Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stanley- 8 Months

I can't believe Stanley is 8 months.

Actually, more remarkable is that I've kept him alive 6 of those months. Maybe, just maybe I am a big kid some of the time.

Since I don't have a kid to do "monthly updates" on; I figured I'll treat Stanley as such and humor you with some puppy statistics

Nicknames: Stan, Doodle, Doodlebug, Stanman, booboobear, Monkey, Monkmonk, wombat, puppup, 

Weight: 51 lbs (done with the unscientific practice of holding him and subtracting weights)

Food: Fromm's Puppy is the everyday. But someone lives for treats and gets an assortment of Blue Buffalo treats, CharleeBears, Chicken Jerkey, bully steaks, and other assortments. 

Favorite Toys: It rotates. Lately, he loves his "sven" (yes a Frozen toy), stuffed sausage link rope toy, Nylabone, "ugly puppy", and tennis balls

Favorite Activities: Weekend visits to dog parks, going to training, sleeping, eating, picking up sticks, biting the leash, chasing a tennis ball.

Biggest Changes: Getting too big to do things like hid under the couch. Forgetting his manners from puppy school and being a bad jumper
Best Dog Moments: Being decently well behaved when friends came to visit. Has started waiting for me to wake him up in the mornings, vs the other way around.

Bad Dog Moments: Ha! This is an easy category to write about in length! Maybe the jumping on the bed and peeing (WTF!), or biting the leash and playing tug like a maniac. Jumping on strangers and trying to love them just a bit too much.

Best Dog Friends: Edgar, Corduroy, Denali, Cava, Prudence, and coco.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Single 2015 New Years Resolution

I don't really set New Years Resolutions.

I used to do the X before X to try to motivate me to accomplish some personal goals each year for my Birthday. You can see my failure here, Meaning...I don't do well with things like this.

I see the value, don't get me wrong, but I am just not a list driven person is what I've decided. How I manage projects for a living is beyond me. 

However, in an attempt to live in the moment. Embrace the experience, and not get caught up in the "how I think it should be" whirlwind. I've made ONE. SINGLE. RESOLUTION!

I will not be Christmas shopping on December 24th unless I am assisting a family member in finishing their shopping. 
Every. single. year. I am shopping on the 24th. Sometimes it is worse than others. Last year was... well... an exception to every year so that doesn't count. But I am horrible and being prepared; and satisfied with my Christmas gift and always look back and wish I'd spent more time with my family vs shopping for them.

So this is my ONLY resolution. I think I mean this is a big deal I can pull this off, but I figured putting it out here was one more level of accountability.

Does anyone have any foul proof methodologies for getting it all done in time? Any great gift ideas people want to share already??

Monday, October 26, 2015

When Someone Up There Likes You

That crazy project that launched last week, the one that caused hours upon hours upon late nights upon stress upon disliking my job for the first time since I started, if starting to wind down. I may actually even be 100% done with it next week- AMEN!

While it was hard, I learned a lot doing this project, some really valuable things that I know will really help with my future at my currently company and as a project manager in general. It also brought me the most amazing coat.

Yest, I said it brought me a coat.

A lovely, girly, perfect-length, warm, soft coat.

The funny part- is my own impulse decisions.

Back in April when I was home to get this guy, I made a bold decision to not take my day-to-day winter coat back to DC with me. It seemed like a statement to say "I won't be there long enough to need this!".


I'm still here. BUT, for a maximum of 2 more months as I refuse to leave Stanley here for the holidays and I am just not coming back after Christmas. I have zero reasons to be in DC anymore.

Anyways..back to my coat.

I was coatless. The temps have started dropping and while I could possibly make do with what I have on hand, I also had to admit that the coat I left behind had gone through three winters of  being my primary coat and was showing signs of love.

So I started looking to just see what was out there. I didn't expect to find much as I am oddly very particular about my winter coats, and being 5'0'' doesn't help with the options available.

Low and behold, less than 10 minutes of browsing and I had fallen in love.

The problem- it was sold out in my size. Hurmph. So I signed up for Nordy's alert for if it was every back in stock and closed my browser and went back to chipping away at that crazy project. 

I kid you not. The day my project launched- I got the email. Magically, in my size, the coat was available. Without hesitation, I purchased and didn't even wince at the idea of money leaving bank account. 

Then I waited. And worried. What if it didn't fit?!? In my head I'd found the meccas of winter coat replacements...but what if I was too chubby for it to zip. 

When that Nordstrom box came, I ripped into like a kid on Christmas, threw the coat on despite it being almost 80 (Seriously DC ?!?!), zipped, and fell in love.

It. was. made. for me. 

I couldn't be more in love with it. Now DC just needs to get colder; or I just need to get the hell out of here ASAP!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hair Woes

This is gross to admit, but I recently went through a hair dilemma. My hair slowly turned into a grease pit over the past few months. Stringy, matted to my head, oil galore and flat.  Strangely, it all seemed to start when I gave my hair the chop-chop back in early summer. Part of me thought it was the DC water (the flush the water system with chlorine here), possibly too hard or too soft. I also thought it could be my shampoo and conditioner. I worried about hormones. I thought about air pollutants. My google search history was probably laden with searches for evaluating water hardness; natural 'poo options; and how to make sure you washed out all of your conditioner.

I ended up nixing shampoo and conditioned for a few weeks. "Washing" my hair with baking soda followed by a "conditioner" of vinegar.

I smelled like a salad on the regular.

While the smell wasn't great- it helped. The grease pit was drastically reduced.

I slowly eased into alternating my "natural" regimen with regular shampoo and conditioner and so far things have been ok. I definitely need a hair cut; as my grown out "long bob" is looking lifeless and weighted down, but the icky residue/grease feeling- it still shows up every once in awhile. I am at my whits end about what to do!

More expensive products? Shampoo/conditioner less? Shampoo/conditioner more? Rinse with cold water? Get a hard water filtering shower head? Move to a different city (ha! that one is already happening!)

What do people use for washing their hair? Has anyone heard about this Wen business? Help! I need hair help!

Monday, October 19, 2015

These Are Some of My Favorite Things

♥ I am still on this binge of thinking about how I can get rid of my "stuff" and this article really hit home. I honestly cleaned out a drawer I'd been meaning to tackle. 

♥ I love Anna Kendrick and I love Kate Spade. Fun Fact: if a movie is ever made about my life I'd probably ask for Anna to be cast as me.

♥ Where was this when I was in college? Oh wait...actually more useful now as an adult and living in a sketch-ier city. Brilliant. Bravo developers!

♥ I love watching Fixer Upper, and I loved this insight into their own "fixer upper".

♥ I am new to this Podcast business. I finally listened to Serial; but I've also gotten hooked on this gem. 

♥ N is from New Mexico; and this photo from the Balloon Fiesta this year has me aching to go.

♥ While I don't love Walmart, I have to say, there are few things in the Pioneer Woman's collection that I wouldn't mind having. Like this, these, and a few of these.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday! Travel Edition- Budapest

Forever ago N & I went to Europe.  I've never blogged about it. Heck! I didn't even blog about when we went to Turkey like 5 years ago! (Ok I did get ONE post done) But I do have some great photos- that are an excellent way to fill up a Five on Friday Post.

So today...I'll look back at Budapest

1)  Chain Bridge

2) New York Cafe

3) Flea Market Finds

Budapest was surprising. In a very very very good way. I absolutely loved it. The city was unbelievably gorgeous, the food was amazing and the people were incredibly kind and helpful. I would go back in a heartbeat. 

I have so many wonderful photos and memories from this stop on our trip, but there are so so so many more. 

The Chain Bridge is stunning. Stunning during the day; stunning during the night. I took more photos of this site than I can count, but it was iconic, and beautiful. We went on a long stroll one night and walked partway across; watching the boats underneath and the lights on both side of the river was a great evening view.

The New York Cafe was a Rick Steves highlight that I put high on my list. It was gorgeous; gilded in gold, and flecked with such history is was breathtaking to sit, enjoy a cappuccino and take it all in. 

N found flea market- and it may have been one of my favorite experiences from our trip. I curated some antique keys for my collected; N got an awesome lego person and we have tons of photos of the amazing assortments from vendor's tables.

The baths! Oh my! I would go back again just for this. I only did one; and it was relaxing; less stressful than I thought (minus figuring out electronic lockers in a different language) and really a glimpse into true Budapest culture. 

We only spent one day on the Buda side. The views from Fisherman's Bastion were worth the trek and it was like being transported to a different country just across the river. We have a lot of pictures of ornate doors- which were particularly amazing on the Buda side of the city.   

This is such a sliver of our trip- but it is really fun to go back through the photos and remember those awesome 10 days!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's Showtime.

My biggest project to-date at work is launching today. My eyes have been twitching non-stop for about two weeks because I rarely have more than 10 minutes in a day where I am not glued to my computer screen.

It wasn't that it was harder than any of some of my other projects, it was just high profile....very high profile. So, if you know me at all, you know that when I am dealing with a situation where the lights are on me, and I am front and center. I hate to be a disappointment. I'm praying today; I am not a disappointment.

So here we go....lights. camera. action.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BOOTIES! Not booties.

I am not one to really follow fashion trends, a slow adopter, if I even adopt at all. I was like three whole seasons behind getting a pair of boots (#widecalfprobs), you'll never see me in a romper (#bigtummyprobs), and high waisted jeans are only bought to suck things in, never to tuck a shirt into. Basically...I am kind of boring fashion wise. Also being stumpy and short doesn't always lend well to following trends.

So for me to be intrigued by this bootie bandwangon...well it's been strange. I've looked and looked and looked and looked for a pair that don't look ridiculous on me. I also am frugal when it comes to buying something that I see as a "trend"; so while Nordstrom could provide a wealth of options; I am not ready to pony up $$$ for something that I don't know if I will wear next year.

I tried Target.

These made me look like a clomping hippo.

I had high hopes for these because A BOW! But being a kids size, the arch was a bit off and I kind of looked like a cackling witch. 

I was getting defeated. And to be honest---a bit sad that a trend I actually wanted to try, wasn't producing anything I actually thought looked good on my oompa loompa frame. 

But then.... Old Navy. 

NOT what I would have thought I'd end up liking on my feet. But they are the best I've found! I went with black since that was all that was left is store. But they don't look as giant in the photo, and that little detail on the front, makes all. the. difference. And for $40, sign me up- perfect "trend" price point if you ask me. 

So BOOTIES. But not booty. My booty isn't nearly as cute as these shoes!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fly Catcher

Stanley needs bit more practice catching flies, perhaps he needs Mr. Miyagi as a mentor.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cobbler Mountain Cellars

Wine tasting is a favorite weekend activity and while we have a few favorite haunts (see: Three Fox Vineyards), we keep our google searches active in search of any other dog friendly places. While I can't remember what exactly directed me to their website, I stumbled upon Cobbler Mountain Cellars that looks lovely, dog-friendly, and....serving wine & CIDER. (!!!)

We quickly adjusted our GPS and drove to the property which welcomes you through a lovely rugged drive and then opens up to a stunning retreat on a hilltop.

The wine is decent; but the CIDER. Oh man, the CIDER! Go! Go Now! Try the Original Jeffersonian, Ginger Peach, Original Honey (yes! yes!) and Kickin' Cinnamon. You will not be sorry and you'll leave with a few bottles...I guarantee it.

I love that the cider isn't overly sugary- and is all about the true, natural apple flavor. It will make you snobby about most of the stuff you can get in the grocery store.

In addition to the amazing cider. The views!

Also, can we talk about the Stanley face? This was the weekend before his first haircut and I loved his muppet look. Granted he was a matted ball of fluff- but gosh was he cute!