Mukow Monday! #13

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A few days ago Mukow was paid a visit by her friend Ellie, who lives down the street. She hadn’t seen Ellie in quite a while so she was INSANELY EXCITED to play. Ellie loves the snow just about as much as Mukow so they had a blast running around, tackling each other, leaping in the air, and rolling down snow banks (okay, that was mostly Ellie). :)

For the Love of Baths

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If you aren’t already aware, I LOVE BATHS. I don’t take too many during the hotter summer months but during the cooler months and ESPECIALLY during the winter I am in the tub almost daily. I take showers, too, of course, but nothing beats a hot bath on a cold day. We recently renovated our bathroom and part of the re-do was a new tub for me. The old tub was pretty gross and a bit too small. I didn’t expect much, but my husband surprised me with a wonderful, deep Jacuzzi tub. This means that my regular baths are AT LEAST 10 times better, and when I can put the jets on it’s freaking heaven. I always like to have something in the bath to spice it up a bit — bath salts, bath bombs, or even just regular bubbles. They make my skin soft and smooth, make me feel cleaner, and the scent is nice both while I’m in the tub and after I get out. The most common bath salt/scrub/etc scent out there is lavender, and while I’m not specifically opposed, it just doesn’t do anything for me. I MUCH prefer scents on the more fruity, floral, and just plain sweet side. So I’ve collected some amazing items from Etsy to help aid in your bath adventures!

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#1 Yuzu Sugar Scrub Soap Scoops from SweetClementineSoaps ($8.50 for 6). Yuzu is a sort of Japanese grapefruit. It has a tart flavor, resembling that of a grapefruit, with undertones of mandarin orange. I LOVE any kind of citrus-y, orange-y scents and these look so delicious! The sugar scrub soap scoops are supposed to last for several baths/showers as long as they’re left to dry in between — awesome!

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#2 Blueberry Blast Petite Bath Bombs from BahariBlossom ($10.27 for 6). Growing up in Maine I think it’s kind of ingrained in me to love the smell of fresh blueberries, so the idea of soaking in a delicious blueberry-scented bath sounds heavenly. These bath bombs are also sprinkled with Malva flowers which are an excellent emollient.

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#3 Cupcake Bubble Bar from WhippedUpWonderful ($6.99 for a 5oz bar). Not only is this bubble bar ADORABLE, but this is how the seller describes the scent: “Whipped butter, blond sugar cane, Madagascar vanilla and maple.”. AMAZING. One of these 5oz bars should make 3-4 bubble baths so this is an incredible deal!

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#4 Kahlua Bath Bombs from MeliesGarden ($4 for a 2.5oz bar). I absolutely LOVE kahlua — I’ll drink the store-bought stuff but nothing beats my sister-in-law’s recipe. Soaking in a tub with the classic coffee rum scent with a hint of vanilla… siiigh!

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#5 Earl Grey Bath Bomb from DavisMain ($5 for a 5oz bar). What’s wrong with wanting to sound like Captain Picard as I ready my bath? “Bath. Earl grey. Hot.”

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#6 Herbal Garden Body Scrub from ambrebotanicals ($31.59 for 200mL). While I am mostly drawn to sweet and floral scents, I do also love a nice clean herbal scent. This body scrub — meant to gently remove dead skin cells revealing clean, fresh skin — has the aroma of pure eucalyptus, basil, and lemon essential oils. I wouldn’t mind being super smooth AND smelling like a delicious herb garden!

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#7 Pumpkin Pie Milk and Oatmeal Bath Soak from pldbody ($12.50 for 8oz). Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite things in the world, so combining that comfortable, homey scent with a hot bath is just awesome. This is a sort of combo bath salt/soak, combining Epsom salts with both dry milk and oatmeal. So nourishing!

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#8 Hibiscus Lotus Herbal Blend Bath Tea from HerbalHeritages ($8.66). I just love the idea of a bath tea — you even put your desired portion in a small muslin bag to soak just like a tea bag would. This particular blend has lotus bath salts, vanilla bath salts, hibiscus flowers, lavender, and chrysanthemum, and it sounds delightful.

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#9 Ginger Lime Bath Bombs from theblacksheepsoapco ($5). I absolutely LOVE the scent of lime — so refreshing and rejuvenating — and when you add ginger you’ve got an awesome party!

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#10 Coconut Milk Bath Soak from HerbivoreBotanicals ($16 for 6oz). It’s no secret how incredible coconut oil is for… well, everything. It’s moisturizing, cleansing, antibacterial, and it’s incredible for your skin. That’s the base of this 100% all-natural bath soak, so it will leave you feeling soft and smooth and smelling like coconut and vanilla. Perfection!

Mayberry Cemetery | Windham, Maine

A while back my friend Devon and I explored some cemeteries around Windham, Maine. One of the spots on our route was Mayberry Cemetery. As usual I couldn’t find a whole ton of information on it, but it was an interesting one — lots of newer graves (within the past 15-20 years or so) but some old ones as well. It’s always odd to me when cemeteries are snuggled right in between houses — there were houses on either side of it and one directly across the street. But it was a fun one to explore.

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Etsy Loves! #15

Welcome to ETSY LOVES! This week’s theme is DIAMONDS. I went a little more loose with the interpretation here because, really, I’m not crazy about diamonds in the more traditional sense. The only piece of jewelry I own with actual diamonds in it is my engagement ring (and I haven’t worn it in years). That being said, I do love more raw and unusual jewelry pieces with diamonds included, and I love the general “diamond” shape, so… enjoy this pretty awesome collection. :)

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First row, from left: Minimalist Ring from fifthheaven ($36) | Custom Laser Cut Acrylic Diamond Ring from emikoshop ($8) | Herkimer Diamond Gold Necklace from friedasophie ($45) | Diamond Wooden Shapes from phings ($6) | Second row, from left: Diamond Light Bulb from LightwithShade ($28.99) | Diamond Shaped Turquoise Ring from LamFaTiTa ($16) | Gold & Pink Diamond Cupcake Toppers from Pelemele ($7.61 for 10) | Cement Diamonds from PASiNGA ($18.24 for 6) | Third row, from left: Geometric Necklace from WildThingStudio ($55) | Herkimer Diamond Ring from friedasophie ($98) | Diamond Vinyl Stickers from sandraculliton ($6 for 6) | Gold Dipped Tiny Diamond Studs from MinimalVS ($20) | Bottom row, from left: Diamond Cookie Cutter from Printmeneer ($5.87) | Concrete Diamond from PASiNGA ($25.36) | Kaleidoscope Glasses from Auroravizion ($29.90) | Raw Diamond Ring from ChristinaRoseJewelry ($68)

Wishlist Wednesday! #13

Welcome to WISHLIST WEDNESDAY! Things were crazy around here last week and I totally missed it, so I was excited to make up a list today. It’s a good one, as always, and somehow I was able to limit myself to only TWO cat items. ;)

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#1 Vintage Brass Pineapple Trinket Dish from thewhitepepper ($34.50). I love brass figurines. I love trinket dishes. I love pineapples. A match made in heaven!

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#2 Modern Mushroom Wall Clock from decoylab ($70). This is just the cutest little clock I’ve ever seen!

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#3 Mug Card from amyawalters ($3.96). I have a pretty awesome mug collection of my own (photos coming soon!) so having a card with a mug collection on it would be some kind of Inception awesomeness.

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#4 Lace Racerback Tank Top from RogueMinxClothing ($100). I am all about clothes being simple, basic, and easy to layer and combine… but I also want them to be pretty! This racerback tank is the best of both worlds… a basic white, flattering cut, and looks comfortable, and the lace is SO stunning!

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#5 Wildflowers & Honey Bath Bomb from FormularyFiftyFive ($6). There’s not much I love more than lounging in a hot bath, especially during the winter. Add a bath bomb (especially with such a delicious scent!) and I’m in heaven.

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#6 Ice Cream Cone Pillow from shannonbroder ($40). I’m pretty sure ALL of my pillows should be shaped like delicious foods or adorable animals, and this would be a good start!

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#7 Cat Return Address Stamp from nativebear ($55). I don’t send a whole lot of snail mail these days — I used to weekly for my business but have switched to all digital — but I think if I had an amazing cat return address stamp I’d find an excuse to send things. ;)

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#8 Cat Stud Earrings from fazjewelry ($20). These are just the cutest freaking things. I believe she does custom projects as well (using photos of your animals!) which would be AMAZING — I need some Mukow earrings!!

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#9 Salt Water Outer Bank on It Sandals in Red from ModCloth ($39.99). I’m just going to pretend that it’s NOT February, the ground is NOT covered in roughly eight thousand feet of snow, and it’s NOT a mere 28 degrees outside right now while I lust over these gorgeous things.

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#10 Kimchi Blue Scarlett Fit + Flare Dress from Urban Outfitters ($69). This is such a simple and gorgeous black dress (with a more intricate back!) and I want to fill my closet with about 80 of them. You can do SO MUCH with a black dress and once spring hits I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing them 90% of the time!

Coffee with Gray

If you don’t already know, Gray is my (super awesome) brother. This was weeks ago at this point but we went out for coffee and breakfast at the West End location of Tandem Coffee Roasters in Portland. The building itself was built in the 60s and was a gas station and a laundromat before being reincarnated as an amazing bakery with delicious beverage options. I got a cheddar jalapeño scone (which I am still drooling over) and some delicious herbal tea, and Gray, of course, opted for coffee. The ambiance is perfect — very Portland — and the space is just so cool, with delicious drinks and bakery items to boot. I’ve been looking for some new spots to add to my roster of coffee shops and cafes to frequent with clients and Tandem made it on the list for sure.

The view from the outside… aka me spying on my brother from afar. A-ha!

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Gray’s coffee (with lots of cream)…

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My amazing scone.

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Can you tell we enjoyed it?

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Gray’s a good photographic subject. He’s been in front of my camera for YEARS so it doesn’t phase him much anymore.

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I just love the progression of these photos. Talking, talking, and then realizing that I’m laughing behind the camera and glaring at me. :D

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Instagram Sunday! #10

INSTAGRAM SUNDAY! Yes this is technically being posted on Monday, but shhh. This past week was… both busy and not busy at the same time. I felt like a lot happened but looking at my calendar there really wasn’t much going on. But here’s some highlights either way!

My brother’s girlfriend came over on Monday to brighten up my hair. SO THRILLED!

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On Wednesday I headed to Adore by Darling‘s studio for a boudoir session! Jen is a friend of mine and we’ve worked together before, so I was BEYOND excited to be photographed by her again. I stopped on my way to have my hair & makeup done by Jessica Candage and couldn’t resist snapping a selfie (or 10) in the car before I left…

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Jen takes an Instax photo of everyone who comes into her studio, so me and Cortney (she came along for moral support!) gladly obliged!

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I’ve taken LOTS of selfies lately because I adore my hair…

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On Saturday I made up a little Valentine’s surprise for Nate — I cut out 45 or so paper hearts and wrote reasons why I love him on them and taped them all over the house. I mean, I could have made up another zillion hearts but had to settle for just 45. ;)

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On Saturday night we hunkered down for the big weekend storm, Neptune…

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And, oh, right, nothing happened. Portland managed to be right in the break of the storm, apparently — places south of us (as close as Saco, which is only 15-20 minutes south, and down to Boston) and north of us managed to get 12-24 inches, while we got… 2. A dusting, really.

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Sunday was the anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot photograph, so I took an awkward photo of my Carl Sagan tattoo to celebrate! I got this tattoo back in 2010 and it’s awesome. People always read it and look confused but then I tell them it’s Carl Sagan and they’re reassured once again that I am a total nerd.

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Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is here again and it’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind of it. I’m guilty of feeling pressure on ALL holidays, really — whatever the expected emotion or action is, I tend to think of it a little too much, and feel bad or less than if I don’t fully embody it all day long. New Year’s Eve is such a huge party holiday that I feel like a bit of a loser if I’m at home sipping champagne with my dog (err, next to my dog). I feel pressured to have a huge, blowout BBQ on Memorial Day (which I know shouldn’t be the focus AT ALL). And today, on Valentine’s Day, I wonder why I’m not in the kitchen busting out some adorable, heart-shaped cookies, wearing head-to-toe pink and red, and surrounded by flowers and candy. We’re molded by society and media no matter how hard we try.

A big downside of this holiday that is also, of course, deeply ingrained in peoples’ minds is this insane pressure to be romantically involved with someone. SO much of this day is tied up in getting expensive gifts, indulging in dinner and champagne, and just generally having someone in your life to shower you with THINGS and cards and chocolates. It should come as no surprise that I think this is crap. If we can get past the overwhelmingly materialistic aspect, we’re reminded that it’s JUST ONE DAY, and making people feel like shit because they don’t have a romantic partner to shower with money and useless shit is… well, pretty terrible.

Instead of focusing solely on a romantic partner today, why not simply show your affection to ALL of the people you love? Extend kindness and happiness into the world. Compliment someone you see at the store. Give some candy to your mom. Make a homemade card for your neighbor. Send your grandfather a sweet e-mail. Post a funny photo on your friend’s Facebook wall. Make everyone around you feel loved, and realize that YOU are loved as well, by a whole myriad of different people, and hopefully by yourself as well. Treat yourself in some way. Sit down and read a book. Make yourself some hot cocoa (with marshmallows). Listen to your favorite music, or watch your favorite TV show while you’re cuddled on the couch. Sip some wine. Love yourself, ignore the stupid commercials, and remind yourself that not only will it be over tomorrow, but there will be deeply discounted candy, too. ;)

Etsy Loves! #14

This week’s ETSY LOVES theme is SHOES! I love shoes, despite not owning nearly enough pairs. You wouldn’t necessarily think of Etsy as a great spot for shoe shopping but they have TONS of options, from handmade to vintage to completely customized and painted to your liking. Here’s some of my favorites…

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Top row, from left: Vintage Saddle Oxford from retroandme ($78) | I Love You(r Shoes) from StudioShoes ($60) | Paris Snow White from Naanoshoes ($79) | Vintage Floral Dr. Martens from RenegadeRevival ($305.99) | Second row, from left: Acordonado Rouge from QuieroJune ($210) | Green Oxford Shoes from BangiShop ($96) | Finn and Jake Shoes from cindystyle ($110) | Womens’ Lace Ups from OliveThomasShoes ($145) | Third row, from left: Leopard Print Shoes from TamarShalem ($132.30) | Totoro Shoes from TapkiShop ($60) | Simon’s Cat Shoes from TapkiShop ($55) | Skeleton X-Ray TOMS from BStreetShoes ($159) | Bottom row, from left: Galaxy Converse from MeganPaintShop ($59) | Black & White Mafia Oxford Shoes from KUKLAfashiondesign ($125) | Leather Oxford Shoes from BaliELF ($165) | Black & White Oxford Shoes from BangiShop ($96)