Monthly Archives: April 2012

Friday {Week in the Life}

Friday morning, I awake yet again to my alarm buzzing on my phone that rests in the hallway.

I fire off my Thursday {Week in the Life} post, realizing yet again that my weekdays don’t really make for good blog fodder.  Realizing it’s time to head to work, I pull on my favorite spring work dress, a colorful vintage pieces that was my mom’s back in the 1960s.  It’s almost on the side of “too-wacky-and-vintage” for my rather straitlaced office environment, but not quite, especially not on a Friday.

Friday Week in the Life1

There’s craiglist furniture-to-sell and bags of wedding stuff cluttering the living room, but that’s life. I snap a photo anyway.

~insert tiring workday here~

At 5:30 pm I realize that my eyeballs just can’t stare at numbers and dollar signs any longer, and I head home.

We’re joining friends for dinner tonight, so I detour by my local wine shop, the Vienna Vintner, to grab a bottle or two of wine.  I’m a huge fan of this wine shop – Victor, the owner, is always willing to help me choose just the right wines at whatever price point I need, even though I most likely am one of his cheapest customers.   I also can’t resist some getting some chocolates for Ryan. Sadly, only 60% of the chocolates make it home alive. . . as the others are already consumed by yours truly.  Well, at least it’s a 60% gift for him. 😉

I have just enough time to change clothes before we head out the door to Falls Church.  We make a pit stop at another wine shop, Red White and Bleu, to pick up some yummy cheeses and charcuterie.

Our friends live in a tidy, modern little condo in downtown Falls Church.  I was stoked to see that CC, who also did the bulk of the planning for my (not-yet-blogged-about) bridal shower, has reused some of her DIY decor for dinner that night.

I’m also thrilled to see that she’s reused some of the copper vases she used in her wedding.  They had the most gorgeous wedding flowers ever, using upcycled copper vessels collected from thrift stores, etc.

We have a delicious dinner.  We visit with our friends.  We come home well-fed, well talked-out, and ready to sleep in the next morning.   Because Ryan keeps telling me, after all, that that’s what Saturday mornings are for.

Thursday {Week in the Life}

Thursday morning:  Another successful attempt of waking up to my alarm that’s placed in the hallway.  I really swear by this method for lazy waker-uppers.

My otherwise lovely and quiet morning is rudely interrupted when my cat is not content to just sit and purr in my lap.  This morning he’s purring and walking in place. . . and suddenly I realize he’s basically dry humping in my lap. GROSS.  I can’t believe I’m even sharing this. . . but seriously. . . what a rude awakening it is.  I toss him off my lap, saying “come back when you’ve learned your manners, dude.”

This literally happens as I am typing the part of my Wednesday Week in the Life} post that describes my cat curling up all cute in my lap.  WTF, cat?

I finish my Wednesday {Week in the Life} post, and then set out to answer some emails.  Randomly, I decide to make some bacon for me and Ryan to munch on.  Bacon Bacon Bacon Bacon!  This makes my otherwise quiet and uninteresting morning much more lively. Bacon makes everything awesomer.

Shameless, Un-sponsored Bacon Plug!

I buy Niman Ranch bacon; if you’re trying to eat more ethically but don’t want to give up meat (bacon!) this is a good brand to go with.  It costs a dollar or two more than the usual suspects, but Niman Ranch is an ethical company that treats their animals humanely and respects the land as well. I may not want to give up eating meat again, but I do want to know that the animals at least enjoyed a good lifestyle before they were slaughtered.

End shameless bacon plug.

Then the usual happens:  Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work I go. I try to avoid talking in detail about my day job on the blog – I think it can be dangerous to mix the two.  What I will tell you is that I wish I had a more exciting work week.  Many weeks I’m attending interesting small business conferences or attending meetings downtown – a few weeks ago I sat across the table from some members of congress and last week I worked a conference where I literally talked to small business owners all day, for 9 or so hours.  I don’t get excited about those things, but either of those meetings would have spiced up a {Week in the Life} post.

I don’t leave the office until 6:30, but that’s ok because I know we’re going out to dinner and I have no tasks planned – other than cleaning my office – for the evening.

This is where all the excitement starts!

Ryan’s been on a “trying random restaurants” kick lately and it’s been a lot of fun.  Last week we tried an Ethiopian sports bar one night, and a Vegetarian Indian restaurant another.  Both were amazing. We are so going back to each of them. Even if we were the only white people there, and got some funny looks.  :)

This week we weren’t so lucky.  The Irish pub in downtown Fairfax, VA was surprisingly empty for a Thursday night in a college town.

When I ordered my Irish beer, I couldn’t remember which kind I liked.  When I asked the waiter, he told me that he hated beer.  Funny, but not a big deal.

But the weirdness started with the Guinness BBQ Wings, which actually tasted like they were basted with a really lame General Tso’s sauce. . . or with ketchup & orange juice.  They were sweet and fruity and . . . gross.  We told our waiter – not complaining, but just letting him know we didn’t need to keep them on the table.  He responded by telling us that very matter of fact that he wasn’t surprised, since “none of the sauces made here really taste like they’re supposed to.”


The waiter basically just dissed his restaurant’s products.

We raised an eyebrow but then let it go.

And then we heard our waiter taking an order from the ladies sitting behind us, who were asking for recommendations.  Cue the waiter:

“I pretty much hate everything on the menu because I’ve eaten it too much.

But I can tell you what stuff isn’t too bad.  I can also tell you which stuff is really bad.”

Ryan and I were frozen in place, listening to this guy “sell” these ladies on the food.

The woman orders the crab cake sandwich.  The waiter asks:

“Are you sure you want that?  (Like she’s making a huge mistake.)

The woman actually defended herself, saying “Yes, I’ve had it before.”

Wow.  Just. . . . wow.  There were more comments that we overheard in the evening, but this sums it up.

Thursday Week in the LIfe Corned Beef

Sadly, our food wasn’t that good.  Ryan was disappointed in his fish and chips (though the onion rings were awesome) and my corned beef was so dry and flavorless.  I know how to make a mean corned beef at home, so this was doubly disappointing.

We paid the bill and rolled out as soon as we could.  Granted, the waiter did tell us at the end that he took the wings off the bill since we didn’t like them and didn’t eat them, but after hearing his negative comments we had trouble taking him seriously.

Things looked up, though, when we popped into Woody’s Ice Cream for dessert.  A true old-school hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop, this place had the cutest old man working behind the counter.  I didn’t ask, but I’m 100% sure it was the owner – probably named “Woody.”

Big deal:  Ryan actually let me take his photo to include in this post.

Thursday Week in the Life Ryan

The sun was setting as we walked through old town Fairfax back to the car.

Thursday Week in the Life Fairfax

We made a quick stop at Goodwill – but didn’t find anything spectacular – before heading home.

I proceeded to watch Bewitched and 8 Simple Rules on Hulu while cleaning up my office and filing bills and paperwork.  Fun stuff!

Then I was off to bed, where I managed to squeeze in a few more pages of Stephanie Plum before passing out around midnight.


Wednesday {Week in the Life}

6:09 am – My very cozy slumber is ruined by the dinging of my alarm.  I want so badly to head back to bed, but the little walk out into the hall to turn off my alarm gives me enough time to talk myself into staying awake.  After stumbling into the kitchen and plugging in the percolator, I curl up on the sofa to “wake up” while the coffee brews.

Apparently I brewed disappointment this morning.  When I pour my much-anticipated cup of joe, all that greets me is tan colored hot water.  GROSS!  I don’t know how I got the proportions so off.  I’m extremely frustrated – it’s way too early to deal with bad coffee – but I make another pot, with much better results.

6:30 am – It feels like I’ve wasted precious moments of quiet morning blogging time, but now that I have my coffee I head to my office and finish up my Tuesday {Week in the Life} post.  There’s photos to download and watermark, writing to be done, and then of course a final editing read-through. Even though many people say you don’t have to write perfectly when you blog, I try to ensure that I write well.

As I blog, the cat sits in my lap, purring up a storm.  This is our little morning routine – he seems to get really excited about morning blogging time.  I attempt to take a photo of this.

Cat thinks I”m crazy.   “Seriously, lady? I haven’t woken up yet!”

Wednesday Week in the Life2

He really gets excited, and will headbutt everything:  The desk, my knees, my chin, my hands as they type . . Sometimes he likes to headbutt my cup of coffee *while* I’m sipping from it.  That does not fare well; it usually ends in bad words coming out of my mouth as the cup is slammed against my jaw and coffee is sloshed everywhere.   (He has a very strong headbutt.)

Here he is getting ready to headbutt.  At least the coffee is safely out of the way.

7:24 am – Hit “publish” on my Tuesday {Week in the Life} post.  Hooray – I’ve managed to stick with it for two whole days in a row. :)

Now it’s time for a coffee refill.   I can not impress upon you how much I love my morning coffee.

7:33 am – This part of the morning always makes me a little sad. I know it’s time to shower and head into the office, but I really just want to sit at my computer and write.  Once I get to work, though, it’s no problem diving into what my job requires . . . it’s just that little transition from doing what I really love to going to a cubicle for the day.

– – Insert busy workday here.  – –

On the way home from work, the Container Store is calling to me.  I have to make a return, but in the process I see a really cute build-your-own planner set by Russell+Hazel.  It’s not cheap, but it appears to be just what I need, in the perfect purse-size binder.  I decide to buy a few parts, and decide at home if I want to keep them.  Later, when I see that they’re not any cheaper online, I rip open the packages excitedly. :)  The three parts I got (for now) are the Mini Lime 9 x 7 Inch Binder, the Mini Lime Notes Paper, and the Mini SmartDate Weekly Sheets – which will allow me to write out my schedule.  I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to use it yet, but I feel like one notes sheet each week will be for work to-do lists, and another will be for business/blog to-do lists.  We shall see.

6:00 pm – Mr. Merlin and I gear up and head out for a walk.  I’m not feelin’ it today, so we only do about .6 miles.  But at least we did something.

Ryan and I have leftover BBQ pork tenderloin for dinner.  Damn, it’s good.  I microwave the entire dinner. . . frozen green beans, leftover pork, and sauerkraut.  It seems to create very little mess in the kitchen. :)

Wednesday evening is spent working.  It’s not fun, but it’s got to be done. We’re coming dangerously close to our April 30th deadline at the office, and when you’ve got deadlines for the government you don’t mess around.

11:18 pm – I head to bed.  It actually feels luxurious, like I’m going to bed “early” tonight.  Last night I only made it through one page of my book before nodding off. . . tonight I’d like to read just a bit more.

I didn’t have a lot to share on Wednesday.  I think that’s because the day was so mundane – with the exception of that new planner :) but some days are like that.  Even in Australia.

Tuesday {Week in the Life}

6:00 am My alarm goes off, and I wake up. . . for a moment. I really want to get up and blog about a home project, but I lie there realizing that I don’t have any photos loaded. I quickly feel defeated and fall back asleep.

Later, when I wake up around 7, I realize that I could have started my {Week in the Life} post – so I start the coffee, then hurry up and dash off a bit of that post. The day always gets off to a better start when I’ve had a chance to sip my coffee and blog a bit before heading off to the cubicle for the day.

The day in the office is just as busy as yesterday’s, only with fewer meetings. I leave a bit early so that I can get to the post office in time to buy some pretty stamps and mail the WEDDING INVITES! :)

4:55 pm Just in the nick of time, I pop into the post office. Cherry Blossom stamps are the only ones that are even remotely attractive, so they’re the ones that I stick on each and every wedding envelope.

Whoosh! Down the chute go the envelopes,  and just like that I’m reminded that I’m *really* getting married.  I feel really awkward as I snap a furtive photo of the act. :)

Tuesday Week in the Life Mailing Wedding Invites

5:20 pm –  Exercise has not played a big enough role in my life lately, so when I arrive home I immediately set off on a short walk. Charlie’s still recovering from her spine infection, so she can’t go on these walks with me and Merlin. I keep his leash in the car – that helps prevent the total freakout that occurs when the coat closet door opens and I jingle a leash onto his collar – but Charlie still knows she’s being left out and she doesn’t like it one bit.

Once outside, I set my Runkeeper app on my phone and take off.  Runkeeper is great because it not only logs your activity, it also creates a map of where you went on your walk.

Tuesday Week in the Life Merlin Walk

The walk is one of the best parts of the day, and now that it’s spring there are so many things to catch my eye.  This yard, in particular, grabs my attention – because it’s the kind of yard I’d love to have someday.  The way the bushes are grouped throughout the yard, creating so much visual interest – it beats a plain green grassy yard any day.

Tuesday Week in the Life Yard

Near the end of the walk I get to a little stretch of woodsy trail.  I love this part of the walk, because it momentarily feels like I’m miles away from everything.  Merlin splashes in the creek before taking off up the trail.

Tuesday Week in the Life Path

5:45 pm – Sit down to catch my breath from my vigorous walk and do a little blog reading, and finish my Monday {Week in the Life} post.

6:00 pm – I’m in the mood to sip something tasty, so I pour a small glass of the Linden Vineyards Late Harvest Vidal wine.  The 2003 vintage has aged amazingly well.  If only I had some stinky blue cheese to pair with this sweet, honeysuckle and apple-y dessert wine, then I’d really be in heaven.

Tuesday Week in the Life Linden Late Harvest

I have a little fun with the camera, taking photos of all the sediment (aka wine diamonds) on the cork.

Tuesday Week in the Life Wine Cork

Hm. . . now am I motivated to clean up my pigsty of an office / dressing room? 

Oops. . .Ryan comes home from work and he throws off my attention span since we start talking about work drama. (We both work for the same company.)   Guess I’ll have to clean up the office later.

7:13 pm – I finally finish the Monday {Week in the Life} blog post.  Ryan is outside starting the grill, which means it’s time for me to clean up the kitchen (again) and make dinner.  At least we have a yummy BBQ pork tenderloin to look forward to tonight!

Tuesday Week in the Life Grill Tenderloin

8:00 pm – Woohoo! Dinner cooked, we sit down to dig in with the show Joe Schmoe on DVD.  My BBQ pork tenderloin was seriously tasty – thank goodness there’s enough left for about 3 more meals!

Tuesday Week in the Life Dinner

8:30 pm – With the Joe Schmoe show still playing, I set about cleaning up the mess on my sewing table that was created by the previous night’s wedding-invite-assembly. I also start some laundry.  Yeehaw, I have an exciting life.  😉

9:00 pm – Time to get sewing.  I have just a few more custom pup pad and pillow orders left to fill before my shop is “closed” for the wedding countdown.  I’m hoping to finish everything by Friday, so that the weekend can be totally wedding-focused.

11:30 pm – Finally, I’m finished sewing for the night.  I package up the orders,  set up my coffee so it’s ready for the morning.  I’m proud of myself for managing to serve dinner without making a disaster in the kitchen this evening.

Tuesday Week in the Life Coffee

11:50 pm – My bed looks oh-so-cozy (to my cat too, apparently) and I’ve got a few minutes to curl up with Stephanie Plum (13th book in the series, I’m hooked) before falling asleep.

Tuesday Week in the Life Bedtime

Knowing I really want to wake up early Wednesday morning, I set my alarm on my phone, then set my phone on the floor of the hallway.  Having to haul my butt out of bed and into the hall to turn the alarm off forces me to really think about whether or not I want to go back to sleep.  Here’s hoping it works like a charm in the morning.