40 Hour Blues

Can we please all just agree that we don’t work on Fridays? Just moving forward, it’s like another day of the weekend? And lo, a 4 day work week was given to them?

Oh I know the problems with this, the fact that retailers don’t close and it all trickles down and money and blah blah blah. I don’t care. I am selfish and I want to sleep in tomorrow. Kthxbai.

Now that we’ve settled that.

What is it with Americans and our undying need to work so hard? Where did this come from? I am especially guilty of this.

Even in high school I was bound to some weird code that said I had to get all of my reading done before I did anything fun. My parents didn’t make me do it. It was a personal choice. But I have to think it came from somewhere. There is some innate quality I have that makes me want to work, or feel guilty if I’m not working.

There is no in-between for me. No middle ground.

When I was unemployed I was miserable about being unemployed. Now, I’ve been re-employed for almost a year, and I’m happy at my job, but every day I’m jealous of my husband who gets to work from home and my sisters who are both in school.

I know logically all of those people, in fact people in every type of working (and non-working) situation, have their issues. The things they want to bitch about and the things that drive them crazy. But you know, grass is greener.

In all likelihood, there is absolutely nothing that would make me 100% happy. Were I suddenly give a four-day work week, I’d want it to be three days. But if I had the opportunity to only work three days a week, I might be bored. Or feel guilty. Because I would know that someone out there was working 80 hour weeks.

So what’s the ideal when it comes to work? 20 hours a week? 40? Should I just get over it? Or should we just trade the dollar in for giant stones like they have on Yap? What’s your work week philosophy?

On Becoming a Mom

I’ve written here plenty of times about my struggle with identity. Who I am. What I’m doing here. Why my life is the way it is.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m happy.

Incredibly happy. In fact, my life, on paper, is damn near perfect. And my reality is pretty great too. But you know, there I am, inside my own head all of the time, and I get confused.

I’m going to be a mom.

I’m pregnant, and I have a little baby inside of me and John is going to be a dad and we are going to be a family. And I am overjoyed. Honestly I am so so excited. I wanted this so so much and and I am thrilled that it is happening for us.

But I am also terrified. Scared shitless.

First, there’s the fact that I’ve got to be the one to grow this child inside of me, and make sure he’s healthy and gets enough folic acid and eats vegetables and not Sour Patch kids all day long. I’ve got to be the one to make sure he is well. I mean really well. Really alive and well and healthy. It’s all about me.

Then there’s the fact that when he’s born, I still have to do that but now he’s on the outside. In the world with me. I have a whole other person besides me that I have to feed and bathe and soothe and LOVE. And oh I will. I know I will love, I already know a love I never thought I could have ever known. And he’s not even any bigger than a “large shrimp.” Thank you, The Bump for that stunning visual. I prefer the fruit metaphors.

And it’s all so exciting and scary and wonderful but it’s already just so confusing. Being a mom, being a parent, I don’t think I’ve really ever understood the magnitude of what that means. And what it’s going to mean to me, specifically, me Jeni, who is constantly wondering about whether or not I’ve chosen the right path and what it all means and how do I change the world or just my life and is it even worth it?

I think being a parent is going to make it worth it. Being a family is going to make it worth it.

But then, you know, comes the question. What happens when you become a mom and then you’re just a mom? People say that doesn’t happen anymore, but there’s judgment. No matter what my choices are, I know there will be judgment.

Even in pregnancy, there’s the judgment. Coffee? Yes. Sushi? Maybe. Soft cheeses? Umm yeah. Heart rate above 140 beats per minute? Yup. Snowboarding. No.

I make my choices, every day, and I am the one who has to live inside my own head. And I am the one who is scared to death.

But I am also the one who gets to do this. Who gets to have this baby and be a mom and a family and know this stunning love.

It’s okay that I don’t know who I am every day. It’s okay that I am scared and confused and feeling ALL THESE FEELINGS. Because I’m pregnant and I get to. I’m having a baby, and I’m going to be a mom. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the best thing in the world.

New Additions to Thanksgiving Traditions

I went to a lovely baby shower yesterday for Jess, and I met a bunch of amazing bloggy ladies, and as we were talking about our blogs, I of course sheepishly had to say that I don’t write very much. And now, I’m looking here, and I realize I haven’t written since August. I won’t make any grand announcements about writing every day, but for today, I feel a little like writing, so I think I will.

It’s November and I’m definitely in nesting mode. Working on the house, cooking, all of those fun domestic things. Today I’m actually doing a test run for a new side dish I might attempt at Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house in Texas this year. We are typically a pretty traditional family. Same dishes at Thanksgiving every year since I can remember. Turkey, dressing, broccoli casserole, sweet potato mush (not sure if that’s the official name), my grandma’s homemade rolls, fruit salad, and about ten different pies. Nary a green thing in site. Well I guess the broccoli in the broccoli casserole, but that hardly counts when it’s drenched in velveeta does it? So, yeah, old school Thanksgiving.

And don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of it. But I also love the idea of bringing some new school flavor to Thanksgiving too. Last year, I found my pie, which is phenomenal, so I’ll definitely be making that again. And this year, I’ll also contribute a green salad, nothing fancy, just standard spinach, strawberries and walnuts or something along those lines. But for the new side, I’m trying something I’ve never done before. It’s butternut squash, which I love and eat all of the time, but can seem a little “different” to my family. But, it has tons of bread and cheese, (definitely not a healthy item) so I think that’s a plus. If all goes well, maybe I’ll post the step by step recipe later this week. I am a tidge worried about my ability to find Gruyere in this small Texas town, but my step-mom is an amazing cook so I’m sure she’ll hook me up.

I have to say I am really excited for Thanksgiving. Only five days of work, then I get to go to Austin on Saturday to see my little sister in her college element for the first time. Oh I know that is going to be a shock. My little baby sister is a college gal complete with booze and idiotic frat boys left and right. She’s a still a sweet angel baby to me though.

Then, Amy and I will drive from Austin to Midland for the big Thanksgiving extravaganza. One full week of family, fun, and nothing else. Can. Not.Wait. I should actually probably start fasting now in anticipation of all of the food I’ll be consuming during that week. But instead I think I’ll go try my creation. Fingers crossed it’s a winner.


So I got a new header. Well not really new, just added a little button. How do you like it? John made it for me.

Things on my mind right now:

  • Have not weeded the vegetable garden in ages. Vegetables seem to be doing fine. Do I ever bother weeding again?
  • Dog-sitting for my parent’s dog Maddie. She snores like a freight train. I am not sleeping well of course.
  • I was going to try to cook dinner at home every night this week. Made it to Monday, then tonight I had a work event. So far not so good. The housewife-y thing is much harder with a full-time job, I must say.
  • Though I am sad about the end of summer, I am kind of enjoying the cooler days and nights and looking forward to fall. I’ve always loved the changing of the seasons. Maybe I’ll try leggings again this year.
  • I got the TurboFire DVDs and they are awesome. I love them. But nothing beats a group exercise session for me. What can I say, I enjoy a room full of sweaty ladies.
  • Did you know YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google? I didn’t. That’s crazy.
  • There are some people I stay friends with on Facebook simply because their posts are such train wrecks. Can’t stop looking.
  • I need a good book to read. I just read a Jodi Picoult book and I hated every minute of it. Read the last page after about thirty pages in because I needed to know how this disaster wrapped up. Still read the whole book after that, though I have no idea why.
  • I’m just sitting around thinking up random bullet points now. I should just go through my twitter account and write that stuff out because it’s just as pointless. If you’re still reading, my deepest apologies.
  • Goodnight.

Making Friends After 30

You know, making friends is so easy when you’re a kid. Hey, you live next door to me? Okay, let’s ride bikes and set piles of leaves on fire.

And then, in high school, things get a little more complicated, but it’s essentially the same thing. You find something in common with someone, or a variety of someones, and you’re all in this super close proximity to each other, sweating in the hallways and worrying about if Mrs. Cash Register face is going to call you out in Geometry or whatever,  and it just happens. You bond. Viola. Friends.

Now that I’m 30, I’m realizing it’s harder and harder to make new friends. I love the friends I have of course, but you know, sometimes a girl sees a girl and she’s pretty and maybe said something that sounded cool and I like her haircut and please be my new best friend!

So how do you do it? Twitter I guess. I see that happening a lot around here. Not naming any names you know who you are friend of mine. And there are blog friends. That actually works sometimes (hi Jess!) And then there’s work. But eh, don’t want to get those too too mixed up. There’s the gym. I’m sweaty, you’re sweaty, we both like Turbo Kick. But how do we turn that into Happy Hour or something? I don’t know.

Am I the only one this is hard for? How do you make friends as you get older? Do you just have to be bold? Maybe I just need to get bold.

Things I’m Loving: Summer Edition

Man I start a lot of drafts of posts that I never finish. Posts about how I made Indian food. Or my garden. Or how Facebook seems to think I would like the Grateful Dead. I guess Facebook doesn’t really know me at all. Or how I really love True Blood.

Have you guys seen True Blood? I mean you should totally watch it. The vampires. And the nakedness. Oh it makes me feel uncomfortable. But I can’t look away.

Anyway, I’m just here to write a post I can finish.

Don’t you just love summer? I love it. So, without further ado, the things I’m loving this summer.

  • True Blood. Obv   – as I mentioned above. It makes my Sunday blues not quite so bad. (Sorry guys).

  • Pinkberry. Because yum. I like it with shredded coconut and strawberries.
  • Homemade pesto. I grew basil and I ate it. And it was delicious. So so proud of myself. I can cook. I am woman, hear me roar.
  • Inception. Have you seen this movie? You should. I loved it. And not just because of Leo, although of course I love him. It made me think. And that feels nice sometimes.
  • Operation Beautiful.
  • Sitting on my front porch.
  • This shower curtain. But I’m not five so I won’t buy it. I still love it though.

Word Vomit

I guess I was trying to be back but then I just left again didn’t I? Man I’ve been doing this for years now. Blogging. Quitting. Coming back. Not all at this blog mind you. But I guess that’s just how I roll.

Moving on.

My sister’s wedding was this weekend. It was amazing. We all had an incredible time. She looked beautiful. I had a braid in my hair. A squirrel ran into the dining room in the middle of my maid of honor speech. Pretty standard wedding fare, you know?

I have not been able to obtain any good pics of the two of us together yet, but I plan to. I do plan to of course.

What else is new? Work, it’s crazy busy and fun but I’m tired. I have to admit I miss my unemployed life of leisure. I do enjoy the paycheck though so that’s helpful. And I get to do fun things like go shoot a commercial on Thursday, so it’s all good. I’m happy.

I’m home on my lunch break watching some world cup. I like it. I like the pretty bodies faces of all of the players and I like how fast they run and how they sometimes try to hide their hands or even pretend they don’t have them. It’s entertaining and I’ll be sorry when it’s gone. Oh it makes me tired just watching it, it really does.

Let’s see what else. It’s summer and it’s hot. I’m growing my vegetables, and I think I’m even going to get some raspberries this year. I was thinking I’d attempt jam. My cousin (the one who gave me the yogurt-maker) said it’s pretty easy and it seems like a fun thing to try. So maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get some raspberry jam for Christmas.


Oh dear. I can’t keep up with a blog and work at the same time I guess. Oopsie. I really want to. I want to write. I want to redesign. Again. I actually want to just start a new blog, new name, fresh start, all that. But I’ve already done that, and you know, that just sounds like a lot of work. And clearly that is not in the cards for me right now. So basically, I’m just going to keep writing as the (non)Working Girl even though I’m gainfully employed.

So what’s it been like, the transition back to work? It’s hard. I love it. Mostly. I like using my brain. I like learning and doing and talking and seeing SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Every day.

But then there’s all the learning and talking and doing and seeing SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Sometimes it just gets to be, well, a lot. I miss my solitude. And you know, the sleeping in. NOT that I was sleeping in a ton. Just until 8 or so. Or sometimes 9. Okay 9:30 at the very LATEST. But that definitely does not happen anymore.

So it’s been what, about three months I guess since I started. And it’s definitely an adjustment, but I’m figuring it out. I’m even still cooking. Sometimes. Not really as much, but I am. And I’m going to the gym. Not as much, but I am. I think basically I’m still living the same damn life, I just don’t get to go to the mall at 3 in the afternoon or go snowboarding or ride my bike to the pool on random Thursdays. It’s okay. I was lucky, and I know that, even though I didn’t always feel that way.

I had my time as a (non)Working Girl, and I think I made the most of it. I got laid off. I moved to Singapore. I moved home and I made homemade yogurt and weird Asian side dishes and I had lots of fun. But I was also lonely a lot, and missed working, and I’m glad I’m back to it now.

So here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to try to get back to blogging. I don’t really know what I’m going to write about. Pretty much just me I guess. I don’t think I’ll have a specific topic. Probably still cooking, and kickboxing, and maybe I’ll complain about how LOST is over and America’s Got Talent is absolutely ridiculoous and thank God Heidi is leaving Spencer, even though that’s probably all just a ploy anyway.

Anyway, that’s me, read if you want. Working, (non)Working, etc. It’s Jeni. Welcome me back. 🙂

Jobby Job Job Job!

So, I’ve been debating what to do with this blog for the last week or so.


Because I got a job! Woo to the hoo!!!!!!!!

As of tomorrow, I will no longer be a (non)Working Girl, I will be an actual, full-time, in-an-office, heels  and everything Working Girl (not in the dirty way obv).

So, yes, I still want to blog of course. And I want to dazzle you with all of my wonderful recipes as I have been doing for many months now. And I want to tell you all about how I finally got this job, and of course what it’s all about when I get there.

But I’m just not sure how I’m going to do that yet. I might start a new blog, just a place where I can write, but without the whole unemployment theme. Or I may just continue writing here, but try to change up that header a bit. What do you guys think? New blog or just stay put?

Citrus Salmon with Asian Cucumber and Carrot Salad

I love salmon. I probably make it at least once a week, as it’s an easy, healthy meal that doesn’t involve too much prep work. And, I know some of you will make fun of me for my Costco obsession, but you can get a ton of wild caught Alaskan salmon for such a great price there, so I always have a frozen filet in the freezer. Yay Costco and don’t hate people. Its not worth it. My love for Costco will never die.

The main problem is, I’m pretty limited when it comes to cooking the salmon. I usually season it with some salt and pepper or maybe some specialized fish seasoning if I’m getting crazy, but that’s it. I am not creative. I do not open my kitchen cabinets and think, “oh, I’ll add a smidge of that and a dash of that” and then voila, I have a beautiful meal. It’s just not how I roll. Maybe one day, but not today.

Anyway, last night I decided I needed to break free from my salmon rut, so I did a little research, and came up with a modified version of a citrus salmon I found online. To go with that, I decided to do a cold Asian-inspired cucumber and carrot salad. Once I had it all on the plate I realized that the meal was a bit, I dunno, ORANGE. But you know, it was pretty delish. It reminded me that spring is on it’s way, and soon enough we’ll be tons of bright citrus and fresh greens and I CANNOT WAIT!

So, without further ado, my citrus salmon and Asian Cucumber and Carrot Salad, both adapted from MyRecipes.com. Try them.



Citrus Salmon:

2 teaspoons grated orange rind

The juice from 1-2 oranges

1/4 cup light soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice vineagar

1 garlic clove, chopped.

Mix all ingredients together and marinate salmon for at least 60 minutes. Cook on 500 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until fish flakes.

Asian Cucumber and Carrot Salad

1/4 cup lite soy sauce

1/4 rice vinegar (plus a dash more if you like it vinegar-y like I do)

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 chopped seeded cucumbers

8 0z. matchstick carrots (I bought these pre-chopped = lazy)

Whisk the first six ingredients together. Toss in cucumber and carrots. Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!