Itinerary: Portland, Maine

Last weekend was spent in Portland, Maine to celebrate our anniversary. Admittedly the winter/spring season is not the most popular season to explore Portland but nonetheless, still a fantastic city to visit.

Where To Stay

The Press Hotel

I cannot say enough good things about staying here. The hotel is a old newspaper press transformed into a hotel and somehow during the renovation, maintained all the charm. Typewriters adorn the wall and the front desk keyboards are even typewriters, too.

I’ve never stayed at a hotel where the front desk team has been more accommodating. Upon checking in, we were informed our room had been upgraded to a suite with a bottle of wine & two glasses waiting. The rooms are a perfect combination of space & cozy with white marble heaven for a bathroom. The hotel is in a perfect start to walk everywhere and they also provide a shuttle, which will even drop you off at the airport.

 

Where To Eat

Let me say, overall, the food in this city is to die for. I’m sure there are places we may have missed due to the season we visited, but all my recommendations below are out of this world.

Duck Fat

Great lunch spot. After we landed & checked in to Press, we headed straight for Duck Fat. While there is normally a wait, we were lucky and only waited about 15 minutes.

Personal Recommendation: order off the specials menu, while everything on their menu is amazing, their specials list is to die for. I had a buttermilk & strawberry milkshake and our waitress told me the fresh strawberries had been brought in an hour before we got there. It was so delish!

Scales

Right down on the water. This is a great spot if you have a larger party as a lot of restaurants in Portland are small and easily accommodate 2-4 but could be tight if you have more people.

Personal Recommendation: Again, ask for their specials. Highly recommend the obvious, fish & seafood.

Central Provisions

This is a MUST! Tapas style, I highly recommend stopping in for lunch. They don’t take reservations, so go early or be prepared to wait. If you’re a real foodie or just enjoy the cooking/ preparation process, ask to be seated at the chef’s bar. The preparation of these beautiful dishes between all the chefs is mind-blowing. Every dish is more beautiful than the next.

Personal Recommendation: Their menu changes daily but if it’s listed, you must, repeat, must have the roasted cauliflower. I know it sounds like it could be a boring dish, but it’s incredible. Also, the winter salad is just as tasty as it is beautiful. (pictured above).

Eventide

A trip to Maine wouldn’t be complete without a lobster roll. While there are some amazing seasonal places, we missed their opening by about a week. Almost everyone we talked to recommended Eventide and it was just as delicious as they promised.

Personal Recommendation: Brown Butter Lobster Roll. No explanation necessary.

Fore Street

This restaurant is an absolute MUST!  If I could recommend only one place, this would be it. Reservations are usually booked out up to 4 months in advance and require a $50 deposit, however, the restaurant keeps 1/3 of their tables open per evening for walk-ins. We went at 5pm when the bar opens to put our names down and were surprised to see a line already formed of 12 or so people. We put our name down and were able to get in within an hour.

Personal Recommendation: Ask for the specials/ waiter’s recommendations. I had a local Arctic Char and it was incredible. Dave & I said our meals were the best of 2018 and maybe even all of 2017, we couldn’t think of any meal that topped it.

Vena’s Fizz House

We stopped in here to grab a drink while we waited for our reservation at Fore Street. Great cocktails and fizzes and almost everything can be made with or without alcohol, whichever your preference.

Hot Suppa

This teeny southern-style will definitely have a wait. If you follow my directions below on where to drink, plan to go to Hot Suppa the next morning and heal your hangover. Their Bloody Mary has won multiple awards and just about everything on the menu will make your mouth water just reading it.

Personal Recommendation: Sure to heal your hangover, order The Mother Clucker + their Bloody Mary. Trust me.

The Holy Donut

Let me start this portion off by saying, I DO NOT LIKE DONUTS. I know. It’s the one sweet I’ve always been able to pass on. When people found out about my trip to Maine, everyone (and their mother) was begging me to stop by Holy Donut and assured me that potato donuts are much different than regular donuts. When in Rome, right? Saturday morning, we stopped by and tried the Lemon and Ginger Glazed Sweet Potato Donuts which were delish. Before we left on Sunday, we wanted to try one other and the line was out the door! We thankfully decided to get their chai donut which was unbelievably amazing. Really wishing I had brought a box home with me.

Personal Recommendation: Chai Donut and if you’re a coffee drinker, an iced coffee. The ice cubes are frozen coffee!

Where To Celebrate (read: drink!)

Blyth & Burrows

You had to know I loved this sheerly by the name, another B&B! This newly opened bar is right on Exchange St. so if you’re staying at the Press, a quick walk down the street. The deep navy decor, marble countertops and wooden bar make the atmosphere chic yet cozy and there’s no question if the crew behind the bar knows what they’re doing; the drinks were incredible. We stopped in for happy hour and by the time we left, the place was packed. Definitely a Portland hot spot not to be missed.

Personal Recommendation: Young Burrows

Hunt & Alpine Club

This neighborhood jaunt was recommended to us by the owner of Portland Trading Co. Scandinavian in nature, the kitchen offers some delicious treats as well as local beer & spirits. Their kitchen stays open until they close at 1am, so a great stop if you need a light snack with your nightcap.

Personal Recommendation: Popcorn + Champagne (as heavenly as it sounds)

Liquid Riot

Fun brewery/ distillery right on Commercial Street. Great for flights of beer or a local cider or kombucha, if you’re a non-beer drinker like me.

Lincoln’s

Literally, hidden down an unmarked stairwell behind a bookcase, this speakeasy isn’t known for it’s craft cocktails but rather for it’s dark atmosphere, loud music and $5 drinks. Yes, everything is $5.

Personal Recommendation: Don’t try to take a picture, the bouncer will stop you.

Other breweries that were recommended to us but we didn’t make it to:

Allagash

Bissel Brothers

Where To Shop

Portland Trading Co. – men & women’s clothing, plus apothecary & accessories

Portland Dry Goods – men & women’s clothing

Sea Bags – adorable totes made out of recycled sail cloth

Gus & Ruby – incredibly beautiful paper goods

What did I miss? What are your favorite spots in Portland?

Cheers

Local Love: blow dry westport

Happy Monday! I hope you had an amazing weekend. The past weekend marked my two year anniversary of living out here on the east coast! As you guys know, I love supporting local shops & highly recommend you do too! If you’re in Connecticut, I can’t recommend blow dry blow out bar enough, especially if you’re in the need of a little pampering. Let me tell you a little about my experience…

First of all, let me just say, if I won the lottery today, I’d hire someone to blowout my hair on a daily basis. It’s one of my favorite treats and let’s be honest, I can never get my hair to look like that without some professional assistance.

Blow Dry is packed full of some of the most capable stylists in this area.I scheduled my blowouts with Gary & Brianna, and both did not disappoint. Without hesitation, they immediately knew which products to use for my hair type and which to avoid to ensure my blowout would really last. The team uses Living Proof, WOW and Ouidad products, all of which I love and made my fickle hair voluminous & most surprisingly LAST. My blowouts from blow dry can easily last three ( yes, you read that correctly. THREE!) days. Not even DryBar lasts like that for me! The washes were amazing, my hair was completely free of any product buildup and who doesn’t love a mini scalp massage?!

There are two locations, Westport & Southport. I go to the Westport location which is perfect if you’re getting ready for a night out. There are so many shops surrounding that area, you could easily pop into a myriad of stores to pick up a new ensemble. Don’t worry about being stuck in the salon for hours because my blowouts each lasted approximately 40 minutes. I never waited for my stylist, the team is incredibly prompt and I was even greeted with hot tea upon arrival. Blow dry also offers makeup services, lash & eyebrow services on top of blowouts, which I will definitely keep in mind for special occasions.

Call and schedule with the team today & mention you saw this post for additional $$ off!

Cheers

 

 

My Everyday Makeup Routine

Lately, I’ve received a few direct messages on B&B & insta asking about my daily makeup routine. To be honest, I don’t wear a ton of makeup so today I’ll be sharing my routine plus asking for a few of your recommendations! I don’t always wear all of these products all at once but this is what can be found in my everyday makeup bag. 

  1. First I start with Drunken Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel. I actually JUST started using this a week or so ago & I am loving it. The hype about Drunken Elephant is so legit. Have you tried it? What other D.E. products do you swear by?
  2. Then I layer on Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer.  I love this product because it’s so lightweight but evens out any discoloration or minor blemishes.
  3. Under my eyes, I use Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer and blend with everyone’s fav, the Beauty Blender.
  4. For bronzer, I do a few sweeps of Clinique’s True Bronze Pressed Powder across my skin and then top with one of my two favorite blushes.
  5. For my skin tone, I love using Nars Blush in Orgasm OR…
  6. Clinique’s Blushing Blush in Precious Posy I think both of these shades work nicely across all skin tones & have the teeniest bit of shimmer in them.
  7. For eyes I love using Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks. If I’ve had a late night out, I use the matte version in Blossom under my bottom lashes instead of eyeliner or if I want drama, I’ll use Amethyst as eyeliner and/or shadow.
  8. When I do use eyeliner, I use, Maybelline Eye Master Studio Precise Liquid Eyeliner in black. You can grab it at any drug store or Ulta, which is great if you’ve recently remembered you’re out!
  9. As you guys know, I LOVE lipstick. All different colors and I usually share them here or on insta-stories. But lately, my go to red has been Nudestix in Royal. I am obsessed with the color and wear. If you’re on the fence about buying new lipstick without really trying, you can get this smaller version at Sephora to take it for a test run.
  10. For nudes, I actually like to wear just the liner pencil of Kylie Jenner’s lipkits. My go to is Candy K with just a teeny bit of clear gloss over it if it starts to feel too dry.
  11. I also keep this Glossier balm dotcom handy at all times. It’s great if you need a little clear gloss or if you are just in need of chapstick.
  12. This is the product I get most questions about. Mascara. I LOVE Lancome’s Grandiose Extreme Mascara. Don’t get me wrong, this mascara is THICK. The first time I used it, it felt almost like tar coming out of the tube however it goes on perfectly and stays put. I have a hard time because I have longer lashes and they sometimes rub against my skin and leave marks under my eyes and by my eyebrows. This mascara stays put and really makes your lashes pop, they look so long and full every time I use it.
  13. If I end up adding highlight, I use Mary Lou Manizer from The Balm for shimmer on my cheekbones & brow bone & cupid’s bow.

What favorite beauty products do you swear by? I’d love to know what you guys love for highlighter and even under eye concealer! Send me all your recommendations!

Cheers

Galentine’s Day

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. This weekend was fairly chill for me and to be honest, I took advantage of a rainy Sunday for a ramen lunch date & a few hours to be cozy in my apartment. Last week I wrote about dealing with mean girls however, today I’m writing about celebrating the women that empower & inspire us. The women who we keep as our closest #girlgang and build us up. Though I’m thankful for those ladies everyday, what better time than to throw a Galentine’s party. While we can thank Parks & Rec for the tradition, I love it because it’s a great excuse to get together & have a cute party with your favorite ladies. If you need a little pink & red inspo, as well as a one of my favorite treats, look no further.

First of all, this is the easiest cute treat to make. If you’re in a pinch, all these ingredients you can buy pre-made so… here are the details on these precious love notes.

I’ve made these two ways, with puff pastry and with pie dough. I prefer pie dough because they don’t lose their shape while they’re baking. Cute your pie dough into squares add a little raspberry preserves (if you don’t make it homemade, highly recommend this brand) fold up the bottom corner, then either side. If you have a small heart shape cookie cutter, cut out a little piece of dough & add over the three corners. You can also use your (clean) kitchen scissors to hand cut them out, I did and after a practice cut, it’s easy to get the hang of. Add a little egg wash and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

<bubbles & cake bites>

<these ombre mini cakes are my fav>

<crumbs>

Are you planning to celebrate with your best girlfriends? Have you already? What were your plans? These are also awesome desserts if your beau has a sweet tooth.

xoxox

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him

Today I’m sharing 10 of my favorite V-day gifts for the men in your life. The gifts listed below represent various price points as well as interests, too! I am a HUGE fan of the Bose Noice Cancelling headphones, in fact, I don’t travel without mine!

If you’re looking for some advice on what to get the lady in your life, check out yesterday’s gift guide for her.

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Cheers!

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her

wearing Nudestix in Royal

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I’ve compiled a list of a few V-day surprises if you’re needing a little inspiration. If you’d rather book an activity to do together, a couples massage or cooking class can be a great way to celebrate. If you’re thinking these aren’t for you, I’ll say this, flowers & a card (written from the heart) are among some of the best gifts I’ve received.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //  7 // 8 // 9 // 10

 

Stop back tomorrow for a gift guide for your favorite guys!

Cheers!

2018: Resolutions We ALL Need to Make This Year

<clearly adjusting well to hygge in my fav pajamas>

New year, new me? To be honest, I’m not huge on resolutions. I like the idea of a “refresh” button but who’s to say that can’t happen in June or September? Either way, if you’re reevaluating this January (or February…. or March), here are a few resolutions we all should be making.

  1. Schedule your yearly physicals with your doctors. When I moved, I didn’t get a PCP right away and eventually found myself making excuses or feeling like I couldn’t take time off work. Bad. The saying is true, we’re nothing without our health. Check in with your PCP, dermatologist and ladies, your OB-GYN. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask. In fact, come with questions! “Does this mole look normal?” I promise you’re not the first person to ask whatever is on your mind.
  2. Adapt the Danish concept of Hygge. Hygge can simply be defined as enjoying life’s simple pleasures; a cozy contentment. Everyone has something that recharges their batteries, for some it’s a slow Saturday morning or cozy night in with friends. The point is to gain energy from taking joys in the simple things; try to schedule your self some hygge once a month.
  3. Identify a bad habit & try to break it. Even if you only do this once in 2018, you’ve broken one bad habit. For me, it was looking at my phone before going to bed. The blue light was affecting my sleep pattern and frankly, we don’t always need to be connected. I’ve supplemented that time with enjoying a hot cup of tea and reading for at least 30 minutes before bed. I haven’t been able to do that ritual every single night, but it’s something I look forward to and I’ve definitely found it easier to disconnect.
  4. Be more productive. Whether it’s at work, in the gym, working on your side hustle, whatever it is, push yourself to out of your comfort zone. I promise you will find yourself feeling rewarded by staying motivated.
  5. Monitor your progress. It’s so easy to get bogged down in remembering the things you aren’t doing, but so important to remember the small victories. Did you make it to the gym on the day you were really tired? Good for you! Did you break a bad habit? Good for you. Don’t forget to relish in the small victories. The (wine) glass is half full!
  6. Know you can do anything, just not everything. There are many times where I find myself overcommitted. Stressing yourself out by agreeing to do too much or putting my efforts in several different areas; it doesn’t allow creativity or time to let your brain rest. Your parents weren’t kidding when they said you could do anything, but you can’t truly succeed if you’re putting bits of yourself towards different goals. Pick one, work like hell and achieve it… then move onto the next one.
  7. Remove yourself from toxic situations. Not to mince words, cut down on the drama. If you find yourself in a toxic relationship with a friend, remove yourself. If you find yourself in a toxic situation, remove yourself. No one should ever rob you of your energy.
  8. Make a new healthy habit. I know it’s trite to say “get healthy” as new year resolution. However, I challenge you to make a new healthy habit & stick to it. Maybe for the overachiever, it’s practicing self-care. Maybe it’s to incorporate a green vegetable into a daily meal or try that spin class you’ve been nervous to try.
  9. Stay informed. As circumstances have it now, news changes in an instant. Thanks to our socially connected lifestyle, it’s easier than ever to stay informed. Being informed is integral. It’s important to know the facts when it comes to voting, social action and beyond. At very least, sign up for The Skimm, it’s a great place to start.
  10. Be a little bit kinder. The world is in a weird place right now. Having a little extra patience or the desire to pay it forward can only benefit all of us.

Cheers