Saturday, November 29, 2014

Belated Birthday Post

I was just going through photos and realized I never posted these fun pictures from my birthday! Sheila took us all out to the Retreat for dinner, one of my favorite places! 

Laura and Kelly had a blast and are always good for a laugh.

Kelly was my helper with blowing out all those candles on that gorgeous cake courtesy of Paula! (Thank you Paula!!)

Double blow-fish!

Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes, it was a quiet day, but quite lovely.

Another Week Goes By.

Nothing new to report on the job front. The holidays slowed things down to a grinding halt. I sent my regrets to Time Warner. Which is too bad. If it didn't involve a move, I would have taken the job. And I let them know that. It was my fault for applying and getting their hopes up, but after thinking it over and losing sleep over the decision, it was the move that was the biggest challenge. I do hope I don't regret the decision. A woman at the unemployment office gave me the advice "Never let an opportunity pass you by..." But I did. Hopefully there will be other opportunities closer to home.

I finally got snow tires on my car yesterday. What an ordeal that was. Eric said I have the Hayden curse now. The tires were supposed to take 4 days to get here. And they would call when they arrived. On day 7, I stopped by the store to find out where they were. And guess what? They had given my tires away to someone else. They never even called me to let me know they were here. So I put up a big fuss. I ended up getting $180 off the tires (20% off each tire + free installation). And then on day 11, I got my tires installed. I guess it was worth the hassle, I saved a good bit of money! So in the end, it all worked out. And the tires are sweet.

Thanksgiving came and went. As did another Turkey Trot. I just love the photo above, with all the snow and colorful runners. We had a bit of an "emergency" change of plans on Thanksgiving morning, but quick thinking and Wegmans saved the day. We're sorry we weren't able to spend the day with the Haydens in Fulton, but it was probably for the best. And Kelly is feeling much better now, so all is well. 

Oh, and one more thing before I end this post. I have another blog! Yes, I know. How many blogs can one girl keep? It's sort of a spin-off of the Aldi blog. I noticed that most people really liked the recipes and photos of food. I mean really liked it. So I have been taking all the recipes (and creating more) for a new blog, called "CookingWithAmanda" So feel free to stop by and check it out. Oh and if you're ordering anything from Amazon or Target this holiday season, feel free to take the link off the site to do your shopping, we'll get a percentage of the sale! The hope with this blog is to make it "big" and maybe actually make a few bucks in the process. So click here to visit the new site: CookingWithAmanda. It's in its early stages and very much a work in progress. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

UAlbany Track & Field

Alex's official "UAlbany Track" photo has been taken. It's on their website. I just happened to be poking around and found it. His bio isn't up yet, but his photo is, so it must be official. He had a rough XC season, with a couple of injuries. He says he's healthy now and looking forward to a great indoor track season. 

Check out the online Bio section by clicking here.

I'm picking him up this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. It'll be good to have him home for a few days. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


We basically have a used car lot in our driveway. Which isn't a bad thing when one car goes down, we just use a different one! The Mini has been out of commission for a couple of weeks now. It needs a new clutch. It sat in the shop for a week, they wanted to charge around $2400 to fix it. Eric tried to make a deal with them to trade/purchase one of their newer Mini's they had for sale, but they wouldn't budge on their price. So Eric picked up his car. Unfixed. He's been calling around to get the price lower, he got it down to around $1600 at another place. They're waiting for parts to arrive from Buffalo. That might take awhile. So the Mini sits. We're afraid to use it. Why are Mini's so expensive to fix? They're so tiny!

Eric has been taking my car to work, it's the newest and most reliable. But it sucks in the snow. So we just invested in snow tires for it. The tires should be here in a couple of days, it'll be my birthday present. I've never had snow tires and I'm very excited about them. I almost want it to snow. (Not as much as Buffalo though, please!)

So, while Eric has been living in luxury with my Mazda, I've been using Alex's car when I need to go out. The 2004 Subaru with 149,000 miles on it. It is surprisingly, a very nice ride. Except for the brakes. I had to take it up today to get it inspected and held my breath the entire time. It needs new back brake pads and rotors, but it was good enough to pass inspection. Phew. He gave me an estimate, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it's not a priority. So it can wait. It will most likely be stored for most of the winter, so it's not a rush.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dodging Bullets

Wow. Did Syracuse dodge a HUGE bullet. Buffalo has gotten more than 4 feet of snow in the last 24 hours. That is insane!!

Here's a photo of the Thru-way in Buffalo. Doesn't that look like fun? The Thru-way is closed from Rochester to Buffalo. And it's still snowing. And will continue through tomorrow. 5" an hour of snow. Wow. 

In the meantime, I am heading to Albany on Friday for another interview with Time Warner. I'm very much on the fence and leaning more towards no than yes. But it'll be good to go and see what they have to say. I have nothing else moving at the moment, so I'm just keeping the momentum going. And maybe I can get a sneak peek of Alex while I'm in Albany. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Birthday party

Today we went up to Fulton to celebrate Laura turning 12. I made a fun cake, I still need work on the writing part. My hand is too shaky. I definitely need some practice with that. This was my first time making roses, those need more practice too, but they worked.

The in-action blowfish picture.

Bella is very lovable and very, very patient. 

Bella and the girls. Best friends.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I had a great phone interview this morning with Time Warner in Albany. They made it no secret that they want me. It was nice to hear such positive feedback on my resume and website for a change! I wonder if I'm destined to continue in television. It's what I know. They didn't offer the job, but I am going to interview with them in person next Friday. I have a feeling they will offer me the job. We already talked money and benefits and he asked how quickly I could start. So this gives me time to figure out what the heck I would say if they offer me a job.

That's kind of a huge decision. And I'm honestly not sure what the right thing to do would be. We'd have to sell the house and move. But would we wait until after winter and work and live long-distance for a few months. I could come back on weekends. Eric wouldn't have a job in Albany. The tables would be turned. He'd then have to start the job hunt process. He could obviously start now if we decide to do this and hopefully get a head start. But you never know. These things apparently take time! It would be nice to get him out of that evil WCNY place.

Or... do I say no and stay here and keep looking? Get a job at the mall until I find something. I mean, I will eventually find something. But when?

So. What would you do? I'm looking for advice. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Oh and a positive would be that we'd be closer to Alex and closer to Boston. The Time Warner Albany offices are 2.6 miles from the UAlbany campus. Heh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When it rains, it pours.

So to say I've been getting a lot of activity on the job front lately would be an understatement. Which is not a bad thing! Last Wednesday I had a phone interview with the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, for a Digital Media Manager. I passed the first phase and was granted a second interview, which was this morning. I was there for 2 hours, spoke with 4 different people. I would LOVE to work there. Very much. Do I think I got the job? I have no idea. They are bringing in 5 people, 2 will get a chance at a 3rd interview with the Exec. Director. I will hopefully know within the next week or two if I passed phase 2.

On Thursday of last week I received an email from ESPN. They wanted to do a phone interview with me. Funny thing was, during that phone interview, I was 20 minutes from Bristol, CT. The interview was on Sunday afternoon. I thought it went well. I can talk sports, so I think I passed. That would be a fun job. It's for a Design Publication Specialist. Mostly online digital and social media graphics. And all about sports. I think that would be a hoot. I will know by the end of next week if I get an in-person interview. (That will consist of a 2-day trip to ESPN in Bristol, CT.)

This morning, before my interview at Merry-Go-Round, I got an email from Time Warner Cable in Albany. We set up a phone interview for Thursday at 11. I'd really like to live in Albany. That would be fantastic. It's a graphic design position, which I'm way over-qualified for. (read: low pay)

So then on my way home from the Merry-Go-Round I got an email from Arc of Oneida County. I sent them a resume a month or two ago, probably longer. They want to set up an interview too. The pay sucks, but it's a job. And a long commute. But it's a job. And it's a graphic design position.

So THEN (yes, there's more!) a friend and former colleague from WMUR in Manchester emailed to tell me that his place (NECN in Newton, MA) is looking for a designer. And he gave me the managers email and told me to hurry and send a resume. So I will. Why not! That's 5 irons in the fire. It would certainly be nice if one of them panned out. Especially the one closest to home!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Driving Miss Daisy

Tomorrow I'm heading to Connecticut with Sheila. She asked if I would be her chauffeur and drive her to her sisters house for the weekend to celebrate her sister's birthday. And she said she'd pay me too. Who could pass up that offer? I get to drive her fun new luxurious SUV and have a nice weekend away. I'm not really sure where we're going in CT, it's somewhere south of Hartford, that's all I know. I have no idea what the itinerary is, but I'll just go with the flow! I did have one requirement, that wherever we say, we have to have wifi. (I must keep up with the job listings and the blog!)

And speaking of jobs, I have a second interview at a place on Tuesday. I'm reluctant to mention any more details for fear of jinxing it!! So send some good thoughts my way on Tuesday! It would be a very good thing if it were to work out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Elections are over!

I am SO thankful the political season of 2014 is over. There are 19 flashing messages on our answering machine from candidates. And that was just from the last 3 days. The house is once again quiet from the ringing. And quiet from the awful, horrible, annoying and most often times mean political ads. Good riddance Election '14.

I have one bit of good news in the election world. Sutter Brown gets to continue his clickity clacking throughout the Governors Mansion in California. He's an adorable Corgi who I happen to follow on Twitter. He even favorited my Tweet last night. I was giddy. I'm a little unsure of how a dog without opposable thumbs can tweet, but I imagine he has a personal assistant to help him.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Trick or Treat

Here are a few photos from the Barnes Hiscock Mansion's Trick or Treat event Thursday. It was a huge hit. Over 150 kids stopped by, We had over 3000 pieces of candy to give out. It was so much fun and we got nothing but rave reviews! The Mansion has got to be one of Syracuse's best kept secrets, but the secret is getting out. Which is a good thing!