Thursday, March 30, 2017

a day in my work from home life

So I work from home now! I thought it would be full of long lunches and short days and and I would love it. Before I had the opportunity to work from home, I saw people who did it as lucky. I only saw the good and couldn't really conceptualize what it would be like. Now I can tell you that basically, I was wrong.

I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. because as much as I love sleep, I love mentally preparing myself in the morning more. I get up by 7:00 (earlier if Bauer insists) and make my way to the couch with some coffee and my personal laptop. I flip on Good Morning America while I read blog posts and otherwise catch up on social media.

Each week, I try to look at my schedule and get an idea of what I will wear, the same way I did when I worked in an office. When I know I have video calls, I try to at least wear a non-embarassing t-shirt; if I have lunch plans or need to run an errand, I know I'll wear jeans that day. Otherwise, I throw on "work PJs" which are leggings or running shorts and a t-shirt. My hair and make-up are minimal at best and I love not putting my contacts in daily. I try not to look like a total sloppy mess just because it makes me feel better about myself, but some days are just lazy.

My work day starts at 8:00, especially since the rest of my team is on the east coast. My schedule is flexible, but it's understood that I may have 50 hours of work to do each week. My company is pretty technologically advanced in that we use Slack (you can direct message, group message, or join channels based on your team or interest), Zoom (video or audio conferencing), and our Outlook is super integrated, so it's really easy to get ahold of anyone you need. I work from my home office (an upstairs bedroom in our house; the master and living spaces are downstairs) most of the time since there's no TV in there and I like my dual monitor situation. I try to take at least two 15 minute breaks a day where I get chores done around the house like laundry, getting the house ready for the robot vacuum, or wiping down the bathrooms. I also try to do simple things like use the bathroom downstairs just so I get a few more steps in. I wore a fitbit for a few weeks and I only get 5000 - 7000 steps on an average day!

I've come to realize that I need a change of scenery and to leave my house every so often. I like to work from a coffee shop or the library for a few hours each week and I have a friend in my neighborhood who also works from home, so we've had lunch a few times. On other days, I make sure to take 30 minutes to an hour outside of my home office and take a walk, watch TV in the living room, or run an errand. It's nice to have the flexibility of being at home, but some days, it's so hard to get back to it. I just want to finish my show or run one more errand while I'm still out, but I can't.

Since I'm still new, I'm not super busy so I normally end the day around 5:00, assuming I'm not working on anything time-sensitive. To help get out of work mode, I change clothes and walk the dog and listen to a podcast for 20-30 minutes. Andrew is still doing most of our dinner prep and cooking, so he's usually home and in the kitchen by the time I get back. Then we just have a regular night like we did when I worked in an office.

I don't miss the annoyance of awkward coworkers and forced small talk, but I miss having my work friends within arm's reach if I need to vent or run an idea past someone. I don't miss two + hours in traffic a day, but I do have a harder time finding time to listen to podcasts.  I don't miss being stuck walking to my car with someone I have nothing in common with, but I do miss building relationships face-to-face with people who are essential in doing my job well and building that trust to know we're on the same team. I miss my boss saying that I should leave early or take a long lunch but I don't miss the guilt that comes with being a few minutes late to work because of traffic or poor planning. All of the extra time I thought I would have doesn't exist since I still need to put in my time and get work done.

Overall, this change has been a good thing, but it isn't without some loneliness. It's an adjustment to stay motivated when I would rather get distracted by my house since there's no one looking over my shoulder. It doesn't have the freedom I imagined since other people depend on me to get their work done. But! I save money on gas. I don't need to buy clothes or make-up, really. And, my sheets have never been washed more regularly. Plus, it's motivated me to use Instagram stories when I have something to share or just want to hear what other humans are doing - I mean that's got to be considered a good thing, right?

Any questions or things you've always wondered?

Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff and Things.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

add it to my list: march 2017

It's already the last Tuesday of the month which means that Bre and I are talking about all the things we're recommending right now, AKA our link-up known as Add It To My List.

The rules are easy - just link up things that you're actually recommending to people in real life. A link back and a comment to us as your hosts is appreciated and checking out other lists is suggested but that's it!


grab button for Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren
<div class="eat-drink-and-be-lauren-button" style="width: 650px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.eatdrinkandbelauren.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://imghst.co/67/my_list.jpg" alt="Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren" width="650" height="431" /> </a> </div>
You can grab the button here if you want.

Anyway - onto my list of things that I can't shut up about right now.

Add it to your People to Stalk Online list

I've explained before that much of Bre's and my friendship takes place via email. We chat about what we're doing, what other people are doing, how weird life is, and other things you talk to your friends about. I've come to realize that there are a lot of people out there who I would like to invite into mine and Bre's friends club because I would love their takes on pretty much anything.

  • Nora McInerny - creator of the Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast and brains behind the free Nevertheless, She Persisted tattoos that outgrew the tattoo parlor. She's very dry and a little awkward and I can relate which is probably why I want to be her friend.
  • Lindy West - author of Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, one of my favorite books of 2016. She just did a reading in Houston and Bre and I went and I didn't invite her to the friend club even though I wanted to. She had to quit twitter because people are awful but she is turning her memoir into a TV show and she's on instagram and Facebook.
  • Phoebe Robinson - cohost of the 2 Dope Queens podcast. I'll be honest, I don't love 2 Dope Queens because I would rather listen to Phoebe and her cohost, Jessica, talk than the stand-up comedy that's the point of the show. But, she has another podcast I need to check out and I'm reading her book and it makes you think about hard things like race and white privilege while making you laugh out loud and being full of pop culture references,
Oh, and you should also follow Pete Souza on instagram. I think I've tweeted about him before; he was President Obama's official photographer and now uses archived Obama photos to make statements about the current administration in the shadiest way.

Add it to your Playlist

Music from Big Little Lies. I've tweeted about it and it's good. Lots of angst and a good mix of recent and older music. This playlist gets updated weekly after each episode and I love it. And then when I'm done I listen to Leon Bridges' album in its entirety.

Spotify's My Daily Mix Playlist. Check out your spotify account. You have one, too. I only have a free account so it has made me two playlists so far. I love that it pushes me to listen to new things while still in the confines of songs I know.

Add it to your Treat Yo' Self List

I love school supplies and when I left my old job, my coworkers treated me to an amazing assortment of things for my home office. I got these gold Nate Berkus scissors which are unnecessary, I suppose, but they're heavy and pretty and now I get excited when I need to cut things. They're definitely stronger than any other scissors I've ever had. Plus, they're just begging to be artfully arranged and captured on instagram, right?

Add it to your Houston List

Local friends, if you haven't been to Tiny's Milk and Cookies yet, then please go. They have arguably the best chocolate chip cookie in the city and their Milk and Cookies ice cream is perfectly sweet with huge cookie chunks in it. Plus, it's a window attached to the restaurant, so you can just pull up and easily grab treats to take somewhere. Just go.



Friday, March 10, 2017

lately

I had a really good weekend but didn't feel like recapping it so I thought I would do it here with some other thoughts and call it a good Lately post.

- I love local businesses and there aren't a ton where I live. A few months ago, some friends and I were at a craft show and met a really nice couple who just started making their own bath bombs. I saw a post on Facebook last week and thought "hmmm, those look familiar..." - turns out that couple opened a cute home decor store in the historic part of town so I had to stop by. The owner was as nice as I remembered, the whole store was on sale, I got some subdued Beatles decor, and she told me about her upcoming Pinterest project and floral design workshops that my friends already want to go to. Loved it!

- Fun fact: I went to take a photo of my new decor but of course my camera is out of space (it's a constant struggle). Googled for a photo and the same thing is available at Target.com. Of course it is. At least I paid less and bought it locally...

- Saturday was basically a day o' thrifting for me. I was looking for a bookcase but didn't find it. I did stop in a great resale/antique store with lots of refinished furniture (I have come to realize I will never DIY) at fantastic prices. I found a dressing table that I loved but couldn't justify and a pie safe that I didn't need but texted to Andrew and even he said I to buy it. I don't need his permission to buy things, but I am super indecisive and if I don't NEED an item, I'll leave it behind (and normally regret it). I was just texting him things and when he said buy it... I figured I would just find a home for it. It's currently living in the corner of my dining room but I need to figure out how to style it.

- We tried Xochi for brunch in the new Marriott Marquis. It was good, but its sister restaurant, Hugo's, is still my brunch favorite. At least they both use the same guacamole recipe (aka the best ever...). Xochi has a chocolate flight on its dinner menu so the buffet desserts were chocolate-heavy, which I didn't hate, but sadly there was nothing there I had to have (unlike Hugo's flan).

The dressing table I left behind | the pie safe that came home with me | Mexican hot chocolate, cake, tart, with passionfruit, flan, and in a strawberry cone. I thought the croissant was chocolate, but it was plain. And fruit because balance.

- It's so warm that it was pedicure time. I went with OPI's Two-Timing the Zones. I kind of feel like a Barbie, but I also really like it.

- Andrew and I are bingeing The Americans. When we went to the ATX Festival last year, it was everyone's favorite show so it's been on our watch list for a while. We tried it when it first started and couldn't get into it, probably because we had just finished Brothers and Sisters, which had the main male actor in a very different role. Time has solved that problem. The show is intriguing and the costumes are fantastic, but so far, I don't get the LOVE for it. I like it and I look forward to watching it, but I'm not obsessed. We're in the middle of season two and the fifth just started airing this past week. I'll keep you updated.

- Not having coworkers that I see daily is weird. I think I've been texting my friends a lot more often and I also started instagram story-ing (is that a verb?) just to share. What are your thoughts on IG Stories? I admit, I was in camp "they are unnecessary, please stop" but I do appreciate how they let me see a more real side of people who appear to be perfect online (that does not include me. I don't think I post anything perfect-looking). I also like hearing the voices of bloggers I've followed for a while.

So that's me lately. What's going on in your world?
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