Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Uneaten Cookies

Does anyone want to come over and help me polish off my Girl Scout cookies? If you can believe it, I've eaten about five cookies, out of THREE boxes in the past few weeks. I just feel too guilty to indulge. I'm amazed at my own self-control really. I mean, we're talking Girl Scout cookies! I'm afraid they'll actually go bad before I finish them. Yet when given the opportunity to take them over to a gathering of friends, I get selfish, not wanting to share. Because once they're gone, they're gone. And that is probably the real reason I won't eat them. I'm afraid of using them up. It's like my favorite pair of shoes. I won't wear them, because I don't want to wear them out.

Ridiculous, I know. But if you came for a visit, I would definitely share.

Have you finished yours yet? If so, you may need to make your own. I found a couple of recipes over at Baked Perfection, and although I haven't tried them myself, I'm going to take this girl's word for it. I'll just file them away until my cookies go bad and try to recreate the deliciousness in my own kitchen.

Which are your favorite? Samoas? Thin Mints? I'm hoping she'll post a recipe for Tagalongs next. Mmmm. Maybe I'll have just one before bed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Love . .

-Caribbean popsicles from Trader Joe's (Caribbean = strawberry-coconut-pineapple)
-cherry blossom season
-Reeses peanut butter eggs
-basketball playoffs
-helping a friend decorate her apartment

Oh, and this:
The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks kind of cheap here, but that's the problem. It's not. I've promised myself I wouldn't buy anything this month (other than food). Nothing. Which is harder than it sounds. Because that means no books, no nail polish, no magazines, no nothing. You try it and see how it goes. And the only thing more fun than bringing home something cute is saving the money and watching your credit card debt disappear. I'm so close, I can taste it. A few months of denying myself will be more than worth it. Not buying makes you realize what you already know is true - true happiness isn't found in things.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Busy Days, Relaxing Nights

"Girl, you're gonna have your hands full," said my new colleague.

I've got twelve hours under my belt in the new position, and so far so . . stressful. Kidding. A little.

I'm not trying to be overly dramatic here. I can be, but I'm not. The busyness is a welcome change to the boredom I've had for the past few weeks. This gig will be a good challenge for me, and I know I'll learn a lot. It's so much different than anything I've done before, and to be honest, I'm still surprised that I even want to do it. We'll see if I'm still saying that in a couple weeks.

The hours will be longer, which is fine. I already feel as though there aren't enough hours in an evening, but perhaps this will give me a new perspective. I've savored the past two evenings, soaking up time with people I love, spending time with my Father, and re-charging my batteries.

I caught up on my favorite night-time drama, "Friday Night Lights", with the girls last night, laughing, sharing sushi, and enjoying a dessert of ice cream sandwich bites covered in berries and whipped cream.

Tonight I baby-sat the little girls I love. We ate moist, delicious two-layer chocolate cake and played with each others' hair.

I feel so blessed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You Never Know

Never say never. But I said it again. When I saw her in the hallway and gave her sympathetic eyes knowing the long hours she was putting in and how hard he was to work for, I said, "I could never do that job".

And then my boss recommended me for it, said I'd be great. I heard him saying nice things about me behind his closed door. He called me in and asked if I'd consider it, moving to a new office, working for a new boss.

I'll find out tomorrow if I get it. My "interview" went well today, and they already said they want me, but it depends on which position is the priority to fill. It was supposed to be temporary, but they're talking permanent. My colleagues say I have to take it, it's too good of a career move, and besides I "never get flustered", and I can handle working for him. Ha, try never show I'm flustered. "Some are worried he'll chew you up and spit you out," my boss said. "But I told them you're tougher than you look."

I know he's right . . but I hope he's right.

Bottom line: Philippians 4:13

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Burn and Consume

Oh 60 degrees, are you really going to leave me for another 10 days? Today was so lovely that I'm not sure I can bear to see you go. I only wish I'd spent more time enjoying you today.

Instead of getting outside, I agreed to hit the kickboxing class with a friend. We earned every bit of the queso and Salvadorian food we devoured afterward at Guapo's, too. How does this sound?: a roasted half chicken marinated in Acapulco style sauce, covered with sauteed onions, green peppers, and tomatoes. Oh it was every bit as good as it sounds. And full does not even begin to describe how I feel right now.

On top of tonight's delicious meal, I also tried another new spot this weekend for sushi. Lotus was more of a lounge than a restaurant, but the limited food selection was delicious. I went with a standard rainbow roll, but was able to try out some deep-fried roll ordered by a friend. To be honest, it tasted more like a corndog than raw fish. Once the techno came on, we left for the more casual setting of an Irish pub.

Meanwhile, I kept an eye on the Madness all weekend. I made enchiladas and chocolate chip cookies for the gang on Friday night and watched most of my picks advance, but yesterday and today I've become pretty confident that I won't be winning either of the pools I'm in. At this point, I'd rather lose and watch the Big 12 continue to play well. My brackets don't show too much confidence in my conference, but I hope MO, KS, and OK show the Big East and the ACC that they're not the only ones that can ball. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009


I am so happy that greener grass, warmer temperatures, and pretty flowers are on their way!

I’ve been daydreaming about baseball games, runs along the Mall, walks through my favorite neighborhoods, dinners outside, and freshly-painted toenails.

What about you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring is On Its Way

Its crazy to think that just three years ago, I was living in a new San Diego apartment, just two miles from the beach in Del Mar. And three years ago to the day, I took a jog along that beautiful beach.

There aren’t any beaches within walking distance here, but today I took a jog to the Lincoln Memorial and then past the Arlington Cemetery. It was my second trip to the Memorial today. Only two blocks from my office, I went and sat on its steps in the sunlight with all the tourists this afternoon. The weather was perfection. It may not be San Diego, but I love it here, and I can’t wait for Spring to come and stick around for awhile.

Treat Yourself

Get some. I did.

But I still can't get the Tagalong ice cream from last year out of my head . I didn't spot it at the store. Has anyone seen it this year?

"Shoe Bling"

Although at times creative, I wouldn’t consider myself a “crafty” person, not by any stretch of the imagination. The extent of my DIY interests would be the re-painting of furniture or replacement of knobs – anything relatively simple that doesn’t require a lot of patience. But I may have stumbled upon an idea that could fit nicely into that box. My friend over at In the Tweeds adapted a little project from Martha Stewart that has me quite inspired. I’m betting your crafty juices might begin flowing after reading her post, too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Measuring Productivity

For the past two weeks, I have had little to nothing to do at work. We're in a bit of a holding place right now, and I'm worried that once things begin to pick up again, I'm going to be all, "What?!, you mean I don't have time to read the ENTIRE Wall Street Journal anymore??" So lately, productivity has been measured on a different scale. And so, I think I could actually consider today to be very productive.

Here are just a few things I did:

- Advised my friend as to which airport she should fly into when visiting me next month

- Paid a few bills

- Learned of a potential replacement for domino and Cottage Living lovers – Canadian House & Home

- Filled out my March Madness bracket, while researching nearly every team before making my picks

- Looked into tennis and photography lessons in the area

- Collected several new recipes online

- Discovered a site full of recommended Biblical commentaries (I’m currently studying 1 Corinthians and 1 Peter)

- Found out about the future of bakeries: bundt cakes

See? Totally productive.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was just the slowdown I needed, filled with the following indulgences:

- Gifford’s coconut ice cream with hot fudge

- an Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea movie marathon

- waffles and eggs at the Silver Diner

The Anne movies are only the best movies of all time, hands-down. Sweet, funny, and the perfect kind of romantic. I like to call it “realistic romance”, which is actually more romantic than all that fantasyland crap – which I can’t say I never indulge in. If you hate people that add their own soundtrack, then you should never watch this movie with me. I will squeal, and sigh, and gasp through the whole thing even though I know what’s coming. I’ve loved this movie for over 15 years. Still dying to visit Prince Edward Island.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Punish, er tax the rich!

This, my friends, is why I have such a hard time swallowing Obama's agenda. His plan is to not just raise taxes on "the rich" in the middle of a recession, but to punish them for their wealth. Just take a look at his budget, explained well in this WSJ article.

*One example of punishing investment: A relative of mine recently purchased a very expensive home, encouraged to do so because of the mortgage interest deduction he would receive. (I'm sure the builder was grateful for this purchase given the fact that it had been sitting on the lot for many months.) He also regularly gives a sizable percentage of his income in charitable donations. President Obama plans to dramatically reduce both mortgage interest and charitable donation deductions. My relative said he would not have purchased that home had he known about the reduction. Of course he'll continue to give to charity, but giving more money to the government means he won't have as much to give away. He certainly won't be making any big purchases, stimulating the economy, anytime soon.

It seems ironic to me that President Obama is so concerned for those who are less fortunate and wants to decide which "charities" our taxpayer money should go toward, when a look at his public record of giving shows that he hasn't indicated the same compassion in his personal life. It's quite something to learn that my parents, who make a tiny fraction of Obama's salary (which in 2005 was $1.7 million), gave a FAR greater percentage of their income to charity. Biden isn't even on the radar screen. But then again, he's the "poorest" Senator in Congress, and he only made $319,000 in 2006. Our last VP gave 77% of his income to charity one year! Unbelievable.

You may also want to check out this ABC News story about upper-income taxpayers now finding a way to side-step Obama's tax hike plan - as in trying to lower their incomes! And here's another fantastic piece: "Why Make $300,000 When $250,000 is So Much More?"

One woman in the above piece is quoted as saying, “The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make, but if I’m going to be working just to give it back to the government — it’s de-motivating and demoralizing.”

*shakes head in disbelief*


Perfect evening = Chik-fil-A, TCBY white chocolate fro-yo, Thin Mints crumbled on top, the new J. Crew catalog, and The Office.

(And Grey's.)

Can I tell you how many times I've driven 3 miles to TCBY only to learn they were closed for the night? The last time I had their fro-yo was forever ago in Omaha. Best Friend introduced me to the white chocolate flavor. She always orders it with cookie dough chunks mixed in. Except tonight. She called to let me know she'd gone with golden vanilla instead. She's back in Omaha for a visit, and I wish I could've been there eating my fro-yo with her.

Over a week ago, she called with news just a bit more exciting than TCBY. Best Friend is having a baby! I'm already an aunt to my brother's son and daughter, but now that BF is expecting, I'll get to be an AUNTIE (that's AWN-TEE up in the Shire). :) I imagine this is what it will feel like when I discover my sister is pregnant someday (hopefully a long time from now - Enjoy young married life, Sister!). There's something very special about having your closest friend carry a child.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend Update

Some weekends it’s nice to have nothing planned - to sit on the couch in your jammies all day reveling in unproductivity. This was NOT one of those weekends!

Last Monday I returned from Seattle to temps in the 20s and snow on the ground. The city must’ve been determined to win me back over, because this weekend our temps hit 80! And my weekend was an eventful attempt to take advantage of the warm weather.

On Friday evening, KC and I whipped up an easy dinner for 9 of sloppy joes, salad, fries, and cornbread. We played a little Apples to Apples with our large group before heading out for a looong night of country line dancing.

The next morning, I awoke early with just enough time to throw on my golf gear and grab my clubs for a run by Chik-fil-A for chicken biscuits and 18 holes on a hilly course in Maryland with KC, Georgia, and (another good guy friend) Reno.

Just as KC was dropping me back at home, another friend pulled up to drive us out to Fredericksburg to visit the boating boys. I threw my overnight things in a bag, and an hour and a half later we were enjoying a night around the firepit in their woodsy backyard. S’mores were definitely involved.

After the neighborhood brunch buffet on Sunday morning, the four of us drove even further into the country where a secluded rock quarry on private property gave us plenty of room and an abundance of targets at which to shoot the boys’ handgun, AK-47 and AR-15. What a rush to blow stuff up. :)

I've posted a video here.

Completely exhausted from too few hours of sleep, I still chose to watch the Duke/UNC game with friends that afternoon and have a pleasant dinner outside with The Girl. I returned to the boys’ apartment for dessert before finally forcing myself to hit the sack! Eight and a half hours was heavenly.

I’m hoping next weekend will be chill enough to provide a recovery from this one.

I definitely have full-blown spring fever now, and I’ve already begun thinking about my summer entertainment. Here’s a preview.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Seattle Download

I'm going to take a deep breath right now, close my eyes, and remember how great Seattle was this past weekend. People, I am so over sharing an apartment with three other girls! And the main reason I'm so fed up? the kitchen. How hard is it to remember that other people use the fridge, too?, so you can't stock up at Costco or buy ten apples and ten oranges. You also might want to consider wiping off the counters or putting dirty dishes in the empty dishwasher. I am no neat freak, but the frustration is about to bring tears.

Again, back to thoughts of Seattle. It was lovely, just as it was last month, only moreso because I was able to spend five nights and four whole days there! And K was a fantastic hostess!

Once again, I booked a room at the Westin downtown. Their rooms are spacious, lovely, and of course come with a King-size Heavenly Bed. Rather than a view of Puget Sound (and ahem, The Texan's obnoxiously tall office building), I asked for a view of the Space Needle. I made quite a few two-block trips to Pike Place Market in my free time, perused the lovely handmade items, and even caught a fish. Oh, and oops, looks like I fell into Urban Outfitters, too.Dinners alone included a trip back to that outrageously expensive steakhouse (for the grilled sirloin salad and a slice of white chocolate coconut cake) where the doorman and bartenders were so nice, and a meal at an upscale diner where the chefs gave me $30 of free appetizers (caviar pie and house cured beef bresaola) before I ordered the black cod with baby bok choy and chocolate pecan pie a la mode. *Closing eyes and remembering how delicious that was.*
By Friday evening, I was completely free from any work responsibilities, so K and I met up, along with her young male friend (who I was so stoked to meet since she's written about him) for a happy hour full of seafood and beer at Ivar's on the waterfront. It was then that she laid out the tentative weekend plan . . and it was good.

That next morning, we grabbed some donuts at Top Pot and headed to Mount Rainier for a day of snowshoeing. I would imagine that many might initially find the idea of snowshoeing dull and unexciting, but it was definitely one of the coolest things I've ever done. Contrary to fresh powder slopes packed with skiers, the snowshoeing experience took us up the mountain to a place so quiet, I was sure we were the only ones for miles. Surrounded by blindingly white snow and gorgeous peaks off in the distance, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. Are you convinced yet?

The only bummer was not being able to see the top of Rainier. As we got closer to the mountain, a nice big cloud of fog settled over the top. Guess there's always next time. :)

That evening, we had a delicious dinner in Ballard and ended the evening with a drink at an urban-y bar. Due to the donuts that morning, I had opted out of dessert after dinner . . but someone just happened to leave their birthday cake behind at the bar, and you know me, not wasteful when it comes to food.
My last day *tear* was Sunday, and we got up just in time to make it to Mars Hill for church. I listen to their sermons online quite a bit, and I only loved it even more live. The rain began as we walked back through Ballard, stopping at the Lock.spot for salmon chowder and halibut and chips. Fantastic!

I'll spare you all the pictures, but we also walked down to The Locks, where boats pass between Lake Union and Puget Sound without mixing fresh water with salt water. The rest of our busy day was filled with seeing the Troll, the Gasworks (with a great view of Lake Union and the skyline), the Ballard Farmer's Market, and a few other neighborhoods in town.

And that last night in Seattle ended with this:
I had such a fun time with K, and I can't thank her enough for being so hospitable and spending her entire weekend with me.

Oh and K? I am totally craving pb & banana on toast right now.