Girls Night Out in Annapolis with the Loews Annapolis Hotel

Last week I was invited to a night at the Loews Annapolis to have a holiday night out. It was Midnight Madness in downtown Annapolis and the perfect excuse to have a fun, festive, casual night out. I’ve been to many events at the Loew’s and it’s definitely a favorite venue of mine – from the Junior League of Annapolis Galas to the Zooma Expo, they always put on a fantastic event. The staff is always super friendly and the rooms are beautiful with local-inspired decor. If you ever need a place to stay in ‘Naptown, I highly recommend.

I’ve been to many events at the Loew’s and it’s definitely a favorite venue of mine – from the Junior League of Annapolis Galas to the Zooma Expo, they always put on a fantastic event. The staff is always super friendly and the rooms are beautiful with local-inspired decor. If you ever need a place to stay in ‘Naptown, I highly recommend.

The evening/afternoon started with Glam Sessions – I got my hair curled (of which I am now obsessed with but haven’t quite figured out how to replicate it). They also had makeup (mainly eyes with some false lashes!) and nails that you could get done as well. I did my own makeup though my nails look like garbage but I replied late so was only able to score a hair appointment.

GNO with Loews Annapolis

I left shortly after my hair was done to get changed into my cozy, festive casual outfit for the evening – ready to hit the town. (As much as a 30 something working mom can and wants to hit the town…)

holiday casual outfit

{Pants | Sweater (old, similar) | Plaid Shirt | Necklace | Shoes (old, similar)}

Prior to heading out to Midnight Madness, we started with cocktails and appetizers at Baroak – Teddy Folkman’s restaurant in Annapolis – which is DELICIOUS. We had mussels, flatbread pizza and some charcuterie on the appetizer side…

Baroak annapolis cocktails

…and some (delicious) specialty cocktails – a white sangria with cranberries and a white rum punch (that I did not try but heard delicious things about!). They have an exceptional menu (mussels and frites anyone?!) and the beer menu isn’t terrible either. If you have not been, I highly recommend.

After cocktail hour, I headed downtown with Liz to check out a couple of the shops, snowflake alley and meet up with some other Naptown pals of hers. We ended up at Dry 85 and had a couple of drinks before Ubering back to the hotel because holy crap was it FRIGID to walk the four or five blocks back (even though we walked down there).

The night ended back in the Presidential suite at the Loew’s with gift wrapping. I got the couple of gifts that I picked up wrapped, I’m a good wrapper generally, but this lady was AMAZING. I’ve got enough to wrap at home, so it was nice having a couple to get wrapped fo’ freesies.

I was back in my room at a halfway decent hour and crashed watching HGTV. It was a really fun night for sure. Thanks to Loews Annapolis for hosting and for putting on such a fantastic evening.

FTC disclosure: I was provided an overnight stay, however, I was not compensated for my honest review. All opinions here are my own. 

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Finding A Tribe

As a working mom, I feel like I’ve struggled a lot. I struggle every day with the “do I have enough time with my child” (never), “who’s in my life that really gets the working mom struggles” (a couple of people. That i’m not super close with), “when will I fit in my workout” (maybe tomorrow), “How am I going to be sure I’m not the fat bridesmaid in my brother in laws wedding in May” (maybe do that workout tonight…).

I don’t know I feel like it’s a constant tug of war within myself for wanting to be successful. Wanting to do ALL OF THE THINGS – junior league, career, family, raising a smart child, run a half marathon, train for a half ironman (certainly not this year!) and travel and buy a house… so many things. Not nearly enough time.

But here’s the thing, I found a tribe. Back when Little man was wee…we had a weekly play group and last week as we suffered a little bit of internal drama, I realized they are my tribe. We have working moms, stay at home moms, moms of one who might be okay with just one, moms who are currently expecting number 2… we’re a group of 9 who met over coffee to save ourselves from sleep deprivation back when the littles were little enough for infant carriers and even if I only see them once or twice a month – they’ve seen me with my best parenting moments and some not so great. They’ve shared tales of speech delays, and OH EM GEE is my child ever going to walk (though some of their littles started walking at the early end of the spectrum) but they get it and while I certainly have friends that I’ve had for 20, 10 or 15 years that stood next to me on my wedding day and that were friends during my horrible, awkward, high school years – there is nothing that compares to the friends you have during the first years of your childs life.

What traits should your tribe have?

Down to Earth  – no one likes the mamas who take themselves too seriously and if you can’t laugh about the valleys of parenthood and be a little self-deprecating sometimes then why bother? We’re all just trying to survive the rollercoaster of parenthood right?

Non-judgemental – seriously if you have a mom in your group who says “I prefer breastfeeding but I don’t judge people who can’t” and then posts crap on facebook about how formula is poison and the worst thing ever…she’s probably judging you if you’re not nursing your little until he’s five and who needs people who are going to side-eye your parenting choices when you’re not looking?

Know how to let loose – I value my mama’s night out that I get once a month or so. If you’re hanging out with people who don’t know how to have a good time and make you laugh (i’m not saying booze needs to be involved but I personally enjoy a glass of Sangria/wine or a marg every so often) then why bother? I could just as well stay at home and watch The Office with Hubs on netflix and save the time.

Be supportive – I work. You may not. I have tons of respect for my stay at home mama pals because I know from my 11 months home with Little Man that it’s not a cakewalk. It’s hard. Babies get sick. You get sick and unfortunately, there are not sick days when you’re a parents for as much as you’d love to curl up and binge watch OITNB – toddlers gotta play and eat and get their butts wiped. That doesn’t mean your struggles – or mine as a working parent when I’m under deadline but need to get E because day care closes at 6p or the week I have annual reports due for clients and E comes down with a stomach bug – aren’t any less of a struggle. They’re different and as long as we respect and support one another then we’re cool.

Be candid – If you can’t be real with people who have seen your son’s butt explode all over your lap in public then who can you be real with? Other than the husbands of course.

mama pals

So really this post is a thank you to my mama pals – my tribe – for keeping me sane. For understanding. For the laughs – especially the laughs – and the candid life talk when it’s most needed. I am incredibly thankful to have surrounded myself with an amazing, welcoming and hilarious group of mamas.

 

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Weekly Workouts & Weekend Recap: MNO edition

Oh man. Oh. Man.

Life isn’t often wild and crazy these days. I like the quieter run of things, my workouts, our schedule, and the quietness that engulfs the house after Ethan goes to bed and all the toys are turned off and put away. But this weekend…Mama put on her dancin’ shoes.

But first, let’s talk about what’s really important.

Workouts…

Last week I fit in 12 miles – most walking but uhhh 12 miles is still pretty gangsta’. A mama pal of mine and I started walking in the mall which, I know it’s the mall but you’d be surprised how quickly the miles add up when you’re chatting away and not paying attention to time.

I went spinning on Monday and then went to Pure Barre on Saturday AM making four days of workouts. Groovy, I hit my goal!

This week…

Monday – spinning
Tuesday – 4-6 mile walk
Wednesday – walk or rest
Thursday – 4-6 mile walk
Friday – spinning
Saturday – pure barre/4 mile run

As for our weekend…I realized I have some amazing friends. Who made me laugh harder than I had in a long time.

moms night out

So much laughter Friday night at Cheesecake Factory with some of my favorite mamas around. Seriously, we caused a raucous. If you saw my tweets…you might understand. Or at least understand why a moms night out once in a while is so important.

Saturday was barre, apartment searching, and then a very special 30th birthday. Hubs and I even sprung for a baby sitter. The party was cocktail attire so we got all kinds of dolled up. Mama even put on heels…and full make up. Not quite sure when that’ll happen again.

Sunday was miserable. I mean, baby woke up at 4:45a ready to party. A bottle, a diaper change and some cuddles would not get the point that when it’s dark out we sleep. I brought him into bed with us and all that did was give him an avenue to slap Adam and pull my hair.

Hangovers when you’re a parent are the worst. Needless to say after a late morning nap, I shared a brief, working brunch with Liz after Adam got back from Crossfit, went to an event with some mom friends where I picked up a baller toy for freesies (similar). The event was like a flea market of kids stuff that everyone was buying/selling/trading. I also picked up some diapers for resale. Unfortunately, I realized I am not a good sales lady (and/or lazy) thus, my goods are being saved for the wee sale.

All in all, a good weekend! However, I will not schedule a MNO on a weekend where this is another scheduled party. Nope. Not happening. Lesson. Learned. No matter what I say or do, remind me please, that I am not 25 anymore. Bedtimes are best before 11pm.

What was the best part of your weekend freaders??

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MNO: Crafty Night In

Grab a bottle of Boordy and sit right down.

Recently a gal pal of mine and I had a crafty night in. Well technically we had two. We’re not the craftiest of the bunch so this shouldn’t be surprising to those who know us. I’m pretty sure after we were a couple in, we were in no shape to handling hot glue guns so really, it was probably for the best that this was a two part endeavor.

The first night (also known as the first fail) was a Saturday and there were three of us. And we were going to get around to making autumny wreaths, really we were. Instead, we sat around being Chatty Cathy’s enjoying wine and beer to our delight. One pal had to go so Liz and I watched You’ve Got Mail – because what else do you do when you have full control of the tivo for the night and aren’t in any shape to be creative and crafty?

This was earlier this month when hubs had Drill and was post baby’s bedtime.

First of all, any night sitting around a table with a couple of awesome gal pals and a bottle of wine will always be a great night. That’s just a fact of life.

Far fetched from the wanna-be table dancing days of my twenties, but everyone evolves.

Second of all, making autumny wreathes is super easy. And should be done with wine. But watch out for hot glue guns. We finally got around to it on a Thursday night.

autumny wreath DIY

What you need: 

A grapevine wreath ($5 at Michaels)
Burlap ($10 for a large roll)
Fake Autumny flowers and leaves ($1-3/bunch at Michaels)

Total spent: $20 for two wreaths ($10/wreath)

I wrapped the burlap around 1/4 of the wreath, and then stuck in and glued the flowers to the other 1/4 of the wreath.

I think they turned out really great. We put on a fun movie (Admissions with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd – a bit more serious than I was anticipating!) had a touch of booze (Liz with the beer, me with the wine) and had a grand ole time!

Here’s the finished product hung up!

 

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