Category Archives: Food

it’s the final countdown: days 4, 5 & more.

I’m writing this on my last weekday as a Funemployed person. So, naturally I’m doing it in a coffee shop.

Day 4 — yesterday — was lovely. I started the morning as I usually do lately: consumed by my allergies. But I tore myself out of bed to meet C at the new NPR building — his office — over in NoMA. After lunch and a tour (the office is shiny and new and pretty, y’all — or as C would say “trendy”), I started my walk home. Desperately in need of a little wake-up call, I stopped at Big Bear Cafe on the way. I’ve heard about this place forever, but have never made it over there. The staff is friendly, the outdoor patio is inviting, and the iced vanilla latte is delicious.

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I then went home for a couple hours (to watch Homeland, obviously) before heading over to C’s for some beers on the porch. Then it was off to Sara Bareilles at the 930 Club! The show was good, y’all. Like, real good. She’s obviously a great singer, but the gal has a sense of humor and sarcasm that is rivaled only by yours truly …JK LOL NOT JK. But seriously, see her LIVE! if you can.

Aside from Sara’s singing and joke-slinging, the night was also memorable because two fabulous guys got engaged on stage. The crowd was on their feet. And of course he said yes!

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Today — Day 5 — has been a little more uneventful… SO FAR. I’m sitting in a coffee shop now doing a little reading for the new job, which starts bright and early Monday morning.

I tried to convince my body to sleep in — IT’S MY LAST CHANCE, AFTER ALL — but alas, I was up at 8:30 a.m. I’m having lunch at the lovely U Street Cafe right now (they know my name you guys!), and the rest of my afternoon will be spent reading before I meet up with K at 5 p.m. to start the weekend with a couple of cocktails. But it’s not just any other old weekend. IT’S K’S BACHELORETTE WEEKEND, Y’ALL. I’m so happy that I get to spend my weekend saying goodbye to Funemployment by helping K say goodbye to her single gal days. She and future Mr. K are such a great pair; I’m so happy for her. I won’t/can’t say much about this weekend, as K reads this here little bloggy, but rest assured it will be fun (read: drunk). I’ll update y’all on Sunday. With lots of pitchures.

Sometimes I feel like my posts are just like “Hey! Here’s what I did today…”, which considering what a jet-set life I lead, I know is like, totally super interesting for you all to read. But in case you were looking to know a little bit more about me as a human, outside of my jam-packed schedule, here’s some other random info from the last few days.

1. I FINISHED HOMELAND. You guys. You guys. Seriously. Watch this show. But make sure you either a) watch it with someone or b) have a best friend on the West Coast who has already seen it and who is available to indulge your 3 a.m. EST text messages being all like ‘THIS SHIT IS CRAY.” (ALL CAPS NECESSARY.) Also, considering how many shows Funemployment has allowed me to get hooked on, I can confirm this is the most accurate thing I’ve read on the Internet in a long while… … Thanks to aforementioned BFF M for this gem.

2. If you’re looking for a happy little summer ditty, try Ben Rector’s “The Beat.” I can’t stop listening to it. I was walking around in the sunshine smiling to myself this morning as it was dancing through my headphones. Yep, I was THAT girl. I think in the last few days I have listened to approximately four songs on repeat (what are blogs for if not embarrassing admissions like this?).

  • Next to Me by Emilie Sandé
  • Come & Get It by Selena Gomez (seriously, f’real, thanks a lot, H)
  • The Beat by Ben Rector
  • Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

3. Hokay, this is actually some big news I’m sorry I haven’t mentioned here before. So at the moment I live in a huge rowhouse with 4 other roommates. This sounds like a lot o’ people, but we’re all friends and it’s been such a great home for the last two years. Sadly, but understandably with all the new construction around, our landlords have decided to make themselves bookoo bucks by selling our house to presumably the highest bidder. And they want us out by May 31st. Eeks. H and I have decided it would be fun to continue living with each other, and saw a 2-bedroom house recently we both fell in love with. Well, turns out the landlord loved us right back, and yesterday we got a note saying we got the house! We move in June 1! The house has a great outdoor back patio, so for those of you in the DeeSee area, expect a little partita invite soon! Or, just come on ovah.

Okay. Phew. This was a long post. Amazing that things never change: Having to do real work / reading brings me straight back to my procrastinating roots. Hope y’all are out enjoying the sunshine (assuming there’s some in your neck of the woods), or plan to this weekend.



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it’s the final countdown: day 1.


Okay, before we get to my last Monday of Funemployment, a few quick weekend recap:

It was fun, fast, and filled with friends — some of whom I hadn’t hung out with in quite a while. Sunday in particular was notable, as it was marked with my first trip to Union Market (something on that DC to-do bucket list) and was filled with more than a fair share of blonde moments courtesy of me and my fellow fair-haired friend, KR.

For the record, Union Market is great. But don’t go if you’re not hungry; it’s basically just a building filled with a bunch of little countertop restaurants — and one produce guy if you were hoping to make your food at home.

Other highlights included a stop in one of my favorite local shops, Pulp. If you haven’t been, it’s this great card/gift shop on 14th Street. I stopped by on Sunday to pick up a few Thank You cards, but I always love finding gems like this…


As for my Monday, I woke up after a ridiculous 11 hours of sleep feeling the worst. So, I checked out my Final Funemployed Days to-do list and found the perfect activity for curling up on the sofa: Watch Homeland.

Everyone has either recommended this to me or has also had about 15 of their friends recommend it. Well, BELIEVE THE HYPE, Y’ALL. I’m writing this post at 2:30 a.m. because I just. can’t.stop. I’ve made it through episode 10, but am making myself stop. Mostly so I can wake up and be somewhat productive tomorrow.

Other recent obsessions:

1. Free Flow for the iPhone.

2. Brussels sprouts. Seriously, I’ve made them the last like 6 days — with pasta, roasted alone, roasted with apples, chicken sausage, and onions. They’re just so good. I mean look at ’em:

brussels sprouts

So many addictions, so little free time. Like seriously, I can feel the time floating away. I better get some rest.



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the big Speakeasy.


Some nights you’re reminded how incredibly lucky you are. Last night was one of those for me.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took a SpeakeasyDC storytelling class last year. I also gave up cheese for what would be 100 days. During my time in the class I was in the midst of this fast, but told the tale at my student showcase. Fast forward to almost a year later, and I’m up on stage at a Lent-themed Speakeasy open mic telling my story to strangers. This time with a little more perspective.

It was one of the best experiences/nights of my life. So many of my close friends came out, and I didn’t bomb or forget large chunks of my story. There’s a natural high you get after you perform anything on a stage — something I learned when I took improv classes. But there’s something so satisfying about telling a true story from your own real-life experiences; finding the best way to deliver the story so people will not only understand the material, but so they can connect and relate to it as well. And to have people respond so well to something you’ve done is just the best feeling. People laughed, they cried (no, really, K cried)…

Seriously if you’re in DC, take a class or check out a show if you can!

And a HUGE thank you to those who were able to make it out last night. I’m terrible at asking people to do things / don’t love being the center of attention / etc etc. It means a lot.



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one Pleasant day.

Pleasant Pops - Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

I’m trying, y’all. Really trying to stick to my budget — eggs in the morning, homemade sandwiches for lunch, whatever I can scrounge up for dinner. But sometimes, $12 spent on a sandwich and a drink at a local coffee shop goes a long way to buying a little sanity with a lovely afternoon outside the house. Not to mention the people watching.

‘Twas the scene today: After watching The West Wing working all morning, I headed out in the beautiful 50-degree weather for a little walk before ending up at Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe on Florida Ave. It was my first time here, and let me tell you this place is so charming.

The decor is lovely, but more so the staff is very, well, pleasant. I was there for a few hours, and heard the owner tell everyone who walked in all about the local products he just got in — Virgina peanut butter, honey, a mango-pineapple salsa from Baltimore they had out to sample. (I love me some mango salsa, so one taste was all I needed to be persuaded into buying a jar. #smartmoves) But it wasn’t annoying to hear the spiel over and over — it was nice to see someone so, so genuinely excited about supporting local businesses. …Another reason said mango salsa was even more appealing.

So, Pleasant Pops started as a popsicle dispensary — they travel to Farmer’s Markets and have their own truck. The tasty treats are much talked about, so I was excited to finally try one alongside my iced chai latte. But first, the sandwich menu (and well everything else) caught my eye. Let me tell you: Do not just come here for dessert. The Pear Cheese Sandwich (pictured below) — a blend of goat cheese and pear with lettuce on grilled sourdough — is INCREDIBLE. I then had a hard time choosing a pop flavor — the menu is split between dairy and non-dairy — but finally settled on the Strawberry Ginger Lemonade (pictured above). It did not disappoint.

pleasant pops Pear Cheese sandwich & iced chai latte

I’ve already told H we’re going back ASAP so I can try the Brussels Sprouts salad… and maybe another sandwich… and some more salsa… and a dairy popsicle… and… you get it.

Now it’s back to homemade dinners. But this time with a milestone: For the first time in… well, I think ever… I’m making something with TOMATOES in it. I’ve been trying to get myself to stop ordering things without them — I don’t hate the taste, just need to learn to love the texture — but I think I’m ready to take it one step further. And cherry tomatoes are just so easy to chop.

dinner supplies



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you are what you eat.

If that’s true, I’m trading in my stark white paleness for a self that is more eclectic, ethnic, diverse, and delicious.

My friend R’s cousin H was in town from the great state of Montana this week for a conference, and yesterday R took the day off and we showed H the town. We started at my house around U Street, walked down 14th Street, over to Dupont (taking some snapshots at the huge Freemasons temple on the way), and then up to AdMo.

The highlight had to be introducing H to Ethiopian food for lunch at the incredible Meskerem on 18th street. We ordered up a vegetarian messob — a selection of a few dishes, including lentils, cabbage, spinach, potatoes, and more. It’s all served over and eaten with injera, a spongy bread that seriously expands in your stomach. Consider yourself warned. While the items names and menu descriptions might not sound the most exciting, the array of spices really make the dishes a delight.


Then last night for dinner, I went to Hanoi House for some delicious Vietnamese food. Sorry no picture, but everyone seems to love their Pho — and I can tell you their pork Banh Mi is a solid choice, even if just for the delicious pickled veggies on the side.

Today, I spent much of the afternoon applying to jobs and watching The West Wing with my roommate. Although I jumped in on episode 15 after never seeing any of it before, I might actually already be hooked…

Then I headed to an early dinner with one of my best friends from high school. L lives wayyyyy out in Arlington (okay it’s not that far), but we see each other a shamefully small amount. Because we were eating really early (gotta love teacher’s schedules), we were able to get into Estadio no problem. It’s a seriously popular and raved about Spanish tapas restaurant on 14th Street that I’ve wanted to go to for… forever. But of course whenever I think about it, it’s 7 p.m. on a Friday… and there’s a 90-minute wait.

Everything was SO good. Start your meal with a cranberry and ginger slushito. Then order the crispy brussel sprouts. And an open-faced sandwich. And the chicken. And the shrimp. And the patatas bravas… Just order everything.


So. So good.

After dinner, it was only 7:30… so I showed L some of my neighborhood, ending the night with cheap beers and bluegrass music at local favorite Solly’s.

And now it’s SRSLY back to my PB&J (and PBR) diet until my bachelorette parties and wedding extravaganzas are overrrrr / I have an income again… whatever comes first.



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the cheese-less stands alone. again.

ulah bistro mac and cheese:pizza

Those who know me personally know that for 100 days last year, I gave up cheese. What started out as a silly Lent-ish challenge among me and my two roommates (who each barely lasted a day), turned into the jumping off point for me reevaluating my life — as cheesy as that may sound. At the same time, I took a Storytelling class at SpeakeasyDC, where I turned this quest into a 7-minute tale, performed in April at a showcase before friends and family.

Welp, 11 months to the day after that showcase, I’m going to be up on a real stage at a bar in DC and telling my story in front of a crowd of strangers. People who attend these monthly themed — usually sold out — Speakeasy shows expect to like, laugh, and be entertained. So here’s hoping I don’t seriously stink (like cheese, get it? GET IT? you see why I’m concerned…).

More than that, my roommate H has convinced me to revisit my cheese fast so I can truly connect to my material again or something. SO here goes nothing… again. Today, February 12 is exactly one month before the big show, so it’s another round of a cheese-free existence for me, with all the cheese panics it will bring. Although I may not be as imposing this time around; I won’t order or make any food that has cheese in it, but if I happen to end up at a gathering of friends and the only option is a slice of pizza, I’m not going to starve. Or be the prissy one who needs a separate meal. Sacrifices, people.

I’ve also agreed this is a good idea, because more than learning about self-control last go ’round, I also learned I might be a weeee bit lactose intolerant. And I’ve been eating like a real dairy-loving gal this last month or so, so I might need another kick in the butt to revert back to my cheese-in-moderation ways. Or just a month break before I go back to indulging.

… aaaand I’m already craving mac & cheese. We’ll see how this goes.



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stay classy, san diego.

Hope y’all have been inspired these last few days by the affirmations. Sorry for lack of real posts.

After a whirlwind weekend in NYC, I was home for two quiet days before jet-setting to the opposite end of the country. My best friend from college, M, lives in San Diego, and for the last few years we’ve alternated visiting each other for our birthdays. This year, I told her I just couldn’t afford the trip. Then her cousin (and current roomie) B and I conspired behind her back after I found some cheap tickets. However, M’s a modern day Angela Lansbury, and she used her detective skills to take benign “clues” and transform them into signs I was coming. She was still surprised, but I suppose it’s hard to truly surprise someone who knows you so well.


The trip flew by. There was warm weather, beaches, fish tacos, a party bus, fire ball shots, new friends, breakfast burritos, and a lot of good quality time with my bestie. And if DC is an awkward city to be unemployed in — what with all the ambition and power been thrown around — San Diego is probably one of the best. People bask in their laid back lifestyle; having jobs they might not love is an okay trade-off for days spent living by the beach and in houses a stone’s throw from their friends. It actually felt a lot like being in college again. I was sad to leave.

A few highlights:

– I ate shark. It tastes like… fish.
– Sunday Funday football starts so early. Which is nice because you can be back at the house (totally, completely sober, Dad…) by 9 p.m. after eating some of the best fish tacos you’ve ever had.
– Calvin Harris is NOT a big hit among the dive bar crowds. Take note next time you’re selecting music in the juke box.
– “Having twins is like going to Costco.” – M
– I should start watching “Pretty Little Liars.”

Overall it was such a great visit. I loved seeing M and B, and I love that she has such great friends out in Cali to keep her company until the next time I can make it out there. Or until I convince her to move here… or wherever I end up…

That’s sadly the end of my planned travels… for now. Who knows what’s next! (Suggestions and generous donations welcome.)



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lunchtime life lessons.

If you’re looking to die/get your ass kicked on your lunch break, head over to the Vida on U Street for Alexx’s cardio dance class. Dude is serious, and even outfits himself with a boy band-style microphone so he can enthusiastically provide instructions over the loud pop/hip hop music.


– Do not join the class on a whim after a 45-min workout of your own.

– Do not forget to bring water.

– Do reward yourself for surviving by ending your day with sea salt gelato from Kushi.




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holy scarves and other adventures.

Sorry for the lack of updates… This weekend was pretty low-key. I caught up on reading, got some chores done, and painted the town — eh, mostly Stetson’s — red with some friends… and was again reminded how short all the men in DC are. But I digress…

One of my biggest accomplishments this weekend was stuffing four … FOUR … trash bags full of clothes to give away. I mostly shop at Target, so nothing is worth consigning. And I finally convinced myself to let go of those just-in-case-you-gain-those-30-pounds-back jeans/dresses/shirts/etc. I figure if I move, I won’t want to bring them with me. And if I do gain the weight back, I’ll want to go shopping to make myself feel better anyway.

So I have no news on gaining employment, but I am conquering my resolutions like it’s my job. I’m well through a book for January, have shows lined up, travel plans, and today, I learned how to knit. Well, I started to at least.

My wonderful friend and neighbor H has every other Monday off, and graciously offered to teach me (she’s an expert and is fully aware how inept I can be at crafting). So I headed over after lunch and learned how to cast on before completing a few rows. But in true fashion, I also somehow managed to knit a hole into whatever it was I was making. That’s not going to deter me from trying to knit a scarf. Maybe holes will just be my… thing? Maybe Etsy shop owner will not be my next endeavor.


I ended my day catching up with an old college friend I hadn’t seen an embarrassingly long time. A while back, pre-layoff, I made a bucket list of places I wanted to go to and things I wanted to do before I left DC. And let’s face it, most of the places are restaurants. One of those was 2 Amy’s, a pizza place across from the National Cathedral. It did not disappoint.


Good food, good friends, another good day. Here’s to holy scarves.



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baby, it’s still cold outside.

Winter isn’t coming, it’s already here, y’all.

And there’s only one thing to do when you’re unemployed and cold and the clock strikes 4 p.m.: Drink*.

(*Dad-approved drinking, of course, as I swear I’ve been job searching most of the day!)

My lovely roommate came home today after a loooong 10 days away (she’s a teacher, those winter breaks are f’real. Although I guess mine is too…). So after she put away her things (and discovered the fake Christmas tree we moved to her room), we caught up over a long lunch at Busboys.

Now I haven’t addressed this on here yet, because it didn’t much matter before, but one of my least favorite parts of being funemployed is that the heat in our house is on a timer and therefore not on during the day (y’know, when the normals are at work). So we came back in from the bitter cold, only to be faced with bitter cold featuring a little bit less wind.

It was time for the hot chocolate. But like good, dark, stovetop, boozy hot chocolate.


Now it’s time for me to begrudgingly take off my Uggs and venture out looking a bit more respectable to meet a former coworker for drinks.




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