We have about of an inch of snow on the ground here in Maine and  I’m starting to mourn the loss of Autumn, so as a last pumpkin flavored hurrah I wanted to share this delicious recipe with you.

First discovered these cookies last year and I have made them three times this Fall, and they are probably my favorite cook to make and eat. They have all the elements, pumpkin, a soft cookie, and a sweet and salty caramel frosting.

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Pumpkin Cookies 

  • 1 Cup Room Temperature Butter
  • 2/3 Cups Lightly Packed Brown Sugar 
  • 1/3 Sugar
  • 1 Large Room Temperature Egg
  • 11/2 Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • 2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice 
  • 11/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon 

 

Preheat your oven to 350f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugars, and add the egg and vanilla.

In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and spices.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix all the flour is combined, but not much longer.

Use a cookie dough scoop or a teaspoon place the dough on the parchment about two inches apart.

Let the cookies cool before frosting.

 

Salted Caramel Frosting 

  • 4 Teaspoon Butter
  • 3 Tablespoon Heavy Cream 
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 11/2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar 

 

In a small saucepan melt the butter, heavy cream, brown sugar, and sea salt over a medium heat. Whisk constantly, and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mix until smooth.

Frost the cookies immediately because the frosting will start to set as soon as you take it off the heat.

Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each cookie.

Tip: If you use sea salt on top of the frosting and store them in an airtight container the salt will melt and leave little dents in the frosting. I would recommend skipping the salt if you are going to store the cookies, or you could add it later.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! I absolutely love these cookies, I might make them now and then throughout the winter if I start missing Fall too much.

What is your favorite Fall recipe?

I want to start out by telling you a little bit about my hair, what I love about it and what I’m not so crazy about.  My hair tends to get a little neglected, I love it and try to take care of it but there is no denying that it could use some extra effort.

I often talk about my hair as if it had a mind of its own, which in a way it does, one day it will hold a curl like a dream, and falls perfectly around my face and shoulders. And the next day I can style if the same way and it will have none of it. It will either fall flat in an hour, or I will have rogue strands in my eyes and mouth all day until I give up and pull it back.

My hair is an ashy brown color with strands of gold and blond, and a spattering of gray through it, and left to dry on its own it is slightly wavy and a little frizzy.

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If you follow me on Instagram chances are you already know about Formulate.

Formulate is a custom hair care company that makes a formula that is designed just for you, based on your hair now, where you want your hair to be, how much work you put into your hair and your environment.

You take a survey about your hair to determine what problems you have, and general questions like color, density, is your hair color treated? Things like that, and their products are sulfate free, dye free, paraben free, and cruelty-free, doesn’t get much better than that.

It took two tries to find a formula that worked for me, the first one made my hair feel heavy and look greasy, but the Formulate Team was quick to find the problems and I had my reformulated shampoo and conditioner within a week.

Before                                                     After 

The second batch worked so much better, my hair feels clean and soft, not weighed done of flat and it definitely feels healthier. The before and afters are really not that different, but my hair is shinier and feels more nourished.

Final thoughts.

Formulate is a something I would highly recommend to anyone, I have tried enough hair products to know that they are not a one size fits all kind of thing. I can see this especially being great for those of you that have fussier more particular hair, Formulate could save both money and the hassle of trial and error

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Giveaway!

Want to try it out for yourself? Formulate is giving one of you lovely people your own custom set! Use the link https://www.formulate.co/u/sparkleofgrace

US Residents Only.

For the last few years on my birthday my sister, my mom, and I have been going on a fun girls shopping trip, this year we had my baby nephew in tow.

We head over the Portland and go to all the fun stores that we don’t have near us, like Sephora and Ulta. Since I have accounts with some of them I also get a free gift on my birthday which makes it a little extra fun.

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Our First stop was Anthropology and picked up the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist, there are only two stores within two hours of me that sell Pixi,  so when I’m there I always want to pick something up.

I have been using it all week and I’m loving it! it as rose and green tea in it so it smells amazing. It gives my makeup a more fresh dewy look that I really like, and my makeup has been lasting much longer, but that could also have to do with some other product in conjunction with it.

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There were a few things I wanted to try at Lush, the Snow Fairy Shower Gel, and the Sunshine Bubble Bar, I also picked up a couple of bath bombs while I was there.

The bubble bar was an interesting experience, for the full effect of how pretty it makes the bath you have to be in the dark and shine direct light onto the water, that way the gold shimmer sparkles and is quite mesmerizing. The downside is that it makes the water a suspicious shade of yellow and it doesn’t really bubble very much, my skin did feel soft and moisturized afterward though.

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I always feel so confident going into these stores, I have a bunch of things I’ve been wanting to try and I know exactly what I want to get. However, as soon as I step foot in Sephora I feel totally overwhelmed and my brain shuts down, leaving me to wonder the aisles swatching and wishing I could afford the whole store.

After some deliberation, I decided to just get on the thing and hopefully think clearer in Ulta. I settled on the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea, Sizzle palette,  and I’m so glad I did, every single shade will work for me, and it’s my very first Tarte palette. I will have a full review with swatched up soon.

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Sephora was that being a Beauty Insider means I get a birthday gift. This year I decided on the Bite Beauty Matte Cream Lip Crayon in Glace, and Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Chai and a sample of the Agava lips scrub and lip balm. These two are both lip colors that I wouldn’t choose myself, but the formula on both is lovely, super comfortable and they smell amazing.

I also had collected enough point to get a free gift, so I grabbed a mini of the Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, which is actually amazing and I’m going to be ordering a full sized one right away.

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I always forget how big Ulta is and how much they carry, they have been adding more and more brands to the list as well so it’s a bit frightening to go in there.

I did know that wanted to pick up a primer and foundation so at least I had some direction. I decided on the BareMineral BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation and the Benefit The Porfessional Primer. So far I’m really liking the foundation, and I will have a full post up about that soon. The primmer, I’m still trying it out and will do a full review of if you guys are interested in hearing my thoughts on it.

One of the brands that Ulta has recently started carrying is Zoella Beauty which I have been wanting to try but haven’t been able to get my hands on it, I didn’t know where to start so I grabbed the Zoella Beauty Cream Scrub. This scrub is really interesting, and I haven’t completely decided if I like it or not. It smells really nice, but the texture is not what I’m used to in a scrub.

I have seen the Frank Body Shimmer Scrub floating about the interweb and I was very interested in trying it. I didn’t even remember it until I saw it in the bins buy the registers

That’s what I bought myself for my birthday!

Is there anything you would like to see a full review of? Let me know down in the comments!

 

Last Post           Instagram 

last weekend We went for a day trip up the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire, to soak up the beautiful Autumn scenery before all the leaves fall.

The Kancamagus is a 34-mile scenic highway drive along route 112 in Northern New Hampshire and is one of the very best places to find Fall foliage in the country. It is a huge draw for tourism as we experienced, the roads wear busy and it was hard to find a place to park at all of the scenic overlooks.

Today I just wanted to share some of my favorite photos of the rivers, mountains, and trees.

Enjoy!

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It’s time for another Degustabox review!

Degustabox is a monthly subscription plan which contains 9-14 surprise food products with each box. The items are selected from name brands, will contain fun flavors, and give you a new option to think about the next time you’re looking for a break in your eating routine.

This month was a really good month, there are a few things I’m already missing. Let’s jump right in!

DSC_0017DSC_0023BROWN & HALEY Caramel Roca $2.99

“We caramelize fresh local butter and sugar, add our signature blend of cocoa beans, premium California almonds, and a dash of sea salt for an irresistible taste sensation.”

These are so delicious! Sweet and salty with the crunchy melt in your mouth buttercrunch toffee makes them a joy to eat. I’m already missing these so I need to find more soon.

DSC_0012PIRATE’S BOOTY Aged White Cheddar $5.46

“Discover Pirate’s Booty, the tasty rice and corn puffs made with real aged white cheddar. pirate’s Booty is baked never fried and made without any scary ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. You’ll treasure the cheesy crunch.”

Cheese puff snacks always remind me of childhood and these are seriously addictive, they are crunchy and cheesy and just delicious.

DSC_0027BAHLSEN Waffeletten $3.49

“For our Bahlsen Waffeltten Milk, we use a wafer as crunchy and golden as a Belgian waffle, roll it into fine crisp layers, and then dip it into the richest European milk chocolate that can be found.”

I love treats like these for dipping in coffee or tea it makes me feel fancy.  I really like that these aren’t that sweet, they are crisp and light with a hint of sweet from the chocolate.

DSC_0038DSC_0062SIXLETS Original Chocolate & Chewy Fruit $1.00

“The Perfect worry-free treat for the whole family! Gluten Free and nut-free”

I was surprised by how much I actually these.  The chewy ones have a pretty pearlescence about them which makes them look like something you shouldn’t eat, but they taste nice too. The orange ones are my favorite.

The Original Chocolate ones remind me a lot of M&M’s except they have an ever so slight fruity taste to them.

DSC_0044SUNSPIRE Peanut Butter Chips $7.99

“Melt in your mouth chips made with real peanut butter. Perfect for baking or snacking straight out of the bag.”

Oh my goodness these are delicious! They taste just like the filling in a Reese Peanut Butter Cup. I’m going to try not to eat them all out of the bag so I can use them in a recipe.

DSC_0046BUSH’S BEST Jalapeno Lime Crisp Roasted Chickpeas $3.99

“We crisp-roasted our versatile, high in fiber beans and redesigned them for the road, for handy, on the go snack to tide you over, or for a tasty crunch to pair with soups, salads, and casseroles.”

Is it just me or do you find spicy things to be kinda refreshing? Especially after tasting the rest of the stuff in this box. I loved this the crispy crunch of the chickpeas and the spice made them perfect. I will definitely be getting more of these.

DSC_0051GAROTO Caribe $0.80

“The amazing combination of Garoto milk chocolate with banana filling. typical tropical!”

Not crazy about this, I’m not a fan of banana so not my cup of tea, but if you like banana I think you would enjoy this a lot.

DSC_0049TASTYKAKE $1.79

“Baked fresh and finished with chocolate icing, Chocolate Juniors have been a staple TastyKake product since 1917, allowing consumers to indulge in the joys of birthday cake anytime.”

I didn’t eat the Junior cake, the packaging had popped open at some point so I didn’t feel comfortable eating it.

“Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes combine a snack-sized vanilla sponge cake with a thin stripe of peanut butter, coated in delicious milk chocolate.”

These are really yummy! Little bite-sized cakes what could be better? Chocolate a peanut butter is always a winning cake combo.

DSC_0053WELCH’S Fruit Snacks Super Fruit Mix $2.99

“Introducing NEW Welch’s Fruit Snacks Superfruit ix featuring a delicious combination of flavors, including pomegranate-passion fruit, star fruit-kiwi, dragonfruit-blackberry, acai blueberry, and goji-Apricot. Made with real fruit, this new variety is gluten-free, fat-free and contains no preservatives or colors from artificial sources.”

Eating fruit snacks always makes me feel like a little kid, but these are definitely better than the ones I remember from growing up. These are great for carrying in your bag if you need a little pick-me-up.

DSC_0056IDAHOAN FOODS Creamy Potato Soup $2.99

“Filled with real red potatoes and red potato skins, this hearty soup delivers exceptional taste and texture with every spoonful.”

I have never used a soup mix before, but I love potato soup so I very curious to see how this works out.

I am really pleased with the October box! As always there were a few things I loved and a couple I was not so crazy about, but that’s were living with people who all have very different tastes comes in handy.

That would your favorite item be?

You can get 50% off your first Degustabox here.

 

September Degustabox    Pumpkin Spice Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

This box was sent to me for review, all thoughts are as always, my own.

 

Who remembers the pumpkin spice cupcakes from last year?

They were one of my very favorite bakes to date, and I have been itching to make a cake version ever since. It’s finally October so it is acceptable for me to use pumpkin in everything.

This cake is so delicious and delicate, the oil and the pumpkin make it extremely soft and moist. Cream Cheese isn’t my favorite frosting, but when it comes to cakes that have fruits of veggies it is a must, it just balances it out so nicely.

Another thing I love about this cake it that it’s super simple, I didn’t even use a mixer for the batter just a whisk, but you will need a hand mixer for the frosting unless you are looking for a good arm workout.

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Cake 

  • 2 Cups Pumpkin Puree 
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil 
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla 
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger  
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cloves 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Grease, flour, and line two 9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, and sugar.
  • Now in a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and all the spices.
  • Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until all the flour is incorporated, there will still be a few lumps which is fine, you don’t want to over mix the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool for a few minutes then remove from pans and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16oz Cream Cheese 
  • 1 Cup Butter 
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar 
  • 1/2 Cup Milk 
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla 
  • Pumpkin Spice for garnishing

 

  • Make sure your butter and cream cheese are room temperature before making the frosting.
  • Beat together the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add milk and vanilla.
  • Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, starting with the four cups. You may need more depending on the consistency you like your frosting.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled frost and decorates as you wish.
  • You can find my post on how I made the cute little fondant pumpkin you can find it (here)

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Something you may want to consider is that all frosting but cream cheese, in particular, is best the second day.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! What is your favorite thing to bake in the Autumn?

 

Instagram   What I’m Loving Lately   Wandering Maine: Castle Tucker

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s October!

My favorite time of year is now in full swing, so I thought it would be a great time to share some of the things I have been loving lately. There is so much Id love about Autumn, the crisp cool air, the clear golden sunshine, and of course pumpkins.

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DWHome Candles White Pumpkin & Caramel Pumpkin

DW’s candle are my favorites! I always find them in TJ Maxx in all shapes, sizes, and scents. This time of year they have all the autumnal scents you could possibly wish for.

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L’OREAL Infallible 24 Hr Eyeshadows 

Time to break out the copper and gold shimmer shadows!

I don’t know why exactly but gold and bronze shimmers are strictly a cold weather thing, so as soon as the leaves start turning I start wearing them.

These Infallible shadows are some of the most gorgeous I have used, the apply beautifully and although I haven’t worn them for twenty for hours they do last for a normal days wear very well.

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Amber Rush 

In the container, it looks like a rusty copper shimmer, but when applied it is a beautiful bronze color that has slight pink undertones.

Eternal Sunshine

A lovely yellow gold.

Iced Latte 

A stunning pearly champagne shimmer.

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These three lipsticks are pretty much the only ones I have been wearing lately

KAT VON D Studded Kiss Creme Matte Lipstick 

It wouldn’t be a true autumn themed favorites post without some dark berry colored lipsticks.

Lolita: 

This is a warm dark rosy shade.

Cathedral:

This one is a cool-toned dark rosy brown shade.

Both of these are gorgeous to wear are they smell like hot chocolate so that makes them even better for this time of year.

BAREMINERALS  Gen Nude liquid Lipstick

If you have been with A Sparkle Of Grace for awhile you probably know that I don’t like do liquid lipstick ( My Thoughts On Liquid Lipstick) but I really don’t think this can be called a liquid lipstick.

This has a soft matte look, but it has a very soft creamy feel, definitely a liquid lipstick I can happily wear.

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ESSENCE How To Make Brows Wow.

I have been very loyal to my Milani Brow gel for ages, but I have been using this brow powder when I want a softer more natural looking brow.

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This kit has three brow colors and one highlight color, I tend to use all three the darkest on the tail of my brow and blend into the lighter shades as I go along. When I’m just going for a quick natural look I just use the Love Blondes shade.

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THE ORDINARY 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

I use this like serum, after toner but before moisturizer.  This formula contains 100% unrefined cold-pressed virgin African Marula oil that

I actually just ran out and need to order some more of this. I was a little worried that using an oil would make me breakout but actually, my skin has been doing really well. It’s been feeling well hydrated and soft.

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ESFOLIO Aloe Jelly Pack 

This is a unique little moisture. It has the texture of jello it feels like a gel but when you apply it to the skin it melts to a water like feeling.

I tried to find a link to this somewhere, but I couldn’t find one. I found this at TJ Maxx.

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PHILOSOPHY Lemon Custard Glazed Body Souffle 

I had to link to a Lemon Custard hand cream because I couldn’t find this online. I have this last year but left it at a rental house in Bar Harbor which was very sad.

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this smells! I smell exactly like the lemon bars I used to make, sweet, lemony and completely delicious.

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OPI Nail Lacquer in Chocolate Moose 

This color is so nice for autumn, it is a slightly red-toned chocolate brown.

 

There has been a lot of things I have been enjoying over the past couple of months but these are just the ones I have been using on a regular basis.

What have you been loving lately?

In this installment of Wandering Maine, we will be taking a walk through Castle Tucker.

I absolutely love touring this historical houses and learning about their rich history and the history of the people that lived there and I have a lot of it to share with you. If you don’t really care about the history of the house,  just enjoy the pictures.

DSC_0329DSC_0254Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Lincoln County and a U. S. Congressman, Silas Lee was one of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens in town. In 1807 Silas Lee built a large brick Regency-style mansion at the end of High Street, Wiscasset on a hill overlooking the Sheepscot River. This was to be the Lees’ townhouse, designed for hospitality and gracious living. He and his wife Tempe named the house Elm Lawn, inspired by the two large elms near the house.

Unfortunately that same year, the Jeffersonian Embargo crippled New England’s seaport economy. Silas Lee was heavily invested in shipping and real estate and was hit hard. He died in 1814 in a spotted fever epidemic, leaving his wife Tempe to settle his debts. She sold Elm Lawn and built a smaller house on her remaining portion of the land. Wiscasset went from a sparkling boom town to an impoverished coastal village in a very short period of time

 

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1814 through 1857, Elm Lawn had a series of owners, changes and repairs made to the house during those years and were not documented. In the 1840s and 50s Wiscasset was in a period of prosperity as the cotton trade brought the shipping industry back. In 1856 Franklin Clark, a local politician, bought the house and began what appeared to be significant renovations. These included moving two of the house’s chimneys to the end of each semi-circular bay, replacing central windows that had previously lit those rooms. Unfortunately, Clark did not have the money to pay for these changes or any other of his failed investments. He was apprehended by the local sheriff at the train station trying to leave town, defaulting on all his debts.DSC_0260DSC_0261DSC_0267

Richard H. Tucker Sr. (pictured) was a successful ship captain and owner who had built a fortune shipping goods from New England and Charleston, South Carolina, to Europe via Liverpool and Le Havre. He and his wife Mary Mellus Tucker lived in a small house on Main Street in Wiscasset, where they raised three children, Richard, Joseph, and Mary. They later built a large brick home in the best neighborhood in town on High Street. Franklin Clark was their neighbor and an occasional business contact of Captain Tucker Sr. After it became clear that Clark was broke and had been less than honest in his business dealings, Tucker urged his eldest son to purchase Elm Lawn from the creditors when it came on the market.

In November of 1858 Franklin Clark’s creditors, John B. Swanton and John Jameson of Bath sold Castle Tucker to Captain Richard H. Tucker Jr., for the sum of $10,500. Tucker Jr. had decided to purchase the property after being urged by his father to return to Wiscasset, by that time, the mansion was listed as a country house in the county records. Richard, his young wife Mollie and their newborn daughter Mary moved into the house in December of that same year. DSC_0265DSC_0266DSC_0276

Throughout the 1870s and 80s, money as in short supply and Mollie Tucker was increasingly hard-pressed to find enough to pay the bills at Castle Tucker. She was also burdened with the enormous workload. The Tuckers usually had at least one female servant to assist her, and her daughters helped out during their occasional visits.  By 1890 she began accepting summer boarders. This was a very common and accepted practice among upper-middle-class and even wealthy owners of large homes on the coast of Maine at that time. DSC_0278DSC_0286DSC_0279DSC_0302

The Tucker’s youngest daughter Jennie Tucker continued to live at Castle Tucker until her death in 1964. She realized that the family’s thriftiness and relative poverty over the years had resulted in Castle Tucker presenting a unique and almost unchanged look into the nineteenth-century life that was important to preserve. She passed on this belief to her brother’s wife, Ruth Standen Tucker, and their two daughters. Mary and Jane,  Jennie left the house to them. Jane Standen Tucker moved east in 1965 after a successful career as an accountant in Alaska, the Middle East, and Europe.

She moved into Castle Tucker and began to preserve and record her family’s history and the house. Working with Historic New England, then known as the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, and other experts for guidance, she undertook repairs and restorations as she could over the years. Jane opened the house to visitors occasionally, she also entertained in the home, providing many Wiscasset residents with fond memories of time spent here.DSC_0291DSC_0312DSC_0315DSC_0320DSC_0321

Jane also established the Wiscasset History Committee, worked with the Wiscasset Library organizing and donating material for their Genealogy and History Room, and served on the board of the Lincoln County Cultural and Historical Association. In 1997 she gave the house and all its contents, along with a large archive of family letters, documents, and ephemera, to Historic New England.

Jane Tucker lived in the house until 2003 while working with Historic New England to catalog the thousands of objects, furnishings, books, prints, costumes, and textiles contained in the house. In 2003 Historic New England opened Castle Tucker as a historic house museum.DSC_0331DSC_0339DSC_0326DSC_0328DSC_0330

Wiscasset isn’t a town I’ve spent any time in before, we have passed through on our way to Boothbay and Bar Harbor but never spent more than a few minutes there. I definitely want to get back there and explore the town itself soon.

Check out more of my Wandering Maine series.

Wandering Boothbay Harbor     Wandering The Hamilton House     Wandering Downtown Portland

There are so many darling little towns dotted along the coast of Maine, each special in their own unique way but  Boothbay is by far my favorite. It has everything you could ask for, a picturesque harbor, quintessentially New England architecture, sweet little shops and boutiques, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and some simply amazing food.

We only get to Boothbay once or twice a year, last June we came for a Gaelic Storm show at the Boothbay Opera house, and for the night to see the Gardens Aglow in December, so we were long overdoing for a visit.  My parents and I were there for Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, mom and I attended a DIY Bodycare class at the botanical gardens on Friday(I will have a post up about the class and photos of the gardens up very soon.)

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After checking in to our hotel and freshening up a bit, we set off in search of some dinner, the goal was to find a restaurant that looked good but we hadn’t eaten at before. While we were waiting for a table to open up at the restaurant we had decided on, we wandered into a few shops and bought some fudge at the Taffy Factory.

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We had dinner on the third-floor deck of the Boat House Bistro Tapas Bar, the day had been quite humid but it was becoming a beautifully comfortable temperature, with a cool breeze coming off the water.

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For starters, we had baked goat cheese balls with a warm cherry compote and the Glidden Point Oysters. Now I’m not a fan of goat cheese but something about the sweetness of the cherry compote balanced out the strong flavor of the cheese making it very enjoyable, and the crunch of the baked breadcrumbs made them perfect.

I had never had raw oysters before, I wasn’t planning on ever having raw oysters anytime soon, but my dad ordered them so I thought I might as well try them. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them again but they weren’t half bad. (Three cheers for trying new things!)

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The three of us all ended up ordering risotto, they had so many wonderful sounding ones but I had to get the Lobster Risotto. The lobster risotto is made with truffle butter, lobster tail, asparagus risotto, fried shallots, topped with lemon and truffle pearls.

Oh my goodness this was delicious!

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Dad’s Seafood Risotto made with sautéed shrimp, scallops, lobster meat, garlic, shallots, and white wine.

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Mom’s Scallop Risotto made with pan-seared scallop, creamy citrus risotto, and Myers lemon glaze.

So happy with the experience we had and Boat House, everything we had was delicious, the service was thought full and professional, and the view was perfect.

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For dessert, we stopped at Wannawaf for ice cream and waffles. I got The Good Apple which is a waffle with apple pie filling, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, and fresh whipped cream. Needless to say, it was amazing.

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Saturday morning we had a late breakfast at the Bridge Street Cafe which is a just off the Footbridge where Bridge Street and By-Way meet. The Cafe is completely charming, tiny and bright with big windows overlooking the harbor, and everything inside is white and blue.

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They have the best Blueberry Buckle I think I’ve ever tasted, topped with delicious fresh whipped cream, Yum!

We spent the rest of the day wandering the shops, stopping at all the favorites like Abacus, which is full of art, furniture, jewelry and it all has a fun whimsical twist.

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Red Cup is another of my favorites, I discovered it last summer when we were staying at the Fishermans wharf directly across the street, we stopped there several times that trip for the cold brew. This time I tried there Matcha Latte.

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It wouldn’t be a proper trip to Boothbay without a stop at Coastal Maine Popcorn Co, they are a shop that only sells popcorn, how amazing is that? They have sweet and savory, and some weird ones too, we got the Glazed Pumpkin Donut, Toasted Coconut, and Rosemary & Sea Salt. I am a huge fan of popcorn so this place is a little dream come true for me.

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A Litte Bit Of History.

In 1729 the region now knows as Boothbay was named Townsend and permanently settled by a group of around 60 Scotch-Irish, settling within the next ten years. Settlers of English extraction came from Dover, New Hampshire in the mid-1750s. All these families endured near starvation, and the French and Indian wars; some were kidnapped and taken to Canada. Nearly the whole town left the area for a period of years during one war.

Townsend was a very poor community on the edge of the frontier, although many of the settlers were from a  farming background, Boothbay, like a lot of the Maine coast, was a rocky place and agriculture was a struggle. However, over the years a fine fishing tradition emerged, it was inevitable since the fishing banks in the Gulf of Maine were what initially brought people there regularly. Everything from clam digging to whaling has been carried on in Boothbay.

In 1764 Boothbay officially became a town, dropping the name of Townsend. Although there has been some speculation, there is no clear known reason for choosing the name “Boothbay”.

We slowly started meandering our way home in the late afternoon, driving along the coastline and stopping here and there along the way.

It’s Degustabox time again!

This months box was full of fun surprises and think that I didn’t expect to like but ended up loving.

Degustabox is a monthly subscription plan which contains 9-14 surprise food products with each box. The items are selected from name brands, will contain new flavors, and give you a new option to think about the next time you’re looking for a break in your eating routine.

DSC_0065HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs $1.49.

“These are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, no nuts, no soy, and totally delicious. Our vegan white cheddar flavor is righteously cheesy…just without the cheese. Happenin’ Hickory gives you that groovy tomato, onion and garlic flavor with a smoky barbecue bite.”

I really enjoy the texture of these puffs, they are light but have a nice crisp crunch. Out of the two, the white cheddar is my favorite flavor, I’m not as fond of smokey flavors. I will definitely be looking out of these next time I’m at the grocery store.

DSC_0067HANDFULLS Crrrunch Bites BBQ Almonds $4.99.

“Part nut, part chip, all delicious. That’s a CrrrunchBite! Whole roasted California almonds wrapped in crispy rice cracker shells, packed with sweet mesquite barbecue flavor. Gluten-free, vegan, and CRC kosher, plus 3g protein and 2g fiber per serving.”

The whole idea of almonds wrapped in a bbq flavored crackers sounded really weird to me, but somehow it actually works. I still don’t think I would buy them again but I will happily eat them.

DSC_0069GOCO Crunchy Coconut Bites $2.99.

“GoCo Crunchy Coconut Bites are made of the best coconuts, gently toasted, and pressed into bite-sized pieces. This convenient coconut snack used simple, high-quality ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced.”

I love how perfectly simple these coconut bites are, they are great to eat on there own, and covered with peanut butter is delicious as well.

DSC_0074THE CHIA COMPANY Chia Shots $0.99.

“we bring chia to you in its simplest form, pure, clean, and sun-ripened. e recommend one tablespoon of chia every day. Sprinkle onto your cereal, into your salads or smoothies, or add to your baking.”

It’s been ages since I have eaten chia seeds! We went through a little faze were we eat them regularly a couple of years ago. I love the thought of having a serving measured out into an individual pack, that would work really well for eating on the go.

I ended up eating this both straight but would be perfect on oatmeal.

DSC_0081SUNRYPE Strawberry Fruit Strip Snack $0.50.

“SunRype Apple Strawberry Fruit to go 100% fruit strip snacks-nut-free. They’re made with only fruit, well, except for the occasional veggie. Not that’s a snack you can feel good about!”

I have never been a fan of the fruit snacks we used to have when I was a kid so I was really surprised that I actually liked these. I liked them quite a bit actually, and my family all agree that we need to buy them again.

DSC_0087THE BETTER CHIP Jalapeno & Cilantro $3.99.

“Better flavor starts with better ingredients that’s why we blend fresh vegetables and herbs right into our masa. For a perfect parable, a shareable snack made to compliment fresh meats, cheeses, and dips.”

These chips a SO GOOD! Be warned that they are quite spicy, at first bite you get the crispy chip and the cilantro followed by a strong lingering jalapeno heat. They are a bit much to just sit and eat a bunch but with some guacamole, they would be amazing.

DSC_0091MARION’S KITCHEN General Tso Meal Kit $6.99.

“Our General Tso meal kit is an easy way to make a restaurant quality meal using all natural ingredients that the whole family can enjoy. All essential ingredients are inside the box; just add chicken, red pepper, and onion and you have a healthy gourmet meal ready in 15 minutes.”

I made this for dinner and it went over really well, I substituted the corn that came with it with fresh corn, and used red onion and snow peas with it as well. It tasted fresh and homemade, if I didn’t know better I wouldn’t have known it came in a box.

DSC_0093MIGHTY SPARK CO. Chicken Snack Sticks $1.50.

“Mighty Spark Food Co. has perfected small-batch chicken snack stick with chunks of cranberries, jalapenos and more. At no more than 60 calories, Mighty Spark’s snack sticks are a guilt-free protein snack and for every 3 sticks purchased, we’ll donate a meal to kids in need.”

I’m still on the fence about meat sticks but I did really like the flavor combinations of the Cranberry and Ginger, and the Jalapeno and Honey. Out of the two, the Cranberry and Ginger was my favorite which I didn’t expect, but the slight warmth of the ginger and the sweetness of the cranberries worked really well together, nothing like the smokey meat sticks of the past.

DSC_0097BAUDUCCO Chocolate Wafers $2.50

“Bauducco Chocolate Wafers are crispy and delicate, with three delicious creamy layers. They taste great with coffee, milk, ice cream, you name it.”

There is no such thing as a bad wafer cookie, between my brother and I this pack, didn’t last long. They are lovely dipped in coffee.

DSC_0100TIGERTAIL Mustard $1.00

“Tigertail’s Medium Style Mustard is our authentic Geran recipe brought to you in the most unique packaging on the market. Made from stone ground mustard seeds, the craft flavors with a bite of heat will have you wanting more.”

This is such a lovely classic mustard I was really happy to get it in this months box. I received a bottle of the same one in the February box, but after having our refrigerator broken for over a month we had the throwout everything so we didn’t get to use much of it.

DSC_0104PB CRAVE Flavored Peanut Butter $1.10

“peanut butter sweetened with real honey and real ingredients. Enjoy the twisted taste sensations that give you more of the delicious flavors you crave.”

Yet another surprising product! I was thinking this would just be an okay flavored peanut butter, but they are both delicious! The flavors taste natural and subtle, my favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough because it tastes just like the dough of the peanut butter cookies I like to make. There is a slight bitterness to the Sweet & Dark Chocolate one that makes it not as nice for me, but that is probably down to me not liking dark chocolate.

DSC_0110IDAHOAN FOODS Mashed Potatoes $1.39

“What makes Indian Classic Mashed potatoes so good? We start with the highest quality potatoes grown in the rich soil of Idaho. These are Idahoan’s best tasting classic mashed potatoes yet!”

“For those who can’t get enough of a good thing, our Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes blends cheddar, bleu, romano and parmesan cheese with 100% real Idaho potatoes.”

Fun fact about me, mashed potatoes have been one of my very favorite foods for as long as I can remember, it is for that reason I have been hesitant to try these out. That being said, I will be trying them out soon so as always keep an eye out on my Instagram for updates. @sparkleofgrace

DSC_0115MARQUIS Citrus Yuzu $2.89

“Marquis is a USDA organic energy drink with zero sugar and zero calories! We are also certified Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Kosher. Energized with organic Yerba Mate, green tea, and green coffee beans, Marquis comes in 3 delicious flavors: Citrus Yuzu, Super Berry, and Mango Ginger.”

I’m a big fan of drinks like this but this one was quite unlike any I’ve had before. The flavor is a little hard to describe, it’s has a bright sort of sweetness, I’m not crazy about the use of stevia a sweetener because it leaves a bit of an aftertaste but other than that this is a great little drink.

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GARDEN OF LIFE GoL Bar Chocolate Sea Salt  $2.49.

“Whatever your gol(goal), we help you get there without deliciously simple protein bars made exclusively form real certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified whole food ingredients. No Compromise.”

I have had a hard time with protein bars in the past, but this one as really nice. I had it for lunch the other day and I was surprised by how good it was, the sea salt made it taste more unique, and there were none of the weird after tastes that you often get from protein bars. I shall definitely be adding this to the list of things to look out for.

This was a good month, lots of fun new discoveries, that I’m looking forward to finding again, especially the white cheddar chickpea puffs.

Have you tried any of these products?

You can get 50% off your first Degustabox here.

This box was sent to me for review, all thoughts are as always, my own.