insta-lately

instalately // sweetsonian

instalately // sweetsonian

1. Cappuccino for breakfast. Not pictured: the almond croissant that I inhaled before my friend met up with me. Yes, I confessed — but only because she tried to get me to split a chocolate croissant at Dolcezza on 14th Street.

2. Too cool — I finally made it to another Creative Mornings DC event. This time, it was at an amazing space called the Blind Whino, located near the Waterfront metro stop. Imagine a church, covered in graffiti and filled with artwork and awesome people.

3. Abe Lincoln with a plane! I’ve been working on toting my big girl camera around with me more consciously. One night, my friend Matty and I biked down to the mall with our Nikons and worked on some night photos of the monuments. It was beautiful! Hoping to start selling some here.

4. The Instagram community of DC is pretty cool, and they do meet ups every now and then. I managed to make one of them at the Portrait Gallery, here in DC. Here’s a tilted photo from one of the American art exhibits.

5. I’ve been doing a good amount of freelance work for Cava Grill lately, and luckily for me, the work isn’t just about the food. They announced a new location at DCA opening in 2015, so Liz and I headed down to Gravelly Point to take some photos to show off the drastic improvement in airport cuisine.

6. The commute to work, depending on the bus, sometimes leads me past the striking Hirschhorn Museum. Check out its beauty on a cloudless morning.

7. This weekend, I spent a couple of hours at Crafty Bastards, a huuuuge artists’ market hosted at Union Market. I did a photo shoot recently for the incredibly talented (and incredibly lovely) Carolyn of Matine. After shooting her lookbook, I spent about a month pining over this spotted calf hair clutch… and I managed to snare the last one she had. Next up? This scallop clutch will be making its way to my collection in the next few months.

8. It’s knitting season again! Oh, who am I kidding? I knit all summer, because I’m 27 going on 84. Here’s a grocery bag filled with wool from the Dupont farmer’s market. Planning on making a ridiculously chunky circle scarf. I’ll need something to keep my face from freezing off when the bike rides down 15th street take a turn towards frigid.

Chocolate Hearts with Espresso Cream Filling

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With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought a cute love story would be appropriate.

Clearly, it doesn’t involve me. It’s about my grandparents, who are just as madly in love today as the day they met.

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One night while I was in California, my grandparents hosted a birthday dinner for my dad. I made this cake.

Anyway, I convinced my grandparents to let me film them telling the story of how they met. If you have 9 minutes to spare watching this video, I suggest you do. It’s quite a cute story.

Anyway, I’ve been looking for an excuse to let that story out.

And, with Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, I must turn to the mother of all dessert ingredients: chocolate.

My love affair with chocolate goes back a long way.

Aside from wishing I could sustain a diet almost entirely of chocolate, I loved it so much that I even based my high school speech class on the history and processing of chocolate. Yes, I stood behind a podium, in front of 30 teenagers, speaking for ten minutes… about chocolate.

I sure hope they remember something from that.

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I spent years as an international development geek, so when Divine Chocolate contacted me and asked me to write a post or two using their chocolate, I was ecstatic.

Divine Chocolate is a fair trade company that works with women in Ghana, a country that boasts the title of second largest cocoa exporter in the world. With the liberalization of Ghana’s cocoa market in the 1990s, one woman saw an opportunity to organize the cocoa farmers whose voices were not being heard (this hits so closely to what my last employer did that you’d think I’d deny its coincidence).

In this recipe, I used their cocoa powder — the cookies came out perfectly. And the packaging was so well-designed!

Try not to lick the screen.

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