I know the start of the new year is supposed to be invigorating, inspiring, and energizing, but I can’t be the only one that struggles to slog through January and February. More often than not, the start of the year feels like a grind. We’re deep in the midst of winter’s wrath, sick with cabin fever (and maybe something else if you didn’t get this year’s flu shot), and really ready for spring to get sprung already so we can complain about the fact that it’s hot while sitting in the sunshine! (There’s nothing better). CABIN ESCAPES WITHIN DC’S REACH


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Deep in the slums of winter, could it be that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel? Folks…the Winter Olympics are here! If you don’t get a little giddy at that tidbit of information, then you’ve probably never “done” the Olympics the right way before. The right way, in my ever-so-humble opinion, is with plenty of snacks and the readiness to scoff if your favorite figure skating routine gets snubbed by a snarky judge (the controversy!!!). It’s truly sports television at its finest. THE WEIRDEST WINTER OLYMPICS


Hello, Valentine’s Day –– we meet again. I’ve never been a huge Valentine’s Day girl. I mean, don’t get me wrong –– I used to love in grade school when it was a free for all as far as eating chocolate, hoping that my crush was going to suddenly come to their senses and love me, and all of the pre-bought store notes from classmates that were required, not warranted. However, in adulthood, I’ve certainly found myself on the more cynical side of the Valentine’s Day equation. I mean, how many burpees do I need to do to work off an entire heart filled with chocolates? And why is the ratio of good chocolates to nasty, cherry goop filled chocolates so askew? Also, why can’t I just go ahead and buy my own chocolates if I have to blatantly remind my husband that it’s Valentine’s Day anyway? Sigh. VERY, EXTREMELY, INSANELY LAST-MINUTE VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT IDEA


Mardi Gras is almost here. And as they say in New Orleans, it’s a time to “laissez les bon temps rouler” for a night of eating, drinking, and cheer. Fat Tuesday falls on February 13 this year (yes, that’s the day before Valentine’s Day) and D.C. is always down for an excuse to party. So break out the beads and make a plan for a day of Louisiana-inspired cocktails, food, and music.

No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a traditional king cake. The colorful and sweet cake is the favorite dessert for the occasion–just watch out for the small toy baby baked inside. Finding it in your slice is said to be good luck. WHERE TO FIND MARDI GRAS PARTIES IN DC


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In modern times, energy is hard to come by. Heck, I’d even go so far as to say that energy has always been a hot commodity, no matter the time. But in 2018, finding time to relax can be nearly impossible. And no, by “relax,” I don’t mean mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, tagging your friends in memes here and there, and glancing in horror at the clock, realizing the work day is over and you’ve accomplished, quite seriously, nothing. I’m talking about actual, phone-away, relaxation that leaves you rejuvenated instead of more stressed than when you started. Meditation. Naps. Yoga. That kind of thing. DC STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: RECHARJ


Although D.C.’s Chinatown is small and continues to shrink every year, no one can say our Chinese New Year celebration doesn’t rock.

Thousands don puffy coats and knit caps every year and flood into the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop looking to secure prime parade viewing spots along 7th and 8th streets.

This year — 4716 — is the Year of the Dog. (Of course, here in America, every year is the year of the dog.) COME CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE DOG


Ah, tattoos. Fresh ink, skin that tells a story, the striking permanence of spontaneity, an art form that has truly taken hold of the latest generations. Most people can either go on and on about their opposition to tattoos or will be searching their phone frantically to show you their idea for their upcoming addition to their arm, or foot, or wherever, as soon as the topic comes up. Love them or hate them, though, they are certainly a part of today’s culture. There are tattoo shops with long wait lists, artists with obsessive followers on Instagram, many boards on Pinterest dedicated to dreaming up the ideal ink, and more. And if you’re looking to get in on the trend in the District, you can consider yourself lucky – we’re home to some pretty amazing, skilled, and renowned tattoo artists. So, where exactly can you sign yourself up for your next add-on to your sleeve or be pushed over the edge for your first ink? Here are some of the most well-known (and well-loved) tattoo parlors in our neck of the woods. WHERE TO GET INKED: SCOPING DC’S TATTOO SCENE