under construction, yo! Greenbeans and Moneytrees: August 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pokagon State Park

On Tuesday, my father and I set off on an adventure.  We try to make a special daddy-daughter bonding trip every time I come home and this time we went to the Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park in Angola, Indiana.  My father went to Pokagon every summer growing up to go camping and as my sisters and I grew up we joined the tradition in returning to the park (although we traded tents for cabins and a lodge).  Pokagon sits on three lakes and has a variety of swimming/boating/hiking activities in the summer and tobogganing in the winter.  This trip my dad and I discovered a new restaurant that serves up home cooking and "fried biscuts" that are the closest thing to beignets since Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.

We took a night hike where we made some new friends.

The next morning I had a throwback to 7yearsold and went to the Arts and Crafts room and painted a ceramic turtle to join my sisters' chipmunk and ladybug in our indoor garden at home (of course it was complete with hot pink feet, tiffany blue nail polish, and glitter).  After craft time, I headed over to the stables and went horseback riding and the trail was absolutely beautiful.

When I was finished, my dad met me at the stables and we went for a picnic and then sticking our feet in the lake.  As Wednesday afternoon waned, we headed homeward, first stopping at a local outdoor mall and doing a bit of shopping.  New yoga pants, 3 new shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, a leopard print belt, comfy flats, and a sweatshirt cardigan that screams New England are the new additions to my wardrobe arsenal.  Now I just have to figure out how I am getting all of this back to school in two suitcases!

I had so much fun spending time with my dad.  It was a really great way to finish off the summer.  Now I am only a few days away from trudging through Hurricane Irene and beginning my junior year at Babson College!

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I'm Wearing

Last night was a big deal.  Well, not really, but I did get to play in my first ever poker tournament.  A local sports bar hosts a Texas Hold'Em tournament every Monday night and my dad and I decided to give it a whirl.  It was a fairly small crowd, only about 20-25 people, but it was a lot of fun.  I had never played the game before (outside of a few sleepover nights when I was 9), but everyone was really helpful and giving me pointers.  I was the second person out, but I consider that a success considering.  My dad is also a beginner (this was his second time playing) and he actually placed second in the tournament!  Afterwards, we enjoyed a yummy dinner and mom got to watch the Bears game (which was pathetic, not a fan).

This evening I chose a very summery outfit of short shorts, tank top, and sandals, but added a sweater to tame the neon and because the restaurant was FREEZING cold.  I had a really great time.

Tomorrow, dad and I are heading to Angola, Indiana to Pokagon State Park for one last getaway before I leave.  The resort there is right on a lake and has boat rentals and horseback riding, so I'm really excited for a daddy-daughter bonding adventure!

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Thursday, August 18, 2011


No, I am not prego.  Today while I was browsing through the store I stumbled into the vitamin aisle and remembered reading that Lauren Conrad swears by taking prenatal vitamins for expedited hair growth and health.  Seeing that I am slightly obsessed with Lauren Conrad and since her hair is absolutely stunning and beautiful and longgg, I'm not going to argue with her logic.  I have always wanted long hair, I often long (see what I did there?) for lengthy hair that I can twist into a beachy side fishtail braid or sweep up into a romantic updo.  But I just never seem to have the patience.  My hair grows out just longer than my shoulders and I get so bored that I need a dramatic change and just chop it all off.  Not anymore my friends!  I solemnly swear (that I'm up to no good...as always) that I will grow my hair long and I will not cave into a dramatic change.  If I need a dramatic change in my life, I will go back to blonde or change my makeup or reinvent my personality or something other than cutting my locks.  My goal is to grow my hair long and luscious and have beautiful bouncy curls and hair health that means my hair will stop falling out and a gross rate and these prenatal vitamins are my medium of doing it.  Not to mention that these pills are actually adorable and pink and not too big.  I'm supposed to take them once a day, with meals.  So tomorrow morning, while I am pouring my big bowl of lucky charms (case and point of why I'm not ready to be an actual mother) I will pause and think of my long hair as I wash down my new vitamin.  Stay turned for more wacky ideas that I randomly come up with and commit to, it's always interesting to be maryFREAKINGhalpin. ;]
Ps.  Lauren Conrad's hair stylist also recommends rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar once a week, which I use as my "conditioner" for No Poo!

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Matchbook Magazine

Have you ever found something that is so exactly you to a T?  I found that in a magazine.  Matchbook Magazine is a brand new online magazine (their first issue was February 2011) that boasts 150 pages of amazingness.  The magazine revolves around "The Matchbook Girl" with different attributes described in every issue, like "throws a lavish lawn party, seriously excels at bocce ball, wears polka dots in Paris, mixes cocktails with panache" and "vacations the month of August."  The stories feature different designers whether it is Rebecca Minkoff or an up-and-coming interior designer.

Each issue includes a datebook (complete with Amelia Earhart's first flight and Jackie Kennedy-Onassis's birthday), Wish Lists from the Editors, "What's In Your Bag?" (this month:  Coco Chanel) and Just Married (complete with perfectly preppy and posh details of location and dress designer).

There is a History Lesson section with a brief biography of a proper Matchbook lady (Katherine Hepburn, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorthy Parker, Harper Lee), 10 Things You Didn't Know About (Princess Margaret, Truman Capote, Yves Saint Laurent), and Encyclopedia (The Convertible, Fireworks).

In the Fashion and Beauty section there is the Icon (the striped shirt), Kindred Spirit (Frida Kahlo and her home, medicine cabinet, wardrobe, etc), and the Beauty Counter (picking the correct red lipstick).

Culture and Living includes a Recommended Reading list, a techie gadgets wishlist, recipes, "50 Classics" (coffee table books, office supplies, green products), and "Matchbook Investigates" (asking assorted bloggers questions).

The Features portion includes a variety of different stories.  Articles on designers, both up and coming and already famous.  Designers of homes, jewelry, clothes, bags, make up and everything else you could possibly think of.

I love absolutely everything about Matchbook, but there are certain things that stick out.  Matchbook is new. It is fresh and evolving.  Constantly changing but always consistent.  It is preppy and girly, high-class and down to earth, proper but not too prim.  It is essentially, everything I aspire to be.  The advertisements are a mixture of already-adored brands like Lily Pulitzer and Coach to small boutiques like Southern Proper and Rikshaw Designs.  I also love that every advertisement and product they feature are linked.  So if I fall in love with those 14K Gold Fleur De Lis Earrings on page 16, I can just click on them and it takes me straight to their Amazon.com page to buy them.  It's amazing.

I am a Matchbook Girl, through and through and am officially obsessed with their fantastic magazine.

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Monday, August 15, 2011

No Poo Challenge: Month 3

I have spent my entire life, hating my hair.  I have thick, curly mousy brown hair and I have spent most of my life trying to change it.  I have been dying my hair since 7th grade and straightening to death every day for years.  This summer, I took a risk at letting nature work itself out and not washing my hair.  Now, it has been three months since using shampoo and I could not be happier.  My curls are actual...curls!  They are perfect ringlets.  They are bouncy and voluminous and beautiful.My hair is not greasy at all.  Not the slightest bit.

Unfortunately, there are a few downsides.  I am still shedding like crazy.  I don't know if this is more or less than normal with shampoo or what.  Maybe it's all the dead hair finally leaving my scalp to make room for all the non-damaged hair in result of going no poo.  Also, I have noticed that my hair actually got too dry and lacked moisture and grease.  So I bought some sulfate-free conditioner (note to self:  Suave shampoos and conditioners do not contain sulfates) and have been using that.  Now, my routine consists of using my baking soda mixture once a week or once every other week and using conditioner about every other day.

My hair is soft and supple and has beautiful curls days after getting it wet.  I absolutely ADORE my no poo routine.  It has significantly cut down on my shower and primping time and has given me great results.  This may possibly have partly to do with spending my summer on a lake and being in the water every single day and air-drying my hair in the wind off boats.  I am curious to see how my hair adjusts once I go back to Boston and am no longer rinsing my hair in the mineral-rich lake and have the winter havoc left on my hair.

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Friday, August 12, 2011

What I'm Wearing

The perfect summer day and finally having a semi-decent tan (for the first time in my life) called for the perfect beige sun dress.  Short and lightweight, it is a sure way to stay cool.  I threw on a light chambray shirt, that looks good over everything and added my favorite waist cinching belt to complete the look.  My nude wedges went perfectly with this outfit and I never have the guts to wear them.  They're so tall I feel like I'm going to simply fall over at every step, and usually I do fall frequently in them.  Confession:  as soon as this picture was taken, I kicked them off and continued to go barefoot the rest of the day.  But man, do they make my short stumpy legs looks long and thin or what!?  (Please don't say "or what")

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Perks of Living on a Lake

10 weeks ago, I went kicking and screaming all the way from my home in Chicago to Culver, Indiana to be a Communication Intern at my former high school.  I was sure to have a dismal time with no friends and no social life.  What it turned out to be was very possibly the best summer of my life.  It’s only rival is 2004, when I spent 5 weeks away from home (for the first time) at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and had my very first kiss.  This summer was a far cry from my first kiss, but was possibly even more amazing.  Yes, for the first week it was slightly dismal because no one was there and I was staying in a cabin with no indoor plumbing and barely electricity.  The second week was better as a few friends arrived I spent most evenings watching movies and catching up with friends I haven’t seen since graduation.  After that, I moved into a much more “Mary-Friendly” dorm room 

and spent most days laying in bed watching Netflix and it was shaping up to be strikingly similar to last summer.  Although you can't ignore the very "Culver" events. Like Council Fire

and Parade.

Then I went to Boston for a week for 4th of July.  This was magical.  I rekindled a romance, saw all of my friends, and had the absolute time of my life.  I loved it.  

The following week I returned to Culver and saw that my roommate had been promoted to a live-in counselor position in Woodcraft (living in those cabins, promotion or punishment?) and I was getting a new roommate, and this is really when the summer started heating up.  My new roommate was this bubbly ball of gab, a total chatterbox and at first, I was hesitant.  Then I decided, what the hell, and let her in.  We became fast friends and started taking advantage of living on the lake.  

Our routine soon became taking a night swim when Amy returned from work, this introduced me to even more people that I became friends with.  The weekend came and one of the photographers from my office invited me and Amy our for the Moonlight Serenade which is when the Naval Band boards the Ledbetter (largest boat on Lake Maxinkuckee) and plays music up and down the shores.  

There were two boats going out with people from the Academy with two extremely cute drivers who happened to be sailing instructors at the camp.  Amy and I innocently flirted our way through the night and scoring invites to watch a sailing regatta the next day, at the former CEO of AT&T’s lake house.  Amy unfortunately had to work, but I was all in.  

And of course later that night there were fireworks.

From that day forward was a whirlwind (note my lack of blog posts after July 15).  That weekend alone, I went on 7 different boats over the course of 21 hours, the rest of the summer followed suit.  

I made loads of new friends and took opportunities.  I learned to sail, waterski, wake surf, and tube.  I was out on a boat almost every day.  Although the relationship I started the summer with unfortunately ended, new boys wasted no time making their intentions known and I was quickly whisked off my feet.  

As the summer days started dwindling down, I dreaded leaving this utopia and returning home.  The final night of this “summer” ended with a ball.  Dressed to the nines and equipped with very cute arm candy, I danced the night away, or rather until the SEVEN blisters on my feet willed me to take a break.  

Teary goodbyes and one last stop at the Root Beer Stand closed this chapter of my life.  Now I am counting down the days until I return to Babson and shortly after make a surely-tearful reunion with a part of my summer that will hopefully continue much longer than 9 weeks.

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Final Internship Update!

This summer boiled down to nine weeks.  The nine weeks that I held the position of Communications Intern at Culver Academies.  Nine weeks, five days a week, eight hours a day.  It seems like an endless amount of time, but it flashed by in a hurry.  As I was packing up my desk and tying my loose ends, I looked through my documents folder and marveled at all I had accomplished.  From the first day I utilized my passion for Photoshop by creating a flyer looking for a new Assistant Soccer Coach and edited a picture portraying graduation that made the front page of the website (my first day at work!)  I brainstormed ideas for Culver’s Brand Management and pictures for the next Admissions video.  I edited the Graduation DVD and a letter going out to all new parents.  I wrote articles about the summer camp, Harkness method of teaching, and AP classes.  I went through Culver’s MASSIVE website and found pictures and Search Engine Optimization keywords and descriptions for every single page.  I researched luxury clothing brands and the possibility to collaborate with Culver for a high-end line for parents gear.  I created and updated the CGA 40th Anniversary Facebook page to celebrate and gather excitement for my alma matter turning 40.  I wrote an orientation guide because next week my sister joins the Culver family as the winter Communications Intern (for the first time in her life, she’ll be “Mary’s sister” instead of me being “Katie’s sister,” I’m absolutely stoked).  Since Katie never went to Culver and only visited me a few times, there were certain things that Katie needs to do and witness in order to get a real Culver Experience.  The three things I am most proud of is writing business plans and presentations for a new Admissions presentation, Social Media Initiatives, and TOMS shoes to be a part of the Culver Girls Academy wardrobe.  Each exercise and task taught me something new about Culver as a school, Culver as a business, and Culver as people.  I truly enjoyed my time working within an amazing, dynamic team and hope to return “home” soon.  Even though I am a Business major, the most important lesson I learned is that Communications and Public Relations is vital to every industry and is particularly intertwined with business.

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summertime Dreams

The summer as I knew it has come to an end.  I arrived home in Chicago Saturday evening after 9 weeks at my alma matter in Culver, Indiana.  My next two posts will be recaps on my summer, one of my amazing internship and one of my amazing social life.  I now have three weeks until I return to Boston to start my junior year of college at Babson College and I could not be more excited.  This three week break will afford me time to catch up on much needed sleep, TV watching, and blogging (all of which I have been seriously lacking on).  My room is a disaster area of my life at home, life at Culver, and life at Babson.  I need to get sorted out, donate a truckload to a second hand store, and figure out how I am going to fly back to Boston with two check bags... It will be a lackadaisical, recharging, and productive three weeks.

Remember to subscribe to my lovely blog, and twitter, and tumblr xoxo, mfh