Posts Tagged ‘events’

NASM Volunteer Appreciation Night

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,

This Monday, the National Air and Space Museum held a Volunteer Appreciation Night for the folks who help out at the Udvar-Hazy Center and the NASM downtown. It was in the main hangar of the Udvar-Hazy Center, extending into the space shuttle area. Since Panda volunteers there, we decided to go and see what it was all about. Apparently they really stepped up their game this year and had a great event with delicious catering and a hired band with dancers and singers. There was even a 1950s theme with the performers.

nasm volunteer appreciation night in udvar-hazy center

When we first walked in and looked down in the hangar, we saw plenty of people mingling. There were food stations, stand-up bars, a live band, dancers, and singers.

nasm volunteer appreciation night food table with lobster ravioli

The first thing we did was help ourselves to all sorts of food! They had these lobster ravioli as well as chicken and beef dishes.

nasm volunteer appreciation night food table with mini sliders

Another table had an adorable spread of ingredients to make your own sliders. The patties were beef, mushroom, or salmon.

nasm volunteer appreciation night food table with poblano corn souffle

My favorite dish of the night, which is made of sweet corn and somewhat like a dessert.

nasm volunteer appreciation night drinks table with mugs stacked neatly in pyramid shape

They lined up the mugs so very neatly for us. Everything about the catering was wonderful. We were told that it didn’t use to be so fancy.

nasm volunteer appreciation night dessert table with plate of s'mores on a stick

How could you make s’mores an elegant snack? I’d say this is the way. These were delicious!! I need to try making my own.

nasm volunteer appreciation night bar with artfully stacked martini glasses

Small touches like this cool mini art sculpture made of martini glasses really elevated the feel of the event. The bartenders were very professional too.

We were very pleased with the event and went home happily full. I look forward to attending more of these and hopefully getting a chance to check out mine for the Natural History Museum another year.

Northwest Federal Credit Union Member Appreciation Day

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , ,

Each year, Northwest Federal Credit Union holds a fun mini carnival in their headquarter’s parking lot for Member Appreciation Day. It’s a way to celebrate members as well as welcome their families and friends. This year, it was on Saturday from 9-1, rain or shine! And this time it was raining a little, but plenty of people still came out to enjoy the event. Since Panda is a member there, we dropped by before going in to DC so I could volunteer at the NMNH.

When you arrived, you were given flyers that were “passports” to help track which free things you had claimed. Each person was allowed a cotton candy, popcorn, food (pulled pork/beef/chicken sandwiches or hot dogs), side of chips, and drink (cans of soda or lemonade). The kids were also allowed a balloon creation, face painting, and entry to the bounce houses. Everyone had the option of getting a large tote bag or those drawstring backpacks, but since we have plenty of both, we opted not to take one.

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day passport handout

The NWFCU passport for adults.

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day tent with food

Inside the giant tent, we stood in a long line for cotton candy and popcorn, then a much faster line for the food and drink.

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day game tents

There were games for the kids to try out.

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day face painting tent line

At the end was the tent for face painting, which had quite a line.

eating two cotton candies at northwest federal credit union member appreciation day

I got to eat both our cotton candies!

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day cotton candy melting from humidity

Due to the humidity of the air, the cotton candy started to melt pretty quickly and bits would fall off.

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day cotton candy absorbing moisture from air

As it absorbed the moisture, the outside layer of the cotton candy would start to get very sticky. I kept having to rotate them so pieces wouldn’t fall off as quickly.

northwest federal credit union member appreciation day bounce houses

Outside the tent, there were bounce houses for the kids.

It was a good event and next time we’ll definitely plan to spend more time there rather than having to rush off. Panda had wanted to withdraw some money from his account and I was interested in earning the free money for signing up as his referral, but neither of those got done. If a member brings someone who signs up that day, they both get $25 in their accounts. It’s small, but hey you can still do a lot with that!

Udvar-Hazy Open House

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

This past weekend, the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center had its second annual open house. They opened the doors to the staff areas where restorations take place in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, a variety of items are archived, and more. We walked through the hangar, went on a freight elevator, saw the conservation lab, and looked around their library. I was pretty impressed by how many staff and volunteers they had. Panda was one of them! These people are totally aviation/space/history nerds and it’s cool to see their passion.

mary baker engen restoration hangar at udvar-hazy center

Massive hangar area with all sorts of things being painstakingly restored.

front of flak-bait plane that flew over 200 missions in world war ii

This plane flew the most missions in WWII: over 200!

udvar-hazy center archives with tons of lockers preserving items

Pristine archives. I was amused by the pink forklift thing.

star trek spaceship model in udvar-hazy conservation lab

Apparently this is what they used to film the spaceship in Star Trek.

paper library catalog at udvar-hazy center

They had a funny sign saying that yes, they do still use these catalogs.


laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Gosh, I meant to share this a month ago right after Chalkfest occurred in Reston, but somehow the time just flew by! There are always a ton of activities happening in the town center and this was one that my company, Canvas, decided to participate in. They got a space for our graphic designer to to add her contribution to the event. Check out what she drew starting the day before the event and a bunch of other chalk art from that day:

chalkfest reston space on ground for professional artist drawing

This is the space for Canvas, right as things were getting started.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of colorful owl in progress

A few hours later, I took a break from work to check in on things. Making good progress!

aerial view of chalkf art drawing of owl for chalkfest reston

As my colleagues were leaving work for the day, they stopped to admire the drawing.

Here are some of the entries from people of all ages and artistic abilities… what’s your fav?

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of woman's portrait chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of festive cultural people and halloween items chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of woman in dress and hat chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of star wars characters

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of dolphins and maze

On the right, the maze was drawn by a 42 (or was it 47?) year old man, which was amusing.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of green and red snake or dragon

Someone went rogue and drew in the pathway, just to make their mark.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of silhouette of girl blowing dandelion chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of alice in wonderland scene

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of rainforest animals

This was one of the professional artist entries. I believe it won first place!

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of colorful owl with canvas logo

Woo hoo! The Canvas owl got third!!

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of cat holding light saber riding unicorn over rainbow chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of landscape picture on artist's chair of landscape drawn for chalkfest reston chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of flower design with candle in middle

high score of 8058 in game of threes on ipad

We wandered into the Apple Store for a break and discovered the game of Threes. I’d say we did pretty well.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of octopus holding astronaut bear chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of host rcc

lady walking around reston town center with snake at chalkfest reston

There was a random lady walking around with her snake, which attracted a fair share of folks.

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of silhouettes of buildings in dc

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of starry night trampled over rudely by inconsiderate people

It was so sad to see people had trampled all over this and messed it all up! #rude

chalkfest reston chalk art drawing of crunch fitness logo

World Cat Day!

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Between vacationing, reading, writing, and so much more, I’ve neglected to post as much as usual. I just finished up the novel I was reading (Amy Tan’s latest – The Valley of Amazement) so that should free up time to blog more. It’s hard to write when so much flowing through my head consists of ideas for no less than five separate story lines for potential novels of my own. I add to them when I can and get a mind dump every few nights.

In the mean time, here’s a belated World Cat Day dedication to my beloved felines. I was absolutely tickled to find it coincided with my now marriage anniversary date!

cat napping on top of open book

To Missy, the best snuggle buddy ever, particularly in the cooler months. She’s overcome her little mute tendencies and now meows all the time!

cat standing with front paws in sink and back up on counter

To Molly, whose old grumpy self has eased up a bit. She still follows my mom around like her life depends on it and it’s hilarious.

cat sitting on sofa with one paw outstretched

And to Smokey, the adorable little weirdo who gives me some super entertaining stories to share at work. She may not like to be held, but she’ll come to you on her own.

My cats are a special bunch and provide me with endless joy and entertainment. Don’t worry if I become a crazy cat lady. I’ll be loving it!

Green Festival DC 2014 haul

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , ,

This year, Green Festival DC came to the area in the summer rather than the fall, and as usual, Panda and I were there volunteering on Saturday. We’ve fallen into a pattern: I sign up for the 1:30-6 pm shift for the Green Festival Store and he signs up for the 12-4 shift at exhibitor registration. This time around was much different for me in the sense that I went well-prepared to do a bit of spending. I feel like the last two years (see 2013 and 2012), I was more focused on getting samples whereas this year I was ready to discover some great products to purchase for myself.

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The haul!

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SheaTerra always has nice samples of African Black Soap.

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The first purchase was a 24-pack of seaweed snacks, nommers. I even helped the guy sell another box to these ladies.

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I had *just* been talking about getting glass cleaning products, how perfect! So of course I went for this purchase when I saw it.

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I immediately fell in love with this brand and was even happier to discover the bath salts came with their own scoops!! Amazing.

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When a kid offered me this sample, I figured why not? I can certainly try protein powder and see what it’s like.

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At first I passed on this, though I wanted it. Then after getting the Orange Owl products, I rationed that at $10 a pop for those, why not spend the $25 for these? They’re so unique and exactly the sort of thing I want for my home. I opted for the flower set, with Marigold, Calendula, Lavender, and Flax.

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When I saw these free meditation kits being passed out, I was mildly interested. Then I saw the bracelet and I thought it’d be great to meditate with! Not sure about reading all the texts, but I’ll take a peek.

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I noticed people walking around with these sprouts and I sent Panda on a mission to find them when his shift was over. Luckily, they were still available! They’re not trees… 😛

And there you have it! Panda also managed to find a bunch of snacks and even some other random samples. I’m starting to get familiar with many of the vendors who show up year after year, but I also love the new ones that come and go. I love some of the things I found this year and we’d like to try going to Green Festival LA and other cities as well.

Chick-fil-a Military Appreciation Night

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , ,

Aww, they’re so patriotic here! I met Panda for dinner at the Chick-fil-a near our area, just making the 7 PM cut. They were already packing up the festivities they had set up in the parking lot when I arrived. I’d meant to leave work early since I was exhausted from getting up for a 6 AM conference call, but somehow I found myself working til 6, when I really had to go before it was too late! They were so very nice there and even had people walking around with wipes to clean off the tables as people left.

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Free cone day

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’m getting a little antsy with no new box recently. I do have some on the way though! I ordered a Julep spring mystery box (I had skipped March, but it looks like I got sucked in to getting something anyway :-P) and I got a notification that my Beauty Box 5 is on its way. In the mean time…

Today was free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s locations across the nation! For lunch, a bunch of my coworkers and I went to claim a freebie and I donated $5 to the charity that was there – apparently each location has a local charity for the day. I got a scoop of Liz Lemon, which is a lemon frozen Greek yogurt with blueberry swirl. I think I’ve found a refreshing fav! I really enjoyed the slight tartness and lightness of this flavor.

ben and jerry's ice cream free cone day april 8th 2014 sign

hands holding ice cream cones from ben and jerry's

“Hurry up with the picture, I want to eat my cone!!”

Cherry Blossom Festival

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Rather last-minute, Panda and I decided to go check out the Cherry Blossom Festival today. Most of the trees aren’t quite ready yet, but a few early bloomers were there to greet visitors and it was a lovely day out to walk around. We got stuck in traffic all the way around the Tidal Basin and eventually got a parking spot at West Potomac Park. It was so crowded there were even a line of cars parking on the shoulder of an on ramp. Luckily, we were able to find a spot to park in legally. We then walked from the FDR Memorial all the way to the booths set up for the festival and then kept going to the MLK Memorial and back to the car. It’s the first time I’ve worn sneakers this year, after the crazy winter weather we’ve been hit with. I’m ready for the warmer months to finally kick in!

electronic traffic sign sharing message with drivers

We arrived to blocked off roads and I noticed that the dots on these signs are actually three dots in a triangular configuration. Never knew that before!

police k9 canine car parked on grass by cherry blossoms as lady stops to ask question

As we were stuck in traffic, I got to see this K9 police car complete with fan in the back window for the dog.

view of washington monument from across tidal basin with reflection in water

I don’t come to the Tidal Basin much, so it was a treat.

looking into interior of hollowed out tree trunk

A random tree trunk had been hollowed out from two sides.

tiny purple flowers growing in grass

Before we really even saw cherry blossoms, I stopped to admire these flowers.

edge of tidal basin by jefferson memorial

A ton of people were out enjoying the day.

view of cherry blossom festival booths and washington monument across tidal basin

Across the way were all the booths for the festival.

police patrol on horseback near tidal basin

Patrolling on horses. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

white blossoms on tree near tidal basin

One of the few trees that was a-blooming.

dozens of people on paddle boats in tidal basin

Every single paddle boat was out on the water.

cherry blossom buds on tree

Most trees looked like this.

bloomed cherry blossoms on tree by tidal basin

Some of the cherry blossoms had opened up. Spectacular.

365great Day 329: Olympics

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,

365great day 329: olympicsThe Olympic Games is a time when the world can come together despite most of what’s going on between all the countries. It’s a chance to focus on human accomplishment and the motivational stories behind the athletes. It’s a time when we connect, whether we understand the languages, the sports, or the cultures of others. People from all around the world unite to support their nations and marvel at the capabilities of the participants. I personally love to see what buildings each city designed specifically for the event. I’m pretty sure there’s something for everyone with these games, whether you like exciting races or beautiful performances. Hopefully this year’s games go smoothly and everyone stays safe. I can’t wait to see the opening ceremony! Those are always great. 🙂

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