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friday finds xii

this month is finally over. i have just never seen eye-to-eye with february. it's the worst.

but it's friday. and march is almost here.  and everything you see here is under $50. actually it's all under $35 today. just celebrate the end of this month.

bottle opener | shirt | planters | wipes | matches | dress

i love those wipes btw. i bought them as something to bring in my hospital bag when i had jake and ended up loving them so much they're a daily thing for me now. they eat waterproof mascara for breakfast. or maybe dinner since i use them at the end of the day.

anyways, here's to a great weekend.

tbt that one time i thought we'd just take a quick family picture because it's so pretty outside and he's in a good mood.


before we moved into our current home, i used to share a studio in dupont with my husband.

it was tiny, but i loved living downtown and got used to making the most out of tiny spaces. when we first moved into our house, it felt enormous by comparison. but three years in to homeownership and it's definitely starting to feel a little crammed.

if you're in a similar situation where every square foot matters, here's three ikea hacks that'll save space. also? no assembly required.

we don't have enough space in our bedroom for nightstands. for a while, we were charging our phones on the window ledges, but it wasn't super practical and they weren't easily accessible. mounting two ribba picture ledges ($9.99) to the wall has been a great solution for us. they take up zero floor space, they blend in nicely with our baseboards, and they hold things we'd normally have on a nightstand. as you can see, it holds an iphone almost perfectly and you still have room for other devices (like a tablet) and glasses (me) or a retainer case (husband). 

our pantry is another area where we keep needing extra space. we have a few shelves in there already, but since we cook a lot at home, when it's fully stocked, it can be hard to see everything that's in there. 

we mounted another ribba in there, and not only is it functional, i can also see and access everything that's inside.

when you live in tight quarters, vertical storage is your friend. this stainless steel wall shelf ($25) is supposed to be for your bathroom, but it fits right in with the other metal wall shelves we have holding our plates in the kitchen. it now holds the coffee grinder and some canisters we got from target and ikea.

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the house is always a work in progress and these changes have been fun new additions.

more please

i'm the type of person who usually jam packs my weekends. 

run one more errand? yep. squeeze in another dinner with friends? ok. do another project around the house? bring it!

but this weekend, i didn't have any plans in particular and it felt amazing. sometimes, being the anxious person i am, having no plans makes me a little nuts. "but i should be doing SOMETHING," i think. 

and while checking stuff off my to-do list is always gonna be something i love, i decided, for whatever reason, to just let it go this weekend. maybe it was the awesome 60-degree weather. maybe i'm trying to become more laid back (ha). but i spent yesterday afternoon going on a long walk in the sunshine with my husband and my kid and it felt great. 

no plans? no worries.

i need more weekends like this.

spring five

three cheers for friday.

i do one of these lists every season because there's just always something fun happening in the district. we're lucky to live in a city that constantly has new restaurant openings and cool things to get excited about. 

here's what's on my list this spring.

img source: one | two, pic by me | three | four | five

1. menu. located in penn quarter, this market/bar/full-service restaurant is right up my alley. if you follow them on twitter, you'll know they have housemade bacon jam for sale. that's pretty much all the info i need to get me through the doors.  it's run by the same guy who operates table, which, if you've been reading here regularly, you might remember me saying it was the best meal i've had in dc in the decade i've lived here. no bs. 

2. eating outside. basically i'm sick of eating at my desk. i miss the days of taking my lunch outside and enjoying the sunshine. and even though it happens every spring, i'm dying to see some of the pretty trees begin to blossom. 

3. maketto. this h street spot will bring together an asian-influenced restaurant and market. i don't know of anything like this in dc so i'm excited for the addition.

4. gcdc. love the concept. love their logo. freaking grilled cheese and tater tots man. and a sandwich with one of my personal faves on it: kimchi. what's better than that?

5. mad men. the premiere is april 13. i'm definitely a little over don draper's moody self, but i've watched all the other seasons so i'm excited to see how it all ends. 

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want more? see my past reasons to get excited here, here, here and here.

thigh school

i'll admit it.

i was a boneless, skinless chicken eater for most of my life. that's what i'd buy every time i'd go to the store. and most of the time, i'd do something pretty boring: bake it, fry it, grill it.

i don't remember exactly when i got turned on to the wonderfulness that is chicken thighs but it's truly one of my favorite things to have for dinner. there's a lot to love, really: they're super cheap (for real you guys. check the price next time you're at the store), delicious and can stand up to lots of different flavors and cooking techniques.

here's three of my favorite ways to cook them. these are recipes i've made at least five times so i know the recipes are legit and you're likely to have a successful time making these dishes.

ginger lime | white bean + tomato | fried

as tends to happen when you cook a recipe a lot, i do have some tips for you though:

for the ginger lime recipe, unless you're actually using the recommended 8 pieces of chicken (we usually cook four or five at a time), USE HALF THE AMOUNT OF SALT FOR THE RUB OR YOU WILL DIE. ok. you won't die. but it's crazy salty otherwise.

for the white bean recipe, i find that i like the taste of dried oregano better than fresh.

and for the fried, the recipe actually refers to these as "pan roasted" and i suppose that's kind of what you're doing here. but the result is a lot more in the fried category. you just use way less oil than your typical fried chicken recipe and get the same crispy results.

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i hope you'll give thighs a try sometime. i actually don't love chicken skin (except for the super crispy fried kind) but i love using bone-in, skin-on thighs. the skin keeps the chicken from drying out and the bone adds a lot of extra flavor. 


chic diaper-bag-that's-not-a-diaper-bag alert.

it's $165 at banana republic right now. today they're offering 35% off your purchase, but i bet they do another 40% off promotion soon.

i saw this in person over the weekend and it seems to be a nice quality and has pockets inside as well. 

hurry up

cold weather makes me want something good for breakfast
our rosebush. looking beautiful even dead and in the snow
my favorite little guy
lucy's pretty cool too.

when i'm sick, i get really annoying and tell my husband some form of "ugh. i don't feel good" way too often. 

the same thing happens every year about this time when i get really really sick of winter. i want to say that every two seconds but i force myself not to because we're all in the same boat. the time change on march 9 is the only thing keeping me going at this point. i'm so ready for spring. who isn't?

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we had a pack and play set up in our living room while i was on maternity leave. it made diaper changes easier since i had all my supplies right there. and when he was really little, he used to nap in it. but i always hated it in our living room and we are replacing it with this. i can't wait. i've missed the lack of seating in that room when we have the occasional visitor.

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hope you're having a great tuesday.

nine long months

when i was pregnant with jake, i couldn't get enough of these pregnancy must-have lists. i thought it was helpful to use the experiences of many to be as prepared as possible.

let me also say this about being pregnant: except for a few weeks in the second trimester, i did not enjoy it. i didn't expect it to be this non-stop fun time, but i've heard a lot (and still hear) women say how much they loved pregnancy. i don't know if they are just into their rose-colored glasses or if hindsight is too kind, but that wasn't my experience. 

that being said, i kept my list to things that made it more bearable for me. everyone's degree of morning sickness (horrible), back pain (bad in the third trimester), feet swelling (fine until about 38 weeks) and anxiety (please) is different, so keep in mind that this is what worked for me. 

and congrats to any new or soon-to-be moms out there!

1. pregnancy pops. a friend send these to me right after i found out i was pregnant. my morning sickness was bad. everything on earth -- especially dairy products and coffee -- smelled disgusting. i didn't actually eat very much in the first trimester because i was so sick all the time and was so turned off by everything, but these were appealing to me. pretty much any sour candy would do the trick. sour candy and smoothies for three months. oh yes.

2. stretch mark oil. let's be clear about one thing: you're probably gonna get stretch marks. some people don't, some people do, some people say it's genetic, but it's a fact of life for most pregnant ladies. this oil worked for me in some areas but was not as effective in others. either way, it can't hurt to keep that expanding body nice and moisturized and i liked this oil.

3. 12 hours sleep by 12 weeks old. this book saved my life/sanity. a very good friend of mine used this books for working on sleep with her two daughters. her kids sleep so well that i actually read this book (it's super thin) before i was pregnant while visiting her once. jake took to it like a champ (i was so so nervous it wouldn't work) and it's the first thing i recommend to anyone about to have a kid. 

baby 411. i read a lot of this book while i was pregnant and found it insanely helpful. it picks up right where the what to expect-type books leave off and i felt so much more prepared about those first few weeks after birth. it's practical, easy-to-read, and a little funny. i still reference it constantly.

4. grapefruit pellegrino. my drink of choice for the length of my pregnancy. i drank a shitload of water also (recommended: always carry a water bottle), but sometimes a little citrusy fizzy flavor just tastes better.

5. tums. easy heartburn relief. i also started liking their mint flavor, but didn't find out about it until the end of pregnancy.

6. leggings. i liked the ones from motherhood best. some people prefer old navy's version, but the way i was carrying my weight, i much preferred the kind of leggings that went all the way over the stomach instead of stopping below the belly button. i lived in these, especially the second and third trimesters. definitely buy three or four pair.

7. netflix. toward the middle/end of pregnancy, good sleep sorta goes out the window. so i wound up watching a lot of netflix late at night when i couldn't sleep because i was giant and i literally had to pee every five minutes.

8. supportive shoes. i jumped on this train a little too late and tried to wear cute-ish shoes for longer than i should have. you don't have to go full on frumpy and wear something hideous, but your back and swollen feet will appreciate the extra support.

9. you tube. as i mentioned, i basically felt like crap for three months in the beginning and never felt like working out. when my appetite finally came back with a vengeance in the second trimester, i attempted to EAT ALL THE FOODS. not cute. so i started doing these videos (yoga, cardio) on youtube and it gave me a little more energy and i felt a little (a little) less guilty about consuming the most food anyone has ever eaten.

10. snoogle. since sleep kinda sucks AND YOU CAN'T SLEEP ON YOUR FREAKING BACK, i bought one of these pillows and it made sleep slightly more comfortable. it's no miracle worker, but i definitely slept better once i had it. it folds into all sorts of positions, too.

11. apps. i loved the what to expect app and the i'm expecting app. it just felt like a fun way to mark the passage of time, and i'd get excited to read the daily/monthly updates.

12. jewelry. when you're pregnant, you basically miss out on multiple seasons of being able to buy new fun clothes. but jewelry always fits. and it's how i satisfied my desire to shop.

13. a desk fan. if you're going to be pregnant over the summer, you might consider getting a small desk fan. i was so hot at work. you might even need this if you're pregnant in the cooler months. it saved me from being a sweaty mess.

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in addition to all of this, if you're shopping for baby stuff, don't forget that buy buy baby and babies 'r' us do price match. i found some killer deals by googling items while i was waiting to check out. if you can find it cheaper (and you almost always can), you can pay the cheaper price.

and i found most of my cute maternity clothes at target, asos and old navy. motherhood maternity/pea in the pod has some stuff there, but it can get expensive so watch for sales (they have them all the time). in the early stages of pregnancy, i also just wore larger sizes of "regular" non-maternity clothes. and those clothes will probably come in handy again right after your baby is here. 

that's all i got. 

if you think of anything i left off the list, let me know!