So close and yet so far, only two stops left on the Maine Beer Trail.

We were in the home stretch almost ready to claim our prize and revel in our bragging rights. Our tattered, well-worn beer trail map held together with generous amounts of packaging tape, has only TWO blank spaces left. We planned to finish our visits in the spring but then the world paused.

No stamps from Penobscot Bay Brewery or Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company to add an air of finality to our three year adventure. Both breweries are in the mid-coast. Both are just out of reach for now.

Continue reading

Virtual dinners from Wine Wise provide a way to connect from a distance.

The current measures to fight COVID-19 are devastating for many local businesses. But I am also amazed at the creativity I have seen come from these stressful times.

Local businesses have shown impressive adaptability. Many businesses have found ways to pivot, seemingly instantaneously, from textile artisans who have transitioned to making masks or the rapid move to curb side pickup at some of my favorite breweries and restaurants. I know these changes can’t make up fully for the economic stress businesses are experiencing but it is impressive.

Recently, we took advantage of one such reinvention.

Continue reading

An infographic on spending a fun filled socially distanced weekend in Maine.

During my first year of blogging, I created an infographic that highlighted how to spend a perfect weekend in Portland, Maine.  Now that we’re all staying home and access to public spaces is more limited due to the pandemic, I thought it would be fun to create a new infographic focused on how to spend a perfect socially distanced weekend in Maine.

Even if we can’t currently visit our local restaurants, breweries, museums, shops and all the other amazing places that Maine has to offer there are still many ways to support our local businesses while practicing social distancing and having a great time.

The links to all of the sites mentioned in the infographic are listed at the bottom of the blog post. Wishing everyone a fun filled virtual weekend!

Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | Q is for Quince Sorbet and getting our Sugar Rush on at Gross Confection Bar.

The Netflix algorithm that recommends shows based on your previous viewing history notifies me the millisecond a new dessert cooking show is available. I have my niche. Repeated viewings of the Great British Bake-Off, Sugar Rush and Zumbo’s Just Desserts make me a pseudo expert on anything sugar based.

When my husband and I were out for dinner recently at Chaval, a local Portland restaurant, the waiter mentioned that their Morcilla Puff appetizer was made with choux pastry. My husband looked at me and said, “Honey, it’s choux pastry” and we promptly ordered two to try. He’s been sucked into my candy colored world too. The appetizer was delicious. The chef might have even gotten a handshake from Paul Hollywood if they had baked it under a tent on the grounds of a beautiful rural estate in England.

When my oldest was home for college break over January, we streamed the latest season of Zumbo’s Just Desserts. We enjoyed seeing all the amazing creations these not-so-amateur chef’s came up with during each of the challenges.

Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | N is for New Experiences and moving my bucket list virtual.

I’ve posted a few annual bucket lists to this blog in the past. However, I didn’t for 2020. I needed to step back and think about what my goals were around my bucket list as typically we’d only cross a few entries off each year. That didn’t make me happy. I’m the kind of person who gets giddy when she finishes a to-do list.

Maybe that was the problem. Had I set them up to be just another thing to cross off?

I’ve read the headlines telling us it is better to invest in experiences rather than things. That it will bring us more joy. I don’t need to be convinced. I definitely would pick an experience over a purchase any day.

Why do new experiences bring bliss into my life? Below are five reasons that I love new experiences:

People. Typically, new experiences involve other people. After years of believing myself to be an introvert, I read Quiet by Susan Cain and realized I’m actually a shy extrovert. Being around other people gives me energy. Often new experiences are something that I do with other people which makes it that much sweeter.

Continue reading