Summer Snapshots

So good to see you again! There’s been a lot going on over here, but maybe not in the way that you would think. Yes, we’re prepping for Baby A+. Yes, I’m still exercising. Yes, meals are still being had. And yes, Watson is still being one of the best dogs around town (biased parent, party of one!).

However, I’ve found that this summer I’d rather hang pictures on walls than post them to one.

front gallery wall 7-14back gallery wall 7-14

I’m savoring my ice cream instead of watching it drip as I check on social media.

froyo cone

I’m trading getting up early to blog for sleeping in and spending time with my family of three.

first baby card

I’m bumping to the beat, but with a bump of my own.

bump 7-14

And I’m okay with that.

Additionally, some changes have happened on the professional front. I’ve accepted a new position at a local university and start at the end of the month. It’s been a crazy few months getting everything in place, but I feel that this is the best move for myself and our family.

If you’d rather have a more consistent look at life from my perspective, follow me on Instagram. It’s much more in line with my slower summer pace.

Talk again soon!

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Fantastic Father’s Day

How is it Monday already? Seems to me like weeks are moving to slowly and weekends, as always, are flying by. I’ve been bogged down with a nasty head cold since late last week and have done my best to enjoy the gorgeous Baltimore weather without sneezing my brains out. Not such an easy task, my friends.

I finally got things under control (with a little help from Sudafed) and we had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend. Friday night was spent separately – he went to a kickoff to summer party and I went out to dinner with a co-worker and an ex-coworker. It’s so nice to get outside of the office, relax, and catch up. After diner, I swung by the party for a bit but left almost right away due to the threat of thunderstorms. (Girlfriend does not drive well while it’s both dark AND pouring down rain.)

Saturday was spent running errands and with the JA’s maternal side of the family. His grandmother was in town and his cousin was having a birthday party, so we got to see almost everyone on that side for a little bit. We quickly came home to host game night with our neighbors out on our back porch. It’s easily one of my favorite spaces in the summer months and with a few new additions from Target, is absolutely gorgeous as day turns to night.

back porch w lights

Sunday we hosted Father’s Day dinner at our home for about 20 people (my immediate family and JA’s paternal side). Not wanting to be overwhelmed with preparations, we did a potluck and there was more than enough food to go around. The highlight? This cake from his Aunt Susan. Absolutely delicious, and I may or may not be contemplating having the last leftover piece for breakfast this morning. You only live once, right?

strawberry cake

It was a perfect weekend, and timed perfectly, because we could share some exciting news with everyone in person. Stay tuned to find out what it was!

What’s your favorite part of family get togethers? Mine is the company, but food is a close second 🙂

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Kickoff to Summer

Remember how I was hoping to get my blogging mojo back? Well, I was all set to wake up yesterday and pump out a post for y’all but I woke up at 4a with a stomach bug. Writing a post while laying in bed with a mild fever was not a task I was able to complete.

But have no fear… today I’m back in action. I had a good day at work, rocked barre class this evening, and got to sneak a peek back at my pictures from the weekend. Oh, how glorious it was.

Friday evening, we hung out with our neighbors for our bi-monthly game night. Nothing impressive.

Saturday we ran some errands and held an impromptu cookout. About 15 people showed up throughout the course of the evening and we all had a blast sitting on the deck, eating way too much food, and telling embarrassing stories. (Not about each other, of course.)

Sunday was family day. We packed a picnic lunch (made mainly of leftovers from the night prior) and headed to our favorite park. We allowed Watson to frolic in his favorite stream and we got to walk through the woods and enjoy the sunshine. Double win!

family pic 5-14

Another double win? Ice cream. There’s a small ice cream shop within walking distance of our house so the only logical thing to do on a nice evening is to take the dog there and get him a puppy kid’s cone. Good thing he knew better than to mess with my food after he finished his cone. It would not have ended well.

We spent the remainder of Sunday evening relaxing outside with another group of friends. All in all, a perfect kickoff to summer!

What signifies the beginning of summer to you? For me, it’s the onset of Baltimore humidity…and when I feel comfortable wearing shorts outside.

Resting Up But Feeling Down

So, Spring Break got the best of me. While I’ve been working shorter hours, we’ve also been completing some projects around the house, enjoying some extra time as a family, and allowing ourselves the opportunity to relax a little bit.

Additionally, I’ve got a little over a week left in my half marathon training (EEK!) and can feel the excitement of the challenge building in my mind as I continue my two-week taper. My 11-mile run last Sunday was less than ideal and my left hamstring felt uncomfortable on my 5-mile run yesterday, so depending on both my physical and mental state, I may need to adjust my goals for the race. It stinks because as recently as three weeks ago, I was confident I had my ‘A’ goal within reach (and it still very well may be). Yet, between my foot issue (which seems to have resolved itself), this tight/possibly torn hamstring, and a mind that’s a bit defeated thinking that I didn’t finish my 13.1 mile ‘test run’, I need to remind myself that a ‘C’ goal is still a goal and I shouldn’t be disappointed if that’s the one I attain. A lot of people have told me that if I can run 11, I can run 13.1 but I would feel more confident had I done it (and done it well) prior to race day. The JA keeps telling me that just finishing is an accomplishment and that should be my first goal, with time and performance as secondary goals. I am reminding myself that any time is a PR. A big confidence boost before next weekend would be great but even if it doesn’t happen, I know I’ve trained well and can (and WILL) cross that finish line.

But enough about that. It’s Friday, so let’s end the week with a photo recap of the past two days!

For our co-workers birthday, my ‘work husband’ and I made a trip to Fells Point to pick up some treats. We couldn’t resist getting a scoop full of gelato for ourselves to brighten up an otherwise dreary day.

pitango

These bad boys arrived at my doorstep this week. I’ve already tried two flavors and have a few more to go. A full review will be coming soon so stay tuned!

vega bars

Flavored sparkling water has been my jam recently. On days it’s difficult for me to chug my regular tap water, I mix things up with some flavor and sparkle. I mean, why not?

sparkling water

And we obviously couldn’t end this post without a picture of Watson. The other night, he entered our room and plopped himself down near the side of my bed and didn’t move until I was settled. Too cute.

guard dog

How do you relax before a big event? Ever adjust your goals and then completely surprise yourself in achieving them?

Corny

I don’t know about you, but when I eat crabs, I’m not looking for anything else. Don’t mess around with sides unless it’s cold veggies. Nevertheless, this weekend for crab feast I picked up twelve ears – one for each person who was to eat crabs.

Can you guess how many ears were eaten?

NOT A ONE.

So we’re getting creative with meals this week. Monday for dinner we had chicken with corn on the cob. Yesterday afternoon, i had corn in a sandwich wrap. Last night, we had this creation.

quinoa-corn salad

Quinoa & Corn Salad (adapted from Black Bean and Corn Salad on Allrecipes.com)
2 ears of sweet corn, husked [can also be replaced with canned or frozen corn]
1/2 large tomato, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked per package instructions
Juice if 1/2 lime
1/2 c. olive oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 clove of garlic, minced

1. Add lime, olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt & garlic in a small container with a tight lid. Shake.

2. Combine corn, green pepper, black beans, tomato & quinoa in a medium bowl. Add lime dressing.

3. Consume.

I used the juice of 1 like instead of a half and there was a lot left over. However, if you up the amount of quinoa, feel free to increase the amount of lime, too.

We still have six ears left. Help! Anyone got a good corn recipe to share?

Pssst. If you like this recipe, you might also like my Tomato and Black Bean Quinoa. Similar to this, it’s also delicious and versatile. Enjoy!

Those Summer Nights

It’s been a busy few days up in here. Wednesday night, I hosted Book Club (we discussed The Light Between Oceans), and yesterday Nettifred came to visit.

She made the trip up to see one of her favorite men – Justin Timberlake. The Legends of the Summer tour came to Baltimore and I knew tickets would be the perfect birthday present for her (not to mention it would be an excuse for some quality girl time!).

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With her living so far away, I’m learning to cherish our visits. Even if we’re just sitting around, there’s something comforting about being around family. Added bonus? With every visit, we end up with a few pics like this one:

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We parted ways this morning, but it wasn’t as bittersweet as usual; she’ll be back in Baltimore next weekend!

Going to any fun concerts this summer? If we didn’t get tickets to Justin/Jay-Z, Keith Urban was also playing last night. Too bad we couldn’t manage both!

Peachy Keen

During the summer, I love peaches. The JA and I have differing opinions on how ripe they should be. He likes them not ripe at all, and places them in the refrigerator as soon as we get home. I let them ripen for a few days, then put them in the fridge for safekeeping.

Needless to say, we normally have a few lying around. Here’s how we’ve used them lately:

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream (recipe via my love, The Pioneer Woman)
We didn’t have pecans on hand, but subbed sliced walnut pieces. Still delicious.
grilled peaches and ice cream

Citrus Smoothie
I made this concoction for breakfast today. Great way to use peaches that are past their prime or bruised!
citrus smoothie

Blend together:
1 peach, sliced into small pieces
Handful blueberries
1/2 c. orange juice
1/3 frozen banana
1 tsp. mix of chia and flaxseed
1/4 c. protein powder

I’d love to try this with some pineapple and mango, but didn’t have any on hand. Oh well. Next time!

Are you picky about your fruit? There’s a fine window for me with a lot of food – bananas, peaches and strawberries have to be just right for me to fully enjoy them!