Hi friends! I just wanted to let you know that Maureen Gets Real is no longer being hosted on WordPress.com. Don’t worry, I’m not done blogging but you’ll have to resubscribe to the new site in order to get all of my posts! It’s still just maureengetsreal.com but hosted differently. It’ll be a new and improved site once I’m used to everything but that’s where I’ll be blogging from now on! Thanks 🙂
Hello and happy Wednesday! I was thinking about some past posts I have written where I’ve introduced myself. Since then I know some more readers have found my blog (hi!) and I wanted to do a little reintroduction. For those that don’t know, I am a packaging engineer and that is what my degree from Rutgers is in. In my everyday life, I get people who are baffled by what a packaging engineer is and once I explain to them they find it interesting. Let’s be honest, for a while I’m pretty sure my mom just told people that I dropped stuff to see if it broke ha! It’s definitely not a field people often think of but it’s involved in everything. I thought it could be fun to explain it to all of you and I hope you find it interesting as well!
What is a packaging engineer?
A packaging engineer (PE) is someone who works on every product imaginable. Even if you don’t think there is a package involved in a product you are buying there is. A PE is involved with everything from the design of the package to user use to graphics to how it will work on a machine to fill with product. They can be found in every industry and most companies have them.
How did you find out about packaging?
Since packaging engineering is such a unique field, most people assume that I went to Rutgers University on purpose for this major. That is so far from the truth though! I knew I wanted to be an engineer but didn’t discover packaging until the end of my freshman year. At most engineering schools, you do not declare a specific major until the end of freshman year. When it came time to pick my major, I actually declared as a materials science engineer and found out about packaging after.
I signed up for the packaging certificate (4 classes about packaging are required to get this) and thus took the Intro to Packaging class in the fall of my sophomore year. By mid October, I had filled out a form that said I was changing my major. To me, the packaging classes was a lot more interesting than my actual major classes and I loved the opportunities the packaging would provide for me.
Where can a packaging engineer work?
Name an industry and 99% will have a spot for packaging engineers! Personally I have worked in four different industries. In college, I gained experience in the cosmetic and consumer goods industry. After graduating I worked in the chemical industry very briefly before taking my current role in the automotive industry.
Right now, I am a PE for a major car company in New Jersey. This means I take the repair parts (like a hood or door) and create the packaging so it can be shipped to dealers across the US and Canada without any damages occurring. It’s definitely very different from my first experience where I worked on a carton for liquid bronzer. In each of the roles I’ve had there has been a ton to learn. The general process for creating a package are the same but different companies have different ways to go through the process and their own unique systems involved.
What does a packaging engineer do?
A PE works on a variety of tasks. At my first internship, I worked for Shiseido which is a cosmetics company. They own a few brands with some of their most commonly known ones being Bare Minerals and Nars. There I worked mainly on the Nars brand. One of the projects I had involved testing to see if any changes to packaging had to occur when the brand was introduced in China. China has stricter rules about waste in products so paper instructions couldn’t be used. Another thing I worked on was for a new product that was launching. I designed the liner (the corrugate piece inside the box) and worked with the supplier to get the desired look and feel. When I left, my boss let me take some products (amazing!) so obviously I took one of the liquid bronzers (and any other product imaginable) since I worked on it.
In the summer leading up to my senior year and throughout the entire fall, I worked full time at Church & Dwight. They own brands like Arm & Hammer, Trojan, First Response, Oxi Clean, Vitafusion and so many more consumer goods. My biggest project there involved working on the redesign of the Oxi Clean liquid laundry detergent. This ended up being 7 months of hard work and I was involved from when they conducted focus groups to nail down the design consumers most responded to all the way to when production of the bottles started. I saw all of the ins and outs of a big product launch. When I saw the new bottle on the store of a Walmart I was beyond happy. I took a picture and sent it to a ridiculous amount of people since people could finally see what I worked on.
There you have it friends! That’s just a quick look at what a packaging engineer is and what they do. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂
Question of the day: What does your job involve?
Happy hump day! I don’t know why but this week is kicking my butt a bit. I’ve been exhausted every day and just not feeling my best. The good news is my grandparents are in town tonight so Alex and I are meeting them for dinner. I can’t wait to see them! Have a great day 🙂
Today’s post is going to be all about Bailey! It’ll cover everything from how we found her, bringing her home, training and adjusting. Alex has had dogs his entire life but I haven’t. This is all new to me and I’m loving it. My phone is already full of pictures and I can’t imagine how it’ll be once it’s a human baby.
How We Found Her And Deciding On A Breed
Alex and I knew we wanted a dog that would eventually be a good family dog and okay with kids. We had a few breeds in mind but a lab seemed like the best option once we did more research on them all. We looked at a few websites that gathered information about dogs in shelters near us as well as different breeders. Alex came across the website Greenfield Puppies. Greenfield allows you to search based on the breed you want and the state you live in.
We searched for a black Labrador retriever in New Jersey and there were none. We tried Pennsylvania since it’s so close and we were okay with driving. A few black lab puppies came up and we decided to get Arnold a male black lab (Bailey is a girl so keep reading for that story). We called the breeder who said Arnold was available and we decided on coming last Friday to meet Arnold and his mom.
Prepping For A Puppy
Alex and I had a list of things we would need for a puppy. We headed to petco and target to grab everything. Walking through the aisles we kept looking at things we thought a boy puppy would love. In our basket we added some blue toys and a hunter green leash and collar. It felt really good to have everything in advance. We had a crate, leash, collar, toys, training treats, bowls and a clicker to help train her. Since we didn’t know what food the breeder was using, we held off on buying that. The only thing we needed was our puppy!
Picking Bailey Up
Friday afternoon, I left work a few hour early (thank you early out hours!) went home to gather a few things we knew we would need right away – the leash, collar and some treats just to entice any dog to like us right away. We made the 2 hour drive to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and pulled up to the house. It was actually in a super pretty country side which was awesome. For those that don’t know, Lancaster has a large Amish population and the breeder ended up being Amish.
We walked to where the dogs were and saw a fairly large black dog. Alex and I must have looked confused because one of the kids told us it was the mom. Alex and I both admitted later on that we thought the mom was Arnold and was extremely big for a 14 week old puppy. Well the mom could not have been sweeter. She came up to us and let us pet her with no issue which was a good sign. We see the only two puppies and they were yellow labs. The father/breeder, Ben, came to meet us and we asked about Arnold. There was a mix up with the website and Arnold was actually a yellow lab. There was still a black lab available but it was a female named Ava. Ben was extremely apologetic and said multiple times that he hoped we didn’t think he was trying to trick us or be deceiving.
One of the kids went and got the black lab. Ava was a little confused at first and a tad shy but so open to Alex and I touching and petting her. The two of us talked about whether we were okay with a female or male dog. It kept going back to Ava though so she quickly became ours. Something about her just screamed that she would be our dog.
To drive home, we brought an old towel that would be in her crate. Alex set our puppy into the towel which was in my lap. I kept petting her on the way home and she was so nervous. She was shaking and her little heart was beating so fast! It was so sad but cute too. Alex and I talked about what we wanted to name her and ended up on Bailey. For a while Toots was having a strong run since she kept farting on the drive home. It was nonstop lol.
The First 24 Hours
When we got home Bailey was very nervous and unsure. She was incredibly timid and Alex and I were starting to think we made the wrong choice. We just reminded ourselves that we took her away from the only home she’s ever known plus she was probably missing her mom. Bailey was fairly okay with walking around our apartment but kept coming back to us. Poor girl always wanted to be right on top of us. It was cute but we could tell she was nervous.
She was so nervous she didn’t eat or drink anything when we first got her home. I don’t even know if she went to the bathroom that night. We put her in the crate when we went to bed and she was so good! There was no whining at all. She just kind of curled up and went to sleep. Bailey did wake us up with whining around 3 am so she could go to the bathroom. Otherwise she slept (or was awake but didn’t bother us) which was really surprising to us. Everything we read and what Alex has experienced said it would be a lot more whining and whimpering at first. Her crate is actually in our bedroom so maybe sensing that we were right there helped that. Honestly, I can’t be sure but it’s a thought I have on it.
The next morning she opened up a little more in front of Alex while I was on my long run. He was texting me updates and I was getting so excited! Slowly she came out of her shell which was making us happy. She still hadn’t eaten so we were trying to figure out how to get her to eat. Alex decided to try a tiny bit of peanut butter on his finger since his parents dog love it. Turns out our Bailey likes it to. He added just the tiniest bit to her food bowl and she ate everything. Woohoo! It meant we didn’t have to return a dog that didn’t eat.
Meeting Other Dogs
Both Alex’s parents and his brother and fiancé own two dogs each. Living so close to them we knew we would have to introduce them all to Bailey. We started with his parents golden retrievers since they’re older and female. Unfortunately we made the mistake of having Bailey outside so the dogs ran out to her. They scared her a bit but she did good. Two unknown large dogs running towards you would be scary for any pup. After a few minutes she was okay and even did a little sniffing of them which made us proud.
Sunday morning, Tucker invited us for a walk in this open property in town for all the dogs to meet. Tucker and Allison has a male yellow lab and a female mutt (mutt because we really don’t know what the breeds in it are) that was a rescue. Unfortunately meeting them didn’t go as planned at first. The dogs were all in leashes but Bailey got scared, peed herself and hid under Alex’s car. Luckily the other dogs lost interest and wanted to play fetch so she got much more brave. She even ran around with them a bit.
Since we just got her and there’s an adjustment for her to get used to our work schedules, training hasn’t really started. Bailey is learning her name a little more each day but that’s about it. She did learn stairs quickly though which is amazing! We live on the second floor so every time we go outside she has to go up and down the stairs. As much as we thought about before getting a dog, stairs was not one of them. Having her be able to go up and down without being carried is amazing. Although sometimes she will stop on her way down to take a break and sit on the steps.
House breaking is going about as well as one could expect. She has peed inside 5 times now but that’s honestly Alex and I’s fault. Once we both left the living room for a second and she took the chance to relieve herself. Thus far no popping inside and no accidents in her crate. We’re still learning her signs for going to the bathroom so it’s a learning process for every party involved.
Starting on Saturday, we slowly added the puppy food I bought to her bowl. In order to not disrupt her digestive system, we started with mostly the food she was used to and added just a little of what we will be feeding her. She had no issues so we increased what we gave her and decreased what Ben used. Slowly we’re changing it all up. She gets about 1/8 cup of her old food and 3/8 cup of our food currently when we feed her. Eventually we’ll get to 1/2 cup of our food for each feeding.
Overall Bailey is the sweetest pup. Watching her attempt to catch the tennis ball inside is hysterical. She hasn’t quite figured out her body yet and bumps her head on furniture a lot. When she runs up to me for cuddles me heart melts. Bailey is the perfect addition to our little family. Before we brought her home I thought I had what I needed. Boy was I wrong though. Bailey hasn’t been in our lives a full week and I can’t imagine life without her now. It’s safe to say, Alex and I are now obsessed dog parents.
Question of the day: Any puppy tips we should know?
Hi friends! I hope your week started off on a great note yesterday!
Last Friday, Jessica over at Room for Gelato nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Jessica, her husband and their dog are currently living in Germany. She posts on a lot of different topics about things she misses from the States to how Germany and the US compare to each other, plus life in general. Some of my favorite posts from her are all about their European travels (I can’t wait for her Barcelona recap posts). Cue the jealousy of being able to travel all over Europe easily!
Today I’m answering 11 questions that she asked me and will be nominating another 5 people to fill it out. Enjoy 🙂
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I decided to start blogging because I was extremely bored at my job. My days were spent with little to no work to do and since I had been reading blogs for years, I just signed up and started on one day! I had actually thought about starting one before then but was always scared and nervous to. Note I have since left that job, my days are packed now which I love.
What would you do if you weren’t blogging? If blogging is your side hustle, what would your side hustle be if you weren’t blogging?
If I wasn’t blogging I would have a pretty similar life to be honest. I’d still be working a job in packaging engineering, running after work, cooking, baking and reading. The only change I could see would be that I’d read even more. I don’t have a side hustle so I think my ideal one would be to bake for others.
Where was the last place you traveled?
The last place I traveled was to Chicago with Alex at Christmas to spend a few days with my family. If you don’t count going to the place I grew up then it would be Knoxville to visit Alex’s friend Boomer in later October. Well I went to Colorado in December as well for the longest work trip of my life but I didn’t exactly pick to travel there so I’m not counting it.
Who was the last person you texted? What was the text?
The last person I texted was my mom and it said “You’re welcome!”. She wants to buy a pair of Sorel boots so I sent her a bunch of pictures and info about the ones I have.
Where’s your favorite place to shop?
To be honest, I haven’t bought clothes in the longest time for myself. Some of my favorite stores are Francesca’s, Macys, Target and J. Crew.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
For the longest time, I wanted to open my own book store! Growing up in my hometown, there was a small bookstore that I loved. One time I even won a gift certificate to it and it was awesome to pick out books for free and my parents had to let me get them since it was my “money” to spend.
Then in high school I wanted to be a cosmetic chemist (the creator of makeup) but I wasn’t sure if a lab setting would be the right place for me.
What’s your favorite season and why?
My favorite season is probably summer. I love wearing cute dresses and sandals while being able to go to the beach and swim. Plus it has my birthday and favorite holiday so you can’t beat that. Life is just better in summer to me.
Favorite motivational quote?
“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” – Richard L. Evans
What’s your favorite sport to watch and play?
I love watching hockey! It’s so fast paced and had very little stops. In terms of playing, I enjoy running and volleyball is fun too.
If you could only go to the same destination for vacation each year, where would you go?
This is so tough! Honestly, it would have to be Culver, Indiana. It’s a tiny tiny town in the middle of Indiana. We drive by farms to get to it but my grandparents live there and there’s a lake. I spent so much time there in the summer growing up that it has a lot of happy memories for me. I can’t wait to have kids and bring them there to experience it for themselves.
What advice would you give to your 16-year old self?
Don’t worry about what other people think. It sounds generic I know but If you want to stay home on a Friday night to read then do it! Your friends won’t judge you for not going out one time with them.
- Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 5 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
- How did you come up with the name for your blog?
- What has been the most rewarding thing you have found with blogging?
- What’s your favorite food?
- Would you rather be hot or cold?
- What’s one trend you don’t understand?
- If you could have a job and housing completely taken care of, where would you move?
- What is one thing you never leave home without? Aside from the obvious things like keys, wallet, and your phone.
- Chocolate or vanilla?
- What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
- What is your favorite place that you have visited?
- What’s one thing on your bucket list and why?
Question of the day: Pick a question above and answer it in the comments below!