Tuesday, October 9, 2018

2018 Newport Weekend

Hi, friends!

Another annual Newport weekend is in the books! It was our 10th year visiting (and Quinn’s 6th – feel free to do the math on that one), and it’s still one of our favorites (if not our FAVORITE) weekend of the entire year. We have so many wonderful memories from our trips to Newport and always make more there! 🙂


We arrived early Friday evening, got settled, and then Quinn and I made sure to take our annual photo on the balcony. Check out his first photo with Mal at just 4 months old. Our baby is growing up so fast!


Outfit details: Signature Fleece Pullover // Skinny Jeans – just $64! 

After that, we headed out to dinner at Midtown Oyster, which, of course, was a lot of fun with these two weirdos!


Saturday morning started BRIGHT and EARLY. Quinn was just too excited to sleep! He actually had a tough night of sleep being in a new place, but, hey, that meant lots of cuddles (and broken sleep) for Mumma. We were at Empire Tea & Coffee for iced coffees well before 7:00 AM!

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We grabbed breakfast at Empire, took it back to the condo (we stay at the Wellington Resort every year), and got ourselves ready for the day. We did a little shopping on Thames Street and popped into a magic shop since Quinn has taken a recent interest. The man working there was super nice and showed us a few 4 year old-friendly tricks that Quinn absolutely loved. We ended up purchasing a magic trick box, which was a highlight of the weekend of everyone. Quinn even took it to school with him yesterday to show his friends and teachers!

After that, we took Quinn’s bike for a ride along the waterfront.

For lunch, we headed to O’Brien’s Pub, which was a lot of fun for Quinn. He played in the water fountain while we waited for our food and even ate his lunch when it was served! O’Brien’s FTW!

After lunch, Quinn went down for a nap while Mal and I took turns working out. I forgot my running sneakers (wahhhh – I love running in Newport), so I did a quickie strength workout in the resort gym. Better than nothing, right?

Once Quinn was awake, we headed to the Top of Newport with Papi and Lori for happy hour. Quinn was still loving his magic trick box and really getting the hang of it, so he decided to go around the restaurant and show strangers his magic show. It was so cute and people really seemed to love it – giving him full on cheers and applause! One couple even gave him $5!! Maybe Quinn has a future in magic! 🙂


Sunday morning started with coffee at Empire followed by breakfast at Gary’s Handy Lunch (diner). Then, we met up with Papi and Lori for a “morning mimosa” cruise.

After our sail, we headed straight to the arcade, which Quinn had been looking forward to all weekend! 🙂

After the arcade, we had lunch at Speakeasy Bar & Grill. We went back and forth about nap time, but Quinn ultimately convinced us that playing in the indoor pool at the Wellington would be a lot more fun! 🙂

We headed to The Lawn at Castle Hill Inn with Papi and Lori for our annual visit – and, of course, snapped a family photo, which often becomes our holiday card photo. This one is definitely a winner! 🙂

After our time at Castle Hill Inn, we headed back to the condo. Mal and I got ourselves ready for “date night” since Papi and Lori kindly offered to babysit. Woohoo!

Mal and I went to dinner at the Revolving Door, which was just okay, food-wise. We really had a nice time together – we sat outside by the fire pit and had some great conversation, but the food was just so-so. Whomp whomp. We ended up leaving and grabbing dessert at Scales & Shells, which was absolutely delicious and made up for our dinner experience! 🙂


Monday morning started at Empire followed by breakfast at Gary’s once again – clearly, both are favorites! 🙂 After breakfast, Quinn went bike riding with Papi and Lori, which was the cutest thing ever!

He’s really getting the hang of it, and we’re so glad his first bike ride with other people was with Papi and Lori! Quinn even took the lead as “line leader,” which he was especially proud of!

What a weekend! We look forward to our Newport trip all year -and I can’t believe it’s already over. Until next year!

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Things Worth Sharing

Lululemon Align Pants

Bump photo is quite outdated at this point : )

With fall here, I needed another pair of maternity leggings. I have one pair (these from Target that I love) but since I live in leggings, I knew I needed a second pair to wear around the house. But since I’m nearing the end, I really didn’t want to buy any more maternity clothing. I’ve been hearing people rave about the Lulu Align leggings for months, so I went to our store to try them on. First off, they really do feel like butter. That is the #1 reason everyone should own a pair! I’ve never felt a material quite so comfy. The saleswoman assured me that I would not stretch them out too much in pregnancy and that they will shrink back to normal and I can wear them for years to come. There are three cons to them:

1) She told me not to put them in the dryer = high maintenance. I do not believe in high maintenance clothing so I will be washing as normal and I will let you know how they do!)


2) She also told me not to do cycle or run in them because they will pill. So they have been delegated as my “casual wear” maternity leggings, while my maternity ones are my “gym” leggings.

3) Because the fabric is sooooo comfortable, they do not have that much support. I am used to running tights that have compression that sucks everything in! These are not compression at all (which is why they are so comfortable) so I am a little more self conscious wearing them without a long shirt/tunic.

But given those cons, like I said they are SO comfortable and stretchy and I knew I had to have them the moment I put them on! They’ve already gotten tons of use.

Pill Boxes

I am pretty lax about supplements when I’m not pregnant. I take multivitamins, probiotics, and vitamin D when I feel like it. With a good diet they are really just extra insurance. But when I am pregnant, I think that getting proper nutrition is super important, so I’ve spent the past year of my life (if you count the prenatal time) religiously taking supplements. (Prenatals, probiotics, vitamin D, omega-3, and choline.) First off, I have gotten SO MUCH BETTER at swallowing pills! I used to gag and struggle with each one, but now I can practically take the whole bunch all at once! Mazen takes a handful of gummy supplements too (two multi gummies, probiotics, omega-3) and I was getting so tired of opening up 8 jars every time we took them. So I bought a couple of these weekly pill packs that organizes your pills for the week. You only have to fill them once a week and then each day is super easy! These will also be a game changer when I finish rearranging our pantry/supplements cabinet for shelf and height reasons, so I can’t recommend them enough.

Country Strong

I haven’t seen this movie yet, but my friend Erin turned me on to the song. Go listen. Also: Leighton Meester!!

Brew Dr. Kombucha

I recently found these kombucha cans at Whole Foods and love them! The flavors are creative and delicious, and there’s something extra fun about bucha in a can. They’re also a little (tiny) bit cheaper than the kombucha that comes in the bottles, so that’s a plus.

Baby Paper

My cousin sent me a sweet baby gift in the mail that included baby paper! I had never heard of this, but it has a soft, cloth outer material and a crinkle textured interior that babies like to play with. It’s really fun for an adult to crinkle too!

I Love You Like…

Blog reader Anne from Pittsburg reached out to me about her husband’s children’s book, I Love You Like…Anne’s husband Scott is battling stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer. Two years ago when Scott was diagnosed, Scott and his best friend Alec decided to co-author a children’s book and dedicate it to Anne and Scott’s son (also named Alec). Scott’s been working on this book for the past few years and it’s finally complete and available on Amazon. The story is about a father and son grasshopper pair. After a young grasshopper asks his Dad just how much he loves him, the Dad takes his son on an adventure to show him just how much. There aren’t too many children’s books about dads, so this one is perfect for the men in your life. Mazen has enjoyed the story at bedtime several times.

The World’s Tiniest Bluetooth

You guys know I geek out with my bluetooth headsets. I prefer them to headphones because I am usually listening to a podcast and like to be able to hear out of my other ear when I bump into friends at the gym or need to hear a biker behind me on the greenway. (Also I hate all kinds of wires, even if they just go behind your head.) I sent my Plantronics headset through the laundry twice, and it finally bit the dust. I considered options from $10-200 for a new one. I decided to try this tiny ear bud for $17 before going to something more expensive, given my laundry habits. Turns out it’s GREAT! I love the tiny size, the rose gold, that I don’t have a nerdy mic coming down my face, and of course the price. I can jump and run and it doesn’t budge. The sound quality is super impressive for the price. But if you mostly listen to music, go ahead and get the Apple AirPods. I tested Thomas’s AirPods against my $17 bud and his were noticeably better for music. But for podcasts, audiobooks, phone calls, and minor music listening, I highly recommend this guy!

I Followed My Heart And It Led Me To Wine

It’s been a long 9 months y’all! But I am ready to sip (slowly) some vino again. I put my Winc Wine Club membership on hold for the duration of my pregnancy, but with just weeks to go I figured I’d start it back up! I had a few extra credits from sharing last year, so I have a case ready for sipping (slowly…please don’t think I’m going to be chugging wine when the baby is here!) My link always gets you $20 off – that’s like 1.5 free bottles! It’s a very low maintenance wine club – you can skip months or cancel anytime. They always have cute and creative bottle designs that are great to bring to parties. (The #TBT red and white blends are favorites of mine.)


Matt, Mazen, Thomas, and I went out for pizza after Mazen’s back-to-school night (yes, we are that cool with each other 🙂 ) Matt brought this new game that he bought to play with Mazen. It’s really fun for adults and kids alike. I’d say Mazen is juuuust old enough to play. (You do need a good scorekeeper who can do math, so maybe not ideal for two younger kids to play one another.) BUT – it’s also a great way to teach math to a school-aged child! It’s kind of like dominos meets rummy.

That’s a wrap!

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Clean Eating Vegetable Stock Recipe

A good, clean eating vegetable stock is the start to so many great recipes!

Few things beat a good, homemade broth or stock. Store bought just cannot compare. But there are things you need to know… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry https://ift.tt/2E7Hz9Z