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!!!

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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.

Age?
26

Location?
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!

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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!

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

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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

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


Item #3 – One SNAP! Digital Camera

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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

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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

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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

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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