Saturday, April 6, 2013

Career Reading Book Review-Who Says It's A Man's World: The Girls' Guide to Corporate Domition

Hello again internets: It took a good book to bring me back to my blog. I just finished Who Says It's a Man's World: The Girls' Guide to Corporate Domination written by @Emily Bennington. I am currently an Associate Vice President at Wells Fargo, where I work as a Relationship Manager for the Asset-Based Lending division. I'm happy with my job, and I've moved up quickly in the past 10 years with my company, but it never hurts to learn more.

I enjoyed Emily's book. She divides her book into easy to tackle sections, with each ending in an Action Plan to help the reader improve in the areas discussed. While I'm happy to say I already follow some of the steps, there were many more that I plan to add to my workday and career path.

Her main areas of focus were to discuss why women are emotional, to not bring sexy back (use your brain, not your boobs ladies), networking, and team harmony.

Emily included many anecdotes from career women, both executives and people still working up the corporate ladder. One of the most important lessons I took from the book is to get your name known in your company, especially if it's a large organization spread across the country/globe. She discusses the difference between having a mentor (someone who trains you) and having a sponsor (someone who champions you). Your champion talks about you to other executives and keeps you moving up the corporate ladder by bringing you opportunities.

For women in any area of their career, I recommend reading this book. I'm looking forward to catching up on Ms. Bennington's other novels and putting her tools to work for me!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Reading Fun

When you were a kid, did you participate in the summer reading contests the local library sponsored, where you could get free pizza or prizes for reading books? Well, this summer I discovered that the Maricopa County Library system does a reading contest for adults! All you had to do was sign up and do brief reviews of books you read. I completed 3 reviews and won a $10 Harkins Theatres Gift Card!! I felt 10 again. . . 

Since I got a new Kindle Fire last year I have been reading quite a bit. I have been an avid reader my whole life, as both my parents always enjoyed books. My dad was always quiet, but if you got him talking about books he could go on for hours. I grew up reading Louis L'amour, Tom Clancy, James Herriot, and Patrick McManus. This led to a development of a dry sense of humor and a great imagination. My reading library has expanded quite a bit lately. I read books 3-5 in the Game of Thrones series, Steve Jobs biography, Freakonomics, a couple of books on French Bulldogs in anticipation of getting a new puppy! I also read Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess and even got to meet her at a book signing sponsored by Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe! I know own 3 copies of her book, as I pre-ordered a hard copy to get a signed nameplate, ordered a copy for my Kindle so I could read easily on my travels, and then bought the 3rd copy from Changing Hands as admission to the signing! It has been quite the summer of books and puppies!

Pudge and Sadie playing in the yard!
@azcardsgirl29 and @thebloggess meet in person!

Pudge and his dental rope!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sadie the Swimmer

Sadie, Matt & I's dog, loves to swim, so much so that a pool was a requirement when we bought our house in Tempe. As we were just sitting around being lazy this Sunday, and Sadie was getting antsy, I asked if she'd like to go swimming. Her response was to sprint to the back door and start barking like mad. a
Of course, she can't just jump in right away. First she has to run around the pool several times barking, winding up for the swim. And it is only 90 degrees outside, so it's not boiling hot. The pool is a bit cool for my taste, and at first I thought she wouldn't go in. But we just needed proper motivation.
Here she is, all excited because we brought out the soccer ball with rope attached. (Thank you Costco for the awesome dog toys). With that, she happily jumped in the pool to retrieve the toy and swim her heart out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hello Again Internets

Well, my blog has sat dormant with a Christmas 2010 post at the top for far too long. This year has been hectic, exciting, mind-numbing, and overwhelming. But in a mostly good way. I may go back and do more detailed posts; as I'm certainly not going to consolidate 10 months into one entry.

Family is one of the best and most stressful things to have. My youngest sister is engaged, and her wedding is in 10 days. That's right, 10. I called my mom the other night to see how things were progressing, and it turns out nobody knows. So I called an all hands on deck meeting (Thank god there are 4 of us girls, plus Mom, plus Heather, an amazing friend of Danielle's). We made a list, turns out most tasks were already being handled, and divided up the rest. Only one of us stormed out. All of us were testy. Hey, it's a wedding. Someone somewhere decided this was supposed to THE BIGGEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE, and it's evolved into a highly stressful, super expensive, biggest party you'll ever throw and people only care if there is free booze event. Weddings should be fun. They should be about committing to your partner, an event to be shared with family and friends full of fun and laughs. However, the fun and laughs come a lot easier if you have the money to pay someone to do it all for you.

Anyway, we've resolved most of the issues, and the day should be amazing. My sister is tall and slim and has a gorgeous dress, and her and her fiance love each other. We (the family) will all be there. Everything else will just fall into place, and if people complain, they aren't that important anyway.

I'll post pictures from the wedding next weekend. Until then, hug your sisters and tell your mom she's awesome. Because she is, having dealt with the four of us for the past 31 years.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010-Hello to Grandma Dixie

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, because it means lots of time with the family!! I took a brief video for my Grandma Dixie in Illinois, since we were all together, plus Pete, Jill & Lili!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Labor Day Pool Party 2010

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As is customary on a holiday weekend, I invited over our friends and family for a BBQ and pool party! We had a great turn out this year, with all my sisters and their significant others, my parents, The Alvars, The Kings, and my friend Josh. It was great to hang out, watch the kids play in the pool (Sammy, my goddaughter, even let me pull her around using only a noodle and she would kick-pretty good for only being 2!!).

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Hey, this doll is bigger than I am!!

Zander was as friendly as ever, his face lighting up when he caught sight of the other kids and rushing right over to Elizabeth when he walked in the door: "Hi, I'm Zander, what's your name? Are you here to be my friend? Come see my baby and my daddy!!" All in one breath; he's definitely not shy!

Hey, this doll is bigger than I am!!
My parents brought over the new puppy, so between Buddy the lab and Zoey the baby girl, there was plenty of cuteness.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

A trip to the old home town . . .

My parents grew up in Hillsdale, Illinois, a small town in the Quad Cities area of the state, near the Iowa border. My dad's mom lives in Bloomington/Normal with my Aunt Christine, her husband Lyndon, and my Uncle Bill, so my parents and I decided to take a long weekend (well, they decided and I invited myself along) to visit my grandma, their old hometown, and some other friends and relatives. We planned our trip for the weekend of August 27th-30th.

We arrived in Peoria early Friday morning, rented a car, and hit the road for Hillsdale. Even after 32 years of marriage, my mom still gets nervous as a passenger, especially when my dad's playing tour guide as he drives. I, however, loved riding around with my dad pointing out farms where he used to work, the meat packing plant (formerly Illini Meat Packing Plant, now a Tyson Farms plant) houses my maternal grandfather built, the river shack he grew up in, and the house where I spent the first four years of my life. It was an interesting tour; a lot of the places look like they haven't c
hanged much in the 25 years since we moved and the 14 years since my last visit.

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We stopped by to visit my dad's aunt Doris, who still lives in the same house she lived in when my dad was a kid. Her daughter and daughter's family live there as well, and we got to meet the whole bunch. That was the first time I had met that particular set of cousins.

After that, we tried to visit my dad's Aunt Donna & Uncle John, but they weren't home. They are in their mid 80's and still active and social. We found out later that Friday is their night out on the town. They called and we arranged to go back the following morning. Donna & John live in East Moline, which is also the World Headquarters of the John Deere Corporation (my dad worked for John Deere in the early 80's, he was laid off, and we moved to Arizona). We drove by the old factory where my dad worked, which is still there,
although the building he worked in has been torn down, and also visited the World Headquarters, which has a free small museum right inside the entrance. The headquarters are situated on several hundred acres that is kept up as a park, and is beautifully maintained.

We arrived at 10 to 5, so only had a brief tour of the museum. Did you know John Deere started out building bikes?

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After that, we headed into Moline to have dinner at Frank's Pizzeria, a local treasure, and some of the best homemade sausage I've ever had. My parents said it hasn't changed at all since they went on dates here during High School. We tried to get ice cream at The Ice Cream Palace just down the road, my dad talked about how when he was a kid they served cones with two heads so you could have double the ice cream. We were disappointed though; they may still be named The Ice Cream Palace, but guess what they DON'T serve?? That's right; they now only serve Mexican food as a sit-down restaurant. I didn't realize that signage was that expensive to replace. . . .

Still full from pizza, we decided the lack of ice cream was probably better for us, and headed to Viola to try and visit Paula Lundquist, my mom's best friend from high school. We were in luck, because even though we didn't have a working phone number, she happened to be home and she put us up for the night.

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The next morning we woke up and visited with Paula's husband Doug (he had been working the night shift when we showed up, and Paula left for work early Saturday morning), then headed out to find some breakfast and back to Donna and John's house. We succeeded in both. I even bought some crafts that my great-aunt Donna had made, for my niece Zoey. (pictured here upon return from IL)

We did find ice cream after leaving John & Donna's, we stopped at Whitey's, a Quad City treasure. You can order it online and have it shipped, but $80 is a little pricey for me. I'll just have to go back for more. Finally we were on the road to Grandmother's house, quite literally over the river and through the woods. I hadn't seen my Grandma in over a decade, since she moved away from Arizona, and it was great to visit. Since I was just an annoying know-it-all teenager when my grandma had lived with us, I hadn't really taken the time to get to know her, or her stories. I spent the two days we visited catching up on everything I'd never asked before, and learned quite a bit. My grandma is a tough lady; she is currently undergoing dialysis 3 times per week, but her mind and memory as still sharp as a tack. My uncle Bill is working with my Grandma to develop a family tree and the stories to go along with it; and by memory she can go 4 generations back for both her family and my Grandpa Don's family. My grandfather passed away a few years ago from prostate cancer.

It was a great weekend. I hadn't seen Christine and Lyndon since my last trip to Illinois 14 years ago, and it had been about 9 years since I'd seen Bill, so it was nice to catch up with everyone. On Sunday we went to a town fair in Lincoln, then Bill made fantastic fajitas for dinner; and I impressed even Lyndon with my homemade salsa.

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I'm looking forward to visiting again soon; this spring when the snow melts. Hey, I'm a desert dweller now!! I've posted pictures from the trip; as I review them I realize I didn't take nearly as many as I should have, but I was trying to take in everything and pay attention to my dad's stories, so forgive me for not having my camera always at the ready.