Dec 142017
 

It’s beginning to look feel a lot like Christmas…

Phew! It’s finally getting cold around these parts! Brrrr! I kind of like it though – it makes me feel more festive and ready for the holidays!

How are you guys doing today? It’s been forever since I wrote more than two words about food and fitness, so I’m planning to share an update on that with you today.

But first, did I ever show you our tree this year? Fabio and I picked it up from Home Depot after work last Monday. We’ve learned that all the tree places near us are totally swamped on weekends in December and sell out of most of their trees, so last year we bought our tree on a weeknight and had much better luck. We tried the same thing this year, and practically had the place to ourselves! I think we have a new tradition on our hands, at least for now.

When we set up it up and started decorating, I was thrilled to see that Elf was playing on Freeform (anyone else still think of it as ABC Family?).

Woohoo–my favorite Christmas movie! (Home Alone is my second fav, followed by the original cartoon version of The Grinch).

While I put the lights and the ribbon on, Fabio headed outside to do our outdoor decorations. We keep things pretty simple outside – just some candles and wreaths in the windows, and white lights outlining the door with a white star on top. (The light-up star and lights were given to us by my grandparents  last year – hooray for free decorations!)

When Fabio came back inside, we finished decorating the tree together. I always wait for him to do the ornaments since we always buy an ornament when we travel, and each Christmas we have a blast looking back at old ones and reminiscing about past trips. We had a new one for Thailand this year, plus a few “just married” ones!

I think our other decorations look pretty cute too – we have a fun, red sequin “Holly Jolly” pillow, and our little bar area is decked out in “snow” and nutcrackers.

There’s also a string of battery-operated thin white lights hung across this area, which unfortunately you can’t see here. They’re super cute though!

Ok so, now that I’ve blabbered on about the holidays, let’s talk food and fitness!

As far as workouts go, I’ve still been chugging along with ClassPass, though I’ve been thinking a bit about switching up my plan. I’ve really been loving Orange Theory lately, and I’ve found that for the last two months I haven’t been used up all my CP classes. Plus CP is beta testing a new “credits” format, which I’m still trying to figure out if I like. Anyone else on the new credits plan?

For now though, I’m still putting CP to good use with classes at Urban Athletic Club, BodyMass Gym, Definitions, and Biker Barre. Speaking of Urban Athletic Club, the Georgetown location is closing this weekend! We’ve been going there for years, and it’s hard to believe we won’t be going back there anymore. I’m sure we’ll still visit the Glover Park and Shaw locations though, which we’ve been going to a bit more lately.

Now that Anne has had her baby, Kathleen and I are going to classes just the two of us. We miss Anne and can’t wait to have her back, but I’m so lucky that I still have a solid workout buddy!

I’m currently averaging around 3 classes per week with a couple of runs with Jack thrown in between, and I’m feeling like that’s a decent enough amount for right now.

As far as food goes…well, I could be doing better. I feel like I always gain weight around this time of year – it starts with my birthday in late September, then I eat candy around Halloween, then it’s Thanksgiving, and then the treats really come around during the holidays. My work environment is the worst for trying to make good food choices too – every day there are new treats to enjoy.

In theory, I should pick and choose what to splurge on and only enjoy the items that I decide are worth it. But something about sitting at my desk (feeling bored, most likely) and knowing there are delicious brownies, cookies, bagels, and pie available for at any point really tests my willpower. I know it’s not a huge deal if I eat treats here and there, but every day for the whole month of December is a problem (for me).

But it is what it is, and if I eat too much I just try to do better the next day.

Alright – that’s all I have for you guys today! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: How do you handle treats around the holidays?

 Posted by on December 14, 2017
Dec 122017
 

Hey there! Did you have a nice weekend? Ours was really great – and it included the first snow of the season! Here’s a peek at what we were up to.

Friday

After work on Friday, Fabio and I joined our friends Jon and Liz for drinks and dinner at Little Serow! For those who haven’t heard of Little Serow, it’s a popular Thai restaurant in D.C. that usually requires standing in line for a few hours to nab a table. Jon and Liz are going to Thailand for their honeymoon next week, so we thought going to Little Serow to share Thailand tips would be the perfect send-off for them! Jon got in line at around 6 p.m. on Friday, and he was able to get our name down for a 9 p.m. seating.

While we waited for our table, we headed to a nearby Peruvian bar, Nazca Mochica for cocktails. The bar had a nice, quiet atmosphere and incredible drinks. I started off with a rosemary and beet concoction (!!) and then got a spicy cucumber drink. Yummmm.

Before long, our table was ready!

You don’t order anything off the menu at Little Serow – they just bring a bunch of stuff to your table and tell you what everything is. At first I was confused by this basket of (beautifully cut) raw veggies, but once I tasted how spicy some of the other dishes were I understood their purpose. 😉

I do enjoy spicy food so the heat wasn’t too big of a deal, and the waiter did a good job at alerting us to the dishes that were more on the spicy side. One of the spiciest (but tastiest) dishes we had was this amazing ground duck course, and my other favorites were probably the sticky rice “tater tots” and the tom kha soup. Yum! These buttery mushroom topped with a runny fried egg were also quite delicious.

And Fabio and I were excited to see our favorite Thai beer, Singha on the menu!

It was such a great night out, and I left feeling so thankful for these great friends. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how their trip goes!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we woke up to snow! Fabio and I suited up and took Jack to the park, and it was quite fun being out with all the snowflakes blowing around. (This picture was taken when the snow had just started, and though nothing stuck to the roads or sidewalks, we wound up getting a decent amount on the grass by the end of the day.)

We let Jack off his leash to run around a bit in the field, and two other dogs showed up to run with him! Before we knew it, we had an impromptu doggy play date! 🙂

Once we returned home, Fabio and I headed out for a late breakfast/early lunch at our favorite local cafe, Northside Social. Two large lattes, please! 🙂

For my breakfast, I got the smoked salmon breakfast sandwich with a perfectly poached egg on top. Yum!

After that, Fabio and I headed home to snuggle on the couch and watch TV by the fire. It was so cozy with the snow falling!

Later in the afternoon, Fabio headed out to meet up with his friends for a Christmas party in Baltimore (he spent the night there) and I got all of our Christmas shopping done and even got some gifts wrapped. Phew! It was a productive afternoon.

In the evening I had some leftovers for dinner and then wound up switching between reading Bon Appetit magazine (I recently subscribed since I love their podcast so much) and watching The Santa Clause on Freeform. I love that movie! (And all the holiday Freeform movies.)

I was in bed nice and early with my book (I’m currently reading Ken Follet’s A Column of Fire and it is SO good!), so basically, I had the perfect Saturday night. (Except I missed my hubby, of course!)

Sunday

Fabio arrived back at home by 9 a.m., and then we were off to my dad’s house! As you guys know, my little sister (technically my half-sister) is 12 years old now, and for Christmas this year she asked for stuff to redo her bedroom and bathroom. I can totally remember being that age where you are tired of your “kid” stuff, so for her Christmas gift we decided to outfit her with a bunch of new stuff for her bedroom and bathroom including a new headboard and shower curtain, and then spend some time over at their house helping her update everything.

Once we arrived, we spent our whole day emptying out cabinets, cleaning drawers, scrubbing the tub, making piles for donations and trash, and just basically fixing everything up in the bathroom. It wound up taking the whole day, but it looked like a brand new bathroom by the time we were done! My sister seemed super excited when we left (apparently she went upstairs to try out the shower immediately), even though we didn’t get much done in her bedroom and will have to go back another day for that.

We did get the Christmas tree decorated at my dad’s house before we headed back home, so I would definitely call it another productive day!

Fabio and I arrived back at home at around 8:30, which was just enough time for me to prep a bit for the week ahead and read approximately 4.5 pages of my book before my eyes got heavy and I went to sleep.

And there you have it – our productive and fun snowy weekend!

Question of the day: How spicy do you like your food?

 Posted by on December 12, 2017
Dec 072017
 

Hey guys! How are you doing today?

I promised you guys a second post with a recap of the rest of my weekend in New York City, so that’s coming at you today!

Ok so when we last left off, I had just had dinner with my bestie, Bianca! Then on Saturday morning, Fabio and I got ready for the day and headed downtown to meet up with my college girlfriends for a fun gurlay day!

I know I’ve mentioned these girls on the blog a bunch of times before, but for anyone who needs a refresher, there was a group of 8 of us who lived together our senior year of college in a house that we dubbed “Sloppytown” due to our ability to have a really good time. 😉 Our group has now grown a bit to include more of our college girlfriends, and now we call ourselves gurlays! I can’t recall where that name came from, but it stuck!

When we first graduated from college, half of us lived in the DC area and half of us lived in New York, but now we’re pretty much spread out all around the country (and Jess even lives in the Netherlands!). In addition to seeing each other at weddings, we typically try to plan to big events twice a year: One beach weekend in Fire Island, Long Island, and one winter/holiday weekend in NYC.

This weekend was our NYC trip, and it was SO much fun! We started off with a brunch at “6G,” which is an apartment in the East Villiage where my friends Vic, Megan, and Layne have lived for quite some time now. My friend Kristen used to live there too before she moved to Philly! When we arrived, we saw a full bloody merry bar, two kinds of quiches, bagels, donut holes and a delicious French toast bake. I brought some of my favorite Levain cookies for us to share. 🙂 Yum!

We then proceeded to spend many hours hanging out and catching up with one another.

Coincidentally, Kristen and I were wearing matching outfits! 🙂

Ha!

My friend Catrina and her girlfriend Jaclyn were also there–they live in San Diego– and it felt even more special having them in town from so far away. There were also more “men” in attendance this year (in the college days Fabio was the only one!) and I thought it was so cute to see them all huddled in the kitchen chatting.

At one point in the early evening, we attempted to prop my phone up on top of the fridge and use the timer to get a group selfie. It sort of worked…

LOL!

I debated cropping these pictures but I actually decided seeing a see of heads is much funnier. 🙂

Ha!

After brunch, we all headed to the Comedy Cellar, a cool comedy club where sometimes you can see famous comedians perform. My handsome date!

The Comedy Cellar was really fun, and we all laughed a ton! I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for fun things to do in New York, but you have to make reservations a couple of weeks in advance.

After the show, we enjoyed a late dinner at Peking Duck House. We had Chinese food served family-style, and I gobbled up a ton. Yumm.

Then we headed out to some bars for even more fun!

We even met up with our friend DiSanto at the end of the night!

So, so fun!! 🙂

Fabio and I took a noon train back to D.C. on Sunday (after stopping at Shake Shack…) and arrived home around 4 p.m. Then we proceeded to put together some new furniture we bought during Black Friday sales and got ready for the week ahead!

The end.

Question of the day: Do most of your best friends live in one place or are they spread out?

 Posted by on December 7, 2017
Dec 052017
 

Hello, hello! How is your week going so far? As I mentioned on Thursday, Fabio and I had a really, really fun weekend in New York City. Like, really fun. I have a lot to share with you guys, so I’m splitting my weekend recap into two posts! Here’s part one…

Thursday

On Thursday morning, I headed up to New York City via Amtrak, and once I arrived, I spent a few hours working remotely from Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s apartment on the Upper West Side. Fabio arrived around 4 p.m., and since he hadn’t eaten lunch he said he wanted to head out for a pizza “snack.” (One slice of NYC pizza is a snack to him, even though they are big slices!) I teased him because he had literally been in NYC for less than an hour and was already devouring pizza. Of course.

Then it was time to get ready for the Ad Council Awards Gala! For those who aren’t familiar with the Ad Council, it’s an organization that makes public service announcements (PSAs) for a variety of good causes. I’ve worked with them to make a type 2 diabetes prevention PSA, which is how I got invited to their annual awards dinner. It’s black tie and kind of a big deal – 1,500 people were there and there was even a Saturday Night Live skit about the dinner a few weeks ago.

I was lucky enough to have Fabio join me for the event, especially since tickets at the normal rate cost $3,000. Wow!

When we arrived, we spent the first hour or so at a cocktail hour hosted by Google!

I was excited to see our Type 2 Diabetes Prevention campaign on some signage throughout the room. 🙂

Very cool!

While we were getting drinks, we wound up meeting a woman from Twitter, who actually works with one of Fabio’s fraternity brothers! It was great meeting her and networking a bit, and funny how the world is so small and you run into people with shared connections everywhere.

Once we took our seats, I got to meet some of the people who I’ve worked with for the last year or so on our PSA. It was nice meeting them in person after so many email exchanges and conference calls!

Then the presentations began, and I have to admit I totally drank the Ad Council Koolaid. Ad Council’s slogan is “Together for Good” and they’re all about making a difference in the world. Through the presentations, they honored the CEO of Unilever – who apparently has done a lot of great work with corporate social responsibility and helping those in need – and then showcased a few of their PSA campaigns.

Here’s a sampling of the types of people we heard from: A woman who survived the Pulse nightclub shooting and talked about survivors’ guilt; a young woman who was in the foster care system until age 14 when she was finally adopted, who then started her own nonprofit to make welcome kits for newly adopted kids; and a woman who had trouble feeding her family, and when she got back on her feet she started volunteering at a food bank. That’s not even all of the presentations, but it gives you a sense of the kinds of stories we heard.

I was especially impressed with the CEO of Ad Council, Lisa Sherman, who talked about how we were all there to make a difference in the world and if we work together, we can create change. Yep – totally drank the Koolaid here.

After the dinner, it was time for the after-party, which was sponsored by Facebook! There was a really fun band with a trumpet player, and then a really fantastic DJ who played every song I would have requested to hear. Fabio and I made some friends on the dance floor, and I wound up dancing with a really flamboyant new friend. 😉 As one does.

At the end of the night, the DJ closed out the dance floor by playing All I Want for Christmas Is You, and for some reason, everyone stormed the stage and started singing into the (thankfully turned off) microphones. Somehow I wound up right next to the Ad Council CEO Lisa Sherman during this, and totally fan-girled out about being next to her.

Once the dancing was over, I saw her by the coat check and told her how inspired I was by her speech. I think we were both a bit tipsy – open bars will do that – but I thought we had a nice little conversation. What a fun night! 🙂

Friday

The next day, Fabio and I headed out for a fun NYC adventure! (With an itinerary suggested by Uncle Steve, of course.)

First up, we hopped on the subway and got out at Hudson Yards, a brand new station in Manhattan where they’re building a ton of new skyscrapers. The station was really beautiful and featured lots of awe-inspiring mosaics on the ceilings. I can’t even imagine how long it took someone to put all those little tiles up there.

Then we walked over to the Highline where we were able to get a great view of Hudson Yards. All of these buildings are built on top of where they store the subway trains, and each one had tons of people working on them. There were lots of cranes and little elevator things moving all around!

It will be so interesting to see what this area turns into once they’re done with the construction.

Then we continued walking along the Highline and took in the cool sites of the city. 🙂

It was a beautiful day for a walk, and we didn’t feel too chilly as long as we stayed in the sunshine.

Eventually Fabio’s best friend Hayden met up with us, and we wandered around Chelsea market.

We popped into a bunch of stores, including a pop-up Etsy store with a bunch of different vendors. I wound up buying myself a pair of really pretty earrings and could have easily left with a bunch of other gifts. Everything was so nice!

Eventually we got hungry for lunch and stopped for some delicious tacos.

Yummmm.

Plus some mini donuts to share for dessert!

After Chelsea Market, the three of us headed to The Standard beer garden for some mid-afternoon drinks and a few games of ping pong for the boys.

After sitting around and chatting for a while, the boys headed back to Hayden’s apartment and I met up with my best friend Bianca for a girls’ night out!

She came into the city from Port Authority, so we met up at the nearby Heartland Brewery for some beers and sandwiches.

After dinner, we walked around a bit until we found another cute bar (can’t remember the name!) and we spent a few more hours catching up. Having girl time with my best friend was so, so nice, and it made me wish we still lived close to each other.

I was back at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place by around 12:30 and instantly fell asleep. I was exhausted! Fabio came home quite a bit later (he and Hayden stayed out at the bars until 4 a.m….) and then we both were happy we were able to sleep in a bit on Saturday. 🙂

Part two coming later this week!

Questions of the day: How often do you get one-on-one time with your best friend? Have you heard of the Ad Council?

 Posted by on December 5, 2017
Nov 272017
 

Hi there! For my American friends, I hope you had a nice and relaxing Thanksgiving! Ours was one of the best yet, mostly because we got to spend so much time with family. I have a ton of pictures to share, so I’ll try to keep things short when it comes to my descriptions! Here we go…

Wednesday

I took the day off from work on Wednesday so I could get busy in the kitchen! Some of you may have seen from my Instagram stories, but I had a whole bunch of recipes I had to make on Wednesday. Fabio was working remotely, so we had a fun day at home together! I started cooking around 10 a.m., and didn’t finish until around 4. Phew!

First up, I made apple crisp from my favorite Cook’s Illustrated cookbook. Fabio’s sister Diane is trying to limit dairy consumption right now, so I used vegan butter in this recipe to make it dairy-free.

After lots of peeling and coring and apple-cooking, it was done!

Then I made Bon Appetit’s best macaroni and cheese after hearing about it on their Foodcast podcast.

It required lots and lots of cheese shredding. 🙂

Eventually it was done and was looking gooooood. I tasted some of the cheese sauce – it was totally a winner. Definitely make this one!

Then I made Tina’s tater tot breakfast casserole to enjoy while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade (one of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving!). I added some sausage to the recipe for a bit more protein.

Done!

After finishing each recipe, I would take a break to clean this dishes. This was a pain in the butt, but it kept our kitchen from turning into a big mess!

And last but not least, I made some roasted carrots with honey and herbs from my new Southern Living Christmas 2017 cookbook that Aunt CC got me.

I made a couple of tweaks to make sure this one was dairy-free for Diane too.

And with that, I was done. Phew!

After that I had a tiny bit of work to do, and then got myself ready to head out for the long weekend ahead. We packed up the car and drove over to my dad’s house, where we enjoyed a nice dinner with my dad and sister.

After dinner, Fabio and I met up with some of my high school friends at Butler’s Orchard, a farm that a couple friends of ours own.

Sadly our friend Ben who owns the farm was out of town on his honeymoon, but we got to know his brother and catch up with a bunch of my high school friends instead. One of my best friends, Hana, was also there, and it was so great catching up with her!

We even played a bunch of games of flip cup, and Fabio wound up winning it for our team in a one-on-one tie-breaker! Go Fabio!

We also enjoyed some apple cider donuts…

…which we toasted over the fire to warm up. 🙂 Who needs marshmallows?

Ha!

Thursday

We woke up at my dad’s house on Thanksgiving morning, and I immediately headed downstairs to watch the parade with my sister!

I don’t know if it’s just because it’s tradition or what, but I really enjoy watching the parade on Thanksgiving.

While we watched, we enjoyed coffee, mimosas, and the tater tot casserole I brought! It came out delicious – yumm.

Eventually it was time for us to head out since we would be eating our Thanksgiving meal at Fabio’s sister Diane’s house outside of Baltimore. When we arrived, we instantly became obsessed with this little turkey!

Our nephew Michael is three months old, and we could not get enough of him. He’s so smiley and happy with the sweetest disposition – we were obsessed.

At around 4:00, Alex’s (who is my brother-in-law/Diane’s husband) family arrived and it was time to eat!

Alex’s family is a lot of fun and so welcoming, and I wish we got to see them more than just on Thanksgiving! We went around the table saying what we were each thankful for, and pretty much everyone mentioned baby Michael. 🙂 It was such a special Thanksgiving!

Later that evening we played a few board games and continued playing with baby Michael.

We also kept the alcohol flowing which made all of us wake up with a headache, but it was worth it for such a fun night with family! 😉

Friday

On Friday, Fabio’s family joined us at my mom and stepdad’s house for another Thanksgiving feast! My mom and stepdad were enamored with Michael right from the beginning.

Don’t get any ideas mom – Fabio and I still have a few years of traveling in us before we’re ready for this stage. 😉

Either way, it was really fun to share Michael’s cuteness with my family as well.

Once we sat down to eat, we ate the best Thanksgiving meal yet. I ate a lot of good food this weekend, but nothing beats my mom’s cooking. Ahh it was so good! We also dug into this bottle of wine we got as a wedding present for our first Thanksgiving!

Saturday

On Saturday we headed over to my grandparents’ house!

It was a beautiful day with relatively warm temperatures. We tried to do Christmassy things, but it sure didn’t feel much like Christmas!

While my dad, grandpa, and Fabio went out to play golf, my sister, grandma, and I painted some Christmas ornaments and decorated wreaths.

It was a lot of fun, and I was so happy I got to spend some time with my grandparents over the long weekend. We stayed for dinner and then drove back home.

Sunday

Sunday was spent mostly relaxing – which now seems like it was very necessary after thinking back about all we did over the last few days – but in the afternoon we cleaned up the house and put away our fall decorations to make room for Christmas ones.

We still need to get our tree, which we’ll probably do next week.

So there you have it – a recap of our fun Thanksgiving holiday!

Question of the day: How far do you travel far for Thanksgiving?

 Posted by on November 27, 2017
Nov 202017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Ours was a perfect mix of fun, productive, and relaxing. And the best part is that we didn’t travel anywhere far, which is nice after what feels like lots of weekends of being away from home. Here’s my recap!

Friday

On Friday evening, Fabio took me to see The Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center! He bought me tickets to the show for my birthday back in September, and I was so excited to finally get to go see the show. Fabio called me at 5:00 (when I was still at work) and told me I needed to come home immediately because he had just put a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Well ok then! 🙂

I packed up my stuff and arrived home just in time to help assemble an amazing cheese plate. Yum!

Instead of trying to squeeze in dinner before our 7:30 show, we decided instead to munch on prosciutto, salami, aged cheddar, dates, baguette, and the creamiest “cremux de bourgogne” cheese that we picked up from Wegman’s last week. I don’t know what kind of cheese it was, but it tasted like a mix of brie and cream cheese and was absolutely incredible. Yum! Plus plenty of champagne on the side.

Before long, it was time for us to hop in an uber over to the Kennedy Center! I’m always in awe of how pretty it is in there.

Check out the ceiling in the theater!

When we took our seats, I was thrilled to see they were pretty close to the front. Thanks to Fabio for snagging these for us!

My hubby!

As for the show itself, it was really good and really funny! It was written by the creators of South Park, which is a show Fabio and I both like, so I knew to expect lots of rather inappropriate (yet hilarious)  jokes. I can’t imagine what people must have thought if they didn’t know to expect this type of raunchy humor – yikes. But Fabio and I both enjoyed it, and were laughing pretty much the whole time!

When we stepped out to get a drink at intermission, we bumped into my friend Kathleen and her husband, Zack! It was really weird because I had just seen Kathleen at a workout the day before, and though we usually talk about our weekend plans, somehow neither one of us mentioned we were going to see Book of Mormon. We also were texting earlier that evening (when I was in the uber on the way to show) to coordinate our next workout date, and it didn’t come up then either! When I saw her and Zack standing by the bar, I couldn’t believe it!

We all chatted for a while and decided to meet up after the show for a drink. When the show ended, we headed to Georgetown Piano Bar and had a great time catching up over drinks. Fabio and Zack have met a few times before, but I feel like they’ve never really had a chance to talk one on one, and this was a great opportunity for that. Hooray for an impromptu double date!

We didn’t wind up getting home until midnight, which was rough since we had an early wake-up call!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, Fabio, Jack, and I all got ourselves ready for the VIDA Thrive 5K! We were treated to a beautiful sunrise on our drive over.

The race took place at East Potomac Park (aka Haines Point) and it was so beautiful being by the water.

We were so excited to have Jack run with us – his first official 5K! – especially since we heard there would be treats and prizes for the dogs. He was really good with all the people, and got lots of pets and love before the race began!

The pre-race atmosphere was a lot of fun too – there was a great DJ and some fun warm-up exercises.

Then at 8:00, we were off! The race course was an out-and-back along the tip of Haines Point, and although it was quite chilly, it was also pretty sunny which helped us feel comfortable.

Jack did a great job running with us – when we first started off he was SO excited and was pulling to run faster to catch up with the people in front of us. Eventually he slowed down to his normal pace/stopped pulling us, but he would still run ahead to try to catch up to people in front of us occasionally. 🙂 We stopped for one quick pee break, but otherwise he kept up a good pace with the rest of the runners.

We finished in 27 minutes and 9 seconds, which is definitely not my fastest 5K time, but considering we had Jack with us I think we did pretty well. When we crossed the finish line, we heard the announcer say “Here comes our first dog finisher” and everyone clapped/cheered for us. Woohoo!

Post-race selfie!

After taking advantage of the free bananas, water, and dog treats, it was time for awards! Sure enough, Jack was the first dog finisher (out of probably 6 or 7 dogs) and they brought him on stage to receive a medal! All the kids ran up to the stage to pet the winning dogs – haha!

I just love Jack’s face in that picture – he’s looking at Fabio like “please rescue me from this.” Ha!

Here’s a closer look at his medal – funny that it says “puppy division” even though Jack is 7 years old. (Saturday was actually his “birthday” – which is the anniversary of when we adopted him 6 years ago!)

Then we took some cute “family” pictures by the water before heading home.

What a fun race! I loved that it was for a good cause, and obviously that Jack was included.

After the race we showered and headed to Silver Diner for some breakfast, and then moved to the couch where we lit our first fire of the season in our fireplace, and watched our current favorite show, The Man in the High Castle (on Amazon Prime TV).

Later that day we went to Home Depot to pick up a new garbage disposal (blehhh – ours broke a little while ago) and check out appliances for our kitchen renovation that we plan to tackle early in 2018.

Later that night we debated going out to meet up with friends at the bar, but both of us were feeling tired so Fabio made us cocktails at home instead. 🙂

Sunday

Sunday was the most productive day ever, and I cleaned the whole house and did laundry while Fabio fixed the garbage disposal and hung some new vanity lights in our bathrooms. I also planned what I’m going to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, made a very organized shopping list, and then hit up the grocery store! It wasn’t the most fun Sunday ever, but it was very necessary.

And there you have it – a recap of our fun/relaxing/productive weekend!

Question of the day: What was the last show/musical you saw? Are you handy around the house?

I’m not handy at all, but luckily with the help of YouTube Fabio is learning a lot and can tackle most smallish fixes around the house. 🙂

 Posted by on November 20, 2017
Nov 142017
 

Hi friends! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was possibly one of my favorites from the whole year, thanks to spending lots of time with good friends. On Saturday, Fabio’s fraternity “little brother” Jon got married to another one our college friends, Liz, and it was such a beautiful and fun weekend with many of our friends. The wedding itself was also really traditional, and Liz looked like a Disney princess. It was like a fairytale!

Friday

Fabio had off from work on Friday due to Veteran’s Day, and I left work around 3 p.m. so we could make the drive up to Frederick, MD, where the wedding was. Frederick isn’t too far from my mom’s house, so we were able to drop off Jack on our way. Thanks, Mom!

Upon arriving in Frederick, Fabio joined the groomsmen for the ceremony rehearsal, and I joined the other significant others (or SOs as we dubbed ourselves) in an amazing townhouse Air BnB that we all rented for the weekend. The townhouse was right in the heart of historic Frederick and was walking distance to the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was held, as well as the church where the wedding took place. It was close to lots of shops and bars too, which made it so fun!

Eventually it was time for us SOs to head over to dinner, which took place at Ayse Meze Lounge. We got there a bit early to help set everything up, and then the bridal party and other guests arrived. Look at these handsome groomsmen!

After chatting and mingling for a while, we all took our seats and I truthfully thought I had the best seat in the house: Fabio and I got to sit with the bride and groom and two of my best friends, Andy and Cullen, who were in town from Los Angeles (Andy and I have known each other since 6th grade, and I’ve gotten to know Andy’s husband, Cullen, pretty well over the last few years as well).

Before our food came out, a few members of the bridal party stood up to make toasts to the bride and groom! Fabio stood up to say something, and I thought his words to the couple were really sweet.

The bride and groom!

Then it was time to eat! We enjoyed tons and tons of tapas-style dishes, including lots of delicious lamb (my favorite). Yum!

We even had some flaming, melted cheese!

So fun!

The dinner was a blast, and I felt so lucky that I got to sit with such good friends.

After dinner, we stopped by the townhouse quickly to drop off all the food leftovers, and then we headed out to one of the local bars!

The groomsmen are featured in the picture above, and below are the SOs! I loved bonding with them throughout the weekend.

Since Frederick isn’t too far from where Andy and I grew up, we decided to call our friend Jamie who still lives in the area to see if she was able to meet us out. We were thrilled when she was in town and available to come! What a fun, unexpected surprise!

Love her!

Jamie is also really good friends with Andy and Cullen, so having her at the bar worked out perfectly. Yay!!

We wound up staying out way too late, but had so much fun!

Saturday

Saturday was wedding day! Jon and Liz had a ton of food brought to the townhouse for us for breakfast, including pancakes, bacon, eggs, and sausage. Wow! The boys had to be ready for pictures by 11, so we SOs hung around for a while taking our time getting ready and sipping mimosas until it was time to walk over to the church for the 2 p.m. ceremony.

It was a beautiful Catholic church, and I thought Liz looked just like a Disney princess!

Even though our own wedding wasn’t necessarily traditional (we got married by our good family friends, who are two gay priests), it was nice seeing what a wedding with all the traditions could look like. It felt very elegant without being stuffy. Beautiful!

Congratulations, Jon and Liz!

Once the ceremony was over, the bridal party hopped on a trolley that took them to the reception for photos.

Meanwhile, we SOs had some time to kill, so we went back to the townhouse and spent a couple of hours chatting, eating sandwiches, and sipping on more mimosas. We invited a couple of the other Sigma Nu couples to come back to the house with us, and it wound up being really fun!

Before long, it was time for us to order a few ubers to head to the reception, which took place at the Catoctin Hall of Musket Ridge Golf Club. Apparently the grounds were really beautiful, but unfortunately it was dark out by the time we arrived. I can’t wait to see how the photos turn out!

After being reunited with Fabio and the rest of the bridal party at the reception, we proceeded through all the regular wedding activities, including a few beautiful dances (Liz and her dad danced to Beauty and the Beast and we all LOST IT) and some emotional and funny speeches.

Halfway through dinner, Fabio and I realized it was our nine-year dating anniversary. Cheers to my forever wedding date!

The rest of the night was spent on the dancefloor with our friends!

The night didn’t end when the reception did – afterwards we all went back to the townhouse to change, and then headed to a bar for the after party. The party then continued back at the townhouse when the bars closed, and I think we finally went to bed at 4:30 a.m. Oof!!

Sunday

Sunday morning began with bagels at the house, and then we all spent some time cleaning everything up and packing up our stuff. Eventually we said goodbye to our friends, which was really sad! We had such a fun weekend together, and I wasn’t ready for it to end.

After leaving the house, Fabio and I popped into some of the cute shops in Frederick where I bought a couple of souvenirs. 🙂 Then we did some grocery shopping and stopped by my mom’s house for a belated joint birthday lunch (Fabio, my mom, and I all have fall birthdays).

The dining room was set up so beautifully, and the food was delicious. I especially loved my mom’s chocolate marshmallow pie. Yumm!

After that we hit the road, and finally arrived home around 7 p.m., exhausted but happy. 🙂

The end!

Question of the day: Are you more into traditions or doing your own thing?

 Posted by on November 14, 2017
Nov 072017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? We were originally planning to head up to NYC this weekend but changed our minds – we’ve been doing a ton of traveling on the weekends lately and have more in store for the rest of November and early December, so we decided to spend the weekend at home instead. It was a great decision in my mind! Here’s a look at what we were up to.

Friday

I don’t usually include workout recaps in these posts, but Anne and I got this adorable picture with Flex, the resident dog at Bodymass Gym, after our class on Friday morning, and I couldn’t resist sharing.

Isn’t he the cutest? I actually just bought a workout tank from Bodymass that says “I came for the gym and stayed for the dog.” It’s so cute, and I can’t wait to wear it next time I drop in! This was Anne’s last visit to Bodymass before the baby comes (she’s due on Thanksgiving!) so I’m glad we were able to snag this cute pic to remember our last hoorah!

On Friday evening, Fabio and I drove over to our friends’ Shriya and Abhi’s place to celebrate Shriya’s 30th birthday! Shriya and I used to work together years ago, and I’m so happy we still see each other regularly. This was a nice opportunity for us to meet Shriya and Abhi’s family too, many of whom we’d heard about over the years!

And there was cake, which is always the best part of birthday celebrations. 🙂 Mmmm, cake.

Before the cake, there was some unpictured vegetarian Mexican food, which was spicy but delicious.

Happy birthday, Shriya!

Saturday

Fabio headed out golfing with a friend on Saturday morning, so I stayed behind and wrote some thank you notes from the wedding. Yes the wedding was in June and it’s now November, but don’t I technically have a year to get them out?

We also decided to include printed photos of each guest (when we had photos of them, that is) inside the cards, so it took me a while to sort through all the photos we had printed and arrange them based on the recipients. I had been putting it off for a while, so it felt really good to make a dent in the project!

I also love how our cards turned out – we got these from Minted.

Eventually Fabio returned home (right as I used the last stamp we had, so it was a good stopping point anyway) and we headed out to run some errands. Before hitting any stores, we stopped into Bonchon, a new-to-me Korean BBQ spot that Fabio had been to before with coworkers. We decided to share an order of the pork buns and soy garlic wings, and everything was so delicious. Yum! I can definitely see us returning here.

After that, we made our way over to Home Goods to do some shopping! We’re in the market for a few things for the house, namely some new bedside tables, lamps, a headboard, a duvet cover, and everyday plates. We found some great everyday plates and a couple other odds and ends that we needed, but we still have a lot of items on the list.

After spending a ton of time at Home Goods, we had to head home pretty quickly to attend our friends Jojo and Jadd’s housewarming/engagement party! Jojo and Jadd invited us to their housewarming party ages ago, and then on Friday night, Jadd proposed to Jojo, turning their housewarming party into a surprise engagement party. When she texted me this picture I had a hard time containing my excitement!

We could not be happier for them and were so surprised by the turn in events! I actually really liked how Jadd planned all of this in advance – it felt like a fun surprise for all the guests, too. 🙂

I also giggled at this sign in their bathroom during the party – LOL!

We stayed out pretty late on Saturday night and had a great time at the party!

Sunday

Sunday was a pretty low-key day; it was rainy and dreary out so we spent a lot of time inside watching football from the couch. We did do some chores (laundry folding, meal prepping, etc.) and even made it to Target to look for some of the house items we didn’t pick up the day before (I got a new duvet cover, and, more importantly, got to check out the new Hearth & Hand line from Chip and Joanna!!).

It was a nice, quiet day, and we watched a few episodes of Stranger Things before calling it a night relatively early. Jack was sleepy too – I think the weather made us all move a little slower.

This weekend Fabio and I also decided to start planning our next big international trip (we try to take a big vacation every year) and are thinking that in 2018 we want to go to Spain and Portugal. Since our timing is so flexible, we were originally thinking we wanted to go over July 4 so we could watch the running of the bulls, but after looking into it it seems pretty inhumane, and I’m not sure it’s something we want to support. Instead we were thinking of going for Memorial Day when the weather is supposed to be nice/flowers will be in bloom, but we are still really up in the air about timing.

I obviously need to start doing more research (this is the only thing I’ve read so far) but would also love to get some initial recommendations for you all. We know we want to go for about two weeks, and would be open to traveling around to a few different places near Spain and Portugal (I’ve heard the ferry to Morocco is cool). We’ve never been to either country and are lucky enough that Fabio speaks fluent Spanish. We’d probably go just the two of us, but are toying with the idea of inviting family to join us. Please leave any recommendations in the comments below!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to Spain or Portugal? Do you have any suggestions?

 Posted by on November 7, 2017
Oct 312017
 

Hi there, and happy Halloween! How was your weekend? Mine had nothing to do with the holiday or costumes, and instead was filled with a quick trip to Philadelphia to spend time with my newly engaged friends, Kristen and Mark!

On Friday afternoon, Fabio and I dropped Jack off at my mom’s house and then made the drive up to Philly. It’s a lot closer than our normal road trips to NYC or Otis, so we arrived pretty quickly! Then again, we didn’t leave home until around 6:15 so it was still pretty late when we got there, so after saying hi to Kristen and Mark (whose house we stayed at) and Megan and JR (who had arrived from Baltimore earlier in the evening) we immediately dug into some pizza and wine. We were starving! We wound up staying up until around 1 a.m. catching up, which was so much fun!

Saturday

We all slept in until 10 on Saturday, which was so, so nice. Once we were all up and moving, we got working on breakfast: Fabio made eggs for everyone, I put some bacon in the oven, and Kristen toasted up some English muffins, so it was a nice group effort!

Saturday was the most beautiful fall day weather-wise, sunny and low 70s, so we made sure to spend a lot of time outside!

Our first stop of the day was Yards Brewing Company, a cute brewery right down the street from Kristen and Mark’s house.

Upon arriving, we each got a beer (I got the IPA) and then took a seat outside in the sunshine. Yay!! My happy place!!

The brewing company offers free tours every half hour – and they give you free beer during the tour – so naturally we signed ourselves up for one! Then at 1:30 p.m., we met up with our tour guide for the day, who acted more like a stand-up comedian than a brewery tour guide. He was cracking jokes every minute, which made our tour so much more fun!


I highly recommend the tour if you’re ever at Yards!

After our tour wrapped up, we grabbed some lunch from a food truck that was parked outside, and then retreated back to our table in sun.

Sitting around drinking beers with some of my favorite girlfriends – and their significant others! – was so, so nice and just felt good for the soul. I <3 them.

A little later in the afternoon, we got a text from some of our college guy friends that they were hanging out at Independence Beer Garden, which was located right across from the Liberty Bell. It was another cool spot and had a really unique layout in that it was just a beer garden that wrapped around an office building.

Seeing our guy friends was nice, but eventually we had to get back to the house to get cleaned up for dinner at Bocconcini!

Kristen had heard about Bocconcini from one of our guy friends, and it turned out to be the cutest Italian place with delicious food. It was also BYO, as many places in Philly are, so we were able to save money by bringing our own wine instead of paying for it there.

Of course one of the first things we did was cheers to Kristen and Mark on their recent engagement! I can’t wait for September 2018 when we’ll get to celebrate!

Love these ladies. 🙂

Then it was time to eat! We all shared some appetizers (meatballs and arancini balls) and then Kristen and I went “halfsies” on our entrees, which were entirely too big for us to finish. Leftovers for the win!

After dinner we went over to meet up with our college guy friends again – it was so nice seeing them! – and then we headed out for a fun night of dancing. (Thank you to Fabio for always taking photos of us. 🙂 Ha!)

Overall it was such a perfect day, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Sunday

Sadly we had to head home on Sunday, and it was pouring rain which meant tough driving conditions for Fabio. We also stopped by my mom’s house on the way to scoop up Jack, and once we finally arrived home we didn’t move much from the couch. 🙂

Jack was pooped from being at my mom’s house too, and he snuggled up with us on the couch all evening. Oh, and there was some Taco Bell action too for dinner – I guess that’s what drinking all day the day before will do to you. 😉

The end.

Question of the day: What’s your go-to hangover food?

 

 Posted by on October 31, 2017
Oct 232017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend?

Ours was a pretty good one – the weather was unbelievably beautiful (but, um, made me slightly concerned about global warming?) and luckily we got to spend a lot of time outside on Saturday. Here’s a recap!

Friday

Friday night was dedicated to watching the Yankee’s playoff game. Fabio picked up some pizza from our favorite take-out spot, Wise Guys, and then we enjoyed it while watching the game. When we were done eating, I painted my nails and sipped on some wine.

Jack watched the game with us too. 🙂

It was a nice night, and the Yankees won!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we headed into D.C. to celebrate two of our friends tying the knot! They held an intimate celebration at The Bird, which was a cute spot in Logan Circle I hadn’t been to before.

My forever wedding date!

P.S. – I wore this dress from Lulus and I thought it worked well for a fall wedding. 🙂

We were joined by a bunch of our close friends from college, which was so nice. It was great catching up with everyone!

The space was half indoors and half outdoors, which I loved. We wound up eating inside, and then hung out outside for a while mingling!

The food was also delicious – I got the chicken and waffles. Yummmm!!

I also loved the details they included – like little white pumpkins covered in succulents and take-home mugs with their last name printed on them.

And we had gelato and cupcakes for dessert!

I was stuffed so I wasn’t able to finish everything, but it tasted SO good! I definitely recommend The Bird if you’re in the area.

After the official celebration was over, we all headed over to Wet Dog Tavern to keep the party going. This was another fun outdoor bar that I hadn’t been to before, but would absolutely recommend. It had such a fun atmosphere! We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking outside with our friends, and it was such a perfect way to spend the day.

Our buddy Hershman!

Eventually, we headed back home to watch the last Yankee playoff game. They sadly did not win, and Fabio was SO disappointed. Poor guy. Maybe next year!

Sunday

Sunday began with meal planning, and then Fabio and I headed off to the grocery store.

Unfortunately, I spent most of the rest of the day working, but I took a break at 4:30 to start making dinner (we’re having meatloaf tonight! I don’t know if we like meatloaf, but I guess we’ll find out!). And now I’m relaxing while it finishes in the oven.

Work is probably going to be crazy again this week, but I’ll try to pop in again if I can. Hope you have a great Monday!

Question of the day: Meatloaf lover or hater?

Fabio claims he’s a hater, but I’m trying to win him over. I’m the least picky eater on the planet.

 Posted by on October 23, 2017