Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tis the Season for Baking

WARNING: This post will make you drool. You will see many photos of sweets and then you will be hungry! Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Or so it seems in my house! I'm packing on the winter weight. =/

It started on the Friday before the busiest Saturday in my life in awhile. Seriously I never do anything on the weekends and all of a sudden I'm invited to two parties on the same Saturday! 

The first party that I was invited to was a graduation party for Santana, who has been my cousin's roommate and best friend at ODU for forever! The 3 of us have celebrated all of our graduations (all at 3 separate times) together!

The second party was cause for all the baking. I was getting together with a couple of my Dinwiddie Girls for a Tacky Sweater/Cookie Swap party. 

Which led to baking all Friday night! Thank goodness I had the help of my youngest sister because I certainly know how to make a mess while baking!

Leave it to me to choose something I'd never baked before, something that required strange ingredients like light corn syrup and kosher salt. 

I chose Mini Black and White Cookies. 

I was baking until 11:15 p.m. And that icing is super messy!

Ever since that night, the baking has not ceased in this house since. Aspen and Lynn made a ton of chocolate cookies on Saturday night. And I brought home so many sweets from the party!

Then my mom's boyfriend is a track coach and Aspen is an architecture major and this is what happens when you add those two together and the fact that the store didn't have the cookie cutter they wanted. 

Yes, they made that themselves. They used this cookie cutter and several others for a couple of batches of gingerbread cookies. 

Then Dani made peanut butter cookies with chocolate Kisses and Aspen made more sugar cookies!

Needless to say, we haven't been at a loss for dessert at all this week!

What are you favorite holiday desserts?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Virginia Tech

I wish that the cliche, "Lightning never strikes the same place twice," was true. 

I know everyone affiliated with Virginia Tech feels the same way. 

Unfortunately yesterday, Virginia Tech was struck again with tragedy, and the feeling was very reminiscent of the tragedy that occurred back in 2007. While the outcome did not compare to that of 2007's incident, any loss of innocent human life is tragic. 

I was a freshman at James Madison University when the 2007 shooting occurred, a close two hours away from Virginia Tech. As a college student, it felt as if my way of life had been threatened. I couldn't imagine a tragedy hitting any closer to home. 

Until yesterday, that is. I was working at the middle school yesterday in Dinwiddie when I found out what was going on in Blacksburg. I had received a text message from my little sister. She is a freshman at Virginia Tech. 

I must say it felt much better hearing about the events from my sister first than hearing it from another source. She kept us updated about the ordeal. I also began following Virginia Tech on Twitter when my sister started attending. 

My sister was thankfully in the architecture studio with some classmates when the shootings occurred. I was thankful for this because where the police office lost his life is a short walk from my sister's dormitory. Neither she nor her roommate were in the dorm or the area at the time. 

It seems VT did a great job of getting the word out to students and I'm grateful that the situation did not escalate into any further violence. 

As you go about your day, please keep the students, faculty, staff of Virginia Tech, and the family of the slain police officer in your thoughts and prayers. This university has endured too much pain but has a spirit that will never be defeated. 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fall and Winter Blues

My birthday is in April. I am a spring baby. And I love the summer with everything that is in me. 

So when fall and winter roll around every year, it makes me a little sad. I don't like the cold weather (even though I did 4 years of really cold weather at JMU!), the lack of sunlight, the stress, etc. I miss the lighthearted atmosphere of spring and summer. There are more people to hang out with. Those seasons just aren't as lonely as fall and winter seem to me. 

This year on top of fall arriving, I was working as a long term substitute for an 8th and 9th grade business class. Which added to my fall blues even more because it was very stressful and the kids weren't always nice to me. I'm not going to lie; I was excited when their teacher returned on Thursday. It was good money, though.

So now that my days are a little less stressful, I'm gonna try to kick the fall and winter blues with a list of things that makes the fall and winter not so bad after all!

  • Thanksgiving! - I'm a fan of food, family, and football. 
  • Skinny jeans and jeggings tucked into boots. Okay so even though I'm more of a flip flop or slip-on Sperry's kind of girl, I am totally getting into this pairing tall boots with skinny jeans and jeggings for fall and winter. I just need more boots and more jeggings (so comfy! - Those pictured I purchased from Aeropostale for $10) 
  • Matching scarves with long sleeved shirts. I am addicted to Old Navy scarves! Especially since most of them I bought for $1 back in my JMU days with my roomies, Patti and Natasha. I like to try out different shirt/scarf color combinations.
You can never go wrong with purple and yellow!
  • Pea coats! I love the way a pea coat really completes an outfit. No matter what you are wearing, you look a little more formal while wearing a pea coat!

Old photo, still have that pea coat though!
  • Even though I absolutely hate cold weather because I would rather be warm than cold any day, I love that I have a legit reason to live in my Snuggie (like I don't already).
  • Christmas, of course! I love getting presents and when I have money, I love buying gifts for my family! 
What's your favorite season? What do you like most about fall and winter? And hey, while we're at it, what do you hate about fall and winter? 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving comes with several traditions. This year I woke up super early (no idea why!) and showered! Then I got ready while I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

 I kept getting on my mom's nerves because every time they showed Macy's, I'd say, "I've been to the Macy's" or "I've stood in Herald Square." I can't help it! Every time I watch the parade, it makes me want to go back to New York City. Also, it makes me think of the time that my roomies were in the parade with the James Madison Marching Royal Dukes, back in 2008. That was definitely my favorite time watching the parade!

Anyway after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, my family always watches the dog show! We always root for the West Highland Terrier since that's what kind of dog Rascal is. The Westie came in third in the terrier group! I also learned that the dog show is pre-recorded. Who knew?

Then began the stress of Thanksgiving. This year we were having Thanksgiving at our house, which has it's advantages and disadvantages. Advantage: I don't have to go anywhere. Disadvantages: We have to clean the house in anticipation for our guests that never notice the vacuuming or dusting.

Other disadvantage is that our house is like Bangladesh in relation to population density. I think that's why my family is so close 0r gets annoyed with each other so easily. We practically sit on top of each other at family events.

Thanksgiving this year included my immediate family: Mom, Dad, Dani, Aspen, and Raina (Did you note that? Mom and Dad...that's a first since...well let's just say I don't remember the last time!). We were joined by Hollie, Dylan, Uncle Charles, Travis, Uncle Dale, Uncle Steve, Granny, and David. 

We had to sit in the 2 different rooms as well as setting up a table outside! But the food was great, the company was superb and I got to watch some good football!

Now for the fotos of my gringo Thanksgiving, most of which I took for my guatemalteca, Candace, because the day before Thanksgiving she was tweeting about not understanding cranberry sauce!
Cranberry Sauce right out of the can!
Sliced and ready to eat!
We had an assortment of food at our Thanksgiving! Let me tell you about! Turkey (of course), country ham (my personal preference), stuffing, mashed red potatoes, gravy, corn pudding, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, potato salad, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin cake, coconut pie, and lots of sweet tea!

My plate!

The copious amount of sweet tea that is brought to a Southern Thanksgiving!

The cake my sister made!
I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful! What kind of Thanksgiving traditions does your family have? What did you eat on Thanksgiving?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm coming home, I'm coming home...tell the world that I'm coming home

So due to my poorness, I was planning on doing an extremely unbearable thing a couple of weekends ago.  I was going to miss JMU Homecoming for the first time since my freshman year of college. Anyonewho knows me (and some that don't) know that I love JMU and JMU Football almost more than anything in the world.

So Monday, the 26 (of September), my uncle offered to buy me a JMU Homecoming ticket. So we get online on and low and behold they are all sold out. I saw a couple of overpriced ones on Stubhub and Craig's List, but not being crazy about sitting by myself, I decided that I would simply live JMU Homecoming vicariously through all of my friends.

Fast forward to Wednesday. I'm eating pizza at Giuseppe's after the cross country meet when I get a text from Jim, who asks me if I'll be attending homecoming. I tell him about how I tried to buy a ticket but to no avail. However, Jim had found some homecoming tix and needed some to sit with! I quickly agreed and that was it; I was going to homecoming!

Except I decided to keep it on the down low because I wanted to surprise everyone (a decision that would later come back to kinda bite me in the butt). So Friday after I get off work, I start my trip to Harrisonburg. I talked to Matt Rummel on the way up there and he talked about how sad he was that I wasn't going to be able to make it up to homecoming. In my head, I'm thinking, "Yesssss this is going to work out so well!" 

I get to JMU say about 7:30 and I start texting one of my baby Dukes, Erica, while I am still texting Matt, trying to stealthily figure out where I can park on campus. As I am texting both of them, my phone cuts off. I walk from the baseball lot all the way to Showker, where I plug in my phone that I've been trying to restart for the entire walk over and nothing is working.

Here I am, very close to my baby Dukes' dorm (in the treehouses) and I have no way to get in touch with her.  What am I to do? I turn around and walk back to my car and head to the Verizon store. Which they moved! It totally was not where it was, the last time I went to it. And strange enough, as soon as I walk into Verizon, I run into people from Dinwiddie. They were up there because their son goes to Bridgewater. 

I wait for awhile in Verizon while I am silently freaking out on the inside. You see, no one knows I'm coming to Harrisonburg except Beau and Josh because I was planning on staying at their place. The problem is, I don't have either of their numbers and I don't know what time Beau gets off work. 

Finally a lady comes and asks me what's going on with my phone. She looks at me, frowns, and says, "This is the third time I've seen this problem with this phone in the last two days." Umm yeah, that's exactly what I want to hear.  She takes it into the back to see if she can get it to power on. 

Guess doesn't turn back on. And I'm telling her that I am 3 hours from home, going to a football game the next day and I don't have my ticket or the number of the guy who has my ticket. So she's like, let me set you up with a sales associate if you want to get a new phone tonight. And I am trying not to cry. 

So the sales guy comes over and I start explaining to him how I need a phone ASAP. He gives me two options: I can use the upgrade on our account (which is my dad's) and pay $130 for the phone I already have (with a $50 mail-in rebate) or pay $99 and file an insurance claim on my phone and get a replacement mailed to where I am staying in Harrisonburg by 11 AM the next day.

Obviously the smarter decision of the two is to file the insurance claim, so after talking to my mom, my dad, and Jeremy (he was the only person in Harrisonburg whose number I had memorized), I called the insurance people. The first time I called (yes, I said first time), the person would not let me continue because I didn't know the billing address on our account  (um, my dad lives in a different state than I do so no, I do not have his address memorized). 

So I had to call back with my dad's address and then the insurance lady informed me that A) my phone was still under warranty because it had been less than a year since I got it and B) that there was no way that they could have mailed me a phone by the next day (the Verizon guy said she was lying).

Here I am, stuck again. The Verizon guy (his name was Mike by the way) goes into the back and comes back out with a phone. He tells me that it is his backup phone and tells me to use it this weekend and then ship it back to him. He tells me to come in the next day to file an extended warranty thing to get a new phone the next week. 

He programs my number into his phone. Then I finally leave the Verizon (btw it was technically already closed when I left). Luckily, when I turned this phone on, Josh had texted me so I had his number. Jeremy texted me Beau's number so I was semi-connected again.

Then by pure coincidence I had an address book in my car that I bought for Stephanie because she is always losing her phone and losing all her numbers (is this not ironic or what?). Well since Jim is her brother, I had his number. So I called him and filled him in on the situation. I told him that he had jinxed me because I had made fun of him hours earlier about not having a smart phone and here I was in the same boat. 

I finally get dinner, get to Beau's, and then Jessica, Josh, Beau, and I head downtown to meet Jeremy for a little while. The next morning, I get up and get all JMU-ed out and head to the store to do some last minute Homecoming shopping. All the while I am texting Patti (her number was in Steph's address book as well - it's convenient when all your friends are related), telling her that I am going to have to live vicariously through you. She was sad because Aunt Patti had mentioned that she thought I was coming to Homecoming. 

Then I stalked out P-Lot waiting for Patti and her family to arrive, which I thought they were never going to! But then they finally did and I kinda jumped out and surprised them. Kinda. Patti will tell you that she thought something was up. 

Patti and I
Photo credit: Ben
And then began the task of trying to see everyone (which is difficult when you have no one's phone numbers). I was really happy though because Natasha, Tony, and Matt Rummel were truly surprised to see me and that made my day!! 
                                                               Tony and I

Matt and I

Matt, me, and Natasha

3/4 of 13 I-know-you-want-to-be-us
 After a couple of hours of tailgating, we headed to the stadium, which was very exciting since neither Jim nor I had been to a game in the new stadium! Our seats were way up there but they were awesome. We could see the entire field and the scoreboard. It was like having that view you get to see when you watch NFL on tv! 

Jim and I ready to watch JMU beat the Richmond Spiders!

The game was awesome! JMU won, of course! It started raining about halfway through the 3rd quarter so Jim and I snuck a couple of rows up so we could be under the awning and stay mostly dry. We stayed for the post game show and went down to the field with the MRDs afterwards to watch the trumpets do their thing.

Our view of the game.

View of where Jim and I sat from the student section.
 MRDs taking the field for postgame show.
The Jumbo Jumbotron!

Then we headed back to the car, in the rain. Needless to say, we were pretty cold and wet at this point. We grabbed dinner at Sheetz and headed to Matt Rummel's to hang out with him, Natasha, and Tony for a bit. Then we headed to SouthView.

Sunday, I got up and headed to campus where I saw 3 of my baby Dukes (Erica, Josh, and Tricia). I had D-Hall breakfast! Yum! Then I went to Jeremy's where I watched some football and had some taco salad...which was always the highlight of my football seasons in Harrisonburg. 

Then I went to Richmond to watch some football with Jim. We ended up going to Buffalo Wild Wings (yes, I was really well fed on this particular Sunday), where we couldn't decided what flavors of wings we wanted to try (there were two new flavors) so we got 24 wings between the two of us! Then we hang out for a bit before I finally headed back to Dinwiddie. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fantasy Football Team 2


Team Name: Tight End Kicker


  1. Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos
  2. Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
  3. Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
  4. Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints
  5. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
  6. Tim Hightower, RB, Washington Redskins
  7. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, St. Louis Rams
  8. Johnny Knox, WR, Chicago Bears
  9. Danny Woodhead, RB, New England Patriots
  10. Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
  11. Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys
  12. Michael Bush, RB, Oakland Raiders
  13. Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Minnesota Vikings
  14. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
  15. Altanta Falcons, Defense/Special Teams
  16. DeAngelo Hall, Independent Defensive Player, Washington Redskins
  17. David Akers, K, San Francisco 49er
Each week we start:
  • 1 QB
  • 2 WR
  • 2 RB
  • 1 TE
  • 1 WR/RB
  • 1 K
  • 1 Defense
  • 1 Independent Defensive Player

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Help: Fiction vs. Film


Welcome to Jackson, Mississippi; it's the1960s, during one of the most tumultuous time periods in American history. Meet Miss Skeeter, a white Southern woman, who decides to collaborate with black maids to change the way things are in Jackson between the maids and the white families for which they work.


So much for individuality; I like every woman in the United States, just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you know me, you know I hate to be left out. 

First off, for those of you who haven't gotten around to reading it, it's a very looooong novel. It was very entertaining; it kept my attention and I was always wondering what was going to happen next. I really liked the character of Miss Skeeter because she reminded me of myself with her aspirations of being a novelist/journalist and her having to move back into her mother's house at the age of 23 because she hadn't found a husband at college or a post-college job. 

When I got to the end of the novel, there were certain characters about whom I wondered  what would happen to them after the novel ended. I don't know if it's enough suspense to warrant a sequel but I was left feeling a little unsatisfied since I wouldn't know what happened next to them.

Also, when I finished the novel, I was a little disappointed. To me, the novel did not read as a social criticism like I thought it was supposed to. I think Uncle Tom's Cabin said a lot more about social and racial inequality. The Help reads more like entertainment. 

I also wasn't really a fan of the part the author included about her childhood maid. It seemed as  if she took that one experience and based an entire novel that included stories from more than a dozen fictional maids off of it, which isn't enough information. It was as if she was trying to use her one experience as "research" for the novel. 


Remember how I said that the novel was very long; imagine trying to put all that into a film. Even though The Help was 146 minutes long, this was not sufficient time to include everything in the novel. There were a couple of parts of the plot that I thought were important, entertaining, and very telling of the characters, and they were left out of the film. 

They also changed some of the situations in the movie, particularly the one dealing with why Skeeter's childhood maid, Constantine was not there when Skeeter returned from Ole Miss. I like the reason from the novel way more than the one in the film. 

The actresses chosen for this film were above par. The woman playing Miss Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) did a wonderful job; you seriously wanted to slap for her for all the racist and mean things she said and did to the maids. I like Bryce Dallas Howard and I didn't even recognize her because she was so into this role. 

I also did not recognize Emma Stone, who played Miss Skeeter. Stone was so spunky and full of energy in this film. Jessica Chastain pulled off the crazy Miss Celia well. 

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who played Aibileen and Minny, were perhaps the stars of the films. Davis knew how to play Aibileen in a way to evoke emotion and Spencer was quite humerous in her role as Minny. 

Also there were several scenes in the film that brought tears to my eyes toward the end. 


Overall, both the book and the movie were great. If I had to choose though, I'd probably pick the book over the movie, because I think you miss a lot of the depth of the characters and some important and interesting plot lines in the movie due to the lack of time and the changes they made.

Have you read or seen The Help? What did you think? What did you like? What did you not like? Please share your thoughts!  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fantasy Football Team 2011

Team name: Tiffany Has A Tight End


  1. Philip Rivers QB San Diego Chargers (Love him...he's been my QB for 3 years now)
  2. Ray Rice RB Baltimore Ravens
  3. Felix Jones RB Dallas Cowboys
  4. Joseph Addai RB Indianapolis Colts
  5. Vincent Jackson WR San Diego Chargers
  6. Jeremy Maclin WR Philadelphia Eagles
  7. Chris Cooley TE Washington Redskins
  8. Ravens Defense/Special Teams
  9. Mason Crosby K Green Bay Packers
  10. Sam Bradford OB St. Louis Rams
  11. Mike Sims-Walker WR St. Louis Rams
  12. Knowshon Moreno RB Denver Broncos
  13. Brandon Marshall WR Miami Dolphins
  14. Ryan Torain RB Washingon Redskins
  15. Pierre Thomas RB New Orleans Saints
  16. Johnny Knox WR Chicago Bears
I came in fourth last year. I plan on winning this year! =] 

Each week we start:

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RB 
  • 1 RB/WR
  • 2 WR
  • 1 TE
  • 1 Defense/Special Teams
  • 1 K

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fantasy Football Weekend

I am so far behind and I know it! It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but let's go back to fantasy football weekend cuz it's worth talking about!

The Highlights

  • Patti, Ben, and I drive to Harrisonburg on Friday, August 19, after stops in Richmond, Caroline, and Stafford. We arrive at Jeremy's new place, which I finally got see for the first time! And the best part: Jeremy had cooked us (and Josh) dinner!

Yum! Steak and vegetables!

Fantasy draft
  • Our fantasy football draft took place at Buffalo Wild Wings (as it has the last 3 years). This year I got to write all the names on the board which may have affected the thought I put into my team but I got to enjoy some wings at the same time so it was all good! Patti got the number one draft pick! 
  • After fantasy football, we went to see Matt and his new place! We dragged him to the book fair against his will. Where he blamed me for making him buy too many book (too many books?! As if there is a such thing!) I bought a book about presidents! 
  • Later on Saturday, I met up with Candace, one of my MCC chicas, and we caught up over some frozen yogurt! I am so glad I got to see her because I kept missing her every time I was in Northern Virginia. But since she's at JMU for grad school (lucky!) she's a little easier to pin down.
  • On Saturday night, we headed over to Beau and Josh's (so weird since I'm so used to it being Beau and Jeremy's) to hang out with the boys and Jessica! We ended going to the Blue Nile to go dancing after Beau begged us. I'm glad he did because I secretly wanted to go I had a blast dancing with everyone!
  • On Sunday, I went to Catholic Church with Ben and Patti in Fredricksburg, which was interesting since I hadn't been to Mass since I was like 9 years old. 
  • Monday morning, Ben and Hannah (Ben's little sister, who is taller than me!) made breakfast! 
  • Patti, Ben, Hannah, Jake, and I went bowling in Massaponax! I hadn't been bowling in a year and it showed. We played three games and I lost everytime. I bowled a 49, a 48, and a 48. At least I'm consistent.
  • That night, Patti, Ben, and I played a board game called Sequence, which might be my new favorite game. I lost everytime though! 
  • On Monday, I spent the the night at Patti's!
Special Thanks: 

  • Patti, for coming to picking me up in Richmond on Friday afternoon just so I could go to fantasy football and for driving back to Ashland on Tuesday morning (wayyy early) so I could go back home!
  • Ben, for driving us to Harrisonburg, the book fair, the bowling alley, buying us pizza, and for making us breakfast (yummy)!
  • Ben's family, for letting me stay at their house even though four of them had just met me and for feeding me!
  • Jeremy, for dinner, a place to sleep (well, one night) and for a good time as always.
  • Beau and Josh, for letting us hang out at y'all's place, for dancing with me at The Blue Nile, for suggesting CiCi's Pizza for lunch, for trying on everything I asked you to in Target while we waited for CiCi's to open and for letting me stay at y'all's place!
  • Jessica, for showing up unexpectedly because it wouldn't have been a complete weekend in Harrisonburg without you
  • Matt, for letting us see your new place and for going with us to the book fair, even though you bought too many books.
  • Candace, for picking me up from Kohl's, eating frozen yogurt with me, listening to me complain about my joblessness, and for taking me back to Jeremy's, though I didn't know quite how to get there!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Car Trouble

When we last left off, I was leaving Arlington. It was circa 7:45 p.m. and I knew I'd be driving through some rain and storms but I was ready. I was headed towards Dinwiddie and I thought my weekend adventure was over.

I was wrong, so very wrong.

So here I am jammin' hardcore on the way home, like singing at the top of my lungs as usual. The rain was actually keeping me awake and I was making excellent time. I had just entered Hanover County and I was about 1.5 hours away from home when my check engine light came on. I was a little freaked out but my check engine light has come on before and my car was acting fine so I was like hmmm this is no big deal.

Then the red oil light came on and in the few seconds I had to think, I thought, "This is not good." Then my car just seemed like it didn't want to go so I pulled over on the side of the highway.

First I calmly called my mom, then I called her bf. I explained the situation and my whereabouts. Then I panicked. I realized I was alone, in the rain and storms, an hour and a half from home, in the dark, parked on the side of the highway. And I'd by lying if I said I didn't cry a little bit.

Then I called everyone I could think of because I needed someone to talk to because when you sit in a car alone and the wind is blowing the trees, you start imagining things that aren't there. You'll never believe the number of people who don't answer their phones at 9:45 on a Sunday night. I talked to my sister for awhile and then Mike called me back and stayed on the phone with me until my mom's boyfriend finally got there.

My car would not start so we decided to leave it there until the next day when it was much lighter. Bad idea. Turns out the state police like to tow cars. At the owner's expense.

Which is how my car came to be in Ashland, Va in a state police impound. Poor Betsy.

Long story short, things have only gotten worse since then. My car would not start the next day when we went to get it. We had it towed to a mechanic who let us know my car wasn't working because the timing belt went bad.

Well when they finally put the new timing belt on, it turns out my engine is bad. So that's the story of how I came to be broken down on the side of the road alone (nbd - only the 3rd time that that's happened to me) and without a car during the busiest week of my summer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just Another Lazy Sunday?

So you know how Sunday is supposed to be that day where you just relax? Well my Sunday in Arlington was just the opposite!

This was mine and Mike's conversation on Sunday morning.

Mike: So what should we do today?
Me: We should go see something.
Mike: Like a thing?
Me: Yeah.

Crazy thing is, we knew exactly what we meant (for once!). But before we decided what we were gonna do, we needed the energy! So off to lunch at Pete's New Haven Style Apizza (apparently "apizza" is pronounced "ah-beetz"). They had really cool sodas at this place. I had cheese ravioli which was good! And then Mike and I split a cannoli, which I was super excited about cuz there had been a cannoli on Bones the night before, and I said I wanted one then!

After lunch, we made our plan for the day! We were gonna head to the National Geographic Museum and then the huge Forever 21 in D.C.

First we headed to the National Geographic Museum, which I'd never been to before. We looked at an exhibit on Macchu Pichu and then looked at all the photos surrounding the building which were awesome. The photos made me a little sad because I'm never gonna be that awesome!

Then we headed to H&M and Forever 21. I bought a new tank top and a much needed belt from Forever 21! Then we decided to head towards the Washington Monument, because Mike said it'd be awesome to get photos of the Washington Monument while laying down with our feet against it!

On the way to the Washington Monument, we walked by some of the sights of the D.C.: Ford's Theatre (where Lincoln was shot), the house where Lincoln died (seriously that's what the sign said - idk if it has a name), the Hard Rock Cafe and the FBI Building.

Ford's Theatre

The house where Lincoln died

On our way to the Washington Monument, we decided to cut through the Smithsonian of Natural History. Which was an awesome idea since I've never been there. Mike wanted to see the ocean exhibit so we took a look at that. Then we saw the signs of all the exhibits that were being shown and needless to say, our "cut through" was lost on two museum nerds like ourselves.

First I wanted to see the Hope Diamond, so I stood around waiting to taking a picture of it. Then we headed to the exhibit on photos of animals. Then they had a really interesting on race and whether we're all as different as we think. Then we went to the butterfly exhibit, but you had to pay to go in the butterfly room which was sad because Mike really wanted to high five a butterfly. Then we got sucked into the gift shop for awhile!

After we finally finished our "cut through," we finally headed towards the Washington Monument. We attempted to find a shady spot, with no luck; btw it was super hot! We laid down and looked up!

The Washington Monument from the ground!

Me, trying to shield Mike and I from the sun!

After that, we headed back to the metro to head back to Arlington to decide what to do for dinner. We decided on cheeseburgers from Ray's Hell Burgers, which was amazing! I wish I wasn't so hungry that I woulda taken a photo of my burger before I started eating it.

Then we headed back to the apt as my Arlington/weekend adventure was coming to an end...

...Or was it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

True Life: I've Survived Two Earthquakes

I am so very behind on my blogging. I have to blog about everything that happened this past week but this is newsworthy!

I just survived an Earthquake!

I remember the one back in December of 2003. I was in the office at the middle school and there was loud noise and everything shook for a second.

Today's was much scarier!

I was sitting here at the computer desk, applying to a job (story of my life). And the house started to shake. Which here is usually no big deal. Our house is old and it will shake when a  big truck drives by. Also we live by Fort Pickett, so the helicopters fly over all the time on the way to and from base.

Anyway, I yell to my sister to look out the window and see why the house is shaking. And she's telling me, "I don't see anything."

And the shaking is getting worse. I'm pretty sure I'm yelling, "What's making the house shake? What's going on?"

We both start walking toward the kitchen (I have no idea why) and stuff starts falling off the bookshelf in the living room. Then Dani says "I think we're having an earthquake. Stand in the doorway." So we stand there in the door frame between the kitchen and the living room until the house stops shaking. It lasted about 30 to 45 seconds, I think.

Then I can't remember what I did next; it was one of three things. I turned on the television and there was no news on. I tried to call my mom at work and Patti to see if they felt anything. And I went outside to see if that could give me any clues.

When I went outside, my aunt who lives across the street was pulling in the driveway and getting out to get the mail. I must have looked frantic when she saw me; I'm like holding my chest because my heart was pounding. I asked her if she just felt that and she says, "Feel what?"

I tell her about the house shaking and stuff falling off the shelves. And she's like nope, didn't feel a thing, maybe a pipe burst under your house. She told me she'd check to see if anything fell at her house.

Dani then comes outside to get me because earthquake stuff is finally on the television. Dani had also gotten in touch with mom, who felt it at school, and Aspen, who said her desk chair shook in Blacksburg.

I also finally get in touch with Patti, who also felt it. So I call my Aunt Aimee, across the street, and tell her that we did in fact have an earthquake.

And we've been watching the news ever since! 5.8 seems so intense!

Definitely one of the scariest moments of my life!

Where were you when the earthquake hit? What was your reaction?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Running and its Rewards

Back to my weekend in Arlington.

When we woke up on Saturday, Mike decided that he wanted to go running and was doing his best to convince me to go. If you know me, I'm not exactly what I'd call an athlete. Sometimes I'll get in athletic moods; just not often.

However, I don't like being told that I can't do something. Mike offered me four options, one of which was staying home to shower while he went running. That was a good option. Did I take it? No, of course not; let's be honest.

So we take option C, I think, which involves driving to Teddy's Roosevelt's island to run the trails there. Mind you, I was wearing what I wore for pajamas and I was starving! But Mike promised me breakfast if I ran for like twenty minutes. That's doable, right?

It was going...well...if that's what you call it; I'm trying to keep breathing and not fall over and Mike is like, look at the plaque about birds. I stopped briefly to get water and I'm pretty sure that everyone is judging my non-athleticism and my outfit.

Then Mike trips over like a stump on our way down to look at the water and I stop. Apparently stopping when your heart is beating that fast is NOT a good idea. Mike decides he's okay to keep going. I, on the other hand, am about to pass out. Which is soon followed by me feeling nauseous. So here I am squatting on the ground praying that I don't throw up on my Sperry's (did I not mention that Mike convinced me to go running in my Sperry's) and in front of a boy! Definitely one of the top five most unattractive moments of my life.

I finally regain my sense of normalcy and we decide to walk back to the car. Turns out I made it to 16 minutes of running! We walked by the Teddy Roosevelt statue on the way out. But I was still feeling to icky to enjoy the monument part (or any part) of the island.

We headed back to the apartment for much needed showers and then we headed to Metro 29 Diner for my running reward breakfast! By the way, if you're really hungry you should go there for breakfast because they give you a ton of food. It's a little too much if you almost died from running earlier that day but I ate as much as I could!

Then we headed to Pentagon City mall because it was on my list and I bought my fantasy football outfit for the following weekend! I think the rest of the afternoon included naps, getting frozen yogurt at Red Mango, going to Barnes and Noble, watching Bones, and getting ready again!

After lots of begging, I convinced Mike that we should go to Thai at Corner for dinner because I've loved their chicken fried rice since I had it back in December when I visited! (I was milking that "Remember that time this morning when you almost killed me.")

After dinner (which was wayyy yummy as expected!), we explored the nightlife of Arlington and met up with Tyler, Thomas, Dianna, Shane, and Bea, all of whom are some of my favorite JMU people!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Do you ever have friends that you want to hang out with but they are so busy that it takes forever to make plans with them? I have friends like that.

I've been trying to hang out with Mike since June but he's soooooo popular and in such high demand that he just now finally had a free weekend. So on Friday morning I headed up to Arlington.

Except I decided to make a pit stop and eat lunch with Patti in Ladysmith! So I met her at Subway and we run into her best friend Leslee and her family, whom I've heard so much about in the last four years! It was cool to finally get to meet them.

After a long lunch break (I couldn't bear to leave Patti even though I'll see her this weekend, hopefully!), I got back on the road and finally got to Arlington around 3.

Anyway someone had worked all morning (obvs not me cuz I'm jobless) so in lieu of a nap (cuz I woulda slept hardcore and we never would have made our evening plans), we hit the pool! It was uber hot there but we laid out, attempted to read, watch some crazy rabbits hop around, and got in the water for a bit.

After the pool, showers, and some resting, we finally decided to head to Truckeroo. What's Truckeroo, you ask? Well it's a monthly food truck festival held near Nationals stadium.

I must admit I had no idea what to expect but Mike was really excited about it! So we got on the metro and headed that way. And then began the standing in lines. We stood in line at the ATM. We stood in line to get in the festival.

Once we got in there, it was unbelievingly overwhelming. The food trucks were arranged in a circle around the venue, there were lines going every which way, and way more people than I was expecting, which made it hard to see what different food trucks were there. Mike kept asking me what I wanted and I couldn't decide or see what was there.

We finally settled on the BBQ Bus!

We both opted for pulled pork sandwiches, though Mike chose to have pickled onions on his. I think they look like worms (see below). I also forgot people put cole slaw on BBQ sandwiches but it wasn't that bad like that. We choked down on pulled pork sandwiches without drinks while sitting on the ground! They were good!! =]

Mike's pulled pork sandwich
We finally found sodas and then we decided on a cupcake truck for dessert! I had a lemon cupcake and Mike had a snickerdoodle cupcake. They were delicious and we devoured them; that's why there are no photos of them! 

And that concludes our first Truckeroo experience! =]

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It turns out that Twitter is an awesome way to set up a fun afternoon adventure with some old friends!

A week or two ago, Jessica tweeted something about Sweet Frog, which is this frozen yogurt place that has a toppings bar that's fairly new around here. I tweeted her back and told her I really wanted to go since my sisters went without me earlier this summer.

Well then Courtney saw our tweets and she said she wanted to go. And then Jessica's sister, Brooke, jumped in on the action. After a couple of tweets back and forth, we made plans to hit up Sweet Frog in Chester on Thursday.

I met Jessica and Brooke at their house and we drove to Chester to meet Courtney, who had just returned from outlet shopping in Williamsburg.

For those of you who've never been to Sweet Frog, let me explain it to you. You get in line and you grab either a small, medium, or large bowl. Then you pick your frozen yogurts. The wall is lined with several dispenser each dispensing a different flavor and you get to choose which you want! I opted for vanilla, cookies n creme, and cake batter (yum!).

Then it's on to the toppings! And they have everything! From fresh fruit, such as strawberries, mango, maraschino cherries to typical ice cream toppings, like chocolate chips, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, to completely random things, like sunflower seeds, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, Fruity Pebbles, and Cap'n Crunch!

Then you get place your bowl on the scale in front of the register and you pay 39 cents per ounce! It really is an amazing deal!

My creation!

We found a table, enjoyed our frozen yogurt, and caught up. I swear it had been years since I had seen Courtney.

Then that's when the excitement started. All of a sudden the lady at the table next to us asked Courtney to sit with her mother and make sure she didn't fall over because her blood sugar had just dropped suddenly.

Then everyone is the place is coming over to assist this lady and her mother, Miss Beverly. They're giving her orange juice, Coca Cola, offering them their unpaid for ice cream, and taking her pulse.

Then the manager calls 911 and the EMTs and ambulance show up and they're trying to convince Miss Beverly that she needs to go the hospital. Poor Brooke was about to cry through all this; she loves old people.

They finally convinced Miss Beverly that the hospital was a good idea and off they took her.

The girls and I stayed a little after that talking and after awhile we left. I headed back to Jessica and Brooke's house where Jessica made me a salad and Brooke made me some chicken nuggets and some macaroni and cheese! =]

All in all, it was a good time and I can't wait to go back! Hopefully next time I'm there I won't witness a medical emergency! And we hope Miss Beverly makes a full recovery!

Have you ever been to Sweet Frog, or a place like it? How do you like your Fro Yo?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Things I Want!

I am constantly making lists in my head and on paper and on my phone. One of the fastest growing lists is that one where all the things I see on TV, the store, and the internet go. You know, all that stuff I want to buy (or want to be given to me, hint hint).

What I Want (in no particular order)

1. A luggage set! I felt so cool when I borrowed my uncle's luggage to go to Maine. It felt like I was actually going somewhere; it was way cooler than the two duffel bags I pack to go everywhere else. Also I hope that there's a lot more travelling in my future. (Also my mom and my sister are gonna remark that this is not a grown up looking luggage set but I think it's way cute. Steph has luggage like this and I really wanted to steal it the whole time we were in Maine.)

This set is from Target, $99

2. A new computer. Now don't get me wrong, I love Madeline2 (that's my current laptop's name); we've been through a lot together and a couple of hard drives. (I promise I'm not mean to my computer!) But she's large (15.4" screen). And she only works if she's plugged into an outlet (yes, that's how bad my battery is), which kind of defeats the purpose of the mobility of a laptop. She also makes a lot of noise, freezes often, and has to sit on a cooling fan so she doesn't overheat. And due to all the photo editing I do, sometimes I think it'd be easier to get a Mac. If only they didn't start at $999. Welp, a girl can dream...

3. This necklace or this necklace. Just because they are cute and I love cameras and I wish I had more jewelry...speaking of...

4. Almost any piece of jewelry from Tiffany&Co. I mean it is my company so I feel like I should have a bunch of stuff from there. I do love my Tiffany&Co. necklace I got for graduation though! I wear it everyday!

5. A pet! Of my very own. But I'm not going to be settled in enough probably for awhile to have a dog or cat or any other animal with fur since I like to travel and take mini trips. So I want a betta fish. Or well another betta fish. A couple of years ago, one of my friends bought me a betta fish and seriously it was one of the best gifts I've ever gotten because when I was little I always wanted a betta fish, but being that I had 2 sisters, three betta fish would cost around $12 and then they'd each need their own bowl. Needless to say, we were cheap goldfish girls. Anyway, my betta fish, Voss (long story!), sadly passed away after 6 months (and yes, I cried like a baby). 

Also I want some of those little tetra fish!

Things I Need

1. A job! - That will fund all of this stuff (eventually) and help me get those awful student loans paid for. And trust me, I am working on it. I am job searching everyday (which is why I've been MIA)! If you have any leads, let me know! I'm looking to work and live in Northern Virginia.

2. My own apt - Which is also a want for me cuz I've been dreaming about decorating my own place!

3. And for my student loans to be paid off! I'm so tired of paying them! But that requires that #1 happens and that when #2 happens, I spend less time decorating it and more of getting just what I need.