Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

So remember when I was going through my list of all the crrrrrazy changes that have been going on in my life? You know, stuff like my beautiful niece being born, my super cool big bro getting married, and everything in between? Well, I kinda left one thing out, and it’s actually one of the biggest changes of them all (at least, with regard to affecting me specifically).

See, about a month ago, I started a new job.

And while I’m hesitant to actually say (type?) the words “perfect job” for fear of the karmic retribution for my humblebraggery… that’s kind of what it is. Perfect for me, at any rate. And I think if you just take what you know about me, and lay that against the main functions of this job, you’ll probably agree with me.

Taken straight from the job description:

About you

  • Lives to write; writes to live. You know who you are… pencils down!
  • Has a fire in the belly. Walks through walls. Takes no prisoners. In a word: driven. Even when no one is watching. Especially then.
  • Social connector. You are the hub of your social world. You know everyone. Everyone knows you. The fun one. Diplomatic, too.
  • You reside in Northern Virginia and consider yourself a local expert.

About the job

  • Writing. Write locally compelling newsletters weekly and inspiring reviews daily, as well as persuasive pitches to venue owners and marketing partners.
  • Event planning. Conceptualize, negotiate, plan and execute cool, fun and buzz-worthy (big wow factor!) events/parties.
  • Marketing outreach. Connect with the right local organizations, barter weekly newsletter sponsorships for promotion.
  • Socializing and adventuring. Meet up with folks. Attend civic events. See and be seen. In the scene. Always on.
  • Communication. Be accountable with stellar communication to your peers and those who support you at HQ.

See?!? I mean, granted, some of these points might be bordering on the “toot your own horn” category (I’m pretty sure not everyone knows me), but you see where I’m coming from, right? Let’s line up the pieces:

  • Writing: Even if this blog weren’t enough proof (and in case I hadn’t mentioned it for the 86,000th time), did you know I wrote a book?
  • Event planning: Cue my last two themed birthday parties.
  • Social connections: What, you don’t follow my inane blatherings about food and the Vampire Diaries on Twitter yet?
  • And the cherry on top of this epic life sundae, Northern Virginia: If you guys should learn anything about me, it’s that I am weirdly obsessed with Northern VA. As in, people really do think I’m weird for loving it so much. My own family included.

So what is this magical, splendiforous new company I work for, you ask? Well, here’s a hint:

Adorable schnauzer faces too distracting? Let’s see that from another angle:

You are talking to the brand spankin’ new Northern VA Community Manager for Yelp.com!

Excuse me while I squee a little over that… again. 🙂

So! That’s the big announcement, one which I have literally been BURSTING at the seams to tell you all about! It’s also the reason why blogging has come to a sad slowdown over the past few weeks, since I have been seriously wrapped up in this new job, and couldn’t even tell you guys about it! Well, the cat’s officially out of the bag now, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

I am officially the person spearheading everything hot, fresh, and local in Northern VA! It’s a work from home position (wheeee!) that allows me to traverse all across the 703/571, spreading Yelpy cheer far and wide! I get to throw awesome events for local yelpers and the Northern VA Yelp Elite Squad, write the Weekly Yelp newsletter, man the @YelpNoVA Twitter and Yelp NoVA Facebook pages, and, best of all, continue doing what I love best: Write about (and take pictures of) my life… especially all the epic food in it!

So what does this mean for you, my lovely readers? Well, I promise you that I will remain my good old schnauzer-obsessed, Harry Potter-lovin’, ukulele-crooning self. Only, now that it’s officially announced and whatnot, I can finally start blogging about the things I do in relation to my new position (without being sketchy about it, like my ubervague post about the South Moon Under event I attended, hahaha).

In terms of the blog, this means you’ll start seeing a lot more of the usual stuff again — restaurant recaps, recipes, life stories, sad attempts at fitness, even sadder attempts at fashion, and photo smorgasbords — as well as lots of new content, too! I think it’ll prove especially interesting as I (attempt to) navigate through what this new position will have on the whole semi-healthy living blogger thing I’ve got going. It’ll definitely be a challenge having food on the brain 24/7 (as opposed to how it was before, with me only thinking about it, like, 19 hours a day), and it poses some interesting questions.

Like, how will this job affect my healthy living efforts? (DUM DUM DUM!) Will it undo everything I’ve worked for over the past few years? (Ha, probably.) Will it provide me with new ways to balance out my life now that I’m not chained to a 9-5 anymore? (Hopefully!) Your guess is as good as mine! One thing’s for sure: I will definitely be reporting on the trials, tribulations, and good times that come out of this new adventure. This is as new and uncharted for me as it is for you, and personally, I can’t WAIT to see what happens.

Thanks for sticking around to watch things unfold! You can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be expecting a friend request if you’re on Yelp, and while you’re over there, feel free to check out the official announcement of my Community Manager-ness!

Wellps, guess there’s nothing to do but play myself off now… See you on Yelp!

PS: If this sort of thing sounds like it might be right up your alley too, Yelp is still hiring Community Managers across the country — and the globe! See if there’s an opening in your area here!

Fun Friday: You and I

Holy moly, it’s Friday already? Well, sorry I haven’t posted anything over the last couple of days. Believe or not, I’ve actually been on quite a roll in writing the sequel to Terra (hooray!) — which is the good thing that’s been keeping me distracted from blogging. The NOT good thing that’s been keeping me distracted is the Federal sequestration that’s about to be confirmed. I guess TECHNICALLY it hasn’t been officially signed yet, but as far as I can tell, it’s pretty much a done deal. For those of you who don’t know, my dayjob is working for a government contractor so this sequester is going to affect me directly — I’m just not sure in exactly what capacity yet. It could be anything from reduced hours (3-day weekends, all right!) to layoffs (forever weekends, not as all right!).

But! You know me, I’m never one to doldrum dwell. So I recorded a little happy ditty by the goddess of indie music herself, Ingrid Michaelson. Video’s below if you’d like to watch. Otherwise, I will be reporting back in on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Fun: Songtime

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week. Granted, this was technically a short week for me, but I maintain that “short” weeks often feel much longer than a regular week (because life just likes to me a dbag like that, haha) so it’s still a victory to make it to the end. I don’t really have a whole lot for you today, so I thought I’d just have fun with today. Longtime followers of this blog may know that I occasionally like to make a fool of myself on the interwebs by putting my very poor guitar skills to use and singing covers of songs.

You might also know that last week I impulse purchased a ukulele, which was pretty much the best decision I’ve made in a long time. It’s super fun, and has me wanting to continue with the aforementioned self-foolery. So, I recorded another song, and for those of you who are truly bored and/or have headphones at work, feel free to take a listen! I’ve still only actually owned this uke for a week, so don’t judge my skillz (or lack thereof) too harshly.

I’ve also re-posted the other songs I’ve recorded so you can see how far I’ve come in both quality of songstressing and hair length, hahahaha. They’re posted in reverse chronological order… with a special bonus at the end from my senior year of high school, when I sang at my graduation with the a cappella trio I was in. And yes, I attended a private school in Canada for my senior year of high school. Matthew Perry went there too. Not at the same time. OKAY!

Stay, Stay, Stay by Taylor Swift

The Happy Song by Kate Micucci

The A Team by Ed Sheeran

If I Die Young by The Band Perry

Say Goodbye by Ben Powell (Yep, THAT Ben Powell. My brother wrote the song for his own high school graduation in 2001, and then we repurposed it a cappella style in 2005. :))

I’m kind of thinking that I want to make this a semi-regular thing, assuming that I continue to get better/less lazy at it. If you guys aren’t interested in me continuing to post this sort of sillyness here on the blog, just let me know, but I’ll probably do it for myself anyway. So, that being said, if you have any specific song requests or recommendations, I’m going to start keeping a list! 🙂

Again, happy friday all! And don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the Pure Protein giveaway — the winner will be drawn on Monday!

Ash Wednesday Weigh-in

Happy Lent, everybody! Actually, I don’t know if that’s a thing people say, but I’m saying it anyway. So there.

I know it’s been a while last since my last official weigh-in, which probably seems lame given my last big ol’ sanctimonious speech about kicking my weight loss back off and whatnot, and I’m sure I have about 50 excuses I could throw at you, not the least of which is the flu that knocked me out of commission for over a week. But! I’m not going to bother with the excuses because that is just so 2012, and instead I’m just going to go ahead and focus on the right now. And what we’re doing right now is weighing in.

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 198.1 lbs
This Weigh-in: 196.0 lbs
Difference: -2.1 lbs

Hey, whaddya know! A loss! Granted, given the fact that it’s been a month since I last weighed in, that’s actually not that great. And I was hoping for something a little more dramatic But! It’s not a gain, it’s a loss, and every pound down is… another pound down. Or, you know, something more profound. Heh.

I won’t lie–I’m kind of hoping that my body is still a little out of whack after the aforementioned flu, wherein I lost like 7 pounds in as many days, and then gained them all back. So my inner optimistic is telling me that maybe I lost just a wee bit more, it’s just that my body is balancing back out. And while I know that probably is just wishful thinking, there was also that whole thing where I essentially spent all of Saturday eating my face off, so I guess the price had to be paid somehow (totally worth it though, I should add).

I’ve been pretty good about tracking my calories on my iPhone, and I’ve been back to CrossFit a few times as well and am working back up to the point where a single class doesn’t wreck my quads for five days (seriously, I actually have to brace myself on the toilet just to sit down on it, it is tres pathetic). So I’m optimistic about how things will go from here, and I’m just going to keep plugging along. Of course, in addition to the same-ol’ same-ol’ good stuff, I’ll also have a new undertaking that should help me along my way: Lent! (I think some of you probably saw where I was going with this.)

In years past I’ve given up everything from soda to fast food to going full-on vegan for Lent (that last one didn’t end up working out so well on the weight-loss front… turns out that french fries are still vegan!). And while I generally am never one to say that completely cutting something out of your life works for long-term weight loss, I think that the Lenten period is the perfect amount of time for a sacrifice like this. It’s long enough that it’s challenging, which serves as the reminder for why you’re giving up what you’re giving up, but it’s not neverending. So there’s the whole light at the end of the tunnel thing.

So, with all that said, this year for Lent I am giving up…

Christmas-2012-5

Yep, I will be going the next 40 days (or whatever the actual timeline is) without cakes, cookies, chocolates, candy… the whole desserty shebang. It’s funny, I never used to have much of a sweet tooth, always preferring savory snacks like chips or fries to dessert, but in recent years I have become a RAGING sweets-eating machine. It’s been bad-news bears, because desserts in particular are so calorically concentrated with little nutritional value, and the SUGAR itself is super detrimental to my weight loss (and energy levels, and general health, and mood, and, like, everything).

I don’t really follow the Lenten rules where you’re allowed to partake in what you’ve given up on Sundays or whatever, so this will be like a straight-up 40-day dessert detox. I’ve actually been seeing a LOT of people giving up sugar-related things this Lenten season, so I figure I’ll be in good company. And fortunately, Easter comes before my birthday this year, so while I know that’s totally not the point of any of this, I’m not gonna lie–I’m pretty happy that I’ll still be able to have a birthday treat. It will almost undoubtedly come in the form of a Georgetown Cupcake… with a fondant mockingjay on top. (Guess I should probably actually start planning out my Quarter Quell soon, eh?)

Aaaaaanyway, in commemoration of both my weigh-in and my first day sans-sweets (which is going very well so far, but then again it’s only 8:45), here is a song that I recorded the other day on my newest impulse purchase. Yuuuup, I bought a ukulele, and it is the best thing I’ve ever done ever in the world of ever. Super easy to learn (I already play the guitar) — I recorded this video roughly half an hour after coming home with my new toy, if that says anything.

The song is, rather fittingly, entitled, “The Happy Song” and it is by Kate Micucci. Also, it was on Scrubs, which is all you really need to know to confirm it’s amazingness.

Do you “do” Lent? What are you giving up?