it never ends

I haven't prepared anything for today.  I'm distracted by my ongoing new car situation.  Remember this post? How I had a terrible experience buying my new car?  The bank fraud?  The perfect misery of my life for month? Unfortunately, it's not over.   I'm driving to Bethesda again because my car still (2 months later) isn't registered in DC and I need new temporary tags.  Supposedly, DC is very slow to register cars. That I can believe.  I also think the dealership wasn't being proactive about submitting necessary information.  I, however, have been proactive about getting the car registered.  The temporary tags were good for 2 months.  At 1 month, I checked in to see if they had everything they needed. They didn't.  I sent them the info they requested.  Two weeks ago, I called to see if the tags were in yet.  They weren't.  I called last week.  No response.  I called this week. The tags still aren't there and they don't have everything they need.  That's when I got mad.  Again. The sales manager doesn't seem to understand why I'm so angry.  Maybe because the customer service was horrible from the minute I told you I was coming in to buy a car?  And oh yea..one of your employees stole my financial information.  As a result, I had to close all my bank accounts and open new accounts at another bank.  Which took a month to straighten out.  When I called and confronted the sales manager about the situation, he told me I was "jumping to conclusions." Really?  Now, I can't get my tags.  Somehow, I'm the one with a bad attitude. The sales manager has tried to make up for it.  He offered to deliver my temporary tags to DC and a host of other things. Thanks buddy but at this point, it's too late. Maybe if that type of customer service had been offered from the get-go, I'd be more amenable.    ...
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neighborhood guide | dupont circle

Dupont Circle is one of the oldest and well established neighborhoods in DC. Some of the most beautiful (and expensive) homes in the city grace this area.  It's easily accessible by Metro and public transportation. There's a lot of retail and restaurants which make it a popular place to live.   SHOP at Tabletop and Claude Taylor Photography.  There's not a plethora of home stores in Dupont Circle.  I love these two stores.  Tabletop has cute, quirky home gifts.  Claude Taylor Photography is chock full of beautiful photos of spots around the world.   EAT at Little Serow and Sushi Taro.  Little Serow is a unique dining experience.  They have one menu per day with no substitutions.  It's Thai food from North and Northeastern Thai food.   It's nothing like you've experienced previously and it's delicious.  Sushi Taro is the only place in DC where I'll eat sushi.  Once you've dined there, every other sushi place pales in comparison. DRINK at Firefly and Eighteenth Street Lounge.  Firefly's drink program, led by mixologist Jon Harris, is one of the best in the city.  I'm always happy to sip a cocktail at the bar.  Eighteenth Street Lounge is a DC institution.  It opened in 1995 and still remains one of the best spots in the city.  There's multiple rooms with different types of music, live jazz on the top floor or an outdoor bar where you can...
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riveting rooms

One of my friends recently purchased a brick Colonial.  Being the curious sort, I visited last week to check it out (so pretty!) and talk design.  Half the fun with a new house is making it yours. Her style is neo-traditional: classic proportions, traditional comforts with an updated twist.  Like the the photo above from the latest edition of Lonny.  It's sophisticated but functional.  I can't wait to see the final...
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new listing!

3883 Connecticut Ave, NW #712 Washington, DC 20008 715 sf | $516.00 condo fee | $2,989 yearly taxes list price: $398,000   Welcome to 3883 Connecticut Ave, NW, a luxury condo building in Cleveland Park.  This sunny 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo has hardwood floors, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen plus a juliet balcony with a stunning view.  The furnace and water heater are new.  Building amenities include a concierge, party room and business center, an exercise room and a roof top pool with grills.  Short stroll to Metro, restaurants and retail.  Open Sunday 7/28 from 1-4pm....
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piola

Piola, the international Italian pizza chain, opened in May at 2208 14th St, NW. Although I'm not a fan of chains, I can't resist pizza.  Especially pizza that's three blocks from my house.  My husband and I went for lunch a few weeks ago. The food was great.  Everything was very fresh and flavorful.  I had a salad with grilled chicken and fresh mozzarella.  My husband got a pizza with Italian sausage.  He thought the pizza could have been baked a little longer to get a crisper crust.  There was a lot of complaining on his end about this..I didn't think it was so bad. However, I think Piola was suffering in comparison to our most recent experience at Etto.  Therefore, I don't know if we are giving a Piola a fair chance.  Etto is 1000 times better, in our opinion.  However, it's only open in the evening and it's hard to get a seat.  For a quick lunch or dinner, we'd go back to Piola.  Regardless, I'm happy there's another decent option in our 'hood.  ...
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home office

There's a reason you've never seen a photo of my office.  Up until Monday, it was a total disaster.  I thought it was cute and organized but really, it wasn't.  I had the exact same set up but there were random clear tubs and boxes full of crap.   After living with it for years, I decided it was high time to ditch everything and make it look purty.  I know it's a little matchy matchy but I don't care.  It's colorful. There's not paper everywhere.  You can't see what's in the boxes.  I have places to hide stuff.   I'm sure by tomorrow, it will look like a bomb went off in this room.  That's why I took the picture today.     *all accessories from the Container Store.  i love that place.  it's all on sale right now.  it's called the "happy organized home sale".  how could i go...
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too blue?

One thing I realized about my new neutral condo:  my eyes are freaking out because there's no color anywhere! The blue kitchen was a statement.  My rust couch was another one.  Somehow, it all worked together. However, over the last year, I've gradually transitioned to a more neutral palette.  Which I like.  Except I miss my color.  Now, when I look around our living space, I don't feel like it's really me anymore.  As one of my friends recently stated: hello!  if it's your place, there's color.   I didn't realize repainting the condo would lead to a shopping frenzy but it looks like it's going in that direction.  I've been obsessively reading my design blogs and I've found my eye drawn again and again to rooms with crazy blue rugs.  All designed by Emily Henderson.  (If you don't read her blog..start.  It's hilarious and I love, love, love what she does).  Both of these rooms are her work.  Notice the color of the walls and how she accessorizes with colorful art and furniture. Striking, right?  But is it too much or just right? *photos via Emily Henderson's...
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riveting rooms

Today, I'm organizing my home office.  I'm pretty together but lately, piles of paper have been littering every surface in my office.  It drives me crazy.  I have a great set up..a huge desk/Elfa system but somehow it's still not functional.  The office was also repainted last week and it's the perfect opportunity to throw stuff out.  Like Windows programs from 2007.  Manuals for appliances I no longer own. Computer disks and CD's.  I also bought a new micro shredder.  I've always been a shredder because I'm crazy like that.  I will be crazier as a result of the bank fraud. Hence the micro shredder.  I'm can't wait to plug in that bad boy and shred stuff. It's so satisfying.  I'm hoping the final result will be simliar to this guys office. We shall...
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teaser

Will you look at that new paint??  (Please excuse the mess..the house is in total disarray).  I'm still not used to it.  I'm mid process of re-hanging art and getting used to the lack of color.  It makes the place look really big. I'm also having color withdraw.  I know..I need to get over myself.  Hahahaa.  I'm already dreaming up ways to add color through accessories and art.  Stay...
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good eats: summer risotto

I love risotto.  It's delicious in every season.  My favorite summer version features whatever is fresh at the farmer's market.  Last weekend, my husband made this fantastic version with tomatoes, corn, bacon and basil. It was a show stopper.  He served it with grilled chicken and big salad…yum!  Risotto with Corn, Tomatoes, Bacon and Basil ingredients 1 cup of corn (we used corn cut off the cob but you can use canned)  2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups heirloom tomatoes, chopped 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried 2 slices bacon (we used turkey bacon) 5 3/4 cups (about) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth 1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion 1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 cups stemmed baby spinach 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon unsalted butter Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese preparation Bring 5 1/4 cups chicken stock to simmer in large pot. Reduce heat to low; keep stock hot. Heat  2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add rice; stir 3 minutes. Add wine; stir until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot stock. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time until rice is tender but still slightly firm in center and mixture is creamy, simmering until stock is absorbed before each addition and stirring often, about 25 minutes. Mix corn, tomatoes, bacon, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and butter into risotto. Stir in 1/2 cup chicken stock to moisten if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in fresh basil. Serve immediately. photo by...
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‘hood happenings

links and photos top to bottom: POP, WCP, CJDC,...
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color me bad?

  dining room Guess what's happening this week?  The condo is getting a new coat of paint!  I don't know why I'm so excited about this event but I am.  Maybe because I've been over the blue kitchen for a year?  Or because we haven't painted since 2007 when we bought the place?  Whatever the reason, I'm giddy.   But first..an important question.  What color?  I'm not straying far from my original palette.  I intend to keep it neutral and lighter so our place looks bigger. I'm painting the kitchen, living area, dining area and hallways the same color since we have an open floor plan. My bedroom and office will be in the same color family but a little darker. I want something soothing that I can jazz up with colorful accessories. I also decided leave kitchen cabinets as is.  In order to achieve the look I want, I'd have to replace the granite. Since we're out of here in a few years, it might be an over improvement.    behind the couch All of the paint is from Benjamin Moore.  I painted swatches in various rooms last week so I could contemplate what color I liked the best.  Currently, I'm leaning towards Distant Grey.  It's not a huge difference but I think it's going to change the entire feel of the condo.  Especially when I get rid of the blue in the kitchen and office. hallway For my bedroom and the office, I like the Bunny Grey or the Misty Gray.  What are your favorites?  ...
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