Adventures with Abigail – Folly 101

I intended to start this blog “series” a while back and it just kept getting pushed off. I very casually call it a series, because there’s no schedule to it.

So what’s with the title? Abigail is my lunch buddy, and wonderful. Folly 101 is one of my favorite stores in Portland, Maine – it only made sense to make this my first Adventures post, because Abigail introduced me to it. This is not a paid post and I have received no product in return for this, I just love this store.

Abigail

Abigail is one of my favorite people I’ve ever known. She works at an architecture firm that our company works with. One day our companies had a meeting and we were both there. She was wearing a chunky sweater, had long natural wavy hair and not a drop of makeup on. Oh, and she’s southern. I immediately liked her. We bonded pretty quickly during our second meeting when she got a really shitty call and I immediately dropped my business mode and was like forget this meeting, and just hugged her. Ever since then her and I have met up at least once a week, give or take, to take a walk, eat gelato, drink hot chocolate, eat lunch, sit on a nook and vent to each other – whatever, we just get together during lunch.

She has the best life stories. Even if there is the rare sad one, you always somehow end up laughing you butt off. She’s one of those people who is modest, and you find out these stories in the most random ways, and you always feel better after you’ve hung out with her. We’re pretty similar in a lot of ways, and very different too. One, she’s a New Englander at heart who was raised, primarily, in the south. This means she’s a little rough around the edges, but also completely a southern lady. It is a hilariously wonderful juxtaposition. I don’t care if that’s the wrong term, it sounds right. I on the other hand, have an inner southern grandmother, but was raised in New England.

Oh, and don’t call her Abby, Gail, Ab, A, Big . She’s Abigail. If you meet her you’ll totally agree with me.

The point is – she’s fabulous. I told her a long time ago I would do this and she pointed out it should be called “Adventures with Heather”. I am, afterall, the one who walked through the city with a small plastic kiddie pool over my head. The one I found at Reny’s for 10 dollars for the pooches.

The point is, she’s probably right. This is my blog though, so in yo’ face Abigail (mwahaha). I know you’re reading this.

Folly 101

How do I explain this store? Fabulous-country-chic-rustic-modern-lovely-wonderful-perfect-*sigh*.

If you’re ever in Portland, please go to Folly 101, located (appropriately) at 101 Exchange Street.

The store is broken up into decor by color, with the back being bedding and baby stuff. I had to laugh at this photo. Baby and Abigail do not go hand in hand. I took this photo, laughed and said I was posting it on my blog. She said “Don’t you dare!” in her North Carolina twang.

So obviously here it is.

Here are a few of my other favorite things from this store – besides everything ever.

1.) Napkins

2.) Tea Set duuuhhhh

3.)  That book “Pale & Interesting”. Aptly named – it was indeed pale, and interesting.

Southern Pie! Are you? Do I?

There is nothing else I need to say about that. You know me, it’s obvious what I’m in love with about that.

The candles are really pretty, but I mainly took this photo because I like the layout on the table.

Everything. Everything about this photo. The rugs are so nice. The styling is amazing in this store. The mantle always has something beautifully displayed, the blankets hanging by the mantle are so soft and plush and under those lights are necklaces that are charming as the dickens.

These cute little votive glasses start at a few bucks each and would be great for a variety of reasons.

Leather handle nesting baskets. I am a sucker for baskets,  but when you put a leather handle on them I swoon a little – especially when they are nested and next to an interior brick wall.

Finally – I’m not sure this next photo needs any explanation but I will.

Rustic styled tray & a book on cookies. Not just any cookies. Bigfatcookies.

Done and done.

To be completely honest, I probably photographed some of the less awesome things about this place because I was too overwhelmed and running around looking at everything. I completely missed a photo of the old hoosier style cabinet filled with soaps and bathroom stuff, the front windows which are incredible and even a picture of the store sign.

I get slight amnesia when I walk in here.

The details:

Price Point: This store is on the higher side, generally. Despite how much I like it, I have never actually bought anything but that is because I’m so super cheap – and I wouldn’t even know what to buy because I like it all. There are some incredible deals here though. I saw a 3×5 rug for $25.00 – that’s pretty awesome. I might go back and buy it. Once we redo the house I will likely have a few things from here.

Staff: The staff is friendly, sweet, wonderful. When we walked in the other day I even saw a bridal consultant I had, at a different store, who was the nicest person.

Location: It’s located near the top of Exchange Street, and there’s street parking. With the plethora of great small stores in Portland, it’s worth it to find a spot and hit up a few places at once.

Just make sure one of them is Folly 101. You won’t regret it.

Much Love,

Heather

Super Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

It may still be technically Summer, but for all intents and purposes it is most definitely Autumn in Maine. The fog is rolling in on the hayfield and the frost is about to set in soon. It’s one of my favorite seasons for a few reasons. One, it’s chunky sweater weather. Two, the trees are about to burst in a gorgeous collaboration of color. Three, the butternut squash is ready.

Roasted butternut squash is good for a multitude of things, and can be made in a multitude of ways. However, I am going to tell you my very favorite recipe. Brace yourself, it’s super ridiculously simple.

Roasted Butter Nut Squash

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash
  • 1/2  stick of butter (for two butternut squash, four halves)
  • Brown Sugar (to taste)

Not kidding. Those are the ingredients. You’ll also need an oven for the whole roasting part of the recipe, some tinfoil for easy cleanup and cookie sheet or cake pan. Whatever you use, it needs to have sides on it.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your pan with tinfoil and set aside.
  • Chop the top and bottom end off of the butternut squash with a sharp knife so it sits flat on it’s bottom. Be careful, the skin is notoriously tough. I have never had an issue, but I’ve heard it can be hard. Butternut Squash does not merit a flesh wound.

  • Stand the butternut squash on it’s bottom and carefully slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds until the flesh is clean.

  • Melt butter either on the stove top (be careful not to burn the butter), or in a microwavable dish.
  • Pour butter into tinfoil lined pans.
  • Place the halves of butternut squash flesh side down onto the melted butter in your pan. Deliciousness will start to infuse into your squash immediately.

  • Roast for approximately 50 minutes. When you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, it’s done.
  • Pull out of the oven and turn the broiler on.
  • Flip the squash flesh side up. Sprinkle the top of the squash with brown sugar and place back under the broiler until the sugar very lightly melts/caramelizes.

Now, here’s the best part. Just eat it warm right out of the skin. If you prefer you can peel the skin off and puree or mash it up. However, I’m a purist. I either like it straight out of the skin, or with a little brown sugar toasted on top. It’s incredibly easy, incredibly healthy (especially if you nix the sugar, since it’s so sweet anyway) and wonderful. It works well on it’s own, or paired with a simple pasta salad.

The beauty of this is how simple it is. Food shouldn’t have to be complicated and this is the epitomy of simplicity and deliciousness.

Here’s to a roasty, toasty Fall,

Heather

Pioneering & Pictures

Have you ever read The Pioneer Woman?  This blog (along with Young House Love) single handedly (is that a word?) sometimes get me through my lunch hour at work.  My very favorite part of The Pioneer Goddess Woman is her Confessions. Frankly, I feel like I’m reading into my future (small scale – I only wish we had a full on ranch). I always find myself smirking and laughing out loud at her materials. She’s just so honest about everything that it’s a hoot.

She essentially sums up what I picture as the perfect life: a farm, a maybe not so clean house all the time but one that is lovingly and well lived in, livestock, poultry, a gaggle of dogs and maybe some geese, Mr. A’s God given backside in chaps, being smart enough to home-school (that one really is a dream, I’m confident but not that confident) and a hot cup of tea on the porch on a fall day. The fact is, we’re a long way from that. Hopefully within a year chickens will come, maybe a goat or two. The chaps, chainsaw as they might be, are bound to be broken out again come spring leading to one of my favorite views, and I’m not referring to a timbering tree.

If there is one thing I have down, right now as I write this it’s the “…maybe not so clean house all the time but one that is lovingly and well lived in…” part.

Where was I going with this? Side note: Mr. A will tell you that I am notorious for forgetting things. It’s really, really, really pathetic. I should have my head examined. If I could remember to.

Right – things that are important to me. I was going through my phone the other day and came across many pictures that made me smile and remind me how blessed I feel to have a simple, quiet out of the way lifestyle. There truly is nothing as sweet as loving the life you live, and going through it with your best bud by your side (or three best buds if you count the furry ones).  So here they are – in no particular order…except the last one, because really – it is the most important.

Camp

The love bugs.

The crotchety Old Lady who is not longer with us

Our first “home”

Mr. A at work

Tulips

Having the girls pull stunts like this when I’m feeling frumped. It’s impossible to feel frumped while they look like this.

Trust me. Country dogs are the best.

 

Painting. I didn’t say I was awesome. I just like painting.

Flea Markets

The Bovinest Women Around

This face

 

Enjoying the fruits of our garden, for months to come

 

Enjoying the fruits of nature, immediately (apples as it may be)

the feeling of freedom this gives me, and it’s only steps away from my door

and finally, for now -Mr. A. Seeing him in his element & happy is by far one of my favorite pleasures in life

 

Much love, happiness, homesteading and joy,

Heather