Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Sponsors!

Check out some of the loveliest ladies this side of the interwebs!


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hola! i'm arinn. i'm a florist by day and crafter by night. my shop, dove grey dawn, showcases my mad passion for sewing delightful little pins and framed felt pieces. i've rolled around the west like a tumbleweed and found myself in raincity dreamland (vancouver). surrounded by my chosen family, i live with two funny orange cats. i love long, late dinner parties, riding my bike, drinking tea, acquiring tattoos, dim sum, and slinking around art shows. follow my blog to see new designs and little snaps of my life.

Arinn is offering a 15% coupon with the code lovestays!

Blog // Shop


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Deanna Ogle is a writer and web designer from the greater Detroit area where she works at a small software firm. A few of her favorite things are carnations, hair dye, peanut butter, and bluegrass. When she is not working she can usually be found curled up with her husband watching movies. She is published in the anthology "The Age of Conversation 2: Why Don't They Get It?" by Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan and has had articles featured in Provoketive Magazine.



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hello there, i'm kate and i blog over at let's go. i'm from a little town in rural virginia, and i live with a menagerie of a dog, cat, two fish, and a bird. i blog about my travels, things i love, and things you might love!



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My name is Justine and I'm a photographer who sees the beauty in the unplanned. I mostly photograph weddings but I just love photographing people in general -- engagements, maternity, new babies, family portraits, senior portraits, boudoir, you name it. I'm based in Maine but I travel regularly (and gladly!) all over New England, and am available for destination weddings all over the world! Get in touch! :)

Website // Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Flickr


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Hello, I am Lisa and I am the force behind My Creative Fields. A recent Maine resident who is still trying to adjust to the snowy weather after living in sunny California for many years. I hope you come visit me as I talk about my crochet creations, being a member of a local crafty community that is predominately senior citizens, beer coninoisseuring and my many life adventures.


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Hi! I'm Deanna and a 27 year old stay at home mom of two wild little boys. I like big earrings and even bigger sunglasses. And I collect gnomes. (I have 187.) While my days are filled with building tents and changing dirty diapers, my nights are busy with crafting, baking and blogging. I'm a vagabond at heart, and a daydreamer throughout my soul. If you have an appreciation for sarcasm and witty humor, be sure to stop by and say hello. Just try it. You'll like it.



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My name is Danielle, my guy's name is Wil and we're getting married on November 11th-my birthday. We dance salsa. We laugh at nothing. We eat (a lot). We have tons of fun, go on lots of adventures, take a billion pictures and share them all on Danfredo Rivera.



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All you need to know about my blog is in this list: bulldogs, photography, tattoos, jokes, kitties, fun, blogging, other stuff and epic Things I Love Thursday posts. Come say hi!


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Hi To Make Love Stay readers! My name is Ryan and I blog over at This Must Be the Place. I am a dreamer, lover and {freelance} artist. I'm engaged to my best friend and we live by the sea. This must be the place is where I share my thoughts, inspirations, recipes, artwork, photography and everything else in between. I love red wine, real books, travel, space, color theory, instrumental music, film and Florida. Life is a journey and I enjoy documenting {almost} all of it!



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I'm Ashley, owner of the shop and blog After Nine To Five. My blog shows my journey through life with self-employment, photography, crafts, and food. It's a whole lot of quirky mixed in with some humor and occasional seriousness. During September, October, and November I'm celebrating my one year of being an entrepreneur, one year of having a blog, and six months of marriage so be sure to stop by to check out the giveaways, tutorials, guest posts, and product launches!

Blog // Shop // Twitter // Facebook


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Hi, I'm Sheena! I'm attempting to balance the homelife with boy tot and hubby with a growing collection of digital projects. I'm a lover of vintage pyrex, natural cosmetics, big bags, the island life, and the peace ☮ sign.

Sophistishe is my personal journey to find zen in being human. Using my passion for photography, I often share a mix of family stories and random, quirky, introverted thoughts of mine. I hope you stop by and say hello! =)


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I'm Liz from Yellow Finch Designs Blog and I'm a stay at home mom to three amazing children. I love food, wine, pictures, words, art, running and my family and I talk about these interests over on my blog. Make sure to stop and say hello.

Everything in Liz's jewelry shop but is 50% off AND items in her vintage shop are 35% off with code autumnsale!

 Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Jewelry Shop // Vintage Shop


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Lindy spends her days exploring the small coastal community where she lives with her family in downeast Maine. It's a constant amazement to her that she is surrounded by so much natural beauty. She loves knitting, sewing, and craftiness. She has a tendency to neglect household chores and the state of her kitchen is sometimes atrocious. Her blog is the space she uses to reflect on the simple pleasures in her life.

Blog // Shop

What I Honestly Wore Wednesday

Yep, it's that time again folks: the moment in the week where you get to feel superior about your fashion choices!

Without further ado, here is what I am quite honestly wearing today. I'm only going to subject you to one picture.

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You see, today is sick day at the CaiRob (Roblin? Crob?) house.  Rob skipped classes this morning--though admittedly this could be more due to laziness than sickness--and I could hardly roll my ass out of bed at all.  I'm up, though, and this is what I look like.

Is there anything better than wearing bulky, shapeless sweatshirts when you're sick and cold?  I think not.

Also, I've had those sweatpants since I was maybe a sophomore in high school.  Notice the "Aeropostale" label? Yeah, I was pretty hip and brand-aware back then so...

Don't forget to visit Maryam to see her awesomely honest outfit and to link up.

Also, wanted to thank you guys for your comments on my last post...it's nice to be myself and still be accepted. You're all amazing!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Equality

I tend to shy away from controversial topics on my blog, mostly because I'm a huge coward that can hardly deal with confrontation in real life, let alone the anonymous confrontation that is so common on the internet.

But marriage equality is something that is extremely important to me, and something that I simply cannot stand being silent on.  I understand that this post may offend some and may even cost me followers, but frankly, if you're willing to cut me off because of my beliefs we probably weren't meant to be friends anyway.

Earlier this week Danielle posted this video, which I had seen a few times on Facebook:


If you have as slow an internet connection as mine, let me sum it up: gay people are the same as straight people and should be allowed to marry.

I grew up in a county that can be as small minded as it is sparsely populated.  Our high school was semi-private and as a result was often openly Christian in much of its dealings.  In past years, students were often shoved into lockers and endlessly harassed for not dressing femininely or, in the case of young men, dressing too femininely.  The school administration in the past has taken the position of, "boys will be boys," and has essentially done nothing to protect its student body.  In the recent gay marriage referendum, the entire county voted against marriage equality as did many of the rural areas in Maine.

My country should not be a place where this is expected to happen.

I know the majority of people against gay marriage cite religious reasons.  Our Constitution defends religious people from discrimination based on beliefs, which is as it should be.  Simply put, anyone in the United States of America can hate gay people--or any other people--all day long and twice on Sundays if so desired.  On the same token, no church should be required to marry any two people--gay or straight--that it does not wish to marry.  Rob and I did not protest the Catholic Church to allow us to marry (since neither of us are confirmed or church-goers) and gay people are no different.  Indeed, I'm sure many religious people and corresponding churches would hate my husband and I as secular humanists and that is their right, just as it is my right to hate anybody I want so long as it doesn't cause injury or harm.  Religious freedom is part of our nation's foundation.

It is only when those churches or other entities seek to inhibit the rights of homosexuals legally that this becomes an issue of pure bigotry.  There is simply no other excuse to deny rights of people whose actions in no way affect anyone else but themselves.  In my vast experience, I have yet to hear a single sound, logical, secular argument for why two consenting adults who love one another should not have the ability to legally marry.

In fact, it is my belief that the rights of the minority should never be voted on by the majority; indeed, nowhere in the history of the US or any other country have such initiatives to vote against civil rights been on the right side of history.  Interracial marriage, which did not actually become legal until 1967 and only then because of a Supreme Court ruling, would not have passed the voting process until the late 1990s.  Interestingly, many of the arguments used against interracial marriage at the time are indistinguishable from those used against homosexual marriage today.  It is unconscionable that here, in 2011, these arguments still hold water in the legislative process.  I am reminded of a quote: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding on what to have for dinner."

One of my least favorite arguments against gay marriage (and I hate all of them passionately) is the idea that "traditional" marriage has always been a man and a woman, and that marriage has always been a religious institution.  The fact is, marriage has served a variety of purposes throughout history.  Marriage actually predates recorded history and the Abrahamaic religions, as it served primarily to maintain property agreements and treaties. Even in the early days of the Old Testament, laws regarding marriage were wildly different than they are today (for example, a man whose brother dies must marry his sister-in-law; if a man rapes a woman they must marry, etc.). Indeed, our idea of marrying for love is relatively speaking somewhat recent, and the definition of marriage across cultures has changed constantly based on the views of the day.  If marriage were truly only a religious institution, my marriage to my husband would be considered less valid in the eyes of the law than a marriage that took place in a church, yet as far as I know I receive the same legal benefits of marriage as any other couple, religious or secular. Removing "man" and "woman" from the verbiage and replacing it with "person" changes nothing, nor does it violate any other marriage between two consenting adults.

This post is perhaps too verbose for its own good, so let me summarize by saying that gay marriage is not an issue of differing opinions or of "agreements to disagree."  Plain and simple, these are human rights we are talking about and should be treated as such.  Nowhere in our Constitution does it allow for someone to be discriminated against on religious or any other grounds and that should apply to all people.  No one will stop you from hating or not tolerating another human being in your own private life, but never should that hatred or intolerance be used to discriminate or deny anyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

To conclude I will say that having attended a few same-sex wedding ceremonies in my time, I--and I imagine anyone else in attendance--would be hard-pressed to find any differences between the mile-wide grin, glistening eyes and nervous jitters of those people and my own on my bona fide, legal, secular, heterosexual wedding day.

Some Misconceptions You Might Have

Sometimes I look around our apartment and realize that someone walking into the house might have some misconceptions about us.  I can't say that these misconceptions would be totally unfounded because, let's face it, we can be kind of misleading.

Below are some of the things in our house that might give you pause or make you think we are either far better or far worse than we actually are.  For your convenience I've included the most probable misconception and the actual truth of the matter.

1. Our liquor collection placed on one of our major countertops.

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What it says about us: We are raging alcoholics.

The truth: My husband is a raging alcoholic. 
We don't have space in our liquor cabinet for it all.
Rob wanted to make Long Islands for Veteran's Day and they require a lot of different types of booze. We're too lazy to put them away.
You know what, never mind.


2. Empty bottles on another major countertop.

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What it says about us: We genuinely care about recycling and we really like Yankee Candles.

The truth: Our shed is almost literally bursting with empty bottles and cans that we have yet to take to the redemption center.  That's right, in Maine we can make money off our recyclables and it's still not enough to get us to drive them the 3 miles to the redemption center and we really like Yankee Candles.


3. Layers upon layers of shower drawings.

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What it says about us: We're free-spirited hipsters who feel the need to create art wherever and whenever it comes to us.

The truth: We have the collective sense of humor and taste of 5-year-olds and we're too lazy to clean off a layer of drawings, and instead just draw other inane crap on top of the old stuff.

Lord help us when we finally decide to have children.

What does your house say about you?

Don't forget to enter my Funk Off! giveaway!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Every So Often...

...through the stress and the negative thoughts, all of a sudden I'll get a quick flash of happy awesomeness.  All of a sudden I'll just up and realize how lucky I am and how amazing my life is, and the anxiety and dread dissipate, even if for only a brief second.

As vomit-inducing as it is, it's preferable to the maelstrom I usually have going on in my mind at any given moment.

Some things that have given me pause and reminded me how little I have to complain about:

//Making cheesecake from scratch for a friend's birthday with my husband...and having it come out perfectly.

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Anyone wanna come over?

//Finally being able to justify drinking hot cocoa with a wee bit of peppermint schnapps.

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(See the schnapps?)

//Making the perfect Christmas cards on Zazzle.  I know I already bought the matryoshka cards, but these were just too good to pass up.  Seriously, you guys.  They will earn their own post once I get them and send them out, they are that good.

//Hearing my husband say, "I'm not going to do homework tonight. You know why?! I just want one night this week to sit and hang out with my wife, just the two of us."

//The fact that I have food in my refrigerator, money in my bank account, potable water in my faucet, kerosene in my heater and a roof over my head.  

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful start to your week.  Only three more weeks until...Christmas week...so four weeks I guess.  Damn.

Giveaway: Funk Off! Soap and Lotion

If you remember, when I was in Arizona I met up with Michelle and Chad a few times for dinner and had an absolute blast.  I had read Michelle's blog for a few months and I was so excited to meet her, Chad, and their lovely little beastie Bodhi.  They really are lovely people (and doggy) and I hope that we will meet again soon when Rob and I (hopefully) move to the Southwest (more on that hopefully later!).

Michelle and Chad run their own Etsy shop, Funk Off!, that makes all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free soaps, lotions, body sprays, lip balms, and tattoo creams.  They were kind enough to let me try some of their items so I could review them here, and then offer a giveaway to my amazing readers!

Here are the items I received from them (thank you so much, guys!) and my thoughts!

The Reviews!

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1. Soap Samples: I got two little boxes with four soap samples each.  First of all, the scents are to die for.  My favorite scent was probably sap moss bonsai hemp, but I loved all of them.  One thing that amazed me was how quickly and easily they lathered up (weird sentence).  I have an issue with soaps and having to use a ton of it to get a sufficient amount of lather, but this was absolutely not an issue with these.  I loved them!

2. Body Spray (Lavender Vanilla).  I'm not usually much of a body spray/perfume fan on account of a very sensitive nose, but I loved this lavender vanilla scent.  I tried this out one day and it wasn't as overbearing as many body sprays I've tried, which is always a plus in my book!  The scent was subtle and lovely.

3. Body Wash (Bodhi Roots and Moon Goddess).  These were some of my favorite products to try.  Both scents are amazing, lovely and warm (I suck at describing scents, can you tell?) without being too feminine.  Rob liked both scents as well, which is yet another plus!  I will reiterate how impressed I was  with how easily they lather - the packaging said that a little goes a long way and it was right.  See that Moon Goddess bottle on the right? I've been using that since I was in Arizona and it's still going!

4. Ink Balm Tattoo Lotion.  If you go to Chad and Michelle's shop you will see rave reviews for their ink balm and boy, are they right!  One of my tattoos was relatively new when I was in Arizona and it was cracking like mad because of the dry air.  The Funk Off balm moisturized my tattoo better than the expensive Aveeno stuff I bought before coming to Arizona.  This was one of my favorite products!

5. Lip Balm (Zen and Tranquility).  Once again, the scents are amazing.  I used this lip balm in Arizona and it definitely helped keep my lips moisturized in the dry air, and gave my lips a nice gloss.  While I did love them, I think I do need a little bit more moisture in my lip balm because I am terrible with my lips (I pick them constantly).  I have and continue to use them in conjunction with my normal chapstick!

As you can see, Chad and Michelle make some pretty awesome stuff.

The Giveaway!

Chad and Michelle are giving away a soap and a lotion of the winner's choice from their Etsy shop!  That's right, any scent you'd like!

To enter, you first must be a follower of this blog.  Then just visit Chad and Michelle's shop and leave me a comment telling me what soap and lotion you'd select.  Make sure to leave your email address!

For additional entries (leave a separate comment for each):

1. Follow Chad and Michelle (@FreshNotFunky) on Twitter.
2. Follow me on Twitter! (@ElectricCaitlin)
3. Tweet about this giveaway! Make sure to include @ElectricCaitlin and @FreshNotFunky!

I will draw a winner at random on Monday, December 5th! Good luck!

And if you aren't patient enough to wait, visit Chad and Michelle's shop and buy something now! Their products are very affordable and you'll be supporting a small business! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday & Weekend Bits and Pieces

1. Our Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful.  It was weird to think that this may (fingers crossed) very well be our last Thanksgiving in Maine for a few years, but I think we made the best out of it.  Rob and I spent the actual holiday with my family, since we will be with his for Christmas morning (gotta love married people holidays, eh?).  My dad was extra careful not to contaminate any of my Thanksgiving food with nasty stuffing or contaminated butter, and I didn't get sick so...win! My cousin and her five children, who moved to South Carolina last year just after our wedding, surprised the whole family by driving up in a blinding snowstorm.  We had a blast seeing them again and seeing how much her kids had grown.  I used to change these kids' diapers and now they're in high school - I feel so old!  Anyway after spending the day in my dad's house, full of love and family, we drove to Rob's parents' for more of the same.  We watched "The Tree of Life" with Rob's mom, dad, and grandmother but were extremely disappointed.  Has anyone seen this movie, and if so, did it make you want to tear your eyes out in boredom as well?

2. On Friday Rob, Megan and I all babysat our niece, Brielle.  She's two years old and as such can be quite a handful, but a damn cute one.  We watched a hell of a lot of "Dora the Explorer" on Netflix and spent some time rummaging through Auntie Keke's (that's me) purse.  What's hilarious is that though we've always called Rob "Uncle Robbie" around Brielle, she randomly started to call him "Robbit." We've never called him Robert so I don't know where she gets it from, but it's pretty cute when she yells at him from the other room, "Robbit! Come here!" Ah, kids. She also is rather fond of "Depess" (Cypress) and managed to get her to "sit" by screaming "SIT DOWN" in her face.

3. I think I'm getting sick. And when I get sick I get whiny. Whine whine whine.

4. Rob and I are planning a trip to Florida in December and I am so excited about it.  Rob has two moms and one of them lives in a town sort of near Orlando.  We're going down on the 17th to visit her and spend a ton of time on the beach.  Rob's not much of a tourist attraction guy so he mostly wants to beach it and maybe do some hiking together.  Regardless, it won't be 20 degrees outside so I'll be happy.

5. Megan and I are also planning a trip to New York City in February!  In 6th grade I started writing to a penpal who lived in Israel, and we've talked ever since (though now on Facebook instead of letters).  She's going to be in New York in February and I figured it'd be a great chance to visit her and to see the Big Apple with my older sister.  After dinner with my "penpal," Megan and I are going to see a play (we really wanted to see the Book of Mormon but it was going to cost around $720 for the two of us...so it'll probably be Avenue Q), visit 30 Rock and go ice skating!

6. Rob and I are gearing up for some big changes over the next six months (no, we aren't preparing to get pregnant) and we've been talking about it excitedly for the last few weeks.  We should know more by the time the new year rolls around so hopefully I'll have something to share then.

7. I had a dream last night that my sister let my niece swim in the Hudson River, and treated me like an overprotective aunt when I was freaking out about it.

How has your weekend been so far?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In Honor of Small Business Saturday: Look What I Won!

I entered (and won!) the Yearning Robot's giveaway courtesy of Katelyn over at let's go a few months ago and I wanted to share my winnings with you on Small Business Saturday!

Charlene sells her watercolor paintings, as prints, pins, and pocket mirrors, and other awesome little items.  As part of the giveaway I won five pins of my choice, and I have to say that they are pretty adorable:

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If I had to pick a favorite, I think it'd be the cute little narwhal (maybe because I like saying "narwhal.")

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So if you're looking for some neat art (or gift wrapping!) check out Charlene's store, The Yearning Robot.  She's great to work with AND you'll be supporting a small business, which really is the best way to occupy Wall Street.

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

To copy just about everyone else, I thought I'd celebrate Thanksgiving by listing some of the things I'm thankful for this year.

1. My husband.  My rock, my source of strength, my life partner.  I don't know where I'd be or what my life would be without Rob by my side, and I think I'm just about the luckiest girl in the world to have him in my life.

2. My family. I have a really supportive, loving family (and in-law family) that have always been there for me.  Not everyone has a family they can count on, but I do, and for that I am eternally thankful.

3. Cypress.  Our little beastie has added so much to our life.  We don't have kids so she acts as the "baby" in the family (no matter what my husband tells you) and I'm not sure what life would be like without her lovely little eyebrowed face.

4. My job.  I complain about my job and the travel it entails sometimes, but I am really lucky to have a well-paying job with a ton of flexibility in such a difficult market.  My sister helped me get this job so I owe her big time.

5. My health. I have a lot of friends and family members who are going through health-related troubles so I know the pain that comes from that sort of stress.  Rob and I are both in great health and that is something to celebrate.

6. Good friends. I've made some great friends this year, in real life and online. Sometimes I have a hard time letting people in but I feel like I've opened up so much. I love all of you and all of the support you give me.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! Lots of love and happiness to each of you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Honestly Wore Wednesday

Two posts in one day?! What can I say, I'm snowed in in the middle of nowhere with no television and flickering internet.  Indulge me, if you will.

What I'm honestly wearing today (once I got out of the shower anyway):

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I love this pink sweatshirt.  I bought it while working at a client site and it's the only sweatshirt that doesn't totally diminish my feminine shape and make me look like a boy.  Maybe because it's BRIGHT FREAKING PINK, I don't know.

The shirt underneath, I bought at Target years ago.  It was one of the maybe 4 shirts I had with me in Russia so that's what it makes me think of.  It's been at the bottom of my drawers for awhile and I've only recently put it back into circulation.  My main issue with it is the pit stains (yeah, I sweat a lot) but then I remember that I don't really care and slap it on anyway.

The wool socks are on loan from my stepmother.  Rob and I tried to walk the dog this morning in regular ankle socks and boots with sad results, so these have been keeping my feet warm.

And now, what I wore when we ventured outside to walk ze beast, and later to help my stepmother plow our road:

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As a side note, if you want to borrow my dad's awesome boots I'm sure he'd let you if you ask nicely.

Make sure to check out Maryam's post as well!

What are you wearing on this extremely snowy Wednesday?

Thanksgiving Eve Snow & a Christmas Wishlist

Yesterday Rob and I looked at the weather and noticed that a rather significant snowstorm was making its way straight for us, so instead of waiting until today to make the 3.5-hour trek to my dad's house we left that evening.

This morning we woke up to this...

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...so I feel that it is totally appropriate for me to create a Christmas Wishlist, no? As a side note, doesn't this picture look like it was taken on film?  It wasn't, obviously, but I'm glad that this Instagram filter gives me the appropriate amount of hipster cred.


1. Beams boots by Blowfish.  I'm currently having a love affair with boots and I blame my reintroduction to blogging.  Before I could totally justify walking around looking like a slob all day but now I spend my time looking at all of your cute outfits, so, thanks for that.

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2. Any iPhone case from this site for my new iPhone 4 or 4S (which I should get before our trip toFlorida in December, eee!). I especially like these (1 // 2 // 3 // 4).  If I didn't get them as an iPhone case I would love to have them as prints, especially 1, 3, and 4.

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3. A Magic Mouse for my MacBook Pro.  I use a little USB mouse but the navigations are all backwards and it hardly works in Photoshop.  I think my darling sister Megan will be getting this for me this year.

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4. Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2.  There have been a couple times (like this trip home) that I drag my laptop along only so I can blog or easily type on the go (first world problems or what, amirite?) If I had this keyboard I would only need my iPad. I talked to my dad about it so I think this might be a reality this Christmas! Wee!

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5. A new tattoo.  I mean, why not right?

6. I would like my camera to celebrate Christmas by magically working again.

What do you guys want for Christmas, or for your preferred holiday?

Also, does anyone else feel like materialistic a-hole after posting stuff like this? Damn hipster guilt.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Bits & Pieces

Happy Monday, all! I hope you had a great weekend.  Thank you for your comments on my last post; as always, your support is greatly appreciated.

Rob and I had a pretty busy weekend that went by really quickly.  It finally started to feel like November, which makes me sad but also excited for the upcoming holiday season.

Here is our weekend, bits and pieces style:

Saturday:

Rob and I got up and headed to his brother and sister-in-law's house.  We caught up on the first 5 or so episodes of Dexter this season (does anyone else love this show? We've been watching it for years and we're totally addicted) and later went to Chipotle (!!!) and finally to an AHL hockey team in Portland.  I'm not a big sports fan but for some reason I'm rather drawn to hockey.  So much so that I've bought two jerseys for the two teams we actually follow.  Who cares that I still am not totally sure how "boarding" differs from how hockey players normally slam each other into the walls and that I have to continually ask Rob why that guy is sitting in the see-through jail box?

(Also, isn't my husband's "No-Shave November" beard absolutely majestic? I won't mind if you voice your support of it in the comments...I secretly want him to keep it)

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Sunday:

My mom's birthday was on Saturday so we decided to surprise her by taking her out to lunch.  My little sister and my 2-year-old niece came to our house so we could drive there together.  Before they came I did some sweeping to wrangle all the stray dog hair, which is always disheartening as it's impossible to get ahead of.  This is what I managed to find solely under Cypress's bed, and one reason why you might want to reconsider adopting a dog with Husky blood (and no, I don't mind showing you how dirty my house can get):

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Also, I wore these awesome slippers and PJ pants while I cleaned:

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Lunch with my mom was amazing! We had delicious Mexican food and massive margaritas (win!).  My niece Brielle got sick, but we had fun together taking a walk in the amazing 70-degree weather.

Afterward we drove home, where Robbie made us dinner.  Well, he tried, but Brielle was reaching and crying for the the entire time.  Since Brielle was 5 or 6 months she has been absolutely infatuated with Rob and it is absolutely adorable to see them snuggling together.  I'd show you pictures but my sister is pretty sensitive about photos of Brielle appearing online so out of respect for her I will refrain.  I promise, it's pretty cute.

Monday:

Today Ashleen and I made Nutella lava cookies (which, spoiler alert, may appear here later) and watched countless episodes of Dora the Explorer with Brielle.  I have to say, you don't know quiet until your two-year-old niece leaves your house.  I really enjoyed spending time with her and my sister; though we're only 2 hours apart it can be hard to find time to get together.  I was sad to see them go but hey, Thanksgiving is only a few days away!

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thoughts on Sponsoring and Blogs and Things

Well, after two months of having a sponsorship program, and after four or five months of sponsoring other blogs, I think it's time to take a little hiatus.

I would like to say that this is borne of some great realization about life and how I don't need readers to feel validated in my writing and such, but the vain truth is I love you guys and I love reading your comments, and love reading what you write on your own blogs.

Truthfully I'm feeling a little bogged down in the blogging rigamarole (yes, I'm 70 years old).  I feel like I'm commenting just for the sake of commenting and I feel like I'm following blogs that I just plain don't enjoy anymore.  Kaelah once referred to it as a "blogging circle jerk"; pardon the lewd phrase but I think it's the best way to describe it.

This is probably a douchey thing to admit, but sometimes I feel the need to read "bigger" blogs just because they have a lot of followers but not because I enjoy their content, if that makes sense.  Does anyone else do that?  I really hope I don't offend anyone here.  I also don't want to pass judgement on people who do decide to sponsor blog or maintain sponsorship programs. It's an awesome aspect of blogging, it's just not for me right now.

I don't mean to make a comment on anyone's blog specifically--I think my tastes and what I want are changing slightly and as a result I've taken a good hard look at my blog reader to determine what blogs and blog posts I most enjoy.  

I'm still going to write, and I will keep current sponsorships up through November.  I want to just get back to writing and immersing myself in the community.  I think I became too immersed in the logistics and it kept me from enjoying what is really awesome about blogging.

So, no more sponsorships (minus the ones I've paid ahead for) for the next month or couple of months.  I hope you all still read because I love getting to know you.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Funky

I've been in a serious funk lately.

I'm beating myself up more than usual for stupid things, I'm misconstruing innocuous comments and ignored texts, I'm ignoring my blog for fear of inferiority, and I'm disassociating a lot more frequently.  Usually for me this indicates that something is awry.

I'm usually pretty good at introspection but this one has just been dragging me down.  I think it's partially the weather--I went from sun every day in Arizona to the dismal grey Maine November--and I have a long history of dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

But the biggest part of it, and Rob agrees with me on this, is that I went from stressing myself sick for a month to absolutely no stress at all.  I have nothing to worry about, nothing to dread.

I find it disheartening that my whole life is so dependent on stress and worry that their absence causes me to be even more depressed than when I'm stressed.  How did that happen?  How did I let anxiety and depression come to rule my life so thoroughly?

To combat the sluggishness Rob has been pushing me to get out and do fun things together.  Earlier this week we saw "Paranormal Activity 3" (pretty decent) and "In Time" (horrible) in the movie theater, tried some new dinner choices, spontaneously baked frittatas, and we're going out for a late lunch-early dinner at our local gelato place in forty-five minutes or so.

I'm so lucky to have someone who understands me and who is willing to help me get through these slow periods.

I think I just need these little reminders that the majority of life is in the waiting--waiting for the next big moment, waiting for the next big change--and to enjoy that for what it is.  I'm never going to get this fun, young, spontaneous time back.

How has your week been?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Honestly Wore Wednesday

So for the first time this Wednesday I actually photographed myself wearing pajama pants and a giant sweatshirt, which is what I usually wear, instead of jeans or a work outfit.  Today you are seeing the real Caitlin.

The really lazy one who loves to be comfy.

Try to contain yourselves:


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Couple of things:

1. I thought of moving all the junk in our hallway, but that wouldn't be honest now, would it? My house is a mess.

2. If you can't read my sweatshirt, it says "Stewart/Colbert 2008." I bought this in 2006 and wore it all through college.

3. Those pants are wicked comfy.

4. That's my cell phone in my kangaroo pocket, not some weird square baby bump. HONESTY!

5. I'm still without my nice camera, so once again, apologies for the point and shoot photos.

6. Can you handle how sexy I am right now?

As always, linking up with Maryam today.

What did you wear today?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This Made me REALLY Excited for Christmas.

I saw this on Jess's blog and, since I'm a sucker for memes (always have been) you all get to enjoy it!  If you decide to do this as well, please leave me the link in your comment so I can check it out.  Happy Holidays!

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1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate all the way. One year I got really sick after drinking eggnog and threw up all morning, so I can hardly smell the stuff now.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Doesn't he ask my mom and dad to wrap them and that's why their handwriting is on the tag?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights look classier, more solemn to me...colored lights look far more fun and festive.  So I vacillate between the two.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Probably the first or second weekend in December. 

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Turkey, mashed potatoes, this dish my grandmother makes that we all call "pink stuff" (cottage cheese, cool whip, jell-o, fruit...I don't know, it's delicious though).

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? One of my first memories ever (I was maybe 3 or so) was sitting in the bathroom with my older sister at around 4 am staring at the clock waiting for it to turn 7am, when we could wake my parents up.  In more general terms, opening all my gifts with my sisters and spending the day with my cousins.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I asked my dad if Santa was real, half-joking and fully expecting him to say yes, and he broke the news to me.  I think I was 9.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope, it was strictly against the rules in my house and I don't think Rob's family did it either.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Rob and I have continued his family's tradition of buying one Hallmark ornament every year.  We also have some gift ornaments and a lot of filler ones we bought at Reny's (though Cypress has chewed most of those).

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love snow from Thanksgiving until December 26.  After that I am over it.

12. Can you ice skate? Psh, I live in Maine, what the hell else do we do all winter? I lived on a lake so I was ice-skating as soon as I could walk.  This doesn't mean I'm good at it.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? As a child, I got a troll dollhouse one year that made me super happy.  

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with my husband and my family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Meh, I can't eat any of the pies anymore so I guess brownies made by my grandmother. 

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Decorating the tree, hanging out with my sisters on Christmas Eve (sadly not doing that this year).

17. What tops your tree? A star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Well, I like gift giving but it can be really stressful too. And once you're past the age of 12 or so Christmas gifts usually aren't that exciting anymore.

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? I like the ones that are sweet rather than pepperminty.  

20. Favorite Christmas show? Show or movie? I like "It's a Wonderful Life," "Christmas Vacation," "Love Actually" (totally a Christmas movie) and the claymation Rudolph story.

21. Saddest Christmas Song? Silent Night, duh! Does anyone else feel really sad when they show that Pampers commercial with "Silent Night" playing?

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? Any of the standards sung by Bing Crosby, especially "The First Noel." I used to sing all of those songs in chorus/music geeky things in high school so I like all of them (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and the like). I also like Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You." I think that's the only song that our generation will have contributed to the list of standards.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Bits & Pieces

I hope you all had a positively magical weekend!  Here's a few bits and pieces from the last few days.

1.  First of all, thank you a million times for all of your comments on my Honesty post - I was overwhelmed by the response!  I'm considering making it a semi-regular feature here and giving the opportunity for others to link up...not weekly per se, but every so often just sharing some honesty in the same vein as the post and seeing others' posts!  Be honest, would that be totally lame and self-serving?

2. On Saturday I took my friend Amie to add to her tattoo as a birthday gift.  It's a combination of her and her sisters' zodiac signs and, as always, Adam did a fabulous job.  Rob has originally planned to get a Sailor Jerry-style swallow, but while waiting for Amie he perused a tattoo magazine and randomly found a design he liked better.  He said that it reminded him of me :) Not only is it his first color, it's the first he's done below his elbow.

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3. Today Amie and I went to Hallowell, Maine to have lunch and such. I bought a $129 winter jacket for $80, thanks to a friend of ours who works at Gap. Win! Hallowell is a lovely little town, very much quintessential New England.  We ate a delish gluten-free lunch (with martinis and mimosas, of course), had lots of girl talk, and checked out some of the local antique and craft shops.  I found a vintage Pyrex piece and having been inspired by the lovely Sarah I bought it, and for only $12!  Overall a wonderful day spent with a lovely friend.  

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4. I've been feeling quite stressed lately and I'm not totally sure why.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm through with work and life is pretty calm, or what. I find myself dreading something but can't quite put my finger on what it is.  Has anyone else ever felt that? It's making my head ache.

5. Is anyone else excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas? I watched the 30 Rock Christmas episode from a few years ago the other day and just about peed myself.

6. Rob and I are legit watching "Aladdin" right now.

7. I am legit considering a 30 Rock tattoo.

Have a great Sunday, all!