Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Plan

By now you have probably forgotten that I had some exciting news I wanted to share. Yesterday we finally received the documentation we were waiting for....so I can officially share the good news with all of you!

AJ was offered a job at the law firm where he worked this summer! He worked very hard and put in a lot of hours, so I wasn't too surprised when he called me the morning of his last day at work and told me the good news. We made a lot of sacrifices this summer (long distance marriage, living with my parents, etc.), so we were very happy when he received the offer.

Unfortunately, this means we will be leaving DC next summer. This is a bummer for a few reasons. I have met some wonderful people here and I will be so sad to leave them. I have a pretty great job and am just getting into a groove where I feel comfortable and appreciated. I love city life and am a tad scared of moving back to a suburban area. Ahhh! Those three things are enough to induce a small anxiety attack.

On the other hand, I am so excited to be moving closer to my family (and even more excited to not be in the same quarters!). I grew up with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins by my side and am grateful that my children will have a similar close-knit family experience. I am also thrilled that we can afford to buy a house. And yes, I have already been looking. Also, I am so happy that my husband has a job. Period. In this economy, we just didn't know if he would find one. Even better, he will be working at a firm that doesn't require 80+ hours a week. That just wouldn't work for our family. Plus, he genuinely liked the firm atmosphere and the people that work there, so it really is a win-win situation for him!

As for me....hopefully I will make new friends (but, keep the old!) and find a new job back in Upstate NY. I know it will all work out in the end. For now, I am just happy that we have a plan and am so proud of my husband!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vapiano's Pesto e Spinaci at Home

I love, love, love Vapiano's Pesto e Spinaci. I order it every single time we eat at Vapiano. The last time I watched the chef prepare my dish, I realized that it can't be too hard to replicate at home. I decided to make it the other night...and it was delicious! Here is my take on the dish:

Pesto, Spinach, & Tomato Pasta


Fresh pasta of your choice (I used linguine)
Bag of spinach
Container of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
10 leaves of fresh basil, roughly chopped1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint heavy cream
6 tablespoons pesto
pinch of red pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the garlic. Stir to avoid burning. Add heavy cream and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow sauce to barely simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pesto. Allow sauce to barely simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add tomatoes, spinach, and basil to the sauce. Add the pasta. Toss and serve!

Happy First Day of School!

Today is the first day of school. Summer is officially over and it is back to the daily grind. I'm excited for a new school year, but it is always hard coming back after a long break. Luckily there are a few things that are brightening my day this morning!

I am wearing a pretty Vineyard Vines dress that my husband surprised me with on Friday. He knows that a new first day of school outfit is a must!

I also have a new monogrammed lunch bag courtesy of Simply Bags. The bag is black quilted fabric with kiwi thread and is the perfect size for someone who brings breakfast and lunch to work. The inside is insulated and there are two outside pockets. If you are in the market for a new bag (tote, beach, diaper, laptop, etc.), check out Simply Bags!
Disclaimer: I was sent a free sample of this product. Click here for more information.

The first day of school also brings back fond memories of the days when I was in school. During elementary and middle school, my mom, brother, and I would walk over to my aunt's house for a special first day of school breakfast with my cousins. My aunt would make Belgian waffles (which I always topped with cherries) or french toast, which was such a treat for all of us. I really hope to have some kind of tradition like this for my future kids...it made the first day of school extra special!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lunch Convo

While AJ is finishing a tall Miller Lite and eating Wild (aka super hot) wings at Buffalo Wild Wings at 11:30 AM, the following conversation ensued:

J: Are you going to be drunk before noon?

A: Only if I have another one of these. But, probably not. The hotness kills the alcohol.

J: Oh really? Is that how it works?

A: Yes, it's science. Plus, I'm on vacation, I'm allowed to be drunk before noon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Renovation Rant

Great ready for some complaining.....

One of the advantages of being in NY for the summer was that we would not have to live through the renovation our landlords planned to do in the kitchen, dining room, and half bath. The renovation began the day after I left and was supposed to be finished the last week of July. Wishful thinking, right? Of course, it took longer than expected and we are currently living in a construction zone. When I showed up at the house two weeks ago to drop off some stuff, I started crying right in front of the workers. Construction dust covered every surface and I knew there was no way the work would be completed in a little over a week.

When we showed up this past Sunday the house was clean-ish (as in most of the dust had been removed), but there were no appliances and there was still a laundry list of things that needed to be completed (painting, installing the bathroom, granite, lighting, etc.). We headed out to the store, bought ice, water, beer, Easy Mac, and microwavable soup and set up a cooler in the living room. We have basically been squatting in our house for the last 4 days. Luckily it is restaurant week in DC, so we aren't too sad that we have to eat out every night. Still though, it is annoying to not be able to cook ANYTHING.

The other issue is that we moved all of our stuff from those three rooms into our second bedroom. And because we had nowhere else to put the stuff from NY, our bedroom is also a cluttered mess. The downstairs is a construction zone and the upstairs is a war zone. UGH.

I know I shouldn't complain too much because we haven't payed rent all summer thanks to the renovation and I know it will be beautiful once it is FINALLY completed, but for now I am stressed and upset and just want it to be finished!! Today the granite is going in and the sink should be put in tomorrow. After that they just need to do cabinet hardware and outlet covers. Fingers are crossed that tomorrow will be the last full day of construction.

Thanks for listening. I feel better :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Blurbs

While writing this post, I realized that I had lot of things I want to share. I tried to keep each event short and limited myself to one picture per blurb so that I (hopefully) don't bore everyone to death.

Here are the highlights of my summer!

We celebrated our second anniversary on July 5th. We attended the wedding of one of AJ's college roommates that weekend, so we couldn't do a big anniversary getaway. However, it all worked out in the sense that the wedding was an excuse to get a hotel room and get out of my parent's house for a couple days. Here we are at the reception, which was held at a beautiful country club in Rochester:

Instead of a vacation, we went wine trailing down Cayuga Lake on our way back from the wedding. It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun tasting wines at a bunch of different wineries. I think we came home with 12 bottles. Oops!

AJ and I ran in a 5k the second weekend of July. I finished in 31:15. It was so humid and I wanted to die during the last mile, but I ran the whole time so I guess that isn't too bad. I was hoping to be under 30 minutes, but in the end I was just happy I didn't come in last place!

I successfully hosted a bridal shower and attended the wedding of one of my best friends. Her wedding was very unique and the trip to Charlotte was another mini-vacation for AJ and I. Here we are at the reception:

We also spent a few days here and there at my grandparent's cottage, which is on a small lake in Northern Pennsylvania. I love going to the lake because I feel like I have gone back in time when I am there. We play games, read, chat, swim, drink, and eat....and that is pretty much it. There is no TV, cell phones don't get service, and you are forced to relax. And honestly, how can you not relax with this view??

While at the lake, AJ also had his first experience holding and feeding a baby. My youngest cousin just turned one and we thought he should get some practice since we are hoping to have a baby sometime in the next year. I love this picture because he looks clueless and so scared. Hahaha, poor thing.

The first weekend of August my girlfriends and I road tripped down to Wrightsville Beach for a bachelorette weekend. It stormed on Friday, but we had beautiful beach weather on Saturday and had lots of fun both nights. This was my first girl's only trip and I really enjoyed myself!

I then spent a week staying with a friend in DC because I had to get in a few summer days at work and our renovation project was not (and still is not) completed. We had a nice time cooking together and I watched more trashy reality TV that week than I did all summer. It is so much more fun to watch while drinking wine with a girlfriend.

Last weekend I headed back to NY to pick up AJ and Kona. What happened that weekend deserves a post of its own! Don't you just love a cliffhanger?? (Unless we are Facebook friends...then you already know our news!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to Work

And just like that.....my summer is over! Today is my first official work day of the school year. I can't believe it is mid-August and that the students start back next Monday! I'm not going to lie...I am so ready to be back. I love summer and having the time off is great, but there is something about structure and organization that I crave. I am so excited to set up my office, lay out my planner, and start tackling my to do list. Yes, I know I'm crazy!

My weeks in NY were fun, exciting, stressful, eventful, and involved a lot of travel. I will recap some of the highlights over the next few days, but will try not to bore you all with too many pictures or details!