DC Happenings

Feeling Good, Looking Good and Doing Good: Team in Training!

Bikini season is on top of us like the hot fudge on that sundae we should probably put down right about now. Assorted quarter life crises are leading to us ponder life questions that should be reserved for Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. We constantly remind ourselves that we need to “give back” but we just keep giving to our shoe collection…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m making these statements without an inkling of judgement. These are facts of life. Often, I get so caught up in the day-to-day that I fail to realize a week, a month and then a year have passed, all without my doing anything significant. Setting goals and reaching them is challenging, that is why life coaches, personal trainers and therapists are in business.

However, now is as good of a time as any to take up a new hobby, set yourself up to reach a new goal or cross an item off of your bucket list and I can recommend an excellent place to start your journey – Team in Training (TNT).

TNT is a national organization with local chapters that helps people reach their goals of completing an endurance event (read: Marathons, half-marathons, cycling and triathlons) while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to fight blood cancers. TNT provides participants with training resources for sponsored endurance events and, in turn, participants commit to a raise a specified fundraising goal. The fundraising goal can be between $500 – $3,000, depending on the event, and the TNT staff assists participants with fundraising, making it even less intimidating to reach your goal. To break it down, it is a change to feel good, look good and do good, in one fell swoop!

Feeling Good + Looking Good

The thought of a marathon or a triathlon might strike fear into the hearts of anyone, but TNT is committed to help you train appropriately, safely and sanely for an event. You don’t have to have any prior experience and the programs are designed for all levels of fitness acumen. The regimented training will whip you right into shape and the steady stream of endorphins will keep a smile on your face.  The added bonus? You’ll meet tons of people, some just like you and others who are radically different, but all who are working together for a common goal, supporting one another and having a good time. You’ll have an entire team to rely on every Saturday morning and I would wager a bet that you’ll walk away with at least one new friend.

If you think a marathon should be reserved for that crazy Greek guy, then try for a 10 miler or a half! You don’t know what you are capable of until you try, I promise you! If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever run one, I would have laughed in your face, loudly and obnoxiously. Yet, here I am currently training for my third marathon with Team in Training. I even managed to convince one of my best friends to do it too.

Doing Good

TNT-ers reasons for participating might all be different, but the single best part about Team in Training is knowing the impact you are making on the lives of those who are suffering. Each week, you will hear stories from cancer patients, survivors and their family members. Sometimes the stories have happy endings and sometimes they don’t. I’ve shed a tear more than once and I’m sure I will again this season, but I can wake up every day with the confidence that I am doing what I can to help people survive. That is sure to make anyone feel pretty darn good.

And, if you are still doing some soul searching and life questioning, consider this:

Understanding that you have the power to save another life is all you really need to find the meaning in your own. 

Yours truly post Marathon in my Team in Training Gear! See, I’m still alive, and smiling!

If you’re still hesitant, I recommend attending one of their information meetings. The National Capital Chapter is hosting meetings for the Winter Season all over the DC Metro area. There is sure to be one that fits your schedule:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. @ Hyattsville Library: 6530 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD
  • Thursday, Aug. 16, 7:00 p.m. @ Potomac River Running: 115 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD
  • Saturday, Aug. 18, 10:00 a.m. @ Marriott Wardman Park: 2660 Woodley Road, Washington D.C.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7:00 p.m. @ Potomac River Running: 20630 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, VA
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. @ Marymount University, Lee Center: 2807 North Glebe Road, Honors Classroom, Arlington, VA
  • Thursday, Aug. 23, 7:00 p.m. @ Chevy Chase Running Company: 4461 Willard Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Saturday, Aug. 25, 10:00 a.m. @ Hyatt Regency: 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28, 7:00 p.m. @ Road Runner Sports: 1120 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, 7:00 p.m. @ Fleet Feet: 255 Kentlands Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 7:00 p.m. @ Residence Inn Old Town: 1456 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA
  • Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7:00 p.m. @ Woolly Mammoth Theater Company: 641 D Street NW, D.C.
  • Thursday, Sept. 6, 7:00 p.m. @ Marymount University, Lee Center: 2807 North Glebe Road, Honors Classroom, Arlington, VA
  • Saturday, Sept. 11, 10:00 a.m. @ Silver Spring Courtyard Marriott: 8506 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD
 

Fight For Your Right to Uber!

A few days ago, I wrote a post about Uber’s awesomeness. Well, it turns out that said awesomeness is being threatened by the DC City Council.

Uber announced a lower cost service, UberX, which provides a less expensive Uber option by using an all-hybrid fleet of cars. They were unable to release this service in DC because the DC City Council is trying to make it illegal for Uber to offer lower rates in any form by passing an amendment to the taxi modernization bill.

The real reason behind this amendment is to keep Uber more expensive than taxis and pushing for Uber to be no less than 5 times a taxi’s minimum fare. The Council is voting on the Uber Amendment TODAY.

Now, I understand that Uber can seriously impact business for taxi drivers. However, Uber wouldn’t have such a strong market here in DC if the taxis provided satisfactory service. Too often, people are denied taxi service based on their destination and charged unfairly when there is a high demand. Uber provides a solution to this problem and is simply trying to make their car service available for as many people as possible.

If you don’t agree, no harm done, I am not trying to change your mind. However, if you do agree, take just 5-10 minutes of your time today and call or write as many City Council members as possible to let them know that you want your right to Uber. Their info is below and you can find more info on the Uber Amendment on Uber’s blog.

You can also sign the petition to strike the minimum fare language from the Uber Amendment HERE.

 

Independence Day in America’s Capital

I hope everyone had a truly Fabulous 4th of July. I can’t lie, it was a little strange having a holiday in the middle of the week and to have the early morning wake up call for work. But, I’ll just look at it as a couple of two day work weeks! Aren’t we lucky?

Speaking of lucky, I feel very fortunate that I was able to spend the 4th of July in Washington D.C. this year. This is only the second year I’ve been in town for the holiday, but this was the first year I put myself right, smack dab in the middle of the city and I am so thankful I did! Granted, we did frequent two Mexican restaurants (Cantina Marina and Pacifico Cantina) – and, as my husband said, we were just one bratwurst and a potsticker away from making America really proud. It was my first time at Pacifico Cantina, which just opened a few weeks ago, but I’d highly recommend to anyone looking to kickback with a margarita. Check back later today for a full review, but for now a picture tour of my D.C. Independence Day Celebration!

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Some mango beer-garitas with some of my favorite ladies.

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We walked from Barracks Row in Capitol Hill, down Independence to get a view of the fireworks. I only had my iphone, but this was one of my favorite shots!

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And of course, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include our view of the Capitol Building.

After we walked down to the National Mall for the fireworks finale, we quickly realized that we were amidst thousands of people all clamoring to get to the nearest metro station. The line to get down to the stations closest to the mall were at least a hundred people deep – and that was just to get down the stairs to the metro. I can’t even imagine what the platforms looked like! So, we kept on trucking down the mall and through the city, which was a great experience in of itself. We strolled past the White House and just enjoyed being in the city, even though I would have preferred the temperature to be about 15 degrees cooler.

We caught a cab in Dupont and once we got home, saw another fireworks show from our living room window. I’d say it doesn’t get much better than celebrating America and our independence with the people you love in our nation’s capital! I hope you all had a great holiday and work is at least bearable today!

 

 

Oh Darling, You Can Find Me at the Ritz!

It’s a summer weekend in DC. The weather is almost as fabulous as you are and you want to enjoy it with your even more fabulous friends. But where on earth can you go? After all, you need a place worthy of all that fabulousness.

Well darlings, the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown has heard you! And, boy, have they delivered!

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown is hosting tons of fun summer events!

Starting this weekend, the Ritz Carlton Georgetown is hosting complimentary events for locals.

Each Friday night, viewers can screen “Movies by Moonlight” and on Saturday mornings, head on over to stretch your limber limbs with free yoga demonstrations by one of my personal favorites, Lululemon. Oh – and you’re not done! Don’t forget to frequent the Ritz on Sundays for a cocktail party from 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm to get your drink and dance on, featuring a DJ, fun cocktails, half-price bottles of wine, a seasonal tapas menu and the ever-classy bucket of beer.

All of these events will take place in the property’s new Urban Garden that holds up to 90 people. The first drive-in movie screening is “Ghost Busters” on July 6th.

Yoga runs from this Saturday, June 30th through September 8th at 9:00 am sharp. Be the first to sip on the hotel themed cocktails (including the Fresa Chiller, Urban Sunset and the Skippy Surprise) at the cocktail party this Sunday, July 1st.

Don’t miss out on all the fun! Check out the hotel’s event calendar here for more info on all their summer events.

Way to go Ritz! Thanks for giving us a place for all our fabulousness.

*Also, a tip, don’t get the Georgetown location confused with the West End Ritz off of M Street. The Georgetown hotel is at 3100 South Street, NW.

 

Awesome Video: Welcome to DC

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7knC8U3188&feature=player_embedded%5D

Take a peek at the latest DC tourism video I came across via Scoutmob.

Finally a video that shows some of DC’s heart and soul instead of all of the focus on politics or its benefits for an educational family vacation.

The most exciting part of DC is its people and I feel this video captures that perfectly. This city has so much to offer and it is so great to see some of our personality shown to the world. I am proud to call it my home!

Enjoy!

 

 

DC Weekend Happenings: The ABCs

I won’t harp on the heat too much, but let’s just say I’m probably going to make my plans this weekend around the availability of air conditioning.

Not sure what you are going to get into this weekend? Here are some fun ideas:

Artomatic
Feeling a need to connect with your artsy side? Take a trip over to Crystal City to check out Artomatic, a month-long art festival featuring more than 1,000 artists on 10 floors of an old office building scheduled for demolition. It is completely free for the public and there is something for everyone with visual and performance art, as well as music, film and fashion exhibits. Art is available for purchase, too. The show ends on SATURDAY, June 23rd, so check it out while you still can! Plan your visit.

Alexandria Food & Wine Festival
Head over to John Carlyle Square in the Carlyle District of Alexandria to sample fares and libations from local restaurants and other vendors. The event itself is free, but tickets are needed for food and wine samples. A ticket book is $20 and entrance to the wine garden is $10. The event is Saturday from 12:00 – 5:00 pm, rain or shine.

BYT Local Tourist Series: Nat Geo
Who doesn’t want to party in a museum after hours? Join Brightest Young Things and National Geographic as they partner to present you with exclusive after-hours access to the museums exhibits, Titanic: 100 Year Obsession; Samurai: The Warrior Transformed; Big Cats & More. Peruse exhibits while noshing on food, sipping beverages and taking in some TED-style talks, music performances, and “rare” Nat Geo footage. It sounds like it has the potential to be a bit overwhelming, but all in all, looks like a great time. Tickets are $20 advance purchase and $25 day of – you can purchase them here.

Corcoran Free Summer Saturdays
Available all summer, patrons can check out the Corcoran exhibits for free. The museum will also be running gallery tours, workshops, demonstrations, and performances.

What are your can’t-miss events for the weekend?

 


 

 

Picasso’s Got Nothin’ on You!

I’m always on the lookout for new, unorthodox things to do in DC. New York may be the city that doesn’t sleep, but DC is the city that will never bore. From street performances, to art installations, to jazz in the sculpture garden to Screen at the Green – there is always something unique happening in our nation’s capital.

The newest kid on the block? ArtJamz Paint in the Park! Every Thursday in June, ArtJamz invites anyone and everyone with a creative inkling to pick up a paintbrush and be inspired by the city’s great outdoors that is Farragut Square Park. For $30, future picasso’s receive a 16×20 stretch canvas on which to paint your creation, an easel and of course, all of the materials you’ll need to assuage your creative juices, acrylic paints, brushes, etc. Top it off with live music from the Golden Triangle Summer Concert Series and your inner artist will practically jump onto the canvas!

Purchase your tickets in advance online to snag your spot. Blankets and chairs are recommended!

If Thursday’s don’t work for you, check out some of ArtJamz studios sessions!

Don’t worry if you have no natural artistic ability – just get out there and have some fun with friends! Live music, sunshine and good people are all you really need to have a great time!

 

No Plans Tonight? Check out Trina Turk for BR!

DC ladies looking for something to do tonight?

Head over to the Banana Republic in Georgetown at the corner of Wisconsin and M Street (3200 M Street, NW) at 5 pm to be one of the first to view the new Trina Turk for Banana Republic Collection in stores. Online sneak peeks were available for Gilt Groupe members and Facebook fans, so I can confirm that there are some majorly fabulous pieces available for purchase. Trina Turk’s signature bold colors and prints paired with Banana’s classic silhouettes is a match made in fashionista heaven. As most designer collaborations go, the prices are higher than what you would typically see in Banana, but that is to be expected. The 60 piece collection is said to be inspired by Palm Springs, read: deco inspired, bright colors and prints.

Use your Banana, Gap or Old Navy card for any purchase of $100 or more and you can score a free limited edition Trina Turk bangle.

The store event starts at 5 pm and shoppers can enjoy complimentary refreshments while they shop. Cocktails and shopping? Two of my favorite things – I’m in!

The Pentagon City Banana Republic is also hosting an in-store event. To see where else they are hosting events, click here.

 

Cinco de Mayo Plans?

The DC food truck scene has exploded as of late. Head over to Farragut Square any time between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on a weekday and you’ll have no shortage of epicurean options to satisfy your taste buds. DCers Twitter feeds are inundated with updates on the latest location of Curbside Cupcakes, Fojol Brothers, and how could we forget Jose Andres’ Pepe. Sure, it’s a trend, but one that my inner fat kid can totally get on board with.

So, you can imagine when I heard that all of DC’s best food trucks would be in ONE LOCATION for 8 hours, I got just a little excited. Then I found it was at RFK Stadium and got a little less excited. However, I don’t think I can pass up the opportunity to enjoy all the DC food truck scene has to offer in one fell swoop at the Curbside Cookoff: Trucko de Mayo. Can’t resist either? Here are the details:

When: Saturday, May 5th (TOMORROW) from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm

Where: RFK Stadium, Lot 3 (Closest lot to the Metro), 2400 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

What: 40 of DC’s yummiest food truck vendors in one place accompanied by live music. Admission is free, food is not. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase and you can participate in a sweepstakes to win a free pass to a meal at every DCFTA food truck (Man vs. Food anyone?). 

How to get there: The closest metro is Stadium Armory on the Orange/Blue line (but be careful of track work this weekend!) and parking is free in lots 4 and 5.

Photo courtesy of DC Food Trucks

I’d recommend bringing some cash in case some of the food vendors don’t take credit card. You don’t want to be left salivating at this event, folks! Hopefully I’ll make my way over there, but I have a very important meeting with a rooftop in Dupont, some margaritas and some great friends earlier in the day. Who knows how long I’ll be detained…

 

Calling all Foodies and Winos!

The majority of my friends could be classified in either one of these two categories. They are in luck – they can nourish both tendencies this weekend at the 12th Annual Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival! Some of the culinary world’s top names will be exhibiting. Wineries, distilleries and unique food vendors will be hocking their goods and putting them on display for attendees. Taking place at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center (1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW), you can work off all the calories you’ll consume from the tastings just by walking from one end to the other!

The Wine & Food festival kicks off tonight with a “Sommelier Showdown” and the fun continues throughout the entire weekend. Tickets for tonight’s event are pricey and hard to come by as only a select few are released to the public. For $150 per person, buyers will get to watch as top metro-area sommeliers compete to see who can identify wines with mystery labels.

Friday’s event, “Cupid’s Not Stupid, Cocktails to Fall For,” held at Aria Pizzeria (housed in the Reagan Building), will pit the city’s top mixologists against one another as they compete to make the best cocktail. For $55, the audience will get to watch on and sample their creations, along with some light snacks, beer and wine. The mixologists are:

Gina Chersevani
Rachel Sergi, Jack Rose Dining Saloon  
Ben Wiley, America Eats Tavern
Youssef, J & G Steakhouse
Dennis Burns, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

And, on to the main event! Grand Tastings are on Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm and provide access to 500 “rare, unique and loved wines” from wineries across the globe. Sample food from international artisans and, of course, the city’s best restaurants! You’ll leave full, happy and armed with a brand, spankin’ new wine glass courtesy of the DC International Wine & Food Festival. Ticket options include $145 for both days or $85 for Saturday and $80 for Sunday. Sure, it ain’t cheap but sometimes it is ok to shell out to culture yourself a bit!

Seriously, what else are you doing this weekend? No, getting a head start on your taxes does NOT count! Surprise your hunny with an early Valentine’s Day date or just enjoy some quality time with good friends by switching it up a bit!  If you plan to go to the Gilt City Warehouse sale, then you have a reprieve. Otherwise, get your butt down there and get a real taste of DC!

 

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