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Posts Tagged ‘maine’

Our family is expecting a baby nephew (and cousin) any day now, so you can imagine our delight when we discovered Baby Crates from CrateFull of Maine – a new gift business started by Chris Avantaggio, Nathan O’Leary and John Turner. The three entrepreneurs, who run their own successful companies, namely LiveME, Mainely SEO and Traps Eyewear, began selling gift boxes filled with a variety of Maine made items in December 2015. This year, they’re offering themed crates full of good things including Maine made sweets and handcrafted baby goods.

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Our family recently traveled to Camden for the start of Winterfest — a week-long celebration that features an ice-carving contest, polar plunge, freestyle skiing competition, family-friendly activities and the 2016 U.S. National Toboggan Championships, which take place at the Camden Snow Bowl February 5-7.

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Colder evening temps keep the chute running, despite the lack of snow this season.

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On a bright, January Sunday, we visited Ten Apple Farm in Gray for an hour-long goat hike in the woods. Owners Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz and their young daughters—Charlotte, Bea and Sadie—care for a herd of Alpine dairy goats that live in a big red barn attached to the family’s 1901 clapboard farmhouse.

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Photo courtesy Ten Apple Farm

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Last year, MP shared some of the adventures she hoped to try with the family during the winter season, and it was one of the blog’s most popular posts. We had so much fun exploring cross-country skiing and ice fishing, MP decided to come up with an updated list of activities for our family to try during the chilly months ahead:

Dog Sledding
The kids learned a little about sled dogs during L.L.Bean’s Winter Carnival, but they have always hoped for the opportunity to experience dog sledding first hand. Heywood Kennels in Augusta accepts Winter Kids passports, which offers families a generous discount on dog sledding adventures. Families get to meet the dogs, enjoy a sled ride and drink hot cocoa by the fire.

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Holy cow. This is a busy time of year! MP is trying her best to slow down and enjoy the season, but it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday hubbub. There’s our daily routine to maintain coupled with holiday parties, cards to order, trees to light, cookies to make and gifts to buy — all good things for certain, but it can be hard for a parent to keep up!

Thankfully, we live in a state where there are so many beautifully made gifts available to us, it’s easy to check a few items off the holiday to-do list. And it feels good to support our local makers!

For the littles (0-5):

Two Chickadees Design: Handmade Soft Sole Baby Booties

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Lilleputt Studio Brown Sheep Baby Blanket

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Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and the busy weeks leading up to the holidays are just beginning, we focus on straightforward and satisfying weekly meals — crockpot chili, simple soups, hearty pasta dishes and quick stir fry-recipes.

Our friend Chef Watcharee Limanon adds to our easy, weeknight repertoire with her collection of delicious thai sauces. There’s a crowd-pleasing peanut sauce that is a great for chicken skewers and sticky brown rice. The flavorful Pad Thai sauce, which is new to Watcharee’s collection, is a favorite paired with rice noodles and veggies. And the Massaman and green curry sauces add a hint of spice that elevates any stir fry to restaurant quality.

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It always amazes MP how much there is to discover in her own backyard. Some of her running friends introduced her to the newly expanded nature trails in the Cumberland Town Forest. The dense, 100 acres of land, which was donated to Cumberland in 1891, is an ideal place for a quiet walk with kids. The trailhead is easy to find — simply park at the town offices and the entrance is next to the police station.

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