Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good:
We have the key to our new place! We are going to start moving stuff (primarily books and the furniture we got at some yard sales this past weekend) when AJ gets home from work! Then we have to unload the boxes and bring them back to the apartment so that we can re-use them. Our current place is so full of crap and boxes that we can't pack everything at once. Expect "before" pictures sometime soon!!

The Bad:

On Friday our TV broke. We got the TV when we moved into our current place as a housewarming gift from my parents, which means it is a little more than a year old. We had it mounted on the wall, but took it down last week so that we could fill the holes, sand, and paint. I'm not sure what happened during that process (or if it is at all related), but now our TV is not working. We have no picture, just sound. Also, when we turn the TV on it makes this weird hissing sound twice. Luckily my parents bought a 3 year warranty and someone is coming out to fix it on Saturday. Without a TV, we have been spending our time at home listening to the radio, playing board games, and watching movies/TV shows from Netflix on my computer.

The Ugly:

During that painting process, I also somehow got RED PAINT on my favorite Lilly sweater.

I wasn't wearing it, but it was draped on the back of a bar chair in the same room where we were painting. It is a white cardigan that I have had for 6 years that probably needed to be sent to Goodwill anyway (it is looking a little dingy in this picture), but it is so soft and comfy from years of good use that I am so sad it finally has to go.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Wedding Dress

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner is hosting a blog carnival where you showcase your wedding dress (or your dream wedding dress). Head on over to her blog if you would like to participate!

I loooove my wedding dress and I don't think I have ever talked about buying it, so of course I want to share my story and some photos with all of you.

I went dress shopping the weekend we booked the reception site (I was all excited about wedding planning and my mom was visiting from NY), so we went to the one bridal shop in the town where we were married. When I walked into the shop I told the ladies that I did not want anything with lace, buttons, or stitching. That pretty much eliminated 90% of the dresses in the store, but they were able to find a few that I agreed to try on.

The first dress I tried on I had to have. It fit perfect, was kind of different while still looking like a wedding dress, and made me feel amazing. I was ready to walk out of the store with the dress, but the ladies convinced me to try on a few others, just in case. After spending less than 5 minutes total in the 3 or 4 other dresses I tried on, I still knew the first dress was "the one". This may seem strange, but I am very much that kind of shopper. I find something I like, and if it looks good I take it. I don't like browsing and get sick of shopping very quickly.

So, I am the girl that bought the first wedding dress she tried on! Here it is...

You can see more wedding pictures here!

Let me know if you participate in the blog carnival! I want to see all of your dresses too!

A. Tierney Ribbon Belts

If you haven't heard of A. Tierney, you must be living under a rock, neglecting the blogosphere, and/or are a guy. They have been featured in a bunch of magazines and are a favorite accessories source for many bloggers.

When I was contacted by A. Tierney about reviewing a product, I jumped at the opportunity because I have been reading such great things about their stuff. They sent me the Kimberly Blue Ribbon Belt to review and I knew right away that it is a great belt. Not only is the belt pretty, but it is definitely high quality. The belt is stiff, yet flexible and has sturdy rings. I have worn it a bunch of times since receiving it last week, and it still looks and feels like new. I often have to iron or steam grosgrain ribbon belts because they get so wrinkled, but I have not had to do that with this belt. Just another reason they are so great! Here is the description from the A. Tierney website:
Timelessly trendy, the A. Tierney grosgrain ribbon belt is a wardrobe staple and colorful accent for any age. These classic grosgrain ribbon belts are double sewn to maintain shape and accented with lustrous nickel D-rings.

I usually fluctuate between Small and Medium with belts depending on the manufacturer. When ordering this belt I went with a Medium to be on the safe side, and it fits perfectly.

The belts are currently on sale for $5, which is a total steal given the quality and the regular price ($36).

Also, A. Tierney is having a summer special on tote bags. If you are in the market for a new bag, you can snag one when you are buying your new belt!

Happy shopping!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Danger of Twitter

Tonight AJ and I were watching Jeopardy while we waited out the monstrous storm that attacked DC. I also happened to be texting my mom and emailing with Sweet Bea on my BlackBerry (I know, I know...not so smart given the weather conditions) because I am addicted to technology and can't stand not being in constant contact with others. Moving on....

At one point during the show Stefan, one of the contests, responded to an answer about Batman with the question "Who is Catwoman?" and then purred quite seductively. It was way weird, and since my phone was in hand, I obviously tweeted about it....

Well, just now I was looking at my replies on Twitter, when I saw this....

And then realized that "sgraps", is in fact, the guy from Jeopardy....

So I responded that it was okay, and that I wished him luck tomorrow (he is currently a three day champion) because I felt really bad. Yes, it is weird to purr on national television, but don't we all act a little strange now and then?

I know I do ;)

I certainly never thought that he would see my tweet, but I guess that is one of the dangers of being on Twitter (without a protected account, of course). I will certainly be more cautious in the future because although it is my Twitter and I can essentially post whatever I want, I don't want to be unkind to people I don't know. Making people feel bad is not on my to-do list.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Almost Surprise

When AJ came home from work last night he opened the blinds on the window that are next to the door of our building. We rarely open these blinds because people can see directly into our apartment and it is an invitation for Kona to bark at everyone that passes by. I remember briefly thinking, hmm that's strange, but I quickly dismissed any ideas that something was out of the ordinary.

We then sat on the couch talking and snuggling with Kona, who is always desperate for attention after being home alone all day. At one point AJ asked for his computer and looked at something that I couldn't see. I asked him what he was doing, but he either didn't respond or I didn't hear what he said. I then got distracted and didn't follow up. After he put his computer away we started talking about what we wanted for dinner. I noticed that he kept looking past me instead of looking at me when we were talking. At first it didn't alarm me, but then he started doing it so frequently that I stopped in mid sentence and screamed "What are you looking at!?!".

It was then that his surprise was ruined. I knew something was up...he knew I knew something was up...so I finally squeezed it out of him. He ordered two Oxfords from Gap that were on sale for 12 dollars or something (I'm proud of him for getting a good deal!), but he felt bad only buying stuff for himself, so he bought a dress for me too! Behind me were the windows and he was keeping a lookout for the UPS truck. He had checked the status of the package on UPS.com when he was on the computer and opened the blinds on the window near the door so that the UPS man would know that we were home.


Now, this is a big deal because this is the longest AJ has ever been able to keep a surprise from me. He is no good at keeping secrets! This time he lasted a few days. He even hid the email confirmations so I wouldn't find them. Too funny.

Isn't he sweet!?

Monday, July 20, 2009


When I met with Justine about being a Gap Brand Enthusiast, I was ready to accept the "job" on the spot. Now that I have received my welcome package, I am ready to give the Gap my first born child. Okay, not really. Especially these days when I am feeling bombarded by babies and suddenly want one of my own (but that is a post for another day). But seriously, they sent the Enthusiasts awesome gifts!

I received my package the day before we left for the wedding in NY, so I obviously brought everything with me in the awesome bag they sent. It is perfect for a weekend trip and has pockets galore. I don't have any totes with pockets that can serve as real compartments (think shoes, hair straightener, blow dryer, etc.), so that really made me happy.

Inside the bag I found this amazingly comfortable t-shirt...

A new perfume (as you can see I have already been using it!)...

And a pack of lip glosses...

Nothing better than getting surprise packages!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Little Things

Things that make me happy today:

80 and sunny with a light breeze

Driving with the windows down

Fresh brewed iced tea

Drivers that wave as a thank you for letting them into your lane

Baby clothes at Gap Outlet

Long conversations with my mom

Free Nintendo loot

Homemade pasta and sauce with meatlogs

Possibly having our new house keys Monday

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Snippet of Our Conversation

AJ and I bring our lunch to work every day except Friday. On Fridays we are allowed to go out to eat to reward ourselves for being frugal all week. With my summer schedule, Thursday is my Friday, so today I went out for lunch. Before lunch AJ and I were talking on gchat about what I was going to eat (a burrito...nom nom nom) and he was very jealous.

Well, I just returned back to my office and signed into my gmail, when this conversation ensued:

AJ: naughty :(
me: me??
AJ: me
me: uh oh, did you go out to eat
AJ: yes
me: its okay, you'll just have to bring your lunch tomorrow

The way he started the convo had me laughing so hard. I can't stay mad at him!* Please tell me that other people have conversations like this too.

*This is similiar to a quote in some movie, but I can't remember which one. Help!

We're Moving!

Thank you all for the recipes and cooking ideas! We don't have an outdoor space in our current apartment, but in our new one we have a back patio so we will be buying a grill soon. This will definitely help solve my summer cooking problem.

Speaking of our new place, I don't think I ever formally talked about it on the blog....

We had been toying with the idea of moving for a while because our current apartment is pretty small and pricey. When we first moved to DC we wanted to live close to AJ's school so that he could walk to class. Now that we are more familiar with public transportation and the different neighborhoods in DC, we felt confident that we could move to a different area of the city that would give us more bang for our buck!

Then we had a situation arise where an angry old man (who also happens to be the condo association president) reported that he was twice awoken by Kona in the year plus that we have lived in our current place. This resulted in us being warned that our dog was a nuisance to the community. Really??? Those who have met my dog know she does sporadically bark, but it is by no means excessive and we stop her within seconds. I mean really, if you expect a dog to be silent you are being unrealistic. And if you want no noise you shouldn't live in an apartment, in a dog friendly building in a loud neighborhood in DC. Anyway, instead of this person approaching us and discussing what may be bothering him, he sent out a nasty email to our landlord, basically threatening to have us kicked out or to force us to get rid of our dog. Needless to say I was extremely offended and was ready to move that night. Our landlord wanted to have us all meet so that we could talk about and resolve the situation (we have been great tenants and he did not want to lose us), but since we were already thinking about moving, this was the final push we needed to really start the moving process.

As luck would have it, one of AJ's bosses had a friend that was looking to rent her townhouse in an area we were planning to look. She set up a day for us to view the apartment and we instantly fell in love! Our new place has two floors, two bedrooms, one and a half baths, a back patio, and a doggie door. And it has a washer and dryer. Could it be anymore perfect?? As soon as we get in I will take pictures of the inside so that I can do a before and after like I did when we moved into our current apartment. I'm so excited!!

ETA: AJ talked with our new landlord yesterday and she said we can start moving stuff in whenever we want, so perhaps we will be in our new place sooner than August 1st!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back on the Cooking Bandwagon

Last night I cooked dinner for the first time in over a month.

The reasons/excuses?
  • The weather has been so nice recently and patio dining is on our list of favorites
  • We have had company twice (albeit the same company)
  • We have been out of town multiple weekends so grocery shopping isn't a priority (who wants to buy food just so it can go bad?)
  • I don't like grocery shopping anyway
  • We've been attending get togethers/parties that take place during dinner time
  • And honestly, I just don't enjoy cooking summery foods. I much prefer cooking heavy dishes, things that I can bake, Italian food, etc., and those aren't really conducive to summer.

Now I can throw all those excuses out the window. On Monday my mom sent us back to DC with lots of fresh fruit, veggies, and healthy proteins and I am ready to get back on the cooking wagon!

Anyone else fall victim to dining out during the summer? What easy dinner ideas can you give me?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wedding Recap!

I think my body is finally letting me know that I need to slow down and take it easy. We have traveled the last three weekends and it has finally caught up with me. I am not sure if I have a cold, allergies, or something else, but I am so congested and I know I need a good night's rest ASAP. Before I venture to bed way early tonight, I wanted to show you the few pictures I have from the wedding this weekend!

AJ and I were the only people from our grad school crowd that made it to the wedding, so I was really glad we made the trip and I know my friend was happy we were there. Here is the dress I decided to wear. I bought it at Banana Republic a few months ago and wasn't sure if I loved it, but after wearing it the other night, I have decided that it was definitely a good choice. 

There was a 4 hour break between the end of the ceremony and the cocktail hour, so AJ and I holed up in our hotel room (it MONSOONED during the entire break) and watched the Harry Potter marathon while drinking some Blue Light and playing cards. 

Here we are at the cocktail hour. Ignore my red nose, this was when I was first starting to feel sick! 

We had a lot of fun this weekend, but now I am ready to slow down and spend some quiet time in DC until we have to begin the process of moving!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dress Woahs

Can you believe it is almost the weekend?? Our district is closed on Fridays during the summer so my weekend starts now! 

Tomorrow we are headed back to NY for a wedding, which will be the first one we are able to attend since getting married last summer. I don't know why, but I am worried that I might get sad and experience the post-wedding blues I never really got last summer. Let's hope not!

I was hoping to wear this Michael by Michael Kors dress that I bought from HauteLook (if you want a referral, let me know!), but alas, it has not yet been delivered. 

We have another wedding to attend in August, so I will probably save the dress for that. 

My second choice for the wedding was this lovely dress Alson bought me for my birthday last year

I have only worn it twice (on my birthday and on our honeymoon) and since then it has been sitting in the dry cleaning basket. When we were back in NY a couple weeks ago I had my mom take it to the cleaners, and the jewels that hang on the back broke during cleaning. UGH! 

So now I'm off to my closet to pick out a third choice dress....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yesterday was our one year anniversary! We celebrated by spending the day in Annapolis, which might be the cutest town ever. Ready for the one sentence recap?

We had lunch on the deck of Pussers, moved to the bar for a Painkiller, walked around town and did some window shopping, meandered through an art festival, ate red velvet cupcakes in lieu of wedding cake, took a boat ride, did a wine tasting, bought wine, ate Mexican (our favorite), and returned home to snuggle with our puppy. It was a great day! We decided not to buy each other presents and instead spent our money on the day trip.

In other news, it's my last official day of vacation and instead of spending it outdoors at the public pool we discovered on Saturday, I need to clean our place before my brother gets here tomorrow for a round two interview (remember, he was here last month?) and for the open house our landlord is having this weekend while we are back in NY for a wedding. So I am obviously really excited to move, but am dreading the actual move and all the cleaning and packing that comes with it. So with that said, off I go to clean, clean, clean!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

No Wrinkles!

Last week I had my first anti-wrinkle facial. Usually when I get a facial I do a basic European facial that moisturizes and exfoliates. Since I am starting to notice some slight changes in my skin and I am in my mid-twenties, I thought it was time to upgrade.

When I entered the room, my esthetician asked me about my skin, including if I had a sunburn, if my skin was sensitive, and if I was not intolerant of pain. Apparently these three things exclude you from getting the anti-wrinkle facial because it includes a chemical peel. I had been in the sun on Wednesday when we were at the golf tournament, but I was by no means burnt. I also consider myself to have sensitive skin to the extent that I flush really easily. I do not though, have bad reactions to new cleansers or break out very easily, so I guess this wasn't an issue.

In the end she decided that we would do the chemical peel, but only leave it on for 4 minutes since this was my first one and she didn't want me to have a bad reaction (a la Samantha from SATC). She also prepped my skin with some kind of protectant to help prevent any kind of extreme irritation.

So I am guessing that you don't want to hear about the entire facial, but just the chemical peel, so I will skip everything else she did. She used a 30% Lactic Acid chemical peel, applied it to my face, and then turned on a fan that blew cool air toward my face. Initially, I found the smell of the chemicals to be highly invasive, and this distracted me from the slow burn I felt on my face. The burn was slightly irritating, but by no means unbearable. She then removed the peel and applied a gel-like mask to help replenish my skin. Following the facial I was told not to engage in any kind of activity that would make my face red (e.g exercise, steam shower, sun, etc.).

So in the end my skin felt fabulously soft and looked amazing, and really the pain I had to endure wasn't bad at all. I think I will continue with the anti-wrinkle facials on a 6 month basis (I usually go back to NY during Christmas and the summer) and hopefully they will prevent me from early aging. In the meantime, I may look into Julie's recommendation for at home care, Oil of Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel System.

Anyone else had an anti-wrinkle facial? What is your at home skin care routine like? I really need to step up my game and appreciate any insight and suggestions!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Trip Recap (or Why I Waffle About Moving Back to NY)

I am way too lazy and unmotivated to write a full post about my vacation, so I'm resorting to a bullet point recap. And I forgot my camera so I have no pictures to break up the bullets. Sorry!
  • Our first full day back we spent the afternoon following my dad while he played golf in the pro-am of the Dick's Open. It was nice to get outside and enjoy the sun, but walking four miles in flip flops really tired me out. I know my dad was happy we were able to watch him play, and I get to spend time with my mom and my grandparents, so it was a good way to start our vacation. Also of note, this was the first time AJ and I were out in the community of my hometown since being married, and a real small part of me missed the small town camaraderie and "who knows who" jabber that takes place between strangers. I also really enjoyed how cheap things were. This started my "we should move back to NY" thinking that took place most of the week.
  • On Thursday I played golf at the town country club with AJ, my brother, and my grandfather. It was hot as hell out, but we had a nice time and this again made me miss spending time with my family. After golf we had lunch in the club house and I spent most of the time looking out at the pool at all the moms with their kiddies. I think you know where this is going....
  • Later that night we had a barbecue at my aunt's house, and this kicked off the family reunion festivities. Not many people were in town yet, so it was mostly our immediate family and some of the sisters*. It was kind of lame, but I think that is mostly because my cousins invited all their friends from high school to come to the party too (why? I have no idea), and I felt 100 years old and like a chaperon. This made me not want to move back home....I don't get along with many people from high school.
  • Late Thursday night my BFF from high school (who also doubles as my college roommate and now my {younger} brother's hook up) met up with us and we had a couple drinks at a local bar. I love hanging out with my BFF, but it is kind of strange seeing her and my brother touching, holding hands, etc. This apparently first began at our wedding and has been on and off ever since. We shall see how his develops.
  • Friday morning my mom and I went to the spa while the boys golfed. It was nice to spend time with my mom and I love getting pampered, so this was definitely a highlight of our vacation. I got a traditional massage and an anti-wrinkle facial that included a chemical peel, and since a few of you showed interest when I mentioned the facial on twitter, I figured I would talk about it more in depth tomorrow. Stay tuned.
  • Friday night my parents had a clam bake at their house. AJ and I manned the cooker for the clams, which initially was not a great success. We put wayyy too many clams into the pot and had a hard time steaming them and fishing them out once they were done. Once we got it figured out though, we were clam cooking machines. We were cheating too and ate a few from each batch. Yum.
  • Saturday was the actual reunion, which was at a church hall in the middle of the afternoon. My dad hails from a ginormous Italian family. My grandmother has 7 sisters and the sisters have 857 kids resulting in 3290 grand kids. And now some grand kids are having kids, but I think there are only like 10 great grand kids. Okay, maybe some of those numbers are inflated, but there really are 7 sisters and there are so many cousins and second cousins that I have no idea how many there actually are. AJ and I have not been able to attend a reunion since being together as we used to live in NC and last summer we were getting married. We had some of the family at our wedding, but it was nice to see the people who didn't attend the wedding. AJ, my brother, mom, and cousins played Apples to Apples for like 3 hours. I am now obsessed with this game. I am heading to Target ASAP to buy this so we have it for all the parties we will have at our new house. And yes, our parties will involve board games, because we're old like that.
  • Saturday night we went to dinner with my parents and brother to one of my favorite Italian restaurants. Seriously, I cannot get enough Italian food when I am home. If there is one thing I hate about DC it is that there are very few authentic Italian restaurants.
  • Sunday we headed up to Ithaca to visit AJ's parents. AJ golfed with his dad while I hung out with his mom. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was super uncomfortable the entire time. I hate to be the bitchy DIL, but we are just so different and we have nothing to talk about. I am also still desperate for approval, so I get nervous about being around her and that she is going to oust me from the family. AJ reassures me that it is just her personality and that she actually loves me, but when she constantly criticizes and makes me feel like a spoiled brat, I can't help but wonder. I was so glad when the guys were done golfing, and the rest of the night wasn't nearly as bad. AJ does a good job of appeasing any tension and is better equipped to deal with his parents. Not that they are crazy or anything ;)
So overall we had a great time in NY, but we were definitely busy. Throughout the vacation I waffled back and forth about whether I want to move back there, but I think in the end I like where we are in our lives now, and don't plan to move right after law school. After a few more years in DC we will have to reassess again and see where things will take us...

*The "sisters" refers to my grandmother and her 7 sisters. I feel like this makes them sound notorious, which now that I think about it, suits them.