Friday, January 28, 2011

what does your favorite color say about your career?

Here are my test results:

Best Occupational Category: You're an ORGANIZER

Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.
This is all VERY true! How weird!!

Take the Color Career test here! Hope your results are as accurate as mine! 

creative reading

How cool are these bookshelves?
Found: here

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It snowed a little last night, and it's supposed to start up again this afternoon/tonight. The government has already announced a 2 hour early release. Fingers crossed we can leave early too! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

fun with words

How cute is this?! I made it using the most commonly used words on my bloggy! With Wordle, you can choose the words, color, font and layout. It's SO fun!! Remember my Christmas and New Years creations?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Valentines Day Collage

Desktop background for the upcoming holiday! I think I made this 2 years ago, but I still love it!!
[right click, set as desktop background, center with purple or blue behind it!]

The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Pupatella

5104 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA
I was searching around for fun new restaurants and stumbled across a fun dc blog about all the best pizza places! I was also in the mood for something pretty cheap/fast and Pupatella is right down the street! It used to be a pizza cart but now is a full restaurant.
The fried risotto ball was super hot and crunchy, pretty delicious. White pizza with mushrooms + brie was tasty, but a little lacking. The house-made salami tasted like feet and I definitely DO NOT recommend trying this pizza.
The best thing at Pupatella that we tried was the fried calzone. The dough was sweet and tasted almost like a funnel cake but filled with cheesy goodness - doesn't sound like it would go together, but somehow it works!
Overall I would recommend Pupatella for a quick meal and good brick-oven pizza. Something with red sauce would probably be a safe choice... xoxo A
Pupatella  on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Secrets to stalking

I wanted to share 2 of my favorite websites that I use ALL the time! This first is to stalk pictures. Whenever you are browsing blogs/websites, and you find a picture you love and want to keep, just use Just sign up for an account, drag the button onto your toolbar and bookmark away! You can tag them and search for them later! And if you click on the picture, it takes you to the original source so you can keep track. Here are some of my fav current images:
My other favorite website is It's the same premise, but for websites! I use it for recipes. If I find a recipe I want to keep, I just bookmark it, and can search for it later! I love this because I can access it from any computer or my phone! I've used it multiple times at the grocery store to make sure I have all the ingredients! Here are some of my current finds:
They are so easy! And it's a way better system than cluttering up your inbox or bookmarks. Everything is kept in one place, and is really easy to find! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best Thing I Ever Ate: Restaurant Week!

WOOOO! DC Restaurant Week! LOVE. My favorite way to experience a restaurant is to bring a group and sample many things on the menu. I am a BIG sharer, prob bc I have shared everything with my twin my whole life! If you haven't heard of Restaurant Week, it's a week where expensive restaurants have a fixed menu for cheaper. Lunch is $20.11 and Dinner is $35.11. You need to make reservations a couple weeks in advance (Check Open Table) as places fill up quick.
For Winter 2011 I am going to...
West End Bistro by Eric Ripert
(look for reviews to come)

My friends are always asking me for suggestions/reviews on restaurants around the area, so I have gone through the 2011 RW list and given my brief thoughts... Of course I encourage you all to experience them for yourselves! Restaurants are judged/remembered depending on three components: food, atmosphere, and service. A restaurant can't be considered GREAT unless it nails all three. If one of the components are lacking, it affects the overall experience. I have marked the restaurants that I think are great values for the prix-fixe menus (*). Get reservations early! I know I'm late with these reviews, but hopefully it will help in the future!

Over the past couple of years I have been to these places for Restaurant Week:
*Acadiana: tasty, interesting, good pick for RW
Ardeo + Bardeo: cool place, great wine bar next door, would go for a random dinner night
Asia Nine: bland, boring, but was also there right when it opened
Cedar: reviews seem to be hit or miss, but this was a good experience
*Ceiba: latin-fusion, great dishes, interesting menu, go for RW or happy hour!
*Co Co. Sala: supposed to have a great brunch menu, this restaurant and chocolate "boutique" is definitely worth trying for RW or any other time
*i Ricchi: homemade pasta is AMAZING, delicious food, old school atmosphere/decor
*J&G Steakhouse: love the W, really liked this restaurant
*Mie N Yu: great pick for RW as I would prob have not gone here otherwise, food was good!
*Oya: super delicious! chic atmosphere, good pick for RW
*PS7: great restaurant, would definitely recommend
Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar: nothing spectacular, go for the wines
Zentan: service was a little lacking last time, but good food and atmosphere, sushi was delish

Have been to these (but not for Restaurant Week)
*2941: in a random office building in falls church, overpriced for what you get, but still delicious!
*Art & Soul: haven't been back since I wrote the cocktail list (LONG story) but Art Smith has a great reputation
Asian Spice: not good, tried to stick too many cuisines under one roof
Belga Cafe: authentic belgian food + beers, fun place in Capital Hill
*Birch & Barley: went for Valentine's day and had a tasting menu + beer pairings, would recommend this place for RW or a random special occasion
*Cafe Atlantico: great for lunches or dinners, all of José Andrés' restaurants are solid. (Michael Voltaggio cooked for me here!)
Chef Geoffs: great for lunches or a big group
Chima: brazilian steakhouse, eat till you drop.
Columbia Firehouse: in Old Town, more casual but great menu and atmosphere
DC Coast: thought it was just ok, haven't been in years
District Chophouse: super casual, great lunch place in Chinatown
Hook: good atmosphere, pretty good food, nothing too special
Jaleo: i'm not a huge fan of lime, ceviche, or tomatoes which is all over the menu. interesting foods, would recommend if you haven't been
La Tasca: great for big groups/special occassions on a casual night
Liberty Tavern: wish they would put the pizza with an egg back on the menu, great for HHs and dinners!
Lyon Hall: very interesting menu, extensive beer list
Me Jana: delicious lebanese
Melting Pot: SO much food, I promise I will only order cheese and dessert (next time...)
Oyamel: small plates, similar to la tasca but a little more upscale
*Paolo's: would love to go back here, everything was super tasty!
*PassionFish: in reston, ok, nothing spectacular
*Poste: have been for lunch, but need to go back for dinner, might begood for RW?
*Rasika: upscale indian, great introduction for those who "don't like" indian food. fab place.
SEI: (sushi/asian) went the first week it opened and had an ok experience, would be willing to give it another try
*Tallula: thought it was overpriced but delicious, prob would be good for RW
TenPenh: americanized chinese food. this half chinesey is not impressed.
*Willow: thought it was overrated, but people love it
Zatinya: small plates, great for groups or dates, maybe not for RW
*Zengo: can be casual or upscale, have been many times and have been impressed, they offer basically the whole menu for RW

Have added these to the list for my next food adventures:
**Adour: I DIE - have been dying to go here since it opened
**Blue Duck Tavern: definiely on my list
Carmine's: new addition to DC from NY, family style italian portions are calling my name (but not for RW)
*Cuba Libre: brand new in Chinatown, going to go soon!
*Farmers & Fishers: have been hearing good things recently, I am usually a little biased to Waterfront restaurants as they are typically overrated
Filomena: still haven't been! want to.
Gordon Biersch: casual, great garlicky fries and always good food
Kinkeads: DC staple that I have yet to visit
Masa 14: small plates, want to go!
Policy: have had a groupon forever!
*Trummers on Main: supposed to be really good, but when will I ever bein Clifton?

xoxo A

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Orlando recap

Back from Orlando, Florida, and it was amazing!! We flew in Friday night and went straight to Downtown Disney for dinner and Cirque Du Soleil, La Nouba! It was my first time seeing Cirque Du Soleil, and it was great! It was really entertaining. The performers were really talented! Then we played Fantasia mini golf and called it a night. 
Found: DisZine
Saturday we went to Disney's Hollywood Studios in the morning. We went on the Toy Story Ride, the Backlot tour, and the famous Tower of Terror.
  Then we headed over to Epcot for the afternoon/night. We walked around the World Showcase, visiting and enjoying a beverage in each country. We also rode Mission Space, and the Test Track which were fun. We also saw the fireworks show that night, which was great.
Sunday we got up so we could get to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter right when it opened (which i HIGHLY recommend.) It was really crowded, but SO magical and amazing!! It was everything I hoped for and more! The ride in the Hogwarts castle was really well done. And walking through the halls was really exciting. The pictures actually moved! 
And the butterbeer was delicious! It tasted like flat cream soda, with delicious butterscotch foam. And they had regular or frozen! (I had both of course). 
There were lines to get into Honeydukes (candy store) and Zonkos (joke shop),
 Ollivander's (wand shop),
 and Dervish and Bangs (clothes, other things). But it was really fun to see the magical world come to life. I loved it!! You HAVE to check it out if you are a Harry Potter fan!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Disney today!!

Ah, can't wait!! Orlando for the long weekend!!
Magic Kingdom

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Kissed Centers

Mint chocolate is one of my ultimate favorite combinations. So I knew I had to make these right when I saw them! They are SO good!! 
Taste: The cupcakes really do taste like hot chocolate, and the mint and marshmallow adds great flavors!
Texture: The cupcake is moist and spongey, and the mint kissed center melted in in the center almost like a lava cake.
Would I make this again?: Yes, they were really easy and SO delicious!! 
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes With Mint Kissed Centers
Found: Picky Palate

1 Devils Food Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 Cup sour cream
3/4 Cup warm milk mixed with 1 packet hot chocolate mix
24 mint truffle kisses (or the Candy Cane ones work great too)
3-4 Cups mini marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cake mix, eggs, oil, pudding mix, sour cream and mixed hot chocolate into a stand mixer on medium speed. Mix until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Scoop into 24 paper lined muffin tins about 3/4 full. Place a mint truffle kiss into center of each cupcake pressing to bottom. Bake for 18 minutes, remove and top with marshmallow. Return back to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and just starting to brown. Remove and let cool. You can place a cut straw into each cupcake if desired to decorate.

24 cupcakes

Disney tomorrow!

YAYYYY, can't wait!! 
Hollywood Studios
Animal Kingdom

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


It snowed last night! Not enough for a snow day, but the ground is white. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Where Dreams Come True

So we randomly got a call from the boyfriend's brother asking us if we wanted to meet him in Disney World this weekend! um... YES. I am SO EXCITED for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Read more about it here. Hogwarts, here I come!! 
Found: Universal

Ray's the Steaks

Ray's the Steaks
2300 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209

For my birthday this year I wanted to cross off a local, well-known, always mentioned favorite: Ray's the Steaks in Arlington. This has been on my list forever and it was the perfect treat for this special occasion. Note: always make a reservation. Even on a Wednesday night at 8pm, there was a 45 minute wait, but it was completely worth it. We started off with deviled eggs stuffed with steak tartare which had very interesting flavors and a pretty presentation. As scary as raw meat can seem, this dish is delicious! The crab bisque was also amazing and reminded me of the classic New England flavors which we have grown up on.
We tried the ribeye and bourbon/molasses glazed flat iron, both cooked perfectly medium rare. The steaks have extra char and distinct grill marks which give it an extra smoky flavor. The menu explains how they pick and prepare their steaks as well as recommendations on tenderness, the best temperature to enjoy each cut, and a diagram of which part of the cow your dinner comes from. AWMP! The velvety mashed potatoes and tasty creamed spinach comes free and are the perfect compliments to the massive steaks.

Ray's the Steaks is a must in the area and lived up to my expectations. The bottle of pinot noir, glass of chardonnay, and glass of prosecco were perfect for toasting and enjoying the night! xoxo A

P.S. The sister sucks at remembering to take pictures. 
Ray's the Steaks on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beef Brisket

The boyfriend got a huge brisket for Christmas from his mom and grandma, so we made it the other day. It was really delicious!! It has a really peppery crust, and was really moist in the middle! It also came with BBQ sauce that is SO good. It's really vinegar-y, and I'm pretty much in love with it. I was too excited to eat the brisket, that I took horrible pictures. Really sorry about that. But if you ever need to give a gift, I highly recommend giving someone meat! 
Check it out at New Braunfels Smokehouse!

Breakfast Quiches To Go

I made these this morning for our monthly department breakfast. They were pretty easy, and tasted great!
Taste: Delicious! Great flavors of spinach, onions and cream cheese.
Texture: The crescent rolls cooked perfectly and the quiche was really cheesy. 
Would I make this again?: Yes, if I needed a brunch or appetizer recipe!
Breakfast Quiches to Go
Found: Food Network

2 cans (8 oz. each) Pillsbury® refrigeratedgarlic butter crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls each)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 box (9 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 16 (2 3/4 x 1 1/4-inch) muffin cups with cooking spray.
Separate each can of crescent dough into 8 triangles. Press 1 triangle on bottom and up side of each muffin cup.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in onion, spinach, salt and pepper until well mixed. Fold in cheese. Fill each cup to the top with egg mixture (do not overfill).
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and edges of rolls are golden brown. High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 18 to 23 minutes.

Remove from pan. Serve warm.

It's the weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

I have wanted to make this recipe for the longest time! But it has a lot of cheese and a certain boyfriend has the curse of cheese hatred. So my sister finally decided to make it last night! And it's pretty delicious! She didn't put in onions due to a guest preference, but I think it would have added a lot of great flavor. But she also added corn, which tasted great.

Taste: Pretty delicious, especially the next day for lunch. I would definitely add the onions and more cayenne pepper next time for a little kick.
Texture: Moist and the green peppers added a nice crunch.
Would I make this again?: Probably not. I feel like it needed a little more flavor.
Chicken Spaghetti

2 cups Cooked Chicken
3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper
¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. (We just used chicken breasts) Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Calendars

Need a 2011 calendar for your cube?! Here are some adorable free ones! Just save and print them out. You can even frame them and give as gifts! 
View and download these and other calendars at Red Stamp.