June 27, 2013

Evening Adventures on the Hill

Work can unintentionally make me feel like I'm stuck indoors and missing recess, which leaves me longing for some outdoor activities--even if it still is 93 degrees and humid at 7:00pm...

A bike ride or a walk usually quells this craving, but one night, Kern and I decided to try a new activity...

We biked to the basketball courts near the Stadium Armory (basketball in tote) and took turns shooting, dribbling and just plain running around.

Our bikes: the best purchase we've ever made in DC!

I was completely exhausted afterwards - and slept like a baby later that evening.

What's your favorite after-work activity?

June 26, 2013

Mississippi on the Mall

We enjoyed another day of perfect weather at Mississippi on the Mall this year.

Set up started bright and early to transform the Henry Bacon Ballfield into a southern home-away-from-home for nearly 500 Mississippians and their friends.

Mary Ellis and I are pointing to the lovely (not pictured) tent.

Can you see Lincoln behind us?

Fistful of Grits returned for our musical entertainment this year!

Mary Ellis, me, Holly

Mary Ellis and Holly did the flowers again this year.  Each arrangement was beautiful!

me, Alex, Mary Mitchell

The hustle and bustle under the tent is my favorite part.  Fried catfish, hushpuppies and good ol' southern conversation.

As much as I miss home, it's nice to have Mississippi come to DC each summer--even if only for a day.

June 25, 2013

Dinner Party

The week of Mississippi on the Mall has unofficially become "Mississippi Week" in the Nation's Capital.  In order to add to the celebration, we decided to throw an Ole Miss dinner party on MOM Eve.

Mary Ellis, me, Carolyn

Carolyn made goat cheese and sausage stuffed croissants with a raspberry vinaigrette dipping sauce.

Master Chef Cascio cooked Flash-sauteed fresh cherry tomato sauce with tuna over angel hair pasta.

Topped with freshly grated parmesan and basil served with a delicious side salad made by Mary Ellis.

Great candids like these don't come around too often of Jordan.  This one is a keeper.

"Learn, little by little, meal by meal, to feed yourself and the people you love, because food is one of the ways we love each other, and the table is one of the most sacred places we gather."
-Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine

I was tasked with making dessert: a challenge I took to heart and gave much thought.

Is there really anything better than yellow cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting?

The answer: yes - if you top it with a sugary Mississippi sprinkle state.

I wish every dinner could contain these elements: satisfying, delicious food, good friends and conversation...and chocolate buttercream frosting.

June 17, 2013

Hayley's Birthday at Thai X-ing

My favorite way to celebrate a birthday is over a good meal.

Hayley's birthday dinner was my first experience at Thai X-ing and I could not have been more impressed.

Playing with the panoramic feature on my phone: gang's all here!

The table was a happy flurry of hands, arms and "please pass the curry sweet potatoes" or "Did you happen to try the fish?  It's amazing!" for a solid hour as we continued to be inundated with new, fresh dishes.

Hayley and Zach.

Zach, welcome to your debut on the blog.

Somehow they succeeded in puncturing the plastic cover with the candles - at first, an odd sight until we all realized: "Genius!  No wax drippings on the cake!"

In summation: delicious food, excellent company and a night spent around the table laughing.


June 14, 2013

Driving Range: East Potomac Park

One of my favorite parts about summer is the long evenings.  After getting off at 6:00pm, I find it perfectly delightful to still have 2-3 hours of daylight to enjoy.  Recently, Kern and I have been taking advantage of some nice evenings by hitting the driving range at East Potomac Park.  I'm not very good at hitting the ball (I'm improving slowly) but I love settling into a spot on the upper deck and just admiring the scenery and sunset and being outdoors.

The Washington Monument (undergoing major repair from the earthquake) was on one side and we watched airplanes taking off and landing at Reagan National.

Beautiful sunset - very helpful to slow down and breathe easily.

And my favorite part: messing around on the putting green.  We have contests and practice hitting the ball from all different angles.

I may not quite be a pro, but I will definitely be more prepared the next time I play a miniature golf game!

June 13, 2013

Southern Ladies Brunch

It all started with GRITS.

Several months ago, my friend Nina, a New Yorker, visited Mississippi and experienced cheese grits for the first time.  She was blown away and while discussing her travels with me, it was decided that I would share my grandmother's Cheese Grits recipe with her.

Out of that conversation blossomed an even better idea...why not cook an entire southern brunch?

Mary Mitchell, Carolyn, Betsy, Nina

Katie Korb was visiting from Atlanta! Laura and Lisa

Archer and Constance

To ensure a wide variety of southern fare, we invited everyone to bring her favorite dish.  The results were mouthwatering!

Emily came from Memphis, Shannon, Jessica, Jessica and Holly

Carolyn and me

I told you there was a lot of food! Nina provided and arranged all of the beautiful flowers.

Holly and me

Mary Mitchell, me, Betsy, Nina

Y'all come back, now...

June 12, 2013

French Cane Back Chair Redo

Oh my dear little cane backed side chair!

If you reach back into your memory, you might remember that I purchased this little beauty at Community Forklift last October...for $10.

When I pealed off the ugly, stained fabric from the original seat cushion, I found that it was smelly and disintegrating.  I ordered a fresh, clean hypo-allergenic (real fancy, y'all) cushion to replace it and promptly threw the old one away.

I caved and painted another piece of furniture Paris Grey and used dark wax to give it an aged, textured look.  I chose a neutral material to reupholster it and commissioned my mom to pick out a nice gimp to complete the look.

I am very pleased at the final result--the cane backing already had so much natural interest that it was easy to make it into a knockout.

June 11, 2013

Wedding Shower for Mary Ellis and Sean

So many of our friends had the privilege of sharing in Mary Ellis and Sean's engagement earlier this year, so it was only fitting to throw them a fun wedding shower this summer before their wedding. 

Jessica, Heather, Charles, Laine, Natalie, Kayla, Holly, Libba and me

We had fun games and plenty of food. 

Lots of competition to go around...

We feasted on delicious southern treats from bar-b-que sandwiches to deviled eggs to homemade pie. Oh, and some fruit and veggies too--they do taste delicious in the hot summer months!

In fact, I had such a good time, I neglected to take a photo of myself with Mary Ellis or Sean. *oops*
I have no doubt someone has a photo or two of us, but my camera is not one of the lucky ones.

It was a perfect day and I am happy to report we are finally getting some warm weather in DC.  I thought the winter would never end.

Congratulations to Mary Ellis and Sean!  We look forward to celebrating with you both many more times!
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