Friday, May 29, 2009

come on and do it

There are only a few days left to enter my giveaway!

Enter now. If you already have, go tweet and blog about it and I'll give you an extra entry :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

American girls are, oh oh oh!

The New York Times had an article a few days ago about the newest "American Girl" doll that is about to be released. Rebecca Rubin will be "a 9-year-old girl living on the Lower East Side in 1914 with her Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, siblings and a grandmother known only as Bubbie."

Now, when I was a nine year old and received my beloved Molly McIntire, there were three dolls- Molly, from 1944; Samantha, from 1904 (who has since been retired!!! what!?) and Kirsten, from 1854. Since then, there have been many more added to the family. According to wikipedia, there are-

Historical Character dolls
3.1 Kaya, 1764
3.2 Felicity Merriman, 1774
3.2.1 Elizabeth Cole, 1774
3.3 Josefina Montoya, 1824
3.4 Kirsten Larson, 1854
3.5 Addy Walker, 1864
3.6 Samantha Parkington, 1904
3.6.1 Nellie O'Malley, 1904
3.7 Rebecca Rubin, 1914
3.8 Kit Kittredge, 1934
3.8.1 Ruthie Smithens, 1934
3.9 Molly McIntire, 1944
3.9.1 Emily Bennett, 1944
3.10 Julie Albright, 1974
3.10.1 Ivy Ling, 1974

This is not including the Girl of the Year dolls or the Bitty Babies or Bitty Twin dolls! Is it just me, or does this seem to be getting a bit out of hand?! By that, I mean all the others- bitty dolls and girls of today...I love the historical girls!

I remember the Christmas I got Molly M. I was nine, and wanted her more than anything else in the world. Of course, she was the first thing listed on my Christmas list. On Christmas Eve that particular year, I remember this so distinctly, like it was this past Christmas. My mother was in the kitchen and I was in the living room, poking around under the tree (come on, you know you did it too!) and I saw a box with my name on it. My heart skipped a beat, because I knew, I just knew that it was Molly. So I casually walked into the kitchen, grabbed a cookie and said "Mum, what would happen if Santa brought me something and then you and Daddy got me the same thing?" Here I thought I might get two Molly dolls! My mother didn't bat an eye, she just said "oh Lexi, you know how Santa knows when you are naughty and when you are nice? Well, he also knows what Mummy and Daddy are thinking of giving you too!" My nine-year old self was in awe.

The next morning, I opened that long, rectangular box and there was Molly McIntire. I'd never seen such a beautiful doll and I couldn't remember ever having received such a gift. To this day, she ranks in my top five best Christmas gifts ever. When I go home next month, I think I may need to bring her back to DC with me, as she's still living in NH. I may also need to find a picture or two of that Christmas morning to scan!

Did you have one of the American Girl dolls? Which one? What adventures did you two go on?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the pits

I was just looking at the website for the Washington Humane Society (shocking...) and noticed that the good majority of dogs there needing homes are pit bulls, or pit mixes. I know that there can be issues with this breed and many people are afraid of them for various reasons, but it made me sad! They all are adorable and just want someone to love them. I hate how some breeds are so misunderstood and get a bad reputation because of a few bad seeds. Like rottweilers, for example. So many people wouldn't consider having them in their homes, but they can be such wonderfu dogs if they get the proper training. At the S.P.C.A. in Arlington , there is a rottweiler named Angel who has been there for such a long time, it breaks my heart. I know she's been there well over a year, if not longer, because, you know me, I look at these websites far more often then I should! If I could adopt her, I would, but a 90+ pound dog would not be happy in my little apartment. I don't even think she'd be happy at Steve's- she needs a yard. Speaking of Steve's, his neighbor's have a rottie who is on the porch all the time- never outside playing and it makes me really sad for the dog. I really kind of want to sneak over to rescue him sometime, but Steve won't let me...

This summer, I really think I am going to start volunteering with one of the rescue leagues. There are so many in DC, so it isn't as though I have to search for one...

If you were to adopt a dog, what breed would you want?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

in a tizzy

There are a million emotions running through my head right now, all pertaining to engagements, weddings and babies, none of which are mine. I am trying to sort through them all, but I'm finding that I am not sure how to take some of it, if that makes any sense at all (unlikely). Of course, it doesn't help that last night, like a moth to a flame, I watched The Bachelorette followed by ABC's new (and ridiculous) show called Here Come the Newlyweds. I need to stop obsessing over something that some days, I feel like may never come (though I do know otherwise) because I hate the fact that I've become that girl.

Over the weekend, I learned that there will be a surprise 30th birthday party next month for one of my oldest and dearest friends. I want to be there with every part of me, and I am scrounging through my finances to see if it will allow (while deep down, I know it is unlikely). June is just the beginning of the next six months, full of weddings, bridal showers, family events, bachelorettes and such. Of course, the weekend before the 30th fiesta, we have wedding of the season numero uno, in Iowa, of course, where it is not exactly cheap to fly to. Maybe I am spoiled by having fantastic flights to Manchester via Southwest (I adore them, I do), so any flight, anywhere domestic, over $200 seems insanely expensive to me, when I do know it isn't, at all, in the least. It is days like this when I hate being so far from home and the ones who mean the most in this world.

Last night, I was jolted out of bed about 3am from a monstrous crack of thunder/lightning. I jumped about three feet in the air and never really got back to sleep after that. Being this tired causes me to think too much, and we all know that that's never good.


Does anyone know if blogger will allow me to password-protect certain entries? I can't seem to figure it out...

PS. Go enter my giveaway!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I just won a gorgeous Boleslawiec pasta bowl from ebay for $10.58!

This is what it looks like, looking down on it. 



I love Boleslawiec, it reminds me of Krakow  :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

cheerio, love!

My friend Kirsty sent me a package last week. She was in London for the weekend (she's English, lives in the north) and look what she sent! Of course, she did a theme and I am now the proud owner of Union Jack knickers :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

remember when I won that giveaway?

Several weeks ago, I posted about winning Jamie's giveaway? Well, the shirt arrived weeks ago, but I am now remembering to post a picture of it!

Please ignore my crappy photograpy skills...and my messy hair....

(note to self: when wearing shirt in public, remember to wear black bra)

There are more details at the hemline, but I couldn't get a good angle, so I will have to have someone take a full-length shot when I am wearing it out and then I will post it!

summer giveaway!

So summer is on its way and what better reason to have a giveaway? As I mentioned, this involves one of my favorite things. Several of you suggested Albanian babies, which made me laugh. I also appreciated that books and wine came up. You know me too well! My darling Magda suggested that I was giving away really, if I had corgis, would I give them away?  :)

Good guesses, but none were right. This giveaway involves stationary, really lovely and handmade stationary! I recently discovered Chloe's blog. Chloe owns and runs her own stationary company called English Tea Paperie, based in Richmond, VA. Her personalized pieces are all made by hand and she's generously agreed to help host a giveaway. 

How cute are these?

Beach (12 designs)

 Dessert Bar (3 designs)

Insects and Reptiles (5 designs)

Here are the rules-

There will be two winners; one winning a set of flats (5x7 flat note cards) and minis (3.5 x 5 mini flat cards), and the other, winning a set of flats. They'll be drawn randomly, by me, looked on by someone else, likely Steve, unless anyone else wants to volunteer  :)

Go over to Chloe's site for English Tea Paperie and have a look around at her products. Come back and tell me your favorite three designs. 

To enter, leave me a comment. 
For two entries, twitter about the giveaway.
For three entries, blog about it. 
For four entries, sign up to be a follower to my blog. If you already are, remind me.
Do all of the above, and you'll be entered five times. Do me a favor and comment each time, so it is easier to count the entries. 
For me to rig the contest so you win, come to my house with a corgi for me  :)

The contest will run until Sunday, May 31 at midnight. June 1, I will pick and notify the winners.

Also, Chloe has kindly offered a 10% discount to all of you lovelies, so please go have a look at her shop! When you click the link, the 10% will b e deducted at checkout. So, go fill your cart!

So, go shop, get entered and plan who you will send love letters to!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

magnolia me this

Remember a few weeks back when I said I bought a little magnolia tree at the Mount Vernon Garden Sale Day? Well, I've taken a few pictures of it, so you can see how adorable he is, but look how big he is! Seriously, it was a third of this size when I bought it for a whole $5! 

I may need to go to Home Depot this weekend for a bigger pot...

mid week rumbles

  • we had a staff meeting this morning, as we do each morning, and my tummy was growling so loudly. seriously, my co-worker kept looking at me and laughing. it was awful!
  • after the meeting ended, I ran downstairs to get a snack and bought one of those naked drinks...I picked out the all natural protein juice smoothie with pineapple and coconut. its so, so gross.
  • I was really sad to see that Survivor Africa winner Ethan Zohn has cancer. Does anyone else watch Survivor and saw the finale the other day? Am I the only one who still watches Survivor? :)
  • the Mount Vernon Wine Festival was very nice. I'll have to post a few pics, as there are already a few on facebook. I only bought one bottle, which is far below my average ;)
  • I seem to have lost a friend this week. I'm still sorting that out in my head.
  • I'll be posting a giveaway later tonight! It involves one of my favorite things! Any guesses?
  • My favorite band of all time, CHICAGO, is at Merriweather Post Pavillion next month. I must get tickets. I don't think they'll sell out...I may be one of their few fans left!
  • what did you think of the Gossip Girl finale? 90210?
  • I hate data entry, which is what I've been doing for the past two days
  • I really want a pair of lobster flipflops from Tucker Blair
  • I read the most amazing book yesterday. I might have to do an entire post about it, I loved it that much. Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay. Seriously amazing. I read it entirely in a day, a day which included eight hours of work!

What's new with you?

headband love

If you are a headband lover, you may want to go check out Kate's giveaway! Looks like a good one, I'd say!

PS. Check back tonight for my own giveaway, which I mentioned a few posts ago, but this time it is really going up!

Monday, May 18, 2009

make it stop

Okay, so I recently wrote two posts about crime in my hypothetical backyard. Well, it happened yet again. This time, in my building. Yes, you read that correctly. In my building.

Saturday afternoon, Steve picked me up, as we were going to the movies. Coming out of the front door of my building, there was a note taped to the door written by a resident of the building. She wrote that she was robbed Friday night. In the building. IN THE ELEVATOR!

Of all scary and creepy things that could happen, this girl was robbed in the elevator of the building she and many others live in. I don't know details, I don't know what time it was, etc, but that shouldn't matter, should it?

I am more than a little freaked out about this.

Friday, May 15, 2009


  • I just had way more lunch than I needed to. Today is one of my coworker's last day, so a few of us went to a lunch buffet in the hotel nearby. I did not need to eat as much as I did! I am stuffed.

  • This weekend is the Mount Vernon Wine Festival! I'm looking forward to it, even though none of my favorite girls are coming with me :( This just means that October will be better!

  • So I watched Monday's Gossip Girl last night (I'm a bit behind). At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the idea of the Lily spin-off, but I liked the episode with the flashbacks and I think that Owen is adorable! What did you all think?

  • I fell in love with another corgi yesterday. Someone stop me.

  • I just discovered that you can set up a wedding registry for my favorite Polish pottery! I am SO doing that when I get engaged!

  • What are you reading right now?

  • Any weekend plans?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

baby time!

I found out a few weeks ago that a close college friend and her husband are expecting a baby in September! They live in CT, so I haven't seen them in ages, which makes me sad, but I couldn't be more excited for them. They've been married almost five years now and are college sweethearts. Sadly, I couldn't go to their wedding, as it was the day before the election when I was in Canada. She and I studied in Luxembourg together and had many adventures there, including walking to both Germany and France (remind me to tell that story sometime!).

She emailed me this morning to say that they found out that it will be a BOY!

So, I need to start practicing making potholders now, so that I can make her a baby quilt in August!

When you have babies, do you want to find out if it's a boy or girl beforehand? Or do you want it to be a surprise? I want to be surprised and I already have decided that my nursery will be decorated with Peter Rabbit, since he's my favorite!

Monday, May 11, 2009

so crafty, thats me!

Look what I've made! Wine cork trivets and coasters! Steve and I drink a lot of wine, so I thought I'd make good use of the corks. I will admit that we didn't drink all of this wine...I purchased some corks from ebay! I bought a bag of 500 corks for only $15 shipped! So, I've been making trivets and coasters! They are adorable, and super fun to make!

Anyone want one? I have a lot more corks and I can only use so many trivets :)

oh crap

It seems that my gmail account has been compromised and this is the email I use for this blog. Some of you are in my address book, so I do apologize if you got a strange email from me this morning! I've changed the password, so it should be taken care of, right? Should I change my email address too?

Friday, May 8, 2009

thanks for the glue

As I mentioned, Steve is now the sponsor of an adorable Albanian called Redion. He began sponsoring him in mid-February. The day we decided to sponsor him, I noticed that his birthday was coming up, so I immediately picked up a birthday card to mail to him, which I did.

The other day, Steve received his first letter from Redion, along with a drawing of flowers! The letter, of course, was adorable, as they all are. In it, his sister, who wrote the letter, commented on the glue that he received. Steve was puzzled by that, and I was too, at first, until I remembered that I sent a package of stickers along with the birthday card.

So, if you are in Albania, apparently "glues" actually means stickers :)


So it seems that this weeks powerball jackpot is at $109 million. You may have heard that a few weeks ago, a DC resident won the $144 million prize. Turns out, he's an 82 year old widower with ten children and 47 grand and great-grandchildren! What I love the most is this-

The octogenarian has created three trusts: one to educate his heirs, one for their health care and one for philanthropy.

I think that is a really fantastic use of his funds. Personally, I can't even fathom how much money that is and I can't even begin to imagine what I'd do with that much. Sure, there are the obvious; pay bills, travel, help my family, buy a house (or nine!), etc. Of course, I have a few charitiable orgs that I love (World Vision, Room to Read, Humane Society), so I'd certainly help them and a few more. Maybe I'd donate to my high school and college and have them rename the library after me :)

So, what would you do with such a win? Would you run away and hide, never to be heard from again? Do you have special charities that you'd help? Would you become an anonymous do-gooder, helping random people in need?

thought of the day

Silly question.

When people leave you comments, what do you do? By that, I mean, do you comment back to them in your own comment box? Or do you reply to them via email or such? Or do you go to their blog and leave them a comment? I don't ever comment back in my own comment box, I am more likely to comment on their blog or send an email, if it allows.

Just curious! I'm random, I know  :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about one of my favorite orgs, Room to Read, and said they were beginning a DC chapter? Well, I have a meeting Monday after work with the chapter leader to discuss the DC chapter and how I can be involved! Hooray!

My day just got a bit better :)

isn't it ironic?

It really, really bothers me so much that this man is claiming ill health as grounds for not returning to Germany.

Yes, pre-leukemia, kidney problems, spinal problems and "a couple of types of gout" isn't good, but what he did to 29,000 prisioners at Sobibor and Treblinka is a million times worse.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


And now, a more fun post than yesterdays....

How about a giveaway? Chloe, whose blog I recently found, is doing a Tucker Blair giveaway and TODAY is the last day to enter.

Jackie, I think you're a big fan of Tucker Blair, right? :)

So, go look at Chloe's blog and see how cute her baby girl is. While there, have a look at her contest!

PS. Keep an eye on my blog for another upcoming giveaway featuring one of my favorites things. Any guesses as to what that may be?

Monday, May 4, 2009

at a loss

Do you ever feel that you just aren’t where you are supposed to be and find yourself questioning every decision you’ve made? That’s pretty much where I am right now. I’m in a funk. I don’t know how I got here and I don’t know where I am going.

The closer and closer I get to finishing this Masters, the more I feel like I am in the wrong place. To be honest, I almost began this MA on a whim. I already have one Masters, that I did in Krakow, Poland. I always thought maybe I'd do another, or a PhD eventually, but it was far, far off. Then I saw this Masters program and was intrigued. It sounded interesting, like a good fit for me, and encompasses many of my interests. The Masters is in International Education, which I can do a lot with. A lot of things other than teach. It doesn't certify me to teach. Of course, I knew this going in, but the closer I am to finishing, the more I think I want to teach.

Teaching is something that has always, always been in the back of my mind. I remember my junior year of high school when my advisor told me that I should be a kindergarten teacher, as he'd love to see his daughter in my class someday (I just figured out in my head, as I typed that, that his daughter is now 12...good grief!). Perhaps he was trying to soften the blow of the fact that I was, in fact, failing chemistry (remind me to tell that story someday). Of course, I didn't think too much of it at the time, as I had plenty of time to figure what I wanted to be when I grew up. My freshman year of college, I decided to be pre-med (yeah, having failed chemistry once and getting a D the second time!). That lasted roughly a month and a half, as I dropped biology because I was failing (notice a pattern here?) and became a political science major. My senior year came along, and of course, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so the logical thing seemed to be to apply to a grad program in Poland (no GREs! score!) and you know what happened from there. I came back from Poland, went to Canada for a few months to run a campaign and then moved to DC. Since being here, I've worked on the Hill, worked at a language school, worked at a think tank, worked at a non-profit and now, work for the government. I feel like I've done a pretty wide range of things in the five years I've been here.

Despite that, I've never let teaching leave my mind. It's always there, nagging me, like in high school when your mother nags you to clean your room on Saturdays. I want to teach, I do. But, as much of me that wants to? The other part of me is terrified. Of what, I am not exactly sure. I don't know what is holding me back, but now more then ever, I feel like I should be teaching. With this current (and almost complete) Masters, I've really become interested in both literacy development/curriculum and language instruction. I've taken several classes that have really excited me about the possibilities, one in children's literature and another, in language policy. Perhaps this goes along with my love of all things books and reading and why I considered a Masters in Library Science for so long, but such a big piece of my heart is wanting to do a certification as a Reading Specialist and then work in elementary schools, either as the Reading Specialist or a classroom teacher with the emphasis on reading.

I just feel like I should have a clearer sense of what I want to do and where I want to be. The jobs I've had have all been so different, yet none have been "the one." Sure, I see things all the time that I'd enjoy, but I don't think I should be applying just because it looks fun. For the record, I am not looking for a new job, in case it sounded like I was. Even with this current one, while I didn't think that this particular position was my dream job, I thought it was my dream place, the federal agency that I wanted to be at. I'm not sure that it is. I feel awful saying this, like I am whining or something, because I don't want to appear ungrateful for the opportunities I've had, because I'm not. I know that I've had some really great experiences, ones that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

I wonder about the reason that I am never satisfied with my job and why teaching never leaves my mind. Maybe it's a sign that I should go for it, despite my fears and apprehensions. I know so many teachers, including my mother and my aunt, her sister. So many of my friends have gone into teaching in various capacities. Even my sister is currently considering it for next year, having worked at a non-profit in Boston for almost a year now after finishing a Masters in Journalism. Still though, I have no teaching experience whatsoever. I've never subbed, I've never tutored, nothing like it. I once mentored a third grader my freshman year of college, but that was about it. Earlier this year, I signed up as an adult "pen pal" with an organization called In2Books, where adults are matched with students and you read books together and talk about them. By that, I mean we read the same book at the same time and exchange emails via their website. I have no idea where my guy lives, but he's great and I've really enjoyed our exchanges and I plan to sign up again next year.

What frustrates me the most though, is that as much of me that wants to teach, another part of me thinks that I am crazy for considering it. Some days will go by where I make up lesson plans in my head and then two days later, I am searching usajobs for new government positions at the agency I'm currently at. There is no consistency with my thoughts, no rhyme or reason as to why these whims come and go as they please, teasing me, flirting with my mind. What if I decide to take the plunge and teach and then hate it? What if I were to fail? What if I never give myself the opportunity to find out? I don't want to regret not doing something, but I also don't want to jump into something and then hate it, and disappoint everyone around me. I've long been my own biggest critic, and I know that I never give myself enough credit for the things that I do, but honestly, sometimes I feel like it just isn't good enough. Teaching is something that I feel like one should be 100% dedicated to. I wake up most mornings now and think "I don't want to go to work," and I don't want to feel that way forever. I'm not so naive to think that everyday would be roses and butterflies in any career, but I just want to feel like I've made the right decision for myself. I feel like things should be clearer to me at this point in my life, but they are nowhere close and I'm not sure what to do about it.