Summer of Us – North Conway, NH

We were in North Conway, NH for 5 days last week and I just had to share some photos with you because we had such a great time! We go up there pretty frequently but this time was centered around something we had never done – go to Storyland (well, actually, I’ve been to Storyland quite a few times as a child but this was our first time as a family and more importantly Z and Baby M’s first time there)!!

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We weren’t quite sure how Z would do, if she’d like the rides or be nervous. So we arrived and started slow with the Storybook section of the park and she could not have been more disinterested. She didn’t seem to be having any fun so we stopped to get an ice cream with sprinkles and we thought that would perk her right up – it didn’t…

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Across the way was the Polar Coaster (Antarctica-themed roller coaster) and since she IS 36″ and that’s the minimum to ride, we brought her on. Let’s just say, a daredevil was born! Yes, that’s her in the last car with both of her tiny arms in the air (don’t worry, she has a lap belt on AND I am clutching her for dear life. We went on ride after ride and had the very best time!

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Baby M’s first ride and a family selfie!

 

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IMG_7686 Baby M’s view of Storyland…

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Taking a pumpkin coach to Cinderella’s Castle was. awesome! Baby M and I took the foot path, btw. A great thing about Storyland is if you go and buy your pass at 3pm or later one day, you can go the next day as part of the same ticket – a timeline that worked perfect for us with a napping toddler (we went after nap Sunday and were home for a late nap Monday afternoon). The other great thing is kids under 3 get in free!

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After all the excitement of Storyland, we had some pool time the next day.

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We also went on a hike because how can you be in the White Mountains and not do something outdoorsy?

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And now I have to share my favorite story of our trip. We pulled into the parking lot of the hiking trail we took and got the very last parking spot. All of a sudden this guy comes barreling out of the woods! I shouted “Holy SH*T that’s a MOOSE,” grabbed my phone, and ran out to grab some photos.

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I may have gotten a little too close, by the way – but it’s SO rare to see a moose in person I had to get some shots. I yelled for my husband to get out of the car (I don’t think he was understanding just how exciting this was) and he grabbed Z so she could see too. Mr. Moose never stopped trotting until he got across the highway to a small pond. We could see cars pulling over and droves of people stopping to see him. It was so fun and exciting! Technically I had seen a moose before as a child on the side of the road on the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire, but I really understood just how special it was this time around. It was a fun way to end our time in North Conway!

Assembled at Assembly Row

We had some errands to run on Saturday but also wanted to have some fun and eat lunch – “a pretty nice little Saturday” if you will. So, we hopped over to Assembly Row in Somerville and ran our errands.

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Then we spent some time at the new playground for our Z to have her fun, have you been? There’s a great spinning thing AND those frogs in both photos squirt water when turned on!

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Then it was time for lunch , so we walked by all the new shops at Assembly Row to go to Assembled: The Handmade Arts Market. You may recall we went last year, so we knew how much fun we would have.

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We love food trucks, so we were psyched to see them there – Bon Me, Clover, and the Chicken & Rice Guys are there every week.

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No surprise we all got something from the Bon Me truck – Z and I shared the noodles!

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Then it was time to shop! We saw great booths this year from jewelry to art to handmade bird houses to screened t-shirts. I always love looking through handmade crafts being a crafter myself and all.

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We couldn’t leave without visiting the Swiss Bakers for a little croissant…

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…and we found the most adorable headband that Z and I can both wear. Z was happy because one vendor gave her that sticker and a lollipop, too. Have you been to Assembled yet this summer? It runs every Saturday 11am to 4pm through September 13. Go, have fun and tell me what you think!

 

*Disclaimer: I received complimentary goods for this post, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own.

Berry Yogurt Popsicles

Popsicles seem to be a thing now, don’t you think? If you’re on Pinterest (follow me!) your feed has probably had some Popsicle “recipes” this summer because they are just SO easy to make. And you can fill them with whatever you want so they can even be – dare I say – healthy! I made a batch of Berry Yogurt Popsicles over the weekend for us to enjoy on hot summer nights after dinner on our back deck – sounds kind of idyllic, right? It’s time for you to make your own before the summer is over! Ps. We bought our mold at the Christmas Tree Shop.

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You will need 1 1/2C each of frozen blueberries and strawberries, 1 6oz container vanilla yogurt, 2 Tbs sugar, and Popsicle molds. Note – use whatever fruit you want. Also use whatever yogurt you want (low-fat, plain, Greek)! Use however much sugar you want (or don’t want as the case may be). This is based on Martha Stewart’s Firecracker Ice Pop recipe.

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Defrost your berries.

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Once defrosted blend strawberries with 1 Tbs sugar. Spoon into your Popsicle mold.

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Add about 1 Tbs of yogurt into each mold on top of the blended strawberries. Solicit your toddler for help, like I did!

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Repeat with blueberries and more yogurt. Put the top on your molds and freeze over night.

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ENJOY!

Couple Things…

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I have a post coming up next week about our time in North Conway, NH and at Storyland but today I thought I’d share my husband’s Storyland treat (because parents definitely deserve a treat after a day and a half at Storyland)- deep fried Oreos!

…and my Storyland treat – a Pineapple Dole Whip, nice that you don’t have to go all the way to Disney World for a Dole Whip anymore!

Her and my casual sneakers.

After driving the antique cars at Storyland, she is obsessed!

We made more perfectly popped popcorn this week – if you haven’t tried the Pop Secret App you must, it’s awesome! #sp

And finally…the sweetest, cutest baby boy whose easygoing nature is allowing us to have the best. summer. ever. Thanks Baby M!

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Halibut with Roasted Beets

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I’m giving you another recipe this week! Must mean one thing…it’s CSA season and we’re getting tons of random vegetables that we’re scouring the internet for interesting recipes to use them all. Today I bring you what to do if you have tons of greens (like kale or swiss chard) and beets, as we had earlier this week. I found this recipe on Martha’s site for Halibut with Roasted Beets and it was great. Healthy, satisfying with interesting flavor combinations – tangy mustard, sweet golden beets, and tart greens.

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We used swiss chard and golden beets seasoned with salt and plenty of pepper.

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Dijon mustard on halibut is an unexpectedly fabulous combination.

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Enjoy!

Quinoa and Edamame Salad

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I mentioned Friday that I had this delicious Quinoa and Edamame Salad when we went berry picking at Sweet Berry Farm. It was so good that I took a photo of the ingredients to remember to re-make it myself some day. Well, last week we  were headed to another free outdoor concert to have a picnic dinner and I thought this Quinoa and Edamame Salad would be the perfect thing to bring – and it was!

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It’s so easy to make! Just cook your quinoa according to directions and mix with edamame (I used frozen edamame that I boiled for 3 minutes to cook), corn (I cooked an ear of corn then removed the kernels), chopped cilantro, and quartered cherry tomatoes.

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For  a little dressing whisk together olive oil, lime juice, and salt and toss with the quinoa.

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This is so darn good! And it’s light and healthy and just perfect for summer. For our picnic dinner we served with grilled shrimp and bruschetta. Enjoy!

Family Movie Night Popcorn

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A few months ago while I was still working part time, my Z was home sick and I had a conference call for work I HAD to do. She had never watched a movie but I put on The Little Mermaid and she was mesmerized! Shortly thereafter she saw Frozen for the first time and…well…she is now a major fan of “moooovies.” When it was rainy recently we decided to have a family movie night to watch the new Lego movie – she loves Legos (well, Duplos, the toddler version) just like her daddy so we thought it would be a fun one for her to see. And what’s better than watching  a movie? Watching a movie with popcorn! Enter Pop Secret Popcorn.

We wanted to pop up some microwave popcorn but it always comes out burned OR too many unpopped kernels. UNTIL NOW! Did you know there is now a special Perfect Pop App? It’s so cool. You just stick your bag of popcorn in the microwave as usual. Right after you get the mic going you press GO on the app. The app “listens” to your popcorn popping and lets you know the second you should take the bag out to get the most perfectly popped bag of popcorn!

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It was fun to try. Your phone screen fills with Pop Secret Popcorn as the microwave is popping your bag and you get some fun facts to read as you wait.

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Then…the countdown is on! You get warned with messages when the popcorn is almost done and then you see this screen when the popcorn is ready. And by the way, my microwave still had 1 minute, 44 seconds of time left! Without the Pop Secret Perfect Pop App I definitely would have burned my popcorn.

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Look at this – perfectly popped.

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She enjoyed it more than she looks, that bowl was finished in about 4 minutes. You have to get the Pop Secret Perfect Pop Appclick here to download and learn more!

 

*Disclaimer: I received compensation and goods for this post, however all above opinions, thoughts, and burn-free microwave popcorn results are my very own. This app is really cool. Thanks for supporting Styled by Jess by clicking through the link(s) above – please and thank you!

Couple Things…

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We drove by our favorite kite park and saw a kite festival going on!

Beach day!

Baby M received the most adorably-wrapped gift from my cousin!

He wears about 90% striped clothing…clearly his mother’s son.

Z was obsessed with posing in this king & queen when we went blueberry and raspberry picking.

By the way, we ate lunch at the farm before we picked berries and I had this amazing quinoa edamame salad. I created our own version this week and will share the recipe on the blog next week!

 

Have a great weekend everyone! And don’t forget the Nordstrom Anniversary sale starts today, time to start shopping for fall!

NORDSTROM - Shop Anniversary Sale - Trendy Women's Apparel

 

Summer of Us – Pick Your Own Fruit

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We are really big into picking our own fruit at local farms (peach picking) (strawberry picking), so you bet we added pick your own fruit for every fruit grown locally to our Summer of Us list! I thought I’d share our most recent trip to go blueberry and raspberry picking. Blueberries are pretty much the favorite food of most toddlers, including ours, so we had a blast picking and eating blueberries all morning long! Oh, and we picked raspberries too, which my husband and I really love but Z was more into holding the container than snacking on the raspberries. And don’t worry – baby M was there too and slept in my Ergo the entire time, very newborn of him. I think he’ll appreciate picking his own fruit next year, for sure.

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Her motto: pick one, eat a handful!

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These may have been the sweetest most perfect raspberries I’ve ever had.

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Family pick your own fruit #selfie complete with squinty faces, crooked sunglasses, and an overflowing pint of blueberries!

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You really ought to go fruit picking this summer, it’s a blast!

A few notes if you go this summer:
– If you live in MA – you still have  chance to strawberry pick if you go now! Blueberries and raspberries have just started now. Peaches will be the end of this month or early August. Blackberries are late August.
– I find pickyourown.org to be very helpful to know what fruit is ready for picking and when – click on your state on their homepage for more info.
– We love to pick at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, RI (which is where all of these photos are from) – but farmfresh.org is great to find farms close to your house (or whatever zip code your search from). This site also lists farm stands if you don’t feel like doing the picking yourself and just want buy fresh fruit someone else picked!..

 

Time for Mom

Deviled Eggs

One night last week we were headed to a local farm that hosts a weekly concert in the summer for families where you can bring a picnic and sit outside as you eat and listen. We had pasta salad and cheese on hand but we needed one other thing to complete our picnic dinner. We had a few eggs in the fridge so we decided to make deviled eggs – nothing says picnic like deviled eggs!  Martha Stewart has a whole bunch of awesome deviled egg recipes but based on ingredients we had on hand we made these Old Bay Deviled Eggs. SO GOOD.

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Mix…

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…spoon mixture…

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…enjoy! Btw, we topped ours with green onions.