Monday, August 29, 2011

Carnies are more reliable than weather experts

One of my favorite stories to tell is about the time when me and my friends went to the Davis County Fair when I was in high school. We went to enjoy the fair food, the carnival, and more specifically: the carnies. We were about to learn that carnies are very wise and intuitive. When the storm clouds started to hover above the fair, one carnie warned us:

"Take cover! There's a storm a comin'!"

I believed him, but I don't think my friend Mark did, because he started laughing in front of him (yeah, Mark needs to learn a little respect toward carnies). The carnie replied, "You think I don't know what I'm talkin' about? I've been doing this for years!!" Sure enough, the thunderstorm hit, and it was a good thing we heeded the carnie's advice and "took cover."

The point of this story is: when the carnies warned us, the storm didn't disappoint. When the meteorologists warned us about the hurricane Irene that was sure to destroy the east coast, they greatly exaggerated, and to be honest, left a lot of people disappointed. Here in northern Virginia, hardly anyone lost power and we only a had a few fallen branches for proof of damage. Our friends in Annapolis got hit a little harder. And our family in New York reported a power outage that lasted only an hour and a fallen tree in their neighborhood.

I should be glad, I know. There were places that actually did get hit pretty hard. But you see, I went and bought water, batteries, candles and food. We made sure our cars had gas, I brought in our patio furniture, and I even made sure that our bathtubs were full of water. We took our last hot showers Saturday evening, not knowing when would be our next.

And what did we get? A car still full of gas because we didn't go anywhere most of the weekend, and a waste of water in the bathtubs. And while there was wind and rain, it wouldn't have been strong enough to move my patio furniture even an inch.

I think there is something romantic about power outages. I was actually looking forward to have the house lit up only by candles and I was excited to read a book by candle light. Didn't happen, though.

And one more thing: why did the hurricane have to conveniently hit only over the weekend? Not cool.

So basically, while I am grateful that we are all safe and sound with no damage whatsoever, my first hurricane experience was disappointing to say the least. The storm that the carnie warned us about was better than the storm I experienced this weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tour of the apartment: fourth (and final) part

So, you've seen the everything up to this point, although in a really weird order, I realize now. Sorry! If you want to see it the way you would really see it in a tour, start here, then go here, then read this post now, then read here. Got it? Good.

We now embark down the hallway from the living room to the guest [insert your name here!] bedroom and bathroom. The guest bedroom is also my newly created sewing room, music practicing room, and also my husband's occasional dumping ground (see this post) and also his dressing room (to avoid waking me up when he gets up at the butt crack of dawn: such a considerate husband....I love him).

Anywhay, here you go. So the second door on the left is where there is a washer and dryer. I'll let you use your imagination rather than show a picture.


Don't mind the empty picture frame above--you get the idea though.

And also don't mind the husband's pull- up bar thingy in the pic to the left.
This is a sofa bed. I love it because it reminds me of Romania!
 This is my new desk and chair from Craigslist. I want to change up the desk though. Any suggestions?

I'm thinking new knobs, for sure...but I don't know what to do with the color. I thought about changing the chair too, but I just love the way the wood looks. 

So there you go! It's all ready for you to come and visit. BTW: someone, aka my sister, said that I sound "desperate" for visitors. To that I say that I am doing just fine, and that there are a lot of cool things to see around here. Is it such a crime that I want to share it with all of you? I don't think so. 

Except don't come visit this weekend. Apparently, the hurricane of doom is going to be sweeping through these parts. Stay tuned, and have a good weekend!

Love, Annie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I get my craft on...and survive an earthquake

So yesterday, I got to spend the day with my friend Holli who lives about an hour away from me. We go way back to the days of teaching English together in many good times! Anyway, she has been inspiring me on her blog to try my hand at refashioning--a verb that means seeing the potential in a cheap thrifted something and turning it into something cute. Last week I went on a thrifting rampage and bought a ton of crap, including a new desk and chair for my own craft space--all for less than $100: score.

So, I bought a bunch of dresses from my local Goodwill, and refashioned it yesterday with Holli's help. She also reminded me to take a before picture so you can see your end results. So, here you go with the before shot:
The good thing about buying a size 20W dress is that you have plenty of fabric to work with!!
I decided to keep it simple for my first refashion and turn it into a skirt. All it took was a little cutting and sewing, and VOILA!
This cost me a total of THREE DOLLAS. Sweet! I really like this fabric and still have some leftover, so I'm trying to see what else I can do with it.

Anyway, in the midst of this, Holli had put her her babay down for a nap, and soon after, we started feeling the building shake. When it started to get worse, Holli immediately booked it to the baby's room. I look out the window to see if anything outside is shaking, and seriously it looked like nothing was happening outside, and the construction guys outside looked completely unfazed. This had us questioning our sanity for a while because there was still nothing online posted about there being an earthquake. Sure enough, we finally find out that it was indeed an earthquake.

After it all happened, I said to Holli, "look at you being a good mom and immediately running to protect your baby!" Her answer was, "I just didn't want her to wake up from her nap!" Well, either way, you're a good mama, Holli.

So yeah, that was my day. Full of plenty of excitement. And I got more phone calls and texts that day from people than I usually get in the course of a week. Nothing like an earthquake to make you feel loved.

Monday, August 22, 2011

For when you come to visit

This is how you can know that you're close to our house. Get on interstate 95 south out of Washington DC. It will look something like this:
 Pretty open. Then you start to approach some more trees, like this:

 And then, when you are surrounded by forest, that means that you are in our neck of the woods. Literally. 

But it's pretty, isn't it?
Come and visit!!
Love, Annie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tour of the apartment: part three

Time for the dining room/area and the kitchen! I take these photos as I clean them, so understandably, the kitchen is close to last on the list. It's a small little kitchen, so it gets messy very easily. Also, it took me so long for the dining room pics because I finally got the blasted parts from Ikea to finish up the last chair. Speaking of which, the table and chairs were a gift from my parents. So that means that our parents basically helped us furnish our apartment: yep, we're pretty lucky and loved.  Anyway, here you go:
the view from the living room
featured on the table are some fake flowers (maintenance free!), my Romanian shepherd boy, and cute bird salt and pepper shakers. 

As you can see, it's a one person kitchen. That's probably Victor's reasonings of why he doesn't help cook, and it's most definitely my reasoning of why I don't help him do the dishes.
the view to into the living room, featuring my favorite nesting doll measuring cups that I bought from World Market 

Just to prove that I am learning how to be a good little wifey, the picture above features the handmade tomato soup that I made, and under that black cloth is some homemade rosemary bread rising. I'm on my way to becoming a domestic goddess!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mormon night at Camden Yards

I love summer baseball games. I don't love stupid traffic that makes us miss all the Mormon festivities before the game for Mormon night. I guess one of the starting pitchers for the Orioles is a returned missionary and he was signing autographs before the game. That would have been cool. But we missed it. They also did some family history presentation. Sounds blah, but we're in Baltimore, not SLC, so that would be cool to see too. But nope, we missed it. DARN YOU, I-95. DARN YOU TO HECK!!

I spy a missionary
more missionaries. there were lots.

Speaking of mormons, have you seen this yet?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Yahweh or No Way? - Mormons & God's Poll Numbers
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

It's been going around facebook like crazy, but it's so funny. My favorite line (well, one of them) is the one about Mitt Romney and John Huntsman:

"One of these guys could be our next president: the other one is John Huntsman."

Am I a Mormon? Yahweh! Am I weird? In the words of Colbert, "I don't know-weh!"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tour of the apartment: part two

Alright, so here is the entryway/ living room. We just got curtains up in this room, and it helps a lot. But we still want to get a painting and pictures up on the wall above the couch to bring in more color. I also want a couple of lamps.  I love the furniture: that was a wonderful wedding gift of Victor's parents. Anyway, this is the view right when you walk in:

I love my rug from Williamsburg! And the curtains are some we bought from Ikea. Then there's the view of the front door, and my little Dominican house that I bought.

 Some of my traveling treasures are featured on the coffee table including my mini terracotta warriors from China, sand from the Dominican Republic and the Black Sea, a stacking doll from Russia, my Romanian painted eggs, the Dominican woman figurine, and my new flower vase from Williamsburg (my mom has the same one: I copied her!).
 What's that on tv, you might ask? Well, that is a dance aerobics dvd I bought this week, and it was HARD! I got half way through, and then got distracted and took these pictures instead. Oh, and that's a storage/pantry to the left of the tv. To the right of the tv is the entryway, and me no likey right now. I've been looking everywhere for some kind of coat rack/shoe rack/entryway piece. No luck yet. So right now theres's just a mini fridge that we don't need. Interested?
This picture shows our back porch and our "backyard" aka the woods. Don't go playing around back there unless you want some ticks. But it's pretty to look at. And there's some blackberry bushes too!

So there you go. Right now, I feel like red is the dominant color, so I also want to bring in more blues, and maybe a little yellow. What do you think?

Happy weekend! Love, Annie

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My husband, the packrat

After a month or so of my husband saying he would go through his crap taking over our guest room and his side of the room, I took the liberty of doing it for him. (In his defense, he actually has a job, and it's nice that he would choose to hang out with me when he gets home over cleaning).

So that's what I've been doing yesterday and today. And if it weren't for me, my husband would be someone that you will definitely be seeing on an episode of Hoarders in a few years. Victor is a perfect candidate because he keeps pointless things that he never uses but insists on keeping because of "sentimental" value. Lucky for him that I am here to be unrelenting and uncaring.

I exaggerate--I do care a little bit. But I think logically. Like, we don't need five Navy caps and sweat-stained white uniforms because a) you aren't in the Navy anymore, and b) unlike what you insist, no one is going to want to wear that for Halloween. And we won't be needing the Excedrin bottle with 2 pills left and the portable Wet Ones because it's not the end of the world and we can afford to buy a full bottle.
 This is only some of the crap in the closet that I am sifting through 

I like the feeling of dejunking. Especially when it's not with my own stuff, because even I, the uncaring one, can get a little sentimental about my stuff. But then someone like my mom will knock some sense into me. Like what I'm doing for my husband right now, I am only doing it out of love!! 

I really feel like I should take these skills and go work for Hoarders or something. Anyway, I have to get back to getting rid of my husband's stuff before he gets home from work!

Tour of the apartment: part one

Because of the high demand of requests for pictures of my apartment (and by high demand I mean basically just from my sister), I have finally taken some pictures of the cleanest part of the house at the moment: the master bedroom and bath. So I still have some decorating to do--like the curtains: thanks for the suggestions btw! Enjoy.
 the view from the hallway
if you guessed that I got the bedding from Ikea, you're right!

The closets and the tv.
Can you guess whose closet is whose? I guess that's kind of a hard question since the one on the left looks like it has a lot of stuff in it, but that is not the case. 

And here is zee bafroom:


I got the wooden mask long ago from China, and I am glad it finally has a place in my house! The husband doesn't really like it where it is: he thinks it looks like it is laughing at him when he's trying to take care of business. 

So yeah, on the to-do list for this room are the curtains, and also to do something with the blank wall next to the bathroom door. A work in progress, but it feels like home. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to have a good weekend in these parts

Eat Afghan food for the first time: it did not disappoint.

Make the husband take you to see "Crazy Stupid Love" or, as he called it, "Punch Stupid Love"--I think he was confusing the movies "Punch Drunk Love" with "Crazy Stupid Love." Anyway, I liked it. I really like Emma Stone and I am so excited for "The Help" on Wednesday!!

Visit the temple. It was beautiful and the best way to spend our afternoon.

Enjoy a yummy dessert, post temple trip. I always feel the compulsive need to go get ice cream or some kind of treat after going to the temple. It's something we always did when I was a teenager, so I still feel like it's mandatory. So we chose to go to Serendipity 3 in Georgetown. Word of advice: if you're like me and always wanted to go to the Serendipity in NYC thanks to girlie movies like "Serendipity" and "One Fine Day," just go to the one in DC instead. In New York, there is ALWAYS a 90 minute minimum wait. In DC, we got seated immediately on a Saturday evening, essentially for the same experience. 

Behold, the red velvet sunday. Very good and very rich. We couldn't quite finish it. Thus, my gross face!

 Go shopping in Georgetown. Umm, I have discovered a new favorite place and it is Georgetown! It's so lovely, and there's great shopping. We enjoyed some quality time in Urban Outfitters, where my husband felt compelled to call my brother-in-law to share the new phrases he learned from the "Dirty Russian" language book with the hope he would understand, and also Barnes and Noble, where we bought books to our hearts' content with all the giftcard money we got from the wedding.

Enjoy cupcakes with friends. Last week I whined about missing my favorite cupcakes from the Sweet Tooth Fairy in Provo. But for now, we have found a close competitor at Baked and Wired in Georgetown. Since we were still so full from Serendipity, we only bought one cupcake (lemon cake with raspberry frosting....YUM) and shared it on Sunday. Big mistake! We both wanted more! So thanks for the recommendation, Megan Runyan.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. Happy Monday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Things that are annoying me (part 2)

So, in case you don't know, I don't have a job right now. Therefore, since I have moved here, I've been enjoying having the time to do whatever the heck I want, which has mostly been reading, exploring my new neck of the woods, and decorating my new apartment (which is really fun now that I have complete control over it, rather than having to collaborate on decorations with roommates). Now I'm getting to a point where I'm trying to embark on some creative projects. One of these is curtains. I have a sewing machine. I have the time. So why not? It should be cheaper than buying ready-made curtains, right? WRONG!

Fabric is expensive! Right now I'm referring to drapery fabric. But even the non-drapery fabric is expensive.  Here I am, trying to be innovative and creative-- a la Project Runway-- and I would be better off just going to Ikea because their curtains cost the same as 1 1/2 yards of fabric from the fabric store (and I would need at least 6 yards for the two windows in my bedroom alone), and I really like the fabric they use at Ikea too. I feel like my creative juices are just draining out of me!

What happened to the days of my youth where going to the fabric store and making something on your own was cheaper and more original than going to the store? And it's not like I'm going to Mood Designer Fabrics, I'm just going to Joann!! I tried calling my mom to ask her if drapery fabrics have always been this expensive, but she has no service up at girls camp. Vai de mine.

Speaking of Project Runway, one of the designers on the show, Olivier, has a unique, kind of British sounding accent. He also looks asian which is intriguing. Turns out Olivier grew up in Ohio until he was sixteen, and then he moved to London and other countries for a little while, which couldn't have been that long because he's only 22.  If you live in the U.S. for the first 16 years of your life, there is no way you would just pick up a British accent!! If you move when you're 4 or 5, then that's another story.

There was another guy I knew who served his mission in England and came home with a full blown British accent that he just couldn't seem to shake off. I'm not buying it! I understand coming home from a mission with some of the same speaking mannerisms, but an accent? Nu-uh. If you go and watch interviews with Madonna once she had become an ex-pat celeb living in London, you will kind of hear the same thing happening.

People that are posers with accents annoy me! (And for the record, this rant has an educated background, because I took a couple of Linguistics classes where we talked about dialects and accents of the English language and how and when you pick up on dialects, which is either based on the dialects of your parents, or living in a place when you are still learning the language, which is usually the first ten years.)

Well, anyway, those are just some of the issues that I will have to work through. But seriously, what should I do about the curtains?!

Happy Friday. Love, Annie

Monday, August 1, 2011

Huzzah for birthdays!

The pictures go as follows: 
Benedict Arnold: that dirt bag traitor! Husband making a face of "it's hot and I thought they would shoot off more canons!"
Me in front of the governor's palace.
The patriots. Our birthday cake from our dinner last night with our favorite family in Annapolis.

In case you didn't know, my husband's birthday is just two days after mine, so we do joint celebrations, like fun mini vacations to Colonial Williamsburg. We enjoyed eating in dark taverns where they raised a glass and shouted "huzzah!" and sang "For he's a jolly good fellow" for my hubby's 25th birthday. I got kind of bored with all the "historic" stuff (the heat and humidity had something to do with that--I still am not used to it!), but we made up for that with shopping--huzzah!

So, I usually tend to not spill out my feelings about my husband on this blog, mostly because I agree with Jane Austen when she says in P&P that lovers' stories and emotions are never as special or interesting to other people than they are to the couple. But let it be known, I LOVE my husband! He knows me so well, and he treats me like gold. He loves it when I cook for him, and doesn't complain when I don't feel like it. And he always does the dishes. He never belches and rarely farts, which is nice, but it makes me feel like I'm the gross one in this relationship! He's a hard worker, he's a gentleman, he's selfless, and most importantly, he has a good heart. It's not quite a list of "25 things that I love about my husband" that lots of people do for birthday blogging (which I actually really like--maybe next year!), but there you go. 

And also, thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes (I'm talking about my birthday now--always bringing it back to ME!). Honestly, it was kind of a bummer day for me--I am just starting to not want to get older, I think. I'm 24 now. Blah!!

Love love and huzzah!