Monthly Archives: January 2011

A surprise, a shower, and some sun.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that of the numerous states my board certification is good in, California is not one of them.  A mid-January trip to 80 degree weather is not only a twist of the arm, but of the legs, back, and toes.

This past weekend I had a mini-reunion with some of my college friends in California.  We flew out to surprise Alicia with the miniest of showers to give her some much needed social interaction after 10ish weeks of bed rest.  Her husband arranged for us to stay in a beautiful Villa by Laguna Beach, and the combination of girl time and pristine weather conditions made for a short but extraordinary weekend.

I worked until 9PM Thursday, which, due to a impending snowstorm and Chris’s bout with bronchitis and sinusitis, was followed by a car ride to Providence, a train ride to Boston, and an unexpected sleepover at a friend’s apartment.  I think my flight might have been the only one to make it out of Boston Friday morning, but I somehow made it to Cali.

We picked up lunch with Tom, Alicia’s husband, then surprised her at her apartment.  Though the receiving end isn’t always my favorite, I adore giving surprises.  It was just perfect.  She had no idea we were coming, and she was elated that we were there.

I was reunited with my long-lost friend Daisy upon entry into the apartment:

I knew braless Alicia wasn’t expecting any visitors because she was….braless.  I’m attributing our haggard eyes and pale skin to the early flights, but at 34 weeks pregnant Alicia still managed to radiate amongst the rest of us.

An overly-prepared Em packed not only her clothes and toiletries, but her cookbook and spices.  An accidentally emptied jar of sea salt and near bout with the fire alarm later, we prepared our favorite college dish—meat pie.  Don’t knock it until you try it.

And the miniest of showers:

To little Brooklynn’s benefit, Tom is fashionable and motivated to shop while Leesh is on bed rest.  He did a phenomenal job in providing numerous options for Brooklynn to don on her way home from the hospital.

And because I used California as my canvas for continuing to learn how to use my new camera I know we can all use a little motivation to shovel through the rest of this snow-laden winter, here’s what Californians have to enjoy year-round.



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What You’re Missing

If you were raised like I was, you’re missing out on some great items at unbelievable prices.  I mentioned this in my post on Thrifty Thrifting, but I didn’t frequent consignment and thrifts stores as a kid.  That’s a lie—I had never been into one until I was an adult.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a bargain shopper from the womb.

While living in Connecticut I discovered something borderline amazing—clothing consignment.  I’ve been doing this for about three years now.  I bring my old clothes to the consignment shop when I’m ready for some new stuff, they sell my old stuff, I get a check, money goes to new stuff.  Genius.  The only drawback I’ve found is that I have a tendency towards consigning things that are new and I still wear.  There’s a certain thrill about unexpected money from consigning that is increasingly addictive.  I have to keep a close eye on myself.

What are the best things to consign?  There are a few things that I don’t like to cut corners on.  Mostly—jeans, boots, and bags.  So when it’s time to consign these things, I usually get around $50-$75 with the turnaround.  I’m serious.  This isn’t what they sell for, this is what I get from the consignment shop.  The best part is, since I get a lot of my designer items from the outlets, usually on sale at the outlets, they occasionally sell for more at the consignment store than I bought them for.  If you’re in RI and looking for a good place, has been great to me so far.  They are very picky about what they’ll accept, but they give you 50% of the sale price and they’re busy.

So when I’m not looking for jeans, boots, or bags, I’m all about the best deal possible.  I recently found an estate sale warehouse (Mike’s Estate Services in West Warwick, RI) where they have some unbelievable deals.  If you have patience and a good eye for a deal, you can find things like these:

Pulls for our bathroom doors:

I’m a necklace hoarder and tend to shy away from earrings…but for $0.50 a pair, you can’t go wrong:

So–those are my suggestions for stocking your closet without emptying your wallet. Happy thrifting/consigning.

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Peep show’s closed

Since we moved into the house our huge bedroom windows have been bare and bright. The neighbors have had quite the show over these past few months.  I tried curtains, but that resulted in joint compounding and repainting the holes where I had hung the rods…they looked terrible.  I spotted some great shades at Chris’s aunt’s house, and used the same company to have them custom made for ours.  They were installed only half an hour ago, and I’m still gawking over them.  Every five minutes I take a stroll to the other end of the house just to grab another peek.  Perfection.

A new rug from to warm things up:

One of my favorite Christmas gifts, new sheets from

And our master bedroom, a few steps shy of completion:


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Professional wedding photos

I LOVED our wedding photographer.  I looked at tons and tons of different photographer’s sites, and I was able to find a small list of ones I really liked.  Groomzilla Chris only liked one—Jennifer Leatherwood (  A few of you have been asking about our photos, so here are a few of my favorites.  We have just under 1600—so this is a very small sample.  Enjoy!

And a re-post, our video, shot and edited by Jeff Brouillet (

Password: Lavigne


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Finally on my way to full-time employment.

This weekend we moved all of the equipment and supplies in the dental office from the old portion of the building into the new addition.  Five of the operatories are completed, and my two operatories will be done in one week.  The new building is going to be incredible, and I can’t wait to finally have my own space; space to see patients at the same time my boss is seeing patients and therefore more than three half-days a week.  Here are some shots from before:

Take note of my favorite part of the office: the floral vertical blinds.  Here is the new place:

Tomorrow morning is game time, so hopefully this transition is a smooth one.

Saturday night I saw Black Swan.  I have been dying to see this movie for weeks, and after unsuccessful attempts to drag Chris along, I finally found a partner in crime and got Tamra to see it with me.  The movie made me want to do this:

and this:

It made me feel like doing this:

And I left the theatre resembling this:

You might like it.  It was artsy.  I’m just not mature enough for those kind of sex scenes and that kind of mind f*!%.

I’ve been obsessed with my new camera and if you run into me in the near future you’ll probably be victim to an obnoxious photo shoot.  Here are some photos of the Bouchard dogs.  First up, Kober, the cairn terrier….my canine boyfriend.

and little Stella, the Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix).

After being snowed in at Tamra’s house last night, we ventured to Newport today.  I love Newport in the winter.  It’s just as beautiful as the summer, but there are minimal/no tourists crowding the streets.  The shops just barely survive the winter and thus the owners are more than willing to bargain with you to make a sale.


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Talented friends.

I’m not sure if with advancing age increasing maturity I’m more aware of others’ talents in general, or if I’ve just managed to surround myself with extremely talented people (I prefer the latter), but here’s an example of something phenomenal from my friend Justin, the guy who also did our wedding invites.  These are a few photos from his photo 365 project for 2011.

005: Moon

007: Snow Glow

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Tonight I cemented a crown for a patient, and I was extremely pleased with the shade.  I started a new way of taking shades incorporating chroma, value and hue in different steps, and the result was phenomenal.  The lab did amazing work for me.  This patient has a range of colors throughout her dentition, and replacing a single front tooth with a crown is extremely difficult.  Here are the before and afters.  To zero you in on the tooth that was crowned, it’s the one to the right of the front two teeth.

Before shots:


And just to make this a little bit relevant to you… are my top picks for paste and floss:

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