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The P&S ‘Best of’ Guide to DC

May 25, 2015

for body

I’d love to introduce you all to my best friend and guest blogger, Chelsea! This LA native took the East Coast by storm four years ago, but just like me, is heading back to her roots this month. So, as I packed my room and Chelsea watched Britney Spears music videos from the early 2000’s we decided that the best way for us to pay homage to the city that we had fallen in and out of love with thousands of times over the past four years was to choose the best of the best.

Below you’ll find our favorite pampering spots, #onlyatGW moments, must-see touristy things, DC eateries and much more. We went through museums, nail salons, romantic spots, lunch places and drunk brunches. Along with each list we attached a little story.

We hope you enjoy our little slice of DC!

Best of DC_Food
Best of DC_Pampering
Best of DC_Exercise
Best of DC_For Tourists
Best of DC_Our DC
Best of DC_Only at GW

Biggest moment

advice

Namaste (On The Mall)

May 12, 2015

The first week of May was the 10th Anniversary year of the Metro DC Yoga Week. For the whole week over 45 participating Yoga on the Mall Sitting 2studios in the DMV area got together and offered classes at reduced costs, and in some cases, for free. This post though, is about the penultimate moment of the whole week: Yoga on the Mall.

And by Yoga on the Mall, I mean yoga at Sylvan Theatre, the brown outdoor stage that sits just below the Washington Monument. This seems easy enough to find, right? On Saturday morning, in a mist both emanating from the sky and my head, this was not an easy feat.

Cassie and I were running a bit late. It rained until we got to the Reflecting Pool. I kept reading the Facebook event wondering where in the world Sylvan Theatre was and why all the DMV yogis I had envisioned to be set up right outside the Vietnam Memorial were nowhere to be seen. But then we heard them; it was the voice of one of the instructors on a mic telling everyone to give it up for the 10th annual meeting of DMV yogis on their mats at the mall.

Walking up to it, late as we were, was a pretty cool scene. We were edged up right to the Washington Monument with at least one hundred rows of people in Lulu Lemon on mats in front of us, following the hill down to the open stage where the instructors were beginning to introduce themselves.

It was a pretty great experience laughing with hundreds of other yoga enthusiasts as the instructors yelled for people who hadn’t showered yet to stand up in a tree pose and for all the single ladies to get up into Warrior II. It’s always exciting to feel like you’re a part of a community in this great big city.

For all you readers/Yogis, make sure you mark your calendars for next year’s Metro DC Yoga Week. I may just have to time a trip in order to do some more flows on the National Mall.

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Yoga on the Mall

View from Downward Dog

 

The view from downward dog

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Senioritis Sundays

April 20, 2015

Sunday6Sundays have always been my favorite day. At home, it was the day that all of us would end up in the family room or on the back deck (depending on the season) for a little bit of down time before the week geared up again. I know that Sundays mean homework and the close of a weekend, but I relish in the subdued feeling that this day brings.

Of course, Sundays require balance. Homework is a necessity. Gearing up for the week is rarely an option. My type A personality allows little to no room for loafing around when my workload is heavy.

But, here’s the funny thing about being a senior; nothing seems to be nagging at me with as much force as it should be. Homework? It’ll get done. Transcribing 6 interviews before Tuesday night? Sure, but later.

This mindset is a total departure from who I was as an undergrad and I can’t lie I’m digging it. So, yesterday I took out my To Do List and figured a Sunday with final papers around the corner would be a day well spent at Dumbarton Oaks.

Evidently, so did the every person over the age 60 in the Georgetown area. The line was at least 20 minutes long to pay the entrance fee and I was a bit crunched for time. I didn’t end up getting to actually go in. So, instead I knocked another restaurant off the To Do List (post to follow) and walked around a part of Georgetown that I had never seen before. I cheated a bit and ventured off into Dumbarton Oaks Park where dogs were running around and I felt, for one of the first times, truly sad to be leaving this city behind in just a few short weeks. 

Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt that if I had stayed home and done my homework.

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Grey Moggie Press Interview & Giveaway!

February 9, 2015

When you’re walking around Eastern Market on the weekend, you may happen upon a table laid out with letterpress cards that read ‘Have you tried it with bacon?’ and ‘Smile. Puppies Exist,’ among countless other funny quips and sincere sentiments.  These hand printed cards are the brainchild of Melanie Karlins, owner of the Captiol Hill-based, Grey Moggie Press.

I’ve been buying Grey Moggie Press cards since I first happened upon them during my freshman year. Just this year though, I bought a card for my roommate after she had run her first marathon and noticed that the bag the card came in read ‘Write More On Paper.’ This bag hangs over my desk because it’s a beautiful sentiment and one that I aim to emulate all the time. ‘Write More On Paper,’ tells me to take the time, to express myself, to send a card to someone that says ‘Have You Tried It With Siracha?’ just because I’m thinking of them and they love Siracha more than their mothers. 

So, while this blog is in fact not written on paper, I sat down with Melanie’s right hand woman, Lisa Rowan (Melanie was suffering from the flu to end all flus) at Grey Moggie’s quaint Captiol Hill Studio. Sandwiched in between a fledgling graphic design firm and a studio overflowing with material, I got to talk to Lisa about the concept behind handmade letterpress, the joys of expressing yourself on paper and an exciting giveaway of some new, romantic designs  just in time for Valentine’s Day. The following interview was edited for clarity.

Lisa and Melanie

(left) Melanie, Owner Grey Moggie Press. (right) Lisa Rowan, Studio Moggie (credit: Alan Kayanan)

Kelly: Can you describe Melanie’s and your role in Grey Moggie?
Lisa: Melanie created Grey Moggie back in 2008. She started printing in 2008 and it developed from there. She does all the printing and the actual designs of the cards. She is the matriarch of the brand. I’ve only been here 6 months. I came in just to be her assistant, to help pack orders and keep everything organized. I came on as a part-timer because I have my own business, so I said, I totally have spare time to work on this. When I’m not there doing my thing, I’m here keeping everything in order.

K: Where did the name Grey Moggie come from?
L: It’s a type of cat. Melanie does own a grey moggie cat. Her name is Ann Taylor. I never knew until I worked here that Ann Taylor isn’t originally from the clothing store, it’s a the name of a dog from To Kill a Mocking Bird. Ann Taylor is the [Grey Moggie] sticker.

K: How did Grey Moggie come to be?
L: Melanie started learning how to screen print when she was in law school. In law school you’re studying and it’s books all the time so she needed something that was completely different. Before she even set foot in a letterpress studio she started looking at presses online to see if she could buy one and she what that would entail. So she started doing this as a hobby, and then she was doing it on the weekends and started selling at Eastern Market. When she was working, she decided she wanted to letterpress. She was like, this is my calling. So she had a smaller press first and then she got the one she uses now.

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K: Does Melanie do all of the pressing herself or do you help?
L: I don’t do any pressing yet. Actually I’m here in the studio and there are four women that help at Eastern Market on the weekends and everyone wants to learn. Melanie keeps saying that it would be great to have someone else who can do it because then it lets her do all the other business stuff and design.

K: So, does Melanie come up with all the designs and catchphrases on the cards or is that a team effort?
L: I want to say its all Melanie but there’s one that we came out with this spring… Well, I always say ‘that sounds like a personal problem,’ and so she designed this whole card without telling me and showed it to me and I was like, I’m on the card! We had to add that ‘but I want to help you anyway’ because they’re meant to be a little encouraging.  Melanie will say ‘I’m working on x,y,z card what do you think?’  Sometimes my ideas are really bad and sometimes her ideas aren’t on point. Its definitely a trial and error process. She has themes that she likes to riff on though.

K: For this Valentines day, did you expand on last year’s Valentine’s theme or did you try something new?
L: We have two Valentine’s themes and then we have a couple new ones. (Grabs giveaway). I picked these out by myself. Here’s “I love you more than yoga pants.” I figured that was appropriate. These are also really cute (grabs other card) this one says “I want to Kiss You All the Time,” and we have one that says “I want to Hug you all the time.” But some of them transcend the season! We have one that says “you are so loved,” and that can be for whenever. We have a total of 10 new cards for Valentine’s day this year.

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K: Do you do custom orders or do you design to sell?
L: Most of our stuff is designed and then sold. Every once in awhile we get a custom order, like any of these cards we could do as print. We don’t do it a whole lot but we can. And she’s going to start doing a wedding line that’s going to launch in June. So, she’s going to be doing invitations. She’ll have a couple of designs but there will be some wiggle room for some custom stuff. So, doing save the dates and the whole thing.

K: Other than the wedding line, what else is next for Grey Moggie?
L: We’re doing a line that’s a collaboration with an artist named Marcella Kreibel. Its paintings of fruits and veggies that we’re taking and doing on the letterpress. Its really cool because they’re not going to say anything, its just going to be an image. Its going to be something that’s toally unisex. Guys can send them. They’re going to have, I don’t remember what color we decided on, I think mossy green or something. Its going to be something perfect for spring and totally seasonal.

K: When is that going to launch?
L: I’m thinking March or April. It’ll be on Etsy and at Eastern Market and we’ll send out an update to retailers, so that we know we have it. So probably 2 or three weeks after we have it’ll be in stores.

 L (continuing to answer what’s next for Grey Moggie):
So we’re also planning to do more gifty things that aren’t necessarily cards but are still in the stationary realm. Over the holidays we did coasters and gift tags. We also do lunchbox notes that are based on our milestone cards. You can just slip them in an envelope or write on the back and they’re really sweet. We want to do more of that because sending more mail is kind of our schtick. But there’s also an element of just writing more, expressing more.

K: Can explain the ‘writing more’ idea?
L: Melanie’s whole inspiration has been really old etiquette books like Emily Post. She has all these books about wedding etiquette and stuff so it’s a combo of communicating on paper plus the old way which was you always wrote a note, you always sent something. We put those together and show that that can be just as modern as everything else we do too.

K: Can you talk more about ‘Write More on Paper?’
L: I don’t even know when she started using that. She just started printing them on the back of the cards when I got here in September. I think its resonates with people. I think that this idea of writing and communicating with people is really important. I think that transcends to a lot of the reatilers we work with and a lot of the artists that we work with have an old time flare. People really identify with that. We get a lot of people at Eastern Market that will come by. They’ll buy a pack of 5 cards for 20 and then they’ll come back the next week and Melanie will be like ‘how did you go through those already?’ and they’re like ‘I had people picked out for all of those cards and now I need to send more!’  There have been times that she’s doubted that this movement is real, but it is. Its totally real. We have 150 styles right now and that’s telling.

K: What does Write More on Paper mean to you?
L: Its sort of a reminder to me that if someone’s birthday is coming up, send them a card. It takes 5 minutes to pick out a really cute card and send it to them. Its better than sending an email or posting on their facebook wall. The people who think of you and send you stuff in the mail? Those are the people you love the most.

Giveaway 2

For three free Grey Moggie Press Valentine’s Day cards fill in the form below! Free gift will include additional Grey Moggie gifts and surprises!
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Red Apron, New Restaurant #2

February 8, 2015

I’m finding that eating at new restaurants are the easiest things to cross out on the To Do List. Trying anything that isn’t Sweetgreen is a HUGE treat for me. So, when Eva and I were tasting chocolate covered pretzels with Fatty Sundays at Union Market on Thursday night, we decided to stick around and try one of the established restaurants in the space.

Red Apron Signage 2

Red Apron Butchery, also with full locations in Penn Quarter and D Street, is all about meat. With its unfinished wood walls and hipster gaggle of its all-male staff, it made me feel too cutesy to be there while way cool for walking up to the counter and ordering the Porkstrami when I finally did so.

Its one of those places that the counter at which you order doubles as a bar. On the other side of the register is the meat counter, open so that diners and customers can see whats going on in the kitchen and near the meat cases. Its here that the chef, the only employee not wearing a beanie, brings out the orders and yells the name of the diner. Needless to say, this is a satellite restaurant and its size means that he doesn’t need to yell loud.

I ordered my porkstrami (pastrami style pork, bacon, mustard aioli, sauerkraut, pork jus, housemade baguette) and sat down while Eva made hard (and important) decisions about loose meatball sandwiches and forgot to pay. While I was watching this happen the Chef comes out and yells “Emily.” Once, twice, three times he yells the name, and then I realize that we’re the only one’s that have ordered in the past 15 minutes. Hmm. Emily.

The guy behind the register catches me making the connection that I may, in fact, be Emily.

“I just got your name from your credit card,” he said.

“My name’s Kelly.”

“Oh, well, I have bad eyes.”

I smiled and laughed because it was funny and because I was thrilled that was my Porkstrami and not Emily’s.

Upon eating said sandwich I made the decision that I would be Emily, or anyone at all for Porkstrami.

Red Apron Pastrami

Eva Red Apron

Eva Eating

Red Apron Behind the Bar

Red Apron Table

Fatty Thursday with Fatty Sundays

February 6, 2015

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Remember when I said I was going to Union Market for a chocolate tasting? Well, it was much more than just any old chocolate tasting. I got to enjoy the pop-up for the Brooklyn-based chocolate covered pretzel company, Fatty Sundays.

The Fatty Sundays Union Market Pop Up, open this weekend and next,  is a burst of confectionary color among the market’s Americana, farm-to-table backdrop. A wall of rainbow ribbon, a DIY pretzel dipping station and flutes of champagne set the stage for this festive pop up launch.

Alongside guests were Fatty Sunday’s owners, sisters Ali and Lauren. While their pretzel designs are in Dean & Deluca and Neiman Marcus nationwide, the two couldn’t stop complimenting my plus one (Eva) on her aptitude for sprinkle color blocking. The DIY station was lost on me because I only had eyes for one topping: toffee crunch. 

I ate the free sample. I ate another free sample. I did it myself and then, without thinking, sprinkled on, you guessed it, toffee crunch. If anyone’s looking to send me a gift, send me a box of….toffee crunch.

I would recommend taking a trip to NE to check out these lovely sisters and their family recipe chocolate covered pretzels, their Valentine’s Day DIY kits or their customizable boxes. Flavors include PB&J, Birthday Cake and Banana. They’ll only be there through next Sunday, so head on over to NoMa before New York reclaims them!

Also follow them on Instagram for some chocolatey photos. I mean their bio is, “When I dip, you dip, we dip.” Enough said.

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Fatty Sundays DIY 2

Fatty Sundays Champagne

For more sweet pictures… Continue Reading…

Hirshhorn Saturday & A Bottle of Red

January 25, 2015

This Saturday was an adventure day. It was one of those days that moved from planned to unplanned, the perfect hybrid of aimless adventuring.

While the Hirshhorn wasn’t on my To Do List originally, its a stop I’ve always wanted to make on the Smithsonian circuit. So, when I woke up to a blistery cold morning and a text from my friend Taylor that said, “Want to adventure?” I knew that it was the perfect excuse to walk through Days of Endless Time. 

I can’t say that Taylor, Carolina or I are connoisseurs of modern art and I must admit that I may have fallen asleep in one of the video installations. During my half-dream state, sitting in that dark room being ushered through the wilderness by a video camera, I realized that art, for some people, is like good writing to me. Its a beautiful thing to be moved by something. I was moved to take some pretty cool pictures. And to eat some wonderful French food. Continue reading for photos of both.

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Continue Reading…

Rocked the Core

November 11, 2014

I had a lot of expectations about this past weekend’s Rock the Core: photographs would be snapped, cider sipped, sun would shine and an Americana feel would be accompanied by a folksy soundtrack. There would be plaid, fur vests, floppy hats and cable knit sweater shielding against crisp autumn air. The picture I had created in my mind was a blogger’s dream. In fact, it was this blogger’s dream.

Those subdued preconceptions I had about Rock the Core though were wrong, very very wrong.  As it turns out, I quickly forgot about my ideas because the 4:30-7:30 session above Union Market was a party! 

It didn’t matter that my 21 brigade and I were the youngest one’s there; whether 27 or 37 everyone was clamoring for coolers filled with cider and beer, the tables left out about for flip cup, oversized Jenga and the life-sized pong game. The warehouse space above Union Market was full and it was loud. It was loud even before the DJ started bumping top 40 hits and tipsy people started filling in the space in front of his speakers to drop, drop drop it low.

The most pivotal moment of the night (besides the amazing pink cider I tried) was when the DJ yelled into his mic, “Let me hear everyone that’s over 35!”

The whole place basically erupted. And there we were 21 and 22, seniors in college, back to being babies in a whole new way.

#SWUGS on campus, infants in real life. The whole concept kind of gave me hope that THE LAST YEAR SERIES is really only the last year of GW and not the last fleeting moments of excited freedom that go hand-in-hand with college. There seems to be life after graduation. Thank God.

Props to those over 35’s who got down on the dance floor just as hard as we did, you all are my new heroes.

 

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Yes, there were floppy hats, fur vests and cable knit sweaters anyways.

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