Tag Archives: things to do in annapolis

Five Things

yellowrose

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.

alfresco

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!? 🙂

seriouslydelish

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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Update on My Summer Bucket List

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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

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.

1747

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.

arboretumcolumns

 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

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.

Weekend in Photos

chinatown gatesbriana and emily 6.20.14mike and emily 6.20.14

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DSCN0204book and muffins 6.22.14

Fit for a Friday

Happy Friday, friends! Also, Happy West Virginia Day, and happy almost-first day of summer! How’s everyone’s week been? J headed home to his parent’s last night so he could play in an annual golf fundraiser today, so I’ve been holding it down single [cat]lady style. If the rain holds off tomorrow morning my plan is to check the Annapolis Farmer’s Market off my Summer Bucket List, and maybe even get a little baking done on Saturday before J gets home. This is the only weekend until September that doesn’t have something on the calendar, so I plan to happily enjoy the downtime. To help you kick off your weekend, here’s this week’s Fit for a Friday – a compilation of musings, findings, and favorite links I’ve stumbled across in the past week.

A great little piece discussing some of the awesome things to do in my hometown, Charleston, WV. As I mentioned in this week’s Mid-Week Peaks, J and I are headed there next weekend to catch the last leg of FestivALL and visit family and friends I haven’t seen since Christmas. Take me home, Country Roads.

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It wouldn’t be a Fit for a Friday post if I didn’t share a cute animal story. The fact that the zoo adopted the cat and is letting it happily roam in the habitat makes my heart smile. PS – the author notes this story doesn’t seem to have any real source or date, so please keep that in mind! The video is super adorable, though.

How stinkin’ cute is this? I actually stumbled on to this link through Sugar & Cloth’s equally cute DIY // Polka Dot Floppy Hat post. I went to high school with Ashley, the author behind Sugar & Cloth, and she always posts really fun and colorful DIY’s and sweet treats. Now excuse me while I go find a floppy hat to paint.

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I swoon. J and I dream of a little brownstone with original hardwoods, a touch of outdoor patio space, and reserved parking. The dream lives on.

That about wraps it up for me. Cheers to the weekend! xx