Dataclysm: How Do We Choose Our Relationships?

This post was inspired by Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, where he analyzes online data to find out that people who prefer beer are more likely to have sex on a first date. Join From Left to Write on October 9th as we discuss Dataclysm. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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I will be honest, I haven’t quite finished this book yet, it is pretty fascinating, even for someone who has never used an online dating website. I think one of the themes that stood out is why we choose our partners, and for the sake of this post, and friends?

Do we choose based on looks, first impressions, etc? I think sometimes that we make our decisions based on what we’ve seen during our lifetime. Do you hang out with a group of people who constantly parties? Maybe that is what you are into, but would you naturally make that decision?

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For me, my life growing up wasn’t super structured, there was a lot of uncertainty, and I can see that in the relationships of my former friends and family. I craved the structure, someone who was comfortable with being settled and not having this really fast-paced lifestyle. To me this is not boring, this is real life.

Sure, we do exciting things and have taken fun trips, but I love the fact that Nick and I can sit at home and watch a movie and have fun. My husband is one of the most sensitive and responsible people I know. For a lot of people that translates to boring, but not for me. I grew up in a chaotic lifestyle, and this is exactly the type of life I want to raise my child in.

I also have chosen my friends to be similar, I don’t like having people who are unreliable in my life, if I can help it. It’s taken quite a few of my adult years to cut out the people who aren’t reliable or supportive. This doesn’t mean that my friends have to be in the same situation as me. Some of these friends are single and have yet to had children, and yet I am closer to them than I was with some friends that are married with children. Now, even though the friends circle is a bit smaller, I have a group of friends that I know I can count on 100%, no matter what the situation is.

Did you choose a partner with a childhood similar to yours or completely different? What about friends, do you keep all your old friends around even if your views aren’t the same?

Birthday, Billy Joel, and Bachelorette

Anyone else think, Beets, Bears, Battlestar Galactica? No, just me? Moving on.

The past few weeks have been crazy busy, so I figured I would catch you up on all the fun stuff.

Last week I turned 30! Yikes, Nick and I decided to rent a party bus and have all our family and friends on board so that we could see everyone we wanted and not have a party at our house. Since we will be at a wedding for Nick’s 30th we decided we’d have a party for both of us! Unfortunately, I still didn’t get to spend time with everyone, but I had a wonderful time, even if my stomach was killing me the next day!

vueveI mean you have to start your birthday with champagne, right?

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My sister, some friends, and I pre-bus

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And a group shot of course, missing a few people, but we tried!

After that last photo things started to get messy so I will not share those photos ha! But it was a great time regardless!

For my birthday gift, Nick generously bought me tickets to Billy Joel at Fenway. Billy Joel is in my top 5 favorite musicians of all time, and I saw him, I think 8 years ago, when he came to the Garden. Seeing artists at Fenway is amazing, if you live in the city and an artist you like comes to Fenway, GO! it is so worth it!

Prior to the show Nick and I tried this new Greek place that is in the Fenway area, Gyro City, they have authentic Gyros so we had to try them. They were pretty close to what you will get in Greece, so we were very impressed. If you need someone to go with you to try them you know who to ask!

GyroWe also had some amazing Greek fries. Basically, they are thick cut fries with feta and oregano!

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After food we headed over to Fenway and walked off our dinner before heading into the concert!

Billy Joel at FenwayNick and I & our view

Billy Joel at Fenway

THE man!

Billy, we are on a first name basis, was amazing. He played a lot of the classic songs, but he also played some songs that only some real hardcore fans would be able to recall. He is also a New York man through and through, so while he played the beloved Sweet Caroline, he did not sing, which I found amusing. I did appreciate that he didn’t sing New York State of Mind, instead he had a young girl come out and sing Boston State of Mind as a nod to everything this city has been through and a show of support. After the concert Nick was looking through his twitter feed and saw some complaints about it, you can’t please everyone, and while I love him singing New York State of Mind, the respect that he gave to Boston was amazing, and made me love him even more! My only complaint is that he did not sing We Didn’t Start the Fire, that is my favorite Billy song, but the concert was amazing regardless!

After a crazy whirlwind week, we headed to Connecticut to spend some time with Nick’s family and I had a bachelorette to partake in!

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We went to Mohegan sun to have a wonderful dinner, hit the club, and of course gamble. I was spent and can’t believe I stayed up until 3 am!!! I had so much fun with all the wonderful women that came to the bachelorette and I can’t wait to celebrate the wedding soon!

What have you been up to? Anything fun that I’ve missed?

A very busy and marvelous summer!

Don’t forget to enter the BarreFit App giveaway, it ends tonight at 11:59 pm EST!

Without fail April rolls around and all of sudden my summer weekends start filling up rapidly. I don’t mind it, I love spending time with family and friends, but I am even more thankful when we do have a low-key weekend. We don’t have one of those for a few weeks, but I am super excited for what is coming up!

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Best cupcake face, ever. This kid is definitely mine. We have had so many kid’s birthday parties, which means B has had a ton of cake recently.

IMG_8556Even though summer doesn’t start until my birthday Saturday, nothing says summer like Summer Shandy on tap. It really was marvelous!

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I also love that I get to spend so many of my busy weekends with my favorite people.

This weekend is particularly exciting as it is my 30th birthday, and while I thought I would be a bit more apprehensive about turning than I am, I am looking forward to throwing it down with all of our friends and family.

What marvelous things are going on in your life? How did you celebrate turning 30?

A Marvelous Weekend: Seasons 52, Pure Barre, & MiniLuxe

First things first,THANK YOU to everyone who commented and shared on yesterday’s post, it means the world to Nick and I. Secondly, I have to say Happy Birthday to my dear sister. She is my best friend and I love her to pieces.

456_mandk2012The food and drinks featured in this post were received free of charge. I had no idea that would be happening until I finished my meal, and all opinions of my experience are my own. This post is not sponsored. 

As you have read, the past few months have been extremely difficult, lots of loss, and emotions and it’s just been hard. Through it all I have had amazing support in some of local friends and blends.

This past Friday, Caitlin invited me to Seasons 52 with her to try the new spring menu mini indulgences. I will always jump at the chance to go to Seasons, Cait went with me on first visit (to the Burlington location), Nick and I went once to celebrate a very belated Valentine’s Day, and this past weekend I tried the Chestnut Hill Square location.

Seasons 52 is all about seasonal food. Seasonal usually means the freshest, healthiest options. Caitlin introduced me to this amazing chain restaurant and I am so glad she did, it is now one of my favorites.

source: Cait

source: Cait

I was, of course, running late to our scheduled meet time because of that pesky route 9 traffic. Luckily Lydia, our amazing server for the night, was able to give Cait a few tastes of different types of wine before she decided on her drink while she waited for me.

As soon as I got to the restaurant I ordered my standard prosecco and we were greeted by a few different members of the staff and given suggestions on what they love on the menu.

IMG_8203We started with the special flatbread, Greek of course, it came with lamb, cucumber, tomato and feta. A member of the staff suggested to get some tzatziki on the side and I think the should automatically on the side, it was phenomenal and I am a pretty tough critic.

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For my main meal I had one of the menu staples at Seasons 52, at the urging of Cait and Lydia. It was the cedar-plank salmon with roasted vegetables, crushed potatoes, and a lemon dill sauce. I’ll admit that I am usually very wary of ordering salmon at restaurants because it can be dry and I hate that. But I knew I loved Seasons’ food and I knew Cait wouldn’t steer me wrong. It was of course phenomenal, the salmon was perfectly cooked and the dill sauce was amazing. What really sold me was that there were beets in the roasted veggies.

IMG_8207Peanut Butter Torte Mini-Indulgence

Since we were there to try the new Spring mini-indulgences, I had to have dessert. Honestly, I couldn’t decide between this one, the s’mores, and the key lime… so I went with my standard combo and it was wonderful. The flavors were bold and delicious, a perfect blend of salt and sweet. The dish was also very light and I didn’t feel too stuffed after our meal.

I can’t say enough good things, not just about the food but also about the staff at Seasons 52, if you haven’t been yet, make your reservations ASAP!

The rest of my weekend was just as wonderful. I started Saturday morning at Pure Barre with Jane, then got my first manicure & pedicure at MiniLuxe in Lynnfield. I can’t recommend MiniLuxe enough. It is on the pricier side, but I will always pay more for cleanliness. The staff was extremely nice, and the color selection was large, especially the gel selection. Also, the lemonade lotion is the perfect smell for spring and summer!

IMG_8209Call me crazy, but I prefer the places without the massage chairs

Then Nick, B, and I went to CT for some family time and a bridal shower. It has been awhile since I had such a wonderful weekend. Not that there weren’t wonderful moments, but with all the sadness I needed some uplifting things, and this weekend was perfection. Thank you, ladies <3

Have you ever been to Seasons 52? Thoughts?

 

WIAW: Three Meals Out

Thanks to Jenn for hosting another wonderful What I Ate Wednesday. I am going to share three wonderful meals that I have eaten out recently.


The first was dinner, girls night out style, with Cait at Agave Grill in Hartford.

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We started with drinks, which was a bit confusing, either our waitress didn’t know the menu that well or the menu was outdated. Regardless, we ordered the “skinny” margarita. Which was just tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar, I call that a regular margarita…

Agave is also famous for their table side guacamole, but Cait isn’t a huge fan so the waitress offered to just bring me a small order which I enjoyed with the chips. For not table side guar, the spice was just right.

I had looked at the dinner menu prior to our visit and the Agave Street Taco’s kept jumping out at me. Cait told me they were pretty famous for them, and they were at the Taste of the Nation, but apparently I missed them. I am glad I was able to have them, as they were just what I wanted. The double taco was really filling so towards the end I ditched them and just ate the filling.

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However, the real star of the night was the Cornbread Pudding. Ever since our honeymoon, where I had my first corn cakes, I have been obsessed with trying any corn foods when I find them on a menu. This dish paired with the Mango Sauce from Cait’s tuna was perfect.

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The second was brunch with Nick at Peels in New York City.

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I love when restaurants give you your own water and you don’t have to wait for anyone to refill your tiny glass.

We started with coffee and split the Cinnamon Sugar Donut. The donut was a bit dry for my liking, but I just dunked it in my coffee. For my meal I had the SPA Eggs which was an egg white omelette with goat cheese and herbs and a side green salad. The omelet was wonderful, the cheese was throughout the entire thing, which is a rare find.

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The third meal I am sharing was a surprise dinner for my Dad’s birthday. Nick, B man, and I made the trek to VT to surprise my dad and my step brother for both of their birthdays, we met them at the Fair Haven Inn.

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We, along with my sister and her boyfriend, headed to the restaurant early so we got started with a drink – brut prosecco for me.

Once the guests arrived we ordered, Nick and I started with Saganaki (Imported Kasseri Cheese, dipped in eggs, sautéed in butter, & served Flambe table side) and with the appetizers the wait staff brought fresh loaves of bread, chickpeas and beets.

For dinner, I went with the Grecian Baked Scrod (a filet sprinkled with crumbs, feta, and butter then baked). I had mine served with roasted potatoes and a garden salad. The appetizer and salad were great, and my entrée was wonderful. My only two issues were that the kids pasta was huge noodle and the bowl was too gigantic for even an adult, and frankly I wish the waitress would have told me. The second was that my sister took one bite of her salmon and got a mouthful of bones. They gave her a new entrée, but for the price of the meal there should have been zero bones.

Where Fair Haven Inn went above and beyond was that my sister and I made cakes for my dad and step brother and for a small charge they allowed us to bring them in and cut the cake and handled all the candles etc… for us.

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Woah that is a lot of food. Have you had a great meal lately?

MIMM: A fun-filled few weeks

It’s been awhile since I linked up with the lovely Katie for Marvelous Monday! It’s been a busy few weeks, and I figured the best way to bring you all to speed is a fun MIMM post!

Last Friday Nick and I headed to CT for a wedding of one of Nick’s high school friends. It was nice to spend some time with all of his HS friends and their wives/girlfriends.

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Minus KK who was taking the photo

Nick had a conference in NYC, so we went and enjoyed a meal at Casa Mono with our friend Tom. It was extremely dark so I didn’t take any photos, except for one. The amazing brussel sprouts, the best I ever had at a restaurant. If you know you are going to the city, definitely have a meal here!

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Food photo fail

Nick and I also had a wonderful breakfast (more on that later) and spent some time walking around the city before I headed back to CT and the B man.

I also was able to snag some time with my girl Cait, and try Agave Grill in Hartford. Girls nights are great for the soul.

Last, but certainly not least, I have been taking classes at Studio Poise in Lynnfield.

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Danielle, the owner, has graciously allowed me to take as many classes as I can in one month, and share my experiences with you all. So far I have taken Poise Fusion and Poise Xpress and it has been extremely humbling. I have a post coming this week to tell you all more about this wonderful studio, until then you can also follow them on twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Summer Craziness and Running Updates

I know that my blogs have been inconsistent as of late, and I want to apologize.

These summer months, and the nice weather lasts only so long, I like to spend the majority of my weekdays with B.

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Fill me up with gas please

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You’re taking to long, let me handle it

He received a bunch of wonderful outside toys, and before you know it, it is going to be brutally cold, so I want to make sure he has ample time to play with them.

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It’s also only about 8 weeks until the Zooma Half Marathon (by the way you can still get 10% off with the code: CCAMB9) and I don’t think I have had a great training so far. I am getting the miles in but I feel slow, and my last long run was supposed to be 7 miles and I had to tap out at 4. My left hip, right leg and left heel were bothering me and instead of hurting myself I decided to take a break.

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I am still doing a ton of strength training and metabolic conditioning at Achieve, so I am hoping that I will be able to log some serious miles these next few weekends, I really want to PR at Zooma, but I know that I need to set myself up for success.

I know I will be out and about the next 3 or 4 weeks so I need to make sure that I make training a priority.

How is your summer training going?

Year of Baking: Sweet Potato Bread

I know it’s been awhile since I posted a baking post. It’s not that I haven’t been baking, I have, but I have had a serious amount of failures, and I didn’t want to post multiple failures, I will eventually post them all in one post.

Nick and I went to CT for the holiday weekend, and my good friend Cait invited us to her family’s pool club for dinner on the 4th. The only request, I bring a salad and some sort of carby-goddness. Check and check.

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We had a little matchy thing going on!

For the salad, I made a real greek salad.

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Farm fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Tossed with olive oil (straight from Greece) and a bit of salt, I usually add Feta, but I didn’t have any good stuff, so I used Mozz instead. Still very delicious.

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Cait’s mom made this amazing coleslaw, seriously, I need that recipe Mama C!

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I also had a grilled Salmon burger from Whole Foods and beans. Cait’s dad grilled Chicken and Turkey burgers for everyone as well! Check out her post for more info on our fun day!

But, my carbs is what inspired this post.

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Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have. We were too stuffed after dinner to eat the bread, so I gave it to Cait to take home. She ended up taking it to Kaitlin’s house with her and they left me twitter messages!

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Plus, many people left comments on Cait’s post asking for the recipe, so without further ado:

Ingredients
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would be a great substitute)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 tablespoons of milk
1 cup of mashed sweet potato

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325 F
2. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl
4. In your mixer combine eggs, applesauce, milk and mashed sweet potatoes
5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are all together, don’t over mix
6. Pour the batter into the pan
7. Bake for 90 minutes
8. Cool in the pan on a baking rack for 20 minutes
9. Remove from pan and cool for another 30 minutes
10. If not serving immediately, I wrap and put in the fridge, and take it out the morning of the event.

It will stay good in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

I actually used a mix of mashed sweet potato and butternut squash, since I made this the night before we went to CT and I had some steamed squash that would’ve just gone in the garbage.

I also used almond milk, since that’s what I had on hand.

You could also add raisins or chocolate chips if you wanted to add some other flavors.

Let me know if you make this so I can add your links to the post!

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.

 

 

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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?