Thursday, March 31, 2011

home sweet home!

Since we moved out to DC, Austin and I have been trying to list our "gratefuls" when we have bad days to remind ourselves that there are always good things too and we always have a huge list of things in our lives to be grateful for.  Here are my gratefuls:

1. we ordered our caps and gowns,
2. I mailed off my visa application for our safari in Kenya this summer,
3. my first paycheck is in the mail,
4. I sent off my mom's and Missy's birthday presents and I am really excited for them to open them!
5. today is the opening day for the Nats and the stadium is just 5 blocks away,
6. Pudge plays for the Nationals,
7. it sounds like I might get to go back to work next week with the temp agency and I might be able to start teaching yoga out here at the climbing gym,
8. Austin's family is coming to visit next week!
9. the cherry blossoms are in full bloom,
10. we're leaving on a jet plane (May 5th) to go to the Beehive State!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cherry Blossom Festival

The time has finally come!  The cherry blossoms are at full bloom!  When we decided we were going to move to DC, everyone asked us what we liked to do, feeling pretty confident that anything that we could come up with, this city could offer.  Once we said, "we like to hike, climb, camp, and generally do things outside."  The person we were talking to would say, "well, the cherry blossom festival is really beautiful!"  I'm not quite sure they understood that the reason we like those things is that you get to be away from people and civilization for a while and just be surrounded by nature.  Oh well, the trees really are beautiful. Everyone else thought so too!
This is the best picture one can expect when they hand their camera to a stranger.  I especially like the composition with a spear coming out of the top of my head! :)
Austin and I walked around the tidal basin last night because Austin heard on the radio that yesterday was the day!  The city hires some sort of cherry blossom specialist that literally has this whole thing down to a science, so we can all know when's the best time.

The festival isn't just about walking around the Tidal Basin and the monuments, there are also tons of events going on.  The most popular ones are the Japanese street festival and the cherry blossom parade.  For more information go to the festival's site.

There were a lot of people...surprisingly respectful of people wanting to get their pictures taken with the blossoms in the background though.
I don't understand the it because beavers cut down trees?
Austin's family is going to be here in time for the parade so we'll definitely have to go to that with them!  (p.s. I can't wait to have some visitors!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Green Springs Gardens

Well, this weekend went much better than the last.  I attribute this to the fact that we had very minimal interaction with others :)  Saturday, we just ran our usual errands, went to Costco, Barnes & Noble, Trader Joe's, and Joann Fabrics (for a secret project that I will show you later! --also the reason that I haven't posted these pictures sooner, I was a little busy the past two days hunched over the sewing machine).

At Barnes and Noble we did get Jillian Michaels' book "Making the Cut."  Austin and I did the first two days of workouts so far...I have never been this sore in my life, even when I was doing yoga for 8 hours a day, for 5 days.  So, I would recommend it!  We are only doing the exercise portion of the book because I refuse to diet, but I'm sure the dieting portion is good too.

Anyway, on Sunday we woke up to snow!  Well, not quite snow...more of a skiff, but snow is snow and as I've probably mentioned before, Washington DC has no way of dealing with any amount of frozen precipitation.  We had planned on going to the kite festival (part of the cherry blossom festival), but it was cancelled due to weather.  Instead we went to the Green Springs Gardens in Alexandria.  It's a really nice little park with a big "glasshouse," and as Austin and I were walking around for a few minutes, I realized this was the first time since we moved out East that we haven't been able to hear traffic...or just barely could hear it!

The park had two nice little ponds with fountains and our first wildlife sightings!  By wildlife, I mean ducks, geese, and a crane of some sort...Maybe we'll figure out how to ride our bikes there since I think this park could quickly become my favorite place nearby.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I make a great "house-girlfriend!"

My temp job already ended yesterday (tentatively starting again at the end of the month/beginning of next month), so I had a whole day to do whatever I wanted!  And I took full advantage of it.  First, I woke up and made these Reese's Cup cookies which are definitely going to be added to my list of favorites!  I got the recipe from the Smashed Peas and Carrots blog and just adapted it a little bit since I didn't have all the ingredients.  Basically I used twice as much butter and no shortening.  Also, I didn't really have enough peanut butter cups so I added about half a bag of milk chocolate chips...delicious!
After that, I spent about two hours trying to figure out how to load the thread into my mom's ancient Sears Roebuck sewing machine that I inherited in the move out east.  (Thanks again!)  Then I set to cutting and sewing and generally attempting things that I don't have any experience doing!
...and voila!  I have a cute new skirt that I made all on my own!  And, did you notice, it has pockets!  Can't get any better than that!
If you would like to make your own click here (from Freshly Picked).  I followed her directions pretty much to the T and found it surprisingly easy.  Then when I put it on, it seemed really big and poofy so I ended up taking out about 3 inches in the waist and 9 down at the bottom to make it a little more streamlined.

Plus I did some laundry and dishes all by 3:00 pm!  I had to take the opportunity to pat myself on the back!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 12 - Blur

This week's "Paint the Moon; Let's do 52 Challenge" theme was either blur or something else that I forgot.  I obviously chose blur!
This photo was taken through one of those screens that they put on store windows to block some of the sun.  This particular window belongs to the Dunkin' Donuts in the Eastern Market area.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First Day of Work

Today was my first day of work for the temp agency. The assignment is checking standardized test questions...or so I've heard.  I didn't actually do any of that today.  I went into the office and there were about a dozen others in my exact position.  We filled out some paperwork and sat in awkward silence while we waited for direction.  After a little bit, our supervisor came down to get us and show us to the room that we will be working in.  He led us across the street to the old office building that has since been almost completely abandoned and introduced us to our "office."  It is essentially a conference room with one long table covered in a bunch of old laptops.  We were then told that the computers weren't actually ready for us yet so we would have to just sit and wait for a couple of hours while they figure it out.  So we sat...we sat and we read...we sat and we played on the internet...we sat until we were told to eat lunch...and after lunch we sat until 3 o'clock when we were told to go home.  Here's the recap, I sat in an uncomfortable chair for 6 hours today doing nothing, and I got paid for it wasn't all for naught.  If nothing else, it is nice to have a reason to get out of the house, and I have faith that it will get we just have to wait until they are ready for us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Weekend!...

Along the Mt. Vernon Trail, watching a rugby game.
...Is now over, and I actually have to go to work tomorrow but I am grateful for the time that I got to spend with Austin this weekend and we were so happy to have some nicer weather that let us get outside!  Friday night, Austin and I saw The Lincoln Lawyer which was quite entertaining.  This being the first movie we have seen in downtown DC, we were in for a little bit of a culture shock!  Here, movies are more of an interactive entertainment and the two women behind us took full advantage of the 90 minutes!
First sign of the famous cherry blossoms!
On Saturday, we went for a run in the morning around the mall, then went for a bike ride down the Mt. Vernon Trail but only went as far as old town Alexandria where we looked around the shops and had lunch.  It's a nice bike path that runs along the river, only real problem with it was that every other DC resident decided to join us on the path...seclusion and peacefulness are two words that East Coasters aren't real familiar with.

Today, we wandered around the Eastern Market and belatedly shopped for my Mom's birthday present (I would post a picture of our findings, but on the off chance that my mom reads this, I don't want her to see it!  But take my word for it, it's awesome!).  We meandered through a game store and when a woman dropped a game on the floor, I went over and picked it up for, she didn't say thank you or acknowledge me in any way.  After that pleasant encounter with a Washingtonian, we went into a used bookstore where the salesman was equally as rude.  I'm not quite sure I understood his method of customer service.  All of these little interactions built up and caused me to have a breakdown in the park by our apartment, so we decided to cure my plight with some crafting via a trip to Joann Fabrics, then stopped by REI and Costco.  Afterwards, Austin made me a delicious dinner and we got our fancy boy and girl clothes ready for our big day of work tomorrow!

Even though the weekend had its definite downs, Austin and I made the most of our time and I can't wait until next weekend!  Wish me luck on my first day of work tomorrow!

Eastern Market

Friday, March 18, 2011

Adorable Baby Panda!

Right now I am waiting for my onions to cook down for my french onion soup (recipe), so I am spending the time on my computer until I can leave it stewing and go outside!  Somewhere along the way, I stumbled upon this picture!
Photo from

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

I made a little surprise for Austin when he came home from work today!...they're a little greener in real life but those of you who know me and my family, know that I was raised to hate brightly food colored baked goods!

These aren't any special cupcakes really...just a yellow cake mix with some homemade icing.  If you want an approximate recipe for the icing leave me a comment or send me an email and I am more than happy to share!  I promise it is better than any store-bought icing you have ever had and better than 99% of bakeries if I do say so myself! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I assume most of the people that stumble across this blog, by now are already signed up for Groupon.  But just in case you aren't: Click here!  It is a daily email with deals in your city and if enough people buy that deal, then the whole group gets a better price.  There are deals for everything from food and drinks, to movie and museum tickets, to passes at local gyms/ basically something for everyone.  It's completely free to join and the emails really aren't that annoying, I promise!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Temp Jobs???

So my job with the temp agency was postponed again (hopefully I'll start by the end of the week).  Does anyone know if this is normal for these types of things?  I've never worked a temp job before and I also don't know what happens when this assignment is up--are they usually quick about putting you on a new job?

I promised...

Here are the rest of the pictures from the farm.  I only really took pictures of the barn and then slacked the rest of the time and like I think I've said before, I am not good at taking pictures of people anyway.  I'll work on it!
This cow did not appreciate the photo session.
There were 16 brand new calves up there...and 6 more on the way!
I mentioned that it was haunted right?
It was a little hot in the kitchen with two deep fryers, the oven, and all four burners on the stove going, and it didn't help that there were 15 people standing around.--Hence the towel with an ice cube around Aunt Betsy's neck.