Dinner at Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar

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The other week Greg and I went to a romantic dinner at Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar. I’m a sucker for a good wine bar, and this one did not disappoint. The décor is very cozy with an exposed brick wall, with a few large tables, and many small tables close to each other, with a bench lining the other wall.

I like intimate restaurants like this, with nice mood lighting. The bar was very spacious, which is always a plus. We ended up sitting in this tucked away little table, where I got to sit on the bench. It was just private enough, without us feeling isolated.

On the recommendation of the server, we ordered a bottle of red wine, a French cabernet sauvignon, which was full-bodied with a smooth finish. I don’t like wines that are too sweet or too tangy, and this one was great. It also paired really well with the food.

We started off with a meat and cheese plate, prosciutto with three different kinds of cheeses. I especially loved the truffle cheddar and bleu cheese. Then, on to the main course. I ordered the carbonara, with bacon and an egg yolk. You receive the plate with the egg on top and mix it in yourself, something I loved and thought was a nice touch to the meal. The carbonara was spicy, a definite plus in my book. Greg ordered the carne pizza. It was topped with meats, had a nice red sauce, and a thicker crust. Both portions were generous and we ended up taking some home.

I would recommend this for any date night. It’s romantic, but not too quiet. The wine selection is good, with a chic ambience that isn’t too stuffy. It’s located in Capitol Hill, one of my favorite D.C. neighborhoods. I’m always on the lookout for cute new spots, and I’m really glad we tried this place.

I’m looking forward to this really warm week we have coming up. It’s so exciting to start thinking about all those Spring outfits and enjoying patios!

-Masha

NYE Recap

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It’s been almost a week since NYE and what a week it’s been! I’m taking each day as it comes and making it an adventure.

But to go back, Greg and I had the best time at the party hosted at the Marriott Marquis in downtown D.C. Five different ballrooms, each with it’s own themed dance floor. Fun party favors, from headbands to hats, in an assortment of colors. They had a buffet full of these decadent desserts, and we definitely indulged in the raspberry chocolate mousse and pistachio macaroons. The best part (or for some the worst) was that it was an open bar, and we took full advantage!

We spent most of our time in the pop music dance floor, but also wandered to the salsa room, and the 1920’s jazz rooms. At 11:45 pm we were handed a celebratory glass of champagne and at midnight balloons dropped from the ceiling.

It really was a lovely party, and the Marriott Marquis is a beautiful hotel. Very conveniently located right off the Convention Center, and they decked out for the holidays, even featuring a homemade life-size gingerbread house! I would highly recommend a visit, and hope to see what the rooms look like next time.

The vibe of this party was a bit more elegant than something you would wear to a club, so I kept it classy with this gorgeous red off-the-shoulders dress. Red signifies good fortune in 2017. I wasn’t sure about the long sleeves at first, but the minute I tried it on, I knew they were perfect. The lace and body-hugging fit created sex appeal, while the length and the sleeves kept it more formal. I paired it with my classic louboutins and a vintage clutch, and viola! Greg, of course, looked dapper in his blue suit (I made him wear red socks).

I can’t wait to attend more parties this year and wear fabulous dresses and spend fancy occasions with the love of my live. Here’s to the year to come!

Masha

The Will to Fight

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Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Vest- Tart Collections, Sweater- Express, Jeans- DL1961, Boots- Guess, Bag- Kate Spade, Sunglasses- Michael Kors          

It has truly been a tumultuous week. But in all our anger and despair, we must find love. Now more than ever, is the time to be strong and to fight.

I thought I was going to be doing a much different post. I thought I was going to be bubbly with joy and go on and on about how proud I was and how the white in this shoot against the backdrop of the U.S Capitol represents one of the biggest triumphs in the suffragist and women’s rights movement. But I’m not.

And I’ve taken a couple days to think about it, and though I am far from being ok, I am more determined than I have ever been to be a person who sparks change. A person that is kind, and loving, and open. A person who speaks up when something is wrong, and a person who accepts other people. I now have a stronger will and a longer endurance. We now all must. In the words of Hillary Clinton, “it is always worth it to fight for what is right.”

-Masha

Las Vegas Round-Up

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Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: 1st look: Top- Urban Outfitters, Skirt- Loft, Sandals- Sam Edelman, Bag- Kate Spade

2nd look: Top: Material Girl, Skirt- Forever 21, Shoes- Circa, Bag- Victoria’s Secret

At the end of September, Greg and I spent the weekend in Las Vegas. It was a lot of fun and we got to see several shows (one of them Cirque de Soleil), gamble, eat at some fabulous restaurants, and drink frozen margaritas out of giant tube containers. I definitely needed to detox the week after.

Because it was just the weekend trip, and I wanted to travel as light as possible, I really stuck to basics with my style. The uniform was a jean skirt and a black top, paired with sandals. I wanted to be comfortable since we walked a lot. And I do mean a lot. From one end of the strip and back. Several times. The key though, is that if you have a few classic pieces you know go with everything, then you can relax and not worry about your clothes. That’s what I think I accomplished that weekend. The dressing was easy and I could focus on all the fun activities we were doing.

For night time, I chose again, some easy pieces that would speak for themselves. I went with a purple, leopard print patterned dress from Material Girl. I’ve had this for years and love that I’ve been able to style it up and down and for multiple occasions. This time around, I actually paired a black skirt, with some detailing on the bottom, over the dress to break up the boldness a bit and keep the whole look more basic and classic. I think a piece like this has a lot of loud details, from the print, to the low cut, to the sleeves. Therefore, toning it down a bit, made the whole ensemble more accessible to walking around and sitting in shows. It created a more casual vibe, which is what I was going for.

Moving to the shows, we saw Cirque de Soleil’s Zumanity, which I highly recommend. It’s an adult show (topless and lots of sexual references), so be cautious who you go with, but for couples it’s absolutely fantastic. The cast was talented, doing acrobatics, dance moves, and tricks that were incredibly impressive and difficult. But it was also a very humorous show, from cast members interaction with the audience, to the jokes on stage, to the general relatable demeanor of the main characters. My two favorite scenes (and I don’t want to reveal too much) include a bowl of water and two beautiful women, and a bathtub in which a threesome may or may not occur. I hope that at least has gotten you intrigued. I won’t say too much more.

The hotels of course speak for themselves, as each one has a different theme and are loaded with shopping and restaurants. We spent a lot of time in New York, New York, and even ended up at a club/bar called Coyote Ugly, of course mostly because of the name. The girls danced on the bar and sang along as expected. We also danced to Latin music at another bar in the hotel. Great song selection and the margaritas were just the right amount of strong. Speaking of margaritas, we found that one of the more fun ways to drink on the strip was to buy a large tube-like container of frozen margarita (w/ discounted refills!) and stroll around, taking in the lights and sounds. Some other hotel recommendations is of course The Bellagio for the beautiful architecture, high end shopping, and the fountain show; and The Cosmopolitian, which is one of the newer hotels and features very large replicas of shoes. This is a grab drinks with your girlfriends and fulfill your Sex and the City fantasy kind of place. The décor is very classy with beautiful purple accented lighting and tons of Instagram worthy spots for pictures.

Greg and I really needed a weekend away, and this was such a fun getaway. I kept the fashion to a minimum, while still wearing classic, go-with-everything chic pieces, and really focused on getting that Vegas experience. Here’s to the next trip!

-Masha

A Day in Old Town Alexandria

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Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- INC International, Shorts- Urban Outfitters, Shoes- Sam Edelman, Bag- Unknown (was a gift)

This Labor Day, Greg and I ventured to charming Old Town Alexandria, just across the Potomac River in Virginia. We had a wonderful day: took a boat ride from the Georgetown harbor into Old Town, ate huge oysters and a deliciously prepared crab cake, and did some much needed shopping.

Let’s start from the beginning. Though Potomac Boat Tours/Ferry’s are mostly for tourists (I would say we were the only locals on board), they can be totally worth it if you want to do a short cruise along the river, the wind blowing gently in your hair, and get a pretty awesome view of some of DC’s many monuments. It was a really mellow ride, and Greg and I got some excellent pictures of the view. There was a recorded guide, which was interesting, though very generic. The entire trip lasted about 45 minutes, so I would recommend to do it once and say you’ve been. 

Once we got to shore, we were absolutely craving some seafood, since we were right by the water. After walking down the tree-lined, and vintage shop filled King Street, the main street of Old Town, we settled on a place called The Wharf. There are seafood restaurants on the water, but they are chains and we felt we wanted a more local experience (though The Wharf does have a couple locations in DC). The Wharf has a small patio out front, but since it was upwards of 85 degrees outside and quite humid, we decided to sit inside. The walls of the restaurant were lined with large stones and they had an array of tables and comfortable booths in the main room. Off to the side was the bar, and we were seated at a table by the large window overlooking the patio. Almost outside, but without the sweatiness! I loved the inside décor; the stone walls were really an interesting concept that gave the place loads of character.        

A little about the food; We had come seeking seafood, and we were definitely able to satisfy the craving here. We ordered a half dozen oysters to start, and when they came out we were surprised at how large they were. Oysters are some of my favorite delicacies, and I was very pleased at what we received for the price. They were of course amazing; I always add a lot of lemon and the horseradish and red sauce mix for spice. For the entrée, I ordered the lump crab cake, which was labeled as the specialty. I have to tell you, I was incredibly impressed. The portion wasn’t huge, but come on it’s crab, and it was definitely enough to fill me up. And it was delicious. I raved about this crab cake for several hours after. So soft and tender, and very flavorful. In the drinks department, I had two glasses of wine, one rose and one white. The rose was recommended to me by the server, and I enjoyed it. The other wine I ordered was an albarino, a dryer Spanish white. This one was more to my taste and was the perfect after lunch drink before heading out to do some shopping. Overall, I would recommend The Wharf as a cute lunch or dinner spot, with interesting décor and a great seafood selection.

Greg and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, browsing the wide selection of vintage shops and small fashion boutiques. I think my outfit was perfect for a day outside strolling. I kept it casual, but added interest through pattern and color. I’ve been meaning to find an occasion to wear this white top with gold embellishments and what better day than a day off of work! It worked really nicely with my new pink printed shorts from Urban Outfitters. I’ve always loved a pink and gold color combination. These shorts are great for casual summer (and beginning of fall!) weekend, and incredibly comfortable to run around in. The Sam Edelman sandals with gold studs and buckle detailing, pulled the whole look together.

It was such a carefree day, in such a charming little spot. Old Town is one of my favorite places to head to when I want to get out of DC, but not too far, and still be able to get home in no time. How very convenient that it’s right outside the city! I think it’s worth spending the day in. There’s so many shops to explore and happy hours to try. My favorite happy hour that Greg and I went to was at a bar called Hen Quarter. It was a recently remodeled restaurant with white subway tiled walls and a chandelier made of empty Bullet bottles. It had a intentionally southern feel to it, featuring chicken specials on the menu and cocktails named Front Porch. I had the Front Porch cocktail, which came in a mason jar (already a fan!), and was essentially iced tea with a peach flavored vodka. Delicious!

Though I am very excited for fall weather to kick in, it was nice to soak in the last few days of summer this weekend and find time to enjoy great food, drinks, surroundings, and company in Old Town, Alexandria!

-Masha

Drink the District Beer Festival in NoMa

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Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- Loft, Skirt- Loft, Shoes- Sam Edelman, Bag- Vintage, Earrings- LouLou, Sunglasses- Michael Kors

This Saturday Greg and I went to a Drink the District beerfest with some friends. We paid in advance ($35 per ticket) to drink unlimited from 4-8 pm. It was a great, affordable way to spend the afternoon, and we loved tasting beer from local breweries. Here are my thoughts from the event.  

It took place in Storey Park in NoMa, which I thought was a great locale, though it is completely uncovered and it did start raining near the end (we were lucky and grabbed an Uber right before it started pouring). The pavement was covered with all these really cool mural paintings, showing D.C’s often overlooked creative scene. I loved these murals, because they added such a cool edge to the event and are so inspiring artistically.

So you walk into the event and are handed a little Drink the District tasting cup (which you cannot lose because there are no FREE replacements). I clutch my drink cup and take in the scene. High-top tables and benches are set up around the space, but it’s completely open with food trucks and local vendor tents set up around the periphery. The centerpieces are the 4-6 main tents, all with local breweries waiting for you to approach them for a taste. I have to say that the beer options were great. I love tart beer, and there were two in particular I found that completely satisfied my sour cravings. Overall, there was a wide selection of craft brews, and as you can imagine, IPAs, pale ales, and ciders dominated the offering. Really, I think the organizers took into account their audience, from people who prefer beer that tastes like juice, to those who like the taste of a dark bitter beer on their tongues.

I love to people watch, especially people’s outfits, and the beerfest provided plenty of opportunity to do just that. There’s something about street style that is so interesting and completely one’s own. Since this was an outdoor, drinking event, there was a lot of festival style going on, long maxi dresses with loose hair and gladiator sandals, cut-offs with lacy tanks, and fun, sexy backless dresses.

A little about what I wore:

Last week I did an amazing shop at Loft and stocked up on tons of basics, all at an extra 60% off. I’m wearing this Loft denim skirt, and I am absolutely in love with it. I cannot stop wearing it. The buttons that go up the front might be my favorite part. My top is really delicate with thin straps and detailing in the pattern. It’s a bit sheer, so I slipped on a black bandeau underneath. My shoes are Sam Edelman, and the gold on the straps was the perfect accent color to make the look pop. I kept with the festival style in my accessories by wearing these pink drop earrings (which look great with white and gold), my usual oversized sunglasses, and my burgundy vintage bag with zipper detailing.

We had a great time at the beerfest; it was such a simple concept, but it was so much fun to walk around, taste local beers, and do some day drinking. I have definitely become a fan of summer festivals and will keep an eye out for more before fall comes around!

-Masha

A Day (and Night) in Richmond, Virginia

Front of Museum of Confederacy

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Greg and I decided to go on a mini road trip down to Richmond and Virginia Beach. You know, get away from the city for some much needed R&R. I had never been father south than Suburban DC in Virginia, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but Richmond was just a lovely a way to spend a Saturday.

I’m a total history buff, and Richmond is absolutely loaded in that regard. It was the capital of the Confederacy, which is incredible considering its proximity to Washington D.C. You need to check out The American Civil War Museum, especially the White House of the Confederacy. The history comes alive in the tour of the Davis’ home during the city’s short-lived time as the capital, and it turns out, Varina Davis, the first lady of the Confederate White House, was a total badass. After, we walked along the James River, which was absolutely beautiful, we made sure to snap some photos in front of the scenic views. I wore a light blue, striped Ann Taylor romper (similar options here) and my new favorite Sam Edelman sandals. It was the perfect outfit to spend time outside on a very hot day.

Richmond feels like a small town and the downtown area is pretty quiet, but Greg and I stumbled into Shockoe Bottom, a neighborhood downtown that had a laid back (yet still ready to party) vibe. We went to Margarita’s Cantina for happy hour, and let me tell you, their $6 margaritas are delicious and strong. The mojitos are also seriously worth a try. Actually anything at that price, in that neighborhood, will do the trick and make sure to check out one of the nearby clubs after. On the recommendation of our fellow bar patrons, we went to Cha Chas, which turned out to be a great option for dancing on a warm night. We woke up with headaches the next morning, but most importantly, fun memories of a city we hope to be able to visit again soon.

-Masha

James River Instagram PicJames RiverPosing at the RiverVirgina State Capitol