Life Update (and a recipe!)

The Millers are loving summer in Maine this year! With our oldest now 11 and youngest sprinting toward 5, I feel like this is the first year that we have been able to all enjoy the same things all day. In the past, someone needed a nap at some point, or was too young to ride a bike or swim or just be able to keep up. But every year, the spread feels a little smaller and summer feels a little less like work and lot more like fun – yay!

And now that we have four that want to go go go, I’m finding quickly that maintaining a blog in the summer with four busy kids is just not that easy!  Add to that the fact that I’m cracking down pretty hard on the technology rules. This means I’m following those rules too and just not on the computer that much! We are outside as much as possible, at the park, the beach, the pool, with friends, after dinner walks… We are just all around summering hard over here in the Miller house and I’m trying hard to be all in with the kids.

And we are reading this summer – including me! I’ve not picked up a book in nearly a year so I’m trying hard to be in the moment and enjoy all of the things they are enjoying. The blog is not going anywhere, but I’m going to be laid back about it – please stick around!!!

Overall, I’m just trying to be more of a yes mom this summer than a no, I have to pick up the house, or no, I need to write an article, or no, we can’t leave the house until I fold this laundry. It’s actually been as good for me as it has for them. And I know we are only a few weeks in so only time will tell how long I can keep up with them. But I’m trying!

Speaking of trying and all things summer, last night I tried something new and it was a total 6 for 6 hit with our family! About 1/2 of our family loves watermelon and the other 1/2 hates it. So I buy it rarely and when I do, it almost never gets finished. After days of begging people to eat some watermelon, I was about to give up and throw it out. Then I recalled a recipe for Agua Fresca and decided it was worth a shot. Spanish for “cool waters,” Aguas Fresca is a popular, non-alcoholic drink that combines fruit and ice – I tried the following recipe and it was fantastic! I’m firmly in the not liking watermelon camp at our house and even I loved it! It was so refreshing – we were grilling out and sipped on this while we waited for dinner.


Strawberry and Watermelon Agua Fresca:

4 cups of seeded, cubed watermelon
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-2 cups ice cubes

Blend until smooth. Serve immediately!

It’s really that easy. With watermelon already sliced in the fridge, this recipe came together in about a minute. While I’m not putting any pressure on myself to post as regularly as normal, I will definitely check in when I feel like I just have something I HAVE to share. This was one of those recipes I felt I had to share! Please let me know if you give it a try. I am certain it will be on repeat in our house for the rest of the summer!

*Recipe courtesy of Vitamix

**Could be amazing (and lethal) with a little vodka added to the mix!!! Careful if you try it, it will go down easy!

Summer Sweatshirts

I’m not sure I had ever heard of the term summer sweatshirt before I moved to Maine. Growing up in the deep south, summers were always for swimsuits and flip-flops and looking for ways to stay as cool as possible. But even on the last day of June, I still need a sweatshirt some days and I definitely need one for the cooler nights throughout the summer. Add to that, boat outings or dining al fresco on the water, having something warm to throw on becomes a must.

This year I have two in constant rotation. Both are fairly light weight but super cozy. I love the bell sleeved ruffle on this one from Aerie. I bought the peachy colored one and it looks great with white jeans, denim shorts, etc… It’s very versatile and the sleeves dress it up a bit. I’d buy it in multiple colors if I could!

And I found a Vineyard Vines Shep Hoodie at the Vineyard Vines outlet (similar here) that I’m absolutely living in. I’ve tied this around my shoulders on cool nights at the ball park and have worn it every time we have been on the boat so far this summer. I love the contrast striped hood and have gotten several complements – it takes it from from “just a hoodie” to something special! It’s perfect for those ocean breezy days we get here on the coast and I’m so glad I grabbed it!

And I am sure my southern friends can relate on some level the need to have something “just in case” with the absolutely frigid A/C blasting inside every building from May to October. I know there are times even on the hottest of summer days that you might want to have one of these on hand for when you are inside.

Here are a few others that I’ve seen that I love:


Shep Shirt 


J Crew Pom Pom


Striped Sweatshirt


Asos Star 

*Also worth noting, I always size up in sweatshirts. It makes easier to layer and I just love the oversized look with a sweatshirt.





Strawberry Fields…

I remember the first year we moved to Maine. My oldest was not quite four and my twins were still one. To say I was a deer in the headlights for a solid few months is an understatement. We moved in May so there were no preschool play dates or other official opportunities for us to meet families with young kids for several months. But one thing I promised myself that I’d NOT do that summer is sit in a house and wish I were somewhere else.

So every Sunday I’d look online for things to do with the girls while Mark was at work. First it was library story times (where I did end up meeting one of the sweetest souls I’ve ever known!) and then playground outings and many trips to the kids department at L.L. Bean. As the weather finally began to warm I realized that were opportunities to pick fruit much more easily here than anywhere else I’d ever lived. One of the benefits to all of the rural areas surrounding us that I had before been so quick to complain about.  So we picked. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, it was the summer of berries for the Millers. If it was in season, I had those girls out picking!

Oh my word – Abigail, I think?!?!
My babies!!!
I remember this day so well…time so down!

Actually, the girls were mostly eating (evidence above!) but it created a sweet little tradition that has carried on through the years for us as a family. And now that we have wonderful friends, we often meet up with them and make it a social outing. Yesterday, we made one of our annual treks to a local strawberry field and picked with another sweet family. The weather was perfect, sunny but cool, from the beautiful ocean breeze blowing in. If you are local or visiting the area, we LOVE picking at Maxwell’s Farm on Cape Elizabeth. Bonus: the berries are sooooo sweet this year!

I honestly love them best just cut up and eaten plain or with a spoonful of freshly whipped cream, but stay tuned for a few yummy recipes coming that are great for using up the fruits of your labor!!!

Below are some pictures of our day:

Whit was so serious about picking!
All of the kids were really into it
We wore our floppy hats to protect us in the fields
Even mom! I love these hats – let me know if you need one!!!
Oh my word…
So yummy!!!
Picking with a friend is even more fun
So proud of his effort
Pooling our efforts
Love these cuties!
Great day!

On my radar

I was at a meeting earlier this week talking about auction items for an upcoming fundraiser. One of our committee members said that every year bags are a hot ticket item at our auction. Mainers love to shop local and we are so lucky to have some fantastic local purveyors of bags. Artists who have worked creatively, been inspired by their surroundings and sourced local materials to produce beautiful bags

Alaina Marie has done just that, with her utilitarian line of clutches that are both fashion forward and practical. The clutches were inspired by a lobsterman’s bait bag and are constructed from the same marine-grade material. Also available in wallets, wristlets, totes and a variety of other styles, each bag is sewn by hand and they are all so unique and absolutely beautiful. No two are exactly alike!

Below are some of my favorite patterns and styles. If you are looking to share a piece of Maine, or just want to have a really great bag, I highly recommend you check out Alaina-Marie’s site!

blue lobs

And, if you don’t need any more bags (because I get that I really do!) the Alaina Marie has also partnered with Keds for a limited edition and completely adorable shoe! “The pattern from this shoe collection is reflective of the movement and energy you see on the ocean’s open water with a touch of bright coral inspired by buoy flags and fishing vessels.”*

AM keds


Product Review

I’ve got a product review for y’all today! A few months ago I reached out to FB and others to see what people are using for sunless tanner these days. I’m a perfect candidate for sunless tanner as I am pretty fair and do not like to even try and get any sort of “glow” from the sun these days. I also happen to be quite lazy about actually taking the time to use fake glow cream so even though I could really use a little help in the color department (hello blinding white at the pool!) I don’t usually end up using what I buy.

In the past I’ve bought Tan Towels (which most people love but I sort of felt ‘meh about) Daily moisturizers (stink to high heaven) and other versions of sunless tanning creams but I’ve never found something worth sticking with.

But I decided I really did want to make a better effort to add this step into my routine this summer. I so envy my darker skinned friends’ gorgeous, glowing legs next to my fair ones! There were a lot of suggestions that people swear by, and I’ll link a few of those below, but ultimately, I decided to give Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer a try.

I settled on this version for a couple of reasons. The most obvious being that the price was right. I’m on a budget these days and I didn’t want to commit to anything spendy. In the past I’ve not been able to make myself keep up the routine. I also chose this because I have used the Jergens Natural Glow regular moisturizer in the past and know that if I’m REALLY careful it doesn’t make me orange and works reasonably well in avoiding too much streaking. It’s a gradual build of color which is particularly good for fair skin – we get orange fast! I also read that the stink wasn’t nearly so bad on this version which was what always put me off in the past. But ultimately, I loved that this one appealed to my laziness. As soon as you turn off the shower water, you apply and pat dry. That’s it! I air dry for a few minutes just to be sure but otherwise, once you get out of the shower you are done!

It’s worth noting that it really is true that you have to prep your skin for any type of sunless application, which is kind of annoying. I bought Dove Daily Exfoliating Body Wash which has a little bit of exfoliant in it but I also keep epsom salts in the shower thanks to a friend’s advice and add a bit of that in sometimes when I’m scrubbing. It seems to really be helping.

Overall, I’m happy enough with this that I feel like it is worth sharing. For the price and effort involved, you really can’t beat it. If you are a seasoned sunless tanner and comfortable making a bigger investment, the following products received thumbs up from several friends.

St. Tropez – Very good feedback from several friends. St.Tropez is sort of the gold standard in tanning cream so most versions are pretty good.

Rodan & Fields – I’m linking to Amazon here but obviously reach out to your favorite consultant for a better deal and to support her business!

Tan Towel – I have and use these I just am finding the in shower moisturizer something I’ll actually be more likely to use on a regular basis.

Loreal Sublime Bronze (Actually still very budget friendly and in a variety of application options)

*Disclaimer: I’m notoriously bad at applying sunless tanner. I will have a streak or spot somewhere no matter how hard I try!