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  • 7 Images that Prove Winter in Maine Can Be Awesome

    Summer in Maine is incredible. Sun, sand and sparkling coastlines draw tourists from all across the country (and the world). But summer in Maine is short lived – three months at best. And then comes winter. Long, cold, dark and snowy winter.

    But while almost every New Englander has complained about winter from time to time (mostly while trying to shovel 4-feet of snow out of their driveway only to repeat the process 12 hours later) it is somewhat of an “insider secret” how incredible Maine (and the rest of New England) is in the winter as well.

    If these 7 photos don’t convince you to give New England winters a try…well then we just don’t know what will.

    1. Majestic Mountains

    We’re not sure what’s more magical – little Fawn’s unicorn-themed snow gear, or the stunning mountain range in front of her. This little daredevil is only three, and already tearing it up on the slopes. If you lived here, you could be this awesome, too. (Photo by Josiah Babcock)Magestic Mountains

     

    2. Sky on Fire

    Nope, it’s not the Northern Lights – just another winter sunset in Maine. (Photo by Katie McPherson)Sky on Fire 1

    And another one… (Photo by Adam Casey)Sky on Fire 2

     

    3. Salt Air and Snow

    The beaches here are beautiful in summer, but take away all the tourists and add a dusting of snow and you’ve got a doggie paradise. Room to roam, waves to chase and picture perfect photo ops for the humans-in-tow. (Photo by Kristen Cameron)Salt Air and Snow

     

    4. One with Winter

    Here in the Northeast we’re one with winter – literally. Something about that salt air mixed with pure powder days makes for snow beards like you’ve never seen. (Photo by Jared Baker)One with Winter

     

    5. Snowy Sunrise

    It looks like a painting (or the background of an inspirational quote) – but here in New England we wake up to this kind of gorgeousness almost every single day. It may be cold but it sure if beautiful. (Photo by Charles Cormier)Snowy Sunrise

     

    6. Contrasting Colors

    Winter often gets a bad rep for being bleak and gray – but here in the great outdoors there are acres and acres of pristine white snow, speckled with gorgeous pops of colors that only reach their peak in the heart of winter. (Photo by Cathy Wheelden)Contrasting Colors

     

    7. Snowflake Tasting

    If you’ve never tried it, you should. Here in New England snow tastes as good as it looks! Add a dash of pure maple syrup and you’ll never want to miss a New England winter again! (Photo by Hilary Dudley)Snowflake Tasting

    What do you love about New England winters? Share your favorite photos with us on Facebook!

  • 3 (Naturally) Green Recipes for St. Paddy’s Day

    There’s no better time to go green than St. Paddy’s Day. After all, you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy green beer, green donuts – even green, err, bacon?

    But you don’t have to have food dye on hand to enjoy a hearty green snack this weekend. Here are three naturally green recipes, perfect for the Irish and everyone else.

    Sláinte!

    1. Oakhurst Dairy Shamrock Milk Mixer http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/shamrock-milk-mixer

    Shamrock Milk Mixer

    Forget the fast food milkshakes – this chocolate, pistachio, and mint milk mixer tastes just as delicious and needs only 3 ingredients to throw together. Perfect for a party or special afterschool snack.

    2. Green Mac and Cheese

    Green Mac and Cheese

    A kiddo fan favorite – this green mac and cheese boasts both festive coloring AND good nutrition. You’ll need some Oakhurst milk, broccoli florets, and green peas to pull it off. Get the recipe here: http://weelicious.com/2013/03/06/green-mac-and-cheese/

    3. Green Goddess Veggie Dip

    Green Goddess Veggie Dip

    Avocados are what give this dip it’s delicious creaminess as well as a perfect St. Paddy’s day hue. Pair with cut veggies for a healthy and hearty party app. Get the recipe here: http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/healthy-green-goddess-dressing-dip-recipe/

     

    What are your favorite green foods for St. Paddy’s Day? Share with us on Facebook!

  • 3 Winter Recipes That will Warm You Up from the Inside Out

    Winter in New England is many things – most of them involving cold. But along with bitter winds and heaps of snow, winter also means cozy sweaters, warm fires and the perfect excuse to dig in to your favorite comfort foods – for warmth of course!

    Here are three of our favorite recipes for staying cozy all winter long:

    1. Smoky Mac and Cheese

    Smoky Mac and CheeseA delicious twist on traditional homemade macaroni, this spicy, smoky version includes smoked gouda cheese, your favorite hot sauce (we love siracha!) and seasoned bread crumbs. It’s comfort food at it’s finest! https://www.oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/smoky-mac-and-cheese

    2. Mint Hot Chocolate

    Mint Hot ChocolateThere’s nothing like a steaming cup of rich hot chocolate after a marathon play session out in the snow. This recipe ads a mint twist for fun. Rim the glass with sugar crystals and top with marshmallows for a picture-perfect presentation. https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/crowd-pleasing-mint-cocoa-0

    3. Creamy Spinach and Potato Breakfast Casserole

    Creamy Spinach and Potato Breakfast CasseroleThere’s nothing better than starting the day with a warm and hearty breakfast full of protein and calcium. This creamy breakfast casserole is easy to make, and includes everything you need for a wholesome, healthy breakfast – eggs, veggies, turkey, potatoes – all wrapped up in one delicious dish. Dig in and warm up. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of Oakhurst milk!https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/creamy-spinach-potato-breakfast-casserole

  • 3 Simple and Beautiful Kids Crafts for Valentines Day

    Nothing says “Happy Valentines Day” like uncooked macaroni glued to a paper heart- parents, am I right?

    We kid, but there really is something so special about Valentine’s Day crafts, made with love by the little people that run us ragged day in and day out. There’s just something about those footprint hearts and misspelled cards that remind us why we cut PB&J sandwiches into triangles – no squares – no actually triangles – every single day without fail.

    So this year, if you’re looking for something refrigerator-worthy to work on with your kiddos, these three crafts are simple, beautiful and won’t result in glitter embedded in your carpet for years to come. Win, win, win!

    Milk Jug Stained “Glass” Hearts

    Milk Jug Stained GlassHearts

    How pretty are these “stained glass” hearts made from up-cycled milk jugs?  They look beautiful hung in a sunny window.  Get all the instructions to make them here!

    DIY Heart Crayons (http://acreativemomma.blogspot.com/2011/01/valentines-for-classmates-heart-crayon.html)

    Heart Crayons

    This craft is prefect for little ones who aren’t quite ready for scissors or the other more advanced crafting skills.  All they have to do is peel the paper off a bunch of crayons and break them into pieces.  Then place the broken crayons into silicone heart molds, bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, and after they cool, pop them out of the mold and place in plastic baggies to deliver to friends on Valentine’s Day!

    Valentines Day Milk Straws (http://www.papersource.com/blog/diy/how-to-valentine-party-drinking-straws/)

    Valentines Day Milk Straws

    Seriously how cute are these heart shaped paper straws?!  You can buy the actual straws online or at your local craft or party store, and then decorate with construction paper, ribbon, faux crystals and other goodies from the craft store.  When you’re finished, whip up this yummy cinnamon vanilla milk, and serve with your new LOVEly straws.  Bon appetite!

  • 3 Healthy Recipes to Keep your Resolutions on Track

    Ahh yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when 99% of us jump ship on our healthy-eating resolutions. To be fair, it’s really hard. Especially when you live in New England and the high temperature for the month is -1 and it’s just so much easier to make cookies than it is to make a salad.

    But don’t give up! We hear you, we’re with you – and we have three absolutely delicious recipes for you that will warm you up without claiming all your calories for the week. Dig in and then let us know your favorite healthy and hearty recipes for winter on Facebook.

    1. Curried Butternut Squash Soup (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/curried-butternut-squash-soup)

    Thickened with black beans and milk (instead of cream) this healthier version of a hearty winter favorite will warm you up AND slim you down.CurriedButternutSquashSoup

    2. PB&J Power Muffins (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/pbj-protein-power-muffins)

    An adorable twist on the traditional PB&J, these bite size muffins are the perfect serving size – just enough to fill you up without going overboard! The kiddos will love them, too!PB&JPowerMuffins

    3. Black Bean Breakfast Bowl (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/black-bean-breakfast-bowl)

    Full of protein and flavor, this black bean breakfast bowl has everything you need to stay powered up through lunchtime (without all the added sugar or traditional cereals or baked goods). The toasty black beans and crispy fried egg will warm you up nicely, too!BlackBeanBreakfastBowl

  • 3 Super Easy Overnight Oats Recipes

    In 2016 Overnight Oats recipes took over popular recipe sites like Pinterest, Yummly and epicurious – and for good reason! Overnight Oats are the trifecta for busy moms – easy to make, delicious to eat, and good for you (and the kiddos), too!

    To celebrate national oatmeal month we’re sharing three of our favorite Overnight Oats recipes. You can eat them straight out of the fridge, or heat them up for a little dose of warmth on these cold winter mornings. Which recipes are your favorites?

    Apple Walnut Overnight Oats (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/apple-walnut-overnight-oats)apple-walnut-overnight-oatsA classic combo, these apple cinnamon oats have the perfect amount of crunch thanks to some chopped walnuts. If your kids haven’t tried overnight oats before, this is the perfect transition from sugary instant oatmeal to protein-rich overnight oats.

    Whipped Raspberry Overnight Protein Oats (https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/whipped-raspberry-overnight-protein-oats-recipe)whipped-rasberry-overnight-protein-oatsIf texture’s an issue, these whipped overnight oats are perfect for you. They have the smooth creamy texture of traditional oatmeal, with the extra protein and flavor of overnight oats – plus the added benefit of being able to make them ahead of time. Yum!

    Cocoa Banana Overnight Oats (http://www.myfussyeater.com/cocoa-banana-overnight-oats/)cocoa-banana-overnight-oatsCalling all chocolate lovers! This Cocoa Banana flavor is like eating dessert for breakfast. Full of protein and slow-release carbs, this will keep you full until lunchtime (and beyond).

  • 4 Recipes You’ll Love Waking Up to on Christmas Morning

    There’s nothing sweeter than the sound of little feet pitter-pattering down the stairs full of excitement and wonder ready to check out what Santa left under the tree – unless it’s 4am, that is.

    We’ve all been there, and since there is approximately -100% chance of getting kids back to bed once they’re up on Christmas morning, the best way forward is a strong cup of coffee and something delicious to get you in the spirit. These four Christmas morning recipes are sure to do the trick!

    Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Mug Bake

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/pumpkin-oatmeal-mug-bake

    pumpkinspiceoatmealmugbake

    Mmmm – pumpkin spice and everything nice. This easy-to-make breakfast is perfect for parents with early risers. All you have to do is toss the ingredients in a mug and heat in the microwave. Drizzle with maple syrup and your own your way to Christmas morning magic.

    Snickerdoodle Donuts

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/snickerdoodle-donuts

    snickerdoodledonuts

    If milk and cookies and donuts were on your Christmas list – you can check them all off in one fell swoop with this deliciously indulgent breakfast. It’s everything you love about cookies, mixed with a donut, served with milk. As an added bonus, the kids are guaranteed to love it, too.

    Gingerbread Steamer

    https://milklife.com/articles/recipe/gingerbread-steamer

    gingerbreadsteamer

    This festive bevvy is fit for the whole family. It’s like a warm gingerbread cookie in cup – what could be a better way to start the holidays?!

    Cranberry Eggnog French Toast Bake

    http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/cranberry-egg-nog-french-toast-bake

    cranberryeggnogfrenchtoastbake

    Don’t ever let anybody tell you it’s too early for eggnog. This delicious french toast bake is made with Oakhurst eggnog and can be prepared the night before, so all you have to do it toss it in the oven Christmas morning and voila – breakfast is served!

    Do you have a Christmas morning breakfast tradition? What do eat and how early do you get up?

  • 9 Epic Holiday Photo Fails

    Ahh yes, it’s that time of year again. Time for milk and cookies and presents and snowmen and desperate parents bribing their children to please for once just sit still and smile for a holiday card photo.

    We all know the chances of that happening organically are pretty much zero. So instead we resort to tactics like placing bizarre looking stuffed animals on top of the camera, completely losing all self-dignity and dancing like a monkey behind the photographer, or even offering candy in exchange for eye contact.

    When all else fails, just Photoshop your kids’ faces onto a magazine family – we won’t tell!

    holiday-card

    Or – you can skip the whole “200 photos to get one good one” rigmarole and just go with the goofy, crazy, perfectly imperfect family photo that actually represents real life. Some of you already went this route – and we’re loving it! Here are 9 of our favorite ways holiday photos go bad:

     

    1. When your toddler just isn’t interested in sitting on a stranger’s lap, dressed in a crazy suit, offering free candy. #maybetheyhaveapoint (Photo by Beth Larrabee)

    crying-santa-baby 

    2. When you capture that one-in-a-million shot – just not the one you were hoping for. (Photo by Kimberly Nielsen)

     kim-nielsen

    3. When your toddler is even more frustrated by the holiday photo shenanigans than you are. (Photo by Spi Be)

     spi-be

    4. When the kids have just completely given up. (Photo by Caroline Rodrick)

     caroline-rodrick

    5. When the kids are NOT impressed by the special effects. (Photo by Jessica Matthews Hall)

     jess-matthews-hall

    6. When the photo-bombers win. (Photo by Amanda Kilfoil Krantz)

     photo-bomb

    7. When your kid is about to slug Santa. (Photo by Kaylee Ellis)

     kaylee-ellis

    8. When #momlife doesn’t slow down, even for a family photo. (Photo by Lea Jensen)

     special-effects

    9. When you have 4 kids under 5 and this is as good as it gets. (Photo by Becky O’Keefe)

    4-kids-under-5

  • 4 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Ahead

    Thanksgiving is all about family, football, food and relaxation – right? Not always when you’re the one hosting! All too often moms (and dads) find themselves missing out on the fun because they’re hustling in the kitchen, trying to feed an army of extended family.

    This year, spend more time with the ones you love and less time in front of the oven with these 4 delicious Thanksgiving recipes you can make ahead of time. Just heat and serve when everyone is ready to eat.

     

    creamy-butternut-squash-bake

    Creamy Butternut Squash Bake (http://oakhurstdairy.com/recipes/creamy-butternut-squash-bake)

    A little bit sweet, a little bit creamy – with just enough crunch. This Creamy Butternut Squash Bake is practically a dessert, but healthy enough to qualify as dinner. Yum!

     

    spinach-and-gruyere-gratin

    Spinach and Gruyere Gratin (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/baked-spinach-gruyre)

    The easy way to eat your vegetables – this Spinach and Gruyere Gratin is deliciously cheesy and can be eaten as is, or paired with a slice of warm bread. Make it, freeze it and heat it just before dinnertime.

     

    goat-cheese-mashed-potatoes

    Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes (http://www.pink-parsley.com/2014/11/make-ahead-goat-cheese-mashed-potatoes.html)

    If you thought mashed potatoes couldn’t get any better, they just did. Add a little goat cheese, butter, Parmesan and a healthy dose of garlic. Then prep in advance and toss it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day…if you can wait that long to dig in!

     

    gingersnap-pear-cheesecake

    Gingersnap Pear Cheesecake (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/gingersnap-pear-cheesecake)

    This is no ordinary cheesecake. A gingersnap crust and layer of fresh pears set it apart from the rest. A perfectly seasonal dessert that is equally as easy to make as it is to eat. Enjoy!

  • 13 Local Veterans to Be Thankful for Today and Everyday

    Earlier this month we launched our “Thank a Veteran” Giveaway and as per usual, you all blew us away with your thoughtful, emotional entries. We could only pick one winner, but we wanted to share our appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of everyone who entered and also take this opportunity to express our gratitude to every veteran who has served this great country.

    Serving our country is a tough (arguably the toughest) job, and one of the most meaningful. We honor, we applaud you, and most importantly we thank you. We are the land of the free because of the brave, and we will never take that for granted.

    This Veterans Day, please keep these special service members in your thoughts, who were nominated by their friends and family. Their stories are truly inspirational.

    “I would like to recognize a Veteran who is just simply an amazing woman! She is a Veteran, a teacher and a super mom! Her husband currently serves and while he is away, she is a super mom! She was a pre-school teacher at my son’s school. She has had some major hardships this year and has always bounced back because she is such a strong and compassionate woman. She is such an inspiration to all women!!! I would like to thank her not only for her service to our country, but for being an amazing role model to all women.” –Sarah Adams Rulman.”

    vd1

    “My husband, Jon, has been in the military for over 17 years. He’s been on four deployments and continues to proudly serve. He does a lot for our family and is always there for our kids and me, even if not always in the physical sense. We’ve had a crazy year: got married, had a baby, went through our then-10-week-old having surgery, and bought a house! Jon always finds a way to make sure we are all taken care of, no matter what.” – Jen Lapalme

    vd2

    “My cousin Toby is a veteran. He joined the army at a very young age and even had to miss his son’s first steps. He is an incredible person.” – Amanda LeClair Goodrich

    “This is my fiancée Robert Thomas. I met him 16 years ago in Hawaii where he was based and we immediately became glued to other. Ever since he got out he always worked hard to provide for us, help our friends in need, always with out hesitation. We love this man with all our heart.” – Emily Andrews

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    “I want to share a recognition of my husbands grandfather. He was truly an amazing man. He joined the Navy at 17 and served there for 4 years. He then joined the Air Force and served there for 20 years. He married the love of his life after he retired from the Navy and before he joined the Air Force (she didn’t want to marry a Navy guy because he could be deployed on a ship/submarine for months on end. In the Air Force he learned many languages. He spoke fluent Japanese and Russian. I think he might have spoken some Chinese too. Grampy was a kind and loving man. He went to school after he retired from the Military and got his Master’s in education. He became a teacher and ended up becoming a Principal. He inspired so many people to become the best that they can be. He passed last year and we love and miss him so much.” – Tosha Foster

     

    “I’d like you to meet PFC Blaine Adams. I don’t know if he qualifies for this contest since on November 29, 2008 he died in a training accident he was 19 yrs old. Blaine joined the US army when he was 17. He is my younger brother…He had a huge heart. My brother is my hero. His nephew Lucas only met him twice, he was a baby. My brother loved him so much. He bought Lucas a power wheels truck, 8 yrs later my son still has it…My brother was simply the best man I knew. He was loving, kind, supportive and smart. He sacrificed so much for his country. He had so much he planned to do… college, a family, seeing different parts of the world. We once asked why did you want to join the army, he replied I want to better myself and my life. That’s the young man I’m proud of and honored to be called his sister.” – Millissa Pierce

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    “I would like to recognize my grandfather, Clarence Conway , who served during the Korean War. In the photo, he is on an Honor Flight Maine trip to see his memorial in Washington DC. He was one of the first to go on a Maine Honor Flight, and active in the early days of the organization. In addition to serving, he has also been a volunteer firefighter for over 60 years, and was Maine Firefighter of the Year in 2004.” – Alan Barker

    vd5

     

    “This is my grandfather from WWII, where he met my grandmother before returning from France (small pictures on bottom is my grandmother). He received the highest level of honor during his service time. When he was stationed in France he met my grandmother. They fell in love during his time there. When he was ready to leave she said she was very sad, then he surprised her with a proposal. They returned to America together, married and that was the beginning of our wonderful family!” – April Rumery

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    “My brother, SSgt Nathan Collin of the USAF, is my favorite vet. He’s in his 11th year of service and has been deployed to the Middle East for several tours. He’s working his way back to the US from one this week. He’s sacrificed so much of himself and his life to do what he does and somehow he keeps his sense of humor. My son absolutely adores him and even has a build-a-bear dressed in camo that he calls “Uncle Nate.” – Cheri Michaud

    vd7

     

    “My story is about an amazing man named Angel. Lance Corporal Angel Rosa of South Portland, Maine to be exact. An incredible man, a Marine, a community activist, soccer star, brother, son, best friend, husband to a beautiful soul, and godfather to my daughter whom we named after his wife. His love for his family and community is matched only by his love for his country. In 2007, Angel gave his life for that country, that family, and that community. He was killed on a mission in Al Anbar, Iraq at 21 years young protecting his brothers in arms and his home so far away. My daughter teaches her class every year about her “unkie” and we keep his spirit alive every Veterans day with flags with his name on them.” – Jennifer Manzo

     

    “My fiancé Craig Oxley is in the military. He balances running a company, being a Sergeant and being a dad to 3 boys. He has had to miss out on important stuff for the kids, but he is our hero and we love him.” – Robin Hakins

     

    “We love our Airman!” – Samantha Miles-Freeman

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    “This photo is from our favorite Veteran’s return home from his deployment this past August. He may travel the world as a pilot in the USAF but no matter where we live, we will always consider Maine to be our home.” – Jennifer Maurais Luce

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