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end of summer / upcoming wedding [Sep. 4th, 2009|09:09 am]
fun things that finished off the summer (it's cool out now so yeah):
- celebrating my boss luci's birthday at her place
- eating iggie's pizza with kimmy who recently moved near us
- being served amazing dinners all summer by chung/alex, peter/hattie and whitney/jacob
- having a one dollar yard sale and making a good amount of money
- enjoying the return of project runway with friends at whit's house
- hosting our friend ben and his girlfriend jane from new york for a few days
- spending time at cory's parents house with friends for a weekend
- helping peter/hattie paint their amazing new apartment
- purchasing a brand new 23.6" monitor (omg, omg, omg!)

we've been so busyyy. this weekend we're traveling with whitney/jacob to beth + matt's wedding (check out their amazing wedding site that matt designed!) i used to know beth when she worked at gilah press + design and she and matt are perfect together. their wedding is in new hampshire so we're gonna make an eight hour road trip up there. i can't wait to wear the wedding outfit that i've been planning. it's gonna be cute!

next thursday we leave on our honeymoon. guess what? we haven't planned anything yet. not one room is booked. gulp. we need to get on that...
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traveling to the peach trees [Aug. 9th, 2009|03:59 pm]

traveling to the peach trees
Originally uploaded by nathalie.cone

we went peach picking at baugher's couple weeks ago and i am just now finishing up the rest of the peaches we got. we also visited their petting zoo where we got to feed cute animals and watch a peacock show off for us. there was a sign on one of the fences that said if one of the animals got out, could you please bring it back inside the fence for them (for some reason there was no supervision of the animals by a farm worker). sure enough, one of the goats got out so whitney pulled up her boot straps and wrangled him up good.

went to ikea yesterday for the first time in a super, duper long time. i dropped some cash on a new comforter that actually fits our bed size and some pretty patterned bedding. it's looking so cute in there but it still needs something. i should take pics and ask for suggestions. i also got some stainless steel accessories for the bathroom and even that room is looking good. i searched around flickr until 2 am last night getting even more ideas for the apartment. when i get obsessed i get really obsessed.

i made cherry scones dusted with cinnamon sugar today. i don't know what a scone is suppose to taste like (i've never had one!) but i've already eaten four because they're that good.

okay, going to whitney's house for dinner. i'm bringing the scones so i won't eat them all myself.

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housewarming / cory's new job / fun summer [Jul. 31st, 2009|01:02 am]
cory and i just helped our good friend kimmy move into her new apartment and i'm incredibly exhausted, but i really wanted to get this post up since it's been sitting in a text file for a few days now.

we had our housewarming on sunday and it was a huge success. i made pizza dough and tomato sauce from scratch and all of our guests brought tons of unique toppings. buffalo sausage, scallops, japanese eggplant, balsamic vinegar reduction and jalapeño pesto were just a few of the delicious toppings that turned up at the party. everyone pitched in and helped cory and me grill up the pizzas after guests would throw something amazing together. big thanks to peter and hattie for letting us borrow their grill, and an even bigger thanks to everyone that stopped by. unfortunately, i only managed to take one photo since i was too busy playing with food and talking with everyone!

i still need to take pictures of the apartment now that we're pretty much settled in. it's looking really cozy. and we finally got approval from our landlord to paint everything we requested to paint (it's a lot). can't wait to get started on that crazy project.

this weekend is going to be nuts. tomorrow we'll be hanging out at luci's house followed by some drinking at peter/hattie's place (i think). then saturday we're picking peaches at baugher's and then having a cookout in peter/hattie's backyard to celebrate CORY'S NEW JOB! yes!!! then sunday is softball, of course.

okay, so, cory's current job is something that i've rarely brought up: he wasn't happy at all with his current job and has been job searching and interviewing at so many different places for months now--even different departments within mica. everyday he would come home from work and he just wasn't himself. the job was seriously taking a toll on him.

anyway, one of the jobs he applied for was for a position at the financial aid office. though he didn't exactly have the experience to take the job on, the amazing amount of support that poured out for this boy from his colleagues at mica was just incredible. every single person he associates with at mica was rooting for him and made sure to put in a good word for him. of course, it's a job that he can easily be trained to do, but the person hiring could have easily chosen someone with much more experience. this job was something both he and i needed, and badly. on top of the fact that he won't be so distressed anymore, he will also be receiving a sizable pay increase that is going to ease a lot of our money stress within the coming months. we try to be as frugal as can be but sometimes it's still a little difficult to make our payments while also trying to save for something special, like our upcoming honeymoon (i finally bit the bullet and used my credit card to buy our honeymoon tickets since there was a great deal going on at southwest.com a few weeks ago that i couldn't pass it up. if we didn't get those tickets we probably wouldn't have gone for another year or so). this pay increase and cory's positive mental state is the one thing we've been holding our breath for.

man. this summer is turning out to be one of the busiest and best. i hate that i've only managed to take a few shots here and there. i need to get back on the ball!

here's a little photo summary of what this past month has been likeCollapse )
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non-stop summer fun [Jun. 26th, 2009|09:28 pm]
we've been packing like crazy people for the past few weeks. on top of moving on sunday we're gonna try and fit a ton of fun stuff into this weekend just because. i'm charging up my camera since i haven't really taken any photos in a while 'cause there will be lots to see!

one fun new thing i've taken up this summer is softball. for the past three sundays cory and i have joined friends at roosevelt park to play for hours and hours at a time, usually followed by a bbq in peter's backyard. just last week we played against an official league team and creamed them, 35-7. i discovered that i have a really strong swing, but i can't get the timing right so i rarely make contact with the ball. if i can hit the ball just right i know it'll go flying into the outfield (i did it once!) maybe i'll get cory to record how embarrassing it is to see me swinging so hard and missing over and over again. this entire week my right shoulder has been killing me from doing just that. and i kinda screwed up my left ankle from running around in the outfield. i'm hoping it's better by the move. maybe i need an ankle brace.

i've already been planning our housewarming party. we're gonna have grilled pizza. and inspired by a pizza party i went to a long time ago put on by ramsey's friend ari, i will have each of the guests bring a favorite ingredient (mushrooms, spinach, etc) to put on their pizza. i'm also planning on serving lots of yummy summer-y side dishes and things to nibble on that will come directly from the market that morning. living just a block from the market is going to be heaven.

man, every single one of my weekends in july is completely packed with activities. having a new apartment with a backyard will let me play in the garden whenever there's downtime, too. this has already been a great summer and it's going to get even better.
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strawberry picking / bbq at peter's / up [Jun. 9th, 2009|07:31 pm]

me, hattie and whitney
Originally uploaded by nathalie.cone

i had such a blast this weekend. it started with strawberry picking at larriland farm with whitney, jacob, peter and hattie. married couples club! i had never been strawberry picking before so it made it that much more fun. there are few things in life that will top eating a warm, ripe strawberry right off the plant. it was incredible. we also did some spinach picking. and, oh man, i could not believe how cheap everything came out to be!

after a quick stop in the market we traveled for what seemed like forever to find the local starbucks. though we had a gps we just couldn't find it, so we ended up stopping at a delicious greek restaurant instead. i hadn't eaten greek food in a really long time so i was glad we got kind of lost. the ride home was the best because the area was really hilly and it felt like riding a rollercoaster.

later on we met back up at peter's house for a bbq in his backyard. since i was watching desi for the weekend (desi is my boss luci's dog) i brought him over to have a play date with kinley, whitney's dog. while we watched the dogs chase each other, we ate sausages with peppers, potatoes and onions, lots of chips, and drank fresh lemonade and mint juleps. whitney brought over an angel food cake that we later topped with fresh whipped cream and strawberry sauce. it was absolute heaven.

on sunday cory went out and played softball with the same gang but i had to stay inside because my new allergies were out of control. i ended up using an entire toilet paper roll to soak up my snot! after sleeping in a little late i felt better enough to make a huge stack of banana pancakes with chunks of strawberries thrown in. we've still been eating them for breakfast. i also cleaned up the apartment a little bit and finished up just in time to meet up with everyone at the charles village pub for drinks and dinner. we ended the night by heading to landmark theaters to see "the hangover," but since it was sold out we settled on "up." cory and i had already seen it but i still cried just as much as i did the first time around. i love that movie.

we've almost used up the last of the strawberries, and now i'm trying to figure out ways to use up almost a pound of spinach. so far i have spinach stuffed chicken breasts, spinach strawberry salad, and creamy spinach soup in mind. i might also make a spinach quiche or omelette on saturday.

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we found our apartment [May. 29th, 2009|09:35 pm]
after seeing eight different apartments we finally found the one we were looking for. it's a little dated but i think some fresh paint will help with that.

first you walk into the front room/living room that will also become our office/dining space. it's connected to a huge kitchen with plenty of cabinets and lots of counter space. the one thing that bothers me in there is the cabinets. they're old and dirty and could definitely use some sanding, priming, painting and hardware. landlords wouldn't be opposed to something that would help make their place look better, right? that's what i'm hoping, at least. maybe i'll submit my request in writing along with photoshopped photos of what the place could look like once we get our hands on it. she won't be able to say no.

off the kitchen there's a small hallway that leads to the one bedroom. the bathroom is off this hallway. it's a normal bathroom, but what excited me was the linen closet! imagine, storage in a bathroom! that's something we've never really had. the basement is also accessed through this hallway. we have exclusive access to it along with private, free use of the washer and dryer. the best part about this is that the basement is HOLY CRAP HUGE. it runs the entire length of the rowhome and is almost completely open. cory is considering moving his studio down there! it would be perfect.

anyway, if you kept going down the small hallway you'd hit the bedroom. since it's in the middle of the rowhome there are, unfortunately, no windows, but there is a GIGANTIC walk-in closet that immediately had us compromising. off the bedroom is a small mudroom area that would probably do well as an office, and then there's the door to the backyard (company would have to walk through our bedroom to access the backyard but we didn't see one first floor apartment that didn't do this. we rarely have company so i think it would be alright).

the backyard is totally fenced in and is surprisingly large. there's a nice little brick patio in the center and a new raised planter further back that would be perfect for herbs and/or veggies. the landlord said i could do anything i want back there. so stoked. the second floor gal also has stairs that lead to the backyard so we'd love to make friends with her so that she doesn't feel weird about wanting to hang out down there or something, though she does have her own private deck.

i guess photos would have helped. forgot to take some. oops. but yeah, it rocks! my head is spinning with ideas. this next month is going to drag by. i want to move in already!
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financal review / apartment hunting + dreaming [May. 22nd, 2009|06:39 pm]
so instead of buying a house this year we're going to be moving into a smaller apartment to save more money for whenever we do get a house. i spent a few hours last night tightening my budgets and figuring out exactly how much money i need to have in my accounts at certain times of the month. i set up automatic payments for everything so that i don't even have to think about the debt i need to tackle.

i've been embarrassed to mention this but i am in debt for the first time in my life. during tax time i realized that i had completely forgotten to save for my self-employment tax that was sprung on me at the last second. $3,800 and i didn't have a cent for it. i had to charge it to one of my credit cards and now i'm carrying that around on my shoulders. i'm trying to be as aggressive as i can with paying it down thanks to some great advice on paying down debt at my favorite financial blog, get rich slowly. the sad part is that at the beginning of this year i had set a goal of saving about $12,000 by the end of the year. what the hell was i thinking? well, at least i'm not drowning in debt but i now understand the feeling of being in the hole. and it sucks. but yeah, everything will be fine if i just stick to all the budgets and things i've set up. it won't be too tough so i barely spend money as it is. it's kind of a nice challenge.

anyway, we've been looking at cheaper apartments in charles village and have stumbled across a few promising ones online. we're gonna be visiting our top choice this saturday so that's pretty exciting. this time around our definite apartment must-haves are: being on the first floor so that trash and laundry is easily taken care of, a small yard and/or porch so that we can garden and do some grilling...and that's it. that's not too much to ask for, right? right now we live on the second and third floor of a multi-family apartment building with no easy access to the basement. in order to do the laundry, take out the trash or take out the recycling, we have to walk all the way around the block to reach the basement door or backyard to take care of our basic trash/recycling/laundry needs. it's the most annoying thing ever, especially in the winter.

the small yard and/or porch is the other top priority to us. well, to me. i want to GRILL things this summer. i want to GROW things outside (though it might have to wait until next year, though i have no clue about gardening right now). i want a compost bin. i want a rain barrel. i want to spend time outdoors planting, watering and weeding in my own yard on the weekends. i get so pumped just thinking about it.

we'll be moving on july 1st. it can't come soon enough. this was a great place but it's time to move on. we'll be cleaning like mad this weekend since it's a complete hellhole right now (being away for a little while somehow gives cory free reign to be super messy). i'm hoping we get a ton of stuff into boxes for either donations to the free store or for selling on ebay (been doing a lot of that lately) or craigslist.
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nyc for the national stationery show [May. 18th, 2009|03:07 pm]
i'm in nyc with my gilah press + design co-workers this week for the national stationery show. today is my day off and i enjoyed myself thoroughly. we got an apartment in the middle of midtown right off 30th and 5th so there was plenty to do. i walked south and got myself a delicious falafel at rainbow falafel (i expected a huge line out the door but got in and out in about three minutes) and munched on it at union square. i did some people-watching and market-browsing and then went over to a well-known bagel shop called ess-a-bagel. i nabbed a half dozen bagels for my co-workers, a 1/4 pound of cream cheese and hit up the thrift stores on 23rd between 2nd and 3rd avenue. i picked up an awesome charcoal grey j. crew wool jacket for cory for $20, a cute black jacket/coat/sweater thing for $10 and a tiny brown bowl with bright crackle-glaze turquoise painted on the inside for $2. i love visiting nyc!
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RIP mi abuelita <3 / need a haircut [May. 7th, 2009|10:54 pm]
my grandmother died today. she was such a great person. when i lived back home i always felt like crap because i never knew enough spanish to hold a conversation with her. i wanted to learn so much about my past but was always too nervous and embarrassed to talk to her. it's a weird kind of relationship, i know, but that's just how it was. it's hard to explain. dammit. i never knew my grandfathers because they both died before i was born. i barely knew my dad's mom, so i was closest with mi abuelita. no one close to me has ever died before. it's a weird feeling.

i'm trying to decide how to get my hair cut this saturday. i might bring in this photo because, of all the haircuts i've gotten this past year, this has been my favorite one. i'm gonna ask them to add in some new bangs, too. mine are all grown out again. so tempted to ask for a really dark deep red like i had sophomore year. was it sophomore? i think it was. i'd show you but all those pics are on my old pc and it's sitting downstairs in our bedroom unplugged gathering dust. i should back those photos up before it stops working.
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i'm married now [May. 6th, 2009|09:46 pm]
oh yeah, i got married last sunday! it was pretty awesome. everything turned out perfectly and cory and i couldn't have been happier. as whitney wrote in our guestbook, i don't think anyone had ever seen us hug and kiss that many times before. we act like normal friends around each other most of the time and never outwardly show our affection, but now that we're married we do sneak kisses in public more often. :]

and if you were at the wedding, boy, were you in for a surprise! cory and i secretly took dance lessons and busted out with a fun dance to the beatles' "i've just seen a face." cory does a really great job of leading so we didn't bother to choreograph the dance. we just practiced our moves at the gilah press studio over and over again until we had 'em down. see the dance here!

i contributed a follow-up guest list to ramsey's upcoming zine (in her previous issue i wrote a list of all the crazy thoughts i was having as the wedding got closer and closer). this list is called "my favorite parts of the wedding:"

• seeing all of my old high school and college friends in one place
• the mustard yellow peep-toe pumps i wore with my dress
• our first dance. we took lessons in secret and completely took everyone by surprise
• all of the beatles songs played at key points of the wedding
• the bird that was singing and chirping during our outdoor ceremony
• the makeshift photobooth our photographer helped us put together
• reading our vows to each other. i could barely get through mine because i was crying so hard. i also cried the whole way down the aisle
• dancing like crazy with all of cory’s family members and our friends
• the burgundy-colored school bus that brought guests to the wedding
• our friend mike singing ice, ice baby to cory during the reception
• sitting at the head table, watching the guests laughing and talking and realizing how loved i felt at that very moment

our friends and family have lots of pictures online already. check out the photo page of our website to see 'em. i can't wait to see jocelyn and lea's professional shots.

we didn't really go on much of a mini-honeymoon since it started raining the day after our wedding (our big day was perfect though), but we did go on a duck boat tour of baltimore and eat lunch at lexington market. we also celebrated my 24th birthday last night at my favorite restaurant, the bicycle. it was delicious, as usual.

so, yeah. married life isn't much different but it is a cool feeling. still gotta tackle that name change paperwork and finish off the thank you notes.
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