Weekend Finds

I think mother nature read my post last week about weather affecting moods, because it was an amazing weekend in D.C. Here are a few favorite things I found while soaking up the sun around the District.

1. Bubble lamps from Georgetown Emporium

It was harder than I thought to say goodbye to the now-dilapidated plastic standing lamp that I inherited from a girl in my high school dorm when she graduated, but these beauties add a little symmetry to my mismatched nightstands and make my “bedroom” feel oh-so-adult!

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I love the simplicity of the clear, round bases but I may do something to spruce up the shades – stay tuned!

About Georgetown Emporium: If you haven’t been to this eclectic little shop, I highly recommend it! It’smy favorite hidden gem, conveniently located on the walk to Dupont Circle from Georgetown (26th & P). The tiny converted townhouse is filled to the brim (like really filled to the brim – I’m talking displays spilling to the sidewalk and velvet chairs hanging from the ceiling) with fun estate jewelry, home decor pieces, and some choice articles of clothing – i.e. a Burberry skirt and Chanel shoes when I was there today. If I had more disposable income at my fingertips I definitely would have picked up an ornate antique mirror or two.

2. Wizard of Oz Mural

Another hidden gem on P Street – I can’t believe I have never noticed this little mural depicting the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow taking a break in the middle of the yellow brick road. It’s above Bagel’s Etc off of Dupont Circle- if it had an address it would technically be on Twinnings CT, between 21st and 22nd St.

Twinnings CT mural

A close up, which as you can see, is brought to you by DC Pages:

Wizard of Oz mural

3. My Balcony

OK, this isn’t really a “find” of the weekend, but it was so nice to rediscover what spring feels like while painting my toes and listening to country music outside. Looking forward to many more hours out there, when there are actually leaves on the trees.

balcony

Goodnight and good luck getting through the five day week (ugh!)

P.S. This is me being a bag lady after buying my new lamps. #Shadowselfie (?)

shadow 2shadow

Happy Place

Lately I have been hearing more and more people talk about how the winter affects their mood. The weather – talk about a boring conversation right? But it’s so true. On a recent conference call, a someone even said that it’s “impossible to be happy” in the winter. So when I woke up to the bright sun this morning I decided to go on a little journey in Pursuit of Happiness.

Georgetown has been my little happy place in D.C. since the early years of college when I would go for “retail therapy” even if it was in the form of window shopping, after a bad test or when I just needed an escape from campus. When I run, I always end my route in the new park and it keeps me going for as many miles as I need to go. It’s amazing how much the combination of the Potomac, pastel-colored townhouses, and my favorite stores can lift my mood.

Chaider in Georgetown

My latest Georgetown favorite is a warm and comforting beverage that Baked and Wired baristas like to call Chaider – an addicting combination of hot apple cider and chai tea. You must try it! And you should also read my friend KQ’s post about Baked & Wired. You will laugh, and you will salivate – this much I promise.

Georgetown canal

Peaceful views like this are the perfect way to offset the M street Crowds. This little spot along the Chesapeake and Ohio canal – off of Thomas Jefferson street- is where I used to sit on a stone wall during my breaks from working at Urban Outfitters.  I don’t always return to this exact spot, but it gave me the idea to share more of my favorite, specific little places around D.C.

Do you have a happy place in your city?

Valentine’s Day Outfit Inspiration

I love all things Valentine’s Day (pink, chocolate and <3) so I don’t know how this post came to be without any pink! I will have to do another Valentine’s outfit idea later this week. In the meantime, hopefully the sparkles make up for the cool color scheme.

Even without the pink, the sheer and sparkly top makes this outfit romantic, and the booties add a little edge to balance out the girly-ness. Zara styled it with a white sweater, which also looks great if you are going for casual! Blue is a very rebellious option if you are too cool to wear pink and red on Valentines Day. Lately I am loving both peplum and flared skirts like the one below, and a girly skirt with boots is always a good idea – whether you are pro or anti-V-day.
valentines day outfit

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Monday rebound

Let me just put it this way- Monday and I broke up at about 5 pm last night and I’m hoping that Tuesday will save me from my woes. Okay it wasn’t that dramatic but getting back into the swing of things after a long and lovely Christmas vacation is rough seas to say the least.

Enter the following quote:

inspirational quote for monday monuments and bows blog

Photo: Monuments & Bows

I googled  “quotes for Monday” expecting to spend an hour looking for one that resonated, but leave it to Dolly to just kill it on the first web site I clicked. This is actually one of the most helpful sentiments ever in terms of trying work days: do not  stress over the things you can’t change. There. Is. No. Point. All you can do is adjust the things that are within your control (priorities for the day, internal meetings that can be moved, your ego, etc). It’s one of  many things I have learned from my boss (although apparently today I needed a reminder). Another wise phrase that my other coworker likes to throw around is “We aren’t saving lives here! It can wait til tomorrow!”

Here’s to Tuesday. May you find your rebound as quickly as I did!

(Is this metaphor working?)

Warm (pb-banana-chocolate) comforts

flower latte from pleasant pops dc  banana-chocolate-no-guilt-cookies

Don’t these images melt the memory of the cold, windy commute tonight? If it’s too soon to break your new year’s resolutions, do not shield your eyes! I come with a recipe to indulge your sweet tooth in moderation. (If it’s the amazing floral latte art you’re into, you’re going to want to visit the food artists at Pleasant Pops. For me this evening it was the less picturesque peppermint tea, as I was unable to leave my apartment).

I adapted these cookies from this recipe.

PB Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies 

  • 4 very ripe bananas – mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • generous dash of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ~1/2 package dark chocolate chips
Mash the bananas first, mix until well blended, and bake about 9-10 minutes at 350

They came out dense, spongey, and yummy. Next time I would incorporate apple sauce for a little extra sweetness (as the original recipe suggests). 

Stay warm!

New Year, New Look

Thanks to my friend’s suggestion to visit the new(ish)ly reopened Georgetown H&M,  my couch got a makeover for 2014! I have long had a vision for my living area (alas area, not room): a gray and white color pallet with pops of pink and turquoise, and six months into my lease it’s starting to get there.

couch with pillows_front

I didn’t take a before picture, but just know that the two gray pillows used to be two turquoise patterns that didn’t quite match. 

Thanks to my H&M finds (zebra and gray velvet  pillow cover)s I think I just need one big, square pillow to pull it all together.  I will post more as the room comes together – my new rug is en route!home decor post white couch striped pillows in dc living room

Unaware that H&M even had a home collection, I was pleasantly surprised by the assortment of trendy pieces (sequined table runners, scottie dog sheet sets) and cute basics (velvet pillow covers in so many hues, a white ruffled shower curtain). Icing on the cake? SO affordable.  

Here are a few of my other favorites from H&M home:

What are your favorite home decor destinations?

A recipe for health and decadence in 2014

Since studying abroad in Madrid, one of my favorite tapas (how could you pick one?) is dátiles con tocino, or bacon-wrapped dates, usually stuffed with cheese. So when I stumbled upon a goat cheese and herb stuffed dates recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to give it a whirl! Apparently I never pinned the original, but here is a similar one that incorporates prosciutto. While the bacon is conspicuously absent in my pared-down version, the outcome is both delicious and realistic for everyday life. I have made these a few times now, and here are a few of the things I love about this simple snack.

  • DecadentUnlike a bag of chips, it’s easy to stop at just one or two (okay maybe three) of these little beauties because they are so richly packed with flavor. Also, somehow the fact that they are “stuffed” takes them up a notch on the fancy scale, so next time you’re on a mission to impress, these are the h’orderves for you! Your victim friends/bf or gf/family won’t know what hit them!
  • PackableI make a batch of these to keep at work for a week of afternoon snacks. In a world where most granola bars are filled with sugar or cane syrup, it is a challenge to find a quick, easy, and healthy snack. With these, you can skip the slicing, dipping, and multiple containers required by some of my other go-tos like a banana with peanut butter or apple and cheese slices.
  • EasyAnd easier- I skipped a step by using herbed chèvre instead of mixing in fresh rosemary like the original recipe suggested. These were not quite as flavorful, but they did the trick.
  • Sweet and savoryThe creamy tang of the goat cheese offsets the sticky sweetness of the dates, enhancing both flavors and textures. This is definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The rosemary, garlic, or other herbs add another layer of flavor that just brings these to another level.

Chèvre and Herb Stuffed Dates:

What you’ll need: 

  • Large package of dates (at least 20 individual dates)
  • Small package of either herbed goat cheese or plain, mixed with fresh Rosemary

What to do:

1. Gently slice into the dates until your knife hits the pit.  

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2. Peel them open with your fingers and remove the little seed inside. Image

3. Scoop a small spoonful of goat cheese and drop it into the center of an “opened” date.You may need your fingers to pack it in.

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4. Pinch the two halves together and voilà!  Image

Here is the finished product. They look like little whoopee pies, only better! #wink. But really! 
mejool dates stuffed with goat cheese recipe chevre dc blog

P.S. If you are already into dates, check out Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth, an excellent nutrition/healthy eating blog. The author, Catherine, uses dates as a sweetener in lots of ultra-healthy, raw recipes! I am so upset that I did not see this raw ginger bread cookie recipe in time for the holidays – definitely on my list to try next year! I’ve been told I eat like a rabbit on multiple occasions, so I felt like I found a kindred spirit when I stumbled upon RFFMBT, and I look forward to perusing it thoroughly in 2014, and aspiring to approach Catherine’s level of healthy eating!

P.S.S. Here are some healthy recipes that I actually saved, on Pinterest.