Archive for selfies

Weekend Review: Hillwood Estate

This past weekend, Mom came to visit. Like other times she’s visited, I try to take her somewhere special in DC. This trip we went to Hillwood Estate, a great recommendation from my colleague Elizabeth. Mom loved it and raved about how perfect the day was. 🙂

We got there around 10 AM when they first opened and it was great to explore the grounds while no one else was there. We even stopped into the little cafe and had Afternoon Tea. It was true afternoon tea with a small selection plate and a pot of brew. Mom and I felt the tiniest bit fancy and we both had an amazing day.

I don’t want to bore you with the back story, because the pictures are so fun, but I feel like I have to give you some info to go off of here. The Hillwood Estate was owned by Majorie Merriweather Post. If you live in the area, that’s the same Merriweather Post as the Pavilion. For everyone else, that’s the same Post as in Post cereal. YUP! Cereal tycoon in the hizzous. Over her lifetime, not only did she participate in being independently stinkin’ rich, but she also had a taste for art. After a stint in Russia with her 3rd hubby, she started collecting a lot of Russian artifacts. And that’s how Hillwood was born. First as her own private museum and later public after she passed away. And now… PICTURES!

There was much much more of the insides, but I think there’s enough there to entertain you. The gardens were amazing too, but my favorite was the Japanese Garden. I couldn’t help but play and I loved these pictures Mom took of me!

Enjoy, I tried to make the captions as descriptive as possible.

Hillwood Estate - Entrance

Hillwood Estate – Entrance

Grand staircase in the foyer.

Grand staircase in the foyer.

Fancy artwork and statues in the foyer

Fancy artwork and statues in the foyer

First floor library

First floor library

French room (named for the origin of most pieces)

French room (named for the origin of most pieces)

Main dining hall

Main dining hall

Breakfast nook

Breakfast nook

Amazing centerpiece - they have quite the greenhouse on site!

Amazing centerpiece – they have quite the greenhouse on site!

Selfie with Mom in the greenhouse!

Selfie with Mom in the greenhouse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Me playing!

Me playing!

Just a hop, skip, and a jump! :)

Just a hop, skip, and a jump! 🙂

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to say Happy New Year from myself and Anaconda.

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We kept it pretty low key last night. I think I actually really like (and appreciate) a chill New Year’s Eve. I opened a nice bottle of wine and treated myself. Anaconda was super supportive and insisted I have a few glasses to ring in 2015!

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A cat that can support my life choices…now that’s a cat I can love!

Happy 2015 blog peeps – I’m looking forward to everything the new year has in store for me (and Anaconda)!

Choose joy.

Weekend review: Labor Day (plus a rewind!)

This past weekend flew by and while I had intentions of at least one other blog post…alas, it is Monday night. Already. Sadsies.

I did a lot of work over my holiday weekend, but I did manage at least one, fun awesome day of wine tasting with my sis and a few friends. It’s kind of turned into a tradition that my sis and I go wine tasting and after a few really fun trips with a couple of people…we’ve sort of, accidentally on purpose, turned into a wine group.

Yesterday, we checked out Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville, VA. And yes, the tasting room is actually in a wine cave!

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While the winery itself has that “small business” feel to it, there are over 200 acres of land/vineyards. All of us really loved that Maggie herself, was behind the counter, pouring her guests tastings and interacting with everyone. Of course, we got a photo!

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And here’s the view!

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They had a live jazz band there as well. Here’s Belle enjoying the music (and yes, we only pick wineries that are pup friendly so Belle can join the fun!).

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It was a great day with the wine group and we’re already planning our next winery adventure. It’s pretty fun to just pick a spot, meet up, eat and drink for a few hours, and walk away with some great memories.

And since I’m here, I thought I’d do a quick recap of the past few weeks since I haven’t quite found my blogging groove again. I’m working on figuring out a schedule that works for me, but for now…here we go. Here are 4 great pics that sum up my past couple weekends.

1. Brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon: Had brunch with a long-time friend and her hubby a few weekends back. They were visiting for a conference and we met up for bottomless mimosas at Beuchert’s Saloon. We kept the party going and had a few more bevvies. I don’t know what we’re all laughing at here, but this picture is priceless in my book. I do love the friends I’ve made along the way and even though we don’t talk every day, we’ve managed to stay in touch.

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Road trip to Richmond: I visited Richmond, VA last weekend to catch up with an old college friend. In truth, we were really only acquaintances at best, but life has a way of bringing people together when you need them most and now she’s definitely a friend. Here’s her adorable pup, Annabelle. You know I was in love!

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3. Puppy sitting
I’ve been puppy sitting again to boost my travel fund. Sometimes I forget how fun it can be, especially when you get to hang out in rich people’s houses and enjoy their fancy hammocks. Man, I love a good hammock.

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4. New job!
And last, but not least…my new job! I’m in love, people. In love! My coworkers are fab and I love all the events and adventures I get to go on. It’s not all conferences in SF, but just getting to be a part of something greater has put new spirit and excitement in my blood. They look to me as a marketing guru and when I voice an opinion, I”m heard! I’m also doing TONS of reading which feels good and I feel like my writing has been elevated. There is a big hill to climb, in terms of getting our site/blog/feed really out there…but it’s good to be a part of a team again. Here I am in Crystal City, checking out an art installation called #crystalwings. We saw it coming back from an event. Fun, right?!

photo 4(1)And that’s a wrap. Back to your regularly scheduled Monday program!

Weekend review: DC United!

This past weekend was spent celebrating a friend’s birthday. She’s a big soccer fan and while I don’t care much for the sport, I do care about tailgating and having fun with friends.

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Plan on checking out a DC United game while in town and want a cool DC insider tip? OK, here goes…

An all you can eat and drink experience with the Screaming Eagles, DC United’s ultimate fans, will set you back a whopping $12. At first I was skeptical, surely they must be serving up the crappiest of beer and the sort of hot dogs where you can’t even pronounce the ingredients; but no, only the best for this crowd. A variety of DC Brau brews were on tap and tasty noms like chorizo, bratwurst, tortellini, and veggie burgers were up for grabs! Om, nom, nom. Not to mention the cornhole and the ever welcoming regulars – they were all to happy to add a few more eagles to their screaming crew.

We also happened to be there on military appreciation night, so we snagged these sweet camo hats too.

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I KNOW! The seats weren’t half bad either and the atmosphere was great. Made a few new friends, waved a few flags, and felt all patriotic ‘n shiz.

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United ended up in a draw against Montreal, but I think everyone was simply excited by the fact that we didn’t lose. Hellz yeah! USA, USA, USA!

Weekend review: Dog love

Last September, one of my good friends moved to Boston. I was happy for her because she was starting a new chapter in her life, but also sad as she was my hiking buddy and she took her pup, Sophie with her. Rude.

But last weekend, I went to visit said friend, Sophie, and do a little Paddy’s Day celebrating in Southie like a local. This visit also meant I could cuddle with Sophie!

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I was actually really excited for the change in city and the change in pace as compared to my previous weekend shenanigans. Instead of being a lush, we were outdoorsy and did several hikes in the North Boston area.

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There was still plenty of snow on the ground, but it was manageable. It was also good training for my knee. I’m finally comfortable enough to get out there and do more rigorous activities…and not a moment too soon! But of course after every hike, there was always a bit of cuddle time. Sophie really has mastered the selfie…

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After 2 relaxed days of hiking, nomming, and catching up we headed to South Boston on Sunday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to hang out with some of her friends. Her friends had a townhouse right on the parade route – talk about an amazing view! Nothing beats a good Sunday session!

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It only took me 2 days into this week to feel rested and back to normal, but it was worth every minute. Tiny hats ftw!

Travel: Selfies (part 8)

Welp, this will be the last installment of selfies from my grand Asia adventure. I’ve already admitted to being restless this week and I regret not holding on to that feeling of freedom and zen I had when I came back, but maybe with a little bit of inner focus I can get back there. Enjoy and let’s cross our fingers for an even bigger adventure in the coming months!

Day 41 – when conducting your own walking tour around Ho Chi Minh City, it is customary to stop and act like reindeer outside of the shops in the fancy part of town.

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Day 42 – hello world, this is mags reporting in from Hoi An, Vietnam

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Day 43 – I think when people fall in love with cities, they really just fall in love with who they are in that city. At least, that’s how I feel about Hoi An. I know it’s not my widest/brightest smile, but I’m just in a happy haze/daze.

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Day 44 – Last night I randomly had dinner with a man from Hong Kong who lives in Paris and sells books. Then I met some Germans and drank snake wine and whisky until 4 AM. I love the adventures you find when you travel by yourself.

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Day 45 – motorbike adventure to My Son and Marble Mountain.

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Day 46 – Merry Christmas from Vietnam

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Day 47 – it’s been a while since I showed you my tiger face. This is my tiger face.

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Day 48 – oh ya know, just your standard lion dog guardian.

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Day 49 – well, this was awkward at the Ethnology Museum in Hanoi

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Day 50 – In Vietnam, motorbike is the only way to travel.

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Day 51 – back to life, back to reality. Hanoi > Bangkok > Seoul > DC. See ya on the flip side.

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Day 52 – that’s me back in DC after nearly 2 months of being away on the most amazing adventure. Last selfie of 2013 and to complete my journey. It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m ready for 2014 and to figure out the other pieces of my life puzzle.

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And if you wondered what I did with all those selfies, well – I made myself a little Flipagram because travel really is about discovering your selfie! You can watch it over here (because I’m too impatient to try and figure out how to embed it here!).

Weekend review: Museums galore!

Bam! Not even the end of January and I’ve already knocked out my entire DC Bucket List for 2014. Ok, so it wasn’t massive but I’ve been tipping away at that list for nearly 5 years. About time, right? And I even added a bonus museum to the list – just for fun.

On Friday, I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Chinatown. If you just walk up, the ticket price can be a little expensive, but I booked the tickets online and since I’m a local the tickets were only $15. I tried to find additional coupons, but none exist for online purchases. You know me, always looking for a good deal 🙂

I have to admit, the figures were very life-like and the eyes were probably the creepiest part of the figures. Here I am, discussing important Civil War strategies with Ulysses S. Grant. The wax museum offers period clothing to help make the photos more realistic, but I think my fishnet tights really turned this “staged photo” into an authentic portrait.

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The presidential wax feature ran all the way up to the Obama’s (but no Bo!) and you could even sit in a replica of the Oval Office. You had to pay for those pictures, but I did jump in this photo opp with everyone’s favorite first family – the Kennedy’s. Like my fur fox* jacket? Jackie totally approved.

*Note: faux fur fox jackets, also provided by the museum.

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Madame Tussaud’s also had an entire celebrity section where the look-a-likes were a bit hit or miss, in my opinion. All in all, it was a laughable experience. Not the best museum in all of DC, but when you’re whittling down your bucket list, you gotta try them all!

On Saturday, I knocked out that last remaining bucket list item and visited the American History Museum with my Mom. She came up for an extended visit as I was originally meant to have my knee surgery this weekend; however, plans changed last minute due to the surgeon’s schedule, so we had an impromptu mother/daughter weekend instead.

I had recently read that the museum had a First Lady exhibition and it’s latest acquisition was Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown by Jason Wu (the red one!). For some reason, I didn’t really think to snap any photos in any of the exhibits, but I did snap this selfie in front of the Star Spangled Banner bit right as you walk in (which by the way, they have the original flag! A-mazing.).

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All in all, a really fun (albeit slightly nerdy) weekend!

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