Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap (very long post!)

While our Thanksgiving break flew by, it's amazing how much fun you can squeeze into just four days.  (and technically we were celebrating with the McNulty clan on Wednesday night too!  We had venison!)

We started off our Thanksgiving day with a 3:50 am wakeup.  We caught the first flight from Newark to Nashville and had already received the "Daddy Taxi" pick up by 8 am.  I took a neighborhood walk with my Mom and then family started to arrive when we got back home.  I played an epic game of Monopoly (my 7 year old cousin Kate won) while Pat helped Dad fry the turkey.  The weather was nice so we were able to be outside by the fish pond, fire pit and shucking oyster area.  As for dinner, the food was DELICIOUS and all 24 of us sat at one long table.  Pictures of the day:

My adorable cousin Kate. She went to the Miley Cyrus concert on Wednesday night.  I think my Mom and sis enjoyed it just as much as she did! :o)

Dad and Russell shucking oysters

Sam and Lorena in town from BA, Argentina

E and cousin Henry.  He was a big Monopoly winner too.

Sweet Libby and her mom Emily (and my cousin) 

Lieutenant Hardie

24 at one table!

E, Suz, Pat

It was cousin Randolph's birthday!

My cousin Sarah and her beautiful girl Lucy.  It was my first chance to meet lil Lucy!

More family time and more Monopoly.  :)  My cousin Matthew stopped by to help finish the keg, and friends Lacie and Neil stopped by too.  Also, we nibbled on some smoked trout from Russell.  That night we went for drinks at my cousin Rachie's new adorable Hillsboro Village apartment.  Then Pat and I headed over to "East Nasty" (East Nashville) to hang out at Lanier's with friends Matt, Jeff, and Kate.  Pictures of the day:

Family Group shot before everyone headed home to FL, AL, and WV.

Nashville Area School Shot :)  Neil, Lacie, E, Suz, Pat

My mom thanking Henry ~ he made my parents a perfect blue bird box!

Cousins ~ Sam, Lorena, Suz, Pat, Sarah, Matthew, E, Rachie

Lorena, Sarah, Matthew

Suzanne, Matt, Lanier

Silly girls, Kate and Lanier - I LOVE YOU!

Suz, Lanier, Marisa, Kate

We slept in a bit and helped with the house clean up.  Pat and I then ventured out to the Nashville Farmers' Market.  My friend Claire has a booth for her bakery shop Dozen.  Her goodies are all made with local and mostly organic ingredients.  We got there later in the day so she was almost sold out but we got one of everything left...BEST pecan square I have ever tasted.  I think it's the best dessert I've ever had.  The Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies were delish too!!  Another great walk with Mom and then later that night my parents braved hosting one more time for our annual Christmas dinner with the Nads (they will be in Argentina this year).  The rare beef tenderloin might have been my Dad's best yet.  And I always love my Mom's confetti rice (it has peppers and onions in it).   Our friends Tom and Shelly picked us up later that night for the annual Wacking of the Bush.  Tom is one of Pat's college roommates and it's so nice he lives in Nashville.  Ok, so there is this really strong and tasty drink at the Broadway Brewhouse called a Bushwacker.  It's kind of like a milkshake but it has 4-5 shots in it I think.  I forgot how gross it is to be in a smoke filled bar.  Get with the program Nashville and ban it!

Claire - wish we'd had stayed to visit longer.  Great to see her though!

I met up with my friend Freya for a coffee.  We were going to try out the new Fiddlecakes but it was closed for the holiday.  So we headed over to the Frothy Monkey.  After our nice visit and yummy latte my sister suggested next stop was Satco.  E was heading to the Titans ("Give me a T..."!!) game that afternoon so we said our goodbyes.  Pat and I had fun going to a couple open houses in the Richland area that afternoon.  Here's hoping we win the lotto!!  Mom and Dad served us some amazing turkey soup for dinner and then it was off to the airport.  Got home after midnight. 

It's always a bit depressing to leave Nashville.  It's just so nice to be so close to so many family and friends.  And I feel like the farthest you ever have to drive to get anywhere is about 15 minutes. Luckily we have some fun things to look forward to up this way!

And thank you to my In Laws for taking care of Winnie while we were away and for doing the airport shuttle.  Kate also decorated the house for Christmas and it looks amazing!  Pictures of that to come.   

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Apple Pie

Apple pie has never been one of my favorite desserts.  I'd normally opt for something chocolatey or something creamy like crème brûlée.  I might have been converted last night... 

My In Laws Paul and Kate arrived in New Jersey yesterday with two gorgeous apple pies in tow.  They had stopped off to visit with Kate's brother, Uncle Ned, on their trip down from Cape Cod.  He made these pies.

Of course we had to go ahead and sample.   Heated up in the microwave with some vanilla ice cream - Can't be beat! 

YUM!  Nice work Uncle Ned!

Monday, November 23, 2009


After quite a bit of effort yesterday, we finally got a good little fire going.  Winnie was very intrigued by it. 

What a good little kitty!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving with Friends

My friend Devon and her fiance Andy hosted a full Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  The food was top notch and the company great.  I met a few new people and saw some old favorites!  I am so thankful for such a wonderful group of friends.  :)

Our hosts ~ Andy and Devon

Pat and me

Matching!  Erin and Sarah

Book Club! (minus a few)

Devon's brother Colin and his wife Elizabeth ~they made the trip from PA.

Andrea and Sarah (future roomies - today is moving day! Good luck!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sweet Ladies

Happy Saturday! Beautiful day here. 
Yesterday I mentioned Happy Hour with some office ladies.  Since my company is small we are now subletting the other half of our floor to a law firm.  We are very lucky they are all so nice.  I'm really enjoying getting to know these gals:

Molly and Katharine
Molly picked our desitnation of choice which is only about a block from our office building.  They have an outdoor section with heating lamps up on the 14th floor.  I loved that place and I'll definitely be going back.  It's nice to make new friends.  =)    

Michelle and Moi

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Ahead

Happy Hour after work with office ladies at Bookmarks Lounge at the Library hotel
Dinner Date with Pat at Felice's - using a $25 gift certificate that I bought for $2!

Saturday (Pat will be at an all day Accounting Class in the city)
Run outside
Make Pumpkin muffins
Catch up on Dancing with the Stars episodes (I'm tired of finding out who was voted off before I can watch)
Watch IU vs Purdue football game
Thanksgiving Dinner at my friend Devon and Andy's in Hoboken (Pat will get to come after his class)

First fireplace use of the season!  I know Pat is excited. 
Maura will be out in Oradell for a baby shower so we'll get to see her too.

And a couple of birthday shout outs...

Today is my cousin Sam's birthday.  Sam is the man!  He went followed me to Indiana University and then made his way down to Argentina to open 1, then 2, then 3 restaurants, California Burrito Co.  Sam and his beautiful Argentine girlfriend Lorena have just flown into Nashville to spend a couple weeks.  So Sam, have fun catching up with family and friends and Feliz Cumpleaños!! 

Here is a picture of Sam and Lorena - the last time we saw them was over a year ago at Sarah's July '08 wedding.

And Tomorrow is my brother-in-law Mike's birthday.  I ran into Mike on the street earlier this week - third time that's happened!  I know Maura and Mike will be at a wedding tomorrow night, but I hope y'all have fun and have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE! :o)

Running Man

This New Jersey man has run 618 marathons!  Wow!

Thanks Alyssa!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wishful Drinking

Ok, so I've had lots of shows and fun things planned lately.  I love having a couple fun things to look forward to, but I've had more than usual lately.  Tonight Pat and I have $20 Hiptix to see Carrie Fisher in Wishful Drinking.  It's supposed to be very funny.

And since I've been telling you about lots of shows and concerts before the show, I'll give you my two cents now. (Shows in October and November)

Neko Case at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ: I left disappointed because she cut songs from her set and only played 60 minutes and didn't even say goodbye or thank you at the end.  The microphone shocked her on stage and she seemed to take it out on the audience.  Her opening band Calexico was superb.  I heard that she played a full show, including Encore, at The Beacon Theatre the next night.  I don't think she gained a fan in Pat with our show, but what I heard I really did enjoy.  She has an amazing voice.  The benefit of the shortened show - we made it home pretty early and got plenty of sleep which was nice for a Sunday night.  Oh, and I did really enjoy having 3rd row center seats!

Ray Lamontagne at The Beacon Theatre: I was amazed that he entertained a full house with just him and his guitar (and harmonica for a couple songs).  I should have looked more closely at my ticket - it said Solo.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if he'd had a band with him, but I think he was great.  Funny interactions with the crowd too.  I want to get more of his music.  He must have made a killing that night, pretty expensive tickets and no band to pay.  We had to leave a little bit early to make our bus, but overall, great show. 

After Miss Julie on Broadway: This play only had 3 actors, and I was impressed by all of them.  Sienna Miller and Johnny Lee Miller being the stars.  Since we had cheap seats up in the balcony I missed a few lines because I couldn't hear everything.  Short show, the end of the show could've fooled me into being intermission.  Great set.  But don't rush out to see it. 

Brad Paisley and Dierks Bently at Madison Square Garden: Full of hits and fun!  I love both of these guys and there is nothing like a country concert.  Brad sure earned that CMA for Male Vocalist of the year.

The Avett Brothers at Terminal 5: I had basically never heard of these guys when I was talked into buying a ticket.  I feel like a true fan now.  The show was fabulous!

Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway: Cute and fun musical.  John Stamos and Bill Irwin were great.  They encountered a set problem towards the beginning of the show.  Curtains had to be closed so it could be fixed.  John Stamos entertained the crowd during that break and called his buddy Bob Saget up on stage to join him.  I love live theatre, you never know what to expect.  The majority of the cast are teenagers (or at least look like it) and I thought they did a great job.

Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium:  This guy can't be beat.  Man, he can put on a show!  He played the entire Born to Run album and plenty of other songs.  The E Street Band is the best.  I think I'd see him in concert every week if I could and I think my friend Barry does!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jimmy Fallon

Good evening!  It sure was a great day!  Not only did I give good directions in the city to strangers on 2 different occasions today, but I also got to go to the taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!  After leaving work a bit early, Lacie and I headed over to NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center.  Last week I signed up for Band Bench seats here. And yesterday I got a voicemail and an email that I was selected for seats.   As with any studio taping you do end up standing in line for a bit, but I think it's worth it.  We sat in the audience during guests Kristen Stewart (actress - Twilight fame!) and Jamie Kennedy (actor/comedian), but during the musical guest, The Avett Brothers, we got to stand behind them since we had Band Bench seats.  It was pretty cool and the drummer high fived me when they were exiting.  Not sure if we made it on TV or not, but I definitely set the DVR for tonight just in case!  I don't really ever stay up late enough to watch, so I've never seen the full show, but I thought Jimmy was hilarious.  He even did a singing number.

You can see they have the huge Christmas tree in place.  I guess all the scaffolding is to help string up those thousands and thousands of lights.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

History of the Middle Finger

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking the yew' (or 'pluck yew').

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew! Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird.'
Thanks to my father-in-law again!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Poor Pat

Well, it's too bad that the Jets lost.  The Jaguars won by two points.  I think Pat's getting sick of these losses!  At least we had a great day for the game and it actually got a little warm in the sun - mid 60s!  And I'm happy the Titans won today.

Pat and Suz

Kevin, Michael, Patrick, Suzanne

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Goodies

Hello! Here I am in my new Banana Republic Coat.  (loved the 30% off Friends and Family!)

And here are some scrapbooking goodies that I just got this week.  One of my Camp Pinecliffe counselor friends runs a Ribbon website/business called The Ribbon Jar.  Amber had these Crafting Kits on sale so I got a couple.
So Pretty!

And because she is so sweet she also sent me some extras! Pictures don't do it justice.  I am excited to get crafty!

Pat and I had a great time with my friend Stuart last night.  Here's a picture.

Now I'm off to do laundry and sit on the couch.  :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Ahead

Tonight, Pat and I are meeting up with my old buddy Stuart for a drink and visit.  I met Stuart on an outdoor trip in Alaska with Adventure Treks the summer after I graduated high school. Side note, these trips are SO AMAZING for teenagers.  Stuart is in town for the weekend with the band The Radiators.  I think he's their tour manager.

Tomorrow we'll run in the morning (if it's not raining) and then we're heading into Hoboken.  I have a dentist appointment there in the afternoon.  We'll grab sushi at one of our old favorites, Robongi for an early dinner I think.

Sunday is going to be pretty busy.  Pat has season tickets to the Jets games with some guy friends.  There is a spare ticket to the Jacksonville game Sunday afternoon, so I get to go!  THEN, Sunday night we have tickets to see Neko Case in Montclair, NJ at the Wellmont Theatre.  Gosh, I've had lots of shows lately!  We have great seats for this one and it should be fun.  I had never heard of her until I found myself listening to her show at Bonnaroo last June.

We also got the movie Up on Netflix this week, so I am looking forward to watching that sometime.  And I'm just looking forward to spending the weekend with Pat.  :)  Hope you all have wonderful weekends!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


If you had the energy and the time, you could probably go to a free event every single night in New York.  Companies are always celebrating something or trying to advertize something.  It's nice to benefit!  Last night my friend Lacie and I decided to check out a cocktail party put on by some website called The Frisky at 1Oak.  Mind you, I am not into the club scene, but I could imagine New York has some good clubs.  Lacie and I met up near our offices and took the subway down towards Chelsea.  A block away I see the door man standing outside in his suit.  I worry for a moment that he'll turn me away since I'm wearing sneakers, my commuting shoes of choice, but he just opens the door for us.  We check in (we'd emailed an RSVP a couple weeks ago) and then head to coat check.  We keep going and realize this place is really nice, tons of booths and little places to sit.   There was an open bar and tons of appetizers like sliders, asparagus wraps, chicken, etc being passed.  (by waitresses in mini black dresses with the longest legs you've ever seen!)  Lacie and I basically just visited for a couple hours over drinks and it was such a great evening.  We left the event a little early so we could walk a block over and check out the new High Line Park ...and to ensure I'd make the last express bus at 9 pm.

Lacie holding her margarita

Bathroom art

Lacie and Suz

Thank you Meredith for sending me the invite!

From The Frisky...
About us: Every month, over 2.1 million unique visitors come to The Frisky for smart, funny and honest coverage on celebrity news, pop culture, love, dating, relationships, fashion, beauty and anything else women talk about, obsess about, and want to know about! The Frisky readers are female, ages 18 to 34, with great jobs, great educations and a whole lotta future ahead of them. With 60 posts a day, The Frisky offers a large variety of stories with a great trajectory of growth.

I grabbed the above image from the High Line website.  It's really interesting and the site has lots of information - here are the basics:

What is the High Line?
The High Line is a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure running from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on Manhattan's West Side.

What was it used for?
The High Line was a freight rail line, in operation from 1934 to 1980. It carried meat to the meatpacking district, agricultural goods to the factories and warehouses of the industrial West Side, and mail to the Post Office.