Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I am no longer a student. 

For the last nineteen years of my life, I have been identified as a student. I have attended class, done homework and written papers. The last few months I have identified myself as both a working professional and a student-even though I haven't attended classes. As of Sunday at 11pm, I was no longer a student. I sent off my dissertation.  As I sit here, with my glass of wine watching The Office after work, I feel odd. 

One massive chapter of my life is over.  

On to the next, but as I sit here cackling at Steve Carrell and Rainn Wilson (yes Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak are a close third and fourth) I am curious as to what this next chapter is going to look like. I am slightly terrified that I am going to become a hermit and I'm also terrified that as I make more adult purchases--like my amazing navy dining room chairs-- that I will loose touch with well being young. Semi stupid yet still a fear.  

I have begun to make a life I am proud of living one that keeps me active, keeps me grounded, keeps me busy, and one that I love to live. Is all this possible? 

There are these crazy breeds of women called, Superwomen. The ones that do it all, and make every other person wonder "How does she do it?"  (See Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Sandra Bullock--Honorable Mentions on this list are Catherine Middleton, Megan Fox, and of course the infamous Kim Kardashian West) I want to be real enough to not have it together all the time.  I want to love the life I build, despite the times when it feels like I am 100% alone and everything is caving in.  Those times are few and far between, but I don't want to be afraid of them anymore.  I want to embrace the ups and downs. I want to enjoy the roller coaster. I don't want to do it all.  

 I don't want to be Superwoman. 

So here's to the journey to not be Superwoman. Here's to the journey to be me, Sara Kenzie Powell-- no longer a student, slightly dysfunctional, a little crazy, but in love with life.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dissertations Suck

What have I learned lately? Great question large internet void.

Don't procrastinate.

I waited until the week my dissertation was due to really put fingers to keyboard. Most of the work was done while I was in Europe so it was just a matter of writing it out in the proper format. That still takes time though. I didn't touch the research since I got back because I was so absorbed in living life and getting adjusted to working life. Fail.

FYI: Don't wait. Do a little at a time and go from there. I really wish now, on my two days off in a row that I could spend it chilling by the pool instead of at Starbucks or on my couch (really my bed) furiously typing this thing out.

It has given me leave to take sweet insta pictures and write this post but those are just more procrastination techniques.  But hey, even when you are attempting to crank out a 50+ page dissertation  in a few days you need an occasional break right?

So, procrastinators of GLM UNITE!!!! We can rock this and finally finish with this degree!

**Disclaimer: This whole post is a motivational tool for myself and yet another way to delay actually writing the rest of this stupid research paper.**

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Confession: Made a huge mistake at work two weeks ago.

I am an extremely high anxiety individual.  I put undo pressure on myself to be the best I can be. I try to do everything to perfection and learn as fast as possible. Granted since I am human,  thus I fall extremely short. I am not perfect at all. Doesn't stop me from stressing myself out to be better unfortunately.

This undo pressure manifested itself in the amount of time I gave myself to learn how to run payroll. Not too glamorous right?  But hey, I have to have goals somehow.  I wanted to learn in four pay-runs. On my fourth pay-run, all I had to learn was how to pay the bills at the end. My undo stress caused me to be verrry on edge.

My father is the type of person that when quitting time hits, it is time to go. I am more like my mother in the sense that I stay until I can finish everything on my to-do list, and if I can't then I take it home. (#workaholic)  But on this particular payroll Monday, I wasn't done at quitting time and my dad and I had ridden to work together. He was ready to go, and I wasn't.

Long story short, I told my dad to "Shut Up."  

A.) Never tell your father to "Shut Up."

B.) Never tell your boss to "Shut Up."

C.) Crying never helps, it only makes it worse.

In yoga class the other day, the teacher read a quote that really hit home. It went something like, " in school we are taught that mistakes are bad, but if you examine how we learn, it is through mistakes." I definitely learned that my parents are my bosses, and at work I can't confuse the two.  Huge mistake, and even bigger lesson learned.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


One of my best friends texted me the other day and reminded me that I am not blogging as much as I should be! She's so right. Life has been so crazy and I just haven't made this a priority.

What has been my priority? Work, work and more work. However, a conversation I keep having with my girlfriends over the past couple weeks is how to meet new people and productively fill my free time. So.......

QUESTION: So what is the solution to our generation's problem with meeting new people post-college, especially of the opposite sex?

ANSWER: I have no freakin' clue.  Don't get me wrong, I have fantastic friends. Post college many of my good friends moved away, thus leaving my normally bubbling social calendar pretty sparse. Also, who has time for a relationship?! Not this girl clearly!

I am just as lost as the next 23 year old, especially when it comes to relationships.  I am trying to find a hobby while meeting someone who can tolerate me for a couple of extended periods of time during the week, and find other people who share my interests of travel, beer/wine, brunch, being active, books, and corny movies.

  • Do we post highlights of ourselves on Tinder and hope that whoever we match with isn't just interested in sex and is actually doing something productive with their lives? 
  • Do we brave the stigma of of just to find out if everyone available is either weird or in the army? 
  • Or do we do it the old fashioned way, and meet someone at the bar, grocery store or *insert cliche meet-cute place here*?  

What do we do?

When you find out, let me know. Until I figure it out, I am picking up hot yoga as a hobby, working 8 hours a day, and squeezing in time with my family and friends on the occasional day off.

The Dreaded SkinCare Talk

Alright, consistency clearly isn't one of my things yet when it comes to the blog. Working world is tough, throw in a smidge of a social life, and a daunting dissertation and I am slightly overwhelmed-but in a good way!

This post is dedicated to skin.  Weird, but go with me.  Anything I am going through in life is on display on my face. Now, I don't mean my facial expressions, though I could get better at that, I mean the state of my skin. If I am stressed say hello to a breakout, if I am emotional say hello to red splotches and if it is that time of the month, say hello to cystic acne.  It is always a battle. My mother will agree with me, I am sure.  However, my battle is greatly helped by a set routine, some awesome products, and people.

Routine: Morning

  •  Wash/exfoliate my face with my Clarisonic Mia 2 (best purchase I made in Europe) and Seacret Mud Soap. This soap is the most amazing, it is made from the mud in the Dead Sea. I promise after using it for two weeks, I saw a massive reduction in the number of stress related breakouts. These are two of my must-haves! 
  • Because I have combination skin (helloooo T-zone) I can't over moisturize otherwise I breakout, so I save that step for nighttime.  Thus I jump right to SPF because you can't ever be to careful and let's be real I am pretty pale. I use Votre Vu's Antioxidant En Garde SPF because it is SO lightweight and non-oily. Then I am out the door after a five minute makeup session.
  • Sidebar- If I wake up with super puffy eyes as has been known to happen I whip out my Hydraphase Intense for Eyes by La Roche-Posay. This stuff will do wonders for puffy eyes and you see a noticeable difference in thirty minutes. 

Routine: Night 

  • Take off my make up with Neutrogena Deep Clean Makeup Remover Wipes. Love these because they are oil free and I keep a stash of them in my car for after work too. Grease, sweat and oil are not my skin's friend.  Repeat the Clarisonic and Seacret Mud Soap routine. 
  • Then comes the moisturizing! I start with Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator. It helps even out my skintone and get rid of those emotional red splotches. 
  •  I use Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion for my face.  It is just the perfect non-oily lotion for my overly oily face! 
  • I also use Normaderm Hyaluspot for cystic acne breakouts as spot treatment.  I discovered it in Europe and fell in love at first use. I would use this in the mornings too, but it does not react well when you put makeup on top, it sort-of flakes off. You can't get the Normaderm line in drugstores in Raleigh, NC but I did see them in New York City when I was there earlier this summer. (Jealous of city life-so many skincare options!!!) Thus, I order these and the La Roche-Posay products online.  

Every week, like clockwork, I go to The Skin Center of the Triangle (Shout out to Sarah Rosado!) Each week I get an acne treatment which sometimes involves chemical peels, hydrating masks, laser correction and popping of the occasional pimple . Seriously, it is covered by insurance and for me it turns into a therapy session.  I love it, and it helps keep my acne in check!

I have included all the links to my favorite products and I hope that you find your own skin care regimen that suits your skin-type. The best feeling in the world is when my face is clear enough to not wear makeup. There is nothing that can replace that confidence in my book. Let me know what your skin routine is,  and if it's as intense as mine!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Magnficent Uniform Style

One thing I have realized over the past few weeks is my inherent lack of fashion in my work wardrobe. Granted, when you have to wear non-slip shoes, black grandma pants, a name tag, a visor, and a button-down-company-issued shirt and belt, you might not have many fashion opportunities either.  The thing is my nails must be a certain length and color and even my jewelry selection is severely limited.  So I can't really distinguish myself style-wise. Then again, that's kinda the idea when it comes to uniforms.

My Day-to-Day Work Outfit

So that got me to thinking how style actually is defined by society. Mr. Webster says style is "a particular way in which something is done, created, or performed; a particular form or design of something; a way of behaving or of doing things" Ironically this says nothing about fashion. (Granted the sixth definition of style definitely mentions something regarding popular fashion is deemed in style, but thats beside the point!) I have found that the way I present myself is style.

At the General Managers and Operator's Rally, or GMOR as the McDonald's vets call it, a few weeks ago, Mr. Harry Paul spoke. He is one of the co-authors of the book Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. His book is mainly about using the techniques of the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle Washington. It's really cool and I highly recommend a read! One statement he made stuck with me. (And I'm paraphrasing, so go with me here) "Choose your attitude. Your attitude is the one thing you have complete control over." 

Every day I have a choice post-caffeine consumption of course, because before that I am a living zombie. I can choose to be magnificent or I can choose not. And standing in the power stance, a-la Sheryl Sanberg's superman pose, looking in the mirror saying "I will be magnificent today, no matter what" is very empowering. It has become a routine of mine and it has dramatically altered the way I view my days. The way I act is my style. Clothes are a reflection of that style, not the way to define your style. I am known for being high energy, intense, and hyper. I am unapologetically myself and my style is magnificent. What is yours?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life Update

Ok, so I'm a slightly horrible blogger in that I went over a month without posting! Sorry guys. New resolution= don't do that again. Life has radically changed since my last post, and its changed in some of the best ways possible. Who knew so much could change in a month!

First off, I am now back in the good ol' United States of America! But before leaving beloved Europe, my mom came to visit and we went to Monaco, Nettuno, Rome, Vatican City, Versailles and Paris! Loved sharing that week with her. Here are a few snapshots of the week with my best friend.

Monaco Royal Gardens

Vatican City on Easter Sunday 

Sicily American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy
To visit the grave of my Great Uncle Kenneth

Trevi Fountain 


Michelango's Pieta


Marie Antoinette's Hamlet


typical mirror selfie with Mom, in THE Hall of Mirrors 

La Tour de Eiffel 

Upon returning to the USofA, I spent the next week going to all the doctors appointments I missed while I was, you know, living life abroad.  Then second week back, I was whisked away to Canada for like 24 hours. Crazy, but so tiring.  (It was for a job interview that I didn't take) I wasn't ready to travel again yet, and it was a little rough.  All in all, three days later I accepted a job (woah I'm like an adult now?) with S&J Foods Inc. You all must have some questions I'm sure.

Q&A with Newly Employed ME!

Question One: What is S&J Foods Inc. you ask? 

Answer One: Well its my parents business, (secret is out--it's owning and operating McDonald's), which never in a million years did I think I would work for them. But here I am, 2 and a half weeks into my job and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!   

Question Two: What do I do every day, for all of you naysayers out there thinking I'm just piggy backing off my dad?

Answer Two: Hard work! Every day is different.  I am a normal crew person. So that means that I am working the front counter, the drive thru, fries, and this week's adventure the grill.

Question Three: Do you really wear that uniform?

Answer Three: You bet I do! I love putting on that all black crew uniform. Every day I have the opportunity and privilege to put on those golden arches and make someone's day a little brighter. What can I say, I'm lovin it!

Question Four: What now?

Answer Four:  Work, work, work and more work. I have so much to learn, and every day is a new experience.  I can't imagine doing anything else. I love my job, I love the people, and most of all I have a new found appreciation for what my dad has done over the past fifteen years.

So new chapter in my life has begun, and I am so excited for the future and what's to come. The transition from travel blog to lifestyle, in a uniform, blog is going to be interesting but I hope you stay tuned for my adventures into the world of Ronald McDonald.