a really good year.

christmas card 2019.

It's the last day of 2019--I can't believe another year is coming to a close. But this was a good one, and I'm really happy to be ending a somewhat tumultuous decade on a high note. Here's what the past year looked like.

I started a new job--this was definitely the highlight of the month (and honestly, the year). I'm really, really happy at work and I've met some incredible people as a result. My sister and best friend came to visit, and there was a bit of snow.

This month was super low-key. I didn't do much of anything except hibernate.

There was more snow, I hit a milestone of 100 classes at Pure Barre, and my mom came to visit. We ate our way through Portland, I did some traveling for work, and I also spent a little time at my family's place in York.

The snow finally melted. I turned 37, and I my sister came up for a visit at my parents' house. I continued to eat my way through town, and finally went to Street and Co.

I went to a pie making workshop with Joy the Baker (which was seriously the best and she's such a lovely person), and took a mother/daughter trip to Chicago. I traveled to Northern California for work and got to see the redwoods, and my mom retired from teaching at my high school alma mater. I also joined my company's softball team, where I added little value.

I went to see King Lear in NYC (Glenda Jackson was amazing), and my mom came up and painted my kitchen cabinets, which has completely transformed my living space. I spent more time in York, participated in a regatta where I got completely banged up, and spent some time getting tomato red at the beach.

It was hot. I went to the beach some more, spent some time in York and at my parents' place in Massachusetts, and flew down to Pittsburgh to see my sister and her husband. We ran a 5k, saw John Mayer and went to Picklesburgh and Fallingwater.

This was a tough month (and historically, I feel like August is always tough--crappy things happen in August). There was a cancer diagnosis for a member of my family which thankfully ended up being okay, but it was still a scary time. I also apparently ate a lot of cheeseburgers based on my photo library.

I had some health-issue fun of my own, and traveled to Tampa for work.

I had minor surgery and my brother and sister and I spent a weekend in Boston seeing the Head and the Heart. I enjoyed the fall foliage, celebrated my mom's birthday and traveled to rural Tennessee for work.

I went to Oklahoma for work and did a "Chopped"-style competition with work friends later in the month. My sister came up for the week of Thanksgiving, and we spent some time in Portland before heading down to our parents' for Thanksgiving, and then came back up to York. It was a crazy week but so, so much fun--always one of my most favorite times of the year.

It snowed a little, and my mom and I went to see David Sedaris (I love him). I took another quick work trip to Illinois, ate some oysters, and got festive. Christmas was super low-key and consisted of celebrating Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, and hanging with my parents on Christmas Day.

And that's pretty much it. Some months were definitely better (and more exciting) than others, but I had a really good year and I'm pretty pumped to see what 2020 brings.


three cookbooks I'm amped for.

It's no secret that I love to cook, and I'm really excited about the upcoming release of three cookbooks this fall.

And if that means a plethora of leftovers, so be it.

nothing fancy, Alison Roman

Alison Roman is a queen, and I can't wait for her second cookbook, Nothing Fancy to come out on October 22nd. The Stew is one of my favorite recipes of all time, and I love her no-nonsense approach to food (especially her Instagram responses to people asking for substitutions). Nothing Fancy is touted as making impromptu gatherings easy, and I think I'll definitely need to add this one to my bookshelf.

half baked harvest super simple, tieghan gerard
When it comes to comfort food, Tieghan always hits it out of the park and I'm really looking forward to her second cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Super Simple, to be released on October 29th. A lot of the recipes are crockpot/instant pot friendly, and you can't beat a "set it and forget it" approach.

pastry love, Joanne Chang

Joanne Chang is the mastermind behind Flour Bakery and Myers and Chang in Boston, and her new cookbook is supposed to be the next baking Bible. Pastry Love takes you from beginner level recipes to those more advanced, and as someone who loves to bake, this is totally on my list to firm up my skills (it's out November 5th).


um, hello.

my autumnal mantle. 

Oh, hey. It's been a while.

I was talking with my parents a couple of weekends ago about the old blog and whether I should just shut it down, and my dad somewhat bluntly asked "Does anyone even read it?". And while I think the answer to that question is no, I've decided I'm not quite ready to give it up. Granted, that means coming here and writing something down more than once every two months, but I'm up for the challenge. Even if there's no one out there (aside from the sporadic spam comments), I'm going to give this another shot for me. I like it here.

So summer is over and the leaves are changing and I've been welcoming the cooler temps with open arms (the loss of daylight, not so much). August and September were pretty good over all (albeit with some bumps in the road, including Olive having stomach problems that lasted for way too long), but we're on the up and up! I would call my summer bucket list a 30% success, and I'm okay with that. Sometimes I'm a little overeager with my goals.

Other than that, the summer to fall closet switch has taken place, the crockpot has made its annual debut, and I'm really looking forward for the next couple of months. October through December are truly my favorite times of year, and I have some fun things on the horizon.

So I'm back. Here's to blogging.


5 things I've got my eye on.

SoYoung Lunch Poche 
because I need to carry my leftovers to work in style, and I love the long (optional) strap.

jenni kayne cheetah pony hair mule
because there is nothing chicer than a leopard mule, and these are supposed to be exceptionally comfortable.

the ZOE strap by SALT
because it's a chic way to switch up all of my satchels.

no.6 old school clog
because I think I've become a clog person.

buca boot lockable rear bike basket
(currently sold out, but I'm stalking the site until it's restocked)
because I'm all about bike accessories.


and just like that, it's august.

house goals on scarborough beach.

bicycle rides.

harbor views.

pittsburgh rooftop.
deep menu thoughts at portland hunt and alpine club.

Oh, hi! It's been a minute, hasn't it? I hope your summer has been exceeding your expectations.

Things have been pretty great around these parts: I'm slowly but surely crossing some items off of my summer bucket list (namely, going to the beach and commuting to work on my bike) and I'm determined to make the most of August. I want to try out a new neighborhood restaurant (Flood's) and I need to make it to the Farmer's Market ASAP--maybe this upcoming weekend?

Work has been good, Olive turned eight and I went to Pittsburgh to visit my sister and had a blast. We went to a million restaurants, ran a 5k, saw John Mayer, and trekked out to Mill Run, PA to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater which was absolutely incredible. We also went to an all you can eat crab legs dinner and I was stuffed for days.

So that's what's up. Here's to savoring the next couple of weeks.


weekend things.

a most welcome friday mai tai. 

delicious smelling flowers on a walk with olive.

a gorgeous yacht club saturday.

Hello! Did you have a good weekend? Mine was the perfect mix of social activity and lying low. After work on Friday I stopped at Empire for a Mai Tai and takeout and it was the best way to cap off a busy week. I started reading Searching for Sylvie Lee and I like it a lot so far. 

On Saturday I ended up crewing a boat for a regatta at the Portland Yacht Club--it had been a couple of years since I'd been on a boat and I hadn't actively contributed to the sailing process since I was in my teens, so it was a bit of an adventure. Aside from a slight sunburn and some banged up knees, I finished the race in once piece and it was so fun to mix things up and get out of my comfort zone. 

Sunday consisted of a Pure Barre class, some grocery shopping (where I completely stocked my fridge--it had been over a month since I had done a serious grocery trip so it was very necessary), laundry, a manicure and Lifetime movies. I made a delicious falafel salad for din, and I went to bed early.

It was a really great weekend. Happy Monday! 


summer bucket list.

I'm all about making the most of this summer. Here's what's on my list:

  • Take a goat yoga class. I've never really been into yoga, but there's something about taking a class with goats that's calling to me. Luckily, Smiling Hill Farm in nearby Westbrook offers a number of classes with Ashley Flowers Yoga until September. I'm definitely planning on saying Namaste among some four-legged friends. 
  • Farmers' market Saturdays. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit this, but I didn't go to my local Farmers' Market once last year. It's 1/2 a mile away so all I need to do is grab some cash and a reusable bag and I'll be in fresh veggie heaven.
  • City bike rides. Yet another thing I didn't do last year was ride my bike--I'm still a little nervous about navigating city streets on two wheels, but I'm not going to get more comfortable sitting on my buns. (Also, it's going to cut my walking commute time in half so I need to just suck it up and hop on it).
  • Utilize my beach pass. I mentioned this before, but I pulled the trigger on a beach pass for the summer--it's good at four local beaches and I'm all about taking advantage of sandy toes and salty water
  • Take a stand-up paddle tour. Yet another thing I meant to do last year and never did was take a stand-up paddle board tour. With options for sunset, harbor and full moon tours I'm going to dive in (hopefully not literally) to what Portland Paddle has to offer.
  • Try new restaurants. This isn't restricted to the summer, but what better time to walk around and try new restaurants than when it's not subzero temps? I certainly have my Portland favorites, but there are a bunch of places I haven't tried yet--and I sure do enjoy a nice meal out.
And that's it--a respectable and achievable list if I do say so myself. Here's to summer!


hey, hi, hello!

honey lavender latte.

northern california coast work trip.

king lear at the cort theater.

cheese dreams coming true at the portland cheese shop. 

post-dinner york harbor views. 

Hi! I can't believe we're almost halfway through June and it's been a month since I checked in here (just kidding, I totally can). The past few weeks have been super crazy and every weekend I was all over the place--I'm really glad I have nothing planned for the near future aside from a trip in July to visit my sister in Pittsburgh. I'm really looking forward to soaking up summer in the city and making the most out of my local beach pass.

But the past few weekends have been great--my work trip to the Northern California coast was somewhat exhausting, but really good (and I continue to be happy on the work front--I truly love my job and the people I work with). After California, I had a few trips to my parents' house--the first of which to celebrate my mom and her retirement. A bunch of family congregated over Memorial Day weekend in Massachusetts and it was really great to raise a glass to toast my mom. I'm so proud of everything she has accomplished and I can't wait for her to enjoy this next phase.

The second trip was to meet my mom and a friend to trek down to NYC and catch King Lear at the Cort theater--it starred Glenda Jackson, Ruth Wilson and Pedro Pascal among other amazing cast members, and it was so cool to see the performance in such an intimate setting. I'm bummed it's closing early, but so grateful for the experience.

And last week my mom came up to paint my kitchen cabinets (before and after to come soon). It has completely transformed the space and I'm obsessed and super thankful that her first act as a retiree was hard labor at my humble abode. She's the best. She also came to cheer me on at the Twilight 5k and I think that might have been the inspiration/motivation I needed to get back into a running routine.

That's pretty much it! Spring has finally arrived up here and I've been loving the extra sunlight and warmer temps. I can't wait to settle back into a routine and relish in all that is Portland in the summer (including hitting up the local cheese shop on the regular because I finally went and it's amazing).


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.



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.


four closet staples.

catbird earrings.

j.crew sophie open-front sweater-blazer.

blundstone boots.

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).


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. 


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).


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.


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. 


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.


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!


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?


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).