This weekend I was at my parents house, standing around the kitchen chatting with my Stepmom. Sometimes I attempt to talk to the non-bloggers in my life about blogging. She’s one of those people who has to hear me use words like sponsor, link up, Pinterest optimization, etc. She also has a plethora (God I love using that word) of ideas and feeds me some good ones. I don’t remember exactly how it came up but she mentioned my “online persona”. “What do you mean?”, I asked, confused. “Who you are on your blog isn’t really you. It’s your online persona.”

In an instant, I felt dishonest. Had I been betraying my readers? Have I been truthful about myself? Who am I, on the internet, if not me? She insisted that it wasn’t a bad thing, but still, it stuck with me.

Later, on the phone with Kaylin, I asked her. “Do you think I have an online persona?”

“Yes,” she replied, no hesitation. “Who you are on your blog isn’t all of you. It’s part of you. I can see you in it.”

I’ve written over 400 blog posts. When you think about it, it seems obvious that I’d never be able to convey exactly who I am, all 25 years of me, in 400 blog posts. There are so many facets of my life that you don’t know about, and never will. There are things I’d be embarrassed to share, things that would embarrass or hurt other people if I shared, and things that are just too private. This isn’t to say that I’m some crazy complex person. It’s just that everyone is an onion. Everyone has a past.

This didn’t just make me think about me. It made me think about you. About other bloggers. Who you are on the internet can never be all of who you are. When I think of what other bloggers don’t know about me, I think about all the things I must not know about them. Sometimes I’ll be reading a blog and realize, huh, she doesn’t talk about this area of her life much. We all have our reasons.

I think what confused me most about discovering my own “online persona” is that it wasn’t done intentionally. I thought I’d been conveying the real me this entire time. I’ve tried to get people who know me in real life to tell me what is different but they can’t pinpoint it. It’s a strange feeling, to feel like I’ve done something wrong in a way. So I guess what I’m asking you to see is that behind the words on your computer screen, there is a whole person. If you’re reading this, you’re a whole person too. No 400, or hell 4,000 blog posts could possibly convey the whole of who you are. That’s what makes life online both beautiful and dangerous.


1. The name. Back East Blonde. If I renamed it right now it would be Back East Whoa-look-at-those-roots! Not only can’t I change my hair color, my blog title is pretty much the least creative part of my blog and somehow the most important. Damn.

2. My complete lack of branding. What does this even mean? I’m not a brand. I’m a human. My blog design is totally generic (it’s simple and pretty and I love it but it’s a template, anyone could have it). I have read over and over again that I need to “brand myself”. I spend tons of time pinning design & color inspiration and still, nothing.

3. I love blogging about blogging and I hate myself for it. I’d love to take a poll of how many of my readers are actually bloggers. I’d imagine these posts annoy those who aren’t. And yet my fellow bloggers seem to love them.

4. The ads. Not the sponsor ads. That ugly one up there under my blog title. Yeah, that one. It’s ugly. I know it’s ugly. You know it’s ugly. But making $1 a day from that silly ad makes me feel a little less bad about how much time I spend on my narcissistic hobby.

5. My blog posts are entirely dependent on my emotions. I don’t have a content calendar but if I did, I’d change my mind in the morning based on how I’m feeling that day. I wish I could stick to some sort of schedule but that’s just not how my brain works. I haven’t decided if this is totally a bad thing or not.

6. How much I love gifs and overuse them. I love them. I don’t know why. They slow down my blog and some people hate them (even my bestie doesn’t love them, says they make her dizzy) and still, I can’t help myself.

ross friends

7. I’m always a little bit nervous because of it. My last name isn’t associated with my blog. You probably can’t tell exactly where I live. But because this blog exists and because I share so much of myself on the interwebs, I’m risking (to some extent) my personal safety, professional credibility and my pride. Very few people in real life know about this blog. I’d like to keep it that way.

8. Some of my old posts are cringe worthy. There was a whole period of lots of “me” posts, link ups, and more link ups. Most link ups (though not all) are boring and recapping a weekend where all I did was watch 20 hour of Netflix was just plain unnecessary. I also used to center align my posts. Again, cringe.

9. If there are any English majors reading, I’m sorry for my run-on sentences, starting sentences with the word “and”, and for the fact that neither of these things really bother me. They should. So I hate that I’m not bothered by it. My college degree hangs its head in shame.

10. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate it. Not even close. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.

Go ahead and add major cheeseball to the list. I’m the worst.

8 People Who Should Be Kicked Off Facebook


I’m not really in to Facebook. Back in the day when you had to have a .edu email address and you there was no news feed (oh the joys of manually stalking people…it was hard work!) Facebook was a glorious place. You could see pictures of what your friends did that weekend! You could easily find out where anyone was going to college! All your status updates were in the third person! “Nadine is….”

Nadine is over Facebook. That’s what. Because of the people below.

8 People Who Should Be Kicked Off Facebook

1. The bible verse sharer

Listen, I’m fine with the occasional reminder of someones beliefs. But if that’s all you post, no. Just no. It’s too much. Even if you had a shot at converting people via Facebook, the frequency of these posts are killing that. Sorry I’m not sorry.

2. The Obama Care (ahem, the Affordable Care Act) basher

I’m not saying I know anything about the Affordable Care Act. I don’t (hangs head in shame). But I assure you that if (when) I do learn about it, it will not be from a snarky, uneducated Meme on Facebook. I’m fairly certain that no one has ever just up and changed their political stance because of a Facebook comment.

3. My Mom

Kidding Mom! Please don’t return all my Birthday presents. My mom mostly shares dog videos, which I appreciate. But I promise you, my personal Facebook page consists entirely of things that my Mom has shared with me. In general, Moms have taken over Facebook.

An example of something my Mom would post on my Facebook page. Errryday.


On second thought, thanks Mom. Anything dog related makes me really happy.

4. The vague status updates, feel-bad-for-me attention seeker

This most frequently includes Taylor Swift song lyrics, cryptic love references, and the excessive use of emojis. Inevitably, 37 people will comment “ohh my gosh what’s wrong? love you guuurrrl.” Don’t do it. It’s what they want you to do. Ignore them and they’ll go away. Maybe.

5. Oversharer Mommy

I don’t care that your kid just went potty in the toilet for the first time. I really don’t. Facebook is not the place to overshare. That’s what blogs are for.

i don't care

6. The game inviter

No, I don’t want to buy more charms or milk your cow or bring coins to your casino. Do you even realize you are continuously inviting me to these things? I find that the only people who do are the people I’ve awkwardly lost touch with. Whenever I get a request I know they must have no idea the game is sending it to every single friend on Facebook. Awk.

7. The inconsiderate throwbacker

It should be illegal to share a throwback photo from anytime between 6th and 10th grade. Those years do not need to be brought back from the dead. And so help me God, if you tag me in a photo circa 8th grade with braces, cystic acne, an at-home perm, throwing up a peace sign, I will de-friend you. I will.

8. The unflattering photo poster

Shhh…I’ve been this person. And you probably have too. You know when there is a picture and it’s so flattering of you but maybe not so flattering of your friend? You want to post it so bad because damn, you look fabulous! The chances of you posting it are directly correlated with how much you actually like the person. Truth.

In spite of all of this, I continue to use Facebook. So now that I’ve thoroughly bashed it, if you want to “like” my blog on Facebook, be my guest. I’m sure I’ve missed one or two (or 12) other people who should be kicked off Facebook.

Who should be added to this list? Better yet, share the most obnoxious thing you’ve seen on Facebook. There are bound to be some doozies.


For the last month, I’ve been covering my face in oil every night. I know, I know, it seems like that’s the opposite of what we’ve been told to do our whole lives. As someone who had terrible acne as a teenager (hello, two rounds of Accutane!) this is completely counter intuitive. But it’s working.

This all started on my trip to Las Vegas. Following a 5 hour flight and one night in a smoke-filled Vegas hotel, my skin was a blotchy dry mess. Since there’s a Sephora in almost every hotel there, I wandered to the nearest one to do my usual Sephora move: walk in and “sample” the most expensive face creams, eye treatments, and wrinkle removers. Yes, I put their tester products right on my face. Judge away. The great thing about being in such a touristy place is that this Sephora had an entire section of travel/sample size products of all their best-selling products.

One of such products was the Josie Maran Argan Oil. I’ve been stalking this product on beauty blogs for months, always hesitating to take the leap because 1. Oil on your face? and 2. The moolah. This shiz is expensive. With a $14 travel size available and no major life events happening in the near future (so if my whole face did go freak out acne crazy, it wasn’t a huge deal) I bought it.

Josie Maran Argan Oil

Excellent decision.

The first night I put it on cautiously. My flaky skin rejoiced but I worried I’d wake up and be staring at 16-year-old Nadine, face full of pimples. That didn’t happen and hasn’t happened. The oil is light (I bought the original version though it comes in a light version as well) and non-greasy. It absorbs quickly into the skin and feels luxurious. The dropper bottle does seem like it’d be easy to knock over and I’m shocked I haven’t yet.

Usually I have dry skin around my mouth and eye areas, with some acne on my cheeks. I put the Josie Maran Argan Oil on each night, focusing on the dry areas but patting it on my entire face. Since I’ve started using Argan Oil, my skin is no longer dry and flaky and because of this, it makes makeup application much smoother. I had read on beauty blogs and makeup review sites that this can improve acne, although I didn’t expect that to be the case and wasn’t using it for that purpose. That has been an unintended bonus. My breakouts have drastically decreased in the last month.

Though the full bottle is a whopping $48, I’m sure it will last me for freaking ever. My tiny travel bottle (0.5 oz.) is only half gone in a month and the bigger bottle is 1.7 oz. If my math is right, the full size should last me more than 6 months. That comes out to about 26 cents a day for a drastic improvement in my skins health and texture. If that isn’t proof that a repurchase is necessary and worthy, I don’t know what is.

Have you tried it or considered trying it? Would putting oil on your face scare you, the way it scared me?


Some movies you grew up watching over and over again.

I know I was borderline obsessive with a few.

That’s normal for a pre-teen/teenage girl.

I think.

For those movies that really just get you, it’s probably because you wanted to be the characters, be best friends with them, the movie was teaching you life lessons, or you knew you weren’t allowed to watch it and your Mom wasn’t home.

When I look back, here are some of the life lessons from my very favorites.


1. Now and Then

Boys who are mean to you probably like you.

Growing up will probably make you cynical.

You were not creative enough about stuffing your bra.

2. Step Up

You will never have enough rhythm, coordination, or timing to be able to dance 1/10 as cool as Channing Tatum and his future wife. Don’t try.

No really 17 year old Nadine, don’t try.

For the record, Kaylin made me see Step Up 3 in college the day it came out.

And she cried at the end. Kaylin, I’m sorry I put that on the interwebs for everyone to see.

3. American Pie

This was my first indication of just how pervy teenage boys are. Don’t pretend like you didn’t sneak watch this at wayyy too young an age. Also, having the name Nadine became popular for .2 seconds after Nadia took her top off. Awkward.

4. The Lizzie McGuire Movie

The cartoon version of me would be way funnier than the real version.

It would be a much better idea to date your guy best friend than any other guy in high school.

5. High School Musical

Who says that we can’t have it all?

Boys who sing and dance can be cool.

Hell, they might wind up being as sexy as Zac Efron.


6. A Walk to Remember

Bad thing happen to good people.

But most importantly (and most misleading), you can change a bad boys bad boy ways.

False, Nicholas Sparks. False.

7. The Parent Trap

If you work really hard on your British accent, you can absolutely sound British (to 12 year old American girls). I still work on this after every Downton Abbey episode.
Also, even with an accent, the person from California will always be “cooler.”

Don’t tell me you didn’t

  • a. Want to learn to play poker
  • b. Come up with a secret handshake
  • c. ask your mom 800 questions about your own birth in hopes that she drops a hint that you had a secret twin somewhere.

8. My Girl

Bees are effing terrifying. So are funeral parlors.

That’s pretty much what I got out of this.

9. Mean Girls

What didn’t we learn from this?

Be nice.

Do a better job cleaning up after house parties.

Jungle juice is dangerous at any age.

Never trust anything in Swedish.

Plus we all know that the modern Burn Book would be a Burn Blog.

If such a thing exists, don’t tell me.

10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

You can find super awesome (magical?) stuff at thrift stores.

I want to look just like Blake Lively (still true 8 years later).

Sometimes life gets rough. Surround yourself with good people.

11. She’s All That

The first DVD I ever bought. True story.

I was probably 12 and learned this pretty quickly:

The popular boys are usually the biggest jerks.

Prom is probably going to suck (it did).

12. 10 Things I Hate About You

Oh Heath Ledger (swoon).

Again, the boy who sings to you is a keeper.

Sibling relationships are complicated.

And another warning: Prom will probably suck.

(Why did I not listen to these warnings?!?)

I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did Lindsey Lohan wind up in not one, but TWO movies on this list. So much potential lost, that one.

What movies did you watch over and over?

I almost listed Spice World but really, what life lessons did we learn there?

I personally

  • a. Wanted a swing in my room a la Baby Spice
  • b. Tried to ninja kick everything a la Sporty Spice

Ain’t growing up grand?

Linking up with Carissa, Join the Gossip, Lisette from Northern Belle Diaries, The Collective at Peacoats & Plaid, and The Weekend File.


Did you ever play the game Never Have I Ever?

We want you to play with us, on your blog!

Here is an example of the post I did.

Mark your Blog Content Calendar for April 4th!


Last night, two college graduates laid in bed and googled
what or who the electoral college is.
Those two people were us.
(cue major blushing/feeling like total idiots)

We have watched every debate so far and I would say that I am moderately well informed.
I’m by no means an expert and that’s why you won’t see me
flashing my opinion in your face.
I don’t know much about how the national debt effects us as a whole.
And I absolutely don’t know who has the best plan to
get us back to a balanced budget.
In complete honesty,
I vote almost entirely based on social issues.
Whether that is right or wrong, that’s what I do.



But what I did realize last night is
that there are SO many things that you learn and completely forget.
I feel like general education classes in college are
supposed to prepare you with general knowledge.
I just remember so little of it.
It started me thinking about all the things I’ve forgotten (or never learned) and all the skills that you absolutely should know by the time you head out into the real world.

Here’s my list so far:

1. What the electoral college is and what it means for your vote
2. How to do your own laundry
3. What all of the Wars the US was involved in were called, who we were fighting, and why
4. How to balance your own personal budget
5. What a mortgage is, how interest rates work, and how it will effect you
6. How 410Ks and IRAs work and how important it is to start early
7. How to change a tire, check your oil, and jump start your car
8. How to make coffee
9. Nutritional basics – how to eat healthy, even if you choose not to
10. What qualities you value in yourself and others
11. A little bit about your family history
12. What you are truly afraid of and how you manage that fear

And a few less important things:

1. What color is your color
2. General knowledge of at least one 90′s sitcom
3. Whether you are a cat or dog person
Now help me out, what else have I forgotten?
I know there are other major skills that I haven’t listed.
And I certainly have not nailed everything on the list above.
Using a Keurig counts as making coffee, right?
And calling AAA counts as knowledge of changing a tire, yes?

Just some general ponderings on this gloomy Tuesday.
To cheer things up a bit, I leave you with this:


Happy Tuesday!


A few weeks ago, I had a traumatic incident. Try not to laugh while I explain (Or, go right ahead. I’ll never know).

Driving home from work one day, I saw a squirrel who had been hit by a car. Only his back legs had been injured and he was scooting across the rest of the road, pulling himself with his little arms, and occasionally falling over to writhe in pain. He finally made it to the sidewalk and collapsed. My heart broke as I knew there was nothing I could do to help him. It almost would have been less cruel to run him over and put him out of his misery (but I just couldn’t). I realize I’ve added a gender to the squirrel, who I didn’t know personally, and is in fact, a squirrel. Just be glad I didn’t name him.

And I just couldn’t get him out of my mind. Right there in the car, I decided that if I felt that bad about a squirrel, maybe I shouldn’t be eating meat. I certainly would never eat meat if I had to see the animal die. But that’s what happens, whether I see it or not. So I stopped eating meat, in honor of that little squirrel.

That was three weeks ago and I still haven’t eaten meat. I’ll technically never be a full vegetarian because I won’t give up fish and seafood (called a pescetarian). My family is from Maryland and Maine and most holidays involve either blue crab or lobster. I am also not a big meat eater to begin with. I very rarely eat red meat and only occasionally eat chicken. I’ve also never eaten lamb, veal, or duck (all way too cute to eat). I’d say I average about one to two servings of meat per week so it’s not like it will be a huge change to my diet.


What this pig is saying in my head: “I’m as smart as a 3 year-old child and I’m way too cute to be bacon. Plus, BLTs aren’t that good, right? Right??!“

I’m not ready to put a label on it yet; I’ve just been saying that I’m not eating meat right now. But maybe right now is going to turn into forever. I’m just not sure yet.

I’ll let you know!

Do you have any amazing vegetarian recipes?
What about a fantastic fish recipe?

Please share!