VIDEO: 100 Things DC Cover Reveal

Guess what arrived at my doorstep? My author copies of 100 Things to Do in Washington DC Before You Die. {pause for happy dance} I made a short video to¬†share the experience with you. Check it out here. Then, come on back, mkay? Stay tuned for more Washington, DC content and book updates. In the meantime, you can read more about the book here and preorder it on Amazon. It'll be available on February 15, 2015. Don't miss a post. Subscribe today. It's free! … [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to Maryland Life Magazine

Saying goodbye is never easy. Six years ago, I faced a tough decision. Well, tough for me. I had to decide if I was going¬† to attend the Iowa Summer Writer's Workshop or accept a job at a new magazine. I opted for the later. As much as I wanted to go to Iowa -- attending that prestigious writing program is still a dream -- I couldn't pass up full-time employment to spend the summer writing amidst cornfields. So I chose the practical option. And I haven't regretted that decision for one single moment (but I did frame my acceptance letter from the University of Iowa). However, today, I'm saying goodbye to Maryland Life magazine. Not because I want to but because I have to. Today, Maryland Life magazine will cease publication. I am sad. That's for certain. I've shed many tears and will probably shed a few more. I have loved this job. Correction: I LOVE this job. It's my passion. I get to write and edit and travel and be creative. Its been a dream. What … [Read more...]

Writing Advice From Alice McDermott

I recently attended the Washington Independent Review's first annual Books Alive conference. One of the many speakers in attendance was award-winning author Alice McDermott. In college, I read Charming Billy, for which McDermott won an American Book Award and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction, and loved it. I grabbed a seat at one of the front tables in her breakout session, "What's Novel About the Novel?" I dream of being a novelist, after all. Someone asked the panel a question that I don't exactly remember. But Alice McDermott's response stuck with me. She shared writing advice that resonated with her when she was trying to write and raise small children -- a boat I find myself I at the moment. I'll paraphrase: As soon as your children have left for school or daycare or for grandma's house, clear off your kitchen table with one sweep of your arm (she animated by making a sweeping motion with her arm) and get to work writing. Don't stop … [Read more...]

First Lady Michelle Obama, Eli Manning and the Partnership For A Healthier America

So this happened Friday... I attended the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit on March 8, 2013 at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. The energy in the room was infectious. This fitness foodie totally geeked out. I loved learning about the Farm to School program, hearing the dynamic Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, and discovering the Reebok's BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) program from its ambassador New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning. Listening to the First Lady deliver the closing keynote was pretty cool, too. OK, REALLY COOL! (so was getting a press pass with "White House" on it.) Now, I'm even more inspired by her Let's Move! campaign. What's inspiring you today? … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Bobby Flay

So this happened... I attended a press luncheon for the opening of the 10th Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP), this one at the new Maryland Live Casino in Hanover, Maryland. Bobby greeted each of us with a handshake and then spent about 30 minutes telling us the story of this restaurant and explaining his food philosophy for burgers, fries and shakes -- the stars of the BBP menu. This self-professed burger guy says he likes his food simple and made with quality ingredients. The luncheon was a very casual, informal meet-and-greet. And one that I almost missed. Yes, I almost skipped it because I had been there the night before covering the casino opening and was lacking sleep (don't look at the bags under my eyes). But I coffee-ed up and went anyway. And I'm so glad I did, not just because I got to meet a Food Network star (well, yes, that) but because I got to sample the menu. I ordered the LA burger, which features avocado (a fav) and watercress. I ordered it sans cheese … [Read more...]