Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just made my real wedding to-do list. I have 267 days to do it all. I have 15 DIY projects I am attempting to complete, and 24 HUGE ticket items I have started.

And so it begins.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Best Girls

Well, gosh darn it. They got me.

Meg & Dana had asked to take me out for a "maid of honor" Christmas dinner on the Wednesday before Christmas, which I thought was so sweet. We planned to go to one of my favorite places downtown, Silvertone. I was so excited - I bought little angel ornaments for them (and one for me) so we would all have a special ornament to remember the dinner by.

I was a bit suspicious that Meghan had SOMETHING up her sleeve (she usually does), but nothing seemed up. I couldn't think of what the "surprise" part would have been, so I figured it was just the three girls for a nice dinner to celebrate my last Christmas as a "single" woman.

I picked up Dana after work, and we drove to get Meg. She drove my car since I was tired of driving from having to go all over the place for work that day. She was texting a lot, which I thought was weird, but I thought nothing of it. We walked through downtown (which was adorably decorated for Christmas, but still felt strange - it was 60 degrees out!) and got to Silvertone. Silvertone is below ground level, so I walked down the stairs...

and was greeted by 2 of my bridesmaids, Jessica & Jackie B, who I haven't seen in 2 YEARS! I knew she was in Boston, but thought I was going to try & see her on Friday (I had chatted with her online THAT DAY!). Wow. What an AWESOME surprise!!!

So we hugged, chatted, caught up, laughed, ordered prosecco & cocktails, yummy food - it was a great night. No, it was an AMAZING night. Because not only was it special to have everyone there (and for everyone to finally meet Jackie, who lives in CO now), but we all got along, and had an AMAZING time. (Not that I had a doubt we would get along - we MORE than got along. We enjoyed each other & had a blast.)

I really don't know how a girl can get this lucky.

(Disclaimer: Jackie A & Jenn couldn't make it - but they were missed! I'm sure there will be many more fun times to come :-)

What My Friday Looks Like

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Prayer To Start The Week

Thanks, dad.

Oh Lord, I am so tired.  It seems like the lists of to-do's get longer each day, the frenzy in my home each night gets wilder.  It seems like the holidays have barely started and already I am behind. 
Help me, dear Jesus.  Let me feel your loving arms wrap me tightly in the warm embrace of your endless love. Teach me to make choices about my time, to remember what is important this season and to say "NO" whenever my Yes would take me away from your peace.  Fill me with patience, love and a sense of humor. Remind me of your deep love for me and let the fire of that love be something I can share with everyone around me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Obligatory Thankful Thanksgiving Post

... but I am feeling particularly thankful this year. And I love this holiday - no gifts, and other than black friday (oh, the joys of living by walmart... not!), not much commercialization. Just family, friends, and reflection.

We had a great time at my moms this year... a very LOUD great time. And my Dad sends me little texts throughout the day "are you full?" or "santa came!... oh wait" to let me know he's thinking of us... I'm not sure if he knows, but I always feel a twinge of sadness on holidays that I'm not with one parent or the other, and his texts sure make me feel better about it all.

The night after turkey day Tyler & I went and saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra - holy moly, it was AMAZING! Completely surpassed our expectations. The lights, the music, the talent! SO much fun, I hope this turns into an annual thing! We even got to meet them & get autographs afterwards. 

So, to put out into the universe that I am oh-so-thankful for my blessings, here is a list.

  • Friends: I am thankful to have each & every friend in my life. You mean more to me than you know, because I no longer let in people who aren't good for me. So thank you for being you, and for teaching me how to be a better friend.
  • Family: Oh the crazys. I wouldn't be who I am without my extremely diverse family, and for them, I am thankful.
  • Ebony: I am thankful for the sweetest little thing on four legs who knows exactly how to snuggle when I'm sad.
  • Our home: I am thankful for warmth, security, and that the tiniest spots can be "home" to us.
  • Our health: I am oh so thankful for heath into the new year.
  • Tyler: My favorite Thanksgiving thankfulness: to my husband-to-be (280 days!), a day does not go by that I am not thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving, and let the Christmas countdown begin!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011


 Oh Tyler. How you put up with me, I will never understand. Most of the time, my bad moods worsen because I can't stand MYSELF. I don't know how you do it.

I'm already getting a bit stressed out about wedding planning. It's so much money, so much detail - it's all very overwhelming! Combine that with the days getting shorter, colder, holidays approaching, job stress... I have not been a very nice person to be around lately.

Lately, I've been envying others. Their clothes, their jobs, their lives, their situations, where they live - I think to myself "wow, they are so lucky" or "I wish I was more like that" "I wish I had those things" - and it takes me a minute to realize that most of the things I'm envying of others, I do have. I'm just not taking the time to enjoy & appreciate it. I've never been a fan of the phrase "this should be the happiest time in your life!" because it puts unfair & unrealistic pressure on what you "should" be feeling. Big moments can feel happy, sad & scary and still be wonderful. But I think I am missing out on some of the "happy". Yes, it's OK to be worried & stressed, but remember that this is a HAPPY time, a wonderful time, a time others ill envy YOU for (that sounds awful, but it helps put things into perspective for me!)

Anyway - this all came about when I was looking at these photos, specifically the one of the groom crying when he sees his bride for the first time. I saw it first on pinterest, with the caption "I'd like to be adored like this someday".


I've (sort of jokingly) said to Tyler - "Um, don't bawl your eyes out at the wedding. Don't stand up there sobbing. I know you're gonna." I was (I think) so nervous myself about the emotions of the day, I thought I wanted him to be strong. But now, seeing it from afar - how lucky am I? How dare I tell my husband-to-be not to feel exactly what he feels on our wedding day? To tell him to hide that precious, perfect moment when he sees me for the first time? People want that. I want that. (Well, to clarify, I'm not asking Tyler to now cry, I want him to do whatever he feels at the time.)

So, Tyler: I'm sorry I try to control things. It's just because I'm scared. But you are perfect to me, and I just want you to keep being you. I'm sorry if I don't always appreciate you until I notice others appreciating your qualities. I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Forgive me, but...

I really don't like my outfit today - so I don't want to show you "what my friday looks like".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It's coming... that-which-shall-not-be-named, that I can usually push through until the holidays are over... I can feel it. So I will do what I always do - throw myself into the holidays & pray I come out of them maintaining my good cheer.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween weekend

We didn't do much for Halloween this weekend - but we DID have my dad & Carolyn over for dinner & to see our new apartment!! We are really proud of our new place, so I was looking forward to this alot.
the boys playing wii & me clearing snacks before dinner!
 I set out some snacks, but the real treat was what I made for dinner. I know I cook a lot, but when I knew I was having "company" I could not for the life of me think of what to make! My favorite things to make are soups, but I knew my dad wouldn't want to just have soup for dinner. So, I made engagement chicken, roasted potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potatoes & carrots, and Kim's corn casserole.

It all turned out pretty good! Next time I would have attempted mashed potatoes & gravy, but I can never get my mashed potatoes perfect...

Ebony REALLY wanted some...

I also made "Dead Brownies" for dessert, which were a hit! And Carolyn brought some delicious and ADORABLE cookies from The Danish Pastry House

It was a really fun night.

In wedding news, we've booked our DJ! We are so excited to have Chris from Next Level Entertainment for our big day - he seems like the perfect fit for us. 80s, country, party jams - yahoo!!
My mom & I also ordered our save the dates! They are going to be super sweet - I told my mom I felt like a "bridal princess" at An Elegant Affair, with both consultants showing me different bridal books filled with designs & fonts. It was overwhelming - in a good way. Next, we are looking for a photographer, JOP, and florist. Sigh... lots to do. I know it's going to start getting overwhelming (and expensive) so I hope I can step back once and awhile and remember what this is all about.

Anyone have any HONEYMOON reccomendations?! I think we are going to go to a travel agent.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What My Friday Looks Like

Things I am Looking Forward To This Fall (updated)

Update on my list. Dana says I need a new post. I have been slacking. I swear I will be creative soon.

  • Visiting the Yankee Candle store. Tavares, we gotta get going on this! Let's pick a date and go.
  • Going apple picking at the Nashoba Valley Winery - another thing I haven't done yet - we DID go to Applefest at Wachusett which was... great for people watching. Haha!
  • Carving pumpkins - CHECK! And they came out awesome.
  • The Backyard - other than putting our pumpkins out there, I haven't been out there much. WAIT! YES I HAVE! Columbus Day it was 80 degrees out... so I brought Ebony & my laptop outside with a blanket and watched SOA. :-)
  • Back to school/housewarming party - Good idea. Haven't done it tho. Maybe its just time to start planning the 2nd annual Denker Christmas party!
  • Baking - I have been SO good cooking & baking. Things I have made: crock pot lasagna (gross), slow cooker steak tips (yum), slow cooker cranberry turkey (meh), turkey soup (yum), lemon chicken soup (YUM), apple crisp, roasted pumpkin seeds, grilled lemon chicken, pumpkin pancakes, and hash browns.
  • Folliage - Um, is it just me or are the leaves taking a REALLY long time to change??
  • Save the date pictures - CHECK!!! SO FUN!!!
  • FALL CLOTHES - got lots of fun stuff in Maine w/Meg!
  • Our -1 year wedding anniversary, 9-9-11! :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

20 Questions - Tyler Denker

1 Were you named after anyone? No, but my father and I have the same middle name. Tyler Dean Denker, Richard Dean Denker

2 Do you like your own handwriting? Yes. The handwriting classes that I took in grade school are paying off.
3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? To hear what people are thinking. It would be good to use to my advantage in many ways.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? Optimist. I think alot of people would say the samething about me. No matter what the situation I always look for the good out of it.

5 What do you collect? Hats. I have one head but loads of hats. It use to be t-shirts but I'm trying to control that more often.

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? Little Miss Sunshine. Hayley and I went saw this in the theater and will always remember that date.

7 What are your favorite smells? A leather baseball glove, fresh cut grass, and wood from the lumber yard. Yes, all strange smells, but to me they smell kinda good.

8 Coffee or Tea? Coffee all the way. I never really got into tea much. Coffee hot or cold as long as its got alot of sweetner.

9 Wine or Beer? Beer. I like wine too, but if I have the choice its gonna be beer everytime.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? I had a great steak once.
11 Mac or PC?  Well I've never had a mac so I guess that makes me a PC guy.

12 What are you listening to right now?  "rock you like a hurricane" by the scorpines on vh1 classics

13 What career would you pursue in another life? Sports journalism. I really like sports and casually like talking about it but I cant write into words sometimes what I want to say. -or- A graphic artist. I love letters and numbers and graphic art would be interesting.

14 What sound or noise to you love? The sound of the ocean is very soothing.

15 What sound or noise do you hate? Crying, unwatched children that arent being paid attention to.

16 Mountains or Beach? I have seen both, but the beach takes the cake on this one. Good views, good looking people, and good times all on the beach.

17 Cook or Bake? Well I suck at both but if i have to choose it would be to bake. I can make cookies if I follow the instructions.

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? Restaurants yes, Movie no. I have gone into places to eat for lunch or dinner by myself.

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? The three little pigs is always a good one to me. Makes me laugh, it can be twisted to be funny if need be.

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? It would be a few things: save your money, focus on schooling, and dont take your work life too serious. 13 is tough because the next year I got my first job at 14 at a grocery store and Im still in the business today.

Wifey To Be - update (or part two)

Here is an update of this post.

1. Shaving my legs - Ok we will have to ask Tyler how I'm doing on this one. I feel like I should get a B+ for effort. 80% of the time I am smooth as a baby's bum. But c'mon, who shaves in the winter? Right? Right?

2. Speaking kindly - I am TRYING on this one. Speaking kindly is something I want to come naturally and as second-nature to me, but I know that will take a lot of effort. Sometimes, after I am rude, I then say how I should have said it, in a much nicer, calmer tone. Does that count?

3. Clean up after myself - I think I am doing the best on this one. I do laundry and clean the house daily. I don't make the bed, though. That is my next goal!

4. Hm... I don't know how I've done here. I'll have to ask him, I think I sortof forgot about this one.


Monday, September 12, 2011

20 Questions - Kim Denker

1 Were you named after anyone? Not that I am aware....Just one of the 3 K's

2 Do you like your own handwriting? Yes, some days it's good.

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? to be able to disappear, although "be there"

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? the first one...Opti something

5 What do you collect? Snowmen and snowflakes.... all year long!

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? uhm...The Wizard of Oz for sure!

7 What are your favorite smells? Fall air, spicey scents, and Men's Obsession

8 Coffee or Tea? Flavored sweet tea...and Coffee from DD

9 Wine or Beer? Wine...Boone's Farm  Strawberry

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? Home grown corn on the cob and a good Nebr. steak and mashed potatoes, and CHOCOLATE of course!!!

11 Mac or PC?  PC and my laptop

12 What are you listening to right now? Rich making supper, and mixing us a drinkie! 

13 What career would you pursue in another life? A teenage counselor/advocate for troubled teens

14 What sound or noise to you love? . waking up in the morning when camping....awwwhhhh! =)

15 What sound or noise do you hate? someone crying... makes me cry too!

16 Mountains or Beach? Beach with lots of sand and sun and water...

17 Cook or Bake? Bake.... then eating it all!

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? Heaven's NO...that would be sad!

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? I believe it was called Bonnie!

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? "Be a good person, smile alot, laugh too, and treat others the way you want to be treated!"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

20 Questions - Kyson Denker

1 Were you named after anyone? no, i do not belive so. My mom and dad liked different names, so they combined them or something like that, or so i was told.

2 Do you like your own handwriting? - no, i think its messy, it sometimes annoys me

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? -invisibility, speed, or to fly.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? -i try to be optimist, but someitmes find myself being very pessimistic

5 What do you collect? - i use to collect sports cards as a kid, but now i guess i dont really know

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? - i dont think they would be too surprised about any movie i watched, more make fun of me or tease me if THEY thought it was stupid

7 What are your favorite smells? -The smell after fireworks, gun powder, and fresh air

8 Coffee or Tea? coffee, but still gross

9 Wine or Beer? beer, never had wine

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? a nice juicy steak

11 Mac or PC?  PC, its what i have now haha

12 What are you listening to right now?  ESPN on the TV

13 What career would you pursue in another life?

14 What sound or noise to you love? . Rain or the crackling of a fire

15 What sound or noise do you hate? the scratching of fingernails on a chalk board

16 Mountains or Beach? beach, relaxing

17 Cook or Bake? cook

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? no, i would feel awkward

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? Milo and Otis - childhood movie

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? to shapen up and not get so mad about the small things

Thursday, September 8, 2011

20 Questions - Jackie Affsa

1 Were you named after anyone?            Jacqueline Kennedy O’Nassis.  (Too bad I didn’t take after her style as well!)

2 Do you like your own handwriting?             No, I write like a 7 year old boy. 

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one?             I know its clich√©, but I’d love to be able to fly! Or the ability to run for hours and hours.  
4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist?             I’d like to think I’m an optimist, and I often encourage people to be an optimist as well!  But I think we all have pessimistic points sometimes

5 What do you collect?

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?             Any mob movie with lots of violence.  Ex: Reservoir Dogs,  also Pulp Fiction <3  √† on the other side of things, I love The Notebook too! (??)

7 What are your favorite smells?             Garlic Powder.. always has been my favorite smell ever.

8 Coffee or Tea?
            LOTS of coffee in the morning.  Looove my cup of tea at night.

9 Wine or Beer?             This is a tricky one… After 13 mins of debating over this (haha seriously..) I have to say it’s a tie! I LOOOOVE both of them! Depends on the occasion for sure.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten?             Oh my gosh, this is SO HARD!!! I can’t think of one particular dish I had that sticks out. But my favorite foods include Sushi and Chicken Parm.

11 Mac or PC?              MAC!

12 What are you listening to right now?              Amy Winehouse.  My new guilty pleasure. <3

13 What career would you pursue in another life?
            Makeup Artist or Psychic. 

14 What sound or noise to you love? . Honestly?? REALLY Loud, Heavy Music.   Especially live.. when you can feel it inside your chest.

15 What sound or noise do you hate?
            Excessive, loud, annoying, noises.  Such as- randomly slamming stuff onto counters, throwing dishes into a sink, slamming your mouse down on your desk repetitively, excessively clicking a pen loudly, loud gum chewing.. etc..  ahaha J  

16 Mountains or Beach?             BEACH BEACH BEACH  (but mountains are oh so pretty )

17 Cook or Bake?             I love to grill, fry, sear, broil, bake, cook, sautee, etc.  I LOVE any sort of for preparation, but I’m horrible at it. 

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?             I went to a restaurant by myself once.. during my lunch break because I need a cocktail THAT BAD.  Wouldn’t mind going to a movie alone though!

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story?             Disney Movies aside??? I always love Charlottes Web.   Disney Movies included.. all of them.  Especially Alladin and Beauty and the Beast!!            

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you?             Buckle up and hold on! Its going to be a WILD ride.  Eat healthy! Stay Active! Oh, and SAVE YOUR MONEY BETTER!!!! SAVE SAVE SAVE!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I often let myself down, and in letting myself down, I drag myself down to a dark place, where all I can do it sit on my couch, frozen, imobilized, afraid. I start to spiral, and feel bad about feeling bad, and feel guilty about feeling bad that I feel bad, and then getting anxious about feeling guilty that I feel bad about feeling bad - ENOUGH.

I'd like to put a stop to this, and with that said, I am going to start posting small, tiny, acheivable goals. Goals that I can reasonably acheive, and my promise to myself is that even if I don't, I will not beat myself up.

Yesterday, I had 2 goals.

#1: Refill your waterbottle at least 6 times.
#2: Make it through an entire 90 minute hot yoga class - even if that means just sitting on my matt.

I did it - and really felt accomplished. Yoga once a week (at least) is going to be a goal of mine. As I think of more, I will write them here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

20 Questions - Dana MacDonald

1 Were you named after anyone? Supposedly no. Although, my mom tells me she had a crush on a guy in high school named Dana(i'm a girl)...

2 Do you like your own handwriting? No, because my brothers is way neater.

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? Invisibility. That would be awesome.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? I'm optimistic but realistic.

5 What do you collect? As a kid, glass animals. Now, jewelry?

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? All of the Rocky movies. The second one is my favorite.

7 What are your favorite smells? baking, fall, cleaning supplies, my new pomegranate body lotion form tjmaxx.

8 Coffee or Tea? Iced coffee. Tea is gross.

9 Wine or Beer? Eww neither.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? Can't pick one. Let's just say, I have a very large sweet tooth. and i love apple cinnamon berryline.

11 Mac or PC?  Mac. Just got my first; a macbook pro :)

12 What are you listening to right now? commercials between episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and the wind chimes on my back porch.

13 What career would you pursue in another life? I haven't even decided on a career in my current life. First college class starts friday...

14 What sound or noise to you love? crunching leaves, the ocean, adele's voice

15 What sound or noise do you hate? loud chewing, nail clipping, nail filing, road rage

16 Mountains or Beach? beach all the way

17 Cook or Bake? bake, especially anything with chocolate

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? never have and don't plan on it

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? i have no clue...

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? Don't be so shy and serious. Rethink that 8th grade graduation speech. High school isn't THAT important.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

20 Questions - Jackie Berkery

1 Were you named after anyone? nope. though sometimes i pretend i was named after jackie o... because seriously, the girl had style.
2 Do you like your own handwriting? hmm. i do, but i wish my cursive was prettier. i can do pretty-ok bubble letters though!

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? i think it would have to be teleportation -- i love travel, and wouldn't it be amazing to be in thailand in .6 seconds.. just to spend the weekend there? yes. definitely teleportation.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? i try to see the glass as half full. it's not always easy, but the world is bleak as a pessimist.

5 What do you collect? nothing these days -- i'm about to move and am trying to whittle down my superfluous belongings. i used to collect tons of crap, though -- shells, pins, shot glasses, decks of cards, foreign money, stickers. oh! and i just found my old basketball card collection from the mid-90s. had to save a few of those -- championship bulls!

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? white chicks. it's soo bad, but i laugh every time.

7 What are your favorite smells? cooking with garlic, new cars, old books, and my nana's house.

8 Coffee or Tea? black tea. sometimes with a little bit of lemon, depending on my mood.

9 Wine or Beer? both! just keep the tequila far, far away.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? hay, c'mon. you know how much i love food. that is a question i simply cannot answer. but i will say that i have a weakness for anything italian.

11 Mac or PC? mac, obviously. i'm, like, super creative and unique.

12 What are you listening to right now? well, i was listening to the sound of my fan because it's hot as hell in this room. but upon turning my itunes on shuffle, i am now listening to the wicked soundtrack. (geek alert! are you sure you still want me in your wedding?)

13 What career would you pursue in another life? broadway star. of course, that is assuming i'm idina menzel in my other life, right? "i think i'll try defying gravityyyy... and you can't pull me downnn" (again, geek alert!)

14 What sound or noise do you love? music. as nietzsche said, "without music, life would be a mistake."

15 What sound or noise do you hate? alarm clocks. seriously, who thought that sound would be pleasant to wake up to?

16 Mountains or Beach? mountains... poolside.

17 Cook or Bake? delivery! in my house we refer to the take-out menu drawer as the "recipe drawer."

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? i do enjoy dining out by myself on occasion, but i'm not really into the seeing a movie by yourself thing. i need someone to analyze with me afterward!

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? i love peter pan. a story about never growing up? how wonderful.

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? be yourself. always. life is much better when you don't care what other people think.

Friday, September 2, 2011

20 Questions - Meghan Tavares

1 Were you named after anyone? My Vavo - Margaret (They derived Meghan from that obvi:)).
2 Do you like your own handwriting? No, but I'm too lazy to work on it.

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? I would love the power to make anyone feel better or remove their pain with just a touch.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? It depends on my mood, the weather, my cycle and the energy around me. Today? Optimistic-

5 What do you collect? Snow globes! And... clothes haha.

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? I don't think anything would surprise them. They know me pretty well.  - Napolean Dynamite maybe?

7 What are your favorite smells? Fresh cut grass, lilac and clean laundry.

8 Coffee or Tea? Coffee, coffee, coffee! (name that Gilmore Girls episode ;))

9 Wine or Beer? Usually wine, but lately beer. It keeps me unpredictable.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? My food pyramid: Bread from Cheesecake Factory, Pasta from Olive Garden, fried chicken that charlotte makes, cheese fries from Broadways Best or Spukies:)

11 Mac or PC?  PC

12 What are you listening to right now?  The Bethany Joy Galeotti channel on Pandora

13 What career would you pursue in another life? Although I have about 6 careers to complete in this life - I'll save Wedding Planner for the next one.

14 What sound or noise to you love? Summer bugs/crickets and the sound of waves crashing at the beach, the microwave beep (it means my popcorn's done:))

15 What sound or noise do you hate? Car horns, voices of people I don't like, people who think they can sing and can't and make us all suffer because no one will tell them they suck, I'll probably be thinking of more answers all day :)

16 Mountains or Beach? Beach

17 Cook or Bake? Neither. I prefer to eat what others cook and bake. If I had to pick a preparation I pick... microwaving, or calling to order.

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? Absolutely. If YOU don't want to be around you, why would anyone else want to? I enjoy "me" time.

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? It's hard to pick just one! Well I'm picking Winnie The Pooh (in general). Because it shows you the power in a group of friends and how their support and love can get you through anything.

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? Stop trying to people-please! Believe it or not, one day you won't give a shit what anyone thinks and the people you spent your time trying to please the most, won't even be in your life-

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

20 Questions - Jenn Gillum

1 Were you named after anyone?
An ancient Guinevere, I imagine.  But, no one more recently.

2 Do you like your own handwriting?
It's never the same thing twice, but when I'm concentrating -- yes -- I like my cursive.  I always got good grades on penmanship in elementry school.  So, others must like it, too.

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one?
I have given this a lot of thought, actually.  It would be either to speak every language in the world (and then be able to do a lot of traveling) or be a time-traveller but not able to interact with any of the goings-on in things past or future.  Having to make the decision, I probably would go with the first.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist?
I guess that depends on how things are going. I'm optimistic that the children from "Dance Moms" will turn out fine.  I'm pessimistic about the state of our economy and newly downgraded credit rating.

5 What do you collect?
Food lately.  Some who have seen my fridge lately believe a family of 4 lives here.

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?
Mamma Mia!  If you don't like it, please keep that to yourself.  It will break my heart.

7 What are your favorite smells?
Cardamom.  And that Febreeze® Lilac Mr. Clean floor cleaner isn't bad.

8 Coffee or Tea? 
This is the question that has taken me the longest to answer.  I'm also this indecisive in the morning when I need caffeine the most.  I also have a hard time spelling "caffeine."  Oh, I got it that time on the first try.  What was the question?

9 Wine or Beer?
Not really either, except when I'm in Michigan.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten?
Kulfi.  Today actually.

11 Mac or PC?
What is this thing?  A PC.

12 What are you listening to right now?

13 What career would you pursue in another life?
I can't think of any other job where I get to wear a tacky, hibiscus-covered shirt.  So, I guess I have no other prospects....  (I would teach kettlebells.  Actually, I still might do that.)

14 What sound or noise to you love?
The ring tone I have for Hayley Goff coming out of my phone.

15 What sound or noise do you hate?
"Extra, extra read all about it!"  What happened to me when I was little and I heard that phrase?  Obviously something traumatic.

16 Mountains or Beach?
Considering how much I run around in trails, mountains.  My feet sink into the sand while I'm running.

17 Cook or Bake?
Cooking.  Although, that's a recently re-vamped answer.  It's quite a cooking renaissance here in my apartment lately.
18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself?
I prefer to cook if I'm solo, and I don't go to the movies anymore with the TV, OnDemand, Netflix, OnDemand Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus, YouTube on my "PC," You Tube on my phone, YouTube on my DVD player, which reminds me I forgot about my DVR.  And the Wii.

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story?
The BFG, yo!  (Big Friendly Giant.)  Or Pete's Dragon.  Both were big and stuck their heads through your window while you were sleeping.

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you?
For the love of all things decent, stop cheerleading.

Friday, August 26, 2011

20 questions - Charlotte Valentin

1) Where you named after anyone? I was named after a talk show host. The show was popular in Puerto Rico and the hosts name was Charlotte.
2) Do you like your handwriting? No, I have the handwriting of a serial killer.
3)What would your superpower be if you could choose one? I would love to have the super power of invisibility. It would give me the ability anywhere without people knowing. Its probably the creepest power anyone can choose to have.
4) Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? I am cautiously optimistic.
5) What do you collect? I collect sweaters and books.
6) What are your favorite smells? What movie would your friends be surprised that you like?An Indian called Monsoon Wedding. Its one of my favorite movies of all time.
7) My favorite smells are Meghan's perfume (brownie points), fried chicken and fresh laundry.
8) Coffee or tea? If I had to choose it would coffee. Tea reminds of dirty water.
9) Wie or beer? BEER :)
10) What is the best thing you've ever eaten? My grandmother's cooking because every bite feels like home.
11) Mac or PC? PC
12) What are you listening to right now?   Adele - Someone like you.
13) What career would you pursue in another life? In another life I would be a successful screenwriter.
14) What sound or noise to you love?The sounds of the city.
15) What sound or noise do you hate? Children crying at the mall. It makes me re-think the possibility of pro creating.
16) Moutains or Beach? Beach
17) Bake or Cook? Cook.
18) Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? No.
19)What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? I don't have a favorite fairy tale. I can't even think of one lol.
20) What would you tell the 13 year old you?  If you believe it you can achieve it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

20 Questions - me

1 Were you named after anyone? No, although everyone thinks I was named after Haley's comet. Or Hayley Mills.

2 Do you like your own handwriting? Sometimes - when I'm not being sloppy. I feel like it isn't consistent, it's very dependant on my mood. I kindof like that!

3 What would your superpower be if you could choose one? Hmm... to make things appear when I imagine them. Or basically anything Alex Mac could do.

4 Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? I think I'm an optimist, but I can certainly be dragged down to a dark place.

5 What do you collect? Does lipgloss count? Maybe mugs - nothing deliberately.

6 What movie would your friends be surprised that you like? Princess Mononoke. It's Anime.

7 What are your favorite smells? Lilacs, the ocean, baking, thanksgiving, grass, candles... tide detergent... tyler's deoderant... ebony after a bath...

8 Coffee or Tea? Tea! I'm obsessed with tea, I have an entire cabinet dedicated to it. Love ALL kinds. With honey, lemon, sugar, sweetener, anything.

9 Wine or Beer? BOTH! Depends on my mood.

10 What is the best thing you've ever eaten? (Where?) There are too many to choose from! Lobsters in Maine, butternut squash raviolis in the north end...
11 Mac or PC? PC, but I do love my itouch.

12 What are you listening to right now? Michael Jackson pandora station - specifically "You Are Not Alone"

13 What career would you pursue in another life? Lawyer. I like to argue.

14 What sound or noise do you love? Crunching leaves, ocean waves, keyboard typing.

15 What sound or noise do you hate? Phones ringing.

16 Mountains or Beach? BEACH.

17 Cook or Bake? I like to cook, but baking is easier. I LOVE decorating sweets.

18 Do you go to restaurants and movies by yourself? No - never have.

19 What is your favorite fairy tale or childhood story? The Twelve Dancing Princesses

20 What would you tell the 13 year old you? To stop being so dramatic. And to sit and be quiet and listen to music more. To slow down. To stop worrying.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things I am looking forward to this fall

Meg, Charlotte & I sat outside last night with the first Sam Oktoberfests of the season and started to get excited for autumn. Here are some things I am excited about.
  • Visiting the Yankee Candle store. Meg & I had so much fun here last year (of course we didn't take pictures - MEG! Take note - this year, we bring a camera.) There is so much more than just candles - I plan on doing 75% of all Christmas shopping here. I also am excited to add to our little Christmas Village!
  • Going apple picking at the Nashoba Valley Winery - Tyler & I did this one year and brought Ebony, it was so much fun. Here's hoping for the perfect weather when we go!
  • Carving pumpkins - we carve pumpkins every year with the Valentin-Tavares clan, and I always do two, because I get so excited but I never have the patience that Meg has to do those stencils... maybe this year!
  • The Backyard - I want to make use of our backyard as long as weather permits - I hope we can play some outdoor games, drink some beers, and maybe have a fall picnic before the s-word comes and turns everything white.
  • Back to school/housewarming party - haven't thought TOO much about this... but hey... could be fun...
  • Baking - I want to make a plan to bake one new thing a week, or maybe to perfect a pie or something. I want the house filled with smells of pumpkin, turkey, apples, etc.
  • Folliage - with our big windows overlooking the little forrest behind our house, this should be pretty.
  • Save the date pictures - we have to take them this fall! That will be fun to plan.
  • FALL CLOTHES - stay tuned for a later post on this.
  • Our -1 year wedding anniversary, 9-9-11! Eek! WEDDING PLANNING! Exciting :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Because If I Try To Articulate This Myself Right Now, I Would Cry (an excerpt)

An excerpt from a favorite blog on how I'm feeling about Tyler's work schedule.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

SERiously. This is worse than a splinter, a blister, a cavity, or rug burn. This is worse than low fat ice cream, flat soda, mushy sushi, or raw potatoes. This is worse than rotting mice, poop stuck on your shoe, morning breath, or second hand smoke in your face. This is worse than the subway pulling away just as you swipe your metrocard, than opening up your favorite box of cereal to find only crumbs, than pulling the cookies out of the oven to discover they're burnt, or finally finding shoes you like only to learn they don't have them in your size.

SERiously, Naomi. Come home already.

This being apart is really bad....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Craft Party w/New Friends!

I recently helped out my best friend get ready for a surprise party she is throwing her parents by having her & some of her co-workers over for a craft party. We made little favors & garland, and I can't help but think about when we are going to start making things for my wedding! I LOVE crafts.Well,  I love when they come out perfect. Which they did!

paper heart garland

I am so thrilled with our new apartment that it was really fun having guest over. Jackie had been over a few nights before and brought my flowers, and Tyler brought some home from Trader Joes last night so I had fresh flowers everywhere, completely not planned! I tried to stay VERY simple with food since we just moved and still have some boxes in the dining room... but learned, in retrospect, that finger foods (skewers, popcorn, etc.) would have been easier, since our hands were almost always occupied! Using a knife to cut cheese was a bit inconvenient.

Here's what's on the menu:

cucumbers, baby carrots, and red, green & yellow bell peppers
with either
tzazaiki dill dip
caramelized onion dip

cabot cheddar
goat chevre w/raspberries & wild maine rasperry honey drizzle

roasted veggie pizza
3 cheese pizza

&, of course, 3 buck chuck from TJs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting Excited...

With my mom's wedding over (it was amazing - will post on that soon!), the focus shifts - I AM GETTING MARRIED! In exactly 390 days. It hasn't sunken in yet (even though I've been engaged over a year!) because the focus has been elsewhere, but now,

it's our turn!

Monday, August 15, 2011

50 Ways To Cope With Stress

  • Get up 15 minutes earlier
  • Prepare for the morning the night before
  • Don't rely on your memory, write things down
  • Repair things that don't work properly
  • Make duplicate keys
  • Say "no" more often
  • Set priorities in your life
  • Avoid negative people
  • Always make copies of important papers
  • Ask for help with jobs you dislike
  • Break large tasks into bite sized portions
  • Look at problems as challenges
  • Smile more
  • Be prepared for rain
  • Schedule a play time into every day
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes
  • Takea  bubble bath
  • Believe in you
  • Visualize yourself winning
  • Develop a sense of humor
  • Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
  • Have goals for yourself
  • Say hello to a stranger
  • Look up at the stars
  • Practise breathing slowly
  • Do brand new things
  • Stop a bad habit
  • Take stock of your achievements
  • Do it today
  • Strive for excellence, NOT perfection
  • Look at a work of art
  • Learn a new doodle
  • Learn to meet your own needs
  • Become a better listener
  • Know your limitations and let others know them, too
  • Throw a paper airplane
  • Excercise every day
  • Get to work early
  • Clean out one closet
  • Take a different route to work
  • Leave work early (with permission)
  • Remember you always have options
  • Quit trying to "fix" other people
  • Get enough sleep
  • Praise other people
  • Relax, take each day at a time... you have the rest of your life to live.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Things I Need To Find In Quincy

a yoga studio
a place to get a massage
a place that will trim ebony's nails
go-to delivery place with amazing buffalo chicken pizza
not-too-greasy chinese food with amazing crab rangoons
go-to sports bar with good beers on tap
grocery store
great mani/pedi spot
mexican place with authentic margaritas
great outdoor patio
COFFEE PLACES (dunkies, starbucks AND others!)
good sushi
ice cream spot
healthy salad/wrap place
somewhere to try rockclimbing
the best place to buy toilet paper
a good route to work/ belmont
a CVS for prescriptions
a good place for a run

Monday, August 1, 2011

How I Feel Today - an excerpt

because i can't even begin to muster the energy to articulate myself today, here is exactly how I feel, as beautifully written by a favorite blog.

i spilled coffee on my laptop last week--on the keys. and in an attempt to dry it up before it reached the...well, whatever it is that it reaches before the computer stops working, i pulled out my hairdryer.

i melted the shift key. the ctrl key now sticks.

i'm a disaster.

{most days, i'm a disaster}.

i'm the girl who spills coffee on her laptop. i wish i wasn't but i am. (and i can say that now because it's not the first time it's happened). i'm terribly judgmental and i complain. all the time, i complain. and i second guess and doubt--i'm a veritable whirling dervish of insecurities.

but i am funny. every once in a while, when you least expect it, i make a good joke--a mouthful of a joke that'll make your cheeks hurt and your eyes burn.

i want to grow vegetables in the backyard. i want to go to the farmer's market every saturday. i want our children to grow up in the kitchen--surrounded by whole grains and colorful fruit and ice cream we make in the cuisinardt. that's not too much to ask its it?

you do know i'm going to be that crazy mom who doesn't allow refined sugar in the house (or at least holds off for as long as possible). i'll be the mom making vegan cookies for the bake sale and packing brown sack lunches with zucchini fries and raw-goat-cheese pizza.

i don't have a mind for dates or numbers. i'll forget all that stuff. or confuse it. or wake one morning and realize the trip i've been planning for several months was off by two days. and so there will be a mad shuffle as flights are rearranged and work is rearranged and the whole thing will be so ridiculous all we'll be able to do is laugh. because it's small fries. that stuff is small fries. i'll remember the good stuff: where we went on our first date and what we ate and your shoes, too. i'll remember your shoes.

it's gonna be a hard life. because life is hard. but it'll be really worth-it. i promise you that--i promise the worth.

and i promise you the attempt. the attempt to be good. and the attempt to be kind. to not worry so much. to not care what others think. to not complain at every turn. the attempt at humor--always, the attempt at a joke.

i promise you the space between perfection and utter chaos. the marrow of life--that'll be my gift to you.


courtesty of the wild & wily ways of a brunette bombshell

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honey, You Were Right.

Our favorite NYC brunch spot? The one where we totally lucked out that perfect nyc weekend and got the special table on it's own little deck? Where I fell in love with watermelon + feta salad, and we walked around soho + went into the students art fair?

You were right, it's called public. I forgot.

A Response to Recent Breakups

First & foremost, I feel like I need a disclaimer. I do not know any of these girls, or relationships, personally. Only they can speak to their situations - and I'm not trying to judge what is obviously a heartbreaking & painful time in their lives. I just feel the need to comment on it.

In the past few months, there have been some very public engagement breaks. First, Crystal Harris & Hugh Hefner. Then, Kristin Cavallari & Jay Cutler, followed a few days by Kat Von D & Jesse James. I've also seen (via Facebook) that a few acquaintances of mine who were also engaged have recently decided not to marry. This, to me, is very different than divorce - there have also been many of those as of late. Each of these "break-ups" have struck a chord with me - they were all "out of the blue" to one or the other, and all were either very shortly after getting engaged, or right before the nuptials themselves. As far as I know, there was no cheating involved - that is a different story entirely.

I'm proud of all who called it quits - they did a very difficult thing, risking disappointing many and stepping away from the "hype". They all did what was right for them. But I can't help thinking that these individuals must lack some self-awareness to have gotten to where they are.

Tyler proposed on the 16th of February, 2010 on bended knee (in the snow!) with a beautiful diamond ring. But we had talked about that moment for four years prior to it. When we were first falling in love, first moving in together and really getting to know each other, we gushed to each other how we wanted to spend our lives together. Our first Christmas together, Tyler bought me a very small diamond ring. My mom kept asking what it meant - and although it was significant and had meaning (I guess you could call it a promise ring, but that's not really it...), it was not an engagement ring. We were not technically "engaged". Did we want to and plan on getting married? Yes, absolutely. But we were in no rush - we had already moved in together only 4 months after knowing each other, and I was 19 when we met! Knowing, truly knowing we would be together, we saw no reason to rush things. We would be husband & wife forever, why not enjoy the boyfriend & girlfriend stage a bit?

When Tyler asked me to marry him, I said yes. I said yes not because there was a gorgeous ring in my face, or because it was so romantic, or because I thought I had to. I said yes because I had thought long & hard about this man and our future together. I said yes because we were proving, by our current successful & happy lives, that we could make a life together work. I said yes, and with that yes, was my promise that I meant it, that I was ready, and that I would try with my entire being to be a great life partner, a great wife.

I guess these "celebrities" did not feel the same way. I can't know. But I can't comprehend not figuring all of this out before you buy the jewelry, before you answer the question. It's a question - answer it. And answer it honestly.

On September 9, 2012, I will become Mrs. Hayley Denker. I will legally be bound to Tyler - I will be his, and he will be mine. But, to me, I am already his. He asked - and I said yes. The wedding & marriage is just a celebration of that. The engagement is the big deal - that is the moment when two people decide to spend their lives together. At least, it was for me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chatham.. the first few days in pictures

We had such a great time in Chatham this past weekend! Me, Tyler, my mom & Peter, Brad, Beepa, Dana & Michael all drove down on Thursday. Dana & Michael were only able to stay through Friday afternoon, but we filled the first day with the beach, lobsters, oysters, drinks, ladder ball & sunshine.

I think we are all at perfect ages to go on vacation together - we're all "adults", and it was so great being able to all hang out together.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Greetings from Cape Cod!

view full image
"Having a great vacation in Chatham. We spent all day today at the beach, and have been eating nothing but oysters, lobsters & yummy drinks. Will be posting more later! Happy summer :-)"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Bucket List

Eat lobster
Read a book
Eat outside... a lot
Spend a whole day at the pool
Take Ebony on long walks
Have a picnic at Castle Island
Get a mani/pedi
Make cocktails in Ball Jars
Scrapbook the summer
Spend a whole day at the beach
Eat steamers
Go to Ikea
Sail on a boat
Go on a hike
Build a sandcastle
Scan all polaroids onto computer, upload
Start a wedding idea book
Make a dinner entirely from farmers market foods