Friday, January 29, 2010
I love Valentine's Day. Growing up, I could always look forward to a box of chocolates from my parents waiting for me at the breakfast table. In high school, my friends started hosting an annual Valentine dinner where we'd all make food and hang out - dates or no dates. Now, I have a permanent Valentine (and, a wonderful one at that) but the earlier traditions continue.
For me, Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate all the loves in my life - family, friends - not just my wonderful Husband. So, this year I wanted to celebrate you, my blog readers, too - I love you all for being my audience for this outlet.
I'm giving away one $50 gift certificate to Restaurant.com to help you make some awesome Valentine plans with your loved ones.
If you haven't already checked out Restaurant.com, you should. I use it frequently to grab discounted gift certificates to area restaurants. It's a great way to make date night more affordable and a fun way to try new local haunts.
All you have to do to win is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment with your Valentine's Day plans or your favorite Valentine's Day tradition. Make sure you leave your email or a link to your blog in your comment so I can contact you if you win. You have until noon on Sunday, February 7 to leave your comment - then a winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
-We don't want a condo. We sort of knew before we went out - but our trip confirmed it.
-HGTV would die if they saw most people's houses. Especially the purple one we saw. Literally every room was purple.
-House descriptions can lie.
The townhouse we liked the best was listed as "meticulously maintained." The truth? It was nowhere near. You didn't even have to go inside to figure that out - the storm door was unattached and leaning against the front of the house and the front window screens were bent and ripped. Inside was more of the same. It wasn't clean or updated - the owners didn't even make the effort to replace burnt out light bulbs (about half in the house were burnt out).
So, it needed work. A bit of work. More work than any other place we saw. And - go figure - it was the one we liked best. We're not ready to make a move on it yet, though. It's currently listed $20,000 higher than one that just sold in that development - and that one was in perfect condition. Perhaps if we can't find something better in the upcoming weeks we'll revisit it and see if we can't get the price down.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A few days ago, I randomly googled "what to wear house hunting". I'm not sure what I was thinking. Perhaps a part of me just wanted to justify my current shopping itch. Instead, I was surprised to find that there were actually articles and advice on this topic.
Who would have thought?
You're not supposed to wear all your good diamonds because people will expect you can pay more for a property. (I caught myself wondering, what diamonds?) And, you shouldn't wear spike heels because they can damage bamboo floors and will make you sink into the lawn. (Well, no duh!)
And, you should dress price-range appropriate. To be honest, I have no idea what that means in terms of my wardrobe. In less expensive areas of the country, we could easily buy a small mansion. In NJ, we're hoping for a decent sized townhouse.
What kind of outfit says "I've-got-my-shit-together-and-can-totally-afford-a-starter-home-but-I-don't-want-to-go-broke-on-this-either"?
I think I'll do jeans and a sweater and a cute pair of flats. Safe, yet decently fashionable. And, if that doesn't work, I'll have an excuse to shop before our next trip out.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
We got to their practice facility bright and early so we could watch Brendan and the rest of the team get some skating in.
And once they were off the ice, we hung out outside seeing if any of them would come out on the way to their cars. And they did! We got to meet:
One thing that really, really impressed me was just how accessible the team was. We were able to just walk into their practice and watch them and the guys who came out the main entrance really didn't have any qualms about taking a few minutes for their fans. I had always imagined hockey fans as a somewhat rowdy group, but the Caps fans were really a great bunch. Even though it was my first hockey game - and my first trip to DC in years - I felt like I fit right in. They're doing pretty well right now, and I'll totally be rooting for them for the rest of the season.
Of course, the trip did have one sour spot - despite our best efforts we weren't able to track down Mr. Morrison. We did get some good leads though - Melissa even gave her phone number to a woman who promised to work her sources and find out what kind of car he's currently driving. (I told you the Caps fans were a friendly bunch!) Melissa's got tickets for a few more games this season - hopefully she'll get a chance to track him down on one of those trips!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
And our families both love them too. My parents and sister came down and showered them with more toys and affection this weekend. Mark's parents have gotten a few emails full of pictures and will be coming down to meet them soon.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
All the party stuff set up and ready to go.
The Melissas getting ready to play Just Dance.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I hate making big pots, though, because we either A) have to eat it for pretty much every meal after that or b) it goes bad before we get to finish it - so I was super excited to find a quick, easy recipe that would make just enough for the two of us! I cooked it up along side a beer bread mix our cousin gave us for Christmas and it made a great, warming dinner.
2 strips of bacon
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
6 to 8 drops hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Don't let their cute, sleepy faces fool you. They only looked like this after hours of running around the apartment.
This is Kali, which means "black" and is also the name of the Hindu goddess of destruction. Her foster Mom told us she was fearless and into everything - so we thought it was a fitting name.
When we got home, Kali hopped out the carrier ready to play. There was no warming up period for her - she just loved us instantly.
Rocky, on the other hand, is our shy guy. He's actually pretty brave, too - he's just out-shined by Kali right now. He's much more tentative about us. He'll play with us - chasing string or whatever - but isn't so keen on us touching him just yet. We've both been able to pet him for a few seconds, but then he gets jumpy and backs away. He's not outright hiding - he likes to be just on the edge of the action. I'm sure in a few days he'll prove to be just as rambunctious as Kali.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
We went yesterday afternoon and got approval from the apartment manager.
This afternoon, we put in an adoption application for two adorable kittens. They're about four months old - a boy and a girl - and were previously adopted together but had to be given back because the adopter developed bad allergies/asthma because of them. The rescue group really wants them to be adopted together again and they were really excited to hear that we were looking for two playful youngsters.
We spent the better part of the weekend shopping for our new fuzzy friends. The new litter box is set up and the bag of litter is sitting ready. There's a scratching post, matching dishes, a brush and a bunch of toys, too.
We should be hearing from the rescue group this week about whether or not we got approved. We're hoping to hear "yes" tomorrow so we can bring them home - the suspense is killing us!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
So, instead of resolutions, I have goals for 2010: Buy a house, get our first pets and finish my 101 in 1001 list.
Maybe it's the same as making resolutions, but I feel better calling them goals.
What are your goals and resolutions for 2010?