Weekend Recap: lights and animals!

This was a busy weekend. I thought last weekend was busy but this one might have it beat. It was a great mix of adult fun and kiddo fun and spending time with friends and family.

Friday night I picked up carry out from Samos on my way home from work. We had gyro salads with my mom and Maya and then once Maya went to bed, Adam and I returned to Baltimore to check out Light City! We are big fans of the light and arts festival and loved strolling over to check it out when we lived just a couple blocks away. This year it took a bit more planning but we made it! We walked around with Jeanette and K, tried the signature whiskey cocktail and took in the cool exhibits and festive atmosphere. It is so nice to see crowds in the Inner Harbor on a Friday night: families, dogs, young people and old all having a good time. Hooray for Baltimore!

Saturday morning we all slept in a bit before dashing out of the house for a morning gymboree class. Maya was 15 months old yesterday and just moved up to level 4 at gymbo (16-22mos). She’s a super active and comfortable walker and fit in great with the other little girls in class.

My mom stuck around on Saturday which meant I could get my grocery shopping done during Maya’s nap. Once she was back up and we’d eaten lunch, we visited Clark’s Elioak Farm. The farm was awesome! It was a beautiful day and Maya loved seeing all the animals! Entry was $6/person for anyone over one year old and that got you access to the grounds to see all the animals – feed and pet the goats – and see pigs, donkey, emu, horses, turkeys, rabbits etc. Big Red Barn is one of Maya’s favorite books and she loves all animals so she was very interested in everything…and also interested in picking up sticks and hay of course. There is also tons of little playground areas on the farm and Maya spent some time climbing and going down a fast slide shaped like a mouse and cheese. You can also pay a little extra to go on a hay ride or train ride.

Saturday night we took my mom to dinner at Woodberry Kitchen. She had been wanting to try it and we wanted to show are appreciate for everything she does for Maya! The food was outstanding but our waiter had a little too much personality and the kitchen was backed up all night. We were enjoying the food, drink and company but they ended up comping our dessert and we noticed them doing damage control with a few nearby tables as well. I guess even the best restaurants can have an off night! But anyway, back to the delicious food…

After sipping on a fruity vodka cocktail, we started with the meatballs and the fried oysters both of which were delicious. The oysters were cooked perfectly- plenty of soft and gooey oyster flavor and not overwhelmed by the breading. My mom and Adam also shared the chicken liver spread which Adam raved about.

For my main dish I had the lamb shank which I loved. I really enjoy the taste of lamb and never make it at home so it is something I frequently try at nice restaurants. It came with a wheat berry side dish that I could take or leave but the meat itself was excellent.

For dessert we shared the peach cobbler which came with a small scoop of ice cream. It was the perfect sweet and juicy dessert!

Sunday afternoon Adam went to the O’s game and Maya and I met a friend at Sweetgreen in Bethesda. The weather was perfect so we followed up lunch with a long walk and a stop at a nearby playground.

Now I am watching the Wizards win their playoff game and getting ready for the week ahead!

How was your weekend?

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Weekend Recap (Shamrock 5k)

My big takeaway from this weekend is: I am so ready for warmer weather! Getting the baby all bundled and ready to go out with socks, shoes, and jacket is such a production. I cannot wait for the days where we can just hop outside whenever the mood strikes us. Especially since Maya loves to spot airplanes and every time we hear one overhead she points out the window and says “airpa”!

Aside from spending plenty of time bundling up to leave the house, we did do a few fun things! Saturday morning Maya and I did our grocery shopping before nap time. After nap we went to gymboree for class. Maya clapped along to the songs, played with balls and bubbles, and explored all of the fun stations they had set up for the little ones.

Saturday night, we went out for an early dinner at Clyde’s. They have a surprisingly awesome kids menu so Maya dined on sautéed cod with broccoli and tater tots while I had a Caesar salad with shrimp. The food was good but the highlight of the meal was my guava margarita. It was so nice and refreshing!

Sunday morning we slept in a little bit – thanks daylight savings! – then met a friend for coffee at Mankira Coffee. We had the place mostly to ourselves which was awesome for Maya who enjoyed toddling around the place in between bites of egg, toast and avocado. We sipped pretty lattes and spent a couple hours catching up. It was great!

Sunday afternoon we left Maya with the grandparents and drove into the city for the Shamrock 5k. Jeanette and I ran this race in 2016 and I was excited to run it again. If you’re a casual runner and looking for a good race then I highly recommend this one. It’s a festive atmosphere because it’s run along the route for Baltimore’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and all of the people posted up to watch the parade cheer for the runners. It also starts with an awesome downhill stretch which makes it a pretty fast course. Even though I didn’t feel like I ran particularly well, it was still one of my faster times. Plus this year they gave out race medals for the first time. You know you want that sweet shamrock bling! 😉 After the race we were ready for some lunch and got sandwiches at 101 Deli. Adam got his with roasted Brussels sprouts that were really tasty!

I wrapped up the weekend by seeing A Wrinkle in Time which was awesome. The Reese/Mindy/Oprah trifecta have been hyping this movie A LOT but I think it lives up to it. For fans of the book, it stayed true to the story but having read the book isn’t necessary to understand the movie. I was most enamored with the outfits of the Misses (can I get that Mrs. Whatsit dress please?) and the acting of the little boy who played Charles Wallace.

All in all it was a busy and fun weekend. What were you up to? Have you seen A Wrinkle in Time?

Weekend Recap: Gymboree and Bakery

We had a weekend that was simultaneously relaxing and productive with just the right about of plans. We shifted Maya’s bedtime back about thirty minutes so now we have an early dinner together as a family every night before she goes to sleep. She is still sleeping about 7:30pm-7:30am which is incredible but has me feeling very nervous about how that will be affected my daylight savings time next week. Any suggestions on how to handle? I’ve heard it can really mess with toddler sleep!

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Friday night I picked up Peruvian chicken on my way home from work. The chicken was super juicy and Maya loved it. She is really into proteins: chicken, salmon, pulled pork etc. She rounded out her meal with rice & beans and broccoli and we had yucca fries as well.

Saturday morning we took another family trip to Wegmans and got our shopping done for the week. After Maya’s morning nap we went to class at Gymboree and picked up some things at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Maya LOVES Gymboree class and enjoyed an hour of singing, climbing and exploring the various stations they had set up. She loves Gymbo, the Gymboree clown, and several times a class makes a beeline for where they keep the big clown doll.

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Saturday night we went out to an early dinner at Hickory Ridge Grill. At 5:30pm the place was packed with families with young kids so Maya fit right in. We read books until our gyro, souvlaki and chicken tenders arrived.

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Sunday morning I made a frittata and Adam’s brother came over with his two kids. Then after Maya’s morning nap we ventured out to the library and on our way popped into a bakery in Ellicott City. Tous Les Jours is apparently a chain with many locations, but I had never heard of it.

Tous Les Jours is described as a French-Asian bakery and had a ton of amazing pastries and breads on display. You grab a tray and tongs and select all of the pieces you want before bringing them over to the check out. I loved taking a look at all of the delicious-looking choices and managed to select a couple of them while wrangling an active Maya. I also got a black milk tea bubble tea. It was so fun and the treats we got were delicious – I can’t wait to go back!

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After our bakery and library date I brought Maya back home for a nap before heading out to Lake Kittamaqundi for a run. I’ve been in some intense fitbit challenges with my friends and it’s been very motivating! Sunday night I met up with some girlfriends for our annual Oscar party and we enjoyed a Greek food themed potluck. We all loved Allison Janney and her dress and were split on Nicole Kidman’s bow (I liked it!). The only movie I had seen was Lady Bird but still enjoyed watched the first half of the show…before heading home and straight to bed!

How was your weekend?

Do you watch the Academy Awards?

 

Weekend Recap: Dinner Date and Costco

Ahh a relaxing weekend with the right amount of time spent out and about and chilling at home. Friday night we had sushi and chicken teriyaki from Sushi Sono. Maya has been going to be a little later lately (7:30pm rather than the 6:30-7pm that had been her bedtime for months) so now we’ve started having dinner as a family before putting her down to sleep. Maya loved the chicken and rice along with some broccoli and oranges. We loved the salmon avocado roll and a chef’s special roll with tempura shrimp, Japanese squash, spicy tuna and tempura flakes.

Saturday morning the whole fam headed to Wegmans for breakfast, coffee and grocery shopping. If you’re going to Wegmans, you gotta go early – the place turns into a zoo later in the day on weekends. The store was already much more crowded by the time we wrapped up. We got our shopping for the week and Maya picked out a book with a lion on the cover…her favorite word right now is “Yion!!”

Once we were back home, Maya went down for a nap and I set to work making nachos. We had friends over around noon to watch the Maryland basketball game and munched on nachos with all the fixings – cheese, salsa, sour cream, corn, black beans, tomatoes, onion, shredded lettuce, and avocado + ground turkey taco meat. The game was awful, but the nachos were delicious and Maya was very entertaining. After Maryland lost and our guests left, we took Maya for a walk around the neighborhood stopping to point out airplanes and to keep her from picking up sticks and putting them in her mouth.

Saturday night, Bubby came over to babysit and Adam and I went to Alma Cocina Latina for date night.   We had a fabulous time and I’ll recap our meal in a post later this week! There’s a sneak peak of the tuna and salmon tartare that tasted so fresh and incredible.

Sunday morning started with an early, rainy run followed by a much needed shower. Once Maya was up we had eggs and hash browns for breakfast before settling in for an episode of Sesame Street. During Maya’s morning nap, I meal prepped for the week by cooking up a big batch of chicken thighs and chopping onion, cabbage and portobello mushrooms. For lunch I had a chicken salad platter and a iced vanilla latte from Mad City.

Our big plan for Sunday afternoon was a trip to Costco to get a membership. After reading a lengthy discussion in one of the mom facebook groups I am in, it seemed like the general consensus was that if you have enough storage space to stock up on cleaning supplies and non-perishables, then Costco was worth it. Since our new house has a great bit of storage in the laundry room, we decided it was worth it to fully live our best suburban life and become members. Of course Costco was packed but we manage to navigate the huge store and grab a few before heading back home. Anyone have tips on best things to buy at Costco?

Maya looks so tiny in the giant cart!

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?