Aug 11, 2014

Life with Gus: Week 1

This year has certainly been a year of change. Raisin Bread and I experienced another huge change in our lives this month when we added a new addition to our family. Say "hello" to Gus the Goldendoodle. We decided to name him after a character from Psych, one of our favorite television shows.

Gus was born on June 7th. Here is a photo of him around three weeks old.

Over July 4th weekend, we made the trek to our breeder in Taos to meet our little furball. At this time, he was four weeks old and the most chilled out puppy in the land. 

We also got to meet Gus's mommy and daddy and all of his brothers and sisters too. Mommy looked overwhelmed with so many puppies!

Finally, last weekend, we made the trip back to Taos to take Gus home with us. His first car ride was rough. Taos is about 3 hours away and high up in the mountains on lots of windy roads. Gus did not hurl but he was definitely on the verge of carsickness. He was droolly and snotty the whole way.

Our first couple of days were doozies. Gus was hooting and hollering all day and night. He would whine whenever I left the room and would even whine when I was in the same room but not paying attention to him. 

Like any puppy, Gus has his moments of hyperactivity and then exhaustion. He is so small at this point that he thinks he is a lap dog. Since Gus is a standard goldendoodle, he will soon be too big for us to pick up and hold, so I think I am going to savor our time now. 

When Gus is in his active states, he becomes quite the leaper! Here he is planning his escape from his travel crate. 

Having a puppy is hard work, there are sleepless nights and moments of frustration from his puppy-ness (too young to be trained fully, learning to be housebroken and the fact that we can't take him everywhere with us since he isn't done receiving his shots).

But then I look at this sleeping little bundle of fur and can't help but want to be by his side all the time and make sure he is content.

I'm planning to take pictures of Gus with the giant manatee every few weeks to keep track of his growth. He is still such a little doodle!

Jul 10, 2014

Final Fun in DC + Moving Time

I'm backtracking a couple of weeks here. Over my last weekend in DC, I got to check out a new event with a friend and visit one of my favorite museums for the second weekend in a row.

On Sunday, my friend and I went to the Safeway Barbecue Battle in Downtown DC. We did not know what to expect because the website did not give much information. There was competitive barbecue-ing going on but also a ton of vendors handing out free samples and swag. We most certainly did not come prepared. The first item of business was to find reusable totes to put all of our goodies in! 

After being distracted by some of the booths, we made it to the Safeway Sampling Tent, where we got stuffed. While we were in line, we noticed that other patrons had brought their own tupperware and boxes to carry all of the samples in! So funny. 

Waiting in line at the Safeway Sampling Tent

I ate some things while we were in line but I still had a huge plate full of food.

We walked around some more and found the section where the competitors' booths were set up, but it did not appear that they were cooking at that time.

There was also a row of stands with food for sale. We were so stuffed that we did not need to purchase any additional food. 

Look at that huge pile of ribs!
 Mmmm....fried stuff.

My highlight of the event was seeing the Oscar Mayer weinermobile in real life!

We ended our visit with a trip to the Ben and Jerry's stand, where we got some free ice cream! 

After the barbecue event, I headed over to the National Gallery of Art. I actually went to the Gallery the previous weekend with the same friend who went to the barbecue battle. We checked out some temporary exhibitions, but I decided I needed to go again to see some of my old favorites from the collection. 

For dinner, I went to Endo Sushi, where the staff was very sad to hear that we would be leaving DC. Raisin Bread and I had many, many meals there, and I will definitely miss it! 

The final week in DC was a blur. Moving day was especially stressful and chaotic. 

The apartment on moving day

I was so happy to get to the airport and be done with it all. I thought I was going to have a heart attack on moving day.

I got one last look at the Washington Monument from the window of the plane. So beautiful!

Since there aren't any direct flights between Albuquerque and Reagan, I went through Dallas. On the way, I was treated to this gorgeous sky. 

 I had a short stop in Dallas before my flight to Albuquerque.

Finally, made it.

I was so happy to final arrive in Albuquerque. Not only was moving extremely difficult, but I got to see Raisin Bread for the first time since mid-May. It was a happy reunion, and I was ready to start my new life in New Mexico! 

I only stayed one night in Albuquerque though because the next day, we headed to LA for my friend's wedding. More on that later! 

Jul 1, 2014

Empty House

My last day in DC has come and gone. I will try to update you on some other fun things I was able to do before I left. Moving day was an absolute disaster and so incredibly stressful. I spent one whole night in Albuquerque before Raisin Bread and I flew out to Los Angeles for my friend's wedding.

We are back "home" now. As a first time homeowner, things have been much more difficult than I was expecting. The house needs a lot more work than we thought it would. The seller did absolutely no cleaning. I would not be surprised if she did not pick up a broom since we put in the offer. On top of that, our water heater broke on Sunday! Despite all of this, I must say that the house has a lot of potential. It is going to take some time, a lot of elbow grease and some money. Maybe in a year, it will actually be what we want it to be!

The empty living room

Our belongings have also not arrived yet since they just left Arlington on Thursday. I am sure that once we get our things, it will start to feel more like home.

Now, I have to get back to scrubbing down the bathrooms!

Jun 24, 2014

My Last Days in DC

If you follow me on any of my social media outlets, you know by now that I am moving back across the country. Raisin Bread and I are packing up and heading back west. We will be calling New Mexico home!

With the knowledge that my days in DC are numbered, I have been trying to soak up as much as possible before I leave. Since moving here four years ago, I have had a love/hate relationship with DC. Two of the things that I DO love about this city are the history and the world-class culture that is accessible here.

Over my second to last weekend in DC, I decided to visit a place that has been on my to-do list for a long time - the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building.

Exterior of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress
The Court of Neptune Fountain

This place serves a scholarly purpose but is also amazingly beautiful. I wound up hopping on one of the Library's docent-led tours to learn more about the architecture and artistic details of the building.

The Great Hall of the Jefferson Building
Marble floor of the Great Hall
Stained glass ceiling windows

Every corner of the building is decorated with ceiling paintings, mosaics, sculptures and more. 

Of course, many of the details focus on learning and scholarly pursuits.

Mosaic of Minerva (Goddess of Wisdom)
The Main Reading Room

After the tour, I decided to take a detour. Directly across from the Library is the US Capitol Building. There is even a tunnel between the two buildings.

But where I was truly headed was the Supreme Court building. It was a beautiful weekend. Just look at that blue sky! 

I even walked up the steps of the Supreme Court to check out the bronze doors. The bas-reliefs depict major events throughout history pertaining to justice.

My last stop for the day was Union Station, where I hopped on the Metro.

Columbus Fountain, outside of Union Station

When I got home, two of my bunny friends were outside my apartment eating some lunch. I will miss these little furry guys! 

Eastern cottontails in Arlington

Jun 18, 2014

{Product Review} Active Accessories On-the-Go Hair Band Bracelets

Despite the fact that summer has not officially started yet, DC is already experiencing high temperatures and disgusting humidity. That means, on my commutes to and from work, hair up is a must. Arriving at work with my hair soaked with sweat and stuck to the back of my neck is not cute. 

I have been trying out Active Accessories On-the-Go Hair Band Bracelets for different levels of activities, so a trip on the Metro would be a good test. I received a pack of six of the hair band bracelets in "Elegant." I love the variety of colors that are available. The metallic and houndstooth print are definitely more stylish than my usual plain black hair bands. 

Unfortunately, as soon as I put one of the bands on, I knew that it would not be secure enough to hold my super thick hair, so I doubled up. I love that the band bracelets are fashionable enough to be worn around my wrist without cutting off its circulation. This made it easy for me to take my hair down after I arrived at work and put it back up on my way home.

I also tried wearing the bands while doing some household chores and also found them to not be as secure as I would hope. I am pretty certain that they would not work for me during a run or another intense workout. 

What's my take: I love how cute the Active Accessories Hair Band Bracelets are and that they are comfortable enough to be worn around my wrist. Unfortunately, my hair is just too thick to wear them during anything but light activities. I think they would be perfect for someone who does not have so much thick hair. For now, I will be wearing two of them at a time.

Disclosure: I received a pack of six hair bands from Active Accessories for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received. Read my full disclosure here

Jun 9, 2014

Playing Tourist in DC

It was a beautiful weekend in DC! Not too hot, full of sunshine and no thunderstorms! I still have not been released by my doctor to begin exercising again, so I have been doing my fair share of walking. Even walking has been tough going for me. My energy level is still pretty low and I don't feel anywhere near being fully recovered.

I decided to play tourist in my fair city, taking advantage of the beautiful weather and all of the great things to do in Washington while getting my walks in.

On Saturday, I headed to the National Mall. The plan was to pay a visit to one of my favorite Smithsonian museums: the Hirshhorn Museum. Despite checking out the website beforehand to see what was on, I did not realize that the second and third levels were closed! 

There were only three exhibitions going on. One was Barbara Kruger's Belief + Doubt, which I had seen before and two video installations, a medium of which I am not a fan. There went my plans.

Barbara Kruger's Belief + Doubt
Barbara Kruger's Belief + Doubt

Despite only spending maybe 15 to 20 minutes in the museum, I actually found myself to be pretty tired. I debated trying to do something else and decided against it. Instead, I headed back to the Metro with my tail between my legs. 

I passed by the Art and Industries Building, which has been undergoing renovations for the last 10 years. The building was constructed in 1879 and was covered up with scaffolding for as long as I can recall. To see it in its current state was heartening. The outside looks magnificent. It is sad that there are no plans to reopen the building in the foreseeable future.   

Arts and Industries Building
Arts and Industries Building

Directly across from the Arts and Industries Building is the beautiful Carousel on the Mall.

I also caught a glimpse of the Smithsonian Castle, the first Smithsonian Institution building. Out front is a statue of Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

On the way home, I was tempted into buying a faux Cronut from Crumbs Bake Shop. They called it a "Crumbnut." I should have kept walking because this was not special. The Bavarian creme was pretty tasty though.

Crumbnut with Bavarian cream

On Sunday, I was up bright and early, so I decided to take a walk to Georgetown before its sidewalks were overflowing with tourists and shoppers.

I headed across the Key Bridge.

From there, I could see the Washington Monument poking out above the trees.

Despite how peaceful the C&O Canal looked, I would not be tricked into taking a stroll along it. The still water plus the humidity equals mosquitoes, and for some reason, I seem to have a target on my back when it comes to mosquitoes.

The main reason for my walk to Georgetown was that I wanted to visit the Exorcist Stairs, made famous for their appearance in the film The Exorcist.

I did not intend to walk up the stairs, but I figured since I was already there, I might as well. 

Once I reached the top, I made my way back down again and headed back home. 

See you later, Georgetown!

It was back across the bridge for me and into Virginia.