June 28, 2013

higgins beach

This past Monday was a scorcher. By Maine standards, anyway. Mid-90's, sunny, the teeniest hint of a breeze.

In the morning we headed over to Higgins Beach to walk in the water and enjoy the ocean air, which is a good 10 degrees cooler than the inland air. My family has owned a condo here since 2007, and in the last couple of years I've stayed there sporadically in between tours.

If you're looking for a Maine vacation spot, this one's pretty great. It's super convenient - about 15 minutes from the Portland airport, or a 2 hour drive from Boston. The Higgins Beach neighborhood is mostly residential, with some of the properties being year-round homes, and others being rented or summer residences. There's also an Inn with a nice bar and pretty decent restaurant, a little market with amazing lobster rolls, and it stays relatively calm due to limited parking (though you can usually get a spot for $10/day in the new lot).

The beach is one of the sandier ones in Maine, which tends to boast more rocky shores. It's also one of the more popular beaches for surfing in the state, and though I've never surfed, I'm pretty okay at boogie boarding.

June 26, 2013


Hi, internet.

I've recently overcome a big personal hurdle, and in order to welcome this new beginning in my life I'm taking a week away to focus on myself, my health, and my sanity. I'm heading up north for a meditation and yoga retreat, and I'm excited to disconnect and process the changes. 

I'll catch y'all next week, and in the meantime, a few posts will pop up while I'm gone.

Be well!

June 25, 2013

i decided to make a quilt

First, a disclaimer: when I started this project I had used my sewing machine a grand total of one times, back in 2007. I know zero things about sewing, or quilt making, and am completing this project by making it up as I go along.

So! Sewing maven that I am, I decided that taking on a quilt was a good first project. In reality, it hasn't been very hard (yet). The idea seems big, but the steps are small. The steps are a good, manageable way to think about any project.

I have lots of fabric scraps, because anytime I've spied a pretty fabric in the last 7 or so years I've picked it up, promising myself that one day I'd do something with it all. After starting at this ever growing pile of scraps for the umpteenth time, I decided to finally get going and I started cutting the fabric into shapes that slightly resemble squares.

It was at this step that I realized my quilt was going to be far from perfect, because I don't have the patience to cut uniformly or precisely. I also had out the iron, and if a scrap was particularly wrinkly I gave it a quick once over before cutting. I will say that I did use fabric scissors (shears?) because I'm super pro like that.

After I was sick of cutting, I laid out a row, haphazardly. I knew I wanted the quilt to be pretty patchworky, so I figured I'd make each row look nice, then sew the rows together and it'd hopefully turn out alright. I used my rug as a guide for how long each row should be (approximately 6 feet), and then stacked the squares up for easy transportation.

Then, I took out the sewing machine and spent approximately one hour looking up the manual online because I obviously didn't keep it, threading the bobbin, and threading the needle. This part took awhile and was pretty frustrating, but I got it done so I know you can too. I have a Singer Simple 3116 and you can download the manual here.

And then I sewed some things together! "Right" side facing "right" side (which I did wrong the first time). And they stayed together because sewing machines are magic! I also kept losing my thread, so now I am a pro at threading the needle of the machine.

That's about where I am at the moment. Something got jammed in the machine so I'm troubleshooting. But I'm excited, because this thing could conceivably turn into a quilt and that's cool. Stay tuned!

June 23, 2013

from the yard

More peonies, because they are the most glorious flower.

We inherited a bunch of landscaping when we moved into this house, so I have no idea what the other three things in this bouquet are, but they're pretty.

The pink non-peony one with the super alien looking buds and darker green leaves is from a bush. The pinkish/purplish guy with the bright green leaves is also from a bush. The white wispy one grows fairly low to the ground, not on a bush. Anyone know what they are?

June 19, 2013


The peonies have started blooming in ernest here in the north. One lives on my hat, a few bunched in vases around the house, and half a dozen more pop open outside every day.

June 10, 2013

peaks island

Mom and I spent most of the day exploring Peaks Island. It's the largest in Casco Bay with about 1100 full-time residents and is accessible via ferry from downtown Portland. The trip is only about 15 minutes and runs frequently - if you ever find yourself in Maine I highly recommend spending a few hours on the island. I try to go out a couple times a year, and enjoy it immensely every time. With only a handful of shops, galleries, and restaurants it's quiet and serene - a little bit of everything you need, and nothing you don't. And, obviously, amazing views and Maine ocean breezes.

We caught the 10:45 AM boat, grabbed a coffee from the cafe by the dock, and went for a quick walk before stopping at the Inn for a bite to eat. The meal was delicious. I had a blueberry soda and we shared the crab cakes, lobster mac and cheese, and a wedge salad.

We also stopped at Richard Boyd's gallery and bought a beautiful platter, then spent the rest of the time exploring the shore and admiring everyone's gardens. When our feet had had enough we grabbed an ice cream and caught the 2:45 PM ferry back to town. The day was a little chilly and overcast, which kept the crowds down and made for some dramatic views.