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North End Holiday Shopping Stroll 2015

Boston Fashion Blogger
coat, denim, sweater, necklace: In-jean-ius; hat: Salmagundi
North End Holiday Shopping Stroll
denim, sweater, necklace, scarf: In-jean-ius; hat, bracelet: Salmagundi
Lulu's Sweet Shoppe
Lulu's Sweet Shoppe
Boston Fashion Blogger
coat, denim, sweater, necklace: In-jean-ius; hat: Salmagundi
hat: Salmagundi
In-jean-ius Boston
denim, sweater, scarf: In-jean-ius; hat, bracelet: Salmagundi
Twilight North End
coat, denim, sweater, necklace: In-jean-ius
Salmagundi Boston
denim, sweater, necklace, scarf: In-jean-ius; hat, bracelet: Salmagundi
sweater, scarf: In-jean-ius; hat, bracelet: Salmagundi
In-jean-ius Boston
denim, sweater, necklace, scarf: In-jean-ius; bracelet: Salmagundi
denim, coat: In-jean-ius; hatSalmagundi

I am not a Black Friday kind of girl. Rushing around impersonal box stores, elbows out, fighting other people for deals? No thank you! I prefer to do my holiday shopping while strolling in warm, welcoming, local shops, cocoa in hand, enjoying snacks and surprises. Doesn't that sound much more civilized? Then join me at the North End Holiday Shopping Stroll! From 6:00-11:00PM on Friday, December 4th, local stores will serve holiday refreshments and offer special promotions & discounts. Participating shops* will display balloons at their storefronts; attendees can pick up a shopping "passport" and have them stamped at each location to enter to win the grand prize gift basket filled with goodies. Complimentary hot chocolate will be offered and the man himself, Santa will be on his pedicab at the corner of Hanover and Cross Streets. Now this is a Friday shopping experience I can get behind!

*Lulu’s Sweet ShoppeSalmagundiShake the TreeEnsembleCocoanutsCataldo InteriorsSedurreSol OpticsLIT BoutiqueHeart & SoleTwilightInjeaniusI Am BooksBattery Wharf HotelFleet Street GuildOrchard SkateshopExhale Spa Battery Wharf, North Bennet Street SchoolPolcari’s Coffee, and The Wine Bottega.

COAT, SWEATER, JEANS, SCARF, NECKLACE: In-jean-ius in the North End (c/o) HAT, BRACELET: Salmagundi in the North End (c/o) CUPCAKE: Lulu's Sweet Shoppe BOOTS: Rockport (c/o) SUNGLASSES: Vince Camuto PHOTOGRAPHER: Amy Fisher

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This post is presented by the North End Holiday Shopping Stroll.


Train to Maine with Amtrak Downeaster

Benrus Women's Jacket
BENRUS Waxed Cotton Canvas Jacket
Train to Maine
Portland, Maine
Pomegranate Inn Portland
The Pomegranate Inn in Portland, Maine
Amtrak Downeaster
Boarding the Amtrak Downeaster
BENRUS jacket
BENRUS jacket and denim
Custom House Wharf
Custom House Wharf
Lark Hotels breakfast
A breakfast of small plates at The Pomegranate Inn
Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
Portland Hunt and Alpine Club 
Hush Puppies Cyra
Hush Puppies Cyra Catelyn booties
Here's the thing about weekend getaways: they're supposed to be stress free. So why are we always driving to our destinations? Wouldn't you much rather relax with a good book on a train, sipping a warm tea (or a cold cocktail)? I would! That's why Mr. TBF and I took the Amtrak Downeaster on our recent getaway to Portland, ME. It's so simple -  order the tickets online, pick them up at North Station, board the train, settle in and unwind. 

It was ultra easy to grab an Uber (or taxi, if that's your thing) at the train station in Portland, and we checked into our hotel within ten minutes of arriving in town. The Pomegranate Inn is a charming, eight-room gem in the heart of the West End - it's funky and eclectic, and totally cozy (we spent a good amount of time reading in front of the fireplace, or in bed, or in a lovely little sitting room). It's a pretty, fifteen minute walk (or three minute Uber) to downtown, which is bustling with surprisingly unique restaurants and shops. Here are some of my favorite places to dine and shop in Portland:

Vena's Fizz House - We happened in when the owner was behind the bar. His enthusiasm and passion for drinks (both cocktails and mocktails) was infectious, and soon we were tasting various and sundry bitters, syrups and infusions. This is the kind of place where you can settle in with the Sunday paper and a non-alcoholic fizz called "Lumberjack Love" (so Maine-y!) or pop in for an "Aperol Uplift" before dinner. 345 Fore Street 

Sea Bags - You wouldn't think that midway down a dusty, working wharf hides Maine's 2015 Retailer of the Year. Sea Bags makes a wide variety of bags and accessories from recycled sail material, and all of their products are hand-crafted right there in the Portland workshop. You can learn more about Sea Bags, and enter to win one of their bags here! 25 Custom House Wharf,

Eventide - When Meg, our fantastic waitress at Eventide told me their special was a lobster roll, my response was kind of "meh, whatever". Don't get me wrong, I like lobster, but how many places in New England claim a "famous" roll? Then she brought it out, and I took everything back. Served on homemade steamed buns and dressed in browned butter, these lobster rolls are so fantastic, you'll probably order two (which is ok, they're small, and only around ten dollars)! 86 Middle Street,

Judith - With modern-Maine sensibility, Judith carries some hard-to-find brands, and hosts super friendly shop girls. Come for the sweaters and dresses, stay for the cool bags, shoes and accessories. 3 Market Street, 

Portland Hunt + Alpine Club - Chic Scandinavian decor, fantastic people-watching from the window bar, killer house aquavit and delicious, inventive bites (think: octopus stew, gravlax, house pretzels). I could seriously spend all day in here. 75 Market Street,

Stay: The Pomegranate Inn, 49 Neal Street,
Travel: Amtrak Downeaster,

JACKET: Women's Waxed Cotton Canvas Jacket, BENRUS (c/o) DENIM: Charlie Boyfriend - Calvary, BENRUS (c/o) BOOTS: Cyra Catelyn (comes in a bunch of fun colors!), Hush Puppies (c/o) SUNGLASSES: Vince Camuto BAG: J. Crew SCARF: Printed Village (c/o) 

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This post is presented in part by Amtrak Downeaster