ciao bella!

After a tumultuous Spring selling season (that’s not over yet. aiyiyi), I need a break. I’m off to Florence, Italy for an epic girl’s trip. There’s 8 of us renting a gorgeous villa outside of Florence. I’ve renting a mini van to tote us around the countryside. Let the adventures begin. I.can.not.wait. Ciao!...
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first dc wise fundraiser next week!

Please join DC Wise for our Georgetown Shopping Event on April 26th from 6-8:30 pm. It’s the first fundraiser in 2018 and we’re super excited that rag & bone AND hu’s shoes | hu’s wear are participating. Bubbles, bites and shopping is never a bad combo, right?...
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life lately

Why hello there and happy 2018! It’s been a while, right? Despite the freezing temperatures, I’ve been kicking around town. I went to dinner at my friends place. (Amazing view from their condo, right?) Saw some shows at the 9:30 Club. (this was Mø & Cashmere Cat. Loved Mø. Think I’m way too old to appreciate Cashmere Cat. Lesson learned). Drank espresso and grabbed snacks for a cheese and charcuterie plate at the newly revamped Cork Restaurant & Market (which is so damn cute it’s unreal and I really, really love this tile). Checked out Gaslight Tavern, the latest bar/restaurant in the ‘hood. It opened Monday. I read about it a couple of weeks ago and since it was my Mr.’s birthday, it seemed like an opportune time to give it a...
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happy new year!

Happy New...
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happy holidays!

Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday...
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travel guide | venice, lake como and padua

Italy has a special place in my heart. As an Italian American, I feel a connection with the people and the food. I also love it because one of my best friends from college lived in Torino for years. I’ve been to Italy more than any other country. This was my sixth sojourn and it was as incredible as my first. Venice and Lake Como have been on my list of places I wanted to visit for years. This trip was full of nostalgia and adventure which to me, equals a fantastic vacation. Our first stop was Venice. All of my friends told me I would hate Venice; that it’d be crowded and smelly. While is was overrun by hordes of tourists (which I did hate), I loved the quiet corners. I especially enjoyed the Airbnb we rented on the Grand Canal. Sitting on the balcony watching the boats gave me a glimpse into the daily life of a Venetian. We didn’t see any of the major tourist sites. Instead we wandered the streets of Venice and took a ferry to Burano. In Burano, I had grand plans for us to eat lunch at Da Ramano but it was closed for the August holidays. We also intended to ogle the the colorful buildings. Except it was too damn hot. Italy was having an unprecedented heat wave when we visited. Sweating a lot was a daily occurrence, as were stops for apertivos and Aperol Spritzes. After 2 nights and 1 full day in Venice, we hopped in our rental car and drove to Lake Como. Lake Como was impressive. We stayed in Como at a swanky apartment complex that overlooked the lake. Of course the unit we rented had a view of the garden and the apartment building next door. Since we were only there to sleep and cool off occasionally, our view didn’t matter. If I ever go again, I’d stay further north in Cernobbio or Varenna. Unfortunately, even though the average temperatures were supposed to be in the high 70-80’s in Como, it was 90+. We distracted ourselves by taking the funicular up the mountain. It was a gorgeous ride and the view was incredible. We did a “hike” (it was really a 20 minute walk up a hill), stumbled across this wonderful shrine and then stopped for an apertivo. We also took the ferry to Bellagio which was...
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ciao till next week

Tomorrow, I’m hopping a flight to Italy to spend 7 days visiting Venice, Lake Como and Padua. I can’t wait! We’re spending 2 days in Venice (this will be my view from the Airbnb we’re renting!), then 3 days in Lake Como and 1 day in Padua. I’ve never visited this part of Italy and these places have been on my “to see” list for years. Any...
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5 lessons from my Dad

“Five Lessons from My Dad” is something I wrote a couple of years ago. While I rarely look backwards, many of my life decisions have revolved around these lessons and it’s worth revisiting. Happy Father’s Day! Just like my Mom, my Dad taught me valuable lessons about life.  When you’re growing up, you’re not thinking about what your parents are teaching you.  You’re thinking “Man..this is so dumb.  Why are we talking about this again?”  (This was constantly running through my head while in middle/high school along with: “Why do I have to stop reading to listen to this?”)  In honor of my pops and Father’s Day, here are five things my Dad taught me. Be kind.  This sounds like a no brainer but I’m constantly surprised by people’s bad behavior. It’s one of the tenets of my personality and a lot of days, it’s hard. Everyday there’s someone I want to blast but I don’t.  (Most of the time.  I’m not perfect and I complain a lot instead). Be on time or early.  My Dad taught me that being late is rude.  It conveys a message to the person you’re meeting that their time isn’t important.  I’m always punctual and when I’m late, it stresses me out. Pay your bills on time.  This lesson was one of the best things my Dad taught me.  I always had a job at our restaurant when I was growing up. When I got my first bills in college, my Dad made certain I knew the importance of paying bills on time and how it led to good credit. Having good credit has been instrumental in my adulthood when purchasing cars and my home. Work hard and you shall achieve.  When I was growing up, my Dad worked incessantly. When I was little and we lived in Northern Virginia, he was a teacher, a painter, a driver’s ed teacher and a photographer.  He worked hard to provide my brother and me with a great childhood.  It also led to a beach house and a wonderful retirement. Your actions say it all.  My Dad was an excellent athlete.  He still has football records that remain unbroken in his home state of WV.  When my brother and I played sports when were younger, he taught us  actions always speak louder than words. While I don’t play sports any longer, I apply this lesson daily to both...
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father’s day gift guide

I can’t believe it’s Father’s Day this weekend! Here’s a few gift options that will please any of the men in your life. j’s hot sauce four pack sampler   This is my friend Jason’s hot sauce company.  It’s delicious and for those who love hot sauce, it’s no joke! Especially #4.  It makes my husband break into a sweat every time he eats it. grill tool set  The grilling essentials and it comes in different colors.  I’m getting orange because my Dad’s high school colors were orange and black. kamado charcoal grill and smoker  New grill tools to use on a new grill and smoker. bacon subscription Bacon is never bad! especially if you love blt’s. yum....
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road trippin’ | philly

On Friday, my husband and I took the train to Philly to visit with some cousins.  It was fast and furious but tons of fun. My cousin took Friday off and set up an epic walking tour of the city. We explored a couple of new (to us) neighborhoods like Fishtown and Northern Liberties. This crazy door is the entrance to Frankford Hall, one of the many beer gardens that populate Philly. We also stopped off at the La Columbe and grabbed a snack from Snap Kitchen. Side note: I’m fascinated by Snap Kitchen. It’s a fast casual, healthy meal shop and I can eat the majority of the stuff in there.  Do you know HOW EXCITING that is???  I asked if they were going to open on in DC and they said “real estate is expensive”.  Le sigh.  Anyway..I tried their Silken Chocolate Mousse and it was delicious.  Imagine-Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free mousse and it was actually *delicious*.  See why I got excited? My cousin also knows how much I love decor shops and took us to one of his favorites, Minima. This store is incredible! FYI-they said a lot of their clients live in DC.  If this type of furniture is your jam, check out their website or better yet, go visit. On Saturday, there was an art fair in Rittenhouse Square. We meandered through the show and my favorite part was the poppies. Next we did some shopping. Just like on our last trip to Philly, we hit Joan Shep, EYEsite and Egan Day.  Do not miss these shops next time you’re visiting.  They’re so fun! In between all the walking and shopping, we also ate and drank well. We had lunch at High Street on Market (my husband LOVED his roasted pork with fermented broccoli rabe sandwich), cocktails at Circa Green and dinner at Veda.  While it was a whirlwind trip (we were there a a little over 24 hours..I had to work on Sunday) we had a blast. Thanks for showing us your city,...
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five lessons from my mom

“Five Lessons from My Mom” is something I wrote a couple of years ago and it’s one of my favorite posts.  Many of my life decisions have revolved around these lessons and it’s worth revisiting. Happy Mother’s Day! My Mom has taught me a lot about life.  Throughout my adolescence and most of my 20’s, I rolled my eyes about these lessons.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized these are the tenents of my life and I’m grateful.  So Mom..despite all the years I dismissed them, these are my favorite lessons.  Happy Mother’s Day! 1. Work hard and you will achieve. My Mom always worked hard. After starting her career as a teacher, she worked in our restaurants and then for a publisher selling educational textbooks.  She won many sales awards, she worked insessantly and helped fund a wonderful retirement. 2. Wear lipstick.  Image is important.  For years, I thought this was the silliest, most superficial advice.  Then I realized she’s right.  People judge you as soon as they meet you.  If you’re pulled together, the impression is more favorable.  It’s sales 101. 3. Laughter is the best medicine. Whenever I’m having a terrible day, I try to find humor in something.  Laughing always makes me feel better. 4. Be curious.  My Mom is curious and she taught me to be the same. It’s why I love to read and travel. 5. Good grammer is important.  My Mom is a former English teacher.  While I used to find her corrections annoying, now I’m grateful. Poorly written sentences make me cringe....
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