Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Say what?

A conversation I had today, with a perfect stranger. In an elevator.

Woman (smiling): Hello!
Me (taken aback by her friendliness) : Hi...
Woman: Job Interview?
Me: Yep, that's right. {why else would I be sporting a suit jacket when it's 90 degrees outside?}
Woman: I could just tell. Don't look hungry.
Me: Oh yeah, I already covered that - I ate not too long ago.
Woman: No, I meant for the job. Don't look too hungry and desperate like you need the job.
Me: Got it.

Moral of the story: don't talk to strangers in elevators. Kidding, of course. But this did make me laugh.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Owning it - Curl Power

If I were to ever write a manifesto*, it would echo the sentiments of this article I came across in the NY Times. Hair has been a sensitive topic for me over the past 15 years or so. Reasons including:

1. I have massive amounts of it.
2. The texture has a mind of its own
3. Humidity likes to fight with it.
4. See #1

As we all know, it's hard being 'different' when you're a kid. I felt like I had some two strikes against me when I hit adolescence - first having a name that is weird/unpronouceable, and the second - having a wild mane atop my cabeza. Though I have never felt compelled to change my name, I have worked diligently over the years to learn how to deal with my hair. Hours upon hours have been spent blow-drying and flat ironing, not to mention the serious coin I've spent on product and tools. But for me, it has been worth it, since hair is something we wear every day. Also, thanks to some knowledgable/amazing (albeit expensive) stylists, I've learned how to work with my curly hair, perfecting product application technique and all.  Serious business.

thumbs-up for being au naturale. and for toile curtains.
 After a couple of years of prodding to work with my hair, instead of against it, I've essentially come to terms with the fact it's large and in charge.  Now that I'm living in such a humid climate once again, straightening is an utter waste in the summer months. And that's okay by me. 10 years ago I wouldn't have been able to say that. This acceptance has helped me become more comfortable with who I am in general, and has definitely freed up a lot of my time. Said time allows me to spend more time trolling the internets for precious videos like Jessica's affirmation. Because we should all be like Jessica, and simply like what we've got. Amen.

*99% sure this won't ever happen.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer's a-blazin...and almost over and out

Admittedly, blogging is not my strongest skill.  Perhaps it has something to do with the dinosaur vintage laptop I still use, which seemingly takes forever to do anything ?  Or the fact that I mostly use my beloved iPhone these days for all things internet related and haven't downloaded the blogger app yet. Anyway, enough with the excuses.  Here's a rundown of all that's been going down over the past {three} months.

It's no secret that I am a big fan of good food and thankfully (though a bit regrettably) DC has tons of great restaurants.  Slowly but surely I'm eating my way through this city. Shake Shack made it's debut a couple of months ago along with Pinkberry (still not Yogurtland, but their salted chocolate carmel is divine)and Serendipity3. At Ted's Bulletin, my dining companion and I were daring and tried the PB&J burger. The verdict? Pretty tasty, if you are into sweet + savory. And then there's the ridiculous infatuation this place has with cupcakes so of course that means I've been to Georgetown Cupcake, Baked & Wired and Crumbs. It's easier to justify when you bike to these places, right?

Shake Shack picnic @ Dupont

For Memorial day weekend, I went to Duck Beach, aka Mormon Spring Break. I had no idea what to expect, since I have heard approximately 68 different opinions about this annual event.  Luckily Jill, Summer and Nicole decided to make the journey from Phoenix, so I knew it was going to be fun no matter what. The weekend definitely exceeded my expectations and was really just what I needed: time with good friends and lounging on the beach.
The downside to the weekend was that I was a total gimp.  A few weeks leading up to the trip I managed to get a stress fracture (or something similarly painful) in my right foot. Despite limping, very slowly all weekend and being hopped up on Ibuprofen, I still managed to have one of the best weekends I've had in I don't know how long. There were numerous mobile dance parties, late nights, and quality time spent consuming Jill's no-bakes. Still my favorite. It also made me realize just how much I miss my amigas, which prompted me to start planning our next beach rendezvous basically the day I got home from NC.

Say Anything throwback, 2011 style
June was spent working back at the same temp job that I was at in March, April and part of May. I had a 3 week break and was asked to come back. Definitely a love/hate relationship because the job itself was so boring, but money has proven to be quite necessary these days. 

practicing our smiling. he's got it down.

Also in June I started working for a family who lives in NW DC taking care of their newborn baby boy, staying the night to wake up for feedings, etc. After working my 9-5 job, I would Metro to their house a couple of times a week. At first I wasn't so sure about this gig, but decided to try it out.  Although exhausting, I've actually enjoyed it and learned a lot and feel more confident about having my own infant - someday.  My temp job ended two weeks ago and I've just been taking care of the baby. I no longer stay the night, which means my quality of life has improved dramatically and I no longer feel like a sleep deprived zombie. It's also made it easier to continue job searching and interviewing since I have so much more free time during the day. Sometimes things just work out. A lot better than we can anticipate.

baby J

I  took a much needed trip to the West Coast at the end of June/beginning of July. I flew to PHX, where I was able to spend a little time with the fam, hit up Last Chance (2X, naturally), see T'liese and get a haircut. You know, cover all the basics.  After roughly 24 hours in the inferno, Jill, Summer and I peaced out to So Cal for cooler temps and some R&R. 
Instead of just hanging around Huntington Beach, we decided to spend a couple of days closer to LA. Friday we explored Santa Barbara, which has been on my list for years now. It is a super charming, quaint town that I would highly recommend.  Saturday we hit up Malibu, where we encountered LOTS of paparrazi (they were waiting for Paris Hilton, who we caught a glimpse of, at what appeared to be a staged party. whoopee).
Sunday we made our way to HB for church, and stayed to celebrate America's bday the next day.  Props to that city; they really know how to do Independence Day right. Flags galore, firework light displays, lots of patriotic displays in yards - they take the holiday very seriously. We spent the day at the beach, basking in the sun, and I was beyond ecstatic to boogie board. Fact: one of my favorite memories ever was when I spent, not exaggerating, 5 hours boogie boarding in Hawaii. I felt completely nostalgic and happy that the water was warm enough in HB to get in b/c it's usually frigid. Also, notably, the first year, probably ever, I wasn't sweating profusely while watching fireworks. I was actually chilly. So great.  Before we rolled out of town on Tues. we stopped at Balboa Island for lunch and of course, our favorite - balboa bars.
beautiful Balboa

Temps in DC in July were insane! No escaping the heat.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Favorite Pastime

And it's not baseball.  My absolute most favorite thing to do now that it's warm outside is to go for a bike ride.  I simply cannot get enough.  I love the tranquility of going by myself + pondering about life or letting Pandora entertain me with some jams as I cruise around in the sunshine. And then there's biking with friends, which is a blast and takes me back to my childhood and simpler times. Sometimes there are night rides, which remind me of summer vacation, freedom, and little to no responsibility. Therapeutic, to say the least.  I've been taking advantage of the favorable temps (read: not ridiculously humid) while they last. 
Bike ON.
Mt. Vernon Trail

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Praise to the Mom

I wish I could be with my madre today to celebrate her. It's overwhelming when I think about all of the sacrifices she has made to be a mother - including that time we both almost died when I was still in utero. Basically I was a handful before I even arrived, and my mom has loved me unconditionally through it all.  She is a superstar. There are countless other sacrifices she has made, and there is no way I can ever repay her for the wonderful example she has been to me.  A few things she has taught me:

* The importance and vaule of hard work. People always assume since I'm the baby and the only girl in my family that I was spoiled. This absolutely was not the case; from a young age it was work, work, work. There aren't many things that are as rewarding as the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing short-term and long-term goals.
* How to be self-sufficient. This wasn't something I truly appreciated until I moved away from home. All of the things I watched other kids struggle to learn/accept I already knew thanks to my mom's wisdom.
* How to serve.  My mom is a complete dynamo when it comes to giving of her time and her talents. She is crazy talented in so many ways. 
*How to love and forgive others. It's been amazing to watch my mom through the years as people have been unkind, even downright rude to her, and she is always more than willing to look the other way and strives to be a peacemaker. It speaks volumes of her character and I appreciate that she practices what she preaches.

One of the biggest drawbacks of moving to DC has been being away from my mom. She has been, and continues to be, my biggest cheerleader. Happy Mother's Day to my favorite mom in the world!  I love you beyond words.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Adventures in baby-sitting

During my last bout of unemployment (thanks, dismal Phoenix economy), I got creative about how to make some quick cash. Every day I scoured Craig's List looking for random gigs.  Said gigs included participating in focus groups, working as a brand ambassador and I did a couple of health studies at ASU (having someone pay ME to get a physical = genius).  It kept things interesting.

Since I've been in DC, things have been somewhat mundane because I've just being doing the office temp thing. A few weeks ago I got a call from a woman who received my name from her sister-in-law via my friend Cassie asking me if I was interested in watching her 10 month old twins. Initially I was hesitant about accepting since the prospect of not one, but two small children seemed a little daunting. However, I decided it would be good for me to mix it up. Plus I heart bebes.

There was some definite anxiety on the actual day of about watching baby A and baby E. They're on a pretty tight schedule: eat every couple of hours, have a bottle every couple of hours, sleep every couple of hours. Repeat. You get the idea. And factor in there are two of them, which means double time.  Anyway, my anxiety was all for naught, because things went really well. The highlight of our time together was going on a huge walk around their hood, Chevy Chase, which is quite possibly one of the cutest communities in the US of A. Aside from a few moments of post-nap hysteria, I was  impressed with how easy-going they both were.  I've watched them twice now, and I think it's safe to say, they like me, they really like me.

clean. happy. ready to zonk out. success.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

i believe in a thing called love

...and so do Will & Kate. For some reason this song was stuck in my head while I watched the Royal Wedding. Perhaps because the band is British? Who knows, but I thoroughly enjoy the chorus.
Since the actual wedding took place at the crack o' dawn on Friday (clearly I value sleep a lot more than some people, who watched it in real time) we had a Royal Brunch on Saturday, to ohh and ahh over the dress, the venue, David Beckham, etc. The girls who hosted know how to do it right and I couldn't get enough of the decorations. And the food was also pretty tasty - sweet potato hash, beignets, muffins, and fruit.
My favorite is the "Keep Calm and Marry On". I see singles wards worldwide adapting this motto in the near future.