Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back from Vacay!

I'm back! I didn't plan to take a week off from blogging, but I'm not gonna lie....it was kind of nice to disconnect from the computer.

After a week in NY we are finally home in DC. Our vacation was nice, but not very relaxing; the entire week was full of parties and plans, so I am actually pretty tired and ready to relax this week before heading back to work on the 7th.

I have lots to blog about, but instead of being able to sit down and spend some time on the computer, I have to deal with insurance and a trip to the Toyota dealership today. No, my car troubles did not end here.

A quick synopsis...

We were driving on 95 N near Baltimore during rush hour in a middle lane, when all of a sudden we heard the loudest smack EVER. I was driving, as I had picked up AJ from work, so I looked in my rear view mirror to see if something hit us. Sure enough there was a black rectangular-like thing bouncing around in the road behind us. Because we were on 95 in the middle of a million cars, we couldn't exactly pull over to check out what happened. When we arrived at my parent's house a few hours later, we found this:

We are guessing we were hit by a stray piece of metal, probably a muffler. We called our insurance and they are going to pay for the entire bill, which will likely include a new driver side door because this doesn't look repairable to me...

We are soooo thankful it didn't hit my tire, or the window, or the windshield, because we could have been seriously injured. We are also shocked that I didn't lose control of the car. But still, this sucks!

I'll blog more about my trip later today, or tomorrow, so stay tuned for happier posts. And because I was gone for a week and I subscribe to a million blogs, I think I am going to have to click "mark all as read". Sorry!! If something exciting, important, or read worthy happened, please let me know so that I can read your posts!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

20SB: Looking Back

This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers! For more information, including how to participate, click here.

I've been at a loss for interesting blog topics lately, but lucky for me, and all the other blocked bloggers out there, 20 Something Bloggers is having a Blogger Carnival! The topic is "Looking Back" and they want to see what we were like back when we first started blogging. So before I reflect on how I've changed since I first began blogging, let's look at a post from April 24th, 2008, only the 5th post I EVER wrote.

______________________________________

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blog Social Skills

My secretary at DSS left my calendar open today so that I would have plenty of time to pack up my stuff, say goodbye to all my tutees, and catch up on the last minute office gossip. Most of my day was spent on the latter, but I still ended up having a lot of free time this afternoon. After finally posting again, I got sucked into the blog world and spent most of the afternoon browsing others' blogs. Two hours later......I found some I like, commented, and have added a link to them on my page.

But, now I feel awkward.....

I guess it's because I don't know the blog world social etiquette. Is it weird to comment on someone's blog if you don't know them? Should I introduce myself before declaring that I'm a "reader"? What are the rules, what are the rules!?!?*

I suppose it sounds pretty stupid, but I feel like I'm back in 8th grade and I'm the new girl at school who is trying to make some friends. It especially hits home since I am moving to a new city in two weeks! I guess I feel like it is strange to try and make (blog)friends because I have always had the convenience of a surefire network of potential friends (i.e. first college roommate, cheer team, grad program, etc.) and this is more open/unrestricted and also carries the possibility of rejection. Does that make sense?

I think this is a nice description of the situ:

Ultimately, I'm sure it's no big deal and people would be flattered to know I find their writing interesting, but until I am comfortable as a blogger, I will fret about my blog social skills!

BTW, I love someecards. They are hysterical and often speak to me!

*Does that phrase remind anyone else of the Betty Crocker commercial where the kid flips out that Santa is going to leave because someone ate the cookies? LOVE THAT COMMERCIAL

_____________________________________

And we're back to present blogger time. Now that you've peeked into my past, I hope we can still be friends.

Obviously I was a scaredy cat when I first started blogging and had no idea how things worked. I have come a long way since then, commenting on hundreds of blogs and reading many, many more. I have also made some amazing friends along the way and am so glad I stuck with blogging, commented, added people to my blog roll, and got out and met up with bloggers once I arrived in DC. With the exception of a few people (and my husband's friends), ALL of the people that I spend time with on a regular basis I have met through blogging. And I couldn't be more grateful for them.

I chose to revisit this particular post because I am sure there are new bloggers out there that may be feeling the same way I did way back when. Even if this post only helps one person realize that they are not alone and that they should stick with blogging, I'll be happy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Schooooool's Out For Summer

Okay, school in my district actually ended on Thursday, but today is the first day of MY summer. I stayed up until 1 in the morning last night and slept in until 10 today. Heaven!

The sad part is I don't get off the entire summer, but hey, at least I get a small break, right? I have off until July 7th, and then I go back to work for all Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in July. I have off again the first week of August and then go back for good on August 11th. Why the crazy schedule, you ask? I have to work 15 days over the summer, but I get to choose which days. Most people choose to take off the entire month of July, but since AJ is working all summer, I decided to take off the weeks at the beginning and end of summer and work in the middle. This allows us to head back to NY this week and maybe take a beach trip in August. Plus, a three day work week isn't bad.

So, first up in my summer plans.....

We are heading back to NY tomorrow to visit our families and attend my dad's family reunion. We've got a lot planned over the next week so hopefully I will get a chance to blog while we're away. In between the multiple family gatherings I am hoping to get some sun, play some golf, read The Beach House by Jane Green and The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and maybe squeeze in a few runs. Gotta love vacation!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gap and Brand About Town

While drafting this post I noticed that Miss Heidi already wrote about meeting with Brand About Town rep Justine and talked about the meeting that a bunch of bloggers in DC (and other cities around the country) got to have. Let me break it down real quick.

Gap is about to start a new marketing program and a bunch of bloggers are going to be chosen to try out and review their new line of jeans. If picked, we get to throw a party for our friends so that we can experience the jeans before they hit stores in August. Justine emailed me to meet with her about potentially being one of those people. How fun is that?

We met at a coffee shop in DC, and after talking with Justine about her marketing company, the campaign, and my blog, she took me to the Gap to buy a new outfit. What an awesome surprise! Last night I finally got to wear my new outfit, so of course I wanted to share it all with you!

Since you can't see the details of the two pieces in this picture, I had my darling husband take some close-ups.

The collar on this shirt actually lies flat so I clipped it with two bobby pins to add some fluff.


I paired the top and shorts with my favorite pair of gray Nine West heels. It is so rare for me to not wear a dress when I go out in the summer, but I think this outfit was the perfect way to branch out.

Thank you Brand About Town and Gap for this awesome opportunity!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Think I'm in Love

Today I wore the Maggy London dress AJ bought me for my birthday. I think I'm in love. With the dress. I know I'm in love with my husband.

Excuse the wrinkles, this was taken after work

The best part? It has pockets. I think I've found something new to collect.

Blogger FAIL

My last two posts haven't shown up in google reader. Anyone know how to fix this? The first one I posted 24 hours ago.

Ugh! I need a tech savy friend.

EDITED TO ADD:

From nitecruzr, someone who responded to my cry for help....

Feeds, like other components in custom domain published blogs, are affected by the BlogSpot URL redirect problem.

Ahh, so apparently custom blog addresses aren't working and blogspot addresses aren't redirecting like they normally do. BOOO!

Hopefully this will all be fixed soon! If you still have my old blogspot address in your reader, then the posts will not show up. Please update your reader with my new domain:


Baby on the Brain?

Is it weird that the only thing I want from the kate spade sample sale is this bag?

Yes, it is a baby bag.

And I can't decide if I like it just because I am fond of backpacks or because I secretly want a baby.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Southern Moment

After reading about Susan in the South winning a Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka porch party, I immediately started craving a spiked Arnold Palmer.


I asked AJ to pick up a bottle on the way home from work and soon enough I will have a glass in my hand. What's for dinner, you ask? Fried chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans. Sounds AMAZING right about now.

Maybe I should move back to the south.

Jury Duty

I'm halfway through my day of jury duty. I keep waffling about whether or not it is pure torture. Since I've got lots of time on my hands, let's go over a day in the courthouse....

I did not have to report to the courthouse until 10:30 am, which meant I got to sleep in AND take my sweet time getting ready this morning. Conclusion: Sweet.

When I first arrived, I waited in line for almost 30 minutes in the rain just to go through security and get in the building. My beautifully straightened hair became a frizz nest. My blood was boiling. Once inside I calmed down again...that is until I reached the end of another ginormous line, this time to get checked in as a juror. Luckily I only had to wait about 20 minutes. Still though, that is a lot of waiting in line, so my day certainly did not start off well. Conclusion: Torture.

I then headed into the Juror Lounge, which basically looks like the cabin of an airplane, or perhaps a long lecture hall. Rows of seats, an aisle in the middle, a lectern in front, and multiple TV's hanging from the ceiling. The chairs are semi-comfy, they play movies, and best of all, there is wi-fi. I checked ahead of time and came prepared with my MacBook. I have cleaned out my reader, updated my blog roll, and answered lots of emails. Conclusion: Pretty Sweet.

They have called two panels so far, and I am not on either of them. Conclusion: Awesome.

We were released for lunch at 1pm. I usually don't get a chance to eat lunch, so an entire hour is a big deal for me. I headed across the street to Cosi, along with 100 other jurors. I waited a long time for my salad (good thing we had an hour) and then had to sit on a window ledge because there were no seats. I would have walked back to the courthouse and eaten there, but I couldn't carry my bag, my salad, my iced tea, and my umbrella without wiping out and/or spilling something. On a happy note, my salad was yummy. Conclusion: Not Fun.

After I returned from lunch, I got a seat at one of the two tables at the front. Working at a table is so much nicer than burning my legs with my laptop. I've got a window behind me, so no one is reading over my shoulder while I type, and although it is crappy out, at least I get a view of the outside world. Also of importance...I am blogging during the day, which is a rare occurance given my job. Oh, and I just realized I have my iPod earbuds in my bag and that I can listen to Pandora. Conclusion: Score.

The panel announcer man just came in and released us all! At 2:30pm. I didn't get called AND I don't have to come back for two years. Conclusion: YAYAY!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog Roll

Yesterday I realized that my blog roll disappeared when I bought my own domain and blogger moved my site to the new address. I want to link to all the awesome blogs out there, so if you want to be included, please let me know! Also, if you are a DC blogger, can you note that too. Thanks!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Memories

My brother is in town for a few days; he has an interview at some place in DC (I am an awesome sister and clearly know all the details). He is crashing on our couch because he recently graduated college and my parents would rather us be all holed up in our teeny, tiny apartment than pay for a hotel. Our mom did send money for our dinner last night, so I guess that makes it okay.

Anyway, we all headed out for some drinks tonight after work. To preface the scene at the bar, let me just tell you that my brother may or may not be the biggest smart ass in the entire world. He always has a witty comment and is quick to make judgments on anything and everything anyone says and/or does.

With that said, I cannot remember ONE THING that I wanted to blog about. He literally said 923597 things that were blog worthy, and hear I sit not recalling one of them. Why does this always happen? I guess I am getting old and need to start writing all the funny stuff down. Welcome to my mid-twenties?

Amusement Parks Aren't Just for Kids

Yesterday my husband and I headed out to the 'burbs for a trip to Six Flags America. The other day the Six Flags twitter-er was offering tickets for 10 dollars, so I jumped on the opportunity and bought us two tickets.

We arrived right when the park opened at 10:30 am and had a blast riding all the roller coasters. The best part...there weren't ANY lines. We were literally hopping on one ride after another with very little time in between. In fact, AJ had to sit down and relax after a while because his stomach got a little queasy. Poor guy. I could have kept going all day!

My favorite ride was the Joker's Jinx, one of the many roller coasters in Gotham City. The train launches from the station and hits 60 mph in under 3 seconds. Talk about starting things off on the right foot! Because the lines were non-existent, we got to ride this coaster twice.


After breaking for lunch, we changed into our swimsuits and hit up the water park. We rode all the waterslides, took a brief dip in the wave pool, and then headed back to DC in the late afternoon.

Ahh, it was so fun pretending to be a kid again!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Birthday Delivery!

I just received a birthday package in the mail from my parents!

Inside the box were:

Gap tank tops in assorted colors:


A maxi dress from Express:

The coolest flip flops EVER:


Actually, they are called SwitchFlops and the straps are interchangeable. The flip flop has velcro on the strap, so they can easily be changed depending on your outfit. How fun is that?

Two additional straps:


They also sent two mini frying pans, a gift card to Olive Garden (from my brother), some treats and a bone for Kona, and a Gap button down shirt for AJ. We wouldn't want anyone to be jealous of all my gifts ;)

Thanks mom and dad!

All About Us

Since our 1 year anniversary is fast approaching, I thought it was the perfect time to steal this fun relationship meme from Ms. Mindless, Ashley, and Mrs. Crab.

1. What are your middle names?
Ann and James. However, I changed my middle name to my maiden name after getting married.

2. How long have you been together?
A little over 3 years.

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We started dating right after we met. For a more in depth post about how we met, click here.

4. Who asked whom out?
Well, the first time we officially hung out, he asked me, but that wasn't really a date. It was more a gathering of people in a bar. I guess our first real date would be my cheer formal, and I kind of asked him to go with me. It's actually a funny story. One night our team was having a party at the cheer house and he had come to hang out with me. All the girls on my team knew I wanted to ask him to formal that night, but I was waiting to build up the courage to ask him. Well, of course one of the other cheerleaders asked if he was going with me before I had asked him. He looked at me and said something along the lines of "I don't know, do you want me to go with you." So then I was like, "Yeah, do you want to go?" It was really funny. We still joke that I "kinda sorta" asked him out.

5. How old are each of you?
I just turned 24 on Wednesday and he is 25.

6. Whose siblings do you see the most?
Definitely mine. I have only met Alson's sister twice. She lives in California.

7. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Law school. It is so stressful for him because, well, it is law school. He wants so badly to do well and make me proud and I know he puts a lot of pressure on himself.

8. Did you go to the same school?
Yes, we went to the same college.

9. Who is smarter?
We are both smart in our own ways.

10. Who is the most sensitive?
Hmm. Depends on the situation. But, the majority of the time, probably me.

11. Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We go to many different places since there is an endless number of restaurants in DC, but we probably frequent the diner on the corner most often.

12. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Well, we went to California to visit his family a few Christmases ago and we went to St. Lucia on our honeymoon. Not sure which is further? Actually, I just googled it. From Raleigh to LA it is 2236 miles. From DC to St. Lucia it is 1981 miles.

13. Who has the craziest exes?
Neither of us, I guess. We have had no ex problems.

14. Who has the worst temper?
Me. I get so fired up about the littlest things.

15. Who does the cooking?
When we eat in, I cook and he cleans. But I hate grocery shopping and he hates doing the dishes, so I don't cook often.

16. Who is the neat-freak?
We both like to be neat, but rarely are neat. We blame it on the size of our apartment.

17. Who is more stubborn?
Me. I like things my way.

18. Who hogs the bed?
Kona

19. Who wakes up earlier?
He does. I am not a morning person whatsoever.

20. Where was your first date?
Like I said before, I guess our first date was my cheer formal. But, our first solo date was at my favorite Italian restaurant in NY, Little Venice. We have the food shipped to us on special occasions. It is SO yummy.

21. Who is more jealous?
Neither of us. This is actually one of the reasons I fell in love with him. He makes me feel like the most important girl in the world and I never get jealous.

22. How long did it take to get serious?
Days. We were engaged after three months of dating!

23. Who eats more?
Definitely him.

24. Who's better with the computer?
Him. When he asks me when I last defragmented my hard drive, I stare blankly.

25. Who drives when you are together?
Now that we live in the city and I am the one driving on a regular basis, I tend to drive if it is somewhere within the city. On long trips and when back in NY, he drives.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday!


I awoke to Eggos and a juice box in bed and flowers on the dining room table. What a great way to start the day!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Inappropriate for School

Tomorrow I have meetings scheduled for the entire day. When I had a day of meetings at this school last month, only one meeting actually took place. If the parents/guardians don't show up, then we can't have the meeting.

I am betting tomorrow will be like last month, particularly because it is the end of the school year. Normally when I have meeting days like this I catch up on report writing. But, because it is the end of the school year, I am not behind on my reports. So needless to say, I will be doing a lot of sitting around tomorrow.

One of my coworkers told me she brings a book to read during the down time. What a great idea! Unfortunately, I am currently reading Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte. I am pretty sure I don't want to bring this book into school tomorrow.

picture - Amazon.com

I guess I better get reading tonight so I can bring a more school appropriate book into work tomorrow.

Hair Woahs

Friday afternoon I went to get my haircut. Prior to arriving at the salon I couldn't decide if I just wanted a trim or if I wanted to cut it short.

I go through phases where I get sick of my hair and want something different. I used to change things up with color, but now that I have a real job, it doesn't seem appropriate to show up to work with jet black or bleach blond hair. Yes, I've had both.

Anyway, two seconds after sitting down at my stylist's station, he informed me that my hair looked terrible and I would look much better if I cut off the length. Well, okay then. I guess, we'll go short.

For comparison purposes, here is a recent picture where you can see the general length of my hair prior to getting it cut.

Graduation dinner in Georgetown

And here is what my hair looked like after the cut. I HATED IT. I felt like a 40 year old living in 1974. I balled my eyes out when I arrived home.

Now you know what I look like when I am unhappy and sans make-up.

I hate the one side of layers and I feel like the length is uneven. Ugh! I know I could go back and have the guy fix it, but I do not want him touching my hair again. I also don't want someone else to fix it, which would involve cutting it shorter, because now I am an anti-short hair and want it to grow back ASAP.

I have been flat ironing my hair to try and make myself semi-presentable, and I don't hate it as much as I did on Friday, but despite my smile, I am still not happy.


Two summers ago I cut my hair and I LOVED it. I think this was a couple weeks after the initial cut, but it was the shortest I had gone in a long time. And I had no cutter's remorse at all. I wish it looked like this again!

August 2007. Pretty, short hair.

Looking back at this picture, it makes me think that cutting my hair a little bit shorter might make it look better. I guess my major problem with my current hair cut is that it looks like it is "growing out". Does that make sense? Oh, I know. It has no style. Ugghh. I should have just gotten the trim!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

TMI

I normally don't share things too nasty because I blush real easily, but I am at my wits end and need your help. Plus, it is TMI Thursday over at LiLu's blog, so I might as well tell you today. Here goes.

In terms of chewing the typical stuff, Kona may be the best dog in the world. She doesn't gnaw on shoes, or furniture, or anything else that other dogs normally sink their teeth into.

No, no. Kona's chew toy of choice is my underwear. And by underwear, I mean dirty underwear.

I can't even tell you how many pairs of underwear I have gone through in the last two plus years. I always put my dirty underwear in the laundry basket and we usually shut our bedroom door when we are gone, but alas, we sometimes run out of the house and forget. Or in the case of today, we leave the overflowing basket in the hallway with the great intention of this forcing us to do laundry. Plus, once a period of time elapses and no underwear are destroyed, we start to get lax and think maybe she won't do it anymore. I know, I know. Joke is on us. Or more specifically, me.

So what inevitably happens when the basket is accessible? Kona tips it over and goes to town on my dirty underwear.

Today, after I came home and saw all the clothes on the floor, I decided I needed to do the laundry so I could find the destroyed pairs and broadcast them to the internet. Don't worry, I washed them before photographing the evidence. Oh, and excuse my granny panties. I prefer full coverage when wearing skirts and dresses.

Peek-a-boo panties:

Homemade crotchless panties:


This little hobby of hers is sick! And it is getting expensive.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Snippet of My Crazy, Random Life

Yesterday I was driving between schools, when all of a sudden my air conditioner stopped working. It was blowing hot air and the light on the knob was flashing. Since it was almost 90 degrees yesterday, this was quite an issue. I rolled down the windows to try and cool down, at which point I started hearing this awful sound coming from my car. A few minutes later I realized that when I braked (?) my oil light came on.

The combination of malfunctions made me nervous so I stopped at the Midas near one of my schools. I normally go there to get my oil changed; in fact I was just there last week. I told the guys what was going on, and one of the mechanics took my car out for a spin. I waited patiently in the waiting area, but I was pretty sure it was taking longer than normal for the test drive. After about 30 minutes the guy finally returned.

Next thing I know they were pulling me into the garage and had me under the car to show me the steady flow of oil that was leaking. The mechanic told me that he had to stop at his house down the street and put oil in the car because he wouldn't have been able to make it back to the shop without blowing the engine. AWESOME. They said they couldn't fix it, it wasn't related to my oil change last week, and that I should call to have it towed to the nearest Toyota dealership. The best part...they didn't charge me a dime. I will be dropping by later this week with some coffee because I really appreciate their help!

I called AAA and they had a guy out to tow me away in less than 15 minutes. I rode with him to the Toyota dealership and only had to pay him $4 for the entire trip. AAA is so worth the money! Here is my poor car on the tow truck.

After explaining the issues to the service consultant, he stopped me and said he had another V6 Camry in that morning with the same problem. Apparently there is some tube that has been rupturing on these kinds of cars (yay, factory warranty!). He said it would take a few days to fix it, that I would have to leave the car, and he would get me a rental. The next thing I know I am walking across the parking lot to Enterprise and picking up a rental car. The only problem...they didn't have any cars available and I was stuck with a van. I about died. I have ALWAYS said I will never drive a van.

Well, never say never right? Here is my van in all its soccer mom glory.


All of this literally happened within a two hour time frame. Nothing in DC happens this fast! It was so crazy. But, because we live in the city and you have to have a permit to park on the street, I had to stop at the DMV on the way home and pick up a rental car parking permit. This took about as long as the entire car breakdown/tow/rental process. Ugh, the DMV! Why must you be the bane of everyone's existence.

Now, the funniest part about this whole experience...I can totally see myself driving a van one day. If I have kids, of course. There is so much space! And the convenience features are out of control. Mirrors built in so you can see the kiddies in the back, automatic sliding doors, more cup holders than I would know what to do with, etc., etc.... We would definitely have to be in the 'burbs though, because parallel parking that thing on the street was almost a catastrophe.

What are your thoughts on the van? Will you have one someday? Seriously, my 17 year old self is dying right now.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Surprise!

This weekend we traveled up to NY to surprise my dad with a 50th birthday party. My mom planned a dinner cruise on Skaneateles Lake with our family and some of my dad's friends. We had a great time and it ended up being an awesome, quick get away for AJ and I.


The day began with my dad, brother, and two of my dad's friends from work golfing at a course near Syracuse. My mom and the other wives then surprised them at a restaurant in town and told him that the 7 of them were going to take the dinner cruise and spend the night on the lake. We arrived on Saturday afternoon shortly after they sat down for a late lunch. My dad was so excited to see us and literally jumped out of his seat!

We then spent the afternoon in my parents hotel room and on their balcony. This is where all the fun started! My dad's secretary and her husband were in the room next store and he almost saw them when we were hanging out on the balcony. People started arriving and had to be shooed away because they were going to ruin the surprise! It was so funny. Here we are hanging out on the balcony. Note our attire. It was only 60 degrees on the lake! Gah, I do not miss NY weather!


We then headed down to our hotel room to get ready, when we ran into some family. They were all hiding out in another hotel room!


Here is my dad when we are heading towards the boat and he realizes all his family and friends are in town! I am so glad the surprise party was a success!

Being on the water was amazing, and luckily it wasn't too chilly on most parts of the boat. I still had to wear a sweater over my dress, but at least I wasn't freezing the entire time.

One of my college roommates is from Skaneateles, so she and her boyfriend met up with us after the cruise. It was so great to catch up and spend time with her! I always forget how much I miss my friends until we are reunited again. I love that we can fall right back into place after not seeing each other for almost a year.

Obviously, I had a great weekend and I hope you all did too!