Wedding Bells All Around

The Penguin and I had several weddings to attend this year.  It helps going to weddings to see what we do and don’t like.  Granted, we both have a fairly clear idea for our wedding plan, but it just solidifies what we want!

Do:

1. Hang out with your friends and family!  I want to spend as much time with everyone as possible.  We are planning to involve everyone in our Friday night activity (no sit down rehearsal dinner).

2.  Prepare our guests as much as possible.  Inform them we will be providing a shuttle and of all the pre/post wedding activities.

3. Open bar for the duration of the wedding…no stopping during dinner service!

Dont:

1.  First dances.  I find them awkward and uncomfortable.

2.  Cake!  Neither of us love cake, so why bother.

3.  Flowers won’t have a focal point at our wedding.  They die and I prefer to use things at the wedding that I can keep for the future.

Looking forward to the 2015 wedding season.  We have a Boston wedding, Turks and Caicos wedding and a Pittsburgh wedding (just to name a few).  Here are a few shots from three of the weddings we went to in 2014.  Love all the special touches each couple incorporated!

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Ray

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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

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

Summer To-Do List

I was inspired by Cupcakes & Cashmere to create a summer to-do list.  Mind you, I am no where near as fabulous as she is (writing her second book) and all, but I thought it would be fun!  Do you have a summer to-do list?  If so, please share!

1.  Start working out regularly again

2.  Create of a list of the jewelry I own which includes pictures, what the piece is and where it came from (my memory has already faded and I want to be able to remember years down the line the significance of the pieces I own)

3.  Go to a community board meeting

4.  Possibly join a community committee….I’m nervous about this one!

5.  Take Gypsy to a dog park

6.  Catch up on my scrap-booking (last event I scrap booked was a wedding in November)

7.  Buy a new nightstand and a filing cabinet for both the Penguin’s and my important documents

8.  Go for a hike

9.  Check out some Virginia wineries

10.  Read some books!  Any suggestions?

Ray

Friends within the Villages

I live in an area that has a TON of residential units!  My building has 6 units while my little courtyard area probably has 20 total units.  I have made NO friends within my courtyard. Yes, I know some people by first name, but that is about it.  I just met one person that has been living within my building for over 2 years and when he asked how long I’d been there he was shocked it had almost been a year.  A full year of not meeting someone within my building seems crazy to me.

I really wish I had friends within my complex.  I keep telling myself to go to the monthly meetings or join a committee, but that hasn’t happened yet.  Maybe soon!

I do meet a lot of people walking the dog, but no friendships have been formed.  The great thing that happened recently was realizing one of Jeff’s friend of a friend lives literally 2 blocks from us.  We have now become pool buddies and Sunday dinner friends.  It is really a great feeling to have someone so close!  I envision great fun being had with this new group of friends!  I just still wish I could form some other bonds with people within the community.

Any suggestions on how to do that for an introvert like myself?

Ray

New Job=New Food Scene

Now that I work somewhere that is actually within the heart of DC, I have options for dining!  I don’t go out to eat at lunch to save money, but I have had several vendors take me to lunch and gone out to dinner with friends near by.  Here are some of the great places I have gotten to experience since working at my new job.

*Excuse the lack of pictures, I have totally been slacking!

1.  DC Thai Restaurant, 1018 Vermont Ave NW- great hole in the wall, inexpensive lunch specials, but could use some sprucing up (especially the carpet to the restaurant upstairs)

2.  BLT Steak, 1625 I St NW- to die for pop overs that you get complimentary!

3.  Joe’s Seafood, Prime, Steak and Stone Crabs, 750 15th St, NW- this is a new restaurant and has DC class/elegance written all over it!  The stone crabs (my first experience) were interesting…tasty, but I just found them a little hard to eat.  Absolutely loved the shrimp/scallop ceviche and the side of mashed potatoes are to die for!  The crab cakes were also very tasty.

4.  Estadio, 1520 14th St, NW- delicious adult slushies, but very small for the $9 they charge.  The halibut and chicken dishes we got were great, definitely want to go back to try more…just not a huge fan of the prices!

5. Doi Moi, 1800 14th St, NW- sister restaurant of Estadio, loved the clean lines and vibes at this place so light and airy which is nice since the food is SPICY.  I love spice though so it was right up my alley.  Everything was flavorful and we sampled a lot of items with good variety- sliced raw scallops, steamed garlic chive and mushroom dumplings, green papaya salad, stir fried lemongrass beef on vermicelli noodles and the chiang mai chicken and noodle curry.  I think my favorite was the papaya salad!  Again, can’t wait to go back and try some of the other options.

Some other places I am wanting to try….The Red Hen, Blue Jacket, Daikaya, Roofer’s Union, Rosa’s Luxury, Right Proper Brewery, Central, Newton’s DC, El Ray, Eat the Rich! So many options and great places to eat in DC.  Bring it on baby!!!!

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