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!

Life: Some days, some weeks…

I know – you’re just broken

I know – you’re just broken, you’re just broken

I don’t know much, but I know that I’m in a much better place than I was 4 months ago and I’m miles from where I was 7 months ago. I now know that I’m really lucky, that I was let go. That I was set free.

But in case no one ever told you, dating is hard. There are stories, because why wouldn’t there be…some hilarious, some filled with rejection, some just meh. And I’m learning a lot; a lot about what I really want from a partner and what I’m not willing to sacrifice…which are all truly great things, but…

but…

There are some days, some weeks, where my heart feels so lonely that the world feels empty. I know I haven’t given up on the idea of finding a partner that believes I’m worth it and I tell myself to be patient and to stop looking and just wait, but I get scared I’ll wait for a lifetime. And then I just feel broken.

Weekend review: Sweetlife festival

This past weekend I crossed another goal off the old 2014 list and went to the Sweetlife festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion. It wasn’t the usual 3-day festival, but it met necessary criteria by having a lot of great bands there, so I jumped on board. I went with a friend and we kept the day fairly casual, showing up well after doors had opened and sitting back on the lawn people watching in between bands. See, here’s me being casual…

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There were a few rain drops during the day, but ain’t no thang…

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As the day went on, we managed to make quite a few friends that were seated near us. As it turns out, Sweetlife was riddled with 15 year olds getting high before their parents came to pick them up, so all the “oldies” decided to band together. Ahhh, to not be a teen ever again.

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And of course as the day went on, there was plenty of dancing…

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All in all, a really fun day that was drama-free and quite memorable! Goal accomplished.

Weekend review: Homely

Part of the challenge of moving into my own place would be knowing how to fill my time and to be OK with being alone. Sometimes, I’m not OK with that, but it’s always a learning opportunity. Like last weekend when a lot of my friends were either busy or out of town, I had an entire weekend to fill with activities. To find a way to make my time valued and memorable. So what did I do? Exactly what I wanted to.

I’m an avid reader of Young House Love and find that their style inspires my own home decor, which has made it really fun to layer and build up my new apartment. YHL is also based out of Richmond, a mere 2 hour road trip away and this past weekend was the opening of Homerama. I’ve been reading about Homerama for months now over on Young House Love, as they helped decorate one of the houses, and I knew that even though I’d be off an adventure by myself…I just couldn’t miss out.

I didn’t get to meet John and Sherry, but I did geek out over all the little details of the house, and absolutely LOVED seeing something in real life that I’d been stalking online for awhile. Here’s a compilation of all my favorite details in the house. I think style really seeps out in the details and it’s the small pieces that make a statement, rather than the large…er, statement pieces.

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I even met up with a friend from college for a quick coffee and sweet treat down in Carytown while I was in Richmond. All in all, a successful road trip. Did I also mention there was beer and bluegrass at the Homerama? Oh yeah, that was a nice treat too. As it turned out, I was perfectly okay on my own.

Oh and I just have to share my latest baking adventure – Chocolate Whiskey Pecan Pie. It was a recipe I tore out of Real Simple a few months ago and since I had a bit of spare time on my hands, I thought I’d get crafty? Bakey? Something…

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Here’s the recipe for anyone that would like to try it too…

Whisk together:

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp whiskey
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Fold in:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Pour into:

  • 1 unbaked 9-in piecrust

Bake at 350 until the center is set but still slightly wobbly, 40-50 min. Let cool.

Mine was done at 40 minutes and while the center was set and wobbly, it was gooey when I cut into it a few hours later (assuming that’s how it’s meant to be?). It’s definitely a decadent sweet treat and even with only 2 tbsp of whiskey, you still get that nice flavoring. My only mistake? I used a graham cracker crust, which I guess is technically not ‘unbaked’ but it still worked.

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