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Our team recently had the opportunity to check out “Dinosaurs Unearthed” at Portland Science Center. The interactive exhibit is like Jurassic Park come to life. Families will find thirteen fully animatronic dinosaurs that were created by paleontologists and researchers to make the dinosaurs appear as close to the real thing as possible. The exhibit is particularly exciting for Portland, as the show marks its debut in New England.
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Maine Forest Playgroup

MP recently met with Courtney Cronin, a Portland-based mother of two who is the founder of Maine Forest Playgroup, a parent-powered program that encourages families to enjoy the outdoors together. Designed for children ages one to five, the group meets on Friday mornings at nature preserves, parks, and beaches in and around Portland.

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Courtney started the group in December 2015. As a mother to an infant and an active toddler, she wanted a playgroup that would engage them both. A lifelong love of the outdoors, coupled with years of community outreach experience, gave her the tools she needed to start. Courtney organized the initial playgroup meetings on her own, offering an outdoor activity and a fun, new location for families to meet each week. Before long, word about Maine Forest Playgroup spread and parents began volunteering to facilitate group outings. Courtney says at least a dozen kids and parents show up on Friday mornings, no matter what the weather. Continue Reading »

MP doesn’t know about you, but today, she could use a little extra TLC. When she feels this way, she doesn’t feel much like doing anything, especially cooking. Thanks to our newest sponsor, Gather in Yarmouth, bringing home a wholesome, family meal is easy. The restaurant recently introduced Gather at Home—freshly prepared meals, sides, and desserts to go. Our family of four tried the hearty chorizo meatloaf, homemade biscuits, and roasted Brussels sprouts. The experience felt just like enjoying a home-cooked meal, but without all the work.

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Restaurant owner Matt Chappell chatted with MP recently about this exciting, new takeout option and what families can expect when they visit.

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Now that the first half of fall is over, and all of the family commitments that come with it, MP finds herself wanting to slow down. She knew the minute she pulled out this beloved pumpkin bread recipe that it was time to take a brief hiatus from weekend travel, houseguests, and get-togethers before the holidays. This super moist pumpkin bread is her simple solution to slowing down. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, it is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or warm cider. MP can’t think of a better way to take a self-imposed time out.

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Good Natured Brand

MP has a philosophy about house cleaning —it’s best in small spurts and even better when the products she’s using are environmentally-friendly and smell good. Enter our newest blog sponsor, Good Natured Brand, a home and body care company that began with Maine-based mother of three, Kate Perrin. MP first discovered Kate’s products in 2013 when she came across them at a local farmers’ market. Three years later, with the marketing help of business partner Lisa Hansen, Good Natured Brand is growing by leaps and bounds. You can find their products at Whole Foods, Amazon.com, Hannafords, Ace Hardware, True Value and several Maine-based natural foods stores.

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Co-founder Kate Perrin at home with her daughter.

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For our family, September brought several big changes — a return to work after a summer sabbatical for MP, late night practices for both kids, a new job and weeks of travel for DP, and more alone time for our pup, Gordon. With so much happening, our weekends and the time we spend together are more precious than ever. MP is trying to strike a balance between what needs to get done around the house and continue our little adventures outdoors for as long as the weather is kind. In mid-September, for the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, she decided a trip to the Western Mountains might be the thing all of us needed to take our minds off our busy schedules.

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Well hello, fall.

We decided to check out Shepard’s Farm, a quiet 20-acre nature preserve, near Pennesseewassee Lake in Norway. The preserve is also home to six, giant wooden sculptures from Old Town, Maine born artist Bernard Langlais. Our family was excited to walk through the rolling pastures of the farm to see the sculptures up close, while also exploring the farm’s newly developed nature trails.

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Now that school is back in full swing, MP finds herself daydreaming about summer adventures with family. One of her favorite memories is a morning hike to Moxie Falls in the West Forks. At a vertical drop of over 90 feet, the waterfall is one of the highest in New England.

The hike to Moxie Falls is short – just .6 of a mile one way, making it an easy walk with kids or dogs in tow. This well-groomed trail is flat and features some fun little climbing spots along the way, such as boulders and felled trees.

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