Giveaway with S.Lynch Knitwear

So excited to have teamed up with Samantha of S.Lynch Knitwear for a great giveaway over on our Instagrams. Winner will receive a pair of her cozy Fair Isle Mittens and a set of our Hand-Etched Snowflake Ornaments. Head on over to my Instagram for details and to enter - just look for the post with these photos - good luck!

Giveaway with S.Lynch Knitwear and Birch Landing Home!
Giveaway with S.Lynch Knitwear and Birch Landing Home!

Giveaway ends 12/14/18.

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Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

As a native New Englander, I definitely have a soft spot for nautical decor. After all, when we redid our older daughter’s room a few years ago, we gave it a Cape Cod theme! And you can’t get much more nautical than a painted buoy - it just adds that quintessential New England touch. That’s why I was so excited to find The Lost Buoy on Instagram and give our space some nautical flair.
| This post contains an honest review of product provided by The Lost Buoy |

Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

The Lost Buoy was started by Katie, who grew up in coastal Massachusetts and has many fond memories of beaches, lobster shacks, and exploring in her grandparents old Ford woody station wagon (really, does it get more New England than that?). Katie has turned all these memories and charm into a great line of coastal-inspired decor, clothing, paper goods, and even wedding accents.

Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

Katie was kind enough to send me one of her iconic Striped Lobster Buoys to add some nautical flair to our home. These lightweight, hand-painted buoys are cute in every room but I think I settled on having it add some coastal charm to our door for the holiday - there’s just something about Christmas greens and red lobsters - you can’t go wrong!

The Lost Buoy offers lots of great designs on their Decorative Buoys too - from different New England places, to nautical elements, and even custom color buoys to show your school spirit. And the wedding buoys would be perfect for anyone having a beachside ceremony.

The Lost Buoy definitely has something for everyone who loves nautical or preppy style!

Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!
Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!
Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

Keep up with the Lost Buoy


* GIVEAWAY! *

Want a chance to win one of these beautiful buoys for yourself? Head on over to my Instagram for a chance to win a Decorative Buoy of your choice to compliment your home. Just look for this post and follow the directions to enter. Good luck!

  Giveaway ends 12/12/18 at 5PM EST.

Giveaway ends 12/12/18 at 5PM EST.


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Tips for Perfect Christmas Cookies + Boston Family Entertainment Giveaway!

Christmas is right around the corner and boy has it sneaked up fast! It’s always hard coming up with gift ideas for family and friends… but these days we’re personally trying to cut back on the amount of “stuff” we buy and give, and focus more on homemade items and experiences for gifts. What better gift than something made with love and the opportunity to create lasting memories? Read on for my tips to make the Perfect Christmas Cookies and then be sure to enter the amazing Boston Family Entertainment Giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win some spectacular tickets to Boston-area events!
| This post is sponsored and contains affiliate links |

Tips for Perfect Christmas Cookies + Giveaway!

5 Tips for Perfect Christmas Cookies

Sift

Make sure to sift all your dry ingredients. Doing this breaks up any clumps of flour or baking soda, combines everything evenly, and helps make your cookies light and fluffy.

Parchment Paper

Always line your cookie sheet with parchment paper, this is key to getting the cookie bottoms that perfect light golden brown. If you're planning on doing several batches of cookies make sure to round the corners of the parchment with some scissors first, as the sharp corners of the paper can start to burn after a few times in the oven.

Cookie Scoop

A cookie scoop is probably one of the best little investments you'll make in the kitchen and I don't know how I ever lived without mine. Using a cookie scoop ensures you get uniform-sized cookies every time and makes the whole process of getting your cookies ready for the oven go so much faster.

Time

Always bake your cookies for the lower suggested time.  Cookies that are just cooked all the way through make for the softest, chewiest cookies.  If they aren't cooked in the middle yet you can always put them back in for another minute or two, but it's best to start with the lowest time.  

Your Secret Weapon - the "Bread Trick"

Accidentally over-cook the cookies?  Forget to cover them on the counter?  Believe it or not, the magical solution for over-cooked or stale cookies is just a slice of sandwich bread and a big ziplock.  Put all the cookies in a gallon ziplock bag, throw in a slice of bread, seal, and leave for a few hours - the cookies will get softer as the bread gets staler.  Magic!  


Boston Family Entertainment Giveaway
There is so much to see and do for families visiting Boston. We have an amazing Boston Family Entertainment Package that will mean loads of family fun for one lucky winner! Get those Perfect Christmas Cookies Ready! Today's giveaway has been brought to you by the following sponsors: This holiday season, consider experience such as tickets to a show, museum passes or a gift certificate for other fun family entertainment. Experience gifts are a great way to help families create lasting memories.

Ultimate Boston Family Entertainment Package

One lucky winner is going to receive the Ultimate Boston Entertainment Giveaway Package that includes:
  • (4) tickets to Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston (every weekend in Dec.)
  • (4) tickets to Blue Man Group (to be used after Jan. 1st)
  • (4) tickets to American Girl LIVE, a new musical featuring the iconic American Girl characters playing at the Boch Center, Feb. 22-24 (for Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 pm)
  • (4) tickets to Archery Games Boston (can be used anytime)
  • Dinner for 4 at South Street Diner (can be used anytime)

Boston Entertainment Giveaway

Official Rules and Conditions: One winner will receive the Ultimate Boston Entertainment Prize Package. No cash value. Open worldwide to adults 18+. One (1) winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize will be delivered electronically. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Giveaway ends 12/16/2018. Enter using the widget below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Click to Enter More Giveaways

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New England Maker: Away Up North

As you know by now, I love sharing about companies and products we love on the blog and our Instagram - and most especially those made right here in New England.  Next in our series of interviews from New England Makers, we have Glenna Oliver of Away Up North!
| This post contains affiliate links |

New England Maker:  Away Up North

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.

My name is Glenna Oliver and I am married with two grown children, living in the western mountains of Maine. I am the owner and creator of Away up North and enjoy hiking, skiing, camping, and many other outdoor activities that Maine has to offer! At Away Up North I create handmade wool fabric Christmas stockings, decorative pillows, and balsam pillows.

New England Maker:  Glenna Oliver of Away Up North

How did you start Away Up North? Had you been making stockings and pillows for awhile or was this a new leap for you?

To me it seems I have always known how to sew and create. When I had children, I made clothes, doll clothing, and quilts. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year to make gifts for family and friends, including Christmas stockings for my family and then stockings for a friend’s antique shop where she started to sell them.
After being a stay-at-home Mom for twenty-plus years, I was looking for work when my daughter suggested making and selling Christmas stockings on Etsy - that was seven years ago.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am an early riser and do have an exercise routine that helps me keep up with all my outdoor interests and also helps me mentally jumpstart my day. I begin with my work day about 9AM and depending on the time of year, I am either prepping and preparing for my busy season (September through early January) or sewing and making inventory.
During the busy holiday season I am personalizing and completing stockings as the orders come in. Many days you can also find me working on orders well into the evening hours. During the slower times of the year for my business you can find me enjoying the outdoors where I find the inspiration for so many of my designs.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

What is your favorite part about owning your own company? And least favorite part?

I enjoy the flexibility it gives me - I enjoy using my passion to create and also to spend time pursuing my outdoor passions. An unexpected pleasure I have found with the business is watching families grow as returning customers request new stockings to celebrate the new additions in their families (babies, adult children getting married, grandchildren).
My least favorite part is the administrative side of the business - keeping the books and keeping track of numbers. I much prefer creating over numbers!

New England Maker:  Away Up North

What has been the most exciting moment for Away Up North since you started?

In 2013 I was asked to submit a stocking to Downeast Magazine for their Maine Made Gift Guide. When I received the magazine, I saw my Woodland Bear Christmas Stocking on the front cover! I had no idea it would be on the cover! It was a very exciting moment for me. Since then Away Up North has been in other publications and newspapers, but the Downeast Magazine feature was definitely a highlight for me.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Do your research before your begin, but don’t hesitate to take the leap. Surround yourself with resources, not only reading information but good people resources. And always be ready for the “big moment!” No matter how slow it’s going, always create product, always be prepared with photos, samples, and new ideas because you never know when your “big moment” is going to happen.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

What is your long-term goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?

To develop year-round pillow designs and possibly DIY kits for the stockings. Eventually I would also like to develop patterns for all my stocking designs.

Who’s one of your favorite New England Makers?

Alana from A&E Stoneworks! She and her husband Evan make a great product. They make stone cheese boards, coasters, and other products from stone. I love her cheeseboards and her energy! I personally love prodcuts made from stone and natural materials, they compliment the outdoor environment I love and how I enjoy deocrating my own home.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

A note from Away Up North: Items ordered after November 29th will ship in early January, 2019 - but there are currently three designs ready-to-ship available on Amazon with Prime Shipping: Woodland Bear, Woodland Bunny, and Wolf in the Pines.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

- All photos courtesy of Away Up North -


DO YOU OWN A NEW ENGLAND-BASED BUSINESS AND WOULD LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING INTERVIEW?  OR WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN HAVING ME STYLE, REVIEW, AND FEATURE ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS?  
Please drop me a note.  


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An Easy Way to Make Budget Christmas Cards Look Expensive

Looking for a super easy way to dress up your budget Christmas cards?  Emboss the envelopes!  We bought this Embosser on Amazon over seven years ago for our wedding and it’s definitely earned it’s keep. 

The best part is it’s under $20!  This would make a great wedding or engagement gift too.

SHOP: Monogram Embosser (affiliate link)

An Easy Way to Make Budget Christmas Cards Look Expensive
An Easy Way to Make Budget Christmas Cards Look Expensive

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Giving Back 2018

Did you know I donate a percentage of profits from Birch Landing Home (blog + Etsy shop) at year-end?  So every time you place an order or visit my blog that donation gets the chance to grow.  Last year I was able to donate to St. Jude and Susan G. Komen.

I haven’t decided where this year’s donation is going yet so if you have a favorite charity please share!

Giving Tuesday

#givingtuesday #giveback

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Fall Morning at the Lake with Harding Lane

Fall this year has been a crazy weather-wise in New England - it’s rained practically every-other-day for the last two months and we even had a Nor’easter, complete with snow, before Halloween. The weather hasn’t lended to us getting out of the house much lately, so when there was a break in the rain this weekend (finally!) we ran down to the lake to enjoy the quiet docks. | This post contains affiliate links and an honest review of product provided by Harding Lane |

New England Style | Harding Lane

Typically the docks are bustling with boats, people fishing, and kids swimming at the beach nearby, but now that November is here most people have closed up their camps and put the boats away for the winter - leaving the docks and the lake all to ourselves. After a busy summer, it’s nice to enjoy the peace and quiet.

With the cool breeze down by the water, this hat from Harding Lane is the perfect finishing touch. I really love the needlepoint design which makes it so unique. Harding Lane is a Massachusetts-based company with many hats and other accessories to choose from, all with beautifully (and ethically!) made and manufactured needlepoint designs most of which are New England and coastal-inspired.

New England Style | Harding Lane

Another thing that I love about Harding Lane is they give back - donating a percentage of annual profits to The Trustees of Reservations which helps preserve land and cultural treasures of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Giving back and supporting businesses that give back is something I feel is very important. So if you’re looking for the perfect finishing touch to your weekend or everyday look, be sure to check out this wonderful and caring New England-based brand!

New England Style | Harding Lane
New England Style | Harding Lane

Shop my Outfit:

- This post contains an honest review of product provided by Harding Lane but all opinions expressed are my own.  Please see our full Disclosure Policy for more information -   

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New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

As you know by now, I love sharing about companies and products we love on the blog and our Instagram - and most especially those made right here in New England.  Next in our series of interviews from New England Makers, we have Kristina Grabarz of Two Little Beans & Co!   

New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

Two Little Beans & Co. is best known for their beautiful bibs, booties, and apparel for babies and small children - and especially their Maine/coastal-inspired designs!

Tell me a little about yourself and your business.

I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Biology. A few years after graduating, I moved back to Maine with my husband and worked in a Microbiology lab for almost 7 years. Shortly after the birth of my second son, I transitioned to being a full time stay at home mom. I’ve always been a creative and around this time sewing grew into the perfect creative outlet for me. Two Little Beans & Co. specializes in handcrafted goods for baby, including baby booties, bibs and apparel.

New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

How did you start Two Little Beans & Co.? Had you been making baby goods for awhile or was this a new leap for you?

When both of my boys were babies, I sewed quilts and blankets for them. When my youngest was little, I took a real need to find him a pair of shoes that fit (and stayed on) and developed the pattern for our booties. The current pattern is based off of his feet and I was able to design the booties to grow with him with a non-slip soft sole to help when he eventually started walking. I started to make them as gifts for family and friends and was encouraged to turn this into a business!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Each day is a little bit different depending on if my boys are in school or not. There are three days that they are both in school and those days start with getting out of the house early for school drop-offs and running back home to work. I try to get as much as possible done during those days so that the remainder of the week can be a little less chaotic (haha!). Depending on the week, it’s finding a few minutes whenever I can find it, always keeping my fingers crossed for a good nap out of my littlest one!

New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

What is your favorite part about owning your own company? And least favorite part?

I will always love seeing a new baby wearing a pair of booties or outfit that I’ve made. It’s so special that customers believe in the quality and designs of my products enough to dress their baby in them.

My least favorite part is probably all of the behind the scenes bookkeeping and paperwork that goes into running your own business. I don’t mind working on the numbers but I would much rather be picking out new fabric!

New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

What has been the most exciting moment for Two Little Beans & Co. since you started?

It’s been so surreal to have my products featured in a few local magazines and newspapers but when Michael Phelps posted a picture of his son Boomer on his first Christmas wearing my lobster bib – that was definitely exciting to see!

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

I have a quote hanging on my sewing machine that says “nothing in this world is created without passion” and I truly believe that if you love something and put your mind to it, you can accomplish it (with a BIG side of hard work!). I would also say, learn everything you can about what it is you want to do. I went into this with zero experience or knowledge about business. I do a ton of reading, listening to business podcasts and researching every aspect of running a small business.

New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

What is your long-term goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?

I definitely plan to continue to grow this business over the next five years. Our booties and bibs continue to be the most popular pieces and I want to expand those options but I’ve also been working on some nursery décor items that I would love to put out there over the next year or so. I’ve also brought on another Mom to help part-time with production, which means I can work to continue to expand the wholesale side of Two Little Beans too.

Who’s one of your favorite New England Makers?

Erin Flett – Love her bright, bold colors and designs!

Keep Up with Two Little Beans & Co.!

New England Maker: Two Little Beans & Co.

All photos courtesy of Two Little Beans & Co.


DO YOU OWN A NEW ENGLAND-BASED BUSINESS AND WOULD LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING INTERVIEW?  OR WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN HAVING ME STYLE, REVIEW, AND FEATURE ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS?  
Please drop me a note.  


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