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.


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”

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!


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”


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.


Had the happiest baby belly that weekend <3


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! 🙂


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.


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!


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”




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 😛


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.


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”

House Hunting

Hello, dolls!! Hello, June <3 Wheeew! May was something else!! My body is sore and my mind is still on cloud 9. The last time I felt like this was when we were moving into our home. There were countless things to do! I felt like once I finished one task, five more things get added to my list. It’s really nice to FINALLY relax now (at least for the next two hours until baby A wakes up from his nap). Speaking of baby A … I think most Moms will agree with me when I say I felt guilty for being THAT busy.  I wasn’t able to spend much time with my little one since I had “goals” to finish every day. Two nights before the event, I told A I can’t wait to just be in bed with our boy and read to him! Aaah the night has finally come and once we recuperate from our busy month, I plan to take baby A to an awesome adventure that he’s been asking for…like literally every day!

So.. to continue with my previous post, here’s our journey of finding our home….food breaks included! lol


The first time I felt at “home” was when I hung this painting in our hallway. I love how this makes me feel like we are driving to Manhattan whenever I walk into our hallway. Continue reading “House Hunting”

Apartment Life

Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend! <3 OH WHAT A WEEK! I am saying this with so much relief.  I was on my feet literally all day every day since Monday, and I feel like saying that is an understatement. I am bone-tired and I couldn’t be any happier that I finally slept for 8 hours!!! Not 5, not 6…but 8! Today is all about relaxing with my little family and relatives that came to visit us from the Philippines. My head is a giant cloud with so many thoughts and my heart is full of so much excitement for our big day next week.

Sitting now and finally being able to blog is definitely my “weekend treat”. For some reason, being THIS busy keeps on reminding me of our last month living in our apartment. A and I started our married life together in that apartment, so as I was packing up our stuff I can’t help but start taking pictures so we can always remember our life before being homeowners.


We were supposed to move into our house in December, but since we still had a couple of months left on our lease, we decided to take it sloooow. We were so eager to move in of course! But with December being a busy month for A and I at work and the fact that there were a couple of things that needed to be done at the house, it became the best option for us.

So let me share with you a couple of things that I really loved about our apartment…. Continue reading “Apartment Life”

3 Things I am Grateful For Now


Hello, dolls! Hello, Mommas!! <3 The past weekend was very rewarding. I celebrated my second Mother’s day and boy am I, one lucky Mommy!! My husband A started off our day by making me breakfast. I am lucky because my husband loves to cook! As a wife, there is a part of me that feels guilty that I don’t spend enough time in our kitchen. People think that Chefs are all about being in the kitchen. Truthfully, being in the kitchen at least 10 hours a day makes me want to just lay in my bed all day! The last place I want to be in is our kitchen and be on my feet again.  I am really grateful that I have my husband who misses cooking so he takes on that responsibility for our family. YAY for me!! 😛

I know Thanksgiving is still 6 months away but here I am, sharing with you how we celebrated 2 years ago. So let me make it bearable for you 😛 I am grateful for A LOT of things. My life has been nothing but an adventure and I honestly couldn’t think of any reason that would make me say “I wish things were different”. All of the negative situations that I experienced lead to more positive blessings that made me grateful for the life that I have.


Since I will be sharing how I spent my Thanksgiving in 2015, let me start this entry by talking about the 4 Things I Am Grateful for Right Now.. Continue reading “3 Things I am Grateful For Now”

My 25th Birthday


Hello, dolls! Hello, hump day! <3 This week feels so loooooong. I had quite a day at work yesterday — like the kind of day that made me want to take a step back and just keep on going until I see the light again. After my exhausting Tuesday, I knew that I am just so done with this work week. So yeah, needless to say, weekend can’t come sooner! Anyone else had a work day like mine?

Looking back to my 25th birthday, I remember my head being clouded with sooo many thoughts. Is quarter-life crisis going to hit me? Am I going to be a good Mom? When will I be with my family again?


If I am to talk to my 25-year-old self, I would tell her that she is going to be more than okay and 25 is not bad at all! Now that I am 27, I would like to tell the old Rianna… Continue reading “My 25th Birthday”

Preggy Diaries

November 2015

Hello, dolls!! Hello, May!! <3 Did we just skip right to summer?? This week has been REALLY hot and I feel like I was at my laziest. My horrible cold and hot weather made me wish I could stay in bed all day…but nope! I had to be on my feet for 10 hours every day. Adulting has a lot of meanings now, one of them is knowing when to suck it up. This past work week was the perfect example for that! I don’t know how I survived..but I did.

I am really excited to share this entry with all of you. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been posting a lot of “backlogs” since I went on a hiatus years ago. I am still trying to recover from that and I’ve been trying my best to keep up, So yeah, finally I will be writing entries that will reflect perfectly on how my life is now — as a Mommy! <3


We announced our pregnancy on our Christmas card. I usually send them out really close to Christmas day every year for one main reason — Christmas is always crazy for people in the food industry so it’s challenging for me to accomplish things.

Imagine all the calls that we got that day!! It really warmed my heart to hear from family and friends on Christmas day, it definitely made us happier! Especially from friends that I least expect would call <3


3 positive sticks make it a YES <3 Continue reading “Preggy Diaries”

DC Diaries: Old Europe Restaurant


Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend!! <3 This week went by too fast! I can’t believe that our Florida trip was already a week ago. A lot of things happened since we left Fort Lauderdale. Beginning from the tormenting 8 hours that we had to endure because our flight was delayed due to a big mechanical issue with our plane. Instead of being mad, I learned to be more patient and understanding, I realized that it’s a blessing in disguise — I got to hold baby A longer that night and feed him the morning after (which we don’t get to do on weekdays).

The rest of the week was a roller coaster ride. From keeping up with work to big health issues. Baby A and I are nursing a cold right now and it’s definitely not easy! Saturday is our busiest day this week and the fact that I am not well is making it harder for me to do everything! I have to be at work in the morning, attend to our community yard sale as soon as I get home, then go to a wedding at night! This is the kind of day that I wish I have an extra hour to spare or split myself into 3.


I wrote about A’s 28th birthday celebration with our family a couple of weeks ago. The weather in October is beautiful so we are always inspired to celebrate his birthday all month long.

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We went to a little neighborhood in DC. Since it was a little early for dinner, we decided to walk around and have a drink. Town Hall caught our attention because of the patio and the hip vibe it imposed.


We were supposed to go to Momofuku for dinner but as we were driving to DC, I told A we should try something different. He told me about Old Europe Restaurant and how he’s been wanting to go there since he found out about it. Continue reading “DC Diaries: Old Europe Restaurant”

Fall Diaries: OOTDs and Food

Fall 2015

Hello, dolls!! Hello, Thursday <3 I am 1 day away from our anniversary trip and I couldn’t be more excited!!! I know I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately but I really can’t help it! I started packing 3 days ago and can you believe I am still not done?? It’s really a challenge to pack for our little family although I have to admit, I really enjoy planning our outfits for the next 4 days (guess who is not packing light! lol).

Fall is currently my favorite season especially in terms of dressing up. The weather is just perfect so I get to play with some pieces from summer and accessorize with my favorite fall staples.


One of my favorite Fall OOTDs. I love brown and white together. This lace cardigan is my favorite summer cardigan! It makes any simple outfit look great.

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Tooloulou is one of our favorite restaurants here in Baltimore. It’s so sad that they had to close. I really wish that they would open again cause I miss my Tooloulou salad with fried gator and my favorite dirty rice!!!

Here are some entries that I posted about Tooloulou

2012 ,     2013,   and 2015

Continue reading “Fall Diaries: OOTDs and Food”

A’s 28th

Hello, dolls! Hello, WEEEKEEEND! <3 We are one week away from our trip and I can’t wait. The airport is my happy place, A feels otherwise. He gets super stressed whenever it’s time for us to go to the airport. He feels like we are always running late — even though we are always there 4 hours before our flight for international and 2 for domestic! My excitement is more for baby A getting on a plane again. The real hard work of traveling with #MyABoys is me packing for the 3 of us. Traveling for a toddler equals to packing for 2 adults. Yaaay me! 😛

Spring is going to be extra hectic for us. Starting next week, we have great adventures planned every weekend until the end of May (as far as I know…) then summer is going to be all about baby A! Can’t believe my boy is going to be 2 soon!! I started planning his birthday party and I can’t wait!!!


I love celebrating A’s birthday month! He works very hard so whenever we get the chance to go on adventures together, I make sure he eats a lot of Asian food! When he turned 28, we pretty much ate Asian food all month.


Sunday dinner date at My Thai. 

Authentic Thai food in Baltimore. We got interested to go to My Thai because they won the Mason Dixon Culinary Competition. It is worth the trip because everything that A and I ordered was really good!  Continue reading “A’s 28th”

Picnic Date Ideas


Hello, dolls! Hello, APRIL!! <3 This month is going to be filled with sooo much love! April is special to me because it’s our anniversary month. I spend the entire month of March thinking about the great adventures that we have planned. This year, we are including baby A on our anniversary weekend again. Like I said in my post NJ Diaries: Summer ,we are going to include him in our celebration because we have 2 weekends lined up without him so being the sentimental Momma that I am, I think being away from him for 2 weekends in a year is enough… for now lol.

I have exactly 2 weeks until our trip and I’ve been so busy trying to prepare for it. My excitement is through the roof as I think about being at my happy place (the airport) with baby A again. I am seriously thinking of packing now, but I know for sure that I will be seeing prospective outfits for our trip between tomorrow and the 19th lol! I am going to TRY my best to pack light so A doesn’t lose his sanity when he loads everything in the car.


One of the things that A and I love to do every year is to go on a picnic <3


It has always been my dream to go on a picnic date. I remember putting that in my notebook when I was 17. I couldn’t be any happier that it’s A who made it happen <3 Continue reading “Picnic Date Ideas”

4 Fun Things To Do in Baltimore

08.31.15: Orioles Vs Rays

Hello, dolls! Hello, Opening Day!!! Today’s blog is pretty timely because I will be sharing my first experience at Camden Yards. Earlier this month, I shared on this blog Our Greek Wedding. My girlfriends Alyza and Joana traveled all the way from the South to witness us say “I do” (for the third time lol). I couldn’t be any happier! To be with the girls that know me so well in Baltimore that weekend definitely made my 2015 one of the best.

I was so busy with work and the wedding, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to plan anything for the only day for me to take my girls around Baltimore. Thank God my best friends are not high maintenance! They were up to do anything.


Our coordinating outfits were coincidental. #GMTA


1. Visit the Inner Harbor

A and I decided to take them to the Inner Harbor.  Any Baltimore trip is not complete without seeing this beautiful view.

The Inner Harbor has attractions for everyone, from families, couples, or individuals who are up for a new adventure. The National Aquarium is a must-see especially because it has been known to be the best in the country. There are cool ships docked by the water, the mall if you want to go shopping, and restaurants surrounding the water so no one will get hungry for sure! Everything is walking distance so you can just park your car in one of the garages (which is not as expensive as New York, DC, or Philadelphia! ;P ) Continue reading “4 Fun Things To Do in Baltimore”



Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend!! <3 The perfect word to describe this week is refreshing. I got my snow day in the middle of my work week and it was AMAZING! It felt like a “mini weekend” since I got off at 3PM on Tuesday and was able to go in a little later on Thursday. Getting extra time with baby A is always a blessing for me. My time is very calculated. Since my work schedule doesn’t change, I was able to come up with a schedule that works for me as a Mom and an individual. So whenever I get extra time in a week, I get super ecstatic! It means more time with my family and more things for me to accomplish.

Spring is officially here but it doesn’t feel like it! Baby A and I are so ready to wear lighter clothes! lol Though I have to say, I am just SO ready to put away his winter stuff so I can have room for the new ones!


I am almost done with my 2015 entries. I know I know, it’s not ideal but I have so MANY great adventures from the past 3 years and I would hate to not share it!


Whenever A and I get a night off on a weekend, we make sure we go somewhere nice to eat. Being in the food industry, we see it as an opportunity to learn something new. As husband and wife, it’s a great way for us to spend quality time and catch up 😉

Continue reading “Birroteca”

DC Diaries: Georgetown

08.27.15: Celebrating Birthdays From Miles Away

Hello, dolls! Hello, SPRING!!! <3 So the forecast for this week is keeping my hopes up. We are expecting snow for the next two days and here I am watching the weather news like a hawk! GIVE ME MY SNOW DAY THIS YEAAAAR!

One of the challenges of living away from my family is the reality that I can’t be with them to share every special moment. Growing up, my parents made sure that WE will always be there to support one another. From little contests in school, pageants, or sports activities. It doesn’t matter if our participation is big, what’s important is that when we look at the audience, we will see the rest of the family.

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I still try to celebrate special moments even though I am far away from them. I make sure I do something that will remind me of my family. For instance, when my brother turned 23 three years ago, I decided to go to Georgetown Cupcakes because that’s one of the places that he told me to go when he found out I am going to the US for my internship.


Read about my first Georgetown Cupcake visit here.

Look at ’em perfect babies <3 Continue reading “DC Diaries: Georgetown”