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: