Here’s a quick peek into some highlights from my graduation weekend! See the previous post for my thoughts about finishing my degree. :)
Quick note: follow me at @kristenjoann on Instagram for fashion & beauty photos and/or @peachybeeblog for my personal account.
Wicked Waffle for breakfast! It was our first time there and honestly it was pretty overpriced and not really all that great…so, I can’t recommend it but if you are around Farragut West and want waffles and/or waffle sandwiches this is your place!
Trying to snap some pics in the park. ^^ To my disappointment it was overcast and misty all day. I hope to get some better photos on a nice, sunny day.
For dinner, Max suggested Vapiano’s and it was awesome! It combines the casual feel of Panera (no waiters) with a gourmet Italian restaurant that happens to have an organic, edgy feel as well.
There are various stations inside where you can order sandwiches, salads, pizza, pastas, etc. Each dish is made fresh right in front of you and all you do is swipe a card at each station so when you are finished you just hand over your card when it’s time to pay.
A beautiful gift from Max ^^ Gorgeous blue/black/grey Honora pearls.
Us at dinner. :)
My beautiful roses from Max.
A stunning Kate Spade bag to use for work from Max and his family. It is classic and timeless, and I will use this every single day! It was so generous and thoughtful of them to get this for me.
Thank you so much to Patty for hosting our graduation party! She went all out and had tons of delicious food, adorable decorations and invited us all over to her beautiful home. The afternoon weather really brightened up too.
A short letter to Max: Thank you so much for everything you did to make my graduation weekend so special. I love my gifts but most of all I truly love YOU! Since I first applied to this program, when it was just a wish to live in Washington, DC and try to start my career- you were there for me cheering me on, just like you were at my graduation ceremony. The same way you are now as I work hard. You are there for me, my biggest fan. Your support and love mean everything to me and I thank God for you every single day. xoxo, your bebe
Check back for Part 2 which will include photos from celebrating with my family!
“I recommend the following course of action for those who are just beginning their careers…heed the words of Robert Frost, ‘Start with a big, fat lump in your throat, start with a profound sense of wrong, a deep homesickness, or a crazy love sickness, and run with it. If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve.Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.” - Debbie Millman
The past (almost) two years have gone by so fast it’s unbelievable. Even though my coursework is technically not complete until mid-July, myself and many of my colleagues participated in the Spring graduation at GWU. We made it!
Our Masters in Publishing is nearly complete and we are entering into a field of great importance and constant change. Our jobs will always include transitioning and learning curves to keep up because that is simply the nature of the industry. We will be the people who disseminate information that entertains, educates and even changes the world. Publishing fuels revolutions and social change, it penetrates the hearts of millions of people with stories that move and inspire us. Our industry is also tasked with an ethical responsibility to remove barriers that keep others from accessing knowledge. (This is especially true now that information is increasingly being shared digitally.)
To current or prospective students: I encourage you to follow the path that makes the most of a skill you have that you enjoy using. In whatever you way you seek to qualify yourself for the career you want, put all your heart and soul into it. Never stop trying to find your way to what you want to do. I entered my Masters program as the youngest student and had very little background in publishing. I only knew that the field was incredibly interesting to me- ‘do this every day’ kind of interesting, and hoped that I could make a difference in the lives of others with my work.
Thank you to GW for offering the most comprehensive degree in publishing in the United States! I learned so much. While there were many challenges to overcome, it was so worth it.
Congratulations to each and every one of my colleagues who worked so hard! I wish everyone the very best. As fellow graduates we are forever connected and I hope we can be a source of encouragement and support for each other as we move forward in our publishing careers.
Friday Night Dinner
After a long day at work I was so happy to meet up with Max! He has been encouraging me to get a bike and I’m seriously considering it. I can start by riding on the sidewalks and I get a discount for Capitol Bike Share here in DC. Once I try I’ll share my experience!
First things first: dinner! Whole Foods had salmon burgers half off. We tried the teriyaki salmon & plain salmon burgers.
Also, before 6pm all beer is 20% off so we took advantage of that as well. (All items from Whole Foods except curly fries and edamame are from Trader Joe’s.)
Extras: edamame, multigrain buns, curly fries and an incredibe teriyaki sauce.
I chose these snacks (of course). I was looking to try something new and tasty and these sounded great!
For dessert we got a chocolate chip scone (just enough!). We both *try* not to eat a lot of sugar. I think our logic is to eat as little sugar as possible only to splurge and get huge gelato or shakes.
PS: Um hello handsome! Sperrys, Patagonia backpack, fresh haircut, clean shaven- a true Washingtonian.
So basically, this is what pure exhaustion looks like. My week was crazy busy and so was his. The biggest relief was finally being able to see each other! We had so much to celebrate…Max finished his second year of law school and my graduation is right around the corner. Only three credits left to finish this Summer, yeah!
Warning: the rest of the post should read, “What we ate” because we didn’t cook a single thing and ate out all weekend.
What has now become our usual dinner spot when we visit Charlottesville is a restaurant calle One Meatball Place on Main Street. Every time we have great conversation with the very friendly owner, Valentino, and order lots of yummy stuff. They have falafel, chicken, pork, veal, fish and beef meatballs, tons of different sauces, sandwich options and you can order a la carte if you just want to try one or a few meatballs at a time.
This was a big deal for me because I have not eaten meat in about 45 days straight. Amazingly, I was CRAVING meatballs and could not help myself. Right now I’m going through a love-hate relationship with meat because in the past few weeks I’ve eaten it quite a few times. The reason has usually been because I simply had no time and needed to eat as many calories as could and really fast. In between moving and packing I have not cooked or gone grocery shopping so that’s made it even more difficult. To me, before I cut out a food group I need to be prepared with other ways to replace those calories. I hope that after I am settled into the new place and get to grocery shop that I can make the best food choices for me!
View from Max’s window. Believe it or not, the last time I had seen Max that flowered tree was frozen and covered with snow!
Later I got to meet baby Lane for the first time ever! He SO CUTE!! Seriously, it’s unreal! You see photos and see how cute he is and then to meet him in person is just too much! He has the kindest, sweetest parents and our visit with them was so nice.
For dinner we drove a bit out the way to eat at our favorite restaurant near Lexington: Fancy Hill Korean Diner. The place has no website and you have to call in advance to make sure they are open that day but the food is really great and worth the extra effort.
Green tea with brown rice and beef bulgogi (SO GOOD, I do not regret eating this at all).
Every time I visit Max he has class or work to do so there’s not really time to go out to breakfast. Because his semester was over I finally went to the neighborhood breakfast place. It was really my first time ever at a Waffle House and..well…it’s no Cracker Barrel!!
Beautiful paths and scenery everywhere. There’s not much of this in the city that’s for sure.
Another could not resist moment…we got two large gelato: one with fruit flavors and one with sweet, creamy flavors. Did we finish all of it? No. Were they delicious? Yes.
On the way back to DC we stopped for a scenic view of the mountains. It was very misty and foggy but still so beautiful.
Low Sugar Snacks for Chocolate Cravings
- Hail Merry Macaroons: (Whole Foods) TOP pick for when I’m really craving anything chocolate. These macaroons literally melt in your mouth and with only 5g of sugar in one serving (2 pieces, 4 servings per bag), these are such a perfect dessert. Two pieces are enough. No, it’s not the same as digging into a tub of chocolate gelato or anything, but it is a secret weapon if you are trying to curb sugar intake but also have a hard time giving up sweets.
- High Energy Blend dried fruit and nut mix: (CVS) The chocolate part includes the dark chocolate covered cranberries. The bonus with this is getting the chocolate fix along with the benefits from almonds, honey roasted peanuts and sesame sticks, soy nuts, walnuts and dried blueberries! I found this product at CVS in the snack asile by chance when I needed to grab a quick snack to bring with me on Amtrak. Also, if you are tired of eating protein bars all the time (which often include nuts and/or dried fruits) this is a different way to eat the same kind of snack + some sweetness. There are 5g of sugar in 1/4 of a cup.
- Svlete organic chocolate protein shake: (Whole Foods) SO yummy! Only 9g of sugar in the whole shake + 16g of protein and 5g of fiber. I wanted to include a liquid option to help replace a craving for a chocolate shake/milkshake or ice cream even. I was shocked when I found out the Potbelly’s chocolate shake I drank had 79 (SEVENTY-NINE!!!) grams of sugar in it. Seriously? Never again. When I ordered the shake it was a splurge thing because I figured it would have a lot of sugar in it, but I never imagined 79g. At first, I was keeping my sugar under 40g per day total and now I aim for under 20g.
- Kettle popcorn: (not pictured). Try drizzling a little melted chocolate on top too if you want. Kettle popcorn is slightly sweet and has a very tiny amount of sugar (of course, always look at label to double check though, it probably varies by brand). There is a new popcorn brand I spotted at Whole Foods: Quinn Popcorn (buy a Whole Foods), that comes in flavors like Vermont Maple and Sea Salt- gotta try this! If I do, I’ll post a review on here.
- Dark chocolate bars: at 60-80% (not pictured). I always look at the labels and to find nearly full pure dark chocolate bars. One of the tastiest I’ve had is Moser Roth 85% dark chocolate (8g sugar in 2 pieces)- and even though it comes in a large chocolate bar wrapper, it’s divided into 4 rectangles that are individually wrapped which I think can help to portion how much of it you are eating.
- Purely Elizabeth: I posted about this brand on Instagram this past week. I cannot wait to try her recipes and products! Basically, she has products that are much healthier versions of typical baked goods. It sounds simple…but honestly I have yet to find a brand that does this very well. Typically tons of sugar is still included. I definitely plan to try this brand and again, I’ll post a review when I do.
Drugstore Makeup: Tips! - Part 1
Finding the best deals…
I buy all my drugstore items, including drugstore makeup, from CVS. The main reason for this is that CVS is pretty much all over DC. I don’t think I have seen one RiteAid or Walgreens. So by default, I’m going to CVS whether I like it or not!
Thankfully, there are a lot of great deals and perks for shopping at CVS that I can recommend, especially to beauty lovers. The first thing you need to do is get a CVS ExtraBucks rewards card. Use this card every single time you shop, no matter how small your purchase is- use it! You will get tons of coupons and CVS keeps track of the items you buy (perk for them) you receive coupons for stuff you will actually end up buying (perk for you).
Beauty Rewards Club
Next, if you buy beauty products you should sign into your CVS account and register for Beauty Rewards. This qualifies you for $5 in Extra Bucks for every $50 you spend on beauty products. Another great thing is that you can track your spending online and whenever you make a purchase the receipt lists your earnings towards the reward. For example: Total Beauty Club Spending $43, Dollars need for next reward: $7.
Last, CVS tracks your spending and I think about three times a year, you will get a certain percentage of your spending back in the form of Extra Bucks. So these are all great rewards for you simply buying what you needed/wanted anyway.
The best part? All these coupons can be stacked! My purchase above included an in-store Maybelline sale (buy one, get one 50% off) plus when I checked out I had my $5 Beauty Rewards coupon AND a 25% coupon. Huge savings!
- Usually every other Friday (or sometimes it seems every single Friday) CVS sends out an email with a coupon for 25-30% off your entire purchase until Sunday. You can click through the email and send the coupon directly to your card or to be printed out.
- If you forget your CVS card they can look up your account by phone number at the register and you will be able to use your coupons and get credit for your purchase.
- Also, all the coupons you earn can be re-printed online so don’t worry about losing them.
- If you use a self-checkout service at a CVS store be aware that your CVS rewards/deals that you scan in the form coupons and the ones applied from your card appear AFTER you have selected to checkout and pay (in other words you scan your card, scan your items, scan your coupons and then click done, at that point the deals will be applied).
- CVS has an excellent return policy. You can return your beauty items, even used, no questions asked. Normally the cashier will ask if it’s been used and what the problem was but I’ve never been given a hard time about returning a beauty item.
Thanks for reading! Part 2 will focus on how to select the best products- which can be a big challenge since you really can’t sample or try them before buying.
What Makes Love True - Addressing Interfaith Relationships
These status updates came up in my newsfeed yesterday…
I have have an interfaith relationship so what do I think about people like this? How do they make me feel? According to this quote, I don’t have true love, but the person who wrote this and his fiancee share true love just because they are both Christian- a true love that apparently I can only hope and dream of experiencing in my interfaith relationship. (I mean, really?!)
Love is built on respect, faithfulness, kindness, selflessness etc. I can understand a person using Jesus as an example of how to love but what’s being said above is something totally different. What’s being communicated is that love shared between two Christians is the only form of true love. I find this to be disturbing. Not only for its lack of logical reasoning but for the backhanded slap in the face it is to anyone who shares love with anyone that is not Christian-to-Christian.
What do I think of the person who wrote this and those who liked this status? If any of them happened to be reading this I’d say this (or something like this, if I had all the time in the world I’d write something more detailed but I have a lot of work to do today…)
I think you need to take a step back and see the impact of what you are agreeing with. Do you seriously believe that over 10 billion people in this world who are not Christians do not experience true love? What you are agreeing with offends me in many ways. It infuriates me to know that you think my love with Max is somehow less valid than your love with your spouse or significant other. I know for a fact that you are simply wrong. Two Christians in love using Christ as their main example and guide for how to love is not superior to the love between two Atheists or two Jews or a Jew and a Christian. The attitude you are liking and presenting is a prideful, ignorant one that I do not think Christ would support.
When you say these things try to think about how they sound outside of your own context. Your worldview alienates most of the world from being able to experience love, doesn’t that sound wrong to you? What you are exhibiting is a form of bigotry and I think you should reconsider your stance on this issue. It is ideas like this that make me embarrassed when I tell people I’m a Christian.
In the meantime know this: With any opposition that discredits the validity of our love, with every accusation that our love is not equal with a same-faith relationship, we will just keep growing stronger together. We cultivate greater intimacy through it. Our bond strengthens and deepens. Your opinion is not a barrier that could ever hold back the immensity of our true love.
Love is equal.
Another interfaith post can be found here.
Lululemon Run From Work Backpack Review!
My family gave me a generous gift card to Lululemon for my birthday and I finally used it! Originally I was convinced that one of their duffels would be the perfect bag for me, but when I went to the store and saw it in person I was disappointed. It was HUGE! I mean I could literally fit enough stuff inside for a two week trip. I needed a bag that would hold at most: my laptop & charger, sneakers, phone, wallet, keys, umbrella, water bottle, snack.
And so I decided to wait and in the meantime I kept up with some Lululemon blogs to see what new items were being released. The blogs had more photos than online and showed more detail. The Run From Work Backpack is exactly what I was looking for and more! I’ve been jogging with Max a few times and I really enjoyed it. I don’t like the idea of running after work since I am usually tired or I have class and/or it gets too dark out. Plus the sidewalks are busier. So basically I want to try jogging to work in the mornings. This means I’d put on running clothes, sneakers, take this backpack, jog to work and then change. My only concern was the fact that I don’t have a way to shower (yeah..I know) BUT I know for a fact that I don’t really get sweaty and the distance to jog isn’t THAT far when I’m going to be red-faced and dripping with sweat. I’m going to give it a shot and see how it all works out. Even if I don’t use the backpack for jogging to work I can always use it when Max and I go jogging. We both have water bottles and we always get insanely hungry so a backpack will be perfect to bring along.
The website photos really do not do justice to the quality of this backpack. The material is awesome. And the colors are really pretty and I love the design and colors. For the cost of the backpack it’s nice to know a similar, cheaper design isn’t being sold by someone else. This front portion will hold a water bottle, has a hidden pocket AND a hidden interior cinch which will help keep everything in place while I jog.
There’s a ton of attention to detail including pockets for a small laptop, a tablet, your phone, keys, a water bladder and some extra spaces. I have the smaller Macbook Air so it definitely fits.
Also, the green pieces are a really cool stretchy fabric- again would love a tank top made of the same material!
Lastly, the shoulder straps are VERY light but durable. I don’t think the straps will cause any irritation when I run, but I’ll have to wait and find out. I’ll post again after I’ve used it for jogging.
A Very PINK Post
I completely remember when Victoria’s Secret first launched their PINK line. My sister and I were immediately obsessed! PINK launched in 2002 and the collections were aimed at 15-22 year olds. Since then the lines of who can and can’t (or should and shouldn’t) wear PINK have definitely blurred. In my opinion, it just depends on the style. All in all PINK basically re-invented the sweat pant. They made a sweatshirt and sweatpants something fashionable and sought after- and at $80-100 for a set I guess that helps.
At first everything was very collegiate and had that Gossip Girl feel to it with academic crests adorning the PINK name on everything. After awhile I became very disinterested in the brand but as of late, I’m loving it completely!
Part of the reason has to do with the expanded selection. There is more clothing (like the cute mini skirts pictured here) and matching t’s. As well, some of the bras have larger sizes (up to DD in some styles).
I purchased the skirt above and paired it with a coral tank top. The deal is two items for $30! I would not have been interested in buying two shirts but a bottom and a top = perfect. Way to go PINK marketing!
Should have bought this one too I think! And by the way, I went back about 5 days later and this wall was totally empty.
Overall I definitely recommend stopping by your local PINK store. If you are not a teen, just shop with an open mind. You may find a great tank top in the middle of a display filled with glitter print “Love PINK” panties around it. Just look past anything that seems too young for you and I really think you can find some cute things. Another tip: if you cannot find an item you saw online OR if they store is out of your size, they can and will order the items for you and ship them to you free of charge!
The rest of these photos are from most recent visit to the store. I tried to snap a few photos of items not shown online. Also I know this table looks kinda messy but this PINK store (Pentagon City Mall) is actually really nice. Just before I left a huge crowd of tourists came in and messed everything up. The girls who work here are so nice & helpful too!
SO many cute things! I really like the zip-up hoodie below but I’m not sure how much I’d wear it with summer coming up and all. The pattern is <3 <3 though.
My Summertime in DC Bucket List
I’m living in Washington, DC for another year! And this summer Max’s internship is in Virginia so we will be together the whole time- pinch me!
When I heard this news the first thing I did was write up this list of things we should do this summer. Who knows if we will spend another summer in DC or not so why not take full advantage?
- Take a Japanese Language class at the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC » Yep, we are both registered for this!
- Weekend trip to NYC
- John Mayer concert in August at Virginia Beach » My graduation gift from Max!
- Try doughnuts at Astro Doughnuts
- Get gelato at Pitango
- Visit the Aquatic Gardens, Hillwood Museum & Gardens
- Enjoy jazz at the Smithsonian Garden
- Visit the National Museum of the American Indian
- Visit The Renwick Gallery for, “DC’s premier crafty hour, Handi-hour, takes place at the Renwick Gallery quarterly, with craft making, craft beer, and live music.”
- Go biking using Capitol Bike Share
- Read books together on our favorite topics. My personal list is below so perhaps we can chose one of these. ;) (continues below photo…)
- Half the Sky
- The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi
- Yellow Birds
- However Long the Night
- Building Social Business
- The Happiness Myth
- I’m predicting awesome 4th of July festivities
- Volunteer for good causes
- Shop at Eastern Market
- …and lots more! Gotta run! Photos in this post were taken with iPhone 4 during the peak bloom of the cherry blossom trees at the Tidal Basin.