Baseball season has officially arrived! We are huge baseball fans and take advantage of having a baseball team in our own city. Once the season begins, we find ourselves at Oriole Park quite a bit. However, going to baseball games can get expensive when you factor in tickets, food, transportation, and memorabilia. We wouldn't be able to go as often as we do if it weren't for a few tricks up our sleeves. So, I thought I'd throw together a quick guide for you locals (or those planning a visit!) on how to visit Oriole Park at Camden Yards without breaking the bank.
1 // Take advantage of season ticket discounts. I know this option isn't for everyone, so I'm going to put it on the table first before talking about other money saving options for tickets. However, if you go to a lot of games, it's worth looking into a season ticket package. We knew it was time to switch to season tickets when we realized we'd gone to 14 games in one season. This will be the fourth year that we have our season tickets. We have a 13 game package and didn't choose fancy seats. Because of the season ticket plan, we save between $3-15 per ticket depending on who the Orioles are playing that day. While we still save and budget for this package each year it's a huge savings per ticket. An additional perk to having season tickets is that you can also get the same discount on single game tickets, so if you want to invite friends you can share the love. Don't want to commit to 13 games? Split a package with friends or family to enjoy a discount.
2 // Avoid Prime and Elite games. Prime and Elite games are the highly sought after match-ups. Rivalry games such as the Red Sox or Yankees will be more expensive, sometimes even double, in ticket price. If you don't care who the O's are playing, choose a Value or Classic game. You'll save quite a bit of money in doing so.
3 // Take advantage of ticket offers or snag your tickets on Stub Hub. For every home Friday game, you can get a $7 left field reserve ticket with a student ID. Student IDs for all ages are included, so while it's probably not what you're supposed to do, I'm not going to tell anyone if you pretend to be in grad school and use your old college ID. ;) For those of you that are younger, are still in college, or have kids you should definitely take advantage of this. Checking Stub Hub the day of is also a great way to snag cheap tickets. There are always season ticket holders that are trying to unload tickets they can't use, and you can often snag them at a fraction of the cost.
4 // Pack a delicious picnic dinner and bring it with you. Stadium food isn't cheap. Luckily, Oriole Park is one of the few major league stadiums to allow fans to bring food into the stadium. A few good guidelines to follow to make stadium entry go more smoothly is to pack your food in clear, plastic containers or bags. You can also bring in non-alcoholic beverages as long as they're in a plastic bottle that is still sealed. While you can bring in food, leave the coolers at home or they won't let you in. Just to give you some ideas about how creative you can be, in the past, we've taken chips and guacamole, cake, pasta salad, and a plethora of other delicious summer eats with us to games. And we always remember to take a couple large bottles of water for those super hot and steamy Baltimore summer nights.
5 // Go to a game that offers a freebie. If you're hoping to grab a new O's shirt or hat, pick a game that offers one for free. Just a simple Orioles t-shirt from the team shop usually starts around $25. The last couple of years, the Orioles have stepped up their promotions game. On t-shirt giveaway nights, they offer both medium AND extra large sizes, so it's a little bit more true to the statement "one size fits all" than it used to be. Additionally, they do a jersey night and a sweatshirt night this year. Similar giveaways happened last season and the quality of the items were just as good as something you'd purchase in the team shop, and they weren't plastered with sponsor logos. Some of our favorite giveaways have included a super cozy, high quality stocking hat and Orioles reusable shopping bags (perfect to use to bring our picnic with us to games).
6 // Ride your bike, take public transportation, or walk to save on parking. This is more easily said than done if you don't live in the city, but there are still plenty of options. We often ride our bikes to the stadium because there are plenty of bike racks to park and lock our bikes. The bike path along the Inner Harbor makes it a pretty easy ride for the most part. If we don't want to bike, we'll park near Little Italy where parking isn't metered or limited and then take a nice stroll along the harbor to the ballpark. This could be a feasible option for those of you that need to make the drive in.
There's a garage on Gay St between Lombard and Baltimore that usually has parking under $10 since it's just far enough away from the stadium. There's also the Charm City Circulator as a free transportation option if you don't want to pay the steep parking prices. If you have a larger group with which you can split the cost, it's probably much more reasonable to take a Taxi or Uber. Finally, don't forget about the Light Rail! While I've never used it because it's not convenient to us, many people do. It can be much cheaper and easier to park at a suburb station and take the Light Rail, which drops you off right at the stadium. Essentially, there is little reason why you should have to pay a ton of money for parking unless you simply want the convenience. If you're on a budget, suck it up and use a different alternative than driving.
7 // Download and check in with the MLB.com Ballpark App. If you're looking for special offers or deals, this app might for you. I've not ever used this app, but my husband used it to check in to every game we went to last season. Each time he checked in, he got a special offer or promo that he could use. It ranged from a percentage off at the team shop, discounts at certain food stands, and promos for seat upgrades. While it's not a surefire way of saving money, it could be of benefit if you're planning on purchasing food or merchandise.
8 // Don't go to a game, but visit anyway. Yeah, ok, I realize that this isn't the popular option, but for some people, they just really want to check out Oriole Park at Camden Yards because it is known to be one of the most beautiful ballparks in the league. When the Orioles aren't playing, Eutaw Street, which runs between Oriole Park and Camden Yards, is open to the public. Spending some time on Eutaw Street can be a lot of fun. You can still sneak peeks at the field, find your favorite player's home run plaque, or bring a camera and pose with the sculptures in the Legends Sculpture Garden.
And that wraps up my guide to Oriole Park at Camden Yards on a budget. Are you a baseball fan? What are you secrets to going to baseball games on the cheap? Have you ever been to Oriole Park at Camden Yards?
It's finished! We've been working on these kitchen projects for about three years, but they're all finally finished! When we moved into our row house six years ago, we swore that the first thing we'd change was the kitchen backsplash and cabinet pulls. Man oh man were we wrong about that. Instead, we completely overhauled our back patio, our bedroom, a half bath, and part of our basement first. That being said, it's awesome to finally have it all come together. Just for reference, here's a look at a photo I snapped of our kitchen on closing day.
While there really wasn't anything wrong with the kitchen when we moved in, it just wasn't quite our taste. The house had been completely gutted and renovated three years before we purchased it, but a lot of the finishes were things we knew we'd want to change. Many of them were very traditional in style, and that's just not our cup of tea. So we opted to swap out the more traditional items, add a few new details, slap some paint on the walls (twice!), and give it a more rustic modern feel.
First, we went to the architectural salvage yard and purchased about $10 worth of salvaged lumber, used hidden fixtures that Andrew got for free from one of his firm's hardware partners, and installed floating shelves on our empty brick wall. We added a new bar cart and some hooks and now have a nice spot for mixing drinks and making coffee and tea. And voila! More storage to boot. Always a bonus when you're living in a tiny space. The aqua coffee and tea tins were an Etsy find, while the other tea tins and bar tools were found at various flea markets and our local vintage shop Rust N Shine, respectively.
Next, we swapped out our old bar stools for some new clean lined beauties. We moved a few plants to the windowsill to brighten up the room. And added another cart to the room adjacent to our island. The second kitchen cart is a piece that my grandfather made in high school shop class. When we first moved to Baltimore, my aunt passed it on to me, and I refinished it and added the tile top.
When we first moved, we had purchased the set of Caribbean blue Le Creuset pots with money left over from a tax credit. I then received the matching crock and spatulas as a gift from a friend. We swapped out the boring black square-inch tile backsplash for beautiful white marble. I found the mid-century teak and glass canisters on Etsy.
We painted the walls a light peach color that really goes well with the turquoise theme as well as the rich wood colors. We swapped out the traditional, round nickel cabinet knobs for clean lined stainless steel pulls. And lastly, Andrew removed two recessed lights above our island sink and installed glass pendants with Edison bulbs.
And there you have it! The kitchen is complete! Even though it may have taken us three years to get through each of these changes, we're finally there. The finished look of our kitchen is just as I had envisioned from the start, which makes it even more satisfying. Since we spend a lot of time in this space, it's nice to have a room that is truly a reflection of our style.
Have you ever updated your kitchen? What projects are you working on right now?
I don't usually post on Saturdays, but I couldn't help myself to squeeze in a second round of Light City Baltimore. And since the festival's last night is Sunday, I thought I'd post a few more photos to convince any of you locals to go this weekend if you haven't made your way there just yet. The diamond structures that you see above were some of my favorites in terms of their subtlety. Can they just stay along the promenade permanently?
I loved the interactive nature of the installation The Pool. It kept both children and adults happy and delighted as they hopped from one circle to the next in order to create change in the light patterns and colors.
In general, I loved the atmosphere of the festival. Everyone in attendance was so incredibly happy and in awe of the installations. The energy of the festival reminded me of why I love this city. As we near the one year anniversary of the riots that occurred last April, this festival felt symbolic for so many of us who live here. I only hope that it continues to be an annual tradition of celebrating Baltimore for many years to come.
I can't believe that it's already April! It seems absolutely crazy how quickly we've made our way through the first quarter of the year! Just as I have done at the start of each month, I'm checking in on my goals for this year. So far, it feels sort of crazy to see how far I've come in just a few short months, but there is still work to be done.
1 // Continue learning new things. Not a huge learner this past March. We've been continuing with our New Recipe Saturday, so I guess I'm still learning in that regard. Maybe learning this past month was more introspective and personal-- learning how to be more patient, how to trust my gut, and to let go.
2 // Become stronger and healthier. We're still going to the gym three times a week. This past week, I was able to row 100 pounds, which is a huge feat for me. Arm strength is not my forte in any way, shape, or form. Major victory here. I still need to get back into a regular yoga routine. We've also been spending a lot more time walking and running outside since the weather has been warmer.
3 // Streamline my wholesale program. Still a work in progress. I'm getting so close! Most of my line is more cohesive now. I got rid of a lot of old designs that didn't make sense, but I still have some that I want to convert. I'll be sending another batch of cards to the printer, and working on my wholesale catalog like crazy this month.
4 // Identify when I'm sabotaging myself and take active steps to change that. Getting better! I usually have one day a week where I let things slide a little more than I should. However, my days the past two weeks have been incredibly productive. I've taken advantage of the down time in March to put out a huge new line of cards, catch up with other creative women (I've had networking meetings every week this month), and start to reorganize and streamline my studio space. I feel really good about my use of time this past month and hope to continue on that trend.
5 // Start blogging regularly again. I haven't been blogging every week day in March. I wrote about that last week, and I'm ok with letting it slide. Sometimes it's just not in me and recognizing that it's ok to take a break and step back for a few days is huge. I don't want this space to feel like a chore. That being said, taking time away has brought new excitement and motivation for upcoming content, so I'm looking forward to things to come for the blog in April.
6 // Take more photos. I'm getting better at this! We've had more opportunity to get out and about now that the weather is nicer, and I've been taking my camera with me. I had fun photographing the Light City Baltimore installations this past week. Light gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with long exposure times, which was fun.
7 // Make time for myself and the people in my life. This has continued to be a success. We're doing our Wednesday night happy hour dates, I've been doing some reading in the evenings for my own down time, and I've made it a priority to spend time with others each week this month. Hoping to continue the trend through April.
8 // Spend more time traveling. My passport application is still sitting on the kitchen counter. We don't have plans for international travel this year (yet), but it is something I just really need to get taken care of. I'd like to have it available in the event we decide to jump on a last minute deal or something. We've booked flights, a car, and an Airbnb for a trip to Santa Fe in May, and we're continuing to research and decide what to do for a trip to California later in the year. It feels good to be back in adventure mode.
9 // Continue to minimize and organize our house. I realize that this will probably always be a work in progress. My studio was the huge minimization project this past month. I got rid of a lot of stuff that I wasn't using anymore and it's made my life easier. I still need to get rid of more in order to get to my end goal of reorganizing and streamlining my work process. As for the rest of our house, we really don't have much stuff. We purchased pantry containers and in-drawer trays from IKEA a few weeks ago in order to get more organized. In general, when there is stuff anywhere in our living spaces, I freak out and start throwing things away. I just can't handle the clutter, especially in such a tiny house.
And there you have it my friends. Progress on this year's goals has been moving right along! I'm looking forward to a new month. It's going to be a busy one, so I'm sure I'll write more about those details in the coming days!
When I first started hearing about Light City Baltimore, I had no clue what it was. All of the descriptions were incredibly vague and didn't really explain things much. Essentially, I knew it was going to some sort of innovative festival dealing with lights, installation art, and technology. There was going to be a conference aspect as well.
As the festival neared, I learned more about it through various outlets. A friend of ours and a co-worker of Andrew's was working on a team for their firm to create an installation on the Living Classroom's lighthouse (pictured above) in the Inner Harbor. Andrew would tell me here and there about what he knew about the installation, and I learned more tidbits through the grapevine as well. Slowly the concept of the entire festival was coming together.
On Monday night, Andrew's firm hosted a happy hour to celebrate the beginning of the festival and the reveal of the light house installation. Afterward, we were able to take in the first evening of the festival, and it was spectacular.
While each of the installations obviously involves light in some way, many of the installations also have musical and interactive aspects to them as well. There was something so incredibly excited about walking around the Inner Harbor amongst a crowd of people that were happily and excitedly talking about the art. Music from the installations drifted through the air, live music performances were taking place, and the city was aglow.
We didn't have time to make it to each of the installations, but we plan on visiting the rest of them by the end of the week. If you're a Baltimore local, the festival runs through April 3rd, so there is still plenty of time to take in the installations and performances. I also highly recommend visiting the Light City Baltimore website, so that you can either plan a route or create a plan of attack since there is really so much to see and do.
Have you ever been to an installation art festival? Does your city put on similar festivals? If you're from Baltimore, have you been able to explore Light City?