Saturday, August 30, 2014

Simple Living: Why I Don't Follow the News

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. I don't follow the news, at least not frequently. I know it's unconventional, but it has done wonders to improve my life. The primary reason I don't watch the news is because the news is depressing. It's filled with stories of shootings, wars, death, scandal, political division, and a host of other negative crap. Following it takes up time and emotional energy I just don't have to spare. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we all stopped watching the news?  What if instead of being watchers of the news we became makers of the news.....the good news that is. It's just a thought. What about you? How much news do you consume?
"Don't let them steal your happy." ~Jennifer Pastiloff

Friday, August 22, 2014

Diary of a Hungry Pregnant Woman

Pregnancy has been an interesting journey, one filled with lots of fatigue, anticipation, indigestion, introspection, aches, nesting, and vomiting. Recently a new item has emerged, hunger! And I don't mean just any kind of hunger, I'm talkin' wild animal "I will kill you if you take away my ice cream" hunger. It seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I first noticed it the other day when the hubs made the bad move of stealing a few of my french fries. Normally this would be no big deal, but on this day it made me literally want to pummel him. After realizing that my fries were missing I immediately jumped in the air like I was Michael Jordan, to retrieve the fries before they reached the hubs' mouth. I tell ya.....Mother Nature is nothin' to play with. Sorry you have to deal with me like this honey, hopefully in a few months we can both look back and have a good laugh. Til' then, don't mess with my french fries!

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