Looking For A Quick Girl’s Getaway? Try Berkeley Springs, WV

If you live in the DC metro area you are only about an hour and a half away from an inexpensive, fun girl’s trip in Berkeley Springs, WV! On the day after Christmas with both of our kids hanging out with their fathers my BFF and I decided to hop on the open road and go wild! Well, actually we didn’t really go wild… but we did have a ball visiting antique shops, eating, and getting a little spa treatment! The best thing is we didn’t spend a ton of money and it was a simple day trip that took less than 2 hours! Here is a little snapshot of our fun day in Berkeley Springs!

We arrived in the afternoon and was thrilled that we didn’t have to pay for parking on the street (thanks to the city) and there was plenty of parking to boot!

springs

 

After our ride we were a bit hungry so we settled on a quaint little restaurant named, ‘Taris,‘that was darling inside! The food was so tasty and the service was top-notch. I ordered french onion soup and a salad for $11 bucks! I was some of the best French Onion I’ve ever had and my friend had a crab soup that was to die for! You can also feast your eyes on some of the local artisans work they have displayed!

taris

soup

Then we took a leisurely stroll around the town visiting antique shop and a sweet bookstore,  Berkeley Springs Books, where I purchased, “The Purpose Driven Life,”($1) and a Coltrane CD ($4). I love to browse in bookstores and this was no exception.

bookstore

browse

 

One of my favorite stores is the ‘Stop and Shop,’ where the treasures you find are at an incredibly reasonable price! If I had a truck I could literally clean out the store! Just look at this lovely find! It was $119 but 20% off! Adorable right?

antique

 

A girl’s trip isn’t complete without a little pampering, so we went over to Berkeley Springs State Park where I indulged in a Roman Bath, a sauna, and a shower for $35.00 and my BFF had a 30 minute massage along with a lounge in the whirlpool for $50.00. She said he massage was incredible!! If you don’t know what a Roman Bath is it is basically, you soaking in 750 gallons of mineral water in a ceramic tile, walk-in private tub that is heated to a maximum water temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. The Roman Bath is a tub big enough to stretch out in, to float, read, or just relax.

bath

 

After all that relaxation we were hungry! We could’ve chosen a healthy dish, but we decided to go Italian where I had a lovely trio of manicotti, spaghetti, and stuffed shells with a salad and a meat ball at Maria’s Garden and Inn. The food was good and reasonably priced plus they were super friendly!

pasta

 

Berkeley Springs is a perfect getaway for a day, an overnight trip or it would be perfect for a retreat! Visit http://berkeleysprings.com/ for a complete list of lodging, shopping, eating, and events.

10 Ways I Supercharge My Day

I love to take a time out to smell the roses!

I love a take time out to smell the roses!

Some days are better than others, but I try to be grateful for each one because I’m blessed to be alive! Check Out 10 Ways I Supercharge My Day!

  1. Get Dressed: Duh right? Of course you get dressed. But, I telecommute and summers can get lazy with me in my jammies way into the afternoon! Getting dressed is a simple way to get my day going and I don’t feel like a slob.
  2. Spend Time in Scripture and Pray: This is essential. I pray throughout the day, they may not be long prayers, but it doesn’t matter I’m in communication with God and it keeps me mindful and grateful for his presence. I try to read scripture usually in the morning and before I go to bed.
  3. Write a To Do List: One of my other must do in the morning is drink coffee! While, I’m getting my cup of Joe in I try to jot down a task list for the day, this helps me keep on track and I’m a nerd I get super excited when I cross off an item!
  4. Make my Bed: It’s a quick fix and a dose of accomplishment and hey bottom line is we all need those, right? Those quick little tasks that I can finish quickly always give me a boost.
  5. Find Time to Exercise: I struggle with exercising in the summer just because my schedule is different, but I try to at least get into crunches, arm weights, and resistance bands which usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Drink Water and Take a Multivitamin: If I don’t stay hydrated I get really sluggish so drinking enough water and taking a vitamin is a must do every day.
  7. Say I Love You: All we need is love right? I spend time  giving lots of I love you’s to my daughter and I talk to my mom every day which is such good medicine for my heart.
  8. Take a Time Out: Taking a breather from everything make me so much happier! Even if it is for 10-15 minutes that alone time with no distractions helps me to rejuvenate and not be so crabby.
  9. Focus on Gratitude: I’m being intentional about finding at least one thing that I am grateful for each day and spend time focusing on that blessing. It makes all the yucky stuff seem a little less annoying.
  10. Maintenance: Throughout the day I try to remember that maintenance saves me time. So I try to take a few minutes to tidy up around the house or do a few things that will make my weekly schedule less hectic.

A Lazy Saturday Morning

This is how I love starting my Saturday Morning

Saturday

How do you get your quiet time in during the weekend? I start most Saturdays off on the porch with a cup of coffee and the bible, it sets the tone for my weekend. What I’m trying to do most on my Saturday is to use my time well, to enjoy the moment and relax. I hope you have a great weekend!

Real Mom Moments: A Day in the Life of Me!

Tuesday’s are busy! Here is what a day in my life on a Tuesday looks like:

5:50 am- Inexplicably woke up and decided I was cold so turned the heat up

6:00 am- Couldn’t sleep so got up and made coffee

6:15 am- Climbed back in bed with coffee and read the bible and prayed

7:00 am- Started breakfast. Anya wanted turkey bacon and strawberries with honey and I had oatmeal with strawberries

7:15 am- Ate breakfast with Anya

7:30 am- Threw a load of laundry in washer

7:40 am- Anya and I got dressed

8:00 am- Out the door to school

8:20 am- Arrived at school

8:30 am- Picked up cleanser and detergent at the grocery store. Listened to Charles Stanley on the way home.

9:00 am- Started work

9:30 am- In between emails washed dishes, threw another load of laundry in, and vacuumed the house

10:30 am-Did call backs for work

11:15 am Completed financial aid application for Anya’s school

11:30 am Ran financial reports for work

11:45 am While reports were running made Anya’s lunch for the next day

12:00 pm Took more calls for work

12:30 pm- Finally got off call and ate a bowl of cereal

1:00 pm- Took a lunch break and prepared for my blog radio broadcast

1:30 pm- Did my broadcast on my #1 Tip for Avoiding Single Mom Burnout

2:00 pm- Back to work

2:50 pm- Got Anya’s ballet bag and snack ready

3:00 pm- Left to pick up Anya from school

3:15 pm- Got Anya in the car so we can get to ballet

3:30 pm- Stopped at Les Girls to get new ballet shoes and tights ($34!)

4:15 pm- Dropped Anya off at ballet

4:30 pm- Arrived home and continue working

5:15 pm- Prep dinner (baked chicken, sweet potatoes, and salad) and set the table

5:30 pm- Left the house to pick Anya up from ballet

6:00 pm- Stopped at CVS for Swedish Fish :)

6:30 pm- Sat down to dinner

7:15 pm- Helped Anya with her homework she had a lot!

8:40 pm – Washed dishes

8:50 pm- Started bedtime routine

9:15 pm- Put Anya to bed

9:30 pm -Showered

9:45 pm Climb into bed and read the bible

10:30 pm Off  to sleep!

grace2

Let Jesus Take You To Dry Land



John 6:16-21
1When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[a] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

My graduation present from high school was a cruise to Bermuda, it was wonderful except for the storm. I had no idea how severe it actually was and I’m sure my naivete was a blessing! I remember the waves being so high that they were actually crashing over and onto the ship. People were getting sick everywhere, and although I didn’t get ill I couldn’t even walk straight due to the rocking of the ship, when peered out of the circular porthole window of my cabin only the pitch black sea was visible. My mom became sick and my dad was nervously saying everything would be fine we just hit a small storm. Ah yeah right. After a restless night morning rolled in and all signs of the storm had vanished. Isn’t that how life’s storms sneak up on us? You’re just sitting on your boat in life drifting along and boom, first you hear thunder, crack then you see lightning the next thing you know the wind is blowing your boat is rocking and you’re in the midst of a full fledged storm!

Storms are scary because they seem endless. When we’re in the midst of them it feels like we’re drowning, flailing about gasping for air and looking for a dry safe place to dock at the time it seems impossible to find safety and gain a sense of well-being. Life is full of storms, sometimes it seems as soon as one ends another begins to stir up. Some of the storms may blow in quickly and leave us just as sudden at they arrive  while other storms feel like they rage on for months! When I read John 6:16-2, I imagined the disciples being thrown around like rag dolls on that small boat they were in, knowing how the waves rocked a huge cruise ship I can’t even imagine how they must of felt in their modest boat. I’m sure fear had gripped their hearts as the threat of drowning became more of a possibility. When we’re facing the storms in our own life I think it is that same anxiety that takes hold of us as we’re thrown around in life’s boat that aren’t confident of it’s durability. We recognize that regardless of how hard we try to row out of that storm the current keeps holding us in place or it teases us let’s our boat move forward so far giving us a s glimpse of hope only to mercilessly pulls us back into the eye of the storm. At some point you just hold on as tightly as you can and pray that you will make it to dry land.

Then out in the distance you see hope, a beacon of light and as it draws nearer there is a comfort that begins to surround you. A security that embraces you and your fears to begin to subside. Then just like that Jesus comes on your boat and the waters are still, finally you arrive on dry land. But, you have to be willing like the disciples were to welcome Jesus into your boat. When he reaches his hand out you have to take it in faith and know that he will calm the waters. Jesus wants to get on your boat, he will never let you drown, he may allow you to experience troubled waters, only so that your trials can be your testimony and bring glory to him. When I read this passage I’m struck at the last verse that says,”Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading,” the word immediately is used because that is how quick God acts in your life when he gets in the middle of your storm! It isn’t in a couple days it is immediately that he takes action. Yes, the storm may last for awhile, but when God acts in his time that storm will clear up and it will be as though there was never a drop of rain that fell on your precious head, that’s how God works if we are willing to trust in him and place our faith in his promise to us, that he will never forsake nor leave us. 

It isn’t about the storms we endure in life it is how we come through them. It is our response, our faith and our willingness to rely on God and know that he has the authority and power to halt any storm in the time he has appointed. We will face many storms in our life of all sized, but remember that the promise oh a rainbow is waiting for you at the other end. 

What in the World Have We Been Up To???

Here is a snapshot of what in the world we’ve been up to in this neck of the woods!

I took a lot of small road trips, one of those included us going home to Pittsburgh for 2 weeks! Don’t you love the beauty that God creates? I almost had to pull over and just stare at this piece of heaven.

 
We had a lot of fun with my mom and brother at the drive in!
 
 
Anya and her babies had a great time sleeping over grams!
 
 
I took walks and reminisced on my hometown and took some time to take in a little natural beauty!
I enjoyed watching Anya use her imagination! That is a homemade carseat!
 
I took a totally impromptu one day trip to the beach with my chica Christina. I decided I needed to be by the ocean and just drove. Isn’t that the best way to go!
 
 
We attended Vacation Bible School!! Anya had a ball! So blessed to have a wonderful church family!
 
I made signs for the Fun Day at VBS
 
Anya went to 2 summer camps one for theater. This is the pic for the 1st day and now she is in cheer/acrobat/gymnastics camp
 
We sat on the pier on a beautiful day in Annapolis
 
 
I smiled because I have the most special girl in the whole wide world

 
 In other news, I got chosen to be on the blogger crew for DOLPHIN TALE 2 so you guys are going have some cool opportunities to receive some giveaways! I will also be doing a review of a new Veggie Tales movie thanks to Grace Hill Media, and some other pretty cool opportunities. I’m starting to think long and hard about what God’s will is for me and praying for direction on how to really serve him. So, that’s it in a nutshell, there is so much more, but hey this is getting long right? So, until the next time!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Little Snapshot Of Anya’s Life in May

We had an after church treat
Anya had Madeline Day at School

Anya prepared for her ballet recital

She created a cupcake out of gelatin :)

We celebrated Mother’s Day

My mom and dad (in the back) came from Pittsburgh to Grandparents Day at school

Anya recited poetry flawlessly at her Medieval Festival at school

Muffins were made for 2 school events

There were 2 tea parties one at school and one with a friend (not all the china survived)

She smile alot

We took an impromptu trip to surprise my mom in Pittsburgh on Memorial Day

A Sunny Saturday in Annapolis!

If you live on the east coast I hope you had some sunshine this weekend after the ton of snow that came down last week. Yesterday, I was determined to soak up the sun and go to Annapolis, MD. It is only a half an hour drive from me and it is such a cute cobblestone town. Although known for the Naval Academy and historical sites, it is also a charming town with tons of cute stores, restaurants and you can sit on the docks. I walked, ate a great sushi lunch, bought ice cream and enjoyed the sun by the water. I wish I had taken more pictures, but my phone died. So here is a small glimpse into my Saturday.

This is Main Street which is lined with cute stores and restaurants, it leads all the way to the docks.

Isn’t this a pretty sight?

I was so happy to see flowers on a sunny day!!

 
Don’t you love these fabrics? And look at the price!

 
How cool are these cuffs?
 
 
My favorite part of the day was buying roses for $5 and waking up to them on my nightstand today!
 
Thankful for a happy, sunny Saturday in Annapolis!!
 

 

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Eight Year Old!!

This weekend I celebrated my daughter’s 8th birthday! Wow 8 years, I can’t believe it! This year instead of throwing the big party I decided to forgo the pony (that was her 6th birthday) and goody bags and instead share an experience and have an adventure so I…

Booked a Trip!

To…

This was her face when I told her where we were going…

Yes, I planned a 4 day getaway and wanted to leave my heart in San Francisco. It was going to be perfect! One of my best friends lives about 15 minutes outside of the city so we would see her, along with going up to Monterrey and Carmel and doing a ton of other fun things. So we were packed and ready to go, I even had a hotel booked by the airport so I didn’t have to worry about driving to BWI at the crack of dawn and then it happened….

There was a SNOW STORM!!!!! I checked the weather I swear I did!! We drove through the snow and arrived at the hotel and decided to be positive!

We enjoyed the suite we booked, ate dinner and acted silly after all it was  just a little snow right? WRONG!

It was a total MESS! Our flight was cancelled several times and eventually I knew we weren’t getting out. Instead of leaving my heart in San Francisco my heart was breaking in Baltimore. At one point I had to just go in the bathroom and have a good cry. It was such a letdown and it was my sweet girl’s present. I was so mad at myself for not planning better. But, realistically I knew I couldn’t fight or control the snow. After my breakdown I got it together and made a decision that we would celebrate with the ones we loved and make lemons out of lemonade. This was going to be the Hap hap happiest birthday ever!!Snow be darned!! Nothing stands in the way of a momma and her baby’s birthday!

Anya handled way better than I expected and we booked another trip in 2 weeks, which was actually cheaper and a better deal. Then we drove off to Pittsburgh after staying another night in the hotel and having a fabulous dinner.

So we landed in Pittsburgh which was our first plan in the beginning! Funny how we make plans and God has something else in store for us. Anya was surrounded by her grandparents, uncle and our close family friend Hannah who she absolutely adores. Her birthday was special regardless of the missed trip.

What do you do in Pittsburgh in February??? Bury your child in snow of course! Along with an epic snowball battle!

She went to a car show with my family that she loved and my awesome brother bought her this lovely impromptu cake :)

Before the cake in the morning was a cupcake and a happy girl!

Then we sang Happy Birthday to her and she had the biggest smile ever!

We didn’t leave our heart in San Francisco but our hearts were exactly in the right place. I realized that  family is the experience that matters most and everything else like trips and parties are just the icing on the cake. I had so much to be thankful for, first there is Anya who adds so much color to my world, then my wonderful family who loves us both to the moon, and the so many other things we’re blessed with like a home, friends, a good school, a car, our safety, and just being alive and healthy! I could be in a box and every year that I see Anya grow I will thank God for it and just be present. I’m so blessed that 8 years ago this amazing and incredible gift entered my life! Happy Birthday to Anya who has my heart!!!!