As we gear up for the 4th of July this weekend, I’ve been thinking about my summer bucket list. It’s usually full of travel plans and weekend getaways, but with this year all about being closer to home I’ve been thinking about all of the special things we can do right in our own backyard. I expanded our garden and love checking in daily on how our green beans are climbing. We’ve already had a lobster bake (get the recipe in my cookbook!), made popsicles, rode bikes to the ice cream shop, and eaten tons of al fresco dinners. The bucket list looks different this year, but it’s making me truly appreciate how lucky we are to love where we live and have this time at home together. I think it’s going to be a summer to remember! Sharing more of what I’ve been to, new recipes, reading recommendations and more below: read more

I took Jane last week to the Franklin Park Zoo for one of our first official activity outings since March, and she kept saying to me “Mom this is a REALLY fun day.” I totally agree – it was a really fun time, and it’s amazing what a tiny slice of “normal” can do for your outlook these days. Zoo New England has officially reopened both their locations with tons of health and safety measures in place, and I was so impressed with whole experience.
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My journey to “clean beauty” was not a drastic moment of change — I didn’t dump out my makeup bag one day and replace every single item at once. It looked more like a long and winding road, because to start, I never really considered myself much of a beauty person at all. Up until recently I’d had nearly the exact same makeup routine since high school, and my skincare routine was almost non-existent (more on that later). I’ve also never been into the clean-eating trends (oh boy, you can keep your kale, I looove myself a bag of Cheetos every once in a while). But here I am, sharing how I started to educate myself about what was in the beauty products I was using, began to make small changes and swaps in my makeup and skincare, and ultimately got on board with a brand I have been using since — Beautycounter. read more

As we enter week 8 of being at home, I’m starting to feel like we’re hitting our stride and finding some new routines that make this not-so-normal situation feel a little more normal. The weather is starting to feel like spring and that is helping a LOT — getting fresh air and playing in the yard was a major mood-lifter this weekend. And there have been lots of silver-linings too, like finally having time to work on big house projects (I have some great before and after posts coming soon) and tackling my stack of to-be-read books. I’m finding it’s a delicate balance of keeping busy and cutting ourselves some slack these days. I’ve got some timely updates in this week’s download with Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day on the calendar, plus lots of reading list reviews, garden plans, and some kids stuff — scroll down to read more!  read more

One of the things that has me in total awe lately is seeing how resilient and adapted small brands have been during these uncertain times. I’ve had the opportunity to partner with my friends at UpNext in the past on amazing in-person retail experiences, but since we’re all hunkered down at home right now I’m so excited that they asked me to help host their first ever virtual pop-up event with a collective of New England based brands.  read more

I woke up this morning and realized I had no idea what day of the week it was. Is it the weekend? Is it a school day? It’s all blending together. We are doing our best to maintain some level of normalcy around here, and one of the things that helps with that is keeping Jane busy. On nice days, we’ve been going for long nature walks by the beach, exploring trails, and going through our fair share of sidewalk chalk. On the cold and rainy days (ugh, there’s been a lot of those!) I’ve been trying to fill the morning with a creative project. I thought it would be helpful to share a few of the easy, toddler-friendly craft ideas that have worked for us.  read more

Whenever I get super overwhelmed, I find that writing usually helps me feel better. I’ve been writing this blog for over a decade, but long before that I used to keep hand written journals. I find it gets all of the jumbled mess out of my brain, helps me organize thoughts, clears the slate. I think it’s safe to say we’re all feeling it this week as we roll through the first handful of days of social distancing. Even if no one reads it, open a journal or a word doc, get it all out on paper — I find it really helpful. This post today is just that — a release of all.the.feelings — emptying my brain, a little writing therapy, and sharing what’s helping us stay sane. read more

Like many people, we’re looking at least a few weeks of school and activities being cancelled. I am a little stressed trying to figure out how I’m going to get work done and keep Jane occupied at home for that time. I took a deep breath after my mild panic and surveyed our closet where we store toys and craft supplies, and even dug into my “snow day” stash I was saving for snowstorms that never arrived this year. As I was wrapping my head around how to pace out these projects and activities over the next few weeks, I thought I’d share some of my ideas and favorite toys and craft supplies with the hope this list might be helpful to others in the same situation! I linked everything below with some context for how we use, play, and extend the time on each activity, and included a few of my favorite sites I use for kids activity inspiration as well.  If you have good ideas or resources for keeping kids busy during this time please share them in the comments! read more

Let’s talk self-care for a minute, shall we? I have an unreasonable, fury-filled reaction to the term “self-care.” I have long felt the term is thrown around at women and makes me feel like I have one more unreasonable expectation added to my growing to do list. Not to mention the accompanying guilt that I have about not doing it enough or not doing it right. And self-care is often presented to women in the form of rather expensive solutions. I say all of this while knowing full well that one thing I’m trying to be better at this year is: taking care of myself. Oh the irony! So when Maelove, an affordable skin-care line founded by MIT grads, reached out to me about trying their products and I jumped at the chance to try them.Maelove Skincare Line read more

It is 50 degrees and the sun is shining and we’re just a few short days away from Daylight Savings. I feel like spinning in a field of wildflowers atop a mountain like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music! Sure, we live in New England, so it could snow tomorrow, but it’s amazing what some sunshine can do for my mood so I’m eating up every little hint of spring that I can. You can find my gathering heaps of tulips at the grocery store today, and sharing all the spring things in this week’s download below!

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