Aug 31, 2009

the district: dumbarton oaks gardens

so back to that dc garden. my roommate took me on a whim to what she refers to as "the jewel of dc". i was skeptical, but now i am a believer.

these italian inspired gardens once belonged to the bliss family, as part of their 53 acre estate. it has since been parceled off for educational purposes, embassy purposes, and public park purposes. i'm going to focus on the public park portion. mouthful.

the park, located in georgetown, is huge and i sincerely believe this is a great thing. why? because i must return to see more of it - i feel like i cut corners through the entire 2 hour walk! each corner we turned, each staircase i descended, each rose i smelt - it was all divine. i was in heaven. also on the property is the original home - now a museum, which we didn't have time to explore at all. it was all quite magical. if fairies exist in dc, they surely make their home dumbarton oaks. butterflies landing on your shoulder, rose rows, secret pools and fountains, laughing cherubs, hidden gates covered in ivy. i'm getting a little carried away, i know. but seriously - ridiculous.

just go. just go now.



short week.

this week i really need to focus on my work, so posts will be thin.

the weekend was interesting.
flaming lips were good but strange and i'm never going to merriweather post pavillion again. too far away from dc and too many people.
saturday i caught up on project runway and went to georgetown gardens with cristy - who knew this place existed? so beautiful and worlds away from the city (though actually right in the middle of the city!) then late dinner at BGR with the boyfriend and a walk through the rain storm in old town alexandria. we stayed up til 3am that night talking! i can't remember the last time i was up till 3am - i'm getting lame.
sunday was church, dinner at a friends house and naps before and after dinner. we were exhausted. still am exhausted.

the weather outside is overcast and cool (70s) and i'm in heaven. if i had the day off, i'd be sitting in my backyard, cozied up with a blanket and a good book. what would you do with a good day off?

Aug 28, 2009

relax. get to it.

this weekend is hopefully full of a lot of sitting around, maybe a picnic, just enjoying the last bits of summer and relaxing in the heat.

you should see our garden! to think we just planted it 8 weeks ago - it is flourishing! and the past 2 mornings i've seen a bee pollinating the cukes. i tried to shoo him over to the squash this morning, but he was not into it. it's cool. i'll learn how to make pickles or something.

have a great weekend!!

Aug 27, 2009

getting excited for iceland.

we leave in 20 days. 20 days!! maybe we should start planning something? it must include glaciers, waterfalls, hiking, volcanoes, steam baths, and skyr. oh, skyr. i love you.

misread.

this morning i came across a story in the newspaper about kidnappers in somalia.
a guy was kidnapped by somalian insurance agents, and i thought - wow, and i thought the insurance agents in the US were bad!

then i read the article again and it turns out it was actually insurgents doing the kidnapping.

potay-to, potah-to. but seriously, how long have i been a horrible reader? time to pick up a book again. any suggestions for end-of-summer reading?

xoxo

Aug 26, 2009

motivation.


i ran last night with cristy. we ran to the farmers market, sampled some tomatoes and apples, then ran back home.

then? i decided to run some more. i ran up fort scott, up all the hills, and sprinted home down 23rd street. it felt great. my body feels great today, and i want to keep it up.

where do i find the motivation to do this? maybe here, the girls guide to loving your legs.

Aug 25, 2009

i keep coming back to these.

my family came to visit new york for my graduation in may. my SIL, amber, took these pictures that i just discovered a few weeks ago. i can't stop looking at them. they make me so proud to have lived in new york, and so happy that my family was able to visit! we had such a great trip and i love them lots!

family heading into my apartment building. i was showing Tanner how to buzz us in.
TH came, too, obvs. I love this photo of us and my niece Brooklyn. I love the way she's walking.

Aug 24, 2009

new thoughts. new things.

what a fabulous week.

1. bought a new mac. (hooray!)
2. had photography and dinner date with lovely virginia friend.
3. had shopping and dinner date with lovely dc friend.

3. heavy assist in purchase of new automobile. (pictures to come)

4. ate bbq as a reward.
5. visited this girl.
6. talked to boss and straightened out some priorities at work.

things are moving. i feel sooo much better. sometimes you need to take some time to figure it all out. and well, i've taken some steps to figure it all out. there's nothing better than setting some goals and working hard to achieve them. if i'm not being productive, it's likely i'm withering to nothing.

Aug 18, 2009

break.


things have not been going so well for me lately. i mean, really everything is fine, but there is something deep down, some underlying current that is just not sitting right with me. i had it out last night with the tissue box and non-waterproof mascara, and it seems i need a break. i need to refocus my life and re-prioritize.

until then, i need to take a break from this blog. i need some self-improvement time. i need to feel like me again.

xoxo,
gnomie

Aug 17, 2009

the district: cafe atlantico and navy memorial

Nothing like a trip to Cafe Atlantico to make you realize how dull the food is that you normally consume.
Watermelon and fried green tomato salad with watermelon foam.
Tuna ceviche covered in avocado slices.
Tableside preparation of the most delicious guacamole i've ever eaten.
Trout with capers, olives, lime, and avocado.
Chocolate truffles.

And that's just what we ate -- don't get me started on the things I wanted to eat! (this includes a chocolate cake with bananas and more foam!)

It's a bit on the expensive side, but the restaurant is on 3 levels of a gutted rowhouse, and we sat in the VIP spot on the top, overlooking the restaurant. Food was delicious, friends made good conversation, and we didn't even mind the bill at the end - it was worth every penny!

Afterwards - just a city block walk to the navy memorial. My absolute new favorite spot in downtown dc. It's good for contemplating travel, canoodling with a lover, or people watching.

what a fabulous saturday night, especially after spending an exhausting day shopping for automobiles, (without any luck - yet).

Aug 14, 2009

to the weekend!

and wishing you all a happy weekend. my weekend lineup includes a family party, automobile safari, dinner with th's parents (with guest star: infamous peach cake!), and maybe a movie. 500 days of summer or in the loop.

i hope i have some exciting finds to share on monday!

xoxo,
gnomes.

cheese and cars.

la fromagerie: buy cheese here. on wednesday i bought tree bark encased cheese (don't remember the name, but brie like cheese). i've been eating this all week for lunch with mini toasts and apricot jam. cheese heaven.

this weekend, the car search is on. here's TH standing next to his 626 before NPR towed it away (remember it died 2 weeks ago at church?). he's donating to NPR for a tax write-off and general good will. sad for him to lose the car, sad for us really because this car was the location of our sweet first kiss (but i'm not so sad to see it go!)

we're ready to go searching for a sensible automobile. or maybe something flashy - i don't think he's really decided yet.
do you think it's smarter to dress up or dress down when going to purchase an automobile? if you want a good price should you wear sweatsuits? i can't decide.

Aug 13, 2009

the district: flying.

this is happening right in dc's chinatown. i'm trying to find the courage to sign up. it looks like so much fun!

video

Aug 12, 2009

love is blind.

i just cried a little at the cuteness of it all.found at inside the loop.

job.

if anyone were to tell me 10 years ago that today i would be working in d.c., a graduate from 2 great schools, and working in policy, i would have asked: what is policy? and why would i work in that field?

well, policy, my dears, gets me quite excited. i work specifically in energy policy, which is even more of a fun and exciting field. all day long i get to spin around ideas and numbers and organizations. example: JimmyJohn wants to have more solar energy in his state. How should he get it while keeping costs low and making sure other people aren't affected? ok, thats a sissy one, but really you guys - i get so excited over what are essentially brain busting word problems.

it's just really fun to feel like your helping other people solve these complex problems, while also getting to research and talk to interesting people and develop solutions (that may or may not work).

i'm working with one state right now to help them develop a renewable energy policy and it's very rewarding, especially because i'm directly using my grad school research materials. how fun - my program is actually useful. some days - and not every day is like today, trust me - i really like my job.

apologies.

to the girl who lives in the apartment above TH: sorry we hid behind your SUV this morning to canoodle and even more sorry you caught us.

to TH: sorry i suggested hiding behind the SUV this morning. maybe we should start meeting earlier to avoid awkward run-ins with your neighbors.

Aug 11, 2009

waffling.

i've come to strongly dislike my thomas paul rug.

the color is quite mismatchy - it doesn't work with my new pretty blue wall and it is thinner than i thought it would be.

why is the rug search so difficult? i want something colorful and whimsy with some red in it.
i can't seem to find any rugs, but i've been finding a lot of fabric, including this little number from my darling friend currently in copenhagen: any advice?

rain storm love.

last night DC had a good ole fashioned thunderstorm. nothing makes me feel more romantic than to sit next to a window and watch the rain pour down from the sky and lightning illuminate the clouds. i played the piano and watched the storm for hours.

i am deeply in love with summer thunderstorms in DC.

bad habit.

I've recently started eating this for dinners and late night snacks:I had two bowls last night and they were on sale at CVS so I stocked up! Maybe I'm reverting back to comfort food because of the recession? I'll go with that.


Aug 10, 2009

the district: founding farmers and E street

today will be the first installment of i hope many posts about things to do in dc. it's easy to be a tourist in this city, but dc offers so much more than what meets the eye. so as i try to rekindle my relationship with this beloved city, i'll share my successes with you!

Founding Farmers.
make reservations ahead of time because this place is packed.
we ate ourselves silly at this "farm-to-table" restaurant that buys its food from sustainable and local farms. the building is beautiful. the water is served in jars. they have delicious fresh drinks (me: cranberry cucumber, th: fresh ginger ale). the service was fantastic. and the food? oh the food.
flatbread with brie, green apple slices, and sweet onion jam.
fried buttermilk chicken with waffles and mac&cheese.
grilled plank salmon and crisp beans.
and desserts were to die for, though we were too stuffed for dessert. guess we'll have to go back.

after dinner, we took a lovely walk around the neighborhood.


we started at the IMF fountains, then passed by the white house and finally made a quick stop at The Willard - the hotel where lobbying was born (quite literally). the hotel, built in 1850, was popular with politicians back in the day and today you can eat at the restaurant, or grab drinks in the mahogany bar, or sit in the lobby and pretend to be rich. tres chic.

after the walk, we ducked into a bookstore for travel books in iceland, sat in the cafe for a bit, and then headed home to bed. the previous night we were in the same area and hung out at the navy memorial for a bit. a cool place to figure out where you want to travel in the world - a giant gold map is laid out in the plaza and it's never crowded.

mi familia.

oh man. had so much fun with this little one on saturday.

we had a precious come and visit this weekend. saturday my mom, my 2 sisters and lizzie came to visit my little house. we laughed. we gossiped (nicely). we played piano and performed for each other. we ate kabobs. we ate ice cream. we laughed so so much at lizzie. she's so great.


laura we missed you! come visit so we can have sister time very soon.

Aug 7, 2009

kajsa in copenhagen.

i love this girl's style, (found on copenhagen street style). i love it so much that i emailed her to ask where she purchased her shoes - don't you love the architectural feel they give her casual style?her response: Hi there sweetheart. Thanks a lot. Shoes are from the brand Vagabond, bought them a year ago. Loddalove! /Kajsa

so i'm totally crushing on this girl now. you can find her music and style blogs here and here. if you're like me and don't speak danish, at least you can enjoy the pictures and music!

swimsuit sale season.

its the most wonderful time of the year - discount swim season! i just bought a couple suits at jcrew (and they add new stuff all the time):

this ruffled top with matching bottomsalso loving this one (but i have a similar suit from last year): jcrew makes their suits so cheap at the end of summer its hard to say no. wait a few weeks and they'll be even cheaper (but selection will be picked over).

getting ready for my labor day weekend beach trip to the outer banks. its high time i got some sun!

car broke down.

on a beautiful sunday morning, we were driving the GW parkway enjoying the gorgeous weather. then...the trusty mazda 626 sputtered...shook...and died.

after 2 zipcars and a trip to the auto fix-it store, and time spent over the hood...i think we've made a decision. time for a new car. the money it would take to tow the car into town, fix the broken parts, and get it inspected (its overdue by about 4 months. shhh.) is not even worth the price of the car.

TH has been socializing the decision all week and friends come back with a resounding "buy a new car". but i think we're both a little nervous to lock ourselves into a car payment (when i say we i may be referring to just TH), unless we know its going to be a reliable car.

so now i'm socializing the decision here on my blog. we're wanting a slightly used car and we want a compact car with good gas mileage with a little flair.

i would love to hear from you, dearies. what have been reliable cars for you? and subquestion, if reliability wasn't a factor, what would be your dream car?

gnomie's dream car:

Aug 6, 2009

day club

I'm working from home today. "Working" from home.

I'm sitting here curled up with a blanket watching pride and prejudice and getting ready to paint my room. I'm working, yes, but not nearly as hard as I should be. Sometimes you just need a day off.

And wow, I forgot how good p&p is. Get me on a plane to England stat.

Oh and the vacation? A september trip to the magical island of Iceland!! more to come. we're so excited.

Aug 5, 2009

guess what i just did.

i bought an airline ticket to a land far far away. can you guess where?


music and friends

i found a new setting on my camera and had some fun on the metro.
monday began with a great work day and an earplugs night at the 930 to see mogwai. it was one of the best shows i've been to in a very long time. i like it when a concert venue is filled with older people, rather than young kids who are too drunk to realize how annoying they are.


last night went to a girly show with the girls. the donnas, blondie and pat benetar. it was pretty good girl solidarity stuff.

TH and I decided this morning walking to work - no thank you for any more shows this week. i'm all showed out.

oh yeah last weekend we were eating dinner and TH said - look its bill gates! and i looked, and looked and said no way, and looked, and stood up to look. turns out it was just an old short guy. besides what would bill gates be doing in tysons corner on a saturday night? please. i'm so gullible.
oh gullible me.

Aug 4, 2009

how can you not.

this boy is the cutest. this is maybe the last of these pictures i'll post. but really - doesn't this picture just say it all?ps yes i miss his beard, and yes he is growing it back.

Aug 3, 2009

gilded age

oh yes. a party is surely was.


the houseme and birthday girl (isn't her hat the best?)
dancing on the porch. loving cristy's face here.
nyc friends came, too!
roommates. we have so much in common, like how we adore annie.
shoes.
late into the night. laughter among friends on a perfectly humid summer night.
tired? mmm time to retreat to our beds. at which time i will fall asleep in my dress and makeup. thanks for sharing your birthday with all of us, annie!