4 Steps to Channeling Your Inner Gardener This Spring

When I was little, I loved to play in the dirt. I would spend my summers turning over stones to find rollie pollies and bugs of all sorts with my brothers. Being outside in the grass and dirt always seemed second nature to me. But then, I got older and started spending more time on my phone and laptop than out in my backyard. Go figure.

Gardening has always been something that has interested me from afar. By that I mean I love looking at immaculately maintained gardens, but I don't like doing the maintaining myself. I realized, though, that my hesitance around gardening wasn't due to any particular dislike of actually doing the work, but because I didn't exactly know where to start.

My mom has always encouraged me to get outside and into the garden, but I never took to it. But a few weeks ago when I was back at home, she practically forced me to do some planting. Of course, I'm always keen to come along with her to the garden centre- if only to take snaps of the pretty flowers. But diggings holes, getting dirty, and even re-seeding/fertilizing the whole yard was completely new to me! When I came back to the U.K. about a week ago, I felt like I was at least semi-equipped to help Ben with his own garden in his new flat in London.

Speaking from my own experience, gardening can be pretty intimidating. You need a bit of know-how when it comes to science to make sure your plants grow. You also need a creative eye to get your garden aesthetic down to a T. I have none of those things. Even so, I wanted to share a few simple steps that will get you on the right track for putting together your own garden this spring if you're a novice like me.


What to Do (And Eat) On A Short Trip to Montreal

Being from Boston, I really like to brag about how "European" my home city is. From all the brick architecture and cobblestone pathways to the historical sites that sit on every corner, we really take pride in Boston's European reputation.

But, if there's one place in North America that truly beats out Boston for having that je ne sais quoi, it truly is Canada's very own Montreal. It may be a far cry from Europe geographically, but when you visit Montreal you really feel like you're stepping foot in a little offshoot of France. Of course, French being Montreal's major language helps to create this feeling, but it's the food and the culture that are on par with Europe's greatest cities.

Montreal has always been one of my family's favorite vacation spots- even since before us kids were born. My parents used to drive up to Canada for a cheap holiday when they were just starting out. But Montreal has more to offer than just a favourable exchange rate. Just a quick drive up from Boston, Montreal makes for a perfect road-trip destination if you're visiting (or based in) New England.

On our 3 day trip to Montreal, we didn't have a jam-packed schedule by any means, so I thought I would do a quick round-up of what we did and ate (because let's be honest, most of our activities consisted of eating).


A Day Trip to Portland Maine

My mom is a travel writer. Like the real-life kind of travel writer who writes books that people actually buy. So whenever one of my friends wants to go somewhere (anywhere!) in New England, I always whack out one of my mom's (many) books and get to planning (which you can buy here, by the way).

When fellow-blogger/bestie Hayley told me she wanted to go to Maine during her latest visit to my home, I knew exactly what to do. Portland seemed like the most obvious choice out of all of the (equally charming) cities in Maine. Mostly because it was the closest in driving distance. I'm a wimp when it comes to driving. We'll discuss this later.

So back to Portland. No, it's not the hipster-haven that you know of on the West Coast (Oregon's got that one). But it's the original Portland and it's pretty great. Portland is just what it sounds like- a Port city. Nestled along the Atlantic coast, Portland strikes a happy medium between quintessential New England and just a little bit industrial. You'll likely see quaint, nautical houses next to industrial new-builds. And the best part? It's a bang-on two-hour drive from Boston. So it makes the perfect day trip.


5 Things I Always Love About Coming Home from University

Coming home from Uni is a breath of fresh air. Home is really the one place where I feel like I can totally relax (this wasn’t the case back in high school though). Sure, there are a few drawbacks to being under my parent's roof again: namely, endless scrutiny, the lull of semi-suburban life, and the instant fear I feel when I recognize someone from high school at the grocery store.

But after spending months away from home, and not only spending all of 10 days at home over Christmas, I’m really starting to appreciate being in Newton again. I say this all the time, but I think my fondness for Home has something to do with the fact that I don’t have the ability to pop home for the weekend while at university like many of my friends do. Even so, I thought I would take note of my five favourite things about being at home so that maybe in a few weeks when I’m bored and fed up I can remember why I appreciate being here so much.

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