The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful

I've head about this list, but this is my first time experiencing it actually living here. I've spent a little time today learning more about "The Hottest on the Hill."



Thankful Thursday

I saw this on a friend's blog and had to add this great idea!

  1. I am thankful to have two wonderful friends who have moved to town, and we get to commemorate with Blue Crab and Blue Moon on Friday!
  2. I am thankful that I get to help celebrate the birthday of one of my oldest and dearest friends this weekend.
  3. I am thankful for getting to spend time with my parents, who came to visit us last week.
  4. I am thankful for fresh folded laundry that my husband helped me with last night.
  5. I am thankful for a great job that challenges and rewards me.


Menu Monday

  • Monday - BBQ Chicken Breasts, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Steamed Broccoli
  • Tuesday - Grilled Salmon, Sauteed Zucchini, Roasted Barley
  • Wednesday - Beef Stir Fry with Udon Noodles
  • Thursday - Shrimp and Bow-tie Pasta, Salad
  • Friday - Baked Chicken, Potato Salad
We will also have a special guest appearance of a healthy version of Un-fried Green Tomatoes-but I need to figure out how to make it first!


Saturday Excursions

After a round of golf at Jefferson, and a delicious brunch, we went to beautiful Mount Vernon with my parents on Saturday. The lines were very long, I guess everyone decided to spend the warm July day at George Washington's home.

Here is the view of the Potomac River behind the main house.

After our trip to our first president's home, we made our weekly visit to Costco with my parents in tow. We stocked up on all the norm, but I was surprised to see there was a book signing for a book I had my eye on for a while. It's a cute guide book to DC, the author did all the research, writing and illustration herself.
I got an autographed copy for Lacey and myself. I can't wait to give her "Welcome to DC" present to her when she arrives this week!

We are off to try a new church today, First Baptist Washington DC. Perhaps we will go to Old Glory BBQ, a Southern Living must of BBQ places in the south.


Dyson Dance

I am the proud owner of the Dyson D25 Animal.

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I think vacuuming will become my new hobby!


Menu Monday-a bit delayed

Here's a look at our menu this week. I am excited to have my parents with us from Thursday through Sunday!

  • Monday-Ricotta, Tomato and Basil Pizza on a whole wheat crust with Light Cesar salad.
  • Tuesday-Chicken Enchiladas with Tomato salad.
  • Wednesday -Citrus Swordfish with Citrus Salsa, Risotto and Broccoli.
  • Thursday-Apple-Fennel Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans.
  • Friday-Salmon with Spicy Plum Salsa, Couscous, and Asparagus.
  • Saturday Brunch-Josh's Amazing Omlettes and Lemon-Blueberry Muffins.



I left work early on Friday to head out to Dulles to catch my flight. Although I had to sit in the very last row, it was a great and short trip. I made it through customs with no problems and even though there were hundreds of people waiting as I exited-Josh and I were able to spot each other right away.

We took a cab to Firat's house, where we were welcomed by his three awesome boys, dog Max, and nanny. We had a wonderful family dinner, and then headed out to see the city. First, we stopped at a park that had a beautiful lookout over Montreal. The pictures I took do not do the view justice.

After a stroll in the park we went to explore Old Montreal. The cobbelstone streets and Eurpean Artictecture were truly amazing.

We enjoyed martini's on a roof top bar, and after a treat of beaver tails we decided to call it a night.

Early Saturday morning we took a drive to another park. I enjoyed the beautiful gardens on the drive. Here is a picture of the window boxes at Firat's house. Max loved running around and the fresh foliage and trails were beautiful.

We headed into the city so the boys could see Harry Potter and Josh and I could see more of the sites. We strolled Saint Catherines, a main throughfair, that was close for the annual sidewalk sale. Josh showed me the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth-were he stays when he comes for business trips.

We had lunch on the balcony of Thursdays on Crescent Street, we shared a ham and brie on a baguette and chicken salad in a pita. Oh yes, and I had two fabulous glasses of white wine. It was crisp and fruity, a perfect complement to the sunny day.

After our outing we went to another dog park in the city for Max to run around. It was nice to meet friends of Firat there. I loved Montreal because everyone spoke French, but could also speak English.

We went to an early dinner in Old Montreal. It was an outdoor restaurant in the structure of a building with no roof. It was truly unique. We shared a bottle of Chianti and appetizers of beef and salmon tartar. Firat, his friend and I each had the Roasted Cod with Citrus Risotto. Josh had the Duck Risotto. His dish was very rich and had a lot of sage-I really liked the bites I took. The excellent meal was topped off with delightful desserts. Firat and I shared the Cream Cheese Ice Cream and Strawberries with Marscopone and Balsamic Glaze. Josh had a chocolate creation with salted carmel sauce--Amazing!
After dinner, Firat dropped us off to watch the weekly firework show on the water with his kids and the nanny. They had gotten there early to save us a spot. I sure was glad that I purchased a pretty kelly green scarf while we walked Saint Catherine's earlier in the day, it was very chilly! Here Josh and I get ready to watch the show.

In Montreal there is a weekly firework show produced by countries from around the world. This week's show was presented by Argentina, and it did not dissapoint. It was set to music and truly spectacular.

Sunday morning we all woke up early and headed to Tremblant, a resort in the mountains.
We took the ski lift up to the top of Mont Tremblant, and then hiked all the way down. Five adults and seven kids. The cold temperature and rain at the top of the mountain, truly made for an adventure. Although we were soaked through-it was so much fun!

After lunch, we went street louging. I rode with a five year old who wanted to go much faster than I did-I gave in a little towards the end of our ride!

After some maple toffee and a magic show perfromance-it was back to the Montreal airport. What a great trip, we are planning to head back for a ski trip this spring!


All my bags are packed

So far July has been an awesome month. We've had tons of friends visit. It has been so nice to spend time with Kristin and her wonderful fiance Kalae, we always have the best talks about what life has in store for us. When Lauren came to visit we had pizza night and jammed on Rock Band. The next day we explored Old Town Alexandra and The National Harbor with Jen, John and Jack, then had a fab Sunday Brunch in Shirlington.

Josh has been in Canada this week for business-so it has been just me and Molly. On Wednesday Mike and Lacey came by after they spent the day apartment shopping. We enjoyed a sunset dinner at Sweetwaters, and recapped our recent weddings. I just can't wait for them to move here!

I am joining Josh in Montreal this weekend for a mini vacation. I am so excited to explore the city. Everyone I've talked to has told me it's a little taste of Europe. We are staying with one of Josh's co-workers. We are planning to have dinner at his house tonight then take a nice city stroll. More sight-seeing on Saturday followed by a fireworks show. On Sunday we are going to a beach village to enjoy a day in the sun. I hope we can find a strong bottle of sunscreen in Canada-I couldn't find any three oz or smaller to pack in my carry-on.


Pizza Night

It was so much fun to bring our Tampa tradition to DC. We had L in town, so we decided to do it up! J, J and little J came over to join in the fun. Here are some pics of the ingredients needed for a perfect pizza night! First start with these:

Then add a little of this:
A little of that:
And you get one of these:


Menu Monday-a bit delayed

  • Monday: Sandwiches
  • Tuesday: BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Broccoli and Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert
  • Wednesday: Mediterranean Salad, Sockeye Salmon, Parmesan Couscous, Roasted Zucchini and Squash, Homemade Strawberry Shortcake for dessert
  • Thursday: Wegman's - the best grocery store with an amazing prepared food and deli section
  • Friday: Make Your Own Pizza Night-friends, vino and pizza what could be better?

A Reunion to Remember

We had a grand time celebrating our family's heritage and the fourth of July this past weekend. It was wonderful to see family from all over the country and learn more about our history. I recently had the honor of being the first in the third generation in my family to wear the Leavell Veil, which is kept in the Leavell Legacy Room at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Friday night we enjoyed dinner with our family and visiting with cousins, aunts and uncles. Josh was intent on fishing, and did every chance he got! Here is the view of the lake from our room.

Saturday we met up with my brother and had a lovely round of golf, had the traditional watermelon cut, and took family pictures.

Although I have always celebrated my favorite holiday in the deep south, this year was was particularly southern. I had okra three, yes three, different ways: pickled, fried and dried. It was a wonderful weekend. Although we didn't get to see fireworks because of the rain, we did watch the DC fireworks on TV-I can't wait to celebrate at home next year!


Tennessee Travels

Hubby, Molly and I set out for our weekend adventure on Thursday after work. Molly was great in the car and we stayed at the lovely (and pet friendly) LaQuienta Inn in Bristol, VA. LaQuienta has really cornered the market being a pet-friendly chain. I mean we are tried and true Marriott patrons-beyond what would be considered normal. Now that we have Molly on board we have been frequenting the LaQuienta-as do most pet-toting travelers.

We had a great drive through the Shenandoah Valley and the Smokey's, stopping off in Knoxville, yes Knoxville. No, not to scout out their summer practice. It was a far greater calling. Sonny's Sweet Sauce. My brother is an avid BBQ-er and loves to top off his creations with Sonny's Sweet Sauce, which is hard to come by in South Dakota. So we picked up a mere 3 gallons of the worlds best BBQ Sauce in Knoxville. Two for him and one for us. Hubby let me know we do not need a whole gallon of God's Gift to BBQ Sauce--but I beg to differ.

Our travels continued to Nashville, where we had lunch at Bar-B-Cuties, and picked up my brother at the airport. Let me tell you it was a full truck that pulled into Montgomery Bell State Park Friday afternoon, hubby, brother, Molly, and me, all our bags, all our golf clubs and 3 Gallons of Sonny's Sweet Sauce. Let the reunion begin...


Tee Time

Tonight we will be packing for my family reunion. It falls on the 4th of July weekend--my favorite holiday! I am looking forward to visiting with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Of course it will be wonderful to see my parents and brother! Molly is joining us on our journey to Montgomery Bell State Park, which is just outside of Nashville. We will be staying in a pet friendly hotel on Thursday night on the south side of Richmond. She is really enjoying car rides these days, so I hope the 11 hour ride is fun for us all. I bought red and white striped fabric with blue stars on Monday night to make her a patriotic bandanna to wear on the 4th. Let's hope my very simple project goes well. I hope we can take a cute family picture of us all in Red, white and blue.

Hubby, brother and I will be playing golf on Saturday morning. Our 8:15 Tee Time should allow enough time for us to get through 18 holes and make it to the family watermelon cut at 3:00.