Friday, March 30, 2012

Journey Forward (7)

I'm a day late with my Journey Forward post this week...ooops!  It's been a busy one at the office and my roommate's sweet friend and her adorable 3 year old daughter are staying with us.  I've been spending my free time visting with them (and playing my little ponies) instead of blogging.

This week's topic is to write about your role model or the spokesperson for your word.  My word is grow and I can't think of anyone better than Professor Clark to serve as a role model for it.

Professor Clark was always an inspiration to me.  She's worked tirelessly to promote human rights issues with a particular focus on ending human trafficking.  She taught the best three course I took at GW (Human Trafficking, Women in Global Politics, and Dissent through Memoir).  Her class discussions and readings forced you to think critically about political and human rights issues that are not typically raised in other classrooms.  Her lessons were personalized and included keeping journals on our reactions to the issues and topics we discussed in class.  Those journals helped me explore and grow academically in ways no other class ever did.

More importantly, she encouraged us all to grow from the lessons we learned in her classroom.  When a small group on students in our class on human trafficking wanted to start an anti-trafficking advocacy group on campus, she was our biggest cheerleader and our biggest resource.  She would help us line up speakers, fine tune ideas, and organize events to fundraise for local shelters, but she never tried to take over and the final products were always our own.  She truly taught us how to grow into leaders and overcome new and challenging tasks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Balancing Act

Do you ever feel like you're precariously balancing all the areas of your life?  That's how I'm feeling lately.  Between juggling clawing my way up the corporate ladder work, the boyfriend, friends, and trying to squeeze a little me time in there...there's not a whole lot of time for anything else.  I'm constantly making trade offs.  Should I blog today or go to the gym?  Do I have time to clean the kitchen or do my laundy?  I'd love to meet you for brunch but the next Sunday I'm free is three weeks from now.

I know you bloggy ladies all keep very busy schedules as well.  How do you fit everything in?  What do you prioritize the most and what are you willing to make trade offs on?  What do you do to stay connected with friends during weeks you don't have time to hang out?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up


One of my favorite parts of Spring is visiting the cherry blossoms down at the National Mall so I headed down to see them on Friday.  I find it impossible not to be in a good mood while walking around all those beautiful pink blossoms.  This is also the 100th year anniversary of receiving the cherry trees from Japan, which made this year's festival even more special.

While we were walking around the National Mall, we stopped to see the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial for the first time.  While my favorite monument will always be the FDR, I thought the MLK memorial was done very well.  It was very powerful to stand and look at his statue while reflecting on all the quotes that surround it.

We ended our night by picking up the much anticipated Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell.  I have one word to describe these....DISAPPOINTING.  Instead of a taco encased in a delicious crunchy Dorito,  you get a sub-standard taco shell coated in a little bit of Dorito seasoning.  Hopefully, Taco Bell will step up their game on this one since if it's done right, this will be delicious.  Have you given it a try yet?


Saturday I rocked this really sexy poncho at Shamrock Fest.  The rain absolutely sucked, but we still managed to have a great time!  I had the opportunity to see Gaelic Storm for the first time.  They put on a great show...and they also have some fantastic music.  Check out Me and the Moon...I promise you'll love it too.

After Gaelic Storm one of my favorite bands in the world, The Dropkick Murphys, took the stage.  My mom took me to my first Dropkicks show when I was in 8th or 9th grade and I've been in love ever since.  They opened their set with For Boston, which I've never seen them open with outside of MA so it was definitely a treat.  They also did a short acoustic set.  Citizen CIA played acoustic was unbelievable. The only disappointing part of their set was that the festival organizers wouldn't let them bring people on stage...which meant no Spicy McHaggis Jig and no Skinhead on the MBTA.  It just doesn't feel like a Dropkicks show without those songs.

After Shamrock Fest, we obviously hit up Murphy's.  Besides the Shamrock Fest crew, a bunch of the regulars were there and it was fun to catch up with everyone.


Yesterday I finally had the chance to see The Hunger Games and I loved it!  I think they did such a wonderful job bringing the books to life.  The casting was fantastic, the costumes were incredible, and the arena was exactly how I pictured it.  Woody Harrelson was a PERFECT Haymitch and I think he was my favorite part of the film.  I don't want to give anything away in case people haven't seen it yet but he was hilarious!  If you've seen the film, what did you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Silliness

This week's Saturday Silliness post is inspired by The Hunger Games.  I'm finally getting to see the movie tomorrow and I am so excited!!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Journey Forward (6)

Today's Journey Forward prompt is to share what you do and where you go to unwind, de-stress, and recharge.  I have a few go to activities that always help me re-focus when I'm having a rough day.

1. Sit in the Sun

Whether it's at the beach, on my balcony, or in the park, sitting in the sun always helps me relax.  I love feeling the warmth of its rays while napping or reading a good book.  While I love to sit outside for hours, even 10-15 minutes during my lunch break can completely turn around a stressful day.

2. Go to the Mall

I have a weird quirk when I'm stressed.  Most girls would want to go out and buy shoes or a new dress when they want to cheer up but not this girl.  I head straight for the nearest Victoria's Secret and buy a a new pair of brightly colored undies.  There's just something about treating myself to a small but still fun purchase that improves my mood.  I also absolutely love people watching and the mall provides the perfect opportunity to do so!

3. Hit the Gym

There's is nothing like jumping on the elliptical or the stationary bike and sweating out all your frustrations.  After my workout, I feel like I've left all the stresses of the day behind.  I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my problems in a constructive way.

4. See a Movie...Alone

I haven't done this in about a year but seeing a movie by myself never fails to help me recharge.  Seeing a movie can be a total escape while you get caught up in the story and world the director and writers have created.  Going by yourself truly lets you lose yourself in the film and reflect on it after it's ended.  If you've never seen a movie by yourself before, I recommend giving it a try!

What do you do to re-charge and relax?

Stuff I Like

1. Fojol Bros

Now that the warmer weather's here, it's food truck season!  I love taking a walk during lunch, picking up something from a food truck, and then having an impromptu picnic in the park.  My latest food truck obsession is Fojol Bros.  I've tried both their Indian and Ethiopian trucks and the food at both was delicious!  It's not often that you see food trucks serving Indian or Ethiopian cuisine so it was a fun way to try something new.  If you eat lunch there, definitely pick up a lossipop!  These yogurt popsicles are very refreshing on a warm day.

2. Cupcakes! Cookbook

I won the Cupcakes! cookbook from Crate & Barrel and Shari's Daily Dish earlier this month and these recipes are great!  I've only tried the "Kid Simple" cupcake recipe so far but it was very easy to follow and they were delicious.  This is definitely a cookbook I would suggest owning.

3. Birthday Cake Oreos

I had been searching for these Birthday Cake Oreos for weeks with absolutely no luck.  My mom came to the rescue last week and mailed me a box!  Wow are they tasty.  As soon as you open the package you can smell the vanilla and the little rainbow chips make them so festive.  They're limited edition so make sure you stock up before they disappear!

4. Mighty Pub Quiz

I am terrible at bar trivia...but I absolutely love it!  We went to the Mighty Pub Quiz at Mighty Pint on Monday.  The questions were pretty tough and our team came in last place (the other half of our group of friends came in first...they're clearly the smarter half while we were the half doing shots in between's fine) but the night was still a lot of fun!  They give away a $50 bar tab to whoever comes in first place so it's worth trying to win.

5. Milani Gold Glitz Polish

I'm rocking Milani Gold Glitz on my fingers this week and I love the sparkle.  Plus, unlike most glitter polishes, it hasn't been chipping and it's easy to remove.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

First of all....Happy Spring!!  What are you doing to celebrate the official start of my favorite season?  I'm rocking a yellow skirt and I have every intention of going to see the cherry blossoms this weekend.

My weekend wrap up is going to start on Saturday this week.  Friday night was dedicated to resting up for St. Patrick's Day and watching TV.  I don't think you want to read a play by play of that.


I started out the day right with St. Patty's Day cupcakes for breakfast and then had a bunch of friends over for drinks.  The weather here was absolutely GORGEOUS.  It was perfect for having a few beers on the balcony...and yelling "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" or "Top of the morning to ya" to anyone wearing green.  It's fine.

We then donned some fake mustaches and headed over to Murphy's (really, where else would I be on St. Patty's Day?).  There was a 20 minute wait to get in, which was insane but totally worth it.  Inside it was a sea of green and the Irish singers were performing all day.  Besides the usual Murphy's crew, a bunch of the Patriots' crowd was there as well!  We hadn't seen any of them since the Super Bowl and it was a lot of fun to catch up!  I may have stolen one of their "Irish Whiskey Makes Me Frisky" sashes. looked better on me anyway.


On Sunday I made a traditional St. Patrick's Day meal of corned beef.  I wasn't thrilled with the quality of the corned beef at my grocery store but it turned out ok.  Did anyone else make a corned beef this year?  It just doesn't seem like St. Patrick's Day to me without one!

I ended the evening by watching the season finale of Walking Dead.  Who else tuned in?  I personally thought the episode was a little anti-climatic after the previous week's episode but I still enjoyed it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe St. Patty's Day!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Nail Files and Get Lucky Blog Swap

I decided to lump these two posts together since they're both St. Patty's Day themed!

The Nail Files

First up we have Tara and Vicki's nail files link up.

In the spirit of the holiday, I went with a green nails with a gold accent nail.  The polishes I used to create this look were Borghese Pistacchio and Milani Gold Glitz.  Hopefully I can keep them chip free until tomorrow!

Today is also the day of Cami and Anna's Get Lucky Swap reveal!  I was paired up with Holly at Perfectly Imperfect Holly.  I had a lot of fun reading through her blog and shopping for her package.  I loved all the goodies she sent me!

Her package to me included Hershey's Bliss (filled with mint), some super cute shamrock coasters, two St. Patty's Day necklaces (which I will definitely be wearing when we go out tomorrow!), and a recipe for homemade Shamrock Shakes!  I'm really looking forward to making the shakes.  Thanks for your thoughtful package, Holly!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Journey Forward (5)

This week's Journey Forward topic is to describe yourself.  It's easy for me to describe others but, I always find it more difficult to describe myself.

I tried writing this out in paragraph form but it's just not working...I told you I'm terrible at writing about  myself!  We're going with a bulleted list instead.

10 Facts About Me

1. I always have to be busy.  I keep my schedule completely full with work, happy hours, lunch dates, blogging, and soon volunteering will be added to the mix.

2. I have a hard time saying no.  I'm always afraid friends will be mad at me if I tell them I can't help them with a project or I can't meet them at the bar this weekend.  It's something I'm trying to work on.

3. Coffee keeps me going.  I have to have at least 2 cups a day or I get cranky.  I blame my family since everyone drinks massive amounts of the stuff.  My grandfather even refers to coffee as "Swedish Gasoline".

4. I'm a complete girlie girl and am obsessed with sundresses and sparkles BUT...I'm also one of the biggest Patriots fans you'll ever meet.

5. I'm very close with my family and they mean the world to me.

6. I'm a perfectionist.  I always want everything I do to turn out right and turn out right the first time.  I tend to be hard on myself when I make a mistake.

7. While I love fiction, my favorite thing to read is a memoir.  I find learning about the experiences of others absolutely fascinating.

8. I always like to bring fun into whatever situation I'm in.  Whether it's suggesting my friends play a silly board game instead of sitting in front of the TV or running out and buying a sweet treat for my team when we've been having a stressful day at the office.

9. If I could, I would spend every day sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, and reading a good book.

10. I like trying new things.  It doesn't matter how big or small it is.  Traveling to a different city, trying out a new recipe, or going to a festival are all thrilling to me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stuff I Like

1. Crispy Pesto Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

I made this incredible Crispy Pesto Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese dish for dinner last night and I still can't get over how delish yet easy it was to make.  Instead of boiling the gnocchi you cook it in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil to make it crispy.  I'd never cooked gnocchi like that before and I thought it was a fun and tasty twist on the dish.  The tangy goat cheese combined with the sweet tomatoes and pesto makes a wonderful sauce.  Seriously, make this for dinner one night this week.  You won't be disappointed!  You can find the recipe here.

2. Poste Moderne Brasserie

via Yelp
I don't know about you, but this warm weather has me wanting to be outside all the time!  We've been trying to sneak in some outdoor happy hours to enjoy it.  Last week we checked out Poste Moderne Brasserie.  They have a gorgeous spacious patio decorated with low lighting and some of the seating areas feature small fire pits.  Is there anything better than enjoying a glass of wine while sitting outside at a place like that?  I didn't think so.  The only downside about Poste is the bar is not big enough for the number of people the patio accommodates.  The bartenders were trying there best but I had to wait quite a while for a drink.

3. Scramble With Friends

Does anyone else play Scramble with Friends?  I like it even better than Words with Friends!  If you play, challenge me to a game: lwood15.

4. Call Me Maybe

I've confessed my love of terrible pop music before but it's taking on a whole new level right now.  I've been listening to this song on repeat for days.  Not only is it insanely catchy but, my favorite guilty pleasures (Ashley Tisdale and the Biebz) are in the video.  Enjoy!

5. Striped Drop Shoulder Knit Dress

I picked up this dress at Express last week and I am loving it.  Not only is it super preppy and appropriate for Spring, but it's also very comfortable.  I can't wait to get a lot of use out of it.