My mom came to visit me a few weeks ago and we decided to go and visit Exquisite Fabrics in Georgetown. It’s not your typical JoAnn Fabrics, oh no, my friends. This tiny shop is crammed from floor to ceiling with bolts and bolts of designer fabrics of every color and texture you could imagine.
As soon as I walked in I felt like I should be clutching a sketchbook and rushing around frantically looking for the perfect fabric for my latest creation on Project Runway. I half-expected Tim Gunn to come around the corner in a pinstriped suit saying in that droll voice of his, “I know you can do this. Make it work!” and then I would scurry off, confidence renewed, and select fantastic fabric and win the Project Runway challenge, and win the competition, and win a million dollars, and become a world famous designer….and then I woke up from my daydream.
I did manage to snap a few stealth photos. They’re not exactly going to win the next Pulitzer Prize but you get the idea. There was a whole wall of buttons that I was dying to take a picture of but I felt a little weird running around snapping photos. I might have knocked something over or stabbed myself with a bolt of fabric. Or worse, stabbed someone else.
Anyway, so it was a pretty cool fabric store and my mom wound up finding some lovely Burberry fabric to sew a coat. And even though there was no Tim Gunn, the shop owner was a little Italian man who kept murmuring reassuringly, “This will make a lovely coat and you will have it for years to come. So classy”, etc. Which is just as good as having Tim Gunn as your personal fabric shopper.
Afterwards, we stopped at Dean and DeLuca for a snack. I had an iced chai and a tomato/mozzarella/basil sandwich which was delicious. I was all set not to like the place because it’s soooo trendy on the inside but they won me over. I couldn’t help myself. Luckily, it is quite far from me so I can’t go there often since they’re a teeny bit pricey and I am a poor grad student (as if I needed to be reminded of that).
(and key lime pie for dessert…)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going go all Scarlett O’Hara and Maria Von Trapp and sew myself a dress from my curtains since I don’t have bolts of designer fabrics at my disposal. Or my own personal Tim Gunn.
Make it work.
This past week was not exciting in any way unless you count the fact that I survived a paper, a report, and a midterm all due the same week as some sort of life achievement (I will admit that I did magically find time to amass a large number of pins on Pinterest but don’t ask me how that happened…).
This weekend was rainy and cold, like, I-had-to-bust-out-my-northface-and-warm-socks kind of cold. Brrrrr. At least it’s good chai tea and pumpkin spice latte kind of weather. Unless the coffee shop you want to go to is too crowded and you can’t find a place to sit. But I digress.
I just wanted to upload a couple of stray pictures left over from my visit home this past August. The first is a photo from Michigan Avenue looking out over the Chicago River at night. The lights are so beautiful and everything looks so majestic.
The other day at work someone asked me where I was from and when I told him he said, “Ah, Chicago. A great American city”. Which made me want to book the next flight home. If you find yourself in Chicago, send me a postcard, will ya? Anyway, the next two pictures are from Wildfire, a delicious restaurant that has a supper club kind of vibe. Dark wood tables, retro lighting, jazzy music and half-circles booths that let you pay attention to your dinner-mates while still enabling you to people watch without being a creeper. These are very important elements to consider when choosing a place for your next meal. Oh, and their food is good too…especially their smashed potatoes.
Well, kids, have a wonderful week- I’m keeping my fingers crossed for lots of sun and no rain.
I’m thinking next post we’ll have a chat about how I’ve suddenly become a plant lady or the fact that I’ve become obsessed with pumpkin-themed foods. Or both. Because I know you’re dying to know about both. You know you are.
Over and out.
Why, hello there. Remember me? Yes, I’m still alive and no, I haven’t blogged in a really long time. I’m surprised my little blog hasn’t left me for another since I’ve neglected it so badly. But hey, August is always a hectic month every year and this past August was no different.
Before I update you on my wildly fascinating life (no really, it’s not), I’d like to take a moment of silence to mourn the end of summer….
And now, let’s catch up, shall we?
I present to you my month of August:
Number of states visited (including Fargo, ND): 6
Number of flights: 5
Number of weddings attended: 2
Number of apartments loaded into a U-haul and then unloaded: 1
Number of IKEAs visited within two-days: 2
Number of couches from Goodwill that refused to fit into my car: 1
Number of Metro stops from work now: 6
Number of minutes to school now: 15
Number of concerts attended: 1
Number of times I’ve gotten lost now that I’ve moved: too many to count
Number of times this school year is busier than last year: 2,000,000,000,000x
I promise, promise, promise to be better about posting.
Look for pictures of my new apartment soon!
Until then, have a fantastic week.
Not only is that my favorite nail polish color (thank you, OPI), but it should also be the slogan for my new favorite restaurant, Jaleo, a DC tapas restaurant. I discovered Jaleo earlier this summer and both times I’ve been there, the food has been beyond amazing. (Oops, sorry. Am I gushing too much?)
The menu is full of simple, fresh ingredients that are combined in inventive ways that leave your mouth happy. Honey-drizzled eggplant, anyone? Or perhaps you’d care for some patatas bravas? Whatever you chose, it will be delish.
Now that I’ve laid the foundation for my love for Jaleo, let me tell you a little story my friends. Picture me, in my Gap blazer (on sale, yo!) and green skirt at the Caribou Coffee on a coffee run for my boss (the one and only time I’ve ever done a coffee run in my entire life) lauding the praises of Jaleo to my coworker (a fellow Jaleo lover). We’re going on and on about all the dishes we’ve tried when a woman walks up to us and tells us that she works for Jaleo, they’re having a private paella event, and we’re invited.
Not. even. kidding. Stuff like this never, ever happens to me. But this time it did. (I never won things as a kid and I still don’t win things now. Come on, can’t I just win a blogger giveaway just once?)
The Paella Event kicked off Paella Week and showcased several of Jaleo’s paellas. The restaurant was closed to the public for the evening and the restaurant space was filled with paella tasting stations, wait staff walking around with trays full of wine and other appetizers, and a Spanish guitar player (to bring out the inner Spaniard in all of us).
Massive amounts of paella-deliciousness… (“Please, sir. I want some more…”)
Seafood medley paella…
Little endive appetizer…
More seafood paella… (No, those aren’t octopus or squid legs. It’s some sort of pasta, albeit fishy-tasting pasta).
Doesn’t it all just make your mouth water?
What a fantastic way to sample all different kinds of paella without overtaxing my sad little grad student budget! Now if only a clothes fairy would come and give me a shopping spree at Anthropologie…
Over the weekend I made a four layer mocha cake with peanut butter frosting. I have never made a layered cake before in my life. Nor have I ever made peanut butter frosting before in my life. Come to think of it, nor have I ever made a mocha cake it my life.
It was an epic day of firsts, my friends, an epic day. Three of the most amazing foods in the world…combined into a dessert so delicious nothing will ever compare. Perhaps I exaggerate, but only a little.
I scoured the internet (hello, Food Network) for mocha cake recipes and found one that wasn’t too obnoxious (Yes, I’m looking at you MarthaStewart.com) and lo, and behold, I baked a beautiful cake.
Just look at that four-layered beauty.
Oh please, you’re embarrassing me with all of your cheering and clapping.
First up- it’s a new look for this little ole blog. Well, not exactly new since I use if for my other blog. I like it. So, why mess with a good thing? If I were computer literate, I would design my own blog theme but alas…the html fairy passed me over and I must muddle my way through the digital world. Sigh.
Next on the agenda- out Martha Stewart-ing Martha Stewart herself. In her July issue, Martha suggested infusing gin with blueberries and then mixing with lemonade to make a refreshing summer drink. But, why stop at blueberries, I ask (aka, there were no blueberries at the grocery store)? Why not go all wild and crazy and try a different kind of berry like, a raspberry? And strawberries? So that’s what we did. Yep, it was fancy pants and delicious. The only thing missing was mason jars to drink out of. Everyone knows that drinks always taste better out of an obnoxious mason jar. It’s a fact of life.
The perfect summer drink for outdoor grilling and sitting under the starts talking the night away with friends…
Apparently, I’ve got a cold. I mean, I know I have a cold (when your head feels like it’s stuffed with cotton, you know you’ve got something) but I really thought it was allergies until yesterday when I realized that sneezing uncontrollably everywhere and all day doesn’t mean I have allergies.
So, I had to take the day off of work (a terrible event, if you’re a poor grad student) and sleep all day in the hopes that my body would fight off whatever it is that’s invading my immune system. I’ve been drinking orange juice and taking Vitamin C like none other. And I’ve been embracing Netflix. I’ve been watching Star Trek (the most recent movie that came out). I can’t say it’s a great movie to watch when you’re sick (flashing lights, loud sounds, and ammunition aren’t friendly to a sinus headache) but it was the only thing that looked entertaining.
But enough of that. You didn’t really want to hear about how sick I am. So here are a few photos from the weekend. One of my besties from Chi-town came to visit and we covered a lot of territory- shopping in Georgetown, lunch in Bethesda, a visit to Annapolis and the Naval Academy, and brunch and a visit to Eastern Market. I didn’t take too many photos (I was too busy sneezing) but here are a few:
Back when I was a young 22 year-old (so long ago, don’t you know), I flew to Washington, DC to interview at the graduate school I now attend. I was staying in Arlington, VA, across the street from Buzz Cafe. I remember visiting the cafe, getting a delicious, hot cafe mocha and sitting outside, soaking up the sunshine, discussing my visit to the school and my future.
A year later, I found myself back at that same cafe (this time with an iced mocha since it was hot out) sitting outside discussing my future again (aka the impossible task of finding a new apartment). Apartment hunting is no fun- you have to wade through all of the “not-right” ones to find the “just right” one, which takes an insane amount of time. It’s like a glorified game of Goldilocks and the Three Bears only there’s nothing cute or endearing about it.
But, the cupcake I got at Buzz Cafe during my apartment-hunting break was cute and delicious (I don’t think cupcakes can be endearing- that would be obnoxious). You can’t go wrong with a cupcake that has cookie dough inside of it- genius!!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Monster Cupcake
Complete with chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle…
“Buzz” cupcake (aka mocha)
I’m happy to report that I’ve found an apartment and that it’s extremely close to Buzz Cafe (though that was not a criteria for my ideal apartment, it just happened)…I really missed not having awesome coffee shops nearby- I’m excited and ready for a change…