Throwback Thursday: My 30th Birthday

So, I turned THIRTY this year. I had a bit of a freakout realizing I am no longer in the 20-29 range when filling out a registration check box for something. Thankfully, I ended up getting over that pretty quickly. We had an amazing weekend in Maryland and we have a lot to look forward to this year so here we go, 30.

I came upstairs to the biggest balloon bouquet as soon as I woke up (I’ll spare you the picture of me in my pajamas)

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Shortly after breakfast, my grandma and I jumped into the car to pick up a sweet treat from a local bakery. These were mini cupcakes and they were VERY good! I enjoy mini cupcakes better than big ones so I can try a taste of each one.

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Adam made dinner reservations for the two of us in Baltimore at Woodberry Kitchen. If you are ever in the Baltimore area, I highly recommend this restaurant! The restaurant is not high-end but it’s charming atmosphere, skilled service and phenomenal food puts this high on my top food list.

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We started off with two appetizers. Homemade chips with a sour cream and onion dip and a sweet corn soup with lump crab meat. I wish I could recreate both!

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For dinner I ordered the chicken and biscuit dish and Adam had the seafood jambalaya. I never order chicken at a restaurant but this particular dish was pushed by our waiter. I am so glad I did because it was cooked to perfection!

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We ordered a CMP for dessert (cream, marshmallow and peanuts) and they also brought out a mini chocolate cupcake wishing me a happy birthday.

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I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on the menu here.

The next day my mom planned a dinner with our large family at a new restaurant in Annapolis, MD, Blackwall Hitch, and my Aunt even flew up from Florida to surprise me!

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My mom isn’t one for crafting but she worked hard putting everything together and it all turned out beautifully! The restaurant was very impressive getting all 20 of us all the correct food and everything tasted delicious. Adam ordered a Lilly Pulitzer theme cake from Cakes by Rachael that was funfetti on the inside with salted caramel buttercream filling. Yes, that is real life.

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It was a perfect weekend with the most perfect people. Bring on 30!

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Standard Grandma Foods

This past weekend I set out to Maryland for a bachelorette party, Mother’s Day & hopes of meeting my new baby cousin. All 3 were a success! Sleeping, was not…but hey I can sleep when I’m 90.

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When we go to Maryland, we usually stay with my Grandma since she has plenty of extra space and I can’t help but taste test everything she has out for “snacks”. Since Adam and I don’t keep these items in our house (we can’t be trusted), I know I can indulge when I’m at Grandma’s. There are a few things I can always count on being in her house.

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Ice Cream: That is literally her freezer. Nothing else.

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Pretzel M&M’s: Yes, I did finish off the bowl.

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King Size Candy Bars: I don’t know how she can have these in her fridge and not touch them!?

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Snapple Peach Tea: This one is for the boys — They drink 3 in a sitting. #animals

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Kettle Cooked Chips: This is always served with Helluva Good French Onion Dip

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Sugary Cereals: Bring me back to my childhood days ❤

What foods can you guarantee being at your Grandma’s house?

 

Shabby Chic Bridal Shower

This past weekend I headed to Maryland to celebrate the beautiful bride-to-be, Jenn!

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As bridesmaids, we were up late the night before and early the next morning to set up for the event so excuse the bags under our eyes 😉

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Each bridesmaid made two or more dishes to create a huge spread for the guests to snack on during the day.

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The dessert table was OF COURSE, my favorite.

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Cake!

Cake!

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Cutest Cookies

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Jenn’s wedding colors are mint & coral so we used the same theme for her shower with thoughts that she could use everything for the wedding too.

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The drink station included something blue lemonade, iced tea, sangria and custom water bottles (wrapped with lace and an engagement sticker)

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Flowers were placed in mason jars and pictures of the couple surrounded the room

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We set up a table near the entrance with homemade (by Jenn’s mom) favors of sugar scrub and an advice station for the almost newlyweds.

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We also had a banner that said Getting Hitched hanging over the couch that was hand made by our friend Crystal. Jessica painted the birdcage, cross and bird feeders that were placed around the sign.

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We played one game, which was called “the almost newlywed game”. We asked Jenn’s fiance, Andrew, 18 questions ahead of time and asked Jenn the same questions. Every time she got an answer wrong we had her stick half of a jumbo marshmallow in her cheeks.

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Jenn needs to quiz Andrew more often.

Next, came gifts and Jenn got a lot of great things for their new house! Our friend Danielle gave her a personalized hanger that goes perfectly with her theme to hang her dress on during her wedding day.

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I can’t wait for June 8th to celebrate Jenn’s big day! I know it’s going to be beautiful – Just like her!

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Sunday Stuff – 2/24

via iPhone

I think it's time to throw out the pumpkin, Grandma

I think it’s time to throw out the pumpkin, Grandma

Spinnnnnnnning.

Spinnnnnnnning.

sweaty after a run + spin class

sweaty after a run + spin class

re-fuel. 1 egg, 1 egg white, oatmeal bread, cheese & grape jelly

re-fuel. 1 egg, 1 egg white, oatmeal bread, cheese & grape jelly

How every grandmothers freezer should look.

What every grandmothers freezer should look like.

I am so obsessed with Zoe's. We need one in Hoboken immediately!

I am so obsessed with Zoe’s. We need one in Hoboken immediately!

Driving back to the dirty jerz.

Driving back to the dirty jerz.

Dinner: Brown Rice Pasta, Clean Marinara Sauce + Turkey (meatless for me) Meatballs

Dinner: Brown Rice Pasta, Clean Marinara Sauce + Turkey (meatless for me) Meatballs

Oscars + these pretzel bites that are major TROUBLE.

Oscars + these pretzel bites that are major TROUBLE.

Wedding Recap: The Reception

After our pictures it was time for the fun to begin!

I had Adam pick the song for our bridal parties entrance and his choice was Europe – The Final Destination.

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Adam and I chose to be introduced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Adam Kartzman to Calvin Harris – Feel so Close.

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Honestly I felt that this part was SO awkward! We picked a clubbish kind of song so I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to fist pump or what? Ha, looking at this picture reminds me how weird we felt with all eyes on us.

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Our first dance song was Making the Movies Jealous. I asked the DJ to invite others on the dance floor after a minute of us dancing because we really didn’t all eyes on us. I know, weird when it’s our wedding!

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Next came the Horah… Adam had no desire to do this but it was important to his parents so he went along with it.

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Then the scary part..

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Adam’s friends were a little rough trying to throw him out of the chair… Luckily I had family members!

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The DJ asked everyone to grab their place card and head to their respective table.

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We had 19 tables with 10-12 people at each and a separate head table for the two of us.

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While everyone else was  being served their salads we were served dinner so we would be able to eat. We chose Filet & Crab Cake with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a corn relish to serve to everyone so there were no confusions.

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My Father in Law kicked off the speeches for the night! His speech was filled with memories and well wishes for a lifetime of happiness.

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My Maid of Honor shared memories full of laughter and a few tears.

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Adams best man shared plenty of laughs and a few embarrassing moments as well – He had to get him back from his wedding last May!

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We finished up with a blessing from my mom which was very sweet and sentimental.

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Cheers!

After Adam and I made our rounds of thanking people for coming it was time to hit the dance floor.

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Our DJ was AMAZING and I couldn’t recommend him enough. He kept everyone on the dance floor from age 3-90 all night long.

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He also added uplighting to our room in a light pink color. We had about 18 lights around the room to give it a warm feeling.

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Halfway through the reception we had our cake cutting.

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I am giving Adam the “Don’t you dare smear cake on my face” look.


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Whew. Mission completed.

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We also had a grooms cake for Adam but served it the night before at the Rehearsal Dinner.

I changed right after the photographer and videographer left (video on Thursday!) to a BCBG dress I found at Saks a couple of months prior.

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I also removed my shoes because my feet were KILLING me. Classy, I know.

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The night ended around midnight and I can honestly say this was the best night of my life. It’s hard to explain how perfect everything was in a couple of blog posts but I hope you enjoyed me sharing our memories with you. I feel blessed to be married to such an amazing man and I can’t wait to celebrate our love for each other year after year.

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All Wedding Posts will be here for future reference.

DJ – DJ Kopec

All pictures taken by MB Photography

Cake and Grooms Cake – Creative View Confections

 

 

Wedding Recap: Ceremony

The ceremony is one of my favorite parts of a wedding!

The look on the grooms face when his bride walks down the aisle.

The look on the brides face when she walks down to her groom.

Their vows.

Their first kiss.

How happy they are when they walk down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs.

I mentioned before that my bridesmaids walked down to Taylor Swift – Love Story. The groomsmen also walked down to the same song while Adam and his parents walked down to Beatles – In My Life.

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I hired a singer to sing this song with the trio for my entrance.

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I walked down the first set of stairs myself. It was VERY windy and my veil kept flying to the side and wrapping itself around the railing. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I was so frustrated and took the veil off. I had someone re-do it before continuing my walk.

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Once I was put back together I walked down the aisle with my mom and my dad.

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It was such a gorgeous (but windy) day – Can you believe the Catering Manager at my venue tried to talk me into doing the wedding inside?  So glad I followed my gut!

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We asked my uncle to become ordained and serve as our officiant. He did such an amazing job personalizing our ceremony and making sure everything was perfect.

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My friends Jacey & Ashleigh did our readings. I really wanted to involve them in someway because they were both there the night Adam and I met. Ashleigh & Jacey picked their own readings and we heard them for the first time that day. They did such a great job finding words that explained our relationship so perfectly. We are so blessed to have good friends!

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Adam and I wrote our own vows to each other – full of promises for our lifetime together.

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Instead of a Unity Candle or sand we joined families using wine. Both of our moms poured their wine into the glass which Adam and I sipped from. OK, Adam kind of chugged it. You can see that I’m standing as far away as possible because I didn’t want any wine on my dress!

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Mr. & Mrs. Adam Kartzman!

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We walked out to the song “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz while our guests threw the pom poms that were included in our programs.

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Off to take our first pictures as husband and wife…racing to beat the sunset!

To be continued…

All Photos taken by MB Photography

Trio: Perfect Harmony Strings

Singer: Tomika Arnold

Four Seasons Grille

 

I told you that we had some amazing food on Christmas Eve but now it’s time to show it! We went to Four Seasons Grille in Crofton, MD and since we had such a large group (20 people) we had our own private room.images 

I was starving since brunch was 7  hours earlier and immediately sat down to peruse the menu.

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They waitress brought out fresh, hot bread and an amazing oil mixture with sun-dried tomatoes to start.

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I seriously could have (might have) eaten the entire basket.

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Prosecco for me.

We ordered a lot of appetizers and I tried to take pictures of some that were being passed around but missed some good ones like the crab and artichoke flat-bread, crispy calamari and the imperial mushroom caps.

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Crab & Artichoke Dip with pita bread – AMAZING.

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Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls – I didn’t try one but heard they were a winner.

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Goat Cheese Brulee – By far my favorite thing on the menu!  (I think we ordered 2 or 3 of these? That’s how good they are!)

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Mediterranean Meatballs

Some people ordered salads in between appetizers and dinner and I ended up eating my cousins Caesar salad who was sitting next to me  since he doesn’t like cheese on his… Weird child.

Once dinner came out I was stuffed but still managed to fit a little more in my belly.

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Penne Capricciosa

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Duo Parmigiano

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New York Strip

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 Cajun Salmon

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Tuna Mignon

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Filet Mignon

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Cajun NY Strip

Mostly everyone in my family got steak and just about everyone joined the clean plate club. Those who didn’t finish boxed theirs up because the food was too good to be left behind.

The bill was extremely reasonable and the service was impeccable. Hopefully we get to go back next year!

We’re off to our last Holiday Party of the year and then it’s REDSKINS time! Happy Sunday 🙂

Eggcellence

Thank you for all of your kind words on my last post. Encouraging words and stories from others are whats helping keep a smile on my face!

On Tuesday we had a small service for my dad with our family that was local. I’m so glad the priest was able to fit us in because it gave us some closure during this difficult time. I’ve found the best way (for me) to cope is to go on with your everyday life and get back into a routine. Sitting around eating cookie dough in your pajamas in bed wont make you feel better. Not that I know from experience or anything…

After the service we all headed to Eggcellence for brunch in Annapolis. Not many places serve breakfast during the week so this was an eggcelent (har, har) find!

 

The restaurant is very small but had a large room that was able to accommodate the size of our 25 person party.


Fresh strawberry & blackberry jam is placed on each table so I HAD to order a muffin to give them a taste test.

Each day they have a fresh muffin selection. Tuesday’s flavors were chocolate coconut banana or a raspberry walnut. We went with the raspberry walnut.


Can you see the brown sugar crystals? I would definitely recommend getting this as a “starter”.

For breakfast I ordered the Maryland Omelet which included egg whites, crab meat, asparagus, feta cheese & topped with avocado. You had your choice of fruit or breakfast potatoes and I went the starch route. Their breakfast potatoes are baked in olive oil and have the perfect amount of seasoning on them.

Adam went with the French Toast and sausage. This meal is fool-proof.

Challah bread, dipped in eggs, pan-fried with butter, syrup and powdered sugar on top is always a winner!

My Aunt ordered the Mediterranean baked eggs which also looked phenomenal.


What I liked about this restaurant is they give you quality items and reasonable portions. You can tell everything is freshly made and you won’t leave there hungry or overly stuffed. If you’re in Annapolis – check them out!

Also wanted to say a big thank you to my wonderful friends Jessie & Michelle for the treats and surprises.

Hard times get easier when you have a great support system.

Questions: Whats your favorite breakfast spot? Is it a chain or a one of a kind?

The Mary-Land

I decided to take a little last-minute road trip to Maryland yesterday!

I put on comfy clothes, packed a huge suitcase and headed out for the 4 hour drive.

 (See fashion page for inf0)

My first stop was to check on my cousin Alex who had surgery on Saturday from a recent injury. I had sent him cookies from Lauren at Keep it Sweet  to cheer him up and I wanted to take a taste since the flavor I chose just happened to be my favorite too.

Listen, I know I can be dramatic, but OMG – BEST COOKIE EVER!

My second stop was to see my youngest cousin (for now!) and Aunt where I will be staying while I visit.

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My aunt knew just how to welcome me back to Maryland…

Crab Cakes & Football – That’s what Maryland does!

We’re off to celebrate her birthday with a tough workout, a relaxing mani/pedi and a lot bit of shopping! Happy almost Friday!!

Questions: What is your hometown known for?