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.

Dangerously Delicious

22 Mar

If you should know one thing about me, it should probably be that I have a sweet tooth. An uncontrollable one. I mean, to the point that I scream like a little girl when I see cake (this happened today). So when our friend M suggested that we stop to pick up a piece of pie to go after dinner on Saturday night, I could not resist.

Where were we headed? To Dangerously Delicious Pies. Since we were newbs there, we let our friends choose for us and they were spot on with their choice – The Baltimore Bomb. Apparently, according to their website, the Baltimore Bomb has been featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Guilty Pleasures”. And oh my god was it.

We got home and decided not to heat up the pie because we just wanted to try it so badly. It was absolute perfection. It actually made me understand why people have pie bars at their wedding instead of cake. I mean, I’ve always loved pie, but this took it to a whole new level. I want go back to H Street just to get another slice of heaven. If you are in DC for any reason, I highly recommend picking up a slice – you will not be let down!


The picture doesn’t do it justice!

Restaurant Review: Biergarten Haus

21 Mar

Saturday night we went out with another couple to Biergarten Haus on H Street in DC. We initially went to H Street to go to another restaurant that ended up having a wait of an hour and a half. Even though Biergarten Haus had a wait of an hour, we decided it was worth it. Before we were called (they actually take down your number and call twice before giving up your spot in line) we decided to grab a pre-dinner drink and play some skee-ball at H Street Country Club just a few blocks down. 3 games of skee-ball and 45 minutes later we decided we were ready to eat and even though we hadn’t been called yet, we checked on our place in line at the Biergarten. Lucky for us, a seat was about to open and we only had to wait another 5 minutes before being let in. At first they sat us at a barrel with 4 stools. It was close quarters and we weren’t going to have anywhere to put our food. We ordered our drinks and then spotted a table across the way that appeared to be empty. The waitress said we could move tables but warned us that some randoms could come sit down at any time since they seat as many as they can. We didn’t mind. Sure enough, 5 minutes after we sat down, two older men sat down next to us. At first we all thought it was going to be awkward, but it wasn’t bad. It was so loud in the place that you could really only hear the person directly in front of you. We kept to ourselves and they kept to theirs and all was well. For dinner we ordered a few things. Noah and the other couple split a giant pretzel with ham and cheese (Laugenbrezel share and share alike) and I had pretzel bites (Laugenbrezel) and potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer). The verdict on the giant pretzel was that it was a little too salty and there was not enough meat and cheese in proportion to the pretzel. The french fries that were served with it were garlic fries and were delicious and cooked to perfection. My pretzel bites were good at first (with cheese and horseradish mustard) but then after the second one the salt really started to kick in – and it was overwhelming! Luckily, the beer I had – the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen – had a sweet, peach flavor that helped to minimize the saltiness. The potato pancakes were a little too thick but were still tasty. I only ate two of them. Overall – the experience was fun, the drinks were really good and the food was okay. Worth the price? Probably not. But it seemed to be as much about the atmosphere as it was about the fare. And we did have a really good time so I’d probably do it again if we had the chance. But maybe I would just go for the beer next time instead of the food!




Laugenbrezel Share and Share Alike


Stuck in a rut

21 Mar

In blogging that is. Or rather, not blogging. Noah says that whenever I get really good at something I tend to either get bored or give up. One big example of this is in college when I started making cake balls. No one had ever heard of them and I started making tons of them. At one point we had over 100 cake balls in our freezer. Noah said I could sell them to bakeries and even had a potential buyer lined up. And then I just gave up. I don’t know why…maybe because of a lack of confidence or a lack in motivation. Either way, that was dumb. Now, 3 years later, cake balls are popping up everywhere – even in Starbucks! And I really missed my opportunity. So I guess I’m doing the same thing with blogging. I think what gets to me is I know there are tons of other bloggers out there who are more interesting, more funny, more whatever – and I don’t feel like I can compete. So I figure if my blog isn’t around then people will just move on and find the next better blog. Sounds silly, I know. But I have enjoyed many of the posts I’ve written. Some have been more forced, but most have not. Most have been organic and whatever comes to mind. And I hope by writing about what I like and what I do and what I think that I can at least make someone’s work day a little less boring. Now comes the hard part….getting back into the swing of things. You know it’s time when your mom sends you an email that only has a subject line reading “Time to update your blog.” Thanks Mom…and Noah! I love you both, because without you I would always stop when it feels convenient.


Someone who has made your life worth living for

8 Mar

Yes, I’ve been slacking again, but let’s get back to Day 7 of the 30 Days of Truth. If the question was “something” not “someone” I would hands down say my animals, Eddie, Kiddie and Nixon. So I think I will stick with that. They may not be “someone” to another person but they are to me and they have made my life worth living for. Let me tell you why.

I think having these three pets has made me have a greater appreciation for the little things in life. They make me appreciate the small moments of being greeted at the door when I come home from work or being curled up to when I’m feeling down. Nixon has gotten Noah and I to be better people because without him we would probably not take walks every day. And boy do those walks do a lot for us and our relationship. Our walks are our sacred time. They are our time with no cell phones, no TV, no computer, no Nazi Zombies, no outside distractions. They are our “us” time. Of course we could always take walks – dog or not – but the motivation behind those daily walks has been our dog that fell into our lives almost 4 years ago.

Not only that, but having three pets who rely on you and love you unconditionally make you realize that you cannot be selfish. That you have a responsibility that you have to put first. They make you feel loved and needed. They teach you what it is to love unconditionally, without reserve, even when love is the last thing on your mind.

They make me smile every day. And they make me happy that I am here, with them, as a part of our little family. And I love that.


And now for an obscene amount of animal porn….because they are too cute!

Comment allez vous?

8 Mar

Exciting news – Noah and I started our online French class tonight!! Lucky for me I work for an online university so I can take any online course 100% free! There aren’t any Masters programs that my school offers that I’m interested in so instead we decided we would take a language together.

We chose French for a couple of reasons. The first is that I have taken 13+ years of Spanish and can speak and understand fairly well. Noah felt like I would have an unfair advantage if we took that class and I would be way ahead of a beginner’s Spanish course. The second is that we would like to go to Europe sometime within the next year and we thought it would be helpful if we knew French.

Our first night of class went well. We won’t have any homework for a little while so tonight was just learning some basics (he drinks, she reads, they eat, etc.) using Rosetta Stone. Can I just say I LOVE this software!? It is incredible. It uses a technique called “Dynamic Immersion” which basically means that you learn the language the same way you learned your first language – through only speaking that language and associating pictures with words and sounds. This is the way you are supposed to learn a language. I honestly think that if they used this method in American schools, students would have a much easier time picking up and retaining a language. Within the first night of class I already know how to say (and spell) several French words and phrases. That’s pretty damn cool. If you are ever able to use Rosetta Stone I would highly recommend it!

Ok well…. Bonne nuit! (goodnight)


3 Mar

I saw this countdown on a fun blog I read called Makes Me Blush. Her blog gives me a lot of inspiration for home design and just fin and colorful things (like this awesome dress). You should go check her out!

Five Things I Am Thankful For:

  • I am thankful that it is March and that the time change is only 2 weeks away and spring starts in only 18 days!
  • I am thankful that no one was hurt yesterday during the Explosives scare
  • I am thankful for my coworkers that make my job somewhat bearable
  • I am thankful that my husband cleans the cat litter way more than I do! (sorry babe)
  • I am thankful that the day is more than half over and tomorrow is Friday!

Four Things I Can’t Stop Thinking About:

  • How much laundry I have to do. It’s a lot.
  • Getting a candy bar from the vending machine…or a soda. I know I shouldn’t, but it helps me get through the work day!
  • The fact that we start our French class at my school on Monday!
  • Our unplanned vacation(s) – I want to figure out where and when we are going this year!

Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:

  • Finishing the laundry – so I can drink my bottle of wine.
  • Painting the 3rd bedroom
  • Getting rid of the mattress and box spring that have been in our side yard for 2 months because Kiddie peed on them….time to make a stealth operation trip to a dumpster!

Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:

  • My job and the fact that I can’t telecommute until next month – it could be worse, I could not have a job at all
  • the fact that I have so much laundry to do (notice a theme here…)

One Random Thing:
I lost my wedding band! Whenever I do the dishes I take my rings off and put them on this heart shaped ring holder my mom gave to me. I don’t ususally put them back on until the next morning when I’m leaving for work. Yesterday when I was putting them back on, the wedding ring slipped out of my fingers and went underneath the refrigerator. I stuck my hand underneath to find it (GROSS) but I didn’t feel it under there. I was in a rush so when I got home later I had Noah take a look with a flashlight. We did not find the ring. I thought I would wait to get a new one until we could afford a nicer ring (like an eternity band) but I found a cheap CZ ring on Eve’s Addiction so I decided to get it to be my 2nd stand-in ring.