I’ve been meaning to post these pics for about a month now. But you know, the holidays happened and then the New Year, and then I became lost in the new computer gear (literally LOST in translation– new technology can be so confusing!), and now finally (finally!) I feel like I am starting to get the hang of 2013 (and the new technology) and so here I am sharing these pics from December.


Sometimes life can be so exhausting.


Have you ever been to Portsmouth, New Hampshire? I had never been before this little day trip my sister and I took up there right before Christmas. It’s about an hour drive from Boston, which is SO CLOSE, and such an adorable little seacoast town. There are so many different shops and restaurants and we had fun popping into them all.

Our favorites:

Portsmouth Brewery (for beer).

Michelle’s on Market Square (for food).

Breaking New Grounds (for coffee/hot chocolate).

Gus and Ruby (for lovely letterpress and handmade pretties).

And besides the food and shopping, the photo ops were SPOT ON. Love that in a town.


Have you ever been to Portsmouth? Favorite shops? Favorite restaurants? I want to take Zan back there one of these weekends. I think he’d really like it and it’s the perfect distance for a day trip from the Bean.

Let me know what you love!



  1. I grew up in Portsmouth, my dad lives there! Its beautiful and filled with amazingness, your pictures make me miss it even more!
    I would HIGHLY suggest the friendly toast for breakfast, its a little diner. Also if you have not been to Flatbread Pizza, oh my gosh it is delicious, the atmosphere is so fun and laid back, the food is heavenly, make sure to try the Free Range Chicken or taco pizza! There is also a stored I think it is called the seven wonders or something like that and they have really interesting stuff from all around the world!

    • I saw The Friendly Toast! I think I might even have a picture of it! Thanks for all the suggestions! So awesome.

      And how fun is it that you grew up there? It’s such a nice place!

  2. i haven’t but it look adorable and new england-y and all the things it should look like. also, you got a picture of a golden retriever smiling so you’re awesome.

  3. love this, obviously. doesn’t gus and ruby sort of make you want a million dollars so you can buy everything?

    next time go to friendly toast. deeelish breakfast.

  4. Pictures lovely as usual Anna! I remember you posting some sort of delicious soup on your instagram when you were there so I need to get that exact same soup ASAP. Also Gus & Ruby makes me so happy I could faint. xo L

    • Yes! The soup was from Michelle’s and it was SO GOOD. Perfect for a cold day. Aaaaand now I wish I could have some for lunch.

      Also, Gus and Ruby? I died and went to heaven. (Rifle Paper Co. Up the wazoo!!)

  5. Let’s meet there. soon.

    an hour from you, an hour from me. a dream come true I would say.


  6. Guh, I love Portsmouth! We went on a weekend trip up to see Ingrid Michaelson at The Music Hall. I definitely recommend that venue, it’s so adorable and intimate!

    • Well, everything about your comment is PERFECT.

      I love Ingrid Michaelson so much it hurts. And seeing her in a small venue? What a dream.

  7. I wanna hang out with you and do fun things :(

  8. I love Portsmouth, I had a stint in my career (four months) where I worked in Dover, NH and Portsmouth was a stone’s throw from there. New Hampshire is pretty beautiful – gorgeous photos as usual!

  9. I have never been to Portsmouth, but these pictures really make me want to visit. I’m in love with towns like these because I grew up in one. I miss it! Great photos, as always :)

    • Thanks, Lindsay! I did not grow up in a town like this one (Syracuse is bigger and not nearly as adorable)… but we went a lot to Lake Placid when I was younger which WAS as adorable as this one.

      Sigh. Now I want to go back to LP… might need to make that happen!

  10. The Friendly Toast is in Cambridge as well (but the original is in Portsmouth). There’s a great new restaurant just over the bridge in Kittery, Maine called the Black Birch. Downtown, my favorite restaurants are the Black Trumpet, Poco’s, and the Green Monkey. Also the Spring Hill Tavern (under the Dolphin Striker) is my favorite place for a glass of wine. There is an actual natural spring-fed-well in the bar with fish in it!

    I also recommend making a summer trip and go to the beach in Rye (Pirate’s Cove or Cable Beach are two favorites). Then you can hit up Christina’s Crossing in Rye off Washington Street (cute clothes and housewares), and get ice cream at Lago’s Lone Oak on Route 1.


      I’m serious! Thank you for all the recs! Looks like I might need to go back up there a few more times to get it all in.

      So awesome.

  11. I neeeed to go here!!! What is Fat Belly’s? I love the sound of it…

    And, OMG! The Friendly Toast!!! Please tell me you’ve been to the one in Cambridge. It is MY FAVE FAVE FAVE FAAAAAVE. I didn’t realize the original was in Portsmouth!

    • I think it’s a Bar and Grill?

      AND NO! I have not been to the one in Cambridge! AHH! I think Meg, Lauren and I tried to go there once last winter in the FREEZING COLD and the wait was like HOURS. We left for something different, but probably should have stayed. Guess I’ll add it to my Boston Bucket List!

  12. I second (third, fourth fifth!) Friendly Toast. And your pictures of Portsmouth made me want to take a day trip of my own and go back! They are beautiful and I’m so glad you had a nice time. =)

  13. Portsmouth looks like a dream! I felt like I just took a walk through it as I scrolled through your pictures. What a good idea to take a day trip there! Such a charming little town.

    • There are so many places to take day trips to around here (Newport, Portsmouth, Cape Cod, and even Maine!)– I feel lucky!

  14. Sometimes I don’t leave you comments because I begin to feel like they’re all the same….for example “You take the best pictures! I’m obsessed with your blog! Your writing makes me so happy!” …and so forth. But I hope you know how much I mean it. Your blog is the coolest. And now I’m thinking a weekend trip to Portsmouth is on my agenda for 2013. It looks so darling + cozy! xoxo, eliza

    • Eliza, you can tell me those things over and over and over and I will never tire of hearing them.

      Thank you, friend. Seriously, THANK YOU.

  15. um. WHAT! why have i never been to this stars hollow/girlmore girls themed wonderland!? oh, lady, how i love that you let us arm chair travel with you! ugh, and you capture it oh so well.

  16. My husband and I recently drove to Maine and we stopped at the Friendly Toast on the way up. We liked it so much that we stopped again on the way home. The food and service was great. On our return trip we were even there during the Sunday lunch rush and we still had good service. We tried the breakfast burrito, the coconut shrimp egg scramble and the cheesy fries which were topped with provolone and blue cheese–yum! I really love the fun vibe of the place and the decor. We would definitely return. I wish our city had a fun and imaginative place like this. It was so much better than eating at a generic chain restaurant.

    • Now I know where I will take Zan when I take him to Portsmouth– THe Friendly Toast!

      And thank you for all the wonderful food suggestions! The cheesy fries with provolone and blue cheese sounds right up my alley. YUM!

  17. So adorable! Do cute little towns like this exist all over the country and I am just missing out!?! I need to do some more northeast exploring, obvs! I will have to add Portsmouth to my places to check out.

    • I think in New England they do! I can think of enough to count on two hands!

      My favorite adorable towns in NE:

      Chatham, MA
      Newport, RI
      Martha’s Vineyard!
      Portsmouth, NH
      Portland, ME

      I’m sure there are even more!

      (and I have some NY state ones up my sleeve, too)

      (ALSO: I think you may have given me an idea for a future post!)

  18. Lovely pictures! New Hampshire is a place that I’ve been interested in visiting. Sometimes I think I just want to live in New England someday so I can visit all the surrounding areas whenever I want. :)

    • Yes, I very much think you should move here. I know you would ADORE it. I imagine there is writing inspiration everywhere!

  19. Hi there, Ana! I’ve just stumble upon your blog today and have to say: I’m in love. I’m digging the archives, ’cause everything you post here is so beautiful! You write with so much care and love – and your pics of Boston… So beautiful and lovely! I really want to be in this city.

    About this post, NH seems to be such a calm place to live. I have never been to Portsmouth (neither in Boston… ok, neither in the US haha), but definitely want to visit.

    Keep up the good work.

    Greetings from Brazil,

  20. Hey there–I’m really liking your blog! I’m completely new to it but I decided to venture into different blogs and somehow came across yours (don’t you just love the blog world?) I just read your post on your resolution to learn photography and let me just say I am TOTALLY there with you! I’ve had my Nikon D3000 for about two years now and let’s just say we’re in the same boat! I’d love to hear about your photography journey and get inspired to do the same. I recently bought a MAC (for graduate school) but I’m looking forward to the creative possibilities as well! I’m looking forward to your posts!

    Oh and by the way, the reason I’m replying to this post is because I’m wondering if you used your Nikon for these photos. They’re amazing, girl! You have some skills. I’d love to know what, if any, editing features you used. Thanks! : )


    • Thank you, Evelyn! So kind!

      I did use my Nikon for these pictures! And I edited them in Lightroom! I have the VSCO film pack 01 for Lightroom 4, and I played around with some of the presets and edits to create my own saved presets. Trial and error mostly!

  21. Yay, Portsmouth! My new hometown since recently moving out of Cambridge. One of my favorite spots that I didn’t see listed when I skimmed the comments is Ceres Bakery! Your readers have given you so many great suggestions!


  1. […] a few stops on the way. Gus and Ruby and More and Co. are just a few on my list of sweet spots, and Portsmouth and Portland are both as sweet as New England towns […]

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