Monday, November 29, 2010

This Year, I Will Best Winter; Not the Other Way Around

I have winter beat this year! New coat and new down comforter and duvet. After half an hour and lots of help from Lily the comforter is in the duvet and on the bed.

600 fill power -- take that cold winter weather!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday

I had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Connecticut.

I went down on Wednesday, so make my annual trip to Connecticut Valley Hospital where both of my parents work. I went out to lunch with Mom and her co-workers -- a bit of a celebratory meal in honor of their intern for the past twelve weeks who was leaving. After lunch, I attended one of the group sessions on the ward. I have visited a number of time now and know some of the clients and like making a brief visit.

After that it was off to Bethany to go to the Gold's Gym in New Haven with Greg. That gym is the fittest gym ever! It's about 95% men with gigantic muscles. They look so fit that they inspire me to work out hard. Plus, practically everyone there is friends with Greg and super nice.

On Thursday, after briefly watching the parade and another trip with Greg to Gold's Gym, Mom, Greg, and I headed over to Aunt Geraldine and Uncle Jimmy's for Thanksgiving. Dozer, the puppy, now six months and eighty pounds went with.

He wanted to celebrate the holiday with his buddy, Sophia, Aunt Geraldine and Uncle Jimmy's eleven month Golden Retriever.

The house was decorated for the holiday.

The table was lovely.

The turkey was big. We had Aunt Geraldine's famous stuffing. She also made my favorite (!), baked apples.

We had loads of fresh vegetables. The corn, squash, and broccoli were from the garden, as was the pumpkin for the pumpkin pie! Aunt Geraldine made a mini one for me to take home. So cute!

After dinner, Greg and I went to visit Dad and Lisa. It was a brief visit but nice, and I was going to get to see Dad all day Friday.

Friday, I drove up to Glastonbury to see Dad early. We were on a mission to find me a new winter coat that would keep me warm but not making me feel really puffy. I am anti the puffer coat. I have had, for the last eight years, a winter coat that is puffy but as of late it has not been super warm, and I never really liked it's appearance.

Dad and I started our search at REI, where we spent an hour and a half, had me try on dozens of coats, and emerged with nothing. There were a couple of coats that were okay but nothing worth spending all the money for.

We regrouped for lunch, me exhausted. Dad suggested that we try Nordstrom's. We decided we had to just run in and run out avoiding what was sure to be a crazy shopping situation. (As a note, there was next to no one in the REI in the morning.) Arriving at Nordstrom's we found the main coat section. Lots of nice dress coats, but that was not what I was looking for. We wandered upstairs to see if, in fact, we ought to find another store when I noticed that there were coats in the upper floor active-wear section.

It was there, after much searching, that I found this coat! Just what I wanted.

It's a North Face jacket and super warm seeming but looks cute, like a pea coat. I love it! Thanks, Dad!

After the visit with Dad, I headed back home to Seth and Lily.

Lily is such a model. As a quick note, I flipped over our comforter. What do you think of the light side?

I think that the darker (main) side goes better with the wood, but it's fun to have something new. Soon, we'll be putting on our duvet and down comforter -- Thanks Mom! -- for heavy winter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's been a busy couple of weekends. Last weekend started off with a bang! I had long been eying the Five Finger shoes that are supposed to feel like being barefoot. Yes, I got a pair. They are totally crazy looking, but they really do make it feel like you are barefoot. When I first wore them, the back was digging into my heel a bit, although the rest felt great -- this problem has mostly gone away as I have gotten used to the shoes. I usually exercise barefoot at home, so the transition was easy. I especially love using them for running on the Treadmill at the gym. I feel like my quads are less sore when I use them than when I was wearing my running shoes. Of course, they are great in aerobics class because I am so used to doing aerobics at home barefoot. Success!

The second exciting event of last weekend happened on Saturday. Seth surprised me by taking me to the store to get my holiday gift early. A nook -- the new e-reader from Barnes and Nobel.

I had been reluctant to get one in the past because I am such a library addict, but Seth found out that I can get ebooks out of libraries that aren't even near where we live, like Philadelphia. Very exciting. I haven't had a lot of time to do reading on my new gift because I am finishing up with some library books I had out before I knew the nook was coming. I am excited to get to use it more.

At the end of last weekend, I want down to Glastonbury to spend the day with Dad. We had a great time cleaning the Volkie! Two hours were spent washing, vacuuming, and waxing the car. He looks great. We also went to Blue Back Square in West Hartford where we browsed some stores, enjoyed the nice weather, and had a great lunch and tea. Fun times.

This weekend has also been a whirlwind. Seth and I started out by attending the Chancellor's Breakfast, a donor stewardship event at UMass during Homecoming. It was alright. It turned out that we ended up sitting at a table with a grad from Smith who had lots of questions for me upon learning that I worked in Development there. Then the breakfast become sort of work and less fun. Seth and I ended up leaving early because I had to get to Connecticut. Seth stayed on campus for the George Parks in memoriam event.

I had a great time in Bethany. I got to wish Mom a happy birthday and visit with Greg, Aunt Geraldine, Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Judi, and Uncle Moe, the latter two who were visited from Pennsylvania. It was a great visit. My nephew, Dozer, is getting so big. He's over seventy pounds now and such a good boy. What a cutie!

I also got Greg and Grace's wedding gift. They got our invitation that Seth designed framed with paper work all around it. Beautiful!

Today, Seth and I headed up to Rhinebeck, New York with Seth's parents for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.

We had a great time enjoying the fair together. There were lots of sheep. They didn't seem to want me to scratch their heads as much as last year.

We were able to meet Seth's brother and sister in law and their friends for lunch, which was nice. I got to play a bit with my niece who is around five months old.

There were many cool items at the fair. (Below are some amazing glass orifice hooks.)

One very exciting find was that the seller, loop, who I often purchase fiber from online. She had a booth at the fair.

I didn't do a lot of spinning this summer due to the heat, so I only got a little bit of fiber. They are really cool clouds of fluff that I should be able to spin without any drafting at all.

All the weekend travels, around nine hours in the car, have left me exhausted. Time to curl up with my lovely baby girl, Lily, and get some zzzz's.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Keepin' On Keepin' On

Whew! It's been a super busy couple of weeks. This is my first day off since mid-September. Work has been go go go what with "go live" and the start of the Phonathon.

In my few free minutes, I've been catching up on my knitting. Now that the weather is cooler it's a perfect time to get back to my fiber arts!

I finished the blanket I was making for Seth's sister, Sheila.

I love the hourglass cables. This is the same blanket I made for my dad and Lisa for their engagement gift. For Sheila, I used Valley Yarns Northampton, a wool two ply. This was my first time using this yarn. I usually knit with Valley Yarns Berkshire, a single ply alpaca and wool blend. The Berkshire is a bit softer because of the alpaca but the Northampton will pill a lot less being all wool and a two ply. I think that Sheila will prefer that.

I started on a new blanket.

It features cables interspersed with open work.

The pattern is a lot of fun and the results are pleasing. The color is a deep purple in real life but seems more periwinkle in these pictures. It's a deep jewel tone in reality.

Today, I was able to catch up on a bit of spinning. I spun up a merino super wash batt with black and bright colors. It looks great plied.

There is also a hint of sparkle in there, which is always fun! With the start of the fall my desire for warm blankets on my lap increases, so I am sure there will be more updates soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Office

We're been restructuring at work. As a result, I have moved from my private office to a shared office with Maddy. Here are some pictures of the new space.

Friday, September 3, 2010


We have acquired some new art after our wedding to make our home look nice, fun, and new! Most of the new art is located upstairs, as the downstairs was pretty much all taken care of already.

The only new piece we got for the downstairs was a clever faux Northampton/Amherst transit map. You can see the Carle on the subway map, reminding us of our wedding. The subway doesn't quite go to our house, but it's totally fun to see the Valley!

We got a few pieces for upstairs. All the art in the bedroom is new to match the new furniture. The first painting was a gift from Patrick and his girlfriend, Lisa. It's a signed Eric Carle numbered print from The Very Quiet Cricket, Seth's favorite Eric Carle book. I love the colors -- they go great with the bedroom.

We also picked up some prints to hang above the new chest, as it's not as tall as the highboy we used to have. They are images of Northampton downtown by a local artist.

The first image is of the main intersection downtown. Then there are two images of the stores on the left side of the main street downtown.

Finally, we hung some framed pictures of the wedding and our honeymoon. We hung the first set in the office.

This frame contains pictures with our families -- parents and siblings. Also, we included an enlarged picture of everyone at the wedding.

We hung the final set of pictures in the hallway at the top of the stairs on either side of the bathroom door.

The images on the right are from our honeymoon.

The pictures are from left to right, top to bottom, of the restaurant were we ate every morning in Santa Barbara, of us at the Mission, of the train trip to San Francisco, of the beach in Santa Barbara, of a heart sculpture in Union Square in San Francisco, of the approach to Alcatraz, of my turtle bread, and of the waterfall in Yerba Buena Gardens.

The pictures on the right are of the wedding. We tried to capture the places that we were and each part of the wedding day.

Lovely enhancements to our place!

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Bedroom Set

Seth and my new bedroom set from his parents (bed with frame and night stand), Sheila and Gary (other nightstand), and my mom (chest) arrived yesterday.

Seth was home to coordinate the arrival, which was a bit of a bear because they decided to put the final layer of blacktop on the driveway with less than twenty-four hours notice. Fortunately, Seth was able to get the delivery men to bring in the furniture instead of rescheduling.

Everything is absolutely amazing! The bed is super super comfortable. Last night, Lily, Seth, and I all slept there in perfect comfort. I was even able to find a way to sleep around Lily without feeling smushed.

Thanks everyone for helping us get this great new furniture. It really makes our condo feel like home!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Furniture Shopping

Seth and I went furniture shopping with his parents Saturday to find a new mattress and bedroom set that is going to be their wedding gift to us. (Bed frame, mattress and box-spring from the Sibleys, the two nightstands from Sheila and Gary, and the chest from Mom.)

I did extensive research about mattresses and furniture prior to the shopping so that I could determine if the items we looked at were of good quality.

We first visited Raymour and Flanigan. Everything there was huge! We have a smaller bedroom, about eleven by eleven and none of the pieces would work. Many were unattractive. We then went to Bob's. Some of the sets there seemed unattractive as well or poor quality, but due to my research, I was able to find something that seemed to work. I love the frame the best! It's a sleigh bed. I like the slats instead of a solid sleigh bed. It's a bit lighter, which should work well in a smaller room. The brick wall should show nicely through the slats.

We picked out a bed at the store as well. The innerspring mattresses that they sell are King Koil. We have King Koil beds in all the rooms in Bethany (except mine), and they are great mattresses.

The set is minimalist and very classic looking. It's solid mahogany with a light finish. I like the hardware on the nightstand. The drawers are English dovetailed back and front.

We ended up getting what was called the television chest instead of the highboy. This was because the highboy had an lift top which I disliked and worried about warping overtime, regardless of the set being kiln-dries. I mean, you never know.

The plus of the chest we got is the open shelving. I plan to store books there and some blankets, which I'll store in a nice wicker basket or something for attractiveness sake. We have a lovely chest from Maddy that we'll also continue to use. We wanted something to match our set but didn't need much extra storage for clothing and have no storage shelving in our bedroom, so this piece is perfect.

The bedroom and mattress will hopefully be delivered next week. It will really make the house feel so finished and nicely decorated. I am quite excited. Thanks to everyone who is helping make this wonderful gift possible!

In other home news, the garden out back has been growing. It looks great! Today I was able to cut some flowers for the first time (although I probably could have done so sooner).

They really brighten up the room!