Bling it on..

Nye outfitAlthough I'm not dressing up this year, I love the idea of a classic gold dress with black tights and accessories.  Have a wonderful, safe evening and see you next year!

dress, clutch, shoes 

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First Friday

1605 t st nw

1605 T St, NW

Washington, DC 20009

3 bedrooms, 3 full baths


1605 T St, NW is a semi-detached Victorian built in 1890.  It's 2000 square feet and the yearly taxes are $7,122.  The property has a typical rowhouse layout:  a long hallway as you enter with the living and dining rooms to the left with the kitchen in the back of the house.  There are hardwood floors throughout, two fireplaces, the kitchen has been updated with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.  The house also has a new roof, a front garden, a back patio, gated parking and an au-pair suite that was rented for $1,300.  It's a fantastic location.  The Dupont Metro is a few blocks away plus numerous restaurants and bars.

1605 t st nw dining to living

1605 t st kitchen

*photos courtesy of MLS.  listing courtesy of Nelson Marban of Washington Fine Properties.

*house has been on the market for 13 days.  it was not featured last week due to the holiday.

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Riveting Rooms

New years eve tableWhat are your plans for New Years Eve?  I'm going to a pot luck dinner which is this weeks inspiration for "Riveting Rooms".  I love the decor (metallics, stars, shiny..all my favorite elements) and the lucite Ghost chairs.  Elegant and playful=perfect.

*seen on Design Indulgences.  photo Martha Stewart.

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Three, Two, One….

Nye eve decorations2011 is officially over in three days and I can't wait.  2011 was not a fantastic year.  There were highlights:  new office, fun trips, launching the blog with a new look and lots of good times with friends and family.  But when I reflect on the lows, that's what I'll probably remember the most. Therefore, I'm grateful this year is almost over.  I'm looking forward to a fresh start in 2012.  

*photo via lisa storms



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Christmas Eve is a tradition I love.  My family is Italian American and for years we've had a Christmas Eve party.  We don't make seven fishes like most Italians.  Instead, my Dad (with help from his brother, my brother and my husband) fries squid and whiting. We also have lasagna, squid soup and fritte (fried dough with sugar).   This year my Uncle also baked an amazing batch of pepperoni rolls.

I look forward to Christmas Eve as a time to celebrate our customs, both old and new.   All day friends stop by to sample fish and fritte fresh out of the oil.    

In the evening, we light the luminaries and prepare for the crowd.  Our guests enjoy the food and company.  Old and new stories are recited with a lot of laughter.  As the night creeps towards it's final hours,  our visitors depart.   A final clean up is performed and then the house retires to prepare for the next day.  

Although it's a lot of work, I wouldn't change one iota.  Our annual Christmas Eve party is something I look forward to all year.    

Christmas eveFrom left to right:  Dad, frying fish on the deck.  Fried squid, pepperoni rolls, fritte.

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Big Reveal…..

After looking at thousands of photos of holiday decorations, my favorite for my parent's house was the mantel from Tuesday's "Riveting Rooms."  Below is what my Mom, Dad and I recreated. I'm pleased with the results and more importantly, so is my Mom. It's not exactly the same (I couldn't find a disco ball and it's too warm for a fire) but it has the same lovely, layered look. Happy Holidays!

Christmas mantel

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Packing It Up

Presents in car

The car is filled and I'm ready to go.  I'm off to celebrate the holidays.  The big reveal of this year's decorations at my parent's house will be on Friday!   

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Chicken soup2Nothing comforts me more than a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  I'll eat any version of it:  from a can, in a restaurant, or homemade. As soon as the first bit of nip hits the air, I'm looking for a bowl of broth, noodles and chicken.  This homeade adaptation is a 'lil something my husband and I whipped up.  He did the hard part:  boiled the chicken carcess to make the broth with onions, celery and carrots.  I added the fun stuff:  chopped chicken, star pasta and spinach.  Enjoy! 

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 carcass of a grocery story roasted chicken, with meat separated

16 cups low sodium chicken broth


1/2 cup onion

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 celery stalks,  sliced


1 cup frozen or fresh chopped spinach

1/3 cup star pasta

1 cup chopped chicken from store bought chicken

1 tablespoon basil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Combine chicken broth and chicken carcass in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about twenty minutes.  Using tongs, remove chicken carcass.  Cool slightly and remove fat from the top of the broth.

Return broth to a simmer.  Add carrots, onion and celery.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.  Add spinach, basil, red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.  Add star pasta.  Boil until pasta tender.  When pasta tender, reduce until soup is simmering.  Add chopped chicken.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.


 *adapted from

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Riveting Rooms

Blue and white xmasCan you tell I have to decorate a fireplace mantel when I go home to NC?  Almost all of my holiday inspiration revolves around a roaring fire and a mantel.  Not to mention, my Mom has a *small* obsession with blue and white.  I love the layers of white, blue and silver.  I only have to find over 100 (!) Christmas ornaments and a disco ball.   

*seen on Apartment Therapy.  source Canadian House and Home.


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Two million dollar row houses in Mt. Pleasant caught my eye the second week of May.  

1886 Monroe St NW1886 Monroe St, NW

Washington, DC 20010

4 bedrooms, 3 baths

List price:  $1,074,999

Sold price: $1,025,000 with a $25,000 seller subsidy.  Under contract in 31 days.

1886 Monroe St, NW  is a stunning rowhouse that mixes traditional and modern.  It's 2,116 square feet and the yearly taxes are $6,993.  I love the original details in the entry way with the modern kitchen and baths.  The property also features hardwood floors throughout, bay windows, a fire place, exposed brick, an in-law suite, two balconies and a patio/garden area.  It also has parking for one car and Cathedral views.  The virtual tour has been removed.  



1728 Park Rd, NW1728 Park Rd, NW

Washington, DC 20010

6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths

List price: $1,199,000

Sold price:  $1,175,000

1728 Park St, NW is another historic rowhouse with contemporary updates.  It's 3,234 square feet and yearly taxes are $8,249.  The home has a lovely wrap around porch with a large backyard and a fish pond.  There are many standard features of a home of this era like the ornate moldings in the dining room.  This abode also has hardwood floors, an expanded kitchen that includes a sun room/den, a bay window, a large master bedroom suite and parking.  

1728 park entry.dining
1728 Park kitchen.dining
*photos via the MLS.  1886 Monroe St, NW listing courtesy of Nelson Marban, Washington Fine Properties.  1728 Park St, NW listing courtesy of Derek Eisenburg, Continental Real Estate Group.

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First Friday


2600 tilden
2600 Tilden Pl, NW

Washington, DC 20008

5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths


I love contemporary homes. When I saw this listing, I knew I had to feature it.  It's wildly expensive but I adore the windows, the sky high ceilings and the views.  It's situated on two thirds of acre that's private.  The home has been renovated with a cook's kitchen, it has hardwoods through out, an open floor plan, a wood burning fireplace, several decks plus a koi pond.  Located in Forest Hills, Hillwood Museum and Rock Creek Park as short jaunts.  Open House on Sunday, 12/18 from 1-4pm.

2600 tilden lr

2600 tilden kitchen

*photos via the MLS.  listing courtsey of Tricia Messerschmitt of Washington Fine Properties.

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 My favorite gift ideas for this year:

Sparkle nailsFor those captivated by sparkle:  OPI for Sephora "Keep Me in Mistletoes" (base color) and OPI for Sephora "Don't Be Eggnog-ious" (tips).  $9.50 each.  Not availalbe online.

For those obsessed with their iphone:  photojojo lenses.  All three for $50.  

Gift-guide-olive-oilFor those concerned with quality ingredients:  Grove 45 Olive Oil from Napa Valley.  $35 for 10.6 ounces at

Dog scarfFor those fascinated with their dogs:  Jonathan Adler Dog Scarf for $14.95. 

Mustache mugFor those engrossed with the idea of a mustache:  the mustache mug for $20.30

For those immersed in all things fashionable:  a knit turban for $33.60.



*photos from top to bottom: me, photojojo, grove 45, jonathan adler, oaknyc, oaknyc

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