to juice or not to juice?

guys, I've been hearing a lot about juice cleanses. One of my good friends recently did one and raved about it, even though she was pretty much angry at the world for 5 days...
juiced up.

What is this new(ish) thing?

this is what some people say about juice cleanses:

my initial thoughts?
this is dumb.
I mean, not eating solid food for 3-5 days?
Cleansing your body?
I get the whole 'easier for your body to absorb' thing, that makes sense.
But I didn't (don't?) buy into the whole cleanse thing. 
Can't eating lots of salad and broccoli do the same thing?

Honestly I don't know if my body could survive on less than 1000 calories a day. And if I go running that day? Forget it. It seems like that would be starving myself. Plus, remember my post about sugar not too long ago? Aren't juices like...ALL sugar? Even natural sugar your body has a crazy reaction to. All that sugar going into your body makes your pancreas produce insulin, which then moves that sugar stuff which is now glucose- right directly into your cells. Sick.

and check this out:

After 30 minutes
As your cells suck up the glucose, your blood sugar level can start to plummet and you may feel dizzy.

Meanwhile, lacking enough calories, your body is operating off its supply of glycogen, a form of short-term energy stored in the liver and muscles.
After two days
With each shot of juice, your insulin levels skyrocket, then crash. Your glycogen stores are pretty much gone, leaving your tank on empty—and you feeling weak and listless.

Since you're getting only about half the calories you need, your body draws on two long-term power sources: triglycerides, a type of energy stored in fat cells (woo-hoo!), and protein, taken straight from your muscles (oops). You begin to lose muscle mass, even if you're still exercising every day.
After three days
Your brain is not happy. It enters into semi-starvation mode and gobbles ketones, fuel that comes from the breakdown of fat. Ketones work, but they're like low-grade gasoline; as a result, you may feel unfocused or irritable. (Any "mental clarity" is likely due to a strong placebo effect.)

Sans a fresh protein infusion, your brain is also lacking amino acids, the raw materials that neurotransmitters need to maintain your mood. If you're prone to depression, you may start feeling blue.
The proteins in your shrinking muscles break down into ammonia and uric acid, unwelcome chemicals that invade your bloodstream. Now your kidneys are busy detoxing your detox.
Stay near the bathroom: The juice's high carbohydrate load causes a surfeit of water to enter the intestines. That extra H2O in your gut means you're apt to get diarrhea.
After four days
With no food to digest, your small intestine feels ignored. Its villi—the rows of tiny fibers that move food elements into the blood—start to atrophy. Your diarrhea may get worse, leading to dehydration... and there goes your rosy glow.

On the eighth day
Solid food! But uh-oh—you've lost muscle. Even if you go back to your regular eating habits, you now have less muscle mass to burn those calories; instead, the calories are more likely to be turned into fat. (Hence, one reason yo-yo dieting makes it harder to lose weight: Your reduced muscle-to-fat ratio messes up your metabolism and makes calories much harder to work off.)

copied from Women's Health.

Losing muscle mass? What the what! I hardly have any of that to begin with, I don't want to lose it! and mmm being apt to get diarrhea? Sounds GREAT. Now, I understand that some of these cleanses that you order have protein packed drinks, but still. Probably not as much protein that you could get from, I don't know, SOLID food?!

And I also get it is a great source of vitamins, because who normally ingests a huge amount of vitamins on a daily basis? I certainly don't. But, that said- your body can only absorb certain amounts and types of vitamins- water soluble v's are pretty much flushed out when you pee. 

So far, from what I have read- the bad stuff outweighs the good with regards to a juice cleanse. What are your thoughts? Should I try a 3 day cleanse and report it back to you? Or should I just stick to eating healthy and eating clean? 


I'm back + it is cold

I'm back from glorious sunny California. 
My days were spent basking in the perfect 73 degree air and soaking up vitamin D.
I went running around cute neighborhoods where people have lemon trees in their yards (and gave me funny looks when I would pluck a few...)
I cuddled as much as I could with my niece, Ila, who is the cutest baby in the world.
I ate.
I antiqued.
I decided i needed to move to Southern California.


Well, 50% seriously.
Jeff said if my sister could find friends to live in our place (rent it out and cover the mortgage...) then we could move to California for a bit. Maybe 6 months. Maybe a year.
I would do it in a heartbeat.
So you never know, that may happen. Of course, probably not until after the wedding...

Don't get me wrong, I love Maine. I do. And I'll always want to live here, especially Portland. But, I make it no secret that I cannot stand snow or cold weather.
and weather in San Diego is perfect about 87% of the time. 
That is a percent I can jump on board with.

view from our friend's apartment (where we stayed the first night)

enjoying coffee + the sun

Jeff checking on Ila

La Jolla

Seals just taking a rest

Lemon trees were everywhere! 

itty bitty baby foot

Sangria on the deck

Oceanside Sunset


long plane rides

I have flown enough times in my 20 + 10 years to know that long plane rides kinda suck and there are certain things you definitely need.

well, that I definitely need.

and since we are leaving for California on Saturday, I thought I'd share with you what I wear when traveling and what I have in my carry-on!

  1. I always make sure I am wearing comfy pants- black leggings or jeggings are an easy way to be comfortable but not look sloppy.
  2. I don't know about you but my feet ALWAYS get cold on planes- so warm cozy socks are a must. As are shoes that are easy to get on and off so going through security isn't as big of a pain in the butt....
  3. LAYERS are my friend. Am I hot? Am I cold? You just never know with me- so a cozy wrap sweater over a soft t-shirt is a simple way to go. And, this may be TMI but I rock a comfy bra as well- Gap body bras are my friends. My comfy stretchy yet supportive friends.
  4. I might not start off the flight wearing a hat but, but by the end of a long flight my hair isn't all that glamorous so I always toss a hat in the carry-on to avoid plane-hair. Big sunglasses are needed if we took a red eye...plus, not gonna lie, they kind of make me feel all Hollywood.
  5. Hair elastics are a no brainer.
  6. The chunky scarf is always a good idea because it can be used to keep you warm, or bunched up as a little extra pillow!
  7. My carry-on bag is always big enough to carry my purse (btw, I hate the word purse. yuck. sounds so old lady), some snacks, a bottle of water, hand lotion/sanitizer (dry hands and germs...ew) my ipad and kindle (sick, I know) and some trashy magazines.

pretty simple stuff, yet covers all the bases. 
What do you travel with?


Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

"see you later, see you soon"

On November 2nd, Jeff and I went to Boston to the Paradise Rock Club with some friends to see Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers on their final (for now) tour.

It was bittersweet.

I have been a die hard fan of Stephen Kellogg's music since I first heard him in 2002. That is 10 years folks. I was just a sophomore in college when he came to play at the St. A's coffee shop in October of 2002- I had never ever heard of him. But, my love of music (and coffee) had me there that cold night- I was probably one of 20 people. I was instantly blown away. Now, in 2002 I was deep in my Howie Day obsession phase- singer/songwriters were my drug. My then boyfriend was (stupidly) jealous of how infatuated I was with the rocker boys. But that night, seeing SK and hearing his music- it was a breath of fresh air for me. I had long loved Howie Day and his raspy voice- confusing lyrics and too cool stage persona. 
But when SK started to sing- his voice just...I don't have the words. He was funny on stage, warm, goofy. His lyrics were straight forward. He was singing what he felt, without trying to be difficult and edgy.
He was approachable. 
Yeah yeah, I know I'm sounding a little crazed fan/major crush right now- but I was 20 years old and I was hooked.

After that night, after buying cd's and downloading mp3s- after seeing him play whenever he was in a reasonable proximity- after having him come play on my radio show (!!!), after watching him go from a one man show, to a three man show, to a full band, after paying tribute to the band in a very permanent way on my body (I was young...but no regrets), after using the music to help me get through a very painful breakup, and listening to the music as I fell in love again, after Stephen Kellogg calling me on my 21st birthday to sing HBD to me, after graduating college and then law school, after seeing the band play their first show in Portland.....

After all these years and all these moments, I'm still the just as captured by this band, this man, this music. 

Seeing him on the stage at the Paradise during their final show in Boston was amazing and terribly sad. 

For those 3 hours of the show, I danced and sang and screamed until I lost my voice. I will admit I even got a little teary. Do you know what it is like to have music complete flow through your body? When you feel so immersed that you can't quite separate yourself from the sound? I remember telling myself that night, "don't forget this. Don't forget this feeling."

I won't. 

Somewhere east of that solo and a little bit west of the bridge

Was the singular kind of moment that you remember as long as you live


If you haven't yet listened to SK6, may I suggest:

Flower in Rain
Such a Way
You've Changed
Girlfriend as Pretty As You
Start the Day Early
Anthem of Our Discovery
4th of July
In Front of the World
Big Easy

...who am I kidding. Go listen to it all. Esp the early stuff... 


etsy monday

this year, Winter is creeping in around me.
I didn't notice it at first, but now when my car is covered in frost and the grass crunches beneath my feet, when my breath comes out in clouds, I am forced to.

I'm trying to avoid the winter blues by keeping super busy: 
The Key and Sparrow is really taking off (haha, get it?) and it has been somuchfun working on new jewelry lines and projects!
I'm also lining up great books to read...
Making a list of projects to complete around the house...
working on wedding stuff...
jumping into all that is cozy and warm.

therefore, there is the mess of items on etsy i love lately that embrace busy and cozy. 
hopefully I can survive until spring!

chunky knit throw

if $ wasn't an issue, I'd be all over this fisherman sweater.

oatmeal striped duvet cover in soft cotton
project planner

STD that I actually like...esp cause I know a 'kissing' one will gross out my friends.



Today is election day.
Part of me did not want to write anything on here about politics.
I don't want to alienate people who believe different things than I do-
regardless of what side of the spectrum you are on,
if you are 18+, 
you have ZERO excuse for not getting out there today and voting.
Well, unless you voted absentee. 

I will be the first to admit that I sometimes feel like I don't know enough about politics.
But that is no reason not to vote.
Don't be silly enough to think your vote doesn't count.
They always count.

Be awesome + go get your sticker that says "I VOTED". 

And remember, for those of you conservatives, Mitt Romney is spelled: B-A-R-A-K O-B-A-M-A


My obsession with B.Nut Squash

You can roast it.
You can toast it.
You can host it!

Ok, now I’m just rhyming for fun.

No, but seriously- I’m in love (and I'm just now noticing how phallic it is- sick!). Any way you cook this stuff, it is fan-freakin’-tastic. Over the past month, I have put it in stews, soups, made baked chips, mashed it…
But last night, I was slightly inspired.
I had time. I had wine. I had butternut squash.
And so, low and behold- I created: Butternut squash + goat cheese pie.


I am not a food blogger and therefore I didn't properly document or measure- but I figured it could give you the jist of it and you can try it if you like!

You will need:
Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
an Onion (a small one, diced)
A shallot (diced)
olive oil
Fresh Sage
Butternut squash (about 1 lb)
Goat cheese
White wine

First, get about a lb of bnutz squash (i was lazy and bought a package of the pre-cut stuff...NOT frozen). Put your oven to 400 and roast the shiz out of it on a baking sheet until it is tender and a pretty shade of yellowy-brown.

While that is roasting- make some savory pie crust!
I used this recipe, but doubled it.
 Form the dough into two balls (hehe), wrap in plastic and put in the fridge.

Then, over medium heat, pour a little olive oil in a skillet, let it get nice and toasty, then toss in your shallot, the onion and garlic. Cook that up with a little S&P until it is tender/smells amaze.
Take about an 1/8th of a cup of the white wine, take a sip, (JK) and then add to onion mix and cook until reduced. Toss in some fresh chopped sage.

Then, when the squash is done- throw it in a bowl with the onion mixture and mash the hell out of it. Toss in 1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese and mix well.

Here is where I got lazy. Instead of making a real 'pie'- I just rolled out the dough into smallish circles- maybe 6 inches across or so, plopped some of the squash mix into the middle, then folded the circle over so they kind of looked like calzones, and sealed the edges with a fork. Don't forget to cut slits in the crust!

Then I baked the mini pies for 40ish minutes (until golden brown) at 375.

Then I inhaled them.

the end.

Are you obsessed with any food lately?


letters to myself: a rant on student loans

Dear Nicole at the age of 17 trying to decide what college to go to,

I understand the pressure in high school to get into a good college. I remember all too well the feeling of wanting to LEAVE Winslow and be something. I know you feel as though you absolutely have to go to a small liberal arts school because you don't want to go where everyone else goes and you care too much about what your diploma says. However, if you could listen to my advice, I would tell you, it isn't worth it. A state school is JUST as good if not better because you won't come out with thousands of dollars in loans. I promise no one will think less of you for going to UMO or USM. AND you really don't know what you want to do anyway so why spend $40,000 a year? I also promise that you will make new friends at these schools and won't necessarily get lumped in with who you went to high school with. Seriously, please just go to a state school for a year or two while you figure it out- or for all 4 years- it honestly does. not. matter. where you go to undergrad.

Nicole at age 30

Dear Nicole at the age of 23/24 about to head to law school,

don't go.
seriously- chalk up your application fee to a little financial hit that will save you thousands upon thousands in the future.
I know you THINK you want to be a lawyer.
But, reflect for a minute.
Do you want to go to law school to prove something?
Do you want to go to law school to show everyone that you can be smart and serious?
Are you ready to give 3 years of your life and sanity just to prove that you aren't some small town girl - but a strong woman with an education?

Guess what? Nobody is paying attention to that.
Guess what else? Everyone who matters already knows you're smart.
You love helping people right?
You love working with kids/young adults?

Here is an idea- go get your masters. I bet you would be an amazing counselor. Or teacher. And you know what? I bet you'd be happy.

If you go to law school, you'll spend 3 years feeling like it was a mistake that they let you in.
You will seriously feel like the dumbest person in the world.
You will develop serious anxiety and panic attack problems (sound like fun?).
The only good you will take from law school (besides several people you meet) will be the time you spent working at the Legal Clinic. And even with that, it will only reaffirm how much you like working with people, young adults, and helping people get their lives on track.

If you go to law school, you will come out owing more than some people have in a mortgage on a home.
You then won't be able to find a job.
You then will be seriously and scarily unemployed for a significant amount of time.
You then will discover you don't want to be a lawyer, but even with your pretty serious degree (JD is nothing to sneeze at, folks) you will find no jobs. Everyone will assume that you must want to be a lawyer. Everyone will tell you that you are overqualified.
Your self esteem will plummet.

So, don't go.
I promise you'll figure your life out without law school. I promise you'll be happier, have more money in your pocket, feel like YOU and be doing something you love.

just think about it.

Nicole at age 30