Aliens Kidnapped My Husband

and they replaced him with some form of super husband.

As many of you know, Matt and I are spending our very first Christmas together this year. In the past we have spent Christmas Even with his extended family and then I drive home so that I can do our Christmas Eve traditions and Christmas morning with my family. Then Matt would come up and do Christmas dinner with us and our best family friends, the Possees. It was nice to see both families but required a lot of driving by Matt and I. So, while we miss the traditional Puerto Rican dinner that Matt’s family makes on Christmas Eve, we are very excited to spend the entire holiday together with minimal driving.

Today we work up and went to Crossfit Nashua with Abby, since she is now a crossfitter too! We all struggled through a workout that was modeled after the 12 days of Christmas. Needless to say, Matt was pretty excited about this new holiday tradition.

Afterwards we spent some time wrapping up presents and helping with the Christmas Eve dinner. Matt and I tackled desserts and each decided to make our own things. I made Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake, which in traditional Paula Deen fashion used FOUR sticks of butter. Yummy! This recipe is something that I learned from a co-worker who said that the minute I found out what was in it, I wouldn’t want to make it. Thankfully, a little butter, sugar and eggs didn’t scare me!

Matt decided to make the Oreo Candy Cane Truffles that one of my very best childhood friends, Lindsay, suggested that I add to my holiday baking. I made this earlier this month and they were well received, so Matt thought he would impress/fatten up my family with them. I can not tell you how impressed I was with Matt’s patience, commitment and skill when making these truffles. He did the entire thing by himself and didn’t complain once (I think the fact that he had a beer and glass of wine during the baking process definitely helped).

 

 

In addition to the baking, Matt wrapped about 10 presents and didn’t use a single gift bag (his signature move). Looks like he is adapting well the Christmas with the Brethauers. Hopefully his positive attitude continues through to the matching pjs we are bound to open tonight!

New York Through Rose Colored Glasses

Although I moved to New York in November of 2008, I feel as though I just started enjoying and appreciating all that the city has to offer. Having a job, not only that I love, but one that keeps me tied very close to the heart of the city, has made all the difference. And while there are certainly days where the city kicks my ass, I am starting to grasp just how special this city is. It is hard to put into words what it is like living here – you really can’t do the city, both the positive and negative things about it, justice.

Thankfully freelance cameraman Andrew Clancy has captured some of the spirit of the city in his 4-minute short film, A Year In New York. He started filming his life in New York City last January and just kept going. Eventually he stopped, and when he did he sat down and edited his footage into this amazing film.

How knows how long Matt and I will call New York City our home, but while we are here, I am going to do my best to take advantage of everything this city has to offer. And while I will never sport a Yankees jersey or cheer for the Giants, I will root for the city of New York.

The Brainwashing Begins

Last night Abby and Bexley stopped by our apartment on their long drive to New Hampshire. While I have had the pleasure of meeting Bexley multiple times, Matt had yet to meet the new addition to our family. And although he is pretty allergic to dogs, he decided to risk his heath and play with Abby’s partner in crime.

Unfortunately, he was able to brainwash her (using cheese as a bribe) pretty quickly… not sure how my Ohio State family members are going to feel about this…

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What To Do With All Those Wedding Pictures…

We have hundreds of photos from our wedding – after making an album, Christmas cards and ordering prints, I found myself wondering… what should I do with all of these other pictures. And then, it came to me…

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Growing up one of our holiday traditions was to drive around the surrounding towns looking for spectacular Christmas light displays. Over the years, we have discovered  various houses decorate with lights, led displays and holiday figurines. There is even one house in our town that features the most life-like reindeer pulling Santa’s sled – we soon learned that these look so life-like because they are real Reindeer and the person who lives in the house is a taxidermist! Only in NH…

Last night Matt and I took the train out to Greenwich, Connecticut to visit our friends Laura and Sam. And while we certainly enjoyed spending time with them our real reason for the trip was to see the Christmas light display set up at the home of Paul Tudor Jones.

Paul is a hedge fund manager who founded Robin Hood back in 1988. He is an incredibly generous and caring person and I consider myself extremely lucky to work at a place that carries out his vision. He gave a very moving speech at one of our events about a month ago – feel free to watch is here.

Every year, the Jones family spreads a little (or some may say, a lot) of holiday cheer with their Christmas light display. And we’re talking more than lining the roof and windows with lights… Off-duty police officers direct traffic around the sprawling light display, allowing drivers to line up eight at a time in front of Jones’ 13,000-square-foot home on a waterfront cul-de-sac. A soundtrack synchronized to the thousands of flashing lights plays over the radio, creating a show that  lasts nearly five minutes long.

Before dinner, Sam and Laura drove us through the magical display – let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

 

 

This is a tradition that was started back in 2000 and every year the show has become more elaborate. I’ve included video from 2010 below.

 

 

So while I am sure some people will criticise Paul for spending a large amount of money every year on his Christmas light display, I am thankful. It is hard not to smile as you drive by his house. Thank you for preserving the spirit and magic of the season!

Guest Blogger – Team Building

I am excited to announce that we have another guest blogger today! This is someone who has been highly sought after since I started my blog a year and a half ago but always comes up with reasons why she shouldn’t/can’t write a post for me. After much begging, she finally caved!

This time of the year, people often get together to celebrate the holidays and enjoy each others company. Last night, Matt and I visited the Culinary Loft for his company party and this afternoon, I was be celebrating with my Robin Hood colleagues. And while my sister doesn’t work in a “corporate” environment, that is no reason not to celebrate the festivities surrounding the holidays. Please enjoy her post about the most recent team building activity that she did with her swimmers!

So everyone knows my sister is the just about the best baker ever and so very creative when it comes to her baked goods.

Inspired by her work with Robin Hood and Taste Buds doing gingerbread houses I decided to surprise my swim team on their last official practice with a gingerbread house making party.

We divided into classes and had a competition; at the end of the day prizes were awarded in the following categories:

 OVERALL WINNER: Seniors (they each made a house depicting their apartments on campus and put together village)

 

MOST CREATIVE: Sophomores (what they made isn’t really little things appropriate but it was hilarious)

 CLASSIEST: Juniors (a very classy and well designed house)

 

MOST ENTHUSIAM: First years (they got VERY into building their project…)

 

Thanks to Molly (and mom) for suggesting this as a team project; and thanks to my swimmers for making it fun!

A New Source of Talent

This weekend I helped my friend Jessi with one of her amazing Gingerbread House parties at Taste Buds. I have been so busy the past few months that I haven’t done a taste Buds event for a while – it was good to get back in the apron!

After the party (for 70 children!) we returned to Taste Bud headquarters to drop off our supplies. There on the bench, was a true work of art…

A gingerbread train, complete with a coal car transporting  “supplies” (aka gummy stars)! Needless to say I was immediately impressed. But when I learned that this was made from scratch, not using a kit, I was blow away. Who was the brilliant creator of this unbelievable display???

I soon learned it was the latest Taste Bud addition, Jeff. Typically, Jessi hires folks who either have educational experience (teachers) or culinary expertise (culinary students). But this time, she went with someone who brings a whole new skill set to the kitchen, an architect. And needless to say, Jeff is certainly proving himself.

Oh, did I mention that Jeff is Jessi’s new boyfriend?

Great work Jessi – I definitely think “what can you add to the Taste Bud kitchen?” should be the first question you ask on first dates. Looks like you found a keeper!