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?

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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.

crabs at captain james

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!

nap with dog

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!!

Weekend Recap: Baseball, Beauty, and the Beast

Hallelujah! This past weekend kicked off with some sunshine! After 15 consecutive days of rain, I think the whole city was celebrating on Friday. The best way to take advantage of a beautiful Friday night? With a little baseball! (And speaking of streaks, we O’s had 7 wins in a row before a tough loss on Sunday.) We followed Jeanette’s advice on how to save money at Camden Yards and picked up subs from Jimmy Johns to eat at the game. Subs + two $1 bottles of water on the way in meant more cash money to spend on those expensive ballpark beers. We were sitting on the 3rd base side near the visitors’ dugout and were surrounded by Detroit fans who were all very friendly and having a good time. The O’s won (woohoo!) and they had a fireworks show after the game.

Saturday and Sunday were both jam packed and started with early wake ups. Saturday morning I walked into Fed for coffee and a manicure then went straight to the gym to get in a quick work out. Since it was another beautiful, warm, sunny day Jeanette and I decided to take advantage and walk across town to get lunch. After hearing a lot of buzz about Ekiben, we were dying to try it and it lived up to the hype. I’ll let Jeanette fill you in on the details in another post, but let’s just say I am PUMPED to eat my leftovers for lunch today. After lunch we walked back making a few stops along the way and spending some time sitting outside Starbucks enjoying the sunshine and some iced coffee. We got home right before rain came back with a vengeance and spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on Jane the Virgin.

Luckily, the rain cleared by evening since Adam and I had a date night planned. We had a reservation at Ale Wife for dinner before seeing Beauty and the Beast at the Hippodrome. Definitely, definitely make a reservation if you’re planning to grab a bite before a show. We heard them quote people a 2 hour wait and there aren’t a lot of good food options near the theater so if you can’t get in somewhere you are out of luck. The menu at Ale Wife had changed since the last time we were there and I tried a new option for my meal – the grilled ham and pimento cheese sandwich with collard greens while Adam has the roast chicken. I was really feeling a glass of wine, but unfortunately the only option was a sauvignon blanc…I know it’s a beer bar but I expect every place to have at least a few bottles of wine on hand! I opted for their margarita instead which was light and refreshing.

The show was good, but not one of my favorites. It was definitely more geared toward kids than other shows I’ve seen (I know, I knew what I was getting myself into with Beauty and the Beast, but I saw Cinderella on Broadway and didn’t feel the same way!). The actress playing Mrs. Potts was awesome and she rocked “A tale as old as time…” Another highlight was seeing all of the little girls in the audience in their princess dresses. So cute!

Beauty and the Beast Hippodrome

Sunday morning we were up early again thanks to the dog deciding he needed to go out at 7am. Since we were already up and at ‘em we decided to make the most of our morning with a trip to the Baltimore Farmer’s Market under the JFX. Since it was our first trip of the season, we took some time to just walk the loop checking out all of the options. We stood in the long line for Zeke’s Coffee – it moved pretty fast – and then got breakfast from the Humpty Dumpty omelet truck. I love that you can choose your omelet fillings and I had sautéed mushrooms, onion, green pepper, sage sausage and monterrey jack cheese.

From there, we headed to the Maryland Zoo to spend some time with my in-laws and baby nephew.  At $18 a person, the zoo is a little pricey. If we had kids, I’d definitely consider getting a family membership. Even though it was chilly, we had a great time walking through the zoo and seeing all the animals. Jackson seemed to especially enjoy the giraffes and flamingoes. My fave were the prairie dogs. J After a few hours at the zoo, we were hungry again and went to Johnny’s for a quick lunch. I had a veggie wrap that was delicious and we were all impressed with how kid-friendly the restaurant was.

maryland zoo prairie dogs

Sunday afternoon, we took the dog on a long walk to Federal Hill and picked up Mi & Yu ramen bowls for dinner on the way home. Can’t get enough of that ramen!!

Jack Dog Walk Federal Hill

How was your weekend? Did you take advantage of the sunshine?

Three Day Weekend Update

Winter weather is settling in for good which made the perfect backdrop for an extra lazy three day weekend. I ran some errands, had some good food, celebrated my nephew’s first birthday and spent more time than usual watching movies and TV. I think Jack in particular enjoyed the extra couch time

Friday night, Adam and I walked over to Harbor East and had a quick bite at Bagby Pizza Co. before seeing the Big Short. We’d never been to Bagby before, but it was the perfect date night spot before the movie. We split a chopped salad chock full of veggies and a chicken basil pesto pizza. Both were delicious – the pizza was particularly good with a thin crust and gooey melted cheese. Plus it was super affordable (hellooo $6 pinot grigio) which is definitely a plus.

The Big Short was also really good making our date night a success! And after seeing Room on Sunday night, I have officially seen two of the eight best picture Oscar nominees and I hope to see a couple more before the awards show on February 28. Room was super intense and the acting from both Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay was outstanding. I’d also recommend the book which they did a great job adapting for the movie. The book obviously goes a lot more in-depth into everything and it’s really interesting seeing how everything unfolds from the little boy’s point of view.

On Sunday, we went to my nephew’s first birthday party. I can’t believe he is already a year old – that is crazy! He was such a good sport and wore a little birthday hat while we all sang “Happy Birthday” which was so stinking cute. My sister-in-law also put out a fantastic spread of Greek food which was a big hit. And how adorable is that cake?

Other weekend highlights included coffee at 3 Bean Coffee and lunch at Victoria Gastro Pub. I also finished the first season of Jane the Virgin on Netflix – have any of you watched it? I started right before New Year’s and couldn’t stop watching. The story has me hooked and I am obsessed with the clothes. All the characters are so stylish!

Have you seen any of the Best Picture nominees?

What did you do this weekend?

 

Lazy Sunday

Sometimes you just need a lazy Sunday with no plans – especially when you spend all day Saturday at a homecoming tailgate. Yesterday was just the right mix of productive, relaxing and social. It was the perfect way to close out the weekend and start the work week off on the right foot.

Starbucks Holiday Cups Coffee

These are my favorite ways to enjoy a lazy Sunday:

  • Stop and savor your morning coffee. Adam and I walked to Starbucks and sat inside with our coffees and breakfast. It was the perfect relaxing start to the day.
  • Check a few items off your to do list. We finally dropped off our wedding Ketubah to be framed and popped into Old Navy (where I got this vest and two pairs of pants).
  • Grocery shop with purpose. I usually squeeze in a trip to the grocery store at the tail end of a busy weekend, or even on Monday night, but today I could take my time and actually plan out a couple of new recipes to try this week (like cooking acorn squash for the first time!)
  • Spend some quality time…with your couch. It wouldn’t be a lazy Sunday without some laziness. I spent the afternoon flipping between football and The Proposal. It was “Ladies Love Movies” weekend on CMT and their lineup was fabulous.
  • Get the house in order. I didn’t do much more than a load of laundry and a little straightening, but it was enough to notice and make me feel like I’m going into the work week with a more organized living space.
  • Catch up with friends. I met up with some girlfriends for an early Sunday dinner. It was the perfect time to hang out and still make it home in time to prep today’s lunch and climb into bed early.
  • Reset and recharge for the work week. It’s just as important to be mentally prepared for the work week as physically prepared. Come Monday morning, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get shit done!