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SOLD! 5105 Duvall Dr., Bethesda, MD

5105 Duvall

This classic Westmoreland Hills colonial featured a slate roof, first floor family room (converted from former 2 car garage) and a newly finished attic.

SOLD! 6004 Cobalt Road, Bethesda, MD

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 12.10.24 PM

We helped the buyers find this Woodacres Colonial nestled on a quiet street with large backyard with future expansion potential.

  • $810,000
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 Baths
  • Finished Basement
  • Garage

What can we find for you?

Day 342: Voila! It's Vino Volo!

Vino Volo Bethesda Row

Vino Volo Bethesda Row

Voila!  There it is!  The perfect place in Bethesda to share some wine and good eating with friends.  Like Goldilocks seeking the perfect bed, I have sought the perfect place to tip a glass of red or white that doesn’t come with sports TV blaring in the background or in a cramped, standing-room-only wine shop.   Vino Volo is just right for any type of gathering.

Meeting a friend for happy hour and a small bite?  Perfect!  Try sampling their wine flights while seated at the bar.  Looking to create a wine tasting event for friends or special clients?  Vino Volo’s wine tasting room evokes the feeling of a rustic winery in the heart of Bethesda Row.  Meeting a small group of friends for lunch or a business meeting?  Look no further.  Vino Volo has plenty of room to seat your group comfortably in their restaurant and they offer a delectable menu to accompany their unique wine selections.

Tasting Room Bethesda

Tasting Room Bethesda

Vino Volo has won a place in the hearts of many a weary traveler who found solace in their airport retreats throughout the US.  In fact all of their other locations are situated on concourses.  Their airport wine bars offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of travel and a place to relax and refresh your spirits.

The new Bethesda location is their first departure from the gates of the airport halls.  Someone must have known that Bethesda was a safe bet for their first “baggage-free” location, as we are lovers of good food and drinks in this town.

The wine list at Vino Volo is quite unique -a refreshing change from the same ‘ole wine list I have noticed elsewhere.  The food choices are intriguing with menu options at this location that are more extensive than what their airport shops can offer.

Sample their creatively named wine flights during your visit or opt for wines by the glass or bottle.  The staff is helpful and friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and warm.  Vino Volo is an exciting addition to our Bethesda restaurant and bar scene.  For more details about Vino Volo check out their website at

Cheers,  Amy

Vino Volo Bethesda

Vino Volo Bethesda

Day 192: Free Summer Concerts at Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park

One of my favorite things to do in the Bethesda area is to visit Glen Echo Park.  A visit to the park is like taking a walk back in time to a simpler day and age.  The sights and sounds of the carousel and surrounding historic buildings such as the Bumper Car Pavilion and Spanish Ballroom are so unique.  Each one of them have so many stories to tell.  You can read all about the Park’s history which began in 1891, as well as current news and events, by visiting their website.  You can also check out our Day 162 blog of 2011 for a quick summary.

We recommend a visit to Glen Echo Park any time but this Thursday, July 12th, 2012 there will be something special going on – a FREE summer concert at 7:30 PM at the Bumper Car Pavilion.  “The UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND SINGING SERGEANTS will present the music of America to the people of the world, the chorus has appeared before millions of people in live performances and countless more on radio and television programs,” according to the Glen Echo Park’s recent Facebook post.  No matter the weather – rain or shine – the show will go on!  In addition to the concert, the carousel is scheduled to run from 7 to 9pm. Too fun!  It makes me feel like a kid again!    

Glen Echo Park is offering free summer concerts such as this one every other Thursday beginning June 14 through August 23.  They will also offer a Special Sunday Afternoon Concert on July 22: Family Jazz Day, starting at 3:00 pm.  All concerts are free and open to the public.  Come on down and make your family experience a part of the history of magical Glen Echo Park.  ~Amy

Day 137: Calling all Bethesda Fashionistas to The Front Row!

The Front Row May 17-19, 2012

I keep seeing signs all over the Bethesda Lane/Bethesda Avenue corridor about “The Front Row” coming May 17-19th.  Curiosity finally got the best of me and I looked it up.  Glad I did because you will either want to avoid the chaos downtown or seize the opportunity for what may be some great buys, good meal deals and a great time with friends over the next 3 days – your choice!

The Front Row will be held May 17-19, 2012 and offer 40+ fashion events plus special menus and happy hours at local restaurants, celebrity guests, family fun and other events.  Some of the highlights include the following:

THURSDAY –  Washingtonian Magazine fashion editor Kate Bennett hosts a special film screening at Landmark’s Bethesda Row Theater of the award-winning documentary God Save My Shoes.   There will be a Q&A session afterward with the film’s producer.  The event kicks off at 7:30pm at 7235 Woodmont Ave. and is first-come, first serve, although the  Bethesda Row web site lists an RSVP at:  Jaleo, Mussel Bar, Assaggi and Mon Ami Gabi will have happy hour specials before the film.  PLUS there will be trunk shows and sales at Urban Chic, Urban Country and Ginger.  Top it all off with a shoe cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake. 

FRIDAY fashion fun continues with a runway show at 7:30pm.  The VIP guest, Andy Cohen (who is the host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live) will be there and has offered to sign his new book at Redwood Restaurant.  Cocktail specials are being offered at Redwood to make your time waiting in line a little less tedious. There will be extended hours on Bethesda Lane to shop the specials offered by local retailers until 9pm.

SATURDAY from 11 AM – 2 PM is a day all about your junior fashionistas with fashion trunk shows, sales and specials plus family fun including balloon animals, art projects, and cooking classes for the kids.  Equinox will also offer a free class EQ360 (no membership required) at 3 PM.  My advice is to get there early.

All the details for the three-day event can be found at the Bethesda Row website at: 

Have fun either enjoying the events at The Front Row or avoiding downtown Bethesda and sticking around the back 40 for 3-days!


Day 114: Monday Fun Day in Bethesda

Big Fat Hot Dogs at Bold Bite

OK so we know that Mondays can get you down, especially rainy, chilly Mondays like today.  So what better way to wash away the blues than to eat and drink yourself merry?!  Here are some great Monday deals you can check out in Bethesda:

BURGER MONDAY at PARKERS RESTAURANT – buy one and get one for 99 cents.  They have some good options on french fries too, including my personal favorite, sweet potato fries.

If burgers aren’t your thing, how about hot dogs? 

HAPPY HOUR from 2:30 – 5:30 PM at BOLD BITE DOGS & FRIES – buy one combo and get a naked dog for free!

Cafe Deluxe Bethesda - Elm St

If you want to skip the picnic fare and go right to the beverages, try 1/2 price wine on Mondays at CAFE DELUXE  or $4 GUINNESS plus 1/2 off oysters at RI-RA IRISH PUB.

No matter how you choose to cure the Monday blues, remember to share some food and fun with your friends – the best way to brighten any day.     ~Amy

Day 108: Spring Restaurant Week in Bethesda…Accessorize your Palate

It’s time again to enjoy the airy pleasures of an outdoor evening meal or an afternoon sandwich in the sun with friends.  Bethesda’s restaurant week is a great excuse to do so!  Restaurant Week is happening NOW, April 16th – 22nd, 2012 at participating restaurants including:

Bethesda's Restaurant Week, April 2012

Assaggi Mozzarella Bar

Cafe Deluxe


Le Pain Quotidien

 Lebanese Taverna


Mon Ami Gabi



Tandoori Nights

Parker’s Classic American

Three course lunches are $15 and three-course dinners are $30.  Reservations are highly recommended, especially for dinner.

You can check out their menus for the week (makes my mouth water to read them!) and also sign up to win a $200 dining certificate at

Buen Provecho!     ~Amy

Day 100: Bethesda's Best Restaurant on Wheels!

One3Five Cuisine rolled into town in the parking lot of the Farm Women’s Co-operative Market  on Wisconsin Ave in December 2011.  Although it’s a food truck like any other, this restaurant on wheels is anything but ordinary!  The owner and chef, Steve Markam, was working the day Brian and I strolled up to the window curious about the menu and intrigued, yet tentative about what we would find.  We love food – ALL kinds of food – but typically “fast food” from a truck doesn’t yield gourmet delights. In this case however, we were so wrong!  Steve’s One3Five Cuisine knocked our socks off.  

Brian at the window of One3Five Cuisine

First we tried ONE soup: clam chowder.   Loaded with seriously large chunks of clam and a beautifully creamy sauce.  Highly recommended!

Then we tried THREE appetizers: Weber Veggies (fresh vegetables and big, fat mushrooms perfectly grilled on a Weber of course!), Corn and Black Bean Rice and Down Home Potato Salad.  To say these appetizers were good is really understating it.  The flavors were surprising and unique!   We were drooling!

Last, we selected two of the FIVE specialty sandwiches offered on the menu: Bahn Mi and Gaucho’s Delight.  The Bahn Mi is described on their website as: Paper-thin slices of marinated pork loin, pickled veggies (daikon radishes and carrots), cucumber spears, cilantro, scallions, red onion, and jalapeño on a Vietnamese style roll with a lime/garlic/ginger aioli and fish sauce.  I describe it in a word as “sensational!”  Without a doubt, I will order this again. 

Brian’s selected Gaucho’s Delight (marinated flank steak on a ciabatta roll with buttery potato and onion stick mixture, tomato and olive salsa, and arugula with a chimichurri sauce).  Forget Gaucho, it had Brian moaning with delight with each bite.  Enough said, eh?  For the full ONE3FIVE menu you can check out their website

The next best thing about the food was the price.  Our dinners were only $9.99 each – including soup, appetizer, sandwich and drink.   They are open from 11 AM – 7 PM, 6 days a week and offer catering and family sized serving options too.  I hope Bethesda supports this chef/entrepreneur with his fabulous food truck business because I want it to stick around for a long, long time.  I would like to get through the entire menu!    ~Amy

Day 46: Hot Diggity Dogs in Bethesda

Gourmet Dogs and Fries

Today I had the pleasure of enjoying a good ‘ole fashioned hot dog for lunch.   But this was no greasy, spongy hot dog wrapped in foil from the football stadium.  I went gourmet baby!  Bold Bite Dogs & Fries in Bethesda located at 4901 Fairmont Ave is rockin’ hot dogs and sausages like you’ve perhaps never seen done before.  The owners and brothers, Alonso and Alvaro Roche, were inspired to create Bold Bite from their experiences growing up in Venezuela buying late night hot dogs from street vendors.  Alonso Roche is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and has also worked in several local Bethesda residents among other accomplishments.  He has put his experience and talents to delicious use at Bold Bite.

Bold Bite was truly a bit of a surprise to me today.  I mean, I like hot dogs and all, but I really enjoyed the texture of the dog and the bun, the unique flavors and the obvious freshness.  It was clear with the first bite that this was no ordinary dog.  I selected the New York dog with a Vienna frank, sauerkraut, New York style onions, spicy mustard and a steamed bun.  The french fries were another big perk.  They are cooked “Belgian style” apparently – very fresh, hand cut and flavorful with potato skins and all. 

Bold Bite interior

You will find an array of pre-designed gourmet hot dog options on the menu – or you can just build your own, as Brian did today with a simple mustard and onion dog.  Bold Bite has become my new guilty pleasure in Bethesda – especially for a late night snack!  They are open until 2:30 AM on Friday and Saturday nights and until 8:30 PM Sunday through Thursday.  Hot diggity dog!     ~Amy

Day 23: Two Great Reasons to Celebrate Food This Week in Bethesda!

It’s cold and dank outside but if you can brave the cruddy weather and plan a night out for dinner you will be rewarded!  This week happens to be Bethesda-Chevy Chase Restaurant week, my favorite excuse to enjoy a new restaurant in town! 

There are 33 participating establishments who will offer two and three-course lunches for $13 or $16 and dinners for $33 from today through January 29th, 2012.  It’s a great time to try something new or visit an old favorite.  For a complete list of participating restaurants and a link to their websites to make reservations, you can visit the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) web page.

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Today also happens to be the first day of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year!  It’s the lucky Year of the Dragon, year 4710 on the Chinese calendar.  Perhaps some celebratory dumplings and fortune cookies are in order? 

No matter what tasty dish you choose this week – cheeseburgers, chow mein, chalupas or chicken, enjoy the opportunity to share some good eats with family and friends.  May this New Year be filled with good fortune and blessings for you all.     ~Amy

Day 21 – A Restaurant for all 'Seasons 52' Weeks a Year

Seasons 52 North Bethesda

I have found a new addiction – sampling the menu at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill in “North Bethesda” (otherwise known as the White Flint area of Rockville Pike).  I have now had the pleasure of visiting this restaurant scene on two occasions – once for lunch with a friend and last night, a celebratory dinner with my husband.

The thing I love MOST about Seasons 52 is that so far, all the food I have sampled has been truly fresh-tasting and absolutely delicious – not overcooked, over-buttered, over-sauced or over-heated like many places.  This food tastes fresh (the perfect crunch to their grilled vegetables for example) and looks like art.  Even better…EVERYTHING on the menu is 475 calories or less!  This is quite a contrast to other restaurant menus like CPK where many items top 1000 – 1500+ calories for one entrée.  The menu at Seasons 52 changes regularly as inspired by farm markets so that the freshest foods in-season are featured.  Plus, the restaurant offers a very nice wine list which for me is always a PLUS!

If you’re thinking about visiting, I definitely recommend making reservations at Seasons 52.  The place is growing in popularity.  We arrived early (around 5:30 PM) on Friday and it was already getting full.  By the time we left, it was standing-room-only as people waited for tables.

Friendly valet at Seasons 52

When you arrive, you are first greeted by the nice valet attendants who will park your car for free – a relaxing way to begin the dining experience.  Flashes of trying to park in the public garages in downtown Bethesda come to mind as a stark contrast!  The lobby area of the restaurant is warm and inviting with a nice, cozy fireplace and rich, dark wood walls.  On both occasions that I visited, I ended up sitting in the comfortable booths surrounding the nicely appointed bar.

This past Friday evening we were surprised and delighted by live piano music and vocals – just the right genre of music and at just the right volume so as not to overwhelm our conversation.  Made for a fun atmosphere.  Apparently, there is live music nightly.

Chilled Tiger Prawns

We began our meal by indulging in their Ripe Plum Tomato Signature Flatbreads and big, fat Tiger Prawns which we thoroughly enjoyed.  Our server also generously provided us with an opportunity to try three different wines so we could select our favorite for the evening, a sauvignon blanc called Mulderbosch from Western Cape of South Africa – which he had recommended to us actually.

Ripe Plum Tomato Flatbread

Soon, our mouth-watering dinner entrees were presented.  I ordered the Tiger Shrimp Penne Pasta (loved those shrimp) which came in a light citrus sauce with lots of grilled crunchy vegetables – delicious!

Penne Pasta with Tiger Prawns

Brian ordered the Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with veggies and mushrooms that were to-die-for.  The filet was accented with a very unique bar-be-que sauce that was wicked good!  Brian ended up getting two little bowls of it (he may have indulged in 500 calories versus 475).

We finished the dinner with selections from their Mini Indulgences for dessert.  The meal was just right – very tasty and just the right amount of food so we didn’t end up with an uncomfortable food-baby feeling on the way home.

I must point out that the meal I enjoyed at lunch with my dear friend last week (the Maui Tuna Crunch Salad) really rocked my world too – and I can’t wait to have it again!  The presentation was a lot of fun – they deliver an empty plate and the salad comes in a big hurricane-style plastic container and then they “release” the salad slowly from its confinement to fall onto your plate in front of you.  Very nice.  I wanted to clap or something.

Maui Crunch Tuna Salad

While dining at Seasons 52 is not a cheap meal, it also wasn’t as pricey as we had expected so we were very happy to see when the bill arrived that it was a good $20 – $30 less than anticipated.  By Bethesda standards, it was downright affordable.

I may not have much in the coming weeks to say about other restaurants in the area because frankly, I’m kinda hooked on Seasons 52!  Lunch anyone?     ~Amy

Day 17: BYOB Bethesda – Bring Your Own Bag…or Pay the Tax!

Buy One Get One Free Bags at Giant

This evening, after a nice long, relaxing walk on the Capital Crescent Trail in nearly 60 degree weather, I went to GIANT® Food Stores on Westbard.  My mouth was watering thinking about eating dinner after that nice long walk – never a good time to go shopping!

I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed my reusable grocery bags.  I have been trying to use them faithfully for months.  As I started walking towards the door to the store, I noticed that the crowded parking lot was filled with all kinds of people carrying in and out reusable grocery bags.  It made me smile as it dawned on me that the new 5 cent bag tax that went into effect on January 1st had truly made its impact on a critical mass!

Montgomery County Bag Tax

I saw one man in his nicely tailored suit (probably a lawyer – everyone in Bethesda is a lawyer) exit his car with one solitary bag in hand that he neatly folded as he walked toward the store.  I thought to myself, “5 cents means that much to you, huh?”  I wondered whether he used to carry in that bag before the tax came into effect or is he responding like so many others to the fact that a tax – even 5 cents – will be avoided at all costs!

As I walked through the store aisles I realized that almost without fail the shoppers had their bags in hand – some were nice canvas ones; others were paper shopping bags from department stores; still others were your garden-variety grocery store bags.  The age of the shopper didn’t seem to matter either – I saw a teenage boy carrying one.

The bag tax in Montgomery County came into effect on January 1, 2012 with the primary goal of reducing pollution in local streams and stormwater.  Apparently the plastic bags are one of the most common items to litter our local waterways. In addition to reducing pollution by encouraging the use of reusable bags, the County will also raise funds from the 5 cent tax towards a water quality protection fund.  They expect to raise roughly $1.5 million dollars in the first year.  I guess 5 cents adds up!

Apparently, Bethesda residents agree that the tax adds up as they carry bags with them everywhere they go.  As a self-professed “Greenie” I am very happy to see this new habit developing in our town.  However, even I was caught off guard at subway®  restaurant recently when I was asked whether I wanted a bag or wanted to pay 5 cents for one.  My knee-jerk reaction was, “What?  I can’t just have a bag here anymore?”  But then the Greenie in me kicked in and I just decided to carry my sandwich in its wrap and try not to drop the napkin.  We are not just talking about grocery store bags folks.  Any carry out bag – department store, grocery store, sandwich shop, etc. is included.  According to a January 2nd article in The Huffington Post “It does not, however, apply to bags for prescription drugs, newspapers, garbage, pet waste, yard waste, restaurant leftovers and good[s] purchased at farmers markets.” 

You know what’s next don’t you?  These bags will become a fashion statement and people will be paying big bucks for GUCCI® and Coach™ grocery bags.  It’s only a matter of time!  You know you want one!     ~Amy

Day 8: The Sunday Snapshot, Bethesda Real Estate

Each year we review statistics on Bethesda Real Estate to track trends and keep up with the appreciation, or rarely, depreciation of the home values in Bethesda.

I have good news to report.  For the second year in a row Bethesda real estate home values have increased. 

In 2011, seven hundred detached homes were sold at an average price of  $983,721 an increase in value of 3.5%, or increase of $33,057.

Since 2009 home values have increased over $60,000, or an increase of nearly 6.5%.  I’ve had prospective purchasers tell me at open houses that they “are waiting until the market reaches the bottom” before purchasing.  They often surprised when I tell them that the real estate “train has already left the station.”The chart at right depicts the 10-year price performance of the Bethesda real estate market for detached homes (zip codes 20814, 20816, 20817).  As you can see if we keep up the same pace we should eclipse Bethesda’s all-time high by the end of 2013!

It’s been widely reported that Bethesda is one of America’s most highly educated towns and that may explain why real estate is performing so well here.  Our residents understand that we are experiencing a period of abnormally low-interest rates and the cost of buying a home has never been more affordable.  The chart at right shows the average rate of interest charged on 30-year conforming loans (loans currently at or below $417,000) since 1980.

In 2011 the average interest rate for a 30-year conforming loan for the year was 4.45% (as of December the rate had dipped to the lowest point EVER! at 3.96%).  The 15-year rates fell to 3.25% in December!  Rates are now less than half the average rate over the last 20 years!  The smart money here in town knows this won’t last forever so they are taking advantage of these historically low rates and locking in for the long-haul.  There are many economists that believe that 30 year fixed-rate loans may become a thing of the past (due to the risks involved to investors) and these loans will no longer be made available.  The point I’m making here is that now is the time to borrow money (if you can afford it of course) and leverage your housing investment.

Amy and I are looking forward to another exciting and challenging year helping Bethesda residents buy and sell their homes! Today is Sunday January 8, “Playoff Weekend”, and Amy’s beloved Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Denver Broncos -the AFC’s most unusual wildcard team.  Go Steelers! (hey I gotta root for my gal’s team if the ‘skins are out!) ~Brian

Day 7: The sweet smell of Crêpes on a warm night

Rita's Crêpes

I first noticed Rita’s Crêpes a couple of years ago in one of the small kiosks located near Mon Ami Gabi and the Bethesda Row Cinema.  Tonight, with the afterglow of amazing January temperatures in the mid 60’s today, my nose reminded me of Rita’s Crepes as the sweet smell of fresh crêpes filled the air along Woodmont Avenue.  The stand was very busy as people lined up to enjoy all this unique Bethesda food business has to offer.

The origin of Crêpes is French and involves pouring specially prepared batter onto a hot frying pan and essentially making a very thin pancake.  They are delicious plain with a little butter but most people enjoy them filled or topped with a wide range of ingredients.  Rita’s crêperie features ten sweet toppings and fillings including an old standby –cinnamon and brown sugar– to the more exotic Tea with the Queen (Latifa) that includes Apricot preserves, peaches and cinammon sugar and walnuts.  Bethesda Patch had a nice profile on this business just a few weeks ago and I always love to hear what motivates someone to strike out on their own and start a business.  In the Patch post the owner Rita Douglass talks about her European roots and how the small stand, and it’s growing popularity, is really a reflection of her love of Crêpes and a taste from “back home” (she used to work at a Crêpe restaurant in Germany).  She is just another example of the amazing entrepreneurial spirit you find around Bethesda.

Rita at work

Tonight a warm Crêpe and the gentle aroma of butter were the perfect compliment to the unusually warm weather we’ve had this year.  One of my least favorite seasons in Bethesda is winter so I have to ask myself after a day like today,  “Is global warming really so bad?” 🙂 ~Brian

Day 365: A New Year of Bethesda 365?


Amy:   Hey Brian, when we started Bethesda365 on January 1st of 2011, we never knew how much we would enjoy getting to know some of the interesting people, places and things about our town, huh?  What stood out most for you?

Brian:  I’ve lived in the Bethesda area practically all my life and what stands out the most for me are the posts we did regarding the history of our town.  For example, the Madonna of the Trail post and the Farm Women’s Market are two that really made an impression.  Our town today is a product of that history.  What stands out for you?

Amy: I really enjoyed the “history lesson” too but for me, the most surprising part of the experience was the entrepreneurial spirit of the people in this town.  The Farm Women had it and it is evident in the enterprising minds of today’s business owners like Seth’s Honest Tea, Robert’s Mussel Bar and Francis’ Cork57 and Food and Wine Co., among many others.  The everyday people of Bethesda are pretty amazing too – take for example the average Housewives of Bethesda!  Remember that?

Brian: My favorite blog posts developed organically from the things we were doing, seeing and enjoying.  One of our most popular blogs was the one on Montgomery Mall – Mall Monkey Business and the Finger Lickin’ Good Ribs about the rib joint on Old Georgetown Road.  I also found Bethesda365 taking me out of my comfort zone and the well-worn paths I have travelled over the years to discover new things right in my own backyard like Maryland’s first solar power pole.  So now that the year has ended Amy what’s next for Bethesda365?

Amy: Let’s be candid here.  We INTENDED to blog every day for 365 days (Get it? Bethesda 365!) but we didn’t quite meet that goal.  However, we did complete over 225 blog entries and had over 21,000 visitors to our site in our first year. Plus, we had a damn good time doing it!  So what do you say Brian, shall we keep going for another 365 days?

Brian:  Absolutely!  One of our objectives with the blog was to create a body of information about our town that residents and newcomers could tap into to explore all the great things about Bethesda that we enjoy.  To that end we were successful but there is still more to discover and share.

Amy: So true!  I have some ideas!  (Wink!) So partner, I propose a toast!  To a new year of Bethesda365 and the good eats, great people and interesting experiences that are surely in store! 

Brian:  Could we call it Bethesda100? 🙂

Amy:     😛