The Life of Katie – August 2023

August truly sipped away like a bottle of wine *cues Taylor Swift*. It may be September as I write this, YET August by Taylor Swift is still playing on repeat! This year was the year that I think I realized how special of a gem of a month August is. I used to resent summer months and think that August was the rather “boring” month of them all, given the fact that there’s no Federal Holiday. However, as an adult with no going back to school anymore for the time being, I am savoring ALL of the special and slower August months. August truly is a gem and has since become one of my favorite months of the year.

August 2023 taught me to appreciate the smaller and simpler things in life (as a cheesy as it may sound!). I regularly get caught up in the more elaborate moments in life, but there is always something so great about true simplicity and simply being in the moment. I think getting sick a few times throughout the month helped me to really wind down, too (a blessing in disguise). One of my biggest goals established in August is to be more present and in the moment and strive to be more mindful, which I thank an EXCELLENT talk at my company for helping with this. Practicing mindfulness has allowed me to achieve this goal of living in the moment, as opposed to running to what is next – something that is SO easy for us all to get caught up in. Overall, August has brought me so much joy and I’m already ready for August 2024.

Highs:

  • To kick off the first weekend of August, I went for an afternoon to one of my favorite places in the Washington, DC area: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. I checked out some shops on King Street, including Penny Post, Lilly Pulitzer, Current Boutique, and Shop Made in VA. Being a local stationary business, Penny Post had a celebration the day I went for National Stationary Day, SO I was happily able to snag a The Rifle Paper Company 2024 wall calendar: something that I use daily! I also enjoyed a nice solo brunch at The Majestic – a restaurant with a *magical and retro* interior on King Street that I’ve been wanting to try for awhile now. I tried their seasonal sangria, which happened to be made with strawberry and mint and was delicious, along with a fennel sausage and spinach and feta omelette and a side of potatoes which were all AMAZING. I, then, came back to Old Town Alexandria a few weeks later for drinks and pasta at the gorgeous Virginia’s Darling on Washington Street (here) and managed to take a mini stroll around town. I would’ve walked around Old Town Alexandria a bit more, but it had been SO HOT out this August, so it’ll have to wait until next time!
  • My best friend Shivani came to visit early on in the month and we met up on a Tuesday evening for dinner and drinks at The Wharf. I rarely visit The Wharf in Washington, DC let alone in the summer time, BUT I will be back! We went for dinner at Del Mar – an upscale Spanish restaurant right on the waterfront. Since we were celebrating Shivani graduating her Masters and my professional development achievements, the restaurant staff was SO SWEET and treated us to a starter, champagne, dessert, and a dessert wine. I also ordered my go-to summer drink – a Aperol spritz – and some octopus for dinner. Not to mention, the atmosphere within Del Mar is so beautifully done! Shivani and I will most definitely be back. And, after our glorious celebratory meal, we hung out a bit during what happened to be golden hour at The Wharf alongside the marinas and waterfront. It was STUNNING to say the least. I WILL be back to The Wharf *very soon*!
  • August is the month that I am *FINALLY* watching Sweet Magnolia’s Season 3, finishing up Sex and the City‘s reboot And Just Like That Season 2, and starting to watch my late grandmother’s favorite show Ugly Betty. July was definitely a the month where I re-watched A TON of Grey’s Anatomy and started Suits and August was a new season month for me! I have really enjoyed And Just Like That, as it gives me ALLL the feels (if you know, you know!). I have LOVED watching the characters from Sex and the City grow and develop into who they are meant to be. As someone who really wants to become a Mom someday, a highlight for me is watching Charlotte and Harry raise their two children into their teenage years. Needless to say, I am MOST DEFINITELY a Charlotte (!!!!) and proud of it. As a matter of fact, my Mom said that I am the most Charlotte-like human she knows – such a compliment if you ask me! On the same token, I have also LOVED watching Ugly Betty, as it is such a cute show. It’s fun to watch America Ferrara play Betty ~18 years before she takes the stage as Gloria in Barbie. Through it all, August has been such a fun binge-watching month!
  • It’s *officially* Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) season (!!!!). Starbucks released their PSL’s for the Fall 2023 season on August 24, and, I got up bright and early and headed to Starbucks to commemorate the day. I am SO SO SO excited for this upcoming Fall season, as it is getting closer and closer and closer to beginning to Fall like it, too. As I headed off to Starbucks for my PSL, the weather felt crisp and a bit like Fall aka LITERAL PERFECTION.
  • I attended my *first-ever* book club meeting to kick off the month of August. My friend Marielle who I met through my best friend Bree set up the book club (which Bree is apart of, too!) and it has been SUCH A BLAST. We have virtual meetings, even though most of us are Washington, DC area-based and it has been really fun to bond with everyone beyond our meetings as well (which some of us hope to do in-person, too!). Going into September, I am enjoying reading Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster for Book Club, which takes place in gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Martha’s Vineyard and am hoping to next year! In the meantime, I look forward to further connecting with my fellow Book Club members.
  • The second weekend of August, I visited my influencer best friend Lindsay in Indianapolis and a night in Chicago. On this trip, I crossed off a brand-new state off of my bucket list: Indiana (I’d LOVE to visit all 50 states in my lifetime). In Indianapolis, Lindsay showed me around her town, including The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers in Carmel (here), Broad Ripple Village, downtown Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Zoo. While in Chicago, Lindsay and I went to the Malibu Barbie Pop-Up Cafe, walked around the downtown river walk at night time, dined at The Hampton Social and the Ralph Lauren RL Restaurant, and visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery aka the world’s largest Starbucks. I LOVED Indianapolis and Chicago. Both cities were incredible and I always love time with Lindsay, as I am SO blessed to call her one of my best friends.
  • The weekend after I got back from visiting Lindsay in Indianapolis and Chicago was a special one. On Saturday, I met up with my best friend Stephanie and her Mom and adorable toy poodle Teddy with Papa and my dog Rosie at the gorgeous Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery in Delaplane, Virginia. We enjoyed wine flights, charcuterie, and time together. Stephanie and her Mom recently went on some fun summer trips both near and far, so it was fun to hear about their adventures! Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery is a Greek family-owned winery that has been awarded several Virginia-based awards over the years and also is a wedding venue. With its location on the top of a mountain practically, an array of STUNNING mountain views and skylines circle all guests at every turn. It was truly a treat to visit Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery! And, as for Sunday of that weekend, my high school best friend Haley and I got lunch at Uncle Julio’s in Woodbridge, Virginia’s adorable Stonebridge Potomac Town Center. It was SO nice to catch up with Haley who had also gone to the Midwest recently after both of our trips there. Afterwards, I went to the adjacent Wegman’s for some grocery shopping for the week (which to me is ALWAYS a treat!).
  • My Big Sis from college and best friend Stephanie and I checked out a new-to-us Italian restaurant called Bellissimo located in Old Town Fairfax, Virginia for Washington, DC Restaurant Week which took place the last week of August. The interior of Bellissimo is tiny yet spacious and elegant. Paintings of different notable Italian cities – Venice and Florence of the likes – lined the restaurant walls. The food was delicious, too! Bellissimo’s Restaurant Week menu included 3 courses (starter, entree, and dessert) with a glass of wine add-on for $10 which we both *of course* did via a limited-edition menu. The food was DELICIOUS and the staff and owner were super kind and excited to have all their guests there. I was really proud of myself for navigating the drive and tight parking there (as city-like driving such as in Old Town Fairfax) is not my preference at ALL and is rather very nerve-wracking for me. And, when Stephanie and I left Bellissimo, we were presented with a gorgeous sunset as the *perfect* way to wrap up a *perfect* night.
  • I closed out August by getting a brand-new hair do via some much-needed pampering at the hair salon! Hair appointments are EXPENSIVE especially when you color your hair too, y’all. However, I see it as such a great treat yourself moment for myself and to simply take part of an afternoon off for me and to get away from work for a bit. I am not someone who regularly gets her nails done or goes to the spa or gets facials (however, I do want to get massages on a semi-regular basis at some point in the near-term future!), so I am willing to spend a bit more on my hair about 3-4 times a year as an investment in myself. I cut off INCHES of my hair this time around and am feeling much more confident going into September and this upcoming Fall season. Afterwards, I got *none other than* Starbucks’s new Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte for the road and headed off to my Dad’s house in Bethany Beach, Delaware to commemorate the final weekend of summer where I experienced a beautiful sunset and gorgeous full moon on the way there.

Lows:

  • In early August, we had inclement weather via some severe storms. I initially took off the first Monday of the month to enjoy the day in Washington, DC as my best friend Shivani was coming to visit. However, due to the incoming storms, Shivani’s flight got extremely delayed and we had to cancel our Monday plans. Since I live on a 30 minute+ Metro ride into downtown Washington, DC, I decided to not go into the city and, thus, I made the decision to clock in some hours at work instead. Although disappointing, I am glad I was able to catch up on some work and and stay safe (and see her the next day after work!).
  • Our next door neighbors that Papa and I became close with moved to Ohio in early August. A highlight of the warmer months this Spring/Summer season was enjoying bonfires and cookouts with them in the afternoons/evenings after work. Argh – I miss talking to them on a regular basis while typing this! Our neighbor Angela became super close and LOVED Rosie, too. Papa and I miss Angela and her husband SO MUCH and we know that we are excited to visit them sometime soon!
  • I unfortunately got a sinus infection right after my trip to Indianapolis and Chicago. It left me under the weather for a few days after the trip and into the next week. It left me only able to go out of the house for a few hours each day before feeling the major need to crash and put on my pajamas. NOT FUN! Sadly, I had to miss seeing Moulin Rouge at The Kennedy Center due to this infection, miss a work desserts social with my team, and reschedule a weekend with my bestie Lorena – sad sad sad šŸ™

Summer 2023 was a GREAT one! I have made so many specials memories across 9 different states, celebrated so many monumental occasions for myself and others, spent time with loved one’s both friends and family and pets, and came home with one too many sunburns to commemorate the great times had. August 2023 was the cherry on top of the whipped cream of an ice cream sundae of an AMAZING Summer. After COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 and a super exhausting yet fun and travel-filled 2022, Summer 2023 was the most refreshing and perfect Summer needed to follow. I will miss Summer 2023, yet I look forward to the up and coming Fall 2023 season and the holidays that follow (!!!).

XOXO – Katie <3

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