Monday, September 15, 2014

A Quiet Weekend/Thoughts on Decluttering

Via
These past few weeks we've had some stressful life events, but this weekend was actually quiet and relaxing.  It started off well with  finding out that my husband won't be traveling abroad today as originally scheduled!  I was so happy not to have to say goodbye to him for at least a few more weeks.

I mainly did errands, some cooking, some jogging, and attempted to clean out a little bit of clutter.  On Saturday, the husband actually cleaned while I was grocery shopping, so that made it easier to try to sort through things.  We are having company this upcoming weekend, so that is always a motivating factor.

I went through my books and actually got rid of a few.  (The impetus for this project is that when we came home last weekend, a pile of books had fallen under their own weight.) Yes, an intervention was definitely needed. For some reason, it is so hard for me to acknowledge that a certain part of my life of being a student and teacher is over.  Truly, I am not going to sit down and read a few Eastern European poems, but I'm not completely ready to donate them yet.  Silly, isn't it? 

I also went through the closet, where the denial continued, but I finally worked up the courage to get rid of one cardigan and a few other things.  The husband is much better about this and donated four of his dress shirts.  I love our apartment, and definitely enjoy it more when we have less clutter lying around.  Sometimes when I need encouragement to donate things, I find a lot of inspiration from this post.  How do you motivate yourself to clear out clutter?  Even though I think I'm good at it, sometimes I hit roadblocks, and then I find myself searching Target.com to see if I should put a little bookshelf in a small little nook.
Via
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the last thing I need.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Cooking Wednesday: Grilled Salmon with Honey Soy Marinade

Via
While we were in Maine, I picked a night to cook dinner for the husband and his grandma.  Since I'm not the best cook in the world, I was definitely feeling the pressure!   Originally, I was going to make this salmon recipe, but I could not find the Chinese mustard anywhere.  That definitely threw me for a loop, so I decided that I needed to find a recipe that was similar, but didn't require any fancy ingredients.  After some searching I found this one, which I'm happy to report, turned out well.  I actually like it better than the other one I make all the time, but the husband still insists that the first one is better.  Either way, I'm glad to have this recipe on hand, in case I can't find Chinese mustard!

It's pretty easy, which is exactly what I need.  I marinated the salmon fillets in the following mixture for about 20 minutes:

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive 
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Then you just broil the salmon for about four minutes on each side and enjoy!  Have you tried any good fish recipes?  I think that they are ideal for cooking on weekdays.

Friday, September 5, 2014

After the Rain: Rainbows in the District

I hope that everyone has a lovely weekend!  This week has been overwhelming for some pretty serious reasons, but I have faith that somehow everything will end up okay. Last weekend, we saw this rainbow, and it's a happy reminder for me, so I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's Cooking Wednesday: Roasted Teriyaki Broccoli and Sticky Seasame Wings

Via
Over the weekend, I looked through my blog, and I noticed that the Wednesday cooking posts really help me stay on track with trying new dishes, so this fall, I'm going to give try to post these regularly.

With the extra time this weekend, I decided to try a roasted teriyaki broccoli and some sticky seasame wings for the husband.  I have to say that I thought the broccoli turned out really well.  In the past, I've always cooked it by steaming it, but roasting really seems the way to go.  I was inspired by this recipe, but I made it a little more unhealthy.

Roasted Teriyaki Broccoli
I took a bag of pre-washed broccoli, mixed it with two tablespoons of minced garlic, and coated it with olive oil and teriyaki sauce.  I then sprinkled it with some black pepper and cooked it at 425 for about 20 minutes. It really doesn't get any easier than that, but it was definitely tasty!

Sticky Seasame Wings
For the sticky seasame wings, I used this recipe but I doubled the sauce and I added extra honey (this was my second time making it). The husband enjoyed both dishes, and I was happy that I made at least one somewhat balanced meal.  The great thing about both of these dishes is the ingredients are pretty simple, and besides the broccoli, chicken, hoisin sauce and seasame seeds, I didn't have to buy anything extra. 

Have you been cooking anything good lately?  I know it sounds silly, but just finding a recipe to make is really the most difficult thing for me, so I'm always interested to know what other people love to cook!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Celebrating Football Season: VA Tech Wreaths!

This past weekend meant the beginning of football season, which I personally am not interested in, but the husband lives for VA Tech.  To amuse myself while the husband was watching the games, I decided to make a VA Tech themed wreath.  Originally I was inspired by this fall wreath, but I have a hard time acknowledging that autumn is actually here and I thought the husband might be more tolerant of my shenanigans if it relates to one of his interests. I got a little carried away at the store, and I actually bought enough supplies to make two wreaths.  Here's what I ended up with.
I'm decidedly not a crafty person, so all things considered, I actually think these turned out pretty well.  Have you been doing any fall decorating or are you still holding onto summer? 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sale Picks: Ann Taylor Loft

I hope everyone is having a nice Labor Day weekend.  I've been enjoying all the sales, especially at the Loft.  They have some casual dresses for $7.44 for final sale, so it's a great price to stock up!

We actually live withing 3-4 blocks of a Loft store, so I stopped by yesterday to see if the sales were just as good in  the store.  It's definitely better to shop this sale online, if you know you size because the dresses are final sale, but cheaper online.  I picked up this dress yesterday, but the husband wasn't a huge fan, so I'll be returning it. The material is super soft, so if you like the style I recommend it. (My sister owns it, and I think it looks really cute on her; I just can't pull it off.)
Via
 This dress is final sale, but it got good reviews and I think it looks nice, so I'm crossing my fingers it will work.  It will just be a dress to wear around the house, so for $7, I figure it's worth the risk.
Via
I also got this dress, which the husband thinks looks too baggy, but at the very least, I know it will be comfy.
Via
I didn't buy this dress, but A. Liz Adventures highly recommends it, and I think it would look lovely (I just couldn't get the husband on board).
Via
I also wasn't brave enough to try this swimsuit, but my sister did.  For $7 it's a steal, plus who can resist the bow!
Via
I also got a white t-shirt for $5, because I wear them under cardigans.
Via
And at a less-discount price and non final sale, I bought this skirt, which if it works, would be great for fall.
Via
I also got this blouse, which I am hoping will look nice on me, because I think it would be great for work.
Via
If you need any summer casual dresses, I think now is the time to buy! Have you found anything good during the Labor Day sales?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend!  I'm looking forward to savoring watermelon, ice cream cones, and some corn on the cob, and I plan on taking one last swim in the pool.  Enjoy the last few days of summer!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pandas

Via
I was really enthralled with the pandas during our last trip to the zoo.  The husband was struck by how lazy they are (they really just eat bamboo and sleep). 

This morning on my way to work, I heard about this news story, which  made me laugh, so I wanted to share.
 
I hope everyone has a great Thursday, and I'm hoping to have something "blog worthy" to write about soon!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Recap: An Afternoon at Dumbarton Oaks

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  It certainly seemed to go by quickly. We enjoyed a quiet weekend, which was exactly what we needed.  On Sunday afternoon, we did decide to venture to Georgetown and stopped by Chipotle for lunch.
We also walked to Dumbarton Oaks to see the gardens.  It's really amazing to me that such a large estate is in the middle of D.C.

 We enjoyed walking though the gardens and seeing all the flowers.  Well, to be honest, I liked it more than the husband.  While I was looking at the roses, he was trying to track down a rabbit.
If the weather is nice, and you like walking through gardens, I'd definitely recommend it.  The afternoon felt a bit like something from Downton Abbey.  Who knew that such an estate still exists in DC!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Friday!

Via
Happy Friday!  The weather is dreary here, but I'm still looking forward to the weekend.  The husband may have to work a bit, but I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend.  After all of my little weekend trips while he was away, it will be great to just putter around the apartment. What are your weekend plans?