Monday, November 5, 2018

A post about vacation food...




Ha.
When we travel we tend towards farm-to-table or local-yokel 
restaurants whenever possible - 
But also, please be aware, we usually eat the breakfast that is provided by our hotel, and sometimes grab a subway or fast-food salad to counter balance the goodness. LOL.
That said - I just want to mention here a few meals we had 
that we may [or may not] want to replicate... 
Like this Rhode Island Clam chowder with a CLEAR broth that was oh-so-delicious and makes me want to take a trip to Nashville and eat at the Spaghetti Factory...
If you've ever had their with clam sauce, you know what I mean...
This meal of steak and crab PIE was one of the best we had - 
Think, wonderful crab meat with a crusty topping... YES.
And we had breakfast in Cape Cod at a little diner that was just perfect!
They were having a pancake festival so [of course] I had to try the ginger pancakes! 
[So much better that all that pumpkin spice stuff everywhere...lol.]
It was fun to sit at the bar and see how they quickly made each serving to order...
Gilbert's Chowder House in Portland Maine 
 was another great find!
Chowder - Lobster Roll - Clam Cake - Homemade Onion Rings!
THIS chowder was THE BEST we had during the entire trip...
They must have used the 'good' clams' - lol -  
... will be making clam chowdah soon!
It was so, so good!
And of course, we loved sitting out on a rainy patio
with lobster boats nearby!
I'll be the first to admit I ate waaaayyyy too many whoopee pies!
[Only three, really]
But all were delicious.
[None of them were jumbo - ha.]
And I have a recipe I got years ago while on a summer mission trip....
these just may be a Christmas treat this year!
Y'all know we love to find a good 
gas station restaurant
- and we happened upon this one by accident when 
we googled best seafood near us -
AND. It was great.
No frills - All fried - But delicious -
We also love to seek out local Italian places - 
and we were in heaven in Providence Rhode Island 
as there was an ENTIRE street of local and wonderful Italian restaurants...
We chose the three course lunch and enjoyed it so much... from the eggplant tapenade to the chicken parmigiana and piccatta, to the gelata and cannoli. 
Oh. My. 
It's probably good that we don't live there. Ha. 

One lst place to share is this fun breakfast stop was in Salem, Mass. 
where Craig had is power [no carb] breakfast, 
Matt had a great breakfast sandwich, and I splurged on ricotta pancakes with home made lemon curd. [I'll need to try replicating that one too!]
Do y'all do this?
Try and replicate favorite meals from travel?
One of our favorites will always be the sweet potato hash from Miss Lucy's on St. John. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Alas, this is the only

photo I have to share...
But I made pumpkin butter last weekend!
I've used a recipe from the blog,  Beautiful  Mess [crockpot pumpkin butter] in the past and it was delicious... 
But this year I wanted to make it a little more quickly...
So I cooked the pumpkin in the instant pot [cut pumpkin, remove seeds, cut in chunks and put in pot with a cup of water or apple juice...pressure for 15 minutes...
Scrape off skin, return pumpkin to pot, add 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup truvia [or sugar], pumpkin pie spice to your taste and pressure 3 minutes. 
BLEND with an immersion blender [the secret to that creamy texture.]
I put in in half pint jars [about nine for my medium sized pumpkin] and in the freezer where it will keep for several months.
[Stays fresh in the fridge about 2 weeks.]
Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Here's a quick post about our hotel rooms in New England -

Y'all know we're just not extravagant people... 
and we travel a bit for work so we have to 
stay within the budget our reimbursement allows...
  They always offer a good clean CHOICE [ha] place 
to lay our weary heads after a long day working out of town. 
[I've stayed at the same hotel almost monthly for about five years now -] 
And the best part?!
POINTS 
Yes. Points that you earn depending on how much you stay and 
then use on other rooms for free.
So, our strategy has always been to save our points for fun.
Choice has several levels of hotels 
and while our travel stays are almost always at Comfort Inn & Suites [or Sleep Inn] 
we splurge a bit with our points when we travel 
and look toward the Ascend and BlueGreen options. 
Craig always does a great job choosing great places when we travel!
Here's a ]not so] quick run-down:
Our sweet little hotel in Kennebunk, Maine 
They gave us a welcome giftie with real maple syrup and candies!
Our hotel in Boston - 
we drove right passed it because it is in an industrial area 
 and is, in fact, a renovated shoe factory.
How fun is this front desk?!

And a giant scrabble board in the lobby!
 
LOVED this room! 
We actually stayed here two different times during our trip -
Our place in Cape Cod 
was actually a condo - with two bedrooms.
and kitchen - 
 So lovely -
and so much room!
They had two pools [inside and out] and huge lawn with fire pit - 
Right on the beach!
A really beautiful place -  
We may be planning a trip back there 
when we have time to stay and relax a bit more!
We stayed at a sweet little boutique hotel in New Bedford
that was in the middle of down town.
It had a nice lounge area in the lobby area...
Cool stairwells and hallways...
And was very loft-like, and fun. 
And of course, we stayed at the conference hotel while Craig was working - 
Not Choice, but hey - 
We like Hilton properties too!
But I digress --
The best part about points?
We were gone ten days... stayed in some GREAT places...
and only paid for ONE hotel room. 
I'm telling ya -
I'm not getting paid to endorse them in any way - 
But I think if you travel even a little, 
you need to check out Choice Hotels - 
#HardwickAdventures

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Another great book!



 I love how
 Kevin Thompson took the time to delve into areas we might not always see as part of a healthy marriage - but that are, in fact, the very basis of a successful life together. 
He encourages us to stop faking life and to get real with each other as we practice these 8 commitments - I especially enjoyed the practical ways he gave to implement them in each chapter.  
One of the commitments that popped out to me was 'meekness' - that "combines gentleness with strength, submission with initiative, humility with ability... 
Learning to stay in control, to fight wisely and to love even when we disagree." 
So many great truths in this book and in the end, 
he pulls them all together based on scripture 
[that I really should have seen coming...
you'll see what I mean when you read the book!]
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes; 
all opinions are my own - 
 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Let's be honest...

I'm just not 'into' scrap booking like I once was --
Could be 
the over saturation of products?
that I don't have kids at home anymore?
that I'm loving playing with Art a bit more? or
that my regular scrapbook group is meeting less and less?
Maybe it's a combination of all of the above - 
Whatever - when I saw a weekend crop advertised for our city I wanted to support it 
[and I still have a ton of photos that can be put on the scrapbook page- ]
The 'theme' was super heroes - and y'all know 
I love a crazy dress-up party with like-minded, albeit new, friends!

And it's always fun to meet new friends who enjoy the same hobby as you do!
Since it was here in town I didn't stay overnight, but I did enjoy two full days of crafting...
And -- I completed 80 [EIGHTY!!] pages!
My secret?
LIMITED SUPPLIES.
I find that I can work much more quickly if I don't have a ton of choices.
And I only have a few printed photos left to use.
[Dare I say - caught up? - HA.]
Honestly, I don't think I've even printed any photos from 2018 yet...
With that said - I have made the decision to only print and scrap book travel photos from here on out. And, OKAY - holiday photos too, I'm sure.

This event was hosted by Debbie Galeano with 
ByYou Scrapbooking & Crafting Retreats.
So fun -
You should check her out!










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Friday, October 12, 2018

Y'all know we tend

to pack a lot into any trip we take - 
and our recent trip to New England was no exception.
Craig had some work up that way and I tagged along...
 We zigged and zagged and hit the highlights since we had such a short amount of time...
we knew we could never see it all...
I'd originally planned on sharing just a couple of photos from each day...oops. 
There's so many to choose from [I love digital!] 
Here goes:
First up - Vermont and New Hampshire:
The BEST apple cider donuts!! 
LOTS of gorgeous colors on the trees!
And of course the witches' window, that we happened upon...
Look closely at the window in the back part of the house...
It's sideways - witches prefer to fly in a straight line - lol.
Now some favorites from Boston - 
We hit some highlights on the Freedom Trail - 
LOVED the memorial to veterans...
And of course, picking up Matt at the train station was THE HIGHLIGHT
since he's recently moved to NYC -
Cape Cod was cool - 
As with EVERY PLACE ,we wish we'd had a bit more time...
This seaweed is so weird...
And the beaches so different from our beautiful Gulf Coast...
 Clyde's Cider Mill in Connecticut gets ALL the press - 
And there WAS quite the crowd on the day we visited -  
 But, we preferred the apple cider donut 
from Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Vermont -
 I LOVED learning all about cranberries!
So fun to get into a bog together!
Who knew they use helicopters during harvest?
Plymouth was cool...
we searched out a lighthouse...
And, of course, saw Plymouth Rock...
I don't think the Pilgrims etched the date in it, though - 
Salem was BUSY because of all of the Halloween activities...
The parade [with Hocus Pocus theme] was the night we were there... 
Fun to see the Bewitched statue - lol...
And a farmer's Market in the middle of such OLD buildings...
And a QuaHog shell on the beach -
a giant clam -
[We ate one later in the week!]
And GREEN cornstalks put up for decoration - 
Maine was GORGEOUS.

That is all.
Even on this very rainy messy day - 
We had such a great time - 
And ate THE BEST clam chowdah EvAH. 
Ha.
The Light House Ferry tour was COLD.
But so great! 
[I was happy to have the coat I purchased at the LL Bean Outlet!]
We saw 12 light houses...
All shapes and sizes...
Including the one from Moon Rise Kingdom.
Yes.
We spent time in both big cities
 and small towns in Rhode Island... fun. 
 
And we finished up our time in New England visiting Walden Pond and 
the DeCordova Art Musem .
I loved it.
Art sculptures were all over the 35 acres!
I even created my own - ha.
I've got SO MANY photos that I love, so I'll do another post with foliage photos...
and maybe the houses I loved ---
And our hotels, Oh. My. 
Craig did such a wonderful job choosing some great ones!
And what about our favorite meals?!
I'll share those soon!
#hardwickadventures