Sunday, September 25, 2011

The craziness that is my life.

When I first started brainstorming about this post, all I could think about was how much I’ve worked over the last two weeks. The Trinity Forum celebrated its’ 20th Anniversary on Monday with an Open House, Afternoon Conversation, and a Founders’ Gala for 200+ people (that’s a whole other post in and of itself). Needless to say, we have all put in more hours than we care to count lately. 

But, I also realized how many other fun things have been going on in my life. Here is a short recap:

I went to Litchfield for Labor Day for my cousin’s wedding and had the best time hanging out with my family and my mom’s college roommates. We’ve been getting together with them for as long as I can remember and it was so great to be surrounded by so many people that I love on my short trip home.

My roommates and I tried a new restaurant, American Tap Room, in Clarendon. Followed by another karaoke night. Here are some pictures from our first karaoke adventure:

I attended my first Nationals game. What a great way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

We hosted an around the clock shower for Jennifer at our house.

I spent the weekend babysitting two precious girls while their parents drove to South Carolina for the USC vs. Navy game.

I went line dancing.

I bled Orange for the day and went to Town Hall to watch the Clemson vs. FSU game.

And that is September in a nutshell. Someone please tell me how it is almost October?!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

I am trying my best to keep my head above water these days. We have been completely swamped at work in preparation for our 20th Anniversary Founders' Gala next week.

I am just praying that I can make it to Tuesday without the wheels falling off the wagon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

It's been raining since I landed in DC on Sunday. I promise I am not exaggerating. I literally haven't seen the sun since I left the beach. Take me back to South Carolina!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What I Baked on Sunday

Egg & Veggie Scramble
I am not usually an egg person, unless they are hard boiled or a small part of a recipe. My mom doesn't even like to touch eggs, so it was not something we had a lot for breakfast growing up. This morning, I woke up wanting something heartier than my usual oatmeal so I decided to venture into the land of omelet making. I chopped up some veggies but when it came time to assemble the omelet, I realized I was in uncharted territories. Having no idea what I was doing, I decided to make a veggie scramble instead. It turned out well and was the perfect breakfast, served alongside a toasted english muffin (don't worry that's cream cheese not butter).

Chicken Alfredo
As you can see from my previous post, I cooked a lot of noodles but wasn't sure what to do with them. I decided to use whatever I had in the fridge to throw together some sort of creamy alfredo sauce. I started with some butter and cream cheese (like I said, whatever I had in the fridge). Once that was melted, I poured in some half and half (no measurements here, just eyeballed it). I let that simmer for about 5 minutes and then I added in a crushed garlic clove and mozzarella cheese. I was a little skeptical that I had made a milky/runny mess but the sauce thickened up perfectly and was absolutely delicious.

Frosty Toffee Bits Pie
I actually made this yesterday for Liz's birthday but it was so good I had to share. I found the recipe on Pinterest and loved how quick and easy it was. I ended up making my own graham cracker crust. It was simple and I had all of the ingredients. I am not going to lie, it might be my favorite part of the whole pie. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a t. I will definitely make it again and maybe use butterfingers.

Much Ado About Nothing

We made it through Hurricane Irene. We experienced heavy rain and wind but escaped unharmed. It was a good thing too because if we had lost power, that would have been a whole other story. In terms of hurricane preparedness, my efforts were poor.
My provisions consisted of a bottle of water and some cooked noodles. Fortunately, neither were required for survival.

It probably wasn't the smartest idea, but we ended up going out during the hurricane. It was my roommate's birthday and her fiance had planned a night on the town before the storm was even on the radar. So after spending the majority of the day being couch potatoes, we decided a little rain and wind shouldn't prevent us from celebrating the big 2-5. We piled into the limo and headed to the city. Mark had made reservations at Local 16, a hot spot on U Street, known for their rooftop patio. 

While we didn't get to take in the view, we had the best time downstairs. It was fun to have such a popular place to ourselves for the most part. The food was delicious and the company was great. We then piled back in the limo and headed to a karaoke bar per the birthday girl's request. It just goes to show that a little bad weather can't prevent someone from having fun on her birthday.

The Calm Before the Storm

On Friday, we were all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irene. I took my lunch break later in the afternoon and headed to the park in front of our office to read. A few pages in, I looked up and saw this:
Ducks. In the middle of downtown DC, coming to bathe in the fountain. Being a low country girl, it sort of reminded me of home - except I wasn't in a duck pond watching the sunrise. 

Later that afternoon, Liz and I headed over to Steph's house for dinner. This was the view from the car:
A perfect rainbow.

It was as if God was reminding me of the beauty in the world; encouraging me to remember who was in control as we waited on the storm. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Sky is Falling

On Tuesday, I experienced my first earthquake. Needless to say, once we all realized it was a natural disaster and not a terrorist attack, people turned to the web to share their "survivor" stories. Here are some of the highlights:

@snowed_in: “Breaking: Carole King feels the earth move under her feet.”

@ezraklein: “The Ocean’s 13 team is presumably stealing something pretty valuable right now.”

 This picture sums it up pretty well:

Thankfully, there was only minimal damage and no injuries were reported. Hopefully the same can be said after this weekend.
But who knows, maybe the locust are already on their way...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Club

Along with reading The Help this summer, I also read:
A pretty interesting read.
One of my favorite books. I read it in three days. It was so different from his other books but still amazing. 
So now, I am in need of some suggestions of what to dive into next...Thoughts?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I Baked on Sunday

Confession: I may or may not have an obsession with food blogs. I find myself looking at them during my lunch break, when I have a few minutes of down time at work, when I get home, and before I go to bed.

One thing I noticed from all the different blogs is that most of the recipes overlap. [This is probably a good thing, since I am trying to ween myself from this obsession.] But I also saw that a lot of food bloggers participate in What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW), where they document everything that they eat during the day.

So, instead of joining the crowd, I decided that I would introduce What I Baked on Sunday. Sundays are my day to prepare for the week ahead and I normally find myself baking up a storm in the kitchen. I am hoping that this will become a weekly post but with my crazy life, I can't make any promises.

What I Baked on Sunday Edition 1

Stuffed Shells
I didn't really follow a recipe. I just used some jumbo shells, frozen spinach, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.
In my opinion, you can't go wrong with that combination.

Homemade Granola
I was inspired by the fruit, yogurt, and granola bar that was at Carrie's shower. I used this recipe from Get Off Your Tush and Cook but used extra flax seed meal as a substitute for wheat germ and used apple sauce instead of juice. My granola was a little bit crispier without the liquid, so I would recommend cooking it for less time if you omit the juice. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to breakfast this week!

Trader Joe's Truffle Brownies 

Weekend Recap

This weekend was jammed packed but so much fun. Friday night, my roommate and her fiance hosted an impromptu dinner party. After dinner, everyone came over for dessert. On the menu was Individual Raspberry Cobblers from the Pioneer Woman, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They were divine!

On Saturday, we started the day with a Kitchen and Recipe Shower for Carrie, who is getting married Labor Day weekend. I gave her a brownie pan and the recipe for Lemon Blueberry Bars from Two Peas and Their Pod.
I made them for Bible Study the other week and they were gone before I knew it!

After the shower, we headed out to Leesburg, VA to Old Lucketts Store. It's an antique store offering everything from furniture, architectural elements, art and mirrors, lighting fixtures, and clothing. The "vintage hip" vibe could be seen throughout the store.
While I didn't find anything that I couldn't live without, it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Following our excursion, we all reconvened to celebrate Abianne's birthday. She recently moved into a new house and they are hoping to throw a themed party every month. Last night, the theme was "We Pledged for a Reason."
Here we all are rocking our letters, pearls, and croakies. It definitely made me miss my college days.

Tonight, my cousin and her husband are coming to stay with us as they pass through on their way to Boston. We are having a cookout with all of their friends and I am in charge of dessert. Instead of making something completely from scratch, I decided to give this box mix a try from Trader Joe's. Hopefully it will be good!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Help

I am on a mission to finish it either today or tomorrow so that I can go see it this week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Channeling My Inner Pioneer Woman

The other night, my roommate wanted to make dinner for her fiance. We had some leftover taco meat and decided to try out this enchilada recipe from the Pioneer Woman.
We made the sauce:
Fried the tortillas:
Dunked the tortillas in the sauce, filled them with meat and cheese, and rolled them up:
After some additional cheese and sauce on top, the enchiladas baked for a few minutes before it was time to dig in:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Must See Movies

Add both of them to your queue now. I highly recommend them, especially when you have this to munch on while you watch:
Nachos Piled High
Happy movie watching!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beating the Heat

I apologize for the double post but it seems that my busy schedule is leaving little time for blogging. So, I am going to take advantage of this down time and keep posting until I run out of inspiration.

It has been unbearably hot in the city. You think I would be used to it after growing up in the South, but it is rather miserable to walk home from the metro when it is over 100 degrees outside. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is turn on the oven and make something hot for dinner. So, I decided to experiment last week in the kitchen.

When I first saw the recipe for Avocado Pasta on Oh She Glows, I was a little skeptical. I love avocados and I love pasta but I was not sure how the two would taste together. That being said, I am so glad I put my doubts aside and made this dish. It was the perfect summer meal - refreshing and light.

I improvised by cutting the recipe in half and leaving out the basil. I also added some chicken and served with a side of asparagus. So good.

Evening Conversation with Curt Thompson

Last week, the Trinity Forum hosted an Evening Conversation with Dr. Curt Thompson at the National Press Club. Thompson discussed his newest work Anatomy of the Soul, a critically acclaimed book demonstrating how insights from interpersonal neurobiology resonate with spiritual truths - and validating the deep human need for meaningful relationships as a key to a life of hope and fulfillment. 

It was a packed house with over 160 people in attendance!

There I am, holding down the fort at the registration table.
It was my first event with the Trinity Forum and overall I really enjoyed it. When it was all said and done, we took a staff picture:

From left: Carrie, me, Beth, Cherie

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Newseum

On Monday, we toured the Newseum as an office.

It is one of my favorite museums and I was excited about revisiting all of the exhibits. Shelby Coffey, a senior fellow of the Freedom Forum and trustee at the Newseum, was nice enough to give us a tour. There is certainly something to be said about having a such a knowledgeable tour guide.

We tried to take a staff picture but it ended up being a video. Oh well, we tried...

I did not have my camera with me (story of my life) to document everything, but I would highly recommend going. It is definitely worth the admission fee.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Italian Store

One thing I love about living in the city is the hidden gems of places to eat. My roommates had told me about The Italian Store but yesterday was my first time actually going there.
 I did not have my camera with me, so this picture is from the blog Two DC.
I was a little skeptical because it is located in a strip mall but I was pleasantly surprised. The Italian Store offers just about everything you could ever need to recreate a little piece of Italy at home. From fresh made sandwiches, pizza by the slice, homemade ravioli, wines, cheese, etc, they had it all.

I had half of the Mozzarella sandwich for lunch and the other half heated for dinner.
Hello cheesy deliciousness.
It was so good - if you can't tell from my partially eaten sandwich, I got a little carried away before I snapped a picture.

This may be one for my new go to places. Be on the lookout for some Italian creations from my kitchen. Buona notte! (Goodnight!) 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Catching Up

My apologies for the lack of posts lately, this week has been crazy busy. With Bible study, two happy hours, a dinner, a lunch, and hanging out with old friends, the time for blogging quickly disappeared.

Needless to say, I am enjoying a quiet Saturday at home. After spending a few hours at the pool, I came home and decided to make these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Eat, Live, Run. In case you were wondering, I love chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal. Put them all together and I am in heaven. 

Another thing I liked about this recipe was that it was so simple. We already had all of the ingredients in the house:

Put it all together and you end up with this:
I finally used my cookie scoop!
While Jenna's cookies may have turned out prettier than mine, mine were certainly just as delicious.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I had every intention to update my blog tonight until my roommate and I started watching this:

Two hours later, it is time to call it a night. On the bright side, I am pretty sure we have found our new Sunday night tv show. It was so good!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


One thing I love about being in the working world is having more time on my hands. That might seem ironic since I work from 9-6 Monday through Friday and give myself 40 minutes for my commute to and from work, but it’s the time outside of work that I enjoy the most. I am no longer stressing over research papers, book reviews, and upcoming tests. I don’t have to worry about getting ahead in my reading so that I can spend as many hours at the barn as I want too. (Although, I really miss riding and going to Still Creek Farm.)

But, back to where I was going to this, I love having FREE time. For those of you who don’t know me, my life has always been busy. Between school, riding, babysitting, working, internships, did I mention riding, friends, family, etc.; I have pretty much always had something going on.

Not that my life has slowed down by any means since my move to the big city; but now I have more time to do the things that I love. Whether it’s going to happy hour/dinner, reading a really good book, or just hanging out with my roommates, it is so nice to not have to stress over school work.

I have already read three books this summer and I might actually finish that needlepoint belt I started over a year ago. I have also rekindled my love affair with the kitchen and am looking forward to trying new recipes. On that note, the oven timer just went off. Time to go!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Great Start to the Day

I did this circuit, this morning:

15 jumping jacks
30 push ups
15 dips (which I took to mean split squats)
50 squats
40 crunches 

You are supposed to do it 3 times, but I am a little out of shape so I modified it:

Round 2:
15 jumping jacks
20 push ups
10 dips
30 squats
40 crunches

Round 3:
15 jumping jacks
10 push ups
10 dips
20 squats
40 crunches

Killer, right? Thank you Iowa Girl Eats for her take on this 40 day challenge work out.

So after feeling the burn, I decided to reward myself with this for breakfast:
Almond Butter & Banana Oatmeal
(The plastic container made the lighting weird.)
Stove top oatmeal made with almond milk, cinnamon, a banana, and almond butter...recipe idea taken from Iowa Girl Eats. Shocker, I know. But let's just say, it was absolutely amazing! It made my Thursday morning so much better. I normally savor my coffee in the mornings at work and then eat a later breakfast, but not today! I dove right into my oatmeal as soon as I got to work. Yeah for great starts to the day!