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Friday, May 27, 2011

Jazz It Up In The Sculpture Garden

[Image via: here]

Weekends in the District provide plenty of opportunities for cultural and musical perusing - and freely doing so. This summer is no exception. DC's uber-popular Jazz In the Garden season returns again, starting tonight at 5 P.M. Enjoy live jazz from the comfort of a blanket with good friends, sangria and snacks [BYOS, unless you're actually pro-long lines]. 

It's the biggest picnic-style after work party this city's ever seen. If you're on Operation:Cool Down and escaping to the beach this weekend, no need to fret. The Sculpture Garden will play repeat host every Friday through September.
That's 16 excuses to leave work early, dig out your old picnic basket and frolic in the grass. Not that you needed any.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Balcony Is To Porch As Summer Is To Night

 [Image via: here]

Life in the city is different from small towns in a couple ways. For instance, instead of mowing grassy lawns, there's just enough space to have a small commitment to green upkeep: grow a small tray of bean sprouts or water some potted plants on your windowsill. Forget washing your car. What car? Instead, we wash our small or mid-size pooches after an evening at the dog park.

And unlike big, sprawling or quaint, old timey homes, our humble abodes [read: apartments] don't have wraparound porches.

We do, however, have a little 3' x 8' cement slice of heaven: that would be our balconies.

Although most don't allow grilling, we can make our breakfast/lunch/dinner inside - or heck, get something delivered - and then proceed to consume it in our deck chairs on warm summer nights. We still say hi and greet our neighbors; they're just suspended forty feet in the air like we are. 

This is where you'll find me this summer - relaxing and cooling off on my outdoor oasis, people watching and listening to the bus station . . . 395 traffic . . . it's all good.

Apartment Therapy

Are you a balcony dweller? Where will you be enjoying your summer nights?

Monday, May 23, 2011

7 Days, 7 Outfits

[Image via: here]

When the oh-no-the-weekend-is-over-and-I-still-haven't-done-laundry dilemma arises, I like to keep it easy peasy lemon squeezy: turn to the experts who have perfected the art of whipping together outfits with just a few pieces. Luckily, Shop Ruche has just the thing. With 6 pieces, they came up with 7 outfits. That's 7, count 'em 7, looks. Enough to put off laundry until next week. What more can a girl ask for? Except for maybe naturally Pantene Pro-V model bouncy, shiny hair and clothes that wash themselves, of course.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Boy Taped Proposal As A MovieTrailer. Girl Has No Idea.

[Image via: here]

I'm a huge sucker for anything romantic or cheesy. And really great proposals top the list. How about, "Hey, let's go the movies" as a cover-up for "Hey, let's spend the rest of our lives together." Throw in some buttery popcorn, a crowded dark theater secretly filled family and friends, and pre-taped movie trailer for the surprise ending of a lifetime. ♥

Thursday, May 19, 2011

H-B Woodlawn 5K Trail Race For Change

[Image via: here]

Do you want to help provide clean water solutions to children in Haiti and Bangladesh? Like to feel your blood pumping and work up a sweat for an amazing cause?

All you 5k lovers and morning joggers - this one's for you: H-B Woodlawn and H20 For Life are putting on a 3.1 mile trail race this Saturday at Potomac Overlook Regional Park [map available here]. Online sign up is now closed but will open again the day of the race at 7 A.M.

The money that's being raised - by the wonderful students I previously blogged abut here] will go directly to children and families across the globe who are in desperate need of sanitary drinking water.

When: THIS Saturday, May 21st
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Time: Sign up at 7 A.M.; race begins at 8 A.M.
Cost: $30  UPDATE: Only $25!

Will you race for change?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running In Heels

[Image via: here]

Ever wake up every few hours in the middle of the night because you don't want to sleep through your alarm? Guilty as charged. That was me last night. A mixture of nerves and excitement = one sleepless night.

I started my editorial internship at Northern Virginia Mag today and there was no way I was going to be late [hence the mid-night wakeups].

So what was it like? Think The Devil Wears Prada meets The City, minus a crazy boss and the drama, and you get the picture.

 [Image via: here]

Just call me LD. Kidding, that's not necessary.

My thoughts from the first day:
  • Don't actually run in your heels: Although I titled the post "running in heels," I actually wore black flats this morning. It was rainy and gross outside. Best decision of the day. Completely recommend this to anyone with a commute. Or at least wait til you arrive before switching into heels.
  • The outfit: Also, I wore a business dressy outfit. Once you get the vibe of the office, then you can dress accordingly. NoVA is definitely more edgy, and now I know what I'll be wearing all summer.
  • Pack a lunch ... and then some:  For lunch, I packed what I thought would be a delicious salad. Turns out, the lettuce wilted by the time I went to eat it. Not to worry - that's what back-up trail mix is for.
  • Ask questions: Especially right from the first day, you're not expected to know how to use the copier or where you can get a swipe card for the building. So fire away!
  • What a commute: Gas is uber cheap in Chantilly - only $3.93?!?! Too bad it's a 30 mile drive there and 30 miles back.
  • Caffeine is your friend: The search is over! I snatched up a case of Cheerwine at Sheetz after leaving the office. Will definitely be drinking it like it's my job.
  • Be ready to work: My boss gave me lots of assignments right away. Don't think that the first day/week is going to be full of long coffee breaks and chatting with the other interns, which sounds lovely but is not the reason you applied, interviewed and were chosen to intern away the next few months of your life. So jump right in and start researching/editing/interviewing for your articles.
  •  Nose plug not included: Sitting in the cubicles next to the office "kitchen" means hunger pains + a bit of nausea at the smell of things constantly being heated up - everything from pasta to hot dogs.
but the bottom line is:
  • It's totally worth it: Traveling crazy distances every day to work for free is not only "character building" but absolutely important to building your resume. It may not seem like it in the beginning but everyone has to start somewhere.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cheerwine - And The Search Begins

[Image via: here]

While I was in college, some of my FSU friends introduced me to the greatness that is Cheerwine. Now, if you're not familiar with the drink, you may be thinking, "College students drinking wine - what else is new?" But actually, there's not a drop of alcohol  - or grapes - in it. It's a soda/coke originally made in Carolina and it's like heaven in a can [or bottle].

[Image via: here]

Once we tried it, we were hooked with a capital H.

We would bribe and beg any friends traveling further south [and by that, I mean technically going north] of Tally to bring us back as many cans and two liters that $10 would buy that could fit in their trunk. Anyone traveling through the South was required to make mandatory pit stops at the local gas station or Food Lion to grab up what they could.

After securing our rations, the possibilities of how to drink it saw no end:

with ice cream,

[Image via: here]

in a cake,

[Image via: here]

over ice,

[Image via: here]

on top of cupcakes,

[Image via: here]

or straight out of the bottle!

[Image via: here]

Since moving to Virginia last fall, I've only had Cheerwine once: while making the really long trek from Tampa back to Arlington on New Year's Eve, my friend and I bought some at a gas station along the way. I'm not gonna lie. I bought a two liter [it was cheaper than two small bottles!] and just put a straw in it. Best helps-you-stay-awake-all-night-drink. Hands down.

Thanks to the Cheerwine Finder, I discovered that a gas station near my internship carries it. Will be stocking up asap!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Have Your Apple [Crisp] & Eat It, Too

[Image via: here]

Yesterday, I went to a bbq with friends. Granted, it was inside, and our hamburgers were grilled courtesy of George Foreman. But nonetheless, it was a bbq - we wore cute summery clothes, brought covered dishes and sipped on cold drinks. Thus I decided on the spot that bbqing should happen at least once a week from now through the summer.

My assignment for the get-together was to bring a dessert (no surprise there). With the endless possibilities of dessert choices - pies, cookies and cakes, oh my - I settled on bringing something with fruit. So apple crisp it was. It was really easy to make and even more delicious to eat. Minus the whole oh-man-I-shouldn't-have-eaten-that feeling afterward. Because you'll feel at least a teeny bit proud of yourself for getting at least one [or two] servings of fruit in your day.

I knew apple crisp and I were going to be friends as soon as the toasty cinnamon smell filled my kitchen . . .

Healthy Apple Crisp
[from here]

What you'll need:

1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose [or wheat] flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown [or raw] sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg [optional - I didn't have any at home so I skipped using it]
3 tbsp butter, melted
4 Granny Smith apples [or, if you're short on time, 2 cans of all-natural apple pie filling]*
1/2 gallon low-fat vanilla ice cream or fro-yo

What to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. While it's preheating, spray/grease a 13"  x 9" baking pan. I used glass but ceramic or your pan of choice should be a-okay.

3. Grab a mixing bowl and throw in everything but the apples and ice cream - that would be the oatmeal, flour, sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg, as well as the butter. Stir until it's well mixed and small clumps of oats and flour begin to form.

[Image via: here]
4. Next, suds up and clean those apples. Then peel, core and slice them into skinny slices. *Or if you're going the apple pie filling route, simply take your handy-dandy can opener and open your apple cans. Convenience to the max!

 [Image via: here]

5. Take your apple slices or pre-made apple filling and spread it evenly over the bottom of your baking dish.

6. If you've ever been a flower girl, here's your time to shine, again: grab a small handful of the crisp mix and gently toss over the layer of apple like you would down the white aisle runner on the big day. Repeat until you've covered it all/run out of mix [err . . . petals].

[Image via: here]
7. Pop it in the oven and let it bake for about 28 to 30 minutes. When smells of crispy apples and baked cinnamon will begin to waft out of the oven, it’s close to being done.

 [Image via: here]

8.  Cut yourself a slice and enjoy. Serve it while it’s still warm with a scoop of ice cream/fro-yo if you’re so inclined. I left the ice cream at home yesterday so we had it sans topping and it was unabashedly yummy.

How much it makes:

10 to 12 small bowlfuls

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Free Classes During DC Yoga Week

[Image via: here]

Whether you're a yoga guru or a causal class attender, there's something for everyone during DC Yoga Week. From May 15th to May 21th, studios around the District are opening up their doors for free or greatly discounted classes.

If you've ever looked at the Mall and thought, "This would be a great place for a sun salutation," you will not want to miss Yoga At The National Mall this Sunday. Hundreds will gather at 1:30 P.M. during this sixth anniversary - all ages and levels of experience are welcome. 

The mission behind this yogalicious week is to" increase awareness about the benefits of yoga and meditation for people living in the DC area, in an attempt to help encourage greater physical health and well-being in our community." So grab a mat and try out a few classes. And not to worry, NoVa, your week of all-things-yoga is coming soon to a studio near you!

DC studios offering F-R-E-E classes:

DC classes at $5 a pop:

Monday, May 9, 2011

True Story

 [Image via: here]

"When all is said and done, Satan cannot win, and you cannot lose."

Bible study teacher and writer extraordinaire
Beth Moore, Esther: It's Tough Being A Woman

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day, Pants Check + Tornado Relief

[Image via: here]
  • This Sunday is Mother's Day. If you haven't already snagged something lovely for your mama, check out Refinery 29's gift guide for last minute inspiration. It's better late than never, right?
  • Do stretchy yoga pants really count as pants? What about jeggings? For your reading pleasure, the folks over at StyleIte have put together a hilarious step-by-step guide to make sure that those things on your legs are indeed pants.

  • The big brick house of Home Alone fame is now up for grabs. According to Jezebel, you, too, can play Kevin McAllister and pull your fair share of paint can flinging and crowbar slinging shenanigans in the home's 14 rooms. For $2.4 million, that is. 
  • After hundreds of tornadoes crashed through Alabama, leaving only a path of destruction in its wake, it's hard to imagine how much grief and loss they've experienced. Patra, a fellow Southern belle and the fabulous blogger behind I Do Declare, has posted a great list of ways we can help those who were severely affected by the storms.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    It's Raining? How Ironic

    [Image via: here]

    You know those days when something happens that's so wonderfully inspired and it makes you think, "I couldn't have even planned this!"? That was my morning.

    I was quickly walking from my apartment to work in the midst of the morning downpour, thinking to myself, "Really? It has to be raining right now? I love showing up to work soaking wet." But as I kept walking, my iPod, set to shuffle, started playing "Grace Like Rain." Oh my goodness. It was so cool to suddenly hear

    "Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
    Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away."
    Sometimes God reveals his truths to us in a literal way, like He did this morning. His grace has been poured out on us abundantly [1 Timothy 1:14] and we are justified freely through Christ's redemption [Romans 3:24].

    "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me.
    I once was lost but now am found
    Was blind but now I see so clearly."

    He has redeemed us through his blood; we have the forgiveness of sins and the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7].

    "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
    And grace my fears relieved.
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed!"

    "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." [2 Corinthian 12:9]

    "When we've been there ten thousand years
    Bright shining as the sun.
    We've no less days to see Your praise
    Than when we first begun."

    And you know something? I didn't so much mind getting wet after that.

    Click here to listen to  "Grace Like Rain" by Plumbline.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    What's In Your Purse?

    [Image via: here]

    Clutch, tote, purse, satchel, handbag - it has an unending supply of names. [Even the men have jumped aboard in on our bag-carrying ways]. Regardless of what we call it, it's main purpose - besides being adorable and matching our outfit, of course - is to assist us in hauling our necessities all around the city. To work, out for lunch, for errands, grocery shopping, out to dinner. . . you name it, our purse goes there.

    Want to know a little secret? I went through a phase [a very short one] where I insisted upon not carrying a purse at all. It weighed me down, I didn't want to have to worry about it coordinating with my current clothes, blah blah blah. So, instead, I kept everything I needed in my . . . car. Yes, you heard that right. My trusty Corolla became my clutch, tote, purse and handbag all rolled into one. If I couldn't carry it with me, I simply tossed it in my backseat.

    Think of Mary Poppin's carpet bag, just scattered throughout my car. Good times.

    But not that I've grown up kind of grown up, I prefer to use a nice, large purse for everyday use. Some things that can most assuredly be found in it at any given time: car keys, quarters, floss [though I'm trying to break myself of my bad habit], makeup, my fave black Moleskine, Burt's Bees hand sanitizer, a few pens, my phone charger, the Bible, a water bottle or coffee thermas, Emergen-C packets, sunglasses, ear buds, a collection of random of business cards, fliers, several wrappers and other bits and pieces of things I'm not exactly sure of.

    Perhaps spring cleaning my purse is in order? Yes, it's decided.

    What's in your handbag? Are you a stuffer? Or do you fill it with just the basic essentials?

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Making A List, Checking It Twice

    Inspired by my friend W's charming blog, I decided to put together my own list. Of what? What to list, what to list. And then I decided: things that make today a lovely day. So here goes:
    • waking up while it's still dark out but knowing that my Heavenly Father is in complete control of the day about to unfold
    • insanely funny co-workers, as mentioned here and here. We have more fun in a coffee shop than should be allowed.
    • a 12 minute nap. Not that I timed it exactly but that's pretty close to accurate. 
    • studying through the book of Esther with my small group. Seriously can't get enough of!
    • when friends bring back souvenirs from their trips abroad. I'm now the proud owner of a sparkly little rojo zapato magnet. Will be adding to the fridge right away.
    • free Chick-fil-A for dinner, courtesy of Teacher & Admin Appreciation Week. To whoever decided to officially celebrate educators everywhere, you're the best!
    • my after-work workout. It feels so good to run/walk/bike ride and enjoy the beautiful weather. Enough said.