Scenes from a Weekend: Friendship

This weekend was another Pittsburgh adventure, but this time it was extra special because Hilary is back from Africa! Girlfriend has been gone for 2 years, so we decided a girls reunion was in order and it was high time baby Connor met his world-traveling Auntie!

I swear this little man gets cuter every time I see him! We had a blast loving on him the entire weekend, and catching up with each other on life’s happenings. It had been four years, FOUR YEARS, since the four of us were all together and it was amazing how it seemed like no time had really passed at all.

I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing women in my life, the kind of friends that cheer you on, pick you up, encourage you, listen with their whole heart and truly wish for nothing but happiness in your life.

It doesn’t hurt either that they know me so well they bring me Eataly goodies from a recent NYC trip, and make funny signs for the guest room door because they know cats make me sneeze.

We got to celebrate an early first birthday with Connor and life in general with each other. It was just what the doctor ordered.

“Yay Connor” because Happy Birthday was too long 😉 Alex, you’re a genius!

The new answer to, “What time is it?”

The photo-bomber in the background makes me love this picture even more!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Scenes from a Baby Shower

I can finally let the cat out of the bag and show you some legit photos of Kacie’s “Sugar & Spice” Baby Shower — after all, that is what little girls are made of.

I promise a more thorough account of the festivities soon, but for now, some pictures of the simple things that put a smile on my face as I reflect on a perfect day of celebration.

The Best Plans Are Unplanned

I’m a planner. I love my lists. You know this. But I also love a certain amount of ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-ness’ in my life. That being said, lets circle back to the Summer Kickoff Bucket List and see how we did:

2012 Summer Kickoff Bucket List

  • Grill!
  • Eat watermelon
  • Go to the pool
  • Get to spin class (hello bathing suit season!)
  • Buy something new to wear in NYC
  • Take a hike with the dogs
  • Get things prepared for Kacie’s Baby Shower! More on this coming soon!
  • Install new closet system Ok, technically it’s not DONE, but my carpenter (aka Joey) is running into some challenges. It’s getting checked off for being in the works though.
  • Donate old clothes
  • Get travel plans together for Georgia Trip Flying down with the bros for a wedding this month. Never been to GA!
  • Start a new book that doesn’t have the words “50 Shades” in the titleThe Pam101/DSpot Book Club is making a comeback. More to come.
  • Take lots of pictures

Not bad at all! I’m actually surprised a trip to the pool hasn’t happened yet. As for the hike with the dogs, we did have an impromptu Yellow Lab Party, so that sort of counts.

The Lab in the middle is Moose’s legit half-brother, Cooley. And Cooley’s two-legged sibling just happens to be Joey’s godson, Owen (have I lost you yet?). Their whole family came over for a last minute visit recently, which then led to an impromptu barbeque complete with food, friends and the above pictured tiki torches. But seriously, how squeezable is this little guy???

The baby’s not bad either. Ba-dum-CHING. I love Owen’s little man pose. Justin & Amee, you made one cute kid!

Moose and Riggo were pretty fond of him too. And Owen was pretty fond of Moose’s tongue.

Hey, if you were surrounded by that many dog tongues, you’d try to grab one too!

While it was good to check things off the bucket list, I will say my favorite parts of vacation were the unplanned things — our BBQ/Dog Party, meeting Sara & Eric in Annapolis, a S’mores run with Alex and a shopping trip with my Mom. I’m looking forward to more unplanned plans this summer, with a nice sprinkling of the planned things too. You know I’m all about finding the magical balance.

The Big Fat New York City Post

The alternative title of this post was, “My Big Fat Ass Post New York City.”

Fact: We like to eat. And while we’re equal opportunity employers when it comes to great food, we usually seek out great Italian whenever possible. Which explains why after checking into the W Hotel Times Square (thanks for the wedding gift, Sandi!), we made a beeline for Eataly. Sweet lord in heaven I can’t wait for this place to come to the DC area. My pizza (pictured above) was straight off the boat, and I’m fairly sure Joey’s pasta with braised lamb is illegal in 48 states. Add on the fresh mozzarella appetizer and a bottle of wine and you’ve got yourself a vacation. Oh, and I can’t forget the gelato! The only other place they have gelato this good is Italy. Fact.

The rest of our trip went a little something like this: Eat, Walk, Shop, Sight-See, Get Coffee, Repeat.

In addition to Eataly, here’s the rundown of all the places we ate:

  • IguanaGreat spot for mexican, huge margarita and mojito list! Definitely try the avocado fries.
  • Bouchon Bakery: Right in Rockefeller Center, yes their coffee is overpriced but their almond croissant with raspberry jam was sinful, and my pistachio macaroon the following day did not disappoint.
  • Mesa Grill: A Bobby Flay restaurant. They had me at the Jalapeno cornbread. The duck pancake rocked and both our entrees were spicy (not hot though) and delicious.
  • Becco: RIDICULOUSLY good Italian food and a full list of wines all priced at $25. A must try!
  • Josie’s: Organic, health conscious menu. Great spot for an easy, decently priced lunch.
  • Nanni’s Restaurant: A ‘hole in the wall’ tiny Italian restaurant, complete with old school Italian wait staff. Pasta is as authentic as it comes. Wine list is pricey though.

And like I said, when we weren’t eating, we were shopping. I had been coveting these floral Italian wine glasses from Fishs Eddy since this trip almost two years ago. They came in a set of 6, and while the last thing our kitchen needs is more glasses, these make my heart happy. Who’s coming over for wine and cheese?

Of course we made our way back to Central Park, and yes, we did find our rock 🙂

WARNING: Cheesy self-timer portrait ahead!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One of the big highlights of the trip was seeing Rock of Ages on broadway. We both LOVED it, and I’m sure I’ll be convincing Joey to take me to see the movie when it comes out.

Finally, what better way to end a trip to NYC than by hanging out with NYCathy & NYCathy’s boyfriend.

Arguably not the best photo ever taken of us, but no one ever looks their best after a bottle wine and all that Guinness. What looked better was the box of Baked by Melissa mini cupcakes that the NYCouple brought us.

Yes, we ate half the box when we got back to the hotel at 1am.

Yes, I ate the other half for breakfast before we headed back to Penn Station to head home.

So there you have it, my Big Fat Ass Post New York City Post. We had a wonderful time, but man it feels good to be home.

Simple Things Sunday

Hi friends! We’re back from our trip, and while I definitely plan on over sharing details of what we did, that post is coming at you next week. In the meantime, here are a few photos from NYC to share with you while I soak up every last drop of this vacation/staycation. We’re also wrapping up the guest post extravaganza with a great post from New Mommy/New Business Owner Christine tomorrow, so make sure to stop back over for that.

 

Happy Sunday!

My Own Personal Nat-Geo

File this under “Needs to Get Out More,” but I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the little birdie family who has made their home in the tree in our front yard. Mama Bird had skillfully been evading the camera for a few days — I’d spot her, run back in for my camera and as I’d tip-toe back towards the tree she’d take off. That’s when I wised up and decided when I left the house the other day I’d do so with camera in hand, set and ready.

Boom.

She’s totally giving me the stink eye.

Yes, this is what happens when I put myself on a self-imposed Laundry-Lock-Down. I stalk birds. And then write about it. Because, yes, this was the highlight of my weekend.

Capturing Mama Bird was an achievement, but I really initiated myself into the nerd of the month club scored big time when I decided to break out the ladder and see if I couldn’t get a peak into the nest. And what do you know…baby birds!

I was itching to reach my hand in there and move some of those leaves out of the way, but I was scared I’d get too close to the nest and then Mama Bird would be sufficiently pissed off and not come back. (Right now I’m wondering if it’s true that if a bird smells a human near their nest they will abondon their babies, or if that’s just something my dad used to tell us so we wouldn’t peek inside the bird house. Any bird experts care to shed some light?)

I snapped a couple more pictures, started envisioning birds attacking me and decided it was time to call it a day. I’ll end with my favorite picture…

So cute, right?

I hope you had a great weekend! And don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted on the Robinsons! Get it?? The Robin-sons. :))

I think I just heard Joey getting the divorce papers together 😉

Sweet Shot Day

Sara’s Nautical Baby Shower

I need to preface this post about Sara’s amazing Nautical themed Baby Shower by saying that I had absolutely NOTHING to do with how adorably crafted and organized the party was. While I’d love to take credit, major Kudos to the hostesses, Danielle & Emily, for pouring their hearts into so many wonderful details to make our Mama-to-Be feel uber loved.

The rumor was that Danielle (left) cut out no fewer than 5,000 itty-bitty onesies to decorate things like the Georgetown Cupcake party favors, and the clothing pins for the “Never Say Baby” game (The idea being everyone pins little clothing pins to their outfit, and if they say the word “baby” the person who heard it gets to steal a pin. Person with the most pins at the end of the party wins).

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of handmade decor AND prizes!

I loved the incorporation of the fishing nets into the nautical theme, they even used  one as a tablecloth. Suffice it to say it was a day made with love, just like the incoming baby girl we were there to celebrate.

Ok, this final picture needs a little explaining.

Maybe you’ve seen that, what I’d call a gawd-awful maternity photo idea, where the mom does the “heart hands” over her belly with a sonogram beneath. As if it’s some kind of creepy x-ray machine. I just don’t get it.

Anyhow, one of the last games we played at the shower had us cutting out different physical features from pictures of Sara & her husband to make a composite image of what the baby may look like. I’m pretty sure she’ll be WAY cuter than this…

Congratulations again, Sara! Can’t wait to meet your beautiful baby girl in just a few months!

 

The Big Fat North Carolina Post

It may be in part because every time I go to North Carolina it’s for vacation, but I truly believe that state has a certain calming quality about it. There’s something about life by the ocean that helps put everything in perspective. Waking up to a light filled room, stepping out onto a private balcony and watching blue herons land in the marsh — a girl could get used to that.

Despite the drama of Moose deciding to go skinny dipping when it was pitch black out (anyone know ways to help with doggie anxiety???), we filled our Cup’O’Life to the freakin’ brim this weekend by way of cocktail cruises and beaching boats on private islands…

Picnic lunches on the beach, dipping toes into warm ocean water and endless games of fetch with four big labs…

And what better way to balance the Beach than with the Barn, so we took a visit to the stables where our friend’s keep their horse. I should have taken a look at their job board while I was there…

We said goodbye with happy hearts and left relaxed, content and with farmer’s tans sun-kissed.

Riggo and Moose on the other hand left comatose…

24+ hours later and they’re still nursing their fun-hangover. Girl could get used to that too 🙂

Scenes From a Birthday: Take 28

Thanks for all the Birthday Love! The party continues tomorrow with a day off from work and a hot date night with the hubster 🙂 27 was definitely a year to be reckoned with, and I’m expecting big things from 28!

PS: Just published this post to see that it’s my 484th post…I was born in April of 1984…4/84. It’s a sign! 

Birthday Week!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. Birthday week is officially in full swing! On Easter Sunday I got to make my first wish and blow out some candles on a cake that may or may not have been in the shape of a cross. Hey, I’ll take it! Tonight I had a lovely dinner date in the city with the one and only Alex, arriving at her house just early enough to catch her parents on the way out of town. And when I say ‘catch’, picture cars thrown into Park on opposing sides of the street for quick chinese-fire-drill-esque hugs.

Now aside from cake, the next best thing about birthdays is of course the presents 🙂

Thanks Mrs. C, I adore the pen! Moose and Riggo were very curious as to the jingling, but I assure you this puppy (ha!) will find a safe place on my desk at work.

Now lets talk about friends who know you maybe a little too well…

I believe the quote from Alex was, “Since I know you don’t like laundry, I thought this would help make it fun.” Ha! Every little bit will help. Plus this gift is very timely seeing as how I’ve had a dryer full of clean clothes since Saturday, so it will definitely need to be run again to release the wrinkles before I can fold.  Oh stop, you know you do that too!