Let's Hear It For New York

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I love great timing.  In this case, we found out this week that L is needed in New York- specifically Manhattan- to help fix a project for work that isn't going well.  And he's needed immediately.  For a minimum of 4 weeks.  He leaves next Monday and we're working out the rest of the schedule.  My parents are coming up here for their first visit two weeks from yesterday, so I know I'll be here for that.  In the meantime, I'll be finishing up work and sending my stuff in (I'd wipe a tear from my eye but there just aren't any to be shed.  I'M SO EXCITED TO BE FREE FROM THIS!), so I'll definitely go up as soon as Mom and Dad head back to Texas.  Will I finish up working from VA or NY??  We just don't know yet!  Really all I need is internet access and for my phone to work, which is always debateable anyway. 

I'm so excited about this.  I know in reality it means that I'll be spending weekdays by myself and that L may be working some REALLY long hours, but as long as the hotel has a pool and a workout facility, I will be a happy girl.  Even if it doesn't, I'm not afraid to bring my cute previously-mentioned outdoor blanket/ pillow/ bag set and head to the sheep's meadow in Central Park to catch some rays and read a book (and maybe this time I won't get pegged in the head with a frisbee).  I'm currently re-reading the Harry Potter series and I'm halfway through book 4... this could easily get me through the remaining 3 1/2 books.  L will also be up there for his birthday, so I'm avidly researching fun restaurants and things to do.  I also know I want to try and go see a show on Broadway while we're there because L has never done that and somewhat surprisingly, L says he likes musicals.  (I was surprised by that.  Apparently he really dislikes plays but he enjoys the sudden outbursts of random singing and dancing.  Whatevs, I'm down for either.)  I'm also looking for stuff to fill my time during the day aside from lounging, reading, and working out, particularly things I can do on my own since L will be working hard to support my brief stint as a lady of leisure.  Once we're back in The Old Dominion State, it'll be all business and I will have no excuse for not working, so here's to a much needed break!

Let the rain fall down

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yes, it was a bit of a rainy weekend here.  I wasn't going to let that stop me from celebrating the fact that I'd officially resigned from my job though.  L asked what I wanted to do, and my response was to have a low-key weekend filled with a deep cleaning of the house and cooking.  That wasn't quite what he was expecting, but he obliged by helping out with the cleaning and over the course of two days, we knocked out every room in the house, including the sun porch and thoroughly cleaning the fridge.  This means L has now discovered our Swiffer mop and he seemed to enjoy pressing the button.  Our floors look good.

If you're wondering what cooking was involved, one of the things I made on Saturday was a brisket.  This was a first for me.  I've always wanted to try it, especially since I got a great recipe for one as part of a wedding gift.  I thought I'd share my effort so I took pics and the whole bit.  Without further adieu, here's my recipe for the easiest brisket EVER:


What you need:
Liquid Smoke
Celery Salt
Onion Powder (can be substituted for Onion Salt)*
Garlic Powder (can be substituted for Garlic Salt)*
Black Pepper (Ground or Fresh-Cracked, which is what I prefer)

*If you opt for the salt versions instead of powders, omit the regular salt from the recipe.

Start by heating the oven to 400 degrees.  Next up, trim the fat from your brisket.

Line a jellyroll pan with heavy duty foil.  Make sure your pan has a lip around the edge to catch any juices that may seep out of your foil.  Place your brisket lean-side up and pour 1/4 C liquid smoke over it.  Sprinkle all seasonings on top.

Flip your brisket over, fat-side up, and repeat.  The reason my liquid suddenly looks black is because I realized we had some browning liquid that needed to get used up, so I added that to my second 1/4 C of liquid smoke.

Seal the foil up around the brisket and place in the oven.  Reduce the heat to 275 degrees.  The recipe I was using called for cooking it 45 minutes per pound, but if you have an oven like mine that runs hot, you might want to go with 30 minutes per pound and check on it.  Actually, depending on how rare you like your meat, you might want to do that, anyway.

Once it's done, open the foil and let it rest for a bit.  It'll look something like this:

Slice it thinly and serve with some of the juices.  If your husband is new to using electric knives, don't assume using one will be second nature to him.  You might just want to save yourselves the headache and just slice it yourself. 

If you don't eat it all in one sitting, take the leftovers and place them in a plastic bag with any remaining juices to help keep the meat... moist (sorry, hate that word).  All in all, pretty tasty.  And easy.  And relatively quick.

Also, we watched The Blind Side on Friday night and I love, love, LOVED it.  I look forward to the day when it is run on cable tv and I can catch it unexpectedly while flipping channels.

My Baby's Got a Secret

Friday, April 23, 2010

And my secret is.... I'm resigning from my job today.  It's a long time in coming.  I don't have another job lined up yet, but I have some plans in place.  Am I crazy for quitting a job without another one in place??  If you were to ask my mom, when I first told her, she would say YES.  Her take was that any job was better than no job.  Then I reminded her of everything that has happened in the last 5 weeks (LOTS of drama in a very big way) and the number of times I've talked to her after a very bad day of work and ended up in tears over the last 2 years, and the fact that my company has gone back on promises made to me and actively reminds me that my employment is not a long-term situation (so at some point, I'll be out of a job anyway and my company is going to position it so that I'm resigning so that they don't have to pay me severance- AWESOME) and she started to change her mind.  L, on the other hand, has wanted me to quit pretty much since we got married.  And actually, longer than that, but we knew I needed to be working at least until we got married, if not a little longer.  The stress and general unhappiness I get from this job are just not worth the damper they have put on me for the past 6 months, let alone the past 2-ish years.  It's just become clearer and clearer that it's time for me to pursue something new and different.  Last week I was super excited about resigning, but this week I'm more nervous than anything else.  I am aiming to have the awkward, "I'm resigning" conversation with my boss after lunch.  I have a specific time limit in my mind that I HAVE to call her by.  I know this is the right thing to do, but it's scary and despite the general negative atmosphere I've been working in, it's hard to leave.  There are a lot of people at this org that I like and I know I'm good at what I do.  I also love the clients I work with.  But none of that can overpower the fact that I'm just not happy here.  It's not fair to L to have him continue to come home and wonder what kind of mood I'm going to be in.  Also,

L and I have a plan for how we're going to get by during my time of unemployment.  I know I'm so lucky to have him not only in my life, but to have him there to support me and encourage me with this decision.  Wish me luck in the next couple of hours...

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In preparation for an upcoming wedding, I decided I needed some color in a major way.  I've been forced to work indoors for the last 2 1/2 weeks because of bees, so my whole "lay out while I work" bit was brought to a screeching halt, so obviously I couldn't go that route.  What's a girl to do?  Well, luckily for me, Groupon had a deal a couple of weeks ago for airbrush tanning.  I'd never done it before but had thought about it prior to my wedding, so I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger and buy 2.  I had my first session on Wednesday and overall, I'm pleased!  However, a few words of advice should you ever choose to try it:

1) make sure you don't forget to wear the disposable flip flops into the tent or shower thingy where they do the spraying.  Even with the jelly stuff on your feet, they will absorb a TON of tanning solution.  My feet look like I've been walking around a grocery store barefoot:

2) They aren't kidding when they say wear loose-fitting, dark clothing.  I opted for a long, jersey, strapless dress, which was great.  However, watch out for your seatbelt on the ride home if you wear strapless clothing or you'll have lines.  This may or may not have happened to me... but it's not noticeable now that I'm all dry. 

3) Wear pajama pants and a t-shirt of some kind to bed.  At first I opted for boxers and a tank, and I was just so grossed out by the feeling of my legs touching each other that I had to change into scrub pants and a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt.  My appointment was at 6:30 (although they didn't start spraying me down til about 6:55- they were running behind) and I got in bed around 11:30-ish.  L said my legs felt like I'd laid out all day and come inside sweaty and just let it dry.  I had a flashback of being at camp on a humid, rainy night and getting into bed and feeling like my sheets were like, slightly damp or something.  (I realize you only understand that if you've lived it.  It sounds gross, but when you're in that situation, it's normal so you just go with it.)  Regardless, when you're in air conditioning in spring time, it's a weird feeling.  If you can go earlier in the day, I say do it.  I noticed the dampness less when I wasn't in bed.

If you haven't experienced the joy of Groupon, you should!  Lots of fun deals to be had.  If you need a link, go here: http://www.groupon.com/r/uu723440


Friday, April 16, 2010

I keep neglecting to welcome the 2 new followers.  So, without further adieu, WELCOME!  I have no idea how you stumbled across this little corner o' the web, but I hope I live up to your expectations.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.  L has been traveling a LOT- both for work and pleasure, although he finally had last week off and we had one whole glorious week of cooking dinner together and what not.  But that's boring.  While he was doing his regular spring gambling trip with his friends, I had a weekend on my own that involved a lot of mundane stuff.  However, I did spot this gentleman:

It was so random.  I have no idea if that's an advertisement for homosexuality or religion or what because, somewhat sadly, I missed the front of his shirt.  The shiny, gold, Old English writing in the back caught my eye because from the side, he just DID NOT look the type to be wearing a shirt with any sort of message on it, much less a message like this in that type of writing.

And of course, Virginians still love lame custom license plates:

I'm not certain, but I feel like that's probably not really Obama's other car.  But if that's the case, let's stop to consider how that's the SECOND person to put Obama's name on their license plate.  Also, I see this car somewhat frequently, and never by my house.

This Tri Delt is a dancing queen and proud of it.

Sorry it's a little blurry.  They're bad girls.

I'm hopeful that this was part of the Lexus "December to Remember" campaign they run every year and that it came with a giant bow on top.

I waited around hoping that Sarah would come out so that maybe she and I could go on a friend date and befriend each other, but after 30 seconds, I realized how creepy that is and that I had better things to do.

I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sometimes, there's really only way to start a handwritten note:

Sorry for the blurry pic- I was in a hurry to meet L for dinner.  I think if I got a handwritten note on one of these cards, it would probably be a GREAT one.  I feel like anything following that kind of opening is going to be hilarious, because who writes about something truly awful on letterpress??

Another fun find:

That set is great because obviously the note is going to be happy and good.  Love it!  I also love the light blue and red color combo.

If you're interested in purchasing your own set of either of these, check out Paper Source.  If you're lucky enough to live in a city where they have a location, stop in sometime soon.  I highly recommend the Dallas location in Northpark Mall and the DC location on M in Georgetown.  Happy shopping!

Build Me Up, Buttercup

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So, my daffodils did bloom, after all! 

And a view of the house with the daffies on both sides:

Hooray for plants/ fleurs that can survive a lot of freezing weather.

Paint It Black

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I've mentioned a couple of times that I've been working on some projects for a while. The time has come for unveiling! Our house has one tiny bathroom and it is totally not condusive to more than one person using the mirror at a time. What's a girl to do when she needs to put her make up on and her husband needs to shave? Answer: have a separate vanity.

We (okay, I) decided we would use my desk in our office for L's computer, so that left us with an extra desk and nowhere to put it. I decided we'd give it a home in our bedroom after giving it a paint job and replacing the knobs. Here's what we started with, and please pretend like that missing drawer is in it's place. I forgot to take the pic before I sanded and primed it:

This is after everything was primed.

And the end result:

I'm not totally sold on those knobs, but they were incredibly affordable at 4 for $14 at Target. This project was supposed to be an exercise in cost effectiveness, and while it wasn't expensive, it did require a quart of paint, a quart of primer, sandpaper, and three new paint brushes of various widths, angles, and bristle type. That ended up costing somewhere around $40 total. I also found some fabulous knobs at Anthropologie and I did end up purchasing them, but since L balked at the $14.99 price tag for 4 knobs on Saturday at Target (we often find he has no idea what things cost. Same thing has happened when shopping for rugs and lamps), I think he would have vomited if he knew I'd paid $12 for EACH knob from Anthro. So those have to go back. The other Anthro knobs were fun, but as I continue to learn, when you're sharing money, sometimes husbands don't appreciate random purchases like that.

Next up: finding a stool or chair for my little vanity and a lamp, and then we'll be finished!

And then a hero comes along

Monday, April 12, 2010

Scenes from a marriage:

3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, at a stoplight.  As the scene opens, I am in the driver's seat, staring intently at SUV in front of where my car is in the lane to my right. 

L: "What are you staring at?"

Me: "Does that license plate say, 'Herpes live forever'?"

L pauses to look.

L: "Try, 'Heroes live forever.'"


Me: "Well, either way it's still true."


This is the sample version of the same kind of plate (I didn't take a pic b/c I was driving):

And to be fair, the car in question had a frame around the plate that prevented you from seeing the whole row of text. 

I still maintain my argument.  Once you've got the herp, you've got it for life.

Weekend Wars

This past weekend was one of those great weekends where nothing really happens to make it great, but it's great because you get a lot of stuff accomplished and it actually is relaxing.  Amongst other things, we attempted to go update drivers' licenses (I need to get a new one, L needs to update his address... which he can't do online for some reason), the lawn was mowed, I updated my closet by switching out all my winter and summer clothes in my closet and building a shoe rack for myself, and I finally finished a project that has been in the making since the Olympics.  I also made L go with me to a Junior League picnic for all of the transfers.  Back story: Mom gave me the CUTEST all-weather blanket, bag, and matching pillow about 2 years ago. 

 It's really for the beach (hence the pillow) but the only beach I've visited since she gave me the fun set was Hawaii (and it was packed up on the moving van), I decided that it would work for picnicking.  L has been less excited about the idea of a picnic than I have been since I first threw the idea out to him.  (This was not a surprise, as he is a man.)  We've used the blanket to watch fireworks from the Lincoln Memorial on his first 4th of July up here and yesterday we broke it out again for a picnic for the Junior League Transfers.  Hooray for cuteness!

The picnic itself was a giant CF.  Not enough planning.  The instructions literally said, "Look for the group on the grounds of the Washington Monument."  Well, if you've ever been, it's actually a REALLY big area with a hill in the middle (which is where the monument sits) so you can't see from one side to the other.  Also, there are always tourists everywhere, so it's not like there's going to just be an empty field with ONE small group standing around.  Also, it's important to note that since all of us are transfers, none of us know each other or who to look for.  Extra bonus for this weekend: it's the end of the Cherry Blossom Festival, thus PEOPLE WERE EVERYWHERE.  Starting to see the flaws in this plan??  The point of the picnic was to view the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin but sadly, the trees peaked about 2 weeks ago and consequently there weren't any yesterday. 

This resulted in Picnic 1.0 starting with 2 other couples (one of whom I already knew; the other couple saw us spread out our blankets and asked if we were with JL because they were lost, too) before we were "found" by the one Active who was heading the event up, so we moved over to Picnic 2.0 where they were.  Picnic 2.0 was in front of this amphitheater/stage thing where there were some performances going on.  Some visual aids:

We have no idea what was going on.  The preceeding groups had been an Irish children's dancing group (think Lord of the Dance) and some Japanese (we think??) children dancing with drums.  Kind of like the opening ceremonies to the '08 Olympics, but about 1/200 of the people and waaaaaaaaay less cool.  We're assuming this is the Japanese version of a Chinese dragon.  It bounced around the stage and then rolled over.

And that was that.  The final verdict on the picnic experience was that we were both glad to have gone- the weather was fantastic and it was so nice to see friends and make new ones- but we both agreed that it absolutely needed better planning.  Sunscreen would also probably be a smart add-on for next time.  Who knows- maybe we'll have more picnic adventures sometime soon!

Bug a Boo

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WHAT IS THAT BUG???  These things keep finding ME (never L) and they FREAK. ME. OUT.  Another shot:

This one makes it look HUGE, and it's really not.  It's probably a little smaller than a quarter.  In real life it sort of resembles a cross between a leaf and a stink bug.

Clearest shot of the day with my dying-by-the-day camera.  The scary part about these bugs is that they jump without warning AND FLY.  I mean look at those back legs.  They pack the power. 

And in case you were wondering, I didn't kill it.  I have a problem with killing, even if it's just a bug.  Try as I might, I just can't squish unless it's a mosquito.  (My constant internal argument is that it's not doing anything to me besides scaring me or grossing me out, neither of which is truly life-threatening.  What can I say?  I'm a lover, not a killer.)  In this case, I pulled a Scarlet O'Hara and decided to think about it another day and simply left the window open and waited for it to hop on the screen.  Then I closed the window and lowered the shade.  Roughly 36 hours later, I have yet to raise the shade to find out if it figured out a way OUT or if it is still caught in the purgatory that is the space between the glass of the window and the screen.  HA HA, SUCKER!

Also, bugs may or may not have been an influencing factor in my decision to get married.  This also just reminded me of another classic "me" bug story, to be told another time.

Burn One Down

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just in case you've ever wondered if the racks in the oven are hot, they are:

Much as it may resemble one, that's not a hickey on my wrist.  It's a blistered burn.  Thanks, Easter Ham.  Also, I just realized how totally weird that picture makes my arm look.  That's my hand at the top; you just can't see any fingers due to the awkward angle from which I quickly snapped this pic.

In all seriousness, we did have a great first Easter.  We found a SUPER cute church to go to (Exhibit A) and afterwards, we came home and made dinner which included a ham (first time cooking meat like that), green bean bundles, homemade macaroni and cheese, yeast rolls, and brandy alexander pie.  Delish. 

Witness Exhibit A:

Except imagine it with a lot of daffodils (they're everywhere here) and other various flowers in front of all those bushes.  Cute, no?  Also there was one aisle down the middle of the sanctuary with 12 rows of pews on each side and the pastor didn't need a microphone.  Not quite what I'm used to in the way of church sizes.  I'm pretty sure people knew we were first timers.  But it was a nice service and the chapel (for sure this was a chapel and not a sanctuary) was so pretty inside.  And if that's not enough charm for you, it's a freaking historic building.  Hooray for going to church in a place that's been around since that whole Civil War debacle.  But I digress...

The rest of the day included a lot of napping interspersed with intermittent viewing of season 2 of Mad Men.  And if you're not watching MM yet, you need to.  Also on that note, I have no idea how any lived through the 60s with the incessant boozing and smoking.  I do understand why STDs are such an issue now, though.

Good Day Sunshine

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Coming to you live from my backyard... the weather in the greater-D.C. area has been in the 60s and 70s for the last 2 weeks (mostly), so obviously I needed to celebrate by working outside.  Because I can do that.  This is my make-shift office/desk:

Except this pic was taken last week on the first day I worked from the backyard.  Since then, I've added in a TV tray as a working surface because I ended up with a farmer's tan on my legs from where my laptop was.  Not hot.  I also now have my ipod and docking station outside for auditory enjoyment.
And here's my one of my new co-workers:

Her name is Robin and she's been so friendly.  We had lunch together on the first day; she ate worms, I had a salad.  Since then, I've met some other co-workers; namely, a black squirrel (fyi- I'd never seen a black squirrel before) and some bees.  The bees are very into spring and all about celebrating by flying all over the place.  It's incredibly annoying, so it's kept me inside a couple of days.

My first day working outside also marked the first day my legs had seen direct sunlight SINCE MY HONEYMOON which was IN OCTOBER

Yeah.  Gross.  Hopefully this will add a little color to my life.  So far I've come in a little burned every day.  Yes, it's possible to burn from being outside for 1-2 hours in the afternoon in March.  I'm fair-skinned to start with, and since I haven't seen the sun in months, it only compounds the issue. 
Knocking on Wood. Citrus Pink Blogger Theme Design By LawnyDesignz Powered by Blogger