Wednesday, May 21, 2014

shady times.

Big news everyone. We have successfully moved over to the world of shades. Top down, bottom up cordless shades to be specific. Lucky for you all, I haven't been updating on all our thoughts about the world of shades and the options out there. The short story is, after a consultation a couple of months ago with a great guy here in DC who we would have loved to buy from, we realized for FY14 budget reasons, we would not be able to buy from him! Who knew window treatments are so expensive?

I ended up doing a lot of online research. And my Mom and Olivia also provided helpful advice. And we ended up going with which all in, we have had a great experience with. We haven't yet ordered the upstairs, because we wanted to make sure we liked them but the quality is great, installation pretty easy (credit to Ben on all of them!) and the price point fantastic.

Most notably, we really love not having any hanging cords. With so many windows in the house, the cordless option makes it so much cleaner! And the bottom up shades were much needed downstairs so that we have privacy from the street but light is still coming through.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

mental escape.

On this fine Tuesday, not even mid-way through the work week, these National Park Views Not to Be Missed, are a helpful mental escape! My takeaway, Ben and I need to get out more. I am missing the west, Colorado, the outdoors, big skies and landscapes....


Last weekend already seems so far away! We were juggling a lot and I had also planned out a whole day in Baltimore for us (because Emily gave us her car key while she is away for the week) but we were so tired and I was so out of it, that that plan never took root. Nevertheless, we had a really great Sunday with two highlights of mention. We woke up and went on a short run to Eastern Market. The purpose of this was to check out Market Lunch inside the North Hall. Alex and Brittany had mentioned the spot to us several times, and it was fantastic!

Yes, the line was very (very!) long. But it actually moves pretty fast and gave us enough time to debate whether to get the buttermilk (my default), blueberry, or blueberry buckwheat (I believe Alex's favorite) pancakes. You end up eating at a long communal table in the middle. Ultimately, we went with buttermilk and blueberry buckwheat because you shouldn't have to choose on a Sunday. The pancakes were accompanied by scrambled eggs, sausage patty, and some great bacon. We loved every bit of it!

We then walked it off with a casual stroll over to the Congressional Cemetery. As you know, I love me some cemeteries. I find them really relaxing and so interesting and we always spent a lot of time in Kentucky walking through Cave Hill Cemetery (click here to remember about that), so there is also a nostalgic element. Anyway, the Congressional Cemetery has been on my list to get to for a very long time and I even added back to the top of my list a couple weeks ago. We loved it.

This cemetery is packed with history - congressional members are buried there, it is old but beautiful, and then on one side there is also a giant prison (only in DC). We highly recommend it for a visit and when we get a dog, they allow you to bring your dog in too!

Oh yeah, and we happened upon Hoover's grave...

And we also stopped and appreciated this gravestone...

Take it from me, I have been in a lot of cemeteries and this is definitely one of the more interesting ones!

Monday, May 19, 2014

dresser finale.

It took me a bit longer than expected, but over the weekend I finally finished the dresser drawer project that I had posted about in March (click here if you don't remember). The project itself was straight forward, trace and cut wall paper to fit the sides of our dresser drawers. I loved the floral design from the original link and inspiration, but Ben thought it was too feminine, so I went with a pattern that is more geometric and neutral. My only tip for the future is to start with the sides of the drawers that you won't be seeing as much since there tends to always be a learning curve with these projects. Obviously you want the sides that will get the most visibility to be the best. In any case, here is the short of it....

I bought sample wall paper sheets from Spoonflower. They are just $5 and I didn't need a big roll of wallpaper for this. I then traced the sides of the drawers on the wallpaper...

After, I used a box cutter to carefully cut out the tracing...

I used this Zinsser SureGrip Adhesive mixed with water to glue the wall paper down on the drawers. Admittedly, I struggled with the air bubbles and because the surface of the drawers are not smooth, there are definitely wrinkles, but frankly, not many people are coming over to pull out the drawers and really it is just me who will notice the minor imperfections....

And here are the final results....

Not bad, right? I like the peaks of the design when the drawers are open and the colors blend well with the rest of the bedroom, so all in, it was worth it!

Friday, May 16, 2014

weekend + figs&goat's cheese.

Happy Friday Everyone! What does everyone have planned for the weekend? We have a busy weekend ahead, dinner tonight at a friend's house, BBQ tomorrow at our house with old campaign friends, and we are planning a field trip on Sunday someplace beyond the beltway.

Unrelated - I have decided to grab this great print for the kitchen. What do you think?

Monday, May 12, 2014


The exterior paint job is still a little ways out but in the meantime our porch has gotten some love in the last month. I bought some black flower boxes at Home Depot a couple weeks ago and spray painted them red for a pop of color and to contrast the brown brick and added an array of flowers. I also replanted the planters that Rags and Mols gave us last year (see here for that post).

I also finally got around to getting us a cute watering can. I would have loved to get a watering can from Terrain - like this one - but they were all sold out and way over the budget. So, I went to Amazon and found this great Hunter Green Watering Can with a little bit of bronze...

And last but not least, we now having rocking chairs on the front porch. For those who don't recall, we have had an ongoing "conversation" about rocking chairs versus a bench - click here if you really care about the debate. I finally gave up and we ordered two Wrightsville Rocking Chairs from Dixie Seating Company. We got them a couple weeks ago and we sit outside watching the street like old geriatrics...rocking back and forth and loving the spring air....


Did you all have a good weekend? We planned for a low-key couple of days but still ended up doing a lot. On Friday night, we went on a mini-date to check out the new pizza place on H street, Pizza Parts & Service. They recently opened and are still working out some of the service kinks (they ended up comping our whole meal because we waited so long for our pizza) but we can report back that the pizza was quite good. And that is saying something since Ben has high standards!

On Saturday, inbetween errands and my pilates, we stopped by the 52 O Street Artist Studios for their annual open house. It was very cool. It is this great building where a bunch of artists have work studios that they also live in. It felt like a small piece of NY buried over by North Capitol Street...

We also got drinks/dinner with Georgetown friends and on Sunday we went for an impromptu walk with Erin and Josh over in Anacostia. They picked up sandwiches and we headed over to Kingman and Heritage Islands Park. It turned out to be not so impressive but the walk and sun and lunch were great and it got us out of the house!
Oh yeah, and last night, Ben and I finished True Detective. My god, that show is intense and horrifying!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

mom day.

I know that my love of NPR, my appreciation of the Kentucky derby, my knowledge of all things Abraham Lincoln, my love of sports and travel, my stubborn streak, my cravings for grapefruits in January, my interest in history and peoples, and even my life now in DC is in large part if not all thanks to my Mom. And I know that I am so lucky, so fortunate to have such a caring and invested mother.

How did my Mom do it? How did she raise four kids?? I am more and more amazed by this feat every day. I know for years while we were growing up she didn't have enough time to finish a book a year. I know that she wanted to stay home with us but that for years she also gave up her career and work to be able to do it. I know that there is so much more that we don't even know that she sacrificed and did for us.

Thank you Mom...

Friday, May 9, 2014

nike heaven.

These Nike sneakers from JCrew are calling my name. Size 9 por favor!


Have you all heard about Fed Up, the film about the food industry? You probably have because it is suddenly getting a lot of attention and publicity. I really want to see it and I think others should too.  I don't know if this is just me, but something that I have noticed more and more is just how judgemental and mean people are about weight issues now. Increasingly I find friends and people our age are very sensitive to and are thinking and talking about food issues and nutrition. Especially when it comes to buying and eating organic, cooking fresh foods, sourcing locally, working out regularly, and being generally healthy - this is certainly a trend and lifestyle among people I know. But interestingly enough this doesn't translate to an understanding and empathy for folks struggling with weight not to mention recognition that this is also a socio-economic issue. In short, fatism is alive and well and crueler than ever. Anyway, I am hoping this film will soften people up a little, remind folks that there is a whole industry breeding unhealthy habits and that this isn't about people not taking responsibility for themselves. Really we should all just be kinder in the ways we talk about people and judge their lifestyles...right?

loving liar.

Prepare yourself, this is a sad read. This New Yorker piece, The Day I Started Lying to Ruth, is so sad and so well written. I read this on the metro this morning and kept on reading it on my iphone as I was walking down the street to work. Depressing. Yes. But still amazing. If you want a quiet read this weekend and probably to reflect on how good you have it, I recommend this read.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

taco time.

Ali and I went to El Rey last night for margaritas and cheap tacos and it did not disappoint. The restaurant itself is made out of old shipping containers and it has a great patio area (assuming it doesn't rain). The service and tacos were solid, as were the chips and guac. I would definitely recommend it for a cheap, casual spot on U street.

After, we met up with Ben and Dan for a quick drink at All Souls Bar. Loved it. Corner bar that feels kind of like a hole in the wall, even though it isn't really a hole in the wall at all.

concierge service.

Emily is going to Greece next week and asked for book recommendations. And last night, Ali and I were at dinner and she mentioned this NPR site, NPR's Book Concierge, for quick reference and great finds. You should check it out the next time you are wandering in the bookstore trying to remember what you want to read!


Truth be told, I have never been a big Broadway person. While living in NYC, I only went to a handful of shows including one I went to with a guy I was dating. The show had gotten great reviews (I can't for the life of me remember what it was called - it was something about the electricity or the evolution of tv). People loved it. I fell asleep 15 minutes in. All this is to say, it has got to be something really good to get me to see it...which brings me to All the Way.  Have any of you seen it? 

Eric, a colleague at work, raved to me about it a couple weeks ago. But then, Lauren didn't love it. It is all about LBJ and as you know, I love me some LBJ (click here for a previous post and great New Yorker piece). Apparently, Bryan Cranston is convincing and impressive. I really want to see it - I think Broadway meets political history may just be my speed...

Thoughts? Anyone want to join Ben and I on a hot date in NYC to see a Broadway show?!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

tahoe central.

My Mom is turning 70 in July, and to celebrate, we are whisking her off to Tahoe for a weekend with all her children and grandchildren! We nailed down a fantastic house overlooking the lake near Incline Village. Just take a look at this meal time setting we can look forward to....

I can't wait to see Tahoe in the summer (only been in the winter) and for that Tahoe clear blue water, hikes, quality family time, maybe some board games, storytelling, reminiscing and toasting to my Mom and all 70 of her accomplished years!  Have you all been to Tahoe? Any suggestions? Places to eat? Things to do?! Send along por favor!

neighborhood news: Edens development.

Speaking of the house, there is more NoMa news. Edens has announced a big development next to Union Market. Thankfully, they are keeping the front facade of the warehouse and I am hoping this is not going to turn into a glass montrosity....and very excited all the retail space and plans. Keep on keeping on!

Click here for a previous post about NoMa development....

go time.

At present, I have a lot of half-finished projects going on in the house that I am determined to finish soon and will report back with pictures and progress! In the meantime and in big news, we are finally going to paint the outside of the house. Wahoo! I am beyond excited. As you might recall, I have been wanting to paint the outside since we moved in, and was reenergized last fall when the house a couple doors down was painted (click here for the previous post). Long story, short - Paco - our fantastic painter who we love - is going to do the job for us. So now it is just a matter of picking a color - and time is of the essence.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Here is the thinking so far. At first, we were talking about a rich, deep gray. And then earlier this week, we both were really liking this navy blue...

However, a very good family friend and more importantly, a designer/architect in New York, noted that while she loved the color, in the summer it is going to "heat up like asphalt". Yikes!

While we haven't taken this color off the table, we are in a "consider it all" moment. What do you all think?!

Monday, May 5, 2014

mixed bowls.

It has been such a long time since I last talked about bowls (click here for a way back when post)! I know you all will appreciate these mixing bowls as much as I do....