October 30, 2010

The Little Things in Life!

I was admiring all the fall colors as my plane landed back to my home state, Michigan.
The cool, cold weather, as I stepped off the plane, hit my face as I walked into the terminal! The smell of the air was so crisp, as it usually does, during this time of the year, Fall! Oh how I have
I missed you!!
I never thought moving away from Michigan to Florida, I'd ever miss the seasons but when the sun is shining 95% of the year and you are living in your A/C majority of the time, missing the seasons comes easily. As does, missing your family!!!
As you may have read in previous post, we had a new addition to our family. Our new bundle of joy, Jaxson!!
I, known as Aunt T, got the opportunity to meet the little guy, and reunite with my niece, Layla!!
My sister wasn't able to do much because she was only a week in from labor, so moving around at long periods of times was rough. But we did get the opportunity to go trick or treating with the little ones during my short 2 day trip!!
Another trip in the making very soon!
I sure miss the little ones biggest moments.
I wish I could be in two places at once!!
Here are some photos of my trip back home visiting family.

These are the moments in life that keeps life going.
Cherish every moment!

October 26, 2010

Hello Spring Semester!!!

After November 5th, I will officially be a college student!
I couldn’t be more thrilled about this change in routine in my life right now!
After all the tears shed, and for this to finally come to reality…
Life is good!!

Blogger or Wordpress; What do you prefer?

So I recently started a blog page on Wordpress (click here to see it) before exploring my options on what other blogging sites may have to offer.

When I came across Blogger, I decided to make a page on here too. I wanted to see what options it had to offer. The Blogger site is definitely easier to adjust things, and pretty self explanatory. I also like the features where you adjust what your page looks like. This is one main reason I decided to start blogging so I could create a page! I certainly have a lot to learn though.

Wordpress has a lot more in twine with it. It deals more with the CSS format, which I am not very familiar with. Like I said, I have a lot to still learn.

So I wanted to ask you,

What do you prefer?  & Why?

October 22, 2010


Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages  OH MY!
 This is what my life has consist of lately.

After 3 years of fighting to get back into school, my FAFSA is finally complete!
Not necessary complete the way I want it to be, but for now it’s beneficial.
Fall of 2011, will be a different story; another struggle.

I suppose I should give you all a run down on why it has taken me 3 years now to even get into college.

Independent VS Dependent

This has truly been the biggest obstacle for me to get across while applying for school.
Even though I am clearly an INDEPENDENT as of 17 years old, dependent of a father that has never had custody of me had to fill in the blanks for me to get into school.

My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old. The reason why is still unclear to me, but they would have never got a long anyways; they still do not.

My sister, 4 years older than me, and I grew up with a single mother. Times were tough as they are for any other single mom out there. While my mom was working 40+ hours, my sister was raising me. My dad loved us but you never knew when he’d be around; sober or drunk.

Through this time, my mom had ongoing relationship with different men in her life. They would last for a while, 3 years here and 5 years there. But nothing ever clicked. So having a stable family never existed unless I was over at friend’s house. My thought; so this is what a real family is like.

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. Throughout school, I built up great relationships with friends hence that’s all I had minus my sister. During these times, my sister was much older than me, and doing her own thing. She wasn’t home much, and nor was I. I’d always be staying over at friend’s house.

Thinking back at how my childhood played out, I never really took in consideration what was really happening. Friend’s parents always took me in. They must have had an idea of what was going on. But to me, I thought this was normal. What little girl doesn’t want to have a sleepover?

When I got to 8th grade, the end of middle school, my mom was dating this guy who she met through work. He was retiring and moving up north where he had his cabin. Ironically, we use to go up there every other weekend with a previous boyfriend my mom dated, also a friend of my dad. Complicated, I know. So my mom decided to give up everything she had worked so hard for, and move up north.

As a teenager this was devastating to me. I felt like I was loosing everyone. My sister, my dad and grandma (Dad’s mom), great friendships that were created, and other families I got close to; this was my family. And having to start all over just because of another man in my mom’s life will never be clear to me.

This was the beginning of my nightmare…

On going events went on after this, and within time I am sure I will open up about.

I am not your ordinary 21 year old.

My childhood was nothing like a childhood should be.

& for a mom to think the things should put me through was right will never make sense to me.

I was kicked out of the house when I was 17 years old.

July 4, 2007.
Independence Day; Ironic I know.

The last thing my mom said to me, “Don’t ever come back” followed by the slamming of her bedroom door.

This was the year I graduated from high school.
High Honors and a 3.75 GPA.
My grades are not my issue of getting into school.

I have not seen my mom in almost 4 years now.
Nor do I ever think we will have the relationship we once had, or be the person she once was.

With the lack of communication with my mom, I was unable to apply to college. I wasn’t able to complete my financial aid to go to school.

Becoming an Independent was impossible.
I wasn’t 24 years old, have or plan on having baby, or was getting married any time soon.
Fighting to become an Independent wasn’t legit either. Yes, my mom kicked me out but I didn’t have any sort of paperwork backed up from courts, police reports, or even get emancipated when I was 17.

So showing abandonment was impossible.

I had many family members and friends that could have written me letters regarding my situation but it was never enough.

So for 3 years, my financial aid was incomplete.
Delaying on the fact I wasn’t able to go to college.
I didn’t have to money to pay out of pocket otherwise I would have.
I was a struggling, young lady, working hard to get on my feet on my own!
& that is what I did.

The question I always asked though,
What do people, my age, do when they are unable to be claimed as an independent and clearly they are?

I do not have help from my parents.

Luckily this year, my dad filed for taxes since now it is the hands of an attorney.
Zero Income.

This spring, I can finally go to school to become a more educated individual and be everything my parents aren’t!

Next year will be a struggle regarding whether or not my dad files. But for now, I will focus on what I need to get done. I hope that this won’t hold me back anymore.
So lately I have been studying for my placement test,
and will be on the road to signing up for classes!
This will be such a great feeling!!!

October 21, 2010

I love this time of the year!

After debating on what I wanted to do this year, I decided to go with the harvest idea then the spooky theme.

This is our first year in the our new home together. Everything has been expanded, going from apartment to house decorations. I don’t mind though because I love to decorate!

I am, kind of, a budget shopper. If there is a sale rack, I am there! So finding some great deals are always a great feeling!

Here are some photos of my Harvest Mantle

I’d have to say I hit jackpot when I stopped at Joann Fabrics to look for some jute twine. As I was walking in  they had all their Halloween and Harvest items, 60% – 70% off! I’d have to say that was quite the deal. They also have Christmas decorations for 30% – 40% off! Do they realize it’s not even Christmas? Well I highly recommend anyone to swing on over to see what they have to offer for you! It might just add the little touch you were looking for the season!

Here are some of the deals I found while shopping at Joann's:

16 in scarecrow stake $4.99, sale for $1.99
Harvest table top $14.99, sale for $5.99
Maple Garland $9.99, sale for $3.99
Welcome Pumpkin sign, $29.99, sale for $11.99
Along with my decorations, I added a bale of hay $ 7.99 (local market), corn stalk $4.99 (local market), 3 pumpkins $15 (local market), and festive ribbon for the corn stalk $2.00 (Walmart).

All the other items were from last year. Most were picked up from Old Time Pottery. They have some pretty good sales on random things!

Here are some outdoor decorations

 For me, I’d have to say that shopping after the holiday is the best way to decorate for your space. But make sure it matches. I am sure the household across the street does her clearance shopping and just hangs, sticks in the ground, and lights up whatever is 50% off! 

Well I hope everything one is enjoying their holiday season so far! Halloween is right around the corner! Before we know it, we will be saying hello to 2011!

October 19, 2010

A New Bundle of Joy! Welcome!

Well as much as I liked to say he is mine..
I am a proud Aunt Tee of a new baby boy, Jaxson!

My sister was induced last night and is now proud parent of two!

Of course times like this is when I wish I didn’t live so far away.

So I will be off next week on a plane to go meet the new addition to our family!

Kevin and I had a bet that Jaxson would come on the 20th. A day too soon but I am not complaining!

October 18, 2010

Check Please!

Last night was definitely a hectic night for me!
I believe everyone should work as a server/bartender once in their life to really know what it's like. Until they do, I don't think they will ever understand how demanding it can be!

Patience is a virtue people!

Now let me give you a little in site:
I have been working in the hospitality industry for a total of 3 years.
My first job was in Northern Michigan as a hostess/busier hence I couldn't serve since I wasn't 18. You have to be 18 to serve alcohol. I worked for a small little restaurant that wasn't as demanding as the job that I work at now. Of course, living in the a city  definitely draws in  more traffic than from a small little village, & yes I said village, in Northern Michigan. When I moved to a much larger city in Florida, I was told to come into this Tapas bar to apply. I had some friends that moved down, a year previously, that were working at a bar/lounge within the same company. I dropped their name, and applied. That evening I was hired as a hostess. There is nothing like starting at the end of the ladder and slowing working your way up to the top. I was pleased with finding a job though within the week of living in Florida, and the pay was definitely much better that what I was getting paid in Michigan.

So within 8 months, I was pulled up as a server; a whole new aspect of interaction with people.

There are definitely pros and cons to working in the hospitality industry.
The ability to meet new people is definitely a great aspect. Through life, I believe connections are a big key in succeeding in your overall goal. Knowing others will always allow people to put in a "good word" for you! Hence my name drop! =) But there are some occasions where people work extremely hard to get where they are today, knowing people or not! I guess it can go both ways. Once we get in, we have to work hard to get to the top.
I definitely take pride in my job for I work hard for what I have.
(A story will come along of why)

Here are some things I consider while serving:

I definitely want to make sure people are satisfied with their experience!

To be too attentive or not:  The way I look at it, you rather be more attentive than not. You want to make sure you are there when they need something. I rather them be more annoyed with me then angry! Some people may consider this a good thing or bad. I'd have to say I really haven't had any trouble with this. You usually get the feeling when someone just wants to be left alone especially those who are on their first date.

Drive by: Yes, I called them drive by's. With being attentive, but not interrupting. I usually put this within my loop of things while working. I'll walk pass the table, not say anything, and attempt to notice if their drinks are empty, along with dirty dishes, etc.  This allows me to know whether or not to come back with a water pitcher, or clean off their dishes. With this as well, this allows them to possibly to notice me, and let me know if they need anything!

& by the loop, there are numerous of things we have to do then just attend to our tables.

My loop: starting with greeting the table.
Beverage napkins; this allows people to know we have been to the table, Greet customers, explain our menu, grab waters, take drink orders, grab drinks, take food orders, ring in food in the computer. Within this time, you have "free time". This consist of,  running food to tables, and not just our own food, throughout the whole restaurant, bringing up plates from the back, restocking the plates, back to attend the table(s), and within this time we most likely have been given another tables. Back to the loop. Let me add, this may include filling ice, making more coffee, making more tea etc. This takes more time then you think!
Now I can say having a section is by far way easier than having tables everywhere. But when they are in the same area, I like to treat it as one whole table!
 Now continuing on...

Being Knowledgeable: This is definitely a key when working as a server especially where I work. Most people don't know what tapas are, so explaining this is very helpful to the customer. What are tapas you might ask?  Tapas are small plates, kind of like appetizers. Usually we recommend for people to order 2-3 per person and everyone can share! Definitely allows a great opportunity to try a bunch of different things; seafood, chicken, steak, and vegetable dishes. But if you are not about sharing your food, entrees are available too! These are full meals like any other restaurant serve with rice and black beans. Tapas are definitely great for larger groups!

Interacting with the table: I believe this aspect is by far one of the main keys while serving. Allowing yourself to get to know your table opens all doors. They start to fill comfortable with you, hopefully. This will allow some key factors: come back again and ask for you; creating regulars, possibility a discount on their end, opportunities within career jobs, higher tabs, better tips, and so forth. It's all about the experience. I try to be as helpful as possible.

Now that I have gone through a run down on some positive things regarding serving.
Let me go on to some things people may not consider while out and about!

Yes, customers are VERY important to us. But we are human too! Wanting to be in everywhere at the same time just can't happen. Now, yes you'll get the server that slacks within their job but for myself, I consider myself a working machine. Once again, I work hard for what I have!

Last night I felt like I completely failed. But not because I slacked in what I was doing but because I got "weeded". Servers/bartenders do get weeded; too much to handle in ones' time frame.

One thing I feel customers should always consider, look at how hard your server is working. If you need something, be patience. If you can see them running around with their head chopped off, be considerate. Look at it this way, you see that they are working hard rather than not doing anything at all.

Well, what do you do when you don't see them at all? Well most likely they are in another sections; these will be nights where your tables are all over the place (bigger loop of course), and soon to be coming back over. But don't get me wrong, sometimes it could be the case where the server could be slacking.

Please, be observant!

Most of the time, nights like these are considered nights where we are understaffed and the people working can only do so much. Usually we don't have time get organized as much as we like!

One thing I always try to do is, be honest with my tables. Tell them what's up; sorry the kitchen is a little backed up, the bartender is swamped; it may be a little bit before you get your drinks, and so forth. Some people may take this in consideration but others just don't care.

Within our restaurant, it's a little different because we are tapas restaurant, all the dishes come out as soon as they are done and not all together unless you have entrees of course. So completely that loop is very important! Usually we have a food runner that completes this task with the help of all the servers on the floor. But sometimes that can get overwhelming as well.

I believe all restaurants can get to this point.

& one last topic I wanted to focus on...

What percentage do you usually give?
& what factors do you usually consider when tipping?

I always wonder this.
Being in the industry, I notice a lot of things when I go out.
For me, the server has to be polite, and friendly.
And being attentive is important to me!

My tipping scale:
10% to 15%- they were okay.
20% (the average tip) and up- they were excellent!

What makes you tip more than 20%?
FYI: Yes, discount saves you money but tip your server on your regular bill!

October 16, 2010

Happy Sweetest Day!

Today is Sweetest Day, another day to share your love with your love one!

I definitely discovered something new today though!

So this morning when my boyfriend stumbled out of bed, I proceed to wish him a Happy Sweetest Day!

Confused at my welcoming remark, he replies, “huh?”

I repeat myself, “Happy Sweetest Day!
“I’ve never heard of it.” he replies.

Of course, any typical male would response with that. I told him, look at Facebook, I bet there are plenty of people who have updates in their statuses regarding Sweetest Day.
Scrolling through, there are 1 of 20! Let me mind you, he has about 1,000 friends. The ratio for girls against guys is definitely higher. I definitely thought there would be more updates!

So I hop on mine, one after another, Sweetest day this, Sweetest day that!

So he decides to look it up, only to cover his back.

Long behold; It’s a day that was created in the Great Lakes Region and part of the Northwest!

Wow, well that makes sense! I grew up in Michigan and never thought that other people in the states had no idea what this holiday was. It’s on calendars for goodness sake! Who would have thought differently!

I definitely learn something new everyday!

So I guess I can’t be too upset with dating someone from Massachusetts not knowing what 

Sweetest Day is! Let’s hope he remembers next year! =)

But his excuse, we are in the Gulf Region now..

Not that we really need another day celebrating the love that we have with someone! We do that everyday anyways. What other reason would you be with them then?

Did you know what Sweetest Day is!?

Take a look for yourself.

I hope I added that correctly!

Happy Sweetest Day Bloggers!!

October 15, 2010

What do you blog?

So I have decided to join the blogging world.

Why you may ask?
Well why not? Who keeps a journal anymore when you can update your life away through social networks; Facebook, Twitter, and etc.

Now, I’ve decided to do this mainly because of the creative aspect of it. I like the idea of creating a website page as you please. I can say, I definitely have a lot to learn though.  But it’s a new adventure I can take on!

I know writing is definitely a creative but I can say that I wasn’t really blessed with the literature trait. So let me forewarn you, most things may not be in proper terms. But heck, I am mainly writing this for my leisure; a way to express my feelings and thoughts. I am sure many of you may choose to read what I blog about, and have the opportunity to like me or not. You may be interested or you may not!

After trying to determine what main topic I wanted to write about, I came to the conclusion, why not write about everyday events? Or on going challenges that come along the way. It’s probably the easier task to write about it! Life is an ongoing cycle of different events that happen daily. Obviously, some are more important than others.

So I’d like to welcome you to my blogging site!
Watch my life unfold, and come along my journey hand in hand.

Now tell me,
What intrigues you to blog?