A PJ party

28Jan10

I had the most relaxing and best time this weekend with my girls in NJ.  One of our own TLC ladies Lin, joined Jean and Chye up in the NJ/NY area.  She recently relocated for work.  Mich and I decided to drive up and spend the weekend with the girls up in NJ for a change.

We spent our Saturday afternoon shopping and chit chatting.  We had a lovely dinner at the chic and hip Chakra where the food was beautiful and delicious.  After dinner the real party started.  We changed into our sleek PJs of t-shirts and sweat pants and spent the evening talking about celebrity gossip, our guys, kids, movies and everything else under the sun.  We brought with us an abundant supply of junk food and a cooler filled with beer and wine.  What more could a girl ask for?

We stayed up way past our usual bed times and fell asleep after midnight.  Party animals!  The next morning we slept in to the late hour of 8AM, got ready and headed over to a nearby diner for some breakfast grub.  After breakfast Mich and I headed back home.

We’re already planning out our next gathering.  Shall it be Atlantic city? Philly again?  Baltimore?  Ahhh the possibilities.  Now we just need to find a weekend that works for everyone.

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Short weeks

20Jan10

So I’ve been getting used to these four day work weeks.  How am I going to be able to take 5 full days next week? Ack!  We had the holiday this week and last week I took a day off to recoop from Miami.  No more holidays or PTO time for a while.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting up with some of my favorite people for dinner to celebrate my birthday.  its been a while since I’ve been to the Lebanese Taverna and I was craving their toasty warm pitas.  Yum!  it did not disappoint.

The weekends are always a blur now.  Usually they are filled with errands, chores and lots of KK time.  P and I are taking turns going to the gym too.  The gyms are currently pretty full due to the New year resolution crowd but I went Sunday morning and it was empty.  Was able to work out, shower and get out of there before the 9am crowd started filtering in.

On a random note, there are several stores that I HATE to go to because they are so unorganized and the customer service is so lacking.  I swear the people who work there and manage these stores are probably a bunch of kids that could care less.  I don’t know what your experience has been but there stores are awful, consistently awful.  The stores themselves are often unorganized and the shelves are not well stocked and good luck if you want to ask someone a question.  More often than not, when you go to the counter the prices don’t ring up correct and then you have to get them to correct it with the sale price. Ack!  I’ll make a little list of the worst offenders.

– Babies R Us (I hate this place.  If it wasn’t for the coupons, I’d never go)

– Radio Shack (I predict they will go out of business in the next two years)

– K Mart (I will go out of my way not to go there)

– Finish Line (Had to exchange a pair of shoes for KK and several people were asking for the number to corporate)

And on the other hand, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the service at the grocery stores lately.  Super helpful and friendly.  maybe the retail stores have been forced to cut down on staff and to hire less “experienced” employees to cut costs but I’ve noticed with certain stores its not just one store that has problems, its all their stores.  This leads me to believe its a corporate culture thing.

Okie, rant over.  I had my first Cognitive Neuroscience class last night and it was really interesting.  Next week we will study the brain and all its parts.  Coolio!  There’s a lot of brain power in the room and I felt during certain discussions that I was not getting it.  I’ll have to make sure I do the readings ahead of time.  I have to come up with a paper topic.  I was thinking last night that maybe I could write about the affect of pregnancy on the brain and its functions. haha.


Sitting Idle

13Jan10

Remember back in November and December when I was super busy at work…..well now I’m not.  Haha.  I’ve wrapped up most of my projects and nothing new has really kicked off yet.  This is pretty typical for our team.  We get slammed with everyone wanting to use up their budgets before the end of the year and then starting in January no one has their money yet so no work can be done.

Ahhh, no worries. I’m enjoying the downtime to get organized and to get ready for the chaos when it does start.  I have class starting next Tuesday and that should take up some of my precious weekend and evening time.  I’ve taken a class with this professor before and he’s very organized.  he’s already sent us our syllabus and first reading assignment.  We don’t have work due every week but we do have a paper, project and two tests through out the semester.  Ack!  Next semester I will have to double up and take two classes, double ack!  I’m hoping to get my Masters before KK goes to college.  hee hee.

Why is it that the process of getting organized involves making a mess first?  I have to take out a bunch of stuff and then find a home for them.  I also make tons of lists so that I don’t forget anything.  I don’t how many times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with a thought and then it torments me the next day cause I can’t remember it!  Was it a crucial detail or just something minimal?  I dunno, I can’t remember!!

I have yet to clean up all the holiday stuff in our living room.  I also need to organize my closet cause I only seem to access the same things over and over again.  Its like I have clothing amnesia.  I’ve forgotten what I have.  Yesterday on Oprah they were saying that there’s the one year rule.  If you haven’t worn it in a year you should donate it or throw it out.  Hmmmm, is that true?

I have my new desk calendar where I jot down everything I have to do and what’s going on on what date.  I’m still getting use to this new format.  My calendar last year was Dilbert and this year I got this Zen calendar with relaxing phrases like “Practice smoothly exhaling, then inhaling- Calmness of mind is betond the end of your exhalation.”  uhmmm ok.  Did you hear that/  That was the sound of my calmness.  hee hee.


Miami

12Jan10

So we went from cooooooold to cold.  We took a trip to Miami this past weekend to get away from things here and to celebrate me getting older.  We were looking forward to some alone time and to warmer weather.  Ha!  Mother nature played a little joke on us and it was cold in Miami!

It was about 10 to 15 degrees warmer in Miami than it was in DC but the Miami folks were not use to this kind of cold and most were bundled up and avoided the outdoors.  Good thing I opted to not pack my hoochi mama club wear and opted for some long sleeves.  hee hee.

Of course, being the food people that we are, we ate out way through Miami.  Pics are on facebook.  We landed in Ft. Lauderdale and went straight to the Rustic Inn just minutes from the airport.  They have the best garlic crabs!  I’m used to the old bay seasoning on crabs here in MD so this was a new treat for me.  We opted for the sampler that had several different types of crabs…..snow crab, dungeness, blue and golden crabs.  The crabs were so sweet and buttery garlic sauce they were cooked in was superb!  I could of eaten a bushel!

After our “snack” of crabs we went to Jaxsons for some ice cream.  I had the most difficult time picking the yummiest thing to eat on their menu.  We went with the sweetheart sundae.  Oh goodness, I’m still thinking of this sweet goodness.

We checked into our hotel at Coconut Grove and took a nap before heading out to Little Havana for dinner.  We decides to try Versailles restaurant due to all the positive comments on Yelp.  it did not disappoint.  After just a few bites, I was stuffed.  Oh, I forgot to mention that the weather was decent on Friday and we did go walking and we checked out CoCo Walk right by our hotel.  A co-worker had recommended Jaguar, a cerviche bar.  I didn’t want to ruin my appetite so I opted for a mango mojito instead.  Yummy.

Saturday was yucky weather.  It was windy, rainy and cold.  The morning didn’t start off that great.  After our work-out, due to my massive food consumption, we went looking for a place to eat brunch of lunch.  One place that people recommended on yelp turned out to not open till later and when we returned later, they did not serve brunch on saturdays.  So we opted for this little hole in the walk sandwich shop for a nice cuban sandwich.  Food was delish.

We couldn’t really do much with the weather being so awful so we opted to go to the mall.  Hee hee.  For my b’day dinner we went to China Grill in South Beach.  The food was awesome and the presentation was phenomenal.  P and mentioned their fried spinach dish being one of their signature dishes.  It was deep fried till it was almost crunchy.  I was calling it a spinach chip. The best was when they brought out the tower of bananas for dessert with a sparkler in it for my b’day.  Awwww.  Its hard to describe but there was a toffee type of tower and inside it was filled with  bananas in some sort of coating.  Yum.

We ended our gastro trip with brunch at Le Bouchon de grove.  I feel like we were transported to some little cafe in Paris.   The basket of fresh and warm french bread they brought out for us was devine.  I could of eaten a barle full.  Something about french bread just gets me.  I ate it with some of the fresh rasberry jam they brought out and felt totally content.  It was chilly in the cafe cause they didn’t have heat but our warm mugs of coffee warmed us up.  P had an omelet and I had the  banana pancakes.  Their pancakes were less fluffy and denser with a little crisp on the edges.  It was so good that if you put a stack in front of me I would of been like Chilly willy with his flapjacks.  More please!

We drove out to Fl Lauderdale and walked around a bit before heading to the airport.  We came home to a just bathed KK who squealed when she saw us.  Just two days away and she seemed like a different baby.  She’s crawling forward a little now and she’s soooo vocal.  Still no teeth on this munchkin.


I want to blame it on the cold, cold weather but I think its really more a lack of enthusiasm.  I’ve been wearing the same set of outfits to work, over and over again.  I’ve opted for warmth over variety and fashion, haha.  Can you blame me?  Did you take a look at the thermostat today?  Brrrrrrr.

But I know, its incredibly boring.  Its not that I want to buy new stuff, I’m not really in a shopping mode either.  I think I’ve been focusing on just one part of the closet and ignoring the rest of it.  Blouses seem too thin and flimsy and work shirts need to be tucked in and ironed, bleh to both!  Forget about wearing a skirt or dress, too cold!

I’m even opting for the warmest, softest clothing when I’m home too.  So not much creativity going on with my clothes recently.  This is one of my many reasons for not liking the cold weather.  Our natural tendency to layer up doesn’t really go hand-in-hand with looking cute.

I was hoping that our trip down to Miami could allow for some skin to show but its cold down there too!


Green stuff

06Jan10

I’m not a big fan of making New year resolutions.  Perhaps its because they are always the same old thing…eat better, exercise more, be a better person, blah blah blah.  I’m all about those things but I think you have to be more specific.  So I decided to concentrate on just one thing at a time.

For now, I wanted to start making sure that we got our recommended “7 fistfulls” of veggies and fruits.  Does anyone else think that that’s a lot of veggies and fruit?!  Heck I’d be lucky if I got that in one week!!!

Ok, so more fruits and veggies into all of our meals and a V8 has two servings right there.  I think we’re  both trying to get in 3 or 4 serving during the day and with dinner we’ll try to work in 3.  I can see how doing this would make us eat a little less meat or whatever else and overall it would contribute to be healthier.  Its not easy though but hopefully it will be a life change for us.

I think next I’ll tackle the whole exercise of move more initiative.  I have to admit that I have not worked out in a very long time.  The usual excuses with the holidays, work being busy and just plain not feeling like it.  Something about it being cold outside just makes me want to curl up under a blanket and conserve my heat aka build up on my fat layers, hee hee.

So I’ll give the veggies thing till the end of January to sink in and then I’ll start the exercise thing.  I think my goal will be to do something active (30 minutes or more) 3 times a week.  The pilates I’m doing at work will not count.  And I will need to go to the gym at least once a week.  The gym will count towards the 3 times per week.

We’re going to Hawaii to celebrate both P and KK’s b’days in April so I’ll need to be in decent shape for that.  We will need to take advantage of the nice weather there to really kick start our running.  Hopefully I will be back to my 5K runs by that time.  Muhahahaha.  That’s my “Whatever” laugh!

As part of the eating more green stuff initiative, I have started tracking what I’m eating again.  I was happy that I didn’t gain too much over the holiday hiatus.   So the big challenge this week, in addition to the veggie/fruit stuff, is that we’re going to Miami this weekend for my birthday.  All that yummy food!!!  Ack!  I guess I’ll be hitting the gym at the hotel.  🙂


Sooooo Christmas has already come and gone…..New Year’s is around the corner and I’m at work today but my brain is still in vacation mode.  I’ll be taking the rest of the week off but I do need to finish writing up this report before I leave today.  Ack, brain….please come back!

P didn’t know that I was taking tomorrow off and was all happy that I’ll be home with KK and him.  BUT I informed him that I will be having lunch with a few girls from work and then off to see New Moon.  Ahhhhhh, Team Edward!  I know, its pathetic that we’re all in our 30s and yet we’re nuts over these Twilight boys that are MUCH younger than us.  Hahaha.  Hey guys do it so why can’t us girls join in the fun?

I have been baking like crazy over the holiday season and having tons of fun trying new stuff.  I made cinnamon buns from scratch for Christmas morning.

Since it was our first Christmas as a family, I was trying to start some of our own traditions.  Maybe cinnamon buns on Xmas morning as we open gifts?  Worked this year so we’ll see.

I also made lots of pound cake to give away this holiday.  They came out so awesome!

And cookies!  here’s a pic of some Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I made.

I love these quiet days after all the guests have left and the baby is sleeping.  I get to curl up on the couch with my hubby, my puppy and a book.

Have a very safe and joyous New Year!