Double the Nintendo, Double the Fun

Hola Amigos!

It’s definitely been awhile and I apologize for that. Between balancing two demanding jobs as well as planning a wedding, I have little to no time to update my poor little bloggy-blog let alone have a personal life on top of that. Luckily for me, the folks at Brand About Town sent me on not one but TWO Nintendo adventures in the past month. I am so thankful to them because it really gave me a chance to re-connect and spend time with the three loves of my life, my fiance Rob and my two little brothers Kevin and Kris.

Adventure 1: The Wii U Experience

Night one started off with cocktail hour at one of my favorite DC area restaurants, Lincoln (check out my Yelp review here). At the event I got to finally meet the fabulous Justine and Danit from Brand About Town as well as some other really cool mommy bloggers like Thien from I’m Not the Nanny and my fellow non-mommy blogger Lexi from Crumpets with Jam. There was lots of laughs to be had between bites of delicious mouth watering pork belly and sips of excellent Prohibition era period cocktails.

The next day, Rob, Kevin, Kris and I headed down to the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington for an exclusive sneak preview of the Wii U, which is the next generation of video game consoles that will be released by Nintendo during the next holiday season. When we arrived there, we all went our separate ways and went BUCK WILD! Rob at the Batman: Arkham City room, me in the Just Dance booth, and the twins spent a good hour schoolin’ everybody at the Super Mario Brothers U station. Rob and I easily decided that our new favorite game was Ray Man Origins. The dual screen controller was a lot of fun to use and I liked that it allowed me to be an interactive “helper”.  Even though I love Nintendo, my gaming skills just aren’t up to par to Rob’s so this allowed me to interact in the game without totally being left in the dust.

We all left, exhilarated and happy and Rob ended up counting this day as one of the top highlights in his life! Thank you Nintendo for making me the coolest fiance ever!

Adventure 2: Mario Kart Race Party

To wind down summer, Brand About Town also sent me a Mario Kart party kit so I can have fun with all of the little munchkins in my life. The party consisted of: my little brothers and their two friends, Kassie, my sister’s niece and nephew from her husband’s side, and Rob’s three little cousins. It was an eclectic mix but I was so glad to have a chance to get my new growing family together. I usually throw a lot of events but they are more adult oriented so it was nice to let these young grasshoppers know that they were loved as well.

Kassie was most excited about the balloons but all of the other kids became insta-friends with the help of Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Toad. Rob’s grandma even got in on the fun and by the end of the night she was dodging banana peels and throwing turtle shells like a pro. I also felt quite honored to help my brother-in-law’s niece learn how to play her first Nintendo game. She was shy at first but then she snuggled up next to me so I can show her how to play and at the end of the party she gave me the biggest hug ever. It was the best feeling in the world!

Needless to say, everybody had tons of fun and I hope I cemented my little brother’s middle school popularity by hosting this party.

I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own!

Our Engagement Party

My family threw Rob and I an engagement party at Paradise Springs Winery last weekend and it could have not been more perfect.  A large storm hit the Virginia area a few days beforehand leaving my parents and myself without power.  But with a little bit of ingenuity and hard work we were able to make it work out!

Rob is a huge fan of pies so his mother ordered an assortment of twelve different pies from Mom’s Apple Pie Company  to create the pie bar of his dreams!  Everybody enjoyed all of the different flavors but it seems like their chocolate pecan pie was the resounding winner.

My mom’s homemade bean salad was a big hit with all of the vegetarians and gluten-free people attendance while all of the carnivores DEVOURED her jalapeno chicken meatballs with the quickness.  Kat’s homemade paper fans provided a welcome breeze in the 100 degree weather and Kristina’s sweet burlap sign brought the whole rustic theme together.

Simply put, my family rocks.

 

 

 

A Trip to Richmond

Two weeks ago, I visited my friend Casey in Richmond!  Casey and I originally bonded in the bathroom after gym class in middle school because I admired her scented glitter spray from Bath and Body Works.  Fifteen years later we are bonding over our shared love of Yelp and our recent engagements!  Go us — I love long time friends!

Richmond has a nasty reputation as a hood rat city but that could not be further from the truth!  The city has a vibrant artistic community with tons of cute, locally owned shops.  While I was there, they were hosting a French Film Festival at the Byrd Theatre which is a beautiful, historic theater right in the heart of Carytown.  I had such a lovely visit full of brunching, thrifting, wine tasting, and shopping!  Richmond is such a wonderful city.

Here are a few photos from my trip!

 

My Blogging Buddies

They say that birds of a feather flock together because many of my best friends are bloggers as well.  They are constantly blowing me away with their creativity, humor, and general life musings.  Be sure to check them out!

 

Bjork Me -Maricel is a self-proclaimed graphic design nerd, pug lover, Vespa owner, and hopeful yogi.  I like to think of her as my hipster older sister.

Don’t Play With Your Food – Sara is a lady who has turned her video game/anime enthusiasm into art — in the form of food.  Trust me she is way hotter than she sounds.  Sara is very creative and always blows me away with her creations — my favorite being her bento box rendition of Kermit the Frog.

Little Miss Cupcake – Adrienne is the type of girl who loves sparkles, rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns!   If you watch the New Girl and love Jess you will enjoy reading Adrienne’s ramblings on 80’s music, Hulk Hogan, and children’s cereal characters all relating to cupcakes!

Beneath the Jacket – Angie was my token Mormon friend in high school (I am pretty sure I was her token Asian).  Since HS she has moved to LA to become an actress/writer.  Like many LA actress/writer types, she is working part-time at a book store to support herself and has since taken a lover — young adult books.  This very well-done site is a collection of her book reviews.

Feisty Fatale – Casey is a an artist who recently moved to Richmond to pursue her dreams.  With her blog she proves that poor artist does not exactly equal starving artist, since she has learned to feed herself and her new fiance as economically as possible by baking her own bread, making her own tortillas, and growing vegetables from her own garden.

Bulletproof – Miemo is a new friend that I have made through blogging!  Her honest and open blog chronicles everything from her mother’s diagnosis of cancer, her travels around the world, to her adventures experimenting with red lipstick (it looks very good on her, I might add).

The Real Housewives of NOVA -I honestly do not know how Andrea does this but as a person who is not a real housewife at all (she is a single mom raising a beautiful toddler, has a full time job AND is going to grad school) she is taking over the Northern Virginia blogosphere by storm by connecting local merchants with their target demographic.

C Squared Cupcake – Clarissa was my one of my hs best friends and now she is a Columbia Pike neighbor.  By day she works in accouting and by night she is a DIY diva who dabbles in everything from baking, sewing, to crafting!

The Sweet Loaf – Devon, also known as Super Hot Roomie is now just my super hot friend with a penchant for bread pudding.  This blog chronicles her journey to find the perfect bread pudding, recipe by recipe.

Stiletto Mommy – Kat is my hilarious sister who waxes poetic about her life as a DC socialite turned mother of a two-year old neat freak.

 

Loose Thread

[1] Kat, Jessica, Sarah and I had brunch at the cutest European cafe Kafe Leopold
[2] Besides marrying Rob, the one wedding thing I am most excited about is crafting!  Kat, Jessica and I attended the Wedding Workshop at Paper Source and learned how to heat emboss envelopes, place cards, and treat boxes.
[3] Mountainside lunch
[4] A possible wedding venue in Smallville, USA
[5] Pho Sate with my little brothers, Rob and Rob’s best friend since age 4 – – Kevin and Kris downed their ENTIRE soup bowl plus two egg rolls!

Mussels in the City

My dear friend Carey bravely drove through the Occupy DC camp grounds on one of of the coldest days of the year to eat lunch with me!  Her braveness was rewarded by a hot and steaming bowl of moules and frites at St. Arnold’s,  a small Belgium pub right in the heart of DC.  Every weekday, the pub features a different mussel recipe for $10 and we were lucky enough to sample their house specialty — duck fat and caramelized onions.

I know what you are thinking – – what the fudge? That sounds flippin’ amazing.  Let me tell you it was!  I am already looking forward to my next mussel domination power lunch already.

 

Happy New Years!

According the Mayan calandar this past New Years may have been the last one ever celebrated.  Rob and I decided to keep things low key and low cost so we could save our money for canned goods and hunting gear once the apocalypse comes.  We had a few of our closest friends and family come over to Studio 504  for a vintage themed (some people took the theme more seriously than others) all night dance party.

In 2011, I am happy to say that I was able to accomplish the following:

– Change my biological clock to start waking up early thus getting to work early for the first time ever in my adult lifetime
– Started a new job
– Weaned myself off my office blanket (a huge feat for those who know me)
– Got my first paid writing gig and started writing for DC Socialite
– Got quoted in The Washington Post
– Became a Nintendo brand ambassador (as of last week! YAY!)
– Got engaged to the sweetest, nicest, most handsome man ever

My New Years Resolutions are to:

– Make friends with my gym
– Find an Arlington/Falls Church church family
– Save money like I have never saved before
– Learn how to be a patient and loving wife

Thanks to all of my friends who have been with me for the past year and I look forward to the great, funny, happy memories to come!

 

My Friend Adrienne’s Friends’ Holiday Party

I am embarrassed to say that I declined an invitation to Adrienne Weber’s eighth grade sleepover birthday party because a girl told me that her house was in the “ghetto” and that they did not lock their doors at night (all false BTW).

LUCKILY, I came around my snobby ways and slowly infiltrated Adrienne’s inner friend circle.  That is how I ended up at Kristy’s dad’s house last Saturday night for a holiday get together.  We ate crab dip by the fire while her father played jazzy Christmas tunes on his piano.

Kristy went to Lemon Road Elementary in McLean with Adrienne.  In middle school Adrienne moved to Centreville to befriend me.  Devon attended hs and was on the cheerleading squad with  Kristy at McLean. Later on Devon would turn out to be my sorority sister and roommate.  And that is the story of our friendship! (Megan is in our friend group as well but I will talk about her another time)

 

My Day at the Salvation Army

Over the weekend, my friend Andy set up a day trip with a few friends to help sort presents at the Salvation Army.  It was so much fun.  Not even in the “this is kind of boring but I feel good giving back to the community fun” but actual fun-fun!  Let me count the ways:

– Free Krispy Kreme doughnuts AND pizza
– Quality time with lots of handsome boys and fun Girl Scouts (I remember my days selling cookies door-to-door as a sixteen year old Girl Scout)
– Getting a voyeuristic look at childrens’ Christmas wishlists and peoples’ donations
– “Shopping” for hundreds of families (no spending required)
– Burning calories without actually working out

Christmas Angels is one of the Salvation Army’s largest programs but there are many opportunities to volunteer throughout the year.  For more information click here.

PS:  Did you know that the Salvation Army is actually a church?! I learned that from my 11th grade history teacher Mrs. Davies.

Weekend Deliciousness

This weekend was non-stop munching, brunching, relaxing and catching up with friends…both old and new. <3

My famous broccoli and ham quiche.

 

Lauren’s red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Cinnamon swirl bread a la Feisty Fatale

Fresh beignets from my favorite Arlington eatery, Bayou Bakery

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