Sunday, March 31, 2013
This Easter, I was invited to my first legitimate tea party. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was exactly how I imagined. My friend Sara was the perfect hostess (as in the opposite of most of my friends). She had put together a smorgasbord of miniature sandwiches, tortes, and desserts that would blow your mind.
There were cookies (thank you, Whole Foods), and one of her guests brought homemade scones (I had planned on bringing banana bread, but of course forgot the loaf on my counter, so I quickly bought a bouquet of flowers to make up for my thoughtlessness). Sara also made a delicious yellow cake covered with lemon curd, homemade whipped cream, and shredded coconut.
And of course there was tea! She had many different varieties, and we all had cute little china tea cups (along with matching plates, I might add) from which to enjoy our beverages.
After having experienced other friends host get-togethers, I must say that this was the best one I have ever attended. The food was delicious, but the presentation was even more incredible. And the fact that Sara was prepared to host several guests in her small studio apartment, having enough chairs, cups, etc. for everyone, was impressive compared to what my other friends have put together (and even though I host a classy wine and cheese, I myself do not measure up to these hostess standards). Five stars for this Easter party!
P.S. I even got to hang out with a real bunny on Easter! Does it get any better than that?
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Special K protein bar and a half-glass of orange juice. But after a couple of months, this tiny workout snack was getting pretty boring (but at least they taste better than the original PowerBar). Then I heard about Kona Kase through work. It's like a subscription for different types of dietary supplements and the like. For $15 a month, you get a box of 8 items: they range from protein bars to trail mix to organic chocolates, and more! Every month it's something new and different to try! If you try an item that you really like, you can then go to the store and just buy that if you like, but Kona Kase gives you the opportunity to try these different things at a very reasonable rate. I just got my first box, and I'm very excited to see what I like! And who knows: maybe some of the things will actually improve my performance at the gym!
Friday, March 29, 2013
I had another Living Social deal, so I met up with a friend to have a prix fixe dinner at Leek American Bistro.While this kind of deal sounds awesome and saves you money, it's very difficult for me to eat three courses without feeling incredibly full (disgustingly so) afterwards. And that's exactly what happened. We started with a little bread, then I had soup, a chicken entree, and then we split two desserts between the two of us. The food was all very good, but even hours after the meal I felt like I wouldn't be able to eat anything for two days.
In general I try to prevent feeling this way whenever possible. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and it really just makes me feel completely gross. So, when I eat out, I almost always try to cut the meal in half, planning on eating part of it there, and taking the rest home as leftovers. Of course some food isn't very good the next day (salads and seafood just don't seem to last very long), but then again I don't order those types of things too often. But this cut-in-half rule is a good one to live by all the time, even at home. I usually only eat half an apple at a time; the same goes for sandwiches. I've heard a lot of talk about how eating several smaller meals a day rather than 2 or 3 large ones is better for you (stabilizes your metabolism, etc.), so this rule fits right into that. You eat a half of sandwich at noon for lunch, and if you start getting hungry around 3, eat the other half then. This is a very easy way to keep from gorging yourself.
And while I have a HUGE sweet tooth, I general skip dessert at restaurants. One, it saves me money (when you're living on a budget when you're at your first job out of college, you don't spend frivolously). But desserts are empty calories that have no nutritional value. Now I'm not saying never eat sweets: I keep candy in my desk at work, and you know I love a free treat from Georgetown Cupcake on the weekends. But everything in moderation. So if you've just finished dinner and you feel content (full, but not too full), just stop there. Don't get dessert just because you can; you'll feel sick (and guilty, most likely). Just say no.
Recap: Two great eating habits I try to follow is cutting meals in half and limiting myself on desserts. While most Americans would probably consider this close to anorexia due to the obesity epidemic that is sweeping our nation, a HEALTHY human body can survive just fine on limited resources. I went a week once without eating and only drinking ginger ale, and I'm still alive. So don't pig out!
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I realize this isn't a food blog, and that if I want to write a review I should just go to Yelp.com. But this blog is all about what's on my mind, and since I just ate there, that's what I'm thinking about. The first time I heard about Boloco was in college; there was one in our tiny little town, and I'd go every once in a while. So I was excited (as well as a little nostalgic) when the restaurant came to Bethesda. The first time I went to this new location I had a coupon in the mail for a free burrito (who doesn't love free food?), so I had one of their Asian-inspired burritos, which was quite good. Today, I went there to meet a friend for a night-time snack (neither of us was very hungry, but we wanted to hang out for a bit). I was greeted by a sign right at the register that read "Cake Shake." My curiosity was instantly piqued. Cake is amazing, shakes are delicious, and here I had both in front of me all at once. Umm...Yes, please! The cashier suggested I throw in strawberries (for free), so I thought, "What the hell" and went with that, too. They made my shake, and I see that there are cubes of cake on the bottom, the shake is on top, and then sprinkles garnished the entire thing. O.M.G. I was excited. I clearly had to take a spoon (there was no way those cubes were going to make it up my straw), and I dug in. It was as yummy as it looked! To enjoy a "Cake Shake" even on a chilly evening is pretty awesome. I definitely recommend trying this tasty creation!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I can't believe how many of my friends have never watched Saturday Night Live. It's a classic American TV show! While I rarely (okay, never) actually watch the show live the night it airs, I have been watching re-runs and clips for a long time. My parents have "25 Years of SNL" on tape (VHS, oh yeah) that I watched growing up, and I remember the 1990's cast the best (Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Farley). I think it's a lot of fun to watch the older episodes and see how the show has evolved and how actors come and go in and out of stardom. For example, the most recent Justin Timberlake episode also featured Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, and Chevy Chase, men who were on the show in the 1970's; that opening bit isn't funny if you haven't watched the older shows!
Today, the show is pretty horrible (again, something you wouldn't know if you haven't seen how GREAT it used to be). In the older seasons, only the funny skits were recurring. Now, some of the worst ones make an appearance on almost every show (Stefon on Weekend Update and Kristen Wiig's terrible Dooneese, just to name a few). In general, I only think a skit or two of each episode is funny (thank goodness for Hulu: they have clips as well as full episodes so you can skip all the nonsense). However, I will say that the new Bruno Mars episode was very good, and JT never fails to please.
I don't watch the show often, but every once in a while I'll see a bit that literally makes me laugh out loud. It gets me every time!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
There are a couple songs that I hear on country radio (though there may be other genres that do this, too) where, if you interpret the song one way, it's simply a love song, and another way, the song is about the singer's relationship with God. Below are a couple of examples (pay attention to the lyrics, not the videos themselves):
LeAnne Rimes' "I Need You"
Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song"
Thompson Square's "If I Didn't Have You"
Now maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I think it's interesting to contemplate how songs (poetry in its most popular form) can be understood in multiple ways. And if this actually is what the writer meant, then the song is even more clever than before!
Even if you're not Jewish, I'm sure you know at least one Jewish person, and if you're close friends, you may receive an invitation to a Passover Seder, and I suggest you accept it! Passover tells the story of the Jews fleeing from Egypt; this is from the Old Testament of the Bible, so therefore Christians can understand what's going on, too. Of course there's a lot of rituals and the like concerning Passover, but the only part I have ever celebrated (and let's be honest, the best part) is the Seder dinner. For most of my life, I have spent Seder with my Jewish grandmother, my immediate family, and my grandma's closest friends. For the last couple of years my parents have hosted, so they bring their friends instead. And last night I celebrated at my grandma's synagogue with her and my father.
I at first was dreading this celebration. First of all, my grandmother's cooking is DELICIOUS. She even makes gefilte fish taste good (homemade, NOT from a jar, and the fish is fresh from the market). So when I heard we would not be eating at home I was disappointed. But it really wouldn't make sense for her to make all that food just for three people, so I agreed to the idea. I was still worried about the company we would be sharing at Seder. Of the few events I had gone to at the temple, all I could remember was that everyone was over 60 (more like 80) except for me, and all they would talk about were their ailments (which I really don't look forward to having myself in fifty years). Lastly, when you grow up celebrating Passover, your family has its own way of doing things, and that's how you like it. I know my family doesn't read through the entire Hagaddah (the book of stories and songs from which you read during Seder), and I feared sitting for HOURS before actually getting to eat.
BUT the Seder last night was much better than I expected! First of all, we were seated at a table where there was another young person! Amazing! He was just about to finish his first year in law school, so we had plenty to talk about (youth really come together when there are so few of you in the room!). Then the Rabbi actually starting skipping part of the Hagaddah, which I greatly appreciated since I was really only there for the food. Speaking of food, it was pretty good! The knoedlach (or matzoh balls) where a little squishy (and tasted like scrambled eggs), and the gefilte fish was just no (I fear once my grandma passes I will never eat good gefilte fish again). But the desserts were amazing (petit fours are my favorite!), and I had who knows how many glasses of kosher wine (very sweet red wine; the first glass is a little hard to swallow, but by the end of the night you keep pouring yourself more and more of the "juice"). So while we were there for four hours, the company, food, and rituals themselves were all satisfactory, and I wasn't even tired when I got home!
P.S. I forgot to mention my worst Passover experience. It was my freshman year of college, and Passover didn't overlap with my spring break, so I had to celebrate at school. First of all, I had to pay $25 (which makes sense, but when you're used to eating for free, you don't relish the idea of paying for this celebratory dinner). Then when I got there, I knew no one, so I just sat down next to these ladies, only to find out they were "special" and were bussed in every year from a group home to celebrate; I'm not good around people like this (I never have been; I just feel very uncomfortable), so I was awkwardly sitting there with these strangers. THEN, instead of reading from the Hagaddah, students from the Jewish Center started reenacting the story of the Jews. If you're at a Seder, you should at least already know the gist of the story, so I didn't see why I had to watch a bunch of fools act like they're in first grade putting on a play for their classmates. The experience was so bad that I left after the first course (matzoh ball soup, which I can't even remember if it was any good or not). So a word of advice: if you're going to a new Seder, at the very least go with someone you know. Even if it's horrible, at least you have each other. Misery loves company.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. The way that manners and politeness are underrated by my peers is obscene.
So, last night I had the incident with the guy using his cell phone during our date. Today, I had plans to meet a friend for brunch: we had agreed that I would come over to her place around 12:30 to enjoy pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I show up at a friend's place (on time of course), and she's not there. Her roommate answers the door, and clearly she has just woken up after having a long night on the town. I come in, and the apartment is a mess. The dining room table (where I assumed we would be eating) is covered with tons of random stuff, the kitchen (where I assumed we would be cooking) is filthy, and I could smell that the kitty litter boxes needed to be emptied. After about an hour of sitting around waiting for my friend (in the meantime her roommate has emptied the kitty litter boxes, but has proceeded to leave the garbage bag in the apartment so that the smell still wafts through the entire place), my friend finally shows up looking like the worst morning after ever (her hair was a complete mess and she was wearing a green T-shirt and red leggings like a Christmas elf). Then she tells me that we don't even have the makings for our brunch and we need to go to the grocery store. So we go, pick up what we need, and then get to the register. I say we split the cost in half, but she doesn't even have enough cash to cover that, so I (the guest, mind you) have to pay for most of the food. THEN we go back to the apartment so that we can enjoy our meal. At this point there are two men at the apartment now (the brother and boyfriend of my friend's roommate) watching TV and vegging on the couch. NOW is the time when we have to actually make the food. My friend takes out her pans from the cabinet, and they are DISGUSTING. I wiped them down with a paper towel and brown grease came off (who puts dirty dishes back in the cabinet?!). Ew. Then my friend and I proceed to slave away in the kitchen while the other three just sit on their asses waiting like pigs at a trough. FINALLY the food is done and we sit everything out on the table. The others scarf it down and claim that they'll clean up as fair share for the food (I didn't stick around long enough to see if this happened or not). While the food was good, and it was fun catching up with my friend, all in all, I think this visit in general was a failure.
1. When you make plans with a friend, BE ON TIME. Or at the very least give a head's up if you're going to be late. If you are having someone come to your home, you should be there. Don't invite someone over for the next day if you already know you're going to be spending the night at your boyfriend's place (which is an hour away from your own apartment).
2. Be prepared to have guests come over. CLEAN YOUR HOUSE! I can't believe the way today's youth disrespect their homes. Vacuuming and dusting once a week is not an option: it's what you SHOULD do. If your body is a temple, so is your home, and you should treat it as such.
3. If you're planning to make a meal, the food really should already be prepared (or at least in the oven). You don't invite someone over knowing you're going to make him/her do half the work in the kitchen.
4. If you are inviting someone over to do some sort of activity (bake, do arts and crafts, etc.) you should not expect your guest to pay for any of the "supplies" and such! If your guest brings things along to use that day, or offers to pay, then that's fine. But don't put the pressure on your guest to pay for something that YOU invited him/her to do. That's just like inviting someone over to dinner (that you actually cooked and prepared ahead of time) but then charging your friend for eating it.
P.S. I forgot to mention that the cat threw up a furball while I was there. Even their CAT couldn't get his shit together.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Smart phones are the kiss of death on a date. If your date pulls out his phone during dinner, you know he's not interested. I cannot think of anything more rude that a date could do to you (okay, besides maybe if he calls you a c**t). He thinks you are SO boring that he needs to check the score of the game or show you EVERY single picture he has on there. Yes, this happened to me tonight; No, this isn't the first time he's done it. SO RUDE. Never again!
Friday, March 22, 2013
I love housewarming parties! I'm going to go to one tonight, so that inspired this post! I think they are so classy and I think Emily Post would say every woman should host one whenever she moves. These types of gatherings are very underrated by my generation, but I adore them. It's such a nice way to help your friend settle into her new place. And of course you have to bring a gift! A bottle of wine is always a safe bet (especially when you know that ALL of your friends love Muscato and your wine is going to be the favorite out of the bunch); a gift for the home, like a candle or a piece of decoration, is lovely, too. As for the party itself, you hope there will be food, but this depends on the hostess (i.e. is she a good one or not?). If not, excuse yourself once you are completely famished. But always make an appearance! A short stay is better than none at all. Even if she is the worst hostess, you must be the best guest.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
There are so many ways to show your support these days, whether it's for a cause, political candidate, organization, etc. Right now I'm wearing a DC Environmental Film Festival button for an event tonight; on my car I have stickers for Adkins Arboretum and Dartmouth College, and the frame for my license plate shows my love for the Washington Capitals. Of course people could always say that some of these things are just for social status, but I like to think most people who wear a shirt with a panda logo on it actually care about the work of the World Wildlife Fund. I think these are fun ways to express your interests and what you care about. How do you show the world what endeavors/people/teams you support?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
"Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
High hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
No we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family jewel"
To get our share of the world's delights
High hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
No we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family jewel"
I heard this song on the radio this morning, and it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Not only is it a fun disco tune, but it also sends a great message. I guess "We Are Family" could link to my post about my sorority sisters, but that's not the main takeaway I get from this song. The stanza above really speaks to me. It seems to be talking about my stage in life: being a young professional, just beginning to explore the "grown-up" world that is reality. I'm not only enjoying my independence and all that the city has to offer, but my future has really only just begun, with so much in front of me. Now that I have settled into my job that I've had for about a year, the confidence I had in college has come back to me, and I really feel like I am back on track and can accomplish what I set my mind to. I love the work that I'm doing, and I can only hope that over the years to come I can succeed not only as an individual professional, but for my entire office and organization as a whole. Having faith in yourself is crucial to life's happiness and achieving your goals. As long as you believe in yourself and try your hardest in whatever you're doing, then you can't be doing something wrong. It's always right to be doing what you want to do, in that moment, right then and there. If you keep telling yourself that, and have the confidence and faith that this is where you're supposed to be at this point in your life, then you have nowhere to go but forward (and up!).
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Now I know last night's post was on an environmental topic, so I apologize for the trend. I just was thinking about my electricity bill which sparked the need for this post. Like water, I think most people use electricity like a renewable resource that will always be there; when you flick a light switch, you assume the light will turn on. But creating electricity uses natural resources like coal, and until our entire nation (and world!) switches to solar power (which I'm not really sure is the answer, but we can all bet that the sun isn't going to burn out anytime soon), we should conserve the power we use. Here are some tips:
1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. If you're not in the room, why does it need to be lit? Even if you're thinking you'll be back in there in just a minute, turn it off. Otherwise you'll start making yourself a snack and chatting with your roommate, and by the time you get back to your room, the light has been burning for 20 minutes for no good reason.
2. Wash your clothes in cold water. It takes energy not only to run the machine but to heat the water. So washing your clothes in cold water saves power (plus, the colors won't run and your favorite shirt won't shrink).
3. Unplug items when not in use. Now I'm not saying you have to unplug everything: my TV stays plugged in 24/7. But I always unplug my computer at night (which is good for the battery anyway), and at school I only plugged in my printer when I needed to use it. Same goes for your cell phone or curling iron. This way there isn't any "vampire energy."
I'm sure there are many other ways to conserve electricity, but this list is just to start you off. These tips are really easy, so tell yourself you'll start using them TODAY. There's no time like the present!
Monday, March 18, 2013
No, it's not "the tap." I don't think many people contemplate what their natural source of water is. They just expect the water to come out of the sink or shower when they need it. But that water has to come from somewhere. Tonight, at another DC Environmental Film Festival event, I watched a film on the Potomac River, which is DC's water source. The movie focused on how important it is to keep the Potomac River clean, since in the end it's the water we drink. This of course goes for many major waterways around the country. So when you think about dumping your expired pills and antibiotics down the toilet, DON'T! All of those chemicals just go back into the water, and into your body. And don't litter, either. That's just rude.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
I realize this post will not pertain to everyone. However, we all have friends, so I hope all of my readers can relate to something in this post.
Of course I have friends from all periods of my life, but I have the most from college, and specifically from my sorority, Epsilon Kappa Theta. I remember my freshman year thinking, "I'm not going to join a sorority. That's not my scene." Now, I can't imagine life without Theta. When I first joined, I had to warm up to a few things, like dressing up in silly clothes and dealing with a MILLION emails a day from sisters. But soon I looked forward to finding the perfect costume and staying up until 1am on a school night with this fun group of girls. My sorority was my #1 extracurricular activity on campus, and I even represented my house on the college's Panhellenic Council, the umbrella organization for all of the sororities on campus. I was, and still am, proud to call myself a member of the sisterhood, and that is because of the amazing women I met there. There are so many girls who are a part of our house who I do not think I would have met on campus otherwise, and each of them is incredible! I swear my sisters are some of the most beautiful, talented, smart, caring, fun, etc. people I know, and I am so blessed to have them in my life. I was so thankful that when I moved to the city so many of them were here and I already had a network of friends I could plug into. We see each other as a large group every few months, and I hang out with them individually all the time, too. They are women I admire and whom I love spending time with; they are always there for me and are an amazing support system. They bring so much joy to my life, and when I think of what creates my day-to-day happiness, Thetas are right there at the top along with my family, career, and God. Every once in a while, I just think about how lucky I am to know women like them, and I hope they know how much they mean to me. And of course I kinda hope they feel the same way about me!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
I love high heels. I started wearing them very early in life, so that has helped me adjust to them. I went to a private middle school where we had a dress code: not as strict as a uniform, but we still couldn't wear tank tops, jeans, or sneakers. I mostly wore slacks and black skirts. My mother was shopping for me at the time, so I definitely have gained her sense of classic style. And since I've always been interested in fashion, and now appreciate clothing that a woman 25 years older than me would like, I was pretty much dressing up like a child businesswoman, and that included wearing high heels (actually, I never even bought a pair of flats until I was in college. It was either heels, boots, flip flops, or athletic shoes).
So seeing as I've been wearing heels for the last, say, 14 years, I've gotten used to them. I have friends who still can't walk in heels, or complain that they hurt their feet, or have the femi-nazi stance that heels were invented by men to restrict women in yet another way (just an excuse so they can wear ugly Birkenstocks all the time, let's be honest). I, on the other hand, enjoy walking in heels: they give me great posture, make me feel ultra-feminine, and make my legs look incredible (Ladies, no other shoe will do your legs justice than a pair of stilettos). But PLEASE make sure you can walk in heels before you go out in public: nothing is more painful than watching a girl wobble on heels as if she were on stilts, grasping onto her friend's arm as if she's going to fall at any moment. So sad...
But, seeing as I wear heels all the time, I tend to pound them into the pavement and eventually they wear out. Luckily, black patent leather heels will always be in style and therefore can be easily replaced. Which is what I did today. Yesterday, I took off my shoes and noticed that one of the heels had a CRACK in it. Thank goodness I noticed this before the heel actually snapped off and left me with a broken ankle! These pictures show the tragedy. Luckily I was able to go to DSW and get another pair (though without a pointy toe, but that's okay). So no harm done, but still: I've never had a heel crack on me in all these years of wearing them!
Friday, March 15, 2013
Okay, so this is kind of a plug for work. But it's not entirely! Yes, we're involved with three of the events this year (one of them was tonight with the artist James Prosek). However, I would encourage anyone in the DC metro area to go to at least one of the films featured in this film festival. There are so many different topics, from rivers to sustainable agriculture to kids' movies on animals. While of course I will attend the events for work, I also plan on seeing two on my own (both in one day, actually). This is another way I'm culturing myself, but in something specific that I'm interested in and know a bit about (rather than going to see the ballet, which I enjoy but from a very superficial level). See if there are any film festival near you, either pertaining to environmental issues, or perhaps on another topic you may be passionate about. Certainly a fun form of education (and socialization if you go with friends!).
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I know my last post was about pub trivia, so now I look like a total alchy. But I'm not talking about getting wasted with your co-workers and spilling the beans on how much you hate your boss or the huge crush you have on the guy in the cube next to you. I just think happy hours after work are a great way to bond with the people you work with outside of the office. Everyone's more relaxed, since the pressure's office to be completely professional and stand-offish. Plus, if you work in the large office, you're likely to meet new people (now you can put a face to that name you see on emails all the time!). So even on days when you feel like heading straight home after a long workday so you can make dinner and watch a couple of hours of television, tell yourself not to be a couch potato and go out for a drink. It could be one drink, and then you leave. It's better to socialize even for a little bit than not at all (the same goes for exercising, by the way. Random tangent...); you don't want to be known as the office fuddy-duddy!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I have only played pub trivia a couple times in my grown up life, but seeing as I was a nerd in school, trivia is right up my alley, since I've always been one to remember lots of things and know odd facts. Now I can play this fun game AND drink at the same time, which is pretty awesome. My go-to place for trivia right now is the Barking Dog. It's easy to get to, I know the bartender, and my friends like to go, too. The game itself though is hit or miss. Sometimes I feel like my team is on fire but loses to the teams that go every week; other times, like tonight, we're lucky to get two questions right in a round. Of course the history questions are tough, and I'm useless at the music round (unless the theme were country music, which it never is). And may I ask why there is no "Animal Facts" round? Because I would be a rockstar at that (The two mammals that lay eggs? Why, yes, I DO know that!). But, win or lose, it's always fun to get together with friends, catch up in between rounds, and learn a thing or two (ex. Did you know that the dot above the lower case "i" and "j" is called a tiddle?). Even if you don't drink, I encourage you to check out trivia at your local bar: it's a lot of fun!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I am torn as to whether having games on our smartphones is a good thing or bad thing. So I'm going to lay out some arguments, and you can decide.
I really like having games on my phone. I play a version of Bejeweled, Scramble (like Boggle), and my sister talked me into playing DrawSomething with her. All of these are quite entertaining, and certainly come in handy when I'm waiting for the metro or sitting around at the doctor's office. And you like to think you'll learn something, like logic tricks or a new word. Besides, anybody who's anybody plays Word with Friends...You want to be keep up with the times, right? And when a smartphone is pretty much just a tiny computer you can hold in your hand, it seems like a waste not to put games on it: it's smart enough for them, so why not?
The main argument (for me at least) against loading and playing games on your smartphone is that they eat up the battery life LIKE CRAZY. I feel like I need to charge my phone every night if I play a couple of rounds, and I know this will only get worse as my phone gets older. Games are also very distracting, whether you try to sneak in a move or two while you're stopped at a red light (so dangerous!) or you're in the middle of a boring conversation (by the way, no matter how boring a conversation is, you should NOT pull out your cell phone. This is the rudest behavior of my generation. But etiquette will be the topic of another post...). Plus, while you're spending time playing games on your phone, you could actually be finishing that project for work or reading a good book; there are better things to do.
So I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm on. I probably won't stop playing games, but I will try to limit myself so as not to become addicted...And I'll choose when and where I play wisely!
I was sitting around at home all night yesterday, and I still forgot to write a blog post! This New Year's Resolution is tough to keep up with! So here we go...
Out of all of my chores, doing laundry is my favorite one, probably because it has to do with clothes. It's like I get a new wardrobe every time I wash clothes (when you have a jam-packed closet like mine, you can easily go months without wearing things twice, so things may sit in the laundry basket for a while...). I also have a very particular way of taking care of the laundry. For one, I separate by color. Yes, you're probably thinking everyone does that, but 1. some people definitely just throw everything together or 2. they have "dark" and "light" loads. No: I have red/pink loads, white loads, regular loads (which pretty much just consists of sheets, towels, socks, and jeans), black loads, and blue/green loads. All of these are washed on the delicate cycle except for the jeans and such, and then those clothes are only fluffed for 20 minutes before being transferred to a rack to finish drying. Treating your clothes in this gentle manner will make them last longer because you're taking such good care of them!
And of course some items need to be hand-washed. For instance, I wash pantyhose in the sink, and lay them out on the rack as well when I'm finished. I also wash my unmentionables by hand: they just don't seem to get clean enough for the washing machine! So I have to care for them specially. Just be thankful that only a few items need to be washed this way: imagine what it was like before washing machines even existed!
Sunday, March 10, 2013
My favorite season is spring, and no, it's not just because my birthday's in April. I just love that first day when you know the switch has been made between winter and spring, even if it's not the "official" first day of spring. You can just tell. And today was that day! Here's how I knew:
1. The weather was GORGEOUS! Sunny, high in the low 60's, no wind besides a light breeze...And to think a lot of us in DC got a day off last week due to snow!
2. I got to wear a mini dress and sandals! Granted, having spent four years of my life in New Hampshire, I'll put on a dress once it hits 50 degrees. But today I looked out the window and just knew I could wear my gladiator sandals for the first time in 2013. I wore a little cardigan over my sleeveless dress to be safe, but I was loving my spring wardrobe debut!
3. I drove with my window down. I love doing this on a warm, sunny day. It just makes me happy to roll down the window and crank up my tunes as I'm driving. I guess this is the closest I'm going to get to feeling like I'm driving a convertible...
4. Daffodils. They are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring (right there with the crocuses). They are such a pretty flower, and whenever I see them I can't help but smile. They're nature's way of saying that more sunny days are on the way!
This post is meant for yesterday...
I was working at the Four Courts Four Miler yesterday, and although I've never participated in an organized race before, it seems like a lot of fun! Everyone was dressed up in green in honor of an early St. Patrick's Day celebration, and everyone I talked to afterwards was so friendly and really seemed to be enjoying the camaraderie. These races seem like a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your friends, and then meet some other active, mostly young people in your area. But if I'm going to suggest to you, my readers, to sign up for a race like this one, I should take my own advice and try it, too. I will say it seems strange to pay to go running; I can easily do it for free just by walking out my front door. But I guess it's for the whole experience, plus you get things like t-shirts or cozies or something like that. And I suppose if you join a running group from MeetUp.com or something, there's no fee, and you can still meet some cool people. So enjoy the beginning of spring, get some exercise, and socialize!
Friday, March 8, 2013
One big part of being a grown up is paying for your own stuff. And of course no one carries around cash these days, which means the majority of the time you use a credit card. Now I could go on and on about what types of cards there are, different sorts of rewards you can get, etc. But the purpose of this post is to mention the most important thing about credit cards: PAY YOUR BILL IN FULL AND ON TIME! There is no point in paying interest fees: that's like throwing away money! And not only is it a waste of money, but if you keep putting off paying the bill, eventually you will get into serious credit card debt which can lead to bigger troubles down the road (ex. not getting a loan to buy a house, etc.). So don't get into the bad habit of just paying off some of your bill here and there. Pay the whole thing, pay it on time, and you will have no worries. If you know you can't manage to do this, invest in a debit card that does not allow you to overdraft; whatever is in your checking account is the only money you have, so you can't spend more than what you've got. Do whatever you have to do to be responsible with your money!
Thursday, March 7, 2013
You know the fastest way to put a smile on my face? Show me a picture of a baby animal. Mammals, reptiles, birds, you name it. They are just SO cute! I'm not sure why I don't have the same reaction to human babies (clearly I was born without a maternal instinct, since I think babies look like aliens), but I will go gaga over photos of puppies or kittens. Of course there are A MILLION of these sorts of pictures online, but I also like to have fun animal calendars in my house so I can always see them. My two calendars this month feature an otter (a free calendar I received from the Ocean Conservancy) and a piglet (I kid you not, this pig looks like he has a smile on his face. SO adorable!). And if I still used my personal Facebook account, my Bumper Sticker section would be filled with photos of ducklings and the like. Here are some websites that are great for photos of cuddly things:
Although I will see, these photos also make me want to cry because they are so cute and helpless and I just want to take care of them! Especially for the photos of endangered species: they make me want to donate what little money I have to World Wildlife Fund. Sue me, but I'm more interested in saving baby pandas than de-worming orphans in Somalia!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Today I got a snow day from work (who knew you could still get those after leaving the public school system?). Of course I slept in and I'm writing this from my bed because a. I have a cold and need to rest and b. it's gray outside and bad weather makes me want to sleep all day. However, I do resist the temptation to be completely lazy and just lay here. I like to be productive with my time, and if I'm not working, I have to do something else. Today I baked a new cookie recipe (though I substituted regular chocolate chips for white chocolate chips and used regular sugar instead of brown sugar...So I pretty much just made up my own recipe), did a load of laundry (a red delicate load, which I only seem to do once every couple of months because I wear much more black than red), wrote a letter to the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (which actually featured a happy, nice story about the College for once), and later I will cook lunch/dinner (it's already after noon right now, but cookie dough seems to have replaced my lunch...). Whenever I have a really busy week, I'm always wondering how I'm going to fit the little things in. So when you have a snow day, take that time to run your errands, clean the house, and clear your mind! Use your free time wisely!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The moment I woke up this morning, I knew I was getting a cold. My nose was running during my spin class at the gym, and I haven't stopped sneezing all day. But with these tips and tricks, I hope I can fight it off and feel fine in the next couple of days.
1. Exercise: As long as you don't feel fatigued in your body, you should exercise. The intense breathing definitely clears your lungs, and working out makes your body stronger, and therefore better at fighting off illness.
2. Vitamin C: Make sure to take lots of it! I had a glass of orange juice in the morning (though I do this every morning. You should, too!), and I also had some Emergen-C. A multi-vitamin doesn't hurt, either.
3. Meds: I've never been one for taking medicine (I'm the "grin-and-bear-it" type), but when it comes to colds, I figure most of the medicines aren't too strong that they'll have negative effects on my body. I usually take Dayquil and Nyquil, though I'll admit these are hit-or-miss.
4. Sleep: Getting enough sleep is very important for your body to fight off sickness! Make sure to go to bed earlier than usual, and if you can, sleep in a bit, too. If your body is telling you it's tired and needs more sleep, listen to it.
5. Eat spicy/hot foods: This is another way to clear out your system. So order some Mexican or Chinese take-out ASAP! And drinking hot tea can help as well, especially if you have a sore throat accompanying your runny nose.
We will not let this winter cold bring us down!
Monday, March 4, 2013
Growing up, your parents (or other close relatives) are there to praise good behaviors and punish bad ones. But eventually they stop doing that because you're a grown human being. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't discipline yourself. I've always said that the self deprivation is the greatest form of self discipline. When you tell yourself that you can't have something, and then you make sure you don't give into your temptations, you feel a great sense of power and control. If I see that someone has brought cookies into work, I may look at them for a moment, and then tell myself not to eat one. If I do go for it anyway, I feel like a fat pig, but if I don't, then I know that the next time I see cookies, I can say 'no' again, since I've done it before. Now that example is to instill good behavior. But if you do something wrong, you also have to make sure you punish yourself to make sure you don't do it again. For example, yesterday I locked my keys in my car. What an IDIOT! So I had to call a cab to take me back to my place, have my roommate let me in so I could grab my second pair of keys, then had the taxi take me back to my car. So I dropped $35 for essentially nothing. Of course paying that exorbitant fee (about $1 per minute) is a "fine" to keep me from being so stupid again (like a fine for speeding). But I took it a step further, and would not let myself go to the grocery store yesterday. I told myself, "You just spent your grocery money on a cab. So you'll just have to eat whatever's in the house." This way, I can almost guarantee I will never lock my keys in the car again, because I never want to go through that experience of wasting my hard-earned money on something so ridiculous.
Even grown-ups need a time-out sometimes to learn a lesson.
All of my close friends know that I LOVE the IHOP. Breakfast food is delicious no matter what time of day, and you are guaranteed to have left overs (who doesn't love pancakes in the morning that you didn't have to make yourself?). I'm always torn between sweet and savory when I go to the IHOP, so I usually get a combo where I can get eggs, meat, hashbrowns, and pancakes: oh yeah. I love the variety that the restaurant has: so many different kinds of pancakes, and even flavored syrups! I am never disappointed with the food when I go (the service isn't always that great, but the yummy food makes up for it), so this is my go-to restaurant when I know I need some comfort food!
So I realize I didn't post anything ALL weekend. Which means I need to write three posts today. So here is the first one:
I love taking the metro. I don't have to drive into the city and worry about parking, and it's good for the environment. But usually I'm traveling alone to meet people at our destination, and my train rides are about 30 minutes on average. So I try to plan ahead and have some sort of entertainment with me. Of course most people just listen to music, but I don't like disconnecting from the world like that. And others would automatically start playing with their smartphone, but that kills the battery, and what if I need to make an emergency phone call later that night? Instead, I usually try to grab the daily newspaper, the Express, if there are any left in the box (which depends on what time of day I'm traveling). The Express gives an overview of local and international news, tid-bits on celebrities, and my favorite page, which contains two comic strips, the horoscopes, and the sudoku (Friday has a samurai sudoku which is my favorite!). But, if I'm traveling late at night, chances are that all of the papers are gone. So I go to plan B. I try to carry in my purse either a little book of word searches (a cute stocking stuffer I got from my mom) or a book that is just thin enough to fit in my bag (Anna Karenina will NOT work. So for the train I have a book on narwhals [random, I know]). And you can always chat with the person sitting next to you, but that's a gamble...But anyway, with all of these choices, I'm never bored on the train!
Friday, March 1, 2013
Well, McDonald's starting serving them in February this year, but any-hoo...Shamrock Shakes used to be available only in March. And because you can only get them for a limited time, I try to buy as many as I can before they're gone again. They are delicious, green, mint milkshakes that I look forward to every year. And now that McDonald's has gotten all fancy, they come with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Although it's still a bit chilly in March, these shakes still make a great treat! Try one!