Happy Anniversary to me!

I can’t believe it, but it’s been one year since I started blogging! Yes, Arlington Darling is one year old today – please join me in wishing a very happy birthday to the little darlin’ :).

In honor of the anniversary (erm, blogerversity?), I’ve compiled a recap of my favorite experiences from this past year. It’s been a whirlwind!

  • I discovered Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar, the absolute best cheese anyone has ever created, ever. Yes, this is the first item on my list – no judgment.
  • I became BFF with the WMATA bus system – to include the Circulator (an easy first step for any bus newbies out there), the 16th St. and 14th St. lines, and the helpful Lee Highway “3” lines for when I’m feeling lazy. Most of the time I’m annoyed at you, but thanks for a great year, WMATA.
  • I learned how to cook my own Thai recipes!
  • I moved into a studio (and I’m loving it).
  • I had visits from my cousin Samantha, my oldest friends Joran and Carly, my parents, my BFF JJ, and many more! I also made pilgrimages to Charlottesville (more than once), New Jersey, Williamsburg, and Pennsylvania to do some visiting of my own.
  • I turned a quarter century :).

Blog stats at 1 year:

  • 141 posts
  • 4,955 views
  • 128 comments (Thanks for all of the comments! I love getting them!)
  • 120 unique followers

Thank you for a lovely year, and THANK YOU for reading. When I started this blog I had no idea that I would fall in love with it, but a year later, I have. I hope that you all have, too. Here’s to another great year ahead! ❤

Things that Annoy Me About Pinterest: A List

If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I really, really love Pinterest. I maintain my 3,500 pins with special care, hoping that one day I’ll have a personal stylist and interior designer at my disposal so that I can just send them a link to my boards and say, “This is me. Go.”

Until that day comes, I use Pinterest for recipe inspiration, hairstyle ideas, craft/DIY instructions, and to collect pretty images (cats! twinkly lights! Paris! more cats!). Pretty much the same way that most people use it.

But I do admit that sometimes I get annoyed by Pinterest. Or, more accurately, I get annoyed at the things that people pin. People just don’t think before they pin! Take these pins, for example:

Picture of beautiful model with large, bold, colorful tattoo. The description is always, “beautiful, want this tattoo.” Do you? Do you really? Or do you just want to be 19 again and tan and skinny? Yea. I thought so. I am in the market for a tattoo myself, but I only pin things that I would realistically get and would look good on my body and fit my lifestyle.

“Pinata cookies! Want to make!”

Pinata cookies. Yes, those pinata cookies are adorable, and very creative. If you’re pinning them to say, “wow those are very creative, never would have thought of that”, then fine. If you’re actually thinking about making them, stop. Just stop. They will take 7+ hours and will not turn out at all like the picture. Your efforts are better spent making something else yummy and homemade and then going and spending quality time with the person you were going to make those crazy cookies for.

“Genius!”

Bra phone holder. No. Assuming (big assumption) that the type of shirt you are wearing even allows access to that area of your bra (try it right now – I bet you can’t manage it), with how often we all check our phones, this complex operation isn’t even practical. Plus, coming from personal experience, it is possible to irreversibly damage your phone with sweat. So just think about that before you stick your phone in your armpit. The creators cite that they made this product for “all the girls who lose their phones or credit cards after a night out”…I’m willing to bet those phones and credit cards didn’t jump out of a normal purse and run away on their own, but got left on a table or bar when their owner took them out — and the same thing would happen if those girls wore this. Fail.

“The Emergency Workout is designed to help you slim down FAST in just 8-weeks. Super intense workouts with a lot of variety help you make serious progress in a hurry.”

Magic workout routine – pick one, any one: 5 days to flat abs? 10 minute toner? Morning magic muscle builder? Honestly what is the deal with pinning all of the workout routines?! Some people do find them inspirational – and I agree that seeing toned abs and arms in the Pinterest images as I scroll through late at night, munching on white cheddar popcorn, makes me want to put down the popcorn. Just a little. But if you spent half the time actually doing the exercises as you did pinning them, you’d be in baller shape by now. People – find a workout you like and stick to it – pinning 200+ different miracle-promising exercise pins doesn’t get you into shape any faster.

The “Healthy” Milkshake, Oreo, Cake, Brownie, Snickers Bar Extravaganza. As someone who eats vegan cheese (occasionally, and I’m not very happy about it), I completely understand the urge to “substitute” something healthy in a recipe for something unhealthy, or to try and reinvent an old favorite with healthier, grown-up ingredients. But at some point, it gets a little ridiculous. Even if your Shamrock Shake healthy copycat recipe is less caloric and less fattening than the original, can it really be called “healthy?” It’s still a milkshake. Let’s be thoughtful in our use of the term “healthy.”

Did I get all the annoying ones? What are some pins that drive you crazy?

Review: The Standard

I went to Garden District (back when it was known as The Standard) on Sunday to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday, and I know that my experience was largely shaped by the beautiful weather and beautiful people that I was celebrating with. But, Garden District makes it super easy for you to have a good time. Case in point(s), not necessarily in order of importance:

  1. Garden District is mainly an outdoor venue. Which means, when it is 70 degrees and sunny, like it was yesterday, a gal can get a glorious, glorious first tan of the year :).
  2. You can purchase an entire pig’s head, to eat. Read til the end for my enlightening conversation with the pig’s head.
  3. Donuts.
  4. The food is fried. Vegetarian things are fried. Isn’t being vegetarian the best? I mean, if I can still eat a grilled cheese, a soft pretzel, and hush puppies, I’m a happy gal. (Shhh…vegetables will survive a day without me lovin’ on ’em. I’m eating fried things now, go away.).
  5. There are umbrellas and heat lamps (if the weather turns unpredictable, as it is wont to do).
  6. Donuts. Freshly made donuts.
  7. A huge pear cider that went down so, so easy on a warm spring afternoon.

Garden District, I’ll be back. It’s gonna be a long, hot, glorious summer.

patio at night

 

Me: Hey, pig. I’m not gonna eat you. I’m gonna stand up, actually, so I can be sort of far away from you and in the sun, yet close to my friends.
Pig: …
Me: That’s better. This cider is delicious!
Pig: ………
Me: Want a donut? No? Welp, more for me then. Peace.

Life on the Orange Line is about to get sweeter…

After months of waiting, I have finally learned what will happen to my commute when the silver line opens in December.

This article provides a fantastic (and very clear) overview of what changes will impact Metro riders when the silver line opens. I just have to borrow their map and include it here, because it is so cool. Great way to graphically represent the changes to the trains:

If you’re like me and you live on the orange line in Arlington, you’ll see more trains during rush hour – both to and from downtown! And what’s even sweeter is that during off-peak times (weeknights and weekends), you’ll also see an increase in trains coming from the silver line. No more 20+ minute waits, I hope!

What’s a bit of a bummer for me (but for very few other people) is that since I work out in Fairfax (i.e., Narnia), my number of rush hour trains coming home from work at night decreases from 17 trains per hour to only 11 (for math geeks, that’s an approximate increase in wait time of a minute and a half, or a 50% increase). Grr.

But if I can have the shorter wait times on weekends and coming back home from my happy hours in the city on weeknights, overall I’m a happy camper. Silver line, you can’t get here soon enough!