2015 Goals: Anaconda, the kitteh

It is with a smile on my face (and a cat in my lap) that I excitedly tell you that I’ve crossed off a big goal already on my 2015 list. Just 2 weeks ago, I adopted a kitteh from the Animal Welfare League in Alexandria. I randomly went one day to just “look around” and as it happened, I fell in love. It was pretty much love at first sight, but I’d be lying to you if I said the whole process was a piece of cake.

There was a lot of frustration on my part from previously visiting a dedicated cat shelter and then told I wasn’t a suitable kitteh parent because I wouldn’t be home 24/7. All nonsense and I was offended; if anything, I’m an over qualified kitteh keeper. So it was with a heavy heart that I left one kitteh behind, but little did I know that it would open the door for Anaconda to come into my life.

Kisses with Anaconda

Kisses with Anaconda

Now, I know what you’re thinking…Anaconda? Well, it just so happens that my kitteh is a lover of 90’s music just like her mama. More importantly, she loves the butt scratches. Her name just kind of happened and I actually really love it. I wanted a name that was slightly awkward, to the point that you couldn’t help but laugh or smile when anyone asked. So there you have it; plus, it helps that she’s a little bit awkward herself.

Awkward Anaconda

Awkward Anaconda

Sometimes I wonder how I ever waited this long to adopt a kitteh. I know for a long time I wanted a pup, but with my busy schedule and serious lack of a yard – it just didn’t seem fair. I did kind of struggle with the “cat lady” persona, given that I’m 30 and single…but I’ve had more smiles in the last 2 weeks than I can even count. Her ability to cuddle makes me forget how lonely the world can feel sometimes.

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Cuddle monster

But enough of that, how could I not love someone who already loves me so unconditionally?

Kitteh Love

Kitteh Love

Sometimes I think she must be so grateful to be out of that shelter, but I really just think 2 lost souls finally found each other. Together in cuddle harmony. I’ve always known the love of an animal is an amazing feeling, so I’m glad little Miss Anaconda has already wormed her way into my heart.

I love everything from her purr-meow to the way I wake up to find her sitting on my bladder in the middle of the night. When it comes to this kitteh, I definitely chose joy!

She is indeed, purrrrrr-fect.

 

ps. in related news, I’m really happy to let you guys know that I have also successfully removed the couple of negative people I had in my life. I fulfilled the last of my obligations and have cut communication. It honestly felt like there had been a weight lifted off my shoulders. I really love that 2015 is off to a good start and it’s still 2014 :)

Weekend Review: 90’s jammin’

It was a long weekend and while I could stop to tell you about my non-traditional Thanksgiving, I’ll just skip right ahead to the good stuff. Saturday night!

On Saturday, my good gal pal Sandra and I went to see a 90’s cover band called White Ford Bronco. It’s exactly as awesome as it sounds. Everything from Bush to the Cranberries to even some Backstreet Boys – nothing was off limits. It’s been nearly 6 years since I last saw them (randomly at a New Year’s Eve party), but I was jazzed when I saw they were playing a local bar, instead of a semi-larger venue.

I didn’t really have intentions to dress the part, but as soon as I got started I couldn’t stop. Of course, this is all an updated version of 90’s garb because no way in hell was I cool enough to pull off this style in the actual 90’s. Also, I was a little bit too young for fishnets.

It just so happened that I even had a Paul Frank bag that I’d snagged at a resale shop in Glasgow a couple years back for a festival. Fun, right?

Paul Frank in the hizzous!

Paul Frank in the hizzous!

You’ll notice I’m not smiling in my selfie – going for the grunge, my life is so hard as a teenager look. But I was totally smiling after a few drinks and awesome songs at the bar.

photo 3(6)One guy even randomly called us Daria and Jane. I totally took that as a compliment! Maybe that can be next year’s Halloween costume – brown Daria & Jane. Ha!

This is a crap picture, but here’s one of the band too:

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White Ford Bronco @ Clarendon Grill

And I even made it home without any rips in my fishnets – not sure if that does the 90’s proud or not?

Sunday was for sleeping in and watching movies, but I did get up to one fun activity that will help cross off a goal for 2015. I visited King Street Cats and put in an application for a kitteh!

I don’t want to reveal my little furry friend yet, so here’s a ridiculously cute picture I took of a cat snoozing in a basket high up on a shelf. You could only see his paw and 1 ear. The cute was strong with this one.

MOWR!

MOWR!

Fingers crossed I’ll have a new furry friend before 2015 is here. :)

Weekend Review: Beer, beer, and more beer

Ok, so it’s Friday and I’m only now finding time to tell you about last weekend. My bad.

Anyways – here we go. Last Saturday, I organized a brewery tour for my work peeps. We were meant to go on a wine tour, but not everyone bought their ticket in time…so, the alternative was beer. We started at Bluejacket which is down at Navy Yard. We started with some early morning tasters, food, and then a tour (which went a little longer than any of us anticipated).

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The whole team (minus 1) at the start of the tour.

The tour was really great and informative. If you’re a hardcore beer lover, get to Bluejacket and take the tour. If you just like to drink beer, then get to Bluejacket and skip the tour. After we finished up there, we headed to our next destination, Chocolate City Brewery. And like any good transit loving people, we hopped in a Lyft (not an Uber, because of all the recent controversy). We even won fun sunnies from the driver, he was awesome!

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Sweet Lyft sunnies

Going from Bluejacket to Chocolate City was a complete 180. We went from high-end beer works, to something that resembled a garage. However, the building was cool looking…

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Chocolate City Brewery

And there was some awesome street art nearby that we all took advantage of. This is officially, my favorite work photo evar!

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We’ll call this one “Movement”

Things got a little blurry after Chocolate City. We went to Atlas Brew Works and then ended up out on H Street for quite awhile. There was some epic jukeboxing happening as well as some serious Donkey Kong competition. In the end, there were 3 left standing and I’m honestly surprised we looked this good. ps. That’s totes my boss on the left, how awesome is she??

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Last Women Standing!

Sunday was very much a day of rest and recovery, but not before I had some ME time and got my hair did. It’s been awhile since I’ve had color put in and while I wasn’t really interested in going back to blue or purple, I did think it would be fun to get a little honey/ombre going. Here’s me on Tuesday, with a little curl. The cut is still the same and the rest of my hair is still start, just the long side is now blonde/honey. I’ll be sure to let you know if blondes have more fun.

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Do blondes have more fun?

And last but not least from this week, was Mesha’s surprise birthday party. It wasn’t technically the weekend, but who cares, it was fun. I’ve known Mesha for about 5 years now and we first met when we played gaelic football. We were carpool buddies and pretty much always lost. Since her birthday is always around Thanksgiving, she’s never had a real birthday party. So her awesome wife, Sam, planned one for her and she was genuinely surprised as there were about 15-20 people there! The funny part is that Mesha thought she was coming out to meet me just to hang. Sam told her I was having ‘man troubles’ (never far from the truth) and just needed some quality friend time. She joked when she got there that she almost came out in sweatpants! Ha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Mesha doesn’t like cake, so she got a “beer cake” instead. Pretty sweet, right?

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Mesha’s beer cake

So yeah, that was my weekend. The days after Tuesday have sort of been a blur of emotions. Some happy, some meh, some lonely, some missing family. I didn’t really have a proper Thanksgiving as I decided to stay and just make a little extra cash on the side with pet sitting, but part of me wishes I had gone home. Though I know if I went home, I would have wished I had stayed. Anyways, that’s a story for another time; but, I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with your loved ones. Now, on to Christmas!

Weekend Review: Ireland, England, and Belgium

After publishing my goals stating that I’d blog every Monday, I’ve already missed 2! However, it was for good reason – I was away in Ireland, England, and Belgium!

I was only gone for 11 days, but managed to travel to 3 different countries in that short time frame. Somewhere in the last few days, I did a rundown and I won’t lie to you – I was really exhausted.

Here’s pretty much my trip in a nutshell: 11 days, 8 planes, 4 buses, 3 countries, 2 trains, and an undetermined amount of drinks.

It’s crazy to think I fit all that into one trip, but it was absolutely worth it. It also helped me achieve my 2014 goal of traveling to 3 international destinations. Boom! So what exactly was I doing? Well, I’ll tell ya :)

Ireland: I was invited to long-time friends, Edel and John’s, wedding. I first met Edel and John in Australia when I went back after I graduated from college. It’s crazy to think we stayed friends all this time, but how could I not? They are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful couples I’ve know from the start. I was even there when they first got together. I remember the days when Edel and I would gossip over coffee and she’d gush that she had a crush on John! Teehee.

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At the reception, Edel and John’s wedding.

I also got to catch up with long-time friend, Emer, who I also met during my Aussie days. We hadn’t seen each other in 7 years. We decided we won’t let it go that long again!

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Myself and Emer

England: I certainly couldn’t go all that way without hopping over to visit my sister and her munchkins. I realized this summer that they were just growing up too fast and I didn’t want to miss a single moment. A quick flight to Manchester and a train out to her and I was snuggled up with my 2 little English muffins, Lewis and Georgina.

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Georgina playing with my nose ring.

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Eskimo kisses with Lewis

And I couldn’t forget a selfie with my sis, Izzy. I’d say we haven’t changed all that much since our days in the Netherlands.

Me & Izzy

Me & Izzy

Belgium: And as promised to myself, anytime I went to see my sister, I’d stop in to see the Manchester girls. It was a promise I made when Allison passed away – a reminder that the days are long, but the years are short. The Manchester girls and I always try to do something a little bit different. Even if we can’t afford much, we like adventure. If you can believe it, Brussels is actually pretty cheap – to both get to and to get around. We went for fun. You can read that as lots of drinking, little bit of sightseeing. Definitely a great holiday!

Shelley, Lindsey, and Me in Grand Place, Brussels

Shelley, Lindsey, and Me in Grand Place, Brussels

A little blurry, but the trio in a pub (shock!)

A little blurry, but the trio in a pub (shock!)

Grabbing lunch at Le Cirio, Brussels

Grabbing lunch at Le Cirio, Brussels

The only thing I wish I’d had more of (other than sleep!) would have been time. I would have loved to be able to make it Glasgow to see my old work friends and down to London to catch up with a few more travel buddies. It’s just been too long. Maybe next year :)

Goals: Ready for 2015

I know, I know – I’m early. I’ve also been a little absent as of late. I hate that I keep promising I’ll be more active and yet can’t find the time – so I decided to kick off my 2015 goals a little early to help me really define what was important and what needed to be cut. Spoiler alert: the blog made the ‘important’ list. Woot.

I think I struggled a lot in 2014 because my goals weren’t measurable and while that was definitely a conscious decision, it was one that left me frustrated. So this year, I’m going back to my measurable goals and I’m excited to admit, I’m ready for that accountability again. I’m going to wait until January to review my 2014 goals as I’ll be knocking off a few things very soon, but I know I fell short in some areas. Instead of beating myself up, I’ve just decided to look ahead. So here’s 2015, admittedly, I’m starting in 2014.

  1. Reach goal weight (165) – that is and isn’t an arbitrary number. It’s there to give me a number to work towards, but it’s also there as motivation.
  2. Run a 10-miler. I’m starting training now with the plan that I’ll make it into the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in March/April time frame.
  3. Remove negative people from my life (this one is very specific, but I know better than to talk shit about crazy people on the interwebs).
  4. Adopt/Rescue 1 animal (cat? dog?).
  5. Blog 4 times per month (my goal is to make that Mondays, FYI).
  6. Travel to 4 new places, domestic or international (basically, 1 per quarter).
  7. Read 20 books
  8. Year 3 of the happiness project
  9. Pay off extraneous credit cards and close as soon as possible
  10. Reduce number of jobs to 1.5 (instead of 3)
  11. Take a new class (possibly design)
  12. Try Gaelic sports again (all depending on how my knee feels)

I think most of those are pretty self explanatory, except maybe #10. In case you didn’t know, when it rains it pours and while there was a time when I had barely half a job, I now have 3 (full time regular, dog daycare/pet sitting, and then the Mary Kay business I attempted this summer).

Pretty much effective immediately I’ll cease my MK biz. While I struggled with a little guilt at first because I felt like a failure, I don’t feel guilty anymore. Simply put, I didn’t enjoy it. Sales is not my forte; however, I am very pleased that I tried it, met new women, and learned some new skills. I even attribute the confidence I gained in those first few months to finally landing my job that I have now (and love!). No regrets, not a one.

As for the dog daycare/pet sitting – my goal is to reduce that to 2-3 shifts a month total (either at the daycare or pet sitting). While I do like it, I find that I hate how busy I feel and quite frankly, I feel exhausted and worn down. I’m also likely to stop my dog training observation. I don’t have the time to fully commit to attending every Monday night and I don’t feel as though I’m learning anything new. I keep repeating the same classes for observation. I want progression and movement and it’s just not happening. I do still plan to continue to learn and see what other opportunities are in the area – but I just don’t think the observations I’ve been doing this summer/fall suit me or my schedule. When I’m not learning, I get frustrated.

Speaking of learning, I really hope to take a class next year. Possibly design and see how much I love it again – see if I want to go for a certificate or maybe even explore Masters options. Getting a masters might be way beyond what I really want, but I like the thought of exploring what’s out there.

So there you have it – I’m ready for 2015 and I’m already knocking some of the more pressing goals off my list. I think it’s important to focus on the things that make me happy instead of the things that stress me out. I want to have time to relax, an opportunity to feel bored (so I can then sit down to read or think up an adventure), time to hang out with my friends and not have to consult my calendar every time, etc. What I don’t want is how I’ve felt the past few months – overwhelmed. While I’ve had tons of fun, it’s just almost been too much.

To 2015, the year I’m going to focus on ME and the year I’m going to choose joy above all else.

Music Monday: Chromeo

This probably won’t be a regular sort of post for me, but this is too good not to share. After seeing Chromeo live at 9:30 Club last Monday, I stumbled across their new video, “Old 45’s.” Awesome shot, right? Hello mirrored guitar!

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It’s Monday, you look like you need some music, so I thought I’d share.

I saw a comment on Instagram that basically said…this is what would happen if Peter Frampton and Prince met up in 2014. I pretty much agree. Happy Monday, peeps!

Apartment: Bedroom Updates

It’s been awhile since my last apartment update and that’s mostly because I’ve been slow about buying what I really wanted. There are a few items I still haven’t decided on yet and some I’m still trying to find, but now that it’s been nearly 6 months since I moved in, I’m at least happy to report that the “bedroom” portion is practically complete. Here’s where we left off with the list:

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 windowΒ 
  • Add soft curtains

And here is where we’re at now:

photo 1(2)I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t straighten out the duvet a bit more, but I took this picture before work one morning. The big difference though is that shiny new starburst copper mirror above the bed! I was actually really pleased with myself as I got it on a super sale from Wayfair with free shipping and then had a 10% off coupon too! Total price was around $68. If you’ve stalked decorative mirrors before, you know they can run upwards of $200-300! Ridiculous.

From my list above, I’m still missing the rug and soft curtains. I actually waiver on the curtains most days as the window is so large, they would strictly be decorative and not functional. Plus, I have plants and other items on the window sill, so not sure it really makes sense. I could still be convinced on a rug though. Something fluffy and lush perhaps!

As for the rest of the apartment, it’s somewhat unchanged, though I realized you never saw the living space with the rug. Here it is in all it’s glory…

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Living room

  • Buy couch/loveseat
  • Add slipper chair if room
  • Add graphic rug
  • Add something on back wall over couch
  • Frame out TV on long dresser and add picture wall (in progress)
  • Add lighting (just updated lamp shade on existing lamp instead!)
  • Add small storage ottoman

There are still some bigger items left on this list, but I’ve also changed my mind about the ottoman. Maybe just a side table instead as I think that’s something I would be able to use more. We’ll see. I’m still working on the picture wall and slowly adding to it, but finding the right size frames without breaking the bank is damn near impossible.

As for the rest of it…well, the work space hasn’t received much attention. And the entry way hasn’t been for lack of trying. I just can’t find the right size mirror I want. It would be finished if I found that – so if anyone has any suggestions, fire away. I’m basically looking for a decorative mirror with a pretty frame, no larger than 15″ wide.

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

But that’s all I have for now on your Friday apartment update. Thrilling stuff, I know!

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