Mondays. Snow. and Etsy.

I don't like snow. Living in Maine, one would think I be immune to snow pissing me off. Wrong. I cannot STAND it. That isn't entirely true I suppose-- I like snow on December 25th. That is about it. Imagine my horror if you will, when this past Saturday it snowed. In fact, we got about 4 inches of snow. On October 29. Flash back to October 8th, a mere 21 days prior, and I was at the beach.

What the helllll is wrong with this picture?

Enough complaining. On to my weekly wants on Etsy!

half apron by Foodphyte (um yes, I need this.)
Oh! Also, I discovered this adorable etsy shop when Courtney over at Vintch left me the sweetest blog comment! Her etsy shop is an amazing collection of vintage finds. Some of the items adore:

love! and the back is just as cute!!

navy high waisted skirt- only $12!
denim jumper

Seriously, amazing etsy shop!

dog bed cover (pooch not included) by the Olive Crow . Cali's Christmas gift, obviously.


veggies = good

So, some of you may have noticed i'm trying (trying is the KEY word) to add tabs across the top of the blog. Successfully managed to get them there, however cannot for the freaking life of me figure out how to change the font so it isn't that weird italic-y font. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be much appreciated. Gah.

Moving on...whenever it is my turn to cook dinner, I tend to stick with veggies. I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but don't really like cooking meat so avoid it at all costs. The other night it was cold, rainy and just a miserable day. I wanted dinner to be everything the day was not- warm, toasty, cheesy... so I got some veggies, I got some cheese and went to town.

Viola! What you see here: crispy oven baked eggplant fries and a toasted mozzarella sammies! Well, the sandwich had fresh mozz, pesto, baby arugula, artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes.  Basically I just piled all the stuff on the focaccia bread, then baked it in the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes. 

The eggplant fries- honestly I had no idea what I was doing. I cut them up, dunked them in an egg wash then tossed them in a bag of planko bread crumbs.  They only took about 8 minutes on each side to bake and were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and full of flavor. Of course we dunked them in ranch dressing. Lemme just say, this meal was perfect for a cold fall night. I suppose you can't really go wrong with melted cheese and veggies though, can you?

I LOVE cooking in the fall/winter. Don't get me wrong, making food in the summer is great too- the grill, yummy salads...but there is just something about baking/cooking/crock-potting (?) when it is cold out that is super satisfying. 

Come over, let me stuff you full of food. Ok?


AWKward + Awesome

Thursday already? For realz? Today it was C-O-L-D and I hear some parts of Maine are getting snow. Running outside isn't going to last much longer and I am dreading the treadmill- that, my friends, will be a lot more awkwards for the future.


*ripping my NEW jeans
*how much time I spend on Pinterest
*attending a training for VLP (Volunteer Lawyers Project) and locking myself out of the building going to grab something in my car. Phone was inside. 
*How easily I bruise. I slammed my leg into the side of my brother's couch recently and it looks like I was beaten with a 2x4. Also awkward running into my brother's couch??
*how many pumpkin seeds I ate yesterday. Sick. Seriously I put down like 5 pumpkins, I swear.
*the fact that I am getting excited for the new Twilight movie. Sad, I know.
*the little boy I babysit for saying "truck" and having it really sound like something else. and laughing.


*what I made for dinner tonight: crispy oven baked eggplant fries and grilled cheese and veggie sandwiches. Ooooh my goodness.
*Pinterest. I don't care that I'm geeked out on it. That website is amaze. I have found more recipes, DIY projects and ideas for the house than on any other.
*over the knee socks
*candy corn. anyone who says it isn't awesome is a dang fool.
*curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a book-- most. relaxing. thing. ever.
*stews and soups. Yep, awesome.
*the new pair of boots i'm saving for. $20 here, $20 there...who knows, maybe I'll get them by next March.
*planning to run in the Philly 10 miler w/Elizabeth
*sponsoring super sweet blogs that I adore


Loads O'Pumpkins

I can't walk. I can't bend down. I can't really move without appearing as though I am an 98 year old woman. Dang, Mount Manadnock, you really kicked my butt. The 2nd most hiked mountain in the world-- did you know that? I didn't. I mean, it is in New Hampshire. No offense, NH, but I just didn't see you as coming in #2.  So we were supposed to hike a long, but reasonable trail on Sunday- as in, not really super steep. Well, we parked in the wrong parking lot so instead we ended up traveling 2 hrs up a steeeeeeeep steeeeeep slippery trail and going down the same trail. Jelly legs, I had them. However, did I expect to be this sore? No. I mean, I've been a lean mean running machine since last April. Jeff, he isn't the least bit sore and all he has done for exercise as of late is golf. Yes, true his legs are about 10 feet longer than mine, but still. What gives?

Oh well, the soreness is worth it. The view from the top was insane.

On to more exciting stuff, the Keene, NH Pumpkinfest. Keene used to hold the world record for the most carved lit up pumpkins at one event. Used to, until big bad Boston and their bajillion people copied Keene and took the title over. Poor Keene. The little town that could has kept going with their Pumpkin shenanigans. So glad they did, because I went for the very first time and it was aaaaaamazing. Even though they didn't shatter any records, seeing 16,000 pumpkins in one place all lit up was preeeeetty cool. Does that make me a dork? I couldn't stop snapping pictures. Or pointing out cool pumpkins. We wondered around the festival eating fair food (fried pickles? who knew they were so good) and drinking towers of pumpkin beer with sugared rim glasses. Pumpkin Fest did not disappoint.  In fact, just made me love fall that much more.

pumpkin bowling anyone????

Katie's owl

Jeff's tree and my stars-- Andrew's questionable diamond in the back

beer tower

it was really warm on top. NOT. (should I bring not back??)


Etsy Monday!

Pumpkinfest was so much fun- pictures to come soon. And our hike? Amaze. Although it was a lot more difficult than we anticipated and I'm preeeeeetty sore today.  It blew my mind some of the people that were trying to hike the same trail we were on- little kids, people with babies strapped to them, ladies with slip on sketchers...what?! Why! I mean sometimes we were literally scrambling up straight rock face- slippery from the rain the night before. C'mon people, know what you are getting into before you head up the trail.

Anyway, it is the week before Halloween and my etsy searching has been for cozy warm things to fight off the chilly October air or for Halloweeny stuff! Halloween is one of my favorites and I love decorating with sophisticated edgy creepy stuff, not the typical Walmart plastic black and orange. Check out this weeks picks!!

Eco friendly cozy felt non-slip slippers by Woolybaby
Halloween Banner by Inspirational Banners
Halloween Art Print by Biloxi Housewife
Blood Wine Bottle Label by Bittersweet Apothecary
Burlap Raven pillow by Aislinn Creations
double sleeved hoodie sweater by Idea2lifestyle


Awk + Awes

Whew, another week come and gone. It flew by in a mix of rainy days and super sunny days. This weekend, Jeff and I are heading to Keene, NH with Katie and Andrew for Pumpkin Fest. I'm preeeetty excited to carve a pumpkin, roast the seeds then place it among HUNDREDS of other pumpkins! Then Sunday we are going to hike Mt. Monadnock. Busy bees we are. Well, lets get down to it. 

* running past the man I high fived and turning 5 hundred shades of red
* my freakin' WEIRD cat licking all the hair off of her abdomen because she has a skin allergy. The thing is, she did such a good job, I may or may not have assumed that either my sister or Jeff shaved her. Guess that is another awkward, asking your bf if he shaved your cat.

*getting tangled in the blankets on the couch and falling off
* having a person who I KNOW doesn't like me- stalk my pinterest. Creepy or flattering?
*driving up State Street this morning and passing a seemingly drunk man peeing on the side of the road. Towards the cars. i.e., I got an early morning full frontal.
*not fully editing this post and incorrectly using where instead of wear. DUH.


*navy blue matte nail polish
*Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers new album Gift Horse
*having someone tell Jeff that I am hysterically funny and a straight shooter- nice!
*early morning phone calls with Emily
*finding the perfect dress to wear to my very first gay wedding in a couple of weeks!
*getting a thank you card from my grandmother 
*buying new plants from the farmers market and FRESH brussel sprouts
*hot apple cider and more importantly, not spilling the hot apple cider
*pulling out my knitting bag and teaching myself how to knit (again)


oh my silly family.

I mentioned earlier that last weekend we had a party for my parent's 35th anniversary.  My family is normal. I swear. Want proof?

sister in law, gram + little sister

burlap banner I made for the party

striking I know

the parents!!

super windy ferry ride


a few simple chords

every once in awhile, I just need, crave, want, have to HAVE music. I listen to my ipod daily, but there are times when I just need to sit and let it swell around me. Certain musicians can make me feel so full of their sound that tears come to my eyes and I get goosebumps and am overcome with how ALIVE i feel.

Today I was inspired by Meg over at the Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette Bombshell who has fantastic taste in music and shared a music video.  Back in college, I discovered the wonderfulness that is Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers- well, then it was just Stephen Kellogg...but still. His music, his voice (swooooooooon) just GOT to me. Over the years, from seeing him live to having him on my radio show, my passion for his music hasn't budged and if anything, has just grown. I've tried to introduce as many people as I can to the Sixers music and swear up and down that they are the BEST live show ever. You can tell when musicians truly love what they do. You can feel it at their shows.  These guys, they LOVE what they do. Anyway, today is one of those days where the sound of the Sixers is the only music that will do.

They just came out with a new album, Gift Horse, and I highly recommend it. 

But for now, one of their oldies, but oh so goodies:


Etsy Monday!

I'm sleepy. It was a long fun weekend. Post on that to come. But, party planning for my parents, married 35 years, plus the 7 they dated before that (they started dating at age 15!)- has me all lovey dovey. What my parents have, not many do. But love is a pretty cool thing- and lots of people on etsy get that.

See for yourself:

love ring by Punkybunny300
Love me 2 times by OceanBottega
Personalized love hearts in red by Sarahandbendrix
Squirrel in Love by Naomicayne (OH i love this.)
I will love you mug by Kngo


Friday Friday Friday + a GUEST POST omg!

Happy Friday friends! I'm heading out to Peaks Island for my parent's party (wow, lots of p's!) for the weekend and I'm exciiiiiiiiiiiited. Yay for fun stuff to look forward to! Another reason this Friday is going to rock: Alivia, my lovely cousin, one of my best friends, agreed to guest post today. Her blog is inspirational to me. It makes me laugh. Cry. Roll my eyes (in a good way). I look forward to reading her blog every single day. She is an amazing amazing woman and those who know her or her blog would definitely agree. 
isn't she gawwwwwjus?!?!?!

She was worried her guest blog wouldn't be any good- she couldn't have been MORE wrong. It is AWESOME. Please see what I mean, below. And have a wonderful weekend, yo!

Hello, dears! 
I'm Nicole's favorite cousin, Alivia. I blog over at Brunch in April
This is my first-ever guest post.
*big, unnecessarily dramatic, communal gasp*

Blogging always comes easily to me.
In another window I'm comparing car insurance rates, paying off my Target card and scheduling a vet appointment. The inspiring creativity and sense of self-expression I'm getting is just overwhelmingly gratifying. 
Nicole, did you tell them I'm a tad sarcastic?
Alrighty then. Might be a good place to stop and hop off the Take Everything I Say Seriously train. Stop at the gift shop, kids, mama needs a new pair of shoes.

Hard as it is to believe, blogging, or otherwise known as "projecting a small semblance of a mostly real-life personality 'out there' into the universe with little guidance and almost no knowledge of internet social norms with the help of undeniable paranoia, on a daily basis" does not come easily most of the time.
Weird, huh?

See, I thought I would l o v e this guest posting gig. And, don't get me wrong, I love that Nicole asked me.
And I really do love blogging.
Except when I asked Nic what she wanted me to write about, I got this response:

"Maybe something encouraging for those of us new bloggers who feel like our words go unread"

Oh shit.
Encouraging. So should I tell them about how I feel like I am still a "new blogger?" Or should I not and go on suppressing that thought in my brain even though I know I'm not new to the rodeo because I started in 2005 and Lord help me I am just hitting almost300 followers now
Probably shouldn't open with that, Liv.

Can I call you dudes? 
Your words do go unread.
Here's the thing, though.
Don't. Give. A. Shit.

Sydney Poulton did not wake up one day with 8000+ followers.
Miss James did not simply click "Create Blog" and get invited to be featured in Elle Interior & Lucky magazines and Top 150 Makers Blog List
I could name a ton of big-time bloggers for effect, but we want to stay slightly focused, here.

Do you know how big this internet thing is? Relatively large.
Blogs are taking over, but we don't have world domination in our sights yet.
YET. You hear that, haters? Just wait.

My point is (I think I have a point):
don't get discouraged.* 
Keep on keepin' on.

Ask yourself why you blog. 
Is it because you want a virtual file cabinet of your thoughts, ideas, photos, favorite things, etc? Yes?  Then screw it, this is for you. Not for your followers or comment-ers or site feed. That sexy beast in the reflection of the screen, there.
Is it because you love blogs and you think you need one, too? Well, great. Except you don't need a blog to follow blogs. So if this is the sole reason, maybe writing less and reading more will alleviate some stress. But if you were inspired to start because of someone, awesome! And tell them!
Is it because you want to be famous? Well...you're in the wrong place. I mean...you can do anything you set your mind to! I just don't have any advice for you people. If you do make it to Hollywood because of your blog, a little shout out would be much appreciated.

It doesn't matter what your reason is. Just have one.
Once you're past that, sometimes those feelings of insignificance creep in and setting on your typing shoulders.
Here's my cure for Blogging Blues, otherwise known as The
My blog sucks and no one reads it and I don't have any motivation to post because seeing '0 Comments' ruins my day

1. Be confident in your blog design.
You have to enjoy visiting your blog. It's like your bedroom. If you have a pile of unfolded laundry perpetually taking up one half of your bed, reminding you that you'll probably be forever alone except for your new dog**, you probably aren't going to want to spend a lot of time in there. Unless you like wallowing in self-pity, and then, by all means, keep that blog of yours looking like a hot mess.
For reals, though, there are TONS of amazeballs designers out there, and if you're low on cash, edit your yourself blog till you're satisfied. Blogger just upped its game on design. Take advantage.
2. Follow blogs that inspire you on a visual and/or intellectual level
I follow over 50 blogs. For some, that's not a lot (more on this in a sec). These 50ish bloggers are all different. I follow "Mom Blogs" because, well, I love me some photos of babies. I follow fashion blogs because I'm a dance teacher and I have to live vicariously though people that don't have to wear a leotard and sweatpants everyday. Long story short: Find blogs you love and follow them. Easy peasy.
3. Comment for real.
Those "I love your blog, come visit mine (www.pleasefollowme.com)! Great giveaway! Leave a comment!" comments are crap. Don't be that guy. Back to the number of blogs I follow: 50ish. I follow blogs that I feel I can make a valid, thoughtful comment on a semi-regular basis. You love comments on your posts? Start leaving comments on blogs you love. Those bloggers will appreciate  it and the people that visit and comment on their blog now has a way to visit yours, too. This is probably how I've gotten the most traffic. AND how I've found some cool bloggers. What goes around comes around, you know?  
4. Blog about what you love
Or don't love...but then you'd be blogging about loving to hate something and that's kinda the same thing. 
And mix it up. For example, some of my recent posts have been somewhere along the lines of
"I Love Sweaters!" 
"The Shortened Story of How my Ex Boyfriend is A Douchebag."
"My Dog is Cute, See?"
"My Awkwardness Greatly Outweighs Anything Else in My Life."
Mix it up. Even if you want your blog to be strictly fashion, vary what you blog about. Dress lines. Collars. Favorite colors. Shoe styles. Runway looks.
See where I'm going?

And ask for help if you want/need it. The worst that can happen is 1. They don't answer or 2. They don't feel like they have time so they point you in a more helpful direction. You're still golden. 
And, man. If comments are really that important, comment on your own blog. Just kidding, don't do that. You CAN, though, respond to comments with a comment. 
savedbythebellfan: "Alivia, I just LOVED this post! Where did you get those hair scrunchies?"
alivia: "Thanks, savedbythebellfan! I got them blah blah blah blah blah blah."
Hair scrunchies.****
That is how I wrap up a rambling post.

*Yeah, I know. It's like telling an insomniac to "Just go to sleep!" Or depressed person to "Just cheer up!" You wanna punch those people in the face, am I right?
Please don't punch me in the face. I've got a lot on my plate right now.
*Yeah, this is a description of my bedroom. Set me up, clearly Homegirl's lonely.***
***Yeah, all of my footnotes begin with "Yeah."
****Please not my use of sarcasm regarding the scrunchies. Don't wear those unless...no. Just don't wear them.