Bay Area Bucket List

As the weather continues to be glorious, all I’ve been wanting to do is hang out in the sunshine. Now that I’m living in the Bay, I might as well explore the many wonderful places that are conveniently located nearby. Here is a complied list of some things I have been wanting to do and see. Hopefully now that they are written down, I can start crossing some off and maybe even finish the list by fall? Definitely a huge challenge, but hey, one can dream right? Some are pretty darn touristy, but too bad, don’t care. This is just a quick list. I am sure that there are many I’m forgetting and would be excited to visit. So, let’s play tourist, and find adventure.

  • Pacifica beach and coastal hikes in Southern San Francisco
  • Hike around Mt. Diablo
  • Trip to Alcatraz
  • Explore Tiburon and take a ferry ride to Angel Island
  • Off the Grid Food Truck night
  • Third Thursday’s in the City
  • First Friday’s in Oakland
  • Brewery tours. This site has a list of micro breweries you can walk to from BART. It’s also fun to visit and get a tour of the production. Those tend to be not as accessible by public transportation, but would make a fun outing
  • Wine Tasting. Trip to Napa anyone?
  • Ferry to Sausalito. Cute, historical, nice views
  • Sail in the Bay…so…make friends with a boat owner 🙂
  • Paddle board and Kayak in the Bay
  • Aquatic Park and venture to Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, etc.
  • Beach Blanket Babylon. If it was funny when I was younger, I’m sure the 21+ show is hysterical
  • Go to a Giants game!
  • Run a 5K
  • Dollar Day at Golden Gate Fields
  • Go to more Farmer’s Markets
  • Find Flea Markets
  • Find delicious burritos in the E. Bay
  • Take camping trips
  • Mini road trip to Santa Cruz
  • Bay to Breakers (May, 17th)
  • Hardly Strictly (Oct. 2nd, 3rd, 4th)

Well that should be enough to fill any free time. Can’t wait to try something new!

Pros and Cons of Temping

While still in the midst of hunting for full time employment, I have been working with a recruiter who has provided me with a few temporary jobs to preoccupy my time, and to make a little cash on the side. For the most part, it has been fairly nice. Still have free time, and can gain a few bucks here and there. However, with some pros, there are always a few cons. I have developed a list of some perks and some not so great aspects about temp jobs.

I like to end things on a good note, so I will start with the Cons.


1. Stability. While there is a possibility, there is no guarantee that it’ll last. Sometimes companies only need someone to cover for the day. I worked a job that was originally planned for a week, but then I ended up there for almost 2 months. I was very pleased to continue, however it was difficult to plan ahead when they ask you back on a week by week basis. I had to wait until mid to late week to find out if I could make alternative plans for not only the next month, but the following week as well.

2. Lower pay and no benefits. They typically won’t pay as much as one who is actually hired. Even if you are performing similar tasks, it’s just not in their budget. And why would they if there is a market of unemployed workers willing to take almost anything at anytime. Especially us young-ins trying to fit into the real world.

3. May not learn much. Working on an assignment for a few days probably won’t be enough time to develop a concrete skill. Sure, it’ll help to practice and gain potential, but you’ll have to continue to build somewhere else. This goes hand in hand with credibility. So you learned to be a receptionist/admin assistant for a couple days, sweet. Too bad employers prefer a couple years of experience.

4. Probably won’t be a part of a long term project. If so, might not be able to see the end result. Whether a goal of the company or one of a third party, you’re likely not a huge player and/or won’t be present to acknowledge the impact. Not saying that being there is meaningless, I’m sure it’s all greatly appreciated, but it would be nice to do more and fully be a team player.  Sorry, I feel like this sounds kind of terrible, but it’s only human to want a sense of belonging, right?

5. Not necessarily enough time to develop relationships with co-workers. If you do end up bonding, you wonder how long they’ll last after your time in the office.

Now for the positives.


1. Flexible Schedule. Since you are not contracted to a set time frame, you have the liberty of choosing your hours. I am also an evening nanny, and I was able to come into the office earlier in order to leave earlier. I would also take afternoons off in order to schedule other interviews. In some cases, you decide when you want to start and when you’re done. When I worked in the city, getting to BART before the 5pm crowd was a fantastic decision.

2. Experience different companies, different industries and different office cultures. You can get a feel of which type of management styles you prefer as well as office layouts.

3. Similar to the previous, different positions. Even as a temp, you are able to take upon a few tasks that you may encounter in a career you’ve considered. In addition, observe someone else that holds a position you may be wanting to work towards. It’s great to get some first hand experience with something that holds your potential interest.

4. Network. You never know who you’re going to meet, and how they can impact your future. If you’re polite, it may not hurt to slip a bit about yourself here and there. Funny story/example. My last temp job I was meeting and chatting with a lady in the break room. We didn’t converse much, just describing that I’m the temp and what I have been up to and what not. The next day I found out that lady was not just another employee, but the Executive Director! I really hope I made an alright impression…although that job did come to a close, so I guess who knows. Either way, be on your toes and stay professional.

5. Short pay periods. I am on payroll with my recruiter agency, and since I may work a week or less, I get paid weekly. You don’t have to wait 2 weeks or so for a check. I can get quick easy direct deposits with in a week of working. Definitely comes in handy when you need it.

6. Lastly, a temp job could turn into a full time hire. I am still waiting for that to happen of course, but it is possible. Do your work efficiently and maintain working relationships, and you might just trick them into letting you stay.

Overall, I have liked it for the time being. Yet, I do want/need a more stable situation and source of income. As a pro and con, it is just temporary. It may not be exactly what you expected, but hey it’ll end soon! In turn, it could go very well, and you can grow from it or even apply to an opening in the future. I do enjoy the spontaneity about it.  Keeps things fresh and exciting.

Stay busy on an extremely low budget

As a recent college grad, finding a job has been quite an exhausting journey. Sure, most of my time is put into the many cover letters and applications, but I definitely need a brake and to take some time to explore. I have been in the Bay for almost two months now, and there is still so much to see. I want to go out and do things, but keeping to a budget does have its limits. From going day to day without any real plans or an office to go to, I have come up with a list of free or almost free activities to keep my lazy unemployed butt preoccupied.

1. journal. everyday.

 I recently just started this. Every morning I write down what I did the day before, the conversations I had with others, and how I felt about it. It’s a great way to reflect on accomplishments made yesterday, and/or if I am working towards a solution. If I had nothing to write, I guess that’s motivation to go out and do something today. It keeps my thoughts organized while also keeping tabs on my level of laziness. “Sat on the couch with Netflix today” does not make a good journal entry. I like having something for my own personal use. It’s not to impress or do good for somebody else, it’s just for me. Once a week I plan to walk to our neighborhood cafe. It’s a perfect little nook to sit and gather thoughts and ideas. Plus they have a delightful cup of coffee for about $2. Great cheap morning outing.

2. blog!

Also obviously just recently hopped on the blogging bandwagon, but I would like to get further into it. Goal is to post something once or twice a week. Similar to having a journal, in order to write a post, I had to have done something or learned something. This can also force me to take more pictures. I love to look back at photos, but I’m pretty bad at taking a moment to snap a shot. I enjoy reading other blogs as well. They can inspire to help my own blog, and it’s fun to see what ideas others have to offer. It’s also nice to see another try out something you may have wanted to learn, but were afraid of the mess. Let them make the mistakes first! That’s what is great about the collaborative blogging world, and learning from one another. Once again to get out of the house, I am going to walk to our town library and work there. Change of scenery and free wifi!

3. craft.

I have plenty of craft supplies. String/twine, beads, paint, and my bottle cap crafts that I will blog about later. There are so many things you can make from string, ribbon, buttons, and recycled materials such as plastic bottles, glass jars, cardboard, and unworn t-shirts. Lots of things that are just lying around the house, waiting to become something of use.

4. cook/bake.

There are many recipes that sound delicious, and would be fun to prepare. However, most have so many ingredients that it can become a bit pricey. I like looking for recipes that contain things I already have in my fridge or pantry. Most of the time I honestly just make it up. I pick one main food item (a meat or vegetable) and then decide what I have that would make a tasty dish. For instance, I have been really into different squashes (’tis the season of fall after all), and have only spent about 50 cents to a couple dollars to obtain a healthy squash (depending on quantity and size).  Other fresh ingredients like an onion, tomato, avocado, etc. can go long way if you choose to make different meals that have similar ingredients. I would get tired of eating the same thing all week, so by using bits and pieces from previous lunches/dinners, I am able to make something completely different.  For me, it is relatively inexpensive to cook a “fancy” meal for one or two (plus leftovers!).

As for baking, I think it is worth investing in supplies (flour, sugar, baking soda/powder etc). I got them all at the Grocery Outlet for $5-$7. The extent of a couple cups of flour is pretty amazing. I like baking the sugary goods like cookies and brownies, but my roommates don’t want me to “fatten them up”, so I’m not allowed to do that all too often. I tried this awesome pretzel recipe. It’s so easy, and so good that I had to make more the next day. Also considering baking my own bread instead of purchasing it at a store. Pretty inexpensive, fun to do, and you get to eat what you make!

5. learn a new skill.

 A new language: I have studied Spanish for years, and have still not been able to master it. Since I can’t afford to take more classes, I utilize the resources I do have. Currently, I am reading a novel in Spanish, and have the opportunity to use workbooks/textbooks at my local library. Free check out with residency! I can read proficiently, so I chose a novel I read in English back in high school. It’s helpful to be familiar with the story line. I have also been using a free app called Duolingo. They have multiple languages you can learn from your phone or computer.

Improve a current skill: I would like to improve some of my technical skills. There are many tutorials online for gaining a refresher on tools such as Excel or photoshop. I also have a pretty average typing speed. I found some free tests online to help practice. In addition to typing, my penmanship could use some brushing up on, and if not in a journal, having a pen pal is fun.

6. clean!

Cleaning is always necessary at our place. Sometimes it’s even a bit of a workout. Great way to utilize free time.

7. workout.

It’s free to jog out your front door. Plus many videos and online guides to working any muscle.

8. volunteer.

Yes. It would be nice to get paid to work, but it’s a nice feeling to help a good cause. I don’t have money to donate, but I do have time. Might as well use it for a good reason. It also provides a few benefits to the job search. One, employers like to see volunteering, and that you are doing something productive in your free time. And two, you never know who you’re going to meet while working on site. Maybe a new friend or potential networking opportunity. Volunteering is a win for everyone.

9. search the craigslist free section.

As they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Most of it pretty much is trash, BUT you never know what you may find. Maybe even gain a new project. Kinda fun to browse here and there.

10. thrift!

Lots of affordable hidden gems. And more cheap stuff that could lead to a project!

11. take a photography trip.

After recently moving to the Bay I have wanted to take a little adventure, and capture some photos. Being right next to a bike path provides a perfect opportunity to walk/bike around a see what the area has to offer. We are close to BART as well, and its relatively inexpensive to take a trip into the city. Wherever you are, it’s fun to play tourist and site see. Sooner than later, I’ll pack a lunch, a camera, and have a little daycation.

12. window shop.

Not particularly my favorite, since I can’t actually have it, but could be a nice outing. Maybe even get some ideas for a DIY.

13. if it’s nice out, have a picnic!

I’m going to eat lunch (or brunch/snack) anyways. Might as well bring along some friends, a blanket and enjoy the fresh air.

14. once again, if nice out, go for a hike!

My aunt took me on a great hike in the trees up in Oakland Hills. Felt like I was in the mountains again. There are many more trails around that my friends and I want to try.   Hiking=exercise, photo ops and fresh air

15. read.

Get lost in a book or stay up to date with the news. Even while unemployed, I force myself to keep learning. I read random articles for the fun facts, and others for the actual content. I have been using a free app called Circa. It provides snip-its of top news stories nationwide and worldwide with access to read further. You can also choose to follow a story, and it will notify you when a new article related to the topic is published. It’s a quick and simple way to stay in the loop.

That should be enough to have some level of productivity. I am pleasantly surprised by how many things I am able to do on a no-to-low cost budget. This is not simply a list of ideas, but also a reminder that there are a bunch of opportunities out there to discover. Just have to go out a get it.