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catching up

Maddie joined me in Maryland last weekend for workout time, pool time, and of course, Ed Sheeran time. We both used this concert as an excuse to recycle our British flag tanks, though I guess not everyone knows their flags so well…

We went to Le Madeleine before the concert and one of the chefs approached us and asked us if we were Australian. Assuming he meant because of the matching flag shirts, I said “No, we’re going to see Ed Sheeran–he’s British.”

“Good, I thought I was going to have to denounce my citizenship.”

When he delivered our food, he scolded us for ordering healthy food at a French restaurant. To be clear, this man’s version of healthy meant cream-based soup, half a roasted veggie panini with goat cheese, and a side Caesar salad. We topped it off with what felt like endless small French bread slices with butter AND jelly, and I also couldn’t leave without a small strawberry cheesecake sample. All and all, his version of healthy was definitely 1200 calories.

As we left the restaurant, he told us to “enjoy the concert and order something fattening sometime.”

We theorize he may want to fatten us up and cook us.

After a short trip to target (I saw a toy online I wanted to get for Lily and neither of the Targets I’ve been to have had it. I said “awwww shit” in front of a baby in one of the toy aisles, so according to Maddie I can’t shop for children’s toys anymore), we were standing in a giant line that looped past Merriweather’s Dumpster not once but twice. At least it only went past the port-o-potties once.

Not soon after we got to our covered seating  (apparently there is a difference between row double zero and row double oh… I thought we were in the front and here we were almost in the back), the storm of all storms unleashed itself onto the peasants in the lawn seating. It kind of reminded me of Titanic, except in Titanic the people on the lifeboat didn’t whip out their phones to take photos and videos of the poor people still left on the ship, or in our case, participating in a mandatory wet tshirt contest.

While waiting for the opening act, I felt something sticky on my leg, only to look down and see a fair amount of blood with no visible source. Was it someone else’s blood? Was it ketchup that really really looked like blood? We’ll never know for sure, but Maddie the soon-to-be-nurse was disappointed in herself for not having alcohol wipes on her and we all know I’d rather hang out with blood-bourne-pathogens than brave the rain to get a paper towel or napkin.

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For me, seeing Ed Sheeran in concert is the closest thing to a spiritual experience I’m ever going to get. If you’ve never seen him perform, he doesn’t play with a band or backup singers–he instead uses a loop pedal to create his harmonies and back track.

The concert was only a little over a week ago but I’ve already looked into his tour dates to see when I can see him again. Unless I can make it to London, it looks like it won’t be anytime soon.

The morning after the concert, my mom picked me and Maddie up and drove us down to Virginia Beach for the week. Two out of six days, the weather was absolutely perfect. The other days, I mostly focused on consuming a strict Bloody Mary only diet and getting in some quality time with the family (especially my little Tiger Lilly):

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She’s a bit bigger than last year’s vacation, where I remembered being terrified of accidentally stepping on her. “Why would anyone leave the baby on the floor for you to step on?” Maddie asked me. I never said my fears were rational.

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I certainly wasn’t as disciplined as I was last vacation–walking five miles every day and blogging every day. I did manage to come back five pounds lighter though–which I guess I have to give some credit to Jillian Michaels videos, hot lemon water every morning, and only having what I will call one “fat night,” where Maddie, my mom, and I decided to share a pizza, cheesy bread, and fries with..you guessed it, more cheese. Oink oink.

We came back a day early, giving me some extra time for some D.C. night life. Natasha and I decided we’re going to start a blog called “The Fault in Our Bars” where we review all of the different bars in D.C. Any excuse to have liquid dinner–you know.

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As lovely as my past week has been, I must admit that Mags still remains in the back of mind. I was thinking about how last year when I went to Virginia Beach, I asked my friend Hiba to check up on the chinch while I was away. She had trouble latching and unlatching his cage, so I ended up coming home to an empty chinchilla cage.

“After about fifteen seconds of initial panic, I realized I knew just the place to look for him–under Carol’s bed. While I’m not sure how long Margaret Thatcher had free reign of the entire house, I am sure that he probably wishes Hiba would babysit more often,” I wrote last year.

I can’t say I’ve healed or that I even want to. Sometimes I see a picture of him and smile; sometimes I see a picture of him and cry.

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Give your fur ball a nuzzle tonight for me, because I sure am missing mine.

Thanks for being patient while we got caught up. I’ll try not to stay away so long next time.

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frugal

In case you happen to be a newer reader, you should know that I spent my first 2.5 years after college living rent-free in my stepmother’s empty Germantown townhouse. As we enter the month of September, I near the end of my first year paying DC area rent (which is nearly 3x more expensive than the Pittsburgh rent I was used to).

While part of me wishes I had taken advantage of the townhouse for longer, paying rent in this area has caused me to think about money in a completely different way–a way that I think is going to benefit me for a very long time.

Now that I’m more budget conscious, there are plenty of “luxuries” that I used to partake in that I can’t even try to justify these days.  Manicures? I’ll paint em myself. Happy hours? Once a week at the most, though it’s probably more like every other week. Eating out? Not if I’ve already paid for groceries that will go bad if I don’t use them. Cabs home from the bar? Are you crazy?! I’ll take the metro. Speed cam tickets? A few minutes of my time isn’t worth the $30 it will cost me to drive faster. Sale at Steve Madden? Okay, I broke down once. But for the most part, I have to prioritize dem bills! Hell, I needed a dress to wear to a wedding a few weeks ago and I shopped for that in Natasha’s closet. Being broke has made me thrifty! I’ve even resorted to getting my hair done on Jill’s farm:

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Truth be told, I probably bit off more than I could chew with the apartment I’m at now. While the rent was only slightly out of my budget, none of the utilities were included in the rent. I’m not going to make this mistake again–despite how much I loved that penthouse suite above Gordon Bierch in Rockville Town Center. A penthouse suite above a brewery that’s just barely out of my price range? Life is so cruel sometimes.

Even though I’ve developed a new frugal mindset after nearly a year of living life with rent, I would hate for you to think I haven’t been having any fun. The nice thing about learning to say “no” to the small things is that you can say “yes” to the things that you really want. Brown bagging my lunch is pretty easy when it means I don’t have to feel guilty about a crab leg dinner at Bethany Beach last weekend with four of my best friends.

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Plus, there are plenty of free things to do in lovely D.C. Botanical Gardens? Check. Window shopping in Georgetown? Totally free as long as you’ve got self control.

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One final financial revelation I’ll share with you? Groupons and Living Social deals actually don’t save you any money if it wasn’t something you were going to buy anyway. Who would have thought! As much as I love you Pure Barre, I won’t fall for that one again!

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my procrastination almost cost me $900

For someone who majored in journalism, where missing a deadline could mean not getting the paper to the printer in time, I’ve got a nasty procrastination habit. I remember one time reading, “if it takes 5 minutes, don’t put it off,” and thinking that sounded so smart. Yet, I just can’t seem to make it stick.

And admittedly, I’m the worst at procrastinating when it comes to paying bills. Thank god for autopay, because I’d be late for every bill I pay if it wasn’t automated at this point.

My procrastination almost cost me $900 this week when my roommate and I gave our notice to our property management company that we weren’t going to renew our lease. One of the agents let us know that since we didn’t give 60 days notice prior to the end of our lease, we’d be responsible for an additional month of rent at an elevated price.

Panic.

I was planning on moving out in September, and was already stressed about having to pay a security deposit, prorated rent at my current apartment, and one month rent at my new apartment. Having to pay two months rent in October on top of that would have been p-a-i-n-f-u-l. Like, going and laying down in traffic painful.

Things got pretty desperate:

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Ultimately, it ended up working itself out. Since I hadn’t signed a lease anywhere else yet, I decided to just start my apartment hunting again in October.

I can’t help but feel like 2014 hasn’t exactly been my year–and I also can’t help but feel like it’s advanced too far to turn it around. Maybe this is a pessimistic way of thinking, but part of me is somewhat anxious for the clean slate of 2015 to roll around.

You might take this the wrong way, but I really didn’t expect to still be so devastated about Mags nearly two months later.

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At the end of the day, it’s not like he was a person. But at the same time, sometimes he was the only one I had. Essentially, the only thing that had stayed constant in the past five years of my life.

I definitely have a void, and I’m also definitely not ready to try and fill it. Brian and I went into the pet store last weekend–just so I could test the waters. I left the pet stores in tears, very clearly not ready to move on yet.

I can’t even try to act like there aren’t a ton of good things in my life. The truth of the matter is, my life looks pretty ideal–at least from the standpoint of my social media profiles.

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The simple fact of the matter is, anytime something bad happens, I pile it on the top of my grief sundae and dig in with my self pity spoon. Just know that I’m trying to get my act together–from paying more attention to the legally binding documents I sign (like my leases), to calling my grandparents more frequently, to actually unloading the dishwasher completely instead of just taking out a fork when I need it, and to limiting my selfies to only when my makeup looks absolutely bangin’.

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werth it

Tonight I reached an interesting low. I hid from my Pure Barre class in my Body Pump class. I always thought I was such a badass taking a barbell class, but put me in a class with a barre? I’m shaking in my socks. Literally.

We got to work from home these past few days while our office is under construction. Of course I’ve been calling it “working from gnome.” Let me explain.

I’ve taking a bit of a liking to the Washington Nationals (Brian might be to blame). In particular, I’ve taken a liking to Jayson Werth. At last night’s game, the first 25,000 people to enter the stadium received a Jayson Werth garden gnome.

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Much to my surprise, people started lining up at the stadium at 3 p.m. (4 hours before the game) to ensure they got their gnome. I got there around 5:45 and still managed to get one, though I know a lot of people ended up gnomeless. In fact, the people we sat next to paid Brian $40 for his gnome (I wasn’t willing to part with mine–not after going through metro hell to get it). Werth it? I think so!

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Speaking of metro hell, I insisted that we walk from the stadium to Union Station after so that I wouldn’t have to take the green line and transfer to the red line at Chinatown. The last time we did, I and several others on the crowded platform patiently waited while a handicapped man boarded the train. Unfortunately, the train driver wasn’t so patient.

As I started to board the train, the driver shut the doors. I caught the left side of the door with my arm. And the right side of the door? I caught that with my face. Normally when someone is caught in the door, the driver will open it back up so they can get out. I just had to squeeze my way out and off (Brian was still on the platform so there was no use trying to squeeze out and on). Werth it? Nope.

My life without my little fur nugget is pretty dull. It seems I’ve made it my goal to watch ALL THE HBO. I’ve gotten very into The Leftovers and I’m all caught up on Game of Thrones now. I was actually watching Game of Thrones when my sister came to visit the other weekend and she said “Oh look! Rob’s still alive!” “What??!! Rob dies??!!” “You mean you haven’t seen this???!!” “NOoooooOOOOooo!” Welp. Maybe I’ve ruined it for you now, too.

I’ve also taken in an interest in playing with my food. Exhibit A, B, C, and D below.

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I either need another pet or a better hobby.

 

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His footprints are still visible in the dust on the base of my floor lamp, and I can’t bring myself to clean it.

His empty cage sits on the floor of my room, and I can’t bring myself to throw it out, though I also can’t ever see myself wanting to turn it into anyone else’s little home.

I avoided my apartment for as long as I could–an amazing four days–so I wouldn’t have to be reminded that he wasn’t there. Even still, parts of my routine remain engrained in my mind–I don’t know how long it will take until I stop trying to feed him on my way to brush my teeth.

Last Thursday morning, I noticed Margaret Thatcher–my chinchilla of over five years–was sleeping on top of his little cubby house instead of inside of it. As I scooped him up to examine him, he winced uncomfortable as my hand touched his soft little belly. I set him into his dust bath–something he usually really looked forward to–and became increasingly worried when he barely had the strength to roll over.

I only had to work half a day that day due to the upcoming holiday, but my greatest fear was that he would be gone by the time I got home. I spent an extra half hour laying with him in my bed, sobbing.

While at work, I made an appointment for him at an exotic pet vet in Fairfax that my coworker researched for me. I instantly felt better and more hopeful that he was going to be fine after a quick trip to the vet.

I came home and laid down with him on my bathroom floor–his favorite place in my room–for two whole hours before his appointment, offering him drinks of water from a tiny cup when he would take them. This would end up being the last time he ever spent with me at home.

We drove through a horrendous storm for nearly an hour before reaching the vet. But even as the storm subsided and the weather improved, the forecast for my poor little Mags was not nearly as promising. His temperature was low, he was incredibly dehydrated, the smell coming from his mouth indicated an infection, and probably scariest of all–the vet couldn’t hear his tiny heartbeat.

I sat in the waiting room by myself for three hours while they treated him. Brian met me right before the vet closed, and we said our goodbyes to Margaret in case he didn’t make it through the night. I held him in my arms and kissed his sweet little face for the last time.

The next morning, the vet called to let me know that my sweet little chinny had made it through the night. His temperature was stable, he was still taking in all the fluid they were giving him, and best of all, his X-ray showed that his heart was fine. She was worried about a dark spot she saw in his stomach, concerned that maybe he had swallowed something he shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, chinchillas usually don’t make it through surgery, so her best bet was to give him a laxative.

She warned me that his teeth weren’t in great shape, and that should he make it through his treatment, he would probably need regular teeth trimming. “The costs can quickly add up,” she said–hinting that euthanizing would most likely be the least expensive option.

At this point, cost didn’t really matter to me. I wanted to stick by his side–bad teeth and all.

Best case scenario, I was going to get to bring him home the next afternoon after another night of intensive treatment at the vet. She was going to show me how to give him his medicine, and I was going to bring him in later during the week for his teeth trimming.

Hopeful, I went to my apartment to make things as nice as possible for if and when I got to bring the little guy home. I deep cleaned everything he owned before getting ready for a party at the Capitol for the fourth.

The party was a nice distraction. I ate finger sandwiches and drank wine and overlooked the National Mall from the steps of the Capitol building. For minutes at a time, I was able to forget about the nightmare of an evening I’d had the previous day. And when I did remember, I was hopeful that it was going to all be worth it.

Around 7 p.m., I saw a number calling me that I didn’t recognize and my stomach sank–the vet wasn’t supposed to call me until the next morning. Something is wrong.

My festive red, white, and blue sunglasses weren’t enough to veil the tears that escaped their way beneath the lenses–gaining speed off the contours of my cheek before plunging off my chin and onto the navy dress with white polka dots that I’d had picked out for the occasion weeks before–weeks before when Mags was fine, or at least appeared to be.

“Hello?”

His temperature had destabilized; his respiratory system was failing.

She told me this as I stared at my feet on the steps of the patio. It’s almost as though I couldn’t bear to  gaze upon the Washington Monument basking in the fading July summer sunlight or look out at the mob of people on the National Mall–all of them celebrating freedom while I felt chained to those steps by the tendrils of my own breaking heart.

On April 12, 2011, I celebrated Margaret Thatcher’s birthday. Well really I was celebrating the anniversary of the day I brought him home. This was the first photo I ever took of him:

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In that post, I wrote that I was looking forward to our next 20 years together. You see, what most people don’t realize is that chinchillas have an amazing lifespan–most of them will outlive a dog.

But this wasn’t the same chinchilla that had been my most faithful companion for the past five years. I once made the decision to take my bed off it’s frame because I couldn’t keep Mags from going up inside my box spring and chewing on the wood–he had so much energy! The chinchilla I had dropped off at the vet the night before couldn’t even lift his head off the towel his aching body rested on.

On July 4, 2014, in one of the most unselfish decisions I’ve ever made, I decided to let the vets end his suffering.

I retreated into the Capitol building to try to find a place to privately call my mom. I ended up outside of the old Supreme Court chamber and wondered if any decision they ever had to make hurt as much as the one I just did.

Maybe I sound dramatic.

I’m okay with that.

I just wanted to let you know that the star of the show I’ve called my life (and my blog) for the past five years is no longer with me and that I stood by him and tried to give him every chance I could. I’m extremely thankful to have had a pet that made me a little more interesting of a person and who didn’t hold it against me that I named him after a female British prime minister.

I always knew I loved him–I guess I just didn’t know how big of a hold on my heart he actually had.

Photo on 10-24-12 at 8.20 PM #3
i cannot keep my room clean, can’t keep my headphones from tangling and my music from blasting
and the pen from bleeding through the page, and the
stairs from leading both up and down, and the river
from the ocean and the sun
from the sky, and i can’t help the fact that i stay up
too late
every night, and i miss you. [source]

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cran fan

Now I’m no fashion blogger, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from all the fashion blogs I read, it’s that trends tend to come back a second time around. So obviously keep abso-fucking-everything in your closet for when it comes back a second time around. Poncho? Keep it. Flared jeans? Keep em. Cargo pants? You never know.

Now that boyfriend jeans are back in style, I’m sad to report that I have not found a single pair I liked. Oddly enough, it didn’t take boyfriend jeans a long time to make their comeback–I remember wearing them just a few short years (and a few pounds) ago in college.

So since I have not found any new boyfriend jean prospects, I’m going to just have to try to get back down to my college weight to fit in the old ones (and hope it doesn’t take so long that boyfriend jeans are no longer in style). I’ve enlisted the help of 100% cranberry juice.

Back when I was a health and fitness blogger, I read about 100% cranberry juice while researching The Fat Flush Plan.

The actual recipe for “Fat Flush Water” is just 7 oz. of water with 1 oz. of PURE cranberry juice (you’ll know you’ve got the right stuff it has cranberry as the only ingredient and tastes extremely bitter–don’t worry, you’ll get used to it).

According to the Fat Flush website, Fat Flush water works to get rid of bloat and stubborn fat deposits. “It works so well that we’ve heard from Fat Flushers who have lost as much as 6 to 7 lbs of backlogged water weight in the first day!” the site reports.

Why Cranberry Juice?

According to the Fat Flush website,

Cranberry juice is a natural diuretic and packed with flavonoids, enzymes and organic acids such as malic acid, citric acid, and quinic acid which have an emulsifying effect on stubborn fat deposits in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system — the body’s “garbage collector” — transports all kinds of waste products not processed by the liver. With the help of the organic acid components, cranberry juice digests stagnated lymphatic wastes. This explains why so many Fat Flushers report that their cellulite disappears!

Even if you’re not following a specific diet or trying to lost weight, you can sip this tart and refreshing beverage daily to help flush out water weight, balance blood sugar, improve cellulite and keep you liver and lymph in optimum cleansing mode.

Is It Working?

Jill and I have been adding cranberry water all week. Much to both of our surprise, Jill lost three pounds without even exercising (she just had surgery and can’t exercise for a few weeks).

I actually don’t have a scale at my house so I can’t report AS exciting results, well, ok maybe I can.

I got the jeans on–though since they are boyfriend jeans I would like them to be a little looser still:

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Yes, I have a weird belly button and no abs. 

And my post-college clothing that I purchased to fit my post-college body? That stuff is feeling waaaaaay loose. Which could explain the nip slip I had at the pool yesterday. Back when the famous Tara Reid boob slip occurred, I remember thinking “how can you not possible notice the clothing graze you as it falls down or the sudden new-found breeze on your bosom?”

Well, I guess I now understand, because I remember looking down, seeing pink, and wondering how long it had been exposed.

And now for other recent happenings as told from my iPhone and my friends’ Instagram feed:

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I got a new tall blonde coworker, because one tall blonde is never enough. We all dressed up for the World Cup on Thursday (though admittedly I can be seen dressed like an American flag nearly any day of the week). If you’ll note my shoes, you’ll see how desperately I want to be in the tall blonde club.

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I can’t believe Whitney and I have known each other for three years now! She was my first friend when I moved to Maryland. We celebrated Miss Whit getting a new job this week, and I didn’t even mind driving all the way to Herndon to do so (Whitney is worth $100 worth of highway tolls–I only had to pay $7).

I see a lot of shenanigans from this foursome in the future–two southerns, one northerner, and one Pakistani newly declared American citizen.

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I drug Natasha with me all the way to middle-of-nowhere-I’m-seeing-cows country Damascus, MD for a pig roast at the Janes house. I  made it worth her while by promising her a Jimmy Cone.

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We called the jimmies “sprinkles” and were chased off the property by angry over-all-wearing bible belters.

I wish I could say that was the only ice-cream that was consumed yesterday, but we also shared a “Black & White” milkshake from American City Diner. I may have also had a grilled cheese. I’m the worst lactose-intolerant person (and dieter) ever. Thank jebus for the cranberry juice.

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eucalyptus

“Breathe in deeply for best results.”

That’s what the back of my stress relief candle from Bath & Body Works says on its label.

“I’m going to need to breath in something more than eucalyptus for best results.”

That’s what I’m thinking when my stress relief candle doesn’t quite seem to relieve any of my stress.

In fact, I was most likely more stressed following that $60 Bath & Body Works complete stress relief line purchase (candle, bubble bath, and lotion) after than before.

All I know is, I need to find a good “fix” soon. Champagne, puppies, and shoes, have all proven to be unsustainable solutions.

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ed head

I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a loser, but I’m a member of Ed Sheeran’s fan club. To be clear, I’m not embarrassed by being a fan of Ed Sheeran, I just think it’s very 13-year-old girl of me to be a member of an actual fan club. My membership basically means that sometimes I get free song downloads, alerts for when his music videos come out, and access to presale concert tickets. I’m pretty sure we members are called “Ed Heads.”

So when I got an email saying that Ed would be playing in Columbia, Maryland at Merriweather and I was eligible for pre-sale tickets, I set an “Ed Sheeran” alarm on my phone and refreshed the Ticket Fly page until the tickets went on pre-sale at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

I’d been to Merriweather just once before to see Lana Del Ray at Sweet Life. Although Columbia is a bit out of the way, Merriweather was definitely a lot cooler than any of the concert venues I was used to growing up in Pittsburgh.

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So combine the coolest concert venue I’ve ever been to with my most favorite ginger and musician ever? Sold, obviously.

The best part? I won’t have to sit through an entire Taylor Swift concert following his performance like last time! Oh, and I’m going to get a good second wear out of that British flag tank top, too.

Who knows? Maybe this time I’ll have the balls to dye my hair red before the concert like I was planning to last time.

September 6th–I’m coming for you, Gingy.

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onesies

Oh my dear little bloggie–you’ve gotten what feels like your millionth makeover.

I purchased Thesis about a year ago and it didn’t work quite the way I thought it would. But listen to me–I’m boring you. The important thing is, I’ve managed to jazz the place up about and she’ll also be easier to read on mobile devices now. You know–in case my mom wants to read on the go.

Who am I kidding? I spoke to my mom on the phone yesterday and conversation went a bit like this:

“Hey mom what are you doing?”

“Just browsing the Internet.”

“Oh yeah? I changed my blog layout. Did you see it?”

“No honey, I haven’t had time to read your blog.”

“You literally just said you were browsing the Internet…”

Looks like I’ve managed to lose my most loyal reader.

Alright now let me tell you something embarrassing. I really wanted to fit in at work, so I started watching Game of Thrones. But then two weeks ago I was faced with a bit of a dilemma–to watch GOT or to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

I think you know what I chose, and I can feel your judgement. I can explain–I’ve been invested in GOT for about three episodes, but the Kardashians? I’ve been invested in those big bootay hoes for years.

I still feel you judging me.

Alas.

What else is knew?

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Did you miss the chinch? I did too. Mostly because I’ve been spending a lot of time in Ocean City. Otherwise known as Ocean Shitty or Brocean City.

Here’s the thing–I wanted to hate Ocean City. I don’t know why. My family went to Cape May, NJ every year for 12 years of my life, so I guess I felt the need to show a little loyalty.

But even my loyalty has a breaking point. It looks like this:

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Come to Papa.

I can’t even say I mind the drive…

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My little weekend getaways have been making up for the fact that I don’t get a real vacation this summer and also allowing me to “sharpen the saw,” as my boss would say. Although I must admit, sometimes it doesn’t quite feel like work…

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Final thoughts my friends? Just say no to onesies. Just say no.

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we

I was reading one of those ever popular listy articles called “20 Things I Wish I Knew in My Twenties.” I eventually stopped reading because it was a little to Jesus-y for my liking, but I was oddly inspired to do things like go start a savings account.

And then I bought four pairs of Steve Madden shoes instead.

I wish I was kidding.

And don’t act like you’re surprised that I don’t have a savings account. We’re talking about a girl who used to dip Nilla Wafers in Nutella and not clean up broken champagne flutes from her bathroom floor (I just happened to think that drinking champagne while taking a bubble bath sounded like something that 23 year olds should be doing).

Damn that was only two years ago.

We’ve come so far and not so far at all.

I don’t know who the “we” is that I’m talking about. I guess that’s what happens when you have a formal name and a nickname. You develop multiple personalities. If people called me Alexandra I would probably have to act more like an Alexandra and less like a Lexie. I’d probably already have a savings account and be engaged to a guy with a large collection of polo shirts. I’d be shopping for a nice house in the suburbs of Maryland instead of shopping for the perfect black lace bralette to peak out from underneath a cut up band graphic tank (but really, how cute would that be?).

Enough hypothizing (god I wish that was a word). I forgot to share a very important bit of news:

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Trailing behind the Kardashians–Brandon’s response to all selfies.

On Tuesday I celebrated Natasha finally becoming a U.S. citizen. I’m not quite sure how citizenship works, but I think her becoming a U.S. citizen automatically makes me a citizen of Pakistan.

To quote my ex-friend Brandon (who I never blog about anymore because we never hang out anymore now because he’s tired of my girl drama and has been spending more time with his dude friends),

“I liked her better as a foreigner.”

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I took Tuesday off to drive Natasha out to the United States Immigration & Citizenship Services office out near Baltimore. I imagined it being basically like the MVA only maybe a little bit worse. While waiting for her test, Natasha and I read chapters of I Lost My Love in Baghdad aloud to each other, and then as a thanks for driving her to her test, Natasha picked a scab and rubbed her blood on me while I wasn’t paying attention.

I need new friends.

After she passed her test, we celebrated in the Baltimore Inner Harbor with paddle boats. The guys at the paddle boat place gave us XXL life vests, so needless to say we will both be living in the gym for the rest of the summer.

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One last confession–we went to McDonalds right before Natasha’s citizenship test. It was the only restaurant around and it seemed like such a great way to pre game Natasha’s American citizenship.

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