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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Friday Five: Five things to be happy about

This morning I was going to jump in and share what’s new – since my blogging and general “social media-ing” has been a little lackluster lately, but instead I saw this awesome healthy living challenge on Greatist and I’m going to use it as a guide to blog once per day for the next month to get back into it. Even if it’s just a picture.

So here’s my Friday Five (which is always one of my more favorite posts to write, when I remember)

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Five things to be happy about…

1. Awesome weather. The weather as of late has been amazing and tolerable and a joy. Sheer joy. Also makes evening runs with the little guy tolerable! Huzzah! This weekend is supposed to be rainy but you know? I’m okay with a rainy weekend once in a while. Especially if I don’t have any trips to the beach planned in the near future.

2. Training. Training is going swimmingly (haha get that. Triathlon training. Swimmingly – hahahaha) and I’m feeling really confident.

3. A refreshing trip to New England to celebrate glorious friends. Aside from missing my train back to CT and paying a stupid amount of money to get a new one because traffic was so awful, the weekend was GLORIOUS with an awesome group of ladies and the seafood. OMG. THE SEAFOOD. Yum.

{The CT Seashore via Amtrak}

Lake Winnipesaukee in NH

4. A weekend at home. Summer weekends seem to get filled up way too fast. It’s nice that aside a bridal tea in Virginia on Sunday, we don’t have much planned.

5. Summer nights on the porch with friends. Seriously, rather than spending the night holed up watching Pretty Little Liars, I spent last night hanging out on our porch with Liz chatting and catching up. We had company last night though. What does the fox say?

{via NaptownPint}

Be sure to check out Mar, Courtney and Cynthia – the hosts of Friday Five and the other participants! Happy Friday!!

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Regaining Sanity

Sometimes, after two long weeks of playing single parent and managing a sick child, you just need an afternoon off. So yesterday,  I took it and got to hang out with some awesome lady pals.

I enjoyed some good beverages.

Some good friends and a fun game.

And enjoyed some DANG good food.

After our #naptownpintbeerclub with said awesome ladies, I got myself a pedicure and then came home for some dinner and relaxing with the husband. I did not go for a run, I used up 3/4 of my activity points for the week in one afternoon with pals and the best part?

I did not feel at all guilty about it.

Sometimes, splurging is necessary. I needed a few hours to turn off parental responsibilities (thanks hubs!), to laugh with friends and not have anyone dependent on me for EVERYTHING for a couple of hours. I hadn’t been out solo sans Ethan in almost two weeks so it was great to get out and relax and talk about something other than Hand Foot and Mouth Disease or Ethan’s pending Ear Tube surgery.

Sanity regained. 80/20 maintained. Back to running tomorrow. Triathlon training starts Monday AM with an early swim!

 

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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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Weekly Workouts & Weekend Recap: Mama got out!

Another week gone, another weekend done.

It was a refreshing weekend for sure with a nice mix of friends and family time. Our Sundays have become predictable but Saturday was mama’s day out. I started the weekend with a 3.5 mile run. It was cold and windy. Could only find one glove, went gloveless. Total cold weather running fail.  Also realized all my tunes are on my old laptop and have not transferred any of them to my new laptop…music fail.

Saturday afternoon, Liz hosted our monthly Beer Club which was fantastic.

naptown pint beer club

We tasted lots of incredible beers and then we found out what horrible people we all are by playing Cards Against Humanity.

cards against humanity beer club

Saturday evening my pal sprung me for a ladies night out. A former coworker of ours is moving to LA so we headed into DC to Boundary Stone Public House in Bloomingdale where her going away party was held. We were there for all of about an hour – it was…not really my scene. Call me old but crowds just aren’t my thang. We had a round, said our hellos, socialized, and decided to head back to Annapolis to grab a night cap in less crowded territory.

moms night out outfit{pants / sweater}

Don’t mind the bare feet, I took this when I got home as proof that I went out and got dressed up! I wore these shoes in leopard print with this outfit though.

So we hit up Factors Row downtown, which is a new favorite of mine since I love me some Boordy wine and they have it by the glass there. Yum.

Factors Row Annapolis

Sunday was the usual. Mass, followed by a nap for Ethan followed by errands. It’s always a nice family day.

Ethan loves Wegmans. I do too…but I do not at all love the parking lot or Route 3. Too much stress. Also. This weekend we picked up this gem with a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond. Expect smoothie recipes coming soon – I miss green smoothies since our KitchenAid mixer died last year.

This weeks workouts…

So last week was a success with a 10.5 miles ran/walked (3 miles/4 mile walk with a friend/ 3.5 mile run) and 1 spinning class. Four workouts? I consider that a win. This week I’m shooting for a solid 12 miles and for 4 solid workouts. I know I have five down here, but I inevitably will find a day where I can’t find time to make it to the gym or to fit a run in.

This week…

Monday – spinning
Tuesday – 3 mile run – either on the treadmill or outside
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3-4 mile run/walk
Friday – spinning
Saturday – 4-5 mile run
Sunday – rest

Sunday is always my rest day. Since Hubs and I are getting a baby sitter on Saturday night for a pals birthday party, Sunday will most definitely be a rest/recovery day.

How was your weekend? What’s your favorite workout lately? I’m totally on a spin kick lately and wish my gym had more variety of spin classes. 

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Happy Friday!

Here’s the dealio kids. I have a serious post waiting to be posted. It was ready to go up today, well, almost ready, I’ve had a rough week, and the fact that the weather has been absolute crap hasn’t helped anything. That with a few developmental milestones, means cranky baby + cabin fever = mama about to go out of her mind.

But then, amidst the cold week and gray weather I got a fun email.

Congrats! You have been selected as a 2014 ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassador.

ZOOMA Ambassador Badge 2014

Huzzah!

This is one of my favorite races in the area, and despite the snafu’s last year, I’m super excited to run it again this year. It was my 10k PR the year before I got pregnant, and then my first race post pregnancy. Call me a loyalist

{from the archives – 2012 – a 10k PR}

Of course there were other perks to this otherwise blah day, and blah week…

*My favorite mama’s on the play mat and I scheduled a mom’s night out for a couple weeks taking our friendships to a whole new level that isn’t constantly interrupted by totting babies who enjoy terrorizing the mall at our weekly playgroup.

*We had not one but two awesome play dates this week. Any play date that has delicious 4 layer dip and Dunkin Donuts munchkins is really a win. I know they don’t go together but they were my lunch yesterday. Don’t judge me.

*I tried Zumba. I had always wanted to try it but I’m like a robot when it comes to my grooviness unless there’s no fewer than 2 alcoholic beverages in me. But spin class was full by the time we got there and I dropped Ethan off at childcare. Zumba on the other hand had only a handful of people, and they were just finishing the warm up so I jumped in and had no idea what I was doing but I had fun.

*Junior League happy hour tonight. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my pals in the league, they keep me grounded, lift me up when I need it and generally are an amazing bunch to hang around. Tuesday night after our board meeting a few of us sat around finishing off some wine chatting, and tonight, there’s a Happy 2014 Happy Hour over at West. Hubs is dropping me off so I don’t have to worry about driving. Huzzah!

If you’re interested in Zooma, stay tuned, I’ll have a snazzy discount code for all you Life in Pink readers and I’m looking forward to doing some training runs and events around Annapolis in the coming weeks and months leading up to the May 2014 race!

Have you ever been a race ambassador? Have you run a Zooma race? 

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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.

 

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Thankful

This year I have so much to be thankful for, I couldn’t possibly list it all in one post.

First and foremost…

My little man. My light. My life. My everything. Ethan has been the biggest blessing to my life and I am so thankful that he is happy, healthy and thriving in so many ways. (don’t mind my coffee table – we’re in the process of baby proofing!)

Family. I am blessed beyond words to have a loving husband, and an adorable son. The fact that we are blessed such wonderful, loving and generous parents, siblings and extended family is just icing on the cake of everything we have to be thankful for.

I’m incredibly thankful for friends whom I couldn’t possibly list without leaving someone out. My health, where getting my level of fitness back to a decent level hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought.

Thankful for the wonderful mamas I’ve met over the past eight months who have been nothing but helpful and inspiring pals. For stroller strides and pure barre for keeping me moving. Thankful for Chesapeake Inspired and the Bay Weekly for giving me mediums to write. I’m so blessed to finally be paid to share words with the world.

Thankful we made it safe after two very long days of travel in some nasty weather to spend Ethan’s first Thanksgiving with my sister and mother.

Happy Thanksgiving freaders – enjoy the day with friends, family and plenty of food!

Tell me friends, what are you thankful for today (and every day really)?

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Finding Mama Pals

Last week, I wrote my first post over on DC Ladies about finding a play group.

I’m blessed that I’m beginning to actually make pals out of these ladies. I read a while ago an interesting blog post about dating as moms and the many stages of mom dating.

Here’s the thing, making friends as adults isn’t easy. Generally, you stay friends with pals from college (ME!), make friends from work, or other volunteer or social activities. I’ve made a great deal of pals from Junior League, a lot of people I knew in DC made friends from kickball or bocce.

But what happens after you’re married, settled and start having kids?

Well, it’s a new type of friend dating. No more are the 2 for 1 happy hours (Confession: I loved those man. Those were the good ole days. Although somehow a 2 for 1 happy hour that happened on a Wednesday involved me going to Clarendon after getting on the metro, catching the last train back to Pentagon City but in the midst of my transfer at Rosslyn having to EXIT the metro via the longest escalator ever because i had to pee and couldn’t wait the 25+ minutes til the next train and getting home. These were pre-husband days clearly. Gotta watch out for the 2 for 1 happy hours.) but now, it’s finding moms who have similar things they care about – i.e. cloth diapering. Or maybe you both go to My Gym or swim lessons or whatever it is…but then you have to get out of just the lessons/support group/play group and be friends who happen to be moms. Not just “mom friends” which sounds way more casual.

My mom friends are a nice mishmash of people who are around the same age, younger and older than me. Most of the babies in my playgroup are a couple months older than Ethan (or as little as mere hours/days), but the mom’s I’ve met are so funny, friendly and caring. All of us adore all the babies in the group. On Tuesday coffee dates, it’s guaranteed at least once that you’ll probably hold a baby that’s not yours, that there will be a lot of talk about boobs, nursing, and sleeping (or lack thereof). And it’s just…refreshing to have a group of people who are your age, going through the same ish and can talk about pretty much anything (I mean, if you’re talking about boobs for a couple hours a day at least once per week, you can pretty much talk about anything right?)

baby playgroup

{Last weeks Wednesday playgroup. Ethan’s not quite ready for the playmat just yet. He shat on my lap to protest. You’ll get there buddy. You’ll get there.}

It’s nice though, because while I love and adore my other pals – be them college friends, post college gal pals, or league friends – it’s different to find mom’s that I’ve related to solely through my child and it’s nice to have the fact that we’re all new(ish) moms in common.

How did you make friends as a new parent? 

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Five Ways to Help Out A New Mom Pal

When you have a new baby, you’ll be surprised by how many offers to help you’re going to get – whether it’s “what do you need?” or “can we bring you a meal?” Unfortunately, not all will be particularly helpful as I recently found out… BUT! Seriously, don’t say no. The best people, will not just ask how to help but they’ll just know what they can do. If you do have people ask how they can help and legit don’t know what to do, here’s what you can tell them.

1. Nap-sit. One of my friends recently offered to watch Ethan while I took a nap. I didn’t need the nap at the time, but next time, I will be taking her up on that. Yesterday, hubs was home working in the afternoon so I got a nap in for a couple hours on the couch but still it’s so great to know that I have pals I can count on to just come over and watch baby while I nap or take a shower.

2. Cook dinner. The last thing I worry about on a daily basis is eating. There’s too much else to worry about – especially when it comes to Ethan. I know this is wrong, but we’re more likely to order out if there’s not something easy to cook in the house. So, if you have friends who offer to cook a meal and drop it off? Take them up on it. ASAP. Do not say no. A couple pals of us made a large chinese food order and brought us dinner a few nights after we got out of the hospital – seriously took care of dinner and lunch for a few days which was amazing and so thoughtful. Then, one of the best birthday gifts I received this year was from my pal Sarah stopping by on Saturday night, cooking dinner, and loading the dishwasher while Adam was away for drill weekend. It was not only nice to have a healthy, hearty meal but also to have some company for a couple of hours.

3. A chore or two. Do you want to be listening for an hour for your mom pal to list off everything she has to do? My to do list has been a mile long for the past six weeks, don’t really ask what chores need to get done, just pick something to do and do it. “Hey, I’m going to stop by for an hour to visit”…and while you’re there maybe take the trash out or finish up her dishes or switch out the laundry – small, menial tasks that are likely adding up and won’t take too long to do will make her feel like a weight of a thousand bricks have been taken off her shoulders.

4. Take her to lunch. I adore getting out of the house. It’s needed. Some may say that “it’s too soon!” but want to see me go stir crazy? Leave me in the house for weeks on end. Last week I went to lunch and for a long walk with my pal and it was absolutely perfect. The best part? She held Ethan while I ate as he started to get fussy. We headed home after that but it was so nice to be out, to have some company and to be able to enjoy my food as well. We haven’t taken him out to eat with us but the couple times we have he’s been fabulous (because he sleeps in the car and subsequently his infant car seat super quickly and easily) so we’ve been able to enjoy it. But once he gets fussy? No one enjoys their meal.

5. Bring her a gift basket. Load a small basket with some treats – maybe some coffee, some nice body wash/lotion, a couple of non-parenting books – those kind of goodies. Items that might be really nice to make her feel good about herself, that aren’t for baby. Everyone is all about the baby, but your mom pal is recovering and adjusting too and letting her know that you’re thinking of her and how she’s doing will go along way.

Listen, being a new family (because really it’s not just the mom here) is tough. It wasn’t/isn’t easy when baby was getting up every 2-3 hours and then hubs had to drive an hour to work and back then get home and worry about us. It wasn’t easy the first couple days when I was home alone – it was incredibly alienating, lonely and just…overwhelming. Thankfully, we have a good baby but I can’t fathom what it would be like if he were colicky. Little gestures go a long ways, don’t over think what you can do to help your pal out, just think small and I guarantee she’ll be super grateful.

What was the best thing anyone did for you after your baby was born? Anything you’ve done for a friend that went a long way? 

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