Maine. The way life should be. Couldn’t agree more. Not only is this wonderful state home to my brother, his new wife, my little nephew O and one of my nearest and dearest friends, but it is also filled with wonderful towns, with delicious food and great shopping. Two of my favorite things for sure!

Today I will keep it simple and speak of Portland. A booming city on the water. A mere 70 or so miles from Boston and known as the “Foodiest Small Town in America” by Bon Appétit. While in Portland, I always make a stop to Flatbread Pizza. I really am a simple girl and nothing makes me happier than yummy pizza and cold beer. And with local brews on tap and a wood burning pizza oven, Flatbread never disappoints. My pick, Jay’s Heart and an Allagash.

Right across the street is the perfect spot to get a sweet treat. The Standard Baking Co. Bakeries make me oh so happy and the madelines at Standard may just be some of my favorites.

And speaking of sweet treats, you must take the 10 minute drive from downtown Portland to South Portland and check out Scratch Bakery. The best bagels I have had (they even beat NYC’s in my opinion) and an apricot kissed ganache cake that will blow your mind.

The Old Port of Portland has some of the cutest shops this girl has seen. I have been a fan of Helene M for quite some time but on this most recent trip, I was introduced to a few new spots that should not be missed.

K. Colette. What a gem. Hand-selected home decor sourced locally and globally for the mindful consumer who searches for beauty, quality, and integrity. John Robshaw. John Derian. Lostine. Seriously, all of my favorites under one roof. Go. Now. I promise, it will instantly become one of your favorite stores too.

Blanche & Mimi. Part vintage finds. Part beautiful selection of unique gifts. Blanche & Mimi is what I dream my home will one day be. On this recent trip I picked up a pair of vintage silver candlesticks and a lovely piece of pottery that now holds my kitchen utensils. I can never leave this store empty-handed.

A few other spots not to miss: Folly 101, Abacus, and LeRoux Kitchen for shopping and Fore Street, Bintliff’s, and Hugo’s for dining.

Portland. The way Maine does a city and how lucky we are that they do. Love!

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