Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

My Husband loves decorating for Halloween . . . 

Our Decorations the Night They Went Up
Photo Curtesy of Mr. H.

The Creepy Glowing Pumpkin in the WIndow

A Master Artist at Work

Inspiration and the Finished Product
A Boo Jack O' Lantern

The Pumpkins on the Front Steps

The Decorations in the Day Light

I will be Senator Carol Moseley Braun for Halloween!

One days when I have to work, I generally wear a suit and dress a little older than usual and say I'm a notable African-American lawyer. When I was a student attorney, and had to appear in Court on Halloween, I "dressed up" as Condoleezza Rice for Halloween. Next year I think I'll be the First Lady.

Last year, I busted out my poodle skirt again (I bought it for my senior year of high school--the last time I went trick or treating) and I've repeated it at least twice since. I will put it on to hand out candy tonight.

I saved all the seeds from the pumpkins and I'll be roasting them using this recipe many thanks to the Merry Wife for suggesting boiling the seeds before roasting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Junior League

I'm really excited because I joined the Junior League here! I went to two meet and greets for potential new members and I had a wonderful time. At the meet and greets everyone was friendly and not in an overwhelming kind of way (I am shy so sometimes friendly people scare me) and I saw more Lilly in one place than I had ever seen in Maine before.

After the two meet and greets, I joined the League. Our first new member meeting was in September but the first really exciting event for new members was last weekend--Super Saturday. We went on a tour of the town and learned about all the things the League had started and helped with. Then we had lunch together and had a toast.

Red Cupping It
at the First New
Member Meeting

This past week, I went to a Girl's Night Out event at Alex and Ani and it was wonderful. I felt really awkward going in so after a semi failed attempt a small talk, I made it my mission to find a Christmas present for someone!

A Gift for my Mom
Tangerine Watercolor Beaded Bangle
Whimsical, Viviacious, and Free
Intial E Charm Bangle
Personal, Timeless, Distinctive

After settling on a gift for my Mom, her favorite color and letter. Then I settled into a group of other new members and I got a little something for myself. I had a good time chatting and I'm looking forward to the general member meeting coming up! Hopefully there will be some other new members there.

I part of the reason I joined was because I feel a bit lonely here in Maine sometimes. Most of my high school friends and family are back in Illinois. Our college friends moved away. I never really clicked with the people in my class at law school and it's been a struggle to stay in touch with them since lawyers are so busy. I hang out with Ben's friends all the time but they're the people he grew up with and they are really close and sometimes I'd like to have my own friends to hang out with.

So, I joined to make friends and push myself out of my comfort zone. I hope to make friends working on projects and I hope to learn how to be more organized and grown up. I also miss being involved and volunteering. Law school was so overwhelming that I just stopped. I miss doing things to help out in the world.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throw Back Thursday! Freshman Year!

This weekend I went through the files on my computer and I found a bunch of missing pictures from college! Today, I got an email reminding me that my five year reunion is coming up this spring (and asking for money)! My how time flies.

Here are some memories from Freshman year . . .

At some point I had a Toga party by myself?

I entered the beard growning contest.

I took this first ever picture of my husband.
The Blue Berry Spice Cake in the dinning hall was my
absolute favorite. We had it for desert at our wedding.

I had a layover in O'Hare when I went to Hawai'i for Winter Break.
My friends came and brunched with me at O'Hare.

Christmas Day on Maui.

I took Foundations of Studio Art

At the end of the school year I went to Greece
with my Mom, Grandma, and Stepgrandfather

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Green Bean Casserole

It's getting to be that time of year when I want warm comfort foods. If I weren't currently on a super clean eating cleanse where I was avoiding dairy and gluten, I would want this for dinner.

I made up this casserole recipe last year by combining my two favorite casseroles--tuna noodle casserole with chicken instead of tuna and green bean casserole. The tuna noodle casserole is a family recipe. I found a recipe for a chicken an bean casserole at Taste of Home. I hope you enjoy!

Green Bean, Chicken, and Cheddar Cheese Casserole with Yummy Crunch French Fried Onions on Top

Serves 6 to 8, 35 minutes to Prepare and Cook

  • 3 cups frozen green beans (french cut or regular), cooked and drained
  • 1/2 of a 12 ounce bag of Yolk Free Egg Noodles
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 6 tablespoons butter (or 1/4 and 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil)
  • 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth (or 1-1/2 cups water and 2 teaspoons better than bullion)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 25 cranks of the pepper mill's worth of black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup (or more) French Fried Onions

Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F. Cook the green beans and the noodles according to the directions. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth and cook for two minutes. Gradually add broth, milk, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Add green beans, chicken, and noodles to the mixture and stir well. Pour the mixture into a 2.75 quart casserole dish. Cover the mixture with the cup of shredded cheese. Put the casserole in the oven for 10 to 13 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the french fried onions on top. Return the casserole to the oven for five minuets. Remove and eat.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

So Excited . . . for a Cleanse?

Wish me luck! I ordered the Advocare 10 Day Herbal Cleanse last Wednesday. It was delivered last Saturday and I will start the cleanse today!

I'm really excited to give this a try. I've been feeling down about my body lately and doing something makes me feel better. I stopped exercising in August and September was so stressful. I started playing Wii Fit again on Monday in preparation for the cleanse and I am almost looking forward to avoiding added sugar for the next ten days.

Yesterday I measured out single serving sizes of unsalted cashews and sunflower seeds. I hard boiled a whole lot of eggs and I made my own carrot sticks. I'll be eating extra clean for the next ten days and I'll let you know how it went for me after it's over.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Other Places to Find Me on the Internet

Follow my blog with Bloglovin - I just linked myself up with this tonight so if you use Bloglovin to keep up with your favorite blogs, now you can keep up with me there.

Follow me on Twitter - I'm still trying to figure out how to use Twitter and I'm looking for more interesting people to follow. If you want me to follow you on Twitter leave your handle in the comments or follow me and I'll likely follow you back. Or please comment and let me know how I should be using Twitter.

Follow my Tumblr - I tumble the best of my Instagram photos (I like keeping my Instagram relatively private) and I sometimes post things that are too short for the blog and too long for twitter. I'm looking for recommendations of who I can follow on Tumblr too!

Like me on Facebook - If you don't like twitter, my twitter posts end up as status updates on Facebook.

See my Pins - I've started using Pinterest.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's in my Purse?

I carry these things pretty much everywhere.

This is my wristlet From Left to Right: 
  • Epi-Pen
  • Albuterol Inhaler
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Chapstick
  • Big Pill Container with Antihistamines and Tylenol
  • Card Case with Drivers License
  • Cash, and Credit/Debit Cards
  • Pen
  • Not Pictured: My iPhone.

I really resent having to carry an epi-pen around. I haven't needed it since the incident that resulted in its prescription. It's so bulky. I am constantly on the hunt for a stylish wallet that will hold my epi-pen, my inhaler, and my phone. Since I haven't found one yet, I just toss everything in a extra large wristlet. I am so sad that Coach stopped making this style.

My Anything I Might Need Kit

I carry this make up bag full of things with me every time I'm out for the day. It comes with me to work and it goes with me if I'll be out running errants for the day.

It has:

  • Crystalized ginger for upset stomach
  • More Chapstick because there's nothing worse than running out of Chapstick
  • Allegra (I take it in the mornings at 8 a.m. and my Xyxal, my other antihistamine, at night. I am a special person who needs to take two allergy meds a day!)
  • Hand Sanitizer (sometimes I like it in my wristlet and sometimes I carry it in my emergency kit, it depends on how small the wristlet is)
  • Hand Lotion because dry hands are the worse
  • Powder Sunscreen so that I don't get a tan line on my nose from my sunglasses
  • Exzema Creme because sometimes my skin hates me
  • More Tylenol
  • Eye Glasses Cleaner and Microfiber Cleaning Cloth because smudges on glasses are the worse
  • Lipstick (x2)
  • Eye Drops for my Contact Lenses in a pinch if your contact falls out at work you can use these to rinse them off before putting them back in
  • Mini Glass Nail File
  • Finger Nail Clippers that end up being useful for more than just cutting nails
  • Compact Mirror
  • Tums
  • Kleenex
  • Stain Remover
  • So many bandaids in various sizes
  • Blotting Linens that I almost never end up using
  • Not Pictured: Feminine Hygiene Items in case I get surprised
  • Not Pictured and Maybe Missing: A Spare Earring Back

Things I Carry With Me When I Have Space

I almost always have my sunglasses with me. I cannot stand bright blinding sunlight, which by that I mean any sunlight.

When I carry my big tote to work I usually carry some or all of these with me:

  • My water bottle
  • A coin Purse
  • A card holder that has rewards cards in it (like the Beauty Insider Card for Sephora)
  • An umbrella which sometimes lives in my car and sometimes lives in my tote bag
  • My eBook Reader that I bring with me when I know I might have to wait someplace for a while
  • Earphones and a USB cord for my phone in a little Lilly Pulitzer case
  • A business card holder with work and personal business cards, my grandma gave it to me for graduation and I had it embossed with eHa, Esq.
  • My camera in a case
Things I used to carry around or am thinking about carrying around:
  • I think I should start brining a koozie with me wherever I go since I hate holding cold drinks. I had one in my purse this weekend.
  • A spare pair of glasses, contact lens case, and contact lens solution in case I have an eye emergency while out and about and I need to drive to the eye doctor. I am really nearsighted and I cannot drive or see my computer screen without corrective lenses.
  • A back up pair of earrings in case I forget to wear some out the door.
  • Spare pantyhose (although I keep these in a drawer at work and work is the only place I wear them so maybe I'm covered.)
  • An actual charger for my phone, not just a usb cord.

This is my favorite purse: The Coach Court Bag.
It is so easy to carry because I can hold it in
my hand or wear it like a cross body. It matches
my boat shoes and it holds everything I need
for an afternoon out and about.

I find this set up helps me switch purses easily since I keep all my small items in bags and can move those between purses easily. I also like just grabbing my wristlet and going into a store if I'm making a quick stop for coffee and doughnuts or running into Target or the grocery store on my way home.

Do you have a similar set up where you carry around an "emergency kit"? Do you find it useful? What do you have in it? What do you usually carry around in your purse/backpack/tote bag? I love hearing about how different people do things and learning knew ways of doing things.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Time

While I've already had my Pumpkin Spice Latte (and I remembered that I didn't like them that much). It's clearly fall here in Vacationland so Mr. Handsome and I went to get our pumpkins.

When looking for a pumpkin. I only have one thought in mind. How many seeds does it have inside? I don't care so much for carving pumpkins. I like having one and I love roasting pumpkin seeds. But pumpkin guts are messy, I am afraid of sharp knives, and the pumpkin guts irritate my skin.

Mr. H taking our pumpkins to the register.

We went to Rocky Ridge Orchard in Bowdoin. They have apple picking, a farm store, and pumpkins! All of the pumpkins were so big! I was happy an impressed. But that made it hard to pick out a pumpkin because they were all so nice looking. I ended up getting a scraggly looking one with green stripes and Mr. H found a great round orange one. (I forgot to take pictures of them but I will post them once carved along with photos of our halloween decorations.)

They also have a Halloween area set up where they have a bunch of creepy decorations to take pictures with. We walked through and saw a small child who was very happy about a giant rubber spider. The spider looked almost as big as the kid.


We went into the store/bakery to wait for apple cider doughnuts (they usually also have pumpkin molasses and chocolate doughnuts too). It was a busy day so we had to wait for a while. But it was worth the wait because we got half a dozen fresh hot doughnuts.

We already had apples at home so we didn't go
apple picking or pick any up from the store.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
I do not have a recipe for roasting pumpkin (and squash seeds) but you could use this recipe from as a start. I usually flavor the seeds with season salt, pepper, and maybe garlic powder. I also usually use olive oil instead of melted butter. Do you roast pumpkin seeds? How do you do it?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Save the Moms!

So October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One fall during my junior year of college, my parents called me. My mom had breast cancer. She's been okay for long enough now that the chance for reoccurrence is pretty low. But now October is different for me now since it's impossible not to forget especially when I see things like this:

via Instagram
I concealed the user who shared this on purpose.

"Saving the Tatas" and "I [heart] boobies" things are my least favorite part of this time of year. My first thought when I see these slogans is that the people who made them up only care about my mom's breasts, my breasts, anyone's breasts! But not about the people themselves. I know that can't be right so I assume that most of the people who have things like this care about women and do not want people to die of breast cancer and just like saying risqué things. But, it still makes me feel uncomfortable because it does seem like the focus of this type of awareness is just on the sexualized nature of breasts.

I'm 27 and no longer breast feed so I could care less about my mom's breasts. But I care about my mom. My mom is a whole wonderful person and she would be still be my wonderful mom even if she had a double mastectomy and didn't have reconstructive surgery (this is not necessarily what happened to my mom). She would not be able to be my mom if she had died of cancer. So maybe another part of what distresses me is that these slogans obscure the real stakes when it comes to detecting breast cancer. It's not about about one part of your body--it's your whole life.

via Instagram
For some reason I found this one particularly galling.

I also am incredibly suspicious of corporations who seem to use Awareness to simply to promote their products. I don't really ascribe any motive to large corporations other than increasing profits. For example, I don't think companies that sell yogurt really care they just want me to buy their yogurt so they say they'll give some non-profit 10 ¢ for every cup of yogurt sold.

I am looking at you Lilly Pulitzer!
(I may end up buying this murfee but
that will be because I like the print.)

While, I don't ascribe the same motive to smaller companies that are run by one or a few people. It is still so odd to see people trying to get me to buy pink things to so that the company selling them can share profits with the American Cancer Society or the Komen Foundation or some other non-profit that is related to breast cancer. I would prefer to give my money directly to the non-profit organizations that help people with breast cancer or that raise awarness.

I'm sorry that I've been so cynical today. Like I said, I imagine that most people who want to "save the tatas" are genuine in their attempts to raise awareness about breast cancer and to raise money for research. It just rubs me the wrong way. And, I know different people react differently to different things so saying "lets save the tatas" might be comfortingly humorous to someone in circumstances similar to mine. I just needed to vent. Thank you for reading.

Update: I found this article on "Pinkwashing" at Sociological Images, the Lisa Wade does a much better job of explaining how this practice is sometimes problematic and she's found a couple of really egregious examples of pink washing.

Post Coming!

Due to technical difficulties (iPhoto not letting me edit) and me still being exhausted from the Red Sox's late game on Tuesday. Thursday's post will go up this evening after I get back from work. 

Until then, here's a doughnut:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cathance River Preserve

It is fall! I could see the leaves turning from the highway on my way to work and I wanted to see them up close over the weekend. So me and Mr. Handsome went to the Cathance River Preserve and went for a long walk. I learned about it because I found a new site that will tell you where all the trails in Maine are!

I wanted to see the rapids and to get there we had to cross this very worn out looking bridge. I think I prefer the colors at the beginning of fall when there's an equal amount of green to balance the reds, oranges, and yellows and almost no brown.

Some Rapids

The leaves in the preserve were still mostly green however!

From the Top of the Falls

I regret only taking pictures with my iPhone. But I had my phone handy through the whole hike because the Preserve had it's own app that could tell you where you were on the trails! Even though the trails were well marked and the blazes were clear it was handy to have to settle disputes between me and my other half.

The still river was a mirror.

On our way out.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eating Healthy

Yesterday one of my coworkers asked me where to go to get lunch. I bring leftovers almost everyday so I don't know why he asked me (I suppose I was just there). Then he said he'd want something healthy. And said he should go to the sandwich place near by. He looked at me oddly like I had said something crazy. But then I asked what he meant by that because I remember a conversation I overheard a year or two ago in in law school . . .

I was checking my email, waiting for class to begin, and eavesdropping on two men in my class. (I like eavesdropping) One was a tall, incredibly lanky guy who looked like a classic New Englander and the other was a husky frat guy from the upper midwest. And I found this conversation fascinating to over hear because I could not imagine that either of them cared about healthy food but that's what they were talking about.

They were talking about cashews (or maybe pistachios) I think and they said they weren't healthy. In my head I thought they were crazy since nuts are totally healthy, much more so than soda, oreos, or low-fat Doritos. They agreed on nuts cashews (or pistachios) being unhealthy and said it was because they had too many calories. I was thinking "no duh" that's the point of nuts they have all the nutrition needed for a little seed to start growing. But high calorie doesn't mean unhealthy. (While I am not a fan of rampant weight gain in myself.* I do not think high calorie food are unhealthy.)

Bacon is healthy!
By the why, Walker Bros

I guess I would call myself a member of the Michael Pollan school of thought regarding healthy food--traditional foods are healthy (regardless of calorie count) and mass produced industrial foods (like low fat salad dressing) are not. If you're interested in this concept I would read Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto I read it in college and I finished it before returning it to the library.

To illustrate! To me these things are healthy: homemade fruit pies; butter, bread, fruit, vegetables, cheese, olives, avocados, bacon, ham, crispy chicken skin, &c. I think these things are unhealthy: oreos, margarine, sandwich bread from the store (one of my favorite things about college was that I could have white bread and margarine at every meal), Doritos, Diet Coke, low-fat almost anything, &c.

On some of the other blogs I read, the bloggers talk about clean eating and I believe that most of them understand it to mean something very similar to what I've described thought it seems like they always choose lower fat options than I would. I'm at a healthy body weight right now and otherwise living a high stress life so I need to have joy where I can find it--like on the outside of a roasted chicken.

I do avoid certain delicious food that are generally healthy because of my specific health concerns. (I have alluded to this in my recipes where I say butter or olive oil.) I have high cholesterol (just the bad kind) and I do not want to take medication for it since I take so much for my allergies and asthma so I avoid butter and other high cholesterol foods.  But, just because its bad for me, I don't think it's bad for everyone. And, fat itself isn't bad since you need some to insulate your neurons and held absorb vitamins.

I'm interested to hear why you guys think of as being "healthy!" It had never occurred to me that there was such a range of opinion about this before a year or so ago.

*Mr. Handsome must be the skinniest man alive and I try so hard to get him to gain some weight to no avail. I feel like Mr. and Mrs. Jack Sprat when we're out in public together.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September OOTDs

At the Beach!
#vineyardvines #lillypulitzer #colby #llbean

On My Birthday! In Vineyard Vines
#lillypulitzer #lacoste #coach

At Work
#lillypulitzer #jonesnewjork #llbean #jackrogers

After Work
#talbots #lacoste

Mixing Patterns

A Mint and Navy Work Day
#jcrew #lacoste #vaneli

At Work
#lillypulitzer #jcrew #jackrogers

After Giving a Presentation for Work
#talbots #katespade

After Court with Co-Counsel Mr. Crusher the Giant, Esq.
#macys #brooksbrothers
September was a busy month. So I did not take as many OOTD shots as I would like to have had. Thus, this post isn't the best of the best, it's just what I have decent pictures of. I really love looking at other's OOTDs so I hope you like this post too!