Category Archives: Mid-Week Peaks

Five Things

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Phew, we’re almost to the weekend, friends!

Now that we’re more than halfway through September I think I’m past due to get back into a schedule of posting around here. I feel like I’m on repeat with this, but it’s been a busy month and the days are just flying by. Rather than sharing my highlights from the week, I thought I’d share five things I’ve been loving this month.

1. Birthday Celebrations

I kicked off the month with my 26th birthday. We kept it fairly low-key since we were still recovering from our trip and 26 is a rather ordinary age, but we took advantage of the Labor Day  long weekend and went out to dinner in Annapolis. We celebrated with a good meal, strolled around town, and enjoyed some ice cream at our favorite Annapolis Ice Cream Company, courtesy of the wonderful birthday gift certificate my mom sent me. I also received quite a few fab cards from friends and family around the country, which made my birthday week extra special.

2. At-Home Happy Hour, Al Fresco

After almost two years of having nothing more than some concrete steps to call our outdoor space, J and I have been taking full advantage of the patio area at our new apartment. Evenings have been spent out at our bistro table enjoying dinner and good conversation. Fridays are usually low-key for us, and we’ve been enjoying some at-home happy hours with a glass of wine or beer and snack plates to wind down the week while we enjoy the late-summer evenings. It’s entirely possible I’ll still be sitting outside in December in a scarf and winter coat, determined to make the most of the space.

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3. Fall is in the Air

Now let me throw it out there that I also love spring, summer, and winter (well, the holiday season part of winter.) But there’s something so refreshing about fall, and I have some pretty amazing memories associated with the season.  Our wedding anniversary, for one, but also high school football band season, being on my own for the first time when I moved to Pittsburgh for college, raking leaves around my hometown neighborhood with my brother and our neighbor/sister/friend, and so much more. After a whirlwind of a summer I’m so excited to welcome in the fall season.

4. New Cookbook Love

I’ve been a longtime reader of the How Sweet Eats blog. The author, Jessica, is so personable and genuine in her writing, and I always look forward to reading her posts.  When her new cookbook, Seriously Delish, launched earlier this month, I couldn’t wait to get my copy. In addition to recipes, Jessica shares wonderful stories, tips, and insight, and I’ve spent a little time every evening this week browsing through the pages. Now, who wants to come to dinner!? 🙂

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5. Kicking Off Kickball Season

In addition to my birthday, the start of September also meant the start of our kickball season! Earlier in the summer a friend of mine invited J and I to join the kickball team she and her husband play on as part of the Kickball League of Baltimore, and we happily accepted the invite. We have games every Wednesday evening in September and October, and so far we’re 3 for 3! I even got brave enough to catch the ball last week, which I followed up with an embarrassing proud squeal.

What’s something you’ve been loving lately?

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Mid-Week Peaks & Our Rocky Relationship with NYC

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Happy Wednesday! How’s everyone’s week going? To keep it perfectly real, I’ve been in a total pre-vacation slump. We leave for Cape Cod on Sunday, and nothing makes you feel like you need a vacation more than knowing that you have one waiting for you. J and I have taken turns all week telling one another that we just have to make it to Friday. Alas, despite the slump, there have also been some great highlights over the last few days. Here are this week’s mid-week peaks (as well as a fun little story about our rocky relationship with NYC):

  • A Get-Together With Alumnae Sisters

After work on Friday I headed toward Baltimore for a dinner meeting with some of my alumnae chapter sorority sisters. Getting involved with my local alumnae chapter was one of the best decisions I made after moving to the DC area. Making friends as an adult is hard work, and having this great group of women as a support system made the transition so much easier! I love J beyond measure, but I really look forward to the laid-back, once-a-month girl time I get to have with this eclectic group of ladies. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s amazing how much you have in common with those who have shared life experiences. We are a range of women in different age groups, professional fields, from different areas of the country, and in varying stages of life, but we all come together because of a commitment to our sorority that we made in college… and somehow, we click.

  • Day-cation to NYC

On Saturday J and I made a little daytrip to New York City and finally put to use the MegaBus tickets we bought almost two years ago. To give you a little back-story, J and I got engaged one memorable weekend in the city in October 2011. However, the proposal wasn’t the only thing that made the trip memorable – it was also the weekend a snowstorm hit the Northeast. In October. With plans for a grand autumn proposal in NYC (unbeknownst to me), poor J and I trekked around the city getting wind-blown and soaked through before he popped the question at a romantic little restaurant in Greenwich Village over dinner and by that point, much needed wine.

The ring was in his jacket pocket during this experience… I can’t help but laugh now…

So while that proposal weekend was perfect all in it’s own right, in 2012 J and I decided to give the city in autumn another chance. We wanted to see the fall leaves in Central Park and eat pastries on the sidewalk in Little Italy. We purchased two MegaBus tickets and looked forward to our weekend getaway. Then, in the days before we were set to leave, Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Needless to say, we cancelled the trip. However, if you know anything about MegaBus, you can’t really cancel. You either lose your money, or you have to keep scheduling future trips (never more than 2-3 months out), and rescheduling, and rescheduling… In our case, we rescheduled for almost two years. Life got in the way and there was never a good weekend to go. Until the last time I went to amend the reservations, and I told J “This is it. We either go or admit defeat.” So we went! And the weather was glorious!

We couldn’t make a weekend out of it, so we committed to seven great hours in the city. We ate, we took pictures, we walked – a lot, we strolled Central Park and watched street performers, and we enjoyed a day together with minimal distractions. And despite the long hours and over-air conditioned bus ride home, it was a pretty great day.

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What’s been a highlight of your week? Cheers! xx

Mid-Week Peaks

Happy Wednesday, friends! The past week included a lovely three-day weekend filled with a visit from family, lots of good food, a baseball game, and more! I shared some shots from the weekend in a photo post on Monday, but here’s a run-down of this week’s mid-week peaks:

  • 4th of July in Annapolis

J’s brother and his wife arrived at our little nest mid-morning on Friday to visit and spend the weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding area. After some lunch and catching up, we made the short drive to Annapolis to show them around one of our favorite cities and soak in the 4th of July festivities. After a walking tour of West & Main Streets, we headed to the Naval Academy to explore the buildings and grounds (despite having done this several times with different guests, J and I always end up discovering something new each time, and we never tire of seeing the beautiful architecture!) We then headed back up the hill, stumbling upon Galway Bay Irish Pub and stopping in for a drink. While Galway Bay was awesome, the weather was perfect on Friday, so we decided to continue the party at one of J’s and my favorite watering holes, 1747 Pub, for some refreshments on the patio.

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Sidenote, I just counted, and in the 7ish hours we spent in downtown Annapolis on Friday, we visited 5 different restaurant/bars. In my opinion, the best way to see a city is by foot, eating your through it. Food and drink breaks become a common trend in any sightseeing tour with me and J. 🙂

Over the course of the rest of the evening we enjoyed some time down by the water, taking in the picturesque views before heading across the bridge to the Eastport area of Annapolis to track down Davis’ Pub for dinner. Once we made it back to Main Street, the crowds had really started to grow as everyone prepared for the parade and fireworks. None of us were too interested in sticking around for the traffic jam, so we decided to head to the car and catch the fireworks on TV back home where we enjoyed the A/C, playtime with the cat, and awesome 4th of July/nautical themed sugar cookies I picked up from  Sweet Hearts Patisserie.

Boats on a Bay

  •  A Saturday in DC

We had tickets to a National’s baseball game for early Saturday evening, so after a leisurely morning, we all got set to head into DC for the day. First stop was the National Arboretum, a place I highly recommend to anyone looking for free things to do in DC that are a little off the beaten path. In addition to gorgeous gardens, bonsai collections, and walking trails, the Arboretum also hosts the original columns from the U.S. Capitol. The columns are really stunning, and J’s history teacher brother definitely enjoyed the idea that President Lincoln once walked the very stones we stood upon.

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 After a little exploring at the Arboretum, we were all ready for some lunch and headed toward Capitol Hill/Eastern Market for a taste of We the Pizza, one of my favorite DC lunch spots. After we all pigged out on Spike Mendelsohn’s awesome pizza and homemade sodas, we strolled through the open air Eastern Market. With the typical Saturday afternoon bustle, there was plenty to see from all the arts, crafts, and food vendors before making our way to Nat’s Stadium for the baseball game, where the Nationals crushed the Cubs in a 13-0 game.

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By the time Sunday rolled around I couldn’t believe we were almost through the 3-day weekend. Time goes by way too fast when you’re having fun. It was awesome to have J’s brother and wife to visit, as we never get to spend time as just the 4 “kids.” It was such a fun weekend, and definitely the highlight of the week.

What’s been a highlight of your week? How did you spend the 4th of July weekend? xx

Mid-Week Peaks: Charleston Recap

Capitol Hi, friends! It’s Wednesday! The past week was a busy one that included a fun alumni event here in DC, as well as a road trip to my hometown – Charleston, WV. Here are this week’s Mid-Week Peaks:

  • An Alumni Get-Together

My alma-mater, Duquesne University, hosted a DC Alumni Chapter Kickoff event after work on Thursday, and I had a great time catching up with old classmates and sorority sisters (pictured below), as well as meeting some fellow alum for the first time. The event itself was a cocktail hour at an office building right in Chinatown, but when it wrapped up at 8, the younger alum kept the party going next door at PennSocial with a game of “Sorry!” and lots of corn hole. It was a really fun evening, and despite experiencing it all the time with my sorority events and activities, I never cease to be amazed by how well a group of strangers can get along when they have just one thing, like a shared collegiate experience, in common.

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  • A Trip Home

J and I both took the day off work on Friday so we could get to Charleston before suppertime. It’s about a 6-7 hour drive for us depending on traffic and stops, and we arrived just in time to enjoy homemade pizza courtesy of Mom. After dinner, we freshened up and headed downtown where I got my much anticipated Ellen’s Ice Cream before strolling over to Live on the Levee for some music and a walk along the riverfront. Charleston’s annual art festival, FestivALL, was taking place, so there were plenty of sights and sounds to keep us occupied over the course of the weekend.

Welcome to WVLive on LeveeAfter a good Friday night’s sleep and a leisurely Saturday morning, J and I finally got ourselves together to head downtown again and check out the arts & crafts vendors on Capitol Street. We also stopped in to The Purple Moon, owned by my dad and stepmom, to visit and scope out all their new offerings in mid-century modern design. After we had walked through the fair and enjoyed some hotdogs and street performances, we met up with my mom, stepdad, and aunt to head over to Wine & All That Jazz. We had such a fun time visiting the different winery booths, enjoying views of the State Capitol, and listening to some great jazz. I also got to visit with a few old friends, like the lovely Sydney, pictured below. 🙂

em&syd_winejazzCapitol WineJazzjon&em_winejazzAll in all, it was a pretty fabulous weekend. It’s always nice to get back to my hometown and see so many familiar faces, but it sure did feel good to get home Sunday evening and veg out on the couch with the cat. We’re still playing catch up from being out of town, and the work week has been off to a fast start. I’m definitely looking forward to the long weekend ahead. What’s been a highlight of your week? Any fun plans for the 4th?

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Seven Ways to Make July Great. xx

Mid-Week Peaks

Phew, it’s Wednesday! We’ve had a busy week around here. We’re West Virginia bound on Friday, and the four-day work week is making  the summer days fly by. Here are this week’s Mid-Week Peaks:

  • A Friday in Chinatown

chinatown gatesJ was still out of town on Friday, so I metro-ed the few stops over to Chinatown to meet my friends Briana and Mike at Matchbox for happy hour after work. They were in town for a little anniversary trip, and it was wonderful to share some wine and appetizers and catch up. Mike was actually one of the first friends I made in college, and Briana and I are sorority sisters. It’s always great to reminisce a bit with old friends – plus they are a super adorable couple. After happy hour, I headed to PennSocial where my coworker’s boyfriend was playing a set. PennSocial always has a super relaxed feel, and it was nice to hang out and watch some of the World Cup while listening to some fun music. There are also board games, and who doesn’t enjoy a lively round of Jenga on a Friday?

After leaving PennSocial I took Uber (get a free ride with referral code: mrhky) back to pick up my car at work, and as the driver took me through the city with the windows rolled down, I couldn’t help but think how blessed I am. When I moved to DC two and half years ago it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I left behind friends, family, and a fiance (who luckily didn’t take long to follow) to start a new job in an unfamiliar city. The first year I was here was tough – J and I were broke and planning a wedding, and all I wanted was my mom or my best friend to just go to Michael’s with me to buy craft supplies. But seriously. Now, as I hop from place to place on a Friday evening and watch the monuments blur by as I ride through the city on a perfect summer night – I know I made the right decision.

  • A Quiet Saturday

Carrie loves JSaturday ended up being a quiet day for me. With the exception of a quick trip out to the gym, I took it easy around the apartment and used the gloomy gray clouds as an excuse to clean out my closet and watch a lot of New Girl on Netflix. It was a much needed “me-time” kind of day, but I was happy when J got home that evening. Although, I think Carrie was even happier. As guys do, J plopped his pile of stuff down by the door when he came in on Saturday, and Carrie stayed tucked around his bags through Sunday evening when I finally made him put them away. He’s definitely her favorite.

  • Sunday Funday in Annapolis

DSCN0165After spending most of the weekend apart, J and I were happy to head out and spend a sunny Sunday in Annapolis. We visited the waterfront Farmer’s Market (1 market down on the Summer Bucket List!) and enjoy the beautiful morning. The historic downtown was bustling, and we caught each other up on our weekends apart while enjoying crepes, some photography, and perfect waterside scenery.

I wish I could say our work week has been as much fun as our weekend, but with lots of things on the to-do list before we head out of town for the weekend, the highlight of my weeknights has been cookies and cream ice cream and new episodes of my favorite ABC Family Shows. By the way, where exactly are they going with The Fosters? And is it just me, or was “Hefty Hanna” not really that hefty? Anyway, how’s your week been? Any highlights to share? xx

Find more Mid-Week Peaks here.

Mid-Week Peaks

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Happy Wednesday! How’s the week going? I think J and I have both been running on autopilot lately. We have lots of fun trips, events, and life happenings coming up, and it’s been tough to just sit back and live in the moment. I’m especially looking forward to a visit home to WV next weekend. I plan on packing all my favorite Charleston things in to two short days. I can already taste the Espresso Oreo ice cream from Ellen’s. Until then, here are this week’s Mid-Week Peaks – a few highlights from the past week:

-A Performance by The King

I won’t go in to too much detail since this was actually a work-related event, but I had the honor of seeing Elvis perform on Saturday. It was interesting, to say the least.

Elvis

– Sunday Funday with J

The weather was absolutely perfect this weekend, and since I had spent most of my Saturday “working” with The King, J and I had a little Sunday Funday and headed out to the driving range. We spent some time hitting and putting and then stopped by The Big Fish Grille on our way home for some cocktails, calamari, and patio time. It was a fun afternoon in the sun, and I love when we both get out of the house away from TV and technology and just enjoy each others’ company. Also, how cute is this guy?

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– A Special Father’s Day Announcement!

J’s brother and his wife publicly announced some much anticipated news on Sunday, and I’m so happy the secret is out! They will be welcoming their first baby in December, and J and I can’t wait to spoil our future niece or nephew. This little peanut is going to have the best shoe game around thanks to Uncle J and Aunt Em. Sending much, much love and happy thoughts their way.

– A Little Yoga Practice

For some reason yoga has always been a huge fitness fear for me. I am a cardio junkie, lift (modest) weights, and I will happily pick time outside over the couch any day. But yoga was my fear. I’m really lucky because my workplace provides free group fitness classes almost every day of the week, and Tuesdays are Yoga Days. After more than two years of coworkers trying to coerce me into trying it, I finally gave in three weeks ago and decided to give it a whirl. While I’m certainly not good at it, I have really been enjoying the practice, and I plan to make yoga a regular part of my fitness routine.

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That about wraps it up on my end, folks. How’s your week been? Any mid-week peaks to share? Have you ever been intimidated by a fitness activity the way I feared yoga?

 

 

Mid-Week Peaks

Hi, friends! How’s the week going? We’re off to a good, if not rainy, start. J got back from his conference late Sunday evening, so the last few days have just been catching up and getting back into the routine. Here are a few highlights from the past week, and if you’re stopping in for the first time, check out the story behind Mid-Week Peaks here.

-A Visit from my Bestie

As I mentioned in last week’s Fit for a Friday post, my friend Krista came for a visit over the weekend. It had been SUCH a long time since we had a visit with one another that wasn’t centered around some big life event, and it was nice to be able to just enjoy each others company. We went to the Annapolis Wine Festival (more about that below,) chatted while soaking up the sun on the city dock, and enjoyed dinner and ice cream. Definitely a much needed girl’s weekend.

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-The Annapolis Arts, Crafts and Wine Festival

Since I knew Krista would be in town, I picked up tickets for us to attend the Annapolis Arts, Crafts and Wine Festival on Saturday. The festival was held at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium just fifteen minutes or so from where J and I live, and the weather was absolutely perfect for an afternoon of wine tastings, barbecue, and browsing the craft vendors. I was really impressed with the event and the efficiency of the wineries. Krista and I both agreed that we never felt rushed, and the lines were really manageable. We tried some great wines and each picked up a bottle or two to take home. We even made friends and cheesed it up with Jim from Linganore Winecellars – our favorite tasting of the day!

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-My First Tomato!

My little potted tomato plant sprouted it’s first fruit this weekend! I am so excited to watch this sucker grow, and I’m sending warning stares out to all the neighborhood squirrels scoping it out.

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-Stitch Fix!

I finally gave in to my curiosity about a month ago and scheduled a fix from Stitch Fix. (Heads up, referral link!) My order didn’t ship until this week because there was a waiting list, and I’m really excited to see what the stylist has picked. I’m still not sold Stitch Fix is for me (I love shopping, why have someone else do it for me?), but I’ve heard great reviews and figured it was worth a shot. I’m hoping to love something in the fix I otherwise wouldn’t have picked out for myself. I’ll probably do a recap next week once I receive the shipment.

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Some other highlights of the week include the second season of Orange is the New Black, the premiere of Pretty Little Liars last night (I know, judge me), new candles from Bath & Body Works (Have you smelled Sundrenched Vineyards? Love!) and lots of Chocolatey Cats Cookies from Trader Joe’s.

What’s been a highlight of your week? Any summer TV premieres you’re looking forward to? Have you used Stitch Fix – what are your thoughts?