Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Best Places to Work

Have you heard or read lately?... The Best Places to Work 2016 report was published by Glassdoor, revealing the top 50 companies voted by their own EMPLOYEES! I think this report is quite fascinating to follow. As a working professional, or even a college student, reading about market trends in particular companies can be beneficial for you as you seek for opportunities to better yourself in the workforce. Employees voiced their opinions about things such as leadership, satisfaction, salary and work-life balance. Glassdoor then used their own methodology to rank each company, incorporating whether or not employees would recommend their workplace to a friend.

You might ask, what tangible steps can I start to take knowing this information? Well I can certainly share with you what I have done thus far to ensure I stay active with these top companies:

Start adding some of the most interesting companies to your social media accounts (particularly LinkedIN) so that you can stay apprised with updates and trends in the organization. You can even start to reach out to employees in related fields to ask for informational interviews.

You may have perused through specific career websites for some of these companies, but perhaps you should start reading more about the organization and their history. Get to know the company like they are your long lost friend that you've been dying to catch up with. The more you know about things such as the history, mission, and values, the better sense you have on whether or not they align with your personal interests.

Now that these specific companies are revealed, it wouldn't hurt to compare some of them to your current company or others that are similar industries. It's always wise to stay on top of competing organizations, as some of the most inspirational ideas and motivation can come from each other. There's nothing wrong with benchmarking with your surroundings and sharing experiences to learn and grow from one another.

Some individuals are really confident about their career and the direction they are heading in, while others are still 'soul searching' with their passions and interests. Whichever boat you are in, I highly encourage you to stay informed of these top voted companies to work for, as they may offer you something much more than a career... they might just hold your happiness.

Anyone work at any of these companies? Care to share some of the 'likes' you have working there?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mommy Update

Life as a mommy has been blissful. I've been learning a lot about myself and how much love and attention I'm able to give a little person that is truly a part of me. Many first-time mommies talk about having a hard time losing their independence; there are times that I would like to run out to the nail shop... work on a project at my computer... catch up with old friends... but it's crazy how quickly those mean so little to me when I look at this cute little face. I told my husband the other night that life before my son is a blur. It could be because I have been disciplining myself to sit in each present moment and enjoy the time I have with my baby. I don't want this time to fly by so quickly that I don't remember his quirky smiles or hungry cries. I WILL stay present and I will ALWAYS love being his mommy!

My love is 3 months, and he's been discovering more about his hands, how to smile, and how to pull himself up if you lie him on his back. He's my blessing that keeps on giving!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Oh What Fun

This past weekend, we got the Christmas decor out (of the boxes since they've technically been out in my living room for over a week!), and had a jolly time painting our home red and green! One of my dearest friends and her sweet daughter were in town for the weekend, so it totally helped to have a few extra pair of hands and hearts to help give us a little push with the decor. We ate good, baked great, and expressed our creative beings by decorating gingerbread men.

One of the many things I love about this time of the year are the memories that are made with your loved ones. This is the first Christmas while in Nebraska, the first Christmas with our sweet baby boy, and the first Christmas getting our own decor up (including a Christmas tree!). Tis the time to celebrate joy and happiness!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Explore, Dream, Discover.

Once upon a time, I used to be a rookie in the workplace. I'm referring to my very first job EVER while I was in college, chasing the dream while trying to pay for rent, gas and all the wonderful things that your parents cut you loose from to teach you some lessons of adulthood. When I reflect back to my very first job in the banking industry, I can honestly say that it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. Not only did this job provide me foundation lessons about the workplace, but it also helped me discover who I was and how I can help others.

Though there are MANY things I learned in my first job, there are just a few that are dominant when I think back to that time....

// Communication [relationships]
Working in the banking industry, I interacted with customers on a daily basis. My job consisted of helping individuals with very personable transactions including their hard earned money and financial endeavors. Because our industry was all about finances front and center, I quickly learned that communication skills were a priority. It wasn't so much about wining and dining people all the time, but rather being transparent in the most courteous manner... being open about transactions... providing details about potential opportunities the bank had to offer... and finding a solution together with the customer rather than saying NO. All of which I am able to use and expand on these communication skills today in the workplace and in my personal life.

// Discipline
At the time I was working, I was also in college. I was lucky enough to learn about discipline in academics early on, but this was another form of discipline... it was about walking in between the lines at work and with my supervisor(s). I had some AMAZING relationships with my former bosses in the banking industry, and our workplace relationships quickly became more like friendships. We would often grab dinner with each other after work, or share a cup of coffee before work. BUT when it came time to take care of business, I was disciplined enough to respect my peers in the workplace as expected.

// Continuous Learning
Learning didn't just stop in the college classroom for me. At this job, we were given opportunities to attend training sessions in person, or complete training courses online through the bank's learning platform. This job was extremely supportive in continuous learning in the workplace AND in college. I was honored to have the bank pay for my tuition for a few semesters, as my degree was aligned with  some of the business standards in the banking industry.

My first job brought me much more in life than just a paycheck. In hindsight, I was so determined to find a job that aligned with my degree that I was blinded by an opportunity to expand on a career with the banking industry. I wish I would have been a bit more present in that opportunity and explored the business aspect of it all. BUT, everything happens for a reason and I am who I am today partly because of this first job.

Are you searching for a job today? Maybe it's your first job... maybe it's your 5th... maybe you're seeking a new experience by moving up in your current workplace. Whichever it might be, take some time to discover what your passionate about.... what makes your heart sing. TheLadders is a website that can help you with the process of finding a new career opportunity. Not only do they help match your interests with employers, but they also provide feedback to you during the application process! Check out their website for further information on your job search, or read up on some great tips from professionals on the advice page.

Lastly, I want to leave you with a quote that may help inspire you with your current job, future job, or previous jobs.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Huskers to a Bowl

Tis' the season of bowling! As the football season comes near to an end (wahhhh), coaches and players begin to bask in their eligibility of playing in a bowl. 'Which bowl? What state? Against who?' are some of the popular questions that pop up in the football world.

Sadly, the Nebraska Cornhuskers ended their season last weekend with a 5-7 record. The numbers certainly don't tell the story of the season, but rather the game film and the score of each game we lost. I honestly feel that this season was meant for the new coaching staff and players to get acquainted with one another, from the play calling to the execution of each play. We can only rise up from this point!

Anyhoot, if you know a thing or two about football, you know that with a record of 5-7, it doesn't necessarily constitute us as being bowl eligible. According to NCAA rules, a school must have at least 6 wins to secure a spot in a bowl game. BUT this year, they fell short of the 80 schools to play in a bowl game. Only 75 schools won six games (or more), which means they are short 5 teams to play. After this weekend, they will have a better sense of who is playing where since there are still a few major games to play.

What does this mean for our Huskers? WELP, it means that NCAA will now look at each school's APR (Academic Progress Rates) to determine how players stand in their academia. Since Nebraska is at the top of that APR list (WOOOOOP!!), we will be bowl eligible even with our 5-7 record!

Morale of the story? Academics play a huge part in student-athletes' lives... from start to finish. This is only one of the many rewards student-athletes can bask in, especially if you prioritize your classes and school work. I am proud to say that our Husker players have rose to the occasion and should take great pride in stellar performance on AND off the field!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


We may be miles away from home, but we are definitely blessed to have family come visit us (or shall I say Grandparents coming to visit our baby boy!). It warms my heart to know that our son and our parents can spend quality time with each other and begin making memories from day one! It also allowed me to recover from having baby and get some 'me' time in, even if that meant going to the store and rushing home to feed baby... yet again.

Cheers to grandparents and their unconditional love for our children (and for their love for Husker football!).

Thursday, November 26, 2015


{source link}
On this Thanksgiving day, I want to give thanks for...

 - My brand new sweet baby boy
 - My hubs
 - My parents and in-laws
 - My family... and friends (which are like my family)
 - My dogs
 - Our first home
 - Good health
 - Football
 - Another shot at blogging on J&BT
 ... and all of YOU!

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rivalry Week

I'm loving this week and it's only Tuesday! Although it's Rivalry week in the world of college football, there is still a lot of love and thankfulness to celebrate throughout! Here's a sneak peak at our list of events:

// RIVALRY WEEK [Nebraska vs. Iowa]
This week, Nebraska plays the undefeated Iowa! We are looking for another big upset, just like when we beat Michigan State just a few short weeks ago. Iowa is a great team and they typically dominate in their run game (from my perspective)... but Nebraska is also a dominate team. We are coming off of a bye week this past weekend, which is a great thing that our players and coaches had much needed rest to recover from the Rutgers game. We need to win this game in order to be bowl eligible, so I'm just gonna keep some positive and happy thoughts in my mind. I am totally looking forward to this game on Friday afternoon... hopefully we'll burn some calories jumping and screaming!

I'm also excited to watch some good ol' rivalry football on Saturday. Another game that I'll be rootin' on is the one and only Trojans! I know we have an excellent shot at beating the Bruins, as we'll be looking for some payback after our 'fluke' loss last year.

I love last minute planning, especially when it entails family coming to town for the holiday! I am so excited to be hosting during a special time, and I am so THANKFUL for this time that our baby boy gets to spend with our family!

This holiday is probably one of my faves... of course the eating is a bonus, but I love the act of cooking and prepping while enjoying some family laughter. Growing up, we made it a custom to give thanks to each other and speak about what we were most thankful for that year. I may be far away from home, but I will ensure that my son is exposed to many of our family customs, especially this one on Thanksgiving!

I appreciate that many stores are publicising their steal of a deal promotions online. In previous Thanksgiving nights, we would spend the night waiting in line right after Thanksgiving dinner in hopes of snatching TV's, laptops, clothes and other things we really didn't need but were too good to pass by. This year, I'll be watching sales online from the comfort of my own home (or stadium because you know that our big game is on this very day)!

Any plans in store for the short work-week ahead of you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


If I'm being honest and candid with myself, I can say that things are different in my life than where I was just a short year ago:

   - Instead of being home in Cali renting an apartment in Redondo Beach, we now live in Nebraska where we are first time home owners!

   - Rather than going to work every morning, I'm a MOM, staying at home to raise our bundle of joy until I'm ready to go back to the workforce... (WOW! Now if these first 2 points don't scream out adult, I don't know what does)!

   - We used to live just a hop, skip and jump away from our family in LA, and now we're a 5-hour (or so) flight away from them.

   - We were so close to the beach that we can smell the ocean from our home, but now we are FAR from the coast and instead live where the cornfields grow wildly.

   - I used to bleed cardinal and gold full time at USC, and now I am learning to share the blood of scarlet and cream of the Huskers.

Needless to say, if I'm honest with myself, I miss where I was a year ago. Some of those things just felt so right. Again, if I'm honest with myself, I also LOVE where I am today and wouldn't ask to take back any moment of this transition in my life. I'm learning to live differently. To just BE in a different place. Being honest with myself means staying true to myself, as William Shakespeare quotes.

I challenge you to stop masking any honest feelings you may have. Share them with yourself in a journal, or with someone else, and celebrate that honesty because you're worth the celebration!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Baby Mobile

Being away from the family and home is difficult... being away from the family and home during the holidays is just a tad lonely... being away from family and home while having our first child saddens me at times. Though we are embracing new adventures in Nebraska with such sincere people, I like to instill things into our routines that remind me and introduce my son to our family (which also helps fill that gap of being around the family)!

One memorabilia that reminds us of family is attached to the crib! My sister-in-law totally customized a mobile for her first born nephew which he absolutely loves to stare at and listen to. She added more diverse animals to the mix... she attached some siapo to the top (traditional Samoan material made from tree bark) which I LOVE... and she added a picture of mommy and daddy that just topped off this masterpiece! My little boy absolutely loves to relax and at times sleep to his precious mobile that his Aunty Clara made for him.

What things have you customized for baby in the nursery?

P.S. See that gorg tiny pillow with baby's day TWO picture on it? Another piece that is customized and made by another family member, Aunty Karen. I often find my son staring at himself on that pillow, which I will continue to remind him who made that beauty!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

FREE Learning

E-learning has become such a hot commodity in today's society! I'm sure many of you are aware what the E stands for, but in the slim chance you don't, it stands for electronic. To sum it up, e-learning takes place primarily through the form of a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Whether you're a student, or a professional in the workplace, or are seeking out a career... you can start taking advantage of FREE learning at your fingertips now!

Although there are so many resources you can begin to search and learn about any type of topic, I'll share with you some of my top faves!

// LinkedIn: []
LinkedIn is one of the best social media accounts you can have. In addition to searching for jobs and professionals that you connect with, you can also find some great articles about endless topics. Once you start following specific companies to your liking, you will see that your news feed consists of articles that highlight the latest updates, trends and much more regarding that industry. One of my fave companies to follow and read the latest and greatest on is Google! Articles vary from research to blogs... all which can be useful in the e-learning world! [NOTE: if you opt to invest some money into your learning and development, has thousands of courses, videos, articles on a multitude of topics that are suitable for the workplace. even has elective types of courses that you can select from!]

// TED
TED talks consists of amazing experienced professionals who give passionate and informative talks on any given topic. You can watch a 20 minute talk, or an hour talk... all depending on what your preference is on that topic. These presenters aren't just "presenting"- they tell stories from their personal lives that helps you connect on a much deeper level. Case in point with one of my faves, Brene Brown. Her talk on The Power of Vulnerability has got to be one of the BEST talks that I have ever connected with. So much so that I purchased a few of her audio books to hear more about her experience with shame and vulnerability. Not sure where to begin with your search? Check out the newest videos, or trending topics on the home page!

// YouTube
YouTube is another great place to search for any type of topic to watch and/or listen videos on. In addition to experienced professionals speaking on a particular topic, you can also find role-play videos, animated videos, audio videos, and others! Search interview tips, how to effectively communicate with your manager, professional coaching... just to name a few!

It turns out you don't have to necessarily pay an arm and a leg to learn. Take advantage of the free learning that you can search through!

What are your fave e-learning resources?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


How many of you have ever thought you just HAD to finish what you started? Not because you actually had desired to do so... but because you just felt you had to keep going since you already began to take steps towards something?

I went through school non-stop (like most of my colleagues did). In my senior year of undergrad school, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do for work and figured that I still had some self-discovery to do. I thought that graduate school would open many doors of opportunity for me... I would be able to learn more about psychology in ways I didn't have a chance to while earning my Bachelor's Degree. I also knew that if I were to take a break and work full-time after I graduated, it would be difficult for me to return to graduate school (at least that's what people around me made it seem like). SO, I applied for graduate school in a Master's program, and BOOM! I started that Fall semester.

THEN... when I was in my freshman year of graduate school, one of my professors engaged in a conversation about why those of us who were enrolled in the Master's Program were not enrolled in the Doctorate Program. Her points totally made sense... we were all in the same classes (until later on), and she pointed out that we would benefit SO much more for putting in the extra 2 (or so) years to work on a dissertation and complete a Doctorate degree, especially when we would be looking to start our career.

Hence when I decided to switch over to the PhD program! Before I knew it... I was in school for another 5 years to finish up my Doctorate degree. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for that opportunity I worked very hard for, and I really don't regret pursuing grad school at all.

BUT there was not one time that I actually stopped to think or discover or ponder on what I was deeply truly passionate about. Sure I worked throughout all of undergrad and graduate school, but I can't say they were ever jobs or internships that I was so passionate about that I couldn't imagine doing anything else in life.

Like I said.. I don't regret any of my time in college. However, I'm certainly doing some self-discovery as of late in my career and life to think about what motivates me... what drives me to learn until I'm blue in the face... and I am totally okay with that, even if it strays from what I thought I would be devoting my career to while I was in school!

I encourage you all to think about your passions and how you might try to pursue them if you are able to! The million dollar question to ponder on is...What makes your HEART sing?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Roca Berry Farm

The Hubs and I wanted to take our son to his very own pumpkin patch this year for Halloween, not because we thought he would have the time of his life only being 7 weeks old, but because I selfishly wanted to snap a few of those cute little pictures of him lying against those huge pumpkins. Needless to say it was 32 degrees that Friday morning, and you had to take a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch because it was sort of a distance to walk... yea... we opted to skip out on the pumpkins that day [it also didn't help that baby was nice a toasty warm against Daddy in his Boba wrap and slept the entire time we walked around]!

Instead we walked around what ended up being a cute little Halloween landmark, full of haunted houses, bikerides, a jumbo air-jumper, and many other things to keep the little ones occupied! This place, Roca Berry Farm, was a hit for the little ones, and definitely a place I can see our son running around and having a grand ol' time in the years to come!

Who would've thought that a real deal pumpkin patch was lying in the backyard of this cornfield state of Nebraska?!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One-on-One: L. Bernal-Wood

Let me have the pleasure of introducing this fine young woman to you! Her name is Lisa, and she is an amazing wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, friend and so much more (not just because she's my cousin!). Her and I share very similar passions, a few of them being football and student-athletes. She's got some great insight to share with you as it pertains to being a student-athlete or being surrounded by a student-athlete and coach!
Q // How did meeting your husband and your Master's Thesis play a part in your passion for sports and student-athletes?
As a football wife, I stay involved in football by helping my husband with recruitment, tutoring, campus visits, etc. It is important that we are here to help our student-athletes. We do this because we want our students to succeed - in and out of the classroom. It is hard to see talented youth be turned away from their football dreams, losing their football scholarship, or being unable to graduate after their eligibility has expired because they do not have the grades. 
Somehow, student-athletes are being lost in the process of grades and games. I wanted to study ways to increase student-athlete football graduation rates. I focused specifically on football because studies have shown that student-athletes who participate in high revenue sports (such as football) had lower cognitive outcomes and learning benefits than other students and even other student-athletes. This special student population will dedicate so much time to their sport, and it is their academics that takes a back seat to the sport, and sometimes it is their academic career that pays the price.
Q // What tips can you share with student-athletes that you wish someone told you in college?
I wish someone told me - go to the career center the first semester you are on campus! Make sure you LIKE or even LOVE the career you are in because you are going to be doing it for a long time. Study and get your degree - you are paying lots of money to get smarter... so get smarter!!
Q // How might students prepare best for post-graduation?
Try to work (or at least intern) while you are in college in your field because today employers are looking for candidates that have education AND experience. Be the candidate that has both!! As a student, we focus on being just that - a student. We get tunnel vision and don't think outside of our schooling and sport. Although some degrees require internship hours to graduate, not all majors do. Internship hours are great because they not only get you the experience you need, but most of the time you can get college credits for your internship hours - talk to your academic advisor about it!!
Lisa has some GREAT points that I think can benefit from student-athletes or students attending college. I think there needs to be an emphasis on what life will be like post-college. There's nothing wrong with taking the time you need to explore your passions before jumping into a job!

Do you have any tips you would like to share for college students during and after college regarding a future in their career?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

He Cares for You

As we face one of the hardest football seasons we've had since the Hubs has been on a coaching staff, we do our best to stay positive and uplifting. The Cornhuskers are 3-5 thus far, and those 5 losses have been by a TOTAL of 13 points. We tend to do great throughout the game against our opponents, but it's towards the end of the game that we tend to give up those very few points... which makes the losses that much tougher.

There's only so much we can do or say as coaches wives, as fans, as football lovers. But this verse says it all... and even better... it's from the most reliable source mankind has - the Word of God. If we cast our anxiety and cares on God, we need to trust that the anxiety and worry we carry will be taken care of by our God because he cares for us. Having such worries in life does nothing for us... it doesn't make us stronger... it doesn't change us for the better... in fact, most of the things we worry about do not even surface in reality meaning it's SUCH a waste of time!

This is such an important message I have to meditate on quite frequently in life. Although I can't stop myself from worrying about many things, I can definitely remind myself to trust in my God and cast my cares upon him, for He cares for me.

This week as we prepare to face Purdue, I will pray for our coaches and players, and leave my worries behind me (as should you!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2 Weeks of Life

If you haven't heard from my last few blog posts (or if you can't tell by my lack of visibility on here for the past 6 weeks or so)... we have a new bundle of joy! I wanted to share these snaps that Kate from Kate Florian Photography who captured of our love at 2 weeks old [she also captured our blissful maternity snaps you can see from this post]. I can't believe I'm 6 weeks into this life of Mommyhood... as many memories have already been made and Mata is growing before my very own eyes.

When they say, "things happen so quickly"... they really mean it with sweet precious babies. So I will forever stare at these amazing pictures of my baby at 2 weeks old and live in that moment of life because I never want to forget it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fight On!

If you're submerged in the football world like I am, you have probably heard the news about USC's head coach, Coach Sarkisian. For those of you who aren't familiar with Coach Sark's latest, let me update you in the short version way (don't worry... I have a point coming!). He's had some things happen in his personal life that has caused him to turn to what most of us like to numb our sorrows in... alcohol. There is a lot of speculation out there saying that he has shown up to practices and perhaps a few games under the influence. Whether or not it's true... who knows.

BUT, one fact that I do know is that unfortunately, he was fired as USC's head coach. Yes... during the middle of the season, Athletic Director, Pat Haden, decided that it was best for the players and the University to part ways with Coach Sark. Since then, Coach Sark has been seeking help for himself to get well which is the point of my post today...

When you take a coaching job at a University (or with the NFL), you are basically signing up for your professional AND personal life to be out in the public. These men go through the good, bad and ugly with fans, the press, and anyone else who might read up on their business. It's just the name of the game. I've been thinking a lot about Coach Sark and how brave it is for him to go through these things publicly. Not only is he going through a rough start of a season, but his issues are being aired out there for everyone to criticize. Instead, I choose to celebrate his journey because if it weren't for being in this situation, he wouldn't be in the shoes he's in now seeking out the professional help and getting stronger by the day. Furthermore, he is setting a great example for those who need inspiration to get through some dark moments in life. Whether it be with the use of alcohol, a bad season, kids who just aren't 'getting it', or whatever troubles you may have. There are brighter days ahead of you, so long as you choose to love yourself, take care of yourself, and prioritize your well-being over ANYTHING else. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others!

Do you know anyone who is need of help? A boost of morale support? Offer some words of encouragement... stay positive... and never be too ashamed to share your story!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Life Lately

It's been a good while since I've posted or even thought about blogging. If you didn't know, I've had some major changes welcoming our sweet baby boy into this world.

MOMMYHOOD // It's been a whirl wind of events, each day bringing a different set of adventures, but ones that I wouldn't trade for the world. The lack of sleep and forgetfulness of life is SO worth every moment of being a mommy! Today marks ONE MONTH since the day we welcome our son on earth. Cheers to many more celebrations as the days, weeks and months go by.
FAMILY // My hubs and I have been beyond blessed to have our family with us throughout every step of this journey. We had family here in the prep stages of baby making his big debut... family in the deliver room... family after to help with the transition... and of course family now (especially since it's during the football season!). They have helped us clean, cook, take care of baby, and just be there for morale support. I am SO grateful they were able to fly out from all over the world to help welcome our son into the loving family that we have.
FOOTBALL // No lie... we've had a rough start this football season in Cornhusker nation. We've had a pretty tough schedule starting with our pre-season games into our conference games. We've managed to play our hearts out, but fell short in FOUR games all down to the last minute! The coaches and players have been working together to find their rhythm, but as we all know... that's easier said than done. Watching from the eyes of a wife and fan, it hurts my heart to see us ALMOST with the W game after game. BUT if we keep thinking positively, we are bound to turn this around and make the most of our season day by day. With that said... we have a big game against Minneapolis this weekend that I just know we can dominate. Balls to the wall and POSITIVE THINKING!! That's just how we get through the days ahead of us!
What have you all been up to for the past month? How's your football season going? Have you watched the Walking Dead yet (I haven't had a chance to watch the season opener so PLEASE don't spoil it for me)?

design + development by kelly christine studio