Portland, Maine!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sometime in January, when the winter blues were especially strong, Brian suggested we plan a trip to Maine for the summer. I (always dreaming of summer, never one to turn down a vacation) happily obliged even though I knew we'd be going on out of town a month prior, too (had to keep up the surprise act, you know?). So, last week, we headed to the East Coast for five days to fill up on fresh seafood and long hikes, two of my favorite things.

If you've read a travel post on here before, you know that Brian and I are always good for a snafu (losing hundreds of dollars in France, all of our documents in Italy, only form of identification in Puerto Rico, the one document you need to leave Mexico in Mexico... do you need more examples?), but we're getting better (I bought B this funny pouch for our two-year cotton anniversary). And the one on this trip was mostly just funny. We arrived to our hotel in Boston after midnight. We parked the car, grabbed our suitcases and walked in. The man at the front desk couldn't find our reservation ... I assumed Brian had meant to but forgotten to book the hotel. He said he was certain he had. I stood back while he searched his phone and found the confirmation. "Gotcha!" we thought. Turns out we were at the wrong hotel... ha! 

We flew into Boston on Wednesday night and drove to Portland on Thursday morning. The first thing we did, before checking into our Airbnb, was get a lobster roll from Portland Lobster Company. We didn't do any research for this trip and went solely off recommendations from friends, and this one, rightfully so, appeared on many lists.


We rented a cute little Airbnb in the East End, and it was the perfect location for long afternoon walks. The peninsula is just three miles long, so walking end to end is easy.

On our first night we grabbed a bottle of wine and drove to Cape Elizabeth to watch the sunset from Kettle Cove. We ate dinner at The Good Table, asked for dessert to go and sat by the water drinking our wine, eating strawberry pie. I mentioned a few weeks ago that things have been especially busy for us lately, and this moment is exactly what we needed.

The next morning we woke up early and went to The Holy Donut for some of the most delicious donuts we've ever had. They're potato-based (so, good for you?) and so, so delicious. We hit the road to Acadia National Park after that. We were initially on the fence about going (it's a six hour drive round-trip, felt like too much for one day), but so glad we did. Definitely a highlight from the trip.

A certified scaredy cat, I'm always nervous before we start hikes but feel accomplished after. Our favorite at Acadia was The Beehive Loop Trail, which wasn't as steep or scary as the Internet made it out to be.

To reward ourselves after a long day of hikes we got food and drinks at Beal's Lobster Pier in Bar Harbor. We were starving and exhausted.  I was mesmerized by all the menu options. And, I felt bad, we plopped our sweaty selves down right next to a wedding reception. 

Still hungry after, we loaded up on ice cream at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream because their blueberry ice cream was on too many lists to pass up. 

The most delicious lobster we ate was at this food truck at Fort Williams Park. I'm glad Brian wore his lobster shirt for this one because it was definitely the most deserving. 

It rained hard one afternoon, so we tucked into Urban Farm Fermentory, where I had a kombucha and cider flight (have to be honest, the seaweed cider was one of the worst things I've ever tasted. Oof. But the rose kombucha one of the best). We played games for a few hours, including Would You Rather? which is funny because I had just mentioned in my anniversary post how playing this game with B used to be a stressor for me. 

Whoopie pies allegedly started in Maine, so I knew I had to get one and grabbed one at Two Fat Cats. It was warm, and perfect, and I could have had a dozen more. 

That night we ate dinner at Duck Fat, which was remarkable.

I wasn't feeling great, and there was a long wait. When our name was called around 8:45, we were given a table outside, and it was dark and chilly. Brian insisted we wait for the next indoor table because I'd be cold, but I was already starving (hangry, you could say). I was bummed that a highly praised restaurant was going to be a dud for us, but it ended up being perfect. We ordered drinks and the duck poutine fries, savored them slowly before ordering our main courses. Somewhere in there a couple that was feuding sat next to us, and I took it upon myself to sit embarrassingly close to them and help fix their relationship. We were there until closing and laughed so hard on the way home about the whole interaction and the thoughts we'd each had when interacting with them. The food was amazing, and the night was one to remember. The next day we ran into that same couple (still feuding) at a brewery! This time I kept my distance. I don't think their problems can be fixed. Not by us, at least. 

A delicious breakfast at Dutch's and then flights at Allagash before visiting Portland Head Light.

On our last night, we had a low-key dinner at a vegetarian Thai restaurant down the street from our Airbnb. We were contemplating dessert there or somewhere else when Brian suggested we try to squeeze in Fore Street. I'm so glad we did, and we might be back to Portland just to eat there again. There's a reason why it's award-winning and been around for 20 years. Sitting at the bar is a true joy, and their seasonal menu (changes daily) felt so fresh.

Before heading back to Boston we had to squeeze in one last round of donuts :)

We're super into Cheers and have been watching it from the beginning on Netflix — it's so funny (not Friends funny, though ;). We originally wanted to finish all 275 episodes before this trip, but we're not even close... still, a highlight (and bucket-list item) was going to the very touristy Cheers restaurant in Boston. It was unbelievably kitschy, and we didn't think the set bar was very accurate, but it was still a dream come true.

We had such an incredible, relaxing trip and can't wait to go back to Portland (and Boston!) one day.

Have you been to Portland (or do you live there)? What else would you add? Lots of love and thanks so much for reading. xoxo

Summer Berry Crisp

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Next week is Fourth of July (slow down, summer!!!), and we're planning on totally kicking back. Growing up, we spent most of our summers abroad, so I was rarely home for the holiday (which led to grudges with my parents I swore I'd never let go — you're robbing me from an American childhood — the list of things I have to apologize for isn't short) and since working, we've often gone on vacation that week to take advantage of the day we already have away from the office. But, here we are. Independence Day 2018. No plans. I asked Brian what he wanted to do on our way home from the airport Monday, and he glared at me. Got it, no plans. Maybe we'll ride bikes. Maybe we'll invite some of our friends from around the world to celebrate America on our little patio. Maybe we'll watch Stepbrothers for the tenth time this week. What we will do is eat this perfect berry crisp out of the perfect red Kate Spade pie dish while drinking something equally fruity or bubbly and getting ginormous mosquito bites that will keep us up for nights. That we will do.

This berry crisp has become a household staple, and I'm  proud of that. First, because it's good for you (other than a bit of maple syrup, which, is that even bad for you, it's all the healthy stuff). While Brian and I are both fueled by excessive sugar, we surprisingly crave this. Second, we always have the ingredients on hand, so it can be whipped up at any time, and because of that has become what we always seem to take to impromptu dinners with friends (proof). Last, I can make it with my eyes closed. And that's real adulting type stuff to me. I've never seen my mom follow a recipe, so there's a long road ahead, but I aspire to make things that taste good off the top of my head, and this berry crisp checks that box (on the other hand, we eat the same weekday meals again and again, and I look them up again and again).

So, this is delicious. And it'll be the center of our very chill Fourth of July. But, with patriotic berries, napkins and pie dish, it'll be festive, relaxing, and not everything my middle-school self dreamed of but everything my nearly-30 self does.

4 cups berries
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup pecans (or walnuts)
½ cup almond meal (or ¼ cup almond meal and ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes)
¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup olive oil (or coconut oil)

Pour the berries into a baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients with a fork, and then pour it over the berries.

Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, or until just a little brown. If you’re waiting for a deep rich brown, you’ll be waiting forever, so just pull it out when the fruit is bubbling and there’s a little golden color on the crisp.

(This post was sponsored by Wayfair. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

For some reason, although I feel summertime should mean easy times, it's always the most chaotic time of the year at our house (and also the time I put on some extra pounds, never winter, which is also strange). And the past few weeks (although it's technically not even summer yet) have been especially busy. Brian has been swamped at work, back to eating dinner at his cube, and I've taken on some exciting freelance clients and blog collaborations outside of my day job that are keeping me on my toes. On top of work, we'll be out of town a few times the next few weeks, so with all the things on our to-do lists, its been a little nutty. All of this to say, a relaxing weekend in Michigan with my girls and their boys is exactly what I needed, and after last weekend's R&R I'm feeling energized again.

We're all turning 30 this summer (which means we've been friends for almost 19 years!), so the first thing we did on Friday night was eat some Smallcakes to commemorate the occasion. Friends that embrace frosting as fondly as you are very important to have.

On Saturday we hit up the farmer's market to get supplies for dinner and Skyped with our friend Christel, who's living in Germany with her husband and little girl. My brother's in his last summer before college right now, and I feel he's embracing it so much more than we did at his age. I miss the days when we were all a bike ride away from each other. Brian says I obsess over my high school girls and our high school life, but there's just so much love there.

Later we hit up a couple of breweries (Our Brewing Company, Founder's) before heading home to make dinner. I've never been a kid person, but between my old age and my best friends having the squishiest babies, I'm finding myself drawn to their cuteness and the peaceful aura around them.

This guy, on the other hand, has always been a kid person.

We laughed so hard that night, I was still laughing about things that came up days later. I'm as thankful for my relationship with these ladies as their relationship with their men, mine with their men and how well our whole group gets along. I can't wait to see where these friendships go. Like, are we going to have "50" candles in cream cheese brownies in 20 years? :) 

Baby Will did a photoshoot for us before we had brunch and went our separate ways :) What a fun weekend! We've already got the 2019 day in the books, and I'm already counting down the days. Love these friends of mine! 

And tomorrow we're off to Maine! We booked this trip because Brian didn't know we were going to Europe (and I'll never pass up a vacation), but now it kind of creeped up on us! Would love any recommendations on places to see and eat. We're staying in Portland :)

Have a great rest of your week xoxo