Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sooo Yea... We Eloped :)

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Charles personally picked this song for today's post :)

Surprise! After 7 years of togetherness, Charles and I got married at the Superior Court of D.C. on 7.7.14. 

Yeap, that's right! Charles and I finally have a mocha frappin anniversary date to abide by! Hallelujah! I have so much to say and share about our wonderfully simple day but it will have to wait until later because more than likely, as you're reading this post, we are on our way to the airport and headed to Europe to attend Clem and Jason's wedding in France and to enjoy the remainder of our honey-cation in Amsterdam and Barcelona! Things will be quiet on the blog while we are away but I'll still be sharing moments from our adventures abroad on Instagram @setarrra so make sure to follow along! Until then... Love Always, Black and Yellow <3

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life Is Good, Life Is Great. A List For Life Lately :)

What to talk about? How much to divulge? What tone should I take? Are all questions I generally ask myself before I write a post and all last week when I sat down each day to write about life lately, I came up with nothing... These past couple of weeks have been ah-mazing! So much has happened, so many good, great things. And I had no idea where to begin... Until now. The answer was in the question all along... Question: Where to begin? Answer: At the beginning. (duh). With that said, here's a little list for the goodness that is life lately according to my iPhone pictures... More to come :)

1) I've kept up with my yoga classes (been going about 3-4 times a week), have been eating more clean and the consistency this lifestyle has shown positive results... I've lost about 7 pounds so far and am no longer in the 170's (hello 168 - thank you lord and buddha). Before I injured my knee, I was around 155 lbs which means I'm about 13 pounds away from my pre-injury weight. I've got a ways to go but I'm feeling great my progress so far :). P.S. All that weight = in my hips, thighs and butt... #pearshapedproblems #charleslikesittho

^^ On our way to the wedding... Charles was a little too turnt up haha.

2) Charles and I went to a gorgeous wedding on the 4th of July. Can you believe that this was the 12th wedding we've been to in the past year and a half. Crazy, right? Anywho, this was our first time ever going to a wedding in the daytime and it was quite refreshing witness a celebration of this kind that started and ended while the sun was still up. It also meant that we got to take advantage of the open bar before 12pm. That open bar never gets old...

3) We went to the Jay Z & Beyonce Concert at the M&T Stadium in Baltimore! Boy oh boy, it was a hell of a show!!! I was screaming at the top of my lungs the whole time! And to be perfectly honest, it was more like the Beyonce show with a guest appearances by Jay Z every once in a while which was perfect because I loooooooove Beyonce (way more than Jay Z)!

4) My girlfriend, Camesha, and her husband, Bill, are wonderfully pregnant and recently asked me to take their maternity photos. I was so honored that they would take a chance on me since I'm an amateur when it comes to photography.. Overall, I think the shoot went really well and I can't wait to share the final product with you on the blog soon. The photos above are a little behind the scenes look of our shoot courtesy of Charles :)

5) I went on a sunset cruise with friends this past weekend and the cruise looked alot like a pirate ship. It was an awesome time and I'm super proud to announce that I can now add "Limbo Champion" to my extensive list of talents. Yup, this girl takes limbo very seriously! More photos to come from our pirate party as soon as I finish editing them!

6) Our Europe adventures will begin in less than one week! Can you believe it!?! It's actually happening! Dear Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona: We'll see ya soon!!! Charles and I are lucky to have a circle of friends who travel alot which means they have travel gear laying around up for grabs a.k.a. borrowing. I got my travel backpack from my girl, Lmya, and get this: She lived out of this backpack for 3 months when she studied abroad in the Phillipines! If she was able to make it living out of this pack for 3 months, I'm pretty sure I can make in Europe with the pack for 2 weeks haha! ;)

Hmmmm, I think this is a good stopping point for now considering that I still have so much more catching up to do with ya'll on this blog before we leave on our trip. Until next time!!!

Cheers and Have a Happy Hump Day!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

To My Summer Love

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The music was blasting, the bass was pulsing... And you... You slid behind as we began to sway and rock to the beat. The magic of liquor running through our veins... A hybrid of exceptions to the rule manifesting into something harmonious. We weren't supposed to happen but we did and I blame it blissfully on the summer. A summer that caught us both off guard. A summer of emotional & physical connections. A chemistry undeniable. A partnership inevitable. A love exceptional...

Now here were are, a lucky number 7 years later... And we still got it. When the all world goes to shit, we still have the music. We still have our arms to wrap around each other and the sway of our hips to connect the melodies... When I lay my head on your chest while slow dancing away, I feel like I'm home. No words. Just movement. My language of love. Slow dancing the summer away... 

Dear Charles: I know we don't have an anniversary but every time the summer rolls around, I can't help but reminisce back to that summer when we first met; on how far we've come since then... And I just wanted to say Thank You...

Thank you for teaching me how to relax and not panic when things don't go as planned. For calling me out when I'm acting insecure and telling me when I need to get my shit together. For taking care of me whenever I'm sick; I'm always pleasently surprised when you whip out your domestic skills without me having to haggle you. For being so supportive of my dreams even when they took me away you from as they did when I moved away to NYC 3 years ago. For driving me around the world... 7 years of me not having a car; You're pretty much my chauffeur lol. Thank you for always calling me when you're in the "office"... Yes, I can always tell because there's an echo. Thank you for always telling me when I use a word incorrectly; Even if you always interrupt me when I'm trying to tell you something important. Thank you for thinking I'm sexy all the time; especially when I have no makeup on, am dressed like a bum and have gained a bit of weight. Thank you for being the best life dance partner a girl could ask for. You are and will always be my most favorite piece of chocolate in the world... I love you Boo. 

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dinner & Jazz @ The Hamilton D.C.

When a friend of ours got tickets to a live concert presented by the D.C. Jazz Festival and then was unable to attend at the last minute, Charles and I smoothly inserted ourselves to save the day by offering to go see the show 'on their behalf' this past weekend... And what followed this past Saturday was by far one of the swankiest evenings we've had in a long while! 

Location: The Hamilton in D.C. We took the train to the Metro Center station and walked 2 blocks over to the restaurant/music lounge. It's in a pretty convenient location right in the heart of downtown D.C. The Concert: The Dizzy Gillespie (TM) Afro-Cuban ExperienceBut first, dinner! Because music is best celebrated on a full stomach...

 ^^ My Handsome Date <3
^^ Shrimp Tempura Sushi Roll for our appetizer... The only sushi roll Charles can get down with haha.
^^ Peep The Gran Marnier Sangria On The Side
 ^^ I ordered the Pan Seared Cauliflower Steak w/ Sautéed Quinoa & Arugula.. Surprisingly rich & filling!
 ^^ Charles got the Brisket Sandwich w/ Fries. Looks simple but woo! It packed alot of juicy, tender flavor!
^^ Sexiest  & Surprisingly Tastiest Giant Cauliflower That I Ever Did See...
 ^^ Allow me to introduce you to the Chocolate St. Louis Gooey Cake!
^^ My "Watch Me Crush This Gooey Cake" Face.. 
 ^^ Crushed... Like A Boss. Check, Please!

After dinner, we made our way downstairs to the music lounge where we found seats near the stage and sat back to enjoy the live performance of saxophones, trumpets, piano, guitars, bass and congo drums meld into a harmonious symphony of afro-jazz melodies... The energy of the music was so contagious! Especially in a such an intimate and enclosed environment; I felt like the beats were blasting through my body and I couldn't help but dance in my seat during every single set. :)

^^ Not my best angle so don't focus on me. Instead, focus on how ah-mazing the stairs are! Loved the lights!
^^This trumpeter was sooo good!! 

I couldn't decide which version of the photo above ^^ to post so I'm sharing both.. Because sometimes it's fun to fulfill the stereotype of being a "narcissistic blogger" haha. With that said, our date night at The Hamilton was the shizzzzz and if you're ever in the D.C. area, I highly recommend checking out their site to see what live performances they have lined up every month. Charles and I have every intention of coming back to The Hamilton for another multi-dimensional experience of scrumptious food and delightful live music. Dear Hamilton: You rock!

And you? Seen any intimate live concerts lately? Or do you prefer grand arena stage concerts?  I tend to go back and forth on which musical setting I prefer based on who the performer is... Speaking of which, Charles and I have tickets to see the On The Run Tour w/ Jay Z and Beyonce next Monday in Baltimore at the massive M&T Bank Stadium - home of the Baltimore Ravens!!! We're kinda in the nosebleed area but I don't care. As long as I'm there, that's all that matters haha. I'm a huuuuuge Beyonce fan and cannot wait to see her do her thang on stage even if it's from wayyyyy up top!!! Counting down the days!!! 

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Friday, June 27, 2014

#ResidentTourist Link Up | In Search Of The Oreo Like Dat-O :)

^^ resident tourist ottd :)

Remember that one time I posted about the Washingtonian Magazine's Foodie Edition? And remember when I said I was determined to try out the Oreo Like Dat-O from the Bayou Bakery in Arlington, VA after reading their feature in the mag? Well it happened! Charles and I finally found time to make our way out to the bakery this past weekend and boy, did we grub!

The Bayou Bakery is a coffee bar and eatery influenced by New Orleans cuisine and culture. On Sundays, they have an all day brunch menu and from that menu, Charles and I ordered the 'build a biscuit' with ham and cheddar cheese and the grits& grillade: grits with braised brisket and tomato gravy. 

The biscuit was so damn soft and buttery good! It literally melted in our mouths as we each took turns biting into it. I generally don't eat ham (except for on Thanksgiving when it's freshly baked; deli ham = ew) but made an exception for the biscuit this past weekend. As for the grits & grillade... 

I've only ever eaten grits by itself or with shrimp. So this was my first time eating grits with beef brisket and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely the two main ingredients complimented each other in the bowl. The hearty portion of brisket melded harmoniously with the grits and each bite was very satisfying in texture. The dish in general was a bit too heavy for me considering the season (I tend to eat lighter in the summer so after a few bites I passed the bowl to Charles to finish off) but I have every intention of coming back for this meal in the fall and winter when my body naturally craves heavy food to pack on blubber against the winter chill. But enough on the main course... Let's move onto dessert!

The Oreo Like Dat-O is obviously a recreation of the original Oreo except that it's 10 times the original size (Insert "Honey I Blew Up The Kid" Oreo Edition here). Charles and I shared the Oreo between the two of us but I think this humongous cookie sandwich could be shared between 4-5 people (when cut into little pieces) because each bite was so very rich and sweet in flavor.

^^ See.. It's sooo big! #thatswhatshesaid

As for answering the question in whether the Oreo was actually like Dat-O in taste? Well... To be honest, I thought the filling was more like whoopie pie filling in taste instead of an oreo's. I'm not saying it didn't taste good; it just didn't taste like an oreo. I applaud the Bayou Bakery in their attempt to re-create a cookie I'm a huge fan of but if I were to ever come back, I'm not sure that I would order Oreo Like Dat-O again. If anything, I'm super curious to try out their beignets the next time we come around. Overall, we had a great experience and I'm super excited to check out some more restaurants in the Arlington area of Northern Virginia (NOVA) in the future. Got any recommendations for places to check out in the NOVA area? Send them my way, pretty please  :)

And now for the link up! Today I have the wonderful Malou, of Skip To Malou, co-hosting today's #ResidentTourist Link Up with me! Malou lives in Barbados and is the first blogger I ever connected with when I started out blogging 2 years ago. Luckily, timing was on our side when Charles and I visited the Bajan Isle last January and we were able to meet and hang for a bit during our trip! Since then, we've kept in touch and I consider her a dear friend. Everytime I read her posts about living the irie life in Barbados, I get a bad case of island wanderlust! So make sure to hop over to Malou's blog and check out her local post today!