Feeds:
Posts
Comments

MP found this letterpress Easter greeting while shopping at Royal River Books in Yarmouth. When she turned the card around, she learned it was made in Swans Island by a company called Saturn Press.

Image

Some investigating revealed that the card company, which began in 1986, is owned by designer Jane Goodrich and printer Jim van Pernis. The two create vintage-inspired greeting cards using their collection of turn-of-the-century images for inspiration. Van Pernis uses four antique printing presses to develop the quality prints you see here.

Image

 

The team at Saturn Press has an old-fashioned approach to everything they do. The small company doesn’t have a web site or a computer in their small, Swans Island shop and studio. The popularity of their product comes from word of mouth. It seems when your work is a labor of love, people notice. In article in American Way magazine, Goodrich says of Saturn Press’ designs, “There’s extreme satisfaction in knowing that you’re bringing something beautiful that has your fingerprints on it back into the world.”

Image

MP is so impressed by this small Maine company, and will definitely be seeking out their gorgeous cards and book plates for years to come.

To shop for Saturn Press cards, visit Luxe Paperie online, or stop by great local shops like Daytrip Society in Kennebunkport. And before we forget, happy spring to everyone! We are so glad it’s finally here.

 

 

More & Co.

In Maine, which often feels like one big small town, it’s not uncommon to experience six degrees of separation. Take, for example, the roundabout way MP discovered the Portland studio and shop, More & Co. While visiting Tandem Coffee, she came across the gorgeous quarterly 3191 Miles Apart: a lifestyle magazine based in Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon. MP noticed that the Maine contributor, Maria Alexander Vettese, is one of the founders of More & Co., and that’s what led MP to this beautiful shop.

More & Co. is a colorful space that’s especially pleasing to visit in the spring, when our landscape is still brown and gray. There is so much for adults and kids to love here. The shop is a great resource for inspired gifts. 

Image

MP loves this handmade sweater for its spring green color and stripes.

 

Image

Colorful wooden sailboats for creative play.

Image

A set of three brightly mini colored notebooks for young writers.

In addition to these fun items for kids, MP also has her eye on Maine Sea Salt chocolate bars from Mast Brothers, a red linen scarf, and a cute tote bag for future presents. 

To learn more about More & Co., visit their website or Facebook page. Happy shopping and (yippee!) happy spring to all! 

112 High Street
Portland 

PS: Want to play more six degrees of separation? Gifts from More & Co. are also featured on two of MP’s favorite blogs: Map & Menu and Cup of Jo

 

 

 

 

MP had some serious ants in her pants earlier this month. When this happens, the family can bet on a road trip. Any change of scenery will do. We decided on a visit to The New Moon Restaurant  (aka DP’s new favorite breakfast place) followed by a trip to the Saco River Market.

The New Moon is in a cute yellow building with a high-pitched roof that looks straight out of a fairy tale. In March, the space was still decorated for the holidays, complete with garland hanging from the ceiling, snowman decorations, and white lights. But no matter. The breakfast menu looked promising. MP decided on eggs with feta, spinach, and a side of tomato hollandaise. CP#1 smartly chose crepes with fresh strawberries. And DP ordered chicken waffles with gravy. CP#2 kept to his standard: chocolate chip pancakes and sausage.

Our food and coffee arrived quickly, which is always a good thing with hungry kids in tow. MP’s egg dish was filling and the creamy hollandaise added nice flavor. The meal also came with a healthy side of roasted potatoes and thick slices of Rye bread. Image

CP #1′s crepes were light and delicious. When we return, MP is going to order these for herself.

Image

Out of curiosity, MP sampled DP’s chicken waffles, which were a nice balance of savory and sweet. And CP#2′s pancakes were so good, MP snuck in a few bites more. The reason she was able to do this without CP#2 protesting? It seemed he was distracted by the lollipop box near our table.

Image

After breakfast, we drove down the road to the Saco River Market. Located on Saco Island, the mill space that houses the market is impressive on its own. MP lingered a little while the family walked ahead.

Image

When she made it into the market, MP discovered so many little treasures. There were adorable felted rattles from Midnight Meadow Farm, beautiful crocheted knits made by Jenny Prickett, and fun vintage items from Freda’s Table. For food, we left with a shepherd’s pie Stromboli from Terra Cotta Pasta and Creeping Thyme Farm goat cheese. DP brought home some Funky Bow red beer in a miniature growler. And the kids? They spent a good half hour choosing one of Sue Davis’ decorative light switch covers for their rooms. We were having so much fun shopping, chatting with vendors, and listening to music, MP only snapped a few photos.

Image

A crocheted sweater made by Jenny Prickett – love the sweet buttons.

Image

One of many great finds at Freda’s Table. Photo courtesy Barbara McAllister.

Image

Image

We’ll definitely be back to the market for a fun morning out soon! FMI on the Saturday Saco River Market, visit their web site or Facebook page.

And before we forget, we have a winner from last Friday’s giveaway. Congrats goes to lucky #7 – Erin Haynes! Erin wins a copy of Slice & Bake Cookies by Elinor Klivans. Hurray!

If there is one dessert that MP can’t pass up, it’s cookies. Decadent chocolate chip cookies are her weakness, followed by crisp butter cookies and just about anything made with dark chocolate. So you can imagine her delight when she discovered Slice & Bake Cookies by Camden-based cookbook author Elinor Klivans. The cookbook features make-ahead cookie dough you can refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Image

Photo courtesy The Kitchn

MP and CP#1 tested Grandmother Sophie’s Butter cookies, and we loved the results. The dough was easy to prepare and the resulting cookie was delicious. We topped the cookies with dark chocolate chips.

Image

Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

Recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
Chocolate chips or pecan halves (optional)

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and salt in a bowl just until blended. Beat in sugar until blended smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix in yolks and extracts until blended. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, mixing just until incorporated.

Divide dough in half. Put each on a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into logs 7 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll back and forth to smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight, until firm. Or overwrap with aluminum foil and freeze up to two months. Note: Frozen dough needs defrosting in the refrigerator 3 hours before baking.

To bake, set rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 350 F.

Cut cold logs into slices, about 1/3-inch thick. Place cookies 11/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Press a chocolate chip (flat side up) or pecan half into each slice. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet 10 minutes; transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 42 cookies.

SOURCE: Adapted from Slice & Bake Cookies, by Elinor Klivans

In addition to dessert cookies, Klivan’s book also features savory cookies. MP can’t wait to try her recipe for Black Pepper & Parmesan Crisps (a future post, promise).

Want a copy of Slice & Bake Cookies to call your own? Tell us the foods you can’t resist. We’ll choose a winner at random and announce early next week. Contest ends Sunday, March 23.

We recently received a thoughtful note in response to this post about our nephew, Little J. A mother and reader wrote to tell us her two-year old son also has a rare undiagnosed syndrome. He attends The Children’s Center in Augusta. The center offers kids with disabilities and their families educational and therapeutic support through a variety of programs. She mentioned the center is hosting a fundraising event called The Chili Chowder Challenge next weekend, and asked if we could post about it. We’re wondering how we missed this incredible fundraiser in the past!

ImageSome call the Children’s Center Chili Chowder Challenge the best in the state, and it’s not uncommon for families to return year after year. Even if you don’t live anywhere near Augusta, you’ll want to make the trip. Where else can you enjoy delicious food from local restaurants and entertain your children for a few hours? You’ll find craft tables, parachute play, rocking music from Sam Shain, storytelling, face painting and donut decorating, to name a few. While the kids are having fun, you can participate in the live auction or check out the goodies at the silent auction tables.

Image

Image

Image

If you can believe, an entire family can go to the Chili Chowder Challenge for just $25, and children 11 and under are FREE. Order tickets online, or if you’re nearby, tickets are available at the Children’s Center.

We hope you’ll get out to support this wonderful resource for families!

Children’s Center 13th Annual Chili Chowder Challenge
Saturday, March 22
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Augusta Armory
179 Western Avenue
Augusta
FMI: Phone 207.626.3497

If you’re unable to attend the event, please consider donating here.

On this sunny March Friday, with the promise of warmer days ahead, it’s nice to recall last summer. A highlight of our August was filming a short piece as Maine Insiders for the Maine Department of Tourism. The two-day shoot took us from Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport to Popham Beach and all of our favorite places in between.

Photo courtesy Erin Little.

Photo courtesy Erin Little.

The team began our first morning of filming at 8 a.m.—a feat for our family since we’re almost always running behind! We were amazed to find a crew of wonderful folks waiting for us at the entrance to the park. There was Mitch and Nick, two great guys from the ad agency who would become our interviewers, shirt lenders, and honorary Sherpas for the weekend. Photographer Erin Little, the talented woman behind the lifestyle blog, Bluebird Baby, and her partner Mark snapped pictures of us throughout the shoot. The crew also included camera man Jayson Lobozzo. Jayson was especially kind to CP#2, who wasn’t in the mood for filming on Day 1, but brightened after Jayson shared his personal camera with him. Ramsey Tripp, who is known for his work on The Peloton Project with Patrick Dempsey, was also on hand for filming. Tom, who managed sound, followed us everywhere in the heat with heavy equipment (thank you). And we were thankful for producers Darlene, Victoria and Rebecca, who made sure we had enough water and snacks to keep us energized for the next 8 hours.

wolfe-neck-state-park

Photo courtesy etravelmaine

Filming for the project was a blast. MP wishes she brought her own camera along to document the days. She spent most of the first morning sitting on a piece of driftwood in the sun, answering questions about the great state of Maine, while the kids and DP played on the rocks. Later, we went to The Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, one of our favorite summertime spots, and ate lunch during filming. We were surprised to find a small crowd of people gathered nearby, wondering aloud, “Who the heck are they?” The crew—cameras nearing our faces (and our lobster rolls)—would joke and say, “act natural!” which sent us all into fits of laughter.

lobster

Photo cutepotato.com

view-h

Photo cutepotato.com

We continued to more wonderful places: Mainely Custard, a homemade custard stand in Freeport, and then on to Bath where we strolled Main Street, watched Shakespeare in the Park, and traveled by trolley to the Maine Maritime Museum. Our time at the museum was a highlight for all of us—we loved touring the historic schooner on the museum grounds and would highly recommend a visit. It’s the perfect place for kids to pretend they’re ship captains or pirates at sea.

maine-maritime-museum

Photo courtesy etravelmaine.com

Day 2 had us exploring Popham Beach, which has to be one of Maine’s most beautiful spots. There’s a great expanse of beach, tide pools, and rocks to climb. The weather was incredible that day—sunny, blue skies, and a slight sea breeze.

Photo courtesy Erin Little

Photo courtesy Erin Little

We played in the water, answered a few more questions, and filmed, filmed, filmed. Compared to Day 1, the visit to the beach was relaxed and easy, mostly because we stayed in one place. When it came time to move on to our next destination, we were sorry to leave. Fortunately, Fort Popham is close by and fun to explore with kids. We played hide and seek in its great stone halls, and poked our heads out the windows to take in the view.

beach_walk_2013-5428

Photo courtesy Erin Little.

popham-fort2

Photo courtesy of Tangled & Warped blog.

We finished our second day of filming by lunch, and it was time to say goodbye to the incredible crew. All of us are so thankful they captured our adventure on film—it’s an experience we won’t soon forget. Here’s the result:

Many thanks to Carolann Ouelette and the Maine Department of Tourism for the opportunity!

PS: For more Maine Insiders and for seasonal family fun ideas, check out visitmaine.com

Last February, Cute Potato held its first online fundraiser, called Show Your Love: 14 Days of Giveaways for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. If you recall, we kickstarted the fundraiser for our nephew, Little J, who was born with complications.

At the time, it was too difficult to share Little J’s full diagnosis. Our family learned he has a rare syndrome called Peroxisomal Biogenesis Disorder (PBD). A mouthful, right? The genetic disorder touches 1 in 50,000 children, and affects all major systems of the body.

As you can imagine, the CP family was heartbroken by this news. We adore Little J and we want all good things for his life. With PBD, as with many rare diseases, there are a lot of unknowns. The disorder affects every child in different ways, and some children don’t survive past their first year.

Image

Our favorite little guy – at age one.

Common to many kids with PBD is low muscle tone, hearing and vision loss, and developmental delays. Little J has experienced all of these things, but he’s also surprised us with his tenacious spirit. He is 18-months old now and with the help of a physical therapist, he’s learned to sit up on his own and he can stand with help. It’s amazing to watch because we can tell he is so proud of himself. The smile on his face is HUGE.

proud-jack

Despite all of his challenges, and to his parents’ credit, Little J is one happy, easy-going kid. He’s already taught us so much about life, love, and the importance of family.

L-R: CP#!, Little J, Aunt C., and CP#2 during the holidays.

L-R: CP#1, Little J, Aunt C., and CP#2 during the holidays.

This year’s Show Your Love is for Little J and all of the families who have experienced PBD. The Cute Potato team is participating in a 5k race this June called Ilan-a-thon, named after a little boy with PBD who died in October 2010. The proceeds for this race support the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (GFPD)—a charitable organization that provides PBD families with the help and educational resources they need for their children.

The GFPD is essential, not only for the outstanding support they provide, but also for their commitment to funding research that creates a better understanding of the genetic disorder. We hope you’ll help this organization and our family reach our goal. If you could donate to our run, we would be so grateful.

You can sign up to donate here (scroll down to the end – the donation choice is the last selection on the list), or simply donate directly to the GFPD here. Can’t donate this year? Simply share this post with friends and family. The more people who know about PBD, the better. Awareness=hope. And all of us could use a little of that.

xo, MP

PS: Want to learn more about PBD? Check out this terrific video for the Illan-a-thon Road Race — it explains the disorder in the simplest terms.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers