Moving on…

Hi friends, I’ve had this blog for almost 10 years and before that another blog and before that another blog…

I’ve been blogging, on the interwebs, since 2004 — can you believe it?

I started here: (February 2004-April 2009)

Then moved here: (April-December 2009)

And then landed here:  (December 2009-April 2018)

I guess April is a blog re-birth month for me — how funny! 

I’ve decided to get back into blogging, but under a new blog site called Usher Farm ( — I’m officially retiring this blog that I have loved writing but a lot (A LOT) has changed so I’m moving to something that fits my life a little better.

Hoping to blog at least once a week…but no promises because, as you’ll find out, things are busy ;)

Meet Monster Lamont Monty Usher!

I mentioned in my 2015 birthday post that we adopted a dog! I had seen a beautiful Schnoodle (schnauzer-poodle) on and visited the website of the rescue organization, Mutts Matter Rescue, that was fostering him.

I had been hinting to Z for a while that we might be ready for a second dog, especially because have such a nice yard and so much love to give. After talking about it for a while — aka me bringing it up all the time — I got a text from Z saying “I think we should do it :)”


We had to do an application, phone interview, and home visit as well as a visit with Louis. We passed with flying colors and were able to pick up our new pup from his amazing fosters, Amy and Jim, on August 8, 2015.

Here’s our first picture as a family of four:


Monster (originally Lamont and then Monty) was rescued during an SPCA raid in North Carolina. He had been abandoned and neglected along with many other animals including ~28 horses. He had to have surgery on his back legs and undergo hydrotherapy for rehab. He has severe anxiety and probably always will. When we brought him home, he shook constantly and was scared of Z. When we’d take him for a walk, he’d go back and forth on the leash, quickly go to the bathroom, and want to run back home. He was scared of the back yard and bolted to the fence the one time we took his leash off. Did I mention that he also pees every night!? We have to buy potty pads in bulk at Costco!

We love this dog so much and know that we saved him! We don’t know much about his past but know that he will have a safe and loving home for the rest of his life! We call him Monster because Louis was getting confused when we called him Monty. I guess because the ending sound is the same.

Here are a few pictures of the first few weeks with our little Monster!

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(Because this post is a year and a half old — most people know what progress the Monster has made! He loves to cuddle, understands voice commands, runs and PLAYS in the backyard without a leash, does the cutest morning greeting, and looks up to his brother Louis in a big way. Unfortunately he still pees at night and gets scared  by laughing and loud noises but he has improved SO SO much! He is such a wonderful addition to our family)



Mérida 2015

Another throwback post! 


Back in the Fall of 2015, I had some comp days of work I needed to take off so I decided to book a trip to see my aunt in Mérida, Mexico! I arrived in the afternoon on Wednesday, October 14th. We checked in to Hotel El Español on Paseo de Montejo and then went to get dinner at a nice Irish pub. I had a beer and a delicious shrimp burger – Auntie M had her favorite seafood chowder. 

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I asked her what I could bring down from the states — her only request: Ovaltine! So I think I brought down 6 tubs of it and we drank it each night.


The breakfast at the hotel was incredible!


I happened to be in Merida during the International Festival of Mayan Culture!


We visited the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research to see their botanical gardens! So beautiful!

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We always try different restaurants and eat very well when we’re together. Here is a little taste of Merida…


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(I FOUND KOMBUCHA — Jamaica Kombucha!)


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One of the craziest things we did while I was visiting: we got tattoos! This was auntie M’s idea completely — I just encouraged it and decided to do it with her! She had been researching Project Semicolon and I had heard about a lot here in the states. It’s for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Because there is a history of mental illness in our family, this was very special and important to us. The semicolon had a bonus meaning for my aunt because she’s a writer!

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One bummer during the trip was that I got a weird, random throat infection. I started feeling terrible while in the Museo de Antropologia and went back to the hotel to rest. I had a fever and knew I was sick. Luckily — the hotel had a doctor on call who came in with a tackle box of medicine and got me feeling all better!

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We got room service several times which felt so decadent!

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Conversation chairs!

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It’s only fitting that the last two pictures I took were of food. Chocolate and plantain ice cream to be exact!

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A delicious and culture rich trip, as always! Thanks for the hospitality auntie M!! <3

Z&D’s August Birthdays (2015)

31 and 36! Another year of sharing a birthday week <3

For Z’s birthday on the 1st, we took Louis for a hike at Roosevelt Island and then went to Bluejacket in DC for beer and dinner and finished the night with a new show that was previewing at Arena Stage, Dear Evan Hansen — (it’s funny to write this now in Feb 2017 knowing how successful this show was in DC and now it’s even more successful on Broadway in New York!).

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2015 was a big birthday for me… On my actual birthday, the 6th, my coworkers surprised me with lots of treats! Z was out of town so I got to play with Avery and Gracie at the Arlington County Fair that evening.

On the Saturday after our birthdays, Z bought me a new computer, took me to brunch at Circa in Clarendon, got some kombucha at South Block, AND we got a new rescue pup (more on him later)!

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July 4, 2015

Get ready for some throwback posts! Here is a post I started back in 2015…yes 2015. We went  to RFK Stadium for the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary show on the 4th of July. The lineup was great (Trombone Shorty, LL Cool J, Heart, Joan Jett, Gary Clark, Jr., and) RDGLDGRN) and the Foo Fighters rocked it out — Dave Grohl had a broken leg and played in a throne of rock!

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Dusting off the Blog Dump.

Guys. I stopped blogging for like…8 months. I think this was my longest hiatus since I started writing some form of web journal/blog in 2004.

I’m in the process of importing my old blogs from LiveJournal and Blogspot to this blog so I can have them all together. It has been fun re-reading the old blogs!

You’ll be seeing a lot of posts that have been stuck in my draft folder as I try to get “up to date” — no promises on consistent blogging but I’m hoping I can get back on the train!

<3 <3



Weekend Things.

So, we were supposed to go camping this weekend. The heat and expected storms had us thinking it might not be a good idea to take the pup on his first camping trip…

Instead, my husband talked me into a 3-hour bike ride! Oh man, it was HOT!

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We stopped after an hour and a half for a beer! This is actually the way he convinced me to even get on the bike…

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Caboose Brewing Co. – Citra Wheat for me and Car Hopper IPA for z

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We left at 3:30pm and didn’t get home until 7pm! We were sweaty and hungry! After quick showers, we headed out for dinner at Mussel Bar — yum!!

The rest of the weekend looked like this:

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blueberry apricot

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honey pancakes

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Blueberry Apricot fruit rolls, dried apples, coconut oil pancakes with honey, coconut chia seed pudding, and BBQ chicken in the crock pot (for z)!

What did YOU do this weekend?

Sunday Porch Dinner.


We had our buddies, T&E,  over for dinner last night. It was such a nice night!





T&E brought corn salad and deviled eggs which were both awesome. We grilled steak and mushrooms and also had corn muffins and mint tea! It was so good!



Dessert was some fruit with homemade whipped cream and graham cracker crumbs.

It was so nice to sit out on the porch and have a leisurely dinner with good friends.

I <3 Summer!

Yoga and Other Things.


I did some “hot” yoga on Saturday morning. We have a great screened-in porch and I always thought it would be fun to do yoga out there. We also got new speakers put in, so I listened to some Jeff Beck while doing a good 35 minute session. It was amazing.






Surprise – I got another tattoo! Yes, another! Most people actually don’t know that I have tattoos because none of them are visible with regular clothes on. This new one makes number 3! 

Other things of note:


Coffee on weekend mornings on the porch.


Turnips in the garden.


Mixed berry, mint, and coconut water smoothie.


Quinoa “Chipotle” Bowls.


Rockin’ Chocolate from one of favorite rockstars!


Banh Mi sandwiches: Roast Beef for z and Tuna for me!

On a very exciting final note: My brother got engaged on Saturday!! YAY!! So happy for my brother and Audrey!

J and A Engaged