Free Food + A Passion For Purple

lilac nail polish

a beautiful mess lavender ice cream recipe

This week my goals are to get back on track with my finances and fitness…purely coincidental these two fall at the same spot on the alphabet, too. Not only did I put myself on a strict budget (is it possible to have a social life on $30 of fun money a week?) and actually make it a couple flights up to my apartment’s gym (really, it’s so close, I have no excuse), but the universe also decided to send me a little note of encouragement the other day at work.

A co-worker turned around randomly and said, “I’m so excited about my free dinner tonight thanks to this Dallas women’s dinner club that’s also free to join.” Working in an all-female office, you’d swear heads have never looked up faster at the promise of free food. A free dinner club that gives women free dinner at participating Dallas restaurants three nights a week? Well, I checked out the Dame’s Dinner Club on Facebook and you could say it is fate that their cover photo is none other than our hero Audrey Hepburn. With a reservation, women eat free off a special menu at Sfuzzi’s Tuesday, The Standard Pour Wednesday and Villa-O Thursday. My only question is, who wants to go and how soon?

Completely unrelated but brightening my week more than it rationally should is some new nail polish and my growing obsession with lavender (like this lavender ice cream recipe from A Beautiful Mess!). Dallas has been bright and just the right amount of warm this week, and I’ve decided that the best way to celebrate spring is with all things light purple and lavender. A purchase of Sally Hansen’s Lacey Lilac nail polish and about an hour of nail-painting later (that right hand is just so hard…), my light but bright purple nails were ready to go. Am I the only one who feels like even the most mundane tasks are that much more fun when your nails look good doing them?

D.C. life

Newseum in DC - first amendment DC brunch - ardeo + bardeo DCnewseum - good photography quote Newseum - Berlin Wall artNewseum freedomGoing into my long weekend, I have to say I was a little skeptical about D.C. After living nearby in Virginia for several, albeit younger, years and a couple visits later, I still wasn’t sold on the magic of our capitol city. As far as U.S. cities go, New York, Seattle, Austin and Boston inspired an instant infatuation that has only grown stronger since my last visits. Los Angeles won me over with one of the best weeks of my life, and let’s face it, I’ve always been a self-proclaimed California girl at heart (with the birth certificate location to match, thank you very much)!

While I still don’t feel like I really “know” D.C. after this weekend’s trip, I can now say that I do see why people like it and have deemed it worth further exploration. Despite the too close for comfort winter storm warning, my trip enjoyed fantastically sunny weather with just the right amount of morning chill. On top of the weather, I also had some pretty good food, including a completely perfect brunch at Ardeo + Bardeo (great food, menu, atmosphere, service all with bottomless mimosas at decent prices) and a special night thanks to my cousin at Matchbox. Seeing his culinary success firsthand and hearing our waiter tell me, “We always take care of family,” filled me with Italian pride. And as this is probably the strongest familial, food-related pride there is, that’s really saying something.

Now it’s back to real life, and I’m taking this as the perfect opportunity to get back on track with a lot of real life things.

Between the traveling, health costs and a growing combination of laziness/never enough time, my budget has really gone out the window this year. I literally cannot afford to keep carrying on this way, so I’ll be taking stock this week, re-prioritizing expenditures and brainstorming some hopefully cheaper ways to continue exploring Dallas.

I’m forcing myself to write this next one as I’m really not feeling the motivation, but I know I’ll thank myself later…It’s er…well, time to start working out again. There, I said it, and if I’m being honest, I’m even feel a little relieved. I will be adding a couple yoga classes to my week, at least one (although I could probably stand more) runs, and looking for ways to be more active in general. Have you been seeing all the buzz lately about how bad sitting all day is for us? I’m feeling a little more motivated already…