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Rosa Loves… To share a few random thoughts. 

Life has been good for me and Lola. We are enjoying our summer, despite the crazy storms we’ve had. For today’s post, I just wanted to share a few random thoughts and photos from the last week:

  • Sara and I attended a blogger preview of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in Pentagon City. It was so good to spend time with such a great friend and fabulous shopping buddy. We browsed through the clothing racks and I found the most adorable top that I cannot wait to wear. During the preview, we were also introduced to exofab, the coolest new iPhone case. I went with the gray camo and I love it. 
  • We had a lot of plans for the weekend, but my sweet Lola wasn’t feeling well. Friday morning appeared to be like any other morning; she woke up, ate her breakfast, and stole one of my socks. When I got home from work, she was not happy and I could tell she had an upset tummy. After a trip to the vet, some medication, and lots of rest and cuddles, she was back to normal on Sunday afternoon. She has made a full recovery and is now resting on my lap as I write this post. 
  • Last week, my adorable Chihuahua tote that I had for years got ruined. I quickly looked up the Etsy vendor I had gotten it from and I was able to order a replacement. My new super cute tote arrived just in time for running errands on Sunday morning. If you are interested in a tote just like mine, the name of the vendor is Square Paisley Designs
  • While at Trader Joe’s on Sunday morning, I walked by the flower section and those white roses were hard to resist. I thought, why not? I figured Lola would enjoy some flowers in the apartment as she was still recovering from her upset tummy. 

For the next few weeks, I won’t be posting as often, but I do have some fun projects for the blog that I will be sharing with you throughout the rest of the summer. Make sure to check for updates. 

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far.

DC Event Alert: My friend Katalina is one of the most amazing people I know; she’s determined and when she wants something, she works hard and makes it happen. I am so proud of her because today, she is launching a new company, El Camino Travel. Katalina and her team provide highly curated trips to fabulous places all around the world. Their first Pop Up Vacay event will be taking place on August 6th at the Beaver Dam Swin Club, which is located near Baltimore. If you are interested, click on this link or on the button on the right side column. 

{iPhone case was courtesy of exofab}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC, taken with her iPhone and processed with PicTapGo}

Rosa Loves… The perfect tote and sunglasses for a day at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

For the final post of my mini tour of DC with Ann Taylor, I have chosen an incredibly beautiful place: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. Hillwood is truly spectacular and a place that some people call one of DC’s best kept secrets. 

My friend Anne introduced to Hillwood a few years ago; after a day of exploring the mansion and walking around the gardens, I was in love with the estate. Hillwood is the former residence of socialite and General Foods founder Marjorie Merriweather Post, who was known for her exquisite taste and love for the arts. Marjorie was particularly fascinated with Russian Imperial art and her collection at the museum is one of the best in the world. The gardens are just stunning and the landscape is divided into several garden ‘rooms’ that are intended to feature different historical styles. The French Parterre and the Japanese-style Garden are among my favorite garden rooms and I never get tired of admiring their beauty. In addition to the art collection and the beautiful gardens, Hillwood also offers special exhibitions. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to see the paper dress creations of artist Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Prêt-à-Papier exhibition. Currently, the museum is showing an impressive display of Marjorie’s collection of Cartier jewelry, which I have seen and I strongly recommend. Sometimes, I feel the need to escape the noise of the city and Hillwood is the perfect place to do so; the estate is hidden away in a quiet residential neighborhood overlooking Rock Creek Park. My day at this gorgeous place, usually involves mini tours of the mansion, leisurely strolls around the gardens, and lunch or coffee at the Café. Therefore, my camera, sunblock, and sunglasses are all essential items that I always carry in my fabulous tote during my visits. 

This concludes my series of favorite spots in DC with Ann Taylor. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the posts and each of the places featured as they are all truly special to me.

Hillwood is located in Northwest DC. The estate can be reached by car or taxi; parking is free. The Van Ness-UDC Metro station is within a 15-20 minute walk. Non-flash photography is allowed inside the mansion and there is a $15 suggested donation.

{Tote and sunglasses featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… The perfect necklace for dinner at Oyamel. 

Today’s post is the second part of my collaboration with Ann Taylor featuring my favorite places in DC. As you can see by the photos, it involves delicious food and a fabulous sparkly accessory.

My mini tour of DC wouldn’t be complete without Oyamel, an amazing Mexican restaurant owned by local chef José Andrés who has been internationally recognized for his culinary innovation. I spent my childhood in México and the food at Oyamel always brings back wonderful memories and makes me think of my grandmother’s cooking. The quesadilla huitlacoche (Mexican corn truffle), the nopalitos (baby cactus) salad, and the gorditas de pato (masa cakes with duck confit) are among my favorite dishes. In terms of cocktails, I highly recommend the signature salt air margarita and the mojito Dorado. The restaurant also holds an annual Tequila and Mezcal Festival, which features unique dishes and cocktails inspired by these two Mexican spirits. I have been able to attend the festival before and it is incredible. Oyamel is very close to several museums and other attractions in downtown DC so it is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after a day of exploring the city. I love meeting friends at Oyamel for dinner during the weekend; it is not only a fabulous way to catch up and unwind after a long week at work, but it is also a great excuse to wear one of my favorite accessories, a very sparkly necklace.

Interesting fact: If you are curious about the meaning of name of this fantastic restaurant, oyamel is a fir tree found in the forests of Michoacán, México, where monarch butterflies seek refuge every winter after traveling thousands of miles from the U.S. and Canada. 

Dishes featured in this post:

  • Albóndigas (traditional Mexican meatballs)
  • Chilorio de res (taco with shredded beef braised in sauce of pasilla and guajillo chile)
  • Taco pescado Baja California (seared mahi mahi taco)
  • Quesadilla huitlacoche (traditional folded corn tortilla with Chihuahua cheese and Mexican corn truffle)

Oyamel is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, DC. Reservations can be made online and walk-ins are welcome.

{Necklace and clutch featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… The perfect pair of flats for an afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The name of my blog says it all: I love DC. I truly believe that DC is such a beautiful city with a rich history and wonderful places to visit. Today’s post is the beginning of a series where I will take you on a mini tour of DC. A few weeks ago, Ann Taylor asked me to share three of my favorite places in the city and I thought it would be a fun project to do. I will also feature some of Ann Taylor’s fabulous pieces which happen to be perfect for exploring DC. I sincerely hope you enjoy my picks.

The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are on the top of my list of favorite places in DC. Both museums are located in downtown DC and share one of the city’s oldest buildings, which is a National Historic Landmark and once housed the U.S. Patent Office. The exhibitions offered by the museums never disappoint. Last year, I had the opportunity to see ‘A Democracy of Images’, an amazing collection that explored the evolution of photography in America. I enjoy the new exhibitions, but I often make time to visit the ‘America’s Presidents' permanent collection and the interesting display of modern and contemporary art in the Lincoln Gallery. A coffee break is always a good idea while spending time at the museums and Kogod Courtyard, which is also part of the building, is the perfect place to do so. The courtyard is filled with natural light and the wavy glass and steel canopy is just breathtaking. Since it is easy to lose track of time at this incredible place, a pair of comfortable flats is a must. I can honestly spend an entire afternoon walking around the exhibitions and admiring the building’s architecture.

In case you were wondering, yes, Lola decided to interrupt my photography session so I had to include the photo in the post. 

If you live outside DC but are planning to visit in the future, make sure to include the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in your itinerary. Non-flash photography is allowed throughout the building with a few exceptions and admission is free.

{Flats and clutch featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… Dine-N-Dash & World Central Kitchen.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Dine-N-Dash, a fabulous culinary tour some of the best restaurants and food trucks in Penn Quarter. DC foodies basically took over the streets of DC and enjoyed a night of food, drinks, and live music. The Dine-N-Dash event is truly special because all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization established by chef José Andrés with the purpose of providing sustainable solutions for hunger relief. Chef José Andrés was at the event and I have to tell you, his energy is contagious. I saw him at a few of the participating restaurants and he was always so cheerful while talking to other foodies and taking photos with fans. Amazing. It was my first Dine-N-Dash and I loved it. I was able to go and visit some of my favorite restaurants and learned about new ones. As you know from reading my blog, I love food photography so I was in heaven with all the delicious dishes to photograph (and eat) around me. Funny story, when I arrived at Cuba Libre, I realized that it was very dark inside for me to take photos. However, some folks came to the rescue and brought food and drinks outside for me to photograph. So there I was, snapping photos of some beautiful food at the volunteer table on the sidewalk. After I was done with the photos, the volunteers, which included the lovely Carmen, and I devoured the incredibly tasty food (thank you Cuba Libre!). I honestly cannot wait to do this again next year. Good food for a good cause, sign me up!

To learn more about World Central Kitchen and how you can help hunger relief, visit their site here.

Participating Restaurants:

Participating Food Trucks:

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}  

Rosa Loves…Vintage Jewelry.

Sunday afternoon was fabulous and filled with beautiful vintage jewelry. After brunch, Arlita, Erica, and I attended a ‘Spark Party’ featuring jewelry from Sweet & Spark and hosted by the lovely Brittney of Hosting and Toasting. I certainly have a weakness for accessories and Sweet & Spark is one of my favorite online places to find unique vintage pieces. The story behind this shop is really special: Jillian, the founder, and her dad started the business in 2012, and together, they travel around the country and visit local flea markets searching for vintage treasures. While sipping on champagne and eating cupcakes with my friends, we tried on the gorgeous pieces that Jillian and her dad have carefully curated for the shop. Just like everyone else at the party, I found the perfect sparkle to take home: a bracelet for me and a gorgeous pair of earrings for my sister.

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}