Monday, January 31, 2011

inspiration monday.

i wasn't feeling up to par this past weekend. my 2nd injection shot really got the best of me and i was all loopy from the fun painkillers i was prescribed. so in between eating a massive rib-eye dinner (pics soon to come!) and watching really bad reality tv, i was able to play around with my new friend, i mean my new camera. i'm at a very, very beginner level - like i can pretty much hold the camera like a professional but that's about it - so this is going to take a while to get used to. but i'm already having fun with it. so much fun. now i feel like i need to take my cam everywhere with me, even to work, so i don't miss out on a great shot.

so on sunday, boyfriend and i decided to take a sporadic adventure and leave the go bowling at lucky strike! woohoo, again, we're such party animals. i decided to take the cam along and capture some sweet bowling moves. but to our dissapointment, when we got to lucky strike at around 1pm there was an hour and a half wait! whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!? how is that even possible?! so without hesitation we got the heck out of that place and took a stroll to the National Gallery of Art. boyfriend is a huge art buff so he was totally in his element. i, on the otherhand, am always open to new things so i didn't mind. plus, to see boyfriend get super excited about the impressionism exhibit was totally cute. the gallery building is absolutely magnificent. and if i understood art, i would probably say that the art was too (don't get me wrong, it was really neat and interesting, but c'mon. i aint foolin nobody). but having my cam with me totally inspired me to enjoy the art, the sunny, crisp outdoors and take in the amazing architecture of DC surrounding me. having my new cam is totally inspiring. it makes me want to see more, to learn more, to feel more. i can't wait to have random afternoon adventures like this again with boyfriend so i can whip out my cam like a pro and take amazing shots.

(at the national gallery of art sculpture garden)

(view of the capitol in front of the gallery)
(fresh roses throughout the gallery)

Friday, January 28, 2011

gluttonous lunch.

boyfriend and i both had a snow day yesterday and got to work from home together. awwww. i was already planning on working from home anyway because of my 2nd steroid injection. ouch. the doctor was unable to find the right area at first so he had to inject me a second time in order to get it right. funnnn for me. let me tell ya. it's not the most pleasant experience having multiple needles puncturing the spine of your neck. i had a mini breakdown while face down on the table. i'm positive i made the nurse feel super awkward. i could tell she didn't know what to do. she brought me a glass of water and scurried out of the room. whatever, i had no shame. even though they numb the area (by injecting you with more shots!), you still feel enormous amounts of pressure as the medicine slides down and into your spine. i can't even explain the feeling to you. it feels like your neck is about to explode. ok. enough, this is getting gross.

so after my breakdown, i went home to rest and "work" from the couch, boyfriend and i went to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials. then we stopped by our favorite, and the most amazing deli ever for lunch. seriously, if you're ever in northern virgina come to arlington and go to THE ITALIAN STORE! the greatest place on earth. they have the best italian hot and cold deli sandwiches you can find below the mason dixon line. boyfriend got his usual capri sandwich and i decided to try something new. the meatball sub. this thing was monsterous and glorious. i of course finished the entire thing, and by the time dinner crept up on us we were still too full to make anything (which shocked us both). so around 9pm our stomach's started growling again (shocker), and decided to cook something easy and light - spinach and shrimp. it was the perfect light meal after a gluttonous lunch. check out the pics below. yup, they were taken by my new best friend. look how great they turned out! you can even see the steam rising from the spinach. wawaweewa!

(shrimp, peppers and onions on a bed of garlic & white wine sauteed spinach)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

new best friend.

i have some very exciting news!!!! well, i doubt you all even care, but i'm just bursting at the seams with excitment. i have a new friend that i'd like to introduce to you. his name is canon. canon digital rebel to be exact. but he goes by canon. he was looking for a new home and i just couldn't let him go by. we're going to become very best friends over the next few months and i can't wait for you to check out our adventures :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

light & fluffy.

i made one of my favorite meals as a kid. chicken cutlets with breaded noodles. it's such a great comfort meal that takes me back to 96 beechwood circle. you can't use any noodles. you have to use light & fluffy egg noodles. that's the trick.

(italian breaded chicken cutlets, butter egg noodles, and steamed french beans with lemon)

oh, and i'm super excited about my new jars i purchased from tj maxx last weekend. 3 for $7! now our kitchen counters are becoming less bare. woohoo! p.s. i also bought the fancy bowl of lemons in the background. they look real, right? no, i didn't think so. but boyfriend tried eating one when he got home. silly.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

vodka for dinner.

(spinach and cheese ravioli's with vodka sauce; side spinach salad w/blue cheese crumbles, croutons & yellow peppers in a light italian dressing)

we got these ravioli's from costco and they are melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. i'd really like to learn how to make ravioli's from scratch, but when costco sells about 40 for $8 (again, why i love costco so much), it just doesn't seem logical. we paired them with some vodka sauce we had leftover since last month (from a can - i know, shame), and then made a side spinach salad. at the end of dinner boyfriend and i were so full that we let the dishes sit in the sink for an entire hour before cleaning up. we're crazy like that. once we were done cleaning, i managed to find enough room in my belly for a cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream. the green kind, duh. i need to get to the gym, asap.

Monday, January 24, 2011

inspiration monday.

i'm going to start a weekly post on here called, inspiration monday. two reasons why: 1) it's monday and i've been finding that i need some more pick-me-ups to get me through the day/week. and 2). this weekend i watched the movie, "american graffiti", and was instantly inspired by all things 1960. so for my 1st inspiration monday post, i bring you...the 1960's

like i said, this weekend i watched the movie, "american graffiti". if you haven't seen it, two boys are scheduled to leave for college in the morning and they spend a final night cruising the strip with their friends and encounter mulitple adventures. not only is this film loaded with a-list stars like, richard dreyfuss, ron howard and harrison ford, but it's set in the early 1960s when fashion and rock music take on a whole new meaning. not only is the soundtrack to this film amazeballs, but the carefree and slightly rebellious lifestyle totally captivated me. i wanted to turn back the clocks to 1962, wear my boyfriend's high school letterman sweater, and cruise down the boulevard listening to "sixteen candles". sigh. i guess listening to these tunes on pandora at work will have to suffice. i don't know what it is though, but i've been feeling totally inspired that i even want to find a pair of sunglasses like the ones below and rock them this summer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

it's 5 o'clock somewhere.

it's friday. so you know what that means....

i will be enjoying several glasses of wine, and the occasional firefly arnold palmer.
happy weekend!
p.s. this is our makeshift bar. how do ya like?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the big cheese.

in adhering to yesterday's theme of grilled cheese, i found it only fitting to introduce all you non-DC'ers to the big cheese truck. i found this hilarious (check out a pic of the truck below) and delicious company on a random DC website one day while bored at work. i've had it bookmarked on my computer for over 1 month now and thought it was time to share it with the world. the big cheese truck is a new gourmet, yes i said it - gourmet - grilled cheese truck that came on to the Arlington/DC streets in early December. the glorious truck offers six sandwhich creations made with cheese. duh. the menu also features tomato soup (i should submit my recipe!) even though i have yet to try it, i've read the big cheese is already a huge success. i mean, let's face it. the demand is there. what's more comforting than grilled cheese and tomato soup when it's cold outside? mmm, i love grilled cheese.

now, you ask, how do you find this truck? the big cheese truck tweets it's locations daily or you can go to their website for their weekly schedule and plan accordingly. um and it looks like they are going to be in my neck-of- the-woods tomorrow. it's going to be a happy and cheesy friday for me :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

kid at heart.

i love me some [organic] grilled cheese and tomato soup.

boyfriend came home last night!! we ordered a pizza, turned off the tv, and spent an entire hour catching up on the last few days. we crashed around 9:30 pm. big party animals. we're looking forward to sleeping in until noon and doing absolutely nothing this weekend, besides making a quick trip to the grocery store and costco. we desperately need food other than rice and veggies. and a vacuum. you'd think after almost 2 months in the new place we would have one by now. our carpet is a tad crusty.

it's hump day. woot woot!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

what's in my bookcase.

with boyfriend out of town for the last 4 days (he gets back tonight, yayayay!), i had the opportunity to clean out the apartment, organize my closet, and run a few errands. while i was dusting our bookcase, i decided to take inventory of all the books we have (yes, that's how bored i was). i tried creating a table on here and organize them by author, but i'm at a blogger-beginner level and have no idea how to do that. so, instead, i'm going to list my top 5 books i've read that are MINE, not boyfriend's. when you look at our bookcase up close you can clearly see the separation. i have a mixed taste of books that really changes with the seasons. in summer i like girly, easy beach reads. in winter i like more dramatic, insightful reads. boyfriend, on the otherhand, likes i don't even know how to describe it. let's just say he has a more eclectic collection of books and i love him for it. for christmas he asked for the 2 books, "The Plot Against America" and "Eating Animals". when i went to Barnes & Nobles and asked the manager if he could help me find these books, i got the sense that he thought i was a terrorist. i felt like i should have explained myself to him but the idea that he thought i was dangerous was sort of cool. so i didn't say a word. anywho, as one of my new year's resolution, i want to try and read all of my books before purchasing any new ones. this is a daunting task but i'm sure gonna try. currently i'm reading a book boyfriend got me for christmas, called "The Beach". this is in his top 5 and assured me that it's better than the movie (just like every other book). i assured him that he is probably wrong because leonardo dicaprio is better than any book. so my initiative will have to start when i'm done reading this book, which so far, is amaze-balls and i can't put it down.

(currently reading...)

please note: there are a handful of books that are still in north carolina at my parents house, so i'm 99.9% sure i'm forgetting a few that should be on my top 5. oh well. right now we have 86 books stuffed in our bookcase so it's a tight squeeze. we're dorks and we need another bookcase.

(so in no particular order, my top 5...)

#1: The Complete Persepolis
HIGHLY recommend. such a unique read.
a black and white autobiographical comic
about growing up in Iran during & after the
Islamic revolution.

#2: Fahrenheit 451

a 1950's sci-fi book that shockingly
resembles today's society and how
glued we are to the pseudo realities
in television.

#3: Twelve

although it has received awful reviews from critics,
and the movie was a flop, i enjoyed the storyline
about teenage drug addiction and violence. not to mention
nick mcdonell wrote it when he was 17. bravo.

#4: Dear John
not gonna lie. i have a slight obsession with
Nicholas Sparks. but Dear John is by far my
favorite of his books. i cried like a baby. and yes, i
saw the movie. and yes, i was completely

#5: Eat, Pray, Love
either you hate it. or love it. and i love.
truly inspiring and a great summer read.
i felt like i was strolling the streets of italy
alongside Elizabeth Gilbert while reading
her journey. i want to be her.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


i found out last week that i have a herniated disc in my neck. blah. who knows how i got it. who knows when it happened. all i know is that i have to get 3 steroid injection shots over the course of 1-2 months and i'm not looking forward to it. at all. me + needles = puke-opolis. not really. but it's not a pretty picture. my fitness has been put on hold until i am 100% better. i'm still trying to 'watch' what i eat, but i'm not restricting myself. once i start feeling better, my plan is to sign up for 5 yoga classes across the street from my apartment and help build some strength back, as well as continue with some physical therapy. i'd like to complete a 10k this year, but we'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

summer in winter.

(spinach salad w/garlic shrimp, red peppers, blue cheese crumbles and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette)

had an inkling for summer the other day. these cold and windy days in DC will do that to you.
this summer salad was the perfect fix.
summer, where are you?

Friday, January 7, 2011


(linguini with shrimp, spinach, garlic & red peppers in a white wine sauce. sprinkled with parmesan cheese.)

Happy Friday! is it just me, or did this week seem forever long? i guess that's what happens when you have 2 weeks off from work and go back to 1 million emails and 2 million meetings lined up. sigh. the joys of being a working woman. i'm so thrilled that it's the weekend though and that i get to spend the time with my besties. they're visiting from snowy jersey and i haven't seen them since the wedding. hopefully the snow doesn't delay their arrival or i will be furious. so who's pumped for the weekend? this girl is!

p.s. i'm pretty sure i've posted a similar dish in the past to the one above. ah well. it's one of my faves and easy to make. unless you're dumb.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

steak and cheese. all rolled into one.

(rolled flank steak stuffed with blue cheese, onions and roasted red peppers; side of french beans and roasted potatoes)


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

been around the world.

boyfriend and i love to travel (duh), so we thought it was only perfect to make that the theme of our bedroom. we've collected little nic-nacs from places around the world including, fans from spain and china, figurines from portgual and italy, and ceramics from the caribbean and have placed them throughout the bedroom, mainly on our gigantic bookcase. anywho, a few months ago i decided to buy a vintage world map from ebay ($10) in hopes of one day using it. fast forward a few months later and boyfriend and i find the map when merging our things and came up with a genious idea for it. we turned it into a push pin map, tracking all our travels and hung it above our bookcase. it was really a cinch to do - we bought a sheet of cork board ($10) and a frame ($15) from michael's, punched out the plexiglass sheet, layed the map over the cork board and inserted it in the frame. we then used multi-colored push pins and pin pointed major cities, only (red for me, blue for him, & black for both). check out the results:

Monday, January 3, 2011

fresh start.

i hope everyone had a fabulous nye! boyfriend and i decided to stay low this year and celebrate with just the two of us. we spent the day lounging around in our pj's, watching lord of the rings and cooking. towards the end of the night we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Chef Geoff's, and each had an amazing 3-course meal! we left around 11:15pm and made it back just in time to grab our bottle of champagne, turn on some dick clark, and countdown to midnight. it was the perfect way to end a perfect year with my love.

(spinach dip in sourdough breadbowl w/fresh veggies)
(nye dinner at Chef Geoff's)
on sunday the weather warmed up a bit so we decided to venture out for a 5 mile walk around arlington and made our way to the Theodore Roosevelt Island, a national memorial located on the potomac. it was nice to leave the apartment and find hidden gems along the way. there were a bunch of shops and restuarants we found during our walk and we are excited to try a few (or all) out.

and to wrap up our long weekend, we cooked a 1st...homemade paella. for having it be our 1st crack at it, it was rather tasty. we threw all the ingredients in to the brand new rice cooker and it only took about 20 minutes. i swear, that thing is magic. we added black olives, saffron, shrimp, mussels, chicken, peas and onions. mmm, mmm, mmmmmmmmmmmm.


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