Friday, December 28, 2007

move over martha

45 minutes after a run to ikea later, joanne and i created a bubbly little play room art for miss jamie and miss nina nina.

did i mention that these bubbles are dinner placemats that we cut up? total cost of decor for this wall: $12 (lamps not included). i think i might just submit it to ikea hacker (though, compared to the other entries, this might be the simplest of hacks).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

because i can't sit still

i've been running around the past two weeks preparing for christmas and all that it entails. one day, i'll wake up and realize that i'm really, really tired. but for now, i'm unintentionally keeping up with that drumming, pink bunny.

earlier this month, i found out that not only have i exceeded my minimum hours of work for the year, i've exceeded them by more than 3 months of regular time (i know, i know). so i decided that today would be a day off at a coffeeshop to blog, drink coffee, people watch and spend some time with a great friend. all things accomplished + an added bonus of finishing off some stuff for work (i know, i know - but i'm totally wanting to leave early this week).

anyway, now that christmas is over, i'm catching up on photos and blogs. so, here are leah's christmas pretties in review:

my first christmas at 1404: new house = new decorations. didn' think to take closeups of the tree or decor. the tree is decorated with gold garland, matte plum ornaments, shiny plum ornaments, and large matte magenta ornaments with velvet detailing. hanging from the window are rhinestone-ish snowflakes from restoration hardware; the mama version (more than a foot in diameter) is hanging on my door like a wreath. miniature vintage-y stockings with button accents are hanging from the window sill. also, the theme for this year's presents and cards was crafty brown, with simple silver accents.

now that i'm an official homeowner, christmas presents have been an exercise of creativity. i have a huge family; and as often as people have suggested that i do this - i think i would be lynched if i passed out cookies to all 19 kids that i, as a responsible tita, must indulge. instead, my friends got the brunt of my humbugness (but not because i don't love them - just because i don't want to be homeless 10 months into my mortgage and they understand). though if you have any inkling of justleah, you know i love to cook - especially for people.

goodie of the year: peppermint bark a la leah. used ghiradelli 60% cacao. in the usual leah fashion, i made this more complicated than it needed to be and ended up with goopy snowflakes but in the end remembered to KISS. i even had extra to top off some brownies for a merry little pot luck.

christmas parties in 1404: one friday night, had an impromptu wine and cheese party with wine, brie, and a last minute crab dip. yumm-o! with another set of friends, had our monthly dinner which coincided with my annual christmas dinner party. for appetizers, we had warm brie with fresh honey comb and figs. cooked a meal of lamb in a rosemary butter reduction, couscous, and roasted vegetables. no pictures because we were hungry. also had lots of wine and present exchanging.

best use of my free time this season: volunteering. i've always been big on volunteering but have let it fall by the wayside since the job has taken over my life. the past year, i've tried to be a little more generous with my time and have gotten involved fully with my local red cross chapter. besides chairing a committee for the waterfront festival, i joined red cross volunteers from the dc area to sort cards for wounded soldiers. it was only 3 hours of my time, but it means the world to a soldier with a bullet in his leg. above are a few of the cutest cards that some kids from the midwest made. also, finally got to wrap presents for juvenile diabetes. i love to wrap presents so as nerdy as it sounds, i had tons of fun doing that but didn't have time to document it as it was on the 23rd and i was surrounded by harried shoppers.

most fun to be around during christmas: janiya. jj has always been really cute but at this age of 2 and a half, she's talking and understanding the world around her. it's pretty awesome to see her comprehend and have the ability to have conversations with her. she's an incredibly well behaved child and it's always heartwarming to her hear say thank you and i love you at the perfect moments. and don't even get me started on our bleary-eyed christmas morning present opening... too freaking cute!

tomorrow is back to the daily grind but i'm hoping that my creativity sparks back up before the new year.

hope you had a great holiday season!

ps. i just spent 6 hours at tryst and have gone through 1 sandwich, 2 cappucinos, 6 strawberries (with a whole lot of nutella), and 2 servers; one of which went from wearing a scarf around her neck, to wearing it as a headband, and finally to an armband around her elbow. i think i should leave now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

i'm just sayin.

so, i read this blog, pretty in the city, because this chick karyn has balls. that and she's just a nice, normal bloggurl that lives a way cool life in nyc. she also has really fun friends:

now, if only i could find a guy who would do this and enjoy it.

while i'm on the subject of people that i know only in my head and not in real life: the barbara walters special on the 10 most fascinating people is on. yeah, i know. but i don't have cable, so you can't blame me because it's this or watching the cw. anyway, david and victoria beckham are currently being interviewed and i cannot keep my eyes off of david beckham. umm, hi...

however, i muted the TV because between him and babwa, i want to tear my ears off. how does a man that sexy have a voice like that? he just fell a few notches off the hot ladder (not much mind you, but some). becksy, just smile and use those smoldering eyes. leave the talking to posh. "majah!" sigh.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

just in cases

things i enjoy about living on the 14th floor:

  • the view of the washington monument... ok , it's only the tip but it's still in my view - on a clear day
  • that goes for the air force memorial too.
  • my july 4th party = full view of the fireworks sans crowds and parking issues
  • i can see if 395 is backed up
  • the roar of 395 isn't as loud on this floor
  • i don't feel guilty taking the elevator (i did when i lived on 5)
  • the neighbors i have on this floor are friendly -- but keep to themselves
things that aren't so great about living on the 14th floor:
  • i can see various motels, 4 mile run, and gas stations along with my monument view
  • it's a pain in the ass when you forget something in your car
  • it's really the 13th floor, and certain people won't let you forget it
  • when there is a fire, you have to walk down 14th flights of stairs, not knowing where the fire really is
so, there was a fire in my building today. as far as i know, there was a some renovation work - possibly electric - on the 15th floor and it caught fire. the only damage was to the 15th and 16th floors; there was no one injured so that's fine. it's a little scary that my safety (and my things) are at the mercy of my neighbors watchful (or not-so-watchful) eyes. i guess that's my risk in owning a condo right?

in a effort not to be a stupid girl during what could have been a tragic incident, i decided that i would go down as is, with only my phone and keys in hand. yeah... did i mention that i went out funleah style last night and decided to have a lazy sunday in my pajamas? fourteen floors is a long way if you have to escape something. and i'm not about to be known as the girl who died in the fire because she stayed to change her clothes. there are less stupid things that i could die from. you know, like skydiving.

it was fun(ny) to see my neighbors in the lobby showered and dressed, or even coming home from lunch or church, while my lazy ass was in pajamas and had mussed hair. i mean, seriously, it's a filipino mother's nightmare. [insert your filipino mother's version about why girls should always have matching bra and panties here] and if you're not filipino, ask one of your friends during a happy hour. it's ridiculous and somewhat hilarious.

although not a fun event and certainly not how i wanted to spend 2 hours of my afternoon, laughing about my mom's "rule" helped keep my head on straight while most others were worried about elderly neighbors, pets they left behind or their stuff. i really must check on my fire extinguisher... and get new pajamas.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Papa

Today, my grandfather was accepted and officially registered for the World War II Memorial. In the 1940's he joined the US Armed Forces of the Far East and served proudly for the US as a Philippine National. My grandfather recounted his war days to me as a child and it wasn't until I did my own research in high school and college that I knew what it all means to my family and my personal history. A humble farmer from a small town, on a small island in the Philippines, he was proud to serve his old country and his future country. He did so with valor, receiving the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal along the way. There are a few war stories that I'll avoid posting here, not only because they are long, but because I can't do them justice.

My Papa was a good man, the best man - besides my own father, and I can't explain how proud I am to be a Martinez today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Moving Forward

I've had this blogger site now since April. And I guess, it's about time to move forward from my other site. It's been a good 4 years, but it's time to more forward to my grown up blog. Since apparently, my friend B thinks that "xanga is for 15 year olds." Fifteen, I surely am not. So here I am, starting anew for the umpteenth time on this site. From looking at my archives, I guess I tried to post on October 9th with the following:

"I used to be a chameleon; I could switch between one group of people to another and feel completely comfortable in each skin, each different personality. Some would mistake that as being..."

Interesting yes? Don't know what state of mind I was in earlier this month, but oh well. Let me finish this and make it my own writing exercise.

... fake or schizophrenic, depending on your mood that day. I'm generally able to adapt myself to any situation but in my older age, I feel as though I become stagnant in my ways. I know what I want, what I don't want, and why I don't care to waste my time on things that aren't worth my time. Life is so much simpler and happier when you erase the unnecessary drama (or at least try to).

The other night, I was reminded as to how I've changed in the last three years. Actually, it came as exclamation to a very surprised group of friends as I walked into a bar. You would have thought I was a bear coming out of hibernation. Compared to my weekly frolics and antics of years past, I guess I agree, I was maybe a little more fun (and accessible) back then. But I've moved on; I'm moving forward. Priorities have changed (hi, mortgage?!) and life goes on.

What baffles me, though, is the sense that my friends thought that my changing was wrong or not me. Apparently, my lack of attendance to happy hours has had a direct affect on who as I am as a person. Umm, no sweetheart, not really. You obviously, don't know me at all. I know how to have a good time (I'll recount FUNleah! stories in another post), but seriously, if you had a choice of happy hours in DC to happy hours in Dublin, which would you pick?

Guinness sure does taste better across the pond. I know from experience. And that's what I want, something new to taste, to do, to see, to discuss. And hopefully, if lazyleah doesn't appear, you'll get liveleah: my life as I know it, just doing me.