‘work’ Category

25 July 2012

Five Days in Napa

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel, work

Of all my solo vacations, one of my favorites was Napa Valley. It was my second solo vacation and the longest (at that time). And for seven days, I rotated between wine tasting, dining out, walking around and being deliciously buzzed.

It was heaven.

And, two years after being in Napa for the first time, I got to go back, for work. Yes, I know how fortunate I am.

But it wasn’t all sipping champagne and laying by the pool, they were long days, but it was in a beautiful place, so I won’t complain too much.

We got to eat at amazing places, wine taste and go in a hot air balloon ride. Yes, it was just as amazing the second time. If you’re in Napa and looking for some amazing eats (of which there are many), I add Redd, Morimoto, Kitchen Door and Oenotri to my list from the first visit. All three were incredible. I also still dream about the lobster risotto with truffle and lemon at Redd. O-M-G.

So here are some photos from my five days there. I got a little Instagram happy while I was gone, and for good reason!

Visiting/Trepassing on winery property (shhhh)

The bar at Bouchon

Cheers to the mountains!


Me in the basket (be kind, I was up at 4:30 am)


One of the best US cappuccinos I’ve tasted

I always said I would come back for you Tartine lemon tart. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Seriously though, Napa makes me happy. I think that will join Nola on my list of favorite places. I just, love it. I would move there in a heartbeat. I have to go back here again soon, I cannot stay away.

What was one of your favorite vacations?

04 November 2010

Things that annoy me: Office edition

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random, work

That’s right, I’m back with another edition of “Things That Annoy Me,” because, well more things are really chaping my a**. But this time, instead of picking on the usual subjects: people on the bus, customer service or every day consumers, I thought I’d focus my annoyance in the workplace.

I’ve worked at several offices and odd jobs and there are always common themes of things that happen that are annoying. So I thought I would explore these further.

Oh, and as a note, this is NOT about any one person or place I’ve worked at :)

  • Paper jams – Paper jam? WTF? I don’t know how to fix that. Or when I do follow the directions, taking apart half of the copier, there is no paper where the diagram tells me there is. No paper? But you’re telling me there is a paper jam. Just tell me how to fix this! This is right up there with seeing PC LOAD LETTER on the printer. DISLIKE.
  • Stealing from the fridge – This has been an ongoing issue at several jobs. Fortunately (knock on wood) things have been better lately. But stealing from me is a big mistake. Let’s just say, I know how to steal back :)
  • Private conversations at a loud decibel – It’s a reality of cube life. But yes, I’m glad you’re calling to refill your birth control and making your yearly PAP appointment. Oh and yes, I think sleeping with that girl this weekend and her friend the next night must have been fun, but maybe using your indoor voice would be a better idea
  • Pen tapping or loud chewing – Please, for the love of god keep it down, it’s like nails on a chalkboard when I’m trying to focus
  • Always having to refill paper in the copier – Seriously, how does this ALWAYS happen to me? I am not your paper mother!
  • iPod karaoke – I listen to music at work to help me focus, but I had a coworker that always sang to her iPod out loud…in cubes…at a high decibel. It took all of my strength not to scream, “SHUT UP…PLEASE”

What about you? What are your office annoyances? (Side note: conference calls on speaker is still my number one annoyance).

27 July 2010

Personal photo anxiety

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random, work

I love taking pictures, I’m just not always so good about having them taken of me.

Growing up, my grandpa was a master photographer. He took pictures of my brother and me all the time and I loved it. I would faux model and goof around and it was standard that on any birthday or holiday, we all had to take family photos before opening presents or after (if we couldn’t control ourselves).

I look back at those photos now and smile, having fond memories of those times (and a good laugh at my often horrific hair, glasses and outfits).

But on a bad day, I see nothing but flaws when I look at them. The way I hold my head gives me a double chin, my hair laying limp around my face reminds me of a female Cousin It from the Addams Family. And can I give a shout out to the braces? Oh lord.

Now, I have a certain way that I will stand and tilt my head in photos so that my face and body looks slimmer (or as I like to say, keep my stomach from looking three months pregnant). And if I can’t get in that position, I will awkwardly adjust my body to try and mirror parts of it. People may make fun of me, but seriously, knowing your angles works!

Getting my picture taken, especially when it’s for something official, now turns me into a nervous wreck. For example, recently, we had office picture day, where all staff had to come to get their photos reshot for project presentations, etc.

The first time, I didn’t take it seriously, walked in, found my mark, gave a little Blue Steel and then went over to see the results, where I learned two things: I need to lose 40 pounds and my head is freakishly small compared to my big body.

When I heard reshoots were available, I laid out an outfit, applied full make up, washed and styled my hair, put together jewelry and worked out the day before so my arms looked extra “cut.”

In spite of this, I still looked huge and now, PALE. That was…deflating.

I think I’ll stick to being behind the camera or in random candid shots with friends. And I may start randomly getting down to do 10 push ups to get back in shape. Hilarious? You bet. Will I do it? Maybe.

What about you? Do you like getting your picture taken? Or do you have any funny stories about past school or work photographs?

18 March 2010

Some of my random quirks

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random, sports, work

I am a pretty quirky person. And I’m a little set in my ways. So I thought I would put in a list some random, odd things about me for a little pre-weekend enjoyment:

  • I do not like Nutella. At all. I’ve had it in crepes, on toast and in desserts and I just don’t like it. I don’t mind chocolate hazelnut but I’ve never been a fan. People I lived with in Germany thought I was a freak
  • I’m terrified of grates in Chicago. In fact, I refuse to walk over them if I can help it. I have this horrible fear that I’ll fall through
  • I get ready for work the same way every day. I tend to be forgetful so the routine helps me make sure I don’t forget to brush my teeth, or put put pants on
  • The smell of fresh laundry is one of my favorite smells ever
  • Sometimes, I laugh so hard that I can’t talk or breathe. I love that feeling
  • I don’t know how to drive stick shift. People tried to teach me but I never completely learned. And I have no plans to do so
  • I prefer white chocolate to dark chocolate (even though the latter is healthier)
  • I am ridiculously uncoordinated at dancing. In fact, I only know about 2-3 moves and repeat them, trying to look like I know what I’m doing
  • I have NEVER made an NCAA bracket. I have no idea why
  • I do not drink coffee or tea. I don’t like the taste of both. I will have a mocha or some girly kind of coffee-like drink once in a while but if you see me drinking coffee, something is seriously wrong

So do you think I’m a total freak? What are some quirky, odd things about you that you’d like to share.

Review blog update: Summer movie trailers are out so I made a list of movies I can’t wait to see

04 March 2010

Treat Friday

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random, work

I love Fridays. And no, not TGI Fridays. Okay, TGI Fridays isn’t awful, I thought it would be more like Chotchkie’s in Office Space and was disappointed when the waiters didn’t wear flair.

Back on point! I look forward to Fridays because I walk into my office and yell out, “It’s Treat Friday!” and I hear some of my coworkers mumble back “it’s Treat Friday!”

Before I sat near them, they had no idea what it is and now Fridays take on a whole new meaning in my part of the office.

Actually, that might be a crock, but I like to think it isn’t.

Treat Friday is simple: On Fridays, you eat WHATEVER you want. Calories, carbs, fat grams, sodium, alcohol content (to some extent) don’t matter. AT ALL.

Treat Friday is all about treating yourself.

Why? Well…why not? Don’t we all deserve a treat at the end of the week?

I bring my lunch to work four days a week and now that I can’t eat chocolate candy because of Lent, I am in NEED of a pick-me-up on Friday and Treat Friday is just that.

Hannah’s Bretzel for lunch? SURE! Milkshake from Potbelly’s? GET TWO!

On Treat Friday, it’s whatever you want whenever. So when Treat Friday rolls around, my cubemates and I discuss what we’ll be having for lunch that day as our indulgence.

It’s pretty great. Tomorrow is another Treat Friday and I cannot wait.

I’m trying to decide already how I will reward myself for another week of work :) Plus, I’m taking the day off so it’s like a DOUBLE treat.

What’s your idea of a perfect Treat Friday?

My official Oscar picks: The big show is this weekend and I absolutely cannot wait! So to get in the Oscar spirit, I’ve listed my official Oscar picks in the major categories.

Let me know if you agree or think I’m off my rocker.