Killington Ski Trip!

This past weekend I got to use my new skis again up at Killington Mountain Ski Resort in Vermont!! We got 22 people together in one house for a really good friend’s birthday. Her husband organized the weekend and told her it was just going to be a few friends and surprise, there were 22 of us ha!

The house we stayed in was unreal. It had its own location on instagram, The Cabin at Bridgewater. It sleeps 25 and is right down the street from Long Trail Brewery, no more than 20 minutes from Killington. The house had a hot tub out on a porch, a grill, a huge fire pit that I didn’t even really see until the snow melted and get this…..it had a teepee with a fire circle in it too. Crazy. The fireplace at the house was well used as well as the enormous bean bags- perfect for lounging! If it wasn’t so close to my shower, I am sure Jon and I would have found them for our registry!

Now this has not been the greatest year for snow up here, but hats off to the Killington snow makers and groomers, the trails were in pretty good shape! It was a little icy in some spots, and as the day progressed, the huge piles of snow started form as the snow got pushed around. Its a huge mountain though, biggest that I have skied at. My fiancé, Jon, had never been either. It was super easy to sorta get lost and end up somewhere on the mountain by mistake ha.

On the way up to Killington, we stopped at LA Burdick Chocolates in Walpole NH for some unreal hot cocoa and macarons, and then we hit up the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, not the Weston one. Then we stopped at Long Trail Brewery before heading to the house.

I have fallen in love with LA Burdick Chocolates and can’t wait to visit their locations in Cambridge/Boston!

Here’s some pics from the Vermont Country Store

On our way home from Vermont on Sunday, we stopped at Seven Barrel Brewing in Lebanon NH and then Flying Goose Pub in New London NH. I liked both places, but Flying Goose had a large selection of beers to try, probably close to 20 of their own beers. It was amazing. As we left the cabin, I took this pic from the car. You can see how much the snow has melted.

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It’s been a weird winter here. I would definitely love to explore Vermont more! Maybe go back to Killington? Maybe try Stowe next year?? Who’s with me??

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Sunny days in Florida

Hello everyone!! Sorry for my absence this past week! I was in Florida enjoying the sun, and then right to Killington VT for some skiing, and then I have had 2 exams for classes already this week!

My parents retired to Florida a few years ago. Its hard not having them just a drive away to have dinner on a Sunday or meet up, but certainly having family in Florida has its perks! I wasn’t down there very long at all, so we focused on just relaxing instead of hitting up any parks or tourist attractions. I didn’t even want to waste time on driving to the beach, so we  hung out at the pool…which is heated….so nice!!!

Here are some pics from my quick but awesomely sunny and warm visit!

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Hangin with this little sand crane!!  #edsftg

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Not a cloud in the sky at the pool!
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Not a bad spot for lunch! Loved being able to eat outside!
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Sunset on the golf course my parents live on
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Pano of the lovely sunset!
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Til next time Florida!

You can see I am kinda obsessed with the palm trees down there ha! I also looove the birds down there. They have sand cranes that walk around in pairs, and they are so cute. You can see a little bachelor sand crane in my first picture. The sunsets are beautiful too because they are on the western side of Florida. I love February vacation as a teacher because I get to run away to Florida for a dose of sunshine.

Where would you go to get a little sun and warmth this winter!?

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Ski Day at Gunstock & Valentine’s Day!

Happy Presidents’ Day!! Today we celebrate George Washington’s birthday which is on February 22nd AND Abraham Lincoln’s birthday which is on February 12th. The official holiday name is actually still Washington’s Birthday though.

This past weekend, we braved the cold to ski at Gunstock on Saturday. It was cold, but we were dressed for it- no exposed skin at all. We skied from 8:30 AM to 1 PM, did about 13 runs. My new skis were awesome. They are Rossignol Temptation 77’s and they definitely made me look like a better skier than I actually am. They turn so easily and really are no work at all. I am used to using rentals and sometimes really having to bend my knees and push to turn, my new skis are very little effort at all. I got an awesome deal on them too because ski places are trying to get rid of inventory and the snow is a little late this year. I got a great deal on my Nordica boots too!

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Beautiful view
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Me and Jon bundled up! Look at the beautiful backdrop we have!
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End of the day as the worse weather was rolling in….

The views from Gunstock of Lake Winnipesaukee are breathtaking. All of the trails are awesome, but my favorite is Stonebar. I usually try to do that one a couple times. Saturday, we all ended on Stonebar which was awesome. It was just starting to get really windy and the sun went in behind snow clouds when we were leaving, perfect!

Sunday’s Valentine’s Day was an extremely cold day, thank goodness we skied on Saturday. Jon got me a Lindt dark chocolate & pomegranate bar and the Harding Lane mountain hat I mentioned here! He does read the blog!! Woo!! It was the perfect gift. Jon loves his Yeti koozie, and put the Miller High Life tshirt I got him right in the laundry to wear this coming weekend. We made a delicious dinner with heart shaped steaks, roasted kale, and wheat rice pilaf. I made little chocolate heart cupcakes too! We chose the Southern Tier Choklate stout to go with our meal, so good!

I honestly don’t know if we will ever go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day because we have such a good time planning a nice meal and dessert. We save so much money too!! Tomorrow I am off to Florida for a few days, and my new hat will be coming with. It will be in the 70s, which is cold now to my parents, but will be soooo warm for me! I wish Jon could come but he sadly has to work. February vacation is a definite perk of being a teacher. I hope that you all had a lovely weekend and enjoyed Valentine’s Day no matter who you spent it with!

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Fun in the snow this past week!

Happy Friday everyone!!! We are currently in a serious freeze in New England. I was supposed to try out my new skis at Gunstock this weekend BUT that might not happen in these sub freezing temperatures. There are rumors that the ski mountains might even close Sunday because of the extreme temperatures.

Next week is February vacation for schools in Massachusetts so I will be heading to Florida next week. The temps will be in the 70s which isn’t hot, but will be amazing after this cold!! Even in these cold temperatures, I still need to get outside and so does my dog. I can’t wait to run down in Florida in a tshirt. Here are some pics from the week out and about in the snow!!

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During the snow storm on Monday!
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Mizpah in the snow ❤
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Paw prints and bean boot prints, love ❤
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On planet Hoth, going to look for Luke, brb

My down jacket is from EMS and can be seen here. It is an amazingly warm, but light down jacket with a great hood AND the downtek coating makes it water repellent. It’s ok in snow or light rain, not really appropriate for a downpour though.

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Pup out on the ice!!! 
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In honor of love
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Pure joy running around in the snow

In light of this freezing cold weather, I am unsure of my weekend plans! What are you all up to this weekend? I hope that the weekend and Valentine’s Day treats you right ❤

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Wolfeboro NH in Winter

Wolfeboro, NH is known as America’s Oldest Summer Resort. The town is on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, and there is also Lake Wentworth which is a smaller lake within Wolfeboro. The beautiful Brewster Academy boarding school is in Wolfeboro on Winni and so is a gorgeous golf course, the Kingswood Country Club. Wolfeboro had a train station in the late 1800s/early 1900s for the B & M line that went right to the dock for the Mount Washington Lake Cruise. Before the train went to Wolfeboro, you had to take the train to Weirs Beach or Alton Bay, and then take the steam boat over to Wolfeboro. Here’s what the station looks like now. It has moved inland and is no longer used.

 

Wolfeboro has a very cute downtown area with shops & restaurants. They have town docks that people can come into to stay for the day or just dinner! I can’t wait to go back in the summer to hang out at one of the rooftop/deck restaurants to just people watch and admire the lake. Lake Winni is a very popular destination in New Hampshire, its huge! In the winter they have a huge pond hockey tournament and an ice fishing tournament. This coming weekend, they are having a beerfest out on the ice. Other towns on the lake include Meredith which is home of the pond hockey tourney, Center Harbor, Tuftonboro, Moultonboro, Gilford which has Gunstock Mtn too, Laconia which has Weirs Beach, and Alton Bay.

Here is what the steamboat landing/train station used to look like:

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From Lake Winni Forum

Some shops were still open this past weekend, and just a couple of restaurants. Wolfeboro XC Ski Association gives visitors and residents something fun and aerobic to do in the winter, I definitely want to go back to try their trails out. They even make snow for some of their trails! They have a very well known shop there, Nordic Skier Sports that I would love to go to as well. Now onto the places I did go!

Beveridge Craft Beer & Soap Shop has an awesome little tap room where you can go to try some fun New England beers. They gave us some delicious ranch dill pretzels to have with our beers and they had a bowl of Dove heart chocolates out. It was really nice, informal, and cozy. This is the store that is organizing the beer fest out on the ice this coming weekend.

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From there, we went to The Lone Wolfe Brewing Company. Be aware, their website is their facebook page. They had 8 beers on tap for us to get samples of, so we did 2 flights of 4 each. I looooooved their Farmhouse Ale. I also like their Agape session IPA and their Breakfast Stout. Honestly though, the real star of the show is their spent grain soft baked pretzel. It comes with mustard and a cheese sauce…..and it was amazing. Crispy on the outside with butter and salt, and soft on the inside. Even if you don’t like beer, the pretzel is worth going.

Saturday night, we went to a birthday party for a friend at her house. In glorious NH fashion, there was a bonfire in the snow and snowmobile rides. If you live in New England, you have to find ways to enjoy the outdoors in the cold. Walking Mizpah, bonfires and snowmobiling, hiking, skiing, xc skiing, snowshoeing….whatever it is, you gotta get out there and seek the Vitamin D. Hope everyone had a good weekend! What did you do? Tell me things!

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Winter Skirt-spiration & Rollerskating!

I am home today on a snow day as we are expecting 3-8 inches of snow today!! The university where I take classes is also closed today, so I have a true day off today. One of the things I am always working on is dressing nicer for work, and utilizing my skirts/dresses even when I just want to wear sweat pants to work.

Living in New England means having clothing for all the seasons, and so with skirts that means a lot of diversity! You have your chino, Lilly print, seersucker, lacey macramé overlay, linen, madras patchwork for spring and summer….but then for fall and winter, I love nice textured skirts in tweed, houndstooth, and herringbone patterns. Plaid and corduroy are nice for this time of year too. I pair them with a sweater, tights, and ballet flats or riding boots. My LLBean mocs have been awesome to wear to and from the car when I don’t want to get my leather shoes wet!

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These are my favorite textured winter skirts from my wardrobe, the top left one is from TJ Maxx but then the rest are old from J Crew/J Crew Factory. The second one down on the left is so fabulous because it actually has gold and silver tinsel stitched in. I love the orange corduroy one too with the embroidered peacocks! I wore it last week to present to the graduate school of biological sciences and then out rollerskating after! Rollerskating was so fun, what a throwback. It was just $4 to rent skates and it was a workout!!

Anyways, I was looking around for some other nice fall/winter skirts and while many brands have started selling their spring line now, there are still some nice ones out there.

I love this Button Tab Tweed Skirt from Loft for $59.50. They styled it on the website very casually with a striped jersey knit, denim jacket, and sneakers but this can definitely be dressed up for work.

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This skirt is gorgeous, its an olive high waisted lace skirt for $69.60 from Express. It looks beautiful, might be a little too dressy for my workplace at a high school, but I would love it with a sleeveless silk blouse and blazer.

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Here is a nice looking navy textured skirt from Tommy Hilfiger at Macy’s marked down to $39.99. One of the reviewers said it looks great with a v-neck sweater, and I believe it! I am not absolutely in love with the pattern, but it really is a nice deal.

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LLBean has this nice herringbone faux wrap skirt for $54. Its a little long on the model, but would be a nice addition to your wardrobe where you want different lengths for different occasions. FullSizeRender-42

J. Crew Factory really doesn’t have much for wintery skirts right now, no fun neutral tweeds…they have this pink one so if you can rock that pink, all the power to ya! Woolrich actually has some nice winter skirts though. This Double Creek Fleece skirt looks nice, comfy but nice enough for work and really warm.  I like the gray the best which is on sale for $29.99. They also have this Holly Hills Corduroy skirt that is a tad bit long, but looks really nice for $39.99-$65 depending on the color your pick. Woolrich has some beautiful wool plaid skirts too, see all their skirts and dresses here.

We are getting into the time of year when the pickings are slim for fall/winter fashion because spring stuff is coming out BUT you can get great deals on what is left now. Now, if you want to find tweed or corduroy skirts from past years, there are sooooo many on Ebay, Etsy, and Poshmark for really great prices!

Where do you find skirts appropriate for the winter? How do you motivate yourself to dress up in the colder weather??

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Valentine’s Day is comin up fast!

So Valentine’s Day is coming up, like next weekend!! I don’t know if its the lack of wintry weather up here in New England or what, but it just doesn’t feel like February around here! From my person, I don’t expect a big gift for V-day. We do small things, like <$50, because really its more about just showing you were thinking about the other person than the price tag. Valentine’s Day is a holiday where I really do think its the thought that counts. I also don’t think that there should be this pressure to pick out a very romantic or sentimental gift. If you have an idea for something like that, then run with it, but I know that for me, it will be the dinner we have after exchanging our little gifts that will be romantic. Ok, enough of my gift philosophy.

Here are a few things I have been checking out!

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This long sleeve tee from Vineyard Vines for $49.50 is so cute and perfect another holiday we all love, St. Patrick’s Day! The front has a little pocket with the same whale/shamrock on it.

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I am always on the lookout for great bracelets. Many of you who read and follow along on instagram know that I love the KJP bracelets. This navy horse bracelet is from Hampton Ivy, an Etsy shop that has an awesome instagram and great products. I have fallen in love with this bracelet because it is handmade here in the US of A, the materials- leather and antiqued gold pewter, and the price is an affordable $26!! I love the horse head, but I also loved the one with a lobster and with anchors on it!

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I am in love with this mountains hat from Harding Lane for $35.  Hats, belts, key fobs, flasks….labradors, nautical flags, horses, fish, and ducks….needlepoint is a world of preppy variety. Some of the names in needlepoint are Smathers and Branson, Tucker Blair, and Harding Lane. Being from Massachusetts, I am more inclined to check out Tucker Blair and Harding Lane from Boston and Dedham respectively. Smathers and Branson originated in Maryland. That being said, the way that I have organized my needlepoint vendors is to say that if I buy a needlepoint hat, it will come from Harding Lane (they tout themselves as the original needlepoint hat) and if I need to buy a needlepoint belt, I will get it at Tucker Blair. Speaking of belts, Tucker Blair is currently doing a sale on retired styles.

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Finally….this tote from LLBean. You didn’t think I would have a wishlist that left out LLBean did you?? The totes from LLBean come in different sizes, different colors, open top or zip, shorter or longer handles. I would really like a medium tote with the longer handles which is $29.95.  You can also monogram them for $8….and something I have just recently realized is you can put up to 10 characters on there. SO if you want your name, awesome….if you want BEACHBUM….you could do that too….. LOVE&SAND…..ACKBOUND…..SUNGODDESS…DRINKSAT5…SUNSETLOVE…POOLSIDE…so many possibilities!

I won’t say too much about what I am getting my fiance for Valentine’s Day….BUT this is a “cool” thing to get for a guy who likes to have a couple beers on the weekend. This brand, Arnold Steiner, has beautiful menswear items, and I have been checking out this pocket square to get monogrammed for my fiance’s wedding tux (its a gray tux with a navy bow tie).

For Valentine’s Day, we like to cook a nice meal together instead of going out. This year we are going to do something including marinated grass fed beef and homemade tiramisu! What are you planning for Valentine’s Day next weekend? A galentine’s day party? Maybe brunch on Saturday? Staying in watching your favorite classic romance movie? Anyone having an anti-Valentine’s Day party?? I went to one of those back in college….flowers spraypainted black….a broken heart cake, it was actually really fun!!

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Brewery fun in Southern NH!

Saturday afternoon, I had the privilege of being the designated driver, beer taster not guzzler, for 5 breweries in southern NH!! My fiance, Jon, and another couple who we are close friends with were my copilots!

Our first stop was 603 Brewery in Londonderry, NH. They were the first stop because they close the earliest at 5 on Saturdays. Beers from this brewery are pretty widely available now in our area BUT we wanted to try a new beer called ‘Black Ice’, and they were having a competition for three different Winter Wheat beers to try and vote for. They also had their Granite Stout on nitro which was cool. The tasting area at this brewery is in the same room as all the brewing equipment, so you really are in the midst of it all. They do what they call a placemat tour where you pick 5 beers to sample and they are placed on a tray with a dish of spicy cheddar popcorn and a pint glass all for $10. They tossed in their pumpkin beer as a freebie. Their beers have great NH themed names, similar to how Woodstock Station Brewery names their beers. My favorites from 603 are the Winni Amber Ale named for Lake Winnepesaukee and the White Peaks IPA named for the White Mountains.

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Next up was the Great North Aleworks in Manchester which also closed at 5. I had never even heard of this one. We just randomly decided to hit this one up because it came up on our google maps! Their logo was pretty cool, a G and an N configured to look like mountain peaks. They offered some different food items for a fee, some snack foods and a cheese & cracker board. They had five beers on tap, and so our sampler of five had all their beers for the day. I loved their vanilla porter and chocolate milk stout! They had a rauchebier which has a very smoky flavor and an IPA that my fiance liked. They have an amber lager that I didn’t really like, it didn’t have the balance of malts to hops that I like, too sweet and malty.

Next up was Kelsen Brewing Company back down in Derry, NH. They have a tasting room, very small, and they close at 6. They had 4 beers for us to try, the Battle-Axe IPA, Draken Porter, Paradigm Brown Ale, and the Vendel Imperial Stout. My favorites were the Battle-Axe and the Draken. The beer names/logos and their decor is all very ancient military driven…..think like soldiers of Sparta and Vikings. One wall of the tasting room is this amazing chalk mural. It was pretty cool.

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Pretty much down the street from Kelsen was the Rockingham Brewing Company in Derry, NH and they close the latest at 7. They had eight beers to try so we did two five beer samplers #1-5 in one, and then #4-8 in the other. The logo for this one is a pig in a rocking chair! Get it? A rocking ham!? Loved it, their van’s license plate was ‘HamVan’. So clever. They had an awesome beer called Belly of the Beast that was really malty, smoky, and had a bacon taste to it. They also had a great Belgian dubbel called Cloven Hoof that I loved. We dubbed this one the hidden treasure. We had never seen these beers and they were all delicious.

Last stop needed to have food!!! We hit up Martha’s Exchange in Nashua, NH for dinner and a final sampler flight. They have amazing food- love their clam chowder and french fries. We went here a couple months ago and none of the beers they had on tap are still there, all new beers! I loved the Abbot’s Habit, a Belgian tripel, and their Arkenstone Amber because its nicely balanced with malts and hops. On the way out, they have an awesome sweets counter where I grabbed a couple truffles, so delicious!

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I always have a lot of fun being the DD for an excursion like this because I am just the type of person who likes to try the beers, not drink all of them. Volume wise, the samplers aren’t that much beer, BUT the variety of beers might mean higher alcohol beers that pack a bit more punch than others. Plus, I will admit it, I am a control freak when it comes to my own body. I honestly don’t like feeling drunk and not in control of my body. The things you learn by the time you are 32….. 🙂

New England is the home to soooo many craft micro-breweries. I couldn’t believe there were three just between Londonderry & Derry, NH. We have a lot of fun traveling around trying different beers and supporting local breweries. So much heart goes into these smaller breweries….the people you talk to when you get your beers are often the brewers and when you bring your glasses back up, they ask how you liked them and really care about your opinions. Definitely a fun way to enjoy an afternoon with friends!

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Sunny morning at the barn

This weekend was beautiful in Massachusetts. We are in a weird warm spell here…snow is pretty much melted and we have been in the 40s/50s. Last year at this time I believe we had 3 feet of snow on the ground!!!

Saturday AM, I had such a nice ride with my buddy Sterling. Sterling is a quarter horse and has been used in lessons since I was at the barn. He had an owner who was in college and came maybe a couple times a year to see him, and finally last year he was pretty much gifted to the barn. He has some costly medical issues, melanomas & PSSM. He has had a couple surgeries to help with melanomas and he is on some supplements/meds for the PSSM. He is a huge asset to the school because he is totally capable of just slowly walking around in circles with a beginner, or packing around a small jumper course with a more advanced rider. He has typical quarter horse issues for dressage because he is lower in front than behind, but my dressage lessons with him are so rewarding. You can see such a huge difference from a horse who is expecting to just carry someone around for an hour to a forward horse using his muscles and stretching his topline. Dressage type exercises are great for all horses, sort of like power yoga.

Here are a few pics from my lovely morning at the barn!

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Sterling 🙂 , his show name is Shades of Gray
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View out the window of the indoor to the dressage arena
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View of the original portion of the farmhouse where owners live. The home has been added onto and renovated, its absolutely gorgeous.
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Oh just a quaint little gazebo on your way to the paddocks
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View of paddocks and off to the left where that trail goes is the cross country course
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Alfonse, or Alf for short, arguably the cutest little pony. He was so cute snoozing in the sun, couldn’t help but take his pic!

Friday night, I went out to the Red Raven in Acton with my fiance and his coworkers for some drinks. They have an awesome little loungy area when you first walk in and I couldn’t resist snapping this fireplace. The brickwork is so unique and fun.

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Saturday afternoon, I headed out on a NH brewery tour in the Londonderry/Derry area that finished in Nashua…so fun, I will fill you all in tomorrow! I can’t believe today is February!! How was your weekend?? Tell me all about it! Enjoy the day everyone!

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