stars, stripes, + changes


Wow, how is it already the 4th of July?! (A phrase I find myself saying about practically every holiday throughout the year.) Growing up, we did all the classic hometown community events on the 4th from the parade to picnic to fireworks. Every year my Mom made us walk miles to said events in our hometown, which my sisters and I were never quite fond of considering it was always somehow stifling hot and humid as heck. As teens, we took advantage of our newfound freedom and snuck away to Starbucks before the parade started each year to grab ourselves some mochalicious concoction. You had to have something to keep you cool while sitting in the burning sun and watching creepy clowns prance down the road. 

As much as my teenage self despised the typical 4th of July family activities, I 100% miss them now! This year, Tim and I are on our own in Maine and are considering strawberry picking, a trip to the coast/beach, and whatever fireworks we can find come dusk. I'm excited to share that come next week, there are going to be some BIG changes to this blog that I've kept mostly secret until now. Stay tuned + have yourself the best holiday!


quarter century


I struggle to recall a point in my life when I haven’t wanted to be older than what I was. Maybe a better way to phrase it is that I’ve always desired to feel mature. Perhaps it’s less about my actual age than about wanting to feel like an adult and all that entails (self-confidence, freedom, stability, etc…) Don’t get me wrong. I value youth. In fact, there are sporadic days when I feel a ting of pain and longing for youth. I spend a great deal of time in my life thinking about the future, but sometimes I’m reminded how wonderful my past, my youth, has been. And that fine line between hanging on to youth and accepting full adulthood has been lingering in my head the past few months.

This internal battle to decide where on the line I currently fall has absolutely manifested itself into several areas of my life. One year ago, right before I was married, I remember going through a phase of shopping at Forever 21 when I wanted to purchase cheap clothes on trend for the summer, which is highly out of character for me! I knew it was me holding onto one last bit of adolescence before tying the knot. This year, I’ve found myself struggling to decide where to buy clothes. In my opinion, there aren’t many stores with styles and price points that scream “this is for you, 25 year-olds!” Shopping is just one area of many where I’ve found myself debating where I stand.

And then there’s our town. This place is gorgeous. There are beautiful New England homes and estates scattered throughout. We live one block from the Kennebec River where Adirondack chairs line the shore for peaceful meditation. Antique shops populate the main street, as though to personally welcome aging tourists to stop and browse. (I should note that despite these things, there is an energy here… a culture of live music and full bars at night. It’s great!) But all that said, it is here I find myself giving into adulthood. Taking morning walks to the river, adoring the landscaping choices homeowners have opted for, and reading quietly at the local coffee shop where tables of women 50+ catch up on the weekly gossip.

This mid-century age is conflicting, but I’m starting to feel that shift inside that people claim they start to feel in their mid to upper 20s. I am starting to feel more sure than ever about the type of person I want to be in life. I feel deep concern for others and think about ways I can be an asset to people. I’m extremely in-tune to what I put inside my body and how many glasses of water I’ve consumed in a day. In my younger years, these things may have made me wince and dread the day when all this would be what I cared most about, but it’s almost as if accepting adulthood has given me a fresh, almost youthful energy. Funny how that works.

Sometimes, there’s nothing more to this blog than a girl who’s just figuring out life as it unfolds. There’s nothing really fancy or shimmering about it, but that’s just the way I like it.


homemade florentine pizza


File this one under: our favorite dinner. My husband happens to be a pizza monger. Do you know about pizza mongers? A pizza monger is quite different than a pizza snob. A pizza snob is choosey about pizza. He/she will only dine on the creme de la creme! A pizza monger does not discriminate. These are the people that will not hesitate to eat several frozen pizzas per week for dinner. (Tim, looking at you.) If no one intervenes, they will start eating it for every meal. It's also quite dangerous to be married to a pizza monger, on account of the fact that frozen pizza smells so much better than it tastes. You will be tempted beyond what you can bear.

How do you stop pizza mongers in their tracks? Homemade pizza, you guys. I've experimented during our entire first year of marriage to find a favorite dough/toppings combination. The pictures you see above are showcasing our very favorite of them all - a simple no-rise whole wheat dough with a "Florentine" mix of toppings! This pizza is hardly greasy, which we love, because we don't feel guilty for indulging on a Saturday night. 

To make this pizza, use this recipe for dough, and sub 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 of the cups of all-purpose flour. (You can experiment with different amounts, too!). Once the dough is rolled out, use the topping combinations as described in this recipe. My only adjustment: On top of the first layer of cheese and spinach, I drizzle olive oil throughout the pizza. It is the perfect touch to an already-delicious dinner!

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