Top 5 Blogs I Can't Get Enough Of

I try to keep my my blog roll at a reasonable number so that I am able to read and enjoy my favorites blogs.

Here are some of my top favorites that I read religiously and have been following for years!

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Sherry and John created Young House Love to highlight the transformation of their very first house over seven years ago. Today, they still continue to share house remodel projects, while also working on their second book and raising their two kids, Clara and Teddy. They post regularly and are constantly sharing inspiration photos and ideas as well as day in the life posts.

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Megan brings a classy element to her blog and focus's her posts on trendy fashion finds, beauty, and her newlywed life in South Carolina. She's constantly introducing her readers to new leads, makeup tutorials, and every couple of posts we get a cameo appearance of her cat, Winston!

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Little Baby Garvin 
 
 
Jess caters her blog to all those fun loving, day in the life readers out there. She hilarious and completely real about her day to day adventures and misadventures of raising her two little girls. She's also more commonly known for her fun chalkboard art and design work that you may have seen around Pinterest.

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iHeart Organizing 
 
 
Being Type A myself, Jen's blog is right up my alley. She shares great tips and advice as to how she personally organizes her home and keeps her family of 5 on track 24/7. Whether it's DIY projects, organizing projects, or painting projects, she sure to have something that everyone loves.

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Peanut Butter Runner 
 
 
Jen's blog is tailored around her busy life as a yoga teacher, personal trainer, and fitness instructor as well as cooking amazing meals and writing a book on the side. I don't know how she has time to fit everything into her day, however I enjoy reading her insight on workouts, food and life! 
 
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What are your some of your favorites?
 
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Liebster Award!

I was recently nominated for a Liebster award from Pints of Life!
 
If you don't know already, this is a fun way to meet and start reading other blogs! 
Thanks for the nomination Allie!
So let's get crackin'!
 
THE RULES--

1] Each blogger should answer the questions the tagger has set for them.

2] Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award onto and link them in your post.

3] Choose 11 new questions for the chosen bloggers.

4] Go back to their blogs, and tell them about the nomination.

5] Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.


These are MY questions and MY answers!

1] WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CELEBRITY?

Jennifer Aniston - she is so classy and chic, yet very personable and funny. She keeps her private life to herself and apparently never ages!

2] DD OR STARBUCKS?

Dunks! I'm not much of a coffee drinker so DD had me at "Coolatta"

3] YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME? 

I have about a dozen that I could replay over and over without getting tired of, but Elf ranks pretty high on the list. I'm such a Christmas junkie - 116 more days!

4] WHAT IS YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE?

I'm terrified of submerged items in bodies of water like buoys, ropes, pool drains ehhh I'm freaking myself out just typing about it!

5] NAME BRAND OR KNOCK OFF?

I'm a true believer in quality over quantity. If I have to invest a few extra doll hairs to get a good quality product that I KNOW is going to last me for awhile, then I'm doing it!

6] ONE TV SHOW YOU WISH YOU BRING BACK?

Friends!! Oh how I miss Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey!  

7] 3 WORDS YOUR BEST FRIEND WOULD DESCRIBE YOU AS?

Go-getter, type A, and fun! I think? I don't know! You'd have to ask them!!

8] BEER OR VODKA?

Vodka! Cape Codders and Screwdrivers come my way. Yum!

9] WHAT/WHERE WAS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION?

In the United States, it would definitely be my most recent trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. I'm still obsessing over it. Those views!!

10] IF YOU COULD DUET WITH ONE SINGER, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT SONG?

Ha, if only I could sing... 
It would definitely be some kind of majestic song sung alongside... I have no clue. Sorry.

11] WHAT IS ONE THING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?

I cannot live without... my cat. THERE! I said it! Crazy cat lady alert.


11 Facts about me:

1] Mexican food is my favorite!

2] Interior decor is my passion.

3] I cannot do anything in the morning until the bed is made.

4] I have been with my high school sweetie for almost 5 years.

5] I have no idea what I want to do/be when I grow up but I'm only a few classes away from a BS in Biology.

6] I moved to Boston (from Ohio) to play house in the city, and I lurve it! I didn't move here to go to school, I didn't move here to find a job. I just moved here, to move here. Best decision and most expensive one yet!

7] A group of friends and myself go to the same pub next door weekly because that's what makes us, US. If we miss our Vito's date, it's bad news!

8] I just recently took my MA real estate classes, and am very close to obtaining my license.

9] I do not eat meat, except for bacon. If that makes sense!?

10] I have only every met one other girl that spelled her name the same as mine, KAYLIE. She was one of my guests from when I was a server at Applebee's in Ohio years ago!

11] I have yet to go to a Sox, Bruins, Pats or Celtics game ...and I've been here for a year, what is wrong with me!?



MY Questions for YOU:

1] If you had to pick one place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be?

2] Cat or Dog?

3] Where do you find yourself on a Friday night?

4] Why and when did you start your blog?

5] What would you tell 18 year old you?

6] Favorite post? Why?

7] If you could only visit 5 websites a day, which would they be?

8] What is your most frequented phone application?

9] Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

10] Where is your happy place?

11] Soda or Pop?

Can't wait to read what you ladies write!
 
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Futon Facelift

 Remember last week when I was ranting about how blah the futon looked, and how I wanted to buy a new couch but wasn't going to because for this space, a futon was much more functional?
 
 
 After a little browsing on the WWW, I found a clean, white, and affordable Full Size Futon Cover that fit the color scheme of the room better! 
 
Let's take a look at some before and afters, shall we?
BEFORE
...dark, bland, mismatching...
 
 
AFTER
...bright, white, inviting...
 
 
 Please, PLEASE ignore the wire spider web in the corner, the lame makeshift TV stand, the eclectic display of DVDs, and the cardboard boxes! It's all a work in progress.
My thoughts: I really like how much it brightens up the room! I'm not crazy about how it bunches up in some areas, but I'm sure that can be easily adjusted to give it a more flowing look.
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Rug Talk

I'm in the process of picking out floor rugs for the new apartment and have been slightly disheartened by how much they cost! Who knew that something that lies on the floor, gets filthy and has absolutely no resale value can be so darn expensive!?

For me, floor rugs are a great way to pull a room together design-wise, protect the floors and also minimize noise and stomping for our neighbor below us. In our addendum, it states that 70% of the floors need to be covered with rugs for just those reasons, aside from reason number one. I don't think they care how stylized the apartment looks... or do they?

With that said, Rugs USA is hosting a HUGE Labor Day sale with up to 70% and 80% off of their selection of rugs! You are literally getting quality rugs for a FRACTION of the original price.

Check out my rug crushes!

FIRST UP...
...the Maui Jute Rug.

While jute is easy to stain and is known to smell when first purchased, I overlooked those flaws and fell hard for this beauty! With a beige trim, and lighter accents this baby is going to shine brightly in our living room (or dining area if I decide to move it in the future). 
The material looks rough, but it really isn't! I was checking out rugs in target the other day and the jute rugs that they had there were very smooth.
 
I ordered a 5' by 8' which was originally $196, however with the sale it was $59!


 
NEXT UP...
...the Brilliance Monotone Cotton Flatwoven Rug.

I love the simplicity of this rug. Whether I opt for the sleet or the white color, I think I'll be happy either way. Here's a little side-by-side action.


The white is white. As in, dirt will show, will have to clean often, and it's going to be a lot of upkeep. I can see myself putting the white rug in a room that does not get a lot of traffic, however living in a small apartment means that every nook and cranny and extra ounce of space is going to get used resulting in all of the rooms being highly functional and often used.

I like the sleet color, however I'm slightly worried it will make a room look darker and smaller than it really is. We are very fortunate to have an apartment with 10 windows that drench the place with sunlight at all hours of the day. The rooms also have very light features including white trim, white walls, and light doors. Maybe (because our duvet is white as well) I can put the sleet colored rug in the bedroom to play off all of the bright and light colors, and also incorporate some navy to blend it in with the rest of the theme of the apartment. Not to mention, the darker color will help hide any potential dirt or stains that may hopefully not happen.

Here are the prices:
5' x 8' is usually $260, however with the sale it is $78!
8' x 10' is usually $519, however with the sale it is $156!

I'm on the fence as to get the 8' x 10', or to keep it small and get the 5' x 8'. Thoughts?

NEXT UP...
...the Chalet Herringbone Cotton Woven Rug.

I'm crazy in love with this pattern, and originally was very close to buying the same patterned rug from Dash and Albert.


 I thought it would be fun to put a navy Herringbone rug in the bedroom, however after reading reviews, this "navy" version is actually more closer to cobalt blue. Cobalt blue is not really the blue that I've been working with in the apartment. I do however like the grey a lot. It's a little busy, and has a lot going on... but it can definitely add a really fun and swanky element to any room!

5' x 8' is usually $163, however with the sale it is $49!

Be sure to swing by Rugs USA to grab some Labor Day steals. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new and beloved floor pieces!
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Home Update

Now that this place is filled and beginning to look like a home I thought that I would touch base with you and give you an updated tour. A couple weeks ago I left you with this - an empty skeleton.
Here's how things have been looking lately now that we have furniture, wall hangings and a cat in there!
 
Entrance
There's nothing much here, and all we've done so far is lay down a rug.
I think that in the future, we may possible hang some cute hooks for umbrellas and jackets on one of those walls by the door.
 
 
Kitchenette/Dining area
We hung my beloved framed ski mountains, filled our cabinets, and plopped down a table and chairs. I used to have a small counter-height table with bar stools, but according to my father it was not comfortable or large enough for card playing, so he upgraded us with this four person round table with expandable leaves. Thanks Dad!
 
 
 
 
I do love that we have a larger table now, however it's a little roughed up. I think I'm going to reupholster the chair seats, paint the chairs, and possibly sand down the tabletop and re-stain it. We also need to lay down rugs under the table and against the cabinets, as well as maybe find some more wall art. I'd also like to see a cabinet of some sort against the wall underneath the ski mountains to help store some more food/dishes.
 
 
Living Room
While it's still very open concept, and attached to the kitchenette area like in the old apartment, it is nice to be able to carry on a conversation with someone while sitting down at the table. So far, this room has made the least amount of progress. We are temporarily using an old bookshelf to house all of our DVDs, and hold the TV. I really dislike how you can see that eclectic mixture of everything. We also have the old futon hanging out in this room and it's just awkward. If I could, I would ditch the futon and pick up some of these KARLSTAD sofa's in Isunda gray. However, I know that's not going to happen because we are going to work with what we already have.
 
 
 
Here's what's going to happen. I'm going to suck it up and buy a futon cover that makes this big, dark blob blend in a little better with the bright room. I also need to find a rug to put in this room, as well as an entertainment center that is easy on the eyes and hides everything with drawers. I want to put a big fern in the corner of the room to bring in some bright color, as well as hang white Ikea frames above the TV. In a perfect world I would add a slipper chair of some sort to accommodate more people but I don't know if that's going to happen. We're very limited on space. It would also be nice to have an ottoman or coffee table of some sort, if it fits of course! Because none of these rooms have any ceiling fixtures, we may need to invest in a few more lamps as well. We would also like to potentially see some curtains hung in here - maybe.
 
 
Master Bedroom
This room has made the most progress thus far thanks in large part to our new bureaus that we picked up for half price! Yay Craigslist! We moved in L's beloved desk which currently houses a ton of office supplies and junk, as well as my attempted wing back chair project. More on that later. The lamp was given to me when I bought my mirror, and I found the headboard with a free sign right outside of my old building, score! It also just so conveniently happened to match our bureaus. The wooden nightstand was a handmade treasure built by L so we found a spot for it next to the bed. The retro Coors sign is an oldie but a goodie that was given to me when I left my Applebee's job in Ohio over a year ago. 
 
 
 
 
 
We have yet to pick out a floor rug for this room, as well as some matching nightstands and lamps. We would like to get some sort of closed shelving unit to house a printer and our books as well as maybe a new chair or ottoman for under the curved window. We would also like to potentially see some curtains hung in here as well. Did I mention we need a box spring as well?
 
 
Master Bathroom
The bathroom is pretty much where it's at. I want to keep it simple, clean and white. With that said, if I put too much in there, it will look too busy and cluttered. So far I have just filled it with white spa like towels, and small pops of color. 
 
 
 
I may add some wall hangings on the wall that is directly across from the toilet, but that is about all that I can see happening in there right now.
 
Second Bedroom/Office
This room is pretty empty right now. There's not really a difference aside from the boxes upon boxes so I'll leave you with this clean slate. Let your creative juices flow! All we have going on in there right now is a bed and a bureau with a TV.
 

In the future, this room will have a Boston theme with framed Bruins posters, black furniture, and lighter accents in the bed comforter and frames. The colors are going to be based around a black and white color palette with pops of bright gold/yellow for the Bruins.
 
 
Second Bathroom
Same with this room, it's just not quite there yet. This is the ONLY room in the apartment without natural light so we are trying to decide what the best color scheme for it would be. While the white floor and wall tile brighten it up, and the mirrors enlarge it, we don't know if we should do bright spring colors, or maybe work with a blue color palette to bring more darker shades to the already very bright apartment.
 
 
 
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BAA-HA-BAA

Please excuse my measly attempt at an authentic New England accent...
Brace yourself, this is going to be one very long, exciting and picture heavy post!
 

I was toying with the idea of breaking the trip up into several smaller posts, but figured I wanted everything located in one post so that it would easier to access in the future if need be.
 
These weeks have been so crazy busy lately, that I'm just lucky if I know what day of the week it is. The first week of August I was soaking up some Carolina rays (or lack there of) in Myrtle Beach, came home to Boston to move over one street the next week, and then went to Vacationland to celebrate my Oma and Opa's Golden Anniversary in Bar Harbor for another week! Why I haven't been there before, I don't know. Having lived in New England for the first seven years of my life, and for the past year, Bar Harbor is a New England staple, and a MUST SEE!
 
The primary purpose of this trip was to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of my wonderful Oma and Opa with 17 other adventurous, fun, and nature loving family members whom are located all over the country. We're talking CO, KY, OH, PA, MD, NJ, ME, and MA. Lucky for me, travel time only consisted of a five hour drive from Boston to Bar Harbor which I didn't even have to do (thanks bro!). However, for other family members, they found themselves with some 12 hour+ road trips and/or very lengthy flights! Fortunately, everyone made an effort to head out to the very east end of the country to collaborate and celebrate! We are very fortunate!
 
Because this blog serves as an online public diary for myself, I'm going to list the day by day activities and excursions that we spoiled ourselves with. That way, the next time I travel to Bar Harbor I will be able to locate all of our memories and adventures in one spot. This can also serve as an itinerary for you if you ever find yourself up on Maine's rocky coast looking for fun things to do.
 
 
DAY 1
The first day consisted of traveling out to the island itself. After a much needed, hardy breakfast at the Cockpit Cafe, my siblings, cousin and parents began the four hour drive from Southern Maine. Unfortunately, we arrived a little later than expected and missed the carriage ride through Acadia park with other family members. We checked into our rooms at the Bar Harbor Regency, and waited for all of the family to arrive so that we could head out for that night's activity - The Great Maine Lumberjack Show! The lumberjack show was cute, and fun for all! They had competitions that included axe throwing, log rolling, underhand chopping, crosscut sawing, pole climbing, and much more!
 
  The view from my room!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DAY 2
On day two, we all woke up bright and early, grabbed a bite at the beautiful and plentiful hotel breakfast buffet and then headed out to Acadia park for a gorgeous morning hike! All 18 of us tied up our boots and headed out to the most challenging hike in the park - Precipice! This trail was extremely fun thanks to the rungs and ladders that are needed to hoist yourself up the extremely steep and vertical trail. The entire hike is extremely gorgeous and exposed giving you beautiful views of the ocean, mountains, and rocks! We were pretty dang happy when we got to the top. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  That view!
 
 
 
All the cousins!
 
 
  
Reunited with my beautiful sisters!
 
Next, after the hike and a quick lunch, we headed back into downtown Bar Harbor to catch one of the more favored activities of the week, the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride! I think it's safe to say that we all really enjoyed this boat tour. Captain John took us out on his lobster boat and explained every last itching detail that anyone may ever have about lobstering. He was extremely knowledgeable about the anatomy of lobsters, the history, the rules and regulations, as well as conservation. We also cruised by a lighthouse to see some seals and bald eagles, score! Captain John pulled one of his own lobster traps out of the water to explain to us how the traps worked and showed us some of his lobster prisoners, which he threw back in the ocean! Yay Captain John! I highly recommend taking this tour. It was very informative and interesting, not to mention tons of fun! Once back on land, we feasted at Stewman's Lobster Pound where I had the most delectable blueberry margarita and grilled cheese. I guess now is a good time to put out there that I don't really eat meat.. ever ...except for bacon. 
 
 
 
  Lobsters tend to hang out around rocks, hence all of the lobster buoys!
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
DAY 3
Day three was the actual day of my Oma and Opa's 50th wedding anniversary, so we started the celebration out with a beautiful and traditional church service in downtown Bar Harbor. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Church was followed by a brunch at the Jordan Pond House where we were introduced to popovers. Yum, yum, triple yum! It's basically a hollow bread roll that you eat with butter and jam. We played around there for awhile and then some of us went off to find Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, and others went to hike the Bubble Rock Trails. 
 
 
 
  My sister - the Etch A Sketch Queen!
 
 
 
  Tidepooling.
 
 
 
 
 Later that evening we all found ourselves back at the hotel for the fancy feast celebrating two amazing, and inspirational people. The restaurant at the hotel, La Bella Vita Ristorante had a selection of Italian favorites that we had picked out ahead of time. After the meal, we presented fun anecdotes about our Oma and Opa, and played a fun version of catch phrase that was altered to fit words that described them, as well as a little trivia. 
 
  Sister selfie #noshame
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DAY 4
The fourth day was the last day at the hotel, and is when the families all went their own way, either home or to a campsite for some more island fun. Before we checked out, we ventured out to Bar Island during low tide. At this time, the island becomes completely accessible by foot and you are able to cross the land bridge to the other side. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Later in the day, my brother, mom, and myself went over to try out the Beehive Trail which closely resembles Precipice with all of the rungs and ladders which are needed in order to get to the summit. This was also a favorite due in large part to the exposed face and steep, and challenging obstacles. Once the day came to a close, the three of us headed to Cadillac mountain (tallest mountain on the island) and then towards the Southwestern side of the island to stay at Quietside Campground for the next three nights.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
View from Cadillac Mountain.
 
 
 
 
DAY 5
 
We started day 5 off with a filling breakfast at Common Good, which is a free will donation soup kitchen that offers hot popovers, coffee, juice and oatmeal to campers and hikers looking for a hot meal. Great cause, friendly volunteers, and delicious food. Doesn't get much better than that. 
 
 
 
 
We headed off to Echo Lake in attempt to find the rungs and ladder course that goes up Beech Mountain. Guess what.. we hiked up and down the mountain once before we found the ladder trail. So we hiked that mountain twice. 
 
 
 
 
In the evening we just barely scored some tickets to the Whale Watching tour, which we were so lucky to get thanks to some last minute no call, no shows. I think we had the best whale sighting that company had had all summer! The whales were all out and about, blowing water, killing us with their stinky breath, and showing off their flukes. One of the whales even breached! Not only did we get spoiled by amazing whale sightings, but we also saw tons of seals that were playing around the boat, and a herd of dolphins that came splashing towards us. Too cool! The day came to a close and we fed ourselves some delicious American food at a fun 50's nostalgia restaurant, Route 66.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DAY 6
Like day 5, we started day 6 off with breakfast at Common Good as well. Breakfast was followed by a very steep hike up Dorr Mountain. This trail was basically a rock stairway all the way up. My thighs are feeling it today. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We had an appointment with Atlantic Climbing School in the afternoon. This is also one of those activities that is ranked very high on my "loved" list. I don't know if it was the breathtaking views off of Otter Cliffs, our amazing climbing guide, or the fact that I was literally hanging off of granite pulling my body weight up a cliff as the Atlantic Ocean splashed below me. It was an amazing and beautiful experience. Because we only had a group of three we were able to get four climbs in each, one of which we climbed our way out of the cliffs! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I love this picture of my brother - where the sky meets the ocean!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Afterwards we treated ourselves at Portside Grill and grabbed some ice cream. In the evening, we went to Improv Acadia to enjoy a good laugh at the end of the day!
 
 
 
 
DAY 7
Our last day. Sad. We once again, enjoyed some Common Good and then headed on our way back to Southern Maine.
 
 
 
 
Have you packed your bags and booked a flight already? It's a beauty!
After a week in Myrtle Beach, followed by another week in Bar Harbor... I don't think I want to go back to work.

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