Friday Five

Friday Five Love #H54F
Our 2012 Christmas Tree. No fancy themes. We have a tradition of buying an ornament when we go to new places together for our souvenir. Decorating our tree is always my favorite because it reminds me of all the wonderful memories we have made together so far. #ChristmasSpirit
The newest addition to our Xmas decor from our trip to Valley View Farms. Have you been? It's kinda amazing there. Now I just need a UMD one! #GoRavens
I saw this A Christmas Story theme light while driving through Hampden. I can not wait to do the Christmas Lights tour with the Hubby when he is done finals! #Wifeofa2L 
I finally used a great stocking stuffer from the Hubby last year - a Warm Cream Manicure at Red Door Spa. I chose Essie's Head Mistress and I love it! #StockingStufferIdeas
And last but certainly not least - I went to the YHL Living Social Event in DC with Sarah from Happily Ever After: The Next Chapter. I totally geeked out in front of John and Sherry talking to them about how they inspired me to buy a Karl of my own and ORB his feet. More detailed post to come! #NerdAlert #YHLFan
What's your Friday Five? Link up here.


The Hubby's Birthday Cake

We had a lovely family birthday dinner for the Hubby this year hosted by his sister and her husband.  I was asked to bring a birthday cake. Usually the entire family relies on Graul's for birthday cakes since they're always amazing but I wanted to try my hand at baking my own. I have never baked a cake before so it was definitely on my bucket list. What can I say - my our new Kitchenaid makes me want to bake - all.the.time.  So I was really excited for another excuse to use it. 
I asked the Hubby what kind of cake he wanted and his response was a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Not too daunting, right? I searched online for a recipe and decided on this birthday cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it did not disappoint. I used this easy chocolate fudge for the icing and it was the perfect amount of sweet.

I had a slight mishap when I took one of the layers out of the pan to cool...it totally broke in half. But it worked out fine. I just made it the bottom layer and the icing held everything together so no one could tell. I iced this cake maybe five minutes before we left our house. Next time I would cut the top off both layers to make them lie flat. It looked a little topsy turvy but that's okay for a first attempt. #AliceInWonderland. What's important is that the Hubby loved it and said he wants it again next year! Yay!

Now I just need to invest in a large cake stand with a dome and a cake carrier (like this or this)! #ChristmasHints


 (Side Note: I've made a ridiculous amount of cookies with our Kitchenaid including these and these. I highly recommend both.)


Rock the Vote

Hours of sleep last night: 5
Temperature outside this morning: 30
Hours to commute to/from work: 3
Having the good fortune to live in a Democratic country: Priceless

No matter what your political party is - Go to your local polling place today and Vote!



Friday Five

Things have been a little hectic lately but at least I still have time for some Friday Five Love! #H54F

The Hubby and I went to the MD Homecoming Game on Saturday.  We had a great time tailgating with my parents and DG sisters before the game which made up for the heartbreaking loss -Billy Cundiff style. On a somewhat related note- I really enjoyed the Mighty Sound of Maryland at half time. They were playing the theme song to Harry Potter in this pic. Can you see the "HP"? #HarryPotterFan4Life

I walked by the White House on my way to a meeting on Monday morning. Sometimes I forget and take for granted how cool it is to work in our nation's capital. #DCLove

Apparently I wear the same perfume as Lauren Conrad. I thought that was kinda cool since I'm an LC fan. Can't wait to get her new book, Beauty!  I have been getting behind on my reading list lately. I'm reading two heavy books and they are proving tough to read after a long day of work. Especially since I'm trying to actually take in and register the messages. I think I need to take a break with a fluffy book. Maybe I'll actually start my book club book, Gone Girl.

Obsessed with Taylor Swift's New CD! I even went to Target aka Tarjay (as if that's a hardship for me) to get the Deluxe Edition. #Red  

I am Charleston bound for a wedding this weekend! Congrats to the happy couple! Can't wait to celebrate with you both! #Bridesmaid

What's your Friday Five? Link up here.



Wish List

This is what I've been lusting over lately...

I really want to get the Frye Paige Tall Riding Boots in Cognac. Then I want to save up for a pair of black ones. It's so tough to find classic leather riding boots for wide calfs that don't look weird.

TOMS Polarized Beach Master- a Classic and a Great Cause!
I'm also liking their aviators...

Lilly Pulitzer Murfee Scarf in "Hotty Pink Maryland". I also want the Junior League one!

I've wanted the Burberry Mid-Length Cotton Trench ever since I entered into the professional work force. One day...

I really want to learn how to take great pictures before we have kids. The Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR would be amazing. And maybe throw in a photography class and this book too.

I really need a new weekender bag. I'm thinking the Vera Bradley Large Duffel in Summer Cottage or Ellie Blue.  I think I'm the last preppy girl who doesn't have one...

David Yurman Champagne Citrine Noblesse Ring. I've always wanted one.

Dogeared "Reminder-Faith" Pendant Necklace in Gold. It's simple and delicate.

I could also really use one of these...

What's on your wish list?



Friday Five

It's another From My Grey Desk's High Five for Friday Weekly Link Party! #H54F

My first pumpkin pie of the season. I made the pie dough using this recipe and the filling using this recipe. Had to bake it for 70 minutes for it to fully set in the center (despite the directions saying 50 minutes). I also made the  Bourbon-Maple Whipped Cream from this recipe. It was crazy good.

My Fall nail color line up. I currently have Bahama Mama on my fingers and Devil's Advocate on my toes.  I'm thinking Chinchilly for next week.

I've been listening to Taylor's new singles all week at work. Can't wait for her album release Monday!

Knowledge is power and fun! #DebateDrinking #Debates #RocktheVote #Election2012BeInformed

My new glasses. #4Eyes #KateSpade
Speaking of Kate Spade - They're having their Friends & Family Sale Now until Sunday, October 21st. Enjoy 30% off using Code: F12FFUS

What's your Friday Five?



Friday Five

It's another "High Five for Friday" link up with From My Grey Desk.

My Tuesday Pumpkin Spice Latte with my (trendy?) Essie "Midnight Cami" manicure.

A little happy hour fun at Bar Louie. #OktoberfestBrews

Some Penn Station Love. Game 5 tonight! Let's Go O's! #O'sMagic

The amazing changing room at the new Lilly Pulitzer Store in the Towson Town Center
Isn't this a cute idea to decorate a kids room or playroom? #LillyLove

Homemade Mac and Cheese brought in by my friend at work. #Mac&Cheese4Breakfast #Yum

What's your Friday Five?



The Name Change Process

Are you recently married? Is the prospect of changing your name too overwhelming? I have already been through the name change process and I put together a little step by step to help you figure it out. This all started because I was the first of my group of friends to get married.  I was the name change guinea pig. Soon after, a newly engaged friend asked me for help with the name change process. I wrote a very long email to her on what to do. The email has since been forwarded numerous times and sent to other friends so I thought it would be helpful if I shared it with everyone. Who knows? Maybe it'll help you on your name change journey too!

Changing your name is a big pain but it’s definitely worth it. Bear with me because this post is going to be really long (like the original email). This is not an overnight process so don’t get overwhelmed. This took me about 2 months and I still find random things I need to update. Try and keep records of everything if you can. Make sure you set aside some money in your new family budget for all the fees associated with this process.

A quick note about going on international honeymoons before you legally change your name - make sure your ticket information is in your maiden name (like your passport). It will create a huge hassle for you if it isn’t. And keep in mind you will have to fill out all the Customs documents separately from your husband because you still technically have different names.

Now let’s get started:

(1.) First things first you need to decide what your new full name will be. Your last names hyphened? Dropping your middle name and making your last name your middle name? Dropping your last name all together? To each his own! But definitely make your final decision and stick with it across the board.

(2.) Order extra certified copies of your marriage certificate for agencies that require originals before allowing you to change your name on documents, such as the department of motor vehicles. I bought 4 copies. I kept one in my purse with me for a few months after the wedding just in case and put one in our safety deposit box and used the other two for the name change process (the agencies that need originals). Some places require to keep and/or make a copy of the certified copy and some will allow you to send or give copies of the certified copy. Definitely read the requirements for each application carefully. I just went to the Annapolis Court House to get my certified copies but you can also order them online but they are more expensive then getting them in person. Here is the website.* I also made a few copies of the copies and kept them on hand.

(3.) Your next step is to request a new Social Security card. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website to obtain forms and instructions. You must do this first after your get your certified copies. You can’t get a new driver’s license reflecting your new name until you have the new social security card in hand (I made that mistake and wasted my time at the MVA).

(4.) Make an appointment to visit the department of motor vehicles for a new driver's license. Here is the Maryland MVA website.* Ask in advance which documents you'll need to bring in order to certify the validity of your name change (old license, certified copy of marriage certificate, social security card, and birth certificate). Now that you have your new social security card, driver’s license and certified copies of your marriage license- the rest of the steps can be done in any order really. I did try to list them on level on importance.

(5.) Obtain and complete a Passport Amendment/Validation Application (Form DS-11). Send this along with appropriate fees, your current passport(s), and a certified documentation of your name change (such as a certified copy of a marriage certificate or court papers) to the nearest passport agency.

(6.) Update your bank account(s) and savings account(s) information. I had to go in to my bank and provide a copy of my marriage license for them to update my account. Order replacements for checks, business cards, credit cards and other documents that contain your old name. Make sure you update the companies on your new address if applicable. Make sure you have a discussion with your hubby about your banking plan, i.e. separate accounts, one joint account, or separate and joint accounts. It will make the process a lot easier. If you switch to one joint account, make sure you switch over all your automatic withdrawal accounts. Keep your separate account open with a $ buffer until you’re 110% positive everything has been transferred correctly.

(7.) Call employers and schools (if you are a student) to let them know your new name, and ask them to change it in their records. This is particularly important so that they update your federal and state tax documents. You should also update your beneficiary forms. Getting HR to change my name at my work was a huge pain and I really hope you have an easier process than I’ve had. I keep a scanned copy our marriage license in my Gmail account so it’s always accessible from a computer or my phone.

(8.) Change your name on your car registration (fee & application info on MVA website). Change your name with your health, dental, vision, car, homebuyer/renters insurance (make sure you let them know you’re married- your rates may drop!) and mortgage/leasing companies. Talk to your hubby about combining and changing your health, dental, and vision insurance to family plans. Your rates will usually drop. Most companies require a “qualifying life event” to change our insurance plan and marriage is considered one of them but again you’ll need the certified copy of your marriage license.

(9.) Contact the post office, utility companies (BGE, cable, etc.), cell phone company, and registrar of voters* (you may have the option to do this on your driver’s license application) and any companies that bill you- such as magazines about your name and address change. Combining your cell phone contracts can sometimes save you $ too.

(10.) Update any online accounts you have set up- EBay, PayPal, Amazon, etc. Some will require a phone call or even a fax of a certified copy of your marriage license. Make sure you change your mailing address! Another thing people don’t think of right away is their frequent flier programs or hotel cards. So that’s a good thing to get updated when you have free time.

Just remember this is not an overnight process. Do not get overwhelmed. It will all be worth it!

Best Wishes,

*This may vary by state.


Link Love

HOLY DISCOUNT! You can still register for the Junior League of Baltimore Commit to Fit 5K this Sunday! Register here and take advantage of the discount! Or show up and pay $30 for day of registration.

Feeling inspired by this sea glass.

One of the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen.

Nautical pumpkin inspiration.

Great post about sweeteners.

I want some of these to liven up our living room. I can't seem to keep any real plants alive... I even managed to kill an aloe plant. Who does that?!?

These would make a beautiful fall tablescape.

Thank you to DreamsAshore for introducing me to this awesome preptastic site.

Is white really okay after labor day?

Love this sentimental idea.

Glam Grab Giveaway!

Please pass the maple syrup! Another great giveaway!

Pumpkin recipes make me happy :-)



Friday Five

The view from below at Rock's State Park where we went rock climbing on Sunday.

Pic my friend texted me. Made me laugh cuz it's so true for me.

Complimentary ice cream from Woodberry Kitchen for our Anniversary: fresh cream, malt, & grape sherbert. Delish!

Flowers from the Hubby and anniversary cards.

This is where I'm 99% sure my dog, Bleu, is all day while I'm at work.

Do you have a Friday Five? Join the link up here!


Friday Favorite Quote

On Marital Advice,

"Tell your husband you're willing to be an expert in one room of the house, and let's see if he picks the kitchen."

Quote found here.



The Count Down Begins!

Only 10 days until the Junior League of Baltimore's First Annual Commit to Fit 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk! Have you registered yet? Hope to see you there!




Happy Anniversary to my Hubby! It has been a wonderful three years together and I wouldn't change a thing. You are my best friend and I love you with all my heart.



Friday Favorite Quote

“There’s something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else’s site. It’s like visiting a friend’s house for a quick meal ’round the breakfast table. It’s personal — you’re in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting.”
Trent Walton

Found on Cup of Joe here. Originally from here.


Our New Addition

...Totally not what you're thinking!

picture by me via instagram

I'm so excited to introduce you to the newest addition to our kitchen! Gotta love early wedding anniversary gifts! The KitchenAid Artisan mixer was on our wedding registry four years ago but sadly did not make it into our home until yesterday. Boy is she worth the wait! I chose white because I'm obsessed with white kitchens so this will fit perfectly into my dream kitchen. Now I just need to decide what recipe to make with it first... I'm thinking this for brunch on Sunday.  Any great recipe suggestions?



JLB Commit to Fit 5K

Want to shed some lbs and support a great cause in the process?

As part of the Junior League of Baltimore, Inc.’s focus on healthy lifestyles and preventing childhood obesity, they will launch the first “Commit to Fit 5K,” on Sunday, October 7, 2012
at the Hunt Valley Towne Center (near Wegmans)

Not a fan of Running? There is also a One Mile Fun Walk! 

Register HERE       
The entry fees are $30 for the 5K Race and $15 for the 1 mile Walk.

Groove Commerce is a sponsor of the JLB5K.  Raffle items will be distributed at the Post-Race Festival. 

There will be prizes for:

Top 3 overall male and female runners
Top 3 male and female runners in designated age groups.

Be sure to follow the Junior League of Baltimore on Twitter @JLBaltimore #Commit2Fit #JLB5K and Like us on Facebook! We have an event page here.

Hope to see you there!



Link Love

Came home to this. Yum!

So glad it's back.

What are you doing Sunday, October 7th?
Register for the JLB Commit to Fit 5K here! #JLB5K

We will be celebrating our 3rd too.

My latest workout method.

Sip, Savor, Shop Event at Towson Town Center.

So happy for them :-)

Sarah's "My First Place" Viewing Party.

Best recipe website I've found in a long time. Plus it includes WW points!

Lilly Pulitzer Clutch Giveaway!

The Fall Boutique Warehouse Sale is Coming!

My new guilty pleasure.

HBO seasons are too short. I miss this show and this show.  

DMB on Sirius?! Can't wait for this!

Can't believe I'm getting one of these! BEST. SALE. EVER!

Have a lovely weekend!



Happy Long Labor Day Weekend!

What are your plans for this Labor Day weekend? I will shopping the sales, hanging out at Pratt Street Ale House watching the Baltimore Grand Prix, visiting the MD State Fair with the Hubby, and BBQing with the fam this weekend.  Can you believe it's already September?




 Sorry I have been MIA this summer. I have been enjoying some quality time with the Hubby before 2L begins.  School started back up last week and we are getting back into the swing of things.  I will be posting soon with a picture re-cap of my summer including my trips to New York, Michigan, and Maine. The picture above was a surprise from the Hubby from our last night of summer date.  Hope you all have had a wonderful summer!



Death of 1L

As of 4:00 pm today my Hubby finished his last final.
We officially survived 1L!


Friday Favorite Quote

"For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born."
Alice Freeman Palmer

Happy Easter Weekend Everyone!


Link Love

Gretchen Scott Giveaway!

I need to get this tie for the hubby.

100 years?!? Let's celebrate!


Obsessed with this new app.

New food blog. This one too!

Is it time for summer beverages yet?

My birthday gifts: this, this, and this. Love them all! Plus a new colorblocking outfit using this in Lemon Zest and this in Neon Azalea!

Check out the Restricted Trailor for Ted on YouTube. It's hilarious. The Hubby and I can't wait to go see it!

I'm going to see this movie on Friday!

A healthy twist on buffalo wings- and Hubby approved too! Recipe found here, originally from here.

You can save me anytime. #justsayin

Even though I've been married almost three years... I still want one of these.

Hilarious! I laughed out loud at my desk... #youhavebeenwarned


Friday Favorite Quote

 "The brave men did not kill dragons. The brave men rode them."
Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones

I am so excited for the Season 2 Premier of Game of Thrones this Sunday!  
Will you be watching? Here's a Season 1 refresher if you need it!


Hunger Games Name Generator

How cool is this? My name is Theta Vipointe. What's yours?
So excited the movie is finally out!

P.S. I finally saw the movie and I loved it! The book is better but it was really really good. Definitely worth seeing in theatres. I can't wait for the next movie to come out!