Holiday Craft Project

I’ve had a craft project in mind since I saw an etsy pin on pinterest.  I’ve been collecting wine bottles this year in order to create my idea.  The other week, I headed to AC Moore for decorations.  The basic idea was to create snowman and santa wine bottles.  I always find myself having a hard time giving gifts to my non-immediate family members, but who doesn’t love homemade holiday decorations?!?!

Step 1: remove the labels off of the wine bottles.  I soaked the bottles in warm soapy water and most of the labels peeled right off.  For the ones that did not, I used goo-be-gone.

Step 2: spray paint the bottles (red and white)

Step 3: let dry!

Step 4: decorate 🙂  see final product below for inspiration

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Ray

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Wow…Where has the time gone?

I’m not really sure where my head has been, but it hasn’t been interested in writing blog posts.  Between my annual meeting and wedding planning my free time has been spent in front of a computer, but not with any motivation to write here.  I also feel like I haven’t really had much inspiration to write.  I am unsure if I will continue with this blog or say my goodbyes.

A few updates on life…

1.  My Annual meeting at the beginning of this month was a success.  My boss was extremely pleased and isn’t sure how I can make the next one better.  Eeeeek, a lot to live up to!

2.  A promotion is in my future.  I’m excited for that, but also a little scared!

3.  Wedding planning is going great.  All the vendors have been selected and now onto the little details!

I’d love to hear what my readers have been up to!  Hope life has been going well and you are getting ready for the holidays!

Ray

Here comes the bride….

K-Ten/Penguin/My Sister/Brother in Law and I had bought tickets months ago to go up the Washington Monument at 6:00pm on August 9th.  The 4 of us arrived early via Uber so we decided to walk down to the World World 2 Memorial.  As we were walking past the Washington Monument, I was reading the back of the tickets and it specified no weapons, knives, explosives, etc.  We were discussing if we would have to go through a metal detector which might be an issue for my sister cause she likes to carry a pocket knife in her purse.  Guess to fend off all those crazy animals she sees out in the country.
The Penguin pushed the subject one more time which I blew off as irritating…like how do I know what we are going to have to do inside?!?!?!
We made the walk down and played tourist taking fun pictures if front of MD/PA/VA.  We started walking back up to the Washington Monument (K-Ten was texting as she was almost there and didn’t know where to meet us).  The Penguin wanted to take some pictures in front on the Washington Monument…weird because when does a guy ever want to take pictures?!?!?!  I was kinda suprised, but we all rotated around to take goofy ones.  The Penguin then said me/him should take a serious picture.  I leaned in and he made some odd movement, but leaned in as well to take a picture.  Then he dropped to one knee!
He said something along the lines of “Will you do me the honor and marry me.”  I responded “Are you kidding…awkward pause…YES.”  I proceeded to take the ring out of the box and then realized he should put it on so I handed it back to him and stared at the shinny diamond!  Some passers by offered their congrats (it was nice because a lot of people weren’t around us).  Sister/Brother in Law gave us hugs and then we had to hike it to the entrance because it was almost 6:00pm!
K-Ten came walking up to meet us (no idea anything had happened) and I shoved the ring into her face 🙂  It was pure happiness.
Typical questions I have been asked so will spare you…
1.  The Penguin did ask my Dad (at the check out line at Lowes a couple weeks ago)
2.  He has had the ring for about a month
3.  Only his mom and BFF knew he bought a ring, but didn’t know when he was proposing
4.  Sister/Brother in Law I had no idea
5.  I am hoping for a Septmber 2015 wedding
6.  Our guest list is currently 340 people which WILL NOT WORK because I cannot afford that shit
Be ready for some awesome posts as we navigate the wedding planning process.  My sister is already calling me a Bridezilla!!!!
Ray

New Schedule Because of a New Addition

I’ve finally started to work out again this week.  I decided trying to fit in a workout after work wasn’t happening.  If I had a miserable commute, I had no desire to then workout and make dinner.  I could only muster the energy to do one of those things and food always won out over exercise.  In addition to waking up early to get my fitness on, I’ve also added two morning walks to my routine because of this cutie!

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The Penguin and I adopted a pet from the Washington Humane Society. I’ve been wanting to get a dog of my own for a long time and when I saw WHS was offering $10 adoptions, I just couldn’t pass this cutie up!  We have had her for a week and she is obviously still adjusting, but I just love her.  I can’t wait to get home at night to play with her and cuddle up next to her.

I know I have mentioned that owning a pet is like having a child.  The responsibility is huge and your life changes because of needing to let out and feed another thing, but we are ready for the challenge.  She seems to be perfectly content sleeping all day, but is ready to go whenever we pull the leash out.  She is calm in the car and likes to sniff new dogs. She doesn’t really know how to play with them so we are going to work on that with some puppy play dates/dog park excursions.

I am so excited to have her as a part of our family and I can’t wait to share more dog stories with you!

Ray

A Magical Mini-Vacay with Thousands of my BFFs

Before my Annual Meeting in Orlando, the Penguin, my sister, her husband and I took three days to explore Orlando aka visit the parks.  We hit up Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Universal- Islands of Adventures.  Unfortunately, MK was a bit crowded.  When I say crowded, I mean most rides had 45-60 minute waits.  We still had fun, but being surrounded by thousands of people with no space to relax and truly experience the magic was tough.

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Epcot was a lot more enjoyable. The pathways were larger and not as crowded so we were able to take a little more time to enjoy.  We did spend the whole day there (9:00am-10:00pm).  The wait times averaged 30 minutes and we were also able to visit all the countries and partake in some food/beverages.

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We had a great time at Universal, but it definitely had more rollercoasters which aren’t my sister’s cup of tea.  Harry Potter world was awesome, but SUPER crowded.  They really didn’t plan that well with the size of the “shops.”  We went there as soon as we got there and the castle ride was still a 60 minute wait.

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My advice for first timers…

1.  Get your tickets in advance (not will-call)

2.  Wear comfy shoes, you will stand/walk ALOT

3.  Disney- you can get free cups of water from the restaurants and not spend money on the bottled water.  I was surprised at how affordable the food was though.

4.  Disney- fast pass (you get three per park with your ticket), use them for the more popular rides in the middle of the day when the lines are the longest.  It is definitely worth planning out your day with the fast pass and what rides you want to go too (it will save you from back tracking).

5.  Universal- Islands of Adventure- you will get wet on the Jurassic Park ride and you will get soaked on the Popeye white water rafting ride (save these for last)

6.  Bring snacks with you to save money!  And don’t forget your sunscreen.

Ray

DC Restaurant Week

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love trying out new restaurants.  I have a hard time telling someone a favorite restaurant I have in DC because I never go to the same place more than once…there are just too make great places to try!!!!

I love trying out places during restaurant week, but the one thing to remember is DO YOUR RESEARCH.  Some places are definitely NOT worth going to for restaurant week.  I recommend you compare the restaurant week with the list of Washingtonians Top 100 restaurants.  This is a great way to make sure you are going somewhere you would typically spend over $35 for a three course meal.  The other thing I recommend is to check out the menus.  For someone like myself who has some very specific dislikes, I want to make sure the place has good options for me.

This week, I tried three places…

1. Urbana- 2121 P Street, NW

This place had a 4 course menu and I loved it!  Lots of great options for me and the Penguin.  The scallops were cooked to perfection with a great cauliflower puree and a little heat from so sauteed scallops.  And they had a cheese plate for dessert which is right up my alley since I don’t like sweet things!

2.  District Commons- 2200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

We happened upon this by accident.  Our recognition lunch was here for participating on the Worklife Enhancement Committee.  This was also a great option with lots of choices.  You could get any entrees off of their main menu which range from $14 salads to $20 steak!  I had the appetizer du jour which was cheesy risotto balls…delish!  And the crab cake sandwich with sweet potato fries which were both really tasty.  This place also has a pretzel loaf for their bread option prior to your meal which is super tasty as well.

3.  Charlie Palmer- 101 Constitution Ave, NW

My mom and I tried Charlie Palmer’s out for lunch which was a great deal because the menu was almost identical to their dinner restaurant week menu.  We really enjoyed the two appetizers we got- braised pork shoulder with cavatelli and the roasted beet salad with crisp goat cheese.

I definitely think all three places are worth it for the meals we went to during restaurant week.  I hope you had some good experiences.  Let me know where you tried and if you recommend me going there next RW!

Ray

Addicted to Subscription Boxes

My sister gave me Birchbox a year ago for my birthday and I love it.  I love having a box of goodies come to my door every month!  It is great because I get to try things I would never buy and attempt to advance my beauty routine.

Birchbox was just the beginning for me though.

I’ve tried several other subscription boxes and am dabbling in some new adventures as I type!  Give them a shot…it’s an awesome feeling to come home to a box of fun once a month.

1. Conscious Box– I saw a groupon for a three month subscription to this box, so obviously I signed myself up!  Its a box of 10-15 natural products ranging from snacks, bath/beauty products, vitamins, supplements, and kids items.  I enjoy the variety, but haven’t found anything that I absolutely love and would buy again.

2.  Stitch Fix– my mother’s co-worker told her about this awesome service and I decided to give it a try.  You pay $20, complete a style profile and then get a box of 5 clothing/accessories pieces.  I’ve gotten two boxes so far and really do enjoy receiving them.  The biggest draw back is the price of the items is more expensive then I typically pay for clothes since I’m an outlet shopper.  I do feel as though they have given me some awesome pieces that I would never buy for myself, but I find my self returning items purely because of the price.  I definitely recommend it though if you are looking for a way to spruce up your wardrobe.  Shipping is free and they make the return process super easy!

3.  Bark Box– I bought a 3 month subscription of this for my Mom and her 4 great danes.  She got her first box in the mail and loved it!  The toy has already been destroyed by the puppy, but the box provided a lot of treats for all to enjoy.

4.  Glossy Box– Again, I found a Living Social deal for this subscription box and jumped all over it since my birchbox has expired.  This is a similar concept, but the products are considered “luxury.”  I haven’t gotten my first box yet, but as soon as I do…I will report back!  I am super excited to try this new box!!!!

Are there any boxes I am missing out on and need to try?  Let me know!

Ray