Washington DC Trip Recap

You know you've slacked very badly if it's December and you still haven't posted about a trip you took for Labor Day. Yep, that's me, just posting about our trip now. We got to spend the long weekend in Washington DC and it was a great time. We took an early morning train there, it was a great ride and the tickets weren't very expensive.

We stayed at a hotel that was close to the National Mall, which is where all of the exciting sights are. It's called Grand Hyatt Washington and we got a good deal on it through Hot Wire, which is a website that we normally use to find cheap hotels in US cities.

The very first day we arrived it was a rainy day out. So we strolled around and looked at the monuments. We wanted to go to some of the free museums but the lines were massive. I guess everyone had the same idea about hiding somewhere from the rain. Ironically enough, the next day when it was sunny and warm out there were absolutely no lines for any of the museums so we were able to go right in.

Since the National Mall was the main attraction for us (it's my first time in DC) we made sure to see all of the monuments. We started our journey by seeing the Washington Monument, it's up on a hill and has a great view of surrounding areas. Then we followed the path from there to World War II memorial (the photo above). From there the Reflecting Pool was right in front of us. I was very excited about that pool because I feel like you always see it in movies (yes, Forrest Gump) or shows so it was very cool to see that whole area in real life. I guess I didn't expect all of the memorials to be so close together.
I think the highlight of my trip was seeing the Lincoln Memorial, but I'm sure it's a highlight of everyone's trip! It had a magnificent view onto the pool and it was a great spot for snapping photos. I also liked how it wasn't super packed, there were a few people there but no crowds. Of course we had to go for the selfies with the view, who could blame us?
Along with these we also stopped by the Vietnam Veterans memorial, Korean War Veterans memorial, Martin Luther King Jr memorial, FDR memorial, and Thomas Jefferson memorial. Overall it was really exciting to see all of these memorials in person, they were incredible. So I highly recommend a trip to DC if you get the chance. That night we had dinner at Right Proper Brewing Company, the beers were very good there if that's what you're into!
The following day we also ventured out and saw Georgetown area of DC, which was gorgeous. Quiet streets and beautiful homes is what this area was all about. Nearby there is also a pretty bustling shopping area, so it's the best of both worlds. We had a nice pizza dinner there at il Canale as we were taking a break from strolling around and working up an appetite.

On the final day, when we didn't have too much time to spend around town so we decided to visit the Capitol, which is not pictured because we weren't able to snap any good photos of it or even get close to it. They had it blocked off for some event. Along with that, since we were in the neighborhood and couldn't miss it, we went for a stroll by the White House.
After seeing it so much on TV in movies, shows, and on the news it was really neat to see it in person. We went pretty early in the morning so we were pretty much the only people there to see it. Either way it was a cool experience.

So there you have it, our trip to Washington DC in a nutshell. I must also be forgetting some details of the trip since a few months have gone by but overall it was a great time and if you haven't been there before I highly recommend it.

Have you been on any fun trips lately? Have you ever been to Washington DC?

Jingle Bell Jog Recap

With the picture above I guess I'm starting at the end! After the race we made our way from Prospect Park, where the race was, to Fort Greene where Alex convinced me to get a real tree but that's a different story. The picture above is of me with the tree before we boarded the city bus. To add to that, we weren't the only people hauling a Christmas tree on the bus, just so you know how city folks have to rough it :P

Back to the Jingle Bell Jog. It's the end of the year but Alex and I were itching to sign up for a race. This was pretty much the only short race left so we signed up for it. It seemed like a fun, no pressure 5k to dip our toes into the whole race thing.

That's us looking really pleased with ourselves before the race. The whole atmosphere was great, everyone was dressed up for the most part. There were lots of Santas, candy canes, some elfs, and also reindeer.  We decided to dress up modestly and just rock some Santa hats.

We've been following a great guide for training for a half marathon, though we're nowhere ready to run one yet. Since we've been running 5k or more for a few weeks now we thought it was a good distance for start. I'm slow as molasses in January, I can only do somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 minute miles but I'm hoping that over time I'll be able to get faster. My goal for this race was to try and run it in under 30 minutes, which I failed to do. I didn't feel too bad about it though. This race had a large incline and after mile 2 I had a pretty bad side stitch so I had to slow down but I decided I wasn't going to walk at all so I powered through. Eventually there was a downhill so the side stitch eased up and I was able to pick up some speed closer to the finish line.

Above I'm just waiting for the race to start and on the right it's me finishing up the race. Alex and I started in different groups because he's faster than me but it was still fun. I made a special playlist with Christmas music so I had that to enjoy the whole time I was running. Since Alex got done with the race before me he was able to snap my glorious finish :)

After the finish there was water, bagels, apples, and hot chocolate waiting for us! I was pleased with the refreshments and we were both glad that we signed up for this race. As soon as we got home we signed up for our next race! We're going to be doing a 4 mile run in February. I really wanted to do something sooner but with the holidays and our trip to Canada there weren't really any other races for us to do. The next race will also be in Prospect Park, so it will be nice to be more familiar with the course. 

Do you like to run? What's your favorite outdoor activity? 

November 2017 Wrap Up

Watching: I just finished watching Black Mirror, whatever of it is on Netflix, and I have to say that show is SO good. Every singe episode is thought provoking and really makes you want to stop and think about the world. Another show I just started is The Magnificent Mrs Maisel, it's an Amazon original series. It's a light, easy to watch show but it has lots of funny moments and it's just what I've been looking for after finishing How I Met Your Mother. It's kind of like a Mad Men comedy show.

Reading: I finally got through It by Stephen King. It was a long read but it was good and if you like his writing I recommend it. I felt like the book was a bit too long and some stuff was dragging at times but overall it was a decent read. In December I'm focusing on thrillers, mystery, and suspense novels. Right now I'm reading Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane. It's a good read so far and I can feel things getting more twisted by the minute.

Listening: Not much, but mostly Christmas music. Now that it's December I feel like it's socially acceptable to finally listen to it with no shame.

Doing: Alex and I got into running and we've been running since September. At first it was tough and I could barely run a mile but yesterday we ran a 5k and it went well. It was my first ever race and I thought it was a lot of fun. We've already signed up for our next race and I'm really looking forward to it.

Planning: Our holiday trip. As per usual we will be going to Canada for New Year's. So we will be spending Christmas here and then for my birthday and NYE we will be in Canada. It's good to go back because we haven't been there in a year.

Wanting: Complete my Goodreads reading challenge for this year. I set the bar pretty low with only 40 books and I'm like 10 books away from achieving so I will do my best to catch up by the end of the year. Hopefully reading mystery and suspense novels will help.

Loving: Candles from Bath & Body Works. I only ever get them if they're on sale and luckily I came across them when they were $12 so I got a couple and just yesterday they were $8 so I got a couple more. Most of them are pine scented so our home smells like forest filled with Christmas trees but it's so calming and I've been really loving it.

Whats new with you lately? I know it's been a while. 

September 2017 Reading Wrap Up

Since staring It my reading has slowed down significantly. It's behemoth of a book so I don't carry it around with me whenever I'm commuting so I think that might partially be why it has been a slow read for me. The book itself is really interesting and I don't think I could ever get tired of King's writing.

I still like to carry my Kindle around so I can read shorter, less time consuming books which can also be mindless reads. The only book that I was able to finish in September was Girls in the Moon by Janet NcNally. I remembered that it was one of the Book of the Month club selections a few months back so I decided to give it a go.  I couldn't relate to any of the characters in this book and overall it was full of fluff with no real issue at hand and no solution that the characters were seeking. It basically takes you through a brief period in the life of the main character while also jumping a bit to the past to give us a better idea of her parent's history. Not super interesting but it was a short read so that made it a bit more bearable. I ended up giving it 2 stars and honestly I probably could've give it just 1 but I was feeling nice that particular day so there it is. Once again I find out that I cannot read fluff books and when I do I sorely regret it.

Have you read anything good lately?

I've been kind of slacking from this blog but I have a lot of interesting trips to share with you guys. Starting with the Labor Day trip to DC and also the Euro trip that we just got back from last week. 

August 2017 Reading Wrap Up

August wasn't a super productive reading month for me, but I blame that on just being busier than normal. I'm currently reading It by Stephen King, and I for sure won't finish it this month so September won't have a reading wrap up.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - (4/5) Awesome mystery novel. Not as good as "And Then There Were None" which is absolutely amazing, but still a very quick and captivating story. Somehow I knew the ending, I may have heard about it forever ago and subconsciously put two and two together. Still, the book was interesting and I definitely want to read more of her books.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond - (5/5) This nonfiction book is a must read. I was blown away at how many housing issues there are and how it's a Catch 22 with a lot of them. So many changes need to be made especially when it comes to people receiving government support. It was terrifying to read about the living conditions of some people and how little help is available. If you're looking to read even one nonfiction book make sure you read this one!

Have you read any good books lately?

August Catch Up

I can't believe summer is almost over, feels like it went by so fast. I'm not entirely unhappy about it though since I'm a little tired of trying to avoid sweating every time I go outside. Looking back on this summer I feel like I haven't done much, definitely didn't make it to the beach and didn't eat as much ice cream as planned. Now I'm anxiously awaiting the festive fall season, can't wait for pumpkin flavored everything.

Watching - Bachelor in Paradise! You know how obsessed I am with all of those shows so I can't help but watch this train wreck too. It's been going good and I'm excited to see what happens next. We've also been watching Game of Thrones. This season isn't as crazy as some others, in my opinion, but it's been good and I'm really anxious to see how the story line develops.

Reading - Still the nonfiction book Evicted. It's a great read but it's the kind of book where you want to read a few chapters a day. It's very well written and has so much information, I highly recommend it if you've been looking for a good nonfiction book. It's also a Pulitzer prize winner, in case that will sway you to read it :) Next on my list is It by Stephen King. It's a beast of a book but I think that I should be able to get through it by Halloween.

Listening - Still Jack Johnson, and I'm anxiously awaiting for his new album to come out in September. Also I've been listening to Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs, it's a great new album.

Doing - I've been a lot more responsible with taking vitamins and supplements. I don't know how effective they are and maybe it's all for nothing but I enjoy feeling like I'm doing something that is good for me. I want to start taking supplements for better skin, hair, and nails so I might include that in a post one of these days!

Planning - Our trip to D.C. is upon us! We're taking the train there and will be staying for 2 nights. This is my first time going so I don't really know of any good spots to go. We're going to hit all of the monuments and museums but definitely let me know if there is a great restaurant or bar that's worth checking out!

Wanting - To really stick with my exercise plans. After our trip to Nashville I fell off the wagon a bit and it's been a struggle to get back into it. I've been looking up some new workout plans and that's been motivating me to get back in the gym.

Loving - Taking the pressure off Instagram. For a while I was so focused on making all of my images look perfect and edited exactly the same that Instagram stopped being fun for me. Now I've started posting whenever I feel like it, dropped the endless hashtags, and some of my photos look like crap. But I'm fine with that and I feel happier with that platform.

I hope you're enjoying the last few days of summer! What are your plans for Labor Day?

My Makeup Routine

This summer I've finally cut down my makeup routine to take less than 5 minutes. I've just grown so tired of using a bunch of stuff I didn't really need but used anyways just because that's what "everyone does". I stopped using foundation/tinted moisturizer because I don't need any coverage and if I'm being completely honest I don't need to even out my skin tone. I always really liked bb creams and tinted moisturizers that had no coverage so I just thought to myself, what's the point in using them? So I decided to go without and it has been great! I feel like my skin is doing even better and I don't have to be extra careful to remove additional makeup at the end of the night.

I've also cut out blush because my cheeks are naturally pretty red so it was a step I was taking that didn't really make a big difference. I still use bronzer and highlighter occasionally but only if I'm going out somewhere, not if I'm just going to work.

Luckily this routine is also cruelty free so I'm finally 100% happy with the products I'm using. All of them work well and are pretty simple so they make getting ready in the morning a breeze.

So let's get right to it!

Glossier Stretch Concealer - I start off my covering up my under eye area, the main trouble spot. This concealer works great and it's not too intense but you can definitely build it up to some serious coverage. What I like best about it is how dewy it makes my skin look, one of the best concealers I've ever tried.

Anastasia Brow Wiz - I can't live my life when my eyebrows aren't done. I don't know what it is but I just don't feel put together unless my eyebrows are filled in. So this is the first step for me, it helps fill in my eyebrows and make them look a bit thicker because there are some patches that don't look too good.

Glossier Boy Brow - I've heard so much about this product and I kept putting it off, which was a mistake. I remember using Benefit Gimme Brow which always left some residue on my skin around the eyebrows that I had to wipe off. It was slightly annoying. Boy Brow doesn't do that and really holds my brows in place no matter what I'm up to.

ELF Mineral Inflused Mascara - The biggest struggle for me is to find a good mascara that is cruelty free, decently priced, and doesn't flake off. It's been tough and before I used to use Physician's Formula which left black circles under my eyes. This one has been pretty good so far, especially since it's only $3, but I'm always willing to try something different.

There you have it, my daily makeup routine! It's simple and basic but I like not taking a while to get ready.

What's your makeup routine like? 

Powered by Blogger.