Archive for family

Life: An Attitude Update

Last you read about life (and love), I was pretty down in the dumps. Not by choice, but more by circumstance. Circumstances haven’t really changed, but then I remembered my Great Aunt Alberta and what she told me when she was about 80.

Be with the ones you love & that love you. And if they don’t love you, then FUCK ‘EM!

I’ll never forget the moment she told me that. I think my eyes popped out of my head, but I also remember that whatever I did, I needed to write that down so I wouldn’t forget it. I knew it would come in handy, like it did recently. So while I still find myself frustrated with dating and lonely at times (on a grander scheme), I also know that I have to be patient and I need to put myself first 100% of the time.

So what changed? I let go, as much as I could. I may not be able to ever let go of insecurities until I’m in a relationship where there is no reason to feel insecure, but I let go of people not loving me and people not wanting to make time for me. Right before my mom came, I felt calm. I haven’t felt that calm in a very long time (or at least since I’ve been single).

With my 31st birthday in 2 days, I’m really focused on doing more for me instead of trying to fix me for someone else. Do the things that I love more. Pay less attention to the things I loathe. It’s a struggle for sure, but at least I feel like I’m on a better path.

I’m more focused on things like planning a vacation with my mom (just us!) or traveling again with friends and by myself. Pinching pennies but still planning great adventures (you can do both, right?). There are definitely times I feel inadequate, but it’s my life. I’m going to live it how I want. Spending my time with the ones I love and those that love me back.

Fuck the rest. (Thanks Great Aunt Alberta)

Weekend Review: Hillwood Estate

This past weekend, Mom came to visit. Like other times she’s visited, I try to take her somewhere special in DC. This trip we went to Hillwood Estate, a great recommendation from my colleague Elizabeth. Mom loved it and raved about how perfect the day was. πŸ™‚

We got there around 10 AM when they first opened and it was great to explore the grounds while no one else was there. We even stopped into the little cafe and had Afternoon Tea. It was true afternoon tea with a small selection plate and a pot of brew. Mom and I felt the tiniest bit fancy and we both had an amazing day.

I don’t want to bore you with the back story, because the pictures are so fun, but I feel like I have to give you some info to go off of here. The Hillwood Estate was owned by Majorie Merriweather Post. If you live in the area, that’s the same Merriweather Post as the Pavilion. For everyone else, that’s the same Post as in Post cereal. YUP! Cereal tycoon in the hizzous. Over her lifetime, not only did she participate in being independently stinkin’ rich, but she also had a taste for art. After a stint in Russia with her 3rd hubby, she started collecting a lot of Russian artifacts. And that’s how Hillwood was born. First as her own private museum and later public after she passed away. And now… PICTURES!

There was much much more of the insides, but I think there’s enough there to entertain you. The gardens were amazing too, but my favorite was the Japanese Garden. I couldn’t help but play and I loved these pictures Mom took of me!

Enjoy, I tried to make the captions as descriptive as possible.

Hillwood Estate - Entrance

Hillwood Estate – Entrance

Grand staircase in the foyer.

Grand staircase in the foyer.

Fancy artwork and statues in the foyer

Fancy artwork and statues in the foyer

First floor library

First floor library

French room (named for the origin of most pieces)

French room (named for the origin of most pieces)

Main dining hall

Main dining hall

Breakfast nook

Breakfast nook

Amazing centerpiece - they have quite the greenhouse on site!

Amazing centerpiece – they have quite the greenhouse on site!

Selfie with Mom in the greenhouse!

Selfie with Mom in the greenhouse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Me playing!

Me playing!

Just a hop, skip, and a jump! :)

Just a hop, skip, and a jump! πŸ™‚

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?

photo 3(9)

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 πŸ™‚

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!

10420312_10100466689956563_2274814011342764258_n

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.

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!

photo 2
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!

photo 4

And here’s the view!

photo 3
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!).

photo 1
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.Β 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.

photo 1(1)
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!

photo 3(1)
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.

photo 2(1)
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!

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 eachΒ  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!

photo 1(14)

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.

photo 2(14)

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!

Weekend review: Museums galore!

Bam! Not even the end of January and I’ve already knocked out my entire DC Bucket List for 2014. Ok, so it wasn’t massive but I’ve been tipping away at that list for nearly 5 years. About time, right? And I even added a bonus museum to the list – just for fun.

On Friday, I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Chinatown. If you just walk up, the ticket price can be a little expensive, but I booked the tickets online and since I’m a local the tickets were only $15. I tried to find additional coupons, but none exist for online purchases. You know me, always looking for a good deal πŸ™‚

I have to admit, the figures were very life-like and the eyes were probably the creepiest part of the figures. Here I am, discussing important Civil War strategies with Ulysses S. Grant. The wax museum offers period clothing to help make the photos more realistic, but I think my fishnet tights really turned this “staged photo” into an authentic portrait.

photo 1(5)

The presidential wax feature ran all the way up to the Obama’s (but no Bo!) and you could even sit in a replica of the Oval Office. You had to pay for those pictures, but I did jump in this photo opp with everyone’s favorite first family – the Kennedy’s. Like my fur fox* jacket? Jackie totally approved.

*Note: faux fur fox jackets, also provided by the museum.

photo 2(4)

Madame Tussaud’s also had an entire celebrity section where the look-a-likes were a bit hit or miss, in my opinion. All in all, it was a laughable experience. Not the best museum in all of DC, but when you’re whittling down your bucket list, you gotta try them all!

On Saturday, I knocked out that last remaining bucket list item and visited the American History Museum with my Mom. She came up for an extended visit as I was originally meant to have my knee surgery this weekend; however, plans changed last minute due to the surgeon’s schedule, so we had an impromptu mother/daughter weekend instead.

I had recently read that the museum had a First Lady exhibition and it’s latest acquisition was Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown by Jason Wu (the red one!). For some reason, I didn’t really think to snap any photos in any of the exhibits, but I did snap this selfie in front of the Star Spangled Banner bit right as you walk in (which by the way, they have the original flag! A-mazing.).

photo 3(5)

All in all, a really fun (albeit slightly nerdy) weekend!

Weekend review: Running Hare Vineyard

This past weekend felt more on-the-go than previous ones as I was just trying to tick off all the little to-dos before next Sunday! There were a few dinners with friends, light shopping, a hair appointment, and even a trip to a vineyard with my friend Sandra and my sister.

photo(239)

My sis and I had planned a vineyard outing awhile back and I was going to find a few in Northern VA for us to visit; however, after finding a deal for Running Hare Vineyard (located in Prince Frederick, MD) the other week, this became our destination. It was almost too good to be true – a tasting for 2, 2 souvenir glasses, and any bottle of wine from the tasting menu for just $20! Mega steal! Plus, you could bring a wee picnic and make a day of it listening to the live music.

On the flip side of that, in an effort to use up most of the food I had before travels, my friend Sandra and I made grape leaves. Since she’s Egyptian and my dad’s side of the family is Lebanese, it was fun to compare recipes and styles. In the end, they came out brilliantly and we knew they would be perfect for our winery picnic.

So off we went to Prince Frederick and enjoyed the fall foliage along the way. We arrived around 1, enjoyed our tasting, and then set ourselves in the sun to enjoy our bottle of wine and our homemade noms. We had so much fun we ended up staying until 5 when the sun started to set and the crowd started to dwindle. It was a beautiful vineyard and one I’d definitely visit again!

photo(238)

tinlizzieridesagain

Adventures in Bikeable Fashion

RAISING A RESCUE DOG

Because rescuing a dog is a commitment not a trend!

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

LilyPetal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

Joy Victory

Words are my weapons.

CAT IN WATER

Art. Design. Nature. Inspiration

Life of Roya

musings of Roya Ghorbani-Elizeh

Lauri's Blerg

Just another Vox refugee

the food matters project

you are what you eat

emily cawood

designer - builder - artist

Ross' WordPress Portal

Just another WordPress.com site

nest design studio { blog }

our everyday life as designers

Simple Savvy

Slow living, simply done

Going Dutch

and loving it

Lauowolf's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: