Thursday, February 25, 2010

Got Pollo?

LOVIN the new job! Today I actually got to spend 4 hours in one of our restaurants to see how it functions and really where we make all of our money. The heart of El Pollo Loco is really in the restaurants. They are why I have a job! So thank you for eating there :)
This company is just beyond awesome! I never would have thought in a million years that a company that is labeled a "fast food chain" would have such high standards and so much passion for what they do! From the fresh produce they get every day to make their own salsa to their chicken grilling that they have down to a science!
I spent the first part of my morning learning the systems, as I am in IT, so I should really know what they use! The GM trained me all morning on what El Pollo Loco is and what they stand for. Their mission is "To Serve Perfect Pollo, Every time". It was so awesome to see her take such pride in her job and in her restaurant and staff. Then she showed me all the fresh produce and fresh EVERYTHING they use! I was really impressed. Now I know the secret to why myself and everyone I know is "addicted" to their salsa. It really is THAT fresh. I got to cut tomato's and help make that BOMB salsa!

I then got to learn about the famous "Pollo". I started off by shredding some chicken to add to the Tortilla soup, the soup I made was so yummy! Then I actually got to break down the whole chickens and put them in their secret marinade... mmmmm.... made me so hungry all morning smelling everything! I got to grill the chicken. They really do have it down to a science, can't tell you the secrets but I swear every piece of chicken that they pulled off of the grill was grilled perfectly and nice and juicy! The GM took so much pride in everything she does in her restaurant from making sure the place is super clean to keeping everything at the perfect temperature. Coming from someone with lots of experience in the food business, El Pollo Loco is for sure a few steps above any other fast food place. Being behind the counter, helping out brought me back to my days at my first job at Burger King.
Now, I swear I'm not saying all this just because I now work for the Chicken, I was really impressed. Impressed with the whole company in fact. SOOOO many people that work in the restaurants and at our Corporate Office have been there for so many years. Everyone I meet I have to ask, "How long have you been here?". I swear it's always about 15 years if not longer! Working at their Corporate Office I think it's so important that they put their employee's through this training! Really gives you a new perspective on the company!
Had a great "Day of Pollo"... no pictures, didn't really have time, but I did look pretty hot in my uniform shirt!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Evil word

Because I blog, I always look out for other people who blog! I love to add new links to my page who are people I check in with all the time. My friend Jo, who I meet when I worked at SunCal has a blog and I try to keep up on it often! She's a great writer and I love to read her words! She has a daughter who is a few months older then Alana that has the cheeks that would make any chipmunk jealous! She has a beautiful little family and it's growing as we speak!
Jo and I became good friends when I worked at SunCal, over the phone and through email. We had both just gotten married and were both pregnant together. Just felt like she understood me even though she didn't know me all that well. I always try to keep up with her and how the fam is doing and I love, LOVE to see the pictures of her daughter Fallon on her blog! Months ago she had posted about one of her best friends having cancer. It was before my mom died from cancer, in fact it was long before I even had the slightest thought that my mom was going to die. But my heart went out to her. Renee was her name. I tried to keep up with her story from her blog, and between that and Jo, I knew a little about what was going on. To this day I don't know Renee or her whole story but I do know that a few weeks ago my friend Jo, lost one of her best friends to Cancer.
It's the most evil word I've ever heard. Before my mom died, honestly it wasn't a big deal in my life. Until it directly affected me, it was just cancer. Even 10 years ago when my dad had cancer, it came and went, he fought it and won. But any time I hear the word now, it has sooo much more meaning! My heart goes out to anyone who has friends or family that have lost their battle. I don't know Renee personally but she would have been 30 yesterday. 30 years old... It all just hits close to home for me. I'm counting down days until I'm 30 and here is someone that didn't make it to 30 because of that evil word. My heart breaks for her friends and family and even though Jo and I are not that close, my heart breaks for her. She lost her best friend. Someone she's knows for so many years!
Please send your prayers and good thoughts her way, I'm sure she could use them all! I know people die all the time from Cancer, but when you know someone who it effects, it just makes it so much harder! Jo, I know my mom will give Renee a big hug for you. My mom knows what I think and how I feel and she knows Renee will need a big hug. Love you girl, hang in there!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Soooo... on my way home from work today I was thinking... I haven't blogged in a few days. I've been working and it's GREAT (more about that in a bit) but what can I blog about? I haven't really had full days with Alana to get out and do stuff and take pictures. Well tonight she made it pretty easy. Victor and I were watching a movie on TV and all the doors are shut in the house besides her room and play room. She plays in her room or sits and reads books, we check on her every few minutes just to make sure she is fine... well as any parent knows, a few minutes in the child world can mean A LOT... especially a few "silent" minutes. I called to Alana to see what she was doing, and I didn't hear anything... Victor got up to go check out what she was up to. I hear "Hunny? Can you come in here?"... So of course I grab my camera and make my way into her play room. Here is what we found.

Alana took the jar of vasoline from the changing table (She just started to be able to reach) and smothered herself in it. This is the very first time that she's gotten into something she wasn't allowed to be in, and put it all over! I managed to take a picture of it and then fall to the ground laughing so hard I was crying. Victor of course grabbed a towel to pull some of it off and I got up from crying to run her a bath. OH ALANA ROSE!! So many more fun times to come, but hopefully next time nothing will be in her reach!
Alana has been spending some quality time with Grandma & Grandpa, who happen to be on my way to work. She hangs out there for the 4-5 hours I work and then I pick her up and head home! She has so much fun with them out on their adventures! It allows me to get out, work, be around adults, have some time away and then enjoy my time with her again. It's been a week and it's working out really nicely! I love, love, LOVE my new job! It's a GREAT company to work for! Everyone there is really nice and super friendly and helpful! It's not stuffy and to "corporate". My boss is really cool and laid back! I swear I have such great luck having great bosses! LOTS to learn at the new company, and I'm in the IT department... I've never worked for an IT dept before so there is A LOT to learn about IT too! But my boss is making it all pretty easy! I got a nice plant and a card the first day of work from her, and today she emailed me while she was out just wanted to know how my first week was going! Needless to say, it's been a great week! I look forward to going into work every day! Feels great to wake up every morning, take a shower, get dressed, do my hair and make up. I have a lot to do in the mornings with getting ready and getting Alana ready for Grandma's, but it's working out well! YAH for the new job and loving it!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Best Buds

Alana misses her Kali and Kali tells me she misses her "baby Alana". I think she will forever call her "baby" Alana. Alana was only 3 months old when I started watching Kali 5 days a week. Kali started Preschool back in September so I stopped watching her, but once in awhile I'm lucky enough to get to watch Kali for a few hours and they both LOVE the time together! I've said it before and I'll always say... Kali is such a good influence on Alana and they are both lucky to have each other so close in age!

LOVE bug!

Valentines weekend was great for us! Victor had to work all weekend, but we made the best out of the time we all had together!
Alana was getting ready for this baseball season, making sure her hat still fit! (Michelle, this is the hat you got her, it finally fits)

Daddy and Alana getting some much needed time together to rest! Victor loves his new office! It's an extra room in the house that Victor made his office, complete with Art table, desk, typewriter and all of his drawings displayed! He plays his iPod in there and him and Alana have their artsy time, or resting time!

In the Vons add in the paper this last week they advertised a "Conversational Heart" cake workshop. So Alana and I headed over to decorate a few cakes for Valentines day! I was a little disapointed in their "workshop"..... but we had fun!

You know she just wanted to eat the frosting... that's my girl!

I spent time on Saturday using my awesome Cricut machine Victor got me a few years ago for my scrapbooking. This machine is soooo cool and I LOVE what it can do! I need to use it more :)
Alana is doing so good at learning her letters, so this was fun for her! Victor and I deocrated the house on Valentines day for Alana. We hung hearts all over. She loved it!

Since Victor had to work on Sunday, I dropped Alana off at grandma's house and spent some quality time at brunch with Crystal. Nothing better in the world then Champange Brunch!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blowing in the wind

Gotta love the simple things in life right?

Missin you!

Just missing you today mom.

I took her to get her first full body massage ever a few years ago for Mother's Day. That was a great day where just her and I hung out, and pampered ourselves!

Why is it that every time I get in the shower it's like the best time to think about her, well I think about her all the time, I guess it's just when I breakdown? Why in the shower? It's alone time I don't get often I guess. Been thinking so much about her, looking at all of her pictures. Watching the slide show from her funeral over and over. Trying to feel her around me. She's the first person I'd call when something happens and it's been such a struggle to not pick up the phone and call her. It's just the emptiness of not having your best friend there that you used to spend so much time with and talk to all the time. She's just leaves one day? The love of a mother is uncomparable to anything else in the world! Just missing her big time, thanks for listening.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rain, rain, go away

Last week and through some of the weekend it rained again! I try to find something fun for Alana and I to do and since she's been sick we've really had to keep her inside and warm. Friday she sat Mickey Mouse on her lap and the back door and said "see, see?" Then she told Mickey all about the rain. It's like she is trying to teach him. She'll sit him down at her little Princess table and try to get him to color, she even puts the crayon in his hand. She feeds him and talks to him. She'll be a great big sister someday.

If your shoes are left anywhere in her sight, she'll try to put them on and walk around the house in them! It's pretty funny! These are my big boots! She had no problem walking around in them!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Don't let this little smile fool you... she's been sick! Not feeling well and super cranky this last week. I thought it was molars... Nope, Doc says it's a slight case of Phenomena. Poor girl!! There have been lots of sleepless nights for us. Hopefully she'll snap out of it with the breathing treatments the Doctor gave us. Do you know how hard it is to do any kind of breathing treatments with an almost 2 year old?? While at the doctors office yesterday they wanted me to put a mask on her with this gas like medicine coming out of it. Yeah, that was gonna happen. It lasted for all of 2 minutes. She doesn't want any kind of mask on or near her face. The nurse made me hold her down while they gave it to her. She kicked and screamed and cried her head off and I felt like the worse mom ever. I even cried, I felt so bad that I had to hold her down. I think last year and that EKG she had done, she doesn't really trust the doctor's. The breathing treatment at home they gave me is more like an asthma inhaler... again; she doesn't want a whole lot to do with it. So I've tried to make it fun and I pretend to do it! She actually did it this morning pretty well. Hopefully she'll continue to do it for a few days and her Phenomena will go away.

On top of a crazy night/morning/dr. appt/traumatizing my daughter yesterday... I had an interview that I was really excited about. Let me back up a bit. When I left SunCal after I had Alana, about 8 months later I was dying to get out of the house and work part time. That's just who I am. I can't just sit and not work. Don't get me wrong, I've been so blessed to be able to stay at home with Alana for so long, but for my own sanity I needed a part time job. So I worked some retail... SUCKED! Retail is HORRIBLE, boss was a B*%#$! And it was too much stress for being a part time job that I was supposed to enjoy just to get out of the house. So I left there in December. Thru December and January I was volunteering for a women’s center in Santa Ana which I really loved. Was hoping that would turn into a part time job... didn't work out so well. So last week I decided I would start looking again for a part time job that I could enjoy! I wanted to get back into the office environment, because that's what I knew and that's what I was good at. Plus I miss meeting deadlines and being super busy. So Tuesday last week I looked on Monster to see what was there. Looking for an office part time job is not easy to come by. There are very few out there. I found one that looked promising. It was working for a Corporate Office. So I went onto their website and emailed in my resume. 2 days later, got a call from a VP there that wanted to meet with me!

So yesterday after a crazy morning/night... I pulled myself together and went in! It was such a great interview with both HR and then the VP. An hour later they called to offer me the position!!! YEAH BUDDY!! They told me they've been interviewing for months and this was their second round of interviews! It's 20 hours a week at GREAT pay, amazing office, super modern with the newest computers and software! I'm telling you, someone is looking down on me and helping me out this year! I know I am a good person and do good things, but this year I'm feeling Karma! It's on my side!

I have to say, I'm not doing this alone... and I don't mean God, or my mom (although I Thank God everyday).... But I mean all the people in my life that are here to support me. Everything good that happens in my life is because of the people in my life. My husband, my in-laws, my best friends, my sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. They are such a big support in my life! Even my friends on Facebook. I know it sounds crazy but some of the people I've reconnected with on facebook and my support there has been amazing. If just someone commenting on my status or the emails and posts I get. It really has helped me so much! Thank you to everyone in my life, and you know who you are! I love you guys and can't thank you enough for all of your support! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fighting back

One of my good friends Jennifer has been trying to get me to join her walk in the Relay for Life. I had plans during the time, but they've since been cancelled and now I'm in full force. Honestly when she first told me about it, I'm always up for doing anything fun and different but that's just what it was to me, something fun to raise money. I get it. I love to do that kind of stuff. I love to volunteer for whatever I can, that's just me. She sent me her website a few months back and I looked at it and saw her story of how she was walking for her Grandpa. It always touches my heart when people, especially my friends, do things like for family members that have passed.

So since our plans were cancelled for the same dates of this walk, Jen asked me again to join. I looked at her website again. This time, I balled my eyes out. The second I saw my mom's name on there I couldn't help but all of a sudden feel this crazy feeling. Like all of a sudden it wasn't something Jen just wanted me to do for fun. Sure it will be fun, but damn.... it's in my mom's name too! So this weekend I signed up, made my own personal page on Jenny's pennies team! The fact that Jen walks in honor of her grandpa and my own mother. It meant more to me then she will ever know! My sister Jacquie and her best friend have also signed up. Some of our friends and husbands... We all pledge to raise $100 each. I can do $100! My friend Irene donated the first $5. THANK YOU! Only $95 more to go! I HATE to bug people for donations, but after realizing what it's for and who it's for... I have no problem at least asking. I know people are tight on money right now, but hopefully if I can get everyone I know to donate $5 it will make such a big difference.

My mom died at age 61 of a really rare cancer with little to no research. If me walking in this Relay for Life will help to raise money for cancer patients, cancer research or any part of it, I'M IN! If there were more research into my mom's cancer, it may have saved her life. But those were the cards we were dealt.

So please if mom means anything or has ever meant anything to you, donate to our team in her name. My page, my sisters page, Victor's page. I don't care. $5 is all I ask please. It's not a lot but will make a big difference! Click on this link and it will take you to our team page. You can donate to any person on behalf of mom. Thank you in advance for helping us raise money!

Thank you Jennifer for making me realize what the Relay for Life is really about. I know how much fun it will be, but I also now know what it means and how much I can do just by joining you in the fight back against cancer! Mama, this one's for you!

Miss you every day, think about you every second. Love you always!