Happy Friday!

{Happy Friday: a few things I’ve enjoyed this week}

– I joined Elizabeth’s pen pal project and am excitedly waiting for my first letter. I haven’t hand-written a letter in years! When I was a kid (back before I had any inkling of what the Internet was) my sisters and I would write letters to our friends in other states all the time. We were serious letter writers. We each had our own American Girl stationary sets. (Remember those?) I’m also excited about actually getting to hand-write something. I’m always typing these days and I miss writing by hand.

By the way, did you know it costs $9 for a tiny book of stamps?! I bought some the other day and felt like a true grown-up. It’s the small things, you know…like getting a library card, buying stamps, registering to vote….

– Speaking of handwriting things, this orange bag would make a perfect pen case. I’ve also fallen in love with this Garrison Bag from the same shop.

– A tube wringer: kinda weird, but kinda helpful.

Polaroid frames

– And since I’ve been reading everything there is about blogging lately, here’s a pretty helpful post from Social TriggersHow to Write the Perfect Blog Post

I will be in Florida with the boyfriend and family this weekend. I am looking forward to laying on the beach all day and not doing anything! Except eat a lot of Cuban food, of course. This will be the second beach trip for me this summer and, most likely, the last. Summer weekends fill up so fast!

Advertisements

Washington DC, Part I

A few months ago, Mark and I took a quick weekend trip to Washington, DC. One of my favorite things about DC is how diverse the city is. One minute you’re walking down a busy sidewalk beside huge, yet beautiful, office buildings, and the next minute you can be sitting in the grass beneath a tree on the Mall, relaxing in the shade.
This particular weekend, we checked out all the little bookstores and record shops in Dupont Circle and envied the cute little townhouses in Capitol Hill. We ate pastries in Union Station and people-watched in Chinatown. There is seriously no shortage of things to see in this city. Each metro stop is another little world.
We tried Good Stuff Eatery for the first time. It’s definitely worth a repeat trip, if only to get some more of that mango mayo! We also found a great Tex-Mex place, but I’ll share that in another post.
Because I grew up not too far from DC it became the go-to place whenever visitors came. We would spend the day seeing the monuments and doing all the touristy stuff. And while the monuments and memorials are still impressive, it’s nice to discover the little corners of DC that I never knew about as a kid.

Happy Fourth of July

(image)

Life has been a blur lately. I have been working more hours at the cafe and the days seem to run together.  I will be working the morning of the Fourth, but I plan on making up for it by getting as much pool time as possible in the afternoon. My sister and some friends will be meeting Mark and I tonight for some fireworks and Fourth of July celebrating! I always judge how good the fireworks are by how much the ground vibrates beneath me. I love laying on a blanket outside, watching fireworks explode above me and feeling the earth shake beneath. Hopefully, they won’t disappoint this year.

This weekend will be more Fourth of July celebrating and relaxing. (I actually have a weekend off!) Mark and I will be visiting his Florida family, which means lots and lots of beach time. It also means a whole lot of yummy Cuban food! I’m not sure which of these I’m more excited for.

I’m still getting used to this whole working during the summer thing. I miss all my free time, but I’m learning to really enjoy the days I do have off and to make the most of them.

I hope you all have a fantastic Fourth with lots of good food, lots of relaxation, and some ground-shaking fireworks!

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

Ha! Bet I got that song stuck in your head now!

Unless you live somewhere near the North Pole, I imagine you know that it has been crazy hot these last few days. 100-106 was the average temperature around here. And don’t forget to add 100% humidity on top of that, this being the South and all. Everywhere I turn all I hear is how hot it is. Every person who comes into the cafe says something about the heat. Every talkshow host, weather man, and DJ have been talking about it on the radio. Sure, it’s record-setting temperatures but people….it’s summer!

On Sunday, a large part of Mark’s family came over to the house for Sunday lunch and some combined birthday celebrating. We ate tons of food, sang happy birthday, gorged ourselves on cake and ice cream and spent the whole day lounging around the house (in the AC) together. I love being outside in the summer, but there’s something nice about being stuck inside when you’re stuck inside with some fun people. To me, it’s kind of like when you were a kid and a snowstorm would keep you housebound for a few days. After a two or three days it gets old hat and you’d give anything to get out of that house, but there was always something exciting and fun about that first day.

You all probably have no idea I’m talking about.

Anyway, that’s what Sunday felt like to me.

Do any of you guys prefer crazy hot summer weather to winter? I will take these 100 degree days over winter ANY day. Growing up in the South, you start to get used to the heat after awhile. AND we grew up in a house that had no AC until we were teenagers. (Shocked gasp!) So I like to think I’m a bit more familiar with summer in the South than the majority of people.

None of this is to say that you’ll never hear me complaining about the heat. Ha! You probably will. But, may I just say, that I am glad to be complaining about heat these days and not cold or snow.

I’m glad and thankful to live in the South where 95 degrees is a chilly day.

Photo from tumblr

Front Page News

Sunday night Mark and I drove to Atlanta for dinner at Front Page News. We hadn’t eaten there since the first year we were dating. It’s also the restaurant that first introduced me to fried pickles, so I’ve got a special place for them in my heart…or stomach…?

It was still very hot outside, but a big storm was rolling in so the weather was perfect for eating outside. I love warm summer evening air. There’s also a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, so the breeze would throw some water over on us every once in awhile. Just enough to cool us off, but not enough to soak us and make it annoying.

We stuffed ourselves with fried pickles, crab cakes, and burgers. I’m glad we finally got back to this place.

Memories of Elvis

I’ve had the lines of certain Elvis song stuck in my head for a few days now. We used to have it on a CD when we were kids. I remember falling asleep to that CD so many nights.

I scoured Spotify tonight until I found the album. Listening to it made me feel nostalgic. I started missing my old room and all those nights falling asleep to good old Elvis.

I haven’t heard these songs in years, but I was singing along word for word. I even knew which song was coming next without even looking!

I love it when songs can bring back such happy memories.

Goodbye, June

This month FLEW by!

It always does though. I think June is the perfect month. School has been out for a month by the time it gets here, so you’re fully in summer mode. And there’s still July, acting like the buffer month on the other side of June, protecting you from the upcoming semester.

We had some really fun times, even if they did fly by too fast.

Until next year….

Date Night at Stone Mountain

 

Working during the summer is a drag.

That’s the simple, honest truth. Unfortunately, bills don’t stop coming during the summer months.

This is my first full summer of working (mostly) full-time. Before this, my main source of income every summer was babysitting. While babysitting can MOST CERTAINLY be hard work (I can attest to this!), the flexible schedule of it puts it on a whole different level from other jobs.

My summer days would consist of hanging out on the beach with friends all day and arriving at a babysitting job around 6 or 7pm, where I would entertain some little people for a few hours, put them to bed, and then have the rest of the evening to myself until the grownups got home. I’m sure I may have complained then, but looking back…..man, was that a sweet deal! I certainly don’t miss the salary I was making then, but I still envy that schedule.

Recently I was switched over to more night shifts at the cafe where I work now. On one hand, it’s a great deal. I get to sleep in most mornings (which is mainly what summer’s all about), spend the day at the pool, running errands, or shopping, and then go into work in the evening. The bad part of this is that I hardly have any time with Mark. He leaves for work early in the morning before I’ve even thought about getting up and he gets home a few hours after I go to work. And since he has to be back at work early the next morning, we only have a few hours together once I get off work.

The other night, though, we squeezed in a date after I got off work. I didn’t have to close that night so we had a few extra hours together. He picked me up from work, I brought some food along, and we drove to Stone Mountain.

Between the two of us, we’ve seen Stone Mountain’s laser show QUITE a few times. It’s the same show every night so it’s nothing spectacular to us, but it’s just nice being together outside in the warm night air.

We took a blanket along and I leaned against him (which he complains about, but I think he likes it). We laughed at the crazy people dancing around us, whooped and hollered along with everyone else when the fireworks went off, and just relaxed.

It was a perfect way to unwind after getting off of work and a great way to spend some time together, just the two of us.

I have a feeling I’ll be working these night shifts a lot more, so I hope we can squeeze in more evenings like this one.