Search Results : jojo

Oct 162017
 

This weekend was exactly what I needed after a super stressful week at work. My coworker Carly and I were able to finish up a big deliverable on Friday afternoon, which meant I didn’t have to do any work over the weekend. Hooray! I left the office in the best mood ever and couldn’t wait to spend a weekend unwinding. 🙂

Friday

I think most of you know by now that Fabio is a huge Yankees fan, so our Friday night plans revolved around watching the playoff game. We debated going to Ugly Mug in D.C., which apparently is a big Yankees bar, but in the end we decided to stay close to home and head to the Buffalo Wild Wings that’s right up the street from us.

I celebrated the end of my long week with a gigantic beer! Dogfish head 90 minute IPA for the win. 🙂

We wound up sharing a mix of BBQ and Buffalo boneless wings (so good!) and we had a great time watching the game together, even though the Yankees lost.

Shortly after we returned home, Fabio’s dad arrived from New York! It was great to see him, and we spent a few minutes chatting before I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and headed up to bed.

Saturday

In the morning, we drove over to Fabio’s sister and brother-in-law’s house to see our new nephew, Michael!

We hadn’t seen him since he was just a few days old, so we were definitely overdue for another visit.

He’s such a cutie, and I felt like I could just sit and stare at him for hours. Babies are the best!

I also couldn’t believe what a good baby he was – he had lots of smiles for us and made lots of adorable baby cooing noises.

Soon enough we were all hungry for lunch, so we went to town on some Bolivian food we had brought with us. The pastries below are called Saltenas, and they’re filled with chicken and veggies – sort of like a chicken pot pie. And they are gooood! We brought lots of extras for Diane and Alex to enjoy throughout the week too!

After lunch, we headed outside for a little and I couldn’t get over baby Michael’s bear suit. Come on – how adorable?!

Fabio and I sadly had to head back home in the early afternoon, so we said goodbye to everyone and then hopped back in the car. ‘Til next time, baby Michael!

When we got home, Jack’s friend Tilly was there! Our friends Jojo and Jadd had a wedding to attend on Saturday, and Jojo’s sister dropped Tilly off on Saturday afternoon.

She and Jack get along great – we joke that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend – so he was really happy to see her!

After we took the dogs for a walk, we settled in for a movie night at home. We ate some leftover wings from the night before, drank some more delicious beer (in Harry Potter mugs, no less) and watched a somewhat dumb movie on Netflix called What Happened to Monday.

Even though the movie wasn’t great, I stayed awake for the whole thing which is a pretty big accomplishment for me these days. Ha!

The doggies kept us company on the couch.

We headed up to bed after the movie, and I will just say that having two snuggly dogs and two humans in a queen-sized bed didn’t make for the most restful night of sleep. 😉

Sunday

Sunday morning began with another walk with the dogs to the park…

..and then we said goodbye to Tilly and headed out to meet my dad and sister for a fun lunch outing at Top Golf!

Fabio and I love going to Top Golf, and we had a sneaking suspicion my dad and sister would like it too. They did!

We wound up getting a bunch of appetizers to share as our lunch…

…and spent some time hitting the balls in between grabbing bites of food!

It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon!

We stopped by the grocery store on the way home, and then later for dinner I made homemade pizza. Yummmmm!

Now I’m sitting at the computer writing this post, and I’m trying to force myself to work on some of the wedding thank you notes when I’m done. Orrrrr not…. 😉

Question of the day: Are you watching the baseball playoffs? Who are you rooting for?

The Nats loss earlier this week was a really tough one!

 Posted by on October 16, 2017
Sep 062017
 

Hello! How was your weekend? For my American friends, I hope you enjoyed a nice Labor Day yesterday!

Our weekend was pretty good – Fabio spent most of it studying for a computer technology certification for his job, and I spent a good chunk of it working on Hurricane Harvey support, but despite all of that we still managed to have some fun!

Friday

On Friday night, we headed out for a date! We popped over to Texas Jack’s BBQ because they have a great happy hour deal: $5 drafts and $6 sandwiches!

Their beer is especially tasty, as is their brisket sandwich. Yum! We were able to snag a seat at the bar and enjoyed a nice evening chatting with each other about anything but work. 🙂

Afterwords, Fabio decided he really wanted to try one of Burger King’s new Lucky Charms milkshakes. Note: There is not even a Burger King close to us, so this was an actual planned outing.

The verdict: Gross! Do NOT get one of these – haha! Oh well, now he knows.

We finished up our Friday night watching the new season of Narcos on the couch. 🙂

Saturday

Unfortunately, my entire day on Saturday was spent working. We are still sending supplies down to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey (and now planning for Hurricane Irma – ugh), and I had to help post about the locations where people could get their supplies.

Luckily the weather was pretty crappy – it rained a ton on Saturday – and Fabio had to spend the day studying anyway, so it wasn’t like I was missing much. Jack kept us company.

When I finally wrapped up work at around 6:30, it was cocktail time!

Fabio made us some mojitos which came out delicious! Also, take note of Fabio’s sweater above – it was chilly on Saturday! Fall is definitely in the air.

Yum!

For dinner, we headed over to Pupatella, a pizza place near us that we’d heard about but had never visited. At Pupatella, all the pizzas are personal-size and are made to order!

Fabio got a Margherita and I got meatball. Yum!!

Date night number two was a success!

Sunday

On Sunday I was finally finished with work (phew!) so I was able to squeeze in a bit more fun. First up: a trip to the dog park in Clarendon!

After that, I headed to a relaxing yoga class at one of my favorite spots, Edge Yoga. I love their classes – they really give you the opportunity to stretch out and relax.

My hips were actually a little sore after taking the class; I guess I need to work on stretching them out more. Note to self: Sit in pigeon pose while watching TV!

After my class I walked over to Current Boutique, a cute consignment shop with designer clothing brands. I wound up getting a pair of jeans, a shirt from Zara, and a Lululemon tank all for $80. Score! The Lululemon tank by itself was only $18, which I couldn’t get over.

Fabio was still studying when I got home, so I tackled some cleaning around the house and folded some laundry while watching Harry Potter. 🙂

After two nights in a row of eating unhealthy crap out at restaurants, we enjoyed a lighter salad at home on Sunday evening which was definitely needed.

Monday

Monday revolved around weekly meal planning and grocery shopping, and then Fabio and I took Jack to The Brig, a fun dog-friendly beer garden in DC, for my friend Jojo’s 30th birthday! Jack wasn’t the only dog in attendance – I would say there was probably one dog to every four people!

It was definitely a fun atmophere, and Fabio and I enjoyed the chance to get out and be social (in the beautiful weather, no less!) after a somewhat quiet weekend at home. Happy birthday, Jojo!

Eventually it was time for us to head home so Fabio could continue studying (his test is this week!). I think Jack had fun at the beer garden, and would totally go back!

The end.

P.S. I got these glasses a few weeks ago – did I mention that? What do you guys think?

Question of the day: Do you prefer really busy weekends or ones that are more slow?

We thought we were going to have some other plans for Labor Day, but when Fabio’s test popped up and my work got crazy, we figured it was probably smarter to stay around town. It actually wound up being really nice to have some time to relax at home, and it made the weekend feel even longer!

 Posted by on September 6, 2017
Jul 212017
 

Helloooo! How’s everyone doing today? Did you have a good week?

Mine was really crazy – work is incredibly busy right now and I’ve been trying to do too many things at once and wind up doing none of them very well. I can feel myself making stupid mistakes because I’m trying to juggle too many projects, and for the first time in possibly my whole life I’m not meeting all my deadlines. Hellpppppp!

Needless to say, this weekend couldn’t come soon enough.

At least my boys made me smile a lot this week when I finally got to head home and relax!

I especially love this picture from bed time the other night. 🙂

That face!

Anyway, let’s take a look at my workouts this week!

Saturday, July 15 – As I mentioned, on Saturday morning I took a very slow, easy-going yoga class with my friend Jojo at Lincoln Park in D.C.

Although it barely felt like a workout, it was nice to get outside and relax my mind a bit!

Sunday, July 16 – Rest day! We spent Sunday helping Diane and Alex prepare for the baby, who will be here before we know it! (Still no sign of him yet though..)

Monday, July 17 – On Monday, I took Jack for a steamy three-mile run. This week has been super hot, and both of us were feeling the heat. By the end of the run, Jack was lagging behind me a bit, which almost never happens. Poor guy! We definitely took it easy on our speed and will continue to do so until the weather cools down a bit.

Tuesday, July 18 – Tuesday morning kicked off with a bootcamp class with Anne at Next Phase Studio via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $40 off!).

This time we had Emily as our instructor, and she was great! Our workout included lots of unique and challenging exercises, and she was very efficient when telling us which stations to go to and what moves to do at each. There wasn’t a ton of time spent standing around listening to instructions, which I loved!

Here I am post-workout demonstrating one of the moves we did – kettlebell squats!

The hardest move she had us do though was pull-ups on the TRX straps. For this, she had us sit on the floor with our legs out in front of us and then we had to pull ourselves up using the TRX straps. It was so, so hard (much harder than a pull-up with bands) and my arms were sore for days afterword. Awesome workout!

Wednesday, July 19 – On Wednesday, I joined Anne again and our buddy Kathleen for a bootcamp class at our favorite spot, Urban Athletic Club. We had Graham for our teacher, and his workouts are always really hard (in the best way).

At one point he had me doing hanging knee raises, and he then he came over and put a 10-pound medicine ball in my lap. As if hanging knee raises weren’t hard enough!

Thursday, July 20 – Thursday was a rest day, and I enjoyed sleeping in and snuggling with Jack and Fabio for an extra hour and 45 minutes. 🙂

Friday, July 21 – It’s Thursday night as I’m typing this up, but tomorrow morning I’m planning to take Jack for a one-mile run and then complete an interval workout at the track. It should be a good one!

As for other highlights this week, I had a fun happy hour/dinner with my old coworkers – Jojo, Claire, Shriya, and Brittany – on Wednesday night at Farmers Fishers Bakers on the Georgetown waterfront.

I started off with a delicious cucumber cocktail and then ordered the crunchy tuna roll for my meal. We also got tableside guacamole and chips!

Yum! It was a really fun night with my girl friends, but it was also super hot! We sat outside thinking there might be a breeze since we were by the water, but no dice. Ordering cold sushi and sipping an icy cocktail helped though!

We also enjoyed a bunch of Blue Apron meals this week.

On Tuesday evening, our neighbor knocked on our door and offered us a free Blue Apron box. Apparently Blue Apron made a mistake and sent him two boxes of the same thing (he only ordered one), so he offered the extra to us. YES!!

We hadn’t had Blue Apron in ages, and it was really nice to have a bunch of meals ready to make without me having to think too much. So far we’ve enjoyed pasta with basil, zucchini, tomatoes, and Parmesan, and steak with potatoes, homemade pickles, and more zucchini. And we have a corn and chicken dish still to make! Woohoo! Best neighbor ever. Haha!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: How hot is it where you are?

 Posted by on July 21, 2017
Jul 172017
 

Hello there, and happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend filled with lots of fun – I know we sure did!

Friday

Our good friend from college (and Fabio’s groomsman) Jason just moved to D.C. from New York City, and we could NOT be more excited to have him in our city. He’s only been in town for a week, so after work on Friday we headed over to check out his new digs. His apartment is located right in the heart of Dupont, and it’s massive! What a great place!

We spent some time drinking beers and catching up with Jason before we all got hungry and decided to walk over to Mission for dinner. I’d only ever been there once for happy hour, but I remembered the atmosphere was a lot of fun and the food was delicious. I wound up getting three tacos: one salmon, one shrimp, and one fried plantain. They were all delicious, but the shrimp one was especially tasty. A little on the spicy side too!

When dinner was done we sat around catching up for a little while longer before Fabio and I headed back home. We are so happy to have one of our best friends living close by!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I drove into Southeast D.C. for a yoga date with my friend Jojo! Jojo and I both went to college together, but we didn’t become good friends until we worked together after graduation. It’s been years since we’ve worked at the same job, but I love that we still get together all the time! In fact, I have a happy hour this week with Jojo and a couple of the other gals we used to work with, and I can’t wait to see them! But anyway, back to Saturday.

Jojo and her boyfriend Jadd just bought a row home in Southeast, so I had to check it out! Jojo and Jadd have a sweet pup named Tilly, and I brought Jack with me so they could have a play date with Jadd while we ladies went to yoga. Jadd said they had a blast together, like always. 🙂

Then it was time to walk over to yoga, which was an outdoor class with Be Here Now Yoga at Lincoln Park!

We both signed up for the class via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $40 off) but it was also donation-based, so you could drop into the class and pay the instructor however much you wanted. The class wasn’t our favorite – it was a little slow-going and had lots of stretching and calming breathing – but it was nice and relaxing! Plus being outside on such a pretty summer morning was glorious.

After yoga, Jojo and I walked over to Mia’s Coffehouse for some breakfast! We both got iced coffee and beef barbacoa bowls, and everything was delicious. We both got full after eating less than half of our bowls though, so we took the rest home for our respective boys. (They were both quite happy about this, naturally.)

It was such a nice morning catching up with a good friend!

After saying goodbye to Jojo and Jadd, I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry and straightening up around the house (plus sneaking in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy) while Fabio was out golfing with Jason. Once they were done, Fabio and I got cleaned up and drove to Rockville for our third housewarming event of the weekend: a dinner at my stepsister Maggie’s and her boyfriend Nick’s new apartment!

Their place was also super cute, and they welcomed us with margaritas. I’m pretty sure all the best dinner parties start with margs. 🙂

While we sipped our drinks, we munched on chips and homemade guacamole and watched the Yankee/Red Sox game.

In case you’re wondering, Fabio was only half listening to any of our conversations and he almost spilled my drink a few times when the Yankees scored and he jumped up in the air. Insert eye-roll emoji.

Anyway, eventually it was time to eat and we enjoyed a delicious beef taco bar!

Tacos for the win! I wound up having one soft flour taco, one soft corn taco, and one hard-shell taco. De-lish.

For dessert, we had mango and prickly pear sorbet with fresh strawberries. Hello, summer!

After dinner we walked around Maggie and Nick’s neighborhood a bit, and even stopped for drinks at a bar near them. It was a really fun night, and we didn’t get home until after midnight. We were pooped!

Sunday

On Sunday morning, we decided to drive over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house (it still sounds super weird to say that, BTW). Diane is expecting her baby any day now, and unfortunately last weekend Alex had to have surgery on his foot due to an older injury that was getting worse and worse. The poor things definitely needed our help – Diane can’t bend over at all and Alex was hobbling around on my old peg-leg (my dad was nice enough to bring it by for them earlier on). They were in rough shape!

To help them out, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up some essentials and then spent a while helping them get the nursery ready. That baby is going to be here before we know it!

Hey, no photo-bombing peg-legs allowed! 🙂

That’s better. 🙂

And now it’s Sunday night as I am typing this up, and we are looking forward to watching the new season of Game of Thrones in a little bit! Except it’s been so long since last season that I sort of forget what was happening…I guess it’s time to go watch some of last season’s episodes to remind myself. 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely Monday!

Question(s) of the day: Do you watch Game of Thrones? What’s your favorite kind of taco?

Fish tacos – either fried or fresh – with cole slaw are my absolute favorite!!

 Posted by on July 17, 2017
Apr 242017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Ours super fun, and was spent mostly in Philadelphia! One of Fabio’s good friends/fraternity brothers, Jake, works at his family’s jewelry store called Sydney & Rosen in Philadelphia, which has been in business for more than 70 years! Fabio got my engagement ring from Sydney & Rosen back before he proposed, and we always knew we’d be back to buy our wedding bands there too. Way back in January we coordinated with Jake to figure out when we should come up to buy our bands, and the weekend sort of snuck up on us!

More on that in a minute though – let’s stick with the order of events and talk about Friday first.

Friday

It was a beautiful evening on Friday, so after walking Jack, Fabio and I decided to walk to get something to eat for dinner. We decided on one of our local favorites, Taylor Gourmet, since Fabio could get a breaded chicken sandwich and I could get something a little on the healthier side. 😉 I got “the parker” salad, which came with chicken, dried apricots, barley, and watermelon radishes, among other things. It was delicious!

We took our food home to eat because we are right in the middle of binge-watching the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. Is anyone else watching?? It’s so, so good.

A little later in the evening we took a break from our binge to pick up some sweet treats from the grocery store: enlightened ice cream for me and Snickers ice cream for Fabio. Plus wine. 🙂

The englightened ice cream was just ok – it’s supposed to be lower calorie/lower sugar/higher protein, but I thought it also tasted like it was all of those things, so I’m not sure I’d buy it again. It’s still ice cream though, so I was happy. With ice cream in hand, we watched another episode of the show before calling it a night around 10:30.

Saturday

On Saturday morning it was time to head up to Philly! Our amazing friends Jojo and Jadd agreed to watch Jack for us and, after dropping him off and then sitting in loads of traffic due to some rainy weather, we eventually arrived at Jake’s jewelry store in Philly.

After saying hi to Jake and his fiance Greg (another one of Fabio’s fraternity brothers), it was time to get to business. I had sent Jake some pictures of wedding bands I liked, and he had a couple picked out for me that he thought I might like. He nailed it, unsurprisingly. I decided to go with something similar to the ring in the photo below, only with slightly smaller diamonds.

It should be arriving in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Fabio also picked out a really nice ring, with lots of help from Jake. 😉

After ring shopping, we drove over to my good friend Kristen’s house where we’d be staying for the evening! We sat around chatting with her for a while before deciding to head over to Kraftwork for a late lunch. Kristen and I shared a tasty chicken sandwich. Yum!

After chatting for many more hours (it was SO nice to catch up with her one-on-one) it was time for dinner! Our friend Greg is one of the managers for the restaurant Double Knot, and since he couldn’t get off work for our visit we decided to come to him instead! He made a reservation for us in the lounge area of the restaurant, and I was honestly surprised when I saw how trendy it was. It was like a Japanese speakeasy!

The lighting was pretty dark, and we wound up having to use the candles on the table to read the drinks menu. It definitely had a fun ambiance!

My friend Sam, who also lives in Philly, joined us for dinner too. Love these ladies! 🙂

All of the food we tried at Double Knot was incredible, and Greg took such good care of us for the evening. It was so nice to see him and Jake! I love these college buddies. 🙂

After dinner, we walked over to McGillin’s for an evening of dancing. Kristen’s boyfriend Mark was there too! (He was supposed to be away on a business trip but wound up getting an earlier flight home and surprised her at dinner. So sweet!)

It was such a fun night, and Kristen I got a big kick out of the songs that were being played at the bar from artists like Celine Dion (My Heart Will Go On and It’s All Coming Back to Me Now) and Vanessa Carlton. Lol! There was lots of signing happening on our end, before the bar closed at 2 a.m. and it was time to go home. Phew!

Sunday

On Sunday morning, Kristen, Mark, Fabio and I met up with Jake and Sam for brunch at For Pete’s Sake, where I enjoyed some delicious chicken and waffles. After that, we stopped by Sam’s house for a minute since it was close by, and then Fabio and I hit the road!

Our drive home wasn’t too bad, and now we are relaxing for a bit before I’m sure we will continue watching 13 Reasons Why. I’m not sure a grocery trip is in the cards for us today, so we will see how we make it through the week without any fresh produce. Eek! Maybe we will go on Monday after work?

Question of the day: Are you watching (or did you watch) 13 Reasons Why? What did you think?

Edited to add: Ahh we wound up finishing it late tonight (Sunday)!! It was so good and now I’m so sad it’s over.

 Posted by on April 24, 2017
Mar 232017
 

Well, I really tried to make this the final recap post of my bachelorette party in Fort Lauderdale, but I couldn’t do it! So, you will have one more post after this one. Sorry! Hopefully you don’t mind too much. 🙂

If you missed the first two recaps, you can read about our first day and night in Fort Lauderdale here, and read about our fun day by the pool here! When we last left off, we had just finished chatting in the hot tub before going inside to get ready for dinner.

We decided to wear our fun bachelorette tanks for this night – mine was white and in gold sparkles said “Drunk in Love” and everyone else’s were black and said “Just Drunk.” Yep! Sounds about right! 🙂

Once we were all just about ready, all my friends secretly got together in the back room. I had no idea what they were doing, but then they all came out with flower crowns and – get this – tattoos with Fabio’s face on them!!

(FYI – they got them from my sorority sister’s Etsy store, Dunkirk Designs!)

How hysterical, right? They had one for me too, obviously. 🙂

How funny! They also had tattoos that said “Make good decisions,” so I decided to wear that one on my lower back. Haha!

I then took the opportunity to take a million pictures with my amazing friends! Here I am with Sam, Hana, and Bianca. I’ve been friends with Hana since first grade, and Sam and Bianca since middle school!

Bianca is also one of my maids of honor, and she did a great job planning some of these fun bachelorette decorations and surprises. 🙂

I also grabbed a picture with Kristen, my pledge sister! We met in the fall of 2008 – the same time that I met Fabio – and have been such good friends ever since. <3

Then there’s Megan, who was basically the bachelorette planning Queen! She’s super organized and helped Bianca with a lot (ok, all) of the planning logistics. We’ve also been friends since college, and she’s now the only one still living in Arlington with me (all of our other gurlays have moved away!). I don’t know what the heck I would do without her.

Then we have Catrinaaaa! My California girl, fitness buddy, fellow foodie, and amazing friend. I don’t get to see her enough!!! Move back to the East Coast, Treen!

A Megan/Catrina sandwich!

And then there’s this. Lol.

That right there is probably one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. It’s so us!

Once we were done with our photo shoot (this wasn’t even all the girls – just a few of them!) we hopped in a Lyft and headed to a drag show at Lips!

When we got there, we saw that Hana had coordinated another Snapchat filter for us. Seriously, my friends spoiled me rotten during this trip.

Somehow we got SUPER lucky and wound up with a table right up front. Look at my bachelorette crew! Aren’t they beautiful? (People probably hated us, lol. We were definitely “those annoying bachelorette party girls.”)

Yay!

Before the start of the show, we met our waitress for the evening, Chocolata. She had such great energy and right from the get-go I could tell she was going to make the night so much fun.

We ordered our food and a couple of drinks before the show started, and I ate some surprisingly good mushroom raviolis. (I say surprisingly because I’m not sure good food is the main focus of a drag show place, haha!)

Then Chocolata brought over two bottles of champagne and said they were from Claire and Jojo!! I couldn’t believe it – two of my sweet friends who weren’t able to come on the trip had coordinated to have the champagne brought over to us. How many times can I say that my friends are the best?

Once we were done with our food, it was time for the show! Our front and center seats came in handy and we had a great view.

After a couple of entertaining acts, Chocolata came out in a whole new outfit and worked the room with an amazing lip synching and dance performance!

I looove this picture of her putting her boot on the table in front of Megan.

LOL!!

Basically, Chocolata was phenomenal.

Then before I knew it, the main part of the show was over and I was being called up on stage with a bunch of other bachelorettes for a challenge! I screenshotted this picture from Hana’s Snapchat. 🙂

For the challenge, we had to get on our hands and knees and take a “blow job” shot without using our hands. Yep, I had to do that. On stage. In front of a bunch of people.

Ready…

Go!

The challenge was a lot of fun, and at the end I fulfilled my dream of taking a picture with Chocolata (who had changed outfits again).

Right before we left, I talked to Chocolata a bit more (probably too much) and thanked her for empowering women everywhere to be the best version of themselves and to just be confident in their own skins. Yep. I’m not making this up. Luckily my friends pulled me away and we left Lips before I got too annoying. I hope, anyway. Haha!

That’s some love right there.

What a fun night!!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to a drag show? Also, do you get stage fright?

I thought I would be nervous about going on stage for the challenge, but since my friends were all right in front of me I didn’t feel nervous at all. The drinks beforehand probably helped too. 😉

 Posted by on March 23, 2017
Jan 062017
 

At the end of every year, I like to take a moment to reflect on the highlights from the last 365 days. It’s a fun way for me to look back at all the high points of the year, and these are always some of my favorite posts to write.

Since I didn’t have a chance to get this post up before the end of the year, I figured I’d share it with you all today! Here’s a look back at my 16 highlights from 2016. Be prepared: it’s a long one!

16. Spent lots of time with family. In looking back over the year, some of my favorite memories were just the casual weekends spent with my family. From playing in fallen leaves with my sister to spending some quality time with my grandparents to family crab feasts at my mom’s house, I have some truly special memories with the people I love most.

15. Kept up my fitness game with tons of spin classes and boot camps. My love affair with ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!) continued throughout 2016, and I took oh-so-many wonderful classes. My three favorite classes from the year probably have to be FlyWheel’s spin class, Urban Athletic Club’s Urban Athlete (bootcamp) class, and CorePower Yoga’s Sculpt class (which hasn’t been on ClassPass lately, but I took my fair share of those classes throughout 2016).

Close runners up include Definitions, MADabolic, Biker Barre (their spin class), and Reformation Fitness! Oddly enough, I took hardly any barre classes in 2016, though I was a big fan of barre in 2015. I also didn’t run much in 2016, but I’m ok with that. As long as I have a fitness routine that makes me happy and it’s something I look forward to, I will keep doing what I’m doing! Plus I have some running plans in store for 2017, so stay tuned for updates on that.

14. Started planning my wedding! I’m elaborating a lot more on this in the items below, but every detail of planning my wedding has been so much fun. Whether it’s planning our honeymoon in Thailand or chatting with our photographer (love her) or sending out our save the dates, I am enjoying every moment of this process. The photos below are from our engagement session in Jamaica last year, but we’re using them for a lot of the wedding pieces.

13. Crawled around DC breweries for Fabio’s birthday. For Fabio’s birthday this year, I organized a brewery crawl around DC with a bunch of our friends. It turned out really well, and we had such a fun time exploring new breweries and hanging out with all our friends! I also loved that I asked everyone to wear plaid as our theme. Haha!

12. Visited Aunt CC and Uncle Steve in Otis—one of my favorite places on Earth—and learned to paddle board. Visiting Aunt CC and Uncle Steve at their house in the Berkshires is always one of the highlights of my year. This summer when we went up, Uncle Steve taught us to paddle board, which was (surprisingly) something Fabio and I hadn’t tried before. The whole weekend was a blast, but paddleboarding was probably my favorite part. I just love visiting them!!

11. Stood on my chair and spun my napkin around in the air in an Italian restaurant in NYC with so many of my best friends by my side. Now that’s an interesting one, right? Every year Fabio and I try to visit NYC during the holidays to visit our friends and this year’s trip was especially fun. The highlight for me was our dinner experience at Puglia, where we drank all the wine we wanted for three hours and stood on our chairs waving our napkins around whenever the band played “the napkin song.” This sounds like such a weird thing to do, but I’m telling you it was an absolute blast!!

10. Attended eight beautiful weddings. This was definitely a wedding-heavy year for us, but each one was special and unique in its own way. I had a blast at all of them, and loved getting to celebrate with so many people who mean so much to me. Congrats to all of you!!

…and also, thank goodness for Rent the Runway.

9. Shopped for (and found!) my wedding dress. Eek! This is a memory that makes me giddy just thinking about it. In June, I invited a couple of my friends and family members to join me in shopping for a wedding dress. I really didn’t expect to find one on this trip and thought we’d mostly just be shopping for the fun of it, but low and behold I found my dress! We went out to lunch afterwords to celebrate, and it was just such a fun day with the women who mean so much to me.

8. Spent a weekend touring wedding venues, and had an amazing night in Cambridge, MD, with my mom and stepdad. Thinking back to this weekend always brings a smile to my face. Soon after Fabio and I got engaged, we scheduled visits with a bunch of wedding venues on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and invited some of our family members to come along. We spent the day on Saturday visiting two beautiful wedding venues (see recaps of those here) and then my mom, stepdad, Fabio and I stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast in Cambridge, MD. We wound up going out to dinner at a fun wine and cheese spot, and then bar hopping a bit throughout the cute little town. The evening ended in a bar with live music, and we had such a blast drinking and dancing with my parents. I remember having a bad headache the next day (oy) but it was worth it to have such a fun night. Then on Sunday we visited three more wedding venues, including the one we wound up going with! It was such a fun and memorable weekend.

7. Shopped for bridesmaids dresses, and had an amazing birthday brunch celebration afterword. During the weekend that I planned to celebrate my birthday, I invited my bridesmaids to come into town to try on dresses, and then coordinated a boozy brunch for us all after. We started off our morning at Bella Bridesmaids (highly recommend!), everyone ordered their dresses, and then we spent the rest of the day eating, drinking, and having fun! What a blast!

I also have to mention that my friends Catrina and Britt stayed with me for a few days leading up to this weekend, which was also so much fun. It brought me back to our college days!

6. Met Fabio’s extended family in Colombia, and had them teach me how to salsa dance (among other things). Visiting Colombia earlier this year was such a blast, and I still can’t get over how welcoming Fabio’s extended family was. While we had a really nice time exploring Medellin (touring a coffee farm was really cool, as was seeing Penol & Guatape), the highlight for me was the weekend that we spent in a huge finca (farm house) with all of Fabio’s relatives. While there, we hosted a big party celebrating our engagement and Fabio’s sister and brother-in-law’s one year anniversary. That party was a BLAST and I loved learning to salsa dance with everyone. I wish we could go back and do it all over again!

5. Continuing on with the Colombia theme, I loved visiting the beautiful city of Cartagena with Fabio’s family and our good friends Jojo and Jadd! Cartagena was a beautiful place, and we had a blast going on a boat tour, exploring an old fort, and going out to the bars with our friends to watch a Colombia soccer game. What an amazing experience! There was lots of salsa dancing in Cartagena too, haha!

4. Started a new job. This year I made a big move for my career and switched to a new job with a higher salary, bigger responsibilities, and a fancy new title. I’m still doing what I love – communications and PR for a health-focused nonprofit – but this was a big switch for me and has been challenging and rewarding so far. I know this move was the right thing to do and I am so grateful the opportunity I’ve been given. Now I just have to keep grinding!

3 and 2. Celebrated two amazing engagement parties. Where do I even begin with these? First Aunt CC and Uncle Steve threw us an incredible engagement party in NYC in April, and then my mom and stepdad threw us a second one in July. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am for their generosity. Both of these parties were some of the best memories I have – EVER! – and I am so appreciative of my family.

1. Bought a house. Eeeek!! Yep, the biggest highlight for me in 2016 was becoming a homeowner! Fabio and I are so happy (and lucky) to own a 2.5 bedroom, 2 bathroom, town house in the heart of Ballston, just two blocks from the metro. It’s a big responsibility and needs a bit of work, but we’re up to the challenge! Yay!

Phew! What a year, right? Geez, when did I become such an adult?

If nothing else, these posts always remind me what an incredible life I have, and encourage me to spend a few minutes every day being grateful. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of it!!

Question of the day: What was the highlight of your 2016?

 Posted by on January 6, 2017
Dec 122016
 

Hey friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was so much fun and included lots of fun time with friends in New York City. Here’s a recap!

Friday

Fabio and I took the bus up to the big apple on Friday evening with our friends Megan and JR. It was a nice quick trip up and we arrived in NYC by around 11:30. Not too shabby!

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Fabio and I had planned to stay at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s apartment on the Upper West Side, and we decided it made the most sense for Megan and JR to join us there. Thanks for hosting us, CC and Steve! After a very fast trip on the subway, we had arrived at their cozy apartment. 🙂

We spent some time chatting on the couch before we decided it was time for bed. We knew we had a busy day ahead of us!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we popped open a bottle of champagne that CC and Steve had left for us in the fridge. They are just the BEST! Thank you, CC and Steve!

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After getting ourselves ready for the day, we walked over to our favorite Upper West Side bakery: Levain. Their cookies are out of this WORLD, so we picked up a bunch to take to our friends’ place downtown. We snacked on some on the way down, and we all agreed they were incredible. Wow! They never disappoint.

Before long, we had arrived on the Lower East Side where we met up with our friends for brunch!

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Vic and Megan hosted us and had all kinds of goodies including French toast casserole, ham and egg cups, bagels, and cider sangria. Yum!

We spent the next few hours catching up! Nothing beats time with your best friends.

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This group was a mix of my home friends and college friends, plus our significant others, so it was a ton of fun!

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Eventually a group of us decided to walk around see some holiday sights, so we ventured out into the cold. We walked over to Union Square which had turned into a fun Christmas market!

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There were lots of festive decorations and shops, and even though we didn’t buy anything we had a blast just walking around.

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I’ve been friends with these ladies since first grade (Hana), middle school (Bianca) and high school (Sam)!

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I was so happy Fabio came with us for all the weekend festivities too. Love him! <3

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Then our walk took us over to a cute gingerbread house! There was a huge line to go inside – we still aren’t sure what you do in there – but we decided to skip the line and just take a picture out front. It was still fun!

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After that, we walked over to Hana’s apartment and got ready for dinner. During this time we sipped on some wine, did each other’s makeup, and curled our hair. I always love these moments with my friends! (The boys were troopers and sat on the couch talking about sports. Typical.)

Once we were ready, we hopped in a cab and went over to Puglia, a SUPER fun Italian restaurant in Little Italy.

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Puglia is great for groups (there were lots of birthdays being celebrated), and each person pays $65 for bottomless beer and wine plus family-style Italian food for 3 hours.

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The food was really tasty, and of course we enjoyed all the wine.

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After we were done eating, a male and female singer came around singing popular songs like Sweet Caroline and Christmas carols. Everyone in the restaurant sang and clapped along, and it was so fun!

Then came the real fun: the man and woman sang this song that they called “the napkin song” where everyone is supposed to stand up on their chairs and wave their napkins around in the air.

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This is SUCH a weird concept but it’s a blast! The song was really simple so everyone could easily sing along to it, and it was just so fun seeing everyone in the restaurant climb on their chairs to wave their napkins around in the air.

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What a fun idea!!

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They wound up playing the napkin song a bunch of times, and it was totally stuck in our heads for hours afterwords. (In fact it’s still in my head now…)

This place was easily the highlight of the weekend! In fact we had so much fun that we decided we want to play the napkin song at our wedding before everyone gets on the dance floor. Haha! I’m sure half our guests will be totally confused, but the group that came out to this dinner should get a kick out of it. 🙂

After dinner we wound up going out to a bar for lots of dancing! A bunch of Fabio’s friends met up with us, and it was great to see them. Like always, it was a blast!!

Sunday

On Sunday morning a small group of us met up at Big Daddy’s for some much-needed post-drinking-and-dancing food. 😉

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I wound up getting a burger and a milk shake which totally hit the spot. Bianca got this fun birthday cake milkshake which came with a candle and rainbow sprinkles! How fun!

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While at lunch we couldn’t stop talking about how ridiculous the restaurant had been the night before and how we had such a blast waving our napkins around in the air. So fun!

After lunch we hopped on the bus and headed back home. We got lucky with traffic again and were home in no time!

As soon as we got home we drove over to pick up our little furry friend! He had a blast with his new BFF Tilly while we were away.

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Thank you so much to everyone who made this amazing weekend possible, from Jojo and Jadd who watched Jack for us to CC and Steve for allowing us to stay at their apartment to all the friends who came out to have fun with us. We had so much fun and couldn’t have done it without you!! I love you all!

Question of the day: Would you stand on your chair and wave your napkin around at a restaurant?

 Posted by on December 12, 2016
Dec 092016
 

Helloooo, and happy Friday to you! Is everyone ready for the weekend?

I know I am. Tomorrow evening (it’s Thursday night as I’m typing this), I’ll be hopping on a bus to NYC with Fabio and our friends, Megan and JR! Like last year and the year before, we wanted to plan a weekend trip up to the Big Apple to celebrate the holidays with some of our very best friends.

This year I’ll be spending time with my best friends from high school (Bianca, Hana, and Sam) as we as my best friends from college (known as Sloppytown or The Gurlays). I can’t wait for us all to be reunited again!

Eeek!

Before I can dive into the weekend fun though, let’s talk about some of the things that made me smile this week with my usual Favorite Things Friday post! Feel free to play along in the comments below and let me know what you were loving this week.

Favorite Purchase

A while back, my friend Cait raved to me about her new favorite cookbook, Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. At the time I had just bought Eating in the Middle, a cookbook by Andie Mitchell, and so I raved back about that one.

Then my mom got me the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook for my birthday, and I realized how ridiculously happy it makes me to read a new cookbook.

I know they might not be for everyone – certainly the Internet has changed the way most people find recipes – but there is something about flipping through the pages of a book with beautiful glossy photographs and flagging recipes that I know I want to make in the future. It also makes meal planning a lot easier because I can just look back at the pages I’ve bookmarked when it’s time to select a recipe.

So, last week when I saw Chrissy Tiegen’s cookbook included on a holiday gift guide I was reading, I decided to treat myself to it.

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As predicted, it made me way too happy as I sat on the couch flipping through the pages.

I’ve already made two of the recipes from the book: the veggie stew and the cobb salad. Both were incredible! Admittedly Fabio was skeptical about both dishes (veggie stew??? “Just” a salad for dinner???) but even he agreed that they were both a hit. Yay!

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Anyway, all three of the cookbooks I mentioned above have amazing recipes in them, so if you’re looking for a gift to give a foodie in your life I definitely recommend them!

Favorite View

On Wednesday morning, Fabio, Jack, and I drove over to the National Mall to meet our friend Dan for a running date! Sadly we weren’t able to connect with Dan – he didn’t bring his phone with him and after waiting for him in our agreed upon spot for 10 minutes we just decided to start running. (When we talked to him later he said he waited for us for about 10 minutes too, so we still don’t know what happened!) Anyway, we had a nice little family run on the National Mall and got to enjoy quite the views!

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I love that we got to see the National Christmas tree!

It was quite cold and gray out on Wednesday, but on our way home we got to enjoy a nice pink sunrise. Too bad it wasn’t like that while we were running!

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In other workout news, I took not one but two great bootcamp classes with Anne this week via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $30 off!). Now that Anne isn’t training for any races, she’s planning to take more bootcamp classes with me during this week. This is fantastic news for me because having a workout buddy keeps me accountable (plus, it’s always fun to chat with her during class). Hooray!

Favorite Treat

I know I mentioned this on Wednesday, but the peppermint chocolate sandwich cookies from Giant are so freaking delicious and addicting. I am thinking of buying more when we finish this box…and I NEVER buy cookies. Help!

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Favorite Spirit

It’s the mooooooost wonderful time of the year. I love all things holiday, and there were a bunch of holiday related sights and events this week that made me smile.

First, there is ABC Family’s (now called Free Form??) Christmas lineup. The other night Fabio was out at a work holiday party so I wound up watching The Santa Claus and then Elf, which are two of my all-time favorite movies. I think I’ve seen them both way too many times (especially the Santa Claus which I basically watched on repeat as a kid) but they never get old to me.

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Then there’s our fireplace, which I think is so cozy and cute right now with the little stockings. Plus there’s nothing better than a warm fire when it’s cold out! Fabio’s gotten really good at building the fires too.

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Lastly, holiday cards started arriving in the mail this week from our friends and family! These make me so happy and I love displaying them on the Christmas tree. Here’s a cute one from Jess and Erick! Miss you guys! <3

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Favorite New Friend

Our friends Jojo and Jadd are watching Jack for us this weekend while we’re in New York, so earlier this evening we dropped him off at their house. They recently adopted an adorable pup named Tilly, and Jack and Tilly were instant BFFs. Yay! I’m so happy to know he’ll be in good hands while we’re gone. 🙂

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Thanks again for watching him, guys!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. Have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: What made you smile this week?

 Posted by on December 9, 2016
Oct 312016
 

Hey friends! Happy Halloween! Is anyone going trick-or-treating tonight? We have a couple of friends coming over to carve pumpkins (nothing like waiting until the last minute…) and help us give out candy, so that should be fun! Other than though we really didn’t celebrate Halloween over the weekend; instead we focused on Fabio’s birthday!

Friday

I got to work from home on Friday (always a nice treat!) and Fabio came home from work a little early, so we enjoyed an extra long evening walk with Jack. It was such a beautiful evening and the leaves are really starting to show their fall colors. 🙂

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When we got back home, I noticed that the bunnies have really done a number on our pumpkins. The small one looks even worse than this now; they ate all the way through it!! Sigh.

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The rest of Friday evening was spent running errands and cleaning the house. Phew – what a wild Friday night. 😉

Saturday

On Saturday morning, Fabio’s sister, Diane, and brother-in-law, Alex, came over. Once they arrived, we headed into DC for a brewery crawl! Our first stop of the day was DC Brau. Fabio and I really like the beer from DC Brau, so we were excited to check it out.

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#AllThePlaid

DC Brau felt very hipster to us, as it was located in a big warehouse and had lots of board games available for patrons. While we waited for our free brewery tour to start at 1 p.m., we played a couple games of Hungry, Hungry Hippos! I think we enjoyed playing this game a little too much, and I’m pretty sure we annoyed everyone else who was hanging out in the brewery with our antics. Oops! It was so fun!

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Soon enough, it was time for the tour! We learned all about DC Brau including how they make their beers, where their beer is served (I think it’s served in five different states?), how they can their beer, etc. It was pretty cool!

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Midway through the tour a bunch of our other friends arrived! They heard the rest of the tour with us, and then we all enjoyed sampling the different beers. So fun!

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After hanging out at DC Brau for a little while longer, we grabbed some ubers and headed over to Right Proper Brewing Company (the actual brewery, not the restaurant in Shaw) for our second brewery tour of the day!

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We all decided we liked the atmosphere of Right Proper better – it was really nicely decorated with cool murals on the walls – but the beer was better at DC Brau. One good thing about Right Proper was that they had a pop-up food stand from Pizzeria Paradiso. Yum! With all that beer, I was happy to have some food in my belly.

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Right Proper’s tour kicked off at 4:00 p.m., so we had a good time hanging out with our friends in the meantime. Can you tell we had a plaid theme going on in lieu of Halloween costumes? Haha!

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Anyway, the tour at Right Proper was another good one, and after that, we hopped in an uber over to our third stop of the day: Atlas Brew Works! Atlas was probably our favorite stop of the day, and we loved the atmosphere of the brewery as well as the fact that dogs were allowed. We had a great time playing with a yellow lab puppy inside! We will definitely be back here with Jack.

Sadly a bunch of Fabio’s friends had to head back to Baltimore around this time, but more of our friends arrived to keep the celebration going. Here I am with my old coworkers, Jojo and Brittany! It was so nice hanging out with them. 🙂

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A little later on my cousin Yasi and her boyfriend Tom joined us for the festivities as well. What a fun group!

We also saw plenty of silly Halloween costumes while we were out, including these two muppets. Haha! So intense.

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Our last brewery stop of the day was at Bardo, but honestly it was not our favorite spot and we didn’t stay for too long. I think maybe since the sun had gone down it lost some of its charm? Oh well, I’m glad we gave it a shot.

Anyway, it was such a fun day and I’m so glad Fabio’s birthday celebration went off without a hitch! I never realized how nerve-wracking it can be to plan such a big event! Phew!

Sunday

On Sunday, our friend Jason came over! He ran the Marine Corps Marathon in the morning (anyone else run it?) and he did amazingly well. He is so fast – he ran it in 3 hours and 30 seconds! Go Jason! He was bummed because apparently this is third time running a marathon at that exact pace; he can’t seem to break his record! But he said since it was a hilly course and the weather was unseasonably warm, he was still happy with his time.

We spent most of the day hanging around the house and dressing Jack up in his University of Maryland Terrapins costume. 🙂

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And, being the good friends that we are, we put Jason to work even though he’d just ran a marathon! Haha! 😉 We needed a hand getting our futon up into the loft, so we called our friend Ciro to come over and help as well. With the four of us, we were able to get the futon up there in no time. Yay!!! (So different from last time Fabio and I attempted this on our own…)

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Then Jason, Fabio and I headed out to World of Beer for dinner. I got a buffalo chicken wrap with grilled chicken and kale coleslaw on the side. Yum!

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Overall I would say it was the perfect end to a really fun weekend. Thank you to all our amazing friends and family who came out to help us celebrate Fabio’s birthday!

Question of the day: Are you dressing up for Halloween? What are you wearing?

 Posted by on October 31, 2016