Tag Archives: summer

Update on My Summer Bucket List

cape cod

So, my Summer Bucket List. It feels like just last week I was writing up the list and anxiously anticipating the summer months ahead. Now here we are in the middle of September and I’m already Googling new cognac boots and spending too much money on fall scented candles from Bath and Body Works.

This summer went far from planned. To start, we moved. We had started looking at some new little nest options but weren’t planning on moving until later this season. However, we fell in love with an apartment and it was priced appropriately. In this area those two factors mean ACT NOW. So we did. While we accomplished some things on the Bucket List, many got left behind or forgotten altogether. Despite that, it truly was an amazing summer. We traveled, we “cheers-ed”, we laughed, we lived in the moment, and we were certainly never bored.

Here’s the rundown on our list:

– Read 8 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day

So, I didn’t make it to eight. I think I read five? When I created the list I anticipated reading much more on my vacations to Cape Cod and Europe than I actually did. Aside from travel time in the car or planes, I hardly read at all on those trips, which is actually probably a good sign. I will say that by creating a book list I really made it a point to pick up the titles I wanted to read. The list helped put the reading process back into my daily routine (even if I was only reading a few pages before bed), and that was ultimately the point. I definitely plan to create a fall reading list to share later this month.

– Go to Six Flags

Yep, we didn’t make it. We truly had no free weekends, and with all the other awesome things we were doing it never even crossed our minds.

– Attend at least one outdoor concert

Woo! We can actually cross this one off the list. Early in the summer we saw that Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson were going to be performing at Wolf Trap and we scooped up tickets and blocked out the evening on our calendar. Wolf Trap is a really fun and unique concert venue with a rustic vibe. They allow everyone to bring in their own blankets, picnic baskets, and alcohol, so we packed up nibbles and a bottle of wine and had a really perfect summer date night.

– Try three new restaurants in our area

I know we had to have done this, but I’m having trouble remembering what restaurants we frequented all summer. Crepes, BBQ, and lots of fresh seafood were all part of our summer diets, and we made it a point to try out new spots when we went out. While not at all in our area, the best meal we ate this season was hands-down at Barbecoa in London.

– Visit two new local Farmer’s Markets

I made it to the Annapolis market (meh), but so far I still haven’t gotten to Fell’s Point for theirs. Free Saturday mornings were at a premium. It is still on my list to get to though, and fall markets are sometimes even better than summer!

– Go to Sandy Point State Park

Nope, didn’t make it. Like Six Flags, it never even crossed our minds. Maybe next year!

– Visit a local winery

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to an actual winery. I did get to a few wine festivals and tried lots of new local wines – even finding some new favorites and go-tos. Boordy still has some events happening this fall, and I’m going to keep this goal for the coming season.

– Make homemade doughnuts

In the midst of travel and moving this never happened. For a couple of weeks there I was doing minimal cooking, let alone baking. Now that my pots and pans are unpacked and I’ve gotten the hang of my new gas stove (love it!) I may give this a go.

– Have a picnic outside on a blanket

We did this a few times, but as mentioned above, my favorite picnic was definitely at the Gavin/Matt concert.

– Make caprese salad using basil and tomatoes from my own plants

So the neighborhood we lived in before we moved in August was pretty residential and had deer. Lots and lots of deer. When my first few tomatoes started to appear back in June the deer swept in and ate my plant down to a stump. It is just finally recovering and has a few lone green tomatoes sprouting, but I have low hopes. We have much better outdoor space at our new apartment and I can’t wait to start fresh in the spring.

– Craft something

I think I crafted a few things over the last few months, but I honestly can’t remember. I did finally get around to staining an unfinished wood crate over Labor Day weekend. We used it as part of our wedding reception decor, and I’ve been meaning to stain it for two years now. Inspired by my new outdoor patio space and a three day weekend, I set about staining it and turning it into a small bookshelf/side table. I love the end result and the bit of personality it adds to our primarily Ikea-furnished living space.

– Buy a piece of artwork while traveling

Unfortunately, this never happened. We never saw anything that really struck us that we loved enough to haul around. We do plan to go through some photos and hopefully get some great prints from our travels to add to a gallery wall that is on our to-do list.

So, we didn’t do all that well at crossing things off the list, but so is life. What was something on your summer bucket list that you never got to? Or, what was something fun and unexpected you did this season? xx

Advertisements

Across the Pond & Back: Photos from London & St Andrews

We’ve officially been back from Europe for two weeks. It feels like a lifetime. We had an amazing time – filled with laughter, good friends, bubbly, and glow sticks. I’ll start getting back into some regular posting around here in the coming days, but for now, I’m going to stay in a state of wanderlust and reminisce.

Buckingham TheEye DSCN0472 DSCN0470 DSCN0441 DSCN0445 DSCN0501 DSCN0526 DSCN0381 DSCN0534 IMG_4453 IMG_4464 IMG_4426 IMG_4468IMG_4406

DSCN0611 DSCN0585 DSCN0659 DSCN0566 DSCN0705
DSCN0719 IMG_4518

On 26, and a Reflection on 25

cupcake2

Today, I turn 26. I always feel a little nostalgic on my birthday. Not just because I’m another year older, but because on September 2nd, the day usually falls on or around Labor Day, marking the unofficial end of summer.

This summer season, and this year in general, have been a whirlwind. You always hear that the days/weeks/months feel shorter and shorter the older you get, but never was that quite so apparent to me until this 25th year. And to be honest, I always thought that was just something old people said.

As I reflect on this year’s past, I am filled with joy. To keep it real, years #23 and #24 were rough. Fresh out of college and feeling like every step I took was a major life choice was no playground. Suddenly, I was away from my friends and support system, and even more suddenly, making new friends was harder than it had ever been before. Add planning a wedding and feeling constantly broke to the list, and you can imagine the mood swings. There were some wonderful highlights of course, but there were also some major slumps.

Then, around 25, things started to click. I widened my social circle and put myself out there. I grew confident in my career and as a young professional, and I celebrated a year of marriage with my wonderful husband. I (we) traveled. We explored our own city as well as many more. I stopped comparing myself to friends and acquaintances on social media. I drank spinach-filled smoothies for breakfast and ate dessert every night. I found my own, real, personal style. I also finally settled on a hair color (for now).

As I step in to my 26th year, and as the season changes from summer to fall, I am nothing but optimistic about the months ahead. A big reason for that is you – my family and friends. For the support you give me and J, for being there even when I don’t call as much as I should, and for being by my side through some of my best memories of the year – Cheers. Bring it on, 26.

year25

 

Rambles on Life Lately

Carrie

Hi friends! Sorry to have fallen off the radar these last couple of weeks. In addition to the usual catch-up that ensues upon returning from vacation, J and I decided to throw a move on top of that. Let’s just say we tend to live by a “power through it” motto.

After returning home from our Cape Cod vacation a week and a half ago, we immediately started packing up our apartment to get moved to a new community later in the week. Living off Subway sandwiches, we spent this past Thursday and Friday after work packing our cars and making trips to the new place with boxes of what can be described as nothing more than “stuff.” First thing Saturday morning I headed to Pittsburgh to celebrate the baby shower of a wonderful friend while J and his brother and BFF loaded the U-Haul with our furniture. By the time I returned Sunday almost everything was out of our old place (including the cat!) and we finished our last cleaning and to-do’s there before dropping off our keys.

Exhausted and slightly overwhelmed, we are now getting ourselves settled into the new space. We are really excited about the community, and we are both ready to get it put together so that it starts to feel like home (aka – decorate!). It’s a brand-new apartment community that really appeals to young professionals, so I think it is going to be a great fit for us. Even better? It’s a non-smoking community, which if you’ve ever been a non-smoker living in a huge apartment complex, you’ll understand how awesome that is. The hope is that we can settle here for a bit. This is the third time we have moved since January 2012, and while moving is a great opportunity to purge the junk we don’t need, we’re both pretty sick of it. When we first came to the area we had no idea what we were looking for in terms of an apartment, and we were utterly blown away with sticker shock. After being here for almost three years we know our favorite restaurants and neighborhoods, and where the best middle ground is for our commutes (I’m in DC and J’s in Baltimore.) We’ve also learned that you unfortunately get what you pay for! Hopefully this is the community we’ve been looking for to meet some new people and enjoy the next few years.

In case you’re wondering, the cat is doing ok. She has moved from about a 9 on the terrified scale to a 3. She’s been exploring the space and has been alternating her time between trying to jump on the countertops (not ok), hiding in my master closet amidst the boxes, and peering out the sliding glass door to the scope out the patio. I took advantage of the move to buy her a new bed as her old one was getting pretty rough, and after a full 48 hours of sitting on the carpet next to it and staring it down, she finally cuddled up last night.

Overall, with the exception of our trip to Cape Cod (which was perfectly beautiful and relaxing), the last few weeks have been chaos. Pumpkin ales are already on tap at our favorite watering holes (too early!) and summer is flying by. While we scope out some new furniture options and talk gallery walls, we’re also getting set for our trip to England and Scotland in … 11 days!?!

Posts may be a bit sporadic around here through Labor Day as I work through the boxes, take advantage of the last weeks I have to enjoy the sparkling new pool I now have access to, and travel to Europe to celebrate the wedding of some wonderful friends. I’ll check in whenever I get the chance – now go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

xx

Week in Photos: Cape Cod

joverlooking hyannismaritime onaboat jboat anchorshack artemis boatflag jfk eandj snoozin britishbeerco beach jbeach underground bike fenceflag beachblondefullhydrangea hydrangea coffee coffeemorning eatlocalcapecodchipsejlastnightsunset

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

peony_6.18.14

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?

J Golf

– 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.

manifesto for a simple life

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?