Our first family getaway to Portland, Maine: Where we beached, shopped, dined and stayed with our 3-month old
Jake and I decided to head up to Maine for the fourth of July and spend some time away from the city for our 2nd Anniversary. Jake spent his childhood summers in Wells and we spent the days following our wedding in Kennebunkport and Portland two summers ago. So needless to say, we love Maine. If you've never been, it's a quick drive from Boston, you don't have to fight Cape traffic and it's a beautiful state with a generous coastline. Portland especially has some great food and to me, Maine is everything New England. This is by no means to full guide—just my recommendations for a couple days in Portland.
Going to Portland was our first out-of-state, over-night trip with the baby! Nikko is now 15 weeks and at this point, very alert and curious! He is also somewhat on a schedule so we felt like we could explore the city without being overwhelmed or stop often for frequent feedings. We packed up our essentials, creature comforts and just a couple outfits, and were on the road by 8am Monday morning. In case your wondering, Nikko's creature comforts: Fischer-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play, Dohm Sound Machine and his Angel Dear Lovie Blankie—the three main things he needs to fall asleep!
We made it up without a stop and decided to head straight for the beach! Jake had mapped out a couple spots for us to check out including a beach just south of Portland, Crescent Beach, in Cape Elizabeth. Nikko's first beach experience was a success (yay!) and besides the ice cold water, he loved dipping his toes in the sand! The next 48 hours would be the perfect mini getaway hitting up our favorite shops (coffee included), discovering some new views of the ocean and eating at some of our favorites . . . all at our own pace.
Here's our 2-day trip and the places I'd love to share:
8:00a Portland bound!
10:00a First stop: Crescent Beach State Park (ample parking, per person admissions, kids under 5 are free at all Maine State Parks, nice facilities) In preparation for Nikko's first beach trip, I snagged an inexpensive beach tent on sale at Target and a little hat (also on sale) at Janie & Jack. I had found this Honest Co. swim diaper at Marshalls a while back and a long sleeve cover by Tea for 50% off at Mockingbird—all great things I'm glad we had for the babe!
1:30p By this time we had caught some rays and our stomachs were calling for lunch—lobster to be exact. We had a couple recommendations for lobster rolls in Cape Elizabeth and ended up choosing Bite Into Maine Truck at Fort Williams Park. The recommendation did not disappoint! These lobster rolls were hands down the best lobster rolls I've ever had. Order from five equally delicious styles and take your lobster-filled tray and find yourself a picnic bench under the old trees or walk the cliff. You'll get a great view of the coast. P.S. The hubby stood in the moderate to long time while Nikko finished his nap and fed. He's the best.
3:00p We headed downtown and checked in at The Press Hotel, an Autograph Hotel by Marriott. The staff was friendly and took notice of the screaming baby in the back seat. At last, we settled into our room and took a family nap.
6:00p What next? Shops on Exchange: You'll find the most adorable clothes, accessories and gifts at Little and you'll hop over to Bliss Boutique (same owners) for something for you!
7:00p It wasn't too long before our bellies were rumbling again. Eventide Oyster Co.'s wait was unrealistic with Nikko so we popped over next door to Honey Paw and they took us in 15 minutes. The food was amazing. The dishes were sweet, spicy and delicious and the service was great. And since we had been to Eventide before, I was glad we had dinner here.
8:15p Since we declined the dessert menu at Honey Paw, we grabbed a ice cream cone on our way back to the hotel but detoured towards the wharfs for a quiet stroll before hitting the sack for a decent bedtime.
9:15a Jake requested to take a walk around the block before sitting for breakfast . . .
9:45a We decided to try breakfast at Union, The Press Hotel's restaurant by Chef Josh Berry. It was great. I loved it's interior and the menu had a little bit of everything. We often take turns holding Nikko when we're out eating to give the other some time to enjoy their meal. This works for us and we like that we get to interact with him vs. being in his Bjorn or car seat all the time.
11:15a Jake walked with Nikko to get a coffee at Bard Coffee while I hit up Blanche & Mimi across the street. Blanche & Mimi is one of my favorites. It's a great little shop around the corner from The Press Hotel packed with Brimfield finds combined with new product, great gifts, home accents and a sweet little baby corner in the back. I picked up some antique silverware, two Go Gently Nation pieces for Nikko, a candle and hook for our kitchen. They also have reclaimed light fixtures from boats which were awesome and great for bathrooms!
12:45p We hopped in the car and took a short drive south to Scarborough Beach State Park (parking, admissions, life guards, snacks, out houses) which proved to be another great beach! We ended up meeting a sweet women who had met her husband on the beach over 30 years ago who's the head lifeguard.
5:00p We headed back to the city and b-lined it forEventide Oyster Co. for a late lunch / early dinner. The oysters are a must but Jake was craving a burger and my taste buds were craving a fish sandwich. This was maybe the second time (if not the first) I've ever ordered fried fish on a bun but it was delicious! We also shared the asparagus salad and clam chowder—one of the best we've ever had. Light, tasty, whole clams, a piece of thick cut bacon and seaweed for a little added flavor. We opted for their ice cream sandwich to-go and enjoyed it in the hotel room while we chilled out and Nikko took his record-breaking nap (10 hours!)
8:30p After a little downtime and washing up, we walked to Eastern Promenade along the north coast of Portland's East End where they were having a fourth of July celebration . . . food, music and fireworks at 9:45. It was the perfect night. We arrived sans a blanket but the beautiful view of the inlet, all the twinkling lights of the boats that had pulled in for the show along with the sounds of the Portland Symphony Orchestra were enough to keep all of us happy! Surprisingly, Nikko slept through entire thing—a very explosive fireworks show and all! Note: He's a pretty light sleeper and wakes up bright-eyed for just about anything.
10:30p We headed back to the hotel and enjoyed the evening in their cozy lobby, typed a letter on their old typewriter, and called it a night!
8:45a With not much time before we had to get back to the city, we decided to have breakfast again at The Press Hotel's restaurant, Union. It was good, easy, and convenient, so why not? I highly recommend the detox smoothie and red flannel hash with beets—delicious! Of course you should order the avocado toast, vanilla brioche french toast and the smoothie bowl, too! Another suggestion for breakfast is Hot Suppa down Congress Street.
9:45a By mid morning, we had the car packed and ready to go. I popped into Folly 101, a store I had never been to (also a block from The Press Hotel) and grabbed some last minute finds. A great shop for kitchen wares, linens, gifts and home storage pieces. Then we quickly walked over back to Bard Coffee so Jake could get his decaf ice latte for the road!
Of course we wanted to stay . . . "Another beach day?" I asked Jake. Not in the cards for us this time but we left very content and happy that our first mini getaway with Nikko was smooth sailing.
OK. Yes, we got lucky. Very lucky. Nikko was awesome. He either slept in the car, in his car seat or in our arms while we were out. He took lots of cat naps at the beach and we fed him when it was time. If you're wondering how we did it, I'm nursing in the morning (first feeding of the day) and only pumping twice a day now. And while we waited for our table at Eventide on Day 2, we (and by "we" I mean Jake!) fed Nikko in the car. It worked out perfectly. Otherwise we were feeding him at dinner or at the beach or in the parking lot. He's on a 4 to 5 hour feeding schedule drinking 4.5 to 5 ounces. And we are pretty rigid about it so that we can go about life and plan ahead for his feedings. It's given us some freedom and allowed us to feel in control.
Happy Summer! Would love to hear your travel stories with or without babes!
MORE shopPING & EATING
In addition to what I've mentioned above . . . Portland Dry Goods, K. Colette, More & Co., Shift, Judith, Bliss Boutique, Maps (where they serve grilled cheese, beer and cake!), The Holy Donut, Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, Central Provisions (for the craft brew drinkers, Duckfat, Hot Suppa, Two Lights Lobster Shack
Step-by-step guide to wrapping with a furoshiki or Everyday Dinner Napkin
Cloth wrapping has been used for over 1200 years in Japan and the word furoshiki came about during the Edo period (1603-1868) when cloths were often used in bath houses to wrap clothes and also used as a bath mat. The word furoshiki means 'bath spread'. Over time, they were great for a multitude of uses. Today, furoshikis are often used to wrap gifts.
Our Everyday Dinner Napkins can also be used to wrap small gifts. It's an eco way to wrap small gifts and presents using fabric. This wrapping is paperless and can be reused by the receiver of the gift. And hello, they get an Everyday Napkin too!
There are many easy ways to wrap all size objects with a forushiki. We'll be showing you how to fold "otsukai tsutsumi" (お使い包み), the basic carry wrap using our Blue Yarn-Dyed, Everyday Dinner Napkin. Traditionally, both the color and the printed design on the furoshiki is meaningful—choose a piece of fabric or Everyday Napkin that fits the occasion!
Place the gift in the center of furoshiki. You'll want to make sure that the object you are wrapping is one third or less of your furoshikis diagonal length. A box is best for this style of wrapping.
Pull one corner over the object snuggly with the tail coming around the opposite side of the box. Take the opposite corner and overlap it in the opposite direction.
With two opposite corners left, fold the sides of the fabric inward and up towards the top of the box. This takes some practice as you want these two sides as flat as possible. Because the material may bunch, fold the fabric inwards just enough to match the width of the object. Repeat on the opposite side.
Once both sides are folded up, turn the box so that you can easily pinch a tail in each hand.
Tie the two tails into a single knot keeping the sides taught and smooth along the box. Pull your knot tightly in a diagonal direction. You may want to clean up any unwanted bumps or folds. You can also gently pull on the second corner you folded over the box in step 2 that is now under your knot.
Small wrapped gifts of gratitude make great party favors. Tuck a note or card under the knot to secure it in place.
Thin, stiffer fabrics with a little structure work better with this wrapping style than loose or stretchy ones.
Homemade Masala Chai Recipe by Uncommon Feasts
I love a good hot chai, especially on a day like today when it's cool, rainy and raw. By the way, where's Spring?
The spices and flavor of a great chai bring warmth and comfort to any hectic (or rainy!) day. For our son Nikko's Baby Shower (recently featured on Style Me Pretty Living) our caterer Michelle Mulford of Uncommon Feasts served up her delicious homemade chai to our guests. It was the perfect alternative to the expected and blah coffee or tea. We served it up in hand-thrown ceramic mugs by our friend and local potter, Jeremy Ogusky. Needless to say, one of my favorite details of our special day that Michelle and I wanted to share with all of you!
Scroll for her recipe!
What you'll need . . .
6 whole cloves
3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves-preferably fresh
2 tablespoons Assam black tea or better yet if you’re near an Indian store pop in and see if they have Taj Mahal tea (remove tea from bags)
2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
How to make it . . .
1. Grind cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves and tea in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or by hand using a mortar and pestle.
2. Add ground mixture to a medium size pot and add all remaining ingredients
3. Set over medium heat and cook until you start to see wisps of steam
4. Bring to boil while stirring constantly
5. Reduce heat and allow chai to simmer for 10 minutes
6. Remove from heat, cover and, steep for 20 minutes
7. Strain using a fine mesh strainer or pass through a strainer lined with cheese cloth
8. Sip and enjoy in your favorite mug
Springtime linens with Edible Boston
We are so thrilled (and lucky!) to be included in two stories of the current Edible Boston Spring issue!
Not too bulky and just the right size, our Everyday Napkins are perfect for day-trips, outings and picnics with friends and family. So, I couldn't be more excited that Edible Boston has chosen to feature our 7" linen napkins in 'Welcome Spring with a Picnic' featuring recipes from Leigh Belanger and a short list of Boston picnic spots to try out!
The second story is Sunday Poaching by our friend, chef Michelle Mulford of Uncommon Feasts. I love that Michelle uses Sundays to regroup with her family and gather over a simple and unfussy meal she's taken only a little time to prep. "Your only task is to assemble ingredients carefully," says Michelle. We're big fans of Michelle's weekend food delivery (yes, a home-cooked meal delivered to your home!) and she's a fan of our dinner napkins for her catered feasts, as well as our hand towels in her kitchen!
Check out these beautiful photos styled by Catrine Kelty and shot by Michael Piazza that included our Everyday Napkins & Hand Towel . . . and of course these delicious recipes too! Grab your issue for the full story or head over to Edible Boston for all the great recipes in these two features and more.
OLIVES POACHED IN WINE AND LEMON BY MICHELLE MULFORD
FEATURING OUR RED CHAMBRAY HAND TOWEL
TOP 10 COCKTAIL RECIPES FEATURING THE EVERYDAY CO. & $5 off our new coaster sets
Happy Thursday! Cocktails will kick off our newest series of our favorite Instagram photos by fans, bloggers and brands. As you day dream about what your weekend will look like, check out our round up of our Everyday Napkins beautifully paired with these delicious cocktails—recipes included!
Pair your drink with our Everyday Coasters (cut from our remnants) and you have a party on your hands! Want them? Enjoy $5 off all of our new coaster sets today thru Saturday (May 20, 2017) using code: SIP5OFF at checkout!
Enjoy & Cheers!
Want to be featured?
Tag us in your Instagram posts and hashtag #theeverydaynapkin or #theeverydayco.
Excited to share that Nikko's Baby Shower was recently featured on one of our favorite blogs, Style Me Pretty Living! With Nikko's shower being inspired by the origin of his name, Japan, we created a casual open house baby shower filled with special details. From the uniquely crafted sweet and savory spread for our guests (by Uncommon Feasts), to the most beautiful two-tier almond and chocolate cake by my friend and baker, Mayflour Confections, the day couldn't have been more perfect for our growing family. We were showered with all the love and support we could have ever imagined from our closest friends and family who got to paint small wood blocks for Nikko's toy box.
Here are some of my favorite shots featuring our cloth goods including custom made Everyday Napkins and our Dinner Napkins used as furoshikis for boxes of homemade, locally-made gluten-free granola by The Yellow Plum—the perfect little favor!
View all my favorite moments and our full story over at Style Me Pretty Living.
Photography by Elizabeth LaDuca
Spring is here, which means Easter is just around the corner! If there's an Easter Bunny in your family, and you’re hoping to create fun and unique baskets for your family or friends, we’re here to share some inspiration and our take on unique, easy Easter baskets!
We’ve curated a selection of small-batch goods from some of our favorite local and small-batch makers, and paired them with our cloth, linen goods. From wee little ones to your mom to your best friend, we’re sure these delicious and thoughtful gifts will create memorable and inspiring Easter baskets for those you love!
SWEET SPRINGTIME S'MORES
For the gourmand in your life, we think it would be fun to fill one of our signature muslin bags with lots of delicious goodies around a theme. For this example, we decided to package together the ingredients for gourmet s’mores!
Reuse our muslin bag (each order comes in one!) as the "basket"!
Honey Bunnies by EHChocolatier, six for $15.95
Our Everyday Luxe Gray Dinner Napkins, $16.25 each
Marshmallows by our dear friend, Mayflour Confections
Homemade graham crackers made from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe
HOME & GARDEN MAKER
For that plant-loving maker you know---or even just someone without a sweet tooth---we love the idea of filling a wooden box with a plant, shears, and our heavy-duty, Libeco linen Jill Rosenwald Makers Towel!
The Everyday Co. Shears, $8 each
Berry box from WAAM Industries, starting from $32
COOL TREATS FOR KIDS
For the wee little ones in your family with a definite sweet tooth, we’ve pulled together the fixings for a colorful and fun ice cream party! We especially love these natural, real chocolate, plant-dyed sprinkles by Ticings!