Our Washington DC Trip: The Museums

I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked in the museums because some of the exhibits prohibited photography. Plus, I also dropped Brian’s rather expensive camera on the floor after going through the bag check line and didn’t want to touch it again after that (thankfully it didn’t break). Everyone gasped and looked at me since it fell on the metal base of a post so it went BAAAAANNNNNGGGGG and echoed throughout the entire marble-lined building. It was so embarrassing, I can’t even.

From the American History Museum:

From the Natural History Museum:

The Hope Diamond, that we almost MISSED! I wish the blue showed up better in the pic but the spotlights washed it out.

The National Archives building where we saw the Constitution and Declaration of Independence:

The Smithsonian Castle:

Walking around in Brian’s Giants hat like a damn tourist:

We also went into the Portrait Gallery where we saw all the portraits of the presidents. And they had an exhibit for pop culture with all of today’s most popular artists and actors that was pretty cool. We also visited the Holocaust Museum. It could’ve easily taken us an entire weekend to go through any one of these museums to see and read everything but we only had 2 days. It was all pretty amazing though. My favorite thing was seeing the ruby slippers and the hope diamond. And the Holocaust museum had a very touching exhibit about the people who turned in the Jews that were their neighbors. It was so sad but the museum did a wonderful job.

My tips for surviving a dull office job

Over the last year and a half I worked in an office that was beautiful on the inside of the building, so at least I had something nice to look at over my cubicle wall, but the work was very repetitive and most of the time, mind numbing at best.  The turn over rate was high, and lots of employees walked around jaded and angry. For a while there, I was one of those jaded and angry people too but it took me a year to find this job so I wasn’t about to quit. But eventually I discovered a few little things that made a big change in my attitude that helped get me through the day in one piece.

1. Your iPod will become your new best friend
If your job allows you to listen to music without being distracting to your task, you will want to keep your iPod LOADED with music and podcasts. Hour long podcasts were a life saver for me. Plus, I discovered Pandora has a stand up comedy station that had me cracking up. I must have looked crazy laughing at the computer by myself. Be sure to keep your charger with you.

2. Be friendly with your cubicle neighbors
Having someone to talk to, to break up the monotony of your work for even just a minute, will make the day more bearable. Plus, you can vent to each other about office life and it’s like free therapy.

3. Make a snack schedule
This was probably the most life saving tip for me. Doing this gave me something to look forward to each hour or so because I freakin love food. For me, I’d get to work at 8:30 and would anxiously wait to enjoy my fruit flavored tea at 9:30. Then I’d eat my breakfast (muffin, bagel, or cereal) at 10. Then I’d have a yogurt at 12:30 which would get me through till 2:00 which is when I’d take by 30 minute lunch break. Then at 3:00 I’d have another snack like fruit or crackers. And then at 4:30 I went home. All the while in between, I ate life savers and other small hard candies to wake me up and give me something to enjoy in between. Plus, having these little snacks gave me an excuse to get up from my desk to stretch my legs and throw away any garbage.

4. Take a late lunch
Because by the time you get back from break, it’s almost time to go home! All these little snacks throughout the day kept my blood sugar up allowing me to take a late lunch. Taking late lunches made the day feel like it flew by for me. By pushing my lunch break back, it gave the illusion that it was still morning only it really wasn’t because I’d get to swipe out to go home 2 hours after my lunch.

5. Bring air freshener or a light perfume for the bathroom
The ventilation in our women’s bathroom was HORRENDOUS and because of this, I tried to avoid high traffic times like before and after lunch. If I had to use the restroom though, I’d bring a tiny bottle of air freshener or body spray to the bathroom with me to spritz in the stall before I went in to help keep my gag reflex in check. The person who uses the stall after you will thank you. I had no idea how disgusting some women’s hygiene habits were until I worked in an office.

6. If you’re really bored and can’t take it anymore, clean your desk
We were provided with Lysol wipes to wipe down our desk area and I must have had the cleanest most disinfected desk in the entire building. I took the opportunity to clean my work area any time I was about to snap from boredom, which was frequently. Cleaning gives you an excuse to take a break from your work without getting in trouble, it makes it look like you’re busy, but your mind will get to take a rest.

7. Learn a new task
If you’re able to get training on a new task, take it. It will break up the monotony of your job and give you something new to focus on and alternate between. Plus, the time spent training was actually fun because I got to interact with another human being and not have to really work.

8. Don’t look at the time/make your tool bar disappear so you don’t see the clock
I know earlier I mentioned to start a snack schedule, but I only started doing that once I finally got used to not looking at the time every 10 minutes. One of the buttons I had to click over and over again at my job was right near the clock in the tool bar, so I put a tiny piece of paper over it so I wouldn’t constantly think, Gees it’s only been 2 minutes since I looked at the time last? That certainly made me feel horrible. It’s like putting blinders on a horse.

9. Eventually you will become numb to it all
There was a period of time about 5 or 6 months into my time there where I was an absolute nightmare to be around. I’d get angry at my coworkers for not doing their fair share of work, I was tempted to walk out and quit, I’d take short breaks without swiping out just so I could rest my eyes, or I’d putz around on the computer not really focusing or doing any work because I thought I deserved better. But after a while it suddenly stopped being so hard mentally and I just kind of accepted it. I also probably just had to get readjusted to life working again after a year of unemployment. But I attribute my acceptance to coming up with these tips and things slowly got better. I just kind of got used to the dullness.

A-Z of Me: Blue Hues

Blues and greens are my favorite colors. I’m just automatically drawn to the colors in that they are soothing and beautiful to me. It’s like bringing nature inside with these colors. I can’t get enough. Almost all the rooms in my house  or apartments over the years were painted a hue of blue. I sometimes get self conscious about this so I try to add in pops of yellow or pink to brighten things up, but it makes me feel like a faker. I have a hard time knowing where to start adding new colors because everything pretty much matches already.

Lately, I’ve been all about adding bright pops of white to really bring out the colors in both my decorating and crochet. It looks so clean and fresh!

Bookmark Dump: Ooey gooey cookies, weaving, and Instagram just got easier

Man, not having to work sure gives me lots of time to blog! I blogged almost every day this week. I’m happy about that. We’re going on one more little vacay before we leave for Colorado. We’re going to Cape May next week for a few days and I can’t wait to spend hours on the beach just reading and laying there.

Oh my goodness I’m drooling over these Carmelitas

My blog and instagram feeds have been overflowing with beautiful weaving projects.
Now I’m gonna have to make one because they are so pretty!

You know, Joann’s has some really realistic looking faux succulents.
I’d love to make this wreath with them.

I’m really excited about this app, Gramblr, that you can use on your desktop or laptop to upload camera pics directly to Instagram. No more emailing yourself the photos you take with your camera so you can upload them from your device…or at least that’s how I do it. Ugh. You just have to crop your photo into a square before you upload.

Our trip to Washington DC: The National Monuments

Last Friday, at the last minute, we booked the dogs a reservation at their doggie daycare. We were going to bring them with us but we figured it would be good for them to get out some energy and we’d be able to see more things without them. So we dropped them off and headed to DC around 9 in the morning. We got there around noon, found a parking garage and quickly began our tour of the national monuments (after eating and peeing and buying new sunscreen because I left the one I had in the car and they took our keys to park it so we couldn’t go back).

Our first stop was The White House. It wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be. There were some protesters and some guy preaching loudly about something that no one was really listening to.

Continuing on, we walked to the Washington Monument which we couldn’t help but laugh at it’s resemblance to a phallus. Soooooorry!

Once we reached the monument and looked around a bit, we walked across the grass to the WW II memorial.

We grabbed a giant ice pop and went to see the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. It’s shocking at just how many names are on it.

Next up was the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool. I was pretty excited about this because of it being featured in Forest Gump. The movie quotes were flying at this point.

And finally, we headed to the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial. My legs were so sore at this point!

After we saw everything, we walked (or rather, Brian walked, I hobbled) back to the car and headed to our hotel to check in. Another hotel? Yes! As usual, we had to change rooms to a quieter room. And we hung out by the pool for a while. After we rested for a bit, we headed to Georgetown to get some dinner. We ate at Tackle Box, which had one of the tastiest clam chowders I’ve ever had in my life, no joke!

We walked around after dinner, went into shops, and attempted to go to Georgetown Cupcakes but the line went up the street so that wasn’t going to happen. Instead we went to Kafe Leopold and got the tastiest of desserts. I didn’t get a pic because it was too dark out at this point. But I got a square brownie with layers of chocolate creme covered in more chocolate and topped with a gold piece of chocolate. Whaat?! And Brian got a piece of 5 layer hazelnut cake with buttercream and topped with almonds. I can’t believe how good the food was in Georgetown. Maybe we were just lucky or maybe all the food there is amazing. Either way, it was a great night.

In my next DC post, I’ll share about the Smithsonian museums.