The Shoebox Chronicles: How living in 300 square feet has given me the freedom to live more

If you asked me five years ago when I got my first apartment if I could ever see myself living in a space that was 2.5x smaller I would’ve said “no way!” Coming off the heels of living in my family’s expansive 3,000 square foot home I thought my measly …

A tribute to you: How getting a tattoo became the final piece of the healing process

People decide to get a tattoo for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it’s for a nostalgic reason, or something they really like, or some kind of political statement. But more often than not people get tattoos in tribute to something deeply personal to them. When I was younger I didn’t …

Putting my love for dogs to good use

“Some people are amazing with children. They have the ability to make an instant connection–and the children feel it. Stephanie has that relationship with dogs. They gravitate towards her because they are drawn to her. I think she’s part canine.” – testimonial from my friend, M. on my dog sitting …

Getting through the mental blocks of grief

Since I said goodbye to my beloved, Carmela, just over a month ago I’ve developed a lot of mental blocks. These are things that I used to be able to do, but can’t do at the moment because they feel weird without having Carm around. Some of these mental blocks …

A 6-month check-in: 6 things I’ve learned

Six months ago I did something truly terrifying. I picked up the well-curated life I had established in Chicago, packed up my car, and took off for Maine. I didn’t know anyone here, I barely had a job lined up, and I had no idea where I was going to …

When your family visits you in your new city

Even though I’m 1,000 miles away from home and could for all intents and purposes be completely here, my family back home in Chicago is still very important to me. I have weekly chats with my dad and have established a pretty consistent phone schedule with both my sister and …

Learning some of the Maine terms: A Midwesterner’s journey

Throughout my time here I’ve noticed that Mainers talk differently. I’ve gotten used to the Maine accent where they drop the “er” at the end of words and add “ah” instead. For example, lobster becomes lobstah, Bar Harbor is Bah Habah, and so on. But there are also quite a few …

Body issues, body shaming, and learning to love yourself anyway

For today’s post I wanted to talk about something that I feel pretty strongly about: body issues and body shaming. I’ve debated for a long time as to whether or not I should even broach this subject because it’s not quite what my blog is about, and the topic can …

Learning to listen to your gut instincts

I’m a big fan of listening to your gut instinct. It’s the feeling we all have to either jump in or shy away from something for some inexplicable reason. We don’t always know why our gut is telling us to do/not do something so more often than not we choose …

Climbing my first real mountain by myself

This past weekend I tackled another first on my ever-growing, Maine, to-do list: I climbed my first real mountain completely by myself. When I say “real mountain” what I mean is one that is over 1,000 feet tall. The only other one I had climbed on my own was Bradbury …