Posts from — April 2011

The Royal Wedding: A Day of Hope

April 29, 2011

For all of you naysayers and cynics.  For all of you who questioned my 4am alarm this morning.  For all of you who called us childish, immature, silly girls.  For all of you who told us to grow up, get over it and ‘focus on things that matter.’  For all of you who berated those of us who seemed to care–

I leave you with a small excerpt from the Bishop of London’s sermon at today’s Royal Wedding.  A reminder that for the world as a whole, today symbolized more than designer dresses and fancy cars.  The world watched today -yes, in part to witness a fairytale come true- but more so, because in a time of great uncertainty and hurt, instability and despair, the Royal Wedding beckoned us each to pause, to smile, to cry, to revel in the love of Will and Kate, and to have hope.  Hope for the future, hope for true love, hope for loyalty, happiness and great faith.

“Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.”

The Bishop of London’s Sermon

Royal Wedding and British Flag(Credit: Huffingtonpost. Click through picture for source)

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Categories: Small Talk
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On My Nails: Kennebunk-port

April 29, 2011

My alarm sounded at 4:15am this morning – perfect timing to wake up and catch the early morning coverage of the Royal Wedding.  As guests arrived, followed by diplomats and finally the Royal Family, I couldn’t help but notice the streams of red and yellow.  Royal red, as anticipated.  Last night, I choose a royal red nail polish, appropriate selected considering this morning’s events.

Queen and Prince wear red and yellow at Royal Wedding

OPI Kennebunk-port nail polish

On my nails: OPI Kennebunk-port
Occasion: The Royal Wedding

Prince William picture: http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/
Queen Elizabeth picture: http://shoescarpe.com/

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Categories: Fashion & Beauty
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Easter Sunday

April 24, 2011

Family, family friends, Easter eggs, egg hunts, bloody marys, brussel sprouts and so… much.. food.  The boyf and I spent the weekend in Maine, celebrating good friends and big families.  Happy Easter y’all.

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Categories: Food & Drinks Maine
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Rachael Kathryn Horton: Grief and Tributes

April 12, 2011

Perhaps it’s not common practice to publicly mourn the death of a dear friend, and if I were a gambler, I might bet that the majority of people wouldn’t understand the purpose of sharing your grief online – for anyone to find, for the whole world to see.  But here I go – sharing my grief, mourning the loss of our dearest Rachael Kathryn.

Rachael Kathryn Horton

Because the truth is, the Gibs met online.  Our friendships first blossomed online, our daily interactions take place online, our undeniable bond, our unconditional love and support, our decade long sisterhood developed online.  It was also online that Heather first discovered the tragic news, it was online that we wept, we consoled one another, we prayed for hours after finding out that our friend, our sister, our Rachael Kathryn – was gone.  It is now online, that we are grieving together,  our daily emails continue, with Rachael still included.  We mourn, we question, we doubt, we wonder.  We remember, relive and look towards the future – together, but online.

So it’s only natural that I take to the internet to share my thoughts, to unleash my anger and ask why, why Rachael Kathryn?  Why this way?  Why so soon?  I ask how.  How could you do this?  How will her family recover?  How will life continue, day after day, without the voice of Rachael Kathryn?  How will the Gibs move past this loss?  How will our futures unfold without Rachael Kathryn?

I find joy in typing her name.  I like reading it.  I like hearing aloud in my mind as I read it. I call her number, and listen to her voice mail.

The other Gibs are grieving, some more so than me, and my heart breaks for us – us as a circle of friends, and each of us individually.  I’m grieving for Rachael Kathryn’s family.  Aaron’s family.  Their friends from home.

Simply put, life is just not fair.  Life is not easy, it is not fair, and it’s course is completely, utterly out of our control.

Rachael Kathryn, our hearts have not yet healed, nor would anyone expect them to so soon, but as we revisit your words, as we visit with one another, and some day travel to your gravesite, our hearts will mend.  Our thoughts will be filled with your presence, our lives filled with your love, and our emails *filled* with your -isms.

Additional Gib tributes to Rachael Kathryn:

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Categories: Relationships
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Rachael Kathryn Horton: The Loss of A Dear Friend

April 11, 2011

Earlier this evening, call-by-call-by-call, news spread through the circle of Gibs that our very own Rachael Kathryn and her beloved, devoted husband Aaron Horton had passed away.  Tears, shaking, sobbing, anger, anxiety, disbelief.  We all connected quite quickly, texts and bbms turned into phone calls, Facebook chats turned into a group Skype call.  We sat online – the only place all 12 of us have ever connected – and cried.  We sat in silence.  We prayed.

Rachael Kathryn was not only the most beautiful, angelic woman we’d ever known, but she was the most wise, the most kind, the most gentle and patient of us all – without question.  Rachael listened harder, felt with more sincerity and wept with more passion than any of us.  She was the one we all turned to when we needed comforting words.  She jumped into the middle of our frantic lives to provide guidance and direction.  She set us all at peace.  And now, when we need her more than ever, we are without her – physically.  Our emails will forever be void of her wisdom.  Our baby showers, weddings and birthdays will come and go without her heartfelt wishes.

Rachael Kathryn Johnson Horton

In Rachael Kathryn’s absence, I feel like there is no one to turn but to God.  Nothing to rely on but faith.  Faith – the one thing Rachael cherished above all other.

Hours after crying, talking, praying, the Gibs signed offline, one by one.  One by one we said goodnight, each of us off to face a hard night – trying to sleep, welcoming Rachael to our dreams.  Before I settled in to bed, I saw Inbox (1) and opened my new mail.  A horoscope.  So fitting considering the Gib’s love affair for astrology.

My horoscope reads:

  • “Just for today, you should try and ignore your habit of always trying to find an explanation for everything, Whitney. Something is changing inside you, and in the way you react to situations, and the desire to incorporate the more unpredictable aspects of life into your personality is the basis for these changes. A lot of your theories are only there to reassure you Whitney. But you probably already know that. Why don’t you just try being honest with yourself?”

Sweet dreams.

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Categories: Relationships
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Weekend Recap: The Farm

April 10, 2011

Another week, another weekend, but this weekend we traveled to a place we go only two or three times a year: the farm.  The farm belongs to the boyf’s grandparents, and is located in Montville, ME, population 1,000 (+/- a few).  To get to said farm, one must quite literally travel over the river and through the woods.  Gram and Grampy run a working farm, minus the chickens and cows, triple the vegetables with a side of freshly hunted deer, moose and bear.  Welcome to downeast Maine, folks.

Arriving at the farm means leaving your make up bag in the car, your fancy jeans in the closet.  We wear comfy clothes, rugged shoes, and gloves.  Always gloves.  Gloves to pick fresh strawberries from the plants, gloves to dig carrots from the ground, gloves to push wood through the wood cutter, gloves to grind fresh horseradish in the barn.

At the farm, the whole house wakes early, no one is excused from hard work, and everyone reaps the benefits.  Meals are all home cooked with fresh ingredients, drinks are plentiful and hearts are full.  Sappy, eh?  Well, welcome to Maine, folks.

(Note to readers: these photos were taken summer 2010)

The Family Farm | Montville, MEWelcome to the Farm!

The Family Farm | Montville, METhe main house and one barn.

The Family Farm | Montville, MEView from the bottom of the field.

The Family Farm | Montville, MESprawling field at the Farm.

Tea Pond @ The Family Farm Tea Pond at the Farm.

Pond PlantsPond plants.

Tea Pond, Room for TwoTea Pond, room for two!

The  GardenGarden rows.

More from the GardenMore of the garden.

Fresh BerriesFreshly picked raspberries.

Hunting Cabin @ The FarmOne of the hunting cabins on property at the Farm.

The farm itself is enormous.  Whether it’s 15 acres, 50 acres or 200 acres (I can’t tell the difference), Grampy’s land stretches further than you can see and encompasses a number of trails, a pond or two, more than one red roofed barn and at least a half a dozen deer stands.  Each spring, Gram and Grampy plant dozens and dozens and dozens of plants, each summer’s end they harvest their crops, each fall they hunt their own meat.  Gram and Grampy grow everything under the sun: lettuce, cabbage, kale, radishes, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, fiddlehead greens, pumpkins, potatoes, squash, corn, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries.  Throughout the year they cut their own wood to heat their own house, knead their own bread and buy their milk and eggs down the road at a friend’s dairy.

Every weekend at the farm is a friendly reminder of what life lived simply and honestly means. And by simple, I mean rich and beautiful and by honestly I mean hard working and well earned.

Cheers.

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Categories: Maine Travel Weekend Recap
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Dining Out in Boston’s Back Bay

April 7, 2011

Last night, the boyfriend and I enjoyed a delicious meal in Boston’s Back Bay at the (relatively) new 94 Mass Ave.  We were joined by the boyf’s old coworker turned good friend and his fiance – the couple that joined us at the Yardhouse this winter, and the couple whose destination wedding we’ll attend in Mexico this September.

A number of friends and coworkers had previously recommended 94 Mass Ave, and their rave reviews were dead on.  The menu is ‘designed for sharing with friends and items are served continuously throughout your meal.’  Yes, my favorite: tapas.  However, unlike your usual Spanish tapas menu, 94 Mass Ave offers your favorite American meals with a twist in small plates and communal dishes.  If you’re confused, just think grilled cheese, mac & cheese and cheese cake meets lobster, gruyere, muenster and truffle oil.  Between the four of us, we tried nearly a dozen items, enjoyed a few cold beers and a pitcher of red sangria — served with cinnamon.  Delicious, and to die for.

The meals we shared were:

  • Local oysters, red wine mignonette, cocktail sauce
  • Arugula salad, evoo, lemon caper aioli
  • Bruschetta, slow roasted tomatoes, herbed goat cheese spread, grilled sourdough
  • Tuna tartare, sesame, soy, green beans, fresh herbs, yuzu marinated Asian pears
  • Braised duck spring rolls, Asian dipping sauce
  • Braised short rib, sour cream and onion scalloped potatoes, sauteed shiitake mushrooms
  • Lobster tacos, poached in a chipotle beurre blanc, sauteed corn, shallot
  • Mini cheese burgers, caramelized onions, cheddar, mustard, pickles, special sauce
  • Lobster grilled cheese, creamy brie, muenster, tarragon, brioche bread, lobster tomato bisque
  • Profiteroles, caramelized banana, nutella, vanilla bean ice cream
  • Chocolate peanut butter molten cake, vanilla bean ice cream
  • Meyer lemon cheese cake, raspberry sauce

The restaurant was fairly empty when we were there, but in its reputation’s defense, we dined on a Wednesday night at 6pm.  The ambiance was still amazing, and regardless of the crowd, the food is so worth a visit.
Cheers.

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Categories: Food & Drinks
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On My Nails: Tickle My Franc-y

April 5, 2011

Of course the minute that I announce wanting to share frequent updates of my nail polish color - I stop changing my polish every other day!  Since I had my acrylics removed, shortly after my sister’s wedding, I’ve been frantically trying to grow my weak and ridged nails out.  The little ridge on each finger kills me.  To help the growth process move along, and to minimize the visibility of the ridge, I’ve been using Nailtiques and keeping my nails incredibly short.  Not only is frequent painting / acetone for removing counterproductive to the Nailtiques method, it’s just not as fun to paint tiny, weak nails.

So while the nails heal and grow out, slowly but surely, I’ve been keeping the color changing to a minimum.   And for the work week, that means I need a neutral color that will go with any outfit.  So this week, I’ve turned to my (just recently) favorite.

What's on my nails? OPI Tickle Me Franc-y

On my nails: OPI Tickle My Franc-y
Occasion: Just the work week

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Categories: Fashion & Beauty
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Weekend Recap: Spring Skiing

April 3, 2011

It’s not every April that a skier can a look at the 10-day forecast and see a nor’easter.  So when this April Fool’s rolled around and the boyf and I saw 12+ inches of fresh snow heading towards the mountains, we knew that it was time for spring skiing at Sugarloaf.  Early Friday morning we packed the car with our skis, boot bags and winter layers — 8 hours of work — then we were on our way north.  The mountain is 4 1/2 hours north of Boston.  You do the math, it was going to be a long, snowy drive.  We met the snow storm about 3 hours into the trip, and considering it was April 1st, boy, was it a storm.  We pulled off the road, ordered a pizza to go from Pat’s Pizza in Auburn, and kept trekking north, a slow 30 mph.

We arrived at the house, slept hard, and woke early.  Fresh powder, warm weather, high winds and an incredible weekend of spring skiing followed. I didn’t bring my nice camera, so I apologize in advance for my silly mobile photos that will recap the weekend.

Large pizza from Pat's Pizza in AuburnLarge Hawaiian pizza, half with no ham for the ride north.

April Fool's snow storm at SugarloafThe massive snowbanks that greeted us on April 1, 2011.

View from the SuperQuad | Sugarloaf MaineThe gorgeous view from the SuperQuad @ Sugarloaf

View from the summit | Sugarloaf MaineThe view from the summit @ Sugarloaf

Spring skiing at Sugarloaf Our skis!

Twisted Tea Keeping it classy with Twisted Teas on the shuttle ride Saturday night.

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Categories: Maine Weekend Recap
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