Summer Bliss

June 14, 2018

This past week has been a complete whirlwind - with me leaving my full time job combined with back to back weekend trips to the New Kennebunkport Festival last weekend and Charleston, SC (literally in route as I type) this weekend, to new blog partnerships and photoshoots (that I can't wait to share with you), not to mention teaching 4-5 spin classes per week - I can barely keep it all straight. 

And as I look at my calendar I honestly don't see an end in sight; we've got house guests arriving at the end of the month for 2 weeks, the 4th of July, the husbands birthday, my birthday, a trip up to our family lake house and at least one weekend getaway each month through the end of the year. 

It's slightly overwhelming, but mostly just exciting. And I have to say having the opportunity to do these things, and experience these places hasn't come without a whole lot of hard work from both the husband and I. But it's paying off and I truly feel that sometimes you have to close one door for other doors to open.

In my particular case these past few weeks so many new doors have opened - it's just a matter of choosing which one (or ones) are right for me to enter. 

I will say though - one door I won't make the same mistake as I did last summer in opening is the one where I work too much and miss important life moments - like summers in Maine which as we all know are entirely too short!

So this year, in between all the craziness listed above, you will find me on the beach, a long run or on our backyard patio soaking up as much sunshine (and champagne) as possible with my boys...and actually taking a moment, or two, to linger. 

Which is exactly what we did last weekend in Kennebunkport at their food and wine festival enjoying wine tastings, shopping and an amazing private sit down dinner at an ocean front barn. That combined with an afternoon boat ride with friends and a wonderful backyard party at new friend's beautiful home and it was utter perfection.

I promise to recap the entire festival and our second stay at the Yachtsman Hotel next week when we get back from Charleston.

Until then - enjoy your Thursday and weekend. 

If you'd like to see what we're up to in Charleston make sure to follow along on Insta.

 

xo - margaret

I once read that people who do things and go to places that they know they enjoy will, in the long run, be happier than those who are constantly trying new things and seeking new places. Now I do not recall where I read that, or if it's even statistically supported for that matter, but when I read it I 120% related. 

I am that person who finds a 'favorite' restaurant, hotel, shop, coffee, shirt...and it becomes my go to "I am too tired to think" "I'm starving" "I want the outfit to just fit" place, food or thing that I know is tried and true. I find comfort in this because I know what to expect and I know that I am pretty much guaranteed a good experience. Which says a lot - especially when life gets crazy, and busy and unpredictable (which is most of the time lately). 

My husband however is the complete opposite. He's "Mr. Lets Go Someplace New" - and he is always down for anything. Literally, this man would go anywhere, eat anything and do pretty much anything once. And then if he didn't like it he'd chalk it up to 'experience' - where as I would be pissed that I wasted my time and money on something I didn't enjoy. 

Opposites atract right? 

That and a patient husband who doesn't mind if our date nights when we aren't traveling are often on repeat...

So, now that you've got the back story you will understand where I am going when I say that not only did I try a new restaurant - I tried a new restaurant that serves a type of food I typically do not like (or should I say does not like me and upsets my uber sensitive stomach). And I have to admit the above theory, in this particular case mind you, was absolutely false because I loved every single sip, bite and piece of ambiance of the new spot we tried. 

The place is called Baharat, a middle-eastern restaurant, located in the West Bayside neighborhood of Portland (a neighborhood that btw has quickly become uber hip with shops and restaurants popping up what seems like every month).

Funny enough, Baharat used to be a food truck and they would often park in front of our old condo up on the Eastern Promenade and it was perfect because just outside of our front door we would have a row of food trucks almost every weekend and the husband could get his "new food" needs met trying new food trucks each week and I could stick with my food truck staple I knew was good. 

Quite honestly, the reason the restaurant even made it onto our agenda is because our friends invited us to dinner there and I didn't want to be the difficult one, so I agreed to go (fully expecting to be eating a grilled cheese or cereal later that night). However, as soon as we arrived all expectations went out the window. 

The space alone had me sold; it's light & bright with floor to ceiling garage door style windows that roll up when the weather is nice, the colors are inviting and vibrant and the place was packed. We were able to snag some seats at the bar to wait for our friends and were nearly instantly greeted by their friendly bar staff and welcomed for our "first time" in. I quickly found a rose that looked delish and the husband found the Terra Incognita (a tequila cocktail) and after my first few sips (and smells from the kitchen) all fears/concerns/dislikes of new places disappeared. 

Since our friends had been before they knew just what to order, and by that I mean just about everything on the starter menu including:

Hummus & Flatbread
Baba Ganoush
Turmeric Cauliflower
Deviled Eggs
Falafel Balls (these are life changing - you must try them)

For dinner I went with a safe choice of the Chicken Kebab Plate - and I have to say it was absolutely amazing. Just the perfect amount of spices and flavoring and the meat pretty much fell off the skewers. So much more than I could have expected and I certainly was not left hungry OR with a stomach ache later that night.

Honestly, the only thing I was left with was a desire to go back...which we have done, many times.

Does that surprise you given the intro information?

Seriously though, if you are traveling to Portland, ME or live in the area you MUST visit Baharat. 

And if you go - I suggest getting there early and grabbing a seat at the bar, especially when the weather is nice and you can enjoy the sunshine and breeze coming through. It's a little slice of heaven.

Also...although this top is sold out I just saw that it's now in stock in a few different colors and styles here and here.

Happy shopping!

 

xo - margaret

Dive In

June 8, 2018

 Sometimes in life you have to take risks...you have to jump knowing that there may not be anything to break your fall. 

And for me, a cautious Type A planner, that is a very scary thought.

...

However, what I have come to learn as I have gotten older is that if I always hold myself back, and take the safe route, I never allow things that scare me to enter my path. 

And it's these scary things that have brought me some of the best changes in my life...

Graduating High School Early & Moving Away at Barely 18.

Marriage.

Home Buying.

Moving Across the Country.

Starting this Blog.

The list goes on...and all of these things were items that were a bit scary to me - that were huge life changes that all ended up being such wonderful experiences that have continued to bring me so much joy.

Change.

Such a small word - with so much meaning - and truly for me the scariest part about doing new things. I hate change. I like order and routine and knowing the outcome.

...

I know, I know...it's Friday, so why am I going into such a deep conversation?

Today's post should be about FRIYAY & Cheers right? 

Don't worry, that's coming;)

But first, I'd like to be a little more real, a little less surface and share some heart to heart with you guys.

I mean heck...if you are taking time out of your day to read this post then the least I can do is level with you.

So...

here it is...

I no longer have a day job.

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Yup, you read that correctly, officially unemployed, and feeling pretty damn empowered by it. 

Now, that's not to say that I am not working - because I always have projects brewing on the side - but from a full time, Monday - Friday perspective, my life is about to drastically change. 

And to be honest with you, which if you know me I always am, it was a long overdue and a much needed change. 

That being said, there is still a part of me that is a little terrified and asking myself "what's next" - "what will you do instead" - "what if you don't find something new..." but I really think that's just what I need. 

I need to be asking myself what's next for me, what do I want to and what's best for the people who are closest to me.

And I honestly can't remember the last time I asked those questions and liked, or was remotely excited, about the answers or even had the ability or freedom to act on them.

Which is not a great place to be professionally or personally.

So, today marks the day of a new chapter, of new adventures and a new perspective on life that I plan to hold near and dear and not let go of again. 

It's a pretty exciting, mixed with a bit of terrified - hide under your covers, feeling, but one that I am fully embracing and looking forward to moving forward with.

Now, there will still be moments where I am sure I will freak out, but thankfully I have an incredible support system who has already given me words of encouragement and helped me get out of my worried headspace.

Especially my amazing husband who literally was celebrating for me before I could even fully process what happened - and telling me how awesome this was. 

I hope you'll continue on this journey with me - and I welcome any advice you might have on starting fresh.

 

xo - margaret

 

 

Photos by the ever so talented: Courtney Elizabeth

 

 

 

Floral + Stripes

June 5, 2018

You are witnessing something today on the blog that I never thought would happen. 

I am wearing floral + stripes. 

I know...

it's shocking.

Honestly, I didn't think it would work, and have openly expressed my dislike of mixing patterns for years BUT this is such a small splash of stripes with the floral that I thought I would give it a go.

And you know what?

I actually like it, like a lot. As in I might even repeat this trend on a larger scale and try out some other mixing of patterns.

Don't expect anything too crazy - I mean, I am still pretty traditional in my style rules, but I have been trying to push myself to do new things so I can add mixing patterns to the list. 

If you haven't noticed yet - I am mildly obsessed with these shoes.

They literally go with everything - like they can't look bad. Its actually a little odd how versatile they are - and they've been perfect for our recent travels because they are also surprisingly comfortable. 

*note...no, this is not my scooter...but huge props to the person who parked it here because it was the perfect prop.

 

Cheers to serendipitous moments.

 

xo - margaret

 

all photos courtesy of: Courtney Elizabeth