Friday, September 30, 2016

Must See Fall TV Shows

On Sunday nights return two of my favorite mystery shows on ABC, the first episodes aired last Sunday.

I got addicted to the TV show Secrets and Lies during its first season in Spring 2015. They are just now finally airing season two, which is not a continuation of season one. The story line for each season is someone is murdered, and the person who finds the body is considered the main suspect by the Detective played by Juliette Lewis. This season the suspect is the husband played by Michael Ealy. I was impressed that the cast has quite a few people of color. The mystery of who done it will be stretched out over the whole season with each episode pointing the finger at someone else as new details are unraveled about the deceased. It will keep you on the edge of your toes!

Season two of Quantico starts after Alex Parrish cleared her name as a terrorist suspect, yet was fired by the FBI and now joined the ranks of the clandestine CIA. Again the format of the show does lots of flashbacks between time periods so you understand the history between everyone and to help solve the puzzle of who the terrorist is. To give you a little background on the show, check out my previous post on Quantico

I'm also watching the new seasons of Dancing with the Stars and Modern Family. What are you watching this fall?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Weekend in Wine Country

It's not hard to say bye to summer when there are so many fun fall activities. Last weekend I did something quintessentially fall: I went apple picking!  Last weekend a friend and I went to a pick your own apple orchard then visited a couple wineries in VA Wine Country. In fall is when you can find a wider variety of apples available, honeycrisps being my favorite! Here's a link to my healthy apple walnut bread recipe. The orchard also had pumpkins for sale, I love the cinderella type pumpkins! The orchard's store sold pumpkin and apple butter, apple cider and a sweet apple wine. I love all the flavors of fall!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunset Sails

I recently did a sunset boat cruise from Georgetown along the Potomac River. I booked with the Pirate Cruise Boat because they had a groupon for $16. I’d say there were about 60 people on the 54 foot boat. After all the humidity was gone, it was a gorgeous day to be out on the water! I don’t know about you, but sunset is my favorite time of day and we had a gorgeous one that night. The boat sailed with nice cool breezes with a backdrop of the monuments. We passed by the Watergate, Kennedy Center, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial – the most spectacular views of Washington. I didn’t get any rum punch from the bar because the boat ride wasn’t the smoothest. But I did dance to the music while enjoying the incredible scenery.

 See the people at the top of the bridge waving at us?

This view reminded me of this painting I painted.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Purple Hair, Don't Care

Back in college I really wanted to dye my hair light pink but never got around to it. After graduating college I took a trip to Ibiza with a friend from college and tried on pink wig which was so fun! Never to wear it again until a girls trip to Vegas a few years ago where we were Jem & the Holograms for Halloween.  Lately, I keep seeing so many people with just pops of bright color sticking out from their hair and I have been itching to try it! Last week I went to a Bloggers and Bubbles party and met so many wonderful bloggers from the area. The party took place at a hair salon in Georgetown and we each got a piece of our hair colored some outrageous color. I went with a vibrant bold purple color that washes out after a few washes. I got what's called under lights, only the bottom layer of my bangs where the color will just peak out. 

Say hello to my purple hair! Have you ever wanted to get a bold hair color? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Eggplant Pizza

It's eggplant season and I've been shopping at farmers markets lately and ran across white eggplant! I bought one just for the novelty of it. I have a favorite eggplant curry recipe I make, but I wanted to make something that would still show some of its unique color. I searched pinterest for eggplant recipes and everyone was making eggplant pizza! What a great idea! I bought some delicious cheese called Midnight Moon Cypress Grove and resisted the desire to buy bread to pair with it so I thought they would match up perfectly! It's a hard goat cheese from Holland and its flavor is described as "nutty and brown buttery up front with a long caramel finish". You must try this cheese and check out my other favorite cheeses here.

I made the recipe pretty simply based on how it looked but afterward, I felt the eggplant wasn't seasoned right. I did another search and compared all the recipes and discovered that this dish was a Julia Child recipe! I loved the movie about her, but as a vegetarian never tried any of her recipes. Here's her recipe done properly and you can't be lazy, you really need to follow all the steps for a rich flavor.

1 Eggplant
Italian seasoning

1.   Slice the eggplant 1 inch thick and put the slices on a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let sit for        20 minutes to draw out the liquid.  Then blot the eggplant to remove the excess water and salt. 
2.   Preheat oven to 375 and grease a baking sheet with olive oil. 
3.   Arrange the eggplant slices on the baking sheet and sprinkle with oil and Italian seasoning.
4.   Roast in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the eggplant and turn the oven to Broil.
5.   Add your favorite toppings: marinara sauce or grape tomatoes, cheese, basil, and or spinach. 
6.   Broil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Gatsby Party

This is my 600th blog post! I had a busy weekend! Friday I went to an outdoor happy hour with a friend and we talked for 5 hours. On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a Great Gatsby party at the National Cathedral. After that I visited my mother and we watched the sunset on her rooftop. Then I went to a rooftop bar with a friend. Sunday I went to brunch with another friend and sat outside.

I absolutely love dressing up whether it's for Halloween or Christmas themed events. Based on the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it's the story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his  lavish parties on Long Island at a time when gin was the national drink. In the movie everyone is drinking dirty martinis and mint juleps. It's also a love story that takes place during prohibition and the Jazz Age in the 1920s. I re-watched the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio to get into the mood. It won two Oscars for costumes and set design as they were lavish and amazing. The rest of the movie, well starts off slow and was too artsy for me, almost like a pop video. A lot of people at the party wore the exact same headband as Daisy below.

I studied the costumes to get a feel for what I needed to wear to my event. The idea is fabric that drape effortlessly around your body in a beautiful sparkly dress. I didn't want a traditional beaded black flapper dress as I figured everyone would wear that, I wanted a more art deco look. I had to go all out with gloves, piling on long pearls and a glittering headpiece to pull the 1920s look together. As someone who loves themed parties, and have hosted many myself, I loved Kris Jenner 60th Birthday Party inspired by The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby Party on the grass of the National Cathedral was like stepping back in time returning to the era of flapper dresses and music of the 1920s with the Prosecco flowing. There was a live band, lawn games, and prohibition cocktails. Everyone hit the dance floor and did their best swing dances.

We played a game of croquet which involves hitting wooden balls with a mallet through hoops. In the 1920s croquet was the most popular sport in socialite circles. It's set up on a lawn to enjoy during cocktail hour.


We had a picnic basket filled with cheeses, crackers, grapes, strawberries and chocolate.

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