Dinner with a Purpose

by Jackie

Bookettes Fefe and Jennifer prepare dinner at Samaritan Inns.

Bookettes Fefe and Jennifer prepare dinner at Samaritan Inns.

There are a million quotes extolling the benefits of serving others, but after my experience this Saturday, it can be summed up as follows: It’s fun! The Bookettes, DC’s favorite bookclub, took their culinary talents to Samaritan Inns to fellowship with residents. Samaritan Inns is celebrating its 25th year of providing structured housing and recovery services in an environment of support and accountability that gives homeless and addicted men and women the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

We had a great time preparing dinner and getting to know the residents. Just the day before going to volunteer, I asked a colleague how he managed to stay calm during stressful  moments. He replied, “I have access to hot water and a roof over my head.” His simple answer and my time at Samaritan Inns gave me perspective on my own life stresses. Being grateful for what I do have and volunteering makes it easier to focus on the important things — making memories, spending time with loved ones, and constantly learning.

If you’d like to volunteer at Samaritan Inns, send a message to Corey@SamaritanInns.org.

 

Take a Hike!

by Jackie

I mean it. Get lost!

Grab your friends, pack a lunch, and put your phone on airplane mode. Adventure is just 30 minutes away. Located in McLean, Va., Great Falls Park is heaven in DC’s backyard. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a balmy Saturday morning than going for a hike and discovering beauty in the simple things.

Great Falls National Park, VA (Photo: Me!)

Great Falls National Park, VA (Photo: Me!)

 

This stylish butterfly seemed almost too perfect to be real.

This stylish butterfly seemed almost too perfect to be real.

“All good things are wild and free.
” -Henry David Thoreau – See more at: http://adventured.com/99-outdoor-nature-quotes/#sthash.Q5lH5aRN.dpuf

All good things are wild and free. — Henry David Thoreau

“All good things are wild and free.
” -Henry David Thoreau – See more at: http://adventured.com/99-outdoor-nature-quotes/#sthash.Q5lH5aRN.dpuf

I couldn't ask for anything more.

Weddings: The Pricetag of Happiness

by Sherria

I have attended two weddings within two weeks! If you are 25 or older then  you are probably familiar with the ritual of putting  putting aside a portion of your paycheck for bridal showers, baby showers, wedding presents and travel expenses. While many have a tendency to complain about expenses associated with weddings (especially if it isn’t your own wedding), I can honestly say that any money spent on both of the weddings I attended were well worth it. This weekend I attended the wedding of a family friend in Charlottesville, Virginia. The “Country Rustic” themed wedding was held at Panorama Farms. I was impressed with the way family members and friends devoted their time, care and attention to planning every detail and helping with decorations. My mother, along with the bride and groom’s parents and extended family members helped to put together flower arrangements, hang lighting inside of the barn and bake cupcakes as an alternative to a wedding cake. As I was surrounded by fun, love and entertaining dance moves, I was overwhelmed with joy for the happy couple and happy that I could share the special day. So, next time you complain about spending money to go to a friend or family members wedding, just think of the joy that you’ll experience when you arrive. It’s priceless!

 

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Wearing Happiness

by Jackie

sunflower

 

Yellow is my favorite color. It’s the color of all things happy. A bunch of sunflowers kept me in a yellow mood and helped me start my day, even on those mornings when I just wanted to stay in bed.

yellow

 

This yellow eyelet dress from Old Navy is one of my summer favorites. I can’t help but be in a good mood when I’m in it. It just feels like I’m wearing happiness. So, don’t be surprised if you catch me wearing it over and over again this season. Wear something that makes you smile this week!

Summer Espadrilles

by Sherria 

Espadrilles are back in style! The approximately 400 year-old style was said to have been worn by King of Aragons’ infantry men in the XIII century. The style has evolved into a popular shoe staple among women in the summer seasons.  Nowadays, anyone can shop for a pair of espadrilles in most department stores, including Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

I love espadrilles because they are multi-functional, cute and casual. Espadrilles can be worn from the rooftop party to the museum visit. On the other hand, if you work in an office setting, wedged espadrilles can be appropriate. However, I would not recommend the casual look for a business meeting. I would suggest wearing them on an average work day and casual Friday’s.

Below are A*cute’s top espadrille picks for summer: 

 

 

espadrilles

 

1) Seville Wedge Espadrille (J.Crew, $128)

2) Lanii Espadrille Flats (STEVEN by Steve Madden, $99)

3) Ganessa Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandals (Calvin Klein, sale $54.50)

4) Galia Stripped Canvas Espadrille Flats (Christian Louboutin, $445)