LIFE AS YOU LIVE IT

VIEW THROUGH MY LENS: JUNE

30 June 2016



I started posting these "view through my lens posts" to help recap each month through my iPhone shots to keep random snapshots saved and easy to find. They are, by far, my favorite posts to write and look back on, as I am able to relive each and every memory from the month. 


Sorry for the radio silence for the past couple weeks after we announced our move to New Hampshire! Even though we gave ourselves a month of overlap between our lease in Boston and our lease in New Hampshire, we are still finding ourselves a bit frazzled. Moving to a different state is fun, yet extremely chaotic at the same time. We have a never ending to do list that continues to get longer by the day and we are finding it more and more difficult to tackle as our schedules are still very full. To put it into perspective, I left the DMV crying this morning. But hey, June was still a ton of fun nonetheless, so let's get crackin'!

I dropped the ball in May by publishing my "view through the lens post" four days late, but kept my word by getting posts up regarding my very fun and impromptu 14 hour trip to vegas (video), graduation (video), and family road trip to Ohio and back. Score!

Thanks to the convenience of the city, where we worked, and where we lived, L and I haven't needed a vehicle to cruise around in for the past three years. Now that we no longer live within walking distance to anything (except for a swanky pool), L and I found it necessary to invest in a good, reliable, four-wheel drive car. While we still have good old faithful from high school, it will be nice having some newer, bigger, and a little more reliable.


Right after we moved into our new house, we ran off to play in the North Conway and Bar Harbor areas. L and I hiked up to Cathedral Ledge where we got engaged three months prior and found the tree that we carved in. You can barely read it!


While in Bar Harbor, we met up with my sister and found our way to the Beehive trail, a crowd favorite! We had to introduce L and his brother to the hiking "rungs and ladder" experience... they enjoyed!! I think the pictures below literally speak miles for the beauty that is Acadia National Park, so I won't go into too much detail. It is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, read my review of my trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia a couple summers ago, here!




The following weekend, we scooted over to Freeport Maine to play in L.L. Bean's many stores! We started out at Wolfe's Neck Woods State park and then worked our way over to the shopping.


House Goals. Naturally, it's the L.L. Bean Outdoor Center.


What a view!


We ALWAYS have to take an obligatory photo in front of the infamous boot. I believe this one was snapped right after the kind lady at L.L. Bean scolded the big kid sitting in the front (my father) for climbing it. ...and he was the first one to climb the boot all day, at 7pm... 



We didn't go too crazy in the shopping department, however we did tire the guys out when we hit the home store. When L.L. Bean designed this store, they clearly had the #boysclub in mind.


L started his first day of work the following Monday. This is such a different lifestyle for us. Our jobs in Boston, prior to the move, were very close to home making it easy to scoot home for a long lunch or to eat out. We are now grocery shopping and packing lunches! Exciting! But really, we love it! (:


I went back into Boston for a couple days where I was graciously blessed with a feast of a goodbye party by the kind ladies that I worked with. The picture below is JUST the dessert spread! JUST the desserts, people! I left very happy and very full. Can we take a second to talk about that delicious carrot cake. It is by far the best carrot cake I HAVE EVER HAD. I encourage everyone who is in the Boston area to buy a little slice of heaven from Modern Pastry located on Hanover Street in the North End. I will severely miss eating this cake 2 to 3 times a week! :(



While in Boston, I also worked my last couple shifts at the bar that I have worked at for the past three years. It was my first and last job in the city. As much as I may have huffed and puffed about it in the past (as all people in the industry do), I truly will miss it. When in season (Bruins and Celtics), it's a crazy, fast paced microbrew with an exciting vibe! It has always kept me grounded, and has always helped me make ends meet financially. The people that I worked with were very friendly, and the schedule was flexible. I know that I will secretly miss it. Thank you BBW! (:


We moved two vehicles full of our stuff out of the North End on Sunday, what fun that was. I cried a little. I will miss our beautiful home here so very much. We were so fortunate to have such a great apartment, a great location, and a phenomenal landlord. I feel as though I will always compare future homes to our wonderful, tiny house here.


Our new house is wonderful as well! It is an old ski chalet that comes with all of the charm. I feel as though I'm on vacation every time I'm there. I'm sure that will wear off after I start my new job tomorrow, start doing my household chores, and get into a daily grind. As mentioned above, we are desperately trying to get our lives back to ABC after our move, but we are hitting roadblocks every step of the way. The only "thing" we have really been able to get done thus far (in two weeks) is set up our electric. That's it. We have electric and that is all. Because of our new, and very remove location, we had to switch internet providers which has been a trip. Hopefully, that will be set up next week and I will no longer need to camp out in the library. We aren't completely sure which route we're going to take regarding the trash and recycling pickup which is another little "thing" we need to address... it's starting to build up. Because we just purchased a vehicle, we are looking to register it in NH, however, we need NH licenses to do so. We drove over a half hour to the DMV today with all of the required paperwork only to be turned away because they didn't like the format of the lease we signed and didn't want to use it for residency verification. I cried. I'm becoming frustrated over little things like that not getting done. We bought ourselves a little gift on the way back to make it worth the trip. After all, we will need it to help clean up the yard and were actively shopping for one. The list of things to get done continues to grown and not having internet makes it very difficult. Dang internet. I'm so excited to get settled though and enjoy our new space. It is truly a very unique place and will be a wonderful area to live.


Our view out the back is all trees. It's beautiful, peaceful, quiet, and nothing like Boston. I will miss the city noises at night, but also appreciate the silence that our new home has to offer. The shingle siding is my favorite part, along with the massive deck that wraps around two sides of the house. When we get more settled, I will be sure to share pictures. It is truly one of a kind!


 I'm happy to see that this little lady is enjoying the new house! We have slowly been letting Macy Cat out to explore and I don't think I like it. She likes to stay out anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour and a half, so imagine the worry wort that I become! She has been an indoor city cat for the past three years and has absolutely no street cred! 


I'm off to head home, my mom is visiting for the day and is only 15 minutes away! SO MUCH FUN! Maybe we'll bake cookies and hike? Enjoy your last day in June!

Looking forward to what July has in store for us!


We're Moving! Today!

15 June 2016

Surprise!


Remember the picture below? I dropped a hint back in March about a potential adventure coming our way. 


As you may or may not know, L and I are originally from the midwest and made the move to New England in the summer of 2013 (I just realized none of the pictures from that post show up, that makes me sad). We have been in Boston for the past three years to finish up our degrees, start our careers, and experience a new and different area. I am so glad that we made the move to Boston, as it has been nothing short of an amazing place to live. I could go on and on about how great it is, however I may start crying... so let's save that post for another day! We knew that Boston would be temporary, as L missed having a backyard and the country life.

In March, L accepted a position to a job located in NH that offered him everything he was looking for, for his particular position. He and I were both very excited and interested in the area, as it would only be a short two hour +/- move for us. A couple months later, I was offered a position in the same area, which I am very thankful for as well. Through a mutual friend, we were able to secure a little home a 10 minute drive to work. 

L and I also just purchased a vehicle, as we haven't needed one in three years. Now that we're in the sticks and are unable to walk everywhere, it was a necessity. As I type this, L and his brother are hitting their twelfth hour in the car as they make the trek to Boston. Once they arrive, we will pack up a few things and continue the trip right into NH!

Fortunately, we still have our apartment in Boston through July which makes moving 10x easier. Because we still have the space, we will be able to move everything over in phases. Phase one (today) is the cat, her stuff, the TV/cabinet/movies/games, and some bedding. 

Being the geek that I am (no shame), I designed a moving planner to help us have a hopefully seamless move! It's 12 pages of important contacts, packing lists, room layouts, moving tips, you name it! I just put it up in my Etsy shop today.


My favorite part of the planner is on the last page under the "moving tips" section. I put together a box of "first day essentials". While we are moving to a furnished home, I still feel as though these are a few items that we may need when we first arrive. Paper towels, toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, a measuring tape, snacks, hand sanitizer, dish and laundry detergent, barrel liners, scissors, tape and pens... just to name a few. It will be nice having these very important items all together in one place for when we need them!


 I will continue to keep you posted as to how the move goes! I'm thinking I will try to make a little vlog since I've been enjoying the world of youtube (my channel) lately! I'm off to continue packing! (: Wish us luck!


14 Hours in VEGAS!

10 June 2016


I mentioned in my May recap post that my friend had surprised me with a trip to Las Vegas as a graduation gift to celebrate the end of my undergrad career! I hadn't been there since I was a tyke and we both had intentions of going sometime during our adult life. The timing of the trip could not have been more perfect, and we lucked out with beautiful weather! We flew out of Boston at 6am stayed for 14 hours, and then took a red-eye back. I have never taken a quick trip like that before, but am now inclined to take more exactly like it!

I've enjoyed making fun, recap videos and posting them on my youtube channel, and am glad that I snapped some videos of our 14 hour experience to help document the trip! I've been finding that little videos of any adventures are more fun to look back on then pictures, so sit back and enjoy! 


Let me preface this post by letting you know that we barely made it on the plane in Boston. When you watch movies of people running through the airport trying to make their flight, that was us... in dresses. We were running a little behind and when we got in the long line for security, we wanted to cry. Thankfully, the angels that work at Boston Logan were MORE than accommodating, by calling the gate, bringing us to the front of the line, and ushering us through the security protocol. We then started sprinting like mad women to our gate, where we were the last to board and actually ended up scoring an entire row for ourselves in the back of the plane. I have so much love for Jet Blue! Our 6 hour flight over was filled with lots of candy eating, tv watching, and a little bit of sleeping.


We had a handful of things that we absolutely wanted to make sure we saw/did while there and then played the rest by ear. One of those being noshing at the infamous Giada Restaurant. Our food (Strawberry Polenta Waffle and Lemon Pesto Grilled Cheese) was amazing, and the view of the strip was even better. This was a great place to relax, refresh, and recharge after the plane ride. From there, we walked around a little, shopped, and had some tea at Sambalatte to wake us up!


Another attraction on our list that we wanted to visit was The Mob Museum. This fascinating museum gave us some insight into how the organized crime effected Las Vegas by displaying multiple stories, artifacts, and movies to help us better understand. The museum is pretty large and is very engaging for all age groups. It was interesting to learn more about this, especially after the release of Black Mass. 


We did pass through the "Fremont Street Experience" in search for a little cocktail bar, but that was it. This is where you will find grown men dressed as babies and nearly naked women. Fascinating! My favorite part of the day was seeing Cirque Du Soleil's Ka show. We ate at Wolfgang Puck's prior to the show, which is also located in MGM Grand. Ka was indescribably amazing. I literally cannot put into words how talented the acrobats were and the quality of music, lights, direction and stages that were used. Imagine the acrobats climbing vertical walls, swinging across the audience, and running on top of a huge hamster wheel and jump roping while it is also spinning... because that's what they did. I would go and see this over and over again if I could. It was worth every penny and then some.


By the time Ka finished, it was dark out, so we ubered our way over to the Bellagio to catch a fountain show. As expected, this was perfect as well. I think they do their fountain show ever 15 minutes at night which made it convenient to watch. We decided to try our hands at a few of the slots afterwards where we had no luck. Actually, I had no luck. I believe Kristina ended up breaking even and then some. By then it was time to make our way back to the airport where we sat at the gate with sleepy eyes waiting for our plane. The plane ride back didn't seem very long, as sleeping and eating helped to pass the time. I am so happy and glad that we were able to zip up for a couple hours to experience the infamous sin city. It was everything I imagined it to be and so much fun! 


...and guess what!? That's another thing that I can cross off my 30 by 30 list!
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Getting Crafty: my graduation cap

07 June 2016


I didn't have any intentions of decorating my cap for graduation up until a week before when I drew inspiration from my dear friend, Sallie May. That sweet email sitting in my inbox reminding me that I had just entered by short six month grace period and had years of payments ahead of me. Thank you, education. I don't know where the fun tradition of decorating graduation caps came from, however I do love the entertaining spin that they provide on an otherwise long and boring ceremony. There were a handful of creative ones at my ceremony, some of which were completely covered in keys (heavy!), and others that looked like a piece of art created by Van Gogh himself!


 I used my beloved silhouette portrait to cut out the words "MY $75,000 DOLLAR HAT" onto a metallic card stock that shimmered. Unfortunately, it doesn't look very shimmery here. Obviously, this hat is very customizable and you can put whatever outrageous number that you spent on your education on it. Let me explain myself by saying that $75,000 was an estimate of my expenses over the past 5 years. It includes what I paid in cash for my tuition, any loans, books, etc. Thankfully, the loans I have yet to pay off are a little less that 1/4 of this number. PUT MONEY TOWARDS YOUR LOANS WHILE YOU'RE STILL IN SCHOOL, KIDS. If I were to include my cost of living expenses, the number would be a little lot higher. I didn't want to get too crazy.


I used a sticky note from a mortgage company that I found in my desk and rolled it up to resemble a diploma. Tied it with a ribbon and wrote my major on there... ya know, in case I forgot?


I wanted to glitz it out a little bit since it WAS my $75,000 hat, so I glued a few multicolored swarovski crystal rhinestones on to make it look a little more "expensive". There's only so much you can do to a cardboard hat.


VOILA! My $75,000 hat!

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GRADUATED and it feels so good!

06 June 2016


It truly does feel so good to say that L and I are officially done with our undergrad careers.
This is a goal that has been sitting around on my 30 x 30 list for awhile now and was, I believe, the first goal to make the list. Happy to finally cross that off! (: I put together a little video recap and included some pictures from our graduation day and the adventures of our undergraduate careers that led up to it.


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L and I graduated high school together in 2011 from a tiny rural high school in the middle of a cornfield, Ohio. 

(Our high school graduation, 2011)

From there, L attended a community college outside of town and I went about an hour away to a small liberal arts school. L initially started studying business, and I had decided right from the get go that I was going to study biology. Why? I had no interest (and still don't) in any particular subject or area and decided that biology would be a good STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) degree to have. In my mind, it meant that I would have a solid career, and it's a great backbone should I decide to further my education.

(First year of College, 2012)

After my freshman year, I moved back home and decided to finish up my associate in science degree at the same community college as L. Not only did I save THOUSANDS of dollars in tuition, I was able to work enough so save money for a potential move to the east cost. L had earned an associate in applied business, and I had earned an associate in science.

(Community College graduation, 2013)

Upon graduating from community college, L and I picked 5 random cities, and decided it was Boston where we wanted to finish up our undergrad careers. Boston is young, exciting, and offers something for everyone. We didn't want to live on a typical "college campus" which was something that Boston could offer. The entire city was our campus. We were able to go anywhere we wanted, whenever we wanted. We didn't need cars and were able to run down to grab a cannoli at 2am if our hearts desired. Boston it was!

(Trip to Boston for orientation, 2013)

L and I made the big move to Boston in the summer of 2013 and began classes in the fall. It was my first year there when organic chemistry decided for me that I wasn't that interested in science after all. That class was brutal, and if it wasn't for the curve, I probably would have had to retaken both semesters of it. Because of crazy high cost of living and school expenses, I went to school part time for the remaining three years to make financial ends meet. I believe L did a few of his semesters full time as well as working full time, because he's superman. L decided a year or two in that his true passion was in finance, and reorganized his class schedule to accommodate his finance major. I figured out years in advance that I didn't have much interest in biology, but told myself that I would see it though and earn that degree!

So here we are today, 5 years later with our beautiful, hard earned pieces of paper, and BIG smiles on our faces! We are so thrilled to be finished, as we have been looking forward to this for a long time!


On to the next adventure!

Father's Day Gift Guide

05 June 2016



Father's Day is two weeks away and I've got a list for you! If you're not into making a homemade arts and crafts gift for him this year, I hope that you are able to refer to this list to help pick out the perfect gift. Dad's can be difficult to shop for, so I hope you are able to find some inspiration here!



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  1. Monopoly - I love this classic spin that L.L. Bean did on the infamous Monopoly board game. For all of those die hard monopoly dads out there, this is the gift for them! The playing pieces include a tote, dog, bean boot, canoe, lantern and a moose. Not to mention the board is reversible, allowing you to play scrabble as well! Bingo!

  2. Nest Cam - My most recent fascination. I'm looking into investing into a couple of these babies myself. Not only does all the footage upload directly to the cloud so that it is not stored on the device, you can also access it from you flip phone at any time. For an extra $10/month you can buy storage and your footage will be recorded into the cloud. Not a bad gig, you can't put a price on safety!

  3. Homebrewing Kit - This gift is perfect for the beer connoisseur dad who wants to put his brewing knowledge to the test. It includes all of the equipment needed to brew two gallons of delicious and fresh beer.

  4. Dollar Shave Club - I don't know if this is something that everyone's dad would want to take advantage of, however it eases the task of buying new razors/blades each month. Sign up for a couple bucks each month, and they will ship them straight to your door. Easy, easy.

  5. Vineyard Vines Tie - These are a classic! If your dad is a tie-wearer, consider splurging on one of these fun, bright, and critter filled ties. I'm sure it would brighten his day, and everyone who sees him wearing it!

  6. Drill Kit - If he doesn't already have one, I'm sure your dad would appreciate a drill kit. It's such an easy gift that everyone needs.

  7. Hometown Map Puzzle - I know I write about this puzzle ALL of the time, I'm obsessed with it. His home would be represented by a house shaped puzzle piece, while the rest of the puzzle makes up the surrounding terrain. When he finishes the puzzle, have him glue it, frame it, and hang it on the wall!

  8. Yeti Tumbler - These are great for both hot and cold drinks. They would make a great addition to his camping supplies or for everyday use.

  9. Man Crate - This is for the manly man dad. Pick out the crate that fits your dad best and enjoy watching him open it with the crowbar that they send with it.

What are you thinking about getting your Father for Father's Day?

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VIEW THROUGH MY LENS: MAY

04 June 2016

This post is four days late. I'm sorry.

I dropped the ball big time this month and was only able to get one post up for the entire month of May! How does that happen? Well, like December, May is the other month that goes crazy with graduations, birthdays, parties, summer soirees, dance recitals, you name it! It was so jam packed and fun, it makes me sad that I didn't get those memories recorded in here earlier. Hopefully that means that they will all be in here by the end of June!

I started posting these "view through my lens posts" to help recap each month through my iPhone shots to keep random snapshots saved and easy to find. They are, by far, my favorite posts to write, as I am able to relive each and every memory from the month.  

We started May off by traveling up to a small lake town in NH to celebrate Mother's Day with our mommy. All four of us pitched in to hook her up with a fitbit Charge so she can fit in with the kewl kats now! I printed off the fun "mom" wrapping paper from Almost Makes Perfect.

Had to share this pretty shot I grabbed the other day looking over Battery Street in Boston's North End/Waterfront. Goodness, it's beautiful here! Old North always seems to find its way into my pictures.

My friend surprised me earlier in May by gifting me an impromptu trip to Vegas to celebrate being done with my undergrad career! It was TRULY a one of a kind trip. We flew out at 6am, stayed for 14 hours, and then took a red-eye back to Boston! Fortunately, we were able to get a taste of Vegas, and enjoyed our day of exploring sin city! I am in the process of editing a vlog from the trip, so stay tuned!



Love this picture that L's brother snapped of us walking through Christopher Columbus Park, on our way to nosh on some Sail Loft food.

 L and I both celebrated our undergrad graduations a few weeks ago and couldn't be happier. We are thrilled to have completed this chapter of our lives! L finished with a degree in finance, and mine in Biology! I'm working on a vlog for graduation as well... should be up later this month!

I felt inspired to decorate my cap last minute! 

 From Boston, we took a road trip to Ohio to celebrate my sister's birthday and her med school graduation. Don't worry.... there's a vlog in the works for the road trip/her graduation/lake/her move as well!

 While in Ohio, L and I attended our 5 year class reunion, and were fortunate enough to see two of oldest and dearest friends. Remember, the baby shower gift we put together last month? That was for this little peanut. He has yet to arrive and is now past his due date!

 We made our way up to Crooked Lake in Indiana to spend some time with L's family and get our burns on. My first time up there!

 ...and I liked it! A LOT! I'm now trying to talk L into getting a boat and some jet skis.

 I wrapped the month up by helping my sister and her fiance move cross country to their new home in Maine where she will be doing her residency. What a fun move that was! I think the truck alone is bigger than the apartment that I currently live in.

Looking forward to what June has in store for us!

January // February // March // April

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