I’m Cheating on My KitchenAid Mixer

My favorite kitchen appliance is my KitchenAid mixer. I coveted one for years. And then, after Matt and I moved in together and after I secured a new (and desperately needed) job, a KitchenAid mixer appeared in the mail. My mother, who never owned a one herself, bought me the cobalt blue mixer.

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From the minute I turned it on, I was in love. Making cookies became easier, beating frosting didn’t require holding a mixer for 15 minutes and after my mother-in-law bought me the ice cream attachment, the love affair escalated. I’ve purchased many off friends’ wedding registries and got one for my mom last Christmas. Honestly, I don’t know how she lived without for 60(ish) years. Nothing could tear me away from my KitchenAid.

That is… until my Crock-Pot came along.

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When Matt and I got engaged, registering fro Kitchen appliances, gadgets, pots, pans and dishes was a highlight. With my limited kitchen space in NYC, I hesitated to put a crock pot on the list. Thankfully my mom convinced me, saying even if I could use it now, I would want it in the future. So I registered for one.

My soon-to-be sister-in-law bought Matt and I our crock pot for our shower. I was super excited to receive this gift, but I knew there was no way I could store it at our apartment. So, sadly, like many of our other shower and wedding gifts, I packed it into my bedroom closet at my parents house. And then, I forgot about it.

Not because I didn’t appreciate the gift, but because I didn’t have room for it. However, every time I return to NH, I open that closet and feel an incredible sense of frustration that I have these wonderful, nice things that I simply don’t have room for. And pinterest made it worse.

When I joined pinterest, I immediately started using the site for recipes. And much to my chagrin, a huge number of the recipes I would come across were for crock pots and slow cookers. And I didn’t have one (in my possession). Eventually, it was just too much. After Thanksgiving, I hauled the large box back to NYC and spent a few hours strategically moving things around. Finally I found a spot for the crock pot!

A few days later, I pulled it out and fired it up. The first recipe I made was one recommend by Matt’s mom: white chicken chili (recipe below). I put the ingredients in  before work and by the time I came home, our apartment was filled  was delicious aromas and the cooking was done! It was amazing, delicious and the clean up was just one pot. After dinner, I hopped on my computer and started looking up more crock pot recipes. I was hooked.

It wasn’t long before the crock pot took the place of my KitchenAid. Baking cookies and making ice cream was replaced with chilis, pulled pork and soup. Matt didn’t complain by my co-workers started to question what was going on.

While I can’t say with conviction which is my favorite – I can definitely say that in our 800 sq. ft. apartment, I’m happy to designate at least 10 sq feet to my ever-growing collection of kitchen appliances!

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

2-3 boneless chicken breast halves (can be still frozen)

2 cans Rotel tomatoes

2 cans corn kernels, do not drain

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix(dry)

1 ½  T cumin

1 ½  t chili powder

1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

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Put the chicken in the crock pot.

Top with the tomatoes, corn, drained and rinsed beans,ranch dressing, cumin, and chili powder; stir to combine.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stir and add cream cheese.  Cook on high 1 more hour.

Shred the chicken into large pieces, stir to combine all.

Nantucket Recap

For our anniversary, Matt surprised me with a trip to Nantucket. I was not expecting a weekend away, so it was quite a pleasant surprise.

We flew into Nantucket airport, which feels much more like a country club than an airport, on Friday morning. We stayed at the  Cliffside Beach Club which captured the preppy New England seaside feel to a tee. It was the absolute perfect place for a romantic, relaxing weekend trip.

Neither one of us had ever been to Nantucket before, so Matt relied on advice from our friend Laura. We loved everything that she suggested and I am happy to pass it along to you here!

DAY ONE:
After checking into our hotel (it was amazing, our room was ready at 9:30am!) we walked into town and decided to rent bikes from Young’s Bike Shop for the entire weekend. We rode around for a little bit trying to get a feel for the town before heading over the Something Natural, the most amazing sandwich shop and bakery. We decided to take our lunches to go and have a picnic at the base of one of the few lighthouses on the island, Brandt Point. After lunch we walked around town for a little and then spent the afternoon hanging out around the pool at our hotel (where I proceeded to get burned…). For dinner, we rode our bikes back to down and had a trendy/fancy Dinner at The Pearl.

DAY TWO
We woke up and had breakfast at the hotel on the beach. After relaxing for a bit, and a quick run, we rode our bikes into town and went to Provisions for ham and cheese sandwiches before heading out the Cisco Brewery for the afternoon. While here, we enjoyed the music from two different local bands and enjoyed the island’s finest beer and wine. We returned to town for a casual dinner at Brotherhood of Thieves. We ended the night with a quick (hey, we are old) trip to the local dive bar, The Chicken Box.

DAY THREE:
One our last full day, we ate breakfast on the beach again before heading into town. We decided to turn in our bikes for a scooter. Yup, that’s right, a moped. We wanted to get out a bit further so decided this was a good option. After a couple test rides around the block, we strapped on our helmets and set out for Sconset. The ride was chilly but we made it there in one piece. After walking down to Sconset Beach we had a quick lunch at Claudette’s Catering, one of the 4 places of business in this small town. After lunch we stopped by to see Sankaty Lighthouse before returning back to town. We did a little shopping and then returned to the hotel. We got in a quick workout before a romantic sunset dinner at the restaurant right next to our hotel, Galley Beach.

We woke up very early Monday morning for our flight back and were back in NYC by 8am.

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The weekend was relaxing and fun and I always enjoy going to a place where 75% of the people are wearing a Red Sox hat/shirt/sweatshirt. I’m already looking forward to our next trip back to Nantucket!

 

The Benefits of Marriage

Sometimes I think marriage is man’s ploy to enslave women.

Since getting married I have had to clean up after two people instead of just one. I spend twice as much on groceries and toiletries. I wash double (maybe even triple) the number clothes and dishes. And I have half the amount of space in my closet. I am really not seeing the upside.

But like all things in life, it is easy to focus on the negatives.

This weekend I got to see a lot of the upsides:

Friday

Matt took Abby, her friend and me to the Rangers hockey game. Not only did he provide the tickets and purchase our food and drinks, but he also sat quietly while Abby and I communicated in the way that only sisters truly understand.

Saturday

After morning swim practice (just like the good old days) Matt let me crash his “boys brunch” at Daddy-O’s, home of the best bloody mary ever. Afterwards, I met up with two of my favorite Harvard swimming teammates and then went for a manicure. When I met back up with Matt and the boys, they all complimented me on my newly painted pink nails. It was like having 3, somewhat feminine, husbands.

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Sunday

After a quick workout, Matt and I met up with our third-wheel for a lovely Hell’s Kitchen brunch at Eatery. Afterwards, we went to the movies to watch the highly anticipated Hunger Games. It was awesome – I absolutely loved it! On the way home Matt and I stopped at Columbus Circle to purchase new running shoes. After getting fitted for a lovely pair of black and hot pink New Balance shoes – I proceeded to aimlessly walk around the store.  As I was walking around the store, Matt went over to the cash register and paid for our shoes. Although Matt and I have joint checking, we each have our own credit cards for which we have tried to set a budget. As a result his budget will be taking the hit for this purchase – if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

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When we got home, Matt decided to get our taxes in order – a process that is so much more time consuming and complicated than you think. I thought about making some cookies but then proceeded to lie on the couch watching terrible reality tv.

Suddenly married life doesn’t look so bad.

Parenting 101

In the spring of 2010, one of my very best friends from college married her college sweetheart.

She was a member of the swim team. He played lacrosse. She majored in Government. He majored in Economics. She went to Northwestern Law School. He went to Harvard Business School. She is a practicing lawyer. He works for a successful consulting company. Oh, and I did I mention that they are ridiculously good-looking as well?

So when she told me last year that she was pregnant – I will thrilled. However, I was a little worried for their unborn child. Here was a child being brought into a home of high expectations. Both of his parents were Division I athletes. They both went to an Ivy League School. And they both went on graduate school to earn advanced degrees. They know what success was have grown to expect nothing less. I thought that if this kid didn’t come out of the womb faster than all other babies, he would be seen a failure from day one.

When the baby’s due date came and went, I fell for the kid. Already he wasn’t living up to expectations. Thankfully, he arrived in one piece on September 1st.

So now that Will has had time to adjust to his parents, “how are things going?” you ask. Well, let me just say, Will has certainly impressed us all.

He has learned to feed himself

 

He has already been drafted by an NFL team

And he has started to demonstrate his incredible swimming skills (be it in the bath tub)

 

But the very best thing that Will had added into his parents lives is laughter. It seems like every day he is reminding them, just how “not perfect” they are.


And man, what great parents that makes them! I can only hope that one day Matt and I are half as amazing as you two are.

Nothing Says Love Like Homemade Meatballs and a Teddy Bear

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Matt and I have a tradition where we go out to breakfast to celebrate before work. For some reason (I think that reason being that I am fighting off a cold) I wasn’t really feeling into that idea this year. So we decided to forgo the breakfast and didn’t plan anything special.

When I got home after work I received a phone call from Matt informing me that he was on his way home and was going to make a Valentine’s dinner. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

He came home with grocery bags in each arm and a box of chocolates from Jacques Torres, one of the best chocolate stores in NYC. He also carried up a package that his father had sent me. It was a Vermont Teddy Bear and the world’s cutest note:

“Thank you for marrying him. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Dad #2”

I immediately understood where Matt got his “moves.” Thanks Dad #2!

I sat on the couch as Matt chopped, measured and stirred. I saw a box of spaghetti but couldn’t figure out what else was going on in the kitchen…

I was impressed when Matt brought over a plate of spaghetti and homemade meatballs. I was blown away when he insisted that he would do all of the dishes and clean up the kitchen.

This morning as we were getting ready for work I was telling Matt just how impressed I was with his Valentine’s Day surprise. His response, “I bet you wish it was Valentine’s every day and I cooked and cleaned all the time.”

Umm, yeah. Like it is for you?

My Post Wedding Mission

Nearly every bride agonizes over the same thing after her wedding… how can I figure out a way to wear this dress again?

Sentimental brides will preserve their dress in the hopes that a daughter will one day walk down the aisle in it.

Ambitious brides will alter the dress into a short version but let’s be honest, unless you had a really simple dress, that doesn’t really make the dress appropriate and the chances of you actually wearing it are still very low.

Creative brides might take the dress and turn it into something completely different: curtains, pillowcases, silk linings, etc. These brides are either very brave or don’t like their wedding dress as much as I do.

I decided that I would wear my dress while cleaning my house. Not only would I be happy to wear the dress again, but maybe it would make household chores more enjoyable! Sadly, my dress is currently living at my parents house so I haven’t been able to start this fun tradition.

But last night while watching the SAG awards, I came up with another idea – I should become an actress, get invited to a red carpet premiere and wear my dress. I think it would go over well. I might have to dye it, but that could be a fun adventure.

Red Carpet Ready?

I can almost see myself strutting down the red carpet in this dress, pausing to answer questions from the E! reporter and waving to my adoring fans.

Here are a few previously worn red carpet dressed that seem similar my wedding dress style.

Naya Rivera (2012 SAGs)

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Eva Longoria (2011 SAGs)
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Lea Michele (2011 SAGs)

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 Time to start auditioning!

CrossFit and Bloodies, The Perfect Combo

Matt and I have started to settle into a 2012 weekend routine. And I like it.

Since I started participated in CrossFit with Matt, we now make a weekend activity out of it. We go to one of the morning workouts on either Saturday or Sunday and then enjoy a delicious brunch at one of the local restaurants n Williamsburg. This tradition is something that I now look forward too – especially if it involves a bloody mary!

This weekend, after our workout, we went to a new restaurant, Diner. I heard about this place from a co-worker (I think their cousin may own it, but I am not really sure) and after researching it a little more on Yelp, I decided this would be a good post-workout spot. Well, let me tell you, we were not disappointed.

Williamsburg is known as being a popular location with hispters, and The Diner certainly appeals to that character type. From the red, shack-like appearance, to the menu scribbled on a piece of paper, to our waiter who looked like he was a 70s gym teacher – it was amazing. We split a stick bun (diet, what diet?), and I got eggs and toast while Matt indulged himself with the country breakfast. The bloody mary was good, but it didn’t live up to the bloodies at Daddy-O’s, we favorite spot in the West Village. All in all it was a great experience.

We also spent some time this weekend celebrating some of our favorite friends. Saturday night started off with an engagement party for one of our favorite couples Jen and Nate. We are so thrilled for them and can not wait to hear more about the wedding planning process. I was particularly excited because I clued Jen into the wonderful world of pinterest – I hope she will spending hours on their looking for inspiration!

Afterwards, we met up with a lot of our friends to celebrate Mike Smeets’ birthday. It was quite a night filled with dancing, cupcakes, and a bar the promised “more fun” – Thanks for including us in the festivities!