Monday, December 17, 2018

Lunchtime Links for December 17th, 2018

Canopy by Hilton - Pike & Rose

Last Friday evening, a group of us were invited to the Canopy by Hilton hotel in Pike & Rose for an event that included a tour of the hotel and a chance to try out some of their food and drink selections that they offer.  I like that the hotel's focused on both the hotel guests and the local residents, and fits in really well with the rest of the neighborhood.  

We started with some mulled cider in the lobby area, which is actually on the third floor.  The street entrance opens up to a large, open staircase as well as elevators to the lobby.  The lobby flows right into the common area, which includes a bar and dining room alongside a lot of open seating.  I love this huge chandelier that is made up of copies of National Geographic magazine! 


We then were taken around for a tour of the hotel, including one of the one bedroom suites.  Light wood and grey is the majority of my condo interior, so naturally I really like the hotel rooms in here, haha.  The bathroom in the suite is very spacious with space for everything - I wish my bathroom looked like this!  I also love the socks that come in every room on the nightstands.  Because the rooms are concrete with rugs place around the rooms, it's a nice cozy touch for the guests!  There are also glass bottles and drinking glasses in every room, which can be filled with the filtered water dispensers found by the elevators on every floor.  I really like the little touches like this - I like having water when I stay in hotels but don't want to pay for overpriced water bottles every time. 

After the tour we were treated to dinner to get a taste of the food and drinks that the hotel offers - I loved the semi-private space we ate in, with plenty of seating and lots of windows to look down at the holiday lights on the streets below.  I'm a sucker for tiny cute foods, and they had a wide variety of little dishes for us to try in addition to the main menu items - which were beef tenderloin, garlic roasted potatoes, and butternut squash.  I especially liked the salmon Rillettes in the tiny dishes and the mini fish tacos.  Plenty of cocktails and macarons rounded out the meal - the macarons served as both dessert and decor along with the sparkly holiday decorations in the room.  



I'm very happy I got a chance to check out what the hotel offers, especially as someone that lives nearby.  It wouldn't have really crossed my mind to come here that often, since I live close and wouldn't be staying over.  It's a great space for drinks or dinner if you're in the area, and a perfect fit for the Pike & Rose neighborhood!

Canopy by Hilton Washington DC - Bethesda North
940 Rose Avenue
North Bethesda, MD 20852 

Note: I was invited to the Canopy Hilton for the event but was not paid for this post.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Lunchtime Links for December 10th, 2018

The Kitchn - Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

I normally keep a few boxes of cake mix in my pantry, especially when they go on sale at the store.  They're good to have around for quick baked goods, and are very versatile for lots of recipes!  I saw this recipe for chocolate cake mix cookies from The Kitchn and thought it'd be a perfect base for cookies to bring to a work potluck. 

The recipe is super simple and very easy to make with what you have on hand!  Instead of the powdered sugar coating, I added Reese's peanut butter chips to the chocolate cake mix dough.  I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, so I'm hopeful that these will be a hit at the potluck as well. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Georgetown Cupcake - Coffee Toffee + Chocolate Cubed Cupcakes

I recently tried the Coffee Toffee cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake, just before the menu switched over to the holiday flavors.  I also made it in time to get the free flavor as well - the Chocolate Cubed - which was a nice little bonus!

The Coffee Toffee cupcake consists of a "Coffee cupcake infused with crushed toffee and topped with a mocha frosting and crushed toffee".  In other words, if you like either of the main flavors, you will love this cupcake!  I especially loved the mocha frosting - so creamy and really delicious! The toffee bits were in both the cake and the frosting, so it was a great bit of texture in every bite.  I hope they bring this one back, maybe with other crushed candy combinations too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lunchtime Links for December 4th, 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

Lunchtime Links for December 3rd, 2018

ZooLights at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Last night was a great night to check out the Zoolights event at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in DC - it was pretty warm, and more importantly not raining like it had been all Saturday!  As expected it was very crowded with a lot of families, but it's still easy to get around since the path around the zoo is pretty straightforward for the Zoolights nights.  If you're in the DC area be sure to stop by for this free event between 5pm - 9pm until January 1st! 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 29th, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 27th, 2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 26th, 2018

The Kitchn - 5-ingredient Mini Pumpkin Pies

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! I tried out a new recipe for pumpkin pie this year - these 5-ingredient mini pumpkin pies from The Kitchn.  The filling was super easy to prepare, and the only step that took longer was making sure to press the pie crust dough fully in the muffin cups without breaking apart the dough.  

This mini pie option is good to have on hand in case you're planning on having a variety of desserts - that way people don't have to commit to a larger dessert and miss out on the other options, haha.  This was a great little bite-sized dessert that was just as delicious the next day! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 13th, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 12th, 2018

HomeGoods - Oh Snap! Towel

I will never, ever get tired of seeing the gingerbread "Oh Snap" items when the Christmas stuff starts coming out in stores, haha!  I found these kitchen towels (in red above, and also in white) at HomeGoods recently, and I love this type of cute holiday humor.  Plus, it's an easy and super festive way to decorate for Christmas!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 9th, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 8th, 2018

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 7th, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 5th, 2018

Georgetown Cupcake - November Flavors

The November flavors at Georgetown Cupcake are primarily pumpkin based which I always love, but also with a few other fun flavors mixed in as well.  As you might have guessed, these would make a perfect snack or dessert for a Thanksgiving gathering!

- Pumpkin Spice: Pumpkin spice cupcake with a maple-infused cream cheese frosting topped with a fondant maple leaf.

- Pumpkin Cheesecake: Pumpkin cheesecake cupcake with a graham cracker crust, topped with maple cream cheese frosting and a fondant maple leaf.

- German Chocolate Fudge: Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a caramel and pecan core, topped with a caramel buttercream frosting, toasted coconut flakes and a fudge and caramel drizzle.

- Caramel Apple: Fresh apple cupcake with a caramel core topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting and a caramel star drizzle.

- Maple Chocolate Chip: Maple cupcake studded with Callebaut chocolate chips and topped with a maple cream cheese frosting and a fondant maple leaf.

- Thanksgiving Chocolate: Valrhona chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting topped with a brown fondant turkey.

- Thanksgiving Vanilla: Madagascar vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and topped with a brown fondant turkey.

- Caramel Cheesecake: Caramel cheesecake topped with a caramel frosting and caramel star drizzle.

- Chocolate Caramel Swirl: Valrhona chocolate and dulce de leche caramel marbled cupcake topped with a whipped Callebaut chocolate ganache and salted caramel “twist” frosting.

- Coffee Toffee: Coffee cupcake infused with crushed toffee and topped with a mocha frosting and crushed toffee.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 2nd, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Lunchtime Links for November 1st, 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 31st, 2018

Happy Halloween - Sanrio x Tanaka Farms

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying pumpkin patches and candy leading up to today, haha.  

While I haven't had a chance to see Tanaka Farms in CA in person, I've seen lots of photos online about their super cute Sanrio collaborations throughout the year.  When I saw that they had an online sale, I had to pick up some cute fall items! 

The initial order that I received had the wrong tote bag inside, but they were very nice and sent me the correct tote bag really quickly.  The enamel pin is perfect for fall/pumpkin season, and the large canvas tote bag is great for weekend shopping and farmers' markets!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 30th, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 29th, 2018

Anthropologie + Terrain - Bethesda, MD

The new Anthropologie and Terrain/Terrain Cafe opened recently in downtown Bethesda, MD - I was very excited to check it out since it was such a big space that it was taking over.  The whole store spans three spacious floors, including a BHLDN (bridal shop), Terrain (garden shop), and Terrain Cafe.  There's a lot to take in, and the way the store is designed is pretty amazing!  

There's a lot of "stuff", maybe even more so than actual clothes, haha.  That's not a problem for me, since I love looking at gift and home items.  It's a great chance to see a lot of their furniture pieces in person (third floor), which I've previously only seen in their catalogs and online.  As we get closer to the holidays I can't wait to see how they change up the store displays!  The Terrain Cafe has been crowded whenever I've passed by - I look forward to trying out brunch or dinner there soon as well!

Anthropologie & Co. Bethesda Row
4801 Bethesda Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

Friday, October 26, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 25th, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 25th, 2018

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 22nd, 2018

Georgetown Cupcake - Midnight Cookies and Creme + Halloween Surprise

I love how Georgetown Cupcake gets into the Halloween spirit with so many special flavors! These are just two of the flavors that are available for the rest of the month.  On the left we have the Midnight Cookies and Creme flavor, which consists of a "Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with a milk chocolate cookies & crème buttercream frosting and cookie crumbles". On the right is the Halloween Surprise, which is a "Madagascar vanilla cupcake infused with orange and black non-pareils, topped with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting and decorated with a white fondant ghost". 

The Midnight Cookies and Creme is an extra chocolatey cookies and creme cupcake, and is perfect for anyone that really loves chocolate!  The surprise in the Halloween Surprise is lots of orange and black sprinkles throughout the cake - so, maybe not actually surprising, but still cute and seasonal :o)  Both of these are delicious and would be great for any fall or Halloween parties!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 19th, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 17th, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 12th, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 10th, 2018

A Star is Born Soundtrack

Clearly as a big fan of Lady Gaga, I knew that I would go see the remake of A Star is Born, which came out here on October 5th.  But even if you're not a fan of Lady Gaga and think she'll ruin the movie (which, how dare you, haha), it was really such a great movie that everyone should go see it!

The concert performances throughout the movie were especially done really well, and the sound quality adds to the feeling of being at a live show.  There's so many different layers to the story between Jackson (Bradley Cooper) and Ally (Lady Gaga) that I think everyone will be able to relate to some aspect of it.  While technically it is a remake that has been done a few times before, the original music and the way the story has been adapted by Bradley Cooper and his fellow writers was done really well, in my opinion. 

The soundtrack mixes together songs from the movie, songs that didn't make it into the movie, and key dialogue that sets you up for certain points in the story.  I love that it's almost like seeing the movie again in a different way.  Lady Gaga is obviously an amazing singer, but Bradley Cooper's extensive voice training is really impressive here as well.  Everyone go see the movie (multiple times if you're like me) and get the soundtrack ASAP!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 9th, 2018

Monday, October 8, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 8th, 2018

Brittany Viklund - Fall Bucket List

It's no secret that I love fall, and basically all the fun stuff in stores that come out for the season, haha.  I also love finding other ways to celebrate everything good about the fall, so I was very happy to see Brittany Viklund brought back her cute bucket list a few weeks ago!

Downloading the bucket list is free, and it's a fun way to make sure you're celebrating the season in big and little ways, which I love.  It's a nice reminder to do all the fun things before we get into the cold winter season!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 2nd, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Lunchtime Links for October 1st, 2018

Georgetown Cupcake - October Flavors

I especially love the Fall flavors at Georgetown Cupcake, there are so many fun options for the month!  The Halloween themed flavors are especially fun for parties, and there's a lot to choose from.  This month, there's also a special TLC one that includes a charity donation, which is a delicious way to give to others. 

- Chocolate Ghost: Valrhona Chocolate cupcake topped with whipped Callebaut chocolate ganache frosting and decorated with a white fondant ghost.

- Vanilla Bat: Classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake topped with orange buttercream frosting and a black fondant bat.

- Vanilla Candy Spider: Classic Madagascar vanilla cupcake baked with chocolate candy pieces, topped with orange buttercream frosting and a black fondant spider.

-  Chocolate Toffee Spider Web: Valrhona chocolate cupcake baked with crushed toffee pieces, topped with purple buttercream frosting and a fudge spider web drizzle.

- Halloween Surprise: Madagascar vanilla cupcake infused with orange and black non-pareils, topped with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting and decorated with a white fondant ghost.

- Vampire Red Velvet: Red Velvet cupcake decorated with a black fondant bat.

- Midnight Cookies and Creme: Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with a milk chocolate cookies & crème buttercream frosting and cookie crumbles.

- Haunted Chocolate Cheesecake: Valrhona chocolate cheesecake with a cookie crust, topped with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting and decorated with a white fondant ghost.

- Pumpkin Spice: Pumpkin spice cupcake with a maple-infused cream cheese frosting topped with a fondant maple leaf.

- Pumpkin Cheesecake: Pumpkin cheesecake cupcake with a graham cracker crust, topped with maple cream cheese frosting and a fondant maple leaf.

- TLC "Give a Little" Chocolate and Buttercream: Make the world a sweeter place by supporting National Bullying Prevention Month. For every “Give A Little” Chocolate & Buttercream cupcake purchased during the month of October, TLC will donate $1 to Love is Louder. This flavor is a Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with a Madagascar vanilla buttercream, red and white sprinkles, and a “Give A Little” fondant decoration.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 28th, 2018

Bath and Body Works - Fall Finds

Happy Friday everyone!  I purchased these from Bath and Body Works a few weeks ago, but now that we're officially into Fall I wanted to share them.  Of course I love the pumpkin and apple themed items every year when they come out, but I was pleasantly surprised to see such a nice variety of items that they had out this year. 

I normally buy the foaming soap (like the Autumn Pumpkin on the upper right), but I'm glad I tried out the Nourishing hand soaps as well - they're both great! Especially the Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte that I'm currently using - it's a soft pumpkin scent with a strong vanilla/cream accent, which I love.  The pumpkin shaped candle for me is definitely less about the candle inside and more about the soft blush shade- even after I finish the candle I will definitely be keeping the container as decoration.  Finally, I used a free item coupon to try the foaming mousse hand sanitizer.  I like that the mousse doesn't dry your hands out, and it's the perfect size to keep in your purse or car.  I will definitely be back for more of the hand soaps soon!   

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 27th, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 26th, 2018

Trader Joe's - Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli

I love this time of year when Trader Joe's brings out the Fall items by the truckload, haha.  I love trying just about all the Fall foods, and this pumpkin ravioli is definitely a must-have for me! The filling is a great balance of sweet and savory flavors, and I love that the pasta is orange and yellow for the perfect Fall themed pasta.  The seasonal items are usually only around for a few weeks, so be sure to pick this up if you want to try it out! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 24th, 2018

Target - $1 Mini Pumpkins

Happy first full week of Fall!  I saw these pumpkins a few days ago in the Target dollar section and they are so tiny and cute!  I love that they come in colors other than the regular orange pumpkins too, they'll go with just about any existing home decor. 


I bought one and later received a few more as a gift from friends, which turned out to be really good timing - the Target where I took the photos above didn't have any left just a day later!  Since it's still September I would think they will be restocked, but if anyone is interested definitely check back often.

I love switching over to Fall decorations around my home, and these mini pumpkins are a great addition to my existing pumpkin items!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 21st, 2018

Marshalls - Treat Yo Self Mug

Happy Friday everyone! While it's a grey and rainy day over here, just a friendly reminder to enjoy your weekend - maybe even with a doughnut or two, haha.  I came across this cute pink mug at my local Marshalls - there are always so many cute mugs at these stores!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 20th, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 19th, 2018

Din Tai Fung - Bellevue, WA

I always try to go to Din Tai Fung at least once when I'm in Seattle - it's just too good to pass up since there isn't one by me!  In addition to the soup dumplings, I also love the side dishes like the rice cakes and fried rice - it's all delicious.  

During my recent visit, I noticed two new fun things at the restaurant - the first being a Lego model of the restaurant, haha! I love the window that shows the workers making the little soup dumplings inside.  

On our way out I stopped to look at the little stand of merchandise that is sold there - and had to get this little shrimp Shumai keychain, haha.  I have a soup dumpling one from a past visit that I currently use, but this one is too cute to pass up!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 18th, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 17th, 2018

Starbucks - Seattle Been There Series Mug

I couldn't resist picking up this Been There Series Seattle mini mug on my recent trip to Starbucks - it helps that it's a good size to squeeze into a carry on bag, haha.  I love the city-specific drawings all packed on to the small mug.  If your tree is big enough, it also comes with a string on it so they make sure cute Christmas tree ornaments!  I've seen these in person in only a few cities so far, so I'm happy to have one from the birthplace of Starbucks :o) 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 7th, 2018

Shake Shack - Cabin John/Potomac, MD

I am super excited to have a Shake Shack that is close to my house, woohoo!  The Cabin John/Potomac MD location had its grand opening yesterday, so I hustled over as soon as I could after work to check it out.  I love what they did with the entrance/patio area with all the different seating configurations.  You see one person in the photo here, but when I was leaving the patio was packed with a huge line going outside the door - I got there at just the right time!

I was mostly looking forward to seeing what concrete flavors are available at this location, because this varies at pretty much every Shake Shack.  I've seen the Shack Attack before but the Cookie Butter Blender is new to me, and sounded delicious! I love that the Pie Oh My concrete usually pairs with a local baker (Sweetly Anchored Patisserie here), and donates a portion of the proceeds to charity!

My main focus was the Custards, but I figured I should also get some dinner as well, haha.  I got the regular single hamburger and a single Cookie Butter Blender concrete.

Can I just say - I really appreciate when the concretes are made well.  You can see all the components that make up the concrete, but it's still blended together properly.  I've had some before that were clearly rushed or sitting out for too long where it looks messy, and this one was perfect!  Anyone that likes cookie butter/Biscoff cookies will love this one!

Shake Shack Cabin John/Potomac
7997 Tuckerman Lane
Potomac, Maryland 20854

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Lunchtime Links for September 5th, 2018

UNIQLO Pike & Rose

I am a big fan of UNIQLO's clothes and accessories, so I was very excited to find out a store was opening in the Pike & Rose neighborhood!  I went during both the soft opening on August 31st and the grand opening on September 1st to check it out.  

The grand opening started off with some Taiko drumming performances and free Kung Fu Tea bubble teas, which were much appreciated while waiting in line to head inside.  While it's a relatively small store, it's organized well and there's a good mix of comfy basics and seasonal (currently fall/early Winter) items all available.   

For me, the best items at UNIQLO are the basics and lounge pieces - so comfy!  I have a lot of the HEATTECH and AIRism shirts, and their lounge pants are great too.  They regularly have seasonal items on sale, so it'll be really nice to have one nearby where I can pop in to see what's new and on sale!

Kung Fu Tea bubble teas

Roger Federer's uniform samples on display

Current promotional price items

Lounge pants

Super cute Gudetama and other Sanrio shirts (unfortunately only in kid sizes, haha)

UNIQLO Pike and Rose
11853 Grand Park Ave, Space 708
North Bethesda, MD 20852