rise

Rise Bakery, located at 2409 18th St, NW in Adams Morgan, is a gluten-free bakery.  This is monumental news in my gluten free world.  A couple of months ago, my husband popped by there and grabbed a few things: a bag of bagels, a loaf of bread, a banana nut muffin and a cinnamon roll.  They were delicious and I was so exited. Good gluten free bread and pastries are hard to find.

I had an appointment today in Adams Morgan so I popped by the bakery. I grabbed a chocolate croissant and a cherry-ginger scone. I was not disappointed!  Is the croissant light and flakey like a regular croissant?  Nope but it’s pretty close in taste. I ate it in 3.2 seconds.
crossant

The cherry-ginger sconce was also yummy. Out of everything I’ve sampled, I’ve liked the croissant, banana nut muffin and the cinnamon roll the best.  Their bread is also tasty. If you’re gluten free, Rise Bakery should be on your list of places to try in DC.

sconce

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life via instagram aprl

Why hello there. I’ve been a little lax on the ole blog because I can’t seem to muster up a lot of enthusiasm. I’ve been writing about real estate, design and things I love for TEN years. My creativity has dried up and work has been crazy. (Correlation? Possibly but I’m too tired to figure it out). I’m still exploring new places and things but really, I’m a kinda over writing about it. Kinda. There’s still a host of topics that pique my interest.  You’ll definitely still be hearing from me. However the days of daily postings are a thing of the past.  If you’ve noticed, I’ve been publishing twice a week.  That’s my plan for the future and I hope you keep reading.  Till next week!

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life via instagram

My trip to LA over President’s Day weekend was a ton of fun. The only downside: the weather! The weekend we were there, LA had a “monster storm” and it rained like crazy two out of the five days we were visiting.  Figures.  They’ve had a drought for four years but the weekend we visit, it’s a deluge.

We spent a couple days in Pasadena with my Aunt and Uncle then moved onto LA. While in Pasadena, we ate at wonderful restaurants and visited the Norton Simon Museum.  The museum was incredible and had a mix of old Masters and modern art.  I found a new artist that I like: Sam Francis.  I’d never heard of him but I LOVED the “Basel Mural 2”. I wish I could recreate it.

On Saturday, we met up with more family but on the Angotti side.  We spent the day with them at the LA Natural History Museum and then checked out their neighborhood in Hollywood.  It was cute! California has an interesting mix of housing styles and I enjoyed gawking.  Always a real estate agent.

We stayed at Santa Monica pier at the Shore Hotel for the rest of our visit. A few of my DC friends have absconded to LA and live in Venice Beach.  Santa Monica was the perfect location between Hollywood and Venice.  Saturday and Sunday we spent hanging out in Santa Monica and Venice.  Saturday evening we ate at Michael’s (which was seriously amazing) and Sunday we had brunch at Scopa. Venice was adorable and I loved all the shops on Abbot Kinney Rd.

Although we managed to pack a lot of visiting and wandering while we were there, there’s still neighborhoods that I want to explore.  Next visit!

 

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off to la

la sky

I’m off to LA tomorrow and I’m looking forward to sunshine and nice temperatures.  At least 2 of the 4 days will be nice. Even though LA has been having a drought for the last 4 years, apparently this year they’re getting record rainfall.  While I’m pumped for LA, I’ve been feeling a lot of *#%^ due to the weather forecast.  Le sigh.

I’m spending a couple days in Pasadena and then a couple of days in LA proper.  More on my adventures next week. Have a happy President’s Day weekend!

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valentines

Hope you have a wonderful day full of chocolate and champagne! xoxo

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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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happy 2017!

happy-new-year

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!

fish-fryin1

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.
mens-frying-fish

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!

pepperoni-rolls

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!

dad-frying-fish

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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pierthankful

Happy Thanksgiving from Folly Beach, SC!  It’s 75 degrees, sunny and beautiful. I’m thankful to be spending time with my family in such a lovely setting. I’m also grateful for my DC friends who make me laugh. For what are thankful?

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DC is a complicated place.  It’s full of wonks, geeks, creatives, and technophiles. It’s a hodge podge of exceptionally smart people.  Most of the time, it’s a lot of “wah wah wah” but every once in a while, it’s the perfect smorgasbord of awesome that makes me love this city.

Last weekend was the kick off festivities for the new African American Museum.  There were free concerts on the Mall, speeches by the President and the who’s who of *important people* were in town.

On Friday night, there was a concert at Lincoln Theatre by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  I bought the tickets at the last moment because I love jazz.  I know nothing about jazz. I’d heard Preservation Hall was good.  I had no expectations and it.blew.my.mind.

Unbeknownst to me, the concert was an official part of the kick off festivities for the new museum.  There was a very cool intro from a Smithsonian staffer about how Preservation Hall set the standard for music in New Orleans during Jim Crow years and since then, has continued to provide outstanding music and entertainment.

The band began and it was an incredible, joyous show.  They grooved.  They rocked.  They celebrated a birthday.  They celebrated a couple of surprise guests like one of the Blind Boys of Alabama and Dave Grohl.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, popped in for a jam session.

For the encore of the show, all the musicians gathered on the stage and started a song. Then they started walked off the stage and out of the Lincoln. As we exited out the doors in a second line and the entire audience followed the band down U St., my only thought was “I can’t believe this is  happening in DC.”  It was an epic evening celebrating a historic museum opening and I couldn’t be more excited I was part of the “moment”.

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puente romano beach

Marbella was everything I imagined: picturesque, sunny, and unbelievably fun. Spain has always been a special place for me and after an extended hiatus, I was ecstatic to be back.

My husband and I arrived a day earlier than the rest of the crew and spent the night at fancy hotel called the Puente Romano.  It was uber luxurious and the people watching was fantastic. Everyone was super glam, decked out in the latest fashions and I could immediately see why Marbella is considered a playground for pretty people.  We had a seaside lunch, drank a bottle of rosé, got massages and relaxed.  Our flight to Spain was a total shit show (#deltasucks) and we needed pampering.

old marbella

That evening, we went to Casco Antiguo or Old Town Marbella for dinner. It was charming. We wandered down cobblestone streets, poked around in a few shops and then had dinner at Restaurante Marbella Patio. It was the first of many fine meals.

marbesa beach

The next day, we were off to the house my friend rented. It was 15 minutes east of Puente Romano in an area called Marbesa. It’s a neighborhood full of grand houses and twisty streets.  The beach was a five minute walk from the house and it was gorgeous.

marbella toes pool

There were eight of us for most of the week and it was an international group.  A couple of people were from London, there were a few Americans, and one is currently living in Toronto. The house was big, the beds were comfy and the pool was dynamite but the house had a few problems.  The hot water heater broke on Sunday and the rest of the week there was no hot water.  The wifi was intermittent and nobody could figure out how to work the TV’s because the instructions were in Russian. It wasn’t ideal but it certainly didn’t ruin our fun.

competa all

On Monday, we went to Cómpeta for the Noche del Vino.  This is an annual event that pays tribute to the town’s patron saint, Nuestra Señora de Asuncion.  Traditionally, it’s supposed to be a day of celebration before the harvest begins. It’s an hour and a half away from Marbella in the mountains. Our group was on Spanish time the entire trip: stay up to at least 2-3am every night, get up by 11am, start moving by 1-2pm. By the time we arrived, we had missed the traditional events like the grape stomping. Instead, we got DJ’s and loads of drunk people singing and dancing. It was hilarious and definitely not what we were expecting.  After side stepping the drunken masses, we spent the remaining time exploring the tiny town.

spain

The rest of our visit was spent relaxing in and around Marbesa and Marbella.  Part of the group was ambitious and took day trips to Granada and Sevilla.  For us, that was too much time in the car and not enough time relaxing.  We rented loungers under umbrellas and spent afternoons on the beach.  We ate at the local chiringuito, a casual, beach side restaurant.  We had an epic night out till 6am.  We spent an afternoon at Nikki Beach, drinking, dancing and watching a bunch of douche bags fellows spray a case of Tattinger in the pool. We spent an evening in Puerto Banús and oogled the yachts. We drank tons of Spanish wine, ate loads of jamón and laughed a lot.  It was an ideal vacation.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” St. Augustine

 

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gone fishin’

marbella beach

After a crazy week (my new listing had 9 offers.  9!), I’m off to Marbella, Spain.  My friend that lives in London has rented a house so she can experience a “typical British holiday”.  It’s a short walk to the beach and the house has a pool (see below). It looks amazing.  When she initially told me her plans, I immediately invited myself.  I mean..Marbella!  Come on!  How can you miss that sort of adventure? Details when I return.

marbella house

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