DC Happenings

Just a Little Friday Malarkey

I don’t like to talk about politics. Typically, politically driven conversations lead to people using loud voices, muttering insults under their breath and the use of a few too many four letter words, all in all, leaving me angry. Our political beliefs are shaped by our own individual experiences, so it is no surprise that we believe so strongly in them, whatever direction they may lean. But, we’re Americans, so long live free speech and difference of opinion.

While I largely steer clear of political conversations and certainly will never blog about my political beliefs, I can’t help but share a few of my unbaised thoughts on last night’s spectacle also known as the VP debate.

  • I used to think the term “my friend” was one of endearment. Thank you, Mr. Biden, for showing me it is obviously an expression of pure hatred.
  • Biden and Ryan have perfected the art of bitch fighting with rhetoric. The Real Housewives of New Jersey ain’t got nothing on these two. The ladies should take notes on “how to talk louder and interrupt more effectively” than the person next to you. (Oh – here’s an idea, how about we let one of them host the next Real Housewives Reunion? Andy Cohen, watch out!)
  • These to know how to bicker better than a couple married for 75 years. Speaking of 75 years, is that the age difference between these two candidates?
  • Biden is an angry, angry man. He yells. Frequently and with conviction. I was afraid his teeth were going to fly out of his mouth and hit Ryan in the eye. I don’t think they make denture cream strong enough to withstand 90 minutes of malarkey.
  • According to CNN, Ryan, you won by a fraction. You completely discredited your win with these photos, big guy. Oh, and according to Eva Longoria, you lost. Bad. It’s ok, just head to the nearest gym and sweat it out. Maybe next time you can request a feat of strength during the VP debate?

– Photo from Time Magazine


Drybar DC: The Answer for Amazing Hair

DC, it is time to put down the blow dryers, pack up the straighteners and say sayonara to those curling irons. Give your biceps a permanent vacation from the struggle of your hair routine. Let’s face it, no matter how many hours we spend on our hair, we will never achieve Blake Lively’s effortless-looking locks. But you know who can?

The stylists at Drybar. Some of you may be thinking, uhhh, Drybar? Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron – how can a bar be dry? However, as you might have guessed, it has nothing to do with booze and everything to do with hair. Ok, it may have something to do with booze since you can sip on a cocktail while getting beautified…

Drybar is the latest and greatest chain of salons dedicated to providing nothing but absolutely ah-maaaz-ing blowouts in just 30 minutes.  And, lucky us, they are set to open TWO DC-area locations, one in Georgetown and one in Bethesda, in just less than two weeks! Disclaimer: this is a judgement free zone. Please do not fight the urge to jump up and down uncontrollably or shriek with glee. 

Customers, affectionately referred to as barflies, shouldn’t expect a cut or color, rather, they can choose their ideal blowout from seven different styles, all creatively named after various cocktails. Looking for a sleek, straight style; loose, beachy waves; va-va-voom curls? For $40, your look is their command, just check out their menu.

The “Cosmo” – lots of loose curls (photo from Drybar’s website)

Drybar offers add-ons, such as a scalp massage or hair treatment, for an additional price and customers can expect to be in and out in 30 minutes, which is about half the time it takes me to blow dry my own hair. Drybar also offers updos for $70, kids blowouts for $25 and will travel to customers for $75.

Both the Bethesda and Georgetown locations are set to open on Friday, October 19th. Pre-book your appointments now – your hair will thank you!

Know before you go:

  • Make sure you look at the “menu” prior to your visit. We ladies can be fussy about our hair, so it is important to know exactly what to expect from say, the Manhattan vs. the Mai Tai.
  • Talk to your stylist. Despite popular belief, they can’t read your mind. If you don’t want to look too “done up” or perhaps you hate the look of stick straight hair, say so.
  • If you already know you’re going to be a frequent customer, be sure to ask about the bar tab and membership options. You can save up to $35 a month.
  • Brides and bridesmaids should seriously consider Drybar for wedding day styling. Have the stylists come to you or enjoy some pampering at the salon.
  • Drybar can also help you throw an awesome blow dry party. Who doesn’t want to be pampered and look gorgeous?

Burlesque, Barre and Booze?

A brilliant combination, if you ask me. Although, I think the order probably warrants some consideration. But, all three are coexisting tomorrow night, Friday, September 7th, at the official launch of Lava Barre!

If you’re not familiar with Lava Barre or the barre movement in general, it is an exercise phenomenon designed to help create a slim, lean, sculpted, dancer-like body. Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

Well, Lava Barre is one of the few only studios that believes in kicking up the barre intensity (an inch?), involving more cardio, props and weights. The studio opened just a few weeks ago and already has a loyal following. Never in my life have I ever seen so many happy, smiling faces leaving a grueling workout.

The Lava Barre ladies, Lauren and Vanessa, are taking advantage of all of these happy barre-ettes and throwing a launch event tomorrow evening which promises to be buckets of fun – 50 Shades of Fun to be exact!

Join the Lava Barre Corps starting at 5 pm to meet artist Amy Flatten, who’s gorgeous work is displayed in the studio. From 6 – 7 pm, treat yourself to a Burlesque workshop to learn all of the latest sultry moves which promise to punch up your sexy quotient. After you’ve mastered the art of burlesque, head across the street to local hotspot Northside Social for refreshments, sips and dips, and a dance party complete with a DJ. Trying out your new dance moves is optional.

You can RSVP on Facebook and attendance is free, however, donations for Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment will be collected.

So head on over and belly up to the Lava Barre – and the bar – on Friday night!


Fashion’s Night Out: The countdown begins!

Do you have plans for next Thursday? Not yet? Well, now you do.

DC’s Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) kicks off in just one short week! From 6pm-11pm on September 6th, shoppers can stroll the streets of Georgetown to take advantage of special discounts, store events and dining deals.

In fact, there is SO much going on, a plan of attack is imperative. if you don’t narrow down your options, you run the risk of hitting up your first store and finding yourself in Twilight Zone-esque time warp. Start sipping on that champagne, perusing rack after rack, lost in fashionable gorgeousness until you suddenly look up and realize you’ve spent your entire evening in one store.  Or worse, you’ll end up trekking from one side of Georgetown to another, spending more time walking the streets in those fabulous FNO-worthy heels than in the stores, racking up blisters instead of credit card debit.

After reviewing the list of discounts and in-store happenings, here are my recommendations:

Get Shopping

ALDO Shoes – 3237 M Street, NW
Score 10% off on all regularly priced items and a surprise gift with any purchase!

Anthropologie – 3222 M Street, NW
One of my all time favorites, Anthropologie will not disappoint. They are hosting an evening of one-on-one styling.

Join us in celebrating Fashion’s Night Out with an evening of one-on-one styling and after-hours shopping Thursday, September 6th from 6pm-11pm.

Charm – 2910 M Street, NW
Sip on champagne, take advantage of massive discounts (up to 50%!) and enter for a chance to win a prize at “Charm’s Bubbles and Baubles Night Out.”

CUSP – 3030 M Street, NW
“Toast Fall Fashion” with CUSP and DC Scout! Peruse merchandise with music and refreshments and enter for a chance to win a $500 CUSP gift card and a styling session with Meredith Liberty. RSVP required.

Urban Chic – 1626 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
When else can you enjoy a Rebecca Minkoff trunk show accompanied with a 15% discount and free gift with purchase? Oh, and for any shoppers spending $250 or more, you’ll receive a complimentary, custom illustration of you in your new purchase courtesy of artist Inslee Haynes. Wanna spend for a cause? Donate to Habitat for Humanity and Easel Hair Studio will style you with some sexy beach waves a la their in-store beach waves bar.

Get Pretty

All of your new purchases wouldn’t be complete without a little beautification.

bluemercury – 3059 M Street, NW
FREE mini-facials and makeup consultations? YES, please! Spend more than $150 and you’ll score their September Anniversary Bag.

Nectar Skin Bar – 1633 Wisconsin Ave, NW
In partnership with IPSA, Nectar is hosting its “Feels like Fall, Fashion and Fresh Beauty” event featuring Oribe dry blowouts, a lipstick bar and quick polish changes!

Get Fed

There are 20 restaurants offering FNO promotions, so everyone can truly find something they’ll enjoy. However, my picks are Bandolero, Dean and Deluca and Pie Sisters. Bandolero because it is just plain delicious; Dean and Deluca because they are hosting the BrightestYoungThings soiree, complete with with ESL Music and Fatback DJs spinning all night; and Pie Sisters because they bring a whole new meaning to pie – especially for $2 per cuppie (personal sized pie). Pies aren’t your thing? Sprinkles is offering buy one get one free cupcakes.

Where are your must-go spots for FNO?


Fashion + Food = What more can a girl ask for?

For me, this week has inched along about as slow as the Kardashian-Humphries divorce proceedings. Seriously – you were married for 72 days, why do you feel the need to make the divorce process 5 times longer than the marriage?

Ah, but I digress. Perhaps this week has been so long because I’ve been looking forward to today since LAST week! I’ve got a busy evening ahead of me with two events in Georgetown and a dinner with girlfriends for Restaurant Week. Talk about the highlight of my week!

I’ll be headed to Madewell’s Styling Session in Georgetown from 6:00-8:00 pm to check out the new fall collection! You can find more details on the event’s Facebook page, but here is what you need to know:

  • Get styling advice from Madewell’s expert staff
  • Donate a pair of jeans and you’ll get 20% off your jean purchase
  • Liking your looks? Tweet or post pictures of your styles tagged with #mixwellwithfab for a chance to win a Madewell gift!

I have my eyes on the Ardot Blazer ($138) – the perfect edition to any Fall wardrobe!

After Madewell, I’ll mosey on over to Gap for Refinery29’s Modern Vintage Mashup to meet their local editors, peruse the new merchandise and style it with some of Refinery29’s vintage pieces and of course, sip on cocktails! I’ll also be scoring 30% off of any regular-price item and be entered to win one of three outfits from Gap styled by Refinery29. I’m thinking it might be the perfect time to pick up some colored denim or one of these adorable pencil skirts.

Once I’ve shopped ’till I dropped, I’ll get my eat on at DC-staple, Kinkead’s. The Restaurant Week menu is positively mouth-watering and I can’t wait to try it!If you haven’t taken advantage of Restaurant Week yet, there is still time! Book through OpenTable and check out Washingtonian’s Restaurant Week tips if you’re a first timer!

I’ll give a full recap of all events, purchases and food eaten but if you’re interested in either of the events, register using the links above! Maybe I’ll see you there!


Saturday Steals at the Old Town Sidewalk Sale

Shoppers, set your alarms for tomorrow morning. Old Town is at it again, hosting its 3rd Annual Old Town Alexandria Sidewalk Sale. Get there early to score some awesome bargains from more than 60 participating stores, ranging from clothing to interiors and even purchases for your pup! Many stores will open at 9 am and all stores will feature a unique promotion or event in-store. Be on the lookout for discounted summer merchandise, with many stores offering up to 80% off! A full list of participating stores can be found here.

Old Town’s wide range of eclectic shops will make sure you do not walk away empty-handed. However, as with any big sale, make sure you have plenty of time to peruse and arrive ready to do a bit of sifting and searching to find exactly what you want. Nothing great ever comes easy, after all! When I visit Old Town, I have a select group of stores I make sure to never miss and they are all participating in the Sidewalk Sale, so be sure to check them out if you’re looking for something special!

First up, Current Boutique! I’ve been a customer at Current since back when they only had one location in Courthouse. Current offers new and consignment clothing and accessories. The store offers a killer selection of new dresses and jewelry, so be sure to visit if you’re looking for a hot new outfit and you can score 20% off your entire purchase! Here are some of the recent arrivals at the Old Town store:

L.A.M.B gray leather peep toe heels | Size 6 $152.95
(image courtesy of Current Boutique)
BCBG yellow satin bow w/ black embroidered skirt dress | Size 6 $104.95
(image courtesy of Current Boutique)
Tibi green and white floral silk dress | Size 12 $110.95
(image courtesy of Current Boutique)

Mint Condition is another must-stop-shop, however it is all designer consignment merchandise, so make sure you’re ok with some gently-worn merchandise. Mint has a great selection of all types of clothing, ranging from designer jeans to dresses and superb footwear from the likes of Tory Burch. Chanel and Michael Kors!

Check out this adorable ensemble they put together for 4th of July!
Shoes are Michael Kors size 8.5 $48 and dress is Rebecca Taylor $118, NWT size L. (image courtesy of Mint Condition)
The Shoe Hive is another great find and with summer merchandise discounted 60-80%, your feet will thank you. I stopped by this gem last summer and was drooling over all of the designer shoes and jaw-dropping prices!
These DVF Senegal wedges were originally $250 – and you can find them for $75!
You’ll also want to check out Lou Lou, which I’ve already named one of my favorite go-to’s for accessories, where you can get 20-60% off of specific items.

Once you’ve shopped your heart out, grab a glass (or bottle, I’m not judging) of wine with your girlfriends at Grape + Bean and congratulate yourselves on purchases well-made!


Shopping for a Cause: Goodwill Pop-up Shop

I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of the Edited by Goodwill Pop-Up shop at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery on Tuesday night. Pop-up shops are all the rage lately and I think it is quite the novel concept for Goodwill to take advantage and host one of their own right smack, dab in the middle of the city. And boy, did it pay off! Tuesday night was a limited attendance event and the space was filled to the brim with shoppers sipping on cocktails, viewing portrait art, taking advantage of complimentary hair and makeup consultations and scouring rack after rack of bargain buys.

The window display complete with summer’s bright color trend and hanger-art designed by Gensler.
One of the many racks of clothing for shoppers to peruse.
Some of the art and product displays, also by Gensler.

When I say bargain, I mean it. I picked up a pair of gently used Nine West nude pumps for $9.98. YES – less than $10. The best part – the fact that they are used means they are already broken in for me! Say goodbye to blisters! I also found a J Crew olive green corduroy blazer for my brother-in-law. Some other great finds (that I didn’t purchase) included a few J Crew sleeveless blouses, a Monique Lhuillier cocktail dress, Calypso for Target sundress and tons of other brand names.

One of the shoe racks which featured Steve Madden, Nine West, Cocunuts and other top brands.

Here are a few tips for shopping consignment and gently used merchandise:

  • Shoes, accessories and homegoods are some of the best finds
  • Jackets and blazers are good items to search for as they are typically less worn than other types of clothing
  • Make sure to check for stains, loose threads, small tears or any other signs of abuse that will you might not see at first glance
  • Check for brand names – thrift shopping is the quickest way for a girl on a budget to snag a DVF/Monique/Milly/insert=any-other-top-designer-here
  • Trends always come full circle – you could score big on someone’s secondhand 70’s disco dress or 90s denim vest

To take advantage of these tips, shop the Edited Goodwill Pop-Up shop, open through Friday, so hurry up and get over to Chinatown to check it out! If you are going to shop, it might as well be for a good cause! You can even stop off at Rosa Mexicano for a margarita and a quick review of your new purchases.


Wedding Dress Date: Liancarlo Bridal Trunk Show at Carine’s

Calling all DC brides: if you are on the hunt for the perfect dress, you want to get yourself to Carine’s Bridal Atelier. You really want to get yourself to Carine’s this weekend. Why, you ask?

To get exclusive access to the Liancarlo Bridal Spring 2013 Trunk Show this week, August 2-4th! Liancarlo designs can be summed up in one word: glamorous. These gowns make a statement with either intricate beading, dramatic trains or stunning silhouettes – or all three. Liancarlo’s designs are unique in that there is something for everyone. While designer Carlos Ramirez maintains a distinct style throughout the collection, he still offers enough variety in silhouettes, fabrics, details and accents that every bride can find something that makes her feel gorgeous.

Just look at the range of my favorite selection of the Liancarlo 2013 Spring Collection:

Photos courtesy of Liancarlo.

Known as DC’s luxury bridal boutique, Carine’s is not one to disappoint. Last night they posted a sneak peak at some of the dresses you’ll be able to slip on at the trunk show. I am dying over the back views of these two dresses:

Look absolutely stunning during your entrance and your exit back down the aisle! Photo credit: Carine’s Bridal Atelier.
Delicate, classic and glamorous all in one. Photo credit: Carine’s Bridal Atelier.

You do not want to miss this one, beautiful brides to be! Appointments are required and are fill VERY quickly, so email info@carinesbridal.com or call (202) 965-4696 to make your’s today!


Tequila, Tequila!

It seems quite fitting that my 100th post on this blog should be about celebrating!

Get out your sombreros and call the mariachi band, it is National Tequila Day! Anyone can appreciate a day dedicated to such a polarizing alcohol. After all, tequila is cursed by some, loved by others and feared by many. Songs are dedicated to it and many a bad decision has been blamed on it. Ahhh, yes, tequila.

If you are of the tequila aficionado crowd, you’ll want to check out Bandolero, El Centro and El Chucho.

Bandolero’s house margarita comes on tap!  (image courtesy of Bandolero)

Mike Isabella’s latest endeavor, Bandolero, is encouraging you to bring a partner in crime to participate in the celebration. All tequila drinks are buy one get one free! With more than 40 tequilas to choose from, you and your buddy are sure to find at least one you will enjoy – probably a little too much! The special lasts from 4:00 pm until close, so get there early to get the most for your money!

While El Centro isn’t running a tequila special, it would be a crime to not encourage a tequila lover to visit DC’s premier tequileria. El Centro offers guests a choice of more than 200Tequilas & Mezcals. For National Tequila Day, they are boasting more than 250 types of tequilas! The restaurant runs a regular Taco Tuesday special, so you can also nosh on $2 chef’s choice tacos all night to help counteract the effects of that tequila.

(image courtesy of El Chucho)

El Chucho, Columbia Heights latest addition, is throwing an all out fiesta featuring a private label Tequila, Tequila Real. Be amongst the first in the US to try this tequila, with $4 shots of Tequila Real Blanco, and meet the importer who is a local resident. Being a guinea pig not your thing? Sip on $5 margaritas or one of the other 100 tequilas on El Chucho’s menu at 20 percent off!

If you’re part of the tequila fearer crew, but never one to miss out on a celebration, feast on some good Mexican cuisine at one of these locations:

Either way, enjoy…and I hope you wake up without a hangover!



DC Bridal Sample Sales Alert!

Following on yesterday’s wedding-related post, I wanted to share a quick roundup of some fabulous Sample Sales happening at some of DC’s best bridal salons this weekend. Sample sales are not for everyone, but if you’re in the market for a wedding dress and don’t cringe at the idea of your wedding day garb being tried on by others, then you need to get your butt to one of these sample sales.

Hitched Sample Sale Soiree – TONIGHT from 5pm – 8pm
As one of DC’s most popular bridal salons, Hitched features gowns from the industry’s top designers. You can snag a gown for 40%-80% off, from brands of the likes of Anne Barge, Amsale, Christos, Judd Waddell and my own personal favorite, Modern Trousseau. My wedding dress was Modern Trousseau’s Mika, which is incidentally available at the sample sale! Hitched takes all of the risk out of the sample sale process because all of the available gowns are on their website. To RSVP, email info@hitchedsalon.com.

I purchased my Modern Trousseau gown from Hitched! (Photo by Paul Morse)

Carine’s Bridal Atelier Sample Sale – also TONIGHT from 5pm – 8pm
Talk about competition! Carine’s is hosting their sample sale this evening at the exact same time as Hitched. Since both are located in Georgetown, if you’re quick -and determined, you might be able to pull double duty and make it to both! If you have the slightest inclination that you want to don a luxury brand such as Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier or Marchesa, Carine is your girl. Gowns will be discounted up to 50%-75% and no appointment is necessary. Give the salon a call at 202-965-4696 or check the salon out on Facebook.

Some of Carine’s Marchesa dresses in for the sample sale! (Photo courtesy of Carine’s)

The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel Sample Sale – July 20th & 21st from 10am – 6pm

“Saks” is synonymous with luxury and glamor, so expect nothing less when you attend the Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel Sample Sale. This is THE place in DC to get your hands on some Vera Wang, so if you want to be a Vera gal’ this is your destination of choice (Reem Acra and Oscar de la Renta, too). Gowns are reduced by 30%-75% and prices will range from $690 – $13,890. You’ll want an appointment for this one, so call 301-652-2250 to see what’s left!

Sample sales are the BEST way to get a designer gown for a steal. So if you’re a bride with champagne taste on a beer wine spritzer budget, you might as well try your luck at a sample sale. You may find nothing, you may find a dress that surpasses your wildest dreams, but either way you will be spending a few hours trying on pretty, frilly white dresses. There are worse ways to spend your weekend, after all!


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