The Long break

We’re not having coffee this week. We’ll be having Argentinian parilla. There is more meat on this grill than what I eat in a month. I usually get my protein in the form of beans and eggs. When I had to amp up my protein when I was pregnant, I used protein powder.

Between my husband and I, it was leftovers for lunch and dinner for days.
Continue reading The Long break

On to the next thing

** Warning: Long post **

I put in my two-week notice and decided to go with Employer #1.

Where did I leave off? Well, I withheld the news last that Employer #1 gave me an offer last Thursday. I received the offer letter 20 minutes before my scheduled interview with Employer C (Current Employer) for the assistant hospital administrator position. At the time I was very confident with the outcome with Employer C. I had support from my supervisor and the person who held the previous position who were confident I would do well if I got the job. It would have been a leapfrog of a promotion, I would have gone from a position that is a step below a director to someone who is a step above a director. If you called me back to Earth, you’d shake me and say “It’s a major reach! You’re disturbing the pecking order — that’s not how it works!”

Continue reading On to the next thing

Door number 1, 2, and 3

** Warning: Long Post **

I just see a person

On Saturday my husband is off to a robotics competition. He’s a coach/mentor for a local high school. BIL #1 and BIL #2 are going to see their mom since it is her birthday. They offered to bring Lana because it would be nice for her to see her grandmother and it would free me up, but I told them she had dance classes and we had other plans. Honestly, I am less enthused about Lana going to MIL’s birthday because I am still bitter about that one spontaneous visit where she compared her with her cousins. But that was only part of it.

Continue reading Door number 1, 2, and 3

Play hard

The Comparison game

I think one of the worst things a parent, a grandparent, or a relative could do to a child is to compare them with other children. I am thankful my parents never did that. I am also thankful my parents advised me to never compare myself to other people. I am sure I started this self-flagellation of comparing myself to others as early as elementary school…maybe even sooner? I think into my 20s it was pretty bad because I was concerned about career and life satisfaction. Now in my 30s, I am actively fighting against it.

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Go fly

Gather around everyone! I brought everyone a box of the world-famous Voodoo Donuts. Hailing from Portland, these donuts have set up shop in Los Angeles too. I warn you these donuts are a lot larger than pictured. They’re all at least the size of my hand.

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These short work weeks feel accelerated

Where should I begin with this week’s Coffee Share?

This week at work has been a whirlwind. This week was Employee Appreciation Week. Everyday this week during lunch hour we had to set our department booth doing giveaways, outreach, etc. I’ve been on my feet all week at work. Though I had Monday off, these short work weeks feel accelerated. I know I need a vacation — even this vacation staying at home sleeping in and going to a local cafĂ© for lunch.

Continue reading These short work weeks feel accelerated

Selection process

Brace yourselves, it’s going to be another hot weekend! It’s a good day for a nice cold cider.

Our electricity bill came and it is unusually high. Aside from the obvious culprit, the air conditioner, I have not been as mindful turning off the lights before I leave a room lately especially when I’ve been occupied with Lana. In the past I’ve been comically vigilant unplugging unused appliances like the rice cooker. If we were leaving town, we would unplug everything except the refrigerator.

Continue reading Selection process

Let’s have vaccine clinics in the lobby!

Happy Friday everyone! This week flew by — thank goodness! A lot has developed over the past week especially at work. Visitors seeing patients staying at the in-patient floors must have COVID vaccine or COVID negative test in the last 72 hours. The lines to the information desk are getting long. I think maybe while we are at it, we should have a vaccine clinic at all our lobby areas so if they get turned away, they can get vaccinated and not leave feeling empty-handed.

Also at work, all employees (including volunteers and contractors) at my work must have the COVID vaccine by September 30th. If they don’t get vaccinated, they can’t go to work. I’m not sure what the ultimate decision will be for those who won’t vaccinate. Is this an experiment to get more employees vaccinated? In the meantime, unions are negotiating for those who continue to not vaccinate to do weekly COVID tests in order for them to continue working but my employer will remain rigid with their decision. There is an exemption but that applies if the person is reported to get an anaphylactic shock from the vaccine. Honestly I don’t mind that my work won’t budge. As someone working for a public employer, is it financially responsible for tax payer dollars to continue to pay for employee COVID tests? Have my coworkers seen how much COVID tests cost? Also, I’m tired of holding the secondary title of contact tracer at work — it eats up a lot of time from my regular duties.

Continue reading Let’s have vaccine clinics in the lobby!

Five things Friday: Noodle Hack

Five things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you.

Getting the Childcare Tax Credit (CTC) – I know I’ve been hearing about getting the Childcare Tax Credit and to be honest, it was nice seeing that credit in my checking account this morning. Please keep in mind that this is an advance that applies for next year’s tax season, not a stimulus check. Half of the usual CTC is coming in the form of monthly payments. It made me think, why can’t it always be in monthly payments rather than a lump sum that one time you file your tax return. I’m thinking more about that parent that needs that break to pay for their kid’s formula or a few days of daycare. I’m thinking about that parent that needs to have a little bit of money to put away to save for a future summer camp

Experimenting with adding baking soda to your noodles – I heard about this cooking hack from a Youtube video. Lately I’ve been playing around with this trick. To be honest, I can’t tell the difference. Maybe I should buy some ramen noodles as a control for comparison.

Bionicos (Mexican Fruit Salad) – Looks indulgent but it’s incredibly healthy and filling since it’s mostly strawberries. The cream sauce is very, very light.

Managing my work through the Pomodoro Timer – I learned about the Pomodoro Timer on my new fitness watch. I thought the name was kind of funny and thought “what’s a tomato timer?” I looked it up and it’s basically you work for twenty-five minutes (“Pomodoro”) followed by a five minute break. After the five minute break, you repeat. Generally you take a longer break after you complete four Pomodoros, but the rules are pretty flexible. I thought the concept was very simple, but after trying the Pomodoro timer all week, I’m pleasantly surprised how much work I got done including ones that have been on the back burner for months.

Bakeries in LA list – I am working through this list of iconic bakeries around LA.

Working on my daily three

Happy weekend coffee share! So I wanted to do a recap of how my three tasks a day experiment has been going so far. The practice is pretty simple: I write no more than three tasks per day on my work planner for work-related tasks and I do the same on my day planner for my non-work related items. If you see my work planner before, you would find a ridiculously long tasks lists containing mix of high- and low-priority items. On my day planner, my task lists were starting to look more like wish lists of things I wanted to do.

Here is what I learned so far:

It’s not about doing less and being lazy, it’s about setting boundaries — especially at work.

Listing three high priority work items sets intention for my work day. But there are days when something happens that calls my attention (per my supervisor) and all of the sudden there’s about an hour left in the work day. From there, I want to take a brief moment to breathe…. and then a volunteer stands by my door asking if I’m busy. I take another breath and I look at my list shocked by how I did not make any effort to do anything on my daily three. I look at the volunteer profusely apologizing for not being able to help her right now but she could send me an e-mail. Thankfully, she was very understanding because there have been some who would NOT take that as an acceptable answer.

It’s ok to have recurring tasks even if they’ve been there daily for the last several weeks because they’re clearly very important

Everyday for the past several weeks on my work planner I listed “write letter of recommendation.” This will continue up until the beginning of November because I have MANY volunteers who are applying to medical school, P.A. school, nursing school, graduate school, undergraduate, etc. It’s in my daily three because I would HATE to miss a deadline for something so important to them.

Other recurring tasks were around events and projects I managed. For example, this past Thursday, I had this large event. A month leading up to this event, I wrote on my work planner the name of that event everyday up to the day of. I wanted to make sure I still had it on my mind to finalize the details, confirm RVSPs, etc. I knew this event would have gotten lost in the shuffle of other things and suddenly re-emerge itself the week of if I did not write it down on my daily three everyday this month.

For home, I write exercise on my daily three everyday because I know I forget to exercise on most days. It’s clearly important to me since I spend a lot of my time sitting on a desk. Other recurring tasks I’ve had at some point was watering my newly installed plants daily for the first several weeks until established.

Spreads my to-dos throughout the week.

Maybe this is more beneficial for my home life. Why do I let myself believe I can do a million tasks in a day when I can just spread it throughout the week in groups of three? The daily three makes each day more digestible.

It looks like my daily three for work and for home will be here to stay!

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

How do you manage your tasks at work and at home? Comment below!

Happy late weekend coffee share post!

Happy late weekend coffee share post — it’s been a busy weekend for me. I started my Saturday morning going to the gym — nowadays it’s the only time I go to the gym. Sure I exercise from home, but I enjoy going to the gym to socialize and chat with my fellow gym buddies. After the gym, I finally did my exam for the internship position. The deadline is this Monday at 5PM and I knew Saturday was going to be my only free day and I needed a clear head to complete the exam. There were a few difficult parts that required me to take a few mental health breaks in between (thank god). After I completed my exam, I expected to get a score. It is an online exam after all… But we shall see…

Today is our first Father’s Day. My family came over to visit and we did our potluck lunch. I made a matcha cake with white chocolate whipped cream. It’s my first attempt making a cake not from a box mix. We have leftovers, so grab some yourself! I will do a post about this matcha cake this week. I do want to mention that I messed up on the frosting — I whipped it for too long and it started turning into buttercream.

Matcha cake with white chocolate frosting green tea

What a week!

Happy weekend everyone! And I have to say, I could not wait until this week was over. This week was incredibly unpredictable life-wise. So how did this week go for me?

Sunday: After much discussion, we decided to buy a new (used) car. One of my husband’s brothers was interested in getting our car so my husband was putting in new parts to prepare the car to only come across something that was beyond his skillset. So I called a mechanic to come over to take a look. We did not want to go through the trouble of getting a tow if there was a mobile mechanic in our neighborhood. Unfortunately he was unavailable to stop by that day so we waited until Monday morning.

Monday: I told my supervisor that I was going to be late and would likely take a Lyft ride to work after the mechanic comes by to check out the car and possibly fix it. The mechanic arrived later than scheduled (he informed me in advance). He does not have the part and said he’d return either later that evening or the following day. My husband kindly bought the part on the way home thinking it would make the mechanic’s life much easier so it can be fixed later that evening. That never happened. In terms of getting the work, I ended up not going after speaking with my supervisor. I would pay anywhere between $70-$80 roundtrip to do less than 4 hours of work in the office. If there buses and trains ran more frequently, I would have taken that to work. Also my supervisor reminded me that all next week she’ll be on vacation so it was best I took the day off which I did, but I did not go anywhere.

Tuesday: My husband works from home so he could wait for the mechanic to arrive and I can go to work. I took a Lyft ride to work. My husband told me the mechanic came by and he thought the mechanic told us the car needed a new bolt yesterday, not a new bolt and nut. My husband went through the trouble to buying a new bolt for the mechanic thinking he would have likely completed the job earlier. Anyways my husband decided if the car needed a new bolt and nut he could have done it himself. It was good we consulted with a mechanic to only learn the repair was not beyond my husband’s skillset. Also, we saved a lot of money since we are buying a new car. The cost of the repair was just as much as a car payment. Cost of a Lyft ride from home to work: $92 for a roundtrip. That does not include the tip.

Wednesday: We bought a new car! No Lyft rides for now…also significantly less gas trips for a while because we bought a plug-in hybrid! Total cost of Lyft ride: $94. The trip was from home to work, then from work to car dealership. These Lyft receipts are so painful to look at.

Thursday: Daycare called to tell me I had to pull Lana out early because they saw a rash. They said that Lana could only return to daycare until she saw a doctor and we get a doctor’s note stating that her rash is not contagious. We went home early and waited for the 4:30 pm video consult. My supervisor gave me approval to work from home for the day so I did not have to use my PTO. I was exhausted but I am not going to join these groups of working mom who complain how hard it is to work from home while having small children at home. I’ll admit it is hard, but I refuse to contribute to these sentiments. For part of my job, I interview people coming from the GAIN (Greater Avenues to Independence) program for one-year paid internship positions. The candidates coming from the GAIN program are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and are young parent(s). Every time I hear someone who complains how hard it is to work from home or how hard it is to work from home with a kid, I cringe because I think about my interviews with the GAIN candidates. In the interview they would tell me how they would like an opportunity to work in an office. They want stable hours and a less physically demanding job.

Friday: I returned to work. Lana’s rash was NOT contagious.

I applied for this Administrative Internship through my work earlier this week. I heard back that my application is moving forward in the selection process and I complete Part II on Monday. It’s not an interview, just another assessment. I guess it is a nice way to end this week. The Administrative Intern program is a two-year full-time paid internship through my current employer. I would perform analyst assignments in a variety of public offices within the county like public health, health services, parks and rec, etc. I still intend to apply for the Management Fellow which is very similar where it is paid and it’s also a two year program, but the level of work is much higher and requires the candidates to have a Master’s Degree. But the Management Fellow applications won’t open up until towards the end of the year and the acceptance rate is much, much lower than the Administrative Internship.

Anyways, we can’t predict the future. If we did, then we’d all be rich and solve the world’s problems.

Turkish Coffee

This weekend’s coffee is Turkish coffee to pummel myself. I ate too many sweets yesterday :-/.

I highly encourage people to participate in this month’s “Eat Around the World” challenge to submit dishes around celebration! Cooking skills are not required. Funny thing, as someone who raves about home cooking, I have yet to post a celebration dish I’ve made. Maybe soon…