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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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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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!
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
- 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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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.
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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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!
Birthday Wishlist Things:
IGK Hair Care Products have hit the shelves at Sephora and I could not wait to try these puppies out! Now I am not that great with my hair. I actually hate having to do my hair so when there’s products that will allow me to take some short cuts to manage, I’m going to try them out! So here you go…
Smoke & Mirrors ($29) A conditioning cleansing oil that is great for dry scalps and hair. I usually don’t use a cleansing oil unless I’m putting my hair up in a bun or letting it air dry on the weekends and although this product worked great for norishing, it also left a heavy feeling that made my hair look flat and left a tad bit of residue. I used after towel drying and then blew out my hair which helped reduce the residue feeling but I’m still more keen on using when I’m not blowing out my locks!
Rich Kid ($27) I. Am. In. Love. I have naturally wavy hair already so this might work different for other people, but I have used this serum on my towel dried and fully dried hair and love the result that I get both times! It’s an oil-infused gel that helps create undone hair look while keeping your hair hydrated. Also, I can’t go on without mentioning that you will want to smell your hair all day. Love it!
Beach Club ($29) Ok… you’re welcome for saving you from spending money on a plane ticket, hotel on the beach, and a new swimsuit. THIS is such a good texturizing spray that delivers a salty-hair, windswept look in seconds without the heaviness, stickiness, or drying that so many of these sprays come with. What’s great about this spray too is that you can apply to damp hair, twist sections, and air dry for soft separation and a beach wave texture or you can spray through your dry hair if you like piecey fullness and sexy style. Gives great volume if you’re trying to tease your hair too!!
I used to be a Hoola by Benefit fan through and through until last Christmas when my adorable little sister gifted me this travel sized duo. The mascara I liked but the Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer ($30) in chocolate, I loved! Believe it or not I still have a little bit left of my mini sized bronzer, but I was ready to graduate to the big girl size bronzer! I find it to be perfect for a quick swipe over your cheeks for every day wear or for sculpting and contouring for those fancy date nights out. The color lasts all day and it isn’t too orange or too brown- a good medium sunkissed bronze.
I had been dying to try the new MakeUp Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation ($43) but as always, had to wait until I was close enough out of my foundation to justify buying a new product. I ordered the Cover Stick Foundation in shade 117 = Y225. It’s a little light on my skin but another week into winter it’ll be perfect. It’s full coverage but not heavy. I’ve tried it on it’s own, and mixing with my liquid foundation and both work just fine for my skin type. I definitely recommend wearing a moisturizing primer before applying- I love this one. I’m a fan & will re-buy since I love the coverage and you don’t have to touch up throughout the day- unless you want to!
I purchased the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil ($24) in Medium Brown because my little brush end of my Anastasia pencil keeps breaking off! (It’s in my makeup bag, with the cap on, so I am baffled at how this keeps happening!!) It’s not my favorite. It’s fine. I like the angled edge but it also sometimes made brush strokes thicker than I wanted. Verdict: I’m going to keep testing my luck with the Anastasia brow pencil unless someone has another one they recommend me trying!
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Let me know if you have some go-tos… I’d love to try some new products!
It just dawned on me that since all of my previous posts were swiped (see post here) some of you might be wondering who I am!
I am a blogger, turned fiancée, turned wife, who needs to have some sort of creative project so I don’t go insane! Insert blog. Not sure exactly where I’m going to go with the blog this go ’round but it’s here so stick along for the ride!
I love cooking but thanks to the DC Metro traffic, J does most of the cooking in our house. (He’s the best!!) And we use Plated. We love Plated. Without Plated I would have never had this delicious meal (french onion soup burgers), or this one (tilapia confit & green beans) both household favorites!
If you clicked those links and got curious scrolling my Instagram feed, you probably noticed that I have quite a bit of cocktails on there. When J is cooking and I’m coming home late, it’s usually my job to either pour a glass of wine or mix up a cocktail. And yes, we have a favorite household cocktail too. It was the cocktail we served as our “signature cocktail” at our wedding because it is the cocktail that we whip up for parties and cozy nights in alike – aka actually our signature cocktail.
The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour
makes two cocktails
- 3 shots bourbon
- 1 & 1/2 shots fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 shot dark amber maple syrup
- 1 large sprig of rosemary (plus 2 small sprigs for garnish)
- Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand and add it to the shaker.
- Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs.
So here’s the deal. Whip up one of these yummy drinks, comment below and let me know what you want to see on this little ol blog of mine, and tell me something about yourself! xo
Photo by Rachel via Voyage Photography
Directly across from our place is the most adorable little corner coffee shop, Mia’s. After a couple of mornings passing by we couldn’t help but stop in. The menu at first glance is your typical coffee shop fare – lattes and pastries – but then you look twice and see a coffee shop menu with a Latin flare. If you ask their baristas, they’ll recommend the signature drink, the Horchata latte- a milky cinnamon deliciously warm (or cold) drink! I’m a huge fan of their cappuccino- not too frothy & always with a little design! The breakfast and lunch menu consists of different carnitas, black bean, and barbacoa sandwiches and bowls. The barbacoa breakfast bowl is hands down my favorite. So filling and definitely crave worthy. Especially on those weekend mornings when you might have had just one too many drinks the night before!
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