Month: April 2014

Big News for Shaw Food-Lovers!

Eater’s got details on the big restaurant news that Tom Sietsema scooped in his chat today. The folks behind the fabulously popular – and POTUS-worthy – Mintwood Place are opening a new concept at the City Market at O! Here’s the story:

Restaurant from Mintwood Team Coming to Shaw

Big news in Tom Sietsema’s chat today for Shaw residents. Mintwood Place’s chef and owner have signed a lease to open a restaurant at the City Market at O development. There is no name for the restaurant yet but it will be headed to 801 0 St. NW. Cedric Maupillier and Saied Azali will have a 120-seat dining room, and there will be similarities to their French leaning favorite, Mintwood Place. Maupillier tells Sietsema the restaurant will have smaller portions and lower prices, to appeal to a younger audience. It’ll be on the ground floor of a hotel and be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (anearly 2015 opening is likely).
· Tom Sietsema Chat [WaPo]

Sneak Peek: Garden-Door-Turned-Outdoor-Bar

This weekend the Live-In Contractor and I finally got to spend some time working on one of the big projects we’ve queued up over the last month or so – and I have to say, I’m way too excited about it to wait til it’s done to share pictures. So here’s a little peek at what we’ve done so far!

We purchased this beautiful old garden door from Community Forklift for the princely sum of $10:


And with some help from Pinterest, I came up with the idea of transforming it into an outdoor bar for our many backyard shindigs. I started by cleaning off the door and applying a coat of “cabernet” stain to help bring out the natural patterns of the wood it’s beautiful red color (here it is mid-stain):



The bottom of the bar will have a drink tub that we will fill with ice and bottles of beverages that need to stay frosty. The tub will be made of an old oak barrel that Gary cut in half and reinforced; he also drilled holes into the bottom so that it will slowly drain and dry out after each use.





At mid-height will be a small shelf that is designed to fit this beautiful blue glass drink dispenser that I just found (it matches my mason jar lanterns perfectly!):


And across the top of the door will be a larger shelf to hold cups, garnishes, larger bottles, etc. I can’t WAIT to show off the finished product, but for now, hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!

Introducing GL Barnhart Construction

Skyline + Title 2

Any seasoned realtor knows that being connected to a good contractor is an absolute must. My clients are constantly asking questions that are best answered by an experienced contractor, and often end up needing a good referral as well.  Luckily for me, I have easy access to one of the best contractors in town! Gary Barnhart, the founder of Capitol-Hill-Based GL Barnhart Construction, just so happens to be my other half. In addition to being partners in our personal lives, we are business partners as well. While we technically run two separate companies, we are both heavily involved in the strategic growth and planning of each others’ businesses. And my clients are always grateful that I can get quick answers from and refer them to a trusted, experienced, and skilled contractor. Gary will be mentioned on the blog (as the “Live-In Contractor”) from time to time, so I wanted to “formally” introduce him to my readers. And of course, if you need a great contractor, let me know!

Mason Jar Lanterns: DIY Design Tutorial



I am totally enamored with these beautiful blue mason jars from Ball. You may remember that I used them for gifting cookies to friends and family over the holiday. Now that the weather is *finally* warming up, I’ve turned them into lovely little hanging lanterns for my backyard. It’s super budget-friendly DIY Design project that any of you can do; here’s how!

What you’ll need:

-Mason Jars: 1 per lantern

-Kosher Salt (or other large-grained salt): enough to fill each lantern about 2/3

-Votive or tea light candles

-Chain of choice, cut into 2-foot pieces (available at Home Depot, etc. I chose the smallest silver chain they had available. They’ll cut the chain for you on the spot in the store.)

-18-gauge wire, ideally same color as your chain

-Pliers (mine, pictured below, also cut wire. But you can just use needle-nose pliers and a pair of scissors if you don’t have the fancy wire-cutting kind.)

– Optional: Strong scissors (if pliers don’t cut wire).




Fill your jars with enough salt to make it easy to reach the candles for placement and lighting. But make sure the salt level is low enough that the wick is beneath the top of jar. The whole point of the lantern is to keep the wick protected from the wind! I usually fill the jars about 2/3 of the way with salt.




Cut a piece of wire that is 2-3 inches long. Take one of your 2-foot pieces of chain; starting with one end, loop it around the jar so it lays as flat as possible underneath the grooves at the top of the jar. Then loop the piece of wire through the links so that the chain is hugging the jar very snugly, and twist once to secure tightly in place.




Using your pliers, tighten the wire loop and then twist the ends tightly two or three times. Once the wire is twisted tightly into place, cut the excess length off of the wire. The little twisted link that you just made will blend right into the chain. IMG_3489IMG_3490

Now you have a nice snug necklace wrapped around the top of the jar, with one long loose piece of chain hanging off of it, like so:


Take the last link on the loose end of the chain and fasten it to the exact opposite side of the jar opening using the same technique described above, forming the loop that you will use to hang the jar.


And that’s it! Hang from tree branches, a shepherd’s hook, your fence, or anything else that protrudes and is strong enough to securely hold these babies.

IMG_3493  IMG_3496