Friday, August 31, 2012

it's a fiesta.

it's no secret that i love mexican food (2nd to italian, naturally). give me chips and salsa, some guacamole, and black beans, and i'm one happy girl.

unfortunately, mexican food is not good for my hips. so i can't really have it every day like i want to. so when i want to satisfy my cravings i whip together my own form of a taco salad. 

healthy taco salad

1 lb. lean ground turkey
chili pepper
salt & pepper
1 avocado
1/2 tomato
shredded lettuce
1/2 can of black beans
salsa (as desired)
12 baked tortilla chips

1. combine chili pepper, cumin, garlic, salt & pepper and a tiny bit of cayenne with your ground turkey on a skillet and cook (this will give it the taco seasoning flavor- we don't measure)
2. place your shredded lettuce, cooked ground turkey, diced tomatoes, scoop of black beans and salsa on plate.
3. add your avocado and tortilla chips to side

and then there are those days where i don't care about my hips. and i just want an old fashion quesadilla loaded with cheese, guacamole and tomatoes. with a side of salsa and bud light lime, of course. at least i used a whole wheat tortilla???

what's your favorite kind of food?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

what i the winery.

wine tasting is like, my favorite thing to do in the summer. it's so peaceful and relaxing that i can't really imagine doing anything else on a saturday afternoon. we're lucky that northern virginia is covered with lots of lovely wineries. i love wearing soft, summer dresses because it's not reallllly wine tasting unless you're wearing a cute dress, right?

this is what i wore to veritas winery when we were up in the mountains a few weeks ago. i purchased this dress a few months ago and have worn it to a couple of special events this summer - such as my friend's bridal shower, a dinner, and now a winery! it's so soft and silky and oh so delicious. i love it!

dress {j.crew}
sandals {banana republic}
sunglasses {ray-ban}
earrings {target}
messenger bag {urban outfitters}
watch {michael kors}
bracelet {c/o la plus belle}

happy wednesday xoxo

p.s. linking up with the pleated poppy today!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


two weeks ago we escaped the hustle and bustle of northern virginia and spent a weekend three hours south in the mountains. it was just the two of us. and it was perfect.

we stayed in a gorgeous little b&b owned by the sweetest woman who decided to retire from the dc corporate world and chase her dream in turning her family's vacation home into a b&b. this place is nestled on a beautiful farm filled with horses, cows, ducks, dogs, and even peacocks!! the views were magnificent. my favorite memory was waking up with the sun, taking our time getting ready, grabbing coffee and our kindles at 7:30 am, and reading on the back porch surrounded by so much natural beauty. 

it was one of those weekends that makes you really appreciate life. and loved ones. and just the simple things.

we ate some incredible bbq, did a lot of wine tasting, and went on a tough, but beautiful, 4 mile hike up a waterfall. i'd like to go back. right now.

on the drive down we stopped at our first winery, mountain cove.

and then we arrived at the b&b...

our view in the morning

peacocks on the front porch!
i want this kitchen.

morning hike up crabtree falls.

watching them press the grapes at lovingston winery.

how cute is the bottle on the right?

pit stop for bbq on the side of the road. it was SO GOOD!

winery #3: veritas

we clearly like our wine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

home sweet home.

a few weeks ago i mentioned we finally bought a table for our apartment. we also bought a nice little chevron rug for our living room. and i even organized our entire closet! with all of these exciting new things happening to our place, i thought i'd share another sneak peek into our little home. there's still some things we need to do/get (coffee table, wall art, shelves, bar cart), but they are things of no real urgency...or so i keep telling myself.

*and yes the walls are a hideous light purple. the owners were not thrilled of us painting, so here we are stuck with purple. it actually looks a lot darker in these pictures than it really is. oh the joys of renting.

the rug is from urban outfitters and the couch is from belfort furniture. we are looking to upgrade our coffee table and i have seen so many amazing ones lately that i'm on the fence on which one to get (like this and this). we also still need wall art for above the couch. any recommendations?! 

one of my to-do's since the day we moved in was to seriously organize our closet. the closet is about 4 times the size as our old one. it has so much space and storage (more behind the door!) that i was kind of dreading the process. we just had too much stuff in there! it took me over two hours but i'm so pleased with the outcome and i no longer get a headache when searching for things! 



we found a really great hook shelf for our hats at home depot. i hated how they were all stacked and buried in the corner of our closet where we couldn't find them. the white thing underneath i got at urban outfitters a few years ago. it's for my jewelry which i still need to organize. so for now i keep most of my pieces in the hanging pouch - which was a gift.

i hope to have more updates in the next few months. and i promise to take better quality pictures. my camera has been in hiding the last few weeks but i took it out last weekend with its new macro lens (!!!!) and it reignited my passion for photography!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

i got chills.

september 1st needs to hurry up.

and speaking of my alma mater...

have you seen this?
"The record is 274 fires set in 2003". 
yup. my freshman year.

i couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

leeds and knaresborough.

like i said in my earlier post, we made two day trips while in harrogate. one afternoon we took a drive to leeds where we shopped and took in the city streets. leeds is the closest city to harrogate and is a very popular shopping district. the drive there was quite peaceful and once again we were surrounded by lush landscapes.

on my last day in harrogate we took the short drive to knaresborough, an old and historic market town only about 10 minutes from harrogate. we hiked up the mountain to the knaresborough castle and simply admired the views. they were breathtaking. it was a great way to end up european vacation.

our transportation during our stay :)

this view never got old.

shopping in leeds.

river nidd in knaresborough

the ruins of knaresborough castle

view of knaresborough

thanks for following along on my trip from 2009. it was great to take a trip down memory lane. the trip was a once in a lifetime adventure with my best friend and we made memories that i will cherish forever. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

some quiet time.

after weeks and even months of hectic schedules, the boyfriend and i are going on a weekend getaway for some peace and quiet. we leave tomorrow at noon and will arrive at a quaint little bed and breakfast 3 hours away, in the blue ridge mountains. what's on our itinerary? not much, except some wine tasting, hiking, and plenty of reading. 

have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

north yorkshire.

after our hop, skip, and a jump to frankfurt we were on a plane to manchester, england. there we caught a train to harrogate (about 1.5 hours away), a quaint town in north yorkshire. we only had three nights there (one which was to attend the united states navy ball - oh, la la), so we wanted to take full advantage of the harrogate nightlife upon arrival. as soon as we arrived to our flat, we made a quick wardrobe change, met up with friends, and we were on our way.

let me tell ya something. harrogate people know how to party. the nightlife reminded me so much of my days in college (let's go mountaineers!). some clubs stayed upon until 4am and people were going crazy! we sure had a good time ;)

besides the nightlife, harrogate is full of culture and beauty with its luscious gardens, rich architecture, and fabulous shopping. while we were there we also took a drive to the city of leeds (25 minutes away) and to knaresborough (10 minutes away). i was going to post those pictures today but i'll hold off until tomorrow. this post is already picture overload and i didn't want to make it too unbearable :)

gorgeous view of manchester

first night in harrogate. complimentary champagne and beer :)

gorgeous harrogate countryside

downtown harrogate

having traditional english tea at bettys!!!!

the crown hotel - location of the navy ball
roaming the valley gardens

side-of-the-road view. not too shabby.

i had too.
p.s. taylors of harrogate tea is my absolute favorite! i believe you can find it here in the states too. i stocked up while i was there again in january :)

i was able to revisit harrogate again this past year in january and it was just as fabulous as my time here in 2009. if you ever plan to take a trip to england, or if you're in the yorkshire area, then i definitely recommend making a stop here. there is so much to see!


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