to plot (a garden)

 2013GardenPlan 1Last year I was lucky enough to score a garden plot from my condo association behind our building.  While I would die for a real farm with backyard chickens and maybe even a goat, I figure my own garden plot comes in a close second, especially given my current location.  I have to imagine my D.C. condo association has rules against goats.

Now, let’s get serious.  Yesterday, I noticed a new neighbor weeding his plot next to mine.  Last year, I was pretty much the only one who weeded my garden, nevermind plant anything, so there was no competition.  But NOW.  And with something as public as a garden plot.  Bring it on.

I had unknowingly prepared for this, and the spring bulbs I planted last fall bloomed on Easter.  So, without even lifting a finger to weed, I figure my spring blooms kept me on par with him.  But today I forced myself to spend a vacation afternoon weeding and planting some seeds (that have been sitting on my kitchen counter for over a month).  It’s amazing how competition fuels me (even when it’s made up in my head).

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(shout out to the hyacinths and daffodils for saving my butt)

Then, with the help of some OCD, I sat down with a sheet of graph paper and mapped out my plot for the year (aka the game plan).  So far, I planted the seeds, and moved the left over strawberry plants from last year.  I got a little overzealous with the pea seeds… still working on that self-regulation.

I thought a lot about companion planting, and I plan to move the tomatoes next to the path so I don’t have to trudge through the whole plot to get to them like last year (2013: the year common sense is on my side).

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Um PS, according to MS’ calendar in Living, Martha herself also tilled her garden today.  That must mean the gardening gods are on my team, no?


summer vacation
















To all of you non-teachers: I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that summer vacation is, in fact, as amazing as it sounds. But, it’s not too late. You, too, can make a career change and enjoy eight glorious weeks off without penalty. I would highly recommend it; it almost makes up for the 10 months of late nights of planning and worrying.

[photos, from top left: Old Silver Beach on the Cape, tequila-infused watermelon (served with salt), sisters at the beach, WC+me at a wedding in Connecticut, the first sunflower opening in my garden (and one of two that survived the Rock Creek deer), Teddy loves to swim, Teddy also loves to be groomed, sangria for a family BBQ (from this book), the Capitol just before the fireworks]

to spend a Sunday afternoon, perfectly

WC and I spent Sunday afternoon at the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival at Bull Run Park in Centreville, and it was definitely worth the ride out of the city. We bought the tasting tent tickets, but we had the most fun going from tent to tent trying (and buying) wines from the vineyards themselves …

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TO DO: Saturday afternoon

In my humble opinion, Cleveland Park is the best area to live in D.C. It has the perfect combination of great restaurants, local businesses and close-knit neighborhoods. We enjoyed the latter on Saturday afternoon, grilling up hot dogs and sliders, hanging on our front lawn, playing with the dogs that walked by and our neighbors who came outside.

We ate, drank peach wine (too sweet! (:) and played rummy. One of our neighbors was raving about Quiddler, a card game like rummy, but with letters. Have you played? :)

TO CELEBRATE: cinco de derby

WC and I don’t spend a lot of time going “out on the town,” so we try to make a big deal out of celebrating silly holidays, like Cinco de Mayo, which coincidentally fell on the same day as the Kentucky Derby.

We started early with bloody mary’s (his specialty) and brunch at home. Around 1, we headed over to Bandolero’s pop-up at Tackle Box’s former Cleveland Park location (oh, psst! The Bandolero management let us know they are opening a Spanish tapas restaurant there at the end of Tackle Box’s lease. Yea!). At Bandolero, I had the most amazing margarita with habanero-infused tequila, strawberry and lime. Que rico! We will definitely be heading over to the Georgetown location when they open up.

We headed over to Adam’s Morgan and stopped at a few holes in the wall before we ended up at Jack Rose‘s “Cinco de Derby Rooftop Fiesta.” The environment on their enclosed rooftop was lively (without being over-the-top), the service was excellent and the food and drinks were delicious. We had pulled-pork straight from a smoker and mint-julep snow cones. I can’t wait to spend more summer afternoons up there.

Did you enjoy your weekend? Do anything special for the Derby or Cinco de Mayo? I’d love to hear :)

friends out-of and around town

This weekend, my friend Katie was in town from Atlanta. I met her for drinks at standard, which is an outdoor BBQ/beer spot on a patio with picnic tables on 14th Street (fear not, fellow Celiacs, they carry Bards gluten-free beer). It was so wonderful to spend a night chatting and catching up with an old friend! One of my favorite things about living in the District is the number of people who come into town. :)

found: happiness on the hill

[View of the Capitol from Pennsylvania and 8th]

[Carolers at Eastern Market]

[Cookie cutters from Hill’s Kitchen]

I’m going to be honest with you, there are so many amazing places to eat and shop in Northwest that I am usually hard-pressed to go farther from home than Metro Center/Gallery Place. After the last 24 hours, I am rethinking my lazy ways.

Last night, I met some friends at the Chesapeake Room on 8th Street SE for dinner and drinks. My search for the perfect cider cocktail ends here. Nothing will compare to their ‘Tis the Season cocktail, made with apple cider, house-infused clove rum, canton and cinnamon.

One of my friends recommended a trip to Hill’s Kitchen on D Street SE, and I went back to Capitol Hill this morning to stop there and Eastern Market. I picked up adorable cookie cutters  in the shapes of dinosaurs (really, a must-have for every preschool teacher) and Massachusetts and D.C.