Archive for 2014

Weekend Review: Christmas 2014

I know I’m a little late on this one, but I wanted to share my Christmas adventures with everyone. Long story short, we decided to do a mini-getaway with the family. While I’d been to Charleston – who am I to say no to fun and travel?

My sister, her kids, and my mom went for the entire week, but I went down Christmas Eve and stayed through the weekend. My sister is notorious for planning every possible second of every day, so I got to see lots of fun things!

On our first day, we visited Magnolia Plantation. I carried Gabe around like he was mine. My ovaries were shouting, GIMME GIMME! But also – isn’t he adorable?

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Auntie M & Gabe

Magnolia Plantation is basically a old Civil War Plantation that has been converted into gardens and a tourist mecca. In fairness, it is beautiful. Below – parts of the garden and the plantation house.

Famed white bridge over the lake/swamp

Famed white bridge over the lake/swamp

Magnolia Plantation House

Magnolia Plantation House

The second day I was there, we spent the day walking around Charleston and finding fun items at the markets. My mom loved those sweet grass baskets. I found an awesome vintage tin for my gallery wall in my apartment. But here’s a cute pic of my 2 nephews:

From L to R: Gabe, Auntie M, and Matthew

From L to R: Gabe, Auntie M, and Matthew

On my last day there, we went to a tea plantation and then to the Angel Oak Tree. The tea plantation was clearly my idea, I picked up their peach infused loose leaf tea đŸ™‚

Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation

And then we stopped in at the Angel Oak Tree which wasn’t very far away. It is estimated to be about 400 years old and it’s actually 4 trees that have grown together.

Angel Oak Tree

Angel Oak Tree

I desperately wanted to climb it, but you can’t even sit on it. That’s me fake leaning, by the way!

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M & the Angel Oak

 

All in all – it was a great Christmas break. The kids tried my patience (and truth be told, so did my sister), but it was great to be with family. The older I get, the more important I realize how much I crave time with my family and these special moments together.

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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!

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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