Monday, May 27, 2013

Picture This: Week 21.


I started a picture-a-day project this year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. That, and it's a fun way to see the year compiled into a bunch of snapshots. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week and to keep me motivated to try new things and live it up every day. It's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, and is in the process of updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.


May 20, 2013

I was in Burlington, Vermont on Monday for work. It was beautiful, but the quintessential "Welcome to Vermont" came from a pack of roadside cows climbing mounds and being overly vocal.


May 21, 2013

We drove to downtown Burlington on Lake Champlain on Tuesday for dinner. I had a grilled cheese, which was fantastic, and followed it with maple syrup soft serve. It was my kind of food.


May 22, 2013

My meals got more stereotypical as the week went. On Wednesday, it was wine with a cheese plate. Food was the highlight of this week - otherwise, I was working until the wee hours of the morning.

May 23, 2013
I nearly collapsed on Thursday when I dumped my coffee on the way in to work. The only thing keeping me from collapsing in tears was the fact that I was flying out that night and wouldn't have to travel for work for the next month.

May 24, 2013
 I was back in Pittsburgh on Friday. The Pens had lost earlier in the week, so the series was taken to Game 5. Pittsburgh hosts an outdoor viewing for the playoffs, so Zach, his brother, Ian, Steph, and her friend Jamie all bundled up and went to watch with a couple hundred other diehard fans. It was 45 degrees in May, but the game was so exciting that we weren't miserable.


May 25, 2013

I finished a book clock on Saturday for Veronica's birthday. I'm pretty proud of it. It probably needs a new clock face so the hands can sit out farther, but this might have been my first definition DIY.


May 26, 2013

Sunday was Veronica's 24th birthday. She mentioned a couple months ago that all she and Diney, her cat that shares her birthday, wanted was a rainbow cake. I was nervous of the outcome as I made it, but I'm happy to report that all went well and she was very happy with the outcome.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Picture This: Week 20.

I started a picture-a-day project this year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. That, and it's a fun way to see the year compiled into a bunch of snapshots. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week and to keep me motivated to try new things and live it up every day. It's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, and is in the process of updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.


May 13, 2013
Training means tablecloths for blankets and awesome carpets.


May 14, 2013

On Tuesday our manager took her seniors out for hibachi and way too many sake bombs.


May 15, 2013

I spent Wednesday evening lounging poolside in ridiculous cabanas and playing two truths, one lie with some of my closest work friends. It was one of those perfect nights that reminds you why you're still doing what you're doing.
 

May 16, 2013

The instructors took the DC office out to Opa Taverna on Thursday. It's a Greek restaurant with belly dancers that convince you to dance on tables. It's a ridiculously fun affair for all.
 

May 17, 2013

The Cleveland / Lake Erie shoreline at sunset makes me happy to call it my future home.


May 18, 2013

Zach and I went to a superhero themed campsite birthday party on Saturday. It was entertaining, I got to kick around a soccer ball, and there were s'mores - I couldn't ask for more. 
 

May 19, 2013

Stephie made our engagement, as well as my sister Veronica's engagement public on Sunday to the facebook world. I'll mirror that: Congratulations on your engagement, Veronica! I'm so happy when you're happy and I love you very much.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Picture This: Week 19.

I started a picture-a-day project this year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. That, and it's a fun way to see the year compiled into a bunch of snapshots. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week and to keep me motivated to try new things and live it up every day. It's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, and is in the process of updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.


 May 6, 2013

I always feel very accomplished when I can follow through on a surprise before opening my mouth and ruining it. I'm so happy L&A are enjoying Girl Scout cookies, gum, and gummy candy in Sweden.


May 7, 2013

As an approximately twelve-year recovering vegetarian, I'm open to trying meat, but often don't like too much. The texture really grosses me out most times. While in Dallas for the week, the team insisted on a barbeque dinner. I tried sausage, and really liked it. One small step...


May 8, 2013

We did an impromptu tour of Dallas Wednesday night after dinner. We drove past the Sixth Floor Museum and the American Airlines Center, where we popped in the background of the evening news and posed with their big letters.


May 9, 2013

Can you tell I'm not comfortable staying in most hotels?


May 10, 2013

This is the inside of a purse for an allergy-sufferer in flight. Yes, that's a full box of Kleenex.


May 11, 2013

I was only in Dallas for a week, but am a full Pappas restuarant chain after hitting Pappadeaux for seafood, Pappasitos for Mexican, and Pappas Bros. for steak. Also, I'm a matchbox hoarder.


May 12, 2013
 
Ellen and I skipped down to Orlando early on Sunday to catch some sun. It was a lovely day of relaxing before training and working for the week. Speaking of which, it's going to be a busy week. I'll try my best to get on my posting schedule that I've been less than regular with, but I've still not managed the new job role and the blog schedule. I need juggling lessons.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Paris Part Deux.

That's part two for my French-impaired friends. That's also about all I've got in my French language skills bag. Does anyone's phone autocorrect random plural words to end in 'z' instead of 's'? It tried to make me say skillz. My phone is trying to make me sound cooler than I am.

Unconsciously, this post is exactly the second day of my quick trip to Paris with Zach. You can check up on the first day over here. This post was supposed to happen about a week and a half ago, but, you know, it didn't, so here we are now. We started the day at a much easier pace than the usual breakneck speed that I like to explore new cities with. I'm a joy to travel with. Part of it was that we had an awkward mid-morning free walking tour that we wanted to attend, and the other part was that the night before, we had slept four hours in order to make our killer early flight. I was excited because a slower morning meant I could eat more croissants. I'm all about the French patisseries. 

Zach and I joined up on another free walking tour in Paris. We did one in London and loved it. It's a three-hour walking tour over the highlights of the city, filled with history, fun facts, and local tips on where to go. Remember to bring cash to tip, because that's how the tours run. We started with a walk up the Siene River, which was picturesque. I've started to become obsessed with architecture, I've noticed, and particularly rooftops. I'm becoming my father.  I love how the Paris buildings have a definite attitude about them, but the roofs are wonky with antennas shooting all over and chimneys stacked at different heights. All of the form that went into a perfectly symmetrical three stories is topped with a unique piece of charm. 



We also learned about Pont Neuf, a bridge that could be considered the original Facebook. It's the oldest standing bridge across the river. Henry III commissioned its building in the late 1500s after realizing that the state of the bridges in Paris left much to be desired. Many were wood, had house built on them, off them, and any which way, left little room for actual crossing, and were liable to fall at any time. In fact, one did fall and killed many of the people living on it, shocking everyone. So Henry said, I got this. I'll build a bridge. Though I suspect it was more eloquent than that. So he built a real sturdy bridge made of stone and was very proud of himself. No one would cross it. They were too scared and just weren't feeling a stone bridge. I sorta get it. If a wood bridge fell, then a stone bridge would definitely sink. So Henry did what everyone does when they want to get their way - they get everyone drunk and then ask the question. Henry opened his royal wine cellars or wherever he was keeping all the booze, invited tons of his friends, and got them all good and smashed. He then paraded them across the bridge and had an artist there to paint the partygoers as they did so. If that isn't Facebook, I don't know what is. Henry went one step further though. He then had his stone carvers carve the faces of each of the partygoers and stuck them on the side of the bridge. Now he was able to say, "Come on, come all! These people crossed the bridge, and so should you!" Or something like that. 


We stopped by the love lock bridge, which is covered in locks transcribed with the names of couples. I forgot a lock. Worst gf ever.


We ambled through the city to the Jardin des Tuileries, or the Tuileries Garden. The garden epitomizes French landscaping - symmetrical, manicured gardens oozing with an OCD-level of control. The garden was the project of Catherine de Medicis after the death of her husband, King Henry II. Catherine was an interesting woman; she was responsible for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in the midst of religious turmoil, but is also credited with being the first woman to wear a high heel. Can you see the Arc de Triomphe lurking in the background?


The misty, rainy day doesn't help, but here it is! Napoleon commissioned this as a memorial to his greatness, but never lived to see it in completion. That's a shame, really, because this has been recreated all over the world, from Wellington's Arch in London to a version in Washington Square Park, New York. I love walking up the Champs-Elysees to this past all the high-end shops intermingled with patisseries (aka croissants).


After that, Zach and I hit up the Louvre for a quick run through the highlights. We also had some time to rush through the Napoleon apartments (because the Louvre was once a royal palace), which were awesome and extravagant, and tucked away in a wing that I never would have gotten to without our free walking tour guide suggesting. They win again.


After that, and pushing our bus departure time, we rushed to see Notre Dame up close. It was raining, it was miserable, but still so gorgeous. The rain also make a cool bokeh effect without any effort on my part. True artistry.


All in all, we maybe needed one more day in Paris (we just took two). I didn't get my fill of croissants or fresh baguettes, which is really a shame because they honestly don't taste the same outside of Paris. I think it's like New York style pizza and NYC - there's literally something in the water. 
 
Linking up with Helene and some awesome travel stories today - check them out and escape the Tuesday :)


Helene in Between




Monday, May 6, 2013

Picture This: Week 18.

I started a picture-a-day project this year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. That, and it's a fun way to see the year compiled into a bunch of snapshots. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week and to keep me motivated to try new things and live it up every day. It's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, and is in the process of updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

April 29, 2013

I made a pit-stop in Pittsburgh on Monday after house hunting in Cleveland for the weekend. Henry was ever so stoic as I pulled in the driveway. Upon acknowledgement, she acted like she's never seen me before and promptly ran away. What I would give to see how that cat's mind works.


April 30, 2013

I love the way the light filters through my window in the morning. It makes leaving my bed so difficult, however. 


May 1, 2013

Stretching out before the rave that is my kazaxe workout class.


May 2, 2013

I was reminded why I really don't like to workout at night: pretty girl workouts and male lurkers. Pink girl had about six bracelets on, jangling as she jogged, and male lurker number one just paced by. Awkward.


May 3, 2013

The ads told me it was Oreo's 100ths birthday, and I'm not one to miss a celebration. Later, Mum told me that that happened two years ago and I missed the party.


May 4, 2013

Two of my closest friends in DC threw an engagement party for Zach and me on Saturday. They did an amazing job - from a black and white theme, to incredibly creative food and drink, and small touches that meant so much. I'm so lucky.




May 5, 2013

 Despite a terrible hangover, I did a lot today. I apparently forgot to photographically document any of it. So here I am, in bed, in a hotel, and not ready for a jam-packed work week ahead. I am ready for tex-mex.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Treasures: Amsterdam shopping edition.

Since we're talking Amsterdam, or rather, this happened in Amsterdam and I'm still bobbing about and trying to wrap up all my travel posts, I promise it'll stop soon - hang in there, and remember that it's Oreo's 100th birthday if you need a snack. 

I love shopping in Amsterdam because I love that shade of blue that they use in their Dutch pottery. I'm obsessed with it. In one shop, I found crates of the stuff on various ornaments. I was literally wiggling with excitement.

  

I gathered probably five ornaments before reason kicked in: my still imaginary tree would look a little silly if it was 90% one type of ornament and then the plastic yellow submarine. I then made Zach create a pro/con list with for each item. Shopping with me is so much fun.

  
I knew I needed this wonky house because I am in love with the uniqueness of the Amsterdam architecture. I love that they lean, I love that they're not all straight, and I love that they're different sizes all squished in a line. It's a fairy tale.

I rationalized this bulb because I love stars. That always comes off cliche, as if I have a star tattoo on my lower back, but I have genuinely liked stars since before I knew it was cliche. I hand-painted my entire ceiling growing up in them, mixing in shapes in my own sort of constellations. I'll get that up here one day. So these star cutouts were totally my jam.


These little wooden Dutch shoes were free. FREE. All hail the Pancake! Amsterdam restaurant. Amsterdam still might need an entire post devoted to food.


Speaking of stars, I love Van Gogh. We share the same birthday (March 30, holllaaa) and I think that his Starry Night subconsciously, somehow, shaped my love of stars. I believe in weird birthday-matching fates like that. However, I did not see Starry Night, or some of my other favorite night-time scene paintings, when we went to the Van Gogh exhibit (the museum was closed for renovations). Even more strange, the gift shop didn't have any starry paraphernalia, not that I would've bought any of it because I have a strict policy against alluding to something that you did not see or do. That sentence is sounding way weirder than I want it to, but I've rewritten it to many times. I just wanted to pet the starry night souvenirs. I also want to understand how I'm supposed to open this sunflower keychain, but alas. 


Last, and certainly not least, is a soon-to-be-ornament to cue the collective 'aaawwwweeee.'


To commemorate our engagement, we picked up the iconic kissing Dutch children at the airport just before we left. I'm a little torn here - I want it to be an ornament, but the only obvious place to loop a ribbon is over the kiss. Do I hot glue the ribbon on the backs? I can't see myself setting this up as a year-round decoration (it's quite small and I'm not a fan of the Holland emblazoned on the bottom - but our only option was the airport and I wanted something while we were still in the same country as our engagement). Suggestions?

Now I want to find my Christmas box and pull these all out to pet all over again.  

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