Happy hearts and happy bellies

Sitting across from my best friends at breakfast Sunday morning, I’m struck by how beautiful they all are and how lucky I am to have them in my life. Yes, they are all pretty women, I’ve always known that. But over the past year or so I’ve realized that my friends are all around beautiful people: they are strong, smart, funny, kind, driven, loyal, caring, comforting people and my life wouldn’t be the same without them in it.

In high school and through college I think I took my friends for granted–often opting to spend time Mike and his friends instead of my girlfriends.  It’s not until I graduated from college and moved away from them all that I realized how precious friendships are, how much girlfriends add to your life.

We had an amazing weekend together.  Planned about a month ago to celebrate Jordyn’s birthday and her return to the east coast (she moved from LA to DC in January), we were all so looking forward to the girl time. We each had our own reasons for looking forward to the trip, and I think it was exactly what we needed.

The girls got to DC on Friday night and the grown-up slumber party began with dinner at my apartment. (I made this.) Having us all around my kitchen table was a bit surreal. If it was in a movie a slow happy song would play as the camera slowly pans over each of our faces as we smile, throw our heads back in laughter, and raise our glasses for a toast. It’s crazy to think that we’re all adults now and our conversations focus on work, serious relationships, being moms some day, finances, goals, and dreams.

Saturday morning my living room was covered in air mattresses, blankets, and luggage just like my bedroom was in middle school when these slumber parties began. I made my favorite pancakes and we went to my favorite yoga class. We got back around lunchtime and Mike made us all homemade pizza. Then we just veged in our gym clothes for the afternoon, read magazines, books, took naps, watched a movie. Because we really didn’t have to do anything.  We just wanted to be together. 

We put ourselves together on Saturday night for a night out on the town. We had an 8 o’clock reservation at Zaytinya and after two sketchy cab rides we all arrived at our destination. We shared a few carafes of the Pom Fili (white wine, vodka, and pomegranate juice) and sampled a lot of menu items: salads, fritters, spreads, meats. We left dinner with happy hearts and happy bellies.

Next, we headed to POV at the W Hotel just a quick walk away from the restaurant.  We felt pretty baller walking in and when we got to our table I was so excited we were there.  POV, the rooftop bar, is one of my favorite places in the city and I’d been wanting to take girlfriends there for a while.  Unfortunately, our stay was short-lived.  As we began ordering our first drinks, the server said “did anyone tell you about the policy?” “No,” we said, “what policy?” “It’s a $50 per person minimum or you have to do bottle service.” WHAT?!?! Since we were all pretty full and not wanting to spend $60 on drinks alone, we left our table and headed back to my neighborhood. We had a drink at a neighborhood bar before coming back to my apartment, making Pillsbury cinnamon buns, and going to bed.

And so quickly it was Sunday morning.  Of course, I had to take my friends to my favorite breakfast place: Open City in Woodley Park. As we chat over coffee, I get a bit emotional at the joy of the experience and wish that I could be surrounded by these girls all the time.  These are girls I’ve liked since middle school but have come to truly admire in the past few years.  Luckily, the conversation quickly turns to when we can have another weekend like this and we brainstorm places we can travel together.

As I gave them hugs at the train station, I had to fight back tears.  I really hate to see them go.

Luckily, one’s still here for good and we’re already planning our next girls weekend.

Girl time/guy time

I’m back from a long weekend in Florida with my friend Lauren. We planned this trip in the fall and I was so looking forward to the girl time and the sunny weather. We had a great weekend: went for long walks in the morning, did quite a bit of shopping, ate good food, and just talked a lot. As always, it was so good to spend quality time with her.

I love spending time with my girlfriends and I think it’s really important for men and women to have time with their guy friends and girlfriends on a regular basis.  I’ve said before that I think spending time with girlfriends is good for the soul and I truly believe that.

When you’re in a relationship, it’s really important to prioritize your friendships and have girl time and guy time. Honestly, I’m having a hard time articulating why this is important but believe me, it is. It’s good for me to talk and talk and talk with a girlfriend over a glass of wine and dinner. And it’s good for my husband to chat with a buddy over beers and wings.

Because I value and crave girl time so much, I wonder if I may have isolated my husband from my friends.  In the past, friends would ask if Mike was coming along and I’d say “nah” because I just wanted the girl time and quality time with my friend. Now that we’re married I truly do want my friends to know my husband and my husband to know my friends. But I still crave the girl time so I’m not sure how I’ll find that balance.

I’d love to know:

Can you articulate why girl time and guy is so important? (I’m hoping you’ll have the words that are escaping me at the moment.)

How can I bring my husband and my friends together?

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PS–Check out my article on staying cheery in the winter over on Healthy Living Blogs!

nyc bound

i’m headed to NYC this morning for an extended weekend to celebrate this girl:

my friend hannah.  hannah’s bachelorette party is tonight in manhattan and her wedding is sunday evening. i’m looking forward to celebrating my girlfriend and to share in the joy as she and david express their love and make a commitment to one another.

i’m also super super excited to see these girls:

bring on the fun!

girlfriend goodness

in the last couple of years i started craving girl time.  time to catch up, to laugh, to vent, to chat about things. i’ve had a lot of girlfriend time in the last month with 3 girlfriend weekends in a row.  i’m so lucky to have such amazing women to call my friends and so grateful that they came to DC to visit me.  here’s some snapshots from the last 3 weekends:

there is nothing like catching up with a girlfriend over a good meal.

i believe that time with girlfriends is good for the soul.

and so are cupcakes.

sending love to all of my girlfriends. send some to yours too.

(photos from top: breakfast at open city, margaritas at cactus cantina, pizza at  2amys [shouldn’t all girlfriend weekends have great food?], organizing our closet buy putting christmas ornaments in our suitcases (brilliant, bridget!), more margaritas at cactus cantina, dessert pizza and steele pinot noir at matchbox, shopping, made cupcakes from one of our favorite blogs)