Friday, February 21, 2014

Ruining the Moment- Put Down Your Phone

Here I am. Back up on my soap box of the-world-needs-more-human-interaction-and-less-time-where-we-sit-next-to-each-other-playing-iphone. Yes...another one of those posts.

Just like my rational disdain for aspects of DC (or all of DC...) I kid. Wait. No, no I don't kid- I hate DC. I have a truly massive issue with the amount of time people are glued to their phones. PARTICULARLY when it means you are sacrificing quality time with moi to be tied up in some app or article you are reading.

My first real rant on this was prompted after reading Jenni's words from Story of My Life. I was hell bent determined to be a focused, thoughtful, and present friend/girlfriend/daughter/sister/etc. and make sure I wasn't making someone feel inadequate by keeping one hand on my phone at all times. Granted, I have my phases of addiction, but I feel like I have made a concerted effort to be present. To engage. To concentrate on making my company feel valued.

So what do you do when the favor isn't returned? I have heard all sorts of suggestions:

- Walk away from the situation until they realize they are bring rude.
- Have rules that you articulate clearly prior to hanging out/having dinner/shopping etc.
- Have certain "phone free" areas. (i.e. people can't use their phones in the living room, etc)

But none of these will make someone else prioritize giving you their undivided attention. So what do you doooo?

Even worse... what do you do when someone ruins a moment.

There you are. You just shared a joke. A hilarious moment together. A heartfelt conversation. Or took in the most breathtaking sunset.

Next thing you know. The joke is tweeted, the funny photo is posted on Facebook. The heartfelt conversation is brought to a premature end. And the sunset is on Instagram.

Moment Ruined. Buzz Kill.

It makes me livid. It makes me wonder why sharing that moment, or that joke, or whatever, isn't enough to just share it with me.

What do you do with these situations? They seem like near impossible situations to negotiate on, and frequently cause a lot of friction and tension. Is this is a if you can't beat em' join em' situation?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A New Phone & How Sophisticated Verizon Is

That epic fail adventure, where I accomplished approximately 15% of what I had hoped and never got that car wash, also included a detour to the Verizon store since there was one in the mall. I have been having issues with my iphone dying after hardly any use, and dying almost instantly if I take it out of my pocket for two seconds when skiing. I was told that cold weather affected their batteries, and that it probably wasn't the phone and there wasn't much I could do. Deciding to try again, I explained my conundrum to another customer service person (who was actually very pleasant and nice) to which she ran a very technical test to determine if I was having battery issues.

She used my phone to call her phone, and then we proceeded to let it sit for ten minutes to see if the battery dropped between 6-10%. 

Like I said....very technical. Sigh. 

You can probably tell how this ended up. My phone, according to this test, was "fine". However, they recommended I take it to the Apple store and they could run a true diagnostic. *Slaps forehead*.

Running out of steam after that disastrous errand trip, it has taken me awhile to make plans to get it into a store. This last weekend, I was sipping some coffee at a little shop near our apartment, and decided I needed to get my ipad in to have the home button looked at, and could then take my phone in too. 

Low and behold. Apple could run a real test and what did they find? 

Oh just that my battery has failed in my iphone. Ha! Haha! Ha! Verizon. 

Back to a Verizon store- armed with my "doctors note" from the genius bar, stating that my phone was on its last legs. Naturally, Verizon apologized profusely, said they were so sorry I had to go through all that trouble, whipped out a brand new iphone, and sent me on my merry little way. 


Not exactly.

After a 45 minute wait. I was so lucky as to have to explain this whole situation about five times to the Verizon customer service person, who tried to send a replacement phone to my parents address, ordered the wrong color, and also could not understand for the life of them why I wouldn't have just had apple fix my phone. Maybe because I have an issuance policy with YOU and not apple. 

Needless to say, after a lot of time. I just opened up my new-to-me iphone that hopefully has a much better battery situation going on. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lit & Co.

Lit & Co. Candles

I really like a good candle. However, I am really picky about scents. Most of them just don't do it for me and the ones that do usually are those $80 candles that I just can't fathom buying. I mentioned awhile back how much I loved my White Tea candle from Lit & Co.. Since then, I have continued to love the candle, and luckily, it has held up to my love by burning slowly and preserving what I have left of it. Granted, like all good things, it will come to an end, and I will have to replace it. I get a little sad when I look over while I am working and realize that it is getting down to its end. 

At Christmas this year, I wanted to share the love, so I purchased my aunt and cousin their own candles and they were a hit! Every time I think about heading to Boise, I know I will have to make a stop at Indie Made, an adorable little boutique downtown and grab another candle. Thank goodness KJ has an etsy shop where I can get my paws on some more candles. 

I love my white tea scent but I am also eager to try the grapefruit-mandarin, lemon verbena, woodland, bonfire, chai tea, linen and hazelnut vanilla! The candles make great gifts, the ones in the metal tins are just the cutest, but I also just saw that you can get a 12 month subscription too! Such a luxurious gift if you ask me!

So if you want to support a local Boisean and get your hands on a fantastic candle, I really suggest you check out Lit & Co. 

And guess what! This was not a sponsored post! I love these candles so much, and honestly was just looking at the store today, and thought I should share with all you readers!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

These Are Some of My Favorite Things

Favorite Things List

If you are like me you have a plethora of Instagram photos- but what to do with them? Printic is a great option- but isn't exactly cheap. I stumbled across this tutorial the other day, that I might be willing to give a shot. 

I love a good list of advice- particularly when it comes to advice regarding your twenties. This had some particular gems that really hit home for me. 

The day-to-day lives of dancers have always fascinated me. I love this side by side comparison of a "normal" life to a dancers life. 

A good cup of of chai is one of my favorite warm drinks. With all this blustery winter weather here in DC, this recipe that a friend recommended is on my list of things to make. 

Winter always makes me crave pasta, and this recipe is looking pretty tasty. Followed by this dessert, I am pretty sure I'd have a meal made in heaven. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Feeling Like a Sleaze: Blogger Addition

I HATE pushy sales people. I HATE being followed around in a store asking if I need help. I HATE someone telling me what I need, or what I should buy, or asking me if I am interested. I REALLY HATE the homeless people who shake their cup rattling with change my direction (for the record, I am more apt to help the person who offers to hold a door for me, or who is not harassing me when I walk by.And on a side note-- what do you find yourself doing? I hate giving them money, and would prefer to buy them a cup of coffee, a bottle of water or a granola bar). I also get really clammy-handed when it comes to self-promotion. I rarely like to toot my own horn, and I really get uncomfortable around people who toot theirs a lot. All for accomplishment, but I love me a good dose of humble.

However, I need to learn that being humble does not mean selling yourself short, or depriving yourself of opportunities that you would have had, if you had only spoken up and done a little self-promotion.

This blogging thing never started out with the idea that more than my parents and friends back West would read it. Honestly- those probably are most of my readers, but there are a few others. I've connected with a few people in the blogging world, and I like that connection. I like receiving comments on my posts. I love seeing my stats each day and each month. I love watching my bloglovin' followers increase. All normal things to enjoy when you blog.

So why do I feel so weird about wanting more? More readers, more exposure, more people to connect with.

Blogging isn't a spectator sport. Especially on little blogs like this. You don't get to just write your posts, take some photos and call it a day if you are wanting to experience more readers than just your immediate family. There are HUNDREDS of posts about "How to grow your readership" and "How to make money from your blog" and every other aspect of making your blogger bigger and better. I take them with a grain of salt and try to stick to the idea that I blog as a hobby, not as a job, and the more readers the merrier, but not something I am going to stress about. I do want to connect with more people, which is where I have to step outside my comfort zone.

I comment on posts of other bloggers. I love when they respond back, I love even more when we have a dialogue going. I love when I see that they came to my blog and read one of my posts. What I have learned is--this isn't magic-- it only occurs when you do a little horn tooting. Put a link to your blog in the comments! Make thoughtful comments. Engage. Engage. Engage.

It is still awkward for me, but I am working on it. The world is full of amazing and smart people, and I want to get to know some of those people out there. I need to do a little horn tooting, and self-promotion exercising and I think you should too, even if you feel sleazy doing it- because trust aren't being sleazy like a car salesman.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Inevitably we all become a bit jaded to the idea that "anything is possible". Life kind of wears that out of you after awhile and while surprising things still happen, it takes something really incredible to make you believe again in the potential of "anything".

A tie for a gold medal at the Olympics. Not just any gold medal. The women's downhill.

Now I know my experience with skiing, racing and coaching makes this story speak to me in particular, but seriously, what are the odds?!?

Two women barreling downs a hill on two pieces of plastics, metal and wax, speeding around red and blue flags, with a million billion potentially different lines through each gate, and they cross the finish like with them same exact time. It is insane.

The skeptics like to point out that if the downhill was timed down to the 1000th of a second the tie wouldn't have happened. This article does a good job of pointing out why the FIS doesn't time down to the 1000th. Regardless of antique timing equipment- it happened. The same time on on a course where there is no way to duplicate results.

This is one of those stories that just reinforces my love of the Olympics. Anything can happen.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Taliesin West

I have yet to write about Christmas and my longbutalltooshort trip back West. Not only was I home with my family, I also got to go the BFs cousin's wedding in Scottsdale. While we were in Scottsdale we had a little bit of free time before catching our flight back up to Idaho. The BF had planned for us and his mom to get to go see and take the tour of Taliesin West, the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the home of FLW school of architecture. Seeing Falling Water in Pennsylvania was so fantastic, that I couldn't wait to get to see Talisesin West.

It was stunning. There isn't much use in me trying to use words to explain or describe much of this, so I will let the photos walk you through the property.

Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright House

Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I like to ski. The boyfriend likes to ski. It is a win-win in my opinion. I think it falls along those lines of "Happy Wife, Happy Life".

Another pitfall of DC...skiing isn't exactly a lifestyle option. Even if it is, can we even really say that something like Wisp is really a "mountain". I don't think so.

So two people who love to ski, a(nother) shitty thing about DC, a boyfriend who generously shares frequent flier miles = a lot of West coast skiing adventures.

This year we got back to DC after a long Christmas back West with our families, only to spend a whopping four days in DC before getting on a plane again. To make it extra fun, I had no idea where I was going. I packed, got to the airport and only knew we were going skiing. He printed our boarding passes, and then we went through security. I was finally tipped off to the fact that we were headed for Denver, so I just assumed we were headed to Copper or Winter Park.

Once we arrived in Denver, the BF recommended we get food. My thoughts quickly went to "Is he REALLY going to make us eat in the airport to try to throw me off?! Of course we are at the destination!"

Oh. How. Wrong. Was. I.

After eating we started walking. We were on one of those moving conveyor belts when I looked up and could just barely make out the words on one of the gate signs for "Aspen/Snowmass"!!!!


A quick flight later, there we were at the Aspen airport surrounded by more fur and multi-thousand dollar ski coats than I have ever seen in my life! People were popping champagne in the airport and Bogner was a casual as a pair of jeans.

Skis for days, and Aspen print carpet in the airport

We stayed slope-side at Snowmass and were able to walk to the lifts our first day skiing. Saturday was glorious. Sunny, warm, and some perfectly manicure groomers to tear it up on. The scenery was unbelievable. And they aren't kidding when they named the place Aspen. You can smell those Aspens as you ski through beautiful glades. The lodges were modest, to my surprise, but boasted some really outstanding food.

We skied for as long as they would let us on the lifts, then popped our skis off and walked less than a block back to the hotel. It was heaven.

That night we headed in to town and went to an Italian restaurant that a friend had recommended. While the pasta was outstanding, it was the creme brulee topped with fresh bananas that really won our hearts.

As usual after a day of skiing, we were sound asleep before 10:30pm.

The next morning we woke up to socked in skies, but with determination to get some more Aspen experience in. We took a shuttle bus (which was outstanding and quick and free!) into Aspen and decided to ski Ajax (as the locals call it). It. was. cold.

And. snowy.

And windy.

And did I mention FRIGID?

Our first 4 or so runs were through almost untouched powder that was soft and fluffy. The gondola had been closed in the morning and when they finally opened it we decided to take it up to the top. It might have been the most terrifying lift experience of my life. The gondola had to run at about 1/4 speed, and was swinging and swaying in the wind. Some of the cars almost hit each other. It was a rather silent trip to the top as we both gripped the bench in fear. We ended up warming up in the lodge at top, then finally braving the increasingly windy and cold conditions to get some runs it. The snow was great and the runs were fun, but we had ice caked on our faces and hanging from our noses. We took a verrrrrry long lunch, and then called it a day.

While it wasn't the best day of skiing, it was still an amazing experience. There is nothing better than skiing down into the main street of town when you are done at the end of the day.

That night we browsed the shops, gawked at the crazy ski shops and the ski clothes that cost more than my yearly salary and then had dinner at the White House Tavern. 

It was again an early night followed by a long mournful day where we had to leave to go back to real life.

My overall verdict: Aspen is the whole package.  I am sucker for resorts that have good snow, good terrain, and a cool town to top it off. Aspen's beauty is second to none, and the people watching alone is worth the trip. Even if you can't afford the expensive clothes, you can at least browse and feel just that much closer to being a billionaire. Overall, make it a bucket list trip, it is worth every penny. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adult Learning

I hit delete on my blog template the other day, and quickly felt the clam in my hands. Let's ignore the fact that I saved the html in a safe place juuussssttttt in case. I dove head first in. Reading. Trying to find tutorials. Dusting the cobwebs off of Gimp and trying to think through things like "color palate" and "concept". Give me a gold medal in conceptual ideas (see what I did there? Gold Medal?), but I've missed the podium (ok, I'll stop) on anything technical. 

There still is this big struggle about staying with blogger, or moving to wordpress. If I move to wordpress, do I get a personal domain and start investing some money into blogging? Trust me, after a few hours of accomplishing very very very little I even went over to Etsy to see if just paying someone to do my redesign was going to be an option. Luckily, I went to bed before I just threw money at the problem. 

I want to give it some real effort, see if I can figure some things out on my own. It may end up being totally amateur, but it is worth trying, and something to call a little project. 

What I have also found interesting...there are a lot of "tutorials" out there on creating your own customized template, but very few actually tell you how to really do anything. Not to mention, bloggers don't seem super eager to document a step by step process for redesigning a blog. As much as learning how to make a "pin it" button for my photos is attractive and doesn't carry a lot of use when I am currently looking at my purple polka dot background! Lord give me patience and point me in the direction of some helping resources ASAP!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ansel Then & Now

New Mexico is beautiful. The landscapes are really really gorgeous and I've loved getting to go the Georgia O'Keefe museum and to also learn about Ansel Adams history with the state through some of his art. When we were there last, we got to see a few of his sites of inspiration. You can our stop to see St. Francis church near Taos here.

A little bit later on our drive the boyfriend says "The photo that is over our bed, was taken somewhere out there", as he gestures in a direction. Quickly looking it up he finds out that it really isn't far, and we decide to take a detour to see if we can find the location.
It took us awhile to track down exactly how to get on the side road that leads the the church but we finally found it and were able to get a few quick pictures. The area has certainly changed over the years with a ton of trailers and industrial buildings crowding around the church and cemetery now. Here is what we got to see:

From the road you can't even get a clear view similar to what Adams saw, so it hard to see the resemblance, but the mountains in the background help you to envision what it was back in the day.

The Only Drive Through Car Wash in Virginia

We've been out of town many of the weekends since returning from the Best Coast for the holidays. Fine with me, as my distaste for DC has grown even more as I prepare for this to be my last year in DC. I guess knowing that you don't have to "make it work" since the days dwindle and the months pass, makes me try less when it comes to tolerating many of the aspects of living here. A perfect illustration of the frustrations (comically- I may add) and typical irritants that drive me up the wall was perfectly summed up last weekend. 

Since we have been out of town so much, I had a super long list of items I needed to take care of. Some hunting for storage boxes for my office (if any one has some ideas, let me know as I've totally struck out), a lamp for my desk, a new pair of jeans, and some random items from Target. A typical errand run, nothing to make me think the day would cause me to rip my hair out. Oh how wrong I was. 

We ended up going out to a mall further out in Virginia so we could return a Christmas gift the BF got. After having a VERY pleasant return experience, we headed out of the mall. Being unfamiliar with the area it was a bit outline our plan of attack, but we quickly found The Container Store where I proceeded to find NOTHING that had a lid, was the right size AND in a color I liked. So we left empty handed.

From all the snow in DC, Delores (the car) was filthy and I could barely see out the windows. We found a gas station were we scrubbed down the windows and filled up. It was also one of those stations where you could go through a drive through automatic car wash, so without hesitation I purchased a car wash. 

We finished filling up the car and went to go get in line. It was a line of like 26 cars! Lined up through the parking lot and even into the street! Just sitting there! We waited and timed a few cars and found that it was about 5-7 minutes for EACH car. 

Thinking we could beat the system we decided to push on with errands and come back later when the line would be shorted later in the day. We head off looking for Old Navy. Only to find that it was in the same mall we had just left after the exchange mission. Fail. 

Next option. Find a Target. New Targets are always hard. Especially if they have a foreign layout. It ruins the enjoyable Target experience for me. I find everything I need, and then realize I've lost the BF. So I marathon walk through the store, peeking down each isle, and no sight of him! I do another lap. Nothing. Thinking he got bored waiting for me while I lamented over lampshades, I decided to just check out. I then realize I left my phone in the car. Which has my cartwheel app on it. Which means I am going to miss out on all those coupons I saved in regards to my shopping list. Total frustration. With no choice, since I still can't find the BF. I just suck it up. Two seconds later. There he is. 

After the less than relaxing Target experience, we try the car wash again. We come around the corner and I kid you not...the line was LONGER!! I there only ONE automatic car wash in ALL of Virginia?!?

The BF has started getting hungry, so we decide to try one more detour to see if the line goes down. So we head back to the mall (oh yes, the mall that we are at for the return, that we then learned had the Old Navy in) and attempted to go Maggianos. It was like geriatric early and the restaurant didn't even look that busy, but we were told it would be a NINETY minute wait. HA! No. Nope. No way. Not for suburban chain Italian food. We end up at Legal Seafoods (as my sister pointed out "why is it called LEGAL Seafoods, as opposed to ILLEGAL?"), and luckily got some food, but my patience for the day was chaffed to the bare bones. We finish dinner and decide to give the car wash one more time.

We swing around the corner, and as I am sure you are predicting...the line was JUST AS LONG! I screamed, certainly threw in a swear word or two and decided we were just aborting the mission and driving back into the city. 

Needless to say, I am looking forward to NEVER having to deal with shit like this anymore. The day when I can drive to a car wash, and drive out in a sparkly car without a line of a million people will be much appreciated. 

Also, can I hear an amen for being able to have a driveway to wash your car in? Another luxury I can't wait to have. A driveway, any outdoor space to do any of the million things that outdoor space allows you to do. Sigh. The dream lives on. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Please Pardon Our Apperance

I've wanted to re-do this little blog for awhile. Thinking a new simple, clean background would really jazz it up. However, I had a crutch- my old background, that was 5 years familiar (eek!), and as long as it was there, I was not inclined to make any major changes. So we did away with it. Starting from scratch. 

I am hoping to pull together my own template, but may end up using a pre-designed template from a store on Etsy. Haven't totally decided. 

Any recommendations on resources to self-teach blogging design 101?!? 

Thanks for your patience and hopefully the white won't burn your retinas out! 

Office Inspiration

Awhile back I mentioned how I was a bit stuck when it came to decorating my "office". It has been a slow progression to come up with something that is "speaking" to me from a color standpoint, but I recently purchased this lamp and shade from Target, and it finally made some things come together in my head. Keeping teals in mind, but not straying from my love of a neutral grey, I am looking at the following bits on inspiration to see what I can come up with.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Three Me Things

With work being in my apartment, and my apartment in my work, I don't ever really escape "the office". It is easy to work really long hours since the commute is about 30 seconds, but I also find myself not exactly carving out that "life" part of work/life like I would prefer. I try to keep it manageable so I don't feel like I am creating an additional to-do list for my evenings. I am trying to focus on doing "Three Me Things" each day. Preferably things that are productive but aren't related to work. It helps me go to bed feeling accomplished (since I can usually tackle three things) and I feel better than if I just would have parked myself on the couch to watch 3 hours of TV before going to bed. 

Some of my "Three Me Things"

1)Drinks and dinner with a co-worker who was in town (kind of work related but when you work from home, it is a luxury to see the co-workers you really enjoy)
2) Got to talk with my parents
3) Writing this post

Last Night:
1) Laundry (boring but has to be done!)
2) Taco Dinner
3) Talked with my sister

See? Pretty simple, but helps me stay connected, get things done, and feel like I did something outside of just working a long day. Don't get me wrong...I still love my nights to flop on the couch, but I want to carve out some space and energy that is dedicated to the things I need and want to do. 

Well I am battling a cold, so this isn't terribly inspired and I need to get to bed so I can get well!

What do you do to maintain work/life balance? How do you make sure you take care of all those little items that are important to making our lives function?