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5.14.2019

life lately.


Strawberry pie workshop with Joy the Baker.

Lounging with a pre-sneeze Olive. 
Views from a freezing and rainy Chicago architecture tour.

Kinoko Mochi from Slurping Turtle

Oh, hello! I'm currently typing this in a very sleep deprived state while waiting for a flight to northern California for work. It's been a long day, and I'm wiped.

But things are good--I spent the past weekend in Chicago for a Mother's Day/sister trip. We had a great time staying at the Drake, hit up some old haunts and had the best meal I've had in a long time at Roister. It was so good to have some mother/daughter time, especially now that we're living farther apart.

The weekend before that I was in Boston making strawberry pies with my mom and Joy the Baker, and it was seriously the best--she is so nice and down to earth and a truly incredible cook/baker. I think it's always a little scary meeting people you've followed online or admired from afar (lest they be total assholes) and I can say without hesitation she is a total sweetheart of a person. And, we made delicious pies which was icing on the cake of the day.

Other than that, my weekends and work have been super busy, but really great. I think the only thing I can complain about is the weather, which has been hovering in the low 50s with near-constant rain (but if that's my only gripe, that's not too bad).

Here's to a good week--I hope spring has sprung where you are.

4.22.2019

37.


On Friday I turned 37. There was little fanfare but there was a delicious dinner at Street & Company with champagne and some pot de crème, which is always a good way to celebrate in my book.

Before I went to bed I wrote in my One Line A Day journal and in reviewing the previous years it dawned on me that this was the first birthday in a very long time that I didn't have a total mental breakdown. Birthdays have generally been tough for me: for whatever reason, I take the passing of each year as a moment to reflect and think about all the boxes I haven't checked, and all of the things I should have accomplished by a certain age. I get down on myself and think "this will be the year that x, y or z happens and then everything will be great". And then it doesn't and another year has passed and I spend what should be a celebratory day feeling crappy. It's a vicious cycle and quite frankly, it's dumb.

For whatever reason, this was the year that I decided that I've had enough of the annual pity party nonsense. It's one thing to have goals and work towards them, and it's another to think that accomplishing one of them will magically solve all of your problems and everything will be amazing. I've come to realize that I'm exactly where I should be in this very moment, and just because my life doesn't exactly look like others at my age, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with that. Things are actually pretty amazing, and I need to celebrate that.

So here's to 37. Life is good.


3.27.2019

four closet staples.


1.
catbird earrings.

2.
j.crew sophie open-front sweater-blazer.

3.
blundstone boots.

4.
everlane work pants.

Checking in with some things I've been living in lately. I'm in the process of a bit of a closet revamp, and I'm all about purchasing pieces that can be mixed and matched and are good for work (my office is pretty casual, but I like to keep things professional Monday-Thursday).

  1.  Catbird Earrings: I bought these about a month ago, and I haven't taken them out since. They're super tiny, 14k gold studs that go with everything and I have zero issues sleeping in. I used to always wear pearls, but I wanted something that I could leave in and forget about and these were the ticket (also, at $26 per earring, the price is pretty great).
  2. J.Crew Sophie Open-Front Sweater-Blazer: I'm obsessed with this blazer. I bought it when I first started my new job (in heather khaki, heather grey, and bright cerise) and I'm planning on snagging the navy and black versions soon. It's the perfect piece for work and I also love it for the weekend--my only caveat is that it runs pretty big so it might be worth sizing down if you're not into the boxy look (I personally don't hate it).
  3. Blundstone Boots: I'm admittedly pretty late to the party on this one (almost everyone in my family has a pair) but these boots are the best. They've been great for the late winter/early spring slushy Maine weather and they're incredibly comfortable. I love them with jeans, but I've worn them to work with a sweater dress, too.
  4. Everlane Work Pants: These are my new go-to. I've retired all of my old J.Crew Minnie's and I'm slowly adding multiple colors of these pants to my collection. I love the fit (the legs aren't super tight and the waist is high, which is great) and they look good with everything, from heels to sneakers. (I also love the back-slit version).

3.25.2019

weekend things.


maple duck confit hash at Chaval.
Happy Monday--did you have a good weekend? Mine was pretty low-key, and I was totally fine with that. On Friday I went to Mi Sen Noodle Bar with some friends. I was wiped after a long week but it ended up being great to get out and catch up. We shared chive cakes (so good), crab rangoons and then I had drunken noodles that I requested to be low spice but ended up being super spicy. I was as red as a tomato, but it was worth it.

Saturday I took a Pure Barre class, grabbed lunch at Pai Men and watched The Inventor on HBO, which was insane. I had read Bad Blood, but no amount of descriptors can truly capture her deep voice. I highly recommend. And that evening I decided to just hang with pizza and The Favourite, which I also recommend--it was great.

Sunday called for laundry and a long walk with Olive in the 50 degree weather, and I also went to Chaval for brunch--it was Maine Maple Sunday so they were running a special of maple duck confit hash and I had to have it. So lucky to have such a delish restaurant right up the street.

And that was it--this week is going to be a little nuts with some travel for work but I'm looking forward to mixing things up a bit. 

3.20.2019

life lately, and spring.


Richard Avedon exhibit at the PMA.

Bibimbap bowl special at the Honey Paw.

Hopefully the last snow of the season.

Early morning empty street views.

You guys, March is tough. I don't know if it's my least favorite month, (do people even have a least favorite month?) but it's been really difficult to plod along these last couple of weeks. Although I will admit, the time change has certainly helped--the fact that it's light out when I get home from work is a game changer.

And today is the first day of spring.

I'm treating this as a fresh start of sorts. I know that January is the month for resolutions and doing better and working out and blah blah blah, but I've decided that this year, I'm going use the first day of spring as an opportunity to refresh. And what better day? It's the time of growth and renewal and buds and all of that other positive stuff. (Not that things have been bad--not even close. I just think this time of year calls for a little revitalization after winter winds down).

So, what are my spring resolutions? #1 is run--I know this has been an intermittent theme throughout this entire blog where I say I'm going to run and I miss it so much and it makes me feel great...but there is little to no follow through. But I resolve to run! #2, and this is somewhat minor, but do a deep clean of my closet. It's going to be a combo of Marie Kondo-ing and also facing reality that things, including my body, change and I should get rid of things that don't fit. It's a process, and I'm ready to face it.

Happy spring!

I'm optimistic and ready (for now).

3.04.2019

weekend things.


a mezcal cocktail while waiting for takeout at The Honey Paw

$3 slice of pizza at Bonobo.

a desperate attempt to channel spring with flowering branches.

Hello! I'm back after finally getting over a rather ridiculous respiratory infection. I don't usually get sick, but when I do, I get sick hard.

This weekend was low-key, but very productive. On my way home from work on Friday I stopped by The Honey Paw for cocktails and takeout. I had their lime, chili, coconut wings while I waited (they had just won best wings in Portland and did not disappoint) and then I brought home lobster toast and pork and crab mee goreng, which was delish and super flavorful.

On Saturday Olive and I went for a very long walk. She's very particular about where we go and doesn't like things to be cut short--the end result is usually me picking her up and carrying her for a bit to stop a very stubborn standoff. It was good to be in the fresh air despite the cold. I did some laundry and stopped by Bonobo in between loads for $3 pizza and a $7 beer--I might have to make it a regular thing. I also finished Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes) and it was insane--highly recommend.

Sunday started with Trader Joes, then Pure Barre, and I finally did my application to get my law license in Maine.

It was all in all a successful weekend, and now I'm bracing for snow. I can't wait for clean sidewalks sans ice and sand and salt.

2.08.2019

TGIF (and snippets of my week).


Mixing things up with a Martini Monday.

The most delicious bibimbap bowl during a work lunch (half eaten because I have no self control).

View during my (walking) commute home.

We made it! It's Friday!

Last weekend and this week were a bit crazy but I'm not complaining--they were crazy in a good way. I went to York last weekend to see my parents and I was able to see a dear friend on Sunday--it was so great to catch up. I ended up staying in York on Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl (which I thought was totally lame and I went to bed after the 3rd quarter) and I had an early morning Monday to head back up to Portland to get to work. I had to travel Wednesday and things have been busy since then...but I seriously couldn't be happier--I've really loved working in an actual office and being more social. 

But here's to a sloth-like weekend. 

1.30.2019

the stew: a review.


bad lighting, delish stew.

Have you made THE STEW yet? Alison Roman's chickpea recipe has been everywhere since published in the NY Times at the end of November, and it took me until now to make it.

What is it? A bunch of chickpeas are sautéed with ginger, garlic, onions and turmeric and then get smashed and simmered with coconut milk and vegetable broth. Add some kale (or any other leafy green you have on hand) and simmer a bit more, and the final product is garnished with yogurt (omit if vegan), mint, and some previously reserved crispy-ish chickpeas.

HOW is it? Honestly, it blew me away. I'm the kind of girl who could never go vegan due to my love of all things dairy, and this would have been just as amazing without the dollop of yogurt. The flavors that come to together are super complex and comforting, and the coconut milk really takes everything to the next level.

Suggestions? I followed the recipe to a T and I wouldn't change anything--it calls for a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and I'm a total weenie when it comes to spice but it was perfect (noticeable but not overpowering). If you're sensitive to spice I would reduce to 1/2 a teaspoon. Also, I probably could have cooked the chickpeas during their initial sauté for a bit longer--that helps it become thicker, and I ultimately cooked it longer than the recipe required to get the thicker consistency. It definitely thickened up after being refrigerated for leftover day two.

Final takeaway? Pure deliciousness--like nothing in my usual recipe repertoire but I will 100% be making again.

1.28.2019

weekend things.


tunes behind the counter at Portland Dry Goods.

Hello! I meant to check in last week, but with the new job starting I was all over the place. So far, I'm loving it. I'm going to be very busy but everyone is so nice--it's refreshing. It's definitely an adjustment going into an office (I've mostly worked from home the past 3 1/2 years) but the fact that I can walk there is huge--I just need the weather to cooperate. It's also been an adjustment for Olive: I have an amazing dog walker who adores her, but I think me not being home all day was a bit of a shock to her system. She seemed better by the end of the week, but I felt bad.

On Friday I was pretty wiped so I ordered Thai takeout from Pom's and read magazines (it was perfection). Years ago, this used to be my Friday night ritual and I'm happy to be reinstating it, especially now that I found a great Thai place that delivers (so crucial).

First thing Saturday morning I took a PB Reform class (my studio finally has it) and it was nice to mix things up. I spent the rest of the day cleaning, doing laundry, and getting organized. I also finished reading One Day in December and it wasn't my favorite. I much prefer creepy thrillers to romantic books.

Sunday I went grocery shopping and took Olive for a long walk and lounged the rest of the day. I was going to make THE STEW for dinner until I realized while prepping I didn't have any turmeric. Super annoying. I'm going to pick some up today and make it tonight.

Here's to a good week!

1.16.2019

this or that: bike baskets.

nantucket bike basket co wire basket / nantucket bike basket co tuckernuck adult classic

Once the weather cooperates, I plan on riding my bike to work and I'm in the market for a bike basket to hold my bag (in lieu of using a backpack). I love all of the baskets by the Nantucket Bike Basket Company and I'm leaning towards the wire version (although now I need to decide between the front and rear basket options--so hard).

Which would you choose?

1.14.2019

weekend things.


small bites at chaval.

drinks at bramhall.

super delish breakfast at hot suppa.
new sunglasses that were the perfect accessory to my mood on Saturday.

good times with my dearest friend.

I had a great weekend - it was equally social and lethargic and just what I needed. On Friday my dear friend S. came up for the night. We hadn't seen each other for almost a year, so it was great to catch up and have some facetime.

It was SO freezing Friday, so we hit up a couple of places around my neighborhood (Chaval, Bramhall and Pai Men Miyake) and got drinks/small bites at each place. I clearly can't hang like I used to, and I woke up hurting a bit on Saturday morning. We managed to snag a table at Hot Suppa for breakfast, and it was incredible. I got the pulled pork egg sandwich and S. got the fried green tomato eggs benedict, and it made me feel a little better.

I spent the rest of Saturday napping on the couch and ordered pizza delivery. I was truly a waste of space.

Sunday I was a bit more productive and did laundry--I watched football and made cauliflower gnocchi with turkey bolognese (both from Trader Joe's) for dinner, and then it was early to bed with a watermelon mask.

I'm hoping to be productive and get some things done this week (including some painting--stay tuned).


1.11.2019

some very good news.


good omen latte art.

I got a job! After two and a half months of being a (very stressed out) lady of leisure, I start a new job on the 22nd and I couldn't be happier.

I've wanted to work for this company for a year but the timing has never been right. A couple of former colleagues work there and I kept in touch and maintained connections--after a couple of meetings last week and this week, I got an offer. The job is based in Portland and I can walk to work  (I'll be doing a little traveling as well). It's the position I've wanted for a very long time in the industry where I've spent most of my career, and I think it's going to be incredibly challenging and rewarding. I'm so psyched.

I don't know if I just needed to put my unemployment status out to the universe in order for these stars to align, but whatever the reason, I'm super excited for this next chapter.

1.02.2019

happy new year.


{ via rifle paper co instagram }
Hello, 2019. Did you have a good New Year's? Mine was perfect: I declined a couple of invites and spent the evening with Olive, cheese, and blood orange martinis--I finished season 6 of Game of Thrones and was in bed by 9:30. It was everything I wanted.

This past year was a bit of a mixed bag. The highs included selling my old house, buying a condo and moving to Portland, and the lows were having a bit of a health scare in May (thankfully I'm fine) and a job shakeup.

I started a new job when I moved to Portland in May, and while I knew there were risks involved (it was a small startup in a very specific industry) it was also the right decision for me at the time--I was ready for a change and this provided a new opportunity with a bit more flexibility than my previous job. I was let go at the end of October, and while it was a bit of a shock, I think it was for the best: it was really stressful and I was working insane hours. They gave me a really generous severance and I learned a lot from the short time I worked there--I have zero regrets.

So now what? I'm honestly not really sure. I'm actively looking for something new, but I'm also really trying to figure out what I ultimately want to do. There are a couple of things I'm working on (some related to my legal background and others on a more creative plane) and I'm excited to see where these things take me in 2019--in the meantime, I'm trying to remain positive and keep my stress levels low(ish).

That's where I am--wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year!