Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weekly Musings

Hello lovelies!

I am going to start the series: "Weekly Musings" where I just highlight my favorites of the past week. I'd love it if you commented and let me know what you all are loving on this week! Whether it is quirky, tips or just awesomeness I hope I introduce you to something new every week and vice versa.

The Alice Temperley London Fashion Week Show.
Seriously loving Alice Temperley. The Trellis Dress needs to get in my closet. And did you see Pippa in the front row looking fabulous as always?

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir
Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir at the Olympics. Loving the bestie duo. I knew I loved Tara years ago. They will be hosting Access Hollywood's fashion commentary at the Oscars. Olympics now onto the Oscars! Also, can I please get her hair stylist?

Piers Morgan Loses his Primetime Spot on CNN
I kind of loved Piers and enjoyed the text message from my husband at 6:00 am saying "NO PIERS!" We are nerds in our house.

Ashley Wagner
I am happy the figure skater nailed her performances. I was rooting for her.  But what I love most about her is her bold nature and fearless attitude. Someone standing up for themselves? I'd say more little girls need to have a role model like that.

Lean In Circle
I am going to be starting a Lean In Circle. For those of you who haven't read Lean In yet you really should. Any readers interested in joining? I'm thinking I can do it through twitter chats?

Shake and Bake
For those of you like me that really need to work on their kitchen skills Shake and Bake for pork chops is the best thing that ever happened to a good cheat meal.

Colonial Williamsburg Benjamin Moore Paint Line
We are closing on the Gainesville house soon. (YAY!!!) Thought on these paint colors?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why I Decided to Travel - Guest Post by Curious in Korea


Alana and I grew up insperable and we still are...inserperable. I talk to her multiple times a day and we definitely have some shared quirks (we are cousins). On MMIH I often talk about married life & life in DC. But Alana is doing her 20's differently. While I have become a DCER, she is a citizen of the world. I am so proud of her!

And here are her reasons for becoming an expert wanderer.

1. Broaden my worldview. 

When we travel and immerse ourselves in unfamiliar places we come into contact with people that teach us something new about life based on their personal experiences. This exchange of life experiences makes us more open as humans and reminds us to always be humble and open. These people that we meet were meant to come into contact with us and teach us great lessons. Learning from complete strangers  gets us out of "our way" of living and thinking and shapes us to think much more broadly about how the world works instead of "narrow minded thinking". While taking in a gorgeous sunset along the rice terrace in Bali I met a a lovely french woman who shared the sunset with me and told me how she deeply believes that miracles are going to happen in my life, I just need to be patient. Strangely enough I had been missing my precious dog along my walk before meeting this stranger. The french woman had the same name as my dog! I don't think that was coincidence, I was truly meant to meet her. 

2. Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing has been so good to me.  I surfed with a local host in Macau and Taiwan and undeniably had a life changing experience. God willing I had hosts that sincerely wanted to share with me their "hometowns" by taking me out to local eateries that a traveler would never discover on their own. These hosts had my best intentions at heart by giving me the best travel tips of places to soak in at my own pace. In Macau, my host (Intan) took me to an outstanding Portuguese restaurant where we had the best Portuguese red wine, fish, and bread then she gave me a list of the places to soak in in "old town" Macau. While spending almost two months "looking around" Taiwan (for a third time) I had hosts meet in Taipei to check out local art galleries then exchange travel experiences over a cup of tea, eating the local delicacies at night markets, and hiking Yangminshan National Park near Taipei. My most memorable host from Nantao, Taiwan hosted me for two nights and introduced me to Chinese hot pot along with his outgoing friends then drove me around to experience the real "black tea" of Taiwan and then made sure I didnt leave his town without trying the famous pineapple cakes. I would lost to host international couchsurfers one day in the future and return the favor!

3. To develop internal peace

Nature is something that I cannot get enough of. I cannot think clearly and feel at peace when I am constantly sightseeing in busy cities. When I travel to different countries one of the first things I google is "Best parks in ______). When I immerse myself in places where nature is abounding I feel so calm and at peace. Last summer I visitied the Kansai region of Japan and rented a bike for two days. I biked to the Kyoto Botanical Gardens and onward to the famous bamboo forest while staying in Kyoto. It was so lovely. When I find myself in places where nature is all around me my heart fills up with so much peace and love for the world around me. For some reason I always meet a really interesting person who teaches me something about the best way to live life when I am taking in a park, botanical garden, or national park. 

4. Be more independent

I know that I already am pretty independent, but it's really important to be able to figure out how to access public transportation, read a map, build interpersonal skills, and network with people while traveling. Especially while traveling alone it is extremely important to have a sense of direction and rough plan as to accomodation, transport, and where you are going to eat while "exploring abroad". Every time we travel we continue to build or skills and sense of direction. It's so important to know how to communicate and get your point across while traveling abroad! Each time we travel we learn lessons as to what we can differently next time. I love to travel (mostly solo) because I am constantly "on my toes" trying to figure out where I will find my next meal (vegetarian) and how the bus/train routes works. An important lesson I learned while traveling around Taiwan and Japan was to find the translation from English to Mandarian/Japanese "I am a vegetarian. Can you prepare a meal for me without meat please? Thankyou" and take a screen shot of the direction translation by showing this to shop owners while I was searching for my next meal. I'm telling you, it came in handy big time and saved me from feeling stressed.

5. Discover new foods!

I don't know about you, but I happen to love food. I love to try new cuisines so much that I can't even begin to name off my favorites because there are just too many! Dim sum from Hong Kong? Hawker stalls fillied with Indian, Malay, and Chinese fare in China Town,Singapore? Spicy tteokbokki  in Korea? Udon noodles from Japan? I just cant name off a favorite but I listed a few that came to mind first. I love the experience of trying a combination of flavors that I never had before. I loved walking through the hawker stalls in Singapore taking in the gorgeous sights and aromas of spices, fresh ingredients, and ever abounding colors. I give Anthony Bourdain credit for helping me fill my desires of exploring foods around the world and savoring every bite.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Announcing an Exciting Partnership with The DC Ladies and Shopping in your Closet!

Hello Everyone! Before I begin my post about taking a shopping trip in your own closet, I have an exciting announcment! I will be contributing to the fabulous "The DC Ladies" online commnunity for women in the the DC area. The DC Ladies brings all the wonderful women from the beltway together to discuss anything from weddings to food and fitness. As a first year DC newbie, I connected with founders Shelley and Sarah on twitter. Within one day they had me out at The Tigerlily Foundation Empower Ball. I will be contributing philanthropic posts and am looking forward to sharing my charity/nonprofit work with women all over DC!

Follow them at TheDCLadies.com!!!!

                                  Now does this picture look familiar?      


That's you right? Or is it me? It's probably both of us. Do you find yourself dashing to the mall whenever you have an event to attend or even just a night out? For me, I usually feel better when I take a trip to the mall and get something new. But it turns out, my husband isn't as big a fan of JCrew as I am. Whenever I complain about needing that perfect outfit for that dinner I have to go to B usually walks me to the closet and says and what is all that! I used to roll my eyes and tell myself what does he know anyway. He's a guy and jeans and a polo works for him. But when I pulled my favorite peplum top out of the depths of my closet shelves last week and I thought he may be right. Some of my favorite pieces are right in my closet. You just have to buy the right items that can be dressed up or dressed down. Basically the right foundation pieces. 

Here is what I reccomend:

A great dark jean. Looks great with a tshirt and sneakers and can be dressed up with pumps a blouse and statement necklace. 
My pick: JCrew matchstick jeans in classic rinse 

A classic jacket, similar to the jackets Kate Middleton sports. Either a blue, black or white pair with any outfit. Reiss has alot of options and most are on sale now! My blue Anne Klein is hands down the best coat I have ever owned, the shape is lovely and I get at least one compliment a day. 

Go to statment necklace- Browse a local consignment shop and check out the jewelry. You usually can find a great statement bubble necklace or long necklace. I never spend too much on these because they always seem to break. For DCers Reddz Trading in Georgetown and Bethesda is the best option.

A peplum top. This dresses up a jeans ensemble, pair a statement necklace of choice with it and your good to go! Topshop or Nordstrom usually has great selection of peplums. I reccomend a white or black. 

A nice sweater. For the cold days. There a some nice ones out there. White or cream work to keep it light.

Something fun. Keep a out of the ordinary fashion choice in your closet. When you are feeling adventurous throw it on and hit the town! It can be a dress, leather jacket, whatever your heart desires.

A gown in your best color. You never know when you could have somewhere fancy to go! I've had a days notice to go to a charity event. My blue BCBG Maxazria gown was hanging there waiting for me. The reason I say your best color is because you are to going to feel confident in it. When I did pageants I ALWAYS had a red or blue dress. They just work for me. 

The little black dress. A simple black dress per Coco Chanel is a must. Need I say more? 

Black and nude pumps. Black pumps dress up any outfit and nude pumps go with anything. (That daring dress you have? Yea nude pumps are the only things that go with that! ;)) 

A party dress. Tea length and classy. For dinners out with the girls or your significant other.

These are just a couple of my reccomendations. If you have these bones for your wardrobe you can mix and match and will have some for any occasion!

Taking a look in my closet here are my faves: