Friday, May 31, 2013

recovery time.

Ben's very good family friend, Sherry, is having knee surgery today and my friend, Mihal, had foot surgery a couple weeks ago. We sent Sherry a small gift and that got me thinking, what are good gifts for someone having surgery? Flowers are boring (no offense). Food is really not ideal if you are all drugged up / don't want to gain lots of weight while you can't exercise and anyway, there is sure to be someone else that sends food. Here are some other ideas....

I have never had surgery, but I think for me, one of the hardest parts would be constantly having to ask people to do basic things for get water. I imagine drinking loads of water is something that you should be doing to cleanse your body and speed up recovery, so a great water bottle to fill up and have instead of cups.
Platypus Platy Bottle
 To pick things up off the floor and shelves...I imagine one of these would be helpful and a fun gift to give.
Ettore Grip n' Grab
Some really good lotion. Sitting around and recovering is hard on your skin. Not to mention, its a very small thing that makes you feel better in the moment to moment...
L'Occitane - Hand Cream
Mihal was talking about this on her blog and what a lifesaver a crutch bag has been for her. For your phone, etc, so you can have it as you move around. Love this idea!
Crutch Bag
She also talked about these ice packs as the best she has found. They stay super cold and really get on the opposed to bags of vegetables or terrible ice packs.

Dobble Ankle Ice Wrap
What do you think? Do you have any good ideas? Have you had surgery and gotten anything really helpful as a gift? I would love to hear!

cookie mix.

You leave town for a long weekend and you know what happens? Bakehouse opens. Cookies, scones, muffins, coffee and more. Seriously, this is great news. Ben and I are going to try and jump in to give it a try tomorrow morning.

Also, of note. A couple weeks ago, Ben and I were on the bus heading over to the new house and spotted this total hole in the wall, Uncle Chips, on the west side of North Capitol. Turns out the reviews on yelp are stellar and we are going to be making our way over there stat to check out the cookie scene!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

rack it.

I have not been enthusiastic at the idea of a clothing rack in the house. If there is one thing that this house lacks it is closet space. In the master bedroom, down the line, there is actually some space to extend one of the closets very easily. We have also been talking about finding an old armoire that I can DIY to put in the second bedroom. But in the immediate, we do have a bit of a storage challenge. Ben has mentioned a couple times that we might just have to get a clothing rack and I tend to change the subject!

But I try to stay open to things and that got me thinking that there must be attractive garment racks out there, right? And then I found this inspiration....

This particular rack from Brackish would put us back $1350. So yeah, that's not happening. But talk about inspiration for an easy put together. And with just a little searching, apparently I am not the only one who had this idea. For about $70-80 of materials, this person put one together and also this one

I am intrigued...very intrigued. If for nothing else the basement. 

All this is not to say that I am ready for a clothing rack. Far from it. Baby steps though...

all locked up.

Good Morning! Ben and I were thinking we would have to get our locks changed on the house when we move in, but then Jordan just finished wrapping this project for the All Things D Conference where they partnered to unveil the new August Lock. It is awesome. It is a keyless, codeless lock system. Also, the final  reveal below which is pretty great...and I'm not just saying that because he is my brother!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Oh furniture. I just discovered Jardan yesterday and man oh man, would I love to take home their outdoor table set. Not to mention, the bed below, I love the upholstered look of it. Jardan is an Australian based company and they kind of feel like a fresher Design Within Reach...or maybe just Aussie inspired. Aren't they beautiful pieces?

sibling love.

This op-ed, The Gift of Siblings, was catching. I consider myself lucky to be one of many children and I am admittedly bias to that. If I had all the money and resources in the world, I would want four or five kids. I actually love a bit of the chaotic madness in the family circle. I love that there are more stories and personalities and a bigger web with siblings. And, at the end of the day, you have more people who understand where you come from. And, as Bruni talks about, when you think about it, they are the only people with you for the whole arc of your life. I think for us, our brother-sister relationships bring out the frustratingly worst and comforting best in each other all at once.

With all this said, Bruni is right, "family closeness isn't a happy accident...its a resolve, a priority made and obeyed". My mid-year resolution is going to be to be more conscious about this. I was actually jsut saying to Ben this weekend that I miss my family...and I think Bruni is so right on this and I can do better.

Read the piece...its heartening...

plastic life.

Over the weekend and while laying on the beach, Mary Alice told me about this great documentary she had recently watched, Bag It - is your life too plastic? We all think we know everything that can be said about plastic and of course use our recyclable bags at the grocery, but Mary Alice said this film is intense and powerful, and has changed the way she buys and thinks. Ben and I haven't seen it yet, but we plan to soon....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


We are back and back to the grind after a great sojourn in the Bahamas! The first day was a lot of rain and we were worried by the forecast but the skies cleared, and except for another intense afternoon storm, we lucked out with some great weather. Most importantly, the wedding itself was beautiful and everything that Adam and Christina had wanted. No post will really do justice but here are some quick highlights....

I am not big on pina coladas, but I can tell you this was one of the best I have ever had!

Ben and I went for a run on Thursday....we ended up taking our shoes off at the point...

It was right around low tide and the sand bar extended way out into the ocean and you could just wade along and walk out...

 ...and we found sand dollars!

And then we ran back along the beach.

There was also fire pit action throughout the long weekend...

And we got a couple gorgeous sunsets....

On Saturday, a big group of us took a boat to another island where we picniced, snorkeled and could walk the long beach...

The destination also meant that there was good quality time with family and friends. I love these photos of Ben, his Dad and Les on the beach...

Sunday was wedding prep...which involved pink champagne in Christina's honor and a beautiful ceremony on the beach and plenty of dancing and eating to follow...

There was also a pizza dinner out, dolphin spotting, a BBQ on the beach, and much much more. What a great Memorial Day Weekend...hope you all enjoyed too!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

island life.

We leave for the Bahamas way too early tomorrow morning. I even wish Ben luck that I am tolerable without coffee, in a supershuttle at 5:15 tomorrow. We are so excited for Adam and Christina and it is sure to be a great couple days in blue-green waters celebrating them! See you all next week...

taco time.

Oh yeah, we also went to check out Chucabra on Saturday with Alex and Brittany. It was cheap and good and cool. Great to know we will have tacos in the neighborhood a couple blocks away!


On Saturday, we went over to the house to pick up some mail and meet with the seller, Josh. It got us really excited to move in, not to mention, we are so lucky that Josh is such a great person. We sat and talked for a while all about the house and he also took us around to introduce us to the neighbors. On top of that, he gave us photos of the house from when he first moved in. To say he did some work on the house is an understatement.

For two years, he gutted and renovated the entire place. For a period, he was living in the two bedrooms upstairs.
I am so happy to have these old photos and to know some of the history of the place. It is amazing to see the before and after pictures, isn't it? Josh did an amazing job especially considering he did it all himself with his Dad and some friends. As you can see, he also took down walls, refinished the wood, stripped the doors and a whole lot more.


I know I have been doing a lot of food and restaurant highlights of late, but nothing comes close to Etto. We went on Sunday night with Alison and I think we found Ben's ultimate happy place in the District. For those who don't already know, Etto opened last week on 14th street and was started by the owners of 2Amys and Standard. It is a pizzeria and wine bar and I am not sure they could have done anything differently. It is gorgeous and small and feels like it could be in New York. Most importantly, the pizza was phenomenal.

Ben and I got there early and had a drink at the bar while we waiting for Alison. The bartender, Kat, was awesome and her drinks were fantastic.

Also of note, the floor tiling made us nostalgic for Ben's old apartment in NYC. The same tile design was in his building there. 

Similar to 2Amys, they have bowls of the appetizers on the bar for serving up.
The restaurant is small and they don't take reservations. But the tables are really nice, the space is beautifully designed and the entire place is just about perfect. The proscuitto was right on point as well.

And how great do these pizzas look?!



Well, hello Immortal Beloved. I have been wandering in the wilderness of bad hair cuts and hair dressers in DC for years now, and then I found Mimi this past weekend. She is awesome. And the space is even better. Big, cool mirrors, awesome sinks and design, I love this place. They are actually going to be moving in October to a big place over by 14th street which is kind of unfortunate, since their location right now is tucked away and no doubt the clientele is going to really change, but if you live in DC, you should definitely ditch whatever salon you are going to and start going here. Also, for the gentlemen out there, the owner recently opened a barber shop, Barber of Hell's Bottom, over at 9th and Rhode Island and you can check out the pictures here...very cool!

(sidenote: hat tip to Erin...pretty sure she told me to come here last year!)

Friday, May 17, 2013


Happy Friday Everyone! We have a really busy weekend. Turns out we may be able to move sooner than we thought and we also leave next week for Adam and Christina's wedding, so we have a lot to do. As moving date gets closer, we are getting more and more excited about the new area. There have been a lot of annoucements and changes even since we closed in March, so things are certainly developing. Dolcezza announced they will be opening a factory right by Union Market with a coffee lab and tasting room! The Mayor announced $50 million will be invested in parks in NoMa. The H street cable car will actually soon be testing and hopefully hit the rails in early fall. In really exciting news, sketches and initial plans have been released for turning the Uline Stadium (just 3 blocks away from us) into the "Coliseum" with an Eataly-like vendor, retail and office space. And today, we just heard that Union Kitchen (which is a great concept that lends space to food entrepreneurs) will be opening open-air bazaars for food, happy hours and more right at 3rd and L!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Wow. We went to Ghibellina last night for dinner and let me just say, they nailed it in there. We loved it! The front bar is awesome, the layout is great, the service was very attentive, and the food was fantastic. No doubt it will be swarmed for the next couple days, but it comes highly recommended. And, on top of that, as a table we ordered 3 different desserts, and each of them were as good as the next. That never happens! The only thing we would advise against is the calamari, it came back dry and tasteless, but it might have also been an off-dish. Not to mention, Ben approved the pizza and frankly that is all you need to know!


Emmy got us a housewarming present! Take a look at this gorgeous stamp. We love it and can't wait to get ourselves an ink pad and start stamping everything that leaves the house! She got it from Paper Pastries where you can customize great stamps. What a great gift, isn't it? Thank you Emmy! (note: for the below - they didn't mess up the stamp - I just blurred a little bit of the address for our own privacy :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


My Dad sent this link yesterday, American Cities a Century Ago, and I was totally captivated by the pictures. I don't know why but they are so interesting! Here are just a couple...

New York, New York - City Hall
Washington DC

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

trim it.

We move in a matter of weeks and things are getting real. At the top of our list is getting the house painted inside. We know we want to use a light grey color that we have had picked out but we have started debating the trim in the house. The question is, do we paint it white? Here are some photos of the inside...
We plan to re-do the kitchen cabinets, likely to white and ideally the counter-top at some point too. But also note the wood covers over the heaters and the wood shelving in the kitchen - I don't think we would want to paint those. And the wood doors in the house are great, so if we painted the trim white would it look odd to leave the doors? White trim looks great with light grey - I think better than brown wood with grey walls but the wood trim obviously has a natural, homey look that could be great.