latest-and-greatest-dec2105

I don’t know about you, but the last two months have gone by at warp speed.  I’ve been swamped at work (yea!) but I’ve also been having a lot of fun.

Have you been to The Dabney yet?  I’ve been twice and I’m completely obsessed with the place. The food is delicious and the service is A+.  No wonder it’s getting rave reviews!

I went on a DC Wise retreat to Middleburg.  We had lunch at The Salamander (so pretty) then ventured to two vineyards: Boxwood and RdV.  It was a fun day and we did a lot of planning for our events next year.  Get ready!

I had a lunch meeting at Chez Billy Sud and enjoyed a wonderful Nicoise salad.  I’m obsessed with Nicoise salads and this version was beautiful and tasty.  I’ll be back!

The new retail at the corner of 9th and U St. is ridiculous!  I can’t believe this is down the street from my house!! As you can tell from the number of exclamation marks, I’m excited the shops, movie theatre and Glen’s Market have opened.  My neighborhood just keeps on getting better.  Now bring on the Whole Foods!

 

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I’ve lived in DC for a looong time yet somehow, I’ve never visited the National Arboretum. This weekend I had a couple of hours free on Saturday and the weather was insanely pretty.  I met a friend for lunch at Union Market and then we went exploring at the Arboretum.

The Arboretum is HUGE.  We only visited 3 areas and there were many other things to see. It’s wild (harhar) to be wandering in a serene patch of woods and know the hustle and bustle of U St., NW is 15 minutes away.  It’d be a great place for a picnic or to read a book.

bonsaiThe Bonsai Pavilion was also fascinating.  One of the trees in the exhibit has been in training since the 1600’s.  Isn’t that crazy?

If you need some green in the midst of the concrete, the arboretum is a great outing.  How was your weekend?

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dc wise Invite

You might be wondering why I keep writing about DC Wise.  Last year, I joined this wonderful organization and it was my first foray into charity.  It’s deeply satisfying to give back and I love that we help women and children.

This year, our 2nd Annual annual fundraiser is going to be a blockbuster.  Our charity is FAIR Girls, an organization that helps exploited children. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to help FAIR Girls fund another social worker.

Our auction items this year are impressive. Buy your tickets now and help us meet our goal!

Arts & Entertainment
4 One-Day Park Hopper passes to Disney World
Author Karin Tanabe signed novels and Book Club Appearance
“What do I do with these pictures?” 2 Hour class for Moms
A family photo session – custom session up to 2 hours at location of your choice + 16×24 canvas of your favorite image
Personal or Professional Photo Session and 11×14 canvas of your favorite photo
2 Wizards Court side Tickets with autographed photo
Greenbrier Resort – 2 night / 3 day stay w/ golf, horseback riding or fly fishing
Washington Caps 2 VIP seats + food, drinks and parking
4 Front Row Tickets to a Nationals game
2 VIP Tickets to Studio Theater – an experience-opening night party with director and cast
Hand Carved Wood Bowl (made from an elm tree knocked down in derecho storm)
Jon Wye custom T-Shirt & Tour of Workshop

Health & Wellness
Private Rooftop Yoga Class for 4 People & Post Class Mimosas
30 Day ClassPass
Logan 14/Aveda Spa Hot Stone Mani/Pedi
Health Coach Nichole Ferrigno 90 minute pantry clean out and wellness consultation
Session with Personal Coach Leigh Perry
Soul Cycle 10 class pass
Barre class 10 class package plus water bottle, core ball and tote
Deep Pore Hydrafacial

Fashion & Beauty
Rag & Bone $400 gift certificate
Hu’s shoes $200.00 gift certificate
Personal Custom Eyelash Extension from Georgetown Spa
Closet Organization & Clean Out by DC Style Factory
2 hour styling by Sebastien Courret

Food & Wine
Le Diplomate dinner gift certificate
Private Wine Tasting at Total Wine & More for 20 people
Dinner for 2 at Zaytinya plus 1 bottle of wine, tax and gratuity
Dinner for 2 at Barcelona (does not include alcohol, tax or tip)
Lunch with the Ladies of DC WISE
Gift Basket of Goodies from Periwinkle Gifts

Home & Decor
Wall papering a powder room or wall
1 bedroom Home Staging from New Vision Staging

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applesIt’s the first day of Fall!  The Pope is visiting, Whole Foods is officially coming to the neighborhood and cooler weather is upon us.  Go forth and enjoy yourselves!

1. Apple picking in Virginia

There are many apple orchards within a mile of DC and you can grab your fill.  Stribling Orchard and Hartland Orchard are located in Markham, VA.  Check their websites for the days and hours they are open.

fall-foliage-road-trips-harpers-ferry.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960

2. Hiking in Harper’s Ferry

As the weather cools off and the leaves start to change, hiking in Harper’s Ferry is a Fall favorite.

cheering crowd concert

3. Landmark Music Festival for the National Mall

If you’re a DC centric kind of person (raises hand), the Landmark Music Festival on the Mall would probably be the event for you.  It’s this weekend and it’s 2 days of concerts with over 40 different performers.

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bar-mini

Last week, my husband and I had cocktails at barmini. barmini is the cocktail lab adjoining José Andrés’ restaurant minibar.  One of our wedding presents was dinner at minibar and it was an incredible experience.  I was expecting the same level of “cool” and I was not disappointed.

As you can see from the video, the presentation is bad ass.  This was a highlander cocktail: scotch, mescal, rosemary and a creme de cocoa cloud.  We also had a few nibbles:  liquid “olives” and tuna tartare.  It was a fun experience and I can’t wait to go again!

food-barmini

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annapolisIf last weekend was any indication, summer 2015 is going to be fun.  On Friday afternoon, I snuck off to Annapolis for a boat ride. It was a treat to get out of DC and onto the water for a couple of hours.door knockerSaturday I worked and saw a bunch of cute houses and condos.  This door knocker was on a house off Dupont Circle.  I love the classic combo of black and gold.

cap hillI also spent some time in Capitol Hill.  How cute are the brightly colored row houses?  DC is so picturesque.

matthew-&-meMy brother was in town too and we went to Estadio for brunch on Sunday. It was my first visit for brunch and it was delicious!

bobby-in-b-hat My husband and I went to a few cookouts where we enjoyed the weather.  (He is such a goof ball!)

It was action packed which is exactly how I like my weekends.  How was yours?

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FunkCardMapCorrectedWebDon’t forget the Funk Parade is May 2nd from noon-whenever! There’s going to be a festival and a parade.  The festival is at 945 Florida Ave, NW (work should be fun tomorrow..oh boy!) and then a parade later in the day.  Don’t miss it!

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wendy-on-setTrue confession:  being on TV is hard but highly entertaining.  As I mentioned, last week I went to a taping of the Wendy Williams Show and this is how it went.

6am: After not sleeping much because our hotel room was hot as hades, my friend and I wake up at the crack of dawn.  There is a miscommunication with the front desk/room service about our breakfast order and I almost have a melt down due to lack of coffee.  It wasn’t pretty.

standing-in-line

7:30am: We take a taxi to Chelsea and start standing in line with the other Wendy fans. It’s chilly but the crowd is excited.

wendy-williams-sign

8:30am:  Almost in the door and to the waiting room!

9am: We’re in!  Wendy’s staff gives us questionnaires to fill out.  Do we want to ask Wendy any questions?  (we do not!  we’re shy.)

9:30: They lead us into a huge elevator that feels like a cattle car.  The staff escorts us onto the set.  The noise is deafening.  DJ Boof is spinning and people are dancing like it’s 1 am. Meanwhile, Wendy’s staff is seating people.  Somehow, my friend and I are sat in the 2nd row, center.  There is a hype ’em up guy.  He hypes us up.  We scream. We hoot. We say “how you doin’??” We chant Wendy’s name. There’s a dance off between audience members. IT’S THE BEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN and the show hasn’t started yet.

10am:  The show goes live in NYC.  We spend the next hour watching Wendy talk about Hot Topics (first photo).  Then she interviews her guest.  Then some more stuff I don’t remember because I am exhausted.  Since we’re front and center, we know we’ll be in a lot of shots so I’m smiling like a crazy person*.

me-wws

The show ends.  We shake Wendy’s hand and really, our whole day has been made.

Being trendy with Wendy is AWESOME!

*when I ask my husband later if he sees me on TV, he said I was clapping like I’d just seen Elvis.*

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a day in philly

philly streetOur weekend in Philly was fantastic.  On Friday afternoon, we took the train up. It was lovely. I’m a big fan of not driving especially since I was able to enjoy double vodka and soda on the train.  It’d been one of those days and that’s the joy in taking the train: you can drink!  (priorities, people. priorities)  The BYOB restaurant we went to on Friday night, Kanella, was excellent too.

My favorite part of the trip is what we did on Saturday and for me, this is a perfect day in Philly. We started the day by walking to La Columbe coffee, the best coffee shop in Philly. Then we went to Reading Terminal and went nuts.  I was with a group of friends that were also attending the wedding and they had never been to Reading Terminal.  The excitement level was insane. Half made a beeline for the Dinic’s counter for their famous pork sandwiches.  I wanted a classic breakfast and headed to the Dutch Eating Place, an Amish breakfast counter.  The key is to get it to go and then eat at one of the communal tables in the market.  Otherwise you’ll wait forever for a seat at the counter. It was delicious.

macy's flowersOnce we conquered Reading Terminal, we went on a walking tour of Philly.  My cousins took us on a spin through Macy’s to show us the Spring flower show.  It was so pretty and the Macy’s building is majestic.  Then we headed to Egan Day, an incredible jewelry store. I wanted multiple items but settled for a pair of earrings.  Next we went to a funky eye glass shop called EYEsite.  If you want original eyewear, this is the place to visit.  I found a pair of frames that I loved but I just got new glasses. sigh. Our last stop was the high end shop Joan Shepp.  This store is for the serious fashionistas.  It had many designers that you don’t see everyday: Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Marni to name a few. After I wandered around Joan Shepp, I was done and ready for a nap.

Philly..you were fun and I can’t wait to go back!

 

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bourough-marketI got back from London late monday night and I’m still exhausted.  Jet lag is not fun. London and Manchester, on the other hand, were a ton of fun.

It was a quick trip. My husband and I spent 3 days in London and 1 day in Manchester.  On our first day, we were exhausted.  I never sleep on overnight flights and this one was no different.  I arrived in London starving and sleepy but I was determined to push through. We checked into our hotel, the Arch in Marylebone. Our room was available within thirty minutes even though it was 9am which was lovely.  The Arch is a wonderful, boutique hotel.  It was close to a Tube station, Hyde Park was across the street and the bed was super comfy.  I would definitely stay there again.  Once we showered and ate breakfast, we decided to head to Borough Market, a huge food market in Southwark.  Since I’m a food geek, this was heaven. We wandered the stalls, bought some tea and I lamented I wasn’t hungry (poor planning on my part!)  My husband couldn’t resist a chorizo sandwich from the Brandisa stand.  Afterwards, we walked along the Thames, checked out the Globe Theatre and went to the Tate Modern.

GB_London_LibertyThe next day, we shopped.  We went to Selfridges and Liberty then wandered the surrounding shops.  We had lunch at the Wolseley, which is a beautiful old school European restaurant.  Next we walked through Green Park, took a peek at Buckingham Palace then strolled over to Westminister Abbey.  

notting-hill-main-dragOn Saturday, we headed to Notting Hill and it was charming. The homes were fabulous and I gawked like the tourist I am.  We also went Portabello Market and poked around the antique stores.  Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at Granger & Co. While lunch was fantastic, the wait was not and we were done. The weather turned chilly and the thought of walking anywhere else held no appeal. We hopped a taxi and went to the Wallace Collection, which is a national museum in a historic town house.  It was unbelievable and I’m still thinking about the green flocked wallpaper in one of the rooms.

old-traffordOn Sunday, we took the train to Manchester for the main event of the trip:  watching a Manchester United game at Old Trafford.  My husband is an ardent Manchester United fan and going to a game in Manchester has been on his bucket list forever.  He had a big birthday this year and I wanted to give him something unforgettable.  So I did!  Not only was the game a good one, Manchester United won 3-0 against Tottenham.  If you follow English league, you know this was big stuff and he was thrilled.  While we didn’t do much in Manchester, it was really cute and I enjoyed seeing another part of England.

Although I only mentioned our lunch stops, we also had fantastic dinners at Wild Honey, Trishna and Oshisama while in London.  The food was excellent in all three.

Overall, London and Manchester was an experience I won’t forget.  I can’t wait till we go back!

 

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thread dc

Remember when I went to Thread last year at Union Market and I waxed on and on and on?  Guess what?! The next Thread event starts tomorrow and I can’t wait!  This year it’s changed locations to a warehouse next to the Angelika pop up.  There’s 14 retailers (Billy Reid!  what?!) and I’m bound to buy a few holiday gifts.  Don’t miss it.

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mid-city-art-open

This weekend, the Mid City Artists are having their Fall studio open houses.   You can arrange a group tour or just wander the studios yourself.  Don’t miss it!

image via midcityartists.com

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