Friday, May 22, 2009

Hannah's "Before" Pictures

My good friend/coworker/wedding coordinator, Hannah, just moved into a swank new bachelorette pad in SE Washington. She has a killer view of the Nat's Stadium from her bedroom window and the most insane rooftop view, ever, of the entire District of Columbia. She can see everything. We're talking the Capitol, Washington Monument, National Mall, National Cathedral, and more National some such!

I digress. Hannah has an eye for design and that is why I'm very excited to see what she will do with her freshly painted blank canvas. Let me give you a brief tour:

Hannah's super fancy front door- they key that she uses to get in and out of her building and apartment are similar looking to Mercedes car keys. You just slide them in the key hole and the door electronically unlocks. Fancy schmancy, my friends.

Pretty brand new kitchen...drool.

Living Room (with a view of the stadium)

Isn't that a pretty color? She is painting her bedroom a tranquil sea glass blue.

And the icing on the cake...her HUGE (for DC standards, especially) walk-in closet.

Stay tuned in the next two weeks for the "After."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Welcome to "Hashing"

Have any of you ever heard of "hashing," officially known as Hash House Harriers?

It is hilarious and Michael and I just recently discovered it last weekend. Let me paint you a picture...

Michael and I are walking in the neighborhood when we run into our sweet neighbor Amanda. She is the most plugged in woman in Washington. Check out her blog, Metrocurean, to bask in her awesomeness, As we are talking Amanda eagle-eyes a little pile of hot pink chalk dust. "I wonder if people are hashing today?" she says. To which we answer, "*blank stares*"

Within a minute we saw four groups of people follow the same trail of the chalk down the alley. What secret world is this that we have been exposed to now??

Here you go, Hashing 101:

Here is how it works. There is a "hare" or in some cases "hares." They take off running while leaving a trail of colored dust behind them, either in piles or drawn arrows. After a brief head-start the "hashers" are released.

They follow the trail of markers in an attempt to catch the hare. After the race, they drink!

Apparently there are 1,898 hash groups in 1,231 cities, in 183 countries. Seriously. After reading the "Hash Bible" I learned that British started the sport in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Check them out, maybe you can join a group near you.

Keep your eyes peeled in your neighborhood because if you're not paying close attention you could miss the glorious display of random runners.

Images and hash facts courtesy of

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pinching Pennies. Ouch!

Photo courtesy of

Got to love me some economics. Wait, that's not right. I'm pretty sure I very nearly failed economics in high school. There was something involving a "GDP," or some such...

This might be why I hate budgeting money. I much prefer to just try to be good. Michael and I are enjoying the experience of planning a wedding, a honeymoon, and our entire future together all on a shoe string. A shoe string that I call my wee itty bitty pay check.

Michael and I both worked for the Bush Administration prior to the "change" in January. We were both due to lose our jobs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Agency for International Development, as soon as President Obama laid right his hand on the Bible. God blessed us when the day before my departure the Obama transition team asked me to stay until the new administration is in place. Well guess what, kiddos. I'm still here! Good news. Yes.

Bad news: Michael and I both live in Washington, DC ranked in the top 10 most expensive places to live in the country. Pretty sure that all of the other 9 places were in California and NYC. Scraping by in this town can be tricky. But we are doing it, and here's how:

Laurff Budgeting 101:

1. We don't have cable or the internets (it's a series of tubes!!)- something that the cable company probably won't tell you is that you can get HD channels (if you have an HD TV) with your rabbit ears. We don't have the History Channel, Comedy Central or HGTV but we have enough. On ABC3 we get to watch the ATeam at least once a week! Cha-ching. For the internet, we have been meaning to talk to Michael's neighbor upstairs to see if we can split the cost of his wireless connection. Easy peasy- just need to do it. I am your neighbor, lend me some wi-fi.

2. We have one car- Michael's. He gets a really good deal from his landlord on parking. Yes, in DC you have to pay for parking. People post signs for available parking spots for a mere $350 a MONTH. Yuck. We don't have to drive the car very often thanks to DC's stellar public transportation system. However, riding a bike is much faster than any other form of transportation in the city, plus you get the added bonus of exercise. We got mad bike skills.

3. Eat in! Everything is more expensive in DC, including food. Michael is an amazing cook and he gets to test out new culinary concoctions on me on a regular basis. Since we workout most days of the week we have to make sure that we get plenty of protein. We do this economically by stocking up on bags of frozen chicken, family-size cartons of eggs, a bit of meat and lentils. Lentils are super inexpensive and can be made to taste like anything. Plus they are a great source of protein.

4. Craigslist- There was an expert on the Today Show that noted that every household has on average $3,000 worth of "stuff" that they could sell on Craigslist. It is true. When Michael let me move all of my worldly possessions into his apartment we realized that we had too much stuff! On to Craigslist it went. We made about $300 in a week. Between the two of us we had around 10 pieces of luggage- suitcases go quickly on the Craigs. Superb!

5. Netflix- Oh how we love the Netflix! Another way that we cope without cable is with the movie delivery service, Netflix. So many movies, so little time. The only catch is that to really get your money's worth you need to watch them when you get them and get them back in the mail as soon as you can. Otherwise you end up having "Rear Window" for three weeks...

Just a few ideas for saving some dough. Take it or leave it but whatever you do, SAVE!

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

This is by far the most adorable thing I have ever heard. And it was written by my sweet Mama.

"Hi! We have a dove that has made her nest in the guttering on the garage, just outside the front door. She's been sitting on the nest now for about a week and a half. I looked it up and supposedly it takes about 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch. She never leaves the nest, unless maybe she does during the night. I feel so sorry for her when it's raining out and she's getting pelted with rain drops...only a mother would do what she's doing!!

Anyway, I call her "mama" and talk to her everyday (is that crazy, or what??)."

How sweet is that? I love that she talks to the mama dove. From one mama to another, I suppose.

One day I want to be mama and relate to a precious little mama creature too. Just like my mama.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Working in a cube farm has to be one of the most mind-numbing existences imaginable. Sometimes it sort of feels like I'm in the zoo and this is my little cage where even though I have a concrete ball to scoot around with my nose and a huge water dish, still isn't quite comfortable.

For example, you may feel all alone in the your little cube until someone coughs or gets a little feisty with their computer. At that point you remember that there are others in three-walled cubbies surrounding you. Waiting to pounce. Or make popcorn. Or eat curry.

There should be some sort of law against windowless cube farms, like the one that I am sitting in right this very minute. But in this time that we live in I guess a seat in a glorified cardboard box is worth a pay check, right? Did you know that they make cubes with ceilings and doors now? Tres weird. But not as weird as when people make their own ceiling and/or door for their little worker bee hole. Strange thing.

Do you work in a cube farm of fun? Do you decorate it to pretend that you're somewhere else or do you employee some sort of Jedi mind game to get through your 8 hours of work?

This Young Winner

If you all are unaware of Young House Love and the newly wed youngsters that live there, you have been missing out!

I was an interior architecture major for 2 whole years before I switched it up with Art History. I like to consider them to be the chic majors, if you will. So interior design is a passion of mine. Hence the drastic re-do of my sweet fiance's apartment. We got to get the bachelor pad ready for real live wedded bliss, right? Right. Not that he ever had an overly "bachelor" bachelor pad but the problem was storage. We have registered for all these pretty gifts and we need a place to store them if they happen to come our way.

Pictures to come. Drastic, people.

Back to our youngsters. They have the most adorable house of ever in Richmond, VA. Completely re-done, by them. Think beachy, meets spa, meets metropole...lovely.

They host giveaways every couple of weeks for super fun things. Lamps, services, name it and they have given away a super cute version of it. This week there were 4 prizes up for grabs. 4 amazingly cool pillows from Sa-Sea Boutique. And can you believe that I won!

There was a choice between the 4 designs and I chose the one on the left. Cute, right?

This little 'bute will be perfect on my bed or on the cool red couch! Photos to come...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vampires? Really?

For real. I am far too old to be as obsessed as I am with the Twilight series, but I can't help myself!

After Harry Potter came out and I learned that it takes no time at all (2 pages) to become completely enthralled in a story. I read the Harry Potter books as they came out. This lead me to rush through each book until I got about 3/4 of the way through, than I had to pace myself. There is nothing worse than to be so lost in a story and to look up and see that you only have a couple dozen pages left. You just want the story to go on and on forever! But I guess this is how book publishers get nerdy people like me to be exposed back to the "real world" and find another book to pour over. Well, welcome Twilight.

I have purposely avoided the Twilight series since it first started to get a ton of publicity when the movie came out. There was no desire to read the books or even see the movie. People talked about it and I ignored them. No way would I spend good money on teenie bopper books! I'm 26 now. Time to read important books about international development, politics, economics and oh I don't know, biology! Alas, my sweet friend Rachel made it all to easy for an old addict like me.

She lent me the first book, Twilight. I was a goner from the first page. The entire book was devoured in under 24 hours (during the work week no less!). Oh, but it didn't stop there. Like most series authors, this one slipped the first chapter of the next book, New Moon, into the end of the first book. Doomed, doomed, doomed...

I waited a full day to get the second one and it takes all the will power that I have not to read it at work. Have held out thus far. But the weekend is coming.

Wish me luck.