Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vacation all I ever wanted....

Remember that GoGo's song from the 80's? Vacation all I ever wanted, vacation had to get away. Well, I sure would like to take a little time off and drop out of the rat race for at least a week.

If I had a sudden windfall, I might consider a trip to China to play with some baby pandas.
A train trip on the Royal Scotsman might be just the ticket. They would cater to my every whim.

Or a dining car on the Venice Simplon Orient Express would be just my speed.

This chateau getaway from French General offers,...oh darn it's sold out! Well it did offer the traveler a stay in a French country house, coffee on the terrace, crafting workshops, trips to French flea markets, wine in the evenings.

A photographic workshop by Alison Shaw on Martha's Vineyard. This one is a possibility. Rise each morning to photograph the sunrise. Ew, get up early on my vacation? I guess I would do it for the sake of my art. Breakfast at an inn, photographic instruction, shoot the evening sunset.
This would be great, more material for the blog!

Who am I kidding? Considering my recent home purchase, there's really nothing left in the vacation budget. Looks like my vacation dreams will have to wait. My relaxation? A good long soak in the bath tub!
Still, a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pink Saturday- Easter Decorations

I was kind of stumped for this week's Pink Saturday post. I really don't have a lot of pink in my home. But then, ah yes! Easter is coming soon. So I pulled out some old stuff and added some new decorations and voila! Instant pink post!

I got this kitchen towel from Williams Sonoma after Easter last year. I loved the sweet bunnies in their canoe.

And this is the flip side of the towel. Another darling image.

I got this pink fan at my new favorite store, Nesting. See the previous post for other photos of the store.

Does this look strangely familiar? Very similar to the towel image. This one is from Home Goods. I tried it on my door but liked it better on the cart in the kitchen.

Last weekend, I bought some pussywillows at Wilson Farms. They are so soft and they re like a cat's toes.

I put the fan in a vase with the pussywillows. Giving a little color to all that gray.

Assorted pinks from my collection of vintage Easter postcards. I love the images on these old cards. I got the photo holder from Pier One.

Ok, this photo is stretching it. The color of the room is really more of a beige but it does take on a rosy glow at certain times of the day. This is the birdcage I got at Nesting. You can see it hanging at Nesting in the previous post. It will eventually be hung in the living room but I need to get the right hook to hang it up. So for now it rests on a table.

Well it looks like we're a little tired and more than a little cranky from all the decorating and this exhausting photo shoot. Molly is ready for a nap. So it's off to LaLa Land. Until next time...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nesting on Main

Most of you who read my blog regularly know that I recently purchased a condo. So I am going through a nesting phase. Still settling in to the new space, I am on the lookout for items to show my true personality. My tastes have evolved over the years.

While in Concord this weekend, I saw a shop called Nesting on Main. I thought I might find something of interest there so I climbed the stairs and I entered into a dream world. Antiques, home decor, natural themes, my heart raced!

I so wanted this birdcage! Don't you love the fleur-de-lis on the top?

The displays reminded me of a walk through a museum of natural history.

I am looking for a mantel like this. This would look great in my living room, but, I resisted. How would I get it down the stairs?

Isn't this the cutest bistro chair? I love it as a plant stand. Nope, can't have it. My cats would eat the plant then make themselves at home on the chair.

Yes, this little birdie and birdcage came home with me. It can set on a table or bookcase but I think I like it hanging like it is in the store.

Another cute birdcage and I love the color of the stool.

I really like signs in home decor. I have some wall words in my dining room and living room. Well one of them came down after Christmas. It was an adhesive sign.

Another cute chair and table and check out that floor!

Browsing this store was a special event for me! One of the three owners, Wendy, was kind enough to let me go crazy snapping photos like I was with the paparazzi.

More eggs for the nesting theme. Great for Spring and Easter. Don't you love old
clock faces?

Carnival tickets and a bird themed book. Another great display!

Pretty glass jars and colored eggs and a sweet birdie.

Sea urchins and starfish. What a great way to display them.

Starfish, thin or plump. Your choice.

This could very well be the paint color in my living room. So I guess any of these items would
go perfectly in my home.

I really wanted to take this sign home with me. I like the sentiment, the script, and the shape. But, I had to leave something there so I could make a return visit. Aside from the birdcage, I bought some small items which I will show in a later post.
Nesting is my new favorite store. If you're ever in Concord, Massachusetts, check out Nesting on Main. You will not be disappointed.
As for me, I'm off to find the perfect perch for my little birdcage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Finery for the First Day of Spring

Spring is finally here! Actually it still feels winter like in these parts.

I am turning my attention to Spring Fashions specifically the Easter Bonnet. So have you thought about your hat for Easter 2009?

Some things to consider. Do you want to go with a straw hat? Should you go with a neutral or a color?

So many choices. What'a a girl to do?

Will you embellish your hat? Can it withstand the rigors of sport?

Feathers and pearls can be lovely.

Just the right tilt makes all the difference too.

Don't forget the shape of the hat. Some shapes are more flattering than others. And do consider other accessories to complete your Spring outfit.
And remember, go ahead and eat those chocolate eggs. Your hat will still fit!
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

10 Things you didn't know about Ireland

I actually had to work the evening of St Patrick's Day so I think I can celebrate St Patrick's Day all week to make up for it!

Today I give you some interesting tidbits about Ireland that I found at http://www.irishcentral.com/

10 things you didn't know about Ireland
Conn Corrigan,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Published Monday, March 16, 2009, 10:54 PM
Updated Monday, March 16, 2009, 6:19 PM

Check out our photo gallery of these surprising facts

1. Technically, it is an offense to be drunk in public in Ireland
Technically, it is an offense to be drunk in public in Ireland. Regulations introduced last year allow the police to issue on-the-spot fines for anyone caught being drunk in a public place in Ireland.

2. An Irishman founded the Argentinean Navy Irishman William Brown (known in Spanish as “Guillermo Brown”) is one of Argentina’s national heroes. He is commonly known as the “father of the Argentine navy” and was an important leader in the Argentinean struggle for independence from Spain.

Brown’s family left Foxford in Co. Mayo for Philadelphia in 1786 when he was aged 9 and his father died of yellow fever soon after they arrived in the U.S.

He led an adventurous early life: he fought in the Napoleonic wars, was taken prisoner-of-war, escaped to Germany, before somehow ending up in Uruguay, where he became a sea trader. He then founded the Argentinean navy, when it was at war with Spain.

Today there is a statute of Brown in his hometown of Foxford, Co. Mayo, which was unveiled in 2007, the 150th anniversary of his death. in Argentina, there are 1,200 streets, 500 statues, two towns, one city and a few football clubs named after him.

3. Only two members of U2 were born in Ireland

David Howell Evans, more commonly known as The Edge, was born in London, to Welsh parents. Garvin and Gwenda Evans moved to Malahide in Dublin when The Edge was aged 1. Adam Clayton, U2's bassist, was born in Oxfordshire, England. His family moved to Malahide in Dublin when he was 5, and he soon became friends with The Edge.

Only Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. were actually born in Ireland.

4. The British Embassy in Tehran is on a street named after an Irishman

In 1981, shortly after the death of IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands, the Iranian government changed the name of the street where the British Embassy is located from "Churchill Boulevard" (after the British Prime Minister) to "Bobby Sands Street."

British Embassy Staff were then forced to route everything through a side door in the building to avoid showing their address as The British Embassy, Bobby Sands Street, Tehran.

5. Up until around the early 1990s, Ireland had a low per capita consumption of alcohol

When the word "Irish" comes up, "drinking" is never far behind. And today, Ireland alcohol's consumption is very high by international standards. A 2006 survey found that the Irish spend a higher proportion of their income on alcohol than anyone else in Europe. It also found that the Irish were the worst binge drinkers in Europe. So the recent evidence supports the old Irish drunkard stereotype.

But Ireland's alcohol consumption per population was moderate for much of the 20th century. There was a high level of alcohol abstinence in the country – something usually more associated with Protestantism – which was promoted by the Catholic Church.

As the Church's moral authority declined, however, and as the country became wealthier, the Irish started to drink a lot more - finally earning themselves that old heavy-drinking stereotype.

6. A Belfast hospital is a world leader in kneecap reconstruction

During the Troubles, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast had one of the top trauma units in Europe. At one point as many as 100 victims of "limb executions" were being treated by the hospital every year, whose advances included external “limb scaffolding" that enables partial healing for bone damage too severe for reconstruction.

7. Ireland has the fourth largest stadium in Europe

Dublin's Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, is the fourth largest stadium in Europe. The 82,300-capacity stadium was redeveloped in 2005 and is now the fourth largest: only Camp Nou in Barcelona, Wembley in England, and Olimpiysky in the Ukraine, are bigger.

Rugby and soccer were banned from the stadium up until 2007 because of a long-standing rule banning “foreign” games. The rule was relaxed when the country’s main soccer and rugby stadium, Lansdowne Road, was closed for redevelopment.

8. In the summer of 2007, it rained in Ireland for 40 days straight

Even by Irish standards, 2007 was a wet summer. By August 24, it had rained in Ireland for 40 days - fulfilling an old Irish proverb that says it will rain for 40 days if it rains on St. Swithin's day (July 15). The rain usually takes a break in the summer for a couple of weeks and the rare sunshine sends the country pure mad!

9. Playboy was banned in Ireland until 1995

In 1995 you could get Playboy TV but you couldn't get the magazine, which was banned under the censorship laws.

10. More Guinness is sold in Nigeria than in Ireland

That's right: Ireland is the third largest market for Guinness. Nigeria is at second, and Britain is first.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I thought I'd share a wee bit of Irish music and dance with my favorite scene from the movie Titanic.
Don't forget to shut off my playlist at the bottom of this page then turn up your speakers and enjoy!!

Click here

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pink Saturday at Essex Street Antiques

It's Pink Saturday again. Today's post features some items I purchased yesterday at Essex Street Antiques. Where is it located? That's right Essex Street in Melrose, Massachusetts. This mantel was so springy I just had to take a photo. Don't worry there's a hint of pink there.

Don't you love this egg tree? Faux chocolate eggs, totally non-caloric.
I wanted this plate and egg to go home with me but I went in with a budget and I stuck to it.

Here's my new pink teacup. I put it on top of the tea chest I have in my dining room. It's calling out for some Harrod's No 42 Earl Grey.

Here's a view of the saucer. Isn't it perfect for an Easter tea or brunch?

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the pink cup in the sunlight. It is almost illuminated. My new pink dish from France is also on the table. The tea chest covering is just a piece of lace I picked up a while ago.

A better view of the candy dish. It might become a potpourri dish or a guest soap dish at some point. I'm not sure yet. My pink items cost me $20 which was my limit for the day's shopping. But... while at the store they told me about a flea market in Melrose. You know I'll have to check that out!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The weekend's activities

This past Saturday, my friend Amanda was visiting from Maryland and our afternoon tea group got together. Amanda was the tea hostess (the person in charge of the event) and she made all the arrangements from long distance. She selected the Hallowed Herb Tea House in Quincy, Massachusetts for our group outing.

The owner of the tea house, Lisa, lives upstairs. Downstairs, there's a tea room and gift shop.
Lisa had a lovely collection of tea cups. This beauty was mine for the afternoon.

Here's a photo of Amanda and Lisa, another member of the tea group. Amanda is from England and when we met her she was living in Massachusetts. She's lived many places including Dubai!

Our meal included soup, tea sandwiches, a scone, and a variety of desserts. My soup preference was broccoli and cheddar. Yum!!

I wanted to take this cute little lustreware sugar and creamer home with me but it was not for sale.

I am thinking of doing a treatment like this in my new kitchen. Isn't it lovely?

Here's a view of the tea server. We had grand marnier brownies, an Irish teacake, and a pistachio cookie.

Our check was presented with caramel truffles. I couldn't eat mine right then.

Pretty display. I have a teapot like this one. I got it for free from a neighbor.

There were so many teas for sale in the gift shop. I bought an artisan tea called Awakening Spirit. It's a green tea with a floral scent. When the water hits the tea pod a flower unfolds. Well, you'll see, later in this post.

The powder room was so feminine and pretty.

A beautiful towel to wipe one's hands. No paper towels here.

Here's the group outside the tea house. It actually hit 60 degrees on Saturday. It was absolutely gorgeous out. Of course, today it snowed! Saturday's weather was such a tease!

Saturday night, my sister and I went to visit our friend's Mary and Don. Mary wanted to make dinner even though it was her birthday. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls. Mary did a fabulous job! We brought the cake, a black and white cake. Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream layers. So good!

We brewed the Awakening Spirit tea and drank it with dessert. The tea pod looks like a sea creature, don't you think? Actually the flower was quite beautiful and the scent was jasmine, I think.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. Great friends, great food, what more does one need?


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