Monday, February 23, 2015

EXCITEMENT

GUESS WHAT, GUYS?!


Huge shoutout to everyone who voted for me! (I didn't rank into any of the People's Choice Awards, but I won an Editor's Pick Award, soooo it's all good haha.)

Honestly, I'm still awed and humbled at seeing my work being sold online. I may have fantasized about it before, but I never really imagined it could come to fruition.So to all those who are so fabulously uplifting and always ready to bless me with genuine encouragements - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

YOU'RE WELCOME

Presenting the true mark of snow day productivity: I'm also constantly bombarded with countless restaurant & café recommendation requests, so hopefully these will help out with that. I'll be (hopefully) continually updating links/places/categories, but in the meantime, enjoy!

where to caffeinate

For the curious ones/if you want the full comprehensive list:
my personal restaurant log

Monday, February 9, 2015

WOOLS & LEATHERS | BROWNS & BLACKS

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Banana Republic top | Forever 21 blazer + necklace | DKNY coat | Club Monaco pants | J. Crew booties | Burberry scarf (thanks mom!) | Michael Kors watch | James Avery ring

Oh man, I can feel the chills just thinking about that day again. ('Twas the same fateful late December night asd;flkajsdk happened, and since good things come at high prices, of course it came complete with waiting in the relentless stinging cold.)

Shoutout to my mother for urging me to invest in a wool coat; this bae of a coat was an instant winner with its clean silhouette and black leather accented belt + collar (also a major shoutout to my friend who tipped me off to Macy's online sales!).

Honestly, I enjoy layering up during the winters - I've been cutting down on clothing expenditures lately, and this season really lends itself well to experimenting with combinations from what I already own. In retrospect, I'm also glad that the sad size of my dorm closet gives me a spatial restriction on clothes (and since I'm on a closet cleansing kick, here's a neat idea that'll give you money back too).

For all y'all fellow east coasters, hope you're staying warm!

Monday, January 26, 2015

ROSE'S LUXURY

I don't even know how to begin this post. Rose's, I pledge you the best of my lowly, limited love that can barely begin to do justice to your glory.

(Warning: Long post ahead. Be wary of potential drooling and/or untamable hunger pangs.)

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I'm personally not a big movie watcher. It's not that I dislike movies; I just usually don't find it worth the initiative to go watch them - I mean, if I'm going to spend a couple hours of my day to just sit there and do nothing whatsoever with the rest of my body, it better be worth it. Thus, I don't really watch too many movies (or maybe I just don't have friends to ask me to watch with them??).

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But occasionally I come across a gem - oftentimes an Academy Award winning film. And I'm reminded once again that there's a reason why films are nominated and why they win (Lincoln, anyone? #sogood).

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Likewise, when Bon Appetit names the 2014 Restaurant of the Year, they ain't playin'.

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The wait is pure agony but the long-awaited entrance...pure heaven. Especially on frigid winter evenings. (As shown by the mitten above.)

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The decor and ambiance are really something; Rose's is definitely one of the most photogenic restaurants I have ever been in. Lights strung across the whole expanse of the ceiling and comfortably dim lighting + hip wooden furnishings make the experience both comfortably casual and warmly intimate. There's just an overall feelgoodness that can't be encompassed in words.

I think I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.


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Challah bread with black sesame & honey butter - Yes, this was complimentary. Yes, this was one of the strongest starter bread offerings I've ever encountered.

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Popcorn soup with grilled lobster - Smooth, salty soup + chunky, not-so-salty lobster + miraculously not soggy popcorn = perfect balance of texture and flavor.

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Pork sausage, habanero & lychee salad - The hype is real and the 15 different ingredients also very real. Pork is on the salty side, but no matter because your mouth is too busy juggling the flavor explosion to really notice anyways.

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Brief interruption in programming - did I mention we sat at the kitchen bar? (#SCORE!) Anyhow, back to the food.

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Whole grilled quail with fall greens & mulled cider glaze - Possibly the best dish of the night. The moderately tender consistency of the meat + subtly sweet/tangy glaze (SO. GOOD.) = winner.

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Capricci amatriciana with smoked sheep's milk pecorino - I'm not a big pasta person, but w o w this housemade pasta was soft, was smoky with a kick of spice, was covered with shredded sheep milk cheese, was yummies.

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English pea cake, mint curd, pistachios & buttermilk - Very interesting. I don't know how he makes the veggie-esque leaves and the liquidy milk and the spongey cake work, but it all coalesces into this subtly sweet...something. Like I couldn't tell what I was eating but it was weirdly good.

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Chocolate mousse with burnt coconut, shredded lime & coconut milk ice cream - I can leave the earth in peace now. (Though maybe a bit more peace if the portion size was bigger, but hey I'll take what I can get.)

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Peanut brittle - (What accompanied the receipt.) Quite the upgrade from your average end-of-meal fortune cookie.

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Elizabeth was fabulous - a perfect personification of the generous and accommodating server, quick to give thorough explanations of dishes to help tailor our choices to personal preferences and active in engaging in genuine conversation. (She also somehow noticed our struggle to pick one dessert from the menu, so she served us both with one on the house. We were ready to cry at this point.)

Monday, January 19, 2015

BLACK & BLACK | VELOUR & SUEDE

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Torn by Ronny Kobo dress | Crown Vintage booties | J. Crew necklace

I apologize for the graininess; picture appropriate lighting is not one of the Washington National Cathedral's fortes.

It does however have a strength as a beautiful musical performance venue! A friend of mine had extra tickets to hear the Czech Philharmonic perform Smetana's Má Vlast and Dvořák's New World Symphony, so the roomie and I promptly took to capitalizing on the opportunity. 

Suffice to say, that night also brought back many a memory of toiling through early morning rehearsals and poking fellow cellists through the stands and scrawling silly markings all over our music. If anyone from West is reading this, I miss making music with y'all, but I'm glad we at least overlapped a bit in our journeys of pursuing music for the rest of our lives. #canigetawolfpack

Monday, January 12, 2015

COOL DAYS | COOL TONES

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Uniqlo shirt | LOFT cardigan | Banana Republic coat + pants | Ralph Lauren boots | Marshalls scarf | J. Crew necklace | Michael Kors watch 

Well...this post is pretty comically late, but better late than never right?

I'm usually all about olive & gold tones during the fall (wow, I'm a whole season late oops), but I guess I was feeling darker vibes clothing-wise to complement the chilly weather that day. Actually, now that I think about it, any day is a perfect day to wear shades of one of my favorite colors: maroon/burgundy/merlot/anyvariationthereof. (Which I realize is not technically a true cool tone...oops again?)

And on a side note, yay for discovering more hipster alleyways and graffiti walls in the city!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

APPLE CINNAMON PULL APART BREAD

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I've found it. I've found the purpose of life baking!! (...now if only I could also figure out the former)

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As pretty as cupcakes and miscellaneous little desserts are to pin and fantasize of making, bread will always be my main squeeze. The kneading, the poking (or maybe I'm the only one that plays with my bread dough #noshame), the rise and transformation of smelly dough (let's be real, yeast smells kinda weird) into carb heaven...ahhhhh, all is well with the world. 

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Don't even get me started on the finished product. Soft, flaky insides encased within a golden brown, crispy outer shell - you and I both know the world would be a far less happy place without the beauty of bread. 

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Introducing the star of my Christmas party mass baking spree: toss in some layers of apples and cinnamon, and these will be conquered in minutes. Or if you're having a solo party, that's cool too cause it will probably still be conquered in minutes (actually, please call me over and we can make it a duo party). 

Clicky click for the recipe!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT


It's hard to hide it. It's draining to deal with.
The hurt, the brokenness, the spiritual strainings and strivings (extra points if you catch that Du Bois reference), the times when your soul feels irreparably vulnerable.

Of course, this is where the threads of community can begin weaving the first strands of renewal, where it can start working to stitch together a wounded and tangled soul.

But where community cannot reach, where it cannot penetrate - this precisely reflects the reason why the hurt is so deep. It's not merely of this world, it's founded on the the sin of man and the bitter workings of Satan.

We try to fill the emptiness with things of this world - inevitably things that will always fall through, because we live in a fallen world. Don't you see? Emptiness is a conditional part of existence on this earth. (Yup, quite the sombering conclusion.)

Yet fear not, for that's where He is; that's where God's waiting to reveal his beauty. Fear not, for he is closer than ever. It's these moments that illustrate the depth and fullness of his love, that you can see him, that you can lose yourself in him, that you realize he is the only one left to turn to, that to live is to worship, to speak to him, to read the living word. That goals are worthless without him and you are hopeless without him. That you desperately need him, and you need him more and more each day.

That we are soldiers everywhere in this world. That we fight on separate battlegrounds but for the same King, and that king is one who delights in us profoundly more than our human hearts could ever delight in him.

That that aforementioned king is one who has so perfectly and meticulously created us as beautiful beings to reflect him, and our natural response to who he is is thus to worship, to adore, to serve, to do so all while abiding in him.

Yes, times will be trying and direction will seem lost. When giving up or persevering both seem like hopeless options - what is there left to do?

As beautifully put by a dear brother of mine, let us be bold in our love. Because if anything, that's something that this world needs pretty dang badly. It's because our worldly institutions of family, friends, society, whatever - however weak or strong they may be, they all fail at giving and receiving love in a way that fully satisfies the soul, and it's because only his love can do that.

So let's love better together, with his love that he generously showers upon to any and all who ask. Let's remember together that we are broken so that we may see him and his hope more clearly, for we have waiting for us a place that knows no emptiness and radiates only wholeness. What is now left to do is to fight the good fight until the day Christ comes back in fullness and heaven embraces us in completeness.

Stay strong, for you are not the only one fighting battles. Ultimately, stay strong, for the world is already overcome and the war already won.
Don’t you see? The principle is that a Christian is both happier and sadder at the same time. The gospel makes you a far more sensitive person, a far more feeling person, but at the same time a person who is feeling because you’re more hopeful than anyone else, a person who is able to sense and see the grief because you have a joy unspeakable and full of glory. (Timothy Keller)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CHINATOWN COFFEE CO.

 photo DSC_1495-29_zps04f97faf.jpg In an area of DC inundated with big name chains and bustling crowds of people everywhere, Chinatown Coffee Co. is a welcome tourist-free destination a little ways off the beaten path.

I feel like they cycle through more hipster roasters than I cycle through pants in a week (which according to my roommate is not a lot...but that doesn't keep me from being firm believer in rewearing pants).

The lineup? Ranges from Chicago's Intelligentsia, San Francisco's Ritual, Portland's Heart, Vancouver's 49th Parallel, and Denver's Novo. It's okay; I only recognize like less than half of them too. 
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I always tell myself I should just go for it and try the organic-ethically sourced-uniquely packaged-so overpriced chocolate that these coffee shops sell...yet I never get around to it. I'll keep y'all posted; maybe I'll save my coffee money and get chocolate next time (...yah cause chocolate has caffeine too?!).

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It's neat how they serve alcoholic beverages in addition to coffee and tea, though I think sippin' on a cup of coffee in a café would feel more natural for me than a glass of wine. Plus that wine bottle looks mega creepy.

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Picture above taken by my friend Justin! You should follow his DC food Instagram account if you haven't already :)
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Ranked as one of the top coffee shops in DC by The Washington Post, Washingtonian, and DCist, Chinatown Coffee really does shine through, especially when the only other coffee shop in the vicinity is That Which Must Not Be Named.

The furnishings are by no means fancy and ambiance by no means glamorous, but that's not what we come here for anyways. (Actually, don't come here for the iced coffee either - 'twas mad expensive for what it was.)

Chinatown Coffee Co.
Cafe, $
475 H St NW
Washington, DC 20001