Broken Treaties, Grass Bridges and Headdresses Everywhere

This past Sunday was the chillier of the two days of my family visit, so we decided to go into D.C. and check out one of the many wonderful free museums—the National Museum of the American Indian. As we were walking from the parking garage to the museum, we noticed long lines outside some of the more well-known museums and hoped that wouldn’t be the case at our destination. It wasn’t; there was only a quick line to get through security. However, now having been there I can say that there should have been a longer line, because this museum was truly wonderful. Continue reading

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

My mom has always told me that I’ve loved Hostess Cupcakes—you know, the chocolate cupcakes with the white curlicue on top sold in packs of two in convenience stores—since I was in the womb. She says that when she was pregnant with me, she used to have my dad pull over to random gas stations and convenience stores just so she could get some Hostess Cupcakes. So it’s for this reason that when I found a recipe for homemade ones, I knew I had to (attempt to) make them for my mom, sister and Nan’s first visit to Bethesda. Continue reading

Three-Step Chicken Curry

Growing up, my mom was great at cooking us healthy, balanced meals, complete with a protein, veggie and starch. Most days I try to emulate that in my cooking, though instead of putting together three separate components, I like trying to combine two or all of them into a single step. This super easy chicken curry does that deliciously, with help from one pre-made ingredient. Continue reading

The Workout I Love (But Also Drives Me a Little Nuts)

When you’re working full time, it can be tough to fit in workouts, much less ones longer than 30 minutes. Since I started working from home, I’ve definitely been working out more in general—I’ve gone from 4 days a week on average to closer to 6. And while most of my workouts, apart from when I’m teaching Zumba, tend to stay around that 30-minute mark, the exception most weeks is a DVD I have a serious love-hate relationship with: Body by Simone. Continue reading

Simple Tamale Pie

Tamale pie is a US-born, casserole-like dish meant to mimic the flavors of a tamale—the cornmeal wrapper, the Mexican spices, the meat and veggie filling—without the more difficult steps involved in making one. This recipe, which we got from Jeff’s mom, takes the simplicity one step further with the use of packaged cornbread mix and tomato soup. Continue reading

Sea Monsters and Shiny Rocks

Over the weekend, we took our first trip to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  We went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York quite a few times while living up there, so I was eager to see how this one compared. My verdict: The Smithsonian museum seemed a little smaller, but also a little more technologically advanced than the one in New York, making it a little less overwhelming and a bit easier to enjoy. Continue reading

Booze-Inspired Home Accents

Once you get to a certain age, a bottle of wine or alcohol becomes a go-to gift, whether as a housewarming, a congratulations or something else. A couple years ago, High West released a limited edition whiskey called A Midwinter Night’s Dram,  after the popular Shakespeare comedy. I bought a bottle for Jeff as a Christmas/Hanukkah present, and when we were finished drinking it, we couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of the bottle. Continue reading