Follies & Fixations: July 2017

Yikes, when was the last time we did a Follies & Fixations around here? Unfortunately for all of us, I’ve been running a little low on Follies lately. Thankfully, I’ve got plenty of Fixations to share. Time to bring back an old favorite. Read on.

Morning Fog Candle

I’ve mentioned these folks before in a previous Follies & Fixations post, but left out the bit about my obsession. We did a case study on United By Blue in college and they’ve been one of the few brand names that have stuck with me over the years. They’re amazing. Please go check out all of the incredible work that they do and then come back to this. Also follow their insta, as the kids say, for a LOT of wanderlust (not sponsored, just wishing my life was lived through their lens).

Back? Great. This candle was a recent purchase that I was very worried about. I generally don’t trust ordering candles online if I haven’t in-person scent tested them first but ‘Morning Fog’ just sounded so intriguing! “This soy wax candle has a fresh, earthy scent with hints of dewy moss.” Confirmed. Everything it was cracked up to be and more. Now, please join me in patiently waiting for the Pine Tree Hat to not be sold out anymore because, ouch UBB, break my heart wide open. This is why people impulse shop. Take it from me: do not just think about it for literal months because it’ll pull a Dan Stevens and SELL OUT.

Arrival (2016)

Okay, so, this movie has been out there in the world for a while now. It’s been positively ingrained in my brain (crazy insane, got no brain! … no?) and I just can’t get it out of my life. However, I’ve been very distressed to find that not many people I know have seen it. Visually, it was wondrous. Storywise? Wondrous. Scorewise? Wondrous. Similar to Pacific Rim (another film I highly suggest seeing if you haven’t), the promotions and trailers really didn’t do the story justice. Whatever you think it’s about, I promise you that it holds so much more. So many emotions. I sobbed my eyes out for over half an hour in the theater parking lot after the first time I saw it. Please do yourself and myself and every self there is a favor and watch Arrival.

Rainier Galvanized Bar Cart

The recent move (yes, that happened) has led to quite a few new furniture acquisitions for Casa del Cass. Let me tell you, this bar cart and I had quite the flirtation. I saw it online one day and couldn’t get a feel for it. Weeks passed, and when I finally decided that I wanted it I dragged my entire family to the mall only to find that it was sold out! Another Pottery Barn location apparently had one left in stock, but she-wants-it-not struck hard so we went back home and I resolved I’d find another in the future. Fast forward to the next day and it was back in my heart’s desired. In the car we piled and hark! What happiness was achieved wheeling this galvanized beauty into the pre-designated bar corner of my living room and piling it high with bottles of this, that, and the third (not so high, any friends who would like to send me belated housewarming gifts should see below for suggestions). This is such a Southern-aesthetic piece and quite a cost-effective alternative to the gilded gold glass carts currently in fashion elsewhere. Add some terra cotta plant pots and you’re in business, baby.


Your girl has recently begun her slow emergence into the whirled wide web of Scotch. By which I mean that a few years back I submerged myself into some bourbon and haven’t looked back since. Every now and then I’ll try a whisk(e)y (aside: one time my best friend made me try a Japanese whisky and wow, did I hate it a lot… tears of hatred level, a lot) but currently my eyes are on this highlander heritage prize. I want to get good at Scotch. I want to just like Scotch, full stop. So here we are. My first big-girl-,-bottle-of-my-own foray was into Glenkinchie (that’s definitely not the way to hyphenate, Cassie, you menace):

My review: “Tastes like wood with a hint of soap.”

My best friend’s review: “A slight cheerio taste on the palate and a swift kick to the windpipe on the swallow.”

Basically, we love it?

Visitors to the Queen (and her) City

Now that I no longer hate my apartment, it’s been quite the treat having friends and family by to visit! In the past few weeks both of my best friends have come down to the Queen City, one for the millionth time and one for the first time. Also my brother, sister, mother, and grandmother – yes, all 4 at one time and yes, all 4 staying with me in my one bedroom apartment. Even though Charlotte has never felt like a permanent home to me, I’m thankful that it has been so kind in the interim and that I get to share all of that kindness with friends and family. Can I entice you to come visit? That bar cart of mine has recently gotten its own guestbook (thanks to a friend’s suggestion) so come on over and let me make you a drink and then you can write about how awful it is and think about how you wish you never had it and warn others to beware and come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide! Oops, I broke me again.

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben

The second page of the Foreword. That was how long it took for this book to make me cry. Usually I save all of my bibliove for specifically designated posts, but I couldn’t help myself with this one. A recent search for a tree species guidebook (we’ll get into reasons for that in a different post on this site some day, I’m sure) led me to this bestseller about, well, the hidden life of trees. When my family came to visit I teared up just describing what I learned from the first few chapters and my sister, who rarely reads, felt compelled to rush out and get a copy for herself. It’s such a beautiful read, please join us! And then also become friends with me on Goodreads and let me know what you thought about it.


It’s been absolute ages since I made you all a playlist, hasn’t it?? No theme this time around, just some recently discovered tunes that I’ve been listening to lately. Enjoy.

Follies & Fixations: May 2016

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“The Kingkiller Chronicles” by Patrick Rothfuss… on second thought, also just Patrick Rothfuss

Raise your hand if you’re over A Song of Ice and Fire. Okay, maybe not over but raise your hand if it’s been quite the wait for any new material on that front and you’re sick of it and want something else to bide your time with besides the dumb TV show. Yes, you read that correctly, I said dumb. Anyways, this particular series was recommended to me several times, by several different people, and even though it’s also unfinished as of my writing this I decided to give it a try. Not only is the story wonderful and interesting and different, but Patrick Rothfuss has such a style – man, can that guy write! The issue I personally come across in a lot of adult sci-fi/fantasy books is that the writers tend to be too concentrated on making a unique world and language and culture that they forget that the reader is not going through that process in their own minds with them. Sometimes I get lost with the maps and the reference guides and the family trees and then opt to skip them altogether rather than flip around in the middle of reading and then lose my page and then get exasperated as I try to find my page and then give up altogether and settle for just reaching the end with no clue why anything was significant because you had to understand all those stupid charts to do so.

But this series absolutely does not present that problem. Sure, a map is offered but it’s simple and when Rothfuss writes about other cultures or areas he explains them right there in the text so when I flip to the map it’s out of genuine curiosity. As far as Rothfuss himself is concerned, I’ve taken to reading through old posts on his blog and have since decided that he is my favorite contemporary author. I appreciate honesty and candor and this whole blog post about book two made me laugh. Some of you may not agree with me but I don’t mind waiting for book three because the other two were so damn good that I’d be heartbroken if he rushed through the ending. Big fan, give it a try and pace yourself.

Innis & Gunn beer

A rad Scottish brewery that created this beer by accident. I had a few pints of what I presume was the original draught when I was over in the homeland and became obsessed. Lucky for me, and also you, they do distribute their brews in the US so take a look to see if you can find some near you and lets share in the deliciousness together. Unluckily for me, and also you, they aren’t selling merchandise internationally yet and that really bums me out. It is imperative that I acquire a set of the branded IPA pint glasses because they are the most beautifully designed imbibing instruments I have ever seen.


Adjective, meaning “in excellent order.” And yes, it’s been stuck in my mind recently because of that Local H song. Ousted the long time list topper – complacency – for my favorite, coolest sounding word. You just don’t get it… or do you?

This music video

Kaleo did a music video last year for their single “Way Down We Go” inside of a literal Icelandic volcano and I am fascinated. Also, the most liked comment is “these guys could play row row row your boat and it would sound kickass” – wholeheartedly agree, Alice A.

This article

Ever since I stumbled my way onto Medium like 3 years ago, I’m pretty sure I’ve been at the top of the leaderboard for ‘people, no – not people – suckers, who read those articles about being a more productive person before 4/5/6/7/8am.’ It was refreshing to finally see something that made me feel better about the fact that I too wake up hating myself and my life.

Adult(HAHA)-life homeware shopping

As I’ll be moving to a whole new state, apartment, job, situation, existence at the end of this week, a lot of what’s been on my mind lately revolves around acquiring things to fill said apartment situation existence with. Might do a special little show and tell of what I’ve been purchasing after I’ve settled it all in, but for now just know that this type of shopping has been a very favorite folly of mine. And has also been exceptionally Halloween-themed… I’ll keep you posted.


Instrumentals have been on my mind recently mostly because I feel like I’ve been watching more movies than I usually do, and therefore appreciating more movie scores. Every song has been included on this list because it hit me with chills influenced by being well placed, emotionally, within their respective movies (and one TV show…). These are a few of my favorites from what I’ve been watching recently, so take a listen.

Follies & Fixations: January 2016

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“Cassie” for every day, “My Pearl” for Sundays, and “Cross-stitching Goddess Divine” but only on very special occasions.

Mama Bear’s Homemade Knitwear

My mom is crafty! You could go back in time and show that sentence to 6th grade me and I would laugh right in your face because wow, I never saw it coming. Every year she gets more advanced with her knitwear so I really like demanding cool presents from her for no reason. My current stash is a few of those cool head wraps, a beanie, and I’ve got a thick pair of socks on deck. She also made my uncle an Icelandic sweater. Her creative prowess has inspired me to take up cross-stitching (see above) and I’m a huge fan. The world needs more dated hobbies.

Ursa Major Face Wash

Pretty sure this is for men, but I’ve been using it for about 2 years now and get ready for this: I only just ordered my 3rd bottle. Super long lasting, great smelling, and it’s all natural. Credit where credit is due, I found this through United By Blue. Caveat: it bears a strong scent resemblance to tequila so make sure to have a back-up wash for those adult mornings when that is absolutely the last thing you want to be reminded of.

2 Parts Seasonal Brews, 1 Part Christmas Horror

Not sure where or why I got it in my head but I did and one of my best friends kindly obliged and agreed to do this with me. We picked up a variety of beers that sounded remotely wintery (personal faves: Tröegs Mad Elf and Blizzard of Hops). Then, movie-night theme: Christmas Horror. Yes, that’s a genre. We opted for the “cult classic” Silent Night, Deadly Night. Everything it sounds like and more. 10/10 recommend. Definitely looking forward to this tradition for many more years to come.

Family Game Night

A new Sunday night activity for my parents, my two siblings, and me. It gets heated, it gets competitive, and I’m 99.98% positive that my younger brother is a Game of Life hustler.

“The Lunar Chronicles” by Marissa Meyer

Collectively, this series probably took me all of a week to get through the first 3 books. To break it down it’s some of my favorite fairy tales re-imagined in a futuristic society kind of way: complete with wolf/man hybrids, cyborgs, moon people, and SPACESHIPS. Unfortunately because I’m a book-owning snob, I’m forcing myself to wait for the paperback of the final book,”Winter,” to come out before officially finishing the series. I’m not worried. Kinda worried. Not worried.

Downton Abbey – The Final Season

RIP MY HEART OUT, PBS. I live every Sunday in fear that my favorite characters are going to get the ax. Honestly, the suspense is worse than Game of Thrones. My best friend and I had some major bonding times over marathoning this show, so the final season is especially dear to my heart.


You are all in for a huge playlist treat this month. Since my birthday is in January, I decided to look through the Billboard Hot 100 from good old 1993 and pull together a few of my favorite jams. I’ll be honest, some of them were added just because they made me giggle. I hope they do the same for you.

Follies & Fixations: November 2015

Ceramic Hedgehog Pals

Technically it’s a salt and pepper shaker but I named mine Autumn and she sits as a little figurine on my bedside table. If I can’t have a real pet hedgehog, this is certainly the next best thing.

Jane Austen Literary Mug

Come ON, can you believe something so wonderful as a Jane Austen quote mug exists?? I bought this in my favorite place on earth – Salem, MA. Specifically, at a fantastic store there called Roost & Company. They sell all sorts of cool knick-knacky home ware and other bits and bobs (think stationary, books, jewelry, etc). The saleswoman ringing me up commented on how she watched me walk around the store for 15 minutes clutching it to my chest, so that should be an indication of my excitement at owning this. Not to mention, it makes an excellent companion to the famous first lines quote mug my best friend got me for my birthday.

Russian Lit

Speaking of literary things, this is my latest phase. When I read, I tend to spend a few months on a particular author or genre. Naturally, I also spend obscene amounts of money on as many books as I can carry and usually weeks later end up dropping away from the phase before I finish them all. Rinse and repeat for infinity. Nikolai Gogol had been on my list for quite some time and when I went to pick up a copy of “Dead Souls” I figured what the heck, let’s stock up on some ‘stoys, ‘kovs, and ‘evskys too.

A goal of mine, albeit an ambitious one, is to read “War and Peace” in a week once I’m officially through with my last semester of college. I had a professor in Cambridge who told us that he read “Bleak House” in a week and because I’m the most competitive person to ever exist, I got it in my head to do something equally as impressive. Given that I am continually inspired by Professor G.M. much in the same way that Tolstoy was inspired by Dickens, I thought W&P was an appropriate choice for the challenge. Not to mention it’s almost 200 pages longer…

Apple Cider Everything

No specific brand, no specific way, just all of it all the time.

Society of Grownups

I can’t even think of a way to describe what this place is other than an amazing incredible resource. A friend and I attended a few classes in the beginning of November and color me so impressed. Society of Grownups hosts classes, chats, guest speakers, events, and more all around the important aspects of Grownuphood. I personally went to the “Basics of Investing” and “You’re a Grownup Now (Don’t Panic)” sessions and am planning to return in December. Even though I’m a finance major and I work at a Center for Financial Independence, personal finance is still a really scary thing for me to confront! SoG makes it relaxed and fun, not to mention their Brookline location has an indescribably comfortable vibe. I couldn’t sing higher praises. Worth stopping by, even just to see the space and peruse their really great bookshelves (they make a kick-ass cup of coffee too).

Halloween @ Home

I know, technically an October folly but November 1st is my December 26th so deal with me for a moment. Ever since I can remember, my family has gone all out with turning our front porch orange for the month of October. I love dressing up, I love eating candy, I love every possible activity that has to do with Halloween (I’m even coming around to haunted houses and scary movies, thanks to my best friends who really love forcing me through them… and by coming around I mean I mull it over for .7 seconds longer than I used to before begging “NOOOO!”) I’m the most basic of New Englanders in saying that Autumn is my favorite time of the year, but know that being home for Halloween makes up a solid 90% of that favoritism.


The Men of Pop have been coming out with all sorts of jams to kill the game lately. Obviously I’m in love with the new One Direction album, but here’s some other stuff I’ve been listening to on repeat. Enjoy! (Also, do yourself a favor and watch this video – WOW, you’re so welcome)

Follies & Fixations: September 2015

Basically: my favorites! I want to share these with you all on a monthly basis and hopefully you find something you want to try out too. Be it experiences, products, songs, movies, books, thoughts, whatever! Yes, the entire point of these posts will be personal opinions. Feel free to completely ignore them, I won’t be offended. And if you disagree, all the better – tell me.

Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro Tea

These little sachets are cute as hell. This has been a longggg time favorite and the smell of this tea alone is absolutely enamoring. A little on the expensive side, although now that I come to think of it I’m really not sure about the context of tea prices so hey – maybe this is actually pretty cheap. But compared to my usual box of Lipton, this is a splurge item. It’s so relaxing and I save this for when I want to have a nice little night on the couch watching movies or reading books. Or when my life is feeling particularly overwhelming.

Moleskine 18-month Softcover Planner

I thought it would be absolutely ridiculous to include a planner as a favorite item because like come ON, it’s not like this is new to the world I’m sure you’ve all seen them. But in one of my classes over the summer a girl spied me writing notes in this trusted buddy and she asked to look through it. Yes, I felt anxiety at what her eyeballs might happen across because I make a lot of weird notes to myself in my planner but that’s not the point. Apparently my assumption is wrong and not everyone knows about these so if I can help someone out all the better! I actually found this particular Moleskine one because my best friend used them and I thought it looked great so I got one too and now I’ll never use anything else. I can personally swear by the quality, my last planner not only made it through 18 full months but also adventures on 3 different continents.

Mighty Squirrel Original Beer

I am the last person on this planet that will try craft beers. I like my Guinness and I very rarely make a move away from it. But a friend and I went to a favorite pizza place nearby his new real life adult time neighborhood and this was recommended by the waiter. I took a sip, just to try it, and literally stared back at my friend for a solid minute in silent surprise over the fact that I absolutely loved the taste. “Bundled in each serving of Mighty Squirrel, you will find a few of our favorite things: friendship, sports, entrepreneurship, innovation, and fun.” Those are my favorite things too! How the heck could I love it more? It wasn’t until I went back and googled the brand that I discovered this beer is Boston local and they have an intern affiliation with Northeastern. That’s how.

Visits from my best friend!

My favorite person on this whole planet is currently an entire United States away from me. In the past year my best friend and I have found ourselves living apart for the first time since we met in freshman year of college. The most incredible thing about our friendship is that it doesn’t seem to matter how far away we are, or how long we’re separated – when we get together it’s like we’ve never parted. I miss having her around but I’m also living vicariously through her west coast adventures. It was so wonderful to spend a few days with her this past weekend. Not to mention we went to see the last North America concert stop for One Direction on Saturday so… talk about follies!


I went ahead and made you a September 2k15 mixtape, a la Spotify playlist, to show you how “millennial” I am (shut up, old people – we get it already). And also just, here, look at what I’ve been listening to lately, maybe you might like something. Or maybe you might not. Whatever.