Friday Five: Introducing Maya

Happy Friday! Maya Evelyn arrived almost six weeks ago so I thought it was high time to introduce her to the blogosphere with her very own Friday Five all about Maya and what life has been like since her arrival! 🙂

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  1. Maya was born January 21st at 11:39pm. 7 lbs 12 oz and 19″ long.
  2. Maya was born at University of Maryland Medical Center and throughout my pregnancy I saw the Ob/Gyn practice at Redwood associated with the hospital. I thought all of the doctors and nurses were fabulous through pregnancy, labor, delivery and our four night stay at the hospital. UMMC also offers a number of classes of which we took advantage: birthing class, breast feeding and newborn care + infant CPR. As first time parents these classes were a huge help and taught us so much!
  3. Maya came out with a full head of hair that she still has six weeks later! Newborns often lose their hair and it can grow back a totally different color or texture so that is what we expected to happen. Nope, still has her lovely brown locks. maya-one-month
  4. Being a new mom is hard. Learning to adjust to life with an infant is definitely a challenge – what with not sleeping, breastfeeding, worrying about the little one, recovering from a c-section, and riding a hormone-induced emotional roller coaster. Around week five I felt like I finally got my footing and things became a little easier, but every day brings new curve balls and of course new joys because Maya is the cutest, snuggliest little thing.
  5. Mom and dad have been living off of carry out, delivery and meals dropped off by friends and family. We are so grateful to everyone who has been looking after us and making sure we eat! We’ve been dining on Honeygrow, Samos, Mi & Yu, Nalley Fresh and burgers from Mother’s (thanks to Amazon delivery!). We’ve made one attempt at dinner out with the little one – we made it through salad and bread at Brendali before packing up our entrees to eat at home.  We are excited to get back to some of our Baltimore favorites!

Mostly, I feel so lucky to be Maya’s mom and can’t wait to take part in some of the activities and resources available to moms in the city!

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2016 Year in Review

Happy New Year, Baltimore! Long time no blog, but in 2017 we will be back at it. To catch up real quick on what’s been going on, I’m here today with a year in review! See what happened in May that temporarily derailed blogging.

January – The first month of 2016 was bookended by travel – in early January, Adam and I spent a few days in Miami and at the end of the month I met my bff in Nashville for the NHL All-Star Game. Nashville is such a fun city and even though I was there for work, we managed to squeeze in some fun. Both the skills challenge and all-star game were a blast and Jessie and I snagged a pic with the Stanley Cup.

February – We celebrated Valentine’s Weekend with dinner at Brendali , made the trip to College Park to watch the Terps lose to Wisconsin and had a Galentine’s Day lunch at Cheesecake Factory. Work travel continued with a trip up to Buffalo for an event with the Sabres. Since it was my first time in Buffalo I had to see Niagara Falls and even though it was absolutely freezing, the falls were gorgeous and so impressive!

March – Obviously I was feeling the travel bug in 2016 because in March I flew to Athens for five amazing days with a couple of my best girlfriends. We ate Greek yogurt and Greek salads with tons of fresh feta, souvlaki, spanakopita, moussaka, octopus and it was all fabulous. We rented an AirBnb downtown and walked all over the city from the Acropolis to Lycabettus Hill. We took a ferry to nearby Aegina and rented a car to spend the day exploring. The whole trip was super affordable and we felt so welcomed by all of the Greeks that we met. Every morning we made a pit stop at Coffee Island (a coffee chain that’s probably the Greek equivalent to Dunkin’ Donuts) for frappes – an icy, sweet drink made with Nescafe instant coffee that I wish I could find in the US! Greece was clearly my March highlight, but I also did some fun things when I got back in town: Jeanette and I ran the Shamrock 5k and had a great time at Light City and Adam and I celebrated our first anniversary!

April – Since apparently I can’t stay in one place for too long, I flew to Chicago for a night in April for a Chicago Blackhawks game for work. The rest of the month was spent in Baltimore, celebrating Jeanette’s birthday and running my first 10k – the Sole of the City – completing one of my goals for 2016.

May – We packed a lot into May, we celebrated Mother’s Day, made a trip to the Maryland Zoo, saw Beauty and the Beast at the Hippodrome, and had friends over to watch the Preakness.  But, this particular May will go down in history as the month we found out we were expecting!

June – Most of the summer was a blur of morning sickness and exhaustion, but in June I celebrated the wedding of Adam’s cousin, ran walked the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5 and had a staycation at the Hyatt. June also marked the final blog post of the year because let me tell you, pregnancy is no joke and making it to work and home to bed was pretty much all I could manage.

July – Still not feeling so hot, but spent a week in Chicago for work including an afternoon of sightseeing in Millennium Park and dinner at Shaw’s Crab House. We also celebrated the wedding of friends at the Sheraton Baltimore. The ceremony was beautiful and we had a blast dancing and taking pics in the photo booth.

August – In August, we spent a week at the Outer Banks with my mom, soaking up the sun, drooling over Duck Donuts and playing miniature golf. We also spent a long weekend with Adam’s cousin and her boyf in Ocean City. People usually knock beach food, but we had a great dinner at Liquid Assets.

September – Back  to the beach, this time to Bethany with Adam’s family. We ate at Off the Hook (my fave kale caesar with a crab cake) and played more mini golf. Later in September, I celebrated my birthday with a few friends at Brendali followed by froyo at Afters. Brendali – with it’s no frills look and delicious food – was perfect for a festive group, especially since it is BYOB.

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October – The month of falltivities: Renaissance Festival, Larriland Farm and my cousin’s gorgeous fall wedding at the Homestead. I also spent a week in Houston for work and was finally feeling completely over morning sickness!

November – Celebrated Adam’s birthday with an amazing dinner at Charleston and spent a weekend in DC for a little baby moon. We stayed at a Marriott downtown and enjoyed great dinners at Zaytinya and Le Diplomate. We also made our first trip to the Newseum and to the famed Daikaya for ramen. We enjoyed Thanksgiving with Adam’s family and by the end of the month I had sort of almost recovered from the shock of the election.

December – Another busy month to close out the year! A weekend of showers with a bridal shower for one friend and a baby shower for another, two Terps games, a festive Christmas Eve dinner at Grano Emporio,  a visit to 34th Street in Hampden to see the lights and New Year’s dinner at Sobo Cafe.

And now here we are, January 2017 and baby due in three weeks! Hoping we won’t go silent for another six months and we’ll be able to update you all on our escapades in our favorite city.

Best wishes to everyone for an amazing year!

Weekend Recap: Staycation

This weekend was fun and BUSY. My bff since first grade came to visit from New York and we had a blast with a mini-Baltimore staycation. We did a staycation in DC last summer, and followed the same pattern this year by choosing a hotel with a rooftop pool. Backing up a bit, Friday night was low key with a frozen chicken parm meal from Trinacria. Saturday morning I woke up early for a mani/pedi followed by my favorite gyro salad for lunch at Samos before picking up my visiting bff from the bus station.

Then the real fun began as we checked into our room at the Hyatt Regency. This hotel was definitely a bit of a splurge, but worth it for the outdoor pool and location. We quickly changed into our swimsuits and headed to the pool deck to post up for the afternoon. The pool was small but perfect for our needs and surrounded by lots of comfy couches and lounge chairs. The view of the harbor was awesome and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the sunshine alternating between soaking in the pool, laying out and sipping bay breezes.

After a few hours by the pool we were craving Mexican food and ended up at Blue Agave for guac and enchiladas. Following dinner we ended up back on the Hyatt pool deck for s’mores at the fire pit! We bought a s’mores kit at the front desk complete with graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate and a long stick for marshmallow roasting. It was a gorgeous night and we has a blast acting like kids and setting our marshmallows on fire. I can’t remember the last time I had a s’more and it was delicious.

Saturday morning we woke up early for the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k.  I ran the race last year and was excited to participate again. It was another great experience and we enjoyed the supportive, inspiring feeling that comes from a women-only race. It was a HOT morning and we certainly worked up a sweat during the race. After the race we went back to the hotel for much-needed showers and checked out before post-race refueling brunch at Metropolitan. I ordered a croissant sandwich with egg, cheese and turkey sausage that hit the spot!

To cap off the weekend with more eating, we got carry out pasta from Grano. You choose your noodle and you choose your sauce. Hello drool-worthy spaghetti Bolognese, house salad and bread with olive oil.

 

What was the highlight of your weekend? Have you ever done a staycation?

Weekend Recap: Wedding Festivities

This weekend we celebrated the wedding of one of Adam’s cousins to his amazing longtime girlfriend. There were multiple days of celebrations and I enjoyed the opportunity to soak up quality time with Adam’s extended family. I’d say the weekend really kicked off Thursday at lunch when I got this delicious pizza from Blaze. At Blaze they offer a myriad of toppings and let you design your own pie which they then fire in the pizza oven right as you wait. I went pretty simple with red sauce, mozzarella, ricotta and turkey meatball. It was piping hot and oh so yummy.

Blaze Pizza Baltimore Inner Harbor

Keeping in the Italian food theme, Thursday night we headed to Sabatino’s in Little Italy for a wedding welcome dinner. We had private space in their lower level and all enjoyed calamari, sausage and peppers and salad. We were offered a number of entree choices and I opted for the chicken alle marche – rigatoni with chicken, broccoli and alfredo sauce. It was very rich and I brought home enough leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day! It was a fun place to kick-off wedding festivities and welcome all of the out of towners who had traveled in.

Friday was the wedding and I left work early for a blow out at Houte Blow Dry Bar in Harbor East. After a quick blow dry, I left with bouncy waves and went home to change before heading to Belmont Manor Historic Park. The venue was gorgeous and we sipped on strawberry lemonade while we waited for the ceremony to start. After a beautiful ceremony (that included the couples’ dogs), we enjoyed cocktail hour on the lawn and spent the rest of the evening sipping champagne and tearing up the dance floor.

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Saturday we ventured across town to Captain James for a post-wedding crab feast! This was a blast and such a great, relaxed way to see everyone again after the wedding. Our party took over the covered patio overlooking the water and dined on crab soup, steamed corn on the cob and crabs, crabs, crabs. It was so fun to see out of town family trying their hand at cracking crabs and getting a real taste of Baltimore!

After all of that celebrating, I was exhausted and passed out for a nap. Adam snapped a photo of the hilarious way Jack is snoozing with me!

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Sunday we got back together with family for brunch to celebrate all the dads. We noshed on bagels and cream cheese, mini quiches and shrimp cocktail and finished things out with birthday cake for my father-in-law’s bday. We rounded out the weekend with some grocery shopping and ramen and went to bed early!!

A Different Kind of Circus

Last week, one of Cirque du Soleil’s newest shows – TORUK – The First Flight, which was inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar, came to Baltimore! And, we had the chance to not only see the show, but to go backstage earlier in the day and see how the show comes together.

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Personally, this was my sixth Cirque du Soleil show; I just can’t seem to get enough of them, but my first time backstage! However, this one was very different from the other shows I have seen. For the first time in Cirque history, this show has an English narrator and is more about telling a story than simply showing the crowd amazing acrobatics. Don’t get me wrong, the acrobatics we have come to love are still there throughout the show, but this time, the main purpose of the show is to follow three main characters on a journey in an attempt to unite five clans in order to save their population.

TORUK – The First Flight is set as a prequel to James Cameron’s Avatar and showcases some new characters who Cameron himself approved and noted that the audience might meet again in future Avatar installments.

The show is one of the largest sets in Cirque history and uses more technology than your average Cirque show, as well. In the afternoon, we got to see the artists preparing for the evening event and the stage set in its raw form.

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By the time that we arrived for the evening performance, the set had been completely transformed with the use of video mapping and projection. Through this technology, the team was able to change the setting of the story throughout the world of Pandora without ever changing the physical stage set. The lighting and projection were spectacular and really made the audience feel as if they were part of the show. To incorporate the audience even more, the show has an app, and all audience members are encouraged to download it and participate with their phones at various points throughout the show.

Overall, the whole experience was fun and new, and definitely something that I would recommend for a family outing. I cannot wait until the next Cirque du Soleil production rolls into Baltimore!

Disclaimer: Guest post by Brittany Vanderpool. We received two complimentary tickets to attend the show as well as the behind the scenes tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.