A Happy June

June was a really, really good month. The days were filled with sunshine (most of the time, at least), lots of outings with friends, brunch & beer and healthy habits.

The nice weather makes me want to get outside as much as possible, Since I work from home, it’s all-too-easy to spend the entire day indoors. So in addition to going for runs, we’ve been taking coffee breaks in the park or going for after-dinner walks. Whenever and wherever we move next, an outdoor patio is on my must-have list so that we can enjoy more time outside during the warmer months.

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We started the month with a visit from my cousin Justin and his girlfriend Sarah. The weather was pretty fantastic while they were here. On the days D and I had to work, they explored the city on their own. But we had plenty of time to hang-out together. We toured the Sam Adams Brewery and Harvard. We ate at so many restaurants. We took them to a few parks and walked through Boston College’s campus. It was such an easy and enjoyable visit. (Justin and Sarah, if you’re reading this–feel free to come back anytime!)

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Mid-month, I went to see Rascal Flatts with two of my friends (shout-out to Laurie and Lauren!). Honestly, I had low expectations since I’m not a huge country music fan. But I had the.best.time! It was the perfect way to welcome the official start of summer.

The next morning wasn’t the best, but we had plans to meet my grandparents and Aunty Sharon for lunch so I had to put my hangover aside and get myself together. Lunch was nice; I hadn’t seen my aunt since she moved in February so that was great.

After lunch, D and I drove to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut to settle him into his temporary summer home. He’s doing a 5 week research program on maritime history that keeps him in Connecticut on the weekdays. 😦

Spending last week alone wasn’t so bad, though, because I took a day off and went to the beach with Lisa. It was perfect beach weather. But despite my best efforts, the sun was too much for my pale skin and I came home with an unattractive and uncomfortable sunburn on my back. #palepeopleproblems

june3Last weekend D came home for a night and we mostly just relaxed. I convinced him to cross a few things off the wedding planning to-do list and we went for a short hike. I felt like he had to leave just after arriving home so I’m looking forward to the upcoming long holiday weekend.

July promises to be an even busier month as I’ll be traveling to Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Ohio and then back to Washington in the span of three weeks.

Hoping that there is plenty more sunshine, friends and beer in my future (and yours too!).

-A

Mego’s Bachelorette

Thursday morning I returned home from a month-long trip to the West Coast. Oh man was it a blast. I’ve got a lot to catch up on, so I’m going to break it down into a few posts. The primary purpose of the trip was to see my brother marry his sweetheart–so I’ll start with this first wedding activity: the bachelorette party.

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We may have been a small group, but it was still a really great night. We started at Mego’s apartment with some drinks and primping. Then we headed downtown for dinner, more drinks and dancing. The night started a little late, so our first choice restaurant didn’t work out. Since we were all starving, we went to the next closest place open. I don’t even remember what it was called, but I do remember that the Seattle Police Pipes and Drums band came into the restaurant and played two (or three?) songs. And then a little while later, the restaurant was invaded by clowns. I wish I was kidding.

After scarfing down our food, we started walking towards the dance club that Megan had chosen. Along the way, we saw a bar with a sign for half-price drinks so naturally we had to stop. Since it was two-for-one, we each had two shots and then continued our walk. We got to the dance club two minutes before 11pm–which is when the free cover ended. The woman at the door tried to say that the cover charge began at 10:30pm, but I sweet talked us in for free. 🙂

The club ended up being really small–and mostly full of men who weren’t into dancing–but we still had a good time. We had a champagne toast, did another shot and danced for a little while. When we had all had enough, we headed back to Megan’s favorite neighborhood bar for some karaoke.

At that point, I was exhausted. I wish I could blame it on the time difference, but at that point, I had been on the West Coast for two weeks. The truth is, I’m getting old.

After Megan sang, I convinced the group that walking up the enormous hill to her apartment was a terrible idea so we grabbed a cab to take us home. We got home just as Doug was getting off work, so Megan told him all about our night while the rest of us got ready for bed. The night ended with a 2am showing of Pitch Perfect but, in my usual fashion, I only stayed awake for about 10 minutes.

The next morning, Megan, her sister Tess and I went into Ballard for manis and pedis. The women at the salon were super sweet and it was a really relaxing morning/early afternoon. We finished up our girl-time with some sandwiches and a quick walk through the Farmer’s Market before parting ways. It was the perfect ending to her bachelorette.

Stay tuned, the wedding recap is coming next. 🙂

An Overdue Update

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Hi friends, It’s been too long. Since I last wrote many exciting things have happened including:

– a visit from Chantha

– a girl’s night trip to a Connecticut casino

– a job interview

– many date nights

– the start of a running routine

– a job resignation and a job acceptance

– a Duck Tour around Boston

– a lovely Memorial Day weekend at my Aunt’s lakehouse

– a fun dinner party with some (former) co-workers

For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into all the details. But I do want to tell you a little more about my new job! About a month ago I started working for a new company. It is in the same industry (that would be print and promotional products), but the company is much larger than my previous place of employment. My position is fairly similar to what I have been doing since moving to Boston, managing the marketing efforts of the company.

This new company is based out of Cleveland…but I’m not moving there. I was fortunate to take the position as a remote office–which means I primarly work out of my tiny Boston apartment with the occasional trip to the Cleveland office. That means Derek and I spend a lot of time together at home. 🙂 And the best news is that I have more flexibility in my schedule so I’ll be in Washington for almost a month this summer! Working, of course, but still–I’ll have time to see you all.

It’s been an adjustment, but so far I’m really happy with my decision. I’m thankful that I no longer have an hour commute each way to work. It’s a teeny bit lonely without the social aspect of an office, but I’m getting to know my new colleagues and making lots of plans with the friends I made at my last job. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.

So that’s my big news. What’s new in your life?

xo,
A

Snapshots

photo (2)Life has been good lately. It’s been a very snowy February and early March, but with pretzels, craft nights, amazing concerts and plenty of celebrations with D, I haven’t let the winter weather keep me down.

The best thing that happened in February was Derek passing his comp exam. He read hundreds of books and spent (what felt like) thousands of hours preparing and I couldn’t be more proud–and relieved–that it’s over. I threw him a little surprise party to mark the accomplishment but I was too busy having a great time with everyone that I forgot to take any pictures. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it was a success. 🙂

And March has more good things in store. Tomorrow D and are headed to Northampton for a weekend trip. He’s speaking at a conference but we’re spending the night so we can have a date day in a new city on Sunday. At the end of the month I have my Grandpa’s birthday and an Easter celebration with the family to look forward to. I’m also hoping that the snow melts away and that we start to see the sun again, but we’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out.

I hope 2013 is treating you right so far. There are so many great things happening to the people I love that I can’t help but think it is going to be one amazing year.

Love to you all,

A

Top Twelve of 2012

12. Finally joining the iPhone club (December)

11. Planning and executing a huge work event without any major problems (June)

10. My 1st Veganniversary (September)

9. Spending time with Chris before he moved far, far away (January)

8. Girl’s night out at Foxwoods with Laurie, Lauren, Lisa and Ashley (November)

7. Birthday trip to the beach (July)

6. A promotion at work (May)

5. Katie’s wedding (September)

4. Visiting NOLA (January)

3. Doug and Megan’s Thanksgiving visit (November)

2. Watching my sister’s graduation speech (June)

1. Moving in with Derek (July)

Home Again

I’m back at work today after a beautiful week in the Pacific Northwest. I was there primarily for Katie’s wedding, but I was able to see D’s parents, spend some time at home with my mom and sisters and squeeze in a visit with Erin in Portland. I missed my dad and Christina–you’re both at the top of my visit-list for next time.

Thanks for sharing the photos Autumn!

It was a really great week–full of sunshine, old friends and family. The only thing I would have changed was the fact that Derek was back in Boston. Next time we’re coming together, vacationing separately is not so fun. Some of my favorite things (mostly in chronological order):

  • Watching Big Brother with Rebecca.
  • A nice meal and excellent conversation at the Nelson house.
  • Doing hair and makeup at the bridal suite before the wedding. I miss having a bunch of girl roomies.
  • Katie looking more beautiful than ever as she walked down the aisle.
  • Dancing the night away with the ladies.
  • Watching The Hunger Games with my mom and sister
  • Hugging and kissing Horton. Until he made my allergies worse–then we stayed away from each other.
  • Helping Jaime pick out her first day of school outfit.
  • Drinks, dinner and catching up with Erin.

Katie, you looked amazing and your wedding was perfect. Thank you for inviting me and congratulations on the start of your happy marriage.

I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend. I’m back to work for 8 days and then I’m having my wisdom teeth removed. I’m kinda scared and kinda excited to spend four days watching tv instead of working. At least that how I hope it plays out…

Until next time,

A

Picking Apples

On Saturday, Derek and I met up with several friends from the office to go apple picking.  I was hoping for a beautiful, crisp fall day but instead it was hot and humid. But whatev, it was my first time picking apples and I wasn’t going to let anything ruin my day. I ate one of every variety while we were still in the orchard (I think the total was 5) and then brought home a whole lotta apples to bake with.

I made applesauce. And you can make it too–it’s super easy. Peel, core and cut a bunch of apples. Throw them in a big pot and add a tiny bit of water and some cinnamon. Cover and cook on medium-high until the whole thing is boiling like crazy and the apples are soft enough to stab with a fork. Remove from heat and either mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender until you get the consistency you want. I like it a little chunky. Taste it and add more cinnamon or sugar if you want. That’s all you gotta do and now you have a delicious snack (or breakfast or dessert).

TIP: Don’t try to finish your laundry while the apples boil on the stove. It could result in scorched apples and an unhappy chef. I’m just saying…

I used about half of the apples that I picked in the applesauce and I think I’m going to use the rest to make apple crisp this weekend. Yum! Or maybe I’ll try something a little less obvious. Know any good apple desserts I should try?

A Beautiful Weekend

Friday, after work, I drove to New Hampshire to see my honey. He had dinner–and dessert–ready when I arrived. We ate our meal, watched part of a movie and went to bed early (which gave us plenty of cuddle time).

Saturday, Derek took me shopping at the outlet mall and then we went to a Welcome Back Picnic for his department. I endured lots of history talk and met several of his professors and colleagues. We ended the night with delicious beer and sweet potato fries at my new favorite restaurant in Portsmouth.

Today, I left him earlier than usual to meet Laurie in Worcester for stART on the Street. We walked in the sun, checking out all sorts of handmade lovelies.

And now, after grocery shopping and laundry, I’m sitting down to eat my dinner and watch Sex & the City.

It has been a perfect weekend.

Girl Time With My Leading Ladies

Sometimes during a particularly slow or boring work day, I think back to my job at Western where I had the good fortune of working next to my best friends every day. The job was boring and monotonous but these ladies made it not only bearable, but fun. I miss them all daily—even more than I miss Jimmy John’s and Pike Kilt Lifter (and that’s saying a lot)—so I was thrilled that each of these beautifuls made time to see me while I was in Washington.

Rebecca and Diesel

Christina and Ozzie

Katie and Oscar

(Sidenote: They are not only gorgeous, but they all have adorable dogs.)

It started Friday afternoon when Rebecca picked me up from my mom’s. We had plans to meet Christina in Puyallup for Mexican fare. Christina is a funny, funny girl and I often find myself crying from laughter when she’s around so I knew it would be a good night. We were able to get to the restaurant earlier enough to take advantage of their happy hour drink specials. And then we spent the next two hours drinking, eating, catching up and, of course, laughing. It was absolutely wonderful. Christina, I hope you find great success in your new job opportunity. Keep me posted.

Then Rebecca and I had a sleep-over. We bought wine and candy with the plan to watch a movie or talk for awhile. But in my usual style, I fell asleep on the couch too early.

The next morning we made our way to Port Orchard to Miss Katie’s house. But not before stopping for coffee and donuts. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s favorite lil café was all out of apple fritters so we had to settle for blueberry scones.

We arrived at Katie’s around noon and she made us delicious taco salads. So tasty that I just bought the necessary groceries to replicate them for myself. After she showed off her engagement bling and gave me a tour of her house, the three of us ate on her back patio. Katie and Rebecca. Sunshine. Yummy food. Wine. I had everything I needed. After lunch, we traded back massages and talked a little about Katie’s upcoming wedding. (I promise I’ll do my best to be there Katie.) And then around 5, we had to leave so Rebecca could take me to the Tacoma Mall where I was meeting Derek.

The two days of girl-time were a blast. I’m glad to making new friends in Massachusetts but no one will ever replace these ladies. It’s so easy to be around them and we have such a great time together. The three of you are forever friends. Thanks for the fun last week; I look forward to the next time.

Love,

A

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