Lunchtime Reading: March 28

  1. How to build a support system in a new city. (The Everygirl)
  2. Can’t wait to check out these 11 best day hikes in Joshua Tree National Park! (The Outdoor Project)
  3. A beginning gardening guide because it’s finally spring! (Gal Meets Glam)
  4. Loving this 48 hour guide to San Diego! (The Layover Life)
  5. While I am so so excited that it’s getting warmer outside, I can’t help but fawn over these Sam Edelman snow boots that are half off!
  6. How is your sleep hygiene? (Into the Gloss)
  7. Speaking of, 10 gifts for superior sleep. (Parachute Blog)
  8. Would you host your wedding at an Airbnb? (Domino)
  9. I read The Song of Achilles last weekend and it is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time. 13/10 would highly recommend.
  10. A funny comic about upgrading to a flip phone. (The New Yorker)

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Lunchtime Reading: January 30

  1. Tired of visiting overcrowded cities on vacation? Try out these 10 underrated destinations instead. (Washington Post)
  2. This app helps you keep track of all the book/movie/restaurant recommendations you get from your friends. I just downloaded it and love it!
  3. How to dress for winter like a french girl. Doesn’t really apply to me in sunny San Diego, but still. Fun read! (The Everygirl)
  4. After having minor surgery today, I’m loving these 10 ways to improve your recovery post-op. (Very Well Health)
  5. Or Gotham is back at it again with his guide on how to relax. (Into The Gloss)
  6. 14 photos that prove Switzerland is a winter wonderland. (CN Traveler)
  7. Why even in 2019 women’s restrooms still have longer lines than men’s. (The Atlantic)
  8. 17 hidden gems on Amazon, as told by millennial women. (Refinery 29)
  9. Away, my fave luggage brand, makes Dopp Kits now and they look so nice! Very minimal and clean. Love it.
  10. How to be a better plant parent. (Domino)

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Rachel’s Guide to Washington DC: Food

DC is no longer the stuffy political town it once was; a new Washington has emerged– one that not only keeps up with trends but sets them. This change from stodgy to adventurous is apparent most obviously in Washington’s burgeoning foodie scene. Here are my favorite places to eat when I’m in the city! 

Scarlet Oak 

Neighborhood: Navy Yard
Why you should go: brunch on the weekends
Don’t miss: the French toast

Bad Saint 

Neighborhood: Columbia Heights/ 11th Street Corridor
Why you should go: authentic Filipino and a cozy atmosphere
Don’t miss: the Panset

Sticky Fingers

Neighborhood: Columbia Heights
Why you should go: delicious vegan sweets that even non-vegans will like
Don’t miss: the donuts and cookies

Room 11 

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Biz Marquee: rye, sage, aperol, lemon, sea salt.

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Neighborhood: Columbia Heights/ 11th Street Corridor
Why you should go: amazing cocktail and wine bar
Don’t miss: Warre’s White Port

El Chucho 

Neighborhood: Columbia Heights
Why you should go: delicious no-frills Mexican food
Don’t miss: the Elote and strawberry habanero margaritas      

Barcelona 

Neighborhood: 14th Street & Cathedral Heights
Why you should go: amazing service and bomb tapas
Don’t miss: Paella Mariscos 

Acqua al 2 

Neighborhood: Eastern Market
Why you should go: rub shoulders with politicians at this authentic Italian restaurant 
Don’t miss: the Tiramisu

Thomas Sweet in Georgetown 

Neighorhood: Georgetown
Why you should go: over-the-top ice cream loved by none other than Obama 
Don’t miss: the coffee cookies ‘n’ cream flavor

Pitango 

Neighborhood: Eastern Market, Penn Quarter
Why you should go: uniquely delicious sorbet and gelato
Don’t miss: the mojito sorbet

Momofuku Milk Bar 

Neighborhood: City Center
Why you should go: very instagrammable dessert bar
Don’t miss: the addictive cake bites (better than the super-popular cereal milk soft serve) 

Union Market 

Neighborhood: NoMa
Why you should go: tons of delicious food stalls that carry literally everything
Don’t miss: everything at DC Empanadas

Zaytinya

Neighorhood: Chinatown
Why you should go: tapas style Meditteranean in a fancy atmosphere
Don’t miss: the olive oil icecream

Jrink 

Neighborhood: Eastern Market, Foggy Bottom, 14th Street 
Why you should go: delicious fresh pressed juices and healthly drinks
Don’t miss: Black Magic (lemonade with activated charcoal)

Tio Javier 

Neighborhood: Barracks Row
Why you should go: great rooftop for happy hour
Don’t miss: the shrimp quesadillas and frozen margaritas 

El Centro 

Neighborhood: 14th Street, Georgetown
Why you should go: very tasty Mexican eats
Don’t miss: the queso fundido

Ambar 

Neighborhood: Barracks Row, Clarendon
Why you should go: tapas style Balkan food that’s to die for 
Don’t miss: Brussel sprouts 

Supra 

Neighborhood: Mount Vernon
Why you should go: authentic Georgian food 
Don’t miss: the khachapuri (cheesy bread boat with an egg in the center)

Tonic

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I proceeded to have six mimosas after this meal

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Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom
Why you should go: brunch here cures a hangover like nothing else. Also the president of France has eaten here. 
Don’t miss: the tots 

Ted’s Bulletin 

Neighborhood: Barracks Row, 14th Street
Why you should go: family-friendly diner with delicious food
Don’t miss: s’mores milkshake and the grilled cheese & tomato soup combo

Rose’s Luxury 

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Dreamy. ✨

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Neighborhood: Barracks Row
Why you should go: amazing dinner that’s totally worth the hype
Don’t miss: Pork lychee salad

A few places I haven’t been to but am dying to try: Thip Khao, The Salt Line, The Dabney, and Call Your Mother. 

 

New Year’s Resolutions: 3 Months In

Just like that, 2019 is already a quarter of the way done! A lot has happened in the last few months, and I’ve made some progress towards my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m already looking forward to doing this check in at the 6-month mark to see the progress I’ll make in the next 3 months! Here’s how things are going so far:

Get more involved in the community: I’ve done a pretty solid job getting more involved in my church and work communities, but haven’t made as much progress in my grad school community. For church, I went to an epiphany women’s brunch in February and have started getting to know some of the girls from church. At work, I stuck around after work for a staff appreciation brunch and also went to a party at one of the teacher’s houses. This makes me happy! I want to keep getting to know the people I work with because they’re so great. For grad school, I’ve gotten to know one of my teachers a little better and I might be going to a party at the end of the semester with some friends, but nothing concrete yet. Going to work on this though!

Clean my room for 10 mins a day: I’ve been decently successful at this one. I hit the goal 80% of the time in January, 64% in February, and 70% in March. I don’t always do it at the same time every day which I think is part of the reason why it isn’t an automatic habit yet. For the next three months, I’m going to try doing it right before bed each night to see if that helps it become a little more ingrained.

Drink enough water: I have been struggling with this one. I hit the goal 45% of the time in January, 35% in February, and 11% in March. What makes this goal tough is that in order to hit the goal in a way that is actually beneficial to my body, I have to be drinking consistently throughout the day– it’s not something I can just get done in one fell swoop. To make this more achievable, I’m setting some micro goals:

  • Drink 16 oz water first thing in the morning when I wake up
  • Drink 50 oz water before 1pm
  • Drink another 50 oz before 9pm

Visit 2 new countries: No new countries visited yet, but some are in the works! I booked tickets to visit the Azores (part of Portugal) with my friend Bronwen in June and July. I’m really looking forward to it! Mexico might still happen, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that Tijuana can be a really dangerous place. If I go, I want to make sure I plan it well.

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New Year’s Resolutions: 2019

Last year I set 4 resolutions for 2018, and they proved to be an amazing source of motivation. They inspired me to become healthier, braver, and more self-aware. In light of that, I am setting 4 new resolutions for 2019! Here is what I am going to be working towards this year:

Visit 2 new countries: As I’ve mentioned before, travelling makes me feel alive and happy. Last year I learned some important lessons while travelling: that I am more capable than I realize, that no matter how far I travel my insecurities and habits will always come with me, that being able to be content alone is a precondition for being able to truly love someone. Given how valuable travel has been in my life, I want to continue to invest in it (and therefore invest in myself). Some of the places I’ve thought of visiting include Germany, Mexico, Iceland, and South Korea.

Clean my apartment for 10 minutes each night: I was talking with a friend yesterday and we were discussing how cleaning our homes inspires us to be more self-disciplined in other ways: eating healthier, going to sleep earlier, working out, etc. This is what Charles Duhigg would call a “keystone habit.” Given the power of keystone habits to inspire other positive change, I’m excited to try adopting this cleaning routine into my life! 

Credit @torreyfox

Drink enough water every day: According to the nutrition plan I started last June, drinking water is a super important part of being healthy (and losing weight). This program says that people should use the following formula to determine how much water they should be drinking: person’s weight (lbs) * 2 = oz. of water to be consumed. This is harder than it seems! But considering how successful this program is for people, I really believe it is a good thing to do and I am committed to making it happen.

Credit @swellbottle

Becoming involved in 2 social groups: Moving to a new city last year was a huge and amazing step in my life! Anybody can move to a new city– the real effort comes in jumping whole-heartedly into a new life somewhere and having the courage to start over. The easiest way to do get involved in the community is through specific groups. I’ve already joined a church and am in graduate school, so these are great places to start! To become “more involed,” I want to spend more time with the people in these groups, do more things outside of our regularly scheduled meetings, and be more generous with my time and energy.

Credit @frauki

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2018 New Year’s Resolutions: Final Recap

365 days ago, I set 4 goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2018. I’ve made New Year’s Resolutions countless times before and haven’t stuck with them, but this year I was really committed to making them happen. And I did! I met all of them except one, and even on the one I failed to complete I still made progress. What made this year so much more successful than other years? I think two things: 1) I set goals that were a stretch but still attainable and 2) I set goals that I believe in. Here are the 4 goals I set and how well I achieved them over the course of 2018:

Log everything I eat: This I was able to do! I started a nutrition program called the 2B Mindset back in June and I absolutely love it. There are only four guidelines that you have to follow: drink lots of water, eat lots of veggies, track all your food, and weigh yourself daily. Following this program has made logging my food become an automatic thing I just do which I think is a great habit to have. The program is also super sustainable because it’s not some crazy fad diet that’s really restrictive– it’s just a few tweaks that make eating healthy and losing weight easy!

Resting heart rate below 60: I didn’t achieve this one, sadly! However, I did bring my resting heart rate from 71 bpm in January to 65 bpm as I’m writing this at the end of December. It’s not perfect, but it’s still progress 🙂 I think this can be attributed to losing weight, being more active, and lowering my stress by changing my environment and meditating.

Credit @frauki

Travel to five new countries: Completed! I visited Ireland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria. 6 countries total and 5 of them were new. I think this is the most countries I’ve been to in a single year. I wonder if I’ll ever top that?

Move to a new city: Done! I moved from DC to San Diego in August and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love the culture, my grad school, my friends, the beach, the weather…pretty much everything!

Setting these resolutions pushed me to be more self-disciplined, to try things outside of my comfort zone, and to ultimately grow in leaps and bounds. It was an extremely positive experience and I can’t wait to set resolutions for 2019 and see how I continue to grow and change!

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Lunchtime Reading: December 28

  1. Internally freaking out about “tech neck”, the newest thing that causes wrinkly skin. Oh boy. (Spine Health)
  2. If you are now as worried about your neck as I am, fear not: this skincare guide is a good intro. (The Everygirl)
  3. My sister got me Glow Recipe’s blueberry cleanser and wow is it amazing! 🙂
  4. Love this beginner’s guide to winter skincare. (The Work Edit)
  5. This is what happens when you don’t drink enough water. (Eat This Not That)
  6. Losing weight is hard, but you can make it easier by enlisting help from your doctor. (Very Well Fit)
  7. Can’t wait to try the 8 best beauty products from Trader Joe’s. (Barefoot Blonde)
  8. Thanks to Abra’s suggestion, I am now drooling over this beautiful workout jacket that’s on sale at Nordstrom!
  9. I just finished The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and loved it 🙂
  10. 40 things you can do to be happier and healthier in 2019. (The Everygirl)

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