Friday, March 30, 2012

TGIF

I don't know about you but I'm sure glad that Friday is here.  It has been a wonderful birthday week but I am exhausted from so many nights out!

I'm guest posting on Katie's blog, Keep Calm and Carry On so feel free to check me out over there too! For any of her readers that are visiting me for the first time - WELCOME!  So glad to have you stopping by!

Last night I finally saw The Hunger Games!  I REALLY liked it!  I of course liked the book more due to the deeper character development and background stories but I think the movie did a great job.  It was a bit darker/scarier than I expected.  I was sitting tense in my seat through the whole thing.  I was also surprised at how quickly the 2 hours and 20 minutes went by.  It kept my attention the whole time.  Oh and when those crazy "dogs" came out I totally jumped.  Ha!  I think the casting was great too.  I really loved Katniss.  Have you seen it?  What do you think?  I can't believe we have to wait until Nov 2013 to see Catching Fire on the big screen.  I hope to finish reading Mockingjay this weekend.

The Boston MS Walk is this Sunday!  I'm so excited.  I can't believe it is already here.  The Bean Team will be walking for the 4th year in a row.  This year (so far) we have raised $7,152 and I have raised $2,601!  Amazing right!?  I'm so proud of my team and impressed that even now after fundraising for several years we are still able to bring in so much money for MS.  It is awesome.

The weather forecast for Sunday is still a little iffy.  Please say a prayer that we have a dry day!  It is likely to be in the low to mid 50s and cloudy. . . no rain please!!

I picked up our green team shirts the other day and they look great.  You'll have to check back on Monday to see what they look like.  No sneak peaks this time.

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a FREE Orange Blossom fruit arrangement from Edible Arrangements.  Please leave a comment on this post to enter.  {Reminder that the fruit can only be shipping to MA or southern NH}

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Day After. . .

my birthday is kind of a let down.  Yesterday was fun. . . today I'm just older!  Ha!  I loved celebrating my birthday with my nieces and seeing things through their eyes always puts a smile on my face.  They appreciate the simple things like balloons, cupcakes, my office chair that spins, office supplies (I gave them both a notebook and crayons), the elevator, the hospital gift shop. . .

Yesterday my mother, Peyton and Ella came to my work to have lunch with me.  It was the highlight of my day, week, month.  Peyton and Ella were so excited to celebrate my birthday which made me excited too.  We don't see too many kids around the hospital so they were a big hit in the cafeteria!  All of my co-workers kept asking if they were my daughter and commenting on how much Peyton looks like me.  Since I don't have kids knowing that my niece(s) have pieces of me is really special. 

For lunch I got the girls a hamburger and french fries to share.  I got them each a plate and put the food in front of them.  Ella started eating with no complaints.  Peyton on the other hand was not too happy about the hamburger in front of her and proceeded to take the bun off the burger and dip the bun into the ketchup and eat it.  My mom said, "That's you when you were little you know."  I've heard my mom say this many times - about how at McDonalds as a kid I would never eat a hamburger. . . Strange/funny/nice that Peyton does it too.  Who knew not liking hamburgers was genetic!  Ha!

Anyways. . . yesterday afternoon I had pet therapy at work.  The volunteer who comes in knew it was my birthday (from Facebook) and brought me a gift.  She gave me a framed picture of her dog, Cooper.  It is now proudly sitting on a shelf in my office (next to all the pictures of Peyton and Ella)!  She also gave me a Starbucks gift card.  I felt so overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness.

After work I ran to DSW to use two coupons they emailed me yesterday.  One was for $20 off of $49.95 and one was a birthday coupon for $5 off and the best part was that I could combine them.  So I got a pair of $50 shoes for $25!  I should have taken a pic.  They are super cute and I plan to wear them on Easter!

After that I stopped by my cousin's house to drop off the shirts for the walk and pick up some "supplies" from Katelyn.  Katelyn (the Stella and Dot stylish) is hosting my upcoming MS Fundraiser with me and she is lending me some Stella and Dot jewelry to wear in order to "advertise" for the event.  I've.died.and.gone.to.heaven.  OMG love it all!  I'm so excited to wear all of it (not at the same time that would look terrible)!  I will take a pic of each thing I wear so that you can see how it looks on a "real person" in case you want to buy anything online during my fundraiser on April 12!

Since I was there I stayed for pizza and wine with Chad and Meghan.  I got to see Laney before she went to bed too.  She is at such a fun age (just turned 1) and is walking everywhere!  She waves goodbye and is saying a few words too.  She is such a cutie!

And to end off my birthday I made a stop at Target of course.  I just had to buy a few new tops to wear with Katelyn's jewelry!  Ha!

All in all it was a wonderful birthday.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.  Facebook and twitter birthday messages reminded me all day that life is good!!  Thanks everyone!  Here's to a great year!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Birthday To ME!!!

Today is my. . . um. . . er. . . 29th again birthday!  I figured the best way to celebrate turning another year older is by drinking wine with friends.  So we did just that last night at Les Zyogmates in Boston.

Thank you Michelle, Emily, Lynne, Jenny, Ilka and Jenn for celebrating with me last night.  It was so nice to enjoy some good wine with such great friends.

Les Zygomates does a great wine tasting.  We were able to taste four wines.  They give you a pretty good size portion of each (more than a typical tasting but less than a typical glass of wine).  They also give you some tapas sized foods to pair with the wine.  Last night the chef did a cooking demo for us with a steak which I don't eat so I requested a vegetarian option.  I was excited b/c I got 2 awesome pieces of cheese and a strawberry.  That steak was very red.  Ugh!  Anyways it was all very nice and I was impressed with the whole evening.  I would definitely go back there in the future to try some different wines.  Oh and at the end (when the tasting was over and most had left) they brought me a dessert and my friends sang Happy Birthday to me!  It was a great night!

Now today I'm at work feeling my age. . . from staying up to late and drinking wine on a "school night."  Haha!  Getting so many Facebook and Twitter messages is definitely putting many smiles on my face today.  You guys sure know how to make a girl feel loved.

My mom and my nieces are coming to visit me at work today and we will have lunch together.  I'm looking forward to that.

Happy Birthday to me.  Here's to another year of time spent with family and friends and especially good health!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Edible Arrangements Giveaway!

I have a treat for (most of) you today.  I'm doing an awesome giveaway to all of my friends and readers who live in MA or southern NH.  Since March is MS Awareness Month Edible Arrangements has been running a promotion with their Orange Blossom fruit arrangement.  Orange is the color for MS so what a great way to spread awareness while treating yourself to yummy fruit!  I love Edible Arrangements and get very excited whenever a family sends one to us at the hospital as a thank you gift.  Such a delicious treat!

Here's how to enter:

1.  Leave a comment on my blog (make sure I have your email/contact info)

2*.  Make a donation to me for my fundraising for
Boston MS Walk by going here.

3*.  Make a donation to me for my fundraising for
MS Challenge Walk by going here.

*and then leave a comment telling me you did (if you have already donated to me in March you can leave a comment telling me you did).

The winner will be chosen on Friday night.  Delivery will be during the week of April 2 and will be delivered to you or whoever you choose in MA or southern NH!

For those of you who can't wait until Friday go to  Edible Arrangements now and order the Orange Blossom to send to your favorite person.  Five dollars will be donated to MS!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Celebrating My Birthday (All Week)!

I started my birthday week celebrating off to the right start yesterday with a family dinner.  I always look forward to my birthday dinner b/c it means I get to pick the meal we eat.  Since we celebrated my brother's birthday as well my mom actually cooked two meals.  We also had two cakes - marble for my brother and an ice cream cake for me (my favorite)!


Peyton and Ella were very excited to be celebrating two birthdays and REALLY enjoyed the cakes and ice cream!  Peyton helped Scott blow out his candles and Ella helped me!


I also spent some time reading this over the weekend. . .

According to my Facebook and Twitter feeds I'm the only person in America who didn't see The Hunger Games movie this weekend! Ha!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Boston MS Walk is in 9 Days!!

I really can't believe how quickly 2012 has gone by!  It is already the end of March and the Boston MS Walk is next weekend!  We are busy making last minute preparations.  I've ordered green shirts for The Bean Team to wear this year and I think they will look great.  I can't wait to see them!

I got this in the mail the other day. . .
I was the 5th largest fundraiser at the Boston MS Walk in 2011.  AWESOME!!!!  I'm so proud of myself.  This year I have not raised as much money since I have to divide my fundraising between the Boston Walk and the Challenge Walk in September.  But I'm still raising as much as I can and so far I've raised $2,000!  I'm hoping to raise another $1,000 by walk day.  Please donate whatever you can.  Every little bit helps.  If all of my blog readers give a couple of dollars each it will add up to be a lot!  Just go here to make a donation.  Thanks for anything you can give.  I REALLY appreciate it and promise to mail you a really cute thank you note.

In other MS related news, I picked up the invitations for my fundraiser last night from Amanda at Sweet Tea Paperie.  Amanda, my cousin Katelyn and I are hosting an awesome party on April 12th and we plan to raise a lot of money for MS with your help.  All money raised will go toward my Challenge Walk fundraising.  I still can't believe that I'm going to walk 50 miles in 3 days!  Ha!  Of course Amanda made ADORABLE invitations!

The great news is that even if you don't live in the Boston area you can still "virtually" attend.  You can shop at www.sweetteapaperie.com anytime on Thursday, April 12th and Amanda will donate a portion of your purchase to MS.  You can shop at www.stelladot.com/katelyn anytime between now and April 12th and when you checkout make sure you enter my name as the hostess.  Katelyn will be donating to MS too!  So you can shop for a great cause!  Both sites have beautiful and fun stuff that you won't want to miss out on.  And why not buy your mother a gift for Mother's Day now???

If you have any questions feel free to ask.  If you live in the area and need directions or info about the event let me know that too!

That is all my MS related news for now.  I'm sure I'll have more to share next week. . .

Have a fabulous weekend.  Who is going to see The Hunger Games (or who has already seen it.  Haha!!)  I need a local friend to see if with. . . none of my local friends have read the books!  I'll be reading the 3rd one this weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crop on the Cape, St. Pat's Day and the New iPad. . .


Scrapbooking or Bust. . . Crop on the Cape. . .

On Thursday night Stacy and I drove to the Cape in preparation for Crop on the Cape aka epic scrapbooking weekend.  For those of you who don't know I use to be a huge scrapbooker but then due to a number of factors (starting a blog, Stacy moving to London, etc) I haven't scrapbooked in about 2 years.  I actually don't miss it that much since I chronicle life on my blog but it was fun to get back into it for the weekend.  I really had no clue what to scrapbook since everything is already on my blog.  So I decided to do a scrapbook of "My Journey With MS."  I thought putting together highlights of all the events and fundraisers I've done would be a great visual to use at future fundraisers and at the same time be a great keepsake for me.  I didn't finish but got more than half done and hope to keep working on it in the next few weeks.

So for those of you who don't understand scrapbooking you will probably be confused by all of this.  But let me tell you this event was not messing around.  It was HUGE.  Think major conference center where you would go for a big event/expo but instead of vendors it was all women scrapbooking!  So many people who brought SO much stuff.  Like I'm talking suitcases and bins filled with scrapbooking stuff that they had all set up in their areas.  Stacy and I couldn't get over it.  We only brought  a couple of bags of stuff.

The event started Thursday night and went until Sunday afternoon.  The scrapbooking room was open 24 hours a day.  Most people stayed in the hotel where the event was held.  Stacy and I stayed at my parent's Cape condo.  We arrived at the event on Friday morning and stayed all day.  We returned on Saturday morning and then left around dinner time to go out for St. Patrick's Day.  On Sunday we slept in and spend about 4 hours there before it was over.

In addiction to the room for scrapbooking there were additional rooms with other "stuff."  There was a massage area with 3 massage therapists.  That was AWESOME.  My back was killing from leaning over and scrapbooking so it was such a nice treat.  There were vendors from other scrapbooking stores set up and selling stuff.  There was a lady selling scrapbooking tee-shirts that said things like "Paper Ho," "Keep Calm and Scrap On," "iScrap," "What Happens at the Crop Stays at the Crop," you get the idea.  Kind of cheesy!  Ha!

On Friday night there was an ice cream sundae bar which was such a fun treat.  Saturday night dinner was also offered which we ate prior to heading out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  All in all it was a lot of fun.  I'm glad we did it and I'm excited about my new scrapbook.  Now let's just hope I can keep motivated to get it done.

St. Patrick's Day

My friend Jaime lives on the Cape so we met up with her at Tommy Doyle's Pub in Hyannis.  It was pretty disappointing. . . I'm use to celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Boston and we don't mess around.  So needless to say the celebrating on the Cape was lame compared to Boston.  We still had a good time hanging out and of course I always enjoy drinking Magners! 

Happy Early Birthday to ME!!!!
Sunday on the way home from the Cape we stopped at the first Apple store we came to so that I could purchase the new iPad.  If you've read my blog for any length of time you know I've been obsessed with when the new iPad would come out.  I never treat myself to fancy gifts.  I have never bought myself something so expensive (besides a car or plane ticket) so this is a huge treat for me.  I'm so excited!!!  
I really love it so much.  Playing Draw Something and Words With Friends on the iPad is even better than playing on the iPhone! Ha!  I've only downloaded a few apps so far so please let me know if there is anything that is a must have for the iPad.  Right now I'm enjoying playing with it and look forward to reading a book and watching a show on it!  

The Apple store that we went to was in an outdoor mall and since it was about 70 degrees we walked around and shopped in a few stores.  I was pretty excited when I saw that a Pinkberry had opened.  I haven't been to one since a California vacation and I'm pretty happy that they are popping up all over Massachusetts now.  I got chocolate and blood orange and OMG so good!  I am totally going to be craving Pinkberry for a while now.  Good thing there isn't one super close to me.  



Monday, March 19, 2012

New Blog Design!!!!

Do you notice anything different about my blog? If you are viewing it in your reading you must go and check it out. Jenn from Munchkin Land Designs has made me a beautiful new blog design. 

 I LOVE it!!

I have a new button too!

Jodi Bean’s Blog

I have a weekend recap coming soon. . . Stacy is still here so I'm still enjoying my staycation with today and tomorrow off from work!  We had a great time on the Cape and have shopping on the agenda for today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is this month and I decided to make a wish list of all the things I need want!

I am SO excited that the new iPad comes out today!  I'm treating myself and buying this (thanks to my tax refund).  I won't be running to Apple today but plan to buy one in the next week!

I absolutely fell in love with this necklace the first time I saw it on the Stella and Dot website.  I am so excited about my upcoming MS fundraiser so that I can buy this and some of the proceeds will be donated to my MS fundraising.  Win win!

I already have a monogrammed iPhone case from Sweet Tea Paperie but I love this new one
This was on my Christmas Wish List but I never got around to buying it with Christmas money so now it is on my Birthday Wist list too!!

I think I would also like a pair of Toms but not sure which color.  I love their "One for One" program!  One of these days I'll have to go to Nordstrom to look at them and try on for size!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Paint Bar With Stacy

Stacy is here!!!!!  She arrived yesterday afternoon and I picked her up at the airport after work.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading to The Paint Bar for a night of painting and drinking wine.  Stacy has wanted to go to The Paint Bar ever since I told her about it last year!  She now says that she wants to start something like it in London.  Haha.  Maybe she'll have a career change!

We painted the "Irish Countryside" and the artist was inspired to do this painting by some pictures I emailed her from my Ireland vacations.  It was fun to paint.  When it came time to make the sheep I got a little nervous.  They are literally just dots and from far away they look good but close up they don't look like anything.  Ha!  Two of Stacy's former co-workers met us there which was nice for her.  They got to catch up while painting.  My sister-in-law, Jenn (aka The Paint Bar addict) came with one of her co-workers too!  It was a sold out event!

Here is a step-by-step progression of the painting.  I always think it is interesting to see how it comes together.  I'm by no means an artist but I'd say my painting came out pretty good.  Not sure where I'll hang it (for now it will go with the others that aren't hanging either)!

To read about the first time I went to The Paint Bar go here.

To read about the time Jenn and I took our mothers go here.

To read about our MS fundraiser at The Paint bar go here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MS Awareness Week - Day 3

Today I thought I would share this article with you.  Did you know that until recently the only treatment option for MS was injections?  Did you know that I have to give myself a shot once a week.  Not fun!  New treatment options are very exciting to those of us with MS and I'm hopeful that the oral medication discussed in this article may be an option for me in 2013!  That means in less than a year I may not have to give myself shots anymore.  Let's hope!!

The below article was printed in The Boston Globe on February 29, 2012.  The two women interviewed for this article were models with me in the MS Fashion Show!

Biogen Idec seeks OK for no-needle MS treatment

For 15 years, Susan Cohn-Child has injected herself with a multiple sclerosis drug at least once a week to keep the disease in check. But Cohn-Child and thousands of other MS patients may soon be able to replace their needles with a pill being developed by Biogen Idec Inc.

Following promising clinical trial results that sent Biogen Idec shares soaring last spring, the Weston biotechnology company yesterday filed a new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to sell the oral treatment, now known as BG-12. Most existing treatments for the autoimmune disorder, which affects about 400,000 people in the United States, require regular injections or intravenous infusions. One other oral treatment exists, but there is hope that the new Biogen Idec drug will prove a more effective option.

Cohn-Child, 47, a financial manager who volunteers with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise awareness about the disease, said the pill would “be a game changer,’’ especially for patients who have difficulty injecting themselves. The Acton mother currently uses Avonex, also made by Biogen Idec.
“This means you’re opening up the possibility for a whole other group of people to receive treatment who wouldn’t have considered it before,’’ Cohn-Child said.

Biogen Idec, a leader in MS medicines and the largest biotech based in Massachusetts, lost a race with Swiss company Novartis AG to market the first MS pill, but that has not lowered expectations for the new treatment.

“This has the potential to be a very important and a very big drug,’’ said Douglas E. Williams, executive vice president for research and development at Biogen Idec.

While there is no head-to-head data comparing Biogen Idec’s pill with the Novartis drug, called Gilenya, Biogen Idec’s version proved extremely safe and effective in testing and, if approved, is projected to generate strong sales as patients abandon current MS drugs, including Biogen Idec’s.

“This is just one more drug we can make available to patients so that when they have conversations with their doctors, we have a variety of offerings,’’ Williams said.

The company asked the FDA to grant priority review for the pill, which would result in a decision in six months rather than the standard 10. In either case, Biogen Idec would probably be able to start marketing it by the end of the year. Later this week, the company is also planning to apply for approval from European regulators to sell the pill, a process that could take a year.

Biogen Idec also disclosed yesterday that the FDA approved two dosing innovations for patients taking Avonex, an MS treatment that has been on the market for 15 years. One is an intramuscular autoinjector using a smaller needle that is easier for patients to tolerate. The other is a dosing regimen that reduces the incidence and severity of flu-like symptoms that the treatment can sometimes cause.

In the case of both Avonex and BG-12, “we’re trying to improve the patient experience,’’ Williams said. “It’s clearly a theme that we’re trying to put in place.’’ Biogen Idec also sells Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis drug for patients with advanced forms of the disease.

Michael Yee, a managing director at investment bank RBC Capital Markets, said that if the drug lives up to its potential, it could grab at least 20 percent of the MS market, as much as $3 billion annually. The pill’s price will not be set until the treatment is approved by the FDA.

The pill “could certainly be the biggest drug for Biogen,’’ said Yee, who was in New York yesterday attending a neurology panel hosted by RBC at which doctors spoke about the drug’s promise. He estimated that the overall market for MS drugs will grow from $11 billion today to $15 billion by 2016.

During clinical trials, the experimental drug worked especially well on the most common form of multiple sclerosis, helping to protect cells from damage and inflammation caused when the disease attacks the central nervous system.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis worsen over time and can range from numbness of limbs to paralysis. The disease is also marked by painful flare-ups.

Dr. Daniel Kantor, president of the Florida Society of Neurology, said one of his first reactions to BG-12 was “wow!’’ Kantor called the pill a potential “blockbuster in the MS market.’’
“BG-12 is going to fundamentally change how I approach [treating] multiple sclerosis,’’ he said.
At the MS Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, director Ellen Lathi said patients are just thrilled about the Biogen Idec pill.

“If we have something that’s even comparable to or better than the injectables available now and has excellent safety, wouldn’t most people want a pill?’’ Lathi said. “It’s a very exciting time.’’

Kingston resident Susan Howard said switching from Avonex to an oral treatment would help her regain some of the independence she has lost because of MS. Diagnosed six years ago, Howard said she injected herself with Avonex once a week for nearly a year before she hit a wall psychologically, and her hands started to shake too much for her to handle a needle. Since then, she has relied on nurses to administer her weekly shot.
“I can’t look at a needle any more,’’ Howard said. “I have to turn my head and say, ‘OK, just get it done quickly.’ But I persevere.’’

Even so, Howard said, Avonex often leaves her with flu-like symptoms, and the injections cause muscle aches - forcing her to cut back on gym workouts or forgo a night of dancing with friends. The new drug, she said, would lessen her reliance on others and increase her ability to move freely.

“To pop a pill,’’ Howard said, “it would be huge.’’

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MS Awareness Week - Day 2


In honor of MS Awareness Week will you please take 4 minutes to watch this?  
You will then be more aware about MS and that will make me happy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

MS Awareness Week

Today is the first day of MS Awareness Week.  It is such an important week for the MS Community.  One way we are raising awareness in Massachusetts is with 10,500 orange flags at Bernie and Phyl's to represent each person in Massachusetts who has MS.  Can you believe that in Massachusetts alone there are over 10,000 people with MS?  Crazy! 


I try to raise awareness on my blog all year long by writing many posts about living with MS, what it feels like to have MS, participating in events such as the Boston MS Walk and the Challenge Walk, hosting silent auctions and fundraiserstaking shots, being a model and so much more!

I hope that one day I won't have to blog about MS because it will be cured and none of us will have to deal with it in our lives.  Until then I will continue doing all I do to raise awareness and as much money as I can!

If you would like to donate to my fundraising for the Boston MS Walk go here.

If you would like to donate to my fundraising for the Challenge Walk go here.

What will you do to raise awareness about MS?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Hunger Games

 
I finished reading The Hunger Games on Thursday night.  For a book that started out very slow for me it finally got really got around page 200. . . I was hooked.  I really enjoyed it was "the games" began.  What a creative yet unusual novel.  Suzanne Collins has quite the active imagination!  I don't know where she came up with this concept but I've got to give her credit. . . I could not have predicted what was going to happen at any point.


So on Friday night after work I went to Target to buy Catching Fire (the 2nd book in the series of 3).  Of course I had to shop around a little bit and ended up spending $50 bucks on a bunch of things I needed.  Got to love Target - go in for one thing and end up buying twenty!

By the time I got settled in on Friday night it was late so I only read a handful of pages before going to bed.  Then on Saturday the plans I had got canceled at the last minute so I was unexpectedly free for the whole day which hardly ever happens.  It was just an invitation to read more!  I ended up reading the ENTIRE book on Saturday.  I couldn't stop.  It was SO GOOD.  SO much better than Hunger Games (in my opinion).  I liked it b/c it picked up right where Hunger Games left off so I was able to get into it immediately (unlike Hunger Games where the author has to set the story/background).

Again I would have never predicted what was going to happen in this book.  I'm still processing it all!  I could hardly fall asleep once I finished it b/c I couldn't stop thinking about it.  It was THAT good.  I of course got nothing else accomplished yesterday.  This is sometimes why I don't like to read b/c when I get into a good book I literally can't put it down until I'm finished.  This is fine on vacation when I have a lot of free time. . . but in real life not the best when I have a long "to do" list especially since Stacy is arriving on Wed and I need to clean my house!


So now I'm left with a decision.  Do I go and buy Mockingjay today or do I hold off so that I can get a few other things accomplished when I get home from work?  To be decided.  Somehow I don't think I'll be able to prevent my car from driving to Target on my way home. . .

I've had people tell me the 2nd book was their favorite and others tell me the 3rd was.  I can't wait to find out which one is my favorite!  What about you?  Have you read them?  Which is your favorite.

Now I just need to find someone to go see the movie with me when it comes out!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

one.
Today I went for a follow up appointment with my neurologist.  When I last saw him in January I was diagnosed with migraines and started on a new medication so he wanted to see me again to make sure it was working.  I'm pretty sure it is working but hard to tell because for the past couple of weeks I've had headaches but I'm thinking they are related to my current sinus infection.  Also the last time I was there I had routine blood work done.  Vitamin D level = great.  Vitamin B12 level = not great.  I have to add another pill to my routine and have my blood rechecked in May.  In May I will also have my annual/routine MRI. 

two.
I love wine and plan to drink plenty of it next week while I'm on my mini vacation/staycation with Stacy.
three.
My mom sent me this in the mail and I had a good laugh.  I literally have thought this way (many times).  Admit it you have too!?

four.
66 degrees at 3 PM on March 8th?  YES PLEASE!!!  Today was beautiful!  I'm SO ready for spring.  Even though we lose an hour of sleep this weekend I'm looking forward to having more light in the evenings.
five.
I ate fro you for dinner.  To me spring like weather means ice cream.  It had fruit toppings so it was healthy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WILW


I'm loving that my big MS Fundraiser with Sweet Tea Paperie and  Stella and Dot (my cousin Katelyn is a Stella and Dot stylist) is coming together.  Date confirmed.  Location reserved.  Flyer made.  Invitations in process.  Other details in process. . . it is going to be a great event and you're all invited either in person or online!  There will be many great deals and a portion of purchases will be donated to my fundraising efforts for the MS Challenge Walk that I'm doing in September.  More info to come.  I'm SO excited!!!

I'm loving that I'll be meeting up with my close friend Marisa in NYC to celebrate our birthdays.  My birthday is in March and Marisa's is in May.  So we are meeting in NYC for one night in April to celebrate.  It will be so fun to hang out and do some city things.  We hope to score some last minute tickets to a Broadway show.  Suggestions on what we should see?  If the weather is good we also plan to walk the Brooklyn Bridge which is something I've wanted to do for a while now!

I'm loving that I bought tickets for my mom and I to see Martina McBride this summer at the Cape Cod Melody Tent.  It is a small venue on the Cape and a great place to see a concert.  I've never been there but have always wanted to go.  I seem to always wait until summer to try to get tickets to see someone and then it is too late.  This year I was on the ball!  Yay!  Darius Rucker is going to be there too and I would enjoy seeing him as well so if anyone is interested let me know.

I'm loving that I'm taking a break from the gluten free diet.  For the time being I'm eating whatever I want and enjoying it.  Decisions to be made regarding gluten free diet and/or dairy free diet in the future.  For now let's eat all the foods I've been avoiding!

I'm loving that Stacy will be here to visit one week from today!  We have a fun girls weekend planned and I'm taking a couple days off from work.  It should be a wonderful mini-vacation!

I'm loving that today information will finally be release about the newest iPad.  I.CANNOT.WAIT!  I plan to buy one as soon as I can get my hands on one!

I'm loving the 1st draft of my new blog design and I can't wait for the big unveiling!  

What are you loving this week?  Link up with This Kind Of Love.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meeting Blog Friends In Real Life. . .

Last night I met "Poekitten" from Many Waters.  She lives in Oregon but is originally from Massachusetts (she actually grew up in a town very close to the town where I grew up).  She is home visiting family and friends so we had the opportunity to meet for dinner!


We met at a restaurant that is somewhat new.  It is called Wicked.  I figured it was perfect for two Massachusetts gals to eat at a placed called wicked.  It was my favorite word until I went to college in the south and got made fun of and immediately stopped saying it!  Ha!  Anyways where was I?  Oh yeah dinner.  We ordered our food and passed on drinks (since Poekitten is expecting a baby girl in July)!!  We talked about everything from babies to blogging to travel to adoption. . . you name it we covered it.  

After dinner we walked over to  J.P. Licks for ice cream.  It may have been freezing out but who can pass up the delicious J.P. Licks?  Not these two girls.  We sat and talked some more and it was a lot of fun.  I'm not even sure how we can across each other through blogging but we were talking about how we both read/follow totally different bloggers.  She follows mostly military spouse blogs since her husband is currently in the navy.  She is the only military blog that I follow.  Go figure.  I love how blogging can bring people together.  We never would have known each other if it weren't for blogging!

It was a really nice experience to meet up in real life.  I know many other bloggers do it all the time.  I highly recommend it!  

Hopefully I'll be making a trip to Oregon in Aug/Sept to visit a grad school friend and if I do I'll get to see Poekitten on the left coast!

P.S. The cold I've had for 3 weeks is actually a sinus infection.  Went to the doctor yesterday afternoon and got antibiotics.  Glad I took the recommendation of a coworker and went b/c I had no idea what a sinus infection felt like!  Hopefully I'll be on the mend soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fabulous Weekend

This weekend was fabulous and I contribute that to two main things - no work and mimosas.  Enough said.

FRIDAY:
Friday night I made a rare appearance out!  I know shocking.  I'm usually much too tired to venture out but I think knowing that I didn't have to work over the weekend gave me an extra boost of energy.  I met some friends out at a bar for a couple hours.  It was low key and nice to catch up.  I am still doing the gluten free thing so I ordered a Pear Magners since cider is gluten free!  I LOVE Pear Magners and get so happy when bars have it.  By the way have I ever told you that in Ireland Magners is called Bulmers?  Fun fact for ya today!
SATURDAY:
Saturday was a lazy relaxing day.  I woke up at 7:30 and by 9:30 was ready for a nap.  That is normal right?  Don't answer that.  When I woke up I decided to watch the Moneyball.  I LOVED it!  Have you seen it?  It is such a GREAT movie.  I love good sports (especially baseball) movies.  I have several favorite "baseball movies" and this is now being added to the top of the list.  The movie is based on a true story which I was not familiar with since I don't follow the Oakland A's.  Brad Pitt was great in it as Billy Beane.  It got me thinking. . . if Billy Bean had taken the GM job with the Red Sox how would that have changed things for them?  Hmmmmm. . . (for those of you who don't follow the Red Sox went on to win the World Series 2 years after he turned down the job breaking the "curse").  Anyways the point is that it is a very good movie/story.  I highly recommend it.
Finally after my nap and movie watching I found the energy to head out and run some errands.  I make a stop at Glutenus minimus for some gluten free cupcakes to bring to the event I was attending Sunday.  So happy that there is an awesome gluten free bakery so close to my house.  
Saturday night I spent a little time with Hunger Games.  I didn't get too far into the book before I got tired (I know pathetic but I have a cold and that just doesn't mix well with MS)!  So I'm not sucked into the book yet and I'm just waiting for it to happen.  They hype of this book and making me so anxious to get to "that part."  I love when I get to the part of a book where you literally can't put it down and will stay up all night reading it.  Hopefully that won't happen to be on a work night.  Haha!

SUNDAY:
Sunday morning I woke up and went to church.  Today I went to one of the more popular masses (as opposed to last week when I went at 5 PM) and I must say I was pretty shocked to see how empty it was.  Especially during Lent I would expect to see more people at church.  Not sure if it is just this particular church or what but an observation I made. . .

Oh and funny story.  Of course I woke up later then planned so had to rush to shower and get ready for church.  I went into bathroom and when I flipped on the bathroom light the bulb blew out.  So I got a chair and pulled off the cover to see what kind of bulb was in there.  Then went and got one and went back into the bathroom.  While I was screwing it in it fell out and landed (fortunately) into my sink but shattered into a billion little pieces.  What a mess and of course it was my last 100 watt bulb.  So got another bulb - 70 watt would have to do.  Then I had to get the vacuum and clean up the mess.  So now I was really running late!  Always has to be some excitement in my house.  (By the way in the last couple of months I broke a glass jar candle in my room and a Christmas ornament bulb in my hallway so guess this is my "third" thing for the old sang of "things comes in threes.")

After church I packed up my cupcakes and headed to the Fashion Plates brunch.  It was the first time all the models and committee members have been together since the big day last November.  It was so nice to see everyone and catch up.  I must say it is an outstanding group of woman!  I love being with a group of women who all have MS and forgetting that any of us do because there are so many other amazing things going on in everyone's lives.  One woman shared her recent vacation experiences at Canyon Ranch where she zipped lined and made fire (without matches), another shared her single parenting adventures, another shared about upcoming events she is organizing at the university where she works. . . and it goes on and on.  It just reinforces what I already know - MS does not stop people from living.  These women are perfect examples of that.  The byline for Fashion Plates is "Real Women Real Stories" and it just makes so much sense.  All of us are so much more than just MS!  I'm so grateful that I got involved with this event and I'm already looking forward to being on the committee and in the fashion show again. 
After the brunch mimosas (can you still call them mimosas when the glass is filled with champagne and then a "splash" of OJ is added?  Just wondering!  Ha!)  I really needed a nap.  So I took a nap and feel asleep thinking about how nice it was to have the whole weekend off from working.  So thankful I was able to get a sub for my supervised visitation case today.  After my nap I went to a friend's house for a visit and to pick up some scrapbooking supplies for Stacy and I.  We are heading to the Cape for a "scrapbooking weekend" while she is here visiting. 

And that folks is what I call a FABULOUS WEEKEND!  
Hope yours was too!
  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Remembering. . .


Please pray for my friend Stacy today as she is remembering her mother Caroline who died one year ago today.  

Stacy I wish you weren't so far away so I could be with you today.  I'm so happy you will be here in just over a week.  Love you and sending you hugs! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Does Your Family Eat Dinner Together?

Happy Friday!  This morning I was at my monthly board meeting for MAAV and was given this flyer for a cool opportunity.  I thought I would pass along the info to my lovely blog readers in case you are interested in checking it out.  You could be on tv!  How cool would that be? 
*(I have no personal connection to this company or project.  I am not endorsing it just spreading the message)!

POWDERHOUSE PRODUCTIONS
IS
CASTING A NEW TV SHOW
ABOUT
FAMILIES LOOKING TO RECONNECT OVER DINNER

Do you miss eating dinner together as a family?
Is everybody on different schedules?  Plugged-in?  Tuned out?
Or just out of touch?
Then this is the sow for YOU!

Powderhouse Productions is looking for REAL FAMILIES from all walks of life that want to reconnect through preparing and eating dinner. . . TOGETHER!

Actual studies show that eating dinner together can change everything!
Better grades, higher self-esteem, improved literacy, lower risk of substance abuse.

If you and your family are interested in being considered for this project here is what you do:
1.  Brief written bio
a.  Family member's names and ages
b.  A little background on your family
2.  Photos of your family
3.  Contact info (address, email, phone numbers)
4.  A 3-5 minute video (5 minute maximum)
a.  Each family member should introduce themselves
(name, age, job/grade, etc) directly to the camera
b.  Tell how your family would benefit from being part of this project
c.  Please film yourselves having a dinner (or other meal) together
to show how your family interacts, where you eat, what you eat, what you talk about,
what your struggles might be, what you'd like to change
d.  HAVE FUN! Show us your personalities!
(Please do not put any music in your video)

Please email your bio, photos and video to crosenthal@powderhouse.net
If the video is too large to email you can post it on YouTube and email the link.

Submissions due no later than March 6, 2012
Call for more info at 617.284.2850.

Powderhouse
212 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday Thoughts


One
Parenthood.  Do you watch?  If not then you are SO missing out.  It is by far one of my favorite shows right now.  It is one of the only dramas I watch.  This season has been especially special to me as they have had the adoption story line.  The five + years I spent as an adoption social worker were amazing years.  I still find it difficult to put the experience into words.  Adoption will always hold a special place in my heart.  So as I watched last weeks episode I felt pretty angry with the way it ended.  But now after seeing the finale I feel different.  I cried through most of the show.  Wow!  I know it is only a tv show but it is so "real" that I can help but feel connected to the actors.  My heart broke wide open for Julia and Joel when Zoe chose to parent her baby.  The scene between Zoe and Julia was so raw.  I loved it.  I can honestly tell you that was real.  I've been there with birth mother and adoptive mothers.  I've seen girls change their mind just like that.  And they really didn't know.  They didn't know how much they would love their baby or how hard it would be to place him/her for adoption.  Thank you to the creators of the show for doing an adoption fall through story line "right."  So often we see crazy, dramatic Lifetime movies about birthmothers "stealing" their baby back. . . so thankful they could show Zoe as a strong, young woman who loved her baby.  While watching this I felt the same stress/anxiety/worry/heart ache/stomach ache I use to feel when I was working as an adoption social worker.  I had forgotten how intense those feelings were.  Wow.  Crazy stuff.

Two
Junior Mints are gluten free.  As are Skittles and Starbursts.  I know this because I've eaten all three this week.  Do I have a sugar problem?  Maybe.  I think the hardest part of being gluten free is not being able to eat breads, muffins, bagels, cookies, etc.  So I CRAVE sugar hence the candy obessession this week.  Don't worry though- Junior Mints are a low fat snack.  Or at least that is what I keep telling myself.  Ha!

Three 
Are you shocked and amazed that I've blogged four days in a row?!  I know I am!  Hopefully I can keep it up.  In other blog news I'll get to see a 1st draft of my new blog design this weekend.  I.CAN'T.WAIT.  I'm so excited to see how it will look.  I love the colors I chose!  Jenn from Munchkin Land Designs does great work from what I've seen on my friend's blogs so I am confident mine will look great too.  And in more blog related news. . . I'm going to do my first blog sponsorship.  Katie from Keep Calm & Carry On is accepting sponsors for the first time this month and I'm honor that she chose me to be one of her sponsors.  I have read Katie's blog for a long time and I love it.  She keeps it real and keeps it fun.  So watch for some fun stuff coming up over there!

Four
I did it.  I'm not afraid to admit it.  I've jumped on the Hunger Game Bandwagon.  Have you?  Well SO many of you have that I can't avoid it any longer.  Everyone is talking about this book so I have to see what it is all about.  I stopped at Target on my way home from work last night and picked up my very own copy.  Love that it is kinda large print (guessing that is b/c it is a "young adults" series).  I'm hoping I like it as much as y'all have.  I was not a fan of Harry Potter or the Twilight series so holding out much more hope for this. . . Have you read it?  What do you think?  

Five
It snowed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Shocking I know.  Considering how mild this winter has been I actually don't mind the snow as much as I usually would.  Not saying I want this to happen any more this year but I can deal with this once.  It does look pretty for a little while.  (Now here's hoping that it will all melt tomorrow!)