Friday, December 31, 2010

oh my goodness the neglect!

So yes, I have certainly been neglecting this little blog but for good reason!  Life has been super busy between school, advising the yearbook, the holidays, and pretending not to worry about our's been exhausting!

To update you all on what's going on in our lives:

  • I started making my own cheese!  So far we're just dealing with mozzarella because it's the easiest and has the quickest turnaround (cheese is ready to eat in 30 minutes) but Bobby got me a whole slew of cheesemaking gadgets for christmas (including a wine fridge that he will convert into my cheese cave so I can begin making cheeses that require aging).  Oh man though, it is super exciting.
  • We got into the swing of things with the holidays.  We had our annual tree decorating party and our house won the townwide holiday decorating contest.

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    November?!?! Already?!?!

    It seems like the month of October has just flown on by.  Several weeks ago we took Bobby's parents out to the venue to scope out the area.  I gave them a tour of Berg, which they thought was beautiful, and we drove around in search of a spot for the rehearsal dinner.  Uncertain of what type of feel they were looking for, I took them to 3 very different spots.


    Bellissimo's is a traditional Italian restaurant.  Because our wedding is in August, we'd be able to use the outdoor patio for our entire party.

    Pistachio's is more of a fun and laidback atmosphere.  We'd have the entire back section of the restaurant but no private room.  Because it's a Thursday night, the owner told us it shouldn't be too crowded so it'll feel like we're there alone anyway.  They also let us sample some appetizers on the house.

    Grill 3501
    Grill 3501 was a hotspot for people do bring their parents during family weekend.  It's a nice restaurant with a martini bar and an area sectioned off for small private parties.  It just so happened that while we were there they were setting up for a rehearsal dinner in their private area.

    So, as you can see, three very different options and I'm not sure which one the Olson's will pick so you'll have to wait and see :)

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Losing my religion...part 2

    It wasn't until mid-September that RCIA began again.  Over the course of the summer, Bobby and I had big plans to make it to church every Sunday (ok, more like I had big plans to drag him with me...but still).  Sadly, we always found something else to do and, though we started off strong going every week, by July it had dwindled down and we skipped the entire month of August so my quest for faith hadn't gotten very far when I was back in the saddle to decide if Catholicism was really it for me.

    Now, one thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that at our first meeting back in May, they asked us to think about someone that we would want to be our sponsor through our religious journey.  Heather picked her husband and Lizzie was thinking about her mom, but I wasn't sure who I wanted to share that with.  I didn't feel like Bobby would take it seriously if I asked him to come with me to the meetings because I still don't feel comfortable talking about that stuff with him (and please don't take offense to that, if you're reading this).  I need someone who will take it seriously and understand why I have so many I haven't figured that part out yet.

    Anyway, back to where this is all going...We had our first meeting back in mid-September and there were 3 new people going through the process with us.  It made me feel a little better and less like we were the center of attention, but I still wasn't in it for me.  It wasn't until this past week, when I picked my sister up to head to the church that it really hit me.  On our way up, Heather and I talked about why we were still skeptical of the whole thing.  It's great to know that I have her to go through the whole process with because there's no one who could understand my feelings about it better than my sister, who is starting at the exact same level as me.  We talked about how it's hard to follow something that doesn't have concrete evidence and we talked about how we're constantly looking for signs from something to let us know that there really is something for us to believe in...and then we got to class.

    This week's class was about the different terms that we'd encounter and what everything meant.  We discussed the 4 stages of RCIA (pre-catechumenate, catechumenate, purification and enlightenment, mystagogy) and the different rites that we'll go through in each stage.  We discussed different common terms (Advent, Liturgical year, and triduum) and learned a little bit more about the process as a whole.  By the end of the night, I was feeling a little more connected and felt better on our drive home....and then the shocker of all shockers (and you'll probably find this incredibly cheesy but...) the signs began flying in.

    Every day this week, since Heather and I had that conversation, I have encountered some type of sign...maybe they're just coincidences, but they're pretty freaky if you think about it.

    • Tuesday morning: Rachel's challenge assembly - Rachel Scott was the first person shot at Columbine in 1999.  The speaker talked about how Rachel knew that she was going to die young and had written an essay six weeks prior to the shootings about her codes of life and how she thought that if we could be compassionate and kind to just one person every day, that we'd start a chain reaction.  Two weeks after her death, a man from the other side of the country called up her father and explained how he was having reoccurring dreams of Rachel's eyes crying onto hollow ground and flowers sprouting up.  A week later, Mr. Scott was able to pick up Rachel's backpack from police evidence and found her last journal....on the very last page was a drawing that one of Rachel's teachers says she made a mere 20 minutes before the shootings of her eyes crying onto ground with a single rose sprouting appeared that her teardrops were turning into blood drops as they reached the flower....there were 13 of them, the number of people killed that day.
    • Tuesday after RCIA: I got home around 9:30 and Bobby and I watched the episode of Glee that had aired at 8 but we dvr-ed....this week's episode was all about religion and faith.  I immediately text messaged my sister and got a chill.
    • Wednesday night: Bobby and I hung out on the couch watching Modern Family.  In this week's episode, Manny and Gloria want to go to church but Jay would rather go play they're arguing about it and Jay says that God doesn't matter, an earthquake yes, it's a little bizarre that 2 tv shows talked about religion this week....but more bizarre that neither are on the same network
    • Thursday morning:  As I'm driving up 23, I notice a rainbow in the I get closer to Kinnelon, the rainbow gets brighter and I notice that it's a full and complete arch right over the town....and there's another one next to it.
    Now, these things might not seem like much...but I definitely see these as signs.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    That's me in the corner...losing my religion

    Religion isn't something that I really talk about much and it's not something that I've really opened up about with Bobby, but lately it's been on my mind a lot.  In addition to our experience at God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, RCIA has begun.  For those of you who don't know, RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  Basically, because I was not raised with a religion, I'm going through the process of becoming Catholic so that we can get married in the least, that was the initial reason.

    Bobby's family is pretty religious, not super jesus freaks, but they attend church regularly and take pride in their faith and when we first started dating I was fascinated by it.  All three children went to catholic school their whole lives (minus a brief stint in public middle school for Lizzie) and Mama O was almost a nun, so you could imagine how radically different this was for me to come into....having only gone to church a handful of times and never really learned anything about any religion (aside from my Mystical Encounters class at 'Berg where I learned a brief snippet of several).

    A year ago, when my sister started her second trimester of pregnancy, she explained to me how she wanted to find God...and I made fun of her for it.  She wanted to have the same feelings of faith and spirituality that her husband had but didn't know where to start.  She began reading up on different religions and wanted to attend services at different churches to get a feel for things, but I think she was too afraid to go it alone.  It wasn't until I really knew that marriage was on the horizon and I had spent more time with the Olson's that I felt comfortable enough to consider my own faith and spirituality.  I knew that I believed in some higher being, I just didn't know what or who and I knew that organized religion in general angered me because I wanted hard evidence to form my beliefs so I decided to look into Catholicism and take the leap with my sister.

    I had attended Easter mass with the Olsons and Kate had just made confirmation and I felt very comfortable in their church.  I can remember when I was in middle school and all of my friends were going to church, I wanted to know what it was all about so I would go too and I felt so uncomfortable at mass, like I was being judged by everyone around because I wasn't getting up to receive the eucharist and because I didn't recite the Lord's prayer....I didn't get that feeling at St. E's so that was the first place I turned to on my quest to find faith.

    I called up the Director of Faith Formation and explained my situation.  He suggested Heather and I go to a get-to-know-you meeting for RCIA, so we did and, to be perfectly honest, I still wasn't signing on for myself, but because I knew the Olsons wanted us to get married by a priest and I wanted to please them.  When we went to the get-together it was just Heather, Lizzie (for whatever reason she never got confirmed even though she had received all of the other sacraments so she's technical not official), and Me in a room full of Catholics ranging from those who had just become to those who were born into it.  Needless to say, it was a little overwhelming and I still wasn't in it for me, but I had the entire summer to get into it.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Contraception was created to damn women even more

    Saturday we spent our day in the cafeteria of Corpus Christi for God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage.  I'm not going to lie, I was dreading Saturday like you would not believe.  In addition to having to spend my day off in a basement cafeteria, I had to sit in a crowd of soon-to-be's and listen to a bunch of jesus freaks.

    Man was I wrong.

    We got to the school and I was surprised to see at least 35 other couples, 2 of which I knew from high school.  We grabbed a workbook and another book and had a seat near the front.  I was shocked to see a pretty average looking middle-aged couple rocking out to a little Jack Johnson running the show.  They began the whole shpeal and I was relieved because it was actually interesting and I wasn't terribly offended or bored out of my mind.  They gave us the history of marriage in the catholic church, told stories about their own marriage and where things went wrong, and approached the whole day in a pretty relaxed manner.  The whole thing was supposed to last until 4pm and then planned on getting us out at 1:30...score!  We flew through the workbook and had several opportunities to ask our future spouses questions and reflect on our own answers.

    The part I found most interesting was the brief tidbit about natural family planning.  I was actually intrigued about the whole process and the science behind it (although our speaker was the mother of 7, through NFP, I was more interested in the process than why she would choose to have that many kids in a time like this).  One of the things she said that really struck me was about birth control and how it's just another thing to put women down.  Here I was thinking that birth control was another way to make women free and give us control and the point she made was so takes the onus off the man, objectifying the woman even more.  Now, I don't want to get into an argument or great debate with anyone over this but it was the first time I'd have heard a statement like that and I actually found some validity in it.  How true is it that by taking birth control, we're giving the guy more opportunities to ask for/want sex because the possibility of getting pregnant is no longer there?  It's actually taking the control away from us (although, let's not kid ourselves here, who has the ultimate say in what goes down?).

    This was something that really got me thinking....and when I got home, I looked up the science behind NFP.  It requires you to take your temperature every day for a month and track changes in your mood, discharge, and blood flow and from that, you can have a better understanding of when you're ovulating and when you have less of a chance of getting pregnant.  So if you know you're ovulating, you know that sex is off the table, in the event that you don't want to have a child.  I think it's really interesting, but don't think I could stick by something like I'll continue to use the patch until we're emotionally and financially ready to deal with a little bundle of joy.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Am I doing this all wrong?

    Lately I've had a couple of minor freak outs in relation to our wedding (and, Bobby, it is in no way related to our relationship!).  It's just that I constantly have this feeling that I'm doing something wrong or not following the right path or doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

    One of my coworkers got engaged the night before the first day of school.  She and I have had several discussions about her wedding hopes prior to the end of the last school year (we shared the same off block) and so when she started pumping me for information.  Well, here we are three weeks later and the essentials are booked for her and now we're discussing dresses.  She's getting married two weeks before us and already has an eye on a dress.  I planned on waiting til January to start dress shopping (mainly because I don't want to go in feeling super fat because I don't fit into a sample size dress) but now I'm feeling like I've got it all wrong and should be on the prowl right now.

    The other thing that has had me freaking out is saving for the wedding.  When we first got engaged, I jumped right into the wedding blogs and forums searching for money saving tips.  We used The Knot's budget calculator to get a better idea of what type of savings we're going to have to stash away and I felt like the number was feasible, but now I feel like there's no way I'm going to be able to put enough away to take care of our expenses.  My sister continues to reassure me that I'm just crazy and am in a much better financial situation at this time than she was a year out from her wedding but part of me can't help but think that I'm going to fall short.

    After putting more thought into it, I decided I'll probably start looking for "the one" (well, the second "the one" because I've already found my man) when I'm off for teacher's convention in that gives me a little over a month to shed another 15 lbs...can she do it?

    we'll see......

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    My life is officially OVER

    Ok not really...I'm just being dramatic but still!  You may expect this to be the wonderful update of our recent road trip where I fill you in on our trip to America's only tea plantation or getting smashed at the Firefly distillery (ok I didn't get smashed but I did take home a bottle of lemonade vodka) or the buttload of traffic that we sat in thanks to a tractor trailer accident......sorry to disappoint, none of the above will be elaborated on.

    Instead, I fill you in on my new allergy.  On Saturday, August 21, Bobby and I headed from Charleston to Asheville to take a tour of the Biltmore Estate and check out Wedge Brewery.  Finding Wedge was worse than searching for a needle in a hay stack and after several turn arounds we found the dirt road leading up to the back of a building where Wedge is located (in their defense, I would get lost trying to find NJBeerCo if I didn't already know where it was).  And of course as we're driving through the mud, it starts raining even harder.
    Anyhoo, we made it in to Wedge and had a beer each.  I decided on the Belgian Witbier and made it about two sips before I was in complete pain and could no longer swallow...well friends, it seems I am allergic to something in Belgian beers.  Bobby finished his beer and we left immediately.  Although I felt bad for leaving almost a full beer at the bar, I knew this was a bad reaction.

    Turns out, after consulting our family nurse (Mama Olson), I have been making my reactions worse and worse by drinking through them.  About 3 years ago, I started to notice that some beers would have this affect on me.  My throat would swell and hurt and sometimes it was hard to breathe and I would have this strange anxiety kick in.  Well, because I have spent three years ignoring the reactions, I have made them worse and worse.  This last reaction took over an hour to go away so I am taking a hiatus from Belgian style ales until we can determine what exactly I am allergic to in them.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Come on sweet catastrophe

    So I've been slacking off when it comes to the blog world.  In my defense, Bobby and I went on a roadtrip down to South Carolina (which I will blog about later) from Wednesday to Sunday and I just haven't had the energy to blog about it.  But for this post I must go back, way back, to Friday, August 13th.

    This year Bobby and I got each other some pretty fantastic anniversary gifts.  For him, two tickets to NYCBrewfest.....for me, tickets to Something Corporate's 10 year reunion tour.  OMG squeal like a little girl!  To start this off, I should fill you in on my history with Something Corporate.  I was introduced to them back in 2001/2002 with the Ready...Break album followed by Leaving Through the Window. 2003 I was so super obsessed that I followed them over the course of a week and a half.  I saw them in Boston, DC, Philly, NJ, and NYC.  I have several signed ticket stubs and for a while Andrew (the lead singer) was my voicemail message so you can imagine my delight when Bobby surprised me with these tickets.  Around 2005, SoCo dropped off the planet....actually, Andrew was diagnosed with Leukemia and Will decided to start his own side project.  During Andrew's treatment and recovery he started writing again and formed Jack's Mannequin.  Last fall, SoCo released a YouTube video explaining that they were coming back and playing at the Left Coast Bamboozle....sadface for living on the East again, this was pretty monumental to get these tickets.
    The show was being held at Roseland Ballroom, a total throwback to the end of high school/start of college.  Bobby and I drove into the city and decided to use up our last $25 gift card to Heartland Brewery (thanks to them messing up at Brewfest and us not being able to redeem our free hamburger).  It was clear that he had never done this before as I suggested getting on line around 5 for the 7:30 doors. As we walked to the venue (around 6pm, mind you) I reminisced about other concerts I'd been to at Roseland, the time I stood on line in the pouring rain to see Brand New there, my first encounter with Romy at the New Found Glory concert, and the friends I made travelling with SoCo (I met a girl who was always first on line because she got there at 11am).

    We got to the start of the line and I felt old.  Most of the people standing on line were just starting their rebellious years of sneaking out to shows and riding the bus into the city when you told your parents you were staying with a friend.  I was a bit shocked by the crowd and it wasn't until we were standing just outside the stage door and Andrew walked right in front of us and no one around seemed to realize it was him, that I felt it was time to officially hang up my Cons and star studded belt for life as a grown-up.

    Don't get me wrong...the concert was amazing and I totally geeked out but I think those days are over.  I'll just rock out to my iPod when I want to re-live those years again.

    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    Favorite Beer Labels

    Ok, folks....I need your help.  I'm working on a project that I can't yet disclose and would like to know what your favorite beer labels are.  For inspiration, here's one of mine:
    If you don't have a favorite beer label, what's your favorite beer?

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    yay new hobbies

    So teaching ESY means getting home by 12:30 every day.  ESY is over after this week which means I'll have a couple of weeks before the school year starts up again so plenty of time off.  Don't get me wrong, I love time off but I also know that time off means lazy time means binge eating means mad Melanie so I've decided to keep myself busy with some other stuff.  Bobby and I started doing puzzles at night instead of the usual "what do you want to do tonight?"  Friday night we headed to Toys R Us and bought Blokus Duo (If you've never played, you really need to because it's a good strategy game but not super intense) and a 1,000 piece puzzle.  We spent a good amount of time Friday night working on the puzzle and left it on the coffee table to complete over the weekend.

    It was a pretty intense puzzle because there were so many of virtually the same piece going in lots of different places.  You can't tell, but we're missing 3 pieces.  Why, you may ask?

    Bailey decided to eat a couple of them :( womp womp.  I've also been spending my time trying to figure out the millions of different DIY projects that I see on the wedding blogs.  I learned how to make fabric garland but decided to turn them into headbands/pins instead.

    And then there's my other downfall of being shopping.  In my defense, I bought this dress from JCrew for only $54 down from $110...How could I pass that up?  Plus it's my favorite color.  After seeing it in person, it's making me love this color even more and consider JCrew for our bridesmaids dresses.

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    Saturdays are drinking days

    Yesterday Bobby and I decided to put our new key to the city to use (for those of you who don't know about the Key to the City project, you should check it out....and read LA's blog about finding love through the project ---> ).  We decided to spend the day in Brooklyn so we checked out two key sites and then headed over to the Brooklyn Brewery and met up with some other beer nerds :P

    The first key site is down a little alley next to Cabinet Magazine.  The key unlocks this little box attached to the side of the building.  Having read the comments other key holders have left about this site, I prepared for the worst (it not working).  Inside the box are two simple words "Look Up".  Unfortunately, the bubble blower couldn't seem to catch the wind.  Bobby and I stood there for a good 5 minutes, cheering on the little bubbles to make their way into the air of the alley but none seemed to make it.  We climbed back into the car and headed to the second key site of the day, the Brooklyn Museum.

    The Brooklyn Museum has a suggested $10 donation but Bobby lucked out with his student id...hazzah!  We wandered through the Warhol exhibit first before making our way up to the fifth floor where the mystery lock was waiting.  When we got out of the elevator we realized we weren't the only people with a key so we took a loop of the floor and headed into the storage area that smells like the cleanest room I've ever been in.  Once we finished perusing the old exhibits that were now housed in storage, we headed back to the mystery door to unlock our secret.

    After checking out some other exhibits in the museum, we headed to Brooklyn Brewery for a tour and to meet up with Stevie and Lee.  The original game plan was for Erin and Bradford to meet up with us as well but our paths kept crossing without bumping into each other.  About 20 minutes after we left the museum, I found out that's where Erin and Bradford were. Womp womp.

    We got to the brewery around 1:15 and decided to grab a bite to eat before drinking at a little restaurant around the corner.  The thing that sucks about where Brooklyn Brewery is located is...hipster city and as a result you spend $12 on a grilled cheese sandwich that doesn't come with french fries or chips....womp womp.  We entered the brewery for a tour and this is what we were greeted with:

    I was immediately turned off.  How disappointing?!  I had no clue that the brewery would be equivalent to the beer garden.  There were people playing drinking games and stacking up their empty cups like some sort of monument to their frat days.  It was just really disappointing having been to tours with people who weren't there just to get shwasted.  Bobby and I bought our beer tokens (also a new concept...every other brewery we've visited gave free tastings....but then again, we were paying for an entire cup vs. a 3 oz pour) and waited for the next tour to start.  When the tour began we knew we were among a handful of people who actually gave a shit and a majority who wanted to go back to the tasting room to cash in their other 5 chips.

    After several drinks at the brewery with Stevie and Lee, we got a quick tour of their neighborhood.  They introduced us to d.b.a. - Brooklyn.  If you're ever in the Williamsburg area you should totally check this place out.  Before we knew it it was 7:30pm and we were starving.  We decided to head back to Stevie and Lee's for some more good beer and yummy topping pizza.  By the time we left Brooklyn it was 11pm, about twelve hours after we first began our adventure.  Needless to say, Bobby and I have spent pretty much the entire day on the couch watching train wreck tv and completing our puzzle.  Keep your eyes peeled for a post about our newest hobby.

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage

    Last night Bobby and I drove down to Bayonne to meet with our priest.  We had to fill out a survey separately and get interviewed by the priest, basically so that he can get to know us better and have a better understanding of our relationship.  I was up first for the interview and it was your basic, you aren't already married, you're not being forced into this, you understand what a good catholic marriage means, yadda yadda yadda.  Then Deacon Bob asked about how Bobby and I met, how he proposed, why I want to marry him....easy peasy.

    Then it was my turn to take the test.  It was about 120 questions....mainly about our finances once we are officially married, how our families feel about our marriage, and how we feel about each other.  Some of the questions were no brainers and others required a little more thinking...not because I was uncertain of how I felt, but because they were worded in such a way that you had to read the question multiple times before you knew what it was actually asking.  The test is pretty much an "agree", "disagree", or "uncertain".  Questions like "Pregnancy is currently affecting our marriage" and "Sometimes I am fearful of my future spouse" were easy DISAGREEs, but questions like "My future spouse and I expect little to no discontent in our marriage" made me go "hmm...."  If I answer AGREE then I'm saying that we think marriage is all fun and games which is not true but if I answer DISAGREE then it makes it sound like we are already unhappy most of the time....neither of which are true.

    The kicker to the whole little survey/interview process is the fact that Bobby and I had to fill out the section about cohabitation.  We're planning on a Catholic ceremony and for those of you who are familiar with the Bible....we're breaking one of those Biblical laws by living together before marriage.  So Deacon Bob threw an idea out there....only for us to discuss and think about but no decision HAD to be live apart for 6 months before our wedding.  Bobby and I have been living together for almost a year now and in the time we haven't spent a single night apart.  I don't think either of us would be able to get a decent night of sleep without the other laying there too.  So this is what we have to think about...can we manage being apart for that long or should we cut a deal of renewed chastity until the big day?

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    First Annual Grown Up Brunch

    Sunday we had our first ever grown up brunch and everything was fantastic.  Unfortunately, I only took pictures at the very beginning....and by "I" I mean my friend Marissa because I was busy making a bajillion pancakes. So without further ado.....

    I'd say it was quite the success though it was incredibly hot out...I'm thinking next time we'll have a brunch in May/September when it isn't balls hot out.  We managed to get everything inside before the rain hit later on in the day and everyone made their way down to the basement bar to hang out for a bit more.  I made 2 different breakfast stratas which I had 1) never eaten before and 2) never made.  They were both delicious but the Italian Sausage and Bell Pepper one was my favorite.  Thanks to all who came out and those who brought stuff.  Our next big party is our Halloween party October 22nd so mark your calendars!  I spent a while scouring the internet yesterday for half price decorations and was pretty successful....get excited!

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Beer for dinner?

    Last night I decided to spice things up with a different marinade for our London Broil.  After scouring the internet for a new recipe I decided to incorporate the one ingredient that we love most (ok, next to garlic)...BEER!  I found a recipe for a beer marinade and read most of the reviews before making the trek downstairs to the beer fridge.
    The recipe called for a stout so I looked around and saw one that Bobby had multiple bottles I figured it was a safe place.  After trimming the little bit of fat and cutting the 2+lb of london broil in half I started to make the marinade.

    • 12 oz. Stout
    • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
    • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 clove minced garlic
    Once the meat was secure in the ziplock bag in the refrigerator, I went to see what Bobby was up to online at work.  I informed him of my delicious idea and he began to get wary....which bottle of stout did I pick?
    Oh that would be the kind that cost $40ish for a 4-pack.  Needless to say, the steak came out terrific and I reduced the leftover marinade and we poured it over the top to make for an extra delicious meal.  Oops!

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Registry etiquette

    I was having lunch with friends recently with the subject of registries came up (wedding, house warming, baby, etc).  They asked me how Bobby and I decided what went on our registry....well after reading plenty of magazines and blogs and checking out the forums it seemed like the way to go was to have 3 price points....this way everyone can contribute.  We also decided that if it was something we weren't willing to spend the money on, then it wouldn't go on (ok there is a $90 bowl that I put on our registry because it was really pretty though I would never spend that kind of money on a bowl).
    Ok, so this picture doesn't make it look all that fantastic but it's beautiful with purples and grays.  I love it. got me thinking about the type of people who put outlandish things on their registries and how I'm very happy that the man I'm going to marry has a good head on his shoulders and doesn't want to buy $80 shower curtains.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Slacker McSlackyson

    So I realized that I never actually write about all of the super fun beer related things that we do.  What's living hoppily ever after without the hops?!?!

    A couple of months ago Bobby convinced me to check out the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington for a beer release party.  Having never been to a beer release party, I was pretty excited to check it out.  It was the launch for NJ Beer Co and they had a very tasty Pale Ale in a cask!  Oooo a cask!  While we were there, Bobby met the owners and chatted them up about how they got started (running/owning a brewery is his life goal).  From this, he developed a friendship with the guys and spent a couple of Fridays helping them out at the brewery.

    Well, they recently got their bottling machine and decided to have a bunch of people over to the brewery for some free labor with the promise of all the beer you could drink...why not?  We met some great people from the metro area who are just as into beer as we are and were put to work.

    Bobby and I ended up spending the entire day there and went home dirty and exhausted.  We assembled 150 boxes and 600 six pack holders, cleaned kegs and refilled them with yummy stout, and played a couple of rounds of beer pong.  Overall, I'd say it was a pretty great time and we're looking forward to other fun stuff at the brewery.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Ahhh the beauty of homeownership

    While, yes, Bobby and I are technically living in sin.....moving in together was one of the best ideas we've had.  Almost a year ago, Bobby bought the house we currently live in and after spending every night of the first two weeks here helping out (we had to tear down wallpaper and move in furniture and lots of other projects), we decided it made more sense for this to be my permanent address.  Sure we get into little tiffs about stupid house things (I'm notorious for leaving a glass of water on the coffee table and then going upstairs to bed and he has a bad habit of leaving dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is empty) but we dished out the duties to make living together work and it does :)

    One of the things that I've come to learn is that it's extremely helpful to go through home crisis together.  Only a month after living together, we took a trip to Governors Island for my birthday.  Right before we hit the road, I went to the bathroom in the upstairs hallway....apparently the tank to the toilet had cracked and never refilled properly once I flushed.   Bobby and I got home several hours later and discovered a new waterfall in our living room.

    Naturally this leak had to occur on the day of my birthday party....we had a lot of cleaning up to do before people came over....we've had several other problems turn up but another major one hit this morning.  During the school year Bobby has another hour after I leave the house before he has to be at work but because it's's the other way around.  He leaves for work at 8am and I start my trek at 9.  This morning I decided to make myself a cup of tea using the insta-hot (a knob on our sink that's attached to a water tank underneath that boils small amounts of water quickly).  Unfortunately the insta-hot hasn't been working properly so I gave up and popped the mug in the microwave while I sat in the living room eating a bowl of cereal and reading the paper.  When I went to put my dish in the dishwasher,I  was greeted by large puddles of water on the kitchen floor....i had 15 minutes until I needed to leave for school.  Thankfully Bobby was able to come up from work and help me clean/fix the insta-hot before I needed to leave but it seems that just when everything is working properly and it's smooth sailing, something else has to break and cause a headache.

    Ah the beauty of homeownership.

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Being all grown up means......

    Throwing fabulous summer brunches in your backyard! Oh I am so excited for this. As I'm sure everyone in the blogosphere realizes, I heavily peruse the wedding blogs and am always inspired by the things that they do. Well my inspiration for our grown up summer brunch came from a shoot done on Green Wedding Shoes inspired by the movie "(500) Days of Summer." The thing that really pushed me over the edge to make it happen was receiving a beautiful platter and appetizer plates from my Aunt Betsy. It made me think, "Hmmm....time to get this grown up party started." So without further ado, my inspiration for brunch.

    All photos courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes
    I hope those attending are super excited because it is going to be pretty freaking awesome.