Three Winter Hikes. Embrace the cold.

In our never-ending effort to stay active, we’ve made hiking a year round activity. We’ll technically we didn’t “make” it year round. It has always been year round for those who love the outdoors, but until last year I was not among them.  Fortunately, I’ve learned to embrace the cold and actually discovered that I like winter hiking once you get past the initial “wow, it’s freezing” feeling. Once you get moving, the cold disappears.

The challenge with winter hiking, and other winter activities, is that you’re dependent on the type of winter mother nature brings. Lots of snow, great – break out those snowshoes. Not a lot of snow – hiking shoes it is. Icy conditions – throw on some crampons. Continue reading

Looking for free stuff? Here’s a list of free monthly activities to do in Maine for 2017.

Last September, my family and I did the Living Well Spending Zero challenge from Ruth Soukup. As part of the challenge, we spent minimal money for the entire month. No groceries, no entertainment, no take-out. We allowed ourselves a small amount of cash at the start of the month for minor necessities, and activities that had already been planned, but that was it. We ate through the food in our refrigerator and pantry, learned to ration our seltzer, and went to some free events like the Fork Food Lab grand opening.

Overall, we did a great job, or at least until the last day of the month when our cat came down with a UTI, and we had to do an emergency visit to the vet complete with x-rays, anesthesia, and multiple antibiotics, all of which negated most of our savings from our zero spend month. Still it was a fun, creative experiment and one we would definitely try again. More importantly, our cat, other than one minor setback, is doing great now. Continue reading

Four reasons why I love Allagash Brewing.

My husband is persistent. He has tried over the years to convert me into a beer connoisseur although will little success. He delights in trying the latest local craft brew concoction, while looking at me with disdain as I enjoyed my Corona with lime under his chilly gaze. So in an effort to improve our beer compatibility, I gave it the old college try until I finally found a craft brew that I enjoyed. Actually, more than enjoyed, really loved. So a huge thank you to Allagash White for helping my marriage run a little smoother.

In addition to being the creators of my craft beer of choice, there are other reasons why Allagash is one of my favorite local breweries. Here are four reasons why I’m a big Allagash fan.  Continue reading

Unexpected Delights at Foulmouthed Brewpub in South Portland

There was a time when my family headed to Quebec City during the cold winter months to enjoy winter carnival. We would see amazing ice sculptures and huddle for warmth inside small, cozy bars. One of the biggest memories from these trips up north was discovering poutine for the first time.

Eating fries smothered in thick gravy and topped with cheese is probably useful in the dead of winter when you need as much body fat as you can muster, but it’s not something you want to eat every day. For a long time, it remained our special treat when we crossed the border, but in the last few years I’ve noticed this food dish having its moment in Maine. While basic poutine can be found easily these days, some of our local chefs have jazzed up the recipe and put their own spin on it. Continue reading

10 Maine Adventures on My Bucket List for 2017

As inevitably happens at the start of a new year, resolutions are made and plans for how things will be different begin to form. There are the traditional resolutions such as lose weight, exercise more, save money, and get organized. While those are perpetually on my list, for my resolution this year, I went a different route. I put together a bucket list of Maine related activities that I want to check off my list. Some are small things, others will require more planning but they are all adventures I hope to have this year.

  1. Join a CSA | Community Supported Agriculture. This one has been tumbling around my head for a few years now. Usually, I miss the sign-up period as most CSAs need to be ordered in the winter, and my thoughts of fresh summer produce don’t kick in until spring, but this year I am going to use the wonder of technology and set a reminder on my calendar so that I can sign-up. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association website has a search tool to locate various CSAs throughout the state so I have a great place to start.
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