Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hah!

I would like to take this opportunity to gloat, just a little bit.
My university was finally recognized, nationally, for something more than it's beautiful campus! It was named #2 Most Rigorous University by Newsweek's The Daily Beast!
That's right! Take that Harvard! Take that, Princeton, and Yale! Y'all may be harder to get in to but we are just plain HARDER! Hah!
And yet, the really funny thing is... most days I miss it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

One Thing


"The most severe drought in decades is threatening the lives of more than 11 million people- especially young children- in the Horn of Africa. Famine has been declared in parts of southern Somalia, and threatens to spread if nothing is done to prevent it."

World Vision is challenging us to face facts about this tragedy, asking us to no longer stand back and watch a people fall away in pain and suffering because of circumstances out of their control!I have never experienced real hunger in my life. Nor real poverty, starvation, or need. The word "need" has replaced the word "want" in today's language. I say that I need Starbucks or I need to go out for dinner, I need new, I need more, I need now! But what I really mean is I want all those things-things that I'd like to think are necessities, that I trick myself into thinking I can't live without! Needless to say I am little dramatic and my priorities and perspective are quite out of whack!

So, now World Vision has asked me (not personally but through twitter, although it definitely spoke directly to my heart) to look at the ONE thing I typiaclly spend $10 on that I could give up this week. And instead of spending it on a Grande Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte and Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake at Starbucks (which technically only adds up to almost $7 but I get it more than once a week) I will text FAMINE to 20222 to send in a $10 donation. It's a small but important way to fight the unfathomable hunger in the Horn of Africa.

If you are a blogger, what is the ONE thing you will give up? Share about it on your blog and link back to the World Vision blog here. Can you imagine if everyone one of our followers, and if everyone of the blogs in our readers did this? And if you don't have a blog, go on and blow up all the social media networks with this easy way to make even the tiniest impact!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sing With Me Now

I didn't post about this yet but last weekend I went to the Hillsong United concert with my roommate Liz.


This was an amazing concert. It was a very different crowd from the last concert I saw at this venue, but just as big!! My favorite part was watching everyone in this huge crowd lift their arms to the Lord and sing praises to Him! Nothing is more encouraging, nothing makes my heart sore more than voices raised in unison, in worship!


If you haven't already, run now and buy or download their newest album, Aftermath. I hadn't heard but one song off the album before the concert and it is amazing! My favorite tracks, it's a toss up between: Like an Avalanche, Bones, and Take Heart (which you can only get off the album).

This past weekend was even more glorious. I spent it with 13 new leaders, now friends, at the DC Metro Region Young Life leader weekend at Rockbridge camp! We spent the weekend lifting each other up and preparing to go into the new school year refreshed and ready to share our lives, and God's love, with high schoolers.

I am so thrilled to be getting back into Young Life. I have so missed being a part of a mission bigger than myself. I have missed watching kids meet Christ in the greatest ways and growing in my own walk with the Lord. I have also missed going to camp! Young Life camps are the prettiest places on the Earth. Although I've only ever been to two of them (I wrote about the other one here) I'm pretty sure that is a fact and not just my opinion!


I am so excited that, instead of coming home from work and plopping myself on the couch in front of the TV everyday, I will get to hang out with high schoolers, go where they are, play silly games at "club," lead music again, plan organized chaos, meet girls for coffee dates, be intentional with my time, and reveal to them the awesomeness what God has done for me and has planned for us!

"The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full!" John 10:10

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Driving Drama & Weekend Plans

Yesterday my mom wrote such a sweet story about when I was born and that magical first year as a mother. I feel bad now because I have managed to chip away at the magic with these past couple of days....Daughter 1 has totally failed and, while I could blame it on the DMV and the special awful place that it is, I know it's my fault. I know I procrastinated and hoped for the best when I should have prepared for the worst and taken care of this months ago.

Fortunately my parents are rock stars and my family loves me so much. They love me so much, in fact, that my amazingly selfless uncle went twice to the DMV in South Carolina on my behalf. They fed-exed, faxed and got it together when I couldn't. I will be going back to the DMV on Monday equipped with everything I can possibly ever need ever, and I will be prepared to duel (cry and beg and plead my case) with any agent there who tries to deny me my vehicle registration or a Maryland license! And hopefully this will be my last post about the DMV!

Fortunately I don't need to drive anywhere this weekend. In fact, I will be heading out town (on the run from Irene??) and heading to Young Life camp for the DC Metro Area Leadership Weekend! I am so excited but also really nervous because I really don't know but one person going (that I'm aware of- you never know with Young Life, it's totally 3 degrees of separation).

I have been praying a lot about getting back into leading YL and on Wednesday I met with the area director. He reassured me that it's totally possible to be involved and still have a full time job, multiple leaders do! In fact, the people who I'm carpooling with are all in the same boat. I will be meeting them at the metro after we all get off work and I am sure we will be fast friends by the time we get to camp!

Wish me luck! Hopefully the fact that I'm the new girl and don't know anyone wont be too intimidating for me! Heck, I've been the new girl plenty of times before- I can handle it!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nautical Event Details

Yesterday evening the wine & cheese event that I mentioned here took place. I was responsible for coming up with the menu, coordinating with caterers, ordering all the food, wine and beer and decorating the space-on a limited budget.

The invite that I sent out for the event featured nautical flags and I decided to run with that imagery and colors for the decorations. I ended up crafting my own flags out of card stock and glue stick and hanging them over the bar. I love how they turned out!


I used sunflowers and red carnations that I bought cheap from the flower vendor right outside the metro to bring in more red and yellow. I know carnations aren't the best but they filled their purpose and the amazingly huge sunflowers more that made up for them!

I wrapped all the vases in rafia and placed small ones with floating flowers on the bar and larger ones on the high-tops around the room:


Finally I used the same image from the invite on the buffet cards:

The firm "colors" are green, so all the table skirts we own and the carpets are that color which makes it tricky to transform a space. The decorations were simple but then so was the event- just a casual get together for the attorneys after hours. The food was yummy and overall I was quite pleased with how it all came together!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So There Was This Earthquake

I'm sorry if you've missed me this week. I've been at the DMV. I don't know what was worse, the DMV or the traffic getting home from work yesterday.

Yesterday was a day of annoyances and weirdness. The DMV was annoying, the earthquake was weird. I happened to be at my desk on the 6th floor of my office building. I thought they were moving furniture above me when my cupboards first started rattling. But then my desk started moving as well and I almost climbed under it. Instead though I hustled down the stairs and met everyone in DC in the streets. And being the good blogger that I sometimes am, I remembered my phone and was able to take some pictures of the bit of chaos:


Then we were told to move away from the building and head to the park which looked like this:


My work friend and I decided to take advantage of our time and we walked over to the White House. They had the road right in front of it blocked off and a whole handful of snipers making sure no one did anything crazy:


Our building was shut down for the rest of the day and it took me 3 hours to get home since I had to take the bus and like I said there was insane traffic. Fortunately my phone battery died so I got to have a fun time wandering around trying to find Peter who was picking me up. All in all it was a very strange day!

Did you feel the earthquake wherever you were?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The DMV and Me

We do not get on!
But really does anyone ever have a good experience with the DMV? I have yet to hear of such tales. They are total fantasy.

I have put off going to the DMV because, well, do I really need to explain why I've put it off? Anyways, it's really been a logistical issue. The DMV offices do not make it easy, big shock there! They are only open until 4:30 during the week and on the weekends they don't offer all their services- i.e. they don't offer the services I need!

I need to get a MD drivers license (the one thing I can do on the weekend) and I need to get my car titled and registered in MD (the main thing I need to do but can't do on the weekend).

There is a lot of pressure to get this done because my tags expire THIS MONTH! And I wont tell you what happens when you don't renew your tags on time- it is not pretty! ugh.

I've resigned myself to the fact that Saturday morning at the DMV is not going to be nice, and I've also accepted that a second trip there will likely have to take place during the week but I will get through it! Because... I have my Sunday night Hillsongs concert to look forward to!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off to Work I Go

Just thought I'd share more about what it is that I do up here in D.C when I'm not blogging, pinning, tweeting or facebooking....

Back in April I started a new job. I am the Meeting and Events Assistant at a BIG law firm in the city! I basically organize all the daily goings on with catering and conferences and client meetings, and on top of that I plan larger firm wide events and functions for outside groups, in our space and off-property. It's a big job, and my boss is currently on maternity leave until July so I am busy- but I really do enjoy it!

Next week we have a wine and cheese type of event that I am responsible for putting together. I came up with a Nautical/Chesapeake Bay theme! These types of events are my favorite part of my job because they are just for fun. That means I get to more be creative! I am currently trying to come up with simple, not over the not, non-tacky decorations for this event.
I started with the below image and incorporated it into the e-vite that went out:

I really like these sailing flags and am considering crafting some to string across the bar. I plan to stick with that color theme-red, navy, white and yellow/gold- for flowers and table cloths as well.

(all images from pinterest, where else?)


I'll be sure to post pictures of the final decorations after the event. Any cute and classy little nautical touches you come across, send them my way!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Over at My Mom's Blog

Go here to link up with this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Using what's in your fridge right now, what sort of meal would you be able to make for guests who show up right now?
Um... not a whole lot. They could have a turkey and cheese sandwich (but on a bagel) with a pickle and sweet potato fries.

2. What is something about yourself that you hope will change but probably never will?
Never say never, but I'm pretty positive I will never be able to break the compulsion to re-write my notes or letters or lists over and over until it looks perfect (in my eyes). I waste so much paper and give my hand cramps. In school this was a real problem because I would spend time in class re-writing yesterday's "sloppy" notes. Most of the time now, I try to use a pencil first and then write over it in pen once I'm satisfied. Still though, jotting down a quick, "went to the store be back in a minute," takes at least 3 tries.


3. What is something about yourself that you hope will never change!
I love to try new things, be adventurous, and attempt to be spontaneous. So, I really hope I never get so stuck in my ways that I'm too scared or too lazy to do something different or go somewhere new or meet new people!

4. Do you usually send serious or funny greeting cards.
It obviously depends on the occasion, and the receiver. I've started picking up cards in stores that I like even if I don't have an occasion to send them. Good cards are hard to find when you need them. I love Curly Girl Designs for cute, fun and unique cards, both serious and funny. Also, the other day I ordered some super cute blank note cards (and some adorable address labels and some other goodies) from Erin Condren.

5. Bird watching, shell seeking, or star gazing, what is your preference for willing away the hours?
Shell seeking! I could easily walk up and down the beach for hours, with my feet in the water and my eyes on the ground looking for pretty shells and chatting with a beach buddy.

6. Do you double or triple check things? If so what?
I think you know from my answer to #2 that I do. And yet still somehow I let blog posts go out with typos....

7. What's your favorite place for people watching.
The mall, with my sister, while eating an Auntie Anne's pretzel.

8. Have I mentioned that I love my roommates??

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cousins

Saturday I spent the day at my aunt and uncle's house. They live about 45 minutes away from me, the closest we've been in a loooong time! It was such a nice day, being with family, not having to try, no effort necessary-just family. And of course I love any excuse to be silly with my cousins!
Speaking of cousins, my sweet 16 year old cousin Anna is dealing with something that I just don't know how to blog about. I don't know how to write it out in words that adequately express what I'm feeling, what the family is going through, what Anna is facing. But at the same time, how can I not blog about it? I can't just go on and post about my weekends and share pins and talk about going to the movies with girlfriends and pretend that everything is the same as it was last week!

Last Wednesday we got the shocking news that Anna has AML Leukemia. No warning, no real signs, nothing can ever really prepare you for this kind of news. Anna, though, has been amazingly positive, upbeat, and has shown faith unwavering. I am fully confident in the Lord's strength and I know that he is using Anna and this crappy situation to glorify Him! So I am going to be positive, praising God and remain unwavering in my faith, like her! I know that God can remove all the cancerous cells with one breath! So I ask you all to pray for her by name and pray confidently!
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours!" Mark 11:24

(The blogging world is really amazing at rallying together and lifting people up in prayer. Both my mom's blog and the above mentioned aunt's blog have written about Anna in more eloquent words than me.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

TGI(pinnable me)F

It has been a looong week... and I am ready for it to be over.
Tomorrow I am driving out to my aunt and uncles house to spend some much needed time with the family. I hate that we all live so spread out from one another. If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by relatives, don't forget to count your blessings. Time with family is spirit-lifting/smile-restoring/laughter-inducing and totally necessary!


And then on Sunday I am meeting up with some of my sorority sisters for fro-yo and then to see The Help. My "big" in my sorority also lives in D.C but we have yet to meet up since I've moved up here! I know that is terrible but every weekend it seems I have somewhere to go or be and she is equally swamped with work. I can't wait to catch up!

Now I am linking up with Paw Prints and Pastry Bags for another Pinnable-Me Friday and sharing some prettiness to go into the weekend with:


I am starting a collection fund for these riddiculously beautiful, perfect and perfectly expensive Tory Burch boots. Feel free to make donations. And speaking of donations I am planning to grow my hair out and then give it to locks of love. If you look in the above picture, my hair was insanely long and I should have done it back then. But I'm almost there again so I'm committing 10 inches to this great organization. The thing is, I want plenty of hair left over to style it really cute. Like these girlies:


(Jenn)
(January)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brain Dump


  • My roommate and I just bought lawn tickets to see Hillsong United on August 20th! I am sooo excited!



  • This past weekend Peter and I "discovered" the wonders of a little service called Take Out Taxi. It's a 3rd party delivery service that lets you order from restaurants all over town and they deliver it for you. Often they are restaurants that don't do delivery. It's just a whole 'nother way for us to enjoy lazy weekends! We enjoyed California Pizza Kitchen while watching Grumpy Old Men.

  • The rioting in London is just breaking my heart. It's completely out of control and I am scared for the places that are dear to my heart. I've been following it pretty closely today and there are rumors and threats against the burrough where I went to school. Hopefully they stay as rumors.

  • I semi-watched Bachelor Pad last night. It's a whole new low for this show. I don't think I'll be following this season. There is no one I like on it! (But I guess that's never stopped me before).

  • Yesterday I re-read The Help in preparation for the movie coming out TOMORROW! I first read it at Christmas and it's was just a fabulous the second time around. I cannot wait to get a group of girls together and go see it!

  • Lately I am really, really missing Young Life. My favorite team has been blowing up my facebook newsfeed with tagged pictures from their trip to Crooked Creek Camp with my favorite high-schoolers. I praying about ways to get involved and volunteer with YL up here.


And that's all folks!

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Nap" Town

This past Saturday Peter and I went to Annapolis for the (late) afternoon. It wasn't particularly sunny and the breeze coming off the water made it not quite as hot, perfect for an afternoon out! I was excited to spend some time there since it's been 8 years since my family moved away from Maryland.

Peter "encouraged" (forced) me to drive there. I need practice driving on these busy, scary DC highways and it wasn't as nerve wracking as it could have been. However I did start to panic and he then "encouraged" me to pull over and switch seats with him when it came time to park. He found us a great spot on the main street right by the water and perfect for walking around. We popped in some cute boutiques, he had to drag me out of Kilwins, (which is a chain and I learned that the Maryland Kilwins does not make pralines, which the Charleston Kilwins is famous for), and we checked out all the great boats docked along "Ego Alley".
Peter was such a good sport about my picture taking. He didn't complain when I asked people to take our picture together and he even suggested this below pic of me in the middle of Main Street.
After our leisurely walk around town, which included a lot of me saying "I used to love this place" or "this wasn't here back then" we started noticing some ominous clouds so we headed to McGarvey's for dinner!
This is one of my all time favorite restaurants in Annapolis. It's a little hole in the wall type pub. When I lived in Maryland, my dad used to take me there every year for lunch on my birthday and it was always a family favorite when we came to town. So, like in the past, we ordered yummy mussels (my all time favorite) to share and Peter may have raised an eyebrow at my neat and orderly way of stacking my shells. I also had awesome crab dip and Peter had a crab cake, it was a very Maryland-ish meal.

We of course had to go back to Kilwins after dinner so I could get ice-cream and then this time Peter drove us home. We both agree we want to go back for a weekend trip since it's not even an hour away from me and such a nice change from the DC scene. It was lovely day, spent walking around, visiting a town that I used to know better, holding hands and enjoying a day out.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

Last night I made myself a little indulgence.
Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. From the grocery and from a box. So easy and sooo yummy!
My favorite part of making these was I got to use my new Pampered Chef decorating bottles!
This wasn't entirely necessary since I was covering the top with coconut but I couldn't resist!
Before the coconut. Don't they look pretty?
After the coconut. Don't they look lovely?!
I was one happy girl!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mimosa Mani-Pedi

On Tuesday evening I had plans to meet up with some girls to celebrate my friend Catherine's birthday. Her sister was coming in to town to surprise her and we had organized a dinner out. The plan was to meet at her house around 7:30. Since I get off work at 5:30 I didn't feel like metroing all the way back to my house just to turn around and come back in to the city. So I decided to kill some time and treat myself to a mani/pedi!

I went to Mimosa in Dupont Circle and it was fabulous! I just walked in and got seated right away (after I'd spent about 10 minutes trying to pick out my colors, of course) even though it was really busy. Then, the best part, they give you FREE champagne!
Is there a better way to end a day of work/a better way to get a manicure or pedicure? I only wish I'd had all my girlfriends there along with me! I ended up getting Essie Mademoiselle on my nails and Essie Peach Daiquiri on my toes!(Please excuse this incredibly close shot of my freaky feet...) Do you want to know the second best part of Mimosa? It was under $40! And, I also saw a sign that said "Happy Hour 2-7 $25 for Gel Manicure!" I've never gotten a gel manicure before (Shellac is one brand) so I will definitely be going back for that! For those of you in D.C, it's such a fun girly place. And they're not even giving me free mani/pedis to say this!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Melodious Hodgepodge

I am linking up over at my mom's blog for the Wednesday Hodgepode. Feel free to join in and link up as well!

1. Share a favorite song lyric.
"Looking on, she sings the song. The words she knows the tune she hums..."

2.When was the last time you yelled at someone?
I yelled at the TV alot during the Bachelorette finale.

3. Money, fame, happiness. Are they mutually exclusive?
I don't think you need money or fame to be happy. And I don't think that they can buy happiness but I do think you can have money or be famous and still be happy.

4. What is your favorite dish to prepare for for family or friends that doesnt require turning on the stove, oven or grill?
I've only made it once but it is definitely impressive and would be so fun to show up at a dinner party with and it requires no cooking, just cutting. Found the inspiration on pinterest, where else?
5. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week. What is one thing you could do this week to simplify your life and will you do it? I suppose I could take care of getting my car registered in Maryland and getting my new Maryland license. I suppose that checking that off my list would simplify my life.... but is it just me or does it the thought of spending all Saturday morning at the DMV make anyone else feel nauseous??

6. On a scale of 1-10 how tuned are you to your country's national political scene? I guess I'm a 7- being that I am in the captial for work everyday, I am surrounded by hill staffers and by people worked up about something. I get stopped and asked things like "do you know that congress just voted for fascism?" and I see crazy picket signs outside every metro and national building. I figure if I'm going to have it forced in front of me all the time I might as well watch the news, read the paper and follow @whitehouse, @washingtonpost on Twitter.

7. What are your final parting words to the month of July?
Goodbye July, you were really too hot!

8. Shout out- Happy Birthday to my dear friend Catherine! Can't wait to celebrate some more this weekend!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blog Goals and The Bachelorette

66 more posts by January 1, 2012

13 posts per month

3 posts per week

300th post on 1/1/12

That's what I'm aiming for.

I like milestones to fall on significant days. 300 posts on the 2nd birthday of my blog is very pleasing to the OCD side of my brain. Plus its good to set a goal for consistent blogging each week- and this leaves room for some weeks to have more or less posts.
Now on to more important things like The Bachelorette!


Who watched the train wreck that was this season?? The finale was equal parts cheesy and gut wrenching-ly painful. I was never a fan of Ashley and I definitely think it was so wrong of her to let Ben get down on one knee and spill his heart out before she rejected him. NOT NICE! But I do think JP is so cute and I hope they can make it work. What do you say, over or under 1 year?


I enjoyed reading the minute by minute hilarious commentary that my mom found here. So if you missed it this is a great recap. Now I wish they would get somebody totally NEW to be the next Bachelor. Some guy that has no past history on this show, please.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Silver Balls

Here are the thumbtack balls that I made the other week. You can see where I got pinned idea from in this post. I'm debating coating them with some sort of sealer so the tacks stay put. And I still may end up painting them but overall I think they turned out pretty darn cool.
To make these I bought styrofoam balls from Michaels (so cheap) and a ton of tacks from Staples. Each ball took about 200 thumbtacks. There are pretty clear instructions linked to my previous post.