The Girl’s Guide to DC is back — I hope you enjoy the first issue of 2022! I have lots of exciting plans for this year, so stay tuned! If you missed Issue 32, read it here.
I want this newsletter to be about you, the ladies of DC, so send me your career tips and bad date stories by replying to this email. And don’t forget to subscribe to Girl’s Guide with the button below!
Goodbye, 2021. Hello, 2022!
This week’s newsletter is a little different than normal — I asked you guys for your New Year’s resolutions for the single men of DC, and you were more than happy to oblige. Some of y’all are savages!
Dating in DC is no Hallmark romance. We all have stories — you try to explain to your aunt over Christmas dinner that yes, you did give a second chance to the guy who cancelled your date because the House was voting late into the night!
So if 2021 was the year you met every guy except Mr. Right, it’s time to get those frustrations out so that you’re ready for all the meet-cutes and DM slides I know you’ll have in 2022. Have a dating question you want me to answer in the newsletter? Click this link to send your question anonymously.
Without further ado, here are your submissions for New Year’s resolutions for the men of DC. I hope this was a cathartic exercise!
New Year’s Resolutions for the Men of DC
Do not ask girls in bars if they “want to be your First Lady.” - Karly Matthews
The men of DC should resolve in 2022 to stop living collegiate lifestyles and to act like men. They should also man up and call a date a date when they ask out a girl they like! - Mary Margaret Olohan
Tell DC men to buy headboards and bed frames. An Ikea platform bed costs what they spent at Bullfeathers in a week, it’s not hard. - Joe Ballard
No unnecessary name dropping. - Liv Johnson
Stop drinking soy milk and get a gym membership. - Madeline Greiner
My resolution is for men to cease tweeting their theories about women and instead simply ask women out on dates. - Anonymous
Don’t choose to have manners when you start balding. - Anonymous
Do some volunteer work, and read a non-political book for goodness’ sake! - Anonymous
No ghosting. - Anonymous
Shoot your shot — don’t be afraid! - Anonymous
To stop looking for mothers in their girlfriends. - Anonymous
Interview with Kayla Panchak
I know you ladies will enjoy my interview with Kayla Panchak, who I met when we were both at college an hour outside DC! You can find Kayla on Instagram here.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I live in Southwest, right down the street from The Wharf! My husband Joel and I absolutely love it here. We love being in the center of all the city action and being within walking distance to almost everything. Some of our favorite spots are Hank's Oyster Bar (of course!), Colada Coffee, and the seafood market when it's open. We highly recommend grabbing fresh crab legs from the market, bringing your own wine, and having a makeshift crab dinner on the docks!
What does life look like for you right now?
Life has been so exciting! Joel and I were married in July in our home state of California in scenic Lake Tahoe. Shortly after, we stuffed everything we owned into Joel's car and drove cross-country to move to an apartment in DC. It was an awesome roadtrip! We were able to visit Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Whitefish, Mont., Louisville, Ky., and more.
Right now, I work for the Drug Enforcement Administration as a data analyst. I've always wanted to participate in the law enforcement community, so I fit right in! I get to work directly with a lot of law enforcement activity, which has been a dream come true. Since I work with data, I do a lot of data parsing, scripting, and data visualization. Overall, it has been an incredibly cool experience, and I hope to work my way up in the law enforcement community.
What’s your favorite coffeeshop in DC?
My favorite coffeeshop in the DC area is Colada Shop at The Wharf! Not only is it just a few minutes away from my apartment, but it also has the cutest atmosphere and the most delicious coffee. I love coffee that'll punch me awake, and Colada's Cuban coffee does exactly that. My favorite order is the Cortadito espresso with a picadillo empanada side, both of which I highly recommend.
What’s your beauty routine like?
I credit my beauty routine to so many people! It's basically a big collab of me seeing other ladies and thinking, "Ooh, I like that." One of my roommates turned me on to The Rosefield's lotion — a handmade lotion from a family farm that has absolutely blessed my dry skin.
One of my closest friends taught me how to do eyeshadow with Tarte's toasted palette, and I haven't looked back since. However, I think my proudest “beauty trick” is my eyeliner. Having done winged eyeliner almost every day since I was 16, I can now do perfect eyeliner on both eyes in under a minute (that's my “fun fact” at icebreakers). My secret is using inkwell eyeliner rather than felt pens.
How would you describe your style?
I've experimented with so many different styles and aesthetics that it's hard to say whether I can ascribe to just one! Some of my favorite styles are Parisian, Spanish, academic, and classic elegance. Audrey Hepburn, Sharon Tate, Monica Bellucci, and Anya Taylor-Joy are some of my biggest style icons.
Kayla’s Relationship Do’s and Don’ts
DO express gratitude, even for "expected" things. "Thank you for doing the dishes," "Thank you for filling up the car," and "Thank you for working so hard lately" can go a long way, even if those things are what's expected to be done.
DON'T say "you're always so X!" when in a disagreement. Saying things that imply a character fault like "You're always so negative!' or "You're always so inconsiderate!" or "You're always so dismissive!" are rarely ever true — they're usually just an expression of what's felt at that moment. But these sting, and can cause long-lasting harm.
DO get deep often. When you feel like you know your partner through and through, it can be easy to forget to have those late-night heart-to-hearts due to the busyness of life. Make intentional time to spill your souls out to each other often.
DON'T assume boundaries, always communicate. Sure, your partner probably won't mind you taking $1 from their wallet to buy something from the vending machine, organizing their work briefcase, or certain PDA — but it's always better to ask than to just assume. Not only does it express respect, but also avoids unnecessary miscommunication.
DO hug, kiss, and cuddle often — be mushy, be gushy, and don't mind what others say. You're in love, and you always want to be!
Bailey’s Best Books of 2021
One of my top New Year’s resolutions is to spend less time looking at screens and more time reading! This list from Bailey Mailloux is definitely helping to inspire me — read my recent interview with her by clicking here. Also, make sure to connect with Bailey on Twitter and her Bookstagram (that’s an Instagram account about books, for the uninitiated).
Bailey’s Top 5 Book Recommendations
By Bailey Mailloux
The Grace Year by Kim Ligget
If you’ve asked me for a book recommendation in the last year, then you know this has been my go-to answer. The story features a strong feminine character who is tested when she begins to question the only world she knows. It is beautifully written and you will not be able to put it down.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
I've always enjoyed magical realism given that a majority of my college career was spent with authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, so this book pulled me right in. I felt like I was in the cafe in Tokyo, becoming friends with the characters, and smelling the coffee as I turned the pages. I was not ready for the ending, so make sure to have tissues.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
In my book club, this was the most controversial book we read in 2021. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like it at first. Yet, over the rest of the year, I kept finding my way back to it and mulling over the characters and themes. If you are looking for a book that will challenge you in unexpected ways, this should be at the top of your list.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
I couldn’t make a list of my top reads without talking about Lucy Foley. Her novels are fast-paced, exciting, and will leave you looking for more of her work. I read this book and “The Hunting Party” in a day each because I wasn’t able to put them down.
An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David
What I consider to be an outlier on my list this past year, I found this compilation while trying to find more cookbooks. The book is a collection of the “British first lady of food” Elizabeth David’s magazine articles and columns written during her career. This book is best read with a glass of wine and a snack!
Let It Snow, Let It Snow
I’m writing this with a view of a beautiful blanket of rare DC snow out my window. I hope you all stayed safe and warm this week — my heart goes out to all who lost power or got stranded on I-95 due to the storm. Meanwhile, NBC Washington reports that we could get more snow as early as Thursday night — read about it by clicking here.
Goodbye, Betty White
The world said goodbye to beloved actress Betty White on Dec. 31. White died of natural causes just weeks shy of her 100th birthday. I think we all have a favorite Betty White moment — mine is when her character in You Again runs into her high school nemesis decades after they fight over a boy (watch the clip). Be sure to check out this retrospective from Evie Magazine — you might learn a thing or two about Betty White!
Calling All Selling Sunset Fans
Are you missing Selling Sunset after Selling Tampa didn’t quite do it for you? If you have yet to discover L’Agence (English name: The Parisian Agency) on Netflix, then you are in for a treat. The series follows a husband-and-wife team of luxury real estate agents, Olivier and Sandrine, as they train their sons in the family business. Learn more about L’Agence here and here.
Here are more links to what I’m reading these days:
We Read 5 Recent Romance Novels Set In D.C. And We Have Thoughts: This romance novel roundup from The Washingtonian has everything — a star-crossed Democrat-Republican pairing, a couple fighting over gentrification in Northeast, and a rakish lawyer who falls in love with a woman whose parents just died in a car crash in I-495.
10 Bad Dating Habits We Should All Ditch In 2022: “What if, just like with our mild addiction to sweets, our dating habits are hurting us more than we realize? There’s no better time than the new year for a reality check,” Keelia Clarkson writes for Evie Magazine.
Complete Exoticca Review: Egypt Tour 2021: I previously interviewed travel blogger Maggie McKneely in Girl’s Guide — check out her latest post about her experience touring Egypt through travel agency Exoticca.
Congrats & More
Congrats to DANIELLE BUTCHER and CALEB FRANZ, who got engaged on New Year’s Eve! See Danielle’s post here.
Congrats to REBEKAH and KENT HOSHIKO, who just welcomed baby JUDAH DANIEL on Dec. 30! Congratulate Rebekah on Instagram.
Congrats to CARMEL and RUSSELL RICHARDSON, who announced they are expecting a baby in June 2022! Congratulate Carmel on Twitter.
TAYLOR HATHORN recently joined the consulting world as a senior government consultant. She was most recently Director of Alumni Relations at Young America’s Foundation. Congratulate her on Twitter here!
REBECCA DOWNS celebrates her birthday on Jan. 7. Be sure to wish her a happy birthday on Twitter!
Postcard From Honduras
The Girl’s Guide to DC was on hiatus for the past few weeks while Nick and I spent time with his parents in Honduras! If that seems like a random place, it’s not — Nick’s family has served as missionaries in various parts of the country since he was a kid. We spent a lot of time celebrating our new marriage with friends Nick hadn’t seen in years — and eating lots of delicious Honduran food! We also got to see Nick’s parents’ ministry up close as they work with children in La Esperanza, Honduras, many of whom have not had school in close to two years due to the country’s pandemic policies. If you’re interested in learning more about the Solheims’ ministry, click here!