I Have Short Hair

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I have short hair for the first time in years!

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Brian packed up my hair and we’re sending it to Locks of Love. I’m not sure that it’s long enough. Brian says it is. I hope they are able to use it. If not, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. Right?

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Additional info regarding Locks of Love:

Social Media Spotlight

Party on the Plaza - Oktoberfest

About a month ago Corporate Communications sent me twenty questions to answer for a social media spotlight on our company Facebook page. Only a few of the questions made the cut so I’m posting all of the questions and answers on here for your reading enjoyment.

When did you start working here? I started working for the company on May 2002.

Briefly, what jobs have you had with the company? I have always worked in the Customer Relations Center (CRC) and see myself as a customer advocate. I started as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) in back then what was called the phone center. Two and a half years later I became supervisor of our team. When we reorganized in late 2009, I took on the role of Quality Assurance Manager. In 2011 we combined Training and Quality Assurance and that’s when I became Manager, Quality Assurance and Training, which is the position I hold today.

What would people never guess you do in your role? The one thing that people would probably never guess I do in my role is have fun. Most think of Quality Assurance work as monotonous and boring. It can be but I find it extremely rewarding. We don’t just evaluate service interactions for compliance. We also listen to catch people doing things right and we celebrate these successes. I find my job fulfilling and fun because I work with the most amazing group of people. They make it fun.

Tell us about your family (if you’re married, who’s your spouse, how did you meet, how long have you been married, your kids and their ages). My husband’s name is Brian. We met over 15 years ago and have been inseparable ever since. We were married on August 2002. I’m grateful to Brian for being supportive of all my goals and aspirations, specifically all the years I spent attending Wichita State for undergrad and grad school. He inspires me to be the best version of me that I can be and I’d like to think that I have the same effect on him. We do not have any children.

What is your favorite childhood memory? I will always have fond memories of the summers that my sister and I spent in my grandmother’s village. We lived in Las Pinas which is located in the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It’s the main island. As soon as the school session was over, we would ride the ship to the island of Negros. We couldn’t afford to go by plane. Once there my days were spent playing outside, swimming in the river, celebrating town fiestas, attending street dances, etc. The time I spent staying with my grandmother is how I learned to speak the local dialect Cebuano which I can still speak today. The primary language in Las Pinas is Tagalog, which I also speak.

What life dream is still out there waiting for you? I dream of traveling the world someday and being able to speak other languages (specifically Spanish) fluently.

At what time do you feel like work is the perfect place to be? This is true every day. I see myself as a customer experience advocate and in that sense I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Where is the place you feel most at peace? I’m most at peace at home with Brian.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work? I teach Zumba for the YMCA and Wichita Parks and Recreation in my spare time. I love Zumba because it’s the only kind of exercise I know that actually makes people happy. Everyone has a smile on their face in every Zumba class I’ve ever taught or attended. Zumba is so positive and uplifting that it brings me great joy to be able to share it with others. I feel like I’m making a difference in their day even for only an hour. I know it makes a huge difference in mine. I always feel better after Zumba class.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? People are most surprised to learn that I enjoy playing poker. Since I’m very expressive so people don’t think I can bluff, much less keep a straight face when I have a great hand. Texas hold ‘em is one of my favorite activities, second only to Zumba.

Five things you personally like: I like staying busy, learning new things, traveling, connecting with people, and achieving goals (personal and professional).

Three things you don’t like: I dislike being around grouchy, negative people; gaining weight; and being sick.

If you could spend one day with any contemporary person or person from history, who would that be? Why? I’d pick Sheryl Sandberg because I was captivated by her TED talk and I really enjoyed reading her book which my mentor gave over a year ago. I find her ideas inspirational and see her as a great role model. Within the organization, I’d pick Doug Sterbenz. In the 12 years I’ve watched him grow as a leader and speaker. I would love the opportunity to shadow/observe him for a day and find out how he got to be such an eloquent public speaker.

What are three things you cannot live without? Internet, my phone, and music. Having an internet connection was actually a condition of my moving in with Brian fifteen years ago. I wasn’t about to move to a place without internet.

What is your biggest pet peeve? There are things that drive me crazy but I don’t have a major pet peeve because I’m generally pretty tolerant (or so I’d like to think).

What is your favorite movie of all time? It’s hard to pick just one. I really enjoyed Pitch Perfect and watched it more than a dozen times last year. I’d play the ending of the movie just so I can hear the Barden Bellas perform their final song over and over again. Then it dawned on me that I could buy the soundtrack. Joke aside, my all time favorite movie is A Knight’s Tale because I find the idea of being able to “change your stars” empowering. I believe it. (The Pursuit of Happyness is really good too.)

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? The superpower that I’d want to have is multiplicity. I want to do so many things and there’s just not enough time in the day to do them all. Sometimes I want to do things that are happening simultaneously and I can only pick one event or activity because there’s only one of me.

What is your favorite quote? “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” That’s a quote from my all time favorite children’s book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery.

What was the most interesting job you’ve had? I’ve only worked for one other company besides here so I don’t really have an answer for this one. I worked at Spiegel (catalog) for almost 7 years before the call center in Wichita closed its doors. I held various positions there including customer sales associate (front line), customer satisfaction specialist/help desk, OJT trainer/helper, lead sales associate, team lead/coach, interim supervisor – none of these are really exotic or interesting.

If you could buy any one thing, with price being no object, what would it be? A trip to space. That is the one thing in this world that my husband wants to do and if money were no object I’d want to help him fulfill that dream.

My Stella & Dot Launch Party

About a month ago I decided to embark on my first MLM business. Brian was completely against it because he grew up watching his mom try several of these ventures (Avon, Mary Kay, etc.) with limited or no success. He didn’t want to see me throw money at some new project only to watch me fail at it months later. Plus, he has this perception that all MLM businesses are pyramid schemes.

My friend Darcy at work kind of holds the same views. When I was telling her about it — and I can’t help but get excited because the products (jewelry, bags, scarves, etc.) are amazing — she just shook her head with disapproval. I got to the part where I was telling her how I have the opportunity to make even more money when other “stylists” (as we are called) sign up underneath me. She was like, “So it is like a pyramid scheme!” While there is a sort of pyramid structure that naturally happens when new stylists sign up under you and other stylists sign up under them, the term “pyramid scheme” just sounds so negative. It implies that there is little to no added value in the endeavor when in fact there is. I absolutely love Stella & Dot jewelry. The quality of the items are better than most name brand products and their customer service is out of this world. Seriously. I am always delighted to contact them.

Anyway, Isaac has his photo booth business. Carmen has her Origami Owl business. Now I have Stella & Dot so I’m feeling all entrepreneurial. LOL.

I didn’t really expect much out of this new venture. I decided to become a stylist mostly because I love the jewelry and wanted to be able to purchase them at half off. It’s a lot like how I got started with Zumba really. A couple of years ago I became a ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) member just to get discounts on Zumba gear and also to get Zumba music. I originally had no intention of actually teaching Zumba. An opportunity to teach Zumba for the city of Wichita came up and I took on the the challenge a few weeks after getting my Zumba license. It helped me cover my monthly ZIN costs. It didn’t cover the money I was spending on workout clothes, shoes, and other Zumba gear or other expenses (such as conventions and conferences) but in my mind I’m actually saving money because I would buy these things anyway. As a ZIN I’m actually getting them at a discounted rate. Fast forward to today… I teach Zumba for the Greater Wichita YMCA (I gave up my class at Evergreen Recreation Center for several reasons but the biggest reason is that it’s just too far of a drive; however, I can still sub for the city whenever someone needs me to fill in). I would never have realized that I had a talent for teaching Zumba classes and a passion for bringing people a joyful and enjoyable workout had it not been for my Zumba gear shopping problem. Sometimes things just end up working out the way they’re supposed to…

But I digress… Brian and Darcy’s perspective that I somehow got roped into some kind of pyramid scheme wasn’t very uplifting so I really had no expectations whatsoever with this whole Stella & Dot business. I was quite shocked at the success of my launch party. I earned hundreds of dollars of free jewelry just from the trunk show orders and I still have a few more orders trickling in from work.

I was so worried that no one would show up for my launch party trunk show. I had attended several parties of all kinds in the past for various friends but I’d never had the desire to host a party of my own because I was always worried that no one would show up. I didn’t want to be the loser who had two friends at her party. I wasn’t even concerned about making any sales. I just needed bodies.

I had a few cancellations the day of the party so I was a bit nervous. Brian, the supportive husband that he is, offered to cater my event. I asked him not to make so much food because I was worried that I wouldn’t have any guests to feed. My friend Misty who was initially calling to cancel because she hurt her ankle the day before could sense my concern over the phone. She actually came over despite her injury. Not only that, she actually placed an order. God bless her!

Brian is convinced that the reason my launch party did so well is because of his food. I guess since people knew he was making food they decided it was worth the trip. LOL.

Seriously though, I have the most amazing friends. The launch party wouldn’t have been a success without them. And, I can’t believe I got all of those orders. They added up really quickly and got me awesome hostess rewards such as 50% OFF four times in addition to over $250 of free jewelry. My sponsor/upline Amanda was impressed.

I actually credit Amanda for the success of my party also. Because of a fiasco with USPS, who delivered my package to the wrong address, I hardly had any samples to display. Thankfully Amanda brought all of her beautiful jewelry.

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Check out her display compared to mine below.

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I’m so glad Amanda talked me into hosting a launch party. Between Brian’s delicious catering, Amanda’s wonderful trunk show display/presentation, and my awesome friends my Stella & Dot business is off to a great start!

BTW, shipping is so fast that everyone who ordered during the launch party (except for Kate because the earrings she picked were so popular that they’re on backorder) received their items on Thursday.

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By Friday Faith and I were sporting our Stella & Dot jewelry.

Fun Times With Friends

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We had such a blast at Oeno last Friday. We’d never been there for salsa night before. It doesn’t get as packed as Suede use to be, but I actually prefer it that way. Now that I know what it’s like, I’m actually thinking of putting salsa night back into our regular Friday night rotation.

It was a little rough this past weekend though because Friday night is our Bond night. When we got home at midnight we put on Live and Let Die just to stay on track of our goal to watch all the James Bond movies this year from oldest to newest. Brian said I passed out not long after the movie started but he was up until two in the morning.

I’m not sure what time I fell asleep but I might as well have stayed up with him because it felt like it the next day. Teaching Zumba at 9:30 AM that Saturday morning was no easy feat. LOL.

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Speaking of Zumba, two of the ladies in my Zumba class got me a plant in honor of my last day of teaching at Evergreen Recreation Center. Since I’m no longer able to attend Señor Alvarez’ Spanish class I figured that it was finally time to give up teaching at Evergreen. It was great when I was able to take Spanish classes for free but, since it wasn’t working out with my schedule, it was actually costing me more to teach there than I was making. Not that I teach Zumba to make money but, now that I’m teaching for the YMCA, I can satisfy my need to share my passion for Zumba without having to drive clear across town.

This is actually great news for Brian because then I don’t have to be somewhere until 11 AM on Saturday mornings, the only day of the week that we can sleep in. Although, sleeping in probably isn’t in the cards for us because any time I find a gap in schedule I somehow find a way to fill it with something.

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We spent Saturday night playing poker at Rune’s.

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Brian ended up taking the tournament down (April placed third and Cory placed second), which is ironic considering Mama Dill actually knocked him out early in the game. Thank God for re-buys!

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We had no idea that we were celebrating Cory’s birthday that night also so we weren’t prepared with our birthday gift. It worked out for the best though because delivering his present gave us a good excuse to see Cory in person on his actual birthday (he’s a St. Pat’s Day baby). Happy birthday, Cory!

Way to Go, Subaru of Wichita!

So this was the big news last week, but the saga continues…

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It all started with the protestors. The clever folks at Subaru, specifically my friend Aaron, decided to finish the sentence as you can see above.

It was the most brilliant rebuttal I’d ever seen executed in my entire life. Seriously. I know the protestors intended to have a negative effect on business but it did the exact opposite. It actually focused more attention on how clever the Subaru folks are. They’re so clever I fully intend to buy my next car from them when I’m ready. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I bet the publicity brought a lot of traffic and sales. Way to make lemonade!

And, just in case you missed it, here’s a video of my friend Aaron on Fox & Friends.

So anyway, the union protestors decided to move their sign to the other side. Not to be outdone, the Subaru folks had an answer. You can’t put clever people down. LOL.

I think the union protestors should pack up and leave now. Best to throw in the towel. It doesn’t matter what you do. You’re not going to win this one.

Blue Moose

I had the opportunity to check out Blue Moose while I was in Topeka last week.

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Here are some pictures of our food.

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Blue Moose on Urbanspoon

This is what I had. It was good but very salty. I like salty foods so I didn’t mind it. The dish would have been way too salty for Brian, though.

Overall the restaurant had a pretty good menu selection. Everyone seemed to be happy with their dinner. As far as Topeka restaurants go, I still like the Blind Tiger best but I wouldn’t mind returning to Blue Moose again.

Adventurous Babes Society

After almost a year of being a member, I finally had the opportunity to participate in some Adventurous Babes Society events/adventures. Here are some photos.

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This one was taken at the Death by Chocolate tasting event at Cravings Gluten Free Bakery. Check out more pictures from that event by clicking on the link.

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This one was taken after my Zumba class at Andover YMCA. March is “Dance Adventure Month” for the Adventurous Babes Society so I invited the members to try my Zumba class.

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These two photos are from Let’s Dance!

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It was a lot of fun learning the choreography (line dance routine) for Pharrell’s Happy (from Despicable Me 2). I can’t wait until my next adventure!

Firebirds

I had to take Brian on a proper date after making him sit through The Chalk Garden last weekend. Plays are not really his cup of tea. He was a good sport about it, though.

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We started out date night with dinner at Firebirds. Brian had never been there. His parents tried it for the first time on their last trip to Wichita and really liked it so I figured he probably would too.

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Here’s a photo of their signature drink.

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Here are some pictures of our food.

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We started out with crab cakes. Their crab cakes have great flavor but what I really like most about them is how chunky they are. There’s huge hunks of crab meat and not much filler. Just the way a crab cake should be.

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Their bread reminds me of an extra large pandesal.

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Brian had the smokehouse chicken sandwich.

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I really wanted the crab cake salad because Darcy really liked it the last time we were there. However, I had to pick something else since we had crab cakes for our appetizer. Ended up getting the Colorado chicken salad which is really good too. It’s not as good as my favorite chicken salad at Red Rock Canyon Grill but I thought it was delicious and I’d order it again.

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Firebirds Wood Fired Grill on Urbanspoon

I ate light because I was saving room for dessert. I’ve been having sweet cravings lately.

The big daddy chocolate cake really hit the spot. The cake is so huge that Brian and I couldn’t finish it. I had to take the rest of it home.

I wasn’t overly impressed with Firebirds when my coworkers and I ate there for lunch a while ago, but I was really pleased with our experience the other day. Our server was attentive and friendly and the food was good. Brian really liked it. Our dinner at Firebirds was a great start to our date night.

Over a Decade of Photos

Every now and then I’ll participate in Throwback Thursday on Facebook. Throwback Thursday is a meme where you post an old photo. Today I wanted to do something more. I’m giving you links to over ten years worth of photos, thousands of them, on my Flickr photostream. But be warned, it might just make you hungry.

2002: July (39)   August (70)   December (19)  
2003: January (4)   March (63)   April (6)   May (10)   June (98)   July (5)   September (1)   November (14)   December (20)  
2004: January (18)   February (31)   March (6)   April (4)   May (101)   June (7)   July (19)   August (107)   September (211)   October (391)   November (178)   December (60)  
2005: January (75)   February (74)   March (43)   April (136)   May (120)   June (368)   July (160)   August (172)   September (33)   October (55)   November (51)   December (166)  
2006: January (152)   February (192)   March (178)   April (132)   May (340)   June (330)   July (286)   August (164)   September (91)   October (238)   November (79)   December (290)  
2007: January (79)   February (44)   March (165)   April (82)   May (312)   June (439)   July (781)   August (247)   September (342)   October (186)   November (354)   December (463)  
2008: January (248)   February (102)   March (99)   April (611)   May (520)   June (1049)   July (919)   August (672)   September (199)   October (1481)   November (523)   December (896)  
2009: January (216)   February (229)   March (374)   April (510)   May (1255)   June (592)   July (1258)   August (945)   September (663)   October (1592)   November (240)   December (588)
2010: January (718)   February (1600)   March (915)   April (222)   May (296)   June (332)   July (691)   August (774)   September (590)   October (858)   November (557)   December (922)  
2011: January (381)   February (466)   March (474)   April (709)   May (380)   June (520)   July (853)   August (198)   September (289)   October (698)   November (292)   December (440)
2012: January (235)   February (383)   March (474)   April (263)   May (560)   June (235)   July (176)   August (277)   September (299)   October (223)   November (131)   December (248)
2013: January (192)   February (162)   March (190)   April (249)   May (177)   June (379)   July (195)   August (512)   September (333)   October (256)   November (318)   December (534)

Chevreul’s Pendulum

Brian has always been a bit of a nonbeliever in The Secret. He believes in it more now, but he used to make fun of me for being completely convinced that it works. But then, how else would you explain all the great things that happen to us?

While at the Customer Experience and Touch Point Mapping meeting last week, we were introduced to Chevreul’s Pendulum. I never could prove The Secret to Brian until this exercise. As soon as we did it, I thought to myself, “This is it. This is exactly how The Secret works!” I couldn’t wait to show Brian.

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This is a photo of him giving it a try. If you’ve never tried this before, let me know. It’s amazing. If you are unfamiliar with The Secret, check out the video below. You probably think I’m nuts, but it really works. I promise!

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