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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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First, can MP just say, wow! It’s been well over a month since she’s posted here. She forgets how busy the start of the school year can be for her family. That’s why whenever Columbus Day weekend rolls around, it’s a gift to sleep in, catch up on a few to-dos around the house, and explore our home state.

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Like all summers, ours seemed to go by just. like. that. Between our busy schedule and humid summer days, MP thought she missed the opportunity to pick strawberries altogether. And while buying fresh berries at the farmers’ market is an option, there’s nothing quite like going to a farm or field to pick your own fruit.

Then, via Facebook, the folks at Goss Berry Farm in Mechanic Falls reminded MP about late season strawberries. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that June and July had passed by in a flash, PYO strawberries were on the horizon! And if that weren’t enough, high bush blueberries and sunflowers were also plentiful. On a picture perfect August morning, MP and DP drove to the farm with plans to pick as many berries as humanly possible.IMG_1268

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MP discovered these adorable, heirloom dolls on Instagram, and was so pleased to find they’re created at Sunflower Farm, a popular goat farm in our hometown of Cumberland, Maine. Lila Ray— who grew up on the farm and later returned with her husband, Ethan—needed a creative pastime while waiting for her baby girl, Max, to arrive. While Lila hadn’t sewn since she was a child, she decided to break out her old sewing machine and try making a doll for her daughter. The result was the sweet goat-inspired doll that led to her online shop, Max & Me.

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Every once in awhile, on a spectacular summer weeknight, our family will act like tourists and visit a relaxed, beachside destination for dinner. Shade, a restaurant located inside the Higgins Beach Inn in Scarborough, is such a place. The casual restaurant features a bar with cherry red chairs. There is table seating on the cozy sun porch or on the spacious screened porch. On the day we arrived, we were unusually early, so the hostess invited our family to choose a non-alcoholic drink at the bar and walk to the beach while we waited.

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While there are many places in Maine that we love, the Moosehead Lake region is near and dear to us. We discovered its quiet beauty in 2015, when our family was fortunate to score a last minute, waterfront campsite at Lily Bay State Park. Since then, we’ve returned every summer, either with friends or on our own, to explore more of the area.

One of our favorite local finds in the region is Little Kineo Mountain. Just two miles round trip, this is the perfect hike for all ages. While you have to be willing to drive at least an hour and traverse some dusty dirt roads to get to the trailhead, the experience is well worth the effort. There is no shortage of mountain and water views during the trip, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a moose or two on your way. Just be sure to bring a map or written directions along with you, as cell phone coverage is spotty.

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