Weekending: Baby snuggles, Dry Bar, a Wedding & Lots of Errands

Hi there! How are you doing today? This past weekend was a good one- just what I needed after a stressful week.

After work on Friday, I headed to my friend Jess’s apartment in the North End to hang out with her, some other SMC friends and Jess’s sweet little baby girl, Nora. Jess had Nora in August, but because of everyone’s crazy schedules, we hadn’t had a chance to meet her yet. Snuggles with her was the perfect way to relax me 🙂

The rest of the night was spent passing the babe around, drinking wine, eating pizza and just hanging out. They’ve got an awesome little deck off the living room so we bundled up and headed out there to finish the night.

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After teaching on Saturday, I headed to Chestnut Hill to cash in my Groupon for a blow out at drybar in Chestnut Hill. Have you guys ever heard of drybar or been there? If you haven’t, it’s a salon that only washes, dries and styles your hair. Their slogan, “no cuts. no colors. just blowouts.”, is a perfect way to describe their services. What I loved about the place is that it’s such a girly-girl activity! They charge $40 for a blowout which also includes a cocktail… because cocktails make everything more fun, right? I couldn’t help but have a glass of champagne during my 12pm appointment. I literally did burpees and then had bubbly… so fitting 😉

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I was given a “menu” which had all of the styles listed out. The names were names of cocktails and I went with the Cosmopolitan as it was a loose, wavy style.

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Never mind the blowout, I could have had my hair washed for an hour- the scalp massage was so wonderful! From start to finish it was the most relaxing hour, and such a fun way to treat myself to some pampering! Unfortunately, the weather sucked and therefore my hair did not keep the look I got at the salon, but oh well. Nothing you can do!

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Later in the day, RM and I headed to Beverly to attend his cousin’s wedding. While it was freezing during the outdoor ceremony, it was very thoughtful and heartfelt… I just wish I could’ve had a glass of wine to help numb the cold temps! I didn’t take many photos during the night because I was meeting so many people and didn’t want to be that girl taking a million photos, but I’ll say it was a super fun wedding. His family likes to have a good time and we danced all night!

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We slept in until almost 10am on Sunday, which is a very rare occurrence for me. After breakfast we went for a nice walk to soak up some of the nice weather.

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After our walk, we split ways and I headed out to do some major errands. I’m having a party in a few weeks and wanted to get festive decorations so I headed back to Assembly Place with my first stop being Christmas Tree Shops. I love going there to get decorations as they are super cheap!

From there, I did a little shopping at the stores and scored with a great dress at Banana for $12 and new sneakers at Reebok for $50! My last stop was TJ Maxx where I finally was able to find something for the wall above my mantle. What do you think?

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I also decorated the hall area- I love how festive it’s starting to look!

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After decorating and cleaning, I finally made dinner. I sautéed a bunch of veggies and cooked some chicken and made a very tasty chicken and veggie stirfry.

And that sums it up! I could’ve used another 4 hours on Sunday to get everything done, but that’s ok. Although this week is busy, I’m going to do my best to stay calm and focus on one thing at a time. I have so many blog posts I want to write, but I’m going to try to not stress about getting those done if I’m tired and not getting home and sitting down until 9pm each night. I need to give myself more time to unwind at night!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Have you been to drybar? Have you decorated for the fall or Halloween?

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Weekending: Maine Edition {Freeport, Family Wedding & Relaxing}

Good morning! How’s everyone doing? This past weekend was so nice… and relaxing! After a crazy couple of months, it was so nice to be able to relax, go to bed early and hang out with my parents. Even though our Sunday apple picking lunch picnic plans got cancelled because of the weather, it was still a great weekend. I headed up to Maine on Friday afternoon after work. Starting the trip from my office in Wakefield is so much nicer than starting from Boston! Before going to my parents, I stopped off at Shaw’s Ridge Farm to visit with and congratulate my dear friend Meredith on her recent engagement. We didn’t snap any photos unfortunately, but I’ll tell you… her ring is stunning and she is absolutely beaming! I am so happy for her!

Shortly after 7 I arrived at home. Even though I had just seen my parents the weekend before, I was still so excited to see them. Mom had a glass of wine waiting for me and dad had unloaded all the leftovers from the fridge so I could make myself a plate- I love being home 🙂

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This was my dad’s plate. Talk about a lot of stuff!

Friday night was an early night and Saturday morning mom and I did some strengthening exercises for our knees (she has a hurt knee right now, too) before going into town for pedicures.

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I decided to wear my hair straight, but with curls from my straightener. I hadn’t done it in a while, but I think it turned out pretty good! I also loved the dress I wore. It was comfortable and warm, which was perfect for the chilly weather on Saturday. I got it at Marshall’s for $20 (it’s a Max Studios dress).

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Around noon we headed out. Mom suggested we take road sodas, and I’m not one to say no to her 😉

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My parents are Jamie’s god parents so they were invited to the ceremony. The ceremony was held at my aunt and uncles new place on the ocean in Freeport and from what I heard, was beautiful. While they were at that, I shopped around the outlets in Freeport and grabbed a super healthy smoothie before going back to pick them up.

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We headed to the reception around 4, which was held at my cousin’s new barn in Falmouth. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any of the entrances or first dances (everyone was standing around the dance floor and I couldn’t see 😦 ), but from pictures I saw online, it was awesome! Jamie is a collector of all sorts of old things, including vehicles, so he and his new wife, Sheena, were in the cab of the truck and the bridal party was in the back as they made their grand entrance to the reception.

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The barn was adorable- so rustic and quaint and just perfect for a Maine reception.

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The food was also delicious- and so simple. I think people get too caught up with food and options and apps and main courses when at the end of the day, if you have one thing that’s really good- people will be happy. They had at least 2 huge pigs (whole roasted pigs) for pulled pork, beans, rice, coleslaw, corn bread and salad. Everything was really, really good! And cupcakes for dessert? Yes, please.

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It was so nice to a. spend time with my parents at an “outing” and b. spend time with my dad’s side of the family. We don’t get to see each other nearly enough and it’s a shame because they are SO FUN. I was at the “kids” table and we had so many laughs- they all have the Gagnon sense of humor (I do not.) and I laugh so much when I’m with them. While there wasn’t a ton of dancing, we did dance to my cousin’s band that was playing, and it was so cool that he jumped in and played a bunch of songs with them! I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but Jaime and Sheena- what a fantastic wedding! I’m so glad I got to be a part of it. Cheers to many more years of happiness, laughter and love.

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My dad is a twin… so fun!

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This was the “if you graduated from UMaine Orono” picture- can you believe how many people there were?!

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My sister had another wedding to attend over the weekend so she wasn’t able to attend this one 😦

Till the next family wedding!

Questions for you: How was your weekend? What was the best thing you did? Have you been to a wedding in a barn?

 

 

Family Road Trip: Recap {Day 2 & the Wedding}

In case you missed the first recap of the road trip, check it out here.

Day 2 started out pretty early for me, considering I was on vacation! Since I had rested on Thursday, and knew I would be in the car for another long period of time on Friday, I wanted to get up and sweat a little (ok, a lot. The gym was horribly small and hot!). A 5K was just what the doctor ordered!

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We had a  quick breakfast then got on the road. We ended up driving through Canada for most of the trip on Friday, which was kind of nice because I was not able to go on my phone to text, Facebook, Instagram or Tweet. I’m guilty of being on my phone wayyyy too much (something I am trying to change), so being forced to not be on my phone for a number of hours was great!

We picked my sister up at the Detroit airport in the afternoon as she was flying in from a client site. The conversations during the car ride from the airport to the hotel were so funny. Sometimes it seems as though we are all 4 having completely different conversations, always talking louder and louder to try and be the loudest. It’s quite comical.

My aunt and uncle (mom and dad of the bride) had a wonderful cocktail hour set up in their hotel room for everyone. Between my dad’s snacks/food for me and this cocktail hour, I couldn’t have been more spoiled with “Monique-like” treats. Seriously… look at this spread!

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Since this part of my mom’s side of the family lives in Michigan, we don’t get to see them as often as we would like, so it’s always nice when we have an event or celebration that brings us all together!

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I was so happy that I could snuggle the newest baby, my cousin Emily’s 3 week old little girl, Grace. Gosh she was SO CUTE!!!

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We all hung out and chatted, laughed, drank wine and ate food and by 10pm, I was ready to hit the sack, so Danielle and I headed to our room.

We both woke up totally refreshed on Saturday morning. After breakfast and blogging, I hit the gym for a little cardio and strength training workout. Most of the family did their own variation of a workout (walking, swimming, etc.). Before we knew it, it was time to start getting ready!
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My face is smirking because Danielle was snipping at me to not take a picture! ha!

As this was Mary’s second wedding, it was very non-traditional in a lot of ways, which I thought was really nice. Everything about the wedding ceremony was absolutely touching and emotional. There was so much love between Mary and Dave and I doubt there was a dry eye in the church when they exchanged their vows. It’s hard to explain, but I haven’t seen that kind of love between two people in a long time- it’s very rare and they are so lucky they found each other. What made the ceremony even more special was how much they involved their children (who seem to get along great and are absolutely adorable!). Mary and Dave had little locket necklaces for all of the kids, which was a great way to make them all feel special on their parents big day. Here are some photos that I took during the ceremony. Pardon the lighting; iPhone’s don’t take the best pictures inside.

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After the ceremony, we had a few hours to kill before the reception, so naturally we had cocktail hour 😉 Mom got me this super cool “wine to go” thing. We thought you could refill and reseal the cup to use again, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Regardless, it was a fun idea!
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Not long after our cocktail hour started, it was time to grab the shuttle to the reception.

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I was absolutely in love with the décor and theme that Mary chose (and, put together in just 3 short months, mind you. Quite impressive if you ask me!). It was almost like a modern country look and feel… right down to the sparkly cowgirl boots she wore under here dress 😉 She explained that she gathered all of the wheat from a local field and had a friend cut down the wood for the centerpieces. Gosh, I wish I was creative enough for DIY projects!

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The food was delicious, but I have to say that the chocolate fondue station stole my heart. Holy.Yum. Amazing idea!

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Once dinner was over, the dancing began. My family loves to dance, so it makes for a fun reception!

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Few! How’s that for a long recap? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family and to have the opportunity to get to visit and spend time with those who don’t live so close. Thank you to my parents for letting me tag along on their road trip, thank you to Aunt Sue and Uncle Gerald for hosting us and making us feel at home and thank you to Mary and Dave for including us on your special day!

And, one last thing before I end this incredibly long post… Mary made her little veil/hat thingy (ok, I don’t know what it’s called) and after I raved about how much I loved it, she gave it to me! Heads up to my friends: I’m going to have a hat party soon 🙂

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Questions for you: How many weddings did you attend this year? Did you have to travel? If you had to pick a non-traditional thing to wear to your wedding, what would it be?

Girls Night & Other Weekend Happenings

What a fun weekend I had! I am loving having some extra free time on the weekends to go out and have fun in Boston, as well as get my apartment more and more settled!

Friday evening, the Shapleigh girls came over for a girls night. I did my best to play “hostess” and set out snacks and drinks.

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Our original plan was to go to Rino’s or Prima e Dopo, but we decided we were having too much fun drinking wine and munching on snacks at my place and didn’t want to leave! So, we ordered pizza which did the trick!

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I’ve lived with all of these ladies at one time or another and we all grew up together (Amy’s sister, Sara, is the last piece of the Shapleigh girls puzzle; she lives in NH so when we go home we make it a point to always get together!) so when we get together, it’s basically like hanging out with 3 sisters. We do stupid stuff like have random dance parties and jump contests. Friday was no different as we had a stretching competition to make fun of Danielle for being so un-flexible!

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Clearly the wine had set in at that point so we called a cab and got ready to head into the city.

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Amy had some friends going to Tia’s so we headed there first. From Tia’s, the plan was to go to The Brahmin, but per usual, the line was crazy long so we hopped over to Red Lantern to have a drink while waiting for the line to go down. I’ve never eaten there, but it’s been on my list of places to go for a while now!

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I think this is where things started to go from casual fun to drunken fun, haha I blame it on Amy’s college friend, Andrew, as he could be a professional partier 😉

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I hadn’t planned on going out and/or drinking wine like it was water, but the nights where you don’t plan on going out and end up going out tend to be the best, right?! Saturday night was no different! Any night with dancing is a good night in my eyes 😉

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Needless to say, I did not feel up to my normal self on Saturday, but I made the best of it! I got new glasses, went to the beach, made pizza, watched half of The Great Gatsby (couldn’t stay awake for the whole thing!) and was in bed by 9:30- regular ol’ crazy Saturday night 😉

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What do you think of my new glasses?? I am totally loving them and it’s fun having something so different than my other 2 pairs! They make me feel smarter, haha.

Sunday I got up and felt so much better so I went for a nice walk to enjoy the weather. I met up with my college friend, Pat, and his wife, Colleen for breakfast at Angelas Café, which is equidistant from both of our apartments. I’m SO excited to have some friends within very close walking distance- it’s going to be so fun 🙂 They also took me for a tour of Eastie and introduced me to another amazing park and ‘must try’ restaurants.

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Beautiful, right?! I’m excited to run there and use the gym that they have in the park- it’s a little area with all sorts of fun things to use as workout tools.

After the tour was complete, I headed back to my apartment to do laundry and hang up pictures and other random new apartment organizing things before my sister came over for a Target and Market Basket run.

I finallllyyy got a normal sized tv! It’s awesome!
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I also got new pillows for my couch! I’m going for a yellow/gray/white color scheme and I found these at Home Goods and couldn’t resist!

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I made Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, which I’ll post for you later this week 🙂

Questions for you: Have you seen the Great Gatsby? What was the best part of your weekend? Do you know of any “must try” restaurants in Eastie that I should add to my list?

Christy and Jamie’s Wedding

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know that I was lucky enough to go to Christy and Jamie’s wedding on Saturday, which was one of the best weddings I’ve been to in a long time! What made it even nicer was the fact that it was right in the city, so none of us had to travel or rent hotel rooms- win, win!

The ceremony was held at St. Mary Church in Charlestown, MA and since my friends Jessi and Cristina live in Charlestown, they invited us over beforehand. They had snacks and bubbly- two of my favorite things 😉

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The ceremony was at 2pm so we got there a little early to chat with friends and take pictures- duh 😉

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Big thanks to Jessi’s boyfriend, Chuck, for being the official photographer for us. We must have asked him to take a million pictures 🙂

The church was beautiful! Catholic churches are nothing new for me, but I always love seeing how pretty they are in the inside.

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Two of our friends, Nikia and Amy, were bridesmaids in the wedding and they looked beautiful!

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But, no offense girls, Christy stole the show. She was stunning! From the dress to her hair to her flowers to her makeup, she was everything a bride should be! I always watch the groom’s expression when the bride first walks in because I love to see their first reaction. Jamie was literally beaming from ear to ear as Christy walked down the aisle. Look at her, though! So pretty.

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I was seriously obsessed with her dress. I think trains really make a dress and the lace and little cap sleeves/straps were perfect.

The priest was awesome! He had us engaged and laughing throughout the ceremony (yes, it was a fully Catholic mass- it felt good to be there. I should do it more often). About an hour later, Christy and Jamie walked out as husband and wife.

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They had the cutest trolley waiting outside of the church for them! I loved this idea!

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Since we had about an hour and a half until the reception started, we went back to Jessi and Cristina’s to hang out and drink more champagne.

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The reception was held at the Harvard Club of Boston, which was amazing.

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Nothing like a reception on the 38th floor with views like this:

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Of course we had to take lots more pictures!

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Love all these ladies! The reception hour flew by and before we knew it, it was time to be seated for dinner. The bridal party entrances are one of my favorite parts of weddings. I love seeing what people come up with for their entrance “skit”.

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From that point on, I knew it was going to be a really fun reception. We started dancing before dinner was served, which is something I’ve never seen at a wedding. It was awesome! I’m glad we did end up sitting down to eat, though, as the food was delicious. Crabmeat stuffed shrimp?! Amazing!

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I didn’t get many pictures of Christy, mostly because she was dancing the whole night! I think it’s so fun when the bride and groom spend as much time on the dance floor as everyone else!

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Big props to Christy and Jamie for not doing any cheesy wedding songs or games- they just had a phenomenal band (literally, I was obsessed with them!) and let people dance! And dancing we did; the dance floor was literally packed the entire night, which I think is the number one sign of a good wedding, right?! We had circles and dance offs and trains. They had a box of leis and fun sunglasses so by the end of the night it looked like we were all going on a Hawaiian vacation!

Christy and Jamie organized a post-reception gathering at Carrie Nation, which was a bar I’ve never been to. I think it’s such a great idea when there is a post-reception party because I’m generally not ready for the fun to end when the reception ends! I didn’t stay long at the after-party, which was probably a good thing. I had had enough to drink at that point 😉

All in all, the entire day and wedding was wonderful. Christy and Jamie- thank you so much for having me be a part of your special day! You two have something very special- here’s to many more memories!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to the Harvard Club of Boston? What’s your favorite part about weddings? If you had to pick a signature drink to serve, what would it be?