Ringing in the New Year

In 2012 we welcome in the New Year on the beach in Costa Rica

In 2013 we welcomed in the New Year on a yacht in the British Virgin Islands

This year, we welcome 2014 in Jersey. IMG_1082-MOTION

I’d say life is moving in the right direction.

After a few years of pretty intense trips with our friends, we decided to tone it down a bit and stay local. Thankfully, a lot of our friends made the same choice. And our two favorite San Fran natives added the dirty Jerz on their east coast tour, so they were in town to celebrate with us as well.

Matt and I spent December 29th making our own decorations for the party. Needless to say, Matt was thrilled with this idea.

We made a few garlands and added some NYE-themed artwork to our faux “mantel” shelves.

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To make the circle garlands, Matt used a 1.5″ circle punch on gold, silver and black glitter paper. I then broke out my sewing machine to stitch the circles together in one long line. I chose not to put any spacing between each circle but if you want to make a longer garland, you can certainly do so.

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To make the tassel garlands, I followed these instructions (thanks Linen, Lace and Love).

It really doesn’t look like we did a lot, but somehow we were up until 1am making these things…

We ended up having 13 people over our apartment – a good number but one that proved a little challenging for food. It was a small enough group that we needed to provide more than just appetizers/snacks, but a big enough group that a full sit down meal would be a little challenging.

Dun dun da dah — Crock pot to the rescue!

After starting with a few different appetizers: Spinach and Cream Cheese Pastry Puffs, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and a new Flatbread (this one Matt liked, as compared with this)

Our main menu consisted of the following:

Pulled Pork Sliders w/ creamy coleslaw
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese Casserole
Cape Cod Potato Chips (regular and salt & vinegar)

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Matt went out the morning of the 31st to pick up a pork butt. He came back with a 6 lb piece of meat. It goes without saying, we will be eating pulled pork for a while. Thankfully they make GREAT leftovers (and Matt will actually eat them)

Starting the year off with leftovers!
Starting the year off with leftovers!

Thank you to all of our friends who helped us ring in 2014 in our new place and in style. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings for all of us!

"Family" photo
“Family” photo

Costa Rica Recap

after Christmas, Matt and I traveled to Costa Rica with 2 of our favorite couple friends and, of course, Matt Kinsella. While some people might find it weird that he seems to be very comfortable in the role of “3rd wheel” (or in this case, 7th wheel) I am sure I speak for all couples involved, that we are so thrilled that he was willing to come along! He adds much-needed excitement to our lives and it would have been a much more boring trip without him.

We rented a house for a week in Tamarino, which is a fairly small surf town on the Northwest coast of Costa Rica. We hung out by the pool, watched incredible sunsets, tried our best to surf, went on a catamaran and ventured out on ATVs through some pretty remote areas. We ate, drank, laughed and had a great time. I couldn’t have thought of a better group to start our New Year with!

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Thanks for the memories and my newly acquired mono-ab (slang for gut)!

Raise Your Glass

With the new year fast approaching, it is easy to look forward to all of the exciting things that will take place in 2011.

But it is worth mentioning that 2010 was certainly a good year. Matt and I got engaged and many of our friends celebrated their own weddings. Abby took a new job as the head coach for an awesome swim team and has managed to lead them to a top ranking so far this season. Matt, Abby, my mom and I successfully completed the 110 mile bike ride that is the Pan Mass and raised more than 20,000 dollars to fight cancer. Matt and I conquered Half Dome in Yosemite. And although the Red Sox didn’t have their best season, the Yankees weren’t able to defend their World Series title. I started my blog and was featured on Freshly Pressed! All in all, it was a good year.

I already have some good news for 2011 that concerns my employment. Unfortunately, I am not ready to make my announcement official (I know, the suspense is killing me too!). But in the spirit of things, I thought I would post this video that was featured on the Ellen Show earlier this year, celebrating her 1200th episode. Don’t get excited, I am not going to working for Ellen. But watching this made me realize, Ellen has the best job in the world. Not only because she is famous and probably she makes a lot of money (but let’s be honest, compared to Oprah, she is destitute), but because she truly loves what she does. I think we can all be inspired by her passion for life, her infectious laughter, and her killer dance moves.

2010 was a good one, but 2011 is certainly coming in strong…

New Year’s Resolution

The history of making New Year’s resolution began with the Babylonians approximately 4,000 years ago. The Babylonians New Year’s Day was March 23rd. March was a logical time period for the New Year because spring begins and crops are planted. The Romans celebrated the New Year on March 1st, not January 1st.

New Years Day was changed to January 1st by Julius Caesar to honor Janus, the two-faced god who looks backwards into the old year and forward into the new. January 1st has no astronomical or agricultural significance. It was a random date selected by Julius Caesar. The vision of Janus started the custom of New Year’s resolutions. Most of the resolutions were based on moral favor.

Studies show that in the past 10 years, 40 to 45% of American adult make one or more resolutions each year. Among the top New Year’s resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and stopping to smoke. Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management / debt reduction. Although many people fail to achieve their goals, or break their resolution before the year is up; you are always going to come closer to achieving your goal if you set one, than if you don’t even try.

With our wedding less than six months away, Matt and I are feeling the pressure. The pressure to get things in place, the pressure to start paying our bills, and the pressure to look good. Yes, we are joining the masses and making a New Year’s resolution to get in tip-top wedding shape.

After a wonderful week at home, Matt and I returned to New York to a mess slush and snow. We are tired but decided to make a trip to the gym. We kicked off “the new year” a week early with a solid work out and a healthy dinner. Later that night, Matt made a good point when he said, “we are starting our New Year’s resolution a week early. That means we will always be a week skinnier than everyone else.”

So to everyone else trying to get in shape during 2011, catch us if you can!