Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Thoughts

Guys... it's super easy not to blog. I broke the habit with my impromptu fall break, and now I need to get back into it!
Not a photo from yesterday, just a good memory. The Christmas light aren't out quite yet. :)
Yesterday was this sexy guy's birthday. We caught a matinee, had an amazing dinner at Bourbon Steak, and ended the night with cheesecake in bed. No complaints.

Have you seen this video on street harassment? It reminded me of this time a guy on my bus started chatting me up, got off at my stop, walked half a mile down the street with me, and I finally turned into the wrong complex just so that he wouldn't find out where I really lived. And just the other day, some guys yelled at me from their car when Layne and I were on a run. I can't tell you what they said because they were speaking Spanish, but unfortunately for them Layne is fluent in Spanish and yelled back at them because he said it was so vulgar. He was really mad. Have you ever felt harassed on the street? What can be done about this issue?

We don't have big Halloween plans this year - I think just a scary movie marathon (Vogue has a great list). What are you going to do today? I always feel compelled to candy binge on Halloween. #NoRegrets

Have a great weekend!

Doc & Marty McFly
Luigi, Collette & Remy the Rat

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pet Peeves { #Blogtober14 }

I have to admit, I used to have a lot more pet peeves. Then I got married. And you just can't have 1,000 tiny things that bother you when you live with someone that you simultaneously love and hate more than anyone else. I quickly had to get over socks left on the floor and dirty dishes sitting directly beside the sink and Layne also has this propensity for littering and... I digress. The point is, I had to relax and get over it or choose to be perpetually crazy.

That does not mean that I don't still have a few pet peeves that can drive me bonkers and instantly infuriate me.

Playing with your gum
Gum is meant for chewing, thanks. That is all. I hate when people play with it, blow bubbles, snap it, or - gross - pull it with their fingers. I had an ex-boyfriend who played with his gum all the time, and I think this pet peeve was born directly of that relationship.

Coughing into your hand
Ok - I know we were all taught to cover our mouths when you cough or sneeze and I do appreciate the effort. But get with the program people. You cough into your hand, the germs go directly into your hand, and then you spread those germs everywhere you touch. For the love of all that is holy, please cough into your elbow. Your elbow is not opening doors and pushing buttons or touching anything at all.

Blowing your straw wrapper
I admit, this is one that I have yet to overcome in my marriage. Layne is like a seven-year-old and loves to blow his straw wrapper into my face. And every time that little piece of paper hits me, my blood boils instantly. I don't get a little upset. Instead I begin to yell immediately and crumple up the straw wrapper in my fist and - honestly, I don't think anything makes me as furious as that moment.

What drives you crazy?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dream Vacation {Blogtober14}

Before I launch into today's Blogtober post, I need to apologize for my disappearance!  I was in between jobs for a few weeks ( finally started the new one on Thursday!) and without my usual schedule, I pretty much let things fall apart. But, no, for real it felt really nice to just downshift and turn off everything and reeeeeeeelaaaaaax. I haven't been able to unplug to that extent and for so long since... probably, 15 years old? Before I got my first job? It felt incredible to have no schedule and no responsibilities whatsoever, and I took full advantage of it.

I had planned on participating in #Blogtober14, and realized I have yet to post a single time in October (oops). I will share my journeys into temporary unemployment shortly, but for now let's just get into the main event.

I don't think I could ever travel enough! It felt impossible to settle on just one dream vacation, so I didn't.

A. Beach Vacation
Laying on the beach, skin being warmed by the sun. Tropical (virgin) cocktail in one hand, and a good book in the other. Quiet and simple, but somewhere that is still fun and we could go exploring. If we're talking dream, I'm saying private beach, maybe an all-inclusive resort with a spa.

B. European Vacation
No holds barred. I would looooove to take about two months, maybe three, and just see (and eat) everything. Stay in a city for a few days, a week, and then move onto the next one. We would go all over Italy, France, Greece, the U.K., Ireland, Spain, spend a little time in Germany, Belgium, Austria, and maybe a day or two in a few other cities, you know, just sprinkled in there. I am quickly seeing that this would definitely be a three month trip, and I am perfectly ok with that.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The 5 Senses of Fall

I ran into the SITSgirls Back to Blogging Challenge earlier this week on another blog. While I had written out most of my posts for the week, Friday was still wide open and dying for inspiration and I found it. The "5 Senses of Fall" prompt got me SO excited for fall! I am ready to curl up with some hot chocolate and watch the leaves fall from a cocoon of blankets after writing this post. 

shocking red leaves and foggy fields

hot chocolate and pumpkin everything 

cozy sweaters and warm fires

howling wind and crunching leaves

roasting turkey and cinnamon sticks

What sights/sounds/tastes/smells/touches remind you of fall? 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Your Chili's Companion

Confession: I have been hoarding a precious gift. Since early 2011, I have been sitting on the most amazing cornbread recipe anyone has ever concocted. Worse still, the person who gave it to me passed it along so willingly, and I have not paid it forward.

But - it's time to make amends. That's why today I present to you...

It is delicious. It is easy. And you will eat the entire pan.

Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 350. Grab an 8X8 pan, throw a stick of butter in there, and throw it in the oven while it heats up.

Step 2 - Pull the pan out when the butter is melted. Add 1 box of Jiffy corn bread mix, 1/4 c sugar, 1 egg, and 1 can creamed corn. Stir until just mixed, and pop it back in the oven for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Step 3 - Make this every day of your life, and buy bigger pants. It's worth it. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Celebrating 4 Years

Last Thursday was our 4 year anniversary. It's kind of a weird feeling, like it has gone by so incredibly fast but simultaneously I cannot even remember life before Layne (though I know it really must have sucked.) I talked a bit about how four years has changed me (in all the right ways) yesterday.

The traditional 4th anniversary gift is either fruit or flowers, but for the modern day it's appliances. So, we went with a waffle maker. Yay! I have had waffles every day since (except for when I went to brunch with my mother-in-law). So, we slept in, made waffles, and watched a few episodes of MasterChef. That is an ideal morning in this household.

P.S. We picked up this Williams Sonoma Bellegem Waffle Mix. I only used it the first day, because it was surprisingly sweet. We'd recommend it for a dessert waffle, but I've been using this scratch recipe ever since. It's fine, but I'm going to keep looking for one with butter instead of oil. (yum, butter... right?) Recommendations welcome!

In the afternoon, we went to see "No Good Deed." Our anniversary kind of kicks off fall for us, and I loooooooove scary movies and make Layne watch as many as I can straight through Thanksgiving. It was good, but not quite as suspenseful as I had hoped. Have you seen it yet?

Dinner, as a special treat to my carnivorous husband, was Fogo de Chao. We've tried a few Brazilian steakhouses. The meat has been the best at Fogo de Chao, but the salad bar (at least for this location) was easily the worst. We also really missed the pineapple and vegetables they give you at Tucanos.

The night ended with Georgetown Cupcakes and a Criminal Minds marathon, our show of the moment. (Dr. Spencer Reid is my second love.) 

All in all, it was a perfect day full of 100 moments that reminded me why I love this guy so much.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Still Falling Further in Love

I know in the grand scheme of things four years is not that long. It's the length of high school or college. How old you might be in your first memory. It's a phase, really. But in this case, four years is just the beginning. Thirty years from now, these first four years together will be a blip, a blur.

But right now, these past four years are the most defining of my entire life. I have grown more in the past four years than ever before.

 I have learned to be more open-minded and forgiving. I have learned to put someone ahead of myself, to consider them and to serve them. I have seen someone else in their entirety, the best and the worst, seen them and accepted them and loved them. I have also more fully recognized my own shortcomings and misguided judgments. I have reveled in the joys and empathized in the sadness of another, feeling his triumphs and trials as intensely as my own. I have learned to stop digging in my heels and to compromise. To communicate. To be gentle and kind. To let my own guard down and fully embrace someone else.

Love will do that to you.  

Thank you for making me a better me.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekending Done Right (mostly)

The right part is that I secured myself a nice 4-day weekend by working straight through a few for my big event and was finally able to relax a bit - whew! I haven't taken a day off since April, so it was very much needed.

The caveat is that I forgot to take photos. #BloggingFail

Thursday was all about celebrating our 4th anniversary (more on that later), but the rest of the weekend lived up to every expectation you have for a long weekend.

I met up with Amy (yay for her being back from Chicago!) and we trekked out to College Park for an IKEA trip. One rarely needs an IKEA trip, but you can always find a few things to pick up. I found some dish towels and bought a cute little cactus for Layne's nightstand that he quickly informed me he did not want. I also bought this vest from Old Navy. I am not usually an Old Navy shopper, but I've been sitting on a gift card for a few years (literally, it's been in my wallet for almost three years) and finally decided to get rid of it. And after sitting on the decision to buy the vest from J. Crew until it was on back order until sometime through late October or December, I just went for it.

What do you think? Yes, it's a poor substitution, but I think it will do.

We have had amazing weather here in D.C. lately, and Saturday was no exception. I had brunch with my mother-in-law at Farmers Fishers Bakers. They offer a delicious brunch buffet right on the Georgetown waterfront. Afterward, we walked along the Potomac for a bit and then headed up into Georgetown for some window shopping. We found this cute furniture store with actual reasonable prices - unheard of in that neighborhood! It has already lodged itself at the top of my list next time I need to buy a new piece.

Don't you love lazy Sundays? After such a lax weekend, it is hard to face a new week. But it's a bit easier after dinner at my in-laws. Layne grilled up some streaks, and my mother-in-law made her awesome potatoes au gratin with gruyere cheese.

What did you do this weekend? I hope you soaked up the last rays of sun before fall is fully upon us!

Linking up with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm So Lucky

Today is 4 years married to this sexy guy.

Amazing photos by Sanae James

I am feeling romantic, so be prepared for some mushy, gushy love posts next week. But, for now, I'm going to celebrate with my man.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dying to Get my Craft On

Have you felt it? The chill in the air? The first sign that the season is changing?

It can only mean one thing....

Time for fall crafts and decorating! I am very lucky to have a crafting buddy who is always up for anything I throw at her. And now that fall is on its way, I am preparing myself for fun projects. Here's a collection of some things that have inspired me...

Wreaths - I am not usually a huge fan, but I have been wanting to hang a wreath on the inside of my door for a while now. (I live in an apartment, so who cares about the outside?)



Pumpkins - is it even fall before you buy your first pumpkin?



P.S. I found this tip on making your pumpkins last long. I live in a damp climate, so I am definitely giving it a try this year!

Knick Knacks - My mom always decorated for the seasons with just a huge amount of stuff. I hope to follow in her exact footsteps. :)


Do you decorate for the seasons? What are you hoping to add to your home this fall?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In Other News...

Last week was big for me. In addition to finally hosting the biggest event in transportation technology of the year with my co-workers (whatever - nbd), I also got a job offer!!!! 

I am beyond thrilled to be joining a local marketing group, where I will get to focus exclusively on e-mail and social media. Or, as some may call it, living the dream. I'll get to work on a national campaign, and it'll be for another company that I believe in! I don't start for a few weeks, but I wanted to share the news now because I am just soooooo excited!

 I feel awesome. : )

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back in Business!

So... I pretty much disappeared there for a few weeks. But, I'm not going to make an excuse. I hate when people go on and on about how busy they are, as if they somehow have fewer hours in the day than the rest of us. We are all busy. We all have a lot going on that we have to juggle and find a way to prioritize and get done what we can. Over the past few weeks, I have had more to get done than I usually do, and at the end of the day my priority was to relax (aka - binge watch Netflix and turn off my brain). So, the blog kind of fell by the wayside.

Instead, my focus has been on work. Last week was my big event. THE big event. The event that my every action at work this past year has been focused on and building to. And I couldn't be more thrilled with how it went! It was surreal, and rushed, and over before I even had a second to catch my breath. Overall, I just kept pinching myself that I was involved in an event of this caliber.

For those that don't know, I work in intelligent transportation. It was a new industry for me this year, and it has been incredibly welcoming. It's a niche group of people that are dedicating their lives to making transportation safer, more efficient, more connected, and more environmentally-friendly. By now, you probably have heard of autonomous or connected vehicles  - those are my guys! But they're also doing incredible things with traffic and weather monitoring, parking, traffic lights, emergency response, and connecting with your cell phones to make getting around easier. It is mind-blowing and I'm incredibly proud to be able to help in telling their stories.

If you have any interest in experiencing the magic that is the future automobile, I'd recommend googling "ITS World Congress" or visiting the YouTube page.

I'll be back later this week with normal content.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The World is our Oyster, Right?

Earlier this week, Layne texted me at work and asked if I wanted to go to the Nats game because - why not? So, off to Craigslist we went and found some tickets.

Our seats were amazing, maybe 10 rows back, parallel with the pitching mound on the third baseline. As we sat down I said, "Wow - you really got these tickets for only $15 a piece!?" And Layne, nonchalantly replied "Yeah, but he wanted $70 each."

HOW?! How do you talk someone down from $140 to $30?! The game wasn't until 7 p.m. and Layne had these tickets secured by noon, so this was no desperate Criagslister. I don't know about you, but if someone tells me $70, I'm offering $50 not $15!

But that's Layne. He never takes no for an answer. He asks for things that nobody else asks for. Once we were at ColdStone, and he asked for a sample of Birthday Cake Remix and they mashed it all up and gave it to him. Who even thinks to ask for that? Just Layne. I know it's small, but it's an example of his overall attitude toward life.

He has this amazing way of viewing the world - it's his for the taking. He operates under the guise that he can and will do as he pleases, and he is relentless once he sets his mind on something. Instead of asking "why?" he always asks "why not?" I am the kind of person who is determined, but can quickly become deterred if an obstacles apppears. If Layne wants something, absolutely nothing will stop him or he didn't really want it. Being with him is like magic. People give you things and do things for you that would never happen if you were on your own. Free sodas, seat upgrades on airplanes, cuts in line, and casual job offers fall into his lap.

I do not possess that kind of charisma. But, I can adopt that attitude. When I, too, act like everything will work out for me, it almost always does. I don't necessarily believe in karmic energy or anything like that, but I do believe that a positive outlook and strong work ethic will take you far.

Why don't we all view the world this way? It's a vast place, but we can conquer each day if we decide to.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Quick and SUPER simple recipe for you today! I love pancakes, but sometimes want a break from the norm. Although, normal pancakes for me involve bacon, chocolate chips, peanut butter, whipped cream, and maple syrup... but that's a recipe for another day.

A lighter option is to whip up a strawberry topping - and it is seriously amazing. The tartness cuts through the heaviness of the pancakes, and topping the whole thing with a generous (always generous) helping of whipped cream is the best way to start your weekend. This would also be really good on an ice cream sundae - yum!

So, basically, all we're doing is speeding up the process of mascerating the strawberries and bringing out their flavor.

First, rough chop some strawberries. You could dice them if you wanted to, but I like to just give them a rough chop and keep a bit more texture. Second, throw in some sugar and lemon zest. The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you want it (obviously), but it will become looser and more like a syrup the more sugar you add. I like it a little more tart, especially if I am adding the whipped cream, but Layne likes it to be more syrupy and sugary sweet, so I add a bit more for him. Next, toss the strawberries in the sugar and put them on the stove over low heat. You can just let it sit and give it a quick stir every few minutes while you whip up your pancakes. Finally, I give it a quick turn with the hand blender. If you added more sugar earlier, you probably don't need to do this, but if you want it completely like a syrup, then I'd still recommend it.

1 lb strawberries, 1/2 cup - 1 cup sugar (preference), 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Monday, August 18, 2014

Home Tour {Part 2}

As promised, here is the second half of my living space. With 600 sq. ft., you have two spaces - living and sleeping. I shared our TV and sitting area a few weeks ago, and this week is more about the office/kitchen table area. This space is all about function.

This is pretty much the worst picture ever taken, but it does give you an idea of the layout of the space and just how much light my paint color sucks up. The big picture window from the sitting area is 10 ft. away and wide open, and this area is still super dark. Also, I hate that office chair but it's Layne's and he insisted on comfort over fashion. Sigh...
  Here's a picture taken in that exact same spot toward the sitting area.

The gallery wall. A huge thanks to my mom for helping me make sense of it! I love the mirror reflecting the light from the window. But again - this wall is FACING the window, which you can see is open, and it is still this dark. I honestly have the worst paint color in the world.

I have to admit, we pretty much use the kitchen table as extra counter space. I am ashamed to show you the kitchen. It is as small as a kitchen could possibly be and still call itself a kitchen. It has all the necessities, and nothing more. Necessities include a mini stove, 12 inches of counter space, and a single drawer. Necessities do not include a microwave or full-sized fridge. So, this space is usually covered in pots and pans and cutting boards while we're cooking.

(Note the completely random, mid-wall electrical outlet. Why...?)

You can probably tell by the tone of this post that overall I don't like these spaces as much as I like the sitting area. It's weird extra space. There's plenty of it, but I'd much rather have a functional kitchen or bigger closet instead. Still, I've tried to make the most of it.

Do you have any oddly shaped rooms? How do you increase their functionality? Any tips for me?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Want It Wednesday | Early Fall Clothing

Yesterday's post got me so inspired! I kept thinking about all those jewels tones while doing some online shopping for early fall, and I think it shows in my picks! I love when the seasons majorly change and I get to switch over into my winter or summer wardrobe. I have always forgotten about half of it, so it's nice to see it again and feel like I have fresh options.

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

What do you have your eye on for early fall?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Color Trends for 2015

I saw this article the other day on Twitter and was so inspired. ElleDecor and House Beautiful took a look at color trends for 2015 and their finds were just too good not to share. Basically, gray is still the hottest neutral around, pops of color are still encouraged, and jewel tones are making a big come back. Deep blues, ruby, olive green, plum - these luxurious colors will be everywhere.


Don't these rooms all look so grand, yet cozy? Layne has been warning me for years that I have a love affair with jewel tones that he is not into, so I may not really be able to indulge in this trend. I firmly believe the house is as much his as mine, so if he doesn't like a design decision then it needs to be switched. But I'm still swooning over the richness and warmth! 

Would you decorate with jewel tones? What do you think of these colors for 2015?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekending! {Linkup}

This weekend was very much needed. Things are getting increasingly busy at work, and after the week I had, I needed to recharge.

Layne suggested going to Home Depot and Target on Friday night and I just about had to pick my jaw up off the floor. He hates taking me to either, so for him to suggest it was, to put it lightly, a pleasant surprise. I think it may have been out of pity, but I'm ok with that.

I think I maybe killed this plant? My mom told me that you could return plants to Home Depot for up to a year, so I thought I may as well take it with me. It has been dead for a solid two months, and I only bought it three months ago. Well, she was wrong. I had three months to return it, and I missed it by a week. CLEARLY this plant has not become this desiccated in a single week, but whatever. I just left it on a shelf in their garden area. Regardless of getting my $10 back, maybe they can resurrect it. I don't deserve to own plants. 

I had asked Layne to help me with a few home projects, so Saturday he got to work on fixing that stupid IKEA dresser. I'll have to share the fix a bit later, but I LOVE that my towels are not all over my living room anymore. It has only been broken for, oh, about three years. I asked Layne to fix it just last week and have no idea why I waited so long.

Saturday night we made it out to Wolf Trap (bucket list!) to watch Jim Gaffigan. We got some Smash Burger with friends first, then drove over to Wolf Trap and plopped our blanket out on the lawn. I had a bunch of candy, there were no mosquitoes, a full moon, and Jim Gaffigan. Pretty much a perfect summer night.

Sunday, we binged. I had been wanting fondue, so Layne made some and it was soooooo good. Fondue is supposed to be a social thing, but the room was almost silent as we both shoveled gooey, perfectly melted cheese into our mouths. It was just the sort of indulgence I needed before beginning another long week!

Linking up with B~loved Boston!

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