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!
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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: 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?  
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New England Maker: Sara Fitz Studio

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 the Sara Fitzgerald O’Brien of Sara Fitz Studio!   

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

Sara Fitz is best known for her beautiful coastal-inspired watercolor prints and stationery. More recently they have expanded to carry fabric and wallpaper as well as home goods such as pillows, plates, and more!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

I'm the mom of two beautiful little boys and the wife of a super sweet guy named Miles. We've been married for almost 11 years.  I'm an artist and designer with a Master's in architecture and minors in visual arts and painting. I've been in the creative industry since about 2007 (on and off around having babies). Our family lives along the coast of Maine and frequents Nantucket Island. I'm constantly inspired by the beauty around me. We spend a lot of time at the beach, exploring seaside towns, and feeling grateful to love where we live. Together with Miles, I own Sara Fitz. Our company is a New England-centric lifestyle brand, launched in 2016.  Sara Fitz incorporates my watercolor illustrations onto a variety of goods; various lines including wallpaper, textiles, gift wrap, and other small-batch collections. The aesthetic of our brand is coastal and clean, yet detailed, colorful... with a bit of whimsy. My goal as an artist is to celebrate those simple everyday things that one comes across when they're in New England, like a vintage life jacket or a vase of hydrangeas. 

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

How did you start Sara Fitz Studio? Had you been making watercolors for a while or was this a new venture for you? How did you make the leap into offering home goods as well?

Back in 2007, prior to having our boys, I founded a custom stationery studio. It was focused solely on weddings and events, and the papers were designed around my watercolor artwork. I very much enjoyed my day-to-day and ran the studio happily for quite a few years.  When I found out we were having our second baby, I decided to take a step back from the industry to soak in all the amazing mama moments. I stayed home full-time with my kiddos (and loved every second, knowing it was a fleeting time). There was always the intent and desire to re-enter the industry in one way or another when the time was right. And Miles and I had dreamed of one day working together -- designing a family business. In 2016, our dream became reality and we officially launched Sara Fitz. In many ways, the company is a rebrand of my original studio, in that we continue to offer custom wedding stationery, as well as our lines of home goods. 

As far as watercolor goes, I've been enjoying the medium for as long as I can remember. Most people think of watercolor as lax and unbound. Funnily enough, what I thrive on is my ability to control it, to give it shape, detail, and crispness. I love the range of color one can achieve, the lightness, and the transparency. There's an authenticity to watercolor that I gravitate toward.

Expanding Sara Fitz into the lifestyle arena came somewhat gradually, but very intentionally. Both Miles and I grew up around interior designers (our moms) and find ourselves drawn to many aspects of design in our daily lives. It felt very natural to branch into collections that encompass what we enjoy most about design: simplicity and color, a coastal casual look. We began by introducing framed art prints and then gift wrap. This past summer we announced lines of wallpaper, textiles, pillows, dishware and a few other fun goods! It's been an exciting road!

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

What does a typical day look like for you?

I tend to be an early riser (when you have little ones, there's not much of a choice!). We start our day at about 6 a.m., taking our time with family breakfast and chatting about the day ahead. The boys head off to school and Miles and I have a quick work meeting to get on the same page. Often I'll spend some time in my studio painting (either a commission project, custom wedding or new design for the brand). I'll likely be on the phone quite a bit, and answering emails. When we're introducing a new product, there's a prototyping period that I really enjoy, including testing out/tweaking designs. Each day looks a bit different, and some are more creative than others, but I love so many aspects of running Sara Fitz and feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to pursue my goals for the company.  

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

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

My favorite part is the creativity... turning my ideas into reality. To see our products used and enjoyed by our clients is so satisfying. It brings me a lot of happiness. It means a lot to me and Miles that our boys can witness our hard work and determination, as well... and they take pride in Sara Fitz. That's quite special for us. 

My least favorite part? I think when you run your own business you want to do all the things. While wonderful, working for yourself can certainly be exhausting and stressful. It is definitely non-stop.  I struggle with feeling like I'm not accomplishing as much as I'd like.  (I'm a perfectionist, for sure -- so keeping that in check can be a challenge).

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

What has been the most exciting moment for Sara Fitz Studio since you started?

Honestly, there have been so many moments since we launched that have felt surreal. We've had the chance to work alongside some very inspiring people, which is always a treat! I'd say our recent home goods launch will stand out to me as an exciting achievement! There was a tremendous amount of effort put in behind the scenes, a team of people coming together, a lot of balls in the air. I'm proud of the direction we're headed.

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

I think the most important thing I'd say is to keep your eyes on your big picture. Remain authentic and true to your vision. I believe it's important to emphasize what makes us unique. Believe in yourself and your ideas and know that everything takes TIME... more time than you'd think, and a ton (a ton) of hard work. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Guidance and advice from others can really go a long way. Roadblocks will happen often, you've just got to stay motivated and push through. 

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

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

We have quite the long to-do list over here! Over the next few years, I'd be thrilled to continue doing what we've been doing, branching into the interior design arena with our product lines,  exploring new designs, and enhancing our existing collections. I love the idea of collaborating with other brands on creative projects and hope to do more of that in the future. Perhaps at some point, we'll have a small flagship shop that represents our brand.

New England Maker:  Sara Fitz

Who’s one of your favorite New England makers?

There are so many talented makers in New England! One that never ceases to inspire me is Erin Flett. You know what she does that I just love so much? She cares. She sincerely cares about encouraging others, putting out positivity, and creating beautiful, happy products. I really appreciate and respect that :)

Sara Fitz Logo

Keep up with Sara Fitz Studio!


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?  
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Our Anniversary Weekend in Acadia National Park

Getting away these days isn’t easy… especially with two small kids and being a self-employed family.  And even more so when the car decides to bite the dust the day before you’re planning to leave (ugh).  But thanks to our wonderful family and a borrowed car, we were still able to make our whirlwind getaway to Acadia National Park to celebrate our seventh(!) wedding anniversary. 
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Watching the boats from downtown Bar Harbor.

Acadia has become one of our favorite places to visit for so many reasons - including the ocean, the views, the hiking trails, and the dark skies. Acadia is one of the best places to find dark sky these days, as the night sky everywhere is becoming more and more “light polluted” by city and town lights. On a clear night in Acadia you’ll see far more stars than you ever could back home. My husband Adrian is an accomplished astrophotographer, and loves capturing the landscape at night, along with the milky way and galaxies. This year our anniversary also coincided with the Acadia Night Sky Festival so it was a perfect excuse to make the trip up there. My favorite part of the whole trip was sitting on Sand Beach Saturday Night, listening to the waves and watching the stars.

 Adrian captured this amazing photo for us to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary!

Adrian captured this amazing photo for us to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary!

The rest of the trip was spent doing some small hikes, taking photos for other projects, and driving around exploring. This time we had a chance to visit the other side of Mt. Desert Island too, and got to see Somes Sound and Bass Harbor Lighthouse. We also spent the night at Blackwoods Campground which is conveniently located in the midst of of the park - we got very lucky getting the second to last campsite available in the entire campground!
On the way home we made sure to stop into Dysart’s Truck Stop for a late breakfast - no trip up the coast of Maine would be complete without a Dysart’s stop! All-in-all we only spent about 36 hours away but we were able to fit in a lot - scroll down to see more photos from the trip.

Happy Anniversary!  At Otter Cove, Acadia National Park
 Blackwoods Campground, Acadia National Park

Blackwoods Campground, Acadia National Park

 Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

 Near Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park

Near Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park

 Otter Cove, Acadia National Park

Otter Cove, Acadia National Park

 The other side of Otter Cove, Acadia National Park

The other side of Otter Cove, Acadia National Park

 Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

 The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain - look how big that cruise ship is compared to downtown Bar Harbor!

The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain - look how big that cruise ship is compared to downtown Bar Harbor!

 Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

 Along Somes Sound, Acadia

Along Somes Sound, Acadia

 The worn stairs at Bass Harbor Lighthouse were so cool!

The worn stairs at Bass Harbor Lighthouse were so cool!

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, MDI
 Bass Harbor Lighthouse, MDI

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, MDI

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, MDI

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New England Maker: Sewcialite

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 Roula Rallis from Sewcialite!   

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

Roula Rallis is the one-woman show behind Sewcialite, a seacoast-based company best known for their gorgeous coastal-inspired creations - all made of rope, fabric, and paint!

Roula Rallis of Sewcialite

Tell me a little about yourself and your business.  

Roula Rallis:  I am a wife, full time IT project manager, and mom of 2 (ages 7 and 4).  Sewcialite is a part time home decor business.  I design baskets, planters, wall baskets, bowls, coasters, and most recently tote bags and clutches using clothesline rope.  All my designs are inspired by the coast and I am a huge fan of modern coastal interior design. 

How did you start Sewcialite?  Had you been making rope baskets for a while or was this a new leap for you?

RR:  Sewcialite began as a hobby and has since turned into a side hustle.  In March of 2017 I decided to make myself a basket for my home and I just fell in love with the design process!  With the support of family & friends I opened my Etsy shop.  And over the past 1.5 years I have continued to refine my designs by weaving them with fabric and hand painting them. 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

RR:  My days are typically very long!  I’m up at 6am packing lunches, orders, sometimes styling and posting products, and getting my kids ready for school!  I drive my youngest to school, I then commute 45 mins to work.  After working all day I am back in mom mode, I help make dinner, give baths, do homework.  But once my kids are in bed the Sewcialite studio opens (my guest bedroom).  My husband has been so very supportive and he does quite a bit of heavy lifting to give me time at night to design!

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

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

RR:  My favorite part is being my own boss!  Having worked for someone else my entire career it’s great to be able to call all the shots. 

The least favorite part is being responsible for everything!  Sometimes I wish I could clone myself!  I’m designing, styling, photographing, advertising, fulfilling orders, blogging, etc. it can get overwhelming at times and I’ve had to learn to say no to be able to balance my full time job with Sewcialite. 

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

What has been the most exciting moment for Sewcialite since you started?

RR:  I’ve been so fortunate to have a few so I can’t choose just one!  I am a HUGE fan of Serena & Lily!  It’s one of my favorite home decor brands!  They have actually liked a few of my social media posts and designs which is mind blowing!  I’ve also been lucky to connect with a few amazing interior design social influencers who I’ve worked with like Jordecor and Coastal Interiors! 

Also getting to meet many of the amazing entrepreneurs I follow on social media in person has also been so exciting and inspiring! 

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

What advice do you have for people just starting out?  

RR:  Be prepared to take risks and work your butt off!  Being an entrepreneur is not easy!  Success does not happen overnight! 

Make sure you have a good support system of family and friends!  They will be crucial for those rough days where you may feel overwhelmed or frustrated! 

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

What is your long-term goal?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

RR:  My long term goal is to continue to slowly grow my social media presence, as it’s been the my primary channel for all of my online sales.  I would also like to design a better/bigger studio space for myself too! 

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

Who's one of your favorite New England Makers?  

RR: I love Watts in Maine she designs the most beautiful jewelry and she works full time. I was lucky enough to meet her in Portland this year!

New England Maker:  Sewcialite

Keep up with Sewcialite!

All photos courtesy of Sewcialite.


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?  
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New England Maker: Wolfeboro Candle Company

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 Carrie Meier from Wolfeboro Candle Company! 

New England Maker:  Wolfeboro Candle Company

Wolfeboro Candle Company is best known for their New Hampshire-inspired wooden wick soy candles. Each scent is developed by Carrie to capture the essence of New Hampshire's diverse regions, and each candle is hand-poured and made by her right here in New Hampshire. Recently Carrie has expanded to offer scented soy wax melts in addition to candles, and will be expanding the candle line in the future.

Tell me a little about yourself and your business. 

Carrie Meier:  I'm a wife, new mom, and creative person living in rural New Hampshire. 

How did you start Wolfeboro Candle Company?  Had you been making candles for a while or was this a new leap for you?

CM:  I started Wolfeboro Candle Co in Spring 2016.  At the time, I owned a small gift shop in downtown Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  I couldn't find exactly what I wanted for the store (locally made wood wick soy candles), so my supportive husband suggested I start making them myself.  I had never made candles before, but I've been a creative person most of my life and decided I would give it a try.  We ordered supplies, wax, and a variety of containers and fragrances to mess with.  After lots of reading, and trial and error, I figured out the best technique for me and the best temperatures for different stages of the candle making process.  Next came figuring out the branding side of it - what do we call ourselves?  What fragrances/blends, and fragrance names will work best for the image we want to create?  Being also on the retail side of the business, I came up with the names and fragrances that I thought would sell best not only in our store, but for potentially other stores in the future.

Wolfeboro Candle Company - candles in progress

What does a typical day look like for you?

CM:  Well a typical day doesn't doesn't necessarily involve making candles (we aren't to that demand - yet!), but I also try to make large batches at a time as the set up, warm up, and clean up processes can add up doing lots of small batches.  In addition to making candles, I have also recently been setting up a new website, updating my Etsy site, creating our new wax melts, and testing out new containers and fragrances for a new line of candles.

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

CM:  I love being able to be creative, with the additional reward of selling a product and having feedback from people who use what I have made.  I suppose if there is a downside to this project, it's moving all the 50 pound boxes of wax around!

  A custom-branded candle - Wolfeboro Candle Company also offers custom scent and label options for buisnesses, wedding favors, and more!

A custom-branded candle - Wolfeboro Candle Company also offers custom scent and label options for buisnesses, wedding favors, and more!

What has been the most exciting moment for Wolfeboro Candle Company since you started?

CM:  I think the most exciting moments are obtaining new retailers, coming up with new products, and receiving positive feedback.  Positive reviews from customers never get old!

Wolfeboro Candle Company at Lupine Home & Gift

What advice do you have for people just starting out? 

CM:  Ask yourself - what are your goals?  If you want to have a side business that is more about an enjoyable hobby that you can profit from, rather than just a job and business, then stick with what you can see yourself doing over and over again but still enjoy.  I say that candle making is both an art and a science, which is what makes it enjoyable for me, in addition to coming up with new ideas and having the ability to add on new products when I'm able to.

What is your long-term goal?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

CM:  I'd like to continue growing the business and make our way into more retailers both in New Hampshire and in neighboring states.  I'm working on a new candle line with a slightly new look, different sizes and fragrances, and that are not based on our state of New Hampshire in order to reach a larger audience. 

Wolfeboro Candle Company

Who are some of your favorite New England Makers? 

CM: Well Birch Landing Home, of course! (Awww, shucks.. thank you!) I'm also a big fan of A&E Stoneworks, Payne & Comfort, Art by Alyssa, Seagate Studio, Beedandy, and Fiber & Water, just to name a few.

Keep up with Wolfeboro Candle Company!  

All photos courtesy of Wolfeboro Candle Company


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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Why I Love New Hampshire - with The Home T

I'm a born and raised New Hampshire-ite.  I love this state and everything it has to offer - from the mountains, to the ocean, to the historical cities and villages - I feel like NH is just the perfect mix of everything and I'm honored to wear my NH pride.  | This post contains affiliate links and features product provided by The Home T |

The Home T - New Hampshire
  Sugar Hill Lupines - by Adrian Pelletier

Sugar Hill Lupines - by Adrian Pelletier

This weekend I was excited to wear my new New Hampshire Home T t-shirt to our annual pilgrimage to the Lupine Festival in sleepy little Sugar Hill, NH. The whole town is sprawling with the colorful blooms and getting up early to drive around and see the flowers (and of course grab some breakfast at the famous Polly's Pancake Parlor) before heading home was a must. I was excited to sport my new shirt to one of our state's fun annual events.

The Home T - New Hampshire
The Home T - New Hampshire
The Home T - New Hampshire

My Home T t-shirt is probably the softest shirt I have by far.  It's super comfortable and perfect for everyday adventures in-state and afar.  The Home T offers shirts, other apparel, and home goods for every US state and some international locations, as well as fun novelty shirts for Disney, regions of the US, sports, and more - and they're made in the USA.    

My favorite part about The Home T? 
They donate 10% of profits to Multiple Sclerosis research.  I love any company that makes it a priority to give back and the Home T does just that.  

I got plenty of compliments on my NH Home T shirt on our Lupine Festival adventure and I know this super-comfy shirt will be on regular rotation for my day-to-day wardrobe from now on.  

The Home T - New Hampshire
The Home T - New Hampshire

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Create a Tick Removal Kit to Help Protect Your Family

Living in the Northeast, ticks have just been awful the last few years and it seems as though you can't enjoy the outdoors anymore without finding one.  It's so important to protect yourself and family from getting a tick in the first place (if you want to read more on my tips to keep ticks at bay, check out my previous post "Safeguarding Against TICKS").  But in the event you unfortunately get one on you, you need to be prepared so you can remove that awful thing ASAP.  By having a Tick Kit handy, you'll be able to remove the tick quickly and safely and hopefully lessen your chances of catching a tick-borne illness. 
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Create a Tick Kit & Help Protect Your Family

I recommend putting together several tick removal kits and keeping them handy at all times - keep one at home, one in the car, and one in your hiking bag for outdoor trips or diaper bag for playground excursions.  That way if you're out and about and find one on you or your family you can safely remove it and document it, ready for testing purposes.  

What to Include in your TICK REMOVAL KIT:  

Items for a Tick Kit

If you unfortunately get a tick attached to you, safely remove it immediately to help reduce your exposure to tick borne illnesses.  Use the alcohol wipes to cleanse the area where the tick was removed as well as wipe down the tick spoon after removal. 

How to record a tick bite.

It's important to keep the tick itself - as well as note when and where it was located and any other information about the situation (if the tick was engorged, your best guess at how long it could have been attached, etc).  Tape the tick to an index card and use your pen to record all of this information, then place in an empty ziplock bag - feel free to double bag it if you want.  Then call your doctor right away for advice on any precautions you may need to take, or if he wants to order to get the tick tested.   

Whether or not you get the tick tested (either by your doctor or privately), make sure to also report your tick bite to TickEncounters. TickEncounters is a program run by the University of Rhode Island, recording and monitoring trends and information regarding tick bites. Your information is important to their research, so make sure to report it. They can also help advise you about how to get the tick tested for your peace of mind in the event your doctor's office doesn't do it.

Related posts:  

How to record and save a tick for testing.

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT an expert or medical professional.  These are tips and information I've learned over the years living in a tick-prone area.  Always check with your own doctor and local experts for the best prevention and treatment plans for yourself and your family.  Discuss with your doctor ahead of time what to do in the event of a tick bite (and I hope you never need to use that information).  Stay vigilant and stay safe!  

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