birthday weekend!

all in all it has been a very big week, what with the engagement last Sunday (which feels both like it was a million years ago and like it was a dream) and then my birthday on Thursday. but that just means lots of fun things happened :)

Chris's parents' puppy Gizzy that we got to play with yesterday:)
  • first and foremost, the very best thing, and why Chris is the best, is that for my birthday I got...ANNA! I walked into my birthday dinner on Thursday night which was supposed to just be Chris and I and not only were a lot of my local friends there, Anna was too :) Which was amazingly fantastically wonderful. And I got to spend the weekend after I got engaged/my birthday weekend with my best friend instead of her being in D.C.
  • Also on my birthday, my blog (and Anna's!) were mentioned by the SHU box, which since I am officially obsessed with her blog was a great (if accidental) birthday present.
  • Thursday during the day = gluten free brownies from the people I babysit for, Thursday dinner = gluten free fried rice from PF Changs. lots of good food.
  • Also Thursday night we went up to Top of the Hub (the restaurant in Back Bay where you can see all of Boston) for drinks, which was awesome and definitely worth doing. The drinks were yummy too :)
  • Friday morning, I got to go to the spa. See, Chris got me a GroupOn to a spa on Newbury Street for my birthday LAST year, but I never had time to go, so I went now. I also highly recommend Spa Newbury, it was amazing.
  • Also on Friday, Anna and I had lunch with Lindsay and Rae (on Rae's lunch break) and then went to Lindsay's to hang out. Since all four of us are engaged now (insane) it's nice to have others to chat with (and not annoy) even though our wedding isn't for 18-24 months.
  • Friday evening = Margaritas in Waltham for drinks and dinner, and then some Waltham wandering.
  • Saturday = Chris's parents' house on the lake, to play with the puppy and hang out on the porch for my birthday. and Chris's dad made potato salad. and Margo made me cupcakes. There's a distinct possibility that for dinner last night, I had potato salad and a cupcake. and that I did the same tonight.
  • and last, Sunday... brunch at Elephant Walk, which is by far my favorite Boston brunch. They have Cambodian bloody marys!! once you switch, you won't go back.

Overall, it's been an amazing few days. And I don't want this week to start, because this week means classes start, being a TA starts, lab meetings start, and summer is over :( but that's OK, because A) I LOVE the fall in New England and B) I have a feeling there are lots more exciting things coming.



just saw on gluten hates me (but i'm surviving) that her local beer distributor sent over cases of redbridge (aka, gluten-free beer) for her wedding!


would anyone like to do the same for us, but with bard's? because that's my favorite.
don't worry, you have plenty of time to think about it... ;)


if i had an extra hour...

i am procrastinating today (productivity fail.) SO inspired by this post from one of my favorite blogs, the SHU box, let's play a game!

if the clock were set back 60 minutes right now, i would:
  • nap. not gonna lie, i may nap anyway. but i would feel less guilty about it.
  • if not nap, read one of my 10 library books...
  • ...or go figure out my new bread machine (yay for birthday presents!)

if i unexpectedly had the day off, i would:
  • deal with the laundry (both doing mine and putting away all the clean stuff that piled up from our trips, followed by sheets and towels, followed by throwing Chris's in for him since he hasn't done it either.)
  • answer all of my congratulations messages
  • catch up on the last of the school stuff I'm semi-behind on
  • return the pile of stuff that needs to be returned to Gap Outlet
  • do my nails, finally, they look gross
  • read the wedding magazines that i couldn't resist....  god i love magazines.
  • nap. again. :)

if somehow my school break coincided with a break from babysitting and i had a week off i would:
  • spend one day doing the things above
  • clean our apartment and do all the annoying errands we don't have time for (trip to goodwill anyone?)
  • most likely drive to nyc and dc to see my friends (so long as i could afford the gas)
  • finish cleaning out the closet
  • schoolwork. (i'll pretend i would do it, but would i? who knows.)
  • read :) and nap. pattern?

if our building at school finally falls down and i somehow got a paid year off out of it, i would:
  • finish.my.dissertation. (again, maybe. though if our building falls down i assume that gets an extension as well).
  • travel, visit friends and family all over the country/world
  • plan our wedding! (yikes)
wanna play? post your own :)

San Diego highlights...

Hi readers:) I was just in California for a conference, so I apologize for the lack of posting if you care. 
Also... I got engaged!
(which just about everyone who reads this blog already knows, but hey, whatever)

I promise to take good ring pictures to post, but I haven't yet and the cell phone photo I have is very blurry. 

this would be when we first started dating, 2 years ago, but it's one of my favorites.
But the story is: We were in San Diego (specifically La Jolla, which Chris kept pronouncing like it's spelled, which makes me laugh hysterically. ANYWAY) walking around after we had some very late breakfast at whisknladle which was amazing, and you should check out if you are in that area. We went and bought cupcakes at cups because I read in the free magazine in our room that they always had a gluten free option (carrot cake...yum), and then we just kept walking. I had said that I wanted to get some type of jewelry souvenir, because I love wearing jewelry from awesome trips I've taken, so we were ducking into stores that might have cute stuff. (AJ- we almost bought Tay a whole kids cooking set, but resisted. And Cheryl - there were also some child sized fire hoses that we almost purchased for your future children, but stopped ourselves.

We walked by an estate jewelry store and I stopped to look in the windows, and they had some really pretty wedding sets (I've always wanted a vintage/estate ring), and Chris said we should go in and I could try some on. Note, we had talked about getting engaged in the next year or less, but that's pretty much it. So I was thinking "OK, he can get an idea of what I want/what would look good on my very skinny hands" and we went in. I tried on a few rings and initially I really liked one that was on the expensive side, and Chris was talking to the shop owner about financing, etc. But I looked in another case in the middle and found a ring that looked EXACTLY like all the rings I had seen online and loved, so I tried that on, and I love it. Chris asked me if it was the ring I wanted, if I was sure, and then said "well then I'm buying it." Which in itself was surreal. So while the guy is ringing it up, Chris looks at me and says "So does this mean we're engaged?" We determined that it did, in fact, mean that very thing. 

After some congratulations from the guy in the shop we walked down to the sea wall and watched for seals, then sat on a bench and called our parents. Well, we called Chris's parents, since my mom was nowhere to be found. Couldn't get Anna either. Or my sister. Obnoxious!!! After a bit (and a couple of calls), we went to a movie (Dinner for Schmucks if you were wondering) and then we bought champagne at Target and had some in our hotel room while we packed and watched True Blood. overall, awesome. 

 Wedding will be in 2012, roughly a year after I graduate, and it will be here in the Boston area. That's all we know :)

Other highlights from California:
  • Sea World! went right when we landed. and speaking of almost buying gifts, I almost bought Parker the entire gift shop. Katie, be thankful I didn't. It would take up your entire apartment.
  • San Diego Zoo, and Belle and Rico came down from LA to hang out, which was amazing.
  • In-N-Out/smoothies to be found everywhere. The #1 thing I miss from Arizona is smoothies.
  • oh, and I did attend that conference for a bit...

***update - ring pictures!!! see below.***


recap: Jess and Rob's wedding!

Congratulations Jess and Rob!!
In continuing with the recap posts...

right after we got back from Florida we had another fun event- Jess and Rob's wedding weekend! We literally landed 2 hours before Anna and Ben arrived (and spent basically that entire 2 hours trying to get back to our place on public transport...thanks for that, Boston.) But that's OK, because I went and got them and later Christen came too and it was one fantastic weekend of guests in our place :)
PLUS, a lot of other people who weren't staying with us came to
town too!

Emal and I with Tay

sophomore year roommates - we dress up nicely :)
this picture = sorority formal shot
The wedding was gorgeous, the weather was amazing. I'd never been in Marsh Chapel before even though I went to BU so it was interesting to see the inside (there's a stained glass window of Abe Lincoln! random.) The cocktail hour was on the roof deck by the pool at the Colonnade Hotel in Back Bay, which as I said while we were there "I only wish I was cool enough to hang out up here on a regular basis!" (Rob kindly pointed out that for $40, I could. Right.) Jess's dad gave an amazing speech. We all switched to flipflops (yet somehow I still had blisters on my toes). AJ and Joey brought the adorable Taygan along and he was rockin' out on the dance floor with the rest of us.

The morning after the wedding several of us went to Elephant Walk for brunch as well, which was phenomenal. And then everyone had to leave :( But that's OK, we have April 2011 to look forward to, for the wedding of these 2... classic photo, folks.
you two are my favorites.

summer book club: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When I was in Sanibel I finally started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
So was my cousin.
And so were at least 3 other people at the pool.

At first, I didn't get it - the first 20-30 pages are incredibly slow. After that, though, it picks up. I was impressed. I couldn't put it down after that, and I was psyched when I returned to the library to find the second one in the series on the "speed read" shelf, so I snatched it.
(does anyone else's library have that? there are these books that you can get for 2 weeks at a time, no reserves, and the fine is 5x higher than it would be normally. I'm a quick reader so I'm a fan.)

Overall rating: solid A- (not an A because the beginning was so slow). If you're looking for a book, go get it!

**I read this book as part of the My Pretty Pennies summer book club. Her blog is awesome, and she also just got engaged! :) Check her out.**


recap: Sanibel 2010

I'm a little behind, but I promise to get back into my blog now... mainly because I'm semi-procrastinating other, more academic efforts.

From July 23-30 my family+a very patient boyfriend descended on Sanibel Island for our annual trip. We've been going every year since I was about 2 years old, so needless to say it's tradition. This year, we brought Chris along for the ride. Luckily he had a great time (quite possibly facilitated by us having our own room and bathroom rather than this being one of the years where 5 of us share a room...)

We went on a dolphin boat cruise where a mommy and baby dolphin followed in the wake of our boat for a good 10 minutes- so cute. The mom was just swimming along the outside, letting the baby play :) 

We also went into Ft. Myers Beach for one night, from which we have some fantastic photos, and a catchphrase from the trip (Never have I ever...eaten pot roast - due to Chris's inability to hear the proper phrase. But seriously, who would use that in never have I ever??) 

Oh, and I got my entire family addicted to Glee :) Mostly we just went to the pool, spent some time on the beach, and relaxed. An excellent vacation which I am already looking forward to replicating next year!

If you are interested, here are some photos:

dolphins playing on our cruise :)

group shot in Ft. Myers Beach   
my sister is the best because she takes off her shoes and does choreographed dances in bars. and she lets me take pictures.


I won something! :)

Friends, I know it has been a while since I wrote in this blog. And I promise that I will write new posts about my actual life soon, about things like vacation and Jess and Rob's wedding and the basement dungeon that is my lab, but first...

and it's awesome.

check it out: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/index/main,book-info/products_id,8960/
it's a mini-goals notepad, aka an amazing notepad for to-do lists entitled: Today I Will Get Some Stuff Done. Go check it out, it's adorable. And for a to-do-list/office supply geek like myself, it's even better :) There are a bunch of different page designs too!

Thanks to Miss B at the Blah, Blah, Blahg (http://www.leblahg.com/) for the giveaway. And go check out her blog too! It is also awesome.