Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wedding Plans!

While Dane and I were in NY we found the venue for our reception! We'll be having the reception at the Island Hills Country Club in Sayville, NY. The space is lovely, the event manager we met with was wonderful, and the menu sounds delicious. They are so flexible about everything. We can change the menu to whatever we want, set up the day before, decide how we want the room set up, and pretty much do whatever we want to make it how we want it. This might sound obvious. Of course you want those things in a venue, but so far this was the only place that actually asked what WE wanted. Every place seemed to have a standard package, and you take it or leave it. This place gets to be our place. We found our church too, and are just waiting for our ceremony to be approved by the board of elders. I've been assured by the Pastor that everything looks great, so it's just a matter of when the board of elders meets this month. I'm so excited to get things finalized! Now I can start my hunt for the perfect dress.

I looked at tuxes today with my groom and his best men. I had to veto a hot pink vest and tie combination, but I think they'll get over it. They also want fedoras to wear at the reception. We'll see if they actually still want that when it gets closer.

My sister got me a great book for Christmas too, Bridal Bargains. It has so many ways to save money and tips on doing things yourself. I think it's inspired me to want to design all our flowers for the wedding. I just keep adding things to my list of stuff I want to make myself. Now I have invitations, centerpieces, favors, bouquets, boutonnières, place cards, programs for the ceremony, table name cards, kissing menus, and there's probably more I'm forgetting. I'll have to see if it's reasonable to get all this done. I just like doing things myself. Crafts are fun :)

We're so happy to feel like things are falling into place. Now to look for a DJ and all that other fun stuff!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas with the Gallo's

I had the best Christmas with my family. It was awesome being home for a few days and getting to relax. Now Dane and I are in Pennsylvania with his family, enjoying some more time to relax and time with his family and friends.

Abigail Taylor is getting so big! I can't believe she's crawling all over the place and starting to pull herself up to stand.

Here she is reading "Curious George Goes to the Aquarium" with me. Well, she wasn't exactly reading, but she liked the pictures while I read.

And with her beautiful mom, Jenna. This is a pretty great picture, in my opinion.

She crawls...

And walks in her walker!

Some cheek to cheek snuggling. I don't know what she's looking at though.

I miss NY already. But I know I'll be back soon for more wedding planning activities.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why Can't We All Be Like This?

This video brings me so much joy. If you're having a bad day, just watch. I promise it will be all better.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the massive snowstorm now moving across the country. In Boston we are supposed to get about 8-12 inches. I'm actually pretty excited about it because I am not traveling anywhere until Tuesday so I can sit home. In the spirit of having a snow day (or half a snow day, Lasell College is closing at 12pm) here is my list of things I want to do today and over the weekend.

1. Drink lots of hot cocoa.
2. Watch The Godfather Part 2 (been sitting on my tv for about a month now)
3. Scrapbook!
4. Wrap gifts
5. Play with Mia in the snow. She may be from an island, but she LOVES the snow.
6. Bake cookies. You can never have too many cookies.
7. Watch Elf, Love Actually, and any other Christmas related movie I can get my hands on.
8. Drink wine. *Melissa Lulay suggested Mulled Wine. Recipe linked, but there are so many variations.
9. Make some kind of one pot dinner. Stew, soup, or the like.
10. Play the Wii. One word - Tanks.
11. Make these fun Christmas trees.
12. Finish my Christmas shopping (probably won't happen since I don't plan to leave the house)
13. Listen to Christmas music with my roommates. And probably listen to Emily while she sings. She can't help herself with Christmas music.
14. Maybe nap.
15. Snuggle.
16. Play Holiday Chicken Invaders.

If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thank You Wikipedia

You can find anything on Wikipedia, right? One of my new favorite things is WikiHow, where you can learn to do just about anything. I was looking up how to make a ballet bar out of PVC pipe (odd to many of you, but the Dance Team I advise wants a ballet bar and we're on a budget), and came across this article. Who's with me!?

How to Start Your Own Country

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Anyone can start their own country. That doesn't mean that people will recognize it, but hey, they generally won't stop you from trying--as long as they don't see it as a threat. So if you'd like to do your own thing in your own country, here's how to establish a micronation.


  1. Find territory for your micronation. Most micronationalists use their houses, land no one wants, or land on other planets. Some micronations exist on land unclaimed by other countries because of a loophole in a treaty. The Republic of Indian Stream, for example, was on land between the U.S. and Canada but is not under the jurisdiction of either because of ambiguous terms in the Treaty of Paris.[1] If you can't find land, though, make some! One millionaire activist piled sand onto a reef located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji and created an artificial island to start the Republic of Minerva.[2] But if you're not rich enough to make land, then just make it up--some of the more lighthearted micronations claim land on imaginary continents or planets.
  2. Declare your independence. If you have land, a declaration of independence will serve to claim that territory. Keep in mind, however, that actually sending your declaration of independence to gain recognition can lead to legal or military action if anyone disputes that claim. For example, when The Republic of Minerva issued a declaration of independence in letters to neighboring countries, the neighbors were very perturbed, and one of the countries decided to send their people to the island to take down the Minervan flag.[2] Besides, you can still function like an independent nation without actually declaring independence, like Taiwan does![3]
  3. Set up a government and constitution. This is a good time to consider why you're starting a country, and how you would like it to turn out. Here are some examples:
    • Recreating the past - e.g. Nova Roma, dedicated "to the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture and virtues".[4]
    • Just for fun - e.g. the Aerican Empire, based on strong senses of humour and a love of science fiction, fantasy, and games.[5]
    • To promote an agenda - e.g. Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, on the uninhabited Coral Sea Islands off the coast of Queensland, in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage.[6]

  4. Acquire citizens. You can have only yourself, if you want, or anyone who wants to join. Setting up a website, however, will help publicize your micronation to potential citizens around the world. You must also decide what you require of your citizens. Do they have to pass a test? Abide by certain laws? And what will they have to identify themselves as citizens of your country - A passport? Driver's license? Badge?
  5. Decide on symbols for your country. You should have a flag, a coat of arms, and any other way to represent yourself. Once you have symbols chosen, you can issue stamps, medals, and currency, if you'd like. Some micronations go as far as inventing their own culture and language. Of course, you might be content to create your own letterhead. After all, it's your country!


  • If you want to stand a chance of being recognized, your country should have territory, a government, a permanent population, and be able to host diplomatic relations (the Montevideo Convention's requirements for statehood).
  • Study existing and well-established micronations. What has led to their success? What can you learn from them?
  • If your intent is to have a functional and independent country, you will ultimately need some sort of basic infrastructure (e.g, roads, school, buildings, hospital, fire station).

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations


  2. 2.0 2.1





Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Start Your Own Country. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Christmas Spider spreads joy

Melissa Lulay has once again made my day with this post about my favorite 7-legged spider. Now he comes complete with accessories. What's a stylish and festive little spider!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I want everyone to know that Samantha Piette has a tremendous amount of patience and creativity. Thanks for your help today :)

Countdown to Christmas

It's December 11th and that means it's officially two weeks until Christmas. How crazy is that!? I'm doing fairly well on my Christmas shopping, but still at a loss for a few people on my list. Dad, Jenna, Melissa, Grandma, and Dane are checked off. Mom, Grandpa, and Abigail are still unfinished. Maybe if I didn't buy a million presents for Abby and then give them to Jenna every month I would have something left to get for her. I just can't help myself.

We decorated our tree this past weekend. It came out really nice! We also got fun sticky gel things for the windows with snowflakes and snowmen. My favorite part of the night was when Ben saw blue police lights outside our apartment, not uncommon in our neighborhood. But like a little kid he went over to the window and said "Wow... look at the lights guys". It was pretty amazing. If it hadn't been someone likely getting arrested, the lights might have been pretty.

I spent part of the morning making a Christmas playlist on If you haven't used the website before, I suggest you should. Make your own playlists and listen to other's playlists. If you want to listen to mine, go here: You can see my Christmas playlist and play it if you sign up for a free account. I'm getting into the holiday cheer.

We're doing a Secret Santa exchange with some of Dane's friends from Pennsylvania. Jayneel organized it using the website Elfster. It lets people RSVP online for the exchange then randomly draws names for everyone. I'm not telling who my Secret Santee is, but I did get a weird anonymous question from my Secret Santa. You can use the site to ask your person questions, to get a better idea of what to get them. Here's the question I got:
Do you like midgets? How about carney folk?? You are so going to love the petting zoo . . . .
Creepy... I'm racking my brain for who this could possibly be. I have a few ideas. Secret Santa, if you're out there, just go to my Amazon wishlist. I don't want circus folk, but there's plenty of ideas on there.

Sunday we're going to Jeremy's for a cookie baking extravaganza. I am so excited to make my thumbprint cookies and cream cheese cookies. They are amazing. I'll post some pictures after they are done!

In closing, I will share a text message conversation I had with my sister right before I went to be last night:

Melissa: I like 2 smile, smilings my favorite.
Me. Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?
Melissa: U sit on a throne of lies.
Me: Congratulations! The world's best cup of coffee! Great job everybody!
Melissa: He's an angry elf.

And we could have gone on forever. Elf is just an awesome movie :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Niece is the Cutest

Look at her! Such a big girl in her walker :)

Can't wait to see her at Christmas!

Wish List VETO

Every year as soon as the turkey has been eaten on Thanksgiving, I can count on my mom to ask me for a list of things I would like for Christmas. Last year, to make it easy, I made an Amazon wish list. My parents loved it. All they had to do was click and order and Amazon usually has free shipping on orders over $25. This year I did the same thing. As soon as we were done with dinner, my mom asked for my list, so I told her she could look at my wish list. She was happy to hear it.

But then I get a call from her the other day. She has vetoed my wish list. The things I asked for were not exciting enough for her and she didn't want to get them for me. How do you veto someone else's wishlist?! I guess I can kind of see what she means. I did ask for paper for scrapbooking and though that's exciting for me, my mom didn't think getting me paper for Christmas was good enough. I updated my list, Mom, if you're reading this. Hopefully there's some more fun stuff on there this time around. Love you :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving in NY and PA

Dane and I had a crazy few days! On Tuesday evening we left for NY. I managed to get sick just in time for our long trip, and stay sick pretty much the whole time we were home. We didn't get in too late, but had to get up Wednesday to look at venues for our reception. After visiting 6 places, we were tired, but definitely narrowed it down to two. Now we have to find a church that can do the same days!

On Thanksgiving we went to Jenna's apartment and visited with Abby! I can't believe how much bigger she got. Now 5 months old and almost crawling. She can get up on her hands and knees, but hasn't quite mastered putting one hand in front of the other. This is her playing around.

And me with my cute little niece. I love that she has her tongue out in this picture.

Even though we were stuffed after appetizers, dinner and dessert, the boys managed to find some room for some turkey around 9:00 at night.

And I asked Jenna and Melissa both to be my Maids of Honor! They said yes and put on the shirts I made for them :)

And this is just a cute picture of grandma and Abigail.

Then it was on to Pennsylvania to visit with Dane's family. Dane asked Drew and Jayneel to both be Best Man for the wedding. They got shirts too. Very exciting! We got to see Dane's nephew too. He got so big! Here's a picture of Uncle Dane and Jesse Oliver.

We had second Thanksgiving on Friday. Then got to spend more time with his family on Saturday. Then we embarked on our journey back to Boston on Sunday, which ended up taking 10 hours. It was terrible, but we did get to listen to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now it's time to start Christmas shopping! I actually did some from my phone in the car on the way back to Boston. I figured if we were stuck I may as well make use of the time. Can't believe it's December already!

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