Archive for east coast

Weekend Review: Christmas 2014

I know I’m a little late on this one, but I wanted to share my Christmas adventures with everyone. Long story short, we decided to do a mini-getaway with the family. While I’d been to Charleston – who am I to say no to fun and travel?

My sister, her kids, and my mom went for the entire week, but I went down Christmas Eve and stayed through the weekend. My sister is notorious for planning every possible second of every day, so I got to see lots of fun things!

On our first day, we visited Magnolia Plantation. I carried Gabe around like he was mine. My ovaries were shouting, GIMME GIMME! But also – isn’t he adorable?

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Auntie M & Gabe

Magnolia Plantation is basically a old Civil War Plantation that has been converted into gardens and a tourist mecca. In fairness, it is beautiful. Below – parts of the garden and the plantation house.

Famed white bridge over the lake/swamp

Famed white bridge over the lake/swamp

Magnolia Plantation House

Magnolia Plantation House

The second day I was there, we spent the day walking around Charleston and finding fun items at the markets. My mom loved those sweet grass baskets. I found an awesome vintage tin for my gallery wall in my apartment. But here’s a cute pic of my 2 nephews:

From L to R: Gabe, Auntie M, and Matthew

From L to R: Gabe, Auntie M, and Matthew

On my last day there, we went to a tea plantation and then to the Angel Oak Tree. The tea plantation was clearly my idea, I picked up their peach infused loose leaf tea 🙂

Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation

And then we stopped in at the Angel Oak Tree which wasn’t very far away. It is estimated to be about 400 years old and it’s actually 4 trees that have grown together.

Angel Oak Tree

Angel Oak Tree

I desperately wanted to climb it, but you can’t even sit on it. That’s me fake leaning, by the way!

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M & the Angel Oak

 

All in all – it was a great Christmas break. The kids tried my patience (and truth be told, so did my sister), but it was great to be with family. The older I get, the more important I realize how much I crave time with my family and these special moments together.

Weekend Review: Beer, beer, and more beer

Ok, so it’s Friday and I’m only now finding time to tell you about last weekend. My bad.

Anyways – here we go. Last Saturday, I organized a brewery tour for my work peeps. We were meant to go on a wine tour, but not everyone bought their ticket in time…so, the alternative was beer. We started at Bluejacket which is down at Navy Yard. We started with some early morning tasters, food, and then a tour (which went a little longer than any of us anticipated).

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The whole team (minus 1) at the start of the tour.

The tour was really great and informative. If you’re a hardcore beer lover, get to Bluejacket and take the tour. If you just like to drink beer, then get to Bluejacket and skip the tour. After we finished up there, we headed to our next destination, Chocolate City Brewery. And like any good transit loving people, we hopped in a Lyft (not an Uber, because of all the recent controversy). We even won fun sunnies from the driver, he was awesome!

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Sweet Lyft sunnies

Going from Bluejacket to Chocolate City was a complete 180. We went from high-end beer works, to something that resembled a garage. However, the building was cool looking…

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Chocolate City Brewery

And there was some awesome street art nearby that we all took advantage of. This is officially, my favorite work photo evar!

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We’ll call this one “Movement”

Things got a little blurry after Chocolate City. We went to Atlas Brew Works and then ended up out on H Street for quite awhile. There was some epic jukeboxing happening as well as some serious Donkey Kong competition. In the end, there were 3 left standing and I’m honestly surprised we looked this good. ps. That’s totes my boss on the left, how awesome is she??

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Last Women Standing!

Sunday was very much a day of rest and recovery, but not before I had some ME time and got my hair did. It’s been awhile since I’ve had color put in and while I wasn’t really interested in going back to blue or purple, I did think it would be fun to get a little honey/ombre going. Here’s me on Tuesday, with a little curl. The cut is still the same and the rest of my hair is still start, just the long side is now blonde/honey. I’ll be sure to let you know if blondes have more fun.

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Do blondes have more fun?

And last but not least from this week, was Mesha’s surprise birthday party. It wasn’t technically the weekend, but who cares, it was fun. I’ve known Mesha for about 5 years now and we first met when we played gaelic football. We were carpool buddies and pretty much always lost. Since her birthday is always around Thanksgiving, she’s never had a real birthday party. So her awesome wife, Sam, planned one for her and she was genuinely surprised as there were about 15-20 people there! The funny part is that Mesha thought she was coming out to meet me just to hang. Sam told her I was having ‘man troubles’ (never far from the truth) and just needed some quality friend time. She joked when she got there that she almost came out in sweatpants! Ha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Happy Birthday, Mesha!

Mesha doesn’t like cake, so she got a “beer cake” instead. Pretty sweet, right?

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Mesha’s beer cake

So yeah, that was my weekend. The days after Tuesday have sort of been a blur of emotions. Some happy, some meh, some lonely, some missing family. I didn’t really have a proper Thanksgiving as I decided to stay and just make a little extra cash on the side with pet sitting, but part of me wishes I had gone home. Though I know if I went home, I would have wished I had stayed. Anyways, that’s a story for another time; but, I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with your loved ones. Now, on to Christmas!

Weekend review: Labor Day (plus a rewind!)

This past weekend flew by and while I had intentions of at least one other blog post…alas, it is Monday night. Already. Sadsies.

I did a lot of work over my holiday weekend, but I did manage at least one, fun awesome day of wine tasting with my sis and a few friends. It’s kind of turned into a tradition that my sis and I go wine tasting and after a few really fun trips with a couple of people…we’ve sort of, accidentally on purpose, turned into a wine group.

Yesterday, we checked out Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville, VA. And yes, the tasting room is actually in a wine cave!

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While the winery itself has that “small business” feel to it, there are over 200 acres of land/vineyards. All of us really loved that Maggie herself, was behind the counter, pouring her guests tastings and interacting with everyone. Of course, we got a photo!

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And here’s the view!

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They had a live jazz band there as well. Here’s Belle enjoying the music (and yes, we only pick wineries that are pup friendly so Belle can join the fun!).

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It was a great day with the wine group and we’re already planning our next winery adventure. It’s pretty fun to just pick a spot, meet up, eat and drink for a few hours, and walk away with some great memories.

And since I’m here, I thought I’d do a quick recap of the past few weeks since I haven’t quite found my blogging groove again. I’m working on figuring out a schedule that works for me, but for now…here we go. Here are 4 great pics that sum up my past couple weekends.

1. Brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon: Had brunch with a long-time friend and her hubby a few weekends back. They were visiting for a conference and we met up for bottomless mimosas at Beuchert’s Saloon. We kept the party going and had a few more bevvies. I don’t know what we’re all laughing at here, but this picture is priceless in my book. I do love the friends I’ve made along the way and even though we don’t talk every day, we’ve managed to stay in touch.

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Road trip to Richmond: I visited Richmond, VA last weekend to catch up with an old college friend. In truth, we were really only acquaintances at best, but life has a way of bringing people together when you need them most and now she’s definitely a friend. Here’s her adorable pup, Annabelle. You know I was in love!

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3. Puppy sitting
I’ve been puppy sitting again to boost my travel fund. Sometimes I forget how fun it can be, especially when you get to hang out in rich people’s houses and enjoy their fancy hammocks. Man, I love a good hammock.

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4. New job!
And last, but not least…my new job! I’m in love, people. In love! My coworkers are fab and I love all the events and adventures I get to go on. It’s not all conferences in SF, but just getting to be a part of something greater has put new spirit and excitement in my blood. They look to me as a marketing guru and when I voice an opinion, I”m heard! I’m also doing TONS of reading which feels good and I feel like my writing has been elevated. There is a big hill to climb, in terms of getting our site/blog/feed really out there…but it’s good to be a part of a team again. Here I am in Crystal City, checking out an art installation called #crystalwings. We saw it coming back from an event. Fun, right?!

photo 4(1)And that’s a wrap. Back to your regularly scheduled Monday program!

Family: The Wee-Yins Part 2

In 2012, I shared a few pictures of my nieces and nephews, taking absolute pride and joy that I was indeed an auntie. I also loved that I got to see each  munchkin right as they had been born. A year later, there was a new addition to the family but because the family lives in England, I wasn’t able to cuddle this cutie until now. Meet Georgina!

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Number 4 (of 5) is also my god-daughter. I’ve never been a god-parent and I can’t honestly say I really know what that entails, but I plan on snuggling and spoiling her rotten (as I do with ALL the kiddos). She is so much the spit-image of my sister it cracks me up. I want a mini-me! Haha.

And then nearly 2 weeks ago, we welcomed yet another cuddle bug to the family. This is Gabriel and the youngest brother to Matthew and Maddie. I can’t believe how tiny he is. So wee, so fragile, so perfect.

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I’d be willing to bet my mama-clock is on overdrive and I have a little bit of baby fever (how could you not around these cuties?), but I love these kids to the moon and back. I can’t wait to watch them grow into tiny little humans. Aren’t they just the sweetest? Clearly, not biased at all!

Weekend review: Sweetlife festival

This past weekend I crossed another goal off the old 2014 list and went to the Sweetlife festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion. It wasn’t the usual 3-day festival, but it met necessary criteria by having a lot of great bands there, so I jumped on board. I went with a friend and we kept the day fairly casual, showing up well after doors had opened and sitting back on the lawn people watching in between bands. See, here’s me being casual…

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There were a few rain drops during the day, but ain’t no thang…

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As the day went on, we managed to make quite a few friends that were seated near us. As it turns out, Sweetlife was riddled with 15 year olds getting high before their parents came to pick them up, so all the “oldies” decided to band together. Ahhh, to not be a teen ever again.

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And of course as the day went on, there was plenty of dancing…

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All in all, a really fun day that was drama-free and quite memorable! Goal accomplished.

Weekend review: Homely

Part of the challenge of moving into my own place would be knowing how to fill my time and to be OK with being alone. Sometimes, I’m not OK with that, but it’s always a learning opportunity. Like last weekend when a lot of my friends were either busy or out of town, I had an entire weekend to fill with activities. To find a way to make my time valued and memorable. So what did I do? Exactly what I wanted to.

I’m an avid reader of Young House Love and find that their style inspires my own home decor, which has made it really fun to layer and build up my new apartment. YHL is also based out of Richmond, a mere 2 hour road trip away and this past weekend was the opening of Homerama. I’ve been reading about Homerama for months now over on Young House Love, as they helped decorate one of the houses, and I knew that even though I’d be off an adventure by myself…I just couldn’t miss out.

I didn’t get to meet John and Sherry, but I did geek out over all the little details of the house, and absolutely LOVED seeing something in real life that I’d been stalking online for awhile. Here’s a compilation of all my favorite details in the house. I think style really seeps out in the details and it’s the small pieces that make a statement, rather than the large…er, statement pieces.

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I even met up with a friend from college for a quick coffee and sweet treat down in Carytown while I was in Richmond. All in all, a successful road trip. Did I also mention there was beer and bluegrass at the Homerama? Oh yeah, that was a nice treat too. As it turned out, I was perfectly okay on my own.

Oh and I just have to share my latest baking adventure – Chocolate Whiskey Pecan Pie. It was a recipe I tore out of Real Simple a few months ago and since I had a bit of spare time on my hands, I thought I’d get crafty? Bakey? Something…

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Here’s the recipe for anyone that would like to try it too…

Whisk together:

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp whiskey
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Fold in:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Pour into:

  • 1 unbaked 9-in piecrust

Bake at 350 until the center is set but still slightly wobbly, 40-50 min. Let cool.

Mine was done at 40 minutes and while the center was set and wobbly, it was gooey when I cut into it a few hours later (assuming that’s how it’s meant to be?). It’s definitely a decadent sweet treat and even with only 2 tbsp of whiskey, you still get that nice flavoring. My only mistake? I used a graham cracker crust, which I guess is technically not ‘unbaked’ but it still worked.

Weekend review: Dog love

Last September, one of my good friends moved to Boston. I was happy for her because she was starting a new chapter in her life, but also sad as she was my hiking buddy and she took her pup, Sophie with her. Rude.

But last weekend, I went to visit said friend, Sophie, and do a little Paddy’s Day celebrating in Southie like a local. This visit also meant I could cuddle with Sophie!

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I was actually really excited for the change in city and the change in pace as compared to my previous weekend shenanigans. Instead of being a lush, we were outdoorsy and did several hikes in the North Boston area.

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There was still plenty of snow on the ground, but it was manageable. It was also good training for my knee. I’m finally comfortable enough to get out there and do more rigorous activities…and not a moment too soon! But of course after every hike, there was always a bit of cuddle time. Sophie really has mastered the selfie…

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After 2 relaxed days of hiking, nomming, and catching up we headed to South Boston on Sunday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to hang out with some of her friends. Her friends had a townhouse right on the parade route – talk about an amazing view! Nothing beats a good Sunday session!

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It only took me 2 days into this week to feel rested and back to normal, but it was worth every minute. Tiny hats ftw!

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