This day was my fairytale

Hello, hello! It has been quite some time since I’ve written. Between wedding planning and being between states all summer, I could barely keep up! However I’m back to the blog, and this time it’s as a married woman! Brandon and I said “I do” on August 15th in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and it was truly the most perfect day. The location, the setting, the atmosphere, and the love surrounding us was truly magical. Our wedding day will forever be the most special day of my life.  While we don’t have our professional photos back from our amazing photographer yet, I wanted to share some memories that I captured, and that friends captured, from our special weekend. (Thanks to all for the photos!) This day was my fairytale <3

Set-up day! Friday, August 14th:
Our wedding was held at the Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor, and it was the perfect venue for us. If could give any advice to future brides out there, it’s this: ask your venue if they will let you set up the day before your event. Our wedding coordinator Carolyn allowed us to do this, which helped calm my nerves and alleviated SO MUCH stress for us both. We set up from 8:30-10:30 a.m., and then we didn’t have to think about it again. Plus, many hands made light work. Thanks to all of our family and friends who helped!

The wedding day-August 15, 2015:
Morning run to shake out my (happy) nerves!

The countdown began:
Our room:
Getting ready fun:
Make-up by the amazing Kimberly Savage:
Hair by Brenna Clauson:
2 Mrs. French’s :
All dolled up!
My dress security was on POINT: Smile
Moments before the walk down the aisle!
Down the aisle we go!
Mom & Nana:

The most special moment with Dad:
Mr. & Mrs. French!
All my girls:
Our amazing cake and whoopie pie favors from Sweet Sensations Bakery in Rockport, ME:

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Bouquet and other flower touches from Boothbay Region Greenhouses. We worked with Marinel and LOVED her!
Some other special touches included a table in memory of our Grandparents: IMG_2434

Our guest book “paddle”:

Dancing Shoes:
Special signage, with so much help from Mom French, and our amazing friends!
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If you’ve made it through this entire post, I apologize for the picture overload! It was so fun to write this and re-live our magical day. Thanks again to our family and friends for celebrating with us and for all of the love. xoxo


Friday favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve been preparing for a big exam all week, so writing this post served as my brain-break. I haven’t written a ‘Friday Favorites’ post in far too long, so I figured today would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Here are some things I’m loving lately:

-Bridesmaids dress shopping:
Wooohooo we picked the dress! I’m not showing the one we picked but I will say it’s a summery navy! We picked it on Valentine’s Day, hence our flowers in the picture below : –) Love my girls!


-Easy, weeknight veggie-packed meals:
Loads of homework unfortunately results in a lack of time for cooking. However, roasting large amounts of veggies, preparing stir-fry’s, and making big batches of quinoa helps get me through the school week with a healthy meal pattern.


-Having my Dad healthy:
Last week, my Dad suddenly had to have a pacemaker put in. While I’ve been told this is a pretty routine-surgery now, it didn’t make me any less worried. I’m relieved to say he’s now healthy and home! I went to back to Maine last weekend and we had margaritas to celebrate : –)


Engagement Photos with my husband-to-be:
While it was a freezing cold, blustery, Maine winter day in Kennebunkport, we had so much fun with our photographer Kathryn Williams a few weeks ago. Thanks for everything, Kate! Here’s some of my favorites:
Meredith  Brandon-1-6Meredith  Brandon-28Meredith  Brandon-1-2Meredith  Brandon-31Meredith  Brandon-38Meredith  Brandon-43Meredith  Brandon-53Meredith  Brandon-55Meredith  Brandon-66Meredith  Brandon-69Meredith  Brandon-1-5Meredith  Brandon-82Meredith  Brandon-89Meredith  Brandon-94Meredith  Brandon-104

Have a great weekend, friends!
What are your Friday favorites?

so snowed in

Hello from snowy Massachusetts and happy February! Once again, I didn’t have class yesterday due to another snowstorm, but after a very late Super Bowl celebration (yay, Patriots!), it was much appreciated.  Who else is snowed in? We got over 3 feet early last week, and yesterday another foot (at least) was added to the pile…yuck!

Clearly, I’m not impressed. Even though I’ve lived through these snowy, frigid New England winters my whole life, it doesn’t mean I have to like them! Anyway, being snowed in has its perks…I’ve gotten a little extra sleep, had some time to catch-up on homework and wedding to-do’s, and have had some extra time in the kitchen, which I never mind at all. However, on the flipside, the freezing cold temperatures outside always lead me to crave comfort foods, so lately I’ve been on the search for a few lightened-up versions of my favorites.

Last week, we were craving soup, so I made this corn chowder from one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats (the only changes I made were substituting-in unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk, cutting the potatoes down to 3 cups, and using turkey bacon in place of regular). This did NOT disappoint. It’s gluten & dairy-free, but full-of flavor. The cauliflower-based broth is genius, and using bagged hash-browns helps cut down on the preparation time!

After the soup was devoured (and we froze some!) we got even more snow. Naturally, more snow meant more comfort food cravings, so a bowl of pasta did the trick.
Contrary to belief, pasta doesn’t have to be considered a “cheat meal” or a “bad option”. It’s all about portions and choices. I’m hooked on brown rice pasta; it’s a good source of protein, fiber, it’s wheat-free, comes in a bunch of different shapes, and lastly it’s not mushy at all. I’ve found it in nearly every grocery store (recently I bought Tinkyada brand and I’d recommend it), and I’d chose it over white pasta in a heartbeat. My favorite thing to do when I am craving pasta is to steam or roast a bunch of broccoli and/or cauliflower (or any vegetable you prefer) and add it to my bowl as my “base”. Then, once cooked, I add my pasta, parmesan, and sauce/toppings. Adding an ample amount of vegetables to the base of the bowl helps fill me up without having to go overboard on the pasta, yet I still end up feeling completely satisfied when the meal is done.

Lastly, for the Superbowl, I made these mini-garlic monkey breads (I made them on New Year’s, too). They were a hit at both parties, and are incredibly addicting. If you need a simple party recipe, make these! I altered the recipe only by using a different method for cooking the dough: I cut each biscuit into quarters, and then added the dough into muffin tins by pressing 5-6 pieces into each tin and then placing one additional piece of dough in the middle on top. (I did this instead of tying them into knots). Either way will work!


I’m off to class; I hope you all have a terrific start to February!

What’s your favorite comfort-food?
Anyone else snowed in?
What’s your favorite way to spend your day if you’re stuck inside?
I love lounging in pj’s and baking!

meatless monday, mostly meatless meredith

Hey friends! Happy Monday/MLK Day. Today is my last day of “winter break” and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in shock about it. Where did January go? I am happy that I feel like I accomplished a lot of my wedding to-do list in my time off from classes, however, it’s still shocking how fast time goes by as we age. While I’m sad to see vacation end, I’m also excited to get back into a daily routine and get this show on the road with classes. I can’t wait to be done already!!


Anyway, since I haven’t blogged much at all in the last couple of months, I haven’t had the chance to share what I’ve been eating lately. Since this has always first-and-foremost been a food blog to me, I want to stay honest about it. Ever since December, I’ve been dabbling with eating a (mostly) plant-based diet. Brandon and I actually declared December as a “Meatless Month”, with the exception of a few pieces of bacon here-and-there (whoops), and seafood. I’m just not interested in cutting out seafood…life is too short and I love it too much! Anyway, to me, this isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle. This diagram does a good job of explaining what exactly what a plant-based diet consists of:



There’s been a few reasons behind this switch, one because I’ve never been a huge “meat” person, and two because I’ve always generally felt better (on the inside and out)when I’m eating mostly plant-based foods.Truthfully though, my entire mind-set shifted entirely after seeing the movies Forks Over Knives and Food Inc. in one of my classes this semester. (Watch these movies!!!) I am so happy to now have more awareness and knowledge surrounding the prevalent health issues linked to animal-based diets, and after learning about the secrets behind the meat industry, I now feel that eating meat and most other animal-based foods just isn’t for me. Trust me, I know this isn’t for everyone, and I’d never push this on anyone! In fact, I can and will still cook  with some animal products, be around it, and serve it; it’s just not something that I, personally, want to eat anymore.

I think my main concern (and my family’s main concern) was where I would get my protein from. I stopped eating dairy a few months ago (with the exception of cheese pizza and ice cream now-and-then because like I said, life is too short!), so that hasn’t been too difficult for me. Vanilla almond milk=my favorite! However, it’s astonishing how many people believe that if we don’t eat meat, we will be protein deficient. That couldn’t be more false! Instead of meat protein, I’ve been focusing on getting my protein from other things: like grains, seeds, seafood, nuts and legumes. Here’s some of the things I’ve been making/eating:

2-bean taco salads

Roasted vegetables

Shrimp, quinoa, and vegetables

Broccoli slaw quinoa salad

Flourless blueberry pancakes with walnuts and gluten-free granola

Rice pasta, grilled shrimp, and roasted cauliflower


Arugula quinoa salad with peanut-butter rice cakes

Peanut butter protein bites

Anyway, I’m not preaching anything here, I simply wanted to share this with all of you in hopes to show that eating a mostly plant-based diet can still be delicious and nutritious, and maybe some of you will want to go “meatless” once and a while, too. I’ll be back this week with a recipe; talk to you soon, friends!

What is your favorite meatless meal?
Lately, mine is a big salad with quinoa and vegetables, and I’m loving experimenting with more cauliflower-based dishes.
Would you ever switch to a mostly-plant-based diet?

hello, 2015

Hello out there and Happy New Year! It’s been a while, that’s for sure. I know I’m a week late on the New Year thing, but it just wouldn’t feel right not saying it in my first post of 2015. Is anyone else freaking out that it’s 2015? I AM (but in a good way). 2015=wedding year!!!


Anyway, a lot has happened around here since the last time I’ve written!
1st semester=complete:
Finishing up my first semester of grad school was a big accomplishment and SUCH a feeling of relief for me. See ya never again, organic chemistry!

Next semester will be even busier, but I’m looking forward to it, especially since I’ll be in mostly nutrition-based classes from this point forward.

Christmas came and went, and it was nothing short of amazing. I love that  some of the Christmas traditions my Mom and Dad have had with my sisters and me  since we were little have stuck, even as we’ve grown older. Baking the same desserts and appetizers each year, wrapping gifts together, blasting the Christmas music, gosh I love the holidays. We don’t open a single gift until all of us are together,  either, which means we’re usually opening until midnight, but it’s such a blast.

I also love celebrating with two families, not just one. Love my French family!


For our gift to each other, Brandon and I spent a night in Kennebunkport, Maine (the place of our engagement.) We stayed at David’s Boathouse Hotel, and now we would highly recommend it. Loved, loved, loved it! Check out this view from our room:

Plus, a personal parking spot wasn’t too shabby, either Winking smile

New Year’s Eve was also amazing. We attended our second-annual  house party at our friend’s New Hampshire home. It really is the greatest party ever because we wear “comfortable” pants on the bottom (a.k.a. pajamas or sweatpants) and a dressy shirt on the top, since all you see in pictures is the top, anyway, and then everyone is comfortable the entire night. Isn’t that genius?! I went with polka dot pajama pants…thanks Aunt Jane!  : –)


I made these garlic knots from Pinterest for the party and they were amazingly easy and amazingly tasty!

Wedding planning madness!
Since Christmas, wedding planning has been in full swing. With the upcoming semester coming quickly, I’ve been trying to cross as many things off of the list as possible.
Venue =check







Website, registry, flowers, dj, videographer, accommodations, etc…in the works!

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately, too, and have some fun recipes to share in the next couple of weeks. It feels good to get back into a routine after the holidays, that’s for sure.

Talk to you soon, friends!

What was your favorite part of the holidays?

Anyone else getting married this year? For those of you already married, please tell me I’m not alone on this feeling!

life lately

Hello out there! How is it nearly mid-November? I can’t believe a month has passed since I’ve written…yikes. I just renewed my blog name, so a promise I’ve made to myself is that 2015 is my writing year!

Anyway, today is extra special because today, my beautiful Mom celebrates her 61st birthday.
We love you , Mom!

And yesterday, my second-Dad celebrated his birthday, too! Happy birthday, Dad! We love you : –)

So, back to life lately. October & November (so far) have been pretty busy around here!

We finished up our year-of-weddings:
We were invited to 9, and were able to attend 7 of them overall. What a whirlwind, but a wonderful whirlwind it was. Each wedding was beautiful and unique in their own way, and all of them were full of love, my favorite! Thanks to all of our friends and family for including us in your special days.

IMG_0338IMG_0343IMG_9845IMG_9559IMG_0181s and jt

We traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, and became obsessed with it:
A city that is filled with rocking chairs everywhere and beautiful sunshine instantly became a favorite of mine!


I saw Demi Lovato in concert:
A weekend in Connecticut with my twin, her husband and the puppies was LONG overdue. We may have partied a little too hard, but we also carved pumpkins and got some quality time together. Such a blast!



I became obsessed with over-sized earrings:
I may have an accessories addiction, but since these were on a super-sale, it’s okay, right?


We’ve been searching constantly for a wedding venue:
I can’t believe we don’t have a venue yet, but it’s been a much harder process than I ever imagined. To our friends and family,  we’ll have a date and a venue before Thanksgiving! What I can say, for now, is that it will be in Maine : –)

I’m off to class, but I’ll be back soon with a couple of oatmeal-based snack recipes…they’re just too good not to share!
Have a great rest of the week, friends!

What have you been up to lately?
Has anyone else been to Charleston, SC? Did you love it?!

Friday favorites: Apartment edition

Hey there friends! Happy Friday and happy October. WOW…October? Where did that come from? It’s hard to believe it’s fall, and hard to believe we’ve lived in our new place for over a month now. The last time I wrote, Brandon and I had just moved; however between classes, the move, and working weekends, I simply haven’t had the chance to sit down, write, and share about it.
Since I had a few minutes, it’s Friday, and I love to read blogs about new homes and home improvements, I thought it would be fun to share some favorites from our new place.

The best part about moving is the decorating, right? It certainly is in my opinion! The top 3 things I’ve learned from moving thus far:
I have a Home Goods problem.
I have a T.J. Maxx problem.
I have a Marshall’s problem. 
Luckily, I didn’t do tooooo much damage since I’ve had 4 different apartments over the last 7 years (!!!) and between Brandon and me we already had most of furniture and things to fill it, but the first step in curing an addiction is to admit it, right? Winking smile

While I love our apartment for many reasons(such as the location, the quiet, and the gym, just to name a few) I have a few favorites inside our new place, too: 
Our nautical décor and tall windows:
I am all about nautical (always have been) and love the look of the starfish in the top window pane. Also, we found this great “Maine” sign listing all of our favorite places on the coast that matches perfectly. The tall windows that let the sunshine come through each day are also a favorite. Plus, to go along with the nautical theme, this rope mirror was a must (Home Goods find…obsessed!)

Kitchen and signage:
I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, and it remains my favorite spot in our place! The counter space, island, and signs make me smile. We haven’t completely finished it, but here’s a sneak peak:IMG_0259IMG_0274

Bathroom colors:
Lately, I’ve been loving light yellow, and when we moved in I knew I wanted the bathroom to be nice and bright. Because of this, we went with a yellow and white color contrast. Here’s a peek, plus some more signs (told you I have an addiction)!

Living with this guy: Love love LOVE living with him again (clearly this picture shows he loves it too…hehehe):
He is such a handy man and did all of the dirty work when it came to moving. Our place looks better and better each day thanks to him. Love you B!
With that, I’m off to class. Hope you enjoyed this sneak peak SmileHappy Friday, friends!

What’s your favorite part of your apartment/condo/house?
Does anyone else have a “signage” obsession like me?