Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Roommate Search

via
My absolutely wonderful roommate is leaving me for the Windy City and I have begun the search for her replacement.  I've used Craigslist before to find my roommates in NYC and my roommate here in DC but it feels much different being on the opposite end of the search.  This time, I have to find someone to fill the room and to be honest, it feels a little like online dating.  Instead of deciding if I like the space, I'm deciding if I like the person...but unlike dating, I only have a week and a half to decide who I want to share my living space with instead of months and months.

I'm having a huge debate with myself right now.  I've met some nice people who I could live with but I haven't met anyone yet who I'm excited to live with.  The last two times I found roommates through Craigslist, I left our first meetings being 100% sure that these were the ladies I wanted to live with.  Both situations worked out perfectly and I want another great roommate.  It's not quite crunch time yet so I think I'm going to hold out for a few more days.  Hopefully, I'll find the perfect roommate soon!

Here are the qualities my ideal roommate would have:

1. A bright and positive personality.  This is the biggest one for me.  I always see the glass as half full and I can find a good point in even the most horrible situations.  There's no way I could live with a negative person who doesn't share my love for life.

2. A busy schedule.  I keep myself INSANELY busy.  I like to fill my life with social sports, happy hours, and dinner dates with friends.  I hate sitting around and doing nothing and I'd like a roommate who feels the same way.

3. Social.  I've lived in situations before where all the roommates would come home from work, turn on the TVs in their bedrooms, and shut the doors.  It was fine but it wasn't the ideal situation.  My current roommate and I take full advantage of our living room.  It's nice to have someone to watch an episode of Once Upon A Time or Four Houses with during the evening and I'd like to have that again.

4. Tidy but not obsessively so. I love that our apartment has a tidy but lived in feel.  We both share the chores and make sure our dishes get washed, the rug gets vacuumed, and our shoes don't completely take over the living room.  At the same time, neither one of us minds if we leave notebooks or laptops on our coffee table or if during a particularly busy week, a dish or two gets left in the sink overnight.

5. Not Judgy.  As a twenty-something, I like to go out and have fun.  I love going to happy hour with friends, going out dancing all night on the weekends, trying new things, and dating different people.  I would not do well with a roommate who has a problem with any of those things.

Have you lived with roommates before?  What qualities do you look for in a roommate?


Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday

Miss Ora came to visit on Friday and I was so happy to have her in town!!  While we were waiting for her to arrive, everyone came over to my place to watch the opening ceremony.  Now I love the Olympics, but I was seriously unimpressed with the opening ceremony.  I didn't think the story lines flowed together, the Industrial Revolution segment was bizarre, and the digital age where they traveled through the decades was ridiculous (I mean she lost her phone but was still texting him on it...I don't understand).  I will say that the music they chose was excellent though.

Once Ora arrived, we headed over to Murphy's and of course it was a blast!  Except, for one totally bizarre moment.  There's a couple in their 40s that we see there a lot and they invited me to sit with them.  They then tried to fix me up with their friend who is also in his 40s...I'm sorry you are old enough to be my dad and it is HELLA creepy to say "I've been watching you here since St. Patrick's Day".  YUCK.

Saturday

On Saturday we had lunch at The Pinch (seriously, their burger topped with bacon and bbq pulled duck is life changing) and then we had a couple of hours to kill before going to Drink the District.  We decided to knock another item off of the Summer in the City list and FINALLY checked out New York Avenue Beach Bar.  It was simaltaneously one of the strangest and most fun places I've ever been.  It's essentially an empty lot filled with sand with a couple of tiki bars, some picnic tables, and amazing music.  How can that not be a good time?


After New York Avenue Beach Bar, we headed over to Drink the District.  Drink the District was a beer tasting event that featured 40 different beers.  It was waaaay too hot to sample more than a few but my personal favorite of the afternoon was Dogfish Head's Festina Peche.  It had the perfect amount of fruit for a summer beer.  There was also a really awesome band performing called Violet Says 5...their live show includes a dancing panda.  Amazing.

via Yelp
Afterwards Ora and I wanted to re-live our college days and we headed for a margarita at Tony & Joe's.  It was a beautiful night for hanging out at the Georgetown Waterfront but it had rained earlier so the crowd was pretty small.  When our friend C called us and said he was at Murphy's, we obviously decided to head over and hang with him.  There may have been some slow dancing to In the Jungle...it's totally fine.

Sunday

On Sunday, my roommate hosted a brunch at our apartment for one of her coworkers that's moving away.  I really enjoy her friends and it was nice to share some girl talk over a few cups of coffee.  Things got ridiculous after brunch though.  I met up with T at La Tasca for what was supposed to be a low key dinner and a round of trivia.  Well, we never made it to trivia.  The restaurant was pretty slow and we had such a fun time chatting with the staff that we just never left.  We swapped stories about crazy people we've gone on dates with, places we've traveled, and our favorite places to hang out in DC.  We stayed until the place closed, all hugged before we left, and totally made plans to get together later this week.  Things like this seriously only happen to me.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Silliness



That's right you're reading this correctly...the US Olympic Swimming Team made a video to Call Me Maybe.  Swimming has always been my favorite summer Olympics event....but now I'm looking forward to it even more!

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's the Freakin Weekend Baby

No one has put my feelings about Fridays into words quite as well as R Kelly.


Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend...I know I'm going to!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Stuff I Like

1. Go Mini Steamer


I absolutely HATE ironing.  My clothes always end up with weird creases in them or I burn myself.  I have conveniently lost my iron (I have a feeling I left it in NYC...and yes, it did take take me almost 10 months to notice) and I used it as an excuse to buy a Go Mini Steamer from Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I love having it!  Steaming wrinkles out of my clothes is fast and easy.  Plus, it comes in pink...things are always better when they're pink.

2. Target Sandals


Source: target.com via Leanna on Pinterest
 

Source: target.com via Leanna on Pinterest
 

Source: target.com via Leanna on Pinterest

I love rocking new sandals in the summer time but I hate spending a lot of money on them.  They always get so beat up and usually end up going out of style before next season rolls around.  That's why I've been loving these Target sandals.  They're cute, comfortable, and inexpensive!

3. Retro Ray's/Ray's the Steaks

I went to dinner with some coworkers at Retro Ray's on Tuesday night.  Retro Ray's shares a kitchen with Ray's the Steaks except is features a slightly different menu and has a full bar.  The food was absolutely AMAZING.  We enjoyed the Devilishly Good Eggs as an appetizer and then I had the House Special filet (with a pepercorn crust, brandy mushroom cream, and blue cheese...yummmm).  I cannot suggest checking out this place enough.  There are a few other incarnations of Ray's throughout Arlington.  After Jenn's glowing review of Ray's: To the Third, it's next on my list to check out.

4. Major Mayhem


When our friend J was visiting last week, he got our entire group of friends hooked on the iPhone game Major Mayhem.  I mean, is there anything more fun than fighting ninjas while waiting for the metro to arrive?  I don't think so.

5. Flo Rida "Whistle"


Two things about this song: 1) How in the world did Flo Rida get away with getting such a dirty song on the radio? 2) I don't care how dirty it is, this song is damn catchy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July



Christmas is one of my absolute favorite times of the year so I was thrilled when Alyx posted about the Christmas in July swap that she would be hosting with Daryl and Cecilia.

I was paired up with Maria at Peppermints and Pixie Dust.  The minute I read her "About" section, I knew we were perfect swap partners.  I had a ton of fun shopping for her package and I've loved getting to know her by reading her blog.

Maria sent me the absolute perfect gift!


Four different varieties of Community Coffee (such a fun idea since Community Coffee is made in her area) and Essie's Russian Roulette.  I'm a coffee addict and I think leaving the house without nail polish on is almost as bad as leaving your house naked so I will get a lot of use out these!  I have a friend coming to visit this weekend and I can't wait to brew her up a pot of the Pecan Praline coffee.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Being Present




Hi.  My name is Leanna and I'm a social media addict.  I'm constantly checking Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, and Goodreads for the latest updates.  When I'm out doing something fun, my first thought is "I can't wait to share this on (insert form of social media here)".  I find myself whipping out my phone to sneak in a quick tweet or post a new picture to Facebook instead of actually enjoying the moment.

I think part of this stems from blogging...there's a need to constantly generate interesting content in order to build and maintain your following...and part of it stems from my personality.  I enjoy sharing the new and exciting things I'm doing with others and honestly, I like the ego boost when people comment on my content saying they enjoy it/think it looks like fun/want to try out a tip I've posted for themselves.

It's gotten to a point though where I need to slow my social media roll.  When your friends ask you how many more pictures you're going to tweet of your iced coffee, it's time to admit you have a problem.  Or like last night when we were out at trivia at Four Courts...there was a moment when all 8 of us were sitting at the table checking our phones.  What's the point of spending time together if that's what you're going to do?   I've decided it's time for me to make more of an effort to be present in the moment and not share every little thing on social media the moment it's happening.

I'm guessing this is a dilemma that other bloggers face as well...how do you balance creating content and building your blog/social media presence with your daily routine?  How often do you tweet/pin/instagram etc?  What is content that you absolute must share the moment it happens and what do you hold off on?



Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday

via
I'm writing about this as part of Friday since it *technically* was Friday when it happened.  Ten of us all went and saw the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.  Seeing a movie at midnight may have been a little ambitious after the crazy week I had...I confess...I dozed off for about 10 minutes.  Luckily, my friend gave me a sharp elbow to the ribs and I woke up and enjoyed the rest of the movie.

Here are some of my thoughts on the film:

1. I never read the comics so I was completely surprised by the plot twists at the end.
2. Anne Hathaway was a FANTASTIC Catwoman...I liked how she put her own little twist on the role and didn't try to imitate how previous actresses portrayed Catwoman.
3. Even as Bane, Tom Hardy is still HELLA good looking.


A few of us took Friday off to recover from the movie/visit with our friends J and M who are visiting from North Carolina.  The girls started our day out at La Tasca for their $20 unlimited tapas lunch and a couple of pitchers of sangria (such a great deal that I recommend taking advantage of).  Our original plan was to meet up with the boys afterwards, have some drinks, and then catch the Nats game.  The weather was pretty crummy on Friday so we had to do some quick thinking and come up with an alternative game plan.  Somewhere around pitcher of sangria #2, this girl opened her big mouth and said, "Hey guys, why don't we see how many bars we can visit in 1 day?".  And so the 10 bar challenge was born...that's right we went to TEN BARS on Friday...and it was amazing.  Here was our itinerary for the day...it corresponds with the photos above, starting in the top left corner.

1. La Tasca
2. Fado
3. Co Co Sala
4. McCormick & Schmick's
5. Ella's
6. Vapiano
7. DC Pho
8. Bar Louie
9. Hooters
10. Murphy's

My favorite stop of the night was Co Co Sala.  The Fetish cocktail (strawberry with chocolate infused vodka) and the mini cupcakes were absolutely to die for!  Of course, we had to end our night at Murphy's.  Our friend J was working and he asked us what we'd be up to that night...when we told him this was our tenth bar of the day, he started shaking his head and cracking up.  Yeah, we're pretty legendary.

Saturday

State School Kids v. GW Kids
Saturday was Rach's housewarming party and let me tell you, that girl knows how to entertain!  The menu was inspired by Pinterest and featured Cheesy Artichoke Dip, Ham and Manchego Croquetas, French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms, Apple Tart, and Chocolate Reese's Pieces Cookies.  To keep with the theme, I whipped up some Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Quesadillas that I found on Pinterest.

The party was a great mix of GW friends and DC friends...although there was an intense flip cup battle of the State School Kids v. GW kids.  We got our butts kicked but I would definitely give us an A for effort!  There was also a ridiculous amount of very off key singing to Pandora's Summer Hits of the 90s...it's fine.

A few of the girls also pulled me aside for a minor love life intervention.  I should've known better but I've been trying to work things out with this guy.  I was so wrapped up in my feelings for him that I needed someone else to point out exactly how badly he's been treating me.  It's not ok for him to break plans and fall off the face of the earth for 4 or 5 days at a time.  It's not ok to be expected to listen to all his problems for hours on end and then have him act like he didn't hear me when I try to tell him about one of mine.  I was really hoping he was ready to step up and treat me like I treat him...but he's not...and it's time to stop waiting for it to happen.  I'm looking at this second chance as a good thing though.  It really let me resolve all my feelings for him and be ready to move onto something new.

Sunday


via Skinnytaste
It's rare for me to have a free day so I took full advantage of not having plans on Sunday.  I cooked my meals for the week, Pizza in a Crock Pot to bring to work for lunch and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats to heat up for dinner.  Then I moved on to drafting my blog posts for the week...it felt good to have such a relaxing yet productive Sunday!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Beauty VoxBox

I'm sure you're all familiar with Birchbox but have you heard of Influenster?  On Influenster, you unlock badges based on your lifestyle and interests.  Based on these badges, you are profiled to receive VoxBoxes, which contain a variety of samples targeted to your interests.  Unlike Birchbox, Influenster is free!  If you haven't signed up for Influenster yet, I highly encourage you to visit their site.  I mean seriously, is there anything better than trying out a bunch of hot new products for free?  I don't think so!

I recently received the Summer Beauty VoxBox and it was full of wonderful goodies.

The samples
Along with the samples, the VoxBox comes with a list and description of all the products inside.



I've been slowly working my way through the samples are here are my thoughts so far:

1. Quaker Soft Baked Bar in Banana Nut Bread

via Quaker
I brought my Quaker Soft Baked Bar in Banana Nut Bread into the office yesterday and munched on it as my mid-morning snack.  I'm usually not a big fan of banana but this was absolutely delicious!  Not only is it healthy, it kept me filled up until lunch time.  I have every intention of trying out the Cinnamon Peacan Bread variety next. If you click either of the links above, you'll find a coupon to try them out for yourselves...they really do make the perfect office snack!

2. Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color

I've been curious about Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color since it was released but I had never gotten around to trying it.  I was absolutely thrilled when a bottle of it was included in the Summer Beauty VoxBox!  It was the very first product I tested out and I was very pleased with the result.  It's easy to apply and the magnet creates fun designs with little effort...there's even a small plastic notch on the top of the bottle to help you position the magnet perfectly.  The mani's been a big hit with my friends too and a few have already asked to borrow the polish.

3. Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy

 Hands down, my favorite product in the VoxBox has been Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy.  I rely on a lot of product (think mountains of mousse and hairspray) to keep my curly hair tame in the summer.  It always ends up building up and leaving my hair feeling heavy.  The shampoo removes all the excess product from my hair and leaves it feeling light and bouncy.  You're supposed to start noticing a difference after seven days of using the product, but my hair is already feeling better and it's only day three.  As a bonus, it smells AMAZING!

I have every intention of breaking out the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion at my friend's pool party this weekend.  I can't wait to try it out!

Did anyone else get a Summer Beauty VoxBox?  What did you think of your products?


I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stuff I Like

I'm starting out this week's Stuff I Like with a brief aside...just go with it.  Last night, I tried to be all adorable and bake bat shaped sugar cookies to bring to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.  I used this cookie cutter to cut out perfectly nice looking bats:



Then I baked them and my beautiful bats turned into this:



It was extremely tragic and disappointing.  I'm debating trying again but I don't know if I can handle another traumatic loss.

But now moving on to this week's edition of Stuff I Like!

1. Sparkling Ice: Orange Mango


I'm typically not a fan of flavored or carbonated water.  I just don't find it as refreshing as a big glass of plain ice water.  However, I am a huge fan of Sparkling Ice.  It's not sticky sweet like the majority of flavored waters and quenches your thirst.  I've only tried the Orange Mango flavor but it was absolutely delicious.

2. American Eagle Feather Light T

I'm all about light weight Ts for the summer.  Not only are they comfy and soft, they also keep you cool. I recently picked up a few Feather Light Ts from American Eagle and they've been perfect for hanging out on the weekends.  They're currently on sale and I recommend picking one (or 4) up!

3. Kenyan AA K Cups

One of the perks of being moved to a different floor in our office building has been the new varieties of K Cups to try out.  I'm currently addicted to the Kenyan AA blend.  It's made with a hint of blackberry which gives the coffee a great flavor.

4. Grilled Flank Steak with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes

via Skinny Taste
I made Skinny Taste's Grilled Flank Steak with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes for dinner last night and it was amazing!  The recipe is healthy, simple to make, and the flavors are all fantastic together.  I felt like I was eating a lower calorie version of Chipotle.  You could even throw it over some brown rice to create a burrito bowl.

5. Pretty Lights



It's no secret that Greg Gillis has my heart when it comes to DJs...I mean All Day is one of the most danceable albums I've ever listened to.  However, my cousin introduced me to Pretty Lights over the weekend and I'm liking his stuff a lot.  His music can be downloaded for free on his website so click the link above and go check it out.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'ma be your Motivation

I have been an outrageous, scatter brained, hot mess lately.  I've been working so much and trying to cram so many social activities into my calendar that I've been struggling to stay on top of things.  I'll give you the perfect example of how bad it's gotten...Rach and I were trying to multi-task and go over the menu for her housewarming party while riding the metro last night.  We ended up so engrossed in her grocery list that we missed our metro stop...we waited 20 minutes for the next train...resumed going over the grocery list...and missed the stop AGAIN.  To paraphrase from one of the greatest movies of all time...I need to get my head in the game, get my, get my, get my, get my head in the game.  I promise I will get it together and be a better blog friend soon!  I owe a lot of you emails/comments/letters and I have high hopes for carving out some time to get back to it all next week.

In the mean time, I'm going to keep plugging away at my crazy schedule.  Here are the songs I've been streaming over the past couple of weeks to simultaneously stay motivated and keep calm. 

Disclaimer: Sticking with the theme of disorganization, the order of this makes no sense.  Just go with it.

1. Flo Rida "Wild Ones"
2. Does It Offend You, Yeah? "Let's Make Out"
3. Kanye West "Mercy"
4. Tyga "Rack City"
5. Jessie J "Domino"
6. Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe"
7. Karmin "Brokenhearted"
8. Havana Brown "We Run the Night"
9. GROUPLOVE "Tongue Tied"
10. Jimmy Eat World "The Middle"
11. Fuel "Shimmer"
12. Walk Off the Earth "Somebody That I Used to Know" (Cover)
13. Our Lady Peace "Clumsy"
14. Blindside "Pitiful"
15. Gin Blossoms "Follow You Down"
16. Shwayze "Get You Home"
17. Young Love "Get Me Up"
18. Under the Influence of Giants "Living in the Clouds"
19. Third Eye Blind "Semi Charmed Life"
20. Ying Yang Twins "Drop"

What are your go to songs when you need to stay focused and get motivated?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up: Family Reunion Edition

Every other summer my mom's side of the family gathers in Vermont for a family reunion. This year 45 of us made the trek up there and it was a blast!

Friday



Friday night is always dedicated to a whirlwind of hellos, cocktails, and catching up. It's always so much fun to see all my cousins and hear about what they've been up to! Maybe a little too much fun since before we knew it, it was 4am and we had drank almost all of the beer for the entire weekend...but don't be too concerned...we managed to get more...



and it led to the development of this fabulous weekend motto:



We also had tattoo show and tell and after unveiling mine, there was talk about all getting matching tattoos of the family apple. Sadly, this never came to be but I have high hopes for family tattoos at some point in the future.


For the record, that's right below my shoulder blades...it's not a tramp stamp!


Saturday



My family is crazy competitive and Saturday is always devoted to tournaments and activities. The cribbage tourney started right after breakfast, the cornhole tournament after lunch, and then we played an intense game of balderdash that night. My sister and I were paired up for cornhole and we kicked some serious butt...it's the first time we'd ever played and we took second place!


First and second place teams
We didn't actually have a Balderdash set so my cousin J googled "uncommon words" and created our own home made version. Recruiting for the teams was pretty cutthroat as well. There are 4 Valedictorians in our family (my great Uncle, my mom, my cousin, and I) and my cousins M and T somehow managed to recruit us all on their team haha. We obviously dominated...although we took some serious heckling from the rest of the family.



At night we had a bonfire, lit sparklers, sang/danced (I think I'm going to have the hula song and 5-1-5-0 Somebody Call the Po Po permanently stuck in my head), and told a ton of funny stories.

Sunday

After being awoken by my Uncle's rendition of "I've Been Making the Bacon" (an original tune that is always sung at 7am on Sunday and is accompanied by banging on everyone's doors until we wake up for breakfast) a few of us got ready for our traditional hike to Deer Leap. This girl must be waaaaaaay out of shape since that hike was brutal.  I'm glad a made the hike though since the view beautiful. Whoever is a rookie to the family has to carry the cooler of beer up to the top of the mountain. My cousin's boyfriend J was a very good sport about it haha. Here are a few pictures from Deer Leap:



Us on top of Deer Leap