My Weekend in Washington

This past weekend I headed down to Washington D.C. for Georgetown University’s homecoming.  I am a very active alumni and I was bit surprised when I realized it had been almost a year and a half since I had been on campus, my last visit in May 2014 for my brother’s graduation and even though I was in D.C. during August of last year but did not go to the actual campus. 

Tailgate with Mascot
This Hoya Homecoming was one of my favorite on record and I happily jumped on a train when friends and former teammates from Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami all said they would be flying in. The best part about this weekend was that I was able to stay with my old roommate from New York City  who now lives in Washington DC with her boyfriend.  Not only was it a great home base for the weekend they also have a brand-new puppy and she is just the cutest. I am not a huge dog person but that their goldendoodle is on the 12 weeks old and was just about the most adorable thing ever.

I took the train down from New York City on Friday afternoon, as you may recall it is my favorite way to travel, and was quite upset when it was delayed.  I had a glass of wine to help ease the pain but you know your train is really slow when you keep taking SnapChat selfies and sliding over to the speed filter to see just how slow you are going.   An hour and a half after our scheduled time I arrived in Washington, D.C. and took a cab straight to the restaurant where my friends were. Within ten minutes of sitting down I had a chicken quesadilla and a margarita, exactly what the doctor ordered. 

Train SelfiesAmtrak Washington DC

Once dinner was over a small group decided to head to Tombs, our famous college bar, and I had an amazing time connecting with friends.  It was nice to have a newbie in our group, a friend’s boyfriend, as we got to introduce him to the underground watering hole and one of the most famous drinks, the Dirty Girl Scout shot.  (The green shot is a combination of Irish cream liquor, crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and vodka – a delicious but quite deadly combination). It was also nice running in to my brother, Kevin. 
Tombs Kristen and BradTombs Dirty Girl Scout ShotsTombs with Kevin and BradTombs with Kevin and KatieTombs with Kevin

The next morning I woke up early and I do not do early on Saturday mornings. I do not know the last time I arrived at a 9 AM brunch – that is just not something I do in my adult life. But I guess it was fitting, I was back in D.C. for homecoming, and when I was a student we would have started even earlier. Two hours enjoying cold brew coffee, fresh bagels, cheap champagne, and good orange juice made for the perfect pre-tailgate breakfast.

BrunchHoya HomecomingBrunch Toast

After breakfast we took the 30 minute walk to the front gates of campus and as we got closer and closer the 37th and O Street the more excited I got. Every time I get to that intersection my heart becomes a little bit fuller. It was so great to be back and to be reminded what a beautiful school I went to.  My friends and I all pregistered for the tailgate and thus were able to zip through the alumni line to enjoy the festivities.  

The location had moved since I went two years ago and I think it has become even better.  To sum up the next few hours a friend’s girlfriend who was experiencing it for the first time said, “I feel like Simba, everything you touch is yours. Except here it is free!” It is true, once you buy the ticket, all of the food and drinks are yours.  The one thing, they only have beer, so I enjoyed Diet Cokes and a much of the free food. 

Georgetown Townhouse KittyGeorgetown Healy Hall GatesGeorgetown Healy HallDahlgren Chapel | Georgetown UniversityTailgate Alumni ID CheckTailgate with KittyTailgate with JackGeorgetown TailgateIMG_0492Swimming TailgateKitty and AndyBooktstoreGeorgetown CheerleadersGeorgetown Football

After the tailgate we all skipped the football game – in four years at Georgetown I never went to one for more than a quarter – and had a true Georgetown day going to a Village A rooftop party.  The party was hosted by current swimmers and I officially felt very, very old when I realized I knew nobody on the team. I did not stay long and instead went back to Tombs for a drink with a different group of old classmates and wandered around the streets of Georgetown before heading back to my friend’s apartment for a few hours of playing with Nutella.  

Swimmers RooftopKelly and RafCastle on Prospect3318 ProspectMoses and KellyGeorgetown RooftopGeorgetown CupcakeM Street and Wisconsin

This dog, seriously, she is just the cutest.  A constant ball of energy and tremendous amounts of love. I do not think I have ever been okay with a dog licking my face but with Ella, I could not resist.  So much happiness in a little seven pound creature. 

Ella 4Ella 3Ella 5Ella 6

Saturday nigh was the party I was most looking forward to and it certainly lived up to my expectations.  With this blog I am much more show than tell but I was having too much fun to take many pictures so I guess there will be a bit of telling.  I had a great dinner with my fellow swimmers at a Mexican restaurant where we chowed down on tacos and drank pitchers of margaritas before heading to our class party.  One of the best bars in Georgetown had a two hour open-bar for our class and we enjoyed it thoroughly.  

El Centro DCVictor and KellyTable Side 2El Centro SwimmersKitty and KellyKelly and ErikAll Black

Sunday we slept in and went to brunch on the D.C. waterfront.  I had originally thought we were going to Fishers Farmers Bakers but instead we went to a new spot called Fiola Mare.  I ordered coffee, a Bellini, and Eggs Benedict with prosciutto which certainly are not on my diet but definitely helped soak up all of the alcohol from the night before.  The waterfront is definitely one of my favorite spots in all of D.C. and while I could have wandered around for hours we headed back up to U Street shortly after brunch for some more quality time playing with the puppy and a long walk in the neighborhood before I had to head back to New York. 

DC WaterfrontFiola MarieFiola Marie Brunch MenuFiola Marie BrunchUber SelfieElla 2View 1View 2EllaIllustrated Harry PotterElevator SelfieUnion Station Washington DC Sunset

A truly wonderful weekend in Washington! 

Visiting Palaces in Vienna

The Kiss at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna Austria

For my first full day in Vienna I woke up and enjoyed a lovely breakfast at my hotel paired with three cups of coffee before I headed out for my fifth day of exploring on my EuroptripMy first stop of the day was the Belvedere Palace and to get there I decided against taking the tram and instead walked the 2.8km a route that took me up embassy row to the great estate.

While I did not find the American embassy but the Brazilian mansion one was beautiful as was Taiwan.  After nearly an hour of exploring and photographing gorgeous landmarks I finally entered the gates of the Upper Belvedere palace. 

Belvedere Palace GatesUpper Belvedere Palace GateUpper Belvedere Palace TurretUpper Belvedere Palace Enterance

The name of the palace, Belvedere, translated means “beautiful view” and it was gorgeous. Once in the palatial complex  I began at Upper Belvedere, the second palace that was built because the first simply was not big enough for the royal’s party needs. I rented the audio guide which allowed me to explore at my own pace and only [Read more…]

My Favorite Mascara

The Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl Dramatic Volume and Curve Mascara Product

I am in love and I do not care who knows it.  Sephora, you had a me at hello. I have been in a love affair with Sephora for the past ten years and just this year, it became worse than ever because I am head over heels in love with one of their mascaras.  I have been using it for the past year and I have no idea why it took me so long to share it with all of you, it is simply the best! 

The Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl – Dramatic Volume And Curve Mascara, yes, that really is the name, sounds intimating and let me tell you, the little wand does pack quite a punch. If you are going for a subtle tint, this is not the product for you – two coats creates a heavy voluminous look that builds with each coat.  Over the past few months two swipes have become an every day essential for me. The best thing? It is not $30! The Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl – Dramatic Volume And Curve Mascara comes in just above drug store prices at $12 and you can find it here.

The Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl Dramatic Volume and Curve Mascara WandThe Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl Dramatic Volume and Curve Mascara ApplicationThe Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl Dramatic Volume and Curve Mascara

This is one of those products, every single person reading this needs to go to Sephora and pick it up or order it online – whether you use it every day, like me, or just on special occasions, that is up to you.  And no, this post is not sponsored this is just simply the best mascara.  The tube I am using in the photos above might not have been the best for a review as I have used it enough some of the letters have start to wear off so here is a very clear shot of what it looks like: 

The Sephora Collection - Outrageous Curl Dramatic Volume and Curve Mascara

Have you tried this mascara?

Gold Branch Rings

One of my favorite things about having a blog is that I get to share the latest and greatest trends I love with all of you.  Sure, they are not one-hundred percent original, if they were then they would not be trending, but hopefully I can put my own spin on it.  One of the latest jewelry trends right now is gold branch rings.

I have been a fan of big, bold statement rings for years but these delicate pieces offer a great alternative for those who want a more subtle approach to the trend. I have had my eye on these two Oscar de la Renta crystal options for months but just last week saw a comparison touting these two first two rings in a the-look-for-lesson comparison. Here are six great branch ring options, unfortunately almost all are at the higher end price point with the exception of the LC Lauren Conrad Leaf Midi Ring which is only $18! 

Sparkles and Shoes Branch Rings

Anne Sisteron 14KT Yellow Gold Diamond Branch Ring  |  LC Lauren Conrad Leaf Midi Ring 

Oscar de la Renta Jade Crystal Branch RingOscar de la Renta Crystal Branch Ring

Opal Indulgence Diamond 24K Gold-Plated RingEddera Olive Branch Ring


Do you like the trend? Would you wear a gold branch ring?