Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday's

     Monday's...need I say more. Sunday night I wish it was Saturday night and wonder where the weekend went? This morning when I woke up I wondered how it was possible for 8 hours to pass so quickly? I am still recovering from my illness, and that makes today even worse. I get up every hour and cough and blow my nose for what seems like a solid minute. There is no end to this lung congestion it seems. Another thing that is making me stare at the clock and feel tired and lazy (and somewhat sad) is the fact that I have not been following my no-gluten or dairy diet. Whenever I break with my diet, all of my symptoms come back. I feel tired, lazy, feverish and swollen. Overall, not good. What surprised me when I first figured out that I was allergic, was how so many of the symptoms were mental. I become forgetful and indecisive and sleepy...and sad. Needless to say, my day could be going better.

     My test for myself this afternoon (I am writing this at work on the end of my lunch break) is to see how many phone calls I can make. One, that's good practice for this job. Two, I'm hoping it makes the day go by faster. When I leave work, I am headed to my friends house to pick up care packages from my mom! Yay, two packages filled with love! That makes me even more ready for the day to be over!

Tuesday:

     I got very little done yesterday because (obviously) I was not in the best mood. BUT...I did get my care package...gluten free bread, pasta, grits and pizza crust! Yay! I love my mother! I have been missing gluten free bread for a long time now. 

Pray for me to have a better work day today...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Laryngitis and my first day of successful calls

     After my lovely urban walk on Friday I strolled into the juice shop at Upper East Side and got myself a carrot and orange juice. It was so good...even if it only took me 3 minutes to finish it. My throat hurt but I figured the juice and a weekend of relaxing would cure that. WRONG. Saturday came and I felt worse :( We had plans that night to go out to dinner with a big fun group followed by St. Patrick's day celebrating at an Irish bar. My husband knew better than to take sick wifey to a bar though...he would get drunk and I would be pouting and feeling like crap the whole night. So we stayed home and watched movies. Woke up Sunday, felt even worse than Saturday. That pattern continued until Tuesday when we went to the International Clinic to get me checked out. My sweet husband took a half day and escorted me to the doctor. Once there and after some blood tests (my favorite) we found out that I had/have viral laryngitis as a symptom of bronchitis. Awesome...to me that sounds like I have both. Really though I had textbook laryngitis...extreme sore throat that made it virtually impossible for me to talk above a whisper. Probably a welcome relief to my husband. Anyway I was “prescribed” Tylenol and Chinese Medical tea to clear out my lungs. So Wednesday I cleared out my lungs ALL DAY! Gross I know.

     Today I was back to work. My boss (thanks to my time off) had ample time to start a list of people for me to call in my territories. Today I called literally a zillion offices, but in the end had 5 successful calls, and 5 resumes sent to me. The calls were so much easier today! I expected for it to take me a while to get used to it, but actually I already feel a lot more comfortable. I guess all I needed was some “me time” to reflect on my first calls. Now I'm sitting at Costa Coffee writing this after my second urban hike in 7 days! I am going to know this city like the back of my hand in no time!  

     On a side note I have a fun fact about Chinese money. In China, the way your actual total works is not the number that you are presented with in some cases. Say for example my bill is for 32.2 (like my lunch today)...when I gave my waitress 33 kuai, I gave her the wrong amount. Actually, because the amount was under .5 the total was 32 kuai. Easy mistake on my part...tell that to the waitress who looked at me like I was an idiot. 

HAPPY WEEKEND!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Egg Blog Award!

Yay! I've been awarded the Good Egg Blog Award!



I am so honored! This award came at such a great time because today I got home from the doctor bummed out...and then I saw my award! Almost makes the laryngitis feel better! Thanks to Barbara over at Footprints in the Sand for giving me this award! If you haven't read her blog, stop by...she's an expat living in France. 

Here are the rules for this award:

1.Thank and link back to the person who gave me this award.
2.Share 7 things about yourself
3.Award other bloggers (you determine who and how many)
4.Contact these blogs and tell them about the award.

7 Things About Me:
  1. I spent 6 years on a sailboat sailing around the world with my family
  2. I love dogs
  3. I got married last June at 22
  4. I majored in Child and Family Development 
  5. I love babies
  6. I live in Beijing
  7. Next my husband and I are thinking about moving to Australia or New Zealand 

And now I tag:
Confessions of a Newlywed
Not Just Another Blonde In Beijing
Couture and Crayons

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Flowers and new table cloth

Our kitchen is now filled with plants and pretty flowers.

This is a close up of our new tale cloth. We bought it at a market for $15!

My beautiful flowers that my amazing husband bought me. The purple flowers are from last Friday and the pink flowers are from this Friday. I am so lucky!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Second week of work...

     I just got home from my second week of work. Today after a week's worth of research, I made my first phone call. A lot of my job is going to be initiating contact with professionals and building a relationship with them. Initiating contact aka cold calling. I love the job, but the cold calling is going to take some getting used to. I tend to get nervous when I talk to strangers on the phone, and today was no exception. I had a list of questions I needed to ask about their background and I floundered through it. To make things even more interesting, I am talking to people from Indian and the Philippines on the phone...so there's an "accent barrier". My mental strategy is to call call call and don't think about it. Sooner or later it will just be second nature.

     Today after the subway trip home, I went to hail a cab the rest of the way...to no avail. So I walked through the urban jungle for 45 minutes until I finally arrived home. Happy Weekend everyone!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First week of work

     My first day of work started off not quite the way I expected. I got up at 6am with my husband, ate breakfast, got ready and was out the door at 6:45. I was on the subway by 7:10 and I was at my office 15 minutes later. I expected an hour commute... Not that a shorter commute is bad, but unlike the US, Beijing does not open its doors until 8am. None of the coffee shops were open for me to sit in until I went into work, the gate from inside the subway to my building is closed until 8 and my office doors aren't even unlocked until 8am. With that said, the office doesn't really open until 9am. The receptionists are the only people here when the doors open, and they looked at me like I was crazy when I was waiting at the door at 8am. So I sat in a conference room until 9am. The rest of the day went great though. My boss is nice, my coworkers seem nice and the office is nice. Nice, nice, nice. It will take some getting used to making phone calls in a room with 6 other women listening and judging, but I will survive. The only downside to this great building is that lunch is expensive here and its expensive Chinese food. Filled with soy sauce, thus inedible. So I am going to have to find a place near by with Sushi or something else I can eat on a regular basis that won't break the bank. Overall I am thrilled to be starting this new job. My boss has been very open with me about how hard its going to be the first year, but especially the first few months of making 60+ calls a day. I am ready. Famous last words...

New topic...

     I need a new look. I love my hair, its long and blonde and super fine, but its also kind of lifeless. That and I have no idea how to style my hair except for putting it in a pony tail or pulling it half up. Not very inventive. I was thinking bangs, but those terrify me. Let's just say bad experience where my mother allowed my 16 year old babysitter to cut them with house scissors as a child. So I think I am going to let me layers grow out and continue to grow out my hair. I need suggestions on what to do with my hair. Here is a picture. Any advise?

And again...

The fashion handbook was tossed out the window rewritten in Beijing...

     Previous to moving to Beijing, I foolishly thought that some fashion rules transcended the borders of “the west”. I thought that everyone knew the “tried and true” fashions rules. Don't wear a striped shirt with patterned pants, no stripes ties with striped shirts, black shoes with navy pants and a brown shirt is not a good look, and try not to wear different shades of the same color through out your outfit. NOT IN CHINA MY FRIENDS. If you want to wear polka dot shoes with striped socks over fishnet stockings, that's cool. You want to wear a zebra stripe shirt with leopard print pants, a pink fur bag and a rainbow dyed fur bag, no problem. It never ceases to amaze me the outfits I see. The interesting news I received the other day was that I haven't even seen the REALLY creative outfits. Apparently the crazy outfits I described above are the winter stifled version of their real style. Don't worry, when I get a new/better camera, I will make sure to take pictures to illustrate my point.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bedroom

     Here is the bedroom, my second favorite room (the living room being my first). I know that I want the wall's to be painted a sage/light green color, but since there is no neighborhood Lowes/Home Depot here, I can't just go to the store and buy samples. Sad I know. So I went online to the Sherwin William's website and found the colors Witty Green, Picnic or Mesclun Green. Opinion?
http://www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself/paint_colors/ideas/color/interior/greens/

    
     The bedspread and the curtains both need to go. The curtains I want to burn, but the bedspread I will save for guests.


     Ughh! I hate light colored wood furniture from IKEA. It looks cheap and I really wish I could exchange it for another color. As it stands, it will probably just end up in the guest bedroom. I foresee that room becoming the dumping room for miscellaneous furniture.


     This piece I love! It is so antique and Chinese, and it is so cute!

    
     My lovely master bath! Marble, tile and porcelain perfection. I love it. The only think missing is storage underneath the sink.


     Again, if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Living Room

     I am going to start with our new living room. As soon as I saw this room my left brain started decorating. Right now it has yellow curtains, one huge orange couch, one small orange couch and one orange chair. I hate the color orange...so they all need work. The smaller pieces of furniture are currently having their covers cleaned, thats why they are white. I have to admit I payed way to much to have them cleaned...my husband just about had a coronary when I told him how much I paid considering they are going to get replaced soon. It was one of those situations where I had already unloaded the covers and gotten them to the cleaners and I just wanted to be done with it...so I paid about 75 dollars to have them cleaned (astronomical in China)...oops. 

  
     I found out yesterday that our couches are from IKEA. That is good news because I can order new covers directly from the store and not have to get them custom made. The bad news is that I wanted a navy colored couch and they don't offer these covers in navy. So now its a toss up between dark red and black.
http://www.ikea.com/cn/en/catalog/products/90170314 Go to the website and let me know your vote!
  
     The curtains are what I am really excited about...mostly because I have a really pretty pattern in my head that would be absolutely beautiful. Now all I have to do is find a worthy fabric and have the curtains made. I am going to hopefully be shopping for fabrics with my friend this weekend while our husband's are at the Great Wall on a hiking trip. The pattern in my head is primarily navy blue, red and some sort of sand/beige color and has a really intricate pattern. I'm not sure how it got in my head but it has an oriental look and the pattern has birds on it. I watched a lot of Sarah's House before we moved to Beijing...so that may be it.


     My plan for the rug, coffee table and other two pieces of furniture will have a lot to do with what color I decide to go with on the main couch and the colors in the curtains. In my mind I see myself going with a coffee table that looks like the piece of furniture the TV is on, a solid colored rug, and some striped pattern for the other pieces of furniture.


     This last picture is our view of the 4th Ring Road from our living room. Not the prettiest view, but the windows are good quality so we can barely hear the highway. My plan for the window ledge is to cover it with plants that create oxygen and help with the unbelievable dust problem we have!

     If anyone has any opinions for this room, please comment! I am very open to suggestions.

New Place!

     We finally found a place! We met with a Century 21 agent with our new price range (it was unavoidable) and went to see 3 apartments in Upper East Side and 1 apartment in Pearl Harbour. The first place, in Upper East Side, had me as soon as I walked in the door. My first impression was...is that real wood I smell? It was real wood! On the floors and all of the doors...including closet doors! I have closets now! The other places just did not stand a chance. We negotiated the price down by 1000 kuai (150 dollars) and signed the contract the next day! We moved that night (the landlord couldn't sign the contract until 6pm), the next day and the next night...and now we are all moved in! Not only does our new place have closets, it also has a bathtub and an oven...all in all, my perspective of living in Beijing has dramatically changed in the past week.

     I also got a job! The American recruiting company wanted me and so offered me an American starting salary (not commission based, yay!) and they are sponsoring my work visa. I take my first step into the career world March 7, 2011! I could not be more excited. The only draw back is that while I love the bones of this apartment, the style of the furniture is quite clearly a case of "Oh, now I have an apartment I want to rent...guess I'll just put furniture in there wherever I can find it.". There is an orange couch, and several pieces of wood furniture that are all different shades. So I need to at least start redecorating before I start work! That is no small feat. I need to replace all the curtains, get new couch coverings and find a way to switch out the light colored wood furniture (eww...I HATE light colored wood) with darker wood furniture.

     All in all this has been a fantastic week! I got a new wonderful apartment in a complex I love and I got a great job! Things are all starting to fall into place. I plan to post pictures of my new place one room at a time with my plans for decorating.