MIMM: Concerts Galore

I have had quite the marvelous few weeks instead of writing lengthy posts about each one, I figured I would give you the highlight reel for this Marvelous Monday link up. Thanks for hosting, Katie!

Last weekend, Nick and I were able to go to the Jay Z/Justin Timberlake show at Fenway Park. I won tickets through a radio twitter concert, which was pretty amazing. We were in the second section back and had a sick view.

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our view before the show started

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part of our view during the show. They had a massive set up and huge screens

I loved the show, it was more amazing than I would’ve even imagined, but my hugest issue was the fact that the tickets said the show started at 7, but they had some really annoying dj playing for almost 90 minutes and the show didn’t start until 8:30. My favorite songs of the night were Holy Grail and 99 Problems, Justin playing the part of the cop was amazing.

The following week was crazy, the B man and I headed to Maine with my dad, his wife, her kids, my sister and her boyfriend. Nick was crazy busy at work so unfortunately he couldn’t come. I don’t really have any photos, because we barely had cell or internet so I just ended up leaving my phone in the room the whole time. It was so nice to unplug and relax for a bit.

Friday we had tickets for the John Mayer concert in CT. Front Row.

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view before the show

John Mayer is hands down my favorite artist. I have seen him almost every single tour, and met him almost 10 years ago. I love seeing him live and this show was absolutely amazing. Philip Philips opened up for him and he was also outstanding. I loved him on American Idol, but you could tell that he felt he was in his element on that stage, singing his music.

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Then of course John Mayer. You could tell his voice is still not the same, but you could clearly tell all he wanted to do was sing on stage and he was enjoying every minute.

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His set list for the CT show was awesome. He sang 83 for the first time and hearing the crowd sing along was so moving. This song from his first popular album, it felt like ages since I have heard it live, and everyone in the audience singing together was wonderful.

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He also sang 4 songs from his new album, due out on Tuesday, and my favorite was “Waiting on the Day” and his encore song was a long version of Gravity, then John and the band left. It is definitely one of the best shows I have seen of his and I am glad I got to share it with Nick.

Then today I was looking online and Nick and I are on the webpage for the Hartford Set List show.

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How was your week? What was the best concert you have ever been to?

Max Downtown: Celebrating 5 Years

I’m still crying over the fact that my baby is two years old.

In an effort to feel better I want to share my WIAW or WIAF(Friday), the lovely meal that Nick and I shared for our 5 year wedding anniversary.


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Awkward hands!

We ended up choosing Max Downtown, one because we love the Max Restaurant Group (they own Max Fish where I had my birthday dinner)

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Two, it was a recommendation from my favorite drink chooser, Cait.

It was pretty much fate that we picked Max Downtown, because it was right next to the hotel Nick and I spent our wedding night, The Goodwin, which is no longer in business, but it was nice to have that memory.

Not the best photo, sorry!

Not the best photo, sorry!

The place was all but deserted when we walked in, I mean Hartford isn’t exactly the bustling city that Boston is, especially during a holiday weekend, but it was weird that there were only two other tables seated when we walked in.

Nick and I started with drinks, a glass of champagne for me and the Kentucky Lemonade for Nick.

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We started with apps, but since Nick and I have some very different taste buds we each had our own appetizer.

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Caesar Salad for Nick, I see fishies…

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I went for the amazing option, the Wok seared Ahi Tuna. I loved my Tuna Tartare at Max Fish and this is a completely different dish and just as wonderful. The Tuna was seared to perfection and I loved the crust, just enough kick for me to notice, but not to ruin my dinner.

I didn’t grab a photo of Nick’s dinner, but he ended up getting the Sirloin Special which came with Beer Battered Onion Rings.

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I went with the Filet Mignon Oscar Style. It came with Jumbo Crab, Parmesan Crusted Asparagus, Sour Cream and Chive Potato Puree, and Bernaise sauce.

The steak was cooked to a beautiful medium rare, and the crab was sweet and full of flavor, however the sauce completely overwhelmed the dish, I wish it had a drizzle instead of what seemed like a heavy-handed ladle pour. I could only eat about half and boxed the rest to send home. Those potatoes though, heaven on a plate.

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For dessert we had the S’mores Brûlée (this meal is looking a lot like mine at Max Fish, huh?). Creme Brûlée is one of my favorite desserts and I love seeing a twist on a classic. The marshmallow was easy to eat with the brûlée, my only complaint was that the crackers were not crispy, they were chewy, not stale, but I was definitely missing that crunch factor.

The waitress also served us each a glass of sweet champagne, on the house.

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Nick and I leisurely worked our way through dessert and then headed home at the late hour of 8 pm, (party animals!).

I enjoyed our time at Max Downtown, and loved our entire meal. While pricy, it is definitely worth it for a special occasion, and I am glad I got to spend it with my main squeeze.

What would you order at Max Downtown?

WIAW: A Birthday Dinner!

Don’t forget to check out the healthy recipes I wrote up yesterday before you delve into the indulgences I had for my birthday!

Saturday was spent celebrating my birthday with my friends and family! Nick made reservations at a great restaurant, Max Fish in Glastonbury, CT.

Caitlin joined us for a drink and texted me on her way, she said she already picked out my first drink.

On the left (or front) Cait’s Drink – Coup d’etat {Diplomatico rum, Amaro Ramazotti, mole bitters, citrus, mint and notes of vanilla, with crushed ice}.

My drink is on the right, and the drink I was eyeing before Cait surprise ordered for me. The Silver Lining {Avion Silver tequila, St Germain, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit and lime juices, smoked cinnamon stick}. It came fancy, the glass was upside down getting the smoke from the cinnamon stick, and the waiter poured it table side.I though it would be to spicy with all the cinnamon, but it was perfect and went down easy, too easy. I was feeling it before our appetizers even arrived.

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Appetizer. My sister (also Cait) and I shared the Ahi Tuna Tartare with capers, two hour egg, grilled baguette, American sturgeon caviar.

The tartar was creamy and melted in my mouth, the grilled baguette contrasted wonderfully in texture. The perfect bite.

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Double the tuna, double the fun. Right?

For my entree I went with the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with black forbidden rice, sesame carrots and Vietnamese caramel. I ordered my tuna rare, and it was grilled to perfection. I had never had black rice before and I thought it was great, I would order it again! The caramel however made it a bit too sweet for me, but overall this dish was one of the best seafood dishes I have ever had.

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A lot of the table ordered the special, Lobster Cobb salad. This is my kind of Cobb salad, and check out those chunks of lobster meat!

I also snagged a bit of my sister’s Blackened Mahi Mahi with Guava-papaya coulis, coconut rice, plantain chips. For me personally, it was too spicy, but I have a really low tolerance for spice. (My sister looked at me like I had 5 heads when I said it was spicy)

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You have to end your birthday dinner with a decadent dessert right? I chose the Warm Chocolate S’Mores – Flourless chocolate cake, toasted homemade marshmallow, graham cracker, caramel sauce they added a birthday candle and embarrassing singing.

This dessert was phenomenal, flourless chocolate cake is one of my favorite desserts and this did not disappoint, it was a bit dense, so I could only have a small portion, but I wish I could’ve had the whole thing!

After dinner we moved to Plan B Burger Bar in Glastonbury to have drinks and watch the bruins game.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably have already seen the photos from Saturday night…my brother-in-law started with buying a few of us shots.

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Cafe Patron. Delicious

I then decided to keep up with my “little” brother (aka Nick’s younger brother) and we did some shots together, and I did some shots with Nick’s cousin. I also had a few beers. Yikes.

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Not the prettiest collage, oh well.

Soon after that shot the DJ started blasting some tunes from, uh 1995? We had to go. We headed upstairs to Rooftop 120, and I will be honest, I was disappointed.

The bartender was awesome, but our friends drink still had stickers on the fruit, when you are charging $12 for a drink, I expect you to clean the fruit.

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The drink.

We sat on the patio which was gorgeous, but the waitress was incredibly rude. I ordered one drink and she brought a different one, and gave us attitude when we asked for a bunch of waters. At that point I really didn’t need to be drinking, so I just left it, but I was pissed. Can’t win em all I guess!

After Rooftop we headed home and I went to sleep at the very late hour of 1 am. I had an amazing birthday and I am so grateful for the wonderful family and friends, my life and heart are incredibly full.

Check out more meals and recipes at Jenn’s blog for the WIAW link-up!


Cranky Kelly

I can’t believe it’s June. We are officially in my birthday month and a little over a month away from B’s second birthday! Woah.

Crank Kelly. That doesn’t have as a great ring to it as Cupcake Kelly’s. With the plans I had this weekend, I had planned a spectacular Marvelous in my Monday (MIMM) link up post planned. Then Sunday came and it was an all around lousy day. I couldn’t find the marvelous in ANYTHING. Just ask Nick, I am sure he will be able to tell you what a joy I was to be around.

As most of the East Coasters are aware, this weekend was HOT and HUMID. It was not pleasant to be outside, I am pretty sure I was sweating just standing still. So it was super fun to realize at 10 pm on THursday night that our air conditioning was not working. Since the unit is still under warranty through the builder I pretty much knew I would not have AC Friday.

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Luckily we were set to leave for CT for the weekend around noon, so I wouldn’t need to be in the house for too long. Luckily, getting the little one fed and packing/cleaning took the majority of our morning hours and before I knew it, it was time to hit the road.

Friday was spent with my favorite CT blend, we all had lawn tickets to see Luke Bryan at the Meadows, we met in the parking lot to tailgate and I got to meet a lot of Cait’s friends.

stolen from Cait!

stolen from Cait!

Obviously, the whiskey lovers drank whiskey. I stuck to one Thomas Hooker Watermelon Ale at the beginning of the night since I was driving and anything else would make me fall asleep.

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Also stolen from Cait.

 

 

whiskey

Saturday, Nick played in the band at the Greek Festival. He usually plays Thursday – Sunday every year, but because of the concert and his new job he ended up only playing Saturday. I went and enjoyed some delicious gyros, loukamades, and conversation. The place was packed all night, so I think it ended up being pretty successful, but man was it hot under those tents with lots of people and all the food being cooked.

Originally, I was supposed to stay in CT to go to an event with Caitlin last night, but it was cancelled so Nick and I decided to come home. BAD DECISION.

We got home and the guy we hired to cut our lawn had not come, they were supposed to come Friday. So I was already annoyed, they were supposed to come yesterday, but they still haven’t showed…

Our AC was obviously still out and we thought it would cool that evening, I’l just sum it up and say we were wrong and I was miserable and cranky. To top it all off our well water is acting up again and B did not go to sleep until 11 PM!

Luckily our air was fixed yesterday, and hopefully the plumber and lawn guys can do their thing today. Here’s to a marvelous…Tuesday?

Ginza Restaurant

Nick and I are pretty regular when it comes to where we dine out, we had our favorite expensive restaurant, favorite sushi place, favorite coffee place, etc… Since moving we are now only close to our favorite expensive restaurant, time to find all new places.

However, while we were in CT when we were between houses, we tried a new sushi restaurant, Ginza. Nick and I are really picky when it comes to sushi, we are used to very fresh fish and frankly can be kind of snobby at sub par sushi. The fact that we both loved this place speaks volumes. The pictures were taken with my iPhone in a dimly lit restaurant, next time I will make sure to bring my real camera so that you can have better photos.

Our first visit was with Nick’s sister and her hubby. We were celebrating, I think, I am not really sure, I remember it was definitely a splurge kind of night. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures. We had just moved to our temporary digs and we just wanted to eat. However, we went back a few weeks later with a good friend.

We started with the rock shrimp ($12), which was delicious, it wasn’t greasy, it was perfectly fried and the Yuzu Chili Sauce was not too spicy, but had a little bite to it. I’ll be the first to admit my spice tolerance is not very high, so it might not be spicy enough for you, but I will take the mild deliciousness.

I ordered two rolls for my dinner. The first was the Seasons Roll ($15) which had tuna, yellowtail, salmon & avocado inside, topped with a rainbow of different tobiko caviar.

The plating was fantastic, just looking at it, I want it right now! Sometimes when rolls have many different kinds of fish it becomes huge and it is not easy to eat. That was not the case. The roll was delicious, the fish tasted very fresh and I loved the presentation.

My second roll was the Ginza Chef Roll ($15)this one had salmon, yellowtail, radish sprouts, asparagus & avocado inside, topped with tuna, spicy mayo, tobiko and crunches

This was my favorite of the night! I loved the mixture of fish and veggies, I thought the sprouts might be weird, but they just added another flavor. They also didn’t put a lot of the spicy mayo on top, I love the mayo, but sometimes it can be too heavy.

Our third visit came as another celebration. Nick, my sister-in-law, her husband and I took out my brother-in-law for his 21st birthday! When Nick and I started dating he was in middle school and now he is 21, its crazy to think how much time has flown by.

We started with a round of Scorpion Bowls. I mean it was his 21st! Lets just say it’s been awhile since I had a drink like that. I was tipsy after 1/4 of it and it gave me a major sugar headache that night. Still a fun splurge.


Happy Birthday!


Hmmm, someone was focused on drinking and not picture taking. #unacceptable

Again the table started with the rock shrimp, and we all started with a soup or salad. My choice was the Kani Salad ($7) this salad had crab, cucumber, tobiko & spicy mayo blend.

I am picky (surprise surprise) about any salad with mayo. I find a lot of them to be very heavy and all I can taste is the mayo, and then it just sits in my stomach like a brick. This salad was very light with the mayo. The crab and cucumber was julienned and was very refreshing. This is a salad I could eat all the time (well maybe if I find a healthier sub for the mayo).

For my dinner I chose two rolls again. The Godzilla roll ($12) which was spicy tuna inside, topped with avocado and tobiko and the Spicy Crab roll ($5.50). I wanted to get rolls with less “stuff” since I had a larger starter.

I loves both rolls, the spicy mixture that was mixed with the tuna and crab wasn’t heavy and didn’t hide the flavor of the fish. I would definitely get both of these again. First, I need to make my way through the rest of the menu items that look good to me.

What is your favorite sushi roll?

The Tank

Life is about to get real crazy!

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Please ignore the grass issue and orange cone.

This is our new house, at least it will be on Monday. We had a pretty frustrating search, of finding something to meet all our requirements, and we happened to come up on this new construction house. It was early enough that we were also able to customize a good chunk of it.

However, this all means that this little blog of mine is going to take a backseat for a week or two, because we will have no internet for awhile so that I can unpack. I will have some great guest posts for you and hopefully I will have some posts written in advance.

But until then, we have been spending time with our friends. We LOVE trivia, and the Hooters near Nick’s parents has trivia weekly, so of course we went.

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Meet the Tank.

I did not participate in the drinking of this, because I was recovering from a cold and because it was Coors Light…enough said.

Hooters actually has pretty decent salads, so I got my usual chicken salad but I also indulged in one of my favorite things.

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Fried Pickles. I actually hate regular pickles, but love fried pickles.

We did horrible in trivia, but it is always nice to see our Connecticut friends and spend time together, it doesn’t happen nearly enough.

Earlier this week B and I also took a trip to the money suck known as Target.

First – the Neiman Marcus collection is so underwhelming. The little girls dresses are gorgeous, but other than that, meh.

I did find this gem though…
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Trying to decide which lucky girl gets. Fight it out ladies.

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B hates the top part of the cart, so finally I allowed him to sit in the base part. For only about 5 minutes, and then he refused to get out. Apparently the base part is the fun part?

Also, I think it’s important to note that I got out of Target spending only $40 and only purchasing ONE thing that I wasn’t planning on buying.

Today, I am taking B to see Santa, I didn’t do it last year so I am not sure how he is going to react.

Playlist Thursday: ANGSTY & Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Wild Harvest giveaway is: Raymond! Congratulations. (For some reason the rafflecopter is not showing up for me)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out my guest post on the Team In Training blog today!

Now onto Playlist Thursday!

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts.

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Today’s theme is: Teenage Angst, songs that remind us of our teenage years, whether good or bad. I went with another sub-theme, Andrew McMahon, he has been the front man for Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. He also is a Leukemia survivor, and even started a foundation, and since this weekend is all about LLS, I think I owe him a tribute.

SOMETHING OLD
Artist: Something Corporate
Title: Hurricane
Side Note: I saw Something Corporate twice on their reunion tour in 2010, the Philly show was quite possibly one of the best shows I have ever been too. (So that’s the video)
Quotable: Stand up don’t make a sound. Your ears might bleed. There are sweet fluorescent enemies. That live inside of me. The world moves faster than I knew. Not fast enough to not creep up on you. And the space we put between. So pull me under your weather patterns. Your cold fronts and the rain don’t matter. Because the sun burns what I needed.

SOMETHING CURRENT
Artist: Jack’s Mannequin
Title: Caves
Side Note: Another live video, this one from when they performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra…one of my first review posts was reviewing this. This song is about Andrew’s struggle with cancer. Holy tears.
Quotable: I fought a war to walk a gang plank. Into a life I left behind. Windows leading to the past. Think it’s time I broke some glass. Get this history off my mind

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
Artist:Something Corporate
Title: Konstantine
Side Note: This song is about 9 minutes long, and if you are a longtime fan of SoCo you know this one. The one they NEVER play. But they played it on the reunion tour. I mean what is an angst palylist if there is no song that boy sings about a girl? This was at the live show in Boston!
Quotable: This is because I can spell confusion with a K and I like it. It’s to dying in another’s arms. And why I had to try it. It’s to jimmy eat world. And those nights in my car. But this time I’m alone, and I don’t see those stars. I’m not your star? Isn’t that what you said. What you thought this song meant. You thought this song meant

Have you ever heard of Andrew or these bands? WHat do you think?

have you ever been alone in a crowded room

I promised this review to a few of my friends, and late is better than never right?

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I recently say one of my favorite bands, Jack’s Mannequin, with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in CT last week. Jack’s Mannequin is one of my all time favorite bands, I was excited to see what this addition of the orchestra would sound like.

For a little background, Andrew McMahon is the front man for Jack’s Mannequin. His previous band, Something Corporate, also one of my favorites, released albums 2000 – 2003, but Andrew left the group to start a new project, he thought the sound he was developing was too different from the sound of his current band, this band would be known as Jack’s Mannequin, named for Andrew’s childhood friend who overcame cancer.

Andrew penned songs that were more intimate and heartfelt with a different message than SoCo’s songs. Three months before the release of Jack’s Mannequin first album, Andrew was diagnosed leukemia. Many of the songs written after his diagnosis deals with the emotions he had with dealing with this disease and songs about those who helped him through this tough time.

I find Andrew’s story inspirational, and his music has always affected me. The sound fills up my body and makes me feel. Not many musicians can do this. If you haven’t heard any of his music I cannot recommend enough for you to go buy all his albums right now.

Now onto the concert. I must admit I had high hopes. I felt like there were so many Jack’s Mannequin songs that could benefit from an orchestra.

First the set list:
My Racing Thoughts
Annie Use Your Telescope
Release Me (No Orchestra)
Me and the Moon – Something Corporate song
Amelia Jean
Holiday from Real
Platform Fire
Television
Hey Hey Hey
Swim (Acoustic)
Restless Dream
The Mixed Tape
Amy, I
Casting Lines
Dark Blue (No Orchestra)

Encore:
Caves

I loved the show. However, I think they could have utilized the orchestra better. The best use by far was during Caves. I know that this type of collaboration takes time, probably something the band didn’t have a lot of. It felt like in a lot of the songs that the orchestra, as one of my friends put it, was like another instrument: drums, piano, guitar, orchestra.

I wish more of the concert had been like Caves, but I loved the show regardless. I will see Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate whenever I can.

Here is a video of Caves, I have my one but this is by far better quality.

I have more videos, if you want to see them.

Today’s Question: Have you heard of Jack’s Mannequin or Something Corporate? Do you like them?