Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Hello,

I know it is a bit late, but I just wanted to write a little post for Memorial Day.  I am honored to be an American and I am so thankful for all that our soldiers do for us in protecting our freedom and carry out our country's mission to promote freedom around the world.  I know that anytime I see a soldier, I always try to thank them and if I can buy them their meal or a drink.  They deserve all the respect in the world and then some.  They are patriots and we, as Americans, can not let them down and must help to support them at home.  I know that my dad worries that people will forget these men and women when they return, or when it is no longer news but we can not.  We need to help them recover and return home and help them continue on long after their service is over.  I am grateful that many people I meet today feel the same way.

Personally, I plan to begin volunteering at the Veteran's hospital in NYC when I am cleared and allowed too (and back in NYC in September).  After living in the Middle East, my respect of our Constitution has increased dramatically and I am so thankful for all that this country and my family has afforded me.  These men and women fight to protect our way of life and I wish there was more that I could do.

Memorial Day is also recognized as the unofficial start of Summer and part of today I spent with my mom picking out flowers for our front yard because it is Summer time and the yard needs some color (other than green - which I dearly love! After being in countries, where you are surrounded by dirt or sand, you really do miss all the greenery!).




The last one is a bouquet form L as a belated Mother's Day gift to my mom.  It is also slightly patriotic so I thought I would include it!

Not to make a mockery of this post but I hope you took advantage of some of the great sales that were happening during this holiday weekend!  I know that I did! And I plan to still purchase some more things by the end of this week in preparation for work next week! YIKES!!

I hope that everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend!
Thanks for reading!

With joy,

A

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Current Wants

Hello,

I am currently snuggled in bed, debating whether or not I should sneak off to Harris Teeter to get snacks, while watching the Star Wars prequels and online shopping.

As a way to postpone binge eating and just get to continue to lay in my bed, I have decided to work on this post.  With my internship starting in one week, all I can think about is what I want for work and for wearing in Dallas.  I feel like Dallas is going to be very different in so many ways, including fashion.  So I am going to use this post to organize my wants, so that I can purchase what I want.

This flower blazer is on clearance sale at Kohls (via LC brand) at $21.00 - click here
This bathing suit is on clearance at J Crew for $70.00 - click here
This bathing suit is on clearance at Old Navy for $18.00 - click here
This wrap dress (which would be perfect for work!) is at Old Navy for $26.94 - click here
 I found these on another blog - here - and they are sold at Nordstrom for $58 - click here
 I am not sure if these will fit but they are so inexpensive that it might be worth buying and seeing if they work.  They are from Forever 21 for $11.80 and I feel like they will be great for going to and from the pool but I would not really wear them for other situations - click here
 I am loving anything and everything that has a drop waist.  Sadly, I have not seen the Great Gatsby movie yet but I hopefully will.  But what is awesome, is this look that is popping up everywhere.  And with my body type, it is the perfect fit! Check out this dress fro Forever 21 for $14.80 - click here
 Found this top at another one of my favorite blogs - Barefoot Blonde - and I just love this top.  It is from Forever 21 for $15.80 - click here
This is a cute dress that I would belt to give it more shape.  It is from Forever 21 for $24.80 - click here
These shorts are just like the ones from Zara but I found them for even cheaper at SheInside and I find them interesting.  A little short for my liking but I feel like they are interesting and I could make them work.  The shorts are from SheInside for $23.23 - click here
I do not know if I absolutely love this skirt but I find it a possibility.  But because I am so tall, it might be too short.  If it is long enough then I would be game for it but I think I will check Target out and see if it fits.  The skirt is $22.99 - click here

 While I want a different pair of boots which are sold out, these are a cute and affordable option.  They are $39.99 - click here  
I have been wanting a pair of leopard/cheetah print loafers.  While I have convinced myself that I will wear these a lot, they are different for me but that is what I am trying to do, push myself.  They are from Target for 27.99 - click here
Lastly, I have a pair of black flats and nude heels but I feel like I could use a pair of black heels.  I love my nude heels from Aldo, and even though they took a while to break in, I wear them all the time now so I figured that I would just get the same pair in black.  These are $80 from Aldo - click here

Well thanks for reading and letting me organize my wants! 

With joy,

A

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Hello,

So I am currently blogging while getting my first gel pedicure.  I have been back in NoVa since Monday night and boy has time flown by.  Granted I spent two whole days unpacking, going through all my boxes of clothes and what not and then repacking.  I leave for Texas a week from today but my mom is there now and so she brought some of my luggage down to my dad, who is going to help me move into the apartment there.  Also, because our house is back on the market it has to always be immaculate and nothing can be left out.  

And, I know that I said my next post would be about Week 5 in Jordan but I started going through all my photos in iPhoto and organizing them by person/face and once I start a project, I have a really hard time doing anything else.  I also am now waiting for my mom to return so that she can find the CDs with all the photos I (or my little sis) took before we owned macs so they were left on old desktops.  But that is my goal for this weekend, so that post should be up shortly! 

I am so happy to be back in McLean.  This area is so green and I just really have missed it.  Though I hate driving - I would much rather walk places.  I have gone to some of my favorite places to eat since I have been back and it especially because our house is on the market, we can't exactly cook and make a mess in our kitchen. So we have been eating out mostly. 

But before I share my thoughts about those places, I just wanted to give props to this salon I just was at.  It's called Nail Boutique in McLean and normally I go to this salon closer to my house but I was in town and had some time before my haircut so I thought why not.  It is so small and cute but also the people work really hard! I mean, I think that this is the best pedicure I have gotten in a very long time! This woman did an amazing job! 


Awkward photo! 
I hope this color is professional for when I start my internship in just over a week but I also have never gotten a gel pedicure (or manicure) so I hope it lasts and looks good.

Ok, so as I may have mentioned, my mom and I have pretty much eaten out for every meal.  We visited the restaurant I used to waitress at: Clyde's of Reston.  Had an easy delicious meal there and got to catch up with one of the managers and some of the other front-wait staff.  It was nice, and I really enjoy going there! Plus the desserts are so delicious - always made with local ingredients - i.e. strawberries for right now and I just love the strawberry shortcake!

I also have been craving my egg and cheese bagel sandwiches I always get at NoHo in NYC so I visit the only good bagel place in the area - Chesapeake Bagel.

I still prefer the NoHo egg sandwich but this is really delicious as well!  Chesapeake Bagel is in McLean and in the same shopping complex of my favorite sushi restaurant: Ichiban.  You are either an Ichiban fan or a Tachiban fan.  Both are sushi restaurants in McLean and while I like both, Ichiban is my favorite and we are friends with the family that owns and operates it.  At one point, we went there at least once a week.

Hmm... where else have I been for food?  R and I went to lunch at Panera (at Tysons).  Panera is our usual spot we go to when we can't decide where else to eat.  My mom and I also had a snack at Silver Diner!  Love that place - their milkshakes are to die for (Oreo is my favorite) and I had the grilled cheese and was so good!

I also enjoy grabbing food from Sweet Stuff, right by my house and next to 7/11.  Another place I want to go before I leave is Sweet Leaf in McLean, Rio Grande (Uncle Julios) in Reston, maybe go to Dim Sum (at China Garden) in Roslyn, and/or go to this awesome Greek Restaurant by Tysons - Nostos.

With my family moving to Texas, I am not sure if I will be coming back to NoVa in August after my internship is finished.  I hopefully will be but, just in case I need to hit all my favorite restaurants here!  I feel like I always go to these places when I come home but they are my favorites and McLean is not NYC, so there is not thousands of restaurants but we have a nice selection so much so that we never really have to go into DC for food.

Thanks for reading.

With joy,

A

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dogs and the City

Hello,

I love dogs and dearly miss my Zeus-man so I like to take photos of dogs I see out in the city and I also love to chat up their owners and get to sit with the dogs for a few minutes if the owners' are not to creeped out, that is.

Just love me some bulldog.  S does not care for them but I just find them so manly and rolly polly.  I love them - that is English Bulldogs, not as big of a fan of French Bulldogs, but the one I took below was actually kind of adorable/cute. 
Tiny Maltipoo - it might be too small for my liking, but if I am to live in a city/apartment in my future, it might be the right option.  Though I might go slightly bigger with a cockapoo.  I really just want a dog that can travel with me - so has to be 20 lbs or less! 
Just love Golden Retrievers! My family used to adopt/rescue them.  We had Sparky, Bo, and then Rookie.  Rookie died quite young - he was only 7 - so my family had a hard time wanting to get another one so we changed it up and got a Goldendoodle - Zeus! 
Black poodle. not much more to say - thought it was rather large for a poodle and made my doggie face at it but the owner thought I was sketchy.  
Here is the French Bulldog we say on the street.  It eyes are more forward than some of the other French Bulldogs I have seen so maybe that is why it looks less alien like to me.  But French Bulldogs are the "it" dog right now in the city.  I feel like everyone is getting them.  
A cute Cavalie King Charles Spaniel.  Looks just like T's Coco.  So cute! I think these are also really adorable and a possibility...
One of the last dogs I took a photo of was this small guy.  He was just chilling there and not really sure what type of dog he was but I was able to snap a pic as I walked by.  All dogs are so loveable.  And they just love you in return.  Don't have to win them over or sweet talk them.  

SO I am a bit of a sketch, and had to play with this Great Pyreneese (I think?) while the owners sat on the other side of this fence-like thing and ate their lunch.  I felt bad for interrupting their meal but this dog just looked so loveable sitting there.  I wanted to cuddle up with him.  And he does the trick where he lets you put food on his nose and once you allow him to, he flips it up to catch it.  He was so cute. 

I know that now that I am out of the city, I can not do another post like this but maybe in Dallas?   I hope so.  I am home now in NoVa, but because our house is on the market and my mom is all by herself here for most of the time, our family dog - Zeus - is with my dad in Austin.  I will get to see him in 10 days when I fly to Austin before then moving to Dallas, but I always miss him.  My dad recently sent me this photo of him and he is just the cutest dog ever!

Normally he is really fluffy but he had just gotten his hair cut and so it shows how skinny his legs are but how huge his head is.  I miss him so much! I picked him out when he was a puppy and named him.  I also did some of the training - the cool tricks that is.  I might just steel him but I also just want a dog of my own! Don't you just love dogs - or animals!! I honestly just love animals and probably will end up with a bunch when I am older and able to afford it/them.  

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post!  

With joy,

A

FInals are over!

Hello,

Sorry that I have not posted in forever. Finals were brutal and I also just lost all my energy when I was not studying.  To distract myself, I went on a bit of a Castle binge - love it! The show is amazing and I just love Nathan Filion.  He was the main character in Firefly, the sci-fi show which ended abruptly but they at least made a movie, Serenity.  But he is just amazing in Castle.  When I was not watching, I also began to do some of the things on my todo list that perhaps I should have put off until after finals but doesn't that just always seem to happen when you should be studying.

Well last Wednesday after my morning final, S and I went uptown for lunner and a Yankees game.  S is the biggest Yankee fan I have ever met - actually biggest sport fan I had ever met.  Even though I play college basketball, I was never big into watching games on the television or going to a game.  This was my second Yankee's game since moving to NYC three years ago.  But before we went, S and I went to a Yankee haunt - Frankie and Johnnies Pine restaurant - its Italian and so delicious.  We took a packed train all the way to the Bronx and then walked a few blocks.  I was a little nervous, especially because I had never been in that area before but S guided us to the restaurant and we had a deliciously large meal.   I had not eaten since before my exam so I had to order fried mozzarella right away!  I also had a hankering for fettuccine Alfredo and luckily for me it came with shrimp and scallops! It was really delicious.  I highly recommend this place if you are ever up in the Bronx.  
 Haha...taking selfies -- we are that cool...
 The train station where we got off was a little run down - maybe under construction - I hope! However, I love that the 4,5,6 trains always have those monitors that tell you how long you will have to wait for them - I don't understand why not all the subway trains/stations have those monitors? They are so helpful and I bet will improve people's moral or mentality, I mean if I wait 5 minutes for a train but don't know when it is to arrive, it will feel like forever and I certainly would get agitated but with the monitor I know and can wait for the time, even if it is 10 minutes!
 Outside of the restaurant - S was really excited and I was starving!

 I love it when you can tell the mozzarella sticks are fresh and homemade - not some microwave package - honestly, I hate fried food.  Fried food tends to upset my stomach, but I always have to order fried mozzarella.  
 My main meal - yes, it is rather large, and no, I did not eat it all... It served as part of my dinner the next day.
S' meal! She had penne with their homemade basil tomato sauce and grilled calamari -- she was a happy camper!

Talking about food is getting me so hungry, and with only two days left in the city, I have to figure out where I am going to be eating my fill of deliciousness.  Sadly, I have not been able to eat at PEEPS, a cool thai restaurant this year or at my favorite lobster roll place in the city (my ultimate favorite is definitely a lobster roll place in Maine).  
Here are some of my favorite places to eat in the city - or places I have had good times and still have photos of...

Peeps - not my photo but from the web - and is located below Houston in the west part of SoHo.  One can get a really affordable lunch there and get a lot of food for your money! 
 My dad and I went here one evening for dinner because we could not get in to Gramercy Tavern for an early dinner.  It is basically across the street and I had one of the most delicious meals I have ever had, but it was a tad pricey but being part of my family, a delicious meal is definitely worth the cost.  
 This is my favorite lobster roll place - and has a really cool vibe.  I have been here a few times with family as well as T.  It is really delicious but again pricey.  Love it! Just passed it the other day while walking around east part of SoHo.
One of my favorite sandwich places besides Panera!  So delicious and supposedly there is one close to Union Square but I have never been.  I usually go to the one in NoHo, on Lafayette.  I always order the turkey and pesto panini.  So good! It usually helps me survive some of winter break in the city during season. I actually just went there yesterday - and was as delicious as I remember.  

But back to my Wednesday, where S and I went to the baseball game.  
The Bluth's Banana Stand was there for the day - it is from the tv show Arrested Development.  S is a big fan and I enjoy it so we had to stop by.  Sadly they were not giving out any frozen bananas, so they were just there for photos but it was still fun.


I know, I am disgusting, even after eating way too much pasta, I still got ice cream.  But to my defense, I had been craving soft serve for like a week and when I saw that I could get it, I just had too.  Plus it was a few hours later and you can always find room for dessert.  
After the game, we went back to the dorm and I tried to study, but I think I watched an episode of Castle before calling it a night.  The next day, we both had slept in till almost noon and eventaully we got up and saw what a nice day it was and had to run some errands.  So we began in Madison Square Park and got shake shack shakes (chocolate peanut butter of course!) before walking around and then continuing on with our errands.   



In the park, there is this really cool art installation of sailboat rope that has been woven together and then painted red, blue and yellow and it goes throughout the park.  I thought it was really cool!


As we headed down 6th avenue, we passed a chipotle where four fire trucks had pulled up too... not sure what was going on but I took a photo of the fire truck and the fire fighters... there is just something about a man in uniform risking his life.

The next few days were spent trying to study, binge eating, sleeping and watching castle.  My mom came into the city after having driven to Georgia with my sister, then flown back to NoVa and then get in a car to drive to Westchester before coming into the city to pack all my stuff up and take it either to Westchester or back home.  It was good to see her, I miss her way too much when I am away, and I also got to see our family friend who is letting me store my stuff in her house outside of the city as well as my dear Aunt.  Love them all and I had a good time and we managed to get everything out.  I then had to get back to studying because my two finals were only mere hours away and I began to panic.  Honestly, I did not sleep a wink that night even when I tried.  So obviously, my finals did not go well.  I hope that I pull out good enough grades so that I can be done with them but I am a bit worried.  Oh well.

But, I promise, Jordan week 5 and the rest will be up shortly! Sorry for the long delay, but I got back to NoVa late last night and I have a lot of work to do around the house before I leave for Dallas but I definitely will make time to keep updating and posting.  I miss S but I get to see R soon and hopefully T at some point! I also have to say, I am glad to be out of the city.  While there are a lot of good things about NYC I was getting really tired of Union Square and just certain types of people who like to live up to their stereotypes and lash out at total strangers.  SO not appropriate.  I guess the warm weather brings out the wackos but speaking of warm weather, boy is it hot today in NoVa - 90 degrees! Yikes! You would think I would be able to handle it after living in the Middle East, but I assure you I have readjusted and I always have been more of a fan of the milder climates.  What I do love, is that it is so green... I will have to take some photos in attempts to capture it and share them with y'all.

Also, check out this story:

and here is the music video that accompanies it:

It is so sad but also made me so proud of the human race and how strong and good we can be.  It is in all of us.  Hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading. 

With joy,

A