When Your Mom Doesn’t Take You on “Family” Vacation

Yes, I understand I am 25 years old (ouch, it’s starting to hurt to admit to the age thing), yes I understand I graduated with my M.B.A and should be kicking-butt and taking-names out in the business world, but it still stings a bit when your mom announces that she’s going on a “Family Vacation!” Who is to be included in this vacation? Not ME, not her ONLY CHILD! Instead she, along with my Uncle Rocky, opts to take my two youngest cousins. Kicker is that these kids are neither of their children. Somehow my Uncle Rocky’s children (also striving to find their place in life), and myself are forced to try and eek out our living* while our elementary school cousins get a free ride to Maine (and their dad gets free childcare for 3 weeks, obviously I have some things to learn from this subset of our family about how to work the system).

Millinocket, Maine. The smallest town ever, my Grandmother’s hometown, and the backdrop to this emotional story.

To understand the full injustice of this story you have to know a little family background. In my extended family there are 10 grandchildren. The first 5 of us are pretty much spaced a year apart or less and have deemed ourselves, “The Original Five” which basically means we’re awesome and we can (used to) be able to force the little kids to do whatever we wanted. The next five haven’t really banded together to become creative enough to name their little group. Furthermore, Maine is our “ancestral homeland,” where my grandmother was born and where we’ve made periodic family trips for years. “The Original Five” have the most memories of these Maine trips simply because we were older than the rest (some of which weren’t even alive at the time).

Our memories include:

  • Staying in our great-grandparents’ cabin with no inside plumbing.
  • Building rafts out of driftwood.
  • Having 20+ people live in a 2 bedroom cabin (1 bath) for three weeks.
  • My mother convincing us it was ok to go “river-rafting” down a closed river with a damn.
  • Hiking Mount Katahdin in Converse sneakers (there is NO traction on those suckers which is why I maintain I have never made it to the top).
  • Getting stuck on a lake in a random neighbor’s boat in the middle of a lightning storm (yes, this was pre-approved by the adults in our family).
  • Have our grandmother SWEAR that Skin So Soft was a fantastic bug repellent – only to find out when we reached civilization again that it was only glorified bubble bath.

Now, listen to what these two little interlopers get to do:

  • First night stay is at the Hilton.
  • When they reach “camp” it’s only with 4 people and they have 3 rooms – totally acceptable and normal.
  • Each girl got to order whatever they wanted, whether it was blue clams or a whole “lobstah”. We were forced to share a stick of gum and eat of the kids menu.
  • They were allowed to keep their cell phones (which of course we didn’t even have), claiming it was for “safety.” Worse thing is the adults bought that story hook, line, and sinker.
  • BOTH of the two girls brought hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons.
  • They were bought special Reebok RealFlex fit shoes to ensure they could make it up the mountain.
  • There was an indoor toilet, given it was an incinerator toilet so it may not be that much better.
  • The next door neighbors had basically EVERYTHING they could possibly want or need, from a motorboat to plates of cookies.

The two interlopers with MY mommy.

Well, now that I have vented a bit we can see that it’s obvious “The Original Five” will have the background to overcome anything (I mean by writing all these things down I’m pretty sure our parents were trying to kill us). If we can get through that as a “vacation” we can pretty much make it in any sector in the blue-collar or professional field with ease!

…Aaaannnddd this is the generation before the “original five.” I guess we didn’t have it SOOOO bad! (My mom is the crazy one in the back row on the right…the picture above shows the prim and proper lady she has become 🙂 )

*In the interest of full-journalistic digression I will ruin a family rule that we hold dear, “never ruin a good story with the truth.” No, none of us are fully supporting ourselves at this time and actually have wonderful parents that help us with pretty much anything and everything we need….but see, now it’s pretty much pointless to read the rest of this post. You know I’m just being whiney and complaining for really no reason. Also, this should ensure I don’t receive a call from my mother asking if I thought my childhood was really “that bad.” <;3 you Mommy!


Must-Haves for New Pros

So, you are embarking on your journey as a PR or marketing professional. You have your education and business attire, but there are a few other things that every new professional must have. While none of these things are particularly expensive, if you don’t have the extra cash, tell mom and dad you’d like a new pro starter kit for Christmas. It’s one gift they’d probably be happy to give!

My handy dandy padfolio containing my generic business cards!

  1. Business cards. When you are first starting your career, there is a good chance you will move from internship to internship for a while. During this time, the organizations you work for probably won’t make business cards for you and if they do, they will be outdated as soon as you are on to your next position. Until you are settled with a company that you know you will stay with for a while, I suggest having some generic business cards made with your name, industry and contact information. There are plenty of online printers that make it cheap and easy like Vistaprint.
  2. A padfolio. These things are great for conferences, interviews and on the job. Great for keeping your resume, business cards, a pen and whatever else you may need all in one spot. Mine is similar to this one at Staples and it has had a ton of use in the last few years.
  3. Thank-you cards and stamps. Never under-estimate the power of a handwritten thank you. Always send a thank you note after an interview, informational interview, the end of an internship, or sometime someone just helps you out. Don’t wait until after one of these events to go buy thank you cards and stamps, keep them on hand (perhaps in your padfolio)! For interviews it is especially important to get your thank you delivered as soon as possible. Write that note in that in the car, stamp it and stick it in the mail before even going home. For the actual cards, you don’t have to spend a lot on them, it’s about the content, not how fancy the card is. I’ve even bought some at the Dollar Tree. My one suggestion is to buy ones that look professional and appropriate regardless of gender.

I’m sure there are other things, but I think these three are biggies. What is your favorite career accessory?

Halloween Hubub

Homemade witch costumes…Gotta love the awkwardness.

While romantically drinking champagne and brainstorming blog ideas we began discussing the upcoming Halloween holiday. As children we LOVED Halloween and ALWAYS had the most kick-butt costumes, none of those cheesy store-bought outfits, ours were handcrafted masterpieces that stood out from the crowd (to see proof of our amazing abilities – strongly influenced by our mothers – we included some pictures for reference). However, while discussing this Halloween we came up against some difficult questions: are we too old for Halloween? How can new professionals incorporate a costume into the workplace?

ISSUE 1: Halloween Age-Appropriateness

This is the second time in our lives we have had to re-evaluate our Halloween practices due to our age. The first time around we had to determine when was the right time to STOP trick-or-treating. This time we must decide the right time to STOP dressing in super revealing outfits.

A few years ago we did Day of the Dead faces.

We’re 24 and 25, not super old, but not still undergrads, we’re not super fit but not hideous, we still like to go out, but are past the point of drinking just to get drunk. What do we do? Every time we look at the costume stores the outfits are divided into super slutty or long-sleeved boringness – we don’t want to look like grandmas, but we like our tushes covered. Plus, the most important issue is our situation of being broke-as-a-joke. These slutty costumes can cost $70+ buuuuut are more likely to get you free drinks at the club (which here in San Diego can be upwards of $13 a pop) – so should we be calculating our break even point?

ISSUE 2: Halloween in the Workplace

In thinking about this issue, one of our favorite TV shows, Modern Family, popped into our heads. Did you happen to catch the episode when Mitchell is stoked to wear his elaborate Spiderman Halloween costume to his new office and then quickly regrets his decision? If not, watch the clip here. That’s the situation we’re afraid of. Co-workers are telling us that they will be in costume but what if people don’t dress up at the office? What if we end up hiding out in the bathroom? Our thought was to go as something very understated, but again our whole being-poor issue gets in the way: we don’t really have money for TWO costumes.

ISSUE 3: This Post Made us Confused

So what do we do blogosphere? We need help here! We have no costume ideas even in the hopper and the 31st is looming. Please leave any ideas in the comment section or feel free to Tweet us at @blakedelhoyo or @lee_nicole

I’m a Blog Giveaway Winner!

Whoooohoooooo! Nicole had posted about her wiley ways of winning swag online a few weeks back (refresh your memory and read her post). I read up on her tips and applied them AND WON!!

Little Miss MBA (if you remember I told you all about her in a post about us getting our MBA’s) ran a contest where you commented on her blog and could receive extra chances to win by Tweeting or posting a link to her blog on Facebook. In the end, yours truly came out as the winner-winner-chicken-dinner!

Just a few days ago I was able to collect my prize (you can’t image how busy 2 post-MBA, new-pro ladies living in SAN DIEGO are!) an eyelash volumizer, a gift card to target, and the sweetest note – all wrapped up in a cupcake gift bag!

Nicole also added a couple prizes to her growing list of giveaway wins in the last couple weeks. On Facebook she won a golf shirt for her boyfriend from Ashworth Golf and on Twitter she won the new Airborne Plus Energy from @theairborneguy.

So. All this contest entering and winning has given Nicole and I an idea, “Why the heck don’t we hold a blog contest!” But, we’re a little stuck. What do people out there want to win? Comment and let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate (remember peeps, we’re newly out in the workforce so they’ll be no BMWs or weekend get-aways).

MySpace. Revisited.

OMG, OMG, OMG. Do you remember the “old” MySpace? Ahhhhh, wonder-of-wonders it was my first social networking experience. I was a bit young for all those that came before, I didn’t even have an AIM account. But MySpace, that hit the sweet spot: middle and high school. My early social networking days consisted of trying to figure out how to organize my Top 10 8 Friends*, finding awesome new tunes, and chatting up cute boys.

So, obvi I was naturally curious when I heard that JT (Justin Timberlake for layman) was announcing the “New MySpace.” The announcement also induced strong feelings of nostalgia and I wanted to see how my old account was faring after years of non-use. Unsure if the account would still even be in operation I attempted to access it (I mean, can you imagine how much MySpace play my profile probably received in the 7 years it has lain dormant?). To my great horror I realized I couldn’t remember the email address tied to the account and I will never know what great spam messages await me.

In order to pacify my disappointed heart I decided to watch the New MySpace launch video to see what all the hype was about. Although not very heavy on info, the video is very aesthetically pleasing, with a hipster edge – alluding to the new layout’s clean look with an emphasis on pictures. Of course with MySpace’s historical focus on music (and with JT as an advocate) finding, sharing, and listening to music seems to be a key factor. One aspect I found pretty unique, and possibly fun, is the Venn Diagram of Affinity to see how you relate to various connections.

To tie this all up, how do all of you feel? Answer our poll and let us know! (What I really want to know is did anyone have any luck trying to access their old account, and if so, how many sparkley .gif messages were waiting for you?)

*Change made thanks to Bret’s superior knowledge of MySpace 🙂