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.

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:
РIf you live in MA Рyou 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

Summer of Us – Go Fly a Kite

Last summer when we took Z to our favorite park to fly a kite, she had a blast. We knew this year would be even better now that she’s older and could (potentially) fly a kite on her own so we added to our Summer of Us list. Over the long holiday weekend we paid a visit to Brenton State Park to fly a kite!

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Getting the kite ready…

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…Daddy helping to get it in the air…

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…and flying the kite all on her own – success!

 

A few notes if you go this summer:
– Brenton Point State Park is on Ocean Drive in Newport, RI where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It’s easily a day trip drive from Boston, about an hour and 30/45 minutes.
– It’s a great kite park because of the winds because of its location right on the ocean. Be prepared with a sweatshirt or sweater, it can be chilly there even on the hottest summer days.
– There are public restrooms available during park hours (sunrise to sunset) from Memorial Day through Halloween.
– Bring a picnic along with your kite and make a day of it. There are quite a few places to get great take-out lunch in Newport, a few of our faves are:
Rosemary & Thyme, a great French bakery that serves sandwiches starting at 11:30am.
Peaceable Market, right on Thames St serving sandwiches and salads.
Flo’s Clam Shack, if you’re looking for traditional fried fish, this is the place but go early, this place gets packed!
Blue Rocks Market, really great sandwiches and pre-made salads and food. It’s also a little market with all sorts of yummy treats!
Ash Mart, looks like just a convenience store from the outside, but they make great, traditional sub sandwiches. Go here if the line is too long at Blue Rocks, it’s just across the street.

Fourth of July on Pinterest

I love the Fourth of July – it always makes me feel like summer has really begun, right? And I cannot believe the fourth is a week from Friday. Time to start planning some patriotic projects! Here are some fun Fourth of July ideas from my archives…

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What to Wear

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Patriotic Ice Cream Cones

 

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Fourth of July Strawberries

And if you want MORE ideas – I am excited to be a part of a fun Fourth of July Pinning party curated from the ladies at Domestic Bliss Squared. I wanted to share the Board with you in case you’re looking for any creative Patriotic ideas for the fourth – recipes, crafts, and styles ideas. Click here to view – have fun!

The Blogger's Digest

What to Wear – Labor Day Weekend

You know I always think of Labor Day weekend as the last hurrah of summer, right? Go to the beach one last time, make all your favorite summer recipes one last time, and certainly wear your favorite summer outfit one last time. I have put together my last hurrah outfit for you here. What will you be wearing this weekend?

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1. These Beachmaster Honey Tortoise-Ebony Wood sunglasses from TOMS are great with this outfit! 2. I love delicate jewelry in the summer when it’s hot so this Initial charm pendant from Baublebar. 3. I love the bicoastal tank from Anthropologie, I am showing you the back here – it’s red in the front. So cute and coordinates perfect with the tote. 4. The Keeva large tote from Sole Society can be carried all day and even to the beach, I love this bag – and it’s on sale right now! 5. I know it’s old fashioned to say don’t where white shoes after Labor Day…so I guess I’m old fashioned, I just don’t like white shoes if it’s not summertime. Anyway, I’ll be wearing some white sandals one last time this year like these Steve Madden Hamil Sandal from Nordstrom. 6. I always love to wear white denim on Labor Day Weekend – it’s so summery. These denim roll-up short in white are from J. Crew Factory – and on sale right now!

Happy Labor Day weekend (almost)! And if you’re having some friends over and need Labor Day weekend recipe ideas, look no further!

Charred Corn and Zucchini with Basil

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I made this salad last weekend and couldn’t believe how delicious and flavorful the salad tasted with such few ingredients and simple process to make. I was shocked – in a good way! This salad was so yummy that when we served it to our party of 4, I went back for seconds….and it was gone. I guess I”ll just have to make it again real soon.

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First, cut the corn off your husks, I used 4 small/medium size ears of corn *Tip: place a small inverted bowl inside a larger bowl. Cut the end of the husk off so you have a nice, flat surface and place on the inverted bowl. Slide your knife down the husk and the kernels will fall into the larger bowl. This contains the mess – if you don’t use the bowl, the kernels tend to fly everywhere.

 

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Next, chop one red onion and cut one zucchini into thin slices. Place all ingredients into a skillet on medium high heat in a couple Tbs of olive oil.

 

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Add salt and pepper, stir once, and WALK AWAY. This is the only hard part of this recipe. You have to leave the ingredients alone in the pan to get their char. Don’t touch…

 

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In the meantime chop your basil, about a dozen or so leaves.

 

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Place the basil in a bowl and once your veggies have a nice char after 10 to 15 minutes, place them in the bowl with the basil. The basil will wilt a little as you incorporate. Serve warm, enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this salad after you try it, you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.