Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Plum Island












So...we are trying to spend as much time outside as possible. So many of us New Englanders just don't get enough good weather. After the most gruesome Winter...we have had a pretty rainy Spring and Summer so every sunny day we get, we are just pouncing!

On Saturday we took a drive up to Plum Island- on the coast of Newburyport and it was just wonderful. We actually set up camp at the mouth of the river and had a nice small section of beach to ourselves. Although Diana is still afraid of the water, she became one with the sand! Oh yes...she started crawling in it and what we dreaded...starting eating it too! OH well...I need her to learn how wonderful the beach is because I am a beach bum and I am hoping my little pal will accompany me some day on my weekend jaunts to the shore where I read and think and BAKE :)

Rob and Zack entertained by having a rough game of Extreme Frisbee- the first one of the season believe it or not! When Zack over threw though, the frisbee would end up in the grass on the dunes and he would go up to retrieve it. After each trip, I would do a tic check...those things scare me after one of my friend's daughters just battled lime disease from one!

Later Zack took an hour to do it BUT he caught a crab! We never knew how fast they were...he battled but he got one...you will see the pix!

What a great day :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

AHS Cheerleaders and Other High School Friends Reunite!




















So...Thanks to Facebook and my Co-Captain Tracy's initiative, I was able to re-connect with some of my best friends and cheerleader friends from Andover High School!!!

We met at the Claddaugh in Lawrence last night and had a BLAST. We also discovered that most of us still live in the area so we are going to start getting together more regularly!

My best friend Dawn came up from New Jersey and we always run out of time...hopefully she will be coming up for a visit in August again! We havne't seen each other in 6 years and it feels like yesterday :)

I also got to reconnect with my friend Amy who continued to be a close friend during college...so close I fixed her up with her now hubby! (God! I am good at matchmaking even though my husband wants me to stay FAR AWAY from that hobby...ha ha!!!)

Enjoy the pix- you will even catch a mount and a pose....ah the good 'ole dayzzzz!!! I also attached a picture of some of us from the Thanksgiving Game in 1990 :)

My friend and fellow Cheerleader, Heather, posted this lovely note on Facebook


It takes a certain kind of person...
by Heather Hoskison (notes) Yesterday at 11:57pm

I had a great time tonight with a bunch of girls from my old cheerleading squad. It was a mix of several different years, some people I haven't seen in 18 years. It was nice to have finally been given the chance to catch up and I realized something. It takes a certain kind of person to be a cheerleader....

I think what people love to hate or hate to love about cheerleaders is one in the same. We're loud, giggly and silly and we literally bounce because we're enthusiastic. We love our friends, and our friends friends. Now that we have our own families, we love them and are enthusiastic about that too! We love our jobs and love to help people. Cheerleaders are the leaders of our community. At work, in our schools and at home. We're always looking for the bright side of things, when our "sisters" are down, we encourage, when we are down, our sisters offer support. We're the ones people want to work with and employers want to employ. We're not afraid to be ourselves. People look up to us, we're the salesmen of life.

One great thing about cheerleaders, they come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Cheerleaders also come in a "man" style. They are our husbands and friends, they support and encourage and listen really well. They are emotional and fun, too!

It takes a certain kind of person to be a cheerleader... and I am glad I am one.
Love you guys!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meeting Jennifer Weiner!





Many of you know my favorite author is Jennifer Weiner (pronounced like WINE er not WEEN er) She is the novelist of Good in Bed, In Her Shoes (which became a major motion picture starring Toni Colette, Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine), Little Earthquakes, Good Night Nobody, The Guy Not Taken, Certain Girls and now her newest, Best Friends Forever.

I ordered this latest one by pre-ordering it on Amazon. I got it just a few days ago and then woke up early this beautiful sunny Sunday morning and checked my Facebook updates (like I always do) and I see Jennifer's status update read "on my way to Framingham MA for 3pm"....so I needed to investigate. When I went to her website I saw that she was going to be doing a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Framingham and it was very spur of the moment but I thought hey! There are some things I NEED to do today and some things I WANT to do today and I want to squeeze them all in and so I did! (with the help of my WONDERFUL husband of course...wouldn't be able to make HALF the things happen I do without him)

So we got up early...got Monkey up, fed her and raced to 7:30 mass. After mass, we got grocery shopping done. Then while Monkey was napping, I laid out and sunbathed for awhile and hubbo cleaned some of the screens. After that, we fed Monkey again and then headed out to Framingham for such an AWESOME event.

We had to wait about an hour once we got there but we got awesome seats..Rob was really good about keeping Diana entertained and he decided he is going to write a short story about our experience today...before Jennifer even took the stage, there was much comedy and Rob's observations were DEAD ON..just hysterical!

Before she was introduced, she was being escorted up to the front and happened to walk up the side we were on...Rob started talking to her not even knowing it was her as I was hitting him, speechless and finally squeaked out "that's her!" She started talking to Diana and told Rob not to worry about the noise because she said "I have little ones!" She was decked out in an awesome, funky black tank top....black skirt and cool necklace which she just got "at anthropologie" she later explained.

Once she made it to the front, it was like she was a stand-up comedian. She was so quick and had the best stories ready for us...stories about her mom..her mother-in-law...her best friend (which as appropriate during this signing of course) and just so many jokes that kept the crowd roaring...and a crowd it was! I think she was even shocked!

She then read an excerpt from the book and began the signing. Barnes & Noble did a great job keeping everything organized and moving and before I knew it, I was up there getting my picture taken with Jennifer, having her sign my book and she told me how much she loved my Tiffany Starfish necklace.

I was speechless and you know me...I am never searching for words! All that would come out are the coined phrases like "you are my favorite author...I have read all your books" etc etc...as I blushed and smiled like a crazy geek! Diana kept us all smiling even Jennifer...she just loved her!

I am now so excited to read my special book....signed by "Jen"

Check it out!! She never disappoints :)

Dining Al Fresco with the Hubbo








So..we finally made use of our deck this Summer. It has been challenging as it rained in New England most of June. The first great weather we had, we were on vacation so here we are.

Friday night, I whipped up an awesome Tyler Florence chicken recipe on the grill (attaching it below for your convenience!) I did make a few changes. Instead of chicken thighs, I used chicken leg quarters AND I did not skewer them up. I grilled the pineapple and the chicken separately and it was wonderful!

My hubby and I enjoyed unwinding on the deck...eating dinner...sipping sauvignon blanc from our favorite area (Marlborough, New Zealand) and listening to Michael Buble on my Pandora station...via laptop! Rob lit the tiki torches and I lit my honeydew melon candle and it was a perfect night :)

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

Ingredients

* 1 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 2 whole garlic cloves
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
* 1 fresh pineapple
* 16 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the ketchup, soy sauce, honey, mustard, sugar, garlic, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Heat an outdoor grill or a grill pan. Cut each chicken thigh into 2 pieces. Peel the pineapple and cut it into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Alternating between the chicken and pineapple, thread the pieces onto the skewers. Brush them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic cloves from the barbecue sauce and discard; put about half the sauce into a small bowl for later. Brush skewers with some of the sauce. Cook them on the grill, basting regularly with the barbecue sauce, until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with reserved barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Old Orchard Beach- Vacation 2009 Day Seven
























Our last day...we soaked up the rays on the beach...then had some snacks and then hit the pool with Monk...then enjoyed some snacks and coronas on the patio listening to Buble and some other old standards.

Last night we hit the pier and ate at Myst...food okay...ambience AWESOME...then Ally and Zack hit a ride....we topped off our night with a very intense game of "Screw Your Neighbor"...ha ha.....

What a wonderful vacation...I have to tell you that I have not been able to relax like this in years...with a little help from a friend named Cecilia...and the love of my family...I just enjoyed one of the best weeks of my life.

To Life...
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