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

Three Thrills By Thursday

Happy Thursday & Happy February! January felt like a very. long. month. Anyone else already planning their weekend? Sharing a few things from my week if you need a little pre-weekend pick-me-up.

one.

in havana, one of my fav trips!

People often ask me how I’m able to travel as much as I do (if I could do it for a living, I would!) but really, I just try to maximize vacation time & keep my eyes peeled for flight deals! I love these helpful hints on Cupcakes & Cashmere for those of us who work full time but still want to maximize our vacas! Another two tips I’d add if you travel often for work, first of all, bank ALL your airline miles. If you end up flying an airline you don’t currently have a mileage account for, sign up! Secondly, if you’re traveling for work, ask if it’s okay to extend your trip, or fly out early! It’s a great way to spend some time in a new city.

two

Okay, I posted this picture on Insta a few days ago but the biggest notable tidbit here are these lips. On a whim, I picked up a small tin of three shades of Nudestix in the Sephora checkout line (that always gets me.) I’m not kidding you when I say I LOVE the way it wears. Definitely looks like a matte but is very hydrating plus, I went the whole day (lunch & some snacks + tea) with only one minor touchup! I am loving the colors and if you don’t want to order directly from their site, you can find limited color at Ulta or Sephora. If you’re loving the red I’m wearing in this pic, it’s “royal.”

three.

I’m currently working one of these books within this list but if you’re anything like me you love to read the book before it becomes a movie. Here are the books you’re going to want to read before their movies come out this year!

Cheers!!

Three Thrills by Thursday

one.

Last weekend, Dave & I registered for our wedding. I had gotten up early that day to make spin class before we shopped till we (literally) dropped, so by the time we reached the end, we were hungry. On our way out of Crate & Barrel, I spotted the most perfect mini waffle maker from Dash. Of course, it came home with us. Coincidentally it seemed like the perfect night to have waffles for dinner.

While I normally like to make my own batter, we made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s on our way home to pick up a few things & to save on time, I grabbed their Gluten Free waffle mix. I added a little vanilla to the recipe and you guys, SO delish. Highly recommend if you prefer a pre-made mix.

two.

Last week, I followed clickbait and ended up reading 127 amazing facts in honor of national trivia day. If you need a little break from your daily emails at work, click away and prepare to be amazed!

three.

<hey, Brad!>

I recently purchased several new matte lipcolors & I am obsessed. As if naming their colors after men isn’t cute enough, Lawless prides itself on being FREE of harmful chemicals that you might be surprised to find in your other cosmetics. Did you know our bodies absorb 5 POUNDS of makeup a year!? ew. So important to know what’s going on your skin. Besides that, the colors are amazing and the wear is great. Usually matte can be so drying, but this gives a nice matte feel without looking cracked on your lips by mid-afternoon.

Cheers

Three Thrills by Thursday

Finally! Thursday! I don’t know about you guys but I am SO ready for the weekend. After having a bug for the last ten days- I am finally feeling back like my regular, healthy self.

one.

When I started to get sick, I stopped into my neighborhood Le Pain Quotidien and ordered their hot Honey Lemon Ginger. It was the perfect warm up from the chilly winter air and immediately soothed the tickle in my throat; it’s no secret that the three ingredients are packed full of health benefits. Fully knowing I wouldn’t be able to sustain my obsession, I attempted to make it at home… at it worked! It should be noted that I never really measure anything but just ballpark it, you can always even out the flavor once you try it.

How To:
1 cup water
knob of fresh ginger, about an inch depending on how prominent you want the flavor
1 lemon
honey

Instructions:
1. Peel & slice ginger, about ¼ inch pieces.
2. Add the water, honey and ginger to the pot.
3. Juice ½ the lemon into the pot (reserve the other half in case you like it more lemon-y).
4. Heat over very low heat for 5-10 minutes, covered, so it’s barely simmering.
5. Strain liquid and add fresh lemon slice into cup & enjoy!
two.
After I posted a few of our engagement photos, I got a lot of questions about my this outfit but especially my tulle skirt. Truth is, I love dressing up a tulle skirt and in fact, I couldn’t find a top I loved, so that’s actually a dress. I’ve linked a few tulle skirts below that (some) may or may not be hiding in my closet.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9
three.
Two weeks ago we visited some of our best friends in Pittsburgh. We hadn’t been back since Dave moved but it was great to revisit some of our favorite spots and even try a few new (amazing) places. I think we ate our way through the entire city!
Iron Born Pizza at Smallman Galley 
Shopping at No. 14
Dinner at DiAnoia’s – I highly recommend their gnocchi and of course, prosecco on tap
How are the holidays coming along for you guys? Did you wrap up your shopping? I’m still finishing off a few things but tonight we’re seeing The Nutcracker, so I suppose it will just have to wait.
Want to follow along? As always, follow me on Instagram 🙂
Cheers,

Three Thrills by Thursday

While I absolutely adore traveling & celebrating so many awesome occasions with friends, not traveling this week has been pretty amazing. Now that my 2017 wedding season is over, I’ve been locking down some fun details for our own wedding! Instead of posting on #WeddingWednesday, I thought today’s post would be a little more wedding-centric.one.

While this is a little overdue & was mentioned last week. I found my wedding gown! While I had planned to shop in NYC, I scheduled an initial run while I was home in Cleveland & Brides By The Falls knocked it out of the park. While I won’t be sharing too many details on the blog until the big day, I’ll just say, it’s not at all what I expected but everything I ever wanted.

two.

I found this article about the Evolution of the Wedding Gown from Instyle. Turns out wedding gowns haven’t always been white!

three.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about bridal traditions. While many aspects of our wedding will be traditional, we want to make sure every aspect feels very personal to Dave & I, for example, writing our own ceremony. This article about cultural traditions around the world is super interesting and makes me glad I’m not getting married in Jamaica!

bonus.

tomorrow, I’ll be sharing how I asked my bridesmaids to be a part of our wedding party! you don’t want to miss it!

Cheers

Traveling Like a Pro

Traveling like a pro as actually a lot easier than it sounds. From my own experiences, I’ve compiled the list below that highlights a fewrules I follow when traveling to ensure my trip runs smoothly.

see? the first flight out can have it’s perks

Sign up to accrue airline miles. Even if you don’t exclusively fly the same airline every time, it’s a smart idea to signup every time you take a flight with a new airline. It’s free & a great way to get a free flight/ upgrade your seat.

Pack like a pro. Check out yesterday’s post on packing. No one likes to lug a heavy suitcase around.

First flight out. Many will fight me on this but it is my preference to always take an early flight out. Usually those flights have less of a chance of being delayed and if you happen to have a flight cancellation, it’s likely you’ll be able to jump on another flight later in the day.

Bottle of water + Snack. Whenever I travel, I usually keep at least one energy bar in my purse and one in my suitcase. Once I’m passed security, I always pick up a bottle of water. This stems from those horror stories I’ve heard about planes running out of water. I’ve thankfully never been on a flight like that, but it always eases my nerves knowing I have water & a snack, if needed.

Pre- TSA // Global Entry. If you travel a lot, I cannot express the need to have Pre-TSA & Global Entry enough. You don’t have to take anything out of your bag or remove your shoes to go through security. The application process was fairly simple. Fill out a form online & stop in for a quick interview. Again, American Express offers Pre-TSA as a cardholder perk.

Clean out your purse prior to takeoff. You don’t need those receipts or superfluous items in your bag. No one wants to be the one fishing through their bag at security looking for their ID.

Make yourself comfortable. If you’re gearing up for a long flight, donne a cute pair of leggings & cardigan. I love to swear a scarf or cozy wrap in case I get cold.

Airport Lounges. Check into what your airline or credit card may offer. I’m a Priority Pass holder which grants access to 1000 lounges worldwide. With American Express, I have access to Centurion Lounges, which always makes me get to the airport with plenty of time so I can relax prior to my flight.

via Centurion Lounge

Check your credit cards. As I’ve mentioned, Amex has a ton of great perks that go along with traveling but if you have an airline of preference, check into options with their credit cards. Often times, they’ll run specials such as gaining 60k miles when you spend so much in the first three months. Great option if you need to make a larger purchase, may as well gain those miles to use for flights! The credit card you already use may have great perks you’re unaware of.

Pack thoughtfully. This is a rule I swear by! Have you ever flown somewhere tropical in the dead of winter? When you land, your shorts and sundresses won’t save you from the cold. When I’m packing I’ll put anything I’ll need handy in the very top of my suitcase. Like a jacket or heavy sweater. That way, when I land, I can unzip the top and pull out my jacket or whatever I need. Quick & efficient when you don’t have to stop, unzip your entire suitcase and dig around.

What travel tips do you live by?

Cheers,

Packing Like a Pro

early morning flights require cozy jeans & a snuggly sweater

Over the past few years, my travel has increased quite a bit, which is perfectly ok with me. I love traveling and have learned there’s definitely an art in doing it well. For work or fun, I usually find myself on trips that last 3-5 days & if you can do it right, for that amount, you should never have to check a bag. See a few tips below for packing like a pro & ditching your checked luggage.

  1. Invest in good luggage. When I was shopping for a luggage set, there were a few specific things I was interested in. I wanted one piece to be suitable for carry on travel, I wanted it to be bright & recognizable ( ie: red) and I wanted to find a brand that was guaranteed (with warranty). I ended up with Victorinox which is ironically the brand my family of travelers has always used. These are other great brands that made the top of my list: Away (even charges your phone!) & Delsey.
  2. Make an itinerary/ packing list. If you have even a rough idea of what you’ll need to pack, it will eliminate most of the “just in case” outfits. For example, if you’re spending all day Saturday at a spa on your trip- no need to pack an outfit for Saturday during the day. If you know you’ll be outside in fall like temperature, pack a few items that can be layered.
  3. Channel the French. French women are notorious for keeping their chic closet’s tre simple with a few staple & iconic pieces. Pack simple pieces that transition from day to night, work well with other pieces you’re bringing or can be layered.
  4. Eliminate duplicates. If you’re staying in hotel, there’s a 99% chance you won’t need to pack your hair dryer (even though it pains me to leave my Drybar babe). Staying with your bestie for the weekend? She probably has a straightener/ curling iron and most of your shower essentials.
  5. Wear your largest pieces. If I’m packing my favorite wedges for the weekend, I’ll wear them to travel in. Winter coat? Carry it on with you. It could get chilly on the plane & if not, you can always stow in the overhead compartment. Taking your largest pieces out of your bag saves so much space for other necessities.
  6. Roll whatever clothing you can. I always roll my jeans, pajamas, cotton dresses anything that won’t wrinkle too badly, I find this to be a major space saver.
  7. Combine handbags. When carrying on a rolling bag, you’re still allotted one personal item. In this scenario, I usually pack a smaller purse and carry on a tote wth my purse inside + my book, iPad. For example, this past weekend, I took this tote as my “purse” but packed two smaller clutches for nights out.
  8. An extra bag. If I’m worried about purchases I’ll be making or know I may have a fuller bag on my return trip, I’ll pack a bag like this Lilly Pulitzer one. Folds completely flat & fits in those skinny front pockets. You can always pull that out, throw in your purse and a few other items and count it as your person item.
  9. Check the weather. Takes two seconds on your phone to know what Mother Nature will be up to at your destination. If you’re heading to a tropical beach vacation, you probably don’t need to pack more than one sweater or sweatshirt.
  10. Keep your toiletries bag packed & ready to go. If you’re carrying on, you know you have to keep your liquids small. I keep a toiletries bag ready & stocked to avoid any late runs to the CVS travel section. That way I never need to worry about what I have & can throw it in my bag the night before.

Hope this helps next time you find yourself packing up for a getaway!

Cheers