The last leg of our Morocco trip was a quick stop in Paris. My mom and grandparents who have friends in Montmartre, so we were able to visit them before heading back to the U.S. The gloomy weather in Paris was a drastic change from the warm and sunny days we saw in Morocco, but the grey skies created a kind of calm peacefulness. 24 hours in Paris was not enough, so I will be plotting my return in the near future…
I was able to shoot an engagement session for the very first time with my friends Sam and Kyle a few weeks ago. Kyle proposed to Sam in May at Delaplane Cellars – a winery in Virginia – so they wanted to recreate their special moment for their photographs. Bryan joined me on the adventure, and we all met on an uncharacteristically cool day in August for a picnic and a little wine. Sam and Kyle are not the pose-y type, so we kept it casual and fun with a lot of jokes and laughter. It was a perfect afternoon!
My friend Sarah and I celebrated National Thrift Shop Day by visiting the Buffalo Exchange shop on 14th Street, D.C. I was in heaven, looking through racks upon racks of lightly worn trendy clothes. With so many retail options, it’s easy to forget that there are some really great shops dedicated to recycling clothing at reasonable prices. Buffalo Exchange, in particular, boasts an eco-friendly approach with bag-less shopping and targets local customers. It also has a flair for vintage, which is right up my alley.
After trying on about 20 pieces, I landed on a versatile polka dot dress, a retro striped sweater, and the best find ever: a perfect pair of pink suede pumps with a heel low enough to wear all day. You know how much I love a pop of color, and comfiness is just gravy.
A few months ago, my best group of friends and I headed out west to California for a wedding. Along the way we explored the boardwalks of Santa Cruz and the giant trees of the Redwood forest, experienced the most breathtaking views in Yosemite, and ate the freshest squid in San Francisco. Ever since, we have been trying to figure out when and how we can go back.
I hope everyone enjoyed National Ice Cream Day as much as I did on Sunday! The roomies and I decided there wasn’t a better way to celebrate than to beat the heat with ice cream at Union Market. Dolcezza has several locations throughout the DMV, but we are lucky enough to have the factory in our neighborhood.
Dolcezza offers delicious gelato and sorbetto that is freshly spun with fresh and local ingredients and produced that very day, in addition to espresso and coffee. The combination of espresso and gelato is one of my all-time favorites, also known as the affogato. If you’ve never tried it, put it at the top of your list.
On Sunday I opted for one of Dolcezza’s sorbetto push pops. The lemon basil flavor was incredibly fresh and delicious, and – most importantly – cold.
Photography by Sarah Stuart Walters
Our last stop in Fes was to a ceramic and tile manufacturer. There were so many beautiful colors and ceramic styles… I wanted to be able to take it all home with me, but I settled on two cobalt blue cups (that look purple before heating up in the kiln!) to use for coffee and tea. In Fes they don’t use oil or gas, but crushed olive pits as fuel for fire in the kilns.
After our last stop we all hopped in the car for a long ride through the middle atlas mountains. There were beautiful views of rolling hills and valleys and snow-capped mountains. We stopped in Ifrane – known for its European-style chalets – for coffee (My sister, Natalie, and I ordered our favorite “noos noos” espresso with milk) and later stopped in one of many Amazigh cities we drove through for barbeque. Our final destination before reaching Merzouga was Fossils Erfoud, a factory that excavates fossils and incorporates them into tables and home decor.
I had the pleasure and good fortune of stumbling upon Sally’s Middle Name while exploring my little H Street neighborhood a couple weekends ago. I happened to be alone for the day, and decided to treat myself to a little brunch. The space is so inviting – with it’s cozy dining tables, chalkboard wall menu, and mix-matched china – as if you were dining at your favorite family member’s home. Sally’s is farm-to-table, with ingredients on both their dinner and brunch menus coming from local farms and markets. With all the delicious offerings, I didn’t know where to start, so Sam Adkins, Executive Chef at Sally’s, suggested the pork belly hash and the fresh berries (cherries from Pennsylvania and blueberries from Virginia) with smoked sugar. What a treat! I’m not one to go a day without coffee, so I ordered a cup to go along with my brunch and received an entire carafe of french-pressed Vigilante coffee.
After brunch, Business Manager Aphra Adkins walked me upstairs to Akae, a carefully curated retail shop. The space is filled with light and warmth, and showcases vintage furniture, hand-crafted jewelry, home decor, children’s clothing, and women’s apparel. Aphra and her business partner, Seda Nak, are independent women who pride themselves on a shop that promotes local artisans and their crafts. Their space is also ideal for private events with it’s open floor plan, exposed brick walls, and large windows. Aphra and Seda are as inviting (if not more!) as their space, so make sure you check it out and say hello the next time you’re in the neighborhood!
My best friend Chelsea is marrying the love of her life this September and has found the perfect gown to get married in, but unfortunately it was not the first dress she purchased. Her first dress is a beautiful gown created by the designer at Elegance by Roya in Alexandria, Virginia, and is up for sale on oncewed.com.
This dress has breath taking beading on the straps, is a mermaid/trumpet cut and made of off-white satin material, and has a beautiful and unique bow on the back. Better yet, it has never been worn and comes with a beautiful beaded belt.
The medina in Fes was a bustling place. Between the carts, mules, and rushing people, it was a wonder we didn’t get run over! We took sanctuary along the corridors of the medina in mosques, workshops, and souks, and the tannery – shoes, jackets, and purses galore! There was a scenic view on the top floor of the tannery, but we needed a sprig of mint to mask the smell of a mixture of cow urine, quicklime, water, and salt which is used to break down the tough leather. The medina is rich with so much history and beautiful craftsmanship – it was hard to pack it all into one day!