December 23, 2011

merry merry!

Well folks, I'm sure for many that the festivities begin today. I know they do for us! 
On the docket for the weekend:

1. Party at work today with lots of yummies and a yankee swap with gifts from home. I hope I don't inherit someone else's crap.
2. Crochet my head off at work so I can finish a scarf for my niece.
3. Christmas with my side of the family! Two parents, two grandparents, two brothers, a sister-in-law, a lovely girlfriend, three nieces, three nephews, the husband and a pug. Brother and lovely girlfriend in California will be dearly missed. Oh and Chinese food, hallelujah.
4. Bonfire tonight at a friend's house, post family gathering.
5. Presents with parents Christmas Eve morning.
6. Grocery shopping for our Christmas Day feast for two.
7. Back home to make three of Will's gifts (yikes) and then wrap my head off. My poor head will receive quite a beating this weekend.
8. Try to relax and wait for some snow.
9. And on Christmas Day? A little of this action...


Boo ya.

I'll be taking a hiatus for a spell as we all party and make merry.
And I have a week of vacation next week! Rejoice. Thanks college :)
I'm in dire need of some extreme R&R. The perks of living far away on our distant point is that is 
allows me to justify being a shut in and I love it. The other tidbit to note is that we don't have
 internet at home, and it's actually quite great. I know, "GASP!" you're thinking. 
Most people would panic at that thought, but it's nice to unplug at home after being at a computer all day.
So on my internet fast at home, you'll be seeing less of me.

some fun for the season...

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and remember the King who was born on this day.

December 21, 2011

the wishlist

Everyone's doin' it, so why not. Here's mine. 

All things considered, I'm not after a ton. I'm very very excited that this is my first Christmas to be spent with the hub, which will be super special. We're doing our own thing this year - just us. Woohoo! Blaze the trail! Establish our own traditions! The world is our oyster! It shall be grand and minimalistic to boot. We're also dog-sitting right now, so it'll be us and the pooch. 
Heaps of fun, joy and merriment will be had by all.

But besides the obvious joy, I've also had my eye on these few things...

1. a fabulous flick | 2. smartwool striped baselayer | 3. j.crew keeper chambray shirt
4. fossil stella plated stainless steel watch; rose | 5. mountain hardware sarafin hoodie; snow

December 20, 2011

a kitchen craft

A long while ago, I posted about a random craft that I did around the homestead. 
Baldwin craft number two, comin' your way...

kitchen inspiration board

1. 12x12" black frame (yes, with a bowl of raisinets for good measure)

2. 12x12" piece of cork board

3. Hot glue a little left over wedding burlap on for style's sake. Obv.

4. And now my "10 ideas for boneless chicken breasts" clipping from Real Simple has a home.
Right beside the crock pot recipes and my husband's boutonniere. 
He thought that was a nice spot for it. I'm inspired already.

Once again, a 10-15 minute project has brought us to 
a fun and creative new level of organization. Win.

December 19, 2011

can't get enough

I seriously can't have too much Christmas music. I'm the one who would willingly start listening to it long before Thanksgiving, and you'd need to force me to shut it off sometime after New Year's. I hate saying good-bye.

I work at a college so Christmas break is nice and quiet for us - bye students! Enjoy your ridiculously long break that I covet so much. But with their absence comes a few good things for the faculty and staff.

1. better food because they're cooking for fewer people.
2. plenty of open tables (the good ones).
3. Pandora can become louder because we're all alone!

Now that I've cranked up the tunes, check out some of my favorites this year and look em' up!

What are your favorites? Am I missing any must-haves?

Enjoy & be merry.

December 16, 2011

a different kind of wilderness

I've left you on the edge of your seat long enough! My deepest apologies. Things have just been a bit nutzo since we've returned from our glamorous weekend expedition. So here's a clue as to where we were...

Mountains right in the city. 

Okay, well how about this?

More mountains... bright and sunny.
Not yet, huh?

Surely this will help:

Feliz Navidad from sunny Arizona!

Sheer awesome-ness, I know. I'm such a clever wife with a surprise cross-country venture. Will was so surprised and we had a fabulous time. Initially I wanted him just to find out at the gate, but he wanted to hear where we were going from me and not from the screen. So after making sure he was definitely ready, I handed him my half-empty bottle of Arizona tea. I got it with dinner - total coincidence. Cool, huh? He was so excited :)

We're used to the kind of wilderness with our lovely deciduous trees - not the dusty kind with my new bffs cacti [I love them] growing everywhere. They are so wonderful and the landscape is absolutely stunning. We were technically staying in Scottsdale and there were mountains everywhere. Isn't that the dream? To be living in your normal bustling city but be surrounded by mountains? I think the most amazing thing about their mountain ranges out there is that they're not covered in trees. It allows you to see everything, every feature.

We arrived late on Friday night to learn that our economy car through Enterprise was no longer available. Folks, don't let people reserve more than you have. It's just dumb. So what were we barreling around the desert in?

Oh you know. No biggie.

A 2012 Chevy Silverado. Will called it our red sled, which then became known as our toboggan.
I felt like I was in a Chevy commercial when the dust trailed up behind us. Yeah, we're that cool.

After we settled into our classy resort (thanks to my parents' timeshare swap!) we snoozed, but not enough. Thanks pesky time change. I did not take that into consideration! Even though it's only a two hour difference, it can really mess you up!

Saturday, we were major gluttons and had an enormous brunch. What Will didn't know was that we were just killing time. So we went to Starbucks, picked up some groceries, investigated a motorcycle rental.... but it's really hard to put urgency in a person when they don't see a reason. So as Will was lolly-gagging and putzing around, I know that these two were back hiding in our hotel room!

The photo is kind of shoddy because it was in our shadowy hotel room, but my brother Tony and his girlfriend Cecily drove out to visit from San Diego! It was just over 5 hours or so for them, and it was phase two of the surprise for Will. And boy was he surprised! Tony leapt out at him from behind the door and Will probably thought we were about to be mugged. It was great.

Luckily they were only waiting for us for just under an hour, but I was so on edge trying to get Will back to the hotel. Then we went swimming, did some hot-tubbing, made dinner, had wine and played Apples to Apples for hours. It was just like this summer and it was excellent.

Then on Sunday, we drove (in order) here,

and here,

and here,

to get here:

(that photo deserved to be bigger.)

Grand Canyon has been on my life list and in my daydreams for years and it was stunning. But for some reason we weren't expecting two things:

1. The amount of touristy hype (sad day)
2. And the 40 degree weather with snow. I thought we were in Arizona?! 

We did as much hiking along the South rim as I could bear. But my yoga capris, Nikes and cotton socks weren't too thrilled trudging through like 6 inches of snow.

My poor, poor extremities.

But it was gorgeous. A sight you don't see advertised much is the snowy canyon. It was gorgeous.

And on Monday, we spent some time in Phoenix before our flight took off at midnight. And it was raining. Say what? Arizona, you're not supposed to do that. Cheap shot.

Still pretty though. 

Evidently Phoenix is huge and has a massive population... it didn't seem like it while we were there, but I'll take their word for it. Maybe they all feared they would melt in the rain.

We landed back in Boston on Tuesday morning jet-lagged and groggy just before 6AM, and then I headed to work like a champ. I was so not champ-like. I was a hot mess, practically asleep at my desk.

Was it worth it for our first big vacation? You bet!


December 8, 2011

the travel bug strikes again.

Over the past 5 weeks, I have done the impossible.

My darling sweet husband is great at surprises. He surprises me all the time - big things, little things - he's so good at it and gets so much joy from surprising me. In general, I'd say that I hate surprises. I'm a planner, so I don't like being caught off guard. But since I love him and trust him and he's proven himself to be trustworthy with such things, I have grown to love surprises from him.

But this month, the surpriser has become the surprisee! That's right folks - I did the master planning this time around. And I know what you're thinking - she's the planner so no problem, right?

Well what I neglected to say is that the planner also is the one with the enormous mouth who can't keep a surprise secret to save her life.

Yep, that's me.

I can keep normal secrets (like I'm not some huge blabbermouth) but not when it's a surprise from the person I tell everything to! Come on people. He's my other half for crying out loud. It simply can't be done. I don't know how he does it all the time.

But my surprise is huge. I booked us a mystery trip! I know. Awesome Wife Award. Send it here.

I feel a little selfish because the trip is actually to a dream location of mine. So yes, it is a surprise end-of-the-semester trip for my hub, but the location is a teeny tiny bit more catered toward me. I'm sure he'll love it, but let's just say that if he surprised me with this trip, I'd basically keel over and die.

We leave tomorrow after work and will have all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday at our destination, and then return home at an ungodly hour Tuesday morning, where I will continue on to work and spend the day in a vegetative state. Hey, it's worth it to save a vacation day.

But I've researched tons of fun things that we can do on our mini vaca, and I'll let Will be the one to decide what we do. After all, it's a surprise weekend for him ;)

Can you believe that he still has no idea where we're going? Neither can I. I'm just so eager to get our travel on. We've been stagnant for far too long.

So stay tuned to see where we're headed! I'm bringing the camera and I'll be sure to tell all upon our return.

Wish me luck though - I still need to keep this secret for 30 more hours.

December 7, 2011

whirlwind weekend

Whoa, where on Earth have I been? I've been so MIA lately! This weekend was jam-packed, and last week I was on a time crunch to finish my Christmas card orders by my self-induced deadline. But they were all printed successfully and look beautiful! Thanks so much to everyone who ordered!

Do you ever have those weekends that soar by and have close to zero moments of relaxation? If we could just have one more day to recover from the madness!

Friday we...

 saw this guy at the House of Blues:

Dallas Green of "City and Colour"

He's Canadian, he's hilarious, and oh so talented. See the post I featured him on here and check out his music!

Saturday we...

- Sold my car! We're now a one car family, folks.
- Got our first Christmas tree! It's adorable and I'm seriously in love. It's perfect. Photos to follow.
- Made a wreath. I love making wreaths and having pine-sappy hands. No sarcasm. It's great.

hiiiii wreeeaath.

- Cleaned the house like mad. Pine needles everywhere.
- Baked a blueberry pie.
- Baked two batches of the world's best cookies with the help of friends. You must try these lemon cookies.


- Had a Christmas party with almost 30 friends - wowza! Big success, tons of fun.

Sunday we...

- Went to the advent service at church. Every week of advent is in total darkness with just candles. Very cool.
- Had my dad and step-mom over to see our new place!
- Went to Latitude 43 for lunch with them - used a sweet coupon. Thanks, Eversave.
- Made Ghirardelli hot cocoa with milk on the stove. Unreal.
- Played Christmas music on my guitar!
- Were woken up at 3:30AM by a little guy who had snuck into our room through a hole in our wall behind our radiator. He looked like this:

Meet the northern flying squirrel. He was cold and really wanted to snuggle with my cozy hub, evidently. Will felt him scurry on the bed from his head region own to his feet. No offense dear, but I'm so glad it wasn't on my side of the bed. He's awfully cute, but I would have like passed out. At least he wasn't doing this when I saw him:

That's a lot less endearing. The state I saw him in was far cuter. 
So then Will spent some time trying to coax him out the door - luckily our bedroom has a door that leads to an outside staircase!

We were probably back asleep - safely on our couch - around 5AM.

And with that, Monday held a sick day for me. Sometimes your body just doesn't appreciate being that busy! But that was our weekend, in a nutshell. No pun intended... squirrels... love it.

Hope your weekend was packed with fun, but relaxing as well!

November 24, 2011


I've been struggling with joy lately. Not happiness, but real deep-seeded, genuinely Jesus joy. It's not that I'm bumming around hating life, but I think that it's too easy to get discouraged by the small things. You get so discouraged by stupid insignificant things that you miss when God wants to bash you over the head with these incredible, abundant blessings. Why do we let that happen, over and over again? Humans are so dumb.

Some friends in my church small group always seem to be so in awe. Where's my awe? I want awe. I want to awe-stricken by the things God is doing - little and big. Since I came to this realization a little over a week ago, I've been trying to put these things into practice in small ways. 

Like complaining less when the people leaving our hoity-toity community basically bring their car to a complete stop when rolling over the speed bumps. Instead, you flip that around and say, "Wow. How blessed am I to live in this beautiful hoity-toity community, ritzy enough to have speed bump?" See? Magic.

So in light of this Thanksgiving day, and the fact that I've been dwelling on this joy more lately anyway, here's a list of thankfulnesses - trying to be as non cliche as possible.

the shallow list

1. Starbucks' non-fat chai with caramel drizzle: for the 9 hour drive down to Philadelphia we had yesterday, where I was all white-knuckles on the highway because the drivers were so scary. Some sweet, fast energy was what I needed in that moment and it was quite refreshing. Never fails.

2. Scrabble: for a fun way to bond with co-workers on Thanksgiving Eve - when you shouldn't be working anyway.

3. Wool socks: for cozy warm feet, even on the dreariest of days. Thanks, Smartwool.

the meaningful list

1. Family: for having multiple homes and and parents and places we could be this holiday season. We're so blessed to have so many people around that love us (and who we love too!).

2. Husband: for the goofiest, snuggliest thing that I have the pleasure of spending all of my time with. He loves me so well, and I wouldn't change a thing about the life we have together.

3. Home: for the seaside apartment that we simply don't deserve. It's so refreshing to have this amazingly beautiful place to call home. Even if it's just for six months. It'll be a six month retreat in our ocean paradise, and we're so grateful.

4. Friends: the old ones, the new ones, the near ones, the far ones, the ones you haven't talked to in a while but leave lots of voicemails for, the ones who stop by your desk unannounced, the ones you need to make more time for, the ones who moved away... I love them all.

5. Church: for a place where we're learning, growing, meeting new friends, that feels like home.

6. Job: for the stability it provides, even when I complain about it. I'm so blessed to have a place to go forty hours a week that's filled with people I actually care about.

7. Money: for a college graduate who knows her situation could look much different. Even when you feel like it's tight, we need to be reminded that we have more money that about 98% of the world. It's humbling and we need to complain about it much less, and pay a lot more attention to where it goes.

8. Grace: For God's baffling grace that has the ability to stop us dead in our tracks. Let's be open to it and let it change us.

Let's always aim for our "meaningful" lists to be much longer than our "shallow" lists.

I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. I also hope you day didn't look like this. 

Or maybe I do. That looks like fun for everyone.

Happy holiday weekend :)

November 22, 2011

a musical announcement

Dear music fans and supporters of local bands! This one is for you.

If you haven't heard of Glass America, you're missing out. 

For fans of Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Ros, you must must give a listen to the talented guys of Glass America. Their sound is so deep and moving and their songs are wonderfully intricate. You can tell that they've been working on this second album tediously for months. I actually have the pleasure of knowing them in real life, and trust me, they've been slaving over it and it's a masterpiece.

They can be light and dreamy one minute, yet strong and forceful the next. Their brilliant instrumentation keeps me on the edge of my seat, and I know you won't be disappointed. 

Their new album Fathom is officially released today! You can find it on iTunes, Amazon mp3, or at Or you can also stream it live on Spotify if that's more your style. Look them up and let me know what you think! 

November 17, 2011

in business

It's not even Thanksgiving yet but Christmas is on the brain. I didn't start it this time, I swear. 

I was asked to design a Christmas card for a friend's friend's non-profit, and that got me in the mood before mid-November. Hey, I don't hate it.

It was kind of a tricky job because I had to stifle a lot of ideas that I wanted to see come to life, so I just wrapped up that project and started designing my own cards! And yes, they're for sale and they're cheap cheap cheap. Way cheaper than any card you'd see online. Below are a few of my favorite styles.

There are 11 styles total and 3 sizes available - 5.25" square, 5x7" and 4.25x5.25". These are all samples and phrases and colors can be edited to your personal preference. All cards will be printed on recycled paper and cards can be shipped to your location.

50 cards = $27
100 cards =$53
(This includes the cost of card stock,
printing, cutting and folding. 
Envelopes not included.)

Cards don't need to be purchased in bulk. The exact amount you need can be printed, just contact me for a quote! The deadline to place an order is December 2nd.

As you can see, (and probably know by my pretty naked and simple blog) these greatly reflect my personal style preferences - modern and contemporary with delicious fonts (obv). 

Do you like them? Which one is your favorite? Support Christmas, Jesus, and the Baldwin family - order some cards ;)

November 16, 2011

super cute restyle

Everyone has an old bummy crewneck lying around, right? If not, it's probably worth it to go thrift one just to do this adorable restyle I saw on A Beautiful Mess.

Click here for the tutorial.

Just wanted to share a pretty find :) Happy Wednesday!

November 15, 2011

the new hood

As some of you know, Will and I moved about two weeks ago or so and things are awesome in our new hood. We used to live on this super congested city street that was a 90 degree hill you're lucky not to slide down, and now we live on the grounds of a swanky yacht club in the middle of no where. Win.

The other night, we were especially energized (given our fight against mono and other fatigue viruses) and we went on a night time adventure! We used to do this all the time in our dating days, and it almost always involves trespassing. We trespassed into the Manchester Boat Yard once and sat to have a lovely conversation on some rich person's yacht. We also went to a private state reservation after hours on numerous occasions to have some adventures (like this one). But this time, I think what we did was surprisingly legal.

In our new backyard lies the Eastern Point Lighthouse, seen here:

and in the water, sits this little tower:

and in between the two, lies THIS:

The monster jetty. It's so enormous. Seriously, so so long. Are jetties (drop the y and add -ies? Never seen it written like that) always this long? The thing had to be well over a mile. On our journey, we ran into many a seagull and nearly fell off the edge a total of zero times. I was a little nervous, but all was well and the surface area was about 10 feet wide. Not as precarious as I originally thought. 

The most nerve-racking thing was honestly the seagulls. They were in herds, people. HERDS. It was a living, breathing Alfred Hitchcock movie. Now, I have a fear of birds to begin with, so you know it's a bad sign when your husband says, "Sweetie, I don't mean to alarm you... but..." after he catches a glimpse of the upcoming herd from the lighthouse's rays. Yep. Roughly 75 birds chillin' for their evening sit/poop.

It was a very poopy jetty.

But the walk was so much fun and it was so quiet out there in the dark. When we got to the end, I teetered dangerously near the edge as monkey-man climbed the tower. We played for a little bit out on what felt like the ends of the earth, and then we trekked back to land. It's comical that it's about a 25 minute walk from our door, to the stone cliff in the middle of the ocean. Tons of fun.

I'm glad that our life is starting to hold adventures once again. Hopefully more to come :)

PS: best friend weekend of fun and girly nothingness was incredible. You can't go wrong when the sun wakes you up at 8:30 but you stay chatting and reading in bed until after 11. What a joy. I love my Ab.

November 11, 2011


Happy Wish Day, everyone!

November 11th... what a long anticipated day! I've already heard of so many people who chose this as their wedding day, and not gonna lie, it was one that we considered for a short stint! I'm praising God that we didn't settle on that though. First and foremost because an engagement that long would have made me self-destruct, but also because it's extremely blustery out today. Very yuck. Very... November in New England. 

But my co-workers and I were all amped about the day and celebrating at 11:11AM. We were going to dance around, make lots of noise... you know, all the things that are necessary at an arbitrary time on an arbitrary day. But lo and behold, we missed it. What a fail. It wasn't until almost 12:30 that someone said, "Oh no! We missed 11:11!" and we all mourned. And we all know that I won't last until 11:11PM, so there goes that fun. What a waste.

Know any wedding happening today? Any fun plans to celebrate this rare occasion? The hub is going away for the weekend (our longest time spent apart since being wed, by the way - sad), but my very best friend is staying with me all weekend! How could I be so blessed? We'll paint nails, drink tea, and have the ultimate girl's weekend of nothingness. I'm thrilled.

Have a fabulous weekend all! 

Here's some fun thing to peruse in your spare time.

November 10, 2011

a fabulous thing!

Two of the biggest big-leaguers have gone pro... can you go more pro than the big leagues? I didn't think you could. But they did, and they're heaps gorg.



I adore the lights and condensed lights in particular. Drool drool. "How do I get them?" she wonders.

Thanks for the tip off Quipsologies.

November 9, 2011


Today I was featured over on my friend Em's blog, Tales for Karina Marie! While Em has been blogging for a while, she recently redesigned her mission after her best friend Karina tragically passed away in a car accident in September. Now she retitled her blog and writes her entries in honor of Karina, to keep her filled in on the goings on down here. I think it's really sweet :)

She asked me to write about life as a newlywed, so check it out over here!

Hope you're having a lovely week and enjoying this Indian summer weather if you're in the northeast!

November 2, 2011

the color of fall

Here's a tribute to the most fantastic color to wear during the autumn months...

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8

1   2   3   4

It can look bold, it can look neutral - it's so versatile and I love it. I'm especially diggin' the first ModCloth dress and the world's most perfect heels. The dress is so Mad Men. 

What's your favorite color of the season?

November 1, 2011

in love with dinner

Well, not just dinner. All meals, really. But it's easy to be in love with dinner when you find a site that looks as fun and yummy as this one.

When I see things like this...
pan-seared scallops with corn bacon hash
white wine lemon chicken
pretzel chicken

...I know that I'll be going back for more. 

Check out the site here!

October 28, 2011

Happy Weekend!

What's on our weekend agenda? 

My parent's decided to do this really sweet thing where instead of one huge gift, we get one small wedding gift every month for the first year. How fun is that, right? It's like every month has a birthday, shared with someone who I think is really great :)

So this month's present involves spending more time with some old friends.
Remember these guys?

Oh yeeeah. Saw them in concert back in February (and it was incredible, read the review), and Will and I get the pleasure to see The Civil Wars tonight! He hasn't seen them live before, so I'm thrilled for him. And I'm even more thrilled for me, because I already know what we're in for. It will be amazing.

We're also meeting up with a dear friend from CT who is coming up for the show! We'll have dinner, reconnect and love on each other. Haven't seen her since she was in our wedding 4 months ago. A travesty.

And finally, we're moving once again. Yes, a big weekend for the Baldwins. It's only a ten minute move,  but we're really really looking forward to it. Why you ask? Oh, just the view from our new backyard is all...

We are blessed.

Enjoy your weekends! Any fun plans?
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