Weekend: Baby’s First Brewery Visit + Brunch Out

Hi guys! I hope you had nice weekends. Matt and I had a fun one with lots of outings with the babe in tow – it’s so nice to take her out and about more often now that flu and cold season is ending and the weather is better! Here is part 1 of our weekend; I’ll be back to share part 2 tomorrow with some yummy homemade eats and my run date with the girls – it was a good one!

One of the big weekend highlights was Riese’s first brewery visit!

brewery with a baby northern virginia

The weather was amazing on Saturday – nice and warm but not too hot – so we decided to take Riese on an adventure out into the Virginia countryside. We met up with a bunch of friends at Vanish Brewery, which is near Leesburg. It was awesome and really kid friendly – TONS of families were there! It has a massive space with lots of outdoor as well as indoor seating. There was a guy playing music which was fun, too – great ambiance. And even though it was packed it didn’t feel overly crowded since they have so much property/space.

vanish brewery

We got there around 3:30 and stayed after our friends left – until about 6:30 – because we were having a good time and wanted to try some of their food – they have a bunch of food trucks and also BBQ. We decided on BBQ and it was REALLY good. I had the pulled pork, Matt had the ribs!


vanish brewery bbq

I fed Riese once while we were there and then we brought her usual evening top-off bottle of pumped milk with us and Matt gave it to her in the car on the drive home so that when we got back around 7:30 we could just put her straight to bed. It worked out well! Also, how cute is this dress?! It was a gift from extended family… it’s baby Ralph Lauren. Excuse the wet neck area from drool, lol. We usually put her in a bib but forgot!

baby dress

Our other fun outing with Riese in tow was brunch on Sunday! We had a lazy morning at home and then decided it would be fun to take Riese out to brunch in Del Ray (a cute area of Alexandria, VA). We ended up at one of my fave spots, Evening Star Café, and snagged a seat outside with the stroller. Matt and I both got the egg and cheese biscuit sandwiches – he got his with sausage and I went for bacon; they come with a side salad too. Soooooo good. I was really craving a good biscuit egg sandwich!

brunch biscuits eveningstar cafe

It was a little chilly out, but Riese was fine with blankets! Especially since she spent some of the meal under my nursing cover. :)

brunch out with baby

We totally forgot to pack a hat for her so my nursing cover became her hat once she was done eating. Whatever works! She loves taking in all the action – she was looking away from me, watching the cars and people, in the photo below. I hope that getting her out often while she’s little will mean she’s used to it later on, too – although I know it will get way harder once she’s mobile! We’re definitely in the sweet spot right now for taking her places easily.

del ray restaurant

ALSO – how fun is this bloody mary that Matt got which came with a tiny piece of bacon and a tiny grilled cheese? So creative!

eveningstar cafe bloody mary

I’ll be back tomorrow to recap my run date and some other weekend eats. For now, it’s time to tackle my email inbox and my to do list! Have a nice day guys!

What was the most delicious or creative thing you ate this weekend?

Do you think taking babies out and about when they are small correlates to them being easier/more open to being taken out later? Or not really?


  1. 1

    I love the sun hat that Riese is wearing at the brewery! My little one is nearly 6 months and I would love to find her this hat – since she is still too little to apply sunscreen. Where did you get it?! Love that you guys get out with the little one and do fun things – they are so curious and want to see EVERYTHING! Thanks.

  2. 7

    I definitely think it makes it easier later on! We have never shied away from bringing our daughter out places ever since she was an infant. She’s 4 now, and other than the few months when she first started walking (and an occasional blip here and there), she’s always been extremely well behaved out shopping or out for meals. I never understand when people don’t bring their kids out because “they don’t know how” to behave in public…well, yes, of course, if you never bring them out they will never learn how to behave while out :) I’m not going to lie, a child free dinner out is still wonderful, but we go out plenty with her in tow too!

  3. 9

    What a fun weekend! That brewery looks like a nice hangout spot with all that open space and the BBQ looks delicious.

  4. 10

    I had a pretty amazing veggie burger on Friday night. I think what made it even tastier was that it was eaten outside! I think fresh air (and cheese) makes everything taste better!

  5. 12

    I am really intrigued by the breastfeeding covers that you and other US bloggers use. In the U.K. we don’t use anything like that, at least I’ve never seen anyone – we seem to just feed wherever pretty freely and I’ve never encountered any hostility. What is public attitude like in the US? Is it just a personal choice to use these covers? I just find this really interesting!

    • 13

      It’s so interesting to me that most places outside the U.S. don’t seem to use covers! The public attitude here is definitely that women should use them for the most part… I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone breastfeeding in the U.S. without a cover, although I know people certainly do. It’s just very much a societal norm to use one. I think it’s kind of silly – I mean, hi, this is what breasts are MADE for, why do we need to hide under a cover?! – but I also don’t want to get a lot of awkward stares, so I use one.

      • 14

        I nursed both of my kids to almost two, and never used a cover. We nursed in coffee shops, in restaurants, on the metro, in the library, in bookstores, pretty much anywhere where were for more than an hour. I think that the idea of needing to use a cover perpetuates the fear of nursing in public and is detrimental to actually normalizing it. I have never once gotten an awkward stare in all of my many times nursing in public, and instead, I have people come out as incredibly supportive that I’m just out nursing my baby.

        • 15

          I am definitely in the anti-cover camp! I am currently tandem nursing my 8 month old and almost 3 year old. With both kids, I just wear double shirts – a tank underneath that I can pull down and a shirt on top. We nurse on demand, so if I had to use a cover every time, I can’t imagine how hard it would be. I know far more women who don’t use a cover than women who do.

          • 16

            This is so interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone nursing without a cover before, outside of stuff like a mom’s group… but maybe I just didn’t notice?!

        • 17

          That’s awesome, Sara! You’re probably right about perpetuating the fear… maybe it’s more in my head than I realized!

      • 18
        Lindsey says:

        I tried the cover and it was too hot. I nurse freely now and it’s much better. You just have to get over other people’s thoughts about it but honestly I’ve never had awkward stares – no one really cares!

        • 19

          I used a cover a couple times with my first but quickly realized it was hot and annoying and just nursed both my kids without one. I’m in Baltimore so not too far from Anne’s area and in two years of nursing in public openly have never gotten a comment or look, other than one time another mom offered to grab my toddler while he ran away lol. I think people are way more focused on themselves/their own families than we realize and just don’t notice or care that much. I think everyone should do what they are comfortable with and I know some women prefer a cover for their own sake and I think that’s fine, but I have to respectfully disagree that it’s a societal norm, at least in my area. I have a couple friends who use them but most do not. Baby #3 is due in a few weeks and I don’t even own a cover anymore!

        • 21

          Maybe it’s all in my head, lol! I haven’t had to deal with the cover being hot yet… summer may be another story!

          • 22

            Lol yeah once that humid DMV summer hits I am definitely not adding extra layers! The baby is hot enough! And we take our 3.5 year old and almost 2 year old (Sunday ahhh) out a decent amount but also keep expectations reasonable. We only go to kid friendly places and places with quick service or play areas or at odd times when it’s not crowded. I do think it’s good to expose them but I also can’t expect a not quite two year old to sit quietly for 30 minutes waiting for food. As they get older maybe we can do more!

  6. 23

    Depends on where you live. I never wear a nursing cover and neither do my friends.

    • 24

      Others are saying the same – maybe it’s just the places I’m going, or maybe it’s just in my head! I’m impressed that a lot of you guys don’t use covers, that’s awesome.

      • 25

        I think once A got sturdier and was able to sit up on her own, I stopped using a cover, I got more confident and no longer had to lead her to the nipple as she found it easily on her own!

        • 26

          That makes sense — it’s already so much easier to do feeds out in public/without a pillow now that Riese can more easily support herself!

  7. 27

    I have 3 kids that are a total of 4.5 years apart in age from oldest to youngest and we took them out all the time when they were babies and toddlers. By the 3rd, we were stopping at Starbucks on our way home from the hospital. LOL We really believed that taking them to all sorts of places helped them to learn what is OK and not OK in a public setting, including at restaurants. [Of course, we may have lucked out on temperament and it had nothing to do with our actions but who knows? ]

    Is Matt eating gluten again? Did I miss this? Or, are all those items gluten-free? Just curious as we know a number of people who have Lyme disease and anything we can learn is good.

    • 28

      Lol that’s awesome about Starbucks on the way home from the hospital! And yes, Matt stopped the gluten free thing about a year ago. He was saying recently he might start doing a looser version of it again (meaning, avoiding it most of the time but not worrying about it for extra delicious stuff) because he does think it helps with his Lyme symptoms (muscle twitches), but we will see! I think it’s different for everyone… such a complicated disease that we really don’t know much about, unfortunately. I really hope they get a vaccine soon.

  8. 29

    We took our son out and about a ton as an infant because it was relatively easy when he was non-mobile but once he became a toddler, it was still pretty difficult for us. At 2 and a half, we don’t shy away from taking him out with us, but we are always prepared to leave just in case he’s not able to handle being out. Part of it is just his age but some of it is his temperament. I think every child is different, and some will always have difficulty being out in public no matter how much exposure they have!

    • 30

      That totally makes sense in terms of temperament! It will be interesting to see how Riese does being out and about when she’s older… fingers crossed!

  9. 31

    My husband and I have always brought our daughter with us to restaurants. I’d say they get used to sitting in the high chairs, booster seats, etc. Our daughter is almost two (hold me 😭) and most times she enjoys it. We tend to pick places with faster service since she gets bored easily and there’s only so many times we can sing the itsy bitsy spider and old macdonald before people start looking at us funny 😂

  10. 33
    Roadrunner says:

    Great to see that you can get out and about and make the most of the nice weather! And love the dress and hat!

  11. 34
    Marta white says:

    Such a cute family!! Your hubby is a awesome daddy with Riese ! Y’all are having fun! So great for all of you! I to read and see your pics

  12. 36
    CrystalB says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say that exposure can lead to great behavior while out and about, but you might not be able to count on it ALL the time. We took our kiddo everywhere when he was a baby, but when he turned about 2 years old we had to be prepared to get up and walk out of an establishment. There was one incident when he threw a cup of apple juice at me and the lid popped off. We didn’t eat out for about 3 months after that. Then he got past that stage and he has been (mostly) great ever since. Taking him out to eat has taught him manners, decorum, how to speak to adults, and how to entertain himself. He gets compliments on his behavior all the time. So I say keep taking them out, just be aware of their behavior. I am a lot more tolerant of a baby crying than a 2 year old running amok. :)

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