Monday, March 12, 2012

busy yet relaxing weekend

Ross and I dancing at my friends' wedding, November 2011. (All images copyright vjmStudios. Duplication on any media without express written authorization is prohibited.)

My hard work at the office last week paid off. Each Friday my manager's two teams get together for a meeting; each of these meetings ends with a section termed "Mad Props". This is an opportunity for any individual to congratulate and call-out exceptional effort or note-worthy contributions of a team member. Mad Props can be verbal or include a small token, such as a balloon, candy, a box of tea, etc. This Friday I got a Mad Prop from my team lead for quickly responding to a client's request and managing the next steps. It was really unexpected and led to finishing my week on a high note!
My Mad Prop!
When I got home from work on Friday I had a great surprise waiting for me... my very first order from My Habit. Thanks to my friend Alexis for introducing me to My Habit. It's an Amazon sample sale site, similar to Rue La La, Gilt, HauteLook, and Ideeli. And oh my gosh, I just went on to look at one of the swimsuit sales... the image of the model in the swimsuit moves around! That's such a fantastic feature of MyHabit and lets us (the consumers) really see what we're going to buy. Last week they had a Delman shoe sale and I scored the coolest pair; black suede lace-ups with woven wedges. I cannot wait to wear these in Cabo!

Ross and I planned a low-key Friday night in. We both headed to the gym after work (so proud of myself for staying on track with my training!) and enjoyed some cocktails and popcorn while watching NYPD Blue on our Roku player :) I got a late start to dinner, as we didn't even sit down to eat until nearly 9:30 pm. That was fine by us, the Chicken Parm was a great meal to enjoy and we were in no rush. After dinner I went back into the kitchen because on Friday afternoon I had a sudden urge to bake. I did some quick online research and suggested two recipes for Ross to choose from. He requested the Pear, Cranberry, and Gingersnap Crumble - a great recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog which I was first exposed to via Cupcakes and Cashmere. We enjoyed this warm out of the oven at 11:30 and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was sweet and tart, a real treat. (Note: I used frozen cranberries because I didn't come across any fresh ones in the store... didn't notice an issue at all!)

So delicious. The ginger snaps in the crumble made a good difference!
While that bad boy was in the oven we watched Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon - well, Ross was watching it. I was finishing my third and final gift for my trapeze instructors and glanced up every few minutes (usually when Josh Duhamel was on screen). I'm so glad that my gifts are done on time, and I am really excited to give them to my teacher's this Wednesday to say thanks for all of their hard work and support! I will have to take a picture of the wrapping because they came out super cute. I used brown paper bags to cover each painting and secured it with kitchen twine (nope, I did not use any tape). Then I made individual gift tags and strung them on. It's such an adorable look!

Re-learning fractions as I study for the GMAT.
Despite getting to bed later than usual on Friday, my Saturday was a really busy and packed day! I woke up early to do more GMAT studying, gave myself a new art deco inspired manicure, and hoped off to volunteer for 4 hours with the Junior League! The DC League has a thrift sale each Spring, the items are mostly donated from the 2,000+ JLDC members and range from clothes to housewares to furniture and electronics. You want it? We've got it! When I got back home Ross had already met up with our friends visiting from out of town, so I took the time to shower and get ready. It was quite lovely not having to rush as I really do enjoy the process of getting ready!   

Art Deco inspired nails, found via Pinterest.
Since I was already missing out on the fun with our friends, I decided against using the Metro (transferring would have taken too much time) and instead I opted to use Uber for the first time! Uber is an on-demand car service; use your cell phone (app or text) to tell them where you want to be picked up and you'll receive a text message when the driver is arriving. Rates ($7.00 flat plus distance [if you're traveling >11 mph] and/or time [if  you're traveling <11 mph]) begin when you are picked up not while the driver is on his way to you. It's great, you slide into a nice black town car and get whisked away to any destination you please! When you arrive at your destination you simply get out. Uber already has your credit card information from registration and tip is included! They say prices are approximately 60-75% more than a cab, but when DC cabs don't take credit cards or frequent your neighborhood, this is a great go-to solution. Also, there is no per-person fee, rates are flat and thus this can be a really convenient way to travel through the city with a group of 3 to 4 people. Plus, you get to feel like a rockstar when your car pulls up front and you casually get out and saunter inside. Well, at least I did!

Saturday night dinner was at Logan Tavern. Have you ever been there? You must go! And you HAVE TO order their garlic calamari - it is  OUT OF THIS WORLD. Oh man, now I'm hungry. Also because I'm thinking about my Sunday morning brunch at Luna. That egg white omelet and those crispy hash browns were t-a-s-t-y. Then there was food shopping and Sunday afternoon snacking (edamame hummus with baby carrots and pretzel crisps), evening snacking (rosemary crackers with brie & hot pepper jelly and sharp cheddar), dinner (capellini with chicken and broccoli and a spinach salad with homemade croutons made from whole wheat sourdough bread) and dessert (more of that oh-so-awesome tart!). Is it lunch time yet?

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