Happy Friday, ladies! I’m back from Park City, and am so excited to share details about my trip with you next week. But today, I wanted to pop in with a fun Q + A! Recently, Helen from Borrowed & Blue approached me to collaborate on a post.
At first, I was very hesitant to say yes. I’m not married or engaged, Helen! And I didn’t want to scare off any potential suitors who think I’m totally obsessed with getting them to walk down the aisle, because I’m not. But once I realized that Borrowed & Blue is a great online resource for planning Washington, DC weddings, I knew I wanted to participate so that all the brides and bridesmaids out there can get my insider scoop on all things DC. Plus, I thought this would be a fun way for y’all, my awesome readers, to get to know me better, too. And when Helen says stuff like this:
“A Touch of Teal is one of my favorite follows on the whole internet. Not only is Katie well-dressed, clever, and amusing (the dream blog trifecta)—she’s also incredibly engaging and always has the best ideas for fun activities and DIY masterpieces. I could hardly wait to sit this DC darling down to get some answers about her aesthetic, her favorite places to hang, and—quite selfishly—a couple wedding-related questions for all those engaged people out there! While Borrowed & Blue is the insider guide to finding your wedding vendors and inspiration, I wanted to introduce our readers to A Touch of Teal because Katie is a Washington DC local, a true tastemaker who can shed light on what it’s like to live in the District. I can’t wait for folks to read through and get a sense of her fabulous blog.” —Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s Washington, DC Market Specialist
…how do you say no?! So without further ado, here’s my Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:
1. For friends who might be reading your blog for the first time, give us a taste of your style in five words.
Classic, Colorful, Simple, Bright, Approachable.
2. As a savvy professional person, do you have a favorite spot for a post-work cocktail?
I’m not one to say no to happy hour! In Arlington, I love the lime-hibiscus twisted margarita and veggie empanadas at Fuego, both of which only run you $5, or the $20 sangria pitcher deal at La Tasca. In DC proper, I’m all about Churchkey when I’m in the mood for beer or Barcelona when I want to sit outside with my best gals! They even have heat lamps and blankets on hand for those chillier spring nights.
3. Describe your perfect DC Saturday.
My perfect DC Saturday would naturally start with brunch, but preferably on the later side since I like to sleep in! You can’t beat the brunch at Orange Anchor on the Georgetown Waterfront. My go-to is an Orange Crush to start, followed by a breakfast burrito. And then probably another Orange Crush, if we’re keeping it real. After brunch, stopping by the Birchbox popup at Rent the Runway and checking out the sales at LOFT and J Crew is pretty much mandatory. Then, I’d love to either post up at Catina Marina on DC’s Southeast Waterfront or make the quick hour drive to Annapolis for some boat watching and dinner on the water. Being on the water makes me feel like I’m on vacation even if I’m not!
4. You are essentially the Queen of DIY. Do you have any favorite projects you’d like to share? Bonus points if they’re wedding-friendly!
It seems that all the stationery surrounding weddings can really add up quickly! Don’t be afraid to make your own invites if you’re the bride, or bachelorette/shower invites if you’re a bridesmaid. Low cost doesn’t have to mean low quality! My friend Nicole has a great tutorial on how to make your own save the dates, which could easily be applied to any invite or thank you needs. You could also line your own envelopes or affix wax seals yourself to really up the ante. And these DIY confetti gift tags I’ve shared before could also easily be turned into nametags or place cards. Lastly, these glitter champagne flutes would be great for a bachelorette, or you know, when you’re making all that stationery ;]!
5. In addition to your DIY prowess, you are also very sartorially savvy. Favorite places to do a spot of shopping in the Metro area?
I love shopping, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time. When I have a free afternoon, I love to go to Tyson’s Corner and window shop, especially at Nordstrom! Other times, I try to stick close to home and love the retail mix Clarendon has to offer, and especially love hitting up LOFT, South Moon Under, or Lou Lou’s on my way home after a long day at work.
I also recently met Tanya, who owns Refine. Currently, it’s an appointment-only boutique and she curates the best mix of high quality, on-trend clothing that also offers a more personalized shopping experience than what you’d get in a mall. She also does house calls, so if you’re in a pinch, she’ll come over with some outfits for you to try on and help you style them. How cool is that?!
6. As you’re an excellent friend, you must be prime bridesmaid material, and our engaged friends could use some local know-how. Do you have suggestions for awesome DC bachelorette party activities? What makes them unique to this area?
If you’re willing to cross the river into Virginia, a fun Friday or Saturday night activity would be the Trolley Pub tour through Clarendon. You can rent the entire trolley or just buy seats, but this allows you to bar hop through the neighborhood in a fun, special way. Don’t forget to bring your iPod because the driver will let you DJ! Make a playlist of the bride’s favorite songs, and it’ll be a night to remember for sure.
Mount Vernon’s Spring Wine Festival is the perfect Bachelorette event for a history-loving bride. I mean, where else can you enjoy wine on George Washington’s back patio? If you aren’t in town that weekend, but still are with a group of oenophiles, definitely consider heading out to Virginia wine country. Bluemont, Sunset Hills, and Chrysalis are my favorites!
7. Allow me one more moment of wedding-related weakness. Favorite memory from a friend’s wedding: go!
This past December, I was a bridesmaid in my sorority little’s wedding. The whole weekend was absolutely perfect, and the Florida weather certainly didn’t hurt. While I loved her outdoor rehearsal dinner under the twinkle lights and the special moments we all shared getting ready together, my favorite moment from the wedding was watching her and her new husband walk into the tent where the reception was. Aviciis “The Nights” was playing, and the expressions on their faces, not to mention all the guests, were those of true happiness. A close second from that night was singing The Good Old Song together at the after party.
8. Back to the really important stuff: food. How about some insight into your three favorite spots to eat in the District?
How did you know eating out was one of my guilty pleasures? It’s amazing if I get to the grocery store once a week. My top three DC dining spots are:
- The Pig—the atmosphere is great, and the food is unbelievably good. It also has a special place in my heart since it is the first place I ever had a true work dinner where cocktails and food were on the company tab.
- Estadio—I love Spanish-style tapas, and Estadio is bar far and away the best place to get your fix in DC! Definitely order the brussels sprouts—my favorite in the city.
- Cactus Cantina—I could eat Mexican food everyday for the rest of my life, and 100% be okay with that. I love how this place is more of the down-home, Tex Mex experience you’d find out in the ‘burbs. Definitely go for the chili con queso as your starter!
9. Any spring cocktail how-tos that you’d like to share? I’m dying to spice up my home cocktail game!
Yes! One of my go-to cocktails for this time of year is:
Raspberry Lemonade Cocktail // Per Serving
- 1.5 ounces vodka
- 6 ounces lemonade
- 1-2 pumps raspberry syrup
- Fresh raspberries to garnish
Combine chilled vodka, chilled lemonade, and raspberry syrup in a highball glass and stir well. Garnish with raspberries. This is also great to make in large quantities and serve as a hard punch at a bridal shower or baby shower!
10. Describe something that sets DC apart from other cities you’ve lived in.
Though I was born in North Carolina and spent time in Charlottesville and New York City during college, I knew when I graduated I wanted to come back to the DC area. Charlottesville is a great college town, and I will jump on any opportunity to visit, if for nothing else than a Bodo’s run. But as graduation was approaching in 2013, I knew it was my time to move onto bigger things. In a similar vein, I really enjoyed the summer I spent in Manhattan, but knew it wasn’t ultimately for me, mostly because I was overstimulated and had a hard time saying no to anything that came my way. I left that summer exhausted and with a very low balance in my checking account.
I love that DC has all a big city has to offer, like public transportation, a great food scene, a steady job market, and plenty of things to do, but isn’t as overwhelming or exhausting as New York. DC to me is the perfect mix of big city, but has that small town charm running throughout its distinct neighborhoods. It’s also pretty neat that the national news and the local news often are one in the same. Now if only we could skip winter! DC does not do winter well ;].
If you’re engaged (or if, like me, you’re helping all your engaged friends plan their nuptials), be sure to check out Borrowed & Blue, the go-to guide for planning Washington DC weddings!