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#throwbackthursday: Cherry Blossoms & Japan

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#throwbackthursday: Cherry Blossoms & Japan


Today I'm remembering my incredible trip to Japan, which was exactly 1 year ago! My brother, Seth is currently living there and treated me to a trip as a graduation gift/gift to cover pretty much any future birthdays or christmases. I was lucky in that it was Japan's cherry blossom season when I was in Japan and then DC's when I returned so I had a long time with lots of beauty. I spent about 3 weeks with my brother traveling between his home in Atsugi, where the Navy Base is (he's a Weapons Systems Officer on the F-18 Super Hornet with the VFA-102 Diamondbacks) and his apartment in Tokyo, as well a trip out to Kyoto. I spent the trip in a walking boot, having broken my foot and ankle in 4 places which was annoying, but it wasn't going to stop me!

Enjoy this little picture story of my adventures!

My brother flew in from Guam via Australia the day after I arrived in Japan- it was awesome watching the jets arrive back.

An F-18 Super Hornet from the Diamondback's hangar

A temple & cherry blossom's in Kyoto

Prayers tied to trees at a temple.

Lanterns at a shrine

The "menu" at a lot of restaurants are faux replicas of the dishes

Beautiful, traditional Sake presentation

My brother and his roommate & fellow WSO, Dan

The Golden Temple in Kyoto

Torii (traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine)

At Shin's Sushi in Atsugi/Yama province - Shin is a huge supporter of the Navy guys & serves some of the best sushi in Japan. These crabs were flash fried.

Cherry Blossoms over a canal

Spicy Ramen at 3 or 4am was typical after a trip to Gioronimo's Shot Bar

Traditional Japanese picture pose!


Now who wants ramen??!! Let's go!!

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Family Friday: The Petersens

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Family Friday: The Petersens


I'm about to get personal with y'all. I'd like to tell you about my family.

I totally lucked out when it came to my family. I have the most supportive parents a girl could ask for... and let me tell you, I know that over the years that has required a lot.

I've always been a bit feisty and that showed in my teen years (as I recollect fights with my mom over things I can't remember what for). I've had several times in my life when I've been very very sick and needed quite a bit of taking care of (including a brain disease my senior year in high school that put me in the hospital and a wheelchair for a time). I dropped out of college halfway through my junior year. I got married too young to the wrong person and they supported me not only through the wedding but through a very painful divorce as well.

They've helped me move countless times (only once do I think I've done it without them). They supported my decision to quit my job and go back to school (and yes, paid my rent so I could concentrate on finishing). My car basically only gets fixed when my dad reminds me or simply takes it to the shop for me when I'm home visiting.

I was exposed to piano lessons, viola lessons, voice lessons... softball, basketball, soccer... girl scouts, school trips, vacations...

and all of these experiences have made me who I am today. I hope I'll make them proud because I want to show them how grateful I am for not only these things, but showing me unconditional love, allowing me to continually express myself and explore who I am in the world.

Now, I don't want to write a post about family without mentioning my brother Seth. Seth is much more private than I, so I'll make it brief and tell you, reader, what I tell everyone. My brother Seth is one of the smartest people I've ever met. He went to UVA and studied Psychology. The only thing he ever has said to me using that education is that I am "the most dependent independent person" he knows. Fair assessment, even years later. Seth joined the Navy after college and now flies F-18 Super Hornets. He's a back-seater, aka a Weapons Systems Officer. He lives in Japan. As a gift, he flew me out there to spend a month with him last spring. He's totally hilarious. Very tall. Blonde. Blue eyes. Single... ladies, let me know if you want to connect. :)

For the first time in a very very long time, my family was together this January. The Navy somehow got wind that it was my 30th birthday and decided that Seth should have to fly to Norfolk over the same dates I'd be throwing my birthday party. I knew this had to be documented.

So here, reader, are the results of my family being together for the first time in years, battling the freezing cold in Washington DC.

A special thank you to my super talented photographer friend Leigh Burnette, Who came from Virginia Beach for the occasion. Please check out his website

And one last thing- Mom, Dad, Seth- I love you.










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#TuesdayBoozeday: Sparkle Lounge and the Food & Wine Festival

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#TuesdayBoozeday: Sparkle Lounge and the Food & Wine Festival


This year I was graciously invited to The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center's  Sparkle Lounge, a showcase event for the venue. This year's Winter Lodge theme was beautifully executed. I had a blast at Booth-o-Rama's photo booth, drinking champagne, eating s'mores and hanging out with a whole bunch of super fun event industry friends. The event was originally supposed to be on Thursday, Feb. 13th but due to the snow storm actually took place on Valentine's Day and it really was a great way to spend the day as a single girl. Did I mention the event turned into the kick-off for the Washington DC International Food & Wine Festival? Oh yes. :)

Here are some pictures from the event!

The scene as you walked into Sparkle Lounge


of course Max Major whipped out a few card tricks and blew my mind.

The event had a winter lodge theme complete with a moose over the fireplace (there were also s'mores!)

After the reception, guests were invited to two tasting rooms- one for wine & one for liquor

Rose infused punch

This liquor won best sign in my book :)

Orange Creamsicle & Raspberry Mint cocktails from Svedka Vodka

Ice Luge! (the drink was actually pretty bitter & awful)... sorry!

Vodka & Bourbon mix- favorite things separately. Terrible idea together.

My favorite beverage was a Mexican Hot Chocolate using Patron XO Cafe Dark

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