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. 

 

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 21

  1. This morning travel routine looks so calming and soothing. It makes me want to start one for my own trips! (Hitha on the Go)
  2. My parents got me this Tyrolean cookbook for Christmas and I can’t wait to try out the recipes 🙂
  3. This homebody gift guide is so luxurious and I love it! (Gal Meets Glam)
  4. What is Korean skincare and why is it so popular? (CNN)
  5. I started using this meditation app and it has worked wonders in the few days I’ve been using it. You have to pay after the five days, but it is so worth it!
  6. Old Navy’s luxe tees are my go-to for travelling. They are extremely comfortable and look expensive but are a complete steal!
  7. I hiked part of the Hardergrat this summer and I am already dreaming of going back. My hope is that next time I go back I can run the entire trail!
  8. This Mandala coloring book looks super relaxing and perfect for de-stressing.
  9. Why it’s important for everyone, but especially teachers, to take care of themselves during the holidays. (Concordia University- Portland)
  10. This eye-opening piece on self-care after surgery is a must-read for anyone who is healing, physically or otherwise. (Girls’ Night In)

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Lunchtime Reading: December 10

It’s December!!!! Arguably one of the best months of the year 🙂 In honor of the holiday season being upon us, today’s lunchtime reading is all about Christmas 🙂 

  1. Have you ever wondered what happens to unsold Christmas trees? (USA Today)
  2. I am waiting with bated breath for this year’s Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. To keep busy while we wait, here’s the one from last year. (Deadspin)
  3. Is this holiday dress from Gal Meets Glam practical? No. But is it lovely? Yes!!!
  4. The 23 best places to spend Christmas. (CN Traveler)
  5. A beautiful repository of Christmas cookie recipes. (Real Simple)
  6. I can’t wait to try out this neck pillow on my way home for the holidays 🙂
  7. A gift guide for the person in your life who is always anxious or stressed out. (Refinery 29)
  8. Another gift guide! This one is for your friend who loves staying in as much as you do. (Girls’ Night In)
  9. The holidays aren’t easy for everyone. If they bring on feelings of stress or depression check out these tips for coping. (Mayo Clinic)
  10. This list of go-to holiday outfits will definitely be my guide as I pack to go back to Maryland! (The Everygirl)

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Lunchtime Reading: October 8

  1. What to pack in a carry-on, according to the pros. (CN Traveler)
  2. Currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller and oh my gosh is it good.
  3. Gal Meets Glam is the newest blog I’ve started following and I love it!
  4. Anyone who loves fall will appreciate this list of fall activities, ranked. (The Cut)
  5. Interesting read about how non-scale victories can actually help you lose weight. (Women’s Health)
  6. Solving common organizing challenges with Abra. (The Work Edit)
  7. Aziz Ansari’s new standup is a cry against extreme wokeness. (The New Yorker)
  8. Thinking of getting this bottle-cleaning brush from Amazon. Thoughts?
  9. Everyone who wears sandals needs to read this foot care guide. (Into The Gloss)
  10. I love almost everything Julia Engel designs, but this dress takes the cake.

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New Year’s Resolutions: 9 Months In

It is finally fall– my favorite season of the year! Even though we don’t get much of a proper fall here in San Diego 😉 As it is the last check-in of the year before the final sprint towards my goals, here’s where I’m at 🙂

  1. Log everything I eat: going well! I started the 2B Mindset program in June and it’s been so simple and easy to stick to. One of the principles is to log all your food and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, using the Beachbody Nutrition app! Tracking is so much easier when you get in the habit of doing it!

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  1. Resting heart rate below 60: In progress! This is probably the hardest goal for me this year because it requires so much consistent effort to make it happen. I know what I need to do though– exercise, stress management, and weight loss will be the keys to success. Just gotta make it happen! It’s actually so much easier to be healthy here in San Diego than it was in DC because there’s so much fun active stuff to do and there’s healthy food everywhere.

mountain trail.jpg

  1. Travel to five new countries: done! I visited Ireland with my dad in May and then did a solo trip to Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein over the summer. Seriously so many unbelievable experiences, and I can’t wait until I can travel again! I probably won’t visit five new countries again next year, but maybe one or two. I have this long-term goal of visiting 30 countries before I’m 30.

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  1. Move to a new city: check! I moved from DC to San Diego back in August and love it so far. I live in a cute little house about a mile from the Pacific Ocean with some awesome roommates. My job is working in the first-grade classroom at a Catholic school on Coronado and I’m working on my masters to become an elementary school teacher. Moving to a new city isn’t without challenges, but I love it here 🙂

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Feature image found here. Other images found here and here.