Category Archives: … at Not So Everyday Things
Guys, tomorrow is December 1. IT’S DECEMBER. I know people say something to that effect every single year, but seriously, 2017 – where you at? Maybe I shouldn’t complain. Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of telling us that this year was a dumpster fire and we’d all be a lot better off if it quietly showed itself out. But I’m not here to remind of us of the current state of things, instead for #ThrowbackThursday, I’m taking a little stroll down memory lane… literally.
If you caught up on my most recent post, you know that I am no longer residing on the island of Nantucket and instead now have planted my feet firmly in the continental U.S. (If you’re like hey girl, I have no idea what you’re talking about, you can read more about it here.) Even though it was totally the right decision and there is really is no good time to make a major life change like that, one of the things I will really miss about the island is Stroll Weekend, which happens to be starting in oh, less than 24 hours. In case you don’t know, Stroll is this amazing time of the year when the island is transformed into what can only be described as a Norman Rockwell painting, Hallmark Christmas movie, and an episode of Gilmore Girls on peppermint-flavored crack. It’s busy and amazing and expensive and the most festive thing you will ever experience in your life. Dare I say, it’s downright magical.
Last year, my friend Molly and I (the social media-savvy lady seen above) decided to get up early before the crowds and hit downtown to fully experience Stroll before it becomes a madhouse of silly Christmas hats, off-islanders, and just sheer holiday madness. Despite the fact that both of us had lived on-island for a few years, we hadn’t really gotten to take it all in and we wanted to snap some photos of the scene.
Ah, bloggers. Who else would indulge your need to take so many photos not looking at the camera? (If you don’t recall, Molly captured some amazing outfit photos for me last year, like this one and also these. I miss her so much since she moved back to the West Coast and I swear it’s not just because she takes awesome pics of me “looking at the ground” as Steve says of blog photoshoots.) Also in case you haven’t had enough of reading about people’s experiences moving off the island, Molly has a great post about it here too.
Any good morning for us on Nantucket started at Petticoat Row. Between the sweets (the secret ingredient in everything? BUTTER), the proximity to our office, and the inviting interior, Petticoat was always like Visa – everywhere you wanted to be.
With no real schedule for the day, we explored all the streets and storefronts with displays that I snapped not only to capture the moment, but to remember for any and all future homes I might be able to decorate. I mean, the window boxes at Greydon House are my kryptonite. This updated inn was across the street from my office, and I can’t tell you how many times I hung out in front of the building in all seasons, taking pictures of their most recent window displays when I was supposed to be checking my mail. Hey, if it’s good enough for AD… well then it’s probably way too good for me. But a girl can dream.
I know, more window boxes. It’s worth mentioning that I don’t care for greenery or plants or anything that I have to keep alive without a pulse. But man, Nantucket changes you in a lot of ways, and for me? It made me want to have a green thumb (or, enough money to pay other people with those thumbs to do this for me).
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good theme. One of my other favorite places on Nantucket, The Corner Table (I swear we did more than just eat) incorporated actual food into their outdoor decorations. FOOD. Get it? Because they’re a culinary center? I can’t, it’s just too good.
Since my dog cannot be trusted to walk around downtown or wear accessories no matter how much I bribe him, I had to settle for getting a shot of this cutie instead.
More Culinary Center goodness. Every year during Stroll, they have live free demos that just any ragamuffin off the street like me can walk in and watch (and more importantly, try the food). This is Sarah Leah Chase, who has a very well-known Nantucket cookbook that I have personally tried things from that she has made and oh my God is it like heaven in your mouth. I mean, not enough to make me actually want to cook anything, but enough to get me to show up at things when I hear she’s in town.
And how much was I coveting one of these N.TUC Marché bags depicting the story of Moby-Dick? (It doesn’t seem to be available anymore on their website but OHMYGOD THERE’S A DRESS VERSION.)
I kid you not, I had basically no knowledge of Jeep Wagoneers before I moved to Nantucket. Now of course I’m obsessed and I want one and I see them everywhere I go, like on these adorable ornaments at Vineyard Vines.
Fun fact: My husband wired these lights at Beauty Counter on the wharf. All I got out of it was him yelling at me when he realized I was buying their lip balm that costs $10 a tube (but seriously, it is the best).
Later we headed down to the Easy Street basin to see the annual Christmas tree floating in a tiny boat. For those of you on my Christmas card list, you may recognize this from our first year on Nantucket, as well as in pretty much any tourist’s photo during the month of December.
It was there we stumbled upon a mother trying to capture a photo of her toddler on her iPhone for a Christmas card that he was having no part of. Molly helped distract him and I snapped a couple shots of him with my Canon and assured his mom that I would send them to her to use for her card. She thanked us by promising to send me a copy and taking the only photo of Molly and I together the entire day.
I told you – craziness. This is literally how the streets look from the time when Santa is about to arrive until people head to their dinner reservations.
Speaking of Santa, he arrives by boat with the Coast Guard, and it led up the wharf by an actual town crier. For those that think I say this in jest, see Exhibit A (above) and Exhibit B (below).
I mean, after all that excitement, where does one go?
To a party in the back of bike shop, of course. (Again, I couldn’t make any of this up.)
And of course, we always take advantage of when our favorite stores that were closed for the season open back up again, so we would make a point to visit Follain any time they opened their doors.
As day turns to night, the island becomes even more of a movie set when you see all the community-decorated trees that line Main Street (and all the people are pretty much gone, either at one of the restaurants that are only open again for the weekend or at fancy holiday parties).
All joking aside, Stroll Weekend is one of the best times to be on the island, if for nothing else than that there doesn’t seem to be anything like it anywhere. I know lots of vacation towns do their own version of a holiday festival, but this one is really unlike anything else I’ve seen in any New England town ever.
I’m so glad that we did this last year, because 2017 is definitely going to be less festive for the Scouras’s. With the move, and me living in America and Steve still coming back and forth from Nantucket, it just doesn’t make sense to get a tree or decorate for the holidays this year when we’re actually trying to pack all of our belongings (don’t even get me started on my Christmas card or lack thereof right now). If you need me, I’ll be reliving all the holiday hubbub with these photos and sustaining myself on the Buddy the Elf diet.
My outfit details:
Old Navy coat [sim] & scarf (mine’s old, but they have some newer colors here)
Nautica jeans [sim] via the Lightship Basket Museum Yard Sale
L.L. Bean socks & boots
The Lovely hat [sim] (I have no idea what brand it is but it came with a second interchangeable pom pom in another hue)
Kate Spade purse & earrings (these are both old but there’s sometimes similar styles at the outlet)
Primark scarf [sim] (I know because we both bought the same one last year – they don’t have it on their website but I feel like that pattern is everywhere now)
Gap pea coat [sim] (Disclaimer: I lent Molly this jacket because she is from California and therefore doesn’t exactly have a rotating wardrobe of wool coats. I have to tell you that I have had this coat since my freshman year of high school. I still don’t even know how that’s possible)
Yikes. It’s certainly been awhile since we caught up, hasn’t it? The last we chatted I was still reveling in the glow of birthday gifts and sunny beach days. And now, here we are – living in a perpetual state of oversized sweaters and nonstop Hallmark movies where no doubt a big city curmudgeon learns the true meaning of Christmas (usually on a tree farm – big ups to Canada and their tax breaks for the film industry).
The biggest news ’round these parts is that I am writing to you from the continental U.S. Yes, that’s right – after four and a half years on a little elbow of sand called Nantucket (or ACK depending on how freely you like to throw around abbreviations), I booked a one-way ticket on the slow boat headed for America. There were so many reasons for this move, and it was definitely a long-time coming. I don’t want to bore you with all the specifics, but the underlying issue that Steve and I had been aware of for quite some time is that life on Nantucket (for us, at least) wasn’t sustainable for the long-term.
Some people make it work for years, they do the shuffle – move in and out of housing they can (sort of) afford depending on the season, or like us, live in a very small space (a friend once told me he would have murdered his wife if he had to live in our studio apartment with her) with no stove and no hopes of ever being able to afford anything else. For us, it just wasn’t the life we wanted to live anymore, and having an ocean in between you and most of the things you love (like TARGET… I mean, my friends and family) gets old eventually.
People refer to certain life situations as bittersweet, and that is 100% what I can say this decision was. There were a lot of great things about that island, from the beautiful sunsets to the opportunities to do things that you could never do in the “real” world (Steve was a DJ on the radio and I got to be on TV – things we probably would never have been able to do anywhere else). And depending on how you feel about it, the local community vibe, complete with town meetings, people that know your name on the streets – it was all very Stars Hollow-ish (including the lack of privacy). Not to mention it’s freaking gorgeous. Seriously, an Instagrammer’s dream. The blogger in me fears I will never ever get as many “likes” as I did living on Nantucket.
But by far, the best thing that Nantucket gave us was the people. Most of my friends I met through my job, because when you live on an island and you work your ass off, they’re the ones you spend the most time with. They become family when you feel like you’re alone, drifting out in the middle of the ocean. Unfortunately, most of us knew that the way we were living wasn’t forever, with a lot of us residing in dorm-style staff housing due to the lack of affordable options on Nantucket. In a lot of ways, it was awesome. The people you loved the most were just always there, kind of like on Friends. We often spent all day at the office together, then worked after hours for programs, and we would still choose to have dinner with each other or go out for a drink later. Many weekends I would roll myself up the stairs at the duplex I lived in, still in my pajamas, to recount our stories from the night before and make plans for the day. Schooner was the one really living the high-life, man. He had more dog moms than he could count.
With all of us being vaguely around the same age, this thing started to happen where we all realized that as strong as our bond was, it would never be enough to keep us all in a lifestyle that wasn’t attainable for us. No matter what stage we were at, all of us wanted more. Houses, better jobs, kids, the ability to travel – things that couldn’t happen here.
So for the last year, every few months or so, we lost one of our “group.” Our favorite off-season activity was this thing called Fight Night at Backyard Barbeque, one of our favorite restaurants. They partnered with Cisco Brewers and every Wednesday night, it was a challenge of beer vs. wine, wine vs. spirits, etc., with four courses to accompany each round of beverages (rest assured, they were small pours. But we still often had to hang out a bit before we drove home!). Steve was their best customer – the first year they offered it, he attended every single one. Seriously, they gave him a t-shirt at the end.
At the height of our time on Nantucket, we had a standing reservation for fifteen people practically every single week. The first deflectors left in September. Then there was the holidays, and we lost a few more in the months after. By the time that season of Fight Nights finished, we were down to four of us at a table. Don’t get me wrong – we were so happy for those who figured out their exit strategy, who found a good enough reason to finally make the jump, book the boat, take a chance on something new. But boy did it suck to lose those people that became woven in the fabric of your life every day. Things like this don’t happen other places. You know why? Because your friends move a town, or even a state away – and you can still drive to see them! In addition, part of the cache of Nantucket is that it attracts really interesting people from all over the world. From our “group,” there are now people living in Indiana, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Shang freaking Hai – not exactly places you can easily get to.
Losing our tribe wasn’t everything, but it sure made all the other parts of life that weren’t perfect a lot more obvious once they were gone. These people were an amazing distraction from the things about Nantucket that we didn’t enjoy. So this fall, Steve and I became some of the last people in our “group” to leave… well, correction. I left.
Yes, you read correctly. After all this, Steve is still on Nantucket, and I’m well… I’m hanging out in the good old U.S.A. Steve has a great gig there with his boss and still lots of work, therefore $$$ happening, so it’s hard to give that up. I got a job in the South Shore in an industry I’m super passionate about, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So we packed up my stuff, and I left my guy and my pup behind on the rock. My inlaws were nice enough to take me in, and for the last month I’ve just been working, getting used to having a forty-five minute commute (I drove just over a mile to work everyday before), and figuring out our next steps so our little family can be reunited on land.
We’re trying to make the best of it. Steve has come to visit a few times with Schooner and I’ve been back once so far. There’s still an apartment to be packed and lots of loose ends to tie up, but we’re going to make it work. And of course, we’re already planning our next Nantucket reunion 🙂 #TribeTrip2018
All in all, I am so grateful for the time I spent on Nantucket. When I interviewed there, following the Nemo blizzard and getting on the first boat that had run in days, I had no idea what was in store for me. I was convinced that I was unqualified to work in a museum (which to be honest, I really kind of was) but the great thing about Nantucketers is they’re willing to take a chance on people. And trust me, the people and the island will test you. There were so many times I cried or I wanted to give up, thinking that Nantucket was going to chew me up and spit me back out the sea. But it didn’t. I spent four and a half years at an amazing institution that taught me what it truly means to be a professional. I stretched my creativity in new ways. I experienced so much joy and a bit of heartache too. But most of all, I grew up. And now I’m ready to grow some more, but in a new place where there’s a bit more opportunity to have some of those real-life experiences.
So thank you to everyone who in some way, shaped this experience for us. Not many people get to say “I lived on Nantucket year-round” – seriously, it is quite the conversation starter.
Speaking of words, there really aren’t enough to describe our lives the past few years. So of course, I avoided gathering up all my earthly belongings and instead spent hours making this video of as many of the high points as I could squeeze into four minutes. This could have gone on for hours, but I know we’ve all got things to do. Like packing.
P.S. There’s so much more I could say about the island than would fit in one post. I’m going to do some follow ups on my favorite experiences, shops and restaurants, and more post-Nantucket life updates. Stay tuned!
I’ve thought about writing a post like this for a while now. I have written it and rewritten it ten times in my head since November 9, 2016. Each time I tried to put fingers to keys, I either felt like I couldn’t eloquently share my thoughts without blending in with all of the other millions of people expressing their anger and frustration over the outcome of the election, or I convinced myself that my little fashion/celeb/lifestyle blog (or whatever you want to call this) wasn’t the right venue for such feelings. See, I like to keep things happy and light around here. Same goes for social media. The biggest argument I tend to get into with people online are whether or not pants are appropriate attire for award show season (official stance: they are not). To me, politics are like religion – a very personal thing that can quickly ruin a dinner party. I know how I feel about certain issues, but I operate under the assumption that no one else needs to, or frankly cares about my opinion.
After the election, I was a wreck. I was overcome with emotions that I don’t think I had truly ever experienced before. I did my part, I voted in the primaries and in the major election for both national and local candidates. I read the questions. I didn’t campaign for anyone, nor did I spend months sharing my politics on the wall of my Facebook page. I just voted for who I felt was right for the job. And I lost. Well, not me personally, but the candidate I believed in. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before – there have been other elections where I didn’t pick “the winner.” But I don’t remember it feeling like an absolute punch to the gut the way this did. For a day and a half, I couldn’t stop crying. I consider myself a sensitive, maybe slightly emotional person, but I can usually contain myself in public or at the office, but not this time. I woke up thinking that the coverage I watched for hours the night before was a nightmare. It wasn’t. I had fallen asleep with tears in my eyes and woke up to find myself crying again. I didn’t want to get out of bed, to go to work and act like a normal human being when I felt such a horrible shift in the world had happened overnight. It was like I had a horrific hangover that not even the greasiest breakfast sandwich could heal.
I thought the feeling would subside as the day went on, but it didn’t. Why couldn’t I shake this? Bad things have happened in the world before. Bad things have happened to me before. Technically, a lot of this was happening far, far away from me and wouldn’t even necessarily impact my life that day, or maybe even for days after. But the hopelessness continued to hang over my head. Whenever a coworker asked if I was okay, I would just start crying again because I couldn’t talk about it one more time (also it didn’t feel like appropriate watercooler chat). I was at such a loss of what to do that I began to think of different coping methods that I don’t usually turn to in order to feel better. I sat there for a period of time wondering if churches were open that day (I’m married to a Catholic and occasionally attend services, but I don’t have particularly strong religious ties myself) and I could talk to a priest. I thought about going back to therapy, which I had done earlier in the year and had felt made a huge difference in my life. I considered going to yoga but didn’t feel like I had the energy after staying up way too late watching CNN the night before. All of those probably would have been better options than what I did, which was cry some more, watch Bravo, and shut down in my apartment by myself, assuring my husband that he should still keep our weekly Wednesday night dinner reservations at one of our favorite restaurants and just go out with his guy friends.
I know what some of you are probably thinking. Yes, I am a straight white middle class women who has lived a life with far less problems than many other people in this country. I fully appreciate the privilege that I have had in my thirty-one years thus far that so many others have been denied. I have had very few instances where I felt like I didn’t matter, like my feelings weren’t valid or that I was in some way a second-class citizen. But for the first time, I felt like my rights were in danger. I found myself in an unsettling state worrying about what the future would hold for women all over this country, for my family, for children I don’t even have, and for my friends – especially my girlfriends that had just had babies or were pregnant. Thinking about their kids growing up in world where hatred and bigotry and sexism and prejudice would be just a regular part of our rhetoric made me sick to my stomach the more and more I thought about it.
For the first time probably since I’ve had social media, I went on about a week-long hiatus, only logging into the accounts I manage for work, and always immediately clicking onto my company’s profile page instead of looking at feeds. I know we’re all entitled to our own feelings, but the thought of reading everyone’s depressing posts (and a few gloating ones as well) was too much for me. I couldn’t come to terms with my own emotions, and scrolling endlessly through the black hole of Facebook didn’t seem like it was going to help me get there any quicker.
My closest Nantucket friends and I shared our disappointment and fear with each other, which led to discussing the future. We didn’t know what we could do to help ourselves and help others in this new world that was going to exist, but we wanted to find out. Sure, life went on for us as usual, but there was always this January 20 deadline looming in the back of our minds where things were going to be different, and most likely, not for the better. So when I saw the women’s marches start popping up around the country, I immediately texted my friends Molly and Katie and asked them if they were interested in participating.
Now being on a island makes traveling for things like this extra tricky (we had originally considered going down to D.C. before we realized how long it would truly take us, including ferry time), which is why I was ecstatic to find an event right in my home state of New Hampshire at the capitol building in Concord. Instead of a “march,” it was presented as the NH Women’s Day of Action and Unity in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. Molly’s boyfriend lives in Concord, so we would have a place to stay and a relatively easy weekend of traveling.
(In case you’re wondering, our t-shirts are from Otherwild and 25% of the proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood.)
I have to say, leading up to the rally I was a little nervous. Call me crazy, but the current state of the world has made me a bit more paranoid than I used to be. I woke up before my alarm that morning (which if you know me, you know that never happens) in a panic, thinking about all the bad things that could potentially happen outside the state house. I mean, it’s hard nowadays to feel like you’re safe anywhere when mass shootings happen at schools, churches, movie theaters, office buildings, airports – need I continue? My father and my husband both cautioned me to “just be careful” and to pay attention to my surroundings. “I support you,” Steve said when I told him about our excursion. “But just remember that not everyone out there does too.”
But it was like magic. As soon as I arrived and entered the lawn amongst a sea of women, children, and yes, even a few men – all holding signs and wearing pink hats – any feelings I had of fear dissipated, and never popped back into my head at any point throughout the day.
I don’t remember the details of all of the things that were said by the roster of absolutely amazing speakers (but fortunately some videos and transcriptions have been posted in the event’s Facebook group) but I can tell you that the feeling of camaraderie is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. I can’t tell you the last time that I was that moved or inspired or at peace with a group of strangers – 5,000 strangers, to be exact. And there were so many different types of people represented who spoke so beautifully about what they fear but also what they love about this country and the people in it – even though there were many times when they were not shown the same respect. We heard from politicians, students, refugees, union workers, trans activists, authors, mothers – all who came together to share their concerns for the future under this new administration.
I’ve seen some refer to these gatherings as protests, which I don’t feel accurately describes the event that I experienced this past weekend. Sure, there were some signs poking fun at our new commander-in-chief, but I didn’t hear any talk that was vicious or violent or filled with hatred, even for a man who has in just a few short days has offended and threatened so many. In fact, his name was barely even uttered. For us, it truly was about coming together, expressing our frustrations constructively, and beginning what is hopefully going to be a productive course of action for the future. I left feeling empowered and proud to be from this little state, where for the first time in awhile, it felt like I mattered. WE mattered.
When the day was over, my friends and I couldn’t stop talking about our favorite parts of the demonstration. We kept referring back to the stories that made an impact on us, the signs that made us laugh, and the moments that made the day unforgettable (like when some guy climbed atop the Daniel Webster statue and pulled an “Equality” t-shirt over his head – still not sure how he made it through that one unharmed!). But most of all, we couldn’t believe just how nice everyone was. Like the second a wheelchair needed to come through, the crowds would immediately part. Or if someone bumped into you, they apologized profusely and then smiled at you. It was a nice reminder that even in a country where your president spouts off degrading insults to different groups of people and individuals on a daily basis that there are still some kind souls out there. Another positive about attending this event as compared to say, the one in Boston, is that we could move about freely the entire day. At no point were any of us shoved up against each other or felt like cattle in a herd. We moved up to the front when we wanted to without a single push. When people refer to peaceful demonstrations, this is what they’re talking about.
I think the biggest question that myself and many others have had is “what now?” There were over 600 marches in this country – that’s a lot of fired up, mobilized people that seem primed for action. We started by signing up for the Women’s March “10 Actions for the First 100 Days” initiative. It’s super easy, you just provide your email and they send a prompt every ten days to remind you of something you can do to take action on an issue of concern (the first is writing postcards to your senator – they have easy to download PDFs right on the webpage).
The next thing is to get involved. This can mean different things for different people. This article has some good basic steps on where to go from here. I know a big thing that’s not going to happen overnight is for women to get more involved in their local governments. The fact is, there just aren’t enough of us fighting our rights. And regardless of that, women make up half of this country, but with such a small percentage of females in political roles, we are way underrepresented (exhibited grossly during moment like this). I was excited to find that someone had just started a special group for this right here on Nantucket, and on Tuesday evening I attended their first event, a panel discussion with various women who have held public offices in the community (which is run town government style – think Gilmore Girls town meetings). It was the perfect follow up to the events of the weekend.
So what does this mean for me? Don’t worry – I’m not saying that posts like this are going to be happening on the reg from now on. There will still be plenty of celebrity gossip fodder, reality television, #ootds, and all the other things you’re used to seeing from me. But this is my space on the internet, and if I feel really strongly about something, I may just express it here. And you can read it or not, you can agree or disagree, and frankly, it doesn’t matter (to you or to me). Because the world is going to keep on spinning, but I’ll be damned if I don’t do my part to make it just a little bit better for the people living in it.
One more thing: I wanted to share a few resources/articles that I have personally found helpful in this post-march world (some of which came from the meeting I attended here on ACK):
SheShouldRun.org – A non-profit organization aimed at helping girls aspire to run for office. When was the last time you heard a girl say she wants to be president? Or a representative or town clerk or something? (Okay, so probably never on that one. But we need to let them know it’s a possibility!)
Countable – This app keeps you up to date on what votes are facing your legislators and lets you to message them through the app with just a few clicks.
Female Empowerment Playlist – My friends and I were commenting on how awesome the music was at the rally (we meant to make our own girl power playlist for the ride, but alas, ran out of time), and thankfully the event organizers shared the playlist, created by a Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund intern.
VoteRunLead.org – Another one that helps women aim for political leadership by providing webinars, trainings, and other tools.
How to Be an Intersectional Feminist Ally at the Women’s March – I know this is from before the marches this weekend, but it’s a good read if you need help understanding how to be supportive and sensitive in our current political climate.
Best Signs from Women’s Marches Around the Country – I loved attending our smaller scale event, but it also gave me the warm fuzzies to see other women all around the United States and how amazingly creative/thoughtful/witty they are.
And on that note… – Even more signs. But the Betchy ones.
And now, we bring you back to your regularly scheduled programming. After all, there are tons of other issues facing us today. Like does Corinne have narcolepsy or is she just following the pattern of successful figures in American history? Did Meryl Streep really deserve her twentieth Oscar nomination over Amy Adams, whose slumming it at a mere five? Is Selena Gomez just using The Weeknd to get back at Bieber, or is it possible for a young woman to do something for herself and not a man-boy she hasn’t dated in two years?
Only time will tell. But you know I always look forward to finding out.
Okay, so it’s not like there’s exactly a “chase” after six years of marriage, I just really wanted to take advantage of the chance to use that line from my favorite Lady Gaga song (plus, it’s my #1 karaoke jam).
But seriously, Steve and I have been married SIX YEARS today. Six years! I know those of you that have married for longer are like “psssh, talk to me in ten,” but seriously – every year that goes by I keep thinking to myself, how am I old enough to be with someone this long? (Hint – start by getting married at age twenty-five). I guess it’s just that I don’t feel like I’m that… I don’t want to say old, but that’s the first word that comes to mind. I still sometimes forget that I’m over thirty when someone asks me my age. Maybe it’s because Steve and I have been together since before we were old enough to drink. Maybe because after eleven years together, I have basically grown up with this person. Whatever it is, I hope that this youthful feeling continues for our relationship (and my skin… praying to the aging gods that I will continue to be mistaken for a twenty-three year old).
A few years ago, I shared some of my favorite photos from our winter wedding. Today, I was feeling a bit more nostalgic, and I found on my hard drive the SUPER old pics – you know, the really good ones from when your megapixels were low, as well as your fashion sense.
So please enjoy this trip down memory lane, and please remember – we met in 2005. We did not know the things we know now (like that trucker hats would not stand the test of time).
Three posts in one week – can you believe it?! I mean, it is November after all. Things have shifted here on Nantucket. It’s like one day it took me fifteen minutes to drive to work, and the next day, it took eight (I know, I know, what are you complaining about? says everyone who lives more than a mile and a half away from the office).
Speaking of commutes, my lack of one for the past couple of years has made me a little late to this whole podcast game. I’m sure the rest of you have been entertained by this medium for years, but I’m here now and I’m kind of obsessed. Since my lack of car travel has really limited the amount of time for me to catch up on podcasts, I find myself listening instead when I’m doing, shall we say, “brainless” tasks at my cubicle or at home, like editing photos or creating ads.
There’s something about listening to podcasts that feel more productive than watching television, despite the fact that I am in no way contributing to the conversation. It seems like everyone and their mother has a podcast now, from Real Housewives to bloggers, so weeding through the ocean of content can be overwhelming. I know that most of the ones I’ve found that I enjoy have been through the recommendations of others (i.e. people I don’t know on the internet), so I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites here:
Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown with Casey Wilson & Danielle Schneider
I have already written once about my love for Bitch Sesh because I seriously can’t get enough of this show. You’ll never believe it, but I actually really didn’t watch the Real Housewives that much before I went all in on this podcast. Now I watch all of the seasons all the time because I want to know exactly what they’re talking about. Even if you don’t watch any Bravo shows at all, Casey and Danielle are so hysterical that listening to it almost makes me sad because I wish I were friends with them. Like I want to get into the Nook SO BAD (if you listen to the show, you will understand that reference). This show has taken on a life of it’s own, now with a very active Facebook group populated by the “Whispering Alenes.” Seriously, it’s not just a podcast, it’s a lifestyle.
Sometimes you need something to balance out all of the reality show weave-pulling, and that’s when I turn to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour. I’ll be the first to admit, I never listen to NPR. I’m sorry, I know I could stand to add a little more intelligent content into my life, but frankly, I just find everyone on there so boring. And if we’re being honest, I only found this when I was searching for other pop culture-related podcasts during the Olympics hiatus on Bravo when there weren’t new episodes of Bitch Sesh (#sorrynotsorry). I do sometimes find the hosts to be thismuch pretentious, especially when they talk about stuff they deem unworthy but is universally enjoyed by the masses, like romantic comedies. But it is nice to get another perspective on a subject that I devote a large portion of my attention span too, and to feel a little bit smarter after doing so.
The mother podcast of all podcasts. Often imitated but never duplicated, Serial is definitely old news by now. I just had to include it because if you live under a rock and still have not listened to season 1, do it. Seriously, haven’t you been left out of dinner party conversations long enough? Even though it debuted in late 2014, the story of Adnan Syed has been eeking it’s way back into the news lately as a judge has granted him a new trial. Who knows where this will go, but it doesn’t change the facts: this podcast is one of the most compelling stories you will ever listen to. I feel like I need to go back and hear it all again, as there’s so many details that I’ve forgotten about. While the second season was not nearly as well-received I still thought it was very interesting and I listened to every single episode with the same fervor that I did season 1. It’s a completely different type of story, but Sarah Koenig’s devotion to examining all the little details of these cases is mesmerizing (and frankly, intimidating. I mean I can barely figure out how to call Harvard Pilgrim when I have a question on a medical bill). Plus if nothing else, it will give this sketch context for you – worth diving into the entire first season alone.
I have a love/hate relationship with this podcast. I loved Casey and Danielle’s dynamic so much, I was in search of other funny ladies with an affinity for pop culture and social media stalking. I had heard good things about these girls and their show, so I gave it a listen. I have to say, I don’t care much for the hosts. They all have something to do with the entertainment industry, but the one you may be the most familiar with is Becca Tobin, who played Kitty on the later seasons of Glee and was my least favorite character on that show of all time (and that’s saying something – remember Terry?!). The thing that keeps me listening to certain episodes are the guests. They’ve had everyone from fellow Gleeks Lea Michele and Darren Criss, to reality “stars” from Bravo and E!. I feel like the line between witty snark and straight up bitchiness is a fine one, and they usually end up straddling the latter.
For a while, this was one of the only podcasts I listened to, mainly because I heard about it from bloggers that were going to be making an appearance. This is another one where I find the host Jess Lively slightly irritating (I know it’s her business but I don’t know if I can hear the words “value-based intentions” one more time), but I really loved the first couple of seasons. She has had on some of the biggest names in blogging out there, and it was so interesting for me to not only hear how they started their blogs, but how many of them turned them into full-time businesses (plus how crazy is it to hear blogger’s actual voices and how different they sound than what you had anticipated?). If you’re a blogger or a small business owner, there’s a lot of aspirational wisdom here from people that took chances on their ideas. Careful – sometimes it’s enough to make you want to quit your job and start a new life.
If you’re a millennial with a basic knowledge of social media, you are most likely familiar with the Betches. They’ve got a snarky Instagram account turned snarky advices books and now – what else? A snarky podcast. Listening to Jordana Abraham, Samantha Fishbein, and Aleen Kuperman chat about what’s going on this week is kind of like being invited to sit at the popular girl’s lunch table in high school. Like you want to know what they’re talking about but when you do, you also can’t help but think that they might be some of the world’s worst human beings. They have taught me many terms that apparently the younger mils are using and spent half an episode debating whether or not Drake was too nice to ever get with Rihanna. So clearly, you’re not coming here to be enlightened, but it is kind of a fun escape… for a little bit. Mean Girls fans will not be disappointed based solely on the amount of times they quote the film’s best-loved lines (not to mention they created this, which is quite possibly one of my favorite internet articles of all time).
I would ask for suggestions for new podcasts to listen to, but so far these take up quite a bit of my time and I’m imagining that you will all tell me to raise the bar a little bit. So instead, I’ll leave you with this – my friend and fellow celeb aficionado Bowen and I have actually taken a stab at the podcast game ourselves. In case this blog didn’t already fulfill your desire to hear my every thought on the most pressing issues facing us today, check out Coast 2 Coast, our take on the latest happenings in pop culture from the East (me) and the West (Bowen in L.A.). And yes, we do sometimes go off on a tangent about a Kardashian or two, but we always find our way back to the important stuff. Like T. Swift.
Images via iTunes.
If you couldn’t tell from the abundance of PSLs, Ugg boots, and “I’m so glad I live in a world with Octobers” Instagram posts, it’s fall in New England. Yay! (No, I don’t care for pumpkin spice, despite the fact that I am a semi-basic white girl after all.)
It’s a little challenging to get into the autumn spirit when you live in a.) a place where fall temperatures keep fluctuating between balmy and frigid, and b.) a studio apartment with very few areas to fill with tiny gourds.
But that didn’t stop us from trying! This weekend, we ventured to Bartlett’s Farm in search of some fall fun, because pumpkins and pumpkin adjacent vegetables were 50% off, and you know girlfriend can’t resist a sale.
Okay, I may have gone a little gourd-crazy, but I kept finding so many cute ones of all sorts of shapes and sizes, and I couldn’t resist. But like I said, CLEARANCE! Also they were running this promotion and Steve and I each got one of ours free for correctly guessing the weight of our pumpkins. It legitimately felt like I had won on the slot machines at Foxwoods. There was shouting, high fives – I think I speak for the three people that were shopping there at that time that it was quite the experience to be a part of.
I ended up with about fifteen pumpkins total, partially because they were so darn cute but also because I have a legit but undiagnosed shopping problem. Again these are to be displayed in one room.
A few of my friends and I were talking about how much money we’ve spent lately traveling, going out, you know, all of the things Nantucketers suddenly have time for now that our schedules have plateaued a bit. Plus Saturday’s weather was a downright nasty woman and it seemed a wise decision to stay inside. We decided to do a little dinner and decorating to entertain ourselves, free of charge (minus you know, the hords of gourds).
Molly made these gorgeous apple florets and brought over some of Nantucket Vineyards hard apple cider. #applesonapplesonapples
Unfortunately, none of us gave these plans more than one hour of thought, and we quickly realized we had no supplies. I’m talking no paint, brushes, glitter – nothing. And Nantucket’s not exactly one of those places you can run out to a craft store at 6 PM on a Saturday night. I mean, I had scoured Pinterest and found the most amazing pumpkin decorating ideas, only to find we had nothing to execute any of them (my particular favorites are these ones, this, and also this… you know, you might as well check out the whole board here). Once again, Steve to the rescue. He cut up sponges and DIYd brushes out of skewers, and found all of our paint samples from however many accent walls we’ve experimented with in our various apartments. We were in business!
Did I mention that all of this effort was just to satisfy my personal pumpkin decorating thirst? Everyone else wanted to carve… even Steve, with his oddly shaped gourd. Me? I hate any activity that requires me to get gunk under my fingernails. I’ll stick with my intensely thick latex wall paint, thank you very much.
Um, Steve also made us dinner. He’s a keeper, I KNOW. You don’t have to keep telling me so on Snapchat, I am very much aware of his talents.
I clearly didn’t have any letters or stencils to work with, but I had found these awesome “pun-kins” from Studio DIY last year, and I encouraged the other girls that weren’t obsessed with painting the perfect pumpkin as I was to utilize some of these witty Halloween sayings.
Sometimes, all a girl needs is some red wine and a Sharpie.
I had no part in these. But aren’t they awesome? I think my favorite is Molly’s “sassy” cat on the left. She’s really serving up some Beyonce style realness with that pose over there.
I still haven’t photographed my pumpkins yet, due to my ambitious double coats of paint that required a full twenty-four hours for them to not smudge, because you know, it’s meant to go on drywall. Also my home isn’t exactly Pinterest-ready right now for me to artfully arrange my gourds.
Overall, I’m super happy with my final designs, although I would love to know my true pumpkin painting capabilities when equipped with the appropriate tools. Like GLITTER.
Anyone else do anything crafty this year? Personally I’m loving all the different shades of pumpkins that seem to be everywhere now. Orange never really was my color.
Stay scary friends,
You’ve already heard about my skincare journey, so now it’s time to get to know Lisa Russo Lothian, my R+F consultant!
How did you find out about Rodan + Fields?
I found out about the company when a high school friend of mine posted about her business on Facebook. Since I was turning thirty-six and was starting to see the effects of aging, I decided to give myself the REDEFINE regimen for Christmas. Best gift I ever gave myself!
What drew you to the company and made you want to get involved?
After using the products for about three months and falling in love with them, I became really interested in the business side of Rodan + Fields. It helped that I knew a girl from high school whose husband just retired at thirty-four years old because his wife’s R+F business was doing so well. I was like, “I’m in!!” And honestly haven’t looked back since.
What are the biggest changes in your skin that you’ve noticed since switching to these products?
The biggest change in my skin since starting my regimen is a softer, more glowing skin tone. The texture is firmer and I notice a lot less discoloration. Basically I feel like a teenager again!
Why are these products worth the investment?
Premium skincare is something that we all should be using to help preserve our skin and also reverse the effects of sun damage and exposure. Rodan + Fields was created by Stanford-trained dermatologists, who have a combined fifty years experience in skincare. Plus, you are saving money on office visits to a dermatologist.
What is your Rodan + Fields favorite product?
People ask me that all the time, and while I highly recommend all of our products, I would have to say my favorite product is our AMP MD roller and night serum. The roller has little acupuncture needles that when rolled over your skin, make a tiny “wound” and send a message to your natural collagen to amp up production. Also, it helps the night serum (which feels like liquid silk!) penetrate the skin even more.
What is the biggest mistake that people make with their skin care routine?
Hands down, the biggest mistake people make with a skincare routine is not being consistent. You have to be consistent to see results. I leave my eye cream next to my bed, so even when I’m super tired, it’s right there to use before I fall asleep.
How has working with Rodan + Fields impacted your life?
Working for Rodan + Fields has allowed me to dream again. Crazy big dreams that most people laugh at, but I know are possible. My goal is to have my husband retired by forty and have the ability to travel with my family all over the world, while working my business from my iPhone or computer. We like to say in this business “all you need is Wi-Fi and a dream.”
If you’re interested in talking to Lisa about products or want information about becoming a Rodan + Fields consultant, you can check out her page here!
In the meantime, I am so excited to do my very first giveaway! Lisa was kind enough to supply three readers with a special R+F “mini-facial” sample, containing a microdermabrasion paste packet, a capsule of night serum, and a capsule of hydrating lip serum. Enter using the link below! (Contest ends on March 26, 2016 at 12 A.M.)
This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to winners Caitlin R. & Nicole D.!
This month, I will have officially lived on the island of Nantucket for three years. I would say in that time, I’ve accomplished maybe half of the things on my Nantucket bucket list (and most of them involve eating so I don’t know if that counts). Well in February, we checked off another as Steve drove us and our friends Jessica and Jonathan (and our respective pups, of course) out to Great Point to check out the lighthouse!
Okay, disclaimer: I have been to Great Point one and a half times already. The one time was on Easter 2015, but it was dusk and I could barely see anything, let alone take photos. The half time was when we tried to take our friends Alisa and Kevin out there and Steve’s engine overheated and we had to turn back. Oops.
Nantucket has three lighthouses, and Great Point is by far the most challenging to get to. It sits on the very tip of the island on the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. You need a certain type of car that can drive through sand (which is very soft), a special permit, and you have to let a bunch of the air out of your tires before you hit the beach.
The lighthouse was built in the late 1700s, and it still operates today (with helpful modern additions like solar panels). Nantucket doesn’t have a lot of particularly large structures, so at seventy feet high, it’s definitely a sight to see!
We brought lunch with us and used our convenient L.L. Bean compact camp table to enjoy our meal by the lighthouse.
Given its remoteness (and the fact that it was February) it was nice to be totally alone on the beach and let the pups run free. Normally I’m worried about Schooner stealing beach toys from small children or going up to old people and barking in their faces, so that was a nice change.
I somehow forgot to ask someone to take a photo of me. But I promise, I was there.
The only company you really have to worry about there? The seals. So many seals! Frankly, I think this is what Jessica and I were most excited to see out there! Since it’s mostly unoccupied, seals just like hang out there all day long. I was worried that Schooner would try and attack them (after all, they are “pups”) but he wasn’t particularly intrigued.
I kept pushing my luck, trying to get as close to the seals as possible to get photos. Like seriously, when again in my life will I ever do this?! Totally worth a potential seal attack (I’ve heard they’re pretty mean and territorial when provoked).
If anything, the seals were quite aloof. Every once in awhile they would check us out, and then turn back around like they couldn’t care less that we were there. I found this adorable.
Sometimes I wish I was a seal. Sun bathing on the beach, a few dips in the ocean. They just look so content hanging out there all day!
Can we talk about the spots? I loved the spotted ones! They were like little dalmatians. And by little, I mean they were kind of gigantic (you would be too, if you just laid around all the time).
I seriously wanted to take that piece of driftwood home. I swear you would pay thousands of dollars for a chandelier made out of it from one of the fancy home stores downtown.
All in all, it was a great day (especially when you think about what the weather was like a year ago in February – yikes), and definitely a quintessential ACK-perience that we won’t soon forget.
If you can make the trip out there, I definitely recommend it because it’s a totally unique experience and not something that all of the usual Nantucket day-tripping tourists are able to do. Just watch out for those seals.
Until next time,
Haven’t you guys always wondered what I looked like without makeup? No? Well, if not, you may want to turn back now, because this post is chock full of #nofilter realness. Why would I subject myself to revealing my less than stellar skin to the world?
Simply put, I’m going to be your guinea pig. If you’ve tried what seems like every skincare product out there and still aren’t happy with the results, you’re not alone. Which is why I was so excited when consultant Lisa approached me about Rodan + Fields, a line of premium skincare products designed by world-renowned dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, creators of Proactiv.
Lisa had seen some of my previous haul videos and the blog and asked me if I’d be interested in learning more about the company and its products. I said “duh” and now here we are!
Lisa and I discussed the current state of my skin and what issues I’ve had in the past. I shared with her that ever since I turned thirty, I’ve seen a definite change in the way my skin bounces back from blemishes, not to mention a lot of little spots and discoloration from long ago that just never seemed to heal. It was determined that I would benefit the most from the REVERSE regimen, which is specifically meant to target brown spots, dullness, and discoloration.
For more on my skin story, check out my latest video on my YouTube channel and see which R+F products are part of this regimen!
You may have seen on my Snapchat (@legallylinz) my no-makeup selfie that I posted last week when I was in the process of filming my video. In case you missed it, here’s my “before” photo from the day I started my regimen:
Eeeeek. As you can see, we’ve got some work to do here.
I’ll be checking in every two weeks or so to update you on my progress with my R+F regimen, and hopefully doing a tutorial that actually demonstrates how to use the products (including the REDEFINE AMP MD Micro-Exfoliating Roller below – it’s so cool!).
More posts to come, including a skincare Q&A with Lisa and even a small giveaway!
PS – Interested in Rodan + Fields products or becoming a consultant yourself? Contact Lisa Russo Lothian and find out more!
Disclaimer: I was provided products to try, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
One of my Christmas gifts to myself over the holiday break (can you still call it that when you’re thirty?) was a new rose gold iPhone 6. I had been waiting with bated breathe for my upgrade, not because I’m so desperate for new technology but because I basically no longer had a wireless device with how often I had to be plugged into the wall. I know that iPhones aren’t known for their battery life (but have a pencil, so let’s count our blessings, right? #priorities), but now having a charge for more than a day is absolutely thrilling. It’s the little things really.
Unfortunately my new hardware cannot be celebrated in the true manner in which it should be because I’m currently sporting a plain black Speck case that depresses me every time I pull it out of my purse. I mean, a cell phone case says a lot about a person, and it’s literally the only accessory that is with you every single day. So clearly, attention must be paid.
I’ve been scouring the internet for cases since I came home and cannot pick just one. I swear I want to buy them all so I can change them depending on my mood. Since that’s completely impractical, the next best thing seemed to be to put it to the internet for a vote.
Things I’m considering:
- Like I said, I’m thirty. I have always loved fun novelty cases (which is why I’ve pretty much had exclusively Kate Spade ones since I made the switch to an iPhone), but given how much I used my phone at work, certain images may not be as appropriate as they once were. That being said, I’m not dead, so a few fun phrases snuck in there.
- The rose gold is a really nice, soft pink shade, but with most cases, you’ll never see it. I tried to find a few clear options to showcase the new color.
So which is your favorite? Leave your vote in the comments, because I certainly can’t make this very important decision alone.