Archive for September, 2008

13 of my Favorite Snacks

I’ve decided that I’m going to get back into a healthier lifestyle. Note that I didn’t say I’m looking to lose weight, which I probably wouldn’t mind. What I am saying is that I would rather devote myself to better lifestyle practices and if weight-loss comes as a result, then bueno! I’m a huge advocate of moderation and portion control and a strong opponent of diets. As an ode to healthier eating, here are my top 13 favorite snack ideas. I try to be healthy, but the nutritionists out there would be very disappointed if they saw salad dressing and popcorn classified as “healthy.” Key word for me is moderation. For many of the snacks I eat, I make it easy by buying bulk and separating the contents into 100-calorie snack bags for later. May seem obsessive, but it’s so much better than grabbing by the box and regretting it later. Speaking of which, I had a roommate in college who would eat an entire bag of oreos or potato chips in one sitting and then proceed to complain about her weight. I’m sure that now she’s dedicated herself to healthier eating. 🙂 Without any further ado:

My favorite snacks:

  1. Oven-baked pita bread (whole-wheat) and hummus
  2. Celery and carrot sticks with Kraft® Asian Sesame-Ginger Dressing
  3. Granny smith apple sliced into thin crisps (like chips)
  4. Sourdough hard pretzel
  5. Handful of dried cranberries
  6. Handful of cashews
  7. Mini-bag of buttered popcorn
  8. 3 oz. of extra sharp cheddar cheese w/ a few Triscuits®
  9. Frozen banana slices/grapes
  10. 1 Dove® dark chocolate miniature
  11. Sauteed onions with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder (a strange snack that another one of my college roommates and I loved)
  12. Nature’s Valley® Honey Oats bar
  13. Dill pickles

I allow myself to eat whatever I want, but that doesn’t mean whenever I want and however much my eyes tell me I want. It’s a combination of will power and smart planning. Think of it this way: if you don’t carry the junk food in your house, then you won’t eat it.

Sept. 29th, 2008

Adobe CS4

Just when I thought I was going to get my hands on the latest copy of Adobe CS3, I find out that they’ve launched Adobe Creative Suite 4. I’ll scream if they’ve released ActionScript 4.0…

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Four months into the working world and being on my own.

It’s been four months since I graduated from college. Within three weeks after graduation, I managed to get a job, move to a new city, and find an apartment, all while [barely] keeping my sanity. I dedicate this post to the changes that I have come to discover with this new phase in my new life…

My very own place.

In college, I would have a very random schedule filled with classes, activities, and lunch dates. No two days were alike, which I liked. You could say that I’m afraid of boredom, so the college lifestyle was a very thrilling time for me. Being busy posed problems with my roommate, especially since it felt like we always just missed each other. Nowadays, I live a very routine lifestyle with a few spontaneous activities thrown in there and with no roommate. I decided not to have a roommate, which I love because I can come home to a place the way I left it. Because of my choice, I live alone… very alone. It’s not easy to meet people and build friendships. Because of that, I’ll admit, it was nice to be able to have someone to talk to or to watch TV with. I didn’t like it sometimes because I would find the dishwasher still hadn’t been emptied, rent checks uncashed, etc. Nonetheless, I’m very content.

Bills, bills, and more bills.

Fall is here and I find that it’s a welcome change, especially in terms of the weather. I no longer have to leave the AC on in my apartment, which is the one luxury I can’t live without, but it’s also the most expensive luxury I have. Thanks dad (he’s the same way). Last month, my electric bill was about $75.00, which makes me wonder if that’s high? Seems high, especially because I’m the one shelling out money for the bills. 😛 Having a roommate is very helpful when it comes to splitting bills.

Being smart (or not so smart) with my money.

Ever since I started my job and moved out on my own, I’ve kept track of all my purchases. I figured it was a good habit to get into. I organized it by month, which is easy to do if you keep up with it at least once a week. It gives me a chance to take a look at my spending habits and where I could probably cut back, like my impulse buy last month of a $100 hookah (my guilty pleasure). Speaking of hookah, I got a new shisha flavor: cantaloupe. It’s a very smooth flavor that gives me a nice buzz. Definitely recommend it.

Rise and shine!

I find that my bed time is much earlier, especially since I wake up at 5:30am. If I go to bed past 10:30pm, it’s a struggle to get through work the next day. I feel old… so sad. But thanks to my morning cup of coffee, I manage to get through it just fine.

Working woman.

I. Love. My. Job. It’s been my goal to pursue my passion in life, which is web design. I always knew I loved computers and I am creative. What better than to put the two together? I am so fortunate to have a job that I can say I love. It’s also a job that stays in the office when I leave, I never have to take my work home with me. Amen.

More later…

Wall Decor

This is the second time I’ve come across this woman’s business, called Studio JK: She’s come up with these absolutely adorable vinyls for the wall. These two are my favorites:

Wednesday, Sept. 24th

Adobe MAX2008 Design Conference

I’m really hoping I can make it out to the Adobe MAX2008 Conference out in San Francisco this year, when will I find out? Le sigh…

September 23rd, 2008: Being in a relationship

I’d be lying if I said being in a relationship is wonderful 24/7. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t think Marcus was the “One.”

Marcus and I have been dating for almost a year now. Our one year will be in December, which feels like it’s just around the corner. Our relationship has been such a whirlwind of happiness with a few rough patches thrown in here and there. The rough patches are necessary for growth in any relationship. I think what tests us now only makes us stronger in the long run. What makes it work is that we’re able to have an open line of communication between one another.

However, it has been difficult recently. He has been working long hours, which makes it tough to even have a short 5 minute conversation about each other’s day. As soon as he crawls into bed in the wee hours of the morning at 3:30am, I think about how much I’ve missed him. With one eye open, I proceed to turn over to kiss him and snuggle for 5 minutes and then reality hits me when it hits me that I only have a few hours left of sleep before I have to wake up for work. He’s pretty good about keeping this in mind and will go to his house if it’s cutting it close to my wake up time. However, lately, I told him I don’t care when you come in, “I just miss your touch.” Despite the stress at work, he’s managed to set aside a few hours to share a few dinners together. It’s interesting how sometimes I feel like I am getting to know him all over again as if I just met him. Luckily, his deadline just passed and things are slowly getting back to normal. While it’s had an effect on our relationship, it’s nothing that we can’t work through.

I was prompted to write this post because I got a warm email back from his dad about pictures I sent of us at the Redskins game from this weekend. It was such a sweet email; so sweet that it just made me crave his parents’ presence. I am so excited at the prospect of having them as my future in-laws 🙂 I love them so much. I am so blessed to be surrounded and loved by wonderful friends and family.

Tonight makes me realize what I’m thankful for having. Oftentimes, I complain about what I don’t have in life that I overlook what I do have. Something that has been shamefully pointed out to me. I’m struggling to look at the good things in life and be appreciative.

On a side note… I have a huge crush on Eric Violette, the Free Credit Report guy on TV. Apparently he’s French and lipsyncs the songs in the commercial. I don’t care if he can’t speak English well, he’s a cutie 😉

September 22nd, 2008: 6 sites I visit for web design inspiration

It’s not unusual for me to browse the web for inspiration when I have a new project that comes across my plate. Here are 6 places I go on the web when I’m looking for inspiration, articles to read, and a place to connect with other designers. I wouldn’t mind networking more with people in my field of work. (Thanks to coworkers and friends for passing on some of their favorites)

  1. DC Design Babes — A Washington D.C. organization founded by two web chicks who seem to really focus on facilitating connections with other area designers through monthly meetings. (see website)
  2. Refresh DC — Another D.C. area organization dedicated to keeping the industry connected by providing a place for people to share industry happenings. (see website)
  3. Cameron Moll — A well-known Utah-based designer/speaker/author who blogs frequently. I think it’s cute that he gave his wife a little “corner” of his blog. (see his website)
  4. 19 Things Not to Do When Building a Website — Probably something every web designer and developer could benefit from reading. (see blog post)
  5. You The Designer — This website nails it. I’ve always been a fan of web (and print) posts that list things as opposed to laying out the nitty gritty in a long article, something I *try* to achieve in my own blog posts. It’s easy to read in terms of scannability and gets right to the point. Websites with thumbnails and photos are a bonus. (see website)
  6. Smashing Magazine — The best for last. A “weblog” that gives a place for designers and developers to head to when they want to keep up with the trends of the industry, such as brush sets, sample CSS code, and tips on designing across platforms.  (see weblog)

September 20th, 2008: Irish brews, lightsabers, and Garrett popcorn.

Birthday celebrations continue…

Yesterday my coworkers and I went to Sine Irish Pub at Pentagon Row, which was a great time. It was a joint celebration with my boss, because his birthday is tomorrow. It was one of the best times I’ve had with my coworkers aside from our happy hours, which are far and few in between and need to be more frequent! We had conversations about many weird things, such as:

  • light sabers
  • future of web technology
  • how Honey Bunches of Oats should have just a Bunches of Oats cereal
  • how I am having a lucky charms breakfast date with Deepa, who has no idea why Americans put marshmallows in everything
  • last Halloween, a coworker carved 4 pumpkins with President Bush, Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, and someone else’s face. Straange.

Our conversations taught me something about our team. Even though we’re so different and we all have our quirks, this is the best part about my job; I work with such an eclectic bunch of people, which gives me a lot to laugh about in the office. 😛

Anyway, they made my day very special. I’m so lucky to work with a kick-ass bunch.

Speaking of Lucky…

Tonight I’m headed to Lucky Strike in D.C., which is a bar/bowling alley/pool hall. I’ve never been, but I heard about it when I was in Chicago. My friend Diana, “Cagefighter” as I call her, is taking me. She recently moved back to the area from Brooklyn. I’m so happy, especially because she is one of my closest friends. She’s a solid girl who has her head on straight. How she got the name “Cagefighter” stems from our trip to Biloxi, MS during Thanksgiving ’05. It was during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and we both won a lottery to spend a week gutting and rebuilding homes. She worked her tail off that week and somehow gave her the nickname Cagefighter. She coined me Mighty Mouse.

Last night Marcus and I had dinner at Outback where he presented me with a card and a tracking number for a package from Garrett Popcorn in Chicago!!! This is not your ordinary popcorn, either. They have this mix called, “The Mix: Caramel Crisp & CheeseCorn.” Normally I don’t like my food touching. Okay, so call me 3 years old, but it’s the truth! However, this is an exception. The mix of the sweet and salty makes it easy to inhale in one sitting. 😉

He also ordered it in the Chicago edition tin, woop. Man, I miss Chicago… ::sigh::

September 19th, 2008: Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday and I am super excited to spend it with family and friends. Last night I spent it with my parents and Marcus. We had dinner at one of the Great American Restaurants, which was delish! However, we all saved room for a treat waiting at home. Back in June, I had tried this almond amaretto cake on a boat cruise and absolutely loved it! I contacted the baker and after months of talking, she got me hooked up with my own birthday cake. We shared it last night and OH IT WAS SO GOOD! I brought in the other half for my coworkers today for after lunch. I have a feeling they will rave about it too 😉 Usually I make each coworker a sweet treat on their special day, but I have kind of slacked on that. Hey, I was busy celebrating, I couldn’t bake last night… I get a get-out-of-jail-free card, right? 🙂

By the way, if you are interested in finding out more about where I got the cake from, go to All Sweet Things to see their selection of cakes and cupcakes. They do weddings!

September 17th, 2008: AIG Crisis, this is funny

Haha, my coworker sent me this link from flickr. I thought it was hilarious given the financial circumstances of AIG.

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September 2008

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