Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Long Overdue Tale

So this is a much much much overdue post but I while it is a distant tale...it must be told for many reasons.

As you who read MansionMogul know, Brooke and her co-hab fled back to the Best Coast to leave me here, abandoned, missing them like crazy, and thinking I am out of my mind to stay here! (Ok really the cohab in all his smartiepants geniusness landed an offer in Seattle and so off they went). Anyways.

Brooke and I met up one final night at Matchbox (E- it really is a DC thing) to drink some beers, eat some pizza, devour some donuts and say our "goodbye for nows". Dinner was a usual display of our random, disjointed-but-some-how-we-follow-each-other conversation that reminded me that Brooke was honestly such a blessing to be brought into my life.

To back up and provide the back story. Brooke and I met at a Law School party where we were pretty much the only two non-law students. It was like finding a life raft to cling to in all my I-hate-dc-and-I-have-no-friends start that I got off to here in DC. I remember going home the night we met and telling my cohab at the time "I made a friend! Well I think I did. I hope she likes me. I hope she wants to be friends!" (gah just like elementary school all over again..no?). Well we did become friends. And not only is she from the Best Coast, she is from SEA and so basically it was freindmance. I know that Brooke and I will always look back at the time we lived in DC together and I know she is a friend I will always keep in touch with and have in my life.

I have to say I have started to really miss stories about B's crazy, dysfunctional co-workers and laughing about all the crazy cohab shit that goes down when you live with someone as well as just general girl talk. Somehow I am managing without her here :)

So back to the story. We have dinner, we walk to an ATM so I can get cash. True to form I never carry cash. We stand on this street corner. I was shifting from foot to foot trying to not be the total girl I am. It didn't work....

the flood gates opens and one tear turned into a lot of tears! Meanwhile cabs would slow down and look at us because you could tell one of us was going to get in a cab soon. Finally Brooke gets me calmed down enough and I pile into a cab that had pulled up. I give him my address and we speed off. I didn't want to be sobbing so I did the girl thing where you let tears slide down your checks and you wipe them away when they reach your chin and are about to pile into your lap. Well I finally had to sniffle and the cab drive looks in his rear view mirror and exclaims "Oh! Are you crying! Don't cry! Goodbye's are not forever". I kind of do a sniffle smile and he was like "I actually saw you two saying goodbye and knew you were going to need a cab so I circled a few blocks to come back for you. Is she a good friend?"

Me: "Yes, she is from Seattle which is were we are both from and she is moving back there"
Cab: " Well my family is very far away and I moved here to make a living and I miss them a lot, but it is so easy to keep in touch with people. There is email, skype, text messaging, cell phones and planes"
Me: I finally start to stop crying "Yes, we will keep in touch for sure"

So we pull up to my apartment and I go to pay and he turns off his meter and waves his had "No tonight is on me"

me: "No no, please let me pay"
Cab: "No, you needed a ride home and saying goodbye to a friend is not fun. Keep your money"

He finally accepted a small tip. But I entered my apartment and crawled into bed, and while I started crying again it was one of the most comforting things to know that in this big city some random stranger did a completely random act of kindness for me.

Warm fuzzies all around.

Ps...Brooke I miss you!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A New Addition


Sunday morning I met up with a close friend of mine from Idaho who is out here interning for a month at Eastern Market. I briefly checked out Eastern Market when Saramarie was here and I fell in love with the jewelry booths and fresh produce. E and I enjoyed some delish crepes (thanks for spotting me..I owe you!) and then picked out some really pretty necklaces. I had a hard time deciding what to get from Silverado Jewelry but I finally settled on this horribly classy and simple necklace:


It is a bit difficult to see, but it is two circles of hammered gold and silver and it sits on a really neat chain. I love that it has the two metal tones and I know it is going to be a staple in my jewelry rotation. It also was a complete steal! It was right around $30, which is very affordable for a piece of jewelry I am going to wear a lot! The website for Silverado jewelry is not up yet, but keep checking back here so you can check out all of the beautiful jewelry that is offered. E got a very similar necklace and I love the idea that I will think of how much fun I had with her while she was in DC when I wear this necklace!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wonderbar Review

Image via Wonderbar

Wonderbar. I Wonder where to start. Wonder-ful? Wonder-ous? Wonder-ing if you should get one? Want to be Wonder-woman? It might be one of the Wonder-s of the world.

Well here is my review.

I was a bit nervous about trying the Wonderbar. Mainly for the price. $40 was a bit much for me when I was thinking about how much I usually spend on face cleanser. But I eventually caved and splurged. Shipping was awesome, it arrived exactly when it said it would and the reaction I had to the tiny little bar was exactly what the website predicted...."Ohmygod...I just spent $40 for THIS!". It is a really little bar, so brace yourself and try to remind yourself that it does last for a long time!

I started using the bar that night. I could really feel my skin tightening and when I rinsed after the 5-10 minutes my skin felt silky smooth. I had my first "healing process" about three weeks in as predicted. After that my skin got much much much better. I kept using make-up (ensuring none of it was mineral based) and eliminated using anything but plain soap to wash my make-up off before Wonderbar-ing at night. I also used it as an all night mask which seemed to have strong results in the beginning but oddly lead to my face becoming slightly oily throughout the day. We stopped using it as a face mask and now just follow the suggested once in the morning and once at night treatment.


I have been using the Wonderbar for about 8 weeks now (which I still have an incredible amount of my bar left -which just shows the $40 goes a long way with this product) and am still loving the product. I have stopped wearing make-up as I felt that my "healing" and "renewing" had plateaued; I tried alternating make-ups but I was eventually lead to believe that the reaction between make-up and the bar was just not working with my skin. So we are 4 days into no-makeup (just eyes), and so far I think things are starting to head in the right direction again.

My overall review: the Wonderbar is worth every penny and I will be a loyal customer. I highly suggest if you have been someone with problem skin for as long as your can remember, and you have constantly been in a struggle to try various products only to be let down weeks later: stop wasting money... swallow the price tag...and buy yourself a Wonderbar.



**I was in no way compensated for this review and wrote it on my own free will.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ratatouille Part Deux

Last night I was determined to actually cook dinner. And not "cook" one of my Trader Joes means that I have survived off of for the last year of my life. When I was in transition and searching for housing last October Ben graciously hosted a dinner party (pretty sure it was to provide distraction from what was going on in my life...so thank you Ben!) and made this delish Ratatouille recipe from Smitten Kitchen. On a side note I need to start using more of the recipes from SK, as the ones I have tried are delish and nothing too complicated for my cooking skills and itty bitty kitchen. This recipe for St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake is calling to me in my late night IambloggingandIwantsomethingsweetbecausewhenyouareanadultyoucaneatwheveryouwantinthecomfortofyourownbedandnoonewilleverknow
state.

Anyways. Back to my Ratatouille story. Ben made this for me and then I made it for cohabs Erin and Paul when I first moved into my new place. They were the first people I had over for food in my new apartment and the other day I was thinking how good that dinner had turned out. So I made it again.

A few lessons:

1) when you are too tired to cook. You are probably going to stop reading the directions and therefore leave out an ingredient. Luckily with this I was able to improvise and throw the ingredient in later.

2) Just because there weren't any left overs last time (when you served three people dinner) DOES NOT mean you need to make a full dish of something for my single eating self. To put it lightly...I have baked veggies overflowing in tupperwear.

3) The goat cheese is what makes it.

4) Also splurge on the thyme, it really does add all the flavor that is characteristic of Ratatouille.

5) Find a rat to sit on your head while you cook. It will make the stress of the week melt away.


And finally. This is one of the most visually appealing things I have ever made in my cooking adventures. It is simply beautiful with the layers of color. It makes me really lust for a fancy knife set so I could cut my red bell pepper in whole slices rather than butchering uncivilized like with my IKEA knives. But nonetheless...it was a beautiful meal:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Strasburg Debut

Well thanks to company tickets and a co-worker who ended up being away on business and generously donating his tickets to us other company employees, I was able to see Strasburg's debut with the Nationals. I have really lucked out this year with the baseball tickets. Obama's opening pitch and then getting to see Strasburg's awesome MLB debut. A-mazing.

Bryan (Cheese), Sam (Check that Tiffany colored tie!), and Me (pearls at a baseball game) looking excited for Strasburg. (I made them look happy after the last sporting event, co-worker photo that was an embarrassment).

Note the "MLB Debut: Today". Awesome.



Also for your enjoyment...video of Strasburg. Revel. Enjoy.

video

Saturday Ramblings

Things are still frantic at work. I probably don't need to update you about work until the end of July when my boss comes back and I can breathe a sigh of relief. The past few nights I haven't been able to fall asleep as my mind won't shut off and I lie in bed trying to arrange my to-do lists: to-do today, to-do tomorrow, to-do this week, to-do next week, to-do anytime, to-do all the time, to-do in the next twenty minutes, to-do for my pt hr person, to-do for my boss, to-do personal (which is an ever growing list with nothing getting checked off) and my favorite list:
todoiknowiamneverogoingtogetthisdonebutbecauseitneedstobedoneikeepwritingitdownandfeelinglikeshitthatican'tgetitdone.

So I lie there, trying to organize these in my head, growing increasingly more stressed that I did something wrong, or forgot something, or will forget something. My heart races and then I sit up, see those stupid little silver sparkles you see when you are light headed (oh did I mention I haven't eaten real food in since I don't know when (does beer an potato chips count for dinner?)), and frantically fumble for a pen and paper to start writing myself notes. I now have a million piece of paper, a laundry pile that is growing to the point that it might eat me, an empty fridge (I have one beer), and a social life that doesn't exist.

Anyways. I also have started a closet in my office. If only I had a nap mat I could just move into my office. Go home to shower. Save 35 minutes in walking commuting time everyday. Awesome.


Yes, at one point I had two entire work outfits and TWELVE pairs of shoes stashed in my office. I would open a drawer and be like  "oh look my white sandals...I've been looking for those". gah.

To cheer myself up on this 91 degree sunny Saturday (and remind me that I do know how to have fun) I was rummaging around through some photos I have snapped with my BB and I found this gem:




Erin and I had an epic night of buck hunting, and I have to say this had to have been my best night by far. Erin's mom and brother are going to be coming to visit her in DC for a football game this fall (BSU you suck!) and we have full intentions of taking her darling little mother out to shoot buck. Oddly I feel like just being from Idaho gives you some sort of instinctual advantage. The next time I am home I vow to take my dad to Cabella's (Dad if your reading this--get prepared) to play BBHP. Some great father daughter bonding time.

Speaking of home...if anyone sees a decently priced round trip ticket to Boise Idaho (or even Salt Lake City) for something in August, let me know...I need to get out there to celebrate a belated birthday with Wyatt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Come Sail Away, Come Sail Away with Me

This past Saturday Sam (a co-worker/friend) organized a sailing excursion on the Potomac. I didn't really know what to expect but since Sam and Sarah had both taken sailing lessons I figured it had to be fun. I am, and always have been a sucker for boats and being on the water. I. Love. It.

Sam was the patient guide as he and Sara taught all the people on board how to steer and hold the rope for the jib (maybe?). It was pretty nice on Saturday and I ended up getting a pretty rockin sun burn that has actually turned into some exceptional tan lines (yay fair Swedish skin!). Anyways, I had a great time and am pretty sure a sailor's life is for me. Count me in to keep this on my outdoor activities list!

A couple of images for your viewing pleasure:


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Birthday Boy!!

Dear Wyatt,

A year ago today I got a text from my sister (your mom):

"Baby coming today...keep you posted".

I was at work and I immediately rushed into my bosses office to tell her the great news. The countdown to aunthood was on the horizon. I tried to work, but I just remember being so restless, clutching my phone just waiting for the text to tell me that I had a healthy baby to call my niece/nephew (Wyatt I knew you were a boy! I could feel it!). It seemed like HOURS as I sat and waited. and waited. and waited.

And then...

my phone lit up. I could hardly control my hands enough to open the text message.

"Baby's here"

Details please?!?!

At last my parents (grandma and grandpa) called to tell me that my nephew had been born and both mom and baby were doing well. Naturally being me...I cried. I cried a lot.

I had no idea how powerful the emotion of knowing that your family just changed in a way that can't be put into words is.  I thought it about for months while you, the little peanut brewed up in Nicole.

How was our family going to change???

A year later I can tell you Wyatt (took awhile to get a name, but it is absolutely perfect), that you are the apple of my eye.

 Love takes on a new meaning at certain points in your life and meeting you when I made it to Idaho in July was one of those moments when I knew I would never view love the same.

When I got to see you for the first time I drove from my parents house to your house, and the whole drive all I could think about how crazy it was that I was going to get to see this little person, who I had yet to meet, grow up. I am going to get to see Birthdays, Christmases, Graduations, picking colleges, prom photos, first day of skiing pictures, trophies, bumps, bruises and everything that goes in between. It was an overwhelming feeling!

I pulled up to my sister's house, knocked on the door, walked into the house and quickly found my arms full of your noodly little body. Bam! It hit me. Love.

I can't get enough of you! I can't believe you are a year old!


HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY WYATT!!!!

Love,
xoxo

Aunt Andrea

Friday, June 4, 2010

Out of the Night...

This poem popped into my head as I was falling asleep. I have been fighting to stay awake all night and I was blissfully about to drift off and then BAM! I remembered this. I had to memorize this poem for 7th grade (maybe 8th grade) English class. It is a pretty dark poem once you look into who the guy was and his life circumstance. But for some reason my subconscious thought I needed to revisit it.


 Invictus


OUT of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate

I am the captain of my soul.


Perhaps it is the "I am the master of my fate" line that really did it.

Work is nuts. I am officially the "captain" of the HR ship, and while I know all the things that I need to do and when, I still feel like I am going to mess something up. I know I can do this, and I will do it well, but I guess I am just a little nervous. I think we all get a little nervous when we have a big opportunity to prove ourselves. There is some quote about how sometimes we fail just because we are afraid to succeed. (Can't remember it right now) but I think that the idea of being bigger than we ever imagined can be really daunting and intimidating.

It all comes down to expectations. And expectations can be messy and can hurt your feelings. Sometimes I feel like I set expectations for how a situation will change me (i.e. I should be more respected after these two months than before and people will want to come to me for assistance) and then you sometimes get let down when you put in all the work and it all turns out fine but yet the change you were expecting does not occur. Granted I can't see the future, and so I should not dwell on something that has not, and may not happen. Perhaps I will really prove my stuff and rock this like no one could have expected. We will see. But for now...prayers that I will be able to pull it off.

Alright enough late night ramblings. Bed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Commitment Issues

So I have had some commitment issues with purchasing a new laptop. My parents gave me some monetary assistance to help me buy one way back in December for Christmas and I just haven't been able to click to purchase button. It has just been a debate of what I want in my new technological significant other and what things are deal breakers. I finally nailed it all down today in deciding what I am and am not going to expect out of my new relationship.

So I took the plunge! I am fully committed to a beautiful new "moonlight white" dv4t HP laptop that will be here in 10-15 days. S/He is going to be a beaut...I can feel it! I can already sense some serious bonding that will occur between us as we venture down the blogging road together.

Here is what my expected new arrival will look like:


I'll be sure to introduce you all when s/he arrives later this month! I am sure we will be very happy together.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Day After and I am Still Alive

Well the big two four has come and gone and besides the discovery of a few wrinkles I came out alive on the other side!

In all seriousness I had a positively wonderful birthday(s). Saramarie came into town Tuesday. That evening we were able to check out a Orioles game up in Baltimore. We even got out picture taken with the mascot! (I'll be it a very creepy/unflattering picture- but it is the memories that count). We also discovered the theme song for the week.

 Oooo ooo ooo OMG...thank you Usher!

Wednesday night we went to Founding Farmers with our friend Alex from "Business School"(said with snobbery) and then checked out the Old Ebbitt Grill to meet  up with a friend from Sara's past.

Thursday was SACT 2 night. I have to say I was very disappointed :( ! It was so bad compared to the first movie and compared to the series it was appalling. I am glad I saw it, but I am not sure I will make an effort to watch it again. Luckily we topped off the night with some brie, mac n' cheese, wine and baguette, flipping through wedding magazines while cuddled in my luxurious bed!

Friday night I had a bit of a stomach ache but Saramarie was able to enjoy a night out on the town. The next morning we headed to Alexandria and had a great lunch at Rustico. Grabbed coffee at Buzz, and then hit up King Street were I managed to buy some birthday shoes, randomness from papersource, and check out some cute little gift shops. Saramarie bought me a fabulous book called "5". Trust me...you will see posts about this book! It also oddly was written by some Seattle folk..so naturally it has to be good! We also got to Dairy Godmother it up and then headed back into DC for a great dinner in DP.

Sunday Saramarie treated me to a delish brunch at Monmartre near Eastern Market so we were able to check out the market. (My first Eastern Market experience!) We spent the rest of the day getting ready for the birthday festivities and had dinner at Matchbox before meeting up with my nearest and dearest of DC at Iron Horse in GalleryPlace where we could play skee ball AND BBHP.

I had so many great friends show up and celebrate with my birthday with me! I felt truly loved and very excited that my first birthday in DC was a HUGE success!

Monday morning I had to sadly say goodbye to Saramarie but I could not have asked for a better couple days with her! I have so many great memories from her visit and I already miss her like crazy!

The rest of my Monday was spent talking to people back on the Best Coast who called to wish me a happy birthday, and lounging around. In the evening I was finally able to go to Ray's the Steaks which I have wanted to try from the first month that I moved out here! It lived up to its amazing reputation!! I had a delish steak, great glass of wine and topped it off with key lime pie. It was the perfect finish to a great celebration!!

Additionally I have to brag about the amazing gift my sister MADE me. It is so cute!! It is a darling pillow with an awesome ruffle design on it! Her blog has photos and you MUST go check them out! She is so talented and artistic --it is pretty awesome. I will treasure my pillow forever!!

I also got something from my wishes (I know you are all dying to know which wish was granted...but I am going to let you all guess!)

Going back to work after such a great long weekend was a shock but it was tolerable and the short week will help ease the pain.

Thank you again for all the birthday wishes and memories! I am so blessed and I know that 24 is going to be a spectacular year!