Monday, February 23, 2015

music monday.

I have been scavenging for new music for the last month. All of a sudden, I have been craving new playlists and listening to a bunch of new stuff. The latest song I am obsessed with (thanks to Stephanie) is this cover by Kid Harpoon and Florence Welch of I'm Goin Down. It is amazing. And long. And perfect to play on repeat...happy Monday everybody!

Monday, February 9, 2015

dean time.

Yesterday was a sad day. Dean Smith died. For those who don't know, Smith is the legendary and beloved North Carolina basketball coach.  Dean Smith has always ranked on my top 8 list of people I want to have lunch with. Yes, in part, because I wanted to hear his Michael Jordan stories but also because his coaching style was brilliant and inspiring. And his background, story and his well documented activism on behalf of civil rights, gay rights and so much more would have made that lunch-date incredible. RIP Dean Smith...when my kids end up playing sports, I promise to invoke "Dean Time" in your honor and they will always be on time. This Mother Jones piece is a short and sweet tribute to him...

Friday, February 6, 2015


Ben and I were bummed last year when we heard that HR-57 was shutting down on H Street. This was announced just after we had gone a couple times (click here for a flashback post on that). But Ben spotted this great news yesterday, HR-57 will be doing a pop-up for the next 2-3 years behind Union Market! We can't wait to take Ben's dad...who loves jazz...and also happy to meet up with any and everyone there - should be a great three season spot!

pura vida.

Big news. My computer is fixed and my photos have been restored. It was a little scary there for a while but everything is safe! To celebrate, I figure it is about time to talk about Costa Rica.

After our trip to Israel/Jordan was cancelled last minute in December (don't ever book with Ukrainian International Air) we pivoted quickly with 9 days notice and booked a trip to Costa Rica. It was wonderful. We both didn't realize just how much we needed a vacation.

For the first three days, we rented an airbnb about 3 hours south of San Jose in Dominical. It was fantastic. We are big on doing airbnb abroad, having found great places in Spain and Puerto Rico, we love having our own space and getting into a routine. The house was in the jungle and the drive up to it was an experience. It was about 2 miles off a town road. There was a windy dirt road, that when we first arrived, we followed the owner up in the dark - and the drive was crazy. Impossible to grab in a picture - but it took us into the jungle...
...and the views from the house were spectacular!

We woke up every morning - brewed coffee and ate breakfast on the porch. And then would sit there for a couple hours - this is exactly what we do in Walloon and pretty much any place we go with a view.

We were also very much in the jungle...wildlife abounded...and we literally woke up to monkey sounds!
We also put in our beach time every day. The beaches were beautiful. Dominical is not super developed and it is still very much a laid back surf town. There is an ex-pat community but not a huge tourist community which made it quiet and off the beaten track. Most important - the water was warm and the waves were big!
And we had some spectacular sunsets,,,
All in, we ate well. I basically just wanted really good rice and beans and coffee. In Dominical,for a total hole in the wall with solid rice and beans and local culture - Soda y Nanyoa hit the spot.

We also had a nice meal at La Parcela with a great view. For burgers and your can't make it up, classic all things ex-pat experience - the Jolly Roger will hit the spot. We had a nice drink at Cuna del Angel -but not sure we would tell you to stay for a meal...the one place we missed out on because it was full the night we went and we couldn't get a table was Por Que No?. And then obviously, you should drink lots of Fanta and we happened upon these tortilla chips in a grocery store - they blew our mind. So much so, we brought a bag back with us.

We left Domincal, and drove back north where we stayed for 3 nights at the Asclepios Wellness Spa. It was beyond wonderful. Surrounded by coffee plantations - it felt a lot like a California spa with a latin america twist. Ben got a massage every day. We sat out and read and slept.

While we loved Asclepios, they don't serve coffee (confusing? Yes - we agree). So, every day we drove around the corner to Villa San Ignacio. We ended up loving it in there and making friends with Andres, the bartender and waiter. So we also went back for dinner and a breakfast. We can't recommend it highly enough if you stay at Asclepios or nearby. We also went to an outstanding dinner at C-Vichito y Mas. It is tucked away somewhere in Alajuela but well worth the drive. It looks like nothing on the outside but the owner and chef (and his wife) are putting out really interesting, good food! Here is the random outside!

It was a great week. Costa Rica treated us well. We have many more recommendations and tips if you are thinking of going - so let me know if you want them!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

the messenger.

I have been in serious need of a gym bag for months now. Every day I have been carrying around my gym clothes and packed lunch in a recyclable grocery bag, so it was time to upgrade. A couple weeks ago, I looked at Lululemon bags and Nike bags. But wow - they are overpriced. Anyway, on a whim, I spotted this random Forever 21 Messenger bag and bought it online. $20 people! I love it! Perfect size. Yes, it is faux leather and not going to be a life-long companion but gotta say, it is pretty good quality. I don't ever spend much money on bags because I beat them up and just don't treat them very well. Anyway, this one is a keeper - if you are looking for an easy bag - I endorse it!

stitched up.

Winter is killing me this year! I am blaming my lack of posting on that for now. But guys, I have been meaning to tell you about Stitch Fix. A colleague in my office plugged me on it a couple months ago and then this week she convinced me to finally sign up. I am very excited about it! So here is the fill out a style survey so they can get a sense of what you like and your personal style. Then, once a month (or whenever you schedule it) they send you a package of five items they have picked out for you. You try them on and decide what you like then you keep what you like and send back what you don't.  I have seen some of the pieces they have sent and they are great. Now you might have some of the same questions I did, so let me answer for you...

  • How much is it? 
    • You pay a $20 styling fee with every package (though the first one is free). If you keep any of the pieces, the styling fee is subtracted from the price of the item. Also, when you fill out the survey, you indicate your budget/price range for individual pieces. 
  • How often does it come? 
    • You can sign up for it to be a monthly package or you can just log-on and tell them when you want a new package. 
  • Is shipping paid for? 
    • free shipping and returns.
There you have it. I just signed up and my first package will come in a couple weeks. I'm excited about it. I want to be able to pull together cute outfits and pieces, but don't have the motivation right now so this is the perfect fix! It is also always nice to have things picked out for you that you might not otherwise consider...I'll let you know how it goes, but really since the first round is free - you should give it a try anyway. And obviously you should use my referral code to do that (