Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chocolate Lovers Beware!

There is a new(ish) chocolate shop in Boston!

Last night I had the chance to attend a tasting at Cocoanuts in the North End.

Yes, you read that right.  A chocolate tasting.  And champagne was served too.  Score!

{I most definitely did not spill a glass of said champagne on the floor. Nope. Not me.
#butterfingers #punintended}

 The shop is a chocolate lovers paradise.  There are so many different types of chocolate and candy.  

I was really tempted to buy book of these but I resisted!  Sounds really good!

For you non-chocolate lovers (gasp) there are other fun candy treats too.

 We were able to sample the Lark Shortbread cookies.  We tried coconut and salted rosemary.  Both were good but I liked the coconut the best.

We got to taste three different chocolates from yes chocolates.  Not only were the chocolates good but best tag line ever. . . 

"never say no to delicious".

Too cute!  The creator was there and was able to tell us about her philosophy.  It was nice to meet the face behind the chocolate.

(Oh and that chocolate w/ the toothpick in it was a brownie ball.  So good)!

I saved the best for last.  This was by far my favorite of the night.  I bought some of the sea salt toffee to take home.  The ladies of little bits toffee (sisters-in-law) know how to make some delicious toffee.

I even bought some to bring home and may have eaten half the box for lunch.  No lie. 

I will be buying this again since I know my current box will be gone by tomorrow tonight.

Tara and Jen, the owners, were so sweet to open their shop for Boston Bloggers.  They were both so nice especially since they didn't make me feel bad for spilling my champagne all over their pretty floor.  

I love that they have been best friends since they were kids and follow a dream to own a chocolate shop.  Working with chocolate and your best friend?!  #winwin

So next time you are in the North End skip the cannoli at Mike's Pastry and walk one block to Cocoanuts for a yummy treat!  You won't regret the visit.



Thanks to Kerri and Jen from @BlogAndTweetBos for organizing another great event!

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

#26Acts (Days 22-26)


Read my other #26Acts posts too!

Day 22
I bought this cute little plant at Trader Joe's and put it on my co-worker's desk.
She has been under a lot of stress so thought it would cheer her up.  A couple of days later when it was practically dead from lack of water we both had a good laugh.  Happy to report that it came back to life w/ a little TLC! :)

Day 23
I signed up to volunteer at the MS Climb to the Top in March.  This is a big deal b/c I have to be there at 6AM.  Hello early morning volunteer gig!  Katelyn is volunteering w/ me and breakfast w/ mimosas is in the plan when we finish.  A lot of my friends are doing this event so it should be a good time.

Day 24
I downloaded the Charity Miles app on my iPhone.
Have you guys heard of this?  It works for running, walking and biking.  For every mile you go they make a donation to a charity of your choice (from their list).  I chose Habitat for Humanity.  I love this!  So now while I'm training for the MS Challenge Walk my walking will be making an even bigger difference!

Day 25
 I gave up a really good parking space!
You know what I'm talking about.  You see it and get really excited.  A good parking space close to your destination.  In a city like Boston this is no easy feat.  But ya know. . . sometimes the right thing to do it to give it to another nearby car.  Not only did I do a kind act but I got myself some extra exercise by having to park further away!
 
Day 26
I made a donation to my friend Sheryl who is participating in the Climb to the Top!


And there ya have it!  Twenty-six days went by in a flash.

Which of my "acts" was your favorite?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Update

And just like that it is Monday again.  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  
Mine was nice but of course too short!

This Weekend I. . . went to "Jumpstart Your Fundraising" at the MS office.  Even though I've been doing fundraising for MS for several years I thought I could use some fresh ideas.  There were many veterans there sharing all of their secrets for raising the big bucks!

This Weekend I. . . went disco bowling.  Enough said.

My bowling buddies were Sammy and Jake (and 50 other screaming, crazy children).
Jake won both games.  We had the rails up to block the side gutters and I still couldn't beat him.  Ha!
We had a lot of fun.  It is the most expensive dive bowling alley I've ever been to.  For 3 people to bowl one hour cost $37 bucks! 

After bowling we went for Mexican.  Going out w/ these two kids is like going out w/ my adult friends.  They eat like grown ups - requesting guac for an app and flan for dessert.  Too funny!

We came home to find Lucy {aka: the most spoiled dog in the world} on the couch covered in pillows and blankets.  Too cute!

This Weekend I. . . went to a brunch with all the "Fashion Plates" ladies.  I haven't seen most of them since the fashion show in Nov so it was nice to catch up.  We were gifted beautiful calendars with numerous pictures of the models.  I can't wait to hang it up!
Following brunch I went home and took a 3 hour nap and then watched the SAG awards.  So happy for Jennifer Lawrence and Argo!  




Friday, January 25, 2013

Happies and Crappies





Scissors and a Whisk: Happies and Crappies Link Up


TGIF!

Blogging Friday evening for the night crowd.

Happy reading!


Happies. . .

Not only did I get tickets to this AMAZING concert today but. . .

Rachel is coming to Boston for it!!!!!!!!

I'm SO excited!  We also plan to go to Fenway Park for a Red Sox/Rangers game.
It is going to be an awesome few days.

This Winter Sangria that I had last night at Back Deck.

Delicious!  I had two and BELIEVE me they were well deserved after the week I  had at work (see crappies).  Dinner was great too.  I love checking out new restaurants in Boston and will definitely go back there again.

After eating dinner and drinking sangria, Jenn and I saw Sister Act the musical.

It was really fun.  I've actually never seen the movie but knew the basics of the story.  It started out a little slow but as soon as the nuns started singing and dancing it was awesome!

 The hour spent here tonight after work was easily the highlight of my week.  I really need a massage!  


Crappies. . .

This week at work was THE WORST!
Not only did I have to work all 5 days since we don't get MLK Jr. Day as a holiday but it was super stressful.  I really wish I could share w/ y'all about one case in particular.  I can't make this stuff up and I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see/hear it myself.  Totally crazy/stressful.

It has been a tad on the cold side in Boston this week.  Ok weather gods please send some warmer winds our way thankyouverymuch!  I do not like days that will "feel like" minus 10.

And lastly, due to previously mentioned super stressful work week my house is now a mess.  I was way too tired/drained each night when I got home to do anything.  Dirty dishes in the sink, clothes are over the bed, unopened mail, etc.


Fortunately the happies totally outweighed the crappies this week.

This is always great news.

I'm so excited for the weekend! 









Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Fact of Me


 
A little late to the game. . . but better late than never!
 
Here are a few fun facts (aka: things you've been dying to know about me)!
 
{one}
I've donated my hair 3 times to 3 different organizations.
I like to spread the wealth the hair.
 
{two}
Every (real) job I've had so far has been for a non-profit.
(Habitat for Humanity, Mental Health Clinic, Adoption Agency and Hospital)
 
{three} 
 I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life, except for four years of college in North Carolina and one year following college in California.  I like both of those states better - mainly b/c they are warmer.  But my family is in MA so I stick around despite the miserable winters!
 
{four}
I LOVE country music (blame it on the years in NC)!
 
{five}
I hate eggs.  No matter how they are cooked.  Yuck!
 
{six}
I love sangria, ice cream, pad thai, french fries, and ice cream.
 
{seven}
I think giving back to your community is very important.  I volunteer regularly.  Everyone should!
Currently I volunteer with MAAV, NMSS Greater New England Chapter and AFC Mentoring.
In the past I have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, my college alumni chapter and Hole in the Wall Gang Camp just to name a few.  There are so many amazing organizations out there to get involved with!
 
{eight}
In undergrad I studied abroad for a semester in London (best four months ever)!
In grad school I took a class that traveled to Romania which was an unforgettable experience.
 
{nine}
I love shows that include singing - American Idol, The Voice, The Sing Off (so sad it is no longer on), Smash, Nashville. . . this may be the first time I don't watch AI - I'm just not into the new judges.  
 
{ten}
I LOVE to travel.  I will go anywhere!  I'm always planning my next getaway.  I really would love to go to Africa and Australia (but since you need a lot of money and a lot of time neither of those will happen anytime soon).  Someday!
 
 
 
 
  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

#26Acts (Days 15-21)


My acts of kindness continues. . . I'm on week 3 of #26Acts and only 5 more days to go!  

To read about days 1-7 go here and for days 8-14 go here.

Day  15
On my way home from work I decided to stop at the car wash.  It is the kind where you pull into the area and use the hose to wash the car (not the drive through kind).  So of course I needed to get quarters.

I decided to leave 4 quarters in the machine so that the next person would find them!  So fun!

Day 16
 I went to the Loft after work since I had 2 savings cards that were going to expire.  You spend $50 for each one and get $25 off.  Great deal especially since you can use it on sale items. 

Unfortunately (of fortunately for my bank account) I didn't find anything I wanted to by.  But I didn't want the savings cards to go to waste so I offered them to another shopper!

Day 17

I donated 3 winter hats and 9 pairs of gloves to Cradles for Crayons which is an awesome organization in Boston.  I spent $6 bucks since these items were all on clearance at Target and I know they will help to keep a few kids a bit warmer this winter.

Day 18
On this day while getting ready to pull into the VERY busy Dunkin Donuts parking lot I stopped prior to making a left hand turn and let two cars come out of the parking lot even though this meant another car making a right turn into the parking lot got in front of me in the drive-through line.

This may not seem like a big deal but when you are in a rush to get to work it is!

Day 19
On Saturday when I was at my parent's house for dinner I made sure to grab these 3 dresses that I wore when I was a bridesmaid in 3 different weddings.  Now we all know I will never wear these dresses again (in fact I haven't since the weddings which were all over 5 years ago)!

There is an organization in MA called Belle of the Ball.  Anton's Cleaners collects all of the dresses, cleans them, and donates them to girls in need to wear to their proms.  I think all 3 of these dresses are pretty and I hope some girls enjoy wearing them!

Day 20
On this day I wrote a note to my friend Amber who lives in Atlanta just to say hi and let her know I was thinking of her!  (Hoping she doesn't see this on my blog prior to getting the card in the mail).  Either way I hope this mail brings a smile to her face.

Who doesn't love getting "fun" mail!?

Day 21
I had to park on the street while going to Trader Joe's so after putting money in my own meter I figured I would put money in the one next to mine (which was out of time).  So for .50 cents I saved someone from getting a ticket!  Such an easy thing to do!

Being kind can be SO easy.  It is also a lot of fun! 

Only 5 more days left and I need to make sure I do some GREAT things.  Please share your ideas in the comments.  I would love to hear what you think!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Not A Long Weekend For Me. . .

Well it is MLK Jr. Day and I'm at work.  Hospitals don't close and today isn't considered a "holiday" for me.  Oh well.  My two day weekend was relaxing and low key which was nice.

Friday night Emily and I went to Emerald Lounge at The Revere Hotel for drinks.  It is one of the newer hotels in Boston and neither of us had been to this bar for drinks.

I had the grapefruit cosmo and it was SO good.  We had a nice time and it was good to catch up since we hadn't talked since before Christmas!

 Saturday I was up at 6:30 AM to head to my hometown.  I had to drop my car off b/c there was a recall.  I made the most of my time at "home" and had my hair cut.

Over three inches gone (please excuse the awkward self portrait)!  I kept going back and forth on a trim vs. a chop.  My hair grows really fast so I went for the chop!

I then spent the rest of the day relaxing at my parent's house while waiting for my car to be done and for our family Thanksgiving dinner in January to be ready!

We normally do a family Thanksgiving the weekend after Thanksgiving (since Timmy, Jenn, Peyton and Ella aren't w/ us on the actual day) but my mom had an injury and couldn't cook then so we delayed it until this weekend.

It was SO worth the wait!!!!

Oh and even better is that she sent us all home with LEFTOVERS!  Yay!

So apple pie for breakfast on Sunday was of course what I HAD to eat!

Sunday was a relaxing day spent mostly in my bed.  I had a long to-do list but being lazy won out.

I did receive a phone call from my credit card company, Capital One, to let me know they suspected fraud.  They were right.  Someone in NY had tried to use my card three times!  So pleased w/ Capital One for catching it.  They are mailing me a new card which I should have by Wed.

The bad news is that my debit card was also compromised this week.  So that was canceled on Friday and I have to wait 10 days for a new one.  So now I'm left w/ about $40 bucks in cash until the new cards arrive.

I'm on a spending freeze not by choice.  Ha!

Guess I'll be needing to run my credit reports too.  People that do this are creeps!

It would have been so much more fun to share this picture today if the Pats were going to the Superbowl.  Oh well.  I guess other teams deserve a turn too.

Happy Monday!
Tune in tomorrow for week 3 of my #26Acts!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things I (don't) Love Thursday


 
Happy Thursday everyone.  We've almost made it through another week!
  
Today I thought I would share a few things that are on my dislike list. . . 
 
{one}
The ND football player's (fake) dead girlfriend.
Don't know what I'm talking about?  Read this article and you'll understand.  I just don't get it.  How it this "person" his girlfriend if he never even met her?  They just emailed and talked on the phone?  I don't get it.  Don't you have to be like really smart to go to ND?  Wouldn't he figure it out?  And who is evil enough to be the one playing the "joke" on said football player?  I just don't get it.  Oh I said that already.
 
{two}
Lance Armstrong finally coming clean.
Really!?  After all this time he has finally admitted to doping.  After 10 years of lying about it why admit it now?  We all new he was lying anyways.  I really like(ed) Lance and all he did for cancer awareness and research.  His doping doesn't change all the good he has done.  But I don't like the lying.  Not such a great role model anymore.
 
{three}
Not being able to blog freely.
I've very honest on my blog.  I blog about my life and what you see is what you get.  But there is a huge part of my life that I can't freely talk about on my blog. . . my job.  There are a few reasons for this.  Mainly, my work is confidential and I would have to change a lot of info to talk about patients/clients.  Boy would you guys love some of the stories if I could share.  Additionally I don't know who reads my blog.  Maybe a co-worker or maybe even a patient/client?  So I have to be careful about what I say.  I would love to bitch about work from time to time but I think that could be looked at as rather unprofessional by some.  Sigh.
 
 {four}
The fighting over guns.
Obama unveiled his gun control proposal yesterday.  Why can't we all just get along?  Why can't we all realize that there is a happy medium.  Gun control does not mean that your right to bare arms will be taken away.  The point of gun control is to keep guns out of the hands of the crazy people.  Why does it have to turn into a liberal vs. conservation issue?  Let's just make the US a safer place to be.  Oh and while we're at it let's improve our mental health system.  I know, brilliant idea.
 
 
That is all for today my friends.
Please feel free to share what things you don't like on this Thursday! 
Have a great day! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snow

I woke up to snow today.  Anyone who knows me knows I do not like snow.  Yes it is pretty.  Then it is not.  It turns slushy and muddy and gross.  Yuck!  Boston is only getting a few inches so I can handle it.  But not happy about it!

That's all for today folks.  Flu season continues which means the hospital is packed with sick people and I'm super busy!  

Happy Wednesday.  Hope it is sunny where you are!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#26Acts (Days 8-14)

#26Acts continues to go well.  I've had to get a little more creative in week 2!

If you haven't read about my kind acts for days 1-7 go here first.
  

Day 8
I made brownies with peanut butter chips and mini peanut butter cups which are like crack.  Seriously I couldn't stop eating them but had to so I would have enough to bring in for my co-workers!

I wanted to do something nice for the Case Managers I work with as they have been under a lot of stress.  They were really appreciative of the afternoon treat!

Day 9
I found a great post on My three bittles. with a list of 160 acts of kindness.

I got the idea for today's act from that list.  I bought A Cup Of Joe For A Joe for just $2!  I had never heard of this program before and thought it was such a neat idea.

Day 10
I bought a coloring book and box of crayons for $2 and put them in the ER waiting room!  So simple yet it should provide some kids with a little distraction!

Day 11
I bought this plum colored Stella and Dot inspired necklace from Bridget's Boutique via VeryJane and Bridget is donating all the proceeds to Sandy Hook.

So this is an act of kindness where I get something too!  But I was really motivated to buy the necklace due to the donation part.  Such a great idea.  I can't wait to get the necklace!  (Pretty sure there are still some available on VeryJane so go make your donation!)

Day 12
This has been my FAVORITE day so far!  I went to Dunkin Donuts in the morning.  I left everything in my car (purse, phone, money) and only took my gift card with me.  I hurried into the store and on my way in noticed a man standing outside asking for something (I'm guessing money).

Once inside while standing in line I thought to myself that I could help him. . . so I went back outside and told him that I didn't have any money on me (which was true) but that I had a giftcard and would be happy to buy him something.  He asked for an ice coffee.  Since it was such a warm day (in the 50s) I decided on ice coffee too.  I got on each one and brought it out to him.

He gave me a big toothless smile and said, "You're a sweetheart.  THANK YOU."  He was so appreciative and honestly it made my day.  I couldn't stop smiling afterwards.  Such a simple act - spending $2 on a cup of coffee. . . but made his day!

Oh and so much better then just paying for the person behind you in the drive through!

{And I totally would have asked him if I could take a picture of him w/ his coffee but as I mentioned my phone was in the car.  Oh well!}

Day 13
On Sunday I was out doing errands and I noticed a "dollar store" so I ran in and place three 1 dollar bills around the store.  I placed them in places where I hope kids will find them.  I was trying to be so sneaky while doing it so nobody would see me!

I only wish I had attached the #26Acts paper to them so that people would know it was ok to take them.

Day 14
Yesterday I did something for someone I know.  I sent an email to my blog friend Rachel.  About a month ago she was robbed and shared about it recently on her blog.  I wanted her to know how proud I was of her for being brave enough to share about her experience.  I also have been impressed by how positive she has been during the whole experience.  That was the basics of it. . . the rest is private! :)

Most of the things I have done have been for "strangers" and I decided I didn't want to forget my friends/family so it felt nice to do something kind for someone I know.



I would say Week 2 was a success!  I'm half way through this project now.  I only hope I can keep the creative juices flowing!  If you have any ideas for me please share in the comments.

PAY IT FORWARD!

What kind act have you done today?