New York State of Mind

6 May

Tomorrow we are going on our first real trip as husband and wife. I didn’t realize that until right this minute either, but it’s true! Yes, we went to the beach for the weekend the week after we got back from our honeymoon, but since we didn’t actually make it to the beach itself (aka just drank an obscene amount and went to the bar) I don’t really count it as a trip!

But tomorrow, we are off to NYC with my older brother and his girlfriend to visit my friend Kevyn (whom I have known since I was 7!) for her 25th birthday!! We went last year and had an absolute blast – cramming as much as we could into only 2 nights and 2 days in the city. We don’t plan anything beforehand. We just let Kevyn be our tour guide and see where it takes us. The only plan we have is to attend her Tie-Dye rooftop birthday party on Saturday night. I already bought us 2 brand new white t-shirts so we can get our tie-dye on. We leave tomorrow after work and I am beyond excited!! Here is some of the fun stuff we did last year…

Had authentic NY Pizza (and garlic knots – which were amazing)

Walked around Central Park (it was REALLY windy)

Walked to Chelsea Piers and went to The Frying Pan – a bar on a boat!

And drank way too many Coronas

Visited Highline Park – an old subway stop turned into a beautiful raised park


Drove all around town and saw Gramercy


Saw my Uncle’s play “Everyday Rapture” (an awesome show)

And celebrated Kevyn’s birthday at a “Nothing Normal” karaoke party

Even though these pictures show that we did a lot – they only cover about half of the things we did and places we went that weekend! I can’t wait to share my weekend with you once we are back! AND I have been working on some DIY projects (magnets, dry erase board, spray painting and more) that I have wanted to share for awhile but haven’t completed. Well as of next week, all my projects will be done and I can’t wait to show you! I hope you all have a great weekend. And don’t forget that it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. Even if you can’t be with your mom physically, make sure to let her know that you care about her!!

Spring cleaning

2 May

Happy spring all! Yes, it’s been a minute since I wrote my last post, but once again, my dear husband has been getting on my case about writing something. He says that I am letting my readers down. I don’t know about that, but I am working from home today and I’m bored so I thought it would be a perfect time to conjure up a new post!

Things have been going well for us recently. We had been going to dog training and Nixon has done really well. It’s as much about training us humans as it is the dog. Actually, I feel like it might be harder to train the people! But Nixon I have been doing a lot better and feeling more confident and in control when we go on walks. We have also switched to a pinch collar (for walks only) and it has made a world of difference. Pretty sure if someone was pinching me any time I did something wrong I would stop too. I initially thought the pinch collar was a little inhumane, but I’ve done some reading on it and many dog trainers believe that a pinch collar is actually less harmful to a dog’s throat/neck than a choke collar. We don’t use the choke collar at all anymore.

In addition to dog training, we planted seeds for our garden. By we I mean Noah and I just take pictures of the sprouts every day. We planted radishes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, watermelon, canteloupe, onions and sage. Things are definitely starting to pop out of the ground but it will still be a while before we have anything to eat. It’s exciting to watch them grow though! I have been taking a picture of the planters every day to track their growth.

Here’s what it looks like right now…

In other news, I just got back on Twitter. I’m still new to it so I’m learning the ropes but I’m liking it as of yet. If you’d like to follow me (read: I’m begging you to follow me) you can find me there as Clareberrys.

Lastly, we got our tax return check which means that soon we will be booking our vacation for December of this year – I can’t wait to write about it when we finally do! So, what’s been going on with you guys? I’d love to hear how you have been enjoying this wonderful spring so far!

Fun around town

11 Apr

Well 9 days have gone by since my last post but it’s only because I was waiting for my weekend so I could actually have some fun things to write about! The week itself was fairly uneventful. Pretty much every day stuff. Wednesday night we went to dinner at La Sandia with some friends. It was a random get together but fun nonetheless. All four of us had fajitas and I have to be honest, they were subpar. Noah and I were so disappointed and still craving fajitas that on Thursday we decided to make our own. Noah made chicken fajitas for himself and veggie fajitas for me with peppers, onions and zucchini. They were delicious!!

Friday night we went out with my sister in law and some friends to celebrate her recent engagement!! While her wedding won’t be for a couple years she is very excited (as are we) to be engaged to her boyfriend of almost 4 years. Her boyfriend lives in Charlotte, NC so he wasn’t able to join us but that didn’t stop us from celebrating. I think we were cheersing every 10 minutes or so. It was fun! I also got to see my friend Kate who I haven’t seen in a while. There aren’t many good pictures from the night but here’s a cute one Kate and I took.

Saturday was a great day. We went to dog training for two hours and Nixon did a really good job. After our session I had a surprise date planned for Noah. I decided to surprise him by planning for us to go to two record stores in DC. Noah has been wanting to go to a good record store for a while now so he was very excited when I told him what we were doing! The first place we went was called Red Onion Record and Books. It was located near Dupont Circle on 18th St. This place was pretty small and didn’t have a huge selection of records. It kind of felt like a yard sale with a bunch of records instead of an actual record store. I didn’t get any pictures inside (it wasn’t interesting enough) but I did take this picture of the front of the store and the entry way.

Noah bought his favorite Allman Brothers album from this store. Then we walked over to Som Records on 14th Street. This place was much more awesome than the first one. There was a huge selection of records, the decor was pretty cool and they even had a record player there that you could sample records on to see if you liked what you were buying. I got some good shots of this place. In the first shot, if you see the white door underneath the set of stairs leading up to 1843 – that is the entrance to the store.

And on our way back home I of course had to get a shot to prove I am always a tourist in my hometown..

For dinner I decided that we would try what is acclaimed to be the best NY Style Pizza in the area at Flippin Pizza. They have locations in the DC area and California. We were originally going to eat at the one in DC but decided just to get one to go from the location right near our house. Their pizza was really good but I have to say not the best in the area. The best to me is Tony’s in Manassas. It is seriously melt in your mouth NY style. Heaven.

Last night we had a BBQ with some friends. It was nice enough early on that we were able to eat outside. We had chicken, steak, salmon (for me), salad, zucchini and onion kabobs. It was all really delicious. After dinner we walked into Arlington to a place called Crumbs Bake Shop. We got cupcakes and milk and ohhh my gosh were they delicious. But also filling!!

All in all it was a great weekend! I hope you all had a great weekend too – back to the grind!

The Name Game

2 Apr

Soo I hadn’t seen this one before but I found it on a new blog I’m reading – Forget Me (not) and I thought it would be fun…for me at least!

1. How did your parents decide on your name?
My mom and I were just emailing about this yesterday. I was named after my great grandmother, my Grandpa’s grandmother, Clara. My Grandpa was raised by his grandmother and my mom says she always knew she wanted a daughter named Clare.

2. Do your initials (first/middle/last) spell anything funny?
My maiden initials  were CVS just like the store. Now I’m CVR and they aren’t as interesting!

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you drop your middle name & take your maiden name as your middle name? (Or if unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
I kept my middle name from my childhood. My name is Clare Victoria and I’ve always loved my first and middle name. Call me narcissistic but my mom did good on this one and I didn’t want to change it! I also have two brothers who will (possibly) have children to carry on our last name.

4. Are you or will you name your children systematically? (ie, same first letter, same origin, etc)
No, I will name my children whatever I want not according to any system. My brothers and I all have first names that are one syllable but I don’t know if my parents did that on purpose or not.

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
I have been choosing baby names ever since I can remember. But they always change. I remember at one point being obsessed with the name Tierney. I still think its a beautiful name but I don’t think it would fit with my new last name.Noah and I will name our first son Benjamin Douglas and I also love the name Charlotte for a girl.
6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
We don’t have any juniors/seniors type of thing but we have all been named after someone in the family.
7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
I look at the meaning and the name itself. However I don’t know if a weird meaning would make me reconsider a name!

8. Do you name pets with human names or pet names?
Yes and no. My dog growing up was named Dillon. I like that name for a boy child too! Our current pets’ names are Kiddie, Nixon and Eddie (but we sometimes call him Edward)….Eddie is the only human name to me.

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
I can never name my child Nate. I can’t get into the reasons on my blog though!

10. What are some of your favorite names and why?
For a girl I absolutely love the name Charlotte. I also really like the name Zooey and Avery even though I know they’re overdone. For a boy I love the name Logan.

62 power questions

1 Apr

I saw this post while I was stumbling around the internet yesterday and I thought it was really interesting. I haven’t answered every question yet but I think they are great things to think about. Especially when stuck in a life rut.I’d love to hear your answers to any of the questions! I might even choose some questions at random to do follow up posts on.

 

  1. What is that thing that no one, not even your partner, your mother or your best friend, knows about you?
  2. What would make you feel embarrassed in public?
  3. What do you think is your biggest flaw? What have you done about it?
  4. What is your biggest strength? How did you develop it?
  5. What do you have to put up with in your life? How long have you been tolerating it?
  6. If you could change your name, what would your new name be?
  7. If you could change your appearance, how would you decide to look?
  8. What color dominates your wardrobe? How do you feel when you wear that color? Why?
  9. Which song do you sing only when you’re alone? What memory does it bring back?
  10. Whom do you secretly envy? Why?
  11. What do you really want? But really…
  12. What is the way you often sabotage yourself?
  13. Who would you like to please the most?
  14. What do you think a stranger’s first impression of you would be?
  15. What recurring dream do you have? What do you think is the message your subconscious is sending you through that dream?
  16. What would you try now if you were sure you wouldn’t fail?
  17. What was that thing you never tried because you were afraid of failure?
  18. What was your greatest disappointment in life?
  19. As a kid, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?
  20. What are you really good at?
  21. What can you do better?
  22. What worries you the most when you think about your future?
  23. What really sucks in your life? Who has the power to change it?
  24. What is your life really about? What is your purpose in life?
  25. What fear could wake you in the middle of the night?
  26. What joy could wake you in the middle of the night?
  27. What are you grateful for?
  28. What time of the day do you feel the most energetic? And what do you usually do in those moments?
  29. If you knew you had only one week to live, how and with whom would you spend it?
  30. Why do you think your most favorite film touches you so deeply?
  31. If you could be a fictional character from a movie or a novel, who would you want to be? Why?
  32. What are you really bad at?
  33. Who would you like to forgive and forget?
  34. Do you often hear your inner voice? What does it usually tell you?
  35. When was the last time you cried without anyone seeing you? And why?
  36. What do you want people you meet for the first time to think about you?
  37. What’s your most striking physical attribute? Do you like it?
  38. If you had the opportunity to go back in time and make a change, would you still want to have the same parents?
  39. If you could go back in time and change things, how would you alter the last ten years?
  40. If you could get rid of one of your responsibilities today, what would that be?
  41. What is the biggest lie you tell yourself?
  42. What do you think is missing in your life?
  43. What do you think is the biggest injustice that was ever done to you?
  44. What type of person angers you the most?
  45. Who never fails to make you feel good about yourself?
  46. If you could start all over again, what would you want to study?
  47. Which type of intelligence do you wish you had: kinetic, visual, interpersonal, linguistic or mathematical?
  48. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  49. What was the one opportunity you always believed you’ve missed out on?
  50. What do you like about yourself the most?
  51. What do you regret the most?
  52. What is the most hurtful thing you’ve ever witnessed? Why did it affect you?
  53. What would you like most to be acknowledged for in your life?
  54. What is the first thought that usually crosses your mind the second you open your eyes in the morning?
  55. What is that thing about yourself you’re sick and tired of?
  56. Who really depends on you? Why?
  57. What was the main factor that played a role in your biggest mistake?
  58. What was the main factor that played a role in your biggest success?
  59. What childhood memory sizzles your heart?
  60. What was the most frustrating period in your creative life?
  61. Do you love yourself?
  62. If you were your own coach, how would you guide yourself?

Office inspiration

30 Mar

Now that we’ve cleared out the third bedroom and purchased a new desk, I’ve started to really think about how I want the room to look and what to put in it. I initially thought that I wanted to paint the room some sort of teal or turquoise. This room from Young House Love was my inspiration for the color.

 

We went to Home Depot and I chose three colors to test out on the walls. I ended up really liking one that is way more turquoise (and a lot lighter) than the color pictured above. I painted one whole wall using the sample can and have had it that way for three days now. However, now that it’s up I’m not so sure about it. I think I was afraid to go dark like in the picture above because the room is so small. But now that I keep staring at my turquoise wall I feel like it looks too much like the color of a teenage girl’s room. That’s not at all the look I was going for. In the meantime while I figure out what to do with the color of the walls, I’ve been collecting some inspiration of things I’d like to have in the room.

 

A bright bookshelf with painted backdrops

 

A framed chalkboard for my thoughts

 

A neutral chair that I could brighten up with some fun pillows

 

Like these

 

Some fun shadowboxes for displaying mementos

 

An awesome rug

 


Some ampersand inspired decor

 

It’s definitely a work in progress. But I want it to be perfect so I’m going to take my time and work on one thing before I move on to the next. At least it’s a usable room right now!

 

DC Bucket List

28 Mar

I’ve lived in the DC area almost my entire life, yet there is still so much that I would like to see and do here. There are tons of great restaurants, museums, sights and hiking trails and I want to experience them all! Some of the things on my list I’ve done before but I’ve enjoyed so much I want to do again. Oh and note to Noah – if you ever want to take me on a surprise date…any one of these things would be an A+ in my book!

1. See the monuments at night
2. Ice skate in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden ice rink
3. Eat at VOLT Restaurant in Frederick, MD (where Bryan Voltaggio from Top Chef is head chef)
4.Hike the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls
5. Have brunch at Perry’s in Adams Morgan
6. go to the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum in Dulles, VA
7. Go winery hopping
8. Go to the Eastern Market farmers market
9. Go to an Orioles Game
10. Go to the top of the Washington Monument
11. See a free performance on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center
12. Go paddle boating in the Tidal Basin
13. Go to the Dupont drag race
14. Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival
15. See a movie at the Uptown Theatre
16. Do a guided tour of the National Cathedral
17. Go canoeing on the Potomac or the Shenandoah
18. Go to the Newseum
19. Hike Old Rag
20. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leighey House in Alexandria
21. Go to the  Mount Vernon distillery
22. Spend a day or weekend in Charlottesville
23. Visit Monticello
24. Eat at Founding Farmers and/or Farmers and Fishers on the waterfront
25. Go to a Nationals Game
26. Go to the drum circle at Meridian Hill Park
27. See something at Wolf Trap
28. Go to the Falls Church farmers market
29. Go to the National Geographic Museum

 

 

This is an ongoing list that I hope to add to with the more time I spend in the area. The one’s that I have done this year will be marked with a strike through.