Off leash fun at Wagon Hill Farm

The end of the school year is fast approaching and I am looking forward to summer days! We have been in southeast NH for almost a year now, and we are still finding great new off leash places to take Mizpah. I have been missing hiking the 4000 footers something fierce lately, but finding new trails to walk on with Mizpah and my growing baby bump has been keeping me moving. As I write this I am just starting week 24 of my pregnancy…..crazy how time is flying. The exercise benefits for momma and baby are huge, so walking with Mizpah will be important this summer. I am also keeping up with spin classes at a gym in my town- trying to do 2–3 classes a week.

Wagon Hill Farm is a property owned by the town of Durham, NH, same town where UNH is located. The 139 acre property was acquired by the town back in 1989 to be preserved for many generations to enjoy. There are old orchards, picnic areas, a beachy area where Oyster River meets Little Bay, mowed trails through fields of grass and flowers, as well as wooded paths. Probably one of Mizpah’s favorite features is a point that juts out into the bay, perfect for puppy fetch and play in the water.

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Mizpah frolicking in the grass, I swear she’s part deer sometimes
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Leaving the meadows, entering the woods
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Swimming with some friends at the point! Saltwater pups 🙂
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Beautiful views where Oyster River meets Little Bay
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The time struck 10 AM and we were responsible dog owners and put baby girl back on the leash. Many dogs owners didn’t :/
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Perfect summer phone case! Find them under travel bags here (psst..affiliate link). Hat is from Harding Lane and bracelet is from Lemon & Line
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Views
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The wagon on wagon hill!! Not the original wagon, there have been a few!

The rules of the property are dogs allowed, but off leash only between the hours of 8 AM and 10 AM, on leash the rest of the time. Its a terrific compromise, as long as people follow the rules. Off leash properties are great, but I recognize that there are people out there that would like to enjoy being outdoors without running into off leash dogs. I wish more places would compromise like this. Many beaches in Maine allow dogs before 9 AM, after 5 PM, Gloucester beaches allow dogs off leash every other day in the offseason.

Wagon Hill Farm will definitely be added to the rotation of places to bring Mizpah. I love that it is right on Little Bay, so beautiful. Next up will be the Piscassic Greenway, a property in the Southeast Land Trust of NH.

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Christmas Wish List 2016 Edition

I can’t believe that Christmas is coming up this weekend!!! This year has been full of big changes for me- getting married, moving to NH, buying a house, new job…my husband and I decided that really the best thing we could get each other would be a weekend away full of winter fun and relaxation! We will be spending a weekend later this winter up at The Eagle Mountain House in Jackson NH. Its one of the big old hotels in the White Mountains and I can’t wait to stay there.

When it comes to the other people in my life asking for ideas for Christmas presents, here are some of the items on my list! I try to think about people’s budgets when I come up with lists for the family. A bunch of items in the $30-50 range is nice because it gives people some flexibility with their budget. If their budget is $30-50, well perfect, if they are looking spend more like the gift is from multiple people, they can double up and do a couple gifts. Of course I think that time and conversation are the best gifts from family, but I also get the frustration trying to come up with gift ideas, and a well thought list can really help your family out!

  1. First up! A winter hat from LLBean! The Katahdin Pom Hat in midnight at $29.95. Many social media influencers were given the more colorful version of this hat, but I really like the classic navy and white of this one. fullsizerender-8
  2. Next, I am in love with this snow globe sweater from Talbots! Its currently on sale from $89.50 down to $53.70. fullsizerender-9
  3. This past summer I got so much use out of my Harding Lane mountain needlepoint hat. I decided I could use some more hats for this coming summer so here a few that I told my elves about!
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    Harding Lane @ $35
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    Port Royal Outfitters @ $20

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    Smathers and Branson @ $30
  4. I love my KJP bracelets. I realized this past year that a color combination that I could really use is blue and white. Here is one called Mackarel Cove at $40.00. KJP has really blossomed into so much more than just a bracelet company. I love this pearl necklace too! Maybe a birthday present? fullsizerender-11What are some things on your wish list this year? I truly love all the holiday blog posts, keep em coming everyone!

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October Hike up Galehead Mtn

Last Sunday, despite some cloudy conditions, we hiked up Galehead Mountain in the White Mountains. This is a mountain that I have already done in July last year, but my sister and a friend needed it for their 48. Our friend brought his dog, Marshall, and this was his first hike! Its a great hike- nothing too technical, just 6 hours. There is a hut on the way to the summit with some views, the Galehead Hut, and the summit itself is in the trees. The Galehead Hut is a nice one because its just one building- so the lodge, bunks, and bathrooms are all together. Some of the huts are multiple buildings so you have to find the one with the bathrooms in it.

The trail we took in an out was called the Gale River Trail  and then Garfield Ridge Trail to the hut, and finally the Frost Trail to the summit. All together round trip the distance is about 10 miles.

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Foliage starting to turn
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Foliage on the left!

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Mountain hat from Harding Lane here 🙂

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Leaving the hut to head up the Frost Trail to the summit
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Four people, two dogs at the summit cairn- 16 legs in all 🙂
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Sisters ❤ LLBean packs can be found here and here.

Its always fun to hike with a group because the constant conversation makes the hike fly by. After we hiked we hit up Truant’s Tavern in Woodstock NH for some dinner. It was a cool & damp day, so having some chili really warmed me up. The trail was actually dry despite the conditions and the crossings were very manageable. The dogs were great, it was fun to see Mizpah hike with another pup.

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Southernmost Presidentials Hike

Last week, I got to do a midweek hike with my sister who is just starting out doing the 4,000 footers in NH. We did Mt. Jackson and Mt. Pierce, which are the most southern 4,000 footers in the Presidential Range. This was actually my third time hiking these two, but first time in the summer!

We took the Webster-Jackson Trail from Rt. 302 to Mt. Jackson, and then the Webster Cliff Trail over to Mt. Pierce, and finally the Crawford Path back down to Rt. 302. It was my first 4000 footer hike without my husband, and so I felt a little pressure to make sure we were on the correct trails, going the right way and so on. Mt. Webster is up there too, named after Daniel Webster, but it’s not a 4000 footer so we had to make sure we avoided that trail.

Mt. Jackson is actually not named after Andrew Jackson, our 7th president. It is named after Charles Jackson who was a physician and the state’s geologist! On the way to Mt. Pierce, named for Franklin Pierce, is the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) run Mizpah Spring Hut. It was a really nice one. It made me miss my pup, Mizpah, but her paw pads were still healing.

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View down from Mt. Jackson. You can just barely see the Mt. Washington Hotel down there! Just to the right of center with that red roof!
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Sisters at the summit!
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The rest of the Presidentials from Jackson, you can see Washington perfectly high up on the right!
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Mizpah Spring Hut, just below the summit of Mt. Pierce
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The Mizpah bell in the hut, reminded me of my pup!
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Matching Merrell boots up on top of Mt. Pierce! Mine on the left are just really old haha. Mt. Pierce was originally named Mt. Clinton after DeWitt Clinton, a governor of NH.
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Just starting out on the Crawford Path, beautiful views of the Presis
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Someone on the trail got really excited about my mountain hat, said he was friends with one of the Harding Lane guys! We probably could have had a nice convo if I wasn’t so awkward and unable to speak more than “hi, how are you, have a nice hike” haha

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The Crawford family….you really can’t discuss the history of the White Mountains without talking about a few families, and the Crawford’s are definitely one. Abel and Ethan were father and son. They cleared a path up from Rt 302 to Mt. Pierce (Clinton then) over to Mt. Washington and guided hikers up. Abel at 75 years old in 1840 ascended this trail to Mt. Washington on horseback!! The path is just over 8 miles and goes over Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Monroe, past the Lake in the Clouds, and ends up at Mt. Washington’s summit.

It was a really hot day which meant drinking lots of water. Having the hut was nice to fill up and not have to worry about running out of water. When we finished our hike, we headed to the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery for a beer and some food. So delicious. I got the chicken salad melt which is an open faced sandwich on their spent grain bread, and my sister got a bison bacon bbq burger. We both got their summer beer which is deliciously light and refreshing. It was just a great day with my sister, so thankful to be able to hike with her!

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Marathon Monday & North Shore Beach/Food Adventure!

Good morning!! Happy Patriot’s Day & Happy Marathon Monday!!!! Growing up in New England always meant waking up on Patriot’s Day, which is the first day of April vacation here, and immediately tuning into the marathon coverage. Since I became a teacher just a year out of college, I have continued this tradition! I went to watch the marathon for quite a few years. One of my friends from college ran in it, and we would get a group together to watch and then meet up at a bar later. I was there in 2013. I was at mile 25 with a group watching for our friend. After she passed us, we walked down to the finish line, met up with our friend at Copley Square, and headed to a bar. She finished in 3:02. Less than an hour later, we heard someone come into the bar and say that there had been an explosion at the finish line. People thought it was a man hole cover or a pipe bursting, nobody could have even imagined that the explosions were bombs. It had to be something uncontrollable, some sort of unintentional disaster. There was no urgency at that time, but we decided we should finish our drinks and get going because the T would be packed with so many people leaving at once. None of our cell phones worked, it was so weird- did the explosion take out a cell phone tower? It didn’t make sense. I hopped on the commuter rail to head back to my car parked in Acton, and then I looked at my phone and oh my goodness, I had soooo many text messages & missed calls. When I got home and turned on the news, I saw why everyone was trying to get a hold of me!! What a week that was, the love and compassion shown in the city of Boston and all over the world for the victims and their families was incredible. I haven’t been back since, not because of the bombings though. I was away in Atlanta in 2014, and then the weather last year was terrible. Today I am happily watching at home curled up with the pup, relaxing after our hike yesterday.

Saturday, Jon and I celebrated our first week of marriage by heading to Gloucester with our dog, Mizpah. It was an even day, so Good Harbor Beach was the off leash beach. We ran around the beach for a while, and then hit up a few of my favorite North Shore spots.

LLBean Sweater // Barbour ‘Argon’ Jacket (old) // LLBean Scarf // LLBean booties // KJP bracelet (old) // Harding Lane hat

First up was Woodman’s in Essex. This was one of the traditional stops on the way home from the beach for my family. Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman is credited with the invention of the fried clam, believe it or not. They have amazing fried seafood, fries, onion rings, and chicken fingers. The one thing that’s tough is they have the milk broth clam chowder, not the thick chowder New England is known for. Woodman’s was featured in the Adam Sandler movie Grownups too! In the summer, they have an ice cream window and a little nautical gift shop; they sell KJP there!  Jon had never been, so we grabbed some fried clam strips and french fries 🙂

Then we drove by the farm where I used to ride in Essex. The new owners have really done a lot of work on the paddocks and barns. I met one of the owners a coupe years ago when she was still doing a lot of renovations, she had jumpers. It looked like a lot of her boarders were probably also jumpers- big horses, sheets in warm weather, small paddocks, haha.

From there we hit up our last stop, Richardson’s in Middleton. Richardson’s homemade ice cream was sold at Orchard Hill Ice Cream, the big ice cream spot in my hometown. They have the most amazing ice cream. I love their mocha chip with big chocolate chunks, the Tollhouse cookie, and oreo cookie. I got a chocolate frappe, and then we picked up a half gallon of oreo cookie. They have their cows right there on the premises, but Mizpah was a little freaked by them. The picture I snapped her was near the donkeys, which she was a little calmer around, but honestly, she just looks so pathetic. There’s mini golf right next door, so you can really make a day of it there.

Yesterday we hiked Mt. Moosilauke, so I will post about our hike tomorrow. I love how you can spend one day at the beach, and then the next in the mountains here in New England. It’s so nice out today, I hope this warm weather is here to stay, happy Monday!

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Mizpah’s 1st Trip to Wingaersheek Beach & Rockport!

This past weekend was so beautiful in Mass. My fiancé was out on his bachelor party with his friends, and I knew that I wanted to take Mizpah to the beach! I was so excited to learn that a couple of my favorite beaches, Good Harbor and Wingaersheek in Gloucester, are off leash every other day in the off-season! Wingaersheek is off leash on odd days, Good Harbor is off leash on even days. I think the season starts May 1? Growing up in Merrimack Valley in Mass meant that the north shore beaches on Cape Ann were the closest beaches. I have many awesome memories of going to Wingaersheek, Good Harbor, and Crane Beach (Ipswich). My mom grew up in Reading MA, so the north shore beaches are her favorite.

Mizpah was literally the happiest dog in the world running in the sand and surf. Wingaersheek has a really fine sand beach, fun rocks to climb and play on, and the water is clear and not very sea-weedy. There were so many dogs there and because it was a dog day, everyone was happy to see dogs. Its nice because if you want to walk the beach without dogs, you just go to the other beach, or wait a day. Keeps everyone happy!

Here are some pics from the beach! My hat is from Harding Lane, monogrammed quarter zip is from Trendy Tulip Designs (Etsy), my boat shoes are Sperry Authentic Originals, and my bracelet which I think you only see in one pic is from KJP but sadly I think the navy/green color for turk’s head bracelets is gone now.

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Swimming pup!

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Annisquam Lighthouse there in the distance!

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The awesome thing was that the sand is so fine and it was such a dry day, I just rubbed her down with a towel and we were ready to go! I really hope I get to go back with her before the season starts. From the beach, we headed to Rockport MA. Rockport is a really cute coastal town, lots of little shops, cute harbor, cute houses, very New England. This is a typical second stop for my family after the beach, another typical stop would be Woodmans in Essex….beach, fried seafood, and ice cream, the stuff summer dreams are made of. Here are some pics from Rockport!

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Mizpah & me in front of Motif #1 on Rockport Harbor

Motif Number 1 on Bradley Wharf is known as the “most often painted building in America”. The building you seen in the pictures is actually a replica; the original built in 1840 was destroyed in the blizzard of 1978. The replica was built that same year. A painter named Lester Hornby is credited with its name because it was such a favorite among artists to portray. In the 1930s, it was owned by John Buckley, who used it as a studio, and then it was sold to Rockport in 1945. It stands as a tribute to all from Rockport who have served in the armed forces and is still a popular subject for painters and photographers.

This weekend is not going to be as nice I don’t think, which might be good because the fiancé and I have a lot to do for the impending nuptials!! It was definitely nice to get a little beach time in though, and its always nice to see Mizpah enjoying the nice weather!

What’s your favorite beach? Is it a lake or an ocean? Tell me all about it!

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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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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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