Friday, July 29, 2011

Old Friends

Today after work (that's how all my posts begin, right?) I am going to visit with an old friend. I first met this girl in the 2nd grade, we both had Mrs. Arnold. We stayed friends through elementary, middle and high school, even when I moved to England. Unfortunately, the last time we got together was the summer after freshmen year of college! 4 years ago!

Back then I didn't have a drivers license, wasn't in a sorority, hadn't declared a major, or decided what I was going to do with my life (not that it's all that clear now either). We were still underclassmen, new to college and life on our own, oh, and she wasn't engaged. It's crazy to think how much has changed in just 4 years! I feel like I blinked and all of a sudden we're no longer teenagers, we're done with school, she's getting married, and I've somehow ended up in Maryland again after 8 years of being elsewhere.

I've planned to stay the night at her house tonight, or what I used to refer to as a sleepover. Just like in elementary, middle and high school days. It will probably involve less time on AIM, talking about mean girls and crushes, and a little more time catching up on the past 4 years, wedding plans, and life now.

Old friends are comfortable. They knew you before life got a little more complicated, back when our only responsibility was homework.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hump Day Hodgepodge

Half way through this week, which means it's time to share more random stuff about myself over at the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. July is National Ice Cream Month. What is your favorite flavor?
I love homeade peach ice cream. But it has to be homemade, other wise my favorite is Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

2.When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?
I have to be honest and say I tend to pack too much. If I going somewhere and I don't really know what I'm going to be doing each day I tend to just throw in clothes and shoes that I may potentially end up needing and I usually don't need half of it. If it's just a short weekend jaunt to my parents I can usually keep it under control. It always looks like more when you throw in a hair dryer, hot rollers, and a curling iron though, so that's really not my fault.

3. What is your favorite cleaning product?
Clorox wipes! Such a cleaning lifesaver!

4.Which is a greater tragedy an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free?
An innocent person imprisoned (which basically means that the actual guilty person is free). I can't imagine how frustratingly unjust it would feel to be sitting in prison for something you know you did not do. And ultimately a guilty person will be judged.

5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?
Does a bus trip count? Yes, I think it does. I was on an 18 hour bus ride from Budapest, Hungary to Lupeni, Romania. Technically, in mileage it shouldn't take that long. But if you figure in sitting at the border for no less than 4 hours, and winding your way through the precariously narrow roads in the Translyvanian Alps, on a charter bus from the 1960's, with 40 other high school students hopped up on way too much caffeine and adrenaline, having to make bathroom breaks in the middle of no where, it adds up. It was also the funnest trip. Ever! Because at the end of it we got to get our hands dirty and do some real service for a deserving community.
6. Tennis, golf, canoeing, biking.

Biking. I want this, except maybe in green:

7. What sound drives you crazy?
Listening to other people chew/ smack their food loudly. Gah... makes my skin crawl.

8. Earlier this month my dear friend got engaged to the most wonderful guy. They have been together for 4 years and I am so excited to stand up at their wedding next August and watch them tie the knot. One of the best parts about them getting engaged is that now I have an excuse to stalk wedding websites, pin pretty wedding photos, and looks a wedding magazines. If anyone asks it's for my friend ;)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Plans Change

I didn't get everything checked off my list this weekend. (I did make those styrofoam balls and they turned out better than I expected and look like something you'd buy from Pier 1-I kept them for myself rather than taking them to work, hehe). But I didn't really clean my room, and I obviously didn't plan out this week's blog posts.

Plans change. I think I've said this before but I'm a big list maker. I like the satisfaction of writing down a task and then crossing it off when it's completed. It's sometimes hard for me to not have a plan, to not know what's next on the to-do list. But I know God probably gets a kick out of my plans and just smiles and shakes his head and sighs, "oh Shannon, when will you learn?"

There are things you can't plan for.
Peter's grandfather passed away on Friday. It was something the family had expected but something you can never be prepared for. I am so thankful that I got to know him for a short while and that I'll get to hear stories about him for years to come. Peter is actually named after his granfather but they share more than that. Peter got his papou's kind heart and for that I am so grateful. I know his grandfather had such a huge role in making Peter into the boy that I love.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Weekend

I have simple plans for this weekend but mostly I plan to stay cool. I wish I had a pool to swim at or a boat to go out on.
  • Deep clean my bedroom and bathroom. And I am embarrassed to say this... but I still have some boxes that remain unpacked. Taunting me. I have got to do something abou that.Buy new ballet slippers and maybe a new leotard. I'm hoping that purchasing these items will give the kick in the butt that I need to get myself to ballet class. I don't know why I'm dragging my feet (probably because I haven't worked out in 5 years and I'm going to pay for that at the first few classes...) but I am dying to dance! Plus the school I'm planning to take adult classes at is soooo convenient: on my way home from work on the same metro line. And they are drop in and therefore fit with my changing schedule.

  • Go to Barnes & Noble. I am out of things to read and I don't know what to do with myself.
  • Make time for quiet time, maybe while I'm at B&N.
  • Set up/ plan out blog posts for next week so I don't have to bore you all with any more lists trying to mascarade as posts.
  • I also am planning to make these: Thumback covered styrofoam balls! (courtesy of Landee See Landee Do blog):

**I plan to fill all these glass vases with them and then use them as centerpieces for a casual anniversary celebration at work. I like the metallic gold and silver look but also think it would be fun to spray paint them the company's colors. I'll post pictures of the final product!

Hope you all have more exciting weekend plans than me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Such a Tease

These short weekends at home are annoying!
But I love them!
But they are too short!
But I need them!
It is such a tease to spend just two nights at home, to see my parents for just two days and then to head back so soon after I arrive. It's never ever enough time! I so wish I was still in my house instead of at my office. Monday's after a trip home are the worse!! My mom already posted about day one of my "drive-by-visit," so I'll just share one of the great pictures from my visit home and you can read about it over there.

I don't know if maybe you've noticed, but my boyfriend is very tall...

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm Going Home!

Harry Potter was epic by the way!

Yes those are themed 3D glasses- what else?

Moving on...Today, after work, I am hoping on the Amtrak for yet another weekend away! Peter and I are headed up to my parent's house for a relaxing weekend at home!

I am so looking forward to this. It's been so hard to pin down a weekend when my dad isn't out of town or Peter and I aren't out of town or a million other things aren't going on. But this is coming at just the right time (really any time is a good time to visit the parents)!

What I am most excited about is this is a no fuss weekend. It's not built around any big event. No schedule. Nothing we absolutely have to do. We can just relax and enjoy being together! I am also pumped to see the new patio and fire pit my parents have put in and that my mom keeps posting about on her blog!
(I am planning to sit out there with everyone and enjoy some good catch up time!)

Peter hasn't been up to their house since the first summer they moved in! We still had boxes to unpack, there was no tv, and we were all still getting our bearings.
And speaking of BEARings both (or at least I am) hoping to see one of these as well!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

But I don't want it all to end!

Tonight (at midnight) I am going to see the final Harry Potter movie! I'll admit it's bittersweet. I am so excited to watch this epic conclusion but I can't help but feel sad. What now? What will I look forward to now? I grew up with HP and now it's over. Sigh...nothing will ever be this amazing, or this good!

I am actually going to be standing in line at the theater around 7:30 ish. Not because I need to be there 4 1/2 hours before part 2 begins but because my friends and I, being the dorks true Harry Potter fans that we are, bought tickets to the "Double Feature." Starting at 9pm, I will get to watch Part 1 AND Part 2 of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows! Could you think of a better viewing experience? Not me!

Actually, the one thing that would make it better is if my sister was up here to watch it with me. I think we've seen every Harry Potter midnight showing together and I'm sad we wont get to experience the last one together. I guess that means we'll have to do an epic Harry Potter marathon when this new one comes out on DVD. Sound good, Sis?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Wine Tasting and a Recipe

On Saturday Peter and his family and I drove to Middleburg, VA, about an our outside of D.C. and did a couple of wine tastings. The first vineyard we "visited," The Boxwood Winery happened to the owner's private residence so we couldn't go in for a tour but there was a tasting room in town that we checked out.

Then we drove a little further and came upon this view:
This is Barrel Oak Winery. It was more my kind of winery. (Not because the wine was better-and I know nothing about wine.) I just loved the laid back feel, live music, just chilling on their patio looking out at the grapes. Earlier in the day they apparently served delicious bbq! On and they're dog friendly. Such a relaxed environment, perfect for enjoying a bottle of wine with friends!

Sunday Peter and I went to his mom's house for a cook out with his relatives. But I don't have any pictures because, unlike my family they don't insist on documenting everything. Maybe it's because none of them write a blog. I guess I'm just going to have to be the girl who makes everyone stop what they're doing and smile for the camera.

Moving on... I've been eating out a lot and buying my lunch everyday and so I finally decided it was time to go grocery shopping so I can make my own meals more often. Last night I made this yummy salad, my own salad dressing and a sandwich. It was light, fresh, healthy and cheap!

Pear, Apple, Cashew Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing and a Tomato Sandwich
For the salad I use romaine lettuce, I chop up a green apple, a pear and chunk up some ementhal cheese (swiss-so yummy and nutty). Then I add cashew pieces and dried cranberries. Basically the proportions are up to you.

For the dressing (this makes a lot so I bottle it and save it for future salads):
Blend 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, dash of salt, spoonful of dijon mustard. Add 2/3 cup of olive oil (in stream) then lightly pulse in about 1T of poppy seeds (but not too many or it will change the color).


Monday, July 11, 2011

Mondays in My City

I guess I can call it my city now. I've been here since April, that's past trial initiation period. So, yeah- this summer, every Monday evening, in MY city there is an Outdoor Movie Festival that I think would be so fun to check out!I saw a poster for this on the "tro" (that's what I'm calling the metro now that's it's my city) and even though I don't really live in the Crystal City area but it would be so fun to grab dinner with my honey then head to one of these showings. Or we could picnic-it-up!

Also, how fun would an outdoor movie party be at home? Or for a kid's birthday?

(sources: pinterest)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pinnable Sides

I love meals with lots of courses or components. I like variety. But when planning usually I get an idea for the entree and then I'm stumped with the sides. Finding something that complements the main dish is not always easy. It can't be too heavy and the flavors need to not compete too much.

I am always on the look out for side dishes to add to my "repertoire". Yesterday while pinning I found some great ones that I can't wait to pair with summer meals.

Broccoli Mac & Cheese I love Broccoli and Cheese Soup and I love Mac 'n' Cheese. Therefore this is warm cheesy perfection in a bowl. (Although it may be in contradiction with my comment about sides not being too heavy.)

Avocado Fries Avocados. Parmesan Cheese. 'Nuff Said.

Watermelon, Kiwi and Feta Cube Salad Is there a prettier salad in the world? I don't think so!

I'm double-dipping with my link ups this week and joining Kelly's Korner "Show Us Your Life:Side Dishes" and Paw Prints & Pastry Bags "Pinnable Me Friday." Feel free to do the same!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Family, Friends and the Fourth

This was such a fun weekend y'all! Friday after work I flew to Houston, Texas for a dear friend from high school's wedding! My parents were already there and met me at the airport. I just love that they now live on the same continent as me and it's so much easier to get together for the weekend.

The couple, Sam and Kallie, were getting married on Sunday and so we had all day Saturday to "explore" Houston. I'm pretty sure my mom is going to touch on our not so educational, slightly stressful, but still fun trip to the Houston Space Center so I wont go there but I will say that one thing I noticed and continued to comment on for the entire trip was "OH MY GOSH IT IS SO HOT!" Seriously a new level of heat!

Later that evening we met up with one of my best girlfriend's mom. My friend Fiona unfortunately couln't make the trip over but it was still such a nice treat to catch up with her mom and dinner! We reminisced over high school days and times shared together in England, and places we miss and people we love. We definitely got ourselves all pumped up for the wedding/mini-highschool-reunion.
(Above: with Fiona at our high school graduation- how I wish she could have been there this weekend!)
Sunday arrived and since the wedding wasn't until the evening we headed to this great shopping center. It had the coolest Tommy Bahama with a bar inside of it and I actually got a new dress and pretty necklace from JCrew that I can't wait to wear to work: I just love coral and aqua colors together and you'll notice I wore that color combo to the wedding as well! And here we all are: The 5 Hillingdon alumn who could make it to Sam's wedding! It has been 5 years since I've seen any of these friends (with the exception of the blonde boy in the back row-I got to meet up with him and introduce him to one of my friends when I went home to England for spring break sophomore year of college.)
5 YEARS!!! And it was like no time had passed! Please notice how big Sam (in the bow-tie) is smiling. He was seriously beaming the entire evening! It was just so surreal that the first time I saw Sam in 5 years was when he walked down the aisle and became a married man. And even though the ceremony was outside, in July, in Texas, I was so thrilled that I got to be a part of the start of his new life and reconnect with these old friends.

Unfortunately it was a very short visit. My flight back to D.C. was Monday morning so I had to miss the brunch at his parent's house. I got in to Reagan around 2:30 and metroed to my office where I dropped off my suitcase at my desk. Then I slapped on some sun screen and headed to the National Mall with my roomie!

We definitely got our work out in and walked from the White House, to the Washington Monument, to the FDR memorial (very cool, peaceful place that I'd never seen before), past the Jefferson memorial and back to the Washington monument. We had hot dogs and listened to the amazingly talented Air Force Band with guest Jo Dee Mesina. It was so fun to be in the hub of the city's festivities and the crowds weren't nearly as bad as I was expecting! Plus how cool do the fireworks look with the Washington Monument as their backdrop??

All in all a very celebratory focused weekend! Hope y'all enjoyed it as much as I did!

Friday, July 1, 2011

About Dang Time

I have rejected Twitter for some time. It seemed pointless, I didn't understand it and I just wasn't interested. I still don't entirely understand it but now I have seen the benefits of connecting it to my blog so that's what I went ahead and did- it's about dang time! You can now follow me/this blog on Twitter:
I have also become a Pinterest fiend! I love it- if you have been making fabulous boards let me know so I can find them! Feel free to follow mine as well!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Speaking of Pinterest here are some seasonal pins that just too cute for this Indepence Day Weekend. If I wasn't going to be in Texas for most of the weekend (huh? where's she going?) I would totally be throwing the most patriotic party: