My first dinner party

While in Ireland I missed one of my best buddies, Christine’s birthday. So, when I got back I figured it might be nice to have all the girls over for a dinner party in honor of the birthday girl herself.

Belated, Happy Birthday X!!

Senior formal

Twinsies

80's Prom senior year

As you can see from the above photos, we know how to have fun together. Christine makes for an excellent partner in crime!

Back to the dinner party…

This was my first dinner party ever and I was pumped about it. I decided to grill some chicken, steak, shrimp and veggies paired with a big salad and got plenty of wine from Trader Joes. I marinated the chicken and steak all day, in some Sweet Baby Rays, then I marinated the shrimp in some EVOO, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and basil (I copied Mrs. Temple on that one :).) Along with the fact that this was my first official dinner party, it was also my first time grilling all this food at once. Luckily I didn’t set anyone on fire (with the help of my sous chefs: Alana, Murph and Red) and everything tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself. Lauren (Red, LVP, etc.) made some appetizers, Nuge and Christine made desserts – s’mores and angel food cake (both amazing.) Nuge also made some martinis which were delicious! I think it was a success!

If you can't take the heat...

Umm we don't have a light out back, so Alana was my flashlight helper. Thanks Lady!

The "Grill Masters"

Shrimp and veggies

Chiiiicken

Steak

The spread

The drink station

Nuge the bahtendah extraordinaire :)

YUM

YUM again

Thanks for the help with the photos Alana!

Like I said, the night was a lot of fun – it’s always so good to get a bunch of us together to chat and catch up. It’s not as easy as it used to be when we all lived about 10 foot steps from one another in college. Thanks for coming everyone! :)

What’s your favorite dish to make for a dinner party?

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Lots o’ flowers

We had such a wonderful weekend at Colin’s grandpa’s house. Always a ton of laughs when we’re all together! Saturday we did some gardening (I learned that I have a natural talent for aerating soil.) We took lots of pictures of flowers (Mrs. T and I were snapping away.) We then had a bbq with delicious food and plenty of vino – yum! Today we went to church (ancient priest = looong mass) then had a lovely breakfast and got to visit with some of Colin’s grandmother’s sisters (great aunts?), it was very nice to see them and get to visit for a while. :)

Colin and I made it back just in time to watch the Celtics DOMINATE! Praise Jesus they won!!! Let’s keep it up boys. Back to beantown Tuesday – woopwoop.

Here are some of my pictures from the weekend. I got to play around with my new camera a little bit -

My aeration station

Where some trimming happened

Love this color

Stone walls and the grass is green!


Little birdy taking shelter from the rain

The weekend in pictures

This past weekend was awesome. I got to spend some solid quality time my family. Mom, Dad, Par, Meg, Kelly and Molly were all around and it was so nice to get to just hang out and laugh all weekend. I also got to see my two best girlies, Mary and Heather which is always a joy! My brother Patrick wasn’t able to come home (he’s über cool – lives out in Cali) which was sad. It’s weird when a bunch of us are together and there’s one or two missing. I got to chat with him on Saturday though, so it was nice to catch up. I miss you brothaman!

We did a lot over the weekend – a bbq Saturday at our (pretend) cousins house where we got to see all the kiddies – such a treat! Did a little shopping for Meg’s honeymoon Saturday night, had tea with Mary and Heather, went out to Bellport to visit Fr. Jerry, saw SATC2 (awesome!), made the seating arrangements for the wedding, saw Kelly’s Brian who is home from Ireland (he was did a semester over there), went to the Babylon Memorial Day parade, another bbq at our other cousins, etc. etc. The weather was beautiful and I was surrounded by people I love. A wonderful weekend indeed.

Some photos for you -

On our way!

Just got off the ferry

We're home!

Welcome to LI wine country :)

The beautiful beach we stopped at quickly

<3

The Garden of Eve - what a beautiful name! If you're in Long Island anytime soon, this is a must visit!!

Garden of Eve Riverhead, NY

The farmers market we popped into

Don't forget to eat your veggies!

Cutest little guys

The Lavender Labyrinth

Meg washing off our DELICIOUS strawberries

The most delicious strawberries I've ever had in my LIFE

Once we got home to Babylon, it was time to head over to our pretend cousins (do you guys have any of those??) house for a bbq. It was such a good time!

Ella on the slip n slide!

Kelly and Brian!

Delicious bbq dinner

Me and my boys - Uncle Kev and Pops

Ella going in for the kill

My beautiful family - Mom, Molly and Kelly

Cutie

Pretty Moldy

Herrooooo

Moll is stealing Patrick's signature move!

Aidan!

Connor!

Me and my little friend

Megan and her little friend - we each got one! Love twins!

Aw, my little friend isn't happy anymore!

Looking at the boobies

Look at those curls :)

Mmmm dessert

Sunday we drove out to Bellport to visit  our dear friend Fr. Jerry (Mom and Dad have been friends with him since we were little – he even baptized Molly, or ‘Angelina’ as he calls her… He’s one of those ‘Italians’…) We went to mass at his parish, Mary Immaculate and afterward we went to brunch in town. Fr. Jerry will be celebrating mass along with Fr. Jim at Meg and Matt’s wedding so it was good to talk some wedding details with him and get to see him before the big show!

Fr. Jerry's church

Grammy, Popper and Nana's brick outside the church :)

Moms present to Aunt Nancy!

Beautiful church

Rose bush right outside of the Rectory

Love this

'Many people have eaten my cooking and have gone on to lead normal lives.' Apparently Meg doesn't think so Mom!

Food pantry at the church

Kelly posing with the food ;)

Awesome bench!

Brunch at the Bellport Restaurant

Such an awesome restaurant - very cute decor and delicious food!

Everyone!

Yummy lemonade

My AMAZING BLT

Kelly's fritatta

A buggy we saw on our walk around Bellport

Tilted? haha

Down by the dock

Meg also had her final fitting while we were home! She looks AMAZING in her dress – I can’t post any pictures because Matt can’t see it yet! However, here is a picture of my gorgeous Mother all dolled up. Meg was practicing my Mom’s makeup for the big day.

My beautiful Mother - Meg was practicing makeup on her for the wedding!

Nice, I’m gonna make the train!… NOT!

You could say that missing the train is a good start to a rainy Friday morning, but you would be very wrong. I knew I had been running a few minutes late, but miss the train late? I didn’t think so… Little do I know.

My sister kindly drove me down to the station, we were rushing cause I was late as usual (being late is my thing, my special talent.) When we crossed the tracks I saw that the train just pulled up. Nice! I made it, I knew I would. Oh wait, it’s just pulling away from the platform, not pulling up? Right, of course.

So, I drove in today. I was all ready and didn’t feel like waiting around for the next train. Suddenly my dreary – miss the train – type lousy day turned around into a promisingly good day due to the fact that I remembered to charge my iPod last night. I truly don’t enjoy talk radio in the morning; I just rather not listen to people bitch before having my coffee (that’s reasonable isn’t it?) So I plugged my iPod in and performed a concert of about 10-12 songs for my non-existent audience. Rocking out in your car at 7am is good for the soul, you should try it sometime.

Anyway, here are some fun things I’ve learned about today…

Stoddards Fine Food & Ale just opened in the Downtown Crossing area at 48 Temple Place at Washington (617-426-0048.)

Stoddard’s is serving up American comfort foods along with an 80+ beer list. With all the vintage decor surrounding you, you’d swear you went back in time. Entrees include burgers, steaks, chicken pot pie, clams casino; all the classics. Learn more at http://stoddardsfoodandale.com/.

I really want to try Redbones. It’s located in Davis Square, Somerville and promises to serve up some delicious southern BBQ which is right up my alley. They also have 24 microbrews on tap to wash it all down. Good to know: Both catering and delivery are available as well as a gluten-free menu.

*Also, Monday – Friday from 4pm-6pm their appetizers are half price. Wings, chili, buffalo shrimp, corn fritters, etc. Check it out at http://redbones.com/.

Another good deal – Mondays at Sel de la Terre at 774 Boylston Street (617-266-8800) they offer a variety of $2 sliders from 5pm-7pm. They also offer a Saturday morning cooking class at either their Natick or Boson location for only $48 a person, not bad compared to what some other places charge!

More info on that, here: http://www.zagat.com/Blog/Detail.aspx?SCID=34&BLGID=26805

Possibilities for the weekend -

Tomorrow, Saturday March 13th is the 2nd Annual Spring Microbrew Fest at Ball Square Fine Wines from 2pm-5pm where you can try out 40 brews.

Tomorrow is also the 4th Annual Bacon Eating Contest at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge at 1pm. Their advertisement for the event reads, ‘Music! Booze! Bacon!’ Music + booze + bacon = 3 of my favorite things in the world. Seems like Atwood’s Tavern is promising us a very good time.

 +  +

Tonight the Joshua Tree (U2 cover band) is kicking off some St. Patrick’s day fun at The Hard Rock Cafe, 22-24 Clinton Street, Boston (617) 424-7625. Starts at 8pm, cost is $15. The Dropkick Murphy’s are playing seven shows at the House of Blues for six nights starting tonight. Ship yourself up to 15 Lansdowne Street, Boston (888) 693-2583. Tickets might be hard to find though, fyi.

http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/boston/

The Celtic Women are also playing at the Wang Theatre tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, tickets ranging from $42-$78.

Click here for more – http://www.citicenter.org/shows/

Don’t forget about the Southie St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday! Here is the map of the parade route -

http://www.boston.com/thingstodo/special/stpatricksday/parademap/

By the way, isn’t it great that it’s Friday? :)