Archive for the ‘Fun’ category

“I’m ba-ack!”

August 20, 2011

Wow, I’ve been MIA the last few weeks. Not that many people noticed, but I feel weird not having blogged for so long. So here I am, bright and early on a Saturday, ready to share my experiences from the last few weeks.

A few weekends ago I met up with some college roommates in Ocean City, Maryland, and we had a blast relaxing at the beach, going out for dinner and drinks and catching up. Here’s a picture of us at Liquid Assets, a bistro and package store with an awesome menu.

We started off the evening with martinis, shared a decadent cheese plate and enjoyed our delicious main courses. I got garlic chicken with roasted tomatoes, onions, fingerling potatoes, Benton’s bacon, spinach and herbs. One of my friends ordered the open faced slow braised Carolina pork BBQ with chipotle coleslaw and thick cut fries, and the other two got seared scallops risotto with roasted garlic and shallots, peas, mushrooms, fresh herbs and grana padano.

My garlic roasted chicken

The pork BBQ

The seared scallops risotto

The weekend following our Ocean City Extravaganza was a busy one as well. Jim and I hosted some friends, went to a Red Sox game and attended a two-day marriage prep class. The Red Sox game was a blast — thanks to our friend, Candace, we managed to get second-row seats!

Our view of the park

Unfortunately, the Red Sox did not win this game (and what’s worse is they lost to the Yankees), but we still had a great time. We enjoyed watching Dustin Pedroia do his little hop move before fielding the ball, making fun of Candace for her “crush” on Josh Reddick (I put crush in quotes because the rest of us sort of invented it) and going out after the game.

The marriage prep class was quite an experience. Due to a friend’s recommendation, we attended the one at the Espousal Retreat House in Waltham (completing a “Pre-Cana” marriage course is a requirement for a Catholic wedding, which we’re having). We showed up on Saturday to discover that 75 other couples in the greater Boston area were doing the same thing. Apparently, this was a record number. We spent the next couple of days together, listening to married couples share their marriage experiences and insights, receiving advice from a priest who’s worked with hundreds of married couples and discussing different aspects of marriage with out significant other.

The Espousal Retreat House in Waltham

In fact, they had each us one us complete forms devoted to specific topics, and then discuss our answers privately with our fiance (or fiancee). Topics ranged from finances to goals to religion. It was helpful to discuss those taboo topics you always try to avoid but really should confront. My fiance and I learned a few things about one another, but were pretty happy must of the subjects we’d already addressed (and were familiar with the other person’s perspective on).

The big theme of the weekend was: COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Even if you have an issue with another person (say, a friend of the family), you should always be willing to discuss your concerns with your husband or wife. Because you are a team and that person is there to help you out. They will feel validated knowing you trust them with your thoughts, and you’ll end up with a constant source of support and encouragement.

Last weekend my fiance and I headed to Syracuse, NY to take care of more wedding planning. We met with our priest for the first time, picked out the church readings and decided on the layout of the reception space. Also, my fiance designed wedding programs using his fine-tuned Excel skills. I was so proud of him. I had spent hours trying to figure out how to format Microsoft Word properly for a program. And then he goes ahead and whips up an awesome, perfectly formatted program on Excel in no time! I really think he should market his wedding program making skills!

Not only have I been so busy the last few weekends, but it seems like nearly every weeknight I’ve had some event to celebrate. For example, it was my sister’s 29th birthday on Wednesday (we had an awesome tapas meal at Solea in Waltham), my friend Bridget’s going away dinner on Tuesday, and my 3-year anniversary on August 10.

I love this card my fiance gave me for our anniversary

Finally, I feel like I can relax. I was so tired from all the recent happenings last night, that I went to bed at 8:30 (yup, on a Friday night). But now it’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday, I’ve already had my coffee and Stella D’oro almond toasts, and I’m feeling good! I’m really looking forward to this weekend — my only plan is to attend the Futures at Fenway doubleheader. Actually, I have one other plan as well: to celebrate my fiance’s acceptance into his graduate school program of choice! He’ll be attending Northeastern for political science starting in three weeks– yeah!!!

Made some more cards last night

July 9, 2011

This time I attended Liz Ballard’s class in Arlington, Mass. Here’s what I made:

I didn’t want a bridal shower

June 25, 2011

But my aunts threw me one anyway. It ended up being awesome because it didn’t really feel like a bridal shower (with the exception of all the presents). The backdrop was a barbecue, guys were invited, and no girly games were played. Here are a few pics from the event:

My friends Henrik and Emily were able to attend (along with their adorable baby, Elise)

My friends Steve and Lindy (along with their Dad) also showed up

Me in front of all the desserts people made

My aunts, mom and I

My dad and members of his side of the family

More family members

My sister, her dog, and I

I got a TON of presents. I am so appreciative…from the nice flower-patterned Oneida silverware to the wine racks to the three adorable aprons (I swear there’s a lot more where that came from!), I feel so lucky.

I made cards today!!!

May 28, 2011

Thanks to card maker extraordinaire June Lee, I made some nice cards and a card holder today. June, who lives in Malden, has been making cards for the last few years. She holds classes at her home once a month. Here’s what I came up with today:

Card holder

Inside of card holder

Inscription inside card holder

First card

Inside first card (Translation: Happy birthday, Let me know when the cake is ready)

Envelope for card #1

My second card (Translation: Many thanks)

Envelope for card #2

My third card

Envelope for card #3

My fourth card

Envelope for card #4

I love Zumba!!!

May 9, 2011

I tried Zumba for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Here’s an article I wrote about it for a local news site.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/edsonhong1/5245297550

A successful trip to Syracuse

April 25, 2011

Not only did I take care of some wedding planning, but I brought back some awesome stuff.

A Chevrolet shirt in honor of my Chevy Cavalier

A mixer from some friends of the family (they had an extra one lying around)

An orchid from my mom

A haworthia cactus (also known as a zebra plant) from my mom

Easter chocolate

An old painting of mine

A week of wedding planning

April 21, 2011

The "ladies room" of the Wellington House

Since Wednesday my fiance and I have been in Syracuse, taking care of wedding business. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • We met with the florist. We are having Nino Gagliano of the Backyard Garden Florist do our flowers. He’s so nice and accommodating. We arrived at our appointment with several ideas of what we wanted, which made things easy. When we showed Nino our pictures (I found them online), he immediately knew which flowers were in each arrangement. Based on our preferences and his advice, he helped us pick out the perfect flowers and color combinations. We will be using a mixture of white roses, calla lillies, green hydrangeas, snapdragons, stock flowers, and hypernicum berries.
  • We checked out the rehearsal dinner venue. My fiance’s parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner at the Wellington House in Fayetteville. Wow, what a unique and charming abode! Built in the early-1920s, the home is split up into themed rooms. For example, there’s a “wicker room,” “men’s lounge,” and “bride’s room.” Thomas Thomas, the current owner, has filled the residence with furniture and antiques he’s purchased from local auctions. The estate includes a garden and a bar area, both of which we’ll be using for the rehearsal dinner (we’ll actually have free reign of the whole property).
  • We discussed some wedding details over a delicious dinner. My fiance’s parents were in town for a couple of days as well, so my family (my dad, mom, brother and I) went out to dinner with them and my fiance. We dined at the Brewster Inn, a wonderful bed and breakfast overlooking Cazenovia Lake. Not only was the view lovely, but dinner was amazing. Almost everyone had something different. I had the pan seared tournedos of beef (it came with chantilly potatoes, asparagus, and burgundy cream sauce), and my fiance indulged in the pork tenderloin au poivre (it was served with chantilly potatoes, asparagus, and a green peppercorn cream sauce).
  • We met with the baker. Connie Decker of The Chocolate Truffle will be making our wedding cake. I can’t find her website, but here’s a newspaper article about her. She’s been in business for more than 20 years, so she seems to really knows her stuff. We were a little disappointed she doesn’t do cake tastings (to help you figure out what cake flavor and filling to choose), but were willing to sacrifice that perk for her expertise. We decided on a chocolate cake with white frosting and raspberry filling. White roses, green hydrangeas, stock flowers, and hunter green leaves will decorate the cake.

Tomorrow we’re finalizing the guest list with my mom; on Saturday, we’re sampling food at the reception venue. I’m especially excited for that task!

My professional website is in the works

April 13, 2011

I spent a good chunk of yesterday setting up a professional website. It took me a little while to determine my domain name, register my site, and pick out a web host. For my domain name, I ended up deciding on christinedunne.com, which will be my new name as of September 17. I registered the site with GoDaddy and chose Laughing Squid as a host.

After realizing how much I love WordPress (I’ve been using it to blog since the fall of 2008), I decided to set up my site with WordPress’s blog tool and publishing platform. As I explained in my new site’s first blog post, this involved a fair amount of work. But thanks to various online help/tutorials, I figured it out.

I’ve barely added anything to my site, but I look forward to working on it in the coming weeks.

Take that thief– I’m getting new things!

April 12, 2011

Almost a month ago my car was burglarized by an unknown meanie. As I mentioned in this blog post, I lost a lot of valuable items. Well, I have a small sense of relief knowing I can replace some of these possessions. My insurance company has given me some money for new purchases. Here’s what I’ve bought so far:

Flower flip flops from the Dress Barn

Somewhat-funky socks from the Dress Barn

Silver and gold earrings from the Dress Barn

Capri pants from Kohl's

A dress from Kohl's

New Balance sneakers from Filene's Basement

My friend Jeannie helped me pick out the first five items, and my fiance helped me pick out the sneakers. I look forward to getting a new GPS, some shorts, and some short-sleeved shirts (all items that were stolen) in the near future.

I got to see two members of Pearl Jam perform!

March 28, 2011

Last night I attended the Tres Mts. concert at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. The group is composed of Jeff Ament, the bassist for Pearl Jam; Doug Pinnick, the bass guitarist, songwriter, and co-lead vocalist for the hard rock/progressive metal band King’s X; and Richard Stuverud, a drummer who’s played for several bands in the Seattle area.

Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, joined the group for their tour. So I got to see him and Ament last night!

Gull, a one-man metal band, was the opening act. This strange dude sings, plays the guitar, and drums simultaneously. I shot this short video of him last night:

After a lengthy performance by Gull, Tres Mts. took the stage. According to Tres Mts.’s Facebook page, Ament first saw Pinnick perform in 1989. He asked him to open some shows for Pearl Jam, and they became friends.

Here’s a video I shot of Tres Mts. last night. First, you see Pinnick. Then, you get a glimpse of Ament playing the guitar. McCready is the red-shirted guitarist in the background.

Here’s another excerpt from Tres Mts.’s performance:

And another:

Here’s some guitar action:

And one more clip:

All in all it was a great show. It was a nice blend of slow and fast songs; I loved Pinnick’s voice, the wonderful guitar playing, and the band’s high level of energy.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.