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Over February break, our family spent a few days in Boston. There were many highlights to the trip — a lively Boston College basketball game, a delicious tour of Tazo Chocolate Factory, and a visit to The Institute of Contemporary Art. Still, the favorite for all of us was seeing an incredible, three-story stained glass globe called The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

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Photo courtesy Mary Baker Eddy Library

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We think it’s safe to say that pom pom hats are having a moment. Their popularity makes sense — the hats look so darn cheerful in a gray, wintery landscape. And while we’ve spotted these hats in national retail stores, the best we’ve found are made right here in Maine. Wayne resident Brookes Smith, who owns Campfire Knits Maine, custom knits soft, cozy hats from her home studio and tops each with a faux fur pom pom. Her Instagram feed features a variety of tempting colors and knits, which makes it a challenge to choose a favorite!

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We love Valentine’s Day because it’s an opportunity to celebrate during what can be one of Maine’s coldest, most wintery months. And there’s no denying the allure of a moist, rich chocolate cake. This classic recipe is our favorite for its dependability and ease. If you choose to make the frosting yourself, you won’t be disappointed. It’s rich and creamy without being cloyingly sweet. Together, the cake and the frosting do a little song and dance in your mouth — it is that good.

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When it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors, or the snow conditions are not quite up to snuff, we try to find active indoor spaces that have something for all of us. Following are a few new favorites and suggestions for where you can find similar locations throughout the state.

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Happy New Year and welcome to winter! We love January for a variety of reasons: it’s a time to wind down from the holidays, start fresh and make our annual list of winter trips we want to experience. Here are a few highlights:

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While shopping at holiday craft fairs over the weekend, MP met Ann Bayer, the owner of Mama Bayer cookies. The self-taught, Falmouth baker makes decorative sugar cookies from her home kitchen. Not only are Ann’s creations thoughtfully designed, they’re also delicious. Her sugar cookies are soft, buttery and made even better with a sweet layer of frosting.  Continue Reading »

Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone! We adore this time of year because it’s the kick-off to so many good things, like an afternoon spent making Thanksgiving pies. This fun, family tradition includes making one apple pie, one pumpkin pie and a new-to-us pie. This decadent, chocolate pecan pie began as a new-to-us recipe and quickly rose to the level of family favorite. The pie has a rich buttery flavor made even better with the satisfying combination of chocolate and pecans.

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