Garden Barbie

I don't normally wear green, but when I do, it's vintage and flowery.

I found this gem for 15 bucks at The Factory in Fairfax this weekend and when I tried it on, it was just too perfect. Maybe a little large around the waist, but nothing that an old belt can't fix. A belt that matches the dress perfectly, might I add.

I got a lot of comments on this dress when I wore it to work, ranging from being like a 1950s housewife to looking like a garden. Which, all things considered, I suppose aren't bad things to resemble. One person even acted like there was a bee near me, which of course made me shriek a little. You know, because of the flowers. Get it?

It was a lovely day yesterday with way less heat and humidity than I complained about in my style funk post. Since my poor feet weren't going to sweat profusely, I decided to pair this 1950s fabulousness with something Barbie would wear: pretty pink pumps.

These were a wonderful find at Buffalo Exchange on U Street several weeks ago. At 14 bucks, they are everything a cheap pair of shoes should be: cute and uncomfortable.

Despite the lack of humidity, my bangs were a tad bit wonky but I attributed it to the bouffant look I was going for with the hair. The flippier the better, I always say.


Style Funk

The dog days of summer have really led me to what I believe is a major style funk

I dont really even know what the "dog days of summer" means, but I've always figured it means those long, hot, humid days that come towards the end of the summer, seem to get hotter when the sun goes down, and just make everyone languid and exhausted.

(Side note: I actually just googled it and I was right! Yay!)

All this is to say, I'm tired. Tired of doing my makeup only to go outside and promptly sweat it all off.
Tired of my short hair--I want my bangs back!
Tired of opening my closet and deciding that I don't have any clothes I like (much to the disagreement of my husband, I'm sure).

So it was convenient that this past weekend was spent with my mom, my mom's best friend, and my sister who came down for the weekend for some retail therapy, Northern Virginia style. We shopped, laughed, drank lots of coffee, and ate cupcakes, not to mention scored some sweet bargains.

Among mine: a pretty vintage dress, a thrifted leather jacket, and some bright accessories (from Charming Charlies--my new favorite store!).

I've also been getting creative in trying to add a new twist to things I already own. Take, for instance, the necklace from my previous post. Two pearl necklaces hooked together, and the other day I pinned a flower that I made to the necklace for an eclectic look. You'd probably have to pay at least twelve bucks for that shit at Charming Charlies.

The moral of the story is when in a style funk, go shopping.

But I still can't wait for Fall.



There are times when I wish I had bright red hair, and there are times where I am tempted to just go for it and take the plunge.

But then there are days when I wear outfits like this where, if topped with a ginger head, I would just look like Little Orphan Annie. 

So I'm sticking with brown, for now.

You also might be amazed to know that I made a brand new necklace yesterday morning before I headed to work. The old 'attach two necklaces together for a long, eclectic necklace' trick. Not gonna lie, I was actually pretty pleased with myself. 

Happy weekend!


The Time I Ate my Weight in Powdered Sugar

As I was gathering up a list of places we had to visit in New Orleans, having beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde was always one of the first things people said. 

Even though we were visiting New Orleans during a slow season, we arrived here on Wednesday morning around 9:30 and the place was PACKED. It actually kind of reminded me of somewhere you would eat at Disney World--full of tourists, charmingly vintage, and swarming with servers wearing little paper caps running around.

We ordered one of each of the things on the menu--two orders of beignets, a cafe au lait for me, and regular coffee for Ian.

Beneath the mountain of powdered sugar is a light and crispy mound of dough, pretty much like funnel cake but it was so much classier because it has a French name, right?

We returned to Cafe DuMonde for a late night snack later in the week, as it's open 24 hours. This time, we ordered from the take-out window and took the bag of steaming hot fried goodness to a bench and listened to a street performer's lovely rendition of Bad to the Bone as we stuffed our face. 

Another breakfast spot we heard was a must-visit was The Coffee Pot Restaurant. We stopped by on our last morning in New Orleans, and it was really the perfect spot to end out our trip. It was a classic southern cafe--the servers were older women who treated everyone in the restaurant like their own children, the place was decorated with beautiful historic art and furniture, and we both indulged in some more fried things dowsed in powdered sugar.

These were by far my two favorite restaurants we stopped at on our trip. 

Coincidence that they all involved coffee, breakfast, and powdered sugar?


New Orleans: The Sights, Sounds, and Smells

Before going to New Orleans, I had a few ideas in my head of what I thought the place was going to be like. I was pretty much envisioning it to be the drunken Facebook photos I've seen of people posing on Bourbon Street sign with their neck draped in Mardi Gras beads. I knew you could walk around on the streets with a beer in your hand. And, after doing Google research and hearing tips from friends, I expected some fun shops and restaurants. 

Pretty much all of this was correct.

All of the above, sans beads.

I loved wandering around in the French Quarter, because the sights truly changed from street to street. Bourbon Street was crazy, all the time. But just several blocks over was a more peaceful area full of art galleries, courtyards, and antique shops.

Just about everywhere we went, there was some form of live music streaming into the street, whether it was coming from inside a bar, someone sitting on a bench playing a saxophone, or impromptu parades with tubas and trumpets.

Now the smells. Oh, the smells. Never have I been somewhere where one second I would smell delicious seafood one second, be hungry for hot beignets the next, and then want to throw up from catching a strong whiff of trash, old beer, and pee. All within minutes. 

All part of the experience? Absolutely.

Stay tuned for more photos and stories from our vacation, folks. But until then, I leave you with a place that we most certainly did NOT visit while in New Orleans:



Dinner and Frozen Cake

If you haven't noticed, it's been a quiet week around here on the blog because Ian and I were celebrating our anniversary in New Orleans! Stay tuned this week to hear all about our fantastic week.

We left last Tuesday, after having celebrated our anniversary on Monday the 9th. We indulged in a delicious dinner at Circa in Arlington, which was recommended to Ian by some friends. I wore a new red dress that I had just bought at Ross's and too-high purple heels that I bought months ago and have never worn. And will probably not wear again for a long time.

We brought along our frozen wedding cake to the restaurant, worried about how it had held up in the power outage from several weeks ago. Was it going to be nasty frozen cake or nasty frozen-then-thawed-then-frozen-with-freezer-burn cake? We would shortly find out. 

The food was FANTASTIC--we started off with some apricot chipotle wings.

Ian had short ribs and I had crab cakes.

The manager even surprised us with some complimentary champagne.

They brought out our cake looking beautiful. But it looked a lot better than it tasted. 

We finished off the evening by coming home and watching our wedding video, re-living the day a year later and still amazed at how perfect the whole day was. 

Wedding cake may not have lasted a year, but the first year of marriage was full of sweet memories! 
Here's to a marriage that lasts longer than freezer-burned cake!
The cake may have been frozen, but our burning passion for each other keeps burning bright.

OK, I'm done.


Year One

Hard to believe that last year at this time I was slipping on my wedding dress with butterflies in my stomach, because I was about to get married to my best friend. 

If you haven't already checked out my wedding recap posts from last year, care to stroll down memory lane with me? Just click on the photos to visit the original post. I'll probably re-read these posts more than once. And cry. 

(Photos by Meagan Jepson Photography)

The weather could not have been more perfect...

I laughed, cried, and got pretty with my best friends...

Ian helped his dad put windows on the house next door before heading to the church to get ready with his guys...

Our ceremony was full of love, laughter, and the Beatles...

We snapped some photos around town...

And then we partied the night away.

The first year of marriage sure has been a crazy one, but it has also been incredibly fun! Just to think that in such a short time we have moved away from home, started grown-up jobs, got settled in our new place and now call Virginia home. We have made new friends and reconnected with old ones, gotten to know our new area, and can sometimes even drive around without the GPS now. I love knowing that I get to come home to Ian every day and wake up with him every morning, and I love that this year was just the beginning of a lifetime of fun together.

I love you, Ian. Happy anniversary!



I might have gone to school to appreciate fine foods and wine as a hotel and restaurant major, but my favorite food will always be a childhood classic: GRILLED CHEESE.

I love grilled cheese. If I could, I would eat it every single day. I've never really ventured outside of the classic Kraft American (or cheddar!) singles on white or wheat bread, slathered to perfection in butter and grilled to a crisp. But a couple weeks ago at a friend's birthday dinner at Fireworks Pizza in Arlington, my grilled cheese world as I know it was turned upside down--because yes, I'm that person who got grilled cheese at a pizza place. Sue me--It was a grilled three-cheese on ciabatta perfection, with a side of tomato jelly and homemade potato chips. I asked the server to leave off the tomato jelly because it sounded gross, but he told me that he was going to bring it out anyway because I had to at least try it. Sure glad I did, because it was the perfect accompaniment to dip the trio of cheddar, gouda, and goat cheese in. YUM.

Several days ago, I was doing some internet surfing and came across this link to 40 Amazing Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Warning: do not click on this if you are hungry or on a diet!) and I knew right away what Ian and I were having for dinner.

I didn't go off of any of the ideas on that website, but wanted to try and sort-of recreate the grilled cheese heaven that I had experienced a few weeks ago. So I went to Trader Joe's and bought some sourdough bread, gouda cheese, and brie, along with their tomato bruschetta spread.

Hungry yet? 

(If not, go and look at those 40 Grilled Cheese ideas. Then you'll hate me.)

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