I’m getting married today!!!

I wanted to write a little something on the most important day of my life to date. I’m getting married today! I’m already having a blast and know the day is only going to get better from here. Thank you for all the well wishes and for everyone who is here with us to celebrate. Colin and I are so lucky and blessed, and I am personally so lucky and blessed to be marrying my best friend and the love of my life. Let’s do this!!!

Gotta go, off to the chapel soon…

To be continued…

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Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale

Calling all Boston brides!

The folks at Sam Adams have come up with another great idea…yet again! This Thursday, July 26th all brides and grooms-to-be are invited to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery to celebrate their love of beer (and each other of course).

We all know how important of a role beer plays at a wedding reception, right? I mean, since the medieval times beer has played an essential role in the celebration of marriage, so it only makes sense for Samuel Adams to put their own twist on things with the limited release of their delicious Brewlywed Ale. :)

Just 500 cases of this Belgian-style pale golden ale will be available for purchase this Thursday, July 26th — not only is this perfect for all those engaged couples out there, it is also a perfect present to friends who are celebrating an engagement or who are getting married soon. Handy tip — show up in “wedding wear” (veil or cummerbund anyone?) on Thursday and move to the front of the line!

Other fun things going on — whoever travels the furthest will receive a bottle signed by Jim Koch (not to mention a private tasting with a Samuel Adams brewer), they will also have pairing suggestions for popular wedding menu items, expert advice from TheKnot.com, a toast from Jim Koch, the chance to have Samuel Adams foot the bill for your rehearsal dinner, or if you’re really daring…the chance to get married on the spot at the brewery by a justice of the peace!

Here is the lineup of events:

7:00 a.m.: Line up early!

9:00 a.m.: Doors open, and Brewlywed Ale is officially for sale.

9:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.: Wedding menu beer pairing suggestions, wedding advice from TheKnot.com, rehearsal dinner raffle, wedding photo booth, and more.

1:00 p.m.: Last call!

Check out more from Samuel Adams on Facebook and Twitter.

So cute!

So cute!

Sam Adams

Cheers to beer!

Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale

Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale

*Even though this post is sponsored by Samuel Adams, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. :)

PS: If you don’t mind, please take a second to vote for me in the Real Simple essay contest. THANKS EVERYONE!

Engagement photo fun!

Ok, I must say…I was pretty nervous for our engagement photo shoot. I’m not used to posing for proper photos — I don’t do it very often. And I’m not a huge fan of being the center of attention (good luck on our wedding day, huh? :)) Colin, my fiance, on the other hand, enjoys being the center of attention (if you know him, you probably already know this!). It’s one of the things I love most about him, and I find that it often helps me realize that having some attention on you every now and then is not the worst thing in the world.

Another thing that helped me are Alissa and Bill, our photographers (of Alissa Keane Photography). Not only are they amazing people, and such a sweet couple, they are extremely talented photographers. I have known Alissa around 7 or 8 years now I think (my sister Meg and her were roommates in college — also Merrimack grads) so being friends with her obviously helped put me at ease. But honestly, they are such friendly people even if I hadn’t known both of them prior to the shoot I am very confident they would have still put me at ease. They are just fun people to be around, and I am thrilled to have them take pictures at our wedding! Can’t wait to show you all those too. Only 54 days left to go, but who’s counting?…

We took our photos at Merrimack College, where we met. It was a beautiful day, and we hopped all around campus snapping pics — we loosened up pretty quickly, and had a great time with it.

Since Colin played football while we were in college (he was the QB), we thought it would be cool to take some pictures on the football field. That part was my favorite!

Here are some of the photos from our shoot, and feel free to check out Alissa’s awesome site for more!

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Photo courtesy of Alissa Keane Photography http://www.alissakeanephotography.com/

Check them out on Facebook too!

PS: If you don’t mind, please take a second to vote for me in the Real Simple essay contest. THANKS EVERYONE!

Date night: Donavon Frankenreiter concert

This summer is a busy one. Since we’re getting hitched in September, June through August involves lots of fun pre-wedding activities and to-do’s — so we set aside various weekends for this reason. We also like to get in some family time, which requires a few trips to Long Island and Vermont here and there — so we were sure to block off a few weekends for retirement parties, weddings, vacation, birthdays, etc. We truthfully only have a couple of weekends plan-free, and wanted to make sure they stayed that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. Summer to me means busy weekends with family, friends, beach, food, drinks, laughing, etc. I enjoy having plans on the calendar. I do however, also enjoy having a little downtime. We all need it now and then. Since we’re so focused on our wedding (in only two months!), I want to make sure Colin and I are getting enough time to ourselves to prepare for our big day — to make sure we’re staying connected amidst the craziness that is summer.

Since this past weekend was one of our ‘downtime weekends’ we enjoyed a lovely little date night on Saturday at the Donavon Frankenreiter concert at the Blue Ocean Music Hall (Salisbury, MA). We went last year and had a blast, so decided to go again this year. The Blue Ocean Music Hall is a great place to see a concert if you’ve never been.

We started out with dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s in Newburyport, then stopped into Dolce Freddo Gelato across the street for a treat. After dinner we headed to the concert, enjoyed a great show, and then stopped into Joe’s Playland for some arcade games. We had a blast!

Check it out:

A lovely dinner at Not Your Average Joes in Newburyport

A lovely dinner at Not Your Average Joes in Newburyport

Pit stop for gelato after dinner

Pit stop for gelato after dinner

Show time!

Show time!

Mr. Donavon Frankenreiter

Mr. Donavon Frankenreiter

Sing it, boy

Sing it, boy

My favorite part of the concert came at the end when Donavon sang Tom Petty’s, ‘American Girl':

What's a trip to Salisbury without a visit to the arcade?

What’s a trip to Salisbury without a visit to the arcade?

Colin killing it at the bball game

Colin killing it at the bball game

Crushing the lanes

Crushing the lanes

I hope you enjoyed your weekend also. :)

PS: Only a couple more weeks for me to annoy you! If you don’t mind, please take a second to vote for me in the Real Simple essay contest. THANKS EVERYONE!

Hey, It’s OK…

Photo courtesy of the lovely blog, Design is Mine

…to immediately put on a pair of sweats when you get home from a long day of work
…to be mad when you see someone with two free hands, talking on a headset (come onnn)
…to love a movie you swore you were going to hate
…to be disappointed when your lunch order gets messed up
…to be ridiculously excited for Amanda Knox’s memoir
…to be a nerd
…to have a love/hate relationship with money
…to practice your Academy Award acceptance speech (even if you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever coming close to winning one)
…to play rock, paper, scissors with your significant other in order to choose what you’re going to watch on TV
…to wanna dance with somebody

Colin and I are off to Vermont after work today (wish us luck in the ski / school vacation / President’s Day weekend traffic, please!). We have lots of wedding stuff to do tomorrow at Stratton which I am very excited for! Will have to do a wedding update type post soon…

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. :)

Tortellini = happiness

This past weekend was wonderful – it was the first in a while where we didn’t have too much on the agenda. I (as I’m sure many people do) have a tendency to over schedule myself. Especially on the weekends when I feel like I have to cram every last bit of fun and relaxation in (did I just say that I need to cram in fun and relaxation? Sad, but true).

Friday night we got to babysit Declan, Saturday I attended a wonderful yoga class taught by my fab friend Kate (more on her in a few – we need your help with something!) and then Sunday my sisters and I went to a bridal show and then a bunch of us tried out Sweet Cheeks Q in Fenway. It was great – the whole experience, decor, and vibe in the restaurant felt very authentic to me. I also loved the deeelicious pulled pork. I surprisingly didn’t love their mac ‘n’ cheese unfortunately…but their cole slaw definitely redeemed the negative feelings I had toward the mac ‘n’ cheese.

Saturday night Col and I wanted to make a tasty meal for a night in of hanging out and wedding chatter. We decided to try out our first recipe from the cook book my future mother-in-law gave us. That’s right, Mrs. T compiled a bunch of her and her families recipes and made an amazing, beautiful cook book! She printed out a copy for Colin and I for Christmas and it is honestly one of the best gifts I have ever received. I know Col and I will put it to good use together when we’re making dinner for each other and eventually for the little Colin and Colleen’s that will be running around one day. :)

Check out our meal! And scroll to the bottom for a special favor I need to ask of you, please…

Ingredients

The sausage is cooking away!

Almost there...

Yum!

Yay wedding stuff!

Now on to the special favor, if you don’t mind! I will be heading to the Wanderlust Festival at Stratton Mountain in Vermont on the weekend of June 21-24. I am SO pumped for it and I truly think it’s going to be amazing (more on this soon). Anywho…my friend Kate entered their Facebook photo contest and I really hope she wins so I have a buddy to come to the event with me! All she has to do to win is to have the most “likes” on her photo….soooo if you don’t mind, please go to my Facebook profile and click on the photo I shared of Kate striking a yoga pose. Then click “like” and it will count toward her votes! Thank you SO MUCH in advance!

Here is the photo to look out for on my Facebook profile:

Kate - the amazing yogini!

Colin and I are engaged!

Colin and I were friends for most of our four years in college. Freshman year went so fast, sophomore year zoomed by and my first semester passed like a blink of the eye when I ‘studied abroad’ in Hawaii…I got back to Merrimack for our second semester and we lived in Santagati, right next door to Colin and our other guy friends. That’s when my big, fat crush started! I thought Colin was the most handsome guy ever, and I always gushed over him to the girls (and they made fun of me, because I’m a huge nerd!) The rest of junior year passed and I didn’t think it would ever happen…

Then, senior year came. We became better friends, and by January he finally came around — I knew he had a crush on me too! By March, we were dating and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

After graduation we both had big plans — Colin was off to a one-year graduate school program at Lehigh in PA and I was off to volunteer for a year in Chicago. There I was, finally in love with such an amazing guy, and we had spend the year very far apart. It was really hard — every time we visited each other and then had to go back to our respective states, I lost it! To this day airports can still make me weepy-eyed (again…huge nerd!) But I knew if we could make it through a full year apart that we were good to go.

And now here we are…engaged!

This past Thursday – during the day – Colin asked me if I wanted to go to dinner after work. I thought, ummmm yes! After a long, busy day of work  I was totally game. I got home to my apartment and Colin showed up just a few minutes later. I was going to change for dinner and before I did Colin told me he had something I could “accessorize with” and started laughing. I was confused, but intrigued. Then, all of the sudden, he was on his knee telling me he asked my father, got my families’ blessing and wanted to know if I would marry him.

I feel like I totally blacked out after that, but I do remember running around the room like a fool and then, obviously saying yes! It was such an amazing, special moment. After Colin slipped the (beautiful, if I do say so myself!) ring on my finger, we popped open the bottle of champagne my best friend Mary gave me a couple years ago (she told me to save it for the day I got engaged) and made all the fun phone calls to tell our friends and family. Everyone knew and kept the secret from me! Such sneaks!

Afterward, we had a fabulous dinner at Salvatore’s and Meg stopped by for a bit to celebrate with us – she even treated us to dinner!

This past weekend I went out with my girlfriends Friday night to share the excitement with them, and then Saturday Colin, Meg, Matt and I headed up to Vermont to celebrate with Colin’s family. I was sitting on the couch enjoying the appetizers Saturday evening gearing up for the delicious meal Mrs. T was cooking up, when BAM! My Mom, Dad and Grandfather appeared out of nowhere! They drove all the way from Long Island up to Vermont to surprise me! I was ecstatic! It was the best weekend ever. :)

I could really babble on and on about Colin and how much I love him, but I won’t do that to you all. I will tell you though, that he is my best friend and I am currently the happiest girl in the world. I am so ready and so excited to embark on this journey with him. I am also so lucky because I love the Temple’s like my own family, and my family loves Colin like he’s one of us. It’s a wonderful match all around!

Engaged for about 3 minutes!

Our champage courtesy of Mary, one of my best buds!

Look what they did for me at work on Friday (the day after we got engaged)...SO nice!

Hanging at the Temple's in VT!

So fun!!!

Obsessed with this now!!! Deeeelicious!

The amazing bottle of wine my pops brought!

The ring! Woohoooo

Mrs. T's FAB cooking!

Skip's wonderful salad :)

Some of the fam <3

Skip serving everyone their dinner :)

SO Good!

I LOVE THESE SOOO MUCH

"Papachodies" as my Grandpa was calling them! hahah

Tasty treat

Love birds xoxo

So happy!

Showing off the bling!

Yay presents!

Mom and Skip!

A lovely breakfast on Sunday at Sugar and Spice

Sugar and Spice

YUM

Some fab pictures from Mrs. T:

Martha, Skip, Colin and I :)

Having a grand 'ol time!

Col and Coll

Par!

Par in VT!

Still can't believe you guys came all the way up to VT! I LOVE YOU!

Love this pic! hahah

Stay tuned for the wedding plans…..

Congratulations to Jers and Amanda! (And 100 Days of Kindness, Days 26, 27 and 28)

I’ve been a bad blogger. I haven’t posted any kindness posts since Thursday, and for good reason – I’ve been enjoying time with my family and friends. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving (as seen below) and then went to our friend’s Joe (aka Jersey) and Amanda’s wedding on Saturday – it was beautiful! More on that in a minute…

Some Thanksgiving photos:

My favorite Thanksgiving dish!

Always trying to get some food!

The big bird and the not as big bird (Colin's pride and joy!)

YUM! (I use a lot of pepper haha)

The pecan pie Molly and I made. Was soo good (if I do say so myself!)

Now onto the wedding… Jers and Amanda are the first of our friends from school to get married – so it was very exciting! They both looked amazing, the food was excellent, the band was spectacular, everyone was dancing the whole time – we had so much fun! What makes it even better is that these two people are two of the best out there and they truly make a perfect pair. I know they’re going to kick ass at marriage.

The groomsmen

The lovebirds

Part of the awesome groomsmen gifts!

One of the best steaks I ever had! (At the rehearsal dinner, The Alchemist and Barrister Princeton NJ

Action shot

Lovebirds

So good!

My handsome date

The three stooges

 

A & J

Mr. and Mrs. DeRose!

 

Stud!

Casually reading

 

So pretty!

 

Loved the centerpieces

The bridal party

The first dance

 

Let’s not forget about being kind…

Friday – I hurried really quickly when getting ready for the rehearsal dinner because I knew Colin didn’t want to be late (I am notoriously late). Which meant wearing my hair up in a bun even though I wanted to wear it down and straight. Ahh the sacrifices one must make…

Saturday – I shared in Amanda and Jersey’s big day, wishing them genuine congratulations! I also told everyone how fabulous they looked.

Sunday – We stopped at the MEGA Cabelas in CT on the way back to MA today because Colin needed to return a jacket and get some stuff for muzzleloader season (dating a hunter still cracks me up). I didn’t complain once or rush him at all (because I knew he was in heaven and I didn’t want to ruin it!)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. :)

 

 

 

The wedding of the century!

I’ve been procrastinating the massive Ireland 2010 wedding post for too long. It’s time I’ve tackled it. I say this because I took roughly 800 photos while I was there and don’t even know how to choose my favorites. I also say this because it was honestly the most fun trip ever to occur in the history of our family and most families in attendance. We had a ball! It was so cool because essentially our family + a ton of people we know and love were all on vacation together, hanging out, laughing, relaxing, etc. It was great! We should do it more often. Fo’ real. :)

As for the actual wedding day, I can hardly put it into words (good thing I have 800 pictures to choose from…) Megan was the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen. She was also the most calm bride I’ve ever seen/heard about. My sister Kelly did an absolutely AMAZING job on her hair (it legitimately stayed fabulous the whole day – till about 2am!) Her dress was perfection. Her makeup was flawless. And her attitude said it all; she was ecstatic, no freaking out, no nervousness, just happiness.

Matt looked so handsome! And watching him watch Meg walk down the aisle at Holycross Abbey was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. You could honestly see how much he loves her right in that moment. I know it sounds sort of cheesy, but it’s true… After they were pronounced husband and wife and were ready to walk down the aisle, we had a bit of a surprise up our sleeves… With the help of my siblings and my wonderful cousin Aisling (who lives in Ireland) we arranged for the singer to play a few seconds of “The Wedding March,” then pause for a moment and then start up again with “All You Need is Love” like they do in Love Actually. We even had both trumpet and trombone players who popped out as an extra surprise! It was great!

The reception at the Dundrum House Hotel was SO MUCH FUN. Literally the best time of my life (hopefully Meg and Matt’s as well!) My toast went smoothly I’d say – I kept it to about 2 minutes, I was shaking like a leaf and my voice was shaky but I didn’t totally break down or anything. I sort of kept it together, so I’ll take it. I got some laughs, some tears and some applause. Success :) My dad also gave an absolutely amazing toast – made me cry of course! Mr. O’Neill did as well, it was beautiful!

We danced and danced and danced. I don’t think I ever stopped. Literally, my hips were killing me the next day. Great workout!… After the “official” reception was over, the “afters” started. We went down to the residence bar (residence bar in Ireland = a bar in your hotel which you can ask the front desk to open whenever you’d like. If the normal hotel bar is closed for the night, well you just ask the staff to open the residence bar, they get the bartender on call and there you go! Pretty sweet huh?!) to listen to traditional Irish music and nibble on some snacks, drink some Guinness and just continue to have fun!

The morning after the wedding we all had breakfast together and then Meg and Matt headed off to Greece. They had an amazing trip!

After the wedding festivities Colin and I got to do a little traveling – we headed to the Cliffs of Moher, then Galway for two nights and then Dublin for a night. This was Colin’s first time in Ireland so I wanted him to see a bit more than just Tipperary. It was so much fun and Colin did such a great job driving! I must say, I did a pretty good job myself helping to navigate/read the map. Plus, we didn’t get into a huge fight/break up/hurt one another at all. Pretty good. :)

Now, without further ado, I present to you Megan and Matthew Ireland wedding extravaganza…

Ready to go!

Oooh Ireland...

Our townhouse

Ok I gave up on individually inserting the pictures! Here is the gallery:


Jack Johnson Here I Come

So, today is the day. I am a HUGE Jack Johnson fan, I have been for years now. I own every album and whenever I listen to his music it’s a guarantee to instantly make me happy. JJ puts out some great feel good, make you smile, laid-back, relaxing music and I can’t get enough of it.

The thing is… I’ve never seen him in concert! Never. So lame. I “studied abroad” in Hawaii and figured I would absolutely, 100% get to see him play live there, but that was a no go. However, I did get to see him live, just not playing a show. My friend Jen and I (our last week there) met him at the Pearl Jam/U2 concert. It was amazing – we were on the will call line waiting for our tickets when BAM! Jack Johnson walked by us. Since he didn’t come over to say hi (so rude) I decided we should go over and say hi. He was extremely nice and even took a picture with us!

Needless to say, even though I didn’t get to see him play live in Hawaii, I was pretty happy with the fact that I met him, shook his hand and took a picture with him (he put his hand on my lower back while taking the picture, no big deal…)

Me, Jack and Jen!

So tonight is the night I finally get to see him play live! I am more than pumped. To top it all off, glove and ALO are playing as well – two more great performers. :)

Well, we have our sandwiches, snacks and beers all set – Colin and I are off to the show! Have a great Saturday night and I’ll have plenty of wedding posts coming at you this week. Simply put, it was beyond amazing! xo