Big Flowers, Little Apartment

For my birthday this year I was lucky enough to receive what felt in my heart like a billion flowers! I ended up with one large arrangement with a purple theme; another medium-sized arrangement with a yellow, orange, and pink motif; and yet another smaller arrangement with a classic white and pink color palette. As wonderful as each of these wonderful color bonanzas are, three arrangements like these can overwhelm a small apartment fairly quickly. In light of this recent predicament (the best predicament to have, really), I thought I would share with you how I decided to distribute the flower joy throughout my cozy living space.

The large purple arrangement has a natural home in the center of the dining table so that arrangement stayed intact. This arrangement also has a ton of gorgeous greenery in it that would not be as impactful if disassembled (in my opinion, obvi). The smaller pink and white arrangement stayed intact too as it is tall and skinny and has a  perfect place in the kitchen. The kitchen, dining area, and living room are essentially all one room so placing the yellow, orange, and pink arrangement in there would be overkill. Our bedroom is out of the question as well due to the ever frustrating furniture limbo we are in, a common issue after moving into a new apartment. With nothing to put this arrangement on I decided to disassemble it and here is the result…

 

 

 

I divided up the flowers and cut down the stems to fit into three smaller glasses, one small 7Up glass (for a quirky, fun feel) and two stemless wine glasses. This way I can still display the flowers in our living room and bedroom without the arrangements becoming overwhelming. They fit on the limited surfaces available and you can still see and smell flowers at every turn!

Another thing I love to do with flowers is put them into beer glassware. We’ve got a ton of tall, skinny glasses with the names of different beers on them that make really interesting flower vases. I love that balance of masculine and feminine, it keeps things from being too frou frou. So next time you feel like your apartment is beginning to resemble a garden (again, the best predicament), distribute the flower wealth throughout your space using this trick!

Sunday Stretches for Game of Thrones Nerves

Tonight Game of Thrones starts up again and I am LOSING MY MIND! I’m so excited/nervous its nuts. To protect my delicate emotions I’ve made a habit of going into each episode with the mindset that everyone I love in the show will die a horrible death in the first five minutes. THEN, when they don’t die, I’m super excited! This is the game I must play with my mind so I don’t have to look away every time there is a prolonged silence or they zoom in on one persons face for too long (at which time I am always convinced an arrow or an axe will come out of nowhere and crush my dreams)! We all have our ways of riding the emotional roller coaster that is GOT.

You, like me, may need a way to manage this wild GOT anticipation. I’ve got your answer!  In addition to being a design junkie, a professional eater and drinker of tasty foods and beverages, and  writing about such things on the interwebs for fun, I am also a certified yoga instructor! I’ve already run through my yoga routine this morning to ward off the V unwelcome Sunday scaries and the V welcome GOT nerves so I thought I’d share some of my more relaxing stretches with you…

Child’s Pose

  • Find a comfy spot on the floor (or a mat if you have one) and sit your tush on your heels.
  • Bring your toes to touch beneath you and spread your knees out as wide as is comfortable (you can also leave your thighs and knees together if that is more comfortable).
  • Hinge forward at the waist to fold your belly over your thighs and touch your forehead to the floor or mat.
  • Reach your fingertips out long in front of you.
  • With every inhale reach your fingertips further forward, with every exhale lengthen your tailbone back and feel that wonderful stretch!
  • If you chose to keep your thighs and knees sealed together with your forehead on the mat, you can either extend your arms out long in front of you or send them back, palms up, to rest alongside your legs.
  • You should feel this in your hips, ankles, and thighs.

Supine Pidgeon Pose 

  • Lie down on the floor with your arms long by your sides.
  • Bend your knees and walk your feet in towards your tush.
  • Now bring your right ankle on top of your left thigh and open up your knee towards the right side, flex your right foot to protect your knee.
  • If you feel a deep stretch in this position stay right there.
  • If you are not feeling much and want to take it a bit further, interlace your hands behind your left thigh and lift your left leg up so that your left knee is stacked over your left hip and your left shin is parallel with the floor.
  • Take the same shape you did on the opposite side to balance out.
  • You should feel this in your hips.

Seated Forward Fold with Bent Knees (Super creative, I know)

  • Sit upright with your legs outstretched in front of you.
  • Put a generous bend in your knees.
  • Flex your feet back towards your face.
  • Reach your hands high overhead on a big inhale.
  • Exhale, hinge forward to drape your belly over your thighs and release your hands to wherever is accessible for you (feet, shins, resting alongside your legs).
  • We bend our knees here to feel this in our lower back as opposed the traditional seated forward-fold with straightened legs which is a hamstring stretch.
  • You should feel this in your lower back but if you are particularly tight you may feel  this from the base of your spine all the way up to your neck.

Happy Baby Pose

  • Lie down on your back and pull your knees into your chest.
  • Pull your right knee towards you right armpit and your left knee towards your left armpit.
  • Flex your feet and stack them over your knees like you are going to stamp the ceiling with the soles of your feet.
  • Keep your knees bent and reach for the insides or outsides of your feet, your calves, or the backs of your thighs, wherever is comfortable for you.
  • Seal your entire spine and shoulders down to the mat, so if your tailbone and shoulders are up off the mat, consider grabbing behind your thighs instead of reaching for your feet or calves.
  • You should feel this in your inner groin and along your spine!

These are some of my favorites for releasing tension so let me know what you think! Ready or not WINTER IS HERE (even though it feels like it is 1 million degrees here in D.C.) so you might as well do everything you can to prepare for the GOT whirlwind tonight and start the week of right.

Spicing Things Up

When asked where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner, it came down to a choice between two D.C. heavy-hitters: Le Diplomate and Rasika. I’ve been wanting to go to both forever and this was my chance to check one off my list! Did I want to fulfill my dreams of diving into a giant seafood tower, OR did I want to spice things up with what some have said is the best indian cuisine in the city? Life’s big questions.

I decided on Rasika in West End and our experience was amazing. A little bird tipped off the restaurant that it was the day of my birth and VIOLA!, complementary champagne! I am all about complementary items of any kind, it makes me feel fancy. We then ordered a couple of appetizers that I highly recommend:

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Fish Chili Garlic
Sea bass / burnt garlic / banana leaf / jeera aloo

The fish was perfectly cooked with a delicious layer of garlic mash on top and the jeera aloo (potatoes, cumin seeds, and indian spices) was a tasty spicy accompaniment!

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Mango Shrimp
Fresh mango / cashew nuts / ginger / coriander

This shrimp was so flavorful that, had the sauce not been there, I would have been content without it. But add the shrimp to the spicy green sauce and BOOM, flavor bonanza.

For my main dish I ordered my go-to, Chicken Tikka Masala, but I TRIED to branch out. Really, I did! Before I ordered, I asked the waitress what she recommended and she basically told me to order it because they do it so well. My efforts to be adventurous were thwarted. At the end of the day though, the dish was some of the best I’ve had!

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Chicken Tikka Masala

My boyfriend ordered a lamb dish with rice and a cool yogurt dressing that was also to die for. His had a completely different flavor profile that mine, almost a lebanese vibe. He was V content!

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Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani
Aromatic lamb / basmati rice / saffron / raita

I cannot overlook that we orderd both garlic naan AND truffle naan (so excessive) with our meals! Whatever, it was my birthYAY.

Following this amazing meal, our waitress brought out a small plate of cardamom ice cream with a candle in it, and two tiny pastry like bites on either side. More complementary luxe things with a birthday candle! Needless to say, our experience at Rasika West End was truly wonderful, and a great way to spend my birthday. I highly recommend visiting if you haven’t already!

I am always on the lookout for delightful indian food so please share if you have a favorite spot so I can try it out!

Easy, Breezy, Birthday Look

Today is my birthday and I’ve got mixed feelings. I’m majority super excited because who doesn’t love the day when it’s your party and you can cry if you want to?! No crying here though, only cake eating! My only hang-up is that I sincerely thought I would have everything figured out by now. If you asked me in my early twenties what I would be doing now I would have definitely said something along the lines of “RULE THE WORLD”, and by that I mean be a high-powered somebody in a creative field where I only answer to me. That was obviously V ambitious and V millennial of me. Oh well, I have gained the maturity at this point to understand that finding your space in this world is a process that I’ve just got to roll with…so I shall party on! Enough of that talk though. To celebrate my birthday I’ve put together a festive outfit that screams summertime party!

  1. Linley Cut-Out Maxi Dress – Lilly Pulitzer
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Stay cool in this printed maxi with cut-outs!

2. Mason Sandal – Splendid 

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Continue the festive vibe with some subtle shimmer for your feet! 

3. Large Circuit Hoop Earrings – Cloverpost

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Add delicate hammered gold hoops on the larger side for a laid-back island feel!

4. Tammy Ring Set of 2 – Elizabeth and James 

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Add some fun gold rings for a bohemian look!

5. Amara Ring Set – Gorjana

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Add these to the set above = ring game, strong!

6. Lola Ring – Gorjana

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Add these to the mix = ring game, the strongest! 

 

I highlighted the Linley dress because I’m considering buying it for myself as a birthday present! It is breezy and fun but still polished looking. Anything fussy is OUT of the question in this D.C. swamp heat. I hope you love this outfit as much as I do!

Put A Bird On It!

If you watch Portlandia you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, watch Portlandia, it is hilarious! I’ve always been obsessed with animals, but mainly those of the soft and fluffy variety. Only recently have I found myself fascinated by birds. They are so cute the way they hop around and move their little heads quickly in every direction, chirping and fluttering. These attributes apply mostly to smaller birds but my interest does not stop there. I find larger birds mesmerizing as well! The way larger birds swoop around makes me wonder what that might be like, but I definitely prefer my diet to theirs! I’m pretty sure birds don’t get to pour themselves a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the reg so I’m good down here on my own two feet!

I look at certain birds and am struck by the naturally occurring patterns and colors that people strive to replicate. I find it truly amazing that that beauty just happened in nature! Needless to say, I am SUPER into the bird theme that seems to be dominating home decor websites and stores. SO, in honor of our feathery friends, I thought I would share some of my favorite bird-themed finds for whatever tickles your fancy!

  1. Underbrush Hook – Anthropologie 
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Chirp Chirp – I’ll guard your coat!

2. Bird Watcher Kerri Upholstered Chair – World Market

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Tweet Tweet – Take a load off your feet! 

3. Birds Buffet Table Lamp – Wayfair

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Cooo Cooo! I’ll brighten your room!

4. Kylie Owl – Joss & Main

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Whoooo Whoooo? We’ll hold the books for you!

I would apologize for my cheesy attempts to write out bird noises but it would be insincere. Hopefully one of these fun items speaks (chirps) to you!

New England Adventures!

Getting back into a routine after spending a week on vacay is rough. I’m so thankful for the time spent away with family and friends but now that I’m back in D.C., it feels like I need another vacation to reset! “Just a couple more days to get my life in order, pleassseeeeeee” I would say to my boss in a perfect world… Oh well, I’ll get back into the swing of things and have all sorts of fun things to share in the meantime!

Over the years I’ve heard friends and family rave about Maine. They’ve talked about the gorgeous coastline, amazing seafood, and charm of vacation spots well loved by New Englanders. I can finally share in the convo (about southern Maine at least)! I agree with all the wonderful things I’ve heard about the state but would like to add that I am CERTAIN mother nature likes Maine way more than anywhere else (D.C. for sure) because the weather was perfect from our arrival on Sunday evening until our departure on Thursday Morning. Mid-70s to Low-80s, a dream really.

We stayed in Wells for our trip, a great jumping off point for our adventures into Kennebunkport, York, and Ogunquit (try saying that one 10 times fast). I had a REALLY tough time with the word Ogunquit in the beginning but can now proudly say I’ve got it down (that second “u” is a rascal). Our first full day we went to Kennebunkport to do lunch and see all the beautiful homes. I was overjoyed to see the Bush family compound, it really is gorgeous and quite impressive!

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Bush Family Compound – Kennebunkport, ME (wishing those people would stop basically ruining my vacay with the Bush family)  

For lunch we popped into Arundel Wharf where I gleefully consumed a Bloody Mary, steamers, and lobster salad piled high atop half an avocado (meal of dreams). I’ve found lunch is made better by picturesque views of pristine boats bobbing in the water!

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Not a bad place to drink a Bloody Mary (as if there was a bad place to drink one)!

The following day was the 4th of July (YAY AMERICA) and we drove to York to spend some time at the beach! We were visiting my boyfriend’s Aunt and Uncle who are members of a delightful beach club with a pool area where we basked like turtles in the sun and consumed many tasty beverages. The frozen lemonade with vodka was too good, as was their cucumber basil lemonade with vodka!

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York Beach Views! 

After visiting the beach club we drove into Ogunquit to have Lobsters! We went to Barnacle Billy’s etc. in Perkins Cove and it was magical. I ate a Lobster the size of my head and had the most fun doing it! We sat on a stone patio canopied by trees and surrounded by flowers. We could see the boats coming in and out, preparing for the fireworks to take place that night, it was a wonderful experience!

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View from the patio at Barnacle Billy’s etc. 

After dinner we went and found a prime spot for watching the fireworks, an activity I look forward to every year no matter where I am for the 4th! The Ogunquit Beach firework show was one of those that you could swear the finale is happening about every five minutes because it is so spectacular. Between lounging at the beach/pool, eating a Lobster, and watching the fireworks, I’d say it was a perfect 4th of July!

The next day we decided to go wander around Ogunquit for a bit to shop and eat lunch before heading back to York for another day at the beach club. We ate lunch and had a couple of drinks at Cornerstone, obviously sitting on the patio for people watching reasons. After lunch we bopped over to the CUTEST shop called Calluna Fine Flowers and picked up a navy serving tray to give to our hosts as a gift! If you have the chance to visit, this shop has a wide variety of items that are perfect for gifts (or you obvi)!

As many have said before me, GO TO MAINE! It is absolutely beautiful. If you are like me and grew up in the south going to the beaches in Florida, Alabama, Texas, the East Coast is a fun change of scenery. The best word I can use to describe Maine is charming. The towns we visited were lively and vibrant but quaint!

We ended our week of vacation on Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire with friends! We ate delicious food, worked puzzles, played beer pong, and sat by the fire. Just the right amount of rowdiness and relaxation!

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Lake Winnisquam – V Picturesque

Yay America: A Multi-day Story of Recovery From My European Tour of Rosé

This past weekend I planned to do some serious R & R before rolling full steam ahead into the 4th of July. The idea was that I would go to a friend’s birthday celebration/housewarming party for a bit on Friyay, get into bed early to rise and shine on Saturyay. I needed to be up early (well, early for me on a weekend at least) for the Quicken Loans Golf Tournament where I planned to stroll around drinking mostly water (because hydration). After the tournament I would get home to cook dinner and pack before getting into bed early again to leave for Maine bright and early Sunday morning. I was going to be well rested, I was going to be energetic, I was going to be ready for a party week! As you have likely gathered at this point, things did not go as planned and I was not any of these things on Sunday morning.

On Friday night my boyfriend and I headed to my friend’s housewarming where she was having a Rosé tasting. Sounds classy AF, right? WELL, for me and my galpals “tasting” turned into full blown glasses of each type that she bought. She bought 8 or so bottles and there were about 6 of us “tasting” consistently so you do the math. We then proceeded to stay out until about 1am before finally moseying home to get some sleep for our 7am wake up time the next morning. Restful this evening was NOT, but was it super fun, YES! FYI, my fave Rosé was from Austria, the more you know!

So I’ve discovered that I LOVE going to golf tournaments. The manicured grass, chirping birds, and abundance of people wearing athleisure takes me to my happy place. While I was far from well rested, I had a good amount of energy and was ready to seize the day when we arrived on Saturday morning. And seize the day I did, quite aggressively. Three glasses of Chardonnay, one torrential downpour, and a moscow mule later I not only probably looked like a wet dog, but had turned a lovely shade of lobster red from that delightful (hot as the blazes of hell) DC summer sun. Again, not at all relaxing but a ton of fun. I did get Rickie Fowler’s autograph though, definitely a win!

Time to go home and pack now, right? WRONG. We then went to a friend’s impromptu barbeque where I thought it was a good idea to get back into the Rosé and eat my bodyweight in Oreos… woof. So let’s fast forward to 10pm when we are finally home trying to pack (I literally had no idea what I put in my suitcase). On the way to Maine I was thinking, hopefully I have all the things I need but who knows? I chose to look at this like a fun game rather than an adulting failure!

Rested and relaxed I am certainly not but it was an awesome weekend! I’m choosing to look at it like my boyfriend and I are just extremely dedicated to getting the most out of our vacation (beginning literally and hour after we got home from work on Friday… whatever, YOLO).

Throughout what I am calling my “Rosés of the World Tour” this weekend I did pick up some useful things to share:

  1. Firework Oreos are GOOD. They taste just like regular Oreos but have itty bitty bits of candy that pop a little in your mouth (sounds weird but is pretty delightful).

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    Up close and personal with the Firework Oreo!
  2. Oreo Thins are GOOD (but it defeats the purpose of buying them if you recklessly eat half the package AND regular sized Firework Oreos).
  3. Miraval Rosé from France is amazing and the most beautiful amber/blush color.thumbme.html
  4. Zweigelt Rosé from Austria is V Tasty.                               9923604152350
  5. Pallas Rosé from Spain is also wonderful.

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See, my indulgent behavior was all for you so you can know about these wonderful things! Pick one or ALL of them up to upgrade your 4th of July Party! Meanwhile, I’ll be over here in Maine continuing to recover (and by that I mean continuing to drink Rosé)…