Monday, September 29, 2008


I have a very sweet dad. He sent me some chocolate covered strawberries today so it was the majority of my dinner while I waited for the HVAC guy...who never showed up.

Music Monday - Irreplaceable

If you like country music and Beyonce's song Irreplaceable, check out this cover by Sugarland. Which do you like better?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Worst Workout Ever

I had one of the worst workouts ever today. I went out for a jog at around 4pm once I finally decided it didn't look like it was going to rain anymore today. It was very humid and not too warm, but much warmer than the cool 6am air I am used to. I don't know what happened to me, but about 15 minutes in I just couldn't jog anymore so I walked for a minute, then tried to jog again. I kept having to stop and then just gave up and walked the rest of the way. My body just had nothing left in it and I have no idea why. When I got home I was completely exhausted. I just sat on the couch, then took a shower and took a nap because I was too tired to do anything else. Now at 9pm I am finally feeling better, but it was really odd. I hope this doesn't happen again.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - What I've Learned from Blogging

This is my 100th post! Here are 13 things I have learned from this blog.

1. I did not think many people would actually read my blog, but they do! I just starting tracking visitors a few weeks ago and almost 150 people in eight different countries have read it since.

2. Everybody loves a list.

3. Some of the people I am closest to do not read my blog. This surprised me

4. People are nice. I was expecting people to write nasty things in the comments, but nobody has.

5. Writing is therapeutic, especially for the painful stuff like losing my mom.

6. I enjoy writing.

7. I have not done much writing since college so the thought of writing was intimidating and the first entries would take me an hour or two to write. I know I am not a great writer, but I can bang out an entry pretty quickly now.

8. Formatting looks different between my two computers…I still can’t figure out why. I thought it would look the same on all computers.

9. I am reading more blogs which has opened me to up to new people and their thoughts.

10. People actually like pictures of my cats.

11. I used to get nervous about what I wrote…that it would be too personal or someone might think it was stupid or trivial. Now I just write what I’m thinking about and don’t worry about it.

12. What a meme is and how great they are to get more readers.

13. I still have a lot to learn about how to format and make my blog look less like a template.

Too Bad There is a Hole in the Roof

Looks like it is going to get windy and rainy here in Virginia. Too bad I have a hole in my roof that I just learned may not get fixed until late November! I love this picture many things going on in it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Emmys Best & Worst Dressed

I don't usually watch award shows, but I do love to see what everyone wore! Here are my votes for best and worst dressed at the Emmys.

Christina Applegate looked flawless! You would never guess she had surgery for breast cancer recently. I love the color of Brooke Shields' dress. These two women prove that you don't need to be twenty years old and 90 pounds to be beautiful in Hollywood.

Christina Applegate

Brooke Shields

Lauren really should have done better. She designed this dress herself. Marcia and her dress just all seem to blend together and the fabric from Kathy's dress looks like it came off my grandma's couch.

Lauren Conrad

Marcia Cross

Kathy Griffin

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Kitchen!

Well, we did it. We signed a contract yesterday to have our kitchen remodeled. We have the floor plan but still need to pick everything out. Construction doesn't start until late January so sometime in March I will have my new kitchen! It's exciting, but at the same time scary because it is so much money. My husband told me today to not plan any big vacations next year...what? Wait...ummm, could you have brought this up BEFORE we signed the contract? Nothing will happen for a while, but I'll post pictures of the project along the way.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Boot Camp Under the Stars

Picture's dark, the full moon is shining, the stars are twinkling, the person next to me says, "look, it's Orion". No, I wasn't camping, I was at boot camp this morning. It's pitch black at 6am these days, but boot camp goes on.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Career I Should Have Had

I think it is a shame that people have to make choices so early in life regarding education and careers paths. When I was a kid I wanted to be a cook in my own restaurant or an astronomer. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I was in college. I was good in math and with numbers in general so I started out as a math major. I took calculus in high school so when I got into college my first math class was the third calculus class that only math and engineering majors took. I could do the problems, but didn't really get it. I got a B- which was probably the worst grade I ever received in a math class. After that I knew I wasn't cut out for it and I also didn't know what kind of job I could get with it. Looking back, it probably would have been a good choice of majors. Then I decided I would probably do something in the business world. I had no idea what, but it sounded good at the time. My school had more theoretical majors rather than things like business administration or accounting, so I became a business economics major...which was economics with some accounting thrown in for fun. I still had no idea what I was going to do with it though. When my senior year of college came around and I had to decide what I was going to do with myself, I did the only thing I could think of...keep going to school. So I took the GMAT and applied to business schools to get a MBA. Even after my first year of MBA classes, I still did not know what I was going to do. The summer between the two years I started looking for internships and fell into corporate finance, and here I have been for 12 years. I like the work I do, but it's really the same thing month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year. I often think of what else I could do, but at this point in my life I don't want to take a pay cut to start a new career.

I should have been a meteorologist. I find weather fascinating. I love watching the weather channel and tracking storms. I don't want to be on TV, but would like being the weather expert behind the scenes who runs the models. This time of year is especially exciting (and tragic) since it is hurricane season. Since moving to Virginia I have learned more about weather since not much exciting happens in California. Terms like nor'easters and clippers are regulars around here in the winter. I will never be a meteorologist, but I am the resident weather expert in my house!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Omnivore’s Hundred

Here is something I saw on another blog that originated at Very Good Taste. It's a list of 100 foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their life. They are not all necessarily good, but should be tried. Items that I've tried are in bold and those I would not consider eating are crossed out.

1. Venison (I took one bite and hid the rest in the trash can when I was a kid)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos ranchero
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (my husband did though and it was surprising that it was flaky like fish and served with tartar sauce)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than fruit
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce le leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Rootbeer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (not intentionally, only when exercising with my mouth open, does that count?)
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (completely different when they are fresh and hot!)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickley pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal (I husband says I'm un-American)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (I just couldn't do it)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three star Michelin restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (separately, but not together)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Grocery Store Pet Peeves

Grocery shopping is not one of my favorite things to do. Here are my pet peeves

1. People who grab around or over you instead of just saying, "excuse me".

2. Check out people who want to talk more than ring me up. I've been in this store for an hour and I still have to put bags in the car, take bags out of the car and put everything away at home. Please just get on with it. And don't stop and look at my stuff for your future purchases.

3. People who have a coffee in their hand the entire time and think of grocery shopping as a social event.

4. People who stop and talk with another person and block the entire aisle.

5. When the store decides to rearrange everything. Why?!?!?

6. People who eat samples of produce and bin's not free.

7. The top shelf. I'm short.

8. Food that is past its expiration date and still on the shelf. I shouldn't have to check it, but I do.

9. Meat that expires today.

10. Check out people that only put a couple things in a bag. I'd rather have less heavy bags than a bunch of light bags.

11. Those giant carts with a car attached for kids to sit in. They are just way too big.

12. The posts in front that prevent me from brining the cart to my car. I prefer to shop in the next county over to avoid this.

13. People who need all kinds of samples at the deli counter before buying what they came for.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Three for three! Britney won all three awards at the VMA's that she was nominated for. I can't really imagine that she deserved this for a song that wasn't a hit when it was up against huge hits. I wonder if MTV is trying to make up for putting her on stage last year when she clearly wasn't ready. Now she won three awards that may help her get her career back on track...or to just make up for the past.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Last week the gossip pages said Britney will perform at the VMA's tonite and I was really nervous for her. Now they say she is not performing, but will on the show in some capacity, which is being held secret. Either way, good luck tonite! She has never won a moonman even though she has been nominated 16 times. I wonder if they will give one to her to help relaunch her career.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Hanna poured rain down on us all day. The wind did not pick up until later in the day, but it wasn't bad. Storms like this will definitely point out any problems with a house. We had two issues today. The first being a problem with one of the gutters and it caused water to come in a window. The second is a bigger issue. A while back I noticed water stains on the ceiling of one of the bedrooms, but couldn't trace the cause. I checked it after other rains and it wouldn't get wet again. Well, today was the day to figure it out since the ceiling was very wet and starting dripping into the room. I spent about an hour in the attic tracing the water. I still don't know exactly what the problem is, so I need to call a roofer, but now I can say where it is coming in. My husband put a couple holes in the ceiling of the bedroom with buckets underneath to catch the water until we can get it fixed. We didn't lose power and no trees came down so all in all it wasn't bad.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Here Comes Hanna

Tropical Storm Hanna is coming my way! I never thought of Northern Virginia as being in the path of a tropical storm, although Hurricane Isabel wreaked havoc on this area back in 2003. I'm not sure what to it like a snow storm when everybody goes out and buys milk, bread and toilet paper?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - My New Kitchen

Here are thirteen things I want in my new kitchen.

1. Granite counters (current counters are corian)

2. Maple or light cherry cabinets (current cabinets are oak)

3. To get rid of the island that I am constantly walking around

4. Counter area with bar stool seating

5. Color other than dark red on the walls

6. Pull out trash can

7. Proper work triangle

8. Gas cooktop (we currently do not have gas in the kitchen)

9. Two ovens

10. Built in wine fridge

11. Tile back splash

12. More pantry space

13. Room for two people to cook and people to gather

I'm Nervous

...for Britney. She's going to open the VMA's again this year. After last year's train wreck, I can't help but be nervous for her. I hope she does better this time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yep, It's Frozen

I came home from work tonight to a hot house. I knew something was wrong the minute I walked in. I checked the thermostat and it said 77 even though I set it to 72. I suspected the dirty filter since I don't clean it as often as I should. My husband then cleaned it and my test was to see if the A/C worked better without it. Nope. The A/C unit is only a little over a year old so I was really surprised that it wasn't working. It was running, but the air was not very cold. So I got all cranky and called the repair service (we have an annual contract so these repair visits do not cost extra). I was told it would be a "few hours". Ugh, oh well, that's better than waiting until tomorrow. The guy ended up getting here about an hour later. We told him that the filter was really dirty so he knew right away what to look for. Before I even got out of the basement he called me back to show me that it was frozen. He showed me the ice that was caused by the dirty filter. Yikes, I knew this could happen, but had no idea waiting three months to clean it would do this. True, my husband creates lots and lots of dust from his workshop, but I did not think this would happen. So now the unit is turned off and we are waiting for it to thaw. Hopefully it will thaw before it’s time for bed so that there is some hope of cooling off the bedroom. Lesson learned.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kitchen Remodel

Well, we've decided to do it. My husband and I are going to look into having our kitchen completely redone. I've been hesitant to do this for a long time because I hate dealing with contractors since all of them we have dealt with in the past have let us down, I don't want to live with the mess and without a kitchen for months, and of course, it is really expensive. We have a dollar amount we are willing to spend so now we are going to get some people out here to see what they will charge us. We tend to be way off when guessing how much something costs, so if it's over our budget, we just won't do it.