July 2017 Recap

Happy first day of August! Can you believe we’re in the home stretch of summer already?

I realized I haven’t really checked in about what I’ve been up to since AwesomeCon. (Vlogs are coming… I think…) So let’s get going with just a bit before July started!

Ai Wei Wei instameet

I had the opportunity to go to the Hirshhorn for their new exhibit, Ai Wei Wei: Trace at Hirshhorn, on the opening day just a bit before the museum opened to the public thanks for the lovely HM. (Fun fact: She also was responsible for my first ever Instameet, which means that she is responsible for me getting involved with the Instagram community at large!)

The exhibit consists of two main pieces:

  1. Trace, which was originally housed at Alcatraz, and features portraits of political prisoners made of Lego. The children’s toy adds to the pixelated feel of the portraits, as several of the original source photos are only available as blurred, pixelated surveillance footage stills. Some of the featured figures are still in prison today.
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  2. The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca, which is a wiiiiiiiiide wallpaper composed of arrangements of the Twitter bird, surveillance cameras, handcuffs, and “alpacas”. These are actually grass mud horses (草泥马), a subversive Chinese meme that sounds like an expletive directed at your mom that is a penultimate Chinese symbol of fighting censorship and Ai Wei Wei has a history of incorporating the furry creature in his art.
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It’s a great exhibit and I highly recommend stopping by to see it when you visit the Hirshhorn!

Gretchen’s Baby Shower

This was my first-ever baby shower (outside of one for our account lead at work) and it was a lot of fun! Gretchen is the Yelp NoVa Community Manager and it’s been so great being on the NoVa team since I moved to this area. Her sister and sister-in-law, Jen and Taylor, did such a great job with the decorations! My only regrets were having her registry gifts sent directly to her house (I showed up with just some little trinkets for her to enjoy because in my head, I didn’t want her to have more stuff to bring home? This was kind of a silly thought) and then dropping the clothespins for the game down my front and not realizing I should have won. Oops! It was still a great time and a great day to celebrate Gretchen and her incoming little one!

Diaper cake
Look at this adorable diaper cake!!!
Taylor, Jen, Gretchen, and her mom!
Taylor, Jen, Gretchen, and her mom!

Daybreaker DC @ The Hive

The National Building Museum has their summer installment up and it is Studio Gang’s Hive. I got to attend a fun Daybreaker where I was able to do yoga AND dance in the cool PVC pipe hive. It was an extra treat because Ben accompanied me, since my usual Daybreaker crew was unable to make it to this one and I really really wanted to see The Hive.

 

Girl’s Night

The evening after Daybreaker, I had a great girl’s night with my friends. We haven’t had one like this since… December? We had Annie’s pro photobooth setup, delicious snacks, a BUMPIN’ 2000s summer dance jams playlist playing, face masks, and Monopoly Deal, a surprisingly addicting game.

sweetlife block party

sweetgreen is a popular salad chain that started out in DC and for the past few years, they’ve had a big concert/festival up in Columbia, Maryland. This year, they kicked it back to their roots, with the original sweetlife festival being a block party in DC. The weather was pretty great, if a bit hot and balmy, so I ate a lot of gelato. (Thank you Dolcezza!) There was great music, there was a fun photobooth with vegetable props, and lots of yummy food. It was really great spending an evening with my friends at maybe the hippest event I have ever stumbled into. (I kept looking around thinking someone would realize I was not cool enough to be there…) It was a night to remember for sure.

Devika’s Birthday Brunch

I got to see my friend Devika’s beautiful house and meet her super kind mom and meet her super nice friends. It was just a low-key, really nice party at her house, I’m so grateful for my friends and for her (and her nice mom).

Sunflowers at McKee-Beshers

I’ve been seeing photos online for years of people frolicking in fields of sunflowers and I finally got to see them in person myself! The McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Center plants fields of sunflowers every year to attract wildlife, and I was able to visit twice in one weekend. On the Saturday, the clouds overhead looked extremely ominous, so we tried to take our photos fast. Suddenly, the wind picked up and, despite it being a really hot and humid day, the air temperature very quickly dropped and got comfortable. I didn’t have much time for relief because it then started pouring, and we stayed in the rain for just a while longer, soaking in the sight of the blooms in the storm before running to the car.

Dancing in the rain
Sun and wind and rain in my face, and sunflowers all around. Paradise.

We went back the next day with Ben’s parents and got some nice photos in the sun. I did miss that cool summer storm breeze, though, and the crowds were significantly bigger.

Twirling in the sunflowers
Leave your guesses as to how many shots it took to get this in the comments

Visiting Delaware

My brother is interning in Delaware this summer, so my dad and I visited him this past weekend. It was actually my first time going to Delaware as the destination and not as a state I pass through on my way to/from New Jersey. It was a lot of fun to see my brother and to watch Girl’s Trip, despite it not being a good, er… family movie?

Yacht Ride

My dad had a friend who invited us out on his yacht, so I got to enjoy a truuuuuly beautiful day on the water. The weather was PERFECTION and I really enjoyed being on the water, it remains one of my favorite things in the world.


With that, I am looking forward to August! There is more summer fun coming up and I am trying to stay in the summer mindset in September, since it’s always hot for most of September anyway and the autumnal equinox isn’t until the last week of September anyway!

What do you have planned for the rest of summer?
What are you going to miss about summer?

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Another Busy Week

Hello and happy Friday! I have been a little bit low mood this past week, maybe from just being so busy and maybe from the transition from hot and humid to gloomy and rainy. (I haven’t seen the sun in almost a week, now…) But I’ve been doing a lot of fun stuff so I thought I’d share a bit of that here today!

2017 DCFemTech Awards

This year, several of my friends and colleagues were recipients at the DCFemTech Awards, celebrating women in technology in the DC area and their work. It’s really inspiring to see so many women getting recognized and encouraged, and I am proud to work alongside them.

Great turnout from my coworkers to support Hareem!

I was also able to see some friends from college that I hadn’t seen in a while, as well as get an ~exclusive~ after-hours look at the Washington Post headquarters and newsroom!

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Congrats again to Angela and thanks (again) for the tour!

Daybreaker: Music on the Brain

My first time attending a Daybreaker event was on my birthday back in December. I really loved the concept when I first read about it: early morning dance parties fueled by coffee, juice, and a love of dance rather than by sex, drugs, and alcohol, which aren’t my motivations for dancing.

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This month, Daybreaker partnered with the Kennedy Center, one of my favorite institutions in DC and of all time, to put on a great dance party on the terrace. It was crazy hot and humid but I had an awesome time dancing with my friend Megan at her first Daybreaker. Both of us saw friends we knew and had an amazing time sweating and dancing before a Friday work day.

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Megan and artist Yoko Shen, who performed a haunting piece to end the pre-work evening

InnoMAYtion Hackathon

On Saturday, I mentored a hackathon for the first time! I worked with Think of UsThink of Us to help think of ways to make their website for parenting teens in the foster system easier and more appealing for people to use. It was strange being one of the more experienced developers on a team, considering I’m still not very confident in my skills yet, but it was fun to work with that team and I learned a lot about the resources that are available to parenting teens and their caregivers.

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Cat Yoga

My friend Jen’s birthday was yesterday and I wanted to do something with her before she went out of town for her birthday weekend. We had talked about DC’s cat cafe, Crumbs & Whiskers, before but I hadn’t gone. I figured that even if Jen had gone a bunch of times, as an avid cat lover, it would still be a treat for me to take her to enjoy cats and pastries.

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Little did I know that Crumbs & Whiskers has recently been offering Sunday yoga sessions. WITH THE CATS. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, even though I was frequently startled by how often I would find a cat where I was going to put my hand or foot. Those precious kitties were worth all the allergic sniffles I experienced, and I got a great yoga session out of it, too!

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I also enjoyed a delicious brunch with Jen afterwards, and just remain so grateful to still be friends with this great girl I met at college orientation.

EdibleDC Eat/Drink Local

I recently won tickets (thanks BrightestYoungThings!) to EdibleDC magazine’s Eat/Drink Local, where I was able to sample so many delicious foods from local vendors all over DC. From local oysters to truffled gnocchi to blue (!!) cashew milk and an entire pizza, my belly was delighted to sample so many delicious foods and drinks from the area. I have been known to give the DC food scene a really hard time, but it’s because I know there’s so much potential and I want it to be better! It’s gotten so much better over the past 2 years and I can’t wait to see how much more it grows.

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You know I’m a sucker for a photobooth, especially if one of my favorite companies – UrbanStems – is helping run it!

Foodelicious Night

Did you know that the DC mayor’s office has a special division dedicated to Asian Pacific-Island affairs? It’s true! MOAPIA (Mayor’s Office for Asian Pacific-Island Affairs) has been putting on events all month for AAPI Heritage Month and I was able to attend Foodelicious Night, where 3 of DC’s most famous Asian and Asian-American chefs performed cooking demonstrations for us and let us taste it after! We had:

  • Chef Erik Bruner-Yang, the phenom chef who runs Maketto, one of the trendiest and most critically-accalimed restaurants in all of DC, period, and cooked for us a delicious Cambodian curry
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  • Chef Nobu Yamazaki, of the best sushi restaurant in DC, Sushi Taro, which recently won a Michelin star in DC’s first Michelin guide, and prepared for us 2 different sushi rolls
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  • Chef Xiaolong Hu, from Panda Gourmet, the best Chinese restaurant in DC that is famous for being the go-to authentic spot for Chinese embassy employees who are craving real Northwestern Chinese food, prepared for us pork belly buns

This was a really fun event because the chefs all had a lot of personality and prepared really amazing foods for all of us. It was such an incredible way to celebrate Asian cuisine in DC and how easily you can recreate it at home!

Megan’s Birthday Dinner

Last night, I met up with Don, Megan, and several of their friends for a birthday dinner to celebrate Megan! (Fun fact: She actually has the same birthday as Jen!) It was a lot of fun seeing some of Megan’s friends that I haven’t seen in years, or since her wedding last year, or just since the last time we all hung out. (Please tell me it’s normal to have trouble hanging out with friends at a higher frequency as an adult, it is very frustrating to me…)

It was a lot of fun to see everyone and to see Megan twice in one 7-day period!


It’s Memorial Day weekend in the United States, and I’ll be spending it resting, cleaning, and maybe checking out some online sales!

How will you be spending the (long) weekend?
How was your week??