31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

I started this weeks celebrating on Tuesday at the 17th Street Drag Queen High Heel race. 

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Katy Perry

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some kind of bride
The race was over in a flash, with Inertia winning in 43 seconds. My friend Catherine hosted us at her apartment for some pre and post race fun. She made a delicious Polish dish and many dips and deliciousness. 

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Catherine was a great host and really set the mood.

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Today for work I went as Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. I just happened to have her Reaping Dress in my closet. It was a good outfit for my uptight office, because most people didn't realize I was dressed up, but the few people who had seen Hunger Games knew exactly who I was.

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Tonight I joined the Pacers Run Club for a festive costume run. We ran by a few haunted spots in DC, including the White House lit up in Orange and the Octagon House, which is supposedly the most haunted in DC. To run I switched into my Rainbow Brite costume with a little switch up on the shoe/sock situation. It was great to run in, if not a little warm. I was really saddened to learn that most people under ~28 have no idea who rainbow brite is. 

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Tomorrow I'm heading to a Halloween Party as Katniss again, but this time in her arena outfit.

27 October 2013

Marine Corps Marathon

Today was Marine Corps Marathon day in DC! Although I've been in DC for over two years, this was my first chance to really enjoy the race. My first year in DC I chose Marathon day to move into my apartment, which created a few challenges driving my Uhaul around town. Last year I was celebrating Becca's wedding in Texas. There were some cool events/speakers around town this week, which I still had to miss out on as I got sick with a head cold that knocked out all of my energy all week. By Saturday I was feeling better and set out for my 12 mile long run. At about mile 4 I ran into part of the marathon course and kept seeing signs all the way around the mall. After barely running for over a week, it was motivating to have a little change of running scenery. 

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Mile 8!
My Monday night running group had a cheer station at Mile 5.5, so my friend Catherine and I headed down to cheer at 8 am. We saw the first wheelchair racer as we crossed the rock creek bridge and then the first runner as we turned on to K street.

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Looking good RUNNERS!
We cheered our hearts out. And the runners kept coming and coming for two hours.

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We got some High 5s!
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working their way up the ramp
After everyone had passed us on K St. we cheered our way back up Rock Creek. The runners were looking at us like we were the crazy ones.

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This was my second race cheering event in two weeks! As much as I love cheering I'm looking forward to racing again soon. In my cough medicine haze I signed up for the Run for the Parks 10K in East Potomac Park next weekend. 

Table Painting

One of my furloughcation projects stretched on for a week after I went back to work. No one warned me that painting was so difficult! I've had this table for about 8 years. It was my grandma's when she was living in assisted living, so it wasn't like a family heirloom or anything. While the legs were real wood, the table top is particle board with a plastic laminate. The table has survived all of my moves pretty well, but I have a bubble in the middle where I let a candle get to hot.

Anyway, I'd been thinking of painting the table for awhile. I have a lot of wood in my apartment, but its all a darker color so the table just didn't fit. When I first started talking about painting the table I told people I was going to paint it white with a turquoise dipped leg effect... well the day I went to get paint I totally changed my mind and decided it should be cranberry. I found the exact color I wanted at Logan Hardware down the street and the guys there helped me pick out the proper type of paint.

I took the table apart and got to work. Not have a garage or basement to paint in really slowed me down, because the newspaper system was messy and I didn't want to get paint on the floor.

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After one coat on the table top and bare legs
The chairs were the actual challenge, every time I thought I covered everywhere I would spot a whole backside of a spindle that I missed. Also everything required two coats. I also hosted a party mid painting so I had to stick everything in the corner our of the way for awhile.

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After second coat... looking pretty good.
I reassembled the table to do some last touch ups on the legs where I could reach all sides easily. Then I  got over confident and decided to do a little sanding/painting touch up on top. Well that totally screwed it up. So the top of the table received a third coat to smooth everything up. Now I think it looks great. I'm leaving it mostly alone for awhile so the paint can completely cure.

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All done!

16 October 2013


After seeing some terrariums for sale at a few places for like $60 my friend Jenn and I decided to make our own. I've honestly been wanting to make a terrarium for years, but I always am stumped about some of the supplies. Mainly the activated charcoal. But with Jenn signed on to create I was motivated (and I had some free furlough time). Jenn sent me some links to terrarium kits and then I was even more motivated to find all of the supplies. 

I went to my local Ace, Logan Hardware (where I have gone approximately once a day during furlough) to inquire about activated charcoal. They didn't have it, but suggested I check out a pet supply store as activated charcoal also goes in aquariums. 

So with a trip to Petco we picked up the activated charcoal and rocks. I had dirt hanging around my apartment (don't we all) and we picked up a few succulents at the hardware store. I also bought my half gallon mason jar at Logan.

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The actual assembly went pretty fast. We put a layer of rocks first, then the charcoal, then dirt, and finally plants. I decorated with some shells and Jenn decorated with some pretty colorful rocks. 

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Some directions I read recommended using a paintbrush to clean dirt off our plants. We made fun of the directions until we were upset our plants were dirty and I went a grabbed a paint brush.

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So far my little ecosystem is thriving.

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10 October 2013

Fall has arrived

Hello all! Day 8 of the shutdown and I'm now blogging in real time. Its the small victories. 
Monday and Tuesday night brought beautiful sunsets to DC. Monday night I watched the sun set from an illegal spot on the mall while running a few miles. I rarely run with my phone so I didn't take photos, only to remember after the sun set that I did have my phone on me. So just imagine beautiful colors behind the Lincoln and Washington memorials. 

To help you out, I took these photos out my bedroom window on Tuesday night. The sunsets and view alone made my move worth it.

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I'm not sure the order of these photos

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see the National Cathedral in the way back?

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there's a tree across the street!

After temperatures in the 90s all weekend this week has been in the 60s. So I made chili. I threw in a can of hot green chilies, which really added a delicious punch.

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maybe I should have fewer chips with my chili?
Not only is the shutdown impacting my work life, but also my social life. Remember Handi-hour? Well it is put on by the friendly folks of the Smithsonian so it was canceled this week. The theme was book crafts, which I attempted a little on my own, but my fellow Handi-hour enthusiasts decided to throw one of our own. Instead of book crafts we did pumpkin carving, but kept the craft beer element and upped the ante on delicious snacks.

Thank goodness for the shutdown, because I was able to research some fun ideas on pinterest. I also picked up an amazing carving kit at Target, which helped a lot with carving detail without accidentally cutting a big chuck out of my pumpkin. 

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my jack-o-lantern family

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some of the other creations

08 October 2013

Teaching Gretchen the city life

This past weekend my sister Kristen and my niece Gretchen came to visit. I took the opportunity to teach Gretchen about city living. Lessons learned:

When riding the Dinosaur train (Metro) you should always hold on, stand to the right on the magic stairs, and saying abracadabra when swiping your card assures success.

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Apartments may be small, but there are great playgrounds right around the corner (and taking the elevator down to get there is almost just as fun).

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Cities have great food (and milkshakes) within walking distance.

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You have to walk a lot.

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There is always time for coloring,

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and sports.

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And when you get caught in a torrential rain storm, stop and eat tacos.

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04 October 2013

Scenes from my Shutdown

I woke up the first day of shutdown determined to make the most of my day. For some crazy reason I thought I might only have the one day to enjoy and I didn't want to waste it. 

I lept out of bed made myself a latte and started mixing up banana bread.  

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Then I watched all my favorites on the Today show (looking at you Willy) while blogging my September recap.

Then I went for a three mile run that ended at Whole Foods to purchase eggs and some other essentials for eating all my meals at home.

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I mixed the eggs with some pumpkin and chocolate chips for pumpkin bread.

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Oh and giant Texas muffins.

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A few weeks ago I stopped by a street sale with my friend Jenn. They were cleaning up and there was a free pile. I grabbed this tray from the free pile and decided to paint it up.

First I sanded.

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Then I painted with chalkboard paint.

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Then on to some flag painting, first the DC flag

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Then my interpretation of the US flag.

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Then it was noon and time for lunch. Haha... just kidding. That was two days of projects. I also finished hanging my collage photo wall and framed and hung some photos in my bedroom. 

My sister Kristen and niece Gretchen have arrived for fun. Even though tons of things are closed and they canceled the half marathon we were going to run, we are determined to have a good time. 

Yesterday we hit up the playground.

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And then enjoyed milkshakes at Ted's Bulletin.

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Today the building museum!

01 October 2013

September in review

I wasn't a very good blogger in September. A few thing were going on...

I moved.
I stayed in the same apartment building, but I moved two floor downs and to the front of the building. I also added a bedroom! Now it seems to be taking me an extra 20 minutes to get ready in the morning. I think I get lost.
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I'm still working on decorating the new space... so much wall!
I was playing dodgeball.
Dodgeball turned out to be a lot of fun. A friend and I joined a team of strangers, who ended up being awesome. We ended the season with a rooftop party at the Vida Penthouse.

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Team Peace Corps Peru

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Penthouse Pool!

My sister Beth came to visit.
Beth came to visit some of her friends in Baltimore, but luckily she found some time to spend with me. I took her running and eating.

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Pizza & pizza scissors at Ghibellina 
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cream cow for breakfast at Ted's Bulletin
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Pacers Shake Shack Run
I had a quick trip to Missouri to see Marissa get Married.
I squeezed in a quick visit to see my family, which of course included coffee and bake goods at Old Drum.

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junior year college roomies
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Me & Sarah enjoying the beautiful evening

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Dad enjoying coffee from a john deere cup while decked out in john deere 
I painted wine glasses with friends at 918 F Street.

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I continued to work out in Franklin Park.
Every week was a great workout and full of great giveaways. If they do this again I suggest everyone attend.

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I'm in the hot pink shirt
I watched Australian Football at the Australian Embassy.
So it isn't just like rugby after all. They play on a round field (CRAZY) and have four poles at each "end zone" looked a little like a quidditch field if you ask me.

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I coordinated the DC State Fair Bike Accessory contest.
It was a lot of emailing and worrying, but it all worked out perfectly. I also entered a dog bow tie in the DC flag knitting contest.
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The winning entry and my three judges
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I didn't have any DC red, but you get the idea...
I also did a fair amount of running... this Sunday Kristen and I are running the Woodrow Wilson Bridge 1/2 Marathon.