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Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Official. William + Kate Tie The Knot

 [Image via: here]

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
   bind them around your neck,
   write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
   in the sight of God and man."

Proverbs 3:3-4

The royal wedding took place earlier today. It was so beautiful , like a fairy tale. Kate looked exquisite, and her dress? So regal and lovely. The ceremony may be over, but let's be real, this is just the beginning of our mild obsession with the royal couple as they begin their married life together.

On an equally happy note, the chance to be a real life princess is still out 
there: the ever-so adorable brother Harry is still up for grabs. How great 
would it be to Kate's sis-in-law?

[Image via: here]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

After Spring Cleaning Comes Spring Shopping

[Image via: here]

I finally did it. After several weeks months of putting it off, I opened my closet door and faced the shelves and drawerfuls of clothes shoved inside. Within a couple hours, I had bagged up some things I don't really wear  to give to my church and said adios til next year to bulky coats and wool sweaters. Also made two other piles: things that need dry cleaning, things that need altering/new buttons/zipper.

It wasn't really so bad. Kind of refreshing. Out with the old.

And, speaking of old, it's time to bring in the new: my now empty hangers are just itching for something new to hang on them.

Luckily for us post-grad, first-job-doesn't-pay-too-much gals, there are tons of websites with wallet-friendly spring fashion. Here are a few of my personal faves:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do U Speak In Abbrevs? Most Def

 [Image via: here]

I sat down with a glass of ho-cho to write this blog post when it hit me - typing  or heck, even saying, full words is so last year. Fo reals. As ridic as it may be, it's just the way our Fb chatting, BBMing lives are.  During a convo with a coworker about where our families live, he said, "So you're from sofla? What's that like?" I prob asked him to repeat that three times. "You know - sofla. As in South Florida. Sofla."

Never in all of my life have we called it that. Now I do currently live in NoVa, which is right outside of D.C. and part of the surrounding D.M.V. area but SoFla? That's NTM [new to me].

Btw, I abbreve LIMJ [like it's my job]. The great thing about it is that any time you want to line up a random combo of letters next to each other and CIAD [call it a day], it's totes acceptable. I Googled "ciad" to see if it's already in use, and wouldn't you know it, it def already is. GTK - I mean, that's good to know.

Are you pro-abbrevs? Heard any good or silly ones lately? [Side note: when I went to spell check this post, every few words was highlighted yellow due to the large usage of words only seen in the likes of Urban Dictionary. Awesome].

Monday, April 25, 2011

Silly Rabbit, Easter is For Jesus

[Image via: here]

"The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.'” Matthew 28:5-7

I know this is a day late but I was visiting my family yesterday and didn't have access to a computer to post.  Click here for more Easter-related verses. Hope y'all had a wonderful time with your loved ones and friends, reflecting upon and celebrating the resurrection of our amazing Savior!

He is risen indeed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dessert & A Movie for $1.50

[Image via: here]

The washing machine in my apartment started churning out icky, brown liquid yesterday. As the maintenance man stopped by to assess the situation, he let a ginormous bumble bee into the bathroom.

I don't do bees. Or leaks. No, thank you.

For a quick and inexpensive way to put motor oil floods and hostile stinging insects out of my mind, I met with some lovely friends and we used loose change to our sugary benefit. After strolling across the street, enjoying the [at the time] beautiful weather, we arrived at what we consider to be the best, although unexpected,  cheap but delicious fro-yo in town. I'll give you a hint: it's in a warehouse and they card you at the door. Okay, that was two hints.

Some of you may have guessed it:  Costco. May sound like a funny place to get your sweet tooth fix but one look at the customers lined up by the dozen pushes all doubts away. They have chocolate and vanilla fro-yo by the cup, plus different flavors of gelato. A generous helping is only $1.50. Take that, Coldstone.

Add in two free Redbox DVDs, courtesy of money-saving promo codes, and let's call it a bargain night.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3-Inch Stilettos = Winning

[Image via: here]

"And she always wears high heels because, according to her, 
flat shoes are for quitters."
30 Rock

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sign Of A Good Day

[Image via: here]

When your morning activities sound like the beginnings of a cheesy joke - how many people does it take to unlock the front door of a coffee shop? - it's pretty much a sign of a good day.  If that weren't enough, just imagine standing in the chilly 5:30 A.M. air for 50 minutes, waiting for your boss to try her key in the door, only to discover that doesn't even do it. Knowing that just on the other side of the door there  was warmth and coffee - did I mention coffee?- is enough to make you want to try your best stealthy ninja move on the thick glass pane that separated you from caffeine.

The solution to the mysteriously bolted door and laugh-out-loud punchline? Turns out only the milk delivery man had what it took to jiggle the key and save us from a frigid, decaf nightmare.

So here's to you, Mr. Milkman, we raise our delightfully warm lattes in gratitude for your assistance. Feel free to step in and save the day any time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Post-Grad Spring Break? It Does Exist

[Image via: here]

Let me break it down for you: if you work for a school - middle, high school or the like - as a teacher or even administrative support like I do, there is this amazing chunk of time [usually in March or April] where everyone gets the week off. As in spring break for grown-ups. Yes, please! 

It's as if they're saying, "Go ahead, pretend you're still in college. We're giving you five days where you don't have to set your alarm, wake up early and work for us. Enjoy!" Just another of the many benefits of working in education, in addition to molding and shaping the next generation, snow days, the seriously never-ending supply of free lunch and homemade food, adorable sixth graders who barely get out a peep when they shyly walk into the main office, and Casual Friday every day [at least at my school].

Since I've traveled quite a bit already this spring for two weddings, I'll be having my first ever  . . . drum roll, please . . . spring-break-in-Virginia staycation. Although it's no Caribbean cruise or Utah ski trip, it will be pretty fantastic. 

If you, too, have some time off from work this month, here and here are two links that list creative ideas for vacationing in your place of residence, sans piles of undone reading for class and crowds of drunken co-eds.

As for my plans, I'm thinking: shopping, napping, letter-writing, baking, running, movie-watching, reading, museum-visiting. And blogging, of course.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just Wear a Skirt - It Will Finally Feel Like Spring And Other Lies I Tell Myself

[Image via: here]

1. Tossing together lots of random leftovers in the fridge makes for a delicious meal.

2. Really cheap nail polish isn't cheap for a reason [aka that it won't actually stay on your fingers for more than 1 day].

3. Setting my clock 14 minutes early actually helps me to arrive places on time.

4. I really don't need a shopping cart for my groceries. I can get through the store quicker without one and can totally manage to carry everything I'm planning to buy.

5. Pandora can read my mind and knows exactly which songs to play when I want to hear it. That must be why the same five songs loop on the Beatles' channel.

6. Life is easy. As in turn on the auto pilot, it's all clear waters ahead.

7. A mental to-do list is just as effective and likely to get checked off as a written one.

8. Paying bills, getting to the bottom of your car's mysterious new clunking sound, dealing with credit card companies, having a root canal - these are all wonderful parts of life as a real, live grown-up.

9. It doesn't really bother me that a coworker of mine insistently makes "hmmMM" sounds as she walks past my desk several times each day. Or that another smacks her gum repeatedly.

10. No matter what my roommates claim, my sporadic, semi-hearing loss is not reflective of what is currently being said [read: selective hearing].

11. That whole "stinks and stones" thing is just a rumor; those words didn't hurt me. I just brushed them away.

12. Driving my car on E for 20 miles isn't ill-advised; it's an adventure.

13. I totally know how to iron out tough wrinkles in a shirt, change a flat tire and get a red wine stain out of white carpet. You know, all those essential things a girl should know how to do.

14. Coffee is not an addiction. I can stop drinking it any time, starting . . . now.

15. Speeding a few miles over the limit to get to church on time is acceptable and pre-approved for Christians. God understands.

16. If a friend and I split a dessert or eat the same number of chips, the calories cancel themselves out. Every time.

17. Buying something I don't need, but is highly marked down - 50% or more, is part of my essential duty as a shopper.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainy Day Playlist

[Image via: here]

When blue skies fill with clouds and rain covers every inch of the roads and sidewalks, all sense of productivity and desire to work goes out the window. The only things that make sense are long naps, dozing off and catching up on some shut eye. [Notice how those are all variations of the same thing?] 

For a killer case of the rainy day blues, when not even a heaping mug of coffee with an extra shot of espresso can completely do the trick, have a listen to these songs that are soulfully wonderful to hear, whether you're in all-day PJ mode or actually attempting to get work done. As for the former, I can dream about thunderstorms and snowstorms having synonymous effects, bringing "rain days" off to people everywhere, can't I? And in the case of the latter, best of luck to us all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

When in Shirlington . . .

Do what North Virginians do. Read, copy and repeat. Just like washing your hair, minus the shampoo part.

Throw your dog a bone at the Shirlington Dog Park. Big and small canines alike have plenty of room to romp around the grassy paradise. Off-leash is allowed. Small baggie not included. Don't have a pup? There's a long path that runs alongside the park that's perfect for a nice weekend walk through town.

[Image via: here]

Enjoy an evening of poetry and lattes. Restaurant-turned-bookstore-turned-coffee-shop Busboys & Poets hosts an open-mic night on Mondays at 8:00 P.M.. Cover is $4 - cash only - and definitely worth checking out.

[Image via: here]

Meet up with friends for wonderfully discounted appetizers and drinks [read: happy hour]. Shirlington boasts tons of cute establishments and good deals. It's difficult to pick just one restaurant. Check out DC Happy Hours for a complete list of village specials.*

[Image via: here]

Browse through the latest pretty blouses and spring dresses at Periwinkle, a trendy boutique that will have you coming back for more.

[Image via: here]

Test your smarts with a game of trivia. Round up a few of your most Mensa-like pals and head over to The Bungalow for a little "thinking while drinking," as they like to call it. Mondays at 8:30 P.M.

[Image via: here]

 *I said village because, as funny and old-fashioned as it may sound, it's "The Village at Shirlington." Classy stuff.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Need Directions? Put A Ring On It

My fellow big-city dwelling friend came to visit this week and we got to talking about getting completely lost and trying to find our way through the maze of alphabetically and numerically confusing streets.

Her snazzy trick for a real-life GPS when navigating the Big Apple? That would be a compass ring. 

I was just saying how it's not even helpful that I know I need to head south when I don't know which direction that is referencing. But slip on a working compass that doubles as fashionable bling and always points north. What do you know - problem absolutely solved. No childhood NESW rhyme necessary [for me, it was Never Eat Soggy Waffles].

Ms. NYC got her ring at the Brooklyn Flea. For us non-New Yorkers, a handy-dandy compass ring can be purchased for under $20 on Amazon or here, here or here on Etsy.

Do you find it tricky figuring out directions in a new/big city? Have any tips for those of us who are, um, directionally challenged?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Grey Squirrels, Brown Bananas

[Image via: here]

Cherry blossoms, step aside. What's trending right now in the District? That would be squirrels. Yes, those cheeky creatures that dart into oncoming traffic and race across sidewalks in a furry flash. WaPo columnist John Kelly has deemed these next few days "D.C. Squirrel Week" and is tweeting hilarious and factual tidbits from a first-squirrel perspective here. Their range of interests also includes college sports, as it turns out.  

DCSquirrel's national championship prediction? "Butler or UConn?? Which campus has more squirrels - that's my question."

But on to a tastier update - if you're looking to use up any overly ripe bananas lying around in your kitchen, here's a recipe for yummy banana bread so quick and easy I made it in 1 1/2 Gossip Girl episodes last night.

[Image via: here]

Sweet Brown Banana Bread
What you'll need: 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar [or raw]
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cup mashed bananas [the browner, the better]
dash of cinnamon/nutmeg

What to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Also, grease a 9 x 5" loaf pan.

2. Measure out and combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Do the same with the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and bananas; stir/mash until it's all homogeneous [big SAT word for "looking the same throughout"].

3. Take your banana mixture and mix well with the flour mixture. Then, all that's left is to do is pour it into your pre-greased pan and pop it into the oven for 60 to 65 minutes.

4. Once it's reached the point of slightly brown around the edges and passes the toothpick test [read: it comes out clean], take your loaf out of the heat and let it cool down. After ten or so minutes, cut a thick slice of banana bread heaven and call it a day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kate Middleton's One Classy Brit

[Image via: here]

Even while flipping flapjacks in the air, the soon-to-be royal Kate [April 29th!!] doesn't have a curly lock out of place. Is this an inherited trait? I'm pretty sure that my hair has never looked like that while whipping up breakfast. Ever.

In addition to great hair, Kate the Great has truly lovely taste in clothes. 

[Image via: here]

 [Image via: here]

[Image via: here]

Go over to What Kate Wore for more of stylish brunette's outfits as they stalk her every fashionable move.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How Not To Be A Wedding Crasher

[Image via: here]

1. Don't show up wearing a tacky Hawaiin print shirt and wrinkled cargo shorts when the understood dress code is semi-formal. This isn't Sam's Club.

2. Similar to #1, wearing jeans is just as equally a dead giveaway that A. you don't belong, B. you're not very creative and C. you didn't really think this through, did you?

3. Drunkenly swaying around the perimeter of the dance floor screams, "Look at us! You don't know us but we're underdressed and drinking your wine!"

4. When someone from the bridal party approaches and asks you if you are crashing the wedding, under no circumstances should you admit that yes, you are indeed crashing the wedding. That's a fail if I ever heard one.