The condo in Arlington, VA (yes... VA...) was not going to be mine. Talking to the realtor, we learned that the person selling the house would not take what I was offering because he owed so much on it.
The offer I made was fair based on the comparables aka "comps" - the prices in the last 6 months-1 year of other condos of similar size, but I guess he wasn't having it.
I'm disapointed because I actually really liked this place and could see me and my boyfriend living here for a few years. It had nice hard wood floors, a great kitchen, and a BALCONY- this is on my wish list for sure...
While at work a few days ago I even discussed ways to get to work with two of my coworkers who live in Arlington and mapped out how I would do so... Basically I was ready.
Then the news came yesterday and while I'm not "crying" sad, I definitely feel a bit let down.
So I have cancelled almost all of my print magazines and have gotten very used to reading most of my favorites on my iPad. I was downloading through Apple's Newstand app which I really liked, but everything was billed individually depending on my type of subscription (weekly, monthly, etc.)
I was web surfing about a month ago and happened upon a review of this new iPad app called Next Issue.
Next Issue is a subscription based service that offers you countless (I mean over 100 titles) for one monthly cost. I was intrigued because flipping through magazines is something I enjoy doing but I won't subscribe to more than a few (umm, cost anyone?) I also like finding new magazines and this seemed like a really cost effective and cool way to do so.
There are two plans- "basic" is $9.99/month for a ton of magazines (more on the monthly basis) such as Allure, Cosmo, ESPN, Elle, Real Simple, Wired, etc. The "premium" plan is $14.99/month and includes all the titles in the "basic" but includes a lot of weekly subscriptions such as US Weekly, Bloomberg Businessweek, Entertainment Weekly, People, etc.
I opted for the "premium" because I'm a huge fan of a lot of the weekly subscription titles. If you sign up, you get the first month free and I think that if you love reading magazines are interested in finding some new titles, trying out Next Issue is a good idea.
I'm really loving Next Issue on my iPad. The only negative I can say so far is that I don't have enogh time to read everything I want to!
This past Friday night, my boyfriend and I met my best friend (Jessica) and her boyfriend (Marcus) for dinner at Redwood in Bethesda, Maryland. I was excited because this was a new restaurant for all four of us. My boyfriend and I decided to go a little earlier than our reservation time so we could try out the bar and their happy hour menu. The restaurant itself was beautiful and I really liked the atmosphere in the restaurant and outside patio on a busier walkway in Bethesda. At the bar I tried one of their martinis- the Fresh Pear- made with grey goose la poire vodka (yummy, but sadly not on the happy hour menu.) I enjoyed the drink along with the fried pickle slices and onion rings- both of these were VERY good. Once the other half of the party arrived we decided to sit outside (YAY!) on their outside patio area. We all decided to get appetizers- hushpuppies (Jessica wasn't too impressed), 2 orders of wings (very good) and a caesar salad. Jessica and I shared a bottle of Pinot Noir which was pretty tasty- I'm sad I don't remember the name of the wine. For entrees, my boyfriend got the shrimp and grits, this was recommended by two people who worked in the restaurant but unfortunately he wasn't too impressed with it. Marcus got the pork loin which he really liked. Jessica got the salmon and I decided to get the NY strip with mashed potatoes. From everyones reactions we all seemed to LIKE the food, but none of us thought that it was especially outstanding. We also got three desserts- 2 apple pies with caramel ice cream and Jessica got this lemon jello/custard thing which was very interesting. We all liked the apple pies (as with most things, I needed more ice cream aka "sauce"). The bill for the evening was a bit shocking (HA!) but we all had a really great time. I don't think Redwood would top any of our lists for coming back again because the food for the cost probably wasn't worth it for us. I would however, like to come back and sit at the bar and try out more of their bar menu items.
While I live at home (hopefully a few more months until I find my own place), I figure I might as well work on my kitchen and cooking skillz.
I was "flipping" through Rachel Rays magazine via Next Issue (more on this later) and saw a yummy chicken "bake" dish that looked yummy and pretty simple. The thing with cooking and me is this......... When I follow directions is usually comes out pretty well, but most of the time I like to take things in my own hands - "Oh, I don't need that much" "OOOH I neeeeed more of this," etc...) The results are usually not what I had hoped for, but for the most part I do an OK/good job in the kitchen.
I enjoyed making this recipe and while I think one more round in the kitchen with it might make it better, it came out pretty good.
1) Dice 5 small/medium tomatoes, 1 small onion, and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Toss all 3 ingredients and a nice helping of (good) olive oil (recipe says 2 tbsps.)
2) Place 4-5 chicken breasts (I used more because of the amount of people I was cooking for, but if I was to do it all over I would keep it to 4 chicken breasts). Season with salt and pepper.
3) Broil chicken 8-10 min on each side. This should cook the chicken all the way throug. I'm always super paranoid about chicken so I cut all the pieces in half just to check.
4) Sprinkle mozzerla, fontina (this is what the recipe asked for but I wasn't able to find any in the grocery store) or parmesean cheese on top and stick back under the broiler for about 2 minutes. I didn't have any of these "normal" cheeses so I used stick cheese (hey! use what you have at home!)
5) I then boiled some thin, whole wheat spaghetti and cut up some cucumbers for the veggie side.
I have to say that hte next time I would use a bit less olive oil, and use white meat chicken breasts (dark was fine and tasted good, but I think I would have preferred white).
The kitchen smelled amazing and even my 9 year old nephew said dinner was delicious.
I love cooking while sipping on some wine and this one my mom got me last Christmas (don't ask me how I haven't had a drink of this yet) and it was delicious!
I was flipping through one of my favorite blogs Cheetah is the New Black and was looking at her old posts. I've been following her for probably 6 months, but haven't seen her older work and decided one boring day at work to do so (love, by the way).
I noticed in some of her pictures she had on these navy booties and they were SO CUTE! All of a sudden I was on a booties kick and had to have a pair for the upcoming Fall season. Unfortunetly when I clicked on the link for her booties it was the Classic Newbury Bootie at $495........................................
Yes... my thoughts exactly.
WAY too much money.
The search continued. I'm pretty good at donig research online and finding good deals so I wasn't too worried. I stumbled upon these Joie Dalton Suede Booties at at $200 cheaper at $295 I thought they were obviously still pretty pricey but a definite contender as they are pretty much a dead ringer for those Rag & Bone booties. That being said an extra $300 really isn't in my budget right now (is it ever??) with my mom's 60th birthday and my boyfriends 30th birthday coming up in September.
That being said... I was still thinking about it.
Fast forward to last night and I was flipping through In Style's September issue and saw an ad for a shoe collaboration with In Style and Nine West. It featured all of the shoes and they were all pretty cute. I checked out Nine West as soon as I got to work the next morning (i.e. today) and while I didn't purchase any of the In Style sheos (I would have if my budget was a big longer, especially some of their wedges) but found boots SO SIMILAR to the Rag & Bone ones, even, dare I say, better??? And at $119 with a 15% off promo code (if you sign up for emails) I could not resist!