10 Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day on the Cheap

Hubs and I aren’t big Valentine’s Day people.

My theory is, showing how much you love someone shouldn’t be subject to one holiday, one arbitrary day if you will. It should be an everyday type thing.

This year, we’re on a tight budget so we’re having a date night in, and heading up to CT for the “long” weekend (I say long weekend because Hubs has presidents Day off whereas, I am taking the time.) for some QT with the in-laws who offered up some free babysitting.

Here are ten easy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the cheap…

celebrate Valentines Day on cheap


  1. Have a dinner date at home. We love making something a little more extravagant than usual for Valentines Dinner in. Homemade dumplings, linguine with Clams. Because it’s Ash Wednesday I think we’re ordering sushi (no meat!) instead.
  2. Have an indoor picnic with a movie. Pour some wine, make some popcorn and a charcuterie board and cuddle up under a blanket. Massage each other’s feet and just enjoy a night in with candles and a good romcom.
  3. Go ice skating. Skate rentals are inexpensive and if you can find a place outdoors, it can be super romantic at night. Similarly, if you’re like us and have a (welcome) third wheel on daytime dates, it can also be kid-friendly and super fun for little ones too.
  4. Hit up a local brewery or winery. Our favorites? Diamondback in Baltimore, Black Flag in Columbia, Boordy in Baltimore County, or Linganore out in Mount Airy. Bonus if they’re relatively kiddo friendly – some are more so than others ūüôā
  5. Workout together.¬†Seriously, hubs and I are super competitive. We workout together once per week (well, really we go to the gym, I run, he does weights) but this weekend, we’re hitting up an Orange Theory Fitness class this weekend when we’re up north which I am SUPER excited about. I tried it ONCE in Atlanta on a business trip, and LOVED it so I’m jazzed to share.
  6. Have a game night in. We love Yahtzee, Kinder Perfect, and Kings in the Corner. We usually play when little man goes to bed, turn on some tunes and sip some wine. It’s a really inexpensive fun way to spend some quality time together.
  7. Bake your favorite dessert together. I’ll be making these vegan blueberry muffins¬†with a festive (likely non-vegan) frosting on top for us all to enjoy this week.
  8. Do some Yoga together. Whether you decide to take a class, or just do a video. Getting your om on can be not only relaxing but also kind of romantic.
  9. Road trip. Go explore a new town, grab a fun lunch and explore a new town for an afternoon. Some fun road trips from our area? Frederick, St. Michaels, Richmond, or Harpers Ferry, WV.
  10. Hit up a museum. Since we’re so close to DC, hitting up a museum can be inexpensive and super fun for an afternoon. If you have little ones to¬†bring along, go somewhere kiddo friendly where they can let loose.

What inexpensive ways are YOU celebrating Valentines Day? 


Gift Guide: for the working mama

I always have such a hard time figuring out what to ask for for the holidays. Most often, if I want something, I either buy it for myself or determine I don’t really NEED it and change my mind – which I’m sure many working mama’s can relate to.

So I put together a fun gift guide comprised of fun pieces that are both practical and not so practical – things I wouldn’t be likely to buy for myself but would love to have.


[Clockwise from top left]
Convertible tunic | Glossier phase 1 kit | Essential Oil Diffuser | Under Armour leggings | Athleta Crossover sweatshirt | Chillax key finder | Aerie flannel joggers | Bluetooth Headphones | J. Crew Pajama set | Kate Spade tumbler | Reversible Tote Bag with wristlet | The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself while Raising a Happy, Healthy Family


  1. I saw this convertible neck tunic on Audrey’s blog and have been lusting over it ever since. I love that you can wear the off the shoulder look or the cowl neck look – a great piece for weekends or work. ($54)
  2. ¬†I don’t spend a lot of money on my skincare but I’ve heard so many amazing things about Glossier and this Phase 1 Kit would be a great gift for the mama who loves to pamper herself but doesn’t love to spend the money. ($40)
  3. I’m dying to get an Essential Oil Diffuser¬†for my desk at work and for our living room. I’m a huge fan of them in general and think they really help with moods – plus I’ve totally gotten into making my own cleaning supplies (mainly an all-purpose cleaner with vinegar)¬† so consider me an Essential Oil super-fan. ($18)
  4. For a long time, I was a Lululemon¬†evangelist when it came to my workout leggings. I still am – their running shorts are my all-time favorite and the only ones that don’t make my legs chafe. But these Under Armour leggings are my new favorites. The colors are fun (I’m a solid color legging gal) and the price doesn’t break the bank. ($35)
  5. I have this crossover sweatshirt in white and it’s one of the coziest pieces in my wardrobe. It’s a great to and from the gym pullover or to wear on the weekends with a vest/leggings and boots. ($69)
  6. How often are you late because you can’t find your keys? Too many to count? I’m dying to get one of these bluetooth key finders to prevent those frazzled mornings.
  7. I am a HUGE fan of Aerie’s pj’s¬†– one of those things I just hate spending money on for myself but a fun, cozy pair of fleece joggers would be a great gift for mama to relax in on the weekends. ($16)
  8. Lately, I’ve found working out with my HIIT workouts at the gym has been a pain in the butt with my issued earbuds from Apple. A nice pair of wireless/bluetooth headphones to make those long runs or HIIT workouts easier would be a great stocking stuffer. ($28)
  9. Similar to the Aerie PJ’s – J. Crew makes the BEST matching PJ sets. I don’t think I know anyone who wouldn’t love a cozy set like these under the tree.
  10. I’m not a hot coffee drinker – iced coffee all the way – and every day i pour my stok’d¬†coffee into hubs’s old tumbler. Time to upgrade. Get the iced coffee-loving mom in your life a pretty Kate Spade tumbler. ($18)
  11. This reversible tote bag with wristlet is a super winner. It doesn’t break the bank and you get like three bags in one with the included wristlet. ($25)
  12. I don’t need to preach my love about Body Back, but the founder of Fit4Mom recently came out with a book – The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself while Raising a Happy, Healthy Family which is like the ONLY book on my wishlist because there are some books that you just need to have in your library and this is one of them.

Anything I missed? What’s on your wishlist friends?¬†


Holiday Fun: 9 Things on My Holiday To Do List

Ahhh the holidays. It always seems to go by FAR too quickly and there never seems to be enough time to do everything I want. This year though, I’m making a list. Little man is super into Santa and our Elf on the Shelf, so that just makes this whole time of year more festive.

  1. Bake cookies

    My favorite recipe is one that I remember my Nana making every Christmas (similar). I know they’re Peanut Butter based, so I’ll just make sure to NOT give them to E’s teachers. But this year I’m making four types of cookies, inspired by this post – candy canes, pinwheels, traditional sugar cookies and of course, peanut butter blossoms. If I’m inspired, I’ll also make my cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies to boot.

  2. Donate to a good cause

    I gave to Junior League of Annapolis on Giving Tuesday – an organization I’ve been involved with for nearly 8 years. I also plan on giving to the Alzheimers Association – that I do every year, usually on the anniversary of Nana’s passing, but this year we were low on funds so I’ll do so before the end of December. We also pick out angel tree families from church and E’s daycare as well to help teach him that it’s good to give back to kiddos with less than you.

  3. Go ice skating

    Hubs is afraid of ice skating but I grew up ice skating on weekends with friends and had many cousins who play(ed) hockey so I absolutely want to make sure Little Man learns how to skate. This year is the year where the three of us will head out to an ice rink under the lights and have a fun family night out!

  4. See a train garden

    There are a couple in Anne Arundel County that are supposed to be fun to check out – at least two of those being outdoor train gardens in Pasadena, so we’ll be sure to visit before the season is up/they close down!

  5. Visit Santa

    We’re doing that this weekend at Homestead Gardens when we get our tree, since the line was SUPER long to see him at the Lake Shore Plaza tree lighting last night.

  6. See Miracle on 34th Street in Baltimore

    We keep meaning to do this, but this year I actually want to trek up to Baltimore to see it. Apparently, it’s incredibly fun and festive to walk around, and I think little man would LOVE it.

  7. Drive around looking at lights/Go to Lights on the Bay OR Festival of Lights at Watkins Park

    We did this last year on Christmas eve when little man was sick with a high fever (we ended up in the ER because we couldn’t get a good read on it, and he was super lethargic – viral. of course) but it was a lot of fun.

  8. Run a seasonal race

    I haven’t signed up for it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be running the ugly sweater run on the 16th in Odenton with my MRTT friends.

  9. Watch Elf

    Not so fun fact: I’ve never seen Elf. I’m more of a Love Actually/The Holiday kind of gal myself. BUT this year I want to see it. Hubs is less enthused but it’s going to happen.

What’s on YOUR holiday bucket list this year?


Boo-ing our Neighbors

When we bought our home, the one piece of the puzzle I never felt I got that I¬†really¬†wanted was a close-knit neighborhood. As we’ve started getting involved in our neighborhood association, I’m finding they are¬†pretty close. Our direct neighbors seem really nice, however, we haven’t really connected with them as much as I had hoped.

I was lucky to grow up with my three best friends all living within a house of me. I¬†had a fantastic childhood (until my parents split up in 8th grade) thanks to so many fun memories with those friends. I always had friends to hang out with – there were summer camp outs, late night swims, someone to walk to school with, and someone to hang out with on our many snow days. It was all idyllic. So when we moved in and saw a kiddo around Ethan’s age wave at us with small hands through their front window, I got excited that he might have that too.

Needless to say, the family friendship is still in the works, but they work¬†different hours than us so we’re always two ships passing in the night. BUT I decided to Boo them anyhow. It’s not even a thing in our ‘hood but i’m going to make it so.

boo basket

What I included: 

My favorite pumpkin beer for the adults
-Halloween cocktail napkins
-Fun glow sticks for trick or treating
-A autumny candle
-Halloween sticker book
-Gummy worms
-some chocolate peanut butter cups
-Some Halloween utz cheddar balls
-Fun halloween socks
-A printed “You’ve been boo’ed” sign with instructions to pay it forward (maybe they’ll boo us?!)¬†

I picked up everything at Target in the Halloween section and the dollar spot and spent about $10-15 on each of the baskets I made. I really hope they enjoyed it!

Have you ever boo’ed your neighbors or been boo’ed?



Weekly Workouts: Half Marathon Peaking

I feel like I’m in a rut, but I’m not.

Something about so little progress with so much work is making me frustrated. Like…seriously frustrated. Stupid 21 Day Fix. Stupid Half Marathon Training. I’ve been feeling a bit ADD with my workouts lately so even though I’m working out I feel like the progress I’ve been making – or lack of progress – can’t be pinpointed on one specific habit or whatever. What i’m trying to say is I feel like i’m getting slower when I run (I’m nursing some tight calves), I don’t feel fit, the scale is staying stagnant and I’m just…in a rut.

Color me frustrated.

Anyhow, I got out of the habit of sharing weekly workouts…so let’s get back to that.

Monday – 3 mile run
Day 8 of BBM
Wednesday – Day 10 of BBM
Thursday – Day 11 of BBM/ 3 mile run
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 10 mile run
Sunday – Stand Up Paddleboard class?! mayyybeee…..

How’d I do last week?¬†

Monday – I started the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge with some moms in my group. So far I’m really liking it!
Tuesday – I did Day 2 of BBM in the AM because I had a board meeting later that evening so I couldn’t work out after work.
Wednesday – scheduled rest day since I had an event for Junior League
Thursday – 3 mile run
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 8 miles donezo. A sloppy, sweaty 8 mile run but 8 mile
Sunday –¬†Pure Barre

We had the most perfect mothers Day weekend – full of wine, cuddles with my sweet boy, and love. I slogged through those 8 miles and fit in a Pure Barre class.

pure barre annapolis mothers day

 {photo via PB Annapolis}

They even had some treats for us after class including the makings for mimosas!

We spent the afternoon up at Boordy Vineyards with a picnic. Ethan worked on his standing, we shared a bottle of wine and cheered him on. It was a beautiful afternoon.



FINALLY –¬†The winners of my Seventh Generation Goody Bags are Shaina A. & YB. And because I had an extra goody bag, I threw in a third winner – congrats Kaycee! Email me your addresses ladies at heidi (at) legallyheidi (dot) com and I’ll get your packages into the mail this week!


Keep Valentines Day Cheap & Thoughtful

Valentines Day is just around the corner, and while we don’t have plans, we’ll probably order sushi, grab a bottle of Boordy and stay in with a movie off Amazon. It’s cheaper this way, our we’ve had amazing Valentine’s Dates. But now when you add in a baby sitter, you nearly double the cost.

Way back in the day, he took me to Sequoia on the Georgetown Waterfront, the next year I’m pretty sure we went to the location of our first date – Hunan Dynasty on Capitol Hill for sushi and dumplings.

We’ve done nights in, we’ve gone out. We’ve done the pre fixe meal, and the black tie parties and everything in between. Valentines Day as I see it, is another extension of New Years Eve in terms of the ability to go all out for what? Getting laid?

Thankfully, now that we’re married it’s rather low stress. Hubs and I get each other thoughtful gifts like the year when he was in Texas and got me a baseball bat after I told him I sometimes had a hard time falling asleep because I sometimes couldn’t remember if I locked the door or not. So here are my favorite ideas on how to think outside the pre-fixe and dozen roses box.

valentines day cheap and thoughtful

Order in. If one of you chooses dinner, let the other choose a movie to rent and stay in cuddling under a comfy blanket. (My date night of choice as of lately!)

Keep a price limit. Keeping a price limit on gifts makes them more thoughtful. Friends of ours once mentioned that they had a $5 limit so one of them picked up a mug from Waffle House where they went on their first date.

Don’t go out on Valentines Day.¬†Depending on how I feel since this week has been a crapshoot as far as battling this cold and now pink eye, I said I’d love to go out for a day – maybe to our favorite vineyard or out to lunch up in Baltimore. Going out the day after or the weekend after Valentines Day makes it cheaper by nature since you’re not getting the Valentines Day price gauge.

Send a surprise to the office. This may not be cheap but it doesn’t need to be done on valentines day. Hubs sent me cupcakes when he was half way through his training in Texas which was right around Valentines Day. You don’t need to order flowers or roses but maybe just surprise your valentine with lunch ordered in on you.

Look for Online Deals. If he asks for pictures, order a photo book or a nice family picture on a canvas. You can always find deals for these types of products on LivingSocial, Amazon Local or Groupon deals for Shutterfly, Picaboo, or any sites like that. Hubs asked for pictures of me, so I made him a photo book of our first five years together – everything from dating, to our wedding and gave it to him when I went to visit him in San Antonio – that gift was most certainly a hit.

Get Crafty. Listen, I pretend to be crafty and sometimes I pull it off (witnessed here) but other times, it’s a bit of a struggle. Either way, if you have crafty skills, then use them! Skim through pinterest for ideas and get creative!

What are your favorite inexpensive ways to spend Valentines Day?


Christmas Number One

We celebrated our family’s Christmas yesterday. We’re traveling to visit families in VT, and CT over the next ten days or so, so we decided to do our own Christmas. I mean, there’s no point in stuffing our car full of gifts for each other when we just have to cart them back home again right?


Ethan was completely over-stimulated by the whole event and took an hour and a half long nap before playgroup. Playgroup was more fun, and following that and the last bits of Christmas shopping for family, he napped for 2 1/2 hours. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that lucky with nap time again.

All in all, Christmas in Annapolis was a huge success. We are beyond blessed as a family.

I think the kittens were just pissed that there was nothing under the tree for them. They’re crazy enough though, they certainly don’t need any cat nip to contribute to that crazy factor.


The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Since last Wednesday, I’ve been laid up. Y’all, GI issues are the worst. It started with some aches and a bad stomach ache.

Then it got okay. Then it got worse. So bad. I’m back on the upswing, but holy jebus.

So excuse for the tumbleweeds over here the past few days, I’ve been…preoccupied.

The Good:¬†Time with friends. Festiveness all around. Snow. Kind of. But mostly friends, family and lots of holiday cheer. Finishing the Girls on the Run 5k, nay, seeing my girls finish the Girls on the Run 5k. So proud of them all. Being a coach for Girls on the Run is such an honor and a joy, I don’t talk about it much on here, because I like to keep the privacy of the girls I coach (I’d never mention names), but this was my third season and each season just keeps getting better and better.

The bad:¬†A first birthday party, a baby shower, a race and a cookie swap later…I think I can finally let myself recover. I hadn’t fully recovered and by Saturday night, the farthest distance I was going was the 200 feet to my bathroom. At least I had the Good Wife (my latest obsession) on Hulu Plus. I considered myself lucky to slog through the GOTR 5k this AM despite the frigid temperatures. Is it sad I’ve forgotten how cold it is to run in December? I didn’t run at all last December when I was pregnant, so it’s been two years and man! Baby it’s cold outside!)

The ugly:¬†I’ve never finished a 5k feeling as awful as I did today. I wasn’t sure which end my insides were going to come out of. Thankfully, neither happened and somehow I made it through the afternoon. Of course I’m suffering now, but it’s not nearly as debilitating as it was Saturday night. I can’t imagine how atrocious it would be to have any long term GI issues – I can barely stand 48-72 hours. Also, because I’ve been such a silly slacker, I’m no where near my 100 mile goal. I’ll be lucky to make it to 50. The cold.

For now…

I’m on the mend, but this week, I’ll be laying off the wine and cookies as I’ve certainly had more than my fair share the past two weeks and am looking to try to detox and get whatever this bug is out of my system before we travel north at the end of the week.



A #fitmama’s wish list

Everyone keeps asking “what do you want for Christmas?”

Eff friends – half the time I don’t know what I’m going to eat in a day, let alone what I want for Christmas. Not to mention, I could never ask for stupidly priced workout clothes for Christmas (I’m looking at you lululemon), and I don’t really need any more yoga tops or leggings. I like multi-functional items. Leggings I can wear every day or to yoga or barre. I like socks that aren’t going to give me blisters or other practical accessories.

So here are a few of my favorites off my wish list:

Bobeau Wrap¬†($39, nordstrom.com) Confession: I have this in like two colors already but I wear it to and from classes, play dates. No it’s not running related (directly) but its a great comfy, good quality piece for to and fro and it’s a helluva lot cheaper than any lululemon piece deemed “go to wear.” Or whatever it is they call it these days.

Gap Fit Breathe Long Sleeve ($30, gap.com) I’ve heard fantastic things about Gap’s workout line, and I love this color. Not to mention, again, it’s half the cost of my favorite lululemon long sleeve tops. That’s a win in my book.

Medals Display Rack ($29,¬†Etsy)¬†I’ve needed a rack to hang my medals on for a while now – currently I just have a couple of nails in the wall. Granted they’re in a row. And look okay. But this (or something similar) would be better.

Race Bling ($60 EricaSaradesigns.com) – I’ve seen so many people post about Erica Sara jewelry. I absolutely love her race bling collection, as well as her mother’s jewelry collection. But for the runner in your life, pick up a charm in honor of their latest PR.

C9 by Champion Yoga Layering Top ($25 – Target.com) Because I’m a sucker for tops that can be multi-use like this one. And the price is right. And it looks perfectly cozy.

Mittens ($35 Newbalance.com) I do love my running gloves but mittens are way cooler and I’m ready for an upgrade. I don’t know if it’s just me that finds that my hands sweat so much more when they’re in gloves than in mittens but I hate being hot when I run, I always dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than it is but I can’t stand too cold or too sweaty of hands.

Other great ideas: gift cards to a favorite studio (Pure Barre!), running socks (always a win – especially for stocking stuffers), or a gift card to sign them up for their next race!


25 days of Christmas Fun: Elf’ed

“I can’t believe you didn’t notice it!”

Sometimes I’m a bit clueless. And oblivious.

“I mean, it’s right there!”

It was. It was right there.

He made a comment on the Amazon certified frustration free packaging. “You better not be buying anything on amazon!” It came out more like a squeak. A defenseless squeak. We’re really bad at surprising each other, regularly, but this year I actually pulled a couple tricks out of my sleeve.

“I am. I’m buying all of things. In certified frustration free packaging. I’ll wrap them all saying they’re from Bernard.”

“NOPE. Bernard isn’t bringing you anything. What have you done lately? What was¬†your¬†random act of kindness today?” I stuck my tongue out and harrumphed him on the other side of the couch.

This Elf is going to be the death of me the next few weeks. I know he’s supposed to be hidden but I want to make him a little more obvious…a little more…I dunno. Something.

Silly husband. Silly Elf.