Monthly Archives: March 2017

travel

Seattle, WA

March 31, 2017

Good gravy, it has taken me for-eh-ver to get this post up. I’ve been slooowly composing it since November, isn’t that ridiculous? These types of posts honestly take so so long to put together, so I tip my hat to the full time bloggers that are constantly putting up travel guides. Phew.

Part 2 of our Not-Quite-Mexico anniversary trip was a quick jaunt down to Seattle. We crossed the border in our rental car & made our way into downtown Seattle, where we checked into, where else? The Ace Hotel. It’s like a rule if you’re a millennial visiting Seattle, I’m pretty sure. It started raining right as we drove into the city, so we cranked up the Bon Iver & relished the PNW-ness of it all.

We took some time to settle in & rest up (#pregnant), but realized that what little light was left on that cloudy afternoon was quickly dwindling, & checking the Space Needle off the to-do list of our tight itinerary got us back in our boots & jackets & sprinting over to the Needle with borrowed umbrellas. Definitely walking distance, so that was nice! We made it to the top with just enough time to catch a sliver of sunset off in the distance. It was perfectly drizzly weather, which made it such a quintessential Seattle moment. I LOVE doing all the cheesy, touristy things in new cities, but this is really a must-see, even if you’re anti touristy things. It’s such a striking view & so breathtaking for East Coast folks like us to soak in that West Coast horizon. It reminded me a lot of visiting the top of Montparnasse in Paris — Pictures that I would link here if I had ever gotten my life together & blogged our 2014 European trip. *hangs head in shame*

I maybe forced Jared into taking this picture, if you can’t tell by his grimacing smile, but omg worth it. We are mildly obsessed with Frasier & I just feel like we’re in the opening credits. NO REGRETS, JARED.

We trekked over to Serious Pie & seriously stuffed our faces with their amazing pizza. It was just a short walk from the Ace, so completely perfect for tired, waterlogged travelers. It’s a pretty intimate little restaurant, so I didn’t bust out the camera, but trust me that it was good.

The next morning, we headed out to The London Plane for brunch, & boyyyyy was that a good idea. I continued my PNW Avocado Toast tour, & this spot did not disappoint. I don’t know if it’s a West Coast thing or a PNW thing to include a flower shop in your cafe/restaurant, but I wasn’t mad about it. Such a cute little treat everywhere we went.

After brunch, we snuck over to Kerry Park to take in the view that had been recommended to us by my cousin .It was a super bright day, in contrast to our previous rainy evening, so it was really lovely to take in Seattle horizon in the daylight.

Next up, the infamous Public Market! We wandered for awhile (mostly reenacting parts of Sleepless in Seattle, let’s be honest) & made all the obligatory stops, like the gum wall, the ferris wheel… So fun to see this place in person!

Jared’s inner former-barista sprang to life when we passed the OG Starbucks, so we of course stopped there. Not pictured, & I can’t figure out for the life of me why, is the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had in my life from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. I’ve seriously been dreaming about that mac n cheese since we left Seattle. SO GOOD.

HI CHELSEA! We met up with my sweet friend Chelsea (of Truelane fame), who gave us the Seattle-ite tour of the city, & insisted we take a trip on the ferry for a full Seattle experience. It took me a minute to get over her & Jared FINALLY meeting, but once I did, I made sure to play the Grey’s Anatomy theme song as we sailed across the water. Super stunning.

After a quick pit stop at Street Bean Coffee & Moorea Seal, we drove over to the OTHER Capitol Hill for books, dinner & ice cream… Basically, my favorite kind of evening.

We popped into the Elliott Bay Book Company, where I finally purchased my French parenting book, then enjoyed dinner at Oddfellows… Which I cannot recommend highly enough. Super delicious food & super cool vibe. I think I was just too entranced in conversation with Chelsea & Jared to take photos (& the lighting was real low), but trust me. It’s great. & conveniently close to Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, which is just around the corner. Early Grey ice cream of my DREAMS. We definitely found a lot to love about the other Capitol Hill.

& honestly, just like that, it was time to head home! Yes, our stay in Seattle was pretty short, but we managed to pack in a lot of great stuff. It was a perfect taste of the Pacific Northwest, especially for little ol’ me, who has never experienced the West Coast. I mean, I’ve been to Hawaii, but I’ve been told that doesn’t count. We’re definitely ready to plan our giant California excursion now. Someday!

EAT
Serious Pie
The London Plane
Oddfellows
Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

COFFEE
Porchlight Coffee & Records
Stumptown Coffee
Street Bean Coffee Roasters

SHOP
Moorea Seal
Totokaelo
NUBE
Elliott Bay Book Co.

DO
Space Needle
Kerry Park
Fremont Troll
Public Market
Ferry Ride

RESOURCES
Our time in Seattle was pretty quick so our itinerary was pretty tight – Check out these other Seattle Guides for some more insight on local spots to see!
New Darling Seattle City Guide
Local Wanderers Seattle City Guide
& of course, follow along with Chelsea on her blog and Instagram and Twitter and all the things for a look at a local’s life in Seattle!

 

DC / out & about

out & about: yayoi kusama’s infinity mirrors at the hirshhorn museum

March 24, 2017

Word spreads quickly here in DC when there is a new must-see exhibit, & a lot of the museums have instituted a lottery-based ticket system to keep crowds at a manageable number for both staff & visitors alike. It’s actually brilliant, but what it also means is that at 12pm sharp on Mondays, you better be at your computer if you want a chance at tickets for some day & time slot in the upcoming two weeks. OR have a friend that nabs a pair from someone that unexpectedly can’t use them. Crazy, right? So, in the spirit of sneaking in dates where we can (& in the spirit of sneaking in FREE dates because you better believe every extra dollar we have goes to baby prep these days), I snagged us tickets to the newest exhibit DC has to offer: Yayoi Kusama’s Inifinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum. 

If these photos look familiar, it’s because three weeks ago, your Instagram feed was flooded with them as the exhibit opened & everyone & their mother somehow went over the course of a week. People I follow that live in other states were there. It’s an INSANELY social media friendly exhibit, where you are literally let into the separate rooms with your “group” (just the two of us, in our case) for 30 seconds… Essentially, just long enough to get a picture, add it to your Insta story & gape at the surroundings for 10 seconds each. But goshdarnit, you don’t have to wait for a clear shot! It felt a lot like being in a social media experiment, or a case study on millennials, honestly… Like, someone is watching you on a screen predicting your every move, & if you DON’T get your phone out, you’re escorted to a small room to be questioned about how you fought the urge.

… I digress.

It was a REALLY cool exhibit, with our favorite room probably being the room titled, “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away”, in which we 100% felt like we were floating amidst (amongst?) millions of little orbs. There’s more to the exhibit than just the rooms (like the amazingly colorful art pieces that gave me all the ideas for future kids’ rooms) since Kusama has been creating since the 60’s. It was quite the experience & a really lovely afternoon at the museum with each other, juuuust the twooooo of us. The exhibit is here in DC until May, then it moves on to Seattle. Highly recommended, even with the crazy ticket process… & the lines that you still have to wait in once you’re actually there. Heh. The things we do.

We are getting soooo very close to my due date, & Jared has a cold that I’m hoping is perfectly timed with him getting over by the time we have a baby. Life is so weird these days, because it feels like everything is a suspended breath before baby shows up. We’re not in any rush (I’m pretty determined to have an April baby), so it’s just sort of this quiet dance, day-to-day, knowing that everything is about about to change, but still going about our daily activities. I know we have so much to look forward to but I also just want to stare at Jared’s face for hours, unadulterated in the quiet of our home, because when will things slow down ever again?? I know. I’m ridiculous & everything will be great. Change is just scary & great & also scary.

But it’s going to be GORGEOUS outside tomorrow & I’m going to get some sunshine all over my face! Spring in DC is just the absolute best.

Happy weekend!

xx

pregnancy

pregnancy essentials

March 11, 2017

As this pregnancy winds down (/picks up??), I’ve already started reminiscing about this little journey, starting with maternity clothes & now with the things that got me through pregnancy. I’m a chronic Googler/researcher about all things in life, so pregnancy has been 40% reading reviews on Amazon, 40% perusing guides on Pinterest & 20% outsourcing recommendation via social media. When you put those things together, you get this little list of my Top 10 Pregnancy Lifesavers.

 

  1. Papaya tablets – Heartburn has been one of my very few pregnancy gripes since 2nd trimester, & papaya tablets have been super helpful. I’ve tried apple cider vinegar & just straight up alka selzter chewables, but papaya tablets or a small cup of cottage cheese (believe it or not) are the only two things that have truly helped.
  2. Prenatals – I switched between a few types of prenatals in the beginning before landing on Vitamin Code‘s prenatals with Nordic Naturals Omega-3 supplements. The smells are minimal & the doses are reasonable – Another type I tried had 13 different pills to take! YEESH.
  3. Lavender Essential Oil – To be completely honest, I have not been bitten by the essential oils bug, but! Lavender & peppermint oils have been a staple in my life for the past few years for headaches & stomach drama. Lavender oil has been a savior for 2nd trimester headaches & 3rd trimester sleep issues.
  4. Oils & butters – Again, tried a few different things over the course of this pregnancy, & these two have been my favorites. I use the L’occitane butter for my belly & the Vitamin E oil for belly & chest. So far, no stretch marks at 37 weeks soooo… Fingers crossed. I don’t know how much of that is these products vs. genetics. The next 3 weeks is the scariest, since this belly seems to keep wanting to grow.
  5. Hydration – I am very terrible at staying hydrated, so drinking water was the biggest life change I really had to force upon myself when I found out I was pregnant. (Well, that & actually eating breakfast.) The first thing I did was order a 1 liter bottle from BKR, & this has been crucial for me to keep track of whether or not I’ve had enough water in a day, since I know I need to drink at least 2 full bottles a day. I usually shoot for 3. Coconut water is also my favorite for a quick quench, especially on days that Tart has events or I’ve got a long walking commute around the city.
  6. Tea – Coffee has been a huge contributor to my heartburn, so I’ve been drinking more tea than coffee this pregnancy. I love our local tea vendor’s Vanilla Cream Rooibus, but now that I’m full term, I’ve moved to a nightly cup of Raspberry Leaf Tea, per my midwives’ instructions. Not super flavorful… But I’ll let you know if it seems to affect labor like the comments section on Amazon would have you believe 😉 *Tea is hot topic (pun intended) when it comes to pregnancy, so chat with your healthcare provider before you listen to me.
  7. Books – I’ve tried to not inundate myself with too much information about childbirth & parenting techniques, since I really want to just follow my body’s lead for labor & trust Jared’s & my instincts when it comes to parenting, so these are the only three books I’ve read so far. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was highly recommended by my midwives, & the insight from the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was a great resource, if not a little overwhelming without having a baby around to put into practice what you’re reading. I loved Bringing Up Bébé & will definitely be revisiting it as baby gets older. I have a couple more books on sleep that I want to read between now & 2 months post-partum, so I’ll report back if they’re practical!
  8. Amazon Prime – This goes without saying, but Amazon Prime is pretty much my life force at this point. Whether it’s baby registry or help-I-need-sleep-NOW, Kindle book, or realistic prices on prenatals, we’re probably expecting at least two packages a week. I can’t imagine this is going to slow down once there’s a new little human to figure out how to care for… So, all hail Amazon Prime. No, I’m not being paid to say this. I should be.
  9. Comfort – Pretty much as soon as 3rd trimester hit, my belly grew exponentially & sleeping on my left side was suddenly uncomfortable from the weight of my belly twisting my spine towards the mattress & pulling my shoulders & hips forward. It was really painful! This wedge pillow from Boppy is $13 & has been such a help. Just a tiny support under my belly or sometimes under my back, & voila – SLEEP. It’s also not a pregnancy essentials list unless I advocate prenatal yoga, but hear me out. I’ve never been to a yoga class & I don’t super love it the way I should as a proper millennial, but my other pregnancy gripe has been one particularly sore rib – I think there might be a pinched nerve from growing to make room for baby. Yoga stretches & Jared massaging it have seriously been the only things that have kept the rib pain at bay.
  10. Apps – There’s a million & four apps out there for pregnancy, & every single one of them has a perk that another doesn’t. I really loved Glow Nurture during the phase of my pregnancy that I couldn’t feel baby yet, & it has a fun bump tracking feature, along with a daily tip about you & baby (but avoid the forums at all costs… Yikes). Ovia just has a cute baby size feature that compares baby to a Parisian bakery pastry (impractical but adorable), along with some good articles & videos that pop up. As I’ve got further into my pregnancy, The Bump is really the only app I check often for baby size estimates. **I should also note that the Relax Melodies App has been an essential for sleeping. I’ve had this app for years, but combining pregnancy’s oft light sleep with apartment radiators clanking or the occasional snoring husband has made this app crucial! You can mix your own white noise sounds, which is perfect for someone like me that sits somewhere on the low end of the misophonia scale. (Self diagnosed, I should add.)

Some things for next time: A 2nd pregnancy is like, HA! to me right now, but assuming that subsides, there are a few things that I rationalized not spending money on, but in retrospect, would have been helpful. Next time, I’ll prioritize getting fitted for a comfortable bra at the beginning of 2nd trimester. Though I ended up buying some sale bras in larger sizes at H&M, I think their fit has contributed to some of my rib pain. I’ll also invest in that crazy pillow everyone tells you to get but I was like pffttttt, I can make do. I get it now. That shape seems like it would fix all my problems. Lastly, hopefully next time around, we’ll be in a financial place that I can invest in a pre-natal fitness class of some sort. I’d love to do barre or pilates or cycling… I’m just really terrible at self motivating when it comes to exercise, so a class setting would be ideal to stay active throughout pregnancy.

Phew! It’s basically the final countdown, guys! I’ll be back with my hospital bag essentials once I, you know, put it together. I’m a little bit in denial that this is all happening so fast, honestly. There is still so much to do! I was just trying to explain to Jared how it’s so bittersweet to be this close to the end. Sure, it’s nearly impossible to get comfortable & even walking is… weird… But pregnancy is such a secret club. I’m surrounded by pregnant friends (& now a sister!) & it’s been such fun to share this whole experience for the first time. I’m sure parenting is a whole new level of membership with handshakes & t-shirts & knowing looks. But all I can do is soak up these final weeks where I’m NOT counting down to baby (I won’t be antsy until April 2nd), & keep getting things ready around here. Three weeks is NOTHIN’! EEK.

Have a great weekend!

xx