DC Eats!

During my mini trip home, I went into the city (Quick lesson – When someone says DC they mean the actual city OR the DC Metro area which includes Northern Virginia and some of Maryland.  I stay in Northern Virginia) during St. Patrick’s day.  Worst day to come into the city too.  Traffic was awful because of the parade and marathon.  Poor planning on my part.  Anyhow, I went into DC to have an acupuncture session done with my in-law’s doctor.  More about that experience during a future post.  After my acupuncture session, I hopped on the metro and to meet my mom and sister and start our fun weekend adventure.

We went to South Capitol Hill/Eastern Market and had lunch at Spike Mendelsohn’s  Good Stuff Eatery, where you can order the Obama burger, which my sister and mom had.  (My sister and I chuckled over this because my mom is such a Republican.  My mom was not amused, but continued to eat the burger we bought her)  I tried the Blazin’ Barn burger (pictured below), which is a take on a Banh Mi, the Village Fries, and Toasted Marshmallow milkshake.

The burger was good, but I wished it was on better bread.  The bread got a bit soggy.  Perhaps it was because they were so busy that Saturday that the quality suffered.  The fries were tasty, but alas there were soggy also.  😦  But the toasted marshmallow milkshake was DEELISH!

After lunch, we walked to Eastern Market and browsed around.  I lived in DC for almost 4 years and never went to Eastern Market within those 4 years.  Can you believe that?!?  Yes, I was one of those people who didn’t take advantage of the city that I lived in/around.  Yes, I’m that person that complains about tourists (even when I go to SF and I don’t live in the city!).  Plus parking is just a pain!  Anyhow, we strolled around and took a look at the food, jewelry, and antique vendors.  .

I did see a couple of statement necklaces that I was really interested in,  but I wasn’t feeling the prices.  Shopping is so not my thing anymore.

The Capitol.

On our way to the metro to go back to my sister’s apartment, we decided to stop by Starbucks and saw a Food Network sign across the street.  Of course I had to walk up to the window and see what the deal was.  The pastry shop was on Cupcake Wars and had recently won.  I walked into the tiny shop (how fitting with their name “Sweet Lobby“), which was packed.  I figured they won Cupcake Wars and it was packed, then I definitely had to try their desserts.  Of course I got both cupcakes and macarons.  This pregnancy has me constantly craving sweets, but along with that I do crave lots of fruits and vegetables.  🙂  It balances out plus all things in moderation right?

Yummy cupcake display.

LIGHT and AIRY MACARONS L-R:  Vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, caramel, earl gray, and violet vanilla.

CUPCAKES!  Top L-R:  Green velvet, Strawberry champagne, Banana Fosters; Bottom L-R:  Green Tea, Chocolate Hazelnut, and Sticky Toffee.  All so yummy.

Since it was a beautiful day, we sat outside while my sister enjoyed her iced coffee and my mom and I enjoyed our sweet treats.  Starting with the green tea cupcake!  SO GOOD!  My mom really liked it too (she’s hard to please when it comes to sweets)!  Had enough green tea flavor that didn’t over power plus the cake nor the icing were too sweet.  But then again I love most green tea flavored sweets.  Green tea ice cream, green tea sweet bread, green tea lattes, and green tea frappaccinos.  Yes, I have indulged in all of those during this pregnancy.  Again, in moderation and I try to walk as much as I can.

On Sunday, we had lunch with my best friend.  Afterwards, we went to a coffeehouse called Northside Social in Arlington.  My mother in law has raved about Cortado since she went to Spain two years ago (the hubs and I missed out on it while we were there last summer), but they had it at the coffeehouse, so I had to try it.  Before you say me I shouldn’t have caffeine, I ordered a half calf.  I’m allowed to have a little bit of caffeine even if I am pregnant.  AND I don’t have caffeinated drinks that often.  That’s my rational.  I have an excuse for everything right now when it comes to food.  I probably utter the words “But/because I’m pregnant” to my husband 2-3 times a day.  To which he says I’ve used that excuse too many times already that it no longer applies.  Yeah right…

Look at the adorable heart design.  My sister got a cappuccino and had a leaf design in hers.  Too cute!

If I had time, I would’ve tried to have dinner at Jaleo (Jose Andres) or Graffiato (Mike Isabella) or even eaten at a crab shack, like Captain Pell’s, for some blue crabs (even if they aren’t in season).

Do you live in the DC area or have you recently visited DC?  What are your favorite food spots?  Please share!  I’m always trying to find new places to go to.

March Faves

So much for winning the lottery.  I think we “won” $2 because we hit the power ball.  Ha!

Hope everyone is doing well today!  Hopefully no one got fooled too bad yesterday.  There were a couple moments yesterday where I read stuff online, thought it was totally true, only to find out it was an April Fools joke.  I am THE most gullible person plus I’m an AWFUL liar (therefore I can never successfully prank anyone), so naturally I’m not a huge fan of April Fools.  I do laugh at those who get fooled worst than I do though.  I know it’s mean.

My March Faves isn’t really anything I purchased (other than food).  Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like clothes shopping right now plus everything I do want to buy is for babygirl.  This month’s faves are simple ones.  Food and just appreciation of life or anything around me.  I’m going to get religious and spiritual for a moment.  As the lenten season comes to its end this week, I’ve tried to make myself a better person this season.  Both for myself, my husband, and my baby.  Patience, compassion, positivity, and appreciation of the simple things are what I’ve been trying to focus on.  I definitely have to remind myself to relax and just BREATHE sometimes.  Some days I’m more successful than others.  Sometimes its easier to see the bad instead of the good especially when life’s obstacles gets in the way.  But you’ve just got to take that moment to breathe and appreciate what you do have instead of what you don’t have.  Simple words but so hard to do sometimes in this fast pace world.

Anyhow – here are my March favorites.

Working outside on beautifully warm sunny days.  I found that working outside on a beautiful day completely changed my mood.  Especially when I work at home all day.  Sometimes a change in scenery is exactly what’s needed for that boost of productivity and elevate your mood.

Love a good greek appetizer platter for a meal, especially when it’s all meat free and a Friday during lent!  My kind of meal!  Hummus!  Falafel!  Tabbouleh!  Dolmas!  YUMMY!

When the red hot light is on at Krispy Kreme.  Do you have the Red Hot Light app on your phone installed?!?  I do!  ha!  Man I sound like a fatty right now.

Drives through rural California.  Amazingly picturesque.  Driving down 101 or even 880 reminds me of my childhood and going on road trips with my family.  Something I’ll hold near and dear to my heart always because my dad would always take us on road trips.  The hubs and I are trying to start our own traditions and see more of California.  This past weekend we went to Monterey.  In a couple weeks we’re making our way down the coast to LA.  When the little one is born and we’re able to, we’ll hike at the Muir Woods or see the Redwood Trees.  When she gets older, maybe 3, perhaps go camping at Yosemite.  California is such a beautiful state and there’s just so much to explore.

Being back home in the DC metro area.  This is my artsy fartsy attempt to take a snapshot of the roof of the Woodley Park metro.

Spending time with my family and relatives.  My mom, sister, mother in law, and sister in law are the BEST!  They threw me a surprise “not baby shower” party.  Why wasn’t it a baby shower?  Because it’s bad luck to buy anything for the baby until after I’ve reached my 7 month of pregnancy.  Haven’t heard it before, but I figured I’d follow the superstition.  I was just happy to see everyone and have them see me and my preggo belly until we come back home in December for the holidays.

Cherry blossoms.  Both in DC and in the Bay area!  Like I mentioned before, something about cherry blossoms that puts me in a good spirit and again remind me of my childhood.

Sweets!  And finding new cupcake/pastry shops in DC other than Sprinkles and Georgetown cupcakes.  This place was featured on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and serves macarons, cupcakes, and madelines.  NOMNOMNOM!  Totally indulged with my pregnancy sweet tooth.  Stay tuned for a food post about my recent DC eats adventure!

Coastal Flats.  LOVE Coastal Flats and hate that there’s not one here in California.  It’s a seafood bar and grill chain.  They have the BEST bread!  My mom had the waiter refill our bread basket just so I could eat this awesome dough balls!  LOL!

Long showers!  I know it’s not eco friendly but along long with my baths, I totally indulge in long showers.  The warm water against my achy pregnant body is so necessary.  Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about a water bill.

Movie nights in with the hubs.  We have a long list of movies we haven’t watched, so we’ve been trying to catch up.  Almost every night last week, we watched a different movie.  It’s nice to cozy up next to him on the couch and indulge in a movie.

Baby registry shopping.  This is actually a love hate thing.  I get super excited picking things out for baby girl, but it’s just frustrating trying to find things that are safe, reasonably priced, and ensuring they’re practical for our lifestyle.

So those are my March faves.  Like I said, I haven’t been shopping much.  Just trying to indulge in the simple things that are relatively affordable, except my food indulgences.  😛

My not so favorite thing about March.  Pregnancy induced carpal tunnel.  😦  It’s not bad yet, but the doctor says it may get worse through the rest of my pregnancy.  I definitely need to buy a splint but I’ve been procrastinating.

What were your favorite things about March?

i’m baaaack

Why hello there!  I’m back.  Actually I got back home almost a week ago but I was super busy with work.  I went away for a work trip for a week and instead of coming home on Friday, I flew back to the DC metro area to see my mom, sister, and my in laws.  It was such a perfect weekend to be in DC too.  The weather was AMAZING!  The only regret I had was not going to the tidal basin to see the cherry blossoms.  😦  This year actually commemorates the 100th year since they’ve been planted.  I’ve been before but I just love being around cherry blossoms (even when the pollen count is high and I get ridiculous allergies).  Growing up in Japan, there would be a cherry blossom festival on the naval base and there was this one spot that had a row of cherry blossoms that you could walk under.

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?    

We have a couple of parks in the bay that have them but the row of cherry blossoms along the tidal basin is just GORGEOUS!  Love DC!

But being back home to see my family, friends, and coworkers before the baby arrives was nice.  I’ll see some of them in May for my baby shower or in June when I give birth, but some of them I probably won’t see until Christmas and during that time I’ll be toting around a 6 month old.  How crazy!

But I’m back in the bay enjoying the hubs’ company!  AWW!  And as I enter my third trimester this week, I’m glad I’m not traveling for a while (at least for work.  still got that babymoon to plan.  LA perhaps?) because I have a ton of to do’s before babygirl arrives.

Enough rambling for now.  I just wanted to say hi and I will be posting pictures from my trip to DC along with the usual lookbooks, recipes, etc.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!