More fun with random pictures!

That’s right, folks, more photos from my phone’s brain for you.  Enjoy!

Seen at Costco.
Worst name and byline for a wine *ever*.

These next two are from that Bridal thing Geoff and I went to at Bloomingdale’s.  Um, needless to say we didn’t register for them.  The first one elicited a comment from Geoff along the lines of, “I guess that is what Elrond would serve his salads out of?”

So when, exactly, does one stop eating?
It's a leaf. It's a salad bowl. It's a leaf. It's a salad bowl.
Chicken!
A chicken shaped... cheese board?

Gratuitous adorable pictures of Thumbelina napping.  On Scratch’s head.  Heh.

Kitteh pillow the first.
I haz a fuzzy striped pillow.
mmm, fuzzy WARM striped pillow.
I'm so comfortable I'm sticking out my tongue.

And finally, pictures from a trip outside yesterday with the “puppehs.”

Wait!  What was that?
Behold my puffed tail! For I am Defender of the Manor! MROW!
The Three Musketeers.
You shall not pass! Ooh! Shiny...

And that’s it, folks.  Hope you enjoyed the photos.

~Kelly

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The care and feeding of a wedding registry

This whole getting married this is supposed to be complicated.  At least, when you have the large-ish church wedding with the cast of thousands.  I get that.  That being said I have yet to buy a wedding magazine or leaf through any of the GIANT magazines that I have received “complimentary subscriptions” to in the mail.  (Seriously, you get amazing amounts of crap once any wedding vendor gets your name.)

What Geoff and I have done, among other things,  is set up a wedding registry.  Or, rather, several registries.  Basically, I picked out a couple of things that were important to me and let him, with some power of veto, pick out the rest.  We set up registries on Amazon.com, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s.  What I did not anticipate was having to regularly visit said registries and maintain them.  Apparently, vendors like to play games with availability of the stuff that they offer up for registries.  So, that really cool thing that you actually need?  It may just up and be unavailable for no particular reason with no instock date in sight.  So, you have to check in regularly and then edit as necessary.  This is kind of a pain, but we have gotten used to it.

The nice part about this is that we were invited to Bloomingdale’s for a “Couple’s Night Out” registry party.  Having never been to one, and because they’d feed us for free, we decided to go.  The food wasn’t bad, the mocktails were excellent, and once the presentation was over, there was a **competition**.  As couples, we basically got to run all over the tabletop department and come up with our coolest place setting and then set it up for judging.  There were actual prizes.  Granted, they were tacky champagne flutes which we didn’t need and I knew that at the time.  But, that wasn’t the point.  I wanted to win solely for the point of winning.

We didn’t win.  Which, in the end, was probably a good thing since the last thing I need is more clutter and wedding related crap in the house.  But a took a picture of our cool place setting in its fancy pink-ness.  Here it is.

Can you believe the one in the upper left won?
Our fabulous pink and gold place setting.

Anyway, we had fun while at Bloomingdale’s.  We did actually learn some stuff, and we met our “Registry Consultant.”  Basically, she’s the person that you folks can call if you want to get us something and you are 1) not internet savvy, 2) out of state, 3) out of the country and don’t know how to get something to us without all the stupid international mail and taxes and snafus and whatnot, or 4) don’t have one of the bricks and mortar stores near you.  We’re apparently allowed to put her name up and post her info, so here it is.  Fabulous Bloomingdale’s lady is Claudia Askew 617.630.6044  She was very personable and nice to us at the party and the customer service the night of was fabulous (aside from the fact that we didn’t win…)

We may go to one of the same type of parties thrown by Macy’s at some point in the future.  Or we may not.  We’ve pretty much picked out everything we need at this point.  (And no, we didn’t do this.)  Now we just have to hope that everything stays in stock till the big day.  And now for those wedding magazines… anyone need any reading material for the bathroom?

~Kelly

Fooooooood…

So we’re both in food comas now.  It may not be the best time to write a restaurant review.  But we’re going to do it anyway because that’s how we roll.

Tonight we had dinner here, at The Fireplace in Brookline.  As some of you may or may not know or care, we’ve been on the search for a place to have our rehearsal dinner since… June?  The search started in earnest in August and then stopped when I fell, got laid off, and Geoff got deep into his school work and then Internship.  Now that all of that is over and we’ve passed the T Minus One and Counting mark to the wedding, we started looking again.  And, boy, what a find.

First of all, this is a large rehearsal dinner, 60ish people.  It’s for a popular night in November 2011, and we have not only some food allergies and special diets to contend with, we have some exceptionally picky eaters to worry about as well.  This meant that some of our favorite cuisines, and restaurants that could seat large parties like ours, that served good food, and that were proximate to the church were out.  We needed something relatively nearby, that had great food and wine, a good atmosphere, was handicap accessible, and had parking.

The Fireplace is all that and more.  We contacted the General Manager via email at the end of last week.  His name is Kevin.  Kevin, to put it plainly, rocks.  He got back to us basically when his shift was over.  So, in the middle of the night.  The prices he quoted were great and the menu, well, it rocked our socks.  We were thrilled.  In the back of my mind I remembered reading in the Globe about when The Fireplace had opened, but I wasn’t spending much time in Brookline then.  So I had never made it there for a meal.  That, was my loss.

We made arrangements with Kevin to come by this afternoon or evening.  We were initially entertained at the bar when we arrived by the fabulous Erica.  The woman knows how to mix a mean margarita, she’s fun to talk to, was willing to let us talk to her about our quest for the perfect purple cocktail, and is an all around fabulous bartender.  Seriously, people, go there and ask her to make you something.  With her talent and her well stocked bar, you won’t regret it.  (Also, there was a majorly famous Boston Sports figure at the bar who I happen to know lives in the neighborhood.  She treated him with respect and without fawning all over him, clearly he’s a regular.  I won’t reveal his name so this place can remain a regular haunt for him, but it was quite cool to see him there, especially for Geoff.)

Kevin came over and chatted with us and then took us to our table.  It was clear from our talk that he knows his food and wine exceedingly well and that he loves what he does.  From our vantage point in the back at the top of the room we could see everything and get an idea of how we’d seat people, how the curtains would close off the rest of the top section from the bottom bar area, where the handicap entrance was, etc.   Then there was the food.  I’ll let Geoff take over from here….

Geoff here – I am so very glad we found this place.  The menu is just amazing.  They had a lot of really good traditional New England cuisine, and it’s obvious the owners and management are history aficionados, which is something I can definitely appreciate.  Among other things, they serve a lot of traditional New England beverages like hot mulled cider, hot buttered rum, and Madeira.  Yes, Madeira is a traditional New England beverage, as it was one of the most popular wines in colonial America – it was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite, for example.  Anyway, the wine list is quite good, and they have a decent selection of ports and other dessert wines, as well as an extensive list of fine cognacs and Scotch whiskeys.

Kelly started with a cup of the Butternut Squash Bisque with Great Hill Blue Cheese, and I ordered a cup of the Classic Clam Chowder with New Hampshire Bacon.  I tried both, and both were delicious.  (Note from Kelly: The Bisque?  Oh my goodness, I think I could have a little cup of that with every meal this winter.)  Then we moved on the main course.  Kelly had the Acorn Squash & Sheep Milk Cheese Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Light Cream Sauce w/Sautéed Greens, Shaved Fennel, Asiago & Crushed Hazelnuts (although she got it without the Hazelnuts).  I ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese with Asiago, Mozzarella, Vermont Creamery ‘Cremont’ & Great Hill ‘Blue Cheese’, Caramelized Cauliflower & Lemony Spinach, which Kevin warned me I would not be able to finish in one sitting, and he was absolutely right.  But it was phenomenal.  And finally we shared dessert – Peanut Butter Fudge on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Salted Caramel Sauce, Toasted Almonds & Hot Chocolate Fudge.  My eyes almost popped out of my head, this was so good.  I can hardly wait to try some other items.  (Note from Kelly: Seriously, he was without speech for several minutes after taking the first bite.  The Peanut Butter Fudge?  Was magical.)

Afterward, we talked again with Kevin and confirmed with him that we were going to go ahead and book the place for our rehearsal dinner.  It is just perfect.  In fact, I am looking forward to coming to some of their wine tastings sometime down the road.  They even have some historically-themed events, such as a Valentine’s Day diner that includes “John Adams” and “Abigail Adams” in period clothing reading their letters to each other in first person.  So yeah, I am really liking this place.  I can hardly wait to see how everyone else will like it.

So, Boston people?  Wanna do Dinner?  Lunch?  Brunch?  You know where we’re going to celebrate when Geoff and I get jobs, right?

~Kelly & Geoff

Um, no. Just no.

As we have already established, I get regular emails from Etsy.  One of them is a weekly email about Wedding stuff.  Some of the stuff in the email is just lovely.  Some of it is a little rustic for my tastes.  Some of it is downright bizarre.  I think this falls into the bizarre category.

Fascinating?
Hair "fascinator"

These things, often made out of ribbon, feathers, buttons, lace, fake flowers, or other materials, are called “Hair Fascinators”.  Veils, while I’m not wearing one, I get.  Tiaras, I *completely* understand.  (Queen for a day, woohoo!)  But stuff like the above?  I’m lost.  It’s clearly beautifully made and photographed but I think that it might actually be larger than the model’s head.

Can someone explain this to me?

~Kelly

Cocktails!

We’re looking into having a signature cocktail or two for the wedding.  The list of those currently in the running is below.  The theme, more is less, is that they turn out purple.  Have anything to add?  Comment with a recipe that you think would be appropriate.

Blackberry Champagne Cocktail

3/4 oz. blackberry simple syrup
1-1.5 oz. gin
Sparkling wine
Fresh blackberries for garnish

Put two blackberries in a champagne flute. Pour in blackberry simple syrup and gin, then carefully top off with sparkling wine.

Purple November
1/2 part blue curacao
1 part rum
4 parts cranberry juice
slice of lime

Stardust

2 oz light rum
1 oz Parfait Amour liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Knickerbocker

2 ounces aged Virgin Islands or Santa Cruz rum
1 tablespoon Chambord
2 teaspoons Blue Curacao
1/2 ounce lime juice (reserve shell for garnish)
3-4 raspberries for shaker
3-4 raspberries for garnish

Chambord Royale

3/4 oz vodka
3/4 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
1/2 oz triple sec
2 oz lime juice

We’ll be having a taste testing party this fall (2010).  Stay tuned for news.  We’ll announce it here.

Kelly