Recently, well actually awhile ago, I was invited to test drive the new Kia Soul EV. Kia decided to make their cutest car electric, and I can tell you I really enjoyed driving this car around Washington, DC for a week. I’ll start and say, that this is perfect for city living. DC has made sure it’s electric car friendly. They have special areas for electric cars in parking garages, entire blocks dedicated to charging stations. I really loved the experience of going a week without visiting a gas station. The max time for charging one of these cars is 4 hours if using a charging station. It was perfect for a night out with a few friends as well. I would drive to dinner, charge my car and lose track of time talking, then I’d come back to a fully charged car. I also hooked it up to the external plugs outside of my house. It did take much longer to charge, but it’s an option as well.
The car started with the push of a button, but the silence takes some getting used to. You actually don’t realize the car is on with the exception of the small melody playing when you start the car up. It was great, though, I really loved the silence of it all. The screen and technology in the Kia Soul EV was cool. It came with apps, like pandora, and mapping of the nearest charging stations. The car was super roomy, and drove very smoothly. I was stopped a few times to ask about the car and how it works as well.
Life is everything, it’s adventurous, stressful, full, and so many things all at once. This summer has been fun, but I found myself in a place where I need to invest in self love and self care. I took a vacation, but still it wasn’t enough. I didn’t get to relax, or visit the beach, or spas like I wanted to. I’ve been thinking about taking a solo trip on my own after joining a Solo travelers group on FB. Right now, I’m in between jobs and starting a new one at the end of the month, so I have no room to treat myself to a deep tissue massage, or this Hamamm Bath House I’ve been obsessing about lately. I promised myself I would make it there, the experience is one that I need to check off on my list. I got creative and wanted to share 5 ways I plan on relaxing and showing myself some TLC without spending too much money.So basically…self care on a budget.
1. Take a Hot Bath
Yes, it’s that simple. I know showers are the thing these days, i’ve been apartment hunting and people barely put actual bathtubs in apartments. If you’re lucky enough to have a great tub, give it a good cleaning first and try a bath soak of Milk and Honey. I found this recipe on CrunchyBetty.com. It’s amazing for your skin. Light some candles and put on a spotify playlist of soft music. Enjoy that time alone, and enjoy the peace of silence. Sometimes a good ole bubble bath does the trick as well. It’s so hard to find bubbles in my local pharmacy. I’ve been using Deep Steep, they have so many scents that I love like Grapefruit and Bergamot.
2. Do some yoga.
I’ve found that I can do yoga on my own, without paying for a class. Yoga has always defeated me well within ten minutes of paying for a class. Some yoga classes just aren’t made for bigger bodies, some instructors don’t bother to modify the poses either. To combat wasting the money and then walking out of the class, I find beginners video on youtube. It’s been a lifesaver when I really want to get a quick workout in, when I want to relax and stretch out all of the kinks from the day. Sitting all day at my desk hurts my hips like crazy. I’m constantly up and walking around to loosen them up and this yoga hip workout is amazing. I try mixing in new videos but I really love this one before and after my workouts at the gym as well.
3. Meal and Movie Night.
We’re a household that doesn’t know what we want when it comes to entertainment. I’m move of a Netflix/Hulu gal, and others love renting through Vudu, or watching shows on cable. When I have the house to myself I make a comforting meal like my One Pot Hamburger Mac. or a Huge Turkey Club . I find my PJ’s, my favorite blanket and the sofa. It’s okay to break the rules for one night and eat on the couch. Typically I watch Harry Potter, or some Cult Classic from my childhood like Addams Family or the Old Batman movies. Right now I’m obsessed with Shameless and The Fosters. There is something about eating my favorite food as a kid or anything with bacon and cheese and watching a movie alone, or with a good friend. It puts me in a good mood, to put my phone on silent and just enjoy being a veg on the sofa.
4. Go near the water
If you’re in a city, take a short drive to the nearest beach. Take your favorite book, a big beach umbrella and relax. While I consider this great TLC, I don’t mind taking a friend who could use to relaxation as well. Catch up with your friend, who you haven’t seen in awhile, or go hang out with a sibling that you’ve been away from for awhile. Take a swim while they watch your things, or rent some jet skis and have a little fun. If you can’t get yourself to a beach, your local pool will do, try to go during the non peak times, like when they first open, or a few hours before they are about to close. Call ahead and ask them before the summers up.
I know this seems like and odd one, but trust me. There’s nothing like giving someone the gift of concern and love. That alone makes me feel a little better about humanity in general. There are so many things happening in the world, that it can stress you out to have all of that information coming at you from the TV, the news, and social media. Take some time to focus on helping those who need your help, helping those who might be where you are mentally, financially, or however. Helping kids, our future is rewarding trust me. Helping cook a meal for your local homeless veterans, and the conversation your have with them will enlighten you and help you understand the people in our society a little better. I like to lend my time at DC Central Kitchen, check out this amazing story ofChef Anand struggle from Addiction to Culinary genius.
I’m a fluffy girl that likes to show her belly from time to time. It doesn’t mean I have any more confidence than the next girl. I just don’t care what people think, and a little tummy never hurt anybody. No one runs around gloating about having a belly, but the one guilty pleasure I have is when Vittles steps on my like he’s kneading biscuits. He loves to lay right on my stomach when I’m not feeling too hot. It’s a cat thing I guess. Anyway…charting off into creepy cat lady status.
When I saw this two piece set I knew I had to have it. I was hesitant though, but a trip to Curvy Con changed my mind. Rebdolls had a vendor set up with a bunch of pieces to try on. I feel in love with a two piece white number but I didn’t fill it out like I really wanted to. I remembered the floral set, which was in stock again, and purchased right there at Curvy Con and they had sale codes. As feeling like I won, with that purchase I waited and it fit well, a bit snug up top, but when you have 38HH breast, it’s a given, you either cry about it or work around it.
I did have a minor issue with this crop top, but nothing I couldn’t fix on my own. The outfit is so comfortable and I think as a woman who’s losing her lips left and right, it still felt like I filled these pants out. I really love them, and wear them with different tops all the time. Also, if you’re tall RebDolls is the place to get cute stuff if you’re plus and tall.
A few weekends ago, Morgan and I decided to take a day trip to Annapolis Maryland. I love Morgan for her spontaneous nature, I probably would have never did this if it wasn’t for her. We packed up the Kia Sorento which was on loan from Drive Shop USA.
Lucky for me I was able to drive this gorgeous car for about five days. It was everything I would love in a new car. It was spacious, full of buttons for just about everything, and rode pretty smoothly. The version I drove was equipped but not fully equipped and missing the GPS feature. Which was okay, because this car came equipped more than enough power plugs, usb ports. I was able to use my phone without worrying about the battery dying.
Our car came with other features like Spotify, Bluetooth, and much more. Once we hit the rode the ride was smooth, and such a change of pace from DC life. We enjoyed ourselves looking through boutiques, eating crab while overlooking the water, and Morgan even spotted a Comic Book store for me. #winning. The trip was perfect as a day away from the city. If you want to explore all of the things that Annapolis has to offer check them out here.
Fathers day is always hard for me. Not, because my father passed, not because he’s away doing something noble like fighting for our country. My father lives in close proximity and I haven’t talked to him in years. In fact the last time I saw him, he was in a T.G.I Fridays and I was with my mother. She said ” Is that your father” and whispered his name. His bionic ear heard her way across the loud bar. He slowly walked over to us with a look of confusion and fear. My wig might have thrown him off, who knows. He hadn’t seen my mother in other 10 years, and the last time I saw him before this current encounter was when my aunt passed away in 2007. I promise this story gets better and it doesn’t bash him too much.
I grew up without my father being a strong fixture in my life. Like a lot of young girls in my area, we were fatherless. We grew up to be strong ladies I must say, through the “fatherless jokes” from peers, to assumptions by others that I must be broken because I didn’t have a dad. I lived and survived the wishy washy behavior of this man. My mom was sure to make sure I knew I was loved by her and my family, and provided me with countless male role models, but nothing could mirror the love I wanted from my father, my own flesh. I’d soon learn that life has a way of making you see that you can make a compromise and see the blessings right in front of you.
Fast forward to 2007, my father showed me another side of him. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. I felt hopeless when it came to him, and one day I prayed to God to help me not let this turn me into a bitter woman. My grandfather called me the next day. He said he had a dream that I needed him. I instantly started crying, freaking my roommate out. I excused myself to the hallway and down to the lobby. “What’s on your mind, funny” he would echo into the phone. I poured it all out, it was a few days after my birthday and a few days after talking to my dad who called once a year to wish me a happy birthday. I spent about 3 hours on the phone with him. I knew that my prayers had be answered.
It’s now 2015, and my grandfather has been there for me in more ways that one can imagine. He’s always there to take my calls, always asking “How are your pockets” …code for “do you need cash”. I always sayI’m fine, but he slips me 20 anyway when I’m not looking. He lugs his barely touched laptop over so I can give him unwanted computer lessons, which usually turns into us talking and never getting the lesson done. We shoot the shit, drink beers together and take the best naps. He’s always assuming I’m “at some dudes house” and swears all of my friends “want him”. He makes me laugh daily, and while I cried for my dad as a child, my grandfather was always there, silently standing in as I grew up, I was too blind to see it. Showing up for grandparents day, fathers day, birthday parties, taking me away on trips that are too blurry to remember. Everyone at his jobs knows about his baby Michelle, it’s crazy when I call, these people are asking me questions about school, work and anything else he’s sharing. I get super emotional when he’s sleeping on the couch and then it’s broken by him waking up and asking “Who let gas?, Was it you Michelle?”
Even though my papa calls is “boogle” and I know he’ll never see this. I just wanted to share my story of how much I love this man and to let folks know to love those who love you unconditionally.
I have to give it up to Jessica of The Dining Travel, she put another great travel blogger event together a few weeks ago. This round we headed to Crystal City to taste the menu at Jaleo. After I zoomed through the cherry blossom traffic I arrived to the gorgeous restaurant and was greeted with a glass of champagne. I spotted the Executive Chef Domenick Torlucci bringing out food as a group began to grow in size. We finally sat down to cured meats, and liquid olives. Sounds weird right? They were indeed weird, but tasty and surprising for someone like me who is weird about liquid textures. They start off by pureeing olives and there is a bit of chemistry involved to take that puree mixture and form it into a dollop or liquid goodness. We got to make some as well as part of the Chef Demo.
The food started rolling out as we all mingled talked, and took pictures with Morgans selfie stick. I had no shame in taking that thing around the dining room. We had Pan de crystal con tomate, which I didn’t get a picture of but it was amazing, a bread with tomato on it. I’ll definitely go back for some of that.
Pan de cristal con salmón ahumado y huevo duro shown above didn’t photograph very well. It was a play on a lox bagel in my opinion, it was really good and the cream goat cheese complimented the smoked salmon really well. That bread is as airy and crusty in the best way.
Camarones de Cádiz con huevo frito, this one was interesting for me. It was deep fried baby shrimp, with an egg on top, so delicious, and when I say baby shrimp I mean those critters still had their heads attacked. I looked them in the eyes and ate them, and got over my fear that quick. It ended up being really good once the yolk was mixed in. Totally delicious, and you see a little clip of us cracking that egg open here.
Everything was delicious and worth going back for.
Some of the dishes show are not listed not he website. For more information visit Jaleo’s website here.
Sunday was full of fun for me. As I mentioned in my previous post I went to see Avengers right after I headed back across town to meet Brea and Dana to try out Maketto a newish coffee house. Well it was new to me, H Street continues to surprise me. Machete is unique because it is a Retail Space, Coffee House, and serves delicious Cambodian and Tai food.
They have a cool set up inside, with outdoor seating upstairs and downstairs. When I looked at the menu, I figured they were crazy to think people want to eat ramen in the hot sun, but I was one of those people to get that Ramen and it was delicious. When you walk in there are cool brands to shop, cool shoes too. I’m actually going back for a fun pair of Nikes. Upstairs is a cool open concept with tables with plugs. There were lots of people with their laptops sipping on coffee and things. When we walked outside there was a patio and detached open kitchen.
Hey Boo. So this was the Noodle Bowl, it had Pork Belly in there I believe, and a full chicken wing. I guess for flavor, I wasn’t too fond of the chicken wing in there, but the broth was delicious it was seasoned well and I highly suggest it. I also had the pork buns and let me tell you the actual bun was so soft and just…I can’t even describe it. So good. We ended with the Chines Doughnuts with Soy Milk. It was like a hybrid of a funnel cake, churro, and actual donut.
Yes I’m handy with a pair of chopsticks! LOL, you never know where you might end up. All I know is I will be able to eat in a fork isn’t present haha.
I highly suggest stopping through on a lazy Sunday to grab a bit. I’m going back to Maketto soon, because their dinner menu features whole fried fish and I think me and grandpa are going to love that! It’s our thing.
I tell ya, I love the Spring. I love warm weather big time and I feel so alive plus my mood is way better. I’ve been getting out more which was one of my goals for this year. So far so good, and since it’s warmer out I’m totally about it. This morning I stumbled in around 2 am, and quickly got to bed for an early morning view of The Avengers. First off, that movie was sick! I loved every bit of it! I went with my friend Rosa another fellow “nerdy gal”. We had a great time, and I did get the memo that lovers of comics and all things nerdy can be Nerd Chic. Which is why most people are always shocked that I’m into all these movies, and everything.
I wore my favorite H&M tulle skirt that’s been long sold out. A plain striped Old Navy tee, and these fun New Look Leather Gladiator Sandals. I have a few pairs of New Look shoes and find them to be the sort of project where you have to keep your fingers crossed when you get them. Sometimes they are a perfect fit and sometimes they aren’t. Either way, this is uch a comfortable outfit for me, a little girl called me a princess, and hey I’m totally fine with that.
I’ve been obsessed with pineapples lately. I got this cute pineapple romper at Hey Gorgeous. It’s safe to say I love this boutique and plan on buying more from them in the future. This romper gives the illusion of a dress but it’s actually shorts. I love the longer shorts because I don’t have to worry about them riding up when I walk. I might have smaller legs but there is no #teamthighgap over here…they certainly rub together on a daily basis. When I shared this on Instagram I got a load of questions regarding my shoes. My shoes were a random find at a local shoe store called Shoe City. It’s so off the radar for some folks, but this store has been a staple in DC for sneakers and apparel for long time. I love them and had them for about a year and they sat under my bed. I love them because they cover some of the issues with my toes.
This outfit makes me so happy to wear it and walk down the street in it. I don’t have to worry about feeling like it’s gonna bunch up or look a certain way. i’m certainly not tugging and pulling on it a lot either. This is truly a comfortable pineapple romper and can be dress up or down, you can add a leather jacket for an edgy look, wear it to a music festival with a floral crown and leather sandals too. So versatile, just don’t be shocked it you always see me in it this summer.
Spring is finally showing herself and I’m still obsessed with these Mom Jeans from Asos. I found this cheapie “Celfie” shirt at Forever21. The jeans, they are so comfortable, especially for the food filled day I had yesterday. I will say this, it was fun to leave the house for one thing, do that and go around the city without a plan. Thanks for Morgan I went out to a couple of places and this outfit was just right for all that exploring.
For a lot of folks, mom jeans aren’t flattering on a body like mine, but honestly. I don’t mind my belly showing in the manner. I’ve learned one thing these past years, I kick my own butt in the gym 3 times a week, and my midsection is what it is. I can either love it and still wear what I want while my body changes, or freak out about to hide it and be paranoid. I really hate looking back and missing out because I was being weird about my body. I didn’t wear my jacket for most of the day and I saw some staring but I was too busy inhaling tacos and margs to care. As long as I feel great wearing it no amount of staring matters.
Can we talk about these shades from Hey Gorgeous, it’s a brand called Quay Australia these came from their collaboration with Shay Mitchell. I really love them and the detail. Check out their other designs below.