Monday, April 14, 2014

spring in the district!

what a beautiful weekend here in dc! from bridal showers to bbq's and brunches, this weekend was filled with outdoor activities and i was pretty thrilled about it. on sunday afternoon i decided to be a tourist in my own city and brave the crowds to check out the cherry blossom festival. i walked down to the tidal basin and was lucky enough to catch the cherry blossoms during their peak bloom. somehow i have managed to miss the trees the past few years so it felt pretty surreal to be admiring them in the warm weather. below are some photos from my afternoon adventure! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

diy // chalkboard window pane

i recently moved into a place of my own and while there have been many exciting aspects to this adventure, one of my favorites has been the chance to decorate a new space! i was living in my previous apartment for three years so it had been a while since i had a blank slate to transform! my apartment has really come together and one of the last things i wanted to complete was a diy chalkboard window pane for my kitchen. over the past few years i have gathered quite the collection of window panes and i had the perfect one that was just waiting to be transformed for this project! 
step i:  it took a while to clean off the window pane since i found it on the street and it was being stored in my parents garage for the past year. after i had wiped down the wood with a damp cloth and used windex on the glass i was ready to start painting the wood frame. i knew i wanted a rustic look so i decided not to use a primer and instead i applied a thin coat of turquoise paint, making sure to leave some areas of the wood exposed. once the paint had dried i used sand paper to continue to rough up the finish. 
 step ii: after the paint dried, i used an exacto knife to go around the corners of the glass to scrape away any excess paint and residue that remained. the next step was to paint the glass using chalkboard paint. i borrowed some paint from a friend that unbeknownst to me had expired so i ended up having to scrape that off and repaint using new paint. even though this added some time to the project, it ended up working out and adding to the overall rustic feel i was going for.
step iii: after the new chalkboard paint had dried for three days i was ready to prep the piece to be hung. i had a little help with this next step which was to install the screws needed to hang the window pane. once this was complete it was time to hang up my newest creation!
step iv: the final step was to condition the paint. in order to do this you simply rub a piece of chalk over the entire surface. i let that sit for a few days just to be safe. after i wiped the chalk off i was ready to use my new chalkboard window pane!
...and there you have it! this was a super easy craft and since the window pane was free the only costs came from the chalkboard paint and the supplies needed to hang the piece. 
now onto my next craft! :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

monday meals.

well i haven't done a monday meal post in a while... mainly because i haven't been cooking since i've been busy with work and traveling. with that said, last night i decided to spend some time in my new kitchen and see what i could come up with. i had some boneless spare ribs in the freezer and i figured i'd give them a try since i have never cooked ribs before. after chatting with my mom for some ideas i decided to make barbecue ribs. i found some recipes online but ended up modifying a few of them so i could use ingredients i already had in my apartment.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of boneless ribs
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

wash ribs and pat dry. combine garlic powder, onion powder, and cajun seasoning. rub seasoning mixture over ribs. line a shallow baking pan with foil. arrange ribs on the foil. cover with another piece of foil and bake at 325 degrees for one hour and fifteen minutes, or until very tender. remove the top piece of foil and brush with barbecue sauce; bake uncovered for about fifteen minutes longer. serves four.

i couldn't get over how easy this recipe was and how tender and delicious the ribs came out. they actually tasted like they were from a restaurant! and since the recipe serves four you know what i'll be eating for the next few nights! ;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

weekend getaway // savannah, ga // part ii

hey there! am’s friend and recent travel buddy erica here to bring you part two of our savannah trip. on friday i was a part of the group who went to the spa, however, after our relaxing time at the spa, we did a little exploring of our own and stumbled across gryphon tea room. i can’t turn down the possibility of a good tea room so we went in to grab a snack. it turns out that gryphon is part of scad (savannah college of art and design) and employs mostly students. with it’s stained glass panels, mahogany carved bookcases, a chandelier to die for, and a locally sourced organic menu it was definitely a lucky find. ps sorry for the iphone photos, they really don’t do it justice. didn’t want to bring the dslr to the spa.
after our delicious catered bbq dinner on friday night we headed out to a “country” barcomplete with a live country music band and a mechanical bull. it was definitely something different and so fun. after spending some time there we headed to a dueling piano bar around the corner. the two pianists on stage were so talented and did some great renditions of the songs requested. the night would not have been complete if we didn’t pool our money and make a request of our own to have erin pulled up on stage so the crowd could sing her happy birthday.
on saturday we had a private trolley tour of the city. we got to see how beautiful savannah is without all of the walking which was really nice especially since it was a little drizzly that day. erin being erin made sure there was a catered lunch on board in case we got hungry which was the perfect touch. after the tour we all set out to discover savannah on foot. and by discover i mean pop in and out of shops with drinks in tow. the historic district’s open container policy makes shopping fun and also a little dangerous for the old credit card. i was the happiest girl when i got to walk up to a restaurant and order the most delicious georgia peach sangria right on the sidewalk and take it to-go. across the street from the restaurant where we bought our delicious drinks, was a huge candy store we could not pass up. i was in heaven.
saturday night was the perfect way to end the weekend. after a small yet cheesy photo shoot (see below!) that am and i had to document our outfits, we headed out to a private dinner at form, an awesome wine store with the best cheesecake i’ve ever had.
 the owner of the shop was so accommodating by creating a custom menu with wine pairings for all 18 of us. he even had wine waiting when we arrived so we could sip and chat while we waited for our first course. side note: he is in the process of opening a full service restaurant as well, so if you are in savannah or planning a visit i highly recommend checking it out. 
we ended our night at with a walking ghost tour of the historic district. i’ve been on a ghost tour of philly before, but this one was way spookier. i can see why savannah holds the title of most haunted city in the country, they’ve earned it. for all of its nighttime creepiness savannah is an adorable city that i hope i get to visit again soon. 
thanks for reading my guest post! be sure to check out erin’s and my blog coming in may dinner and debauchery.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

weekend getaway // savannah, ga // part i

so these weekend getaway posts are a bit late... but they are worth blogging about so here they are - better late than never! 

traveling is something that i never seem to get tired of. i'm glad for that because 2014 is looking like a year of big travel! from kicking off the new year in nashville to a (now not so recent!) trip to savannah, georgia and a very exciting trip to paris i couldn't be happier that this is how i'm spending my time of late.

my trip to savannah was to celebrate a dear friends, erins, 30th birthday. i have to give erin a lot of credit because she planned quite the weekend for about twenty of her closest friends. from having wine and cheese waiting at the house upon our arrival, to a private dinner at a wine shop, and a fun bbq at the house it seems she thought of everything! in addition to that, she generously paid for everyones accommodations. 

when we arrived on thursday night we felt like we were on the real world as we ran through the house.. which was huge! i'm not sure if the pictures do it any justice but the decor and furnishings were really rustic and unique. it felt like one of those hgtv dream homes! 
the next morning we kicked the day off with brunch at clary's cafe.  i decided on the eggs benedict and they were amazing! i also ordered the grits (since i seem to love them these days) but they were a bit disappointing to be honest. luckily the trip was filled with more opportunities to try my new favorite dish! 
following breakfast most of the girls went to the spa but my friend liz and i decided to explore the town. i really enjoyed how walkable the city was and how quaint each street and square felt. once we felt like we had explored enough (although i'm not sure if that's ever possible in a new place) we decided to go on a run which is another great way to see the sites!
that evening, erin organized a great southern bbq feast from wiley's that was delivered right to our house! this meal will go down as the best brisket i have ever had. after dinner we went out on the town to check out the savannah night life!
more on savannah to come! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

a really great weekend.

do you ever have weekends that are just really great from start to finish? this past weekend was one of those for me! from trying a new restaurant to going to some old favorites, seeing a musical, attending an oscars party, and spending time with some close friends and family i felt really lucky to be living this life of mine. and to top it all off today is a snow day! 

in trying to be present to the moment i only have one picture from the weekend. above is liz and i at del campo! i'm going to have to devote an entire post to that place because it quickly became my new favorite dc restaurant after eating there on saturday! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

new years in nashville!

i went to nashville a few months back to visit my friends shannon & tom (more on that trip here & here). i had such a great time that when they told me they were hosting a new years eve party i knew i couldn't miss it! luckily a few friends from college also wanted to join in on the festivities so we all decided to drive down south together to ring in the new year.

knowing we had a long trip to and from nashville we thought it would be neat to take the bourbon trail through kentucky on the way down. i had never been to kentucky so it was fun to check another state off the list! we made a stop at the lexington brewing and distillery co and went on a tour which was so informative! we were also able to try both the beer and the bourbon they produce so our little detour turned out to be a great way to break up our drive! following our tour we asked some locals for a must try restaurant and ended up at billy's bbq. i had pulled pork with corn bread, coleslaw, and the best grits ever!!
once we arrived in nashville we hit the ground running. we spent the next few days eating and enjoying each others company. i was really fortunate to start the new year off with such great friends in such a fun city! here's to 2014!
and of course thanks to shannon and tom for their hospitality!

where we went:
the station inn // robert's western world // hillsboro village // blue bird cafe //
mas tacos por favor // burger up // santas pub // belle meade plantation //
 piggly wiggly //  star bagel // love circle 

Friday, December 20, 2013

annual holiday party

this year marked the third annual hanukkah party hosted by my dear friend meredith. you might remember last year's party which you can see here. i'm not sure what it is about this night but it always turns out to be the most fun. from the food, to the friends, to all the festive decor it is a night i am really glad to be a part of. the white elephant this year was pretty great and much better than last year! i ended up with the most adorable nyc mug which i am very happy about. i don't have a ton of pictures from the party because we were honestly having so much fun that no one really stopped to take any... so you will just have to trust me that it was great. as always. thanks for hosting mer and rob! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

a morning at the zoo!

this past sunday i headed to the national zoo with my friend to check out the baby tiger cubs. i am not sure exactly why i love the zoo so much... but i do! whatever the reason i find myself there fairly often and i am really lucky to have a friend that likes the zoo (mainly the tigers!) as much as i do. i couldn't believe that i still had not seen the cubs so when my friend told me he was going i knew i couldn't pass it up! the cubs only come out for a few hours every morning so we made sure to get there early so that we were ready and waiting for them. it was so neat to see the cubs interact with one another - they are such beautiful and graceful creatures. i am already plotting my next trip to see them because i am pretty sure i could have stayed there all day long!

photo credit: patrick christy