Weekend Reading

July 31, 2015

This week we've had family visiting, so it's been busy, but fun! We've spent a lot of time at the lake in addition to some other fun things... On Wednesday night we went to Portland to see The Decemberists in concert.

And on Thursday evening we were back in the Portland area to kayak around Casco Bay. It was supposed to be a sunset paddle but it was cloudy... still pretty though.

It started to downpour and thunderstorm in the last 15 minutes or so of our paddle but we still made it!

Some links I liked this week...

1. I love these phone cases from Lemon Stripes' collaboration with Minnie and Emma.
{ via Minnie and Emma }

2. Bookmarking this brunch guide for my next trip to the New York.
{ via Refinery29 }

3. Love Mallory's new blog design... I love following along on her amazing Arizona adventures.
{ via Mallory at the Plaza }

4. I've updated my Maine travel guide with some new finds.
{ via charlottebharris.com }

Lake Life

July 29, 2015

The region I live in is great, because I have access to lakes, rivers, bays, and the ocean in a matter of minutes. Whenever we have family come to town, like we have this week, we really take advantage of our beautiful region. My aunt, uncle, and cousin Maddie are visiting these week and have rented a lakefront cottage for the week.

I'm an ocean girl but there is definitely something to be said for tranquil evenings or sunny days spent by the lake. I've come to appreciate lakes a lot more as I get older. Here are some photos of our lakeside fun over the past few days...

Love this old boat on the property, painted a picturesque mint color.

I've been meaning to try paddleboarding forever and I finally got to! I really enjoyed it...

...even though I fell in once or twice!

My sister Kinsey, cousin Maddie, and me canoeing. I've been canoeing since I was little and have just started to appreciate/enjoy it.

Pretty views as we canoed around the lake casting the fishing pole.

Beautiful days on the lake are what summer is all about.

Rhode Island Recap

July 27, 2015

My mom and I spent a few days in Rhode Island at the end of last week. My family and I explore all around New England but haven't spent much time in Rhode Island, and I knew the quaint coastal towns would be especially pretty in the summer. We thought it would be a fun mother-daughter getaway!

Some photos from our trip...

Our first stop was Barrington, a beautiful coastal town with boat-filled harbors and rows of pretty neighborhoods.

We had so much fun walking along the water and driving through the neighborhoods.

We had to stop for Del's, a classic Rhode Island treat -- frozen lemonade.

We came across this cute mint brick house across the river in Warren, then continued onto Bristol. Bristol has a quaint downtown right along the water. After walking around and having dinner, we watched a gorgeous sunset from Colt State Park.

The next day we headed to Narragansett, a pretty beach town. We were lucky to have beautiful blue skies again!

Narragansett was lively but not overly crowded. We didn't encounter any traffic throughout the trip despite the various events happening (Narragansett was having a Blessing of the Fleet and Newport was having their annual folk music fest).

The area reminded me of Martha's Vineyard, especially with the beachy vibe and expansive ocean views.

We had lunch at the Coast Guard House, which I can't recommend enough. The views are incredible -- we sat outside and were literally right next to the ocean, with views of the beach to the left and the endless horizon to the right. My mom and I split a lobster roll and fish tacos which were both amazing. The lobster roll was the best I've ever had... and I'm from Maine so that's saying something!

We actually got to meet up with my roommate Lea for a little bit which was a lot of fun!

Next we headed to Newport for the cliff walk. Unfortunately the clouds had rolled in and it rained a little, but it was still beautiful.

The walk winds between the lawns of the amazing Newport mansions and the ocean, so the views are pretty incredible. We didn't have time to tour the mansions, but I've toured the Rockefellers' former summer estate The Breakers (pictured) before and I definitely would recommend doing so.

We walked around Newport for a bit but by that point were tired and the weather wasn't so great. I wish I had had more time to fully "do" Newport -- walk fully through the streets, go into stores, check out neighborhoods, and walk along the docks... I left feeling kind of under impressed by the downtown (felt it was kind of cheesy), but I have a feeling I would have loved the side streets and waterfront.

On our way back from Newport, my mom and I made a quick detour to drive through Jamestown, a more residential waterfront town across the bridge from Newport. The homes were gorgeous, and if it hadn't been pouring rain, I would've wanted to see Beavertail Light! We made it back in time for golden hour views from our hotel in downtown Providence.

On Saturday we woke up and went to brunch at The Grange, a vegetarian place recommended by my friend Caroline who goes to Brown.

Caramel-pretzel french toast, maple seitan "sausage", and a mango kale smoothie... So good.

We strolled around the beautiful leafy Brown campus and the surrounding streets, which are lined with beautiful historic homes.

Then we headed home!

I seriously loved Rhode Island... I feel like it's way underrated. The towns were quaint, the views were amazing, and the people were so friendly. Plus, it was way less crowded than Cape Cod or even some places in Maine. My mom and I both noted a distinctly different feel (in landscapes, architecture, etc...) from Northern New England. It was such a fun three-day excursion!

Weekend Reading

July 24, 2015

Happy Friday! My mom and I drove down to Rhode Island yesterday and I'm having so much fun exploring with her. We're seeking out quaint coastal towns and pretty neighborhoods all around the state. Today's agenda includes Newport, which I haven't been to in years. I'll share more on our quick trip next week.

I spent the first part of the week working, but with views like these it's hard to complain...

My cousin Madison and my uncle and aunt are coming this Sunday and I'm so excited! It's always a highlight of the summer when family comes to visit.

Some links of the week...

1. Celebrities coming together for a powerful video message.
{ via Upworthy }

2. This 2 day plant-based meal plan looks so doable and delicious! At the very least I'm trying out this green smoothie recipe.
{ via Oh She Glows }

3. A sweet piece in the New York Times following the love story of an elderly New York City couple.
{ via NY Times }

4. I'm trying to drink a gallon of water a day and the app Waterlogger has kept me on track! Highly recommend downloading it for tracking any hydration goals you have.
{ via App Store }

5.  I'm usually more of a Spotify person but I've been trying to find new songs and Pandora's Indie Pop station is perfection.
{ via Pandora }

Day in Portland

July 21, 2015

On Saturday, my family and I headed down to Portland for the day. Portland is Maine's biggest city and it's always fun to walk around, do some shopping, and go out to eat.

It was an overcast day but the vibrant hydrangeas blooming brightened the mood...

We ran some errands and had a delicious dinner at David's 388 in South Portland. I always want to try the best restaurants so my family put me in charge of where to eat dinner and I picked the place with the best reviews. It did not disappoint! I had a sea scallop entree with risotto that I'm still thinking about...

We went over to Spring Point Ledge Light for an after-dinner walk. This is kind of a hidden gem of a lighthouse, as it's actually situated behind the campus of a community college. It's not a traditional "pretty" lighthouse but I kind of like the utilitarian design of it. 

We walked around the lighthouse and took in the foggy views. There are actually two old military forts in the area. Civil War-era Fort Gorges is on an island opposite the lighthouse and early nineteenth-century Fort Preble is on the land behind the jetty. It's not every day you come across two historic forts on a casual walk! You can also see the iconic and much more well-known Portland Head Light from the jetty.

Exploring and spending time with family was a great way to spend my day off.

Easy Healthy Snacks

July 15, 2015

I'm not one of those people who is fine with just three meals a day... I always find myself needing a snack at various times of day. I try to reach for a healthy option, and I've developed several favorites lately. These are my go-to easy healthy snack picks...

Celery and Peanut Butter You might've had this as a kid, and it's still just as good and satisfying of a snack. Go for a minimally-processed, organic peanut butter (make sure to check the ingredients for no added sugar or unnecessary additives).

Green Apple Slices I love the tangy sweetness of green apples. It's always fun to do a twist on simple snacks, so I love slicing my apples into "chips" rather than wedges.

Popcorn A bowl of plain popcorn (either air-popped at home with olive oil and salt or a store-bought kind with few ingredients like Skinnypop) makes a perfect guilt-free snack.

Sugar Snap Peas Sugar snap peas have a delicious fresh taste and a satisfying crunch and they're super easy to grab in a hurry.

Chips and Salsa Opt for multigrain tortilla chips and all-natural salsa with no added sugar (it's in everything these days!) for the healthiest possible version of this classic combination.

Avocado Toast A recent favorite of mine, this such a filling snack or breakfast. I try to use the healthiest bread (Ezekiel sprouted-wheat bread has no added sugar and more nutrients) and add toppings like chia seeds to increase the nutritional value of this snack even more.

What do you have for a healthy snack?

Exploring Western Maine

July 13, 2015

I live on the coast, so I rarely make it out to Western Maine. I love the ocean, but the mountains, lakes, and rivers of the western counties are just as beautiful.

At the beginning of the summer I was researching day trips around Maine and read about Angel Falls. Hidden away in the woods of rural western Maine is a spectacular 90-foot waterfall. I knew I had to make a visit...

My dad and I love to go on road trips and hikes together. Since his birthday was last Friday, I decided Saturday would be the perfect day to do some exploring. We got up early and started driving westward. Western Maine is sparsely populated so we drove through lots of tiny towns and farmlands.

A few miles from Angel Falls is Coos Canyon in Byron, a series of small rapids over smooth rocks.

We had beautiful blue skies and warm weather that day!

We spent a few minutes here and then continued on. After a series of obscure turn-offs and dusty roads, we parked in the woods and hiked for a few minutes...

...before coming upon the falls! No picture could do Angel Falls justice. I really felt like I was in a lush rainforest. The water cascades over 90 feet down the rocks.

Dad and I climbed over the rocks and walked through the mist spraying from the falls.

After Angel Falls, we continued on to Rangeley, a beautiful area with two sprawling lakes surrounded by mountains. Before coming to Rangeley center, we pulled off the side of the road to see the views of Lake Mooselookmeguntic at the Height of Land lookout.

My dad and I had been thinking of hiking Bald Mountain, and once we saw it from the lookout, we knew we should do it. We knew the views would be incredible!

The hike up the mountain was a good workout and we were not disappointed by the views! I couldn't capture it in one photo, but there was amazing 360 degree views... We could see Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Rangeley Lake, and all of the surrounding mountains! I love the endless shades of pure blue and green.

We walked around and grabbed a snack at the small lakeside downtown of Rangeley and then decided to take the slightly longer, scenic route home. This allowed us to stop at Smalls Falls on our way home.

Smalls Falls has several waterfalls, from small rapids to moderately sized falls. None are as big as Angel Falls, and it's slightly more developed in that there are fences and rustic firepits. It's much more accessible, so I think it provides a different kind of experience than the raw magic of Angel Falls, although it's still very cool.

It was such an amazing day of beautiful views and incredible sights!

I've updated my Maine guide with these great Western Maine spots.

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