Category Archives: Uncategorized

The great snow of January 2011

Well, we received about a 1.5 feet of snow in Boston.  My office went on “Snow Policy” meaning that we didn’t have to come in and could charge our time to sick or “snow” (which we have to payback).  Matt didn’t go in, but he is currently reviewing shop drawings on the dining room table.  I have a few videos (yay for using my flip!) for your and hopefully I’ll go take some more pictures, to show you how much snow we got.  I apologize for the lighting.  I started recording about 4:45pm, which is twilight time on the East Coast.

April absolutely loves the snow!  She had a grand time on our walk this afternoon.  Especially considering that some sidewalks weren’t so clear.  I really should have taken some video or pictures, then.  But for now this will tide you over:

ETA:  I took a picture of her on top of the snow on the side of the sidewalk.  This video absolutely cracks me up!

Golden Birthdays

Well, I made it to Knoxville just fine!  I flew out at 5am on December 26th (just before the blizzard), and despite two hours on the tarmac in Charlotte awaiting de-icing, I got to Knoxville about 12:45pm.  My original flight (leaving at 5am on Monday, December 27th) was canceled, so I’m glad I made it.  I wonder how much snow will be left when we return to Boston.  April, who is staying with my mom, is enjoying the snow immensely!  My mom and stepdad swear that she is part husky.


Today is Matt’s (and his twin sister, Diana’s) GOLDEN birthday.  They are 28 on the 28th!  WOO HOO!!  We celebrated by checking out the new Brazilian steakhouse in Knoxville.  What an experience.  I had heard of the concept, but didn’t know exactly how it worked.  You are given a chip.  Red means “No, thank you”, and green means “MORE PLEASE!”


We started with a salad course.  Delicious cheesey poufs (little muffins) were also consumed.


Then came the meat.  Now I am not a big red meat fan, so I had to say “No thank you” to all of the guys with their many cuts of beef.


But yes to chicken legs, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, and pork sausage.

We were stuffed when all was said and done.  It was a fun experience, and highly recommended if you are a carnivore.

This evening we opened presents:


And ate cookie cake!


I gave Matt a digital camera.  He kept stealing mine to go to site visits, so I got him one of his very own!  Good thing, too.  I appear to have forgotten my camera.  I swear I checked that I had packed it, but I can’t find it!  ARGH!  It had better be sitting somewhere in our house.  I guess the fact that I stayed up all night until the taxi arrived at 3am caused me to be forgetful.  Speaking of which, my cab ride to the airport was $39 (plus tip), and I only gave the driver $27!  Luckily I figured it out and called him back to hand him another $20.  I wonder what he bad words he was saying when he saw that I had shorted him.

Anyway, happy birthday to Matt and Diana!  We are off to Cincinnati in the morning for LOTS OF WEDDING STUFFS!


Not only is it the first day of winter,

April discovers snow!


but it is five months until the wedding.  I feel like we just got engaged!  CRAZY!

Just 1.5 days of work left, and then it’s CHRISTMAS!  And that means it’s time TEN DAYS OFF!!  It’s going to be a busy ten days, but I’m excited.  I’ll spend time with my family, Matt’s family, and get a bunch of wedding stuff accomplished.  Here’s an updated to do list:

Lots of appointments in Cincinnati!  And I want to get started on those invitations!  I did make our guestbook the other day.  I can’t wait to show it off!  I also started purchasing some bridesmaid gifts (of course those won’t be revealed until May).

Speaking of bridesmaids and gifts, look what came in the mail today:

A beautiful scarf!  It looks so nice with my coat!  She thought that I might love the cobalt, seeing as the bridesmaid dresses are cobalt.

And speaking of those, did I mention that they have been ordered?  Here are the final picks for the six girls:


Engineer: Sacked!

I had such high hopes for this week.  I started back on WW and was actually going to make it to the gym 3X! Well . . .It started as a sore throat Monday afternoon.  Then it turned into a wicked bad sore throat (like my Boston slang?) by Tuesday.  By that night, I also had a bit of a tummy ache.  I laid down about 7pm and aside from some movement to the bed and to get ready, didn’t get up until 6am.  That was when I discovered that I now had a fever of 101.3!  I skipped work and slept it off.  My fever broke sometime around noon on Wednesday, when I woke up drenched in sweat.  Thursday I felt better enough to return to work, but could still hear the stuffiness in my head.  Yup, Thursday night full blown RHINOVIRUS!  I candot breede drough by dose.  I took some Nyquil last night, because I figured if it’s good enough for Drew Brees, it’s good enough for me?! (and who says advertising doesn’t work).  ENGINEER SACKED!


I did sleep pretty hard.  But still stuffy!  And what better time to get on an airplane to Cincinnati?  ARGH!  Here’s hoping it clears up fast.  Pass the dayquil . . .

Sponsored Post: Shutterfly Greeting Cards!

First, be sure to check out my post on Practice Thanksgiving!  I made a 20 lb. turkey and had 24 people over!

Now to the meat:

I love getting non-bill, non-spam mail, especially greeting cards.  I even have a special place for our greeting cards: the display shelf of our dining room hutch!

It currently features birthday cards, engagement congratulations (I can’t seem to get rid of them!), and some birth announcements.  In the next month, they will be swapped out for HOLIDAY CARDS!  My favorite holiday cards are always the photo cards.   This year, I knew that I wanted to show off our engagement pictures as well as our cute new canine addition by sending out our own greeting cards (isn’t that what you do when you “settle down”?  Guess I’m getting old now).

I had been shopping around and always love the ones my cousin sends from Shutterfly.  When I learned about the deal with Shutterfly Holiday Cards for bloggers, I jumped at the chance to have great quality photo cards FOR FREE!

Here are a few tries at getting the perfect card:

Any favorite from the peanut gallery?  I can’t decide if I want just a single sheet photo card or a folded one so that I can write a brief message.  Decisions!  Decisions!

I’m also looking into using Shutterfly for making a photo guest book (we’re getting a lot of mileage out of these engagement pictures).  Has anyone else used Shutterfly?  What are your favorite products?  Are you sending out holiday cards?

*This is a sponsored post from Shutterfly.  In exchange for blogging about Shutterfly, I will receive free holiday cards.  If you’d like to participate, please visit Shutterfly online.

**All card designs are from Shutterfly.  Our engagement pictures are courtesy of our wonderful photography, Fyrefly Photography.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Anybody else remember them from “The Little Mermaid”?

Ready for some randomness?  I seriously have no common threads or segues.  This is pure stream of consciousness.

Broken Shoes

I apparently need some new black heels:






I bought these shoes for 9th grade winter formal.  I guess it’s time to retire them.  They have served me well!

How to Save $$

Yesterday, I used my Stop ‘n Shop card at Shell and saved $3!!  That’s 7.5%  Every little bit helps, right?

Last week, I was looking at my Visa card and realized that I had all of these “points” that I hadn’t used in 3 years.  Do you know what you can trade them in for?  COLD.HARD.CASH!

Yup, that’s $120!  And I got a $25 visa gift card from my other credit card!  Oh yeah!


I spent an hour last night reviewing the following magazines from my stepdad

They have equipment recommendations and comparisons (like Consumer Reports).  I compared them all to my registry and updated a few things.  It was kind of fun!


Tonight I’m watching the CMA’s (have I mentioned that I listen to country music?).  And I just have to show you my friend, Kristin’s, celebrity doppleganger:

Seriously!  Doesn’t she look EXACTLY like Miranda Lambert?  I’ve been thinking this for a while, and with the CMA’s it’s punching me in the face!  (Kristin is the wife of Matt’s best man, Matt.  They got married almost 1.5 years ago!)

That’s all for my randomness?  Any random comments from the peanut gallery?

How to Organize a Wedding

Last night I was up until 2am “playing with money” and trying to ensure that I was following my budget to save $$ for the wedding. Then I was up until after 3am freaking out about the wedding, money, picking my clothes that have exploded in the closet, etc.

On the money front, I’m fine.  Really, I just hate not knowing exactly how much this will cost (since we don’t know our menu or our final numbers).

On the wedding front, I think I’m freaking out, because I actually don’t have anything to do.  The big things are booked.  There are tons of things I could be doing.  And then there are tons of things that need to wait until we go to Cincinnati or wait until I have accomplished XYZ, etc.  At tap the other night, I spoke my friend who got married in October.  She recommended doing as much as you can now, so you don’t have to do it last minute.  That is why I am on this crafting kick (plus I love arts & crafts).

Therefore, I made an Excel spreadsheet of everything that needs to be accomplished in the next 7 months, and organized the tasks by when I will/need to do them.  Aren’t I dork?

So not much to do in November, but there are those “ongoing things” that have to be done at some point, right?

Much of my list is based off of the checklist given on The Knot.  Obviously I tweaked some dates for when they are relevant to me.


Of course one major thing NOT on my to-do-list is GETTING IN BRIDAL SHAPE.  That is an ongoing process, perpetuated by my weekly visit with the personal trainer today.  Major move of the day: seated rear deltoid lifts

Holy cow were those hard.  I was only using 8lb dumbbells, and barely made it to 12 reps.

I hope I’m really sore tomorrow!

Flashback Friday: Birthday Edition

So today is my birthday.  I am 29. I was freaking out a bit, because I feel like I should have more of life figured out.  But then I think of the Sunscreen song:

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.

Anyway, how’s about some old pictures?  Unfortunately, I don’t have any digital versions of baby Anne, so the pictures are Facebook and later:

In 2004, my 23rd birthday was CRAZY.  I was a senior in college.  It started out with finishing Urban Hydraulics homework at 6am, haircut at 11am, lunch at Harry’s Chocolate Shop at noon, Architectural Engineering exam at 1:30, memorial service for our co-op advisor where I played the piano, birthday, and then seeing Miss Saigon.  (I told you it was crazy).  Of course the next day was crazy as well.  It was Purdue’s homecoming.  We were #5, Gameday was in town, and we were playing Wisconsin.  Then the fumble (still makes make upset):

Orton Fumble

Here’s a picture from the weekend before, when I went out with my friend, Beckey (whose birthday is 8 days before mine).


October Birthdays


Then I went out with my Purdue friends (must have been after Miss Saigon, but before Orton Fumble). Here’s Mellissa, Jess, and I.

Crazy Purdue Girls

In 2006, I was a bridesmaid for Brooke the day before my birthday.  I was serenaded by the Purdue Varsity Glee Club.  It was FABULOUS!

Matt and I had our first date the next day.  He surprised me with cupcakes after dinner when we went back to his place.  We watched Napoleon Dynamite.

In 2007, my girls in Boston took us out (another girl in my department, we have four women in our entire 40+ people department, has the same birthday as I do.)  We enjoyed tapas and the Jake Ivory’s Piano Bar, which used to be located next to Fenway Park.  That night was a playoff game (at Fenway) and the Red Sox won.  It was a crazy atmosphere.


Women enjoying tapas!


In 2008, I flew to Knoxville to pick up my boyfriend Matt.  He had just landed a job in Boston, and we were about to become roommates!  I flew down in order to drive up to Boston from Tennessee.  Along the way we stopped in Blacksburg, VA, home of Virginia Tech and PK’s pizza.  Of course we had to get some.  It was a Thursday night tradition in grad school.

We stopped on our journey, in Hershey, PA, where we spent a “Night of Romance” at the Hershey Lodge.  (I also believe that was another Red Sox playoff game where they came back from some huge deficit and played a billion innings).


Chocolate covered strawberries and champagne


Last year was a weird birthday, since we had an office wide mixer after work (at our office).  I learned that there were in fact THREE people in my office is share my birthday.  (Side note:  I know at least 7 people who have my birthday.  I went to elementary school with three other people who had the same birthday.  It was awesome, because we had so much sugar that day in class!)  Anyway, I came home a bit tipsy, and found my usual presents from Matt:


Bright Pink Roses Make Me Smile



Homemade Cupcakes


I’ve had some pretty great and memorable birthdays.  See, I kind of make a big deal out of it, and so everyone makes a big deal right back.  If that’s what you want, that’s what you have to do.  Here’s hoping my 29th birthday will be something great as well.

Blinging Out the Flip Flops

First let’s start with the tasty, fall meal that I made tonight.  Pork chops were on sale, and so I went to one of my favorite websites, Heather’s Recipes (great resource for recipes using mostly “whole foods”), and the very first pork recipe was this great pork chop recipe using apples and sweet potatoes (two things that I already had).  Unfortunately, when I was making the pork chops, I realized that my sweet potatoes had gone bad.  Oops . . .

So “Apple Crusted Pork with sans Sweet Potatoes”:

Pork covered in a sauce of applesauce, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and cumin.  I also sprinkled some cinnamon on some of the apples.  While I don’t like cinnamon, I love the aroma that filled the house!


My Plate


I added some spinach for some greenery!  The pork was really flavorful.  Deliciouso!

Wedding Crafts Project

First of all, if you are one my bridesmaids and do NOT want to see what part of your gift will be, don’t scroll down.

Secondly, have I mentioned my love of craft projects?  Background for this project: we are going to be taking pictures on the football field at Paul Brown Stadium before the reception, however we are NOT allowed to wear heels.  I thought I would be a great idea to give my girls some fun, bright, sparkly flip flops!

What you will need:




  1. Flip flops (I got mine from Old Navy when they were on clearance)
  2. Matching ribbon (I used 1″ wide satin ribbon)
  3. Glue gun
  4. Fabric glue
  5. Bling! (I used 7mm hot pink rhinestones)

First, wrap the thong part of the flip flop in ribbon.  I used a 28″ continuous piece of ribbon, started at one side (affixing with hot glue), wrapped around the thong (including the toe wedgie thing), and hot glued it the other side.

Next affix the bling using fabric glue.  If you use hot glue, they will come off.  I also used tweezers to help put them on.

Let dry.

The finished product:

I’m so excited about them!  I know they’ll look great with the cobalt dresses.

The Return of My Brother

I forgot to mention that my brother has returned home from Afghanistan!  He arrived in New Hampshire at 4:30am on Thursday, September 9, and met my mom at 29 Palms USMC Base in California around 4:00pm (Pacific) that afternoon.  We are so proud of him and so relieved to have him home.  This was his second deployment, and as much more difficult on his psyche from what I have learned.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers over the past seven months.  And thank you to all of our service men and women and the families supporting them.


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