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How To Throw a 90's Themed Event

Meg Schmidt

Heyyyy! I know it's been some time- I needed a whole month to regroup from NYE (see last post) and prepare for my birthday.  (Today I turn 26! Wooo!) Saturday night I threw my dream party: a 90's inspired bash with all of the treats, characters and music that would give all my guests the best feeling of nostalgia. We had a BLAST. If you've been following my social media accounts and want to have a 90's party of your own, relax and take notes...

Do: baby pictures. 

Do: baby pictures. 

Who didn't like the Power Rangers? Masks? Yes, you need at least one. 

If you don't have Cheese Puffs, it's not a 90's party.

Gel Pens, tattoos, Barbie. 

Gushers, DO NOT forget Gushers. 

Do: Encourage guests to dress comfortably and stay within the theme...

'Twister' cannot be played with jeans or tight clothing. 

Do: Get your favorite childhood character on a cake. 

Don't: be embarrassed about baby pics that show how afraid you are of your favorite childhood character. (see next photo). 

Cake by Creative Cakes, Inc in Silver Spring, MD

Be colorful. Be cheesy. 

Your Mom MUST be on the planning committee. Allow her to accept the job of running to Party City for ridiculous amounts of candy.  (THANKS MOM!!!!!!!!!)

Think carefully about your guest list (sorry mom!!!!!!!!!). 

Bring out the child-like nature in your friends by making them wear party hats. 

Also, pinata. Yes, pinata. 


Meg Schmidt

Hope you had as much fun as I did Saturday night! No- seriously. The guests at my pajama party had me laughing soooo hard and told me the next day that I literally went to sleep with a huge smile on my face! BTW, I was the first one knocked out ONLY one hour after the new year hit! I guess that means we have to do it AGAINNNN!!! My birthday is around the corner and I CANNOT WAIT! #ThePajamaParty Part 2 is coming!

In 2017, despite scary news articles, busy schedules and responsibilities- turn a new leaf and keep 'joy' as your number 1 priority. Leave unhappy relationships! Take risks! Personalize your space! Plan a trip on the fly! Wear what you want! Read more books and less Facebook updates! Take tons of pics for memories! Connect with nature! Stop worrying so much and LAUGH SO HARD that you go to sleep with a smile on your face!!! Joy has done an unexplainable good for me last year and I plan on keeping it going so that I can share it all with you! Finding it is one thing, but the ability to create your OWN joy in the midst of adversity is a talent and strength that's simply says you cannot be f%^*#+ with. Cheers! - Meg 

Washington D.C.: Ben's Chili Bowl Turns 58!

Meg Schmidt

Well well folks- it's December, that part of the year we take a month long recess from our restrictive diets (and fake diets) we've challenged ourselves with ALL year! If you're ditching your strict meal plans to get into some comfort food- I hope you're doing it with the right kitchens! I happen to be from the restaurant capital of the world (New York City) which has made me a very snobby food critic when I travel city to city. Since I've moved to DC in 2015, I've found that I'm still very much that hard-to-impress annoying New Yorker yapping about my dining experience everywhere that I eat. However, there's one DC jewel that's earned a special place in my belly's memory bank: 

Photo: Meg Schmidt

Photo: Meg Schmidt

Ben's Chili Bowl! I just don't know where to start with this amazing family owned establishment nestled in the heart of the historic U Street Corridor in North West DC! In the Fall of 2015, I oh so casually grabbed a seat in Ben's Chili Bowl totally unaware of the greatness I had just walked into.  (I was new to DC, chill). I remember ordering a turkey burger very late at night (this is a fast food spot with healthy options, fist pump) and moving on with my evening. HA! What the hell was I thinking? I do remember eating A LOT healthy at that time in my life but anyyyy Ben's Chili Bowl VIRGIN needs to go directly to their popular 'half smokes'! I didn't come to this realization until exactly ONE YEAR AFTER I first walked into Ben's! My food destiny finally manifested on a cold Sunday morning in November when I was asked to take photos for Ben's 58th Anniversary campaign. Talk about LATE!!!

So here I was- camera in hand at the WTOP-FM station patiently waiting for hosts David and Nycci Nellis to start their weekly show 'Foodie and the Beast' where they try local dining- old and new to the DC area to critique on live radio. This particular week, Kamaal Ali would be featured to discuss the 58th Anniversary of DC's best fast food joint, Ben's Chili Bowl. He is the co-owner and son of Ben Ali- a Trinidadian immigrant who built this family business with wife Virginia Rollins in 1958. To my pleasant surprise, Kamaal brought more than enough samples of their original chili half-smoke sausage for every one in the room. This is a juicy, perfectly grilled chili dog that you MUST dress with onions and mustard. So it's 11AM and I have my right hand on my camera, and my left on the pride of DC! Totally unbothered, I'm in sausage heaven. HA! 

Photo: Meg Schmidt

So let's just make one thing clear- you have not really visited Washington D.C. until you've dined at Ben's Chili Bowl. There's no excuse for not making it either- because they have a number of different locations: U Street, H Street, over the bridge in Arlington, and right off the airplane in Reagan National Airport. No excuses. None. So if you're in DC for the holidays visiting family or want to up your palette game in 2017- make your way over to Ben's Chili Bowl! You won't regret it! 

Photo: Meg Schmidt

P.S. Ben's Next Door and Ben's Upstairs are two trendy spin-off's of the classic restaurant. That Sunday photo session at WTOP was just a couple hours before a brunch date I planned with my girl friend at Ben's Next Door... I ordered their chicken and waffles pictured above and it was the best I ever had. Their fried chicken batter....soooo good it'll make you wanna slap know the rest.  That day was just truly unforgettable. Happy 58th to Ben's! Check out their site for anniversary specials and promotions!