Our Latest Project

As some (still around) readers may remember, 3 years ago my husband and I embarked on our biggest project: building our very own house.

Our Handmade House

I still can’t believe we’ve been there for three years. Time sure does fly!

Since then, David has been itching to have another project to work on. Since we’ve gotten ourselves out of debt, we now have the means to cash flow said project. Just about a month or so ago, we were finally able to break ground on our new…

…garage! And it’s bigger than our house! The house is (approximately) 24 x 36, and the garage is 28 x 44. Yep, gargantuan! It’ll house our two cars and his workshop. For the time being, our goal is to get it weathered in, and installed with doors, before the winter hits. Next summer we’ll install the patio and get the structure insulated.


This was the garage about a week or so ago. This past weekend we installed the rafters over the side where the patio will be going. It’s going to be THE place for BBQ’s in the summer. :-)


As I type this, David, my father in law, our neighbor, and friend are outside finishing the overhangs and putting up the sheathing on the roof. Once that’s complete, we can have someone come in to install the shingles. David is completely capable of doing it, but with our limited time before the winter comes, he’s decided to hire someone to get it done in a much quicker fashion.

And that’s what we’ve been up to lately! Work is busy but it will be slowing down during the holiday months. Can’t wait for the holidays to arrive!

What’s the biggest house project you’ve ever tackled?

Posted in 2015, David, Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

2015 Pell Bridge Run

Almost 2 weeks later and I just realized that I never recapped my most recent race!

For the 5th year in a row (along with my dad and the 5th year of the race!) my parents and I made the trek down to Newport, RI to run over the beautiful Clairborne Pell Bridge.

This year we stayed at the Homewood Suites in Middletown, which was just a few miles from the shuttle pick up location. The hotel was great, and it had all the amenities that we needed for our stay, including a buffet breakfast in the morning! For dinner that night, we went to the White Horse Tavern (after reading a glowing review by William!), and we had a wonderful time. I had the ham and lentil soup to start, along with an amazing peanut butter stout(!) and the duck with beet couscous for an entrée. Everything was delicious and would certainly return!

Our alarm went off at 5:15AM and we got ourselves ready to make it to the shuttles. Because we registered early, we were on the later shuttle. And being that Newport doesn’t have too many public lots, we left a little early to make sure we got a spot on a side street. Thankfully we found one easily and were at the shuttles well before our 6:30 departure.

The only thing I don’t really like about this race is that they shuttle everyone over so early and then we have to wait about 45 minutes before we start. Thankfully the weather has been tolerable each year. This year there were more clouds and wind, but the race was still an enjoyable one.


This was the only picture I took! I was trying to get the bridge behind me but there was no way I was going to stop to do so. The first half was slow and steady mentality. Since I’ve done this race before I saw no need to stop at the top and take pictures. And I made sure to have enough energy to coast down the other side. I was determined to get sub 10 minute miles, and I’m happy to say I succeeded!

Time: 38:39
Pace: 9:54
Division (F): 427/1856
Division (F 30-34): 65/215
Overall: 880/2829

Another successful race in the books! As of right now, I have no other races planned or signed up for. We shall see what 2016 brings! :-)

Posted in 2015, Family, Races, Running | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Tufts 10K 2015

Today was year number 3 for my running of the Tufts 10K; 5th year for my mom. We were both looking forward to the race, despite our less than stellar training weeks or the fact that the weather was in the 70s. Why this race starts at 12noon, I will never know. It’s fun getting to run through Boston and Cambridge though.

We arrived to the Boston Common at around 11AM and waited until they lined us up in our seeds at 11:30. I felt good and fueled, but the weather had me nervous. Although there was a slight breeze, the lack of cloud covers made the sun somewhat unbearable.

Tufts 10K

We decided to run at our own pace, and I got myself in to a nice groove around 10:15 minute miles. The course is mainly flat with a few up and down hills on the bridges. My pace slowed down as I was running, but luckily my stops were few and far between. I stopped to walk at 2 water stops, and walked for a few steps coming back over the Mass Ave bridge. I just kept telling myself “Don’t stop, don’t stop. Jog if you have to, but don’t stop!” Luckily that powered me through for the last mile. Additionally, taking off my hat and dumping water on my head helped greatly after around the 3 mile mark.

Time: 1:06:03
Pace: 10:38
Division: 595/1149
Overall: 2116/4301

Overall, a fine race that I’m actually quite proud of. Again, my training could have been better, but the weather wasn’t exactly in our favor, and I think I ran a smart race. :-)

On to the next one! It’ll be my 5th year running the Pell Bridge Run in Newport. Always a favorite.

Posted in 2015, Boston, Races, Recap, Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Apple Picking 2015


Yesterday was quite possibly the most beautiful day of the week. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was in the high 60s, low 70s. Since David and I both had the day off, and didn’t need to work on the garage, we decided to spend the afternoon apple picking. After a short search, we decided on Lanni Orchards in Lunenburg. There was a fall festival going on, but luckily the crowds weren’t crazy.

When we arrived, we picked out our bag and got to picking. At Lanni Orchards, they don’t charge by the peck; they charge by the pound ($.99 per pound). There was a large pumpkin patch to pick from, as well as some remnants of blueberry/raspberry/blackberry picking. We hightailed it to the apple trees though.

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The apples on the trees were absolutely ginormous. I don’t remember the picking being so good. I don’t know if we just went earlier than normal, or if the weather allowed for ample growth, but either way we made out like bandits. We picked out Golden Delicious, Macouns, and Macintosh. I’ve already bookmarked an apple crisp recipe, and I can’t wait to make it.

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We also had a lot of fun taking pictures. :-)

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Such a great day spent with David. After we picked, we just decided to keep driving, and we ended up in New Hampshire for the afternoon. The day concluded with buying new running sneakers and enjoying a steak dinner while watching “House of Cards.”

Lanni Orchards is located at 294 Chase Road in Lunenburg, MA.

Posted in 2015, David, Weekend | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting the Wang Theatre

Earlier this month, the Greater Boston Concierge Association was treated to an amazing meeting at the Wang Theatre, to highlight their upcoming season. The shows being featured for this season include (but are not limited to): Riverdance, Elf: The Musical, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Once, and Rain: A Beatles Tribute. The Citi Performing Arts Center comprises of the Wang Theatre and the Shubert Theatre, both on Tremont Street in the Theatre District, and the Colonial Theatre on Boylston Street.

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The grandiose of the theatre really captures you as you walk in the doors. The chandeliers sparkle, and you’re tempted to walk up and down the stairs pretending that you’re entering in to a grand ball. (No? Just me?)

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After the meeting we were treated to a tour of the theatre. It started in the dressing rooms, moved its way down the back hallway, which was graced with signatures from past shows. (Most notable: Ron White, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld, and the Dalai Lama), and ended in the best spot possible: the stage!

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It was such an awesome feeling being up on that stage. As a theatre buff, and past theatre performer, it was like heaven. I would love to be able to get back in to theatre. Time will tell if I ever get that chance! :-)

What’s the best tour you have ever been on?

Posted in 2015, Boston, Concierge, Theatre | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


When it comes to pastries and gelato, I develop a weakness. Well, probably more for pastries than anything else. There’s nothing like a flaky crust enveloped around a delicious fruit filling. So when the G(reater) B(oston) C(oncierge) A(ssociation) put out an invitation to try a bakery and gelato spot on Newbury Street, I jumped at the chance.

Amorino is located at 249 Newbury Street in the Back Bay. It opened in March of this year and has since become the hot spot for their Italian gelato. It’s Italian style but made in France. From their breakfast menu, which they started a month ago, I opted for the apple turnover. The crust was flaky and buttery with an applesauce-y type filling. It would have been better with chunks of apple, but it was incredibly tasty. They also have waffles and crepes on their menu. For a beverage I had the latte macchiato which is a dose of Italian espresso served over hot milk. It was so rich and smooth and didn’t need sugar at all.

I was also completely enamored with the interior. It had the rustic modern feel that I love, with its exposed beams and romantic-style chandeliers.

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When I was done with the breakfast items, I moved on to sample some of their flavors of gelato. The most memorable were the pistachio, coconut, mango (sherbet), and basic vanilla. The coconut had shreds of coconut in it, and the vanilla was the perfect flavor of vanilla bean. They come in 4 cup sizes and 3 cone sizes, and they’re famous for the flower shape that they create with the gelato on a cone. Apparently it’s a Korean flower, and the owner made mention that about 80% of their clientele is Asian, just for that reason!

The shop is open daily from 7:30AM to 11PM, and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the Back Bay area!

The items at Amorino were complimentary, but the opinions are 100% my own.

Click to add a blog post for Amorino on Zomato

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Too Busy

Can I breathe yet??

It has been such a crazy time these past few weeks. The second to last weekend in July, David and I went on a road trip to Canada and Ohio. I still haven’t had time to sit down and write everything up! But here are a couple of my favorite pictures:

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Toronto was to visit his aunt and Ohio was…within a reasonable driving distance. ;-) Hopefully I can get some time to share all of the pictures I took and tell you about the trip.

Right now I’m just trying to breathe and relax. Within the last 6 months we’ve lost two people at the desk and one is down to part time. I’m essentially the only real “full time” concierge, and that’s translated into long hours and long weeks. Thankfully I’m not completely drained by it because I love my job, and I’m more than happy to help out when I can. And once we hire some new people, I’ll be number three in the roster! I’ve never risen up so far and so fast at any desk. And once I’m eligible, the hotel is sponsoring me to go for my Les Clefs d’Or. I just have a couple more months until I can apply, but now I’m get all my paper work lined up to start the application process.

Otherwise, life has been good for myself and David. We just received word that the town is allowing us a special permit to be able to build a new garage on our property. (Because we have no road frontage, any new construction/foundation has to go through the board of appeals.) Last weekend was busy, busy as we attended a Red Sox game on Friday night (they won!) and spent an afternoon in Providence with my mom’s side of the family on Saturday. Sunday was a 12 hour shift at the hotel. It was busy in the afternoon but the evening quieted down a bit.



I love the fact that today and tomorrow I have nothing on my schedule. Next week will be 6 days of work, with one day of hanging out with my mom at her company’s work outing. I expect the week after to be the same (on the work front), but I’ve been assured that they’re working diligently to find replacements. It’s a BUSY desk to work at so they have to find the right fit.

Running has taken a bit of a back seat, but I do have a training schedule planned out for my next 10K in October (the Tufts 10K). It’s an intermediate plan that has more running days so I’m hoping it works well with my schedule.

I guess that’s all the updates I have so far! I hope to “talk” to you guys more on the regular, but things may stay crazy up until October.

How has your summer been so far?

Posted in 2015, Boston, Concierge, Family, Job, Life | Leave a comment

Starting from Scratch

As of last Friday, my Jogging Concierge self hosted website is gone. I did a transfer of my files (or so I thought) on Friday afternoon, but not everything transferred over. I’m missing posts from April 2014 to February 2015, and a lot of my pages are “temporarily unavailable”.

I’ve been wondering if it’s worth it to try and salvage what I may have lost, but in the end, I just don’t know if it’s entirely worth it. As much as I love re-reading what I’ve written, I feel like things in my life are so different than when I started. Ah who am I kidding, of course they’re different! So over the next few days (weeks, months?) I’ll be deleting my old posts, all broken links and broken pictures.

I still enjoy writing, but I think I have to cut my losses and start anew…still as the Jogging Concierge of course. I have to copyright that name. ;-)

Posted in 2015, Alaina, Blog | Leave a comment

My July 4th Weekend

This past weekend, I was able to spend the 4th of July holiday in Boston. Unfortunately it was because I was working aaaall weekend. I arrived at 2pm on Friday…

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…and didn’t end up leaving until Sunday at 3:30pm. Even though the weekend was absolutely crazy, it was really a lot of fun, and the time just flew by. It was busy Friday night with transient guests wanting information on the Harborfest and restaurants to dine at. Saturday was spent selling trolley tickets and informing guests where the best spot to watch the fireworks was. It helped that I was able to work with this goof ball in the morning too.


Mario for president! :-P


We were festive by giving flags and blue Hershey kisses out to guests. Even though the day was non-stop everyone was just in a good mood, and I had no problem repeating myself on where to watch the fireworks. I felt bad though because I was telling people to go on the Mass Ave or Longfellow bridges to see the fireworks but it turns out they were closed this year! I understand with the Longfellow construction but I was confused about Mass Ave. Apparently it was because they were shooting fireworks off from there!


After my 14 hour shift was over, I hightailed it up to my parents room since they were staying here for their anniversary. We enjoyed some champagne and the fireworks. My mom uttered “this is so freakin’ cool” at least 10 times throughout the 20 minute show. It was amazing.

Check out my Instagram (@jogconcierge) to see the video I took from the hotel room! I was enthralled, and we all felt like little kids.

On Sunday after I got out, I immediately called David to ask if he could pick up some Harpoon Summer for me. I was craving a beer like it was nobody’s business. And for dinner we had ribeyes on the cast iron skillet.


The house got smoky but the steaks were delicious! They barely needed a knife, and even though they were a bit overcooked, they were still moist *cringe* and perfectly seasoned (Montreal seasoning).

And after one beer and dinner, I passed out. I pretty much slept from 8PM to 8AM, and it felt glorious. I still have a couple of days of work before my 2 days off, and I’ll be working 6 days next week to cover someone’s vacation. Thankfully my vacation is coming up right after that! David and I are road-tripping; hoping to hit Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

How was your 4th of July weekend??

Posted in Boston, Dinner, Holidays, Hotel, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago today, my beloved Grandmama, Laureanne, passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was only 70 years old. I can honestly say that not a day goes by where I don’t think about her. She was such a wonderful grandmother to her 6 grandchildren. She loved her oldest grandchild (21 years) with the same intensity that she loved her youngest (11 months). I remember fondly the holidays and celebrations in their house in Bangor, ME and the summer weeks spent on Moulton Pond in Dedham, ME.

Myself and Grandmama at my high school graduation in 2002


Grandmama and Grandpapa visiting me in college in 2003/2004


Goofing around at my cousin Aimee’s high school graduation in 2004


My last photo of Grandmama at my cousin Mae’s christening in 2004


I’ll always have the memories of eating her delicious “food…good food”. Or when she would stock pile ice cream and cake cones at their cottage for me and my cousins to enjoy. Some of my favorite meals were her lasagna and ground beef over mashed potatoes (beef scallop? Is that right Mom?). But nothing stands out more to me than when she would set up breakfast with everything you could possibly imagine (cereal, bagels, fruit, pastries, OJ, yogurt, etc…) It’s no lie to say that I always ate extremely well when we visited.

Holidays, especially Christmas, were always the best. They had the fullest tree, set up in the living room next to the baby grand piano. They would illuminate orange candles in their windows, and even though they may be out of fashion now, I would love to put them up during the holidays (if nothing more than for nostalgia). At Easter, they would present us with carefully crafted baskets filled with chocolate and stuffed animals. And at every holiday, as a family, we would all walk to church; a community in which my grandmother was a beloved member. She had such a boisterous singing voice that I can still hear today. I can smell her too. And she always gave the best hugs.

I could, quite honestly, write an epic essay on how much I love and miss my dear Grandmama. She was one of a kind, and I am so grateful to have these wonderful memories that I get to recall anytime I want. My family and I still tell fond stories about her, and we laugh and smile. I’m sure we’re all thinking of her on this day, as we do every day. She is constantly with us, looking over us, and watching out for us.

Je t’aime Grandmama.

Posted in Family | 1 Comment