DC Weekend!

One of my good friends who now lives in NC drove up for the weekend and we spent one night in DC to do touristy things. We stopped at my mom’s for dinner Sunday night on the way back to my place and then I had to drive for about 20 miles in a scary snowstorm with very low viability. Of course the snow all melted the next day.


Rad stuff I’ve bought lately

All Together canvas print from Etsy shop Kiki and Polly - The Art of Lisa Golightly

Orla Kiely Stem Print Towel

Bunny Ring from Etsy shop TheRogueAndTheWolf

Necklace from Beaucoup Vintage


My Night at the Sleep Study

I spent my Saturday night at a sleep disorder center having a sleep study done. I’ve never had one of these before and didn’t really know what to expect, aside from being hooked up to a bunch of machines. My doctor didn’t suspect sleep apnea, but apparently all kinds of fun stuff can happen while you sleep. Some examples my doctor gave me were “not getting enough oxygen” or “drop in blood pressure.” Any of these things could happen without me waking up enough to realize something was wrong.

Sleep Study Room

Sleep Study Room

I brought a small bag with my PJs, a book, toothbrush and toothpaste and a spare outfit for the next day. I did not know until I got there that I could have brought my own pillow.

This is not helping me relax.

I arrived a little early, which was probably good since it took over an hour to get everything hooked up to my body. Each person has their own room, which is like a cross between a cheap hotel room and a hospital. There was a TV, but you could only watch it while getting set up. Each room has a bathroom and like a hospital, the bathroom has benches in the shower and a big “dirty linen” hamper. They also had a bunch of towels, but no wash cloths. You were not allowed to get in bed until everything was arranged. I’m the kind of person who likes to lay in bed to read or watch TV, so that was already weird and uncomfortable. I was assigned a male technician who got me all set up and was then responsible for monitoring me from a room across the hall. He asked if I wanted anything to eat or drink. They had a whole list of sugary snacks and some juice and caffeine free drinks, a little like being on an airplane, but I just got water. I had two electrode patches on each leg. The technician measured my neck, and all around my head, then drew on my scalp/hair with a red oil pencil. Then he “glued” EEG electrodes all over my head. I got electrodes on my face, including one that was really close to my eye and super annoying. He put two elastic bands around my body, one around my waist and another around my chest. These were plugged into a monitor and would track how my chest and abdomen expanded while I breathed. These were really weird at first, but I eventually got mostly accustomed to them. I did wake up several times I had the feeling I wanted to take off my bra, but it was just the weird chest strap. At least they didn’t strap me down to the bed!

The room where time doesn't exist.

The room was set up with a camera and a microphone. I was allowed to read for a while until I felt sleepy. I was supposed to say when I was ready for them to turn the reading light out. But when I put my book on the side table and lay still for a few minutes, a lady technician came in and asked if I wanted the light out. I also got her to turn the heat up because I was freezing. I didn’t like the oxygen mask they tried to get me to wear, so I got to skip that one. It just felt like being underwater, in a creepy way. Too much pressure in my ears. They did give me two things that went slightly into my nostrils and one part that hung down just in front of my lips. That was weird and I kept wanting to lick it away.

Ready for my beauty sleep!

Once everything was set up, I didn’t have as much trouble falling asleep as I had anticipated. However, I definitely felt like I woke up more during the night than usual. I was awake a few times coughing, because my throat felt really dry, possibly the air in the room was dry. I would try to flip over and get tangled a little and I think that woke me up, where in my normal bed I can roll over without waking up. Also, I really should have brought my own pillow. I’m a princess and the pea type and can be very particular. The walls of the rooms were not thick enough and I could hear the technician setting up the patient in the next room. Light from the hallway came in through the crack under the door and there was light from some of the monitors. I sleep best in a complete blackout darkness situation, but I don’t like those eye masks.

I woke up once to use the bathroom. I know I woke up probably at least 5 times total. Sometimes I’d wake up and just sorta think “oh, I’m still in this place” but I never woke up freaking out.

The technician woke me up at 5:30 am and we took all the wires off. In the morning, my hair was crazy. The glue stuff for the EGG electrodes made my hair look like I was auditioning for the sequel to “There’s Something About Mary.” I wasn’t planning to shower there, and had not brought any hair stuff, not even a comb! They had a hair dryer I could use, except it was broken. It was about 35 degrees and drizzling this morning and I was planning to head straight to Target. I had to think if I wanted to go out with glue hair, like a crazy person, or with wet hair, like a person about to catch pneumonia. In the end, I stuffed my hair under my winter hat and went to my parents’ house to shower.

Glue in my hair

It should take about 7-10 before my doctor gets the test results, and probably another few days before I hear from her. Hopefully nothing crazy shows up, and extra hopefully I don’t have to have that test again. Overall it wasn’t terrible, but it was not exactly enjoyable either. C-


Painting Pottery

Last weekend, I went to use a Groupon to a local pottery painting place. I picked out a small vase and a medium-sized platter. The colors go on very light, so it’s a little hard to imagine how the finished piece will look. You have to put down three layers in order to get the darkest color of each paint. The paints don’t mix well, like traditional paint. I’m also a little rusty with a paintbrush. I did a knock off Orla Kiely stem design. I think it turned out pretty well, considering.

Before:

The finished pieces, after being glazed and fired:


Eggs ala Muffin Pan

I got this idea from seeing several variations on Pinterest. I’m a huge fan of breakfast, often waking up hungry and ready to eat. I’m a huge fan of things that save me time and money. This is a great recipe for breakfast on the go, breakfast at work, or even breakfast for a large group since everything is done at the same time.

Eggs ala muffin pan (ignore the odd one in the top left)

I didn’t like any one recipe perfectly, so I made up my own, but this is the one that got me started with the idea: Cooking with My Kid. After a few batches myself, I’ve decided on my favorite below.

  • Shredded Potatoes (I buy the pre-shredded)
  • Egg Beaters (or another liquid egg product. I’ve also had good results with egg whites only)
  • Shredded Cheese (or sliced cheese)
  • bacon or sasuage
  • salt and pepper

You’ll notice my ingredients list leaves room for a lot of options at every step. The recipe is really flexible. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a muffin pan with Pam or another non-stick spray. Make sure you use a medium-sized muffin pan, the smaller ones won’t hold enough and the jumbo muffins will take longer to cook.

Sprinkle in about two tablespoons worth of shredded potatoes, just enough to get the bottom decently covered. You’ll have holes, that’s okay. Don’t worry about pressing the potatoes down, but try to keep them contained in the muffin holes.

Pop the pan into the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the potatoes start to brown and get crispy. This helps the texture of the finished product, although the potatoes won’t retain their crisp to the end.

Next, I just pour the egg product directly from the container into the muffin pan. I leave about 1/4 inch or so from the top, but you can fill them fairly high without worrying about spillage.

If you want to add veggies or other goodies, now’s the time. Add about a tablespoon or two. I opt for bacon at this point. Three to six strips of bacon, chopped into tiny pieces, usually works for me.

Then I sprinkle as much cheese as I can fit on top. The more cheese, the better! Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

I bake them for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the egg to be cooked all the way, but not rubbery.

They might puff up as they cook, but will normally deflate a bit as they cool off. Once they are cooled down, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and put in the freezer. If you are going to eat them within a few days you can just store them in the fridge. If frozen, it takes me a good 2 minutes or more to heat in the microwave.

SOME TIPS

Real Eggs
If you decide you use real eggs, you will need about 14 to fill 12 muffins, unless you plan on loading them up with a lot of add ins. This explains why I had to use a regular cracked egg (unbeaten) in the photo.

Gluten Free
The main difference in my recipe and the one linked is that this one doesn’t use any flour. I’m trying to cut out white flour, so this adaptation is good for that. This variation is also gluten free!

Convenience Factor
Even though cartons of egg substitute (or egg white) and pre-shredded potatoes are not very good food values, I found I like the convenience much better in this case (that’s sorta the point) and each product will produce two batches of this recipe (buy the large size of the egg substitute) so it averages out to very little cost per serving.

Ideas for add ins:

  • bell peppers
  • onions
  • green onions
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • hot sauce
  • pepper jack cheese
  • ham
  • Canadian bacon
  • veggie sausage

J. Crew Warehouse Sale

J. Crew periodically holds a “warehouse sale” in Richmond, renting out an empty storefront and setting up tables full of cardboard boxes full of seemingly random merchandise. I got the tip about the current one thanks to this post from RVA Bargains. The sale is going on through the 22, and they seem to keep putting out more stuff.

I went Saturday morning, arriving 30 minutes before they opened to wait in line outside. There were a lot of pants and tops, none of which I was interested in. The shoes were in terrible condition and I couldn’t find any cashmere (people in line said they had a lot the day before). There were a lot of formal dresses, but I got one last year that I still haven’t worn, so I passed. I totally scored when it came to the coats though, which made the trip more than worth it.

I got two Lady Day coats for myself, one in black and one in a peacock blue/teal color. (I know the photo below is green, it was the best I could find. The black product shots don’t show the details well.) I got the wool cashmere Capella coat for my mom.

J Crew Lady Day Coat

Petite double-cloth lady day coat with Thinsulate®
Original price: $325.00
Select colors on sale for: $229.99
I paid: $50

jcrew wool cashmere capella coat

J Crew wool cashmere capella coat

Original price: $298
I paid: $50

freshwater pearls

freshwater pearls

Original Price: $275
I paid: $10
Clasp needs to be reattached on one end.

Multistrand pearl necklace
A lifelong treasure: five strands of genuine freshwater pearls, hand sorted for size and lustre and hand knotted on silk thread. This gorgeous, heirloom-quality piece is finished with a gold-plated sterling-silver button clasp covered in hand-set rhinestones. 4mm and 6mm freshwater pearls hand knotted on silk thread with a gold-plated sterling-silver clasp covered in hand-set rhinestones. Part of J.Crew Collection. Import. Length: 20″.

J Crew Resin and Rhinestone Link Necklace

J Crew Resin Link Necklace

Original Price: $85
I paid: $10
Two tiny rhinestones are missing on the back side of the necklace (won’t be noticeable).


Anthropologie iPad Covers (and contest)

Effortless Anthropologie is hosting an awesome giveaway for an iPad 2.

The winner gets the iPad and choice of one of Anthro’s super fancy cases. This one is my favorite (so so pretty). It’s also really pricey, so it would be a great item to win in a contest.

Enter the giveaway here.


Goals

I don’t normally make resolutions, but sometimes I set goals for myself and since the beginning of the year is probably the best time to do something like this my goal is to set up a budget and learn how to stick to it like an adult.

I started setting up my info using a finance program. It’s hard right now, because the program sees all my student loan money as my normal monthly income. I need to figure out a way to let it know this is bonus money. I also need to make myself understand that as well.

I’ve gotten a bunch of advice from friends that act like responsible adults. I’m really dreading having to save receipts and track every single thing I buy. But it’s something I need to do, especially if I ever want to actually pay back my student loans, or learn not to rely on the student loan money.


December Bunny Pictures

Merry Christmas! Here are some pictures of my bunny Domino. He is about 4 months old now. My friend got him dried papaya treats, and he loves them so much that he freaks out when he hears the crinkle sound the bag makes. He will sit at my feet under the kitchen table (and sometimes nip them – ouch!). He loves to run around in carpeted rooms, but since he also loves to chew on electrical cords, he isn’t let out of the kitchen too much. He can now jump up on the couch.


“Holiday” Present

We had the office Holiday Party this week. The party was held in the historic downtown area near the office in a fancy Italian restaurant that let us have their private room. After appetizers and cocktails, each employee was given a $100 Visa gift card and a map of local retailers and told they had to buy something for themselves.

My first choice was a store I normally shop at a few times a year (and window shop at about once a month), but they were sold out of my size in the dress I’d had my eye on. So I went across the street to the more upscale ladies boutique. A coworker and I both picked out the same dress, by Max & Cleo. They had to order mine, since they didn’t have two in the same size. It is super cute and I will be able to wear it mostly year round. The only bummer is that it is a jersey dress that says “dry clean only.” do I risk it and machine wash it on gentle? Hand wash?