Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to tell if you're suffering from exhaustion

100% certain my brain has just stopped working entirely.

1. After talking with a repeat client  (as in he comes in the same time every month to pay his bill) for 40 minutes in my office, my thoughts drift to making mental notes of where he likes to go to ensure I'll never run into him in a public setting so I won't be trapped like I am currently in my office.

2. And then realizing you have an inordinate amount of creepy clients who specifically only want to deal with me when they come in, so I should probably make a list for Nick to give to the police (after they've ruled him out as a suspect because they always check out the spouse first, thank you Law and Order) should I ever mysteriously disappear.

3. But this post is also putting in writing the acknowledgement of clients who worry me so YOU'RE WELCOME FUTURE POLICE working on my disappearance.

4. If I ever did a comedy tour it would be titled "Plight of the Pretty People". And no this isn't a "oh I'm so gorgeous it's so hard to be beautiful and complemented constantly". I consider myself "average" pretty and by no means a prude because the books on my kindle would make you blush, but some of the comments made to me in a professional business setting are well over borderline inappropriate.
Actual Conversation with above mentioned repeat client (I'll keep it light):
Client: Have a happy new year and don't drink too much....but you probably won't
(side note #jokes, does this guy even know me? Obviously NOT)
Me: I will have all the drinks.
C: You have plans?
Me: Just home drinking on the couch in sweatpants.
C: Well someone has to come keep you company.
M: My husband and dogs will be there too.
C:  But your dogs can't drink.

My dogs however are 100% sleep experts. Except at 3 am
for bathroom breaks.
Yes sir please do ignore the husband comment and come keep me company as whatever shall I do drinking by myself?!

5. News headlines are talking about affluenza and I didn't get my flu shot so am I susceptible? Or do they have to look at your bank account to qualify because JK LOL

6. (While listening to Pandora via headphones at work) Advertisement for Trojan Bear Skin condoms. Which is weird because I didn't know they made Bearskin Condoms. And I am super grateful to be wearing headphones because awkward. I mean I knew of lambskin, but bearskin just seems wrong... and this ad is saying they're studded? With what like a Bedazzler? That seems excessive and possibly painful. OH ...BARE skin. That makes more sense. But the studs are still weird.

I need a break.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Moment

All it took was two pumpkins. Two pumpkins and I had a meltdown moment last night. It was the proverbial straw. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, fake a smile and pretend that everything is sunshine and rainbows. Life seems to just be pummeling me left and right, and as much as I'm trying to ride out the waves and go with the flow, I feel like I'm struggling to keep my head above water.

It's such a stupid reason too, and my rational side knows that. My co-worker had brought us pumpkins to bring to our respective houses, and I put them on my front porch after work at 5:30 pm. My husband and I had an out of the ordinary Monday planned, and walked out the door at 6:15 pm to celebrate my best friend's 30th birthday. After a night of many stories and laughter with friends, we pulled into our driveway at 9:30 pm and the pumpkins were gone; we had driven through part of their smashed remains at the beginning of a cross street. I saw the rest of them on another road on the way to the gym this morning.

That was my catalyst. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted, even with the countdown to a much needed vacation down to the teens. I'm tired of arguing and being belittled by clients. I'm tired of stressing with family issues. I'm tired of the drama. I'm tired of constantly running for the benefit of everyone else, and nothing for myself.

So that was it, two pumpkins stolen from my porch for me to snap. I think it's because my home is my happy place right now. We live in a really nice neighborhood; trust me when I tell you we did massive research before we bought our home. Three police officers live on our street alone, and as neighbors we all keep a look out for each other while at the same time staying out of each other's business. I've never had a problem in the three years we've lived there. Home currently is my sanctuary where I can just be with my husband and two dogs. And now someone took something from my happy place.

Could it have been worse? Absolutely! Our home wasn't broken into. Nothing was stolen. Our dogs are just fine, if just a little scared from strangers on our porch. And looking at all the lights on tonight at the houses around us, I don't believe we were the only ones with decorations missing.

So as a wise woman told me today, just let it go. I'm going to. I've replaced the pumpkins and added mums to our porch as well. I'm not going to let some little punks take away my happiness, even if it's just simple porch decoration to come home to.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

5 Minutes With Me

"Hi can we interview you for a profile of business planning for multi-generational insurance agents?"


What this photo doesn't tell you is I'm not wearing pants,
but bright blue gym shorts.
You're welcome world. 
That crazy moment when: I realize I've been doing this insurance career long enough that I can get interviewed for it for advise and incite.

And now that I'm President of the Young Insurance Professionals of NJ it's sightly more work than I thought it would be on top of all the curveballs life keeps pitching my way. The amount of emails I get starting with "I found your contact information on the YIP website" has increased tenfold and I was only inducted in June.

I have to make decisions about event pricing and locations. I'm requested information from meetings, my first of which I didn't nearly take enough notes in but learned my lesson for the next time (and am so thankful for being able to just think back and have my brain synapses fire on all cylinders to reconstruct the conversation)

But then I sit back and realized that's the beauty of it, I don't know. I'm not alone and I have the most incredible people around me that are always there for me to ask questions or help guide me.

SURE THING I'm happy to answer some interview questions. I was myself and my honest answers are mix sarcasm and humor, but that's me. Because who wants to read a boring interview with laaaame answers? No one.

I then received an email this week from the communications director that National Organization liked it so much, they're running a shortened version of the article in their NATIONAL magazine. Which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time.

So here goes nothing, click and enjoy:  5 Minutes with Natalie Bruno

PS It literally took me an hour to figure out how to get that article to my blog but of all the options I tried, I think that link worked best. If it didn't OH WELL just remember you funniest 5 minute conversation with me and roll with it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Book vs Movie

I'm an on-the-fence person when it comes to watching book to movie adaptations. In my humble opinion, the book is always 50 bazillion times better than the movie because the book can provide so much more detail. Plus my imagination is incredible thanks to my favorite past time of reading.

Some movie/book adaptations I loved or at least felt they did the book(s) justice: Harry Potter, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Silence of the Lambs, Gone Girl, Hunger Games, The Help.

Some of these conversions I wasn't a huge fan of:  Twilight series, The Da Vinci Code, World War Z, and will say it I downright hated the Silver Linings Playbook movie.

Some I'm nervous to see so I've been putting their viewings off: The Giver because it's one of my favorite books but I don't think I can handle if it's ruined. Same with The Book Thief. I flat out refuse to see Marley and Me and The Fault in our Stars because I still cry every time I watch The Notebook and I already know how these end....ALL THE TEARS.

Some of my favorites have even been turned into TV Shows: The Sookie Stackhouse novels for HBO's True Blood which I thoroughly enjoyed for at least the first 4 of 7 seasons and then just for the eye candy for the remaining. They're allegedly turning my latest favorites the "All Souls Trilogy" by Deborah Harkness into a BBC program which I'm hopeful for. I don't think I've met a BBC show I haven't liked after finishing Sherlock, Luther, The Fall and currently have Doctor Who on my watch list.

Since it's the book that everyone is still talking about with hushed voices even though the movie was selling out well before it's opening on Valentine's Day, I would like to put this novel in the category that I did not see this movie in the theaters because I already knew no good could come of it unless it was rated NC-17, which we all knew no movie company would do in their right minds because they needed to tame it down for the masses. (Sidenote that Queen Bey remake of "Crazy in Love"... Get it giiiirl)

Which thus led up to our conversation last night:

Nick: Hey, Do you want me to order Fifty Shades for you? It comes out this week.

Me: No I already have it.

Nick: What?

Me: No. I have it.

Nick: Your brother got you the download?

Me: No, I bought it.

Nick: So it's ordered and showing up on our doorstep on Friday?

Me: No the digital download is already available on iTunes so I downloaded it on my laptop.

Nick: Over the weekend? The unrated version?

Me: Yes, it's terrible. I've only made it through 45 minutes and I can't stop LAUGHING. It's painfully bad and well worth the $15 just for the hilarity of it.

Nick: Well yeah, I figured.

Bonus points for asking if he should purchase it for me since he knows the exact contents of my kindle.
Who's with me for more terrible movies and Magic Mike XXL July 1st?!

Monday, April 20, 2015


I had a super productive organizational weekend in our house.
I bought folders and re-organized all of our bills and important documents since we've moved into easy to manage, by year, groupings.
I bought a slew of professional clothing online since they rarely carry tall sizes in store, tried them on, and had my return items ready to go. 
I switched out my winter sweaters for my spring/summer clothes in my closet and went on to 'spring clean' the clothes I no longer wear, sorting them into neat piles to donate.
I even managed to food prep my lunches for the week before going to bed.

I woke up early this morning and made it to my spin class in the pouring rain.
I came home and took care of my adorable pooches and leisurely clipped coupons for grocery shopping tonight while sipping my delicious protein drink.

I went upstairs to shower and get ready for work, and thought it was strange that my closet door was open since I remembered closing it before leaving for class.


Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

We're breaking up

Scale, I will continue to use you to make sure I'm still on track, but we're breaking up. It's not you, it's me, and I'm making so much more progress than the number you spit back at me. 

Because 4:40 am is entirely too early for an alarm to go off.
But I've been dragging myself out of bed at that time 5 days a week for the past 11 weeks to get to the gym.
I'm tracking everything I consume; good, bad, and ugly, on top of logging the workouts I complete and calories I'm burning.

I'm just ounces from my first goal of losing 10 pounds, but the 'weight loss' is going much slower then I had anticipated. I was aiming for 5 pound a month, and hoping to be closer to the 15+ pound mark by now.

But I'm down over 9 inches overall for my body. I'm fitting into pants and clothing that I haven't been able to in months.

I'm getting stronger and am lifting the heaviest weights I can remember. My endurance is increasing and my instructors are noticing my improvements.

This morning I had the best 3+ mile run in month. A day that had literally breath taking wind blowing against me on both my first and final half mile, and it's still my best time to date.

Slow and steady seems to be winning, and I'm just going to keep this pace.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Twitter Followers

Again with the resolutions Natalie, will you please STFU already? The short answer to that is no, so stop reading if you're sick of hearing about them. This year I resolved to not be on social media so much because I'm addicted. And it's going okay terribly I'M WORKING ON IT. But I mean is twitter reaaaaaaaaaally social media? Because it's just my stream of conscious or random musings or movie references or WHATEVER just go with it.

And then I get the most random followers sometimes besides all the professional people from my job. Which by the way if you're reading this I'm sorry in advance but you're following my personal twitter account and my life is a hot mess and I absolutely just pretend that I'm actually a professional, put together woman at all the meetings so let's all just go with that since you all seem to like me thus far.

First and foremost, The Bloggess is one of my favorite bloggers and I just finished reading her book. I tweeted about it and then she followed me on twitter. 
Actual conversation with Nick:
Nick: *pause* and that is...?
Me: The lady who's book I'm reading right now.
Nick: The one that you laugh like a crazy person while reading in bed?
Me: Yes that one! But you bought it for me for Christmas so it's your fault. ALSO I LOVE HER. WE'D BE BEST WEIRD FRIENDS TOGETHER.
Nick: *starts checking phone* mhmm

Then  I get this notification. Look, I'm not naive and know that famous people's agents interns someone else other than themselves are running their social media accounts. And to be 100% honest I loved Taye Diggs on Private Practice, but being that I don't already follow him on Twitter I get really weirded out when someone like this follows me because I'm all "HOW DID YOU FIND ME?! What did I tweet to deserve this?"

And then this: 

Goes without saying. Or they found my Goodreads account and saw my recent 'want to read' updates. Creep status times one zillion.

Can't talk about this one because first rule of fight club and all. Crap, I'm probably going to get beat up for just posting this.

But the complete topper is that I registered to go see my favorite author when she comes to Philadelphia in May, tweeted about it, then:

*Drops mic, walks away.*
So done you guys. SO. DONE. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In case we win

As a couple we have the worst luck of anyone I know BUT on the off chance we win the now $500 million dollar lottery tonight this is just a glimpse of how we'll be spending our dough.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Real time log of what I have been able to accomplish in the time it took to correctly import my iTunes Library from my PC to my Mac since 8:30 this morning (mostly due to long wait times due to the library size, but some due to user error):

1. Grab breakfast at Dunkin Donuts
2. Attend mass
3. Go for a three mile run
4. Shower after said run
5. Cook chicken for my lunch for the week on the grill because when life hands you a 50 degree day in February you GRILL ALL THE HEALTHY FOOD.

I still don't have my playlists transferred but it's fine I'll deal with that another day. HOWEVER I did manage to find a super old backup of iTunes which has songs I didn't even realize I still had from college. Needless to say my 8 hours of perseverance paid off big time and now all of my music is in one spot. Allegedly. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Running Resolutions

Will I ever shut up about my resolutions?! This and my next two blog posts say nope, not any time soon!

My BFF seems to know when I need a pick me up and sent me an email with 4 possible runs this spring.
We decided to sign up for 3 of them with one being the Broad Street Run lottery. Hopefully we are lucky enough to get in again this year.

Of the other two the first is a 15K Hot Chocolate run that when you finish you get a bowl of melted chocolate and snacks to dip in it. The second is a 5 miler through a vineyard after which you get a free glass of wine and 2 hour reception at the winery.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Teeth Torture

Friday I had my six month dentist appointment because my parents didn't spend thousands of dollars on braces for me just to have me mess my teeth up later in life. My gums on the top, front of my mouth have been red and inflamed for at least my past 4 visits to my dentist. They've brought it up every time I go and I always explain I breathe through my mouth at night and when I excerise and basically always because I'm a (somewhat normal) human being.

At this appointment the inflamation was brought up once again after my cleared x-rays, dental cleaning, and explaining that I've been following all their recommendations of stimulation pick sticks, flossing, and gentle brushing.

So when my dentist came in for my final exam this conversation occurred:

Dentist: I'm concerned about the redness of the gums and how it's not improving. Have you ever seen a gum specialist?
Me: Well no because I didn't even know they existed. Can you recommend someone?
Dentist: Yes we have one here. *picks up super pointy looking tool* I'm going to try not to hurt you

LIKE ANYONE EVER WANTS THE PHRASE "I'M GOING TO TRY NOT TO HURT YOU" SAID TO THEM IN ANY SITUATION EVER. He proceeds to take that super pointy pick and run it along my gum line and then across the super reddened parts of my gum.
It fucking hurt and in an attempt not to cry I imagined sticking that tool in his eye. Repeatedly.

Needless to say I have an appointment with the gum specialist this coming Wednesday. Is taking 4 shots of vodka before a dentist appointment frowned upon?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bottoms Up

One of my not publicized until this very moment resolutions is to drink at least a gallon of water (or more) a day. I bought this handy dandy 750 mL Camelbak bottle with straw to help achieve this.

1 gallon = approximately 3785 mL.
Divided by 750 mL = about 5 of these water bottles a day (also MATH).

Up side: it's surprisingly easier than I thought it would be to drink 5+ of these a day.

Down side: I am peeing every 30 seconds. Or so it feels like. My co-workers are beginning to think I have a problem. I do. IT'S CALLED ALL OF THE WATER.

Sort of positive upside - it's basically training future pregnant me for when this exact same thing happens only with a much bigger belly and a lot less water, right?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Car shopping

A list of things I'd rather be doing than car shopping and dealing with car salesmen:

1. Have my wisdom teeth removed....again.

2. Be stuck in a room full of cats with no ventilation or way to escape.

3. Stabbing my eyes with needles.

4. Being forced to listen to only country music on repeat.

5. Walking lunges times infinity.

Monday, January 5, 2015


2014 is over and good riddance. It was a rough year but all I can do is learn from it and focus on what's to come for 2015. 

The Huffington Post recently published an article about "8 things I Want to Be in 2015".

Which of course got me thinking about what to do for myself in 2015. And so it goes, I'm focusing on me:

Best time to date... but can be better!
Healthy - I swore that was my goal last year, and while I joined a gym in April and been committed to my running, spin, and lifting, I have a lot of room to improve. I've already stocked up on healthy food and outlined my schedule of what I want to accomplish in the gym. Little goals lead to bigger goals, and I need to stick with my program.

Present - Hi my name is Natalie and I'm addicted to social media. I need to take a step back. It really hit home for me when Goodreads told me I only read 6 books this year because that's not normal for me. I've been slack-a-lackin as I still have books from Christmas 2013 that I haven't read and a bunch more Santa brought me just 10 days ago. I need to stop checking social media when I'm laying in bed and pick up a damn book.

Trusting - I believe the saying goes let go and let God? Yeah, I need to stop stressing over what I can't control and as Elsa sings, "LET IT GOOOOOOOOO"

Creating - I need to write more. When I recently transferred a running draft of ideas I was saving as a 'composed' email into my Google docs, I found out it is 6 pages of material. All of which needs to be expanded on as these were just short clips to remember. PLUS I only wrote 7 blog posts this past year, as opposed to over 30 each of the previous 2 years. I need to keep up with writing because it's something I truly enjoy.

Lastly Grateful. I am going to keep a journal where I write down one thing I'm grateful for each day. No matter how tough my day is, I strive to find one positive aspect in all the negativity. 

I've set my resolutions to better myself in 2015 and I wish all of you the best for the upcoming year. 2014 can't say I'll miss you, but bring it on 2015.