I’m not much of a hiker, I will usually try my best to avoid a mountain whenever faced with one, but on my recent family vacation to Surry, we got to wander several of the surrounding towns and sights. One of which was Blue Hill, and Blue Hill Mountain, which of course you have to see.

 

DSC_0030DSC_0072DSC_0060DSC_0058DSC_0064DSC_0129

On the way down we came into the most beautiful lupine field. With a view of the mountains and the bay, it was a breathtaking sight. I could have happily stayed there forever but the clouds were starting to threaten rain.

DSC_0103DSC_0091DSC_0100DSC_0110DSC_0120DSC_0083

Yes, I hiked a mountain!

I was very pleased with myself, but honestly, I only did it because I wanted pictures for the blog, shocking I know. I was talking to someone about this and we agreed that if it wasn’t for our blogs and Instagram we would probably never go outside. Hey, I guess social media is good for something after all!

Self-care, maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s super on-trend right now, but what exactly is it? If you are anything like me you are probably picturing something involving baths, face masks, candles, and a fancy bath bomb, or maybe that’s just me. For the sake of this post, I actually Googled the technical definition so I could sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Self-Care: “The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

We all have demands on our time, whether it’s work, kids,  family, or pets, there is always someone or something that we need to care for and that takes precedence over ourselves. Okay, so maybe an at-home spa day isn’t very practical, and honestly, I usually only take baths when I’m not feeling well. That being said, I’m a firm believer that everyone needs to make a little time for “self-care” in their everyday lives. Today I wanted to share some of the simple little things that I do regularly that add a little extra happiness, with taking up more them a few minutes.DSC_0039

Skincare.

Be as simple or as complicated as you want! Whether it’s just cleansing and moisturizing, or a seven-step routine, take good care of your face because you’ve only got the one.

Pillow Spray.

I keep a calming pillow spray on my nightstand, and use it every night, about ten minutes before I go to bet. Eucalyptus is my scent of choice, but I also love lavender and mint. Sleep Sounds kinda silly, but the majority of people don’t get enough sleep, or the quality of sleep isn’t what it could be. As with everything, there are times when you can’t manage how much sleep you are getting, but whenever you can, make sure you get a good nights sleep.

Clean Sleep Space.

The rest of the world could be falling apart and I would be fairly unbothered, but if I wake up to a pile of clothes in the corner, and makeup, and camera gear all over my dresser, then it stresses me out.
A big part of my evening routine is making sure things are fairly tidy, I have been having a little trouble with it for the last couple of weeks and I’ve noticed the difference in my morning mood.

Water.

Here is another no brainer, but it’s so important! For the most part, I only drink the amount of water I need to survive, not the amount I need to function on full capacity.

I would highly recommend trying to get as much water as you possibly can. My rule is to have two glasses of water for every cup of coffee, plus one in the morning before I even think about coffee. Then whatever I can get after that is a victory.

Nail Care. 

Whether I’m painting them or not, taking care of my nails is very important to me. My nails are fairly brittle, so I keep them short so they don’t break, but I try to keep them well-shaped, clean and buffed.

Exercise.

I never thought I would see the day when I would be an advocate for exercise, but here I am.
As someone who has dealt with chronic pain for a number of years, exercise has always been a very unpleasant experience, but for the last couple of months I have been trying out lower impact things like yoga, weights, and general strength improving stuff and I have definitely noticed a difference.
So, find something that works for you, it can be as much or as little as you want.

 

What do you regularly to treat yourself?

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Laudholm Farm! One of the prettiest saltwater farms in Maine. With the wide-open sky, rolling fields, and a short walk to a gorgeous, peaceful beach, it really couldn’t be more ideally situated.

In the early 1900s Laudholm Farms was the largest and most progressive saltwater farm in York County, maintaining a long-held prominence in the area.  Laudholm farmed milk, cream, butter, eggs, broilers, and roasting chickens were sold to locals and shipped weekly to Boston.

DSC_0113DSC_0093

The site was originally occupied in 1643 by Henrey Boade, one of the founders of the town of Wells. Boade soon sold the land to William Symond.
The original farm was destroyed by a fire during King Phillips War in 1676.
The property was not occupied again until 1717 when it was taken over by Nathaniel Clark Jr. The Clark family ran a highly successful agricultural operation for 150 years.

DSC_0099
In 1881 the estate was sold to the president of the Boston & Maine Railroad George Clement Lord, he purchased the estate known as Farm Hill and planned on transforming it into a summer retreat and a gentleman’s farm. He named the farm, “The Elms,” and built his personal railroad station nearby. His son Robert had a strong interest in agriculture and imported purebred Guernsey cattle. DSC_0121DSC_0119Robert took over the farm after his father’s death in 1893, and he and his brother Charles renamed the estate “Laudholm Farms”. They increased the herd of cows and transformed the farm into a successful dairy operation. Under Robert’s management, the farm was transformed. A new Jamesway 120 Ton Barn was constructed, as well as the ice house and the water tower.
Charles took over the management in 1908 when his brother Robert died. He added poultry operations. The years 1910 through 1929 were the golden age for Laudholm.
In 1920 with the Depression taking hold, the Lord family decided to welcome borders to bring in some extra income.DSC_0115DSC_0213
Charles deeded the farm to his three children in 1931. His son George managed the farm until 1952 when he sold his Guernsey herd. The land was farmed and hayed by local farmers until George’s death in 1977.DSC_0095DSC_0153DSC_0225DSC_0219DSC_0221DSC_0126DSC_0139

Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Laudholm Farm was preserved for a purpose. Now Wells Reserve is a center for education, conservation, and research. Laudholm Trust remains a force, providing support for Wells Reserve programs, operations, and capital improvements.

 

Wandering Maine: Kennebunkport

 

 

 

I spent a few pleasant hours in Kennebunkport a few days after Christmas, and I fell in love! I know at once I wanted to come back in the summer when more of the shops would be open, so I added it to my list of things to do over the summer.
There were a couple of places, in particular, I wanted to stop in, Rococo handcrafted Ice Cream, Satellite Doughnuts, and Minka, but other than that, I just wanted to wander.

DSC_0092DSC_0056DSC_0046DSC_0050

My sister and I headed out fairly early to get iced coffee and mini doughnuts for breakfast. Then we wandered, we visited Abacus, the book store, the sweetest little toy store, the Irish goods shop. Then had lunch on The Spirit, which is a restaurant on a sailboat in the harbor, and wow was the food amazing! I had one of the best lobster stews I think I’ve ever had, and the burger sliders were wonderful.
DSC_0091DSC_0088DSC_0078DSC_0071DSC_0076

When it comes to history, Kennebunkport is a fishing and shipbuilding village, it has been a popular summer destination for well over a century.
Kennebunkport was originally incorporated in 1663 as Cape Porpus, as part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The town was depopulated by 1689, and not resettled again until the early 18th century.

The town was renamed Arundel, and in 1821 the town was finally renamed Kennebunkport as its economy had become one of shipbuilding and trade along the Kennebunk River. By the 1870s the town had become a popular summer destination, with hotels and homes constructed along the coastline.

In 1947, The Great Fire devastated much of York County, including Kennebunkport. Many of the homes near Goose Rocks Beach were destroyed by the fire but the area has since recovered and been rebuilt. While retaining its identity as a fishing harbor, it has a very small village area with several restaurants, galleries, a church, grocery store, coffee shop, small library, and a dozen or so adorable little shops.DSC_0085DSC_0084DSC_0072DSC_0093

Kennebunkport has a reputation as a summer haven for the upper class and is one of the wealthiest communities in the state of Maine. You can also find the Bush compound, Walkers Point, just a little way outside of town.

After a late lunch, we brought a close to a lovely afternoon by getting ice cream at Rococo. I had to try their famous Goat Cheese & Blackberry Chambord ice cream, and as odd as it sounds it was incredible!

Time to check this off my summer bucket list!

 

 

Empties Round-Ups are back!

I don’t know if you’ve missed them, but I definitely have.

I was just trying to remember when the last time a published an empties post was, and it’s been well over a year. It’s crazy how time flies. I’ve decided to start doing these again, as  I have been missing them. I have decided to start writing one up every two months, starting with today!

DSC_0012

BATISTE Dry Shampoo Blush & Original

I know I have talked about this dry shampoo before, but I can’t live without it. It’s my favorite I have discovered so far, and I always have a bottle or two rolling around.DSC_0043

ELIZABETH ARDEN Hydrating Mask

I found this a TJ Maxx ages ago and I absolutely loved it! I don’t think Elizabeth Arden makes this mask anymore, but I linked a few that look similar.DSC_0049

YEOUTH Day/Night Cream

This was sent to me to test out, and I was really impressed! I have been gifted a couple of Yeouth’s products before, but this one is definitely my favorite.DSC_0045

MARIO BADESCU Buttermilk Moisturizer

I really enjoyed this little moisturizer! It wasn’t a game changer, but it was quite nice. It has a very light feeling on the skin and would work great for someone with combination skin.DSC_0046DSC_0046

SUGAR RUSH Don’t Hate, Hydrate Moisturizer

Love, love, love the moisturizer! I picked it up in a mini back when Sugar Rush first launched, and have since bought a full sized. It is a great little oil-free moisturizer, very light and soaks right in.  I will be using it a lot as a day cream throughout the summer, as my skin tends to be a little oilier and don’t need as intense a moisturizer as I do in the cooler months.DSC_0039

THE ORDINARY 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

This oil is a necessity for me to keep in my skincare routine, I use it every single night! I love how soft it and nourished it makes my skin feel.DSC_0047

TARTE Maracuja Lip Scrub

I have had this for so long, I don’t think Tarte even sells this anymore. I loved how fresh and minty this was, it made my lips feel so nice. I have replaced it with the Mint Julips scrub from Lush.DSC_0044

PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist 

This mist is infused with rose water and green tea, so it smells incredible. This is a perfect setting spray for a soft, glowy finish, but remember to use it before putting on your mascara because it will make it run.DSC_0030

MAYBELLINE Super Stay  Foundation in 102 Fair Porcelain

It’s been a while since I used this foundation, but I did like it pretty well. It isn’t a game changer by any means, but it is quite nice. I found it to be a medium-full coverage, and the shade matched my skin tone quite well.DSC_0034

MAYBELLINE Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Ivory

This one is kind of a meh product for me, I didn’t have any big problems with it, it just didn’t wow me. It is very light coverage and has an easy to use a sponge applicator. As I don’t really have any discoloration to cover, I didn’t find this to be useful for me, but if you have dark circles or more mature skin this might work better for you.DSC_0038

MAYBELLINE Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder in 05 Fair

I’m very loyal to my Coty Airspun, but I picked this up when I didn’t have access to my usual, and it’s a good little powder. I would definitely consider picking this up again to have for a change.DSC_0032

DIOR IT-Lash Mascara

I kept this around way too long because it made me feel fancy, but it eventually dried out. I couldn’t find this exact mascara anywhere so I think it has been discontinued, which is a shame because I really liked it.DSC_0035

THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner in Lauren(matte black)

I only ever used this liner in my waterline, both on the top and bottom because it never smudged. This is a gel liner so it applies so easily and smoothly.

I don’t know if I would get this exact one again as it’s kinda pricy,  but I will definitely be picking up a gel liner like it soon.DSC_0033DSC_0033

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Istanbul

These lip creams are such a happy medium between a liquid lipstick and a classic matte lipstick, with the look of liquid and the comfort of classic.  This particular shade is a perfect cheery pink for summer.

 

 

 

 

Summer is here!

We have been having lots of warm sunny days, and everything is blooming and green. I have never been the biggest fan of summer, mainly because I don’t like the heat, but I do love the energy of a Maine summer. Summer for us usually involves more campfires, more ice cream, more trips to the coast, and just more wandering in general.

Today, inspired by my fellow Maine blogger and lovely human Lauren from Laurel & Iron I wanted to share my summer bucket list! Make sure you check out Lauren’s Bucket List too! (here)

Maine gets absolutely flooded with tourism this time of year, especially towards the coast, us locals tend to forget just how special it is to live here. So, this year I want to take a step back and enjoy Maine as the vacationland it is.

  1. Spend the day in Boothbay.
  2. Go to the Drive-In.
  3. Go Paddleboarding.
  4. Spend the day in Kennebunkport.
  5. Make an Ice Cream Cake.
  6. Visit some of the islands of the coast.
  7. Make Lobster Rolls.
  8. Get Ice Cream at Rococo Ice Cream Shop .
  9. Catch a show at Stone Mountain  Art Center.
  10. Wander around Wiscasset.
  11. Photo Shoot at Fort Willaims.DSC_0041

That’s it for my list! There are many other things I would like to make time for this summer, but the season is short and I think I can manage everything on this list. A couple of things I already have plans for, so I’m very excited.

What is your favorite thing about summer where you live?

If you don’t know Soap & Glory,  they are a fun brand that makes some amazing bath, skincare, and even makeup products. Within a few weeks of their launch in 2006, they started causing quite a stir in the beauty world. Their drive the support the Clean of England, and their efforts the give us the biggest bang for our beauty buck made them stand out from the crowd from day one. The Righteous Butter soon won Britten’s best body butter, and Make Yourself Youthful won The Times Beauty Award Gold Star. They are also a big fan of puns.

I’m not sure why this turned into a brief history of  Soap & Glory, but I do find brand origin stories fascinating.

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now. DSC_0029

SPEED PLUMP All-Day Moisturizer $18

I have loved Soap & Glory’s body products for several years now, the Sugar Crush collection, in particular, is a favorite of mine. I have only recently started trying some of there skincare products, you know, the ones for the face, and so far I’m very impressed. Today I want to talk about The Speed Plump Moisture Marvel!

This is a day time moisturizer designed for dry, dehydrated skin. Made with  a mix of oxygenators, a super-hydrating watermelon extract, a wrinkle-smoothing marine plant and elasticity-promoting raspberry stem cells.DSC_0040

While this seems so be designed for more mature skin, I have been using it on my dry, twenty somthing skin, and finding it works really well. It leaves my skin feeling fresh, smooth, and super hydrated, while giving it a healthy looking glow. The formula is super silky and melts nicely into the skin, it smells like and orange creamsickle too, which makes me very happy.

Overall I’m very happy with this little moisturizer, and I’m deffitly adding it to the list of products worth repurchessing down the road.

 

 

 

 

When The Ordinary can out with their first cleanser a couple of months back I was immediately interested and wanted to try it out. Then I got distracted and forget, then a few weeks ago, I was ordering a few staples from The Ordinary and I remembered it!

I have only used this a few times, but I feel like I have gotten a pretty good idea of how it works. You dispense a small amount into your hands and warm it up until it melts into an oil, then you massage it into your skin, and wash away.

DSC_0021

This is a gentle cleanser created target makeup removal while leaving the skin feeling soft and moisturized. This includes Squalane, alongside a few other lipophilic esters that are gentle, moisturizing.  Being non-comedogenic and soap-free, this is designed to be suitable for all skin types.

I have only used this a few times, but I feel like I have gotten a pretty good idea of how it works. You dispense a small amount into your hands and warm it up until it melts into an oil, then you massage it into your skin, and wash away.

Now, I love The Ordinary, they make some of my very favorite products, but I have to say I’m a little disappointed in this one. From its description, I was expecting to be able to use it as a makeup remover and cleanser in one, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I found that I still had some lingering makeup on my skin after using this.

Typically I remove my makeup with coconut oil and a washcloth and then use a mild cleanser, I think I could definitely use instead of coconut oil, but it does not replace my normal cleanser. DSC_0007

I am a little sad this product didn’t live up to my expectations, but this is the first of The Ordinary products that I have tried that I didn’t like. I’m interested to see if they come out with many different types of cleansers that might suit me better.

 

Tartes New Sugar Rush First Impressions and Review.    The Ordinary Haul

Even though it doesn’t feel much like summer today, I know its on the way. With the pending arrival of the warm weather, I have been getting ready with all the summery flavors. While there are quite a few flavors that taste like summer, nothing tops citrus, lemon to be exact.

Today’s recipe is my favorite lemon cupcakes! I have also made this in cake form, with just a few little changes and it is amazing. I might have to write up that recipe up soon as well. The lemon is quite light in the cupcakes themselves, but it really shines through in the frosting.DSC_0054DSC_0064

Lemon Cupcakes 

  • 2 Sticks Butter softened
  • 2  Cups Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  •  Zest from 5 lemons
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting 

  • 6 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Cream
  1. Preheat your oven to 350f, and place your cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until they are slightly fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing lightly between each addition. Add the lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, the buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla to the butter mixture. Mix well.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. For the frosting, beat the butter and shortening.
  7. Add in the lemon juice, and powdered sugar. Start out with 2 tablespoons of cream, and add more as needed.
  8. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, decorate as you wish!

I used a large star icing tip, and piped on a simple swirl, and decorated with Pretty As A Peach sprinkle medeley from Sweetapolita. 

DSC_0069DSC_0043DSC_0027DSC_0031

There you have it! These are so light and fresh tasting perfect for any occation.

What is your favorite flavor for summer?

 

The Perfect Iced Cut-out Sugar Cookies.        Not Your Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Hey, remember in my last recipe post when I said that I don’t generally like making cookies because they tend to be basic and a bit boring? Well, these aren’t your basic cookies, these are everything I ever wanted it a chocolate chip cookie. They are soft on the inside, crisp on the outside, a very sweet and chocolatey, balanced out with a touch of saltiness and a little kick of espresso.

The real star is the brown butter, which I had never made before I started making these cookies, and it is the magical ingredient that makes these cookies a cut above the rest. DSC_0044DSC_0029

  • 1 Cup or Two Sticks Butter
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Coffee Grounds( I use espresso roast)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate, Chopped
  • 4 oz Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate

DSC_0002DSC_0005

  1. Place the two sticks of butter in a small saucepan and start to cook at medium heat. You want it to come to a simmer and stay there. Make Sure you are stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.
  2. The excess water will start to cook away, and the butter will start to toast and slowly turn the color of caramel.
  3. Once the butter is a nutty brown color remove from the heat, and pour into a measuring cup. Add a little bit of water so that the butter measures 1 cup exactly.
  4. If you are making it ahead, cover it, and let it sit at room temperature overnight. If like me you are making it last minute, pop in in the freezer for ten minutes, until the consistency resembles peanut butter.
  5. Most importantly, make sure it is not warm at all when you use it, it will melt your chocolate and the whole thing will be a disaster.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350f, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. In a mixing bowl beat together your brown butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until it turns pale.
  8. Add in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, beat until well combined.
  9. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together, the flour, salt, baking soda, and coffee grounds.
  10. Add the flour mixture to the sugar, mix until the flour is completely combined.
  11. Add the chocolate, and mix on low.
  12. Scoop out the dough using a tablespoon and shape into a ball. Place on your prepared cookie sheet about two inches apart.
  13. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

DSC_0009DSC_0012

These are great eaten warm or cool so that’s completely up to you.

There you have it!