• Calculated Decisions & Nominations

    October 6, 2009

    Before we get to my big news, check out the Foodbuzz Blog Awards!

    Carrots ‘N’ Cake received 3 nominations! Thanks, guys!!! :mrgreen:

    Best Healthy Living Blog:
    1. Carrots ‘n Cake
    2. Eat, Live, Run
    3. Gluten-Free Girl
    3. Healthy Tipping Point
    5. Kath Eats

    1. What blogger would you most like to take to dinner?
    1. Bouchon for 2
    2. Carrots ‘n Cake
    3. Eric Rivera Cooks
    4. The Healthy Everythingtarian
    5. Steamy Kitchen

    What blogger would you most want to make you a cocktail?
    1. Carrots ‘n Cake
    2. Choosy Beggars
    3. Honey Nut Lo
    4. Sippity Sup
    5. Tokyo Terrace

    I love that people want to eat and booze with me! But, the category that I really want to win is the Best Healthy Living Blog! Just sayin’. ;-)

    Please vote for Carrots ‘N’ Cake here!!!

    Lunch

    For today’s lunch, I added leftovers from last night’s stuffed peppers to a bed of Romaine lettuce and threw in some sliced tomatoes to make a homemade salad of sorts. I also ate a banana with lunch.

    Simple, yet satisfying.

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    I had no intention of buying such a delectable afternoon snack when I went out for a java run, but a frosted pumpkin scone at Starbucks coerced me into buying it.

    I have zero willpower around pumpkin-flavored baked goods! :oops:

    IMG_8636

    This baby was worth every single calorie and gram of fat. :mrgreen:

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    Calculated Decisions

    Ok, here we go. First, a little background info for you…

    In January 2009, I took a position working for the Dean of Harvard College. At the time, I wanted a high-energy and interesting job that would make the work day fly by. My new job in the Dean’s Office was no doubt exciting, but it didn’t leave me any “downtime” to blog like I did at my previous job.

    So, for the last 9 months, I’ve basically been running around like a crazy person trying to fit it all in (full-time job, CNC, Health gig, Examiner, Healthy Living Summit, new puppy, sister’s wedding, the Move from Hell, traveling, exercise, etc.) But, unfortunately, I haven’t been very successful at balancing it all. Basically, something had to give… but what?

    I considered giving up my blog a number of times. During the spring and summer, Mal and I had a bunch of heart-to-heart talks that would almost always end with me in tears. I didn’t have enough time for the blog, but I knew I couldn’t give up on my dream that easily.

    Devoting less time to my blog was also an option that I considered, But, I’m not the type of person who can just half-ass something, especially a project that I have devoted so much time and energy to in the past. My blog is my baby! And, as cheesy as it sounds, sharing my love for healthy living is my passion. It fuels me.

    So, in the end, I decided that giving up Carrots ‘N’ Cake was just not an option, but how the heck would I pay the bills if I resigned from my full-time job to devote more time to it?

    I’m pretty “straight and narrow” when it comes to job security and a steady paycheck, so I knew quitting my job and hoping that my blog income would get me by was a bad idea. As much as I wanted to impulsively quit my full-time job and devote all my time to blogging, I took the time to make a calculated decision in order to make my dream a reality without totally messing up my life.

    I started by creating a list of what would help me achieve a happier situation, and then, I considered all of the possible ways to make them happen. I consulted my husband a lot during this time. Ultimately, the decision was all mine, but almost daily, I bounced ideas off him. A lot of the time, Mal brought me back to reality and prevented me from rushing into anything. But, at the same time, he also supported and encouraged me to chase my dream.

    After weeks of considering possible options, I finally formulated a plan of attack:

    • Save money (for when I leave my full-time job)
    • Research part-time jobs related to health, wellness, nutrition, etc.
    • Secure a part-time job (that will pay the bills)
    • Resign from current job to devote more time to blogging
    • Try not to freak out!
    • Seek out additional social media projects for extra income

    So, that was my basic plan to make things happen. Let me elaborate on a few things…

    Save money: I’ve always been good with money. I grew up poor and then later went to grad school, so living with less is something I am used to. So, more than 2 months ago, I went into super save mode. I’ve been able to save a good chunk of my income as a security blanket for when I finally resigned from my full-time job. For weeks, I cut back on all of the “extras” in my life. Thankfully, all of these little sacrifices added up, so now I am pretty comfortable with my financial position.

    Tip: Sign up for ING!!! I use ING to “squirrel away” my savings. ING is great because your savings earn quite a bit of interest and it makes it semi-difficult to withdraw funds once you’ve deposited it. (It just takes a few days for them to transfer from ING to your personal bank account.)

    Research jobs: I spent a lot of time looking for part-time jobs, but I wasn’t going to leave my fancy-schmancy Harvard job for any ol’ gig. I wanted a job that was related to my passions and that would allow me some flexibility in my schedule. I applied for quite a few jobs and went on a number of interviews. Some were good; some were not-so-good, but I learned a lot about what I wanted in my ideal position.

    Tip: If you’re going to make a career move, make sure it’s in the right direction. I’ve loved my time at Harvard, but to be completely honest, my job was not inline with my career goals at all. The 9 months that I spent in my current role basically just delayed my dream.

    Secure a part-time job: Last weekend, I accepted a part-time job working for a company that I truly believe in. My new position is related to my passions and very much inline with my career goals. I’m very excited to begin this next phase of my career.

    More details to come! ;-)

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    { 116 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kara October 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Congrats on the nominations and for having the courage to make changes in your life instead of staying with what’s comfortable! I’m guessing 1) Healthworks (or the new gym) 2) nutrition counseling, or 3) Cafe Gato Rojo ;-)

    Reply

    Lizzy October 6, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Tina you are AMAZING! :) seriously such an inspiration, and i learn so much from you from day to day!

    Reply

    Patricia October 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Hi Tina! Just wanted to say congrats on your decision! It was so nice to meet you at the Healthworks seminar even though I didn’t get to chat with you much. I so admire what you’re doing and thanks for being an inspiration to me. At 26, I’m also starting to feel the pressure of “settling down” like a lot of my friends, but I am still working on my dream of getting into med school! Sometimes, I feel like I’m old already compared to my peers and it’s hard to see younger med students at work on a daily basis, but you have reminded me that in the end, you have to live with yourself and you alone can make your dreams come true! Thanks again for the inspiration and BEST OF LUCK! :)

    Patricia :)

    Reply

    Rachael (La Dolce Vita) October 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Fabulous! I’m so happy for you! Here’s to your wild success and dreams fulfilled :)

    Reply

    lauren P October 7, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I have a hunch that you are going to be working for lululemon…but who knows!

    Reply

    theskinnyplate October 7, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Congrats on your nomination.

    Reply

    chandra h October 7, 2009 at 8:02 am

    congratulations on following your dream, tina!! you sound very prepared… now go for it! :D hehe. can’t wait to hear who you are working for now!

    i use ING! :)

    Reply

    Jody October 7, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Congratulations! I’ve been thinking about these things a lot lately too. I have a great, stable job, but I’m not happy. I commute 3 hours a day and don’t have enough time to do the things I love. I have to stay at my position for another year, but after that I’m looking for something that makes me happy. Life is too short—I think you made a great decision!

    My guess is that you’re working at Healthworks! I used to go there when I lived in Boston during college and I love that place. Can’t wait to hear the news.

    Reply

    CaSaundra October 7, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Congrats on the nominations—that’s huge! I will cast my vote ASAP :-)

    Ooo that scone looks delish, maybe I should try to whip up a healthier version ;-)

    Reply

    Jillian (back to the nest) October 7, 2009 at 9:23 am

    As always, so inspiring! Good luck with everything and thanks for deciding not to give up the blog – I couldn’t live without getting my daily Carrots ‘n Cake fix!

    Reply

    Holly October 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I just wanted to say congrats to my fellow nominee, and I could not be more honored to be in your company!

    Reply

    Christy October 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Tina,
    I’m a longtime reader but have never posted anything, but I felt compelled to do so today after reading about your big plans and career change. Congratulations on making that leap! There are bigger and better things out there. You have a gift for writing and inspiring people not only to live more healthfully, but also to follow their dreams and make it happen. Congrats again!

    Reply

    Rose October 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Oh, Tina. I am so happy for you. I really believe in what you’re doing here – I think it’s wonderful. Good for you for taking that step. You’re awesome and can do whatever you put your mind to!

    Reply

    Meredith (Pursuing Balance) October 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    omg I’ve been craving that pumpkin scone for weeks! Last weekend I actually DREAMT about it! My boyfriend is coming this weekend and I told him he has to share one with me so it won’t be quite so bad! :)

    Reply

    Emily February 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Congrats on the nominations and congrats on finding a p/t job and getting to do what you want to!

    Reply

    Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss February 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    The suspense is killing me!

    Good for you, though. It’s never too late to follow your dream. I’ll be 39 this fall and I’m only now seriously pursuing mine, to publish fiction (romance, to be exact). I’ve been writing for years, but not really sending my work out there. It’s time.

    Reply

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