Nara-Ya, but first… an Update!

I know y’all are sick and tired of having to tune in every 1.26 years to read something mediocre. I could be more consistent, but that would require me leaving the house on a consistent basis — which I do not do. Why? Well, where to start? Outside is too expensive, I’m allergic to outside, and my doctor thought I may have had cancer and I got super depressed and had to be on a special diet and meds and, yeah. I don’t have cancer, though. Had to find out like 6 weeks later… I know my parents were happy to not hear me say “Damn, this may be my last time I ever do….” on the regular.

Funny, because I told myself my 2023 goal was to leave the house more. I did rejoin a pilates studio (won’t say the name because, petty), so I suppose I did start leaving the house more, at least 3x a week starting in April (hahahahha!) but, hey, it is technically leaving the house. Before that, I joined a social group for singles. Between the absolute wackos I was meeting on the internet (in my defense, they came off as stand up men… but then again, they are on a dating app… like ya girl), ’twas time to try something new! Joined in February… Just sent them an email to terminate my contract. More on that later, but honestly, it wasn’t very fun. And all the better events were at night in the city, and I really enjoy being in bed by like 9pm. Now… did I meet a twin flame at one of the events? Yes. But in my defense, he was just there at the bar, not part of the group. Am I still going to terminate? Yes. How am I going to organically meet people? Yes. Wait, no. Wait, I don’t know!

While sulking, something I do every now and then especially when I’m home scrolling through my IG looking at all the amazing food in DC that I can’t eat without feeling extremely sick for a couple of days, my friend decides to call me and asks to catch up. After rescheduling, we finally caught up at Nara-Ya.

I’ve been once for dinner, and ate some candied kumquats (which I thought were phenom, even though my friend literally almost jumped out of the building in disgust), and I thought the food was good enough to go back to for dinner. When they launched their brunch menu, I was about it! Took months to finally go there… I told one of my other friend about it, and she had went before me with one of her other friends and loved it. But, I did eventually get there.

Woke up and started getting ready. I wasn’t planning on doing real makeup, but I did want to be on my blonde girl sh*t, and last weekend, my blonde wig did not want to wig. Needed some extra time to ensure that if the wig wasn’t wigging, could just switch to a style that would style, you know? The wig wigged, the curls curled, and the lace laced. My makeup routine as of late has been simple: primer, concealer, brightening setting powder, blush, bronzer, highlight, setting spray — we out! So that didn’t take long to do. But curling the hair??? Yuh. I thought I was running late, I even forgot my headphones at home. Debated turning back around to grab my headphones for the metro ride in, but didn’t want to be late… My friend said she’d be there at 1:15p (I told her 1p), but at that point, I was already on the metro, also thinking I’d be there by 1:15p (because I thought I was running a little late).

Turns out, managed to get there by like 1:05p, and walked around the waterfront to kill time until 1:15p. Restaurants have been doing a thing where they kick you out after a certain amount of time and they hold your table for that amount of time. Reservation was at 1:15p, so we’d have the table until 3:15p. If I call them saying I’d be late, like 2p, they’d still seat me, but I’d still have to get out by 3:15p. So I sat down, and waited… until 2p… when my friend finally showed up… lol (but I’m not actually laughing, lol). I didn’t want to start eating or drinking without her, so just sat and avoided making eye contact with the waiter, who truly felt sorry for me. Did lots of thinking about life, but mainly how I had just realized my shoes were broken? Me and my broke ass now need to buy a new pair because they’ve become a warm weather staple! Which… let me do now or else I’d forget.

RIP!!! But if you want a pair… PashionFootwear is honestly one of my favorite shoes.

Miss ma’am finally showed up and we got to drinking and eating — yes, in that order! Caught up on life (it’s okay), work (meh), relationships (oh, boy), family (good), and all that fun stuff. But enough about me, let’s get to the food! The concept is bottomless small plates (one fee) and bottomless mimosas (another fee). And of course, if one person opts for bottomless mimosas, the whole table needs to get it, hence why I was waiting for miss ma’am to show up so that I didn’t lock her into getting mimosas. Also, wine (champagne) and citrus fruits (oranges) are high on the list of foods I should not be having, and in an attempt to help my stomach issues, I didn’t want to start too early. My tolerance is pretty low, sensitivity to alcohol pretty high, but when mixing in things I really shouldn’t have? Gastritis!!! I had just recovered from Wine in the Woods about 2 weeks ago, so was not necessarily looking for a repeat, considering I have a team on-site in Boston and a friend’s birthday in Mexico and definitely wanna turn up!! Prepping for my 2-3 weeks of sickness post Mexico (assuming, I don’t end up super sick during the trip, like I did in Ecuador).

Okay, now back to the food.

We started off with 3 plates: omelette, pork belly hash with potatoes, and brussels sprouts! I’m weird about eggs that I don’t see made in front of me, but these weren’t bad. They were fluffy and full of peppers. Very much enjoyed the pork belly hash: too much potato, too little pork belly, but whatever. While I normally enjoy potatoes of the crispy variety, these soft potatoes were pretty good! I think sautéing them in the pork belly fat? Yeah… Nice. And the brussels sprouts? Pretty damn good. We really gotta give a hand to brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Remember the days when them jaunts would only be steamed??? NASTY! Now they’re THOSE girls! Love the come up.

I’m sorry but the tofu sticks??? Looked nasty. Tasted nasty. Non-crispy tofu? Crazy. The flavor didn’t even soak in, and the texture was aggressively wet spongey. And I know y’all are thinking, “but that’s tofu for you!” NO! Have y’all had some GOOD TOFU before? That’s why! It’s a skip for me!

The steak though… was pretty good. My favorite. And if I wasn’t so goshdarn full, I’d only ask for a plate of the steak. Now, I know you notice the chicken and waffles in the back… I didn’t have any, but my friend didn’t say they were bad! She didn’t comment on them at all. So, do with that information as you will.

Love this dessert concept. Somebody needs to make a dessert bar but tapas style. Immediately. Like yesterday. The matcha tiramisu and yuzu cheesecake were pretty good, but I’m glad they came in bite-sized portions, because they were not good enough (to me) to eat a whole serving, but very much enjoyed the tastes. Kinda thinking about that yuzu cheesecake though… but only 5 bites worth of the cheesecake.

Honestly, all in all… would not recommend. Lots of factors involved, but my new baseline is “Is the food and price worth getting sick tomorrow?” And the answer is no. Cute views, but you’re paying for an aesthetic. And for the price tag? Y’all better not ask me to go back again. But if y’all did… I’ll just order the pork belly hash with the steak (no eggs). The fat content alone will have me sick, but I do not want anything else on that menu, except maybe the brussels sprouts. Unfortunately… such a subpar experience, y’all will not find me going back for dinner*!!

*unless I cannot find a Japanese restaurant in DC that serves whiskey, wagyu, and sashimi… at a better price-quality point… There was Shōtō but… that price point still has me sick to my stomach.

We were moseying on about what to do, so we walked around the waterfront for a bit, took some pics. I’d like to take a moment to thank my core strength for helping me get up on an unstable moving platform to take some pics. Not that I was worried about dying if I fell off, but my coccyx JUST healed from snowboarding season, and I did NOT want to fracture it again. After our photoshoot, we checked out Moonraker at the Pendry in DC.

Miss ma’am chatted up a random guy at the bar who we were sitting next to, and we all got to chatting. There was a point in time where I felt as if he was recording everything…

… but I don’t think he was. Or maybe he was. I looked at the camera and smiled anyways. Luckily, nothing bad was said. We (and by we, I mean me and him) ended up talking about sci-fi movies/shows, books, and relationships. I thought it was so cute how he flew into DC to see this girl that he’s hoping for something special with. Meanwhile, my friend and I were complaining about dating in the district. And I may have been moping around about how to act cool and composed like a cucumber, and while he gave generic guy-coded advice (very much appreciated, actually), he took our convo as a “Not interested” in him, because, well, wasn’t (listen, if you’re pushing 50… And you don’t want kids… *scratches head*).

But also… he lead with relationships and talked about his. I was just being a supportive random girl at a bar listening to a random guy that my friend tried to chat up at a nice bar, tryna make money moves, while sipping on some water. And then I decided to talk about myself, because, why not.

But anywhooooo, as I was reflecting on my day, I think I’m going to utilize the blonde more often. The blonde with the dress? I’ve never had so many people randomly walk up to me to compliment me. Unfortunately, I was in a quasi-foul mood all day, so took up so much energy to thank everyone. I used to be such a social bug with a quick-charge social battery. Now? Y’all can find me binge watching Anime (currently watching Naruto for the first time, trying to push past S6-9 filler episodes) or some SciFi or Horror show in the comforts of my bed with my dogs. So, it’s June… here’s to leaving the house more, exploring more, deepening my relationships (mainly platonic because I feel so bad at how absent I’ve been while going through my health issues), and tapping back into the basics that make me happy: writing! We’ll see how the rest of 2023 goes, but hoping to have y’all come along on the ride with me!

8pm, my carriage turns into a pumpkin. Daytime outings > night!

Louisville, Kentucky

Perhaps one day, I’ll have cute titles for my posts. That may also be the day I also post consistently… so maybe that’s not happening anytime soon.

You’re probably wondering “Hmm, so what’s in Kentucky outside of derby season, sis?”

Here’s 5 Things You (Yes, You!) Can Do In Louisville, KY:

  1. Go to Museums! Louisville has so many fantastic museums you can visit including: Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville Slugger Museum, Science Center, Muhammad Ali Center, 21c, Conrad-Caldwell House Museum… A lot of museums.
  2. Visit Churchill Downs! The renowned race track that hosts the famous Kentucky Derby. What to do outside of derby season? Unsure! I didn’t go, but I hear it can get rowddyyyyy, and fun 🙂
  3. Visit Louisville Waterfront Park! Lots of things to do here in the great outdoors, located right by downtown Louisville. You can even cross the Bridge into Indiana via a series of bridges that will take you from Kentucky to its bordering state. One of them is a walking bridge, over the river that divides the two locations. You can also take the Belle of Louisville to travel down the Ohio River. Skip the pre-dining events for the Belle, though.
  4. Go Distillery Hopping! Kentucky is known for the derby… but it’s also known for Whiskey Row and the Bourbon Trail. Even if you aren’t a bourbon enthusiast, learning about the history of alcohol, and tasting it, is very very cool.
  5. EAT!!! The hub of UPS is local to Louisville, which means… Louisville gets fresher food than most places since most routes go through KY. And with a cute food scene… definitely take advantage of eating at some fan favs. The food will not disappoint.

Now you’re probably wondering, “Okay, but why did you go, especially outside of derby season?”

10/10 badge icon, all future identification pics must look great too

I never told y’all my remote job is based out of Louisville? Which, btdubs, is pronounced “Lou-uh-vuhl.” I def felt like a local pronouncing it correctly and stuff. Spent a whole 8 days, 7 nights as follows: wake up, get ready, go to work, kiki with my chain of command, cry in the work bathroom, cry at my desk, go back to the hotel, eat food, sleep. Rinse and repeat (well, from M – F). Saturday, I just drank all day, self-moped, and ate a whole lot of food.

But let’s back it up a little to fully appreciate the rise and fall and my week in Kentucky.

The story starts a bit over a year ago when I decided to switch from in-house pharma to in-house healthtech. That is a whole other story/drama/complaint/saga in and of itself. As y’all know, I’m Maryland based, so being able to be remote, or find a Maryland-based job (but also still being remote, lol) definitely sat high on the top of my list for jobs. The culture switch was honestly shocking, like someone dumped me in freezing water. It absolutely took a whole while for me to finally start warming up. For anyone who has had the [pick one: sad/unfortunate/fortunate/honorable/joyful] opportunity to hear the work saga x career crisis x drama… you’ll know how rough that transition was.

And then to top it off… I’m remote, away from my managers and colleagues (like, duh, what did I think would happen choosing a company outside of my state and being remote?) So career crisis also felt like professional development crisis. ALL DURING A PANDEROSA WITH MS COVID. LOVE!!!

When the opportunity to visit Louisville arose, I absolutely jumped on it. I was giddy! Excited! Then I got covid. And had a string of bad luck in Montreal. Then that luck carried over… Into Louisville.

First 3 outfits I tried… boob issues because what is the beef between boobs and buttons? This dress… great… until I sat. And the crinkles STAYED.

I started off my first day in-office with several wardrobe issues and an IT issue. Natural response? Cry! But everything was able to be fixed. Didn’t do much on Monday because, well, there was nobody in office. Got lunch with my manager and found an isolated work cubby (crying in private is so much better than crying at your actual cubicle) to finish my day.

It’s the type of cry that starts off because you’re frustrated and can’t seem to verbalize your words. Where you feel people are blaming you for events that are outside of your own control. The cry that begins behind your throat, growing bigger and drier as you start grasping for your breath.

In plain words, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It felt like something shattered inside of me that I‘ll never get back. And it was tough already verbalizing this, but I can’t seem to verbalize the deeper feeling inside. But I suppose that’s for another time, hmm?

Cheered myself up at Proof on Main, because food always makes me happy. I don’t mind doing things alone, but I really did feel lonely after such a mentally tough day, and then just going out to eat on my own. But the octopus??? Best thing I’ve ever eaten. Unfortunately, would not endure another tough day just to end it with super amazing food. I want my cake and I want to eat it, too! Back to this octopus though… perfectly charred, melt in your mouth, tossed in some pesto and lime… Best octopus I have ever eaten in my whole entire life, and ya girl LOVES octopus. And it’s connected to the 21c hotel, which has a museum inside of it! My lil dose of culture in the 5 minutes it took me to walk to and from the bathroom hah.

You’d think the second day would be better… My laptop decided to stop working. And this follows my laptop breaking the week before, too. AND we were moving work stations. This time, I cried in the bathroom. Four times. And once at my new station. By the end of the day, I really started feeling better because I had been chatting with my chain of command and met some people in office. But then, we had a little group meeting, where I felt absolutely and positively horrrriibbbllleeeee. I was sitting there and I felt stupid and I couldn’t even figure out how to even feel better or become more of a value add.

It was the type of cry where you genuinely feel you won’t amount to anything and you’ll just be stuck in your situation, forever.

I make rash decisions when I’m absolutely upset and feel utterly devoid of all future hope. Almost really quit. Almost called up old connections to help me get placed elsewhere. Like I said, I felt horrible; stuck in the middle of a dark tunnel with nowhere to go.

I might have felt lonely the day before eating out alone, but I felt hopelessly lonely on that second day, eating out alone (again). But hey, at least Louisville was killing it with the food. Day 2, went to Seviche, and had some amazing chimichurri sauce. Words cannot explain how everything in the dish went together so perfectly. I’m not a mashed potato girl, but goshdarn, it was really hitting the spot. The steak was good, not the best I’ve ever had, but something about the steak with that chimichurri sauce… Match made in heaven. Heaven! And the avocado ice cream? Genius. The avocado-lemon-chocolate truffle combo? Mmhmm.

By day 3… I was definitely chanting to myself in the mirror “Honestly, it can’t get much worse :)))))))))).” While, mentally, I felt better, because I decided to do makeup and curl my hair… My direct supervisor said something funny… while I was drinking a green smoothie… and I spit it out in his supervisor’s office. Yes, I cried. Stayed to myself all day, except when I was running around looking for blankets because I was so cold?? I found some.

look good, feel good, fake it til you make it, or whatever they say

OF COURSE, I got to treat myself, and this time I went to La Bodeguita de Mima, and had what is possibly the strongest pina colada I have ever had. I couldn’t even finish it! The food was good, but what really made the restaurant was the atmosphere. I couldn’t explain it, but I really did feel as if I was in a Cuban bodega sippin’ on drinks. The “escape” really felt nice.

Luckily, by day 4, I had completely given up on having even an okay day at work. I went in. Did work. Got lunch with a coworker and had a therapeutic rant session part 1. And left early so I can go to Old Forester and the Repeal with my team.

While no pics were taken (I didn’t want to come off as being a weirdo, so I didn’t take pics. I really was just trying to survive), I did feel a smidge better, just being able to hang with my supervisors and… observe. Old Forester was fascinating to visit — it was the first bottled bourbon, and because of the Dr backed marketing, it was also one of the few alcohols that were allowed during the prohibition, as medicine! Work depression? Go get your Rx for bourbon, and the doctor knew just what I needed, because I really was feeling a bit better. Repeal is an amazing steakhouse. Absolutely try the NY Strip. It’s grilled over some oak and… *chef’s kiss.* It won’t disappoint.

Day 5… I wasn’t even planning on coming in, but my supervisor scheduled a meeting, so I felt I should go in person, considering I was in proximity and all. I came in, did the meeting, and left. I actually got lunch with a coworker, who is also a foodie! I also had a therapeutic session part 2. I really had a lot to get off of my chest, hah. But, I really was feeling better by the end of the work week.

I was superrrr excited to go on the Belle of Louisville for a Bluegrass and Bourbon dinner and then tour on the Ohio River. Y’all… Not me stumbling onto old people’s heaven!! Not me also being the only single person there, either! I barely ate (the food sucked) and then I went upstairs to the boat deck to sit and enjoy the views of water, the bridge, and Indiana. Hated the pre-dinner portion. Didn’t hate the boat tour. Would do it (the tour) again, but with a friend, partaking in shenanigans.

By the weekend, I was utterly exhausted. Drained. Fatigued. I wanted to go out and visit the museums and hang out by the water. I wanted to go try out more restaurants. I just wanted to enjoy myself outside. But I found enjoyment in staying at the hotel and starting, and finishing, The Lincoln Lawyer (TV series), while eating food and drinking.

By that Sunday? I was ready to go home. And home was much needed by then.

The week had started off hopeful just for it to turn hopeless. And I’m definitely a person who likes to sit in the sadness for a bit before shaking it off — but it’s always easier said than done. Each day felt mentally more challenging than the last. I wish I had that aha! moment that would have changed my whole life, that moment you see on TV when the protagonist decided to take fate in their own hands. While I definitely felt like I reclaimed that journey, it surely was not as profound as I wish it was — but hey, that’s life.

All in all, it was an okay week. A lot of reflecting, but also a lot of food, and whew was it GOODT! Of course, I’ll be back, but that week surely did put a whole lot into perspective.

Panamá: Days 1 and 2

Nobody: …
Nobody: …
Nobody: So how was Panama?
Me: Pah-nah-MÁH was glorious!

Enjoy 48 hours in 30 seconds. Yes, I will be submitting for an Oscar nomination!

Panamá was an absolutely fun time — even with all the humidity and rain. But, hey, that’s what happens when you travel so dangerously close to the rainy season in the tropics.

I always enjoy listening to what led someone into picking their travel destination of choice. While I picked Panamá because I used Google Flights to see cheap flights during the month of May, Panamá popped up, and I thought “Hmm! Why not? Let’s see the canal,” I’m hoping that you will be choosing Panamá based off of the amazing time I had there — even during the rainy season.


The first thing that struck me about Panamá was how tall it was. Juxtaposing the tallness of the white buildings with the lush green rainforest… I do wish I was able to capture the contrast from my grainy little window seat, but these airlines do not want me to be great!

And speaking of airlines… y’all Delta almost PLAYED MY LIFE. Our (as in, my and my sister’s) flight journey started at 3:45A. To set the scene for y’all, neither of us has had any sleep. Our flight was on a Friday, the last time I slept was Wednesday night. So from Thursday at 6A (when I woke up) to Saturday at 2A, I probably slept a total of 2 broken hours. So needless to say, I was mildly irate. Anywho, our Lyft driver came early (we tried scheduling a ride), and my sister and I were RUSHING to finish packing and head on over to the Lyft before miss ma’am cancelled our trip! And to think Coralie (my sister) almost forgot her passport… hah… ha… ah……….. Imagine. Literally, just imagine showing up at the airport without your passport for an international flight. I’d be ready to cancel and just stay my ass home.

We make it to the Lyft and it’s raining! Happy Friday the 13th!! RAIN to forebode our impending rainy trip. But let me reiterate that it was raining, because miss ma’am was ZIPPING through the empty, dark roads like Dominic Toretto was tryna catch her ass! At one point, so was horizontal in a 3 lane highway because she had to make the exit with a truck coming. Ma’am, all roads lead to Rome. Miss the first exit and the exit 4 miles down will loop you back around to the airport. It’s okkaaayyyyy. Said my prayers and closed my eyes, I did not want to see my death. We did, eventually, make it to the airport, in one piece. We make our way through check-in, show our Panamá pre-customs validation QR code, check our luggage, and make our way to our gate for the first leg of our flight. I even started my nails (while eating a Quiznos sandwich, which I later ended up regretting hardcore), while waiting for boarding.

We board and I promptly take a little 10 min nap, hoping that when I wake up we are in the sky on the way to our next step. Apparently, Delta did not have any direct flights into Panamá that week from the DC area. Our layover was 50 minutes in ATL… So we’re already racing against the clock. So tell me why I wake up, look at my watch, it says 7:30A (our flight was at 7A), and we are still on the tarmac finally lifting off! If your brain is mathing and seeing how we already lost 30 minutes… and our layover in ATL is 50 minutes… I open my Delta app and it tells me that our flight is delayed and that they’ve moved us to a different flight. IT WAS THE WAY I WAS INTERNALLY SCREAMING AND CRYING ON THE PLANE I WANTED TO PUKE!!! That Quiznos really was not sitting well. My sister was knocked out, so I had nobody to real-time cry to. So here I am texting my friends and family, asking them to contact Delta and to check flight itineraries for me. After some kerfuffle, the Delta app finally fixed itself and it showed our original itinerary. We gained some time in the air, but we still only had 30 minutes to run through the ATL airport to get to our new gate. And guess what? We got flagged when boarding, so we had to wait to get our facial recognition, error code, passport issue fixed? No, we don’t know what happened. Yes, it did get sorted.

landed and sweaty

A small sidebar about airplane windows turned into a whole rant about my adventure. Love to see it! But yeah, Panamá is very tall! We finally land and get off the plane, and I almost suffocated in the humidity. I am not even kidding. Hustled through their immigration and customs so that I can grab my suitcase and change from socks, slides, and a hoodie, to just slides and a sports bra. Was still sweating and breathing hard! But part of that was just from all the moving around. Once I finally sat still, I started feeling better. Our other two friends joined us from NY as we made our way on over to our AirBnB.

I wish I took pictures, it was such a pretty place, but the AirBnb link will have to suffice. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, can accommodate 4 people if everybody wants their own bed, or 6 people, if there was some bed sharing involved. The newly renovated condo has a little pool (that we never got to use!) that is shared with the other condo residents and some of the architecture is outdoors, such as the stairs and the pool, so definitely keep that umbrella handy from the minute you walk out the door.

We had plans to go to dinner and then salsa dancing. We only made it to salsa dancing. We had a small meal when we got to the AirBnb.

We stayed in Casco Viejo, Panamá’s old town, filled with glorious rooftops, cobblestones, historic walls, and a whole lot of restaurants. We got ready and headed out to find our instructor for salsa dancing. We booked through AirBnB experiences to go salsa dancing with Marta and her salsa safari crew. We met Martha and two of her dancers, Nelson and Miguel, who taught us the basics of salsa and took us to different bars with live music where we literally danced the night away. Ya girls were sweating. And guess what? My convertible heels BROKE!!! Imagine me trying to do a cute little salsa turns and I feel my heel twist out from under me. Which reminds me… I need to buy heel replacements for my shoes. At least just the heels broke and not my heels.

Hannah and I dropped Coralie and Karla off at the AirBnb before we went back out to another live music place, where we just got some Panamanian beer, before we decided to go back and walk around to find some food. Word of advice: do not walk around in Casco Viejo (or any city) at like 2 in the morning. A quiet city, stray animals walking around, groups of men lurking in a corner, and taxis following you around to see if you need a ride. Historic buildings being renovated look gorgeous in the daytime… not as glistening in the night when you can see the dilapidated areas.

We finally got back to the AirBnB. I hit a j, washed my face, and took a quick shower. The minute my head hit the pillow, it was lights out…


… until like 6A when my body decided to auto-wake itself up. Panamá is in the central timezone, so it was 7A back home. I tried so hard, I even begged myself, to go back to sleep to even get an extra hour of sleep. No, nay, never. I got up, and just watched some Netflix. When my friend Karla was up and at it, we walked around Casco Viejo to find a small little shop that sold fresh fruit, empanadas, and some carrot-beet juice. My body was REJOICING after I drank that juice. I normally like to pack my Kencko juices with me to ensure I get some fruits and veggies in the start of my mornings, but for some reason, I was utterly “unprepared” for Panamá, even though I had a whole lot of time to pack and prepare! But I was determined to make the most of my own predicament (which in hindsight, was more prepared than I believed, but still fell short of my own self-imposed standards).

When we got back from the shop, we all just laid in bed, watched horror movies, and I did Karla’s nails before we started getting ready for our Day 2 adventure: a food and drink tour hosted by a local Panamanian.

Another thing that struck me about Panamá was the amount of white ex-pats living there, and the amount of white ex-pat business owners who are then hiring Panamanians as employees. So it was nice to see that this tour was hosted by a local native.

Panamá City is a place of fusion. The true Panamanian food resides in the rural area while the city will have more diverse food. Given the location, and importance, of Panamá, it makes sense. Ana, our food tour guide, took us to several of her favorite fixtures, including Fonda Que lo Hay, which does serve as close to traditional Panamanian food as you’ll find in Panamá City. The tour highlighted local restaurants, food, and drinks that make Panama, Panamá.

It was a walking tour — so please wear some comfortable shoes. Ana taught us about the history of the food scene Panamá, which is mainly due to the canal’s presence (which I will talk a bit more about in pt 2 of my Panamá adventures).

Unfortunately, didn’t get the name of the rooftop bar we went to. But the calamari (which they name “spider legs”) were crispy perfection. And they served THEE BEST gin and tonic I’ve ever had, and I’m not a gin girlie! The overcast and sporadic rain damped (pun intended) the atmosphere, but I LOVED how the skies and the buildings looked in contrast.

We went to Mandinga, an amazing rum bar. Panamá, just like my country of Haiti, uses raw sugar canes to make their rum, compared to other countries using molasses. But what I really enjoyed was the Geisha coffee liquor. Smooth and perfectly balanced. I immediately envisioned myself pouring a shot into my daily cup of coffee. I don’t even drink coffee — that’s how amazing it was. Geisha coffee is so expensive due to the unique conditions needed to grow it, and because of that, only a certain amount can be grown yearly. Coralie picked up a bottle of the coffee liquor, but no coffee beans. Neither of us drink coffee enough to splurge on the Geisha coffee, but also, neither of us would recreate the coffee in a way that brings out the natural flavors. In essence, it would be wasted.

We ended our evening with Ana at Casa Catedral, a historic (if you couldn’t tell, everything in Casco Viejo is historic) restaurant where you can dine next to old cars. I’m not a car person, but it was still amazing seeing everybody else ooh and aah over these old cars. Apparently, a very old family collects these vintage cars and displays a handful of them at Casa Catedral. It absolutely contributes to the atmosphere. I felt as what I think I would feel like if I was in Havana — a place I haven’t been yet.

Even though our culinary adventures ended with Ana, the night was just getting started for us. We went back to our AirBnB to freshen up and change before grabbing late night dinner at Casa Blanca. I think most of the food we had in Panamá has been wonderful, but not necessarily stand-out, if that makes sense. Since most of what we had was Panamanian fusion, everything was delicious. My tastebuds were dancing with every bite, but as I look back at the fusion food, nothing popped out as my favorite. Take note I mention fusion food. We did try authentic Panamanian food later on during our time, and those were notable, but that’s a part 2 post *wink.* Yes, that does mean you need to come back and continue reading!

Quick side note… the cocktails were SUPERB. Two drinks stuck out to me: the mojito and a gin and tonic (had at the rum bar, and the rooftop bar). You might be reading it like, “girl… I can make that in my bathroom.” And you’re right, but it would suck. I have never had two super strong, yet alcohol-tasteless, yet bubbly and refreshing drinks in my life. I have been going crazy trying to ask bartenders here to remake them, “No can this have more club soda? Ok but not that club soda. Y’all have sugar cane syrup? No? Just simple syrup? Ok but what types of gins do you ha–just Hendricks? Ok. *scratches head.*” I think they spat in my drink. I gotta head on over to my fav cocktail bar to see if they can scratch the itch.

Ok. Back to our adventure! After dinner, we headed out to experience the nightlife. The night before, we had asked where the pretty black girls like to hang out to an Afro-Latina bartender. She gave us a list of recommendation. We first hit Selina, a cute, overpriced and highly overrated rooftop that charges a cover. Y’all know the vibes! Gorgeous views though (not pictured, sorry). Some random guy bought us all a shot, yum (jk). But there wasn’t any dancing. We could have gone to the main level to dance, but we were ready to try somewhere else. I’m not sure why, but I was tired, irate, sleepy–oh wait, must be because I slept a total of 5 hours over 72 hours? Nah, that’s not it. We walked around Casco Antigua, a place a couple blocks away from the center of Casco Viejo that has club next to club next to club next to rooftop next to club next to rooftop-on-top-of-a-club… The world was our oyster. We walked past each venue, listening to their music to see if we’d vibe. We finally just asked someone where we can go to get some lit black music. We were directed to Rush.

Chile… I was not ready. If I had some club days (and no, Shooters II does NOT count), I just know my club days would be OVER. Miss security guard patted me down and checked my purse. And the music was THUMPING. We tried to get closer to the center, but somebody threw (accidentally, drunkingly) drinks on us as we were walking around. I was done. I stomped, mad as hell, back to the bar. I was ready to leave on my own if everybody else was feeling the moment, but I did not want to leave a girl behind if two of the other girls also wanted to come back. Like, I’d brace it for the enjoyment of my friend, but if somebody else wanted to stay, too, I’d dip. Luckily, Coralie wanted to stay with Hannah, while Karla and I went back to the AirBnB. Part of me wished I did stay, given how Hannah and Coralie were talking about chaotic the DJ was, but I think it was for the best that I went back to bed.

Again, once my head hit the pillow… Lights out! The lack of sleep I got on that trip… whew!


THUNDERSTORMS! We chose a great day to–oh wait. I’m saving this for the next entry! So stay tuned.

Miss Me?

Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. Who’d really miss an inconsistent blogger? My writing isn’t that good!!

These past couple of years were tough — and anybody who says otherwise lives in a special bubble. So no “woe is me,” no excuses as to why I’ve been horrible at updating. I’ve just been… sad? mad? I’ve been glad, too! Not had, though. Maybeeee a little bad.

fall ’20 – summer ’21: got hired and fired from coaching [redacted pilates studio] bc i wanted to ~unionize~

Of course the pandemic was a bit crazy. And I pulled up my last update just to see what y’all last knew about me. And, honestly, I cried a little. But, I also laughed a little. When I really think about it, I didn’t get into writing to necessarily share my story. I got into writing because I love it. I remember day dreaming in middle school, short little plots, and then running home and writing (uncompleted) short stories. Then, I had a whole fan-fic period that started in high-school and continued through college (yeah, no, I will NOT be sharing ANY of those so don’t even think about looking through Quizilla and WattPad!). Next, whilst in college, I started writing (for free, lmfao) for an online magazine. Still wrote (uncompleted) short stories though. After, I graduated college and went to law school. And I got very, very depressed. Suicidal level depressed. It was bad. And I hated the city I was in. During that time, I was not writing. I was not able to pen my thoughts. Sure, a whole lot of things, changes, were happening during that time, too. But I lost my main form of escape; I had stopped writing completely.

And that’s how this blog came to be. Somebody said “How can you hate this city without exploring it?” So, I decided to explore and do them one better: write about it. And as I wrote about the restaurants, I ended up weaving in some of my personal life (and let’s be honest, y’all were reading for the mess and the pics of food, not necessarily the descriptions of it!). I didn’t feel “cured” but I definitely felt “relieved.” Law school came and went. I graduated. And life got hard. I had an unpaid fellowship doing legal-policy work. I then pivoted into environmental law and consulting. THEN THE PANDEMIC!!! Then some in-house pharma work. And that’s where we last left off.

Whew, y’all… Fall 2020, got some bad news about my work position. But also got a new puppy! Friends! Meet Nala :). Anyways, back to work… It was a bit wishy-washy and with the corporate changes and me moving from biologics to consumer health… I wasn’t certain about my future at the company (ended up staying for months after, anyways). I made a huge (and in retrospect, I didn’t realize how huge) leap from huge pharma company (in terms of workforce and personnel) to a healthtech company. I turned down a higher paying pharma job (there were other issues here, like working in person HAH), for this contractor position. I was so excited about this change, y’all. I couldn’t stop GUSHING about the position. I loved it.

summer ’21, aruba!!!


winter ’22 playing roulette! kidding, just went to MGM for the pics

Not saying I dislike the position, but the novelty wore off, and the stark differences between my old job and my new job were hyper magnified. And… I was so concerned about my future there since I wanted to be a FTE (full-time employee/equivalent/employed, etc) but was still in this contractor position (and, chile… whew, the stress!) And I won’t lie, I had a career breakdown. I cried for days. I called up my old manager and old co-workers. And they’d be glad to bring me back. And I almost took it, I really almost did, but after another breakdown and talking to objective third-party participants, I decided I needed to make (or try to make) the current position work for me. I skipped the quintessential law firm training and went straight in-house into one of the most supportive work places ever. In short, my current position is more like the real world than my last position was. So, I decided I’d be more assertive and proactive in my learning.

Well, that lead to other issues — but we’re working through that! Y’all and this career breakdown wasn’t even related to two dramas had to deal with before EOY21! But that’s enough tea.

nov ’21 — the girls get a lil lift

And through this time… I went and got a boob lift, Nov ’21! MAJOR SURGERY. WOW! Just a lift, so the girls are more or less the same size, just perkier, teehee! Looking back at it… I don’t necessarily regret it (maybe just the provider), but I didn’t realize how badly major surgery would affect my mood. I was irate, sad, upset, tired… It was bad, and I was not expecting it. And it was during winter, so that seasonal depression. They do say misery loves company. But had I known how arduous this would have been… bay-biieeeeeeeeeee, let me tell you I would have just gotten work done head to toe?? I did some lymphatic massages to help with any fluid build up and pain management, and then, I started some body contouring massages. Are they working? I sure do hope so, but body dysmorphia always gets in the way of actually visualizing how my body looks.

feb ’22: gone too soon

Then, Feb ’22, found out my cousin got murdered. What a… There are no words. I sat here for a couple of moments to think about what I would say, and there was nothing.

Stupid shit happened with men, though. A whole lotta stupid shit!!! I was bad, down bad? Down terrible? Not that bad, honestly. We’re just going to skip through the men… Each of them honestly deserve their own mini-series on this blog.

During this time, I had felt something was missing. So I got back into some things I enjoyed: cooking and seeing my friends. That didn’t “plug” the hole. I got back into pilates. Didn’t help. I decided to start yoga. That is helping… but not there. Then one day, I woke up, and I thought about this blog. And I missed it. I missed writing. And more importantly, I missed the cathartic feeling of writing everything down.

jan ’22: HOUSTON!

I don’t have any promises to make — I hate breaking promises, especially when I’m making them to somebody else (y’all). I do have a promise to myself to always better myself.

What that looks like… I’m not sure. We’re going to go through this journey together — and I’ll try to document it every step of the way. Life is about the good, but it’s also about the bad. I’ve been so focused about sharing the good, that when the times got rough, I completely disconnected. I had to tell myself that it’s okay to share the bad: that’s life! It’s all about balance and creating my narrative.

So stay tuned for changes.

A Li’l Update ft Boqueria

Listen, the fact I’m spending lots of money on this blog domain and can’t even be consistent… Sis. I keep saying I will try, but whew is the depressive state real. And right as I thought I was getting my life together, BOOM, the Rona hits and derails my plans. Like truly. Messing up job integration, extremely ill, bedridden for days, and just all the weight gain…

ok so when I uploaded this, I remembered why I like to take horizontal pics so excuse the squareish crop pls & thnx — also we like the rounded? yeah? myb?

At least my skin is clear, right? And not even really. But I am trying a new skincare routine to get rid of the inflammation coloring from ingrown hairs. Hey, I’ll keep y’all updated about that!

All that is playing through my head is “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance, and that should really sum up how I’ve been these past couple of weeks.

I’ve also changed gears from health law to environmental law (oh! Did I tell y’all that I AM A FULLY LICENSED ATTORNEY IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND?!).

face courtesy of mom and forcing me to go to the ceremony lol

Wish me luck. The goal is to get into corporate social responsibility and environmental health equity. Now what does that all mean? Essentially, climate change is a public health crisis and the faster we get people and corporations to understand that a declining environment will lead to more health issues, especially in black and brown, low-income communities, the faster we can try to remedy the situation before it gets too bad.

Now, that also requires corporations caring for said population, and that really might be the challenge :))))).

teaser for the next paragraph but also relevant bc I used this cute lil jaunt as my work profile pic bc radiant smiles and, like, well i look cute

So how have I been spending my free time? A whole lot of DIY, cooking, sleeping, working, eating, and did I mention sleeping? Recently I’ve been reminiscing about a fun adventure I had with the one and only Bryanna Goode, the magic behind a lot of my recent photos. The way I miss adventuring… Lots of good memories, but I’ve been thinking about Boqueria (remember when I went in NY? No? That’s why I hyperlinked it for you! And here it is again!) a lot, mainly because what I wouldn’t give for a bottomless brunch in a chic setting right now. Full disclosure, DC locations > NY.

look at bryanna hard at work :)))

I thought about going back into video editing, but it really was not for me. I enjoyed capturing the footage, did not really enjoy mashing it all up together. So, if you’re reading this and you enjoy making videos, please let me know. I will appreciate you more than I already do.

And another thing I miss? The post-brunch adventures.

Surprisingly, I’m fine staying home, probably because I live with my family. But I hate not having the option to go out and adventure. What I would give to travel safely right now and eat my way through the tropics, lounge on a beach with crystal clear waters, but also drunk shopping, navigating through the metros of DC, and saying “yes” to every adventure that comes my way.

this lowkey looked a lil cuter before i cropped it into a rectangle

But, all I have for now are the memories and these yummy pics of me doing yummy things, so let’s all just close our eyes and take a second to imagine what life was like before this. Ready? Go!

Yeah, what a time. Let’s see… The food was good. I obviously went back and I want to go again! Unfortunately I took these pics in October, so my memory of the food isn’t perfect. Shout out to mega delayed posts, huh. What I do remember: the chicken tenders were delicious because they were coated in crumbled chips, but I did cut my mouth on them. The fresh toast was yummy but I enjoyed the apples more because I’m a sucker for cinnamon backed apples. The lil pineapples were GREAT, I had like 10, a lil smokey and a lil sweet. Steak and eggs were great, except I am very very weird about egg yolk, and I didn’t care for these because they were a littleeee too runny, but I ordered steak on the side just to eat more. The Bloody Mary shots were good too. They were more shot than cocktails and the spiced salt rim really sealed the deal. Take back too many and you’ll be wobbling your way down DuPont. 10/10 would go again, so hit me up if you wanna go.

Anyways. Let’s see what else I’ve been up to…

My friends and I all created a playlist of 25 songs we love so much, we wish we produced them. You can check out mine right here. I am no DJ, but I think I make pretty good playlists. Want a fun challenge? Make your own and send me the link so I can share!

And oh, look, another picture of me. Sometimes candids really DO turn out well. This was still part of the Boqueria brunch adventure, so no judging me on the same exact outfit, thank you very much. The only thing worse than an outfit repeater is an outfit rememberer! [Insert Lizzie McGuire gif here]. Duh.

And as much as this natural hair was cute as SHIT!!! I miss stunting in a wig. And makeup. I did my eyebrows the other day? And I forgot how to do them?? But then when I did perfect it??? It looked so foreign???? On my face????? 

tbh surprised makeup still looking good at like 1am after drinking #champ also shoutout to dupont krispy kreme bc #lifesaver


not a wig but i do miss the high pony bc yes.

I can’t even recognize myself in makeup anymore?

hey siri, set a reminder to take pics vertically and horizontally

Honestly, I don’t even recognize myself, period! In all fairness, the picture was when I was extremely done up for a formal event, but I just wanted to be dramatic…

My plans for after this end? There’s so much I want to do! I cannot wait to leave, head to a MedSpa and get a Fraxel facial because—I deserve, and my face deserves even more. That’s it. And a new hairstyle. Either wig or silk press. I recently cut all my nails off because I’ve been doing them myself, but it’s been such a hassle. I bought a new manicure set anyways, so I will be entertaining the hassle once more. I bought a poly gel kit, so wish me luck.

And speaking of hassles… Men. Listen, it’s quarantine, sir. Leave me alone. It’s a pandemic! If I’m getting sick and infecting others, it’s because I’m hanging with my friends, not because I’m meeting new guys and fooling around with guys from the past. Yikes.

Please. Pls. 

But all in all, life has been ~good.~ I even did some passion twists. They did not last long. But I tried.

i’d like to personally thank celena for letting me have/borrow/whatever her sweatshirt

No complaints really. I’m alive, and there really was a time where I thought I wouldn’t make it because I was THAT sick. I’m gainfully employed, and was worried because last to hire, first to fire. Luckily, the company I’m working for has gotten busiER during this time. Yay, work?

Started working out again to try to get a little bit of definition, but the way my sickness ruined my lungs… Trained 2 years to get to this level of fitness (not super fit lol but I can run, read jog, a couple miles without dying) just for it to be ruined from being sick for 4 months, lol. BUT! I’m determined to get back to where I was before 2020 ends :). We got this, right? Please, wish me luck.

So as per usual, I won’t make promises about this blog. But I hope I find the time and enegy to update you more. Thank you so much for checking in on me. Y’all are the reason I want to write these posts.

Until next time!

P.S. I like these updates, so maybe I’ll focus less on food and travel (funny, I know, because would need to focus on those things to begin with) and incorporate more about general life, because you’re here to get “elod” of my life, right?

P.P.S. You get brownie points for laughing at my pun. They’re worth nothing, yet.

Our MSC Adventure: Day 1

Hello hello hello! Remember watching a cute little video the other day about Our MSC Adventure (a preview!)

Now I come to you with Day 1:

What’s better than 1 traveler? 2?

But because this is a blog and not the YouTube, I’m here to give you some details of our adventure. If you didn’t want to watch the video, just read along and look at the pretty pictures instead.

And as I was typing this all out… I realize I don’t have many pics, so really, just enjoy the video.


The SuperShuttle came to pick us up, bright and early (not bright, but definitely early) at 5:15am. Apparently, the van came early and just parked outside our house since 4:45am and took a quick cat nap. We picked up three more groups of passengers before we made out way to Dulles International Airport (IAD).

We decided to sign up for Clear. Which, I just now remembered I should probably delete my account so that I’m not charged their yearly subscription fee. Quick, easy, and painless. We scanned our fingerprints and off we went.

Boarding and Embarkation:

We didn’t wait long in the terminal before we got on the plane. Fortunately, the flight was a little delayed. We got an early flight (money saver), and were concerned we would wait hours before we would be able to check in for our cruise. Not only was the flight delayed, the Lyft took forever to pick us up once we landed and there was mild traffic.

Luckily, we were able to check in and board upon arrival, even though we were two hours early.

The boat is smaller that what I’ve been used to, but it was Priscilla’s first time, so she did not have anything to compare it to. We had checked in our luggage, so it was brought up directly to our rooms during the safety procedure.

Safety Procedure:

Which was fine, honestly. 10 minutes on how to put on your life jacket and where to meet up if there’s an emergency, such as if the ship ran into an iceberg or capsized in a hurricane. Awesome, right?

The Lost Luggage:

But when we got back to the room… my luggage still was not there. So between rushing up and down to try to track down my luggage, I was getting mega-annoyed. Truly, called countless times, went to customer service, went to confiscated and tagged bags. No where to be seen. They finally located my luggage. They pulled it aside because there was a hot comb in it.

… Yeah. A hot comb. Y’all ain’t ever seen a hot comb before? Truly? …


Luckily, that fiasco was handled in time for dinner. When it comes to food, “When you keep your expectations low, you will be pleasantly surprised.” And I strongly feel that way about cruise food too. We’re only paying so much and the food is cooked in batch. The food was good, but when you’re catering to thousands of people, only so much can be done.

Bay Scallop Ceviche: It was good! I wish there was more spice and salt to it, but the small scallops were soft–as were the plantain chips (due to the fact they were soaking in the juices for a lil bit).

Pan-Seared Salmon: I mean… I’m a salmon snob because my mom and I make amazing salmon. But it was good. The rice (which Priscilla described as “right out of the Uncle Ben’s rice bag”) and green beans were bland, but the whole experience was tied together with the butter sauce. Surprisingly better than expected.

Lamb Chops: Homegirl was smart and good the lamb chops. Tender, crusted, and crisp. What more can you ask for?

Catalan Canard Creme: Pretty much a creme brulee that has not been caramelized. How sad.

Snickers Cake: The non-cake parts were the only things eaten, but hey, that part was still good.

The Show:

The saddest part was that there wasn’t any bar service in the theater. There was only theater that holds about 550 people at a time, much makes sense considering the boat only holds about 2000 people.

The theater was empty pretty early on, but got full closer to the show time. I’m so used to showing up 30-40 minutes earlier to grab a good seat in the larger ships I’ve been to.

It was 80’s and the show was pretty good. I thought one of the singers was an actual recording. The dancing was good–I wish it was more rock and roll though.

Because MSC is more of an international cruise, every announcement was said in multiple languages. The theater show was also partly in Spanish for Spanish songs from the 80’s.

The show was very sexual. One girl was really on the floor, flashing her ass and touching herself. Sir, this is a family show?

The After Party:

Grabbed a corner couch section, grabbed a drink, and just enjoyed the game show and the dancing. Not much here to add. I love larger ships because it seems as if there’s always a greater turnout, but if only ~5% of people show up to these non-theater events, on a boat of 2000, at most 100 people show up. But on a boat of 6000, you’ll get 300. Life is what you make of it, and we were determined to have fun on this ship.


And as my cruise traditions go… I always end each of my nights with some pizza. No complaints here. Pizza could be better, but pizza could be worse. At midnight when you’re coming down from drinking, it really takes a lot for pizza to not taste great.

Stay tuned for the future updates! Next will be Day 2, another sea day. As the posts progress, there will be less about the mundane issues, so they will get shorter and shorter. I wish I could promise more pictures, but let me not make a promise I cannot keep.

A Session with @Goode_Visions

I’m not going to lie, when I first received Bryanna’s message, I was part excited and part nervous. Part of me was thinking, “Wow this is definitely how people get trafficked or tricked into nude posing,” because we all know that one person who accepted a photographer’s invite and then his/her nudes end up online (or we’ve all watched and read Young Adult novels where it happened).

But the more optimistic part of me was thinking, “Wow, has my content really reached out to people? This will be great!” So I stalked her Instagram and I was in love with her portrait shots. I’ve seen so many black and brown people photographed by “photographers” where the edits come out looking ashy and dull. Of course, there’s a time and place where that’s the aesthetic, but it should never be at the expense of the model or his/her skin tone. We’ve all seen those “photographers” throw a filter on the picture, add some blue shadows, lower the saturation, and claim that this is the best edit of the picture. While this might work for some skin/under tones, it does not work with all. Meanwhile, the model looks washed out, sickly, and it’s just not the most flattering.

Bryanna was able to capture these portraits and really make the models come to life. Each of her pictures had different edits, based on the model, and that is the craft of a photographer. Check out a still of her IG:

But what do I know? I just blog and take pics on my iPhone with help of natural lighting. I brighten up my pics, sometimes turn saturation up, and call it a day.

Back to the point… because this girl sent me a DM and because I’m a sucker for an adventure, I said yes. We chatted a bit to get to know each other and figure out our schedules before we exchanged numbers to set up a date.

Not going to lie, when the date came around, I sat around my house, and prayed that she would reschedule. I even did the thing that I do, “Hey! Are you still up for later?” Not sure why I do it, nobody ever cancels. After a brief pep talk and a much needed full skincare routine, I finally started getting ready. The whole drive there, I was pumping myself up. Honestly, I was chuckling a little because I have no idea how to pose. At all. You might scroll through my ‘Gram and think otherwise, but scroll through my Photos and ask any of my friends… I cannot pose. I honestly felt so sorry for Bryanna, thinking, “Wow, she’s really going to look at me sideways when I just serve her my face and nothing else.”

it was a cute serve

So, we’re finally in Baltimore, and we finally meet up. We meet in Fells Point, by the water. I used to live in Fells for 3-4 months of my life (let’s not necessarily relive those months). I even texted my old roommate that I was literally outside of our apartment.

I meet her at Pitango, a cute little bakery and my favorite spot to get a Matcha Latte.

I took my mother once so we can soak up the water front views while sipping our lattes. We took some photos there before we both looked at each other, “So now what?” We had planned on going to Rawlings because it’s a garden (hence my choice in outfit, shirt courtesy of my amazing and generous little sister), but we found out that it closed at 4pm. We met up at 5pm. HAHA. The math did not add up. We got our little cardio in by walking around Fells, allowing Bryanna to use her good(e) vision (haha, see what I did there?) to pick out some places to snap some pics.

I really was worried about my posing (or lack thereof). I explained to her my, er, inexperience and she did not laugh at me. Not that I was expecting her to laugh at me, but I was expecting some sort of internalized eye roll. None of that. No judgments. Just all laughs and smiles. She was giving me pointers on how to sit, how to position to head, how to position my feet and my body. I felt like a toddler with two left feet trying to position myself. While these photos may not look like much posing, it beats the slumped shoulders and bad body angles I’m used to. Seriously, scroll through my photos, for every 14375 photos, there is one good one. With Bryanna, she snapped a couple and boom, magic. But hey, this is all about growth! So next session, I’m coming with better poses.

My sole contribution was suggesting going to Bond Street because it was a bit more “modern” than the rest of historic Fells.

After about an hour, we wrapped things up and went our separate ways, where I then met up with two friends at Chilango’s, a new tequila bar that opened up across my old apartment. I swear… if I had still lived in Baltimore, that would have been MY SPOT!!! But this post is about my time with @goode_visions, so check back later for a brief post on Chilango’s.

It was a quick turnaround time from shoot to receiving the pictures (shot on Friday, received on Monday). I had checked them out while vacationing in Jamaica, and I couldn’t stop gushing about them. They were way too adorable. I’m glad I got to share them with you! I hope you check her out :).

Until next time!

Our MSC Adventure: A Video Series

And I’m back! Pretty quick turnaround from my last post, eh? For those of y’all who follow me on the ‘Gram, you’ll see I was out living my vacation life. I’m still living it, except now I’m sick. Aweessoommeeee.

But, I wanted to give you guys a preview of my week aboard the MSC Armonia. Somehow, I fit hours of video footage from a week of non-stop action into a 3 and a half minute long video.

Adventure time!

Check back often as I post the longer day-by-day adventures so you can live and re-live some of our favorite memories.

Post Bar Relaxation, Pisco y Nazca, and a Donut

I’m trying out different post titles instead of just saying the restaurant name. Let me know how you like it.

It has been 2 weeks. 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. Two weeks since I took the dreaded bar exam. And I really haven’t blessed y’all with a post in… a minute, actually. So I hope y’all are ready for this one.

Yes, let’s start this blog post off with a picture of me, because why not. Let’s do it. Also! I just saw this all blown up and portrait mode is a trip. I feel as if I photoshopped myself into this.

Let’s start with my life updates: the bar is over and now I have time to go to the bars. Friends are cool and all. Guys are there. Speaking of guys. Def saw this guy who halfway through hanging, told me he was in an open relationship. Just like that. Definitely was in some sort of shock, but I’m very over it now. I’m looking for a sugar daddy–I’m kidding. I’m broke. But I’m not kidding. But I am. Y’all know how much WORK you have to put into it? It’s a whole lifestyle. Anddd, I’m going on vacation on Monday! For a whole ass week. Hope y’all are connected with me on the ‘Gram, so that y’all can see my vacation stories (and pics) before they hit the blog.

Yeah, that’s it, really. But I know you aren’t here to read my life. If we’re being honest, you’re not even here to read about the food. You just want to see the pictures! So really, who am I to deny you this luxury?


So without further ado…

We have Pisco y Nazca. I have decided this is my favorite, favorite brunch place in D.C. I need to go back for happy hour, lunch, and dinner, to let you know if it’s an all around good place. But this really is top 5 brunch places I’ve been to. If not even top 3.

Ah, yes, another picture of me. On my own blog. Look at that.

And we have a donut from District Doughnuts. Top 5 donuts too. Shoutout to DC for making cool stuff.

Pisco y Nazca (translates to: The enjoyment of libations in a social setting).

And honestly, that it was. Good food. Good drinks. Good people. Good atmosphere. What more does one need? Good prices! And you’ll find that here too.

Doing this whole two birds one stone. Watch here, and I get a Tube view. That’s how it works, right? Ugh, send help.

I think here is where I say I don’t own copyrights to this song. It is not my song. It’s an instrumental version of “No Promises” with Demi Lovato by Cheat Codes. I got it from this Youtube dude. Hello, the lawyers reading this, can y’all help me out? Thanks!

So, I think I’m getting better at the videos, right? Right? Please tell me yes. Kidding, if it’s bad, let me know. And I’m trying the Youtube thing. That’s what all the kids are doing. But serious question: should I start doing voice overs? Should I start talking? Will y’all enjoy my voice as much as I hate hearing my own voice on video (but who doesn’t though)?

Prices. $30 for a 3 course brunch. $18 for bottomless mimosas and sangria. The food ranges from $10-$30, and the starters are pretty filling. I was actually full off of mine. I took my second course to go. And I had the third course (dessert, yes!) as I got hungrier.

I mean, I should have posted the first interior pic here, but… Too late now.

And the interior. I was in love. Perfectly modern without being obnoxious

And oh, Lord, did I down those amazingggg passion fruit mimosas. I could drink it all day. And I wanted to also, but might have actually died, but I would have been happy and dressed in a cute outfit. I don’t recommend the sangrias. We personally did not have them, but the nice people sitting next to us (shout out to y’all!) let us try them and… The red sangria was too sweet and the white sangria was very peach liquor-y. If that’s your jam, go right on ahead.

The tostones were perfectly crispy and the meat on top was, *chef’s kiss.* It really was so overwhelming with how much meat there was, so I ended up picking at the meat and then eating the tostones with less meat on it.

The sandwich was very good, especially with the sauce. But man, there was so much bread. I do not like ciabattas. I don’t. I’m sorry. I can do without it. But this was a huge ciabatta! The meat inside was amazing though. Yes, I ate it at night whilst I was sobering up, but it was still so good.

Listen, I am not a French Toast fan, but I swear this is one of the best ones I have ever had in my life. Perfectly crisp on the outside and extremely fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth–I just caught myself drooling at the thought of it!

The cheesecake was different because it incorporated rice (like rice pudding!) Still delicious and creamy. But I really think the French Toast took the win of the day.

And I guess my friends ate food too, but, I was already mimosas in and didn’t want to get up and take pics so… enjoy these subpar pictures. I’m sorry.

A Donut (or is it doughnut?)

Ya, at this point, I was lucky to even remember I wanted some pics, let alone pics of a donut. Is there anyway to put a poll? Doughnut v donut?

Thank you, District Doughnuts for the donut. I didn’t take pics of the donuts. I was a good handful of strong mimosas in. And a lil winded, honestly. I walked in. They were nice. I got a donut. I took a picture with said donut. But you can enjoy the photo progression of trying to post with the donut. If you were curious, the donut was key lime and it was oh soooo good.

Oh, you caught the outfit change? Well, yes, I ended up going into a store and changing my outfits. Might as well cop some pics for the ‘Gram, right?

All in all, it was a great Saturday. Perfect weather. Semi-perfect humans. And amazing food. Seriously. Here’s to good vibes to finish 2019 strong.

Barre x Brunch: [Solidcore] x Agua301

So I’m back at it. Taking a break from the bar exam to go do some barre only to go to a bar after that. Say that 5 times fast, everybody will be confused as to what you’re referring to. But don’t say it 5 times fast. Please.

[solidcore]: you love it or hate it. i love it. they hate it.

I’m trying a new thing, where I’m working out just to eat all my calories plus some right after, with my friends. I’m also trying this video thing again. Let me know what I should do (or not do, L O L). I was thinking whether or not I should add voice overs or have more of me talking. Or just scrap the whole video thing all together. But hey, enjoy the video. It turned out way better than I had wanted it to, #smallvictories.

Kinda cool, right? Oh, you didn’t watch it all? That’s fine. I think here is where I add I don’t own any rights to the song. It’s “Stars” by Marshmello. This isn’t for commercial gain. Just for the shits and the giggles.

But we all know what comes next: pics of food! But, to set the background for y’all… We went to [solidcore], a cute hardcore studio where it’s pilates reformer (using a machine) but on crack. Possibly one of the most effective core workouts I’ve ever done. Also, the biggest drain on my bank account. Yikes. Worth it? Yes. Honestly, I haven’t done it in 2 weeks and I know I’m going to cry because I missed a week. I wish I had before and afters for you. It was so fun to get my friends to come out and do it with me. I love working out with people, keeps me a little more accountable.

After, we yondered over to Navy Yard to get some food. I love to try out new restaurants, but I must admit, choosing a new restaurant for an event is a bold choice and it could have gone terribly wrong. We went to Agua301, a modern Mexican restaurant that faces the Potomac River in DC. The reviews were a bit mixed, but the consensus was: good food, bad service. I can live with that, as long as my alcohol cup keeps getting full.

I personally had 2 critiques: once you chose a bottomless drink, you were stuck with the drink instead of mixing and matching. I’d have preferred the mix-n-match, but beggars can’t be choosers. Also, as evidenced from above, my plate was the only one that didn’t photograph well. Albeit, a small thing, but, the whole point of this blog is to take pics of food to justify spending money on food. I enjoyed everything else and my friends didn’t seem to complain about the food either (they complained about the service, obvi). The food was GOOD though. Good taste. Good price. Would absolutely go back. But I definitely think I’m getting the crab cake benedict next because… you see how delicious that looks?!

People started trickling out and it was just me and the homie, Priscilla. Shoutout to friendship since Aug 2008.

we love girls who can pose. i, unfortunately, cannot.

We tried starting an IG page for brunch. Not a flop, per se, just trying to manage that, my own IG, and this blog is a lot. If only Priscilla could pull her weight *cough cough.* We tried to take pics (well, I tried and she succeeded) and then we went to Georgetown to eat all the ice cream at The Dough Jar. Why this cookie dough trend is a thing, no idea, but I am here for it.

So, au revoir, mes amis. Until next time. Studying for the bar exam is a TRIP. But almost there. When I do another public Barre x Brunch event, I have no idea, but I’m excited for it. But until then, stay cool. And of course, enjoy this picture of me.

model status. got my ‘fit from fabletics.