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
Oct 162017
 

This weekend was exactly what I needed after a super stressful week at work. My coworker Carly and I were able to finish up a big deliverable on Friday afternoon, which meant I didn’t have to do any work over the weekend. Hooray! I left the office in the best mood ever and couldn’t wait to spend a weekend unwinding. 🙂

Friday

I think most of you know by now that Fabio is a huge Yankees fan, so our Friday night plans revolved around watching the playoff game. We debated going to Ugly Mug in D.C., which apparently is a big Yankees bar, but in the end we decided to stay close to home and head to the Buffalo Wild Wings that’s right up the street from us.

I celebrated the end of my long week with a gigantic beer! Dogfish head 90 minute IPA for the win. 🙂

We wound up sharing a mix of BBQ and Buffalo boneless wings (so good!) and we had a great time watching the game together, even though the Yankees lost.

Shortly after we returned home, Fabio’s dad arrived from New York! It was great to see him, and we spent a few minutes chatting before I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and headed up to bed.

Saturday

In the morning, we drove over to Fabio’s sister and brother-in-law’s house to see our new nephew, Michael!

We hadn’t seen him since he was just a few days old, so we were definitely overdue for another visit.

He’s such a cutie, and I felt like I could just sit and stare at him for hours. Babies are the best!

I also couldn’t believe what a good baby he was – he had lots of smiles for us and made lots of adorable baby cooing noises.

Soon enough we were all hungry for lunch, so we went to town on some Bolivian food we had brought with us. The pastries below are called Saltenas, and they’re filled with chicken and veggies – sort of like a chicken pot pie. And they are gooood! We brought lots of extras for Diane and Alex to enjoy throughout the week too!

After lunch, we headed outside for a little and I couldn’t get over baby Michael’s bear suit. Come on – how adorable?!

Fabio and I sadly had to head back home in the early afternoon, so we said goodbye to everyone and then hopped back in the car. ‘Til next time, baby Michael!

When we got home, Jack’s friend Tilly was there! Our friends Jojo and Jadd had a wedding to attend on Saturday, and Jojo’s sister dropped Tilly off on Saturday afternoon.

She and Jack get along great – we joke that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend – so he was really happy to see her!

After we took the dogs for a walk, we settled in for a movie night at home. We ate some leftover wings from the night before, drank some more delicious beer (in Harry Potter mugs, no less) and watched a somewhat dumb movie on Netflix called What Happened to Monday.

Even though the movie wasn’t great, I stayed awake for the whole thing which is a pretty big accomplishment for me these days. Ha!

The doggies kept us company on the couch.

We headed up to bed after the movie, and I will just say that having two snuggly dogs and two humans in a queen-sized bed didn’t make for the most restful night of sleep. 😉

Sunday

Sunday morning began with another walk with the dogs to the park…

..and then we said goodbye to Tilly and headed out to meet my dad and sister for a fun lunch outing at Top Golf!

Fabio and I love going to Top Golf, and we had a sneaking suspicion my dad and sister would like it too. They did!

We wound up getting a bunch of appetizers to share as our lunch…

…and spent some time hitting the balls in between grabbing bites of food!

It was a really fun way to spend the afternoon!

We stopped by the grocery store on the way home, and then later for dinner I made homemade pizza. Yummmmm!

Now I’m sitting at the computer writing this post, and I’m trying to force myself to work on some of the wedding thank you notes when I’m done. Orrrrr not…. 😉

Question of the day: Are you watching the baseball playoffs? Who are you rooting for?

The Nats loss earlier this week was a really tough one!

 Posted by on October 16, 2017
Oct 092017
 

Hey there, and happy Monday to you! I’m actually writing this on Sunday morning, which is fairly unusual for me. I’ve got my favorite cooking shows on in the background and Jack is snuggled up close nearby, and since I had some free time I figured I’d sit down and get this blog post knocked out.

Fabio was up in New York City for the weekend celebrating a friend’s bachelor party, so I had some time to myself! I debated making plans with girlfriends or with my family, and while I am heading out to see family later today (more on that below), I decided I wanted to spend my Saturday with a day just for myself. And you know what? It was amazing!

Friday

Work has been incredibly busy and stressful lately, as we’re gearing up for American Diabetes Month in November. My coworker Carly and I are in charge of running the whole campaign, so we’ve been super busy! I stayed at work until around 6 on Friday, at which point I came home, walked Jack, and then picked up sushi from my favorite spot in Ballston, Sushi 2 Go. I watched one episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m rewatching the series…and it’s bringing out all the emotions!!) and then did a bit more work. I finally closed my laptop just before 10 p.m. and then I read my book in bed for approximately 2.5 seconds before falling asleep.

Saturday

I must have been really exhausted because I slept until 11:15 on Saturday! I honestly cannot tell you the last time I slept that late – maybe when I was in middle school? Even when I’m hungover I don’t sleep that late! I guess this was my body’s way of telling me to slow down and pay attention to my needs.

After waking up, I took Jack for a walk and then started my day! I had a bunch of local errands I wanted to run, and since it was such a beautiful day I decided to walk everywhere instead of taking the bus, metro, or my car.

I listened to a couple of good podcasts (I am really liking NPR’s How I Built This) and had a lovely day walking around Arlington!

My first stop was my favorite local coffee shop, Northside Social. I snagged a table outside for myself and enjoyed an iced latte (it was 83 degrees on Saturday!! Where is fall??) and a turkey sandwich (since I missed breakfast).

I also bought a peanut butter cookie which I stashed in my purse for later. 🙂 I just love the atmosphere of Northside Social – so many people come to sit and relax inside and out, and I felt like I could sit there reading my Kindle all day.

I just love the atmosphere of Northside Social – so many people come to sit and relax inside and out, and I felt like I could sit there reading my Kindle all day.

Once I finished my food, it was time to move on to my next stop: Lululemon! I received two gift certificates to Lululemon for my birthday (it’s like my family knows me or something 😉 ) and I wanted to put them to good use!

I wound up getting these pants, this jacket, and a cute grey tank that I can’t find on the website. I was also thiiiiis close to buying these pants, but I already have a bunch of black leggings and didn’t feel like draining my entire wallet, so I put them back on the rack.

After that, I continued my exploration of Arlington by walking down to Smitten Boutique in Courthouse for a hair appointment! My hair had gotten really long and straggly over the summer, and I was ready for some brightness and a trim.

This was my first time visiting Smitten Boutique – I had read good reviews online – and I really liked it! It wasn’t cheap, but I really liked the staff, service, and the results.

What do you guys think?? It’s a little lighter and a little shorter, and I’m a fan!

When I got home (it took me about 30 minutes to walk back), I took Jack for another walk and then made my grocery list for the week and headed to Target. I usually go to Giant for groceries, but I was hoping Target would have some cute fall decorations in addition to my groceries, and they did!

I love this cute little leaf garland, and I now have some festive pumpkins on the front stoop and a wreath on the door. I’m ready for fall even if the mother nature is not!

I found some random leftovers in the fridge for dinner, and then I set out to make this cream cheese pound cake to take to my grandma.

My grandma had knee-replacement surgery on Friday morning, and she comes home from the hospital today. I’m planning to take this cake over to her a little later, and I’m hoping it will put a smile on her face!

I tasted a couple of crumbs that came off the cake when I was flipping it out of the bundt pan, and they tasted great! 🙂

Once my cake was done, I headed upstairs to bed. Spending a day to myself was a little bit lonely, but I called some people during all my walking and once I got home, I had Jack to keep me company. And honestly it was just so nice to have a day to myself to do some of the things I enjoy doing that Fabio doesn’t (shopping, baking, decorating the house, etc.) and I think it’s a day I’ll remember for a long time (I’m sure when we have kids someday I’ll look back on this day and wish for it back!).

All that being said, I’m ready for my hubby to come home. I miss him!

Question of the day: If you could spend a day by yourself doing whatever you wanted, what would you do?

 Posted by on October 9, 2017
Oct 022017
 

**Edited to add: I woke up this morning to the devastating news about the shooting in Las Vegas. My heart is broken by the evilness, and my thoughts and prayers are with anyone who was affected. <3

Hello there, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun weekend!

Ours was mostly spent celebrating my birthday at my grandparents’ house on the Chesapeake Bay! It was a lot of fun, but went by way too fast.

Friday

Fabio and I were initially planning to drive down to my grandparents’ house on Friday after work, but due to an accident on the bay bridge, our GPS was showing it would take two hours to get there (instead of the usual hour and 10 minutes). Ugh.

Instead of sitting in all that traffic, we decided to stay home and make the drive in the morning instead. We wound up making one of the Hello Fresh meals we had in the fridge (roast pork with cauliflower mashed potatoes, apple pan sauce, and snap peas) and watching a movie. We watched The Founder and while I really enjoyed it, I fell asleep about 3/4 of the way through. Oops! 🙂

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we made the drive to my grandparents’ house, and didn’t have to sit in any traffic. Woohoo!

We arrived in time for lunch, and after quickly eating some sandwiches, the boys (my dad, grandpa, and Fabio) headed out for a game of golf. While they played, I got to spend the day with my grandma and sister, and our four collective black labs – Jack, my grandparents’ dog Cindy, and my dad’s dogs, Max and Lexi.

The four dogs get along great and had a blast playing in the backyard. 🙂

Since I knew the boys would be golfing for a while, I had planned to spend the day prepping dinner with my sister. She’s 12 and doesn’t cook a whole lot at home, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for her to test out her cooking skills! We spent some time looking through a couple of cookbooks I had brought with me, and then once we had picked out a couple of recipes to make we headed to the grocery store together. Then it was time to get to work!

My sous chef!

We wound up making these butternut squash lasagna rolls and these brussels sprouts with pancetta.

Cooking with my sister was a lot of fun!

Right around the time we finished prepping dinner, we got a call from the boys saying they were finished with their game. We decided to meet them up at the clubhouse for a drink, at which point my sister took hold of my phone and took a bunch of funny pictures on Snapchat.

I don’t even know how she did this!? Haha!

A little while later we headed back to the house, where I opened up birthday presents from my family. They gave me some great gifts! 🙂 Thank you, guys!

Before sitting down to dinner, we spent some time outside playing with the dogs in the yard again.

It was such a beautiful night – I’m always in awe of the view from their house.

Once it got dark, we headed inside to eat. Everyone seemed to enjoy the butternut squash lasagna rolls and brussels sprouts, and my sister ate three helpings of the sprouts! She’s a picky eater and doesn’t eat a ton of vegetables, so this was a big win for me. 🙂

After dinner, it was time for birthday cake! Look how beautiful this cake is that my grandma got from Peace of Cake (the same vendor that did our wedding desserts)…

Isn’t that so beautiful? Happy birthday to meeeeee…. 🙂

Unbeknownst to anyone, my grandma accidentally bought trick birthday candles, which were just about impossible to blow out. It was so funny!

So funny! The cake also was extremely delicious, with fresh raspberries and a lemon curd filling. Yummm.

Even the shell decorations were delicious (they were made of white chocolate!) and I enjoyed eating the edible pearls and sparkles.

My dad, stepmom, and sister headed home after dinner, but Fabio and I decided to extend our visit by staying the night. 🙂

Sunday

Fabio made us all bacon and egg sandwiches on English muffins for breakfast on Sunday (yum!) and after that, we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to my grandparents.

Back at home, we ran a bunch of errands and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom. I also got out our fall decorations and realized that I don’t have nearly as many as I thought. Time to go to TJ Maxx! 🙂

While I cleaned and decorated, Fabio worked on organizing our new pantry and a peg board we have in our storage room. It feels so good to be organized!

And when I asked Fabio what he wanted for dinner a little while ago, he said he wasn’t too hungry so I suggested having leftover birthday cake for dinner. He agreed, so that’s what we had! 😉

And now I’m finishing up this post with the football game on, and am thinking of going to bed early. It was a busy weekend!

Question of the day: When was the last time you had dessert for dinner?

 Posted by on October 2, 2017
Sep 262017
 

Fabio and I got home from New York at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, meaning there wasn’t much time for me to sit at the computer and get a blog post together. That was ok though because we had one of the most memorable weekends in a long time!

A while back, I planned a weekend trip with my high school besties–Bianca, Hana, and Sam–to see Bianca’s new(ish) apartment in New Jersey. Bianca got an apartment with her boyfriend Pasqualle (aka, Sqalls!) a while back, and she was looking forward to having us come up for a visit.

She had told us she had a great view of the city, and she wasn’t kidding! This was the view we saw when we woke up in their apartment on Saturday morning (after having driven up after work on Friday):

So amazing, right?

When we woke up, Bianca immediately got to work making us scrambled eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, and toasted English muffins. What a great hostess! Meanwhile, I sipped hot coffee with pumpkin spice creamer and took in the views. The city is so pretty!

At around this point, Fabio and I realized we were looking right across at the Upper West Side, which is where Aunt CC and Uncle Steve live. We were pretty sure they were in Otis for the weekend since they spent most of their weekends up there, but we sent them a quick text letting them know we were waving across the river toward their apartment.

Imagine our surprise when we got a text back from them saying they were in the city waving back! (CC sent me this picture, which made me LOL.)

When we got these texts we were right in the middle of figuring out our plans for the day, and we thought we’d head to downtown NYC to a newish area called Seaport for their Oktoberfest celebration. We asked CC and Steve if they wanted to join us, and they said yes!! Woohoo!!

As soon as breakfast was over, we got ourselves cleaned up and headed out for a fun day! Here I am with my hubby right outside of Bianca and Squalls’ apartment. Do you think they get tired of this view?

To get into the city, we took the ferry across which was perfect since it was such a nice day.

From there we hopped on the subway, and we met up with Hana as soon as we got off. High school besties reunited!

The Seaport area was really cute with lots of fun-looking restaurants and bars lining a cobblestone street. Apparently this is a relatively new area in the city and was all redone recently. It was adorable!

After walking around for a little while, we arrived at Pier 15 for Oktoberfest! It was pretty crowded, but since we had gotten there relatively early we were able to snag an area right by the water. It was a gorgeous day to be on the water!

And after we were there for about 15 minutes, CC and Steve got there!! Woohoo!! I have the best aunt and uncle. 🙂

We then proceeded to spend the next couple hours chatting, drinking beer, eating pretzels, and enjoying the sunshine and beautiful scenery. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time – so many of my favorite people were in one place!

Me & Bianca! Ha!!

The boys <3

And our whole group!

Overall we just had such a fun time, and I was especially grateful that CC and Steve came to hang out with us. 🙂

We decided to forgo the whole ferry –> subway situation on the way home in favor of a $75 uber. Hey, it was worth it when split between 5 people!!

When we arrived back at Bianca and Squalls’ place, we got ready for a fun evening! This weekend also served as a housewarming of sorts for Bianca and Squalls, and we got to meet a bunch of their friends!

Sam and I were beer pong partners, and I’m happy to report we won every game all night! Wooo! Power team!

We even beat Fabio and his best friend Hayden who came in from the city with Hana. They are famously good at beer pong, so it was pretty satisfying to beat them. Twice. 🙂

After that, we headed out to the bars in Jersey City and Hoboken for a little!

It was just SUCH a fun day with so many people I love. That day will definitely be one I remember and look back on for years to come!

Sadly Fabio and I had to leave on Sunday morning, but before we drove back home we got to see a lot of his family at his cousin’s baby shower in Long Island. We hadn’t seen most of them since the wedding, so it was a lot of fun catching up with everyone. And of course, I loved seeing my niece Sofia! 🙂

We got stuck in #allthetraffic on the way back home and didn’t make it back until pretty late, but, as I said, it was SO worth it! 🙂

Question of the day: What do you like to eat on road trips?

Fabio and I got Chick-Fil-A on our way up to New York, and it was SO good!

 Posted by on September 26, 2017
Sep 182017
 

Hello! How was your weekend? The highlight of ours was a wedding, the first one we’ve been to as husband and wife! 🙂 Here’s a recap!

Friday

I worked from home on Friday because we had someone coming from the Container Store to install our new pantry. We have a really awkward storage room off our kitchen — which is also where our washer/dryer, water heater, etc. are located — and it was pretty much a mess in there without any shelves. We got a bunch of new gifts from the wedding, most of which were previously stacked haphazardly against the wall and you could never really access anything. It’s a million times better now with the pantry shelves!

Before:

After!

I spent some time this weekend moving our appliances, canned goods, and other kitchen items onto the new shelves, but it’s not exactly how I want it yet. I’ll post an update once I get everything all organized!

We were also dog-sitting on Friday, so once Fabio got home we took the two pups for a walk to the park!

These two were BFFs and got along so great. 🙂

Then on Friday evening, we drove over to a brewery in Warrenton, VA for a rehearsal dinner! The wedding was for Fabio’s coworker Kyle and his new wife Ash, and I was so thankful we got to celebrate with them. They’re the best!

The brewery was a perfect location for the event, and I loved that the whole evening was spent outside. It was a beautiful night, and we had a lot of fun catching up with friends! This is Fabio’s coworker’s daughter, who we hadn’t seen in ages. Last time I saw her she was a senior in high school, and now she’s a college sophomore! We had to take a picture

This is Fabio’s coworker’s daughter, who I always love chatting with. Last time we saw her she was a senior in high school, and now she’s a college sophomore! We had to take a picture since we were wearing matching olive-colored dresses. 🙂

It was a really fun night!

Saturday

Saturday morning began with another trip to the park!

We watched Rooney just until around 11:00 a.m., and then she got picked up. It sure was fun having her around!

Eventually it was time for us to drive back to Warrenton for the wedding! We stayed at a Hampton Inn and took the shuttle over to the venue.

The wedding took place at Eastwood Retreat, and it was beautiful! Here comes the bride!

Congrats, Kyle and Ash!

After a quick ceremony, it was time for cocktail hour! Check out my handsome husband. 🙂

BTW – my skirt is from my recent Trunk Club! I loved wearing it and thought it was perfect for a fall wedding. I got a ton of compliments on it too!

Cocktail hour was held on a really pretty outdoor patio, and we enjoyed some delicious passed hors d’ouvres and plenty of good drinks!

One fun detail that I really liked from Kyle and Ash’s wedding was that they created nametag buttons for each guest. When we RSVPed they asked us each to include a fun fact, which they then added to the nametag pins. So fun!

My fun fact was that I have a health and fitness blog. 🙂

Here’s Fabio with the groom!

The rest of the evening was spent cheering on the couple, enjoying a tasty buffet, and of course dancing! There was also an epic cookie and doughnut table when it came time for dessert. It was a lot of fun!

When the reception was over, we all headed to Molly’s Irish pub for an after party. The bride even played the tambourine with the band!

Haha!

Sunday

Fabio and I headed home pretty early on Sunday morning, which was nice because it meant we had the whole day to meal plan, go to the grocery store, do some chores around the house, and then relax and watch football.

And now we’re about to dig into some baked ziti for dinner. Yum!

Question of the day: Pick one, vineyard or brewery?

 Posted by on September 18, 2017
Sep 112017
 

Hey there! How was your weekend? Mine was especially nice, and I’m feeling like it went by way too fast. Wahhh! Can I get one more day please? Here’s a look at what we were up to…

Friday

Friday evening was wonderful because we had absolutely zero plans. We came home from work, took Jack to the park, walked to get sushi, and then watched Narcos from the couch. I drank some wine and fell asleep early and it was everything my Friday night dreams are made of. Haha!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, Fabio made us breakfast!

On my plate: a Colombian arepa (similar to a tortilla but thicker) with scrambled eggs and salsa. Plus a frothy cappuccino. Yum!! Enjoyed while watching cooking shows, which is one of my favorite things to do on weekend mornings. 🙂

After breakfast, we cleaned ourselves up and headed out to a baby shower for Anne! The shower was held outside in a nearby neighborhood, and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day! The temperatures were in the mid-seventies and it was sunny – aka perfect weather for an outdoor party.

Anne’s mom hired this really cool pizza truck for the event – it had a wood-fired oven built right into the truck so they could keep fresh, thin-crust pizzas coming out every few minutes. The truck also had a few different beer options on tap, and they served salad and gelato. Amazing!

Next time you need a caterer for a party, definitely check them out!

The party itself was a lot of fun, and Fabio and I had a nice time getting to know some of Anne’s other friends and family members. Everyone was super nice! 🙂

On our way out, I made sure to grab one of these cute onesie sugar cookies they were giving out as favors. So cute, right? It was tasty too. 😉

After the baby shower, Fabio and I headed home to change and grab Jack, and then we drove over to my mom’s house for dinner. I just love visiting her house in the summer!

Upon arriving, we spent some time exploring the back yard and checking out all the produce that my mom and stepdad have growing in the garden these days.

My mom sent us home with a bunch of canned goodies and some other fresh produce – including a couple of pumpkins!

We also picked out some tomatoes, which are basically like candy to Fabio. He loves them!

My mom and stepdad also had some onions and garlic hanging up to dry – cool!

A trip to my mom and Fritz’s wouldn’t be complete without a stop by the chicken coop! They have so many chickens now and are selling eggs to neighbors, people at church, and pretty much anyone who will buy them. So cool! We went home with a couple of eggs too. 🙂

When it got to be dinner time, we enjoyed some tasty okra and homemade pasta, plus my mom’s caramel cake for dessert. Delicious! It was really nice catching up with my mom and stepdad and we had a really fun evening with them!

Once we got back home, we got a text from some friends saying they were at Dacha beer garden in DC (one of my favorite spots!) so we quickly got changed to meet up with them. We wound up staying at the beer garden until it closed and then went to another bar until around midnight. It was really nice meeting up with our friends – some of whom we hadn’t seen in a while – and I’m glad we were able to make the little outing work with our plans!

Sunday

Sunday included breakfast at Silver Diner! We started with coffee, and then I got the pancakes with eggs and sausage. I almost always get pancakes at places like this – I can’t resist them! Fabio, meanwhile, went with chicken tenders and fries – as you can see, he’s not a big breakfast person. Crazy, I know!

Fabio and I wound up talking about all kinds of stuff during our breakfast together, and it felt like a nice little date! (Even if it was just at Silver Diner – ha!) It was definitely a fun way to start the morning!

After breakfast we stopped by the Container Store to pick up a few things and finalize the order we placed recently for a pantry installation in our storage room off the kitchen. This is something we really need in that room, and I CANNOT WAIT for it to get installed later this week. Woohoo!

We may or may not have popped into Lululemon after this since it was right across the street, and my birthday is coming up. Hint hint, husband! 🙂 Ha!

The rest of the afternoon was spent organizing the cupboard under my bathroom sink with some of the new storage solutions we bought (exciting I know) and meal planning, grocery shopping, etc.

Meanwhile, Fabio watched #allthefootball on Red Zone and didn’t leave the couch once. *insert eye roll emoji*

For dinner, we had pumpkin soup that I made with the pumpkin my mom gave us! My mom sent me the recipe too. 🙂

It came out delicious, and now we have leftovers to have for lunch during the week. Woohoo!

And now the evening is drawing to an end, and I’m wishing we had just a little more time in our weekend. It was such a good one!

Questions of the day: What do you order when you’re out for breakfast at a diner? Any other significant others glued to the TV this Sunday?

**I can’t help but look at today’s date and think about all the lives that were lost to senseless terrorist attacks 16 years ago today. I hope you’ll join me in keeping all those affected by that tragedy in your thoughts and prayers today.**

 Posted by on September 11, 2017