friday five: fourth of july

happy fourth of july! this is one of my favorite holidays of the year, it’s always so much fun, the cookouts, day drinking, fireworks and picnics and i don’t know if it’s the booze or the fact that it’s america’s birthday but everyone just seems to be in a better mood on the fourth!

anyway, here are my friday five for this fourth of july!

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1. 10 vegetarian options for the 4th from the san antonio current. who say’s just because you’re at cookouts you can’t eat well? some of these look amazing.

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2. last year i spent the fourth at disney, it was by far the best fireworks show i’ve ever seen, i’m very excited to see the fireworks over the mall this year though.

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3. buzzfeed has put together a pretty amazing list of patriotic cocktails here.

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4. i love this outfit that mackenzie, from design darling, put together. those shorts are too cute and she looks so comfortable!

okay so this is only four but it is the fourth so we’ll leave it at that, happy birthday america! i hope y’all have a safe and fun fourth of july this year, come back tomorrow and let me know what you did!

dc guide: brunch in dupont

finally made it over to le diplomate for brunch on sunday, it was so amazing! i mentioned in my friday five post that i was excited to go and i have to say it far surpassed my expectations.

Le Diplomate

i have been driving past this place for months, and every time i remind myself that i’ve been wanting to try it so when i actually thought to make a reservation two weeks ago i was so proud of myself. and on sunday, i put on a sun dress and jumped in the car! after driving around for 20 minutes looking for a spot i finally parked a few blocks away and walked/skipped to the front door because i was so excited. when i walked in it was like stepping into my own slice of paris. but in washington d.c. the sounds, smells and atmosphere had hit it spot on. i was instantly transported to when i went to paris as an exchange student about 7 years ago, it felt exactly like this cafe that was around the corner from our hotel. i was over the moon excited. before making my way to our table (i was a tad late and the girls were already there) i was entranced by the bread table, it sits right in front of the gorgeous (and very well stocked, this is dc afterall) bar and faces the entrance. it’s impossible to miss, stacked high with different types of delicious looking bread, i was prepared to sit there and just order the bread basket and call it a day.

bread

Le Diplomate

we sat in the area shown above and it was perfect, it had an indoor-outdoor feel with the skylights above us and the patio right behind us, without the super hot, sticky weather. we ended up getting the pastry basket which was phenomenal, it had 2 different croissants, a blueberry muffin, a cinnamon sugar beignet, an austrian pastry that our waiter told us was brought into france by marie antoinette because she loved them so much and a few other little pastries. we also got a bread basket, i justified the outrageous amount of carbs in my head by constantly reminding myself that my dopey challenge training started this week so i needed to carb load. right? the rest of the menu is solid, they have a great selection of fruits de mer (raw bar and chilled seafood), and les oefs (eggs) as well as sandwiches and entrees. the girls each got eggs and i opted for the smoked salmon tartine. brunch

you can see our demolished pastry basket on the right! also how gorgeous are those marble tables?

everyone loved their meals, my tartine was delicious, served as an open faced sandwich on a baguette (i know what you’re thinking- more bread! remember i started training), the salmon and egg combination was perfect. i loved it.

we were so stuffed by the end that we couldn’t bring ourselves to try the desert but it looked amazing so i’ll definitely try it next time i’m there, which happens to be this coming weekend because it was just that good!

the food was great, the service was great and the atmosphere really made the whole thing perfect- definitely one of my new favorites, and since i’m just starting to explore the dupont area in the last few weeks it’s nice to have a go to spot for when i want to go over there! let me know if you’ve been or are going and what you had!

friday five: on my radar

thank goodness it’s friday. maybe it’s the heat, maybe i’m still tired from firefly, whatever it is this week has felt never ending and i am so happy it’s finally over (well after this last work day that is!) i am so excited to have a couple of days just to chill this weekend, what are you up to this weekend anything fun?

to wrap up this week here are a few things on my radar. enjoy!

1. #shinestrong: pantene has put out another awesome ad empowering women and it’s sparking some really interesting conversations. i definitely over-apologize, it’s become almost a verbal tic at this point! saying sorry and apologizing should only happen when you have something to be truly sorry about! check out the ad and post your comments, do you over apologize?

2.  le diplomate brunch. i have been wanting to try this place for months and i’m finally going on sunday. i cannot wait. i’ll be sure to let y’all know how it was next week!

Le Diplomate3. i really want a bike, i hate the metro and i can’t afford to keep parking at work every day! plus it’s great exercise to bike to work and other places in the city, i’ve been thinking about it for about a year now and i think with the move coming up i might just bite the bullet and get one. any recommendations? i love this one but it’s a tad over budget ha!

4. one of the things on my 101 in 1001 list is to take a photography class and actually learn how to use the new camera my parents gave me for graduation. i also really want to take an iphone photography class. i’ve been looking at capital photography center and they have some really awesome classes this summer, i think i’m going to try and take one or two. follow me on instagram and pinterest to see the results!

5. bethany kelm from b.krafty. bethany and i connected on facebook earlier this week and she is too sweet! i love her blog b.krafty and all of her amazing artwork. stay posted for an exciting giveaway we are putting together for y’all!

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!

national christmas tree lighting 2013

friday night was the national christmas tree lighting on the white house ellipse. i have been trying to get tickets for this event since I moved to d.c. in 2009 and my awesome boss i, was able to get me 2 tickets to this years!! you have to enter your name into a lottery to get tickets and after 4 years of having pretty much every one of my relatives enter their names in hopes of me getting one, i had still not been. when i first started my new job i asked my boss if he knew anyone that could help and thankfully he did!!

the lineup for the performances was great, jane lynch hosted and the performers included train, aretha franklin, mariah carey, arturo sandoval, joshua bell, and the avett brothers. it was so much fun, we had great seats so we could see the obama family light the tree up perfectly. the only downside of the whole night was the rain. it was so cold and it rained so hard the entire time. we were icicles by the end of the night but it was definitely worth it! because of the weather i didn’t get too many pictures but here are the ones i did get!

Train

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National Tree and Aretha Franklin

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National Tree

the national christmas tree all lit up!

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me and the national tree

overall, even with the cold and terrible weather it was such a great time! i can’t wait to go again next year (hopefully i’ll be so lucky!) if you get the chance next year definitely try to work it into your holiday plans!