Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Milo and I wanted to quickly wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! We hope the holiday is everything you hoped for this year! If you don't celebrate Christmas, we hope you enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year!

And best wishes for an awesome 2011!

(I had just told Milo he may have been too ambitious with such a big stocking....he was setting himself up for disappointment.....needless to say he wasn't that thrilled with my commentary....)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Crap #5

So I assume you can guess from the title, I have "won" (I know I know its not really winning if I pay for it) another BOC from Woot! If you aren't sure what a BOC is...see my first post about it! I decided to make it fun and do a blog post every time I get a BOC! So without further adu, here is Random Crap #5 and some random crap from me!

Ok one adu...I realized that I miscounted in my last blog post. It was my FOURTH BOC not third. So this is really my fifth BOC. I changed the past post title, but I didn't want to go change everything within the this is my general correction, and I apologize that I can't count even though I have a degree in math.......(yea I know)

Soooo now without further adu...

BOC #5 – Woot-Off Dec 1, 2010

[random crap[6].jpg]
Photo from Woot! Website

This was a pretty medium sized BOC. I didn't weigh it myself but the FedEx Tracking claims it was approximately 1.4lbs. The box was about 5''x9''x13'' and it was pretty light. 

There were only four unique items in this BOC....

Item #1 - Digital Photo Frame Keychain

Brand New! Holds 50+ Pics! Has a calendar & shopping list!!! Yea I think this keychain is a bit big for me....hmmmm who needs a stocking stuffer???

Item #2 - Universal AC Adapter for GPS Chargers

Another brand new item...I think this is sort of interesting. I very rarely use my GPS while not plugged in while driving. I'm crossing my fingers (well I'm fairly confident) that the name of this item is unnecessarily specific and perhaps it can be used on more than just GPS chargers. This would have been REALLY useful last year when I left my wall charger for my phone at home in NJ. Its definitely one of those things you don't think you need until you need it.

Item #3 - T1 Series Tech Light Tool Logic (2)

I honestly don't really get what these are except for red lights that have mini tools that come off and look like they can clip onto a belt or hook onto a keychain........well I did find one fun use for it....for about 30 seconds....

Side Story: Over Thanksgiving my family and I figured out that we could torture Milo with a lazer on the ground. It was hysterical but it drove him absolutely nuts. He would chase the light around the yard I might invest in one for the park. He never figured out where the light was coming from...but I think since this was only a regular red light it was easy for him to figure out.

Moving on!

Item #4 - Blingin' Clutch Purse - aka "The BOC Bag"

Ummmmm looks like I'm ready for any New Years Party! Actually looking at the colors...this purse MAY have actually worked with my outfit from a holiday party this past weekend...

Anyway...that was my entire BOC...not the best but not the as always!

Laura's Random Crap
Now for some Random Crap from my life!
  • It has been REALLY...and I mean REALLY...cold out...but I'm pretty sure the entire East coast is aware/suffering through this...including Florida.
  • The cold weather is making Milo stir crazy...I still go to the park with him...but the other day it was rainy which even he doesn't like....and even though he knew it was rainy...he wanted to go out constantly...and then want to go right back in...and was pacing around alllllll day...I feel bad for my pup in the winter :-/.
  • Speaking of the pup...he has started to howl in his dreams. Like seriously HOWL at the moon howl. He has never howled while awake, but starting over Turkey Day...he started having howl worthy dreams...and he woke me up doing it the other day...I really want to know what he dreams about!
  • I can't stop Facebook baby-stalking my two cousins for pictures...I LOVE when I get to see new pics of the new babies...they are tooooo cute! I also can't wait to see Alegra again over Christmas!!! :-)
  • My sisters are hysterical and left the best Christmas video for me on my Facebook wall...its honestly probably not funny to anyone else...but I LOVE it!!!
  • The Sing-Off makes me happy. I think (out of those left) I'm rooting for The Backbeats...I am really impressed by their singer Joanna and their beatbox girl Courtney! But overall they are all great groups!
  • My living room has had a makeover over the last few months. There is sooooo much more space than there was when I first moved in. The couch is the only hand-me-down piece left...but it has recliners so it can stay for a bit. My mom surprised me with the shelf lamp in the corner and the storage ottoman. I was nervous that the ottoman would crowd the space, but I think it works great as some seating on that side of the room for parties/games. Now I need things on the walls:
  • Yes...that is The Sing-Off on TV in that picture.
  • I have been doing a few sewing projects on my new Singer...I went back and forth between 2 pretty basic Singer machines...this one won my own personal Sing-Off (ba-da ching!)
  • I had such a great time at my friend Danielle's Holiday Party this past weekend! She makes a TON of wonderful food and hosts a lovely party! I can't wait until next year! Thanks for the food and fun Danielle!
  • I painted my nails what should have been a festive dark green. It was one of those colors where 1 coat doesn't look right but 2 coats makes it look black. I have gotten multiple comments on my "black" nails. I have a few colors that do the same thing. I recently thought of a possible solution...if it works I will be blogging about it.
  • Whenever I buy games for people as gifts (board/card/multi-player video) I always secretly wish I could try playing them. I love games. If I ever give you a me a favor and play it with me? Please please please?!?!?! My cousin Tobey learned this with my grab bag gift last year....still enjoying your Hyperslide Tobey?
  • I am really excited to get home for the Holidays! :-)

I could come up with more Random Crap...but I'm sure I've thrown enough at you for more official Random Crap from me until BOC #6!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reaction Buttons....Woof!

Still relatively new to this blogging thing, I just recently discovered a cool little feature that I wanted to alert everyone too! Now, on the bottom of each post, you should see little check boxes with different "reactions" next to them. If you have a reaction to any of my posts go ahead and click the appropriate box! Check one, check a few, check them all if you want! Tell the truth, be funny, be sarcastic...whatever you like! I can't see who checked what...I (and everyone) just get to see the tallies for each reaction!

I can have all sorts of reactions there but in playing with the settings, if the list goes onto the next line, its hard to see all of the options. Right now I have it set at the following 7 reactions:
  1. Fun!
  2. Yummy!
  3. Bleh!
  5. Interesting
  6. Meh
  7. Woof!
I'd like to make the reaction buttons permanent shortly....but I'd love some feedback/suggestions on what those permanent reactions should be! If you have any suggestions for different reaction buttons let me know in the comments below! Or if you like them how they are let me know that too!

Oh and if you like go back and "react" to my past posts!! I'd love to see the tallies!

Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Man's Trash....Is Another Man's Palm Tree

For the past few years I have been the proud owner of one of the ugliest floor lamps ever. Here...judge for yourself:

And yes that is the best picture of the lamp I could find because 1) it was ugly so I didn't take too many pictures of it, and 2) it was ugly so I hid it behind the TV cabinet.

Recently I got a nice new TV and cabinet (and then a new coffee table and lamps for my birthday!) So with all my new living room decor, it was time to get rid of the ugly lamp.

I asked some friends if they needed it (totally expecting no one to say yes because....lets say it together...its UGLY). My friend, Sam, seemed to be considering my "free lamp" offer. He joked that it would be funny to turn it into a palm tree. I agreed, and even offered to help if it would get it out of my house. But alas, it was just a joke and weeks later, the ugly lamp was still standing in the middle of my bedroom looking uglier than ever. dawned on me!

Sam's birthday + need to get rid of lamp = BEST PALM TREE LAMP BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER! (............hopefully)

I was excited and a bit nervous to take on this challenge. So one Saturday, Milo and I headed out to the empty lot across the street lugging a large lamp and some brown spray paint.


Funny story, when I brought the dry brown lamp back inside, the front desk lady said "oh so you just switched that old lamp out for a new one!" and I was like "well actually I just painted it"....she was seriously amazed that I would (have done/been able to do/thought to do) such a was one of the office staff leasing people....I was sort of just amazed that they were so amazed.

The painting was the easy part. I decided, with a helpful suggestion from a coworker (Thanks Deanna!), to make the leaves out of wire and fabric so that they were more like a lampshade but also sort of flexible. I chose 18 guage wire and cut out a stencil of a leaf in some cardboard. I bent the wire around the stencil, cut out some fabric around the wire, and sewed the wire into the fabric around the edges. Each completed leaf looked a little something like this:

I know...doesn't really look too much like a palm tree leaf. At this point the leaf took me a bit longer than expected and it wasn't looking as I had originally envisioned...I was contemplating giving up. But then I did this.....and I knew I was heading in the right direction!

So I kept going. To try to make the tree have some texture I got some light green and some dark green fabric. My original plan was to make 5 light leaves accented with 3 dark leaves. I wound up running out of time (and the lamp shade was significantly covered with 7 leaves) so I ended up with an awkward 5 light and 2 dark. I figured if necessary I could edit later.

The night before I finished, I blew up a few balloons, mixed together some flour and water, and had a stab at making paper mache coconuts. I have to tell you this made me a bit nervous. I haven't done paper mache in god knows how long, and nothing as crafty/possibly tricky as molding a balloon. I was nervous because I had heard horror stories of the paper mache sphere getting all messed up when you pop the balloon and the thought of putting all that time and mess into something that could break so easily and not work out would have been annoying. (I am also not a big fan of popping balloons...all those kid games where you had to sit and pop a balloon to win a race....NOT a fan). Here is a tip! If you put a piece of tape on a balloon, you can poke a hole in it through the tape and it wont will just release air. Once enough air is leaked out, you can cut the balloon with scissors letting out a lot of the air, and there is no damaging (and scary) POP. It worked like a charm and my paper mache coconuts came out better than I hoped.

I don't have pictures of making the coconuts because it was super messy....I wouldn't have dared touch my camera or phone.

Once the coconuts were done and spray painted brown, I used a hot glue gun to attach the leaves to the original plastic lamp shade, and string and wire to attach the 3 coconuts to the base of the leaves. I covered the edge with a band of dark green fabric.......annnnnnd..... voila!

I made it so the lamp shade/leaves could fully come off as one piece, the coconuts another, and then the base of the lamp on its own so that it was easy for transporting.

Another funny story...two guys saw me lugging the tree (as the whole tree because it was easier to carry that way) down the hall to go to my car. They held the elevator for me and didn't say anything about the fact that I had a huge palm tree lamp thing with me. It was like this awkward giant elephant in the elevator. So I was just like "Does it look like a palm tree???" and they started laughing and saying that they didn't even realize I had made it....I hadn't told them I had made it....I think they realized and were trying to be nice hahaha....

I have to say, even though its not the best looking palm tree lamp I'm sure...I was pretty proud of myself with this project. I wasn't sure I'd really be able to do it at first, and almost gave up on the idea once or twice...but I'm really happy with how it turned out. I was able to surprise Sam with it when we surprised him this past weekend for his birthday. His reaction? "You did NOT bring that ugly lamp over here!"...but really after the initial shock...I think he liked it (or at least he told me he did). 

Sam...if you are reading this....seriously do not feel obligated to keep was more for the laughs....I won't be insulted if it mysteriously disappears hahaha. It was actually more of a selfish gift being able to do something fun to get the ugly lamp out of the house.....(Sidenote: I'm not a 100% evil friend...I did get him an actual birthday present as well).

So there you have of the many things that has been distracting me from blogging.....more to come!

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Apologies to Thanksgiving

I have been a bad blogger lately for a few reasons. Firstly, because I haven't significantly blogged in a WHILE. Reason: everything I've been doing that is blog worthy has been a surprise for people so I couldn't blog about them! With some birthdays passing and the holidays approaching I will be able to start blogging about things again (slowly but surely).

Secondly, my blog is guilty of the one thing that bugs me the most around this time of skipped right over Thanksgiving!

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and the December holiday season. Elf was on TV yesterday and I was so excited! I love seeing the lights go up and the trees in people's windows. The city put snowflake lights on the lamp posts by my building and that makes me smile. I really enjoy holiday songs and carols....but only AFTER my absolute favorite over.

It just makes me sad when people skip right over Thanksgiving to start celebrating the holiday season (this includes music, decorations, and OVERBOARD shopping (aka being 100% done weeks before Thanksgiving)).

Anyway I feel sort of guilty that it's now Christmas season and I didn't blog anything about my beloved Turkey Day.

(Sidenote: This is probably where my friends and family are rolling their eyes thinking "Oh geeze she has gone overboard...feeling GUILTY towards a HOLIDAY...where does it end!?!?!")

ALRIGHT alright.....I'll revise my statement: Anyway I feel sort of guilty hypocritical that it's now Christmas season and I didn't blog anything about my beloved Turkey Day. So before I even say the C word one more time...I would like to quickly share thoughts from my Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun this year! My parents and sisters did something different and had dinner with one side of the family and dessert with the other! That wasn't the only new thing this year. Milo got to join the Turkey Day festivities instead of having to stay home. I have to say for 98% of the festivities I was really very proud of him. He behaved really well even with driving between two houses and seeing tons of new people (and a few dogs) that were all brand new to him. During dinner he even stayed out of the dining room and took a nap! The last 2% of the evening he got a bit scared when my little cousin Gianna joined us toward the end of the evening...but we will work on that!

We also had 2 (very) new babies to celebrate this Thanksgiving! My cousin Tobey and her husband Ceaser brought their 1 month old baby girl Alegra to celebrate! She is such a beautiful and calm baby (even with all the craziness in our family)! I was so excited to meet and hold her for the first time! My other cousin Lisa, who lives in San Fransisco, also had a baby during Thanksgiving week! Her, her husband Alex, and their super new baby boy Max video chatted with the whole family on Thanksgiving! I cannot wait to eventually meet baby Max in person (crossing my fingers for next year)!

This year I am thankful for many things:
  • My wonderful supportive family and friends.
  • My awesome mutt Milo who just gets funnier, cuter, more loving, and more mature every day.
  • Being able to stay in my city apartment even with all the craziness of finding roommates this summer and fall. 
  • My job and the security it provides. 
  • All the people I work with that make going to work a pleasure every day. I am really lucky to enjoy my job and my work environment as much as I do.
  • And finally, the various setbacks I had this year taught me valuable lessons that I will take with me into the future so I am thankful for them as well. 
And with that, I will move on from Thanksgiving...and I promise my favorite holiday a proper post next year....

Now, in the spirit of allowing the Holiday Season to begin immediately after Thanksgiving, I thought it was alright and appropriate to quickly share my guest blog post about my holiday wish list on my friend Rebecca's blog, I Wanna Be A Domestic Goddess. If you are looking for great gift ideas this holiday season, she is doing a week full of "Holiday Gift Guide" themed posts as well as having a bunch of various guest bloggers giving their very own wish lists. I have already gotten tons of ideas for gifts from her posts! She finds the coolest stuff so be sure to check it out!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Milo and My Attempt at Modeling…

A few weeks back a co-worker, Brenna, sent out a call for models so she could practice doing some portrait photography. I told her I’d love to get some nice pictures with my main mutt Milo (since I’m usually just taking pictures OF him). She thought doing a photo shoot with a dog might be a fun experiment!

We wound up meeting up last weekend at the new Yards Park near my place in DC. It’s a brand new park with a bunch of different landscaping, water features, architectural stuff…it wound up being a great place to do a photo shoot.

She took some really nice pictures and I wanted to share a few! I put more on Facebook as well and you can also see them on her blog! I put a few of my favorites below (it was hard to narrow them down). Thanks Brenna for the awesome photos Smile!!!


DSC_2683 DSC_2707


DSC_2747 DSC_2737 

DSC_2756 DSC_2776


DSC_2844 DSC_2836

Friday, November 5, 2010

It’s My Birthday!

My 26th birthday to be precise. I thought it would be fun to do a birthday post answering some simple questions about my past and future year. It would be a good exercise in reflection and perhaps motivate me a bit for the things I want to change. It would also be cool to look back and see how things change over the years. Since this is my first birthday with a blog…now would be the perfect time to start that tradition.


Washington, DC

What are some of the highlights of the past year?
  • New Year’s with my family in DC.
  • Snowpocalypse 2010 & seeing Milo enjoy all the snow.
  • Becoming more confident and comfortable at work.
  • A fun summer wedding in NJ for/with some great friends!
  • News of TWO new baby cousins!
  • Patti & the girls visit NJ and DC!!! :-)
  • Not moving after only 1 year for the first time in 6 years.
  • Doing a scavenger hunt of DC with friends and finding out just how walkable DC is.
  • San Francisco with Leslie and visiting with Lisa & Alex.
  • A very pretty fall in DC.
  • Charleston weekend with Cody.
  • Rally for Sanity…and how insane (but fun) it was!

What life lessons have you learned this past year?
  • It’s time to face reality…I am an adult…I’m done with the denial.
  • While adulthood comes with adult responsibilities…it isn’t all so scary.
  • It is important to take a week off of work, and life, and get away. I come back feeling better, even if I didn’t realize there was better to feel.
  • I prefer “springing forward” to “falling back” when its time to change the clocks. I never felt that way before this past year. I don’t see my opinion on that changing back until perhaps retirement (or maybe when I have kids who have to wait for the school bus in the morning).
  • Its important to stand up for myself, and not just when speaking with customer service people on the phone.
  • I enjoy evening walks…downtown…alone with my thoughts.
  • I will be a better friend to others by being good to myself.
  • I am really lucky to have an awesome and supportive group of friends (and family!). I have always known this…but this year it has been particularly evident.

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
  • Keeping up with my new blog and seeing what creativeness it awakens in me.
  • Hopefully starting work on a t-shirt quilt!
  • Helping out with some wedding planning…and all the side parties that come along with being part of a wedding party!
  • Meeting one of my new baby cousins at Thanksgiving and Christmas…and seeing pictures of baby #2 who will be here (well, in California) VERY soon!
  • A few weekend trips that are in the works.

What do you want to change about your life/yourself in the next year?
  • Being responsible and start contributing to my TSP.
  • Keep focused on staying on top of my budget.
  • Consolidate my student loans.
  • Go to more Nationals games.
  • Be better about clutter in my room…try not to let papers pile up on my desk.
  • Cut back on the amount of TV I record/watch.

How are you celebrating your birthday this year?
This year some friends may come over for food, cake, and games. November is a busy month for a lot of people this year, so the birthday will be low key, but I’m sure lots of fun!

Of course…I also plan on having some of my family’s traditional birthday cake!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Random Crap #4 (But #1 for the Blog)

I have a slight addiction to a website called Woot! The first step is admitting it, right? It's basically a one deal per day website where I find some fun stuff every once in a while. I’ve made some great purchases on Woot! I have gotten better in recent months about not buying too much silly stuff on that site, but approximately once a month they have what is known as a Woot-Off. You see usually, they only sell one item per day, but during a Woot-Off they sell a ton of items throughout the day for anywhere from one to three days! Its so fun to see what will come up next! But the best part of a Woot-Off? The Random Crap.

Random Crap (also known as the Bag Of Crap, or BOC) is the thing everyone is waiting for during a Woot-Off. It is in such high demand, that the servers usually crash a mere seconds after it goes on sale. Even the picture of the item admits it:

random crap
Photo from Woot! Website
What makes it so popular? The deal is, you pay $3 +$5 shipping = $8 and you get a few random items in a box. You are promised at least 3 items, but in “as is” condition. It's random crap. I love buying the random crap because 1) of course I fall for the demand making it feel like a prize even though I’m paying for it 2) the anticipation of what you are going to get is so fun…its like a game. I see the $8 as entertainment…it really does amuse me…plus it's hard to get them…so it's not all that often.

I have been lucky enough to get 3 BOCs since I started shopping on Woot! Today I got my third one in the mail and I wanted to share what I got. I plan on doing this for every BOC I get, and I will also use these posts to share some other “Random Crap” about small goings on in my life…seems perfectly appropriate.

BOC #3 – Woot-Off Oct 21, 2010

The box was pretty big! Approximately 12’’x12’’x18’’. I believe this is the biggest BOC box I have ever gotten!


Item #1 – Two 2010 “Fact or Crap: Music Edition” Page-a-Day Calendars.


I actually have the “Would You Rather?” edition of this calendar and it wasn’t all that great. I also got 3 more of the “Would You Rather?” calendars in my last BOC…guess they still have a bunch of these haha. Well there are still 2 months left in 2010 right?

Item #2 – Three Interval Lawn Sprinklers


Yea…I don’t have a lawn. Hey Dad…need more sprinklers?

Item #3 – One SNAP! Digital Camera


This item is brand new and sort of cool! I could clip it to Milo’s stuff maybe and always have a cheap camera on me to snap fun pictures? Hmmmm…it would be nice to not worry about my good digital camera hanging out in a bag with all his slobbery/dirty park stuff…skeptical about the picture quality…but that’s the fun of these things…it was only part of $8!

Item #4 – One Mosquito Shield


When I saw this I immediately thought if giving this to my parents because they have way more outdoor space than me. But THEN I remembered how useful this could be during softball season! I think The Maulers will be excited about this item!

Item #5 – Callaway PGA “Team Championship” Baseball Hat


Keeping on the softball theme…I actually don’t have a baseball hat for softball…and the sun on some of those fields is killer. I think this item is also going into the softball stuff.

Item #6 – PGA “Team Championship” One Shoulder Backpack


Every Woot! BOC has something that acts as the “bag.” I guess that is what this backpack is. I’m not a big golf watcher, but I have always kind of wanted a one shoulder backpack…so I’m sort of excited about this!

Overall I think this was a pretty good BOC! I got a few useful items, a few fun less useful items, and some crap! Great fun mix! I think this one was definitely worth the $8.

Laura’s Random Crap

In the spirit of the BOC, here is some “Random Crap” from my life (focus on "random"...not all of it was "crap" in a crappy way):
  • My parents, and sister and her boyfriend came down this past weekend to attend The Rally for Sanity. While the crowd tried to act very sane…the amount of people was “insane.” We really had a wonderful weekend hanging out together! I will most likely write a post about it.
  • I have been trying to toss my good friend Shirin a plug to her blogs in my blog, but I haven’t done it yet because I wanted to discuss it in a relevant way. Since I have failed at finding something relevant to write about so far…here are links to her blogs for now at least! Shirin, I promise to throw you a more relevant plug when I can! Shirin has 2 blogs; Shirin and the Songmeister and Diary of A Messy Kitchen. In the first she discusses her journey to conquer Art Garfunkel’s rather large reading list. In the second she discusses new recipes she has been trying (cooking & baking) in her new kitchen while giving the recipe, her review, and helpful tips for trying it yourself! I can’t wait to try a few of the recipes myself! They are both relatively new blogs so check them out!
  • I have a new roommate for the second time in 4 months. A lot of my October was spent trying to find someone once again. The roommate who moved in over the summer had a family emergency and needed to move home. I was very sad to see him go but I really hope the situation gets better soon. My new roommate seems really nice and I’m excited to get to know him!
  • Also this month my phone took a tumble and the screen was cracked on the sidewalk. It still works and I’m actually sort of getting used to the cracks, but I will be fixing it soon…just have to make a few calls and ask a few more questions.
  • I FINALLY got DC license plates on my car! I’m really excited to finally have gotten that done. It’s a task that has been sitting on the backburner yet nudging me for too long! I think my car looks so weird without the NJ plates…but I’ll get used to it haha…
  • I realized at the end of writing about my Bag of Crap, that the acronym is similar to a VERY common one at work. But I promise I didn’t make up BOC…most Woot! fans call it that as well!
  • One of my very best friends Paul got engaged this past month!!! Congratulations to him and his fiancĂ© Grady! I am soooo excited for you guys and I can’t wait to share your happy day with you next year! 
  • My mutt Milo has been acting less interested in his food lately and I’m a bit concerned. He does eventually eat it but he takes a few minutes to look at it and look at me and wander around before he actually eats. Part of me wonders if this food isn’t making him feel too good (for some reasons I won’t share with everyone). I did switch his food recently but he didn’t react this way right away. I am considering switching back to see if that changes things. I just hope he isn’t sick.
  • I have been using my Capitol Bikeshare membership and LOVE it! I will also be blogging about that at some point as well!
  • I was surprised with receiving Employee of the Month for September (given during October) for my division at work! I was really very honored and it was a wonderful surprise during a semi hectic month!
  • Now that Halloween is over…my absolute favorite holiday is coming up! Thanksgiving! I know some people like to skip over Thanksgiving to start with the winter holiday music and festivities…but in my mind right now should be all about Thanksgiving. I’m really excited to get together with my family to celebrate! Especially because I have a new baby cousin to meet! I can’t wait! She was born in October and she just gets cuter with every picture!
  • And now……….I am very much looking forward to a relaxing, happy, and calm November after the craziness of October. PHEW!

Well…that blog post full of Random Crap! I promise my next post will be much more focused on one (actual) topic! Smile

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Perfectly Fall Weekend

It has been a BEAUTIFUL fall so far here in DC. Seriously...I love fall, but I am in love with Fall 2010. Last year it seemed to rain every weekend and got cold and yucky very VERY quickly. While this fall has also flown by, every weekend has been sunny and comfortable. My favorite parts of fall; crisp cool air, the unique fall smell, and the glowing colorful trees, have all given us plenty of time to enjoy the season as we ease into what I now call "the dark months" (because I don't see a ton of daylight :-/ ).

Two weekends ago, my friend Danielle and I decided to escape city life of DC and head out to Cox Farm for all things fall; a hayride, apple cider, farm animals, and most importantly to pick out our pumpkins! It was so much fun!

The farm market was full of all sorts of beautiful squash, pumpkins, and apples!

Apples galore!!!

These reminded me of Farmville immediately....I know that is really sad.

Ummmm crazy squash!

Cute white pumpkins!

Danielle and I wandered around the farm, checking out the animals, tasting some cider, going on hayrides, and taking pictures with the various cardboard things they had around. 

Fresh Apple Cider! Soooooo Good!
Danielle found the Scarecrow!
I saw my old friend the Tin Man!

We made friends with a witch!

Danielle is this tall....

....I am not as tall.

After wandering around the farm a bit we went on pretty much the most random hay ride ever! There were tons of random characters and things poping out at you along this hayride. There was even a Where's Waldo off in the distance at one point...I found myself wondering how many people really noticed him. Here are some picture highlights:

Presidents....including Bill & Hillary (there were more but this is all I caught on camera)

Aliens that popped out and scared all the little children.

Blue pumpkin head guy on a computer? Sleeping?

Fun Hayride! :-)
On our way out of the farm, we picked out some pumpkins. We each got a little pumpkin for free...and then we each bought a big pumpkin for carving! There were lots to choose from!

The next day...I had a few friends over (including Danielle) to do some pumpkin carving! Of course I felt very inspired to make seasonal treats!

Halloween Funfetti Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I have to comment that the pumpkin cupcakes were REALLY easy. You can make them with a simple edit to  yellow cake box mix. I found the recipe on on Real Simple. But I did my own thing with the cream cheese icing. I usually make cream cheese icing by taste, because I like it SUPER cream cheesy :-).

We did some pumpkin carving. I had the neatest pumpkin I've EVER seen. I opened up my pumpkin and it was basically hallow with four patches of seeds going down the sides. And it wasn't gross and slimey to clean out at all! I was so proud of my pumpkin haha! I only got one picture carving....the rest are the completed pumpkins.

Opening my pumpkin!

My creeeeeeper pumpkin...
Danielle's spooky pumpkin

Shirin's lost a few wiskers and tail :-/

We of course baked all the pumpkin seeds! We did half of them a sweet and salty flavored mix that I also found on Real Simple. The other half we did traditionally. Both flavors came out GREAT! :-)

I had such a wonderful weekend celebrating fall at the farm and carving pumpkins! But I learned a valuable lesson....carved pumpkins go bad A LOT faster than I remember as a carved pumpkin didn't even come close to making it to Halloween (not that I thought it would really last THAT long but) didn't even last a week actually. I felt so sad when I had to toss my perfect pumpkin less than a week later :-/. But I took advantage of lighting him up when he was around. Next year I will try to do the pumpkin carving a bit closer to Halloween! :-)