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Fun Facts About the Spring Equinox

If you’ve been looking forward to spring for months, great news: it’s finally here. Or at least, it’s almost here. The Spring Equinox falls tomorrow—earlier than it has in more than 100 years! In the northern part of the world, the equinox can fall any time from March 19th to the 21st, but it’s typically on the 20th or 21st. What does this mean? Simply that we will start to enjoy longer days even earlier this year. The Spring Equinox is the longest day of the year, when the day and night are just about “equal.” And this happens all across the globe. To celebrate the Spring Equinox, consider rising with the sun tomorrow or push back dinner a bit so you can enjoy the sunset. What are you looking forward to the most about the spring season?

What's Your Favorite Curry at Rooh Bistro?

Is there anything more warm and satisfying than a heap of richly spiced curry over a scoop of perfectly fluffed basmati rice? The place to get your curry fix is Rooh Bistro in Gaithersburg. Palak, korma, and kadai, plus vindaloo and chettinad curries are all specialties of the house. Didn’t know there were that many kinds of curry? You’re probably not alone, but will just have than many more interesting flavor combinations to discover. Rooh Bistro also serves tandoori, paneer, and a variety of vegetable entrees. For a real treat, try the biryani. It’s yogurt marinated meat cooked under a low flame, and is served in either individual portions or take-out family packs for one low price. The full menu at Rooh Bistro is massive, so when you order your family pack, be sure to tack on an order of breads from the tandoor oven, kheer rice pudding, and mango chutney to keep in the fridge.

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Is a New Theater Near Mallory Square

See a movie in style at the new Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, a movie theater that offers a full menu and in-theater waiting service. At the push of a button, you’ll be able to order food and a cocktail right from your seat. The menu includes everything you’d find on a restaurant menu, from nachos to pizzas, salads, burgers, and of course, popcorn. There’s also a kids’ menu, as well as beer, wine, and cocktails. To order, guests just simply press a button on the chairs and a waiter or waitress will serve you. It’s rare to be able to eat dinner, have a beer, and watch a movie in a theater all at the same time — but that’s exactly what Cinépolis makes happen. The two-by-two seats have trays to make eating easy, and the seats are large, comfortable, and fully recline. Parking is readily available and movie tickets are cheaper than many other area theaters. If you plan to make a return visit, the theater offers a rewards program that includes a free popcorn when you sign up.

Follow These Tips for a Fall-Ready Apartment

Cozy sweater season is finally upon us, and it’s not just your wardrobe that deserves a makeover. Your apartment should be ready for autumn, too! If you need some seasonal design inspiration, here are a few decor tips for fall. 1. Toss up some twinkle lights. What could be simpler than stringing up a few strands of lights? Twinkle lights instantly create a cozy vibe within your home, transforming a simple space into something almost magical. You’ll love curling up on the couch with the softly glimmering lights hanging overhead. 2. DIY a dried herb and flower wreath. If you want to adorn your door in a way that doesn’t involve autumn leaves, try this DIY wreath instead. In place of the fall foliage, it showcases dried herbs and colorful flowers to create a more contemporary look. 3. Stock vases with pumpkins. When it comes to fall decor, you can’t go wrong with the classic pumpkin. But if you want to elevate the simple gourd, find pint-sized pumpkins in a few different shapes and hues and pack them into large glass vases. The result will be a stunning centerpiece for your dining room table or a chic vignette for the living room. 4. Create a “get cozy” station. ‘Tis the season to snuggle up! Encourage your guests to do so by stacking some soft throw blankets in plain sight, perhaps capping them off with a plump pumpkin or a small chalkboard sign that actually instructs them to, “Get cozy!”

If you’re in the market for a brand-new bike, City Bikes has got you covered. Like they tell their customers, “which bike you buy is less important than where you buy it.” Many bicycles are actually rather similar, regardless of the brand, but your go-to bike shop will dictate what maintenance, repairs, and advice you receive throughout its lifetime. 

City Bikes makes it their mission to ensure they’re the best place to buy from. Their warranty service includes hassle-free returns and a money-back guarantee over the first 30 days after your purchase as well as complimentary 30-day and 1-year tune-ups and free adjustments for the life of your bike. If you need a little extra service, they offer an array of packages ranging from a basic tune-up to a complete overhaul. 

What’s equally important is City Bikes’ emphasis on test rides. Not only will they answer your questions about particular bikes or offer advice, but they promote test rides as one of the best ways to find the perfect fit. They share their guidelines and requirements to ensure both you and the bikes are safe in the process, too. 

With these touches, there’s no doubt that City Bikes proves its own mantra: they really are the ideal place to buy your next bike!

City Bikes Is Open for Business Near Mallory Square

If you’re in the market for a brand-new bike, City Bikes has got you covered.

After a busy day at home, in the office, or running errands, the last thing you want to worry about is deciding what to cook for dinner. Sure, you could grab another cup of coffee or head to the nearest drive-through. But wouldn’t you rather a homemade family dinner with the classic flavors of Italy? You can get just that thanks to Il Pizzico

Their typical dinner menu includes everything from gnocchi di ricotta, spinach e pomodoro (ricotta dumplings with tomatoes and spinach) to tiramisu, complete with a lengthy list of Italian wines to accompany your meal. But beyond the dining room, Il Pizzico also offers takeout and limited free delivery options. 

Perhaps their most exciting offering, though, is their “Family Meals” menu. These ready to bake meals come in two- or six-serving pans of cheese, meat, or seafood lasagna, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, or meat-filled tortellini. Just pop the tray into the oven and you’ll soon have a delicious meal with minimal effort. You could even pick up a few dishes and freeze some pasta to enjoy later! 

Whether you or takeout for dinner tonight or a family meal to heat up at your leisure, Il Pizzico will make sure you and your family get the tastes of Italy from the comfort of your apartment. 

Treat Yourself to Takeout Tonight From Il Pizzico

After a busy day at home, in the office, or running errands, the last thing you want to worry about is deciding what to cook for dinner.

With the weather getting warmer and warmer every day, you might be starting to take your workout routine outside on a regular basis. Here’s what you need to stay safe and comfortable while you’re exercising outdoors.

Lightweight, sweat-wicking layers.

Since spring bridges the gap between winter and summer, its weather can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of temperature. Make sure you’re ready for whatever awaits you outside by dressing in breathable layers, including a lightweight spring jacket. That way you can simply shed layers if it ends up being a warmer run, but you won’t be left shivering if it’s a little chilly on any given morning. Make sure your layers are sweat-wicking to avoid skin irritation.

A hat or sunglasses.

You’ll probably want to enjoy as much of that spring sunshine as possible! But maybe not when it starts to make you squint. Keep the sun off your face by donning a sweat-wicking hat or tossing on a pair of athletic sunglasses. Make sure the glasses fit well so they don’t slide down your nose as you run.

Waterproof sunscreen.

Before you put on those glasses, make sure you apply a layer of sunscreen! Even when it’s not particularly hot, your skin can still be damaged by the sun—and who wants to deal with a sunburn before summer even hits? Find a waterproof sunscreen that can withstand sweating, and stick with SPF 30 or higher.

A handheld water bottle or water belt.

Staying hydrated is super important any time you exercise, but even more so as the temperatures begin to rise. Make sure you take along plenty of water for your journey! Opt for a handheld water bottle, a CamelBak you carry on your back, or a water belt outfitted with several smaller water flasks.

5 Hot Weather Running Gear Tips
Outdoor Products to Promote Safety While Exercising
The 7 Best Handheld Running Bottles of 2020

Must Haves for Your First Warm Weather Run

With the weather getting warmer and warmer every day, you might be starting to take your workout routine outside on a regular basis.

Thanks to Matchbox right here in Rockville, you can enjoy a delicious brunch without having to leave your couch. Their Rockville location offers both sweet and savory brunch options, available for online ordering with pickup or delivery. Whether you’re looking for a classic American breakfast, chicken and waffles, a flavorful skillet, or a fruit-doused French toast, there’s an option for you. 

Of course, no modern-day brunch would be complete without cocktails. If you’re not confident in your bartending skills, plan to place your order for pickup so you can take advantage of Matchbox’s drink menu. Prefer to enjoy your meal sober? Sodas and lemonades are available as a non-alcoholic alternative. 

Even if you’re not fond of brunch, you can enjoy Matchbox’s menu. Try the wood-fired pizzas for which they’re famous or a sandwich or salad at any time of day. And, whether you order from Matchbox for brunch, another meal, or just because you’re craving a good slice of pizza, be sure to check out their environmental efforts, too. They ask that you note in the comments of your online order if you’d like utensils and condiments included in your order in an attempt to reduce waste. 

Sweet and Savory Dishes Are on the Brunch Menu at Matchbox

Thanks to Matchbox right here in Rockville, you can enjoy a delicious brunch without having to leave your couch.

“My family's favorite place to hang out. Walk, run, yoga, skate, tennis, we've done it all here.” That’s what reviewer Barbie Howie writes of Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park. This park really does give visitors options for more activities than you could ever squeeze into just one visit. Luckily, you can stop by time and again to try it all. 

At 50.2 acres, Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park features a nature trail and paths to wander through and embrace your inner Thoreau. As one reviewer puts it, “Very serene place to relax. You'll have a feel of nature here.” Take a walk and take in the trees, plants, and other natural wonders that surround you. Sit a bit and meditate—count your breaths and focus on the feel of the breeze against your skin—or enjoy some yoga on the grass. Prefer your workouts to be more cardio-focused? Take a jog or go for a run through the park. Enjoy a picnic with friends or family, or just lie back and relax. 

You can’t fit in every possible activity at Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park in just one day. Pick a pastime for today, then plan another for your next visit—you’re sure to want to return soon. 

Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park: From Cardio to Calm

At 50.2 acres, Fallsgrove Stream Valley Park features a nature trail and paths to wander through and embrace your inner Thoreau.

The world is changing rapidly right now, and the constant onslaught of news might be making it hard for you to unwind—especially if your home has suddenly become your workspace, too. One surefire way to recharge is to watch some good, old-fashioned mindless TV. Here are a few solid options to stream.

Arrested Development
An oldie but a goodie, Arrested Development was one of the first TV shows to pioneer the faux-documentary style. It put the approach to good use with a cast of offbeat, reliably selfish characters and an all-knowing narrator who’s mastered the tongue-in-cheek commentary. Although the show only has three original seasons, Netflix recently revived it so you can keep the streaming going for a full five seasons.

Nailed It
You’ve never seen a baking show quite like this one. Instead of sourcing its talent from a pool of top pastry chefs, Nailed It invites amateur bakers to come and show off their skills. They’re tasked with impossibly complicated baking projects, which they need to recreate in absurdly short amounts of time, and the results are hilarious. The commentary from the panel—which includes professional comedian Nicole Byers, a famed French chef, and a rotating celeb guest—only makes the baking competition that much more enjoyable. 

Always Be My Maybe
This Netflix original comedy was released last year to acclaim from critics and audiences alike, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, now’s the time to tune it. It follows the story of a pair of childhood friends—one now a celebrity chef, the other content to live with his parents and pursue a floundering music career. Spoiler alert: they fall (back) in love, and Keanu Reeves also shows up.

17 Best Lighthearted Shows & Movies On Netflix When You’re Looking to Chill [Bustle]
The 25 Best Feelgood Movies on Netflix [Time Out]
The Funniest TV Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now [Thrillist]

What to Stream When You Need a Break From the Everyday

One surefire way to recharge is to watch some good, old-fashioned mindless TV.

Artisan cookies still warm from the oven and ice-cold milk delivered right to your door—can you think of a better recipe for a laid-back autumn evening? Crumb’l Cookies just opened a Rockville location that’s making this dream a reality. You can order boxes of four or 12 of the gourmet cookies, along with a pint of specialty ice cream and bottles of chilled milk or chocolate milk.

Design a box stuffed with signature treats like their milk chocolate chip, Nutella Mudslide, chilled sugar, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Enjoy the treats with a few scoops of vanilla or Muddy Buddy ice cream. You’re also welcome to actually stop in at the shop and grab a few warm cookies—walk-ins are welcome, but you can also order in advance for curbside pickup or takeout.

Oven-Fresh Treats Are on the Menu at Crumb’l Cookies, Now Open Near Mallory Square

Vera Bradley. Corkcicle. Lilly Pulitzer. If these are the types of brands you like to shop—whether for yourself or a gift for someone else—you’ll definitely want to check out The Cottage Monet. This beloved local boutique is known for its stellar customer service and fun selection of giftable goodies.

While some of the inventory is now online, you’ll have the widest access to everything The Cottage Monet has to offer if you shop in-store. Don your mask and practice social-distancing while you’re inside! Pick up a candle that smells like simmering cider or a fresh Frasier fir. Snatch up some coffee caramel sauce to drizzle over your favorite ice cream. Or treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry from a trendy designer. All of these items and more await at The Cottage Monet.

Get a Head Start on Holiday Shopping at The Cottage Monet in Rockville

Sweet potato, pumpkin, apple—these are a few of the ingredients that flourish in the fall, so it makes sense they’d also play a starring role in your baked goods. If you’re looking for some sweet autumn treats to make this month that are a little more creative than pumpkin muffins and apple pie, try these recipes.

Gingery Sweet Potato Pie [Country Living]
The distinct addition of ginger lends a rich, complex flavor to this otherwise traditional sweet potato pie. You can make your own pie crust or buy one pre-made to cut back on prep time. Then bake about four small sweet potatoes and mash them with milk, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and, of course, sugar. Fill the pie crust with the sweet mixture, bake it, and top with homemade (or storebought) whipped cream.

Pumpkin Crisp [Delish]
Sure, pumpkin pie is delicious, but pumpkin crisp in a cast-iron skillet? You really can’t beat that. This recipe guides you in mixing together pumpkin puree, eggs pumpkin pie spice, heavy cream, and vanilla with ample amounts of sugar. Next, you’ll craft a crumbly topping using flour, brown sugar, salt, butter, and pecans. Pour the creamy mixture into a greased cast-iron skillet, sprinkle the buttery crumbs on top, and bake for about 45 minutes—then enjoy a slice a la mode.

Apple Dumpling Bake [Taste of Home]
This recipe is much easier than apple pie, and it features one unexpected ingredient: Mountain Dew. Apple slices wrapped in crescent rolls simmer in the sweet, bubbly beverage with sugar, butter, and cinnamon for about 35 minutes. The result? Flaky, golden-brown rolls bearing the perfect balance of tart Granny Smith apples and sweet soda and sugar. For an extra-delicious dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Fall Sweets to Bake in November

We could all use a little light in our lives this holiday season, and the perfect place to enjoy just that is the Winter Lights Festival at Seneca Creek State Park! Now through Dec. 31, with the exception of Christmas Day, you can take a perfectly socially distant drive through the nearly four miles of brightly illuminated holiday displays. As they say, they’ve been socially distancing since 1995! Throughout the park, you’ll discover over 450 different pieces in lights, from snowmen in the wintry snow to nutcrackers in castles to penguins in igloos and so much more! 

Tickets are offered per car (not per person), and you can head online to purchase a discounted ticket prior to your arrival or simply purchase it at the gate when you get there, it’s just a few bucks more. Not only are you having holiday fun, you’re also supporting local when you visit, as the festival supports the following organizations: Cool & Dope food donation programGaithersburg Cares food & nutrition program and Gaithersburg Holiday Giving program. Have fun and give back!

Winter Lights Festival at Seneca Creek State Park Returns for 2020

Should you make a trip to PAUL French Bakery & Café today? If you’re ever in doubt, whip out your phone and check out their home page. One quick look at the gorgeous pastries and fresh breads will have you on your way in no time. 

This Bethesda eatery serves fast-casual food at its finest. Stop in for your daily coffee and an expertly prepared croissant or other delicate and buttery baked good. The full food menu includes breakfast or lunch sandwiches on signature crusty PAUL French Bakery breads, as well as handmade soups and salads. And it wouldn’t be a French café without delicacies like quiche, croques, and exquisite pastries. If you have a special event on the horizon, or just want to treat yourself this season, a box of macaron, a whole fruit tart, or the millefeuille Napolean is a lovely way to do it.

Find the Maryland location of PAUL French Bakery & Café on Bethesda Avenue. Order for pick-up or delivery right from the website after you peruse those stunning photos on the home page.  

Enjoy Artfully Prepared Pastries at PAUL French Bakery and Cafe

Getting into the holiday spirit in your home? Perhaps your annual traditions include baking! Before you whip up the first batch of cookies, you might want to rearrange the kitchen to make the process a bit easier. These expert tips can help.

  1. Stow spices on a turntable. Turntable, Lazy Susan, whatever you call it, these contraptions make it simple to quickly locate the spice you’re looking for! You can also use them for go-to baking supplies like flour and sugar. A mini turntable should fit neatly and easily into any spare cabinet.
  2. Quickly boost your storage space. There’s probably some spare space in your cabinets that you don’t even realize is there! That’s the dead air above your canned goods and spices. Double your storage space instantly by adding wire shelving, which sits right on top of your permanent shelves. Similarly, small drawers under the sink or in other underused spots can work wonders.
  3. Stash your cookie sheets differently. Instead of keeping your cookie sheets in a haphazard pile, use tension rods to get them in order. Line up tension rods from one side of a cabinet to the other and store your cookie sheets vertically.
  4. Use the back of your kitchen cabinets. Did you know that parchment paper tubes are super easy to hack? Stick a wooden dowel through the hole in the center of the tube, and you can hang it instead of trying to stuff it in a drawer alongside cling wrap and aluminum foil. Just affix two temporary hooks to the back of a cabinet door, thread the dowel through them, and voila! Parchment paper at your fingertips.

The 52 Best Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas of All Time [Apartment Therapy]
The 35 Most Brilliant Organizing Ideas of All Time [The Kitchn]
22 Smart Storage Tricks for a Small Kitchen [Good Housekeeping]

 

Set Yourself Up for Holiday Cookie Success With These Kitchen Organizing Tips

Simple Tips to Help You Follow Through on a New Year's Resolution

Making a New Year’s resolution is easy—sticking to it is a whole lot harder! But with a little perseverance and a whole lot of planning, you can be on your way to making your goals for 2020 a reality, whether you’ve resolved to be more mindful of your budget, you’re seeking to stay active, or something else altogether. Now that January is almost behind us, read on for three tips to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions. Start small. By breaking your resolution down into smaller, more actionable goals, you can make your overall objective a little less daunting. For instance, if you’ve resolved to save $1,000 by December 2020, consider putting away $83/month or $19.23/week into a savings account. Your weekly successes will help keep you motivated, especially as you see your bank account balance grow. Buddy up. If you’ve made a resolution to get active this year, enlist a friend or coworker to join you in your goal. Partnering with another person helps keep you accountable; you’ll be less likely to throw in the towel when you know someone else is counting on you for moral support and companionship. Make a realistic goal. It’s okay for your resolutions to be ambitious, but they shouldn’t be so lofty that you’re setting yourself up for failure. Think of 2020 as the first year of the rest of your life. This year, you’ll be making positive changes that will set the groundwork for your future successes. Making changes to one’s lifestyle or habits should be seen as a marathon, not a sprint!

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