Cheese Boards and Vision Boards







I am the type of person who will look for any excuse to bring people together so this past Friday, I decided to host my very first Galentine’s Day get together.What’s Galentine’s Day you say? It’s only the best day of the year! It’s ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus…cheese!

On the agenda? Cheese boards and vision boards. Why? Because cheese is a delicious way to up my calcium intake and vision boards because they are all the rage in helping one clarify and focus on a specific life goal.

Based on these photos, it looks like I should have added taking down my Christmas tree to my vision board but in reality, it actually was a fun activity. It was a bit corny, but it helped open up the conversation to our hopes and dreams and allowed us to make plans for the future (even if it was as simple as a shooting date since it turns out we were all interested in learning more about photography).

For those interested in seeing what I’m interested in doing this new (Chinese) New Year….
+ Learning how to swim properly (Or if you take my vision board literally..become a mermaid)
+ Photography
+ Learning how to make Matcha Green Tea Lattes
+ Walking More
+ Saving up for a home
+ Meditatition and learning how to relax (I’ve been super uptight lately)
+ Finding a new hobby that Rob and I can do together
+ Cooking more at home and eating healthier
There were also lots of puppy pictures on my board but right now that looks like a long term goal.

If you’re looking for something a little different to do with your friends rather than going out to dinner or out drinking, I highly recommend grabbing some scissors and glue and get to vision board making!


Double the Nintendo, Double the Fun

Hola Amigos!

It’s definitely been awhile and I apologize for that. Between balancing two demanding jobs as well as planning a wedding, I have little to no time to update my poor little bloggy-blog let alone have a personal life on top of that. Luckily for me, the folks at Brand About Town sent me on not one but TWO Nintendo adventures in the past month. I am so thankful to them because it really gave me a chance to re-connect and spend time with the three loves of my life, my fiance Rob and my two little brothers Kevin and Kris.

Adventure 1: The Wii U Experience

Night one started off with cocktail hour at one of my favorite DC area restaurants, Lincoln (check out my Yelp review here). At the event I got to finally meet the fabulous Justine and Danit from Brand About Town as well as some other really cool mommy bloggers like Thien from I’m Not the Nanny and my fellow non-mommy blogger Lexi from Crumpets with Jam. There was lots of laughs to be had between bites of delicious mouth watering pork belly and sips of excellent Prohibition era period cocktails.

The next day, Rob, Kevin, Kris and I headed down to the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington for an exclusive sneak preview of the Wii U, which is the next generation of video game consoles that will be released by Nintendo during the next holiday season. When we arrived there, we all went our separate ways and went BUCK WILD! Rob at the Batman: Arkham City room, me in the Just Dance booth, and the twins spent a good hour schoolin’ everybody at the Super Mario Brothers U station. Rob and I easily decided that our new favorite game was Ray Man Origins. The dual screen controller was a lot of fun to use and I liked that it allowed me to be an interactive “helper”.  Even though I love Nintendo, my gaming skills just aren’t up to par to Rob’s so this allowed me to interact in the game without totally being left in the dust.

We all left, exhilarated and happy and Rob ended up counting this day as one of the top highlights in his life! Thank you Nintendo for making me the coolest fiance ever!

Adventure 2: Mario Kart Race Party

To wind down summer, Brand About Town also sent me a Mario Kart party kit so I can have fun with all of the little munchkins in my life. The party consisted of: my little brothers and their two friends, Kassie, my sister’s niece and nephew from her husband’s side, and Rob’s three little cousins. It was an eclectic mix but I was so glad to have a chance to get my new growing family together. I usually throw a lot of events but they are more adult oriented so it was nice to let these young grasshoppers know that they were loved as well.

Kassie was most excited about the balloons but all of the other kids became insta-friends with the help of Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Toad. Rob’s grandma even got in on the fun and by the end of the night she was dodging banana peels and throwing turtle shells like a pro. I also felt quite honored to help my brother-in-law’s niece learn how to play her first Nintendo game. She was shy at first but then she snuggled up next to me so I can show her how to play and at the end of the party she gave me the biggest hug ever. It was the best feeling in the world!

Needless to say, everybody had tons of fun and I hope I cemented my little brother’s middle school popularity by hosting this party.

I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own!

Free Award Winning Noodle Soup and Movie

To celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, chef Hou Chun-sheng, winner of the 2011 Taipei Beef Noodle Soup Competition will serve his special beef noodles during a reception at the Freer, followed by a screening of Eat Drink Man Woman. Chef Hou’s beef noodles are a must-eat for international gourmets and the perfect dish to prepare viewers for Eat Drink Man Woman–Taiwan-born director Ang Lee’s food-centered film about an elderly chef and his family as they experience the trials and joys of life in modern Taiwan. Settle in and enjoy an evening of homestyle Taiwan food culture! Free and open to the public.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art – Myer Auditorium
Wednesday, February 15
6 pm
Free; Walk In

For more information click here.

Thank you to Jian for the heads up on this fun and free event.


Creative Workshops by Fifteen Eleven

Fifteen Eleven in Old Town Alexandria just released their April/March workshop schedule! These classes are perfect for crafters or DIY brides.

Anybody want to take the Intro to Calligraphy class with me?

Crystal Couture: Fashion for Suburbanettes

The DC area’s hottest fashion SHOW and high-end bargain trunk SALE returns to Crystal City this February 7th to February 11th, 2012. Crystal Couture – Show & Sale brings over 40 of the metropolitan area’s most stylish boutiques and designers all under one roof. The one-stop shopping experience lets guests browse discounted offerings on the rack AND on the runway as models showcase offerings of participating boutiques. Shoppers will also enjoy sips from the bar, free make-up and hair makeovers, chats with fashion consultants, music from DJ Neekola, and experience the one-of-a-kind ambiance that is Crystal Couture!

The SHOW portion of Crystal Couture brings a high quality, professional fashion show complete with gorgeous DC area models (including America’s Next Top Model contestant Bianca Chardei), fabulous runway choreography, exquisite styles, and upbeat tunes. Professionally managed by Maggy Francois, Crystal Couture’s runway show always puts Crystal City on the map of the fashion world!

For a full schedule of participants, runway schedules, and more click here.

Keeping up with the Vandashians…Blades of Glory Edition

The Pentagon Row Ice Rink BLOWS.  First of all it is too small, too crowded, the ice is extremely bumpy, and their rental skates are practically falling apart (literally – – my skates had a huge slice through them!).

But a little hiccup here or there didn’t stop the Vandashian family + Rob from having the time of their life!

This was right after Kevin made fun of Kris for falling down! That's what happens when you are being mean!

After all the fun and excitement, we took the boys to Sine to share a plate of wings and nachos.  Kristopher declared that it was his favorite Irish pub of all time. Haha.



Holiday Date Guide: Christmas Lights and Sights Edition

Festival of Lights – Growing up in Centreville, my family always made it a point to pile up in the car and check out the annual lights extravaganza at Bull Run Regional Park.  After the light show, you can stop at the Festival of Lights Holiday Village and try your hand at some old timey carnival games. $15 – $20 per car.

Zoo Lights – Take a stroll through the national zoo to marvel at the animals in light formation.  Train rides, ice skating, funnel cake, hot cocoa and more — the best part?  Admission to all the fun is FREE!  To read about my recent trip click here.

Richmond Tacky Lights Tour – If you find yourself in the 804 area, be sure to check out this neighborhood tour of amazingly fun, tacky, and awesome light shows.  Free.

Leesburg Non-Traditional Christmas Tour -Fans of curious oddities and grinch-like couples should take a drive out to Leesburg to view the controversial holiday creations that include a spaghetti and meatball Jesus sculpture and a  skeleton of Santa nailed to the cross. Free.

National Christmas Tree – Since 1923, spectactors have gathered on the Ellipse near the White House to gawk at the grand illumination of the National Christmas Tree and it’s state Christmas tree babies known as the “Pathway of Peace”.  Free.

U.S. Botanic Gardens – During the holiday season, the U.S. Botanic Garden presents “Season’s Greenings”, a unique exhibit featuring model trains and incredible replicas of the world’s most famous statues and monuments made completely out of plants.  Free.


My Day at the Salvation Army

Over the weekend, my friend Andy set up a day trip with a few friends to help sort presents at the Salvation Army.  It was so much fun.  Not even in the “this is kind of boring but I feel good giving back to the community fun” but actual fun-fun!  Let me count the ways:

– Free Krispy Kreme doughnuts AND pizza
– Quality time with lots of handsome boys and fun Girl Scouts (I remember my days selling cookies door-to-door as a sixteen year old Girl Scout)
– Getting a voyeuristic look at childrens’ Christmas wishlists and peoples’ donations
– “Shopping” for hundreds of families (no spending required)
– Burning calories without actually working out

Christmas Angels is one of the Salvation Army’s largest programs but there are many opportunities to volunteer throughout the year.  For more information click here.

PS:  Did you know that the Salvation Army is actually a church?! I learned that from my 11th grade history teacher Mrs. Davies.

A Trip to the Zoo

Over the weekend, I suggested that my family take Kassie out to see the  Zoo Lights exhibit at the National Zoo.  Let me tell you…I HAD SO MUCH FUN!  Going to the zoo is fun as adults but with toddlers – – 100x more exciting since they are experiencing all of these new sights and sounds for the first time.  Kassie had so much fun roaring with the lions, pretending to swim with the turtles, dancing with a fake panda bear, and running away from the stinky ape house.

The Vandashian girls minus Kristina by the lion exhibit.

Sleepy lions.

Snapping turtle waiting for his prey.

Dancing panda in a snow globe.  Kassie was super fascinated by this.

Under the sea Zoo Lights display


Suburbanbro missed out on the Redskins game to spend time with me and my family.  I am so lucky!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Details // Zoo Lights // National Zoo // November 25 – December (Friday though Saturday nights) and December 16 – January 1 (every night) // 9 – 5 pm // Light displays featuring the zoo’s favorite animals, ice skating, hot cocoa, live entertainment, train rides and more. // Free

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