All My Old D.C. Haunts–and a Giveaway!

After seven years of living in D.C. overweight, I obviously accumulated quite a few favorite restaurants, and this weekend, I got to play food/drink tour guide to my friends.

Well, okay.

Friday night, as I posted yesterday, we went to Sette Osteria for some carb-y goodness.

Saturday, after the race, we rested for quite a while before venturing back out for food. Once we finally left the hotel, we were STARVING. We started walking towards Dupont Circle without much a plan–our plan was basically to eat wherever we could find that wasn’t a sloppy St. Patrick’s Day mess.

The first place we ran into was the Front Page, site of many Thirsty Thursday nights of $10 buckets of Coronas in college. It was packed. We started walking down Connecticut, and the first place I recognized was the Big Hunt, one of my favorite dive bars…and also the site of a lot of trouble when I lived in D.C. (Sensing a theme here?) I told the girls it was fun and that we’d be able to sit on a patio, and they were sold.


I mean, a tiki bar? How could you not love it?


The prices, especially for decent craft beer, were also pretty good!


I can’t remember if I’ve ever eaten there or not, so I couldn’t really vouch for the food, but figured bar food couldn’t be too bad. Yes, I gave up French fries for Lent, but I was still seriously craving salt at this point.


After a few beers, we headed to Continental in Rosslyn for Gretchen’s meetup, my old after-work spot. (I used to work in Rosslyn.)

I LOVE Jess’ sign! I saw her out on the course twice because of it!


I also saw Emily, and barely recognized her because she was not sweaty at the time. It’s a good thing she had a drink in hand or I might not have recognized her.


And finally met Meg! I love this smartypants’ blog because she talks about the intersection of fitness and social media, two of my favorite things. She also got an awesome PR out there–on her second half ever!


After hanging out with lots of awesome bloggers, a group of us went over to ANOTHER one of my favorite D.C. haunts, Lauriol Plaza.


Pro tip #1: The wait for a table is always long, but worth it. Drink margaritas; the time will go faster.

Prop tip #2: Drink your margaritas while waiting by the third-floor bar, which is always much less crowded than the first-floor bar.



Ashley and Caitiln and I split an order of fajitas for two and then went back to the hotel and collapsed into happy margarita, fajita and half-marathon-induced comas.


Before we left yesterday, we went for brunch at Kramerbooks. It’s a little overpriced, and a little D.C.-cliche, but it was still tasty. I got the whole-grain waffles because the plate came with a little of everything I wanted–waffles, eggs and turkey sausage.

Remember when I reviewed the Technogel pillow?

Well, I have one Technogel pillow to give away to one of you! (A $150 value!)(U.S. readers only, I’m sorry.)

You can choose from:

  • Deluxe
  • Anatomic (that’s what I have)
  • Contour
  • Travel

How to enter?

Just leave a comment telling me which pillow you’d pick, and what’s part of your nighttime routine to ensure a good night’s sleep.


I’m participating in a Twitter chat tonight at 9pm EST to discuss the health benefits of sleep. Follow hashtag #technogel and tweet along for more chances to win a pillow!

I will choose a winner tomorrow, March 20, after 9PM.

162 comments on “All My Old D.C. Haunts–and a Giveaway!

  1. Lisa

    I would choose the Deluxe as well.

    Before bed, I like to take a hot bubble bath and then read in the bath and when I get to bed until I fall asleep.

  2. Gia

    OMG that guac pic makes me with I stayed … although I totally forgot that I gave chips up for lent. Oops. I blame the tequila.
    As for pillows, I would like the contour. Perhaps it will take the massive kinks out of my necks that are there from lifting 30 lb children. ha.

  3. Tami

    I would pick the Anatomical. I always try to reads little before bed. It helps me relax and ease into sleep.

  4. Emily

    This is such an incredible giveaway. I suffer from migraine headaches and have been looking for a pillow that would decrease the amount of pressure on my neck when I sleep so I can wake up more rested.

    I think I would like the deluxe pillow.

    My bedtime routine is pretty simple – I curl up in bed with my two dogs and read a good book until my eyelids get heavy.

  5. Linda

    I have really bad sleeping habits. I’ve been trying to sleep more regularly for longer periods of time. I turn off the TV earlier and that seems to do the trick.

    I think the Anatomic pillow would work for me. 🙂

  6. Ash Bear

    I’d love a deluxe pillow! I don’t really have a nighttime ritual other than brusing my teeth and sipping water before bed. I’m trying to reintroduce reading before sleep because I think it helps me relax.

  7. Meg

    I loved reading this! I moved away from DC about 8 months ago, and this was a flash-back through some of my old favorite places as well! Especially Lauriol Plaza. I consider myself something of a margarita connoseuir (which may just be a nice way of saying “alcoholic”), and their margaritas are to die for. In the categories of “best frozen marg” and “best marg to get you nice and drunk” I have to give Lauriol first place.

    Regarding sleep. My night-time routine actually involves pillows! A few years ago I was having trouble sleeping, always tossing and turning. A friend of mine recommended trying a body pillow and I love it! At first I thought the idea was a little creepy- you’re essentially playing big spoon to a inanimate object. But it helps me fall asleep quickly because it gives me a comfortable place to rest my arms and legs. I guess that’s worth spooning for. I’m always trying to find a perfect pillow for my head as well, so I’d love to give the technogel a shot. (I’d chose the Deluxe!)

  8. Ellen

    Deluxe pillow all the way! Must do before bed is getting a glass of water incase I wake up in the middle of the night and putting the puppies on the bed.

  9. Suzanne

    The contour for sure. I’m a dedicated side-sleeper!

    Before bed, I spray my linens and pillows with lavender-scented spray and take a few deep breaths right when I crawl into bed. The scent and the deep breathing relaxes me and lets by body ease into sleep.

  10. Donna Dee

    I sleep on my side so I would need the pillow that works best for that. I have to sleep with my “huggie” pillow which is just an old pillow of mine that I have to hug.

  11. Melissa

    I try to read every night before going to sleep. It allows me to decompress and relax after a busy day. I also do some stretching. I would like the contour because I sleep on my side, I also have neck issues and constant pain and the pillow seems like it would really help me get a better night sleep!

  12. Ashley

    It was so great to meet you at Continental on Sat–sounds like you had a great weekend! 🙂 As for the pillow, I think I’d go with the anatomic too.

    Have a great week!

  13. Catherine

    I spray my sheets with lavender spray and read before bed.

    The Deluxe pillow looks like it would be comfortable!

  14. emily l.

    Wow, what a cool giveaway! I would choose the contour pillow. I currently have 5 pillows that I alternate between because I can’t find one that works.

    I have a NO technology rule for the bedroom: no TV, phone (cell turned off), no alarm clock with blaring red numbers, etc. It’s super minimalist but it works.

  15. Katie

    I’d love the deluxe pillow! I usually have some sort of snack (so that hunger doesn’t wake me up!) and do some light reading.

  16. Cellabella

    I’d love to get the anatomical one like you have – it would probably be so much better than me bunching up my pillows under my neck! 😉

  17. Lizzy

    Omg, all my fav places… front page, big hunt, lauriel plaza and kramerbooks?!?! I want to come back to DC now. I’ll take any of the pillows since I no longer sleep. xox

  18. Emily

    I would love the deluxe pillow! I have to make sure I have a water bottle next to my bed to make sure I don’t get thirst during the night.

  19. Jenn

    Sadly I think my sleeping habits are not so great, I fall asleep with the TV on and drink coffee way too late at night. But I try to moisturize my hands and spray lavender scented spray on my pillow. I would like the anatomical pillow.

  20. Lindsay

    I would pick the contour. No routine to make sure I get a good night’s sleep, just packing enough in my days to make sure I’m good and tired when my head hits the pillow!

  21. Jess

    The contour pillow would work really well for me! I’m a side sleeper and I get tension headaches that lead to migraines if I’m not using a good supportive pillow. The gel looks so cool! As far as my night time routine, I turn off the TV, wash my face, brush my teeth, moisturize and skim through the days newspaper (the comics are my favorite!) or read at least a chapter of my current book. Then I shut the blinds, draw the curtains and put on my eye mask!

  22. Kristen

    I would pick the contour! I switch between side and back sleeping, so that seems like the right fit for me…

    I’m still working on a good bedtime routine, but I’ve found putting the electronics down at least a half hour before bed has been hugely helpful – its just hard to make myself do it!

  23. Sarah Hyers

    Definitely the deluxe! I like to read in bed and drink some chamomile tea before bed. So relaxing! Still working on shutting off my phone and computer at least an hour before though. Playing with my stupid iphone keeps me up too late!

  24. Kelsey

    Definitely deluxe, I am a total side sleeper and would be so excited to try something new because I have been a down-pillow-only-sleeper for years!

  25. Lesley

    I’d pick the contour pillow. I generally don’t have trouble sleeping–I’m exhausted from working all day!

  26. Kristi A

    I would pick the deluxe pillow. It’s so hard to find good pillows!

    Before bed I put on a lavender hand lotion and it relaxes me.

  27. Nadine

    I would like the Contour as I am a back and side sleeper!

    My bedtime routine before bed involves washing my face, flossing and lots of moisturizer! We fall asleep to a movie most of the time, but just sound, no picture, and it’s something we have seen many times before!

  28. Kathy F.

    I would pick the Anatomic pillow. I drink hot tea before bed. I’m trying to get better about not using the computer/watching t.v. too close to getting in bed…

  29. Anne Lehnick

    I’d choose the Deluxe king size pillow. I can’t go to sleep if I feel like I have to pee even the tiniest bit, so I make sure the very last thing I do is empty my bladder. 🙂

  30. Shannon Chenoweth

    I’d choose the Deluxe as it looks to be what I look for in a pillow.

    I have a herniated disc in my lower back and sleeping can be uncomfortable for me since it happened in early 2010. So, I have to use two pillows to get comfortable. Before bed, I brush my teeth and wash my face. I want to start reading again, I used to do that years ago and it was great.

  31. heather

    I wouldn’t mind any type 🙂
    Normally before bed i dance for 30 min to a hour to get out any energy i have. Sometimes i do some yoga instead, it can be very relaxing. And a bout 10-15 min before i plan on sleeping i have a cup a tea and read a book.

  32. Meg

    I think I’d go for the Deluxe pillow. I have to make sure I’ve got my eyemask and ear plugs before bed – I need sensory deprivation!

  33. Mimi

    I’ll go with contour. I wish I knew the secret to ensure a good night’s sleep. I’m still trying to figure that out. Maybe it’s one of these pillows!

  34. Ashley Pomes

    I would love the Anatomic one. My routine consist of brushing my teeth then crawling into my bed to watch one episode of I Love Lucy. It is a different one each day. Watching one episode helps me relax and wash away the stress of the day. Nothing is better than a good laugh. After the one episode I normally go to bed. If I am tired I fall asleep during the episode haha.
    Thanks for hosting this giveaway 🙂

  35. Kaelin

    That waffle breakfast looks so delicious!!!

    I would pick the contour pillow! My bedroom is TV/computer free. And we keep it nice and cool at night.

  36. Jackie W.

    I’d love to try the Anatomic! Before bed, I make sure not to drink a lot of water, (at least an hour before), to ensure a good sleep. I fall asleep easily!

  37. tracey

    From what I’ve read on the website, it looks like anatomical would be the one I would choose based on the way I sleep, etc.
    My routine includes turning the a/c down so it gets nice and chilly, grabbing my kindle, and the remote to watch old Seinfeld episodes that I have seen a million times 🙂

  38. Beverly Aragon

    Would LOVE to try out the anatomic since I’m a back sleeper. Reading in bed always helps me wind down from the day so I can get a restful night’s sleep.

  39. Shelby S

    My night-time routine starts about 20 mins before I get into bed with a spoonful of organic peanut butter. Right before bed I brush my teeth, take off my makeup, wash my face and apply night-time face cream. I then get into my pj’s and sit on my bed with the notebook by my bed and write down everything I have to do the next day in attempts to quite my brain and control the stress that tends to prevent the good nights sleep I need. Once in bed, I say my prayers and on a good night I’m asleep in minutes.

    – Contour pillow please =)

  40. Nancy

    I’d go with the anatomic – I like sleeping on my side mostly and don’t like super thick pillows. One aspect of my nightime routine that has really improved my ability to fall asleep is to keep all electronics outside of the bedroom. Its hard but makes a difference for me.

  41. Danielle

    I am a total side sleeper, so I’d love the contour pillow. I try to decide what I’m going to wear to work the next day, and make sure I have breakfast prepared so I can go to bed knowing I’ll be pretty quick getting out the door the next day. Of course that has more to do with my hitting the snooze button routine than it does my falling asleep routine…

  42. Julia Grace

    Theodora, love your blog! I would definitely choose the Anatomic pillow since I too have neck and upper back issues and have struggled finding the ideal pillow (I’ve tried them all from cheap to expensive and have yet to find one that is … perfect). My evening routine is usually hectic and I break all the “rules” that you’re supposed to follow to get a good night’s sleep: I eat late (after 7:30pm usually), drink wine, sometimes my workouts don’t end until 9pm, and then I just fall in bed, too exhausted to read but happy to have accomplished so much 🙂

    Thanks for the great give-aways and happy Monday!

  43. Amy

    I would go with the anatomic (it looks the most comfy of the 4 options:) )
    Before bed, I love to read. It helps me to unwind for a bit and gets me off of the computer. After a good 20-30 minutes, I’m calm and too sleepy to stay up any longer.

  44. carolyn

    Dang it, you made me want guacamole again! Anyway, I’d pick the Contour pillow, looks comfortable.

    Part of my routine for getting good sleep is to always mentally end the day on a good note. If I get the blues or had a crappy day, I’ll make myself think of at least one good thing. Also, being hydrated makes me sleep so well.

  45. Laura @ Backstage Balance

    Awesome giveaway! I’d try the anatomic pillow.
    My nightly ritual is reading blogs, then snuggling up to my already-snoozing man. He’s like a big Teddy bear!

  46. Jenna

    I would choose the Contour pillow! I have to give myself 30-45 minutes “no screen time”. No computer, no tv. Usually pick up a book and read until I’m sleepy! Thanks for doing this giveaway! I looooove reading your blog. 🙂

  47. Jodi

    I would pick the anatomic pillow! My bedtime routine is 400 mg of magnesium glycinate and reading blogs on my phone!

  48. Dawn

    I’d go with the contour. A big part of my nighttime routine is getting to bed at the same time during the week & reading a bit before shutting off the light. The schedule & chance to mentally unwind help me get to sleep much more quickly.

  49. Lindsay

    The night we went to the big hunt was probably one of the funniest and scariest nights I had in undergrad!

  50. Eakta Malik

    I would like the deluxe pillow please!

    My bed time ritual is to drink a whole water bottle to stay hydrated! Then get my little doggie into bed and asleep while I go on tumblr for a little while. 🙂

  51. Renee

    My choice would be for the Deluxe model – looks big and comfy! I always read or write before bed to get relaxed 🙂

  52. Georgia

    The larger the better so I’d choose the Deluxe model for my kingsize bed. I always do a relaxing yoga session to get my mind and body refreshed and ready for a relaxing evening.

  53. Ray

    I’m a big tall guy with a big head so I’d have to select the deluxe pillow. I always play a relaxing game of solitare or scrabble on my computer or read a book to unwind my mind at night.

  54. Renata

    Anatomic looks interesting for a pillow shape – I watch some TV and kind of just chill out in my cozy bed to relax before sleep. 🙂

  55. deb taylor

    I think I’d go deluxe, i soooo love to snuggle up with a pillow & sleep!! I never get enough sleep & a new pillow would be awesome!

  56. Sarah D.

    I would have to go with the Anatomic style. I am a bed reader and have been known to sleep with books from time to time.

  57. Katie

    I would say the Contour Pillow since I am a side sleeper… My critical step in my nighttime routine is taking melatonin! I swear by that stuff… If I am ever unsure that I am going to be able to fall asleep one night, I take 1/2 of one of those bad boys and I don’t worry about tossing and turning.

  58. Jennifer

    I spent a while looking at all of the Technogel pillows, and I think the contour looks awesome! To help me sleep, I use a sound conditioner that makes the sound of waves all night long. It’s enough distraction from the neighbor’s barking dogs to keep me asleep throughout the night!

  59. Elizabeth

    I haven’t been to DC in ages, but this post has me itching to go. I blame the margaritas.

    While I am inclined to say “deluxe” because I am fancy, I have a feeling the contour pillow’s better for side/face sleepers.

  60. margaret

    anatomic, wouldn’t it be so nice to have this awesome pillow. I read in bed as part of my routine, I alway look forward to it, and it helps me shut my brain off.

  61. Tracey Leffler

    I’d go with the Anatomic pillow as I have back and neck pain. Although I am a side sleeper.

    I usually read before bed to calm myself down and keep side lights on instead of overhead lights.

  62. Abby

    I need to be in bed by 11:30 in order to get a full night sleep. And if I could get an awesome pillow like that, I would go with The Anatomic, too!

  63. Melissa

    contour, please! And I try to go to bed at the same time every night (even on the weekends) – which makes me sound like I’m a senior citizen, but it works, I promise!

  64. Sara

    I would choose the Deluxe pillow. Before bed I usually try to stay away from the computer and read a little while to help me relax.

  65. Kelly Paquet

    I’d choose Anatomic, because I try to sleep on my side….With a 6 month old, I need all the sleep help I can get! I pretty much pass out when my head hits the pillow from exhaustion – No routine needed. :O)

  66. Mary Ann

    What a fun giveaway! I think I would choose the Contour pillow. To fall asleep easily, I turn off the tv/computer at least an hour before bedtime and lay in bed and read until drowsy. I can’t sleep unless I read at least a little bit!

  67. Ashley

    I would get the contour. My nightly routine is walking the dog and then getting into bed. I can fall asleep very easily.

  68. Calee (@chimes)

    Woo, thanks for the chance.

    We’re currently having issues with sleeping. A) It’s too hot right now in comparison to the last few weeks … B) The BF is having allergy issues and is snoring like a banshee and C) We’re leaving the door open for air flow reasons and because our roommate is gone, so our dog is in and out of bed all night.

    I would love ANYTHING to get me more sleep. I’ve seen these all over healthy-blog-land and I want one. 🙂

    Definitely anatomic.

    Thanks again!

  69. Alison

    It is soo hard for me to fall asleep every night. I think that a nice pillow like this would be so helpful. I would probably choose the anatomic design!

    Awesome giveaway!

  70. Samantha

    I’d want the anatomic pillow!! I always have to drink a glass of water before I go to bed. I have no idea why, but for some reason I can’t fall asleep until I have a full glass.

  71. Katie

    I lived in DC for 5 years before coming to NY, so it was def cool to be back in the old stomping grounds this weekend! Congrats on your race! Now, about those pillows…

    I try EVERYTHING to ensure a good nights sleep–I go to bed early, keep the lights low and TV off, read a book, drink sleepytime tea, but I NEVER sleep well!! Maybe one of those pillows is JUST what I need! I’d take any if it would help!!

  72. Stacey

    I would love the anatomical pillow! I have no trouble falling asleep, so no routine but need something to stay asleep, maybe a new pillow!

  73. Eliana

    I sleep on my stomach. I know it is not ideal or recommended but i can’t fall asleep otherwise. I have not found a pillow that i feel comfortable with and at this point i would be willing to give anything a try. From these options i would choose the Deluxe pillow. I sometimes try to do some yoga before i go to sleep to get me to relax…

  74. Liz

    Wow how perfect is this! I have been experiencing shoulder and neck pains in the past few days. I just need to get a better pillow already! I would love to try the Anatomic pillow.

    It may sound silly and yet it is simple, I try to push away all thoughts of the day out of my mind and focus on the “right now” moment. This way I am not kept awake by anything that happened earlier in the day. I usually don’t fall asleep right away so I really need to make sure that nothing else keeps me up any longer than necessary.

    (pooo! I missed the twitter chat. Will have to go check it out.)

  75. Gwen

    I think the pro tip on Lauriol should be skip the food and stick to margaritas! Their food doesn’t do much for me, but the margaritas are THE BEST. Glad you had a great trip back to DC! I love this place.

  76. Elizabeth

    Awesome giveaway! I’d love a new pillow–mine seem dead. I’d choose the Deluxe.
    For better sleep, I’ve made an effort to not bring my cell phone/blackberry into bed with me.

  77. April

    I’ve suffered from upper back/neck pain for over 4 years now. I’d love to try the anatomic pillow and see if it will relieve the pain! I love enjoying a cup of herbal tea before bed, helps me relax and get into sleep-mode.

  78. liz

    Id Love the Deluxe!!!!!
    Before bed i like to rub some aveda hand relief lotion
    on both my hads n feel…….best lotion ever!!!!

  79. Alexis

    I’d love the deluxe. I have to have a fan (or my white noise app) on before I can settle into sleep. Probably need the noise after all those years living in NYC. The ‘burbs are too quiet!

  80. Life's a Bowl

    Gotta say, I’d choose the deluxe [like everyone else :P]! And hopefully it’ll help me sleep since lately I can’t seem to put my brain to bed… Most of the time I fall asleep on the couch with the puppy and fiance and am woken up and walked to bed haha! Def not the best way to fall asleep but usually I’m out like a baby!

  81. Rachel

    I would pick the deluxe! Every night I listen to relaxing music (called Zen Garden) to help me get to sleep and sleep well. Love it!

  82. Danielle Robles

    I would have to say I loved the foodie mini tour of food & friends. Also my nighttime sleep ritual is to have a mint eye face mask on to mask out the light in the room, sleep with a jersey cotton t shirt sheet and a heat adjusting duvet.

    I still have some issues staying asleep but I am hope that the Deluxe pillow would help me with this.
    Just love reading your blogs.

  83. Lindsay

    I would go with the contour pillow – my nightime routine to ensure a good night’s sleep is to turn off the TV! Also reading helps.

  84. Monica

    I would choose the anatomic because I’m a back sleeper! My nighttime routine isn’t fancy…wash the face, brush the teeth, get into PJ’s & read if I can keep my eyes open!

  85. KK

    I’d like the deluxe pillow please!! I’m a very finicky sleeper – I need complete dark, and a noise machine with something relaxing.

  86. Kate

    I would love to win the deluxe pillow. I always try to read for a bit before going to bed. I’ve heard it’s good to stay away from the computer/ev so I do my best to unplug early.

  87. Meg Roberts

    So, I’m reading this post, enjoying your recap of D.C. and then I almost spit water all over my keyboard when I saw my picture! I’m not going to lie – I feel a little famous right now. 🙂 Needless to say, it was excellent to meet you.

    Thanks for your tip on where to wait while at Lauriol Plaza. I need to try that out the next time I’m there.

    Come back again soon!

  88. Tara

    I would love the deluxe!!! I am constantly having trouble sleeping and have tried pills, meditation, herbal tea, reading, the list goes on and on!

  89. Bethenney

    Definitely love to spray some lavendar spray on my pillow before bed to relax me. I’d like the Anatomical pillow!

  90. Nicole

    I’d go with the Deluxe! I always make sure I brush my teeth and slather my hands with hand cream…oh, and read a chapter or two of the book of the week.

  91. Amanda

    I’m so sad I missed the meet-up this weekend! I had so much going on and my sister was visiting…but hopefully I can get back into blogging events soon. I think I would love the Deluxe pillow…my head surely needs a break from whatever-the-crap-it-is I’m sleeping on now…

  92. Tina H.

    I would pick the deluxe. I always have to have a clean face and teeth, lotion on my hands and carmex on my lips.

  93. Cate

    LOVE Lauriol Plaza – My sister was just there the weekend before last! Love DC too – Haven’t been since October… I miss it! Looks like you had a fun time!

  94. Jess

    Wow, I had no idea my sunburn was so evident in that picture haha. Damn it still hasn’t gone away. Sunburn in March! Unreal!

    I had so much fun hanging out with you while you were in town! Come visit us again sooon!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.