I swear its like clock-work or some kind of hibernation sense I have, but my Patagonia clock started ticking this week, so winter must be a-coming! Click here for last year's post where I say pretty much the same thing I am about to again. Yes, I still want this fleece. And to keep things simple, even in the same color (though the Raw Linen is running a very close second). Does this make me boring, predictable or both?!
I forgot to mention that while spray painting the pumpkins in the backyard, I discovered spray painting leafs! I love the way they look, don't you? Not sure what to do with the idea, but I love it for a centerpiece or for entertaining...stay tuned!
I emailed Ben last night about Gypsy Sally's. I can't wait for him to be in DC for good and for us to be able to explore...and more specifically to see more live music. It is not something I like to do on my own and for some reason, having him around prompts it out of me. So yay for Gypsy Sally's. I am really excited to check it out and hopefully we make this more of our routine. After we see live music we always comment on how we need to do it more....so here's to a new venue for motivation!
By the way, guess what happened last week? Yes, that is right. Tom Sietsema reviewed Roses Luxury and just like we told you, it is fantastic! Please just remember that we beat Tom there. I hope you took my advice and ran over to check it out cause it's off and running from here!
My sister, Olivia, and her partner, Yuri, are celebrating 15 years together this year. Yuri is quite the romantic. He loves romantic comedies and he regularly watches youtube videos of flashmob surprises. So, my sister spent months planning and orchestrating a flash mob to surprise him. How great is that?! She pulled it off a couple weeks ago at Lake Merritt in Oakland and she sent around a rough video to the family so we could see how it all went down. I have watched it now a couple times and every time I feel kilig!
It was a weekend of visitors. Friday night I had to work late but Uyen came up from North Carolina for a quick visit (less than 24 hours) and so Emily, Uyen and I met up in Columbia Heights to rehash Vietnam stories! On Saturday, Uyen and I went over to the National Portrait Gallery.
We both sat and stared at this painting, Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains by Albert Bierstadt, for a while. (Click here for a close-up).
And if you ask me, this is the most impressive thing in the Portrait Gallery, if not all of the Smithsonians. Every time I go, I stop and am amazed. These are the castings of Lincoln's hands. And the castings of his face were from two separate seatings. One right before he took office, and the other just months before he was killed.
Unfortunately, Uyen didn't stay long in DC. She had to grab an afternoon bus so after a quick lunch and some walking around, she was off.
And today, Maddie was down from New York, so she came over with Emily for breakfast/brunch, we hung out at Union Market, and did some shopping in Chinatown. A great weekend!
It was a beautiful beautiful Sunday here in DC. I wanted to escape into the quiet for an hour or two and so I decided to paint pumpkins. Naturally.
Here's the thing. I am not big on Halloween. We actually didn't celebrate Halloween growing up and maybe that is why I am really luke-warm about it. But, I am big on being the popular house on the block and I do like pumpkins. While I don't have time to go all out like I would like to, I am working on small touches now to at least put on Halloween. I can't wait for trick or treaters!
Last weekend when my Mom was here, we took advantage of the car and threw a couple pumpkins in while we were at Whole Foods....
I circled them this week and decided they should be painted. My initial plan was the smaller chevron painted pumpkin and for a larger black pumpkin with gold dots. Turns out - and tip for all of you - spray paint is fine for one coat but when I taped on top of the black paint it pulled it all up. So, I ended up spraying it black again and just painting white stripes on it to call it a day!
It was a weekend of new stops for us. On Monday afternoon, we went over to 14th street to wander a bit. Our ultimate destination was to the new restaurant/bar, Barcelona and then we grabbed dinner at Doi Moi.
Barcelona is gorgeous. I had walked by last month when it was under construction and immediately called Ben to tell him. It is stunning. Gorgeous. One of the best spaces either of us has seen in DC. So, we headed there to grab an afternoon drink. We sat outside and people watched and ate cheese. It was lovely.
With that said, we had also read Tom Sietsema's review before we got there. We left in agreement. The review is mixed and at the end of the day, we would tell you to grab a drink. Enjoy the space. But stick to the uncooked foods, the rest of it is so-so at best.
From here, we headed just a block down to Doi Moi. Another newbie on 14th Street and started by the owners of Estadio. The inside is interesting and dynamic. Alex Wagner and Sam Kass also came into dine while we were there (good validation!). It was a great eating experience, though fair warning they aren't kidding around when it comes to spice. Take it seriously, I had to order soy milk to nurse my taste buds! All in all, we would definitely recommend it for a good night out with some spice.
Last Thursday, before our moms got to town, Ben flew in and we had a night to ourselves. We had decided earlier in the week to go to Roses Luxury for dinner. If you have seen me since, chances are very strong I have already told you about it. In fact, I started telling a woman at work about it yesterday for the second time. Apparently, I gave her the full review on Friday morning too! But it was that good and we were that excited about it.
The design and interior of the restaurant is awesome. Our service was fantastic. And the food, every single course and plate, was spot on. Creative (popcorn soup pictured below!), cool, and tasty. We were so happy that we seriously considered going back on Monday night for dinner. There is no question we will make this a regular place for us if they keep the quality. We can't recommend it highly enough. Go. Go now. Before it gets so popular and crowded and taken over - go check it out!
While Ben and I were walking around town on Monday, we popped into Room & Board. We figured we would just swing through for inspiration and thoughts. Yeah. Don't do this. Because the thing about Room & Board is that they are 1) expensive and 2) you'll get attached to your inspiration.
I have searched around a little on West Elm and Ikea for something similar and haven't come up with anything (I could have sworn West Elm carried a chair like it)...so if you have any suggestions, I am all ears!
For all of you out there itching to make the Roasted Chicken + Bread Salad from Zuni's Cafe that Ben made on Sunday night, I present to you the recipe and directions from Smitten Kitchen. Go forth and eat well!
It has been a busy busy fall so far and this past week was no exception. It was a special weekend though because it was the meeting of our mothers! My Mom came east from Denver and Ben's mom came down for the weekend and it was a very good time. I will tell you later about our date night (just Ben and me) on Thursday, and right now just get to the good stuff.
On Friday night we went to dinner at Zest. Ben and I went there three or four years ago and kept meaning to go back. It is a nice neighborhood joint but all in all we were underwhelmed by the meal. That said, it was a great place for a first meal. And for the moms...
On Saturday we went out to Mount Vernon for the day. Note: it is privately funded - day 12 of furlough.
It was a little rainy but actually turned out to be a nice day to wander the grounds and fly through the house tour.
On the way back to DC, we stopped at Society Fair in Alexandria for sandwiches. Great spot if you are in town!
We paired off for the afternoon. Ben and his mom headed to a bar to watch the Michigan game and my mom and I stayed home to talk about life. And after that, we reloaded with pizza and friends from the just opened Red Rocks on H street.
Sunday was far more low key. We had a lazy breakfast, wandered around Union Market and the farmer's market and went for a long walk around the neighborhood. We dropped Ben's mom off at the airport and headed up to Chevy Chase area for a date with my Mom. She wanted to buy me my belated graduation gift with me - a beautiful pair of earrings!
For Sunday night dinner, Ben went big and made Zuni Cafe's Roasted Chicken + Bread Salad. It was phenomenal. I mean really really good. Zuni Cafe is a fantastic little restaurant in SF. Ben's best friend, Matt, adores it and it also just so happens to be where Hannah and Jordan went to celebrate after getting married. We went there a couple years ago for lunch and had this dish and loved it. Ben nailed it on Sunday.
On Monday, before my Mom left, she invited Sweetie Cake over for breakfast at the house. My Mom had mentored and tutored Sweetie Cake forty years ago when she lived in DC. Sweetie Cake was 13 years old at the time. I have heard about her for years and finally got to meet her!
And that was it. Ben and I had a full afternoon yesterday which I will also fill you in on but as far as the mothers go, they came, they saw, and they triumphed!
How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility, especially in a city like New York. So think long and hard before deciding on love. On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security: when you’re walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love ain’t no one going to mess with you. Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable. Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm. It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises. Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs. It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long. But come home and love is always happy to see you. It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there. Love needs lots of cleaning up after. Somethimes you just want to get love fixed. Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper and swat love on the nose, not so much to cause pain, just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk. Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions at once, or wind itself around and around you until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go. People who have nothing in common but love stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again. But most of all, love needs love, lots of it. And in return, love loves you and never stops.