Maine Avenue Seafood Market

Maine Avenue Seafood Market in Washington, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

How was your Fourth of July weekend?!? Filled with BBQs, hot dogs? Corn hole, maybe? Big batch cocktails?

Fireworks, definitely.

Maine Avenue Seafood Market in Washington, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Fourth of July was a downpour but thankfully, my family (read: my dad) was able to grill in between rainshowers and I finally got my Sahlen’s hot dog! Which like the good WNY ex-pat that I am, I loaded up with Weber’s mustard and ketchup…despite my family’s judge-y looks about my condiment enthusiasm.

This love is deep and it’s real.

Sunday was overcast so to break our cabin fever, we headed to the Maine Avenue Seafood Market. I’ve gone by the seafood market countless times. Usually heading to Cantina Marina. Because you know, priorities.

It was a real trip walking around and seeing the vendors with their bins of (moving!!) crabs and other seafood. Call me a wimp but I’m not brave enough to pick out a bunch of crabs (did I mention they were ALIVE?!) to take home and then prepare myself. It was bad enough when I was 8 and first saw what an actual shrimp looked like. It took awhile to warm back up to shrimp. Lots of cocktail sauce helped with that (told you I love condiments).

Maine Avenue Seafood Market in Washington, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Scallops on scallops…get it?!

If you’re a seafood fan, the Maine Avenue Seafood Market is definitely worth a visit, even if it’s just for the deliciously fresh-looking lemonade I was eyeing up. And if you’re a brave soul who can prepare their own crabs or lobsters, more power to you and please share your secrets. Because this would be me when it comes to live seafood.

And it’s just a hop, skip + a jump away from Cantina Marina’s mango margaritas and fish tacos.

Just sayin’.

Maine Avenue Seafood Market in Washington, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Maine Avenue Seafood Market in Washington, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Fourth of July Cocktails with Skinnygirl

This Fourth of July, you can have your hot dog AND festive cocktail AND eat it, too!! Between the grilling and delicious nibbles (Lookin’ at you, Grandma’s macaroni salad), my criteria for Fourth of July outfits: patriotic theme + elastic waistbands. Doesn’t get much more American than that, does it?!

Skinnygirl is coming to your + my rescue this Independence Day with some super schnazzy, festive cocktails that also happen to be low-calorie!! So go ahead and get that second slice of apple pie, go to town on the macaronic salad. Calories don’t count on Fourth of July weekend. Because ‘merica.

Sidebar: Is anyone else procrastinating their Fourth of July menu? I’ve had my red, white + blue gear ready for months now but foodwise? Kinda embarrassed to say I still need to go to the grocery store…what are you cooking or grilling this weekend?

Fourth of July Cocktails with Skinnygirl | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

If I lived in Charleston, I think I’d visit the Charleston City Market every single weekend. From colorful dresses to spicy seasonings, the historic market is my paradise.

Seriously, pinch me because I think I’m still dreaming.

On Sunday, I explored the market with Katie of Twin Stripe, Nikki of Bedazzles After Dark, Lindsay of Sugar + Something and Alex of Pinrose and had an absolute blast between checking out the different vendors and shops and snapping pictures. More Charleston photos will come soon but for now, here are the highlights of the Charleston City Market…

Charleston-City-Market-1

Escapada, you get me. Really regretting not pulling the trigger on the red + navy sleeveless Libby dress for 4th of July BBQs this weekend…

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Of course, I don’t discriminate between the clothing vendors + the food vendors. I’m just simply not that kind of girl. I could easily have spent the entire day perusing the different spices, seasonings + packages of grits. There was also a table dedicated to awesome looking cookbooks but then a particular table caught my eye…

The Spice and the Spoon was a big highlight on the market for me. An entire table dedicated to spicy seasonings?! Pinch me, I’m dreaming. Ghost Crab, The Ghost, City Market + Shem Creek Shrimp spices all came back to DC with me and I’ve already started brainstorming recipes for these bad boys. Spoiler alert: Ghost Crab-cakes and a pretty bomb BLT are in the lead so stay tuned for more! P.S. You can order these spices online so us non-Charlestonians can still get our seasonin’ on.

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

The spices also make pretty awesome dips when paired with Greek yogurt, whipped cream cheese or sour cream. I could have eaten an entire sample table by myself. Easily.

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Of course, since it’s Charleston, pineapples and blue + white plates were everywhere!! Next time, I’m either packing bubble wrap or just going to have some of these pieces shipped back to DC because really, they’re just too pretty for a picture to do them justice.

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Charleston City Market | dcgirlinpearls.com

Please share suggestions of places to visit, and more importantly eat, in Charleston. I might have already started an itinerary for my next visit en route to the airport…

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

IZZE Sparkling Juice Summer

A relaxing weekend with IZZE | dcgirlinpearls.com

The thing no one tells you about growing up is that you have to work during the summer. Sure, there are “Summer Fridays” but those lazy hazy crazy days of summer spent at the beach or pool or just playing in the backyard without a care in the world?

They’re gone.

Before I get to sounding too depressing, here are some AWESOME tacos I’ve been living on since before Cinco de Mayo. Feeling better? Okay, let’s get back to the happy. 

A relaxing weekend with IZZE | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lately, Monday through Friday has been A) nonstop, go-go-go action and B) monsoon-level rainy. Which makes weekends that much sweeter to unwind and just hang out.

I’m normally a very social person and I’d definitely consider myself an extravert, I need people to keep my energy up. But lately, on the weekends, I’ve grown to appreciate some built-in alone time with just a large blanket, a good book or magazine, my trusty pair of sunglasses and a can or two of IZZE.

Because I really can’t go anywhere without a carbonated drink.

A relaxing weekend with IZZE | dcgirlinpearls.com

I love sticking my phone into my tote, slipping off my Jacks and just tune out the world for an hour or two. On an unrelated note, does anyone else have a serious Jacks tanline? Please tell it’s not just me!

My absolute essential to mini picnics in the park has be IZZE Sparkling Juice. Nothing beats the DC heat like a fizzy drink and IZZE’s Sparkling Clementine does the trick for me. Lately on my weekly trips to Eastern Market, I toss a Sparkling Juice into my tote because after about 3 blocks in the hot sun + humidity, lord knows I need it.

And because no matter how stressful work can get, don’t forget…

A relaxing weekend with IZZE | dcgirlinpearls.com

If you’re traveling around the globe this summer or just staycationing, like me, in the park a block from your apartment.

Have a lovely weekend!

A relaxing weekend with IZZE | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

IZZE Sparkling Juices

This post was sponsored by IZZE®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the DC Girl in Pearls party going!

Cucumber Chili Cooler

Cucumber Chili Cooler | dcgirlinpearls.com

Three of my favorite things in one highball glass: Spicy chilis. Cool cucumbers. Tequila.

Just add a pool and we’ve got it made in the shade.

Cucumber Chili Cooler | dcgirlinpearls.com

So sometimes a lot of the times I like to play with my food. Or cocktail garnishes. Both?

I admit I’m firmly on Team Sweet Cocktail (see: Watermelon Vodka Slushies) but I’m just as much of a sucker for all things spicy (see: virtually every recipe I’ve ever posted). Decisions, decisions…

Cucumber Chili Cooler | dcgirlinpearls.com

The good news? Creating the cucumber chili cooler is so easy + quick that you don’t have to choose between sweet or spicy cocktails. You can have both!

Poolside.

In your swimsuit with a floppy hat.

Cucumber Chili Cooler | dcgirlinpearls.com

Okay, I lied earlier. All you need besides this cocktail is a pool AND a big ol’ bowl of guacamole. Forgive me in the name of avocados?

Cucumber Chili Cooler | dcgirlinpearls.com

Ingredients (Makes 1 Cocktail)

1 part Sauza® Cucumber Chili Tequila                                                                          

3 parts lemon lime soda

Garnish with a wedge of lime (optional)

Directions

In a glass filled with ice, combine Sauza® Cucumber Chili Tequila and lemon lime soda.

Garnish with a wedge of lime. Cheers!

* * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

This post was sponsored by Sauza Tequila®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. 

Sauza Logo

Budget-Friendly Totes + Bags for 9-5

On my way to work each morning, I see girls walking to work with tiny purses. Unless they are employing some kind of magic, I really don’t understand how they can go to work with only a crossbody. These girls have to be Mary Poppins with a bottomless purse or it’s like in The Sword in the Stone when Merlin waves his wand and shrinks everything in his house down to miniature-size so it neatly fits into his bag. If only.

On any given day, I carry my wallet, a pair of heels, Tupperware with my lunch, a mini-makeup bag, a planner, notebook and typically my camera and occasionally, my laptop. Oh, and Diet Coke, obviously.

In high school + college, my backpacks were an L.L. Bean canvas tote and my beloved Vera Bradley tote in Petal Pink (sadly now retired) to carry heavy textbooks + binders on binders on binders. Now that I’ve graduated (literally) to the working world, I keep those bags for weekends.

Thankfully, my favorite Vera Bradley has created a line of totes that look polished + colorful: A win-win in my book!!

So tell me: Are you a work tote gal or are you Mary Poppins with your crossbody? If you’re Mary Poppins, spill your secrets!

Totes + Bags for Work on Budget

 

Target Reversible Tote // Michael Kors Medium Kempton Tote

Vera Bradley Satchel // Barrington St. Anne Tote 

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle | dcgirlinpearls.com

Surfside was my Sunday evening ritual when I lived in Glover Park. After a weekend of cocktails and late nights, fish tacos with avocado and a corn + black bean salsa (and a liberal amount of hot sauce) became my way of hitting reset and recharging for the week.

I miss my Sunday tacos: The last couple trips to Truckeroo, I made a beeline for the Surfside taco truck and my beloved Maui tacos. When I heard Surfside opened a 24 hour taco stand in Dupont Circle, I leaped for joy and made a mental note to go ASAP.

Welp, that was several months ago and I had yet to check out this 24 hour taco stand, which in my world, is kind of a crime. Tacos make the world go ’round. Science.

Earlyish Saturday morning, I found myself in Dupont Circle with every intention of checking out the farmer’s market. Sadly, I hadn’t done my homework and didn’t realize the market is only on Sundays. Whoops.

Thankfully, I ran into my friends Ty + Em, who dashed my dreams set me straight on the Dupont market. There’s a silver lining to everything and I quickly realized this meant only one thing: Surfside Taco Stand, here I come!

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle | dcgirlinpearls.com

It’s never too early for fish tacos.

Fish has protein, black beans have fiber and the avocado slices contain healthy fats.

If that’s not part of a balanced breakfast, I don’t know what is.

And look at all the green cilantro!!

(Ignore the lime crema.)

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle | dcgirlinpearls.com

Enjoying fresh fish tacos in the middle of the city made me feel like I was on a vacation. I took my tacos and people-watched by the Dupont Circle Fountain, which is pretty close to my idea of the best time ever. Highlight reel: a dog who dove headfirst into the fountain to cool off and a toddler taking unsteady steps while wearing a onesie that said “Seriously Handsome.” Hats off to your confidence, little guy.

I gotta say, it was an awesome start to the weekend.

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle | dcgirlinpearls.com

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle | dcgirlinpearls.com

Surfside Taco Stand in Dupont Circle | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Watermelon Cucumber Vodka Slushie

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler Vodka Slushies | dcgirlinpearls.com

Didn’t think I was going to leave you high and dry for the weekend without a cocktail, did you?

I would never do that! Especially when it’s summer and the livin’s easy. My goal for the weekend is to spend as much time outside as possible and get at least a little bit tan. Growing up, I spent my summers mostly outdoors. Between swimming, softball and going to the beach, I was indoors in the summer mostly just to sleep.

Life was really rough.

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler Vodka Slushies | dcgirlinpearls.com

Slushies + freeze pops were the best way to keep cool. Yes, contrary to belief, it does get pretty hot ‘n humid in Buffalo in the summer. Remember those Flintstone Push Pops? One of my earliest memories was going with my dad to get Flintstone Push Pops at the corner store.

Do they even sell those anymore?! I hope so.

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler Vodka Slushies | dcgirlinpearls.com

Let’s take a stroll down Memory Lane and make slushies this week! But since we’re adult(ish)s, how about we add vodka? Yes or yes?

I was never good at science but I do know enough science to know alcohol doesn’t full freeze. So here’s an equation: juice + your choice of alcohol + container + freezer = a boozy slushie.

For this watermelon cucumber cooler vodka slushie, I used 2 qts of delicious watermelon cucumber juice from (of course) Trader Joe’s and mixed in 2 cups of vodka. Let sit in a container overnight in the freezer and like magic, a big-batch summer cocktail!

Oh, and if you’re really into adult slushies and need to bring something to a Father’s Day BBQ, Arnold Palmer Bourbon Slushies are always a crowd-pleaser. True story.

So if you need to find me this weekend, I’ll be outside with a slushie, a good book and maybe some spicy corn + feta salad. Have a fun weekend!

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler Vodka Slushies | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Hot Pepper Oil Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Sun-dried Tomatoes + Shrimp

Phew, that’s a mouthful of a title, am I right?

Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes + Shrimp | dcgirlinpearls.com

Yup, my obsession with zucchini noodles is still going strong. I will tell anyone who will listen to get a spiralizer (I love this handheld one from Amazon, perfect for my teeny apartment kitchen) and start spiralizing their zucchini into beautiful bowls of “noodles.”

The benefits of zucchini noodles:

1.) Extremely waistline friendly. You’re pretty much eating a giant bowl of veggies and you’ll be happy about it.

2.) Zucchini noodles only take about 3 minutes to cook on a skillet while with regular pasta, you have to wait for the water to boil and then about 8 minutes for the pasta to cook. And if Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese taught me anything as a child, I really don’t have the patience to wait for water to boil.

3.) Just a continuation on #2, I am usually pretty hungry when I get home and I need to eat dinner pretty quickly. A healthy dinner in less than 10 minutes? It’s a no-brainer.

4.) You can get pretty creative and make awesome dishes + desk lunches that will make you one happy worker. Aside from my favorite tomato + pesto combo, I’ve also used zucchini noodles in a pho to combat a super fun sinus infection. Pad thai, lo mein, zucchini noodles can do it all.

Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes + Shrimp | dcgirlinpearls.com

I created this zucchini noodles recipe out of pure necessity: I had produce I needed to use and I was starving. Heating up a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil, I added a little salt + pepper and a very healthy sprinkle of red pepper flakes to give the oil a real kick. Sautéing the asparagus for about 8 minutes, I decided the asparagus looked a little lonely.

Can vegetables look lonely? Well, if they can, these asparagus (asparaguses? Asparagusi?) definitely did.

Thanks to Disney movies, I can’t shake the feeling sometimes that inanimate objects and produce actually come alive when I’m not looking. So overcome with guilt, I peeked into my fridge to see what else I could toss into the skillet. Three words:

Sun. Dried. Tomatoes.

Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes + Shrimp | dcgirlinpearls.com

I’m so faaaancy. You don’t even knooowww.

Into the skillet went the sun-dried tomatoes and I let the veggies simmer on low for a few minutes and tossed to evenly coat the red pepper flake-infused olive oil. A quick toss of the zucchini noodles into the skillet to quickly cook the noodles and combine the ingredients.

Holy flavor explosion, guys!!

The second time I made this dish, I added some shrimp into the skillet to bolster this dish with protein. But here’s another thought: Remember that langostino from my spicy corn + feta salad?

YUP. Just sayin’.

Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes + Shrimp | dcgirlinpearls.com

Zucchini Noodles with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes + Shrimp | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad | dcgirlinpearls.com

What’d you do this weekend? Eat lots of Popsicles? Become BFFs with your AC? Binge watch Orange Is The New Black?

Yup. I did all of the above. And I gotta say, the backstories this season on OITNB blew my mind!! Spoiler alert: Chang is one coldblooded lady.

On Thursday night when I discovered OITNB was “early released” (Point Netflix for the excellent pun use), I somehow limited myself to only watching ONE episode. If only I had that much self control around cookies…

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad | dcgirlinpearls.comI managed to drag myself away from Netflix on Saturday night for two birthday celebrations but by Sunday, I just had to get through the final episode!! Of course, a girl’s gotta eat and that means less time with the Litchfield ladies. Oh, and the whole 90-degree-surface-of-the-sun thing that makes my kitchen the very last place I’d want to be.

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad | dcgirlinpearls.com

Right now the major criteria for dishes involves a) As little time as possible and b) Not turning on my oven because it’s so hot I might actually combust.

The grill, on the other hand, is totally fair game.

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad | dcgirlinpearls.com

As an apartment dweller, I rely on my George Foreman for all things grilled when I’m not relying on my friends with grills. A quick 5 minutes with good ol’ George and watermelon, if possible, tastes even better!

Grilling watermelon gives it this awesome smoky flavor and when paired with creamy burrata + peppery arugula, OMG. Sprinkling sea salt on watermelon brings out the sweet flavor so pretty much, this dish hits all the major tastes. Oh and it only takes 5 minutes to prepare. And you know what that means…

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad | dcgirlinpearls.com

More time watching OITNB!!

So what are you waiting for? Grab argula, grill watermelon, slice up burrata + sprinkle with sea salt.

I gotta say, grilled watermelon, burrata + arugula salad leftovers stuffed into a pita makes for one awesome desk lunch!

Grilled Watermelon, Burrata + Arugula Salad | dcgirlinpearls.com

 * * *

Let’s Chat!

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin’