fernweh

i have been incredibly lucky to have been able to travel as much as i have and i hate to admit it but these last few weeks i have a major case of fernweh

fernweh

i don’t know if it’s the realization that i haven’t been out of the country in two years or that my parents and sister are going to prague and slovakia without me for a couple of weeks (sigh…being a big girl is no fun) either way i’ve got the travel bug and i’m dying to go somewhere new. it might be time for me to start planning a trip somewhere, maybe for next year? i’ve been wanting to do an international marathon, maybe i’ll start training for london, berlin or paris? i leave for delaware for the firefly festival tomorrow so hopefully that will hold me over until my next trip in october!

anyone else feeling a little bit of fernweh lately? what’s next on your travel list?

the travel bug: new york city

a couple of weeks ago i got to go and visit two great friends from high school up in the big apple. i hadn’t been to new york city since senior year of high school, i’ve driven past it 5-10 times a year for the last four years on various trips from school heading home but hadn’t actually been for a visit. as a result i had this idea that i would hate new york, too busy, too big, too many people too whatever. i could not have been more wrong. i absolutely fell in love with the city in my short weekend trip and i can’t wait to get back up there! here are some pictures from my trip!

colin, me and mckenzie

colin, me and mckenzie

the best macaroons in the world

the best macaroons in the world

the view from colin's apartment

the view from colin’s apartment

books and beer and my favorite spots in dc

The mall

runners on the mall, ultimate frisbee players and dog walking galore- it must be spring in dc and after the winter we’ve had this year spring in dc is a welcome sight. unfortunately it’s been fleeting and inconsistent but the few glimpses we’ve had have been a welcome sight. friday was warm and the perfect time to get out and after walking around the mall trying a new place in the city that i’ve been hearing about for a few years now.

i had forgotten how exhausting being a tourist in dc but it being able to wander the mall and see all these amazing monuments whenever i want is without a doubt one of the better perks to living in this city. after a long day of work, museums and monuments we were all tired and decided to do a low key dinner at the apartment then after we all wanted something sweet so we took a trip over to good stuff eatery for some milkshakes. goodness gracious are those milk shakes amazing.

Kramerbooks

after a sweet treat we all got a second wind and decided to head to kramerbooks & afterwords cafe. i’ve been wanting to check this place out for a few years now, it’s been on my dc to see/do list and after last week i can’t believe i haven’t been yet. it’s a small, awesome book store with a bar, restaurant and cafe in the back. we arrived around 11:30 (did i mention it’s open 24/7?!) and there was some great live music playing, we grabbed a few beers and relaxed before browsing the books. i picked up this book and can’t wait to start it, it should be a colorful read!

air and space annex

saturday was terrible weather, it poured, all. day. long. it was awful. another one of my dc to do’s is not actually in dc. it’s the steven f udvar-hazy center aka the air and space museum annex. about 45 minutes outside the city it’s well worth the drive. it is 760,00 square feet and holds both military and commercial aircrafts like the enola gay, a concorde, and a sr-71 blackbird. but one of the coolest parts is in the back where they have the space shuttle discovery (which is massive) i could have spent hours wandering around the museum, there are just so many different things to see, i will definitely be back the next rainy day!

my dc favorites:

1. lincoln memorial

2. world war ii memorial (best at night)

3. matchbox restaurant (the sliders are amazing)

4. kramerbooks

5. newseum (well worth the entry fee)

6. georgetown (if the weather is nice it’s always nice to walk around)

7. la tasca (chinatown for happy hour)

8.  good stuff eatery (you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the toasted marshmallow milkshake!)

9. logan circle and p st (one of my favorite neighborhoods to walk/run around)

10. eastern market

i can’t wait to start taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather and getting back outside and spending some time at some of my favorite spots while exploring and finding new favorites. plus cherry blossom festival is right around the corner!

the travel bug: packing tips

packing tips

march has been the month of mini trips, florida, oregon, new york and camden, sc. its going to be hectic and exhausting especially with everything going on at work. but its definitely going to be a fun month, i mean who doesn’t love weekend getaways? since i’m going to be packing a lot this month i figured it would be the perfect time to share some of my packing tips!

confession: i am not the worlds best packer, but i try so that has to count for something right! i tend to overpack, kind of, i’ll bring too many of some things but not enough of others, i usually chalk it up to a good excuse to go shopping. i’m slowly getting better though, when i went to naples last weekend i didn’t actually need to go shopping for anything (not that that stopped me)! i am also one of those last minute packer who throws a whole bunch of stuff in my bag late the night before or early the morning of, i am the queen of procratination. here are some of my tips that help me stay at least semi organized:

1. don’t stress: packing is probably one of the most stressful activities i can think of. which is stupid. take the stress out of packing by reminding yourself that it’s okay to forget something, because guess what? there are stores where you’re going. and while they may not have that super cute top you bought specifically for the trip, they will have something and when you look back at the trip you’re not going to remember what you didn’t have or what you wore, you’re going to remember that amazing meal, or the adventures you went on.

2. make a list: i have a running list in my phone the weeks leading up to my trips, the first 10 things or so are my must haves for every trip- toothbrush, pjs, makeup etc. this is my launch point for all my trips then i list everything else underneath it so after one trip i can delete and start the list for the next!

3. use my obsessive weather checking to my advantage: i check my weather app on my phone roughly 30 times a day. i don’t know why but it’s one of those things that i kind of just do without thinking about it. i love that i can add different cities to the app so i at least have an idea of what the weather is going to be like when i’m traveling. it’s helpful to at least know whether i need to pack a down jacket or if i can get away with just a long sleeve shirt!

4. don’t forget socks and underwear: when i was younger and starting to pack for trips on my own my mom would always say “don’t forget to pack socks and underwear!” it drove me crazy, duh mom how am i going to forget socks and underwear. now that i don’t have her always reminding me, guess what? i almost never pack enough of either. i am always so concerned with fitting my 27 pairs of shoes or all my outfits that i am always short on the essentials. it drives me crazy. the last few trips i’ve put it at the top of my essentials list and made sure i packed them first so i would have enough.

5. travel in comfy and heavy outfits: this applies more for longer or international trips where you have to be really conscious of how much your bag weighs. i have learned that while i want to look nice while flying (you never know who you’ll be sitting next to!) i also want to be comfortable. also, pulling off a pair of leather boots to go through security is really just not practical, so i make sure to wear easy shoes to get on and off, i love these, and i usually wear comfortable jeans and a nice top or sweater. easy, comfy, but still presentable! also if i need to bring a jacket i always wear it or carry it with me. it is likely one of my heavier items.

6. pack a change of clothes: always, always, always pack a change of clothes on your carryon bag. and make sure the outfit is appropriate for whatever event you have going on that first night. if your bags do get lost (and it does happen!) the airlines will usually locate and deliver them to you within the first 24 hours of your trip- this way you will have something to wear your first night without having to rush to the store or buy some awful outfit that you’ll never wear again from the hotel shop. i recently bought an amazing kate spade weekender from the surprise sale, it fits all of my carry-on necessities and a change of clothes without being too heavy. i love it.

7. pack outfits: this is something i still struggle with sometimes, think about what you need to dress for, dinners, days touring the city, hanging out at the pool a hike, whatever it may be. make a list if you have to then start laying out outfits for those activities. this way you can have everything on your bed or couch or wherever to see and you can make sure you have enough options rather than just standing in your closet and grabbing things to toss in a bag!

8. pack twice: if you think you have too much stuff you probably do, once you’ve packed everything go through it again and see what you can take out. you probably don’t need 5 pairs of norts for a weekend trip and can probably get away with one pair of lounge pants. be conscious of how much space you have in your bag and go from there.

what are some of your packing tips?

spring forward

this week has been so great so far and it’s only wednesday! over the weekend we lost an hour of sleep (insert universal groan here) but with that lost hour of sleep has come extra long days. it seems like dc has come out of hibernation in the last 3 days (i’m sure the 60+ degree weather has certainly helped) but i think the main reason is that it isn’t getting dark until 7:00! it’s been so nice leaving work and being able to go home, change and still go for a run before it gets dark.
i love this time of year in the city, it starts getting warm (but not that awful hot and sticky weather that comes with a dc summer) and everyone is out and about after work. here are some of my favorite things to do this time of year.

spring in dc:

1. eastern market

2. walks/runs around the mall and along the potomac

3. cherry blossom festival- we are still a few weeks out for this one but i can’t wait!

4. capital bike share- with more and more of these popping up all over the city you can get pretty much anywhere by bike and i love it!

5. brunch

6. shopping in georgetown

7. mount vernon

what are your favorite things to do this time of year?

my kitchen: must haves

i just moved…again, and i am all about getting rid of things i don’t need (mostly so i don’t have to pack them, or worse, unpack them), i am quickly discovering that i have accumulated a lot of stuff i really just don’t need. a lot of that stuff is little kitchen odds and ends that have either served their purpose and need to be tossed or that i absolutely had to have but really didn’t need and have since never used. however i have also discovered there are some things i absolutely can’t live without, they are mostly appliances and well worth the money since i use every single one of them every day, usually multiple times!

my 5 kitchen must haves:

myreview of the Breville Juice Fountain Elite

1. breville juice fountain elite

this juicing fad doesn’t seem to be fading at all and i’ve read/seen so much about it i figured i’d give it a shot. i did a ton of research on different juicers, which one produced less pulp, which was easier to clean, easier to use etc. i finally settled on this one right around the time macy’s was having their big one day sale so as an added bonus i got it for a major deal! i love it, i don’t use it as much as i’d like to but next week i am going to try a 5 day reboot so i’ll be sure to share how it goes with everyone! 

breville tea maker

2. breville tea maker

this may have been the single best gift i’ve ever gotten in my entire life. if you can’t tell i’m pretty much obsessed with this little kitchen gadget, my obsession with tea is similar to the rest of the worlds obsession with coffee. it is great, you fill it with water based on how many cups of tea  you want then put your loose leaf tea in the basket, then based on the type of tea you want you select your settings (water temp and steep time) you can either use the preset settings for various types of tea or enter custom settings. once you hit start the water starts heating up and when the water is the right temperature the basket lowers itself into the water steeps for the proper amount of time then lifts up. it is so amazing, especially for those super early mornings that i’m half asleep until about noon… my 2 favorite parts is the “keep warm” button so you can make 6 cups and drink them slowly instead of making one at a time, and 1 tsp of tea can be used 3-5 times! basically this team maker=life

3. kitchen aid blender

3. kitchen aid blender

another awesome every day appliance. i think a good blender is so so important, i had the crappy $30 no name brand for a couple years and when i got this for christmas last year it was life changing. well maybe not life changing but definitely great to finally have a blender that worked. i make smoothies probably twice a day so having a really good blender was really important to me. i love this one (mine is much cuter though since it’s navy blue)

4. cuisinart knife set

4. cuisinart knife set

a decent knife set makes such a difference, when i got my first apartment i bought the cheapest set of knives i could find, the result? i could barely cut a slice of cheese with the “sharpest” one and i made me dread cooking anything that required a lot of chopping prep (which for someone who loves veggies is a problem) it was a nightmare for 2 years. i love these knives they have made a huge difference in the amount i cook since now prep work is really quick and easy- plus at $99 these are a steal

 

5. cuisipro measuring bowls

5. cuisipro measuring bowls

these bowls are so fun and such a great idea. makes it so easy to chop a ton of different veggies and slide them right off the cutting board into a measuring bowl so you know how much you have and for easy storage while you’re doing the rest of your prep. definitely not an appliance or a necessity but makes life a lot easier!

my kitchen is slowly coming together these are my essentials but there are definitely a few things on my wish list that i can’t wait to have move into my must have list

my kitchen wishlist:

1. this dutch oven

2. this bread loaf pan

3. this oil mister

4. this pancake pen

5. these cutting mats

what are your kitchen must haves?

friday five: blue & white

last weekend was such a tease with the gorgeous 60 degree weather i was hoping it would last but no such luck, we got two days of snow and today it felt like the polar vortex had come back for a visit. no fun. but i’m going to florida next weekend and dreaming of spring and warm weather and as always my blue and white obsession is only growing, here are some of my picks for this spring.

Zigzag stripe short

i love love love these shorts.

ah tory you hit the nail right on the head again.

and again, with one of the worlds cutest bikinis

this is one of my favorite shirts in the entire world. i just got a new one because i wore my old one so much it was basically threadbare. but seriously, it goes with everything and it’s so comfy.

a twist on classic blue and white, i really like the colors in this dress, plus it’s perfect for the office or for dinner on the beach somewhere!

is anyone else daydreaming about spring? what are some of your favorite picks?

happy friday (finally)!

remembering

lets go run foreveri started taking a new approach to mondays, instead of absolutely dreading them i am trying (extra emphasis on trying) to embrace mondays and making the best of them by waking up a little earlier, making a nice breakfast and taking my time getting ready.

this week is a special monday, 3 years ago today we lost an amazing family friend to cancer and gained a great guardian angel. the anniversary of this death also coincides with the birthday of another amazing angel who passed away the year before. both runners, i have planned an nice long run (that will surely kick my butt) through along the mall today because it’s a beautiful sunny day (they’re taking care of that no doubt) and i think that’s the best way to honor their memories. i want to focus on their smiles and laughter, their inspiring words and the fun times i had with them rather than focus on the sadness. i am continuously inspired and in complete awe of their families who have been beacons of strenth, love and faith through the last few years, i only hope that if i were to lose someone so close to me i would be able to handle it with the strength they have demonstrated. so on this special monday i’m saying a special prayer for those who were closest to n and g and pushing a little bit harder through this usually dreaded day of the week.

instead of counting down to friday the minute my alarm goes off, i’m going to just let it get here when it gets here and try to appreciate the little things instead of spending so much time getting frustrated about traffic, or lines or whatever else it is that gets to me during the day.

5 things i’m remembering today:

1. smiles

2. cook-outs

3. running

4. neon

5. basketball

happy saturday (and some fun weekend finds)

i hope everyone is enjoying the start to their long weekends! unfortunately i have to work on monday but it’s okay because after the snow day and 2 hour delay i unexpectedly received on thursday and friday i don’t mind too much. somehow snow days as a grown up are actually more fun than they were when i was a kid or a student. sure its a different kind of fun, less snow ball fights and snow angels and more catching up on laundry and reading after sleeping in and not having to put on a dress, skirt or suit. theres a kind of peace and tranquility when its snowing. everything seems to move in slow motion and everything is quiet. there are few better things than being curled up in a blanket reading a book while watching the snow fall.

i forgot how much i missed the snow, growing up in new england snow was normal, and i mean lots and lots of snow. all. winter. long. so when i moved to dc for college i was shocked to see how poorly dc handled the snow, i mean 1″ and people were acting like the world was coming to an end. for me that was crazy, i’ve gotten used to the dc panic, poor forecasts and just general poor snow management (especially since we rarely get more than an inch or two). because of all that snow became a dreaded event for me, so this week when i heard the initial forecast (3″-20″…i mean come on what is that?) i immediately found myself annoyed. as it got closer and the prospects of real snow became more and more real i started to get excited though. once thursday rolled around and i found out i actually had a snow day i was completely elated. i had forgotten how much i loved to watch the snow, and i felt more relaxed than i had in a while. it grounded me in a way, reminded me that i needed to breathe, and take some time for me, spend less time on my computer and phone and more time with friends interacting face to face (i think something everyone today needs to work on) and i’ve been doing just that this weekend.

here are some fun finds that have been key to my weekend of relaxation 🙂

  1. who doesn’t love comfort food when its cold and snowy out? and what better comfort food than grilled cheese. i went on a hunt for some creative grilled cheese sandwich ideas and not surprisingly country living had this amazing list. that taleggio grilled cheese with bacon and honey crisp apples…. yummm
  2. i will admit, i may be obsessed with this mostly for the pictures, they are absolutely stunning after all, but even though it’s technically for a holiday party this post has some great tips on how to be the perfect hostess
  3. as i have admitted in an older post that i sometimes judge books by their covers, especially when it comes to coffee table books. since i’m moving i’ve been on the lookout for some fun books to have on my coffee table and in my bookcase and the other day i saw this book at barnes and noble and have since become mildly obsessed with it, there are some really fun stories, recipes and general tie-bits about being southern that  as a northerner have been fun to read!
  4. the bluejacket brewery is one my new favorite brunch spot in dc. we went a few weekends ago and it was so good, and in such a cool space! i think it’s part of the kickoff or a regeneration of the waterfront area in dc and i’m really excited to see what comes of it in the next few years. my menu picks: the fresh baked cinnamon rolls and the french toast. i went with a few friends and we tried a bunch of different beers and they were all honestly so good.

happy saturday everyone! hope you’re all enjoying your long weekend as much as i am