Friday, August 15, 2014

Around Town: Atwater's Bakery

Every now and then I like to treat myself to an indulgence. It doesn't have to be anything super expensive, just a little somethin' somethin' to add some pizzaz to my daily routine. The other day I walked to ATWATER'S a local bakery down the street. As an added bonus my workaholic work-from-home husband decided to stop working and join me on my stroll. I love it when he does that, it makes feel on top of the world :-)

After looking at the bakery's many dessert options I decided to get the chocolate cupcake pictured above. It was scrumptious!

"She did not need much, wanted very little. A kind word, sincerity, fresh air, clean water, a garden, kisses, books to read, sheltering arms, a cosy bed, and to love and be loved in return.”  ~Starra Neely Blade

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Get Rid of Junk Mail

If there's one thing that gets me mad it's junk mail. I hate the waste it creates, both in terms of time and materials. Just thinking of how much advertising paper I've had to dispose of over the years really gets my blood boiling. These ads feel like such an invasion to me. For once, I'd like to open my mailbox and only find useful items inside. Normally, I passively put up with my irritation with this situation as I grumble on my way to recycling bin, yet again. But not recently. No I hit a breaking point the other day, when not one but two, 17 lb. Restoration Hardware marketing packages appeared at my door step. That's right folks, 34 lbs. of garbage! I can only imagine how much these shipments cost companies, and how much of that cost is passed down to consumers.

I was incensed, and decided to take action. I signed up for CATALOG CHOICE. It's a free website that allows you to manage junk mail, and send requests to companies to remove you from their marketing lists. For those of you who are like me and wish to avoid mail advertisements, it's a great service. I feel like they've given me a small piece of my life back :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Around (Another) Town: Assateague Island, MD

Over the weekend  the hubs and I had the pleasure of visiting ASSATEAGUE ISLAND. The island is home to Maryland's only oceanfront STATE PARK, and is about a 3 hour drive from both Baltimore and DC. One of the main attractions is of course the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.  Few things beat listening to the sound of the ocean and feeling the sand between your toes. It makes an incredible backdrop for reading a good book, taking a nap, or fitting in a little yoga.

In addition, to a phenomenal beach they also have wild horses, that you can find trotting along the shore and other park grounds. It's quite the sight to see.

The location makes for both a nice romantic getaway as well as a family friendly excursion. For an entrance fee of $4 per Maryland resident and $6 per non-resident (active military get in FREE) it won't break the bank either. I feel super fortunate to have discovered it, and can't wait to go back soon!

Friday, August 8, 2014

In the Kitchen: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe

Grilled cheese is one of those dishes that's super easy to make and keeps kids happy.  To kick things up a notch from the standard grilled cheese sandwich, I tried replicating a sandwich I had at UNO'S once upon a time. It was a hit, so I'm passing the recipe along to you.
  • Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in skillet on medium heat
  • Sprinkle small amount of shredded parmesan cheese onto butter and  place a slice of fresh country bread on top (if you're local you can get great bread from ATWATER'S bakery)
  • Add a mixture of mild cheddar,  romano (optional), and aged cheddar cheeses to bread
  • Top with a second slice of bread with one side buttered
  • Cook until golden
This pairs well with marinara sauce or tomato soup.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Won't You Be My Neighbor?: 707 Hollen Road, Baltimore, MD

A newly renovated bungalow just hit the market in Lake Walker. Reconstructed by the team at JOHN YAKER HOME it boasts 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. If you love modern finishes or the feel of a condo inside a single family detached home, then this might be the house for you. It's currently listed at $299,990. You can find the listing HERE.

The entire first floor is open concept and includes a powder room and beautifully redone kitchen.

Off the kitchen is a stairway leading to fully finished basement with a full bath, bedroom, and living space.

On the second level are three bedrooms and two full baths.

The master bedroom features a raised ceiling and very convenient en-suite.

There is a another full bath down the hall.

As an added bonus the house comes with really awesome neighbors ;-)

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

If you're interested in the property you can contact the listing agents Eric ( and Tom ( If you're interested in renovating your existing home you can contact the builder at JOHN YAKER HOMES.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Anniversary Staycation

Typically for our anniversary the hubs and I like to celebrate by staying at a bed and breakfast. This year it occurred to me, "hey, I already have a bed and I know how to make breakfast". In light of this epiphany, I decided to plan a lovely weekend staycation. The rules of the staycation were to have fun and enjoy a large dose of good old quality time. I must say all the undivided attention was heavenly.

I decided to jazz things up a bit around the house by filling it with tons of flowers and lighting my favorite candles.

(TIP: If you want to wake up to a pleasant aroma, place fragrant flowers by your bedside. I like to use garden roses.)

We finally found time to visit CLYBURN ARBORETUM

and Baltimore's much talked about WOODBURY KITCHEN. The ambiance at the restaurant was incredible, as were the deviled eggs.

At the end of our weekend I made sure to whip out some of our favorite wedding pics.

All-in-all we had a great time.  We've got to try this more often!

"Love is.......hanging out together." ~unknown

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Our 3rd Anniversary

This week I am celebrating three wonderful years of marriage to the love of my life. Every minute of our marriage has not been perfect, but it's definitely been worth it. I can honestly say when it comes to husbands I found a great catch. It's around this time of year I tend to be particularly reflective about our relationship. I ponder about where we are? Where we're going? And what I've learned so far? In honor of Emily's "What I Learned this Month" SERIES  and our anniversary, I've decided to share with you a few nuggets of marital wisdom:

1) Don't sweat the small stuff. There are a million and one things my husband does that could drive me up a wall. For instance, he never puts the toilet seat down, forgets to put in a new bag when he changes the garbage, and regularly leaves his toothpaste in the sink. When it comes to these habits I can frustrate myself and have a total meltdown, or I can accept them as is and pick up the slack. I choose to do the latter and find it creates more peace for the both of us. I try to keep things in perspective by asking myself, "Will this matter in five years?" If the answer is no, I move on.

2) Be grateful for what you have. It is inevitable that there will be times when my spouse successfully ticks me off.  Whenever I feel particularly upset with my husband, I do an appreciation exercise. After heading to bed when the hubs is asleep, I lay awake for a few minutes next to him and observe him breathing. I remind myself that one day he will not be breathing, and how if I'm alive when that time comes how sad I will be. I then pause and feel thankful for the ability to appreciate my husbands breath, and work on moving on from whatever annoyances occurred that day.

3) Treat your marriage like a job. There was a time when I was newly married that I thought marriage was not work. I believed I had found the perfect person, and somehow our relationship would magically strengthen and maintain itself. Boy was I wrong! It wasn't until I started to see marriage as a job, that I began to work at it successfully. Like any job I had a job description: bring happiness to my partner. I also had performance reviews, which entailed checking in to see how I was doing at my "job". This change in perspective worked wonders for the both of us, and I am happy to report we are both now top performers at work :-)

What about you? What marital wisdom can you share?

"I pray everyday more than anything, friends we'll stay as we begin to lay this foundation for a family. Love ain't simple, how can it be? Anything worth having you work at annually." ~Common

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lake Walker Cape Cod Homes

Cape cod style homes are adorable in my opinion. Originating in New England in the 17th century the design eventually migrated down to Baltimore. Simple homes, cape cods are characterized by a modest size, two and half stories, and little embellishment. The cape cods in Lake Walker are quite charming, and convey that good ole American cottage feel. These are a few of my favorites.

Aren't they darling? I love the way these smaller homes tend to feel so homey. They possess personality, yet require little upkeep. There's something about their simplicity that's truly delightful.

Do you live in a smaller home? How do you like it?

“I believe that smaller houses – where comfort, practicality and beauty co-exist in harmony – represent an idea whose time has truly come....they enhance the quality of life – both in our communities and for those who live in them.” – John Gower

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sale Alert: Weekend of 7/25-7/27

Hi locals. There are a few good sales going on this weekend that I thought I'd tell you about. First up is THE SURPRISE SHOP's annual $5 bag sale taking place the 25th and 26th. Any merchandise you can fit inside of one of their provided bags, is you guessed it, $5! Next, is TOTSWAP a large baby and kids consignment sale being held at the state fair grounds in Timonium the entire weekend, on Sunday select merchandise will be 50% off. Lastly, I wanted to highlight the Cedarcroft neighborhood's summer garage sale starting this Saturday at 8am.

Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Around (Another) Town: Boating in Annapolis

In an effort to try and capitalize on the dwindling days of summer, I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Annapolis to spend some time on the Chesapeake Bay. Though the hubs hates spontaneity, he kindly agreed to accompany me and go boating. I'm glad he did, because we had a great time! The weather was perfect, and being on the water was soooo relaxing.

We admired the beautiful waterfront homes, viewed the U.S. Naval Academy, and stopped for ice cream at the ANNAPOLIS ICE CREAM COMPANY.

We also passed this nice Alex Haley monument.

If you live in the area and need a quick getaway, definitely give it a try. There are many family friendly boat and walking tours available. You can learn more about things to do in Annapolis HERE.

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