Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Brewer Waterfront

I hope that everyone had a lovely and safe holiday. We spent the Christmas morning at home and the evening at our friend Rhonda's home. The day after Christmas was quite relaxing. We watched Star Wars Episode IV and then went for a short walk on the Brewer Waterfront.

The Brewer Waterfront has a nice walkway and a cute little garden area where people can actually plant their own flowers or herbs. It is a nice spot and good for a brisk but refreshing walk.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Light Chasing

Home on Eastern Avenue in Brewer
 Christmas light chasing is definitely a tradition in my family. We love finding the gaudiest neighborhoods and the most elaborate homes. For those in Brewer, go to Gettysburg Avenue. Those people really go to town with their lights!

Home in Gettysburg Avenue neighborhood

Home in Gettysburg Avenue neighborhood

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin seeds, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ice cream, and especially, pumpkin bread. This recipe is perfect for pumpkin cravings and for the holiday season. It is adapted from this recipe.

  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 can squash puree 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans or two
    9 x 5 pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together  purees, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Christmas Photo Shoot.

I made an advent calendar for Christopher this year. It has a mixture of candy and holiday activities. I tried to choose activities that I knew Christopher would enjoy. So far we have gone to a brewery, had a game night with Christmas music and watched a Christmas movie (The Holiday Inn). Today we did a photo shoot because Christopher and I both love fiddling with the camera.

 We are not going home for Christmas so we have made a real effort to do festive activities. The holidays can often be a quite depressing time of year, so I think it is important to have fun and remember what the season is really about.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monks and Beer

In case you had not noticed, Christopher and I love beer. We love tasting new beers, going on beer tours, and showing our love for our local breweries. We could not resist when we heard that Friar's Brewhouse was doing an open house.

Friar's Brewhouse is run by the monks of the St. Elizabeth Monastery in Bucksport, Maine. Their Whoopie Pie beer won an award at the Bangor Beer Festival this summer. This was their first open house and they plan on hosting one each season.

Christopher and I loved talking to the monks. They were incredibly friendly and were willing to talk about anything and everything. Their Saint Nicholas Ale was simply delicious and we purchased a bottle to crack open on Christmas Day.

It doesn't hurt that their monastery is absolutely peaceful and beautiful.

We are looking forward to trying out what else they have in store!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We tried participating in the Turkey Trek in Bangor City Forest, but arrived too late to catch up to everyone. We ended up doing our own hike through the woods.

The night before we received about a foot and a half of snow. The forest looked like something from a fairytale. It was completely mesmerizing.

Freckles had a BLAST.

Stay safe and warm!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sweet and Simple

I am currently sitting on my bed, coffee in hand, staring blankly at my laptop and listening to Freckles snore as she naps. This scene has come to define my weekends and many of my weekdays lately. Adventures are few and far between. School is far too overwhelming, work is far too constricting and my health is far too unpredictable to really do much exploring.

Christopher and I's date nights are uncomplicated. We make dinner together. We watch a random documentary. We snack on a homemade dessert or hot chocolate. Our dates are not terribly exciting, but they are just what we need to rejuvenate and enjoy each others company. There is a certain amount of tranquility in this simplicity. This might make for a boring blog, especially now that I have finished writing our honeymoon posts. After our whirlwind of a wedding season however, this seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

Freckles loves long naps, but she also adores long walks. There photos were taken at one of our old haunts, Prentiss Woods. This is a very dog-friendly forest and offers quite a refreshing walk. Once again, just what the doctor ordered.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

First Snow of the Season

Bangor recently was attacked by about a foot of snow. There were power outages throughout the areas and it was nearly impossible to drive anywhere.

Oh well, at least Freckles was happy. 

It is amazing watching the seasons change before your eyes. In California any seasonal changes are incredibly subtle and often short-lived. I was recently told that it rained Halloween weekend but the temperature was back in the 80's by the middle of the week. It is much harder to get rid of a foot of snow in Maine. I am in complete awe whenever the seasons change.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hermon Ecotat and Arboretum

Christopher and I were on our way to Dover-Foxcroft this past June, when we passed by the Hermon Ecotat and Arboretum. We did not stop to explore at the time, but the sign piqued my interest. We finally got to visiting it a few weeks ago and enjoyed wandering through the grounds and trails.

The garden is open daily from dawn to dusk and is free to the public. The Ecotat contains 91 acres of land, 280 varieties of trees and 1500 varieties of perennials. The Mary Blethen Memorial Library is open three days a week in season and offers books on gardening and nature.

This was a nice place to visit in the autumn, but I have a feeling it is even lovelier in the the spring and summer. Most of the perennials were dead and the actual gardens were a little brown. This is a definitely a place we plan on checking out again next year!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Best of Plymouth: Where to Visit

If you visit Plymouth, it kind of goes without saying that you should visit Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II and Plimouth Plantation. Today I would like to share with you some other lesser-known but fantastic locations in Plymouth.

For the historian:

Jenney Grist Mill
This place is great for older children, especially if they are interested in history and science.  I have been on this tour twice and have learned something new each time.

Courtesy of

Jabez Howland House
This home is the only one surviving from the seventeenth century. This a definite treat for the eyes.

Burial Hill
I have a confession: I love cemeteries. This happens to be one of the oldest in the country and is wonderful to explore.

For the liquor snob:

Dirty Water Distillery
During the summer, take a tour of Mayflower Brewing Company. During the rest of the year, hit up Dirty Water Distillery. Pro-Tip: Email the owners beforehand to schedule a tour.

Courtesy of

For the stroller: 

Brewster Gardens
Brewster Gardens is lovely. It is a great place to take a walk, admire the statues and squeal over ducklings.

For the ghost hunter:

Dead of Night Ghost Tour
I have never done this, but I have heard good things about this tour. Check out this website for more details.

Courtesy of

I hope that this post has encouraged you to not only explore lesser known sites in Plymouth,but wherever you go. I feel that whenever one visits a new place or even their hometown, there is so much pressure to visit the super-touristy sites. While a number of these sites are popular for a reason, there are so many hidden treasures worth digging for. I charge you with finding some place new and creating your own unique memories!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Best of Plymouth: Where to Shop

One does not generally associate Plymouth with shopping, however there are several adorable shops within the town that are definitely worth the visit.

Something For Your Dust
This store is a great mixture of new and vintage. There seems in particular to be an abundance of vintage typewriters and cameras. There was a portrait of a Saint Bernard that I was in love with!

Courtesy of

Main Street Marketplace and Main Street Antiques
These stores were incredibly similar both in name, pricing and merchandise. There was a great selection for antiques for a pretty fair price. There was on section in Main Street Marketplace dedicated to just vintage maps! I was also tempted to visit Dillon & Company, but this store looked a little out my price range.

Setting the Space
This store. THIS STORE. This store is an interior decorator's dream. There were so many goodies I wanted to snatch up, but alas my bank account rebelled against me. This store is definitely worth walking through even if you have a mutinous wallet like I do.

Courtesy of

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Best of Plymouth:Where to Eat

Although our breakfast was complimentary, Christopher and I were left to ourselves for lunch and dinner. We got to try a lot of fantastic restaurants on our honeymoon. Here are some of the highlights. 

Best Coffee Shop: Blue Blind's Bakery 
Blue Blind's Bakery was our go to coffee shop while in Plymouth. It was not only a hop, skip and a jump away from our inn, but it also served absolutely delicious coffee. Christopher and I were huge fans of their caramel lattes. They also had some baked goods which we did not try, but looked wonderful. Do keep in mind that this family is run by the sweetest Jewish family, so the shop will be closed on Jewish holidays. We happened to be there around Shmini Atzeret, so we were unable to get coffee there later in the week. 

Best Lunch Spot: Luigi's
Luigi's has some seriously awesome paninis and sandwiches. My chicken salad sandwich and pasta salad were delicious, but I was seriously tempted to steal Christopher's panini. 

Best Gastropub: Nosh Food Tavern
Nosh was a great place to grab dinner. They had an excellent selection of beers and unique and tasty food. We were happy to see that they served several microbrews and local liquors. Christopher and I loved their salt and vinegar fries. 

Courtesy of

Best Hole-In-The-Wall: Asia Tasty
Christopher and I ate here THREE times. Asia Tasty was fast, cheap and their food did not have a ton of MSG. We were particular fans of their crab ragoons and fried spring rolls. We would definitely recommend ordering a bunch of appetizers to share. 

Best of Fine Dining: Patrizia Italy Trattoria 
Christopher and I celebrated the last night of our honeymoon at Patrizia Italy Trattoria. This was an excellent restaurant. There are several Italian classics with a modern twist and an extensive wine list. I loved my Tortelli di Ricotta e Spinaci con Burro e Salvia (Fresh spinach and artisan ricotta hand-made ravioli in sage-butter sauce, shaved Parmigiano Reggian) and Christopher enjoyed his Orecchiette alla Barese con Salsiccia e Broccoli (Hand rolled “little ears” shaped pasta in garlic, sausage, broccoli rabe and roasted tomatoes).

Do you have any Plymouth recommendations?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shipping Up to Boston

Christopher had never had a chance to visit Boston, so this city was definitely on our go-to list. The weather and our lack of time limited what we could do and see, nevertheless we had a good time.

Our first stop in Boston was the North End. I have a particular attachment to the North End, because my great, great-grandmother once lived there.

Paul Revere's House was a must see. Pro-tip: This site is cash-only. Be prepared.

We also visited Mike's Pastries. Oh, Mike's Pastries. This is what Italian dessert dreams are made of. I have wanted to return here after I first visited ten years ago. TEN YEARS. That is how long the memories of their cannolis have lasted me. Another Pro-tip: If you ever want to earn brownie points with me, bring me a cannoli. Or ice cream. Or dark chocolate. I am not picky.

We could not go to Boston without visiting Quincey Market. This place is intense and rather overwhelming. There was a two-story store of just Christmas ornaments.

We ended our time in Boston with a few stops along the Freedom Trail. Many of the Freedom Trail tours and museums are on the pricy side, so we contented ourselves with taking pictures of the outside of buildings and exploring the Granary Burial Ground.

A proper Boston weekend is definitely in the works. Perhaps our one year anniversary!