5 Boozy places you must visit in D.C.

Doing touristy things in the nations capital is fun and all, but all of that can work up a real thirst. In between touristy things, or hell if you’ve already done the touristy things and are looking to visit D.C. like a local, here are 5 very cool, and very unique places to go- for the Boozy Traveler.

1) Agora

This place is so cool, like SO COOL. It was literally the first place we went to once we got to D.C. We enjoyed our first experience here THAT much. I tell all my friends about it, and now, I’m telling all of YOU about it.

I mean, who wouldn’t love endless food dishes AND bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or well liquor drinks?!

IMG_7150

You sit down, they automatically assume you want the bottomless brunch, because DUH you do (side note, everyone at the table has to do the bottomless, or none, that is a rule of theirs. It makes sense though once you keep reading). They ask you what you want for your drink and they bring it right out, along with all of their “spreads”, which can be called appetizers. Your drinks get filled up even before they’re empty, and all the food is brought out into small, yet shareable sizes. And the best part?! If you want items A,B,C,D,E,F, & G on the menu, they’ll bring them ALL to your table in the same shareable sizes, and they’ll do it again until your belly is stuffed. Which is why everyone at the table must be doing the bottomless, otherwise there would be a lot of freeloaders, ya feel?

Fair warning: by the end of your meal (which is a 2 hour time limit), your bottomless mimosa pretty much turns into a flute of champagne, they just keep topping it off.

But hey that’s okay, it leaves ya feeling bubbly and happy, as seen here 😉

IMG_6943

Agora: 1527 17th st NW.
Washington, DC
Brunch hours: 11AM-4PM

2) Blue Jacket Brewery

I love finding amazing places, unexpectedly. Okay, our D.C. friend we were with did recommend this one, but I was fully expecting it to be like any other brewery that are popping up across the U.S. But it was goooood. Not only was the beer spectacular, the Bloody Mary? Good lord, it was tasty and a perfect blend of spicy and not, if ya feel me? And then there was the food. #GetInMyBelly

My recommendation? Go with a group of people, each of you get your own flights of beer, a few get a Bloody or another signature cocktail, and plenty of apps, and share them all! 

Blue Jacket: 300 Tingey St SE.
Washington DC

3) Bardo

Located on the Anacostia River, which is a nice draw, but this one was an odd one for sure. The most compelling thing about it, wasn’t even the river behind it, no it was the freaking car on the roof. Yep, a car on the roof. And then the second surprise came, it was a completely outdoor brewery. Like completely. And then there were all of the old restaurant booths, crooked tables, and old school chairs for seating that made it just out of the world weird. But let me tell you, on a nice summer day I bet this place is BANGING.

Even if you don’t like beer, go just to see the unusual-ness of this place. Just go.

Bardo. 25 Potomac Ave SE.
Washington, DC.

4) Dacha

I wish I could show you the bathrooms in this place, but that would just be weird, and also creepy and likely a felony if I had taken a video in there. But this place was LEGIT. And also suppperrrr futuristic.

IMG_7081 (1)There are 2 locations, to my knowledge, in the D.C. area, the one we went to was also located on the river and had only been open a week but y’all… they had their shit togetherThe service? Excellent. The food? Speedy and delicious. The drinks? Crafty, adorable, tasty and strong as f*ck. It’s a nice cocktail lounge if you’re looking to chill with the girls, but also upbeat enough to be a pregame spot for a soccer game (which is what we did). Oh plus a nifty outdoor area. It kind of can fit all needs. Like I said, it’s legit.

 

Dacha. 79 Potomac Ave. SE
Washington, DC.

5) Jack Rose

IMG_7077For the love of whiskey, this place had it ALL. Bookshelves on bookshelves of whiskey could be intimidating to someone who doesn’t know jack about whiskey, but their staff was so highly trained that we all got something we thoroughly enjoyed. I went for a cocktail, the 2 guys I were with went for whiskey neat, and our fabulous bartender helped each of find our “taste”. Like I said, we all enjoyed what we got, and somehow she managed to narrow down our choices among thousands of whiskey to just the right one. Miraculous.

Oh, and if you’re on the fence of going here, let me just say that when we asked the bartender if she had ever met anyone famous there she replied “I don’t kiss and tell”, which means she had. I mean with 2oz pours of whiskey costing $1,2000 (at the max, don’t worry we were more in the $10-20 range!), it can be assumed that some famous people would float into there. Not to mention that she’s had “regulars” come in from around the world, just for the whiskey here. If that doesn’t scream this place is the shit and the whiskey is bomb, then I don’t know what does!

highly recommend this place. Even if you’re not a whiskey connoisseur, the atmosphere of the place is neat enough! Plus, they can make a cocktail to fit your taste, I promise.

Jack Rose Whiskey Bar. 2007 18th St. NW
Washington, DC.

 

Cheers to that! 

If you find other favorite boozy place in D.C.

Especially ones that go kind of off the radar.

Or aren't the traditional 'tourist' spots.

Let me know!

Holla at me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com

Or on Instagram at lifeofcarlyb_

Subscribe to my email! 

Cheers,

Carly B

 

 

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable- Part 1: Health and Fitness

My favorite quote of all time:

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Meaning, in the quickest explanation possible, that nothing can be achieved within your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable, embrace that, because it means something great is on the horizon.

In this 3 part series we will talk about what it means to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 different areas of your life. Your health and fitness, your relationships, and your life and lifestyle in general.

What makes us most uncomfortable in each area? Do we avoid whatever makes us uncomfortable because we don’t know how to handle it? Are we staying stagnant and going through monotonous efforts because we don’t know how to step outside of our comfort zone? More importantly, because we don’t know why we should step outside of our comfort zones?

The easiest and most obvious comfort zones that we can identify nowadays are those related to your health and fitness journey, which is why that is Part 1 of this series. Those comfort zones are what keep people from achieving their goals that they’ve had for a long time. The goals that they’ve written down at the beginning of each new year, resolving to finally achieve them, but don’t.

In order to step out of these comfort zones and launch ourselves on this great health and fitness journey, we first need to pin-point the areas that are holding ourselves back.

Generally, these are the areas where we feel the slightest ping of discomfort and we go running for the covers. Hiding from what could be. They can be broken down into physical and mental barriers. 

The physical:

When your body actually feels, oh I don’t know, the actual effects of exercise

This one kind of baffles me. So many people go to the gym, yet they don’t push themselves to the points they need to. When was the last time you’ve gone outside of your routine in the gym (that is if you’ve been actually going to the gym)? It’s hard for people to feel levels of well, pain.

IMG_0114

But here’s the truth:

The last few reps of your sets should be hard. If they’re not then you simply are not working hard enough. Put those 5 lb weights away that you’ve been using for the past year and pick up something heavier. But wait, that is where people lose it. When they get to rep 8 out of 10 in a set of bicep curls and their muscles are burning. It’s weird, so they stop at that 8th rep and drop their weight the next set they do. Wait what?!? That is not helping you grow, at all. It’s actually teaching yourself to accept failure. You let that feeling of discomfort win over you.

No my friend, those last few reps of each set should be challenging. Aim for the last 2-4 reps, depending on how many reps total you’re doing (the more reps total, the more challenging reps you’ll feel). Because if you find that the reps are getting challenging, it means you are challenging yourself. Get comfortable with that. That is where the magic happens.

And when doing cardio? You need to get comfortable with the feeling of your lungs burning. If you hop on the elliptical day after day and only break a light sweat, then you haven’t challenged your body to a new stimulus. Therefore, you will not improve, and your fitness goals will always be dangling in front of you – just out of reach. Try incorporating HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your workout. There will be points where you can’t speak more than a few sentences, that’s normal, don’t let that scare you. And when you really amp it up, there will be points where you can’t speak more than a few words. Again, that’s normal. All of the above (including some steady state such as the elliptical), need to be worked into your workout in a balanced format. Try doing some intervals – on a cardio machine, or with bodyweight cardio exercises. To program a HIIT workout, you can use the formats below, in order of beginner to advanced:

1:1 ratio= equal work and rest time

2:1 ratio= 2X the amount of challenging work to rest time

4:1 ratio= 4X the amount of challenging work to rest time

The above ratios can be seen in formats such as:

60:60 = 60 seconds of challenging work followed by 60 seconds of rest
60:30= 60 seconds of challenging work, followed by 30 seconds of rest.
60:15= 60 seconds of challenging work, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

or 30:30, 30:15, 30:10, 20:20, 20:10, and so on. As long as you have rest periods on there, you are working in a HIIT format.

In addition to creating your own HIIT workouts, you can also try publicly known workout programs such as Orangetheory Fitness, first class free!

*p.s. this is not an Orangetheory sponsored Ad, but I know first hand the amazing effects that can come out of it, in true HIIT fashion. Not to mention I’ve seen it first hand help people overcome every single one of the barriers listed in this blog 😉

And lastly, if your muscles are shaking, that isn’t a BAD thing! Shaking muscles while holding a plank or a wall sit? Yeah, your muscles are under constant contraction, and this is okay, as long as you are keeping good and proper form!

IMG_0136-1

The mental:

“I’m scared”

“I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where to start. I am probably the only person in this gym who hasn’t worked out before”.

You’re scared? Good. Use that and let it ignite the flame. Don’t use is as an excuse to turn towards the door and run. You’ve already paid the gym membership, you’re already at the grocery store. So don’t waste your money, or your time. Finish what you came to start.

If we all let our feelings of being scared dictate the ending of each situation we’re in, then we all would have walked into a job, felt scared, and turned right back around. We’d let that happen over and over again until we’re all unemployed and living under a bridge.

But what do you actually do when you’re scared and nervous on your first day at a new job? You run with it! You let it fuel you. You focus in on learning as if your life depends on it, because it kind of does. You are open to trying new things. And most importantly, you COMMIT to it.

So you’re scared as you walk into the gym? Let it fuel you. Let it help you learn new things. Let it open your mind (and body) to trying new things. Let it allow you to COMMIT.

Scared is a feeling of discomfort. But that’s what we’re looking for here aren’t we? Yes. So go run with it. Get comfortable with using your feelings of fright to launch you into something new.

“I’m not good enough”

I’m sorry, but good enough for what? The images you have in your head because social media has pounded them there? Yeah, okay, let’s stop that.

Let’s allow feelings of discomfort to come in for a moment to squash those images. I know, that’s a hard thing to do. Because you want to cling to those images to allow yourself to keep telling yourself you’re not good enough. Because with that, at least you have an excuse. 

Not today Satan. 

So go ahead, squash them. And then when you’re left with a clean slate. One where you can draw ANY image of yourself you want. Make it one you are proud of. And let me tell you, THAT can be one of the most uncomfortable things. Talking ourselves up, hyping ourselves up and dreaming big. But do it friend. The world needs more self-hype.

“I don’t know how to do it correctly”

This one can fall under both physical and mental, and it is the most logical barrier out of all of them. Bad form can indeed bring your fitness journey to a screeching halt. But what makes people the most uncomfortable is asking for help. But here’s the secret- ask for help! You don’t have to commit to hiring a personal trainer 4X a week, but every single gym [should*] have qualified professionals who can help you! In my years of working in a gym it has surprised me by how little people actually ask for help. I mean sometimes people don’t even ask how to turn on a machine. If it’s not on, it won’t work, and therefore- neither will you.

I think the biggest barrier here is that you might feel embarrassed for helping. But let me remind you that every single fitness professional, and every single long-term gym member all WERE BEGINNERS. None of us just “poofed” into the gym knowing how to use it all. We all had to learn. We all had those moments where we felt uncomfortable too. But the difference between your repeated efforts and repeated resolutions to telling yourself that “this is the year I go to the gym!” is that we actually sought out help. We learned. And now, we’re here to HELP YOU TOO! And if you find that someone is an asshole and not willing to help, politely tell them to fuck off, and then go ask someone more friendly (there’s always one asshole or one un-knowledgable person who only got the job because their mom is screwing the manager in each gym. I wish there wasn’t, but if you find them on the first try, just move onto to the next employee or a friendly well-versed member and ask for help!)

IMG_0025

When it comes down to it, it’s talking to yourself and telling yourself that you are bigger than even your BIGGEST barrier. Mind > matter.

What’s your biggest barrier in actually going for your health and fitness goals? Identify it and read the paragraph corresponding to it above. And if you’ve identified a barrier that isn’t listed above (because had I listed out all barriers, you’d be here reading this for the next year) then reach out to me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com OR on Instagram at lifeofcarlyb_ and I’d be glad to help you find ways around those barriers.

But spoiler alert:

The first thing I’m going to tell you to do is….

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Your true abilities don’t lie within those comfort zones.

They’re somewhere out there, behind each lie you tell yourself and each excuse, just waiting for you to grab them.

Just like how the juiciest apples could be sitting at the top of the tree, but no one wants to climb to get them.

Your greatest abilities could be sitting up there too, just out of reach if you stay in your comfort zone.

So go grab that apple friend.

Go grab it.

IMG_0130

Thanks for stopping by!

Be sure to subscribe to my email list 

so you don't miss out on parts 2 & 3 of this 3 part series

(going over lifestyle and relationships comfort zones)

Happy to have you here!

Take That Leap of Faith

Take that leap of faith.

And take it with your whole heart.

Lately, I’ve been places, in social situations, hanging with friends, etc. where I have
stopped and looked around and literally thought “man I love it here”.
PicMonkey Collage
But it hasn’t always been that way.

17 months ago, almost exactly, we moved from Iowa to North Carolina.

That’s over 1,000 miles between where we’ve always been to where we were heading.

I grew up in the MidWest. It was all I knew.

But then the time came where we knew we wanted to venture out, we felt stuck. And so we began acting on that. Alex starting applying for jobs around the country. Yes, most were in the Midwest, but in places that we loved- such as Madison, WI and Kansas City, KS. But then there was one in Greensboro, NC with Volvo.

We acted on our feelings of wanting to be elsewhere, but did I ever think it would happen? Nope, not really to be honest.

And then it did. Volvo called Alex. They did a phone interview, and then flew him to Greensboro for an interview. 3 weeks later he got the call that he got the job.

I remember that night. He had a call set up about the interview, he knew it would go one of 2 ways. The phone rang, he stepped into our bedroom for 5 minutes, and then he slowly came out. He was quiet, he walked slow, and then a smile crept across his face as he said “I got the job”. We cried. We cried out of happiness, but then literally 60 seconds into that cry I started to sob.

And that wasn’t happiness. 

I was hit with a wave of realization that I was going to have to leave my family and the place of the nation where I always called home, the Midwest.

I grew up in Illinois. Every Sunday when we were young we would go to my dad’s parents house for Taco Sunday. My dad was one of six children, so the family was large. My cousin on my dad’s side was my best friend growing up and still is to this day. We’d always go to my dad’s side for Christmas Eve or Christmas day, and go to my mom’s side for the other. Every year. My mom was one of five children, so that family was big as well. I would go to my mom’s sisters house and hang out with my other best friend cousin. We would put on my aunts shoes and play dress up. As we got older we would party in their pool and eventually we started a “Black Wednesday” tradition of getting a party  bus for the family the night before Thanksgiving. Growing up we never missed holidays with the family, even Easter where we began doing “Adult Easter egg hunts”. We would go to every birthday party that we could. We were involved, and family time was never something I hated.

Alex and I had lived in Iowa for 4.5 years at this point. It was where we went to college and met. It was where we met the people that are standing beside us in our wedding in 4 weeks. It was home away from home, with a family there too. Sure, a slightly more inebriated, crazy, stay up late and eat bread sticks kind of family, but a family nonetheless.
Alex & Carly-11
So there I was, sobbing. It was scary. How was I going to move away and miss all of that? How was I going to be ONLY one on both extended sides of the family to make a permanent move farther than 3 hours away from home?

I was 23 years old and terrified. The dreams of leaving that we had hoped and prayed for had come true and I was terrified.

I remember the night before we left, our friends came over to say goodbye and the conversation kept going, as if to put off the actual good bye.

And I said goodbye to my best friend. My literal twin in a shorter versioned body of myself. Someone I never would have met if it weren’t for Iowa. And when she left I went into our empty bedroom and cried. And Alex came in and said “We don’t have to do this. We don’t have to leave. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to, but I need you to tell me now” And I contemplated saying “yes let’s stay here, I can’t leave”.

But I didn’t. And the next morning we packed up the uhaul and began our 15 hour trek, divided into 2 days, across country.

 

And then, 3 days later when I dropped my dad and brother off at the airport after they had helped us move. Even after getting into a screaming argument with my very hungover brother on the car ride there. I sobbed again. Alone in my car. I put my sunglasses on so no one could see. I cried because this was it, we were on our own.

Now so far, I probably seem like some wildly emotional person, and I kind of am. But 90% of my cries are dog related. But in this period of my life I was crying for other reasons.

I was crying because I went from a town of less than 10,000 growing up, to a town of 41,000 for college, to a town of 287,000. And now we were on our own, with 287,000 strangers surrounding us.

My mom worried, because I didn’t know anyone out here. She knew the kind of social butterfly I was and how important it is to me to have social events to go to and friends to hang with. It’s true, I am an extrovert like that.

But to no one’s surprise, I dove in, I got a job at Orangetheory Fitness and within the first 2 weeks I met one of my bridesmaids. The first 4 months flew by and I was making friends, I had stopped using my GPS as much (but definitely still needed it!), we had found places that we liked to revisit, such as 913 whiskey bar.

img_5518.jpg

But truth be told I still would drive to and from work and miss home so agonizingly bad that I would either crank up some upbeat tunes for jamming to get my mind off of it, or I would play songs that reminded me of home.

On this exact weekend last year we went back to my hometown in Byron, IL for the annual summer festival. We were supposed to fly in on Thursday night, but our flight got cancelled and I cried. I cried because that was 13 hours less of family time that I would have, even though we would see them bright and early the next morning.

That trip home reminded me of why i loved the Midwest. And when people asked why I was so excited to be going home, I would simply say “you don’t understand the Midwest unless you’ve lived there”.

IMG_1402

And we returned from that trip and I still didn’t feel like I was home, I feel like I just left it, because i did. Yes, I was making friends. We were fitting in. We were engaged and moving into a new home, but I still missed some things.

But then we went back to Iowa in September and this wave of “ahh things DO happen for a reason” came over me. Maybe I didn’t need to miss the Midwest so agonizingly bad afterall. I realized that the college town needed to stay that, the college town. That it’s better to look back at places with good memories than to be stuck there wishing you were out.

And as time flew by I made more friends either through Orangetheory, or my new job, or Alex’s job. And things have changed.

I took me 9 months to say for the first time “I like it here”

It took me about 14 months to say for the first time “I love it here”

IMG_6733

I now view this place with the same loving heart that I viewed my Midwest home’s with. Except I also realize the potential within the city that was not possible in Illinois or Iowa. I don’t want to leave.

You see, Greensboro has introduced me to a wide variety of friendships.
We got engaged here (okay well Myrtle Beach but you get the point), we bought a house.
I’ve walked in a few fashion shows.
I’ve done a photo shoot.
I’ve started an online business.
I’ve started volunteering with animal rescues which has put animal rescue into the very center of my heart.
I’ve seen the craziest sunset and some pretty sweet fireworks from the top of a parking deck.
I’ve dipped my toes in the sand more times in these past 17 months than I had my entire life prior.
I’ve also seen the prettiest view from high up in the mountains,
I’ve made friends with owners of restaurants and bars.
I’ve been a boat for the first time in years.
I’ve tried wake surfing.
I’ve had a birthday bar crawl that I have to say, was beyond epic.
I’ve gone to my first NFL game.
Greensboro has given me opportunity after opportunity.
I get to coach people at OTF weekly who are my friends, who are grateful for the experience.
I have friends who refer friends to me and my business, in which I’ve gotten to change people’s lives.
We have friend groups that are so separate that can also intertwine and mingle as if they’ve know each other for ages.
We’ve made friends that would fly across the country to go to Vegas with us, or to Kansas City.
We’ve made friends that are fellow dog parents and therefore, have had many doggy play dates!
PicMonkey Collage2
So when I take a step back and look at the people I’ve met and the experiences I have had SO far. I am happy. I am blessed.

I freaking love this city. I still miss the Midwest. But I consider myself lucky. Because not everyone gets excited about vacationing to the MidWest. Hell, some people will NEVER travel there. But I get to go there, and go to all of our favorite places and it is a darn good vacation when we doo!

Greensboro, you and your community of nice, yet wild people have stolen my heart.

I fell in love with this city and the experience.

I did it because of a leap of faith.

You can too.

God’s Patient Hand

00ef75cc9f6c521fc95ad24258b6e995

The hardest thing, in my opinion, for humans to be is patient. Yet I believe the most important thing a human can have is patience. It takes a lot of will to be able to tell yourself that things always work out in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. God has his plans for us, plans that we will never know until they are done and finished with. So kick back, enjoy this life, and be patient with God’s working hand.