Monday, January 25, 2016

The Trouble With Blogging... and Winter Storm Jonas!

Well its been almost a month since I've been here and as that was not the plan that's how it played out. Honestly I don't know why, but I pretty much told myself that I would just blog when I felt like it, and I guess I didn't feel like it. I have a bunch of stuff I want to write about, a bunch of products that I have tried that I want to tell y'all about and I don't know why I just haven't been able to get here and get motivated to write.

I have gotten back into reading which has been great, I suppose I could do some book reviews as well. As you may know I got a new Nook for my birthday and I was struggling to get books on there so in the meantime I just read books that I had laying around. Finally last week I sat down and watched a bunch of youtube videos at Jason's recommendation and they didn't help at all. So I started reading forums and people were having the same issues I was, so I did a bunch of things they recommended and TA DA, it worked like a charm! My Nook hasn't left my hands since!

I fixed my Nook just in time for Winter Storm Jonas to hit us! We knew it was coming but truth be told I really didn't expect it to be as bad as it was. Wednesday night we got about an inch and I swear the city stopped, they didn't seem prepared for it at all, we had been out at Target and on the drive home the roads were terrible and there were no plows or salt trucks in sight. When it started to snow on Friday at literally exactly the time they said it would, I wondered were we really going to get all they were calling for and how they would handle it here.

Friday morning Tanya and I went for a walk and then came home to hunker down for all they had called for. It started to snow around 1pm just as they had said and it did not stop until sometime very early Sunday morning!

Friday the snow was steady and heavy but the wind wasn't nearly as horrific as we saw on Saturday. We had the weather channel on almost all day Saturday and they basically begged people to say in and off the roads, which you wouldn't have thought that would have been an issue on account you could barely see a thing outside with the blizzard conditions but people were actually out. They started fining people and arresting them in New York city for driving. They were concerned with people getting stuck everywhere and basically inhibiting clean up and emergency vehicles.. Honestly I just couldn't understand what would be so important to venture out in that.

We were not only worried about possibly losing power here but also at our house! Raleigh was also effected by the storm and as usual they got more ice than snow! We made sure to turn the heat up a lot just in case we lost power and fortunately things at the house were fine.

However on Saturday morning we woke up to no heat in our apartment. I'm not exactly sure why it wasn't working but we ended up calling maintenance and they had apparently contracted our maintenance out to people who had never been here before and basically said they would do their best to find someone with a four wheel drive vehicle to get out to us! I couldn't believe it! Thankfully the heat just started working again or I have a feeling we would have been without for awhile.

I'll share some pictures of Friday and Saturday with you before I move on to Sunday and what we got up to!

Friday late afternoon

Friday night. 

Saturday morning! Keep in mind the wind was CRAZY, there were snow drifts EVERYWHERE!

I was pretty bored, so I baked some peanut butter cookies.. then I ate a bunch. Note to self, don't bake when you cant get rid of the cookies ASAP. 

Saturday afternoon, you couldn't see a thing! 

Saturday night. Don't think these people are going anywhere. In fact a bunch of them are still out there looking not much different. 

Saturday night. What a mess. 

I believe it was suppose to snow until Sunday morning some time, we went to bed late Saturday night and it was still snowing, I was up at 7am on Sunday and it has stopped. It was such a huge mess. Jason had borrowed a shovel from Dave thankfully and went out a few times on Saturday to shovel out the truck so it wouldn't be a huge job Sunday.. it was really good thinking on his part. 

Sunday morning Jason helped Josh move some stuff from their storage unit to their apartment and when he got back he saw an older gentlemen who lives here trying to dig out his cars, honestly he was far too old to be doing it and god love Jason and his big heart he spent a really long time out there making sure his cars were dug out. 

I went out to see if Jason needed some gloves or anything and that gentlemen told me he and his wife were moving to the Philippines where his wife is from, they were over winter! I hear ya my friend, I hear ya!

Having said that it was an absolutely beautiful day and the snow looked so pretty! I was up and ready anyways so Jason and I decided to head over to Target because we had something to return, get Starbucks and see if we could make it over to Dave and Lindsey's to play with the girls in the snow! Believe it or not the people who were suppose to plow the Target parking lot didn't show so that was a bit of a mess but we managed to get everything done we needed to and headed to Dave and Lindsey's.

Lindsey had told me that their roads hadn't been plowed but on our way over every other one was until it was time to turn onto their street. I really thought Jason would just say forget it when he saw the 20 inches on untouched snow covering the road to get to their house. The truck is brand new therefore it just has all season tires on it and its the snow ultra lightweight Ford so there wasn't much for traction either. Well I assumed wrong, instead of just driving back home Jason laid on the gas and fish tailed down the road to Dave and Lindsey's house! I think the neighbors thought he was totally whacked! Then when we arrived he slid the truck into the cul de sac and was flying around! Literally snow was flying absolutely everywhere, the truck was spinning around and while the neighbors were all standing at the end of their driveways staring, Jason was glowing.. loving every single second of it! There was SO MUCH SNOW!

Finally he was stuck and he and Dave had to shovel out the truck, while they got to work on that I went in to see if the girls were ready to come out and play. Lily was already half dressed and ready to go but Ava took a little more coercing! Lindsey asked her did she want to get dressed and go out and play.. she said "NO!" haha I couldn't blame her, she doesn't like to be cold. Lindsey then told her that Jason came to play with her, was she sure she didn't want to go out.. she replied.. "ummm.. NO!". Not long after though she saw Dave and Jason working on a snow fort outside and she got dressed! 

I don't know if this fort was for them or the girls. 

Lily and I were trying to make a castle out of snow with her bucket but sadly it wasn't really good packing snow. 

That mess in the middle of the cul de sac was courtesy of Jason. 

I'm telling you if I had snow pants I would have been right down there with Lily making snow angels! 

Snow fort. 

Ava enjoying the snow fort! 

Jason enjoying the snow fort just as much as the girls! 

Lily was a big help in the shoveling department. 

Sadly there were no sleds around to buy, they all sold out much earlier in the week! So Jason fashioned this sled for Lily and her friend Elizabeth out of cardboard and a bungy cord! It worked for awhile!! 

We had a lot of fun playing in the snow, but sadly needed to come home to get dinner on and get ready for football. It was a good thing that we left early because as we left Jason realized we were passing the apartment of another guy he works with who is a little older and we wanted to make sure he didn't need any help getting out.. he was good but when we got back to our apartment there was a few other coworkers of Jason that needed help and then just other neighbors! 

They did some clearing of our parking lot last night but I wont lie it was pretty pathetic! They didn't touch anything until after it had stopped snowing and I really think that was a mistake. This morning the parking lot and sidewalks outside looked like a skating rink. I don't think they use salt here. People are still snowed in, I don't think a lot of people had shovels or expected this much. I believe more things have reopened today. 

I have heard a nasty rumor that we may get another storm this weekend but I am really hoping that is not true! We are heading to Baltimore on Saturday for the Garth Brooks concert and I really don't want anything to get in the way of that!! 

So there you have it, my account of winter storm Jonas. It definitely could have been a lot worse, if you have been watching the news at all you may have seen that coast of New Jersey had absolutely TERRIBLE flooding, I am keeping those people in my thoughts. At this point there are still people without power and dealing with way bigger issues than just shoveling out their car. It pays to be prepared in these cases as much as you absolutely can and listen to the weather station, take their advice and listen to their recommendations!! 

I am planning to be back here again this week, I'm setting a goal for myself to blog more than once this week! Thank you all for stopping by, I hope the new year is treating you well! 

Stay Warm!

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all! Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year! All the best in 2016! 
Maybe I'll get my shit together and get back to a regular blogging schedule! 

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Recap

Good Afternoon,

I had intended to get here before Christmas and at the very least wish you all a Merry Christmas but apparently I failed, when we go home its like nothing else in the world exists and naturally the time flies by! I thought I would come by today and recap our Christmas at home and update a little, not that there is much going on.

We left to go home on the night of the 22nd, Jason worked a full day and I was ready to go as soon as he got home. We put everything in the truck and hit the road! I always expect traffic but we've been so lucky and never actually encounter any on the way home. We managed to avoid the rain until we got about 10 minutes from home which was great, got home and unloaded the truck and just puttered around for awhile before going to bed. Jason had a super early dentist appointment on the 23rd so while he was gone I just sat enjoying the house, especially now that its all decorated for Christmas. It was such a peaceful morning, its was chilly and raining outside, the house was so cozy with the fireplace on.. it was absolutely PERFECT!.

I know I say this all the time but I don't take a second of our time at home for granted, I enjoy every single minute of it. These perfect moments with coffee in hand, I take in every single second of it. 

I actually didn't expect Jason to be gone as long as he was so I unpacked everything, got ready for the day and just enjoyed being at home. When Jason got home we had a bunch of running around to do and because it was miserable out we just wanted to get it over it. I was super excited to hit up Trader Joe's though, I love that store and they aren't readily available everywhere so when I get a chance to go I jump on it. I specifically wanted to go there because I was running out of my new all time favorite tea and its a Trader Joe's brand, and seasonal so I wanted to stock up! When we got there I bought 5 boxes and Jason was looking at me at first wondering if I was serious with the 5 boxes and then as if I was crazy when I assured him this was exactly how many I was getting. We toured around Trader Joe's a bit but as usual it was crazy busy and we wanted to get the rest of our running around finished. 

Of course being the 23rd of December every where was ridiculously busy! We finished our grocery shopping and went home for a quiet night. 

On the 24th I was a straggler who still needed a few stocking stuffers and what a mistake it was to leave that until so late. If I had more patience it probably wouldn't have been so bad but when its impossible to find parking and you cant easily navigate the store because there are millions of people and then you wait in line for a year to pay, it just all takes so much longer than usual. When I was finally finished I couldn't wait to get home. The traffic getting home was a nightmare, and I laugh when I type that because literally Walmart and Target are two minutes from our house but the road taking me home was backed up a country mile, literally. I must have waited 27 lights to turn left.. I couldn't believe it. 

We had decided on Christmas eve we would just make some snacks instead of an actual dinner which worked out well as we finished wrapping and just getting things ready for the next day. Did I mention that it was almost 80 degrees on Christmas eve? It was actually hot, people were out doing their Christmas shopping in shorts and flip flops!! On Christmas Eve we decided to take a drive to look at all the houses decorated for Christmas, we do this a lot through the month of December but on Christmas eve it was particularly odd as Jason was in shorts and flip flops and we had all the windows and sunroof open in the truck. There were some pretty great houses though. 

This street in particular was really good, the people across from this house had a very similar set up. Its so nice when people go all out or make the effort to decorate for Christmas, I think people really appreciate it more than they would ever know, or at least I do. 

I have to say although I could care less for winter it was really hard to get into the Christmas with the weather being so warm. After our drive which did not include the usual Starbucks white hot chocolate due to the weather we came home, put all the presents under the tree and got cozy to watch a Christmas movie. 

Christmas day was wonderful, although it absolutely flew by! Jason and I didn't get up until around 8:30am and didn't finish opening presents until noon! I don't really know how that happened, I guess its part of the joy when its just the two of us, we really enjoyed our gifts and talked over coffee, took our time and just enjoyed the morning. By the time we were finish the idea of breakfast was pretty much off the table sadly which sucks because I really fought for it as Jason didn't want to have breakfast. We just munched on leftover snacks from the night before while puttering around. We got ready for the day and cleaned up the house as much as possible, finding homes for all our new stuff and decided what would stay at home and what would be coming back to the apartment. 

Overall we had a really great day, Jason cooked the turkey in the big easy which I always appreciate because it allows for so much more oven space. It turns out so well in there too! 

Christmas day was also extremely warm, in the high 70s! I know that no one really got winter weather this year, except maybe the mid west but it was just so strange. I always appreciate a good sunset though and Christmas day didn't disappoint! Neither did being able to sit outside and enjoy it. 

Saturday again we had running around to do, we wanted to do some exchanging of sizes on certain items and return a few things. It was convenient to do it at home and just get things done so we figured why not. We weren't out long and then just stayed at home for the rest of the day. Sunday was time to leave sadly, as much as I am so grateful for the time at home it definitely never feels like long enough. We stayed to watch the Patriots game which SUCKED and then got on the road just after 4pm. Again no traffic and we made it back in great time. 

Overall our time at home and Christmas was fabulous! We got back Sunday night and are heading back home on Thursday night of this week. Jason will work the full day and then we will head home for New Years Eve, we figure we will get home in time to get downtown for midnight. We will spend the weekend putting away all the Christmas stuff and just getting organized again. 

Not much else going on truth be told, I did however score some pretty awesome boxing day sales. In the States they don't actually call it Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) but they have all the same sales. I got a Old Navy gift card for Christmas and the nice thing about those is that Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic are all linked so if you have a gift card for any of them you can use it at any of the stores. I managed to place one big order from all 3 stores online (via one store) and use all the coupon codes and sales! I got 7 items for $100 and saves $164!! SCORE! 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying your time with family and friends. The weather took a turn here and is definitely a lot cooler than the weather we left at home, I am not happy about that. But I suppose it is winter so I cant complain about weather in the 40s and 50s! 

I don't know if I will get back here before New Years but if not I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year! I have high hopes for 2016!! 

Thank you as always for stopping by! 

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

National Harbor at Christmas Time

Good Morning,

Three days in a row.. please don't get use to it. Its not that I don't plan to ever be back but I don't want to commit to a schedule here right now because I still plan to only come and write when the desire strikes or I feel like I have something to say. But as long as I have something to say I will be around.

This past weekend Jason and I planned to tour around the outlets at National Harbor just to see if there was anything that caught our eye for some Christmas gifts and see what they had for deals. Truthfully I didn't find much for Christmas gifts, I could have bought a ton of things for myself though.. those outlets are the devil!! We spent just over an hour there and then headed into National Harbor for dinner and Christmas festivities.

As I mentioned it has been unseasonably warm here as in it was 75 here on Saturday so we decided to go back to the Redstone American Grill because we loved it there so much and they have outdoor seating with a huge fireplace. I have to say there are TONS of options in regards to restaurants in National Harbor but the food at the Redstone American Grill is one of the best places I have ever eaten.

When we arrived at the restaurant there was no outdoor seating but a lovely couple offered to share their table with us. We had a beautiful view of National Harbor, the Navy vs Army game that was on the big TV and the beautiful Christmas tree light show! The food was epic as always and Jason and I decided before leaving that without a doubt we would go back and this time sit inside and enjoy that beautiful atmosphere as well as the amazing food.

View of the tree from the Redstone American Grill

After dinner we toured the waterfront on the way to the Gaylord National Resort hotel, not only was it absolutely beautiful with the Sky Wheel lit up but many of the boats were decorated for Christmas. 

Once we arrived that the Gaylord hotel I was blown away by the beauty, the picture directly below was taken from the waterfront outside. 

They had a huge Christmas tree setup that was absolutely amazing, they made it snow in the atrium with foam and the whole light display was done to music. I have a few pictures but I will try and add a video as well. 

No video, sorry. 

When the show was over, or at least the Christmas portion as it went techno Jason and I decided to get a white hot chocolate and head out to tour around some more. It was such a beautiful night which all things Christmas and white hot chocolate.. we couldn't have asked for a better day! 

Sunday we we over to Dave & Lindsey's to watch football and decorate gingerbread houses with the kids. It was a really good day, and again unseasonably warm! 

The little monkey has learned to roll over, Dave put him on a blanket to show us how he could roll over and he curled up on his side and watched TV, apparently he wasn't into putting on his own show. 

The girls had a fantastic time decorating the gingerbread houses. Ava was very serious about the whole thing and every time she added a new piece of candy she would proudly say "ta da!". She eventually had to be removed from the candy and icing because her sugar levels were I'm sure off the charts! 

I believe that wraps up what we have been up to lately, there are still a few things I would like to write about so who knows when you will see that. Hopefully sooner than later! 

Thank you all for catching up with me this week, I really appreciate you sticking around! Have a great day! 

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Christmas Carol at Ford Theatre & The National Christmas Tree at President's Park

Good Morning,

Two days in a row.. I know I know, unheard of around here! As I mentioned in yesterdays post we have been up to some fun things and I really wanted to document them all for myself as well as share them with all of you.

If you haven't picked up on it already Jason and I are really into Christmas! So while being this close to DC we decided that we had to see the production of A Christmas Carol at Ford Theatre. I have always wanted to go to Ford Theatre as it is the place where President Lincoln was shot, I'm not morbid or anything I just really like history. The theatre is has a great history which you can read about HERE. On April 14, 1865 President Lincoln attended the theatre for the first time to see the stage production of Our American Cousin, it was then he was shot my John Wilkes Booth and died the next morning across the street at the Peterson House. After that night Ford Theatre remained closed for 100 years, it reopened in 1968 as a historical site as well as maintaining its original purpose as a theatre.

The theatre is absolutely beautiful inside, naturally things have been refurbished but still maintaining its beautiful original look and presentation. The theatre is obviously small but has a large lobby as well as a full museum in the basement detailing the history of the theatre as well as President Lincoln.

This is a really crappy picture which I didn't realize until I had already left, but it is the gun the actual gun that killed President Abraham Lincoln. This gun is a .44 caliber pistol made by Henry Deringer of Philadelphia. One shot was all John Wilkes Booth took, he favored this gun for its small size as it could easily be concealed in his pocket. It fired a single one ounce round lead ball and was most accurate at close range. 

The production was amazing, I believe they have been running for 9 years and let me tell you they have perfected the show. Believe it or not Jason has never seen A Christmas Carol, not the movie or anything. Crazy! 

We really enjoyed the show, and the theatre while we were there. I didn't realize how popular that play is around this time of year. 

After the show we decided to wander back down to Presidents Park and see the National Tree again as well as all the surrounding trees. Around the National Tree there is a tree representing every State and Territory in the nation. Each tree is decorated by a school or class within that state. 

All around the National Tree is a huge train setup and little villages, its beautiful. We hadn't planned on going there so I didn't bring my good camera and I definitely didn't plan on it being so busy when we decided to go. This place was PACKED with people and we actually didn't have a lot of time as the place closes down at 10pm every night and they shut off all the lights. I am really glad we made it over there again and got a close up look at the tree. Washington is a great place to visit at night during the Christmas season, I have to say its no New York but its still pretty spectacular. 

I wish I could have shared more pictures but sadly during the performance at Ford Theatre you are not allowed to take any photos or videos. However I highly recommend if you have the chance, see the show! 

Thank you all for stopping in today, I am off to finish the rest of my Christmas shopping and enjoy the day before the rain comes in tomorrow! 

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