Sunday, May 31, 2015

June Wants & Must Do's

On the same page as every month - These aren't life changing, huge goals we're talking about here.. Just a couple fun things to hope to add to the month and make it a little bit better… 

1. {Spend a full day out in the sunshine}
I've spent some time sitting out on the deck and a little pool time in Saint Michaels but I'm craving my first summer day by the pool or on the lake

2. {See some growth in my garden}
So far I've planted zucchini, cherry tomatoes and mint and am considering adding more! I hope to see these little babies grow a little bit this month

3. {Grilling: Take Two}
Derek's mastered our new grill and we're highly enjoying our regular favorites.  Last month I was hoping to find some unique grilling recipes and am going to retry this month.

4. {Finish the Man Cave}
We're in the final steps of finishing up our new home decorating and one space that's needing some final decor is the basement which consists of half bar area, half man cave.  I have high hopes to tie up the loose ends down there this month, finish it up and enjoy.

5. {Plan our Anniversary trip}
Hard to believe that once summer is over that means we've been married a year! We're going to do our anniversary trip in August and it's just about time to plan - we're hoping to use up some frequent flyer miles so it's always best to plan early when doing that.

6. {Enjoy those "summer weeknights"}
Let's face it - everyone (well I think everyone) has more fun in the summer.  It stays light way longer, the weather is beautiful and weeknights are much more appeasable.  I hope to have a nice balance of nights at home as well as family dinners, date nights, happy hours with friends and enjoying some summer activities on the weeknights this month.  Those nights are sometimes the best nights. 

A look back at May's Wants & Must Do's… 

1 {Finish the deck setup and outdoor decorating}
Very happy to say yes - now it's time to enjoy.  The furniture is set up, the grill has been broken in, flowers have been added and a wreath is even on our front door.

2 {Don't overload the weekends}
Yes! On Friday I talked about how we were home every weekend this month.  I feel refreshed and ready for all the fun weekends we want to get in this summer.

3 {Finish up a few more rooms and house projects}
Our first floor is complete and the bathrooms are complete.  Getting the outside complete and ready was huge to so I'd say this was a win.

4 {Find some new grilling recipes}
Not so much - definitely working on this again next month.

5 {Host a couple gatherings on the deck}
We didn't get the deck set up until later in the month but we did have a few good gatherings out there.

6 {Enjoy the holiday weekend}
We had a blast splitting our time between Saint Michaels and spending some time at home so another win.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Review

It's that time again, time for a little monthly recap...

 Enjoyed as much time as possible on the back deck.

We've had some great BBQ's - hosting them and attending them.

Did a little Cinco de Mayo celebrating.

The night that Stella really pushed our limits, we dumped the dinner plans and dined al fresco across the street with delicious pizza.

Celebrated my wonderful mama and had a great Mother's Day brunch with the whole family.  Stella even brought my flowers for being her puppy mama.

They might not be good, but it's still fun to spend nights at the ballpark cheering on the Phillies.

Found a new favorite restaurant.

Got some flowers for a few places outside of our house and created a little garden.

Took some family photos to get one for the wall with our little pup.

Kicked off the start of summer with a fantastic Memorial Day BBQ.

Finished out the month with a great little weekend getaway to Saint Michaels.

Celebrated a birthday and half birthday for this duo

And of course… enjoyed Stella cuddles.

Favorite Posts This Month:
Recaps of our trip to Bermuda herehere and What I wore here
Hosting house guests here and here
The cheese plateSaint Michaels recap

Past Reviews This Year:
January // February // March // April

Friday, May 29, 2015

Feta Dip & Other Favorites {Friday Favorites}

Well, now I could kind of go for a popsicle.  Or ice cream.  Or any summer treat really.
I love weeks that start on Tuesdays.  I think that's my new favorite.  That could be my only favorite for today and I'd be all set.

I like to enjoy "summer Fridays" but there really isn't such a thing as take the day off Monday.
And there should be! It was like I was just getting into the swing of the week but at the same time it was already Wednesday and now here we are… at Friday!

I kind of slacked on my five last week because well, I was enjoying a weekend away :) so let's get back on track this week… I think I've even got more than five to make up for it.

 Linking up today with April, Karly, Amanda and Erika

{O N E} Favorite Recipe 
Feta Dip… Need I say more?
Olive Oil
Block of Feta Cheese
Tomatoes (I used about 3 medium sized ones)
A bunch of green onions
Greek Seasoning 
*see below*
Baguette, Tostitos, Crackers for dipping

1. Sprinkle olive oil on the empty plate - don't hold back, get a good amount on there
2. Cut up the green onions, tomatoes and feta (this could be done earlier in the day also to save time)
3. Toss all three ingredients onto the plate
4. Sprinkle the Greek seasoning on top (see below about what we used) and mix everything around
5. Sprinkle a little more seasoning on after mixing
6. Serve and enjoy :)

The Seasoning:  The only Greek seasoning at the grocery store just didn't look right so I mixed up my own on a whim.  Garlic powder, garlic salt, pepper, oregano.  That's what I used and it worked fabulously - I wouldn't change a thing next time.

To be festive, my Mom and I just used a plastic star plate that we had in our Fourth of July stash and any plate will do but we found it works really nicely to have a plate with a little bit of side to it, not just a flat one

I would have for sure served this with a baguette if we had not been grilling and I knew we'd all be having buns on our main courses (hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, etc.) so I used tostitos and they worked great but I definitely want to try a warm baguette next time.

There were five of us and this plate was wiped clean at the end.  I'm telling you, SO good.

{T W O} Every Weekend Home
Starting off this new year it was my dream to be home for an entire month.  We dated long distance, then we're on the go with wedding planning, out of town weddings, visiting friends, etc. so when this year started we made a rule that we MUST leave two weekends free and at home every month and it was the best decision ever.  (summer is the only exception to the rule) I'm becoming more and more of a homebody and I love it.  Don't get me wrong, we still travel a very good bit and I love that too - we've got friends to visit, trips  to take, football games to watch, family to see, activities to try out so some how our weekends are always filling up.
This month we spent EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. AT. HOME. 
(well we did go away for the holiday weekend but that was only half the weekend so it counts as being home too!)  
It was fabulous and I'm so glad it finally happened.  it was the perfect month to have before summer when everyone gets crazy and then fall hits and it seems we get even crazier.  
So long to the "off" months. But looking forward to the busy which = fun.

{T H R E E} Favorite Outfit(s)
 Outfit One - top: similar style (same store) // pants: loft // necklace: kendra scott // purse: kate spade (same style, lighter color pink, on sale!)
Outfit Two: romper: nordstrom (on sale) // long necklace: kendra scott // 
short necklace: nadri

{F O U R} Favorite Birthday Babes & Favorite Moment of the Week
I talked about this in my Memorial Day post but it was a big birthday week in this family! The pups are such a huge part of our family (if you couldn't tell that already by the picture overloads) so we had to give them a little extra treat to celebrate.  In addition to the corn on the cob they eat got a homemade ice cream (recipe coming next week) and a birthday cookie brought home from Saint Michaels.

Nash, our family dog who lives with my parents (I cried when I moved out and had to say "goodbye") turned five on Wednesday and Miss Stella Artois (or sass as I like to call her - her initials and an extra s never hurt anyone) turned 1/2 a year yesterday.

I always love doing a "favorite moment of the week" because it's the little things that are fun to remember.  Combining two into one here, my favorite moment was paying Nash a surprise visit, alone. I had to pass my parents house to run to a produce store and even though I just saw my mom at work and was seeing my step-dad over the weekend, I felt bad blowing Nash off.  I popped in for a quick five minute visit and it was so worth it.  He loves Stella but bless his heart, right now she is in a phase where for the first 20 minutes of the visit she just jumps all over him and he sweetly lets her but you can tell he doesn't love it. It's not all about the animals - I was happy to have a couple minutes to say hi to my parents too.

{F I V E} Five Ways I'd Spend a Target Gift Card
with this giveaway going on I thought I'd share five (going with the trend of Fridays) ways I'd spend a Target gift card

1. Summer dresses (my favorite Target clothing item)
2. outdoor entertaining supplies
3. Treats for Stella
4. Treat myself to some magazines
5. Pick some new makeup items or nail polish

If there was any money left on the gift card I'd hit Starbucks for my favorite - sweetened lemonade and some gormet drink for Derek (you can tell which one of us him is the bigger diva in the house)

** I had a great time reading the couple Own it posts that were up yesterday - Owning it that I was enjoying the weekend instead of remembering to post a reminder for this month but the Own It linkup will be back the last Thursday of June (6/25) and I'll post a reminder the Friday before.  I'm already looking forward to reading the posts - always such great reads! **

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Saint Michaels Spotlight

**No own it link up this month but check back for the last Thursday of June - I'll post a reminder the Friday before! Enjoying the holiday weekend was just too sweet :)  I figure if I'm still catching up from the weekend, most others are too.**

In my opinion, the best way to prepare for a trip, quick getaway, etc. is recommendations.  Who knows better than someone who has already BEEN there themselves???  So, I want to be better about sharing actual details from our travel adventures so it can help someone else out in upcoming travels; plus it helps me remember for the future.

Some of the best activities, restaurants, hotels, etc. I've done on trips have been through other's experiences and I really love getting to look see/read about the location beforehand. 

So, today I've got my first travel spotlight… on Saint Michaels

One of my favorite parts of this crazy life is traveling to see all the different places and ways of life.

Saint Michaels is the cutest little quaint and quiet town right on the water.  Think white picket fences, rocking chairs and porch swings, lots of flowers, beautiful greens, quiet streets and plenty of seafood.

Everything in the little town is within walking distance for the most part.  You are never too far from the water and there are boats everywhere.

Carpenter Street Saloon: There was live music, fresh popcorn and it was a great time.  You can also eat here for breakfast and lunch.  There is a main bar on the first floor and a second one on the upper level. This is also the bar I talked about yesterday where everyone was so friendly and we all ate cupcakes.

St. Michaels Crab & Steak House: A huge variety of a menu with indoor seating, outdoor seating as well as an indoor and outdoor bar.  This spot is also dog friendly and was one of our favorite meals - had we of stayed longer, we probably would have been back for more.  We had dinner here the first night as well as an appetizer and drinks the second night.

There's a few cute little markets right within walking distance and so many displays of fresh flowers to bring home and enjoy.

The Preppy Redneck: One of my favorite stops! The cutest little store with everything from clothes to accessories to tons of Scout products, home decor and everything crab.
Two of the pray big pillows came home with us (one for my Mom) and I couldn't be loving it more - it adds a perfect touch to one of our couches.

Flying Fred's: A small little boutique with treats, toys and more for our furry friends.  I was in awe in this store picking out what to bring home for Stella and Nash.  The pink and blue birthday cookies you might have noticed them enjoying for their birthday celebrations were from here as well as a couple more (well enjoyed) treats for each of them.

Patriot Boat Cruises: We love seeing the area we are visiting from the water and got tickets for this boat cruise right away.  There's not a ton to see but it's really nice to be on the water as well as reasonably priced.  There's a snack bar on board so you can enjoy a drink and snack along the little over an hour cruise through the area.

Dog Friendly: This little town is 100% dog friendly! We had no clue and slowly started realizing it - had we known we would have brought our little princess.  Well since she's still a pup she might not have been ready this year, but I definitely foresee Stella and Nash getting a vacation of their own next summer.

A lot of the restaurants with outdoor seating are dog friendly and will even bring over a little water bowl for the pups too.  There are also bowls of water outside most of the stores and canisters of treats on the counters. 

St. Michals Winery: Right on the edge of town this can either be a quick stop or an hour or two adventure.  Wine is $1 per tasting (you can't beat that!) and you can try as many as you'd like of their 18 wines… including a package for all 18! We tried 5-6 and it was perfect for us because Derek primarily likes red and I only like white so we were able to pick the ones we wanted to try.

Biking: In addition to being dog friendly, this area was super bike friendly which we loved! You could bike all over and even just park your bike outside for lunch or dinner - one of my favorite parts.

Marcoritaville: This cute margaritaville type place had the most fun seating in town.  We ate lunch here on our last day and you can't quite beat the atmosphere - or the drinks :)

Some other favorites…
Eats:  The Crab Claw, The Town Dock, 
Treats: JoJo's Cupcakes, Justine's Ice Cream Parlor, 
Shops: Chesapeake Trading Company, The Christmas Shop, Chesapeake Bay Outfitters 

If your in Maryland this is a great vacation town but also from the Philadelphia area it's about two hours away and just under two hours from the DC area. If your into boating - boat right into town.  We had a great time reading on the boats where they were from.

What's your favorite quick weekend getaway??