Saturday, January 30, 2010

Five for... Saturday

1. Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I was at a two day health conference with a bunch of other health policy wonks. Nothing like spending two days in a windowless hotel basement!

2. Last night, after the conference ended, Brad and I went to the Kennedy Center to see the American Ballet Theater perform "Romeo and Juliette." It was a great performance! I always feel lucky that we have access to such great performing arts in DC, even if DC audiences aren't always the best, or the most appreciative.

3. We got some pretty big snow today. They had forecasted about an inch, so we didn't go to the grocery store or really prepare at all. Turns out we got around 8"! Whoops, so much for that good forecasting. Needless to say, since DC shuts down after about 3" of snow, we didn't leave the house today. If only one of these snowstorms would hit on a workday...

4. Since we were snowed in tonight, we decided to watch a movie - "An Affair to Remember." In addition to lots of swooning over Mr. Cary Grant, the last scene always makes me cry! We even watched the last scene twice tonight because Brad wanted to see it again and I got teary-eyed both times! Such a romantic movie. I think the original 1939 production of "Love Affair" is next on our Netflix list. "Winter must be so cold for those with no warm memories..."

5. It will be a busy week ahead, I can only hope that we can get healthy! We have both been fighting cold bugs/minor cases of the flu/generally feeling lousy for the past 10 days. Hoping to get healthy before we leave for Barbados in a week and a half!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have been thinking about my brother a lot lately. As I have mentioned before, if you didn't already know, he is stationed with the U.S. Air Force in South Korea right now and has been for the past 13 months.

We were never especially close as kids (just kind of stayed out of each other's way), but I'm having this sisterly urge to give him a big ol' hug, a little punch in the arm, and to debate the finer things in life, like video games, our messed up political system and the general musings of a 24 year old guy. The good news is that he his done with his military service July 12, which means he'll be back in the good ol' US of A, ready to take on the world with his new-found skills, adult-ness and (hopefully discovered) knack for seeking out really great Asian food.

Here's a quick photo that he sent my Dad from the last train station before the DMZ in South Korea. Disappointing that there are no evil looking North Korean soldiers over the fence... also, that nice sweater? I believe I purchased that for him a Christmas or two ago. Such a great sister I am!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


What blogs do you read? It seems like I'm constantly adding new ones to my Google Reader, which already has an assortment of photogragphy, food, travel and design blogs. Can you recommend any new ones?

My current collection includes...

family... gotta keep up on the kiddos!
"... But I'm Fambly!"- my cousin-in-law, Mindy
"The Blog in My Life" - my cousin, Erin
"New Every Morning" - my Aunt Diane
"Paynefully So" - my cousin, Callie

fabulous photographers... my inspiration
5 Rings Photo
the Blonde Photographer
Ciao, Chessa!
DC Discombobulated
Erin Conrad Photography
Kate Headley Fine Art Wedding Photography
Mary Kate McKenna Photography

design and decor... because I can only wish our house looked like this!
Lobster and Swan

food... sweets and treats
David Lebovitz

random giggles... a nice mid-day diversion
Cake Wrecks
French Word-a-Day
A Cup of Jo

Friday, January 22, 2010

Five for Friday

1. So, as you can see from my posts earlier this week, we had a super awesome time in Florida last weekend. In addition to feeling the warm sun on my face, the cool sand between my toes, and the yummy Greek food in my tummy, it was just nice to get the heck out of DC! Next trip: three weeks from today, I will be sitting on the beach, reading a book in Barbados!

2. While we were in Tampa, we met a friend of mine from high school and his lovely wife for lunch. It was crazy to catch up with someone I haven't seen in ten years! Much to my happiness though, he hadn't changed one bit since high school - still sweet and funny! It was fun to catch up, talk about old times, look back at how lousy our education actually way, and not have him tell any incriminating stories since, well, I was a goody-goody in high school.

3. I worked out with a personal trainer for the first time in quite a while this morning. While I am definitely feeling it now (and we didn't even work that hard!), it's a good sore and it felt great to get moving again. As I told him, my goal is less of a number on a scale and more of just feeling good and strong in my own body. We'll see if I can stick with it through all the crazy traveling we have going on in the next few months...

4. Speaking of crazy traveling, take a look at this schedule (which is going to produce SO many awesome photos!):
  • Barbados:February 11-16
  • weekend trip for Brad's birthday to surprise location: April 9-11
  • Ft. Lauderdale: May 7-9
  • Ohio for Brad's class reunion: May 29-31
  • somewhere over 4th of July weekend
  • July 12th my brother comes back into the country from being deployed in the military, so we'll probably go see him
  • Hershey, PA (IF I reach my goal weight): July 30-August 1
  • somewhere for at least a long weekend: August
  • annual anniversary trip: mid-October

I am tried (but excited!) just thinking about it! Hopefully all those hotels have gym's in them :)

5. This week was Alexandria Restaurant Week, where a bunch of restaurants do either dinner for two for $35 or three-course price-fixed menus for $35. We are going to one of my favorite restaurants, Bastielle, tomorrow night for dinner. YUM! It will make all the working out totally worth it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Other awesome Florida activities

What other super fun things can you do in west central Florida in the middle of January?

How about some shuffleboard?

A visit to the beach?

A performance by the Lipizzaner Stallions?

How about all three? :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tarpon Springs, Florida

One of the most fun things you can do in the Tampa area is head over to Tarpon Springs. This awesome Greek sponging community is full of life, great restaurants, fun shops and, well, sponges! We headed over there on Sunday while we were down visiting Brad's grandparents. My old favorites did not disappoint and I managed to navigate the rental car there with no getting lost! It's amazing how, after ten years, my nose will still lead me directly to flaming cheese and baklava...

Brad and his awesome grandparents
a little bit Hollywood... a little bit Tarpon

I love you, flaming cheese (look at all that grease!)
all smiles, post super-Greek-food lunch

Friday, January 15, 2010

Five for Friday

1. The news out of Haiti continues to be pretty grim. I'm running a donation challenge through Christina Saull Photography? I will match, penny for penny, any donation made between now and January 22 to a reputable aid organization. Details here. I realize the economy isn't great, but even a $5 or $10 donation can make all the difference.

2. On a lighter note, this weekend, Brad and I are headed down to Tampa to hang out for the weekend with these nice people (the grandparents-in-law):

The weather is supposed to be a little lousy but, quite frankly, I'll take rain and 70 degrees over wind at 20 degrees any time! I"m jockeying for a trip to Tarpon Springs for some awesome Greek food (mmmm... Hellas!) and/or a trip to some sort of stretch of sand. My toes really miss being in the sand. I'll even take cold beach, like we had last year:

3. My ten year high school reunion is coming up this summer. I am undecided as to whether I should go or not. The website which was set up is corny at best and many of the people who have expressed interest, well, I have no idea who most of them are! My graduating class was 680-ish and I was only really friends with about 100 of them. It just seems like kind of a waste to haul myself and the husband down to Tampa and spend a lot of money on people I didn't really know and/or care about. What do you think? To everyone who tells me to go, I respond with "But I'm friends with all the people I still want to keep in touch with... one person!" They usually change their mind on my attending after that statement. We'll see.

4. While in Tampa, I am really excited to be seeing an old friend from high school. Thanks to the joys of Facebook, he and I have gotten back in touch and I look forward to having lunch with him and his wife. We can talk about all the hilarious antics that us honors kids pulled off... and the shared misery of AP European History. Good times!

5. So they squirrels. HYPOTHETICALLY, the problem is solved (I emphasize hypothetically). They finished trapping early in the week and patched a bunch of holes. Now we begin the fight to get all the insulation in the attic replace since it is mucked up with squirrel what-have-you. Some friends of ours in Ohio are still dealing with their squirrel issue and they were told it could be up to a YEAR! I advised that they seriously need to lay some smack down. Hopefully the whole episode will soon be behind us and I can enjoy sleeping through the night, squirrel free, once again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Five for Friday

1. So the holidays are over and "normal" life returns (in quotation marks because when is life really ever normal?). I had a good, relaxing holiday and hope you did too. We were in Ohio at my in-laws from Christmas Eve morning through Tuesday, the 29th. Then we came home and just kind of vegged out (or I did, Brad had to go back to work, poor thing). Getting up before 10am to go to work on Monday was disappointing all around. But, at the same time, it's nice to be back into some sort of routine now.

2. We got some snow last night, which was pretty, but kind of loses its luster after the holidays. Of course this snow fell on top of the huge mounds of snow left over from the snowpocolypse a few weeks ago. It's a shame that, almost four weeks later, there are still entire lanes on the road and intersections that have huge, six foot tall mounds of ice covered snow everywhere (I swear, I am not exaggerating!). In fact, I almost plowed into one trying to get in the proper turn lane to go to the grocery store the other day. I predict they will be gone soon... and soon, I mean around March.

3. It has been crazy cold in much of the country over the past week or so and D.C. was not immune. The wind is just crazy cold and it results in quite a bit of crankiness and general "hunkering down" that seems to be going on across the city. Personally, I don't plan on leaving the house all weekend, with the predicted wind chill of a ripe 19 degrees at noon tomorrow (thanks This cold weather is killing my exercise routine, or maybe I'm actually burning more calories shivering?

4. Did anyone see that college football national championship game last night? Man, oh man. Normally, I am not the biggest Texas or Alabama fan, and didn't really go into the game rooting for anyone. But how could you not feel bad for a senior quarterback, the clear leader of a team that got screwed out of playing for last year's championship, who has lost the Heisman race TWICE, get hurt on the first drive of the game? The accounts that have been in the news today of him trying in vain to convince his coaches that he was alright during an unsuccessful game of catch with his Dad in the locker room is enough to get even the biggest Texas hater a little choked up.

Perhaps what makes me choked up the most is that college football season is over now.... it's a long way to August!

5. Seen any good movies lately? On Christmas Day, we saw "The Blind Side," which was the most feel-good, family-friendly (in-law-friendly) movie I have seen in years. Last Saturday, we froze our butts off and went out to see "Up in the Air," which I really enjoyed.

PS The squirrels? Oh yeah, they're still here!