Friday, June 29, 2012


Today is Friday!!!  I have a weird day at work, meaning I have a lot of running around the city to do.  Read: metroing.  I have to be fingerprinted for my job, which I know is totally normal for law-abiding citizens like myself...  My mother is a nurse and they even demanded that she get fingerprinted.  Still, I'm not trilled about the idea of sticking my fingers in ink at a police precinct.  Ick.  Can't they come do this in my office? 

Anyways, immediately following work, rooms and I are going to check out what will hopefully be our future home, and then we're off to the Jersey Shore!  I can't wait!  We definitely need a weekend away, and I can't wait to see my old roommate and our friends! 

Since I can't entertain you all weekend, I wanted to share a favorite blogger of mine.  The Everywherist.  I was stunned at her last WTF Wednesday post.  She has a brain tumor.  But she somehow makes her post announcing it funny.  I felt like I shouldn't be laughing, but she genuinly has a hilarious spirit.  I would love to be friends with her in reality.  Anyways, check out her blog, drop her some good luck and prayers, and enjoy your weekend!  I know I will!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Foil Packet Chicken! And My Cooking Theory.

Like I promised!  A food post!  My roommate and I have been grocery shopping together, planning meals for the week, and splitting the cost of groceries to make dinner.  She only eats a select few veggies, and we're trying to be as frugal as possible while still eating a well-rounded diet, and we both work late so things need to be simple, easy, and relatively fast.  On average, we spend $40 total for dinner for two people for five days.  That's about $4 a meal.

We buy frozen or canned vegetables as an easy, on-hand side dish.  I know that fresh can be cheaper, but honestly, when it comes to veggies, if you hit the sales right, frozen is just as good.  I wouldn't use the frozen mixes for salads or stir-fry, but for mixing with butter or olive oil and salt and pepper, they're a 4-minute alternative that's just as healthy.

Anyways, yesterday we tried foil-packet chicken.  I think it was originally intended for a grill, but we don't have one of those.  So we baked it.  We used red potatoes, green beans, and chicken breast, but it's one of those recipes that can be made with just about anything.  Throw it all together in the foil.

And here comes my difficulties with food-blogging.  I have been cooking since I was a child.  My whole family is culinarily proficient.  And we're Italian so nothing is a recipe.  It's just "put this with that and cook it until it's done."  And that's why I can never re-create my Nona's meatballs or sauce.  So, especially with simple meals like this, I find it hard to blog about the "recipe."  But I tried for you guys.  I tried hard.

Anyways, we used 6 medium-ish red potatoes.  I diced them really small.  Two big chicken breasts (not tenders or halves or cutlets, which I'm sure you could do, but they wouldn't take as long to cook) and a big bag of frozen cut green beans.

The bowl was way too small. 
I put it all in some tin foil.  Like three layers of it, crossed so it folded up on all sides.  And then I drizzled everything with a good amount of Italian dressing.

We decided to get a little "zesty" but it really wouldn't make a difference.

The dressing is basically in lieu of rubbing everything with olive oil or butter and then seasoning it separately.  Like I said, we look for easy.  

And then I wrapped up those foil packets and baked them on 450 for 40 minutes.  And it actually ended up being 30 minutes, at which point we turned off the oven and let it sit in there for another 30 minutes while we, uh, ran a really important errand.... to get wine... meal essentials.  

When we got home, this was the delicious finished product!  

Steamy, pull-apart-with-a-fork chicken and potatoes and beans!  I drizzled it with a little extra dressing and ate the whole plate.  Like I said, it's not exactly Iron Chef material over here, but this day in age (oh god, I sound old...) I'm all about nutritious (aka NOT from McDonald's) and quick.  It's much less tempting to hit up a drive through for a "snack" from the dollar-menu if you know dinner will be ready (without much work or effort) by the time you shower, put on your PJs, and decide what to watch on your DVR first.  

Rooms and I are heading to the Jersey Shore tomorrow, so posting will resume next week!  Hopefully with some fabulous Snooki-inspired photography of hair poofs. 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rush Hour, minus Jackie Chan

That's it.  I've had it.  If you're in a peppy cheerful all-is-right-with-the-world-mood, then you might not want to read this rant I'm about to spew.  I promise it will be dripping with sarcasm though. 

I've had it with the traffic here.  And not just the traffic, but the drivers.  Now, I know you're probably saying "oh my god traffic is so bad where I live, everyone is seven thousand years old and drives like morons and rush hour is soooo packed I have to go 45 instead of 65 on the highway."  Shut up.  I don't care where you live, or how bad you think your traffic situation is.  It is nothing compared to the DC metro area.  Ask anyone who's tried to get from Van Dorn to the Hill any time between 7:30 and 9:30am.  Ask any poor soul who's been stuck on the 395 for an hour and a half for what would have taken 15 minutes sans obnoxious traffic.  I kid you not, people.  This is traffic on a whole other level. 

It's not just that there are a lot of cars on the same roads trying to get to the same places and the same times.  It's that everyone who is driving on those roads is stupid.  Idiotic.  The only requirement for getting a drivers license in Northern Virginia, Maryland, or the District is that you have to see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals.  It has to be. 

If you've never been to the area, let me paint you the picture.  Imagine everything is highways.  And all those highways merge into and off of each other.  And in the process of this merging, you could go from a 3-lane local street to a one-lane highway ramp that merges with another one-lane highway ramp, resulting in a two-lane yield-and-merge situation that must merge into one lane and then merge into a three or four lane highway.  I say three or four because the jackasses that built the roads just end lanes whenever they damn well please.  As if that isn't annoying enough, no one actually understands the simple task of merging.  I get that we're all in a hurry to our very important jobs with the government... but so am I, and so is that Toyota you just cut off, and so is that guy from New York picking his nose as he sits with his blinker on for 3 miles trying to get to his exit. 

Not to mention, everyone merges on, gets into the "fast lane" on the left, (which goes 20 MPH instead of the routine15MPH the other lanes travel).  That's fine.  Ride the fast lane.  Go fast.  Don't let me see your brake lights.  And good god, woman, plan accordingly when your exit is coming up.  I don't think this town has seen a hot-headed Italian girl get out of her car and raise hell because someone decided to cut across all four lanes at the last possible minute to make their exit.  It's coming, one of these days.  The most irking part of it is that it's always the Virginia and Maryland license plates that pull this stunt.  I've lived here for a month and I know when my exit is coming up.  You've liked her long enough to have a permanent tag on your car, you best know where you're going. 

I told you I was going to rant.  I've honestly run out of profanities to yell at the cars during my commute.  And you better hope you don't have a bumper sticker, school pride logo, or out-of-area license plate, or I'm going to come up with something very offensive to yell to my windshield pertaining to your interests.  "Pick a lane you hippie white water rafting ding-a-ling!  Please go drive your canoe that terribly... right off Niagara Falls!" 

In a month, we will be moving closer to the city, so my commuting rants will probably switch to people-watching tales on the metro.  Till then...


Sunday, June 24, 2012


Happy Sunday!

I can't believe the weekend is already over!  It was a pretty relaxing weekend, and involved some partying!  Friday night, my roommate and I went to a moving-away party at a bar called Whitlow's in Arlingon for one of my good friends.  It was a good time, but I totally got ripped off on my $30 cab ride home.  Oh well.

Saturday, we went to a BBQ in the city.  It was small and casual and we grilled and played cornhole and listened to country music and drank beer.

And by grilled, I mean the boys did.  And by played cornhole, I mean we threw beanbags at each other.  I didn't exaggerated on the beer and country music though.  It's been hot and sunny out here, so it was a great evening.

And how precious is this puppy that was there?! 

His name is Burt Reynolds!

Next week starts my first week completely on my own at work.  I'm a little nervous, but definitely excited to prove myself.  It's also been fun making new work-appropriate outfits out of the few new items I bought and my existing wardrobe.  And, luckily, my roommate and I are the same size so we can share tops.  It's like having a double closet.  I guess it's a girl thing.  

Anyways, nothing too incredible and exciting to tell you guys about.  My roommate and I have been planning our weekly meals and grocery shopping and cooking together, and it's been saving us money.  Maybe I'll post a week of our meals for you all!  


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hair Brushes and Golf Balls.

Hello lovelies!  Happy Wednesday!  It is Wednesday, right?  I'm losing track of the days.  To be honest, I'm losing track of my life now that everything is so new and hectic. 

To be completely honest, I would just love to not be moving for a hot minute.  I know that I moved up here three weeks ago but I'm not moved in anywhere really completely.  I can't even settle into my office or my desk because I'm not only switching desks when my predecessor leaves, but I may be switching offices!  Just give me a little corner of space to put a picture frame on, that's all I ask...

Anyways, besides working, my life is basically uhh, relaxing evenings, and weekends spent out playing at bars and parties.  I'm still getting used to the bar scene here.  As in... I'm confused as to why some females don't brush or style their hair prior to a night on the town.  I get the whole it's-happy-hour-and-I-just-came-from-work thing.  Excusable.  What bewilders me are the Saturday-11-pm-crowd at a bar with live music and a dance floor and $9 drinks in real glasses.  Is every girl's life so busy and time consuming that she just did not possibly at all have time to run a comb through her locks?  Maybe I'm just vain... who knows. 

Oh, and the most dangerous part of my day?  I escaped death.  Yep, seriously.  Some asshat threw a golf ball out of a car window on the HOV lanes this morning.  Except that little white ball of steel (or whatever golf balls are made out of) roamed on over to my lane, where it smacked into my windshield.  Lovely.  Somehow, by a miracle of baby Jesus himself, my windshield remained intact and I survived.  My advice for that DC  commuter: yell "fore" next time!  If you're that horrible at the game, at least learn the proper manners. 

Alright, it's past six and if traffic is still horrendous I'm just going to have deal with it.  Time to head out. 


Friday, June 15, 2012

On A Quest for Shoes That Aren't Boats.

It's Friday, but since I've been "working from home" this week, it feels no different than it being Friday during undergrad Spring semester where I spent my Friday hungover in bed from thirsty Thursday or something.  Except I wasn't hungover, I was sleepy.  In defense of my not being a complete slacker, I have gotten all of my work accomplished this week, as well as two meetings with the guy I'm replacing to go over everything.  So the 3 hour nap was definitely justified... right? 

I borrowed one of my (new) roommate's clothing steamers this week and finally got around to steaming/ironing/hanging most of my work attire, so that next week when I actually have to get dressed and go into the office, I'm not looking like a wrinkly schlep.  I'm excited to wear all the new clothes I bought last weekend.  Have I mentioned before that I love Banana Republic outlets?  Well, I do.  $120 got me a pair of white shorts for summer (so now I can turn my old too-short white shorts into American flag attire for the 4th), a white pencil skirt, a basic black skirt, and a blouse that looks way too matronly on the hanger but magically transforms when put on a human.  

I got too lazy to take photos, so you'll just have to trust my descriptive explanations.  Don't worry, I'll share the American Flag shorts craft project with you all when I do them.  

Here's my fashion dilemma, though.  In hindsight, I probably should have asked Joan Rivers for suggestions, but she was too busy drinking wine in between singing books.  So, I'll turn to Blog-world.  And, be warned, I'm picky... 

I need comfortable, cute ballerina-type flats.  In black and nude/beige.  

I have some from Target... they give me horrendous blisters and the scrunched backs eat up my heels.  I've tried on countless pairs.  They all look like I just strapped some miniature canoes onto my feet, bulging and gaping at the sides.  I'm a size eight, which isn't enormous, but it also isn't miniature... I'd like to not accentuate my feet to the point that they look like water-skiing equipment.  

To make a very long story short, even though I enjoy wearing heels to work and investing in a cute yet comfy pair, I need something to keep in my tote for when I decide to meet my roommate for happy hour after work and have to walk to the metro.  Or when my feet hurt from wearing stilettos the evening before.  Or, if you really must know, because I once (three times) lost my big toe nail on my right foot due to a tragic accident (slamming my foot in a car door, etc) and I'm pretty sure constantly wearing heels is not beneficial for healthy birthing of a new one.  (Sorry for that gross escapade... in my defense, you choose to read this nonsense.)  Plus, what if my foot gets caught in the metro door because I couldn't understand the fast-talking Asian woman alert me that the "doors are closing, please step back?" Whatever.  I just want some damn comfortable non-horrendous flats.  Help me out. 

Happy Friday!  Here's to a weekend of playing in the city and pretending that the YMCA-type pool available to me is a Floridian get-a-way with a fountain, palm trees, music, beer, and water basketball.  


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Meeting the Fashion Police

Happy Wednesday!  I've been working from home this week, since our office is being used for something else, which has allowed me to get errands done in the morning after traffic dies down.  The downside to working at home?  No one actually believes I'm working.  It's also really easy to get distracted by snacks and TV and my new book and errands and... yeah.  Regardless, I've gotten all my work done so far.

The best part of my week was actually Monday!  If you follow me on social media, you know I met Joan Rivers!  If you don't, then, well... I met Joan Rivers!  To make a long and very it's-all-about-who-you-know story short, I was lucky enough to get invited along to a private reception with my roommate and her coworker where Joan herself was having a book signing.  Her book, "I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me," is hilarious.  I suggest you grab it for a fun read at the beach or pool, for when you need a break from the practically pornographic chapters in the Fifty Shades of Grey obsession.

Look at those sleeves!
In addition to the excitement of meeting a celebrity, did I mention that the reception had appetizers and wine? It was probably pretty obvious that we were rookies at events like that... what with befriending the girl in charge of pouring white wine and the man with the portabello flat bread.  You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not... Wine Woman must have been really desperate to leave her shift, because at one point she just emptied half a bottle of wine into our glasses, filling them way past the "casual drink at a 6pm party" point.  Maybe we weren't actually supposed to eat the food?  I've been craving those little fried chicken bites ever since though. 

Even if your Monday wasn't as fabulous as mine, I hope your week has been great!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Work Week Numero Uno!

Happy Friday!  I know you've all been devastated at my lack of posting, but I've been running around getting caught up in my new job and being in a new place.  Have no fear, I'm here to tell you all about it!

I officially started work on Tuesday, and the whole week was full of meeting faculty and staff and being bombarded with information.  I work with some great people, I love the mission of my office, and I am just surrounded by a wealth of information.  It's a huge plus for a nerd like me.  Oh, and did I mention there's free coffee? I'm practically in heaven.

My transition to DC has been pretty calm.  My clothing and things are crammed into two suitcases, and every day stuff ends up spilling out of them a little bit more.  Packing a suitcase is easy... keeping it packed while you live out of it is not.  Joan Rivers is going to give me a fashion police ticket pretty soon for the atrocious wrinkles creeping into my wardrobe.  I may have a grown-up job, but I've been using my hair straightener to iron my blouses... not quite an adult yet, I suppose.

Traffic is horrendous.  Abominable.  Like, no one here can drive.  Which is a shame, because that's what they all try to do.  Every highway involves obscene amounts of merging and yielding, but I don't think even the most seasoned commuter has tapped into that common-sense brain synapse to get that down.  It's a good de-stress to scream "screw you, Maryland PETA jackhole!" at the cars that cut me off or almost sideswipe me on my way home.  Road rage?  What's that?

Anyways, the workweek is over, time to enjoy the weekend!


Monday, June 4, 2012

The Adventures of I-95

Oh hello there!  I am officially a resident of the Washington D.C. metro area!  Well, I'm technically a resident of Florida, but I live in Virginia now.  Actually, I am a permanent house guest in Virginia... Whatever, however you want to explain it, I now reside in a suburb of my dream city, beginning an amazing job.

On Sunday, I made the 15 hour drive up here.  By myself.  With a Ford Explorer packed to the brim.  At least I had a lot of country music and some great weather.
iPhone might as well have said "drive forever". 
My little driving companion.
It was hard saying goodbye to my family, friends, and boyfriend, and I'm sure the next couple of months will be difficult to adjust to, but I tried to entertain myself with the road trip to keep my mind off the heavy stuff.  If you've never driven around the North-South-Carolinas border, well, you should.  For about 200 miles (not even exaggerating here) I kept seeing billboards advertising "Pedro's Ice Cream!" and "Reptile Lagoon" and "Hot Tamale Restaurant!" and "Pedro's Carnival Rides!"  I'm not even kidding, all of these billboards advertised practically everything under the sun, and all had a "South of the Border" logo on it.  I was intrigued, and looking to see the ridiculous advertisements made that 200 miles pass a lot faster.  

By the time I saw "Last Chance! South of the Border!" I had to stop.  I changed lanes like a maniac and made the exit, and as I pulled off the highway I realized I was in the most hilarious town.  It was so politically incorrect.  Leave it to some southerners to make money off of a Hispanic stereotype.  The roofs of buildings were sombreros, and everything was "Perdo's."  Pedro's Ice Cream and Pedro's Reptile Lagoon.  And there were statues of "Pedro" all over the little town.  And by town, I mean a couple of blocks down a single street.  

Get it?  South of the North Carolina border? haha

Good ole Pedro's Ice Cream and the Hot Tamale restaurant. 
I went into Pedro's Tee-Shirt Shop and bought my boyfriend a key chain of a little Mexican man in a sombrero.  The obnoxious place was definitely the highlight of my trip.  

I also stopped at my first real truck stop.  Unintentionally.  I was looking for a Shell gas station, and it wasn't until I pulled up that I saw the sign.  
I believe those were the Big Boys themselves sitting outside. 
I'd never been to a truck stop before.  It was like any other interstate gas station, except it had a diner attached and a lot of people just hanging out, and a field, and the restrooms had showers in them.  They were a little ambitious in calling it a travel "plaza," unless two establishments qualifies for a plaza.  I would have called it a gas station, but I guess I'm not the only one that exaggerates a bit.  

The remainder of my trip was your typical 15-hour drive through five states.  I drove on Interstate 95 the entire time, which I'm pretty sure must have been built in 1895 and then repaved back in 1995.  Another ambitious label, calling it an "interstate."  I was thinking more like "Path of Potholes."  Poor Dora the Explorer is going to need another re-alignment.  

Anyways, I'm finally here, and after a stack of paperwork that felt a mile high today, I finally start my first real day of work tomorrow.  I know you'll be dying to hear about it... have no fear, I'll be updating... I just can't blog at work anymore.  Oh the woes of big-girl life.