Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

via Amazon
Like many bloggers, I am a huge admirer of The Bloggess.  I love how she's never afraid to be her quirky self or to share both the good and bad aspects of her life with her readers.  Her posts (especially the ones about Beyonce and Copernicus) make me laugh so hard that I cry.

I was so excited to read her book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and it lived up to all my expectations.  It offers a completely honest and non-sugar coated look at her life.  There were a few intense chapters that were tough to get through but for the most part, the book kept me smiling....and occassionally laughing out loud on public transportation while strangers looked on judgementally...it's fine.

If you haven't read it yet, I really recommend going to pick up a copy.  If you have read it, what did you think?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stuff I Like

1. Express Striped Ruched Racerback Dress

I bought this dress at Express a few weeks ago and I finally had the chance to wear it over the weekend.  It was super comfortable and I love how the color and style works for both day or night.  They have it in a variety of colors and I definitely recommend checking it out!

2. Blates

I love meeting fellow bloggers so I was thrilled to have lunch with Becca from Oh the Places You'll Go last week.  We've been emailing, commenting on each other's posts, and exchanging letters for quite a while now and it was wonderful to finally meet in person!  We shared some great conversation and lots of laughs.

3. Chef Geoff's

via Yelp
I've been meaning to check out Chef Geoff's for a while now and my friend C and I finally went for happy hour on Monday.  I think this is going to become one of my new favorite happy hour spots!  Their happy hour lasts all day Saturdays-Tuesdays and features $5 glasses of sangria, $5 burgers, and $8 pizzas...you really can't beat getting such delicious food for such a low price!

4. Chromeo "Bonafied Lovin"


It's no secret I love music you can dance to.  This song came up on my Pandora yesterday and it had me dancing in my chair.  Give it a listen and I'm sure you'll love it too!

5. Jaleo

I'll be honest, I was never a big fan of Jaleo before they redid the menu but I visited the restaurant for dinner last night and I was blown away.  We went for a work dinner and probably ordered 20 tapas to split amongst the table and everything was delicious.  My personal favorites were the croquetas, shrimp, and the mussels.  One of my favorite parts of the remodel at Jaleo is that the large group tables are glass covered fooseball tables!  We had an intense tournament going on in between courses.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cookouts...Apartment Style





Memorial Day Weekend is approaching and it's got me dreaming of cookout season.  However, for many of us apartment dwellers, having a traditional cookout isn't an option.  I've collected a few recipes that create a cookout atmosphere without the grill.  I'm definitely going to be taking advantage of them at my Memorial Day Weekend shindig and I hope you find them useful too!

Strawberry Mango Salsa





Slow Cooker Pulled Pork





BBQ Portobello Sliders





Spicy Chipotle Sliders
*cooked on a George Foreman instead of an outdoor grill*





Loaded Pasta Salad





Fruit Tarts





Do you have any apartment friendly cookout recipes?  I'd love some more ideas before I finalize my menu for the weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday




On Friday night my lovely friends (and former college roommates), J and M, hosted a cocktail party.  They are always wonderful hostesses and had a delicious spread of appetizers, desserts, and cocktail ingredients.  It was a fun night and a great way to catch up with everyone since all our schedules have been so crazy lately.

Saturday

via Yelp
We spent Saturday at Murphy's seeing Pat Carroll perform.  Pat is one of my absolute favorite singers at Murphy's and I always love seeing him.  We were expecting a quieter night but when we arrived we ran into three other friends and even some of the people we watch the Patriots with (Murphy's is a Pats bar and it's always packed with Pats fans during football season).  It was great to catch up with everyone!  We also bid a very sad farewell to our friend D who is moving back home to Texas this week to begin grad school.  We will miss her!

Sunday


Over the winter, we all bought Capitol Deals for brunch at Station 4 and we decided to use them on Sunday.  Station 4 is definitely a restaurant I'd go back to!  The atmosphere is relaxed and the decor, plush arm chairs, and couch style booths make you feel like you're sitting in someone's living room.  The food was great too.  I highly recommend the Mediterranean Pizza with pesto, mozzarella, feta, artichokes, chickpeas, and grilled zucchini...yummmm.  The duck fat fries are also a must try.

After brunch, we crossed off an item on my Summer in the City list and walked over to Cantina Marina.  Cantina Marina is an outdoor restaurant and bar at the Southwest Waterfront.  It's a great place to enjoy a few margaritas on a beautiful day.  It is definitely a place I will be going back to.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer in the City

Last year I made a Summer in the City list and I did a TERRIBLE job of crossing items off of it.  Accomplishing 9 out of 25 activities was really a pathetic showing.  This summer I am vowing to be better at getting out there and getting things done.



1. Spend a day at the beach.
2. Have a picnic at the Jefferson Memorial.
3. Paddle boat in the Tidal Basin.
4. Go to a Nats Game.
5. Enjoy drinks at the Bullpen.
6. See an outdoor movie.
7. Go to disco brunch.
8. Get invited onto a yacht at The Georgetown Waterfront.
9. Attend an Embassy party.
10. Get a push up cupcake from Occassionally Cake.
11. Go to a Bride of Hipster Camp Pool Party.
12. See the Red Sox take on the Orioles at Camden Yards.
13. Have friends over for day drinking on the balcony.
14. Have drinks at New York Avenue Beach Bar.
15. Try the food at Back Alley Waffles.
16. Go to a soccer game at RFK Stadium.
17. Spend a day at Cantina Marina.
18. Visit my building's rooftop pool.
19. See fireworks.
20. Attend an outdoor concert.
21. Brunch at Masa 14.
22. Join a summer league through DC Bocce.
23. Go to the National Zoo.
24. Spend a day at National Harbor.
25. Attend a food festival.

What's on your summer to do list?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stuff I Like


1. Wet n Wild Club Havana

If you're like me, you'll remember buying ridiculous amounts of Wet n Wild nail polishes in Middle School and giving yourself sloppy manicures that would chip within hours of being finished.  The Wet n Wild Megalast Polish has completely changed my mind about the product.  I painted my nails on Sunday and there's barely a chip in them at all!  I'm also loving the bright colors, like this one in Club Havana, for the summer.

2. Moscato

My roommate popped open a bottle of Moscato over the weekend and I think I have a new favorite sparkling wine.  But be careful, the smooth and sweet flavor makes this go down waaaay too easy.

3. Corner Bakery Cafe

I didn't have time to make my lunch on Monday morning so one of my coworkers suggested I give Corner Bakery Cafe a try.  I'm so glad I did!  It was very reasonably priced for a lunch spot and they had all kinds of delicious sandwiches, salads, and soups to choose from.  I'm officially hooked on their trio option.  You can choose either 3 small salads or 2 small salads and a cup of soup...it's the perfect light and healthy lunch for the summer months.

4. Unstoppable

My boyfriend's love of movies has had me checking out a lot of films lately and the latest one we watched was Unstoppable.  I'm a big fan of action movies and Unstoppable didn't disappoint.  I was glued to the screen while waiting to see how Denzel would save the day.  If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend checking it out!

5. Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Quesadillas



I made these chicken, bacon, and avocado quesadillas on Monday night and they are delicious!  They're the perfect filling meal to bring to the office for lunch, just freeze them when you're done making them and pop one into the microwave when it's time to eat.  I lightened mine up a bit (it is almost bikini season!) by using wheat tortillas, toasting them instead of frying them in butter, and spreading the ingredients out into six quesadillas instead of four.  Using turkey bacon would be another alternative to make it healthier.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and this girl definitely plans on indulging after dinner.  To celebrate, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite chocolate chip cookie treats.

French Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting




Chocolate Chip Cookie, Reeses, Brownie Bars




New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe




Ben & Jerry's Milk & Cookies




Momofuku Compost Cookie




What's your favorite way to enjoy a chocolate chip cookie?



Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday

Friday was one of our typical nights at Murphy's.  A few Irish car bombs, lots of singing, and some catching up with friends.  It had been a crazy week at work and a night at Murphy's was just what I needed to end the week!

Saturday


On Saturday we went to the DC 101 Chili Cook Off.  It was a wonderful day!  I'd never been to a chili cook off before so it was a lot of fun to walk around and sample all the different dishes...sadly, the "Chuck Norris Chili: Made of Bits of Real Terrorists" (pictured above) was all gone by the time we came around.

Brandon Boyd <3
Along with the chili, there was also a concert and DC101 lined up some killer bands!  Neon Trees, AWOLNATION, Cake, and Incubus all performed.  I thought AWOLNATION absolutely stole the show with their live performance.  They have such a high energy and it's hard to believe such a big voice comes out of their singer.  In the words of my friend Chad, "I didn't expect him to be a sexy guy. A voice like that should come out of someone ugly...like the guy from Korn" haha.  Neon Trees always puts on a fun show and they didn't disappoint, Cake sounded amazing but they're live show wasn't very exciting, and I can't say enough good things about Incubus.  My inner 12 year old definitely came out while watching them perform.  I grew up listening to Incubus and it was so exciting to see all my favorite songs performed live.

Sunday


On Sunday morning, we had a surprise birthday brunch for one of our neighbors.  It was a lot of fun to enjoy some girl talk and some delicious food!  After brunch I FINALLY had the chance to see The Avengers.  I really enjoyed it!  There was plenty of action and there were also a lot of funny parts.  The little teaser for The Avengers 2 at the end already has me excited for the next one.  If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend seeing it in 3D.  Just make sure you sit back far enough.  We were a little closer than ideal and some of the fight scenes got a little hard to see in 3D.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Toddlers + Dinosaurs

This YouTube video is too cute not to share.  I've already watched it 5 times...no judging.



I think this little boy has a perfectly logical response to encountering a dinosaur.

Happy Thursday everyone!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stuff I Like

1. Morkie

I recently saw a Morkie (cross between a Maltese and Yorkie) for the first time and it was one of the most adorable dogs I've ever seen!  Morkie's are so tiny and fluffy that you can't help but want to pick them up!

2. Oreo Cupcakes

via Gingerbread Bagels
I made these Birthday Oreo Cupcakes on Sunday and they were a big hit!  The cupcakes and frosting both have crushed up pieces of Oreo...yummm.  I'm sure this recipe would work great with regular Oreos as well.

3. Monogrammed Coffee Mugs

These adorable monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie were the favor at this weekend's bachelorette party.  I thought these were the perfect choice for a favor since they're personalized and can be used ever day!  I think I'll be stealing this idea for a few birthday's I have coming up this summer.

4. DC Bocce

I cannot say enough good things about DC Bocce so far.  It's well organized, they offer great food and drink specials at the bar afterwards, and the people are so much fun!  My team is made up of people that all signed up as individuals.  None of us knew each other before but we've all clicked so well...I feel like I'm making a new group of friends!  The Spring season ends at the end of June and I highly suggest signing up for one of the summer leagues.  If you're not a DC kid or bocce isn't your thing, there are plenty of other social sports leagues out there...you should look them up in your area!

5. Prepared Dinners

I usually don't get home until 7:30 or 8pm every night and the last thing I feel like doing once I get home is cooking dinner.  I typically cook up a big meal on Sundays and then reheat the left overs during the week.  However, the past few weekends have been busy and I haven't had a chance to do that.  Enter, Harris Teeter Chef Prepared Meals.  They are pre-made dinners that you just need to throw in the oven or steam in the microwave.  This week I've had a pork loin chop with apple, apricot, and sage stuffing and a chicken breast wrapped in bacon and stuffed with blue cheese.  My only warning is that these meals can be a bit expensive.  I typically only buy them when they're on sale.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Work/Life Balance

I have the type of job where I'm expected to be checking my Blackberry and answering emails all the time.  It can be hard to draw the line between work and my personal life.  One of my coworkers has been noticing my constant stream of emails and hung a copy of this flow chart on my desk:

I took this advice to heart last night, put the Blackberry away for two hours, and it was glorious.

Do you struggle with a work/life balance?  Where do you draw the line?


Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend I attended a very good friend's Bachelorette.  As per request of the bride, we're not posting any pictures online but, I did get a few of some of the places we visited.

Friday







The Bachelorette Party was at The Westin in Georgetown and we spent Friday night having cocktails in one of the rooms.  I had met two of the girls before but it was my first time meeting the rest of the group.  Staying in for cocktails was the perfect way to get to know everyone and really break the ice before the weekend got in full swing.

Saturday


We started off our Saturday with a delicious brunch at Founding Farmers....and a few brunch cocktails. If you ever find yourself at Founding Farmers, I highly recommend trying their cucumber delight cocktail.  It's very refreshing and is perfect for the warm weather.  Our very sweet waiter brought the bride to be a piece of cake at the end of brunch.


After brunch, we took a limo out to Paradise Springs Winery.  I'd been to a winery once before but this was the first time I've been since I've turned 21.  It was a lot of fun to taste the different wines and to listen to the explanation of how they're made and what gives the wines their different flavors.  I was a big fan of their Petit Manseng.  We took the limo back to the hotel after the wine tasting and a few of us walked over to Tony and Joe's to watch the Kentucky Derby.  I was so happy that I'll Have Another won...I mean, how can you go wrong with a name like that?

We ended our evening with dinner at Scion (they have a BYOB option and the most delicious chocolate chip cookies for dessert) and dancing/drag queen show watching at Town.

Sunday

Iced coffee in a beer glass...made me giggle
Sunday we had our goodbye brunch at Ulah.  I CANNOT say enough good things about Ulah.  The service was fantastic, the food was amazing, and the prices were super reasonable.  This is definitely a place I will be going back to.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend with a wonderful group of girls!  It felt like a mini vacation and now I'm ready to tackle this week!