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!
As always, New York was a whirlwind! Up and back in 2-days, via the Vermonter & Acela Express made for a jam-packed, fun and exciting adventure for our Valentine’s Day this year. Aside from my first time at Madison Square Gardens + seeing Billy Joel live, we covered a TON of ground and visited a slew of new spots!
Whenever I find fun, new spots, I’m always pressed to share! So, I’m quickly jotting down my top 7 favorite places we visited for any of you who may be looking for a cool, trendy or cozy new spot to check out next time you’re in the area!
Hanoi House We had dinner here Thursday night and let me tell you – it was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. Placed appropriately on the historical, adventure seeking, 119 St. Mark’s Place, you’ll arrive in a (not-so-surprisingly-small), delicately quaint, romantically dimmed, intimate spot in East Village. But – don’t let the size fool you. Hanoi House is known for “The Absolute Best Pho in New York,” “The Absolute Best Octopus in New York,” “The Absolute Best Vietnamese Restaurants in New York,” and more. I mean . . . WOW!!! Once you’ve had a moment to take in the eloquent details, brace yourself as you’re about to be spoiled with a breathtaking, unbelievable, well-cultured, imaginative display of Vietnamese cuisine! From the Crispy Crab & Pork Spring rolls (Nem Ran), to the Spicy Octopus (Bach Tuoc Ca Ri) – delightfully displayed over roasted sweet potatoes, coconut curry, charred scallion and shishito peppers, to the Hanoi Style Beef Pho Soup (Pho Bac), – a classic 16-hr broth with heritage Black Angus filet mignon, brisket & rice noodles AND an add-on option of bone marrow (must have!) on the side, our dinner was simply divine. The only thing that will leave you feeling disappointed after this visit, is the wish that you could fit everything on the menu in your belly! P.S. make sure you get there early!! They don’t take reservations and the place was nearly filled upon our arrival, 15-minutes post their opening at 5:30. P.S.S. our dear friends own this place, so go. check. it. out. !!!
Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria NYC I don’t know about you, but I know that when I visit New York City, I’m not leaving until I’ve had a proper slize of za 😉 Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria is more formally known in the Staten Island area of New York. Wanting to break in and make their presence known in the Manhattan area, they opened their NEW location at 168 1st Avenue. Priding themselves on a secret Neapolitan recipe for a special thin crust pizza that has made their restaurant famous, I was so glad to have enjoyed this gem during our trip! We sat at the antiquely pounded copper counter top on the corner of the bar and enjoyed catching up with friends and admiring the original, characteristic stained glass windows before, quite literally, demolishing our pizza. Looking for the perfect NY fold? You found it!! Can’t decide which kind to try when you visit? Psst… if you order a large, they allow you to do half and half! But, they also have a smaller, personal 10” option as well. Not to mention – the bartender and staff were amazingly warm and welcoming, making for a fun, social lunch break on Friday!
C&B – East Village, Thompson Square Park
I’ll keep this one short and sweet, just like this shop! Seriously one of the cutest little coffee shops in East Village! We stopped in for a quick espresso (always needed!) and loved seeing the kitchen staff live, in action, flipping, kneading and pounding their homemade dough!! I mean, you just can’t get that just anywhere in Baltimore! Plus, you can take your coffee/espresso/latte and enjoy a casual stroll around Thompson Square Park after, which is right across the street!
SALT! SALT! SALT! LOVED this Mexican spot we found on 267 Elizabeth Street. And come on … a old school, authentic Volkswagen Bus as the taco-making station?! We only stopped in for a quick taco (or two…) and kept on our exploring, but the atmosphere was so traditional and genuine, it’s definitely worth a visit and some cliché photos! P.S. the tacos were awesome too!
This is probably one of my favorite spots in NYC – although a little more ‘commercial,’ in feel, the atmosphere is to die for and this is going to sound weird, but I love their bathrooms! Haha! While separate male and female, the hand-washing station connects the two via a shared wash-sink area with a reflective, stained glass like mirror for separation. It’s a great spot for a casual happy hour, quick bite at the bar (they have amazing selection of appetizers, wood-burning pizzas, fresh pastas, and selections of charcuterie), or in our circumstance, a late night cap for topping off Saturday evening after the concert. We stayed in the hotel above it – The EVENTI, which I would TOTALLY recommend if you’re ever seeing a show at Madison Square Gardens. It was about a 5 minute walk from the concert!
Cute and friendly spot to stop to get a snack or drink beforehand if you try our Hanoi House! It’s right across the street and felt so intimate. The space is decorated with countless lit candles that grace spaces in the walls where bricks have intentionally been removed. Candles also delicately and artfully line random fashion behind the bar liquor bottles, shelving, and pretty much anywhere you look!
Talk about a local food market!! I WISH we had something like this in our small town, Federal Hill! Then again, I get we may not have the same volume to sustain this type of operation 🙂 It felt like I had walked into the Costco-version of a market! Never-ending, colorful supply and variety of fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, deli meats, cheeses, traditional grocery, flowers and more! Super cool spot to stop by, take in the colorful spreads and patronize a local business (with some salty and sweet snacks while you’re there!)
The Pennsy Food Hall
Last, but not least – and definitely not a big secret as it’s right above Penn Station, but this is a great, vibrant and convenient spot to grab-and-go a snack before you catch the train ride home. It’s more of an incubator-type feel with a variety of small eateries, so there’s a little something for everyone. From sushi, to tacos, to bar food, to sweet treats, ice cream and more! Plus, they sometimes have a DJ that slings throwback songs and top beats to get you boppin’ and grovin’!
Do you have any favorite spots or gems to share? I’d love to hear! Ping me in the comments below!
It’s been a week since we returned from Napa and I can’t tell you how much I’m still missing it everyday!
Let’s be honest – – who wouldn’t want to ring in their birthday with a 5-day span, consisting of waking up and eating your body weight in cheese & wine?!
. . . Just me?
Alrite then…. 🙂
To me, there was no place quite like it – incredible views, breathtaking landscapes, endless rolling hills, relaxing spas, delectable pairings & tastings on every corner, indescribable restaurants with wine lists longer than I’ve ever seen, consisting of wine types I’d never even heard of, and the list goes on…
First plus – they’re right next to each other. And, when I say “right next to each other,” I don’t mean the Napa version of, “right next to each other, which we learned could mean quite literally 40+ minutes apart – haha! These two are about a 2-3 minute walk from tasting room door to tasting room door. Could it get much easier than that?!
We learned all about Judy Jordan, the founder of J Vineyards & Winery, and her road to fruition in the world of sparkling wines, beginning at just 25 years old !!! Can you even imagine starting your own winery and vineyard at 25 years old…? Insanity. We had a wonderful wine ambassador & tour guide named Taylor who guided us through the storytelling of all the successes and challenges July encountered – including losing her entire crop in her early years due to flooding from the Russian River Valley. Judy had to start. all. over. from. scratch. BUT – check out the photos below to see the beauty that exists today!
I love wine.
I love touring the uniquely built facilities, filled to the ceilings with wine varieties that will be aged well beyond even some folks’ lifetimes.
I love learning the intricacy and process behind each carefully crafted ‘wine-recipe.’
I love the warmth and intimacy a bottle of wine brings to friends who enjoy it together.
I love the complicated analysis of stressing the vines juuuuust the right amount, in time for harvesting in order to get more boldness and flavor from the fruit.
It’s literally the coolest thing to me!
Moving on from our tour at J, we ventured out to Healdsburg to explore a private tour of MacMurray Estate Vineyards! Traditionally not open to the public, I felt extra special as we had the privilege of walking their gorgeous 284-acre ranch, in the heart of the Russian River Valley. And, super cool – we were also able to tour the home on-site, previously owned by a once movie legend – Fred MacMurray! The home has since been pristinely restored to the state it was when he and his family lived there. I felt like I stepped back in time 60 years – old school refrigerator and all!
Leading to the most incredible part of our day – a tasting atop the highest hill at the vineyard, overlooking the entire winery and Russian River Valley.
What. An. Incredible. Day.
BUT – – it doesn’t end there! Birthday dinner was still in store!
Having stayed in the quaint surrounding of Sonoma Square, where, “It’s sweet to be slow,” we had the convenience of a leisurely stroll through the park to the 21-year-famous, farm-to-table, longtime favorite – the girl & the fig. They had an awesome, seasonal menu with vegetables and herbs from their very own farm right in Sonoma! Rated one of the top ten best restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit, I’ll end here on saying I truly felt like the most special, most spoiled, and luckiest birthday girl in town.
However… our adventure didn’t end here. Can you believe this was O N E D A Y ?!
Stay tuned for more following our journey of eating and drinking our way through Napa!
What. A. Trip! Just getting back from an awesomely inspiring and motivational annual M2M (Marketing to Moms) Conference in NYC and I couldn’t be more wiped – physically, mentally and emotionally.
From the first day, I knew I was in for an incredible learning experience. With a focus on finding new, relevant and compelling ways to connect with moms today, I was surrounded by strong, independent, driven Moms. While you may be thinking… marketing to Moms… what….?
Let me share a few fun facts from my findings.
Did you know…
U.S. moms control 85% of household purchases.
U.S. moms spending power is $2.4 trillion.
U.S. moms annually spend over $25,000 per toddler and $13,000 per child.
Moms are the primary source of income in 40% of US households, and 67% of those moms are single.
Moms are the decision maker. Period. And, the most interesting part… they will ALWAYS buy; not necessarily out of want or desire, but ALWAYS, always, always out of need.
And the REAL kicker…
83% of new moms are Millennials.
Eighty-three-p-p-percent. That’s REAL power. As a Millennial myself, I soaked up everything like a sponge. It truly felt like each carefully crafted speaker’s presentation specifically spoke to me and my generation.
I was in awe, to say the least. The very impressive generation of business leaders & speakers ranged from the founder and inventor of the Owlet Baby Care Monitor, a innovative sock-like device that tracks baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep (seriously – – how cool?!?), to the co-founder of Dear Mom Oregon wine, to the co-founder of STATE bags(which have partnered with JayZ, Beyonce and Obama – – JUST to name a few…), a special, heart-strung keynote from Save the Children and more.
Truly an incredible and amazing forum to learn about not only the evolution of women, but also the progression of traditional marketing, and the evolved marketing trends to incredible women – – the decision makers; the powerhouses; the movers and shakers of today’s world.
By no means do I intend this to be some sort of stereotypical post, but let’s be real in saying – – take a moment to think of your Momma. Then… try looking me in the face and telling me she isn’t a real-life boss lady that doesn’t take no for an answer and kicks some serious tail on the regular.
Not only did I walk away with a fresh, newfound wealth of knowledge and perspectives, but also with these the mindset that if there’s anything I learned, or had reinforced from the strong, relentless, fearless female leaders who spoke, it’s similar to what I’ve always preached: Be authentic. Be genuine. Be resourceful. Never, ever take yourself too seriously,and most importantly… be YOU.
Your creativity, your thoughts, your dreams, your beliefs and YOUR innovation is real. It’s valued and it’s one-of-a-kind. It’s unique. And it belongs to YOU. Own it. Always, always remember that YOU can do anything – – with the right mindset.
xoxox chat soon!
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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.
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!
Finally catching up after this past whirlwind of bachelorette activities for one of my lovely besties. And – when I say whirlwind… I mean WHIRLWIND. They weren’t kidding when they nicknamed Chicago “the windy city.” Let’s be honest – I immediately gave up hope of having anywhere near picture perfect hair for the weekend and quickly welcomed my female blowout – literally.
Kicking off the festivities with a bright and shiny 8AM flight, we hit the town upon arrival. First stop – FOOD. Courtesy of our concierge, we were directed to a quaint little spot – Mercadito! Locals raved about their award winning tacos, signature guacamole, killer margaritas and cozy, ethnic atmosphere. Not to mention their expansive mezcal list!! The food was to DIE for and reasonably priced for the mega-Mexican portions you receive!
Psst – my entire outfit is from Amazon! Scroll down for deets & links!
Afterwards, like any typical tourists, we raced to Millennium Park to see Cloud Gate, or as most may more popularly know it – The Bean. This 110-ton egg-shaped sculpture is forged of a continuous smooth surface of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. After endless selfies and groups shots, we ventured home to clean up for dinner at 312 Chicago.
312 Chicago was… incredible! Priding itself on its house made pastas and fresh seafood, they also had an extensive wine list with highlighted Rose options (my favorite!) and extraordinarily welcoming staff and atmosphere. I opted for their Ippoglosso, or Roasted Halibut, that came beautifully decorated with cauliflower puree, watercress, red onion, fava beans, roasted cauliflower, pancetta, and olive oil. YUM!! The portions were perfect and left each of us ladies with pleasantly filled tummies.
Fast forward – I can’t even tell you the last time I went clubbing, but we had A BALL at ROOF atop The Wit hotel, where we stayed. Pop the bubbly, cause this beautiful lady is getting married in t-minus 36 days !!! There was dancing, cheersing, dancing and even more cheersing the night away. The staff made it a truly incredible and amazing night for all of us and our bride-to be!
P.S. The theme of the night was navy dresses (as that’s our bride-to-be’s favorite color). I literally panicked because I own nothing navy!! BUT – found this adorbs little satiny number on Amazon – even came with Prime delivery!
Saturday morning! Rise and… shine?! I dressed in my Saturday pool party best, only to look out the window and see… rain. Rain, rain and more rain. But, that didn’t stop our positive outlook and high expectations for fun. This was a bachelorette party, after all! We ventured off to Shore Club Chicago for cabana brunch! While the rain hindered the cabana festivities slightly, this place made us feel like true celebs! Not to mention, there’s definitellyyyy something in the shrimp in Chicago – they. were. GIANORMOUS!!
P.S. my best kept secret of awesome monogrammed items! I received this lovely little number in my monthly Monobox subscription with i love jewelry! It’s only $21.95/month and you get one personalized, monogrammed item + TWO fabulous surprise items! Check it out here!
Saturday day was the first time we actually got to go out and explore – with NO jackets and NO umbrellas! It was a beautiful day exploring the Chicago Riverwalk, visiting City Winery, having dinner at The Hampton Social, and subsequent bar hopping all around The Chicago Loop to end the trip.
Alright y’all… this post has been long enough (serious props to you if you made it this far !!) … thanks for checking it out 😉
Keep on keepin it real, Chicago. I know us girls had a blast !!!
Tuesday marked the official close of the weekend of The Greenwalds! We spend a long, fun-filled, laughing, celebrating, boating, toasting, cheers-ing, crazy hot and humid weekend in Deep Creek Lake, MD for my baby sister’s wedding.
It was awesome joining our new family for a lovely dinner atop the second story deck outside of the Will O’ The Wisp: Ace’s Run Restaurant & Pub. I mean seriously – check out that view!! Followed by an evening lake walk and lakeside picturesque photos (and much weekend kick off celebrating and bonding 😉 ).
I snagged this cute little romper number from one of my favorites – REVOLVE.
Friday: BOAT DAY! Although we didn’t have a ton of time the day of the rehearsal dinner, it would pretty much be a sin in my family if we didn’t make it out on the boat. I literally never get sick of this place!
Cue Friday evening into Saturday evening: Start the blur… From rehearsal, to rehearsal dinner, to day of, to evening of the wedding, it’s hard to keep up with all the beautiful details. Casey (my sister) and her fiancé (Shaun) could not have picked a more perfect venue. Nestled out in the peaceful, mountain countryside of Deep Creek, sits Chanteclaire Farm. A truly unique, beautiful and intimate setting. From her dress, to her veil, to her shoes and something blue, everything was absolutely textbook!
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? 🙂
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.
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 😉 )
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! 🙂