Wednesday, July 1, 2015

currently // july


craving // anything refreshing in this heat and humidity - watermelon, lemonade, an ice cold beer... wishful thinking but dang, if a summer shandy wouldn't hit the spot!

grilling // everything. Seriously, I think we grill dinner at least three nights a week during the summer. Last night, C made grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches that were absolutely delicious - grilling is such a versatile method of cooking.

listening // Honey, I'm Good radio on Pandora - I love that song, and the mix on the station is such a fun, upbeat mix of music. Great for cleaning the house or cooking to!

planning // our lake trip for the 4th of July! Absolutely cannot wait. There is some rain in the forecast, which is a bummer, but I know we will have fun regardless.

decorating // not the nursery, not quite yet - but starting to look at some paint colors and think about what we want to do. I've never really had the opportunity to do an entire room completely from scratch. It's a bit of a daunting task.

linking up with In Residence and Gold & Bloom!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Reads: Short and Sweet Book Reviews

First things first - thank you so much for all the love regarding my last post. I tell you what - it has been really hard to blog about anything going on in my life without mentioning what seems to be the ONLY thing going on in my life. The last few months have been exciting and terrifying at the same time, and I can't believe how fast the weeks are flying by. December will be here before we know it!! Yikes.

Baby-talk aside, it's my intention to keep things business-as-usual around here. I will probably do some weekly pregnancy updates (although so far I haven't been that great at getting those pictures taken... it's more like an every other week thing. Oops.) and baby-related topics will inevitably come up, but I plan to keep things as random and normal as they always have been. Cool?

That said, I thought I'd share some recent reads today. Summer always seems to be the time when people are looking for a new book to pick up, so I've got a few on my list that I am highly recommending. These are great beach / pool / lake / weekend reads - so add them to your list and check them out the next time you need a great story!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr // this is, by far, the best book I've read in years. I have recommended it to everyone I know, and only one person has come back to tell me they didn't like it as much as I did! The story takes place during World War II, and follows the very different lives of two children as they grow up through the war, slowly winding their paths towards one another. The writing is absolutely gorgeous, and the setting, Nazi-occupied Paris, is a different take on the usual backdrop. I found the story enthralling, and while obviously WWII-related, about so much more than the war.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes // A book club book that I failed to read in time for our meeting, this one was on the back burner until it finally became available at the library. I know everyone loves Jojo Moyes, but this was actually the first book of hers that I've read. The story is somewhat different than I expected when I first started reading - I expected a love story, and got one, but on different terms than I anticipated, and I found myself ugly-crying on the train on my way to work one day. Definitely get out your tissues for this one - it's a great easy read, but a tear-jerker!

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares // This was a random find at the library, and I'm so glad I picked it up. The story is based on the idea that some people have what's called "the Memory," or the ability to remember all past lives, and follows the path of a young man who is always searching for his soulmate, no matter which life they are each in. It was just magical enough but not overly so, and I really enjoyed the parts where the book is set in Virginia - local always makes it a little more interesting. Beautiful story that had me wishing the book hadn't ended.

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy* // I am a huge historical fiction fan, but this story was something new for me: Civil War, abolitionist-era America, following the story of John Brown's family - specifically, his oldest daughter, who has a gift for creating maps to help lead slaves to freedom. This is another book that jumps back and forth between stories, one set in the past and one set in the present, slowly weaving together two seemingly unrelated lives. It has a several twists that I wasn't expecting, and I thought that the story moved along at a good pace. Again, it was a semi-local setting, taking place around Harper's Ferry and other parts of West Virginia, so it was appealing to me in that regard. There are some characters that are easy to like, and some that are easy to dislike, which I always think is a sign of good writing. I found the dialogue a bit slow and unrealistic at times, but the rest of the story carried the book successfully. I liked it more than I thought I would, and found myself really wanting to get to the end to see what would happen. That's my kind of book!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. Get more information about the author and the story here!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Some may say it's a little early, but I've already started planning for my birthday (in January). My current wishlist includes wine (red and white, please), a wine club membership, sushi (which I don't even like), a cold turkey sandwich, and rides on lots of roller coasters.

You may see where this is going......... or you may not. Allow me to clarify why I'm daydreaming of things I will be able to have in approximately 6 months.

Surprise! Our family of two will be a family of three, come late December (fingers crossed for a 2015 birthday - mama wants that tax write-off!) Baby W's birthday is currently projected for December 31 - one week after Christmas, and one week before my birthday. Happy holidays, indeed. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Birthday Boy

Check out my guest post at My Freckled Life today - I'm giving some tips for bringing "baby meals" to new mamas!

Today is a very special day - it's my sweet husband's birthday! 
Happy, happy birthday to the guy who has been making me 
open-mouthed, scrunch-faced smile for years. I love you so much! 
(also, Throwback Thursday Wednesday to a couple outtakes from our engagement photos... such babies we were.)

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Boy Who Lived (at the theater)

I mentioned on Friday that we were celebrating C's birthday on Saturday, and that I'd planned a surprise outing for him. The man is notoriously hard to shop for, and even harder to surprise - so I was pretty excited that I actually managed to pull this one off!

We woke up and did some housecleaning on Saturday morning before getting ready to head to the city. Traffic was not on our side, and we were starving by the time we reached Pentagon City, where we planned to catch the metro the rest of the way. Enter plan adjustment #1. We opted for a quick, delicious lunch at Nando's Peri-Peri - C's first time there, and a great one. So good.

Once full, we hopped on the metro and went into the city. I planned for us to go to a museum for a few hours as we always talk about going to them but never want to come back to the city on the weekends after spending the week here! We headed towards the museums of Natural History and American History...  But as we walked we realized we were seeing LONG lines of hot, sweaty tourists waiting to get into each museum.  Umm, thanks but no thanks. Enter plan adjustment #2. We opted instead for a bit of bar-hopping for the afternoon, and ended up having a lovely time in a cool, dark bar watching the Orioles game on TV. Not bad considering how hot and muggy it was! 

Around 4, we headed off for the main attraction of the day, and the real surprise: a showing of Potted Potter at the Shakespeare Theater! C had no idea that was the plan, and knew nothing about the show, so he was interested and excited to see what it was all about.

Potted Potter "takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes." I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I was hoping for some good laughs as it's gotten lots of glowing reviews. Let me tell you - we laughed the entire show! The two actors were so great, and they were hilarious - interacting with the audience, not taking themselves too seriously, and putting on a great show. We loved it! I may or may not have laughed until I had tears in my eyes... it was just so good. C & I are both HP lovers (C moreso than myself) and we thought it was a really well-done parody of our beloved books. I'm so glad I picked up tickets - it was a wonderful event for us!

We followed the show with dinner at Matchbox, a DC favorite that C had never experienced. We split the arancini appetizer (to die for) and a spicy meatball pizza - so delicious and so filling. I really wanted to get dessert, since it was C's birthday celebration, but by the time we were finished eating, I don't think we could have managed another bite, even of anything sweet.

The drive home was a bit of a disaster, given that we were traveling through some of the worst weather I have ever experienced. It was raining so hard we could barely see the cars in front of us on the highway, and there were several times we were driving under 20 mph with our emergency flashers on. As it turned out, there was a small tornado in the area right around the time we were driving through, and a house on my parents' street was struck by lightning... talk about terrifying! Luckily, C got us home safe and sound, and we managed to avoid any major catastrophes. Birthday surprise & celebration, successful!

What was the last theater performance you saw? Birthday surprises: good or bad? Is your significant other easy to shop for, or hard like mine? I can never think of anything good...