Cherry Blossoms

DC Cherry Blossoms

DC Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms DC

Cherry Blossoms

Mini Gucci Marmont Purse Ivory

Boater Hat

I would not be a “DC Blogger” without having any mention of the Cherry Blossoms this time of the year! Cherry Blossoms take over the city late March to early April. There’s bars that join forces to turn into the magical Cherry Blossom bar, donuts are adorned with the pretty pink flowers, and there’s even a Cherry Blossom ice-cream flavor! D.C. loves the Cherry Blossoms and despite the freezing weather recently, they were still just as beautiful as in years past!

J and I spent our Saturday morning strolling through and around the Tidal Basin and National Mall. The weather was wonderful and it made me so happy that all the tourists and DC residents still came out to view the Capital’s treasure. Last year we did not make it down to the Cherry Blossoms and I was super sad about it so this year I was determined to go! Plus J has actually never been to them despite living in the city for years now so it was also fun to check this off his “DC Bucket List.”

P.S. It’s always funny as a blogger trying to spot the other bloggers during these prime moments… I’m definitely going to search on Bloglovin a little later to see if I can find some of their blog posts from this past weekend as well!

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Cherry Blossoms Washington DC Monument and Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms Washington DC Monument

Pink Cherry Blossom

Spring Outfit Cherry Blossom

C’s Tip: After visiting the Tidal Basin and admiring the beautiful Cherry Blossoms, walk up the mall and past the Capitol building to Hank’s Oyster Bar – Capitol Hill for brunch. Start off with some oysters & cocktails and I highly recommend the Croque Madame on Dark Rye w/ Dill Havarti, Apple, Bacon, Honey Mustard, Sunny Egg & Hollandaise!

Hank's Oyster Bar - Capitol Hill

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Finesse

I  have always been about the high low mix. My wardrobe, accessories, and beauty products including my choice of Shampoo and Conditioners. I’m pretty lucky that I have fairly easy hair to manage since it isn’t super dry, it isn’t thin or crazy curly. I have medium length, medium to heavy weight, wavy hair. If I let my hair air dry then it’s wavy. If I blow dry it, it will stay straight. If I curl it, it holds curls pretty darn well. BUT, it’s important to me that I’m treating my hair just as well as I’m treating my skin, because hair is one of those things that if you neglect it long enough, it will rebel!

Back in the October 2016 Allure issue, Kendall Jenner shared that she uses Finesse and got the tip from Kim Kardashian who had been using Finesse for years! Now, I’m no big Kardashian superfan but you can’t deny that those girls have their beauty routine nailed down. Beautiful makeup, flawless looking skin, and always shiny locks. I couldn’t believe it… millionaires who would have NO problem shoving out $50 a bottle were opting for a Shampoo and Conditioner that were under five bucks. Since Finesse was definitely working for them, I had to see if Finesse was going to work on my hair too. So I opted to try out the Finesse ® Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner to help combat the harsh winter’s impact. Just three to five washes later I could see a difference! My hair felt lighter, softer, and my split ends weren’t showing up as fast! When I was blowdrying my hair I had less frizz and flyaways, not to mention the price was making my wallet (and husband) happy! I’m sure I’ll continue to “try” new Shampoos and Conditioners out throughout my life, but in the meantime I’m loving that I’ve found my new go-to! (Plus, Finesse is showing up in significantly more stores this year — including over 3,400 Walmart stores, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and more priced around $1.99 – $3.99!) So morale of the story is… give Finesse ® Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner a shot! Your hair will thank you!

Share your #finessehaircare & follow along with mine on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

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Finesse ® Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner c/o. This post was powered by BrandBacker.

All opinions are my own.

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Weekend Trench

I thought when I purchased this cute sweatshirt that we’d be close to saying Bon Voyage to winter weather but instead I’ll be keeping all my sweatshirts and sweaters in my closet – hopefully for not too much longer though! If you’re on the East Coast you’re in the same boat as me – just wishing that all those spring arrivals and pretty dresses could be put to use already! I mean today is the first day of Spring!! I’ve had some major envy reading blogs showcasing new spring dresses, sandals, and skirts. I mean thank goodness for sunless tanner because there’s no way I’d be showing my bare, pale legs without it! I always have a can of this spray tanner & recently tried this mousse by St. Tropez and love it!

Speaking of things you can’t live without… a trusty trench coat! I had a favorite trench that I wore all. the. time. but after years of use, it was time to say goodbye. I wanted a new trench that was actually a waterproof material (my last one was cotton) in a classic khaki shade and style. Pretty easy request right? Ehh not so much. I tried on trench after trench all varying in different lengths, shades, button styles, etc. All cute, but not the one. Finally I found this London Fog trench that is truly a staple trench coat, and I know will get a lot of use this Spring… once Spring actually arrives! And I’m definitely packing it on our trip to London! You can’t go to London without a trench coat!

P.S. This sweatshirt is super comfy, super affordable, and perfect for traveling! Love this one too!

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Ankle Jeans | Sweatshirt | Givenchy Antigona Purse | London Fog Trench | Booties | Neck Scarf

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Sunshine & Daisies

Spring

 

I am sitting here in March wishing and hoping that I could be slipping into one of these slides instead of boots. I can’t really complain though. Our Fall here in D.C. was warm and our winter mostly mild. A snow storm to close out the season isn’t the worse thing in the world & Stella was a lot less of a storm that predicted- But it doesn’t change that I’m ready for a wardrobe switch! And I have to tell you… I am LOVING the mule/slide trend! These sunshine yellow double strap slides and these crochet slides are both from Target. Yes, you read that right! Who What Wear collaborated with the mega store for a line that is super cute! I’ve already picked up this skirt & top set, these pants, and this tank. I can’t wait to mix and match and wear the eyelash tank with some white jeans, black strappy heels & a bright pink lip for date night when the weather warms up. I’m also loving the look of adding a little neckerchief with my more casual outfits. (Post to come soon!) It adds that little something to the look! You can go traditional bandana print or try something different like  this cute boat printed one or this gingham one.  Ok yeah… definitely safe to say that I am ready for some warmer weather, sunshine & daisies! So winter you’ve been real but the snow can melt and Stella can storm right out of the D.C. area please!

P.S. I splurged on this crossbody… yay or nay?! It’s definitely a small bag, and a pretty penny, but I love how versatile it can be and the cream color for Spring and Summer…. What do you think- Should I keep it?

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DCity

A few summers ago J and I went on our own little BBQ tour in search of the best BBQ. This was definitely a challenge since J grew up in Alabama and swore that no place compared to what he grew up with. We tried different BBQ places where ever we traveled to… Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, Alabama, Georgia, and the list goes on. Low and behold our favorite ended up being in our backyard… D.C.

I had heard about DCity Smokehouse on some food review – I think it might have been The Washingtonian’s Best Places to Eat – and when we showed up it was exactly what we had been looking for. The “restaurant” was slightly larger than our galley kitchen, a couple of bar stools and rolls of paper towels. The smell though. Oh. My. Goodness did it smell good. We ran our eyes over the menu and ordered. On our first visit we had plans of taking our food back home but the smell was too good that we decided to wait for those bar stools to be vacant to eat there. (Every other time we did the same- unless Auburn was playing in which case we took it back home.)

Everytime we went to DCity it was packed and understandably so. Finally the BBQ team there decided to move down the road a little to a larger location. After months of waiting for the new DCity Smokehouse to open, we went for lunch & was not disappointed. No longer is it a hole in the wall type place but a really cool build. A mix of industrial and country decor, a good selection of beers on tap, and even some cocktails on the menu- but the smell is still mouth watering and the BBQ has remained no fuss, finger licking good. And in case you don’t want to lick your fingers, they still have the rolls of paper towels for you to use. Exactly what we wanted & hoped the reopen to be.

C’s Tip: Get the crispy brussel sprouts. I know, I know… you don’t go to BBQ places to get vegetables but believe me. They’re SO good! And get there early if you want a seat. Although they now have tables and a bar full of stools, it’s still a popular choice!

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Parisian Brunch

 

Pretty much as soon as we touched down I was swept away and completely in love with Paris. I have only been that one time, but dream about going back to my favorite city of lights often. Since a weekend away in Paris wasn’t in the books, I decided to bring Paris to my little home in D.C. for a celebratory birthday brunch.

I kept my spread simple and allowed people to make their own brunch cocktails by providing a mimosa and bloody mary bar. I did  have the glass rims decorated with pink sprinkles for the mimosas and a smokey chili salt for the bloodies but the rest was left to our guests’ preferences.

I found at my favorite grocery store (Trader Joe’s of course) frozen croissants that you let proof overnight and bake. Let me tell you- the smell it leaves in your house is enough to buy these pups, but they taste just as delicious as they smell! I had plain, almond, and chocolate croissants, a brie wedge, cured meats, jam, vanilla yogurt with granola, and a household favorite on cold winter mornings- a seasonal frittata. No birthday celebration would be complete without a couple of desserts so we had a chocolate cake, raspberry cookie sandwiches and some coconut thins.

Since we registered for all white serving dishes I love adding color with flowers and little details like the lemons for a pop of yellow. Flower arrangements can be scattered around your house to make sure your “theme” is consistent. J bought me flowers for my birthday and I just spruced them up a bit with some eucalyptus branches to add a whimsical and romantic feel. Speaking of romantic, I’ve posted a few of my favorite wedding pictures to my C’s Love Story pages! Jump on over to that page after you’re done reading this post! (Hope you like them as much as I do!!) 28 is off to a great start and already scheduled for some fun adventures so keep following along!

C’s Party Tip: Having pre-salt or sprinkle rimmed glasses is a way to add just a little bit more fun to a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar! For Bloodies make sure you have pepper and some hot sauce for those that like it a little spicier. If you’re not crazy about adding OJ to a perfectly good glass of champagne, you can always muddle some berries or fruit for a little flavor!

 

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Wedding

 

 

So very cliche to say but, our wedding day was the best day of my life! It was so overwhelmingly wonderful to have every single person who has been with us through our life, and relationship, to share in our special day. The love and support was so abundant and of all the things that went off course while planning, it was totally worth it. Our original wedding venue was scheduled to be built early 2016. Well, 3 months before our wedding in November we had to quickly change plans and find a new venue since the original venue was hardly even a construction site. Along with a new venue came reordering our invitations, programs, working with a rental company for the tent, tables, chairs, etc. and switching our mindset to a new atmosphere. I always wanted our wedding to have a romantic feel to it, and honestly, I think venue #2 achieved this vibe more than we could have hoped. With two cottages for the bridal party to get ready in on-site, a stunning side porch that was lit with candles and the chandelier, and a sunny 67 degree Autumn day, (the kind of weather you pray for) made for a perfect event. Looking out at our guests and saying our vows in front of everyone in the audience was the most special time.

Everyone warned us how quickly the day goes by and they’re 1000% right. It was a full day that seemed like maybe 5 minutes. The best piece of a advice a friend gave us at our rehearsal dinner was to step off the dance floor and together look at everyone enjoying themselves. It was the coolest thing seeing family and friends laughing, cheersing, and dancing together. Thank goodness for all the pictures and our video capturing the absolutely packed dance floor and happy faces of all our loved ones. If I could do it all again I would, but for now I’ll be here just scrolling through all 1200 of our photos, smiling and feeling super grateful for our family, friends and of course, my husband!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photography, Voyage Photography @rachelsimon | Videography, D.P. Weddings |Venue, Historic Rockland Manor | Bride’s Dress, Enzoani via Love Couture Bridal | Brides’s Shoes, Jimmy Choo | Catering, Country Lane Catering |Band, The Bachelor Boys | Rentals, Capital Classic Rentals | Bridesmaid Dresses, J.Crew, Dessy, Show Me Your Mumu, Jenny Yoo, Asos, Joanna August | Hair, Flow Blow Dry & Beauty Bar | Groom & Groomsmen Suit, Tommy Hilfiger | Groom Vest, John Varvatos | Groom & Groomsmen Tie, The Tie Bar
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The Big Texan Bourbon

Cold weather means bourbon weather. Here in DC, we’re experiencing some unusually warm temps for February (hello 65 degrees & sunny!) but it’s still winter and in winter I like bourbon based drinks & red wine. The warm temps just make me want to drink a little earlier 😉

I shared our absolute favorite favorite bourbon cocktail recipe in this post, but I also like trying a few new ones just to keep it interesting.

Full disclosure; The Big Texan Bourbon calls for Basil and unfortunately I didn’t have anything but rosemary sprigs and some dried herbs when I was making this. I’ve tried dried cooking herbs in cocktails and they just don’t work out that well (insert: brush your teeth after!) so I substituted the basil for rosemary which was still super tasty! I have since tried the cocktail with basil, and that’s super yummy too!

The Big Texan Bourbon | makes one cocktail

  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 2 basil leaves
  • Ice
  • 1 grapefruit slice or peel
  • 1 cherry

In a cocktail shaker, combine the grapefruit juice, bourbon, simple syrup and basil. Fill a chilled rocks glass with ice. Add 5 ice cubes to the shaker and shake well. Strain the drink into the ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with the grapefruit peel and cherry.

C’s Tip: Make your own Bourbon-Soaked Cherries: 

1 cup bourbon, ⅔ cup sugar, ¼ cup fresh orange juice, 1 1-inch strip orange peel, 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ pound cherries, pitted

Combine the bourbon, sugar, orange or citrus juice and orange peel in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Combine the bourbon mixture and cherries in a container and seal. Cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator and let chill for at least three days before using.

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Olive Juice

 

 I am having a major love affair with high waisted denim right now. Major!

I have ordered quite a few to try, and J laughed at me every time I asked “what about these?” Jeans are one of those things that are SO hit or miss and can be such a huge heartbreak. I actually avoided denim shopping for months and months but then I found these jeans from Old Navy and loved the high waisted style so much that I was on a hunt for more. The jeans I’m wearing are J.Crew which scared me since I don’t always like their denim. I originally saw on another blogger and loved how they looked. I read some reviews, listened and ordered a size down, and although the fit is different looking on me than the blogger I found them off of, I was in the market for a  more boyfriend, relaxed fit and I couldn’t pass up the button fly detail. I’ve worn them dressed up and super casual and I love the way both looks worked so easily yet taken a little further because of the style. The material is super soft so if you are looking for a structured jean these aren’t for you, but if you want a comfy jeans snatch them up! And, they come in white, so I’m debating those for a spring jean purchase but for now, happy Friday! Can’t wait to go home and be a blue jean baby this weekend in these.

 

Shirt, | Jeans, J.Crew | Scarf, H&M | Bag, Gucci (similar here) | Shoes, Valentino

 

C’s Note: After snapping these pictures we went to Espita Mezcaleria. They’re known for their Mezcal cocktails & I totally recommend going if you haven’t! The Chicilo Mole was incredible! Beef Short Rib, served over a mole of Avocado Leaf, Tomatillo, Guajillo, Beef Stock with Heirloom Corn Tortillas… hello! And if you go before 7pm they have great happy hour specials including half price their weekly featured Mezcal!

 

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Twenty Eight


{via}

Today I turn 28. Whoa, that sounds pretty darn old. But I think about the last 27 years of my life and no wonder it seems that way- I’ve done a lot of stuff in 27 years!

I’ve never been one to make (or stick with) new years resolutions but I have always used my birthday as a time to think about what I want to do differently, accomplish, change, etc. for the next year. Last year was definitely a crazy one with our engagement parties, showers, wedding, and honeymoon so this year I’m looking forward to a little slower pace of life and making sure I am appreciating the things I do.

We already have a few trips planned for my 28th year including London this Spring (share any tips + favorites you have please!) and then a cruise this summer with stops to Belize and Honduras (again, share any tips + favorites!).  I am looking forward to spending time with my husband, family, friends & become an Aunt!  We are so excited about welcoming a new little member to the family this summer! We’ve started the search to buy our first home, and I’m sure it’ll be a long search around this area, but a fun one. We have friends’ weddings to attend & I love love so I’m excited to celebrate them. 27 was a great year, but every year just keeps getting better so cheers, 28! I’m excited for what it has in store starting with a delicious dinner tonight at Espita Mezcaleria & a fun little at-home brunch with some friends! Bring on the cocktails!

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