A farewell, but not a good-bye.

4

25.4.15

sweetsonian.com

Hi friends.

It’s been a long time since I’ve found actual words to write — since last summer, really. There were several times I put together the posts about my life and what I was working on and going through between last August and now, and the dull, never-ending anxiety within made me delete every single word. I can’t describe it, really… something just hasn’t felt right. And that’s my excuse for the slew of collage posts and the occasional playlist.

Last year, I wrote words upon words about moving to New York. It was whole-heartedly, truly what I wanted (still do, someday). But 2014 was one of those struggle buses of a year — I struggled with freelance projects, the job, the job hunt, friendships, and romance. And most of all, I struggled in balancing all of that with wanting a fresh start… in a different city. Nothing felt like it fit quite perfectly, and I was stuck in so many ruts… ruts that left me feeling slightly off-kilter. And while I was constantly seeking something, making adjustments, that would correct that lack of balance, the solutions I found only seemed to subtract. If this doesn’t make sense, I guess I was just frustrated with lots of things, all of the things, little bits here and there in almost every aspect of my life.

sweetsonian.com

sweetsonian.com

Flash forward to today. There are still several ruts, and it’s easy to get frustrated sometimes. I caught myself, though, in conversation with one of my closest friends, where we both ended up in or on the verge of tears — and I remembered that I have so many things to be thankful for. I’ve switched careers several times, and I have an unbelievable level of independence. I’ve traveled near and far, and will continue to do so. I found a way to turn my passions and my hobbies into the very things that allow me to live and enjoy living. I’ve strengthened the relationships that mean so much to me, and will hopefully build upon ones that don’t exist yet.

A lot of friends have been asking me about the blog lately. In fact, like four of them mentioned it in the past week alone. And this is something I’ve struggled with, too.

In the past few months, I’ve taken on what essentially has been a distant, unreachable fantasy job since I started Sweetsonian (and in DC, nonetheless). There were balmy, stormy evenings in 2009, on my group house balcony where I would eat almond ice cream with Rachel, or smoke hookah with Kristen at unreasonable hours of the night. I loved blogging; it was my creative outlet, and it was fun to think out loud about the prospects of being able to focus all of my time and energy on food. More in the words of “hey, wouldn’t it be cool to get paid to take photos of food all day? Hahahaha. HA.”

And now, I do. It’s weird, and wonderful, and exhausting, and I love it all the same. On the flip side, it’s left me with significantly less time and energy for keeping up a food blog. When I first started, cooking and photography were the hobbies I adopted as my creative outlets, while working in my non-creative jobs. These days, I spend my weekends doing non-creative things, a necessary break. So, I’ve decided to step away from Sweetsonian for the time being. Of course, this site will stay here, but more often than not, I’ll be working on photography for work, samurai sudoku, or spending my free time with those I love, and most of all, resting my brain.

sweetsonian.com

I do plan on starting another space to share my projects in-progress, most likely in the generic “photography” realm. So this is not good-bye. But I do want to thank you for reading, listening, commenting, and eating this food. This blog has given me such a wonderful zone to channel creativity, happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiety, and love. This might be my last post, but who knows. I don’t know what the future has in store for me. I will, however, continue to be on instagram and twitter, and if you ever reach out to me — for planning your trips to DC, for restaurant suggestions, or just to say hey — I’ll be around.

Thank you so, so much. Xo.

Fave Bougie Burgers in DC: Duke’s Grocery

0

06.3.15

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

The first time I heard about this burger, I was guarding Emily’s bike outside of the Safeway on 17th Street, last summer. She had forgotten her lock, and it was one of those unexpectedly warm days of September, after a cold spell. Emily inherited Joanne, a big cruiser bike — and Joanne has some big hips on her frame. Not judging — but we parked her next to a pretty nice 80s-ish road bike… the kind that super attractive hipsters who live in Bloomingdale ride. I was secretly wishing I had Barbie, my own 80s racing bike that was resting in my bedroom just a block away. You know, because when your imagination runs off, it sprints — to having a conversation with a handsome stranger about each other’s bikes, which would obviously lead to a long and happy life together. Or maybe a few weeks. Dating in real life seems so far fetched these days, but stranger things have happened to me.

Sure enough, while Emily was shopping, a super attractive hipster man with a super attractive beard strolled out of Safeway, and struck up a conversation with me about the weather and this wonderful, super attractive day. Somehow, we got on the topic of best burgers in DC — his idea, not mine. I was still starstruck by the fact that he wanted to talk to me.

His plan was to have a leisurely, breezy bike ride to Duke’s Grocery from Bloomingdale (I was right!), but the summer heat had him sweating bullets. Or maybe it was my California cool attitude. Anyway, at the time, I was very loyal to Le Diplomate’s burger… but mystery man stood by the burger at Duke’s Grocery.

So naturally, the next weekend, Shaeda and I had to swing by to see what all the fuss was about. And oh, what a fuss.

I’ll preface this entire story by the fact that we went to Duke’s Grocery on a rainy Saturday morning, and had to go again 24 hours later. No joke. The burger was that good.

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

We started with the Pimm’s Cups, which is my favorite light-hearted cocktail at any hour of the day. Duke’s Grocery is bright and airy inside, with an industrial Edison bulb chandelier. There’s an upstairs, but we managed to snag a couple of arm chairs on the first floor.

The burger is perfect, really. Pictured is the Brunchy burger — the menu changes regularly, but there’s always an epic burger variation on there — a double patty topped with edam cheese, house pickles, charred red onion, mayo, and arugula. We added a fried egg, because… obviously.

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

the right proper burger // duke's grocery in washington, dc

If you make it there on a weekend during brunch hours, be prepared to wait for your table, and to wait for your burger. It’s a tiny kitchen, and they get backed up with orders. But have a few drinks, and know that it’s worth it.

Duke’s Grocery
1513 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

 

m2c2 – jan 2015

0

15.1.15

cat, i'm a kitty cat

It’s already been a bit of a crazy year for me — and we’re only fifteen days in. Who needs weekends, really? (Me. So desperately, me.)

I’ve spent every day I’ve had off on location for a photo shoot or editing photos from a photo shoot. So I’m going to hibernate this weekend. Aka, edit more photos from last weekend’s photo shoot. I took 997 photos in one day. And I love almost every one of them.

Tomorrow is a day away from the day job, which means I’ll be crouching over some delicious pasta dishes for another client. And I cannot wait. If I knew freelance photography would be such a great ab workout, I would have started doing this years ago!

Anyway, this music has been aiding me through the past 15 days, which still have me pining for a life in Norway. Tromsø 2015, here I come :) Xo!


photo

This week, in DC

1

08.1.15

Everything is prettier covered in snow. Right? Even our government building. Even the Hirschhorn Museum’s front yard kale. Here are a few shots I took on Tuesday morning as the District was dusted with a little bit of snow.

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

snow in dc, 2015 // sweetsonian

Kicking off 2015 right — in Europe.

1

07.1.15

Happy new year, everyone! Hoping you all were able to spend some time with your family and friends. I was lucky enough to spend Christmas in Los Angeles, and then New Years in Oslo with my absolute favorite Norwegian. And, I finally got to see Norway in the snow, and I have to say that I’m smitten. The winter is actually worse here in DC… so I’ll probably just have to move to Oslo at some point in my life.

Real talk, though, I’d really like to just take a couple of months off to live in northern Norway during the winter — chasing the aurora borealis would be my jam.

Itching for more Norway photos? Check out my summer snapshots from Bergen and Oslo.

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Holiday Tours at the White House

1

09.12.14

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Holiday tours at the White House // Sweetsonian

Thanksgiving 2014

1

04.12.14

Thought I’d share — my family is the cutest, and Thanksgiving is the best. Hope you all had as much fun as I did! Xoxo.

Cookbooks like whoa // gift guide

0

03.12.14

Cookbooks almost always make the perfect gifts — they’re not too expensive, are filled with pretty things, and usually include activities you can do with the person you’re giving them to. There are so many cookbooks out there, it’s pretty easy to find a cookbook that sums up your relationship with your friend or loved one. Here’s a handful of selections from my Pinterest wish list, and ones I’ve had the pleasure of perusing or owning.

cookbook gift guide // sweetsonian

Cheese Obsession — we all have that friend (or are that friend). // $19.84

Ottolenghi — for someone who still does not have this cookbook. // 21.00

Saveur, The New Classics // $26.49

Breakfast for Dinner — my personal heaven // $13.83

Feast — gorgeous photos for your vegetarian loved ones // $23.33

Cook Your Date into Bed — your bro friends could probably use this. // $12.79

The Edible Garden — for your friend with the green thumb and a temperate climate // $14.96

True Food — from a restaurant I visited at the Mosaic District in Virginia… gorgeous photos and recipes that will make you salivate // $12.02

The Spirit of Gin — because sometimes, it’s more fun to drink your meals. // $18.55

One Pot — Martha’s way of making clean-up an easy job. // $15.60

Cooking Slow — More time, more flavor. // $24.63

Food52 Genius Recipes — my go-to resource on how to do anything in the kitchen. // $24.92

Music to Cook to // December 2014

0

02.12.14

Hi friends! Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving — I was able to go back to California to hang out with the family, so I took a little internet break for a few days… and in the process, completely forgot to publish my November playlist. So I’ve renamed it to December.

Enjoy a week filled with a wintry mix — I even did some design work with the artists in the playlist this month. Happy December! Xo.

music to cook to // december 2014

 

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