Tuesday, September 30, 2008

100th post!

Big day, big post...

I gave my boss my two weeks notice yesterday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

on sushi and books

They go together, right? Sushi and books? Like rama-dama-ding-dong? Okay, brief Grease moment there (I typed brief as breaf for a minute, and couldn't figure out how to spell it, though knew it was wrong!)

I am a baby when it comes to sushi. Really, I am. I try so hard to like it, I really do...but I always revert back to the California roll. Last night Steve and I were out celebrating a bit of goodness (no sparkle....) and I thought sushi would be good. He looked a bit surprised when I suggested it, but didn't question me. We went to this place in Fairfax called Todai, which is a sushi buffet. I like it, because along with dozens of different sushi rolls, it has soba noodles and all sorts of other things.

I nervously approached the buffet and found my California rolls. I looked down along the counter, where they get more colorful and more scary, and decided to be brave. I grabbed a few. I don't know what kind. As long as it's cooked and isn't eel, I thought I'd be okay.

I was wrong. I ate my California rolls and had a tiny bite of a second, and then lost my nerve. The more colorful they got, the less I wanted to eat them. I'm such a wuss.

At least I had my soba noodles!

In other newsworthy events, this weekend is the National Book Festival on the Mall, which is sponsored by the First Lady and the Library of Congress. If you are in the greater DC area, I highly suggest that you go. It's amazing. It's one of my favorite days of the year! Yes, I'm a dork, I realize this. I want to see Jan Brett. What? You don't know who she is? She's a childrens author who does the most beautiful illustrations. She designed this years poster! Love her. I want to buy a copy of her new book and have it signed for my mother for Christmas. Laura and Jenna (Bush- yes, we're on a first name basis!) will be there signing their book, Read All About It, so I may have them sign one for my mum too. My mother is a librarian, she eats this stuff up.
Anyway, if you are in DC on Saturday, please come. Look for me, I'll be the nerd with the checklist, making sure every author on my checklist has been visited. Yes, I am making my plan of attack tonight....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I'm on my 4th cup of tea today. Earl Grey, from Harrods. I bought it in London last fall and it is so wonderful. It makes me sad that I am running low on it. I suppose that means another trip to London is in order?

What is your favorite kind of tea?


I'm home today, home sick. Okay, so I am not on my deathbed sick, but I feel like crud. I'm watching reruns of 90210, yes, old-school 9-oh. It's the episode where Donna and David and the girls sneak into the hotel to find Color Me Badd and she sees her mother there with another man. I always liked this episode. What was your favorite 9-oh episode?

How was your weekend? I didn't do much of excitement, mostly just helped Steve move. He closes on his new house a week from today, so we were packing and moving boxes. It wasn't exactly fun, but I suppose it must be done, right? I hate moving...it's the worst!

I made fruit bread last night. It was supposed to be strawberry bread, but I didn't have enough, so I had a bag of frozen mixed fruit in the freezer (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) and used those. The bread is a lovely shade of purple and isn't bad :)

Okay, more later....must make more tea...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

don't call me Martha

Martha Stewart I am not.

I'm not the most organized person out there, which is no surprise, judging by the looks of my apartment, which, obviously, you can't see at the moment!

I do, however, love to cook. I don't as often as I'd like, due to the extremly small size of my kitchen! Despite that, I have a lot of cookbooks. Like, more then 150, in all seriousness. I have this kitchen hutch that my microwave sits on and the top part is shelves. It's full. I also have them on the kitchen cart next to the fridge, and then more on top of the fridge.

I have a lot of cookbooks. Remind me sometime to post a picture.

I do also have a few recipe boxes, where I copy down recipes onto cute cards and organize them according to food type (breads, appetizer, poultry, etc).

Even though I have enough cookbooks where I could probably cook a different recipe every night for the next five years without repeating, I buy cooking magazines. I subscribe to Racheal Ray, Bon Appetite and Food and Wine, and many months, I buy a few more, including Olive, a British cooking magazine that I picked up at Heathrow last year and now spend $10 a month for the imported copy at Barnes and Noble.

As you can imagine, these magazines are piling up. I'm debating what to do with them. I obviously can't keep them all, not at this rate.

What would you do? Rip out the recipes you like and organize them into some sort of binder? Copy the recipes you like onto cute recipe cards for aforementioned recipe boxes?

How do you organize your recipes?

for Jess and Torsten

A different sort of post....

I am a bit new to the blogging world, but in my short time doing so, I've found some great blogs that I enjoy reading. One of those happens to belong to Jess. If you don't read her blog, she's getting married very soon, to a great man called Torsten. From her posts, they are so happy and very much in love, which is such a refreshing thing to see.

I just wanted to send them a short note of congratulations and best wishes for a long lifetime of happiness together, from now until forever.

One of my favorites...

"I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you."--Roy Croft

Congratulations Jess and Torsten! May your wedding day be the beginning of your best adventure yet!

(this lovely bit of bloggy love was organized by Ms. Swistle, in case you were wondering)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

question du jour

Do you keep your receipts? You know, when at a restaurant and using plastic, do you keep the receipt and then file it away somewhere?

I have a bad habit of sticking them in my wallet with the intention of filing them...but really, who I am kidding...I don't file anything

I know, I'm bad.

This leads to my bonus question- what sort of wallet do you have? Do you like it? I need a new one and I'm not entirely sure what I want.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

how to make a meal happy...or not

I was planning to go to Subway for lunch, and get some fairly healthy. Unfortunately for me, the McDonalds is in my path and I was swayed by the thought of french fries.

In I went. I convinced myself that it was better to get a Happy Meal, since it's smaller, therefore, not as bad, right? So, that I did. Then I noticed that the current Happy Meal toys were Madame Alexander toys dressed as the characters from The Wizard of Oz. Fun!

I thought these would be really perfect, as I could send them to Majlinda and Inaete in Albania.
So, I bought my cheeseburger happy meal and waited for lunch.

My lemonade went to the tray. Then the cheeseburger, and then the fries.

She looked at me and said para nina?

I said si, por favor.

(yes, Spanish speaking McDonalds in Dupont=good practice for me!)

She rummaged through the box of toys under the counter. I was hoping, of course, for Dorothy or Glenda the Good Witch....but instead, I got a flying winged monkey.

Seriously, if you were a 6 year old Albanian girl who had probably never see The Wizard of Oz, wouldn't this scare the bejeebuses out of you?!

it's only Tuesday?

I just made a cup of tea, vanilla, if you were wondering, but it's awful. Boooo.

How was your weekend? Okay? Fun? Relaxing? Mine was...in a word, busy! Saturday we had to go to Steve's company picnic, which was up in Columbia, MD. They had pina colada slushies, which was clearly the thing that made the drive worth it. They were labeled "adults only," so there must have had a little somethin' somethin' in there. Afterwards, we drove down to Crystal City to watch the Iowa-Iowa State football game. I could care less about football of any kind, but Steve and his friends were there to support their alma matter (did I spell that right?), who lost. Oh well.

Then we had this weird wedding thing. I'll explain. Some acquaintences of ours were married in July in Turkey (they are both Turkish), so they had a "reception" here. It was at the clubhouse of the condo association they live in. We had very little details of the event, especially the attire. Since we'd been picnicing and gaming, I was in capris and a shirt...clearly not wedding-wear. They were having it out in McLean and we didn't want to go back to DC, so we stopped at Pentagon City...an obvious solution. I bought this dress at the Gap, but wore it like in the second picture, because I looked like an idiot when I belted it. Steve bought a pair of dark jeans and a button down shirt. Jeans you say? For a wedding? Yes, jeans. This is because when the bride was asked what the attire was, she said to wear what you wear when you go clubbing. Which I don't. So, needless to say, I had no idea what to wear. Luckily, the dress was on sale for a whopping $23.99, which I thought was fine for a weird wedding reception for a couple I barely know. I was surprised I was invited, to be honest. I've met her a few times, she's very nice, but I haven't seen her in at least a year and a half, and frankly, if I saw her on the street, I wouldn't recognize her.

At least the cake was good.

Monday, September 15, 2008


if you had a little piece of salmon and a few baby scallops, how would you prepare them for dinner?

Friday, September 12, 2008

reading anything good?

What are you reading right now? Need something new?

Go over to Britt's blog and sign up for her Book Exchange! I've signed up and I think it will be really fun. While there, check out some pics of her son Nicky- he's adorable!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I'm having inner turmoil. I have this habit of looking at World Vision's website, probably too often. Two-ish weeks ago, I found a little boy named Klaudjo, he lives in the same village in Albania as Majlinda and Inaete. He's adorable...like Bobby Brady, from the first season of The Brady Bunch....kinda like this picture, but younger still...like from the very first episode, if you watched it. He's the same age (five) as my two girls too. He likes to color and play with toy cars.
So when I found him, I told Steve about him and said I wanted to sponsor him too. Like the wise person he is, Steve said "can you do three Albanian babies? would that be too much for you? you like to send them little packages too, and three can get expensive."
He's smart, that guy.
That night, Steve was at my apartment, and I wanted to show him the picture of Klaudjo, but when I logged in, I couldn't find him. Maybe he was sponsored already?
I just looked again now, and there he is! I haven't been able to get him out of my mind for the last two weeks!
I'm now debating if three Albanian babies is too much....

Do I talk about my Albanian babies too much? Tell me if I need to stop!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

election day!

On another note, want to hear something funny? So yesterday was the primary in many states, including my own home state of NH. Since I moved to DC four years ago, I've always voted absentee ballot and continued to vote there. At first, it was because I worked on the Hill for one of my Congressman and when doing so, you maintain your home state residency (loved that, bc I didn't pay DC income tax and NH has no income tax!). Since I left the Hill, I've continued to vote absentee, since I have no voting representative in Congress by living in DC.

So a few weeks ago, I got my absentee ballot in the mail. I began my vote, and noticed that in several categories, it said "vote no more then five" and there were only two or three people running. This was for the local things- state rep in Concord and such. So, I wrote myself in, hehe. My father is really involved in local politics and was actually a state rep from my town for six years when I was really young. He helps out on election day, working in the polls and counting ballots.

My mother texted me last night to tell me that I got three votes!!!! Mine, my best friend who wrote me in, and one more...likely my mother, hahaha.

I told Steve that this is a sign from God that we should move back to NH :)

I retract my statement

Okay, perhaps yesterday's post was a bit harsh on my end. I apologize if I offended anyone. I saw the article on cnn and for some reason, it hit a nerve with me, and I wrote that post rather quickly, without necessarily thinking it through. As I saw people's comments, I thought about it a bit more and decided I made a rash decision.

Like I said, education is one of the most important issues to me, and yes, I agree with some that it is a very personal decision, one that cannot be made lightly. So, if he thinks that that school is best for his daughters, then it must be. If he wins the Presidency, I hope he follows through with what he says and really does something for public schools, because so many of them really need an overhaul.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

excuse me, Senator?

Okay, so I have not discussed politics on here much, nor do I especially want to. I know this election has people really fired up, which is always a good thing, in my opinion. It is good to have people involved, especially when they are passionate.

I tend not always to voice my opinions about such matters, and certain issues are more important to me then others. For me, education is one of the most important issues. You may know, I am currently working on a second Masters degree, in International Education and I am giving very serious thought to teaching. DC public schools are amoung the worst in the country, as you may know and there is always talk of how to improve them.

I've been curious about McCain and Obama's views on education and what they planned to do about it. Of course, educational issues have been overshadowed by Iraq and the economy, amoung other things. So, when I saw this article, I read it, and became curious about Obama's two daughters. I did a bit of google work and found this article.

From said article-

It was the first day of classes for 10-year-old Malia, a fifth grader, and 7-year-old Sasha, in second grade. They’d spent some of their summer on the campaign trail with their dad.

So dear little Malia and Sasha go to the University of Chicago Lab School.

From their webpage-

Schedule of Tuition 2008-09 School Year

2008-09 Tuition & Fees
Nursery School (Half Day)
Nursery/Kindergarten (Full Day)
Grades 1 - 4
Grades 5 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

So the Senator and Mrs. Obama are paying nearly $40K a year for their daughters education.

I am not anti private school in the least, I went to Catholic elementary and high school, public school for grades 6-8.

What bothers me? When a candidate tells me what he might do for public schools, but doesn't send his own there. I find that quite ironic.


trashy tv!

So I joined twitter. Follow me, if you want to :)

Does anyone watch the show on MTV called Exiled? It comes on right after The Hills, and I won't lie, I've been watching it! Last night's girl, Chelsi, was really the worst. I hated that she's from NH too! Ugh! Now this was my confusion...last time I checked, Norway wasn't exactly a developing nation. Yes, I know that she went to the frozen tundra of the Arctic Circle and herded reindeer, but still- the family lives in a large city most of the time! Strange.

Speaking of trashy tv, how was Gossip Girl? I got home last night and a breaker in my apartment blew, and maintenence, of course, is useless. So, Steve rigged up an extension cord from my kitchen, haha, to plug in my AC and tv. I saw the last ten minutes of GG.

How is it only Tuesday?!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

back to reality

I'm back at home in my little apartment. Steve and I had a nice weekend. I should point out that when he called Friday and told me to be ready at 8am, I wasn't entirely surprised, because we had been talking about going away for a night, but we never really made a decision about it. Our anniversary is this week (four years- ridiculous!), so we thought a night away might be nice- and it was!

As I pointed out,to him, I was ready at 7:50am (like this ever happens on work days!). He picked me up and we drove west. There was, of course, a hurricane heading this way, but we didn't let that discourage us. So, off we went, with a stop at Dunkin Donuts along the way.

Steve had made a reservation at a really nice b&b called Stone Manor in Lovettsville, VA, about an hour from DC. It's out past Leesburg, very close to the WV border. We stopped at several wineries along the way, trying reds and whites and roses at each, and of course, buying a few bottles at each! When we were out there, it was really raining for a while, and quite windy. At several of the wineries, we were the only ones there and the proprietors seemed surprised to hear that we made the trip out! A tree fell and brought some power lines down with it right by the b&b, which made getting there a bit tricky! Later in the afternoon, the rain had stopped and it wasn't so bad. Two of the wineries we went to had weddings there later! For dinner, we went to a really great restaurant called Magnolia's, in an old mill. It was really great. I had the fillet mignon, it was delish. We didn't get desert, because Steve had ordered champagne and chocolate for the room, which was nice! This morning, we had an AMAZING breakfast, prepared by Beth and Spencer, the owners. They had chocolate chip pancakes, buttescotch pancakes, quiche, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, carrot cake muffins, fruit salad and loads more! We left, and went to another vineyard (at 11am, haha!) and drove by a llama farm. We stopped by the outlets in Leesburg, but I didn't buy a single thing. There was nothing that I couldn't live without.

All in all, it was a really nice weekend. It's nice to get out of the city sometimes. You don't even need to go far to enjoy yourself. I highly recommend both the b&b and Magnolia's. If you ever need a getaway, take a look at Stone Manor. The prices are so reasonable too.

I'll be honest, I was hoping he had something sparkly tucked into his pocket, but not so much. Like I said, four years this week, so it's not like we've been together five minutes or anything! We do talk about it, and I know it's coming, but I'm beginning (or maybe not exactly beginning...) to get a bit impatient. I never wanted to be one of those girls who obsessed over when a ring was coming, but sometime I feel like I am becoming that girl that I used to hate, because I don't want to be her.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here, but Steve is in the process of buying a house. He actually closes on the house on 30 September. I have always been of the opinion that it is best (for me) to wait until marriage to live together. Again, I mean this for me personally. I think I am the only one of my friends who doesn't live with her boyfriend, and I am okay with that, this is what works for us and what is best. However, at this point, four years later, I'm not sure I want to wait at least another year, if not more, to live with him. I mean, even if we were engaged this week, it isn't like the wedding would be for another year, likely more. So, we decided that we may live together when we get engaged. I just hope that's soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

oooh boy!

Steve called me at work this afternoon. He said he'd pick me up tomorrow morning at 8am and I should have an overnight bag with me, as I wouldn't be home until Sunday.


Clearly, as preparation, the thing for me to do was stop at the new cupcake place by my office to get snacks.

Happy Friday to you!