Thursday, December 8, 2016

Black Friday Hike on Turkey Mountain

Have I mentioned that I like to keep things the same?

In keeping with tradition, the day after Thanksgiving I took an #optoutside hike with Cece and Roger. This year, we decided to check out Turkey Mountain in honor of the delicious bird we'd devoured just 24 hours prior.

It's a fantastic, not too strenuous hike, and it's a loop back to the parking lot, which I love, because it means you're always seeing something new. Pretty much the perfect post-Thanksgiving hike, considering how full our bellies still were from the meal before.

That evening, Alisha organized another great get-together of some friends from high school. It was such a blast to see them, and a highlight of the evening was telling everyone about our engagement, making us the third couple at the table to get engaged this year!

I also really loved using Amy's lipstick. You can now purchase it for me for Christmas if you'd like.

On Saturday, Roger and I took a drive up to Green Chimneys to visit with some of their farm animals. A delight!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Alaina Kelly

It's been a while since we've had a Writer Wednesday post, but when I saw that Alaina had started up a blog, I knew it was time to get the band back together! Alaina is a dear friend of our family—I've actually known her for almost 25 years—and it's such a honor to see the incredible things she's doing now that we're all grown up. Alaina is a professional hair stylist and is taking her first steps into the world of fashion blogging on Black Jean Bird. I'm so excited to feature her here today, and I hope that as soon as you finish this interview, you'll go check out some of the great outfits and fashion tips she's sharing there! (And, I'm selfishly hoping she does a blog post on bridal fashion soon, since the photos from hers are gorgeous and an inspiration to me as we're wedding planning!)

Who are you? Hi! I am Alaina Kelly, a twenty-something New Yorker living in New England! I am a crazy pup mom of two who has always been a little eccentric.

Where can you be found online? How would you describe your blog to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? Remember, you're in a hot tub with them on a clear cold night, stars twinkling above you. They want all the details. You can find me online @blackjeanbird on instagram or

I am currently starting a fashion blog to show my personal style and favorite items while showing my generation that you don't always need to shop at Forever21 for up-to-date styles. Now is the time in our lives where we should start investing in statement pieces as well as investment items (a hand bag that may be worth more money one day, or that you can pass down to your kids). You can buy good quality items that will last more than one wash at a good, affordable price if you look hard enough. I want to do the looking for people. I want to show both girls and guys in my age range that quality products will last and be worth the money in the long run. I feel like some many people will run to large market stores like Forever or H&M on a Friday night to get clothes to go out in that weekend. Don't get me wrong, you can find good items at both of those places, but will you be able to wear it again next year?

I also want to show people who might be a little shy or afraid to express themselves. That its okay to break out of their shell! I am sure everyone has that ugly pea-green stripe sweater in their closet that they love but are just a little too afraid of what someone might think if they wear it!

What inspired you to start blogging? When did it happen? I have always spent a lot of my free time on the internet looking for fashion inspiration; whether it be on blogs, websites or social media. In the last few months I knew that what I was doing with my career path was wrong for me. I needed to step out, follow my dream, and see if I could make something of it. After a few months of working with someone who knows how to build websites and has more experience then me, I was able to make my dream a reality!

Why do you write? I write because I have always been an open person; I have always said what was on my mind (for the better and worse!). Whenever I wear something that gets compliments the first thing I will say is where its from and how great of a deal I got it for! I just love to share information and maybe to inspire people in a way.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? I think one of my biggest inspirations is Victoria Beckham. First of all, I just love her, but she also went from British pop start to one of the biggest influences of the fashion world. I also grew up with the Olsen twins, who have also built a fashion empire.

Aside from the typical celebrities, women who follow their passion in life just inspire me in general! People who aren't afraid to be their real selves in public.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Hmmm... all-expense paid trip.... that is really hard because I love to travel. I am also not very good at being too hot so I would say somewhere pretty and cold.

The perfect place would be Sneem Ireland. My husband's family is Irish and we went to Ireland on our honeymoon. We now joke about moving there and having a black sheep farm. Seem is beautiful: it's right on a coast—and by "coast," I mean cliffs too. It is the perfect distance from Galway and Dublin for shopping and I can wear an Irish knits every day!!

What is your favorite place on earth? I feel like there are so many places I love! I would have to go with Napa. It is just so relaxing and calm. I love to romp around the vineyards and drink wine. There's an In-and-Out burger pretty close and the temperature is cool at night; perfect for a night out.

Anything else you'd like us to know? I am also a professional hair stylist so there will be a lot of beauty and hair aspects to the blog! I love to share my knowledge and help people build their confidence.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pumpkin Field in Bradford, VT

Roger and I spent much of this weekend driving around the Upper Valley, checking out houses with "for sale" signs and peeking at wedding venues and generally wandering a bit. This part of New England feels so much like what I always dreamed New England would be like, and seeing the snow fall as we walked around Norwich and Woodstock, all decorated for Christmas, was lovely.

This field of pumpkins, with cows climbing up the back, was more foreboding, but still beautiful in its own way.

Monday, December 5, 2016

We're Engaged!

It's official! Roger and I got engaged on November 13th!

We've had a lot of really perfect weekends lately, with beautiful hiking and leaf peeping and meals out, so I think it's pretty funny that before getting engaged, we spent an otherwise completely normal weekend together. Saturday was all about running errands, and on Sunday, we went up to Northfield for the Darn Tough sample sale and brunch with James and Emily and some of their friends. In the afternoon, we went to our first meeting of the West Fairlee Community Club, a social club we joined after moving here.

In the evening after dinner, we started talking about how now might be the right time to get engaged. We've been talking about it for ages (I really wanted to get engaged last winter in India, and we picked out the ring together this summer), and after talking about it this weekend, the timing felt perfect. Roger asked what my favorite memory of our relationship was, and I talked about the shooting star we saw when we first starting dating back in 2004. It was so bright and fiery, and although we were in a little group at the time, no one saw it but us, and it's something I've often thought back on since then. Sunday was the night before the supermoon, so we'd spent some time gazing at the moon on our drive that evening, and it felt like a sign from the stars.

Me, trying to take a cheeky photo of my engagement ring.

Since then, we've been slowly telling our family and friends, in person when we can, and it's been so nice to see how excited they all are for us, even if they expect us to have the whole wedding planned out already. When we finally announced it on Facebook a few days ago, the outpouring of love from everyone there was overwhelming! Although by this point we've been together for a substantial portion of our lives, I'm so excited to finally be marrying this person I've loved so deeply for so long. This feels like the exact right next step, and I can't wait for it, and for all the happy memories to come afterward.