D.I.Y Gift Ideas Using Mason Jars

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Baltimore / Beautiy / DIY / Family / food / Friends / Gifting / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

Gifting D.I.Y Mason Jars are my favorite! They’re fun, personal, affordable, and totally adorable!

You don’t have to be a super creative, crafting wizard either to complete this DIY project. These jars are very simple to assemble. All you need is a mason jar, ribbon, and maybe a label. These may look fancy, but I assure you, there’s nothing fancy happening over here!

My favorite: THE SPA KIT

KARENS

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Don’t Sweat the Small Things…My Happiness Project

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For the second time, I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This time around I am actually implementing a few tips she learned along her happiness project into my everyday life to help me feel happier, and not get as irritated about the little things. Understand, I am very happy with my life…but just like Gretchen, she just believes she can be happier and more appreciative of the awesomeness around her. Want more? Click to continue reading!

The Count Down Begins…

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adventure / Baltimore / Health / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

I can’t even believe that the time has come… I am turning 30 years old in less than 8 short weeks. It’s time to say goodbye to my 20’s. So much has happened over the last 10 years of my life that honestly the details of it all… I remember very little. I mean I have great memories, but really just tidbits. My God, the past decade came and went so fast! Now on to my 30’s we go…
What does being thirty even mean?


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DIY: Chic Bar

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Baltimore / decor / DIY / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

I’ve always wanted to have a chic little bar situation going on at my house, but I never actually committed to purchasing one. Recently, during the process of moving and designing my new space, I knew it was now or never! Having a bar area designated in the home was a must! You’d think finding a bar cart would be pretty easy. WRONG! Either the carts were too small, too expensive for no reason, or simply wasn’t my style. I search high and low, retail, craigslist, and vintage shops… & I came out empty handed.

I’d been in my new place for almost two month & I still had nothing! Enough was enough. I had to make a decision on something. Finally, decided I needed to be a little creative. “Alysha, it’s not that difficult.” I’d tell myself; & it wasn’t.One day, I was walking the aisle of Target (the devil) & it dawned on me that I should just use a bookshelf as a bar. Well, it didn’t exactly happen like that… I was walking the aisle of target, I saw a sale sign on a white bookshelf that was $63 bucks and I couldn’t pass it up. I randomly remembered seeing on HGTV.com how they turned a white bookshelf into a bar, and that was good enough for me! It was way better than spending $200-$300 on a bar cart that I wasn’t  in love with.


I already had a few bar essential to create an awesome bar, but I did purchase a few items and even now I am still purchasing items for the bar. It’s a project that continues to get better with time. The more bottles collected, along with bar tools the better the bar begins to look and function.
Here’s what I began with:

-Wine Rack $20

– Wine Glasses $12

-Wooden Tray $35 (Honestly, I could have gotten a piece of wood copped, sanded and made in to a beautiful wooden tray, but I am impatient, so I just purchased it lol)

-Candle $9 (added color)


-Bar Sign $17

-Wall Art $60

I’m very happy with the results and even more excited about the hundreds saved!


Have any of you made your own in-home bar? If so let me know how you did it 🙂

Until Next Time…

Alysha

xoxo

@DiscoverCharmCity

#FlicksFromTheHill Summer 2016 Movie Series: Guide to Preparing the Perfect Evening Picnic

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Baltimore / Dating / Family / food / Friends / Lifestyle / movie night / Uncategorized

Thursday July 7th, is the first night of: “Flicks from the Hill” Summer 2016 Movies Series presented by American Visionary Art Museum. If you haven’t experienced this outdoor movie extravaganza, TONIGHT is your chance! We are all in for a treat, because the 1st movie of the summer series is: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!!!!! One of my personal favs!

This being the 1st SUMMER movie event being held in Federal Hill Park this year, I am sure there will be a good amount of newbies coming to “the hill” for the first time. Here is a easy guide to help YOU PREPARE for a simple, but perfect picnic for your friends and family.
BE EARLY – Movie begins at 9PM, but you want to make sure to get to Federal Hill Park early to get a spot and set up. I suggest being at least an hour early. Also, remember the museum is open FREE to the public tomorrow night from 5PM-9PM. This is an awesome opportunity for you to roam the museum and see all the cool exhibits.

Bring a picnic Blanket – The more cushion, the better. Don’t be scared to use an old comforter you may have around the house somewhere. Its not a big deal if it gets a little dirty from food or a wine spill….its called a washer machine for a reason 🙂 Also, Lawn chairs are allowed at this event.


Camera – Yes, its great that we have smart-phones now that we can use to snap pictures, but if you have a “real” camera (digital or film), why not pull it out and bring it to the picnic. Snap some awesome pics of your friends and family enjoying the last days of summer. Plus, you can use that camera to take fabulous photos of Downtown Baltimore from the park, it’s an AMAZING view!

Pets- Dogs are welcome at this event. You know if your dog can handle the people and food being around or not.
Easy Foods To Eat- I love to cook, but if you don’t feel like preparing food, why not just order and pick up dinner for Flicks on the Hill?!?! Honestly, I suggest ordering take out and just bring it to the park. Even stopping at a sub shop or making your own sandwiches is a great idea. Keep it simple. Around 9PM when the movies begins it will be dark. You want to have food items that are easy to grab.

Examples of fun food options:

1.) Order a couple of boxes of PIZZA- yum!


2.) Grab Chiplote for everyone.

3.) Sushi


4.) Subs

5.) Chinesse Take-out

6.) Salad’s from a salad bar at the grocery store or restaurant.

Oh yeah! DON’T FORGET THE POPCORN


Wine! Wine is always a good idea.


(Picture from previous #FlicksOnTheHill Movie showing)
SOMETHING SWEET- Cookies, cupcakes, cake, candy, & chocolate.

Essentials- Water, napkins, plates, utensils, corkscrew, garbage bag.

Sweater/Light Jacket- Even though it’s summer, at night the temperature may fall and it may become chilly outside. I attended flicks on the hill last summer, and I was cold once the sun set! I saw others putting sweaters on and wrapping their blankets around the bodies because of the chill. Just a suggestion for ya!

Have fun tonight!

Also, I’d like to know your opinion! Please leave what you think are picnic essentials/ suggestions in the comment box!

Until Next Time,

xoxo

Alysha

@discovercharmcity

Charming Love… Finding Love in Baltimore

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Baltimore / Friends / Lifestyle / Love / Uncategorized

I’ve been living in Baltimore for about 4 ½ years now and still loving it, but there was a time I got a little nervous thinking I’d have to leave Charm City if I ever wanted to date again…


I’ll explain…

My ex and I broke up over a year ago, it was difficult, but looking back now it was definitely for the best. I learned a lot about myself and even more about what I wanted/needed out of a relationship. Once I gave myself plenty of time, I got back in the dating game.

Boy-Oh-Boy it was definitely an interesting time. Some dates were lovely, other people were quite honestly just shitty human-beings and after 30 minutes of interaction, I just wanted to high-tail it out of there!

All my girlfriends had already jump on the bandwagon, using online services and apps to find men around Baltimore. I just couldn’t do it, nothing wrong with dating sites, I’ve just never used one (except playing around on my friends, which is fun!) and it seemed overwhelming.


I’m still old school and believed someone would ask me out while I was shopping at the grocery store, or maybe a friend would introduce us, or my dream guy would be sitting across from me at a café and he’d strike a conversation up with me and BAM we’d be inseparable from that date forward

Sounds good right?!?!

Did the old school method work for me? Well, kind of, but not exactly how I imagined.

Let’s see…how to explain …interesting story but we won’t go into all details because like all love stories it a LONG one, but I did meet Aaron through a new friend I had made at a cookout in May 2015.

I was out at Bookmakers in Federal Hill one night with the new friend I had just made the week prior and he invited Aaron to meet up with us. Aaron walked through the door and I was totally into him right away. His personality was so magnetic. He walked into the room with a presence of “I’m here, let the fun begin!”


Summer came and went, I saw Aaron a hand full of times in group settings and oddly we would sometimes end up meeting up in Fells Point to hang out randomly without the group. We never dated or talked about the possibility of liking one another but I liked him a lot & I loved the friendship that was developing.

Fast forward to October. Aaron finally gave me a direct indication that he wanted something more from us in an Uber ride home after hanging out with a group of friends. I was shocked, but in a good way. My heart filled with joy and I thought this was it!

Picture taken the night things changed between us.

But it wasn’t…we didn’t move forward, Aaron and I didn’t have a happily ever after. We had kinks to work out.

But, finally in December we were officially together.

We are six months in…. now what?


Our relationship isn’t perfect. We’ve had plenty of ups and down, misunderstanding, ex issues, time management issues, & the list goes on…but THIS relationship is totally worth it. We both want it to work.

I am in a relationship with my dream dude.


Yes, I know it may sound corny, I don’t care!

As I’ve gotten older, my list has of must-haves has gotten shorter. Not that I’ve lowered my standards…NEVER THAT! I have real non-negotiables and they are legit the other stuff can be worked out.

For example, I realized that dating someone who doesn’t live in Baltimore wasn’t going to work. I tried, but it’s not for me. I have to be with someone who loves and appreciates Baltimore. A person who doesn’t plan on leaving Baltimore any time soon, because leaving Bmore is no where on my radar right now. I have to be with someone who accepts me where I am in my journey to becoming a better person and wants to grow together. Aaron gets it.

Aaron was born and raised right here in the city, he loves this place, and he has built, along with his awesome partners, an amazing toting company right here in the city, Treason Toting Company.

He makes me laugh, treats me well, he gives me major affection constantly, even though I am not the most affectionate person back, but he knows I need that affection daily. Aaron is very smart, a hard worker, family man, and above all, he is kind. He understands that without the Lord nothing in this life we live would be possible. He is my best friend. I love him and excited to see what the next six months hold. Discovering more and more about each other every day has kept us busy while discovering this Charm City’s hidden gems.


Only advice I can give you about finding charming love is to be patient. However you decide to get out there and meet new people, do it with optimism even if the last 5 dates sucked. Don’t settle. Re-evaluate yourself. Seriously, look in the mirror and make sure you worthy.

Be honest with yourself.


Until Next Time,

Alysha

@DiscoverCharmCity

xoxo

Photo Credit: Most of the pictures where captured by a dear friends.

Follow @djimpulse on IG and the lovely @corecreativeco Thanks guys!

Whoof! My name is Madonna!

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adventure / Baltimore / Family / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

DiscoverCharmCity has a new member of the family! So excited to introduce this beauty! She is a healthy 3 year old retriever/ lab mix from BARCS Animal Shelter!

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Hi! My name is Madonna!

This has been a long time coming. If you’ve been following DiscoverCharmCity for a while you may be wondering, ” Where is your other lab, Monty?” Well, let me make a long story short, my ex boyfriend and I adopted Monty together from Paws for Life, a wonderful dog shelter in Chesapeake City, about 2 years ago, but when we broke up about a year ago and we decided that Monty would stay with him. I know he is being loved and taken care of, but it was and still is devastating:(

Fast forward to now, a year later, I knew I was ready  to adopt again and the search was on!

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I knew I wanted to adopt. No shade towards anyone who goes to a breeder, but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing that there are so many dogs right here in my community that need a happy home.

So you think you’re ready to adopt?

One tip I have for a person who is considering adopting… be patient. You may not connect with a dog/or cat the first  time you go to visit a shelter.

I surely didn’t.

I went back to the BARCS three times before I committed to a dog, but once I saw Madonna, it was LOVE at first site. She jumped in my lap as the match-maker was trying to take her back to her crate and from that interaction, I just knew she had to come home with me.

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After making the decision that I wanted Madonna, BARCS would allow me to take her home the very next day. So that’s what I did. The next day I showed up at BARCS & was very excited! I went to pick her up and I was nervous. Its totally normal to be nervous, especially because of the unknown, plus owning a dog is a huge responsibility.

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Tip number two. YOU MUST BE COMITTED. Really think about what it means to own a pet. For example, I am constantly out-and-about, so I REALLY needed to consider how this would effect my time. In the end, I decided that I was up for the challenge!

Having Madonna leave BARCS to go to her forever home with me made me so incredibly happy. I’ve made a vow to make her life as fun as possible while she is here on this earth. She is a gift from God that will help me appreciate the little things in life just a little more.

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My new sweetheart

Until Next Time,

xoxo

@DiscoverCharmCity

Alysha

 

4.22.16 – 4.24.16

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Baltimore / Family / food / Foodie / Friends / Instagram / Lifestyle / Shopping / Uncategorized

So, it’s finally Friday, and you’re probably debating with your friends about what you all should do this weekend. 
Don’t worry about it… We took care of it for you. 
Here is a quick round up of this weekends activities and events you can get out and DISCOVER right here in The Charm City! 

FRIDAY 4.22.16

  
 The Gathering: Happening tonight @ Baltimore Museum of Industry from 5-10pm. Perfect way to end the work week. Grab your friends, go eat, and drink while enjoying the sunset over the Inner Harbor. 

Later that night…
  
  
Head over to Warehouse518 for a R&B (Rum & Bourbon) Slow Jam event! This event will start at 9pm and closing out at 2am! 

  
  Saturday 4.23.16 Keep it cool and relaxing. 

Start your day off by grabbing a cup of coffee at your favorite shop #SupportSmallBusiness !
  

You’ll need the energy because the Spring Cleaning Flea Market @ The Wind Up Space starts at 12-5pm! 

  
Address: 12 W North Ave Baltimore 21201
Shop-til-you-drop is the goal!

#SundayFunday 4.24.16 

Rise and Shine: Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar is finally back! Opening this Sunday @ 7am-12pm Located under the Jones Falls ExpressWay.

Mid-Day Fun will take place in Federal Hill!
  
Spring Block Party from 12-7pm on 42 E Cross St. 

Food. Drinks. Music.

Closure to a great weekend: 4.24.16
Are you into live Jazz Music? If so, you’re in for a treat.
  

Sam King and Dan Wallace, two amazing sax players, will be performing @ An die Musik Sunday evening. Offing two showtime, one starting at 5:00pm and the other at 6:30pm

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, $10 for a full-time students. 
  
Now that we’ve let you know about what’s happening around town this weekend…all you have to do is let your hair down and go DiscoverCharmCity! 

Until Next Time,

@DiscoverCharmCity

Alysha

xoxo

Five Things You Should Try Tomorrow!

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Baltimore / Health / Lifestyle / Uncategorized

5 Simple things for you to try tomorrow … Nothing fancy or too hard!

1. Wake up one (1) hour earlier than you normally do: Seriously, this may change your life! Waking up only one hour earlier each day will definitely allow you time to relax a bit more before the hustle and bussle of the day begins.

 SN: Go purchase an old school alarm clock. Place the alarm clock all the way across the room from your bed. This will force you to get out of bed instead of having the convenience of pressing snooze.

2. Be still: Take 15minutes for yourself. Turn your phone off completely (15minutes won’t kill you.) Meditate, pray, read a book/newspaper, or write in a journal.

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3. Support @least one local small business: Instead of going to Starbucks, why not buy your cup of joe from a local establishment! Here are a few of my favs: DoveCote, 3Bean, Koba Cafe, Nubohemia, Pitango Bakery, and Artifact Coffee.

 

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4. Reconnect with someone special: Take time out to check on someone that’s been on your mind lately. Sometimes life can get away from us… but today do not make any more excuses! Make the call! Call your family member or friend that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Actually call that person and if they do not answer leave a voicemail.

5. Last but not least, SMILE: It’s Just that simple #PutASmileOnYourFace …remember Smiling is contagious!

 

It takes very little to make a happy life!

 

Until next Time,

Alysha

@DiscoverCharmCity

xoxo

Extremely Last Minute V-Day Date Ideas #BaltimoreEdition

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Baltimore / Dating / food / Gifting / Instagram / Lifestyle / Uncategorized / Valentine's Day / Wine tasting

Scrambling to put together a fun-filled romantic Valentines Day weekend? Here are a few last minute ideas that should make your planning a little easier! 
1.) Local Color Flower is hosting an Open studio tonight! Friday February 12th, 2016 from 6:30-8:30pm come out to the studio and design her own bouquet. This is the perfect date night, just grab snacks, a bottle of wine, and your sweetheart! No registration needed, just show up! 

 

Local Color Flowers (Picture from their IG page)

  
 2.) Go to a museum! Simple & fun, plus Baltimore has a lot to choose from 🙂 I suggest checking out The American Visionary Art Museum . After you all are done exploring the interesting exhibits, end the date with dinner at their newest restaurant Encantada . The decor in Encantada is like nothing else in Baltimore! 

Visionary Art Museum (photo taken by DiscoverCharmCity)

3.) Free cider-mill tour at Millstone Cellars! Yup, it’s free. I’ve toured their facility before with a group of friends and it was a fun experience and wouldn’t mind doing it again. You will taste many interesting flavors of ciders, where you and your sweetie can pick your favorite for purchase! This weekend they’ve made it a little more special by having cider & cheese pairing, fudge tasting, and specialty ciders on draft! FYI the tour is inside of a building but it’s cold, so bundle up! Tours this weekend will be on Saturday February 13th & 14th from 12-5pm. No reservation needed. 

 

Millstone Cellars

  

Pictures taken by DiscoverCharmCity from MillStone Cellars tour.


 4.) Wine tasting at Bin604on Sunday February 14th from 5-7pm tickets $29. This tasting is focused around wine & chocolate! I’ve attended one of their tastings before and I really like the set up of the event. You’re free to roam around the store and taste test as you please. While you’re their, the two of you can pick out a special bottle to enjoy later that evening together 🙂

 


Hopefully these ideas got your creativity juices flowing. Making a reservation at a fancy restaurant is definitely nice, don’t get me wrong, but how about trying something different or even adding one of these ideas in addition to dinner. Let me know in the comment section how your Valentine’s Weekend went! Have Fun, no stress 🙂
Until Next Time,

Alysha