A Sassy Girl’s Guide to Being “Temporarily Income Challenged” in SoCal!  

unemployed

Have you found yourself in a “temporarily income challenged” (my nice way of saying unemployed) situation? If so here are some tips and tricks from my personal experience:

1 – Unemployment Insurance: file for unemployment ASAP (if applicable)! I have heard California takes about 6 weeks before you receive your first check! Invest the time to file as soon as you possibly can! No excuses!

2 – Resume: get cracking on updating your resume! Don’t rush through this process, create several versions.

Secure a copyediting or anal retentive friend to proofread your resume once you have a final version. I am so blessed to have a few medical editors and writers in my network who were willing to lend a helping hand! THANK YOU (you know who you are).

3 – Vodka: stock up! Bevmo has a big bottle of Svedka for $17. Now is not the time to splurge on Goose. But starting a weekday with a Bloody Mary can make all of the difference. I do not recommend starting EVERY day this way, moderation is key!

4 – Stalking: Applying for jobs is not as easy as “it used to be” (hmm I feel very old saying this!). My recommendation is to also search Linked In and find recruiters! Connect with them and then email them and ask if they can help you with your job search. This is in addition to all other recruiters you have a relationship with. You have to think outside the box to make yourself stand out these days! It is time to get out of that comfort zone and be creative!

A side note on Linked in:  if you don’t have it GET it! And make sure you have a current “position listed” i.e. my title is “Project Manager for Hire” and the company I work for is “on the market”. There is a glitch with Linked In if you don’t have an active position you will not be searchable by recruiters and other people!

5 – Be Organized: I have a spreadsheet with 3 tabs, job search, recruiters and no go. In the job search tab I keep track of the position, the company, where I saw the ad, how I applied and the date I applied and I include a link to the original job posting. The recruiter tab has similar information but also includes the date I last contacted them. The no go tab is a simple copy and paste from the job search once someone lets me know I didn’t get that position. I have found this to be instrumental to my search! You want to make sure you know what job someone is calling you about!

6 – Haggle: As one of my besties would say “be Leone” – negotiate ALL costs! Start with your therapist if you have a high insurance co pay OR if you will be without insurance for a while (umm there is a new law in place about not having insurance – check out covered CA; you can email me and I can send you the name & number of the broker I used).

Feel free to ask for coupons EVERY single time you shop! Be nice and explain you are temporarily income challenged and you would love a coupon! You will be surprised how often this works! Don’t forget to be super charming and sweet!

Also, check your local grocery store for their major sale days – you can find organic produce about to expire for CHEAP! Thanks, R for this tip!!!

7 – Two Buck Chuck – $2 Chuck is your new friend for both drinking and cooking wine. Now is not the time to splurge on expensive wines! Chuck makes for a nice glass with dinner! Remember only in moderation!

9 – Balance: Balance your job search with some fun! Take advantage of the gift of free time and make sure you spend ample time at the beach or at your pool (if applicable). You will regret not making the most of this time when you are back in the grind!

10 – Daytime Outings: I love a fun daytime outing! See #9. Meet your friends for lunch <you could always eat light at home before meeting for lunch and purchase a lighter meal/snack to save $$) or meet your friends for coffee! Or better yet really get out of your comfort zone and grab a beer by yourself at 2 or 3pm! There is something so liberating about a cocktail in the middle of the day!

11 – Happy Hour: Of course you still want to be social and see your friends, but you don’t WANT to spend $$. Research the best happy hour and invite your friends to join you!

12 – Be Confident & Positive: You are not defined by your career or lack thereof. Hold your head up high and remember all of the amazing qualities you have! Seek reinforcements from your besties if needed!

Stay in a positive mindset – ALL of the time. Now is not the time for negativity!

13 – Read: I have found reading fluff (not self-help books or the Secret) is a great way to quiet your mind and fill your time! And it is a great way to kill time at the beach or pool!

14 – Network: This is different from stalking. Seek out live networking events and GO! You will need a business card to share your information. Vista print offers 250 free cards you only pay shipping. I highly suggest you invest in the shipping cost and create a professional looking card with your name, number and email. This will be a huge help at events!

And don’t forget #6; if the networking event has a cost see if there is a discount or free option for the temporarily income challenged!

Tell everyone you know and those you don’t know that you are job hunting! I even tell random strangers at the grocery store or the guy next to me at the bar! You get the point – put it out there – everywhere! You never know, a hiring manager may just be that person behind you in line!

15 – Dream: Your life has just taken a detour! Now you have the wonderful and precious gift of time! Think about what you truly WANT from life! What future do you want for yourself? Think about it, then journal it, then create a vision board then go out and CREATE YOUR LIFE! It can be anything you want it to be YOU are in charge!

This is what has worked for me thus far. It is not a perfect science, and frankly I plan on having a full time income before I can perfect this strategy (see how the powerful positive thinking is?). But, I hope this has helped you find some hope in a challenging situation.

Feel free to email me at Christine@cupcakingchristine.com if you want any specific details or tips, I am always happy to share and help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Chapter

2 days ago I blogged on how hard having Faith is! Today, April 27, 2014 I made a huge leap of faith! I am not yet ready to share all of the details (don’t you worry, I am SURE that blog will be coming soon <I always follow my gut on what I want/need to blog>). I leaped into something I truly believe in and something I KNOW is meant for me. Even so, it is still overwhelming, in a good (ok, great) way!

It was so amazing to be decisive, to truly believe and to take action and jump! What is even more amazing is that after I made my decision, it was completely validated, and in more ways than one! I am completely overwhelmed (again, in a great way).

I have taken a look back at my past year; it is uncanny how everything has aligned to lead me to this. One of my core beliefs is that everything happens for a reason and that I AM right where I am meant to be. These beliefs were completely proven correct today!

Today, I made a big decision on what I want the next chapter in my life to be! I am OVER THE MOON excited, happy, proud, overwhelmed and terrified (again, in a great way!).

I appreciate your understanding my lack of details, I am still processing everything! Stay tuned!

Leap of Faith

Come From a Place of Faith! – What DOES that mean?

“Come from a place of faith, not fear”. Until now I always I thought I KNEW what that meant. Tonight I did an exercise that evaluated my fiscal life. HOLY CRAP ( I am refraining from using stronger language)! THIS brings new meaning to having faith!

Having faith IS hard! Why haven’t I realized this before? Was it just “a saying with no meaning”, before? Had I not actually put it into action? I honestly can’t answer this question. What I CAN tell you is that this (“come from a place of faith”) is a message that I have received over and over (and over, and over and over – you get the picture) since I become temporarily income challenged. I can’t articulate it, but today is the first time I really, 100% truly feel what it means! And man it is HARD!

I pride myself on being a positive person; I always see the silver lining. I purposely block out negativity (some people even mistake this for being naïve <thanks to my good friend who pointed this out, I appreciate it and YOU!!! >), but when it comes down to it – having faith IS hard.

It is hard, NOT impossible. I think I may need to enlist additional resources for this endeavor! Looks like this former Catholic School Girl is going to re-engage her relationship with a higher power!

Have faith

 

Champagne + Crazy = Christine

Ok, I know we all have our own neuroses; some people have to lock and unlock the door before leaving in the morning, some people have to turn the light switch on and off before shutting it off, some people insist on having all of the labels on the cans face a specific way (yes, this was Tony, my stepfather). I heard stories that my father always had to leave through the same door he entered, so if he came in through the front door but was having a BBQ in the yard he would still need to leave through the front door (for those of you who don’t know, I really didn’t know my father, he died when I was 1 ½ years old).  My point is we all have “our thing”.

I myself have many quirks; I despise black ink – it is like nails on a chalkboard to me; I only write with a blue or pink pen! I always have to wear a ring when I leave the house. I think bad think bad things happen if I am not wearing black in some part of my outfit. But my biggest neurosis is in regard (grr this word, some of you reading this will understand what I mean, those who don’t just ignore this) to champagne. I have no idea WHY, but I ALWAYS have to have a bottle of champs in my wine fridge, and I will not open that bottle unless I have one to immediately replace it! So if you popped over tonight and wanted to pop the bottle of champagne, I wouldn’t do it! When I know I am going to have champagne I go out and buy a replacement bottle first!

Kind of crazy, huh? It is ok, I own it. Now you know what you can bring over next time you stop by! A bottle of Champs is always a great idea (Domaine Chandon Brut is my bubbles of choice)! And yes, I know true champagne comes from Champagne, France and bubbles made elsewhere is called sparkling wine; I choose to call it ALL champagne!

This craziness went away for a while when I first moved to California. A year later I am sad to say it’s baaaaack!

 

Hoppy Easter

Today is Easter Sunday, and it marks my first Easter in California. Today is my last, FIRST holiday celebration IN California. A year ago on Easter, the movers arrived at my Lodi, NJ apartment and packed all of my stuff (and man did I have LOTS and LOTS of stuff ). After everything but 2 suitcases, 2 boxes (that I later shipped via Fed-Ex), Gateau and his litter box were gone; we packed up the rental car (my car was already en-route to San Diego), gave my keys back to my landlord (received my deposit back CHA-CHING!) and drove off to my friend’s house, where we stayed for a few more days.

Today as I celebrated my 1st Californian Easter I decided to reflect on the true meaning of Easter. I am not a super religious person. I have my own beliefs which are a mix of different religions, but this is not the point of this post. But today, I truly celebrated what I believe Easter means. It was a great day! I even made some time to head to the beach and just BE. I was in awe of the ocean and the waves and the fact that I do truly believe there IS something bigger out there (it is OK if you don’t, it is not my place to judge anyone! But negative comments are NOT welcome here). All in all it was a great day!

Today, I celebrated my family traditions by having pierogies. It really brought me back to my childhood when my nanny (my father’s mother) would make homemade piergoes! I really wish she would have left her recipe behind. I have no idea how she used to make them and now as a grown up I would love nothing more than to be able to keep her tradition going. It is ironic how many things you miss as an adult that you took for granted as a child.

All in all today was a really good day. I wish each of you a VERY Happy Easter and a Happy Passover!

How are YOU Nurturing Your Dreams?

I am getting clearer & clearer on my vision for my life (I am not yet ready to divulge details, but I AM taking action towards it). I am so grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to surround myself with a professional dream builder and a group of super supportive, inspiring women! I joined an amazing, empowering, women’s workshop Meetup group. I attended my 1st event within my first month in San Diego and I just KNEW it was going to be a part of my life transformation! Not only did I join this group but I have joined a couple of other empowering groups as well! I am truly blessed! And I am so GRATEFUL!

Moving to Southern California was part 1 of my life transformation. And I know it was no accident that I found this group so early on. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I AM RIGHT WHERE I AM MEANT TO BE! I know that recently losing my job is also a major part of this journey. I think of my “income- challenged” situation as a catapult into the next chapter. I may not have started down this path so eagerly if I was still working full time.

There is a lot of change on the horizon and I know it is all good! Although even good change, CAN be overwhelming. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from this dream building mastermind group is that you do NOT have to have all of the answers and all of the plans of actions to each of your dreams. It is OK to take it day by day and work on a little bit of everything all at once (Phewww! What a relief!)!

If you are in San Diego and want more information on this group please email me at Christine@cupcakingchristine.com and I will be happy to share!

Here is one of the most moving quotes that my dream builder shared with us:

“I have learned this, at least, by my experiment. That if one advances confidently in the direction of their dream, endeavoring to live the life they are imagining, one passes an invisible boundary…all sorts of things begin to occur that never otherwise would have occurred. One begins to meet with a success unexpected in common hours. New, more universal, more liberal laws begin to establish themselves around this person, or the old laws are rearranged in one’s favor, nevertheless, one begins to live with the license of a higher order of being.” – Henry David Thoreau

My First Shot (as in NEEDLE) Bar Experience

So there is this precious store on the 101 called Bloom – it is pink and white and sooo adorable! It is a Naturopathic Medicine Boutique. EVERY time I drive by it is CLOSED. Yesterday I met a dear friend for coffee (one of the perks of being temporarily unemployed -you CAN meet for coffee at 2pm!!)

On my drive home I decided I NEEDED to stop in and see what it was all about. Turns out is a full-ledged Naturopathic doctor’s office (visits start at $250). I inquired about all of the items they sell and I was introduced to their shot bar – as in NEEDLE shots! Of course I was intrigued and had to check out their menu (doesn’t the idea of random Naturopathic shots intrigue EVERYONE?!).

I just HAD to experience it (it was like life or death I HAD to experience it). So I went ahead and ordered a Lympa-licious shot! It was CLEARLY meant to be – bc it IS their shot of the month and it was $15 off (yay for the unemployed girl who should NOT be spending any money!).

I was told the possible side effects could be pink urine (ok, can’t lie I was hoping I would experience this; I didn’t) and feeling the energy moving throughout your body! I DID experience that! Up until late, late, last night I felt the energy moving throughout my entire body! It was an amazing feeling and experience! And since I can yelp and get a free shot I plan on doing it again!

So now I totally feel Californian! I have had my first Naturopathic shot at the “shot bar”!!!

Do you receive everything you are asking for?

When a friend offers to treat you to coffee, lunch or dinner what is your response? Do you clam up and feel awkward?  Do you feel like you should counter-offer? Or, do you allow yourself to receive this amazing gift?

A few years back I spent a weekend doing T Harv Eker’s “Millionaire Mind Intensive”. T. Harv Eker is the author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (if you have not already read this, I highly suggest you do). For me the book and the weekend event were life changing! I learned so much about myself and met so many amazing people at the weekend -event! I am still in touch with several people from that weekend today!

One of the biggest take home’s from the weekend intensive was: “if you want to receive all that the universe has to offer you have to be an excellent receiver” – meaning when you find a penny (or dime or dollar) on the street you have to truly celebrate finding it. When someone offers to treat you (be in lunch, coffee, dinner etc.) you have to graciously accept it. If you don’t accept the little things the universe brings you, it will NOT bring you the big things you desire. This may sound simple, but believe me it takes practice to make it second nature!

Being an excellent receiver is a rule of thumb I live my life by! I do not fight anyone who offers to treat me to coffee, cocktails, dinner, etc. And it actually gets easier and easier the more you practice. Don’t get me wrong I also enjoy treating others as well, but I truly understand the importance of being able to receive! (I love to unexpectedly treat my friends too <and I love when they are accepting and don’t push back>).

I noticed since I lost my job it has felt super awkward to be an excellent receiver. Ironic huh? At my time of “need” it feels the most awkward to accept. But, I am working on pushing through and focusing in being an excellent receiver and giver.

This afternoon I was craving wings, so off to Buffalo Wild Wings I went. Sitting at the bar, I had 2 beers (happy hour YAY) and boneless HOTT wings. Being the social butterfly I am, I engaged in conversations with the couple to my right and the banker to my left. When I went to pay my tab the (married, not interested in dating me) banker to my left picked up my tab! I was so grateful! He made a truly genuine gesture (even the women to his left praised him!) He wasn’t hitting on me, he wasn’t pushing for anything more than picking up my tab (seriously, what a gentleman? This is the kind of guy I want to date)! I basked in the moment of being an excellent receiver! And I am open to all that the universe intends to give me.

To my local banker friend THANK YOU AGAIN for picking up my tab, I appreciate you!!!

 

 

 

Nothing a Hot Bath Can’t Cure….

In my opinion  there is not much that a hot bath a glass of wine can’t cure!

Believe it or not this is my 1st bathtub since I was 10! When I moved to Kenilworth with my parents we had a stand up shower. My 1st apartment had a stand up shower too. As a girl who used to break her foot often I did NOT mind, but I also didn’t know what I was missing!

My condo in California has a tub. At first I was like hmm WHAT, but then I figured out the joy of soundscapes music on cable, a yummy smelling candle and a glass of wine. AHH heaven! However if you like your bath as hot (scalding) as me do yourself a favor and invest in plastic wine glasses! I lost 2 wine glasses to my long relaxing baths!

Life is too short! Pour a (plastic) glass of wine, turn on some relaxing music, light a candle and RELAX!

~Cupcaking Christine

Why Blogging?

Why blogging?

I have had this little voice inside me whispering “start a blog, you want to blog, you have important things to say, blog” for the past 3 or so years. My NJ cooking club was going to start a blog and I was ecstatic – finally the blog I wanted without the sole responsibility! However, it didn’t take off before I made my left coast move (yay, California #ilivehere).

When I was recently let go that little whisper turned into a scream: “START A BLOG ASAP, BLOG, YOU HAVE THINGS TO SAY – BLOG”. I am usually not one to ignore my inner voice especially when it is SCREAMING at me, so I took action.

He we are – I just launched my official blog! I have no idea where this journey will take me, but I am over the moon excited to be ON this journey! I hope that you will enjoy it with me!  Who knows maybe Monsieur Gateau will be a guest blogger one of these days, I am SURE he has a ton to say!

Have an amazing week!

~Cupcaking Christine