5.19.2015

Virginia Wine Country




After a long day at the office, with a good steak dinner, or when watching Scandal, I love to enjoy a nice glass of wine. I'm obsessed with trying new wines (enjoying responsibly of course) and can definitely say I'm one of "those" people who bases her purchase off the label. What can I say, I love to display a fun looking bottle on the bar cart. So it couldn't be more perfect that I live right outside of Virginia Wine Country.

If y'all aren't familiar with Northern Virginia, it's probably best known for being home to some of the greatest wineries in the South/East Coast. There are numerous wineries spread out across Northern Virginia, and most within a short hour or two drive from DC. So they make for the perfect daytime excursion.



Over this past weekend, my good friend and fellow blogger, Alicia, organized a day trip to some of the wineries in the area. She coordinated top notch transportation from Reston Limo; a Cadillac Escalade... complete with our wonderful driver Calvin, plus goodie bags from Reston Limo and Bluemercury! It was the perfect welcoming and way to start our day!



I went with four other DC bloggers and great friends (Alicia + Katie + Monica + Ashley). We chatted all things blogging, caught up on each other's lives, and shared quite a few laughs.

Our first stop was Bluemont Vineyard. Y'all the view was INSANE!! Absolutely gorgeous! It was hard to believe that we were only 45 minutes outside the city. Supposedly on a clear day you can see the Washington Monument from there. Unfortunately it was a pretty cloudy and hazy day to see that far, but we still got a pretty good range.






We decided to do a wine tasting and order some baked brie. Let me tell y'all, each tasting we did was wonderful. I didn't have a single flavor that I didn't like. I'm normally not a red wine fan, but really liked the ones at Bluemont.



After basking (more like baking) in the sun, fighting off some bees, taking outfit photos and enjoying the amazing scenery, we packed up and headed off to our second location.



The second location wasn't too far at all. We pulled up to gorgeous red barns, horse stables and LIVE music playing at Sunset Hills Vineyard. At this location we were allowed to bring our own food. Each of us brought various things to share and we posted up at a picnic table near the music. We bought several bottles from Sunset Hills (the Chardonnay and Rose) and both were wonderful. We enjoyed the gorgeous weather and great atmosphere.



I loved this location because it had a very family friendly environment. With the music, and large green spaces. Several families and groups were playing soccer and various outdoor games. It was a really fun location.

While at Sunset Hills, we broke into our fabulous goodie basket, courtesy of VinoWine app. The basket they put together was AMAZING!!! They really thought of everything... down to the napkins and water!! Staying hydrated out in the sun all day is key!! They provided meats + cheeses and plenty of crackers. Even a bottle of champs for the ride home!



Oh, and as for my outfit, I wanted something that was easy flowing and light. This LOFT dress was perfect. It wasn't too heavy and allowed a nice breeze. I paired it with some fun jewelry and my favorite sandals. It was the perfect outfit of the day for winery hopping! (Photos by Monica)



If you're thinking of visiting Virginia's Wine Country, definitely checkout the VinoWine app. As well as reach out to Reston Limo for all your transportation needs. Nobody needs to be drinking and driving :) Let me know if you have any questions about either winery or the area in general. Be sure to checkout Alicia's blog post too, for plenty of tips in how to plan your own day at the wineries!

Have a great Tuesday y'all!

5.14.2015

It Feels Like Home to Me!


WOW, time really flies by doesn't it?! This week marks THREE years of living in Washington, D.C. and starting my first "real world" job. I cannot believe it. In some ways, it still hasn't sinked in yet that I live nine hours from where I grew up and that DC is now considered my home (although Rocky Top will ALWAYS truly be "home sweet home to me"). On the flip side, I finally feel like a Washingtonian and DC has never felt more like where I'm supposed to be. I LOVE it here!!



Whenever I'm back in Tennessee, talk to friends from college, or travel somewhere outside the District, people ask me all the time "why is DC such a great place to live?" Once I get over the whole "I can't believe you don't already know why" feeling, I break it down to them as to why I love this city and don't foresee leaving anytime soon (sorry Mom!).

It's the perfect mix of the north and the South // You'll be hard pressed to find someone who loves the South more than me, so when moving here three years ago, let's just say I was a little skeptical. However, after living in New York City for a few months and growing up in the South, I can honestly say that DC is the perfect mix of the two. You have your "big city" feel, while still maintaining the Southern charm. And, we are technically below the Mason Dixon line and Southern Living Magazine still features our city on the reg.

It's extremely diverse // Even though DC is not a state, and is honestly only a few miles wide and high, it is made up of so many different areas and neighborhoods. You have your sports area (and my hood) the Navy Yard, Glover Park is where all the college kids dwell, your extremely wealthy area and where all the good shopping is in Georgetown, the best place to go out is on U Street, we have a Chinatown and a plethora of other great areas too! DC is extremely diverse both culturally and demographically. We have people from all over the world who live here. I've never met so many people from so many different places in my life!



You'll never get bored // If you're bored in DC, then you obviously aren't trying to acclimate yourself. There's so much to do... everything from sightseeing, to dining at some of the best restaurants in the country, brunch on the weekends, shop in Georgetown, attend beer or wine festivals, visit the Embassy's, hangout on a rooftop pool, go to a Nats game, etc. The options are literally endless!



Very centrally located // Want to get away for a weekend? Annapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Dewey Beach, Outer Banks, Virginia Beach... all are within a half days drive from DC. Not to mention numerous wineries or breweries in the surrounding areas, as well as Snowshoe Ski Resort only a short drive South for some great winter skiing!



So much to do that is free // Even if you're not moving here, this is a great reason to visit! Most of the museums, attractions, monuments and tourist hot-spots are FREE!!! There are also plenty of festivals, parades and events that won't cost you a dime!



Everyone is in the same boat // Generally speaking, most people move to DC right out of college. The "young professional" population is invading DC and for good reason. This city really caters to the twenty and thirty somethings. Everything from awesome happy hours, weekend brunches, and events that we'd find appealing.

For that very reason, there are so many people our age to meet! Most people move to DC not knowing anyone. I only knew my best friend Ashton! Now, I have so many amazing friends and various groups of friends as well! Another great thing, is that generally those who move here are very outgoing. So there's always someone willing to hangout or do something!





There are so many reasons why I love DC! We'd be here all day if I could list them all. These are simply the highlights (I may be a little biased too, shhh). It's still crazy to think that I've been here three years. I've had the time of my life and am so thankful for all the friends and memories I've made along the way! Thank you to everyone for the constant love, support and friendship!! Here's to three more years and a wonderful future in the city that I love!!!





Thinking of moving to DC? Email me!! Happy to answer any questions you have or chat more about this wonderful city!

kristyn
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5.13.2015

Jewelry Investment Pieces



I've mentioned before on the blog that I typically don't wear a lot of jewelry. I never have, probably because most of my youth was spent on the pool deck or in sweats. Yuckk. Even though I now am in the real world with a job, I still tend to not wear a lot of jewelry. Mainly because I live in DC and go through security multiple times a day. I definitely don't want to be THAT person who holds up the line taking countless bracelets and rings off. So I tend to stick to the basics. Since I wear minimal jewelry, I usually invest in more expensive pieces. Pieces that I can wear on the reg and will last a long time. So for today's post, I'm sharing some of my favorite investment pieces.

Necklaces: I get most of my necklaces from Loft, Ann Taylor, Kendra Scott and BaubleBar. While these aren't relatively expensive stores, I usually find some gorgeous statement pieces from them. I wear the Courtney Bib as much as I possibly can, and the monogram is a great piece to pair with a bolder necklace. I also can't get enough wear out of my Kendra Scott tassel necklace. I wear it at least twice a week and am thinking of getting the black one next.

Necklaces



Earrings: Honestly, this area of jewelry is the most minimal for me. I believe that I look horrible in dangly earrings, so studs it is. I have my go-to pearls, diamond and gold studs. I alternate between these three.

Bracelets/Watches: Like I said above, I don't want to be "that" girl who holds up the line because I'm wearing ten thousand bracelets. So I have my Michael Kors watch, BaubleBar bracelet and various others that I wear most of the time. I also tend to look for pieces that don't have metal in them. That saves me lots of time when going through security at work.

Bracelets




Rings: I love rings. Rings are my favorite piece of jewelry, and an area where you can really make a statement. I tend to spend less money on rings though, because over time I've gotten pretty bad at taking them off to wash my hands, and ultimately losing them. But some of my favorites have been found from BaubleBar, C.Wonder (may it rest in peace) and H&M. H&M surprisingly has some great statement rings. 

Do you have a go-to piece of jewelry that you invest in? Let me know what it is in the comments below. I always love discovering new pieces to add to my collection!

kristyn
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