Favorite Eats

I’m always interested in what other people are eating, because I have a hard time finding meals that are healthy and filling and don’t require a ton of prep. However, I wanted to share three of my current favorites that I’ll come back to again and again (yes, one is from a restaurant…sometimes you just don’t have time to come home and cook!). Excuse the iPhone photos because I snapped some of these on the go!

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I’ve talked about my new love of acai bowls on here before, but I’ve also started to make them at home to save on costs, and they’re so, so easy. Trader Joe’s sells acai packets, and I keep other ingredients like frozen fruit, chia seeds, and granola (love the peanut butter kind from TJ) on hand. Heather has a great post about whipping up this yummy treat!

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I’ve been a fan of CAVA for years (I would always look forward to coming home and eating it over college breaks!) and am still reminded how great it is every time I stop in. I needed to grab dinner before heading to a volunteer commitment the other night, so I stopped into the Chinatown location and picked up this delicious bowl. It can be hard to find healthy, affordable meals that are also filling, but CAVA is a winner. Their falafel is amazing; even though I’m not a vegetarian, I get it every time!

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I try so hard to bring lunch every day, but it doesn’t always happen. When I’m able to make it to the farmer’s market (or just the regular grocery store, haha) and pick up salad ingredients, I like to prep a bunch for the week to make it easy to grab and go in the mornings. I then either bring my own toppings (hard boiled eggs/tuna) or grab some items from the salad bar at the Whole Foods near my office and add them to the greens. This is actually fairly affordable; I only purchase about $4 or $5 worth of food at the salad bar (which is no small feat if you know how great all of Whole Foods’ selections are over there!).

What are your favorite/go-to eats as of late?

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Get the Look: Eclectic with Feminine Accents

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Happy Monday! I’m back with another “get the look” piece (these posts are basically excuses for me to browse for pieces I don’t need and pretend I’m decorating a room, so they’re super fun to create). This time, I was inspired by a vibrant peacock print wallpaper I saw on One Kings Lane and decided to pick out accessories to match. The wallpaper is actually removable, which makes it a total gem for renters. I’d love to wallpaper an area in my apartment someday, but most of my walls are such a strange shape that it would be a little difficult! Anyway, onto the pieces:

Removable wallpaper//Brass stand//Foo dog lamps//Banana leaf print//Planter  

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Sunday Snippets, Vol. 1

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Happy Sunday! I thought it would be fun to kick off a new series where I share articles that have caught my eye from around the web. I thought Sundays would make the most sense given that I have more time to browse around the internet and prepare these posts over the weekend; plus, for me, Sunday is all about unwinding with a good book/blog post/magazine. Hopefully you can do the same and start your week off on the right foot! These post won’t be weekly, but my goal is to publish them every time I find enough share-worthy articles that you all may enjoy. A caveat: the stuff I post on here is going to be more design/lifestyle/fashion-related since that’s what most of you are here for, obviously! I also read some great higher ed related pieces this week that I’ve shared with friends and family (I work at a university by day and am passionate about these issues, too) but am going to stay on topic on here–just wanted to assure y’all that I’m doing more than just reading about Taylor Swift. 😉

As for this week’s pieces:

The High-Paid DC Millennials Who Are Using Side Hustles to “Ball Out.” So, so interesting…side-hustling to afford Territory Food subscriptions is a thing. My coworker told me about this piece and it piqued my interest right away.

-Taylor Swift’s 30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30. Our fave 1989 baby turns the big 3-0 this year. I had to include this, and any die-hard fan has likely already read it, but I actually really appreciated some of her advice!

I Lived in a 280-Square-Foot Apartment for a Year–This is What I Learned. Not only is living in a small space like this entirely possible, it can also be totally stylish according as seen in this piece.

When Weddings Ruin Friendships (and this follow-up piece with reader-submitted questions). If you’re into etiquette or friendship dynamics, this one is for you!

Marshall’s Is Launching an Online Store and We’re Officially Never Leaving Our Beds. My only reaction to this is !!!! You guys know how much I love shopping on TJMaxx.com (it’s seriously so convenient and the selection is amazing), so I’m curious to see how Marshall’s stacks up/differs.

 

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Around DC Lately

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I know not all of my readers are local, but I’m always thrilled when I get messages from people on Instagram who tell me that they like the DC-related posts or found my blog after recently moving to the city. So with that, I’m going to share a few new (and just new-to-me) places in DC that I’ve been loving lately

-She Loves Me. Plant lovers, rejoice, because a new flower shop has come to town! Woman-run shop She Loves Me arrived in Petworth last month and has been ALL over social media (plus, it couldn’t be prettier). I stopped by their opening day celebration and couldn’t get enough of the shop’s fun decorations (hello, peacock chairs!) and vibrant atmosphere. Items are on the pricier side, but it’s definitely a great alternative to your run of the mill grocery store selection!

-North Italia. I was invited to sample North Italia’s menu a few weekends ago, and the experience certainly did not disappoint. My friend and I ate everything from proscieutto bruschetta to delicious spaghetti (I ordered the bolognese, which is always a favorite) to an incredible chocolate hazelnut concoction for dessert. Located in Foggy Bottom, the restaurant is a little off the beaten path when it comes to weekend eats but is easily Metro accessible and is very spacious and light-filled, making it a great place to kick back and enjoy a delicious meal. Be prepared to be FULL by the time you leave!

-Flower Child. Right next to North Italia is Flower Child, an amazing, healthy spot that also just opened up and specializes in vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo options. Both places are right near my office, and my coworkers and I have already checked out Flower Child a few times (sweetened by the fact that they were offering $10 off $20 purchase coupons) and love it. (Oh, and can we talk about the cute bistro tables and chairs inside the restaurant?). I recommend the Brussels sprouts, mac and cheese, turkey club, and lemonade (can you tell I’ve eaten there a lot?!). https://www.iamaflowerchild.com/locations/washington-dc

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-Coconut Club. This new bar/restaurant is also a little out of the way for many Northwest DC dwellers (it’s over by Union Market) but is the cutest new spot for drinks (and I can imagine it’ll only be more festive in the summer!). I went with a friend for happy hour a few weeks back, and I obviously had to order their delicious pink frozen rum drink, which I’ll admit is very Instagrammable. We also split a side of Brussels, which were super tasty!

-Politics and Prose. I know that Politics and Prose is such a DC staple, but I actually hadn’t been to an event there until the other week, when I went to hear Chloe Benjamin and Jill Santopolo speak about their respective works. The independent bookstore has a vast selection of titles and is also home to a cafe downstairs, making it a great place to relax. Jill wrote The Light We Lost, which is one of my all-time favorites, and was there talking about her new release, More Than Words, which I just recapped last week in my February book post. While I had been expecting a room of mainly 20- and 30-something women, the audience was very diverse and everyone really enjoyed having a chance to pose their own questions to Chloe and Jill.

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Get the Look: Neutral with a Touch of Color

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The neutral decor trend isn’t anything new, and while I love how clean it makes a space look, I just can’t go without a dash of color in my home. I came across this red rug on One Kings Lane and immediately wanted to design a room around it. I thought it would pop nicely against white and wood-toned accents, so off I went to browse some of my favorite sites for accessories, and I’m loving the completed look. If only I had an extra room to redo! Deets on the pieces below:

Rug//Seagrass basket//End table//Woven bowl//Artwork//Table lamp//Planter 

 

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So You Need a Book Rec?

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I wanted to pop in with a quick post today because I did some blog housekeeping this weekend to make my books section easier to navigate. It was very text-heavy before, which made it a little more difficult to scan through! I went back and added photo collages for each month of book roundups (just like the one I used in my most recent book post on Friday). Hopefully this will make it easier to find new reads–books are something I get asked about a lot, and I always tell my friends to go here first and click through these past posts to see what I liked the most! Similarly, I often rely on other blogs for recs and love when people make their book posts visual so that I can quickly see everything they’ve been reading lately. Overall, though, this is also a fun way for me to archive everything I read, because at some point you honestly start to lose track! Click here to scroll through–happy reading/browsing!

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February Reads

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So many great books to share with you all this month! As usual, I read a mix of fiction/nonfiction and light/thought-provoking, which is the best mix, if you ask me! Recaps below…

More than Words: I had the opportunity to hear Jill Santopolo, the author, speak at Politics and Prose earlier in the month (more on that in a separate post soon!) and having loved The Light We Lost (it’s seriously one of my all-time favorite books), I knew I had to read her new release. The book tells the story of a woman working in politics and making a life for herself while being torn between two men and struggling as she takes care of her dying father, who wants her to inherit and run the prestigious family company one day. Following his death, she learns of a poor decision he made and grapples with the consequences and her new perception of her father and also reevaluates her romantic life. While I didn’t find myself as enamored with this book as I was with The Light We Lost, I still enjoyed it and would suggest it to anyone who appreciates a good love triangle!

My Favorite Half-Night Stand: I think this is my favorite Christina Lauren book thus far! Millie is a college professor in California and is close friends with a group of guys she works with at the university. They’re used to sharing everything with each other, but things get secretive once Millie and one of the guys, Reid, start seeing each other discreetly. To make matters more complicated, Millie is also engaging with him using a fake persona she created on a dating site they all decided to join. While the ending of this book was definitely predictable, I still really liked the story and concept!

Roomies: This is another Christina Lauren book that I sped through on a snow day (her books are perfect light reads–they still have enough substance but are easy to finish in a day or two). Holland is living in New York and develops a crush on Calvin, an Irish man who she sees playing music in the subway every day. She becomes somewhat obsessed and goes out of her way to see him play before their lives become further intertwined after she’s involved in an accident and Calvin begins working for her uncle. They decide to get married so that Colin can keep the job and live in the United States legally, but their actual romantic situation begins to get messy as they realize they might actually like each other! You can guess what happens next, but I thought this was a cute read.

The Accidental Beauty Queen: Again, this is another light but fun read. Identical twins Charlotte and Ginny couldn’t be more different–Charlotte likes Harry Potter and works as a school librarian, while Ginny has spent her life as the pretty one who competes in beauty pageants. But when Charlotte suddenly has to step in and take Ginny’s place in the competition, she’ll do what it takes to win for her sister, even though her world is completely altered. I loved the concept of this book, and while it definitely read as more of a YA book (despite being for adults), it was a cute one!

Bad Blood: For whatever reason, I wasn’t as glued to this one as I expected I’d be (if you know me, you know that when I become obsessed with a true story like this, I get really obsessed), but it’s still 100 percent worth reading (and the reviews definitely prove this point!). Bad Blood tells the true story of Theranos, a medical startup in Silicon Valley that made false promises to investors and patients and paid the ultimate price when people began to discover how faulty and dishonest the company truly was. The book is largely the story of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded Theranos as a young college dropout, and features perspectives from many former employees, who had spoken with the author as he was completing his investigation of the company. If you’re involved in the medical world at all, you’ll likely appreciate this book even more, but it’s definitely a good investigative piece regardless.

The Sun is Also a Star: I’d heard good things about this YA book and then recently saw a preview and learned it would be turned into a movie, so I knew I had to read the copy I’d picked up a few months ago. The book tells the story of two teenagers in New York, who meet unexpectedly the same day that one of them is being deported to Jamaica with her family. Despite their brief, day-long encounter, they quickly find a connection and fall in love, despite their families differences and biases. The book is written so that other characters’ perspectives are frequently woven in, and the entire piece is a testament to how intersectional people’s lives are, even in this big city–characters are influencing each other in ways that aren’t even apparent at first glance. I really liked the ending, too!

An American Marriage: This is another one that I’d heard good things about FOREVER, and I’m so glad that I finally made the time to sit down and read it. Roy and Celestial are a young, African American couple living in Atlanta and preparing to start a family, but their lives change forever when they travel to Roy’s hometown in Louisiana and he is accused of a horrible crime that he and Celestial know he did not commit. He is sentenced to 12 years in jail, and in the meantime, Celestial is beginning to rebuild her life and leans on a childhood friend Andre, who has always been her support system. As she contemplates her marriage with a man who is in jail, she faces difficult decisions, and the book is told from her perspective, Roy’s, and Andre’s. It also examines marriages between Celestial’s and Roy’s parents and is a captivating story.

The Party: I read mixed reviews about this thriller, but I absolutely loved it! Hannah, a high schooler in San Francisco, is preparing to celebrate her Sweet 16 at a sleepover with a few of her friends, but the celebration quickly turns into a disaster after one of the girls is hurt and families are torn apart from the stress. Like many of the books on this list, this one is also told from multiple perspectives, and while it doesn’t have as many twists and turns as other thrillers (I was expecting more), the ending definitely threw me for a loop!

 

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Readers Share Their Best Recent Purchases

Photo by Heather Bien
Photo by Heather Bien

I mentioned the other day that I love listening to Bad on Paper podcast, particularly when I’m sitting in the car waiting for yet another Uber Pool passenger to delay my trip home (ha). Over the weekend, I was listening to Grace and Becca’s episode featuring fashion blogger Blair Eadie, who mentioned that whenever she and her friends get together on a girls trip, they spend a ton of time going over their favorite recent purchases and sharing must-haves with one another. These things can range from grocery store items to clothing, which I think is such a neat, useful idea. I thought I would try a similar thing with my Instagram followers and asked people to share their favorite purchase (pertaining to food, travel, clothing, etc) as of late…and below are just some of the amazing answers I got! I’ve sorted things by category so that this list isn’t completely random. Also, apologies if your response got cut off–Insta doesn’t save these replies, so I had to take screenshots as they came in and am doing my best to piece them together!

Clothing:
  • “A long sleeve black Lululemon top. It sounds so basic, but I wear it lots in this weather!”
  • “New Adidas sneakers from DSW. Aka much less expensive, but cute/versatile.”
Beauty: 
Cooking: 
  • “A milk frother! It totally elevates my morning coffee.”
  • “Violet mustard. It’s made with grape musts left over from wine making and is delish with a cheese plate.”
Home: 
  •  “The Carlo chair in olive from West Elm. It complements my living room and is super comfy.”
  • “Super random, but a counter top mini vacuum. It’s been a game changer!”
  • “A spring-scented candle from Seawick’s Candle Company to help me think it’s spring!”
Thank you to everyone who submitted their must-haves! Have you tried any of the above?
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I’m Back & Things I’m Loving

 

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I’m back, after taking a somewhat unintentional break! As I mentioned on Instagram the other day, I’m still working to figure out a balance with blogging and freelance work. Blogging brings me so much joy, don’t get me wrong! That said, I’ve been fortunate enough to have picked up a lot of writing assignments on the side over the past couple of months, too. All in all, at the end of the day, it’s more tempting (and realistic) to focus my energy on the side gig that helps pay the bills, especially when I’m writing content that’s similar to what I’d ordinarily be posting about on here for free. That said, even being “away” for a few weeks made me realize how much I value my DC to a “T” community (here and on Instagram), so I promise I’m going to post on here as much as I can, it just may not be as frequent as before. If only there was more time in the day!

Since it’s been awhile, I thought I would share a few things I’ve been loving over the past few weeks (and I have a post coming soon with reader favorites, too!):

-Bad on Paper Podcast. If you follow a lot of lifestyle bloggers, you’ve probably heard of Grace Atwood’s podcast Bad on Paper, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it on here! Grace and her friend Becca host a weekly podcast that started out primarily covering YA books but has branched out to feature all kinds of guests, including other podcast hosts, fashion bloggers,  you name it. I’m not really a podcast listener on the day to day (I know, I know…I grew up in a family that listened to a LOT of talk radio and I was over it a long time ago), but Bad on Paper is an exception. Grace and Becca have a great dynamic and share a lot of amazing reads, products, trip recaps, and the like, which makes for fun listening. I usually catch up on episodes while I’m in never-ending Uber Pool rides, to be honest, as it makes the time fly by! Grace and Becca will be hosting the pod live in NYC on April 1, and I wish I could go see it!

-Nashville trip planning! I’ve posted about this on Instagram as well, but I’m headed to Nashville in May for a long weekend with some of my college girlfriends, and I cannot wait! I’ve been to Nashville once a few years ago but was by myself visiting a graduate program and didn’t get to do any of the fun exploring, unfortunately! (I do remember that the hotel room I was in was verrrrry cheap and located on the ground floor, and every night before bed I would push one of the flimsy desk chairs from the room against the door in case anyone tried to break in…). This time, we’ve booked an awesome Airbnb and thanks to all of the recs I’ve received from you all, have our must-see’s set out for us! Being the Type A person that I am, I’ve already started compiling a Google doc with everything that was recommended to us or is something I’ve come across on Instagram/Pinterest/Google/etc. If you have any must-dos or sees, please send ’em my way.

-Warby Parker frames: A friend of mine mentioned a few weeks ago that he needed new glasses frames and asked if I wanted to come with for stylistic input (so flattered, M 😉 ), so off I went to Warby Parker for the first time! Well, being the worst glasses owner of all time (i.e.: I don’t wear them ever and then when I do always end up leaving them in an Uber/crushing them in a purse/losing them under my bed and never being able to find them–all things that have happened within the past year), I realized it was time for me to step up my game and purchase a new pair for myself, too! Seriously…my backup backup pair was out of commission by this point, so I was getting desperate! I honestly don’t know what took me so long to visit Warby Parker, because the whole experience was so seamless (or maybe the margarita I had beforehand made it seem that way). We didn’t get to the store until about 20 minutes before closing, yet in that short amount of time I was able to try on multiple frames, pick out new glasses (only $20 with my United Healthcare insurance!), and also grab a new pair of prescription sunglasses. Both pairs arrived within a week, and I’ve been loving them so far. I always thought picking out new glasses had to take hours and cost hundreds of dollars–as it had in the past–and I was so, so wrong!

-Fire stick: This is actually embarrassing because I’m probably close to a decade behind the times, but I finally got a Fire stick (I keep referring to it as a “Kindle Fire” because I literally live in the dark ages) to watch Netflix/Amazon/etc on the tv I have in my room, and I’m loving it so far. I have been having a little bit of trouble with internet connectivity upstairs and may need to call Verizon (the worst task ever!) but am glad I am finally living in ~modern times ~ even if it took me this long! Again, let me know if you have any tips/troubleshooting advice, because I’m clearly very out of the loop!

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-Beauty supplies at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. While I rarely share beauty products on here, that may have to change, because I’ve been stocking up on a ton of new makeup/lotions/shampoos lately thanks to frequent trips to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s (oops). Over the past few weeks, I’ve spotted brands like Drybar, Living Proof, Becca Cosmetics, First Aid Beauty, Urban Decay, and many, many more at these discount stores–and the products aren’t gross/expired/strangely colored, promise! While shopping at stores like these obviously means you won’t have the same comprehensive selection that you’d find at a Sephora or ULTA, you can find some pretty legit products for way, way cheaper than market price. Oh, and while we’re at it–I’ve added these shelves to my bathroom (I purchased two sets and stacked them on top of each other) and they’re perfect for product storage. They’re not amazing quality (as to be expected based on the low price), but I’ve jazzed them up with some gold knobs from Amazon and love the streamlined look. I’ll have to do a full “tour” of the setup sometime soon!

-You on Netflix: I posted about this on Instagram, but I binge-watched You on Netflix a few weekends ago and thought it was so good. If you’re not familiar with the show, it starts Penn Bagdley (Dan from Gossip Girl) as a bookstore clerk who becomes obsessed with a young graduate student and will do anything to have her all to himself (hint: there’s a lot of murder involved). While the show was definitely dark and creepy, I was hooked from the beginning. What made it better was that the bookstore is actually a real store on York Avenue in NYC (they just changed the name for the movie) and everything else surrounding it is there in real life (my former wine store made several appearances!). What I didn’t know when I was watching is that the show is based on a book by the same name, which I’ve since requested at the library.

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Home Inspiration

Ah, if only I could redo every room in my apartment once a month…there are always so many new products that catch my eye, and below are several that I’ve either purchased or am lusting over at the moment! I love how they all work together, too.

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My friend Chris discovered this cane shelf on UO’s website and sent me a picture of it right away (anyone who knows me knows how much I love this look!). I’m not sure if it would work in my bathroom at the moment, but I absolutely love how stylish (and affordable) it is and I’m sure I’ll convince myself to scoop it up eventually. 😉 It would also be beautiful holding spices in a kitchen!

This bamboo mirror is also a steal and would look beautiful in a bathroom, over a dresser, or leaning on open shelving. Again, I don’t need it, but it’s gorgeous!

I can never stop buying coffee table books and given that I just booked a trip to Nashville in May (my college friends and I are having a mini reunion there and I can’t wait!), this one seemed like a must.

I love when you find affordable Turkish rugs that look like something you’d stumble upon at a flea market (I hate the mass-produced look). This one is a winner!

Who can say no to chinoiserie bathroom decor? Ballard Designs does it again with this fun blue and white set.

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