Playing tourist

June 2, 2012

The other night we had an impromptu ‘date night’ and chose to hop over to downtown Freeport.  It was rainy and cold, perfect for the Broad Arrow Tavern at the Harraseeket Inn. We drank Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Ale, had the pear salad, and pizza.

Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale

As we left the Inn, it was hard to resist snapping a pic of the indoor pool!

Harraseeket Inn

Between dinner and a movie we had time to spare.  Sherman’s Books on Main Street is a great place to grab a good read, a gift, or a Maine take-away {for those who are truly visiting}. They have other locations, too; in Boothbay Harbor, Camden, and Bar Harbor.

Sherman's Books Freeport

The best magazine around {my local favorite at least!}: Maine Magazine

Maine Magazine

As you can imagine, playing tourist in Freeport is not complete without a stop into L.L. Bean!

LL Bean

L.L. Bean Signature laid out a very Maine vignette!

Luke, of course, found his way to the hunting and fishing goodies…just follow the school of fish.

LL Bean

LL Bean

 The ceiling in the Hunting and Fishing department!  Love the fish and birds. Perfect for those of us who maybe aren’t so excited about lures and camo, but do enjoy some natural life decor:)

Hello! Memorial Day Weekend is happening folks! Aside from BBQ’s and taking time to at least mentally honor and thank all of our veterans, this weekend is a reminder to make some good summer plans now, before the summer flies by and leaves the sting of fun not had. Nothing worse than a bleak look back from August to find that you never went camping, or used your kayak {not even once}, and didn’t have that one big bash in your backyard with all your friends.  I’ve seen that vista and I no like.

We started our weekend off yesterday with a walk in the field behind our house where the fog was rolling in and every blade of tall grass was wet with dew.

Then we dried off by fire, which was cool to have going during foggy daylight!

Finally we went inside to make some goodies for eating later this weekend:

Mixed Berry Muffins.  A tried & true recipe from this book.

Greek pasta salad.  It’s a good BBQ companion!

Eggplant rollatinis as inspired by my favorite dish at Ribollita in Portland:)

We’re looking forward to a fun weekend of getting outdoors and good times with family & friends~ the same to you!

 Strange bedfellows?

We are lucky to have our own symphony orchestra here in Portland.  Many people I know attend their performances regularly, but apparently it took their doing the music of Queen to get me to attend!  On Saturday night we went out with a few friends to hear the PSO take on Freddie Mercury and company. They are such a talented group and sounded beautiful, but the event was not exactly what we expected; for instance, there was a singer.  Who invited audience participation.  Who encouraged my seat-neighbors to belt out notes they couldn’t quite hit.  The University of Southern Maine Choir joined in, too, and they helped round out the vocals. Here’s a snippet:

We had fun getting out and about with friends, and it made us both want to go back for a “real” PSO performance!


Broadly speaking, Portland, Maine is often considered “the other Portland,” mainly because the one in Oregon is a larger city.  Around these parts if you consider this one to be “the other one,” then you’re from away, and if you’re from here you wouldn’t even consider calling it that. {This could just be the hometown pride talking.} Part of me doesn’t mind that our city here is less well-known because that means we can keep it to ourselves.

However, in 2011 Travel & Leisure did a “City Face-Off” of the Portlands as part of their “America’s Favorite Cities” series and Portland, Maine won over Portland, Oregon. Interestingly, as Wikipedia would have us know~ “Portland, Oregon was named for Portland, Maine.” Turns out a native Portlander {of the East Coast variety} was one of the founders of the Oregon Portland. A fun fact that I did not know.

Elvis Costello gets this same “other” status because let’s face it, when you’re The King of Rock-n-Roll you’re a hard act to follow. Presley, while I do like some of his music, has just never stuck with me. I’ve always liked Elvis Costello and if I ever find a t-shirt that reads “I love the other Elvis” I’m buying it.

All of this “other one” business is all relative anyway because some might agree that the positives of being somewhat of a little secret outweigh the negatives.

MAINE Things Monday

March 26, 2012

Vintage Maine postcard

Happy Monday: This is the first of many ‘Maine Things Monday’ posts to come!  There is much to love and discover about Maine, and all that we have here, and I am eager to share it with you. In fact, I believe this is as much for me as it is for you.

Maine Maple Syrup

There have been some fun happenings around Maine lately, mostly to do with maple syrup.  Every March tons of  sugarhouses celebrate the tradition of making maple syrup.  They open up their operations to the public and share with us their passion for the art of tapping maple trees and making sweet syrup on what we call “Maine Maple Sunday.” It’s not only larger sugarhouses making syrup: lots of Mainers tap their own trees, too.

In our lovely city by the bay there are always hip happenings…and this one’s good:

Portland Flea-for-All

In Portland there is a Flea-for-All opening next month! It’s genius and has me very excited!  Vendors of various types {designers, sellers, artists, makers, i.e. interesting & talented folks} will set up shop in one large space. Portland can’t help but be so cool!  Situated near Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Deering Oaks Park where the Saturday Farmer’s Market takes place {after May 1st} will surely help make the Flea-for-All a regular stop on a weekend.  I can’t wait to score some furniture & whatnot for our house!

p.s. Now that iced tea & lemonade & camping season is upon us, I want this.

Happy Birthday to ME!!

March 15, 2012

On this day, 192 years ago, Maine became the 23rd state. Woo-hoo!!!

Happy Birthday Maine!

We love you!


An Overnight in Portland

March 10, 2012

Portland Maine skyline

Did you know that Portland boasts a pretty great selection of amazing restaurants?  Bon Appetit called it “America’s Foodiest Small Town” in 2009. Some of the more well-known restaurants include Fore StreetHugo’s, and Street & Co.they are all fantastic, but I tend toward more under-the-radar places.

One of my favorites is Caiola’s in Portland’s West End neighborhood {also my favorite ‘end’ of the city}.  Getting the same dish there every time is sort of hard to resist: they make the best paella!  They have a delicious burger and once a gnocchi special made me unbelievably happy! Walter’s is always my go-to place for drinks & the calamari with girlfriends.

If you visit the city and want to stay somewhere distinct, slightly tucked away, and indicative of this city’s celebration of art then you should consider the Pomegranate Inn {also in the West End}.  It’s beautiful, whimsical, and elegant; every single room and nook and wall and thing in there is artfully selected or art itself.  They have a veritable gallery throughout the halls & rooms!  I promise you will love it there!

Something to take home & remember Portland by:  Chart Metalworks  makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cuff links and more using nautical maps of all places in Maine {and anywhere, really}.   I gave my husband a key ring with a map of Popham Beach, where we were married.

Portland has it going on!  It’s so dear to me and has grown to be a very hip, happening little city.  This is the first of many Portland mentions and just a few of my recommendations…more later!  Have a happy weekend!

Well hello!  After an enjoyable long weekend of family, friends & knocking projects off my to-do list, I’m beginning what is my typical work week; Tuesday thru Saturday.  Ever wake up calm & cool as a cucumber, getting things done with ease?  Rare, isn’t it?  That’s how my day has started off and I feel giddy, but don’t want to shake the calm so I’ll be straight-faced about it.

Let’s talk about composing an artful nook!  A nook {by definition} should be a corner or small area, set aside for some seclusion. On the periphery, perhaps, of a larger space. Making it artful will take some effort.  Best advice is to use things that you love and not to settle on creating a look, but more of a feeling that evokes what you regard as a space for relaxing and being removed from the household bustle.

This whole idea was inspired by a chair that my talented brother-in-law, Graham, made.  Designed and made.  This chair is as original as he is!

                                    Just look at this wood grain up close {Gorgeous!}:

And while pinning on Pinterest in my downtime yesterday I spied this piece of art:

Linda Donohue has a shop on Etsy and after looking at all of her works I am lusting after one for my home.  Seaside abstract original paintings? Ah, yes says this girl! This piece paired with Graham’s chair just seems natural.  And relaxing.

I like to read in a nook {and doze off} do you? A lamp is in order, and not just any.  It has to fit with the simple beauty of the other items; to stand on it’s own and add to the rest. This lamp design has fine ‘legs’ that remind me of an easel and it matched the feeling that I wanted for this artful nook.  It happens to be sold at a wonderful local store in Portland.

For a cozy, relaxed feel I wanted to add a rug.  A soft texture underfoot for when you’re curled up, but one foot dangles onto the floor.  For those toes I want soft fibers…and of course, something pretty fabulous. So I looked to fellow Mainer Angela Adams Birds of Paradise:

Voila~ An artful nook! This composition is indicative of my style, as your nook should be of yours.  The natural colors, materials, fibers, seaside landscape all make for a calming, tucked-away retreat. The intermingling of textures and cohesive palette makes me feel happy.  What would your nook look like if you were to design, or redesign one now?  What would you read there?  This one inspires me to read something about seafaring or life on an island…if I close my eyes I can feel the salty wind blowing now:)

%d bloggers like this: