Thursday, December 30, 2010

How It's Made: Cotton Yarn

Thank you Giant

The letter I submitted to Giant Customer Service:

I want to thank you for opening your store on Christmas Day. If it were not for you, our Christmas dinner would have been all sides and no turkey. Here's the story:
I bought a fresh turkey from an unnamed grocery store and the expiration date was for sometime in January. So I put the turkey in the refrigerator and did not open it until Christmas Eve at 9pm. My husband and I had planned to brine the turkey the night before but when we opened the turkey, a sulfurous smell filled the kitchen. It had to be tossed in the trash. What a waste! We went back to the unnamed grocery store but they had closed at 7pm. And were closed on Christmas Day. That is when I started crying. Luckily my husband was driving and we went to Giant next. Although the store was closed for the night, it would open on Christmas Day at 8am. Hallelujah! Hope restored! So on Christmas day we woke up early and were at the store at 8:01am as the store opened its doors. We were in luck! They had a fresh turkey available! We paid and thanked the cashier profusely, rushed home to brine the turkey for a few hours before popping it in the oven.
It was a Christmas miracle. Our turkey was the centerpiece of the table, delicious and juicy. And although there would have been plenty of food without it, it just would not have been the same.

Thank you Giant for making my Christmas a joyous one!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Not only was it great to spend time with my parents but while they were here, they did SO MUCH around the house! After repeated attempts to get them to just relax, I let them do what they wanted. My Mom was constantly cooking and washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Plus she did laundry and changed the sheets on the guest bed before she left. My Dad replaced my kitchen faucet, put in a new toilet paper holder in the guest bathroom, adding a dusk-to-dawn sensor to the exterior house light so that it only turns on when it's dark, checked my fireplace, got my bathroom faucets working better and added weather stripping to the balcony door to keep the cold air out - and the hot air in! He was even going to install new light fixtures in our kitchen but Max and I couldn't agree on anything. In addition to all that, they went to the gym almost everyday. And my Dad started writing a blog.

Not my idea of a vacation but they seemed happy about it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Empty house

My parents came down from Canada for Christmas. It was great having them here and I was sad to send them off yesterday. Max is back at work today so it's just me and the cats. Here's a quick recap of the past week.

My Mom at the train station
Iceskating with my Dad and my neighbor's child, Caleb
Lunch with Mom and Dad at Rock Bottom
Checking out some recipes. The next morning we had barley for breakfast. It was good!
“The Art of Seuss: A Retrospective” Walking through a renowned, museum-quality exhibit that showcases artifacts and memorabilia celebrating the art of Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.
Me and Max at ICE! How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Me and my Mom

Dad and Mom at the Gaylord National Harbor

Dinner at Rosa Mexicano

National Harbor

National Christmas tree in Washington, DC

Dinner at Carrabas

Chinese for lunch including beef noodle soup, green beans and pork, fried dofu and pot stickers

Mom cooking the sausage for the stuffing for Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner with my parents and Max

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Despite the cold, on Thursday I finally went into DC to see the National Christmas tree, train set and the state trees this year. There was a helicopter that was shuttling back and forth to the White House.

Had dinner that night with our friend Slav at Carrabas in Bowie, Maryland.

Afterwards we went to see the Winter Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park in Prince George's County. It's open 5-9:30pm every night until January 2 so you should go if you can. Only $5 per car and TOTALLY worth it!

Last night we got together with our neighbors. What a great way to spend Christmas Eve!

Hope you are all enjoying the holidays. Be good to your family. Spend time with your friends. Remember to say thank you. And for every meltdown, try to get a little perspective and think about the things that are really important.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hello Kitty

My Dad had a recent business trip to China. He saw a feral cat in a park in Hong Kong and took these pictures for me.

Apparently the cat didn't move the whole time he was there.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Driving update

Haven't done one of these in awhile... maybe I didn't want to jinx it but after three months I can honestly say - I'm driving! Sometime in September (I think) I started driving to work everyday. Then suddenly I was driving to the mall, taking the highway to get there! Driving in the dark! And the rain!

I don't know what came over me but at this point I am now comfortable driving pretty much anywhere minus the 495 beltway around DC and in DC city itself. Not bad considering all those years that I couldn't drive much at all. So yay!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend in New York

I had a day off on Friday so Max and I spent the weekend in New York!

On Saturday, as part of my Christmas present, Max bought tickets for us to see the Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. It was amazing! Like a Disney show, the Nutcracker, and a Christmas mass all in one. There was even a 3D element for Santa to get from the North Pole to Radio City Hall. I cried three times.

I took my picture with a Christmas Elmo (dressed up for tips), saw the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, got some coffee at Starbucks, and made our way to the beginning of the holiday window tour (doing a little shopping along the way - I bought a new purse and matching wallet). We had lunch at Cafe SFA on the 8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, mostly because I desperately needed a break from all the crowds and my feet also needed a break. Lunch was good - my only complaint was the tiny bathrooms with only two stalls. Picked up something for my sister and got it all fancy wrapped.

By far, the best holiday window was Macy's, of course, but my favorite of all time is still the ones I saw in Toronto at the Hudson's Bay Company. After dark, we went back to Rockefeller Center to see the tree again. It was a mob scene. SO MANY PEOPLE. (I was later told that the best time to go is at 2am.)

We had dinner at 9:30pm with one of Max's friend's, Melissa, at Le Souk, a Moroccan restaurant/hookah bar. The apple mojito was delicious! At some point, the restaurant switched over to an Arabic dance club. We stayed out until 2:30am I think. As we were leaving, I was hit on by a good looking 20-something guy. Highlight of my night!

On Sunday, Max and I had brunch with our highschool friend Angela and her husband Alan at their place. On a whim we bought them a three foot Christmas tree from a guy who was selling fresh cut trees on the street - which was perfect because they didn't have one. All in all, a great Christmas in New York weekend!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Old Arbor Turnery

Matthew Hutchinson, a friend of mine from high school, is the owner of Old Arbor Turnery, a full service custom woodworking shop which focuses on hand made and custom woodturned products. Take a look!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Morning Glory

Last night I went to the movies with a friend to see Morning Glory. It was so funny! There were many moments that both of us were laughing out loud. There's a great cast and The Weepies (a band that I like and went to see recently) performed one of the songs.

Check it out!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


On Saturday night, Max and I went out to dinner with one of his work friends and a group of her friends. We had dinner at Zatinya. The food was fantastic! Since there were six of us, we were able to order lots of dishes. My favorites were the Baba Ghannouge (not usually something I like), the Turkish Style Pastirma, the Kibbeh, and the duck roll that was on the Specials menu. Really liked the pitcher of Pom Fili too - white wine, vodka, triple sec, and pomegranate juice. Yum!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Holiday season

Over the weekend, Max and I put up our Christmas tree and lights. We also took our neighbor Caleb, who is 5, to the community holiday party. He had a little fun at the craft table but, sadly, had no interest in having his picture taken with Santa. I guess that's how it goes with kids sometimes. On the way home, we had a "Christmas Adventure" and took pictures with various Christmas trees - which I think was the most fun.