|April 18, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
A few weeks ago, the weather was amazing. So obviously this meant renting a bike and trekking around town with friends! Below is a photo dump from the day. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The White House! Believe it or not, this was the first time I’ve seen it from this side! So crazy.
Washington monument sans scaffolding!
Jefferson Memorial from across the tidal basin.
The Washington Monument from the other side of the tidal basin.
The Jefferson Memorial!
Gotta love pillars. Gorgeous.
Then we biked out to Gravelly Point, a park where you can sit and watch the plans take off and land at the Ronald Reagan airport. Definitely a great place to lay back on a blanket and relax…and just watch the sky.
Then we continued on the bike path toward Old Town Alexandria. It reminded me a bunch of Downtown Annapolis. It’s nice to know a great place like this is just a metro/bike ride away!
Where are your favorite places to visit on the weekends?
|April 17, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
When I was thinking about moving out to Colorado, my parents were supportive but hesitant. My mom kept reminding me that how I was feeling–lost, afraid, without direction–wouldn’t just disappear with a change of scenery. I wouldn’t magically be happy because I moved across the country looking for something new.
And she was right.
I’ve already noticed a number of things about myself that have changed as a result of moving back out on my own.
I take better care of myself and my surroundings. I am more apt to say yes to activities offered to me. I am generally happier because I feel more in control of my own life now than I have in months.
But some things haven’t changed. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life or my career. I’m still struggling to budget my time in a productive way. I honestly still feel very, very lost when it comes to my future, here or anywhere.
A little part of me wanted to believe that with the shorter commute and change of surroundings, things would just fall into place. It’s silly, I know, but I really hoped it would all happen for me just like that.
(This is where you remind me that I’ve only been in my new apartment ~3 weeks, and it snowed the other day so it’s barely even spring yet! What’s my rush?!)
At least now, in a way, my feelings seem more appropriate. I don’t just feel like a failure for living with my parents. I feel like a true 20-something trying to figure out where to go next. I’m grateful for all the help I had getting to this point, and now it’s still up to me to figure the rest out.
I have to keep reminding myself that it has only been a few weeks and figuring out the rest of my life won’t happen overnight. I can’t fall into the trap of only looking forward and never glancing back to remind myself how far I’ve actually come. And most of all, I can’t compare myself to other people — especially those who have 5+ years of life experience on me. Of course I’m not there yet. But maybe in 5-10 years, I will be. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Any tips for a kid just trying to grow up?
When did you finally feel like you had a direction?
|April 16, 2014||Filled under City Living, Fooding, Living the Dream|
First, a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my awesome roommate, Heather!
Now then, I’ve been in the city for just over two weeks now and it has already been an adjustment. There is something very unique about the “city lifestyle” that has thus far been a bit challenging to grasp, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.
Grocery shopping, for example.
When I lived in Columbus, I still had my car so the way I went to the grocery store or made a quick run to Target was exactly the way it had always done it. Buy what I want and toss it in the back seat. But now, without a car, I’m limited to what I can carry. And with the DC tax on plastic bags (which I fully support), to avoid any extra charges, everything I carry has to fit in my backpack and two linen bags.
Now, I’m a strong girl, but those one-trip-wonders carrying every bag from the car to the house can only work in small bursts. I have to be a lot pickier about what I buy, judging by how heavy it is and how long it will last, because I’ve got a half-mile walk home and not a ton of storage space. Gone are the days of buying in bulk!
Now it’s all about meal planning and weekly shopping trips.
Initially, this was a difficult adjustment. I’m used to two shopping trips a month, buying enough to last me two weeks at a time, plus stocking up when some of my staples are on sale. Not so much anymore.
My shopping lists are to refill the pantry staples I’ve run out of and to get any additional things I’ll need for the meals I’ve planned for the upcoming week–meals I plan around the things that are on sale that week in the grocery ad!
So now I’m not only shopping on a tighter budget, but I’m making more trips and basing my purchases on what’s on sale. This means fresher food, more variety, and less waste! Definitely a shopping lifestyle I can get behind. But it does take a lot more planning.
Here’s a few tips for getting the most out of your city shopping trip:
1. Plan ahead. Research what’s on sale and build your meals around that, then build your list around your planned meals for the week. Write everything out and stick to your list!
2. No, seriously. Stick to your list. Once you get to the grocery store, everything looks yummy and fancy and exciting. But a few impulse purchases won’t just break your budget, but could also make your trip home a little more of a struggle.
3. You can carry more than you think. I actually under-shopped on my first trip. I definitely could have carried more in my backpack and in my bags than I thought. But be careful not to overdo it. After this discovery, I probably over-shopped on my next trip and my back is still a little sore. It’s going to be all about finding that comfortable medium.
But when it’s all said and done, shopping is just something you have to do and you’ll always find a way to make it work.
I, for one, have greatly missed buying and cooking my own food. It’s my favorite way to come home from work and wind down. Listen to some music, chop some onions, boil some water for pasta, enjoy a glass of wine….makes for the perfect quiet evening at home
Check out my very first home cooked meal in my brand new apartment!
How often do you grocery shop?
What kind of planning goes into your shopping trips?
|April 15, 2014||Filled under City Living, Running|
One of the first things I noticed upon moving to DC was how active the residents are. On the first nice day I was here (after a SUPER rainy move-in weekend), everyone was out running. Seriously, everyone was out and about, getting their sweat on. I guess it comes as no surprise that DC usually hovers near the top of lists ranking the healthiest cities in the country (Forbes & Travel). I think I’m in love.
As you know, I went to the spectacular Miami University of Ohio which has an enormous alumni base in the Washington DC area. So with the second largest alumni group right after Chicago, there are quite a lot of alumni events, including a monthly run on the mall.
So clearly, this was the first event I attended as well as my very first run in the city.
It was a small group, only about six of us total. But the weather was beautiful and everyone was able to pair off with someone who kept a steady, comfortable pace.
I have to say, running is one of the best ways to see the city. You can still pay attention to where you are going, but without earphones in and your eyes open, you can really take it all in. We did a short 3-mile loop around the Washington monument and Lincoln memorial, and then back toward the Capitol.
Seriously, how cool is it to say that? Every now and then, I just get really fluttery about the fact that I live and work in the nation’s capital. There is something inherently awesome about that fact. I feel very grateful and proud to have such an opportunity.
After the run, we all met up at the local bar of a post-run carb load (aka beer!) It was a great experience and I totally look forward to heading out again next month.
And not to mention, the many more runs I’ll take on my own. It’s time to get out and explore the city!
Where is your favorite place to run?
Street, track or trail?
|April 14, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream|
Hello friends Did you miss me?
Don’t worry, I’m really back.
After a month-long break, I’m feeling refreshed and eager to get back to blogging. It’s not easy–working, blogging, and having a social life–so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It can take a lot of out of you, but it can also be extremely rewarding. There is a sense of community and a connection to people you may not talk to every day, yet still feel close with knowing they are reading about your life. And I was really missing that.
Plus, getting so many messages and comments asking when I’m coming back was extremely flattering. Oh, you guyyysss.
And the gorgeous weather definitely helped. I can’t wait to tell you about my very first run in the city!
And biking to Old Town!
And exploring the Rock Creek Trail!
And adventuring to wineries in Virginia!
And my amazing new 25-minute commute to work!
So basically, expect tons of fun updates from me in the next few weeks. Not only do I have a lot to catch you up on, but I know there is even more on the horizon.
As I learn the city and discover new things, life is only going to get better. And I’m gonna tell you aaaalllll about it
Side note, I’m really into John Legend’s “All of Me” right now. Seriously, how great is this song?
And this cover of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” by Aloe Blacc is INCREDIBLE.
What songs are you absolutely in love with right now?
Tell me what you’ve been up to while I was away!
|March 20, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream|
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in terms of weather. We’ve had spring-like weekends followed by intense snow days. But hopefully we’re in the home stretch before some consistently warmer weather, especially since today is the official first day of Spring! I’m not saying bring on the sweltering summers just yet, but how about a few more days when I can run in short sleeves and shorts?
I’ve been lazy after work, but I still try to get out for at least one run on the weekends. Hopefully I’ll experience a motivation revival when I get into the city.
3.21 miles, 27:51 min, 8:39/mi
Sometimes my parents like to send me reminders from my cat, as if I wasn’t already going to miss him like crazy when I move into my new apartment… I wish I could bring him! But then he would miss out on all the fun squirrels and birds!
For the Professor, this right here is better than TV. He just sits at the door and watches them. If you’re wondering why they all gather on our deck, it’s because we spread peanuts and birdseed for them. And yes, they do all have names.
We finally got around to celebrating the February/March birthday at the office, but it happened to fall on 3/14, better known as Pi Day. So since my birthday was being celebrated, I humbly requested that instead of cake, we have birthday pie! I mean, it’s only logical. (Apple and chocolate – YUM!)
And what would an update be without a few shots of my morning coffee? And in my fancy new mug!
Know what’s even better than morning office coffee? Morning coffee in the park! Still a little chilly, but worth seeing the sunshine.
Okay, so many not that much is going on. But I’ve got moving on the mind! I need to figure out how and when I’m going to move my stuff, and what color I’m going to paint my room. I’m tempted to just pack up some clothes and take an air mattress with me so I can get in there ASAP. I can’t wait to be all moved in! Pictures to come. Pinterest is about to be my new best decorating friend.
What have you been up to lately?
What’s your perfect morning coffee spot?
|March 19, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream|
I took an impromptu break from blogging for the past week or so, partially because I have been super busy at work and also because I just had a lot going on. In fact, I’m astonished by how much has happened in the past few weeks. I turned 25. I sunk deep into my quarter-life crisis. And then I pulled myself out by doing something about it.
And that’s why I can finally bring you this exciting announcement.
I’m going to be a DC resident!
That’s right: Me. The girl who never wanted to live in a city. The girl who could never give up her car. The girl who was (and still is) deathly afraid of Craig’s List.
I’m going to eat, sleep and live in Washington D.C. Now that is truly something I never, ever thought I would say.
My thoughts on living in DC have changed about as often as the weather in the past few months. Half the time, I am dead set on running off to Colorado. Other days, I just want to give DC a try. And sometimes, I think about just backpacking around South America for a few months to get away from it all.
But I knew I had to make a choice–I had to make something happen. So laying in bed one night after work, I checked out Craig’s List on a whim. It was a Tuesday night, and I sent out three emails. By the next morning, I had appointments to see apartments Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Holy crap does DC housing move fast.
I was uncertain about the listing on Wednesday night and decided before even visiting that it just wasn’t for me.
But come Thursday, I was excited. It felt different. I wasn’t afraid. I was just really, really eager. And I knew that was a good sign.
As I walked to the potential apartment that night, all I could think about was the possibility of calling this neighborhood my own. The adorable homes. The well-lit streets. The proximity to the metro, parks, and coffee shops. Before I even reached the apartment, I knew this was a place I wanted to be.
Then I met the girls — my roommates — and I knew I was home.
There is something to be said for when something just feels right, when the decision feels like a no-brainer. By Friday, they offered me the room and I said yes on the spot. I didn’t even think twice before cancelling my Friday appointment. There was nothing that next apartment could show me that would change my mind.
For once, I’m actually not afraid of what this means for me. I’m not afraid to move out of my parent’s house. I’m not afraid to figure out how to live in the city. No part of me is really worried (except about how I’m going to physically get my stuff into the apartment…) I’m just excited for this new chapter in my life and whatever amazing experiences it will bring.
Because what comes with this apartment is so much more than a bedroom. It will cut my 75-minute commute down to less than 20 minutes. (That’s two hours of my life back every. single. day.) It allows me to go out drinking without having to cut the night short to make sure I can get home. And it gives me a whole new world of people and activities that I never would have discovered if not for meeting these two amazing girls.
Okay, I’m not even moved in yet and I’m saying how this is totally going to change my life…but it is. One way or another, this is going to change me. And I say, bring it on.
What color should I paint my room?
What has changed your life recently?
|March 7, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream, Working|
I really shouldn’t be in charge of answering the phones at work. Seriously, I’m not good at it. Sure, I have proper phone etiquette, I can transfer a simple call and take down a short messages, but for some reason, voicemail keeps screwing me up.
In relevant news, I did something super creepy at work this week.
So a very nice gentleman called the office phone, but neither of the front desk workers were there so the phone call was transferred back to my phone.
“Hi, may I please speak with so-and-so?”
“Sure, who may I ask is calling?”
He gives me his name.
“I’ll see if she is at her desk. One moment please.”
I hit hold, peek around to see if she’s there–she’s not. So I click back to the man on the phone.
“I’m sorry, she’s away from her desk at the moment. Can I pass along a message for you?”
“I can just leave a voicemail if that’s alright.”
Shit. Shit. Shit. “Sure thing, I’ll transfer you to her voicemail now.”
Well, I don’t know how, but I got her voice mail….only to click the phone call right back to me. And just as I began to apologize for my mistake, the man begins leaving his message.
I grab a pen and quietly take notes as this guy leaves what he thinks is a voicemail…..but is actually just me, sitting silently, trying not to breathe too loud, awkwardly writing down everything he says. I had to stop myself from asking him to repeat his phone number as he sped through the message — thank goodness he left an email address as well.
Then he hung up…and I passed the message along.
I’ve never felt like such a phone creep, listening silently on the other end of the line while this guy thought he was alone. I know voicemails are meant to be listened to, but something about being on the phone when someone doesn’t know you’re there is oddly violating and voyeuristic of some kind of intimate moment, as though I was lurking in the shadows, watching….waiting….
So just keep that in mind next time you think you’re alone on the phone. I might be on the other end….
What’s the creepiest thing you’ve ever done at the office or on the phone?