April Look Back


When I started writing this reflection about April,  I thought it was all about cherry blossoms and work.

A little back story: The DC /Northern Va region seems to literally go from drab winter to everything in bloom overnight. On the professional side, I went to Oregon for a work conference and then the last few weeks were busy winding down the semester.

But now that I look at the pictures, I see April was also really about eating too.

First up, this cake!

The month started off with discovering a food blog written by a local Northern Va mom who once went to culinary school. Her blog is called Once Upon a Chef, and I’ve fallen for her simple and tasty recipes.

The very first recipe I made was this beautiful flourless chocolate cake, which we enjoyed during Easter brunch. I made that merengue topping all by myself!


 In this picture, you’ll notice that Easter brunch is still intact, but someone (I don’t know who?) already got into the cake.


 That same weekend, we drove out to the National Arboretum and walked around with Quinn. They were hosting their annual springtime ikebana show, so of course I had to see that.

arbor2 IMG_3851

 These floral arrangements are so beautiful and simple, and I thought about how I embarrassed myself when I exhibited my own creation at an Ikebana show in Japan. 



 This year, peak cherry blossom bloom hit on a weekend, and we knew there would be massive crowds.

We decided to go early on Saturday morning to watch the sunrise.

Guess what? Still crowded, even at 6:00 am.


 This picture looks deserted, and you’re probably thinking, ‘Where are all the people?”

There they are below… (let me remind you, this is 6 am, folks)


 After taking loads of early morning photos, we hit a new donut shop in Old Town, Alexandria called the Sugar Shack. 

Nice reward for waking so early.


 With nicer weather last month, we looked for more ways to hang out outside with our dog and eat, of course. 

One of our favorite spots dog-friendly spots with great food and nice ambiance is Cheesetique in Del Rey. 


 Another fun outing last month was meeting our friends Todd and Nili at the Sugar Showdown. This event was a dessert competition featuring springtime treats from four local chefs, and the proceeds went to charity.

Isn’t this the cutest little carrot cake you’ve ever seen?

Note to self: Herbal accents on desserts seems to be a new food trend this season. 


Another food discovery last month was fried pickles at the Red Fox Brewery in Falls Church. I’m hooked. 


On non-food related matters, I read a couple of good books that I would recommend to all of you.

The first was Rooftops of Tehran, which I read for my book club. I really want to visit Iran now.

The other was All the Light We Cannot See, which was just named the Pulitzer Prize winner. This was generously lent to me by a work friend after I told her I was number 1052 on the library wait list for it.


The month ended with a very unfulfilling shopping trip to the mall. I went with high expectations that I would be inspired by the new spring fashions. Instead, I was just bored!

I used to really love shopping, and I just can’t stand it now. Maybe it’s because I feel like most of the good stuff is sold online now … I feel like actual real shopping is just not fun anymore. Anyone relate?


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