POSTED BY: Meaghan Colerick
So, on black Friday/cyber Monday... whatever, it was a Saturday... I decided to go and buy my first smart phone.
I know, right? Where have I been?
I'll tell you where I've been. I've been on prepaid, old school, slider phone (basically one step up from a flip phone), with T9 capabilities. It's been working for me. I never used to text much, I hate making phone calls and I thought my laptop was enough social media for me. But I caved. I've been using more text messaging lately, and, honestly, wanted a camera where it would be easy to share photos.
Like most people in their twenties, I grew up around the ever evolving multitude of technology. Pretty much everyone I know has a smart phone that I've tried, I've used tablets and ipads for work, and there are touch screens everywhere. So, I've been able to teach myself the basics of using my phone.
First things first, I had to get rid of all those useless apps on the home screen.
Next, I had to download apps that I knew I would use regularly (you know, like fantasy football and instagram... important things).
Then, I had to organize the ones I wanted on my home screen and start making accounts and signing into them, so I can start using them.
Despite having my phone for, well, only for six days now, I took some of my first pictures today while having a sushi dinner with Stefanie:
Those pictures came out so clear. I mean, now I understand why everyone thinks they're a photographer.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed with myself and my ability to, as Rob so kindly puts it, "enter the twenty-first century." I know I still need to establish myself more fully, and there must be some cool things that my phone can do that I haven't discovered yet... but I will discover.
I still need to: update work and friends and family with my new phone number, create a voicemail message, set up all my billing info... and, I guess, do other ascetic-type updates. So, basically, if you have any useful advice, please tell me all your secrets.
For now, I leave you with the first bathroom selfie I have ever taken:
I would like to point out the frustration and anger on my face, as I claw gripped the phone to be able to hit the shutter button; all the while trying to pose in such a way that it was clear that I was in a bathroom, in a full length mirror; simultaneously trying not to cover my face with the phone. Never. Again. maybe.
POSTED BY: Stefanie LaSalle
I've mentioned that one of the reasons I love Christmas is that the Christmas season is long and it gives us a chance to settle into it and really enjoy ourselves. Thanks to our generous family and friends, our December is jam-packed with fun holiday-themed parties and get-togethers,.
Every year my parents host a Cocoa Party, a holiday potluck with our family and friends. Everyone makes delicious food, and we drink and laugh and have a great time.
I usually bring a dip, but this year my mom requested a chicken dish, so I made a chicken, broccoli, Alfredo spaghetti bake. It looked a little boring so I tried to make it fancy and festive with some red pepper rings.
We also brought a veggie platter with Rob's favorite dip - french onion.
He was really looking forward to the veggies and french onion dip.
My dad decided to make a little change to the Christmas tree topper in honor of the Red Sox's victory this year.
I have absolutely no pictures of the food, because it was delicious and we ate it. Jalapeno poppers, French Meat pie, smoked wings, meatballs and sausage, assorted pasta salads, crab rangoon dip...so much food.
But the best part of the Cocoa party is seeing our family and friends!
Here is Mariel and Brian's son, Nolan. He is growing up so fast. Nothing makes you feel older than your childhood friend's kid transforming from a baby to a little man.
We finished the night with a pie - Brian brought this amazing Bourbon Pecan Pie. It was a huge hit and WE ATE THE WHOLE THING.
And of course, there was cocoa, with our choice of marshmallows or fluff. It was a Cocoa Party after all.
POSTED BY: Stefanie LaSalle
Growing up, Halloween was always my favorite holiday because I LOVED dressing up and pretending to be a princess or a princess or a witch princess. But now that I'm older, I'm all about Christmas. I look forward to this time of year for all the reasons they sing about - the tradition, the snow, the family, the good cheer. It's such a long holiday season and it allows us to have time to settle into it and appreciate it.
The first step of Christmas is decorating the tree. Or in our case, three trees. Three and a half trees. Almost four trees.
My family takes Christmas tradition very seriously. We've had the same artificial Christmas tree since my parents were married in 1982. It can't hold up as many ornaments as it used to, but it's our family tree and I hope we get many more years of enjoyment out of it. Yes, one branch may have fallen off this year, but dad and Rob wired it back on before we had time to be emotionally devastated by it.
Each of us has a job to help decorate the tree. My mom unwraps all the ornaments and lays them out for us with hooks. My sister is in charge of turning the lights on and off as needed, although she was a little slack this year due to working the midnight-8am shift at the mall on Black Friday, so Rob helped her out. And me and my dad are in charge of testing the lights.
DISASTER! Half the lights on the string were out and there was no back ups and it is too cold out to go to the store. We checked every damn bulb on that string.
My mom got pretty excited when they suddenly came on. "It's a Christmas miracle," she said.
We all put a little something on the tree, but Kerry and I do the bulk of the decorating. We each have our favorite ornaments to put up each year, so I sort them into two piles and them we put them up.
This is my favorite ornament that I put up. It's a little mouse holding a cherry, sitting in a pie. Three-year old me went crazy for this little guy. Actually, 27 year-old me goes pretty crazy over him too.
This Rudolph is my favorite ornament that I've made myself. He used to have two googly eyes, but one fell off ages ago, and I just drew a line so it looks like he's winking. Now he's a sassy Rudolph.
Rob's family always gets a live tree, and last year I went with them for my first LIVE Christmas tree experience!
Rob's first two choices were very...interesting.
In the end, they decided to go with something a bit more traditional.
Side note: There was a young man working at the tree farm that stayed with us the entire time. He is hiding behind the tree in this picture which kind of creeps me out and I don't know why.
After a smooth, yet wet, ride on the hood of the car, the tree was unloaded and carried into the house. It smelled SO good, and we didn't even get TOO sappy this year, which was a bonus.
Rob got jealous of all the attention the tree was getting, so he decided to be a tree too!
We have to let the tree settle a bit and dry out before the lights and ornaments go on. But between the smell of the pine and the wood on the fire, it felt like Christmas already.
Rob & Stefanie Tree
I bought this tree when I was living in Woonsocket with Meaghan four or five years ago. I waited until after Christmas and then snagged it for a great price, along with several dozen ornaments. I overestimated the number of ornaments I would need, and when the tree is completely full, back and front, I still have a bag of ball ornaments in the storage box. I try to find places around the apartment to decorate with them, like the hall railings, but in the end, I still have quite a few "back-ups" in the bin.
So many ornaments.
The tree on the left was Rob's little tree that he used to put up in his apartment when he was living alone. It changes colors and looks great in our front window. The mini one on the right used to go in my room every year at my parents house, then it came with me to decorate my dorm at college. Now it's a kitchen tree because why not have a Christmas tree in every single room?
Good luck decorating your trees this year. Because Thanksgiving was so late, it's a short Christmas season, so don't put it off for too long. And remember to be good because Santa is watching!