Surviving Blizzard Juno

10948309_1385787255063551_74764768_n

People keep asking me about the blizzard Juno, which was actually just an awesomely fun snow storm. We got a ton of snow, but power didn’t go out, no accidents in front of our house (there’s a bridge that people slide on all the time) and it made for a fun snow day.

On Monday I left work once it started snowing and headed to my parents house in Wallingford. I was dying to spend a snowstorm at my new apartment in New Haven, but with the threat of power going out, I figured being alone and trapped for days would be so lonely. Plus I didn’t do anything to prepare for the storm. My parents suggest I come over to their place where if power went out we could at least play boardgames via candlelight, which sounds like the best day ever.

I took the photo above from their cosy living room as the snow started slowly piling up. Of course that night we played boardgames for hours and did a little shoveling. Shoveling is the ultimate workout… great for your core!

10948792_679992958788829_815969249_n

I took the above photo around 2pm on Tuesday once the snow had stopped. It was so beautiful out, that I needed to go for a photo-taking walk around their neighborhood. The temp was around 30 degrees, which made it actually really comfortable outside. The snow was like a light powder, and not crisp or icy. It really was perfect.

10724833_512035098939488_1854795576_n

Above is a photo from the bridge across from my parents house. Off in the distance is the waterfall and upper lake.

10950598_1549903458596519_1277802896_n

Part of their neighborhood is an expanse of farmland. I needed to see the many acres of fresh untouched snow.

1921874_1374404869536885_206630155_n

Their neighborhood is so pretty, especially blanketed in fresh powder. Another bonus is that 2 of my best friends live a 10 minute walk away, so I was able to meet up with one of them for a walk too.

10948847_1409279169370879_386297114_n

This is the local farm where they sell eggs, honey, maple syrup (on the honor system) and grow Christmas trees. They live my dream life and live in my dream house with a big red barn.

10949074_1537241449863260_1648136719_n

And to top off this gorgeous day, the sunset was this deep pink/purple. My walk was over and it was time for hot cocoa and more boardgames!

Hope you enjoyed your Juno vacation, East Coasters! Now it’s back to the grindstone and time to play catchup! Yesterday, I spent time replacing ceiling tiles at Meyer Wire and today I’m painting! I’ll share before and after photos soon. Time for another coat!

2015 New Year Resolutions

Well, I know Im missing a bunch which Ill add as the year goes, but here’s my 2015 resolution list. I feel like I made it too hard… like sometimes I throw in some easier things to make the list feel more manageable. This list doesn’t have those items. 2015 is going to be exhausting, but better to be exhausting than boring, right? Here goes…

Work goals:
O Make 2 new items to sell every week (so 100 items for the whole year)
O Keep good records on these projects (which I currently suck at)
O Make my business official- get tax ID etc. Get on the grid!
O Join the New Haven Collective
O Shop local.
O Get business cards made
O Clean out my emails and take myself off e-lists

Exercise:
O Lose that holiday weight
O Join a sport/club/group. Dodgeball?
O Hike Sleeping Giant
O Hike East Rock
O Situps twice a day
O Go running! I have a gym membership now, so use it
O Walk the neighborhood at night- 5 times a week. No excuses.
O Sign up at the Rock Climbing Gym?
O Water! 4 big bottles a day!
O 1 drink a week rule back on!

Reading:
O READ MORE. 1 book a month. That’s doable.
O Rosetta Stone at least once a week.

Life Goals:
O GET A DOG!
O Get an apartment and make it look nice :)
O Visit the Farmers Market in New Haven.
O Go out 3 nights a week. Comedy, music, new bar etc. Find it and do it.
O Be Ballsy!

Money Goals:
O Pay off all student loans
O Save up for a house, but do invest in the business as needed. Find balance between the two.

Travel Goals:
O Travel to NYC once a month (for comedy, museums and to see friends)
O Travel to Canada (Montreal for a 3 day weekend?)
O Go to LA 3+ times in 2015
O Go camping in New England
O Explore the Wine Trail!
O Explore the beer trail- brewery visits!

Blog Goals:
O Write a Do This Today, 5 days a week.
O Do an additional 2 posts about life/events each week
O What is there to do in New England? Find it and do it!

Last year was all about the working leading up to my big career change (as big changes require a lot of leg work and time) and 2015 is about seeing out those changes and embracing it. 2015 will be the year of exploring a new city, getting a DOG, living alone for the first time ever, facing adulthood, and hopefully figuring some big things out. It’ll be a year of change for this blog too. I’ll learn about New Haven and New England and I’ll take you along for the ride. I hope it’s a very productive time for building furniture. I’m currently a big believer in blind faith and things “working out as they are meant to be”, so we shall see if I feel the same way in 2016.

Get out there and kick 2015’s ass.

RECAP: 2014 New Year Resolutions

It’s here. The day of reckoning. How did I do with my long list of 2014 resolutions? I’m very nervous to look over this list as with all of the changes that happened this year, I lost track of how I was doing. Moment of truth.
_________________________________________________________________________

2014 RESOLUTIONS:

Digital Resolutions:
X  Figure out how to update computer in a cost effective way. I added memory and made more space. Baby steps, but in 2015 I’ll have a new computer and all will be better.
X Find a solution to a music hard drive, a work hard drive, a photo hard drive, and use bridge to organize it all AKA Digital Organization. I’m going to give myself this one, as I cleared out a lot of space and came up with a better organization system for my photos.

“Working toward my Future” Goals:
X Can my passion become my job? YES! I made it happen! 2015 will be the year of making that business grow. Yay small business!
X Keep building! Keep my skills growing. I made so many pieces in 2014.
X Develop my art shop website and launch it. Check out bmeyerstudio.com!
X Work on my networking skills. Ive got a good plan to help grow business in 2015.
X I’ve wanted a property for years and it’s time I crate a plan to make it real. How much more money do I need? While I can’t buy property right now, I have a plan in place. I also learned a lot more in 2014 about purchasing property and the process. My friend Patty does free seminars in Los Angeles. Email me if you’re interested!
X Create “dream” renovations via pinterest and then break down what that will cost by room (aka bathroom, kitchen, living space) knowing that it will change by the location. Still need to do that cost portion of this, but at least now I know what I want.
X Practice what you want to do by finding a house on zillow and draw out + illustrate the changes you would make to it and try to attach numbers to those changes. It’ll be a great exercise. I did this in photoshop, and recommend this activity for anyone interested in renovating real estate.
X Figure out how to make buying a property and also developing my own business a reality. :) I’m currently making this happen.

Design Goals:
X Build a console table
X Make a headboard
O Design 2 bedside light fixtures for myself (but also to sell). Made these but didn’t install them because of my move. You’ll see them in 2015.
X Redo my bathroom to be more in the “Spa lifestyle”.

Exercise Goals:
O Fit into my 2012 jeans! Ive decided to burn those jeans lol. I lost weight in Africa, but I’m sure I just gained it back over the holidays. Cheeeeese.
X Buy a juicer! and use it!
X Running- you hate it, but you must Ran 5ks and even a 10k! Thanks for the push Amber!

Money Goals:
X Pay off my 4.8% interest student loans in 2014. DID IT!!
O Finish paying off all my student loans? I’m so close, but I decided not to pay it all off yet to put that money towards starting my business.

Reading/Mental Goals:
O Read my Susie Orman Book. I still need to do this!
O Become more active in book club
O Even read books outside of book club
O Read my blogging and starting a business books
X Do more Rosetta Stone. I did this but need to do more. Clearly I failed at my reading goals for 2014. I’ll have to focus on this in 2015.

Social Goals:
O Volunteer!
X Play more dodgeball Did this! Played in all the seasons I could. And I actually got pretty ok at it. Less hits to the head.
X Go to even more comedy shows. I’m already finding comedy spots in CT, so 2015 should also have some comedy.
O Use my trapeze coupon

Personality Goals:
O Be more patient This needs to be on my 2015 resolution list, for sure.
X Don’t be a stick in the mud. I think I was stick-in-the-mud-less in 2014.

“Upping my Skills” Goals:
O Take at least one woodworking class. This will happen in 2015.
X Take an Illustrator 2 Class. Did it!
O Take a Sketch-up Class. I changed my goals, and decided not to spend the time doing this.

California Goals:
X Visit places I ddn’t get to in 2013 (Reagan Presidential library) Loved it!
X Revisit that Palos Verdes Beach with all the animals! I went at least twice in 2014.
O Visit Wolf Mountain? Did get there, as it’s far away.
O Elmers Bottle Tree Ranch?
X Gamble House Tour (Pasadena). Thanks to Amber I did this in the last week before I left.
X Take a weekend trip north? I did a 2 week trip north! It was awesome. Plus Erica and I did a weekend beach camping trip north too.
X Weekend trip in Palm Springs. Kelly’s bachelorette weekend happened in Palm Springs.
O Visit Salvation Mountain
X San Fran? Or a road trip north? Yup, and it was super fun! We visited so many places.

Misc:
O BLOG MORE- be more active in the blogging community. Fail. I promise in 2015 Ill be better.
X Keep making/updating/editing my vision board. Im always working on that.
X Grow a PAIR! I grew such a pair! My horoscope said that I would rock the second half of 2014, and boy was she right. I kicked Kilimanjaro’s ass, went on a safari in the Serengeti, did a camping road trip north, drove cross country alone, went to so many national parks, moved to a new city, and made a huge career shift. 2014 was a year of kicking ass.
_________________________________________________________________________

I actually crossed off a lot more than I thought I’d be able to. Wow, it really has been a big year. Some of these goals will definitely be shifting over to my 2015 resolution list. Speaking of that list, expect it here tomorrow. Tomorrow’s a new day, new experiences ahead! Cheers to a fabulous 2014, and cheers to adventures to come in 2015!

Moving Stress

10431838_283329348544158_2140352278_n (Hot Tub Comedy at the Virgil November 17, 2014)

I’m sorry that I’ve been so quiet since my big move announcement. I’ve been dying to tell you about my road trip to Portland and back, as well as all my tips for how to move cross country on a budget. Unfortunately, this move is taking up 100% of my time. Between waiting for craigslist people to show up (hint: they only actually come 5% of the time) and getting everything ready for a massive Salvation Army truckload donation, I’m out of time completely. With what little time is leftover in the day, I’ve had to spend it packing boxes and getting the car ready for the big cross-country drive. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. And of course the most important thing I’ve been trying to do is spend as much time with friends as possible. Thankfully I got to see my favorite LA comedy show, Hot Tub, at the Virgil last night. I’m supposed to hit the road in 5 days and I’m currently surrounded by belongings. STRESS!

Okay and whiningggg, done. I just wanted you to know you haven’t been forgotten about and when I’m writing to you from back east in early December, I promise the following posts:

– Road trip LA to Portland and back to LA (up the coast, down through the state parks)
– What’s the cheapest way to move from coast to coast? I know the answer!
– Road trip from LA to Connecticut. Follow the journey!
– Renovating Meyer Wire: The Before

Halloween Costume 2014

Before I talk about this years Halloween costume, I thought we should look back at past costumes. Remember when we were featured in last years BUZZFEED article about costumes. That was an awesome day. You’ll notice that I take Halloween seriously and I’m anti-sexy-halloween. I use this dress-up opportunity to represent strong female leads and role models for young women.

229394_503284187416_4844_n-1

Here are my RISD friends and I as the Golden Girls.

309849_566121515906_894177492_n

Above I’m dressed as Nancy Drew (from the books not the movie).

533847_625874999446_1010455539_n-1

Here is my boss and I as Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop in 2012.

374087_625147447466_406113997_n

Here I am on Halloween night as Shari Lewis.

a0c29ad43e9b11e3926422000ae80e49_7

This is my costume from 2013, when I went as…

f3e57006428311e394d322000a1f8c09_7

Angela Lansbury! Specifically, I went as her as Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote.

10747729_400286340122543_699354925_n

Can you tell who I’m going as this year? It seemed like an obvious choice given my recent travels…. I’ll make the announcement when I add a picture of me in the costume after Halloween.

Have fun, be creative, and enjoy dressing up!

UPDATE: Here’s my official 2014 Halloween photo! We went to rainy West Hollywood for their parade of costumes. It was great people watching and a handful of people recognized this Jane Goodall.

10731681_1489687044629996_2136943498_n

 

10729284_355364064644166_997896878_n

Big News!

ITSBEENFUN

It’s time to officially announce my big news. I’ve hinted at it over the last year or so, but change is what keeps us moving forward, and I’ve got a big change coming. It brings me great sadness/excitement/nervousness to announce that at the end of November 2014 (aka in 5 weeks), I’m moving back to the East Coast. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA and my friends here, but this great work opportunity has come up in Connecticut and I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I’ve chronicled many of my LA journeys here on the blog, and I’ve lived my time here to the fullest, so I leave with no regrets or unfinished goals. It’s time for new goals, and new challenges.

I’ve worked in the television/film art department for many years now as a coordinator and I see that continuing on this path is no longer something I really want. A couple years ago I could feel myself hitting a wall in my career, and I figured out that even if I got a promotion it wouldn’t make me happy. This made me see that I needed to make a bigger change. After reading “find-yourself” type books, I decided to make a list of what I wanted my future life to have. For example, I want to be able to bike to work, and get a dog that I can bring  to work, and work normal 9-5 type hours. This list got longer and longer until I could almost visualize the changes I needed to make. After years of soul searching, it clicked!

As you know, I love wood-working, crafting and of course, blogging and I’ve found a way I can do all of these things as my job! Is that not living the dream?! My parents have been so supportive and have invited me to come work for Meyer Wire & Cable Co (their cable company) where we will be expanding to create different custom lighting fixtures as well as  broadening the scope of how these wires can be used. Not only will I be designing, but I’ll be working on the branding, blogging about the process, and I’ll even have my own wood working shop up and running, BMeyer Studio!

I’ll be moving to New Haven, Connecticut where I’ll be 15 minutes from Meyer Wire (shortest commute ever-score!). Meyer Wire is along a bike path that starts in New Haven, so I can bike to work. My parents bring their dog to work and have said I can bring one to work too. My hours would be 8:30-5p, which means I can even take woodworking classes at night locally. I’ve basically gained 4 hours of free time every day, and I could not be happier about it. Real estate in that area is also much more affordable, so in the not-too-distant future I could actually afford a cute fixer-upper. I’ll be closer in proximity to my family and I’m only a $15 train ticket from NYC, where many of my RISD friends live.

Of course with any big change there are many compromises that also have to be made. I’ve made a life here in Los Angeles with friends I love, and now I have to sadly say goodbye. Thanks to the internet, social media, and cell phones I’l be able to keep in touch with them as if I was still in LA, it’ll just be harder to see them in person. When I moved to LA I had to do the opposite, which was to leave my East Coast friends to start a life in LA, and I feel like all my friendships back east stayed strong as I made frequent visits. I plan to do the same this time too.

What does this mean for Life Absorbed? I’ll no longer be posting “Do This Today” with Los Angeles daily events, but instead I’ll be shifting the focus of my posts to be more about my future design work and lifestyle. For example, I’m currently in the process of figuring out how to cheaply ship an apartment worth of stuff to Connecticut and I’m excited to share with you my cheap-ish solution! I’ll be driving my car cross country to get there and look forward to sharing the journey. Once I’m in CT, step 1 at Meyer Wire is to renovate the offices and set-up my workshop, and I’ll share the whole process with you. New Haven is also a new city to me, which means I’ll be exploring not only the city but taking weekend trips to different New England towns and exploring Cape Cod. I also hope down the line to buy property and renovate it, which I will also share on the blog. One of my favorite blogs, Manhattan Nest, does this and to me he’s living the dream. I hope to follow a similar path.

But what about comedy? I talked above about making compromises and how leaving my friends in LA is going to be the biggest struggle. I would say my second biggest struggle is saying goodbye to cheap hilarious comedy. LA is a comedy mecca and it was one of the reasons I moved out here to begin with. To pay $5 and see Louis CK or Patton Oswalt, or Sarah Silverman has been unreal. I’ve seen 100’s of comedians perform on the stages around Los Angeles and I’ve loved every minute. By making this move I’ll have to work harder and pay a lot more to see comedy. I’m now allowing myself to invest more money into seeing comedians if this means taking the train into NYC or driving to Foxwoods where comedians often stop through. It’s a promise I made to myself when I decided to move. I won’t be able to see comedy quite as often but I’ll do whatever I need to to feed that passion of mine. For example, I’ve already purchased tickets to Patton Oswalt’s show at Carnegie Hall in January. It was an expensive ticket but it’s going to be such a memorable show.

But what about the weather? There’s no denying that Los Angeles weather is amazing and it’s sunny 100% of the time. New Haven gets snow and rain, and humidity in the summer. This is the 3rd compromise on the list: weather. I’m actually looking forward to the occasional rainy day, and playing in the snow. I’m sure I won’t be saying that in 6 months but I’m trying to be positive about the weather. I also walk outdoors in LA for at least an hour every day at all times of the year. I won’t be able to do this in Connecticut and I’ll have to adjust to it. I’ll need to invest in a gym membership and use it. I’m actually thinking of signing up at City Climb Gym, a New Haven rock climbing gym, but more on that when I’m back east :)

I really am sad to leave Los Angeles, but I’ve been treading water here for that last 2 years and I feel like this is a big step forward. I’m about to gain so much! I’m trying to stay focused on what I’ll be getting and not what I’m having to leave, as I really do love my LA family. Now on to a happier topic: what type of dog should I get!? :)

ONTOANEWADVENTURE New Haven, CT (Background photo by I Love New Haven)

My Birthday Week

My28thbirthday

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve been pretty quiet this week. While I’m no longer in Africa, I’m still technically on vacation. This week (cough Tuesday) happened to be my 28th birthday. I know, I’m so old I fart dust. It’s been a fun week of celebration.

On my actual birthday my friend Jess and I drove down to Westport, CT to explore. We took the Merritt Parkway out there (so pretty), hit=up West Elm (well, because it’s West Elm), and then meandered back along the coast. We even stopped off and found Martha Stewart’s former property (Turkey Hill, Westport). We stopped at beaches to walk around, and I got a tuna sandwich at Oscar’s Deli.

10623904_724641880906095_1258605762_n
(Wandering around Westport, CT)

10632337_1473775762881126_1470552162_n
(The PEZ Visitors Center)

See, such a pretty day! We also stopped into the PEZ Visitors Center in Orange. How cool is that?! That make and package PEZ in CT and they built a beautiful visitor’s center, with games, puzzles, and a find-the-7-dwarfs pez dispensers to win a free pez holder and candy. IT’s a game everyone plays and wins. The price is $5, but comes with a coupon to use in the gift shop as well as the free pez at the end of the visit… it felt like we got back the $5 we paid. I highly recommend stopping in there!

For a special birthday dinner my parents and I went to Geronimo in New Haven. It was a great meal and the restaurant atmosphere/decor is a lot of fun. My mom made me a special birthday cake and then I crashed. I’m still on Africa time!

10570233_1454867121456740_163075113_n

Yesterday I trekked into New York City on a Metro-North train. Met my friend Lily for lunch and then my friend Diana joined me for a walk along the river and High Line visit. I love that place, and they keep expanding it! It’s so fun at sunset to just walk above the city, free of cars.

Then Dot, Diana, Sally, Lily and I had a fabulous dinner at En Japanese Brasserie. Dot took the photo of me at the top of the post. These girls are the best :) I took a sleepy ride back to CT last night and have been working all day today.

I hope to have some Africa posts up soon, I’ve just got a packed schedule here as you can see above. I’ve also got some friends and family to see while I’m on the east coast.  I promise things will be back to normal soon enough.