Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WILW - Birthday Edition

This past Saturday was my birthday. While I do not like getting another year older I do like love celebrating with my friends and family and that is just what I did (despite still feeling a little sick with a cold).

During the day I went to my friend Emily's Bridal Shower (more on that to come soon) then managed to get a quick mani/pedi before meeting up with friends for dinner!

On my birthday I always like to try new places. I figure if I'm going out I should use it as an opportunity to experience new restaurants/bars. On Saturday night I got to check out a few new-to-me places and all were great!

Missy picked me up and we went for a quick cocktail at Bastille Kitchen which had a lovely bar area with couches and comfy chairs. Then we made our way to Pastoral to meet up with my other friends Emily and Michelle. Fancy pizza never tasted so good. Wow! I will be going back to this restaurant soon. Everything was so good! We tried the garlic knots, Caesar salad and kale too. They even had gluten free pizza/options for my friend Michelle who is gluten free!

I made the mistake of going to the bathroom at some point during our meal and my friends used it as an opportunity to order a birthday dessert. Fortunately the servers spared me and didn't sing Happy Birthday! The cookies. . . oh my goodness they were amazing! Warm and melty chocolate chips! Yum!

After dinner we made our way across the street to Drink. I've been wanting to go here for YEARS! I'm sad to admit that it didn't really live up to the hype. It is a bar with no menu. The bartenders are mixologists and you tell them what you like and they make it. My drink was very good but waiting in line and then standing inside are 2 things this girl doesn't like to do anymore. If I ever go back here it will be on a week night when it isn't busy! I am glad I finally got to try it and that my friends agreed to wait in line!

We decided to walk over to Trade so we could sit while we sipped our cocktails. On our walk we passed the Boston Tea Party site and had to stop for a photo opp with Samuel Adams because what kind of birthday would it be without a random photo!?

Our night ended soon after which was actually much later than I expected to stay out until. It was a fun night and I successfully visited four new restaurants/bars in Boston!

On Sunday I made my way to my parents' house for a birthday dinner. We celebrated mine and my brother Scott's (his brother was on the 17th). We each got to pick our favorite meal and birthday dessert (chicken casserole and Carvel ice cream cake for me and roast beef and chocolate chip cookies for him).

Peyton and Ella love celebrating birthdays and two at a time means they each get to "help" blow out the candles. I love the photo of Scott blocking Ella from blowing them out too soon!

Ella gave me some custom made Jamberry nails. I'm saving these for the MS Challenge Walk in September! How cool are they!? (FYI if you want to order any Jamberry nails let me know b/c my sis-in-law Jenn sells them)!

I love getting birthday cards in the mail (or in person) and decided to decorate my pantry door with all of them!

And last but not lease. . . this is Matthew and he gets the coolest kid award! He started a page on Facebook called Play For A Reason and each week before his games he shares who he is playing for! He played for me on my birthday in honor of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month! Thanks to Beth who gave him my name (she went to college with his mom).

Now it is your turn. Link up with Rachel and I and share what you are loving this week! Please include our button or link back to us in your post!
What I'm Loving Wednesday

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Let's start off by talking about what I'm NOT loving. . . this cold I woke up with on Tuesday! Saturday is my birthday and it is not nice to be sick for your birthday. I should know b/c I was sick last year on my birthday. So this cold better not turn into anything worse. Now that we've gotten that out of the way let's talk about happier things!

I'm loving that my trivia fundraiser on Sunday night raised over $1,000! So thankful to have so many supportive friend and family who continue to donate to all of my events. I blogged about the event so check it out here!

I'm loving the way my collage wall looks with Easter decorations! I ordered both of these garlands from (my favorite website/addiction) and I think they are both adorable. I wanted that bunny garland last year and resisted but this year I just couldn't not have it. I love it!

I'm loving how cute these two look at their dance competition! I wasn't able to go but I'll be seeing them in their recital in May!

 I'm loving that flowers I sent to my friend Caroline as a thank you for hosting me while I was in CA (which I still haven't finished blogging about). I hate when you order flowers online and then find out that they look nothing like the photo. Well a few of you guys recommended The Bouqs and I am impressed! The flowers were beautiful (and matched my friend's sweater - lol).

I'm loving that it is Social Work month. We don't always get the recognition (or pay) we deserve but I love being a social worker and helping people! We celebrated at work with a breakfast and presentation on trauma informed care (we know how to celebrate - haha)!!!

That's all for now my friends. I hope you will link up with Rachel and I today and share what you are loving the week.

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Monday, March 23, 2015

2nd Annual Trivia Night MS Fundraiser

On Sunday night I hosted The Bean Team's first big fundraiser of the year! It was the 2nd year for a Trivia Night fundraiser and it was even more successful! So much work goes into planning a fundraiser and it is very time consuming. Planning fundraisers on top of having a full time job and numerous other commitments isn't easy. So I simplified things a bit this year and it helped a lot!

There were 12 raffle prizes varying in value from $40 to $125. Getting donations this year proved to be harder than past years. In case you didn't hear Boston got a lot of snow in Feb. This made it difficult for me to get out to make requests and also businesses were struggling with low sales and therefore not giving as much. Despite all that still managed to get some great stuff!

There were a total of 9 trivia teams and they are all pictured above and below (minus one team that was a last minute add on at the bar/strangers). The team names are hysterical so I have to share - I have no clue who is who.

{Tom's Twizzlers, Axe Me A Question, Average At Best, Cole's Angels, Suck It Trebek, Meat Sweats, Fancy Pants, Franklin Athletics Never Quit, and I Heart Basic Bs}

For the 2nd year in a row there was a tie for 1st place which meant there needed to be a tie breaker. So much fun to watch and I can't imagine it ending any other way now! The category was MLB teams and they had to alternate back and forth with naming teams. It lasted longer than last year (which wasn't hard to do since that only lasted for one round)! The winner was Suck It Trebek!

Then it was time to pick the raffle winners. This is looked forward to all night and there were several people who had their eye on a certain item or two. Oh and a lot of raffle tickets were sold. Some of the bags were packed!

The funniest thing that happened was that several people won more than once including my Aunt Cathy who won three times and my Uncle Billy, Tina, and Kim's fiance who all won twice. What are the odds of that happening?! It was fair and square - the trivia picked the winners and he wasn't looking!

My mom and dad handled selling the raffle tickets and they did a great job! I wouldn't be able to do these events on my own. It is great to have family helping so that I can socialize/thank people for coming and take photos (which I wasn't very good about doing so note to self get a photographer next year)!

I did minimal decorations this year (like I mentioned I had to simplify a bit and this one an easy way to do so)! My mom made another board with the previous year walk on it and it came out awesome. The other years were on display as well. Then it was just orange balloons, banner, table cloth, paper products, cupcakes, etc! It looked great and everyone in the bar knew there was a fundraiser for MS going on!

So the coolest thing happened (twice) and I just have to share. At the end of the night a man approached me and asked if I was Jodi. I said yes and he put something in my hand and walked away. It was a 100 dollar bill! Who does that?! I was so shocked I could barely get a "thank you" out before he walked away. I never did learn his name but I hear he is a regular at the bar and has a nephew with MS. THANK YOU!

Then a few minutes later it happened AGAIN! A man at the bar who is business partners with the owner walked up to me and said he wanted to shake my hand. He told me "good job" and slipped a 100 dollar bill in my hand! I can't even make this stuff up you guys. There are SO many good and generous people out there and I'm so grateful that I happened upon 2 of them in the same night!

So with the addition of that $200 the event raised a total of $1,050 (after expenses which were minimal ($150) - trivia guy, paper products, balloons, food/candy).

$1,050!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo hoo! Totally amazing! Thank you to all who attended! You all contributed to that amazing amount raised. Outstanding! 

I already had someone asked when I was doing another trivia event which made me laugh! I guess we'll be back for a 3rd year!

Next up (I hope) is a wine tasting! If you have a place I can hold it let me know!

P.S. For those of you who may be new around here The Bean Team will be participating in the MS Challenge Walk for the 6th year in a row. It is a 3 day 50 mile walk on Cape Cod. Each walker has to raise $1,500 to participate! If you would like to donate you can check out my fundraising page here.

P.P.S. Thank you to The Draft and specifically Derek for letting me have our event there. Thank you to all the businesses who donated raffle items. Thank you to Tyler, the trivia guy, for doing trivia at a discounted rate. Thank you to all of the trivia participants and raffle ticket buyers. Thank you to everyone who helped me make this event possible (that should cover it - haha)!!!!

Read about last year here and here!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Winning a trip to Ireland Friday night started the weekend out right. But I must admit, while that was the highlight of my weekend, the rest of it was pretty great too! On Friday morning one of my college friends, Taylor (who lives in Maine) sent me a text to ask if she could come visit and stay with me Saturday night. I must admit I was feeling exhausted and didn't know if I was up for it but I love her spontaneity so I said yes (and I'm glad I did because we had a blast)! So here is everything else (besides winning a trip to Ireland which obviously I love) I'm loving.

I'm loving that we went to the North End for dinner to eat delicious Italian food. Since the rest of Boston was out at Irish bars celebrating St. Patrick's Day a little early we had a nice dinner without the crowds! One of my favorite things to do is just walk through the North End and pick a place that looks good - we ended up at Lucia and it was great food and great atmosphere. #OnStPatricksDayWeekendWeEatItalian

I'm loving that Taylor insisted that we go to Mike's Pastry for dessert and forced me to eat a cannoli! She also forced me to take this ridiculous photo!

I'm loving that after eating all that food, dessert and wine we decided to walk to our next stop! We walked through the Boston Common and I love that even at 9:30 PM (when I took this photo) it looks light because of all of they city lights. So pretty!

We made our way to Copley Square to go to Oak Long Bar for a glass of wine. It is one of my favorite places to grab a drink. It is fancy without being pretentious!

We had fun people watching! A weird interesting guy sat at the little table next to us so we joked that it would be our luck. God for bid two hot, single guys sit next to us!

I'm loving that we went to brunch on Sunday before Taylor left. I'd been dying to go to The Beat Hotel in Harvard Square to try their Buffalo Cauliflower that I'd heard so much about. OMG! It did not disappoint. SO good. I'll be back for that. My mango martini was a bit too thick and smoothie like. The pancakes were good but nothing special. But the honey butter on my pancakes was amazing and I could have eaten an entire dish of it! Oh and the live music and service were both excellent. Looking forward to checking The Beat Hotel out for dinner sometime soon.

I love when weekends are filled with so much fun! Even though I had planned for a quiet weekend I'm glad Taylor came and we got to eat our way through Boston!

Now it is your turn. What are you loving this week? Come link up with Rachel and I. Share our button or link back to our blogs please!

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I WON A TRIP TO IRELAND!!! {#SendMeToIreland}

So what did you do this weekend? I didn't do much. . . JUST WON A TRIP TO IRELAND! No big deal! Lol! Seriously though I really did. I'm still in a bit of shock that this actually happened to me! Oh and it was on Friday the 13th which will now be known as the luckiest day to me!

I saw this event, #SendMeToIreland, promoted on Twitter and I thought it sounded fun. Even better, the pub, The Green Briar is just a quick walk from my apartment and one of my local favorites. My cousin, Katelyn, agreed to join me for some fun pre-St. Patrick's Day fun!

So the event worked like this: you had to RSVP to the Event Brite invitation to attend as only 350 people would be allowed. You got a raffle ticket just for coming and then throughout the night you could earn more for posting photos with the hashtag (which is why you probably noticed several photos on my IG and twitter)! Also if you showed them a photo of you holding a Guinness you got a ticket for a free one with the pint glass and you got to pour it yourself!

My perfect pour! Honestly I don't love Guinness. I don't even really like it. But it was free and I never pass up a free drink! I drank a little of it before switching to my favorite, Magners.

There was a great band, The Black Rose Band, who came all the way from Ireland to perform! They were great and played great music that was just loud enough!

Above and below are two examples of photos I was taking to post on social media. I was literally taking photos of anything and everything to get more entries! But then at 10 PM they closed the raffle entries and we had two hours to just hang.

Katelyn and I had been joking all night about one of us winning. We kept wondering how many photos was too many to post and if they would cut us off. We just wanted to get a bunch of entries! Oh and before the event I said to Katelyn, "So if one of us wins we're taking the other, right?" Who knew!!!!

This photo was taken around the time we got bored. Let's face it we are getting old and staying out until midnight isn't easy. Neither of us wanted to drink much since we both had to be up early the next day (I went to an all day conference). So I got some of the photo props for this fun pic (see my little orange hat). Then it was finally midnight and time for the main event that everyone was waiting for!

 As I mentioned you had to be present to win so when the first name was picked and called, Lindsay wasn't there. The owner (? I think he is the owner) called her name several times and once he was sure she wasn't there he picked again. The photo above is when he was looking at my name and he actually mouthed it to the girl prior to saying it out loud. Katelyn said it looked like my name and then he called it! We both screamed and I threw all my stuff on her (jacket, free t-shirt, pint glass) and went to the stage in shock!!!!

Once I got up there the staff threw confetti on me and he asked me for my ID! He wanted to make sure it was really me! You can see my license in his hand and he was telling everyone that it was indeed the right person and I had won (everyone was bummed b/c they were hoping for another chance to win)!

Then he finally handed me my prize! A certificate that states details about the trip to Ireland and how to contact the travel agent. Basically it is 5 nights in B&Bs around Ireland, a rental car, flights, and entries to Guinness and Jameson. It can only be used between Nov 2015 and Feb 2016 and it cannot exceed $1,500 in value. So I've already emailed the travel agent to discuss next steps!

I really was so shocked that this was happening to me and all the staff/social media people where snapping photos. I didn't know where to look and I feel like I don't look that happy but really it is just because I was so shocked!

Again this would be known as "the look of shock" lol! After joking about winning all night I couldn't believe it had actually happened.  Thank you to the girl who won first but wasn't there. I hope she never finds out or she'll be kicking herself! Haha!

So the moral of the story. . . it is worth it to stay until the end! Staying out until midnight was TOTALLY worth it! Thank you to The Green Briar for this opportunity. I am so excited to plan a trip!

To see all the photos of the #SendMeToIreland event go to The Green Briar's Facebook page or search the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!

The rest of my weekend was fabulous too! I was on a high all weekend from the big win and a spontaneous visit from one of my college besties. More on that to come.

What did you do this weekend?!

P.S. Not only did I have this amazing thing happen to me on Friday the 13th but I got 2 other pieces of VERY good news. One that is concerning me and another that concerns a very close friend (I will share more soon)! So all in all Friday the 13th was an EXCELLENT day!

Linking up for Weekending and Let It Shine!