Life Lately {August 2014}

August was yet another crazy month.

Life Lately

I had a total of two weekends with minimal plans at the beginning of the month, so I tried to soak up as much spontaneity as I could. We kicked off that first weekend with an impromptu get together at our friend Sam’s parents’ house. Sam lives in DC and was home for the weekend, so his parents hosted a lot of friends and family. They own an organic farm in Wrentham, so it was thrilling to go to a dinner party and pile my plate like this:

Sam's Parents House

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to join my friends Liz and Alice at a btone class in Lexington.

btone fitness lexington

We took the Tone N Torch class, which was an awesome combination of cardio blasts and strength training exercises on the Megaformer machines. I used my free ClassPass trial to attend this class, but I’m sad to say that I am officially the worst ClassPass user in the entire world! This has nothing to do with ClassPass not being awesome (um, hello, it gives you access to so many AMAZING studios around the city), but for my crazy schedule this year, I really didn’t get a chance to put it to good use. Several of the studios are smack in the middle of the city, and it’s hard for me to commute into the city when I work outside of Boston. Unfortunately, this spring and summer I’ve had to choose the convenience of working out close to home over trying new fitness things in the city to maximize on time. ClassPass, I’m sorry that I can’t give you a fair review on F&F, but maybe you’ll let me try again someday!!

After my Saturday morning workout, I remember having a day to just LOUNGE, and then Tim and I had a date night in the city. We tried Merchant, and even though the food and drinks did not disappoint, the vibe was a bit slow and empty. I thought maybe it was just the night, but I went with my friends from home a couple of weeks later only to find the same thing. Meh.


On Sunday, we headed back into the city to meet up with my friends Meghan and Erin because Meg was in town from DC! We grabbed brunch at Temazcal by the seaport, and then spent the rest of the day having a Sunday Funday at Harpoon Brewery. It was so great to catch up with these friends!

Harpoon Brewery TourHarpoon Brewery

The following week I had a really awesome Thursday night out with my old roommates. Slesh, Katrina, Bridget, and I met at Gather downtown for dinner and drinks. Highly recommend! I also asked the girls that night to be in my wedding, and you bet we caused a scene. More on that in another post, but that night was exactly what I needed.

Gather Boston

That weekend included two days of some much-needed beach and sun time along with dinner out with my friends from home at Papagayo.

Carson Beach

Then things picked right back up again! There was one weekend in August where I had a wedding, a bridal shower, and my dad’s 60th birthday party all in 24 hours.

Cristin and Andy’s wedding was so beautiful and BOSTON! Check out this view from our hotel room.

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

They got married in a church located in Cristin’s hometown, but the party was under a tent at the Hyatt Harborside. Cristin looked beautiful, and it was a fun night seeing friends I used to work with! We barely get to see each other anymore.

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

Cristin and Andy's Wedding

The next morning I woke up early to book it to my friend Patrice’s bridal shower. Unfortunately, since it was the same day as my dad’s 60th birthday party, I couldn’t make it to the luncheon part, but Patrice’s bridesmaids organized a fun little pre-shower paint party at the Paint Bar for her. I was happy to at least be able to make it to part of Patrice’s special day. We painted flowers, and the colors of the painting were chosen to match the colors for the wedding. I loved this idea so much.

Paint Bar for Patrice's Shower

After the shower I rushed home to prep a few things, then Tim and I made our way to my parents’ house for my dad’s birthday party. We had a lot of fun with family, ate and drank, danced and played games in the yard, and reminisced as my dad opened his gifts. I put together a memory book for him where each guest submitted a few of their favorite memories of my dad. I called it Sixty Plus Memories For Sixty Years of Chuck.

Dad's 60th Birthday

Dads 60th Birthday

Dads 60th BirthdayDads 60th Birthday

The following weekend brought me to New Jersey for my friend Erica’s bridal shower! On Friday night, Bridget, Erica, Kelly, and I stayed at Erica’s parents’ condo. We had a lovely meal, toasted champagne, and just caught up. The shower was held at Erica’s godmother’s beautiful home, and the weather held out for us! It was such a great day celebrating one of my best friends, and I plan to recap it more soon because I have so many awesome pictures from the day.

Erica's Bridal Shower

After the shower, Slesh and I stayed at her parents’ house in Connecticut to break up our ride home. It was another great night of just sitting back and chatting over wine. It’s funny how sometimes it takes traveling to NJ or CT to slow down, huh?

The end of August was spent in full wedding planning mode. I felt like all I did was research venues, call venues, and go to venues, but at least I had my birthday weekend to wrap up the month. I turned 29, and let me tell you that 29 is completely and utterly UNEXCITING. And I loved every second of it. It was the first year I didn’t care to celebrate much at all and wanted something really low key. Tim got me flowers and tickets to go see The Lion King in October, which I’m psyched about because I’ve never seen that show, and I’ve always wanted to go.

Birthday Weekend: 29

On Saturday, we spent the day with my parents first at a couple of venues but then at Duxbury beach for the afternoon. At night we had dinner and drinks at The Olde Salte House in Cohasset. On Sunday (my actual birthday), we headed up to Newburyport for a day trip with Slesh and Will. We got some more beach time in, and then grabbed a couple of drinks at The Black Cow on the waterfront. I loved it there, and I’m not sure how I hadn’t discovered it before!

29th Birthday in Newburyport29th Birthday in Newburyport

After our day trip, we headed home and Tim took me out to dinner at Dante. We were going to eat on their outdoor patio that overlooks the Charles, but it was pouring so we had to stay put inside. I was bummed, but we still had a great night out and enjoyed an awesome meal and a bottle of wine. After dinner, we continued our night at one of our favorite bars down the street, Mead Hall.

29th Birthday Dinner and Drinks

And that was my August!

–Let’s chat–
How did August treat you? Even though we’re well into September, what’s something great that already happened this month or what else are looking forward to?

I was happy to kick off my September with a week off from work and a long weekend getaway to Portland, one of our favorite places. We also had a free weekend last weekend and another one coming up this weekend. I’m excited that September has slowed down, but I cannot wait for Erica and Chris’s wedding festivities in NYC in less than two weeks! Eeek!

Katrina’s Bridal Shower and Bachelorette

I’m playing more catch up today! Today’s recap is dedicated to my friend Katrina’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. Since both of these festivities took place on the Saturday of Cinco de Mayo weekend, a lot of the day was Mexican themed. Trina loves margaritas and going out for Mexican food, so there couldn’t have been a more perfect theme for her.

The bridal shower was held at the cutest little restaurant called The Corner Stop Eatery in Cohasset, MA. When we walked in, we were instructed to “check the sheet for our seat” and “take some flair for our hair.”

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Seating

Katrina's Bridal Shower

I loved the idea of giving every guest a flower to wear in their hair. Also, how gorgeous is that cake? Katrina’s sister made it herself! Very impressive. Anyways, my seat assignment was with the rest of the Boston Babes, and we had a great view of Katrina’s grand entrance.

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Boston Babes

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Boston babes

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Entrance

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Trina and Geoff

Before our meal, Katrina’s family made sure everyone enjoyed some delicious margaritas and bloody marys. Nothing wrong with having a few of these at 11am!

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Margaritas

I didn’t snap any pictures of the food, but everything was delicious, and I really liked having a menu of a few different options to choose from. We ordered a couple of flatbreads for our table to share, and I got a big salad. While Katrina opened her presents, the guests all played bridal bingo. It was fun trying to listen for different Katrina-isms, and a few different winners won sangria as a prize!

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Bridal Bingo

Here’s Katrina opening an embarrassing present from me, Slesh, and Bridget:

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Presents

And a group shot of the Boston babes with our bride to be!

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Boston Friends

Finally, before we left, we each made sure to grab the cutest little party favors, hot sauce bottles that said “short and spicy, just like the bride.”

Katrina's Bridal Shower: Hot Sauce

After the shower, 25 girls (yes, 25!) headed to Cambridge to regroup at our hotel and get ready for the next part of the day: pole dancing!

Katrina's Bachelorette: Pole Dancing

For anyone looking for pole dancing classes in the Boston area, Gypsy Rose in Allston was really fun and hilarious. When we got there, the owner and instructor had us sit on the floor in a big circle. She opened the class by doing a dance in the middle of the circle for us (so awk!). For the rest of the time, we divided into two groups. Half of us learned how to spin on the pole while the other half learned a chair dance, and then we switched. At the end, Katrina had to get in the middle of the circle and show off all her new moves!

Katrina's Bachelorette: Pole Dancing

Katrina's Bachelorette: Pole Dancing

Here are some other gems:

Katrina's Bachelorette: Pole Dancing 1

Katrina's Bachelorette Party: Pole Dancing

Katrina's Bachelorette: Gypsy Rose

This was a great idea for a bachelorette activity, and I definitely recommend it as long as the bride is okay with being the center of attention. Also, this would actually be a really good workout if you can get more pole and dancing time. It wouldn’t be my go to, but my arms were sore the next day, so I think it would be fun (and funny) to do every once in a while.

After pole dancing, we went back to the hotel again to get ready for the rest of the night. Once we were dolled up, we called cabs and headed to Patrons (formerly Big City) for a Mexican dinner.

Katrina's Bachelorette Party: Cabs

Patrons was one of the only Mexican restaurants in the city that could accommodate a group of our size, and the management did an excellent job making sure we had everything we needed. Mainly, margs!

Katrina's Bachelorette: Patrons

Katrina's Bachelorette: Me and Slesh

Katrina's Bachelorette: Ashley and Bridget

Katrina's Bachelorette Party: Patrons

Katrina's Bachelorette Party: Weymouth

Once dinner was done, it was time for the party bus!

Katrina's Bachelorette: Party Bus

The rest of the night was filled with a lot of dancing and singing, Backstreet Boys music, drinks, pinatas, blow up dolls, beads, straws, sombreros, and more as the party bus drove us up and down the streets of Boston.

Katrina's Bachelorette: party bus

Katrina's Bachelorette: Sisters

Katrina's Bachelorette: Black Rose

Katrina's Bachelorette: Me and Bridget

Katrina's Bachelorette: Family

Katrina's Bachelorette

Katrina's Bachelorette: Party Bus

We only stopped at two bars throughout the night, The Black Rose and The Times. I took a lot more pictures, but Trina will kill me if I share the others in this public space.

All in all, it was a successful shower and bachelorette for our soon to be bride! I can honestly say this was one of the funniest and funnest nights I’ve had in a long, long time. So fun!

Katrina's Bachelorette Party

Can’t wait to party at Trina and Geoff’s wedding in less than two weeks!

–Let’s chat–
Do you prefer margaritas or bloody marys? When’s the last time you went to a bachelorette party? What activities were planned? Have you ever taken a pole dancing class or been on a party bus before?

I hadn’t done either until this bachelorette party. Check and check!

Slesh’s Bridal Shower

At the end of April, I helped throw my best friend’s bridal shower.

Slesh's Bridal Shower

On the Friday before the shower, I drove with Slesh to her parents’ house in Connecticut. Her sister, niece, and our friend Erica met us there. Her parents were very gracious and had a delicious spread of food waiting for us when we arrived. I had a lot of fun just hanging out while drinking wine and catching up with Slesh’s family. It was exactly the kind of low-key night I needed and was craving.

In the morning, we woke up bright and early to get ready and set up for Slesh’s special day. The shower was held at a venue called Tashua Knolls. The room we had the shower in was very pretty, bright, and open, and Slesh’s mom and sister did a wonderful job with all the venue details.

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Aren’t the colors and flowers so pretty? Slesh’s sister put these centerpieces together herself!

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Flowers

The shower wasn’t a surprise, but we had Will walk Slesh in anyways.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Slesh and Will

As everyone began to arrive, guests mingled while helping themselves to mimosas from the mimosa fountain.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Mimosa Fountain

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Mimosa Fountain

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Since we weren’t playing any shower games, the bridal party decided to set up a few different things around the room for people to look at and fill out instead. Aside from the larger frames below, each table had a picture of Slesh and Will and a picture of Slesh from her younger years.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Frames

People got a kick out of looking at pictures like these!

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Baby Slesh

Slesh's Bridal Shower

We also set up a recipe box for guests to drop their favorite recipes in. On the back of the shower invitations, we included this text: “Caitlin and Will are ready to say ‘I do.’ They’ve got love, but they need to eat too! Enclosed is a card to fill out your favorite recipe.” I love this idea, and now Slesh and Will can have a solid recipe collection for the future.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Recipe Box

Next to the recipes was a spot for guests to display their own wedding albums so that we could enjoy viewing the different styles across generations! I unfortunately didn’t snap a picture of this table, but some of the old school pictures were really cool to see.

Next was the “Meet the Maids” table. I asked each member of the bridal party to do  a little write-up of how long they’ve known Slesh, where they met, and what their favorite memories together are. I then framed the write-ups in these pretty teal shadow frames and included a  picture of each of us as well.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Meet the Maids

It took me forever to decide on just one picture, but here’s a close-up of the one I ended up choosing. That’s Slesh and me from junior year of college!

me and slesh

Finally, the last “station” we set up was one where guests could write some words of wisdom and fun date night ideas for Slesh and Will to read through after the shower was over.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Words of Wisdom

After about 45 minutes of catching up, everyone was ready to eat. We served brunch, but I think the real highlight was the make your own sundae table for dessert!

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh was nervous for gift opening, but she did a great job! We had a really effective assembly line too: Ashley was in charge of bringing the presents over, Mary helped Slesh open them, I carried and lifted all the boxes to another spot to get them out of the way, and Erica was on trash and paper plate bouquet duty.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Gifts

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Gifts

Slesh's Bridal Shower

I prayed the whole time I wouldn’t drop a gift. Success!

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Gifts

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Gifts

The bridal party gave Slesh a wine themed gift. We chipped in to buy Slesh and Will the crystal wine glasses that were on their registry, but we also found a cute basket that matched Slesh’s wedding colors so we could fill the basket with other fun wine things as well.

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Gift

We included chocolates, cocktail napkins, a framed copy of the shower invitation, and four bottles of wine. We labeled each of the bottles of wine with a “first.” We used “to drink before your honeymoon,” “to drink on your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple,” “to drink the first night in your first home,” and “to drink after your first fight as a married couple.” We attached little poems to each of them too.

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Finally, we also included one final poem that announced what we are planning to do for the bachelorette party this coming weekend (wine tour in New York!), and we made Slesh read it out loud.

Slesh's Bridal Shower

After the gifts, we made Slesh hold up her bouquet of bows. She better save that for the rehearsal dinner when we practice walking down the aisle!


Slesh's Bridal Shower

We also took advantage of the sun that came out for a few outdoor photo ops:

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

Slesh's Bridal Shower

On the way out, everyone took home two favors: white chocolate M&Ms in a candy tin and homemade pepper sticks made from Slesh’s grandmother’s recipe. Yum to both!

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Favors

The day was a big success and a wonderful way to start the countdown to the BIG DAY which is coming up so soon. But first, the bachelorette party! We’ll be heading to NYC this coming weekend. I can’t wait!

Slesh's Bridal Shower: Bridal Party

–Let’s chat–
Have you ever been involved with hosting and/or planning a bridal shower before? What unique touches did you incorporate into it? Did you play any games? Any cute theme gift ideas you can share? Does anyone have any fun bachelorette games or ideas you can suggest for this weekend?

I would love to hear what you guys have done before!