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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Happy Leap Day/Year!

How are you spending your extra day this year?

I am dealing with even MORE car issues. Of course.

Yesterday, I went to have my emissions test done for my car, in order to get my registration. And I passed!

Except I had to have a safety check as well…and I failed. For my windshield wipers and tires.

The news that my tires suck is not a surprise. I’ve known for the past six months that I needed new tires, but it’s been in the back of my mind and often I couldn’t (or didn’t want to) afford it.

The good news is that I can still register my car with bad tires, because the DMV only cares about the emissions check. The bad news is that I now have a sticker on my front windshield saying “REJECTION,” which apparently give cops the ability to pull me over whenever they want. Which wouldn’t bother me if my car was currently registered to a state (Don’t be bad like me and do what I’m doing. I freak out whenever I see a cop. But I’m trying to get legal as fast as I can!).

Ouch.

I have 14 days to fix the issue and get a free re-inspection. But in order to finish with this problem right away, I’m getting new tires. Today. Thankfully, I filed my taxes early and got my refund. Not that this is how I wanted to spend it, but it has to be done.

I then called my insurance company to switch my policy to Virginia. And thanks to living out on the East Coast, with high insurance limits, my 6-month premium almost tripled. Not even kidding. Is it too late to move back to the Midwest? (I kid…kind of). I want to cry.

Ironically (and sadly), when I came out of my apartment to take my car to get new tires, it wasn’t there. I may be forgetful, but I park in roughly the same place every day. My car was towed, because of the expired tags. Except that I park in the lot for my building, which is fenced in. Which means that someone had to call about my car in order to get it towed. Someone who has no life.

After freaking out, talking to the building manager (a sweet little old Jewish lady) and crying, I got my car back without a fee.

So I got new tires, new windshield wipers and an alignment. Amy is set for a while. And I passed the safety inspection! Woo!

And then I hit the DMV, with my new state title and emissions test. My mechanic told me to check out a different DMV and I’m glad I listened. There was literally NO line, which is amazing for any DMV anywhere. And it took me less than 5 minutes to get my car registered and the basic Virginia plate (I’m getting more personalized one later. Which is how you do it here. Odd).

So now, I’m completely legal. In every way. No more watching for cops. And no more being towed from my own parking lot (I hope that person who called the tow company on me gets towed himself. Jerk).

Before

After

And if you live in the NOVA area, I would HIGHLY recommend Wiygul Automotive Repair for any car issues. They were super helpful, kept me informed and worked with me to get my car legal, without busting my budget. Their customer service was great and I’m glad that they’re right down the road from me (along with lots of other locations).

I hope everyone else had a better leap day!

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This past weekend was full of working with a little fun thrown in (And when I say weekend, I’m including Monday since I worked three days in a row. It felt like a continuation of the others).

I, too, am in love with Instagram. So I present you with a view of my weekend via my phone and Instagram.

I did a little window shopping at the mall I work out. Who doesn’t love a good Michael Kors purse or Bebe shoes?

My fabulous dinner Sunday night. I volunteered to stay late at work and had to grab some mall food before everything closed. And look at all that Mediterranean food! There is a great Mediterranean market down the road from me, and after falling in love with some things in Greece, I love being able to pick up some Greek foods there.

Every Monday morning, there is a meeting at Ft. Belvoir for Project Healing Waters. I go with my uncle and we always pick up some Starbucks before the meeting. This meeting I brought my fly tying kit (the giant black box) and tied some flies – one of which you can see with the pink tail. They may not be perfect looking flies, but they will catch fish!

I did some girly stuff, like shoe shopping at DSW. I desperately needed a pair of black flats that wouldn’t kill my feet at work. Dr. Scholls to save the day! (They’re not the ones pictured. I’m looking for a pair of summer sandals for my cruise and I thought these were adorable). I also gave myself a manicure – or more like my mom did. Just because I can manage to paint my nails on both hands doesn’t mean I will if there is someone who will help me. Thank you mom!

I also hung out with my boys during my down time. They’re ridiculously spoiled. And: it’s official. I did graduate college. And I have proof!

That was my weekend. How was yours?

It’s almost official: I’m a Virginian.

Today I went to the DMV to get a Virginia drivers license and start the extensive process of getting my car registered.

It’s not as simple as transferring my registration to Virginia. Oh no, that would be easy.

First, you have to have your title transferred to Virginia, regardless of where you bought it or that it has a valid title from another state. That was $10.

Then you have to get an emission test for the car. Luckily, I found a Groupon that cut that cost down to $20 from $45+.

Then you can go and have the car registered in Virginia, which is another roughly $45.

And finally, you can get a plate for it. And Virginia has a lot of plates to choose from, ranging from the basic at around $40 to a special plate around $50, with $10 extra for personalized plates.

I’ve only started the first step.

Somewhat related to this story is the inability of my TomTom to find the easiest route. I put in the address for the DMV and it took me through a confusing construction zone and back. When I left the DMV, I found out that it was literally right off a main road that I know and have taken before. Now I’ll have to double check on a map of the area instead of relying solely on my TomTom.

And, while I may be more official now, I still got lost twice in a row while trying to drive to my local Target. So I finally gave up. I can deal with being lost once. But to then be lost again, in an area of one-ways and end up in another county: I gave up. I set my GPS for home and will try again another day. With gas up to $3.80 out here, I can’t just cruise around for fun, being lost.

Eventually, I’ll be more “official” and actually know where I’m going out here.

I booked my cruise Wednesday night through probably the best travel agency ever. My family is a member of Government Vacation Rewards, a travel agency available to those in the military or government.

For a upfront fee, you can use the service for 5 years. And it covers everything you’d want in a travel agency, plus more.

You can book vacation packages, resorts, hotels, cruises, flights, and golf trips. You can book online or on the phone – and they have the MOST helpful agents I’ve ever worked with.

The best part are the perks. Every time you use the agency, you gain points that can be used for future bookings for discounts and free trips. They often have military exclusives. There are no booking fees. And the best part, for those in the military at least, is that you can use your Military Star card to book the trips. (For those who don’t know, the Military Star card is for military members only, and have a wonderfully low APR and beats every other credit card hands down).

How are they better than any other agency?

I am the perfect example.

I booked the cruise Wednesday for April 15th to the 22nd. I was excited and it fit perfectly with my schedule.

Until I looked later that night, and saw that the 15th was actually a day of drill for me. I claim complete memory loss. Because sometimes it takes an act of god to get out of drill, I needed to change the dates of my cruise.

I called Thursday morning, first thing and left a message for the agent I worked with the day before. She called me back and had already begun working on changing the dates to the 22nd through the 29th. She let me know what was happening and that she would call back when she had finished, so that I didn’t have to sit on hold. And hour later, she called back saying the dates were now changed, and at only a $50 difference. Luckily, I saw the problem before 24 hours had gone by. But to have a travel agent deal with the issue instead of me having to sit on the phone for hours was a life saver.

If you’re in the military and like to travel, I would highly HIGHLY suggest that you enroll in this program.

*Government Vacation Rewards did not ask me to write this review. I just like them a lot!!

It was 65 degrees here today. In Northern Virginia. In February.

Apparently I should have moved out here sooner if I wanted to escape winter. It’s been glorious.

And while it has been amazing here for this time of year, I always like to have something to look forward to. In college, that was Spring Break. In the real world, it’s just called vacation.

I have officially booked my vacation that I can look forward to: a week long cruise to the Western Caribbean.

On my cruise last March for Spring Break

I’ve been on two cruises before, one being about a week long last year for Spring Break and one for 3 days the Spring Break before that. I’m so excited. I love cruises. And while they are known for newlyweds or retired couples, they are great for so many reasons:

1. I unpack once. And I have the same room for the whole week. I can get comfy for the week in the room.

2. Free food. Seriously. Multiple different restaurants serving everything from pizza, ice cream, sushi and four-star meals. All without having to worry about how much it’ll cost me at the end of the night.

3. Stress free travel. After I’m on the ship, I don’t have to worry about making it from this island to this island, driving, parking, gas, flights or anything. I can sit by the pool or on my balcony and enjoy my book or nap while the boat takes me from point A to point B.

4. Great locations. My cruise leaves from Tampa, Florida and makes its way to Cozumel, Belize, islands off Honduras, the Grand Caymans before going back to Tampa. I could never plan or afford a trip like that on my own, and it’s all planned for me.

For some people, a vacation is a chance to travel and be active. And sometimes, that’s just what I want (like canoeing, backpacking or camping). But sometimes I just want to sit and do nothing. I don’t want to think about a thing and just want to sit on a beach reading a book. And cruises fit that bill perfectly.

I want to go back to paradise 🙂

I LOVE cruises and I’m not afraid to say it! I love having something to look forward to and this vacation is much needed.

Maybe it’s just President’s Day weekend, but the Pentagon City Mall was PACKED.

I worked today and it was non-stop from about noon onward. I worked the fitting rooms and I was swamped until I got off work. But it makes the time go by faster. And I do like helping people, most of the time.

I got to the mall before all the stores opened for my shift, but I got there a little early, so I got to window shop in peace. And every time I head to work I have to pass the Juicy Couture store.

And I have fallen in love with this purse.

Maybe next time I’ll get up the guts to wander into the store to see exactly how much it costs.

Or maybe I don’t want to know.

I wish I had more to post.

There are some plans currently in the works for getting a full-time job. Right now it just consists of a lot of waiting, followed by some paper work, and then more waiting. So I don’t have much going on.

My typical day is waking up naturally around 9am (I do not miss that alarm clock). I drink some coffee, possibly eat breakfast and catch up on all my blogs on Google Reader (I follow 200+, so there’s always something to read).

Eventually, I’ll surf enough Pinterest fitness inspirations to get to the gym and get a good workout in. After coming home and eating lunch, I shower and hang out until my mom gets home from work.

I catch up with her a little bit and, a lot of the times, I’ll make dinner for us. We hang out and watch some tv for the night, and head to bed.

Repeat. Unless I work at my part-time job, usually on the weekends.

I can’t WAIT to have a full-time job. Everyone tells me to enjoy the time, but with the student loans and other debt I have hanging above my head, I need to have a job to relax. Soon, hopefully

But, because I can’t just post my sob story, here are some of the pictures of my life since my drill weekend. Enjoy!

My spoiled cat

Getting my workout on

One of my mom’s cats has a shoe fetish. Look Ma! I has feet!

Bird watching this morning

I hope everyone is having a more interesting week than me!