To Do In Baltimore: The Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre

I am so happy for this warm Maryland weather. It seemed like winter was holding on for dear life, but she is gone! Warm weather means sundress season, beaches, and amusement parks. For our family, it also means drive-in season!  Continue reading “To Do In Baltimore: The Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre”

My New Obsession, Blitsy!

I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I am a DIY/crafty type of girl. My favorite crafts are crocheting, scrapbooking, and sewing. Most recently, I have fallen in love with glam planning. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it, so you know it’s real. Continue reading “My New Obsession, Blitsy!”

Eat This: Potbelly Sandwich Shop

via Seamless.com
via Seamless.com

What can be said about this AWESOME sandwich shop? The food is delicious, the atmosphere is one of a kind, and the shop itself is a hybrid of Subway, a swanky coffee house, and Soda Jerks on the Santa Monica Pier. Magically, this hybrid works!

Jon and I...boo-luvin' during our last Potbelly visit.
Jon and I…boo-luvin’ during our last Potbelly visit.

 

Jon and I have loved Potbelly for as long as we have loved each other. Side story: Jon and I are foodies, but moreso when we were dating and not eating as healthy as we do now. My mom, sister and friend all had a game where they would guess restaurants/eateries Jon and I hadn’t visited. One of those places was Potbelly’s. So during an Ikea trip (I was still in college at the time), Jon and I decided to have lunch at the Potbelly next door. It was love at first bite! Since a location has opened closer to our home, we have been frequent visitors.

Here’s what I love so much about Potbelly:

  • The simplicity of it all– The sandwiches on the menu have set recipes, which the employees know well (unlike Subway’s, but that’s another story). While there is a rumored secret menu, everything is pretty basic. Make no mistake, though. The sandwiches are not basic in the flavor department. There are also vegan/vegetarian options that I have never tried! Someone would have to let me know about those.
  • The simplicity of it all- Yes, this is here again. The way the line works is pretty cool and easy. Everything is in reach as you walk through the line. Since there’s no glass to see which condiments are available, Potbelly has lists throughout the line.
  • Live music– I’ve heard about this since my first Potbelly experience, but I experienced it just recently. There was a guy who did an awesome cover of Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane (aka the soundtrack of my high school years…no, really). Artists sign up for a spot and can perform for tips.
  • You can figure out calories…at home– I’ve done this so many times! It allows me to eat what I want–without going over my daily calorie allowance. Everyone knows bad decisions are made when there was no preparation for them. You can avoid in-line decision making with this cool feature.
  • You can order and/or eat at home– Potbelly makes it easy to place orders from home–and even get your food delivered (at participating locations).

 

I would highly suggest Potbelly for your occasional sandwich! I usually order a turkey breast sandwich on multigrain bread with mustard, lettuce and tomato. If you have a Potbelly favorite, let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Getaway: Founders Inn & Spa

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Last weekend, Jon and I took a last-minute trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Having attended Hampton University, Jon is pretty familiar with that area–as a resident. When it comes to booking hotel stays down there, (or anywhere else, really) the task is left to me. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I ALWAYS get a good deal on hotels. In a future post, I’ll give a full explanation of my process. For now, I’ll just let you know how I landed such a great deal and my thoughts on the accommodations.

First, (for those of you who don’t have pets) traveling with or without your pet is hard! You have to decide if it’s cheaper to board your dog or just bring her along for the ride. Since we were only staying overnight, we decided to just bring Phoebe with us. Once you make that decision, your choices for affordable lodging becomes more narrow. Such was our case.

As I said before, I go through a long process before selecting accommodations. I ended up booking through Priceline’s Name Your Own Price (NYOP) tool. I put $50 as my max and set a filter for three-star hotels (Hyatt, Four Points, Marriott Courtyard etc.) or better. I also set a filter for pet-friendly hotels. If you’re unfamiliar with NYOP, you cannot see the hotel you’re booking until the transaction is completed. The seconds before you submit your credit card information is always scary. I was relieved to have gotten a room at Founders Inn. My sorority held a retreat there a few years back, so I knew it had to be great–and it was. I just wish we had more opportunity to explore.

What I liked: 

Pet-Friendly atmosphere: They went a little further than just allowing pets to stay. There’s a large pet area that is adjacent to the rooms. They even provide poop bags! That was great

Rooms were separate from check-in: This is something I loved about Las Vegas hotels. It was nice to see the rooms were in another building…away from the check-in/lobby, event rooms. When you’ve been to conferences and trade shows, you know how easily “conference noise” can find its way to your room. This was not a problem at all.

Walking distance to several necessity shops: There was a 7-11, Waffle House, and Chinese restaurant across the intersection (among other things).

Homey feeling: When you enter the room, you feel like you’re at home. There were beautiful quilts on the bed. The bed also embraces you. This is something my husband and I particularly loved. Oh, and the shower. My goodness! I almost didn’t want to leave!

Things that were awesome, but I didn’t get a chance to experience: The spa, hence the name. The two restaurants. The indoor pool. The landscape. We didn’t really plan to do anything but rest at the hotel, so we didn’t plan accordingly. No worries, though. We’ll be back.

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My Favorite Plant/Vegetable-Based Bath Buddies

When it comes to bathing, I am very particular about what I use. First, I need to get clean (that’s the point of using soap). Next, I need to feel clean (i.e. no soapy residue) once I’m out of the shower/bath. It wouldn’t hurt if the soap served a dual purpose. Finally, I like my soap to be free of animal by-products and harsh chemicals. Since I’ve been concerned about these things for a while, I decided to share a few of my favorites.

 

Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap

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Why I love it: The smell. The way it leaves my skin squeaky clean. The tingle. The many uses. The writing on the bottle (seriously, you have to read it).

How I use it: Body wash, bubble bath, shampoo, face wash, household cleanser

Where I purchase: Whole Foods seems to have the best deal. You can get a family sized bottle for $9.00. Target sells a smaller bottle for the same price. However, Target also sells travel sized bottles for $1.99!

 

Allafia Unscented African Black Soap

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Why I love it: It’s non-drying. It clears my skin so well. It’s inexpensive. It’s made from plantain leaves!

How I use it: Face wash (although it can be used on the hair and body, too).

Where I purchase: I purchased my bar at Wegman’s for $2.99. Actually, Wegman’s has a great selection of vegetable based soaps for $2.99

 

Nubian Hertiage’s Coconut & Papaya Soap

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Why I love it: The coconut oil moisturizes well. It smells delicious. It’s inexpensive. There is a matching lotion!

How I use it: Body soap

Where I purchase: I purchased my bar at Wegman’s for $2.99. As stated above, Wegman’s has a great selection of vegetable based soaps for $2.99.

 

Biggs and Featherbelle’s Handle Bar (lavender, tea tree, and rosemary essential oils)

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Why I love it: The aroma is AMAZING. It helps to clear my ugly bacne. It has antifungal and antiseptic agents. It’s made by sisters!

How I use it: As a body soap for my evening showers. The lavender is so soothing.

Where I purchase: I purchased my bar at a kiosk in Wegman’s for $3.99.

 

Biggs and Featherbelle’s Barmore (spearmint, tea tree, and lemongrass essential oils)

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Sorry, no picture of this awesome bar. Imagine Handlebar in orange!

Why I love it: The aroma takes over the entire bathroom. my husband likes the scent. It makes a luscious lather. It’s made by sisters!

How I use it: As a “wake me up” body soap for my morning showers.

Where I purchase: I purchased my bar at a kiosk in Wegman’s for $3.99.

 

Lush’s FUN

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Why I love it: The name says it all…soap I can mold like Play Doh? I love it. The selection of scents is great. It is a great air freshener when not in use. It’s made fresh!

How I use it: As a body soap. I can crumble some in the tub for suds, scrub a piece with my bath poof, and mold tiny unicorns.

Where I purchase: I purchase directly from the Lush store, where you may find more discounts.

 

Lush’s Honey Bee Bath Bomb

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Why I love it: The aroma always reminds me of my honeymoon. It tints the water and makes it very aromatic. It is made fresh. It can serve as a bathroom air freshener before use.

How I use it: I drop one in the tub for a soothing bath, complete with unscented candles.

Where I purchase: I purchase directly from the Lush store. If you don’t have a store in your area, order online.

 

Trial Run: Sammy Dress and Dress Link Pt. 2

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I took a lot of time getting around to this post, for which I apologize! I received my orders from China in the beginning of this month (which wasn’t a super long wait for delivery). The first package to arrive was my Dress Link items, followed by the Sammy Dress stuff.

I would say I expected to get lesser quality items, but the Dress Link items were a slightly lower quality than expected. If you remember from my previous post, I ordered the yellow and tan blouse, music note ring, and a black bikini. All of the items look just like the pictures, which is awesome. It’s just the quality that is a bit sucky.  The bikini is cute, but the boob support is not going to work for me, for one. Additionally, the lining in the bikini top is not waterproof. It’s comparable to the lining you may see in a costume bustier. I wouldn’t get wet in it, but I’d wear it to a swim-free pool party (yes, those exist). The blouse was super thin, but still cute. Since it’s long enough, I plan to repurpose it as a beach coverup. The quality is just too flimsy to wear as an actual shirt. Finally, the ring was perfect. Then again, you can’t really go wrong with costume jewelry. It is what it is.

As for the Sammy Dress items, I was in love! Everything had a great quality. I ordered a pink and gray striped shirt that is made from the softest fabric! When I wore it, I didn’t want to take it off! I also ordered a scarf from Sammy Dress and it was also of great quality. It’s just as good as a scarf I would get from Target. It’s thick and large enough to wrap my neck a few times, so I am happy.

Overall, I had a great experience with both sites. I would suggest both sites, but use caution for Dress Link. Stay away from any sheer fabric because it probably won’t be what you want. Since the prices are so low, you probably won’t get mad if the product isn’t what you expected.

Trial Run: SammyDress.com and DressLink.com Pt. 1

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On days like today, I watch a lot of YouTube videos. While watching GlamTwinz334and Ms. Shopaholic Diaries, I learned about Sammy Dress and Dress Link.
Simply put, they are Asian wholesale distributors. They have trendy clothes for very low prices. From the pictures, it seems like the quality of their clothes depends on the item. Some items appear to be Forever 21 quality, while others are more like Rainbow or D.E.B. Nothing seems to be superior quality, though. However, it seems like Dress Link had a better quality overall.In terms of the online shopping experience, I liked Dress Link better overall. It’s not that Sammy Dress was bad, but checkout at Dress Link was a bit more detailed. Sammy Dress has MANY more options, though. Should everything go well, I will probably purchase from Sammy Dress first—just because they have a lot of items. In addition to clothing, Sammy Dress also sells makeup, makeup tools, home goods, toys etc. Dress Link seems to focus on clothing, which is perfectly fine.

Well, since there were some bad reviews for both (in which people said these sites were scams), I was a bit skeptical. I spent time reading lots of reviews before placing my order. I decided to get only a few things from each site to test the water. Since I wasn’t in a rush to get these items, I used Chinese post for shipping. Both packages should arrive between 7-25 days, which is right on target for international parcels. When they arrive, I’ll be posting part two. Stay tuned!

Here’s what I ordered:

Sammy Dress

Dress Link