Yet another update

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Hey All!

Yes, I know I pretty much shut this blog down in order to focus on She Jaunts. However, I find that I occasionally return here to reference something I wrote on this blog. So I’ve been wondering if I should continue posting D.C. related content over here and double post or link and reference content from the two blogs? What are your thoughts on the matter? Share them in the comment section. In the meantime, I would love for you to come on over to She Jaunts and subscribe. My most recent post is about Cuban sandwiches (yum!)

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Beyond Brunch DC is now She Jaunts!

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As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to stop posting under Beyond Brunch and to start a new brand focused on lifestyle and travel. My new brand is She Jaunts – A travel and lifestyle blog.

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As I mentioned, one reason I was no longer posting to Beyond Brunch was because I felt limited. I really wanted to focus on brunching, trying new restaurants and bars, and enjoying the District of Columbia lifestyle.

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Unfortunately, I got wrapped up in my day job and found that I was not committing as much time to going out, therefore I wasn’t generating content. To top it off, I discovered that someone else was using the Beyond Brunch brand name.

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Over the past few years I’ve really been wanting to travel, but I started to get travel anxiety. Even short trips would cause me to feel anxious. Toward the end of last year that desire to travel was undeniable and I booked a short jaunt up to Philadelphia, a city I’d always been curious about but never took the time to visit.

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It was the trip to Philly that really fed my travel bug and it led to me booking two more trips after that! The trip to Philly also launched my new brand, She Jaunts!

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With all of that said, this will indeed be the very last post to Beyond Brunch DC, but you can follow my travel adventures, tips and tricks, and more at www.shejaunts.com. Please also follow @shejaunts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and all other social media outlets.  You will find some of your favorite content from Beyond Brunch and more. See you on the other side!

 

Where have I been?

 

You’ve got some explaining to do!

I know. I owe you an explanation. You see what happened was two-fold. First, I hit a wall. I pretty much ran out of content. I got busy with work and fell into a rut. Second, I ran out of space to upload my media on this site. As you know I love posting lots of pictures and videos, but because this site is being hosted for free I was allotted only a certain amount of space.

So, what’s next?

Well, I hope to do more traveling so I have started a new travel brand. I will keep you posted as I grow the brand. I will keep Beyond Brunch here in its current location, however I don’t think I will focus on investing in the B.B. brand.

 

 

 

 

Tips for visiting The National Museum of African American History

Back in August I requested tickets to the newest Smithsonian museum on the mall, The National Museum of African American History. The earliest I could get passes for was in October. I didn’t realize (or maybe I did but I didn’t really give it much thought) that it would be Columbus Day weekend, a holiday. My intention was to go to the grand opening of the museum, but my schedule didn’t permit me to do so. I knew that if I didn’t go this weekend that I would miss my chance until next year.

I spent about three hours exploring the two top levels of the museum. The building ws packed to the gills. You didn’t have run to turn around it was that crowded. I would have loved to see a whole room dedicated to people like Madam C.J. Walker and Oprah Winfrey. Below are some tips if you are planning to visit the museum for the first time.

Tips:

  • You can get same day tickets, but there is a long line that you must wait in so you should opt to go early in the day.
  • If you have tickets with a designated time you can go anytime AFTER your reservation, but you will have to wait in a shorter line until your designated time if you arrive early. DO NOT wait in the first line that you see because that line is for the non-ticket holders. Walk to the back side of the museum to wait in THAT line. It moves relatively fast.
  • The slavery exhibit has yet another line, as did the gift shop. Plan accordingly. The exhibits go from bottom to top – so slavery is in the basement (as well as the restaurant – the food was bland!) and the other exhibits are on the 3rd and 4th floor. The 2nd floor is a good place to just sit or to meet up with your group if you get separated.
  • If you don’t want to eat in the restaurant (entrees range from $12-15 on average) there are a plethora of food trucks parked along the avenue in front of the museum.
  • Should you decide to drive, you should download the ParkMobile app so you can replenish your parking meter on your phone.
  • Finally, you might consider leaving the younger children home. They don’t yet understand the significance and it really isn’t a kid-friendly type of museum. They have some computer interactive exhibits, but not enough to keep little kids engaged.
  • Finally, I recommend going during the week and avoid going on a holiday. The space is very tight.

 

St. Thomas’ Parish

Today I ventured unexpectedly upon the ruins of St. Thomas church.  I was late to a dentist appointment so I figured I would explore it more on my way back. The serenity of the park was juxtaposed by overgrown foliage and a burned out chapel that sat eerily behind a wrought iron gate. Click the link to find out more about the history of St. Thomas. (Editor’s Note: The structure has since been torn down.)

 

Editor’s note: I have more photos to share but I ran out of space on this wordpress account so I need to figure out whether or not I am going to move the site. 

Mango Tree (now closed)

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The first night of summer was spent on the patio of Mango Tree in City Center sipping a spicy mango cocktail. Yelp Elite hosted the event at a relatively new restaurant that is gaining worldwide appeal. According the the Washington Post “Mango Tree is part of a Bangkok-based company, the Mango Tree Group, with 70-plus places to eat around the world, including 11 Mango Trees in eight countries.” The drink in question is called a Spicy Siam made of mango juice, rum, and a sprinkle of red chili that gives it an unexpected bite at the end. The drinks flowed freely and were plucked up quickly by guests trying to stay cool in the tropical heat that replicated what a steamy evening in Bangkok must feel like.

The servers presented trays filled with pork belly buns, crab fried rice, watermelon salad, chicken satay, and crispy coconut brussels sprouts all evening. My favorite was the crab fried rice which was a healthy portion for a sampling. I was most excited about the pork belly buns and the watermelon salad, but sadly found myself quite underwhelmed by the lack of filling and flavor inside of the pillowy soft bun, and overwhelmed by the busy flavors and textures of the watermelon salad. While I am usually a big fan of brussels sprouts, the crispy coconut brussels sprouts just weren’t impressive enough to warrant a second go despite the urging of the servers. The chicken satay was a surprise stand out with moist, tender meat and a flavorful sauce.

I look forward to going back to try their regular menu items, as well as revisiting the tasty samples that we tried at the Yelp event. Do you like Thai food?  What is your favorite Thai dish? (Editor’s note: Sadly Mango Tree closed at the end of 2016.)

Mango Tree 929 H St. NW (City Center) 202-408-8100. www.mangotreedc.com

Confession about Sinful Colors

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I must confess my I love for Sinful Shine by Kylie Jenner. There, I said it. I am not a nail polish person. I get my toes painted at the nail shop every two weeks, but I have never been one to sit at home and paint my nails. That might change with Kylie’s Sinful Shine. I spotted them in my local grocery store and liked the colors so I bought a couple of bottles. After I tried it I went back to buy a couple more bottles along with the top coat.

What makes Sinful Shine different?

  • The colors: That was the first thing that drew me in.
  • The shine: The polish has gel tech which makes it look like you have gel on your nails.
  • The price: I paid $2.99 per bottle. I am used to buying OPI and Essie which can sometimes be around $7 a bottle.
  • The coverage: With some polishes you need to have 2 or more coats to get good coverage. I can get away with one coat of polish and a top coat with Sinful Shine.

Have you tried any of Kylie’s polishes?  What is your favorite color?

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Products were purchased with my own money and I am sharing my honest opinion with my readers. 

NYX Lippies

nyxA while back I mentioned NYX Lip Butter as a favorite beauty product. Lately I haven’t been able to find lip products that are in the colors that I like. I went to CVS and Target yesterday in search of lippies. In CVS I found a tube of soft matte lip creme in Copenhagen. I didn’t realize that it was matte otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten it. Well, as anticipated the product was extremely drying to my lips and it also came out a bit redder than I expected. The woman threading my eyebrows seemed to like it, but I wasn’t a fan. I stopped in Target and the NYX section was bare. I happened to find one tube of intense butter gloss in black cherry tart in the Rimmel section where someone must have changed their mind about buying it. I really liked the deep color and the moisturizing shine of this product. In the tube both products look like they are same color, but on my skin they are very different. I will still use the matte, but I will need to use a lip liner and also layer it with another product to make it work for me.

What is your favorite lipstick brand? Do you prefer matte or gloss?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased both products on my own and have shared my honest opinion. 

My photography love story <3

My love for photography developed after I moved to D.C. to attend grad school almost half a lifetime ago. I was attending a film program and one of the professors suggested that we develop an “eye” for getting good shots and perfect framing shots by practicing with a still camera. A classmate of mine was generous enough to lend me his Pentax K1000 when I expressed an interest in learning to frame shots. I kept his camera for months, going around campus and around the city shooting mostly in black and white photos on film. One day, the camera just stopped working! My heart dropped. I thought I had broken his camera so I found a camera repair shop over by Gallaudet University and got it repaired. Proudly, I presented the cleaned and repaired camera to him and he said, “Oh, you didn’t have to do that. It was an old camera that was on the bottom of my trunk and had probably suffered water damage.”  Deflated I responded that it was only right that since he loaned the camera to me in working condition that I return it to him in the same or better condition.” When I shared my story with my aunt, she decided to take me to buy a camera of my own as a gift from her. I still have my Pentax and will cherish it for the rest of my life, especially since the manufacturer  stopped making them in 1997.

What makes the Pentax K1000 special is that it is the perfect beginner’s SLR camera. The metal body is durable and the lenses are interchangeable.  It is a manual film camera with no bells and whistles. It was recommended to beginners because it forced them to focus on basics of exposure and composition due to the lack of having extra features.

Pentax K1000

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As the use of film began I die out I longed for a digital camera, but cost was a factor. On a trip to visit a friend in D.C. I commented on his camera and he asked, “Do you want it?” My mouth hit the floor and I responded with something like are you joking? He said, no. If I wanted it I could have it because he hardly used it. The camera was like new! I graciously accepted the camera and I was as happy as a lark. The camera was a Canon Rebel T1i, and while there were a few newer models produced the T1i was just what I needed at the time. I loving used it from 2011-2016. The body of the camera is bulky, but the quality of the pictures is beautiful. I also wanted the flip out screen which the newer models now offer. I also am not impressed with the video quality of this camera, and I really wanted to expand my content creation to include video.

Canon Rebel T1i

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Enter the Canon G7x. It is everything that my Rebel is not. It is small, sleek, and compact. As a matter of fact it is small enough to slip into my pant pocket. The video quality is phenomenal and it does well in low light settings! As if that wasn’t enough it is also wi-fi enabled. I think I prefer my Rebel for still photography but for video the G7x wins hands down and it has a flip up screen that I can use when making travel videos and product reviews! I adore this camera and hope to put it to good use once the weather warms up. I really wish that I had this camera when I lived in New York.

Canon G7x

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So my love for photography continues to flourish. I am finally able to sharpen my videography and editing skills. I think I could benefit from taking a photography class, but for now I am using YouTube tutorial videos and good ole’ fashioned trial and error.

Special mention goes to the camera on my Samsung Galaxy S5. Many of the photos on this site were taken using my camera phone, which in my humble opinion is equivalent to the quality of the Rebel.

What is your favorite camera? What do you like most about it?

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