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Archive for the ‘Fun in DC’ Category

1. Hidden Message Collar Stays (Pick them out for him in the morning and act on them at night…)

2. Super Vacuum Insulated Travel Coffee Mug (For those long nights in the library)

3. Vintage Map (Maps = Manly Art)

4. A (self indulgent) cashmere sweater (Because you think he looks hot in blue)

5. Hockey Tickets (Because watching people beat the crap out of each other – on skates – on ice – is apparently awesome)

6. A classy night out on the town (Filled with one or two too many martinis and serious flirting)

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It’s the most wonderful timeeeee of the year!

Somehow it is December 1st and 2012 is just one month away. Lucky for us December is a pretty fabulous month full of spiced cocktails, shopping and lots and lots of cookies. For the month of December we will be sharing our favorite presents to give (and get!), plus a bunch of DIY presents for everyone from your mom to your boss to your roommates.

To start the giving season off right we are going to show you our DIY *sweet* project from last year which we gave to our favorite coffee and tea drinkers.

FLAVORED SUGAR
These sugars, with flecks of vanilla bean and real citrus zest , are truly decadent additions to your morning coffee or a special topping for your Christmas cookies. Plus it is super easy to make! Package it up in a cute mason jar or even just an old jelly jar spruced up with a red and white ribbon and you are good to go.

Vanilla Sugar
3 Cups of Sugar
2 Madagascar Vanilla Bean Pods

Open the vanilla bean pods by slitting the pods down the middle lengthwise and the scrape the insides out into the sugar. Pulse the ingredients together in a food processor until the vanilla is evenly distributed. Spread sugar out onto cookie sheet and let dry for an hour or so. Divide among jars and decorate! We also sliced the remaining part of the pods into 2 inch segments and put them into the sugars for both decoration and to keep the vanilla scent nice and strong.

When we made these last year we bought the vanilla pods from Whole Foods for about $7 for 2, but this year I found packages of 2 pods at Trader Joes for $3.99!

Citrus Sugar
3 Cups of Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
Zest of 1 Lemon

Pulse all ingredients in food processor until evenly distributed. Spread sugar out onto cookie sheet and let dry for an hour or so. Divide among jars and decorate!

To refresh the sugars, shake vigorously before each use to awaken the flavors. And the holiday season begins! (Cue Mariah Carey…..)

What is the first holiday activity you have planned?

P.S. Tonight is the National Tree Lighting Ceremony! (photo from MiamiHerald.com)

*Image 1: Classy Wreath from Target

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Om.

On Tuesday I went to a yoga class at a studio I had never been to before.  STROGA is a completely unique studio that is housed in a mansion in Adams Morgan.  When I entered, they told me my class was in the ballroom (!!).  It was a strenuous, opening and awesome class by Angela, who used to teach at my beloved usual studio.  The space was really extraordinary, so much so that when I flipped my dog and could see the ceiling in 360° I whispered “wow!” like an upside-down goon.

~a

Photo Source: Stroga

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DC Wine Week: DC Wine Bars

Sometimes you want a glass of wine and your own lAzEbOi chair, and sometimes you want to put on some red lipstick and have someone else wash your wineglass.   In honor of DC Wine Week, here are my favorite places to go out and get a glass of vino around the area:

Photo taken from washingtonian.com/ Photo taken by Brian Liu/ToolboxDC

Cork (1720 14th Street, NW)- A true wine bar.  Exposed brick and little outside two-toppers, a knowledgeable and pleasant wait staff.  This would make for an intimate date spot or a perch from which to people-watch with your sister over a bottle of dry rose.  (Guess which situation I’m still waiting on.)*

 

Photo taken from Estadio website

Estadio (1520 14th Street, NW)—a tapas restaurant with fantastic food and all Spanish wines.  They serve their vino in stemless whiskey glasses which makes it feel homey.

 

Photo taken from Bodega Website

Bodega (3116 M Street, NW)— This tapas restaurant is smack in the middle of M Street, a place near and dear to my heart and my work.  This is one of only a handful of restaurants I’d recommend right in the heart of Georgetown, because it is neither mediocre or a chain, like many M Street eateries.  It has a great happy hour and I come here for the sangria because it is chock-full of fruit and not syrupy sweet.

 

Photos taken from Cheesetique website. Photography courtesy of John Herring.

Cheesetique (2411 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, VA) — this place needs to get a better name, as it sounds like a spin-off of Cracker Barrel.  It is actually a super cute little shop that sells things like slate cheeseboards and spiced quince preserves and has a restaurant in the back.  I once went here with a wine-and-cheese-loving friend and it was so fun to have the opportunity to actually test out lauded “wine-and-cheese” pairings.

 

 

Photo taken from 1905 website

1905 (1905 9th Street, NW) You might feel as though you are trespassing into someone’s apartment, but once you emerge from the staircase you’ll understand why 1905 is so special. The brick walls and draped ceilings makes this secret spot incredibly intimate (and dare I say, even sexy). Plus the wine list is extensive and the bartender puts a lot of thought into making sure you like what he’s pouring for you.**

 

Photo taken from DC Wine Week's Facebook Page. Photo by Justin Gutwein.

Vinoteca (1940 11th Street, NW) A wine bar with bocce. Do I really have to say more? With indoor and outdoor seating, the servers are knowledgable and friendly. Plus for a really special time, bring an unsuspecting friend on a Sunday night when you’ll be treated to a flamenco show as well. Plus all Spanish and South America wines are half price! Olé!

Happy wine-ing!

~c & a

*Going here tonight to celebrate Allie’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLIE!!!
**Shout out to our friends Liz and Tim for bringing us to one of their favorite spots.

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Do you consider yourself an oenophile? Do you often have stained lips or teeth at the end of a cocktail party? Do you buy Two Buck Chuck because it is all you can afford? However deep your love of wine goes, I have something for you that you won’t want to miss.  
 
 
DC Wine Week is DC’s first ever week long celebration of one of my favorite things in the world… wine. From local wineries, to wine bars, shops and restaurants with the best wine lists, this week DC will host a myriad of themed events, tastings, menu pairings and special offers.
 
Along with the great events of the week, we’ll be focusing on wine ourselves. Where are the cheapest places to buy wine? Best happy hours? Plus we’ll disclose some of DC’s hidden gems…
 
DCWineWeek.com
 

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Date for $0

Hello my dear friends!  Here is an idea to make a sleepy Sunday afternoon surprisingly fun and romantic: a date at the National Gallery and Hirshhorn Sculpture Gardens on the Mall.  Although I have seen both countless times, somehow it felt fresh to go about the greenery seeking out statues, discuss the quirky sculptures and take (with or without success) photos of each other holding up the Washington Monument.

It was such a nice break from the dinner-and-drinks of a usual date, and I realized how walking around a garden in the crisp October air can give you little butterflies.  The fact that it didn’t cost a penny just added to the relaxed atmosphere: with no “I’ll-pay-you-pay-let’s spli— oh, you sure? Well, thank you” pressure, we could just focus on enjoying the day and each other.

~a

(PS: The people in the above photo are by no means on a date….

PPS: They are my sister and brother!)

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