Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 to you!  The husband and I are going to be celebrating with a quiet meal at home and just relaxing.  After all of the holiday traveling and the husband putting in a decent amount of hours in at the office, I feel it will be a perfect way to ring in the new year.  Tomorrow, I plan on making some cowboy caviar (black eyed peas for good luck), kale chips, and Ina Garten's shrimp and fennel. One of my goals for the new year is to cook more, so I'm trying to get off to the right start. Wishing you all the best in 2013!

An Office Treat and the National Christmas Tree!

It was the week before Christmas, so I figured it was time to attempt to make a little treat for everyone at my office.  I made 26 bags of these, so I needed to keep it simple.  I just wasn't up for more this year, but I think that they still turned out cute. I think this is something that I could make as a tradition.  I don't think it gets much easier than dipping pretzels in melted chocolate.
The husband and I also managed to go see the National Christmas tree.  I think that the event might be slightly overrated, and I'm not beating myself anymore about missing it last year.  Still, it was pretty neat to go see.

I kept my holiday "bucket list" pretty small, but I'm glad that I made it.  It's kind of nice to write down a list of things you want to do and then accomplish them.  Maybe that's why I'm constantly making lists!  Next year we're going to have to check out Zoolights, but I really feel that we were able to do a few holiday activities that I wasn't expecting us to do. I certainly didn't think I'd go ice skating and actually enjoy it. But before I start planning for next year, I'm going to spend the rest of my time savoring the season.

Good Gifts: Some Penguin Classics

I know these have been out for awhile, but I recently saw Mr. Boddington's Penguin Classics at Anthropologie online, and I think they would make such a lovely gift. For my Pride and Prejudice loving friend, I think she really needs this.
But the whole set is absolutely divine.  I don't think it gets much better than this.
Do you like to buy books for friends and family members?  I always think that books make such a great gift, but I suppose that I'm biased.

A Heavy Heart

Like the rest of America, my heart is still so heavy from the horrific tragedy on Friday. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the town of Newtown. 

A Little Holiday Celebration

I cannot believe it's already Thursday!  I've been busy this week getting ready for my work's holiday party.  It's kind of exciting, because organizing it is part of my job this year, but it's meant a lot of errands after work. Last weekend, we had some friends over for game night, and it was so good to see everyone.  We played Trivial Pursuit, and my team lost horribly, but it was still a blast.  We kept things really easy and bought pizza, some amazing Korean chicken, and Georgetown cupcakes!
I also made some chocolate pretzels and put them in mini-take out boxes to send home with people.  It was really easy and might be the treat I end up making for my co-workers next week.
Our tree is up and even has presents underneath it! I love that our ornaments are some that my husband had growing up and are ones that we picked out together (I still need to get mine from my parents; I've been waiting because I have a lot).

Even though the tree isn't very stylish, I think it's very homey looking. I definitely enjoy having our tree set up. Are you getting ready for the holidays?


A Little Holiday Bucket List

 I was talking to a co-worker, and I realized that I've been in DC for a whole year and the husband and I never made it to go see the national Christmas tree.  Last year, the husband was extremely busy with work and we really didn't have the time, but it made me realize there are some things I'd definitely like to accomplish this holiday season!

1. Go see the National Christmas Tree.  This is at the top of my list, and if nothing else gets done, that's okay as long as we go see this tree.
2. Go to a holiday concert.  Someday, I'd really like to go see a concert at the Kennedy Center, but I'd be happy with any holiday themed concert. Of course, if it doesn't pan out, that's okay as long as we get to go to church on Christmas Eve.
3. Send Christmas cards and make a holiday themed treat for my co-workers and friends.  I did this last year, but making a treat always seems like such a difficult task that I'll be happy if I can figure out something cute to make everyone. (Making Progress on this one)
4. Buy an ornament with the husband. (Done, and I have an amusing story about that!)
5. Go ice skating! ( Done)

Weekend Recap: Cupcakes and Skating

The husband had a bit of work to do this weekend, so I spent a decent amount of time getting ready for Christmas.  I did a lot of wrapping and our Christmas cards are in the mail!  On Sunday evening we decided to check out the new ice skating rink in Georgetown.  I really like the idea of ice skating, but the only other time I was just scared of falling and it wasn't that much fun. I'm happy to say, that this time, I actually skated and it was a lot of fun. 

With that success, we decided to stop by Georgetown Cupcakes, and there was no line! True, it was cold and rainy, but I still consider it a mini-miracle.

 Since we've been in DC, I've only had them once (my bday), so I was really excited.  They also had all of their Christmas flavors out, so we were able to try some!  Life doesn't get much better than that.  Anybody else getting ready for the holidays?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I definitely have more than my share of blessings to celebrate. Even though we're going to be driving a bit over the break, I'm thankful to have a home to travel from, family to travel to, and a husband to travel with! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing my sister (we're picking her up from the airport tonight!), testing out my pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie, and being with family.  Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving!

Have a lovely weekend!

I hope you have a lovely weekend!  I'm going to attempt to make some pumpkin and pecan pie for Thanksgiving.  I'm also going to try to make a pumpkin cheesecake, after I saw this recipe. Most of all, I'm hoping that the husband gets over his cold and I don't catch it!  Otherwise, that might prevent some of the Thanksgiving festivities from moving forward.  What are your plans?

A Little Treat

 It's no secret that I love sending cards to people, so I was really excited when I found out that Shutterfly has created a greeting card line called Treat. It just might be my new favorite obsession.  When I checked out their website, they gave me a coupon for a free card, so I was able to mail a card for only the price of shipping.  A whole 49 cents.  And then they sent me another coupon to send three free cards, which of course took up a whole Sunday afternoon choosing which designs I liked best.  I was able to send this card to my math-loving sister and I could personalize it! I love how personal it is, but still affordable. If you like to send cards, you might want to think about checking out Treat and keep an eye out for coupons. 

*I think you already could have figured this out, but I didn't receive any compensation for this post.  For starters, my blog is too small!

A Holiday Dress

Since hunting for a dress to wear to holiday parties last year was so difficult, I'm determined to start early this year.  So early that some of the stores haven't even put their holiday dresses out yet! I saw a beautiful lace dress at Banana Republic as part of their Anna Karenina Collection (I'm still trying to convince the husband we should go see the movie), but unfortunately it wasn't sold in a store close to me and isn't online anymore.  However, I did find this little lace dress at JC Penney's.  I ordered it last night, and I'm hoping it might work.  I actually feel more optimistic about this one, because it has more of an A line skirt.  And of course, it was a lot cheaper, which is always nice.  Has anyone else started looking for holiday attire? I'm afraid that I get overly excited about this time of year.

Lately

So, I took quite a hiatus from blogging for awhile, but life has still been good.  I was able to see my sister last weekend, and I've gone to visit my parents the last two weekends in a row, as my grandma hasn't been doing well lately.  We survived Hurricane Sandy without issue, because we were further south.  However, DC shut down and I had two days off to be with the husband at home.

In other news,I'm really hoping to get my very own copy of Young House Love's newest book sometime soon! What's new with you?

Pecan Pie for my Dad

Today my Dad is up in the DC area for a conference, so I get to see him this evening.  In his honor, I attempted making my very first pecan pie, which is his favorite. I used this recipe, which was easy enough.  I'm not sure how tasty it is, but it sure looks promising!  I'm looking forward to trying it tonight. Even the husband thought it looked good.
Anybody else try any baking lately? With Thanksgiving coming up, I'm trying to make sure that I have some delicious and easy dishes to bring.

Labels for the Kitchen

So I have dreams of having a pantry that looks super organized and beautiful.  And then I realize that our "pantry" is just a few shallow shelves in our apartment. I also realize that there is no way the husband would let me invest in a lot of matching containers (and rightfully so), as it would totally be an unnecessary expense.  But still, I dream.
All images via Pinterest
While I'm never going to have a pantry like the ones above, I was able to improve our little space by adding some of Martha Stewart's labels.
 They cost less than three dollars with a coupon and it's sad how ridiculously happy they make me. I think I just get a huge kick out of printing stuff out. Anyone else a fan of labeling anything that stands still?

Champagne and Chipotle

The husband and I recently celebrated our "engagement anniversary".  It seems a little silly to celebrate, but it's kind of nice to have these little occasions to reflect.  Also, we treated ourselves to Chipotle and champagne, which I never turn down.  I know it's an unusual combination, but I love Chipotle and the husband always enjoys some champagne.  The husband also let me buy this little ring in honor of the occasion.
Image via
He thinks it's tacky, but I love it.  It also matches with so many things I own, since I love that raspberry color. 


The Last Game of the Season

How have you all been?  This fall has been pretty busy with work.  Even though I have things to blog about, I've been feeling a bit uninspired.  Last week, the husband and I went to the Thursday Nationals game.  Even though I'm not a huge baseball fan, it was a great game and the crowd was so enthusiastic. Friday's game was such a disappointment, but it was still a glorious season.

Wedding Recap

I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend!  Thanks for all of your advice last week.  I know it's really silly, but having other opinions helps me.  The husband and I made it down to the wedding in Williamsburg and it was lovely.  The wedding was at the Wren Chapel, which is absolutely stunning and meaningful to the bride who went to William and Mary.  The husband and I got a bit lost on our way to the reception (I may have left the map in the car), but we were able to see the Crim Dell bridge, which has lots of urban legends surrounding it. The legend is that if you kiss on the bridge, you'll be with that person for life and is the location where the bride and groom were engaged (isn't that so romantic)! Of course, I wanted to go check it out, which may have involved a longer walk in the woods than I anticipated.  However, it was pretty cool to go see it.


It was definitely a privilege to see two friends get married, and once we made it to the Alumni House for the reception, we thoroughly enjoyed connecting with friends from undergrad! How was your weekend?  It seems like there have been lots of fall weddings lately.

Fall Wedding Advice?

So, in a very fortunate turn of events, the husband and I are actually able to go to a friends' wedding on Sunday at 5:00pm.  The problem is that I have no clue what would be most appropriate and I really need some opinions!  I was thinking of one of these two dresses.  First up, a black sheath with beading.  I love this dress, but do you all think it would be too dressy? The beading at the top really dresses it up, even though it's hard to tell from the picture.
My second option is this navy blue ikat dress with a navy cardigan, but I don't feel quite as comfortable in this dress. 
Any opinions about which one would fit in best? The last time I was in a fall wedding, I was a bridesmaid, so that was easy enough! 

Forever 21: Some More Jewelry Finds

As I've mentioned, the husband really hates Forever 21.  However, I think that for trendy jewelry, it really can't be beat.  I really wanted some navy blue jewelry to wear with a few navy blue dresses that I own, so I picked up a necklace and chandelier earrings.
I have to admit that I've never worn such big earrings in my life, but I thought they were so beautiful that I couldn't resist. I know it's silly, but sometimes really large statement pieces make me feel glamorous. I also think that if I'm going to go out of my comfort zone, it's probably best to do it as economically as possible.

And then I picked up this little necklace for my sister.  I thought the stones were so pretty.
 Any good jewelry finds lately? 

Weekend Recap!

Happy Monday, dear readers!  I hope that you had a lovely weekend.  The husband and I had a pretty relaxing one.  We went to an impromptu date night at District Commons.  They have a pretzel baguette, which is always a good way to start off an evening.  I actually thought that the dinner was pretty reasonable, considering that we were in the city and the pleasant atmosphere.  The next time we have visitors, this is definitely on the list!
We thought that the husband's mom and grandmother were going to visit on Sunday afternoon, so I spent a fair amount of Saturday making sure our apartment was in good shape.  They ended up not coming, but I was still able to enjoy these roses from Trader Joes.
 The pending visit also motivated us to try to fix a few things. Remember that phone outlet in the bathroom?  Well the husband looked at it and it turns out it was connected to nothing!  So we took the recepticle down revealing a gaping hole...
I picked up this little frame at Target and stuck an old greeting card in it that I had lying around.  The husband thought it was good enough to hang up; although, I guess anything is better than what was there before. I'm thinking of getting another two other frames and hanging them all in a row so there isn't just a random print there.
We also spent some time trying to get the husband an Iphone 5 but were unsuccessful, since he didn't pre-order.  Oops! How was your weekend? 

Confession..

I'm kind of obsessed with this dress I bought from Ann Taylor Loft over the weekend. 
I'd like to keep it, even though it's bright pink and has an odd line at the bottom.  And I'd like to wear it with my trusty knock-off bubble necklace.
What do you think?  Maybe I just want to hold onto summer just a little bit longer, but this seems like a favorite summer outfit for next year. A part of me would also like to wear it to a wedding at the end of September too (hopefully cooler heads will prevail...aka the husband).

Wedding Shoes

When I got married over two years ago, I wore these shoes from J.Crew.  I'd never spent that much on shoes (and probably never will), but they were light pink, had a bow on them, and I loved them.  Still do.
Image from Celeste Ainsworth
Since they are pretty special, I don't wear them very often.  However, when I was shopping at the outlets with my sister, I saw these ballet flats for $10 at the Gap. 

I was hesitant, but they seemed relatively comfy, so I went with them.  When I returned home, even the husband noticed the similarity.  I think he thought it was a shame I couldn't have found the inexpensive version for our wedding, but that's beside the point.

I know it's sentimental, but it's really fun to have a pair of shoes that remind me of my wedding. Any fun details catching your eye lately?

Apartment Living: Covering up Eyesores and Other Updates

I really love our apartment. It's safe, has a dishwasher, washer and dryer, plus a pretty convenient location.  However, it does have some dated features.  Exhibit A, the telephone outlet in our kitchen.  We've been here a year, and this is what we've been looking at. 
 
 It juts out from the wall, so the idea of covering it up wasn't as easy as it sounds.  Plus, we randomly decided to hang a little kitchen blessing from the in-laws right next to it.  However, when I couldn't find a place to hang the monogram, I turned to the kitchen.  For some odd reason, the husband decided that it was okay, so here is the outlet covered up!
The frame isn't as flush with the wall as I would like, but it sure makes me a lot happier to see the monogram versus the phone outlet everyday.

I also picked up a little tray from The Container Store and put my new printout in it. It's crazy how happy a little paper and plastic makes me.  I'm still trying to find the best place for it.
Any little changes you make to cover up dated features or make your place more homey?  I'd love tips and ideas!  There is still a little telephone outlet uncovered in our bathroom that needs to be dealt with..


Our 2nd Anniversary and Weekend Recap

Since the husband's work has been pretty busy, we had a low key two year anniversary.  However, we did celebrate with some champagne in our wedding glasses.  The husband took a picture, so you can see the cards we exchanged in the background.  I think he was pretty proud that he remembered to get a card.
We also split a cupcake from a local bakery, but in my eagerness to eat my share of the cupcake, I forgot to take a photo.  It was a mint chocolate chip cupcake, and it was delicious.
On Sunday afternoon, the weather was very nice, so we ventured to the monuments.  The husband was very excited that the reflecting pool has been restored and now has water in it.
He was also really excited about the ducks.  He may have taken multiple videos and photos of the ducks. 
This might not look that exciting to you, but to the husband it warrants attention and multiple videos.
Literally, everyone is falling over each other trying to take pictures of the monuments, but the husband's concern was the ducks.  To the untrained eye, it might be hard to tell, but the really great thing about this next picture is the duck.
You can barely see it, but there is the duck, doing his thing.









And thus, after lots of duck viewings, that concluded our little excursion.






How was your weekend?  Any duck sightings?