dc wise check2

Last week, the ladies of DC Wise presented the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project with a check for $90,000.  It was the largest donation they’ve ever received and it allowed them to hire their first volunteer coordinator. It also granted them the ability to expand their program to the hotels that are housing the overflow from DC General.  N St. Village and Fair Girls both received $5,000 as a part of the DC Wise legacy program.

I’m proud to be a part of this group of women and to have the opportunity make a difference in somebody’s life. Thank you for your support because this wouldn’t have been possible without your generosity.

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re rounduplinks from left to right: urban turf, washington post, housing wire, washingtonian

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white bean soup

Yesterday’s rainy, cold weather made me long for a bowl of soup.  A couple weekends ago, I whipped up this white bean, kale and sausage soup.  It was hearty and delicious.  Enjoy!



1 lb spicy italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped (I use a mini cusinart to chop the onion, garlic, carrots, & celery)
1 garlic clove finely minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 can white beans
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
4 cups roughly chopped kale (I just do 4 big handfuls)

In a large pot or dutch oven, sauté the sausage until browned and cooked through, breaking into small chunks.  Remove sausage from pan and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but one tablespoon of oil.  Sauté the onion in the remaining oil for 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 1 minute.  Add the celery and carrots and sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Season with bay leaf, thyme, salt & pepper.  Stir white beans into pan.  Cook for 3 minutes, stir, then cook another 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and 2 cups of water to the pan, then bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add in cooked sausage and the kale.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until the kale is soft.


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bathroom after bed1

Although the guest bathroom renovation finished in July, it wasn’t photo worthy until recently.  I’m thrilled with the final result!

before after guest bathroom bed

It’s unbelievable how new tile adds to a space.  For the floor, I chose a 5 x 5 carrera marble hexagon tile.  It’s a small space so it made a big impact.  I used a matte white subway tile and grey grout for the rest of the  bathroom. I am overjoyed not to see brown, builder grade tile anymore.

before after shower stall

My only regret is not adding a niche in the shower wall for shampoo and soap.  I can’t believe I spaced on adding one!

before after guest bath hallway

I also replaced the original toilet with a Toto dual flush toilet, tiled behind the toilet for a more cohesive look, added a shut off valve for the shower and switched the shower hardware to match the sink hardware.

The art is by Kristi Kohut as detailed in this post.  The ocean print above the towel bar is from Urban Outfitters.  It’s by Tina Crespo and it says “the cure for anything is salt water. sweat, tears, or the sea”.  True words.

Total cost was around $3,000 for labor and materials.

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winter reads

reads jan

I love curling up on the sofa with a blanket and getting lost in a good book. As we make our way through snowy, cold days, here’s a few books that have caught my interest.  I’ve read almost all the books that are on the “lists” and many didn’t impress. (I’m talking to you The Underground Railroad, Sweetbitter, The Wonder, The Girls. I know but I didn’t like them. Don’t bother unless you can check them out of the library.)

What I did like was:

The Assistants by Camille Perri. An accurate, hilarious portrayal of life as an assistant.

The Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.  All the hype is spot on.  An engaging tale about complex, family relationships.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman.  I LOVED this book and blew through it in an afternoon. The story is about growing up with a burden of guilt.

the book that matters most by Ann Hood. What books matter most to you? That’s the premise of the novel and it explores the relationship of why book matters and how literature can heal.

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close.  This books is so DC, I had to include it.  It’s about the Obama campaign and it made me laugh.

small great things by Jodi Picoult.  As always, Jodi Picoult delivers a thought provoking book that’s a timely message about race.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. A feel good novel about following your dreams.

Happy reading!


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Over the holidays, I finally went to All Purpose.  The pizzeria in Shaw has had a lot of good press and Tom Sietsema said it was his #1 restaurant in DC.


My husband and I went for lunch and we shared a roasted squash and apple salad and each had a pizza.  I really enjoyed the salad of red endive, carrots, apple, celery and radish atop the roasted butternut squash.


My husband went for the DIY pie and got pepperoni.  He said it was better than 2 Amy’s and in the DC pizza world, that’s the highest compliment you can receive.

I had the gluten free pizza with pepperoni.  There’s no photo because gluten free pizza is sad. Dairy is out for me too so it’s just dough and pepperoni.  Who wants to see that?  As for the pizza itself, it was OK. I don’t know if I’d go back for it. However, gluten free pizza is hard and the whole place shouldn’t be judged on this one category.  I’ve only found ONE decent gluten free pizza in all of DC.

Overall, I’d go back for the antipasti and because everyone else will enjoy a fantastic pizza.

Located at 1250 9th St, NW. WDC 20001.  202-849-6174

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happy 2017!


Why hello!  I’m a couple of days late in wishing you a Happy New Year but getting back to work is hard.  I spent the last couple of weeks working, enjoying my family and friends, and reading 8000 books.  Ok..I only read 15 and some were only 250 pages.  It was a really great holiday!


This year was quiet as my Uncle couldn’t join us for the annual Christmas Eve fish fry. Instead, these jokers helped my Dad.  It’s a lot of work but they have a great time.

Meanwhile, the rest of us were inside waiting for the pepperoni rolls to come out of the oven. Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year!


The hilarious part?  This compilation of my Dad cooking on Christmas Eve the last four years. Does this man age? He’s certainly having a good time every year!


While I had a wonderful time, I’m glad I’m back in DC and getting geared up for 2017.  I think it’s going to be a wild and crazy year for real estate.  I hope it’ll be a year full of fun as well!


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