In my birthday recap post last week I mentioned one of my gifts: the Limited Edition Birchbox x Vogue 125. I’ve finally had a chance to try out each of the items inside and to sit down and write about them here!
1. Sackler Gallery and National Museum of African Art: I’ve made it my mission to visit all of the Smithsonian museums in DC, so this week I hit up these two small art museums. They’re conveniently connected by an underground tunnel, which I didn’t realize until I reached the bottom floor of the Sackler. Along with the currently-closed-for-renovations Freer Gallery, the Sackler is a Smithsonian museum of Asian art; one of the reasons I made it the next stop on my Smithsonian tour is that it too is closing for renovations on July 10th (it’ll re-open this October). The current collections on display are fairly small at both the Sackler and the African Art Museum, but the art is beautiful and the buildings are also pretty cool. The Inventing Utamaro exhibit at the Sackler had some especially amazing pieces—photos aren’t allowed, so you’ve got to go see it for yourself!
After my husband and I moved to DC earlier this year, we remembered that during a May 2014 visit here we saw people walking around in costumes for a local Comic-Con. So we searched online to see what sort of nerdy convention we could go to here and found out that Awesome Con would be running from June 16-18, 2017. So we bought passes for Saturday, June 17 and turned yesterday into a little pre-San Diego Comic-Con geekout for ourselves!
1. Wonder Woman: my husband and I went to see this movie last weekend and I totally loved it! I can’t say I knew much about the character going into the movie, but I’ve already ordered a couple comics and a book recommended by a friend who is a fan. Gal Gadot was absolute perfection in the role.* The movie was a lot funnier than I expected, which gave it more of a Marvel movie tone (I consider this to be a good thing). That scene—you know the one I’m talking about—the one where Wonder Woman appears on the battlefield in her full costume for the first time…was EPIC. Bad ass. Apparently that scene almost didn’t make it into the movie, and director Patty Jenkins had to fight for it to make the cut. WELL DONE!!
I turned 39 yesterday and had a great day to kick off the final year of my 30s (OMG WHAT?!)! I started the day by going to the Starbucks on H Street to get a free birthday drink—a perk of being a Starbucks Rewards member. Here I am squinting into the sun with my (necessary) toasted coconut cold brew around 7:30am, when the temperature was already 78 degrees!
1. National Postal Museum: last Friday I visited this place, which is actually located pretty close to my apartment. The building was a US Post Office from 1914 to 1986, and this Smithsonian museum contains quite a significant stamp collection along with exhibits detailing the history of the United States Postal Service, the Pony Express, and more. I didn’t expect to be as enthralled with the stamps as I was! I had been a little bit interested in stamps as a kid, but seeing the stamp collection here sort of re-awakened that interest in me. I ended up buying a few sets of stamps plus a mystery bag of 500 global stamps at the gift shop, to start my own collection! Needless to say, I’ll be going back for more. 🙂
1. National Aquarium: on Memorial Day my husband and I got up and decided to take a spontaneous mini road trip to Baltimore to visit the aquarium. (Having a car makes it so easy to do stuff like this!) Baltimore is a quick 45-minute drive from DC so it’s a great little day trip. The aquarium was a little pricey ($39.59 for adults) but it was awesome! It’s really well laid out and the exhibits are very nice. We managed to see every exhibit in the place, but I think the jellyfish were my favorite. I always enjoy seeing sharks and turtles , too. And the rainforest exhibit! They have tamarins, sloths, and birds just hanging out in there! You can see more of my aquarium pics in my Instagram slide show.
My May Play! by Sephora box showed up last week before I went on a mini-vacation, and I spent some time this week trying out my samples before sitting down to write about them. May’s theme is The Rising Stars: stellar “cult favorites, hard-to-find-formulas, and one-of-a-kind brands that are making their mark.”
1. Smithsonian Castle: I haven’t done any touristy DC stuff in a couple weeks, so yesterday morning I went to check out the gorgeous Smithsonian Castle for the first time. This was the Smithsonian Institution’s original building and it now serves as the main visitor center. There’s not a ton to see inside, but it’s pretty cool as a first stop if you want to learn a bit of history about the institution. It does contain a couple exhibits with pieces from the other Smithsonian museums, plus a cafe and a shop. Bonus: it’s surrounded by lovely gardens.
Yesterday, my husband and I returned from a three-night getaway at the lovely Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia…and I already miss it. My husband will be super swamped with work soon so he wanted to do a mini vacation while he had the chance! We initially considered going somewhere tropical like Puerto Rico, but we dialed it back and chose a place located just an hour and ten minute drive from DC.