July 18, 2017

Summer Fun At Joe's Place...

Last week I had a chance to hang out with my blogger boo's at Joe's Place for a Summer Fashion Event. I was super excited when I received the invite and knew I had to break out of my layoff workout clothes and get cute!!!

When I arrived at Joe's I was happy to see that there was parking available, in the DMV, parking is a scarcity. Upon entering I could tell that this was a restaurant that valued family, this was evident in the many families dining as well as the service they showed towards us. The appetizers were hot and the wine was flowing.

Did I mention Lemoncello Boutique were serving looks all night with their fashion? All of the clothes and accessories featured were beautiful. There were a few items for sale at the event but I will definitely be visiting the boutique soon and so should you!!!

This event had something for everyone; there was also a few muscle cars in the lot, we definitely took advantage of the photo opps.

Issa cutie and a Vette!!!

Huge thanks to Joe's Place for hosting us as well as Lemoncello for the swag bag!!!

June 20, 2017

18... with 17 Years of Experience...

Rose All Day

I had no idea that this is how it would feel to be 35... but I am grateful!!! There are sooo many people that weren't fortunate to see this age and that alone has me humbled. I didn't have many plans in mind and the lay-off crushed the few I had. Nonetheless, I wasn't going to spend this day doing absolutely nothing so I arranged a happy hour and treated myself to macaroons and bubble tea.


Shout out to all my friends for showering me with cards and gifts and making my day special!!!

June 9, 2017

3rd Times A Charm...

Accessories In My First Office

Just as quickly as it began... it was all over. No more office, no more cell-phone stipend, no more 'when work is travel'. I was now unemployed...

If you've been following my blog for a while you know that this is the second time in less than a year that I've encountered a layoff. Let's just say... it get's easier. Now don't get me wrong, no one enjoys getting or being laid off; but after a time or two you know exactly what to do. You gain this newfound confidence and I-won't-be- defeated mentality. Another caveat of this layoff is the fact that we knew ahead of time. Anytime someone says plan on contingencies, you better dust off that resume and begin interview prepping with a friend. Actually from the time I was told to make contingencies until the actual notification that my job would be eliminated, I'd already secured two face-to-face interviews.

My outlook on this layoff is that I'd like to have employment before the end of July and just chill for the month of June. Nonetheless positivity and good vibes are welcomed!!!

May 19, 2017

When Work Is Travel- College Park, Md.

Last week I traveled to College Park, MD to complete a training class. I should mention, the word ‘travel’ is used lightly here although it was an hour and a half commute each way. On a good day, College Park is roughly 35-40 minutes away, so it isn’t the first place that I travel to for ‘good eats’. However, since this training was coming up, I mapped out almost every place I wanted to eat and an honorable mention that I wasn’t able to try. When I say I ate horrible out for lunch every day, it was every single day, no Bueno for my waistline. Take a look below and get into my foodie adventure.

Monday: Blaze Pizza
You may remember me mentioning Blaze last year when I was mystery shopper. It’s been almost a year since I had that delicious pizza. I was happy to be only 5 minutes away and I knew that it wouldn’t disappoint. I was a bit wrong, not totally disappointed but semi. On that particular day, they didn’t have any chicken… how sway. Usually I HATE chicken on a pizza because it tends to be overly dry, but not Blazes’ chicken. Although I wasn’t able to add chicken, I was able to get their tasty Blood Orange Lemonade. That lemonade definitely comes in second place to Chik Fil A’s which is usually hit or miss.

I LOVE Arugula

Tuesday: Unforgettable Flavors
It is very, very hard to find good Jamaica food in VA. Of course I had to put this on my list. At the time we ordered, we were the only people inside so we were able to meet the chef prior to eating. Usually my go to at almost any Jamaican restaurant is Ox Tails, and that day was no different. If you know me well you know my order: Ox Tails, Rice & Peas, and Plantains. The oxtails were good but it wasn’t as meaty as they could have been. I also tasted my friends Jerk Chicken and it tasted a bit too sweet and lacked that kick of spice that I’m use to. Since the restaurant makes their own ginger drink and I LOVE anything ginger I had to get that. This particular ginger drink tastes exactly like the drink I get at the African Restaurants.

Ye 'Mon

Wednesday: Milk & Honey

This spot has been on my radar for some time and I thought I’d make it over for brunch one weekend although I hear the wait time is ridic. Luckily for me, they were less than 5 minutes away from the hotel. My friend ordered the Strawberry Shortcake for us to share and it was pretty tasty. I opted for the $10 special in an attempt to save some coins. The special was Cajun Shrimp and Chicken Pasta, which I later found out was pick one or the other *eye roll*. This was very flavorful, but I needed it to have a bit more of a kick to it. Sidenote- when I think Cajun, I think of a spicy heavy cream based dish and this was lemon olive oil based. My friend got the Grilled Salmon BLT which came on a croissant, and of course I regretted my order. Everyone’s food around me looked really tasty but I’m not sure I could go on an empty stomach and have to wait #JustSayn. For those of you that plan on visiting because it is ‘the spot’ at the moment; they also have a ‘wait dish’ that you can order to curb your hunger. We asked what it was for the day but because there wasn’t a wait, nothing was prepared. As I was about to head out, I noticed cupcakes and of course I had to grab one. The employees recommended the snicker doodle cupcake and it was delish!!!

I wish I would have ordered this...

Thursday: Fishnet
I actually tried this spot back in 2013, because President Obama visited, literally, that was the only reason. I ordered the fried catfish sandwich and the slaw. My catfish was good, but needed a bit more seasoning. The slaw was horrible, it was vinegar based but had cilantro added and I HATE cilantro can you tell I’m a critic . Unfortunately, I was starving that day and forgot to take a picture. My friend ordered catfish as well so I quickly snapped hers before she bit into it. During this lunch is when I checked yelp and saw that there was a new and hot restaurant in the area so we decided to visit as our last hooray.

Sooo good

Friday: Gus’s Fried Chicken
As if I couldn’t get any unhealthier lol. I thought the chicken would have some type of wet spicy batter but it didn’t. I’m not a person that can take extreme heat but this wasn’t even spicy at all. I got the two piece with a wing and breast with a jalapeno on the side, and I had okra and baked beans. The baked beans were really good and the okra was bomb. I can eat fried okra anytime of the day if only there was a Church’s Chicken around yes I’m that type of country lol. The chicken was always served with white bread, my friend asked for wheat bread and I thought that was hilarious. I liked the Nashville decor with all of the blues memorabilia.  

My honorable mention goes to: Milkbar Arthouse
I thought for sure we’d end the training with Happy Hour here but unfortunately that didn’t happen. The vibe looks really cool not sure when I’ll be back in the ae to check it out though.

As you can see I gained about 20 pounds, just kidding. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch adventures in College Park, Md. Are there any places that wasn’t on my list that I need to travel and try?

March 26, 2017

Influenster- Fierce Voxbox

I was super ecstatic when the Influenster Fierce Voxbox arrived at my doorstep. Who doesn’t like free products? I know I do. This box was sooo on point because it had a few brands that I currently use as well as a few products that I’ve been dying to try but not buy.     

Here’s what I got in my Fierce Box…
·        Shea Moisture Argan Oil & Almond Milk Shampoo & Blow Out Crème
·        Vaseline Jelly
·        Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Kiss Goodnight
·        Carefree Act- Fresh Regular Liners
·        Madam C.J. Walker Softening & Silkening Brassica Seed Oil

As much as I wanted to enjoy the Shea Moisture hair products, I decided not to use it, as the package wasn’t enough to cover my entire head of hair. Nonetheless, the smell was great. If you’ve never used Vaseline Jelly, where have you been? This standout product is good for sooo many things and the main is to combat ash bye ashey. I used this on the heels of my feet because you know how heels can get and topped it off with comfy socks for soft feet the next morning.

I’m a fan of Sinful Colors Nail Polish because of the value as well as the quality. This is one inexpensive product that has a range of shades, goes on easily, and has minimal chips. Plus the color I received works on ALL skin complexions. The Carefree Act liners went in to use immediately. I’m a daily liner girl TMI and I love the fact that this particular brand is sooo breatheable.

Lastly, the G.O.A.T Madam C.J. Walker, who happened to be THE FIRST melaninated millionaire. Ever since her release of products at Sephora I’ve been wanting to test them out. I like that the packaging of this oil resembled something that would come from an apothecary. The consistency was light and smelled amazing. Although my hair is in its natural poufy state, I’d like to see how this works when my hair is straightened.

 *This product was sent to me complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own*

March 14, 2017

NoVa Supper Club: Hanks Pasta Bar

Last week I had an opportunity to meet for dinner with some of my fellow Yelpers. I was ecstatic that Alexandria my hood was chosen and I wouldn't have to battle traffic to make it out. Also, I'd been dying to try Hank's Pasta Bar ever since it opened and this was the perfect excuse to dine out.

I love the Industrial feel

Cute Decor for the win

I arrived a few minutes late but I was still able to find free, yes free street parking. I will say if you decide to visit after reading this post go a few minutes early to find free parking, lol. The restaurant is on the corner lot and a bit small. However, upon entering, you can tell that it's filled with so much personality. This Italian restaurant bypasses the traditional uppity vibe and has a trendy down to earth vibe.

Luckily the good peeps from Yelp as well as fellow Yelpers already had a table reserved. We had an awesome waiter that was very familiar with the menu and offered several recommendations when asked. The complimentary seasoned oyster crackers were sooo good; kinda reminded me of the Goldfish they give at their "sister restaurant" Hank's Oyster Bar. We started off with a few appetizers which consisted of Grilled Baby Octopus, Burrata, and Mussels.  This was my first time having grilled baby octopus and although it was seasoned well I wasn't a fan of the texture. But I'm really happy that I tried it.

For my entree, I thought I'd get the Carbonara that I saw in the pics I'd stalked earlier, however it was no longer on the menu. I asked the waiter for his opinion and I went with the Beef Bolognese Lasagna which was such a great choice. There was also a lot of it on the plate. I made sure to eat only half so I could have leftovers for work smart girl as well as make room for dessert. For the dessert I went with the Key Lime Pie because I'd had it at their other restaurant and it tasted just as I remembered. If I wan't trying to get fine for the Summer I definitely would have got another slice!!!

If you're in Alexandria, definitely give Hank's Oyster Bar a try and let me know what you think.

March 8, 2017

Shots Fired

Last night I had an opportunity to see a special screening of Shots Fired. #ShotsFired is a 10-part event mystery that examines the dangerous aftermath of two racially charged shootings by law enforcement in a small southern town. With amazing music, and an all-star cast led by Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Mack Wilds and Helen Hunt, "Shots Fired" will entertain and challenge perspectives. 

The people behind the scenes of this screening laid it out for us. There were hors d'oeuvres and wine were served, as well as two open bars. I’d never been to the Newseum but they did an awesome job accommodating everyone and having the #ShotsFired picture plastered all over.
Right from the beginning to the end of the show there was an emotional connection. A connection to the characters as well as the story line. Everything was so relateable. And at the end we were left in the dark and wanted more.

Gave up alcohol for Lent

These were amazing

Afterwards, we were treated to Q&A session hosted by April Ryan shes fab who brought out the actual cast in the series; Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Mack Wilds, and Richard Dreyfuss as well as one of the directors, Reggie Rock Bythewood (who also did New York Undercover that was my show in high-school).   

via Mike James

This is definitely a series that you won’t want to miss.The series premieres March 22 at 8/7c on FOX, prior to the spring return of "Empire" at 9/8c.