Making Planning Snarky and Cool[er]: Cards Against Urbanity

A few weeks ago, I was reading Greater Greater Washington (best site ever) and came across a Kickstarter for Cards Against Urbanity, a spinoff of Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. Like those games, CAU is a city planning game with question and answer cards. Players take turns judging a question round; he or she picks a card with a question about cities and neighborhoods. Players then try to appeal to the judge by throwing down answer cards from their hand.

Since I fully support anything that has to do with planning and fun (although planning in my mind is already fun, but I’m a nerd so go figure) I want to make sure they get pledges for 250 more decks. They’ll add 186 more cards…which is 186 more minutes I can spend playing this game. If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, visit their site and pledge! It will make you laugh and is a great way to get holiday shopping done for those other planners in your life who live under a rock and haven’t heard about this game yet.

For more info, see the CAU Facebook page or follow them on Twitter – @CardAgainstUrb.




Recipe: Roasted Rosemary Chili Pecans

For the hard-to-buy for guys on my Christmas list, I like to go with food-related gifts. You cannot go wrong. First, most people like food. Especially guys. Second, if they don’t like it, by the time they figure it out the gift is gone. Brilliant! No reminder of your failure.

So these nuts — easy, savory, and totally in the holiday spirit — make the perfect gift. Package them up in a mason jar with kitchen string tied around the lid, and you’ve just made yourself a class-A gift for a special man in your life.

Arlington Darling | Roasted Rosemary Chili Pecans

Recipe adapted from Shutterbean.

2 cups (or 1 8 oz. bag) of raw whole pecans
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. (or 2 sprigs) finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until pecans are evenly coated.
3. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
5. Cool to room temperature, then enjoy!

Arlington Darling | Roasted Rosemary Chili Pecans in a jar

You can do a number of variations on these. Tracy at Shutterbean did her recipe with almonds. In the past I’ve done them with some honey and those were a little messy but it added a glorious layer of sweetness. Or, change it up with the spices and swap out a little of the chili powder for cumin, more garlic powder, or cayenne pepper. N would be very proud of how I am thinking up all these spice combinations :).

Happy gift-giving!

Holiday Gift List (I Love Lists)

My Christmas cards are finally written and mailed out! With 18 days to spare until Christmas, I feel very accomplished. However, my shopping is not…quite done yet. I have made very good progress, mostly by buying stuff willy-nilly and not setting a budget (whoops!). But the people on my list will get some awesome gifts, that is for sure.

Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite gift picks for this year. This is the cool stuff to get when you’re stumped on what to buy that BFF, grandparent, coworker, or significant other. Happy shopping!

Pan Am Travel Bag | Arlington Darling

Pan Am Layover Bag

How cute is this bag? Even though the show Pan Am received mixed reviews, this bag evokes all that the show was supposed to be — glamorous and classic. I like the metal feet on the bottom, which make it practical when you need to set your bag down in a grimy airport. Buy for your fashionable friend who loves to travel.

Office Speak Stamp | Arlington Darling

Office Speak Stamp

This is the perfect gift for your favorite coworker, team member, or boss (with a sense of humor). I’m a consultant, and I can’t count how many times a day I hear “in the loop” and “on the same page.” This would be an absolute hit in almost any office. Plus, it’s fun – who doesn’t want to have a cute stamp in their office? Even if I’d just use it to stamp post-its while avoiding real work…

Cards Against Humanity | Arlington Darling

Cards Against Humanity

Do you like Apples to Apples? Are you comfortable with a little bit of not-politically-correct humor? Then this is the game for you. I played this with a few kickball teammates over the summer, and it was hysterical. The setup is the same as Apples to Apples, except instead of a red noun card, you get a phrase to complete, such as “President Obama relaxes by ______.” Then you get weird phrases and nouns instead of a green adjective card, which you use to complete the phrase, such as “President Obama relaxes by landing on the moon.” Except the phrases are mostly dirty and not at all politically correct. So it gets funny pretty quickly. Not a gift for the elderly, anyone who is very conservative, or someone you don’t know very well!

Picture It Postage | Arlington Darling

Picture It Postage

A cute and unique gift for family (especially grandparents!). The website takes any photo of yours and turns it into stamps. How cool is that? You could give it as a gift even if you don’t have adorable children or pets to use in your photo — just use any photo that has meaning or looks beautiful, like scenery or a photo taken during a vacation. Cute and practical.

Holiday Gift Idea: Must Have Box for Him

When thinking about what to buy for my dad for Christmas, I think back to a memory from when I was a teenager. I went through a Bath & Body Works phase (who didn’t?) where I had a whole collection of vanilla-scented body lotions, body wash, body spray, etc. You know what I’m talkin’ about. One day, trying to share my excitement about all of the vanilla with my dad, I made him try some of the vanilla-scented hand cream. When I asked him, “now how does that feel?” He replied, “it feels like I want to get it off me.” This response has now become a family joke: any time someone asks, “how does it feel,” we reply in unison, “it feels like I want to get it off me!”

In short, my dad is not the type for fancy hand creams or non-essential luxury items. He does appreciate fine wine and a good cheese on the regular, but he wouldn’t be caught dead owning more than 4 pairs of shoes and the majority of his non-work wardrobe is full of holey t-shirts. But, he is the main man in my life at the moment so I want to buy him something awesome for Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t think this latest gift idea from Popsugar is going to work out so well for that…

They have just released a Luxury Must Have Box exclusively for men! If you’ve got a man in your life who would enjoy the gentleman’s equivalent of what we ladies have been getting in our Popsugar boxes, then I think you’re in luck. It’s $100 so it’s more expensive than the regular boxes, but judging by the quality of the content I’ve been getting in my monthly boxes (read about them here and here), the contents will be good. Unfortunately this is Popsugar’s first box geared toward men so it’s a mystery as to what it will contain, but my best guess is:

  • An old-fashioned shaving kit or high-tech razor
  • A fashionable (but manly) scarf or a tie
  • A small, trendy food item like bourbon caramels or organic beef jerky
  • Cologne or body wash
  • A book, such as something by Erik Larson
  • Something tech-y like noise-blocking headphones
  • And probably more, since the box is supposed to be a “luxury” box
J. Crew Donegal Wool Scarf

Something like this scarf, maybe?

Like I said, I’m not sure my dad would really appreciate this particular gift. But I know a lot of men out there who would – if your dad, boyfriend, best friend, husband, or brother is one of them, get your butt to this Popsugar box fast. On the website this morning they posted that there are only 608 left.

Happy gift-giving! Expect more gift posts to come as the holidays approach :).