Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Monday!

I survived the long weekend in the mountain home with my parents and in-laws! It actually was a lot of fun and I will write a full recap later today or tomorrow. The 3 and a half hour drive took us 6 hours on Wednesday and we came home to no hot water yesterday, but other than those two snafus the holiday weekend was a success!

Today you can catch me over at the DC Ladies with an easy recipe to get you back into the swing of things following Thanksgiving! I will be posting a recipe or restaurant review on DC Ladies every other Monday, so be sure to check me out :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Mouse Interrupts the Weekend Recap

Woo hoo! It's the best Monday of the year! Only one more day of work this week and it's the weekend again! Our weekend flew by so I am looking forward to some more relaxation time over the long weekend.

A few highlights.....

I went to a New Moon party hosted by Miss Mindless. She and her friend went all out and it was such a blast! I made AJ come with me too. Don't worry, he and Mr. Mindless (haha, I bet he won't like that nickname) had fun together. They even participated in the games. Later that night we all went to see New Moon. Obviously I loved it!

I went to a Wii Fit Plus party hosted by La Petite Chic on Sunday morning. It was so much fun! I love the new features of Wii Fit Plus and as always, Brand About Town put on an awesome party.

I was going to post more details, but there is a mouse running around our living room and I just can't focus!! Gross! We have had mouse traps set up for weeks and we can't catch this stupid mouse. Grrrr. Anyone have any secret mouse trapping tricks?

Back to screaming and standing on the back of the couch!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hold the Holiday Cheer

After church tonight we headed to Uno Pizzeria for dinner. They were playing Christmas music inside the restaurant! I know that Christmas is right around the corner, but I really think we should wait until Thanksgiving is over to start celebrating.

I know, I know...this kind of makes me a hypocrite considering that I have already begun Christmas shopping, but I'm talking outright celebration, not Christmas preparations.

Don't get me wrong, I plan on watching Elf Thursday night on USA (and probably Friday and Saturday night too) and I will put up our Christmas tree a week from tonight, but I just can't do anything until I have eaten my Thanksgiving dinner.

Does this make me a scrooge?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Thanksgiving Plan

Next week AJ, Kona, and I are venturing up to the Poconos for Thanksgiving weekend. Last year we drove back to NY for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and it was just too much. This year we decided to rent a cabin with both sets of parents and meet half way. I am excited about being holed up in the woods for a few days, but am also freaking out about all 6 of us (and 2 dogs) spending 4 days together....crazy, right?

We hosted my parents, my brother, and AJ's parents for Thanksgiving in North Carolina two years ago and that was a success. We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, the guys played golf while the ladies went shopping on Friday, we all went to the ECU football game on Saturday, and everyone parted ways on Sunday. However, our parents were in hotels, so we all had our own space and could part ways if need be.

Everyone gets along pretty well, but there are a few distinct differences between our families. My brother usually provides comic relief when things get tense or awkward, but he has to work and won't be joining us this year. I am hoping we can all get along and that there are no major issues. Otherwise we're all in for a loonnnng weekend.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Great Finds!

I've come across some really great products recently and thought I would share the finds with all of you!

I follow a few of the "frugal blogs" (Money Saving Mom, Fantabulously Frugal, Frugal in Virgina) for the deals info and advice on different ways to save money. One of my favorite types of posts are the ones alerting everyone to free samples. The samples make great travel items and often introduce me to various products I normally would not buy.

Photo from Burt's Bees

A couple weeks ago I received a sample of Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment and I am OBSESSED. I was worried that my skin might break out after going off the pill, so when I saw this free sample I signed up right away. My skin isn't bad, but I definitely get a few ginormous pimples every now and then. The spot treatment is a liquid that you rub anywhere that you have a pimple and it literally works like magic in just a couple of days. The bottle says the active ingredient is salicylic acid, but the website lists a bunch of other inactive ingredients (in case you are interested). It retails for $10 on the website and I will definitely be ordering a bottle when my sample runs out!

Switching gears....

I recently ordered a tea set and a coffee set from Yedi Houseware via One Kings Lane (let me know if you want an invite!) and am very impressed with their products, so I wanted to share these finds with you too!

My mom's family draws names for Christmas because there are so many of us (I think there are 40 people?) and we can't buy gifts for everyone. This year we drew my 3 and a half year old cousin. While browsing One Kings Lane I stumbled upon the Yedi sale and knew that the Polka Dot Tea Set would be perfect for her. Here she is last May at my bridal tea:


Yes, she is squeezing her tea bag with her hand. Hehe.

The set is great quality, cute as can be, and comes in really nice packaging. I can't wait to see her open it on Christmas day. I remember I was her age when I received my first tea set and hope she enjoys hers as much as I enjoyed mine. When I was looking at the website just now I saw that the tea set was featured in Oprah at Home magazine!


I also ordered the Birch Coffee Set from One Kings Lane for AJ's parents. These colors fit perfectly with their style and I know they will get great use out of them. They are so hard to buy for and I thought this was a practical gift that will hopefully last a long time. This set was featured in Good Housekeeping magazine!


You can't really see the details in this picture (I love how the inside is a different color) so here is a photo from the Yedi website too.


Hopefully this was a useful post. I have a tendency to only call out companies or products that suck, so I wanted to spotlight a few things that have made me happy lately!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday! I am in a great mood today and I think it is because I have had a really amazing weekend. This is a pretty long recap, so bear with me!

Friday night we met up for margaritas with Miss Mindless before heading down to Barracks Row. We ate at Jordan's 8 and I finally tried sushi! We ordered Shrimp Tempura and Lava Rolls and I liked them both. I am already looking forward to my next sushi experience. We came home after dinner and watched Monsters vs. Aliens in front of a fire. I fell asleep shortly after the movie started, but AJ tells me it was pretty funny.

I'm not sure where all our energy and enthusiasm came from, but we were up and at 'em bright and early yesterday morning.

I had seen and heard about the $1 scarf sale at Old Navy and really wanted to stock up on some Christmas gifts. We showed up right at 9 am and hit the jackpot.

I bought 10 scarves total...6 women's and 4 men's. I also bought AJ a sweater and plaid flannel shirt. There was another promotion going on where you received an extra 30% off when you used your ON/Gap/BR card, so I ended up spending only $40 total!

We then headed over to Barnes & Noble to get some coffee and I finally tried a decaf pumpkin spice latte. It tasted just as good as the real thing. I had a $15 B&N gift card left over from Christmas 2007 so I gave it to AJ so he could buy the latest book in his favorite series (The Wheel of Time). There are a few books I wanted to buy, but I hate buying books unless I know I am going to love them. Anyone else with me on this one?

Next on our list was Pet Smart. We bought training treats and a clicker in hopes that Kona can learn some manners. She knows how to sit, but other than that is pretty much a lost cause. Has anyone used clicker training? Any tips?

Then we hit up AT&T. I was eligible for an upgrade back in July, but my BlackBerry was still working and I wanted to get a few real paychecks under my belt before I splurged on a new phone. Well the day finally came....I bought an iPhone! It is just as amazing as everyone said it would be and I'm in love! What apps should I download? So far I have Nike + iPod, Facebook, UrbanSpoon, Shazam, Pandra, To Do's, Twitterrific (Yes, I'm baaaack), ESPN ScoreCenter, NYTimes, and Google.

Our early morning shopping made us super hungry so we stopped for a quick breakfast at a diner in Virginia. The food was pretty good, but still pales in comparison to may favorite diner at home. I think I've mentioned this before, but the two things I miss most about NY are diners and Italian restaurants. Sigh.

Once we made it back into DC it was almost noon and by this time people were out in swarms. Our final stop was the hardware store where we could barely maneuver the aisles....partly because the aisles are SO NARROW, but mostly because there were 30 people in a teeny tiny store. This is exactly why I like shopping early on Saturday mornings.

The rest of the day was spent finishing up cleaning the house (I helped this time) and drinking tea, eating cinnamon crumb cake, and chatting with PP&MS. It was a really fun and relaxing afternoon.

Last night we went to 5 o'clock mass followed by a wine and cheese party in the church rectory. We then went to Sonoma, a wine bar on the hill. The food was less than stellar, but the atmosphere was nice. We lounged on a couch and drank some red wine. Senator Al Franken was also dining at Sonoma last night. I wanted to get a picture, but it would have been so obvious and I didn't want to disturb his meal. I was definitely star struck though. I mean c'mon, he used to be Stuart Smalley!

Because our food wasn't that great and we weren't full, we decided to head over to Good Stuff Eatery, the burger restaurant owned by Spike from Top Chef. We split a burger, but we probably could have each eaten the whole thing because it was so yummy! I saw Spike walking through the restaurant as we were eating and wanted to say hey and/or take a picture, but I was too chicken. Lucky for me, after we left the restaurant we were standing at the corner waiting to cross the street when he suddenly ran right in front of us while trying to hail a cab. AJ said "Spike" and he turned around and said hey guys and to have a good night. Squeal! I immediately called my mom to brag. Haha.

Today we went grocery shopping and are now watching football. It is another beautiful fall day here in DC so we are planning to take Kona on a nice long walk later. I might sit outside for a while and read too. We've got to enjoy the nice weather while it is still here!

So that is our weekend in a pretty big nutshell. I hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cleaning Day

Today was cleaning day at our house! AJ, the best househusband ever, did laundry, folded clothes, cleaned our bedroom, did the dishes, etc.

I came home from work today and promptly snuggled up on the couch because it is freezing in our house and I hate cleaning.

Here I am not cleaning:

(Note the hot rollers on the floor by the door. I know, I know, they should be in the bathroom or bedroom...but this is what works for me. I put them in my hair every morning as I am literally walking out the door. Yes, this means I wear them in the car.)

This is the picture he took of himself after taking the above picture of me.


He was not happy that I wasn't helping. Luckily, we both burst out laughing when we looked at the pictures.

I plan to take him out to dinner tonight to make up for my lack of cleaning. Fair trade, right?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rant

I'd like to throw a question out to the universe...

Why don't people understand that I am married?

I know I don't look all that old, but I wear my engagement and wedding rings EVERY DAY and always sign my emails with Mrs. Last Name AND introduce myself as Mrs. Last Name.

Now, I know it is the culture of a lot of schools to only call people Miss Last Name (whether you are married or not) because it is easier for young kids. I am fine with being called Miss...that isn't the issue for me. But I get really annoyed when people ask me about my boyfriend. Even worse is when they act SO surprised when I mention my husband. And then people usually say something asinine that makes me even more annoyed.

Really?? You never noticed the rings? You didn't see the Mrs. Last Name signs and visual cues all over my office?

This is definitely a pet peeve.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cheap Finds

Have you shopped at Coldwater Creek?

I was browsing online for Christmas presents for my mom (it is one of her favorite stores) and I found a few really cute accessories! The best part, they have an outlet section on their website and there are some amazing deals. I ended up buying a purse and a pair of shoes for myself, in addition to Christmas presents. Oops! Merry Christmas to me?

The deals were too good to pass up though. I used a coupon code and combined with the already discounted merchandise, I saved a bunch of money.

I got this ruffled leather purse for $27! I don't see it on the website anymore, so they must have sold out.


I got these buckle flats for $22! I am always looking for pretty flats because I can wear them to work and not feel way overdressed.


Have you stumbled upon any random stores where you found cute stuff? I'd love to check them out!