Friday, July 29, 2011

Shoe Love: metalic slippers

DV by Dolce Vita

Right now I am on my way to my beloved NYC. Happy Hour with all my best friends is the first item on my agenda. I'm wearing black cotton cuffed shorts and a v-neck grey shirt (I have like 5 of these, love grey shirts!) with a pair of black sandals. These metalic slippers would spice up my outfit and be comfortable whilst standing around the bar catching up.

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exploring wine: Riesling

As promised, here is the first wine review in the new series, Exploring Wine. Enjoy!

In the past, Rieslings have not been appealing to me. I don’t like sweet drinks and so avoided white wines in general for much of my young adulthood. That is until I went to the Rhine River Valley in Germany and tasted an unbelievable variety of Rieslings. I did not realize this varietal ranged from sweet to half-dry to dry (trocken means dry).

The Rhine River Valley is the traditional and leading Riesling producing region of the world. Rieslings have a distinctive mineral-y (what you might imagine slate to taste like) smell and flavor. You might also taste light fruits such as pears. They are always light in color and body. Light body meaning although it has a lot of flavor it doesn't feel heavy or rich in your mouth (That's what she said, sorry I couldn't help myself). I don't find it to be complex either, only one or two noticeable flavors (to the untrained tastebuds anyways). 

I would drink it with pork or summer-y salads. They are very nice with spicy Vietnamese or Thai food too. Serve drier ones cold and sweeter ones room temperature. I like to serve sweeter Rieslings with strong stinky cheeses for dessert at a dinner party.

Fritz Haag 2009 Braugneberger Juffer, Riesling Trocken $21.99

I found this bottle to be a great representation of what a dry Riesling is supposed to taste like. I enjoyed the balance of dry, mineral-y flavor with a bit of light sweetness. It’s not over powering and perfect for a hot leisurely day. Consider this a nice alternative to a cold beer. I would drink the whole bottle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wardrobe: Paris in July

Dress, Bra, Briefs, Bag, Wedges, Bangles, Sunglasses, Belt
Inspired by my romantic evening in the white Maje dress, I'm loving this long sheer white button up. It's completely modern and on trend without being trendy and there's nothing more Parisian than that! Have the confidence to wear bright, sporty lingerie for a bit of indirect allure. A skinny leopard print belt and juicy red leather tote are a must in any wardrobe. The glittery wedges point to the sparkling Eiffel Tower and you can't have a modern Parisian ensemble without a touch of YSL (sunglasses).

Now go practice your French shopping vocabulary!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Destination: Paris, France

This is an excerpt from my journal when I went to Paris for the first time in 2006. Paris ignited my heart and opened my mind. It was the first time in my life I was truly honest with myself. I learned what it meant to live in the moment. That to have passion in every moment is not exhausting nor does it mean you have to act like a sappy ass who is perfect and happy 100% of the time. Being passionate means you might step on someone's toes once in a while. You might lay on the floor crying because you burned dinner or dropped a wine glass after a stressful day at the office. You might take longer to enjoy each moment too as you sit and absorb your senses and surroundings. Take a deep breath, taste the air. Pay attention to the details.

I'm also in love with Paris because it is where I started a passionate romance with Gman.


19 Juillet

I just shared a fantastic night with Gman. We went for a walk down the Champs Elysee. When we started walking, we thought that it looked as if it might rain, but decided to take a chance as it was so lovely outside. I was wearing a white cotton dress that I purchased (in French!) at my favorite Parisian shop, Maje. Gman said that men and women were turning their heads to look at me. I felt confident and sexy as we walked along sharing stories and ice cream cones, arms around each other as if we could not walk close enough.

As we approached the bridge leading to Les Invalides the sky finally opened up. It started pouring rain and our brisk walk turned into a jog, hand in hand. Normally I would have been upset because my hair and dress were wet but we were laughing too hard for me to notice.

As we ran along lightening cracked the sky and lit up the gardens and  stone walls we passed. Car lights and street lights lead our way back to his apartment. As we ran past Les Invalides, we paused to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling as it does at the top of each hour. It was a good excuse to steal a kiss in the rain. As a resistant hopeless romantic (I'm an art historian, duh!) it was only a moment for my dreams, a scene out of a movie or painting that I thought would never happen in real life.

When we finally arrived at the apartment, we changed out of our soaking wet clothes and shared some treats and wine with his roommate. The laughter and lightheartedness continued late into the night.

I asked Gman later how he can live so passionately as I had not yet discovered how to. He said, if I don't live passionately then what's the point?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Exploring Wine

Bar tender: “What will you be havin’ to drink this evenin’ ma’am?”
My mom: “Could I see a wine list? What type of wine do you have?”
Bar tender: “We have… white or red.”
My mom: “I’ll have a Bud Light.” 


According to the American Wine Institute, Americans consumed 2.54 gallons of wine per person during 2010. That’s up over 200 million total gallons since 2000. It's clear that Americans have a growing love of bar culture and a yearning for a sophisticated palate. 

Specialty wine bars are popping up in almost every city and even some rural towns. In NYC you find bars that serve only Italian, French, Spanish or Californian varietals. Sommeliers are becoming more common at less pricy restaurants which shows that not just fancy people are interested in enjoying a well rounded meal. It seems we have come a long way from “white or red”.

The problem with this new wine culture is that although ones palate recognizes the tastiness of the wine, one might lack the vocabulary, experience, or skill to quantify what is "good" (Do I like Pino Grigio? What brand was it that we had last weekend?). There seems to be a lag between the spreading availability of good wine and the public's ability to distinguish it as such. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say, "I would like the Multipulciano" and know why?

Presenting: a new series about wine! I am by no means a trained sommelier however I am passionate about eating and drinking. I want that glass of nectar to fulfill my sense of entitlement after a long day at the office (“I deserve this wine, pizza, chocolate cake…”) or to compliment my pasta, veggies, hummus, or Oreos. I love what wine tells you about a region's history, priorities, and palate. You can virtually visit France every time you have a sip of Bordeaux. Most importantly, I love getting together with my girlfriends or meeting my husband for a date to catch up while we indulge in something delicious and sexy.

In this series, I hope to describe what to expect from the glass of wine in terms that are relatable and accessible (and entertaining!). I would like to give you the tools to confidently make a selection whether you are going out or staying in. I will journal my consumption and post reviews of the wines I drink. The subjects will be rated by my desire (not actual consumption!) to drink a few sips, a glass, a few glasses, or the bottle. I will do my best to keep the price point around/below $20 when at the store and around/below $40 when dining out. 

More to come, cheers!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Quick Update: I have changed the blog URL from to I hope this makes it less confusing to find and share! Your feedback is always appreciated.

Stay cool!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shoe Love: Red Louboutins? Yes Please.

Christian Louboutin (on sale!)

No matter how busy or distracted I am during the week, I never miss a shoe love post! I'm all over the vintage vibe of these lovelies. 1940's, 1970's inspired yet completely contemporary.

How are you all surviving this horribly nasty heatwave? I've been tempted to wear a bathing suit on my commute then rinse off in the bathroom sink upon arrival to the office...

What do you have planned this weekend? We are having dinner tonight with two of my FAVORITE people who are in town visiting from the glorious Manhattan. It's going to be ridiculous. Arlington, buckle your seatbelts. Saturday we plan on having brunch with more friends, then who knows!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


via Crush Cul de Sac

How lovely is this stationary with map envelope liners? It would be fun to bring these on a trip and write home to your loved ones using local stamps. I wish I knew where to buy these but they look easy enough to make on your own too.

I've always valued the fading art of letter writing. It's fun to write postcards to friends while on vacation. Thank you notes are a must. And when I was in grade school I would write notebooks ("passbooks") of notes with my girlfriends.

Each week Gman's grandmother writes us a postcard. Writing a note is a quick, thoughtful way to remind us that she is thinking about us. It's more personal to hold the piece of paper, with her handwriting on it, in my hand than to read a brief email. Email (Facebook, twitter...) is a considerably faster way to communicate, but perhaps we should not always be in such a rush. Not all communication is urgent. Plus who doesn't like to get a letter in the mail once in a while?

When my grandparents were dating my grandfather would write love letters to my grandmother even though they were only living on opposite sides of Atlanta. After a short period of dating, he finally asked her to marry him one night when they were out with their friends. They were riding in the back seat of their friend's car and he whispered to her. It was the last story he told me and I'm always surprised he didn't share it before. Perhaps it was only the beginning of a lifetime of romantic moments with his beloved. I'll always treasure it...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I want to go to there.

via Cognac and Coffee. Does anyone know who photographed this? I would love to buy a print (and credit their work)!

If you follow me on twitter, you might have noticed that I am clearly having difficulties focusing. Where do you want to go next? What do I want to write about? While searching for inspiration I came across many lovely photos for future tantalizing trips on tumblr. Beautiful images abound from fashion, women, food, interiors, and landscapes. I get lost in the time that passes as I go from page to page. So much beauty it makes me want to trash my wardrobe and head to the gym. (note: I would obviously keep the leopard booties and jorts). (and my abundance of blazers)... (afterwords I would immediately buy a Celine handbag and have champagne at a rooftop bar in NYC wearing strappy sandals, a silk blouse, and skimpy skirt... oh sorry, is this not fantasy time?).

Then I switch to magazines, TV, and movies for inspiration. My first stop is always Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I've had a wild crush (admiration really) on this man since the debut of his show. If only to be a travel buddy to tag along on his adventures, banter with his sarcastic ass, and eat and drink well with lovely and thoughtful people. That is the way to live life right there. And if in the mean time you discover something profound or delicious or obscene its a bonus. I like the way he integrates a little culture, tradition, and history of the people while mostly talking about/eating food. A special thanks to his writers/producers for putting it all together so naturally. Then writing about the post production shit shows on twitter for us all to enjoy.

After all that, I'm still left day dreaming. Completely blocked from writing my own story. This week might have to be "wanderlusty mind week" instead of a destination. I hope you get to know me a little more in the process!

Do you have a wandering mind? How do you focus after a long day at work or school? Do you write or draw or play music? Any coping mechanisms? I would love to get your thoughts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Recap: the weekend of dinner parties

One of the main incentives for me to go along with the plan to move from NYC to Washington DC was to be able to entertain at home. Culturally and spatially it is not common practice in NYC to have friends over for dinner, drinks, or just to hangout. It is more practical to meet out at a restaurant, bar, or park. If one did want to entertain in the shoebox sized apartments then dinner was certainly out of the question. It's standing room only when you have just enough room for two chairs.
Now in DC we are able to fit at least four comfortably inside and we have the beloved garden. So this weekend we finally enjoyed the space with our friends.
Friday night we had one of our favorite couples over. I whipped up a DELISH Mexican themed dinner from scratch which included: chorizo from the farmer's market, my version of refried beans, one of my best friend's version of roasted potatoes, rice, and of course guacamole, chips, and margaritas. The night was filled with catching up and titillating art historical conversation. We wrapped it up with fudgy brownies. HEAVEN.
Then Sunday night we grilled out with our neighbors with whom we share the garden. Chicken, shrimp, cabbage and cucumber salad, tomatoes and mozzarella, deviled eggs, and cherry pie were had (thank you Bobby Flay for sharing your grilling abilities in easy to follow steps). It was lovely to spend time together and enjoy more stimulating conversation. What a treat to have built in friends!
Now that I have oiled my rusty hosting skills, I cannot wait to have friends and family over more often. Do you like hosting and cooking? Or do you prefer to meet people out?
(Sorry no photos of our food! I was so caught up in the moment. :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shoe Love

Charlotte Olympia calf sandals

Summer style leopard booties!!!

Weee, it's Friday. You have almost made it through another week. When I was working in NYC almost everyone in the City got Summer Fridays all through July and August which meant we got to leave work at 12 or 1pm. Those were the best days EVER. My friends and I would meet up and start the weekend immediately. Do you get Summer Fridays? What do you look forward to to get you through the work week?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Travel Journals

Earlier this year I went to a wonderful exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. The exhibition featured different types of diaries throughout history including personal or spiritual journeys, mental journeys: mathematics and science, intellectual journeys: writing books and poetry, artistic journeys: sketchbooks, and physical journeys: travel journals.

It was lovely and voyeuristic to see people’s lives so intimately written out in front of me, especially the travel journals. People at least as far back as the 18th century, would bring journals on their trips and write about their experiences. Sometimes they would sketch the places they saw as well. Then when they returned, they would use the journal as a way to share their experience with their friends and families. They would physically show them the pages and tell the stories of their adventures.

Sharing experiences is so uplifting to our spirits. It stimulates our minds, gets us excited to go see what someone else witnessed, and encourages to share our own stories with them. Sharing stories is part of the human condition and it’s what binds us. This is especially the case when we travel. We meet new people and try to relate to their way of life. Then we bring back our bazaar stories to share with our neighbors.

Over the years I've found that I am a live-in-the-moment type of person and my memory is not the greatest. Perhaps that is why I depend on the moment so much. Paying close attention to the details all the while  knowing they are fleeting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dreamer too. I think about the future (especially when planning my next adventure!) and I like to reminisce about the past with good friends over a bottle of wine. My problem is that after a long trip of exciting new experiences, I don't often remember the details. I sometimes mix up people, places, and times. I'll remember that we went to a fantastic restaurant but I won't remember what I ate or the name of the restaurant. I'll only remember my impression of the experience.

This is where my trusty journals come in. When I'm traveling I always bring a journal and pen (sometimes charcoal too if I can squeeze it in). I might bring a large notebook or a scrap of paper, anything to capture the passing moments. I don't distract myself writing but I try to write down my memories at the end of each day.

I usually take a business card from a store or restaurant I visit and stuff it into my journal. This way if I only have a few moments to jot down my impressions, the menu, or funny story then I'll be able to reference where it took place. And I can easily look it up later when a friend asks for a recommendation.

In keeping with the tradition this blog is my travel journal. I very much enjoy the old fashioned idea of recollecting my experiences and sharing them with you using this contemporary medium.

Do you have a favorite moment that you wish you remembered more in detail? Or do you find writing it down distorts your perspective of the past? Do you think it’s important to pass down memories to family and friends?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wardrobe: Casual American Summer

Tshirt, jorts, Converse, Essie nail polish, necklace, bag
Inspired by outdoorsy summer lake activities this outfit is perfect for going from canoe to hiking to a late afternoon lakeside cook out. Don't forget your waterproof camera and adventurous spirit!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Destination: Lake Willoughby, Vermont

So our last stop on this little road trip adventure is Lake Willoughby, Vermont. Back in the ice ages an iceberg pushed its way through a mountain here creating a 300 foot deep lake. It famously resembles a Norwegian gorge. The glacial lake boasts bountiful fishing and many important/rare species of birds can be seen whilst hiking through the mountains. However intriguing we did not go there for this. We went because it was in the middle of nowhere in a state we had little experience in. Lake Willoughby is a place where people from nearby rural towns go for vacation. It is not a place where the common Manhattanite goes to “get away from it all”.

As we left Bar Harbor, I felt sad. Not only was I going to miss the lovely vistas and scenic adventures but the Bed and Breakfast served free Goldfish crackers at all times. We did little research when planning our last destination and however sad I was about leaving Bar Harbor I was excited to discover an unknown land. I zoned out most of the car ride and voyeuristically gazed out the window at the passing farms, forests, homes, and towns. We stopped to investigate a few and discovered local coffee shops and dive bars and family restaurants and delicious ice cream shops stuffed in the back of gas stations on semi dirt roads.  

We stayed at The Willoughvale Inn & Restaurant which included luxurious amenities like sweeping views of the lake, a working fireplace (we used it damn it. I don’t care how hot it was outside), a little outside space to enjoy the views, coffee, tea, and a bathtub in the bedroom (vs. the traditional route of putting it in the bathroom…).

Since we only had one full day we decided to take advantage of our natural surroundings (vs. driving to a “large” nearby town and going outlet shopping). We enjoyed a lovely American style breakfast buffet at the hotel then headed out to see the lake's bountiful offering of activities.
Out of all our options we decided to go for a lovely canoe ride on the lake; as if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone enough on this vacation. It was not my first time canoeing but it isn't my first choice in water sports (boating with a driver would be number one). We paddled out to the middle and sat there for quite some time absorbing the panoramic views of the mountains. My concerns about the depth of the lake and the sorts of monsters that could be waiting for our canoe to tip over was overcome by the peace and serenity of the view. Truly that moment was worth the long drive into the middle of nowhere.

After our canoe ride we felt very relaxed and decided to try a highly recommended restaurant in East Burke, River Garden Cafe, for lunch/brunch. The food, atmosphere, and people were surprisingly sophisticated.  Our lunch was comparable to many we had in NYC. We overlooked a lovely garden and in the near distance children were tubing down a stream. We grabbed some chips and salsa from the convenience store next door (the only two commercial shops to be found) and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on our porch. The next morning we hopped in the car and headed home. Ending the trip with a low key, peaceful day on the lake was just what the doctor ordered. We arrived in Manhattan relaxed, refreshed, and ready to start our new journey as husband and wife.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Recap: Win some, loose some

Well, it's Monday morning and I'm actually up and ready to start the week! Despite a relatively relaxing weekend I never get a good night sleep on Sunday nights. Does that happen to you?

Yesterday Gman and I ran our usual errands starting with a trip to the farmer's market. The summer's bounty is overwhelming; I always walk away with way more veggies than necessary.

Saturday afternoon I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure as I read Vogue and drank champagne. Saturday night we reunited with some college friends (gotta love that Gator Nation!) and explored our neighborhood. We sat in the shade, people watching and sipping pino grigio. My day didn't start out so easy though.

I committed to playing softball Saturday morning. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to do that morning but I made the commitment and wanted to follow through. To start off, I got up late and rushed out the door. It normally takes me 20 minutes to get to the field so I left 25 minutes before as we were not playing in our normal place. I did not account for the weekday vs weekend metro schedule. After just missing the train I waited 15 minutes for the next one. grrr! I hate being late and now started to panic. I got out of the metro and tried to get a taxi but had no cash. I tried to find an ATM with no luck. I was wasting time and now 30 minutes late. Then I thought, well, I could run there. That would shave off some time.

Within a few minutes of running my cell phone died. Great. I didn't know exactly where I was going. But I remembered seeing on a map that the field was near the Lincoln Memorial so I headed in that direction. Finally it seemed to go smoothly and I was almost to the memorial. Then I felt a pinch in my back. All the sudden my lower back was in serious pain. I had to stop running. I stretched out and continued along, limping. At my slower pace I realized that all the grassy area around the Lincoln Memorial was under construction. Had I somehow over shot it? Where is everyone? By now I was past the point of being defeated and in disbelief that this is how my morning turned out. I decided to call it a day, go home, shower off my anger, and get my nails done. 

 Do you ever have mornings like that?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shoe Love: summer sandals

Sergio Rossi, YSL, Rene Caovilla, Jimmy Choo, Sigerson MorrisonKate Spade

These sexy heels will make any summer fete feel more glamorous and festive. Bonus, they are all on sale! It was difficult not to blow my first paycheck on these babies.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend Recap: Fireworks and S'mores

delicious, savory food from the farmer's market

Iwo Jima Memorial

Hello after a long weekend! I have been very busy getting acclimated to DC and visiting with new friends. How nice it has been to move to a new city and already have a few friends to show us around. It's even nicer that we like their friends too. Yay, parties for everyone.

Highlights from this weekend included: a quiet night at home with Gman on Friday, lovely get together on Saturday out in Alexandria, farmer's market on Sunday (so bountiful! Our fridge smells amazing), crazy thunderstorms that blew down trees (the thunder gets loud in this basement apartment), and of course grilling on Monday afternoon. My attempts at laying out were fruitless but we did make s'mores. I ate them too quickly to take a picture (I know, you're dissapointed). Later, we watched the fireworks from beneath the Iwo Jima memorial. The view was fantastic! And it felt so patriotic. I liked the fireworks but I must say the fireworks in Boston last year were the best ever.

I have also entered week two of my new job. It usually takes me a few weeks to get into new habits so my apologies for delayed posts! It's hard to balance it all sometimes, you know?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July weekend!

What will you be doing this lovely holiday weekend? Will you be traveling? Will you be in Boston, like we were last year? Or out boating or on an island sipping cocktails? Will you be sightseeing or taking it easy in your backyard? Does all this make you wish you were eating a hot dog from Bark?

We are going to a few parties, relaxing in the garden, and attempting to be out by the pool as much as possible!

Shoe Love: In a Patriotic Mood

Jack Rogers Hamptons White Navajo Sandal

Nothing like a classic Jack Rogers Navajo sandal to get me in the mood for BBQs, poolside afternoons, and boating on a lovely 4th of July weekend.
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