I made a quilt-ket!

What’s a quilket, you ask?! Why, it’s a combo blanket-quilt….duhhhhhh!!!! I definitely did not mean to make this. It just sort of….ended up this way.

So back when Dante and I moved in together, there were boxes of clothes for days. Not my clothes….his! The man has more clothes than I have owned in my entire life. We literally had to buy another dresser…FOR HIS WORKOUT CLOTHES.

Anywho, after we had unpacked most things, a box of t-shirts remained. I asked if he was going to unpack them. “No,” he replied…”they don’t fit anymore.”

“Oh! So I can throw them out, then!” I responded.

“No way! Those are my childhood t-shirts!”

That’s right….my love is a pack rat. Duh duh duhhhhhhh…..

That’s when I remembered that I have a skill set that rarely comes into play in my life….I CAN SEW!!!!! ( surprIIIIIIIISE!!!!). I took sewing lessons from 5th to 8th grade. I was known for my wavy hemlines….I just couldn’t keep my attention focused long enough to create a straight line! It also made me, like, the COOLEST person in middle school (psyyyyyych).

After Dante showed his true colors, I asked him if I could make him a quilt out of his t-shirts. He said sure, and then forgot (I was betting on this part….)

I started cutting out the t-shirts over Thanksgiving break and laying them out. This was my original plan:


Luckily, this plan worked out….buuuutttttt not how I planned it. When I talked to quilting experts (aka Kristen and Uncle Virge), they explained that quilting was when there are three layers: the pattern on top, batting in the middle, and backing on the bottom. Then you quilt it…you sew all three layers together.

When I actually started sewing the tshirts together, though, I had NO IDEA what I was going to do for the other layers. But, like most things in life, when you have no clue what you’re doing, this can sometimes lead to great things! I decided to make two blankets, each with sewn-together t-shirts sewn ON them. Then, I’d sew the two blankets together and make one blanket!!

It took a few days…a lot of pins…aaaaand a lot of alcohol. But I finished it a few days before Christmas and he was so happy to open it.

Here’s the finished front:


And the finished back:


The blanket is the warmest one in the house and I might use it more than he does. Whoops! (Sorry not sorry)

Other notable firsts:

* I had never created a Christmas card. I failed miserably at sending them out….We only sent out half the batch! It had a few pictures on it, but this was definitely the best one:


* We’ve never had a mouse problem. I’m not sure if I could function knowing we used the kill-traps, so Dante agreed to getting this awesome no-kill one:


So far we have caught 11. However, we realized after the third batch that you have to release mice over a mile from your house because they have a crazy drive to find where they came from! So now I’ve started dropping them at the rest stop in Madison on my way to work.

* I’ve never seen jellyfish on a menu before. I was going to order it, but then the waiter came and I FORGOT!!!!

* I’ve never been to a fencing match before. Dante decided to become assistant coach of his school’s fencing team, so I checked out his match last weekend. I got two videos, but (surprise!) my phone won’t upload them to YouTube. For now, check out the only picture that I captured:


There were three different types of swords and rules: epee, foil, and saber. Uhhhhh….honestly, I couldn’t tell you how each one was different. But it was really fun to watch!!!

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I drove a corvette!

My friend Anne has been lovingly re-named “Hurricane Anne” by my parents for the way she seems to blow into town aaaaaaaand then right back out of town. But her visits, though brief and short, are always jam-packed with fun, ridiculousness, smart discussions, aaaand usually a fair amount of alcohol.

We met in Hawaii, when I was there for my first round of grad school and she was stationed there while in the Coast Guard. Within the first couple of weeks, she had squeezed me in her yellow corvette and given me a tour of the whole island that included a polo match on the north shore and ended at another coastie’s house (they owned the cutest pet rabbit!!)

Here were pictures from that day/night:


Fast forward 8 years, crazy road trips with farm animals, 3 masters degrees, a law degree, a Fulbright Scholarship, and a few thousand miles, and that’s where we are today.

Anne, being one of the smartest people that I know, has won a Fulbright that puts her in East Timor for a year. Since Dante and I now have a cool garage (we’re, like, hardcore adulting!), somehow we got super lucky and are keeping this beauty (along with her more demure Hyundai Sonata) for a whole year!

I decided to take it for a spin on Friday to my parent’s house, where I was staying overnight. (Meaning I’d HAVE to drive it back on Saturday!) so I hopted in the car (now TEAL!) and brought it for a spin!img_0275

It was certainly different than anything else I have ever driven! There is no power steering, so it was a bit of a wrestling match every time I needed to turn.

But there was no feeling to describe how cool it was to be in the exact same car that I once rode in around Oahu. Or how it made me smile and think of Anne and hope that she is happy. Or to hear Adele singing her heart out of a radio that was made in 1976.

Im a pretty lucky gal to be able to have this experience for the next few months! And an even luckier one to have such a cool/smart/crazy/amazing friend to make it all happen. 🙂

Other notable firsts:

* I had never written a script before! Now I need to write two more for this year’s Family Concerts!!

* I had never worn jeggings before. I bought them from the Loft and they are my most favorite pants I’ve ever owned in my life!

* I had never met Kayleigh and Brett before. Dante was Brett’s Best Man at our last wedding of 2016. They were so wonderful and planned a beautiful San Diego wedding!

* Subsequently, I’ve never been broke after a wedding season! Lots of weddings this season in lots of far off places. Congrats to all our wonderful friends!!!!!


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We started a Podcast!

Today is a big day! It’s my thirty-dos birthday (I’m not turning thirty-two….I’m turning thirty-dos….), it’s my friend Amber’s rehearsal dinner (she and Steve are getting married tomorrow and I’m once again regaining the beloved title of ‘bridesmaid’), and my super -de-duper co-worker, Katie, and I are releasing our baby that we have been working on for a year now….a podcast called Listen Up!

When we first started working together last year, we were sitting in Katie’s office (as we frequently do!) and talking about our favorite subject….getting people to appreciate Classical music. I think it was Katie who mentioned the idea for the podcast and I told her about the class that I taught at two colleges in Hawaii. The class as a whole was a survey of western classical music, from the Medieval period to the turn of the century. But the first five weeks was an introduction to music’s basic building blocks, like melody and rhythm and harmony. Why not make a podcast that explains the building blocks of music?

We teamed up with the radio station at University of New Haven, which is run by former radio talk host and now NPR reporter Bruce Barber (who is an AMAZING human being). He put us together with a sophomore named Nelson who wants to produce things on the radio for a career! So we get a podcast that helps people learn about music, Nelson gets hands-on experience in his future career, and the radio station gets great exposure! It’s literally a triple-win!

I was pretty adamant about NOT using solely classical music in the examples, and Katie was right on the same page as me. I’m always struck by how many people think they know nothing about classical music….building blocks are building blocks, no matter the music’s genre classification. Rock music has melodies, just like jazz, and just like classical. I love telling people “YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT CLASSICAL MUSIC THAN YOU THINK!!” So the whole goal of the podcast is to re-introduce you to music’s building blocks, but using music that you listen to everyday, with a smattering of classical thrown in.

We released the first episode, focusing on melody, as well as a short introduction to the series today. Going forward, we will release a new episode every other Thursday.

Take a listen! Let me know what you think!:

Click HERE to listen!!


Other notable firsts:

* I had never ordered shoes from Overstock.com before…..I like the way they look!!! Let’s see how long they last on my feet!

* I had never ordered jeggings. Listen, I’m of the firm belief that one shouldn’t wear spandex above the age of 4. But I’m willing to give these a try. Loft had a deal for no shipping costs and 50% off everything. They’re arriving. Watch for the headline: “Woman takes out clown by using jeggings as slingshot”…..

* I had never had the chance to use my new purse holder!!! Jenn gave me this one after I saw her amazing one. It fits right inside my purse!!!! Bestest thing ever!!!


* I Had never heard Chuck Loring speak about board responsibilities before. This man makes a living off of consulting and building the relationship between staff and board. A genius!! I also enjoyed his use of transparent duties (teehee):


* I have never lived without this man:


Ben was my father’s oldest friend – they met when Dad was 5. 64 years of an amazing friendship that never got old. I will miss him very much.


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I read the whole Harry Potter series! (Uhhh, and went to St. Thomas)

Whoops! So I know that I was going to post once a month, buuuuut then I saw something shiny. SOWWIES!

Anywho, there’s a lot to catch up on!

I’m not sure why I never read Harry Potter as the books came out. Most of my friends read them, or at least watched the movies. At Laurel this year, we remembered how when “Order of the Phoenix” came out, it was the quietest year of camp…everyone was reading!

Well, it was at Laurel when one of my campers handed me the first book during a rest hour. I was doing bunk checks when I noticed one of the girls reading “Jurassic Park.” I asked her if the book was good so far, and she replied that she had read it before. She had brought that book and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” with the thought of re-reading one of them during camp. I told her that I had never read any of the Harry Potter books, and she gave me the face that EVERYONE else has given me over the years when I tell them that I haven’t read the books. And she said, “You HAVE to read them.”

I love my campers, and I try and do anything I can for them. She said it so emphatically that I said I’d give it a try and tell her all about it.

I brought the book back to my tent and within five pages was SUCKED in to the world of Harry Potter!

I Finished that first book by the next morning and had to wait another week before getting my next fix! Luckily, I have an amazing co-worker named Katie whose husband was willing to share his original texts with me, one book at a time! It was like my personal Harry Potter library!!

My my favorite book was the sixth, “The Half Blood Prince.” I love back stories and knowing why people are the way they are. And that’s all that this book was! I also liked the third and the seventh. I did NOT like the fourth, “Goblet of Fire,” although I certainly realize the importance of it in the series.

I’m very sad that the series is over and that I don’t get to hang out with my new friends anymore, but I suppose that I can always watch the movies when I really need another fix.

The Pottermore website was just started, so that should help me out! It sorted me into Ravenclaw, which is pretty obvious, but it also sorted me into their new American version of Hogwarts…this one also has houses, but are based on mind, body, spirit, etc. I was sorted into the Thunderbird house, which represents the soul. I think it makes me sound braver than I really am.

Other notable firsts:

* I’ve never lived in Clinton before! Quite possibly my favorite apartment I’ve ever lived in!!! Huge back and front yards, humongous windows, a garage, and a DINING ROOM! I feel like  such an adult 🙂


* I had never taken the StrengthsFinder test before. My top 5 strengths are (in order): intellection, learning, connecting, context, and positivity. I don’t think that I had ever realized the connecting strength before, but now I’m seeing it every where I turn! Also, there are cool little videos that describe your strengths. Here’s one on my top strength, intellection:


* I had never been to St. Thomas before! One of Dante’s best friends growing up is named James, who also now works at Old Saybrook Middle School (best internship everrrr). His now-wife, Erin, grew up going to St. Thomas multiple times a year…her dad had fallen in love with the island a while ago and bought a condo so that they could go down whenever they wanted. I Had never been to any of the Virgin Islands before, but now I know how beautiful they are!!! 🙂

We were very excited to get off the plane:


And Erin and James looked like models:


* I had never learnd so much about the Marvel universe before…I have now watched Jessica Jones and am a few episodes in to the second season of Daredevil. Electra just showed up and I don’t know what that means!

* I had never had a banh mi sandwich before. Delicious! (Faux meat, of course!

* I had never learned the set dance Three Sea Captains before! I love the version that I learned!

* I had never been on stage with the NHSO before. I got to go on stage with a blow up shark when we played “Jaws” during our John Williams concert in June. So much fun!!

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I sat in the Taft seat!

Ladies and gentleman, meet President Taft. As you can see, the man was a giant force of life.


As such, when he came to hear Yale music department performances, the man needed a seat to fit his giant force-of-life behind! They built a chair specifically for this purpose, and it is lovingly known as the “Taft seat.” For the New Haven Symphony, we reserve it for special guests – people who sponsor a concert, have been a wonderful partner, or sometimes randomly one of our parents gets it.

I finally got a chance to check it out before our last concert this past Thursday. As far as the extremely uncomfortable ancient seats found in Woolsey Hall, I’d say that if you slapped a seat cushion on this seat, you’d probably have yourself the most comfortable seat in the house!

If any of you want to sit in this seat by donating some $$$ to the NHSO, you just let me know!!

Other notable firsts:
* I had never commuted to work for an entire week by train. Dante and I are moving in together sometime this summer and wanted to see what it would be like to live together in New London since he’s got a pretty sweet pad. I liked the commute, but no so much when the commute started…I had to be out of bed by 5:45am. For those of you who know me well, this was not an easy feat!

* I had never eaten at Krust in Middletown! Delicious! And I got to hang out with Amber and Steve AND her parents! Her mom had run 20 miles that morning. Whut.

* I had never eaten at a Yard House outside of Honolulu! When we visited Mike and Kristen in New Jersey, we ended up at one and I was STOKED!!

* I had never heard Peter and the Wolf live before! The perks of my job 🙂

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I started dancing with the Mulkerin School of Irish Dance!


Listen, I know in my last post that I said that I’d be back soon. I unintentionally lied…can you ever forgive me??!  I had so many things that I had to work out that I was completely overwhelmed. I’ve recently realized how much I miss the fun that comes from doing something new and the paths that all those new things open up for you. So I’m ready to recommit myself to this blog again….albeit on a monthly basis now. And I think a leap day is a great way to post on the last day of the month!! So let’s get to it!

I danced with the Gray school of Irish Dance for about three months when I first moved back from Hawaii. It was LOVELY, but I ended up running out of both money and time when I was in my Education program. Fast forward a few years, and suddenly I have the evening time and cash to start up one of my favorite pastimes again!!

I found the Mulkerin School because they have an adult class, which is really important to me. The friendships that I made in Hawaii through our branch of An Daire were AMAAAAZING. we celebrated birthdays and fun times together all year, not just St. Pats (which was pretty vibrant in Honolulu!!)


It also happens that my boss’s daughter also dances at the same school, and she had wonderful things to say.

I started my first class at the beginning of February and loved it. I was the fifth Caitlin in the class, all spelled the same way, and the ladies that I’m dancing with are hilarious. We learn both steps and ceili dancing. Their school steps are a bit more traditional than the ones that I learned in Hono, but it’s all good and you won’t hear any complaints from me!

I don’t think my arch has suffered toooo much, but I’m looking forward to getting it back into shape!


Other notable firsts:

  • I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My job is amazing. All of it.
  • I’ve never lived in Branford! I moved into a house share in December so that I could be closer to New Haven. I can’t beat the commute time!
  • I’ve never eaten so much New Haven food. I can’t even.
  • I’ve never had dental insurance before! (CRAPSKIES, I should probably start using it….)
  • I had never stayed in Storrs, CT after watching a UCONN basketball game!
  • I had never felt so old after getting cut in line by 19-year olds trying to get into a UCONN bar. I was so mad at them!!!! Grandma wanted to SIT!!!!!



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Dear Readers (aka friends….),

I’m going to take a bit of a break from here for a little while. Just have to figure a few things out.

I’ll be back soon!!!!

Thanks for all of your support 🙂

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