Fall To-Do List Update

I have had the craziest last couple of weeks.  Between work, friends, projects, quartet rehearsals, and family obligations, it’s hard to find a moment to slow down and reflect.  Saturday was the first day in a while that I was able to sit down and think about how I have been coming along on my fall to-do list, so cheers to the weekend!

Even though I have been incredibly busy, I have been happy.  I am the sort that gets a huge amount of gratification from accomplishing things, and that’s what fall has done for me.  Here’s what I have been up to lately:

1. Keeping up with appearances.  I am now into my second month of Birchbox, and loving it!  Since I’m not adventurous enough to buy a full-sized bottle of product to try, it’s nice to get a few samples to see what works.  I’m currently loving the Dr. Jart+ tinted moisturizer from the September box and still getting a feel for a few items in the October box.


2. Exercising.  I joined a running club in Shirlington and it has done wonders for my energy level.  It’s also a great way to release stress after a long day at work, and to socialize!  It’s hard for me to motivate myself to work out, but so much easier with a great group of friends.  My goal is to be able to run the entire 5K loop without stopping to walk, but I must say I am quite proud that I have even completed between 3.1 – 3.7 miles AND I am no longer a running hater!

3. Getty crafty.  After a realization that I need to channel my younger more crafty self, I decided to host a monthly craft night.  There’s nothing too much more relaxing and comforting than creating art, drinking, and laughing with friends.  Our first craft night featured one of my childhood favorite crafts: Sculpey.  In addition to some creative planters, we decided to make a few octopi friends for our rooms and offices.  DIY steps and photos to come!

4. Practicing. Strike Quartet is keeping me busy with rehearsals and preparing for our first performance on October 18th at the Fridge.  It has been awesome getting the group together to do something that we all love.  Our show at the Fridge was a great first gig (check out our mention in the Capitol Hill Corner blog!) and I’m looking forward to performing more and more.  And look at this awesome poster that my friend Dan made for us!


If you have any suggestions for crafty night projects or have great fall “to-do’s,” please share!


Fall To-Do List

Summer is the busiest season at work: fantastic performances and events that come with endless days running around and that leave you less than the desired time to spend on those extra things that make you happy.

So many activities on my “summer to-do list” were neglected, like pesky dust bunnies forgotten in the corner.  I never went to Jazz in the Garden, or took a walk along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and goodness knows my body hasn’t seen the gym in far too long.

The craziness of summer is finally coming to a close and I am starting to be able to look at life with fresh eyes.  With fall comes endless possibilities – it’s  like preparing for all of your resolutions in the New Year, except with much better weather.

My list involves getting outdoors and active more, making time for friends, allowing time for creative outlets, and having some much needed “me” time:

1. Join a running club.  A friend has invited me to join her on Tuesdays for a little running [which I hate] after work.  Well, hate is a strong word, but I highly dislike running.  I’m hoping that this group activity will add some *positive* reinforcement to a dreaded form of exercise.  I think dinner and drinks afterwards won’t hurt either…


Photo via Teddy Wolff Photography

2. Sign up for Birchbox. Somehow, I have survived the last 10 years with the bare minimum of makeup and beauty products.  You could call me a “natural” gal, so give me a Physician’s Formula concealer and Neutrogena compact powder foundation from CVS and I’m good to go.  Although I could go on this way, I feel I at least owe it to myself to explore the world of beauty, and what better way is there for $10 to receive a box each month on your doorstep, teeming with new and exciting supplies?!

Photo via Birchbox

3. Play my little heart out. Playing the violin used to be my life.  Chamber group and symphony rehearsals, lessons, and hours of practice would make up my day in college.  Although exhausting, this much playing gave me a kind of satisfaction that I can’t get anywhere else.  I am excited to say that our quartet is back together, ready for weekly rehearsals and gigs around the DMV!  I will keep everyone updated with dates and locations.

4. Plan my fall/winter show lineup.  Fall and winter are for SHOWS!  Coming up this week on Friday is the Dirty Names, playing at Rock and Roll Hotel on H Street.  They are originally from Annapolis, so seeing them play will be especially fun! Also, if you haven’t heard of Charli XCX, check her out!  You most likely have heard her collaboration on the popular Icona Pop single, “I Love It,” but she has many more fantastic songs on her album True Romance that I can’t wait to hear live on November 16th at U Street Music Hall.  

5. Just say “yes.” It’s so easy to fall into a “I can’t,” “I don’t have time,” “I’m too tired” rut.  This season is for yes’s.  It’s time to plan ahead, get active, and stay positive!


A New Chapter

I am happy and excited to share that I am shifting my career focus to rental events as Corporate Rentals Coordinator!  Building and maintaining relationships will be a key aspect of the job [in addition to planning fun and fresh events!], as I meet clients and vendors and introduce them to our amazing organization and what it has to offer.  It’s a bittersweet transition, [as the “sun sets” on my previous position as Program Coordinator, Special Events] but I look forward to exciting things to come.

Stay tuned for brainstorms, photos, tips, and more, as I continue to learn about the event and rental industry, meet new people, and grow both personally and professionally.  As always, I would love to hear from you along the way, too!



May is for Music

Growing up sans internet and mostly sans television, I spent a lot of my time listening to music on the radio, which involved a very time-consuming [yet satisfying] hobby of making copious amounts of mix tapes.  Several hours of my childhood were spent on the wooden floor of my bedroom waiting for the perfect song to play on the radio and to press “record” on my 1980’s styled boombox.

These days I no longer have the boombox, nor the time to spend listening to music for hours in my room, but I do still love to create the perfect “mix tape.”

My sister, Natalie, has just graduated [yay!] from Sweet Briar College, which presented a golden opportunity to put together a graduation playlist, complete with uppers, downers, and all the in-between songs that encapsulate the roller coaster of feelings post-grads experience as they leave a familiar home to burst [and sometimes meander] into the “real world.”

A couple tricks of the mix tape trade:
1. Choose music that is meaningful to you and that you’re excited about.  I rarely create mixes with songs that aren’t currently floating around in my head for one reason or another.
2. Have a purpose in mind. It’s easy to put songs together that you like in in one playlist, but way more fun to stick to a theme and find the “perfect” songs.
3. Order matters!
4. Don’t sweat the length.  It may be 8 great songs, or 20.

Natalie’s Graduation Mix
1. Boy – This Is the Beginning
2. Youngblood Hawke – Stars (Hold On)
3. Icona Pop – Ready for the Weekend
4. Ke$ha – All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)
6. Capital Cities – Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast
7. Taylor Swift – 22
8. Junip – Your Life Your Call
9. Phosphorescent – Ride On, Right On
10. The Horde & The Harem – Chasing Crows
11. John Mark Nelson – Reminisce
12. The Shins – It’s Only Life
13. The Gossip – Heavy Cross
14. Grimes – Oblivion
15. Junip – It’s Alright
16. Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running
17. Beach House – Wishes
18. Two Door Cinema Club – This is the Life

Happy listening!

Spring To-do List

I love lists and it’s spring, so here is my to-do list for the new season!

1. Go outside!  This “task” may seem like a no-brainer, but working a 9-5 job and then some + teaching makes it hard to get outside during the day.  My goal is to be able to pry myself away from my desk for 10 minutes a day to enjoy the sunshine and get some Vitamin D.

2. “Live it up” and go to brunch.  Brunch has always been something I have viewed as a hoity-toity expensive and frivolous activity.  Having experienced brunch at District Commons and all it’s glory last weekend, I have decided that it’s actually a great way to catch up with friends after a long week, enjoy some comfort food, and have one of my favorite things in the world – mimosas.  I’m going to depart from my usual frugality and go to brunch more often, starting tomorrow ($9 bottomless mimosas at the Argonaut!).

3. Experiment with food.  Not in the Frankenstein or Flubber sense of the word, but to have more of an adventurous spirit while cooking.  Growing up with a French dad I have had it all, from escargot and pate, to venison and Cassoulet.  I am a pretty decent cook and I most certainly have an open mind when it comes to food, so I think it’s time to put the two together.  My first shot this week was making octopus salad (recipe and photos to come!).

4. Discover new music.  I have been listening to NPR’s podcast All Songs Considered a lot lately on my commute to work.  One of my favorites right now is Junip’s new song “Your Life, Your Call,” which reminds me of my best friend’s motto [in reference to all the stupid things that people do], ” it’s not my life.”  Never mind the disturbing video, the song is great.

The Flaming Lips’ new album, The Terror, will be released tomorrow, April 16!  Apparently I have an affinity for disturbing music right now, because The Terror has also been described as being “disturbing” by Wayne Coyne himself.

Another album I am anticipating is Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City.  Take a listen to “Diane Young.”

5. See the cherry blossoms.  Although, I think the storm this morning may have undermined by plans to go downtown tomorrow to see them.  This is how I feel about the situation in haiku form:

Pink and white blossoms
Disappear from the old trees
Untimely cruel storm

What are you planning on doing this spring?  Please share!