Monthly Archives: December 2013

Now Playing: New Year, New Tunes!

I was home this week with plenty of time to discover some new music and I am totally ready to bring in 2014 with these new jams:

Later On – The Swon Brothers

swon brothers

I remember watching & loving these guys on last season of The Voice so I am SO excited that they’ve released their first single and that it is really great! They’re full of energy and crazy talented – I think they’ll be around for while! Plus, how could they not be with looks like that?

Numb – August Alsina

numb

I know, the lyrics are absolutely absurd and disgusting, but it wouldn’t be a complete S playlist without at least 1 token terrible rap song. This guy sounds almost exactly like Chris Brown and I dare you to try not dancing when this song comes on.

Team – Lorde

lorde-team-stream

I MIGHT like this song more than Royals. Yeah, I said it. I haven’t listened to the whole ‘Pure Heroine’ album yet, but I like what I hear so far and might have to give in soon. With that voice and passion I still can’t believe she’s only 16.

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo

JasonDerulo

Okay, fine, maybe this post has 2 absolutely terrible rap songs. But can I really help it if all I want to do is dance? This song is SO different from Jason Derulo’s last hit “Marry Me,” but I won’t lie, I like it a lot more.

and Bonus throwback –

Get Me Bodied – Beyonce

get me bodied

I know she has a completely new and amazing album out, but I have not been able to bring myself to download it yet. I’m still not over Miley’s Bangerz or Eminem’s MMLP2 so I just don’t want to add another full album if I’m unable to give it the attention it deserves (weird, I know). HOWEVER, I have been inspired by the release of the new album to revisit one of my old Bey favorites.

What will you be listening to in the New Year?

-S

Categories: Entertainment, Just for Fun, Music | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Homemade Mac n Cheese!

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may know that I’ve been VERY SLOWLY but surely attempting to expand my skills in the kitchen from just baking to cooking real meals. I’ve made a couple great dishes, including this amazing Mexican Quinoa and so I thought it was time to attempt a classic meal…but from scratch.

Alas….homemade mac n cheese!

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Nothing says rainy Sunday like warm, homemade macaroni. Which is exactly why I spent my last two lazy Sundays in DC trying and tweaking this recipe. I used a mini Crock Pot because a.) that’s all we have at the apartment and b.) I’m only 1 person. But even in the mini pot I was able to execute this recipe, which serves 4. It was super easy to make and has been incredibly well-received by everyone who has tried it!

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Homemade mac n cheese

This recipe is perfect for anyone who can’t seem to get away from Easy Mac or Kraft because they’re so easy and delicious. This doesn’t take that much more effort, and is 1000 times more delicious, I promise! Just don’t leave the noodles in for too long or they will get super mushy!

I’m actually getting really hungry writing this and I wish I had saved some for lunch today! Try it out and let us know what you think!

-S

Recipe from: Julies Eats & Treats

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Annual “Resolution” Season

I’m notoriously bad at New Year’s resolutions. I either don’t make them, or make them and break them quickly because they’re some sort of lofty goal like going to the gym daily (which after going to the gym almost never is a big jump). I know I wrote about these last year..but this year I’ve made 3 goals — none of which require me to change much of my daily routine.

1. Save weekly for a trip. 

Florence Italy.. I hope!

The boy and I decided that this year instead of the 5 months straight of presents we normally do (thanks to birthday x2, Christmas/Hanukkah, anniversary, and valentines day in a row) we would try something different. We’re going to go on a trip to Europe! Is this a lofty and financially irresponsible goal? Perhaps. But we’re planning 6 months in advance which will allow our budgets to be created far in advance of our actual trip. So far, I’ve got a few hundred in my virtual “cookie jar” (specifically made for this trip, not general savings) thanks to the help of LearnVest and the year has yet to officially begin!

2. Change my diet

How my plate SHOULD look… instead of entirely starches

I wake up… I drink coffee.. I skip breakfast.. lunch comes around and consists of some sort of sandwich.. more coffee.. I come home and make some sort of pasta with a piece of chicken (IF I’m feeling particularly good) and that’s my nutrients for the day. OH and a gummy vitamin.

As you can see, its not so impressive. I’ve made a person vow to improve this part of my life. It will take up maybe 10 more minutes of my time and the hope is that I’ll feel better day in and day out. Any recipe suggestions are more than welcome!

3. Get my morning act together

I was inspired watching White Christmas last night

This will probably be (sadly) the toughest of my personal resolutions. I’m constantly scrambling in the morning and have timed it so that I cane wake up and be out the door in less that 20 minutes if needed. That’s wonderful and all, but I sometimes get into work not looking my best which is not the attitude that I like to project.

I think I will feel better in the office, and gain more by stepping up my game a bit each day.

I’m sure S has some resolutions for the new year.. what are yours!

xE

Categories: Just for Fun, Motivation, Self Improvement | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

PSA: Buzzfeed – 27 Shocking And Unexpected Facts You Learn In Your Twenties

We’re dropping in quick on this busy Tuesday just to let everyone know that if you haven’t read this article yet, you’re missing out.

Buzzfeed posts some AWESOME stuff for people in this awkward age we call our “twenties”…but this takes the cake on truthfulness. You can find the full article here – but below are some of our personal favorites:

4. There is nothing in the world more annoying than teenagers, and you’re deeply apologetic for everything you did during the last decade of your life.

teenagers

NEVER go to the mall on a Friday night – just a warning!

14. It’s surprisingly rare and special to be able to make a living doing what you love.

do what you love

And even when you are that lucky – doesn’t mean you’ll love it ALL the time…

And especially this one:

27. Except your parents. Shockingly, your parents were right about literally everything. Especially this:

nemo

And this gif…just because…

old ugly crrep

Please tell us we’re not the only ones who related to this so much….

xO E&S

Categories: Interesting, Just for Fun | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Union Market DC

After hearing about it for so many weeks, I finally made my way to Union Market!

Instead of brunch, one of my roommates suggested get some of our fresh air for the day and walk to NoMA with her. After a pit stop for some coffee, we walked from our Dupont home down Florida Ave and arrived at Union Market.

When you first walk up, it’s not entirely what you might expect. There are butchers and wholesale warehouses and it looks as though nothing has been renovated in quite a few years.. but then as you turn the corner you run across an all white building, with orange accents that looks a bit out of place.

You have arrived!

Tada!

Union Market is a DC foodie and gifters paradise. Many of DC’s most loved restaurants have mini outposts inside. You can find empanadas, bagels, a diner, a wine bar, fresh meats and artisan cheeses, a chocolate shop, a tea shop, an oyster bar, a knife shop, a macaroon shop.. to name a few.

There is also a shop section called Sweet and Savory, devoted entirely to home goods and gifts. Here are some of my favorite views from the market:

For your favorite cooking friend

For your favorite cooking friend

I probably need this.. this is generally how I feel

I probably need this.. this is generally how I feel

For your friend who always knows what to order

For your friend who always knows what to order

For your furry adopted friend

For your furry adopted friend

For your adventurous friend

For your adventurous friend

For your home making friend

For your home making friend

mmm CoCo Sala

mmm CoCo Sala

Pearl - Tea

Pearl – Tea

CoCo Sala

CoCo Sala

Look at that in the back

Look at that in the back

Red Apron meats and sandwiches -- I must go back

Red Apron meats and sandwiches — I must go back

afterlight (1)

Buffalo Bergen - Diner/Deli

Buffalo Bergen – Diner/Deli

I think that my favorite part was the artisan cheese section — they have an unbelievable variety and if you can get a spot, you have the option to do a tasting with 3 different types of wines and cheeses.

Who will go with me next time? Perhaps for brunch?

Yes PLEASE

Yes PLEASE

I highly suggest making the trek, if you don’t want to walk like we did there is plenty of parking, or the NoMA metro stop is only a few blocks away. Sample everything you can, and come hungry — you wont be disappointed!

xE

Categories: Adventures, Food, Local Places | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cookies

Happy snow day from DC!!

capitol snow day

It’s my very first snow day since moving here – actually, it’s my first one since high school! Rochester was so pro at handling snow that we never had anything cancelled (a blessing and a curse). I used my snow day to sit tree-side, listen to Christmas tunes, watch bad daytime TV, and blog about these delish Christmas Cookies I baked this weekend!

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I always struggle to find a dessert recipe my mom will like since she doesn’t like anything with cream cheese, peanut butter, or too much vanilla. So this leaves me with chocolate. And lots of it. BUT, it’s harder than you’d think to find a super chocolatey recipe!

When I stumbled upon this recipe from I Heart Nap Time I was literally SO excited because it combined my mom’s love for chocolate with my brother’s love for mint – hello, perfect Christmas family recipe!

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The perfect meal as far as I’m concerned

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I conducted a trial run this weekend and brought the cookies into work yesterday and they were a HUGE hit! The whole 2 dozen are almost all gone already! Keeping them frozen until just before sticking them in the oven, and then taking them out just before they were completely done baking made them super soft and I had people asking me what I did to create the “surprise fudge inside” – well, the surprise is I did nothing! The recipe is just THAT good.

We even caught Santa sneaking some early!

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Here is the recipe card so you too can wow friends, coworkers, and family with this delicious holiday recipe!

chocolate pepperming pudding

-S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winter Makeup Shades: Berry

I’ve never really changed my makeup for the season, but this year I was inspired by a certain Indian actress who pulls off winter shades so perfectly I couldn’t help but want to try them out on my own half-Indian skin.

Obviously my inspiration was Mindy Kaling…

mindy

Can I just be her?

I’ve seen her sport the above lip color on her show, The Mindy Project, and I absolutely LOVED the look of it against her dark skin. Now, I’m definitely not as dark as her, but I think the color can be pulled off an any shade if done correctly! In fact, Elyse said she found a berry color she loves for her skin tone, too! So it’s definitely a trend for everyone.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you may know that I’m obsessed with Sephora Color Lip Last so that was my obvious go-to. Since I’m so comfortable with the brand and product, it made trying such a bold color much less scary, because I knew I liked the way it looked and felt on my lips.

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sporting berry lips & my fav new scarf from Zara!

Mine is a little more subtle, especially with the lighting in this picture, but it is a much deeper red than I’m used to and I’m definitely pleased with the way it looks on! It’s perfect for a night out, or even a day at the office if you keep the rest of your look basic.

After determining I loved the berry lip look, I branched out and purchased a berry blush and, no surprise, I love that too! The only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s a cream blush. I have a much harder time putting this stuff on, and definitely prefer powder. The one pictured below is part of the Sephora Collection.

sephora blush

What are your favorite makeup tones & tips for winter?

xO – S

Categories: Beauty, Fashion | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Getting Us Through the Week

Sitting at happy hour on Tuesday I thought to myself, is it REALLY only Tuesday? To say the least, it’s been quite a long week. Here is what has been keeping us going all week:

E says…

1. Seasonal Giving
(sidenote: is that weird?)

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My little guy requested a toy truck or a wooden shape sorter toy. I found both in one!!

Tis the season! Most people tend to think of themselves or their loved ones during the holiday season which is completely understandable. I for one hit up black Friday sales with entirely myself in mind (oops!… but 50% off J.Crew? I mean come on). However, work has organized an Angel Tree giving session through the salvation army and I was volunteered to support a child with clothes and toys for the holidays. My little guy was less than 2 years old and while shopping for a toddler was a new experience (3T..5T??) when giving those gifts in today I felt really amazing that I have the chance to make this little guy’s hoildays. He’s probably too young to appreciate now, but I spent a lot of time considering what he or his parents might find practical – a 2 in one coat for all seasons for instance! Remember, especially in D.C., there are many less fortunate than yourself to consider. Donate what you can – time, money, clothes, food etc. You’ll be helping them and helping yourself.

2. Passenger – Let Her Go

passenger

I somehow missed this song entirely until it was on The Voice for the first time a few weeks ago. Since then I have it on repeat — the original, covers, acapella… you name it, I’ve been listening to it! Its sort of sad, but also sweet.

S says…

1. “Classy” Shade Revlon Nailpolish

Revlon classy nail polish

I usually go for darker shades in the winter, but I am just in love with this light pink from Revlon. It’s not too much, and totally lives up to the “classy” name.

2. Awesome Workouts

workout woman

It’s me! Yes, I even workout in a skirt…(kidding!)

Not sure what it is about having a frustrating week at work, but it has definitely benefited me at the gym – the perfect place to take out all that aggression! Not going to lie – I’ve been really bad about working out lately, so after Thanksgiving I was determined to get back into my routine and I feel SO.MUCH.BETTER. I definitely have more energy, feel better abut myself, and have even been sleeping better (though not sure those are related…). Here’s to hoping I can keep it up!

& we both agree on..

Sound of Music LIVE!

sound of music

This is TONIGHT and we can’t wait! Carrie Underwood is so amazing and this is an absolute classic movie. It’ll be very interesting and hopefully amazing to watch the live performance!

What’s getting you through to the weekend?

xX – E&S

 

Categories: Interesting, Just for Fun, Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DC December To-Do List!

How is it already December in DC? With Thanksgiving behind us, it is officially Christmas season and I have never been more ready. It would be so easy to sit around and drink hot cider and watch Love Actually on repeat, but there is just so much I want to do around the city in the next month, I don’t even think I’ll even have time to sleep!

Washington DC Christmas Capitol

My main priorities are mostly low-budget (see: free) activities in order to allow me to save up my money for buying awesome gifts this season. Here’s my list of the top few things I can’t wait to do this month:

1. Ice-skating in the Sculpture Garden

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Seriously how cute is it that they make the Sculpture Garden into an ice rink in the winter? I went last year with my friend Julie and it was so much fun! It was also a lot cheaper than I expected – only a couple bucks to skate and rent! It’s the perfect weekend afternoon activity if you’re downtown. Just make sure to bundle up 🙂

2. Holiday Shopping in Georgetown

There is already no better place to shop and stroll in the District than Georgetown, but it’s even better during the holiday season! The shops have great sales and there’s a perfect mix of regular stores and classic DC-theme stores – everything you need for gift-buying! Be sure to stop in at Dean & DeLuca’s for the especially hard ones to buy for…there’s definitely something for everyone there.

3. Scottish Walk Weekend & Boat Parade in Alexandria

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E & I went to this last year and it was SO FUN! We’re both pretty obsessed with Alexandria to begin with, but there’s something about the quaintness of Old Town around Christmas that makes it that much better. The Walk & Parade are both this Saturday, December 7th, and are definitely worth going to. Both are completely free and happen right along King Street. Head into Alexandria in the afternoon for the Walk, then do a little shopping and grab some dinner before heading to the harbor for the Boat Parade at night! What could be cuter?

4. ZooLights at the National Zoo

The National Zoo is already free and every night from now until January 1 (with the exception of 12/24, 25, 31) it will be all lit up and festive for the holidays! I didn’t get a chance to go last year and I’ve been kicking myself for it so I can’t wait to head over this year and see all the lights AND the animals!

What’s on your to-do list this December?

-S

Categories: Adventures, Local Places | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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