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May 242017
 

Hi friends! How is your week going so far? Sorry for the delay in posting my weekend recap; things have been extremely busy on the wedding front (and work-wise, if I’m being honest), so it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and write.

On Sunday evening for example, which is normally when I would write my weekend recap post, I was busy planning out which hotel rooms each of our guests will be staying in. It was like planning a seating chart, only with hotel rooms. It was kind of fun, but also a lot of work!

Anyway, I did have a really nice weekend that included a mini bachelorette party with some girlfriends, so I wanted to make sure to still get a recap in. Here’s a look back!

Friday

Our Friday night began with a few errands to pick up supplies for the wedding, including welcome bag items, alcohol for the after party, etc. I think we finally have everything we need, though we are seriously lacking space to store it all in. Yikes.

We also kicked off our Friday evening with some tequila from my wedding basket! This one was supposed to be for the seating chart, but that night we started working on the hotel room assignments which we figured was pretty similar. Plus there’s still plenty of tequila left for when we actually do tackle the seating chart and escort cards, which will be in our very near future. Gulp. We need to get on that.

Fabio used the tequila to make us each a margarita, and they turned out great!

To go with our margaritas, I made us some Caesar salads with salmon.

I even made homemade croutons by toasting a random hamburger bun we had on hand and sprinkling it with salt, pepper, and garlic salt – I guess the margarita had me feeling creative. Ha!

After dinner, we hung out on the couch watching Netflix, which was my definition of a perfect Friday night. Our favorite furry companion joined us.

He has absolutely no sense of personal space – these are my legs he’s laying on. 🙂

Haha!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I met up with some friends for a mini bachelorette party! I had invited these ladies to come on my March bachelorette party in Florida, but due to tight budgets/limited vacation time/other obligations they weren’t able to come. Luckily, they are awesome friends and decided to plan a mini, local bachelorette party for me instead! This group of ladies includes friends that I used to work with ages ago, and my stepsister Maggie even joined us as well! Woohoo! They’re the best. 🙂

We started off our day with breakfast at Northside Social, my absolute favorite Arlington cafe/breakfast spot. I got the smoked salmon (yep, more salmon) and poached egg sandwich and it was delicious!

Then we headed off to a couple of vineyards for a fun day of wine-tasting! We started at Hillsborough Vineyard, which featured some beautiful views! 

My favorite wine at this vineyard was Ruby’s Blush, a delicious rosé. Yum! Claire was a sweetheart and bought me a bottle to go. Thanks, Claire!!

After our tasting, we moved outside where we enjoyed some snacks that the girls brought (goat cheese brie, hummus, crackers, carrots, and chocolates – perfection!) and enjoyed the views.

Eventually, it was time to move on to vineyard number two: 868 Estate Vineyards! This vineyard was pretty crowded and we wound up doing our tasting standing up at the bar, which was fine but not as nice as the ambiance at Hillsborough.

One of the options for this wine tasting was the “truffle tasting” which came with different chocolate truffles for each wine. Yum! We got one of these to share and wound up cutting the truffles into little pieces so we could all try some. The wine was good, but I mostly remember loving the truffles. 🙂

On our way out, we randomly bumped into my cousins Yasi and Niloo, who were also vineyard hopping! It was so nice to see them, even if it was only for a minute.

Then we headed over to Breaux vineyards, which was definitely the biggest vineyard we went to that day. The grounds were so beautiful!

It was a little chilly by this point so we all huddled together, but it was so pretty out that we didn’t want to move inside. We were having too much fun!

After this vineyard, we decided it was time to call it quits, and my friends came back home with me where we ate dinner and eventually said our goodbyes.

I can’t thank my friends and stepsister enough for taking the time to plan this special day for me! They really are so thoughtful, and I had a blast with all of them.

Thank you also to Shriya and Maggie for being our designated drivers and not minding when the rest of us had too much wine. 🙂

If you’re ever looking for vineyards to visit in the Loudoun County area of Virginia, I definitely recommend these three! They were all about three minutes from each other, which made popping from one to the other so easy. What a fun day!

Sunday

On Sunday, we made a quick drive out to Bethesda to watch my favorite little person’s playoff lacrosse game!

Though Nicole’s team didn’t win, I’m so glad we went and were able to watch her running around in her element. Now that she’s getting older (12!!) it’s really fun to watch her interact with her friends and get more involved in sports!

Go Nicole!

And, as you already saw, our Sunday afternoon/evening was spent working on wedding stuff. I really hope to be able to keep up with regular blog updates throughout the next two weeks before the wedding (!!!), but it’s definitely getting more and more difficult. I’ll do my best though because I really want to document this fun time in our lives!

Question of the day: Have you been to any good vineyards in Virginia? If so, which ones?

 Posted by on May 24, 2017
May 152017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? For all the mamas out there, did you have a nice Mother’s Day?

Fabio and I spent pretty much the entire weekend running errands for the wedding, and while I’m not sure it could be called “fun” exactly, I tried to stay present in the moment and remember that I’m going to miss all this wedding planning once it’s over. Here’s a look back!

Friday

Our Friday evening began with a few errands – we stopped by Michael’s to pick up some mason jars, a flower girl basket, and a couple of other little craft supplies for the wedding, and then we stopped by Ross where we purchased some new suitcases for our honeymoon. 🙂

Fabio’s is Nautica and mine is Samsonite (both are carry-on size), and both of them were a real steal at less than $75. Woohoo!

When we got back home, we dug into some dinner that I threw together: chicken parm burgers and roasted veggies. Dinner = done.

It was delicious too!

We spent the rest of the evening watching The Last Kingdom on Netflix, which is SO good. If you’re looking for a new show to binge-watch, try that one!

Saturday

Saturday was a cold and dreary day, and Fabio and I got to sleep in until around 8:30 before eventually crawling out from under the covers. We were dog-sitting our neighbor’s dog Cassie over the weekend, so we took her and Jack for an extra wet walk outside.

She’s such a cutie!

Jack was happy to have her there too. 🙂

Then Fabio made us some breakfast of Colombian arepas with ogado (a sort of tomato/onion sauce) and coffee. Yum!

After we ate, it was time to tackle some crafting activities, namely tieing ribbons around our mason jars so they can hang from shepherd’s hooks during the wedding ceremony, and decorating the flower girl basket.

As soon as we were done, Fabio and I cleaned ourselves up and headed out for an appointment with our wedding coordinator.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this on the blog or not, but our old wedding coordinator left on medical leave at the beginning of March, and it now looks like she won’t be coming back. After talking to the new coordinator on the phone last week for more than an hour, we thought a face-to-face meeting might be helpful. It turns out it was – we wound up talking with her for more than two hours to go over everything! We literally had to start at square one which was exhausting and frustrating, since our old coordinator already had all of that knowledge. Hopefully things are where they need to be now.

After that, we drove another 45 minutes away to drop off the mason jars and flower girl basket at our florist’s shop, before heading back toward home to meet up with my family at the Outback in Annapolis for dinner. Phew!

The dinner was to celebrate my sister’s 12th birthday and Mother’s Day, and it was so nice to spend time with family after a somewhat stressful day.

I got the steakhouse salad for my meal, which was delicious despite some giant chunks of onion that could have been sliced a little smaller.

After we ate, the birthday girl got a slice of cheesecake! 🙂

I can’t believe how big she is these days. Where did my little sister go?!

Sunday

Sunday was another day full of wedding-related activities! Fabio played golf in the morning while I worked on some thank you cards from our shower, and when he got home we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for items for the hotel welcome bags, after party, etc. etc. etc.

We also hit up the grocery store, and by the time we were done with all our errands it was after 7 p.m. *sigh*

We did stop for some ice cream during the day though, and it honestly was kind of fun spending so much one-on-one time with Fabio. Even the most annoying tasks are better when we’re together!

Anyway, that’s about it for my weekend – lots of wedding tasks that I can now cross off the to-do list. I wish I could say I’m feeling relieved after doing all that, but there’s still so much more to get done!

To all the mothers out there, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Question of the day: Did you celebrate Mother’s Day?

 Posted by on May 15, 2017
May 082017
 

Well hello there! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was spent in New York City! Our good friend Hayden (also Fabio’s best man) recently passed the CPA exam to become a certified accountant, and his parents threw him a party in NYC (where he lives) to celebrate. Obviously, this meant we had to go up to join him!

Friday

On Friday evening, Fabio and I took the bus up to New York right after work. We took a 6:00 bus out of Rosslyn, and even had time to grab dinner from Panera beforehand. Sadly, I finished all my food really quickly, and then was wishing I had some extra road trip snacks to munch on (mostly out of boredom).

Our bus ride was super easy though, and we made it into the city in record time!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we headed downtown (we were staying at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s apartment on the Upper West Side) for a birthday celebration! Fabio’s cousin Nick happened to be turning 21 this weekend, so we joined him, his sister, and a bunch of their friends for brunch at Sons of Essex.

I got the breakfast tacos, which were delicious and came with eggs, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Yum! Plus some delicious home fries on the side.

After brunch we weren’t quite ready to say goodbye yet, so we all walked over to one of my favorite bars, Hair of the Dog. It was pretty empty when we arrived, but I knew it would get crowded soon! And I was right – by the time we left around 4:00 p.m. you could barely walk in there!

Anyway, we had a lot of fun hanging out with Fabio’s cousins and getting to know their friends. I’m so glad we happened to be in town for the celebration!

Fabio’s cousin Ligia even bought her little brother – the birthday boy – some shots, which he was not too thrilled about. Lol!

But that’s what big sisters are for, right? And it was his 21st birthday. 🙂

Since Fabio and I knew we still had a long night of drinking ahead of us, we took it easy during all of this and drank our beers slowly and sipped lots of water. We aren’t as young as we used to be – we had to pace ourselves!

Eventually, we decided we better head back uptown, but not before stopping for a late lunch at the famous Katz’s Deli.

Fabio and I shared a delicious pastrami sandwich with mustard and some house-made pickles. Everything was delicious, as always!

After eating, we headed back to Aunt CC’s place and took a quick nap. Like I said, we can’t hang like we used to, and we knew we had a long night ahead of us!

At around 8:30, it was time for us to head out to the main event of the trip: Hayden’s CPA party! How cute are these two? 🙂

There were lots of fellow Sigma Nu brothers there, which of course made Fabio happy. It was so great seeing everyone!!

And their respective significant others. 🙂

We had a great time catching up with old friends, and celebrating with Hayden!

Lol – my face after the bartender gave me a gigantic glass of rose. 😉

We stayed at the bar until around 12:30, at which point a couple of us moved on to another bar where we danced for a while. We wound up heading back to Aunt CC’s at around 2:30 a.m., which makes three weekends in a row of super late Saturday nights. Oof. I’m definitely getting too old for this.

Sunday

Fabio and I caught the early bus home on Sunday, and arrived back in Rosslyn by 2:30 p.m. We immediately headed over to my mom’s to pick up Jack, and she and my stepdad had an early dinner waiting for us.

We started off with these amazing fried cheese rosemary bread things that my mom has been making lately, which are insanely delicious.

Then we had homemade coleslaw, grilled chicken, and cheesy potato casserole. Yum!!

Plus my mom’s cheesecake for dessert, which was phenomenal and even better than I remembered. Holy cow.

After dinner we came back home, unloaded our bags, and finished opening up gifts from our bridal shower that arrived last week. As I write this (on Sunday night), I am surrounded by tons of cardboard boxes and packaging and trying to figure out how we will break all of the boxes down so they will fit in the recycling bin. Yes, #humblebrag but also, not an easy task. I’m hoping that Fabio will take care of it for us…which, I guess, is partly why I sat down to write this post right now isntead of dealing with it. 😉 Ha!

The end.

Question of the day: Pie, cheesecake, or cake?

 Posted by on May 8, 2017
Apr 242017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Ours super fun, and was spent mostly in Philadelphia! One of Fabio’s good friends/fraternity brothers, Jake, works at his family’s jewelry store called Sydney & Rosen in Philadelphia, which has been in business for more than 70 years! Fabio got my engagement ring from Sydney & Rosen back before he proposed, and we always knew we’d be back to buy our wedding bands there too. Way back in January we coordinated with Jake to figure out when we should come up to buy our bands, and the weekend sort of snuck up on us!

More on that in a minute though – let’s stick with the order of events and talk about Friday first.

Friday

It was a beautiful evening on Friday, so after walking Jack, Fabio and I decided to walk to get something to eat for dinner. We decided on one of our local favorites, Taylor Gourmet, since Fabio could get a breaded chicken sandwich and I could get something a little on the healthier side. 😉 I got “the parker” salad, which came with chicken, dried apricots, barley, and watermelon radishes, among other things. It was delicious!

We took our food home to eat because we are right in the middle of binge-watching the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. Is anyone else watching?? It’s so, so good.

A little later in the evening we took a break from our binge to pick up some sweet treats from the grocery store: enlightened ice cream for me and Snickers ice cream for Fabio. Plus wine. 🙂

The englightened ice cream was just ok – it’s supposed to be lower calorie/lower sugar/higher protein, but I thought it also tasted like it was all of those things, so I’m not sure I’d buy it again. It’s still ice cream though, so I was happy. With ice cream in hand, we watched another episode of the show before calling it a night around 10:30.

Saturday

On Saturday morning it was time to head up to Philly! Our amazing friends Jojo and Jadd agreed to watch Jack for us and, after dropping him off and then sitting in loads of traffic due to some rainy weather, we eventually arrived at Jake’s jewelry store in Philly.

After saying hi to Jake and his fiance Greg (another one of Fabio’s fraternity brothers), it was time to get to business. I had sent Jake some pictures of wedding bands I liked, and he had a couple picked out for me that he thought I might like. He nailed it, unsurprisingly. I decided to go with something similar to the ring in the photo below, only with slightly smaller diamonds.

It should be arriving in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Fabio also picked out a really nice ring, with lots of help from Jake. 😉

After ring shopping, we drove over to my good friend Kristen’s house where we’d be staying for the evening! We sat around chatting with her for a while before deciding to head over to Kraftwork for a late lunch. Kristen and I shared a tasty chicken sandwich. Yum!

After chatting for many more hours (it was SO nice to catch up with her one-on-one) it was time for dinner! Our friend Greg is one of the managers for the restaurant Double Knot, and since he couldn’t get off work for our visit we decided to come to him instead! He made a reservation for us in the lounge area of the restaurant, and I was honestly surprised when I saw how trendy it was. It was like a Japanese speakeasy!

The lighting was pretty dark, and we wound up having to use the candles on the table to read the drinks menu. It definitely had a fun ambiance!

My friend Sam, who also lives in Philly, joined us for dinner too. Love these ladies! 🙂

All of the food we tried at Double Knot was incredible, and Greg took such good care of us for the evening. It was so nice to see him and Jake! I love these college buddies. 🙂

After dinner, we walked over to McGillin’s for an evening of dancing. Kristen’s boyfriend Mark was there too! (He was supposed to be away on a business trip but wound up getting an earlier flight home and surprised her at dinner. So sweet!)

It was such a fun night, and Kristen I got a big kick out of the songs that were being played at the bar from artists like Celine Dion (My Heart Will Go On and It’s All Coming Back to Me Now) and Vanessa Carlton. Lol! There was lots of signing happening on our end, before the bar closed at 2 a.m. and it was time to go home. Phew!

Sunday

On Sunday morning, Kristen, Mark, Fabio and I met up with Jake and Sam for brunch at For Pete’s Sake, where I enjoyed some delicious chicken and waffles. After that, we stopped by Sam’s house for a minute since it was close by, and then Fabio and I hit the road!

Our drive home wasn’t too bad, and now we are relaxing for a bit before I’m sure we will continue watching 13 Reasons Why. I’m not sure a grocery trip is in the cards for us today, so we will see how we make it through the week without any fresh produce. Eek! Maybe we will go on Monday after work?

Question of the day: Are you watching (or did you watch) 13 Reasons Why? What did you think?

Edited to add: Ahh we wound up finishing it late tonight (Sunday)!! It was so good and now I’m so sad it’s over.

 Posted by on April 24, 2017
Apr 102017
 

Hi friends! Did you have a nice weekend? Mine was very busy, but very fun! Here’s a look at what I was up to.

Friday

On Friday night, Fabio and I decided to get some chores out of the way by cleaning the house. This is my new favorite time to get cleaning done because then it doesn’t take time away from the weekend! After getting home from work and walking Jack, Fabio vacuumed while I cleaned the bathrooms, windows, and did some dusting. Teamwork makes the dream work, and we were finished with everything by around 7:30. Perfect!

I also took this opportunity to put out my Easter “hoppy hour” dish towels.

Plus a cute lamb dish towel. ‘Tis the season!

The rest of the evening was spent eating turkey burgers and sweet potato fries and watching our current favorite Netflix show, Peaky Blinders. We were in bed by 10:30 which sounded good to me!

Saturday

My mom came over on Saturday morning so we could go to my second wedding dress fitting! We wound up taking an uber into DC for the fitting, and when we arrived I was happy to see that everything with my dress was looking great! I can’t wait until everyone sees it! It will be here before I know it. Eeeeek!

When we were done, Fabio picked us up from the appointment so we could all go to breakfast together. We wound up going to A Baked Joint, a breakfast cafe from the same owners as Baked and Wired.

I started off my breakfast with a beautiful latte…

…and then had the bacon and chive biscuit with an egg for my meal.

The bacon is baked into the biscuits, making them incredibly flaky and delicious. Yum!

Breakfast was a lot of fun, and we wound up staying to chat with my mom for a while once we were done eating. Thanks so much for coming, mom!!

Later in the day, Fabio and I drove over to my grandparents’ house on the Eastern shore.

Fabio and my dad headed out to play a round of golf, while I had a fun afternoon with my Grandma and sister. We first helped my Grandma do some grocery shopping, and when we got home we baked some peanut butter cookies. 🙂

There was also lots of sister silliness happening.

Eventually the boys came back and then we headed out to celebrate my dad’s birthday at our family’s favorite restaurant, The Narrows!

Dinner was so much fun, and for some reason we all were all feeling a bit giddy/goofy. My Grandpa and dad were telling lots of jokes, and we laughed a ton throughout the evening.

Of course the food was really good too! I started off with a delicious citrus salad with goat cheese. My sister decided she wanted one of my strawberries…thief!

And for my entree I got the salmon. Delicious!

After dinner, we went back to my grandparents’ house for birthday cake.

It was such a fun day with family! Happy birthday, Daddy!

When Fabio and I got home around 10:30 we were pretty tired, but my friend Hana was in town and was going out in D.C. for her cousins’ birthday, so we rallied and met her out at the Living Room. Hana’s birthday is also later this week, so we figured we should go out with her to celebrate!

We had a really fun time and danced the night away! I’m so glad we were able to see one of my besties! 🙂

We wound up staying out until the bar closed at 3:00 a.m., which is something we haven’t done in a long time. Phew! I was feeling all the activity of the day and was definitely ready for my bed.

Ha!

Sunday

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day! After taking Jack on an extra long walk, Fabio and I decided we wanted to use the day to tackle some yard work (not that we have much of a “yard,” more like a small green patch!), namely removing a bush stump that is right where we’d like to put our grill. We made a trip to the hardware store to get the necessary supplies, and then Fabio got to work removing it.

Success!!

Now we have a nice place to keep our grill outside. 🙂

The rest of the day was spent meal planning, going to the grocery store, and trying to spend as much time in the sunshine as possible.

The end.

Question of the day: When was the last time you stayed up until 3:00 a.m.?

 Posted by on April 10, 2017
Apr 032017
 

Hi friends! Did you have a good weekend? Fabio and I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler earlier today (it’s Sunday as I type this up) and it could not have gone better! I have a lot to say about the race, so you can expect a full race recap later this week. In the meantime, let me tell you about the rest of my weekend!

Friday

When I got home from work on Friday, I saw that my friends from Giant had sent me some of their new Toasted Coconut products to try out!

My box included some toasted coconut granola, cookies, and pancake mix. So far we’ve tried the cookies, which are pretty tasty! I’m not a huge coconut lover, but I did like these.

Thank you, Giant!

After putting away my goodies and taking Jack for a walk with Fabio, we hopped on the metro and headed into D.C. to pick up our packets for the big race on Sunday. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler expo was held at the National Building Museum, as usual!

When we arrived at the expo, there was a happy hour going on complete with free beer and live music, so we hung out for a bit enjoying the pre-race atmosphere.

One of our good friends (and Fabio’s groomsman) Jason was in town to run the race, so he met up with us at the expo for a beer before we all headed out for dinner.

When researching a restaurant for dinner, I decided on Rebellion since the menu looked great and happy hour lasted until 8:00 p.m. Win! We snagged a table downstairs at the bar and enjoyed the fun atmosphere and drinks!

For my meal, I got the turkey burger with roasted beets and burrata, plus brussels sprouts on the side. Holy yum. This was definitely a delicious meal.

These were possibly the best brussels sprouts I’ve ever had! All the Parmesan cheese probably explains the reason for that. 😉

It was a really fun night with two of my favorite guys, but I was happy when we headed home around 9:30 p.m. instead of staying out and drinking for longer. Hooray for early nights!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, my mom and I met up for a morning of shopping! My mom has a dress in mind that she thinks she wants to wear to our wedding, but we wanted to go shopping to see if there was anything else she liked better. After popping into a bunch of stores at Tyson’s Galleria, she decided she didn’t see anything she liked more than the dress she already has, which was a good thing. Money saved!

After shopping, we stopped for a fancy ladies’ lunch at L’Auberge Chez Francois, a delicious French place!

We started off our meal with glasses of champagne to celebrate another successful wedding-related outing. Cheers!

Then we enjoyed some delicious bread and shared a small cheese tart. Yum!

We both got the lemon sole for our entree, and couldn’t get over how perfectly cooked the fish was. The buttery sauce was to die for!

Obviously such a nice lunch wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so we shared the hazelnut souffle. It was fantastic. I ate a lot of good food over the weekend, but this was probably the most memorable thing I ate. Yum!

Thanks for such a fun lunch, mom!

After lunch, I relaxed at home with Fabio for a while before it was time to head back into D.C. for a Cherry Blossom 10 Miler runner’s dinner! (I was still pretty full from lunch, but I’m always able to make room for food! 😉 )

My good friend Anne invited me to run the race as part of the Cabot Fit Team, which meant we got invited to the welcome dinner at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

There was a big buffet for everyone, and I helped myself to a little bit of everything.

The dinner was really interesting, and I enjoyed getting to talk to my friends as well as meet some new people. The other folks at our table were medical volunteers for the race, so it was really nice talking to them about what they do. It just made me even more appreciative of all the race volunteers out there! (Especially after having done it once myself…in the pouring rain, no less.)

After dinner, we all headed home to get ready for the race and get plenty of sleep.

Sunday

Sunday was the big day! As I said earlier, things couldn’t have gone better with the race and Fabio and I were both so happy with how everything went. Woohoo! Details to come!

After the race, we celebrated with brunch at Mussel Bar in Ballston with my dad and sister who came to spectate. Everything was delicious!

Good thing I burned a lot of calories during the run since I ate so much good food this weekend. It definitely didn’t cancel out the food, but maybe it helped a little? 😉 Ah well, life is short, so eat good food!

After our celebration brunch, my dad and sister headed home and Fabio and I took some much-needed showers before diving into our chores of the day: namely meal prepping and grocery shopping.

I wore my new Cherry Blossom 10 Miler t-shirt (and my favorite apron) for meal prep, and was a happy camper!

After that, I took a nap on the couch (#necessary) and now I’m writing this post!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and for those of you who ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite race?

 Posted by on April 3, 2017
Mar 302017
 

Hey friends! I’m back today with the final recap of my bachelorette weekend! Here are the first few posts in case you missed them:

And today we are talking about our last full day in sunny Florida, which took place at the beach!

When we woke up, we immediately saw sunny skies and headed outside by the pool. Going straight from PJs to bathing suits is a wonderful thing!

We all still had our Fabio tattoos on from the night before, which was so funny. Everyone was walking around making coffee and getting bagels, and I just saw Fabio’s face everywhere. Haha!

Also, we had another new spachat filter on Saturday. Amazing!! 🙂

After everyone was up for the day, we decided to walk over to the beach! It was about a 10-minute walk from the house, which wasn’t bad at all.

The water was really cold so I only dipped my feet in, but we had a really fun day sitting on the beach and chatting. This actually was one of my favorite parts of the trip, since we told lots of embarrassing stories (mostly Bianca telling everyone about our awkward middle school years) and laughed for hours. It was so much fun!

Eventually we got hungry for a late lunch, so we walked along the boardwalk until we found a delicious-looking beachfront Mexican restaurant. I got fish tacos and a Corona and was a happy girl!

After lunch, we headed back to the house to relax for a bit. When we got to the front door, we noticed there was a package on the doorstep addressed to me! When we opened it up, we saw a dozen Georgetown cupcakes from our friends Jess, Jess, and Courtney who weren’t able to come on the trip with us. So, so, so thoughtful of them. 🙂 Thanks, guys!!

After relaxing around the house for a little while, we had dinner delivered (Megan had ordered a bunch of kabobs, rice, grilled veggies, hummus, and pita in advance) and spent more time sitting around chatting before it was time to go out. Sometimes these quieter moments when we just sit and chat are my favorite!

When it was time to go out, everyone wore black except for me!

This naturally meant we had to take lots of pictures in front of the BRIDE balloons. 🙂

Me & Catrina…

My bachelorette planning princesses, Megan and Bianca…

Sloppytown!

Kappa Delta pledge sisters, Britt and Kristen <3

And one with Hana and the E for my new last name!!

I also got to wear my bride-to-be sash and veil, which was so fun.

I actually got a little emotional when I put the veil on – this is starting to feel real!!

That night we went out to a bar that was a lot of fun, although I honestly couldn’t tell you the name of it. When we arrived and got our first round of drinks, we were told that they were paid for by Jess, Jess, and Courtney! Ahhh! I couldn’t believe it. As if the cupcakes weren’t enough…sheesh! I really do have the best friends.

We stayed out at the bar for a while before eventually calling it a night.

The next day we had to pack everything up and leave the house. Womp womp.

Before we all had to head home though, we went to brunch at the Marriott along the boardwalk. The kind bellhop let us leave our suitcases with him even though we weren’t staying at the hotel, which made navigating the restaurant SO much easier!

The food and atmosphere of the restaurant were great (except for the fact that it was SUPER windy since we were right on the beach, though there’s not much they can do about that!) but I just have to take a minute to comment on the amazing service we received. All of the waitstaff took such good care of us and when they heard it was my bachelorette party, they brought me a celebratory drink and a key lime pie dessert.

This was just the icing on the cake pie! What a perfect way to end such an amazing trip.

After brunch we all headed to the airport and went our separate ways. Luckily Megan was on my flight home, so we spent the whole plane ride talking about how much fun we’d had and doing some more wedding planning. Now I can’t wait for the rest of my wedding events! My bridal shower (which is more of a couples’ BBQ) is up next! Woohoo!

Thank you to every one of my amazing friends (and my mom) who made my bachelorette party so amazing. I am so blessed to have such thoughtful people in my life!!

Question of the day: Cake or pie?

 Posted by on March 30, 2017
Mar 272017
 

After multiple weekends and weekdays apart from Fabio due to our bachelorette/bachelor parties and a bunch of work trips, we finally enjoyed a nice weekend together at home. And it was great. Here’s a recap!

Friday

Fabio had a work happy hour on Friday night, and when he came home it was close to 8:30 p.m. and neither one of us felt like cooking. We decided to get take-out from Moby Dick, and enjoyed some delicious kabobs (espeically the chicken). I always forget how good that place is; I don’t know why we don’t go more often!

While we ate, we watched a new-to-us show on Netflix called Peaky Blinders. Has anyone else seen this show? So far, we like it a lot!

Saturday

Our Saturday began with a walk for the dogs! As I mentioned last week, we were dog sitting for our friends Megan and JR and it was a lot of fun having their Westie, Tully, around for the weekend.

Once the dogs had their walk and their breakfast, Fabio and I set out for our long run of the week!

It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 70s, so it was a perfect day to hit the pavement. With the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler coming up this weekend (!!) we wanted to get around 8 miles in. We decided to drive over to Iwo Jima and run into D.C. from there with the hopes that we would get to see the cherry blossoms!

With the snow storm and cold weather that we had last week, we had heard that a lot of the blossoms were damaged. We didn’t think they looked too bad!

The trees were in peak bloom over the weekend, and the crowds were there to prove it. Sheesh. I always forget how crazy it is during cherry blossom time.

It was worth running by them though; they are so pretty!

We wound up having to walk through most of the cherry blossom/tidal basin area since the crowds were so thick, so our 8 mile run was closer to 7ish. That was ok though – we just wanted to get in some miles! Our pace was also pretty speedy with an average of 8:50, so now I’m thinking we might just be able to try PRing this run coming up. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

After our run, we needed to get a safety inspection done on our car, and the car shop was right next to our favorite Arlington coffee shop, Northside Social! While our car got checked out, we treated ourselves to some lunch.

To start off, we shared one of the bacon scones. YUM. These things are amazing.

Then I got their roasted turkey sandwich, which comes on delicious grain bread and includes avocado and bacon. De-lish!

Plus some salad on the side.

Once we were done eating, our car still wasn’t ready and we were enjoying sitting outside in the sunshine, so we went back to order some coffees. I got a latte and it hit the spot.

Eventually our car was ready so we headed back home. Fabio got to work putting some grass seed down (our little “lawn” is very sparse at the moment) while I worked on meal planning.

Then when we were done, we got our wedding invitations ready to mail out! For the occasion, we broke open one of the bottles of wine my friends gave me when we got engaged. Yay! We are making our way through the basket!

It took us a while to stuff all the envelopes, put on all the stamps, and stamp our return address (we have one of these), but eventually we got them all ready to go and dropped them in the mailbox. No turning back now!

Then it was time for a date night! I really wanted to see Beauty and the Beast, so Fabio and I bought tickets earlier in the week for a Saturday night 3D showing. We walked over to the Ballston movie theater, and were happy to see that it had recently been redone with reclining leather chairs. Woot!

The movie was really cute and even Fabio agreed that it was good. 🙂 Not only is he not a big fan of Beauty and the Beast, but he admitted that he thought it was the story of Sleeping Beauty until the movie started. Crazy! He’s such a trooper for seeing it with me. 🙂

Sunday

We dropped off Tully on Sunday morning, and then hit up an 11:30 a.m. yoga class at Sculpt DC.

It was really basic/beginner yoga class, which I actually didn’t mind because it forced us to work on our form and take each move slowly. I was a fan!

After yoga, we ran about a million errands – including trips to two grocery stores for the week’s provisions – before finally arriving home. It was a lot colder on Sunday, so Fabio built us a fire. So cozy!

Fabio wanted to watch soccer and golf, so I read my Kindle on the couch (I just started In Farleigh Field and am loving it!) and at one point took a nap. 🙂

And now it’s early evening and I’m working on this post!

We’re having homemade pizza for dinner tonight, and the dough is currently rising on the counter. I can’t wait until it’s ready!

Question of the day: How often do you go to the movies?

We hardly ever go, but are trying to make it a more regular thing.

 Posted by on March 27, 2017
Mar 232017
 

Well, I really tried to make this the final recap post of my bachelorette party in Fort Lauderdale, but I couldn’t do it! So, you will have one more post after this one. Sorry! Hopefully you don’t mind too much. 🙂

If you missed the first two recaps, you can read about our first day and night in Fort Lauderdale here, and read about our fun day by the pool here! When we last left off, we had just finished chatting in the hot tub before going inside to get ready for dinner.

We decided to wear our fun bachelorette tanks for this night – mine was white and in gold sparkles said “Drunk in Love” and everyone else’s were black and said “Just Drunk.” Yep! Sounds about right! 🙂

Once we were all just about ready, all my friends secretly got together in the back room. I had no idea what they were doing, but then they all came out with flower crowns and – get this – tattoos with Fabio’s face on them!!

(FYI – they got them from my sorority sister’s Etsy store, Dunkirk Designs!)

How hysterical, right? They had one for me too, obviously. 🙂

How funny! They also had tattoos that said “Make good decisions,” so I decided to wear that one on my lower back. Haha!

I then took the opportunity to take a million pictures with my amazing friends! Here I am with Sam, Hana, and Bianca. I’ve been friends with Hana since first grade, and Sam and Bianca since middle school!

Bianca is also one of my maids of honor, and she did a great job planning some of these fun bachelorette decorations and surprises. 🙂

I also grabbed a picture with Kristen, my pledge sister! We met in the fall of 2008 – the same time that I met Fabio – and have been such good friends ever since. <3

Then there’s Megan, who was basically the bachelorette planning Queen! She’s super organized and helped Bianca with a lot (ok, all) of the planning logistics. We’ve also been friends since college, and she’s now the only one still living in Arlington with me (all of our other gurlays have moved away!). I don’t know what the heck I would do without her.

Then we have Catrinaaaa! My California girl, fitness buddy, fellow foodie, and amazing friend. I don’t get to see her enough!!! Move back to the East Coast, Treen!

A Megan/Catrina sandwich!

And then there’s this. Lol.

That right there is probably one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. It’s so us!

Once we were done with our photo shoot (this wasn’t even all the girls – just a few of them!) we hopped in a Lyft and headed to a drag show at Lips!

When we got there, we saw that Hana had coordinated another Snapchat filter for us. Seriously, my friends spoiled me rotten during this trip.

Somehow we got SUPER lucky and wound up with a table right up front. Look at my bachelorette crew! Aren’t they beautiful? (People probably hated us, lol. We were definitely “those annoying bachelorette party girls.”)

Yay!

Before the start of the show, we met our waitress for the evening, Chocolata. She had such great energy and right from the get-go I could tell she was going to make the night so much fun.

We ordered our food and a couple of drinks before the show started, and I ate some surprisingly good mushroom raviolis. (I say surprisingly because I’m not sure good food is the main focus of a drag show place, haha!)

Then Chocolata brought over two bottles of champagne and said they were from Claire and Jojo!! I couldn’t believe it – two of my sweet friends who weren’t able to come on the trip had coordinated to have the champagne brought over to us. How many times can I say that my friends are the best?

Once we were done with our food, it was time for the show! Our front and center seats came in handy and we had a great view.

After a couple of entertaining acts, Chocolata came out in a whole new outfit and worked the room with an amazing lip synching and dance performance!

I looove this picture of her putting her boot on the table in front of Megan.

LOL!!

Basically, Chocolata was phenomenal.

Then before I knew it, the main part of the show was over and I was being called up on stage with a bunch of other bachelorettes for a challenge! I screenshotted this picture from Hana’s Snapchat. 🙂

For the challenge, we had to get on our hands and knees and take a “blow job” shot without using our hands. Yep, I had to do that. On stage. In front of a bunch of people.

Ready…

Go!

The challenge was a lot of fun, and at the end I fulfilled my dream of taking a picture with Chocolata (who had changed outfits again).

Right before we left, I talked to Chocolata a bit more (probably too much) and thanked her for empowering women everywhere to be the best version of themselves and to just be confident in their own skins. Yep. I’m not making this up. Luckily my friends pulled me away and we left Lips before I got too annoying. I hope, anyway. Haha!

That’s some love right there.

What a fun night!!

Question of the day: Have you ever been to a drag show? Also, do you get stage fright?

I thought I would be nervous about going on stage for the challenge, but since my friends were all right in front of me I didn’t feel nervous at all. The drinks beforehand probably helped too. 😉

 Posted by on March 23, 2017
Mar 202017
 

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Fabio left for a work trip early Sunday morning, but we made the best of our Friday and Saturday together! Here’s a recap.

Friday

On Friday night, we had a family birthday dinner! My stepdad Fritz, stepsister Maggie, and her boyfriend Nick all have winter(ish) birthdays, so we usually get together around this time of year to celebrate. (Fabio, my mom, and I all have fall birthdays, so it works out well!)

For dinner, we went to a new-to-me restaurant in Monrovia, MD, (about 10 minutes from my mom’s house) called Wilcom’s Inn. I had passed this place a ton of times before, but for whatever reason it never really caught my attention. My mom said it used to be a bar for horse-betting, but it has new ownership now and she raved about the steaks.

When we pulled up, we were surprised to find the place packed! It’s sort of in the middle of nowhere, so I wasn’t expecting such a big crowd. The owner introduced himself to us as soon as we arrived, and everyone was so hospitable! We all got steaks, and even though our expectations were high from my mom’s rave reviews, we were impressed. Everything was delicious!

We will definitely be back to Wilcom’s Inn!

After dinner, we went back to my mom’s house and enjoyed some more wine by the fireplace. We wound up all chatting about our childhood and other random things, and there was a lot of laughing going on. It was a really fun night!

At around 11:00, Maggie and Nick headed back to their apartment and the rest of us headed up to bed.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we woke up to mimosas made with fresh orange juice!

My mom’s friends Lee and Dan came over for brunch, and Fritz made us a delicious breakfast of whole wheat pancakes with strawberry preserves, scrambled eggs, and sausage. Dan also made this delicious baked brie wrapped in crescents. Yum!

After breakfast, Fabio and I sat down with Lee, who is also our wedding officiant, for our premarital counseling. I wasn’t sure what to expect from premarital counseling, but it actually wound up being very helpful! Lee did a great job at talking to both of us about our relationship and some things we can do to make it stronger.

After the counseling was over, we hit the road and ran a bunch of wedding-related errands. We are still trying to finalize the suits for the groomsmen, but after driving around to a bunch of places I think we finally arrived at a solution. Phew!

Taking some advice from Lee, Fabio and I decided we should go on a date once all our errands were over. We’d been wanting to check out Ambar in Clarendon for a while, so we figured Saturday was the perfect time. Ambar is a Balkan tapas restaurant, and it’s always crowded whenever we drive by.

I started off with a Belgrade mule, which was delicious!

Fabio got a beer, and although I don’t know what kind he got, I can attest that it was delicious. Also, this is the face he makes when I say “Let me take a picture of you for the blog!” Haha!

We got a bunch of tapas to share including the balkan salad…

…the balkan kabab…

…the stuffed sour cabbage with pork…

…and the lamb rotisserie.

Everything was delicious and we had such a fun time just chatting with each other. We need date nights more often!

On the way home, we stopped to pick up Ben & Jerry’s (we got “The Tonight Dough”) and then we watched Moonlight. It was a perfect evening!

Sunday

Fabio left for a work trip at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, so Jack and I were left to our own devices.

After sleeping in a bit, I spent the rest of the day meal planning, doing a million loads of laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and meal prepping. Jack kept me company the whole time.

He’s such a good companion, especially when Fabio is away! He always gets really snuggly when it’s just the two of us and will bark if he hears any random (or scary) noises. AND he kills bugs for me, which is just about the best thing ever.

In the early evening I did some work on our wedding invitations (cross-checking that I had everyone’s names correctly on the envelopes and in the online RSVP system), and then I started working on this post!

All in all I’d say it was a great weekend!

Question of the day: For those with significant others, how often do you go on dates?

Fabio and I definitely don’t do this often enough, but that’s because we usually have a lot of other fun stuff going on!

 Posted by on March 20, 2017