a short list.

November //

Things to be happy about in November:

// Leaves everywhere you turn like magic

// Turning on the heat

// Hot tea and a good TV show {we’re watching House of Cards!}

// hanging out with the Gilmore Girls before Zan gets home

// This fleece robe that’s a huge slice of heaven

// Perfect sunsets

// Days off and lunch with my sister

// Being in the middle of a good book

// The most comfortable sheets in the world {Microfiber! Insane!}

// Making time to blog

// Thanksgiving in 15 days

// A house that feels like a home

home for the holidays // a boston blogger event

Boston Bloggers // home for the holidays

Yesterday I had the great experience of attending “Home for the Holidays”, a kick-off holiday event hosted by Boston Bloggers and Wayfair. I have been to many Boston Blogger events over the past several years, but this one was certainly one of my favorites. The morning started off with a gathering at the Wayfair offices in Copley Place, so I drove into the city early morning-style and with the sun shining so bright and beautiful, I knew it was going to be a good day. Also, these days, my fastest route to the city is that last stretch of the Mass Pike– I’m sure you all know it– the view of the city after that last toll? Looking a past the BU Bridge down the Charles and beyond? That view is SWEEEET.

There were lots of bloggers at this event– enough to fill an entire conference room, so we were together for most of the keynote speakers, but then were put into groups for break-out sessions. Here’s how the day went down for me:

Intro Keynote: A conversation with Christiane Lemieux and Heather Armstrong //

I loved this keynote, and getting to hear two incredibly successful woman speak about how they got started, how they stayed true to themselves, and how they essentially “made it” in this crazy blogging/design world. Both Christiane and Heather were incredibly graceful, but also both had some pizazz and boldness that made me enjoy them even more. A good start to the day and inspiring, for sure!

SEO Q&A Session //

Admittedly, I have never in my life though about SEO before yesterday, and admittedly I likely will not really think about it ever again, BUT! The session was actually really informative and now I at least know what that acronym means. Really for me, my blog is a platform for me to chronicle my life– I’m not writing a lot of reviews, or how-to’s {although I’ve definitely done a few when the inspiration strikes} so I’m not too focused on getting a ton of traffic here in that regard. And although gaining new readers is something appreciate and love, I’m not sure optimizing my search engine results is where it’s at for me in terms of priorities. But, to each their own, yes? And never say never— now that I know a little more, maybe I will take the time with some of my more relevant posts!

DIY Pennant Banner Making //

An instagram of the process and hopefully an instagram from home coming at you soon!

Lunch + Discussion with Alison Vinciguerra //

The key points of Ali’s really great discussion are all outlined here and as far as my opinion on quality over quantity? Y. E. S. I also love the question she reminded everyone it’s important to ask yourself: Why am I blogging in the first place?  {I am blogging to record, to foster my creativity, to write, to share my photography, to connect, to reflect, BECAUSE I LOVE IT.}

Tabletop Styling with Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty //

This was my favorite session, mainly because Abby is completely awesome and inspiring. She talked a lot about the beginnings of her brand, and also tips and hints for styling and photographing a holiday tabletop. Hint: always bring in some type of foliage and do something handmade! I loved this because I can connect with Abby’s personality, appreciation for beauty and style, and also, because I’m feeling inspired to design a killer table-scape for this year’s holiday season.

DIY Gift Tags //

Another session full of fun and crafts. Plus, Kate is hilarious and my favorite. I chose to make glitter gift tags using paint chips. Hoping to blog about it soon!

Closing Keynote, Menu Planning with Jeremy Sewall //

Jeremy is the chef/owner at Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34, so he came shucking oysters AND lobsters while the rest of us sat there passion eyed {at least I did} with visions of summer dancing in my head. So much for a holiday party! ;) He spoke about how to best plan your menu for Thanksgiving dinner {do a few things REALLY WELL, don’t try to do everything!} and how it’s okay, smart even, to prep a lot of the food ahead of time. He also talked about his experience being a chef, how he loves cooking in all seasons, but fall especially, and how he doesn’t like to follow food trends– it’s all in fresh, local, wholesome ingredients.

And the day ended with wine tasting at the cocktail party with holiday music to boot! GOT ME RIGHT BACK IN THE SPIRIT. We were also all given a gift to take home with us– a nice surprise ending to the day!

//

All in all, it was a fantastic time– Boston Bloggers is such a great community and I’m glad to be a part of it. And the biggest take-away of the experience, one that I heard multiple times throughout the day and one that always resonates with me: stay authentic, always.

Be yourself, do what you love— ALWAYS DO YOU. ♥

the truth about hats.

the truth about hats. // dearfriendblog.com

The truth about hats is that you can never have too many. Scarves, too, for that matter. Never enough scarves! Never enough hats!

I never really pictured myself a hat person but the older I get the more I realize that’s exactly what I am– a girl with hats for all seasons. And although summer is the finest season in all the land, there is no better season for celebrating hats than winter. There are so many good ones out there, how could we possibly choose! It reminds me of a favorite read-aloud of mine– CAPS FOR SALE! CAPS! FIFTY CENTS A CAP!

Sigh. If only they were 50 cents. Then forget the monkeys, they could easily all be mine.

hats

 

Here is my winter hat/scarf round-up, inspired by Abbie and Rachael! :)

ONE. TWO. THREE. FOUR. FIVE. SIX. SEVEN. EIGHT. NINE.

Are you a pom-pom fanatic? I ABSOLUTELY AM.

life in film // 01

FILM 01 // dearfriendblog FILM 01 // dearfriendblogFILM 01 // dearfriendblogFILM 01 // dearfriendblogFILM 01 // dearfriendblog FILM 01 // dearfriendblog FILM 01 // dearfriendblogFILM 01 // dearfriendblog FILM 01 // dearfriendblogFILM 01 // dearfriendblog

“Creative Overnight Vol. Two”
The Graham and Co. + Phonecia Diner
Phonecia, New York
August, 2014

PENTAX K1000
Fuji Film Superia X-TRA400

 //

I’m so excited to present these photos– the first in a film series I’m starting here on the blog. In August, while home for a weekend to visit family, I found my old 35mm Pentax K1000, straight from my photo elective taking high school days. Gloriously, it still worked {turns out the battery– a silver oxide battery– can last Y E A R S!} and so I hurried to Ralins, the old film store in Syracuse {still up and running to my delight} to buy myself a pack of Fuji film. I’ve had the best time testing out the camera– loading the film, hearing the “CLICK!”, waiting {and waiting} to see the images I tried to capture. Oh, the wonder of it all!

I’ve gotten three rolls developed from the summer, and have a few more waiting to be dropped off at the nearby film processing center. Turns out, through a bit of trial and error, places that develop film are few and far between. I’ve found a few companies online, but the pictures above were developed at a photo shop in Waltham, which only develops once a week on Saturdays. Most places like CVS send film away to be developed, so I was happy to find a specific photo store in my area that does the work in shop.

I don’t know if there are many readers out there with an interest in film photography, but it never hurts to ask a few questions in case you have any knowledge to share:

1// Do you have any favorite film recommendations? Does it matter so much the film I get? I started out with Fuji 400 to play it safe, and because I’m familiar with it, but I’m definitely up for trying different films if there are others out there that people enjoy working with.

2// Do you have any favorite film developing shops? In Boston or to send away to? I hope to someday try Indie Film Lab, recommended to me by a photog friend {I love the look and mission of the company}, but right now it’s a little pricey especially when most of what I’m doing is experimenting! Helping out a local business feels right and good for now, but I’m interested in other places too if you know of any!

//

These photos are unedited, and I hope to keep the whole series that way, save for a little bit of lightening I did on just a few. It’s fun to keep them “natural” since most of the time I’m doing some heavy editing via instagram and this blog. I think the color and depth to these photos just goes to show– film photography is still amazing! Anyway, I hope you like them! More are coming soon! :)