Tuesday, February 26, 2013

elephant in the room.

I just got back from a National Geographic screening of Battle for the Elephants here on the Hill. I don't think I have ever really posted about my deep love of elephants but, yes, elephants are far and away, no question, my favorite animal. They are so wise and smart. They are gentle and are of course known to mourn. Physically, they are astounding and I love that they can hear through their feet. They sweat profusely on their face when they are scared and female elephants stay together for their lifetimes. On safari days in Uganda, I could have watched the elephants for hours.

All of this is to get to the point about poaching. This has been a big issue for Kerry here on the Hill and something he has actually been working really hard on for years and because of that I have become more sensitive and aware of the details of what is going on. This film, Battle for Elephants, is really well done. It seizes on the different issues and angles of this genocide that is happening right now and it is airing tomorrow (February 27th) on PBS at 9:00 EST.

Here is a preview. Go and watch it. If nothing else, at least turn on your t.v. and tune it to PBS for the hour, ratings matter and so does this issue.

Watch Preview on PBS. See more from Battle for the Elephants.

back again.

Well hello there! I have been taking a bit of a hiatus from posting lately. I had been feeling kind of dried out from it but with some encouragement (and a deal made this weekend), I am going to try and get back in the rhythm.

With that said, there is so much that has happened in the last couple weeks, I can't even catch you up on all of it. So, instead, I was standing in my apartment this morning trying to remember where I left my credit card and while looking around I noticed so many gifts and projects and objects of love that I thought I would share some...here we go!

Ben is coming to DC on Thursday night for a whole ten days for his spring break! He always leaves me messages on the chalk board in my kitchen when he leaves and this is from his last visit. It makes me smile...
New Vitamix! The whole family put in to get me a Vitamix for my birthday and I could not be more thrilled. I am making juices and smoothies every day. Not to mention, I am going to make soup later tonight in it and probably spin up some hummus later this week with artichokes and garlic. I have already noticed the different in my energy levels from the boost in vegetables and fruits in my daily diet.
This Valentine that Stella made for me (with a little help from Aunt Livvy) is prominently featured on the refrigerator. 
This is a beautiful bowl that we bought in Morocco and it fell victim to the long trip back. But, I am working on it and have a plan to hopefully bring her back to life...

These popcorn boxes that I picked up this weekend in Hill's Kitchen. For next year when we host an Oscar party!
 Emily got me this amazing tea from Bellocq in Brooklyn for my birthday. The smell is just unreal!

 A birthday card from my trio of nieces in North Carolina...so sweet!

My newest addition to a cookie cutter collection that I just started a couple months ago...

Mud and sea salts from the Dead Sea that Alison brought back for me from her adventures in Jordan. I can't wait to try them!
My favorite line of teas. I have started drinking a cup of tea every afternoon. I love The Republic of Tea line. They have a whole range of different kinds, these are the three I am rotating through right now and highly recommend.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Take a look at what I just found out about today. The Brass Knob in Adams Morgan collects vintage and antique pieces from old houses in DC and then resells them. Why is this exciting? Well you see, Ben and I really want to find a house with some character and a lot of those great architectural and design details. But this also means if we end up finding a place with a little less than ideal, we can try to scout out some pieces at the Brass Knob. Apparently, they also have a lot of molding. I plan on getting myself up to Adams Morgan to check it out as soon as I can! (And for all of you not in the District, check out this website to find a shop in your area).

about alice.

I am going to go buy this book, About Alice, tonight. Joanna Goddard mentioned it last week on her Friday wrap-up and it sounds great. I can't wait to dig in. Are you all reading anything good right now...always taking recommendations?!


This weekend felt unusually long and yet I didn't get to everything I had planned. With that said, Emily, Corinne and I went up to Room 11 yesterday for brunch. Have you all been there? I love it. It is small and charming and chic. The coffee/bar area is fantastic and the baked goods are scrumptious. The brunch itself left something to be desired but I would still recommend it for a leisurly Sunday morning coffee and newspaper reading.

And last night was game night at Melissa and Patrick's apartment. Who knew Cranium was such a good time? As soon as Ben and I have a place that can accommodate a game night crowd we are buying ourselves Cranium and hosting regular nights. 

And now we are back to the grind, Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2013


I am looking forward to getting back to dresses and tanks and sandals and bright colors again...

J.Crew - Tiered Ruffle Dress

Fossil - Key-Per Frame Cosmetic
Swedish Hasbeens - Peep toe Super High
H&M - Jacket

giving tree.

Yesterday was a hard day for Ben's family. They had to finally cut down the big tree in their backyard and the attachment to this tree runs deep. Ben's mom talked to me about it for a while yesterday and then later in the day Ben talked about it as well.

The good news is that Ben had his Mom salvage these pieces from the tree.

So the question now is what to do with them? I started thinking about it this morning on the metro and here are my two quick ideas but would love any suggestions if you have thoughts!

First, would be to cut out some kind of swing. From the looks of it, I think the stump might be just long enough and could be a really beautiful tribute to the old tree and something to last from house to house. I also don't think it would be too tough to do and we could probably get it cut and shaped at a lumber yard if we wanted.   

Another option, would be some kind of rack. I had been eyeing this pot rack on Etsy last year. They make them out of old barrels. 

It could also be something for an entryway, closet or even a backyard if you stain and weather it right. 
What do you think? Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

tea party.

I have taken to drinking tea. I found a great brand that I love (more on that soon) and have decided it is healthy and good to add to my diet. I will probably have to invest more in Crest Whitestrips but I am now regularly drinking and enjoying an afternoon cup of tea. Assuming I keep this up, I am in the market for a tea kettle. I would love a vintage, old school tea pot. Since I love all things enamel, I have been looking on Etsy to find something on the cheap. I'm not ready to buy yet. I sort of love the yellow one but I also feel like my kitchen supply (including the Le Creuset) needs some kind of color coordination. I don't need every color of the rainbow represented on my stove top! Anyway, what do you think?

day dreamed.

It is February and cold and that makes me crave summer heat. In great news, Adam and Christina are getting married in the Bahamas at the end of May. So, with a nor'easter fast approaching, this is how I am coping right now. Crazy that we are already talking and planning for the summer coming, isn't it?

living history.

I love living in DC. And particularly, I love those moments and days when you feel like you are living history. Yesterday was one of those...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I haven't done anything DIY in a while. Last night I started to write down a list of projects that I want to tackle. I think I have been in the thick of the winter blues for the last month and finally feel like I am coming out of it. Work is especially slow this week and so this morning I happened on to Craigslist just to see what is popping up. More specifically, I just wanted to see what the brass chandelier situation was. Why you might ask?

In early December, Jenny Komenda wrote a post on her blog all about how she painted this brass chandelier that she put in her dining room. (note: Komenda is brilliant and I live for her posts!). Here is a picture of her finished product...amazing right?!

Then we went on our trip. And guess what happened? There was a fantastic, painted brass chandelier in the bedroom in our AirBNB apartment in Barcelona! It was like the gods are telling me we have to find a house so that I can do a DIY chandelier. It was all white and I loved that it was in the bedroom. Of course, this only works with high ceilings. (note 2: Ben isn't quite there on this project yet but we all know he will come around on it!).

Anyway, all this is to say, this morning, I was thrilled to find (within a minute!) brass chandeliers a plenty on craigslist. Uh oh! These aren't quite right, but I am already plotting for this project...

post secretary.

Everything about this is phenomenal. New site. Great picture. Things to come.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Remember this post last year when I was talking about the new Jewish deli soon to come in DC, DGS Delicatessen? Yeah, well, it finally opened and I checked it out this weekend. There is good stuff going on in there! It is beautifully renovated and spaced out. Exposed brick. Exposed beams. Great bar in the back. I love love it! Every plate I saw come out of that kitchen looked fantastic and while I was there, one of the owners took me downstairs to check out the basement space. You should go, get yourself a drink/food and enjoy!

creole brownies.

Dear me. Mols cooked up a cajun inspired super bowl party last night. Everything she makes is outstanding. I'm not kidding. Everything. The jumabalaya she made was phenonmenal with the perfect amount of kick and consistency. Loved it! But her creole brownies stole the show. They were quite possibly some of the best brownies I have had...and that is saying something. Lucky for all of us, she sent around the recipe this morning, so here it is...tread carefully my dears, these are dangerously good!

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot freshly brewed New Orleans–style chicory coffee or strong regular coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan.

2. To make the brownies: Set a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), add the butter and chocolate, and stir frequently until melted and smooth.

3. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and stir until completely combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour and stir until the batter is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa nibs.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. When the brownies are done, a slight crack will have formed around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool completely on a wire rack.

5. To make the ganache: Combine the cream, butter, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl, set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), and stir until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is completely smooth.

6. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the coffee and vanilla, and stir until smooth. The ganache will thicken as it cools.

7. To finish the brownies: Invert the brownies onto a baking sheet and remove the parchment. Pour the thickened ganache over the brownies, spreading it evenly with a spatula or a butter knife into a thick layer on top. Let the brownies stand until the ganache is completely set and sprinkle with fleur de sel if desired.

Friday, February 1, 2013


This is old news but shouldn't be. This piece, India Rape Victim's Friend Describes Their Love Story, from yesterday's Wall Street Journal is just heartbreaking and touching. You should read it, it is sure to move you.


Have you all heard about the new show, The Americans? Oh man, I might be on my way to hooked. Here's the thing. I absolutely loved Alias back in its day. I also loved Keri Russell back in the Felicity days. So this show hits the sweet spot. The premise is based in the 1980s, Russell is a Soviet spy living as an American with her fellow spy-husband here in the U.S. It is really good! I watched the first episode last night and have been talking to everyone about it today. You heard it here first...go check it out!


It has been one of those weeks. For me, my default coping mechanism when I don't like the day I am in is to look forward to another. Is that just me or do you all do that too?  Anyway, in good news and proof of this, Ben and I bought tickets to go see the Lumineers on July 26. Very excited. To see The Lumineers? Yes. But also for Ben to be back in DC for the summer!