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URBAN ADULTING. A few weeks ago, I was sitting with my production designer and dear friend Claire Smalley completing a brainstorming exercise. A former art director, she was coaching me to communicate all of the feelings I wanted our March // April cover to evoke. What did adulting mean to me? Why did I choose artist Kelly Towles and entrepreneur Virginia Arrisueño as my cover subjects? How did I want to reach my readers this month? First of all, it was really fun to be interviewed by a collaborator and think through my creative decisions through a new lens (thanks, Claire!) and secondly, when I shared all my thoughts with her, she responded with, “Got it! We’re funkifying the white picket fence.” And while I couldn’t quite justify that as the main teaser for the cover, I loved the sentiment behind it. That’s exactly what I want for this issue: to highlight the urban adult, someone who is equal parts invested in their career and creative outlets as they are in their family and domestic life.

My team took a deep dive into every aspect of modern adulting we could think of: parenthood (this includes pets and plants, for those not ready to procreate), designing your space, home ownership, financial planning, dating, relationships and everything in-between. I had the great privilege of sitting down with Towles and Arrisueño in their stunning Adams Morgan brownstone to pick their brains about the balance they strike between their careers in creative industries and their fierce commitment to a thriving family life with their son Atticus and pup Sinchi.

My managing editor Andrew J. Williams III rounded up 11 local couples redefining the modern relationship and interviewed a pair of dating experts. Editorial assistant Nicole Schaller chatted with financial analysts about making money moves; Rina Rapuano wrote about navigating home ownership; Nevin Martell shared a fresh perspective on the city as a parent; Brandon Wetherbee gave pro tips for enjoying the best kid-friendly breweries; Jade Womack rounded up pet-friendly locales; Courtney Sexton delved into responsible pet ownership; Alex Thompson shared her experience staying fit and connected to her husband post-baby; Abi Newhouse interviewed a design expert to get the scoop on beautifying your surroundings; Whitney Pipkin opened up about facing a fear of baking with her kids thanks to a sourdough starter kit; and my girl Claire nerded out over her green thumb.

Plus, we interviewed artist and educator Blu Murphy; Chef Jonathan Bethony of Seylou Bakery; Astro Lab’s Emma Whelan; Helen Hayes Award-winning actress Billie Krishawn; and Mosaic Theater Company’s new artistic director, Reginald L. Douglas. And last but not least, we provide an inside look at the DC Tattoo Expo, the Wammies, badass women business owners to support during Women’s History Month and much more. Let us know what you think of our first adulting issue, and thanks for reading!

Monica Alford