Maine Lighthouses

November 28, 2016

maine lighthouses

























For my Thanksgiving break, I headed up to my home in Maine to spend the week with my parents and sister. I'm from a tiny town in midcoast Maine, and there's not much to do... So sometimes you have to get creative! This vacation's entertainment came in the form of seeking out a few hidden lighthouses tucked in little peninsulas.


maine lighthouses


























First stop: a little lighthouse by the name of Doubling Point Light. Having grown up minutes from one of Maine's most iconic lighthouses, Pemaquid Point Light, I hardly saw them as something special. Now, though, I love their stately presence, a reminder of an earlier time. They evoke a kind of nostalgia for simpler times along these rugged coasts. Nowhere is this more apparent than the quaint little lighthouse keeper residences, like this one.


maine lighthouses





















Tucked away in a woodsy neighborhood in Arrowsic, Doubling Point Light can be a bit hard to find, if not for the tiny "Lighthouse" signs tacked onto trees leading the way. All said and done, it's really not too far out of the way, especially if you're heading down to Reid State Park in Georgetown, one of Maine's most beautiful beaches. The lighthouse peeks out from the woods into the Kennebec River, so it's fairly calm and protected – not as dramatic as those cliffside oceanfront lighthouses. Between the peaceful setting and empty grounds, my mom and I felt like we had discovered a hidden gem.


maine lighthouses
















Wouldn't it be fun to go up the Maine coast stopping at lighthouses along the way? Although a bit of a detour, Marshall Point Light in Port Clyde is well worth the trip. My parents and I ventured down to the lighthouse one cloudy evening just as darkness was arriving.


midcoast maine






















Sweeping views, a holiday wreath, and lobster boats chugging into shore as we arrived – what more can you ask for? Marshall Point Light is about a 25 minute drive from the nearest town (Thomaston) down a winding peninsula – which is classic Maine. I think that midcoast Maine has managed to avoid much coastal development simply because of the tricky geography. 


marshall point light





















These tiny finger-like peninsulas deter everyone except the most persistent and hardy... which is just the way we like it. Southern Maine, you can keep your flat, sandy beaches lined with shops and houses. We'll take our rocky coves and pine-covered islands – and hidden lighthouses – any day.


maine lighthouses

Morning Person

November 21, 2016

This morning I woke up a glistening coat of snow over my neighborhood and campus! It was magical as only the first snowfall can be. (I can't believe I barely saw any snow last season since I was in Spain.) But before I fully embrace winter, I wanted to share some photos of morning moments during the last few weeks of fall.


Fall is just the prettiest season here in New England and I couldn't get enough of it this year. One of the habits I've adopted lately is waking up early and starting my day. I've been getting up at 7 every weekday morning and heading to my local coffeeshop to get work done before class. In a college town, it feels like I'm the only student up and I savor the quiet of campus early in the morning.


Also... morning light.



There's nothing like that early morning golden sunshine, especially when there were still beautiful leaves on the trees. It made getting up every morning worth it!


I think I'm officially a morning person.


What do your mornings look like?

Being Present

November 11, 2016



What a rollercoaster week. There have been crazy highs and sad lows, but it was an important week, and I find myself thinking about some lessons that I feel like the universe sent my way.

On Sunday, I met my mom in Boston to see Le Corsaire at the Boston Ballet, which was an incredible show – a little bittersweet after deciding to move on from ballet myself this year, but nonetheless I enjoyed every minute of the incredible production.

My mom had to catch the bus back up to Maine shortly after the show, but I couldn't resist a stroll around the city. I wandered into Boston Common with the – I'll admit – ultimate goal of getting pretty photos of the foliage. I snapped the one above and... my phone died. Even more frustrating is that the setting sun cast the prettiest golden light across the park as I walked back to the subway. I wanted so badly to capture it!

I've been reading a lot on the importance of being present lately, though, and this seemed like a little reminder from the universe to do just that. I've been trying to be more mindful – to walk around without music in my ears, to look out the window of the bus rather than down at my phone. My phone dying forced me to walk through the park and enjoy the moment without taking out my camera and trying to document it all.



On Monday, I had the incredible opportunity to see President Barack Obama speak at my university.

It was amazing. The energy was electric and inspiring. President Obama is an incredible speaker and just commanded the room. I, of course, had to document this once-in-a-lifetime event with my phone. At one point, though, Obama had just finished a part of his speech to a round of applause, and he turned in the direction where I was standing, looked directly at me and the two people next to me as we energetically waved and smiled... and gave us an undeniable thumbs up. What?! It was hands down one of the coolest moments of my life.

And guess what? I didn't have my phone out... And I'm so glad I didn't. I'm glad that I didn't experience that through the screen of my phone. Instead, I was fully present, and it was magical.



Obama's speech was motivational and inspiring, and I excitedly voted for the first time on Tuesday. The energy on my college campus (in political hotbed/swing state New Hampshire, nonetheless) was electric. It was great to see so many fellow students getting excited about voting and passionate about the issues. Unfortunately, the result wasn't what I, or many of my peers, had hoped for.

I won't go into that too much, because most of what I feel has already been said. But, despite the negative result, I have a strangely positive outlook. I feel that this may represent a chance for a strong, grassroots movement for us younger generations and those who feel their voices weren't heard to campaign for something bigger than a presidential candidate – real change in this country. I, strangely enough, felt a lot of hope after not getting the outcome I wanted. Because it motivated me more than ever to get involved, and I can only hope other people felt that too.

So instead of thinking about the past, or even concerning ourselves too much with the future, let's look around and see what we can do now, in the present. I'm starting to think that doing just that – focusing on the present – might be the key.

Asheville Photo Diary

November 10, 2016



A couple weeks ago I flew down south for the weekend to Asheville, North Carolina for my cousin's wedding! It was great to get my travel fix and explore a new place (and the 70º weather wasn't bad either)!





Asheville was such a quirky city. We had fun exploring the little shops, seeing the street art, and trying the delicious restaurants.





Here were some of my favorite places we checked out:
  • Voodoo Donuts fun doughnut flavors and good coffee 
  • Duncan and York pretty paper goods 
  • Shady Grove plant store with plenty of pretty greenery and a courtyard in the back 
  • River Arts District brightly painted wall art and artisan vendors 
  • Tupelo Honey Café Southern comfort food and hospitality at its finest 
  • Hole Donuts and Coffee classic fritter style donuts fried-to-order 

Side note: If you're a craft beer lover, Asheville would be the place to be! There are so many breweries around.









It was so nice to catch up with family from far and wide that came for the wedding!



Obsessed with this dress!

Have you ever been to Asheville?

Reflections on Studying Abroad

November 1, 2016



Whether a late coffee keeps me up at night or a stressful week puts me in a not-so-great mood, my mind always seems to wander to the streets of Granada – the city I called home for four months, the neighborhoods I came to know like the back of my hand, the routines I developed, the life that I lived, the person I became. In the 4 months since leaving Spain, it's become increasingly apparent to me just how big of a role studying abroad played in my life.

It's no exaggeration that studying abroad truly changes your life. I grew immensely more confident while in Spain, overcoming nagging habits of self-doubt and insecurity. I can't place why – maybe it was the mature friendships I formed through bonding over this incredible experience, maybe it was the independence and initiative I felt booking my own plane tickets and hopping to different countries with no one else in charge... I get the feeling, though, that it was simply the day-to-day. As I weaved through the dense city blocks on my way to and from school, or as I spent a Saturday exploring and wandering on my own, I began to care less and less about what people were thinking of me. It was an empowering realization.



This realization gives you the freedom to be who you are, to wear what you want, to walk into stores where you know you're going to bungle your way through the language, to sit alone in a park reading just because you feel like it. Because you're just one person in a world of billions. This realization I had in Granada allowed me to become this confident self that I feel slipping from my daily life a little as the days go on, but I think it's still in there.



I sometimes remind myself to channel that confident version of myself, who took risks and plunged headfirst into things I never would have thought I could. My life now, with its monotonous routines of school, work, and studying, is definitely not as exciting as my time abroad. I talk to my friends that I went abroad with about this a lot and we all seem to have reached the same consensus that life back here in the States just isn't as exciting after you've had such an adventurous, whirlwind season of your life. I'm trying to make the best of it and I'm trying to plan ahead for future adventures.

In light of that, I'm headed to the Dominican Republic this January to take a two-week international marketing course with my school – hopefully I'll get my adventure fix for at least a little while!

Anyone else who studied abroad experiencing the same thing?

College Apartment Bedroom Tour

October 27, 2016

college apartment bedroom




























I moved into an apartment in June and have been slowly putting my bedroom together since then. I wanted to incorporate all of the special pieces I found while abroad and while still having a defined style to the room. Filling the room was a fun process and now it truly feels like my unique space! I'm excited to share it today...

soft american blanket co
A cozy, comfortable bed was key for me. I think this turned out pretty similar to how I envisioned it! I have to say that the best part of my bed is this cozy, soft blanket that American Made Blanket Co. kindly sent to me.

palm print pillows
I reach for this Luster Loft Fleece Throw all the time – it's probably the softest blanket I've ever felt and it has a great thickness and weight to it so it really feels high quality.

college blog bedroom tour
Gray is my go-to accent color in decor, so I love their pretty light gray shade that I know will come in use again and again. I also love that it's American-made in Fall River, Massachusetts!

Sources:


how to style shelves
I liked the idea of doing shelves above my bed because they can be easily restyled so I'll never get tired of it. They also are good ways to showcase some of my favorite pieces, like the beautiful tile I picked up in Lisbon.

styled shelves


One of my favorite things in my room is this simple custom print with the coordinates of my favorite spot in Granada, the city where I studied abroad.



gallery wall inspiration






















This gallery wall was such a big undertaking but I'm so happy with the way it turned out! It holds some of my favorite mementos from studying abroad – a print of a place in Granada I found at an art fair, a sketch of Lisbon that caught my eye, a print of Positano that a local gave me, and of course all my photos from travels around Spain, Italy, Morocco, and Portugal.

gallery wall
I printed out all my photos and collected frames as I went. It took a few different rearrangements of the photos to find a layout that I really liked and that filled up the space well.

desk
Now onto my desk! The first piece that I bought for my room was actually this globe. I knew I wanted the space to reflect all my travels so the globe was the perfect starting point.

desk details



desk


I'm not the best at doing work at my desk – I work better in a library or coffeeshop with minimal distractions. But when I do decide to sit at my desk, I have to be comfortable and have a cozy blanket on hand.

And that's it! I'm really pleased with how the space turned out. I especially love all of the pieces collected from my travels so that I can be surrounded by reminders of some of my favorite memories every day!


Weekend Reading

October 21, 2016




























Thank goodness for weeks that fly by quickly! I'm excited for another weekend of fall fun. Here are some things that caught me eye this week...


1. A friend recommended I try Thrive Market to get health food and organic products for less. Their prices are unbeatable!
{ via Thrive Market }

2. Love seeing a blog feature one of my favorite towns in Maine – Camden!
{ via Prosecco and Plaid }

3. These photos of Mallorca are making me add it to the very top of my bucket list... So beautiful!
{ via The Belle Abroad }

4. Love this uplifting story on an adventurous 91 year-old who went skydiving.
{ via Portland Press Herald }

5. Next time I go back to Spain, I really want to road trip around to some of the picturesque smaller towns like the ones on this list.
{ via The Everygirl }


Have a great weekend!

October Weekends

October 17, 2016
























October is quickly becoming one of my favorite months of the year. The foliage is in full swing and the temperatures are cooling down but still bearable. I find myself wanting the month to last longer so I can experience this beautiful time of year in all of my favorite places – the White Mountains, Boston, New York...

I've spent the first two months soaking up the season back in my hometown in Maine and my current area in New Hampshire, so I can't complain!

Here's what my October weekends have been looking like...
























Apple picking in Maine

I invited my college friends up to my hometown for the first time. We stayed in the prettiest little cottage on the bay and filled our days with cozy fall activities like apple picking and checking out the local pumpkin festival.















Driving along back roads with a view




















Hiking through the New Hampshire woods

My friend and I spent Saturday morning hiking up Mount Piper in the Lakes region.

















Foliage-filled views from a weekend hike

Discovering new spots in my little town


















Full disclosure: I didn't know this pretty little riverside park in the town that I live in existed until I saw it on Instagram... so of course I had to go check it out. Safe to say I will be back!



Wandering around Portsmouth

What have your October weekends looked like?

10 Things About Me

October 11, 2016





























I always enjoy blogs that have a little bit of a personal feel to them, where you feel like you get to know the blogger through their posts. I'm a little shy (in person and online!) but I figured I'd share a couple things about myself today. So here goes!

1. I attend the University of New Hampshire and my major is Communication with a concentration in Business. I'm minoring in Spanish and spent last semester studying in Granada, Spain – best four months of my life!

2. I was a ballet dancer for almost ten years but recently decided to move on. It was a sad decision because it's been such a part of my life, but I'm looking forward to having more time to dedicate to other things I love like yoga and Pilates.

3. I work in social media at my university, which is a great experience because it's a field I can see myself in one day.

4. I'm very family-oriented and love hanging out with my parents and sister. My sister is my best friend!

5. My all-time favorite TV show is Gilmore Girls – who doesn't love that show?! So excited for the revival.




















6. I can't decide if my favorite season is summer or fall. During those sunny, warm months I swore I was a summer person but now I can't deny the magic of fall!

7. I became a coffee drinker in Spain (even though I swore I never would be!). My go-to is an almond milk latte and my guilty pleasure is super sweet, flavored iced coffee... But nothing can beat Spanish café con leche.

8. My friends always trust me to get places because I love to explore, never mind driving, and always look at maps so I know where I'm going!

9. I would happily spend an entire day by myself – sometimes I prefer being alone!

10. I love to hike and my favorite person to hike with is my dad. We hiked the tallest mountain in Maine (and the end of the Appalachian Trail), Mount Katahdin, the summer before I went to college and we explored the White Mountains this summer.

Now... tell me about yourself!

Photos by Raya on Assignment.

New England Road Trips

October 6, 2016




























I love road trips – my ideal weekend would be spent driving a couple of hours to a new little town and exploring the coffeeshops, stores, and neighborhoods. I happen to think New England is the ideal region for road trips, because there is so much you can reach within just a few hours. Whether you're looking to spend a weekend in the city or the country, the coast or the mountains, New England has it!



I went on a lot of little trips this summer around the region, hitting a lot of new destinations and revisiting old favorites. I wish I had more free time this season to road trip, because I would love to see the beautiful fall foliage all around New England! Here are some of my favorite towns to explore for a weekend...

1. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

portsmouth new hampshire road trip


I live minutes from Portsmouth and it's one of my favorite little cities. There is so much to do (and so much good food!) and I think it would make the perfect weekend jaunt.

Grab a coffee at... La Maison Navarre, a French café and bistro, has the best almond milk latte I've had anywhere, and the place itself feels like a trip to Europe.

Don't miss... eclectic international food at Street, the waterfront Prescott Park (especially the garden), downtown shops like Gus & Ruby, LIT Boutique, and Pickwick's

Hidden gems... Portsmouth's historic South End neighborhood is well worth a wander, Portsmouth Farmers' Market in City Hall parking lot (if your visit coincides with these times)

2. Camden, Maine

camden maine


Camden is my favorite town in Maine, and I'm from Maine, so you should take my advice that it's the place to visit! It embodies everything good about coastal Maine while retaining its authenticity.

Grab a coffee at... The one thing Camden lacks is a great coffee shop, so I recommend grabbing some on your way up the coast at Treats in Wiscasset, which is about 40 minutes south of Camden.

Don't miss... the picturesque harbor-front park, an easy lunch with a view from Camden Deli, incredible water views from the top of Mount Battie (an easy hike or drive up), Camden's artsy sister town Rockland (better restaurants!)

Hidden gems... surrounding lighthouses like Rockland Breakwater Light or Owls Head Light, a great hike with incredible views called Maiden's Cliff

3. Marblehead, Massachusetts

marblehead massachusetts recommendations




















I went to Marblehead for the first time this summer and it quickly established itself as one of my favorite New England towns. It's so charming and beautiful and I can't wait to go back soon.

Grab a coffee at... we stopped for a refreshing iced tea at Haley's Marketplace. I would love to go back and try Shubies and Atomic Cafe.

Don't miss... fresh seafood from The Landing, the winding streets through charming historic neighborhoods

Hidden gems... a local recommended that we walk up to Fort Sewall for amazing views and it did not disappoint

4. White Mountains, New Hampshire

white mountains new hampshire



























My weekend in the White Mountains with my dad this summer was one of my favorite trips. It's like time passes more slowly up there and there's nothing like a serene weekend in nature. I'm hoping to make it back up there to catch some foliage.

Grab a coffee at... Frontside Coffee Roasters in downtown North Conway, White Mountain Cider Co. in Glen (don't miss the fresh cider donuts warm from the oven)

Don't miss... a not-too-challenging hike to the stunning Arethusa Falls (and you can continue along the trail to Frankenstein Cliff for panoramic views), a stay or a stop at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, conquering one of the White Mountains 4000-footers (next on my list!)

Hidden gems... Ripley Falls is a less popular waterfall than Arethusa Falls but even more stunning, in my opinion (and you can climb to the top of the waterfall!)

5. Portland, Maine

portland maine recommendations




















I grew up just an hour north of Portland but set my mind to really exploring it for a day this summer. There is a lot to see and eat here, so it's definitely a road trip-worthy spot.

Grab a coffee at... Bard Coffee in the Old Port (delicious coffee and a fun interior)

Don't miss... the best donuts from The Holy Donut, lobster rolls from J's Oyster, pizza from Otto, the iconic Portland Head Light (which is technically in Cape Elizabeth, a short drive away)

Hidden gems... drive over to South Portland for a less popular but equally pretty lighthouse called Bug Light (or Portland Breakwater Light), pop into the public garden behind the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House for a quiet moment

What are your favorite road trip destinations?

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