Hi friends! I hope you’re having a nice week.
Riese turns 5 (!!) next week, and we are hosting a low key birthday party for her this weekend – just pizza + cake at a local playground (hooray for our house not being trashed by a ton of 4/5 year olds…). It will be a little cold but hopefully fun!
I also can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week already. I’m going to take next week off of posting, but here is some inspiration for you as you plan out your menus: Best Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes. It includes all my fave appetizers and sides!
And don’t forget the Fall Sangria (with apple cider + bourbon, yum) for a festive cocktail. 😉
And now, on to today’s blog post! I have some random fun things I’ve done recently that I wanted to share. Let’s do it!
Fun Things I’ve Done Lately
1) Meeting up with fellow bloggers
Last weekend I spent a day out in Mathias, West Virginia with a group of fellow bloggers!
I’m going to co-host a blogger workshop (exact theme is in the works, but it will be a sort of mastermind/business visioning kind of situation for professional bloggers) in May with Abbey, the founder of Tastemaker Conference.
Abbey was co-hosting a food photography workshop in West Virginia over the weekend at the same venue where we are going to host our May retreat, so she asked if I wanted to come out for one of the days to check it out and get an idea of the space, which would help in our planning.
On Saturday of the workshop the group was going out for a hike and then doing some more general sessions in the afternoon (not photography-specific), so that seemed like the best day for me to crash the party. Y’all know I never want to miss a hiking opportunity 😉
I met up with the group directly at Lost River State Park, and had a blast chatting with them about all things blogging while we hiked!
There’s nothing like getting to engage with others in person who do similar work – it had been so long since I had met up with a group of other bloggers and it was super fun to share ideas and tips with each other. (About 3/4 of the group went on the hike, with a few others opting to stay back at the house.)
It was super gorgeous out there and a nice morning for a hike. Win/win all around!
(Thank you to Rachael for the group picture above – the scenic one below is hers too!)
After the hike, we headed back to the house, where I was able to check out the space and meet the group that had stayed behind. I was a little nervous before arriving that I’d be coming into a group of women who had already had a couple days of bonding time, but everyone was super friendly. 🙂
Another fun surprise was that V, the chef for the weekend, and I realized we had also met before!
She founded the DC-based juice company, Goûter, about a decade ago, and a quick blog search showed me that we met at a DC fitness blogger meet up (where she was sampling juices for us) at a spin studio way back in March 2013. I miss the days of blogger meet ups like that… it used to have much more of a community vibe back in the day!
V has since sold the company and moved out to West Virginia, and cooks for events as her side gig, hence her being involved in the workshop out there. She’s going to do the meals for our May workshop, too – yay!
We had a blast chatting in the kitchen, and I had the pleasure of enjoying V’s cooking for lunch and dinner before heading back to DC that night. It was such a treat – the meals were locally sourced, creative, and veggie-packed.
For lunch, we had roasted veggie sandwiches with an avocado feta spread and homemade pesto, plus some super savory chorizo for those who ate meat.
My plate – very delicious!
For dinner, we had pasta with roasted cauliflower (love roasted cauliflower) and turnips, and a yummy sauce made by boiling carrots, onion, walnuts, garlic, and some tomato paste in water, then blending it together. Super creative, right?
Plus some colorful fresh salad with a pesto vinaigrette!
I was really sad to say goodbye to everyone after dinner and make the 2.5 hour drive back to DC. Womp, womp.
It was such a fun day and well worth the long drive to get to know the space and start brainstorming for our workshop in May. I’ll share more details once they are live on the Tastemaker website!
2) Friend Run + Brunch Date
Switching gears to another fun thing I got to do recently – the weekend before last, my best friend from high school, Jenny (whose birthday was the reason for that Turks and Caicos trip I went on), was in town visiting!
We did a fun play date at her brother Ben’s house (he lives nearby and Matt and I go over often with the kids – Riese loves their daughter who is only a little younger, and their son is almost exactly the same age as Wes – less than a week apart), but we also wanted to make sure to have some one-on-one time, so we met up for a run date!
I took her on my favorite loop from Iwo Jima in Rosslyn down and over Memorial Bridge to the monuments and back. We lucked out with an epic weather day and had a great time out there together.
I think I moved my phone too quickly taking this picture so it came out kinda wonky, but I think it looks cool so sharing anyway. 😉
We made it a little over 3 miles and even ran the steep hill at the end to finish on a high note.
After the run we grabbed brunch together at Tupelo Honey in nearby Courthouse (a short drive away). I tried to come here with Kathleen after the Marine Corps 10k the weekend before, but it was mobbed, so I was glad to get a chance to enjoy it this time!
I decided on their fried chicken and waffles and it was sooooo good. The chicken had a really delicious sriracha honey sauce with it that I was obsessed with! Must go back for this again…
3) Monument Adventure with Riese
I’ve been in the city a lot lately – Riese and I had a monument adventure together one morning recently as well, on a weekday that she didn’t have school!
Matt was working and Wes was with our sitter that day (I was supposed to be working – oh well) so I thought it would be fun to do a date just the two of us. We ended up having a great morning!
I was telling her how cool it is that we live so close to something like this that people travel from all over the world to see! It’s pretty special to just be able to pop in to the city when we feel like it.
I hope you all are well until the next time I see you here – thanks for stopping by my corner of the internet! I appreciate you reading.
See you back here the week after Thanksgiving!