snapshots // Portland, ME

I feel like I don’t share enough here photos from our day trips around New England, and I’m going to try and do that more! That’s one of the best thing about living in Boston - such easy access to so many other fun states nearby! We’ve visited Providence and Newport RI, Stowe VT, many areas in NH, and Acadia in ME. Before the new year, we decided to take a quick day trip up to Portland, ME for the first time to do a little exploring.

Some highlights from the trip:

  • visiting the LL Bean flagship store in Freeport- Penny loved the giant boot, the fish tank, all the animals, and the big chalkboard in the kids area!

  • Coffee (and hot chocolate for P) at Tandem Coffee and Bakery - really fun and photogenic wall, too!

  • Walking near the water and around Old Port a bit

  • Lunch at Duckfat (get the thai chili mayo with the fries - yum! and the apple cider and rosemary spirtzer was delicious)

  • Stopping in for a prize for P (log cabin building set) at Treehouse Toys

  • Donuts at Holy Donut

  • a quick stop at Fort Williams Park to see the Portland Head Light

It was kinda of a quick trip - it was cold, and the days are so so short this time of year. It’s dark so soon! But we really want to go back again in the summer when it’s warmer and the day is longer and we have more time to explore! Anyone have any recommendations for other things to do or see that are also toddler friendly? AKA will not bore a 3 year old lol.

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snapshots: sunflowers at Colby Farms 2018

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Two flower field posts in a row! We're getting flower crazy over here!

Because of the heat wave we're had this summer, the sunflower field at Colby Farms bloomed earlier than usual. I love going here every year (even if it gets crazier and busier every year, too), and this year was extra special because Gramma and K-pa were here with us! Penny loved walking through the tunnels of the rows of flowers and saying she was "flower hiking". I hope she looks forward to this tradition every year like I do <3.

You can see all our other years visiting the sunflowers here (I love all of these photos so much!) - 20132014, 20152016, 2017 (not Colby Farm)

PS- my dress is very old H&M, Penny's dress and socks are June and January. Her turban is Nelly Lou.

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snapshots : flowers and blueberries at Parlee Farms

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For years now, we've made a tradition of strawberry picking in the summer and apple picking in the fall. This was the first time we decided to go blueberry picking, too, and it was a hit! Penny was picking and plopping blueberries in her mouth faster than we could keep up with her, and we picked enough berries to make 2 pies and smoothies for a month!

On top of that, Parlee farms also has a gorgeous pick-your-own flower field filled with zinnias and dahlias, as well as sunflowers. That one wasn't as much of a hit with P. Bee filled flowers + a bug terrified two year old + sweltering heat don't mix, apparently. But I was in absolute heaven. And it was the perfect photo op, of course! If you're from the Boston area, or anywhere in New England for that matter, check out Parlee farms in Tyngsboro, MA.

Not an ad - I just really liked this place!

PS, my dress is handmade - Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress extended to maxi length

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Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA

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Our heads and hearts are already gearing up fro spring, but mother nature has had other ideas. With one nor'easter after another pummeling us with snow, we've had to find ways to keep busy indoors still. Zach's coworker told him about the fun interactive exhibits at the Peabody Essex Museum, and it was such a perfect snowy saturday trip!

Penny could probably live in that balloon room, and I don't blame her. 

P.S - locals, the fun XYZT exhibit runs through April 22nd, and the Play exhibit (with the balloon room) runs through May 6th!

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Ice Castles 2018 (and tips for visiting yourself)

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We made our annual trip up to NH to see the Ice Castle this past weekend. I get so excited for this trip every year! P was really little when we went last year, but she was able to understand and enjoy it more this year which was so ridiculously cute. She loves snow, and the little mini ice slides were a hit!

Every year when I post our pictures (see 2015-2017 here), I get a few questions about it. So I thought I'd share a few tips if anyone else decides to visit for themselves! I think there may only be a couple weeks left in the season for NH, but you could always plan ahead for next year, too!

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The ice castle we visit is in Lincoln NH, but there are other locations in Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, and Canada (visit there website for info). Our experience is only at the NH location, but I'm sure a lot of my tips apply to the others, as well. 

The biggest thing, that is pretty deceiving from all of my photos, is that it actually gets VERY busy and crowded. SO...

  • Buy your tickets online ahead of time. Standby tickets aren't always available. 
  • Try to get your tickets for the earliest timeslot of the day (this year on a Saturday it was 11am). AND get there early. We were 20 min early and lucked out because they opened the gate early. This is how I get most of the good pictures. We try to be some of the first people in there and get most of the picture taking out of the way before the wave of people start pouring in.
  • UNLESS you want to see it lit up at night, which is a whole other experience. We never do this so I don't really have any tips. #sorryguys
  • If you're a stickler like me about not wanting a million people in your photos, you just got to have a lot of patience. It takes a lot of strategic framing and cropping, waiting your turn for the most photogenic spots, and a little photoshop to remove the random strangers ;) 
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  • Wear good boots. The ground is all snow and can be a little difficult to walk on without proper footwear.
  • Dress the kids in full snowsuits/snowpants. And warm gloves. They'll want to crawl through the tunnels and go down the ice slides and sit on the ice throwns!
  • Speaking of kids, don't bring a stroller. You'll never make it on the snowy ground. Bring a sled with a string to pull them around. And wear small babies in carriers. 
  • I think they may list appearances on the website, or you may just get lucky and be there when Elsa and Anna and Olaf make a visit!
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  • This isn't about the ice castle itself, but every year we head to lunch at Gypsy Cafe after we're done there. It's our favorite spot! Try the grilled cheese fondue and cranberry mac and cheese. 

P.S - this is not sponsored at all. I just love this place and thought I'd share what I've learned over the years! Now scroll and enjoy some more photos. I think this year's photos may rival 2015 as my favorite set.

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New England Fall Adventure

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On Saturday, Boo and I embarked on the quintessential New England fall day. We drove all the way up into New Hampshire, over to Maine, and then back down into Massachusetts. All in one day. We took in the changing foliage, came across a small town farmers market, climbed to a few waterfalls, ate lunch overlooking the beautiful view above, stopped for some pumpkin donuts and maple popcorn and apple cider, and took sooooo many pictures.

It was one gorgeous day, I tell you :)

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