Category Archives: Family

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

I know, I know…You’re probably sick and tired of hearing about the trip I took with my sister to D.C. earlier this year, but I just couldn’t quit without giving you more of the personal story behind our adventure.

As you may remember, I worked with a brand on the two earlier posts that introduced and explained our motivation for heading to the capital (catch up on those here first, and then here). For legal reasons per the brand I wasn’t able to talk as openly as I would have liked about the trip. I would have had to get written permission from the composer we saw, the restaurant we ate at, etc. to make mentions of them throughout the posts, and it just would have been too time-consuming. Now that the campaign has wrapped up, though, the brand said I’m free to spill all the beans—and that’s exactly what I plan to do today!

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

If you’ve been following along with this story since the beginning, you already know that we stayed at the Watergate Hotel. This was my first time staying at the hotel, and I can tell you right now that it won’t be my last. (By the way, today’s post isn’t sponsored in any way, so no one is paying me to say any of this!).

Our dad is actually the one who suggested that we stay at this particular hotel, mainly because he knew it would put us right next to the Kennedy Center, which we planned to walk to that night for the Philip Glass concert.

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate HotelMy sister and I almost immediately hit a bunch of bad construction traffic once we got into the city, and ultimately got rerouted dozens of blocks from the hotel. We’re not city girls by nature, so we got a little turned around. We made the most of it, though, because GPS ended up taking us straight down the stretch of embassy offices, and it was so cool to see all of the different architecture and landscaping unique to each country.

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

We eventually found our way to the Watergate and got settled into our quaint-but-cool hotel room. Again, because of legal reasons, I wasn’t able to give a full tour of our room in the first two blog posts about the trip, so today you’ll see lots more of the space, including the massive bathroom, views of the water, and a look at our scrumptious bed-side breakfast.

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

My sister jumped right into the shower almost as soon as we had set our bags down, but that gave me just enough time to snap a photo and video tour of the hotel room. After that, we both lazed around in official Watergate bathrobes, decompressing from the semi-stressful drive.

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

At about 5:30 or so, we went down to the hotel restaurant for a quick dinner. I’m not sure if it was leftover nerves from the drive or just a bit of anxious excitement for the concert we were going to see later that night, but neither one of us had a big appetite. A glass of wine each and some appetizers set us up nicely, though, and it was fun to people watch. Remember that it was pretty much the tail-end of winter during our stay, so the place was packed with people looking to escape the cold.

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Next, my sister and I hit the sidewalks bound for the Kennedy Center. The concert hall was even closer than we expected it to be (thanks, Dad!) so we didn’t have to spend too long out in the elements that chilly night. Even still, we high-tailed it and breathed a huge sigh of relief once we were inside the glowing lobby at the Kennedy Center.

I don’t have many photos to share from inside the concert because I wasn’t sure what their policy was on photography, but you can hop back here to Part 2 to see a couple of quick shots. You’ll also learn a lot more about the concert and how it felt to be part of the audience at such an amazing event. We saw Philip Glass, and he was just incredible—one of our favorite composers, for sure!

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

A couple of hours later, the concert was behind us along with another frigid walk back through the cold to our hotel room. I’m not sure if it was memories of the music or just the super comfy bed in our room, but my sister and I both slept like babies that night.

The next morning we got a note from hotel staff that said we should expect traffic that day because of a marathon going on nearby in the city, so we decided to take our time and treat ourselves to breakfast in bed, something I had never done. Turns out it’s just as decadent as you’d think to be served a gourmet breakfast right in your hotel room, and we stayed in our bathrobes most of the morning, chowing down on poached eggs and waffles, and filling up on espresso coffee.

Our Stay At The Watergate Hotel

Anyway, that’s about all I have left to say about our trip to D.C. to see Philip Glass. It was such a dream come true to finally hear him play in person, and I really did think that the Watergate was such a fabulous hotel. I can’t wait to visit again and to see more shows at the Kennedy Center. Have you been before?

Click ‘Play’ below on the extended cut of the video I put together of our trip, which shows a lot more of the hotel room and (of course) that delicious breakfast. Cheers!

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My Summer 2018 Reading List

My Summer 2018 Reading List

Now that it’s summer, like the rest of the world, I’m thinking about (1) all the adventures I should be taking during these hot mid-year months, and (2) what books I need to be reading. I don’t actually have a ton of “down time,” but I am doing my best to trade screen time in for a book before bed. I’ve always been a voracious reader (I used to check out six books at a time and then read them one chapter at a time in sequence!), so getting lost in a good book makes me feel a little bit like a kid again.

In case you’ve been on the hunt for book recommendations this summer, you’re in luck because I’m sharing a full list of the books I plan to read throughout this next season. I’ve included a bunch of novels, some classics, one nonfiction/history book, and a couple of reference books, too. There’s gotta be something on this list that sparks your interest, so keep scrolling and find one that speaks to you.

My Summer 2018 Reading List

My Summer 2018 Reading List

My Summer 2018 Reading List:

1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman: I’ve seen this book all over social media since it came out last year, so I decided to give it a shot. It was really good—had all sorts of unexpected twists and turns—but I just had to point out how laughably inaccurate the book jacket is. It says that the book is “Smart, warm, uplifting,” but I thought it was downright dark at times. Still, this book is at the top of my book list and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something deeper and, yes, darker than your average summer read.

2. The Curated Closet, by Anuschka Rees: Where do I even begin with this book? It’s genius, so inspiring, and has changed my entire perspective on clothing, style, and shopping. I picked it up from the library, but wish I had bought it for myself because I ended up taking six pages of notes. I think it might just change your life (or at least your wardrobe), too.

3. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien: Every summer I like to challenge myself to reread a book or collection of books that I’ve already read and loved. This season that collection is the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t read them yet, do yourself a favor and order them or check them out from your local library ASAP.

4. A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline: John’s mom gave me this book for my birthday, and I’m anxious to read it this summer. The whole story is inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World, which is so intriguing to me since I’m an absolute nut for art history.

5. All the President’s Men, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: John and I randomly decided to commit to understanding the Watergate scandal, and have been devouring anything we can get our hands on that focuses on the way things went down. We already watched All the President’s Men, the movie, but now I’m slowly working my way through the book. There are so many intricate details and names to keep straight, so it’s not going to be one that I breeze through. That said, I can hardly put it down!

6. The Love and Lemons Cookbook, by Jeanine Donofrio: Okay, so not a novel, per se, but this cookbook is easily a new favorite of ours this summer. I’m going to talk a lot more about it in my summer ‘Favorites’ video, which is set to go live in a couple of weeks, but trust me when I say that it’s worth a peruse as you work on planning plant-based meals this season.

7. The One & Only, by Emily Giffin: This is the one I’m currently reading, and I’m loving it so far. Emily Giffin has a knack for telling stories that feel so real. Her books don’t feel predictable or hyped. Instead, I find myself relating not only to the characters, but also the real life decisions they make and reactions they have. No two books of hers are ever the same, in my opinion, and The One & Only is a new favorite so far!

My Summer 2018 Reading List

My Summer 2018 Reading List

I think you know what I’m going to say next, but…what are you reading this summer?! I want to add a couple more books to my list to round it out, so please share any books you’ve already read and loved, or maybe some of the titles that others have recommended to you. Like I said, reading is such a favorite pastime of mine, so I’m excited to really prioritize it this summer whenever I have down time.

My Summer 2018 Reading List

My Summer 2018 Reading List

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made by the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. You can rest assured that I would never recommend a product that we don’t use and love ourselves.
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Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Remember last week when I shared all about our ‘Logs & Lager’ get-together? Well, I’m back with the scrumptious details behind the Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken that we whipped up to serve alongside the bonfire at our summer soirée.

The inspiration behind this meal was the case of Gold Leaf Lager that we picked up for the evening from Devils Backbone. Today’s post isn’t sponsored by the DB family, but I’m more than willing to keep the link love going because we’re such genuine fans of all they brew up and what they do for our community, too. Scroll on for the recipe and a few veggie side suggestions to inspire you, whether you’re planning a regular weekday meal at home or a big gathering of friends and family this weekend.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken

  • 2-3 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup Gold Leaf Lager beer
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl, mix the beer, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic, soy sauce, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir mixture until the honey dissolves, and add in the chicken. Cover and marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat an outdoor grill on medium heat and lightly oil grate. Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess; discard any remaining marinade. Grill chicken until tender and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

While we had the chicken cooking on the grill, my dad also chopped and seasoned a pile of asparagus, zucchini, and squash to crisp up in a veggie basket over the heat. My mom worked up a bowl of homemade pasta salad ahead of time, too, so we had a veritable feast to enjoy around the fire by the time evening rolled around.

Have you ever tried cooking with beer before? It’s one of our favorite things to do when summer settles around us this time of year. There’s just something so refreshing about those crisp, clean, malty flavors at the dinner table (or bonfire camping stool!). Leave your own favorite beer recipes and suggestions in the comments below because we’re always anxious to try new meal ideas and marinade combinations.

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

Beer-Marinated Grilled Chicken Recipe

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DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools

*This post was sponsored by Duraflame

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

If you guys have learned anything about me over the years (or even just over the past few days if you’re new!) I can never, ever leave “well enough” alone. I’m always thinking about how I can improve something with a little paint, glue, rope, or greenery—which is almost exactly how today’s camping craft came to be.

Scroll on to find out how to make this couldn’t-be-easier DIY potato stamped campfire stool in partnership with Duraflame, a brand we have worked with time and time again because they’re that awesome. Seriously. Get the details in both photo and video format below!

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Here’s What You’ll Need:

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step One

Use a paring knife to lightly draw a shape onto one “face” of your halved potato. Simple is best for this type of stamp project, so I drew out two different kinds of squiggles. Once you have your general shape lightly cut into the surface of the potato, go ahead and cut about a 1/2-inch deep. Next, come in from the sides of the potato to cut away the excess from the edges. You should be left with a pronounced stamp on the face of your potato.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Two

Use a paper towel to dry off any moisture from the cut surface of the potato, and then squeeze a healthy dollop of paint onto a paper plate. I used acrylic paint because I had it on hand, and I find that it’s really good at adhering to fabric (i.e. I learned the hard way that it does not come out of your clothes once it’s dry). Fabric paint will work, though, if you’d prefer to use that. Dab each of your potato stamps into the paint to load it up with pigment, then lightly tap off the excess paint on a clean area of the paper plate.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Three

If you’re able to take your camping stool apart, do so now and lay the fabric on a flat work surface for stamping. If you’re not able to take the fabric off the frame (like our stool), you can press a piece of thick scrap cardboard under the fabric to give yourself a fairly even surface to work on. Press the paint-laden potato stamp onto the fabric, gently pressing into all sides for an evenly painted shape. Then, lift the stamp straight off. Reload the stamp with paint and repeat, rotating and switching out the stamps every now and then to get a random look.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Four

Fill any uneven shapes in with extra paint using an angled detail paint brush. NOTE: if you’re able to remove the fabric on your stool and stamp over a truly even work surface, you probably won’t need to worry as much about doing this step.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Step Five

Let the paint on the stools dry for 24 hours before handling or folding, then you’re done and ready to pack the DIY-decorated seats up for your next camping or bonfire adventure. Click ‘Play’ on the video below to see the whole process in action!

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Again, the stools were perfectly fine right out of the box, but I love the patterned seat so much more than the original plain fabric. Now that we customized them, there’s no chance that they’ll be mistaken for anything other than ours.

Another thing I’m smitten with is how easy these stools are to fold and pack away for travel. In fact, we’ve since tucked them and a box of Firelogs into the flat space under the back seats in my car so they’re handy for any spontaneous bonfire with friends this summer.

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

Big thanks to Duraflame for helping inspire this fun seasonal craft, and now I’m dying to know: what pattern would you use for your stamp? Would you do simple polka dots or triangles? Maybe something a little more complicated, like hearts or even letters to spell something out? Do tell in the comments below, and allow me to be the first to wish you a happy start to summer today!

DIY Potato Stamped Campfire Stools | dreamgreendiy.com + @duraflame #ad

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How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée

*This post was sponsored by Devils Backbone Brewing Company

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Did you know that the first official day of summer is tomorrow? We’re so excited to dive into our seasonal to-do list and spend as much time as possible outside with friends and family. This year John and I are feeling extra motivated to step out of our box and try new things, and one thing we’ve got our sights set on is the idea of more gatherings. They don’t have to be big or complicated—even if it’s just the two of us plus our parents and sisters, it’ll be a blast. We have visions of all of us gathered around the fire pit in the backyard, beer bottles in hand, and summery tunes playing in the background…can you picture it?!

To help motivate me to bring this idea to life, I teamed up with Devils Backbone Brewing Company, which just so happens to be right down the mountain from us here in Waynesboro (and also happens to be one of Virginia’s largest craft breweries). After chatting with the DB Family, I found out that they specialize in crisp, refreshing lagers, and that lagers are actually pretty complex to make despite their seemingly simple flavor.

So, inspired by DB’s Gold Leaf LagerI’m sharing summer party-planning tips that follow that same concept: a great get-together takes time and persistence to pull off, but a little pre-planning makes all the difference. Scroll on to find out how we managed to make our idea for a ‘Logs & Lager’ soirée around a bonfire feel simple and sweet.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Make A Plan Several Weeks Ahead:

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but it always bears repeating: any good get-together has to start with a plan. As soon as we made the decision to host everyone for a fire pit party, we started gathering pieces for the event (think: indoor/outdoor plates and platters, cases of beer, a few little decorative details). You can even plan your menu ahead of time by printing or emailing recipes to yourself that catch your eye. Having these things stacked in one place takes a little time, but all of that work will be so appreciated come party time when the whole event comes together with seemingly little effort.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Choose Your Beer Wisely:

This is one of those things that you don’t want to leave until the last minute. As you probably already know, beer is often made and released based on the season, so stick to a summery beer that features light, crisp tasting notes to complement a warm weather barbecue.

Devils Backbone’s Gold Leaf Lager is our family’s go-to beer this time of year, and it’s one that pretty much everyone at your backyard gathering will like. It’s pale gold, light- to medium-bodied with subtle fresh bready notes, and a clean, crisp finish. Bready, clean, crisp—can you think of anything more appropriate for summer? Yeah, we couldn’t either, so DB’s Gold Leaf lager was a no-brainer for our ‘Logs & Lager’ event.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

DIY Decorated Ice Bucket:

We had our beer, yes, but how should we actually serve it? I’m not a huge fan of guests having to dig into our fridge to grab their own craft brews, so I whipped up a quick “Grab a ‘Gold’ One!” sign in Photoshop (inspired by our case of Gold Leaf Lager, of course!), then I printed it out, and used washi tape to stick it to the side of a plastic ice bucket that we kept outside.

You can download the free printable sign here to use at your own party, and just in case you’d prefer a more generalized sign, you can download the alternative “Grab a ‘Cold’ One!” version of the printable here. I may be biased, but I’m of the mind that these little details make a party feel really special.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Thoughtful Decorative Details:

Speaking of decorative details, I also came up with a simple way to manipulate multicolored wine glass charms so that folks who preferred to drink their lagers sans glass could keep track of their beer bottles. Just grab a set of traditional metal wine charms (ours came from Target), open them up, and snap them over the necks of all those beer bottles before nestling them into the ice bucket outside. Then, each guest can take note of his or her personal charm as they grab a beer from the bucket so they don’t accidentally pick up someone else’s bottle later on.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

Plan A Menu Centered Outside:

The whole point of this type of backyard party is to keep people outside to enjoy the summery weather, so make it natural for your guests to wander under the sun. Base your menu around things that can be grilled—like seasonal veggies and beer-marinated chicken (stay tuned for the recipe next week!)—that way your family and friends will hang out around the grill and bonfire rather than inside the house in the kitchen. Oh, and don’t forget to stock up on shatter-proof melamine plates and platters while you’re at it to reduce the risk of broken glass on your patio.

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

When you go to a party, don’t you always appreciate when the host and hostess are laid back and at ease? And when you’re the ones actually hosting said gathering, don’t you love being able to enjoy time with your guests rather than scrambling last-minute?

I feel like the only way to pull off that simple, casual vibe is by having a plan in place, and making sure you leave no detail unconsidered. The good news is that the more you do it, the easier it gets (another thing I learned from Devils Backbone and their deceptively simple brewing process), so I think that sentiment is the perfect excuse to plan as many summery soirees as possible this season—who’s with me?!

How To Host A Summertime Logs & Lager Soirée | dreamgreendiy.com + @devilsbackbone #ad

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Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2

*I’m partnering with LIFEWTR to bring you this arts adventure story

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

I’m back with Part 2 of my adventure to D.C. with my sister in partnership with LIFEWTR and 7-Eleven! This was a trip to remember, and one that I can’t wait to repeat in the coming months. If you’re just tuning in, my little sis and I hit the road for a whirlwind trip to the capital to catch our favorite composer in concert at the Kennedy Center. You can see our weekend in action here, but I’m sharing even more about our artistic adventure, inspired by LIFEWTR, below.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

(A peek at what I wore to the concert is above)

It’s probably pretty easy to see how I would have been inspired to take a deep creative dive after catching sight of those gorgeous water bottles. LIFEWTR is a premium water brand whose main goal is to boost sources of creation and creativity. To live out that purpose, LIFEWTR showcases different work by emerging artists on its bottles every three months. The Series 4 bottles—which my sister and I picked up for this trip from the refrigerated water section at 7-Eleven—feature cool graphics designed by Davie Lee, KRIVVY, and Luis Gonzalez. The theme for this series’ bottles is ‘Arts in Education,’ something I have a lifelong passion for, as you read about here.

The folks at LIFEWTR believe that inspiration can come from anywhere, and that it can make you see things differently. As an art school grad, I’ve learned to pick up on this concept during pretty much any activity—be it a quick stop-in at an antique store, a walk by the river, or (like my sister and I found out firsthand) a trip out of town for a concert. Give it a shot in your own everyday routine, and try to spot those moments of inspiration that change your perspective on mundane to-dos.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

As I mentioned, this was the first time I had seen anything at the Kennedy Center, so I didn’t really know what to expect. My sister had been before, but not since high school, so she was excited to relive those memories now as a 20-something. We left the hotel with plenty of time to see the sights along the way, but the evening turned out to be a frigid one, so we were relieved to find out that we were only a 10-minute walk to the front doors of the Kennedy Center.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Despite the head-to-toe shivers, we somehow managed to appreciate the brass and concrete structure of the massive building itself. Even if you’re not able to catch a show, it’s worth making the trek over to the Kennedy Center to appreciate the stunning architecture. I’m anxious to go back now that the weather here on the east coast is finally all warmed up.

Since we had a little extra time on our hands, my sister and I were able to wander the gift shops and take in the cool event posters lining the opulent (there’s no other word for it!) lobby. I saw so many scheduled events that I want to buy tickets for later this season—from ballets and galas, to plays and other piano concerts, like the one we were set to see that night. I think, without realizing it, I’ve decided that 2018 is the year I make art a priority in my life again.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

The concert we saw featured our favorite composer playing through his own piano etudes alongside four other musicians. My favorite part about the concert was hearing how each of the musicians put their own spin on the main composer’s work—some attacked the piano with enthusiasm, while others gave more pulled-back performances. I kept thinking how intimidating it must be to play music by a legendary composer who was right off stage listening in.

It was also such a unique experience to see a single musician play one instrument on stage. There was no big symphony to add sound to the background and nothing else to see or take in during the event, which made every note extra powerful. Even though I was one of hundreds in the audience, the set-up gave the concert a really intimate tone. I actually go to the symphony pretty regularly here in town, but this concert was unlike anything I had ever seen or experienced before.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

The following day, my sister and I were so inspired by the music and art we had experienced the night before that (after a lazy breakfast in bed, of course!) we grabbed our extra LIFEWTR bottles and hit the streets to explore the National Mall.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our 24-hour art adventure to D.C. I’d love to know what inspires you during your own day-to-day activities, so do tell in the comments below. Snap a pic of these inspired moments and share them on social media so we can all get fresh ideas ahead of the summer adventure season, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Series 5 ‘Art Beyond Borders’ LIFEWTR bottle designs at your local 7-Eleven.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 2 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

*Find more ways to get inspired with LIFEWTR and 7-Eleven here.
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Our Dreams For A Mountain Oasis

Our Dreams For A Mountain Oasis

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Okay, guys. It’s finally time to say out loud the thing that John and I have been dreaming about since we moved to Waynesboro, Virginia: we want a second home! It’s, frankly, kinda scary to make that statement to the world, especially since we’re no where near reaching that goal, but it’s a subject that we talk about constantly in our house, so I thought it might be nice to share it with all of you in the hopes that it will motivate us to make it happen.

Essentially, John and I have been seriously considering the purchase of land that we can either build on or that already comes with a home on it that we can then renovate. This area that we moved to two and a half years ago is surrounded by some of the most incredible mountains and rivers, and with John’s obsession with fly fishing at an all-time high, it just makes sense that we would set our sights on expanding into a bonus property away from the city.

Since we started dreaming about our little mountain oasis, I’ve naturally started thinking about the weekend home that would be central to it. Scroll on for my thoughts on the design of our second space, and feel free to see all of my dream inspiration over on Pinterest here.

Our Dreams For A Mountain Oasis

  1. I’m still all about white walls and neutral décor, but my dream is a small space that boasts lots of texture through different types of wall and ceiling treatments. This modern shiplap look has me dreaming of a minimalist cabin in the woods. (source)
  2. Not surprisingly, a second A-frame home is at the top of our wish list. While John won’t let me paint our current angular brick ranch, I have a feeling that I can sway him into painting our river retreat black or charcoal gray like the gorgeous home pictured above. (source)
  3. Since the intent would be to use this weekend getaway for more laidback, occasional living, I love the idea of keeping the décor to a minimum like the white and green bathroom I included here. (source)
  4. The fourth inspiration image in today’s post serves two functions. First, to put an emphasis on all the windows we’d love to have in order to really celebrate our natural surroundings, and, second, to show the open concept space we dream of enjoying while hosting family and friends. (source)
  5. In terms of the kitchen, I think I’d prefer to keep things really minimal, so a white-on-white palette is high on my list of priorities. I’d also like to think we could live without upper cabinets to reduce visual and physical clutter. (source)
  6. Three letters, folks: P.J.s. The whole point of our dreams for this mountain oasis is to turn off our phones and enjoy the cozy quiet. I have dreams of staying in pajamas all day long, lounging on the back porch, and just generally enjoying the peace of a back-to-basics lifestyle. (source)

Do you have a secret dream you’ve been pining away for silently behind the scenes? Tell us all about it in the comments below! I’m firmly of the mind that the simple act of saying something out loud makes us feel more empowered to turn it into reality. Here’s hoping we can all get one step closer to making it happen this year!

Our Dreams For A Mountain Oasis**One “quick” housekeeping note about the newsletter before I sign off for the day. You may have heard about the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), that comes into effect May 25, 2018. To help comply with GDPR consent requirements, we need to confirm that you would like to continue receiving content from us.

Don’t worry! Nothing is changing, and you can still count on us for all the exclusive creative email content you’re used to. This opt-in notice simply ensures that Dream Green DIY remains in compliance with updated laws. As before (and always), we will never sell or misuse your email or information. We hope that our content is useful to you! If you’d like to continue hearing from us, please update your subscription settings by clicking here.

If we don’t receive your updated preferences for email before May 25, 2018, we will be forced to remove you from the Dream Green DIY email ‘Tribe,’ so please be sure to update your preference here before that deadline to stay in the know!

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A Recap Of Our Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Another year, another family beach trip! I’m so grateful to have had the chance to sneak away with my parents and sister earlier this month. If you’re new to the blog, then you might not know we’ve been going to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, since my parents went there on a whim for their honeymoon. We’ve been back to visit the island countless times (believe me, we’ve tried tallying them up but it’s just too complicated) and always have the very best of times.

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

This year we had some of the nicest weather we may have ever had, so we spent looooooong hours lounging by the pool and hot tub at our rented lagoon-side home on the golf course. We’ve been back to this house three times now, and I’ve shared tours before, so feel free to click here and here for a bigger peek inside. Every time we come back, our family agrees that the house just can’t be beat by any other on the island. It’s not too big, not too small, and we always have so much fun watching the golfers (and alligators) right in our “own” back yard.

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

My dad decided to leave his golf clubs behind this trip in order to save a bit of cash, and also to spend some extra hours with us around the pool. He did pack up a bunch of art supplies, though, since he knew the activity could end up being a family affair. My sister, dad, and I all spent at least a few hours working on new masterpieces to show for our time away.

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

I actually didn’t shoot as many photos or videos as I usually do during this trip because I wanted to shut down completely and relax. The photos in today’s post are, admittedly, a really random peek into our week away on the coast, but I still wanted to share them in case you’ve been following along with our annual Hilton Head adventures. It’s also just so cool to be able to look back on these mini entries to reminisce about time away with my family. They are the very best people in the universe, and these trips are my favorite memories with them—hands down!

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Speaking of family, I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned it, but the reason you never see my sister’s face is because she absolutely hates having her picture taken. Vehemently hates. I’m lucky that she’s given into my efforts over the years to at least let me photograph her feet, hands, and back. It might sound silly and I could be the only one who thinks so, but I always feel like these stories are so much stronger with at least a tiny bit of human element. Plus, her hands are so pretty, right?!

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

Click ‘Play’ on the video below to see our vacation in motion, and let me know in the comments where you plan to go on your own 2018 vacation! If you’re headed to Hilton Head, feel free to revisit this past post for a breakdown of a few of my favorite places to visit and things to do while on the island.

Summer Vacation To Hilton Head Island

P.S. To hear more about last year’s trip to Hilton Head (video included!) click back here.
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Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1

*I’m partnering with LIFEWTR to bring you this arts adventure story

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

I can hardly believe I’m able to say it, but this May will mark 10 years since I graduated from college. A decade sure sounds like a long time, but, frankly, I still feel a whole lot like that creative, semi-scattered 22-year-old girl. I might not have a pixie haircut anymore, and I’ve kinda lost my more carefree attitude (an inevitability, I think, that comes with age), but I’ll always crave art like I did back when I studied it day in and day out as a studio art and art history double major.

Since I’m not able to throw myself 24/7 into creating and appreciating art now that I’m out in the “real world,” I’ve had to find other ways to get my fix. You know I’m not much of a traveler, but there’s just no denying that stepping outside our tiny Virginia town is the best (and, really, the only) way to keep up with the changing arts scene. Today, along with LIFEWTR and 7-Eleven, I’m taking you with me on my latest adventure in honor of the arts. Scroll on to read and watch “Part One” of my recap, and stay tuned for the next chapter of our story later next month.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

My partner in crime for this particular trip was my little sister. She’d be the first to tell you that she’s no artist, but the two of us have a deeply passionate shared love for all kinds of creative themes—be it architecture, interior design, painting, writing, and, of course, music.

So, when I found out that one of our favorite composers was playing his debut concert at the Kennedy Center in D.C., my sister was the first person I called. Happily, it didn’t take much convincing to get her to agree to a whirlwind 24-hour trip from Virginia to D.C., and, as per usual, I decided to take my camera equipment along to document the ride.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Before hitting the road that Friday afternoon, my sister and I made a quick pit stop at 7-Eleven, where we filled up on gas and a few other road trip essentials from the refrigerated water section, like LIFEWTR. I’m already a big fan of all LIFEWTR does to encourage the cultural arts and how they inspire like-minded innovators. I couldn’t have asked for a more well-aligned collaborator for our adventure, and told the team as much the moment they reached out to me.

It doesn’t hurt that, in my opinion, LIFEWTR bottles are easily the more photogenic water bottles on earth. The brand releases bottles featuring designs created by three different artists at a time, with each series tied to a specific theme. The Series 4 bottles that my sister and I picked up at 7-Eleven showcase designs by three emerging artists (Davie Lee, KRIVVY, and Luis Gonzalez) and focuses on the importance of ‘Arts in Education’—something I’m clearly passionate about. You can learn more about the ‘Arts in Education’ initiative here.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

With our car now officially packed to the brim, my sis and I hit the road bound for D.C. We talked non-stop the entire two-and-a-half-hour trip, but made sure we kept music from the composer we were set to see at the Kennedy Center playing quietly in the background to help inspire our musical moods. I plan to share more details about our trip in ‘Part Two’ of this story, but for now you can click ‘Play’ on the video below to see it all in action.

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

The point of today’s post is this: I’m just so grateful for those years spent as an art student because of the memories I made that continue to make me crave inspirational adventures like our trip to D.C. The LIFEWTR brand is all about refreshing your creative mind, restoring your creative body, and inspiring your creative spirit, and that’s exactly what happened to me while I was away from home those 24 wild hours. Isn’t it amazing what art can do?

Our D.C. Road Trip Recap: Part 1 | dreamgreendiy.com + @lifewtr @7Eleven #ad #ahalogycontent

Whether you’re a filmmaker, painter, designer, musician, journalist, entrepreneur, or you just appreciate the arts, I hope you set aside time this season to tap into whatever inspires you. I’m already feeling so refreshed after our trip, and I’m pumped about planning more art adventures later this spring and summer. Where should we head next?!

Tell me what makes you feel #MoreInspired in the comments below, and feel free to keep the conversation going by snapping and sharing your own moments of inspiration on social media. Oh, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Series 5 bottles from LIFEWTR at your local 7-Eleven. I can’t wait to see how they celebrate the ‘Art Beyond Borders’ theme with brand new bottle art.

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10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

Last week, we experienced a glorious glimpse of spring weather here in Virginia. Did you feel it, too? Those 60- and 70-something-degree days were exactly what my sun-starved mind and body needed, and it got me daydreaming about all the things that come with them—namely, springtime dinner parties. The notion ended up sending me down a menu-planning rabbit hole, and I managed to gather a bunch of fun recipes that I can’t wait to try later this season. Scroll on for 10 of my favorites to inspire a spring dinner party of your own!

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

1. Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

2. Spring Greens Soup with Baked Parsnip Fries

3. Orecchiette with Peas, Pancetta & Cream

4. Spring Minestrone Soup

5. Honey & Mustard Chicken Thighs with Spring Veg

6. Melon, Prosciutto & Mozzarella Skewers

7. Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Dill & Spicy Mustard

8. Salmon & Couscous Salad Bites

9. Turkey Panini With Apple, Cheddar & Arugula

10. Watermelon and Prosciutto with Mint & Toasted Almonds

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

What flavors and recipes do you love during the warmer springtime months? Or do you tend to eat the same way all year round? Leave your recipe links and ideas in the comments below so we can all add to our must-try dishes lists!

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

10 Spring Dinner Party Menu Ideas

*Photos by Carrie Coleman
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