Wednesday, January 27, 2010

one lump or two?

Is this not the most adorable lamp you've ever seen in your life?

It's from anthropologie, one of my favorites. I'm so in love with that store. If I was a wealthy girl, my entire wardrobe and apartment would come from there, but sadly, I am not. I do, however, have Christmas and birthday money that has yet to be spent, AND anthro sent me a birthday card with a 15% off coupon! It came with this adorable candle-on-a-string necklace that I should have worn for birthday festivities, but sadly, I forgot. Next year?
So, maybe this lamp should be mine? Yes? No? I shouldn't spend so much on a lamp?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

wine and cake...what's better than that?

As part of birthday festivities at one of my favorite Virginia wineries, Steve bought me a red velvet cake from Cake Love, one of my favorite bakeries in DC. They were ahead of the cupcake trend- they have cupcakes, yes, but also cakes and pies and all sorts of amazingness. Across the street from the bakery, they have a little shop with a cupcake bar where you can choose your cup, icing and toppings! So fun. Come to DC, I'll take you there :) The owner wrote a cookbook, and I have a signed copy of his book!

Here is yours truly with my cake. Yes, I shared!

Once everyone was leaving, Steve packed everything into the car. When I got home, I opened the box, and this is what I found---

Confession- I may, on occasion, leave a bar with the glass I had been drinking from. When I was in Krakow, one of my friends and I would have a contest to see who could leave with the most glasses. I think our record was nine glasses- that included two pint glasses, shot glasses and others, all stacked inside one another, very, very carefully! Yes, I managed to get them all back with me and now I have some very cool pint glasses from Poland.
When you go to these wineries, they (most of the time) let you keep your glass as a souvenier. Of course, we acquired several glasses throughout the afternoon and along with these in the cake box, I found a few more in one of the gift bags holding a present or two, and I know I saw a few in the backseat of Steve's car. Oooops.
Need a wine glass? Leave a comment and tell me your favorite kind of both red and white wine. I'll randomly pick someone on Friday (January 29) and send them a glass or two, and maybe another goodie, who knows!

Monday, January 25, 2010

hello 30's!

Just like that, I am thirty years and one day old. Oy vey, oy vey indeed. Celebrations were had and they were all sorts of loveliness. Now, thank you notes must be written and mailed this week (confession- I may have just mailed my Christmas thank you notes last Friday...but the point is, I mailed them!).

On Saturday, I met with a group of local quilters about beginning a DC Quilting Guild, and I am really excited about it! There were about a dozen girls there, all roughly my age (give or take a few years) and we had a lot of things to talk about, a lot of things we want to do. I think this will be a good thing.

This week I am going to an info session about a mentoring program I learned about. I may volunteer with that, we will see. I think I still need to sign up, oops. This weekend is Steve's company's holiday dinner (a month later!) and then I am going to a bridal show with one of my favorite girls.

Do you go to a gym? Which one do you use? Do you like it? I am considering joining a gym. I say considering, because I often have brilliant ideas of things I want to do, and this is just one of them (ha!), though it would be a good thing. Truthfully though, I hate going to the gym. In high school, I worked at one and got a free membership which I almost never used. So, the idea of paying for something that I already know I don't like doesn't thrill me. Who knows though, maybe if I found the right thing, I'd like it.

I like the idea of a juice bar at my gym :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

thirty-somethings, all at once

The Chinese say that this is the year of the tiger, but for me, it is the year of the 30-something, as a good number of my friends are turning 30. I still have no idea how this is happening! I feel no older than 24! I miss 24- it was such a good year!

I'm kicking off my 30's on Sunday (oy vey!). A friend's husband is 30 a few days later. A good college friend is 30 the beginning of February. And so on, and so on, and so on. I won't take you through my next twelve months of birthdays, but rest assured, they are all written in my calendar in pink pen!

The end of February I have two 30th birthdays; one the 22nd and one the 26th. The 22nd is for my oldest friend in the world, H. She was born almost one month after me (I'm the 24th, she's the 22nd) and our parents lived across the street from each other when we were born and so obviously we were friends. The birthday on the 26th is for one of my best friends from high school, D. H lives in my hometown and is having festivities on the 27th of February, a Saturday. D lives in NYC and I got an email from his girlfriend this morning indicating birthday festivities on the 26th, the Friday, his actual birthday.

I was thinking of going home for H's birthday, as my parents will be at her party, along with other family friends. Of course I want to go to D's as well! NYC isn't too far from DC, and NH isn't too far from NYC, right?

Would I be crazy to try both? Take the Chinatown bus to NYC Friday afternoon, then a bus (or maybe fly?) to NH from NYC Saturday morning and then fly back to DC Sunday? Maybe I should take the Friday or the Monday off?

I mean, I did two weddings in one weekend in two different states...two 30th's should be a piece of cake (pun intended!), right?

maybe I'm too sensitive

I got a little annoyed last night. As I'm sure you know, yesterday there was a special election in MA to fill the vacated Senate seat left by the late Ted Kennedy. There were two candidates, a Democrat and a Republican (shocker...I so wish we were a multi-party system, but don't get me started on that!). My facebook status said the following-

Lexilooo hopes that all you Massholes remember to vote!

One friend commented and said "...and not just for Lexilooo's preferred candidate."

Nowhere in my status did I mention either candidate or the one that I prefer. Honestly? I don't know which candidate I prefer. I don't know enough about either to have an educated opinion. I do not, and have never voted for someone purely because of their political party, nor would I, as it isn't right for me. I am technically, registered to one party, yet I do not always vote that way. I vote for the person, not the party, the person that I feel is best for the position. I'm very much an Independent.

In college, I was very involved with campus politics and the state and national chapter for one of the parties. When I moved to DC, I worked on the Hill for a Congressman of that same party. Now, I don't always vote for that party. It depends on the person. People know this about me, it is hardly a secret what I did and how involved I was.

It just annoyed me that this friend (who I rarely talk to, by the way) assumed that I would prefer one over the other, simply because of their party. Maybe I am taking it too seriously, and she meant nothing by the comment, or was joking, but still, I was annoyed. I hate when people make assumptions about me, I really do. I try not to assume anything about people, just because of one thing or another.

Maybe I'm just too sensitive.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

doll quilt numero dos!

I made another doll quilt last night! It's about the same size as the last one, and in this one, the backing and binding is much lighter then the last one, so it seems there is a bit less contrast around the edges, but it is still cute, I think.

One of my oldest friend's daughter is turning five on the 22nd, so I thought I'd send her this as a little birthday gift. She (my friend) is really into handmade crafts and natural products, so I think she will love this!

(excuse the glare on the hardwood...)

I love the babushka fabric in the bottom left corner. I need to find more of that! I collect babushkas...also, I love the little Eiffel Tower in the top right! My friend is a French teacher and spent a semester in Paris, so she will love that piece!

I really like making these little doll quilts. They don't take too much time and are good practice for me, for something larger!

When I made my goals for the year, I had said that I wanted to finish one project a month...I'm already one ahead! Whoo hoo!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lexi the Pioneer!

A few weeks ago, I participated in a cookbook swap hosted by the lovely Mrs. Potts and the lovely Brown Eyed Girl. I was paired up with Mrs. Potts herself and look what she sent me!

The Pioneer Woman Cooks! I was so excited, because I love her blog and was thrilled to see that she came out with a cookbook.

It was rather funny though; Thursday night, Steve and I had gone to dinner and were then poking through Barnes and Noble and I saw this display and dragged him over to it, letting him know that he could buy me this cookbook for my birthday (less than two weeks away!). He said he'd consider it, haha. No need now, since it arrived in Friday's mail! Hurrah!

The photos are gorgeous and the recipes look amazing. I can't wait to start using it! I'll be sure to post some pictures of what I make!

Thank you again ladies, for hosting such a fun swap, and another thank you to Mrs. Potts for a great selection :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

cupcakes, cupcakes galore!

So Washingtonians, are you aware of the gloriousness that is Curbside Cupcakes? They are a bright pink van that drives all over the city and sells cupcakes out their back door! Earlier today, I saw their tweet that they were parked in front of the Red Cross building. Since that isn't far from my office, I grabbed a co-worker and ran over.

Um, blissful. I adore red velvet cupcakes and this was no exception.

Look at their twitter site and follow them, as they post their locations throughout the day!

The man with the van took our picture to add to their facebook page too! Love it.

Now, my question is did I not come up with this brilliant idea?!

quilted with love!

This weekend was very successful! I finished my very first quilt! It's small, but adorable :)

It's a doll quilt, and is about 12" by 24" and is made of scraps of random sizes. I will send it to Majlinda in Albania! I went to the sewing lounge at DC Threads on Saturday and began it then, and then finished it later that night when I got home. I was pleased that my binding came out well, unlike the last time! I used a different method, and I like this way much better. It was easier, though I may have kind of improvised a bit on the corners!

So, who's dolly needs a new blanket? :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

it's my birthday! (well, almost)

So, since my birthday is quickly approaching, I've been considering where to have festivities. Over the last few years, I've had it at various bars in DC, but I thought that since I am turning 30 (wait, what?!), maybe I'd do something a little different this year, to kick off my 30's right.

A winery!

We all know how much I love wineries, and it seems like that would be a good place. They are usually spacious enough inside that they could seat a large (20ish?!) group. Plus, people could do their tasting, and then buy a bottle of their favorite. If you buy a bottle for $15ish, that is about the same as buying two drinks and leaving a tip in a bar, right?

The biggest problem that I see is the distance. Most wineries are not super close to DC, for obvious reasons, so people would have to drive an hour or so, depending on where they are coming from. My birthday is a Sunday, so it would be an afternoon thing, which I think would be perfectly lovely.

Question for you, dear friends. Would you think it was horrid if someone asked you to drive an hour or so for their birthday? (their 30th birthday! it's a big deal!) Would it be mean of me to ask my friends to do this? Obviously I'd look for somewhere close (my favorite Virginia winery is down in Charlottesville, almost three hours away...I won't do that!)

I'd totally drive an hour for your birthday. Especially if it was at a winery.

Thoughts? Opinions? Want to come celebrate with me? :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

here we go again

I'm not a huge tv watcher, though from time to time, I get really into a show. Last time this happened, last spring or so, I discovered the amazingness that is How I Met Your Mother and I haven't looked back. I've gotten Steve into it too!

Over the weekend, USA had a marathon of Law and Order: SVU on. I watched many episodes and tivoed the rest, watching them later (much to Steve's chagrin!), and now I am hooked. I just added seasons 1-10 to met netflix queue. I will also admit that I read the wiki article. I had no idea that it had been on for so many years! I will also admit, that I was pleased to see that my boyfriend Fred Savage (love him!) was a guest in season four, though I was not so pleased to read that he played the role of a serial rapist. I don't think Kevin Arnold would do that!

Do you watch this show? What is your latest tv obsession?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

fabric fun and quilt block swap!

I'm really excited! I've signed up to take part in Kathleen's No-Sew block swap! I am in the pink/green/white group and picked a pattern called Calico Puzzle. I will pick fabrics in those colors (three different fabrics, one of each color) and cut the pieces for this pattern and repeat this nine times, so there are ten sets of pieces for this pattern. Then I will put them into baggies and send them all to Kathleen, who will then divide them all up and send one of each back to each person! They are not sewn; they are just the pieces to sew, so I will then sew each square and put them all together myself! From there, I could make it into a quilt, or pillows, or a table runner, or place mats or whatever!

The Calico Puzzle is a beginners pattern, since I am a beginner, but I assume that not every square that comes my way will be a beginners pattern. This is a good thing, because I can do each piece at my leisure, and can practice my way up!

I think that the swap is full, but go check it out if you are interested, because there could maybe be a few spots left (don't hate me if I am wrong!). I found the pattern on a site that lists so many beautiful patterns, all 12". Some look very complicated, but I found myself marking several that I'd like to go back and try later!

I am really looking forward to this, and will be sure to post photos as I go along!

Also, last night I attempted to bind for the first time. I wouldn't exactly call this can see that there is no binding at all on the right side! Well, there is binding, you just can't see it on the front, because it is all on the back side! Also, you can see the stitches across some of the squares and it isn't supposed to look like that! I followed a few tutorials that I found online, but I think it will be easier when someone shows me in person, when I take a class or two. This is a 5' square, so it isn't too big. Maybe it would be slightly easier if I was binding something a bit bigger, as there would be more area to work with?

I have potential, right? :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

sweaters and mittens and mittens and sweaters!

I just came across a pattern from Martha Stewart where she recycles old sweaters and turns them into mittens. It looks super easy, I think I can handle that! I have SO many sweaters, some of which I never wear. I usually donate them to the Salvation Army, but this might also be a fun thing to try, eh? This weekend I am going to the DC Threads Sewing Lounge, so I think I may bring an old sweater or two and try this out!

I can make pairs to send to my Albanian babies, and also, add them to my future etsy shop! Speaking of, I decided on a name for my shop! Any guesses? :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

looking forward, not back

Last year, I made my 12 in 12 list for 2009. Looking at the list, it seems that I was a massive failure. I am nearly finished with the credit card debt- my last card will be paid off this month (then onward to student loans...oh boy). I did take a quilting class, but not a yoga class. I did play Wii fit yoga at a Wii Fit party though, does that count? I still cannot knit, was not hired directly (though didn't apply for any positions either), did not visit any new states or countries that I hadn't been to. My one trip outside the US was to Niagara Falls in September...hardly glamorous ;) I don't think I attempted the Sonoma Diet at all. I attended a few different churches on different occasions, though still have not been attending one regularly. Buy a condo, ha! I knew then that that wasn't going to happen....I have lofty goals sometimes! I do use my cookbooks often. I did meet the ex, and no longer refer to her with bad names, though I am still not wild about her. I can deal with her on the rare occasions that I need to, I suppose. After all, he's with me, not her (ps. I am totally cuter than she is).

This must be why I don't make resolutions. Still though, I think I need a few more realistic goals, some things that can and will actually happen. So, here we go---

1. Finish at least one quilting project a month. I find myself starting things all the time, but I don't always finish them, and I need to. Going along with that, post pictures of what I make, and maybe if I make enough, begin a separate blog for projects

2. Finally open the etsy shop I've been thinking about. I did create the shop, but that is all I've done so far. I need to get things made and listed, so that people can see them, and then buy them!

3. Attend mass regularly. As I said, I've gone to a few different churches, and liked them a lot, but I need to actually go, not just talk about it.

4. Do yoga once a week. Even if I just do it at home, that is okay, but once I am comfortable with it, take classes.There are a million yoga studios here.

5. Bring my lunch to work more often. I am lazy and buy it most (okay, every) day, and this is a waste and expensive. I could be doing so much better.

6. Save money. I'm not currently saving at all, and I really need to be. I need to set some saving goals, in order to motivate myself. Maybe a goal should be a trip to Albania...

7. Plan healthy weekly recipes. I don't, at all, which is why I eat hummus and pita for dinner at least twice a week. I should sit down on Sunday nights and plan dinners for the week. Along with that, I can grocery shop for the needed ingredients.

Okay. I am going to start with those for now. I will need to come back and revisit this list, to keep myself on track. These are much more attainable than last year's list....

how to frame a bead

I was doing some cleaning and organizing last night (so much more to do!) and found a stack of letters from Majlinda in Albania. With the letters was the gift she sent me last year and I was reminded that I never did anything with it.

I think that the best thing would be to frame it. I don't want to put it flat on a table, because I am afraid of the beads cracking and/or breaking off, and I'd be so sad if something happened to it. If I frame it, I can hang it on the wall and everyone can see it, and it will be safe. There are many places around here to get things matted and framed, but they are expensive. Have you ever been to Michael's to have something framed? I think they frame things there, and I would imagine their prices aren't bad, but I still want it to look nice!

I love that store anyway, but have never had something like this done there. Have you? Advice?