Monday, August 26, 2013

Picture This: Week 34.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. 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, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

August 19, 2013

A Steeler game is the perfect way to start the week. Being six rows from the field isn't bad, either.


August 20, 2013

Morning commute. 


August 21, 2013

After being yelled at for a solid twenty minutes by the client, a walk was necessary, and free coupons for Rita's seemed like fate.


August 22, 2013

A raspberry lemonade cupcake was the cure to the week's difficulties. The sugar rush after was not helpful, however.


August 23, 2013

Various stages of craft production gather at this table. Oh, wedding world.


August 24, 2013

Alex and Chandler visited en route to the beach on Saturday. Our mission was to wear Chan out so he'd sleep through the drive. The zoo helped us to easily accomplish that, while also watching supercute otters.


August 25, 2013 
 
'And so our ice cream powers unite!' Baltimore strolls are the perfect end to a Sunday. Only to be topped by the N'SYNC reunion. I want more.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Picture This: Week 33.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. 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, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

August 12, 2013
Highrise living is a weird mix of feeling like you're living in an adult dorm or a less fancy hotel. I'm not a fan.


August 13, 2013
It's been an unprecedented mild summer in DC. We're in August and we've have many 75-degree days. For the past few years, I've had to take my shirt off and walk to the metro in a tank because it's always been that hot and humid that to do otherwise would mean obvious sweat stains at work. I don't want these days to end.
 

August 14, 2013
I love doing pore strips on my nose. The mini mountains of gunk that get pulled out fascinate me.
 

August 15, 2013
My childhood neighbor and psedu-older sister stopped by in DC on her way home to Richmond on Thursday. I played hookey from work and we explored Georgetown, including the Jonathon Adler store. If money was no option, that white fox would be mine. Or the hedgehog. Or the rhino. 


August 16, 2013
Fish out of water! Can you read that license plate? That car's from Hawaii!


August 17, 2013
Z and I fell in love with a house on Saturday. We submitted an offer, let ourselves get excited (it had only been on the market for four days), and found out that night that it was already under contract when we submitted our offer. We're still feeling numb.
 

August 18, 2013
 
That little face in the window as I drive away just breaks my heart.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Absenteeism.

If you've stopped in over the past few weeks, you've noticed that I haven't been keeping to my three weekly posts in this virtual space. Life's been hectic. This has always been a space for me to forget the usual chaos of life, but I haven't had time for that. In any downtime, I've been trying to workout in a two-part effort to relieve stress and to melt pounds. That, or sleep. I haven't been able to get on a routine with either yet. I've haven't kept in touch with dear friends because weekends are spent house hunting (which is deceptively difficult for objects that can't move) or wedding planning (which will continue to be difficult until I can fully comprehend the do what makes you happy philosophy).

This isn't a good spot to be in any time of the year, but it's especially disheartening as my work hours steady increase into busy season. So I'm here, calling myself out. I'm hoping that will light a fire to fix one of the following (I'm being realistic here):

Goal: Manage wedding stress

The Plan: Prioritize, ask for help, stand my ground, and do what makes us happy. I may also be utilizing this tool.

Goal: Lose weight

The Plan: Listen to myself and my hunger needs. After my two-month sabbatical that I treated like a two-month vacation with a cherry on top, I'm over where I would like to be. It took a few months to own up to it, but I'm taken that step and am now at the daily love/hate battle with running, yoga, or Insanity. It's mostly a hate relationship with Insanity. None of these things will really help if I don't change my eating habits. Mum called me out when she saw me take a swipe of brown sugar over facetime, and I think that was the straw that broke me. My habits are very poor and that's certainly not helping my weight or my health. I also found out that the new staff on my job comes from a family of nutritionists. I'm hoping peer pressure will change me.

Goal: Be a better friend

The Plan: Balance. I need to take my mind off of work, the wedding, and house hunting. I won't take my mind off these things by just hanging out. I need to see my friends and we need to do activities. I need to keep the experiences fresh and exciting. 

Goal: Find a house

The Plan: I honestly don't know how to manage the stress with this one. The first step is not telling everyone when there's a house that catches our interest. We did that a few times and the opinions from multiple people in multiple forms (we're talking voicemails, texts, emails, and phone calls) was overwhelming. It's great having a support system, and a solid one at that. It doesn't mean I'm programmed to manage that much input in such a short span. I'm also trying to take the dating approach to this house - if you're happy, you'll find happy. I'm hoping that if I can stop obsessing over it, the perfect house will appear and stay on the market for more than 24 hours. 

This list is stressing me out, so I'm going to stop. Whew. I'm hoping to make a start, not to change overnight. Here's hoping. In the meantime, I'll get back to crafting and sharing what I can share without totally spoiling the wedding.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Picture This: Week 32.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. 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, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

August 5, 2013
Lifelike peppermint toads for a Monday treat. 


August 6, 2013
I cleaned out my medicine closet and flushed the pills that I've had for years and can't identify their matching ailment. It made me feel very raw, addictive, and like a reformed hoarder.


August 7, 2013

 I work in northwest now instead of southeast. I can still see the capital, but it's much more sketchy up here.

August 8, 2013

They don't allow smiling for the new badge. The attendant made me take my picture twice; the first one looked too mean he said. I tried for neutral pleasantness. It continued to be resting bitch face.

August 9, 2013

Trader Joe's is one of the most fun shopping experiences.

August 10, 2013
Things got a little steamy Saturday night as I tea stained ninety shipping tags. Oh, wedding crafts. 


August 11, 2013 

I saw Jimmy Eat World in concert Sunday night. It was an awesome show, and the deciding factor in their title as my favorite band.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Picture This: Week 31.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. 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, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

 Monday, July 29

Reading in bed has to be one of the most relaxing activities.


Tuesday, July 30

We learned on Tuesday that we lost the first house on which we'd placed a bid. The same day CNN informed me that home prices were at an all-time high in seven years. What luck! And sarcasm.
 

Wednesday, July 31

Wedding crafting never stops. On one hand, it feels like I'm accomplishing something when things start coming together. On the other hand, it stresses me out more and more. 


Thursday, August 1

The occasional Thursday treat: a warm homemade cookie and homemade ice cream sandwich. The DC food trucks are horrible temptations.


Friday, August 2

I always feel like I'm going into battle when I go to the eye doctor. I have to fend off pushy eyeglass salesman and battle for my prescription. 


Saturday, August 3
Did you realize you can't get watermelon with seeds in the grocery store? It's weird when staples of our childhood slowly fade. It took a trip to the farmer's market to realize that I had been missing the good stuff for a while.


Sunday, August 4  
 
Zach and I went to Hershey on Sunday for the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake concert. It was a very late night (we got back to DC around 3 in the morning), but I'd say that a summer concert is worth it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Five foodgroups pie.

Strawberry rhubarb pie does not sound appealing to me. It doesn't help that rhubarb looks like red celery. 

After a farmer's market trip with Mum in which she bought some mini pies and gushed about how much she loved strawberry rhubarb pie and how she used to have it all the time when she was young, I was intrigued. Mum's a picky eater, and really only loves M&M's. Maybe pickles and tortilla chips, too. She didn't disappoint: the mini pies were delicious.



As her July birthday lent perfectly to a celebratory dessert, I decided to try my hand at one of her favorite desserts. That's incredibly risky, but Dad was home visiting from England at the time, so I had a safety net. The pie would be eaten.


I used the Betty Crocker recipe (anyone else have the beaten up red cookbook?). I had tried another recipe that I found from Pinterest for the July 4 weekend and a party with friends, but didn't love it. Betty came to the rescue.

Pastry:

- 2/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons shortening
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Cut the shortening into the flour and salt until it's broken into pea-sized pieces. With a fork, toss in the water, one tablespoon at a time until all the flour starts to clump into one pastry. I start to use my hands to mix at this point. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half to fit the pie pan.

Pie filling:

- 1 and 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon grate orange peel
- 2 cups rhubarb, cut up into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 cups strawberries
- 2 tablespoons butter (to tab in the top)

I mixed all of the ingredients in a large bowl, layering and stirring the fruit over the flour and sugar. Betty would've had me layer in half of the fruit into the pastry-lined pan, sprinkle half of the sugar/flour on top, then mix the remaining halves and spread those on top.

Roll out the top crust. I opted for the lattice top, but you could also go basic. Either way, be sure to cut slits for the pie to breath. Dot the top with butter. I tucked slices under the four corners. I also sprinkled sugar over the top.



Bake the pie in a warmed over at 425 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the juice starts to bubble and the crust browns. I kept foil on the edge of the crust until the last ten minutes.


Ta-da! I also like to rationalize indulgence by considering all the food groups I'm hitting in a slice: fruit, vegetables, sugars, and carbohydrates. As a vegetarian, it's nearly a totally well-rounded meal.

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