Tuesday, June 19, 2018

OLD BAY Day Baby!!

This post is sponsored by McCormick, all views and experiences are 100% mine and mine alone, please enjoy the post and feel free to comment with your thoughts 

Baltimore Summers 
& OLD BAY Go Hand In Hand!!


(For more info on Old Bay Seasoning check out their website https://www.mccormick.com/old-bay)

There's nothing better than a good ole' fashion summer cookout, as long as I can remember it's just something we have always done. When I was a kid my grandfather had a boat slip off of Fort Smallwood Road, in Pasadena MD. All summer my brother Jason, and I spent the days with PaPaw down at the boatyard fishing, catching crabs, and swimming in the Chesapeake Bay. We also had all kinds of fun summer cookouts and get togethers, with family and friends, and there was always good food. I specifically remember the yummy burgers and fries, steamed crabs, soft shell crab sandwiches, chicken skewers, and much much more. Each one of these yummy dishes were flavored or seasoned with OLD BAY, it was always a staple at any summer activity where food was involved. One of my absolute faves was the OLD BAY Burger, I have a recipe that has been in our family for what seems like forever. With today being the first annual OLD BAY Day, I just had to share it with you guys, it's absolutely amazing and super easy to make. 

Make sure you follow OLD BAY Seasoning for great recipes and updates!!


OLD BAY BURGER RECIPE!

Ingredients: 
1. 1.5 lbs of Ground Beef
2. 1 Small diced onion 
3. 1 Egg lightly whisked 
4. 3 Tablespoons of OLD BAY seasoning 
5. 3 Tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
6. 1/2 Teaspoon of mustard
7. 1/2 Teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
6. Sesame seed buns 
7. For serving you will need some freshly sliced beefsteak tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and Amercian cheese. 

Directions:
1. Combine the ingredients for the patties into a bowl, do not over mix. 
2. Separate the mixture evenly into 6 patties. 
3. Get the grill heated up to high, then place the burgers on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until you have beautiful grill marks, or until thoroughly cooked.

Serve them on big, soft, sesame seed buns with desired toppings. I just love lettuce, tomato and mayo, it always goes amazing with that OLD BAY flavor. Have you ever had an OLD BAY Burger? Now that I think about it,  they would make fabulous sliders as well, all you would have to do is portion them into smaller sizes. I think 12 would be the perfect number, which would work perfectly as a great group appetizer. There is also a great OLD BAY seasoned jerk chicken dish, it comes smothered in fresh mango salsa, with a side of honey mustard sauce for dipping. That's another amazing recipe that i'll definitely have to get and share with you guys. Today we did attended a great little shore side event that really brought back some memories of the old days, and all those amazing tasting recipes that went with them. All day I felt like I was in a time machine, all of the boats, the sun and the salty smell of the bay. All the kids where swimming and playing on the beach, the moms where sipping fruity cocktails, and the dads where grilling and talking away. It's just that simple life that makes you feel content, I have to say it's the absolute best. 




As you can see once it was done I definitely couldn't resist the food, that's what I call real fun in the sun...lol! I've been working on a chicken cheese steak sub recipe, like the one you see above. The only difference with mine is it will be accompanied by some fresh cut, OLD BAY seasoned french fries, and they'll be the boardwalk style like you get in Ocean City, nice and thick. I haven't had fries like that in forever, so I'm really looking forward to it. Food like this just screams summer to me, especially when it's seasoned with OLD BAY! As you can see in the image below I got myself a sweet little drink to go with the burger, but usually I just order a Natty Bo because I find that beer usually goes better with a Bay Burger. I also think it would be even more amazing to stack a fried soft shell crab in between the bun and the burger itself. I'm super bummed I can't eat shellfish anymore because that idea would have for sure been made a reality. To be honest i miss the heck out of soft shell and steamed crabs, it's so weird how you can eat something your whole life than BAM one day you are just straight up allergic to it. 





To tone up the day and of course look cute and stay cool, I wore a fun little tunic top I scored from Anthropologie, and paired it with some ripped jeans from American Eagle Outfitters. Then I added my Wanted embroidered slip on sneakers. Turns out they match the top perfectly, I just love it when that happens. Especially when it's my absolute favorite pair of shoes, well second pair of them that is. I had another pair that Piper chewed all to heck, I begrudgingly bought another pair asap, I didn't want to take the chance that I wouldn't be able to get them again, so I ordered a second pair. Thank goodness they're only $50 or they would have been history. I accessorized with my Tory Burch sunnies, and my pink Apple watch band. All in all it was a great look that I'm so glad I didn't spill anything on. I say that because I spilled a burrito on a brand new white top that I wore "for the first time" to Hon Fest last weekend, needless to say I was super ticked off...lol!   




As you can see in the images above, we had a good group of people show up pier side. There was good music, good food and good company, and what's better than that? I hope your weekends where as great and you all had a wonderful Father's Day. Also if you have any good recipes please share them with me, i would love to see what you make taste great with OLD BAY seasoning, i think I may try a great grilled corn on the cob recipe as well, that sounds like it would taste good. 
Wow I have so many ideas that I would love to put in effect, I would also love to hear what you guys think of the Bay Burger, if you make them definitely comment below with your opinions. 
Enjoy the rest of your weekends and don't forget to help celebrate the first annual OLD BAY Day by entering the #OLDBAYOurWay photo contest for a chance to win an awesome summer supply of OLD BAY seasoning and swag! Just post a shot now through 7/18/18 of how you, your friends and family, use OLD BAY seasoning in your summer feasts, then add the #OLDBAYOurWay
Easy enough right? I can't wait to see your pictures, plus this should be an easy one since OLD BAY is iconic for delish summer dishes. 

Here's to the Fabulous Summer of 2018!!




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A New Restaurant & A GIVEAWAY!!

A New Baltimore Favorite!


About two weeks ago Rob and I discovered a great little restaurant called La Food Marketa, it's off of Green Spring not far from my house, I would say about 6-8 minutes away. The exact location is 2620 Quarry Lake Dr, Baltimore MD 21209, I'm also going to note the phone number because this place is always packed, and you definitely have to call ahead and make a reservation during the evening shift. We got there at 5pm and there were people already waiting for the doors to open, and i ish you not within 15 minutes the parking lot and ever seat in the restaurant were full.The phone number is: (410) 415-0606. What I did was make a reservation through OpenTable, it's a great little app that let's you make a reservation via your cellphone for just about any restaurant, anywhere. It's so convenient and it's also free, not to mention it will find you different types or restaurants in your immediate area. Incase you aren't familiar with the area, it's definitely come in handy for me many times over. La Food Marketa in particular is open for breakfast and lunch from 11am to 2pm, then they close for a couple hours, and re-open at 5pm to 9pm or 10pm, depending on what day of the week it is. Check out their website (La Food Marketa Website) for the exact hours of operation on what days. As you can see in the image above we started off with the chips and dip trio, it comes with queso, guacamole, and salsa, with the perfect tortilla chips, they're super thin and crispy, just how i like 'em. Rob really loved the queso cheese dip, it's one of his favorite Mexican appetizers as long as its the creamy kind. The type where they actually melt the cheese, then it gets hard and cold in like 5 minutes and turns into this thick, gooey ball and is no more good. We tend to stay away from that type, the consistency of the queso we like is more like nacho cheese.




I was super excited to find that they serve drinks, so I ordered myself a strawberry mojito to go with my chips and queso. WOW was it good!! We enjoyed the chips and dips for some time while we waited for our entrees. I ordered the Peruvian Fajitas and Rob got the Rockfish, needless to say we were both overly pleased with each dish. Mine as you can see below came with the Peruvian spiced chicken, some refried beans, rice, and a cabbage and onion mixture. Then the dish was topped with a delish and super flavorful sauce, sided with lime dip and a couple of soft warn tortillas. OMGoodness the entire dish was amazing, and the chicken was cooked to perfection, Rob said the same about his, and it's always super hard to please him where food is concerned because he is very pick. Happily he exclaimed how it was cooked just right so it was in turn very flaky. The fish itself as you can see in the picture sat atop a lovely little stew that he described as very flavorful.

(Peruvian Chicken Fajitas)


(Rockfish)

Let's just say that by the end of the meal we were both stuffed and happy as can be, I didn't even save room for desert which isn't like me. We will definitely be going back for more, as a matter of fact we have already been back once since this trip here. If you live in Maryland or DC even, it's definitely worth the trip to check out La Food Marketa, it's a great little atmosphere, and the staff is super nice, very helpful and on point. You can't ask any more from a restaurant, and to top it all off the price point is perfect. It's more than affordable, my only regret is that I didn't save room for dessert because they had some great choices. If you know of any good restaurants in the Baltimore area, or anywhere in Maryland for that matter, that you would love to see me review definitely let me know by commenting below. I'm always looking for good spots to share with everyone. You never know it may head up my next post, and I will definitely give you credit for the referral. 


Now for the #GIVEAWAY!!
Yup I have another giveaway for you guys, and this one you are going to love!!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS!!
~Yes it’s time for another out of this world 🌎 giveaway!~ 
I have teamed up with 12 other amazing bloggers to give one person the choice of 1 out of 3 amazing prizes. 
1. iPhone 8 - Rose Gold - 64gb
2. Or a Kate Spade Bag & Series 3 Apple Watch. 
3. Or a PayPal Cash Prize Option
The giveaway will run from 6/19/18 12pm est to 7/22/18 12am est. 
To enter just click on the below rafflecopter form and complete the many different tasks to double and triple your chances of winning many times over. 
You must be 18+ years of age and reside in the US, AUS & CANADA to win. The winner will be announced on the below rafflecopter form within 24hrs of the giveaway closing.
Thanks so much for following and Good Luck 🍀 to all!!



I can't wait to see who wins, also if you guys are ever interested in seeing the winner results, just check out the giveaway page here on the blog, all of the giveaways are listed there along with the winner's names in each Rafflecopter widget. I also post winner images on the Instagram giveaway page @stargazerloops1
Have a wonderful day and don't forget to follow Piper and I on social media!



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Dad & Mom GIVEAWAY!!



GIVEAWAY DETAILS!!
~Yes it’s time for another out of this world 🌎 giveaway!~ 
I have teamed up with 12 other amazing bloggers to give one person the choice of 1 out of 3 amazing prizes. 
1. Dad Prize - 65” 4K Smart TV & $100 Home Depot Gift Card
2. Mom Prize - $400 Nordstrom & $400 Target Gift Cards 
3. Or a $600 PayPal Cash Prize
The giveaway will run from 5/29/18 12 noon est to 7/2/18 at midnight est. 
To enter just click on the below rafflecopter form and complete the many different tasks to double and triple your chances of winning many times over. 
You must be 18+ years of age and reside in the US, AUS & CANADA to win. 
The winner will be announced on the below rafflecopter form within 24hrs of the giveaway closing.
Thanks so much for following and Good Luck 🍀 to all!!



Friday, May 11, 2018

Our Little Getaway!!

Our Staycation at Getaway House!!


Hello all it’s so good to be back with you again on this lovely Friday, I went to a really spectacular spot this past week, and I can't wait to share it with you guys. I had an amazing time little overnight trip, or clamping as they call it. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stay in a tiny house? I have, and many times over especially after I started watching that show on HGTV called Tiny House Hunters, and another one called: Going Tiny. I have seen them all hooked up and decorated in so many fantastic ways, and due to all of the unique and interesting little space saving ideas, they're full of so much character. I’m one of those people that is down to try anything new and fun, I guess I'm what you call very outgoing  Exploring something new is fun to me, so when I got my chance to spend the night in a Tiny House, best believe I took it. We went to a place called Getaway House in Stanardsville Virginia. Home to a family campground for over 2 decades, the site covers 80 acres of beautiful lush wooded landscape. They also have a location in Boston and New York. The Virginia location is about a 2.5 hour drive from my house in Randallstown MD, which is Baltimore County. I was really excited about going, Rob on the other hand wasn't so receptive. He has issues with his back which makes long drives tough for him, so as you can imagine I got a lot of complaints. As always I am the glass is half full, he is the glass is half empty, we're polar opposites on a lot of things. I guess this is why we make such a good couple, he evens me out in certain situations, and vise versa. I'm so glad to be able to say that once we arrived and he got a good look around his mind quickly changed. On the drive up we saw a lot of cool places that we made plans to hit up on the way back. It just wouldn’t be a travel post if I didn’t give you guys a taste of the immediate area. The whole property was tucked up in the woods making private and not to mention gorgeous. Each tiny house has 140 to 200 square foot of space inside and a name, yes I said each Tiny House has a name. I have to say I thought that was really interesting and quite cute, it adds a more personal experience when your cabin has a name, our's was named Cyris. 





They're also equipped with a little driveway, as well as a separate picnic area with two chairs, a fire pit, a picnic table and a waterproof container that includes everything you need to start a fire with ease, like fire starters, bonfire starters, and dry bundles of wood. This is where we set up Piper's line so she could explore the clearing and hangout by the fire with us. Yes they allow your dogs to come with you, for a small fee of $25 they can enjoy Getaway as well. You guys know i don't go anywhere without Piper, I think she had just as much a good time as Rob and I did.There’s also just enough trees, foliage and space, so that you have privacy from the other cabins, but you’re close enough that you know you’re not alone. My first impressions were oh my goodness it’s so tiny, until I walked into the door and got my first glimpse of the inside. When you walk in you come to an adorable little kitchen, where there is a double burner flat top, then a cute little stainless steel sink, along with some shelving on the right-hand side that holds plates, pans and cups. Just under the flat top is a fun red mini fridge, and off to the right is the bathroom. Yes it’s an actual bathroom with a flushing toilet and a hot shower, granted it’s tiny but everything in a tiny house is tiny. Then off to the left is a table and chair, perfect to use as a desk, to eat or to play cards. A little further to the left there is the super comfy bed, then further off to the left, next to the bed the far end wall is one big window. As you can see in the image below the window placement is perfect, that way you can lay in the bed and just look at and enjoy nature, it’s a genius idea. 







Now keep in mind these tiny houses are set back in the woods to give you a peaceful and quiet way to recharge, so no televisions are included, but there is a really nice radio. They also stock the cabinet next to the sink with all kinds of goodies, they also have a shelf of fun books to read. I spotted a S’mores kit on the table, along with a cell phone box to put your phones in until you leave. I have to say Rob and I thoroughly enjoyed the s’mores after settling in and getting unpacked.Then Rob went outside and started a fire where we sat and enjoyed the surroundings for a few hours, it was such a relaxing experience. We also took some walks through the area to get a look at all the other tiny houses.






I had no idea there were so many. I saw lots of beautiful Irises all over the property, along with trees being flowered due to the spring season. It was around 3 pm when we arrived so it’s wasn’t long before night fell. With the hectic morning and long drive I was more than exhausted, so I fell asleep quite early. I slept so soundly all night because is was so quiet, peaceful, and dark. Wow up there every star shows itself in the sky, it’s absolutely amazing. I woke up early and refreshed the next morning, ready to take on the day. We had a long drive home and some fun spots to stop at so we packed up and regretfully said goodbye to Cyris, then headed out to find a good breakfast spot. On our way out of Virginia we spotted a place called Jacks (located on Spotswood Trail in Ruckersville VA) and we stopped in to eat. I have to say it was a great find, because we really enjoyed the food and service, everyone what so friendly, along with the restaurant being nice and super clean, as I’m sure you can see in the images below. Rob had the eggs Benedict and I had the Mexican breakfast. Both meals where aesthetically pleasing and delish, I sure wish there was a Jacks in Baltimore because I would be there on the regular. 





After filling our bellies we headed out to one of two spots we noticed on the drive up. First stop was a petting zoo, you guys know I had to stop in, I took a live feed video on Instagram, I wish I could post it here for you guys to see because it was so much fun. They had little gum ball machines full of feed to give the animals such as Billy goats, llamas, ostrich like birds, beautiful colorful pheasants, huge pot belly pig’s, and even a big beautiful peacock. The animals were so sweet and ate the feed right out of your hand. If you’re ever in the area stop in and give it a go, it’s fun and free. (It’s located on S. Seminole Trail, in Madison VA). 



Then not much further down the road towards home we stopped at the Prince Michel Winery, talk about a beautiful spot and some amazing yummies. When it comes to wine I’m a sweet gal, I definitely don’t like dry. I usually go for the red, and I’m glad to say they had some amazing choices. We also checked out the vineyard which was so green and gorgeous, and the wine was amazing. As you can see below they both photographed beautifully and you know Piper had to get in on the action. After spending a couple hours tasting wines and schmying around, we got in the car and headed home. 




All in all it was a great trip, and I definitely was able to prove to myself that there are never ending fun things to do in the Maryland, DC, Virginia area. I’m going to be going out of my way to find all of those interesting and fun things to share them with you guys, so if you have any great ideas or things you’d like to see in these areas definitely let me know, you never know I may go. 
Have a wonderful weekend Dolls!!💋 


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Getting the yard ready for spring!

Welcome Spring!!



We started to beautify the yard for the summer, we decided to get as much color as possible to make it stand out. I love lots of pinks, yellows and purples. I also wanted to get plants that flower all summer. I have bought some that literally bloom once or twice then for the rest of the summer they’re just green leaves, which is very blah. So this time I did a little research (by asking the sales person 🤣) what will remain colorful and bloom the whole summer season. I planted about 25 hibiscus plants last summer, and even though it says they would come back they still haven’t. I have been watching them and still I see no signs of life which is disappointing. They are an amazing plant and they bloom huge beautiful flowers all summer. As annoyed as I am they didn’t come back, I will still be buying them again for the season, I was so impressed by their beauty and how easy they we’re to care for. I have a heavy deer population in my area and they destroy everything, it’s quite apparent that they love Hibiscus as much as I do.








So in my quest for flowers to put in the front and back yard I asked are there any that are colorful that they will not eat? Turns out there is really no flower they won’t eat, but there are some they don’t like that much. Marigold, Begonia and Zinnia are just a couple, they’re also pretty and full of color. I think being paired with some well rotated deer repellant that we should do much better this summer with keeping them at bay. Nothing is more heartbreaking than working your butt off all spring to nurture and grow gorgeous flowers, which in turn make your home look beautiful, then coming out one morning to see it all gone and destroyed by a dam deer. Last summer they hit all of the Hibiscus bushes by the patio and there was nothing left but broken branches almost to the root. They even ate the green on the walnut trees where they could reach, they literally destroyed all of our hard work. They’re a common problem that a lot of homeowners have to deal with, and mine is 10x worse since there is a deer reserve 6 blocks from my house.





Sometimes I feel like I should just give up, but then I realize I can’t. I am proud of my home so I want to make it beautiful by taking care of it and my yard. I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Now granted I was so mad when they ate everything last summer that for a couple days I did nothing but research ways to keep the deer away, I even thought about getting a privacy fence, but that would just close the yard in and ruin the open and free feel to it. I found out that there are companies you can pay that will come out once a week or every two weeks and spray a deer repellant, then the next time they switch it up a bit, so on and so on, it seems they get used to one spray, so they keep altering it to keep it effective. In combination with the flowers they don’t like, I think my yard will stand a chance. So that’s my game plan, I’ll definitely update you guys on how it goes, and how it looks once it’s all in and in full bloom


I can’t wait to post pics of the yard once she’s in full bloom and looking amazing, have a wonderful weekend and please feel free to comment with your opinions on he post, I always love hearing what you guys think,
💋💋






Saturday, April 28, 2018

Almost 1 with Milk-bone!


This blog post is sponsored, but all experiences and opinions are 100% mine and mine alone. Enjoy and please feel free to comment on what you think.

I'm a "BIG GIRL" Now!



I can’t believe that Piper is almost 1 year old, it’s just amazing to think we have only had her for a matter of months compared to the feeling like we have had her for years. I have been thinking up ideas for a birthday party to celebrate our amazing and short time together so far, plus it's National Pet Month and you know I have to spoil my baby girl! I got the idea to throw here a little party to celebrate it together just her and I, that way I can spoil her all by myself….lol!! I only buy her the best when it comes to treats, as you guys know I’m super picky about what I feed her. It has to be something she loves that I feel good about feeding her. That’s why we love to get her Milk-Bone® dog treats from Target, it's a brand name that has been in my household since Iwas a kid.


We always love going to Target it’s our one stop shop for Piper’s pets supplies, and just about anything else you can think of. The Target staff is always super helpful, I couldn’t find the item I was looking for, so an employee named Pamela glady went into the back to find it for me. While I was eating for her Ilooked over the shelf of Milk-Bone products, do you know how big their selection is? I had no idea, they have a little bit of everything, in all sizes for all dogs in all flavors. It’s amazing how much care they put into making sure our dogs are happy and healthy. In my search to spoil Piper I saw the coolest item, it’s called the Milk-Bone® Happy Birthday Canister. Boy oh boy is it an enormous treat for your dog, I now Piper absolutely loves it. 






It includes an assortment of 5 yummy flavors such as bacon, beef, chicken, sausage, and turkey flavors. I think bacon is Piper’s favorite, because it seems to be the one she goes for most…. granted it’s not the only one…lol! They’re wholesome treats that come from the heart, and they’re Made in the USA. Did you know that Milk-Bone dog treats help clean teeth and freshen breath? They also include 12 vitamins and minerals. Me either! Until I did a little research on their website. I just love the tin container because everything stays fresh, and it also keeps the crumbs from escaping all over my pantry shelves. To put together the entire adorable birthday theme I got some gold balloons, one was a number 1 because Piper will be 1 of course. Then I grabbed some matching plates and the tiniest little birthday hat you’ve ever seen, I’m super surprised she didn’t go crazy to try and get it off. She’s not that great with wearing stuff on her head, but I have to say she’s getting much much better. I remember Nunah would let me put anything on her, and she would just let me pose her. She just didn't care as long as she was pleasing Mama. What an angel, I definitely miss the heck out of her. The one good thing is if Piper knows I have a cookie for her she’ll do whatever I ask, so as you can imagine quite a few Milk-Bones were eaten during the production of this shoot. To create the perfect little set I took her favorite spot on my faux fur blanket where she just loves to snooze, and stacked the gold balloons, then I stood the #1 upright. My husband and I just giggled, she sat there all adorable with her teeny tiny birthday hat on one ear.



She does a deep head tilt whenever I say the word cookie, that’s what we call dog treats in our house. There are a couple words that get a head tilt out of Piper, words like walkies, bye-byes, cookie, go for a ride, and let me tell you it’s the cutest little thing in the world. No matter where we go there’s always someone that approaches us to say hello, as they start to talk she gives this super inquisitive look ,and just tilts her head back and forth. She always makes it seem like she’s paying attention with 110% of her brain power, I’ll have to share the video with you guys on Instagram, you are going to love it. There are so many things about Piper that I love, she makes me smile all day. One of the ways I show her my appreciation and love for all the happiness she brings me, is to get her the treats she truly loves. Milk-Bone® Mini Dog treats and the fun and festive Milk-Bone®Happy Birthday Canister. The Minis are only 5 calories per bone, so that means you can treat your little cutie more, and there are over 200 treats per box.




Yeah as you can see she is pretty smitten with her Milk-Bone dog treats, and as long as she loves them I'll keep buying them. Do you buy Milk-Bones for your pup? If not you should, you definitely can't go wrong with them, it’s a brand we trust and recommend 100%. Give them a go, your dog will love you for it, and so will his or her tummy. Then again so will your wallet because the price point is perfection, not to mention the savings you get when you pick them up at Target. Plus check out these awesome Cartwheel deals! 


Have a Wonderful Week Everyone!!