D.C. Happenings: My HydraFacial Experience at NOVA Plastic Surgery

Okay so let me start by saying this unique experience isn’t exactly a “DC” Happening…it’s an Ashburn, Virginia happening…but, I digress.  NOVA Plastic Surgery, located about 40-45 minutes outside of D.C., invited me in to try the new HydraFacial MD experience.  An innovative facial designed to give quick results.  NOVA just received this technology a couple of months ago, not many other medical spas have it, and it’s already quite popular.
I’d never heard of the HydraFacial MD before, but the Physician Assistant who performed my facial, Sherri Anderson, told me Matthew McConaughey has one of the machines in his home so…it must be good!
If you’re interested in enhancing your skin health, or if you struggle with oily skin, fine lines, enlarged pores, texture issues, or hyper pigmentation, just to name a few, the HydraFacial MD might be the perfect choice for you.

When I walked into NOVA Plastic Surgery one afternoon after a long day of lesson planning I was warmly greeted by Jenn, who had been so helpful with scheduling, and rescheduling, my appointment- NOVA Plastic Surgery’s customer service was great from the start.  Sherri greeted me and brought me back into the treatment room, and began explaining how the HydraFacial works.  I quickly removed my makeup from the day using a gently cleanser before settling down into the chair, ready to get the 20 minute treatment started. 
The HydraFacial MD is a four step treatment & each step is performed using the Vortex-Fusion device, which can best be described as a small vacuum for your face.  Literally, it felt like a vacuum going back and forth all over my face, but in a great way.  
First, skin is cleansed using Active-4 Serum and then exfoliated with a glycolic acid peel.  After looking at my skin Sherri determined I could handle the 15% glycolic acid.  There’s also a 7.5% and 30% option that could be chosen, depending on how sensitive your skin is.  I have rosacea, and even though it isn’t that bad, the 15% option is what she determined would work best for me.
via
After the peel step the Vortex-Fusion, as seen above, extracts with the help of salicylic acids breaking down all the yuck in your face.  & if you’re wondering how I know all of this stuff, it’s because Sherri did an excellent job at explaining each step of the procedure as she performed it.  Lastly, your refreshed skin needs to be properly hydrated with the Antiox serum and then adequately sunscreened before heading out the door.

The HydraFacial MD treatment took about 20 minutes and while I did leave NOVA pretty red, it didn’t last more than an hour or so.  Sherri told me people come in on their lunch break for the facial, and while it’s not ideal, if you must you can apply makeup right after if needed- which is good to know for the future.  Honestly, every aspect of the HydraFacial MD is better than either a typical peel I’ve had done or a standard facial.  Yes, it’s quick and not as spa-like, but ultimately my end goal is fantastic skin, which is what the HydraFacial delivers.
For more information on NOVA Plastic Surgery and the HydraFacial MD visit their website here & enter your email address for a chance to win a free HydraFacial MD!  Be sure to head over to their Facebook and Twitter too!
[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.]

XO.
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D.C. Happenings: SER Restaurant Week Lunch

The DMV has been pretty snowed in since the weekend, no school Monday & Tuesday meant I could get out and enjoy a nice Restaurant Week lunch!  Restaurant Week in the D.C. area means a 3-course lunch ($22) or dinner ($35) at participating restaurants.  I’ve had my eye on Spanish eatery SER in Arlington, Ballston to be exact, so I figured it would be the perfect spot to sit, get some lunch, and get some work done on report cards.

SER stands for simple, easy, and real, & it’s a Spanish tavern, not a tapas restaurant.  I love the relaxed & modern vibe of SER, mixed with their non-stuffy seriousness of the menu, offering “a gastronomical journey and cultural adventure”.  Did that description even make sense?  In my mind it did…& either way, it’s a compliment for sure.
Seeing that most people decided to stay off the roads, which were pretty clear honestly, it was just me and a few others in SER for lunch.  I took a seat at the bar, pulled out my laptop, and ordered a white sangria.  It was delish, & how cute is that little bottle?!
For my appetizer I ordered the Crema de purrusalda con picatostes, which was a leek & potato creamed soup with croutons.  I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be served at the temperature of a soup, it was more warm than hot.  Regardless, it was smooth, had balanced flavors, and the croutons were great.
For my second course I ordered the Buey con papas “arrugas”,  a grilled hanger steak with Canarian potatoes and spicy pepper sauce.  Oh mah gawd, this was amazing- not to mention it was the perfect sized portion.  The spicy pepper sauce was so yum with a bold flavor that added greatness to the already tender and flavorful steak.  The added tomatoes and onions on top sealed the deal with a fresh flavor.
Lastly, for dessert I chose the Tarta de queso fresco, which is a Spanish cheesecake, and it was served with a berry compote.  I don’t think I’ve ever had Spanish cheesecake before, it was an interesting texture, the berry compote and cinnamon on the edges was a great compliment to its flavors.

If you’re looking for a place to try this Restaurant Week, definitely head over to SER in Ballston.  The vibe is perfect for young professionals and the food was outstanding.  So glad I stopped by!
XO.
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D.C. Happenings: Bistro du Soleli

I was lucky enough to be invited to #DcTravelBlogger dinner, hosted by Jessica van Dop DeJesus of The Dining Traveler, at Bistro du Soleli in Alexandria last week.  Guests dined on a 7-course culinary tour through Morocco, guided by Bisto du Soleli’s Chef Samir Labriny.  Each dish on the menu heightened taste buds with bold flavor and rich culture.
Our welcome cocktail, created by the Chef, was called a Moroccan Orange.  The color was amazing, I should’ve written down what liquor was in it, I could certainly taste vodka though, which is my absolute favorite.  Our first course were assorted Moroccan salads consisting of eggplant, carrot, cucumber, tomato, and green pepper salad combinations.  It was the perfect starter, light and refreshing.
The next course came with a cooking demonstration by Chef Labriny himself: bastilla.  I honestly did not know what this was before he started explaining, a phyllo dough stuffed with eggs, almonds, parsley, and chicken….topped with cinnamon and powered sugar.  The ultimate mixture of sweet and savory, the flavors worked so well together, it was an incredible dish.
Next up was chicken with lemon and olives, the chicken was so full of flavor and tender- not to mention the combination of lemon and olives is one of my favorite.  & after that we were treated to an incredible lamb dish with honey and almonds.  I can’t even begin to tell you how great this dish was, it was by far my favorite of the evening.

The main courses ended with couscous with seven vegetables.  I wish I had had room for more, it was so delicious.  I was so grateful for the to-go boxes Chef Labriny gave at the end, I ate my couscous for lunch today & it was to die for.
For dessert we indulged in baklava and finished off the evening sipping mint tea.  Ever since I visited Greece a while back, I have been obsessed with baklava, the pastry was so flakey, it was heaven.
I’d like to thank Jessica and Chef Labriny for hosting such an unique dining experience.  I’m happy I was able to try out a restaurant I’d never been to before in Alexandria, & I know I’ll definitely be returning sometime soon!

XO.
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D.C. Happenings: Summer Girls’ Night Out at the nailsaloon

Last night I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by one of my favorite blogs of all time, Bitches Who Brunch.  Summer Girls’ Night Out, an evening of posh pedicures and manicures, featuring wine and pizza from &pizza, took place at the nailsaloon on 14th street.
As I picked up my bestie Sabah the storm clouds were beyond mean looking, but the soaking wet run into the salon was worth it, nailsaloon is by far the most adorable looking nail salon I’ve ever been in.  When we arrived we were greeted so warmly by Cori Sue of Bitches Who Brunch, and treated to some vino & pizza while we waited for our pedis.
 
The big draw to the nailsaloon, aside from its chic interior, is the fact that it’s a non-toxic salon.  The only polish brands available are Zoya, RGB, and Priti NYC, because they’re 5-free polishes, which means no toxic ingredients.  I chose a RGB polish, in Pansy…such a gorgeous pink!
  
While I do have nails that require more toxic attention so to speak, I could see myself going to the nailsaloon for pedicures often.  nailsaloon uses new tools per customer, which I love.  The pedicure also includes a scrub, which is super important to me, followed by both lotion and oil.  The massage was so relaxing, overall the experience was great.
The gift bag was super cute too!  Guests received a water bottle with the nailsaloon logo, Kendra Scott earrings, stickers from &pizza, and a Washington D.C. “Passport” good for 2-for-1 drinks at various bars in the city.
Summer Girls’ Night Out was a fabulous kick off to the summer season, and the nailsaloon was the absolute best location for it!
XO.
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D.C. Happenings: Bubbles Salon Pentagon Row Grand Opening

[Disclaimer: Compensation by Bubbles Salon is being received for this promotion.]

This Friday stop by the new Bubbles Salon at Pentagon Row and celebrate their grand opening!

From 5-9pm Bubbles will be partying with a DJ, food & drinks, prizes & giveaways, and free, yes FREE, blowouts!

RSVP for the event here

My girls and I will be there celebrating, and getting glam before a birthday dinner. I cannot wait to see what Bubbles has in store for us! XO. 

XO.
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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2014: Blumarine, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Fendi

AH, life has been getting in the way of me checking out all the Milan Fashion Week shows.  BUT, thankfully the weekend is here and I have some extra time to catch up on what I’ve missed this week!
So, here we go, my Milan favorites!
Blumarine

Bottega Veneta

Emilio Pucci

Gucci

Fendi

All images from The Cut.

Discovering D.C. Interview

I was recently interviewed by Laura of Political Style for her series Discovering D.C., which features local bloggers in the area!
Political Style is a great blog which features fashion but Laura also keeps her readers updated on political news, it’s a perfect mix of content, especially for our area of Washington D.C.!!
In this interview, I share my favorite places in D.C. & my perfect Saturday afternoon plans! xo

Check out my interview, here!

D.C. Happenings: Help My Puppy Win the Cover of NOVADog Magazine!!

Hi everyone!

Two things…

1. I started my spring/ summer giveaway yesterday, so follow this link to enter!
I’m giving away the Benefit Cheeky Tint Set & Julep Neon Nail Dips!

2. PLEASE HELP MY LITTLE LEO WIN COVER DOG OF NOVADOG MAGAZINE! 
Clink on this link, and vote for Leonardo!  He’s a superstar, and right now I’m being a stage mom…so…please help us out! =] 

D.C. Happenings: Nusta Spa Reflexology 101

Saturday morning I woke up at 8am and prepped myself for….the spa! hehe 
I found an old Groupon for Nusta Spa in D.C. that had unfortunately expired ($70) but was still redeemable for $30, the amount I had paid for it.  [Since I recently found a bunch of expired Groupons I’ve created a much more efficient system of tracking them all!]
Nusta Spa is D.C.’s “First Green Day Spa”, so naturally I was excited to go, I was a loyal Natural Body client in D.C. [and in Cumming, GA when my Dad lived there] but alas, the D.C. location closed a few years ago, my Dad doesn’t live in GA anymore, and my loyalty to Natural Body as being the only/ best green spa I’ll ever go to, has unfortunately wained.  
So, good thing I found this Groupon because I’ve found the experience of a green spa really is unique and more enjoyable than your typical day spa.  Or, maybe I just feel that way because I’m green conscious? Who knows, and who cares. 
Anyway, I was browsing the services online and I came across reflexology, which is a treatment I’ve been wanting to try for awhile, but didn’t want to necessarily pay for at the moment.  Reflexology focuses on pressure points in the feet and hands and is more of a healing practice, opposed to a traditional full body massage, yet delivers the results of one, and then some.
Some of the benefits of reflexology include…
-Pain management 
-Stress reduction
-Increased circulation
-Increased energy flow 
-Stimulation of the digestive system 
Since reflexology is a healing practice it focuses on balancing the chi [energy] of the different systems of the body.  I’m constantly on the move going to work, class, having 12+ hr long days, etc- and I’ve had a lot on my plate lately so I really did feel a little out of whack and needing to get my chi back in place!
Well, my therapist, Chardette, was so awesome, I can’t wait to go back to her!  I explained it was my first time, and explained to me in order for the practice to work we needed to jive and share our energy. She also didn’t promise that it would work the first time because well, it was my first time.  
I was a tiny bit skeptical, but I can say I felt totally relaxed and rejuvenated by the end of the 50mins, and at points I actually felt like I was in a dream world.  Since it’s prime time allergy season, and I have the worst allergies on this planet, Chardette focused on points that would affect my sinuses, and I can say that that seriously helped, a lot
Nusta Spa itself was also great, super friendly receptionist, comfy robes and good flip flops, and a very clean women’s locker area with nice showers and amenities.  I love the feeling of a green spa, it’s just different, and the whole spa had a great vibe.  The waiting area is small, but cozy with good magazines, both cucumber and lemon water, and trail mix.  My appointment was at 9am and that’s exactly when I went in for my treatment, I was so happy I wasn’t waiting at all, that’s one of my biggest pet peeves.
Bottom line: I’ll be going back when I have some extra spa money.  Next treatment on my list to try is cupping, which I’ve read a lot about from Gwyneth Paltrow, and the lymphatic drainage pressure point therapy [sounds kinda scary, but isn’t].
If you’re in the D.C. area, check out Nusta Spa’s Services here!  If not, look to see if you have any green spas in your area and try a healing treatment sometime, I promise it’s worth it! xo

D.C. Happenings: Gilt City Warehouse Sale

This past Friday night I had the pleasure of going to the Gilt DC Warehouse Sale 
at Longview Gallery. It was awesome, of course, I expected nothing less.
First, the ticket was $20 [if I remember correctly] which was more than worth it in the end.  There was a private sale first, and ticketed admissions began at 9:30pm.  I got there at 8:30pm all ready to be in line, and there was nobody in line yet, I was shocked!
So, I went down the street to the Renaissance Marriott and sat at their beautiful bar…drank some wine, ate some Caesar salad, small talked with the bartender, watched Georgetown lose [hehehe], and headed back at 9:15pm…and there was a line down the block.  Ugh. 

When I finally got in I didn’t know where I wanted to go to first, but my natural instinct took over and I made a b-line for the bags.  There were many to choose from, but I only gave myself a $300 budget, so while the Brian Atwood clutch was screaming my name, I had to pass it up.  So sad.  It was priced $300, originally $1,250.  
Have no fear, I found two fabulous bags I quickly grabbed.  They fit perfectly with what I love in a bag, and I just couldn’t pass up the price.  
Pour La Victoire ‘Vivien’ Tote in Taupe $378
I paid: $129 

Nicholas K [Can’t find the name of the bag] $500
I paid $110  
After I found my two new bags I kept walking to…shoes, my second natural instinct, duh.  The shoe section was insanity.  I mean I was getting claustrophobic as I walked through with my glass of champagne.  Scary
It was difficult sifting through everything, but I eventually was able to find two pairs of shoes I fell in love with.  I actually found another pair as well, but one shoe was missing!! THE HORROR.  So, I had to leave the other one behind.  So sad. 
Pour La Victoire Alvery Double Platform Stacked Pump $285 
I paid $40

 
Elizabeth and James ‘Mazi’ Pump $325
I paid $29 
So, as you can see, I made out pretty well at the Gilt DC Warehouse Sale.  I didn’t even attempt to go through the clothes, it was way too crazy and I def did not want to deal with that. 
Anyway, I can’t wait for next year!! xo

XO.
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