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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eclipse was Awesome!!

My sister and I got to see a sneak preview (for free!...well, sort of, we had to spend money at Nordstrom's to get the tickets, but we needed new clothes anyway) of Eclipse last night.

It was AWESOME! Very funny and it had loads of action. Sometimes I felt that the movie was in fast-forward because it really moved through some key plot points very quickly, but overall, it was really well made. Easily the best of the series so far.
My one complaint was the shaky camera in a few scenes. Is this the new thing? Maybe our film was just shaky? I might have to go see it again to see if that camera shaking thing was on purpose...gee darn, I might have to see it again. :)

Because of the movie and late night construction, I got home late and I only got four hours of sleep last night. Very sleepy. So another short post today.

And I leave you with the Grandpa Gaga video. This cracked me up this morning, I hope I keep dancing until the day I die of ripe old age. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF4hwfUMdWU&feature=player_embedded

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Man sings puppies to sleep

This is so incredibly cute.
My mom sent me this video...thanks Mom!

Singing Puppies to Sleep

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCnAjel02lM&feature=email

Monday, June 28, 2010

busy week

I won't be able to post that much this week.
I'll do my best, but no promises.

Colleen moved out this weekend. She made it safely to Cleveland. :)

My sister and I spend a LOT of time together this weekend, we went strawberry picking and I broke out in hives. :) And Anthony and I explored farmer's markets and farms this weekend. We can't wait to get out of the city.

We are also considering joining a CSA next year. More on that later.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My first "After" pictures

So here we go, my first "after" pictures.

A friend of mine pointed out that my "After, after" pictures will be even better and I do look forward to those pictures.

Thank you TC and Marybeth for the nice comments yesterday, posting those pictures for the world to see was really tough. I feel like I had more to "chat" about today, but I'll keep today's post short.

Pictures!

So here is my first picture. Anthony took this one when we were at Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. I haven't eaten any ice cream yet, but I do have a little belly bulge. That is where I hold most of my weight, I'm an apple-shaped lady.
I have decided that this t-shirt and shorts outfit is not my most flattering, but it's a good picture and it reminds me that I still have a ways to go on this weight loss journey.
Next picture:

Here is a picture of me eating...see, I can lose weight and eat chicken parm sandwiches. And ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. hehehehe. Notice the tan line on my arm from the Body Bugg? Oh yeah, you will also notice I'm blonde again and not brunette-ish-red-ish. :)
Next:

This picture is blurry, but it's a great shot of how good I look in that dress! This is the first dress I purchased since I lost weight. I think it looks pretty good and it's VERY comfortable.
Next:

So this picture is proof that any picture taken at a bad angle will make you look 10 pounds heavier. This is why celebrities go to consultants to learn how to pose on the red carpet. Note to self: This is not a good pose for the red carpet. Or anytime a camera is within the vicinity.
Next:

Again, belly shot. This picture was taken with the camera below me, another bad angle. And why does my hair look red? odd.
Next:

Aren't we cute?! Proof that angle is everything. I look incredibly thin in this picture. It helps that most of my body is hiding behind Anthony and the angle of the camera just made my face look thin. Posing is everything. I might try to track down one of those celebrity consultant people.

So there you go...my transformation so far. I decided to show the pictures of myself that I loved (blue dress, eating chicken parm, me & Anthony) and pictures I hated (anything in that purple t-shirt) to show you that outfits and camera angles can really make a big difference in how you look.

However, what outfits and camera angles don't show...is how you FEEL. If you feel good, happy, well-rested and energetic then you know you are healthy. And being healthy is way more important than how you look. I can only imagine some of those thin celebrities also have unflattering photos somewhere. I think the tabloid magazines have them at the beginning of summer to show off the "worst celebrity bods". I'm just happy to know that celebrities look normal and they aren't super-robots ready to take over the world.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

148 and Before Pictures

So this morning my Wii Fit "yelled" at me. This is because I reached my weight loss goal before my deadline and I think also because I lost 3 pounds last week and another 2.5 this week. I told the Wii Fit to shove it. :)

I will try to slow down though, I feel that 1 pound a week is healthy permanent weight loss. I won't be able to keep up 3 pounds all the time and the faster you lose it..the faster you gain it. I really think that you need to lose it very slowly.

I'll explain all of this in future posts while I tell everyone what worked for me.

Please remember though, what worked for me, might not work for you. I really believe that everyone needs to find their own path.

My official weight this morning was 147.7. I round up, so I'm at 148 pounds. I feel GREAT! I like looking at my "after" pictures from this past weekend but I still have a ways to go. I would like to reach 140 pounds before the end of summer. While my "after" pictures look great, I know that I can look better. I have a picture on my fridge of myself when I weighed 134 and I looked REALLY good. I'm looking forward to that.

The reason this post is being titled "148 and Before Pictures" is because 148 is a really significant number for me. Since college (during and after and all through my 20's) I have struggled with my weight. I don't really remember when I weighed what, but I do have this one email from Monday, September 16, 2002:

"Did you weigh yourself this morning? I did, and I have started a notebook to write down everything I eat. And when I get home I am going to go walking! (I weighed 148)
I also have a web page about eating breakfast...we should go buy breakfast stuff."

This was an email to my roommate at the time. We had decided to try and lose weight together. So I know that back then, I weighed 148 and wanted to lose weight. If I had any idea that in the future I would have gained almost another THIRTY pounds, I think I would have tried harder. I am going for a walk??? Try a RUN honey! We should go buy breakfast stuff??? WHY WASN'T I EATING BREAKFAST?!

With time, comes maturity and weight gain. But I have now lost weight and thank goodness I now eat breakfast every morning (and have for YEARS now). You really should listen to people who are older than you, they really are wiser!

So now the moment you have all been waiting for...and the one I have been dreading. Well, maybe you are looking forward to the after pictures more? I will be posting those tomorrow, so visit again tomorrow. :)

This is really difficult for me. For those of you who know me, I really prefer privacy and I do not like posting personal information about me on the web. I know that having a blog seems to be counter-productive to my whole "I hate social networking and prefer privacy online" thing but it's a control thing for me. I hate the lack of control I have over other people to post information about myself on the web. And confession time. What this really comes down to is this, I don't like photos of myself on the web. And most importantly, unflattering photos of myself on the web. I get this awful, embarrassed feeling whenever I see an unflattering picture. But that is all going to end now. I need to face photos of myself. I need to know what I look like. I truly believe you don't know what you look like until you look at a picture. So look at a picture of yourself. Say to yourself, "hey, you look great!" and then before you start picking yourself apart, make a deal with yourself. Make a deal to improve the health of your body. In return, your body will start looking really good.

This is a HUGE big deal to me. I am hoping by posting these pictures of myself at my heaviest weight that I will be motivated to NEVER return to this weight again.





I would like to thank my husband for being a loving, caring and supportive person. And I would especially like to thank you for still being attracted to me even when I gained weight. I love you Anthony. :)

I would like to thank my parents for taking these pictures of me and for purchasing the Body Bugg (I'll post on this later).

Thank you to all my friends who have been so supportive. You can't do it without your friends and family supporting you and being your cheerleaders!

And I need to go back to Disney and get a new picture taken with Tigger and Pooh. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1st Anniversary

Thank you to everyone who is voting for Tracy's video!
Voting is open until July 3rd, so try to go back every day and vote!

And an EXTRA SPECIAL thank you to all my friends and family members who are spreading the word through other social media. I really appreciate it, I think Tracy truly deserves a chance to have her own show.

And now....what you have all been waiting for...an update on my weekend!
Anthony and I traveled to Vermont to celebrate our First Wedding Anniversary. We decided to stay at a Bed and Breakfast and do a bunch of touristy type things together. We realized during this trip that it was the first time we had been alone together for more than a few hours since our honeymoon! So the entire weekend was really special.
We started our weekend on Saturday morning by sleeping in...something we rarely do these days. We packed up our suitcase, our anniversary cake, a bottle of wine from our wedding and we were off! We decided to go the Magic Hat Brewery as our first stop. On the way we stopped at a restaurant called Three Tomatoes Trattoria. Anthony found this restaurant through an online group called the Vermont Fresh Network.
We had a really great lunch here, the food was excellent and the portion sizes were just right. (which in my mind is smaller than your average lunch plate.)

Anthony was pretty excited to tour the brewery, he was like a kid in a candy store.

We got free samples of all of their beers at the end and we both ended up buying t-shirts. I bought the t-shirt of my favorite beer, which was called Circus Boy. The t-shirt features a ferris wheel. Anthony bought a t-shirt that featured the logo from "Wacko" the summer brew that we had a keg of at our wedding. He said it was because he liked the logo and because it was the beer served at our wedding. Awww...that was romantic. :)
After the brewery we drove to our Bed and Breakfast, The Three Bears at the Fountain.
The owners of the B&B were very friendly and welcoming. They gave us a short tour of their home and showed us to our room. The B&B has two hot tubs, a heated swimming pool and stunning views of the mountains and valley. They had a lot of little "extras" as well. We would highly recommend this B&B if you are going to Stowe, VT.

After we checked in, and rested for a bit, we were on our way to dinner. We ate a restaurant called "Santos". I would love to get you a link, but they don't have a website yet. They are very new and very popular. Anthony found this restaurant again through the Vermont Fresh Network. Our B&B hosts made us reservations and even provided us with directions. (The owners of the Three Bears really go above and beyond!) We had a really nice dinner at this restaurant, they have very fancy latin food and I was really brave...I let Anthony order for me and I loved my food! Our waiter talked us into dessert even though we had anniversary cake waiting for us in our room. Our dessert was a sampling of three different sorbet's. We had a Guava, Coconut and Lemon Blueberry. I didn't care for the Guava, it reminded me too much of mango which I don't like the flavor of. I was really surprised how much I liked the coconut and I loved the Lemon Blueberry.
After dinner and dessert we retired to our room where we had Moscato D'Asti, chocolate-covered strawberries and cake!
We were way too full for the cake. There was also a GIANT jacuzzi tub in our room.
So we went to bed early and called it a night.

Just kidding.

What? Did you think you were getting all of the details? We had a very romantic and very relaxing evening. That's the PG rated version of the story.

The next morning we woke up and ate breakfast. Our guests served us such a big breakfast, that we didn't eat much for the rest of the day. Breakfast was served on the deck outside overlooking the valley and river below. We had a vegetarian omelette and bacon and toast and fruit and coffee cake and juice...and I think there was more. It was a GREAT breakfast. Anthony and I felt very lucky that we had such great food all weekend. We chatted with our hosts over breakfast and learned that there was a Farmer's Market in town that day. We decided to add that to our list of things to do and we packed up our bags and said farewell to our hosts.
We will be writing up some great reviews for them on TripAdvisor.com.
Sunday was spent visiting the Farmer's Market (we bought groceries and were happy we had the cooler with us from the cake!) and we went up through Smuggler's Notch and did some exploring on the cliffs.

We stopped by two glass blower studios and watched how glass is made. We love the glass sculptures but for the life of us, we can't figure out where we would put it. We aren't really knick-knack types. Our last stop before we went home was at the Ben & Jerry's Factory.

This was actually the one part of our trip we don't recommend. The tour is only mildly interesting (kids will be very bored) and the tour is very short. You have to pay ($3) and you do get a free sample at the end. We got to try Boston Creme Pie, which was pretty good. We checked out the "Flavor Graveyard" and got in line for ice cream. 45 minutes later, we had ice cream. Now, it was some of the best ice cream we ever had, but I'm not sure it was worth waiting in line for 45 minutes with other hot, irritated, and cranky kids. We won't be bringing our kids here. It would be cheaper to buy a pint of ice cream at the store and decide you don't like it, toss it, and try another one.

Over all, our weekend was AWESOME. There are way more details than I can possibly provide in one post. I missed the barn-yard sale we stopped at, the random stops we made along the way, the plan our day as we go attitudes and the story of how we left our camera at Three Tomatoes and had to go back and get it and how we almost didn't go to Smuggler's Notch because we didn't know to go. I didn't mention the "not-an anniversary present" I got for Anthony and the cards we exchanged.

Everything was AWESOME!!! :) Did I mention awesome? Just checkin'!

Anthony and I have decided our anniversary tradition will be to go away for one night on our anniversary. We think that this will be a good option for us no matter what the future brings. We can either make it a weekend away, or just one night away at a local hotel depending upon financial stuffs and kids. But we both agreed, time away, just the two of us, will be a permanent part of our anniversary celebration.

Oh yeah. We did finally eat some of the cake. On Sunday night (our actual anniversary). We both had a few bites and thought "it's okay." We didn't finish it and we agreed that the chocolate-covered strawberries and sorbet was much better.
Oh well. At least we saved the cake and ate it. It looked pretty though. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vote for Tracy!

An update on my weekend is coming soon! (short version - It was awesome!)

In the meantime, please vote for Tracy. I had planned a dedicated post to Tracy, my nutritional and health counselor but I hadn't gotten to it yet. I wouldn't have been able to lose weight and change my life the way I have without her.
I can't believe how much more I enjoy eating every day because of the things I have learned from her. She is an incredibly intelligent woman who passionately educates people every day about what we eat.

Here is an email I received from her today:
"Hi Dani ,
You already know I am passionate about real food and real health!
Today I help hundreds of people each year, but it could be so much more.
I want to help Millions of people to take back their health. One person at a time.
My goal is to have my own TV show called Eating on Purpose, and I'm competing in a contest sponsored by Oprah Winfrey to earn that opportunity. But I truly cannot do this alone. I need and ask for your help and partnership! I need votes (and a LOT of them) this week. You can see my quick video audition here.
If it resonates with you, then hit the green Vote button underneath the video. You may vote as many times as you like, so please click Back and vote a few times! Please then forward this email to your friends, family, networks, and distribution lists and share your support for the idea. I need to get millions of votes, so I will be very grateful for anything you can do to help spread the word (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, My Space).

Together, we can start turning around the health of Americans - one healthier choice at a time. Myth-busting, unraveling food company deception, healthy cooking, inspiring interviews with people who have changed their lives with food (maybe some of you?): it's going to be awesome!

Thanks very much,
Tracy"

So if you get a moment, please vote! Thanks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cinnamon Toast Crunch!


Sometime last year I was grocery shopping with my cousin Colleen and we passed the boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I was mentally drooling and could vividly remember enjoying this cereal when I was a kid. Specifically when my parents took us on vacation on Sebago Lake in Maine. We usually got all sorts of junk that week that we would normally never eat...and that included Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
(sometimes I think my dad is a big kid hiding in an adult body, he always bought the BEST junk food!!)
I mentioned to my cousin how good I thought that cereal was and she asked me "why don't you get some?". Well, the reason I did not was because I needed to lose weight. Even though this was months before I would seriously begin losing weight, I told her that I could not get that cereal. And then I thought about it some more and I said "When I weigh 150 pounds, I will have one bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch."

Now, when I said that, I would only have needed to lose 10-12 pounds to eat that bowl of cereal. Fast forward and by the end of the year (2009) I was weighing in at around 175 pounds. After my wedding I came off of some medication that I had been on for years. After the first medication I gained about 10 pounds almost immediately. After the second medication I gained another 5 pounds. I had never been heavier and I felt really depressed and I thought about giving up.

Lucky for me and my health....I didn't give up! Fast forward from December 27, 2009 to June 17, 2010 and I have officially lost 25 pounds and I now weigh in at 150 pounds.
A few weeks ago at the grocery store....I noticed that Cinnamon Toast Crunch was on sale. So I bought it and I put it on top of my fridge where I could look at it every day and remind myself to stay strong and keep going. And I had some this morning. YUMMMY!
It tasted just like I remember it.
I was good. I measured out the correct portion size. 3/4 cup. That isn't much.
But a correct portion was only 130 calories and I was determined to do it. Every bite tasted incredible...just like vacations in the summer from my childhood.

I won't be eating this on a regular basis. (Anyone want to come over and finish my box?) The protein and fiber levels in this cereal don't compare at all to my usual cereal, Kashi GoLean. So as good as it tasted, it just wasn't satisfying.
I'm still hungry. So now I will have my mid-morning snack...Yogurt!

I'll dedicate another post to the yogurt. Sometime later in the future.
And now I'm off and running towards my next goal...140 pounds!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I forgot how tight pants used to be.

I wore my skinny jeans yesterday and I have decided I need to lose another 5 pounds before those jeans are comfortable. I had forgotten what it was like to wear tight pants since most of my pants are now too big or baggy.

Tight pants = ouch!

I had one of those big red marks on my belly from the pants and I couldn't wait to get them off. It was a friendly reminder all day not to eat too much but was it really worth it? Make sure that your clothes fit no matter what size you are. You will be a lot more comfortable. And even though it was nice to fit into those jeans, I love finding my normal pants are now too baggy. Now I just need to invest in belts and eventually some new pants.

Hey, did you know that the actor who plays Kurt's father on the show Glee is a Celtics fan? I didn't know that either.



Just try to ignore that I got this picture from my company's newspaper rival. :)











http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_03_10_game1_scene?pg=17

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Skinny Jeans

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Anthony and I went to Vermont to celebrate Father's Day early. My sister and her boyfriend joined us as well and we had a great time. We were celebrating Father's Day early because my first wedding anniversary falls on Father's Day this year.
We have decided what we are doing, but we are keeping it a surprise. We will let you all know what we decided to do next week, so stay tuned!

I have promised an update on my battle of the weight and it's coming soon, I promise.
I'm waiting to post all about it when I reach my first goal. And right now, as of this morning, I am 1.5 pounds away from it! And you know what else? I wore my skinny jeans to work. These aren't my, oh, they are a little tight but I can squeeze into them jeans. These are my "they didn't fit when I bought them, but maybe they would someday" jeans. I got them at a department store that sells higher end clothes at good discounts. (http://www.steinmart.com/)

They are Calvin Klein. And a few months ago, they didn't fit. And now they do!

I have a few articles of clothing like that. There is nothing better than "discovering" clothes in your closet that you can wear again.
More information coming soon, I promise. With before and after photos! Yep, I am going to show you all pictures of me at my worst.

This past weekend we had an electrician do some wiring and put in new lights for us in our condo...and they look AMAZING! I am so happy with the results. We still have more work being done, but here are a few pictures to show you the best parts.



The pictures didn't really come out all that well, and if you didn't know what it looked like before, these pictures don't really show you just how awesome it is now. I wish we had done this a few years ago, but back then we didn't care about what our place looked like and we didn't have any money to purchase the lights or hire the electrician. I'm glad we are doing it now, this is just step 1 in the big renovate the condo project. Many more things to come. I'll try to do before and after pictures for everything.
In the meantime, if you are in the Worcester area and you need a great electrician who can help you with lighting design and ideas for your home, please let me know. I would love to recommend our electrician. (He is also a neighbor!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guilty.

This morning my sister sent me a quick message.
It said:

"Is it silly that I feel guilty if I visit your blog and don't feed the fish haha"

And my response was:

"haha!!! me too!! I'm totally posting about that today"

And so I did. Did you feed my fish? Do you feel guilty if you don't? :)
Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How do you celebrate?

So my husband and I will be celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary a week from this coming Sunday. We have decided we want to do something as a tradition every year, but we haven't really finalized what that will be.
We want to make sure that in future years we will always take the time on this one day to celebrate our marriage, and that finances, kids, and life won't get in the way. So we want it to be something we do every year.
We are definitely going to be eating our cake. (yay! cake! Anniversary cake calories don't count right? haha) We have thought about viewing our wedding video, but well, it isn't done yet. I have been lazy and I haven't finished editing it yet. That whole "life" thing got in the way. And frankly, once the wedding was done, I was just happy to be done with it and get on with life. :) I loved wedding planning really...but I don't miss it. Not one bit.

So back to the question.

Most people would go out for dinner and maybe exchange gifts. We always celebrated our dating anniversary with a dinner out, but we never did gifts. We both tend to purchase big items as our gifts to each other for events. (TV for Christmas, new bed = Christmas, Valentine's Day and Birthdays)

But we want to do something special. We have considered going away for the weekend (New York City), buying cards, going out for dinner, purchasing gifts, etc.
We just haven't finalized anything.

How do you celebrate your anniversary?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Scooper Bowl

I can't go to the Scooper Bowl because I am on a diet.
BUT YOU SHOULD GO!

Seriously. Unlimited ice cream. And the weather is perfect! Sunny skies and not too hot. (well, tomorrow will be chilly.) And it will be over tomorrow!
Tuesday - Thursday this week...noon to 8pm.

Go. Now. It's for a good cause:

http://www.jimmyfund.org/eve/event/scooper-bowl/default.html

Monday, June 07, 2010

Yard Sale and Boston

I had a really great weekend, I hope everyone else did as well.

On Saturday my condo building had our FOURTH annual spring yard sale. We have the same few people participate every year, but it's usually a good time and we get the neighbors out to enjoy the sunshine. We didn't make as much money this year as we have in the past, but we also had less to sell this year. (This is a good thing...)

The day started out a little wet, we had severe thunderstorms throughout the night. But by the time we needed to set up at 7:30 in the morning the weather had cleared and by 9am the sunshine was out in full force! (Sunscreen for everyone!) We had one brief rain shower at about 1:30 in the afternoon. It rained heavily for about two minutes. My husband was smart enough to put some tarps in our windows (we have the condo closest to the yard sale site) and we were able to grab the tarps and cover our belongings. After the rain was over we packed up some items to go to goodwill and ended the yard sale. After cleaning up and putting away the really really heavy tables we rewarded ourselves with some ice cream!
I found a really great place here in Worcester and their ice cream (homemade!) is really good. It's a dairy farm of sorts called "Gibby's" and they have milk in glass bottles and other local dairy products for sale. You haven't lived until you have had some fresh local milk out of a glass bottle. (Or ice cream from Gibbys. No website yet. :( I already talked to them about it.)

After the ice cream, it was time to head home and get into the shower. Anthony and I were hosting my friend Joe (from Chicago) and his girlfriend, Erin, for the weekend. Erin had never been to Boston before and we were looking forward to showing her around. Joe and Erin did the Freedom Trail on Saturday morning and took in some of the sights Friday night. Saturday afternoon they took the commuter rail out to Worcester and we picked them up at Union Station. We headed across the rotary to a great Liquor store, KJ Baarons. KJ Baarons has an amazing selection of craft beers and wines. They do wine and cheese tastings all the time and the staff at this store are very friendly and they know their products very well. Joe and Anthony are very into craft beers so we went to the store so that Joe could try some local brews.
We picked up way more beer than 4 people could consume (especially since I rarely drink) and we headed back to the condo.
We hung out at the condo for a few hours just chatting and relaxing and we decided to go out for some dinner. We had many options because Worcester has some great restaurants but we ultimately decided on Ziti's because they had a "byob" policy.
We decided this because Joe had purchased all of this beer to consume and it seemed a waste to go out to eat and purchase more drinks when we had plenty in our fridge. We freshened up, grabbed the beers and gave Joe and Erin a mini-tour of Worcester. When we arrived at Ziti's...bad news. Sort of. They had a sign posted: "We finally go out liquor license!" Which meant we couldn't bring in our own beer anymore. Needless to say, we were really bummed out. This is an italian restaurant that has large portions and the food is really good, but the bonus for us was always that we could bring our own drinks.
We decided to eat there anyway, but we booked it back home to finish Joe's beers before they got warm. We stayed up for a few more hours and Anthony and I (mostly me) showed off pictures from the wedding and we discussed what we would do the next day in Boston.
We went to bed and we all got to sleep in until 9am. I haven't done that in a really long time...and it felt so good to just sleep. After we were all awake and showered we went to my favorite diner for breakfast and we planned our day in Boston.
The forecast was calling for rain and possible thunderstorms, but we didn't let that stop us. Erin was interested in seeing the Harvard campus since she had heard so much about that school. So we took the Mass Pike into Cambridge and we drove around the Harvard campus and Harvard Square area. After that we took some back roads over to Fenway and along the way Erin got to see a bunch of other campuses including Boston University and Northeastern. We parked on Landsdowne Street and peeked in the Bleacher Bar at Fenway so that Erin and Joe could peek in at Fenway park. I love Fenway. I don't get to too many games there, but I always enjoy going.
After leaving Fenway we headed into Boston to the Boston Common. Our plan was to park in the parking garage under the Boston Common (best deal in Boston, park all day on the weekends for $11) and then travel on foot around that area. We strolled through the Boston Common and public gardens and then we headed down Newbury Street.
On Newbury Street we visited some of our favorite stores and some new ones. We went to Kate Spade, Olive Oil & Company, Hotel Chocolat, and a bunch of others. I'll post more links to more stores later when I find them.
We stopped at Joe's American Bar & Grille for some drinks and we snacked on sweet potato fries and bbq sauce. After the bar, we went into a store called The Hempest and then the clouds opened up. All of a sudden there was a downpour and hurricane or tornado like winds outside. This isn't an exaggeration! When we finally made it back through the Boston Common there were downed limbs and uprooted trees all over the place. I can't believe that we were outside in that storm!
We waited out the storm in the doorway of the store while Erin and I tried on dresses. I ended up find a really cute and really comfortable Navy Blue jersey style dress. This dress is so comfortable, I almost wish it was pajamas.
Eventually the rain died down a bit and we made our way back to the Boston Common Parking Garage.
(first we had a stop at my "secret bathroom" at the Taj hotel. Erin had to go and we needed a break, so I showed everyone where to find the bathroom in the lower level of the hotel lobby at the Taj Boston hotel. This is a really nice fancy hotel, hopefully I will never get kicked out for using their bathroom. :))
We had a few hours left before we needed to bring Joe and Erin to the airport to go home, so we decided to get some dinner first. Erin really wanted to try some east coast seafood and Anthony was more than happy to help her find some. Neither Joe or I eat seafood so we needed to find something that we could all enjoy. Anthony looked up a top seafood place on his cell phone, they mapped it on Joe's phone and we were off 1.5 miles to a restaurant called The Daily Catch.
After walking just over a mile, I started recognizing things...and I noticed a LOT of italian places...we were in the North End! This was a really great coincidence because during Joe and Erin's Freedom Trail tour on Saturday morning, they had passed through the North End area and Erin had really wanted to return. Anthony started to recognize restaurants at that point and we ended up find Mike's Pastry directly across the street from the restaurant we were looking for. Both Joe and Erin really wanted canoli's from Mike's so this was really the icing on the cake for their Boston trip. We got canoli's for everyone except me (I got a peanut butter cup...so rich...so big, couldn't eat it! It's in the fridge, maybe Colleen will eat it.) And then we headed over to the Daily Catch. Where we discovered it was about the size of two office cubes put together. And they only took cash as payment. And there was ONE item on the menu that was not fish. That was pasta with alfredo sauce. I might have felt daring enough to get fish if I hadn't already had a Caribean Rum Punch from the bar earlier in the day, but I played it safe and got the pasta. Joe went to a deli and got a sandwich and brought it back. Both Erin and Anthony had rave reviews for their food and it was really the perfect ending to the day.
While we were in the restaurant the skies had opened up again but by the time we needed to walk the 1.5 miles back to the car, the rain was mostly clear. At this point we and our belongings were slightly damp anyway. :)
We got Erin and Joe back to the airport, they got to their flight on time and Anthony and I headed home on the Pike. And at this point the sun was out and shining and the weather had cooled off. The entire weekend had been very muggy and hot, so the cool air was a relief.
We did some laundry, watched some Animation Domination and went to bed.
A GREAT weekend!
I hope everyone else had a good weekend as well!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Happy Friday!

Yay! Friday!

I have a yard sale in the morning and my friend Joe is coming to visit this weekend.
Hopefully on Monday I'll have some good stories.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Worcester Discount Deals

I want to tell everyone about a really awesome thing in Worcester. I'm sure there are similar services in your towns and cities as well and you should look into it.
Have you ever listened to your local radio station and heard them advertise about half price gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses?
Usually it's something that is offered at 8am on a Thursday or Friday and it's a first-come, first-serve kind of thing. Once they sell out, you are out of luck.
Well, I heard an advertisement for this on our local radio station (WSRS, 96.1) and it was for a local restaurant, Mezcal. (http://mezcalcantina.com/)
This is one of very few restaurants that Anthony and I can completely agree on. They have the most amazing guacamole and although we try as hard as we can, we can't seem to recreate their perfect recipe. Anyway, back to my point....WSRS was going to have half-price gift certificates to this restaurant. So I went on their website to find all the details. I logged on to the website at the right time and I got myself a whole bunch of gift certificates which I also shared with friends.
This was an amazing deal!
But wait, I haven't even gotten to the best part of this service. There was some confusion about the gift certificates so I emailed customer service to get some help. I immediately got a reply from a man named Dave who took care of all my needs. He replied immediately to all of my emails, he took care of the problem quickly and kept me notified of the status of the situation.
I was so impressed!
But wait...it gets even better!
Fast forward a few months. I had used 4 of my gift certificates at Mezcal. Anthony and I took different friends who had never been to the restaurant before (and opened their eyes to the best guacamole in Worcester!) and we had also gone for my birthday. But my account on the Worcester Discount Deals website didn't show that any of our gift certificates were used.
Normally this isn't that big a deal, maybe the restaurant just hadn't reported it yet. But the problem for me was that I didn't print them all out at the same time and they each have a unique code and you can't use the same code twice. SO...my concern was that I was going to reprint the old ones and try to use them again when I didn't mean to since the used ones were not showing as used. (this is all online in an easy to use account on their website)
So I emailed Dave to let him know the problem.
He immediately solved it for me and let me know that if the restaurant gave me a hard time about my remaining gift certificates (just in case I did re-use the unique codes) that I could call him and he would talk to the manager.
Wow....personal service. Fast service. Really catering to the customer.
Then the bonus.
Dave gave me a gift certificate for free to make up for all my trouble.
It's for Edible Arrangement's new store called Frutations. It's for $10, just enough for me to try something at that location (coming soon to Auburn it says!).
WOW.
That sums up my experience with Worcester Discount Deals. Everyone should sign up for stuff.
And if you don't live in Worcester, get a gift for someone who does live in Worcester.
Or find Discount Deals in your area.

Worcester Discount Deals:
http://www.worcestersdiscountdeals.com/

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Life Update

So....where did I leave off?

When I stopped writing in my blog I had purchased a condo, moved in to the condo with my boyfriend Anthony and my friend Martha. We got a dog....and then I stopped writing.
I took a few months to train my dog. I think most people don't realize the work that goes into owning an animal and especially in training a dog to be a polite member of society with humans.
I spent about 3 months training Oscar to become a well-behaved and well-liked dog.
It was pretty easy since he just so happens to be so darn cute and smart too!

That was in 2006.
In 2007 my time got completely involved in other people's weddings. There were quite a few that year. I also left my job with the Dunkin Donuts franchisee and took a position at a newspaper company. I work in the IT department. I was hired for desktop support but last year (2009) I was offered a position on the server team.
I'm really happy with my job and couldn't imagine working anywhere else at the moment.
At the end of 2007 Martha got her own place and moved out.
In 2008 Anthony proposed and I accepted. He proposed with a pepperoni pizza.
Most people coming to this blog will have heard the story already, so I won't repeat it. I may end up adding a page later with all my old wedding stuff just in case anyone is interested.
From June 2008 - June 2009 my life revolved around my wedding.
And from June 2009 through now I have concentrated on my health.

If anyone wants more specific details on life updates, leave a comment and I will post more details.

But basically my life update is this:
Anthony and I got married, we live in the condo I purchased, we really want a house, but the condo won't sell in this market, we love our dog and we are both really happy. :)