Monday, May 30

Free Jazz Concerts this Summer

Now that I work in the Ronald Reagan Building at Federal Triangle, I don't need to venture far on Fridays for the weekly free summer jazz series. My tips- get there early and bring a blanket to sit on!

The National Gallery of Art offers free jazz performances at Jazz in the Garden at its outdoor café every Friday evening throughout the summer. Visitors can enjoy cocktails and a light dinner while listening to great music amid 17 monumental works of 20th-century sculpture and flowering trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and perennials. Arrive early for optimal seating. In inclement weather, concerts are held inside the Pavilion Café.

Dates: Every Friday, May 27 to September 9, 2011

Time: 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Location: The Pavilion Café at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, 7th and Constitution NW, Washington, DC. The nearest Metro stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and Judiciary Square.

Admission: Free

Food: You may bring your own picnic or purchase food from the Pavilion Cafe.

For the complete schedule, click here.

Tuesday, May 24

Annual Memorial Day Concert DC

This Sunday, May 29th is the annual Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol Steps in Washington!
It starts at 8 and lasts for 1 1/2 hours so get there early to snag a good spot on the West Lawn. If you're a lazy bone or don't live in Washington, you can watch it live in PBS.

The Performers

The 2011 National Memorial Day Concert features award-winning stars and well-known personalities.

Gary Sinise
Joe Mantegna
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
Kris Allen
Dianne Wiest
B.B. King
Hayley Westenra
Forest Whitaker
Jason Ritter
Pia Toscano
A.J. Cook
Daniel Rodriguez
Yolanda Adams
Maestro Jack Everly
The National Symphony Orchestra
Military District of Washington
U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
The U.S. Army Chorus
The Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band
U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters
U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants
Behind the Scenes: Our award-winning production team

How to get 22% off at Home Depot

I haven't written in a while because Shawn and I bought a fixer-upper in Bethesda last month and we've been slaving away trying to get it ready for us to move in! Getting it ready means spending mucho dinero at Home Depot!

So here is how we save 18-22%:
1. Go to where you can buy gift cards other people don't want at discounted prices. The going rate for home depot gift cards is 7% off. We use our cash back AmEx blue rewards card to buy these gift cards, giving us another 1% cash back.
2. Register at and then search for 'home depot'. By clicking on the home depot link through ebates, you will get 3% cash back on your purchase (even if you use gift cards and not credit cards).
3. Wait for 10% off sales. For example this month, Home Depot is offering $130 off any purchase of $1,200-$1,700 for bathroom supplies (vanities, tiles, lights, etc). So I spent exactly $1200 so I would get more than 10% off (I can always get a 10% off coupon in the store so I would only do this online if I can get more than 10% off). I only bought products that offer free shipping.
Thus my total saved was 21.8%.

In the store:
Repeat step 1 above, giving you 8% off. Then go to your local post office and ask for a moving kit. In the moving kit you'll find a 10% off total lowes purchase. Home Depot accepts competitor coupons. Combine the 10% off with your plastic jungle gift card for a total of 18% off all in store purchases.

Plastic jungle doesn't usually have lowes coupons or else I'd suggest you use your 10% off coupon where it was meant to be spent.

I'm very lucky because my new house is 10 minutes from a Home Depot and the post office is in the same parking lot!! How perfect?! : )

Saturday, April 9

Trash to treasure

This weekend is trash to treasure celebration in chevy chase! Come collect piles of treasures ppl are throwing out right in front of their homes. We have collected a wine cooler, garden tools, and a leaf blower.

Thursday, March 24

Free eyebrow waxing

Ultas offer free eyebrow waxing on your birthday, and possibly during your birthday week! They also have free returns if you have half of the product left.

Saturday, March 12


So last summer we got into a fight with comcast and shawn cancelled our services, both internet and cable. It's honestly been great with us getting free over the air television.  As for internet, the building next to ours offers their residents wifi for $20 a month. shawn devised a system for us to pick up their signal via our cantena and then he has a router redirect the signal to all of our computers. This worked fine and the $20 a month was less than the $30 with comcast.  we thought we were brilliant until our upgrade today.

We paid $10 each for the andeoid tether service which let's us use our android verizon internet on our computers. So for a one time $20 total cost we can get free internet now! Of course we are paying for the unlimited internet on our phones but why pay twice for internet when you can pay just once!

Wednesday, February 9

V-Day part 2

February 11, 6-10 p.m

Looking for the wildest way to celebrate Valentine's Day without breaking the bank? Attend the National Zoo's friskiest and fun-filled event!

This memorable evening, open to both singles and sweethearts, is a lighthearted exploration into the sexual behavior of animals, especially our frolicsome felines: lions and cheetahs!

These honest and humorous talks will be hosted by some of the Zoo’s most charismatic animal experts, who have first-hand experience with the Zoo's recent reproductive success in the form of seven lion cubs and two cheetah cubs.

Craig Saffoe, acting curator of great cats and Andean bears, will talk about his experiences making matches among our lion pride, and then overseeing the breedings and births that led to seven lion cubs. Lacey Braun, lead cheetah keeper at SCBI Front Royal will talk about her adventures in breeding cheetahs and cheetah cub births.

Woo at the Zoo features:

  • African lionsA complimentary red-stemmed champagne flute featuring the Woo at the Zoo logo
  • Complimentary hors d'oeuvres
  • A cash bar
  • The opportunity to decorate your own Valentines cookies for "Cookie Grams"
  • Woo at the Zoo presentation featuring an honest and humorous look at the more remarkable animal facts on reproduction, choosing mates, and raising families.
  • Free parking at the Zoo

All the fun takes place in the Zoo's Visitor Center.


FONZ members: $15 | Nonmembers: $25

Tickets for the 8:30 lecture are sold out. Tickets are still available for the 6:30 lecture.


Buy tickets at the Zoo and save money
Buy your tickets at any National Zoo gift shop between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and pay no service fees.

Buy tickets online
Buy Woo at the Zoo tickets online. It's the green option! A $2 fee per transaction applies.

Tuesday, February 8


Once in a great while Shawn and I end up not having left overs and we're forced to purchase lunch. Whenever this happens, four times so far in my new job at USAID, I am secretly excited because it means I get to eat at Subway! I always get the 6-inch veggie delight. I know the foot longer is more value for your money, but the Subway in the Ronald Reagan Building sadly does not participate in national Subway celebrations such as the $5 foot-long campaign.

Anyway, yesterday after I purchased my Subway sandwich and I noticed that the receipt says that taking a 1-minute online survey results in an email with a coupon code for a free subway cookie!

I just filled out the survey and tomorrow will claim my free cookie. Subway cookies, always soft, are really fantastic. They cook them right there, and if your cookie was sitting out for a while they will even microwave your cookie upon request.

While we're on this topic, if you have never heard Mitch Hedberg's joke about Subway you have to listen to it here now.

Valentines Day

My opinion of Valentines Day: it's fun when you're the girl and you're just dating.

But other than that I'm not a huge supporter. That said, Shawn already surprised me with beautiful white sapphire earrings and a necklace, which I love. Generally speaking we tend to cook ourselves a romantic meal at home versus going out on town for one of the v-day "specials."

Flowers, like diamonds, make me really uncomfortable because they're so overpriced. If you really need flowers try costco or the flower guys on the street. Avoid online places that charge $50+ for a bouquet. If you don't take the advice, make sure to find online coupon codes so you get ripped off less.

If you want to go out Monday night, here is my recommendation:

Go to Arlington Draft House for the Princess Bride, comedy, and a wine tasting. All for $8. More info below. The only problemo is that the food at the Draft House is TERRIBLE. Bangkok 54, however, is right next door and has the most amazing spicy duck salad appetizer! Go there first and enjoy the salad and some drunken noodles before making it over for the Princess Bride. Mandy I love you (well in Yentel..)

Valentine's Day - Monday, February 14th at 7:00PM

One of the Best Movies Ever Made "The Princess Bride", Great Stand-Up Comedy and an Optional Wine Night with the Washington Wine Academy - BEST DATE NIGHT EVER!


Join us for one of the classic cult love stories, "The Princess Bride". The evening starts at 6:30PM with a Wine Tasting. The Stand-Up Comedy starts at 7:00PM with "The Princess Bride" starting at 7:45PM.

Friday, January 28

Check out expensive furniture over free cocktails and hors d'oevres

On Feb 1 from 6-8 PM Room and Board invites us to indulge in cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while previewing their 2011 furniture collection. Free! Located at 1840 14th Street, NW.

Thursday, January 20

Happy Hour tonight in Ballston!

Thursday, January 20 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM, visit Washington Post’s Express Night Out Free January Happy Hour at Union Jack’s Ballston, 671 N. Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA. Drink specials plus register to win $250 (winner selected at 8pm, you must be present to win). Free and open to the public, info.

Monday, January 17

CFC Donation Benefits?

As a new federal employee, I donated to my favorite charities (NPR, National Zoo, Mazon) this year through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Luckily, even by donating through CFC I was able to get my husband's company to match our donations. I also agreed to release my name to the charities I gave to so they would know I continued my regular donations to them. However, this past month as I received letter after letter from these charities, it became clear to me that they had no idea that I contributed.

I wrote to WAMU 88.5 (my local NPR affiliate) to find out more. They wrote the following:

"Although you indicated that the CFC can release your information to us, the report the CFC sends does not come until late spring and does not include dollar amounts of donors contributions - so we have no way to know what level of benefits you are entitled to."

So I scanned and emailed them a copy of my CFC receipt* and they are going to send me my membership card (which, btw, entitles me to 2-for-1 meals at 200 Washington area restaurants)!

In conclusion, be in touch with your charities and don't consider your NPR membership card a lost cause.

*A $120 NPR donation is required to receive the membership card. Also, today is the last day to contribute to CFC! WAMU's CFC charity code is 91855.

Sunday, January 16

Try a Free Horseback Riding Lesson

Here are three options for a free horseback riding lesson in the DC metro area!

Enjoy- S.

Woodland Horse Center
16301 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20905

This friendly riding establishment offers a free lesson every Sunday at 1 p.m. The website states: “Horseback riding is great outdoor exercise with a purpose. Don’t believe us? Come try for yourself.” A promise is made not to give you a sales pitch or pressure you into taking further lessons.

Take along jeans, hard-soled shoes with closed toes and a sense of humor.

This lesson is very popular, so arrive by 12:45 to register. If you arrive after 1:15 p.m. you may be asked to come back another Sunday.

For more info: Woodland Horse Center
Tel: 301-421-9156

Columbia Horse Center
10400 Gorman Road, Laurel, Maryland 20732

This establishment offers a free introductory lesson every Saturday at 1:00 p.m. All ages are welcome to come and take a lesson, find out about the school’s teaching philosophy, meet the instructors and visit the barns.

All that is required is to bring closed toe shoes and comfortable pants and arrive by 12:45 p.m.

For more info: Columbia Horse Center
Tel: 301-776-5850

Reddemeade Horse Center
1701 Ednor Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20905

This establishment offers a free introductory lesson most Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. You can go to this lesson if you are new to riding, but also if you are more experienced, to give the center the opportunity to assess your riding ability for future lessons should you want them.

You are asked to phone ahead of time.

For more info: Reddemeade Riding Center

Tel: 301-421-4481

Saturday, January 8

Save 30% at Top DC Restaurants: Sushi Taro, Vidalia, Mie N Yu, etc!

I've blogged about before, and have used other sources like the entertainment book and groupon for discounts for DC restaurants. However, I have often been less than pleased with the selection of restaurants that these sites offer.

I just learned about Village Vines, a website that lets you pay $10 to receive 30% off at top DC restaurants. Click here to register.

Below are the restaurants taking Village Vines discounts right now:

30% off your entire bill at Redwood
30% off your entire bill at Sabores
30% off your entire bill at Juniper

30% off your entire bill at PS 7's
30% off your entire bill at Fahrenheit

30% off your entire bill at Sushi Taro
30% off your entire bill at AGAINN Tavern
30% off your entire bill at Café Dupont

30% off your entire bill at Mendocino Grille

30% off your entire bill at Levante's

30% off your entire bill at AGAINN

30% off your entire bill at ZENTAN
30% off all food at Restaurant 3

30% off your entire bill at Tony and Joe's
30% off your entire bill at Il Canale

30% off your entire bill at Sou'Wester

30% off your entire bill at Mio

30% off all food at Village Bistro

30% off your entire bill at The Prime Rib

30% off your entire bill at Bistro Bis

30% off your entire bill at Co Co. Sala

30% off your entire bill at Tuscana West

30% off your entire bill at LIMA

30% off your entire bill at Ristorante Piccolo

30% off your entire bill at Panache

30% off your entire bill at Teatro Goldoni

30% off your entire bill at La Sandía (Tysons Corner)

30% off your entire bill at Peacock Cafe

30% off your entire bill at Zengo (Chinatown)

30% off your entire bill at Cabanas

30% off your entire bill at Vidalia

30% off your entire bill at Mie N Yu

Thursday, January 6

Crystal Couture: Feb 1-5, 6-10 PM

DATE: Tue, February 1st 2011 - Sat, February 5th 2011
TIME: 6 - 10 PM
LOCATION: 1750 Crystal Drive

This year we will be Exotic and Elegant to Everything Everyday. The event will feature a cash bar, body painting, hair and makeup makeovers, henna, DJ entertainment, runway shows, and more. There will be 20 or more boutiques featured every evening and many will be selling their clothes right off the runway at great event prices.

Crystal Couture marries fashion with image and showcases the sexy, chic, stylized side of Crystal City—in a way that has never been done before. Crystal Couture is part art exhibition, trendy nightclub, fashion show, and hip retail store all rolled into one. Don't miss out on this fun, FREE event!

This year's Couture will take place in the former Crystal City Food Court at 1750 Crystal Drive.

Interested in modeling at Crystal Couture? Fill out this form and submit it to

Do you have a great idea for a T-Shirt? Click here to download information on Crystal Couture's T-Shirt design contest. The winning design gets $200 and a $100 gift certificate to Morton's the Steakhouse.

Tuesday, January 4

Phillips Collection: For Free

Enjoy a visit to the Phillips Collection during the January 15-16 weekend at no cost to yourself. Instead enjoy free champagne and museum tours with local chefs displaying birthday cakes (not to eat) in honor of the collection's 90th Anniversary Weekend!

Monday, January 3

Free events this week!

Monday, January 3 from 10:00 – 11:00 PM, enjoy a Food Network Viewing Party at Founding Farmers, 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Chef Robert Irvine will showcase Founding Farmers' Devil-ish Eggs Combo for The Best Thing I Ever Ate reinvented classics episode. Chef Irvine sampled the decadent snacks while visiting Washington, DC. Open to the public,

Thursday, January 6 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, visit Yelp's Most Wanted Party at the National Crime and Punishment Museum. Enjoy three hours of fun including exhibits on crime: investigate the filming studios for America's Most Wanted, fire off laser bullets at the shooting range and participate in a simulated high-speed police chase. Free and open to the public, info/rsvp: