Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Happy labor day

Monday, September 3rd, 2012


Greetings from New Buffalo, Michigan! Wrapping up a weekend at the beach with a breakfast of champions.

Better than flowers

Monday, July 30th, 2012

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So I guess it’s official, I have the best boyfriend ever. After receiving a bit of bad news, I was feeling down this weekend, but Suj really knocked one out of the park* by surprising me with a delivery from Georgetown Cupcake. We have a running joke about that scene in HBO’s Girls when Hannah eats a cupcake in the bathtub. I tried to explain it as such a “girl” thing to do, but after trying it, I think I may have to concede the point. No one does that. In any case, the surprise was perfect and really cheered me up. Way better than flowers.

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(*Z, that baseball reference is for you, my friend.)

Home with the Fam!

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

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I spent the last week with my fam in Utah. My baby brother, Jaxon, is departing for an LDS mission to Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine so we celebrated with a little send-off party. I had the best time with the Cooper-troop. My family is so boisterous and goofy; there is never a dull moment. I am going to miss Jaxon so much over the next two years, but I am so proud of him for beginning this huge journey. When Sinjin got back from Russia last year, he had grown into such a strong, mature man and I look forward to watching Jaxon progress over his mission. Good luck, baby bro! I love you.

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{Jaxon, all suited up}
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{debut of Mitch’s new mane}

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{mom and the boys}

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{farewell hug}
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{missionary cake from cousin Marlee}

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{I’m gonna miss Jaxon’s fresh style}

Happy weekend

Thursday, June 21st, 2012


It’s gonna be a scorcher in DC, so I’ll do my best to kick back next to a pool and survive the heat with something fruity and cold!

The Great Frugal Challenge

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

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Last week, the roomies and I competed in what we like to call The Great Frugal Challenge. We are all very active and competitive so, naturally, we love new challenges. The frugal challenge was awesome because it gave us an excuse to compete and save a little money at the same time. We searched all over the internet for some kind of points-based frugal challenge but found nothing, so we made one up ourselves. The rules are these:

The challenge lasts one week (Monday to Sunday) and competitors score points two ways: budget points and active points.

Budget points are earned by staying under a pre-set spending limit. In our case, we decided to allot a total of $100 for the week. We divided the amount between grocery money, for food, and mad money, for everything else. We were worried we might end up eating nothing but ramen for 7 days and didn’t want to sacrifice nutrition during the challenge, so having a certain amount of money set aside for groceries was important. We assigned 20 points for staying under the grocery budget and 50 points for the mad money budget. Certain expenses were exempted from the challenge – e.g., transportation to work, pre-planned travel, bills, etc.

Active points are earned by participating in frugal-friendly activities. For instance, we set up the following possible daily points:
Bringing lunch to work: 5 pts
Brewing (vs buying) coffee: 2 pts
Exercising 30 minutes: 10 pts
Using Coupons: 1 pt each

Finally, each day we could score up to 30 “activity” points. These were designed to get us involved in fun, low-cost activities. Some examples of point-worthy activities include going to the public library, playing sports in the park, visiting the DC monuments at night, going to a museum, attending a free concert, etc. We learned the activity points are vital to doing well in the challenge. We asked Alex to serve as challenge commissioner to assess the point value for the activities and make calls in case of disputes. The system worked out great.

Erin won our frugal challenge, but I made a strong effort and came in second place. The challenge was much harder than we anticipated and I learned a lot about my spending habits. I’m glad to take a frugal rest break for now, but I think a rematch is definitely on the horizon.

Lazy summer weekends

Monday, June 18th, 2012
MG 0011{Dupont Famers’ Market}

This felt like the first long weekend I’ve had in a while. It was really nice to relax with friends and enjoy the city a little. On Saturday, I soaked in some sun on my friend, Kerry’s rooftop pool. We ate crabs and talked about recent trips and generally just had a nice afternoon. After the pool, Ashley and I caught the Ramona Falls concert on H Street, which was eventful, but the best part of the night was getting on a bus in a random part of town at 12:30 am and coincidentally sitting right next to Erin (who was coming home from a BBQ)! DC really is a small world.

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On Sunday, Ashley and I picked up produce, bread, and (of course) empanadas at the Dupont farmers’ market. That afternoon I listened to an episode of This American Life while pickling cucumbers and making fresh bruschetta (it doesn’t get more “DC” than that). The roomies rounded off the weekend by grilling on the patio Sunday night. I love these lazy summer weekends.

MG 0008{fresh green beans}

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{charming rowhouse details}

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{pickling cucumbers}

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{view from Ashley’s door}

Georgetown Public Library

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012



My roommates and I are going head-to-head in a “frugal challenge” this week (details to come) and part of the competition involves discovering new activities that don’t solely revolve around spending money. The challenge has been really tough (we are all sort of glad it only lasts a week!) but it has inspired us to take advantage of many awesome free resources in DC. For instance, on Tuesday I took my first trip to the DC public library. The library has a number of locations but I visited the Georgetown branch to catch a free meditation workshop that night. It was a little tricky to get there since Georgetown in not accessible by metro and the library is tucked away (a little far north on Wisconsin). I ended up taking the 31 bus from Foggy Bottom and arrived in about 15 minutes. The library is in a beautiful old building with a state of the art interior (very Georgetown). It is small and quiet with a friendly staff. I signed up for a library card and browsed through the new releases (I almost checked out this because we visited Jeni’s in East Nashville, but homemade ice cream might have to wait until after the challenge). I am looking forward to visiting the Shaw location next, but I’ll hold off until I finish my assigned book club reading this month.

{wrought iron gates}

{arches leading to a reading room}

Life lately (in images)

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

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the weekend, briefly

Monday, May 7th, 2012
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{quiet Georgetown street}

Every once in a while I have a weekend that reminds me how very fortunate and leisure my life is right now. For instance, I just wrapped up an exhausting few days of shopping, dining out, and spending time with friends. I really should never be allowed to complain about anything!

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby with a little early morning office action followed by a trip to Friendship Heights with Ashley to shop and visit friends. That night Scott and Alex and I took a nice walk down to Dupont Circle to “crash” the bachelorette party Erin was throwing.  On Sunday, I had brunch on the patio at El Tamarindo then had a wonderful time exploring the shops in Georgetown. I was hoping to find a new dress but instead picked up a few new stamps from Papersource. I was famished by the time I got home and tired from so many hours of walking. Luckily Ashley stopped by on her way back from yoga and we enjoyed a caramelized onion pizza (recipe to come!) while we caught up on episodes of Girls. I don’t imagine that my life will always be this carefree, so I try to really appreciate these fun, easy weekend while they last.

MG 0045{adorable shoe display at Madewell}
MG 0047{fountain in Dupont Circle}

MG 0051{wall art on my walk home}

on change

Friday, May 4th, 2012


This month marks the three-year anniversary of my move to DC. I relocated immediately after my law school graduation (I am talking days) and it was probably one of the scariest decisions of my life. I packed most of my belongings into three giant duffle bags, shipped other items in a few epic trips to UPS, and gave away the rest of my stuff to lucky shoppers on craigslist. Up to that point, I’d sort of thought of myself as a nomad, moving around every few years. But this move felt different, more permanent. I was no longer a student. I was an adult, moving across the country to a city where I had no job, no friends, and no real plan. My parents drove to Salt Lake City, in my dad’s big blue truck with a trailer attached to the back, to help me pack and to pick up my furniture (which now bedecks my brothers’ “man cave”).  My dad choked up a little as he hugged me goodbye then waved from the truck. My mom stayed in town a while longer to see that I made it to the airport. There was no turning back.

Thinking back now on the decision, I am impressed at my nerve, and I can’t help but wonder how different I am from that girl who got on that plane. Moving to DC turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve grown professionally and personally, I’m surrounded by inspiring, spirited people who care about me, and I fell in love with one of my best friends. I will never regret my decision to make a big, bold change and move to DC.

But I have been thinking a lot about change lately. After three years, I am contemplating new choices and paths for my life. It seems to me that change becomes harder the older I get. I worry more than I ever used to. It takes a greater amount of analyzing before I become comfortable with newness. I can only assume that this is natural and not at all unique to me. Anyway, change is good, necessary, right? It certainly scares me, but not enough to keep me still.  So, I suppose now (and for the next few months) the best thing I can do is take a deep breath, hang on to my sense of humor, and get on that plane.

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
– Oscar Wilde