Weekend review: Labor Day (plus a rewind!)

This past weekend flew by and while I had intentions of at least one other blog post…alas, it is Monday night. Already. Sadsies.

I did a lot of work over my holiday weekend, but I did manage at least one, fun awesome day of wine tasting with my sis and a few friends. It’s kind of turned into a tradition that my sis and I go wine tasting and after a few really fun trips with a couple of people…we’ve sort of, accidentally on purpose, turned into a wine group.

Yesterday, we checked out Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville, VA. And yes, the tasting room is actually in a wine cave!

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While the winery itself has that “small business” feel to it, there are over 200 acres of land/vineyards. All of us really loved that Maggie herself, was behind the counter, pouring her guests tastings and interacting with everyone. Of course, we got a photo!

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And here’s the view!

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They had a live jazz band there as well. Here’s Belle enjoying the music (and yes, we only pick wineries that are pup friendly so Belle can join the fun!).

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It was a great day with the wine group and we’re already planning our next winery adventure. It’s pretty fun to just pick a spot, meet up, eat and drink for a few hours, and walk away with some great memories.

And since I’m here, I thought I’d do a quick recap of the past few weeks since I haven’t quite found my blogging groove again. I’m working on figuring out a schedule that works for me, but for now…here we go. Here are 4 great pics that sum up my past couple weekends.

1. Brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon: Had brunch with a long-time friend and her hubby a few weekends back. They were visiting for a conference and we met up for bottomless mimosas at Beuchert’s Saloon. We kept the party going and had a few more bevvies. I don’t know what we’re all laughing at here, but this picture is priceless in my book. I do love the friends I’ve made along the way and even though we don’t talk every day, we’ve managed to stay in touch.

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2.
Road trip to Richmond: I visited Richmond, VA last weekend to catch up with an old college friend. In truth, we were really only acquaintances at best, but life has a way of bringing people together when you need them most and now she’s definitely a friend. Here’s her adorable pup, Annabelle. You know I was in love!

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3. Puppy sitting
I’ve been puppy sitting again to boost my travel fund. Sometimes I forget how fun it can be, especially when you get to hang out in rich people’s houses and enjoy their fancy hammocks. Man, I love a good hammock.

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4. New job!
And last, but not least…my new job! I’m in love, people. In love! My coworkers are fab and I love all the events and adventures I get to go on. It’s not all conferences in SF, but just getting to be a part of something greater has put new spirit and excitement in my blood. They look to me as a marketing guru and when I voice an opinion, I”m heard! I’m also doing TONS of reading which feels good and I feel like my writing has been elevated. There is a big hill to climb, in terms of getting our site/blog/feed really out there…but it’s good to be a part of a team again. Here I am in Crystal City, checking out an art installation called #crystalwings. We saw it coming back from an event. Fun, right?!

photo 4(1)And that’s a wrap. Back to your regularly scheduled Monday program!

Adventure: Geocaching

So – has anyone ever geocached before? I know I’ve heard about it, but never really thought about giving it a try or investigating it.

It’s actually come up in quite a few conversations since I started my new job as apparently, my boss is a fairly avid geocacher (is that correct terminology?). So last night, after quite a few drinks, a few of us decided that we were going to geocache around SF. At 2 AM. No big deal.

Let me just say – it was so much fun! Look at my face…lol. Also pictured, my boss (to the right) and a colleague (to the left).

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It was so much fun that we did 2 last night. I don’t know if they were “hard” but it did take us awhile to find them (we were also drunk). I’m sure we looked like loons rubbing our hands over the walls, trash cans, etc trying to find the cache. Here’s a pic of one of the caches we found:

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We were so excited, but since we didn’t have a pen, we just marked it in red lip gloss. Ha – so if you’re caching in SF and find that one. It was me.

So, if you are like me, a total newb to the scene, allow me to briefly explain how you even get started. You geocache using the official app and it’s pretty much a treasure hunt. Not actual treasure, per se (though apparently sometimes!), but it’s about finding hidden items that are left for other cachers in plain sight. Here’s a screenshot of the app – so many around me…only 24 hours left in the city.

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Once you find the cache, you log it and submit that you’ve found it, earning a sweet smiley face on the map! And then you put it back so other people can find it. What’s amazing is that the 2nd cache we found had already been found 3 times earlier that day. How cool is that to think that somewhere out there, 3 other geocachers made the same discovery I did on August 5, but on the whole…most people are entirely clueless.

I don’t know if I’ll turn into a fanatical geocacher, but for now, I love the new adventure and plan on doing it wherever I go. I even looked up quite a few around my apartment. Can’t wait!

Goals: NEW Career

It’s been awhile since my last post and since then the universe has made way for some exciting new opportunities. For awhile, my life was very much submitting job applications and going on interviews and then my luck changed and I landed a new gig.

I am now a Marketing Manager for a Transportation Demand Management company based out of Arlington, VA. I don’t know much about TDM, but I do know about marketing and I’m very excited to work for a company that focuses on change in my local area.

I’ve been with the company for a whopping 2 weeks and am already out on a business trip in San Fran at a conference. Fun! Here’s a pic of me on my 3rd day of work with a new colleague who had also recently started:

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It’s a welcome change and now that things have settled down a bit, I hope to get back to blogging a lot more regularly. I hate that I’ve been absent, but a lot of that came down to me being ashamed of not having my life together. But no more…yay!

Now I just need a furry friend and find a decent human being that likes the same stuff I do and we can call it a day….

Family: The Wee-Yins Part 2

In 2012, I shared a few pictures of my nieces and nephews, taking absolute pride and joy that I was indeed an auntie. I also loved that I got to see each  munchkin right as they had been born. A year later, there was a new addition to the family but because the family lives in England, I wasn’t able to cuddle this cutie until now. Meet Georgina!

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Number 4 (of 5) is also my god-daughter. I’ve never been a god-parent and I can’t honestly say I really know what that entails, but I plan on snuggling and spoiling her rotten (as I do with ALL the kiddos). She is so much the spit-image of my sister it cracks me up. I want a mini-me! Haha.

And then nearly 2 weeks ago, we welcomed yet another cuddle bug to the family. This is Gabriel and the youngest brother to Matthew and Maddie. I can’t believe how tiny he is. So wee, so fragile, so perfect.

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I’d be willing to bet my mama-clock is on overdrive and I have a little bit of baby fever (how could you not around these cuties?), but I love these kids to the moon and back. I can’t wait to watch them grow into tiny little humans. Aren’t they just the sweetest? Clearly, not biased at all!

Life: An overdue update

Well, it’s been about 3 weeks since my last update and if you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that’s a bit unlike me. But there is a good reason and it’s filled with all sorts of awkward and cringe-worthy moments. I have been keeping busy and doing fun things (as is evidenced by my Instagram), but it’s the in-between moments that cause a great sigh.

Without further ado, I’m practically unemployed (practically = 1 day a week on the payroll). For a few days, I was really embarrassed and sad, hence no blogging. And then after I called my mom and cried a bit, I decided that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed and picked up those good old boot straps and got to work (again, no time for blogging). Namely, I started applying for jobs like crazy. Not that I haven’t been doing that since January (SINCE JANUARY?!?!), but I just increased the volume probably 3-fold.

In case you have a cushy job and your financial future is not in jeopardy, let me just tell you…it’s hard out there. CRAZY FUCKING HARD. But, I’m nothing but a bubble of positivity and I know that all of the good faith efforts I’m putting out there will come back to me in some form or fashion. In fact, I have a few interviews lined up already. So if you wouldn’t mind, cross your fingers, your toes, your legs, whatever…and send some good vibes my way?

So the second half of this story comes down that giant bubble of positivity. It’s probably no surprise that I was struggling a little at the start of the year and I felt lost a lot of the time. I had a hard time getting the momentum going, until about 3 weeks ago. What did I do 3 weeks ago? Oh ya know…I started my own business. I know you’re confused since I just told you I was unemployed, but I have been dedicating a quarter of my time to Mary Kay. Yep, you heard me and not too much of a shocker here, but I love it. I don’t love it because it’s make-up and skin care. I love it because it has pushed me in ways I didn’t think possible.

I sell things now. That requires courage to a certain extent.
I cold call people and handle rejection like a pro.
I attend success meetings filled with positive women who encourage me every week.
I’m following a business model (A BUSINESS MODEL…say what?) and learning how to manage profit.
I’m building my network, little by little.
I’m starting a business from the ground up. That’s hard. REALLY HARD!

But these are all good things and if there’s been anything I’ve noticed in the past 3 weeks since I was reduced to 1 day a week, pinching every penny, and finding ways to source extra cash…it’s that my stress level has been reduced and that I can actually sleep through the night. I know my network is currently small and I’m at a slight disadvantage compared to most other consultants in terms of kick-starting their business, but you know what I’ve got…determination, because my back is against the wall.

Yes, I still plan to go into a full-time marketing/content development position, but I definitely want to keep Mary Kay up and running. It’s given me confidence that I knew I was lacking and it’s given me an amazing outlook.

So yes, the future is a little nerve-racking and I don’t currently participate in anything unless it’s free…but I know that the good I put into the world will come back to me.

So now that I’ve shared my awkward news, you can probably expect my regular posts to return. Weekend reviews, apartment updates, maybe even a few DIYs that I’ve had on my list for awhile. So yeah, happy Friday…here’s to the weekend and better things in the future!

Apartment: Evolution of a Room

My last apartment update was almost exactly one month ago and since that time, there have been a few additions to the family. I definitely feel like it’s moving at a slow pace so I can get used to where I want things and how I use my space, but a few of these larger items instantly make the room feel warmer and a little more complete! Here’s the current state of the living room in my studio:

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Since your last visit to my humble abode, I’ve added the following:

  • A loveseat (I had bought it last time, but it hadn’t been delivered yet)
  • A garden stool – to be used for extra seating but primarily as a coffee table
  • A slipper chair (for added seating)
  • Pillows and throw to couch – you know, to make it more inviting
  • Framed art above the couch
  • Wicker basket to hold sewing goodies (hidden behind slipper chair)

*phew* That’s a lot now that I look back at it. The pillows on the couch were actually the ones on my bed, but thought they worked better here. I replaced the ones on the bed with 2 coral/orange pillows I found at Marshall’s.

The framed “art” above the couch might be my favorite addition in this round. It’s actually from a calendar I received in my January PopSugar Must Have box and as soon as I saw them, I knew they would be perfect in my new place. All the cities pictured are places I’ve visited during my travels.

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As for the wicker basket that I mentioned, I originally snagged it to house my extensive blanket collection (what – I like to keep cozy), but I thought it just looked messy and too cluttered. So I decided I’d put some of my sewing materials in there and keep it in eye sight to hopefully encourage me to sew a little more…definitely NOT out of sight, out of mind. This sort of naturally developed into my sewing corner with my machines set up there. I’m thinking about painting the bottom of the basket, but have left it for now to see how I like it as is.

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There are still a few things to add (especially on the opposite wall, not pictured) and a few things that are currently in transit (like an area rug), but this area is even closer to being completed. Here’s a compilation of where I started and where I’m at currently:

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Not bad, eh? And just to round out this post so you know where I’m headed, here’s my big list of things to still be done:

Bedroom

  • Buy white duvet cover
  • Buy 4 standard, white pillow cases
  • Add 2 decorative pillows
  • Add decorative mirror or framed graphic over bed
  • Add small rugs next to bed (maybe)
  • Add picture frame shelving next to window (not pictured, will show in next update)
  • Add soft curtains

Living room

  • Buy couch/loveseat
  • Add slipper chair if room
  • Add graphic rug (purchased and in transit)
  • Add something on back wall over couch
  • Frame out TV on long dresser and add picture wall
  • Add lighting
  • Add small storage ottoman

Work space

  • Update desk
  • Update work area to be functional for both work and crafts

Entry

  • Add graphics, small mirrors, etc to wall at entry

Weekend review: DC United!

This past weekend was spent celebrating a friend’s birthday. She’s a big soccer fan and while I don’t care much for the sport, I do care about tailgating and having fun with friends.

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Plan on checking out a DC United game while in town and want a cool DC insider tip? OK, here goes…

An all you can eat and drink experience with the Screaming Eagles, DC United’s ultimate fans, will set you back a whopping $12. At first I was skeptical, surely they must be serving up the crappiest of beer and the sort of hot dogs where you can’t even pronounce the ingredients; but no, only the best for this crowd. A variety of DC Brau brews were on tap and tasty noms like chorizo, bratwurst, tortellini, and veggie burgers were up for grabs! Om, nom, nom. Not to mention the cornhole and the ever welcoming regulars – they were all to happy to add a few more eagles to their screaming crew.

We also happened to be there on military appreciation night, so we snagged these sweet camo hats too.

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I KNOW! The seats weren’t half bad either and the atmosphere was great. Made a few new friends, waved a few flags, and felt all patriotic ‘n shiz.

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United ended up in a draw against Montreal, but I think everyone was simply excited by the fact that we didn’t lose. Hellz yeah! USA, USA, USA!

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