Category Archives: Events

5 for Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Edition!


Taking a break from the books this week since it’s St. Paddy’s Day! I’m not Irish, but sometimes I celebrate like I am. ūüôā

Here are 5 of my St. Paddy’s Day Faves:

  1. Food:

    • Creamy Reuben Soup – I made this for the first time on Wednesday. My husband devoured nearly 3 bowls of it! (For the record, I loved it, too.) Okay, so Reubens are not technically Irish, but the corned beef and sauerkraut (cabbage), makes me feel like Reubens kind of are… ¬†Besides, a local bar always makes a version that Rob always dreams of this time of year. I wanted to see if I could do it justice. The verdict? This one might be better. Make it no!¬†Side Note: I never really had a Reuben sandwich until I met Rob. He and his parents always ordered them when we ate out!
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage – Truth be told, this is not a traditional Irish dish either! It’s more Irish-American. This was our go-to recipe every year, a few years back. I don’t think I’ll be making it again, though. The Soup has won out for eternity.
    • Irish Bread – I think Irish Soda Bread might be Irish-American, too. I don’t remember ever having that when I was in Ireland.I do miss their brown bread, though! Maybe I’ll have to try whip up a batch of that next year. Anyone have a fave recipe?
  2. Drinks:

    • Guinness – People think that Guinness is such a heavy beer because it is dark and maybe also because of the foamy head.¬†While it may be heavier than the lager you are drinking, Guinness really isn’t as think or full-bodied as you¬†may¬†think it is. There are several stouts that have much more flavor and richness than Guinness. So give it a try! Sometimes, I’ll drink a Guinness when I want something lighter – it has so¬†fewer¬†calories than many other beers! Plus, there are so many concoctions you can make, including the Black Velvet in this post.
    • Whiskey – I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but my husband and friend Jen tend to like Johnny Jump Ups (a shot of whiskey in cider). But we did do a tasting while in Ireland. So much fun!
    • Irish Sangria – Want something a little nontraditional and fit for the beautiful weather we are supposed to have this weekend? Try the Irish Sangria in my Sangria post!
  3. Entertainment:

    • Irish Music – You can’t easily¬†find trad¬†in the U.S. but when you do, especially on this special day, it’s wonderful. We love the music at St. Paul’s FREE Irish Fair every August. And we go to see¬†the¬†non-traditional, but always fun Gaelic Storm whenever they are in town!
  4. Memories:

    • My friend Jen and I started a tradition when we backpacked Europe after college to find an Irish Pub in every country. My husband and I carry on this tradition to this day whenever we travel like we did here, here, here,¬†here, here and here.
    • Almost two¬†of those 10 weeks¬†backpacking in¬†Europe backpacking were spent in Ireland. I was most at peace in Dingle. I still remember that day and the calm I felt on the boat while in search of a the view of Fungie¬†the dolphin. Although, hanging with my friend Colm in¬†Dublin and Dundalk¬†was wicked fun!
    • Then we took a family trip to Ireland with Rob’s parents in 2012. Here’s a link to my last post¬†about that wonderful¬†trip. If you scroll down to the bottom of that post, you’ve got a link to all of my posts about that trip on the bottom. We were chauffeured around The Isle by Ray with Walk with Me¬†and made some friends with locals in Dublin. {Hi Ross!} We do need to plan a trip back. {Sigh.}| I haven’t seen the south yet!
  5. Lastly:

    • Our very own Shamrock:


Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

What is your favorite thing about this holiday?


I Wasn’t Going to Do This…


I wasn’t going to post this…

Because it was such a personal family event…

But it was so much stinkin’ fun!


After 8+ years with his girlfriend, on Friday the 13th, my brother {and only sibling} finally got hitched.


And he couldn’t be happier…

That is a classic JR smile. And he is actually about a foot taller than his bride. Danielle is standing on a chair in that shot!

I swear I was the only bridesmaid without a tattoo! ūüėČ


At least my hair turned out smashing…


Shout out to 9th Street Salon!

There were so many perfect little details about this event…

Like the fact that my nephew {their only son together} was the one walk Danielle down the aisle. What a special way to finally tie their family together. In fact, her three kids from a previous marriage were also in the wedding. They’ve all lived together for a number of years. So at this point, the marriage¬†was just a formality… And a reason for a big party!

We only got one shot outdoors because it was so freaking cold! The guys were kind enough to lend us their jackets and, boy, that made a huge difference!


Since the wedding was at noon and the reception not until six, we all got on a fancy bus and made a few stops.

I was highly impressed with White Dog, Black Cat Cafe, where we stopped for lunch.


It’s one of JR and Danielle’s favorite places, where they’ve taken us in the past.¬†But how on earth the crew took care of this many people so efficiently impressed me. The food was prompt and tasty and after a bottle of wine, all was right with the world.


I hadn’t been to the Riverside Ballroom¬†in years and almost forgot how big it is…


With 270 in attendance, it kind of had to be!


It was a traditional Northeast Wisconsin Chicken and Tips Family-Style dinner. And although there were a few desserts on the table, there was cake, too!

Including a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cake…


JR was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when he was a kid. Since the Heroes in a Half Shell have become popular again, JR passed that love down to his son. Here they are in the photo booth!

We’ll come back to that photo booth in just a bit…

But there was dancing:


Mother-Son Dance

Now you can see the height difference between the bride and groom:


The band was phenomenal – the music teacher at Danielle’s daughter’s school!

She even joined them to sing a song…

IMG_1491There was a lot of catching up with cousins…

{I have 30+ first cousins! And they have 40+ kids between them.}


And some selfies may have been taken…


Now back to the photo booth…

JR and Danielle were so lucky to have their friend Rob take professional photos for the wedding. He and his wife¬†also manned {and womanned?} the GB Photo Box¬†photo booth. I’ve been to weddings that have had photo booths before, but this one was the best by far! The quality of photos was¬†so much better.


The last time these three cousins had a photo together was at another wedding 13 years prior!

The backdrop was classy. There were props to make it fun. There was room to fit more than half a dozen people in each¬†shot! And the fact that the photos are printed with¬†“JR & Danielle ~ February 13, 2015” on the bottom make them the best wedding favors ever. Memories captured!


More shots with cousins!

Each strip of photos printed out two copies Рone for you and one for the bride and groom. I saw the photobook that was put together the next day and, by far, this one was my favorite!


My only regret that night? Not getting more photos! I wish I had¬†more photos¬†taken with¬†all of my cousins, my grandma, my aunts and uncles, my niece and nephews, my parents and most importantly – the bride and groom! Can we have a do over? I’d like to go to a party like that again.

Congratulations, JR and Danielle.

Wishing you many great years to come!