Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fly Me Away

I have a crazy busy summer coming up and I am not complaining one bit!! I have been booking flights, trains, road trips and making travel plans and I'm not sure I can contain my excitement much longer. Warmer, sunnier days- Get. Here. NOW!

Already crossed off my list:
  • Train home for Easter-booked!!
  • Flight to see my sister graduate followed by a flight with the family to the beach- booked (by my parents, thanks guys)!!
  • Flight to bachelorette beach weekend-booked!!
  • Train to the airport and flight to wedding over Memorial Day weekend- booked!!
Still have to book the following:
  • Flight to wedding in June
  • Flight to wedding in August
  • Flight to girl's lake weekend (still not actually planned but you can bet I'm making it happen)
  • Flights to visit my honey in SC and road trips to meet in the middle.
  • Bus trip to Young Life camp
I've signed up to start collecting some miles but between the flights and the wedding presents and new dresses and bikinis it is not going to be the best dollar-saving-summer, but who cares! That's the best part of having a job right? Paid time off!!

Hey, it's almost April- it's not too early for some beach music right? And this song is the best!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best Pasta Salad

Hello,
I have been sick the past 3 days and staring at a computer screen is the last thing I needed to do so... hopefully I'm over the hump and the rest of this week can be smooth sailing.

Yesterday, once my head stopped feeling like it was either going to float away from my body or spontaneously combust, I finally got out of the house and to the store for some comfort food.

I made a huge batch of my favorite pasta salad to bring to lunch for the next few days. This is the BEST pasta salad. Perfect for cook outs, picnics, as a yummy main dish or on the side with hamburgers. Perfect for summer meals outside!

I didn't take any pictures of the process but it's so simple that it would have been silly. But here's a phone pic of the final product which is so light and flavorful and just perfect!

Ingredients:
Rotini Pasta
Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (I use the fat free)
Veggies (your favorites)
McCormick's Salad Supreme

1. Cook an entire box of rotini pasta per the instructions on the box.
2. Drain and put in a covered bowl in the fridge to cool.
3. Chop up a bunch of your favorite veggies. (I use cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, carrots, celery, and black olives).
4. Mix the veggies into the bowl with the pasta along with the Italian dressing and the Salad Supreme.
5. Taste test then add more. I usually end up using about half a bottle of the dressing and the seasoning which is perfect because then you have enough for a second batch!

Serve and enjoy the praise and empty plates!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Hunger Games

Tonight I am going to see the Hunger Games. Finally! I know it only came out at midnight but I feel like I am busting at the seams to get to the theater! I would have loved to go to the midnight showing but... I was asleep before midnight sooo...yeah.

I re-read the book yesterday, yes in one day! I first read it back in the Fall and I wanted it to be fresh in my mind. Maybe some people think that will make the movie less enjoyable but it's never been that way for me! The books are ALWAYS better so I never have high expectations to begin with and I like to fill in the gaps in the movie with what I just read.

I realize this may alienate some people but just so you know... I so badly judge you if you go to this movie (or any movie) and haven't read the book. Maybe I'll take a poll in the theater tonight to see who read it and who didn't and judge them accordingly. Did I mention the books are ALWAYS better???! Because they are!

Even Twilight. You have no excuse to actually like those movies unless you have the "substance" of the book to back it up. Please don't interpret that previous statement to mean that Hunger Games and Twilight are anything alike! They are not. They both simply have a crazy huge following.

I'm taking a poll right now:
Who read the books?
Who went to the midnight showing/is going tonight?
Who else judges people that don't read the books before seeing the movies?

Ok rant over.
I am meeting up with some girl friends after work. We're grabbing Chik-Fil-A to go and will be in our seats anxiously waiting for this most awesome movie phenomena to begin!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cherry

We are having a cherry blossom themed "wine and cheese" tonight at work. If you were my neighbor you would have seen me out in the wet grass this morning snipping branches.

They then traveled from my kitchen (now sprinkled in soft rosy petals) to the metro station, precariously balanced in the cup holder in the front seat of my car.

They created an added challenge on an unusually packed metro car- I got a few double takes.

They are now resting safely on my desk for me to admire until tonight's event.

They may also be responsible for the extra sniffles I'm feeling this morning. Worth it, though, because they are so pretty! (This is my 300th post!!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring Y'all

1. The first day of spring was yesterday- do you enjoy working in the yard? Weeding, raking, mowing, planting...your favorite springtime garden chore? How about your least favorite?
At the moment I have no real yard. I would love to have a fabulous garden with curvy paths running through it and a bench to sit and enjoy the sun. And one day I plan on having an excellent vegetable garden. Fun fact, when my sister and I were little my dad would pay us a penny for every weed we pulled. Sometimes we made a whole $1!
2. What puts a spring in your step?
Sunny days ahead and plans for a fabulous summer in the making!

3. Describe a time when you had to spring into action.
A couple years ago Peter and I were in Florida for vacation. As we were driving into town one day, driving through a green light a guy on a motorcycle ran through a red light and came flying in front of our car. We hit him straight on, he flipped across the hood of the car and went sliding head first into the curb on the side of the road. He wasn't wearing a helmet. Peter jumped out of the car and ran to check on the guy. He was mangled and unconscious. Peter and I were in so much shock and I was still sitting in our car on the verge of hysterics but instead I sprung into action. Called 911, then called his sister who lived close by and rushed to Peter's side, praying, pleading that we hadn't killed him. Long story short (or not short, sorry) the guy survived, hallelujah, adrenaline is a powerful thing.

4. We're having carrots for dinner...would you prefer yours raw or cooked?
Moving away from the super serious previous answer- I like them raw with a little ranch dressing for dipping. I only like cooked carrots if they are in something else like a stew.

5. Do you take the shampoos and other sundries from your hotel room when its time to check out?
Depends on the brand. I scored some really lovely Bulgari shampoo and conditioner. These mini bottles are great for travelling but I'm selective.

6. What's the most enjoyable team or club you've belonged to and what was it that made it so?
Young Life and Adpi. My heart, my best friends ever!

7. Is cloning a sign of progress?
Yes. But I'm not sure how far we want to push that boundary.

8. Peter is relocating back to SC. Which means we are about to be long distance (yuck) for I don't know how long. I'm excited for him to do what he thinks is best for his future and a little bummed for me. More on this later because this has already been a super wordy hodgepodge!

Click below to link up your answers!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blogging Around

Last night I was doing some blog hopping- jumping around from my daily reads and checking out the blogs they follow and the people who commented on them and so on and so forth. I stumbled upon all these different small connections that just make this big 'ol Internet seem a whole lot smaller.

-A sweet girl left me a comment and it turns out she's a D.C blogger. Obviously, I know I'm not the only one but I love to find people who live in the same city as me and see what they get up to and get ideas for things to do around this town.
-I commented on the blog of a sweet carolina girl who is a senior in high school and just found out she was accepted to my university (yes I'm using a possessive when talking about my beloved school).
-From her page I found a girl who graduated from the same university, the same year as me, and has just a darling blog.

I'm excited that I found a few new blogs to follow and hopefully become "blog friends" with. This is one of my favorite parts of blogging. I wouldn't say I "blog for comments" but I do think that finding connections like this is so much fun!

I've had this blog for over two years now (my blogiversary on Jan. 1st went by unnoticed so I'm commemorating it, right now!) and it's grown slowly but surely. Some days I feel like a total rookie blogger with no direction. But I remember why I started this blog-for me! For me to document my life as it's changed from college student, to recent graduate, to whatever this current phase I'm in is called and to hopefully "meet" some great people along the way!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Musings

1. On Saturday I drove out to Frederick to visit with some family. My aunt and I took a very gentle yoga class in the morning. We made fun of all the lotus flower-filled with honey-chakra talk. Even though we would have liked more of an actual work out, it actually was quite relaxing (no lie, I fell asleep on the floor while in corpse pose).

2. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I so enjoyed playing outside with my cousins and drinking lots of sweet tea. We trekked into the downtown for ice cream and a quick tour. It was quite the happening place with all the St. Patty's day celebrations going on. We partook in the "bar crawl" from the safety of the mini-van.

3. On Sunday, I'm ashamed to admit this, I slept in until 1:45 pm. I didn't go to bed that late (12:30am at the latest) so I don't even understand how my body let me do that! Basically I had to jump out of bed and hurry to Young Life. My whole day was thrown.

4. With what was left of my day I went grocery shopping finally. I've been eating way too much popcorn or plain pasta with butter (the only things I'm sure to always have in the pantry) and I needed to stock up on some fruit and veggies. And of course, more popcorn. And Amy's Macaroni and Cheese. yum.

5. Peter has been down in South Carolina since the wedding last weekend. He finally got back to town yesterday. Even though it was only a week, I really missed him and am glad he's back. Hopefully he'll be able to meet me for lunch this week.

6. I could care less about basketball but I have brackets for both my job and with other Young Life leaders this year so I'm definitely more interested. I'm pretty positive I'm not going to win anything but it's a fun little competition. Of course some people take it really seriously! Do you all make brackets for March Madness?

Happy Monday! I hope this week is as beautiful as the last!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hey, It's the Hodgepodge

1. St. Patrick's Day will be celebrated this coming Saturday. What's a favorite article of clothing you own that contains a touch o' the green?
Green is probably my favorite color. However I rarely wear it and don't own that much of it. I created this little green wardrobe inspiration board and I want everything in it!

1/2/3/4

2. What's a favorite 'green space' in the town, state or province where you live?
Since the weather has been heavenly this week, I have been wonderfully blessed to get to spend my lunch break outside in this park right by my office. If you follow me on twitter you will have already seen these pics:


3. Do you wish you were taller, shorter, or think you're just about right in the height department?
Very rarely, mostly when there is something up high that I can't reach, I wish I had just an extra inch or two. But I'm pretty darn content to be polly pocket size.

4. What's the surest way for someone to pick a fight with you?
Bouncing off the previous question... I don't really like it when people hold something above my head and make me jump for it. I'm not going to really engage in a "fight" but it's super annoying.

5. Broccoli-spinach-string beans-peas...your favorite green veg?
You forgot lima beans! But I guess of the four listed I like spinach. (With lots of garlic and flavor, or maybe creamed spinach, or in a salad with strawberries and balsamic).

6. March is National Women's History Month...besides friends, neighbors, and the women you're related to, who's a woman in history you admire and why?
Since girl scout cookies have invaded my house I've been reminded of my time selling cookies door to door. Juliette Gordon Low- the founder of girl scouts is someone I admire. I was a girl scout alll the way up through high school. Which maybe wasn't cool as I got older but it is such a great organization for girls and I love what it stands for and enjoyed being a part of it. "On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times..." that's a pretty good way for all of us to live!

7. Keep calm and shine on.

8. One day I'll do a whole post on instagrams from around the city, maybe even one just about the joys of taking the metro. Here's another one from yesterday. This couple sitting across from me on the metro acted like there was no one else on the train. And more importantly that girl's hand is touching the floor!! EEK!

Click below to link-up your answers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Young Life Music

Every week at Young Life club I stand up in front of any where from 20-40+ high schoolers (we are growing- slowly but surely) and lead music. I'm joined by a few awesome girls who also get up there with me to sing. You may think this sounds intimidating/scary and I'm just going to let you go on thinking that.

But seriously, I love leading music and I love that music is a part of Young Life clubs. Singing your heart out is my favorite way to worship the Lord. Hearing others singing along with me, makes my heart soar! Each week though I am often at a loss for what songs to play. I usually play 5 secular songs/popular songs and 1 "content"/worship song. The method for my madness choosing songs each week comes down to a pretty complicated ;) list of questions that I have to ask myself.

1. What 5 songs did we sing last week?
2. Seriously, why can't I remember what we played at the past couple clubs??
3. Will they even know this song? (This is becoming more of an issue as the songs I loved singing in my club when I was in high school are now 6+ years old. Also- when I used to lead in SC we sang A LOT of country songs... and that doesn't always translate up here.
4. Can I even play this song? You pretty much only need to know 4 chords to play 90% of young life club songs but if the answer is no... I can sometimes wing it if I play a little quieter and get everyone to sing a little louder.

Here's what I've played at the past couple clubs -a lot of YL classics that never get old and a few new-ish ones as well:

Tonight, Tonight-Hot Chelle Rae
All For You- Sister Hazel
Hero- Enrique Iglesis
Wonderwall- Oasis
Who Do You Say That I Am

Lean On Me
Free Falling- Tom Petty
I'll Be-Edwin McCain
Livin' on a Prayer- Bon Jovi
It's Amazing

And last night we sang:
Breakaway-Kelly Clarkson
I Want It That Way- Backstreet Boys
All Star- Smashmouth
Bad Moon Rising- CCR
Light The Fire

If any of you readers out there in the blogosphere are also Young Life leaders and have any song suggestions, I am always looking for new ones. So leave a comment with some of your clubs' hits!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wedding Weekend

I spent the weekend in Charlotte with some of my favorite people- my young life friends! I got down there on Friday and got to have a sleepover with my sweet friend Leah. We stayed up until 3am laughing, crying, and catching up on each other's lives. Saturday we slept in and then walked to get breakfast and pop into the mall for some last minute wedding essentials (Leah needed shoes). Peter picked us up from the mall and we were soon joined by our other friend Liz.
(We are so excited for Izzy and Lane!!)

Somehow we made it out the door and to the church on time (we were pretty much the last people to show up and yet we lucked out with seats almost in the front of the church!) The ceremony was beautiful- full of their love for each other and their shared love of Jesus!
Here are a few pictures of me and my cute date...
The reception was at the Mint Museum and it was such a cool venue with a great view of the city!
Isn't her dress beautiful?? The reception was almost as pretty ;) We enjoyed yummy shrimp and grits (it was so good to be back in the South) and dancing to a great band! Of course my favorite part of the wedding was spending time with my old Young Life team. Below is most all of us with the bride and groom!
Before you could say "best day of your life" it was time to send them off- they made cute flags with hearts on them for us to wave!
I couldn't be happier for the newlyweds! I am so blessed to call them friends and had such a wonderful time celebrating the start of their new life together!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Hodgepodge

I am linking up over at my mom's blog today for the Hodgepodge.

1. Did March come in like a lion or was it something less ferocious in your neck of the woods?
For having a rather unseasonably warm winter so far, the first few days of March have been pretty darn chilly. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a beautiful weekend that I'll be spending a little further South.

2. Speaking of lions, which one's your film favorite...The Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz), Mufasa (The Lion King), Elsa (Born Free), or Alex (Madagascar)?
Elsa!! I've totally forgotten about this movie! I was in love with it! I had a stuffed animal (a tiger actually, but still in the feline family) that I named Elsa. Such a sweet movie if you've never seen it!

3.What's your favorite spot from which to view the sunrise or sunset?
Sitting in a chair, smelling like sun screen, right here:
And I will be doing just that in approximately 61 days. But who's counting.

4. To what extent is knowledge power and to what extent is truth power? What's the difference?
I am going to refer to this verse: "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

5. What's something peculiar you've seen recently?
I wont even begin to tell you what Peter and I witnessed in the metro not too long ago (permanently scarred. forever. don't ask questions. the end).

6. Bottled water...your thoughts?
I don't think about it too hard. I drink a lot of bottled water at work because it's available. I love sparkling water so I'll buy the big bottles sometimes. At my house we have Brita filter so I use that. But I also don't have a problem with drinking water right out of the faucet (cup optional). Tap water is filtered and regulated as well you know.

7. What's your strongest sense?
My hearing. Consequently, I often find myself eaves-dropping on the people around me...

8. I wrote my previous two posts on Sunday night. For some reason this made me very antsy. I hardly ever write posts more than a day in advance and I've found myself checking and re-checking scheduled posts, editing and adding content and anxiously waiting for them to appear on my blog. I'll kick myself if after all of my fretting there is a spelling mistake. Do you all ever do this? Or am I just too OCD sometimes? It's like all of a sudden I'm a really eager blogger. Quite the shift, no?

Click on over to post your answers too!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Style Savings

I am going to a wedding this weekend of a dear friend from Young Life. I have never been to a wedding in March and it's kind of a tricky time of year, style-wise since the weather can pretty much go either way (i.e. it might snow this week but it's also supposed to be in the 70's on Thursday).

I wanted a new dress and I only wanted to spend around $100 so I hit up the mall and nothing really caught my eye (well, actually lots caught my eye but it was mostly things I couldn't wear to a wedding in March). On my way home, though, I popped into a Kohls. I haven't been to Kohls in forever but I had such great luck! The greatest part of Kohls is there is always-always-always a sale! I don't think I've ever bought anything full price there and this trip was no exception.
This is the dress I got for the wedding. It originally cost $58 and I got it for $36.99. I love the open back!! I'll have to find a way to manage all my hair so I can show it off. It's not too summery or wintry and it's what I would call a "good spinning dress".
I wore this combo to work yesterday with tights and a cardigan but it will be cute for Spring/Summer as well. I love the ruffly detail on the back of the top! Lacy coral skirt originally priced at $44 and I only paid $25.99. Bird print top originally $38 on sale for $21.99.
Comfy, angled sweater originally $70 but I got it for only $21!!

Total cost for entire shopping trip-$112.38. Total savings-$104.03!! I think I'll use a few more exclamation points!!! Get yourselves to Kohls!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Restful Weekend Recap

Friday after work I walked over to Peter's YiaYia's house to meet them for dinner. I took my time and took some pictures of one of my favorite spots in D.C., "the Spanish steps." Obviously it's a little different than the ones they're named for in Rome but it's still a pretty place especially in the early evening after it's rained.
Saturday I slept in until 11:30 a.m. and it was glorious! Later Peter and I went to see a movie and relax some more. I ended up doing not a whole lot else and even went to bed before 11. Yep... not even a full 12 hour day. Sad, but I guess I was way more worn out than I realized.

Sunday was another restful day. I went shopping with a very specific purpose of finding a new dress (see post tomorrow). Of course- typical me, in the first few hours all I managed to purchase was lunch in the food court, Starbucks and two boxes of girl scout cookies.... but who's complaining.
My roommate and I enjoyed these while watching a very emotional 2 hour season premiere of Army Wives! Cookies were necessary.

So... somehow I managed to stretch my uneventful weekend into an entire post. Don't we all need weekends like this more often??

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Friday

I am really looking forward to this weekend. Low key. No plans.

I may head out to my relatives to spend the day there on Saturday (they don't know this yet- so I may have to shoot for another weekend). I'll play Mario Kart with my cousins, get a little too much attention from their cat, drink lots of sweet tea, and chat with my aunt about life and blogging and what have you. Maybe the weather will be like yesterday and we can sit out on their screened in porch. Just an easy/no fuss day.

I love having family close by. It's comforting knowing there's somewhere I could go and be with people who've known me my whole life.

Tonight Peter and I are having dinner with his YiaYia and then likely going to a movie. I'm a big fan of quiet, restful weekends.

*I would like to take this moment to point out that I posted everyday this week. Hopefully things are back on track! Go me!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh What Beautiful Day!

Oh what a beautiful morning....

This is what I greeted me on my way to work this morning. Beautiful sunshiny day! I actually walked to the metro today. Usually I'm running behind or it's too dang cold and I just drive to the station. But on nice days when the sun is shining and it's already almost 60 degrees at 8 in the morning how can I pass up the chance to spend 15 minutes walking in the sun!!

To further point out how nice a day it was today I should tell you that I wore a skirt to work!!!

(It's totally awkward that I'm showing you this picture because it was so obviously taken in the restroom...at work...but my mom bought me that cute skirt so I had to show it off for her!)

In the spring and summer I live in dresses, skirts and bare legs. But it really takes a lot for me to work up the strength to roll out of my cozy warm bed and bare the cold in the winter months, especially since my bedroom (in the basement of my house) is like a meat locker this time of year. And yes, I wore black tights and no, the ensemble as a whole isn't really spring colors... but we are moving in the right direction folks!!

At lunch time I grabbed a big cup of fro-yo and sat in the park and chatted with my mom- sunglasses needed but no coat!!

Today was a lovely day at work! Hope you got to see the sun wherever you are as well!