Relocating & Job Searching

This is a venting post. Job searching is the worst. After months of applying for jobs in Portland, Oregon and getting nothing (or an automated rejection email) back, I finally took a leap last month and relocated with no job waiting for my arrival. With nothing but my clothes, computer, and cats, I hopped in my car, drove the six hours to Portland and began my indefinite couch-crashing at a friend’s house. This, I still maintain, was a good decision – my heart and happiness are in the PDX! But yesterday was the 1 month mark, and I have only one phone interview and one in-person interview to my name, and still no gainful employment to show for it.

They, and by that I mean everyone and their sister, say that networking gets you a job. But you cannot network for a job that you are already applying for, because that can be unethical for whomever you network with at the company. Okay, so instead you anticipate future jobs that you should network for – this does not do much for current job searching, and always feels so contrived to me. I of course see the benefit in networking – these become informational resources and potentially future advocates. I get it, but I hate it. I need networking to be more organic; I do not like to feel like I am using someone else for personal gains. But networking, they say, is how you get a job.

Perhaps it is my chosen field(s): Marketing & Communications. Fairly broad and incredibly competitive. With a degree in English Literature and a minor in Photography, along with a year and a half experience in a Marketing position, I thought that I would have found a great job in my field after a few months. And I have found great jobs to apply for, jobs that I would be excited to go to every morning – the problem is that I have not been hired for these great jobs. I’ve consulted Career Centers, friends, professors, professional contacts and applied all of their advice to my search. I pound the job boards and the social networking sites and write cover letters conveying all that I can convey. The questions and doubts about my abilities and qualifications have begun to surface; will I ever be employed? Do I not look good on paper? What am I doing wrong, and how in the world do I fix it?

I need a win, people.

Until that win, I will continue to cultivate job searching optimism from next to nothing and coffee. And cats. Always my cats.


Xena & Duke en route to Portland


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LH Porch – 12.15.2013

LH Porch

Love the lines and pop of color on this river cabin porch. Find more of my work on my Vanity Photos Facebook page!

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December 20, 2013 · 12:14 am

Chilly Outside, Chili Inside

Something about autumn has me craving chili. The briskness outside calls for a “homestyle” meal that harkens back to grandma’s cooking (use of harken was purely for my benefit; that word makes me smile). So today, I made my first pot of chili of the season. Craving chili yourself? Give it a try!


What You’ll Need: 

1 Tbsp olive oil                                  1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp cumin                                          2 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp salt                                           2 stalks celery, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped                1 bunch kale, chopped

2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes     1/4 cup chili powder

1 Tbsp black pepper                        1 (15 oz) can kidney beans

1 (15 oz) can black beans               1 (15 oz) can garbonzo beans

1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn   3 cloves garlic, chopped

First, heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with oregano, cumin and salt; cook till onion is translucent. Mix in celery, green bell pepper and garlic. Cook until veggies are heated through, about 5 minutes.

Mix tomatoes into pot and season with chili powder and black pepper. Mix in kidney, black and garbonzo beans. Add kale and stir well to mix. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Last, stir in corn and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve it up – and don’t forget the corn bread!

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Vegan Pizza

This is my go-to entertaining recipe. The combinations of toppings and spices are endless, and the pesto-hummus hybrid sauce is healthy and filling!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Pizza Dough:

Mix 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees) with 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast. Let stand 10 minutes.

In separate bowl mix 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. sugar,  1 tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil and any spices/herbs (I usually add oregano, rosemary and red pepper flakes).

Mix together with water/yeast mixture and add more flour as needed before rolling out on greased pizza pan.


Blend in food processor, adding olive oil as you go: Handful fresh basil leaves, 3 cloves garlic, salt to taste, 1 can garbonzo beans, 1/2 cup food-processed almonds/cashews (raw), and any spices/herbs that you’d like.

Spread sauce on rolled out dough and add desired veggies (broccoli, red bell peppers, Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced baby potatoes, mushrooms, etc etc etc!). Spread any remaining sauce on top of veggies.

Bake for 35-40 minutes and enjoy!


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Taste of Autumn: Vegan Zucchini Bread

Zucchini harvest is upon us here in the banana belt and with bags upon bags being thrust upon me by my aunt, what better way to use them then in delicious (vegan!) zucchini bread! The house smells amazing and officially feels like autumn!

Vegan Zucchini Bread: 

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups shredded zucchini

Mix dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients, and finally stir in zucchini. I also sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar on top. Bake at 325° for 70 minutes in greased 8inx5in pan (or something similar in size), let cool and slice into some seasonal deliciousness!Image


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Daily Prompt: Six Word Story

Six Word Story

Following heart’s home or staying hometown.

Typical story: girl grows up in small town, can’t wait to leave, goes to college in big city, graduates broke, moves home, gets good job…etc.

This is where my grandparents live, my oldest friend lives, where I have a good job and a good life , yet –

I dream of moving back to the city. My heart aches sometimes because I miss it so much – and I have family there too! My brother and sister-in-law, and a beautiful, perfect new nephew. And friends too…it makes sense.

But still, torn. That nagging thought that my grandparents won’t be here forever is my biggest hang-up. Leaving a good job is also a barrier. I understand that I have to live my own life, follow my heart, seize the day, find my dream job and all of those other inspirational quotes, and I believe (hope!) that I eventually will.

Thinking about leaving makes me feel sad, but the idea of staying makes me ache.



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Purple Petals

Purple Petals

…because the Portland, OR Rose Garden makes this photographer happy =)

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September 6, 2013 · 10:12 pm