April 23, 2012

White House Spring Garden Tour

April showers bring May flowers...

We really embraced that on Sunday at the White House Garden tour!

I came prepared - rain jacket, rain boots and an umbrella!

Great view from the lawn of the Washington Monument.  Can you see the Jefferson in the distance?

POTUS's putting green
Sasha and Malia's playground
America's house

Charles and Matthew
The White House Vegetable Garden - I loved this part!
Sufficiently soaked from standing in the rain for 45 minutes and wandering through the White House grounds, we made our way to The Hamilton for a delicious brunch.  

French press coffee and homemade biscottis!

Appetizer: cinnamon pecan sticky bun
Eggs Benedict is one of my "go-to" items to order at brunch.  I can't poach an egg myself so when I go out to eat, I figure, "Why not order something I can't make myself"  All that to say, I've had a lot of eggs benedict and...I think this one might have been my favorite...ever.  The bread was perfect, the ham was a little bit sweet, the eggs were the right consistency and hollandaise complemented it all.  Ah-mazing.

All that to say...I will be back to The Hamilton! 

April 20, 2012

Dinner and a Show

Whoever said "the best things in life are free" was right.  I couldn't have paid for better entertainment last night while I ate pizza on my patio.

Ladies and Gentleman, may I please introduce our 
Feature Twirler for Texas Tech's Goin Band from Raiderland...

Lee Bobbitt!

Yep, that's my roommate in all her glory.  Seriously...have you ever just watched anyone twirl closely?  It is incredible.  I will never understand how she is able to juggle all of those insanely difficult twists, flips and throws--all with a smile on her face.

Can you see all the little neighborhood girls in the background who were mesmerized by her?  They were cheering and clapping the whole time!

Lee is an incredible person--her strength, versatility and resilience set such a good example for those around her.  She is a great listener and truly cares about others--as evidenced in her volunteer time with college girls, the care she takes with constituents at work and the ways that she is a good roommate to Holly and me.

Really, I'm not the least surprised she can twirl/juggle three batons at the same time.  She's that good.

April 19, 2012

Tandem Bike: Painting

So many people have been asking...so it's time for an update on the Tandem Bike!

After we stripped all the yellow paint and buffed the metal frame, it was time to prime and paint.  Alas, this was not a job for my beloved chalk paint...but it was fun to work with spray paint for once!

Kern primed the whole frame to prepare it and help the paint adhere. 
Then it was time to paint!  We used a glossy black.
It took 3 coats.
After the black paint, Kern put a final clear coat on to help seal and protect the color.
The frame is finally painted!
The next steps are: new tires, chain, and pedals.  We must now assemble the bike and begin putting it back together.

I think we will be ready for take off just in time for summer!

April 18, 2012

Kind words are short and easy to speak

Photo: flower on Capitol grounds

“Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Mother Teresa 

A wise person once told me, "It's easier to be nice than to be not nice."

Simple concept, right?   If you really want my honest take on it...I'll admit...I can be short fused easily.  I feel a little awkward even admitting that.  I know I'm supposed to love unconditionally.  To be patient.  To be understanding.  Part of me wants to blame it on my job.  Or my surroundings.  Or my feelings.  But I think it's deeper than just "being nice."  I get impatient and speak unkindly because at that moment, I am putting myself before the person I'm interacting with.

So how can I constantly remind myself to put others first?  The old adage "practice makes perfect" certainly comes to mind.  I can make it a point to be kind even when I don't feel like being kind.  I can make my devotional time a priority so that I start the day with the right mind set.  I can get a tattoo with that quote on my hand...ok, maybe not the tattoo part.  But sometimes I feel like I need to be reminded that often!

To wrap it up, go out of your way to be nice to someone today...maybe it will end up making your day better!

April 17, 2012

America's Lawn

After work on Monday, I moseyed over to the east side of the Capitol to watch Kern and one of our friends, Will, throw the baseball.

Watch being the key word.

If you know me, you know I'm not athletically gifted.  It's ok.  Don't feel bad for me.  I have other talents.

I thoroughly enjoyed my vantage point and took time to soak up the last rays of the day while I watched the sun sink.

Sometimes, it's just the little things that make you feel whole and young again.

April 16, 2012

Take me out...to the ball game!

Baseball season is in full swing (no pun intended) in Washington!

Kern and I went to the Saturday afternoon game because they were giving away Stephen Strasburg BOBBLEHEADS to the first 15,000 fans who arrived.

We got there early, claimed our bobbleheads and watched batting practice.

The weather was awesome and the stadium was packed!

It's hard to get more American than chocolate ice cream, a waffle cone and a patriotic wrapper.

We wore our jerseys and had a great time!

April 13, 2012

April's PTA Meeting

We have been having great fun gathering and discussing all kinds of articles over the past few months!

This week was no exception and our lovely hostess, Carolyn, provided great topics and delicious food.

We were treated to this view from Carolyn's living room window--it was so relaxing to watch the sun set over the Capitol.

We also had a stellar view of the Library of Congress...and a fire escape in case we needed a quick exit.

And the food...so yummy!  We had homemade sausage wrapped rolls with a tangy goat cheese spread.

 And perfect bite sized cupcakes with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles!

Group shot of some of the girls.

April 12, 2012

Pretty Organization: Produce Baskets

The roommates and I have been doing some spring cleaning around the bombshelter lately and part of that has included cleaning out our kitchen cabinets and refrigerator.  We all consume a lot of fruit and veggies every week and we seem to have a perpetual problem with produce overflowing into our tiny space.

One of the ideas we decided to implement was using bins (in the fridge) and cute wicker baskets (on top of the fridge) to divide everything.  We usually all come back from the store, unload our food and then promptly forget which apple belongs to which roommate (or at least I forget).

Instead of just having plain baskets, I wanted to turn it into a quick craft project.  Are you surprised?

Here is what I did to make tags for the Produce baskets:

I used pre-made gift tags and cut brown kraft paper squares out.
I then used my handy-dandy corner rounder to give the edges a contrasting look.

I wrote our names on the kraft paper and glued it onto the tag.

Then tied it onto the basket with jute and a pink sating ribbon.

Now I can find my food!

April 11, 2012

A Weekend at the Shore

Kern and I decided to head down to the cottage on the Eastern Shore over Easter weekend to unplug and get away.  It was so nice to be in the "country" and far away from reliable cell phone service and wi-fi.

We arrived on Friday and Kern immediately began fishing.  We stopped at a general store about 4 miles from the cottage and picked up a fresh tub of night crawlers for bait.

The weather was great--it was cool but the sky was perfectly clear and the sun was warm. 

My dad requested some sunset photos!  It's so nice to watch the sun set from the porch. 

There was a full moon on Friday night so we rigged up my Aunt Bonnie's telescope and look at the craters on the moon--amazing!

We had a real life "Words with Friends" match...also known as scrabble!!

On Saturday morning, Kern was up with the birds and in project mode.  He brought the single speed bike he is refurbishing and rigged up a line so he could spray paint it.

Ladder + cinder blocks + boat anchors + tree + rope = ingenious method for no-touch painting

After that project it was time for...bacon!  We cooked a big breakfast and drank lots of coffee--my favorite way to start the day.

We ran, rode the cruiser bikes that we have down there, read, watched the Masters and just sat still.  It was a perfect weekend.

Our family has owned this lot since my dad was a boy!

We cooked delicious dinners both nights - steak on Friday and BBQ chicken on Saturday.

The Easter bunny found us on Sunday!  He is great with directions.

Easter morning dawned another perfect day.  We spent half a day around the house and came back to DC for church that evening.

I thought a lot about my grandmother, Granny, throughout the weekend and the legacy that my family has (and still is) giving to me.  It was nice to be in a place where I had extra time to ponder and relax.

I am thankful for a place where I have so many memories as a child.  It's neat to come back as an adult--everything seems so familiar, but different at the same time.  Does that make sense?

Do you have a place that was special to you as a child that you still revisit as an adult?

Hopefully we will get back soon!

April 10, 2012

ASCP Bookshelf Continued

Painting is only half the fun--the other half is arranging items on the book shelf!

For the record, I have changed the book shelf around at least 10 times--I'm guilty of sitting on the couch at night (while I'm supposed to be watching TV or chatting) and all of a sudden jumping up, running into my room and emerging with a tschotske and adding it to a certain spot that I felt certain was begging for more attention!

So...onto talking a little more about the ever evolving book shelf.

When we got new floors, Holly and I spend a significant amount of time discussing new ways to infuse light into our English basement since we do not have a lot of natural light.  I found this great little gold light fixture that was meant to hang over a painting, but I decided it would be perfect for the shelf and add some light into a dark corner in the apartment. 

Since it was meant to attach to the wall, Kern rigged it up and attached the fixture to some wood and then nailed the wood to my shelf.  

I decided to use my metal planter on top of my shelf to add a pop of green so Kern added some wood for it to sit on top of so that it would not be hidden by the lip of the wood trim.

I am thankful for a carpenter who only lives 5 blocks away!

We kept a few books out and I decided to loosely arrange them based on color.

Hello McCarty bunny!

I still want to get some containers (or maybe make?) for the plants on the bottom shelf.

It's more fun to always be on the hunt for new items than "finish!"

Do you like to rearrange items in your home or do you prefer to keep them the same once you find an arrangement that works?
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