Sunday, March 29, 2015

Automagic light!

You know you're an adult when you get excited about things like pantry lights. 

Richard is amazing and decided last week to install a much-needed light in our pantry. AND he rigged it up to turn on automatically when you open the door. Like a fridge. Cool, right? 

Now I can see how badly I need to organize in there! 
He set to work notching a hole in the door frame for the switch. 

He also ran wiring through wall in order to wire the light. I'm a little fuzzy on the technical details (as in, I don't know anything about them), so maybe I'll get Richard to guest blog and explain everything that he did. He said, "Oh, it's so easy" when I asked him about it. 

That little switch makes the light magically turn on when you open the door! 


... and after! (Yeah, a day of organizing is definitely in order.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Back in January, Amtrak was having a three-day sale with very cheap trips between Richmond, DC, Baltimore, and Philly. I found the sale on the third day and immediately emailed my sisters to see which city we should visit. 

We picked Baltimore (mostly because we wanted to visit this place), and we started planning all of the fun places that we wanted to visit. It was mostly restaurants. 

So on a Friday morning a couple of weeks ago, we took the train to Baltimore, checked into our hotel and hit the town! 

First, we headed to Lexington Market to grab some lunch. Beth had checked out a few food places that we needed to visit, and Faidley's was one of them. All of the reviews said that they served the best crab cakes ever. Well. That's quite a claim, really. 

It just so happens that all those people who wrote all of those reviews were right. That crab cake was delicious! It comes with a packet of saltine crackers, and we took the advice of the reliable reviewers and tried the crab cake on the saltines. Also, surprisingly tasty. 

Caught mid-munch

So, as mentioned above, we (partially) picked Baltimore because we wanted to visit the George Peabody Library. I checked to make sure that it was a open to the public, and I checked the hours. It would be open until 3 pm on Friday, so we decided to plan the afternoon around making it there before it closed. 

After The Best Crab Cake I've Ever Had, we walked up to the Mt. Vernon area and found the library which is part of Johns Hopkins University. Turns out, the library was closed. Womp womp. It was closed because school had been canceled because of the snow. Sad day. 

I knew that there was an art museum close by, so we decided to check that out. We walked right across the street to the Walters Art Museum and looked around in there for a while. 

Then we walked about the Mt. Vernon area for a bit, and went in search of a book store that Beth found through other reviews. Well, it was closed for renovation. So we looked for a different bookstore that Emmy wanted to visit. As far as we could tell, when we got to the address, it didn't exist. That put us oh for three on the book visits. 

So, we found a coffee/bun shop called The Bun Shop. Emmy got a very tasty honey macchiato; Beth got a coffee; and I got a lavender tea latte and an espresso vanilla bun with dark chocolate and salted caramel filling. It was a heavenly as it sounds. 

After a quick stop by the hotel, we went to Cross Street Market to get a snack before dinner. Emmy got sushi, and Beth got some local oysters. 

Then we went to the Maryland Science Center to visit the observatory. On Friday nights, the observatory is open to the public for free, so we thought we'd check it out. It was awesome! I'm definitely the science nerd of the sisters, but the other two were geeking out, too. 

It was pretty cold (below 30), and the observatory was up on top of the Science Center. We got to climb up on a ladder and look through a giant telescope. We saw Venus, the full harvest moon, Jupiter, AND three of Jupiter's moons. I was seriously geeking out. 

After that, we took an Uber out to Salt Tavern and had an incredible meal. We ordered fun cocktails (a tasty mocktail for me) and small plates. We had grilled octopus, duck fat fries, a cheese plate, duck confit crostini, and goat cheese and lavender donuts with coffee ice cream.  

And then we Uber'd back to the hotel. I was able to send invites to both sisters which resulted in a free ride for each of them and then a free ride for me for each accepted invite. So, FOUR free rides over the course of the weekend. That worked out pretty well. If you want a free Uber ride, use this code: s2brx. 

On Saturday, we took the free bus, Charm City Circulator, to another area of town, Federal Hill. We went to Spoons Coffee for brunch which was very delicious and filling. Then we went back to Cross Street Market so I could grab a couple of berger cookies which were on my list of Baltimore must-tries. 

We finally found an open book store! And it was an awesome one. The Book Escape was adorable and comfortable and just what any small bookstore should be. All three of us bought books there. I couldn't resist a couple of "Little Bear" books for our little bear. :)

We made a quick stop by Edgar Allen Poe's grave which looked extra forlorn with a dusting of snow. Then we headed back to Mt. Vernon to check out Brewer's Art which is this awesome bar/restaurant that served some incredible-sounding beers. I was able to get a nonalcoholic, German beer, and that was pretty good, but the descriptions of the ones they make there sounded really go. I'll have to go back sometime when I can enjoy them. 

Inside Brewer's Art

Then we took an Uber all the way out to Hampden for our dinner reservation at Woodberry Kitchen. That place was amazing. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting. The service was wonderful. And the food was incredible. I loved that they had a section of nonalcoholic cocktails on the menu, and I got a very tasty one. We, again, ordered small plates and just shared. We had spiced popcorn, braised beef flatbread, a winter beet salad, a delicious cheese plate with local cheeses, lamb & rye dumplings, and dessert -- mud pie and an espresso float over IPA caramel ice cream. I mean, shut up. Right?

Just outside of Woodberry Kitchen

And we ended the night back in the city at a dueling piano bar. At first, I thought it was going to be kind of a bust. It was 75% bachelorette parties, and everyone seemed to be drinking shared buckets of electric blue mixed drinks. But once we found a seat, we realized the true entertainment potential was to be found in the patrons. Oh man. 

We finished the trip on Sunday with, well, more food. We went to Teavolve for brunch, and that place was great. They had these adorable little pots of tea with a tea light for each one, and I love that kind of stuff because I really love tea. Beth had some delicious crab cakes Benedict, and Emmy got a crab meat and egg croissant sandwich. Yum. And I had a really tasty breakfast of eggs, turkey sausage, and toast. Basic but delish. 

Then we walked around Fell's Point for a little while on our way to Ale Mary's to have what was essentially brunch dessert. It was Krispy Kreme bread pudding, and how could we not? It was well worth the walk and the hype. So good. 

After that, it was back onto the train for the trip back home. 

It was such a great sister's trip, and I'm so glad we got to get away together while we're all (briefly) living in the same city. Let's do it again, seesters!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dreaming of Spring...

First let me say, I love this paint color. It's exactly what I wanted. It definitely has me dreaming of springtime! 

I'm hoping that I didn't pick it out of the gloomy, winter despair just to feel like sunnier days are coming. Also, I've found myself questioning if it's too minty, if maybe it's a little too Easter-candy-colored. 

But then I remember, this is the color I looked for. And I think it'll look like how I imagined it once everything is back in place. 

Richard spent this weekend caulking all of the nail holes and the edges of the molding (including all of the floor and crown molding) and painting the top and bottom halves of the walls. He's such a gem. 

Just look at those clean lines and horrible phone-photo quality!
And, since I'm 24 weeks today (grow, Baby Surber, grow!), here is another bump picture! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

More Than Halfway!

Well, today is the 23-week mark! We're more than halfway there, which is great because we are so ready to meet our sweet little one! 

The pregnancy has still been very easy, so I'm not to the point of wanting the baby out because I want my body back and unoccupied (I'm sure that day will come). We're just already so ready to hold this baby. 

2/6 -- 19 weeks 4 days
2/9 -- 20 weeks!
2/10 -- 20 weeks 1 day
2/14 -- 20 weeks 5 days
2/17 -- 21 weeks 1 day -- snow day!
2/20 -- 21 weeks 4 days + a stretchy Lola
2/23 -- 22 weeks
2/24 -- 22 weeks 1 day
2/25 -- 22 weeks 2 days
3/2 -- 23 weeks! 

I can't believe I got pictures three days in a row last week. I feel like I only think about it every few days. And it seems my limited maternity closet is showing in these pictures. I must really like that gray and white cardigan...

We had our twenty week appointment back on February 9th, and we found out the gender of our baby. Most people probably already know because we haven't really kept it a secret. I wanted to do a cute picture for revealing the gender to post here and on Instagram, but, three weeks after finding out, it seems that probably won't happen ha!

But, the general color (aside from black) most prevalent in these bump pictures may have actually given away the gender! That's right, we are having a baby BOY!

We are really excited! Richard was grinning from ear to ear when the technician told us. We have a few nursery ideas in mind, and I can't wait to get started on that room.