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11.29.2017

lately.


{ classic window display in Portsmouth }

Oh hey, it's me. It took a couple of weeks, but I think I'm finally coming out of the funk I was in during the beginning of the fall (daylight savings was another battle, but I've accepted that it's going to be dark when I go to work and dark when I get home).

I had a lovely Thanksgiving followed by a relaxing long weekend in Maine, and I'm definitely getting in the holiday spirit. On Sunday I did a little decorating and that (coupled with constantly burning a holiday candle) has made me excited for the weeks to come.

So here's what's been happening lately:

Black Friday:  While there were certainly deals to be had, I found the entire thing to be somewhat overwhelming. I managed to get 85% of my holiday shopping done (along with a few purchases for myself), which feels great but the whole ordeal almost seemed like it was too much.

Good eats: A couple of weekends ago, I paid a visit to my dear friend L. and her sweet family. We managed to sneak away for dinner and had the most delicious meal at Ledger in Salem. The restaurant is in a old bank building which makes for a super unique venue and the food was so good--I highly recommend.

Beauty buy: I was due for some new mascara (I know you're supposed to chuck it after three months but I always keep it for way too long and it ends up being gross) so I used the VIB sale at Sephora as an excuse to try something new. I ended up going with the Smoky Extravagant Mascara by Makeup Forever because 1) I'm all about extravagance and 2) it comes in a mini tube so I have a better chance of using it up before it goes bad. The verdict? I love it--it makes my lashes super long with just one swoop, and with two applications we're in quasi-fake lash territory. This will definitely be my new go to.

Recent reads: I need to devote an entire post to books I've read and loved over the past couple of months, but I'm currently reading Rules of Civility by Amor Towles--while it's a change from my usual genre of creepy thrillers, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm adding his other book, A Gentleman in Moscow to my list next.

Fitness: I've been pretty good about going to Pure Barre a couple of times a week, but I really, really want to get back into running. I know I say this all the time, but it's the one exercise that always gets back in shape--I've just had the hardest time getting into a routine. I'm really going to focus on making this a priority, and will hopefully schedule some races in early 2018.

On tap:  This weekend I'm planning on getting the rest of my decorating done,and I have a fun visit to the tree farm scheduled with my brother and his family (after the requisite pancake breakfast, for strength).

Here's to being halfway through the week (and it almost being December!)


10.31.2017

weekend things.

river views during a dog walk.

I went up to Maine for the weekend and it was just what a doctor ordered--a little time away always does wonders for my psyche. On Friday I headed north with my parents and I had a low-key evening with Chinese food and Stranger Things (I'm only two episodes in to the 2nd season but it's so good). On Saturday I stocked up on some fall essentials at Stonewall Kitchen and then we went to Portsmouth to meet my godfather for lunch at Surf (it was great to see him and also get stuffed on truffled lobster maki). We did a little bit of shopping and then had a low-key night with takeout pizza.

On Sunday everyone gathered at my parents' house to celebrate my mom's birthday. We had a fun brunch and then I transitioned my closet from summer to fall/winter (with much needed guidance from my mom and sister--it was just in time, too: the cooler temps have definitely arrived and sweater weather is officially here). Then some crazy storms rolled in and I lost power until mid-morning on Monday.

It was a jam-packed weekend but good to sneak away for a bit (especially before the hellish couple of weeks I have coming up at work).

And happy Halloween--I really don't care much for this holiday (I hate dressing up and get zero trick or treaters) but I'm excited that this means we're a little closer to Thanksgiving.

10.26.2017

life lately.



Once again, it's been a month since I last posted and I've neglected this little blog of mine. I'd love to say it was because I was doing all sorts of exciting things, but to be perfectly honest, I've been pretty down in the dumps. There's no doubt that I'm in a bit of a rut in my personal life, and I'm really trying to dig myself out of it but it's been tough. I have a vision of what I want my future to look like and it's been hard to look past the roadblocks in my way--this deserves a longer, less vague post but ultimately I'm trying to be more proactive about the things I can change and accept the things I can't.

Additionally, the state of the world right now is weighing heavily on my heart. The hurricanes, the California fires, the tragedy in Las Vegas and the subsequent responses have been distressing (and a clear reminder of the perspective that should accompany my own problems). I'm at the point where I don't want to watch the news at night because everything seems to be one awful story after another.

[As a (related) aside, with all of the crap going on in Washington right now, I was really happy to discover resistbot and cannot recommend it enough. It's super easy to use and I love the ability to so quickly contact all of your elected officials at once--I definitely plan on using it on a regular basis.]

So that's the state of my world right now. I'm going to work on getting out of this funk and will work on some better posts soon.

Onward and upward!  

9.28.2017

j.crew factory finds.


I hadn't been feeling J.Crew Factory lately--everything seemed to look a bit cheap and be rather overpriced, but I was quite pleased with their inventory when I stopped in last weekend in Maine.

Here are a couple of the things I scooped up--basic staples, but I think they'll all get a lot of wear this season:

{ v-neck pullover sweater }
I bought this in the Heather Dusk and Heather Olive--they're cozy and slouchy and I'll be living in them.

{ striped dress }
I love this dress - it's a bit darker in person, but the length is great and it works with booties, sandals and flats. Warning: it runs weirdly small in the back--I had to go up two sizes and it's definitely not form-fitting, but super comfy and cute.

{ classic wool fedora }
I'm not 100% percent convinced I can pull this off, but you can't beat the price.

{ ruffle-sleeve t-shirt }
Basic with flair, I thought this was fun (and again, a good length for you ladies with long torsos.



9.26.2017

a very good weekend (in pics).


{ portland ferries }

{ an empty dining room at scales...but not for long }

{ the best and most buttery lobster roll I've ever had }

{ great show by the head and the heart }

{ brookside brunch at the waterhouse}

I know the calendar says fall, but it has be H - O - T around these parts. I'm very glad I decided to keep my a/c unit in my bedroom (it's been a lifesaver the past couple of nights).

After a very busy week last week it was great to have a jam-packed but fun weekend. Friday I did nothing (I swear, as much as I look forward to Friday by the time it rolls around I'm so tired all I do is veg and go to bed early...which, on second thought, I'm actually fine with).

Saturday morning I got in a barre class and then headed north to Maine. I stopped at J.Crew Factory and I was pleasantly surprised with the cute fall stuff they had, so I did a little shopping, went to When Pigs Fly for my favorite date and sopressata pizza and then took a little nap. My brother arrived in York and we headed up to Portland--it's his birthday next weekend and we decided to do a little sibling celebration weekend together. I honestly can't think of the last time we've spent time together just the two of us, and I had so much fun.

We walked around Portland for a bit and then went to Scales early so we could get a seat at the bar before the dinner service started (Scales is run by the same restaurant group as Fore Street, so I had high hopes for a delicious dinner). It did not disappoint. We had cocktails and oysters, then shared a couple of appetizers that included an insane bluefish pâté, crab cakes, and then split the best lobster roll ever. If you're ever in Portland, I highly recommend stopping by.

Then we went to Thompson's Point to see the The Head and the Heart (I saw them earlier this summer with my sister) and they were so, so good. The venue was great and the weather cooperated which was perfect.

Sunday morning we got bagels at the Bagel Basket, and headed home. I was planning on being a slug all afternoon but my parents were taking my grandmother to brunch in N.H. so I tagged along with them to the Waterhouse--the weather was beautiful and I'm so glad I decided to go. The next thing I knew the weekend was over. I was pretty tired come Monday, but it was seriously such a good couple of days.


9.18.2017

weekend.


{ one of the many cheese varieties consumed this weekend }
Oh Monday, you sneak up on us so fast.

This weekend was a good one, but busy (and so, so uncomfortably humid). On Friday I had sushi and went to bed early since last week kicked my butt. Saturday called for a trip to the mall, and while I had grandiose ideas of going on a rather large shopping spree I ended up buying just a few things, including these leggings that I love (although I recognize I'm super late to the party and people have been talking about how great they are forever) and these candles, because...fall.

On Sunday I took a barre class, did a frenzied deep clean of my house and then worked for a couple of hours. I had a delicious seafood dinner at my parents house and we savored some of the last bites of this summer's batch of lavender honey ice cream. And that was it.

This week is going to be a doozy.  

9.14.2017

this or that: office chair.

Now that work has picked up and I'm actually utilizing my home office (instead of the couch) I've recently realized that I absolutely despise my office chair. I have a knockoff of the Herman Miller Eames Management Chair and while it looks good it's super uncomfortable...which might be the result of buying a cheap knockoff. I spotted the Elowen chair in the latest Anthropologie home catalog and I love it. It looks super luxe and while it's probably really unpractical and Olive will shed all over it, I think I'm adding it to my wishlist.

Which would you choose?


9.12.2017

life lately.



{ boats at the buffalo yacht club }



{ cozy nights in with the cooler temps }

{ someone found a comfortable spot while I'm working in my office }

Hello! And here we are, in September...it's been seemingly unseasonably cool around these parts as of late, and while I'm glad to see the humidity go, I'm so bummed that summer is over. I know time goes by faster as you get older, but this is absurd.

Things have been pretty quiet around here--I went to a wedding in Buffalo, NY in the middle of August that was a blast but otherwise I've been laying low on the weekends. Pure Barre has been a part of my recent routine and I can already tell a difference (also, I love the new Empower class). I started reading My Absolute Darling and while it's a bit disturbing I love the writing. I've been reading fluff thrillers for months, and although they have their own value, I'm thoroughly enjoying reading something with more depth.

And that's pretty much it. I have felt like I've been living in limbo for the past couple of months which has been frustrating. Work has been really, really busy which I like but I'm trying to get some other things lined up in my personal life and they haven't been happening as quickly as I would like. I have to constantly remind myself to take a deep breath and there are certain things I can control and others I can't (sometimes that works...sometimes it doesn't). I'm not known for being particularly patient.

Happy Tuesday!


8.14.2017

weekend in pics.

BBQ and brews on Saturday.
Much needed latte.

Kitchen companion enjoying some sun.

Cooling off with some pool time.
And suddenly, we're back on a Monday. This weekend I was able to accomplish everything I wanted, which was a whole lot of nothing. After a long day on Friday, I made cauliflower pizza (using Trader Joe's cauliflower crust) and went to bed early.

Saturday I took my sloth-like ways to a level that surprised even me, but I managed to get my act together and meet my brother and his family at Carter and Stevens Farm for BBQ and beers. It was a lot of fun: the food and beer were delicious, and while it was super crowded it was definitely a fun summer night.

On Sunday I had lunch with my mom and then proceeded to get toasty at the pool--the weather was absolutely perfect. I made a pesto pasta salad with mushrooms, spinach and chicken for dinner and continued reading Hello Sunshine (it's been okay so far, but not my absolute favorite--I think I much prefer Laura Dave's other novel, Eight Hundred Grapes). I'm trying to soak up as much as the remaining weeks of summer that I can--I can't believe we're halfway through August.

Here's hoping the work week goes by quickly!



8.09.2017

weekend things.


a successful sushi lunch

I'm a little late on the weekend recap, but as my favorite saying goes, better late than never.

On Friday my family and I celebrated the life of my grandfather. We had a lovely church service and reception followed by the burial and gathering at my uncle's house--it was hard, but at the same time it was the perfect celebration of a truly wonderful man. The dichotomy between the relief of having a loved one no longer suffer and the feeling of loss is stark, but being surrounded by family (some whom I haven't seen in years) provided a lot of comfort.

On Saturday I ran some errands with my mom and sister and then had a delicious sushi/mai-tai lunch...which led to a nap while Sleepless in Seattle played in the background. I was finally able to pull myself together to make Ina's turkey lasagna (sans goat cheese) and it was perfect.

Sunday was a pretty low-key day, but the highlight was celebrating my niece's 3rd birthday. I love that her personality is really coming out--she is an absolute riot.

And in other news, I was promoted at work a couple of weeks ago, which has been a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I'm so appreciative that I was recognized as being the right person for the additional responsibilities (I mean, who doesn't like that???) but on the other, the timing isn't great and it means a lot more time on the road. This entire month is going to be filled with a lot of training, and I'm already super exhausted by the time I get home. It's going to be a (hopefully good), serious adjustment.

TGIW--I'm looking forward to a sleep-filled weekend. 

8.01.2017

hello, august.



I can't believe it's the first of August--time is seriously flying by. Truth be told, this summer has been a pretty rough one for my family and we've been most recently dealing with the death of my sweet grandfather who passed away last week. I'm so lucky that I have such an amazing support system and we're able to lean on each other, but I also hope we can catch a bit of a break soon.

I've been able to make it up to Maine for a few long weekends which has been great, and this past Saturday I saw The Head and the Heart with my sister in Boston at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (such a cool venue). The band was so good and I'm hoping to go to their show in Portland in September.

Other than that, I'm plugging along. I have some things in motion that will hopefully come to fruition in the fall but I need to constantly remind myself not to get stressed out over the stuff that's beyond my control (something I really, really struggle with).

So...deep breaths. I'm using the start of a new month as a clean slate and fingers crossed there are good things to come.


6.22.2017

this or that: bicycle edition.


this or that: bicycle edition.

shinola / schwinn

It's no secret to those who know me that my cycling skills leave a lot to be desired. I'm rather uncoordinated and unbalanced, so the combination of me + a bicycle often ends in disastrous results. This lack of coordination, however, hasn't been a deterrent: last weekend my dad and I ordered takeout and instead of driving to our little downtown eatery I hopped on my mom's bike and picked up our dinner in her wicker bicycle basket. I loved it.

So, now I want a new bike--I currently have a very fun vintage Schwinn that is great to look at but isn't super practical due to it being a one-speed. I need gear options while navigating the hills of my New England town.

I absolutely love Shinola's Bixby, but I'm having heart palpations from the sticker shock (the beauty in maroon above is almost $2,000)--I think I will ultimately go with a new (but vintage-looking) Schwinn Sprite. I'm willing to shell out a respectable $350 and you can't go wrong with the classic red. Throw on a basket and I'll be in environmentally friendly business.

Which would you choose? 

6.20.2017

ricotta, tomato and pesto galette.






My favorite fall recipe is Smitten Kitchen's Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette, but I wanted to experiment with a more "summer-themed" version because galettes are delicious 365 days a year. My only requirements were avoiding summer squash and/or zucchini because those are the two vegetables I really can't stand.

I ended up combining pesto, tomato and a variety of cheeses and it's definitely going to be a repeat recipe--the combination of three major ingredients can't be beat, and it's super easy (especially when you use pre-made pie crust). I had it by itself (by itself I mean with some wine), but it would be great with a salad for a more balanced meal. And while I used a variety of cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes would take this to the next level.

ricotta, tomato and pesto galette
{ inspired by smitten kitchen }

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup ricotta (I used whole milk ricotta, but part skim would also work)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 9-inch rolled pie crust (thawed according to directions)
  • Sliced tomatoes of your choosing (go for the heirlooms)
  • Pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

What you do:
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Combine ricotta, grated parmesan and mozzarella in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Unroll the pie crust onto baking sheet.
  • Spread a thin layer of pesto on the pie crust, leaving an inch (or so) border.
  • Add the ricotta mixture on top of the pesto, spreading evenly.
  • Arrange tomato slices on top of the ricotta mixture to your liking.
  • Carefully fold the edges of the pie dough inward so they overlap slightly on the pesto/cheese/tomatoes, leaving the center of the galette uncovered. 
  • Beat together an egg and splash of water, and brush the egg wash along the entire border of the galette.
  • Bake in the preheated oven 30-40 minutes, until the edges are nicely browned and the cheese is bubbly.
  • Enjoy.

6.16.2017

loving lately.

{ via
I recently got a sample of Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk with my Nordstrom order, and I might have to spring for a bigger size. While my favorite summer fragrance will always be White Sand from Finn and Co., Beach Walk is a close second--I only wish it would last longer!

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My sister gave me Cravings for Christmas last year, and I'm obsessed. I made the Basil Chicken and the Cauliflower, Feta, Orzo Salad this week and they were so delicious and super easy--and the Margarita Chicken Fajitas are my absolute favorite. I highly recommend this cookbook.


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The Keepers on Netlfix is a must-watch--the documentary starts as a story about the murder of a Catholic nun but quickly evolves into something much more, and I've loved watching this series (despite the heartbreaking and disturbing subject matter). It's so good.

6.14.2017

hey boo boo.

Every summer I find myself wanting a picnic basket (for all of those picnics I go on) but I find that most of them are pretty pricey...until now. Land's End has a couple of great picnic basket options, and the prices can't be beat--especially since you can almost always get some sort of discount.

First up, the traditional:

English Style Picnic Basket

And then, for the wine aficionado:


Vino Picnic Basket 

Vino Picnic Basket

They offer two options--a traditional "English Style" full blown picnic basket with settings for four, and the Vino picnic basket with room for two wine bottles (and complete with a corkscrew and cheeseboard). Realistically, I didn't see myself serving three of my friends a full blown picnic so I went with the Vino option. I definitely plan on packing up some wine and cheese to savor Maine sunsets this summer. And, both are available monogrammed--the perfect treat for yourself (or as a wedding gift)!

*I tried searching the Land's End website for both of these but they didn't show up, but if you search the internet or use my links, they will take to the site. As of today, they're both available. 

6.12.2017

weekend.



After weeks of unseasonably cold temps and a ton of rain, we finally had a summer-like weekend in New England. I did a huge basement clean out with my dad on Saturday and felt very productive--although that feeling was very short-lived because I spent the majority of Sunday poolside getting a nice sunburn (despite frequent sunscreen reapplication). After way too much food and drink overindulgence, I'm ready for a reset and am planning on a healthy week. We'll see how it goes.

Happy Monday.

5.25.2017

favorite things: finn & co.


{ white sand body cream}

{ white sand fragrance oil }

{ white sand candle }
With the unofficial start of summer fast approaching this weekend, I have all things beach on my mind. Although I won't constantly be oceanside, I plan on smelling like it thanks to discovering Finn & Co. while in Kennebunkport a couple of years ago.

Finn & Co. is a Maine-based company that has created the most delicious, beachy smelling products--I know there are a lot of Bobbi Brown Beach fans out there (and I was one of them), but I must admit that I love the White Sand line from Finn & Co. so much more. I bought the lotion and the body oil and they are incredibly long lasting (I put the lotion on in the morning and people can still smell it on me when I come home at night). It's the perfect beach scent and the lotion is paraben, sulfate, formaldehyde, phthalate, propylene glycol, and phosphate free...and if you prefer a more sultry version, the Black Sand products are perfect. They have the same beach undertones of White Sand but with some sexier, darker layers mixed in.

I cannot recommend this line enough--go forth and smell like your best beach self this summer (even if you're stuck in the city).


5.22.2017

maine weekend.


Flowers in bloom.

Beach walk at dusk.

Perfect seating arrangement.

Harbor walk.
I had a perfect weekend up in Maine. The weather was great--it was sunny both days with mild temps which made for plenty of walks with Olive (she has very specific routes she likes to take and I was happy to oblige). My parents and I made a quick trip up to Portland on Saturday and had a fun lunch outside at Sebago Brewing Company (their Lake Trout Stout was delicious) and it was so nice to soak in the scenery.

It was definitely hard packing up and heading home on Sunday--Maine is seriously my favorite place and I truly love every minute I get to spend there.

5.11.2017

some things.


My favorite homemade cookies.

The most delicious mussels.

Weekend gardening attempt.

We've almost made it to the weekend! I don't know about you, but the Northeast has been dealing with some unseasonably cold temps and I'm really not amused that my heat is still kicking on. The forecast for the near future looks to be cloudy and rainy and blah, and I'm hoping we catch a break with some sunshine soon. I'm in desperate need of Vitamin D.

This weekend I visited with Quinn, attended a cheese festival, made copycat Levain cookies and cooked up some mussels for dinner (I can't recommend this recipe for mussels enough--it's super simple and makes the most amazing broth to sop up with french bread. It's seriously the best.)

I also bought some boxwood for my front steps (planter and watering can were Target finds). I really don't have a green thumb, but I'm going to try to focus on some landscaping projects this summer (sadly I'm still sore my my weeding on Sunday--this is going to be a process). Aside from my bedroom painting, I don't have a lot of interior projects planned so I'm hoping to clean up part of my side garden and do some minor planting. We'll see how it goes.




5.05.2017

new arrival.



On Wednesday evening, my brother, sister-in-law and Piper welcomed little Quinn into the world. She is so tiny and perfect and I'm so incredibly happy for them and their little family.

Have a wonderful weekend!

5.03.2017

blush crush.


{ via }
{ via }
{ via }
While I have crossed a bunch of major interior house projects off of my to do list, one thing I've been struggling with is my bedroom walls. The previous owners had installed paintable textured wallpaper throughout the majority of the house (which I painted, and I'm happy with the outcome) but for some reason my bedroom is wallpapered in this unfortunate textured wallpaper that kind of reminds me of a popcorn ceiling. It needs to go.

My ex painted the trim in a darkish gray, and I was planning on just removing the wallpaper and keeping the walls white, but now I'm thinking pink (or, more specifically, blush). I absolutely love the combo of a muted blush with gray, but I'm a little nervous because I think the wrong shade could channel an eighties vibe that I am definitely not going for.

Do you have any blush paint colors you love?  



5.02.2017

weekend recap.


Friday rosé at my parents' house.

Kettle chip encrusted fish sandwich for lunch.

Overdue post-birthday thank you notes.
Happy May! We had a brief bout of nice weather this weekend but now it's back to rain and fog and all I want to do is stay in bed. Not good.

Friday was very low-key: I had some wine at my parents and then came home for pizza and Dateline. On Saturday I had a leisurely lunch with my sister and brother-in-law at Tavern in the Square. We were able to sit outside which was amazing, and I had a delicious lunch (complete with way too many truffle tater tots).

On Sunday I did a Pure Barre class and a Trader Joe's run and was super productive with house stuff--I did a deep clean and finally wrote some thank you notes and I was feeling pretty pleased in terms of organization and everything. 

Then the strangest thing happened--I made a dinner I've made a bunch of times before (buffalo roasted cauliflower burrito bowl) and my tongue started to feel a little itchy and my lip felt funny. Before I knew it, my top lip had ballooned to 5x it's normal size. It was like a lip injection gone terribly wrong, so my mom came over to make sure things didn't get worse and I took some Benadryl. Eventually my tongue stopped itching, but my lip stayed huge. It was still a little bit swollen Monday, so it appears I will be making an appointment with an allergist.