Monday, April 27, 2009

Not Much Going On

Not a lot going on besides it being a Monday. I did hear a good phrase today:

Be who you are becuase everyone else is taken.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


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I am super curious to know who is reading this! Leave a note if you want to be more specific about who you are.


Sunday in Maryland

Today I adventured to College Park to celebrate Founders' Day with the two local ADPi chapters.

A few things
1) It was like 93 degrees here today and despite my airy billowy skirt and top I still looked awful once I got to the chapter
2) the girls were very unwelcoming and rude
3) there was zero organization
4) I met an Alum who was an Alpha Theta as well from a few years before me
5) I am still deciding if going to this ADPi stuff is worth it

But it was a good use of a Sunday and made me realize again how much I love my chapter (despite some of the hiccups of anger and frustration about certain topics).

Once home I went to our rooftop and laid out in the sun (I am pretty burned from yesterday and not having sunscreen) but I wanted to soak up some vitamin D before the work week. I made a great spinach and onion quiche and then headed to the gym for a extended work out since I am very frustrated right now.

Not to elaborate and get all debbie downer on here. But in essence I am tired of not having the support I feel I deserve from certain people. For those of who I talked frequently to, I am sure you know where this is coming from. But I just get angry when I feel like I am fighting through my emotions alone, because that is not how it should be.

But needless to say the workout calmed me down and I am enjoying a glass of my Colonix tea before I head to bed for the night! Hopefully work won't be too crazy this week!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Perfect Saturday

Yesterday was absolutely blissful!

To start Alex and I finally woke ourselves up at a decent hour to go to the Alexandria Farmer's market held in the town square. There were a lot of vendors with fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods and fresh made pasta! We did do any heavy shopping since we really hadn't planned any meals and didn't really need a whole lot. We did pick up some luscious strawberries that I am going to dip in chocolate for a sweet treat for tonight after dinner. I definitely plan to go back t pick up veggies and hopefully bouquets of flowers when I have the money. We did buy some pastries that were delicious and served as a great late breakfast. We then wandered into a few stores on King Street and finally ended up at Starbucks for some frappicinos which we drank on the pier and got to watch darling little kids feed the ducks.

Later in the afternoon Ben came out to Alexandria to pick up his suit from J.Banks and then we went to a great grocery store and picked up some mozzarella and bread. We also discovered Sofia Minis....great for a day in the park. I plan to drink these frequently this summer!

After some wine and cheese Ben and I laid out in the grass for a small, nap/lounge. People watching became distracting however and we got caught up in watching a family of three.

We then wandered to the torpedo factory to check out some of the art galleries. After a full day I dropped Ben off at the metro and went home.

Alex and I later went to see a movie and then once home I proceeded to pass out on the couch while watching 20/20.

It was a wonderful Saturday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Little Chat

Yesterday was rough. I am on a steep learning curve with a million things being thrown at me. I am trying to be good humored but I also feel like I am constantly failing at work and life right now. Looking for a little time to unwind when I got home I skipped the gym today to watch Miss USA and then head to bed early. However home didn't turn out to be so stress free.

Luckily I was able to have a much needed phone chat with my lovely sister. We don't get to talk much which is heart-breaking. I really struggle with feeling so separated from my family. But we had a good little chat.

And I am more excited than ever to be drawing close to the start of my new title: Auntie!!

And only would my fashionable sister find the most darling diaper bad. Seriously I would carry this thing as a purse. It is fabulous and classy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ode to the HR Professional

Like I mentioned in an earlier post. I am currently taking over for my boss while she is on maternity leave. I have so much respect for what she does and seems to handle everything with grace. Half the time I don't even know how much stuff she has to do and I am her assistant!

In my short period as a full-time employee covering as an HR manager I have found that indeed the profession I grew to find very interesting in college is truly a complex and challenging field. (Not that I didn't think this before, but there is so much that I didn't even know or hadn't even scratched the surface on).

I will say that I don't think HR professionals get enough credit for what they do and the type of person it takes to be in those types of positions. People/employees generally don't fully grasp what their HR department deals with, manages and maintains. While I am biased I think that HR is the lifeline of the company. Granted whatever your product/service is you have to focus on that. But (to pull out some wide ADPi knowledge) it all comes down to your people. Who you've got, who you want and how you deal with them. It is crucial. I think people forget that their HR departments are working for them, granted it benefits the company but it is about the people in the company more than anything.

I will say that I feel that I have put in a fair amount of dirty work. I know people make fun of me for being the "glee club" when I am found decorating someones work space for their birthday. And yes, I feel degraded, frustrated and hurt that they don't value my efforts. But I also know that the people who laugh or think it is a waste of time also don't know what I do with the other 8 hours of my day while I am working.

And not to mention I think I might be the world's best crepe paper decorator. Yes, I think it is true. You should see my twisting skills...they are impeccable.

Anyways, to conclude. I love HR. I have a new respect for any professional who has taken it on as a profession. And I admire my boss. And I dare you to take me on with your crepe paper skills....BRING IT.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cherry Blossoms Everywhere

Well I thought the Quad at UW was a beautiful sight when the Cherry Blossoms bloomed. And while it will remain one of my favorite memories of things I look forward to at UW. I had no idea how beautiful the Cherry Trees would be here in D.C..

Alex, my friend Brooke (you can read her account of this event here) and myself met up for the annual Cherry blossom parade. Alex wasn't too excited about the early morning but we survived. The wind was crazy!

First we went to the parade which was....sub-par to what I was used to with the Boise River Festival when that was around. But this was a decent parade. I really enjoyed the high school bands. You could really tell the difference in culture out here.

Brooke and I want to join these people next year so we can wear the dresses!!

After the parade, we wandered to get some Starbucks and then walked to the Tidal Basin area to see the legendary blossoms in person. There were so many trees it was a canopy of cherry blossoms. It was beautiful!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

All I Wanna Do is DANCE

Well the dance bug has bitten me again. Maybe it is my Colonix system kicking my energy levels into high gear. (If I haven't mentioned my Colonix system to you yet...ask me on the is too gruesome to post on here! Lets just say my diet is a little more restricted than usual, I am drinking more water than you could store in 20 camels and there are some other things going on.) But wherever this burst of burning desire to dance and create is coming from I am going to need to fuel the fire and soon!

I have been dancing around the apartment occasionally when a song of inspiration plays on my Pandora Station. I have found a piece that I am dying to choreograph to. Unfortunately I can only move so much in my 1-bed apartment. I have been experimenting with some moves and have come up with some really beautiful modern/neo-classical moves that I hope to incorporate if I can ever find the space to put together the bits and pieces of this dance I have running through my head.

Deep down I am relived that this time as come. Granted it is sad to know that due to the hip injury and age in general my days of dancing on pointe are most likely over, but I think that with some diligent work-outs and flexibility I could be back in a studio (now to find the money to support my dance habit) in a short amount of time. After my last year in school I wasn't sure I was ever going to enjoy returning to a studio. Being a dance major was a blessing and a total curse. A blessing because I have the minor to possibly support my long-term goal to open my own dance studio. But a curse because the classes I took in college with the exception of two, were decently miserable and made me question my love and passion for dance. The dance department just didn't do it with their "progressive" teaching techniques and ass-hole personalities. Frankly I think I would have been better to have taken classes outside school if the minor wasn't something I wanted. But let's not dwell on the negative past. I am just glad that I have any interest in a plie or grande jette since for months on end I didn't even like to watch "Center Stage" GASP!

I used to practice turn in my parents kitchen when I was cooking and would do full barres everyday after school on my days off from dance. I missed that enthusiasm and love for ballet and wondered after college if all the technical and political bullshit ruined me for life.

I won't say I am the same. I don't try to fall asleep with my legs turned out anymore, or lay for hours on the floor in contorted positions to lengthen muscles. But I do find myself listening to music and moving my arms through first position and marking movements with my feet. It may not be the same...but it is a start.

I really need to learn how to notate choreography. I am not even sure there is anywhere you can take a class on that sort of thing. I may just be buying some books and self teaching.

Since I have started looking for a ballet studio to take some easy starter classes so get my back into dancing shape I have realized that my idea for a community dance school is still in the back of my head. Hence my reasoning to go back to get my MBA (see previous post). Awhile ago I had someone really pushing me to work on opening my dance school, unfortunately we don't keep in touch much anymore and my motivation to research and put together some formal ideas of a business plan fell off the to-do list. But perhaps something to think about for the future. For now...I am going to run with the fact that I am enjoying expressive movement again!

Stepping Up to the Plate: Full-Time Status at Last!

My boss finally had her beautiful baby girl on Tuesday evening which means I am up to fill her shoes until she comes back from maternity leave sometime in June. I have been very excitedly awaiting this time since
1) I am going to relish in the few paychecks I get that are going to make living a little less stressful! and
2) Show my stuff and prove that I deserve to be a full-time, exempt employee with my company.

Concern about if there is enough work for both my boss and I to be full-time has been a concern and a reason why they haven't hired me full-time. I have disagreed with this notion from day once since I always feel busy busy busy and like if I had more time I would be more involved in the company and able to create/research creative and needed HR policies and procedures for the company. Now that I have taken over my bosses duties I wonder how she has possibly had time to do everything that she does! I know I am just getting the hang of everything but there is so much to do!

With that being said, I am loving all the new responsibilities and tasks. But I also feel like I am kind of floundering and failing in some respects. I really want to prove that I am of value as a full-time employee or I am going to have to start looking elsewhere for full-time employment. Which makes me a little sad since I really enjoy where I work (despite feeling a little left out sometimes with my co-workers, but I won't go into that now).

In short, the past week I have learned more about HR than I did through my entire time at UW. It is one thing to read about laws, regulations, best practices, and HR methodologies, and it is a completely different thing to actually deal with them and work with employees on benefits and other HR issues.

I am utilizing the SHRM mentor program and am hoping to really launch into a committed mentorship with a HR professional. I am hoping this will give me another base of knowledge to tap into and utilize in figuring out where to take my career.

If anything career wise I have realized that I really want to go into recruiting and know that I could survive in the commission based world of recruiters. It is by far one of the things that I enjoy most about my job. I am still toying with the idea of going to law school, but am also more strictly considering go back to get my MBA in maybe in a business development track or entrepreneurialship. (which I will explain later).

But I am now busy busy busy bee at work and really appreciating TGIF.

Church Shopping

I never really understood the idea of "Church shopping". Growing up I went to my parent's churches. In high school I went to the church my friends went to. And in college I went were it seemed the majority of students went. I was involved in a great small bible study for 3.5 years in college and never really thought that finding a church would ever be difficult because I had attended ones that were so great.

Well now I am "Church Shopping" in Alexandria. Last week I attended Easter Sunday Services at a Methodist Church near King Street. While I had a pleasant experience and everyone was very welcoming and I even received a personal email from the pastor later that week welcoming me to the church and inviting me to come back. It just doesn't fit as well as I would like. The congregation is small, a bit older than I am used to and the service is very traditional. While the sermon was well spoken and something I could relate to, it didn't really feel....moving.

So I am searching. I found a possible church...Presbyterian, but looks like what I have been used to, and my college church was a Presbyterian church. And they have a contemporary service...but it starts at 8:50am! Ugh.

I am going to give another chance to the Methodist Church I went to last weekend tomorrow and see if I like it any better. I do need to find someplace to go that I feel I fit in, since I feel like this has been a part of my life that has been missing since I moved out here. I haven't really meant to let it fall to the side, but it is hard to find the motivation to do something that is out of my comfort zone when I don't have anyone to go with me. But hopefully I am on track to find a church that fits me. Keep my search in your prayers/thoughts!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

On Monday Alex and I used his birthday present (tickets to opening day) and headed to Nationals Ball Park. One of my co-workers just moved into an amazing apartment right by the ballpark and threw a rooftop party before the game. My office pretty much emptied out for the day since we had a hand in building the park people get pretty excited about games.

Alex and I didn't have great seats and we sat behind the most obnoxious drunk girl I have ever encountered at a baseball game. Obama also didn't end up throwing the first pitch which was a bit disappointing. And we didn't win. But all-in-all it was a fun evening. And I got me a hat! So now I have some Nationals gear!!

We are going again tonight using my office's company tickets. Alex and I are meeting up with Erin and possibly another friend. Should be a fun Friday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter and Dying Eggs in Wine Glasses

While Easter has come and gone I still have some fond memories...

I invited my friend Erin (see earlier posts) over to partake in some Easter Egg dying. My family was always really into this tradition and it has been hard in the past few years to not get to do it. So I bought 2 dozen eggs, we ate dinner, drank a lot of wine and beer and dyed us some eggs. We made some pretty ones....some not so pretty ones...and one that was dyed in wine. Yes, we put it in a wine glass.

Alex bought me some beautiful roses for decor

Alex's egg with a face and a tie
My purple and gold Huskies egg ( a yearly tradition)
Lowering the egg into the wine glass
Egg in wine.

The Couch and The Table

I know I know I know....I am awful on follow through. It really is a weakness. Now I would not say that I am all talk and no action...I am just delayed action. Anyways here are some pictures of the couch that I promised waaaaaaaaaaay back when. Seriously this was like 2 months ago. But anyways, we have a couch and I finally broke down a few weeks ago about bought an IKEA LACK coffee table. I actually feel like I have a really living room in my apartment now. If only we could keep it clean...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Story from my Dad

My Dad sent me an email this evening with an amusing story about a squirrel outside his office. I laughed a lot....

"Some squirrel is really putting on a show outside my office. Somehow he managed to get ahold of a whole slice of cheese pizza over by Guido's and drug it through the parking lot by the bank and across the street. Then he drug it up in a tree and proceeded to try to eat it all. He has to keep shuffling around to get a better position and more grip because the pizza is so big it keeps dragging him down the tree trunk. He really has himself stretched out to get his paws around it. Hilarious. If he manages to eat it all he will need some serious antacids tomorrow morning, if he lives."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Netflix just delivered my Twilight DVD. I have been waiting forever to see the movie after I sped-read the book series. I will agree you can tell the movie was a low-budget film but all and all....I LOVED IT! PS I want myself a really hot romantic vampire who says they have waited a long time for me! Basically someone find me my Edward...NOW! I am counting down until the release of the next movie! It does make me a little sad that the series is only 4 books long...I could have read much much more. Anyways, going to go watch it again....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Not Ready for Monday

I am really not ready for Monday and the start of another week. You might say "But you only work three days a week?" Yes. True. Good Point. I can only explain that I have finally hit that point where the intrigue and newness of my job has faded and things are kind of routine and I would rather sleep in and scrapbook/blog/waste time/go for walks/shop online/etc, rather than go into the office and do my job. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE where I work and what I do...I just enjoy my free time and sleep!

How about a photo of the Love-Of-My-Life (LOML) to cheer us all up!

Too Much of a Good Thing

During the Inauguration Alex and I met up with one of his friends from TFA that was in town visiting some friends. We headed to meet him at his friend's house and was served some delicious home made pizza! Taking this as some inspiration from branching away from Alex and I's frozen pizza stash I decided to try my hand and personal hand-made pizzas. I tried making these little gems a few weeks ago and the results were fabulous! I was pretty sure I would never go back to store bough frozen pizza again.

Tonight I made them again. Branching out a bit with my ingredients: Pepperoni, pepper, onion, sauce, olives, artichoke hearts, cheese, and garlic. However the crust wasn't nearly as good. And maybe I just loaded up on toppings while I was making the pizzas this time, but I wasn't nearly as satisfied. Maybe my pizza stomach is just full for awhile.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pots N' Pans

I finally took the plunge and bought a set of pots and pans ( a Christmas gift from my mom). I noticed that Macy's was having one of their famous weekend sales so after price scouting Target I headed there to check out the deals. At Target there was a Calphalon for Target set that I liked, but wasn't completely sold on. I finally found a real Calphalon set at Macys amazingly priced for the sale. After a talk with the Calphalon sales rep., and the promise of a free gift (the everyday pan), I make my long awaited decision and loaded them into the car. They cook like a dream and are so easy to clean I love it! The only problem is our kitchen doesn't have a lot of storage space so I bought a IKEA hanging rack which holds four of them, and then I have found some random storage for the other pieces of the set. All-in-all I couldn't be happier with my purchase and love to say that I am the owner of a CALPHALON set of pots and pans. It is kind of like owning the BMW of pots and pans.

Mount Vernon...Take TWO!

The "Dynamic Duo" took on D.C. a week or so ago. My Mom and her long-time friend, Victoria (whose son is one of my long-time friends, lives in D.C. as well) came to visit their youngest children in the Nations Capital. On the first day of their adventures we headed to Mount Vernon. I love Mount Vernon and didn't mind the repeat tourist activity. We had a spectacularly beautiful day, complete with a Potomac river cruise and baby lambs!
The Dynamic Duo: Jeni and Victoria

The Youngest Children: Ben and myself

Some baby lambs. The one on the right was "baaaaaa" ing for a solid five minutes. Adorable.

After MV, we drove back into Alexandria and went to a store to have Ben try on some suits, where he ended up purchasing some snazzy looking numbers. After that we hit up what I like to call the "designer" grocery store for some cheese, baguette and beverages for an impromptu picnic in the waterfront park in Old Town.

After the picnic we wandered up King Street and my mom stumbled on a perfect purchase for me: a children's book called "Doggie Tales with Alex and Andria in Alexandria". So perfect. It is about two little Scottie dogs and their adventures in Alexandria. A memento I will treasure no matter where I end up in the future.

We headed to Bookbinders historic bar for some beers and ended up having a small dinner of crab bisque. Over our bisque's and beers Ben and I decided that a night time tour of the monuments was in order. Which meant I braved driving in the district. Pretty sure I had a minor panic attack, but it was worth seeing the beautiful monuments.

Simple Things

I have been taking a lot of walks recently. I really really hate going to the gym and my back has been pretty messed up lately, so I have been trying to work of those extra pounds by walking on my days off and on the weekends. It has been a great way to discover some of the things about Alexandria that I wouldn't necessarily have seen by car or sitting in my apartment. I few things I have photographed to show you.

1) the projects that I am always talking about. This is a picture of some of the ones that are little farther away from my apartment and I believe are a bit newer and nicer than the ones right by me. But it gives you idea. Generally they are pretty clean and only at night you will see the occasional "thug" walking around but they are harmless.

I also just caught this pretty little shot walking home from Starbucks and Papersource (my new love...amazing craft store).

I didn't snap a photo of it, since when I saw the extraordinarily tiny little house off King Street, I had no idea it was a well know "Spite" house. So check out my friend Brooke's blog for a photo of the darling little spite house. And for more information about this charming residence, read the NY Times Article.