WASHINGTON DC ON A BUDGET

Hello, dolls!! Hello, Sunday! <3 We are finally graced with crisp weather here in Baltimore. I can’t wait to see the green leaves turn into orange and brown soon! I’ve been busy packing for our trip and getting our house in order before we leave for vacation. As much as I want to say, I can’t wait, there is one thing that is currently bothering me right now…I hope this turns out to nothing SOON!

When my family was here during my maternity leave, I made sure we will spend each day doing something memorable. We missed a lot of special moments together since I live a gazillion miles away so when we had the opportunity to be together for 5 weeks, we felt like it was Christmas every day.

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One of the places on our list was Washington, DC. I live about an hour away from DC so it’s always an easy trip for us. There are so many things you can do in DC! A and I go to DC a lot and each time in awe.

Would you believe me if I told you we spent less than $250 that day? Including lunch, dinner, and sightseeing! See below how my family of 7 (and a half) did it in one of the best places to visit in the US!

Continue reading “WASHINGTON DC ON A BUDGET”

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WASABI at TYSONS CORNER

Hello, dolls! Hello, October!!! Vacation month, finally! <3 This felt like the longest week ever!! From a long-awaited answer, two weeks that I can look forward to, and a reminder to make an effort for the people we love every day. A and I went on a date night to celebrate his birthday and I can’t wait to share about our memorable evening soon here!

On an unrelated note, my family is starting to plan their “Christmas break” here. This is the third time that we will all be complete in the United States, it’s definitely one of the biggest things I look forward to every year! I was lucky to be on my maternity leave the first time they all came to visit. We were able to go on adventures every day. It’s not easy to plan a vacation for a family of 7 (and a newborn) because I had to think about baby A. Lucky for me, my siblings are very laid back! They just want to eat and shop 😛

Here are a couple of things you can do when your family is visiting the US. 

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Once upon a time, I joined Wasabi’s online photo contest and won a $100 gift card. I kept it for 4 years because I prayed that one day, I can use it with my family — and so we did. Continue reading “WASABI at TYSONS CORNER”

Blueberry Picking at Shaw Orchards

Hello, dolls! Hello, Sunday! <3 It’s been a pretty slow week for me. The weather has been so lovely and it makes me want to stay in bed all day. I am ending September feeling so unproductive because of how I chose to “relax” this past week. I should really shake this feeling off and look back to all of the awesome opportunities I was able to be part of this month. I mean really! Going to NYC with my BFF,  3 confirmed collaborations for next month, and I started packing for our trip! Yes — cause I have to pack for us 3 and I don’t want to get super stressed about it the week before our departure so I am starting early! So yeah, I guess this slowness will die down as I fully transition to this new season 😛

It is very uncommon to take your newborn out until h/she is (n) weeks old — I honestly don’t know what’s the “standard age” now because I did not want to stress myself out by being too careful and forget to enjoy the journey of being a new Mom. Anyway, would you Mom shame me if I tell you I took baby A to the mall before he was a week old? We spent merely 2 hours there because I had to feed him — I just need to get out of the house.

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He was about 2 weeks old when we took him on his first real adventure. My brothers just arrived from the Philippines, I was on my maternity leave, and A was off. I couldn’t let a good day get wasted!  Our first blueberry experience was so fun that my sister and I agreed to take our family to Shaw Orchards when they visit.  Continue reading “Blueberry Picking at Shaw Orchards”

Farmers Market Baltimore

Hello, dolls! Hello, hump day!! <3 Fall is upon us meaning we only have a couple of weeks to enjoy the Farmer’s Market here in Baltimore. I always feel like a kid in a candy store whenever we go to the Farmer’s Market. There are so many delicious foods for me to try. Between the delicious comfort food surrounding me and the mouthwatering desserts, I can say that my eyes are always full and my heart feels like I should try everything.

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For those who plan to visit the Farmer’s Market here in Baltimore, here’s what to expect 🙂 Continue reading “Farmers Market Baltimore”

“It’s A Boy!” Baby Shower

Hello, dolls!!! Hello, Fall <3 Anyone else super happy that fall is here? My closet has been ready for months now and I can’t wait to dress up every weekend! Oh, the crisp weather and pumpkin everything! How can I not love fall? What makes this season even better is our vacation! I can’t believe that in less than a month we will be on a great adventure again!

Anyway, I am so excited to share another piece from my Motherhood journey. I know my blog has been a little slow when it comes to keeping up with my current adventures so yeah…I sure am too happy to finally move on to another chapter! 😛

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I had my shower 2 weeks before my due date. I know, crazy right? My friends were telling me I am cutting it too close. I waited that long because I wanted my parents to be part of my shower…also let’s the be honest, I couldn’t take time off work!  Continue reading ““It’s A Boy!” Baby Shower”

Best Food To Eat In Chicago

Hello, dolls!! Hello, Monday! This Monday doesn’t suck too much because my best friend Alyza is here. Last time I saw her was when we visited Nashville 10 months ago. We decided to go to New York for a “girl’s weekend” so I wasn’t able to post this entry! We did A LOT and I can’t wait to share them here soon…hopefully. 

Anyway, here is the last installment of my Chicago series (yay!). A part of me feels like I am still in Chicago whenever I read my posts about it. Now that I am sharing my last guide on that trip, I feel like my “vacation” is now over. Needless to say, I saved the best for last!

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Chicago is a very diverse city, so how do you come up with a list of food to eat with so many things to choose from? Continue reading “Best Food To Eat In Chicago”

CHICAGO EATS: PURPLE PIG

Hello, dolls!! Hello, fall…almost! 😛 This week was pretty “dark” for my tiny tribe. Our entire household is sick and it was really challenging to get things done… or should I say do anything at all. Hubby and I are both sick and I am starting to feel really guilty because we are not 100% for baby A. Now that I am a Mom, the worst part about being sick is not having the energy to keep up with him. I am just glad that I am finally at the tail end of this misery and I can hopefully enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Anyway, I swear I am almost done with my Chicago posts! 😛 Can you imagine if we were there for more than 3 days?? I would probably have at least 10 posts! One of the few restaurants on our list was The Purple Pig. We decided to go there on our last night which fell on the exact date of our anniversary.

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The purple pig is known for their creative and bold dishes. The menu is straight to the point, nothing too intricate that would make you second guess why you decided to go there for dinner. I know I’ve mentioned the influence of Greeks in Chicago but I think it’s really cool that the Chef/Owner (Jimmy Bannos Jr.) is Greek! This made my husband and I more interested to go to The Purple Pig. Continue reading “CHICAGO EATS: PURPLE PIG”

GAP in ANNAPOLIS HARBOUR CENTER

Hello, dolls!! Hello, labor day, USA!! <3 How was everyone’s long weekend?? Ironically enough mine was pretty short. I had to start my weekend at work to cover a co-workers shift. Not an ideal way to start my busy weekend definitely. Anyway, I had the best reward though — shopping! 

I spent the rest of my day in Annapolis. We hardly go there unless we have to OR I want to go shopping. I have never been to Annapolis Harbour Center so when I got the invitation for Gap’s Grand Opening I said yes with a million exclamation points!

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My new denim pants are definitely the highlight of my weekend. For a person who refuses to wear pants during summer, that’s a lot to say. Continue reading “GAP in ANNAPOLIS HARBOUR CENTER”

Where To Go In Chicago

Hello, dolls! Hello, weekend!! Soooo I thought August was going to be crazy, but it seems like September is shaping up to be crazier. I will be spending each day planning our big trip in October, I am starting the month by going to an awesome blogging opportunity here in Maryland, and I will be hugging two of my favorite girls that I haven’t seen in almost a year! So yeah, it is a very exciting and eventful month.

Anyway, here’s the continuation of my Chicago series. A and I decided to go to Chicago for our 4 year anniversary. Truthfully, it was an out-of-the-blue decision. I was at work doing computer tasks and I saw an e-mail from Southwest so I started looking at flights. We were in Chicago for 3 nights and 3 days — we left Baltimore at 7pm and got there around 9ish. It was a very spontaneous trip because we just listed down a couple of restaurants and food we must try   As for the places to go to, I just knew we have to take a picture with “the bean” so that was the only thing I remember putting on our list. The rest of the spots we went to were unplanned but definitely made our Chicago trip a really memorable one.

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So where do you go when on a long weekend in Chicago? Continue reading “Where To Go In Chicago”

Urban Plates, Columbia MD

Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend!! <3 I am going to take a little break from Chicago posts and share with you something that filled my heart and tummy with so much joy this past Friday. I mostly share my food adventures here on my blog. Though I really intend for this to be a lifestyle blog it’s really hard to separate myself from food because it’s the core of my being. So if you can notice, whenever I post an entry, there’s always food involved. I’ve been going through my previous posts (like from 7 years ago) and it makes me laugh how brutally honest I was. I was a single girl who will not take anything less than what I paid for. Then A came along, we went to the best restaurants so my food posts became more positive. — still honest, but much lighter since I was writing about better restaurants 😛 Just like Urban Plates

A and I are always on the hunt for restaurants that we can take our family to when visiting us. The downside of taking my entire family to a restaurant is having to deal with 7 people trying to figure out what they want. I get stressed out whenever it’s time for us to order because I feel like half of us are always struggling to decide what to eat. When I learned about the concept of  Urban Plates  I knew it was going to be perfect not only for my tiny tribe but also to the rest of our family when we are complete in December.

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I am so excited to share an experience that only happened 2 days ago! I am still trying to keep up with my adventures from 2 years ago so taking a break and sharing something current is like a dream to me! lol
Continue reading “Urban Plates, Columbia MD”

Chicago Eats: PUBLICAN

Hello, dolls! Hello, Wednesday!!! <3 I’ve been on cloud nine since Friday because, after weeks of talking about our big vacation, we finally settled on a date and booked our trip!! It’s official now…after 16 months of working tirelessly, we can finally go on a looong break. I know I’ve implied that I am starting to feel burned out lately. Honestly, it’s not something I am proud of. I am only 27, how can I be burned out?? So I am letting this big motivation keep me inspired for the rest of the year and then I am going to reexamine my next move, and all I know is…it’s too soon to stop working hard for a great future — especially now that I have a 2-year-old to think about.

Anyway, I still have more things to share about our Chicago trip so I hope you are not sick of it yet 😛 Read my recent Chicago posts here.  

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Going to little neighborhoods has got to be one of my favorite things to do when traveling. I tend to ask myself “what if I move here?” every time. It must be the simplicity of walking and immersing myself in a new place, someplace I’ve never been before that makes me wonder what life would be like somewhere other than Manila and Baltimore. Continue reading “Chicago Eats: PUBLICAN”

Best Ramen In Chicago

Hello, dolls!! Hellllo, Thursday!! <3 Aaaah finally!! Just one more day and I will be embracing my long weekend. I am starting to think that the perfect definition for my 2018 is bittersweet. I am going through things that people pray they won’t experience, it’s been pretty heavy lately. Despite all the challenges we are facing now, there are still things that keep me positive. Like, #MyABoys who I look forward to hugging each day, my family who is facing life stronger than ever, and friends that never fail to check up on me on the regular. It will never be easy for me to see someone so close to my heart go through something so painful.

On a lighter and happier note, I am happy to do a little more for my blog. I recently collaborated with a newly opened restaurant.   I also started working on a new blog post after this one, and I am getting close to hitting my personal monthly goals for this blog. Yay to productive weeks! Moving on, let me share with you:

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Whenever we go on a trip, A looks forward to eating noodles. It doesn’t matter what kind it is — Italian pasta, Chinese Lo Mein, or Japanese Ramen! When A and I were completing our restaurant list for our trip, he told me that he really wanted to go to Slurping Turtle. 

Being a fan of Top Chef, I happily told him of course! Chef  Takashi Yagihashi, a Michelin Star AND James Beard Best Chef awardee is the man behind this notable ramen restaurant in Chicago. Continue reading “Best Ramen In Chicago”

What To Do In Chicago

Hello, dolls! Hello, busy month. In my previous post, I mentioned that August is such a busy month for me because of all the parties I got invited to. I forgot to remind myself that I also have to start getting things settled for our big trip this year. Two months and I can officially take a break! It’s a much-needed one especially with everything that’s been happening lately. I feel like every time I solve one problem, two more come up so yeah…it’s been pretty heavy for me lately, emotionally.

Whenever I want to get lost in time, I look at my previous adventures, especially the ones with A. Our trips remind me of all the things we have accomplished. People close to us know that ever since we decided to start our own family, we have been really serious about investing in our future. So that involved making wise decisions and choosing the right time for vacations. My husband A and I know that all these will pay off — and we are already seeing the fruits of our labor with baby A!

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To celebrate our anniversary, we decided to go to Chicago for a long weekend. I was about 6 months pregnant that time so it also felt like an early babymoon. Continue reading “What To Do In Chicago”

How To Have A Healthy Pregnancy

How To Have A Healthy Pregnancy

Hello, dolls!! Hello, AUGUST! I am welcoming another busy month. I thought June and July were crazy but seems like August is shaping up to be crazier. We are invited to 5 parties this month alone so I’ve been running around buying presents and outfits for my tiny tribe! (cause duh! being a guest at a party is an opportunity to dress up). On top of everything that I have planned for the next 30 days, I am really hoping that I can post a couple of entries to get my blog up to date.

Baby A is 2 years old now — like for real, where did time go? I am not going to lie, my husband has been thinking about baby # 2 a lot lately. I am trying to decide if we are ready for it….if I AM ready for it. But hey! Let’s save it for another post 😛

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One of the blessings that I am truly grateful for is having a safe and joyful pregnancy. I still get surprised whenever I think about my pregnancy with baby A and how I was able to carry through it with no complications considering my lifestyle 2 years ago — physical and mental stress enveloped my entire being. No pregnancy is easy, it’s not a walk in the park but if you ask me if I would do it again, I would say YES a thousand times plus more.  Continue reading “How To Have A Healthy Pregnancy”

EMPORIYUM BALTIMORE

Hello, dolls! Hello, Monday. I wanted to post this entry sooner but my soul was somewhere else this past week that I couldn’t really get myself to type more than hello.  Emotionally, it was a very exhausting weekend. It “might” be PMS, or maybe, just the reality that I should let go of certain things in my life to remove this heavy block that’s been weighing me down. I wasn’t in my element and honestly, as I type these words, I am starting to feel guilty for not being 100% for my son. My husband was amazing throughout this weekend before I even uttered a word, his arms were already wrapped around me assuring that everything will be okay — cause it will be.

Emporiyum just announced their next event in DC. I am so excited because it’s one of the events A and I look forward to every year. There’s so much creativity to see each year and lots of inspiration for us to take home. One of my favorites to see are the small business owners, learning about how they started is very encouraging.

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Had the happiest baby belly that weekend <3

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Emporiyum is a food event that features artisan vendors from all over the country. Most vendors that I’ve seen are from Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and New York. It’s a very cool event with a lot of one-of-a-kind treats, foodies from all over town, and a great atmosphere. There are more or less 100 vendors every year, so there is surely something for everyone. Continue reading “EMPORIYUM BALTIMORE”

Why Chefs Quit The Kitchen

Hello, dolls!! Hello, July!! <3 I’ve been focusing on cleaning up my blog lately so it has been a while since I last posted an entry. I have so many thoughts in my head that I need to let go of — one of which is work. I have been pretty vocal about my work life here on my blog and I’ve expressed how many times I had to sacrifice time for family because of it. Time is the trade you have to give if you want to succeed in the kitchen.

I may not have 30 years of experience leading a kitchen but over the years I was able to get a good grasp of what being a Chef is all about — and no, it’s not just about putting an Instagrammable dish on the table or knowing how to cook the perfect steak!

This entry is pretty heavy for me because for the first time, I am opening up about a part of my life that I am heavily deliberating on now. I will be sharing some photos of the dishes I made in between points so please do not hesitate to ask me for recipes or tips! 🙂

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Being A Chef is Mentally and Physically Exhausting

Like many other jobs, working in the kitchen can be very exhausting. Imagine being on a time crunch every minute of every day. The biggest enemy that you have to deal with on the regular is pressure and it’s in every corner of the restaurant. Over time I have learned how to live with it, and it still doesn’t make it any easier. Not even sleep can relieve us from the exhaustion … because really, do we even get to sleep?

That rush…the adrenaline that runs through our veins when we cook especially during a busy dinner service, that’s what keeps us going — red bull, monster, or 5-hour energy drink for most cooks. When we hit our ticket times and no plate comes back from the dining room, that is when our nerves calm down. It’s like we were never exhausted at all.  Continue reading “Why Chefs Quit The Kitchen”

Spring in Washington DC

Hello, dolls!! Hello, WEEKEND! Aaah yes…finally!! <3 This week is extra special because my baby  A turned 2. I’ve been in this exact spot on my blog for almost a week now. I can’t seem to find the right words to describe how breathtaking the past two years have been. Two years of learning about Motherhood and appreciating life even more. Needless to say, I spent the past week wishing I am able to freeze time… I mean really, where does time go?? So as I sit here trying not to choke up as I stare at my boy, let me share with you one of the best moments during my pregnancy.

One of the challenges I faced when I was pregnant with baby A was the “art of relaxing”. It was difficult to not think about work even during my days off because well…that’s pretty much where my life revolved here in Baltimore — my husband and the kitchen. So welcoming baby A into our lives 2 years ago was a great reminder of things that I was starting to miss out on.

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This is one of my favorite moments during my pregnancy because finally….after weeks of trying to find time to go on an adventure we were finally able to spend quality time without doing projects for our new home. Continue reading “Spring in Washington DC”

New York With My Best Friend

Hello, dolls!! Hello, crazy June!! <3 It feels amazing to be able to finally relax this week. I know this “mellow” week is not going to last for long cause baby A’s birthday is coming up. On top of that, I’ve been busy planning our big vacation this year!!! Aahhh finally!!! A and I have been looking forward to getting more than 3 days off since like…last year!! Whenever I think about how our trip to the Philippines in January 2017 was the last time we went on a vacation more than 3 days, it makes me more inspired to plan an amazing trip that we will not forget. “We deserve it” is pretty much what we’ve been saying everytime we talk about our upcoming trip. Needless to say, our excitement has skyrocketed ever since we finalized the location of our trip — and let me tell you, it’s the perfect country for us this year!

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I’ve been looking at OOTD pegs for our trip in autumn and it reminded me of the lovely weekend I spent with my best friend, Maricor. She lives in California so it was definitely a weekend that I will never forget because she flew all the way to Baltimore to spend time with me!! <3 Continue reading “New York With My Best Friend”

LET’S WORK TOGETHER

 

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One of the attributes that I behold as an adventure-seeker is my passion to try something new…every day! I aspire to work with brands, companies, or other bloggers that can introduce me to new things that I can also share with my wonderful readers. My site is PR friendly — message me for any collaborations, promotions, product reviews, or any opportunity for us to work together.

Let’s talk and make great things happen <3 E-mail me at galvezstavrides@gmail.com <3

National Aquarium

Hello, dolls!!! Hello, Monday <3 Is there anyone else out there who feels proud whenever they survive another Monday? Cause I do! I woke up today feeling like the world hates me…because it’s Monday and the first 15 minutes of my Monday are always the worst! My body feels heavy whenever I try to get out of bed, and my heart feels heavier because I know my boy is going to wake up without me for the next 5 days.

So this is my current reality, I hate Mondays — I especially hate waking up at 4AM! Lately, I’ve been focused on planning my weekends at work since it has been stressful lately. My head is not 100% in the game and I feel guilty at some point — am I in a work rut? I know for a fact that there is nothing better than this, at least in the next 6 months! I really have to shake this feeling off and not let SMonday get the best of me 😛

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I LOVE making my siblings happy. When my sister was here in Baltimore for her internship, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity for me to step up my “big sis” game. For her 22nd birthday, we decided to go to the aquarium to go on a different kind of adventure.

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I took the night off from work on her birthday. It was perfect because it was a Friday and the National Aquarium does 50% off tickets when you go after 5PM.  Continue reading “National Aquarium”