Monday, July 29, 2013


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Chris worked all last weekend with corporate events and a skate competition so it was a low-key weekend for me.  Those are definitely needed after busy work weeks!

We did go out to the Cheesecake Factory Saturday night and went to the Maryland Live casino. It was my first time going, and although I usually find casinos to be loud and obnoxious (besides the fact that I get horrible anxiety about losing money) I had a great time! Chris showed me how to play the roulette table and we walked away with a good amount of extra money - which meant I was able to shop on Sunday with my mom while he was at work ;-)

I had my eye on this console table at World Market and a similar one at Anthro. Our dining room buffet and wood carved side table from World Market look great and are a good quality, but when my mom and I saw this table in person it just didn't meet our expectations. It definitely looked a tad cheap and my mom was highly against the wheels on the bottom - especially if we would keep this as a console table with babies. It wasn't very sturdy. 

No lie - I was definitely a bit disappointed. I had this image in my head from Pinterest that I pinned AWHILE ago and now I had to start at square one. I loved the industrial feel of the console table, but I definitely agreed with my mom (even though I didn't want to) that it wasn't a smart choice for when we have kids and I wanted to invest in furniture that would last awhile.

We decided to run into a few other stores and grab lunch. 

We decided to try out a new-to-us restaurant called Matchbox in Bethesda. I wish I snapped a photo of their outdoor dining space - it was set up really nicely and I loved all of their planters!

We started off sharing a bowl of their cream of crab soup - it was SO good and lots of crab! Just how we like it. This was definitely a winner in my book since most cream of crab soups can leave you with a stomach ache (from the cream and butter) or feeling full, but this was light and creamy - and no tummy aches for us!

I ordered their veggie black bean burger - the chipotle mayo made this. I definitely need to start making these again at home per my moms request. 

My mom got their cuban sandwich - it was a little too salty, but still tasty. 

After lunch we headed to the Container Store to check out what they had. I ended up coming home with a shoe organizer for our hall closet and a striped tote that could have multiple uses. My mom loved this garage set up.

After shopping around, my mom spotted this console table at Pier 1 and convinced me that it would be perfect. It is sturdy, light and open (not a heavy wood) and will last us for a very long time. AND it was within budget of what I wanted to pay and looks almost identical to a Pottery Barn one I found that was twice the price. 

I'm brain storming ways to style it - stacks of books, pots of leafy plants or succulents, lamps(?) and a new mirror. I like the fact that its extremely long (the picture doesn't do it justice) and there is room beneath for baskets and/or stools! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


This past weekend we went to Linganore Winery's reggae wine fest. If you are local to the Maryland area and haven't been to Linganore or one of their festivals I highly recommend it. This might have been our fifth (?) festival of theirs. 

The reggae fest is by far my favorite - there is just something about a live reggae band, sweet wine and dancing in the summer heat that is so contagious. You are bound to have a great time. We packed a picnic blanket, cold water bottles, lawn chairs and lunch - but there are always food trucks and stands if you aren't in the mood to carry a cooler. Be sure to get there at least 45 minutes early to snag a spot in the shade - the place gets packed!

Fruit doubles as a snack and is great in wine

Lobsters were on sale at a local market for 6.99 a pound, so I snagged three to make lobster rolls for the wine fest! 

Hot and sweaty laying in our lawn chairs listening to the tunes.

Too cool off from the seat, the winery offers 20-30 minute tours in their 60 degree rooms, ending with a tasting of wine flavors that aren't available outside at the tasting tents.

I am a sucker for lobster rolls, but I have to say shrimp rolls are my favorite (I made those too) - nothing can top lobster rolls you find up North!

In case you don't have Instagram and missed my duck lip, dancing self... enjoy ;-)

Friday, July 19, 2013


It's Friday!! This heat wave in Maryland has made it almost unbearable to be outside unless you are in a swimming pool with a cold drink in your hand.

I woke up and walked downstairs this morning to find our windows full of steam at 7:30. Insane! That's when you know it's going to be a hot day. 

PS - I finally finished painting our deck by waking up at 6:30 yesterday morning to put on the last layer of paint. I persuaded my mom to come over to help bring up our furniture with chia seeds and chocolate bars from Trader Joes ;-)

One good thing about the heat is my gladiolas are popping up like crazy! My mom gave me a bag of mixed color bulbs for mother's day (my puppies are my babes) so it's been fun watching all of the different colors bloom. I love this multi-colored one!

Trouts in New Market, MD is having a sale on lobstaasss this Saturday so I plan on heading there tomorrow morning to pick up 2 steamed lobsters to make lobster rolls for the Reggae wine fest on Sunday. This is my favorite Linganore wine fest - they also have a Reggae fest in October if you don't want to venture out in the heat. It's a great time and awesome live bands. 

Stay cool!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


When making my grocery list, I try to plan ahead 4-5 dinner ideas for the week. That way I have all of the ingredients on hand and I don't have to play the "what's for dinner" game. I tend to recipe search on Pinterest if I'm in need for new ideas.

I've been seeing SkinnyTaste's zucchini lasagna and this was the perfect meal to start off the week snuggled up on the couch watching The Bachelorette!

I'm horrible and don't have a good after photo or even good photo of the entire baking dish - I blame snap chat and the fact that I am addicted with sending photos that way instead of taking photos for a later use.

The recipe was super simple and really delicious! I didn't have any crushed tomatoes on hand so I substituted that with diced tomatoes and chiles which added a spicy punch to the dish. You definitely do not miss the noodles at all - I'm going to use this recipe for lasagna from now on.

You can find the recipe here.

Friday, July 12, 2013


This weekend I have a lot on my to-do list... the biggest priority being to begin the process of finally changing my last name. Yes, I am finally ready after 8+ months of marriage to become a Lucas :-)

I'd really like to finish painting the deck and moving the furniture and plants back to their home (please. stop. raining. maryland.)

I also want to start a summer bucket list that includes a couple more summer ball games...

The good thing about my husband is he is that person that mails in rebates and is organized with receipts. I'm definitely not. They get lost in my purse, thrown away or get misplaced. That's the real reason I married him ;-)

Highs has a summer promotion going on that gives you two free Orioles tickets when you send in 5 gas receipts. All you have to do is pay a $5 mailing fee.

The seats are in the upper level - but we got really lucky with being directly behind home base. Perfect view of the game - and it saved us from getting soaked by the summer night storm during the last 3 innings!

We actually got 4 tickets (Chris is super good at collecting receipts) so we were able to enjoy the game with friends.

Those are two handsome husbands we have!

I instagramed this photo of the sunset - but you can see from the photo above it how gorgeous it actually was!

It's easy to forget how awesome this city is sometimes.

Perfect summer evening. The O's won - ending it right! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


For the past two weeks I have been back on the clean eating train. We have a few beach trips planned along with our 1 year anniversary trip in November so I really wanted to buckle down and get serious again!

During our 4th of July 4-day weekend I decided to head over to Walmart to pick up a few pairs of gym shorts. I was really surprised when I found these cute reversible shorts for only $7!

I've been using the Lose It app to track my calories (about 1270 a day) and so far, so good! When I've been making stir fry "fried" quinoa, instead of using a ton of soy sauce I've been using this miso ginger dressing from Bolthouse Farms. I am a HUGE fan of their salad dressings which are used with yogurt instead of mayo.

What are your favorite healthy recipes? Share them with me so I don't chew my arm off the next few weeks!

Monday, July 8, 2013


This 4th of July we took advantage of the rain-free days and started refinishing our deck. We decided against the Rustoleum Restore because it felt really rough and was textured and we prefer a smooth surface for the deck. 

We ended up going crazy trying to pick a deck color at Home Depot and settled on Chocolate from Behr's line. We figured any color would be better than what it looked like after we power washed the deck... and we were right. 

We are just about done! We only have one more coat to put on the floor and a few touch up spots on the stairs.

We had a low key 4th watching fireworks from our back yard, grilling and eating crabs with my mom and friends. Next year I'd love to spend the day in Annapolis and plan my outfit ahead of time - I got jealous seeing all of the fun red, white and blue outfits on my Facebook and Instagram!

My gladiolus are starting to bloom :-)

Saturday we were sweating our butts off painting the deck when we decided to call it quits and take the pups to Chris' grandparents house to go swimming. 

Chance ended up being fearless and floated on this boogie board for a good 15 minutes after we made him swim a few laps. 

It was a great weekend spent with family, pool time and lots of sun! I finally don't look like I live at the North Pole anymore ;-)

Monday, July 1, 2013


Lately I have been living for the weekends and actually enjoying having less "big" projects around the house - although we still have to paint and put floors in the basement, but we're perfectly fine with waiting to complete that until cooler months come around. We've been enjoying the outdoors and packed weekends.  

We did finish updating the gallery wall! I picked up some additional frames and cluster mirrors from Target, mixed in different IKEA frames and used 3M strips to prevent the frames from crashing down every time we had friends over. I'm actually really loving the mix of white, gold and wood. 

I love when Chris' sisters come for the weekend. I always find cute photos like this on my phone after they are gone! I wish they lived with us because we always have so much fun together!

Sunday morning we woke up, took a 2 mile run and then walked the pups for a mile before coming back and making brunch. I was hating myself for eating so much bread and dip the night before on the run, but I'll never pass up bacon on a Sunday morning. 

I am so excited to see my roses blooming again - I mean all over blooms! They bloomed late this Spring and my grandmother says this is completely normal. The rose above is her favorite color and reminds me of her every time I see it!

I grabbed so many day lilies this Spring from my mom's without knowing what colors they were - it's been fun watching the different clusters bloom and guessing what color they will be. I love this yellow with the white stripes!

After brunch I took Chris' oldest sister for a bike ride to my mom's house - I've already put a beach cruiser on my Christmas list so we have more bikes for visitors. We live really close to my mom and a few stores so biking around is always a lot of fun - plus baskets on bikes are a must!

A new development is going to be developed starting next year in our area. Chris and I always talk about the future and eventually building a home that has all of our wants and allows us to customize things we now know we'd like in a home (hello, double vanity.) I took the girls on a ride to check out homes in a different area by the same developer and loved the house above. 

We were really sad for the girls to go home Sunday night, but I can't wait for their next visit! I want to go blueberry picking and I bet they would love that.