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Redskins and Champagne: An Odd and Epic Combo

Sep 27, 2013

Lime with bitters, the one and only cure for hiccups. (I'll explain later.)

Last weekend marked one month since the break-up, and it also meant that my mind is finally getting through to my heart. I've finally accepted it's over, which has caused me to feel new versions of heartbreak, but it also tells me I'm healing, progressing and moving on. 

Acceptance sure is a lonely place to be, though.

Which is why I'm so thankful for Anne. The day after the break-up, Anne let me cry to her for a little bit, and then when I'd gotten it all out she told me, "I'm very sorry for you but very happy for me. It's good to have you back!" And have me back she has! I really loved being in a relationship with The Ex, but man it feels good to be a gangsta. I mean single. 

The same week that allathat happened, Klout gave me two tickets to a pre-season Redskins game and threw in two passes to welcome the players onto the field. Obviously I took Anne, as she had never been to a pro football game and most of my single friends have married off in the past year, and all the married ones had babies. 

On Saturday I picked her up at 2:30 p.m., giving us plenty of time to get to the stadium, chill for a while and then go down to the field. WRONG. Trayvon Martin protest around the White House made the 30-minute trip two hours. (This is what Washingtonians have to deal with, people who don't live here. You're constantly battling with yourself over issues you like to preach about during the week and then are faced with demoralizing situations that make you realize you really just want to enjoy your weekend and keep your ethics to business hours.)

I waited an unreasonable amount of time for the Air National Guard to let us through, and then, to Anne's horror concern, I jumped out of my car and ran up to the the guy in the uniform. Time to get my flirt on! I thought as I pranced over to him.

"Excuse me, so sorry to bother you while you're doing your job, but would it be possible to let me turn right? You see, I'm late for a Redskins game and I..."

He put up his hand to stop me. Here comes the arrest... I thought and imagined the headline in DCist: "Woman arrested during Trayvon Martin protest for not protesting Trayvon Martin." (In hindsight that would never be a headline because no one was protesting Trayvon Martin.)

"I cannot allow you to make it on time to a Redskins game. I'm a Patriots fan," he said instead of arresting me.

"Well, it's just that I won these tickets and my girlfriend and I really really really want to go and ...pleeeeease?"

He looked over at the traffic. "Where is your car?"

"About three back. See? The little red one?"

He nodded. "Go on back to your car, I'm gonna get you to your game."

As I skipped back to Anne, I thought with amazement, I still got it!

Sadly, we arrived six minutes after we needed to in order to introduce the players onto the field. I called the organizer and told her what had happened, and she told me not to worry and enjoy the game. We walked up to will call where we were given Women of Washington Redskins t-shirts and our tickets, to which the lady behind the counter said, "Looks like you've been upgraded!" 

"Great! We got better seats!" I told Anne. We walked up to the gate and learned all about the NFL's new policy regarding purses, so we had to walk back to the parking lot and put our purses in my car. We also changed into our shirts there. Anne posed for pictures.

We went to find our seats and kept being ushered closer and closer to the field until finally we found them. Two rows back... the Dream Seats. (In case you are like us and didn't know the significance of this, Dream Seats are where the players' wives sit.)

To our surprise and delight, we found out that in dream seats you get free food and drinks whenever you want, however much you want. 

But the best part was we spent the first half looking at this...

 ...and making jokes about/loathing our long-ago-lost high metabolism over this:

During the 3rd quarter we used our fancy tickets to get us into the fancy Club Level with the fancy concessions. At the Audi Bar, we treated ourselves to a mid-afternoon cocktail.

And there, in my now very sweaty t-shirt, I was hit on for the first time since my new single status was enacted. He was nice but seemed kind of boring. Anne egged him on. She also noticed he was with friends and therefore could introduce us to more prospects. He asked for my number. I gave it to him. Anne told him about my blog. I gave him that too. At that point my heartwrenching break-up post was at the top of the page, so we both assumed he would read it and run. 

(He did not. In fact, he did better research on me than anyone I'm aware of ever has and friended me on every social media platform he could think of. But, per his very long voicemail, he was perpetually busy with work, and I wasn't ready at that point anyway, so nothing happened with that.)

We went back to the game until four minutes were left, and then we decided to beat the rush and go get some dinner, since it was clear the Redskins would win anyway. Anne suggested her very quiet, low key neighborhood bar that also had good food -- The Gin Joint, part of New Heights in Woodley Park.

She should have known or maybe had just forgotten, I don't do very quiet and low key. Instead, I flirted with the bartender who I assumed was gay (he wasn't) then flirted with the guy in the flowery shirt drinking wine in a gin joint who I also assumed was gay (he definitely wasn't), and long story short we ran up a $700 tab and didn't pay for any of it. Several times Anne grabbed my leg as if to say, Simmer down, which just provoked me to take it further.

Highlights from the evening:
  • Wine Guy let me try his wine, and I told him I liked it so he ordered me a bottle. As he opened the bottle, the bartender whispered to me, "This is a $280 bottle of wine!"
  • Wine Guy kept talking about his Maserati so I called him out on it and told him to prove it to me. We walked outside and, sure enough, there was his Maserati. He gave me the keys and told me to take it for a spin. I did not. A sweet couple came over and asked if they could take a picture of it because their son was in the Marines and he would be "tickled pink" if he got this photo from them. I suggested they get in and I'd take the picture for them. They did not. 
  • Wine Guy asked us if we like bubbly and obviously I squealed. "Your best champagne!" he waved to the bartender, who by now had told me about his girlfriend. Trying to be sophisticated in a sweaty t-shirt, I leaned in and very loudly (so everyone would be impressed) asked, "Where is this champagne from?" The bartender looked confused. "Cham-paaaaaaaaagne." Oh. Right. Because real champagne comes from Champagne. (It was deeeeeeelicious.)
  • Wine Guy, who by now I was calling "Maserati," had a friend who came a little later. He was a recently retired Army colonel which led me to call him "Sir" a lot. Before they left, The Colonel gave me cab fare and told me he wanted to set me up with his son.
  • Also before they left, Maserati's girlfriend showed up and hung out with us drinking champagne from Champagne. She is the daughter of a very prominent politician. That's all I can say. It was weird and awesome.
  • After they left, the owner came downstairs and we finished the wine and champagne with him and the bartender. 
All I can say is, watch out DC, 'cause I'm back! And now I have a partner in crime age appropriate and perfectly legal activities. 

Oh...the lime with bitters thing? All that champagne (pronounced "sham-POG-nay") gave me the hiccups. The owner told the bartender to give me a lime with bitters on it, and he said, and I quote, "Lime with bitters, the one and only cure for hiccups." I don't know about all that -- hanging upside down off of your bed and drinking water works pah-ritty well. But it was much classier and it did the trick. 

Emmys 2013: Granny Chic, the Hot Trend for Fall

Sep 23, 2013

Breaking Bad was the big winner, but nobody's surprised. 

I loved the choreography number. Nice touch to the show.

Enough of that. Here's the important stuff. WHO WAS EVERYONE WEARING?! I don't check to see what the experts say before I write these, so you should probably file all of my "bad" ones under "best dressed." 

Let's start with the bad, they're the most fun.

Amanda Peet in Erdem
There are so many things wrong with this...I can't. We saw a lot of high-low dresses on the red carpet, and this is an example of a bad one. The whole idea of high-low is to give the illusion of short while staying conservative/age-appropriate with long. Tell me, then, why the "short" is over her knees? Then the polka dots, the lace, the granny collar, the peek-a-boo midriff, the vampy red bag...

Aubrey Plaza in Marios Schwab
So I take it Aubrey and Amanda got ready together? This is what I don't get. If you still have the metabolism to not calorie count, why are you wearing anything that doesn't flaunt your fleeting skinniness?! You're going to look back on this and hate yourself for not wearing something sparkly and backless. And what the heck is hot-glued to her sleeves?

Cat Deeley in Armani
So apparently the saddlebags look is in this fall...and is it just me or does the top look like a cat?

Heidi Klum in Atelier Versace
Tim Gunn: I'm concerned. Why is she wearing a dickie?
Heidi: I just wanna rip that dickie off! Can you take it off? There you go. Much better. I would wear that in every color. 

Julianne Hough in Jenny Packham
I can deal with the bloomers (how did she use the bathroom?), but this is just begging for a fashion malfuntion. At least she is staying true to the young with great metabolism thing, though. 

Kate Mara in J. Mendel
I'm sure this is very fashion forward in someone's book, but the top gives her a uniboob and her hair is all wrong. Add in the stripper heels and you've got the perfect storm for an epic fashion fail.

Kerry Washington in Marchesa
Why can't Kerry get it right? This is too girlish, too frilly, not doing anything for her bust and the wrong color. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Some stylist is getting paid too much! 

Elisabeth Moss in Andrew Gn
I want to like this, but I feel like it's the same thing I wore in 2000 to a military ball with the guy who was still in love with me from high school but who I kept in the friend zone until he got married, so I wanted to be pretty but didn't want to spend a lot so I got it on sale in the junior's section at Macy's for $30 and just removed the red sequined rosettes that I assume were meant to give it that extra something special. Maybe this looked better in person. Or maybe it needed some red sequined rosettes.

January Jones in Givenchy
Kudos to January for not looking deranged this time; alas, she is part of the Granny Chic and No Accessories trends of the evening. 

Lena Dunham in Prada
Why does Lena keep antagonizing me like this?!?!?! Okay look. Make the poof into a pencil skirt, make the top strapless with a sweetheart neckline. Put on a black and gold cuff, sparkly earrings and some red heels. That's how this might have been okay. *rageanger!!!*
Zosia Mamet in Honor
Are the "Girls" in on this together?! The fabric on the bottom is actually really pretty and different, but who cares about that because you're just looking at her tiny boobies! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

And now the good ones...
Allison Williams in Ralph Lauren
I'm only including Allison because her co-stars taunted me while she kept it real. Pretty color, but wish she had tried a little harder. Why not a sparkly necklace or big earrings? I just don't get it.

Alyson Hannigan in Marchesa
Love a good purple with red hair! This dress is gorgeous on her. Hard to believe she's a mama.

Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano
Christina's stylist is getting paid just the right amount. I lurv that she's wearing a Project Runway designer's dress. The black is not boring, the lace is so feminine, and the bustline and train are perfect.

Julie Bowen in Zac Posen
This is how you show off a hot body. Julie has to work at hers -- maybe that's why she's dressing to impress and the younger actresses aren't?

Kaley Cuoco in Vera Wang
Perfect red for the fall, tastefully sheer midriff, great bustline, gorgeous skirt. The younger ladies need to take note or get her stylist asap. 

Leslie Mann in J. Mendel
High-low done right. I love how the "high" is defined by the chevron stripes. Flattering, interesting, on trend. 

Brooke Burke-Charvet
My first thought was This is kinda 90s, but about a millisecond later I was thinking, I NEED THIS DRESS. A genius way to make white look utterly slimming.  

Michelle Dockery in Prada
First of all, her haircut is adorable. Secondly, I would never think to put these two shades of red together, but each shade makes the other pop. Perfect for fall, even better for the red carpet.

Rose Byrne in Calvin Klein Collection
At first glance this doesn't look like much, but what I love about this look is the tasteful midriff peek-a-boo. The high-waisted skirt and halter top separate at the perfect point to maintain the taste level. The color and lack of embellishment keeps the element of surprise where it should be. I would have liked to see a glittery necklace along the neckline, but otherwise very well done.

Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang and Lorraine Schwartz
I mean, basically anything Sofia wears is going to be amazing. She never gets it wrong. She used to, but clearly she realized she was paying her stylist too much and got a new one.

Laura Dern in Naeem Khan
This color is so beautiful, and the lace looks like a garden cascading down her back. She looks like a modern day Marie Antoinette.  

Jessica Pare in Oscar de la Renta
I actually hate this dress, but I am obsessed with her shoes! At least the dress is cut to show off the best part of her outfit.


Zooey Deschanel in J. Mendel, Chanel and Charlotte Olympia
Flawless, from her soft, bouncy hair to the placement of the draping. The light blue makes her eyes even bluer, and the cutout is so elegant.

Good job, people of TV Land.

My Thoughts on the Navy Yard Shooting

Sep 18, 2013

While on my way to work on Monday, I received a text alert: "Active shooter at Navy Yard." 

My stomach twisted. Not again.

Knowing the tragic details would unfold throughout the day and people I know could very well be involved, I tried my best to go about my business. But the text alerts kept coming in. The casualty numbers kept going up. The knot in my stomach kept twisting.

Safely tucked away in my office in the burbs, I answered my friends' and family's messages with, "I am okay. I don't work or live near there. You know as much as I do." By the end of the day it was being heralded one of the worst loss-of-life incidents DC has ever seen. 

On 9/11 I was hysterical. I left work and went straight to the grocery store to buy water, fearing the East Coast water supply had been poisoned. Years later, when a man came to the Pentagon where I was working and began shooting at the entrance, I was terrified. For many weeks after that I had to settle with myself each day that I might die at work but I still had to go. 

But this time I was just sick. 

Events like this are teetering on commonplace in our country. After one tragic event, we now hold our breaths until the next act of senseless terrorism occurs. No real statement made. Just lives lost and communities shaken.

Another violent act against innocent people.

Another assailant with a record of mental health issues.

Another striking correlation between mental illness and violence.

The debates on gun laws have already begun. Security measures will likely be heightened. But, sadly, mental illness will be the center of most conversations. The big headline today is that Aaron Alexis was "hearing voices," which will lead many people to assume schizophrenia played a large part in his shooting spree.

The fact is, most people who suffer from mental illness are not violent, and most violent people don't suffer from mental illness. Worse, those with serious mental illnesses are at a higher risk of being victims of a violent crime. But in the wake of another mass shooting that stirs up unanswerable questions, these facts are easy to ignore.

Twelve people dead. 

One gross misconception reinforced. 

Millions of people afraid to seek the help they need.   

Week in Review

Sep 13, 2013

Yesterday I worked an event which was held outdoors because we all assumed it would be in the 70s with low humidity when we planned it. Instead, it got up to 93 degrees and was some of the highest humidity I've ever experienced. Picture this: a bunch of people in workout gear because this was a Health & Wellness event, yet I had to wear business clothes because I'm working a booth. So there I am in a pretty red Talbots dress and high heels running back and forth to get things out of my car and drenching the lining of my pretty red Talbots dress in sweat. Thank goodness for sunglasses, because all my mascara melted off in the process. Oh, and my table wasn't even there yet, so I had to find someone to help me lug one over to my spot.

"A woman can do everything a man can do but in heels!" I breathlessly said to the man helping me.

"And backwards!" another man yelled across the parking lot.

And yes, indeed, I was doing it in heels and backwards. So. I'm very happy to discover that fall is finally upon us.


Yes, and root vegetables! Which are my personal favorite things about fall. Read on for a recap of the last week of summer (I hope?) and things coming up.

1. Football season has begun! Commence the men I work with declaring I'm rooting for their team because I'm wearing their team colors. Nope. I just like wearing colors.

Same goes for Catniss. She got a new cone (blue) and we (as in my Cat Husband and I) were confused as to why she got an orange bandage, and then we found out: her surgeon is a Florida Gator. Ahh.

Also, this is her favorite way for me to hold her:

(P.S. We've raised over $1,000 to help out this little girl! Thank you so much for caring. The fundraiser is still going, but we've been able to get her the help she needed for this first phase of care. Check the widget on the upper right hand side of my blog if you'd like to give to the Catniss Fund, and read her story here.) 

Noli is a honey badger when it comes to football. And Catniss.

2. 14th & U Farmers Market is having a vegetable cutting demonstration on Saturday. Dave, the instructor, will show you his techniques so you can tame onions, garlic, ginger, peppers, greens, tomatoes and vegetables for cooking and presentation. And yes, how you cut the veg does change how it cooks and tastes. Afterwards you can buy some root veggies and seasonal fruits to try at home!

3. Lyft, a service that puts a dollar sign on slugging, recently launched in DC. To celebrate their 12th participating city (Charolotte, NC), they're offering $20 off to new riders with the code LYFTUSA. 

4. It's time to cast your votes for Express's Best of DC. Please show your support for Bo Obama.

5. That Syria thing got under control fast. Here's a rundown of what led up to the diplomatic rather than militant force actions, resulting in Syria's request to join the U.N.'s Chemical Weapons Convention, care of characters from The Hills.

6. Fall TV is gearing up! Here's the first episode of Season 2 of The Mindy Project before it airs. I've missed you, Mindy.

7. District Flea opens this weekend! Brought to us by the guys behind Brooklyn Flea, this U Street market will only be around six Saturdays this fall. By next fall condos will be built on the property, so don't miss out! I mentioned last week that I'm going to try to get a booth. Hopefully I'll have that secured soon and can give y'all a date, but until then, here's a sampling of what I've been working on:

Enjoy the beautiful weekend! And if anyone needs a sailing buddy, let me know! ;)

Review: Stitch Fix

Sep 9, 2013

I'm really excited to tell y'all about Stitch Fix and they didn't even pay me or give me free stuff to say that. A few friends who know I was planning on writing this post have been hounding me to write it, so buckle up because I'm about to change your world.

Stitch Fix is basically like having a personal shopper/stylist.
I know what you're thinking. But I like going shopping. This will take the fun out of it!

The way I see it, this is the safest way to have fun if you are shopping just for fun. 

Do you need a need powersuit for your fancy promotion? 
Go to Macy's or whatever your go-to suit store is. 

Do you just kinda want a new shirt because your other shirts are making you feel blah because you've worn them each more than five times during the past season? 
Don't go to Macy's or whatever your go-to I'm-bored/hungry/sad/feeling ugly-and-therefore-I-shop store is. You are about to spend way too much money on something that's on sale that you are only 66% crazy about and is a size too big or too small for you so you probably aren't going to wear it more than once anyway.

Instead, try Stitch Fix!

When you sign up, you'll fill out a questionnaire about your style, body shape, interests, needs, etc., where they really just ask you the same three questions in about five ways to make sure they're understanding you. For instance, the first time they asked me if I was bohemian, I thought, Sure, sometimes I like the boho chic look. Then a couple of questions later they asked me again, but showed me a picture of what bohemian was, and I realized, Oh no, I am def preppy and conservative. 

When I first tried Stitch Fix, I was about to go to St. Thomas (with the *cringe*ex-boyfriend and his family...but let's not worry about that right now). So I told my stylist I wanted some fun beachy clothes. A few days later my package arrived.

I loved the personal touch from my stylist, Catherine, who will remain my stylist so she can get to know me better and tailor future orders to my taste, budget, etc.

Each package contains five items. If you want all dresses, tell your stylist and she'll make sure to give you all dresses. If you don't want an accessory, let your stylist know and she'll throw in an extra article of clothing. Otherwise, she'll give you a mix of items. 

1) The first one in my St. Thomas package was a sleeveless shirt, and the moment I took it out of the box I thought, Trouble! I loved it, but I didn't need another shirt. It was beautiful and I love how the sleeves went slightly over my shoulders. However, it was a little tight on my hips, so I decided not to keep it.

2) The next item was a maxi dress, which has basically been my uniform for Summer 2013. It had a pretty crocheted back (yet somehow is not bohemian! Or maybe it is? I don't know, it was gorgeous, so maybe I am a little bohemian.) and was so soft and stretchy, plus, believe it or not, the horizontal stripes were super flattering on my curvy figure. I put this one in the "yes" pile.

I might as well mention here, they include these handy dandy styling cards with each of your items so you can maximize use out of them. 

3) This is supposed to be a wrap/bathing suit cover-up, I think? Aside from the wrinkles, I just didn't find it flattering on me. I already have a wrap in that color, and I didn't like it enough to keep it. I think a skinny model type could pull this off, but it just made me feel like I was wearing a cropped mu-mu. 

4) This little dress was cute, but the material was very thin, and I didn't feel like it was worth $68. If it had made me look 10 pounds lighter then maybe, but I had to pull at it in so many places to make it lay right, I didn't think it would even be that much fun to wear at the beach. You want something you can throw on, and this was too high maintenance.

5) For the necklace, I put the maxi dress back on because I couldn't stop thinking about it. (*doublecringe* I shouldn't have waited so long to post my Stitch Fix review! Oh well, the Tiffany's necklace was still very nice of The Ex Boyfriend.) 

The necklace was sooooo pretty and happened to look awesome with the dress. I decided that if nothing else had worked then I would have gotten the necklace, but since I was set on the maxi at that point, I couldn't justify spending $40 more dollars for an accessory.

Included in my package was a pre-paid bag for shipping back what I didn't want. Once I went back to the website and signed into my account, I went to my "checkout" page and let them know what I was sending back and what I was keeping.

Now here's the best part: They apply the $20 stylist fee to your order. 

So that beautiful maxi dress? I only paid an additional $48 for. 

I know what you're thinking. You could have gotten a maxi dress at Target for way less!

True, but I would have also bought new hair styling products, a few things at the Dollar Spot, new towels, a new toy for Noli, a couple of DVDs from the $5.00 rack, and who knows what else. This way, I get the "fix" I need without all the extra stuff that I certainly don't need. Plus, it's super fun getting a package in the mail, and there's a slim chance you'll see someone else wearing your outfit because most of the clothes you get are from wholesalers, meaning your average girl with an office job isn't going to find this stuff at the mall or even T.J. Maxx.

You may also be thinking that your stylist won't know your size and style on the first try, but I'm telling you, it was eerie how accurately Catherine pegged me. With fall coming up, I'll definitely be pinging Catherine for another box...

...which begs your last question: Do I have to pay for this every month?

Nope, only when you need a stitch fix. And with everything that's been happening in my world lately, I'm due for another one soon!