Friday, May 20, 2011

A house is not a home

When I first moved into this apartment, I was so excited about finally having a place that is totally my own.  But I had no emotional connection to the apartment.  In college I was very attached to my apartment.  I feel attached to everything in here but not the apartment itself.  I love the massive amounts of organizational furniture, my giant red couch, my expandable kitchen table, my new bed, it truly feels like mine.  But the apartment, is apartment.  I had originally debated between a 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartment...simply, the cost of living here is astronomical so I figured a 1 bedroom would work.  Its not small by any means, just simple.  The list of damages when I moved in was huge.  I learned after a large sum due at the end of colleges to make a comprehensive list of damages when moving into a new space.  There's nothing major wrong, but let's just say, I won't cry when I move out of here in a year or so. I also won't miss whatever little critter likes to make scratchy noise over my bedroom at night in the roof crawl space.

Yet this space is still mine.  Even if its only for a short while.  It still feels like a home.  I cook dinner here, I sleep here, I layout on the giant chaise part of my couch when I want to relax, or do homework or blog.  So here's a sneak peek, hopefully a camera cord will find its way into my apartment for better pictures, but here's a piece of me.

That includes my lovely red couch with my laptop open, my purse dumped everywhere, my bike ready to roll despite the impending rain, my coffee table with all my wedding magazines under it.  This is where I am mostly me.  This is where my "house" is a home, because I've made it...mine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oh fudge

Things have certainly wound down a bit since my last post.  My weight sadly has been paying the price for my stress but things are a lot better.  Our wedding is officially set!  So far we have the church booked (Sept 15, 2012) the rehearsal booked the day before and the hall booked for that weekend.  It really is exciting.

So some of you may not know this but I'm a little obsessed with cooking.  If you haven't discovered Tasteologie or Tastespotting I highly recommend them both (if you want more links, let me know and I have many many others).  This past Friday I had a dinner party and met the item that certainly didn't help for my diet catastrophe this week.  Are you ready?  Despite the graininess I think you'll appreciate this (I'm sorry but I have no idea where my camera cable is in my unpacking madness...somewhere in the storage closet)

Hoooooooooly fudge.  That right there is key lime pie fudge ...also known as diet destructor. If you want to see what it looks like, click the link because its waaaay better than my kitchen counter picture.  Also, if you want to make it, I highly recommend reducing the  butter, maybe from 1/3 of a cup to 1/4 since the graham cracker/butter mixture never solidifies in the baking process.  So yes I whipped up that, some bbq (reserve a few tablespoons of bbq sauce for the last half hour and ketchup if it needs thickening), and key lime pudding (very good and low cal but be warned that since its sugar free jello, it doesn't dissolve completely, leaving some disgustingly gooey chunks).  A few friends brought drinks, chips and dip, potato salad, coleslaw (which I must get the recipe for) and amazing mini cheesecakes.  The smorgasbord was delicious.

The fiance and I are on a weight loss challenge to lose 5% of our current weight, loser buys the winner an UnderArmour workout outfit.  I was in the lead as of last week, however this week, he may take me with my gorging several times this week.

Also I bought a bike!  I bought a Magna Great Divide needed quite the tune up before it was rideable but seems to be working fine now.  I would like to upgrade eventually but I couldn't beat the $84 to get me through my 2 mile work commute.  Now to get some accessories for it...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Now I'm no Bridezilla...

I'm still adjusting to the whole engagement process and what an adjustment it is!  For those of you who haven't ever been engaged (or if you have and you're a guy because trust me... its not the same) its kind of like taking every emotion, your life, and all your thoughts, pour them in a blender and crank it on high speed.  Don't even bother with a lid because there's going to be such a mess its not worth trying to save at all.  I have gone from extreme happiness to pure anger and everywhere in between!  EVERYONE seems to have an opinion on where the wedding should be, how large the wedding should be, what I should wear, what my colors should be and everything else!  We've quickly managed to limit our reception venues from nearly 100 to 3 due to size limits, poor lighting, potential bad weather for an outdoor reception and general pickiness.  Plus to top it all off one of the top three has refused to get back to me this week, yet my fiance was able to set up a tour date for us this Friday with one phone call (after my calling 3 times and emailing 4).  The whole process makes me feel like this:

image courtesy of sxc user sundstrom

Yeah that good.  But there are good pieces.  I have a theme (top secret for now), we know the church although we may have to change the date depending on a venue, we have our wedding party selected, our first dance song chosen.  In fact after we get through the next few weeks and finally solidify the date and reception, the rest should be smooth sailing.  Until then, I'm just trying to enjoy the ride and get life somewhat back to normal.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bigger news

So I know I mentioned before that I was moving. Well I'm mostly settled in now...(ok that isn't entirely true...there are about 20 more boxes to go through but I certainly have a clear walking path around the apartment) and my boyfriend gave me the best housewarming gift ever...

An engagement ring!! After over three and a half years of dating, my future hubster, Mr. T (for his privacy's sake) proposed.  I was so delighted (still am...) soooo here's the story.

Friday last week was my day off work.  I had planned on scrubbing down the apartment walls (which smelled like smoke from the last tenant when it started to rain...ick) and finish unpacking furniture and a few other things.  Mr. T has every Friday off (he's self-employed) and was supposed to help me for about 6 hrs or so in the afternoon.  So I called him after running errands in the morning, only to find out rather than getting him for the afternoon/evening, I had his help for a grand whole two hours before he had to do some shuffling around to get his mom's car taken care of (back and forth between our county and the next one over).  Now I know its purely ironic, however almost everytime I let Mr. T know in advance that I need his help with something, something goes very wrong.  For example, it threatened to rain off and on.  When I lived 2 hours away from him, if I made dinner reservations, he would almost be almost 3 or 4 hours late.  So I was trying not to be angry but really I only have so much strength and I don't drive a cool pickup truck so I'm really only capable of doing so much.  So I spent my day scrubbing the walls and not even getting a quarter of the other stuff done.  I was so disappointed (and tired of living out of boxes to say the least).  So life goes on, what can you do right?  Well we did get together for dinner (almost 2 hours late) and at some point in dinner wedding stuff came up (keep in mind we've been dating more than 3 and a half is something we've been talking about) and I told him I thought I knew how he was going to do it.  To which he responded, and I quote, "Really?  I haven't thought about it at all."

Now I'm no hot head, but I was ticked.  Here I'd been scrubbing all day, working so hard on this apartment and all I get at the end of my long tough day is that he hadn't thought about it.  Awesome.

So the next morning we got together with my friend Miss A and her boyfriend Mr. J.  We took a tour of this topiary garden and when we got in the garden, A realized that she lost her necklace so she and J went to look for it.  So T was walking REALLY painfully slowly (granted that I'm constantly being told that I walk too quickly) and so I made some comment about it and he said he just didn't want to get too far ahead of A & J.  Ok fine.  So I spotted a bench and said "Hey lets sit and wait for them!" and was about to sit when he's like "Wait..." so I was totally stuck in this awkward half sit-half standing squat pose and he's just standing there.  And he says something like "So I love you so much (my eyes got super huge) and I love being here again with you and the last 3 and a half years have been amazing (I think I gasped noooooooo?!?! at that point and kinda froze with my hand on my mouth) and (I can't remember the rest honestly because I was going omg is this happening?!?!)..." but then he dropped to one knee, pulled the ring out and proposed and I teared up a little and said yes...I feel like I may have sort of snatched the ring out of his hand and put it on.

So after we were done smooching I felt SO BAD for being so mean Friday...especially when he told me his mom's car hadn't died...he was stuck in Annapolis traffic coming back with my ring!  And A (obviously) hadn't lost her necklace and was in on the whole thing.  Those turds.  :-D

So that's the story.  Also I was right.  I thought he was going to propse at the gardens but him saying that he hadn't thought about it totally threw me off.   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Ok so I know every time that I post I feel like I say something like "no really guys, I'm going to post more!  Promise!"  Well I'm actually not going to say that at all because today I have some big news.  That's right!  I'm accomplishing one HUGE goal that I set for the company for this year...

I'm Moving!

Yep that's right I am SO moving on April 1st!  This is my last full work week and then I'm leaving work next Wednesday afternoon to finish boxing up my life, Thursday I'll buy furniture and Friday I will officially be moving into a new apartment!  Lots of pictures to come.  I have a top secret livingroom theme and some awesome furniture selected so I'm VERY excited to pick it all up (not so excited about footing the bill but hey...its worth it).  Tomorrow the current tenant is being kind enough to let me measure for furniture (to make sure it all fits) and then maybe I'll do a quicky sketch of what it will look like :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thirty six

Thirty six.  That is the number of exercises I have left to complete for school.  In...I believe 28 weeks (don't quote me on that though).  Holy crap.  My new plan seems to being well so far...(basically to do hw before watching tv for those of you tuning in) minus the fact that today I was performing my best impression of a zombie while alternating doubling over with cramps and playing mind numbing Facebook games (look I told you before, I am all about honesty here).  I meant to do schoolwork.  It just didn't happen.  Which is actually probably a good thing since it would be a wise idea to wait for a grade on my most recent assignment before handing in the next one.  Good in theory right?  Yeah not so much when my braaaaaains feel like they're going to pop out of my head at any given second.

I'm sorry.  That was graphic.  But really, I feel plain awful today.

So I was sitting here thinking about perhaps another blog since I can't go to bed at 8:30 on a work night... that's lame.  Even for me.  It occurred to me that I never really talk about school.  Sure, you know I'm in school, that I'm behind, what program it is and what not but I never really talk about it.  So now I will!

I'm currently in 2 classes, which is a great balance for me since I have a VERY limited attention span when it comes to school work at the end of the day.  So usually what happens is on a work night, I'll do more designed based stuff (since I generally code at work) and then on the weekends I'll code those parts and submit assignments.  Right now I'm taking Flash Web Design (something totally new) and Dreamweaver II (which I thought I rocked at Dreamweaver but man, I didn't know what I didn't know).  I hate to say this but I had the same teacher with Dreamweaver I and I'm not very creative with this class.  Its not for lack of effort on the work, trust me I certainly put plenty of time into the assignments. Its more that I'm so not used to doing things within Dreamweaver's design side (other than make sure that everything looks right) that I feel like I fixate more on getting things to be technically correct than artistic like most of my other work.  Don't worry, if I lost you, I have a perfect example.

This is my most recent Dreamweaver project that I submitted.  I realize that it looks rather plain, however there are some features that I tend to neglect such as borders, spry menus, overlaid background, etc that I really put time and effort into setting up correctly.  And then there's this:

My current Flash project (yes that's Latin, can explain Lorem Ipsum way better than I can).  You really can't compare the two!  Boring, plain yet technically proficient compared to fun, textured, loud and proud and exciting (btw the menu "signs" also drop down and change colors).

I'm having a hard time with this because I feel like I'm learning SO much great information in Dreamweaver II, yet my work comes out so blah!  Meanwhile, I really am having to work my butt off at Flash and it always turns out nicer than I expect.  UGH!

So yes, thirty-six assignments to go.  Plus the rest of life.  For now, since it is officially after nine o'clock which makes me not lame, this zombie is going to call it a night.

You say spoiled, I say selective

For those of you that may not know, I have recently started the great apartment hunt of 2011.  (side note:  now that I've typed that out three times it seems to be sticking despite blogger obviously not wanting me to post)  Apartment hunting in this area is...simply awful.  As a single (well dating but as far as Uncle Sam and my living situations are concerned...single) twenty some year old female that graduated in one of the worst economies possible, simply put, my dayjob certainly does not afford me a "cushy" lifestyle.  I'm happy at my job, don't get me wrong.  However a hefty raise would make looking for an apartment MUCH better!  Of course, that is also part of the reason why I started freelancing as well.  So I've started scouring the local advertisements and its a mess.  I have my eye on one particular community (also the most highly priced community I might add) which literally surrounds the area where I work, making my commute bike rideable if I so choose (YES PLEASE) but there are two other nearby areas that would be fine as well.  I'm quickly realizing that I need to make a list of my "MUST HAVES" vs my wants.  For example I came across a great ad tonight...reasonably priced, not in my preferred area but that was ok because its close enough, EVERYTHING included (super awesome), basement apartment (which is now on my list of things I probably don't want since I have no windows in my office and just not seeing light at all during the day would be so depressing) but there was one thing that made it a definite no for me.  Tell you what, let's make this a game.  I'll insert an image of the ad below and give you a chance to guess what isn't perfect about it for me.  Are you ready?  Here we go.
Normally I'll add credit from a site, but not this, but its a local site

Time's up.  Did you figure it out?  No?  Its the fact that there's no dishwasher.

Yes.  I am serious.  I'm sure that makes me sound awful but it is the truth.  I need a dishwasher where I live.  Not because I don't know how to wash dishes.  I do.  I hate hand-washing but I certainly know how to.  Its the fact that most days I work 9 hours, plus homework for an hour or two a night and 5 or 6 hrs each day of the weekend.  I'm sorry but if I have free time in the evening, I am NOT spending it washing dishes when I could have a machine do it for me.  Call it selfish, call it spoiled, call it lazy.  I don't care!  IT IS NOT HAPPENING.

So back to looking again and hoping I'll find a steal*

*sadly a steal is usually $800-850 not including electric, cable, internet etc for a 1 bed/1 bath