Tuesday, June 28, 2011

roommate #3

After meeting numerous people who were interested in our 3rd bedroom, we finally offered the basement bedroom to Sam. A nice boy from Seattle who works for the government. He was away on a business trip somewhere down South, so we emailed him the application. He replied that he was interested in living in our house and would mail out the application and check for the credit check the next day and that we should expect to receive it Monday. However, Monday came and went, and nothing in the mail from Sam. Tuesdays mail arrived, and still no mail from Sam. I emailed him requesting that he verify his status and left a voicemail as well. Sam has disappeared. We never heard from Sam again, and so we began the search for a roommate, again.

The timing was bad as I was headed out of town to visit my dad with brother and help him get settled into his new house in Jersey. We decided to have people over Friday evening before we headed up to dadds, and Jonna went to H St to celebrate Evan's 29th birthday. We ended up having 8 people stop by the house. This viewing was significantly better than any previous attempt. There were multiple people that we liked and had a difficult time making a decision. In the end, we finally made a decision. AND HOORAY!! Emelia accepted our offer! She's a mid-20s environmental engineer from Houston, TX, who is incredibly friendly and energetic, and will be moving in at the end of the month. She is moving to Arlington, VA from Texas, so she's completely new to the area and very excited. Can't wait to have her move in and settled and have everyone meet her!

tipsy artist

A few months ago Jen sent out an email about a Groupon for a Tipsy Artist session at a paint studio in Bethesda, MD. Barbara, Summer, Jen, and I each bought one session and were able to set a date to paint and play together!

The general idea behind the Tipsy Artist, is that while during the class you not only learn and practice the basic tips, tools, and techniques behind painting, but also drink your favorite choice of beverage at the same time! Of course, what better to combine the idea of alcohol with anything to get more business. Unfortunately since the class was in Bethesda, I wasn't able to enjoy a delicious glass of wine, but still enjoyed the class regardless. The weather was incredibly humid and stormy, but we managed to make it on time. Summer and I met up at Jen's and we carpooled over and met up with Barbara.

The studio had turned off the air conditioning for some terrible reason, it was rather humid and hot inside. We were led upstairs and instructed to enjoy ourselves and pick out a picture that we'd like to use as a template for our canvas. After much switching around and contemplation we each picked out a picture to paint. I think that we each managed to pick something that spoke to our personalities. Summer picked a picture of a tree with stars on a landscape (but picture more like monet style), Barbara picked a picture with two penguins and a little baby penguin, Jen picked a picture that was incredibly colorful and flowy (like rolling hills), and I picked a picture with flowers and the sun. The class was smaller than usual (only 2 other girls besides us), which made it significantly better. The instructor was friendly and really chatty, but it wasn't annoying. He liked to make conversation while we attempted to paint. It was incredibly relaxing and fun. We listened to music, enjoyed some snacks, and excellent company. By the end we each had a completed work of art! They weren't exactly like the original pictures we used for inspiration, but instead our own interpretation. I wish the studio were closer to home, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't sign up for another session!

Monday, June 27, 2011

playing in the backyard

Even though Robin had just recently moved to NYC, she was coming down to visit and get a few last minute things settled in DC. Her visit inspired a s'mores night in our backyard!

Mia offered to provide the fixins (chocolate, graham, marshmallows - of course), and Jonna and I invited people over to enjoy our yard and fire pit. Our new patio set had arrived the week before, which was perfect timing. We had a large table with chairs set up and ready for our friends. Robin, Kristen, Alicia, Ben, Stephanie, Mia, Jay, Jonna, and I enjoyed wine, snacks, and s'mores. Eventually we decided to order Thai for dinner, it was a late dinner. It seems as a group we take a long time to make a decision. But more importantly, since our house is just outside the range of various favorite delivery places, it's taking a while to find new places to order from that will leave us just as satisfied. This one was meh, as not everyone was happy with their order. (My pad thai was really yummy though, and made great leftovers) The search continues!

We were quickly able to start up a little fire in our glorious firepit, which smelled wonderfully and helped keep the bugs away. After we finished dinner we all surrounded the fire and made numerous delicious melty chocolately s'mores, mmm :P We had a deliciously fun time playing in the backyard. I'm so excited to have a house and yard where friends want to be!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

dadds new location

Dad and I made a deal, so brother and I drove up to Jersey late Friday night to help him move in and get settled over the weekend. We arrived after 1am and were really, really, tired. Since it was dark we couldn't see much of the house. We took a quick tour of the inside and claimed our rooms. I was a nice dear sister and let brother have the bed. I slept on a blow up mattress, and love that almost every room has a ceiling fan with a remote control. When Trading Spaces was a big deal on TLC the designers always wanted to remove the ceiling fan. I didn't see what the big deal was, but the homeowners always stated that they were going to re-install a ceiling fan ASAP. I've never had a ceiling fan in any houses that I've lived in, but once Billy installed two in his townhouse last year, I fell in love with ceiling fans. Typically the existing fans weren't much to look at, but the designers on Trading Spaces should've just upgraded to better/quieter fans! I went to bed comfortably cool to the sounds of a whirring fan, it was wonderful.

Dad had numerous people stopping by the house early Saturday, but was nice enough to let me and brother sleep in a bit. The construction crew, cable guy, home security guy, and random guy that transported dadds motorcycle were expected throughout the day. A lot of work needs to be done on the house. The previous owners were content to let the house exist without taking care of it. Dad had every room stripped of wall paper and painted - he even got my bathroom redone at my request :) Since the house is made of birch shingles, it had to be pressure washed with a detergent before staining the house to try to protect and improve the house. He's also having the shutters repainted a dark green instead of yellow. There are numerous other tasks that he's fixing at the house, but that's most of what was happening while we were there.

Brother and I ran to the local market and picked up a bunch of food and snacks, to make breakfast and enjoy. I had brought frozen chicken divan and the ingredients needed to make a delicious crock pot chili! I figured since he'd just moved into the house his cabinets would be bare and I could help provide some food for his first week at the new house. Brother cooked some omelets (even I ate some) that were mostly delicious (they would say very delicious) before we got down to work. We unwrapped and unpacked the kitchen, family room, and dining room throughout the weekend. Brother helped dad set up the stereo, while I provided moral support from the comfy couch. We didn't do any exploring in NJ, but stayed around the house. We did take a break Saturday night to eat dinner, relax, and watch a movie. We watched Robin Hood, with Russel Crow, it was really good! Funny and quirky, much more realistic than most versions of Robin Hood. It's basically the story of how Robin Hood came to be and why. I recommend it!

Dad let us sleep in a bit again on Sunday, while the construction continued on throughout the house. We convinced brother to make more omelets (we didn't have any maple syrup left from Grandpa Barry's sugar shack to make pancakes) and got back to work. Dad was really glad for the help, and I'm really glad we were able to help get him settled. He's moved a lot the past few years and I'm sure it's significantly better to have company (and yummy food) during the process. Hopefully our next trip up will have the house and dad a bit more settled, so we can explore the town and do less work :P But even though most of the weekend was spent unpacking it's always great to get time with dad (and brother too).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

robin says goodbye

After living in the DC area for a few years, Robin decided it's time to move back to NYC. Her dear friends who love her (and will miss her) so very much decided to throw a surprise going away party. Alicia, Kristen, and Jonna secretly used our wine classes by Evan as a distraction from the actual purpose of getting together on Saturday. She thought we were doing a white wine and would meet up with friends afterward on H St.

Evan was nice enough to allow the girls to host Robin's party at his apartment (which Jonna and I decided he allowed because he knew that meant we would arrive early to clean his place, the bum!) Many people arrived between 7-730 before Kristen, Jay, Alicia arrived with Robin. We were all hanging out on Evan's deck and had him close the window shades in an attempt to hide. Well that didn't really work, but Robin WAS very surprised and happy. We spent a few hours at the house eating some of Robin's favorite foods, which included sushi from Cafe Asia, pizza, spinach artichoke dip, and a homemade cookie cake baked and decorated by Jonna (and a little penmanship by Alicia). After we headed to H St Country Club to play and meet up with more of Robins friends. We played a few rounds of skeeball and danced around the bar. The entire night was a lot of fun, and a good way to send Robin off to NYC. Jonna, Evan, and I left everyone at the bar sometime between 1-2am (I think) and we crashed at Evan's place for the night. Evan inhaled a GIANT piece of french bread slopped with spinach artichoke dip that was left out from earlier. He lolephanted to bed, while we laughed and eventually also passed out.

Robin will be very missed, but luckily she is only in NYC and close by for visits :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

more wine please

Every year VA provides us lushes with a fantastic summer event, the Virginia Wine Fest! Just because Jonna and I just moved into a house doesn't mean we don't feel 100% comfortable abandoning everything that needs to be done in order to drink massive amounts of wine; because we did.

Throughout the move and the next week Jonna had a terrrrrible chest cold, so she decided that she wasn't going to take the bus to the fest in Centerville. Instead she decided to drive out a little later in the morning, and Alicia decided to join her. Brother and I headed to Bailey's in Ballston to eat a quick breakfast and potentially meet up with friends. Leo found us and we ran into Michelle and her friend Shawndel. Kristen, Jay, and Robin were also at the bar but I failed to find them before everyone was corralled onto the 12 buses leaving from one of the many bar pick up point locations. Brittany had bought her ticket for the buses in Clarendon, but we met her at the field once we finally arrived.

We first ran into a giant bouncy obstacle course, which I of course had to test out and enjoy. I managed pretty well considering I was wearing a dress, I probably only flashed a few people. Michelle joined me briefly, but then we were pulled off the bouncy fun because it was time for wine. No offense to VA, but I'm really not a huge fan of its wine. Of course I still taste many different types from various wineries, but never really came out completely satisfied. I tend to stay far away from the whites as they're typically far too sweet for my liking. A few tastings had a sangria mix, which was a nice change up. Eventually we ran into Kristen, Jay, Robin, and peoples and agreed to meet up again later for lunch and a bottle (or two) of wine. The day was hot, but not too hot. Kind of like a Goldilocks kind of day. Brother, Varun, Brittany, and I saw a magic show that was pretty impressive. The magician was entertaining and made fun of himself for being a magician, which I think added to his performance. Afterward we met up with Jonna, Robin, Alicia, Kristen, Jay, and Todd to enjoy the music and sun. Around 5pm Jonna decided she was going to drive back home and offered to take the girls back with her. So instead of leaving on the bus at 6pm, the 5 of us piled into Jonna's car for the drive back to Arlington.

Once we arrived at Chez Quebec, we decided to continue the wine fest in our own fashion. Initially this started as enjoying more bottles of wine, then we added some snacks, and more wine. Eventually we got really hungry and ordered delicious pizzas to go along with our wine. We are in the process of looking for a backyard patio set and fire pit, but until then we have a few random chairs and a tiny little table. We also used my tiny shower clock radio for music and entertainment, which turned into musical interpretations by the lovely Kristen, Robin, and Alicia. At some point I brought out my old dance costumes, pompoms from highschool, and my graduation cap/gown, to share with the group. Everyone picked out costumes and started dancing around the yard in random colors and costumes while singing. Best impromptu dance party! We didn't last long after that, it had been a long long day in the sunshine while drinking wine. Wine fest was a huge success.