Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 Things Thursday

Posting 5 Things Today because tomorrow I am off to the greatest place on Earth...TEXAS :)
I hope y'all have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!

The Snapdragons we planted are in full bloom!

A Deeeelicious Salad...trying to eat healthy but then I had like 7 mini snickers. 

From this view the Capitol looks like it is leaning...

#TBT to when Beth and I watched HGTV on our flight to Big D to visit Alycyn

Happy Birthday to my BFF Vanessa!!!! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vegas State of Mind: How do you unwind?

Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month?

If you ever watch Scandal, House of Cards or the West Wing it is evident that stress is just something you learn to live with when working in the political field. Everything you do is broadcasted for the world to see and every decision you make affects millions of people. Talk about a weight on your shoulders! Even though I work behind the scenes, I definitely feel the pressure of the job. Top that with planning a "destination" wedding, a never ending inbox and volunteering for any and everything (I like to be involved), and I am just two emails away from needing Olivia Pope to come and rescue me. 

People in our day and age think of stress more and more as just something you have to deal with and learn to live with. However heightened stress levels can be detrimental to your overall health and well being. The good news is there are ways to decrease stress, keep it at bay, and still enjoy life. How do I deal with stress in my own crazy and hectic life you ask? Well by filling my spare moments with things I genuinely like to do and people that I love to be around. Some of my favorite things to do are:

Go Get My Sweat On 
Elle Woods had it right when she said "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't." When I feel like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders nothing makes me feel better than getting my heart pumping and my body moving. Plus it takes my mind off of whatever problem I have. For me my workout of choice is crossfit but any exercise will do. Even though you might not want to workout at first, just get started! Your body will be thankful and so will your racing mind.

Get Outside
I sit behind a computer all day! So the moment I get out in some fresh air I instantly feel refreshed. Grab a friend, your pet or even just yourself and take a walk outside. Seeing the fresh grass, flowers blooming or getting a smile from a stranger will lift your mood and help alleviate any situation. 

Spend Time with People I Love 
Whenever I am feeling anxious or stressed, the last thing I want to do is hangout with people that elevate the situation. Luckily for me I have found a great man who is the yin to my yang (cheesy but true). Even when I feel like my head is going to explode with tension, he can bring me down to reality and make me feel zen again.
I also have the best friends in the world that make even the worst day better. Meeting them for a drink after work or for a short walk can erases the stresses of the day and brightens my spirits. 

Do Something Special For Myself
Pampering myself always makes me feel a bit better even on the dreariest of days. My favorite way to indulge is with a manicure and a pedicure. However anything that feels like a special treat will decrease stress and improve your mood. Go shopping. Splurge on decadent dessert. Get a massage! The point is you work hard so you deserve to treat yourself too!

Spent Time Alone
Sometimes the things above just don't do the trick. These are the times when I know I need some time with just me. During this alone time I can pray, reflect on what is going on around me or just think about nothing. Everyone needs some time to recharge and for me I am best able to do that when I have a few quite moments to myself...a glass of wine never hurts either :)

Finally, one of the best ways for me to de-stress is to just drop everything and get away from it all! This can be a staycation for the weekend at home or even getting out of town for a few days to a fun destination like Vegas. I can't think of a better get-a-way than a day spent lounging at the pool at Aria, getting a massage at their decadent spa, gorging on milk shakes and burgers at Holstein's,  and then ending the night rocking out at Britney's new concert! Talk about an awesome time!
Removing yourself from the eye of the storm will not only calm your nerves and mind, but it helps bring new focus and new revelations. 

What are some of your favorite ways to unwind/de-stress?


* asked me if I would like to participate in their National Stress Awareness campaign. I obviously said yes because 1. I hate stress and 2. I LOVE Vegas! Win win in my book :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Recap: Spring Has Sprung

All day Friday my hip was kind of bothering me. I didn't really think much of it and got the weekend started celebrating two of my favorite people's birthdays, Blaylock and Fez! We had cocktails on the roof of restaurant on Barack's Row and it was so nice to be outside. Spring has finally sprung! I also reunited with a lot of my fellow Team Sullivan friends so all in all it was a perfect start to the weekend.

Later, Josh took me to several party stores to find the last minute items I needed for the Spring Event I was helping plan. It was then that I knew something was seriously wrong with my hip :( Originally, I had planned to go to CF on Saturday morning (like always) but I knew at that moment that I needed a break. Our Friday night ended with some veggie pizza and me burning a CD for the first time in like seven years. 
Happy Birthday Fez and Blaylock!
The next morning, my hip was in even worst shape, but Josh came to the rescue. He packed the entire Jeep with all of the things I needed for the event (which was a lot), made an ice run, and packed the ice chest. I couldn't have done it without him. Then when I got to the event, all of the volunteers and my co-partner, Brittany, also went above and beyond! Everyone came together and really put everything they had into making our Spring Fair perfect for all of the Langley Consumers. They had so much fun and so did we!
We had a carnival theme!

When the Spring Event was over, I reunited with Josh and we went to Palm "Saturday" Mass. We then made an attempt to go check out the Cherry Blossoms but it was a ZOO! So we went home instead where I lounged and drank wine outside. This was much needed after the busy day. 
My attempt at making crosses out of our palm branches...I need some help.

Loving this weather, and reading about the Duggards

On Sunday, we had a big barbeque with all of our friends. Josh smoked brisket, venison sausage and ribs. We had tons of food, drinks and cheered on Bubba at the Masters. It was a day where I just enjoyed being in the moment and didn't think too much about pictures for the blog and what not. I couldn't have asked for a better Sunday!

The weekend ended with some Game of Thrones (all I can say is WOW) and me trying to stretch out my still tight and very sore hip.

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 11, 2014

5 Things Friday

Not much to say other than TGIF :)

Cherry Blossoms are in bloom

Yellow cake with chocolate icing = my favorite

My new friend

A blurry selfie but I will miss you Lliam!

Great Falls 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spinach & Shrimp Enchiladas Verde

For hardcore carnivores like Josh and me it can sometimes be difficult to think up meatless dinners during Lent. Luckily, I do have a go-to Shrimp Enchilada Verde recipe in my back pocket. It is perfect for those days when we are out of new ideas. 
a margarita is a must for the chef

I stumbled upon this recipe after Josh and my trip to the Florida Keys 2 years ago. We stopped at hole in the wall Mexican restaurant after the longest drive EVER and devoured what proved to be the best enchiladas I had ever had. In an effort to recreate them when we returned to DC, I scoured the internet and finally found this recipe via Eat Live Run.
I throw the cheese right into the shrimp filling. It makes assembly much easier. 

I follow the recipe pretty closely, however I do add a giant handful fresh cilantro to the shrimp filling and then when rolling up the enchilada I also add a few spinach leaves. Voila! Delicious enchiladas that are easy to make, delicious to eat, and Lenten approved :)
Hot out of the oven
Nom Nom Nom

Happy Eating!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap: Stay-Camping-Ation

This weekend was awesome. It was busy and full of fun activities, but not so full that I was exhausted. After stopping at two grocery stores on Friday, I whipped up some delicious spinach and shrimp enchiladas. When cooking Mexican food a Strawbeerita is a must as well. A lot of people asked for this recipe after I posted this picture on Instagram so I will be posting it manana. They really are delicious and easy to make!

The next morning I started off the day with a Hero WOD at CrossFit. It was a toughy. Hero WODs are my favorite. Not only are the hardest workouts we have but I really think they honor the fallen men and women they are named after. I often get teared up when thinking about their namesakes during the workout. Saturday's was in tribute to a fallen firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Some of the guys in our gym who are firemen did the ENTIRE workout in their fire suits and it was emotional and inspirational. So thankful for their service to our community!

Kx Photography
Thank you Max and Taylor for your service!
Following the WOD, Josh made me a delicious breakfast of mainly bacon and then we went to Lowe's to get some plants for his back yard. I have never understood the fascination/enjoyment people get out of gardening, but now I do! It was so satisfying ripping all of the dead plants out of the planters and then filling them with vibrant new blooms and plants. I also loved being outside for most of the day. It was still in the low 60s and rather chilly when the wind blew, but the sun never felt so good! I think I am now addicted to gardening...who would have thunk? Plus Josh's back yard was transformed!

That night Beth came over for some staycation "camping". By camping I mean we were outside for most of the night and somewhat away from the city. We grilled burgers, sat by the fire pit, visited and then ended the evening with some reruns of Veep. The only think missing from our camping experience (minus a tent and actual camp-site) were the smores. We will get those next time. 

The next morning, the three of us stopped at our favorite bagel shop before heading out to Great Falls for some hiking with Emily and Phil. Great Falls has been on my list for awhile and I was so excited to finally check it out this weekend. I was expecting a strenuous hike with an amazing water fall as the finale. Well, it is a bit different than that. The Falls are pretty much in the parking lot haha. So after a few group pics and getting acquainted with a very friendly corgi, we started hiking...which was just walking. The trails at Great Falls are far from difficult, but it was beautiful and the easy terrain made it possible to chat while we walked! 

After a nap and Mass that evening, I whipped up this recipe that I adapted from the Pioneer Women. It was great and so easy. The weekend ended with the thing we had been waiting for all day...the premiere of Game of Thrones. It was sooooo good, until I fell asleep in the middle of it. Ugh! I can't stay awake past 9:30 anymore. Guess I will be rewatching it tonight :)

How was your weekend?

Do you watch Game of Thrones? 

Friday, April 4, 2014

5 Things Friday

It is finally warming up in DC! Wahoo! FINALLY. I am excited for a weekend of spending some time outside. This weekend on the docket we plan to go hiking, do some gardening, and crossfit (of course). Have a great weekend everyone. I hope you have some time outside as well :)
We had Venison Tacos and Venison Tamales for dinner one night this week. Yum yum yum! 

Latest Mocktail I am obsessed with: Topo Chico, Lime and Cranberry Juice.

I think I have mentioned this before, but Josh lives next to a Grocery Store comprised of all Latin/Mexican foods. I LOVE IT. Look at this wall of queso fresco...nom nom nom. 

My sweet friend Chloe gave me these cute measuring cups on Monday. Aren't they precious? I love them! Thank you Chloe!

Best part of my week was receiving this in the mail from my wonderful sister! Can't wait to stand by her side when she marries the man of her dreams :)