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

IMG_6015

Ray

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

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

No Hangovers For me in 2014

I came up with a new years resolution as I was napping away the day with a hangover from last night.  I will not get a hangover between now and June.  Why June you ask?  I figure if I can go 6 months with no hangover…I can go the rest of the year with no hangovers.  Let’s see how these first 6 months go!

Now, I’m not one for resolutions because I feel like I should always try to make myself a better person, but I do have some overall things I want to focus on this year…

1.  Continue to progress in my career- either get a promotion where I currently work or start looking for a new job where I can continue to learn and grow

2.  Volunteer- I am super excited to start volunteering at an animal shelter starting in May once they re-open their volunteer program after completing renovations

3.  Work on my health- continue to eat healthy and keep up a work out plan…right now I am very sporadic so I hope I can get back on the right track and keep something consistent going

4.  Save some mula!  I’ve got to start saving again and I am trying out this new budget system I read about over at the Heart of Light Blog

Any new goals or focus for you this year?

Ray

PS: I received my first glossy box and am so excited to try out these products.  I was so surprised by the size of the items!

IMG_4641 IMG_4642

Discussing the Holiday Schedule- A Fight No One Wants to Have

I am obviously a planner and think about my schedule 6 months in advance.  When it comes to holidays, I never travel because the majority of my family is local.  I’ve been complaining in my head for some time now about how I know I won’t be spending the holidays with the Penguin.

Granted, I haven’t even broached the subject with him, but I know he typically goes home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He has already taken the week off around each holiday.  So obviously, I assume that we won’t be together….which makes me really sad.  I mean, isn’t one of the benefits of having a significant other to spend holidays together?

The topic came up casually one day over g-chat because I mentioned how he would be leaving me for two weeks in the winter.  He said he knew we still needed to talk about the holidays, but that it was a fight he wasn’t really ready to have yet!  Ha, so I guess he is just as anxious about the plan as I am.

The issues I have…

1.  For some reason, my Mom claims Thanksgiving as her holiday now and would be sad if I went out of town.

2.  My team takes off around the holidays and I get stuck holding down the fort

3.  Technically, we have a “no-leave” allowed between November 18-December 2 due to AMS integration.

4.  Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday to spend with family since for the past few years my sister hosts it at her house and the majority of my family comes (both Mom/Dad side).  I love prepping for the holiday, making food and opening gifts with my fam.

So yea, I’m not sure how this will work out.  But my guess…is there won’t be much compromise this year.  How do people handle the holidays when the other family isn’t just a short car ride away?

Ray

MIA

I just realized I haven’t posted since May 12.  My former colleague reminded me she has been keeping tabs on me via the blog…but I have since let her down with my lack of posts!  Ooooops.  Sorry all, I’m back now!

The last few weeks have been filled with lots of friends, family and work!

1.  A week in West Virginia with my Dad for a relaxing time away from cable tv and internet

DSC_0281

 

2.  Memorial Day weekend in Pennsylvania meeting the Penguin’s family and attending a wedding

9342_873520371392_1341826049_n

3.  Short trip to Orlando for a planning meeting and site visit for our two upcoming meetings

photo

 

4.  Several miserable days fighting a cold and attending a country concert (Tim McGraw at Jiffy Lube Live)

photo

 

And now, here we are!  A stormy Sunday evening, catching up on TV shows and relaxing before the week begins.  I have to start house hunting again (my offer wasn’t accepted on the last condo I wanted) and I need to continue studying for my certification course….but I just want to be lazy.  Maybe I’ll get to those things tomorrow…

Ray

Kicked Out

Only 3 months until I kick it out of this country. I’m slowly started to realize that I’ve gotten pretty comfortable in the last 5 years of living on my way and basically enjoying my life. Does anyone know the equivalent of Sephora or Target is in Scotland?

I’m slowly starting to realize that my summer is filled up with family and friends. I’m going to be at many house parties and family gatherings as summer shines upon us. I could not be more thrilled. Afterall, I’m not only doing this program for myself but also for my family.

If you had three months in your hometown, where and what would you do with it?

J