A Weekend Away With Friends: Hocking Hills

B and I just got back from a weekend away with the kids. It was our first trip since our summer getaway to Toronto and Ithaca, and it was our first trip ever with some other couples with kids. And it was a success! We all got (some) sleep, had good food and had fun on some hiking trails. We spent the weekend away in Hocking Hills, about a 3 1/2 hour drive from our house (longer if you’re traveling with 2 kids and one gets carsick about halfway through …).We got into town around 8 ish or so on Friday night. We had dinner with the kids and just hung out for a while talking after the kids went to bed late. We were beat – the car ride down had not been easy. LM cried for a good portion of the trip, FW needed to get out to go to the bathroom when we were in the middle of nowhere, and then LM got carsick twice. But we did have this pie waiting for us when we got there (made by my friend Anson).Saturday, we started off with breakfast. I had made a French toast casserole that we just had to heat up before the day began. Our activities began with a drive to Ash Cave and a hike to the cave. We hiked the Gorge and Rim Trail. Those trails were only about 1/2 mile or so, so we ended up walking a bit on the Grandma Gatewood Trail before turning around and making it back to our car for a picnic lunch.After lunch, we opted for another trail – this time to Old Man’s Cave! We hiked the lower falls and Gorge Trail, both of which were fun and not too hard to do with the kids – we had the little ones in backpacks and preschoolers with us at all times (basically FW was holding my hand as we walked up the tons and tons of stairs and anytime we were along the cliffs).Then, back to the cabin for nap time. We finished the afternoon with a cookout, complete with s’mores and the s’mores cookie bars I had brought.

These were pretty good 🙂

Sunday morning we had to pack it up and leave. But not before one last hike! This time we walked a little around the property. It was 80s and the kids were getting tired so it wasn’t too long of a walk – just enough to get out some energy before the car ride home.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Being around 5 children at a time could be a little overwhelming, but I would definitely do it again!

Questions for you:

  • Have you been to Hocking Hills?
  • Have you done a trip with other couples and their families?

Weekends With a Toddler When You’re Pregnant

Okay, so the title of this post is misleading. Weekends with a toddler when you’re pregnant are pretty much just regular weekends with a toddler. Sure, I’d like to be resting more (and I’m starting to feel the third trimester fatigue coming in!), but with a toddler, you can’t help but run around. And as tiring as it is, it’s fun entertaining them, too!

The weekend included:

Some Mexican food and TV to kick off Friday night. We are way behind in Walking Dead, so we had to watch an episode of that.

Saturday was a busy day! It included a birthday party at the aquarium, which FW loved. He loves fish and enjoyed seeing them and turtles swimming around.

And then it was time to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. I don’t have any pictures from the parade because I was busy getting our car battery jumped because our car was dead (whoops), so instead, here’s a photo of me and my coworkers looking festive.

For dinner, we opted for pizza. It was a toss up between pizza and reubens but I couldn’t figure out how to get us takeout ruebens and I love pizza so pizza won. And I’m Italian (and 0% Irish) so there’s that.

And then bath time 🙂

Sunday the day started off with pancakes, followed by some house cleaning. B made the pancakes and honestly did most of the cleaning, too.

I was hosting our Ladies Craft Beer Society meeting! We actually had a beer sponsor – Brew Dog, a beer based in Scotland, but just opened a brewery in Columbus, Ohio, sent us some of their Pink IPA to try out. In honor of International Women’s Day, they rebranded their Punk IPA to be called “Pink IPA” and are donating 20% (the pay gap in he UK) of all proceeds towards organizations that work towards women and fight inequality. Pretty cool, huh? They happen to be a client of my agency (but not my client), and that’s how they heard about our club.

The theme of our monthly meeting was homemade body wash. I was seeking a craft that was easy (I’m not the most skilled crafter), something that could be done if I had FW in my lap, and also useful. I haven’t used the body wash yet, but I’m hoping it turns out okay! Here is the recap of the meeting that I shared on the LCBS blog: https://theladiescraftbeersociety.com/2018/03/19/lcbs-notes-homemade-body-wash.

All you need to make your own body wash! Plus a few essential oils to add additional benefits plus scent

To prep for the meeting, I bought all the supplies a few days in advance, and even made my body wash ahead of time – I figured it’d be easier if I could show people what the finished product looked like and if I didn’t have to craft during the meeting (and could instead focus on hosting! and FW).

I also made some Buckeyes, buffalo chicken dip, and put together this sweet and salty cheese, fruit and treat board (inspired by Two Peas in a Pod).

It was a ton of fun! Nearly everyone from LCBS showed up and made body wash. And of course, it was fun to try out the Pink IPA – it was a hit! and celebrate our femininity 🙂

What did the weekend not include? Much activity. I had a pretty active week, so I tried to take it easy this weekend due to some pregnancy things. Hopefully no more to come on that (hopefully there won’t be anything else to say!) and I’ll be able to report some activity again next week!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like IPAs? Yes! They’re some of my favorite types of beer!
  • Do you do any monthly meet ups? Like a book club or craft (beer) club?
  • Are you Irish?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Keeping Warm in the Burbs

It was another COLD weekend here in Cleveland. The temps were highs in the single digits, with windchills making it much much colder. It made it hard to want to go outside, but as you can imagine, with an 18-month-old energetic boy, staying inside all weekend is not an option.

Some highlights from the past few days:

FW had his 18-month checkup. He’s still a little guy, but everything looks a-okay. Plus his doctor’s office is decorated with jungle animals, which he quite enjoys!

FW and B made breakfast over the weekend! Scrambled eggs and some local nitrate-free bacon from a local butcher.

It was delicious!

We stayed bundled up inside and outside.

And even ventured out to Ohio City for lunch and a trip to the Market.

Jambalaya soup for me 🙂 

A few minutes in the snow.

Then it was back inside for some baking. FW likes these muffins and they’re pretty healthy – they’re spinach and banana. 

Yes, FW likes these – a fistful in his mouth!

I also made some almond butter. We had been running low and spending time indoors gave me some time to do so. 

I took Saturday off from exercise, but I did get a few miles – inside – on Sunday. It “warmed up” but was still “feels like -1” with winds 15 mph and higher, so I decided to stay inside. I am so so so grateful for my treadmill – I’ve been getting in many miles this week with it!

Also, while staying inside this weekend, B and I got up to speed on Game of Thrones. OMG … I can’t believe I will have to wait until 2019 for the next (and final!) season to come out.

So now we wait.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you watch Game of Thrones?
  • Were you stuck inside this weekend?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

It’s Almost Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah and almost Merry Christmas! I can’t believe that we are just one week away from Christmas and can you tell I’m excited? We crammed in a few wintry/holiday things this weekend – here is a look at some stuff we did, one-sentence-per-photo style.  We …

Took care of a little holiday baking with these graham cracker toffee bites (yes, again) and lemon cookies.

Shopped for, wrapped, and dropped off gifts and meals for our annual holiday adopt a family with some fellow BC alumni.

Went for a short, slow run in the snow.

Ordered takeout Thai food.

Played outside “in the snow” with FW and his friend Celia (full disclosure: FW actually was in a super clingy mood and didn’t want anything to do with said snow except when Celia pushed him on his bike).

Ate pancakes in our PJs.

Ate pizza (in two hands!) in similar clothing.

Sorta played in the snow.

Hung out with B’s family, including Great Grandma, for Sunday dinner.

And we helped them decorate their Christmas tree!

So let’s just say it was a pretty good weekend and we CANNOT wait for Christmas!

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

I can’t believe how fast December is flying by – and I don’t mind it one bit! I love the holidays and with each day that passes, we are one day closer to going home and seeing my family for the holidays.

This weekend I started feeling in the holiday spirit – mainly because it included some COLD weather, baking and gingerbread house making!

I started off the weekend and made this graham cracker toffee from Two Peas and their Pod and she’s right – it’a addicting! 

Before the flurries hit us, I also got in a run this view. I feel lucky to live so close to a path that runs along some lakes.

Saturday included a LOT of errands. We went to Target to do some holiday shopping for our adopt a family, Old Navy for some more adopt a family (and FW) shopping, Home Depot and then out to lunch. It had been a while since I went to Boaz and I still love their bowls!

That afternoon, we made some sauce and then B made homemade pizza. We bought some all beef pepperoni at a local butcher shop and OMG it is so good. What a difference it makes.

That night, B and I also caught up on some Game of Thrones (we are lost done with the season!) after FW went to bed. I never would’ve thought I would like the show – but I really do enjoy it too much!

Sunday was our Ladies Craft Beer Society holiday brunch! Nicole hosted and we made gingerbread houses. FW got to hang out with some of his other baby friends and semi help make the gingerbread house … can that be my excuse as to why it doesn’t look so great? 😉

The rest of the day included a little walk and playing in the “snow” we had gotten (just a dusting from Winter Storm Benji) before dinner with B’s family.

We had brownie sundaes for dessert. I strongly believe that it is never too cold for ice cream.

Some questions for you:

  • Did you get any snow this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite dessert?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Single Mom Weekends

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – but I have so much respect for single moms. B was away this past weekend, and it was just FW and me. And wow, that was tiring.  Between watching FW and catching up with some work, I feel like I need a weekend to recover from my weekend!

Some of the highlights:

We did a little coloring …

And went for a walk to the lakes. It was a grey day, but relatively warm.

We met up with our friends Nicole, Stephanie and Clara for a walk. FW decided he didn’t want to stay in the stroller. He also didn’t want to be in Clara’s wagon, so I ended up carrying him for half of the ride.

This was taken the hot minute he sat in the wagon.  You can see he wasn’t too happy. 

Sunday morning I got up early to shower before FW woke up at 7, and made some breakfast as well. Pancakes and eggs made for the perfect Sunday morning breakfast.

Then, we got in some outside time, since it was an absolutely gorgeous day. We went for a walk with our friends Joey and Lulu, picked up some groceries (I love that we can still walk to a grocery store!) and then enjoyed just walking and riding around the neighborhood.

FW decided he didn’t want to go down for a nap in the afternoon, so instead, we got in a few chores, including some sweeping, laundry, cleaning up toys and such, and dishes. After another walk (this time to pick up dinner), we just goofed around the house and got ready for the holidays. 

And that was our weekend.

Questions for you:

  • Did it feel like December near you?
  • What are you most excited about for this month?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Early Turkey and Game Night

Happy short week!! I’m so excited for Thanksgiving and to see my family this week that I almost didn’t get a weekend update post up … but have no fear – here it is! Hope you all had a great weekend as well.

My Friday started a little early- FW had a Thanksgiving lunch at school so I decided to take a half day to stop by the lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon with him.  This meant enjoying some early turkey and stuffing (me – not FW.. he stuck to a banana, roll and cookie #pickyeater)

And then we spent part of the afternoon outside. It  was nearly 50 degrees so it was fun playing around in our backyard.

Friday night, the three of us went out to Aladdins and had some Lebanese food for dinner. FW loves hummus, so he was content for a little while.

And then after FW went to bed, B and I finally watched a movie that had been on our list forever- Get Out.

Saturday morning started with a walk to Stone Oven for pastries and Phoenix for coffee. FW has started liking croissants so we split three of them – forgot to take a photo until after the first few bites. They were delicious – cinnamon, ham & cheese and almond!

The day ended up being mostly rainy after that, so after a trip to the West Side Market to get some food, we pretty much hung out inside and read.

That night we had plans to head to B’s brother and sister-in-law’s house for a sibling family game night! We played Scattregories and Trivial Pursuit. My team won categories but didn’t win trivial pursuit. Believe it or not, the answer to last question in trivial pursuit was “Finland” and the question when to my Finnish sister-in-law. Needless to say, she knew the answer before the questions was fully read 🙂 What are the odds?!

FW hanging out with his cousins during game night

Sunday morning we slept in a little (even FW did after being out so late for game night!), and started the day with some pancakes. B made us pancakes on our new griddle, and I had one with an egg and toast. Sweet and savory breakfasts are the best, don’t you agree?

The rest of the day was pretty gloomy with rain and snow, so we stayed inside most of the day. We played hide and seek (okay, we really just played where FW hid in the cabinets) …

And did a lot of cleaning. It felt good to clean the kitchen and part of our bathrooms. And of course, there was a lot of reading and coloring. FW loves books so much- I think we ready at least 13 books this weekend (or at least a few of them 13 times!).

Even with the cold and less-than-stellar weather, it was a pretty good weekend. And now, the countdown to Thanksgiving!

Some questions for you:

  • What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you hosting? Traveling?
  • Have you ever played Scattergories?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

Another Rainy Weekend in the Burbs

It was another rainy weekend here in Cleveland. But we made the most of it and didn’t even stay inside the whole time!  After what felt like a long week, B and I decided to go out to dinner Friday night. We took FW to Tommy’s, a local restaurant known for their vegetarian food, meat pies AND milkshakes (I know, funny combo … but I guess it works).

I had a tempeh burger and fries (super large platter of fries not pictured).

We of course had to get one of their famous milkshakes. B and I split the amazing mocha shake. I’m not usually a milkshake lover, but this one was amazing. FW ha a sip and loved it- we had to pull it away from him!

Saturday morning we decided to out for a family run with the Bob. We picked up our niece and went for a run around the lakes.

In the afternoon, FW managed to only take a 15 minute nap — butI had plans to make brownies, so that’s what I did. They came out super chocolatey. 

We brought the brownies over to Dave and Anson’s house – they just had their second baby, a beautiful girl, Mara! It’s crazy how big FW looks compared to a newborn.

That night, we grabbed takeout at one of our favorite Little Italy places, Valentino’s. I’m a fan of their pizza. 

And after putting FW to bed, it was time to FINALLY watch some Stranger Things!

Sunday morning FW slept in again (until like 7:30), which was amazing. We started off the day with some French toast, made by B!

After breakfast, B got busy on some housework and FW and I went out for a run. He passed out just as we returned home, so we decided to go for a walk in the rain to Stone Oven to pick up a loaf of their bread.

When we got back, FW got to help B with some of the housework.

After running some errands, it was time to watch the NYC Marathon!

Watching Shalane win was amazing. I may have teared up when she crossed the finish. Such a great race to watch and such a great finish! And of course, Meb. Can you tell I love the race? It was a great end to my weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you watch the NYC Marathon?
  • What’s your favorite dessert?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

A WINdians Weekend With the Grandparents

This weekend FLEW by. I seriously feel like I blinked and it was over. Maybe because we had just too much fun?

Our weekend started with an AMAZING Indians game. They are in the playoffs again and B and I had tickets to game 2 of the ALDS vs. the Yankees. Yes, I’m from NY but I’m cheering for the Indians all the way! (don’t worry – I grew up in a Mets and SF Giants household) The game was a good one – it went into 13 innings but we came home with a win!! Now onto game 3 (which they’re playing now … eep!)

Saturday morning I took a short stroller jog with FW. It was a run/walk and we ended up at some lakes again. I enjoy this view 🙂

Then, it was time to head to Celia’s for her birthday party! I can’t believe this girl is two already.

That afternoon my parents came into town! We grabbed pizza in Little Italy after they got into town for dinner.

Another highlight from the weekend? FW transitioned into a big(ger) kid car seat! I cannot believe he’s pretty much officially a toddler. Or almost. 

The weekend also included some delicious brunch (avocado toast for me!) at Luna.

And, we headed to the Zoo to watch the animals.

FW was way more into the elephants and the other animals this time!

He was also adamant about walking around on his own. Which means things took a lot longer to get to 🙂

We ended up Sunday with a baseball-themed dinner and a little game watching. Go Tribe!

Questions for you:

  • Are you watching baseball right now?
  • Do you like zoos?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Weekends in the Burbs

For those of you following along, B and I are officially suburbanites. We traded in our downtown apartment for a house in the ‘burbs a month or so ago, and while we still have much to do to get it ready (including some more painting and 2 bathrooms to finish), it’s coming along.

I’m not going to lie – I miss our easy downtown apartment living. Being able to walk to the grocery store (and well, everywhere, including work) was amazing, and having 2 full working bathrooms were something I took advantage of. That being said, life in the ‘burbs isn’t that bad, especially when you have some fun AND relaxing weekends like the one we just had.

 

Friday night we had a parent meeting at daycare, so we didn’t get home until after 7. BUT, I was able to go running around the local lakes earlier in the day, which led to this beautiful view.

For dinner, we had Indian takeout, which was delicious.

AND this delicious ice cream. 

Saturday morning started with a run with my sister-in-law Mary. We ran to our niece’s cross country meet and got to watch her run. I unfortunately took a fall during the run and bloodied up my knees … but my niece ran her 1.5 mi pretty well in the hot weather!

blurry bloody pic 🙂

Saturday afternoon we hung out for a bit with our friends Joey and Lulu and cleaned up / worked on the house for a little. Which of course included some snoozing.

For dinner, we had plans to invite friends Sarah and Bobby over for homemade pizza that B made. After pizza, we put FW to bed, and enjoyed hanging out on the front porch drinking beers. Having a porch and being able to sit outside is definitely a perk of our new house.

Sunday morning started with a walk to a local bakery for breakfast. It was another hot morning, but felt good to be outside and walking! I decided to take the day off of running since I hadn’t taken a day off in more than a week.

After our walk, we had lunch plans with Dave and Anson who wanted to see the new house. They brought us Aladdin’s, some of my favorite Lebanese food! Then, their daughter, Celia, and FW played for a bit.

That night, we had plans with B’s family to celebrate some birthdays. Not only had B had a birthday since we last got together, but out of all the people who were at dinner, 6 people had had birthdays since August!

And that was it for our weekend.

Some questions for you:

  • Did you spend some time outside this weekend?
  • Do you like Lebanese food?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!