401 741 0318
julia.brough7@gmail.com
providence, rhode island

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sharing is caring friday

well it has been quite some time since I’ve posted! and here we are, December. with the holidays upon us and the airwaves filling with the joyous noise of holiday jingles. as we prepare for festivities, we begin easing into the impending new england winter season. and their ain’t no way around it.

about a month ago I flew out to the west coast for another pacific northwest adventure with my best friends. there was a visit to seattle’s chihuily glass museum and beers on rooftops and photobooth laughs and a wood stove fire in a cute airbnb and walks down portland’s alberta street.


I believe my travel bug has been satiated. for the remainder of 2015 at least. and now I am keeping my adventures local. I have actually had time to clear my email inbox and check things off my to do list like donate clothing and buy a new couch and maybe rake the leaves this weekend. maybe…

so here’s where I just start slapping things that I dig on the page. I’ve come across a couple videos and links that I want to keep track of because of their greatness. and while Icelandic salt doesn’t sound like something notable, let me make you the penne pasta dish that I use it on and you’ll change your tune.

  • my adventurous + amazing friend Kelli traveled to Iceland and brought me back Icelandic moss salt which I sprinkle on penne pasta tossed with parmesan cheese, olive oil, tuna fish, and some veggies. I am dangerously low and need to restock.
  • keeping this sword + plough wool and brown leather purse on the top of my christmas wish list. this company works with veterans to re-purpose military surplus fabric into stylish bags. I’m digging the wool and leather combo.
  • getting <<turnt up>> this friday morning to the tune of brand new coldplay + beyonce, Hymn for the Weekend.
  • to my fellow people of Providence that enjoy taking a break from technology, there is Better Off. This adorable spot (snuggled up next to The Grange) is stocked with record players, typewriters, pencil sharpeners, paper, and analog cameras. It is a…

slow space for time + place away from digital distraction – an opportunity to define digital balance in your life.

I enjoy this instructional video. both for its content and delivery.

another thanksgiving has come and gone but this video will never get old.

his playful smile, musical talent, and green nails all makin’ my knees weak.

an amazing video that I am sure has made it’s rounds on the interwebs. you can bet yer butt this will be streaming and projected onto a wall at my holiday party.

cheers to the freakin’ weekend,

j

p.s. but wait there’s more! this hey now remix by the current ruler of my ears, Bonobo, is pure magic. ok, now I’m good. bye. luv ya.

December 4, 2015

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a tiny stay in a tiny house

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time passes real slow when you are out in the woods, curled up in a tiny house, and armed with only plans to relax. so slow that I decided to log how I spent this time.

4:00 arrived at the sustainable tiny house. stood in doorway for 1 whole minute shaking my head and wondering how I ended up at this adorable portable lodge, alone.

4:01 read the directions for using the composting toilet. very important detailed directions. may have still managed to get it wrong…

4:03 stretched out on the comfy queen mattress and read through the welcome guide.

4:05 took pictures of…everything. opened up drawers and doors and examined the tiny house nooks and crannies.

4:15 perched at kitchen bar, ate a homemade apple, pecan, cinnamon muffin, and gazed into the woods.

4:20 dragged bags in from car and organized my wool socks, flannel pajamas, and bulky wool sweaters.

4:30 got dressed for a walk. walked around the neighborhood for about 5 minutes and couldn’t find a good trail. got in car and drove down the road for about 5 minutes to get a lay of the land.

4:40 came back, changed into pajamas, and made vegetable + lentil soup and a mug of salted caramel hot chocolate.

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5:10 started reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

5:15 felt antsy about sun setting. took selfie from the bed.

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5:16 tried to find service to text the standard, “I’m alive and OK” text – no service was found. (sorry mum!)

5:30 read directions to turn on gas heater.

5:31 turned on gas heater.

5:32 curled up under the covers, read more Kerouac and started crocheting a beanie.

6:30 walked around campsite. sat at picnic table and sighed loudly.

6:32 curled up under the covers and thought about life.

6:34 picked up beanie and stitched more.

7:00 turned on wireless speakers and put my ipod on shuffle.

7:04 hummed along to no silver by chris bathgate.

7:07 watched through the forest trees as a car pulled into the neighbor’s driveway.

7:08 put my service-less cell phone on airplane mode in an attempt to save the remaining 10% battery.

7:09 attempted to tune the lodge’s ukulele by ear – I’m used to using an app to tune.

7:09 burrowed down deeper beneath the covers and crocheted.

7:30 dozed off.

7:40 woke up and realized there was no more solar powered electricity. turned off gas heater and decided to call it a night since it was dark and cold.

don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the gory details. I will say that it was cold up there. the hat and gloves and frost on the ground kind of cold. and I was up at 5am. awake and warm under the covers in the inky dark. the air was freezing and there was still no electricity. so I found a flashlight and crocheted by its light, watching my shadow on the wall. this tiny world was so silent.

I found a new appreciation for daylight as I waited for the light to illuminate my patch of forest so I could turn off the flashlight and get out of bed to turn on the speakers and dance around. obviously, sliding across the floor in my wool socks.

I opened the door and breathed in the morning air. it was all very different – enduring and enjoying the slow passing of time. no speaking. no rush. just being, breathing, and observing.

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after breakfast I packed up the car, blew a kiss to the tiny house, stopped by the nearest convenience store for some vermont beef jerky and a road map, and set out for some secondary road driving and state park meandering.

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adventure on!

restless in rhody

p.s. if you want to learn more about staying in a tiny house, click here!

October 19, 2015

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long weekend leaf peepin’

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felt a bit stir crazy and spontaneous this past weekend and decided to venture north for a mini roadtrip with my fellow adventurous gal pal, ashleigh and her golden doodle quinn.

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we kicked off the trip by driving to the sandy shores of lake winnipesaukee in laconia, new hampshire. after the three hour drive we stretched our legs along the weirs beach boardwalk.

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it was a brisk 55 degrees with the warm sun overhead – the perfect climate for hats and scarves and sandals.

we took memere Brough – my french canadian Broughs are new hampshire natives – out to dinner and spent the night at my cousin’s new house, resting up for the morning hike ahead.

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quinn headed to the summit at gunstock mountain

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leaf peeping at the summit

our 3 mile mountain hike was pretty much exactly what was needed to prep us for the general sedentary state of being that was to come. after the hike we packed up the jeep commander and hit the road, east to portland, maine for a hot dinner date with our friends tina and ryan.

arriving in the forest city, we headed straight to tandem coffee roasters on congress street for a caffeine and local brew fix. salted pretzels paired with rising tide’s american ale sure did hit the spot.

next stop, located directly next door, was duckfat. where we sat outside in the warm autumn night air and shared poutine topped with duck gravy & fresh chives. my roasted pork belly panini fixed with pickled red bell peppers, manchego cheese, and saffron-tabasco mayo was absolute savory perfection and the red wine I gulped down made me flush and ready for bed. surprise, surprise.

the next morning had us up early and out of the apartment for a walk around the city and breakfast at the holy donut. the sweet potato donut with ginger glaze didn’t last long enough for a photo op. and I saved the maple bacon donut for our car ride down the maine coast. as I’ve said before and I’ll say again, yelping donuts is one of the three most important yelps one can do when traveling. the other two are yoga and ramen. trust me on this one.

I love portland. the air smells like salty sea and adventure and I can’t wait to go back.

portland’s finest culinary experiences

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peepin’ that creepin’ vine action

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mousam river marsh

eastern seaboard in autumn

we left portland and traveled route 1 down the seacoast, stopping at old orchard beach and kennebunkport’s mousam river marsh to enjoy the gorgeous weather. finally crossing over into portsmouth, new hampshire for more leg stretching and lunch and live music on the portsmouth gas light co. deck. their fish tacos were perfect all because of the apple chutney.

so basically, we drove around visiting friends and family, enjoying new england and eating good food. what a total waste of time. and thank gosh for the hike and walks we squeezed in to manage and not feel like total lard-butts.

cheers to life’s next adventure,

restless in rhody

October 14, 2015

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belugas in connecticut

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this past saturday I got spit on by a 13 year old, 1,800 lb beluga whale named juno. don’t worry, I asked for it by splashing him in the face first. and the 50 degree water on a gorgeous 80 degree September day felt just fine as it left the exhibit and dripped down the overall waders I had wiggled my bod into to keep me warm and dry.

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two years ago, meeting juno was given to me as a christmas gift from my best friend and my sister. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry when I opened up the card and read the gift description. there’s something about getting close to domestic animals and wildlife that gets me all giddy and sappy. but most of all it was the opportunity to learn and experience something new that had me feeling the feels.

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so, saturday I spent a half hour learning about mystic aquarium’s three belugas, juno, kela, and naluark and a half hour standing in the exhibit’s “beach”, staring into juno’s tiny kind eye while patting his white, cold melon (the muscly bulge found at the top of their heads).

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pups

after gushing over the baby seal pups in ICU – most found abandoned in maine – and feeding the string rays, katharine, erin, and I met up with amanda for lunch at stonington’s breakwater cafe.

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lunch was followed by a walk around town. stonington, established in 1662, was quiet and quaint and filled with quintessential  new england charm.

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September 20, 2015

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cheers to the future!

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I find myself easily overwhelmed and worried about how I am transitioning my present day into my future. overwhelmed with all the plans and projects and things I want to do, see, experience, and enjoy. and worse, I catch myself coveting what others are doing, seeing, experiencing, and enjoying!

so I’ve adopted a new mantra, we are making up the future as we go. a reminder that we are all in this together. life is an ebb and flow of victories and failures and each one of us is, hopefully, waking up in the morning and thinking, “I get a new day! Let’s rock this!”

and to carry this new mantra around with me, I made this iPhone 5 wallpaper (sized at 663 x 1136) – which can be downloaded here. holler at me if ya’ll really want it sized for a different device.

after all of the craziness, I’m just happy to not be underwhelmed. or even more dreadful, just whelmed.

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September 17, 2015

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some like it hot

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pieces to the homemade chai puzzle

you guys, even though it was in the high 80s today with humidity around 80%, I still came home and turned on the stove. I’m a crazy person like that. crazy enough to whip up a batch of black bean + spinach baked taquitos and a couple servings of homemade chai in an un-air conditioned apartment.

I suppose this urge came from the desire to re-root myself within my little home after being away for so long. there’s something about filling life up with fun + madness and then letting everything settle back into a routine that makes me feel content.

anyway, what I wanted to tell you is that homemade chai is really easy to make and even easier to enjoy – no matter the season. and double plus: it makes the room smell so warm and inviting.

homemade chai

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 single-serve black tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk – you can use almond or coconut milk as a substitute!

ready, set, go!

>> place cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and 3 cups water in small pot – bring to boil

>> cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes

>> remove from heat and set aside to let steep for 10 minutes

>> return pot to heat and bring to boil

>> remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 5 minutes

>> strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve (remove solids)

>> return liquid to pot and stir in brown sugar and milk

>> heat over low heat for 1 minute or so

>> pour into cups and serve!

adapted from whole foods recipe.

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and these delish taquitos will be my lunchtime meal for the rest of the week. so basically I cleared up some time to spend it on other important things like sitting on my floor listening to my new patrick park vinyl.

patrick park! another important slice of juicy info I need to bestow upon you: patrick park has an angelic voice, mesmerizing guitar skills, and a very handsome face. I saw him perform last night in cambridge, MA and met him after the show and gushed to him, “thank you, it was all so lovely, thank you.” #smoothestmoves

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do your ears a favor and play them this:

my holding hand is empty off of love like swords album

happy wednesday!

restless in rhody

September 10, 2015

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labor day weekend in cincy

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the street view

with a little help from a wonderful friend, I got to jet away for the long weekend to cincinnati, ohio. a weekend full of surprises, bourbon, rich food, boisterous laughter, and more bourbon. also, I guess I should note that upon arrival at CVG airport, kelli scooped me up and helped me find my way to the nearest waffle house. when in rome?

kelli surprised joey by planning a party, filling it with lovely people, and helping our friend matt and I to fly out to join in on the festivities. also she snagged joey a banjo uke, it is also adorably referred to as a banjolele. this girl is top-fucking-notch. excuse my french.

“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.” — Jonathan Safran Foer

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the party people

day two brought us to the banks of the little miami river in morrow, ohio (about 45-1 hr drive from cincinnati). our crew of six jumped into three tandem kayaks and set off, bobbing along with the steady current. the little miami river covers 111 miles and joins the mighty ohio river east of cincinnati. we bobbed and rowed and swam about six miles – coming across a rope swing along the way. the entire journey took us around three hours. three hours of teaching kelli how to properly swim, sipping on beers, and singing disney songs that reference nature and/or physical, mental, emotional journeys.

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the little miami river crew

the little miami left our team pretty pooped. and while the post-ride nap ensued, I made myself presentable and set out to explore the over-the-rhine (OTR) neighborhood (“believed to be the largest, most intact urban historic district in the United States”). mind you, this decision was made without acknowledging the dark skies rolling in…

I managed to duck into iris book café, a coffee shop and used bookstore, just as the first crack of thunder rattled over head. the store air was filled with the scent of freshly ground coffee and musty pages of aging books. pretty much one of the most intoxicating blends around. I scooped up a dark roast and two hard covers, jonathan coe’s the rain before it falls (felt it was appropriate for the situation) and susanna clarke’s the ladies of grace adieu and other stories and then decided the spitting rain was no threat to my journey and set off to find holtman’s donut shop.

there are three things I typically yelp when I arrive somewhere new: yoga studio, ramen, and donuts. those are my top priorities. and the 4 1/2 star donut shop, holtman’s, was a hop, skip, and a jump from where I was staying. or rather a quick sprint under a stormy sky. my coconut donut stick was light, fluffy, and everything I had hoped for. vine street was packed with patrons coming and going and hiding from bolts of lightning.

I weaved my way through the crowd and ducked from doorway to doorway back to the apartment arriving soaked and out of breath and extremely pleased with my dangerous adventure.

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the street art

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now, as the crew awoke from their slumber, so did their hungry stomachs. we deemed it appropriate for an opulent evening out. a three course meal at salazar.

starting with three appetizers to share:

  • warm marinated olives & manchego cheese
  • blue oven breads, marrow butter, sicilian olive oil
  • heritage pork jowl, heirloom polenta, pickled blueberries, tarragon, spiced chicharon

I selected the salmon “everything” crust, cream cheese dumplings, pickled fresno chilies, bagel chips, caperberry, dill sauce for my main course.

finishing with after-dinner beverages and a dark chocolate pot de creme and a hazelnut torte to share.

the evening came to a close with the help of some hip gyrating at japp’s annex and swaying to mimicking birds at the drinkery.

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mimicking birds’ bloodline

sunday, was warm. well, so far, every day had been warm. I mean the earth felt quite oven-like. however, one must push through that crap and make the most of the gorgeous world around them. so we biked.

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we rented red bikes ($8 for 24 hours / can only use bike for 60 min at a time). we tooled around the city hopping from findlay market to washington park to fountain park to smale riverfront park. the slight breeze and the gorgeous views from the bike seat made for quite the adventure. and we got to take in the city around us. the gorgeous storefronts and stately buildings, the great american ball park, the busy streets. stopped and got a cup of bourbon pecan ice cream from graeter’s. everything is better on a bike.

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the ohio river view from smale park

biking came to an end and we piled in a car and drove to the cincinnati museum center. visiting the museum of natural history + science and the duke energy children’s museum’s science of sports exhibit, where I learned that I can out run a tyrannosaurus rex but I can not out run my friend kelli.

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the cincinnati museum center at union terminal interior

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the view of the cincinatti skyline + a photographer hard at work

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the only way to enjoy a 90 degree day (with 50% humidity)

so this city burrowed its way deep into my city-loving heart. and in return, I wrapped my city-loving arms around it and promised it I’d be back soon. I’m back, safe and sound in my city with my longing for adventure gratefully satiated. and upon arrival, providence didn’t forget to remind me of its love for me. and life.

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providence, RI

xx,

restless in rhody

p.s. full flickr album below! (best viewed via desktop)

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September 8, 2015

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sunday dinner + weekend recap

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early morning summer light against my backyard fence

I’ve been racking my noodle for a way to add structure to this digital diary of mine and it dawned on me that I could turn the long list of “things I want to bake, cook, and eat” into a weekly post and tack on a quick summary of my weekend adventures. saluting the nostalgia of sunday family dinners, sharpening my [nonexistent] culinary skills, and advocating for maximum weekend exploring. how original!

I kicked off saturday with a quick east providence morning walk. found out about this boyden heights + coastal coves walk through the RI land trust days event calendar. hosted by the east providence conservation commission and the providence county hiking club, the short stroll took us through the woods and out onto the east bay bike path where we toured three coastal coves.

our walk leader and providence county hiking club coordinator, ernie, informed us of an excellent hiking/walking resource, trails & walks in rhode island. this site features a very helpful alphabetical list of trails and walks and each one has been assessed and reviewed. with this information there is no reason you shouldn’t be out there getting your trailblazin’ on! tossing “walk all the RI trails” up on my bucket list. and if you want to go for a hike and need a partner – I’m yer gal. holler at me.

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a heron flies above east bay

next stop for saturday was newport for a 10 mile bike ride tour of bellevue avenue and ocean drive with my friend breana. I spent a summer living in newport and I drove this route numerous times to get to my internship at fort adams. and as a native rhode islander, no matter the season, have been a frequent newport visitor. however, I had yet experienced the grandeur of ocean drive by bike. as of late, I had been feeling annoyed with the summer newport scene of crowded sidewalks and roadways. this bike ride was exactly what I needed to revive my appreciation for this beautiful seaside city.

breezing past the car traffic and dipping in and out of mansion driveways, breana and I cruised the coastline daydreaming about what life was like in the late 1800s – to be partying with nevada silver heiress theresa “tessie” fair oelrichs at one of her rosecliff mansion fairy tale dinner parties.

the bike ride left us feeling strong, exhausted, and ravenous. we wasted no time in cleaning up and heading to malt, located on broadway, to feast on small plates and appetizers.

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rosecliff mansion’s backyard  | newport, RI

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I woke up sunday with one goal in mind: to bake a quiche using the squash and duck eggs I bought at saturday’s farmers market. and I did just that.

so the first thing I need to get down in writing is that cooking in an apartment where there is 0% air conditioning inside and 90% humidity outside provides a minor set back for all stove top and oven projects. once the dishes were cleaned and dried and the remaining quiche was wrapped and placed in the refrigerator I texted my mother, “I feel very accomplished AND appreciative of all the dishes you put your time and effort into for our family growing up. it ain’t easy but it sure feels good to feed people good food.”

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upon finishing her slice of quiche, ruth confirmed it was delicious

found an easy to follow quiche recipe after a quick google search for “summer squash quiche”. the linked recipe was selected because it includes a crust recipe as well as the filling recipe. oh, and the filling calls for bacon. so as you can see, it was an easy selection.

download recipe PDF here – summer squash, bacon, and mozzarella quiche

the crust recipe calls for a food processor but as I recalled from my childhood memory bank, my mother never used a food processor. so I used my hands instead. and the crust came out great! the duck eggs have a larger yolk than chicken eggs which makes for fluffier pastries and omelettes. and the bacon and sautéed shallots + thyme made this dish the most savory.

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my summer squash quiche

as always, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you have an awesome week ahead! here are some unrelated links that I want to share with you. ’cause who doesn’t love some classic internet meandering?

cheers,
restless in rhody

August 16, 2015

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tuckertown park

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this past weekend, another one filled to the brim with plans, I managed to enjoy a quick adventure alone. I slipped away between a birthday brunch overlooking the bay in jamestown and a friends + family lobster bake in newport to wander off for a walk in the woods in south kingstown. I was in search of the little free library and the janet gould memorial storywalk – both situated adjacent to each other within tuckertown park.

the 65 acre tuckertown community park has two little league fields, a little league concession stand, space for multiple soccer fields, picnic areas, a playground, two tennis courts, a basketball court, and a nature trail.

the little free library (LFL) was installed earlier this year by a south kingstown resident, allison kates. with hundreds of LFLs around the country, you can find a little free library near you by clicking here.

To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
– little free library mission

the storywalk, opened in 2013, commemorates a long time member of the south kingstown parks + recreation commission and national parks + recreation association board of trustee member, janet gould. a new children’s story is posted seasonally.

both celebrate the love of literary adventures and outdoor adventures – really is quite a novel way to get children excited about reading and the beautiful world around them.

(also, there are a handful of geocaches in the area :D)

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this month’s featured book is frank asch’s happy birthday moon

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if you haven’t yet, hope you get to find a moment of peace and solitude within nature this summer. don’t forget to stop and smell the summersweet.

xx,
restless in rhody

August 10, 2015

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dotting my i’s + crossing my t’s

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I was almost certain I wouldn’t be able to carve out some quiet time this weekend to work on a new project. but to my surprise, I was! between the bike riding, cook outs, apartment cleaning, and Fall semester prep, I was able to turn on my thoughtfully curated spotify station and turn off the lights to burn some candles in the airless, muggy summer night and produce ten handwritten greeting cards with custom envelope liners. while scribbling on scraps and humming along to sara bareilles’ one sweet love, I felt the weekend’s fast pace change gears and ease up on me.

today, I am pleased to announce that last nights’ work has been handed over to the lovely folks at studio hop, a local (found on hope street, a mere .28 miles from my front porch) fine art and vintage jewelry and furniture shop, to be sold. as in, someone out there, in this very small state I call home, may be willing to buy something that I made with my hands and heart. that feeling makes me want to high five everyone.

my dear friend sarah passed on word to studio hop owner, nina, that my cards might be a nice addition for the store and now they’ll be available for purchase at the cash register. lookin’ all cute and begging to be filled with words of love and encouragement and positive vibes and then addressed and mailed out.

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<< happy birth yay to you, happy birth yay to you >>

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did you know that there are thousands of reasons to party?

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that’s right, I’m talking to you. yeah you!

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I imagine the feeling I felt when dropping off these cards at the shop is quite similar to a parent dropping their child off at their first day of school, now go make a friends, honey! go get ’em, tiger! shine bright like a diamond!

now, in the true hustlin’ spirit I will continue to push this endeavor along. ’cause this is only the very beginning of a lovely journey.

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July 20, 2015

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