Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh Say Can You See

Hey, did you know that the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday? No? Well then you must be new around here. Welcome. 

After spending all night packing every nautical item in my wardrobe, it was finally ready to begin our annual Portland trip. On the way, my friend Alisa and I stopped in Wells to catch up with some family friends and to celebrate my mom's birthday.

These two are just so hard to be around. They're so shy and quiet you can't even stand it:

Just kidding. Mikey is hilarious and my sister is practically famous. Also her name isn't Jennifer. 

My mom's birthday is July 3, so usually a large birthday/seafood dinner is in order. Of course, what kind of birthday would it be if you weren't being humiliated in front of an entire busy restaurant?

Not a very good one, I can tell you that. Because I personally love being sung to in public. I'm serious. I will welcome this level of publicity anytime. However my mom looks less then thrilled at what is happening here, which I imagine will be similar to the emotion she feels seeing that I posted this picture. Love you, Mom! 

It was time for Alisa and I to get going. Partially because it was getting late but also because Mikey kept referring to me as a female Jason Mraz. 

After spending the night at Alisa's brother's house, we were horrified to find out that the weather forecast for the Fourth was not what nautical dreams were made of. This didn't stop us from our usual caravan trip to the grocery store where we stocked up on all of the essentials. 

How many times did you say that day you "wanted a hot dog real bad?" I'm going to guess no less than five for us. 

I personally try to stay away from berries of all kinds, but I appreciated the color palate. 

Speaking of accessorizing, how bummed was I that the horrendous downpour prevented me from sporting so many of my planned outfits? Well I can tell you, not as bummed as the fact that Steve showed up in this:

I only wore ONE outfit that day. It was depressing. Also depressing? Cancelled fireworks. That's right. It was like not having snow on Christmas. Or picking out really cute outfits to ride your bike in and then your husband tells you you have to wear sneakers. But that's a story for another day. 

Despite the elements, we did not let this ruin our annual group photo shoot. 

However, getting there was tricky. There was a lot of this: 

And this:

Honestly, I'm still not even really sure what was going on here: 

Followed by our annual "rap group" photo (note that almost every part of this trip is annual):

Which quickly turned into this:

Of course none of this would be complete with Brent's annual (there it is again) red, white and blue margaritas. Because nothing says patriotism like a Mexican cocktail.

After recovering from the sadness of see NO FIREWORKS AT ALL we ventured out the next day when the weather was of course, finally beautiful and perfect. Alisa and I insisted on at least something of a beach day and the boys relented, despite the fact that Rocky couldn't find his one bathing suit (I think the biggest headscratcher here is HOW COULD SOMEONE ONLY HAVE ONE?!) and Steve hates the beach. 

We went to Scarborough where we were quickly ambushed by an entire camp that happened to be visiting the beach that day with counselors that virtually paid no attention to what they were doing, which was running on top of our blanket and kicking sand all over us on their way to the trash can. Before you say that I'm a horrible person who doesn't like children (which is only partially true, some of the time) even my kid-loving husband (ew, wait...) had enough after he got hit in the side of the head with a Frisbee. 

At this point Steve left us to return to his week of fishing far away from ocean water and nautical costume changes. Alisa and Rocky and I continued on for our annual (get it?!?!?!) quest for lobster rolls. And not only did we find them, we totally trumped last year:

We continued walking around Portland for as long as the meter would have us. I love Portland, Portsmouth, basically anything to do with a port and cities that look like this:

I also appreciated that many of the storefronts were in on the patriotic theme as well: 

All in all, it was another great trip despite the rain and the gross amount of underused outfits. Thanks to everyone who housed us, fed us, and put up with our baggage (I mean literally- there were so.many.bags.). While I was super bummed to wear so few of my patriotic duds, I kept many ensembles in mind for my upcoming post-Portland trips. Here's a brief rundown of what I actually made it out wearing during our three day adventure:

Just to be clear, those are my pajamas in the first pic. Yes, those are red, white and blue too. I don't mess around. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Friday, Friday

In addition to getting back into my regular swing of things since returning to the blogosphere, I'm excited to finally be participating in my first Friday's Fancies!

What's that, you say? You've never heard of such a thing? Well here's the lowdown:

When I met Alison from {long distance loving} at a blogger event, I immediately loved her sense of style. After reading her blog I knew I wanted to join the party that is Friday's Fancies. Every week, there is a different style inspiration challenge and it's up to each blogger to come up with their own perfect ensemble. It's basically imaginary, so money is no object (BAM!) and everyone then links up on LDL to share their dream boards. 

This first one was inspired by favorite summer treats. I chose to go the refreshment route, which of course meant paying homage to the ultimate in summer beverages: the classic margarita. 

I think I was destined to be a 'rita fan. No, I wasn't downing Jose in my sippy cup as a toddler. I'm what you call a second generation Parrothead. My father has almost every Jimmy Buffet album ever made, and I grew up listening to his free and easy beachy music. My sister's first sentence was a line from "Volcano" and my first concert was Jimmy and his Coral Reefer Band at Great Woods. So I think deep down, I always knew that me and margaritas were meant to be.

My ultimate favorite is a classic on the rocks with salt. And I don't go for any of those crazy fruity flavors, like strawberry-pomegranite-blueberry-mojito-creamsicle-whatever. I don't even like them frozen. So I drew my inspiration from a good old fashioned yellowy-green libation courtesy of sour mix and actual lime.

This neon yellow lace number is the perfect summer shade. Somehow in the process of me finding this dress online yesterday it has since sold out. And it was on sale! The necklace provides that little hint, or garnish if you will, of lime and the square stones remind me of fresh ice cubes clinking around in my glass. With all this busyness going on, a neutral shoe was necessary, but the extra texture on the front reminds me a bit of the frothy film atop a freshly blended frozen concoction. Finish off with a simple pair of earrings (but still with that same "cube" shape) and you've got yourself an ensemble worthy of an hot summer evening at your favorite outdoor bar. And if that bar happens to be Margaritaville, so be it. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

She Was An American Girl

It's no secret that I have a small interest, okay obsession, with all things red, white and blue. So of course the Fourth of July is one of my two all-time favorite holidays (the other being Halloween, natch). I think it also stems from the fact that my grandfather was in the Navy and my mother was so into like the whole country Americana thing. 

In the past few years it has sort of... snowballed into a ferocious attempt to collect whatever nautical items I can. We're talking anything with anchors, rope, ship wheels, and anything that falls under a patriotic palate. It was the only motif that we could agree on when decorating our bedroom and it's also now consumed the inside of my closet. 

So as you can imagine, packing for our annual Fourth of July trip to Portland was no easy task. Actually, I guess it wasn't that hard because I just packed every nautical item I own. The most difficult part was just getting my suitcase shut. 

I should preface by saying that I am probably the worst packer in history, mainly because I always have so many things I want to bring and because well frankly, packing sucks. You have to think ahead about every possible weather and social scenario and find a way to cram all of the products that you use on a daily basis to transform yourself from the swamp creature you wake up as into someone presentable. I always forget how much stuff I use to appear effortless until I have to travel somewhere. I usually wait until the absolute last minute because I work best under pressure. 

So after watching marathon sessions of The Hills and trying to decide if I want headbands to come back, it was time to start the dreaded packing. Steve had already left for his fishing trip, so I was left to my own devices, hence none of this starting until 10:30 pm. I decided like all successful endeavors, I would just have to take it one step at time, step one being accessories. 

To be honest, when I first saw all my accessories laid out, the first thought in my head was "how do I not have any nautical rings?!" and not "I have a problem."

Next, shoes! Oh my God, shoes. Footwear is tough mainly because of the highly unpredictable New England weather. Also if you think it's hard to wear five pairs of sandals on a three day trip... well, you're right. 

Some may think that it's a bit insane packing up all of your nautical clothing and your nautical accessories in your nautical bedroom. Things did get a bit crazy there for a minute...

... but luckily I had my nautical notepad to help keep me organized. 

YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY WHITE BOTTOMS. I would have been lost without my white shorts, white bermuda shorts, white capris and white skinny jeans. It's like Pokemon. You gotta have 'em all. 

Okay, so I guess I would have technically "survived" without the aforementioned white bottoms. But I think that ten shorts/pants options is totally appropriate for a three day trip. A girl's gotta have options. 

Oops. Sorry. There were dresses too. MORE OPTIONS!

Hmmm. Something's not right here. I should probably buy a navy bathing suit. 

Ah, the dreaded zipper. Most people (i.e. my husband) say that if you can't shut your suitcase, you should probably take out a few things. Or...

You just pack in multiple tiny smaller bags! Done and done. 

And that, my friends is how I packed for my favorite holiday. 

And... it rained. Not just rained, but like pouring horrible monsoon style tropical stormed. My outfits were sad. 

Oh, did you want to see said outfits? Stay tuned for a follow up Portland post!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guess Who's Back?

Did you miss me?

Okay, so I may have taken an accidental hiatus the past few weeks. I went on like three trips, which is three more than I've taken all year, let alone in three weeks. I say my hiatus was accidental because I brought my laptop to many of these places with me and didn't crack it open once. Sorry, folks. I missed you though.

So needless to say, I have tons of recapping/updating/photo editing/unpacking (yes, still. I'm the worst) to do. Tomorrow is my first full day off without plans in a long while so I'm locking myself somewhere with WiFi hoping to get some things accomplished. And if I don't... it means it was nice out and I went to the pool instead. My life is so hard. 

So let's be friends again. Because I'm sad and lonely without you, Internet. 

even steven (get it?!?!?!) has been begging me to blog
again. or maybe he just wants me to leave him alone so
he can watch olympics coverage in peace.


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hills Aren't Alive... Anymore

Okay, I admit it. I've totally been suckered into this Retro MTV morning programming and I just cannot seem to stop myself from watching/DVR'ing every episode of my former favorite reality programs. Last week was bad enough with Laguna Beach, and then The Hills went and started today. I get that MTV is probably gearing these daily three hour blocks towards high school/college kids who are actually too young to have seen it the first time. Also they probably have the summer off and are working twelve hours a week, so there is an infinite amount of spare time to spend on what my mom would call "mindless crap." But there was a small part of me that was kind of excited to relive a part of my youth. All this Retro talk is making me feel like I can refer to myself as an old person, as I was all of nineteen when I started watching LB in my dorm room at Cazenovia College. There's nothing like living in a snowy village in upstate New York that makes you infatuated with a bunch of spoiled teenagers living in California. 

However this time around I am watching in a totally different light. And by that I mean this show really sucks. No, I take that back. The show doesn't suck. They were most likely doing the best they could with what little substance that was radiating out of their main "characters" stimulation conversations. The people on this show suck. There, I said it.

I was sort of okay with LB because the whole time I just kept saying to myself, "these people are seventeen. Who wasn't a big fat idiot when they were in high school?" But The Hills is a whole other ball game. Mainly because these people are nineteen years old. Part of the premise is them living on their own/growing up/going to school/working their "dream jobs." They are living lives that people in their thirties are still trying to achieve who are actually working for it. Also, they are just so stupid. SO STUPID. Even Lauren, who must actually be smart to come out of this whole thing as successful as she has, just had so many moments where you wanted to jump through the TV and shake her thick black headband right off her head.

careful, lauren. that's how sex tapes get made.

Maybe it's because I am apparently an old fart now (thanks, MTV), or just the fact that I've been in I guess what you would call the "real world" for a few years that I finally see how ludicrous it was that we were watching these people and thinking they were so glamorous and cool. In no specific order, here are some of the things that specifically got on my nerves as a worldly adult and not the naive college student I once was*:

1. Lauren and Heidi go to school. Heidi misses her entire first day because she "can't find it." Instead of asking someone where "it" is, she remains in her lawn chair and plays solitaire. Only someone who will never understand what a bitch it is to pay back school loans would give up so easily.
2. Heidi and Lauren go to the nightclub LAX, where Heidi meets Brent Bolthouse, who offers to interview her for his company. They were definitely both nineteen at the start of this show, so how did they get in? Also, other than Abercrombie and Fitch, what companies do their recruiting of underage girls at night clubs?
3. Heidi somehow gets the job, despite having the worst interview ever and showing up in jeans and a sleeveless cowl neck sweater.
4. Heidi is horrified to discover that her cool new job is full time and she has to stuff envelopes on her first day. She goes into Brent's office no less than three times to complain about how she thought it was only part time. You know, because working 9:00-6:00 is really getting in the way of her snuggling with her boyfriend all day.
5. This is an actual show opener conversation between Whitney and Lauren:
Whitney: Jeans can be really addicting. There's like, always new ones and you feel like you have to have them.
Lauren: *laughs*
How hilarious. Have you ever heard such witty banter among colleagues?
6. At least three of Audrina's loser dates laugh at her when she mentions being at work during the day. One of these guys is a model and one appears to have no job at all. So, a real group of winners there that you want to impress.
7. Lauren moves to L.A. with what appears to be all of her earthly positions in one pink suitcase half hanging out of the backseat of her black BMW convertible. This doesn't seem ridiculous when the show continues and you see her wearing a long sleeved black shirt and jean capris everyday.
8. Laure and Heidi's boyfriends apparently need to celebrate milestones on THE EXACT DAY they happen, despite the fact that neither of them seem to work and therefore have a pretty open social calendar. Lauren and Jason practically break up because she had to work at a photo shoot on his birthday (which was a Wednesday). Heidi finally gets offered the chance to work events and then after realizing the first one would be on her and Jordan's six month anniversary (really?!), makes a face that could only resemble that of someone who just saw their dog get hit by a car. This was also a Wednesday. Here's an idea: why not celebrate these events on a different day? Like, Thursday?
9. Heidi's boyfriend gives her a puppy in the Christmas episode. She names it Bella. It was never seen again. WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT PUPPY?!
10. The flip phones. So many flip phones. Okay, I know they can't help this one because at the time, the most advanced form of technology was a Motorola Razor. But I couldn't help but laugh.

*Disclaimer: I get that a lot of these things happened because they are on TV, and that if normal people engaged in any of this behavior they would never get jobs or you know, survive. But still, c'mon.

um, duh. it was totally my sleeveless turtleneck
& non-existent resume that got me the job.

I think the most infuriating thing, particular about the first season (because that's all they've shown so far) is watching Lauren almost ruin her life over her douchey ex-boyfriend Jason. For those of you who don't know or weren't recently refreshed last week, Lauren ruined the small amount of credibility she had gained in my eyes by getting back together with a guy she had broken up with for kissing his ex-girlfriend in front of her. My favorite part was when she told him he could come and talk to her at her house, but that he couldn't come in cause her dad wouldn't allow it. You go, girl. But a mere few months later, he calls her in L.A. (because he just moved there too! Duh) and she gets right on back with him. Fortunately, we all know how that turns out (and how it gave birth to The Hills Sex Tape-gate 2007 and one of the greatest television rivalries of all time) because she eventually came to her senses.

Not that any of this is going to keep me from watching. You better believe I have my DVR set for every day this week while I'm getting my nautical on in Maine for the Fourth of July. If watching these idiots achieve fame isn't celebrating the American Dream, I don't know what is.


PS- I know this is years old and MadTV doesn't even exist anymore, but this is still my favorite Hills parody ever. And you can headband yourself all the way home.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Now They Say It's MY Birthday

I love presents. Yes, I said it. I know that people are supposed to be all humble and like "oh, I don't need any earthly possessions. All the gifts I need are love and happiness and health and that's all." Yes, all those things are great and everyone should have them, but c'mon- getting presents is FUN. There, I said it.

I would also like to point out that I love to give presents as well. And buy fancy cards that my husband says we can't afford. And gift-wrap like I had my own room in Candy Spelling's house. So it's definitely a two-way street. Presents are awesome and anyone who says otherwise is LYING. 

My twenty seventh birthday is looming. In fact, it's exactly a month away (July 31 ya'll!). If you couldn't tell by now that I'm a Leo I don't know why we're even friends. Unless we're not friends yet, then please, stick around.

I decided what better outlet than the blog to transcribe my ultimate birthday list? Before you get all cranky on me, part of the reason I'm doing this is because people are always asking me what I want for Christmas & birthdays, and this just seemed like a good forum in which to present such a list. Also I'm digitally continuing a tradition that I have been upholding with my mom since I was in high school. She would always ask me what I wanted for Christmas, and I started making these elaborate scrapbook style collage lists complete with photos, just in case she had no idea what I was talking about. She saved them all somewhere and would always get comments from salespeople about what a good idea that was.

See? So in thinking of myself, I'm really helping others. 

So in case you were thinking of sending a gift, or if you just want a longer list of the things that Steve has forbidden me from buying for myself, I give you...


Thomas Paul Scrimshaw Plates
I am obsessed with these plates for obvious reasons. Part of the reason that I want this set is because I am already the proud owner of the Moby Platter. I mentioned in a previous Mall Madness Monday post that Steve was in a tizzy over this plate because it was plastic. In fact, these are all plastic. However I think it's the perfect casual set to use outdoors. Do I have an outdoor space? No. Of course not. But I'm thinking of the future/things I want immediately.

Poppy Razzi Collection by Essie
After Nail Polish Inventory 2012, I have basically been forbidden from owning another bottle, which is why I haven't purchased any of these for myself yet, despite the fact I've had at least four Ulta coupons pass me by since these came out. I need these for two reasons: 1.) The name of the collection and the individual colors are all camera-related, and 2.) The candy-colored shades are all perfect pops of summer color.

Most Talkative by Andy Cohen
I don't think it's a secret that I'm mildly obsessed with all things Bravo. This book supposedly gives lots of dirt on the Housewives, which is definitely something I need more of in my life. Also, we didn't do the whole superlative thing in our high school yearbook (too many damn people, I guess?) but I would hope if we did that this would be something that Mr. Cohen and I would have in common. 

This Means War on DVD
I don't care what the critics say, Steve and I saw this in the theater and I loved it. Then again, I'm slightly biased because Reese Witherspoon is my favorite actress of.all.time. I have almost every single one of her movies on DVD (and some on VHS!) so I need this to round out my collection. 

NH State Pride Necklace by Kris Nations
I know I'm technically a Masshole now (driver's license and all) but I will always consider myself to be from the Granite State. There's lots of variations on state shaped jewelry out there, but this I happen to love because of the name spelled out inside. I mean, that's an awfully long name to fit inside such a small state. These ones are available through the Nordstrom's website, which would probably be the least expensive thing I have ever coveted from there.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
I only discovered The Bloggess a few months ago, but apparently Jenny Lawson has been at this for years. Around the time I started reading was when she announced her first book was coming out. Obviously I'm all for supporting my favorite bloggers in any capacity, and releasing an actual book is like a huge deal. Plus she's just super funny and I can't wait to read this.

Perfect Skinny Glitter belt in Gold by Ann Taylor
I'm all about skinny belts lately. Especially if they're claiming to be perfect. I have also been wearing a lot of gold and I think this little belt would be a nice accent for an ensemble. I think I really wanted one from J. Crew but I'm not sure if it exists anymore, at least I couldn't find it using the powers of the Internet. 

Touch Cut Away Tank via Roster
So this tank has been available forever in Roster, but only the Sox version. I am always on the hunt for more girly Bruins things to wear (not a pink hat, but do jerseys have to be so boxy?) and it wasn't until April that I finally saw this version pop up. Probably because I had been personally begging Alyssa Milano to show us a little love. Well maybe it's more cause the B's finally took home the cup. Anyway, this one has to go on the birthday list because I could never spend $60 on a tank top for myself. Well I could, but not even a Bruins logo would convince Steve that that was a worthwhile purchase. 

Initial Signet Ring by Jennifer Zeuner
I have a love/hate relationship with Lauren Conrad, because I am bitterly jealous of all of her success but I love everything she wears. When I saw her sporting one of these monogrammed signet rings I was all like "ahhhh omg I have to have it." I like that it's old school (Prince William wears one instead of a wedding ring!) but I would rock it on my middle finger a la LC and not on the pinky like the leader of an Italian mob family. I would be happy with either and "L" or my full on initials, but again, minorly obsessed with gold at the moment. Also it could really be from anywhere, because this one is almost $200. Maybe if I had LC money this would fly, but I mean, I could get like twenty dresses on clearance for that at Forever 21. 

Top of the Rock by Warren Littlefield
I read something online somewhere (I know, great details here) about this book and I heard it was really interesting. Plus as someone who started watch Friends in fourth grade, I feel like I grew up in the Must See TV era. Also as someone who has a husband that is still quoting Mad About You (which I find utterly confusing as I'm pretty sure we were in like, elementary school at that time) and who makes me watch Wings every morning, I think this book could spawn some interesting conversation topics. Also I love any sort of behind the scenes entertainment tell-alls. Show me your surprised face.

West Avenue Large Monogram Necklace by Max & Chloe
I think it's obvious that when it comes to jewelry, my least favorite mantra is "less is more." Why not have a gigunda necklace of your initials?! Like every blogger in the free world, I discovered this via the fabulous Atlantic-Pacific and now I'm just obsessed. 

Cards Against Humanity via Amazon
If you've never played this game before, you probably have never had real actual fun in your life. Also you're probably a good person. This game is for bad people who know they're going to hell and might as well have fun before their handbasket arrives. It is basically a super-offensive version of my favorite game, Apples to Apples. Make sure to play in a judge-free zone. I tried it once with friends and I absolutely need my own. 

Of course I am in no way implying that I am expecting to receive all of these things or that I need them all. This is just a momentary fantasy in which I'm indulging myself via a birthday wish list. I promise to be less selfish tomorrow.