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at last

pic by me

has this week felt super long for anyone else?


errands dominate my life this weekend but i'm very excited to say that i have squeezed in an appointment for a massage here with my sister-in-law and i can't wait.

hope your weekend rules.

love for the city: portrait

continuing with the 'love for the city' series
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this place right here:

and it's another one of my favorite places in dc.

it's not at all difficult to get to, like the secret steps. in fact, there's nothing secret or off-the-beaten-path about this place. the portrait gallery's right in the heart of chinatown, arguably one of the most consistently citified two blocks of dc. 

(as opposed to downtown which is dead dead dead if it's not 9-5, m-f)

there's always something going on: a concert or sporting event at verizon, a crowd of people around the top of gallery place metro, dc residents jaywalking like champs, people banging on five-gallon buckets.

you know.

it's loud and semi-chaotic.

but then there's this courtyard. this impossibly beautiful and usually serene little weatherproof atrium that's open to the public as long as the museum's open.

there's usually people in here. but most of the time, they're quiet.

i like to chill out here after slowly ambling through the museum. perfect spot to people watch or read a few pages from a good book.

the portrait gallery is also just a fun free way to spend an afternoon. i bring out-of-town guests here a lot because we can hop over to jaleo, proof, poste or ping pong afterward. 

a little dose of free culture and some good food? 
your guests will think you're the best.

at my day job, we had an evening event at the portrait gallery last october. i was busy working so i didn't have too much time to take pictures and it was pretty dimly lit in there, but i was kinda loving that i finally got to see kogod at night. 

aglow in blue light.

if you've never been, definitely check it out.

and if you're a millionaire who is planning to have their wedding there, email me so i can send you my home address. 

i wanna come.

flip it good

if you have an iphone and a twitter account, this post is for you.

i've tweeted about how cool twitter looks using the flipboard app, but i thought a few visuals would really make my point for me.

normally when someone puts up an instagram image, you have to wait for it to open in a separate window. but i've never been good with patience, especially online. with the flipboard app, you can see both the caption and the picture at the same time. 

here's an example of that:

and another example...

i also reeeeallllly like how it shows you a preview of a website that they're linking to in a tweet.

kinda lets you know if it's worth clicking on.

like so...

regular tweets with no links just show up like normal. 

most of the time there's two or three on a screen at a time, but every once in a while, it singles one out. 

i think it looks pretty neat.

 even when i'm online for fun, i'm all about efficiency and speed.

and flipboard provides that, all in a well-designed, free app.

werk it

before i joined the workforce and had to drag myself into an office every day, i had two kinds of outfits: casual clothes for going to class and 'going out' clothes.

i had some fancier things reserved for formals or a relative's occasional wedding. but i didn't really have any reason to get super dressed up.

and about a month before graduating, when i was still searching for a job, it hit me: i have no professional clothes. 

i did eventually land my first job (three weeks before graduating omg!) but besides the interview suit my parents thankfully purchased for me, i had nothing to wear to this new job. unless they wanted to see me in some variation of my lone suit every day.

_ _ _

accumulating a professional wardrobe can feel like a huge challenge, especially when you're used to shopping to for whatever looks fun. 

 but i've found that dressing for work can also be fun. and with the right pieces, you can really make your clothes work for you. it can even take you all the way into casual friday if you do it right.

check it out:

here's the breakdown.

1. three blouses/tops - one long sleeved, one with sleeves, one sleeveless. if you like, you could swap out the long-sleeved blouses for a nice turtleneck. i also think you could do a button-up here but to me, blouses are a hair more professional and aren't as expected.

2. one shift dress - preferably in a non-basic color. green's just a little more fun and you'll feel just a little more fun wearing something colorful. if green's not your scene, try navy, deep purple or ivory.

3. three shoes - one flat, one heel, one boot. these are the bare bones basics to get you through all four seasons. 

4. a pencil skirt + a suiting dress - i dig pencil skirts, but they're certainly not for every woman. try a full skirt or flare skirt for a different cut. also, i tend to wear pants infrequently. but if your preference is pants, i'd add another pair here in a different color. navy or charcoal perhaps.

5. basic black wide leg pants - done and done.

6. four belts - three skinny, one thick. i included so many here because i find that belts are an easy and really cheap way to dress up or add interest to an outfit. pop one over your pencil skirt, on top of a dress, over a cardigan. boom. outfit is more awesome.

7. four pieces of jewelry - three statement pieces and some basic post/stud earrings.

8. two cardigans - one solid color, one patterned. good for cold office buildings and chilly weather. having something with a pattern is always nice, too.

_ _ _

each of these pieces is under $100, with the exception of the shoes*, which should last you multiple seasons. 

i don't have a suit here, mostly because i've never had a job where i was required to wear one on a daily basis. but if you work somewhere more formal, i'd certainly include suits as a workwear staple in charcoal, light grey or navy.

(also, i kinda see blazers as outerwear, even though i guess they're technically not.)

my basic rule of thumb for young professionals is to choose classic pieces with a little bit of spunk. find something that's a classic shape but has a little extra something to make it different. like the pleating on that green shift dress.

i always think: what color will everyone else get?

then, i buy the opposite. 

this way, your lovely unique self will stand out among the rest of the pack. in the best way possible.

lastly, i always choose things i can easily mix + match and dress up or down. for this example, you could pair any of the tops with any of the bottoms (even the dress if you're feelin frisky!), wear the cardigans as a cover up or a standalone item, and incorporate blazers as appropriate. 

like this:

and that's just eight outfits. 
there's tons more in there.

oh and pssst: 
all those silk tops? 
they go with jeans, too. 

hello, casual friday.

_ _ _

i mean, you're already awesome. 

now your work clothes are too.

_ _ _

*you can probably find things even cheaper if you carefully look through stores like h&m, kohls, forever21, and target.


on april 12, something major is happening at h & m.

that's the day they're set to launch their exclusive 'glamour conscious collection'

i'll explain more in a second, but for now, let's feast our eyes:

via h&m

outta this world.

that last one?

even though i want nothing at all to do with long dresses ever (my wedding dress is short!), i want it. 


the cool thing about this collection though is that it is at once fabulous and friendly to the earth. they've all been created using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp and recycled polyester. 

i didn't get into the marni thing they had going on, but this looks like a whole lot of fun. you can read more about it here and here.

i'm in.

potw: you're golden

i have gold on the brain still.

pretty, sparkly gold.

this weekend, i think i took everything gold and glittery that joann had to offer. got lots of wedding crafts to get moving on.

i love how a shimmering metallic just spruces things up. 

and when you pair that shimmer with letterpress using gold ink or foil stamping? 

it's magical.

wedding vows via boxcar press and designed by allison sall
via JSGD on etsy
via JSGD on etsy
by mama's sauce | more here
via curious and company for fleurishing

wouldn't you agree?

oo la la!

recent haps

signs of spring | same shot in november here
the boy's new favorite ice cream
been using this for two days and i already notice a big difference | more to come
trying out some options for the wedding
a spring commute
tulips outside our old apartment building | also seen here (the red tulip)
practicing boutonnieres | this one sat out for three days so it's a little wilted

_ _ _

hope your weekend was fun.

ours was a little busy but i love seeing all the trees in bloom while we're running around town.

let's make this week a good one! i'm going to hobby lobby tonight and i can't wait.

three little friday birds

dupont fountain pic by me

it's gorgeous out.

it's been an out-of-this-world spring in dc, and i can't stop talking about it. hope you guys have something extra fun going on this weekend, too.

for me? drinks al fresco tonight?

i think so. i really really do.


all images via martin klimas

_ _ _

some pretty amazing images by german photographer martin klimas.

lots more exploding objects here

(the breaking vases might be my favorite)

i love how he managed to capture this moment of complete chaos and turn it into something so visually compelling. 

_ _ _

man, these look cool to me.

love for the city: secret steps

continuing with the 'love for the city' series...

_ _ _

ok so this isn't so much something i love about dc. it's really more of one of my favorite spots. 

my friend allie and i call them the secret steps. they're totally not a secret but they're a little hard to access so they've been deemed as such by us.

here's what google earth is showing:

see the tip top of the lincoln memorial at the top of the stairs? 

(or check out google maps)

_ _ _

the steps are sorta behind the memorial. 

but once you get over there and walk down the steps, it's beautiful.

it's the perfect spot to be lazy and watch the more ambitious 

dc folk work out while you stare at the water.

all pics by me

i actually don't think i've been since last spring when some of these shots were taken. it was so much easier to walk down to the mall when we lived downtown, but i think a trip to this spot is in order soon. 

oh yeah. i need to go.

_ _ _

p.s. blogger changed the way it's letting me format text so i can't make it as obnoxiously big anymore which is really frustrating me at the moment. but this blog is long overdue for an overhaul anyways, so thanks for the extra push, blogger. more to come on that someday soon, but i have to get out of blogspot hell.

sunday sunset

i don't know why.

maybe it's just me.

but i find myself getting anxious on sunday nights.

it started when i was a kid.

and even though, generally, i liked school, there was always this overwhelming sense of dread/panic that came over me on sunday nights.

my parents weren't big on tv.*

but on sundays?

on sundays, we'd all gather around to watch bob saget host america's funniest home videos.**

it should have been a treat, watching tv. 
but all i could do was panic about SUNDAY.

_ _ _

fast forward two decades and i still get that feeling.
even if something awesome might be happening on monday.

_ _ _

these pictures were taken last sunday.

it was warm out.

the boy and i were driving around together.

my brain told me that it was time to get anxious.

but the beauty of the setting sun

and me, holding hands with the boy i love

while listening to the radio

made me remember that it's ok.

you're not so scary, sunday.

_ _ _

*and now i watch it allthetime.

**i was always secretly hoping he'd trip over that fake living room set

bare necessities

moving up here after college, i found myself a little overwhelmed with outerwear options.

what do you really need in a four-season climate? and what's just for fun?

as a young professional, i found this a little tricky to figure out. especially with a limited budget.

here in dc, we've been having this oddly warm late winter/early spring. and who knows what the rest of march will bring. 

i've been in the professional workforce since 2004. and during that time, i think i've developed a pretty good idea of the basics. the essential pieces to keep you warm, dry, and chic all year.

let's dive in: 

by couldawouldapica on polyvore

for me, this covers the basics: three lightweight jackets for spring and fall (including one that's waterproof and has a hood), two coats for winter (one that's waterproof and extra warm), and two basic-but-not-boring blazers for work.

now if you live somewhere warmer, you probably won't need or want the puffer, but you get the idea.

i was also toying with the idea of adding a faux leather jacket and a car coat/topper. but to me, those are more for fun and not as essential. 

_ _ _

i'm planning to a 'very necessary' post somewhat regularly on here. 

next time? 

we'll talk office wear essentials.

just fab

deals are awesome. 

deals on some of the coolest, most original things available online?

even more awesome.

i joined about a month ago. i kept seeing people rave about it on twitter. at first, i didn't care. ANOTHER site and ANOTHER username and password combo to remember?

no thanks.

but i caved and now i'm in. 

and you should be, too.
_ _ _

like gilt and others, fab has deals that are announced daily. but they last a little longer than stuff on gilt. and you get a little email notification when a sale goes live.

here's some of the stuff they have on there right now:

porcelain planters by farrah sit | retails for $120 on fab for $84

everyday trays by eric pfeiffer | retails for $125 on fab for $86
lavandula organic baby wash by limegreen | retails for $13 on fab for $10.50

bianca metal blades fan | retails for $805 on fab for $560

_ _ _

they have cheaper stuff too. i bought these wine tumblers from takeya last night.

they're shatterproof, which makes them perfect for sipping wine on our back porch.

wine tumbler set by takeya | retails for $11.99 on fab for $8

mmm. pour me another cup of pinot!

i also picked up this necklace 


brass bunting necklace by (of)matter | retails for $30 on fab for $21

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if you want to hop on these deals, click here and sign up. if you join today, fab will give you a $10 credit to get things started. 

yay! free money!