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Friday, November 24, 2017

Why You Should Visit Maine in the Winter

visitng maine in the off-season

The first time I visited Maine was at the end of November 2014. At the time I was living in Florida, working at an elementary school and attending college, so my Thanksgiving breaks both aligned perfectly and allowed me to escape to Maine. I had never been to New England at that point and didn't really know what to expect. I also didn't really know what I would end up doing there, as I heard that a lot of businesses close for the winter, and many do-- but there is still a ton to do in Maine during the winter. Most people think to visit Maine in the summer and fall, but here's why you should visit in the winter.

It's practically deserted. Seriously, compared to the crowds that summer brings, Maine is pretty darn empty in the winter and it's so nice. Stores and restaurants aren't packed, traffic isn't bad, and you don't feel like you're suffocating all the time. It's just so peaceful.

Winter sports & snow. Maine has quite a few ski resorts, places to go snowtubing, and of course you could always go snowshoeing around Acadia National Park. If you're from somewhere where snow isn't really a thing, just seeing the snow is pretty awesome.

Christmas! Maine is pretty cute during Christmastime, y'all. You can find some sort of cute, old-fashioned Christmas celebration almost anywhere you go. And to get you started, I already made a list of 10 Christmas 2017 events in Maine.

It's cheaper. Generally speaking, it's much cheaper to visit Maine in the winter. While some bed and breakfasts close during the winter, the ones that stay open for the season slash their rates. And circling back to my first reason, the hotels and B&Bs are usually pretty empty which can be quite nice. Once when we stayed at an empty B&B the owners upgraded us to their biggest room for free!

There's still a lot going on. Remember, people live in Maine during the winter, we gotta stay occupied somehow! You could experience Maine's booming food scene with Maine Restaurant Week, check out the National Toboggan Championship, and many towns have their own Winterfests. Have you ever watched someone carve an ice sculpture with a chainsaw? It's pretty impressive.

western maine mountains

What's your favorite thing to do during the colder months of the year?
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: November Ipsy Glam Bag

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

ipsy november 2017 glam bag This month's Ipsy Glam Bag theme is "all you." As soon as I saw what was coming in my bag, I was a little disappointed. Nothing really excited me except the ColourPop shadow, but you'll read more about that below. But I still tried to keep an open mind about these products.

beauty box subscription review, ipsy review

  1. Lime Crime Iridescent Lip Topper in Lit, $18- This is the first product from Lime Crime that I've ever tried, and although many people still have mixed feelings about this brand, most of what I've seen is very positive. Because of that, I had high hopes for this product. It's a water based product and the color I was sent, Lit, is very sheer pink with tons of gold glitter in it. It's not drying, but also the glitter comes off quite easily. Every aspect of this product reminds me of play makeup for children. The smell, the consistency, and how it looks on my lips. I very, very rarely do glittery lips, so if I ever do use this, it will be for New Year's Eve. I truly don't believe that this product is worth $18. Urban Outfitters sells the mini size for $8 and I don't even think it's worth that. 
  2. 'Tini Beauty Barfly Highlighter in Candlelight, $12- I'm not typically a fan of highlighters that come in cream sticks. This one gives more payoff than others I've tried, but still not really enough for my liking. It's a beautiful color and is great if you like subtle highlights.  
  3. ColourPop Cosmetics Pressed Powder Shadow in Paper Tiger, $4- Ipsters were sent this color, Paper Tiger, or Come and Get It, which is a light metallic pink. Well, I was hoping for the pink shadow but got the matte mustard. What can ya do? This is a perfectly fine color, but it isn't one that I'll wear often and I already have a few matte mustard colored shadows. The mustard shade, Creamsicle, in the Morphe X Jaclyn Hill palette (which I reviewed here) has a lot more color payoff than this one, so I'll probably reach for that palette over this shadow if I want a mustard color.
  4.  IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ in Fair, $38-  As usual, this product is just a wee bit too dark, but I've still been using it. It claims to color correct but I'm not so sure about that. It's a perfectly fine CC cream but the coverage isn't full enough for my liking so I've only been wearing it when I need to get out the door fast or under my foundation.
  5.  OUAI Hair Oil, $28- As soon as I pumped a little bit of this out of the bottle, I was taken aback by the scent. I thought it was gardenia, but it is actually a combination African Galanga, Ama, and Asian Borage. The point is that it smells exactly like gardenia, which I thought was a risky choice for a hair oil. I do like gardenia and gardenia-like scents, but sometimes it can be too floral and overpowering, and sometimes it can easily give me headaches or make a headache worse. Besides that, I think this is a great product, however I don't think it's any better than many other hair oils on the market that are much cheaper.

All in all, this was a pretty underwhelming bag compared to other Glam Bags that I've received. But I've seen some spoilers for the December bag and they have me excited, so I'm not going to cancel my subscription just yet! Honestly though, that was never really on the table, I love Ipsy. Heh.

Have you tried any of these products? Want to try Ipsy? 
Monday, November 20, 2017

Maple Brown Sugar Tofu Sticks

vegan breakfast recipe

I'm typically not a sweet breakfast person, or even a breakfast person for that matter, but I think I've found an exception. I've made these maple brown sugar tofu sticks a couple times recently and I think these will be a new regular for relaxing weekends in my house. These are egg-free yet they remind me a lot of French toast. Before making these, I had never thought to incorporate tofu into a breakfast that wasn't tofu scramble.

These are super easy to make. Just grab Nasoya's Organic Extra Firm Tofu, drain it well, cut it into sticks, roll in melted butter, roll in the mixture, and cook 'em. They got crispy in just a couple minutes. I didn't even press the tofu when I made these and they turned out great. The mixture to coat them with is simply brown sugar, corn meal, and corn starch but I added cinnamon the second time I made them, which I highly recommend.

vegetarian breakfast recipe

I didn't expect to like these, but they're pretty darn good! They sure wouldn't be bad as a side dish or dessert if you're into doing breakfast for dinner. You can find the full recipe and instructions here.

*This post was sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are mine!*
Saturday, November 18, 2017

Life Lately + Link Love #9

fernald's neck preserve, lincolnville maine, camden maine

Life Lately:

The past few weeks have been a bit busy and hectic (as is life). My mom, who I hadn't seen in over a year, came to visit for a week which was great, but we were constantly running around while she was here. Whenever people visit, I want to take them everywhere, so everywhere we went! After that we dealt with a week-long power outage, downed trees keeping us trapped in the house, and trying to catch up on a ton of work. This all happened a while ago and I just now feel like I'm getting sorta caught up.

Other than that, I mentioned in my most recent style post  that I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Shortly after posting that, I was able to shake it off and I've started prepping for Christmas! I promised that I won't decorate the house till after Thanksgiving but it's so difficult to wait. So for now, I've just been dancing around to Christmas music and planning ~content~ for the holiday season. In case you missed it, I already published one Christmas-related post, and many more are coming!

beauchamp point rockport maine
Isn't my mom cute?

Link Love:

  • This post from Annaliese about making new friends in a new place is so helpful! She goes in. Annaliese talks about what she tried to make new friends in a new town, and what worked and what didn't.
  • I know Halloween is well over, but you gotta see how great Robyn looks as The Corpse Bride!
  • Recently Rosie did a roundup of posts she loved from other bloggers, myself included, and I was introduced to some great blogs! Instead of me linking them all here, just go check out Rosie's post. 
  • Sara shared a ton of photos from her recent trip to Maine. They're all so beautiful! 
  • If you're not quite ready to let go of autumn yet, see what Milena got up to recently. More beautiful photos!
  • I recently got another donation on my Ko-Fi page, thanks a million to that kind person! I can't express how much it means to me that people like what I do that much. 

What posts have you loved lately? Link 'em in the comments to spread the love!
Friday, November 17, 2017

Where to Celebrate Christmas in Maine

portland head light christmas maine

The first time that I visited Maine was around Christmastime in 2014, then I moved here less than a year later. After spending so many Christmases in Florida, Christmas in Maine was the Christmas that I needed. I want my Christmases to look like they're straight out of a Rankin-Bass claymation movie, and Maine gets pretty close. Christmas in Maine is pretty darn awesome, so I've rounded up a few ideas of Christmas activities for you. This is in no way a full list, I don't think I could possibly round up every single holiday event in Maine, but I hope this gives you some ideas!

L.L. Bean Northern Lights Celebration in Freeport
I hate shopping during the holiday season, but I never hate going to the L.L. Bean flagship store-- especially because they're open 24 hours a day, so I can shop at 2am if I really want to. But anyway, they host the Northern Lights Celebration each year with so many events and activities from November 17th through December 31st. You can explore the Discovery Forest, visit Santa and his reindeer, and more!

Sparkle Celebration in Freeport
The Sparkle Celebration takes places from December 1st through the 3rd and a few of the activities are partnered with L.L. Bean, but there's more! There are contests, concerts, pop-up shops, tastings, parades, and so much more.

Maine Narrow Gauge Polar Express in Portland
This is probably the cutest, most magical Christmas activity in Maine. This train ride brings the story of The Polar Express to life with a 45 minute ride around Portland, hot chocolate, cookies, caroling, and more. You can ride The Polar Express from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Victoria Mansion in Portland
The beautiful Victoria Mansion hosts multiple events during the holiday season. They kick off with a Christmas gala on November 29th, then throughout December they put on performances of The Nutcracker, do readings from A Christmas Carol, and do story times for children.

Nutcracker Burlesque in Portland
The Vivid Motion dance company puts on a burlesque Nutcracker show in December, and get your tickets early, because these shows are known to sell out a bit in advance. As I'm writing this, I can't find the tickets for sale yet, but according to a Facebook post, the show will happen December 15th through 23rd with the 18th off.

Gardens Aglow at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay
This is the biggest light show in Maine and will have over 360,00 lights this year-- along with food trucks and art exhibits. Gardens Aglow takes place Thursday through Sundays between November 17th and December 31st but is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

Christmas by the Sea in Camden
Many coastal towns host a Christmas by the Sea, but Camden's is the one I'm familiar with. There's a tree lighting in the park, a parade-- complete with Santa riding a lobster boat, carriage rides, and more. It takes place from December 1st through the 3rd.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in Belfast
The Midcoast Actors' Studio will present The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the Crosby Center in Belfast from December 8th through 17th. While it's not strictly a Christmas story, many people associate it with the holiday-- and I'm one of those people.

The Grand in Ellsworth 
 The Grand theater in downtown Ellsworth is a pretty darn cool place. They don't just screen films, they also do live theater and music. This year they're going to have puppet shows, concerts, and screenings. Check their calendar to see what all they have planned, they have something for everyone!

Country Christmas in Bethel
From November 24th through December 24th, the western town of Bethel hosts Country Christmas. There's light displays, open houses, horse-drawn wagon rides, and of course, Santa will make an appearance.

what to do for christmas in maine, christmas by the sea camden maine

What do you do to celebrate Christmas locally?
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pampering with Pair'd Beauty

pair'd beauty, vegan bath products

It's the most wonderful time the year, but it's also a busy, stressful time of year. Whenever I can, I try to slow down and take a break, which almost always includes a long bath and face masks. Enter Pair'd Beauty, one of my favorite vegan bath product brands. They're fantastic, affordable, and always smell amazing.

shower burst, vegan bath products

 The first product that I tried from this delivery was the You Will Love Me shower burst. I love Pair'd Beauty's shower bursts. I don't always have time for a bath so using these shower bursts are an easy way to make a shower a little more luxurious. You just place it on the floor of the shower and let it disintegrate and as it does that, it releases an amazing scent. This one happens to be floral and citrusy, so it's great for waking up in the morning. These shower bursts would be great stocking stuffers for Christmas!

I have been kind of obsessed with this lavender toner hydrosol. I usually use cotton pads to apply toner, and this eliminates the need for cotton pads, thus less waste is created. This toner smells amazing and spritzing it on feels so good-- I may overuse it a tad, but I can't help it!

detox clay face mask, vegan clay mask

I was excited to try this clay mask because it's been a hot minute since I used a mask that wasn't a sheet mask. This mask comes as powdered clay, then you add water to it and apply it to your face. It does get slightly warm, which I typically don't like, but it's so subtle. Unlike many other masks, this mask warms, doesn't burn. I leave this mask on for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off and it always leaves my face feeling so soft and smooth.

I think I've made it pretty obvious how much I love scrubs that are free of plastic microbeads, so you can probably already guess that I love this coffee and sugar Wide Awake scrub. This scrub makes my skin so soft and smooth, and the smell of the coffee always wakes me up. A coffee scrub is a must-have for me, and this is a great option.

Pair'd Beauty is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin and offers free shipping on all orders within the United States. You can use the code "PPYSDR15" for 15% off of your Pair'd Beauty order!

*These products were courtesy of  Pair'd Beauty. All opinions are mine!*
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Get Away From Me

 This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

All photos are by Rachel Epperly Photography.

belfast maine mural

I don't know what exactly it is, I think it's just a bunch of little things, but I've been in a serious funk for the past couple weeks. Which is why on the day of this photoshoot, instead of wearing the outfit that I had been planning to wear for weeks, I put on this 'lil number complete with a beret with the phrase "get away from me" embroidered on it. Some days you're just not feeling the flouncy dress and have to go for a faux leather skirt and sassy beret, right? I was feeling a bit moody and didn't feel right wearing something that didn't reflect that. I still included a bit of frills in my outfit with this top that I found at T.J. Maxx with ruffles down the front and some tiny fluted sleeves. It's so soft and perfect for this time of year. I may or may not have purchased this top in two colors (hint: I did).

maine fashion blog

new england fashion blog

All the leaves have fallen, there have been a few snow flurries, and I've been spending a lot of time lugging firewood inside which means that winter is coming. This year I had to buy a new coat because, well, I've been needing a new peacoat for a while. All of my coats were pretty casual, so I went searching for a more formal one and bought this one from Hot Topic. I love this coat so much because it has a pretty skater-style silhouette and best of all, it has a zipper! Not a dinky zipper, either. I've always loved peacoats but y'all, it gets cold in Maine and sometimes I just don't have time to fumble with buttons. This whole outfit is so comfortable and kept me warm while walking around downtown. This outfit could easily be made a little more formal by adding some wedge booties or perhaps even some creepers instead of flat sneakers.

new england style blog

Coat: Hot Topic
Top: Kensie via T.J. Maxx (similar linked below)
Skirt: Hot Topic
Tights: Target
Shoes: Vans
Purse: Modcloth (sold out, similar linked below)
Beret: Just Peachy (currently sold out, but restocking on November 24th!)

What's been your go-to outfit for lately? And what good thing has happened to you recently? Tell me in the comments!
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spiced Baked Tofu + Veggies with Apricot Couscous

vegan autumn dinner recipe

If you're looking for a meal that's packed with tons of different delicious flavors and textures, look no further. Oh, and it's vegan, too! This dish combines some of my favorite things into one and it's so easy to make. If you're looking to add a new dish to the table at a holiday dinner, this could be a great option.

vegetarian thanksgiving dinner recipe

A lot goes into this dish but here are the highlights: Nasoya's Sesame Ginger TofuBaked, sweet potato, fire-roasted tomatoes, spinach (or kale, as you may have noticed I used), dried apricots, couscous, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cumin. Serve it all with a garnish of almonds and you're good to go! There are so many flavors and textures in this, it makes it seem more complex than it actually is. This dish can be made in only 2 pots and mostly just requires some dicing and simmering.

All the things that this recipe called for are things that I always have in my house, so it was super easy to whip this up. I love that this recipe uses couscous because couscous has been a staple in my home forever and it cooks faster than rice! Using Nasoya's TofuBaked is always an easy way to add a 'lil something extra to a dish quickly because it's already been marinated, baked, and ready to eat.

nasoya tofubaked recipe idea

This is such a delicious and comforting dish, perfect for gatherings this holiday season or just a casual dinner with family. If you'd like to try this recipe out, you can find the full recipe and directions here.

*This post was sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are mine!*
Friday, November 3, 2017

Tofu Pot Pie for a Cozy Night In

vegan tofu pot pie

It's starting to get pretty chilly here, so naturally I've been gravitating towards warm, hearty foods. I've always loved pot pies, but I hardly ever eat them. I had never made one before so I was a little intimated. I'll admit that the crust on my pot pie wasn't beautiful, but it tasted amazing and that's all that matters to me!

vegan tofu pot pie

This tofu pot pie uses Nasoya's Teriyaki TofuBaked tofu-- which means it's already been marinated, baked, and ready to eat. Thanks to the TofuBaked tofu, the prep process was pretty darn quick-- only about 10 minutes. You're probably thinking that the teriyaki flavor and classic pot pie don't really seem like they would go together, but the teriyaki taste in the tofu is very, very subtle and it totally works. The tofu adds protein and texture and the rest of the mixture is so delicious and flavorful. This pot pie is hearty, but not heavy. I didn't feel sluggish after I ate it, and I ate quite a bit!

This is a great vegan spin on a classic comfort food that can be made in under an hour-- it's a winner in my book and I'll definitely be making it more this winter! You can find the full recipe and instructions here.

*This post was sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are mine!*