summer reads

readsI’m a voracious reader and since it’s a holiday weekend, it’s time for a summer reads post.  I comb the lists and read 90% of what’s recommended. Thus far, the best books I’ve read have been:

  1. Opening Belle–  The heroine is smart, sassy and hilarious. It’s a fascinating portrayal of life on Wall Street.
  2. The Nest– This book is on every “must read” list this summer and it held up to the hype.
  3. Modern Lovers– I loved Emma Straub’s novel The Vacationers which made this an automatic purchase.
  4. Eligible– As a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, you know what’s going to happen but it’s still  entertaining.
  5. Days of Awe-Life is full of curve balls and the how you deal with them.
  6. and 7. The Secret Life of Violet Grant and Tiny Little Thing are book 1 and 2 of the Schuyler Sisters trilogy.  All three are fast moving, historical fiction novels and they’re wonderful.

Not worth reading (so either check them out in the library and see for yourself or skip all together):

Rich and Pretty– And vapid, as far I’m concerned. Blurgh.

Love in the Lower Case– So, so slow and after reading half of it, I’m still not into the characters.

Finding Fraser– I love a good Outlander novel but this is terribly written.

Masestra– Another day, another bondage book.  BORING.

As Close to us as Breathing– I usually enjoy multi generational stories but this novel did not capture my interest.

Perfect Days-It’s supposed to be a creepy thriller.  It was just creepy and awful.

One with You– I thought it’d be the ultimate trashy novel.  Trashy, yes.  Interesting, no.

My name is Lucy Barton– I can’t figure out why everyone loved this book.  It was dreadful.

At the Edge of the Orchard- I loved all of Tracy Chevalier’s book but I did not enjoy this one.


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hood happeningsphotos and links left to right: borderstan, washington city paper, popville, washingtonian

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broccoli salad

This salad seems simple but the layers of crunchy vegetables, the heat from the fresno chile and the refreshing flavor of mint makes it complex.  I’ve been making this non-stop since I discovered the recipe in Bon Appétit.  The original recipe has cracked farro but I’m gluten free these days (not by choice, trust me) so I subbed rice.


1/2 cup cooked and cooled jasmine rice
Kosher salt
1 large egg yolk
3 drained oil-packed anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head of broccoli, stem peeled and trimmed, very thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
1 Persian cucumber, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup mint leaves
5 radishes, thinly sliced
2 ounces young Pecorino, shaved


Blend egg yolk, anchovies, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and 1 garlic clove in a blender to combine. With motor running, gradually stream in vegetable oil and 4 Tbsp. olive oil and blend until dressing is emulsified and creamy, then add oregano. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss broccoli and remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Add cucumber, chile, sun-dried tomatoes and rice.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup of dressing and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper and add more dressing if desired.  Add mint and toss again.

Serve salad topped with radishes and Pecorino.


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916-G--ext916 G St, NW #506
Washington, DC 20001
1 bed | 1 bath
843 square feet
$490.18 monthly condo fee
sold price | $479,000

Congratulations to my client on selling his stunning corner loft! The unit has an open floor plan, 9′ ceilings, exposed brick, polished concrete floors, exposed ductwork, granite counter tops in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, wired for surround sound and a washer/dryer in unit. Pets allowed. Rental parking available next door. Minutes to Metro, restaurants and retail. 95 walk score.

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1367 Florida Ave., NE #402
Washington, DC 20002
2 bedroom | 2 bath with a parking space
913 square feet | $2927 yearly taxes | $247.07 condo fee
list price | $475,000

Modern 2 bedroom/2 bath condo with parking two blocks from H St. Corridor. Hardwood floors, open floor plan, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops in the kitchen, master bedroom with bathroom en suite and Elfa closets, w/d in unit, pet friendly. Minutes to H St. restaurants, retail and the DC street car. 91 walk score.  Open Sunday 6/19 from 1-4 pm.

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links and photos top to bottom:

cnn, washington business journal, borderstan, washington business journal

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fathersdaygiftguideFather’s Day is June 19th and if you’re like me, the scramble for a gift has begun.

  1. Yeti Rambler Coaster $31– Perfect for your summer beverage.
  2. Bourbon Smoked Grilling Set $18.50– Get to grillin’.
  3. TravTac Bag $29.95– Dorky? Yes. Will the man in your life love it? Yes. My husband was given one by Dad as a Christmas gift to use while he’s fishing. My husband loves it so much he wants to carry it around DC. (um, no.)  For the ultra prepared.
  4. Sunscreen Flask $9.39  Looks like sunscreen but it’s really a flask.  Perfect for the golf bag.
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I have a penchant for changing things up in the condo.  I’ve painted kitchen cabinets, redesigned the living room, added art in the foyer and updated the guest bathroom about 15 times.  For a long time, I didn’t want to invest in any major renovations because I thought we’d sell this place.  Now that a Whole Foods is being built across the street, we’re here for the duration.  While I’d love to have a back yard, two parking spaces and a Whole Foods trumps all in DC.

This year, I’ve decided to invest in renovating the bathrooms.  In the guest bathroom, I’m going to retile.  As you can see from the photo on the left, we have some nasty builder grade tan tile.  I hate tan.  It’s boring and bland. I know there’s people who think beige is the best thing that ever happened but not me. It gives me the shivers. I still love everything else about the bathroom but the tile has to go.


For the floors, I’ve chosen a 5×5 Carrera marble tile to match the vanity in the guest bathroom.  For the shower, I’m going with your basic white subway tile. The tile guys are going to lay it in a cool pattern and I’m using a light grey grout. While the project won’t begin till sometime in July, I’m already envisioning the final results.

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