Our newest addition!

Well hey there!

I kind of left you guys hanging back in January, didn’t I? Whoopsie! Welp, we’re in the house and it’s great. Really. :) I have moments where I miss the city (and I think those moments will actually become more frequent as the weather gets warmer and I start to crave patio drinking) but for the most part I’m loving the house and suburban living.

Plus…

WE GOT A PUPPY!!!!

His name is Frankie and he’s (we think) a Lab/Shepherd mix. We adopted him on March 18th when he was 10 weeks old and I think I fall in love with this dog more each day. Good GOD he’s adorable. Hands-down the best part of having this house is having the space for a dog. We have a huge backyard and a great walking neighborhood.

Ok, another Frankie pic:

Our biggest struggle so far has been crate training. As in he HATES his crate. Hates it. Thinks it’s his own personal hell. We’re adamant about crate training. I like my things and I don’t trust my puppy to roam around the house all day when I’m gone and NOT chew shit up. The thing is, when I’m at work I can’t hear the crying/whining/howling (I know, I’m the worst puppy mom. Whatever.) It’s nighttime that’s the problem. Some nights are better than others, but ALL start and end with the crying/whining/howling.

Since I know you’ll ask, here are the details:

-The crate was downstairs in the living room for the first 4 weeks. Last night we decided to move it upstairs to our room, which resulted in a GREAT night. He cried when he went in for about 10 excruciating minutes, but didn’t wake us up with his cries at all during the night or in the morning.

-We used to have it covered with blankets but that didn’t work well because he pulled the blankets through the holes in the crate and tore them up.

-We give him treats when we put him in and sometimes give him a longer-lasting bone/rawhide to keep him occupied.

-We praise him when he’s in there.

-He gets toys to play with.

Now that the crate is in our room, I’m expecting it to get much better. But I don’t WANT him in our room forever. Our room is for sleeping and *wink wink* time and I don’t want a dog or a cat or (eventually) a baby to interrupt that. So…any tips for getting a dog to love it’s crate? Does it get better? (Everyone said it does and I’m beginning to think all of you assholes were LYING TO ME!) (Sorry, I didn’t mean to call you assholes. Ok maybe I did. But I say it with love!) And seriously, how the HELL does anyone handle cry-it-out when it’s a human baby??

Ok one more Frankie pic because I just love him:

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How I’m really feeling

I want to preface this by saying I am really, truly very happy we bought a house. It’s a great house and I can’t wait to make it our home where we raise a family. We have a yard (for a soon-to-be-adopted puppy!) and tons of space to make our own. So again, I repeat, I am happy.

Having said that…I’m also incredibly sad to leave where we currently live. I’m not necessarily sad to leave our apartment, although it has treated us very well for the last year and a half. What I’m having difficulty with is giving up the “city” lifestyle. Literally hundreds of bars, restaurants, and shops are in a 5-10 minute walking distance. I can’t even explain how much I love this luxury and how much I will miss it. Our new house is a short drive from “fun stuff” (short being a relative term since it takes at least 30 minutes, if not an hour, to get anywhere in the DC area), but it’s just not the same.

We targeted Bethesda as a place to move not only because it’s where Josh found a job, but because we wanted to have a similar lifestyle to what we had in college (minus the classes, homework, and 3 day binge-drinking weekends and plus a bit more disposable income and responsibility.) Bethesda was the perfect solution! We became a one car household, Josh was able to walk to work, and we had a damn good time exploring our new city and enjoying everything that came with it.

Now, we’re packing up and moving to the suburbs. To a great house, yes. In a great neighborhood, yes. And it *should* go without saying that I’m incredibly grateful and lucky that we can afford to buy a house and blah blah (because I can just hear some one saying “Oh poor her, moving to a nice big house. What a sad life.”) The point is, I’m growing up and I’m scared. I think what scares me the most is becoming the dreaded (to me) boring married couple? Josh and I are fun, outgoing, party people. We like to go out to dinner with friends, have drinks, maybe go dancing or just go to a bar after. Homebody isn’t a word I would use to describe either of us (and god help me if it ever is…) and I just don’t want this to mark the end of my fun years.

Get ready, Joe! We're movin' on up!

But there’s no turning back now and I don’t regret what we’re doing one bit. Here’s to the next chapter!

Since we’re all around the same age, how are you all handling growing up? And how the hell am I ever going to handle having a kid?

Posted in Bethesda, Emotional, House Stuff, Life | 12 Comments

House Update!!

By this time next week we’ll be living in our new home. Our new home that we bought. As in, we have a mortgage. That shit’s for LIFE, yo.

When I last talked about the house, we had just put in an offer. Long story short, they countered and we accepted their counter offer. The inspection went relatively well and they agreed to fix certain things that were broken and/or credit us to fix them ourselves.

A wrench was thrown into the whole thing when a house across the street in the same price range popped up on the market. From the pictures it was gorgeous inside and technically we could still get out of our contract. Upon seeing the other house, I fell in love with the updated kitchen and bathrooms and the overall “doneness” of the house. Our house has a lot of work that needs to be done and I’m just so worried about all of the time and money and decision-making it involves. This house was already done for us! It was perfect! Except it wasn’t. The yard wasn’t ideal (it had a very steep slope and no fence) and the kitchen work was actually quite poorly done. After a mini nervous breakdown (and by “mini” I really mean I sobbed for a good 20-30 minutes) we decided to continue on with our house. It was really the best decision for us and I’m happy. :)

Signing wasn’t as painful as everyone told me it would be and we’ve slowly been moving things over for the last week. Our official big move is this Sunday!

I really want to post pictures of the house, but I think I’m going to wait until our stuff is in there. Just wait until you see some of the fun ‘lil things the previous owners left us. Let me just say this: the 70s lasted more than one decade in their house.

Ok maybe just one.

(This photo is from the original listing, which I’m not going to link.)

Please note the moose head above the fireplace. It isn’t there anymore (darn) but it will forever haunt our home. Also, I want to paint the brick but Josh says no. Humph.

And yes, that’s a birdcage.

Posted in House Stuff | 20 Comments

A Very Pinterest Christmas: Food, Glorious Food!

I’m linking up with Amy of The Bookworm Wife to bring you festive holiday finds from everyone’s favorite obsession, Pinterest! 

If you’re anything like me you’ve procrastinated in pretty much every area of Christmas. Gift shopping, hall decking, meal (and outfit!) planning, cookie baking, card sending, etc. And if you’ve already finished all of this, well, I’m not sure we can be friends because clearly you’re just way too organized (I kid…kinda.) But now, with just over 2 weeks to go until the Big Day, it’s time to haul ass and get our shit together.

Today let’s talk about something very, very important to me: food. God help me, I freaking LOVE eating at Christmas. I love Thanksgiving, sure. But my mom always gets creative with food at Christmas and oh dear, it’s just really good. No boring turkey here (ok, turkey isn’t boring but we JUST HAD IT…no need for it again.) Plus, I feel like Christmas is all about baking and I’m not really a baker (although scroll down to the end for some amazing sweets) so I wanted to highlight the savory side of Christmas cooking.

Here are some recipes I found (via Pinterest, of course) that are sure to wow your family!

Starters

Stuffed Mushrooms. These things are a pain to make but so, so, so worth it.

 

Mini Caprese Salad on a Stick. I haven’t made these but I adore anything “mini.”

 

Deviled Eggs. But you’re only allowed to make these if you promise that you will never, ever, EVER put anything chunky in them. No pickle relish, no onions/shallots, no celery. Blech. If you do this, you are dead to me. However, you absolutely *should* top them w/ crushed red pepper instead of paprika. Just a tip from me to you. :)

 

Main Course

Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp. My mom makes a version of this but with butter instead of olive oil. I personally think butter is the way to go here, but I’m sure the olive oil is absolutely delicious as well. Serve with spaghetti! We typically eat seafood on Christmas Eve.

 

Rosemary-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin. It truly does not get any better than perfectly roasted medium rare beef tenderloin. Cooked properly you should be able to cut it with no more than a butter knife and it will melt in your mouth. Uuuggghhh so good. We usually serve beef on Christmas Day.

Source: saveur.com via Emily on Pinterest

 

Sides

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta. I’ve made these before according to the recipe and they were really good, but my mom made them a bit differently and she said they were AMAZING. Basically the only difference is you roast the sprouts before you shred them. So roast, shred, add to pancetta, die of happiness.

 

Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan. Listen, I don’t like a lot of green foods. But properly cooked green beans? Are my JAM. They need to remain crisp and not mushy or bitter. This recipe is perfect as is. Make them now.

 

Roasted Potato Stacks. If you’re making the tenderloin, potatoes are a MUST. It’s like, a rule. These are perfect when you’re feeding a crowd. Everyone gets their own portion! Now I need a mandolin…Santa?

 

Dessert (I like the idea of offering lots of little things for dessert as opposed to a pie, cake or cheesecake. Although I’ll take any of those as well.)

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. I mean, these actually exist. And they’re legal (as far as I know.) I’m for SURE making these for Christmas. And New Year’s Eve. And my birthday (February 19th.) And President’s Day. And Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And…do I need to go on?

Source: jamhands.net via Emily on Pinterest

 

White Chocolate Peppermint. Apparently I need a candy thermometer to make fudge? Ok then, add that to my Christmas list.

 

Cinnamon Swirled Gingerbread Bars with Toffee Chips. Gingerbread is one of those quintessential tastes and smells of the holiday season. Combined with cinnamon swirly goodness and toffee chips? Die.

 

What are your favorite Christmas meals? Have you found any amazing recipes via Pinterest? Oh, and follow me on there. :)

Posted in Christmas, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The exciting (and mildly terrifying) next steps

Hoookay.

Right. So the post I published yesterday about house hunting was actually written 10 days ago. Apparently, a LOT can happen in 10 days when you’re house hunting!

Last Sunday we had appointments to see 3 houses. The first and third were fine, livable, but nothing that made me go, “Oh! I like it!” The second one, however, did catch my eye.

(Taken from the listing, which I’m not going to link.)

From the pictures, I wasn’t crazy about the the outside but I thought the rest of the pictures showed an interesting house. When we drove up and I saw the house in person, I changed my tune quite a bit. It was pretty much the first house (out of probably 10 we’ve seen) that made me go “I don’t hate this! I actually think I really like it!” Josh was shocked and hopeful. But I knew the inside would be the real test.

I’m not ready to reveal those pictures yet, but I will say the inside is very nice. There are things I would like to change, but I think that’s inevitable with any house. The bones of the house are good, the lot itself is perfect for us, and it’s in a great location (only 5-10 minutes from some very close friends!!) Walking through the house I got a really good feeling and could start to see myself living there.

That was Sunday.

By Monday I’d sufficiently freaked myself out. Things were moving so fast, numbers were being thrown around, and it seemed as if decisions were being made without me. Not good. Not good at all. After thinking about it, I realized I’d seen the house with two boys (who are best friends) and what I really needed was to see the house with a girl. Luckily, our realtors, Mike and Rachel, are a husband and wife team. I emailed Rachel that night and made an appointment with her the following day to see the house again.

Cue big sigh of relief. Not only did I still like the house, but I also felt much (MUCH) better after talking about decorating and “girly things” with her.

Soooo after really thinking about it, talking it over with Josh, my mom, his parents, his sister, and my grandma and THEN talking about it with Josh even more (clearly my decision-making skills need a bit of work), we’ve decided to put in an offer!!

That’s all you get for now…updates to come!

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So there’s something I haven’t told you…

**Originally written 11/8/11 in anticipation of making this announcement on the blog at a later date.

Now that we’ve told our families, I can finally announce that Josh and I are officially….

(Source)

Ha, you thought I was gonna say “pregnant” didn’t you?

Josh and I haven’t talked about this with anyone except a few close friends (who also just bought a house in the DC-area), our friends who are realtors, our parents, and his sister. I’m the kind of person who wants to have as much information about something like this before putting it out there. I want to be able to answer any questions that come my way

It started back in late August when Josh sent me a link to a house he thought I’d like. (Well, it actually started months before that when we had our friend who is a realtor set us up with a search that met our criteria, but that was originally just for fun. But I digress.) Turns out, I loved the house from the pictures! It had a lot of charm on the outside and inside, hardwood floors (very important to me) and best of all, a red front door! We picked a day to see the house, along with a few others that caught our eye.

Since the little graphic up there says house “hunters” and not house “owners” you can probably guess that none of the houses we saw that day worked out. But it did make us think a little more seriously about home ownership. We’re not aggressively looking and we’re not going to open houses every weekend, but we’ve met with a mortgage lender who gave us really great advice AND told us what we could afford. Our realtor also showed us a few homes last week (again, none that made us want to put in an offer) which helped us further define our “wish list.” I’m excited to see where this process takes us in the next 3/6/9/12 months!

Current and former house hunters: any tips??

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Oh, hey there!

Well. This is awkward.

I never intended to stop blogging for 5+ months. I even have a few half-finished posts I probably could have mustered up the energy to complete. But instead…yeah I just kinda gave up.

(source)

What had happened was event season got crazy, I took on a new role at work, my free time and weekends became non-existent and when I *did* have time to write, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I know I could have kept up with it if I’d made it a priority. But for me, spending time with my husband and my friends always comes before spending time blogging.

HOWEVER! I think I’m back. I can’t make any promises since the holidays are fast approaching and, well, I sometimes get overwhelmed this time of year. Hopefully I can get back on track and resume entertaining the masses (aka my 20 or so readers.)

So, what have I been up to the last few months?

We saw Kenny Chesney at Fed Ex Field for Josh's birthday

We went wine tasting in Virginia wine country

We traveled back to Ohio for Josh's cousin's wedding

Then we traveled to Ohio AGAIN to "rough it" in Hocking Hills

We spent a few days down in the OBX

We watched two of our closest "Maryland" friends tie the knot (and do the Hora!)

And I coordinated an EFF-TON of weddings (22 from May 1-Oct 31, to be exact)

If you read the caption in the last photo you’ll see how many weddings I did this summer. TWENTY-TWO. Good lord, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I learned a lot in the last few months…but that’s another post for another day, my friends. :)

So, if you’ll have me, I’d like to consider this my “I’m back” post.

But in the infamous words of one Mr. LL Cool J…

(source)

Don’t call it a comeback. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

BBAD

It’s no secret that I super duper pink puffy heart my blog buddies. I mean seriously, did you see the post about our DC meet-up? Good times, my friends, gooooood times.

Today I’m taking part in Blog Buddy Appreciation Day.

(Sweet badge thingy, KJ!)

I couldn’t do it last year because I was on my honeymoon, so I’m really excited to do it this year. Basically you talk about your blog buddies and how super sweet they are. I can do that! Of course, I love all of my blog buddies equally and if I could write a paragraph for each of you I would. But that would take, like, a long time. And it’s time I don’t really have right now. I know you understand. :)

The first blog buddy I want to highlight is Steph from Forget Me (Not).

Steph and I have become good friends not only online but also in real life. She’s one of the first real friends I made in DC and for that I am eternally grateful. Not only do Steph and I get along swimmingly, but Scot (her fiance) and Josh get along as well! It’s hard to make “couple” friends (especially *new* couple friends in a new city) so knowing that we can call up Steph AND Scot makes me really happy. Thanks for being such a fun, loving, and fun-loving blog buddy AND real-life buddy. :)

The other buddy I want to give some lovin’ to is Amy from The Bookworm Wife. (I don’t have a picture w/ her but someday I hope to meet her!) Amy and I followed each other’s wedding journeys and from there a friendship grew. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but Amy and I are not only blog buddies but also rant buddies. We DM each other on Twitter and just bitch. It’s nice to have some one who will listen to the each others silly rants that come up during the day. Plus she just seems like such a *real* person, if that makes sense. And I like that. A lot.

Did you participate in BBAD?

Posted in BBAD, Bloggers | 9 Comments

Year One

One year ago today…

Josh, thank you for being the best husband a gal could ask for. I love you so much.

*All photos courtesy of Linczak Photography. Hire them.

Posted in relationship, Wedding | 14 Comments

Be jealous

This past Friday I had the extreme pleasure of meeting some of my favorite bloggers (and their significant others, but sorry guys, my loyalties lie with your ladies!) I can honestly say it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time. We’ve been planning this meet-up ever since Anni and her fiance Ross decided to spend a long weekend in DC…back in March! Needless to say, we’ve all been looking forward to this for quite awhile.

We started the evening at Cafe Green near Dupont Circle. It’s an all-vegan/vegetarian menu which, I’m not gonna lie, kind of scared me. While Josh is fairly adventurous when it comes to food, I knew he probably wouldn’t go for that kind of place, so we grabbed a quick bite before. BUT! I did try the “Raw Cheesecake” at Cafe Green and let me tell you it was delicious. Even Josh was impressed. And the wine was good so that’s always a plus. Of course, I have no pictures from our time at Cafe Green, but I’m sure if you head over to Anni’s blog this week she’ll have a few.

During dinner we did what any normal group of internet friends would do: called another internet friend who lives in another state! However, Layla, being the call-screener we all knows she is, didn’t pick up. So we left a voicemail that was probably at least 5 minutes long. Sorry, gal! Thankfully she called back and we all had a chance to talk to her. Just fyi, she is SO CUTE on the phone. The southern accent gets me every time.

After we finished at Cafe Green we headed over to Front Page for some more drinks and dancing. Finally I brought my camera out to play.

(L-R: ME! Claire, Anni, Steph, Megan, Maria, and Jess!)

Steph and I really do love our wine.

This was meant to be a trendy shot of our drinks…it ended up being a gratuitous shot of our boobs.

This is from the city where I went to college!! I thought it was so random that they had a newspaper from Athens, OH. 

I was definitely ready to dance so as soon as they opened up the floor I ran to claim a spot. The DJ at Front Page was absolutely terrible, but I managed to bust a move anyway. The wine certainly helped.

It looks like we’re judging something/some one…I really can’t remember. Jess, I want to see the resulting pic of you and Anni!

What’s so funny??

Get it, girls.

If I can be real honest for a sec, I’m fuzzy on the details of a lot of these pics. I remember taking them, but the scenarios escape me. For example, this one of me and Josh:

No idea. None. 

One by one the girls began to leave and before we knew it the only ones left were me, Steph and Josh. So we danced a bit more, judged the shitty DJ,

Dude seriously, why are you SO BAD at this and how do you have a job?

and took one more pic to end the night!

Yay friends!

Girls, I had so much fun with all of you. To those of you who I hadn’t met,  I’m so glad we were finally able to meet. To those of you who I’ve met before (or known for 20 years), I’m so glad we could get together again. I’m incredibly blessed to know such amazing women. I can’t wait to see everyone again soon!!

**EDITED TO ADD…**

I have a few observations about the girls who I hadn’t yet met.

-Maria: Cutest laugh ever!! Was not expecting that. Seriously, adorable. This is going to sound weird, but I really love making people laugh but I love even more when they have cute laughs!

-Jess: Hilarious!! She has the best one-liners ever. The things that came out of her mouth…just hilarious.

-Anni: So little! How did I not know she’s like the tiniest most adorable lil thing ever? (I say that with a lot of love, Anni. Not making fun of you at all.)

*I know I don’t have to say this, but all pictures are my own so please ask before taking them. Thanks!

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