Tag: Boston

Dealing with snow (& other unexpected things in life).

SnoJoke_Now that baseball season is officially underway, I feel like I can talk about the winter that was. During the season, it would have been like talking about a no-hitter while a no-hitter is happening — you just don’t do it. But, now that it appears we’ll be breaking 60° for a few consecutive days, I feel like I can talk about the whole thing.

First, let’s rewind a little bit.

At the beginning of January, we had no idea what the jet stream had in store for us. There was little snow at the beginning of the winter season. And then, that quickly changed. By the end of January, the Boston area was suffering from what an op-ed in the Times called a “slow-motion natural disaster of historic proportions.”

There was snow. And more snow. And more than enough snow. And enough snow, already. The birdbath in our backyard is evidence. These four shots from 1/27, 1/28, 2/8, 2/9, respectively, perfectly capture that progression. And while it only took a couple weeks to amount to the snowiest winter on record, it took longer than that to melt. As I sit here, mid-April, there are still piles of snow resting in shadowy backyards across the area.

So, how did we get here? To April with our now snow-free commute? What are the tips I put into practice when dealing with the unexpected?

1. Learned a new thing or two.
In January, I had no idea what a snow rake was, let alone that a snow rake even existed. I didn’t know what an ice dam was. And I also didn’t know that you could put ice-melt in pantyhose and place it on your roof to help alleviate the aforementioned ice dam.

When you’re forced to deal with a physical (or emotional) situation, you learn how to get through it. How to survive (relatively unscathed). How to learn and grow and become smarter and stronger because of it. That’s what you do. That’s what I did.

2. Practiced patience. In all things.
From the day after our first snowstorm (1/28) until as recently as March 30, the commuter rain line that I ride suffered from massive delays, cancellations and a so-called “recovery schedule.” It left us standing in the cold (literally). It left us driving to other train lines. And one week I didn’t make it to work until noon every day.

Eventually, one way or another, we all make it to some end point that we expected to be at or that we’ve accepted we’re at. We don’t give up, pitch fits or whine about it though — that doesn’t do anyone any good at all. It’s easier said than done, but having a little patience with ourselves, and with others, goes a long way.

3. Turned the frown, upside down. 
You have never seen a group of people more upset than the collective greater Boston population was this winter. But hey guys, we were all in it together, amiright?

Unexpected situations are much easier to face with a positive outlook. And while it’s easy to say “everything happens for a reason,” it’s sometimes much harder to actually believe it. I’ve found that finding the reason (or reasons) sometimes make dealing with the tough shit harder at first. But in the long run, it’s somewhat soothing and definitely easier to get behind with rose-colored glasses.

4. Looked ahead.
Spring was on my mind’s horizon since January.

Yes. I knew that official spring wasn’t for 60-some days. And I knew that unofficial spring (aka warm weather) would be several more days past that. But I didn’t let that get me down. It goes right along with that positive outlook. Listen,

You’ve got to weather the storm to see the rainbow.

In seasons, in life, in the expected and the unexpected, it’s so true — you have to weather the storm. Life has thrown me plenty of curveballs of all speeds, but I’ve managed to foul them off and keep this thing going. (baseball metaphors all the way.) I/You/We have to. That’s how I’ve managed. I’d like to know how you get through the big, small, crazy, ugly and everything else life has thrown at you recently.

Photo.

Tributes Get Me Every Time

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As many of you might know, I teach dance at a consortium of local colleges, called Colleges of The Fenway. While I took this past semester off, I still was able to attend the show. It was quite the treat because it’s actually the first time I’ve watched the show from the audience—I’m typically backstage calling the shots and keeping everyone (mostly) in line.

The first video here is from one of my fellow teachers, and my friend, Kristen. Her group danced this lovely piece, titled “Angels” in memory of our little girl. (Yes, I cried through the whole thing.) It was a beautiful tribute.

But it didn’t stop there…

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A group of dancers from previous semesters (and who I look forward to seeing again in January) put together this jazz/tap mix for me. They took a bunch of steps we’ve done over the past 4 years and put them into this one piece. It was amazing awesome and truly moving. (Yes, I cried AND laughed through the whole thing.)

Thank you to my amazing dancers (and bloggers and coworkers and friends and family) for supporting me during the good times and bad.

Thinking of Autumn Gets Me Every Time

Changing Seasons | GetsMeEveryTime.com

This year, the changing of seasons are really hitting me hard. Here in Boston, it’s in the high 70s one day and all 50s, all the time, the week after. I’m all like, “woah, what? no transition?” But I’m OK. Bring it on, fall.

The temperature change has less to do with fall’s effect on me. I’m actually enjoying piling on the layers. It’s become my physical armor. To protect me from the cold. To hide the grief and joy and all the emotions which I am working through.

Frost warnings aside, the actions of fall seem to be what getting to me. It’s fall’s trees shedding their leaves. It’s fall’s acorns being carried away for storing. It’s fall’s grass fading to some shade in between green and brown. It’s tough. Knowing that fall leads to a seasonal death of life as we know it. No more bluebirds in the birdbath. No more chipmunks chasing each other through the backyard.

Simultaneously though, I am finding hope in these passings. I know that the upcoming dormancy of winter must happen for life to spring forth in just a few short months. It’s a reminder that nothing is forever. That it’s a cycle. Life is a cycle. It’s not just one journey, but a series of journeys that take us places and bring us right back, still the same, but somehow changed.

Eight Years Get Me Every Time

Skyline_BostonGMETHappy Labor Day, guys!

Here’s hoping you had a great long weekend. Today, I’m celebrating our (last) day off (as two) and along with it, eight years in (greater) Boston. Eight great, wonderful, amazing, long, short, life-changing years.

Instead of recapping my 8 years here, I thought I’d give you guys my eight reasons to love (greater) Boston. Some are quite obvious. Others, maybe it’s just me.

FreedomTrail_BostonGMET1. History: it’s everywhere. A trip down the Freedom Trail teaches you about a lot of it, but it’s all over greater Boston.

Mass_BostonGMET2. Seasons: After growing up in a place where we basically had two seasons, warm and hot, I’m in love with all of Mother Nature’s glory and the seasonal wardrobe that goes along with it.

Sports_BostonGMET3. Sports: I might not cheer for all the Boston/New England teams (You can’t take the Pittsburgh out of the girl.) but I love that we have access to professional sporting events year round. And I love the way this city gets behind a (winning) team.

Holidays_BostonGMET4. Shopping: From every major retailer to small shops like Pod and SOWA, you can really find everything you need.

MBTA_BostonGMET5. Transportation: If you live here you know we all have a love/hate relationship with the MBTA. But, live in a city where public transportation isn’t so great and you’ll appreciate even more.

6. The Burbs: I just made the jump last year, but I already/so far love living outside of the city yet so close to it at the same time.
Boats_BostonGMET7. Water, water everywhere: the above photo was taken on my lunch break. Because most places in the city you can go for a short walk and see some body of water, be in the river, the harbor, the channel, etc. Love it.

8. Eating Up: I haven’t written about every single place I’ve ever eaten (that’s a blog in itself) but you know from the all the food Instagrams and posts like Cutty’s and Jimmy’s Bar that I’m not one to turn down a good meal. And there are plenty of those to be had in the Boston area.

There are so many great reasons to love Boston and New England and I can’t wait to spend (at least) the next eight years getting to experience all of it.

Three Years Get Me Every Time

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Today, I’m raising a toast to three years of love, growth, smiles, tears, laughs, moves, friends, family, travel, hugs, kisses, Boston, marriage and Mr. GMET.

Three years ago we were saying “I do.” Three years ago we were enjoying a HOT spring day. Three years ago we were eating burgers, fries and chocolate chip cookies.  Three years ago we were toasting our marriage with OKC-style lunchboxes. Three years ago we were dancing the night away.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who has made the past three years so very special. Here’s to many, many, many more with the whole gang.
wedding2PS. photos by the wonderful Bob Perachio.

Happy Dancing Gets Me Every Time

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This past weekend I was in full-on dance mode. Here are some pics to prove it. Yes, they get a little blurry, but I’m not even mad. These girls, and guy, straight killed it. For that matter, all the dancers in the entire show were fantastic. I teach a couple classes at Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project and the students are the shining part of my week. Scroll down to see more, or head over to Dance Kelly Style today to check out the videos of my fabulous dancers.
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Roasted Garlic Burgers Get Me Every Time

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Earlier this year, my fellow Boston Blogger Kate posted an easy recipe for some roasted garlic butter. I jumped at the chance to make it when we had family over soon after, but I ended up roasting a little more garlic than I needed to have enough butter for five adults.
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So, naturally, when taking stock of my fridge one night, it seemed logical to combine my ground beef with roasted garlic and create a burger Mr. GMET wouldn’t be able to pass up. (His love of garlic is only second to his love of yours truly.)
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The result—a roasted garlic burger that tasted great with ketchup (me), mustard (he) and as leftovers two nights later.
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We’re inching our way closer and closer to that 20th burger. Maybe I’ll be able to get one of these bad boys on the grill in a couple weeks. (fingers crossed.)
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Burger #17 : Roasted Garlic Burger

THE INGREDIENTS:
for the burgers (makes 4):
1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper (according to your tastes)
3 cloves roasted garlic, diced
1 tbsp diced onion
2 tbsp bread crumbs (mine are GF, of course)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
+ your favorite buns + toppings (cheese, mustard, ketchup, tomato, etc.)

THE DETAILS:
Mix the ground beef with the salt and pepper plus the garlic, onion, Worcestershire + bread crumbs. Don’t over-mix your meat though or it will get a weird texture. Keep it meaty! If it’s falling apart or too juicy, add an extra spoonful of breadcrumbs. Now, throw em on your grill, in the oven, in a frying pan, etc and watch them carefully, turning about 8 minutes in to get both sides nice and grilled (more or less, depending on how well you like ‘em done.) Oh, and be sure not to press down on them, that lets out the juices that keep your burger extra tasty.

Make some onion rings, or toss a salad while the cooking is going down. Then pile on your toppings and enjoy.

** This year, I’m making (at least) 20 burgers. See ‘em all. **

French Macarons Get Me Every Time

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Do you ever look for signs of things to come? Say for instance, spring? I think it’s fair to say we all do. My favorite sign of spring for years has been one that comes before trees bud and crocuses come up. It happens usually before all the snow melts and before the winter boots have been put away. It’s the squawk that makes you turn your head to the sky. Geese. That familiar “V” appears in the sky and you know that we’re inching ever closer to spring as the annual migration begins.

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I can say, I think we’ve almost made it, you guys. Not only are the geese getting rowdy, but here in Boston, more and more food trucks are coming out of hibernation. And this year, already, I can tell my favorite truck, a new one at that, is Cameo Macaron.

Macaron3I ordered two dozen of these guys and Cameo Macaron founder Kinesha Goldson personally delivered them for National Macaron Day. I gotta say, those colorful tasty little cookies cannot be beat. And since they’re naturally gluten free, I’m going to tell you to go get your own, buyer’s keepers.

Good news, guys. Cameo Macaron is now operating a weekly schedule. Starting today, you’ll be able to spot that pink truck around town. Check the schedule or follow on Twitter to find out where and when. And don’t forget to follow Cameo’s Instagram for some eye candy that will leave you chasing this pink truck across Boston.

 

 

Buying a Home in (Greater) Boston Part 2 Gets Me Every Time

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Hooray! You’ve got your budget under control. Or at least, you’ve seen what affordability looks like in a spreadsheet. Bonus, you can see where your money is going each month and how much you are (should be) saving. Now what?

Well, in the great greater Boston area, it’s time to talk the first “L” of real estate. Location. Location. Location. And in Boston, we have more than a few to choose from. In the city? Or out of the city? North, south or west? Commuter Rail, T, Bus or Ferry. So, why not start with narrowing it down by area?

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Some of the “community” lines on this map are a little off. But, then again, ask 5 different people what exactly the “North Shore” or the “South Shore” entails and you’ll get 5 different answers. Amiright? Also, there are many great towns not on this map. Andover & North Andover are missing for example. And, I’m no expert on Mass geography, so if some of these ‘burbs names are off, I do apologize.

When we started our search, we started with two very basic questions:
– North, south or west?
– Boston city limits or not?

We answered the first pretty easily. Although many people I know (through work) live on the North Shore, Mr. GMET grew up in Metrowest. Coupled with that is family proximity—his family lives in the “Blackstone Valley” region and I have extended family in Rhode Island. So, south it was.

The next question was one we didn’t figure out for a while into our search. We wanted to be close to the city, so we looked on both sides of the line, including towns like West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Milton in our initial search before we really focused in on one town.

CommuterRailGMET

How’d we narrow it down? We looked at a ton of stats and ratings. City-Data is a great starting place. Simply type in a town and you’ll get the median age, home price, income and more. Greater Boston Suburbs is another one if you’re looking to move beyond Boston. We looked at how long our commute would be on the Commuter Rail if we lived away from the MBTA bus/T. It turned out to be shorter than our typical commute on the Green Line, no surprise there.

IntheCarGMETSo, armed with our narrowed down list and a bunch of research, we jumped in the car a few weekends in a row. We looked up the name of a restaurant in each of our top towns and headed out. We ate in each town, walked around the area where we ate, then drove through a few neighborhoods. We wanted to know what we were getting into, of course.

Finally, after figuring out our budget, we knew we were looking for a little more than a starter home. (We call it our “forever home.”) So, in addition to all the specs and stats, we also started looking at grown-up things like school rankings. Yes, we are that forward thinking. Keep in mind, we started this whole research and budget process more than 18 months ago.

All of these factors helped us settle on Milton and Dedham as our two key markets that we wanted to explore. Next up? The “fun” part. Exploring actual homes. Stay tuned.

Buying a Home in (Greater) Boston Gets Me Every Time

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I have never lived in a house/apartment/dorm room for more than five years. To some, that sounds awful. But for me. It’s been great. Why? Because I’ve gotten to decorate a new bedroom (when I was a kid) or a whole home (on my own) every five years or so. And that means that I’ve even had purple and black carpets in two of my many bedrooms. Yes. Purple carpet. Every girl’s dream. And black carpet. Every teenager’s dream. (Shout out to Mom & Dad.)

Needless to say, I couldn’t be more thrilled that we now have a home that we’re planning on staying in for the foreseeable future. (forever and ever.) And the fact that it’s taking me longer to decorate is A-OK because I have all the years in the world to do so.

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But first, on how we got here. Being a first-time home buyer can be crazy nerve-wracking. And being a first-time home buyer in a major metropolitan area can be even more of a nail-biting good time. The good news, there are endless options. The bad news, same thing.

Now since I’ve been through this, I figured I could offer a few tips with the old Boston touch. Today, the most important. The one thing you must do before you even start looking. Before your hopes get high. Make a budget. You gotta do it. It isn’t the fun part. But that’s for later. There are plenty of downloadable spreadsheets on the internet, but here’s a breakdown of ours.

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You might have more or less expenses, depending on your habits (Netflix, Weekly Dry Cleaning, etc..) but this is a pretty good start. And. Because I love ya, I’ve got a downloadable Excel version of our blank spreadsheet right here. It has two columns (now, renting and later, owning) and we calculated everything to be based off of a full year’s expense.

I’ve got some more Boston specific tips coming up soon too. Hold on to your house keys!