31.

It’s my birthday today. I’m ready for 31.

There is going to be a lot of change this upcoming year and I am ready for it.

I’ve been feeling crummy lately with this feeling of being stuck. Stuck in Boston. Stuck in stuff at work. Stuck with this blog. Stuck in a whole lot of things.

But the big move to Florida is now fast approaching so my mood for just about everything is changing. I know I shouldn’t put so much weight on the move, but I am. It is giving me a fresh start to just about everything.

I am so excited about it. Sure, there are things that stress me out, like how our house is not yet sold, I am moving with Autumn about 6 weeks ahead of Price, and how I don’t yet have daycare for Autumn confirmed, but I am trying not to stress and just be happy that the thing I’ve been looking forward to for the past 10 or so months is finally here.

I’m taking the move as a chance to make some big changes.

Physical changes- I just got my haircut (like 4+ inches off!) and bought some new make up. Maybe that will help me feel like an adult? Maybe it will make me look more mature and people will treat me with more respect? Maybe, just maybe, that shit shouldn’t matter?

Emotional changes- I don’t know what I see for myself emotionally. I actually feel good now. I used to go to therapy, but then it got too stressful to juggle going, and what’s the point in being stressed about going to therapy? I don’t think I need to go again, but I miss having someone to bitch to without having them really go ‘well, you know you’re husband is great…” and I having to say back “Yes, I know he is great, that’s why I married the guy, but if I have to tell him one more time to XYZ I might just murder him in his sleep.” without being really judged since I’m paying them to nod along to my current crisis about some minor shit.

Work changes- I love the company I’ve worked for for the past 9 years for, but if we’re being honest, I’ve felt stagnate for the past few years. Basically, since I had Autumn. I know there are seasons/phases in our lives and I am in the ‘mom to a bossy toddler’ phase, but I’m tired of that being my label. I am looking forward to starting over in a new, much smaller office where I can make my mark again.

Blog Changes- I understand why so many bloggers are feeling the blogger burn out lately. Traffic is not what it used to be. Bloggers are tried of getting PR pitches for no money. People are not engaging as much. Bueller? Bueller? There are a lot of changes that I want to make for the blog so I hopefully you’ll have some patience with me while I work on those changes related to layout, branding, and finding my voice again.

Friend Changes- I hope to actually make some friends this year. I have always felt on the outside of so many circles. Outside of the singles circle. Outside of the New England sports teams lover circle. Outside of such and such circle. I am friendly with people at work, but I don’t have their #’s, I don’t go out to bars with them, I don’t exactly fit in. I’ve even felt outside of the mommy’s circle. It’s what happens when you can’t make it to any mommy’s groups since you’re working, you don’t go to church, and you don’t really bump into any other parents at daycare pick up. Shoot, I’ve tried to strike up conversations with moms at play centers and even Target. So hopefully this will be the year to change that. Maybe Price and I will end up with a Cul-De-Sac Crew one day.

Etc, Etc, Etc Changes- Be more honest without being mean. Stop being so loud. Stop yelling at the dog so much (but WTF is up with ripping up boxes of tissues). Eat more tacos. Stop apologizing so much. Start scrapbooking again. Stop ‘effing swearing so much. Reduce the urge to punch Sheryl Sandberg in the face ever time I hear someone say ‘lean in’. Buy more Sperry’s. Read more books.

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I think that 31 will be a great year. And if I fail miserably, at least I tried.

 

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11.14-16: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

leave work earlier than normal | get home | go to the airport to get mom | pick up Autumn from daycare | pump | Autumn gets dinner & a bath | Autumn to bed by 6.45 | get take out dinner | Price gets home | make cake and cupcakes | bed

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{Saturday}

up early | go to Market Basket, Starbucks, & Katz’s bagels | lots of party prep | Autumn’s Birthday Party! 1-6 | Mom & Monica do lots of clean up | some relaxing| bed by 10pm

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{Sunday}

didn’t sleep well + Autumn was up in the middle of the night | finally up at 6am | Autumn has breakfast & plays around | make ham and cheese sliders | Autumn has a long nap | mom gets up at 10am | get ready | go to New England Aquarium with mom | Price goes to work | get home | Autumn has a long nap | mini naps for mom and me | Autumn has dinner | Price gets home | Autumn goes to bed | chili leftovers for dinner | work from home | Price and mom got to bed | bed at 12.40am

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The Dirty Thirty Chicago Trip Recap

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Price and I love to celebrate our birthdays. We make a bigger deal about them than Christmas. We go big for parties, outings, or gifts. And since this past September was Price’s 30th Birthday I went ALL OUT!! I planned a very big surprise trip to Chicago.

The trip took a few months to plan so is seems fitting that this post took at few months (oy!) to write and edit.

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So leading up to the trip I only hinted to Price that we would be going away. As it got closer I teased Price about packing a bag for similar weather (his guess of the Bahamas was wrong) and that we would have to go to bed early Thursday night for a Friday morning adventure via a plane. He promised not to look at his ticket while in the security line but I was still nervous since I didn’t want someone asking him where he was going or to say ‘enjoy Chicago’ but we made it through without that. So we grabbed some Sbucks and then made our way to the gate. Once we stopped he realized where we were going!!! So excited to pull off the big surprise.

Once we made it to Chicago we caught the shuttle from O’Hare to our hotel and dropped off our bags since it was prior to check in and we had reservations for the Architectural River Boat Tour for 12pm.

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The tour was a blast! This was a gift from Price’s mom. She had been before so she knew we would love everything we saw and learned on the boat ride on the river.

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It was after the lunch rush when the tour ended so it was perfect timing to head down to check out The Billy Goat Tavern for some cheeseburgers.

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It was fun to experience a Chicago staple but I didn’t think the burgers were very good. I enjoyed the atmosphere and character more than the food, but it was still great to check it out.

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We then headed back to our hotel, Acme Hotel Company, to check in. Once we were settled took naps since we were so warn out from getting up so early. Well, first we took some pictures of the hotel and room as it had such great character. Loved how it did not look like a typical hotel room but had some nice features and unique design elements, such as the red lipstick night light incorporated into the mirror in the bathroom. We loved the room and the hotel.

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Once we were refreshed from our naps we headed out for dinner at Frontera Grill. I was looking forward to going to a Rick Bayless restaurant and I am so glad that we braved the rain and wait for an amazing dinner.

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We waited at the bar and grabbed some drinks as we waited for something to open up. Two seats at the ‘chefs table’ opened up so we sat right by the kitchen getting to take in the energy from the kitchen and servers. Everything was fantastic from the drinks to the food. I really wish that Bayless had a restaurant in Boston. Total dream come true!

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On Saturday- Price’s Birthday!!!

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We started the day with some breakfast from Acme’s continental breakfast bar. We were both really impressed with the selection they offered which include quiches, muffins, stuffed croissants, waffles, bagels, yogurt, juices, and tea & coffee.

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We started out by walking from the hotel over to Michigan Ave and then heading south down to Millennium Park.

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You can’t visit Chicago and not see Cloud Gate, aka The Bean.

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We took so many fun photos there and really enjoyed all of the different angles of the city we saw from the curves.

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We continued on down to the Crown Fountain.

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And then through the Lurie Garden and wandered our way down to the Buckingham Memorial Fountain.

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Did you ever watch Married with Children? Yep, it’s that fountain.

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We continued walking all the way down to The Field Musuem and Solider Field before heading back north to the Shedd.

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oh hello.

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We intended to check out the Shedd Aquarium but the line to get into it was a few hundred people out the door. Umm, so not happening this trip. So we skipped it and just took the ferry between the aquarium and Navy Pier.

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It was so much fun and gave us some great views of the city.

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Stunning.

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My co-worker Laurel, who is originally from Chicago, suggested Pizano’s Pizza for some great deep dish pizza so we walked over to Pizano’s  from Navy Pier.  It was a long walk but allowed us to build up our appetites for lunch. We ordered salad and soup (to warm up) and a mushroom and sausage deep dish pizza. We had been debating the medium pizza since we were so hungry but the woman next to us told us the small was more than enough. Although we doubted her we decided to listen to the local. Thankfully we did listen as the small was soooo filling. The pizza’s crust was thick and crunchy while the thick filling/topping was loaded with cheese, mushrooms, and sausage. I think I need my own deep dish pizza pan!

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Stuffed, we headed back towards the hotel to be able to relax for a bit before getting ready for dinner out. Of course on our way we stopped into some really cute stores. I wanted to do some serious shopping but was just too tired to carry it back. ha!

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Some naps, showers and some make up for me and we were ready to go out to celebrate the BIG 3-0. We walked up to  John Hancock Tower to have some drinks and to enjoy the view and sunset. The line to get on the elevators to get up to the Signature Lounge was very long but we stuck it out as it did move pretty quickly.

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It was worth it as the view from the 96th floor was incredible.

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We ended up with a table at the window to enjoy our drinks and chips with guac (not very good). When we were ready to go we went to the other side of the Hancock to check out the view towards the river and Navy Pier.

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The view from the women’s room is incredible as it abuts the windows. Sorry guys!

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We needed something sweet for Price’s birthday so we went Ghirardelli’s shop on Magnificent Mile. We split a super-rich banana split.

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I just wish we had some candles to stick and pretend blow out! It was such a great way to end his birthday.

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On Sunday morning we got ready quickly, had some breakfast at Acme, and checked out so we could head up to Wrigley on the L for our tour of the park, a gift from Price’s brother.

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It was great to see the old stadium and hear about the history of the team and ball park as we walked all around the different areas.

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We had taken a tour of Fenway previously in the summer and could compare between the tours. They were similar in price so the biggest thing that made the tour of Wrigley stand out to us was the size of the group and how length of time we got to spend on field. Both tours are great to go on but for us Wrigley wins. Esp since we got to go on the field!

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After the tour we walked to Ann Sather’s to get a cinnamon roll. Well that was our intent, but we stayed to split a Denver omelet for lunch and get a sticky bun to go.

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Continuing our walk, we headed down to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I love zoo’s so this was a great ways to spend a few hours.

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We strolled around the different exhibits enjoying our cinnamon roll checking out the different animals, including some adorable seals and a baby zebra. Baby zebra!!!!

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Once we wrapped up our visit to the zoo we walked back to Magnificent Mile for the last time for some window shopping and then on to our hotel to call for the shuttle. While we waited for the shuttle we had a drink at the Webber Grill Restaurant.

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And that is how we blitzed through Chicago for Price’s Surprise 30th Birthday trip!!

After our trip I figured out we walked over 16 miles while we were visiting Chicago. Not too shabby!! I can’t wait to go again since we love Chicago so much!

1.18-20: Weekend Recap

{Friday night} home | make birthday pizza | lounge around | watch Ted & 21 Jump Street

{Saturday} make pizza | pack an overnight bag | coffee | develop photos | drive to CT | shopping at Mill Street home | home | snacks & wine for lunch | Monica arrives | grocery shopping | make mussels & pasta | cake & presents | talk with mom | bed

{Sunday} wake up | breakfast sandwiches | shower & get ready | petco | lunch at my sister’s with family | drive home | grocery shopping | prep chicken wings for Monday night dinner | dishes | make dinner: baked chicken, rice pilaf, peas | watch SNL | blogging | football- pats lost 🙂 | scrapbooking | bed

Thirsty Thursday: Birthday Cake Shots

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Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m not sure if I am excited or not. It’s just another day. I typically try to take it off from work. I did last year and hung out with Rachel and her adorable kids, ate bagels, played around, and just enjoyed the relaxing day. I couldn’t take this birthday off since I have a deadline and I’m taking a lot of time off in February for our new puppy. I’m most excited about that.

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The only thing I can think about turning 28 is my 10 year high school reunion and then I am filled with anxiety. A lot of it. I know that is a random thing to think about 10+ months from now but once I think about being 28 all I can think of is that. Also, I know I don’t have to go, but I think I want to, and that it’s not a big deal but oh where to begin… that is a whole other post. So my reunion is on my mind, not to mention a whole host of other anxiety inducing things. Fun times.

So to ease my anxiety I decided to make Birthday Cake Shots for this ‘birthday’ themed Thirsty Thursday. One of my old roommates introduced these to me on a night out of summer time bar hopping. I was completely head over heels for them as they taste just like birthday cake. I have no idea how the combo of frangelico and lemon does that but it plays some magic trick and it does. So enjoy a shot, they are about 150 calories which is much less than a piece of cake… ugh reunion.

Head over to Amanda‘s blog to check out her Birthday Cake Marshmallows. Such a fun way to celebrate a birthday… or a Wednesday! You can add them to hot chocolate, just pop them in your mouth, or eat them out of a bowl like cereal. ha!

Birthday Cake Shots

Makes 1 shot

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce frangelico
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Process

  1. In a 2 ounce shot glass combine the vodka.
  2. Put the sugar on top of the slice of lemon.
  3. Take the shot and immediately suck on the sugary lemon. enjoy!