Monday, June 29, 2015

June Budget

1 // J Crew Top - $25 (love, but order a size down)
2 // Birkenstocks = $100
3 // Sneakers - $55
4 // J Crew Jeans - gift
5 // J Crew Sweater -  gift

Tis the month of semi-ridiculous shoe purchases! I've wanted both for a while, and finally took the plunge. The sneakers were a souvenir from my recent trip to Chicago.  I love getting specific pieces when I travel - they remind me of where I've been, but are more useful things to pickup then a snow globe or yet another tote bag...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Recent Favorites - Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle

Mattifying Moisturizer - Now that the weather has turned, I'm engaging in a constant battle to not look like a shiny mess.  This moisturizer isn't a miracle, but it does keep the oil at bay, has SPF and does a decent job keeping my skin from getting dry.

Beauty Blender - I finally dropped the 20 bucks for this tiny little angel sponge.  It felt like such a silly expenditure, but it's totally changed my makeup routine.  My foundation looks flawless, even if I apply it half asleep with my eyes mostly closed.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - The most princessy of products. Seriously, it's water with stuff added to it that costs 18 dollars. Ridiculous.  But, it smells lovely and makes me feel like Beyonce for the few seconds it takes to sink in.  I keep it in the fridge, so it's even more refreshing.

J Crew Jeans - Jeans made for people with big booties.  God bless them. They're comfy, they don't stretch too much and they look smart.  Yessssss. Please don't pay full price - they go on sale constantly

Overdrive - If I could marry an app, it would be this one.  I get access from my libraries, which allows me to borrow digital copies of most books on my ipad.  The selection is huge, the app is easy to deal with and I love how convenient the whole process is.

OITNB - Third season is lyfe.  Sign up for the free month and give up on social interactions for a few days.  It'll be worth it.

Monday, June 15, 2015


One of my favorite places in the US is Provincetown, out at the tip of the Cape.  In a lot of ways, it's a pretty typical Cape town - cute shops, lots of people, easy access to the beach, but it's also the unofficial gay capital, so the culture is, well, colorful.  Tons of couple, tons of crossdressers and fantastic costumes, tons of rainbows.  It's so fun.

We go out a few times each summer, here's what we do every time -


Fanizzi's - We went for the first time on our most recent trip, but it's definitely a highlight.  It's right on the water, and offers weekend brunch, plus lunch and dinner always.  The setting is gorgeous, the food was great and there's a parking lot next to the restaurant, which is rare in P-town.

Ptown Scoops - There are a bunch of ice cream options, as one would expect from a beach town, but this is the best.  The ice cream is awesome, portions are manageable and the flavors cover all bases.  Graham Central Station is a must.  We also like Lewis Brothers, but have had a few less than optimal experiences with service/ice cream being too soft/flavors not matching expectations.

Burger Queen - Even for a vegetarian, this place is the bomb.  Counter service, dog friendly, tons of brightly colored picnic tables.  The menu is burgers, fries, shakes, lobster rolls etc.  Everything we've ever tried there has been phenomenal.  Prices are reasonable, but not cheap.


Army/Navy Surplus - My all time favorite store in Ptown, ever since I found a Juicy hoody there when I was 12.  Full of, effectively, random crap, the Surplus meets every need.  We love wandering around for a while, trying on hats, digging through old comics, laughing at certain items. It's definitely worth a stop, especially if you have smaller kids.

The pier - In the middle of Ptown, the pier that the ferry comes into juts out over the water.  All along it are little huts that artisans use as studios/galleries.  We saw handmade jewelry, lutes, wood signs, paintings, photography... The window shopping is awesome, but if you're in the market, it would be a great place to pick up something uniquely Ptown.

Everywhere Else - The whole of Ptown is one great shopping experience.  Stop everywhere and talk to the shop owners.


Race Point - Provincetown is located at the tip of Cape Cod, where the Atlantic meets the Cape Cod Bay.  That meeting is called a race, and you can watch it happen. While maybe not the most thrilling attraction, it's damn cool and something you can't see many places

Beaches - There are tons of options, basically, find a sandy spot. Bay side beaches are warmer, calmer and have less dramatic tides than ocean side.  Ocean side are usually more dramatic - bigger waves, colder temperatures, better views. Pick your poison.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Photo 365 // June 8 - June 14

June 8
 June 9
 June 10
 June 11
 June 12
June 13

June 14

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Review - Leaving Time, Yes Please, Fangirl, Orient

Yet another round of book reviews! I'm chipping away at my book goal for the year, and here are four of the recent favorites.

Leaving Time - I love Jodi Picoult as a total guilty pleasure and this didn't disappoint.  I liked that this book wasn't as tragic as some of her others, and felt a little more attainable in terms of commiserating with the characters.  Also, it has elephants, which makes it top in my book.  The standard Picoult twist in the end was a complete surprise to me, even as someone who very much enjoys trying to ruin the endings for myself. Perfect for a beach/vacation read.

Yes Please - I read this in an afternoon and enjoyed it immensely.  Amy Poehler is like the big sister I wish I had.  Her advice/anecdotes are relatable, but it still feels like getting to peek behind the curtain of a life I really admire. Quick, easy, relatable, witty and full of great quotes (basially, Tina Fey's book).  Worth the 6 hours it'll take to read it.

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite YA authors, but this is my least favorite of her books.  The plot is weird and takes too long.  In fact, it kind of felt like two books - one about deciding which boy was right, then the another about actually being with him.  The characters are cute, if a little cookie-cutter, and a lot of the dramatic tension feels overly contrived.. If you love Rowell, it's worth a read, but her other books (Eleanor and Park, Landline) are significantly better.

Orient - I'm not entirely sure how I ended up reading this, but I'm glad I did. It's a dark mystery with plenty of turns, almost none of which I expected.  Pretty much everyone in the book is some level of awful, which was engrossing and a little horrifying.  I love reading these books every one in a while, but not regularly.  Orient felt like a mix between Gillian Flynn and James Patterson. It was one of those books you can drown in a little...

I also just finished H is for Hawk (like 20 minutes ago), which I liked but didn't love, and started I am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, the title of which is infuriatingly long.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is just around the corner! Usually, the holiday falls on the first day of my family's trip to New Hampshire, so my dad ends up spending the day driving and then eating pub cheese.  This year, we're not sure what we'll be doing, but I'm certain he'll get some good presents (none of which are ruined below, Dad, don't worry)

1 // Duffel Bag - Perfect for the gym, travel or hauling bunches of things around

2 // Fracture - I love this idea! Pictures are printed directly onto glass, so the colors and quality are incredible, and there's no need to frame it.

3 // Book - My favorite book of last year.  It's historical, well-written, a little bit romantic without any actual romance and incredible.

4 // Coffee Maker - According to Amazon, this is the world's best coffee maker. I'm skeptical, but tempted.

5 // Dress Shirt - Booorrrriiiiinnngggggg... But, if your dad is a bit style challenged, giving him something a little outside of his comfort zone and showing him how to wear it could be fun

6 // Drinking Horn - Um, who doesn't need a drinking horn?!?!

7 // Fitbit - Perfect for active and inactive dads.  The fancier versions work as a heart rate monitor and watch too.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Project 365 // May 20 - June 7

May 20
 May 21
 May 22
 May 23
May 24
 May 25
 May 27
 May 28
 May 29
 May 30
 May 31
June 1
 June 2
June 3
 June 4
June 5
June 6
June 7

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Lust List - Spring Coat

While in Europe (read the posts here and here), it became pretty clear to me that there was a coat shaped hole in my closet. My current collection includes a LL Bean barn coat, an in-need-of-replacement winter coat, a trench coat and my field jacket.  None of these options include a hood, and the only thing long enough to cover my bum is the barn coat, which is way too warm to wear in the spring. And so, I went in search of a hooded, water resistant long coat with deep pockets (for the 82590318 things I carry around), in a classic (black or navy) color, that was stylish enough that I could wear it over nicer things, but not actually dressy.  Here's what I found -

I ended up ordering the J Crew, which I love, but needed to exchange for the size down.  The swing shape is really fun and different, without being too trendy.  As a bonus, because it's flared out, it actually stops the rain from getting on your pants.  It's still on sale on the website, which puts it at about $100, down from $250.  My mom owns the LL Bean and loves it as well.

Monday, June 1, 2015

3 Days in Dingle

After leaving Dublin (read the post here), my family and I drove across the country to Dingle, the (arguably) Western most point of Europe/Ireland. Dingle was the place I was most excited to visit, and it definitely did not disappoint.


Murphy's Ice Cream - Holy amazeballs, batman.  We had Murphy's ice cream every day we were in Dingle, and could have probably done it more than once a day if pushed.  It's the most incredible stuff, ever.  Pay extra for the magic chocolate - it's incredible, and pairs beautifully with the sea salt or brown bread.  Personally, the gin was too weird for me, but my mom loved it.

Out of the Blue - The seafood is so fresh, they make a different menu every day to accomodate whatever came off the boat, and if there's a storm, they don't open. Everyone in my family ordered something different, and everyone walked away thrilled.  It's expensive, but worth the splurge. Call ahead - the place is teeny.

Pubs - We spent a LOT of time in pubs, for food and for fun.  Each time we stopped in, the food was great.  A friend had recommended the tomato soup as a staple good food in Ireland, and it didn't disappoint.  Generally, the food was reliable, quick and delicious.

Waterside Restaurant and Cafe - We had a funny wait situation with Waterside, and ended up getting seated about 30 minutes after they had said that we would, which was a bummer, but not the staff's fault. The food was good, but not as good as Out of the Blue.  I had Eton Mess for dessert, which was delicious, but I think the seafood options were better other places.


Slea Head Loop - We took a full day to drive the Loop, which was spectacular.  We really lucked out weather-wise, and my ever-patient father did a great job managing the driving. Following the Rick Steves guide, we stopped a lot.  I would absolutely recommend the scenic overlooks and the beaches, but maybe skip the beehive huts.  3 euros to walk up a hill and look at some huts is pretty steep, unless your a photography/anthropology buff (me!).

Connor Pass - As we left Dingle, we took the Connor Pass drive and stopped at the parking lot in the middle of the pass, where you have spectacular views of Dingle, and the other side of the mountains.  In a land of stunning scenery, this might have been the top spot.

Music Scene - Dingle is famous for staying true to it's musical roots. Every night, there are tons of live musicians playing all sorts of different stuff.  My dad and brother were especially thrilled with this aspect of Dingle, and my mother and I were delighted to find that they serve tea in pubs.

Dingle Distillery - One of my family's favorite past-times are gin and tonics, so visiting the gin distillery makes sense... They're primary focus is actually whiskey, but it's a really long process (3+ years), so they're making vodka and gin in the meantime.  The tour was brief, but informative and our guide was really fun. After the tour, everyone got healthy sized gin and tonics, plus refills.  If gin is your thing, don't miss the distillery, which is an easy walk outside of town.