. { ring in 2012 }

What you are your plans for New Year's Eve? Going out big or staying in? Either way, here's wishing you a very Happy New Years!



. { obsessed with instagram }

Out of all the apps on my iPhone, I have to say that Instagram is one of the top five most used. I find myself constantly using this little social media app! Apple named Instagram its best app of 2011, and it's pretty obvious why. I'm a little obsessed with this app. I often find myself looking at things and thinking "Oh, that'd look nice with the Valencia filter ..." I'm serious. It's a sick little obsession. Like, compulsive photo taking and editing.

So ... if you want to join me in my obsession, look me up! @hmcgowan88

I hope you have a wonderful Friday!



. { Christmas - according to my iPhone }

All in all, I think this Christmas was a wonderful one! We had snow, family time, and lots of laughter about this politician (hehe, real mature, I know)

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!



.. { frosty monday }

Why these images you ask ... because I like pretty things and DMB. That's why.

What a gorgeous morning - fog, frost, a low and very pink sunrise. However, my fellow Mainers, do be careful on the roads this morning, it's wicked slippery. I experienced a typical non life-threatening slip this morning while approaching one of those stop and turns at the top of a hill this morning (just a little fishtail, Mom - nothing to worry about). Personally, I'm not a huge fan of my car deciding to take up interpretive dance during the morning commute. But, alas, we live in Maine. 

Even though the drive to work wasn't all that fun, it's still a beautiful morning. I do love quiet foggy mornings. Here's to hoping that it will translate to the rest of the day! Happy Monday!



.. { a winter storm warning is in effect for the following counties ... }

 Oh, good morning everyone. How were you woken up this lovely morning? By song birds, rays of sunshine and fresh cups of coffee? Perhaps a sweet significant other brought you breakfast in bed and whispered sweet nothings in your ear. 

Yeah, right. 

Today, I woke up in my usual fashion. Alarm - snooze - alarm - snooze (repeat 700 times). After that fun little routine, I grabbed my handy dandy iPhone and went straight for my AccuWeather and Weather Channel apps. Don't judge me. I'm addicted to weather. I was greeted by the weather warning tone, and that annoying NOAA lady saying "a winter storm warning is in effect for the following counties ..." She proceeded to list the county I live in, the county I work in, all of the counties I will be driving through to get to the county that my parents live in. That's a whole lot of counties. By the way, that left image is the storm a brewin' in the Ohio valley. She's coming our way!

That's right, peoples. If you are hearing about the wicked storm comin' our way for the first time from me, you really need to get a life. And watch the news a little more. Or even turn on your radio. Open a newspaper. Read the almanac! Do something forgoodnessake.

So, because I live in Maine, and this weather is unavoidable, I am trying to mentally prepare for the storm. I'm keeping my eye on it (Oh, hi Radarscope - best app ever). I'm thinking about how to drive safely in the snow. I'm planning how to fit two cars and a large boat in one mid-sized garage. This storm will be the first of many storms this year, so fellow Mainers, let's put on the boots and Carharts and face this ungodly precipitation without trepidation or fear! 

OK. That took a lot of energy. I'm going to need another cup of coffee. Good luck and safe travels to everyone driving tomorrow! 



. { it's a dog's life }

Life's tough when you're this stinkin' cute, huh?

OK, I just had to share that with you this morning. After all, the roommate and I spent several minutes laughing at her last night, I thought you might enjoy as well!



. { badger | mushroom flashbacks }

So, I was browsing one of my favorite blogs (Design Sponge) the other day, and saw this cute fabric pattern from Skinny La Minx, a cute shop on Etsy. Before I even had time to process the fine lines and awesome color palettes, a voice in my head starting chanting "badger-badger-badger-badger-badger-badger --- mushroom! mushroom!" 

what.   the.    heck.

Does anyone else remember this ridiculous website? I remember when we first found this in highschool me and my friends used to laugh at it for hours (yeah, we were shameless). We would even reference things like "Woooo! It's a snake!" on the bus. Yes, we were those kids. Those kids that were endlessly silly and goofy, and all the 'cool' kids would sneer, and then secretly wish they could be having as much fun as us dorks.

Well, I really do like this Etsy shop and the print. But I really like the fact that something this simple took me back to some silly fun times with awesome girls. I love moments like that. 

I hope you have a happy day!


. { moody, cranky, grump }

Ever wake up moody and cranky? I so woke up cranky this morning. I'm not sad or anything like that, and no, guys, I'm not that kind of moody. I'm just a grump today. I'm the kind of grumpy that makes me want to yell at other drivers more than usual, go really fast on a loud motorcycle, and be a general badass with a 'screw you too' kind of attitude. Nice, right? 

So ... because I work helping people all day and it's really juvenile to be a sissy cranky stinker all day, I'm listening to my cranky-pants music (see below) this morning to get it out of my system. So please, join me in a momentary hissy fit, and let's all get back to work like adults. 

Cranky-Pants Music: 

See? Isn't that a little cathartic? OK. Have a good one peoples. And no matter what anyone tells you, it's OK to be cranky. Just don't drag it out ... that's excessive. 



. { BOSS Orange }

{ Hugo Boss Orange line, Fall 2011 }

Something pretty and fun for a Monday morning, just because. Hope your Monday goes well!


images via FGR


. { life as of late: according to my iphone }

Here are a few shots of what my life has looked like the last few days ... according to my iPhone, of course. You know, I realized that I own six cameras the other day, and I take pictures on my phone 90% of the time. Kind of ridiculous. 

As you can see, my Gorham life looks a little different from Ptown life. The boxer with the magnificent underbite is Indigo. She belongs to one of my new roommates. The sunrises over the farm down the hill are gorgeous. They are surprisingly putting the sunrises over Casco Bay to shame. I must say, in the midst of all the chaos of moving, I'm finding the quietness of living in the middle of farm land quite calming. It feels homey and natural. I am a country girl at heart, really. I like tractors and trucks, I listen to country music, and I somewhat shamelessly own a Budwiser sweatshirt with camo on it (double whammy on the fashion tragedy, right?).

Well, peoples, we've made it to Wednesday. Here's to making it through the rest of the week! Hopefully there will be some more quiet mornings coming your way too. 



. { calming bedrooms - a must }

How divine do these beds look? Maybe I need another cup of coffee, but looking at calm and serene bedrooms is making me miss my bed. I bet my bed misses me too. 

So, I moved this weekend with the help of my awesome family and friends. Let me tell you, consolidating a full 1BR apartment's contents into a room in an all ready furnished house is not easy. I am bruised, sore, and it took me 15 minutes to find my shoes this morning. Tonight my focus is going to getting my room whipped into shape. Then I can have a quiet and serene little room too! My Dad and I painted my new room this week - the shade is similar to the walls in the left picture ... score.  Sidenote - Have you ever heard of West Elm? I just found this through Cup of Jo, and am loving their lighting!

Anyways, Happy Monday / Halloween!

(images via the World Wide Web)
(via Al Gore ... thanks, Al)


. { relax with a little ripple }

Sometimes Monday mornings are just innately stressful. Ever notice that? 

I am preparing to move (yet again) this coming weekend, and I must say, relocating your entire life is something I find to be extraordinarily stressful. I like things put away, organized, and looking good. That is so not what my apartment looks like right now.  The move is a positive thing for sure, but the process sucks (to give you the long and short of it!). 

So, this morning I was feeling a little harried, so I turned on my go-to destresser song. Now, maybe this sounds a little hippie and "hey man, it's all good"-ish, but the Grateful Dead always mellow me out. Unfailingly, I chill the ... heck out when I listen to the Dead. 

Here's a little Ripple for you ... who knows? Maybe it'll mellow you out too if you're having a crazy Monday. 


(illustration via Shan Jiang)


. { rob & big }

Last night there was a Rob & Big marathon on MTV2, and I am not ashamed to say that I watched it from about 5 - 10. There is something so funny about watching a pro skateboarder and his best friend / body guard riding around with a bulldog and mini horse in tow.  Rob Dyrdeck gets to live life in a style that most of us schmucks only get to dream about, and this show just makes me laugh. All the ridiculous stunts, pranks, etc just crack me up.

I hope you have a day with a few laughs!


. { Lottie Davies - North }

All of these fall colors are getting me excited for colder weather. I know, call me crazy, but I actually like living in a cold climate. Crisp mornings, cozy evenings, good breezes ... I love them. I could do without cleaning the occasional (and last winter - daily) 12" of snow off my car in the morning. Life in Maine would be much better if I had a garage, that's for sure.

This morning I stumbled on photographer Lottie Davies' collection entitled North. I love all of her collections, but this one especially. I thought I could share this quiet and still group with you for your Monday morning. 



. { the shins }

Something about listening to The Shins on a rainy Thursday seems right. So, I thought I'd share one of my favorite songs. Very chill. Here's a whole hipster-chill playlist for you: 

Gonna Get Along Without You Now - She & Him
Hannah - Ray LaMontagne
Caring is Creepy - The Shins
Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
In the Waiting Line - Zero 7
Such Great Heights - Iron and Wine
Piazza, New York Catcher - Belle & Sebastian

p.s. Driving to work today on windy rainy roads underneath a colorful canopy of fall colors was wonderful. Fall mornings make me happy!


. { seeing red }

Some days I can't get enough red. Today, is definitely one of those days (so I'm naturally wearing green). I don't own enough red ... that's something I should look into. There's something very attractive to me about a nice pop of color. 

p.s. If you had asked me about red yesterday, you would've just noticed that I was just seeing red for the majority of the day. Thank God it's no longer Monday, right?


* images via & via


. { glamorous friday }

Something about fall rain, chill air, and driving to work in the fog makes me feel like it should be one of those jazz-filled days where everything feels quieter, softer, and somehow more glamorous. So, I thought I'd share some of my favorite glam photos of morning champagne, Paris crystal, and Miu Miu couture. Wouldn't a little Parisan breakfast with some bubbly, background jazz, a soft sweater, and morning drizzle be lovely today?

Here's a little jazz playlist for your Friday that I've handpicked for you:
- Ella Fitzgerald: Blues in the Night
- Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole: Unforgettable
- Etta James: Stormy Weather
- Melody Gardot: Les Etoiles
- Norah Jones: The Nearness of You
- Miles Davis: All Blues
- Madeleine Peyroux: Dance Me to the End of Love
- Catherine Russell: Just Because You Can
- Billie Holidy: God Bless the Child

And with that, I wish you a Happy Friday and lovely weekend!


. { the utility collective }

I am loving these simple wood desktop items from The Utility Collective {as seen on A Cup of Jo}. Now that I have a new office and a new job {that's right, I said new job}, I've been enjoying decorating my cubicle. For some reason they chose tan walls and sage green cubicles ... I've yet to discover the reasoning behind green cubicles. But hey, at least I have a cubicle, right? 

... Anyways, I love these Rhombins and this Wood Whale. Wouldn't these be so cute and clean on my desktop? I've already been told that my cubicle is the neatest cubicle ever, and that "everything is so neat." New job, new office, new people to learn about my OCDness. 

And with that, I wish you a Happy Monday!


. { auckland's best }

{ Working for New Zealand - Ports of Auckland, Annual Review 2011 }

This layout is so lovely. It's clean, clear, readable, crisp, and modern. There's something to be said for simple design, isn't there?

via Best Awards


. { Mad Men: it's a love affair }

It's official, I'm in love with the AMC show Mad Men. It's sweeping the nation, and I've been swept up in the hairspray, red lips, fedora hats, Lucky Strikes, and the 10am whiskies. 
This show is so well made, the fashion is incredible, and the marketing and ad work done in the show is amazing. Yes, the morals in the show are as loose as the leading ladies. Yes, the men smoke, drink, and cheat. That being said? I still love this show. I mean, goodness. Just look at Don Draper ... his handsome face alone is a good enough reason to watch this show. And Joan's fire engine red hair and lips? Lovely
I've successfully devoured the first four seasons on Netflix over the past few months, and am excited for Season 5 to start at the end of August on AMC. 
So, go check it out! I highly recommend it.

p.s. Have you seen the Mad Men inspired line now offered by Banana Republic? Lord Almighty, I likey. 


. { case of design ADD }

Hi, my name is Hannah, and I suffer from Design ADD {aka DADD}. Today I was browsing my new favorite site Wookmark, and discovered the image up top. Instantly I was removed from the Wookmark-land of lovely design and photography and launched into a project that I had started sketches for approximately ... oh ... five months ago? 

Yeah. It's a serious problem, this DADD. Seriously! I need a support group or something.

So, this is a little inspiration for some print materials for NorEaster Storm Systems, a badass little piece of software / iPhone app that I designed the logo for. Let's see how far I can get in this project this time. 

* images found on wookmark & in my head/from my pencil


. { music love: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals }

I thought I'd share with you all my latest music obsession ... Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Between the bluesy Southern rock feel and Grace's super sexy voice, I can't turn off the music! I first found pretty 'lil Grace and her gang on iTunes. Her live album in Skowhegan, Maine caught my eye mostly because I saw our (Maine's) little SkowTown on iTunes!

Turn her music on, I dare you. You'll never listen to blues the same way again. I promise.

* photos via by Adrien Broom


. { according to my iphone }

Here's a few snapshots that give a little look into my life lately (via my iPhone). 

I'm starting to realize that I'm forever doomed as a blogger. I always get great ideas for a post when I'm completely unable to write my thoughts down.
when I'm driving home from work
- when I'm under a desk desperately trying to find a spot to plug in a lamp
- when I'm reading a Supreme Court ruling on Fourth Amendment rights for homework
- when I'm standing on my head trying to get water out of my broken washing machine
- when I'm laying on a giant trampoline with my two best childhood friends (I will post 
   about this soon!)

Basically what I'm trying to say is this: if you read my blog, you fall into these categories:
- Family ... immediate or extended. You are already OK with my unreliability and insanity.
- Friends ... genuinely interested or just plain 'ol nosy. I love you both.
- Random People w/ Similar Insane Traits ... Cool beans - rock on.

PS. I do not own any of the animals in these pictures. 
The turkeys are at the Heinrichs' ... I am praying that I'll get to eat one for Thanksgiving dinner. I did already point at a particularly chubby little stinker and name him "Thanksgiving Dinner." I'm holding out that he remembers his name and that he will be a McGowan-Bell feast. 
The adorable Boxer is named Baxter, and he's also a member of the Heinrich family. I want to steal him and keep him forever. How could you not with that precious face?
The cat is my neighbors'. He only hangs out with me when I'm drinking wine and reading Vogue on the front porch. I'd like to think we chill because he likes the good company, but I'm suspicious that he's really in it for the vino. 

Maybe I'll pre-post for tomorrow, maybe I won't. In the meantime? Happy Tuesday!


. { original badass }

I'm loving these posters from student portfolio out of Washington DC. Maybe it's the history geek in me, but I crack up every time I look at these!

* via


. { hazy dreamy day }

These lovely look books from Dace have that hazy and humid summer feel to them, don't they? I don't know about you, but when it's this hot and hazy, I feel like everything just moves slower and more quietly. The weather is supposed to be hot, humid, and lovely for the rest of the week here in Maine. Thank goodness I have a salty and fresh Casco Bay breeze that blows up my street every evening!

I don't know about you, but I'd rather be out playing in a Jeep or riding around on a motorcycle today! The sun keeps calling me from my desk saying "just don't come back from lunch break ..." Somehow I don't think that'd fly. 

On that note, I'll go back to work. 
Enjoy the sun!


{ photos via Dace }


{ caffeine addict 101 }

I thought I'd share this with my fellow caffeine freaks. Because I, for one, have a huge caffeine problem! If I don't get my morning coffee, not only am I a total baby and grump, but I'm so tired I can barely make the 19 mile commute to work without cussing out multiple idiot drivers. (It's a real problem). I'm just like my Dad, his Mother, my Sister ...  actually, just count the entire family. We are one giant collection of coffee addicted freaks. 

Loveable freaks? Absolutely. 
Completely dependent on caffeine? Absolutely.

p.s.  I got to spend time with my aforementioned caffeine addicted family at my beautiful Cousin's wedding this past weekend! Hopefully I can get my butt in gear and post something about that soon.

In the meantime... Happy Hump Day!


{ madewell }

There is absolutely nothing that I don't love about this Madewell lookbook. 
   - lighting is fantastic
   - the clothes are all something I would wear
   - the layout is great
OK. So here's the deal: someone's going to get me some money ASAP so I can shop from Madewell

*via FGR


{ design envy: Alana McCann }

Thanks to You Are My Fave, I discovered the portfolio of Alana McCann today. Her work is so crisp and lovely. I'm loving this series of Save the Dates and wedding invitations!

I have complete and utter design envy happening right now.


{ rainy prelude to the wedding weekend }

It's Wednesday, and although it's only a little after 9am, it's been an interesting morning:

- I walked to my car in a giant thunderstorm that would not have been complete without the hail. 
- I forgot to push that magical 'Delay Brew' button on my coffee pot last night.
- My jeans are too long, therefore in the midst of the continual downpour, my hems are very wet.
- I proceeded to dump 3/4 of a carton of cream into my coffee due to lid failure at the coffee shop.
- My boss told me I do not have tomorrow off like the students, we only have Good Friday off.

So, any normal human being that knows how much of a crank-pot I am would think that I am now in a foul mood. However, I'm not. Why you may ask? Well, news flash people, in case you haven't heard, my one and only Sissy-Poo is getting married this weekend! Take that Prince William and Kate. Her wedding will be much more fun and betterer. 

Although I'm insanely busy up until the moment I leave for my drive to New Hampshire Friday, I'm so excited for the wedding, that this crappy rainy weather is not taking effect! Only two days until the wedding fun commences! Woo hoo!

images via