Archive | July, 2012

House Hunting

23 Jul

Good morning and happy Monday to everybody!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend – I definitely did. In case you’ve been gone over the weekend, Stef was down visiting from Philadelphia and we went to the National Air and Space museum and then had a night out to see the new Batman movie!

Yesterday was spent doing lots of house hunting for Stefano and his roommates. They all move down to DC for good next weekend and it was coming down to the wire to find a place to live! DC is an interesting place to find housing because of the high turnover rate in the city. People are always moving in and out because of summer internships, jobs, and election campaigns. As a result, people are always looking to rent and it can get a little crazy sometimes. Case in point: the first house we visited yesterday ran out of rental applications and had to go make more copies. After that incident, Stef and his roomies figured that their chances probably weren’t very good.

As we were waiting for their next appointment, we grabbed a late breakfast/early lunch outside. The boys went to Potbelly, but I found a cute cafe right next door that had a great selection of breakfast and lunch items. I ended up ordering the breakfast sandwich with egg, cheddar cheese, and turkey sausage. YUM.

I don’t know if I have ever HAD a breakfast sandwich, which seems crazy, but I think the only ones I ever saw advertised were those on Burger King and McDonald’s commercials which kind of turned me off of trying them. Now I know better, it seems like a great breakfast to take with me to work in the mornings, especially with this idea!

When it came time for their appointment, they were immediately impressed with the facilities. It is a brand new apartment complex and it is chock full with every amenity you can think of – pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, movie theater, and so much more. The actual apartment was absolutely beautiful and all the appliances were untouched. I felt a bit overwhelmed with the luxury and really had a hard time believing that a few guys right out of college could live in such extravagant conditions. Stef shared my trepidation and we spent most of the tour walking around in disbelief. When it came time to decide, his roommates were pretty enthusiastic about it, but I could tell that he wasn’t jumping for joy at the idea of paying so much for unnecessary luxuries. In the end, they ended up applying for the apartment because it was getting down to wire to find housing and the house hunt had been pretty fruitless up until this point. I hope that once he moves in he will feel a little more at ease. I think the rooftop pool might help him feel better.

The boys outside their future, not so humble abode

I don’t have a whole lot on my agenda today and tomorrow, though I have another couple days of training for work starting mid-week. I started off this morning with a fabulous breakfast – oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and raisins. So hearty and delicious!

I contemplated adding a spoonful of peanut butter, but I decided to hold off because I had gone a little overboard yesterday, as evidence by this snack:

Do you know what that is? Honey Nut Cheerios, covered in peanut butter. It was ah-mazing.

I move into my new house next weekend, so today and tomorrow I will be on the furniture hunt because the room I’m subletting now came furnished and so I don’t own a single piece of furniture at the moment.

I hope everybody has a great start to their week, check back this evening!

A Day (and Night!) on the Town

22 Jul

Happy Sunday!

The sun has finally decided to come out over here, after a weekend of gloom and grey. Stefano just took off for Philadelphia again – when he comes back next week, he’s here for good!!! Since he didn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon, we had just over 24 hours together, which flies when you’re having fun.

Since Saturday was not a nice day to be outside, we decided to do warm food and do indoors-y things, namely the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian and then going to see the Dark Knight Rises that night. Before we left for the museum, I cooked us up a vegetable marinara pasta, using lots of frozen veggies and a can of tomato paste, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and dried basil. It was the perfect, stick to your ribs kind of meal for a cool, wet day.

After lunch we were off to the Air and Space museum! One of my favorite things about Washington D.C. is the abundance of museums and cultural events that are free to the public. The A&S museum is included and it is perfect for a day when you just want to be inside. Stef and I had both been to the museum before, but not for many years and it was fun to see all the cool airplanes and see the exhibits the depicted the evolution of flight.

Stefano was happy that the original Flyer, built by the Wright Brothers, was on display.

One of the exhibits was about the stewardesses in early flight. There was a section where you could see if you fit the strict guidelines to become a flight stewardess in early 50’s. Unfortunately, I would not have been among the few than 2% selected, as I am too tall.

So disappointed

Unfortunately, Stef and I are not very good at spending all day at the museum, and after a few hours we started lagging and stopped paying much attention to the exhibits.

We suck at staying on task.

After wandering the museum awhile longer, we decided to go grab dinner. We were both feeling Thai food and luckily, there was a Thai restaurant really close to the movie theater where we would be watching the film that night, so we decided on that. We started off with some yummy dumplings as appetizers and both ordered drinks – Thai iced tea for him and a “Sassy Strawberry” for me, which was a combination of strawberry puree, orange juice, mint, and club soda, which was delicious and refreshing!

Stef snagging sips of both!

We were famished and totally tore through the dumplings. Is it anybody else’s pet peeve when they give you an odd number of appetizers for two people? Luckily, Stef and I know how to share and split the third one down the middle. For our entrees, both of us wanted the pad see ew, which is wide rice noodles with your choice of meat and broccoli, but we always like to order different main courses, so we can share try different things! I ended up ordering the chicken pad thai and he ordered the pad see ew with beef.

Stef ended up enjoying my pad thai more than I did and I was really digging the pad see ew, so we did a switcheroo – though I kept picking off of his plate!

We inhaled our dinner and were finished way sooner than we had planned, so we had lots of time to spare before the film started. We decided to have a walk around the neighborhood and stopped by a CVS to grab some snacks for the theater (shh!). I was so excited for Milk Duds, so you can imagine my devastation when I saw this:

So tragic.

All gone!!! While on the hunt for a suitable substitute, I came across these:

Girl Scout cookie Crunch bars!?! I was so tempted to buy one of the Samoa knock-offs, but decided against it. Has anyone tried these? If they taste anything like the original Girl Scout cookies, I am in major trouble and should probably not even tempt myself by buying them.

After loading up on snacks, we made our way to the theater and got in the line for our showing (there were 5 different showings!). We were second in line, which means we got our selection of seats once the theater opened.

We chose our seats, got our snacks out, settled in, and then it was show time!

So excited for Batman. It was a great movie, definitely worth watching! I love anything with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, though, so I might be biased. The movie was nearly three hours long, so it was late when we got out and hopped on the Metro back to my house, so it was straight to bed when we got home.

Did anyone else see Dark Knight Rises this weekend? What did you think?

 

Saturday Showers

21 Jul

Happy weekend!

I woke up bright and early (by my standards) this morning to get ready for a Saturday morning workout at the gym. I contemplated saving breakfast until I got back, but I was starving and I knew that it would not be a very good workout if I all I was thinking about was how hungry I was. It was time for another debut of the “apple pie” yogurt bowl and it was just as delicious as I had remembered.

Then I left the house and was greeted by a grey, drizzly day that was distinctly Seattle-esque. It was a nice relief from the smoldering heat we’ve been getting lately, so I decided to walk to the gym instead of take the bus, which was a really nice way to wake up. And then it was workout time!

I went to a class that was similar to Body Pump, but also included some non-weight training exercises that got the heart rate up and the blood flowing. Holy cow! I don’t know if it was an early workout or the instructor, but I was drenched in sweat by the time the hour was over – cute visual, I know. I left feeling really energized for the day and I know that this class has officially been added into my workout rotation. It is a great feeling knowing that you’ve started off the weekend with a great workout and can enjoy the rest of the day!

Stefano is scoping out a house with one of his roommates right now, but then we get to spend the rest of the day together – yippy!!! We have a date night and are going to get dinner and then go see Dark Knight Rises late this evening. I feel like it’s going to be a bittersweet night because of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado on the opening night of the film. My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families and I wish for peace for the families who are grieving.

Despite the upsetting association, I am looking forward to the film and I will be sure to let you all know what I thought (without giving anything away, promise!).

Do any of you have fun plans for the weekend?

Gloomy Day

20 Jul

Good evening all,

It was a gloomy day in the neighborhood and all I wanted to do was lay in bed with a book and some hot cocoa, but I had places to go and people to see! For lunch though, I definitely went the hot route instead of my usual salad. I made a quick ‘n’ easy egg scramble with three whole eggs and a handful of frozen veggies. I had my ever-present carrots and hummus to go along with it, of course.

While I was at the stove, I decided make up a batch of quinoa to store in the fridge and save for later. At the risk of sounding like a hippie Seattleite, I cannot help but sing the praises of quinoa; not only is it a complete protein (and gluten-free!), it is loaded with fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It is versatile and can be used in so many sweet and savory dishes – throw some in a salad for lunch or mix it with apples, cinnamon, and a touch of honey for a yummy dessert. So much greatness.

For those of you who are quinoa newbies, it is really easy to prepare. Put the quinoa in a sauce pan with water at a ratio of 2:1, water to quinoa. Bring it to a hard boil and then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes and voila! You have quinoa.

It keeps really well, so I like to make a big batch and just put in a tupperware and keep it in the fridge for whenever I need it.

After lunch, I left to head down to the gym for my second of three personal training sessions. It was only a half-hour long, but we did some good circuit work and I am getting some good ideas about how to mix things up when I’m working out on my own. Plus, my trainer is super fun and gives me all sorts of great recommendations for places to eat in the neighborhood  – always a plus in my book. After my PT session, I stuck around for happy hour yoga, which is 1 1/2 hours. Today I learned about the fascia in the body and that when people complain about a knot in their muscle, it’s actually this connective tissues that get bundled together (usually around an injury). You learn something new every day!

I was famished when I got back from the gym and decided to put the quinoa to good use for an easy to put together dinner. I threw some quinoa  in a bowl, along with some chopped tomatoes and green peppers, then sprinkled a few chunks of feta on top and drizzled the whole thing with some balsamic vinegar. I ate it cold, but I imagine it would also be scrumptious if you heated the quinoa up before you added in all the extra goodies. SO GOOD. I wolfed it down and contemplated seconds, but after I waited the requisite twenty minutes (the amount of time it supposedly takes for your brain to register a full stomach), I was actually quite satisfied. All the protein and fiber in the quinoa really fills you up (see? I can’t stop raving about the stuff!).

Yes, that is my floss and retainer case in the background. Practice good oral hygiene, people!

I am a really exciting person and have huge plans for Friday night – catching up on all the new blog posts on my blogroll and tucking into bed to read whatever’s up next on my Kindle. I know, I need to calm my wild self down. Also, if you all are so inclined, Stefano and I are in the online version of Glamour magazine! Once in awhile they do a cute couple match-up and, on a whim, I decided to enter our pictures and we got in! If you want to read our little blurb and try to match up the other couples, you can see it here.

If you all are reading this on a Friday night, you clearly have your priorities straight and we should probably be friends. If you are out on the town, you are way too cool for me. Kidding! Regardless of your plans, I hope you all have a wonderful night!

It’s Friday, Friday

20 Jul

Happy Friday, everybody!! Pardon the title of this morning’s post – I can’t help but think of that song every Friday (and then I do a little dance). Does anybody have fun plans for the weekend? Stefano is coming down from Philadelphia again to go house hunting – again. He has been looking at houses every weekend this month but, so far, no dice. For those of you moving to DC anytime soon, the house hunt here is quite the chore. There’s also that fun sticker shock you get if you come from anywhere that isn’t San Francisco or New York City. I will be happy to share my housing hunting adventures for those looking for advice, but that is a post for another day.

Breakfast today was raspberry Chobani with lots of fresh fruit and the last cinnamon raisin bagel of the pack. Bagels were something I really missed in Rome – they come in basically any flavor you want and a bagelwich (am I making words up?) is like a fancier version of a sandwich!

Does that picture look like a face to anybody else? I see an owl…with a spoon in one of its eyes.

Along with breakfast, it is also…Vitamin gummy time! Am I the only one who looks forward to taking their vitamins every day? Gummy vitamins are so good, it is hard to limit myself to the recommended two gummies per day. I just bought this at Target, though I am usually partial to the gummy vitamins from Costco. Does anyone else have a part of their morning routine they get excited about?

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