Friday, June 27, 2014

this summer

I think most people would agree with me that summer is their favorite season. The anticipation of shaking off the cold from the long winter and going barefoot is almost too much to handle.  So when this sunny summer weather finally arrives I try to fit as much in as I can. 
Here is my summer bucket list :)

go strawberry picking
swim and get in the water...a lot
watch fireworks
go camping
eat all the veggies in my garden
say yes more often
entertain friends and family
dinner el fresco whenever we can
see my favorites
do something that Dan really wants to 20 miles of hiking
paint more
 try to get Millie to stand up paddle board with me
go on a few day trips around New England
go to a concert at an outside venue
go to a red sox game
getaway for fourth of July
fill the house with fresh flowers
dates with my husband
sechdule in beach days
cook/grill a little more

I really could go on and on but that already looks like a pretty tall order.  Some of these have already been planned and one we are doing tonight {that's why I crossed it off my list}.  We somehow ended up with tickets to a concert at Fenway Park tonight and I couldn't be more excited.  It will be a good way to start off this fun weekend.

Happy Friday!

Monday, June 23, 2014

lately {photos from my phone}

Well sweet friends, summer is here and the weather has been just fantastic in New England {I hope I didn't just jinx it!}.  And like every summer before it, this one seems like it's going by too fast already.  Dan just got home after being away for close to a month.  Oh but don't worry, I kept busy while he was gone.  I have spent my weekends taking road trips to Maine, a few lazy days at the beach, one beautiful day on the lake, and spending plenty of time with friends and family.  My mom even came down to Boston this past week and spent some time at the aquarium with me.  And of course I have had a few adventures with Millie.

So here's what I have been up to lately...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

in bloom

This is the third summer that we have lived in our little apartment right outside Boston.  It took some getting use was a place we didn't love at first.  But within a few months of moving in it quickly became our home.  The summer reminds me more and more about why this place grew on us.  When the weather turns warm we have space to garden, entertain outside and let sweet Millie roll around and dig.  We also have an exceptional sea of peonies that grow right along the fence.  It is one of my favorite parts about about this place.  Once those peonies bloom every corner of you sweet little apartment is filled with them.

These will bloom in a few days marking that summer has officially started....for me at least.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014


May has so quickly moved along and I can't believe this weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  I always feel like when the weather starts to get nice days go by a bit faster, despite the fact that the days are actually longer.  And after this long cold winter nothing feels better than getting outside.  Millie and I have worked on both the flower garden and the herb/vegetable garden over the past two weeks.  Things are looking pretty good.  The tulips have already come and gone and the peonies are about to bloom.  Fresh herbs have been used on multiple occasions and I can't wait until we can pick some of our own veggies.  There is something very rewarding about growing the food you eat.

We have been enjoying this spring with family and friends.  I tend to hibernate in the winter and leaving the house isn't always my top priority.  When the sun appears and it's warm enough for flip flops then I make an effort to see the people I haven't for a while.  All the necessary things get put on the back burner and enjoying the weather and the ones you love  becomes the most important thing to do in a day.  The calendar has already started to fill itself up for the spring and summer, which I don't mind at all.  

In other news:  BOTH Dan and I have the next 5 days off which is sort of a miracle.  Work has been busy for both of us and on top of that Dan is still working on finishing up school.  Getting some time off together pretty much means that the stars had to align perfectly.  The plan was to head to the white mountains and do some backpacking/camping but it looks like the weather may not cooperate.  I'm not about to be in the woods for days while it's raining.  So who knows what will come of these next few days but I am sure we will find plenty of things to do.

So that's what we have been up to the past few weeks.  Living our very exciting little lives :)  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

mercy for mamas

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend with my mom at a woman's retreat, Hearts in Harmony.  It was a day and a half music, speakers, food, and good conversation.  I was able to hear wonderful speakers talk about their walk in life and what has lead them to where they are now.  It's always so inspiring to hear someone else's story.

One of my favorite speakers was Melissa, the founder of Mercy for Mamas.  I wish you all could have heard her tell the story of meeting their daughter Mercy in Uganda {you can read a little about it here}, it was a one in a million kind of story.  But Melissa didn't just stop at adopting Mercy, she started an organization to help Ugandan women delivery babies safely.  With just a $7 donation, Mercy for Mammas is able to give a pregnant woman in Uganda a "mama kit" that they can bring with them to the hospital.  Without the supplies in the "mama kit" hospitals will not see or help pregnant woman have a safe and healthy delivery.  These kits are saving both the lives of mamas and babies.

So since mother's day is right around the corner I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share Mercy for Mamas with you.  It is a wonderful way to help the mamas of Uganda.  And if your looking for a way to honor you mother on mother's day, think about making a donation in her name to Mercy for Mamas or buy a piece of beautiful jewelry made by Ugandan woman.  All of the money goes to buying and distributing mama kits to the woman in need. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

everyday is a gift

life is a gift. wake up everyday and realize that.

March was a hectic month with crappy weather and some tough life lessons, so when April rolled around it was like a breath of fresh air.  Not only did it feel like a new beginning but the weather instantly got warmer.  Amen!  Even with all the muddy paw prints that have been making their way through my house {thanks Millie}, I can't complain about spring.  April brought a new perspective, as a change of season will do, and I was reminded that I need to treat each day as a gift.

Life can change in a instant and we certainly don't know what is going to happen in the future.  Speaking from my small amount of life experience I can at least say that each day brings something new and everyday we should be thankful for the time at hand.  Dan and I always remind each other not to complain too much about a bad day because right around the corner there could be something really beautiful or really tragic.  Most of the time I float on with life, doing the same things everyday but sometimes something happens that jerks me back into reality and reminds me to appreciate everyday a little more.

I need to do more in love. 
I need to be more kind, more often. 
I need to forgive and forget.
And I need to more than thankful of the days I have been given. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

turning twenty nine

On Sunday I turned twenty nine, the last year of my life that I will ever be in my twenties.  I guess that means I will have to make this next year a good one.  I remember the day I turned twenty, waking up and swearing I saw a multitude of wrinkles around my eyes.  Like I had aged over night.  And then twenty five rolled around and I felt the sting of no longer being in my early twenties....again overnight I had somehow found myself in the late twenties category.   But this birthday there was no dramatic turn of events that sent me tail spinning into thinking I was that much older than I was the day before.  For the most part I feel like I am right where I should be in life.

I started thinking about all the things I have done in my twenties, I am down right blown away.  It has been nine years of learning, growing, making mistakes, falling in love, travel, settling down, and of course living my life the best I know how.  My twenties have been nothing close to boring.  And I hope that is true for this next year.  To make sure of that I started making a thirty before thirty list...mostly for fun but I hope it encourages me to do some things I wouldn't otherwise do.  My hope is to always live the next year of my life better than the year before.

So onto the last year of my twenties!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY mustache mugs

About a month ago my cousin and her sweet hubby had their wedding reception.  They had gotten hitched in the fall and waited on having a party until February.  Such a fabulous idea...all the wedding pressure is off and you can just enjoy and have fun.  They had a mustache theme and A LOT of cupcakes.  Cupcakes for wedding favors!  Amen!

When it came time to pick a gift out for these two love birds, Dan and I got a few things off the registry.  But I also decided to stick with the theme and make them mustache mugs.  

DIY Mustache Mugs

what you need:
a mustache stencil or template

Make sure the mug you are using for this project is clean.  I popped mine in the dishwasher and then cleaned the spot I was going to draw my mustache on with alcohol.  Tape your stencil to your mug and then trace the stencil with the sharpie.  Once you have traced the design you can start filling in your mustache with the sharpie.  When you are happy with your mustache, heat your oven to 350F and place the mug in the oven for 30 minutes.  Let the mugs cool before you take them out.

They ended up coming out great!  I few tips for those of you who might give this a try.  I would do at least two coats of marker before cooking your mug.  Also if you are worried about putting the mugs in the oven, you can always place the mugs in the oven while it's heating up and once it gets to the desired temperature cook them for 30 minutes.
Happy 1st day of April!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

think spring

Today is the first day of spring.  Thank God.  About mid February I was really over winter.  My soul hurt from the snow storms and brutally cold days.  Not to mention we had quite a few days that were 50 degrees and sunny and then just like that it would be snowing again.  New England you are such a tease.  Those few warm days made me officially ready for nicer weather.  I want to trade my boots for flip flops and spend entire hot summer days at the beach.  You hear that winter?  No more of you.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons; watching the cold dark winter melt away to flowers and green grass.  New England usually has a muddy spring {especially with sweet Millie} but I'll take mud over ice any day.  So here's hoping that spring is on it's way.  Until then Trader Joe's is going to get a weekly visit from me in order to fill my little apartment with fresh flowers.

Happy first day of spring!

Friday, March 14, 2014

a guest post from my mom: healthy living // stress

I would like to introduce you to my sweet mom, Lana.  She agreed to do a guest post on the blog for my healthy living series.  She is a clinical social worker and provides counseling in all different areas to all kinds of different people.  So when it comes to coping with stress she's usually my go to.  Since she's a professional I thought she could shed some light on how we all can deal with stress a little better in our lives.  It is a must have for healthy living. 

I thought it would be fun to try an acrostic with the word STRESSED instead of writing paragraphs about what most of us already know when it comes to dealing with stress. 
See what you think...

Sleep - You aren't your best for yourself or for others when you are sleep deprived.  Know how much sleep you need and check in - Am I sleeping enough?

Tea - My answer to the need for short breaks during the day - yours may be different!  It's OK  to stop what I'm doing for 15 minutes, relax, enjoy, and think on something mindless, and then I am    ready to tackle what ever is in front of me.  Where and how are you building breaks into your day?

Relax - Know what is "just for fun" in your life and make time for it.

Emotions - Do you get anxious, depressed, or irritable when you are stressed?  Be aware of the early signs and have a plan for addressing it.  Ask yourself - What will help me regain balance?  Then put your plan into action and remember that sooner is better than later!

Spiritual - Don't forget that we are all spiritual beings.  The God who created the universe knows you, loves you and wants you to know Him.  Join the psalmist who wrote "Be still, and know that I am God".

S - Too many S's - I am not going to "stress out" about it - just going to skip it!  You can do that you know.

Exercise - You don't have to go to the boot camp exercise class but you do need to move your body through space - your heart will thank you, your brain will thank you, and all the muscles that are tense with stress will thank you.

Diet - If this is a challenging area for you,  keep it simple.  Ask yourself - Where in my day is the protein?, the water?, and conversely - Where in my day is the sugar?, the caffeine?, the alcohol?

     Hopefully this acrostic doesn't stress you out, we all do some things better than others at different times in our lives.  So pick one thing to try differently -  make a small change, but do it very often.  Before you know it you will be reminding yourself to do it because it makes you feel so much better!

Isn't she just the cutest?!  Thanks mom for shining some light on easy changes we can make in our daily lives!  How do you all deal with stress in a healthy way?