Friday, August 21, 2015

Observations from Moving.

With all due respect to war, MOVING is HELL.  Nothing ratchets up the stress level of even the most Namaste Nancy quite like packing up every single solitary thing you own, putting it all on a truck and driving it to your new place.  Your reward for all this work?  UNLOADING a zillion boxes and then UNPACKING every single solitary thing you own.  It's like winning the lottery.  Except not at all.  And then someone suckerpunching you in the gut just to top it off.

Moving may be one of those great equalizers -- we have all had to do it at least once  Short, tall, old, young, man, some point we have all found ourselves on our hands and knees dragging boxes out of the dark corners of our closets and then having an anxiety attack deciding whether you should keep that "Peter Pan" cast t-shirt from high school or if donating it to Goodwill negates your stunning performance as an Ostrich and killer moves as Senior Dance Captain.  Ok, that last one may be hyper specific to me, but you know what I mean.
So I am on the other side of our big move from DC to Philly, looking at all the boxes and bags and random things in odd places and reflecting on this latest move.

  • Paying movers is worth every-single-penny.  Going one better and paying people to also pack up all our sh*t may be the closest I will ever feel to being Beyonce in my whole damn life.  I left for work last Friday a frazzled, on-edge mess.  I came home 9 hours later and our entire apartment was packed up and ready to go.  
  • If you are moving as a couple, one of you needs to be the organized one.  Not saying if this organized moving partner was me or MVP, but it was super helpful to have a portable file full of birth/marriage certificates, parking permits, moving receipts, Comcast account details and other paperwork organized and tucked safely into a monogrammed tote.  
  • If you can, take pictures of the place you will be moving in to and then develop a plan for where everything will go when you move in.  This will help surface any places where you may be deficient.  As in, if you have a huge hall closet that stores a crap-ton of your stuff and your new place has no hall closet (and is sadly a little light on in-unit storage) you can spend some time pre-move devising a plan or where all the things will go.  Or if you need to buy new storage pieces to store all the things.  Otherwise you will be looking at a bunch of boxes in your dining room and cursing to yourself. 
  • In addition to packing an "overnight" bag with those items you will need quick/immediate access to (change of clothes, sheets for the bed, toiletries), keep an easy to find box of cleaning and laundry supplies.  Because you may need to do a little extra cleaning on some rooms/items before unpacking and because if you move in the middle of a heat wave you will sweat through your clothes and go through more outfit changes in one day than someone hosting the Oscars.
  • Thank GOD for all the apps that let you know what's close by, who delivers what kind of food and all that jazz.  Because until you get some groceries, you will be eating quite a bit of take-out/delivery.  
We have also quickly become HUGE fans of the corner deli.  It is an actual 2 min (if that) walk from our place and they have WAAAAAAAATTTTTTTERRRRRRR IIIIIIIIIIICCCCCEEEEE.  For those unfamiliar, water ice (pronounced wooder ice here in the PHL) is like italian ice.  But a bajillion times better. 

Even more exciting?  It is cheap as all get out.  
That one on the right is $1 and the one on the left is ONLY TWO FREAKING DOLLARS.  We've only had it twice this week, but I can see mannnnnnnnnnnnny water ice trips in our future!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Saying goodbye

“Saying Goodbye” from The Muppets Take Manhattan KILLS me you guys.  KILLS ME.

As we have been in the stages of cleaning up/purging the apartment, I have found myself humming it while I have been making donation bags for goodwill, then catching myself humming it and almost crying. 

I can’t believe I have been living here as long as I have.  This apartment and this little area outside of DC.  Admittedly, I have ragged on it. Quite a bit.  But that’s me, you guys….you know I find the flaw and never focus on the good.  I’ll try to work on that in Philly.  You know, since it’s a city known for its optimism and  general rosy outlook on life.

What has been the hardest for me is saying goodbye to friends.  More so than I thought it would. 

Wait….that makes me sound like a really sh*tty friend. 

I never thought I would have the amazing friends that I do.  I don’t mean that to sound completely cliché, but if you told me 10 years ago where I would be and who would be in my life I probably would not have believed you.  I consider myself so very lucky.

Friendships born in college, mostly at the KD Kastle, have grown and deepened over the years.  I've watched as friends got married and had babies.  And now some of those babies are going off to kindergarten and first grade and aren't really babies anymore.  

I got lucky that a craigslist roommate turned into a very dear friend.  Living with L made me a better roommate and a better person in general and now MVP gets to reap that benefit for the rest of his days, haha.  

I got home from work last night and the whole apartment was packed up in boxes, MVP noting that it took one person 4-5 hours just to pack up my closet.  Not sure whether I should be ashamed or embarrassed....

Looking at the boxes and the bare walls made me teary-eyed.  So much happened in my life in the 6 years I lived in that apartment. When L moved out, MVP moved in.  We got a couch....and eventually got engaged because thankfully he forgave me for the couch fiasco.  I even got a new last name.

So today is a little bittersweet, thinking about the good friends and the good times I've had here.  I know I am not exactly moving to a different planet, I mean, it's only a 3 hour drive away.  But much as I love Philly and I know MVP and I will love living there, there won't be anyone there quite like them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We're moving!!! AKA best excuse to start blogging again

If you have been wondering what ever became of this blog and curious as to what in the heck I have been up to....then you are probably my mom and can just as easily pick up the phone and call, for crissakes.

Not my mom?  Oh well then helloooooooo there!!!  Welcome back -- do I have some news for you!
MVP and I are moving!!!!  To Philadelphia!!!!

To say that we are both pumped is an understatement.  MVP was offered a great new job.....I was very, VERY fortunate that my job made it possible for me to work remotely....and here we are, about 2 weeks away from the apartment being packed up and moved about 3 hours north on I-95.

MVP and I are both incredibly excited to be living closer to family members, especially our siblings and our nieces and nephew.  We are also really excited about being able to live in the city, not having to leave our house to be able to watch the Eagles each week and.....Wawa.  Obviously, Wawa.

DC has been my stomping ground for eleven years. I have had a ton of fun.  I have lived in 3 different houses/apartments with approximately 14 different room/housemates.  I have worked at 5 different companies.  I have been able to grow friendships I started in college and been so fortunate to meet many new friends who have become just as close.

I have gone on many, many bad dates.  I have had some great dates. I have fallen in love.  I have had my heart broken.  After I met MVP, and we started dating, I was often reminded of some of the places and dates and people I had to go through to get to him.  Sometimes as big and full of people as DC is, it felt smaller.  I wanted to so much to embrace this new relationship with this new person and felt like around many corners, there were sometimes ghosts of relationships past hidden in the shadows.

At the risk of getting into that uncomfortable touchy-feely zone with y'all, what I am really and truly excited about is starting this new chapter with my new husband.  Still feels very odd to say/type that word, but trying to get into the habit. I'm looking forward to lots of new places, new favorites and new memories that I am sure we will look back on fondly some day.  It feels really strange to admit that "out loud" here....but strange in the best possible way.  Does that mean I am finally growing up?!?!?

What I am also very excited about is that this new life update gives me the best reason ever to start blogging again.  I have missed it....I know I have said that same thing before, but TRUST you guys....I mean it.

So I am hoping that many of you may want to follow me and my fish-back-in-more-suitable-water story.  I promise to keep it interesting, keep it entertaining, keep it FUNNY and keep it real.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wedding Wednesday -- my first trip to a Wedding Dress shop (sort of) ended in me buying a dress (sort of)

That's right -- my very first trip in person to look at wedding dresses ended with me buying a dress.

But not in the way you would think.....let me explain.

MVP and I went to Lynchburg, VA last year for a wedding.  I asked if we could go a little earlier than planned to scope out Church Street Bridal, a place that had been recommended to me on WeddingBee.  Church Street Bridal gets designer dresses donated to them from folks like Kleinfelds (of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress), think previous season styles or sample dresses.  They then sell these for a HUGE discount and the proceeds are used to help women and children in the Central Virginia area. A wedding win-win to say the least.

While I didn't find "the one" when I visited, the folks at Church Street Bridal were beyond friendly and I quickly followed them on Facebook so I would know when new donations came in.  MVP and I went to grab lunch and while we were there, I got an alert on my phone.

A Jenny Packham Mimosa sample was available for purchase from Vows Bridal Outlet (of TLC's I Found the Gown).  This was THE DRESS I dreamt about, lusted after and pinned more times than was necessary.
Some quick texts back and forth with my mom and the dress was purchased and on its way to my apartment.  I was on cloud nine -- I couldn't believe my good luck!  

While it was not the way I had originally envisioned buying my wedding dress, it did involve some of the know-how I had learned from watching so many hours of wedding-related TLC shows, that is for sure!

However, this did not end up being the dress I ended up with....more in another post :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wedding Wednesday -- our wedding had a logo

I am usually better about writing if I have a "regular column" so to speak.  Since I had no time or mental focus to write about the wedding while I was planning, I thought maybe I could share some of it now that it is all said and done.

Something I realized early on in the process were that weddings had ....evolved, shall we say?  There were so many unnecessary and over-the-top new things that people were doing, I felt really out of the loop. But one of the bandwagons I *did* jump on was having a wedding logo.

Sounds ridiculous, right?  Trust me, I put that thing to GOOD USE.  I found One Fine Soiree on etsy, and after a few emails back and forth describing the look and feel I wanted, she sent us 4 amazing samples, and we chose the below.
I used it for the stamps for our wedding invites, made thank you notes out of it, put it on welcome bags, put it on the cake bags, MVP used it as part of his gift to me....I even used it as my facebook profile pic.  

But I think my favorite use was our wedding card holder.

You guys, I had the WORST TIME trying to find a card holder that was not super corny or look like it was highly flammable.  When I finally DID find one I loved....well it was two weeks out and they could not ship it in time.  

Then, I got an idea.  On my OWN and not from Pinterest!!  I swung by Homegoods and got a large glass apothecary jar for like, 12 bucks.  Then I taped a print out of the logo inside, busted out my favorite Sharpie paint pens and went to work.  
And voila -- a card holder that is not only un-cheesy, but something that can be used in our home in some way.  Super proud of my crafting skills on this one!  

Is there something you crafted for a wedding or a kids birthday party or some other event that you are still patting yourself on the back for? Do tell!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why buy the cow when you can get the crazy for free?

While I do think MVP found himself a great match, I know he was also well aware of my tendencies to act like a weirdo charming eccentricities.  Some of these he warmed up to and joined in on -- like watching In the Kitchen with David on QVC or killing time wandering around a Costco.  Some he still wants no part of, like BRAVO.  And sometimes....well sometimes he just shakes his head at me and probably wonders what the hell is wrong with me.

This past Saturday night would have been one of those head shaking moments.  It was late at night - MVP was starting to drift off to sleep, I was enjoying some of the TV he hates watching  - Barely Famous on VH-1, to be exact.  It's like my Us Weekly came to life in the form of a tv show!
I paused the TV to get a drink of water; while in the kitchen I heard really loud, but muffled, voices.  Grabbing my attention, I leaned towards the wall to see what was going on with my neighbors.  Nothing.
It took me a few beats to realize the noise was coming from underneath me.  So like anyone else would do, I lied down and pressed my ear to the kitchen floor.  JACKPOT!!  As a side note, the neighbors who live underneath us are HUGE JERKS and the one guy has come to yell at me on a few ocvcasions for "banging around upstairs" when all I was doing was walking to a different room. So I was even MORE curious to get a better sense of what the eff was wrong with them.  So this was justified eavesdropping.
I must have lost track of time down there on the kitchen floor, because the next thing I hear is "What the hell are you doing?!?"  And that was coming from *inside* the apartment.

I looked up to see a very disgrunteld MVP.  "ummm, nothing," I stammered, "just listening to the guy downstairs."

"Well while you were in here lying on the kitchen floor, the TV unpaused itself and some porno movie is blasting at full voulme and we have the damn windows open!" he bellowed.

"Whoops, sorry I guess the last channel we watched before my on-demand binge was Cinemax. It's late, so they've changed over to Skinemax by now I bet."

MVP sighed heavily and trudged back to bed.  I reluctantly got up off the floor, grabbed that drink or water that I set out to get probably 20 minutes earlier, and headed back to bed.  Well, headed back to finish my show, then watch another horrible yet entertaining show (Walk of Shame Shuttle...yes that's the name of the show) and went to bed.

Just another normal, boring Saturday night......

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Glow baby, glow!

I am a self admitted product hoarder junkie.  I firmly believe a new mascara/nail polish/moisturizer has the potential to change your life.

While cleaning out my inbox this morning, I saw an amazing deal on one of my FAVORITE products and just had to share.

TODAY ONLY, Ulta is featuring Laura Geller's Baked Highlighter (with brush!!) as one of their beauty steals. You guys.....this stuff.  Amazing.  I went through a whole one and am on my second.  Remember that hoarder junkie thing I mentioned? It means I rarely ever use something up.  But this....well this is just that good.
First - The consistency of Geller's baked collection is crazy good -- it starts as a cream and is then baked for 24 hours.  It truly melts into skin and looks flawless.

Second - Contouring and highlighting is really having a moment right now, isn't it?  It can become a girl's best friend, but definitely takes some practice to make perfect.  This highlighter is THE PERFECT WAY to dip your toe in.

Third - This brush may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is perfection.  Use the larger end to lightly pat the highlighter along the tops of your cheekbones and give your face a smidge of dimension.  Better yet?  Use the other end of the brush to dot highlighter at the inner corner of your eyes.  Instantly makes you look alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic.  Seriously, this stuff can fake a good night's sleep.  This and coffee and no one will ever know you were up late binge-watching Netflix or dealing with a fussy toddler.

Fourth -- The deal today gets you the highlighter AND brush for $15!!  Ulta claims it is a $44 value (which I am sure it is) but I have bought it before from QVC (obvs) where the same set runs $26.50.

Spring is the perfect time to lighten and brighten and I HIGHLY recommend this highlighter to get your glow on.