Monday, April 29, 2013

Progress Report: 30 Before 30

Since I just celebrated a birthday (last week, I'm slow now that I'm old), I thought I should share an update on my 30 Before 30 goals.  Luckily, I still have about two years left to finish these because I am only about thirty percent through my list!

1.  Get a job-Not really sure I can count this one as 'completed', because while I am working, I don't really have a job.  I consider a job to be something that provides benefits and stability, and where I am currently working does nothing of the sort.  Ideally, I would like a career, which also provides intellectual stimulation and the chance to use my degree, but I'm realistic as well.

4.  Get a stamp on my passport (finally!)-This was definitely my favorite goal to cross off my list.  Greece was amazing, but I can't wait to add even more stamps in the coming years.

In lovely Santorini and also the only picture of me in shorts I will ever put on the internet

5.  Run a 10k or half marathon-I'll be recapping this very soon, so I won't go into much detail, but, yes, I completed this.  I completed the shit out of this.

6.  Organize our old scanned photos-This has been a long time project, but one I'm so happy I undertook.  Over three years ago, I took all those old photo albums from my dad's house, scanned the pictures inside, and slowly worked on separating each image and organizing them by approximate year.  Without these efforts, I wouldn't be able to share this amazing picture of my mini hipster self with the world.

Circa 1988 with my brother

9.  Visit Fenway in Boston-I love baseball.  And I love baseball parks, especially the old ones.  As the oldest stadium in baseball in use (Wrigley is #2), Fenway has been on my list to visit for a long time.  So, when my BIL asked what we wanted to do when we visited last year in Boston last October, I had two requests:  1.  Visit Fenway and 2. throw tea into the Boston Harbor.  I only accomplished one of these tasks, but I think I made the right choice.

14.  Try a new hairstyle-Cutting off 22" of hair certainly counts.

18.  Go on vacation with my friends-This is another thing I'll be recapping this week, but we went on a very short, but very needed vacation with our friends a couple of weeks back.  I hoping this isn't the only trip with friends to be taken before I am thirty.

22.  Sew something I will use-For our Greece trip, I wanted to carry my dslr camera around in my purse rather than wearing it around my neck like some tourist.  I decided to use my sewing skills to craft a camera carrier insert to put in my purse.  It worked perfectly four our trip and I use it all the time now when I want to travel with my nice camera.

This is halfway through the project

24.  Go to a Cubs game-One of the worst parts about living in DC is being away from my beloved Chicago sports teams.  Luckily, the tickets to Nationals games are really reasonable, so we got to see the Cubs last September.  We're planning on catching at least one more game when the Cubbies are here again in a couple of weeks.

The best part of the Nats games-running presidents!

30.  Update my blog on a regular basis-Obviously this one can't be considered completed since it is an ongoing goal, but I'm counting it since I have been trying really hard to stay consistent about my blogging (keyword: trying, I know I could do better).  I still haven't quite figured out the best routine for myself, but my hope is to keep readers interested with new posts on a regular basis.

You can check out my entire 30 before 30 list here.  What goal should I work on next?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Favorites: Birthday Edition

Yes, my birthday is over.  I'm not trying to drag it out (ok, maybe a little), but posts are just easier when I have a theme to guide me.  So, these are some of my favorite things from my birthday wish list:

Frye Paige Riding Boots

These boots have been on my wishlist (and everyone else's) for a very long time.  These boots are beautiful, classic, and can be worn for so many occasions.  Their price tag has kept me from purchasing them, and the fact that I already have two pairs for riding boots, including a brown pair. 

Macro Lens

Amazon - the tiny picture seems apropos

I would like to upgrade my slr camera in the near future, but I waffle on which model I want to buy.  I have not changed my mind on my desire for this little lens though.  I would love a lens so that I could do more with close up shots.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow

This set contains pretty much any color I could ever want.  I don't wear a lot of colors, but I love neutrals.  My only complaint is that so many of these have shimmer in them, whereas I prefer the matte.  Apparently you can't have it all, even with all these colors.

Running Shoes

I've been running a lot lately, and my current shoes are just not cutting it.  Proper, supporting running shoes are a must, so it's just a matter of time before I make a purchase like this.  I'm hoping I can find a great running store near here that will be able to find me the perfect shoe for my feet that are also green. :)

What's on your birthday wish list?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays because it brings awareness and prompts discussions on many important issues facing our planet today.  It may also have something to do with the fact that it is my birthday as well.

With all of the sad events last week, I decided to skip my weekly favorites post.  Instead, today I'm going to share a few of my favorite eco-friendly products and a few that I wouldn't mind getting for a birthday gift (if you're so inclined :)).

Water Bobble

I wanted to cut down on the number of water bottles I use not only because they are filling up our landfills, but because some may contain nasty chemicals.  I'm still on the lookout for the perfect stainless steel bottle, but until then I have been using these Bobble ones.  They have a filter built into them so you can rest assured the water you are drinking is pure, no matter where you fill it up.

Reusable Grocery Bags

I can't imagine hauling our groceries up to our 19th story apartment every other week (that's my max on grocery shopping) without reusable bags.  Ours are roomy enough that I can fit all the groceries in my reusable bags, which is essential because I also make only one trip from my car with the groceries.

Wine Barrel Serving Tray

I love when things are given a new life with re-purposing, and this wine barrel serving tray does just that.  This would be perfect for serving up cheese and other accouterments with your favorite wine.  The only part I don't like is the $140 price.

Paper Straws

If you followed my wedding planning, you may remember that I was mildly obsessed with paper straws.  They are adorable, biodegradable, and completely practical (I'm still using some of the 300+ leftover straws from our wedding on a regular basis).  Better than regular ol' plastic straws in almost every way.

Solar Power Backpack

$149 from Voltaic

Not only is this backpack made from recycled materials, it is lightweight, waterproof, and harnesses the power of the sun to charge small electronic devices such as phones, mp3 players, tablets, and cameras.  What else could you possibly need?  I think this would be perfect for hikers...which I am not, but I still kind of want one.

Tesla Model S

If we were to buy another car, Brian and I have both agreed it will be electric.  We both think that electric cars are the future due to greater availability, advancements in the technology, and, best of all, zero emissions.  We're not in the market for a car right now since we live and take public transportation into work, but this is basically Brian's dream car.

Do you have any favorite eco-friendly products?  Happy Earth Day to all!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Boston,

I've only visited once, but I can say with confidence there is no other city in the world quite like you.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

This senseless act was devastating, but hearing the stories of heroism and sacrifice from officials, volunteers, and runners reminds me what makes Boston great.

I believe good will prevail over evil in Boston and in the world.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Favorites

We headed out of town last weekend before I had time to write a post for Friday, and even though we are headed out again this weekend, I wanted to make sure to get one done for this week.  There are just some things that cannot wait another week.

Harry Potter Snuggie

I've never had any desire to own a snuggie until now.  If you're going to be wearing a blanket with sleeves, it should be awesome, and the easiest way for something to be awesome is to add a Harry Potter element to it.  Apparently, I should have bought it when I first saw it since it is now sadly sold out.

Adorable Horse Stamp

Oh, Anthropologie, you get me.  You get that I have an insatiable need for completely useless, yet adorable artifacts.  I mean, there are literally no practical uses I can think for this stamp, and the design makes me think that it would dry out in about a day and a half, but I still want one.  Or five, because there are several adorable designs (they even have a bee, but the figurine on top looks pretty creepy).

Bananas + Cinnamon + Honey

I've been trying to eat more bananas to help with my muscles cramping during workouts, but I am very particular about the time frame in which I find bananas acceptable to eat after they ripen (10% or more brown spots and they're no good to me).  I will, however, still eat the bananas if they are cut up (I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but it's true).  We had this bananas covered in cinnamon and honey dessert last year in Athens, and it is so easy and tasty, I had to replicate it recently to get my banana intake for the week.   I've had this a few times in the last few weeks and I just can't get enough.  So, if you need to eat more bananas and you have as much trouble as Ron Swanson eating one, I suggest you give this concoction a try.

Happy Friday all!  What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring has Sprung

Even in my short time here, I've learnt that spring does not officially arrive in DC until the cherry blossoms make their annual appearance.  I've also found that there is some sort of inexplicable need for anyone and everyone in the area to make an annual pilgrimage to the tidal basin, camera in tow, to take in the delicate blooms.  I, of course, was one of those people.

Just a small fraction of the visitors

Visiting the cherry blossoms this year could not be any different than last year when it was cold, dreary, and so foggy you couldn't see the trees across the basin.  The blossoms peaked a full month later than last year and were accompanied by blue, sunny skies and record high temperatures (it was ninety degrees today!).  

I hope you'll indulge me as I share a few pictures from my time spent with the cherry blossoms.

A clear view of the Jefferson Memorial

Sadly, I did not partake in the paddle boating

The Washington Monument is under construction, but the blossoms cover up the ugly scaffolding quite nicely


The blooms normally only last a few days, so no tree was unattended

What marks the unofficial return to spring to you or your area of the country?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sequel Celebration

This week, Disney and Pixar announced that a sequel to the extremely popular Finding Nemo is (finally) in the works.  I admit, I am a little more excited about this than someone in their late twenties without children probably should be, but I don't care, I can't wait for Finding Dory.

Yay!  Thanks, DisneyPixar / via Telegraph

The one downside to this news is that Finding Dory is not scheduled to be released until 2015.  (I know that's only two years from now, but I constantly think that 2000 was only a few years ago, not thirteen, so my concept of times is off).

So, in honor of this news, I thought I would share my list of the best and the best-worst sequels.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Two Truths, One April Fool's: Part Two

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted three things; two of them were true and one was false.  Read below to see if you guessed my lie correctly!

1.  I had a pet chicken growing up.

You're jealous of my style, I know.

TRUE!  In fourth grade, I brought home a chick from a school program where we hatched eggs in an incubator to learn about science (clearly, I learned a lot from this, since I can't be any more specific than 'science'.).  There was a drawing to see which lucky kids got to take home the chicks, and, much to my parent's dismay, my name was chosen!  We named our rooster Friend Finger Lickin' Chickin' Tonight (Last Name).  He was temperamental and often tried to attack anyone that came close to him (in his defense, our dogs almost ate him one day), but we still loved him until he died of natural causes in our backyard.

2.  I can recite all the words to Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Retail super stars-Lora, Jenny, and me

Fooled you, this was my lie!  Despite being a huge Disney fan, I cannot recite all the words to The Little Mermaid.  I actually stole this idea from my beautiful friend, Lora.  I met Lora while working at a large retail store and one of the first ways I knew we were going to be friends was because she said she could quote The Little Mermaid from memory.  And then she did just that.  And I was completely smitten with her and her talents from then on.

3.  I've been hired and fired for a job on the same day.

 {I don't really have an appropriate picture for this...}

Sadly, this one is true.  I got a job offer and got fired on the same day last fall.  It was for the best, since it ended up being a place I wouldn't have liked to work anyway (obviously), but it was one of the more terrible days for my ego.

Are you surprised by my admissions?  Did you get pranked yesterday?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Two Truths, One April Fools'

I'm not a huge April Fools' participant, although I've already fallen for a couple posted on social media this morning.  I'm not creative (or mean, depending on your views) enough to develop my own rouse for the 'holiday', but I still thought I could have a little harmless fun of my own.

So, two of the following are true and one is not.  Can you guess which one is my lie?

1.  I had a pet chicken growing up.

2.  I can recite all the words to Disney's The Little Mermaid.

3.  I've been hired and fired for a job on the same day.

I'll be back tomorrow to share my answers and explanations.  Happy April Fools Day!
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