Cheery & Charming Shop Small, Shop Local Stroll – 12/15/2020

You all know how passionate I am about this city, especially my small town neighborhood of Federal Hill ever since I moved here 7 years ago. And, given the latest restrictions imposed upon Baltimore City, I’ve been racking my brain as I work on ways I can give back and support in lieu of these turbulent times.

So, introducing the, “Cheery & Charming Federal Hill Shop Small, Shop Local Stroll,” happening Tuesday, December 15th from 4 – 7PM !!!


I am so, so, SOOOOO excited and grateful for the local businesses that eagerly jumped on board for this super fun and creative way to drive traffic to local businesses in our neighborhood right before the holidays. Help me to make their holiday season EVEN better!

(not to worry – all capacity guidelines, masks, and social distancing to be followed.) #MaskOnMaryland

Need last minute gifts for the holidays?

A bite to eat?

And excuse to get out of the house?

A special treat for yourself?

Support local THIS Tuesday and be entered to win an AWESOME prize for doing so!!

HOW IT WORKS:
1. Visit the participating business in the images below
2. Shop (or EAT) til you drop!
3. For every visit and/or purchase you make, receive a raffle ticket to the GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
4. GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY includes a basket containing goodies from all of the participating businesses, valued at est. $250+.

Check out the gallery of images above to get the full scoop, as well as all the safety rules and regulations. PLUS – – what better way to make the holidays a little warmer this year than supporting your favorite Fed Hill spots?!

Here’s the list of currently participating businesses (subject to add more):
101 Baltimore
Banditos
Berries by Quicha
Brightside Boutique
Cans Filling Station
Cheese Galore & More
Don’t Know Tavern
Dulceology
Pandora’s Box Boutique
Phina’s Fine Linens
Pizza di Joey
Rowhouse Grille
Taco Love Grill at Cross Street
The Book Escape
Wayward Smokehouse

Questions?! Reach out to me!
And please, PLEASE share!!
Let’s make this event one for these incredible businesses to remember!!!

xoxox
Brittany

Live music streaming, virtual tip jars, home cooked meals to-go, and bar madness – how the restaurant industry in Baltimore is handling the recent crisis and what to do if you want to support local!

It’s been a mere 16 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the recent Coronavirus as a global pandemic. It’s shifted lives, businesses and general daily practices to a new level of ‘normal.’ As much as I like to joke and use more informal lingo on my page, it’s serious business when we consider that vast majority of our U.S. and global population awaits puzzled as news and updates are provided on an ad hoc basis.

Those that know me personally, know my hubby owns and operates a local bar & restaurant in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. It’s been a tough learning experience for us, and equally as tough, if not even more impactful for our fellow hospitality friends. 

I encourage those reading to do what you can to support those striving to maintain an income – whether it be via moral support [ [ check in on those you love! ] ] , or financially if your situation allows.

In this entry, I’m providing a number of fun and creative ways you can support local!

  1. Live Music Streaming

Musicians alike, have been severely impacted by government mandates to suppressed gathering, closed bars and restaurants, postponed weddings, and the like. In response, and frankly not a surprise from these innovative folks, a number have launched live music streaming initiatives to not only engage with their fans, but also provide a positive and uplifting activity for those being responsible and bunkering down in their homes.

TONIGHT, I’m plugging my all-time favorite: Chris Diller. Catch his live stream on Facebook at 9PM sharp by clicking on his profile!

2. Virtual Tip Jars

Shout out to local cocktail enthusiast, bartender and DJ pioneer herself, Abby Hopper, who led the charge in setting up the Baltimore Tip Jar for enabling patrons to continue support of their favorite bartenders! You can access a full listing of Venmo handles for individuals employed by the hospitality industry that have been impacted by the recent economic change. Various campaign initiatives have been circulating – from dedicating (2) tips a day to (2) random bar staff on the list, to a variety of other ideas and cadences.

3. Home Cooked Meals & Drinks To-Go

If there’s anything learned through the transition of working from an office to home atmospheres, it’s that it’s been [ [  T O U G H  ] ] to keep up with the expectation of providing dinner and general meal prep with no breaks in what’s now non-stop home life. In response, a number of restaurants have stepped up to provide more creative means of their offerings to go for continued enjoyment at home:

Blue Agave Baltimore:

Is offering their famous house and spicy guavarita mixes! You can stop by their location at 1032 Light Street and pick up your favorite. The house sour mix is just $10 for a 28 oz size that makes about (7) margaritas. The spicy guavarita ( ( my favorite! ) ) also comes in the 28 oz size, and includes tequila for just $35! UMMM… YUM!! And, you’re welcome for this Friday celebration tidbit!

Don’t Know Tavern:

Let’s be honest – working from home, PLUS grocery shopping, PLUS meal prepping/planning, PLUS cleaning the house, PLUS dog walking, PLUS homeschooling kids that have been suspended for yet another month before returning to school… can be ROUGH. Don’t Know Tavern is offering a different pre-prepared platter daily on special that serves 2-4 for just $20! Just pop it in the oven for 15-20. While demand fluctuates, availability is driven by preorder/demand, so be sure to call to reserve yours in advance!

4. New Swag!

HUGE shout out to Matt Berry, who has helped SO many local businesses advertise NEW t-shirts via the Baltimore Neighbors page. You can find a slew of bars/restaurants to support including:

NOTE: For every t-shirt purchased, Matt is generously donating $10 BACK to that business throughout the shutdown!

5. Bar Madness

First off, let me give the biggest shout out of this entire post to @bmorebetches, who over the past few days, have quite nearly, [ [ shut. down. instagram. ] ] They’ve owned the social media game in the Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, and other surrounding neighborhood network – some comments reigning in from across the country! All orchestrated by their setting up a March Madness-like bracket of 16 local bars and basing round advancements off of tagged business comments!
Have you been following your favorite bar through the brackets?! If you’re looking for a little fun & local competition, tune into their page to see who ‘takes all/wins all’ in their ‘BAR MADNESS’ competition here. Next up: the final championship round!

P.S. Throw in a vote for Don’t Know Tavern if you can, haha 😉

Anddddddd, that’s a wrap! I’ll be sure to monitor and post new ideas and ways to support in the coming weeks.

Talk soon!
xoxo
Brittany

‘‘Tis the Month of Love

Are you counting down the days?! Only 8 days remain until Cupid’s renowned holiday: Valentine’s Day!

Now the REAL question… what. to. wear.

Whether going out to dinner or looking for a cute option to wear into the office, I found this super cozy and soft, monogrammed heart pullover from a fun company I love – I Love Jewelry, (no joke – that’s actually the name!) that I have a “Monthly Monobox” subscription to.

I’m a B-I-G fan of anything monogrammed. Heck, I would put it on my car if I could!! LOL, well… maybe not my CAR, but practicallyyyy anything else I own. I have pajamas, scarves, hats, gloves, boots, you name it – ALL from I Love Jewelry. Their items are adorable and quality! I first subscribed to their Monobox when it was released a little over two years ago and still own majority of the items! Their “Monobox Subscription” option is only $22 and each month, you get one monogrammed item + TWO coordinating goodies!
BUT – if you visit their subscription page, you’ll find a few other super fun options if you’re not quite ready to commit to the monthly monogram overload, haha!

While it’s a little late to subscribe for the February box (spoiler alert: I got this in mine!), you can still snag this festive heart patterned pullover for just $28 in time for V-Day 💖💗💕

P.S. for those less thrilled about the personalization, you can also totally opt-out of the monogramming for the shirt and get it without the customization too 🙌🏼👍🏼💖

In the coming days, I have a more sultry outfit combo for the later evening date night and single ladies! 😉

Stay tuned!

Talk soon,
xoxox
Brittany

Foraging At Its Finest

I’ll be the first to admit …

I’m not the most ‘adventurous’ eater in town. So, I was a little nervous (but also SUPER excited) to try out Foraged: A Hyper-Seasonal Eatery in Hampden to celebrate our friend’s birthday! And, boy did I have ZERO clue what I was in for…

For ONE, I learned what foraging is! Turns out, Foraging is the act of finding and harvesting wild foods. Some call it “gathering.” It most commonly refers to mushroom hunting – who ever knew there was such a thing? However, I also learned that “mushroom hunting” is something only people practiced in the fine and delicate art of mushroom identification should engage in.

Onto TWO – the restaurant. Everything from the advertised hyper-seasonal apps and entrées to the cozy setting, UBER awesome service, courtesy of Nico Bustos, and secret dinosaur decor search (can you find them all?! 🦖🦕) was absolutely incredible. I’m not the best at food photography, so most definitely not going to even attempt in that arena, but earmarking this as a place for all to check out for sure!!!

🍄

P.S. check out that handsome crew – HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT !!!

What are your secret restaurant spot recos?!
Talk soon!

xoxo
Brittany

NEW Keto Recipe: Chicken Nuggets

Woo hooo! Feeling not only FULL, but also fully re-energized after last night’s bake sesh of Keto meals for the upcoming week and even MORE eager to share them with you!

I never knew going into this how much I would love reading, learning and understanding so much about the Keto diet, the general process and the overall impact it has had on my attitude and lifestyle so quickly.

I’m addicted!

I love having a more structured and routine eating regimen, I love that I’m eliminating sugars and limiting complex carbs/foods that aren’t entirely good for my digestion – both from a daily perspective and for ongoing weight management and healthy living. I even more so love the ritual of researching & discovering new, fun recipes and ideas for tweaking, testing (taste-testing is the best part – amiright?!) and making my own!

Scroll on to see this week’s tasty delights: a  NEW variation on my Pizza Chips – Hellooooo Salami! + what you’ve all been waiting for . . .  Keto Chicken Nuggets


NEW Variation to my Keto Pizza Chips – Helloooo Salami! 

While you may have read my original Keto Pizza Chips recipe here utilizing pepperoni, I found when I was snacking, that I couldn’t help myself but wonder if it would still be as tasty if I swapped up the meat and cheese combo in order to to have more variety throughout the week.

I tried it – and yep! Still. Just. As. Tasty!

Ingredients:

  • Boars Head Genoa Salami
  • Kraft Natural Cheese Cubes – Natural Colby Jack
  • Paprika Powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Take out some cookie sheets. You may need 2-3.
  2. Arrange salami and place cheese cubes on top – don’t worry, they’re not going to expand like cookies. They can be close together!
  3. Bake for 10 minutes
  4. Lay the chips onto paper towels to soak up any excess grease.
  5. Let sit for 3-4 minutes to cool off and crisp up even more.
  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition:
Fat: 15g  Protein: 15g  Net carbs: 1g

cheery and charming_keto_new salami slices_1cheery and charming_keto_new salami slices_2

Now . . . the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . KETO CHICKEN NUGGETSSSS! DUN DUN DUNNNNN!! I have to say – when I uploaded photos of these little fried dreamboats to Instagram, I couldn’t believe all of the comments and asks I have for the recipe! So, here we go!

Keto Chicken Nuggets

The easier way to do these is likely via a deep fryer . . . but given not everyone has one of those (myself included) . . . I made do with the below steps and I LOVED how they turned out 🙂

PLEASE NOTE: I’m 99.9% sure I scared the living $%!#  out of my pups while making these – LOL! If you’re not careful to keep a lid on your simmering oil, it does create a decent amount of smoke. Be sure to crank a door, a window, anything, if you possess the lack of coordination that I do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 oz Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Water

Directions:

  • WITH DEEP FRYER:
    1. Start by heating your deep fryer to 375F
  • WITHOUT DEEP FRYER:
    1. Cook a chicken breast (I cooked (3) at once for approx. 20 – 25 minutes)
    2. Pour ¼ cup avocado oil into a deep skillet/pan and set to med – low to bring oil to a simmer
    3. Pull chicken from oven. Cut chicken into cubes. (Don’t worry if your chicken isn’t cooked ALL the way – this is what you want! The battering and frying in the oil will finish it off just right, without allowing it to be overcooked or dry out)
    4. Mix the grated Parmesan, almond flour, and baking powder
    5. Add the egg and whisk
    6. Add the water and whisk
    7. Roll the chicken breasts in the batter until they are fully coated, then use a fork to drop them into the frying oil
    8. Cook until the batter turns golden brown
    9. Transition chicken bits to a sheet of paper towel to drain excess grease, cool and crisp
    10. Enjoy!

Nutrition:
Calories 166  Fats (g) 8.0  Protein (g) 23.0  Net Carbs (g) 1.0

cheery and charming_keto_chicken nuggets_1cheery and charming_keto_chicken nuggets_2cheery and charming_keto_chicken nuggets_3

Let me know what you think of this recipe! Try it at home, tag a friend, or pass it along – share the Keto loveeeee!

Stay tuned for more recipes throughout the week!

Psst… sign up/subscribe to my blog and you can get all of my awesome recipes delivered right to your inbox 🙂
Talk soon!

xoxo
Brittany

The Cutest Spot in Port Covington Has Arrived!

DCIM100GOPROG0020172.JPGCheeryandCharming_SouthPoint_PortCovington12

This weekend was a sunny one in Baltimore – hallelujah!!! It’s felt like it’s rained literally every day the past few weeks, so when the sunshine peeked out, I. WAS. AFTER. IT !!!

Plus, it breaks my heart when my poor little pups are cooped up day after day with miserable rain (I mean, seriously – look at those faces), so I always try to make it a priority to get them out and moving too when the weather breaks.

CheeryandCharming_SouthPoint_PortCovington14

Like any typical day, you can find me constantly scrolling through Instagram, perusing for new outfits on sale, trendy coffee/wine/pup photos, orrrrr new adventures, fitness routines and places to try. Pretty much as #basic as it gets for this girl. BUT – through all my scrolling, stumbled on a post from SouthBmore.com promoting South Point’s opening in Port Covington. Clicking on their profile, I quickly noticed their Grand Opening party scheduled for August 11th, but that they also were opening early!

It’s a quick assumption on next steps – snagged the pups and jumped in the car (it’s a less than 5-minute drive from our home in Federal Hill), arriving to find barely any folks there. Selfishlyyyyy… it couldn’t have been more perfect! This peaceful, outdoor, waterfront, industrial pop-up oasis offered an array of drinks (AVA Grace Vineyards Rosé and Pinot Grigio among my favorites 🙂 ), AND yummy barbecue food truck-like delights.

PLUS – any outdoor venue that’s pup friendly is a WIN-WIN in my book 😉

If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to take a look at their website. While it’s a public park, open 7-days/week, the extra special goodies (food & drink) are only open Thursdays, Friday & Saturdays as of now.

Can’t wait to spend many more Saturday afternoons here to come.
Scroll for all the awesome photo deets!!
Know of other awesome spots I should check out? Comment below!
Cheers!
xoxo
Brittany

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0181.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0182.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0183.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0187.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0184.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0190.JPGCheeryandCharming_SouthPoint_PortCovington3

CheeryandCharming_SouthPoint_PortCovington4DCIM100GOPROGOPR0193.JPG

Impromptu Date Night

Nothing makes my day more than a text for an impromptu date night! Nothing to stress about or plan ahead for, but something to perk me up, give me a little extra pep in my step and sometime to look forward to after work. But… I’m terrrrribbllleeeee at finding something quickly to wear. Call me the most indecisive lady on the planet. I mean… if someone asked me what I wanted my final meal to be, I’d be the one like… “lasagna… no, filet… no, lobster… no, spaghetti… no, tacos…. no, pizza…. no, ramen…” and on and on and on. Not to mention the weather here in Baltimore has been less than ideal – I think we’re on the 6th straight day of rain. Throw some hail in there too…

If you follow my instagram (@brittanyleighxo), you’ll notice one of my new favs I’ve been wearing a TON recently is this super cute (AND super soft) free peoplefaded denim jacket. Paired with a comfy, gray jersey knit dress and some cute, pink Steve Madden slip-ons, this was definitely one of my coziest and most favorite fast date night outfits!

What’s your favorite thing to throw on for a quick date night or social event? 🙂

cheeryandcharming_datenight

// free peoplefaded denim jacket // steve madden slip-ons // michael kors white ceramic watch // large open circle necklace //Minnow

oh… and here’s a few yummy pics from date night dinner at Minnow 😉 (my favorites – 🥃 old fashioned & 🦐 ceviché)

If you’re ever in Baltimore, this is an AWESOME gem! Always amazing, always fresh, always incredible & friendly service. They even have an indescribable bottomless tapas brunch on the weekends!! 🙌🏼🥂😎💯

Talk soon!
xoxox
Brittany

Spring Is Here!! Wait… Is It?       

My favorite thing I look forward to living in downtown Baltimore, Federal Hill area is when the weather warms, the flowers bloom, the spring street festivals begin and everyone officially comes out of hibernation from the winter. While we had a beautiful, 80 degree weather day prior to this, you’d never guess we would be bundled in jeans, jackets and scarves just one day later. It’s hard to believe the drastic weather swings we get here in Maryland.

CheeryandCharming_Spring Festival_7

BUT – a little chilly weather sure didn’t stop us having a good Sunday Funday for the 2018 Federal hill Spring Block Party!! Beginning at our usual spot, Don’t Know Tavern (P.S. they have BOTTOMLESS mimosas and bloodies every Saturday & Sunday for just $12 til 2!!), then migrating to Blue Agave for brunch, we indulged in BYO Avocado Toast. YES. You heard right … I said BUILD YOUR OWN AVOCADO TOAST and it was AH-MAZING!!! Little crispy thick Texas toast squares are served to you, with a huge personal bowl of guac, along with an array of fresh toppings: cilantro, onions, diced tomatoes (OH MY!) and whatever else your little heart desires!! You’ve gotta check it out (and their margaritas, of course 😉 )

CheeryandCharming_Spring Festival_1
// blue agave //

At the street festival, we kicked off with bevvies at Social Pub & Pie and enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon filled with great food, drinks, live local music and some of Baltimore’s best arts and crafts vendors before we wrapped up with a little bubbly at the beautiful new spot, The Charles (it’s the old Mad River if you’re a seasoned Federal Hill-er). I even got a new pair of Fed Thrills (not that I need another pair…). BUT, they will be the perfect accessory for Ravens season! 🙂

CheeryandCharming_Spring Festival_4

// fed thrill //

CheeryandCharming_Spring Festival_6

// essential shoulder bag in visetos original // converse chuck taylor all star low top // ray-ban aviators // 620 mid-rise super skinny in belladonna // fed thrill purple aviators // michael kors kelsey large nylon crossbody // pink striped keds // bb dakota black leather jacket // lyon distilling co signature hat //

CheeryandCharming_Spring Festival_5

CheeryandCharming_Spring Festival_3

// the charles //

Cheers to fun days, good friends and more sunny days! !
Xoxo
Brittany