Saturday, August 17, 2019

Weekend Reading 8.17

I'm not sure I've been so excited for a weekend in quite some time. Why? Do I have major plans? Something thrilling on the docket? No and no, in fact, I have NOTHING ON MY TO-DO LIST AT ALL. And I'm thrilled. It's been a crazy few weeks with some very fun and very packed weekends but I'm in desperate need of a couple days off. How about you? You too? Frankly, while I'm not about to wish fall upon us any sooner than it needs to be here, I am excited for the inevitable chill that comes with the end of summer. Already, I can feel nature slowing down a little bit – feeling a little sleepy. The cicadas have been droning, nights have been blissfully cool, it's great. Today, all I have scheduled is a massage to deal with the massive knots that have formed in my upper back, and I'll probably stop by the farmer's market on my way home. That's it. Whatever else happens, happens – there's plenty that I'd like to accomplish of course, but this weekend I'm doing my best impression of someone who doesn't over commit. This week, Chris and I are celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary (!!!) with dinner at Drifters Wife (I'm so excited – we've never been). And until then I'll be doing very little at all – enjoy your weekend!

For a limited time you can save 10% off your first purchase from Local Eclectic with the code Julie 10! I've been wearing this necklace non-stop and love these tortoise earrings.

Wait... is Mark Maron hot? "I love a dirtbag with a heart of gold" Girl, me too.

On my August wishlist: style that straddles summer and fall, a sweet mini bag (as long as it can carry my phone), casual denim dressing and a cute, cheeky tee (pasta!)

I have a big tub of blueberries that need to be used ASAP and I think I'm going to make this paleo blueberry coffee cake tomorrow

Despite it not being coat season, this coat is calling my name. Like, really calling it. See also this leopard print coat.

How to actually forgive someone (noted. As someone who tends to hold a grudge)

Save 50% off Reformation! This dress would be great for a wedding in summer or fall, this is one of my favorite dresses of summer, and I ordered these jeans.

New podcast obsession: Press Send (it's my favorite thing to listen to on my mile and a half walk to yoga)

J.Crew rewards members get 30% off their purchase this weekend - it's free to sign up (I just did). Love the idea of this cashmere sweater dressed up with a slip skirt or dressed down with leggings.

Dermstore is having a big sale – i swear by this clean beauty CC cream and have been loving this natural enzyme peel (it smells like cherry pie!)

If music represents our culture, is American pop music contributing to climate change?

Love this new color of the most comfortable pants (so good with that baby blue)

What's the most memorable thing a therapist has ever told you?

How chic are these snake-print loafers? Perfect for fall!

Would you make "Murder Cookies" they sound sort of good (not sure if i can get down with Crisco though)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Weekend Reading 8.4

Hello! Happy AUGUST. I've officially reached that point in the summer, I'm booked up. My calendar is full. I've reached max capacity. Do you know what I'm talking about? It's that point in the summer when you attempt to make plans, but realize every single weekend – and most weekdays – are all booked. No vacancy. If you're lucky – or rather, if you're smart – you've remembered to leave some time for yourself during all this. I didn't. So I'll be cleaning my apartment in the early mornings, preparing for next weekend's houseguests while simultaneously coming down from this weekend, which was spent (joyously, mind you) celebrating a friend's pregnancy in Rhode Island. it's all good stuff, but like any summer in New England, it all comes at once. When you spend half the year hibernating, the summer months tend to fill up... fast. The past few weekends were no exception. I had a summer camp reunion, visits from family, and lots of work between all that. This evening I'm heading home from previously mentioned Rhode Island/ Massachusetts trip and hopefully going to the grocery store, because the pickings are slim after all this busyness. ANYWAY, I hope your summer has been FULL and GOOD. Sharing some items of interest below:

A friend introduced me to this podcast this weekend and now I bequeath it to you: You're Wrong About podcast. I started with the Anna Nicole episode and highly recommend.

Head's up: Shopbop just added a ton of cute pieces to their sale section! I always grab a couple of statement pieces for the next season from their sale section (yes, I know. I can't believe I'm talking about fall either). This time around I'm looking for a cute statement bag.

A devastating but engrossing and important long read: Driven to the end.

The Outdoor Voices sale is still going strong - and I'm still stocking up on leggings (I'm obsessed with the Tech Sweat fabric)

Made me laugh (and also how almost all my days start)

My skin has been going haywire this month, and I've been hearing so many good things about CBD -infused skincare. I discovered that a CBD pain-relieving balm is also great for after-sun care (goodbye redness), and I have this CBD skin booster in my cart. A friend also gave this CBD serum rave reviews.

Related to the above: is this "BAD summer?". Is that what this is?

I'm still loving neon, especially paired with neutrals for fall – how pretty are these neon statement pieces? So pretty paired with more organic, understated jewelry (those horn hoops!).

This is what I want for dinner: Harissa chicken salad

Both Chris and I have been using this shampoo lately and I feel like it's making our routines so much easier. It adds a bit of grit to your hair (but not too much) so it's easier to style.

Heavy stuff, but I feel I can't not acknowledge the fact that, yet again, our country has experienced trauma, senseless death and tragedy at the hands of someone with a gun: The virality of evil (NYT) and Rihanna speaks for all of us (hopefully)

A coworker introduced me to this wallet this week and now I want one. (sleek, compact and has an RFID blocker)

I finally picked up this book (Maine content) last week and I'm loving it – perfect easy, funny, but poignant read for the beach

Want to change the world? Do this (very simple) thing.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Weekend Reading 7.19

What. A. Week. Anyone else feeling the crushing weight of current events this week? Because I AM. Woof. How are we all feeling, friends? Personally, I'm exhausted. Between work, the heat, and the news, I could use a little decompression, which I'm planning for this weekend. It's supposed to be HOT, so I'm still a bit unsure of how I'll deal. Maybe I'll stay indoors and take care of some of the stuff that's been pushed aside, maybe I'll hop a ferry out to an island (I'm leaning towards taking the responsible route). Who knows. Tonight I'm off to Thompson's Point, and outdoor venue here in Portland, to see Lord Huron with a pal who's in from out of town. Hope your weekend plans include plenty of relaxation. XO

It's definitely not baking weather but damn... Creme Fraiche Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

OMG, a Gossip Girl reboot? I'm here for it!

On Instagram this week we were discussing what to wear to a funeral - I ended up ordering this dress because I can wear it again, even in colder weather. A few more funeral attire options: This button-up dress, this chic wrap dress, this long sleeve option, this sleek jumpsuit, and this short wrap option.

Have you been to the beach yet this year? I've been living on my paddle board on the weekends and have my eye on some cute floral bikinis like these and some bright and cute beach accessories (that pineapple fan!)

And of course a great pair of sunglasses

Whose job is it to clean up the world's messes? Ours? Women's?

Mango's sale is on sale! Get an extra 20% off 4 or more items. I'm eyeing up this gingham midi dress, this polkadot dress, these strappy flat sandals, and this cowrie shell necklace

How vanity changes with age - love the varied perspectives in this piece

Aren't these handmade shell necklaces beautiful? Would be suuuuuper nice as an anniversary gift (cough, cough... just saying)

I'm going to a summer camp reunion next weekend (!!!) and am tempted to make this peanut butter s'mores dip (I mean... how good?!)

These handmade minimalist mugs are so pretty - perfect for morning coffee on the patio

You probably haven't heard, but the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is live. I'm thinking about these red loafers, this pretty makeup palette, and this set of perfume minis . And this eyelash serum!

Simple recipes for a really hot summer weekend

Save an extra 30% off sale items at Anthropologie. Loving this pretty top, this headband, and these fun throw pillows.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Weekend Reading 7.14

Happy weekend! After a week of crazy early mornings and not enough sleep I spent this weekend getting back to my baseline. For me that meant sleeping a sufficient number of hours (and not forcing myself to wake up early even when I know I need more sleep), spending some quality time with Zephyr, eating food that fuels me, and getting outdoors. And vacuuming, because damn. Summer always seems to be such a whirlwind, doesn't it? Hope your weekend was a good one! Sharing some links below for you:


Are we connected on Instagram yet? I share much more frequently over there and recently shared a bit about this week's work trip to a gorgeous spot in New Hampshire.

If you're looking for some new gym or active clothes: Outdoor Voices is having a major sale! I bought these leggings and have my eye on these

YUM - I might make these keto magic bars this weekend (I'm not keto but I try to keep my treats low-carb)

I've been on the hunt for the perfect pair of summer sandals lately and love these mixed print options (the snake print!). Perfect with a pair of statement shorts and a straw bag.

Love this primer for shopping better online. I used the size-up trick for this skirt off Poshmark.

Megan Rapinoe for president. Love her.

How beautiful are these candlesThis one sounds lovely and those containers would make perfect pots for plants.

I just started this book and it's brought me back to the late '90s and pop-punk and my old Toyota. Highly recommended. This is next on my list.

6 Women on the decision to not have children

10 Apps to help you gain financial literacy and manage your money

This healthy orange julius protein smoothie sounds so good (if you're interested in trying Thrive Market use this code for 25% off your first order!)

Really into these customizable hair clips (i want one that says "CATS")

The best books of summer 2019, statistically speaking.

I've been using this natural self-tanner religiously this summer and swear by it for the perfect glow.

Just a heads up: I updated my Shop My Closet page

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Long Weekend Reading + 4th of July Sales

Happy 4th! How are you celebrating? (If you celebrate...) I'm off to go paddle boarding through the Scarborough marsh and I can't wait. I haven't taken my board out at all yet and the weather looks like it's going to be perfection. However you spend the day, I hope it's fun and safe. Sharing a few good links + 4th of July sale info for you below:

ICYMI: One of my favorite super simple summer outfits

The best 4th of July sales:

Take an extra 50% off Anthropologie sale items (love this)

Take 25% off summer styles from Madewell

Save an extra 15% off sale items from Mango – obsessed with this shell necklace

Sale items from M.Gemi are up to 65% off - love these espadrilles

Ulta is taking up to 50% off sale items

Choose what you pay from Everlane

It's officially officially summer, which means summer dressing! Love these sweet, breezy pieces (that white set with the buttons!). I've also been on the hunt for the perfect pair of strappy sandals and a great beach bag.

Why is this so funny?

Just started using this body oil spray and it's so lovely

You guys - teens are writing about YouTube drama for their exams. What is happening.

I've had this song on repeat lately - and the video is pretty spectacular

The morning routines of 5 successful people – attempted.

Blueberry pecan galette... yes please

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Vintage Jeans & Linen

If there's one thing that dominates my closet, it's denim. I don't know when the obsession started, but a good pair of jeans will always catch my eye. I wear jeans almost daily, they're an integral part of what I wear to work, especially when I'm out sourcing vintage and am apt to get dirty. Denim is forgiving in just so many ways – the more beat up, the better. I'm always on the hunt for it in vintage and thrift stores, but more recently I'd been eyeing the Everlane Edition 2 Wide Leg Crop Jeans but just hadn't pulled the trigger.

Well, I'm glad I waited.

As much as I love the Everlane jeans, I came across the vintage pair you see here at Curator up in Rockland, Maine – who now boasts a pretty incredible women's selection – and fell in love. They're cut similarly, but just a little slimmer through the leg. And they're clearly built to last, having held up for what I'm guessing is at least 30+ years (I think they're late '70s Calvins). Paired with a linen top from one of my favorite sustainable brands, I put together what I consider to be the ideal early summer outfit: Comfortable, polished, simple.

All content ©Julie O'Boyle-Sharp

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Portland, Maine Travel Guide – From a Local

Some of the questions I'm asked most frequently on Instagram is what to do, what to see and where to shop in my home city of Portland, Maine. I get it – Portland is an amazing place to visit , and I absolutely love living here – it's been exciting to see it gain attention as a travel destination over the past several years. There's a reason it was chosen as Bon Appetit's Food City of 2018. Many reasons, in fact, but Portland's not just about the food (although you could easily plan an entire trip around eating your way through the city), Portland is home to a vibrant working waterfront, great small-business shopping, and an incredible art scene. It's a humble city, without pretense, qualities you could easily use to describe Mainers themselves. We don't require anything fancy – in fact, most fancy things are regarded with a high level of suspicion until we're won over. You won't find many chain retailers downtown – although a few have moved in more recently – instead, most businesses are locally owned and frequented by the people who live just steps away. In short: Portland – and Maine in general – is awesome. Actually it's terrible... you'll hate it... don't move here...

On any given weekend, you'll find most tourists gathered in the Old Port – the charming few blocks of cobblestone streets, old brick buildings, and tiny storefronts (fun fact: a few of those buildings and even a pier were once owned by my great-grandfather!) that are most often mentioned in travel guides. The Old Port is lovely, but it's not the only place to go in Portland. Venture beyond that small radius and you'll discover what makes this city so great.

In an effort to save myself a lot of time answering future questions on Instagram (ha! But really...) below I'm sharing a few of top recommendations for what to do in Portland, Maine:

Where to eat in Portland, Maine:

  • Eventide: Expect to have to wait a bit for a seat at Eventide. It's worth it for a really, really good lobster roll, and my guess is if you're visiting Portland you probably want a lobster roll, right? Of course you do. Go here, put your name in, and wander over to Honey Paw or Hunt & Alpine for a drink or a snack while you wait for your table.
  • J's Oyster Bar: J's has been around for decades. It's right on the water, so expect to be treated to the, ahem, scent of real Maine living (hint: it's fish, get over it). This is the price you pay for incredibly fresh seafood. It's good, it's low-key, it's no-frills. And yes, most of us Mainers harbor a not-so-secret love for the smell of bait, clam flats and seaweed.
  • Highroller: Another option for fresh seafood and lobster rolls, all good, especially the fries.
  • DeMillo's: Look, I can't say I go to DeMillo's often. In fact, the last time I was there I think I was in 8th grade and it was my grandmother's birthday. BUT this floating restaurant is kind of fun in a kitchy way and I'm certainly not above some good people watching over drinks and apps. Just a heads up: it's a vibe, think sorta stodgy, somewhere you'd go for your grandma's birthday in 8th grade. Do with that what you will.
  • Harbor Fish & Free Range Fish: If you're lucky enough to be in an AirBNB or a rental with a kitchen or grill, do yourself a favor and go for the full Maine experience – pick up some fresh seafood from Harbor Fish Market or Free Range Fish & Lobster and cook dinner at home. Better yet, stop by the Portland Farmer's Market on Saturday morning to stock up on locally-grown veggies to pair with dinner, you'll likely see a few chefs wandering the stalls, along with plenty of locals who have the same idea.

Breakfast & Pastries:
  • Tandem Bakery: Yes, there's always a line, but it moves quickly. Get the loaded biscuit or literally anything else, it's all so good. This is dangerously close to my apartment and I love Tandem so much. No WiFi – this is a good thing. FYI – there are two locations, the one on Congress Street has the bakery.
  • Rose Foods: Like everything else in this city, Rose Foods is extremely cute and very good. Great for bagels, a cool tote bag, and specialty foods.
  • Standard Baking: I once went to Standard Baking at 7am in the middle of a snowstorm when the rest of the city was entirely shutdown. Somehow Standard was open (did they sleep there?), this experience only solidified my fondness for everything they make. Right across from the ferry terminal – grab a croissant or two and a cup of coffee and catch a ferry out to the islands for an A+ morning.
  • Miss Portland Diner: Chris and I don't do brunch, we do breakfast, and for breakfast, we always go to Miss Portland. Like a better version of your favorite greasy spoon, Miss Portland uses local ingredients for their standard diner car fare. It's good, especially after a night out or for an early pre-kayaking breakfast. Get there early and you won't have to wait.
  • Palace Diner (Biddeford): Portland is the kind of city where it helps to have a car, even if you're just visiting. Why? Because it's New England and a short car ride can bring you to any number of places – like Biddeford, home of the diner to end all diners: Palace. Seriously. This place. Go during the week for the best chance at getting a seat - it's a tiny spot but the food is next level good. Like the tuna melt? When was the last time you heard a tuna melt described as life changing or ethereal? That's how good this place is.
  • LB Kitchen: Very cute and partly owned by a woman I went to college with (fun facts!), LB Kitchen makes super fresh, healthy fare that also happens to taste really good. Two locations, the one in the East End is right next to my favorite yoga studio making it the answer to where to go for breakfast after a Saturday morning class.

  • Little Giant: We always say we're just going for drinks at Little Giant, and every time we end up eating all the food. The sister restaurant to my favorite cocktail bar, Hunt & Alpine.
  • Pai Men Miyake: Ramen. Excellent ramen. Get the Tokyo Aburra bowl... or the Pokedon bowl – or anything else on the menu. 
  • Chaval: An excellent spot for a fancy date night, Chaval is the kind of place where you want to order an app, dinner, drinks, and dessert. Go all out, it's worth it. They also have a back patio.
  • Empire Chinese Kitchen: Chinese food, elevated. This super lively spot is always packed, but it's worth the wait. A great choice if you're catching a show at the State Theater. Eat here first, rock out after.
  • Terlingua: A friend and I once got kicked out of Terlingua for chatting too long over empty glasses. I won't hold that against them – they're a popular spot, and the food is amazing. Get the burnt ends, and a good tequila drink. Rumor is they have a great brunch, too.
  • Scales: A great spot for a fancy night out or just for happy hour, Scales is more, ahem... upscale, right on the water and just beautiful. They have a great oyster happy hour, too.

  • Hunt & Alpine: My favorite cocktails in all of Portland, Hunt & Alpine is owned by a couple from the other Portland (Oregon) and also serve Scandi-inspired fare. 
  • Maps: A sweet little pub located downstairs in the Old Port. Maps serves beer, wine, coffee, tea and... birthday cake. Get the cake.
  • Ruski's: A divey favorite among locals, myself included. It gets rowdy but it's usually the friendly kind of rowdy. They also serve breakfast.
  • Floods: Newly opened and owned by the same folks behind Palace Diner, Flood's also serves a tightly curated and often-changing menu. I like going here for drinks though, and we usually order the oysters or anchovies (or both) as a snack.
  • Top of the East: Surprisingly one of the only rooftop bars in the city. Top of the East is at the top of the Eastland hotel, but open to the public. Close to the State Theater.
  • Tandem (see above): No WiFi so don't expect to work while you're here. They make their own almond milk, 'nuff said.
  • Speckled Ax: Easy to grab & go while you're shopping or strolling Congress St., or grab a table and relax or do some work.
  • Bard: Great coffee and a great spot for working.
  • Higher Grounds: Another spot I enjoy working from, Higher Grounds is tucked away in the Old Port and also sells CBD and tinctures.

Where to shop in Portland, Maine

  • Portland Flea For All: My favorite spot for vintage and antique home finds and the occasional jewelry or clothing score. The Flea for All is a multi-vendor shop so there's always something new. 
  • Material Objects: I've been shopping at Material Objects since high school and this consignment store still has the same earnest, affordable vibe. I always find something good here. 
  • Moody Lords: My favorite vintage store in all of Portland, a small selection but a good one. They also sell records. 
  • Print: A Book Store: Portland is unique in that it's home to more than a handful of independent bookstores located downtown. Print is one of them, and they always have a great selection of titles. 
  • Blanche & Mimi: The sweetest gift shop in the Old Port, I always visit Blanche & Mimi if I need a special something for someone or I'm looking for styling supplies. The vintage homewares will leave you salivating.
  • Longfellow Books: Another favorite bookstore that also features a great selection of used books and the occasional adoptable cat (!).
  • Black Boxes on Wash Ave: These shops, located in a can't-miss-it row of black shipping containers, features everything from a specialty cheese shop to a high-end knife seller.
  • Pinecone & Chickadee: Looking for a souvenir that doesn't look like, well, a souvenir? head to this locally-owned shop that features more locally-made goods plus a small selection of vintage.
  • Maine Surfer's Union: Forgot your swimsuit, board or wetsuit? Just want to learn how to surf? Go here. The staff is super welcoming and incredibly friendly, and they carry a bunch of local goods, like Flowfold. 
  • Portland Trading Co.: Owned by Kazeem, arguably one of the most stylish dudes in Portland, PTC carries a variety of high-end goods + Portland and Maine-themed merch that you won't be embarrassed to wear post-vacay.

What to do in Portland, Maine

  • Go surfing: The Maine Surfer's Union offers group and single lessons all summer – they're super friendly. This is where I learned to surf.
  • Portland Observatory: Get a view of the city from above. There are plenty of tasty spots to eat right around the Observatory, too. While you're there walk down to East End Beach.
  • Go to the beach: The hardest part is choosing which beach to go to. There are plenty within driving distance and a few that you can walk to. Yes, the water is cold. Make like a true Mainer and jump in anyway, it's good for you.
  • Take a ferry out on Casco Bay: The cheapest way to get a tour of the islands and learn a bit about Casco Bay? Take the mailboat out for a cruise. This ferry stops at most of the islands (not Peaks though), and the captains usually talk a bit about each one. You can hop off on an island for the day and catch a later boat back, or just bring a cooler and cruise around while the ferry makes its stops. Peaks Island has a separate ferry. Personally, I think Peaks is overrated and overcrowded, but it's popular with tourists, so...
  • Take a schooner tour: This is something I did recently with my mom and it was great. The Portland Schooner Co. offers surprisingly affordable two hour sails in the bay on one of its historic wooden schooners. Go for the 6PM sail for a view of the sunset – on clear days you can even see Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
  • Walk the city: Portland is a small city, skip the silly Duck Tours and just walk it. you can get from end to end in about 45 minutes (without stops). The outer "boroughs" are also worth exploring. Drive or take the bus (or an Uber/Lyft) over to Woodfords or check out South Portland, too.
  • Go see some live music: Amazing shows come through Portland, and they're usually cheaper than Boston or Providence. Check out the State Theater or who's playing down at Thompson's Point.
  • See some lighthouses: Off the top of my head, I can think of five or six lighthouses you can get to within 20 minutes of Portland's downtown (there are likely more). Go see them, they're gorgeous. A couple of favorites: diminutive Bug Light and classic Portland Headlight (shown in the first pic). Also worth the drive is Nubble Light. Google it, you've probably seen pics.
  • Brew hop: If you're a beer fan, Portland is the city for you. There are plenty of guides out there that will all do a better job than I, so google them and drink up.

Where to stay in Portland, Maine:

I live here, so this doesn't apply to me, but hey, here are some places to consider that I've heard rave reviews about:
  • The Francis: if I stayed in a hotel in Portland, I'd stay here.
  • The Press Hotel: Or here...
  • AC Hotel: Or here too.
  • airbnb: But then again, this is an option.
  • The Eastland: The one hotel in Portland I've actually stayed in, albeit a very long time ago. It's a Marriott but still very nice.

Day trips from Portland, Maine:

One of my favorite things about living back in New England – and Maine especially – is how easy it is to get to so many gorgeous locations in a relatively short amount of time. Here are a few of my favorite day trips from Portland, Maine:
  • Rockland, Maine: Check out the Farnsworth Museum, the Center for Contemporary Art, Curator Vintage, and Daughters.
  • Camden, Maine: Very cute and walkable, with great coastal hiking.
  • Wiscasset, Maine: Home of the very famous Red's Lobster Roll (you'll see the line before you see the shack), and my favorite stopover on my way North for hiking: Treats.
  • Boothbay, Maine: Home of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Another sweet seaside village filled with great food (check out Moxy, Botanica, and Elephantine Bakery) and local shopping.
  • Tamworth, New Hampshire & North Conway, New Hampshire: Shameless plug: Tamworth is home to where I work, Tamworth Distilling & The Art in the Age CafĂ©. If you like craft spirits and incredible food in a bucolic, classic New England setting, take the 1.5 hour drive and visit Tamworth, which is just south of North Conway. And OK, I'll be honest, I actually don't like N. Conway that much BUT there's great hiking in the White Mountains super close by. If you go, stop by Frontside Grind for great coffee and Table & Tonic for healthy eats.