Book Swap

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | | 9 comments

Just as I was turning the last page of my book, Jennifer decided to host a book exchange. Due to the economy and trying to cut back, she came up with this clever idea. Not only does she have perfect timing, we have similar tastes in reading material.
This was one of the best swaps of all. Jennifer and I simply listed the books we were willing to swap, decided on the number of books, and popped them in the mail. I thought her daughter might need a few new bed times stories so, I added a couple in her package as well.
The best part of all was the price. I received 6 new reads for a mere 5.00 dollars in postage! If you use media postage {only for books, magazines and periodicals} it's SO much cheaper. The Post Office said that it could take up to 2 weeks for delivery but it only took 3 days!
I'm ready for the chilly New England nights snuggled up in a blanket by the fireplace with my new books.
Thanks for hosting Jennifer!

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Monday, September 28, 2009 | | 14 comments
One of my favorite things arrives each fall season ~ Comfort foods!
There is just something about a chill in the air and a warm dinner at our family table that makes me feel complete.
This is so easy to make and such a pleaser!
Southwestern Shepherd's Pie
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic {we love garlic so we always add more}
1 Tbsp chopped jalapeno
1 lb ground chicken
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp chili power
1Tbsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup roasted corn {I get mine at Trader Joe's}
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup cilantro
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1Tbsp butter
1/2 milk
1.Heat oil in large pot. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, and jalapeno. Saute for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned.
2. Add the tomato paste and spices. Once incorporated, add the tomatoes and simmer about 10 minutes. Add the corn, black beans and 6 heaping Tbsp of the cilantro. Once it is all mixed well, pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3. Place the sweet potatoes in a pan and cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a high simmer until fork tender. Drain and mash with butter and milk.
4.Spread over the meat mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until brown. Garnish with additional cilantro.

The night I made this {and took the picture} we didn't have enough sweet potatoes so I added a few regular potatoes to the pot and it was still very good.

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Autumn's arrival

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | | 18 comments

The arrival of autumn
There is a chill in the air.
The days are getting shorter.
Beautiful shades of red, orange and
golds are decorating the trees.
The firewood is stacked.
Comfort foods are on the menu.
Sweaters are calling my name.
Autumn in New England is a privilege that I look forward to and enjoy each year.
This weekend I'm stealing an afternoon away with my husband.
I'm surprising him with a date to celebrate autumn and all the beauty it has to offer.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009 | | 19 comments
Need Your HELP
I'm taking on a new "little" project.
I've always wanted to try to reupholster a piece of furniture.
I don't have a reason.
I guess it's just out of curiosity. It's certainly not because I've got loads of time on my hands.
My husband is not going along with me on this one.
His thought on my grand idea is ... just buy a new one!
{you know he will end up helping me :) }
I'm going to GIVE IT A TRY!
Here's where I need your suggestions ...
input ...
experience ...
and prior knowledge.
I "found" a cute footstool/ ottoman that I want to recover.
It is very basic {and out dated} but is structurally sound.
Where Do I Begin?
All suggestions are welcome and appreciated!

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The Silent One

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | | 21 comments

The past few weeks have been extremely long and over loaded with LIFE.
I've had large issues to deal with, choices that have been made for me that I wouldn't have chosen, and directions I don't agree with.
However, I've not been alone during this time. There is no one near me or next to me but I feel a presence.

As I go along with my daily tasks, I feel unexplainably comforted.

When random thoughts pop into my head, they are acknowledged.

The unspoken questions within the quiet of my thoughts, are answered.

Uneasy feelings, are calmed.

Uncertainties, given strength.

The unknown or grey areas, are shed light.

I know through life experience that these days shall pass but for now,
the Silent One has become my confidant, my co~pilot, my new friend.

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Labor{less} Day

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | | 14 comments
We had a very relaxing weekend to end our summer.
Friday evening my husband and I met up with friends for happy hour. It was nice to catch up and hear what everyone has been up to the past few weeks.
Saturday morning I took many of my tassels and created a display for a cute boutique in Mystic. They are now being sold in two stores ~ keeps me on my toes.
That afternoon we went with friends to the vineyard for a little wine, tasty treats and the most amazing jazz ~ these guys were talented!

The first signs of fall ~ can you see the reddish hint on the shrub above? There were several trees and shrubs that are just beginning to show the change of season.

Sunday afternoon we had lunch at the Country Club. It was a beautiful sunny day but a bit on the chilly side.
I made sure I wore Lilly and white all weekend. My grandmother embedded the "white rule" into my head as a very young child and I just can't get around it ~ sorry :)

Monday I made a few more tassels {below} for my Etsy shop. Later that afternoon we had dinner with our neighbors at one of our favorite clam shacks. They close on Labor Day and we just *had to* fit in one more visit for the season.

Summer is officially over for our family. We are back in school, the nights are cool and the mornings are chilly. I've brought out a few autumn decorations and before I know it, it will be Halloween!

Hope you found time to relax and enjoy the last weekend of summer!

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Nantucket Getaway

Thursday, September 3, 2009 | | 17 comments


Our trip to Nantucket was perfect ~ yes, perfect! We were together as husband and wife, friends and young {relatively speaking} lovers. We were able to do what we wanted, when we wanted and enjoy each minute as it arrived.

We stayed at the lovely Jared Coffin House. It is a beautiful Inn. Upon our arrival, they warmly greeted us with beverages and a sweet box of chocolates in honor of our anniversary.

Our room was amazing. It was once{long ago} visited by Ulysses Grant. I tried to take a few pictures, but I just couldn't do the room the justice it deserved. I fell in love with the tall windows and two sets of shutters on each one ~ would love to have something similar in our home.
We were out and about in town shortly after we arrived. I must admit that I was shockingly surprised at how friendly the locals were to us. If you've ever visited New England, than you know what I'm talking about. Let's just say that for the most part, no one goes out of their way to say hello, let alone help you in any way.
I really wanted to show you the pictures individually but for some reason, I can only ever upload 3~4 pictures at a time.
We walked through the sweet cobble stoned village our first afternoon and did a little shopping and then stopped for a drink on the water. It was a true rarity that my husband bought a few things for himself and I returned to the Inn empty handed. I don't think that has ever happened in our marriage! :) We had dinner at the Brant Point Grill. It has a lovely view and the waitstaff is outstanding! My husband had layered lobster ravioli ~ yum!
The next day we visited the Whaling museum, did a little more site seeing, shopping, relaxed on the beach, and ended our afternoon by visiting the Nantucket brewery, distillery and vineyard ~ talk about one stop shopping! They had live music and I was lucky enough to chat with a woman who owns one of the shops in town that I fell in love with. If you ever visit the island, you must stop in and wander around Coastal . My husband made reservations at Le Languedoc to celebrate our anniversary. It's a good thing that the restaurant was only a little ways down the street from the Inn because I had to waddle back! We had the most amazing little necks to start and didn't stop eating until dessert! They are very clever there and offer half portions of entrees. I treated myself to a half portion of scallops and risotto ~ oh so delicious.
The planets were aligned and I was able to talk my husband into visiting the Lightship Basket Museum. It is a small but quaint stop. This little trip prompted my *need* for a Nantucket basket. I also learned about the mortgage button ~ have you heard of these? It's an old Nantucket tradition. Once your mortgage note is paid, you burn it, place the ashes in the newel post and mount the ivory button on top.
I fell in love with the small gardens and window boxes on the island. Every time I turned around, some delicate flower caught my eye.
There was a sweet little red boat just floating amongst the bigger boats that grabbed my attention each time we passed. It looks like a small child's boat but with a big personality. I noticed as we visited artists shops that it had been the focus of many paintings.
We didn't bring our car over with us so the mode of transportation was walking, bikes or cab. After the amount of walking we did each day, I didn't feel too guilty for eating the rich foods we treated ourselves to {many times a day}. While getting ready for dinner one evening, I peeked around the corner to find my husband napping after our daily outing ~ ladies, wouldn't it be nice to just put on a shirt, pair of pants and be ready to walk out the door!
Not to worry, I may have returned the first day empty handed but I made up for it over the next few. The shops were adorable. I tried to talk my sailor into a pair of Nantucket Reds but he he declined. I love my new dress from Skirtin Around and any day now, my little package from Blue Beetle will arrive. One of my favorite mementos is the cookbook I bought at the enchanting book store next to where we stayed. It's recipes are delicious {we've already tried a few} and the ingredients are simple. I'll be using my Savor Nantucket frequently.
I've only been home a few short days and I'm ready to return to my new favorite getaway!
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