Hello all! Popping in on this fine Friday with some things I’m loving lately. Let’s get to it!

Things I’m Loving Lately

1) Grilling!

With the fantastic spring weather we’ve had in the DC area lately, Matt has been taking advantage by bringing our dinner prep outside to the grill.

We had friends over for a fun grill night earlier this week. Matt made kabobs for everyone with chicken (marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and turmeric as well as some Worcestershire I believe? I don’t have an exact recipe, Matt usually just looks one up for a general idea and then goes rogue) and veggies. Yum!

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Plus corn, which the kids always love. They had hot dogs for their protein because neither of them will eat chicken these days (sigh). I went back for more kabob deliciousness after I ate this!

corn with kabobs

One night last weekend we had some yummy grilled pork with grilled sweet potatoes, onions, and Brussels sprouts that hit the spot:

pork chops with grilled sweet potatoes and veggies

We also recently had a burger night! Topped with pickles, ketchup, mustard, and microgreens, and paired with some simple steamed string beans.

burger with string beans

2) A trampoline!

Speaking of our backyard, another big win for our family lately has been that I bought the kids this trampoline (Amazon affiliate link) a few weeks ago! It’s a small 6 foot rectangular one so they can jump side by side but it doesn’t take up a ton of space, and Riese is especially obsessed with the gymnastics bar and swing that you can attach or detach.

So fun!! It’s been great as a way to have the kids more interested in eating dinner outside and just generally hanging out in the backyard with us on nice weather days.

It’s also been great for days when Riese hasn’t gotten enough energy out during the day (she’s VERY high energy) and is wild before bedtime – now whoever is doing her bedtime (we alternate who does which kid’s bedtime each night) will just hang out in the yard with her for a bit while she goes nuts before heading upstairs.

3) A delicious lunch with a friend in DC!

My friend Anina Belle‘s husband recently became the partner chef at L’Avant-Garde, a chic French restaurant in Georgetown, and I was excited when she invited me to join her for lunch there last week! I don’t get into the city much these days so it felt like a really fun and special treat.

anne mauney and anina belle giannini

The food was absolutely delicious, too – highly recommend if you’re in the DC area and are looking for a special spot for a date night or business lunch or dinner!

We ordered a whole slew of things to share so I could try more of the menu, which is always my favorite way to dine – love having tastes of a few things vs. one single meal!

My absolute favorite dishes we had were actually two appetizers! The King crab tartare was divine and paired with creamy avocado with a hint of truffle in the vinaigrette. Flavor was so so good. And I also really loved the lobster salad – refreshing and bright and it had the same amazing truffled vinaigrette.

Speaking of appetizers, this appetizer seafood bouillabaisse is Chef Sébastien’s Grandma’s recipe – how sweet is that? I loved the crispy basil on the side too!

seafood bouillabaisse

The entrees were delicious, too. We enjoyed the salmon which is steamed in a banana leaf; it made it melt in your mouth buttery. Served with homemade chips and a baby vegetable ratatouille.

Plus the lobster fettuccine! I took leftovers of the fettuccine home for the next day because after tasting all the appetizers and the salmon I was pretty stuffed by this point!

But in case that wasn’t enough, check out these desserts – strawberry themed and pear themed! Works of art.

Here I am with Anina Belle and her husband, Chef Sébastien! We stopped by the kitchen to say hi before leaving. Thank you both for a lovely meal. I’ll be back. 🙂

anne mauney, chef sebastian giannini, anina belle giannini

4) A fun girl’s weekend trip!

And lastly, one other big thing I’m loving is that I’m leaving this morning for a weekend trip with some mom friends from the kid’s school! We are heading a couple hours southwest (near Charlottesville) for some hiking and Virginia winery fun and I’m so excited.

I will leave you with a cute Zara pic for the Zara fans as I haven’t shared one of her in a long time! Anytime we have a basket or box lying around she always decides it’s her new bed.

cat in a basket

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here next week with a recap!

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