Archive for May, 2011

CP#1 is a big fan of her Grandma Cookie. They both have an affinity for the beach, sparkly sunglasses and mismatched socks. Simply put, they are two peas in a pod.

Illustration courtesy of Jamie Hogan

Grandma Cookie has been traveling across country for a month, and CP#1 misses her more each day. To help, we’ve been reading Seven Days of Daisy by Peaks Island author and illustrator Jamie Hogan. The story is about a preschool girl named Daisy, who is anticipating her grandmother’s summer visit. (more…)

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Teesdale

MP was recently introduced to the work of Portland-based artist Jessica Teesdale. Known as Clay Tile Mom, Jessica creates keepsake hand and foot print tiles.

The busy mother of three started her business in 2008. Since then, Jessica schedules print sessions at her home studio, playgroups or spaces like Smudge Art Studio in Freeport. The tiles are popular with families who want to capture a moment in time.

Sessions with Jessica take about 5 minutes for each child. She brings the printed clay back to her studio, shapes the tile, then glazes and fires the clay in the kiln.

Like her clients, Jessica says she cherishes a tile of her twin daughters’ hands and feet that a friend gave her years ago:

The tile is on my bedroom wall.  I love being able to feel the imprint of their hands and feet.  It is an amazing reminder of how small the babies were. After that, I have done clay prints of my kids each year. They grow so fast. 

FMI: visit Clay Tile Mom.

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This might not be the spring weekend we hoped for, but despite the rain clouds, the team broke out our gardening supplies and set to work.

CP#1 has become a thoughtful gardener. She admires her seeds before gently placing them in the soil. “Aren’t these snapdragon seeds so cute?” she marveled while planting. And truth be told, the snapdragon seeds were among the tiniest MP has ever seen.

CP#1 plants with great care


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What a treat it was to visit the McLaughlin Garden in South Paris. The kids loved exploring the small pathways between the gardens, while MP took in all of the lush, spring color.

We stopped at a bench near the barn for a picnic lunch, and then explored the Garden Gift Shop. The lovely shop is stocked with brightly glazed stoneware from Portland’s Dirt Girl Pottery, candles, colorful jewelry from Old Pool Glassworks in Biddeford and some fun gardening supplies.

The team takes a break at the Core Garden, the oldest section of McLaughlin Garden

Walk through the barn doors to find the Garden Gift Shop

MP had her eye on these bold candle holders…

Director Ruth Copeman, who is also the buyer for the shop, was so sweet to CP#1 and #2.  She graciously offered them cards to go along with the gift they selected for their grandmother, and let them choose a candle for an outdoor lantern MP purchased.

CP#1 and #2 searching for fish in a garden pond

But back to the gardens… the kids had a blast exploring all of the little hidden places. Their favorite was a short, woodland path that took them through a section of the garden called Wildflower Lane.

The kids and DP climbing the path near Wildflower Lane

We can’t wait to come back next month when the lilacs are in bloom. And Ruth says the garden plans to host children’s activities this summer, focusing on two our favorite things: food and flowers. We’ll keep you posted!

McLaughlin Garden
97 Main Street
South Paris

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Yesterday, MP attended a Mother’s Day Tea at her little guy’s preschool. There was a table set with homemade scones, lemon curd and cucumber sandwiches. The event was such a treat on its own. And then CP#2 presented MP with this thoughtful Mother’s Day gift:

The gift is so simple to make. All you need is a trowel, a paper treat bag (MP has spotted bags like this one in party stores), the seeds of your choice and a grosgrain ribbon. The seed packet and bag are kept in place using two staples at the top.

CP#2 made the flower by gently threading a pipe cleaner through layers of tissue paper and a button to keep the flower secure.

We hope you enjoy making this sweet project with your team, and wish you the happiest of Mother’s Days!

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There’s a lot of attention given towards Mother’s Day gifts, but what MP really wants is a day of gorgeous food and gardens. To start, the team is going to attempt making crepes for Sunday breakfast. MP spent time in Quebec City during college and she still dreams about the crêperie she often visited. Thankfully, she discovered The Maine Stay Inn’s Blueberry Almond Crepe recipe, which appears simple enough, and is made with almond extract—one of MP’s favorite flavors.

Photo courtesy of the Vegan Project

Next on MP’s wish list is a day at McLaughlin Garden in South Paris. She’s looking forward to exploring the gardens, snapping a few photos and picnicking with her favorite crew. This weekend, the garden will be hosting its Opening Day Plant Sale and if you bring a gently used purse, you can receive 10% off at the gift shop, too.

Finally, if there’s still room in our bellies, MP hopes to celebrate the day with ice cream at Toots in North Yarmouth or maybe trying one of the “fearless flavors” at Mt. Desert Is. Ice Cream. She’s particularly curious about the Salted Caramel and Biscuit Tortoni.

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