Wednesday, June 29, 2011

water, water, everywhere

For a few weeks now, my roommate and I have noticed that our dishwasher is growing increasingly louder and angrier every time we run it. It hasn't been used in over a week now, mostly owing to the volume it washes at but, last night as I headed out to exercise, I decided I'd pop it on so it could do it's work and make it's crazy noises while I was out of the apartment.

It seemed a little funky and wasn't making much noise but I left it and figured I'd see what happened when I got back. 
An hour later, I got back from working out to see that the "drying" cycle was just about done, but the washer was still suspiciously quiet. When I heard it click to off I opened it to the bottom filled with hot water that had not done anything but sit there. ugh.

Since I didn't want it to sit there all night and get gross, I started to bail my dishwasher out with a cup. I couldn't get all the water out, just then, so I did what I could and left it for the night.

 This morning, I woke to the sound of water gushing somewhere in the apartment. Bolting out of bed, I ran into hall expecting a flood in the kitchen, but the sound was coming from the bathroom? It took only a second to realize for some reason, in the night, the toilet had started running of it's own accord, and wasn't planning on stopping anytime soon. I removed the top, jiggled the part that usually makes it stop. . .nothing.
Thankfully, it wasn't flooding, but I was worried about how much water was gushing out of the hose and worried what might happen if I left it like that while I was at work. Finally, after jiggling and flushing it a few times, it stopped on its own. Thirsty from such a stressful few minutes just after waking up, I headed into the kitchen filled up a glass from the counter and took a big gulp.

Then stopped.

"Where did this glass come from?" I wondered. My water glass from the night before was sitting on the table and everything else was in the broken dishwasher. In a moment of pure insanity I connected the glass and the running toilet and somehow concluded someone broke into the house (give me a break! It was 6AM, and I'd gone to bed reading a crime novel!) while I was sleeping.

I took another sip of water as I thought it through and then it hit me.

This was the glass I'd been scooping the dishwasher water out with.

After tossing the water and giving a little wiggle of disgust, I decided I was done with this apartment and headed out for a morning walk. Seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Thankfully, no one broke in to use the toilet and drink some water while I was out. .  .

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An Ocean and an XBox

Last night was the second half of my cake decorating class. It was pretty informative, especially because we were taught how to make those beautiful icing roses made with a rose nail. My attempts were super sloppy and sad looking (especially compared to the classmate who turned out to be some sort of rose making genius!) but I love that now I know how to make them. And since my grandmother just gave me a rose nail this weekend along with some other funky vintage baking stuff, I can now practice! She also gave me the most incredible molds for royal icing or chocolate. I can't wait to try some out, especially this one little baby boot which is adorable.

After learning some techniques last night we were set loose on our cakes to just have fun and experiment with the different tips the instructor had available. I went for a summery water theme and I'm pretty sure a 10 year old could replicate this without any problem, BUT check out that professional looking shell border on the bottom! The instructor told me I was a natural (patting myself on the back now. . .heh heh). Although that was before she started teaching me the roses, so. . .

 This weekend I also got super ambitious and decided to make my brother an XBox360 cake for his graduation party. The idea in my head was WAY more advanced than the talents I currently possess, and also deciding to decorate a cake after an electronic that is basically just a giant whitish box with light grey accents means the cake isn't all that exciting in the end (especially when you forgo the fondant to save some money). . .who knew?! I was, however, very proud of my controller, seen below sitting on top of the Xbox cake (a.k.a giant white square).  

It was going to say that I'm all "caked out" for awhile, but actually, I kind of have a hankering to bake something. . .

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This Could Be Love

1. Eating fresh organic blueberries out of the carton that were only 1.99 at Whole Foods. yummm

2. Cleaning out a mail account and watching the enormous number of emails in your inbox slowly shrink away. The "you have no messages in your inbox" is such an amazing and seeminly unreachable goal. I'm not even sure the last time I saw that on any of my accounts.

3. Snuggling up on a rainy summer evening and ignoring things that need to be done for awhile in favor of watching an episode of the X files
4. Brownies frosted to look like the cookie monster;complete with a cookie in their mouth!


{yes that's me at the end informing someone "that's my brother!" She was commenting one what a good kid he was; turns out it was his 3rd great teacher.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Graduation Day!

Today the baby of my family, my little brother Tim is graduating highschool!

In some ways, I feel like we're all so old now that it's crazy he's only just now graduating, but in more ways I can't believe my little Eskimo baby (inside joke!) is heading out into the great big world, and he's not even 18 yet! In fact, my computer screen is blurred right now as I get a little teary eyed just thinking about it. 

I can still remember when he was born. I was 6 and I recall going to the hospital and having to hold him on a pillow because he was so big (he was a 10+ pounder). His head was all bruised purple, but he was just about the cutest thing I'd ever scene, or at least tied with our year and a half old sister. 

Tim is by far the quietest of the bunch which is really no surprise given his three chatty, loud older sisters, but it has been fun to watch him grow into a teenager and develop his own unique personality, and hilarious sense of humor. He'll be headed off to college this fall, and even though he's not one for gushy sisterly displays and probably never reads my blog, I still want to say:  
I'm so proud of you, Tim! Congratulations, you made it through!

Also, your sisters and mother will be forcing you to take copious amounts of pictures in your cap in gown tonight before you even get to the school. . .deal with it.
Lest there was ever any doubt as to whether I was a style icon, even as a child, I think this picture makes it clear. I was.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


In case you're wondering-carrying a double layer cake around on the train during rush hour is a somewhat terrible idea.

I know this, because yesterday was the first of a class series I'm taking on cake decorating. It's a six hour, two part course, and we were required to bring a cake with us to class. I didn't think I'd have time to take my slowww T home, get my cake, drive to class, find parking and then look for the classroom we were meeting in. Instead, I decided to lug my cake around on a plate wrapped in saran wrap. I have a glorious, super intense cake carrier that I wanted to bring, but it's enormous and would pretty much take up an entire other person's worth of space on the T so I went old school.

Thankfully, my cake made the journey just fine (unless you count me messing up the bottom of one of the layers before it even made it out of the house) and I arrived at class it plenty of time to obnoxiously eat my dinner and generally cause a scene before we got started.

As soon as we'd all arrived, we set to work making the instructors recipe for butter cream frosting, unfortunately using Crisco in place of butter (Crisco makes me want to vomit. . .sorry, but it does!) I won't lie, I was pretty cocky in those beginning stages, whipping my Crisco like a pro and converting teaspoons into tablespoons like I'd been doing it my whole life (actually. . .)

Leveling the cake went fine, but it was round about the time we starting crumbing our cakes that I realized I'd overestimated my cake frosting skills. And furthermore, I'd made a sort of dumb error. You see, because I'm pretty cheap, I haven't invested in any good round cake baking pans, I just use these cheapo disposables with scalloped edges. Cute for cakes thrown together for friends' birthdays. Not so cute when you're trying to learn how to perfectly frost a cake with butter cream; so precise that it looks like fondant

Fashion before practicality is often my Achilles heel.(as my friends about the time I walked up a mountain in $50 gold, crinkle, madden girl sandals. . .)

I did what I could with my cake and the frosting I had while staring with envy at my classmates cakes around the room. I think I did a pretty admirable job for my first go at the perfect base cake frosting but, as the old saying goes, the frosting's always smoother on somebody elses cake.

Anyway, here's the finished product:
  Psyche! My cake is not nearly this exciting. it's just a white frosted cake waiting for all the exciting frill of next weeks class. But you can imagine it basically looks like this. . .basically.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sister Weekend

This weekend, my darling little sister came to visit me for a weekend in the city! We had fun, I realized I'm getting old and can only hand one exciting event a day, and Em got to practice her photography skills. It was an all around great weekend!

Love this girl. 
I took her to this froyo place Berry Line I've been dying to go to since I heard of it. We got some delicious tangy nutella frozen yogurt. Mine with peanut butter cups, her's with bananas (the bananas were better)! 

 We rocked out at the Bruins Championship Parade Saturday in the lovely, sunny weather!

. . .and finished off our weekend with a little photoshoot in a great little spot we discovered on the Charles the day before!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You make me proud, Boston!

39 years. 

It  has been 39 years since the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. Until last night that is. And even though I didn't watch most of the game (I had the last period on to at least keep abreast of the situation), I was absolutely thrilled as the time clock ran down the last 45 seconds while the score stood at 4-0.

I won't pretend that I'm a diehard hockey fan or sports fan in general. I've never painted my face or gone shirtless at a game with the Bruins "B" painted over my entire body. I'd never heard the name Tim Thomas until the playoffs began and while I know the names of the Boston teams, I couldn’t really tell you much beyond that.

Still, there is something so inspiring about living in a city that eats, sleeps, and breaths their teams every win and loss. I grew up in a small CT town that still bemoans the loss of their beloved Hartford Whalers because after they left, we had nothing. My high school was tiny and lost just about every football game they played, and I went to college at UMass, a school not exactly known for it's fanatic school pride (although I was actually an intense UMass hockey fan and quite fanatic about THEM. . .Marty Nolet, anyone?) So, you can understand why team pride has never really been my strong suite. I never had a reason to show it!

Now that I live in Boston, however, I love the change in pace. I love that yelling "Yankees suck!" at top volume anywhere at anytime is acceptable (maybe not in my office) and will elicit raucous cheers from all over the place. I love knowing it's a game day and what sport just by the sheer number of people wearing B's colors whether it's navy and red, black and gold, or green and white. I love that grown men will cry in the street over a win or loss, without a thought. I love that when I say I'm from Boston, people don't say "Oh, where's that?" they say, "Oh, you're a soxbruinspatscelts fan" and it MEANS something. Boston is a community held together by their sports teams win or lose. There is a camaraderie here that is so unlike anything else. And even though I'm a non sports loving clueless girl who can barely keep her NFLs and NHLs straight,  I love that just by living here I'm part of it. 
Lookin' fly with my free Stanley Cup T. . .obvi


So on Saturday, I will go the championship parade, and I will cheer with the best of them and join in in the excitement because for once in my life I'm part of a place that cares. That has pride in where they're from and wants the world to know! I've always wanted to live in a place like this, and now that I do- I have a reason to be a crazy fan, I don't intend to waste it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I seemed to sail away

We raced back to our car looking like drowned rats. Hair plastered to our heads and clothes soaked. My brothers feet sunk into two ponds inside his sneakers while I wildly tried to confirm that my floral dress wasn't completely see through from the rain. Once inside, we all groaned aloud, knowing our  ride home was going to be a soggy, uncomfortable one. Still, it all seemed worth if for a fun adventure in the rain.

Two hours earlier, I had set off on a river cruise in a 84 ft sailboat, the Argia with 60 or so other people despite grumpy looking skies and imminent rain. My Grandmother is turning 80 this Wednesday, and to celebrate her birthday my Dad's side of the family gathered for lunch and a boat ride in Mystic, CT this past weekend. 

Lunch and boarding came and went without a drop of rain, but as we hit the open. . .err, river, things became more and more ominous. About an hour into the cruise, the rain started. My aunt had, blessedly, brought along some delightfully fashionable ponchos. Especially, since once the rain started, my brother took back the sweatshirt he'd been letting me wear, and I only had a tiny cardigan over my spring dress (I know stupid choice for a afternoon sail).

At some point, I can't be sure when since I couldn't hear or see much around my poncho, Captain Amy announced we were turning back since the storm was worsening. Thank you, Captain!

From there on out things proceeded to get crazier, as we headed home into the wind. Rain pelted us, streaming through any open spots in our ponchos. The boat churned and at some parts was tipped pretty far over for such a big sail boat. More than once comparisons to Pirates of the Caribbean were made by various groups on the boat. It was our own little sea adventure, which we got to enjoy way more than the crew who had to race around lowering and lifting sails. . .and the poor soul who got tangled in a quickly dropped sail. hah. 

A few people, my grandma included, headed below deck to wait out the storm, but some of us decided we were already soaked, so why not stay outside? We chatted and tried to keep our ponchos under control while making up stories about one of the crew members, Isaac, and laughing at the group of drunk women who were downing Corona's as if their lives depended on it and having a grand ol' time. 

Soon enough we were docked, soaked, and ready to head home to a warm shower and some dry clothes! But, frankly, we all decided it was a much better adventure than just sitting on some sailboat with the sun beaming down getting burnt to a crisp and drinking some beers. I mean, seriously, everyone does that. This was way more memorable!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Thursday, I'm in Love

1. Brett Dennen's latest album Loverboy. It is a delightful new offering from this great artists. I was in love the minute I heard the first song this morning. AND thanks to a crazy amount of procrastinating before purchasing this album (it came out in April) I got it for $2 cheaper than normal on iTunes since they just lowered the price!

2. Trader Joe's Caribbean Fruit Floes. Aka delicious popsicles with chunks of pineapple, papaya, and strawberry and even coconut shavings! They're going to be my new favorite summer treat, I think. Besides ice cream, obviously.

3. Writing in cursive just for fun. I have terrible cursive handwriting and I remember in grade school, I used to despise being forced to write in cursive. Lately, though I've been thinking it's kind of fun to write in all kinds of lovely, loopy, lettering (How's that for alliteration?!)

4. The musical My Fair Lady! I just heard a song from this on TV and immediately got it on Netflix. I'm watching it in parts since I don't have 3ish hours to just sit down and watch it all. It's so romantic and wonderful, the music is superb, Audrey Hepburn is gorgeous and she lip syncs to Marnie Nixon's voice so well! If you haven't seen this one you definitely need to, you won't be sorry!

5. That tired, jell-o-y feeling after a long, long walk where despite being exhausted, I feel so healthy and limber and mentally refreshed. It definitely makes all the work before hand worth it! (Incidentally, I should have experienced this today, but a crazy thunderstorm forced me inside for drinks and dinner with a friend. What a shame. . .)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Let's hope I don't snooze through the Scooper Bowl

A mere 9 1/2 months ago when I began my job in downtown Boston, I thought it would be difficult to get in the rhythm of getting up early in the morning. Coming from an incredibly lax working situation where I either barely had to roll out of bed before 8:30 or was working from home in the morning, I wasn't sure how I would handle getting up at 6:30 and having to be somewhere important.

Amazingly, the change never presented a problem for me. I've never been a snoozer, so 6:30 would come, my alarm would buzz and I'd be out of bed in an instant ready to greet the day! OK, that's a lie. More like, my alarm would start bleeping in its obnoxiously high pitched tones, and I'd slap around to get it to shut up before heaving out of bed and into the shower. but anyway, the point is, I got up right away.

A few months ago, though, this bright eyed, bushy tailed exuberance faded faster than you can say "honeymoon stage over." My alarm would strike 6:30 as chirpily as ever, but after smacking it into submission I would languish in bed for 10 or 15 minutes before finally getting my act together.

I really enjoy getting up earlier than needed in the mornings and having time to read with breakfast, relax, and not feel rushed. Or at least I used to. This new sleeping past my alarm phenomenon seems to suggest those days are long gone.

At some point I had the idea to set my alarm for 6:40 thinking the extra time would get me back to myself in the morning. Umm. No. It just resulted in 10 minutes less in the mornings. But then I started to think maybe it wasn't so bad to not have as much time in the morning, even though things are much more rushed. So, that led to my latest move: 7:00AM is my new wake up time folks. It's pretty rushed since it gives me only one hour to do everything (although, now I've started bringing breakfast to work. . .)

You might be thinking that at this point I've reached a happy medium. Well, so did I. Until this morning, when my alarm went off and I considered if it was possible to get up at 7:15 and not be late for work. Thankfully, my better judgement won out and I got myself up immediately!

soon enough I'll be getting up just in time to run to the train, bringing my clothes to work along with my breakfast, and showering there. . .eek!

 In totally unrelated news, this Jimmy Fund fundrasier (that's a doozy) called the Scooper Bowl has been going on right under my nose this week. It's just a huge area cordoned of where you pay admission and get a bunch of ice cream samples. Could this possible be a little bit of Heaven on Earth? Yes, yes I think it could.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


This afternoon I had the pleasure of going to the dentist after work.

Oh, and in case you are wondering. I'm not being sarcastic. I actually really love going to the dentist.

I find getting my teeth cleaned rather therapeutic! 

This was a new dentist, so I was a bit nervous. After all, the first 24 years of my life I've been to the same dentist, the one my mom started going to when she was 18. Crazy, eh? (dental hygiene was instilled in my siblings and I at a very young age)

As soon as I stepped in, though, I knew I was in for a good experience. Everyone was so friendly. One of the hygienists actually uttered the phrase "okely dokely" to me! The dentist was really sweet, knew where I grew up and went to school and was generally pretty cool! And you know that annoying thing that dentists to where they ask you a question just as they shove the pick and mirror in your mouth so you have to answer by making awkward "agh agah gahh" noises? She doesn't do that at all! She asks a question and then removes her utensils so you can answer! 

I've also realized that, dentally speaking, I've been living in the dark ages! I was in need of some new x-rays and one of them was a panoramic of my mouth! I stepped into an area with a tube for my head,  bit down on this plastic straw, had little antennae set my head straight and a little machine whirred around my head doing a complete panorama of my mouth! It was kind of like a ride! Especially because I had to hold onto this bar while it was all taking place. Pretty freaking awesome sounding, right? It was.

In sum, I love the dentist even more now! If you can believe it! I'm so pumped for Dec. 13th (my next check up) it's not even funny. Too bad you only need x-rays like every 3 years or so (I think). 

How do you feel about the dentist? Are you a fan?

Clearly, I am.

Although, as I'm writing this, a thought occurs to me. They never gave me the toothbrush I was promised. . . hmmmmm.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Love

Here we are again on Thursday, and this time I have a special edition of Things I Love Thursday! It's special because it's different: there's only one thing on the list today. Not because I don't have anything to love on this week, but because this one's worthy of a whole post. but I do love it so I think it still qualifies. OK, anyway, I'm rambling, let's get started!

The thing I love this Thursday is that a little less than two weeks ago, a good friend of mine,Virginia, started working with me at my company!! We'd been joking all year that when she moved back to the Boston area I should get her a job at my company. Low and behold, a few weeks before she was due back, the receptionist position opened at my company! I emailed V right away to let her know the details and urge her to apply. Before we could even think about it, she had an interview and was offered the job! Both of us have had so much fun together now that she's around every day!

    workin' hard at the office (and that second one's not even posed)!

Whether we're picnicking on the common during lunch break, running into each other in the bathroom, or going shopping after getting out early on Memorial Day Weekend, it's been such an encouragement to me! I love having her smiling face greet me every morning as I come into work, and truly it's so fun to have an old friend around the office!

We've also been laughing non stop about how weird it is that she now works in my office. After a year of hearing stories from work, V is now part of it! So crazy! I never would have guessed, even a year ago, that we'd not only be living in (almost) the same city but that we'd all be coworkers. God certainly works in wonderful and amusing ways! And I know it'll continue to be a fun adventure

So if you like lists (I do) and want one to keep Thursday lists going here it is:

1. Good friends like Virginia
2. Good friends like Virgnia to work with!
3. Pineapple stir fry on a sunny day.  . .oh sorry maybe that's another item for another list for another time (or my dinner tonight).

See you next week with more Things I Love Thursday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We all scream for ice cream

Last night a group of friends and I piled into a car and headed out of the city to a lovely place called Richardson's. If you don't live in Eastern Mass, you might not have heard of it (not sure if they have any satellite locations) but Richardson's is a complex with mini golf, a driving range, batting cages, and the crowning glory, an ice cream shop. Really, it's more than a shop. They have their own cows and make their own ice cream and milk. And it's supremely delicious.

After a rousing game of mini golf in which I came in a respectable third (. . .out of four. and, ok, the guys might have all gone ahead and kicked the girls butts. . .) it was time for ice cream!

There were a mind boggling amount of options but, I decided on a chocolate peanut butter ice cream with jimmies, while my friend Hannah sprung for Purple Cow (black raspberry base, white and chocolate chunks). Oreo and cookie dough ice cream were hits as well. I'm sure you're all drooling by now imagining these delicious homemade treats, but the real story here is the size of these bad boys.

 Our friend Heidi warned us of the behemoth size of the cups/cones but for some reason we all decided to throw caution to the wind and get smalls. "What's the big deal with a small?" you ask. Well, at Richardson's a small is very nearly a pint of ice cream. Even the kiddie size which we all should have gotten was probably about a large at any other ice cream place! Still, despite the size, I ate every last glorious bit of that chocolate peanut buttery goodness. And then immediately felt sick, and still do. Apparently too much of a good thing isn't a good thing. It just leads to a stomach ache and a sugar headache 12+ hours post consumption.

Nevertheless, it was a fabulous trip and a nice midweek break from the city. Oh, and I even tried my hand at the driving range. I was pretty subpar, but I can now totally understand why people go to the driving range. I can see how addicting it would be to thwack golf ball after golf ball into the night air, trying to make each stroke steadier, each arch of the ball smoother, and each hit farther reaching. It seems so soothing! Not to mention you get to reward yourself with homemade ice cream afterwards!

 Heidi double fisting it!

 The guys taking a break from the range for a sweet treat

 The pre-ice cream hot dog. . .obviously
The question that's been on my mind since we left last night. . .what does a Richardson's large look like?