Three Thrills by Thursday

Friday eve, thankfully here again! Last week totally kicked my butt and this week has been just as busy but I’m feeling energized, inspired and ready for the weekend!

one. 

This weekend I’m attending Suds of the Season, which is a fun beer festival with tons of breweries and food trucks participating. The best part? PUPPIES! The event charity is Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities, and they’ll have plenty of sweet pups there to pet in between sips. What a perfect way to unwind from the week! Hop on over to my instagram story to see how to get discounted tickets!

two.

I have been enamored with two books the past few weeks. First is by one of my all time fav food bloggers Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats. I’ve been following her for years and not a day goes by that I don’t want to jump through my screen and into her pictures. Her new cookbook, The Pretty Dish, has, of course, incredible recipes plus a ton of beauty DIY projects. Even if you never cooked one dish, the food photography alone will have you running to the grocery store.

The second book is one that greatly resonates with me. Many of the greatest chefs will say that cooking is a way of showing admiration to those you love. A gift. It’s so much more than feeding someone’s belly. Food Gift Love is my newest obsession for those little hostess our housewarming gifts

three.

The hype behind Summer Fridays is real and I can’t keep my hands off of it (as you can see from the condition of my fairly new tube!) Totally clean ingredients created by two awesome women. My favorite part? You can use it around your eyes without fear! Your skin will be thanking you!

Cheers

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

Friday: Busy Life Update

Happy Friday! So I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet..though it feels that way. The past two weeks have been absolute, yet perfect, chaos.

Two weeks ago kicked off the beginning of what we’ll refer to as “wedding season.” I use quotations because this year, my wedding season consists of four weddings, in three weeks. For me, all of which have been in Ohio (yay home!)

Marcella, my little in Kappa Alpha Theta & one of my dearest friends, was the first to kick off these wedding festivities with her now husband, Dan. Their wedding was absolutely stunning as all of us twelve bridesmaids wore gold Amsale gowns with hues of purples in our bouquet, groomsmen’s vests and reception colors.

 

<gorgeous suspended floral arrangement by HeatherLily>

Last weekend Dave & I had to divide and conquer two weddings. Dave attended our friends, John & Ashley’s wedding in beautiful Greenwich, Connecticut while I flew to Akron to be the Maid of Honor in Alex’s wedding. Alex & her husband Brandon said their I Do’s in the most beautiful church in downtown Akron, St. Bernards & at their reception, the dance floor kept going even after the music had stopped. What a celebration! I was even able to surprise her when my MOH speech ended with an Ice, Ice Baby personalized rap. Her face was TOTALLY worth it.

After Al’s wedding, I flew to LA for a quick work trip but managed to squeeze in a little “me” time. More to come on that next week. On the wedding front, I’m so happy to say everything is moving along swimmingly. I even found my wedding dress! It’s so true what they say, “when you know, you know.” I couldn’t have been happier to work with the lovely ladies of Brides by the Falls.

To wrap up wedding season, for my third and final wedding, I’m flying to Columbus this morning to celebrate my friend, Lauren, who I met dancing with Ashland Regional Ballet. Over the years, I’ve seen her in a lot of tutus but I cannot wait to see her in a wedding gown!

Lots of great travel content coming your way next week!

Cheers

My Seven Handbag Essentials

Today I’m sharing a few of the little staples I keep tucked away in my day to day handbag. While a girl can’t be caught without a hair tie, bobby pins or ear buds, these select few items are also in my bag at (almost) all times.

  1. Two different shades of lipstick. I always travel with at least one coral-ish color that could work with either pink or red as well as one darker, more fall-like color. Currently, these are my favorites: coral & nude.
  2. Neutogena makeup remover wipes.  If you carry lipstick in your bag, especially one that’s a bright color or stain, you should definitely carry these…. just in case.
  3. RXBAR. Whether I’m catching a quick train to a client meeting or need a little snack to get me over my afternoon haze, I love having my Blueberry RXBAR at hand. The consistency is thicker too, so I never worry about having it get broken up in my bag.
  4. Oil blotting sheets. You never know when you’ll need to get rid of a little shine. These are a few of my favorites. This one, this one & this one.
  5. PartySmart Pill. Some say these don’t work at all but I have used them for the past year & my morning-after nausea is always lessened when I take this little guy. All herbal so if nothing else, a vitamin.
  6. Emergen- C. You never know when you’ll start to feel sick & I swear by these when I’m flying.
  7. L’Occitane Hand Lotion. Nine times out of ten, I leave my apartment without lotioning my legs. I love keeping this near for dry hands or legs. I love it because it won’t leave you greasy & isn’t over scented.

What are you guys up to for the weekend? In two weeks, I have a three week span of weddings so I have some preparation for that. Bridesmaids dress alterations, gift shopping, etc.

Cheers

Summer Chickpea Salad

 

This is one of my very favorite recipes, especially in the summer when almost all the ingredients can be picked up at my local farmer’s market. Full disclosure, this is not my own recipe, but reblogged from one of my very fav food blogs, How Sweet Eats. Jessica recommends the salad be enjoyed on bread but I love it so much, I eat it as a lunch salad by itself. It also maintains extremely well in the fridge as I usually make it on Sunday & enjoy throughout the week.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

yields: serves about 4                          total time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need: 

3 cups chickpeas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lime, juiced and zested

The How To:

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. Separately, in a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Check out How Sweet Eats for this recipe & many fantastic others!

Cheers!

What I’m Wearing: Instagram Roundup

Good morning & happy Friday, everyone! I’ve been getting a lot of messages regarding the recent style posts I’ve been posting on Instagram. Would you guys be interested in seeing more style posts? I’ve always shied away from consistent style posts because I truly am a little camera shy but love sharing, especially when it comes to clothes & accessories.

button up // pants (on sale!) // backpack // lip color is Candy K (pencil only)

palm babydoll top** // jeans

**more palm print perfection here

This is by far the most requested outfit. I wore this ensemble to Dave’s brother’s wedding a few weekends ago. A chic alternative to a dress & so comfortable to dance the night away. I love this outfit so much that you may see it reappear in some of our engagement photos.

top // skirt // heels (on sale) // vintage clutch (similar here) // lip color is Candy K (pencil only)

button up // jeans // heels // bag // sunnies // lipstick is Mac Red

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for the weekend, which, thankfully, for me began last evening! This morning I flew to Chicago to celebrate one of my very best friend’s bachelorette. We have a fun filled weekend planned which I’ll be sharing upon my return. As always, feel free to follow along via the gram!

Cheers,

Viñales Itinerary

My excursion to Viñales was one for the books. Viñales was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and is almost completely undisturbed beyond the city limits. Knowing there were so many activities we wanted to accomplish, we booked a private tour with Discover Viñales Tour Company. We were picked up by our driver early in the morning in Havana and departed for our two hour drive. Once in Viñales, we picked up our guide, Yaniel and headed toward the Indian Caves. We walked through the caves to the boat that guided us through the remaining cave. 

After the caves, we headed toward a tobacco field, sorting house and paid a visit to Rene, an expert tobacco farmers who’s been rolling organic cigars for over 50 years!

After the tobacco field tour, we had lunch at an organic farm overlooking the most picturesque valley. The meal was the freshest meal I’ve ever had, as we walked up the to the restaurant, we saw farmers pulling fresh vegetables from the ground. Talk about farm to table.

the view wasn’t too bad either

After lunch we visited the prehistoric mural and rode horses through the Silent Valley. 

I can’t recommend visiting Viñales enough and booking a tour with Yaniel through Discover Vinales. This city is the most undisturbed, beautiful area I’ve ever seen.

Cheers,