only are they making revenue on the box subscriptions and the products they sell through their website- now they are selling in advertisers. Even though the Gossip Girl partnership was also great brand alignment for Birchbox, you know the network had to pay them a hefty sum for the exposure. And the founders are 28 and 29. Love, love, love seeing smart women kicking ass and taking names.

ANYWAYS.... on to the good stuff.
  1. Beauty Blender Cleanser. Definitely not my favorite sample I've received. I mean.... it's sponge cleanser. Not very exciting. I love the Beauty Blender itself from the February box, but I've already figured out that I can clean it with regular soap and water.
  2. Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liner. This is definitely one of those things that I never would have bought on my own but love! It's fun, girly, and fit perfectly with the Gossip Girl theme. I was also pleasantly surprised when I realized this is a full-size product and not a sample.
  3. Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer. I've seen this brand around and have wanted to try out their products for awhile. I don't know what my deal is lately, but my skin has been so incredibly dry and this appears to give the best results out of anything I've tried over the last few weeks. However, I'm a slatherer when it comes to moisturizers so I have to be careful with what I buy since I go through it so quickly. $90 might be a little much for me for that reason, but this is still a great product.
  4. Arquiste Flor y Canto Perfume . I liked this scent. Not too sugary sweet- which is good. However, I have received a perfume sample in almost every box and haven't really used any of them. Perfume is just so personal and I haven't run across one yet that would make me abandon any of my favorites.
  5. XOXO Notecard. Cute little extra. 
This box was 50/50 for me- loved the Algenist & Stila, "meh" about the cleanser and perfume. I would definitely have paid $10 for the eyeliner though, so I'm going to go ahead and still say it was a win. If you would like to sign up for your own Birchbox, you can do so here!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

April in Pictures

Moose's 5th birthday was April Fool's Day. We celebrated with a trip to Petsmart for a new toy and a cake from Three Dog Bakery. Not spoiled at all.

Get yourself to World Market and buy some of these immediately in the hazelnut flavor. You can thank me later. Amaaaazing.

When news that my precious niece was on her way, my parents headed west immediately. However, my grandparents and I weren't lucky enough to jump a plane to Phoenix with two hours notice. I knew they would have loved to be with the rest of the family so I took them out to dinner and we had our own little celebration of Ms. Delaney's arrival. 

Rangers season started back up! I love baseball pretty much exclusively for the food and beer. No shame in my game (as evidenced by the giant turkey leg in the photo above). I love opening day and the few weeks of games right after. Beyond that, baseball is no longer on my radar- sitting in a sweltering stadium with no shade and scores of other stinky people? No thank you.

Enjoying a girls dinner and a beautiful sunset from the rooftop patio at Terrilli's. If you live in Dallas and haven't been since they opened back up post-fire, you must go before it gets too hot. It's the perfect spot for a bottle of wine and their amazing crab claws. Mmmm.... I may need to go back this week!

I know it's blurry, but that would be Troy Aikman (with his back to the camera in the black) and the Dallas Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett (in the blue hat). Troy sightings are quite common in Dallas, but this was my first so I had to take a photo for The Dot (she's a huge fan of Troy's ass). We were at Katy Trail Icehouse on a Saturday night. People were constantly going up to them, but they seemed to handle it pretty well.

More babies! One of my best friends (and mama to my Godbaby) had her second little girl, Kennedy, a couple weeks ago. I went and saw them in the hospital and she was just so perfect and tiny.

Dallas has an American Girl doll store that also has a hair salon* and a cafe in it. I met my mom, aunt, and two little cousins there for a "Lady's Lunch" and it was quite the experience. On a related note, we figured out while there that my American Girl doll, Samatha, from years and years and years ago is one of three that they have retired. Not to be unsentimental, but I would happily dig her out of the attic if she paid for a plane ticket somewhere fun. 

*Yes, you can pay $25 to get your doll's hair done at the salon. Not to be contrary, but c'mon... isn't that just a little excessive? American Consumerism at its finest. We did have a great lunch though!

This was one of my favorite photos (that I forgot to post here) from my weekend meeting Delaney. 

I'm not the best at dating. I tend to have horrible taste in guys and if I do meet a decent guy, I get bored easily. However, I went out on a few dates in April with a guy I met on St. Patty's day and flowers showed up at my office (twice!) unexpectedly this month. Sadly, I think the last time I got flowers from a boy was over four years ago from my ex-fiancé... and those were never, ever "no reason" flowers. Even when I thought there was no reason I'm SURE there was some reason that I just didn't know about yet. He's very sweet, but it's still pretty new so we shall see...

One of our clients is expanding onto TV this summer and we had a two-day shoot- one day in the studio and one on-location. Commercial shoots are one of my favorite parts of my job- it always feels like I'm out of school on field trip for the day. :) It was a long two days, but we definitely celebrated at the end of it with a big glass of vino in-hand.

I ended April at one of my favorite spots in Dallas, the Farmer's Market. Nothing beats wandering around on a Sunday afternoon with Moose's leash in one hand and fresh ingredients for dinner in the other.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Improving My Tomorrows

Advance warning, this post is about finances and might not be the most entertaining thing in the world, but it's what's swimming around in my noggin at the moment. Proceed if that kind of thing floats your boat or if you need a nap.

Remember how "they" all told you when you graduated from college that the sooner you started saving for retirement the better? And yes, you listen- but just barely since stuffing money into some random IRA account while you're barely squeaking by on a recent-grad salary seems almost comical.

Yeah. All of that was so me.

Not only did I not start saving when I graduated- I lived far beyond my means.

I was blessed that my parents paid for my college and gave me a hefty allowance to live on considering the low cost of living in Lubbock (my rent was a whopping $283 a month). Between that and my very lucrative gig driving the beer cart at a golf course, I was living large without even realizing it.

So when I moved to Dallas after graduation, the reality of my rent tripling and my "adult career" salary totaling less than what I was living on in college hit hard. Very hard. And I didn't adjust my lifestyle accordingly.

My parents trained me properly. I had a couple credit cards in college which I dutifully paid off every month in full. I had a ridiculously high credit score when I graduated thanks to them giving me an "Emergency AMEX" on their account in my name. Funny side note: when you looked at my credit report back then it said that I had been an AMEX cardholder since 1981. I was born in 1982. Nothing like 18 years worth of pristine credit to start you off in life.

It took one solid run at getting my ass in a crack with those tempting pieces of plastic for me to learn my lesson. Never ever again. They say an education costs you and while my parents were great about teaching me how to be financially responsible, there is nothing that prepared me for that lesson like going through it myself. It was a horrible experience, but I'm so thankful for what it taught me.

Having lived to tell the tale, I am now very proud to say that I have been free of credit card debt for two years. I feel like I have grown up immensely when it comes to money. Now that I am debt free AND have also learned the all important task of how to live within my means, I think it might be time to tackle the thought that seemed like a pipe dream when I was 22- investing for retirement.

I read something earlier this week that really made me snap out of it. Basically it said that if I had started investing $5,000/year into an IRA when I was 25, I could have retired at 65 a millionaire. As it stands, investing the exact same yearly amount but starting at the age of 30, I will net something to the tune of $440,000 less. That is INSANE to me that $25,000 would make that much of a difference in the long run.

I'm sure they told me this back when I was 22, but back then 30 just seemed SO FAR AWAY.


An education costs you, indeed.

BUT, the good news is- my head is now removed from my ass and I'm ready to tackle this head-on.
  • First order of business, I signed up for LearnVest.com.
  • Second order of business, enlisting the assistance of a financial planner.
  • Third order of business, peeling myself away from Pinterest where I am consistently rationalizing why I NEED that fancy chevron chair, maxi dress, and/or pair of heels.

If you haven't heard of LearnVest, you should click over and check it out for yourself. It's basically a financial planning website geared toward young(ish) women. I tend to glaze over when people start talking about stocks, IRA's, and 401k's. It's very intimidating to me and I consider myself a fairly smart cookie.

I like LearnVest because it was founded by a 28 year old woman and that fact permeates the site. The articles are interesting and relevant to where I am in my life. The way they describe how to approach your finances is smart but not overwhelming. So far it's been very helpful, if nothing else than to just give me the encouragement that now is the time to take control of this aspect of my life.

My meeting with the financial planner is Thursday so I'll update you if anything of interest comes out of it. Hopefully it isn't too painful!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

30 Things

I ran across this link a couple days ago to a list called "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30" that was originally published in Glamour magazine back in 1997. Seeing as how I just passed the milestone myself, I enjoyed reading it and thought I would pass it along in case you missed it.

By 30, you should have:
  1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come. 
  2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family. 
  3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour. 
  4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying. 
  5. A youth you’re content to move beyond. 
  6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age. 
  7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it. 
  8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you. 
  9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded. 
  10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry. 
  11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra. 
  12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it. 
  13. The belief that you deserve it. 
  14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30. 
  15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better. 
By 30, you should know:
  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself. 
  2. How you feel about having kids. 
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  4. When to try harder and when to walk away. 
  5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next. 
  6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town. 
  7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to. 
  8. How to take control of your own birthday. 
  9. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents. 
  10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over. 
  11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love. 
  12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long. 
  13. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally. 
  14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault. 
  15. Why they say life begins at 30. 
Some of the things on the list I have down pat (1, 6, 11) and some I am still working on (7, 12, and the second #14). What about you?